Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Costume Designers, Radar Detectors

Dear Makers of Halloween Costumes,

Why do you think it is ok for little girls to dress up as meth addicted hookers? That may seem a little strong, but hey in a few years they move up to these costumes:

(These are the TEEN costumes)
All I can say is, Halloween costume designers, I hope you are all blessed with beautiful daughters and that they love Halloween and the costumes you have designed.

What goes around comes around,
Mama to a Bumble Bee & Witch
Dear Person with a Radar Detector,

Why own a radar detector if you are going to go 42 M.P.H. in a 55?
I'm just saying.

Road rage person riding your ass
Dear So and So...

Monday, October 26, 2009

First Crushes...

As my eldest daughter is getting older she is starting to have all those little rights of passage that every girl goes through. First it was her body starting to change a little as she prepares for puberty (my freak out on that here) and now her first crush.

I find it amusing that a lot of girls first start crushing on some random piece of our media, whether a fictional movie character or even a book character. For me, although I can't remember my very first crush, I do remember getting all flustery and telling my mom I was going to marry Eddie. Yes I said Eddie, as in "Eddie and the Cruisers".

Isn't he dreamy?

When I was a little older and could understand the mechanics of love a little better I found myself falling for a more intelligent guy, the proverbial "nice guy". And thats when Lloyd Dobler became my crush.

Plus Llyod drove an awesome car. I find it totally awesome that my youngest daughter was given the middle name Chevelle after that very make and model. (Ashlyn Chevelle Malibu just doesn't have the same ring as Ashlyn Chevelle?).
Now my 8 year old comes to me telling me that she loves someone. I smirk a little and ask who. She proceeds to drag out our very worn copy of Twilight and points to Edward (Squeee Go Team Edward!). So I ask if she means the book Edward or the movie Edward, and she of course answers "the book mom, duh". She goes on to explain that when she's old enough for a boyfriend she wants one who has a super fast cool car and who will protect her from everything. I smile and think don't we all.

And now I sit here and think, wow my little girl is growing up. And wow, we have the same taste in emo vegetarian vampires!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

People in Glass Houses Shouldn't Throw Stones...

***WARNING: Pretty bitchy, self impowering rant ahead. If your not in the mood skip this post***

I will do what my heart tells me is right.

I will do what I would not be afraid to admit to my children.

I will speak my mind.

I will not be told how I am allowed to react to things.

I will 'do unto others as I would have them do unto me'.

I will not fear the temper tantrum that seems to follow me speaking my mind.

I have learned a lot of things in my 27 years on this earth. One of the most important is that I am very resilient and can 'pick myself up by my bootstraps' when need be. I have restarted my life once as an adult of 21, went through a horrible divorce and remade myself. I know I am strong and that I make good decisions. There is nothing in my life that I am ashamed of, nothing I will have any problem discussing with my daughters when the time is right. I will not have anyone try and shame me for my thoughts or my reactions. I speak from the heart, my ideals may not mesh with yours but that does not make them wrong. Yes, I have a temper, you can blame it on my Irish ancestry if you wish. Do not fault me for it. Ignore it if you must, I'm sure if you hide your head little ostrich it will go away.

I'm very sick of wasting my time conforming to others ideals and behavior patterns, hoping that others do the same. I wish I could have no conscience for just one day...I would really like to see how it felt to care about nothing but myself. But see I even feel guilty wishing for that.

I'm sorry for the rant, just needed a little space to vent.

Friday, October 23, 2009

100 Books to Read Before You Die

So I'm sure you've read my previous post about how thrilled I am to have a kindle? Well I was thinking about it and I've been reading a lot of fluff lately (One too many Nora Roberts novels) and I want to better my person a little. So I figure I would start knocking a few books off this list here.

Do you know the average person has only read six of these books?

I have crossed out the ones I have read (and actually remember). I'm sure I may have read more of these in high school but I don't have the foggiest what they were about (Maybe I read the Cliff Notes?) so they don't count. Right now I'm reading Slaughterhouse Five, and I must say it is actually a pretty good book.

Feel free to thief this list and put it on your own blog, just when you do please leave a comment so I can come visit your list and see how superior your reading skills are!

100 Books to Read Before You Die

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 Slaughterhouse Five- Kurt Vonnegaut
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare (most works)
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Bible
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones' Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Choke- Chuck Palahniuk
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Husband Is Made Of Awesome...

