Sunday, December 02, 2007

I have been writing alot of articles about toys and toy recalls lately. Eventually I want my family to simplify to the point that we do very simple,homemade gifts...and we do some of that...but int he mean time not only do I want to buy safe toys for my kids, I want to buy American made as much as possible just to make a statement. I don;t know...I stopped shopping at walmart years ago because of the cheap stuff they sell, the fact that I absolutely hate their foreign policies and by shopping there I feel like I am contributing to child labor, the slave trade and the poor working conditions..Maybe I can't fix all of it but I can stand up for what I feel is right.
My kids have strong opinions and ethics...I wonder why?
Anyway...Here are the articles...if you are interested..

Best American Made Toys For Christmas

Homemade Toys, Perfect For Christmas

Chinese Toy Recalls

Simple Christmas Gifts

I 'm Dreaming of a Green Christmas

remember being green is also frugal!

Seriously. If we, as Americans DON"T buy quality American made items and support these manufacturers we will lose the freedom to do so. When you buy cheap stuff you are supporting the way those things are manufactured, you are saving money at the price of human dignity.
Money is tight here. I understand! But it is so much better to teach your children to appreciate the quality in one good toy that give them 10 junky ones. Like junk food, junk toys are merely a habit

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Hot baths....
Ahhh. Nice. We have a water heater! Someone or someones heard of our plight via the internet and a sum of money was deposited into my pay pal through a third party. I am praising God...taking hot baths...and..well absolutely blessed.

Old bessie was a 90 gallon tank and this is a 50 but so far it is holding up to our massive ht water needs.
The plumber had tot ake the doorframe seems the pO had put the heater in and then created to space for it. But...all's well that ends well..and there is is. Now I just need to get a blanket for it.
We turned the heat on for hte first time today. It has been 45 and 50 in the house but we were trying ot hold out iwth judt the fireplace as long as possible..we have company coming today so the heat went on..sigh. I know it had to happen but I was wanting to hold out a bit..AH well...this is will be 78 degrees by friday.
We are getting 6 eggs a day now, so things are picking up..they are still the small eggs but look like the hens are getting the idea.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Monday, November 19, 2007

I absolutely cannot believe it has been more than a week since I posted. I think I am starting to run out of words.
Our chickens finally started laying eggs. I think it was the fact that every time I would walk by them I would snarl things like "pot pie", and "dumplings". Not sure...First it was one every other day then two every other day and now it is picking up although they are still small. SOrry for the raw image..I dont have time to edit it and make it look cool.
I am taking Marc to the VA today...have several things I hope we get to talk aout and pray about and some decsions to make...Other than that life seems pretty quiet...We need to clean the upstairs ebcause the upstairs Christmas decorations will go up this week...the downstairs enxt week and the outside the week after.
Wish we would have a snowy year this year.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

What's mainly wrong with society today is that too many Dirt Roads have been paved.
There's not a problem in America today, crime, drugs, education, divorce, delinquency that wouldn't be remedied, if we just had more Dirt Roads, because Dirt Roads give character.

People that live at the end of Dirt Roads learn early on that life is a bumpy ride.
That it can jar you right down to your teeth sometimes, but it's worth it, if at the end is home...a loving spouse, happy kids and a dog.

We wouldn't have near the trouble with our educational system if our kids got their exercise walking a Dirt Road with other kids, from whom they learn how to get along.
There was less crime in our streets before they were paved.

Criminals didn't walk two dusty miles to rob or rape, if they knew they'd be welcomed by 5 barking dogs and a double barrel shotgun.
And there were no drive by shootings.
Our values were better when our roads were worse!

People did not worship their cars more than their kids, and motorists were more courteous, they didn't tailgate by riding the bumper of the guy in front would choke you with dust & bust your windshield with rocks.
Dirt Roads taught patience.

Dirt Roads were environmentally friendly, you didn't hop in your car for a quart of milk you walked to the barn for your milk.
For your mail, you walked to the mail box.

What if it rained and the Dirt Road got washed out? That was the best part, then you stayed home and had some family time, roasted marshmallows and popped popcorn and pony rode on Daddy's shoulders and learned how to make prettier quilts than anybody.
At the end of Dirt Roads, you soon learned that bad words tasted like soap.

Most paved roads lead to trouble, Dirt Roads more likely lead to a fishing creek or a swimming hole.
At the end of a Dirt Road, the only time we even locked our car was in August, because if we didn't some neighbor would fill it with too much zucchini.

At the end of a Dirt Road, there was always extra springtime income, from when city dudes would get stuck, you'd have to hitch up a team and pull them out.
Usually you got a dollar...always you got a new the end of a Dirt Road!
~by Paul Harvey~

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

The North American Union

The North American Union is a plan to unify Canada, Mexico and the United States. First, through super-highways like The Trans-Texas Corridor followed by the NAFTA super highway which will reach into the very heart of the United States. The NAU is the natural next step from The Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America. As much as we would like to believe it is an urban legend, as much as we want to think it would not could not would, it could and it is. Meet your orwellian future, welcome to 1984 a few years late. Amazing what the government will do while we are busy trying to make a living, isn't it? Now I am starting to think that taxes are only a way to keep us preoccupied so we don;t research the truth. Last time I checked we still could vote people in and out of office...

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Trans Texas Corridor

Trans Texas Corridor is touted by TxDot as an economic boost, a way to increase trade, and a cure for hemorrhoids. Is it, really? How does it affect Texans, and ultimately, the United States as a whole? I am concerned because, for one thing, the stupid road is going in not that far from me. We moved here to be close enough to the city that Marc could make money..but far enough in the country that we could live as we wanted to some extent. WHat a joke! I cannot understand how a governor can completely ignore the people and choose to, over and over again veto legislation that protects them. You can bet that I will be writing more about this later.

