Thursday, April 30, 2009

What I Was Doing Last Weekend

Bubby, Me, and Baby Girl at an 18th century re-enactment.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The World Turns Green

No, this isn't a "save the earth" post. :)

When we left for our trip, our little slice of earth was still twiggy, brown and wintery. Upon our return, a transformation had occured. Our little slice of God's creation came alive! Green, tall grass. Leaves are popping out on the trees. Buds everywhere! My seeds have poked their tiny green heads from the warmed soil. Even the weeds burst forth in annoying abundance! Daffodils nod and tulips shyly open. The evenings even seem to linger longer.

May is coming. My favorite month is returning like a beloved one gone for a year, smiling, warm and sunny with an armload of Spring and a buzz of activity.

Life beckons and I take my leave to answer the call!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Much Pondering

This weekend offered me plenty of pondering, the biggest pondering being that I need more me time. I know, some of you have red flags going up. I'm not talking about shoving my kiddos in daycare so I can go gossip at Starbucks with some girls or get my nails done. I'm talking about being able to go to the bathroom without an audience at least once in a while, or completing a task in one fell swoop rather than in a series of interrupted multi-tasking efforts. To be honest, I was going insane and becoming a not-so-great mother.

You see, I am very VERY rarely without my children. I like it that way. However, on occassion, it becomes too much. I don't think anyone thrives with someone literally hanging off of them nearly 24/7. I have two precious kiddos in a very small house who's lives I revolve around. It's just that season in my life.

To top it off, I bought into all the websites and blogs that make a mother feel like a neglectful, selfish, ungodly woman if she even thinks about "me time." Sure, abandoning your kiddos for unneeded, indulgent whims is not good, but we all need even a moment to breathe our own air.

This past weekend, I couldn't even think anymore. My stress levels were so high I was literally getting sick. I just couldn't seem to break out of the box I was in with everyone's needs pressing down on the top like a cider press. A dear friend of mine, a midwife and mother of 4, noticed this and took my screaming daughter out of my arms and told me to go shopping. I wasn't gone that long, an hour at the very most, but I was completely alone. I could take my time. I could think. I could talk to someone without making sure a child wasn't getting into curious mischief, needing to use the potty or some other such thing. I could make eye contact with people instead of trying to listen politely while keeping an eye on my littles.

When I returned, I was refreshed, renewed, destressed and able to be a better mommy. I thanked my midwife friend and she told me that I need to get away from everything every once in a while and that it'll make me a better wife and mother.

A comedic saying pops into my head, "How can I miss you if you never go away." It has some truth in it.

Part of my problem was the warped, legalistic view trapped in my head that only bad mommies can't handle their kiddos 24/7. The other part is my martyr complex of sucking it up so others don't get bothered, even if they offer to be bothered. I'll get it right eventually. In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy my kiddos beautiful sleeping faces and wait for hubby to return home.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Nearly Half-Way There

I'm about half-way through my offline experience (although I did pop on for a short time a couple of times due to some important circumstances). I really haven't missed it. My stress levels are a lot lower and I love all the things I'm getting done: picnics with the kiddos, pies and cakes, organization and creativity, more reading, more sewing, etc. I like this and will probably make it more of a habit in the future. There's just so much to do around the house!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Going off line for a while...

More plants came in today. I received rhubarb, currant bushes, rose bushes, mock orange bushes and lilacs. Those were either potted or planted. I also strung up the fencing for when I plant the peas.

I will be off line until the 27th, with perhaps a small check-in halfway through. There are just so many projects to be done that I really need to discipline myself to stay off the computer and get them done! When I return, I promise updates, pictures, and at last that graham cracker cake recipe.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Seeds planted, soil turned

It was so nice to wake up to sunshine today! I also woke up to Bubby throwing up and running a fever. He probably caught something at the doctor's office. I really don't like doing well-child visits because they always get sick anyway!!

Anyhow....I managed to get several rows of soil turned in the garden ready to receive beets, turnips, spinach, peas and scallions. I'll plant them after Easter. We're expecting more cloudy, foul weather this weekend. Peat pots fill the south and west facing windows of my porch. I started bells peppers, cukes, fennel, dill, lettuce, spaghetti squash and rosemary. I ordered heirloom tomato plants and will probably pick up a few romas and a cherry tomato at the greenhouse.

I'm still trying to decide the color theme for the wall garden. Yellow and purple come to mind for this year.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

SNOW!!??

Dark, cloudy, windy, cold, and SNOW!!?? Grrrrr.......I went outside to empty my carpet sweeper and actually got stark raving mad about the cold, wind and snow. I think my neighbor's daughters heard my rants. *blush*

I'm in a better mood this afternoon. The morning's errands went quickly and smoothly and I had plenty of time to help out my parents with some house cleaning. My son didn't want to leave! I think he's ready for another overnight there. Perhaps when Grandpa's back gets better.