My husband knows how much I've been missing him. He knows that I from insomnia, living in the middle of nowhere-itis, and the wrath of two hyperactive children. I've done all I can do to keep myself busy. I mean really how much cleaning can I do? My DVR is cleaned out. I spend countless hours on the web at night reading blogs, playing on Pogo, and goofing around on Facebook.

I have faced facts, I am bored. So I complain. Call me Complain Jane, it won't hurt my feelings.

My husband takes my complaining pretty serious. "Happy wife=happy life" and all that.

He bought me a Kindle!!!

For those of you not hip to what a Kindle is here are the specs:

Display: 6″ diagonal E-Ink® electronic paper display, 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi, 16-level gray scale.
Size (in inches): 8″ x 5.3″ x 0.36″.
Weight: 10.2 ounces.
System requirements: None, because it doesn’t require a computer.
Storage: 2GB internal (approximately 1.4GB available for user content).
Battery Life: Read on a single charge for up to 4 days with wireless on. Turn wireless off and read for up to two weeks. Battery life will vary based on wireless usage, such as shopping the Kindle Store and downloading content. In low coverage areas or in 1xRTT only coverage, wireless usage will consume battery power more quickly.
Charge Time: Fully charges in approximately 4 hours and supports charging from your computer via the included USB 2.0 cable.
Connectivity: EVDO modem with fallback to 1xRTT; utilizes Amazon Whispernet to provide U.S wireless coverage via Sprint’s 3G high-speed data network (check wireless coverage). See Wireless Terms and Conditions.
USB Port: USB 2.0 (micro-B connector) for connection to the Kindle power adapter or optionally to connect to a PC or Macintosh computer.
Audio: 3.5mm stereo audio jack, rear-mounted stereo speakers.
Content Formats Supported: Kindle (AZW), TXT, Audible (formats 4, Audible Enhanced (AAX)), MP3, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively; PDF, HTML, DOC, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP through conversion.
Included Accessories: Power adapter, USB 2.0 cable, rechargeable battery. Book cover sold separately.
The Amazon Kindle 2 is now available from Amazon for $259.

Basically it's an electronic book reader. That means when I can't sleep and its 2am, the kids are sleeping and I've just finished my last book, I just pick one off a list and within 60 seconds I'm back to reading.

Did I tell you I love my husband?

Friday, October 16, 2009

Missing Him...

Since we had our first official snowfall last night (a mere two inches) and Jay is heading across the midwest trying to make California by Tuesday, I thought this was fitting. One of my biggest fears is a jack knife.

Missing you Homey...

The Mommy Confessions- Nutritionally Deficient Mama

The Mommy Confessions
I haven't done a confession in awhile, so here goes nothing. I have been having a rough time with my husband being gone for 4 weeks at a time, and unfortunately my kids nutrition is suffering. I am depressed - I'm not going to lie. So instead of baking fresh bread and spending each day cooking some great masterpiece, I've been going the convieniece route. No not fast food but easily made processed food like spaghetti sauce from a jar and noodles or hot dogs and mac n cheese.

I feel so guilty.

It doesn't help that the 20 month old has completely sworn off veggies. I try and cut them in small pieces and hide them in things but to no avail. She can sniff out veggies faster than my dog pulls his antibiotics out of a meatball. My older daughter has great eating habits and will at least try everything put in front of her, so I have no worries she'll come down with scurvy.

That is my goal for the week up coming. Come up with simple healthy meals that I can make and freeze the extras for the days I'm feeling a little lazy. That and keeping the house on my level of clean, which it really hasn't been since before I got sick.

If anyone has recipes that their picky toddlers approve of send a link my way. I feel I can use all the help I can get now.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Roll On Eighteen-wheeler, Roll On

"Roll on highway, roll on along
Roll on daddy till you get back home
Roll on family, roll on crew
Roll on momma like I asked you to do
And roll on eighteen-wheeler roll on (roll on)" -Roll On, Alabama

Well its official. Jay finished his week of orientation and testing, and has now joined Moose in the rig. He has 20,000 miles of training to do before he is a fully vested driver. Right now they are on their way to Maine, but at this moment are in Massachusetts (just got a text with an update). So if any of you happen to be behind a Prime truck please be kind and don't cut them off, big rigs can't stop on a dime.