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We sold the last buckling from this year! YAY!
It is harder than you think because these goats are small, and they don't make much of a bbq. I really struggled with whether or not to *fix* this little guy because he was not going anywhere but I decided not to because he has blue eyes. Anyway, someone saw him on the website and wants him..YAY!
That leaves me with 3 goats, 2 does and the herdsire. I don;t know where all of htis is going, if we will sell out this year or not...but it is certainly changing.
Big happy moment, our gas bill was only 14 dollars this month. And I htinkw ehave almost enough for a hot water heater! YAY.
Plan on writing osmethign a bit meatier later, but wanted to get the happy news in...

Monday, November 05, 2007

I am really interested in environmental issues. They are a big part of my life and have been for most if it. My parents both were adults in the depression, and I grew up in the 60's. Recycling, environmental issues were all just a given.
I grew up eating fresh garden tomatoes in the summer and pickled beets in the winter and I love that cycle of living with the seasons. That is what I am trying ot do here...fix the place up and then run it as a farm, or as close as I can get.
Anyway...I had to stop painting several years ago. I HATE watercolors but I love the color and intensity of oil paints. I developed an allergy to turpentine however and had to lay it aside..I hope to try again soon but we'll see.
ANyway there are graffiti artists that are creating graffiti with MOSS!
Check this out...Living Graffiti
I just thought it was cool.

Our chickens are not layin eggs yet. I am not sure if they are waiting for something special, more money? Better working conditions? Sigh.
We seem to have sold the last buckling from this year! YAY! Not a moment too soon. It looks like, because of some sales, the rising prices of gold (it is way up ofver 100.00 an oz, and marrc just took some to the pawn shop..we'll see what we end up with), some wonderful angel on the internet, and a few blessings from the hand of God we will be getting a water heater, and possible (dare I say it?) meet our bills this month.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

But can they make a John Deere?
Check out this cake I wrote about on Baking Delights
It solves so many warming, PMS cravings...WHat to get a 16 year old for his birthday.....

Saturday, November 03, 2007

MAybe you have noticed I changed the header..yeah..I like that is so much more honest. So much more real. SO much more gritty. So much more....
Lets just stop pretending shall we. The truth is that this house is a money laundering operation. I am not sure what we are laundering, it certainly isn't the clothes in the back room, but hey, just don't expect to read about all the wonderful remodeling i have done either.
I have been tossed off the old house blog roll for illegally amking money wiht my blog. HA! I have NOTHING to lose now.
Seriously. Don't expect to read proper grammar, or perfect spelling that is for my homeschool is homesteading on the edge, the gritty truth. Don;t expect Donna Reed, that is my Baking Delights, and Apronstrings Blogs..DOn;t even expect spirituality..that is butterfly warriors...
No, when you come here..expect dirt. grime. gritty reality. extreme homesteading. ...homesteading ...closet.
ANd I will write what ever the heck I please.
so , for my first post, let me just say......

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I know that I have been doing alot of sponsored posts lately..but I really need that water heater!
Anyway. This is NOT a sponsored post. But it IS a cool website.
SO you know that I am so in to sustainable living, homesteading and stuff like that, or you should if you have read for more than, like, oh, two minutes. Well the other day I was doing some research for a hubpages article I was doing and came across this site:
Homesteader Exchange Network. Very nicely done, and a great chat board, altho being new it is somewhat slow. A wealth of information though, i have learned alot since i have been checking it regularly.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
I have decided to finish up the master bedroom. It doesn't need much; woodwork, curtains, that type of thing..but I think I need to make it into something romantic...for me if for no other reason. I so seldom really do things for me that the idea is a little weird and selfish feeling. You know, Marc would love it if it was done in red and gold with a bulldog theme... ;) I am going to try to do an estimate this week and work toward it.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

O.k..seriously ..I want this guy to come spend a month at my house. I am so ready to have all of the stuff finished on this house, you can't believe it.
How cool would it be to see Extreme Home Makover's Bus pull up outside the house and have them yell at us that we are going for a week in the Bahamas while they finish up this historical (hyterical?) restoration. I am thinking it would be pretty darn cool.
Lets see, in my fantasy I would come home to a kitchen with a commercial 6 burner stove, yet it would look vintage...soapstone counters please, and arts and crafts style maple cabinetry. Floors are pretty good as is...just a few new paint, and a windowseat in hte dining area would be nice....
Really, is that too much to ask for?
I love when it starts getting cold.. We have had a fire going in the fireplace for a week now. Yes a WEEK, so what?
Remember all those pesky trees that have come down over the past few months? Yeah! Firewood.
We are still without a water heater but I know that that is coming. Someday..sometime..somewhere....
I have been doing some baking..if you have checked out baking delights and apron strings you know that I have. I am also getting ready to launch a new blog for B5 so be watching for that ..I think it is going to be cool!
I am writing more for Hubpages..currently writing and article on learning manadarin chinese, which is looking neat, and also have published the one on buying organic, as well as really cool gifts... I will get back and post the links to those later.
Why all the writing? You guessed it. I really want a water heater. LOL! It is way too cold for these cold showers.

Faucets are a fashion statement. Well, a DECOR statement anyway. They didn't used to be, they used to just be handles that you turned so water would come out. But since we have had this house and redone bathrooms, and looking at redoing the kitchen faucets are pretty common conversation here.
I really like the oil rubbed bronze faucets with deco lines to them. To me it fits well with the house, the decor, and they are easy to clean. I used to just hate those faucets that we had when I was growing up in the 70's, the plastic ones that had all of the fragments jutting out, so the dirt got right down in the handle. Eww.
ANyway, Marc likes deco too, but the price tends to be one of the things that holds us back. If you shop around the internet you can usually come up with something that you like and that is affordable.
Grohe faucet is one company I hadn't heard of but when I went to their site I was impressed with the selection. The have the oil rubbed brass that I like so well and deco designs as well as more contemporary.
Have you seen those faucets that look like old fashioned pump handles? I LOVE those and i keep thinking that putting one of those by the kitchen sink would be the coolest.
I am pretty sure that when I redesign my kitchen I want to have one of those faucets that comes out of the wall over the stove to fill pans..but I always wonder...after the pan is full, and you have cooked your still have to move the pan OFF the stove right? So it only saves your back one way? I will have to look in to that.
Anyway. I will be so glad when we get all of the bathrooms done..and the kitchen. The rest of the house just wont seem that daunting, maybe. MAYBE.
This post was sponsored. But I still want new faucets. :)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Buy Organic Online: The Top Websites