In absolute spite of the weather, I bought peat pots and potting soil.

Oh! At the farm today I bought green eggs! They had eggs that have naturally green pigmented shells on sale for $2.00 a dozen! (I usually pay $2.50 a dozen for farm fresh eggs). Green......we need to see more green here. The fields and lawns are slowly turning green, but no green buds yet. There are some green bulb shoots (crocuses have already come and gone, though).

Saturday, April 04, 2009

A Happy Birthday Party

It was a great birthday party for Bubby today! The party started at noon and the last guest left at 6:30! I am so thankful that God had me born into such a great family. We just chatted and yammered and the kiddos played and played. The atmosphere really left an air of fulfillment and happiness. It's like an aroma, still lingering in the house. I am contentedly exhausted. My son is fast asleep. My hubby is at the movies with my brother. My daughter is babbling to herself in her crib. Hopefully, sleep will find her soon.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Rainy Day

Bush cherry bushes arrived in the mail today. As usual, mail-order plants always arrive on the worst days. :b It's pouring rain out and the weather man even mentioned the s-word....snow. I doubt we'll get snow here, though. That's the nice thing about living in a valley. I opened the box and the roots were just about dried out, so I secured my children, donned a rain slicker and wellies, grabbed some large pots and a shovel and ran out to my muddy, poo-slicked, stinky garden and potted the bushes. As soon as the weather clears, I'll have to get some top soil for where I want to plant the bushes.

Otherwise, life has been very busy and rather unpredictable. There's a cloud of uncertainty floating around. I do feel better when the days are sunny and warm, though. I just feel a bit detatched, lately. Something's bothering me and I haven't figured out what yet.

Spring is a good time to try to lower my electric bill. I want to see how low I can get it. I've done well keeping it around or below budget over the winter. (My budget is $80.00 a month). I'd love to get it down to around $50.00. Here are some ideas to make a sort of game out of it:

1. Be conservative with lights....such as I don't need to turn the basement lights on during the day if it's sunny.
2. Don't use the dryer!
3. Be careful with cooking, cook lots at once (I have an electric stove)
4. Unplug the microwave...I don't use it much anyway.
5. Remember to unplug adapters that aren't in use.
6. Use the carpet sweeper more often than the vacuum.
7. Keep the TV off, use a less powerful radio.
8. Try not to pop on the computer for little to no reason....surfing's a waste of time anyway.
9. Make the most out of daylight and then enjoy a darkened evening.
10. Cut down to just 1 nightlight instead of 2.

Yesterday's Simple Blessings

It was such a joy to hear the radio weather guy announce sunshine and upper 60's for the weather forecast for yesterday. I knew I'd be heading outside to putter, but while it was still cloudy and cool in the morning, I packed up the kiddos and ran some errands. At Big Lots I found a Bissel carpet sweeper for only $12.00. A similar one at Walmart ran nearly $30.00! It works well, especially on my bedroom rug. The vacuum doesn't pick up on my bedroom rug for some reason. It just pushes dust around. But the carpet sweeper picks up what the vacuum leaves behind. At Walmart, I found a scientific calculator for hubby similar to the missing one for only $9.38. That's less than I figured I'd have to spend.

Once home, I knew today would be the day to get manure. So, after lunch, I packed the kiddos up again, threw a shovel and a covered 18 gallon plastic tote in the back of my grocery-getter and headed for the farm. I caught the farmer just in time and asked for the manure pile. He very kindly offered to just load the bucket loader on the tractor and bring me down a load. So he did and I spent my daughter's naptime hoeing it over the vegetable and herb gardens. Once again I thanked God and my husband for my wellingtons!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

One of Those Weeks....

You know how it is....every so often we just get hit with "one of those weeks." For me, it seems no matter how much I clean, the house doesn't seem to get any cleaner. Also, I have tons on my to-do list, but other things keep coming up. For instance, I spent a good portion of this morning searching for a calculator that hubby needs. Since he got it, it's always been in the same place (except when he pulled it out to use it and then would put it back again.) However, the kiddos found the spot where it was kept and now it has vanished. I looked in all sorts of usual and unusual places....no calculator. On top of that, my daughter is going through "velcro stage," so I'm limited in what I can do. Also, my son is Mr. Curious and gets into EVERYTHING. I'm really on my toes.

The weather's been crummy, so that's actually been a blessing. Otherwise, I'd be outside doing yardwork.

I'll feel better when Bubby's birthday party (this Saturday) is over and I can finally get out and gather my emergency stock.