I miss him dearly, its only been 7 days but it really feels like forever. The girls are doing well with it although Ashlyn has had a few episodes of "I want Da Da". She doesn't understand I can't just make him appear out of thin air. Jay calls everday and talks to the girls and tells them he loves them. Ash pretty much just tells him about her shoes or hot dogs, but he doesn't seem to mind.
I miss my husband, but for now good night!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Taking a TTC Break

Unfortunately another downfall on the TTC front. With Jay leaving to be a long haul trucker, that means TTC has to go on the back burner. With him gone 3 weeks out of the month and then only home for a weekend it doesn't leave us with the right schedule to keep trying.

I am still struggling with this. Although I know he is doing what is best for his family it kills me to have to stop. This just adds to my stress. I want more children and unfortunately that does not come easy for me.

My heart breaks thinking it could be another year before I'm able to try again.

Rock City Park Olean, NY

During Maddy's birthday weekend she decided she wanted to go to Rock City Park. Its this great 3/4 mile hiking trail through some of the biggest rock formations I have ever seen. Since we have had a very cold rainy summer most of the trees have already started changing and losing their leaves so our hike was very beautiful.

Now with taking three small children hiking (they're 8, 3, and 19 months) our hike was probably over 2 miles long. They decided to ditch the map and take turns being the leader so we were lost many times.

We spent the afternoon hours exploring and hiking. It was great exercise for the girls and very relaxing for the grownups.

I love taking my daughters and niece out on these little day trips. It gives us a chance as a family to reconnect and slow down after a week of rushing around. And especially with Jay's departure looming in the near future, it gives him a chance to spend quality time with his girls.

If you are ever in the Olean area and are looking for something do for the day that is fun for the whole family and not expensive make sure you check out Rock City Park.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy 8th Birthday Maddy!!!

On the 19th Maddy celebrated her 8th birthday. I can't believe my little girl is 8. I still think of her as the 2 year old who couldn't sleep without watching Cinderella 3 times in a row. Now she would much prefer to read a book (she's starting the Twilight series now) than watch a movie. It amazes me everyday how fast she grows. If you didn't know our family you would comment how much like me she is. I guess when it comes to nature vs. nurture, nurture wins in our house.

She had a great time bouncing in the bounce house and playing with her friends. Her Papa and Nana camped all weekend and let her and Dee stay in their camper with them.

Each night we had a bonfire and roasted marshmellows and the kids got to stay up late. On Sunday we took the girls to the Rock City Park in Olean. After hiking we got to get ice cream. All in all she had a really good weekend.

I still can't believe my baby's 8.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Roll With The Changes...

"So if youre tired of the
Same old story
Turn some pages
Ill be here when you are ready
To roll with the changes" - Roll With the Changes, REO Speedwagon

I'm getting over being deathly ill. Seriously I had some stomach bug that caused me to be unable to eat or drink for ten days and regurgitate anything I did try in consume during that time. I had to be put on I.V. fluids twice. I really thought I was dying. I am now realizing as we get older our bodies are just not as resilient as they are as children. A major illness like this not only kicks our butts while we have it, but takes days to get over after the virus is gone.

But, that was not the main topic of my post. Saturday, when I finally returned to work, I received a call from the Homey. The unenevitable happened. He was sick. Which to all the wives out there you know this means he is literally dying (or so he shall act). I was prepared for the whining and exaggerated. I was not prepared for this virus to cost him his job. When Homey contacted his work to tell them he needed to return his rig because of said illness they basically told him, Bummer your sick but we can't help you - keep working. And for my husband who has done this when they told him this in the past and then needed to be hospitalized out of state, this was not an option. He said I'm sorry but I'm bringing the truck back. And now he is unemployed.

So Jay is doing what we always talked about, he is going over the road.

This does not make me happy. In fact this scares the shit out of me. I am used to him not being home for most of the week, but now we are talking 3 weeks at a time he will be gone, and then he'll be home for a weekend. So basically I have to be a single mom. I have to run my house, raise my children as the lone parent. It is almost winter here. I live in the snowbelt. That means lots of snow. Thank god I have a 4x4. I do have a plow truck but if it breaks I will have nothing. I feel very isolated, I live an hour from the closest family members. I am 27 years old, I really should not be scared to live alone but for some reason I am terrified. This weekend is Maddy's birthday party and next week Jay will be leaving.