Eating organic foods is admittedly the best way to go. The problem is that it can not only be expensive, but it can be hard to find the items that you want in an organic form, especially if you live in a small town! Once again the Internet comes to the rescue with a dizzying array of organic websites willing to deliver your selections directly to your door. Even so, it can be hard to sort through the various online stores, what foods they carry, and, if you are new to organics, you may have questions about what you need or want. I have put together a list of what I consider to be the best sites to buy organic. Check it out and see if you agree.

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Saturday, October 27, 2007

FEMA: The Rise and Fall of a Great Idea

IS FEMA just too big of an agency to do a good job? Deception and outright stupidity seem to be haunting this government agency this year. AS some of you know we dealt with FEMA a few years ago when we went through a flood locally that took out several of our neighbors homes and messed up our property. I was walking out horses out of our gate and up on to the street in water up to my arm pits at 3 a.m. Not fun! I learned a valuable lesson that night. Survival is about depending on yourself, your own resources, and God. A government agency can't do it. FEMA however seems to take ineptitude to a new level with their latest faux pas.

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Make Ahead Thanksgiving Recipes

How to have a stress free holiday! You can make almost any Thanksgiving dish ahead and freeze it if you know how. Imagine the day with little clean up or prep time. I have been cooking htis way for a really long time, and it has made a big difference to me in how I view the holidays. Check out the article and see if there is anything that can help you.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Al Gore Green: A Different Shade?

How can someone who is so hypocritical win the Nobel ? I will admit that he does do a good talk...but the more I researched his personal life, the way he lives the more irritated I got. The arguments and explanations just don't seem to make sense to me. Here is a man who has a ton of money, living in 3 houses, flying jets hither and yon, telling people what they should and should not be doing and yet he is doing almost nothing in his personal life..except I don't think that everyone should live in a 1000 sq foot house..I certainly don't. I do live in a large house by normal standards. 4300 sq ft of Victorian...But we don't use air conditioning in the summer. We keep the heat very low in the winter. We are careful with our resources, eating locally or homegrown as much as possible. We do drive a van but considering htat we have 6 kids at home perhaps we can be forgiven for that...And I am not telling others what they should and should not be doing. I am trying to encourage others by example. I am Christian. I have alot of issues with Christians that shove their beliefs down other people's throats and yet do not walk those same things out in thier own lives..Nothing different here. Someone telling other people what to do while not doing those things himself...eww.Noone is asking for perfection, least of all me. I am just saying, if you are going to tout yourself as some sort of eco-superhero then at least have the decency to live in a way that supports the environment like the rest of us do. Sacrifice is not about giving up Kobe beef ....maybe first class jetting around? How about downsizing? Maybe only 2 houses instead of 3? I am having a hard time not believing this is a big publicity stunt to precede a presidential run. Honestly, if he does it he has every chance of winning, sad to say. I used to say I wished he would get a I would be happy if he found a character somewhere.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A list of 10 sites for homesteaders. I think good homesteading sites are hard to find. I have compiled a list of my personal top 10.

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Leisure TIme? I have some suggestions for this guy...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Miscellaneous Stuff:
SO Kyrie cracks me up. She is 4. Her favorite time to chat is when she is on the potty..maybe it is because she is the eighth child? She doesn't like to go alone. And as I said somewhere else, it isn't enough that she lives in a family the size of a small nation..she has numerous imaginary siblings. So she is sitting there, chatting..and she asks if I am doing laundry today. I said yes. She said..can I help you fold it? I say (rather magnanimously) Sure.....she says, Well can I do it MY way?

I know how she feels. There is so much stuff I want to get done..but I dont want to take the time to do it the right way..necessarily..I want to do it my way. I am all about the idea of all of the personal satisfaction I will get in 20 years when I tell people i did it myself..but right now, with a million bucks, I would SO hire people to do it... I love this house, but I feel like I have never moved in, you know? I am praying for a kitchen. I htink that would make the difference for me.
If I ever do this again I am not going ot try to save money..I am going to spend it with a shovel and do what it takes to get things the way I want.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

As we get older our parents get older and there comes a point for many of us that we find ourselves in the position of parenting our parents. We have tough choices to make and it is often a lonely and thankless period in our lives. How do we cope? I went through this myself about 5 years ago. It was tough. Mom had always been the independent sort, and at 82 she was active, opinionated, and at times, cranky. When her health literally deteriorated over night Marc and I had some decisions to make. We decided that it was right for us to move her in to the down stairs bedroom..Our family dynamics changed. I found myself with both rebellious teens and a rebellious elder. I literallyunderstood the expression, "sandwich generation". With the pressure from two generational directions pressing the me I leaned more and more on my faith in the Lord and my strong relationship with Marc. Because of the two of them in my life I got through it and can honestly say that is was enriching and rewarding.Frozen-Music is about our work on the house, but it is also about all parts of our lives....this is an important part of mine. I hope that reading about it helps someone that may be facing or in the same situation. read more | digg story