Wish us luck...

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Finally Started a New Cycle...

I finally started a new cycle. This is after have a 78 day cycle. I'm hoping I will actually ovulate this time. It is kinda perfect timing since I'm on vacation all week.

The only thing bringing me down is that my CBEFM test sticks that I ordered 8 days ago have not arrived yet. Hopefully they'll be here Monday (I'll be CD 10) and I can start testing right away.

Keep your fingers crossed that this is our month!

A Good Day...

Moose, Lilly, and Ash
I woke up with a bad cold this morning. Then my rooster, R.J., was stuck in the turkey pen and it took me 30 minutes to get him out. While I was outside chasing R.J. the dogs ripped up shredded a stuffed animal so I came back in to little white tufts of stuffing everywhere.

I really thought this would be the theme of my whole day.

But then Moose brought Candi and her daughter Lilly over. It was so nice to have a friend to chat with and to watch Ash get to play with someone a little closer to her age. We had a nice dinner and the girls took a bath together. Now the little ones are sleeping and I'm going to dope myself up on some Nyquil.

But all in all it turned out to be a good day.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

C'mon Aunt Flo

Seriously, this is one time in my life when I would really like to see my old friend

show up. But no. 51 days since she last made an appearance. I'm really frustrated.

How am I ever gonna become a Mommy again if I don't have a cycle? Damn PCOS.


Worless Wednesday- Up To No Good

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Friday, July 31, 2009

Mommy Confessions- The "your growing up" talk

The Mommy Confessions

My confession this week is: I don't want to have the "Your growing up..." talk with my daughter.

I am having a real hard time disciplining my eldest daughter. Although she is only 7 (well almost 8). I am starting to get some of that teenage like attitude from her. For awhile now I have been putting the blame for this on many things. I blamed having a baby, moving, and other such things. Lately its come to dawn on me that hormones probably have a lot to do with this.

I guess I am naive in thinking I still had a few years before I would have to discuss puberty and growing up. I guess I just wanted her to stay a kid longer. But with girls reaching puberty at frightingly early ages now I guess its time I get over my fears and broach the topic at hand. She is displaying the typical small rebellious attitudes that many girls have. She is trying to manifest her own ideas about things that don't mesh with my ideals.

So what do I do? I do exactly what my own mom did, I bought a book. It is directed at younger girls and how things change when you "grow up". This book is still hidden in my room. I don't have the strength to give it to her yet. I am dreading these discussions. I have always prided myself on being open about these topics but don't feel comfortable discussing them with my own daughter.

So thats my confession for the week...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Look Around the Farm...

I realized its been awhile since I put up any pictures from around my farm, so what a better way to spend the evening then taking pictures of my chickens?

One of my growing pumpkins, I can't believe they are this big already...

Two of my baby turkeys (the white are Broad Breasted Whites and the others are Standard Bronze)

My baby's are learning to strut

Ash's Rooster Bubba and his little girlfriend

One more shot of Bubba because he is so handsome.

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

This weather really has me bummed. So what do I do trying to make myself feel better? I start deep cleaning closets. Let me tell you how little it really helps...but anyways, while cleaning the closets I found some random newborn clothes of Ash's that I must've never unpacked when we moved.

These tiny baby things made me very sad. I want another child so bad, but unfortunately my body will not get on track. I hate having PCOS, I hate that I can't do the one thing that my body was made to do. As I'm watching Ashlyn grow up I realize how much I miss having her be little. I miss nursing, I miss co-sleeping (although I do allow her to sleep with me as much as possible, she doesn't choose that very often), I miss having her be dependent on me. She is definately little miss independent now and doesn't need her Mama so much anymore.

I feel like I shouldn't be so upset. Their are plenty of women out there who are still pining to have their first baby and here I am whining when I have two beautiful children. Is it so wrong to want to feel my baby move and kick inside me again? Or get to stare down at my baby while she takes nurishment at my breast?

I have no one who I can really talk to about this. I'm sure my mom and sister are fairly sick of hearing this. Jay doesn't really understand why I'm upset he just thinks it'll happen when its the right time. He really enjoys how interactive Ash is now and doesn't remember the sweetness of having a small infant. They had a different kind of relationship then.

But here we are coming up on 1 year of actively trying to get pregnant without any success. I've had maybe 7 cycles and 2 ovulations. Damn PCOS.