Friday, October 19, 2007

Informed business decisions are what makes a business successful.
As I said in another post, had Marc and I had more counsel and research we would have probably, no, definitely, doen certain things different. It is hard though, when you are trying to think of everything to actually...well...think of everything. What we did not take into consideration was that while my particular Bistro Nouveau style cooking would have done very well in the historic district of the town twenty minutes south, here where we live the population clamored for more rib sticking, southern style foods. Not a bad thing at all, except I should have had the information before I opened! I had the mentality "if I cook it they will come".
Being in military intelligence I understand about intelligence gathering. Getting the most information possible about a venture ensures the success of that venture. Or it helps, anyway. In the midst of the excitement of opening a new business we sometimes forget that. O.k...well almost always forget that.
Business Intelligence Consultants is a company that specializes in just that. Helping you collect intelligence information on the business you want to start, or have started, and giving you what you need to know to be successful.
Let's face it. Most of us aren't specialists in more than one or two areas. There is no way to think of everything. Having up to date information on customer preferences, profiling, and trends helps the businessman or woman to stay on top in this very competitive market.
I do wish we had thought to access something like that. I just thought that many of you may be considering a business, and having been in that place, I felt this was good information to have. :)
I am going ot be cleaning up the pages of Frozen Music and revamping it some. There have been alot of changes in things, between Marc getting sick, and me getting overwhelmed, and on and on...I started doing the paid postings to help with expenses, bit apparently that blacklisted me on the Old Houses feed. I was informed that I was being removed.
O.k. Sigh.
Anyway...The ads that they provided me with are making me about 50 cents a month, where as the paid for posts are making me about 100.00 or more, and i am not doing many of them.
Think of them as food on my table.
So, in the next few days i think I am going to change the look of the site, pull off alot of the ads, and make it pretty again...and yeah, there will be the occasional commercial post.
I am coming to the end of the training I am doing, which i am not ready to discuss...and maybe never will be, ;) so hopefully things will start rollign again with my posting, the house repairs and the etc. of my life.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Marc and I had our own business a couple of years ago. I swear, I will never do that again. I thought that because I love to cook, as evidenced by my various cooking blogs, I would naturally do well. Marc thought so too. And really, I did do well, and probably would have made a ton of money except for the mistakes I made in the business end of it. Honestly, one thing I would do differently is to become a corporation because we are still paying of all the junk that we ended up being personally responsible for.

But starting a corporation can be confusing. You have a ton of paperwork to do, and shareholders meetings even if the only share holders are you husband, your three year old and the cat. The IRS has lists and lists and lists of things they will want to see. Every year. Every single minute of every single meeting has to be documented. AND you HAVE to do the meetings, that is part of the requirements for being a corporation. When incorporate you should immediately have a meeting of directors and shareholders. You need to adopt bylaws. You should have an operating agreement.
Incredibly complicated, isn't it? That is why it is important to have help. I think had I thought to invest in some mentoring and such as that I would not have gone under. nevada corporation is a company that does just that.
They offer free forms as well as form packages starting at $25.00. That makes things much easier because you don't have to try to figure out what you need. The company has tax forms that you fill out for your tax i.d. or you can get them to fill them out for you for a fee. They have low priced corporate kits.
If you have questions you should go check out the FAQ page.
There is alot to know and understand. It is so much easier when you have help!

This has been a sponsored post.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Homestead Diva: A New Way To Recycle Plastic Bags

Fusing plastic bags together to create a sturdy fabric is the newest green fashion statement. I was amazed at all the possibilites as I checked out website after website with pictures of what people were making....There were clothes, bags, quilts...SO, I am thinking... Home Depot Curtains for the sunroom? I could do that, I sure have enough Home Depot bags around. Can you imagine that the very coolness of this thing is going to cause a run on plastic that there will be plastic bag junkies on the street corners digging through trash in search of the elusive Marshall Fields bag or Neiman's bag? A whole new opportunity will open up on eBay for people to sell plastic bags....O.k..I was sort of joking but seriously. This is cool stuff. I was amazed at the pictures of clothes that I would actually wear. I dunno, you may want to hold on to that Lowe's bag....maybe a nice, durable tool belt for the Mr.for Christmas?

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Coffee: An Eco-Friendly Cup O' Joe

By making choices we send messages to producers , suppliers, and retailers, about our priorities. Coffee production has historically been bad for the environment and bad for the people who work on the farms. More and more we have the opportunity to make the choices to be gentle on the environment and socially responsible. I drink tons of coffee, how else am I going to keep up with all the stuff I have to do on this house? Seriously. Anyway...I was reading an article about how the big coffee distributers in the US, like Folgers and Maxwell House, have alot of stuff in the coffee you might not want to drink...Big surprise. I am a dyed int he wool coffee snob. We had our own blend and roast created by a local roaster. Yeah..THAT much of a coffee snob. So we are not likely to give up coffee anytime soon, right? But I am concerned about things like the environment, and social responsibility. I mean, I know that I don't fit into anyone's camp here...A strongly conservative Christian, republican, right wing, war monger, Bush supporter, who is doing everything possible to go green, make socially responsible choices, and be a good caretaker of the earth, which is what we were told to do in Genesis anyway. Go figure. Maybe I am schizo. But I know that small decisions that we make every day make a difference in the long run. I know that when I paint one baseboard in the house, for example, everyday, it only takes a few minutes but eventually the whole house is my spare time. It is the rocks/pebbles/gravel/sand in a jar theory. We waste tiny bits of time that we deem unimportant. what you can do. That's the main thing.

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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Relaxing Is Hard

.I have a hard time relaxing..It seems that I am always working on something..either blogging, or school, or sewing, or cleaning, or cooking or the animals, or the restoration...So I have learned in all of that that I need to have relaxing hobbies that force me to sit still, and that keep me feeling like I am accomplishing something! Spinning is active but carding the wool to ready it for spinning is passive. I have to sit, and it does take alot of carding to get enough wool to spin! While I am doing that mindless job I am having down time in the only way I know how. I also love it because it is such a connection with the past. Women have been carding and spinning for thousands of years...just like baking bread it is a necessary skill that continues on, from generation to generation. I like the comfort in that. It is rainy today. I have an errand to run but once I am done I think I will card some wool...and maybe spin. Have a great weekend.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Ma Kettle Meets Prada.
Having an old house in the midst of restoration (and really, does restoration ever end?)sometimes make it hard to find home insurance. I have to tell you this really hysterical story. When we first bought the house, I think the second year actually, when our insurance came up the company did not renew it. So we hunted around and finally talked to another company who was eager to get their hands on our 4300 square feet of potential. They said that they were sending out an insurance agent to inspect the house. Understand that not only do we live in an on-going restoration project, but we have six kids at home, numerous goats, horses, chickens, and, at the time, sheep. The minute I saw the car pull up I knew we were in trouble. Red, sporty...low to the ground..
Hey! Watch THAT.....ditch.
So the door opens and these long, nylon encased legs slide out. The legs were attached to spike heeled, designer shoes on one end and a designer mini skirt on the other...Above that seemed to be a well designed body with a coiffed head balanced on top. No doubt scented in an expensive perfume. From the other side of the car more legs, encased in more designer attire, slipped out followed by an exact copy of the body prior with the exception of the hair style.
I let out a long cleansing breath and tried to wipe my floury hands on my grungy jeans...and look fashionably aloof.
It was truly a case of Prada meets Ma Kettle. Do I really need to detail what happened next? The two huddled together in the kitchen doorway whispering and finally turned to me and said, in unison I think, "We will be unable to give you anyinsurance quotes on your home, Mrs. Audet" and they slunk down the wheelchair ramp, stopping only to untangle the spike heels from the gaps in the somewhat rotted wood.
Ha! You might be laughing but it was not funny at the time...Now, I wonder who I can call to get auto insurance quotes on the tractor?
This has been a sponsored post.

I am doing it. I am ordering the sweep for the front door today...And when it comes in I am going to pick up the trim pieces and finish it off outside and then run some silicone caulk around the edges. Maybe this way I won't have the entire north wind taking up residence in my reception parlor. It should be a hysterically funny repair..since I am just really not great with this stuff.
On a very very happy note, Marc is getting much better and maybe he will be able to start doing some of the work again. YAY!
I am dreaming of the day I will have my wide front steps, with baskets of mums lining the edges, and beautiful front porch....sigh...
I would probably get more done if..
1. I would stay off the computer after I get my blogs done
2. I would stop coming up with new projects and stick to what I have to do
3. I would win the lottery and just hire people to finish things up.
What I need is a contractor with a sweet tooth..who will work for dessert.

I have always really liked the idea of chicken tractors. I plan to get the kids to help me this fall and see if we can make some that are really awesome. I don't mind the lighter, cheaper ones but the raccoons in our area have internet access or something and they have ways of getting a chicken no matter what. I am thinking that sturdier is better. I like the idea of being able to keep the chickens on fresh pasture and have the contained at the same time. The chickens I have now are so much bigger than my wyandottes were that I think I am going to have to think in terms of giant pens rather than small ones! I am even considering having the kids compete to see who can come up with the best pen design. I would get at least 3 made that way and it would be interesting to see which of the older kids would come up with the most workable, the engineer, the artist, or the animal lover. :)

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Photo from The City Chicken

Monday, October 01, 2007

One thing I love about this house...

My floors! There is just something beautiful about the antique long leaf heartpine. I think it is the warmth of the color. I chose alot of the colors in my house to reflect the colors and tints of the floors. I love that I am reading that companies are bringing old growth pine up from the bottom of rivers where the logs were lost a century ago. I love that people are getting smart and saving the floors when they tear down a house. Around here the antique pine goes for about $40 a square foot. We have over 4300 sq ft of house! Not all of that floor is good..some of it (at least half) we have had to hide under a carpet because of the terrible state of it...tin patches, etc...I don't mind nail holes, discoloration and gouges here and there, it is part of the charm to me...but tin patches are a bit much!

read more | digg story

Friday, September 28, 2007

Rate My Day!
As you can probably tell from my blog sidebar I like widgets and cool tools. Here is a new one..I have put it at the bottom of the sidebar for now...
Click here to read my rating!
See, I can just click a button and let everyone know how my day is going with out actually posting! Great timesaver right?
They have this cute image for the sidebar as well:
I sort of wish they had had an image that was half asleep, that one would be more appropriate, I think, for today. :/ I don't know...bloggers seem to think that everyone cares about what we are thinking or how we are feeling, this is another great way to share...
They have just reached the 50,000 member mark, which is pretty cool. That is alot of people rating their day!
You can also use the widget on your facebook account.
Microblogging seems to be the new wave. We are such an instant society that even blogging can be hard to get to..Now there is a way to communicate with your friends almost instantly by a click... I Rate My Day
It is free to sign up and when you get more points you can change the way your character looks..SO far I haven't seen the haggard homeschool mom one but i am sure they will come up with it soon!
This is a sponsored post.

Renovate or Restore?

When we first bought this house I had dreams of restoring it to it's original condition using the finest materials, architectural salvage, and the sweat of my brow. What I didn't figure was that finest materials cost money and the sweat of my brow was exhausting to produce. Seriously. I don't know..I really love the idea of a complete historical restoration but I am not sure that I can do that. Given that my abilities with power tools are severely limited (I can cook anything, sew a dress? No problem. I can spin wool to make yarn to knit my own sweater..but power tools?) I am not sure I can do this. I have read really cool articles about women building their own homes, restoring their own homes and all of that..and I am looking at the trim wood on my porch wondering where to start. I htink I need to reevaluate my priorities. Or maybe take some classes!