I'm done purging myself of this inner pain. I swear I will stop whining for now. Really I will.

Friday, July 24, 2009

I give my toddler cookies when she won't eat lunch...

The Mommy Confessions

Ok I feel bad but sometimes my 17 month old really isn't interested in eating whatever I'm serving for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. I offer the food and give her plenty of time to eat it. Most of the time she will eat some but definately not enough to fill her little belly. Next I will try and give her some fruit or yogurt that she usually devours. But in the instance that even that is not working, I have been known to give her animal crackers or a cookie.

**Hides my face in shame**

I am always analyzing everything that goes in my baby's mouth. I breastfed for as long as she would take it, I fed her pumped milk for awhile after that, I made my own baby food. And here I am allowing my toddler to shove sugary substances in her face instead of a well balanced meal.

You may wonder what my reasoning is for this. It's simple I can't stand my children being hungry, especially when its time to lay down for a nap or go to sleep for the night. I know some would say if I left her hungry eventually she would eat what I made her but it just doesn't feel right when she's so little and can't actually tell me why she doesn't want to eat what was provided.

So as it goes today she wouldn't eat her tuna mac n' cheese casserole and right now she's happily chomping down on animal crackers....

Shepherds Pie with a Twist

The amount of ingredients you will need will depend on how big your dish is so no amounts have been placed.

Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Frozen veggies (I like peas and corn)
Al dente cooked pasta (I prefer penne)
Browned ground beef
Parmesean Cheese

I cook my pasta first (make sure its still a little crunchy in the center so it doesn't overcook when baking). I mix it with a little garlic butter and season with spices and place it at the bottom of the pan. I then grate fresh parmesean over the top of it.

I brown my ground beef and drain all the grease off of it. I tend to brown the beef with a little garlic and chopped onion mixed in (and of course I season it). It gets added to the top of the pasta in the pan.

Now its time to add the frozen veggies. Leave them frozen so they don't become soft during the baking process and they add a little moisture to the dish.

Finally top the layers with your garlic mashed potatoes (this is a great way to use up left over mashed potatoes). Brush the top with egg white and put in the oven to bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

I know its technically Thursday and I'm a little late, so sue me...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Time Once Again For The Gardens...

(I should preface this post by saying it was written in the beginning of June, I just finally got around to posting it. Sorry for the wait its just been a busy 6 weeks.)

This is my first full summer on our farm so I of course have big plans for our gardens. While living in the worst neighborhood in Buffalo I still had a nice flower garden and beautiful flowering Rose of Sharon bushes. I even won an award for my garden and had the news video my house. This was no small feat when our house was sandwiched in between two condemned abandon houses with drug dealers across the street. Now that I have almost ten acres to play with you can be sure I am increasing the size of my gardens.

I started off slowly this year. Living in a valley means our last frost date was June 1 and amazingly enough we did have a frost in the wee hours of June 1st. But in the middle of April I did plant some cold hardy Azalea and Rhododendron bushes.

Next was tilling a large area of our field in order to prepare the area for a vegetable garden. This of course was very exciting to my chickens who thought the whole purpose was to expose the plethora of worms and bugs for their culinary delight. Our neighbor, the wise farmer, offered us some free composted manure and was nice enough to drop a truckload off at our house.

All during this time I was busily planting seeds in the house to get a jump start on the season. We started off with some pumpkin seeds (procured from last years Jack O'Lanterns), zinnia, cucumbers, nasturium, green peppers, snap peas, zucchini, morning glory's, holly hock, and sweet pea. Why start seeds you ask when I could just go to the nearest greenhouse and buy started plants? Well the economy silly. See when your mortgage gets raised and the hours at jobs get lowered you have to cut the fat somewhere. It is much easier on our budget for me to make newspaper seed pots from my mothers recycling and buy packets of seeds for 5/$1.00 then to spend $1.89 per plant. The only exception were a six pack of tiny tomato plants and one large strawberry plant.

Once we had a nice warm evening my husband and I along with our two daughters and niece started getting the vegetables into the newly composted soil. He also brought home(as a suprise) some started summer squash, brussel sprouts, and egg plant. We also got some onions in the ground.

I just started some carrots, turnips, beets, spinach, jalepeno's, watermelon, and a few other peppers this week. We have decided all the root vegetables will be grown in bins this year because our soil hasn't been turned in a very long time and we are just unable to make sure our garden is rock free 12 inches down.

As of right now we haven't started any of the flowering plants outside, but that is more because my seedlings aren't very large or vigorous yet and Ms. Chevelle is not about giving me the time to do so. Oh well hopefully this weekend.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Random Tuesday: Typhoid Maddy, Cannibal Pigs, Cloth Diaper Controversy

This is my first Random Tuesday, best heading ever since I have Shiny Object Syndrome anyhow this should be easy.


Ok, here's one near and dear to my heart. Since I was sick recently this one has been bugging me. I have this lovely school age child, one we shall call "Typhoid Maddy". Well Typhoid Maddy (TM for short) likes to infect her baby sister and cousin with all kinds of lovely diseases. Said child never becomes sick herself (hence the whole "Typhoid Mary" reference). Once the younger two have it, I as the matriarch have to wait on them hand and foot, which of course then infects me with the lovely virus du jour. Once I am fully enthralled in said illness I am still required to take care of the youngun's, make all meals, check homework, soothe boo boo's, pack lunches, etc. etc. While TM throws a full out temper tantrum if I ask her to do a few chores about the house and my lovely hubby stares dumbstruck as if he's never seen me ill before. And to top it all off while still in the throes of illness hubby is then infectedd and moans and whines and needs me to wait on him hand and foot. And while this is all going on I'm still caring for the cats, dogs, pigs, chickens, ducks, and goat. What gives? Who put this in the rule book that thy mother must suffer?

And while on the subject of sickness- Why is it such a taboo to call into work? Isn't that why they grant us sick time every year? Why should I have to feel bad because you can't get anyone to cover my shift? Would you rather I infect the whole office? Doesn't make much sense to me.

Do you think it is wrong that my pigs eat pork products? Not only do they eat pork products but they seem to prefer them over other meat products. I wonder if in the animal kingdom they would still be considered cannibals?

I cloth diaper my 15 month old. I only started when she turned a year, but it is something I thought about and wanted to try before I even had her. Now that I am CD-ing everyone in my family comes to me with some sort of opinion about it. How much work it is, dealing with poop on a daily basis (like I didn't deal with poop when she was in 'sposies), and how no one will watch her with cloth on. First off, this is my decision- I know there is work involved and since I am the one doing it, why do you care? I don't mind. Second- There has always been poop on a daily basis I'm pretty used to it by now. Third- I send her with 'sposies when I have others watching her or keeping her overnight. I know who will deal with the cloth and who won't, so please back off! I like the fact that my super small 15 month old can finally fit into her 12 month jeans with her fluffy cloth diapered dupa, I like the fact that I am not contributing to overfilled landfills, and I generally like cloth diapering.

Done with my ranting randomness for now...
(I have realized I ranted through most of this. Maybe someone needs a little nap, she seems a little cranky)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Buddy Axl Rose...

Just wanted to share a few recent pictures of my puppy, Axl Rose. I took these pictures today trying to catch how cute Ash was being (she is like officially in love with the Nug man). When I was looking over them I realized how old he looks. My main man just turned 7 on May 21, 2009. Where did the time go?

He started out as my one and only, my baby. Slept with me everynight, got preferential treatment over everyone (even my first husband, lol). Then he became my support system when I went through a horrible divorce.

And now he has become a living breathing jungle gym for my girls. Poor guy, even his toenails are painted...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Fresh Meat

Well we have completed the first half of our first time run of raising CornishX meat birds. It was time for our 6 oldest birds to be processed. Our babies were 9 weeks old this past weekend and definately big enough for "Freezer Camp". I didn't want to wait much longer because we ran the risk of losing some of them to either broken legs or heart attacks. Although I do not feel bad for raising them to be slaughtered, I would feel bad if they suffered at all. I was very proud of Maddy and Ash for not freaking out. They both watched with awe on their face as the birds were dispatched and bled. Maddy even helped plucking and somehow enlisted her friend Shannon's help.

It is very important to both me and Jay that our daughters are not sheltered, and that they understand and appreciate where their food comes from. Maddy is a little more sensitive and I worry sometimes that she will be upset, but so far so good. The more and more we get into this homesteading the better I feel.

One of the CornishX chicks at 1 week old (sorry about the sideways picture)

CornishX at 6 weeks

My baby on the chopping block

Maddy & Shannon plucking

More plucking fun