read more | digg story

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

I hate the way this blog looks. I am about to remove about 90% of the sidebar junk. Life goes on here. I am trying to do a bit more planning, abit more organization, a bit more everything while keeping in mind that I am in a weird season of life and very overwhelmed.
We will be breeding the goats in the next couple of weeks. The does are drying up, partly because it is time and partly because I have been lax about milking them on time. Still no water heater and that is really getting old but I know that we will get past it and it will be o.k.
Matt seeded the pasture and the grass seems to be coming in a bit. We have more trees down..I need to get out there with a chainsaw and get them cut. I have so many things that need to be done. Here i am whining again.
The thing is I get so overwhelmed with what needs to be done it is like am am paralyzed and then dont even get to the things that I want to do. I can't tell you the last time I sewed or knitted or spun.
One thing I am planning on doing is starting an herb garden on the kitchen sill. I wrote about it on hubpages, you can read more about it at Growing Herbs Inside. I also did a checklist for getting ready for winter, Time to Prepare For Winter.
I saw a huge owl yesterday when I was coming back from taking marc to work. I didn;t know they were out and about during hte day, it was odd. It swooped down and landed on hte side of the road, and it was huge! We hear them all the time but rarely see them. One of the things I appreciate about living here...and lately there have been few. I need to work on my appreciation skills for sure.

This is a picture that Shiloh took a few weeks ago. I am thankful for natural pest conrol!

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month..the time to think pink. There are billions of events scheduled online and IRL. I am maybe more interested in it than in years past since my weird mammogram this past summer. Someone Marc and I knew passed away from it in August. My sister in law, who I hardly know even after being related for 28 years (different states) is a survivor. It seems that it touches everyone in one way or another. Maybe I can make a difference...I don't know. But I do know that I will accomplish more by being involved than not being involved, you know? Check out my Boobie Bake off on Apron Strings and SImmering Things...check out the other events. get involved...

read more | digg story

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Rat snakes are helpful predators of the mice and rats that are pests on the normal homestead. Copperheads are venomous. How can you tell the difference? This was an important thing for me to know because I made a mistake last week. I believed, at a glance , that the snake my kids were pointing out to me was indeed a rat snake and I told them to leave it alone. A bit later, after looking at the pictures that Matt (15) had taken I realized that I was mistaken and had let a copperhead remain alive in close proximity to my children. I truly hope that he has the good sense to head back down into the woods area by the creekbank because, I assure you, it will not happen again! Snakes are important. I appreciate the lack of rats and mice in this house due to a particularly large black racer that lives under the house, and a rat snake that lives under the barn. I despise the fact that people kill snakes for no reason and then complain about being over run with mice and rats...But a mistake like i made could well be dangerous. I have 6 kids at home, and 3 of them are under the age of 8. While the bite of a copperhead might not kill and adult it could kill my 32 lb four year old. The know not to mess with snakes but you never know when they are going to come on one unexpectedly. I researched and now I know...and this property just ain't big enough for both of us, pardner.

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Time to Replace the hot water heater

Since old betsy passed on we have looked at other water heaters. You know, it is tempting to rush out and buy something quick because having to heat all the water on the stove is really getting old but we want to make sure we are making the best choice possible for us. I really like the tankless water heater but all of our gas lines and venting would have to be changed to a tune of over 2500.00, and that without the actual unit. I would LOVE to get a solar one but those are more expensive yet. Nope. The truth is that we will be doing our level best to find an energy efficient old fashioned gas water heater to replace old betsy. I am figuring what are water needs are. I mean I got real used to that 90 gallon tank but that is probably bigger than we need. I figure our peak water useage is about 80 gal per hour...and really a 50 gallon tank should handle that. For now it is cold showers! We are going to take a water storage barrel up on the fire-escape and run a hose down to the bathtub for solar heated water. I hope to get started on that tomorrow.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Clean It Green

This house just seems to need to be cleaned alot. Maybe it is that I have so many kids, or the fact that the house is old, or that we have a dirt pasture since the flood and lots of silt blows around but this place always is dirty. Yuck. I don;t like chemical cleaners, big surprise, so I have made my own cleaning products for years both for my budget and for the sake of the environment. Well, and because I really like being able to make my own stuff..I hate the feeling of being dependent on a store.I usually add some essential oil (available at health food stores,or the internet) in scents that I like. The past few months I have been scenting with an equal amount of rose otto and tangerine. I like the combination, and when I use it in several different mixtures it is sort of like using the same scent for shower gel, lotion, and perfume. The house smells so clean and good. And as an added bonue, tangerine is supposed to make you feel happy. I don;t know if that is true, but it might. And that makes it worth a try, right? It doesn't take long to put the recipes together, they can be stored in various types of containers and used as the commercial products. Honestly, I think the cleanser works much better!The times that I have gotten the regular cleaners my daughter got rashes on her hands. That can't be good, you know? the read more link to see the recipes. I am going to post some more later in the month.

read more | digg story

Friday, September 14, 2007

Thanksgiving is around the corner.

I am really big on Christmas. I like it alot. But I never EVER EVER go shopping on black friday, the day after Thanksgiving. Nope. Never. I hate crowds. I hate overflowing parking lots..I hate bratty, undisciplined, cranky, tired, demonically driven crybabies that abound on this day..They should all drive themselves home and stay there.
But I am not adverse to saving money. In fact, money saving is a hobby of mine, just one that I am not good at yet. I usually post on my homeschool blog when I do Pay-per-post reviews, however this one is actually helpful to all of us who are dreaming of Santa tossing a DeWalt 18-Volt Compact Drill/Driver Kit into our stocking. Or, better yet, finding a Ryobi Compound Miter Saw with Laser under the tree. NOW..THAT is Christmas.
Imagine, running outside after the present are opened to show your friends all of the cool tools you got form an almost smell the bar oil, can't you?
So, what does that have to do with that horrid day, black Friday? I will tell you.. there is a cool, and I mean really cool, website where they do the unbelievable. The unthinkable. The unimaginable. Yes. They post the black Friday specials early.
It's stinkin' brilliant! You visually stroll through the website window shopping in the stores that they have listed. BIG Target, Old Navy, Linen's and Things, and ..yes, oh yes! Home Depot.
I was checking out the Black Friday deals..for this year on the home depot site they have set up. Amazing. I will link to that page in a few minutes.
O.k.that is cool, right? But it gets better. Oh yes it does. You can BUY the stuff online at those prices! Now, you can't buy them early but you can buy them that day without the lines, without the headaches, without the lousy remote parking and without having to fight a 90 year old lady from Albany for the last laser level. How cool is that? Very cool?
Yeah, but it gets better.
They will EMAIL you the updates to their site. Seriously, you don't even have to go looking for it...just pop open your email one day and BAM! Home Depot will be advertising this item for this price...have a nice day.
I love that. I really do...Anyway..I am linking to some of my favorite stores

Awesome Home Depot Deals for Black Friday
Amazing JoAnn Fabric Deals
and last but not least...
Bass Pro Shops because with the cool tools you are getting you should have time to go fishing, right?
Check it out at blackfriday..I think it is awesome.
And now, back to your regularly scheduled blog.
Could we have a moment of silence please? Old Betsy is gone. She was amazing. Could do two batched of dishes, a load of laundry and give 2 kids baths at the same time, without coughing, grumbling or complaining. She worked hard before we bought the house and continued graciously to work for us. Her large round form coupled with her rigid posture was an encouragement to me daily..knowing that with her in charge I could relax in the tub...
I will miss her. I should have seen it coming. The way she had begun to sweat during the day..the faint moaning as she went about her chores. The bathtub that had here-to-fore been sparkly white, now a dingy, orangey color. I thought she would hold out at least through the rest of the year.
Betsy, I'll miss ya girl. Your replacement may be more hip and environmentally concious but she won't have the character that you did.

Old Betsy
90 gallons of warmth

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Traffik free chocolate-DO you support child labor?

Did you know that the majority of the chocolate produced is prodiced on farms that use not only child labor but child slave labor? These children are kept in the harshest conditions and treated terribly to support our 13 billion dollar chocolate habit.I really never knew about slavery, human trafficking and the like. I mean, after all, I am a 40 something sahm, addicted to all things chocolate and I rarely have time to deal with big issues. But sometimes something catches your eye, eventhough you would have preferred that it didn't and this was one of those times. I know that as consumers we rule the producers. What we buy is what is produced. There are ways to encourage Hershey and Nestle and others to force the farms to comply with Fair Trade policies, mainly by buying fair trade chocolate and supporting fair trade and organic farmers. The trouble is, like for most of us, I can't always afford to do everythign I would like to. We, as consumers, have got to be able to educate ourselves on the issues and make our choices based on our ethics as well as our situation. I know that I can't afford to only buy fair trade chocolate. I do way too much baking.But I can afford to make small steps. I can a buy fair trade chocolate bar instead of a milky way. I can start slowly and work things in so that they are small changes, gradual changes but permanent changes. If everyone makes just a few changes then pretty soon there will be social change.I am looking at my kids. They are finishing up school right now, and we are about to sit down and fold laundry while we watch t.v. They are healthy and happy..well fed, well taken care of. Yet there are other children that are being ill treated, that subsist on bananas, that are I can have a Milky Way? I don't think so. I dislike bloody chocolate, you know?On a completely different note:I am getting organized! Yay! Things are falling into place and i think I am almost at the point where i can face painting again. I do love this house. I just wish it was done!

read more | digg story

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Home Canning, Preserving the HArvest

Home canning is being revived as an important skill but many people are afraid of it. Here is some good information and instructional videos. By homecanning we can use less packaging and reduce waste. It helps us to buy local all through the year. I love to can foods. There is a connection that I feel with generations that went before me..and honestly I like the frugality of it. I like to be creative in how I pack the food in the cans so that not only is there quality but also beauty in each jar. Try it and I bet you will be hooked.

read more | digg story

Monday, September 10, 2007

My blogs are starting to look like my house. Eww. Messy. I need to clean up the blog ads and stuff. But they do make money for me, at least a little, and so, even though they are far from aesthetically pleasing they stay.
We had a couple more trees come down. These are BIG old pecan trees. I guess between the flood waters hitting them a few years ago, and then drought for a couple of years, and then so much rain (and we flooded agian least the property did) this year they are just in some sort of pecan shock. Bummer.
You know we have tons of firewood now, and so many more trees for me to chainsaw up..I have no idea when they will be done .. :P I think I am giving cords of firewood for Christmas presents.
This is what we saw, not 10 feet from the house when we got back from prayer tonight.

This is only the base and the hole left by the tree toppling over. The tree is huge. Just trust me.
All evening I have heard trees cracking. The wind isn't even really blowing hard..It is an eerie sound and I am praying that the animals stay out of the way!
It is another one of those times where you realize how impotent you are in the scheme of htings..and have a renewed appreciation for the power of God and the awesomeness of His love. Now if He iwll provide the funds for another wood burning fireplace for the den life will be great.

I found a really cool site with instructions for building a brick oven. I really have wanted a brick oven outside. Sort of an outdoor kitchen with a brick oven for pizza and bread.MMMM! So now I am trying ot focus on the job at hand and not planning the outside kitchen..I mean that is the last thing I need to worry about now.
Here is the link if you are interested. Hey, if you are going to build one build me one and i will trade ya firewood! Brick oven

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Free groceries, Safely Foraging Wild Foods

How to find food in nature along with recipes utilizing some wild foods. Since I can remember I have loved the idea od self sufficiency...when I became Christian I changed that to an attitude of God sufficiency,but basically I still love the idea of living simply, off the land and what it provides. Working with nature rather than against it. I don't believe the earth is something we were given to use and toss away but to respect and care for the way I expect my children to respect and care for the things I give them and the rooms they live in. Anyway, When I was in fifth grade my reacher read My Side of the Mountain to the class. I was in heaven. I love that book, and in fact I have read it to each of my children. Twice. So lately I as I am trying to stretch the grocery budget I have been doing alot of thinking about wild foods and how to find them. I spent today researching and writing an article about it. AS I was researching I realized that we live on 2 acres that is bordered by a creek on two sides. I imagine if I really take the time there is a ton of food out there for me to gather. I think as long as I don't have to actually kill anything i will be fine!

read more | digg story

Saturday, September 08, 2007

I accomplished something today! Yes I did!
A few weeks ago, when I was just getting back on my feet after the chaos of MArc's hospital stay and the following stuff a 22 year old that is attending a local Bible college moved in to my craft room. You know what that means right?
Yep..all my crafts had to move out. ALL my fiber for spinning, all my yarn, my fabric, my sewing machine...even my knitting needles. Where did all this stuff move to you ask? Smack in the middle of my office. We had a path down the center to get to the den.
Thab as if that wasn't enough, my daughter and her family showed up for a surprise visit. That was awesome! But it was more chaos.
Today my friend, Juanita, and her family came over to chainsaw trees, stack wood and...tada! Clean the office and help me organize my craft stuff.
Now we have 2 computers up and running in the office plus my craft table in the center so I can quilt and is a little packed but not bad..and better htan it was.
I still have my desk to clear and a few little things to do here and there but I think I am on my way!

I am continuing to write green articles on Hub pages. I really like doing it because the research is good for me, and it is somewhat challenging.
Today I wrote about eco-friendly alternatives to traditional..umm...feminine products. I was surprised at some of the findings. I really hadn't thought much about the toxins that our bodies absorb from these products...blech!
Anyway if you want to read it, Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Feminine Products

Friday, September 07, 2007

Whether you are building a new house or refurbishing a vintage one sooner or later you are going to have to make a decision about siding materials. There are many choices today and it can be difficult to sift through all of them to decide what is best for you.

See why hardiboard is a good choice for environmentally responsible building.

read more | digg story

Thursday, September 06, 2007

This is not my house. It is similar in design though.. Anyway..I have been doing alot of thinking about power sources, because someday I will be able to go off grid and I want to have my decisions made. I am leaning toward solar. Wind turbines can be loud..and I bet that they would make the stupid dogs next door bark up a storm 24/7. Solar is nice and quiet. I read in the Mother Earth News about a solar panel system that is peel and stick technology. If you have a metal roof (which I am getting for my rainwater catchment system) you just stick these on..they are similar to teflon. peel and sitck.
I am getting a little more organized ..and getting a little more done each day! I am trying to stay away from the computer a bit if I haven't visited you lately it is because I am trying to get things under control here.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Switching to Renewable Energy

How to switch to renewable energy, how to choose which type. Finding state and local funding, incentives and programs. I was surprised at how many programs there were to help a homeowner to make the switch to sustainable energy. Awesome taxbreaks, low interest loans and more. Pretty cool

read more | digg story

Switching to Renewable Energy

How to switch to renewable energy, how to choose which type. Finding state and local funding, incentives and programs. I was surprised at how many programs there were to help a homeowner to make the switch to sustainable energy. Awesome taxbreaks, low interest loans and more. Pretty cool

read more | digg story

It's raining's pouring...I am going to get rid of the horses and turn the pasture into a 4 wheeler paradise...
I have a plan! Not the four wheeler thing but a real plan! I am getting on schedule slowly but surely. This afternoon I am going to finsish the faux grain in the downstairs hall. there is no reason I haven't ..I stopped to do somethign with only about 6 feet left to go and just never started back up. Hopefully I will be able to finish this time and be back to post pictures!

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Eco Friendly Kids- Fun Learning Projects

Activities to do with kids to help them learn to enjoy nature..

read more | digg story

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Bathroom Remodel. It is time to finish the small bathroom remodel. This bathroom is off of our office downstairs. The POs were bathroom crazy..There are 2 full baths downstairs and a double bath upstairs..2 toilet areas, 2 sinks, 2 tubs int he same bathroom. Now, to be honest it was because the house was at one point used as a group children's home but I sorta wish there were more living areas and less bathrooms. It is nice though, when the whole family gets hit with stomach flu...o.k.picture # 1. I have to mud behind the sink. There was a HUGE mirror there and an ugly vanity so the whole thing is bare wall board. They closed up 3/4 of the window and i am tempter to open it back up..However for right now I am going to just mud and paint, leaving the window for another time.

Next to that wall is another bare wall which also needs baseboards. Luckily our baseboards are rather plain and i think I can do that.

Next on the list is a new threshhold on the floor. I am not sure WHAT the room was before it was a bathroom..It is oddly shaped, has always been small and has always had a doorway here...I would say closet EXCEPT there was a long window, which is now a small window over the sink.

Now I have to ask you...what sense does it make to put in a heat lamp on a 10 foot ceiling? Please, imagine me rolling my eyes here..

One whole wall of this small bathroom is completely covered with shallow ugly shelving. I really think it was called that. You know...Be the first on your block to own shallow, ugly shelving!

I think I would like to replace it but I am nto sure funds will allow right now. This is part of my frustration. I hate that I am having to do things that I am going to want to do over when our finances ease up. :p
Last but certainly not least is..the bathtub.

I want to replace it as well, but again And Marc is afraid of what the floor is like under the tub. Personally i figure if the floor is bad I want to know before I go crashing through, naked, halfway through a nice soak with LUSH's Floating Island ( linked in case know..wants to buy me one..). i think the raccoons that live under the house and between the floors would vote for me not startling them like that as well..
Altho, on a funny note...we have one large female raccoon that climbs halfway down a tree by the den at night and watches t.v intently for about an hour. Once she became so engrossed Princess Bride that she fell from the tree. Seriously. I did not make that up. there you have it..I have no clue what the remodeling cost on that is going to be. Not much I would think since I am hiring myself. I really don;t know whether just to finish it fast and "git 'er dun" or at least try to do some of the things I want. ARGHHH.

Friday, August 31, 2007

So apparently no body has an opinion on my chucking the whole thing and moving to an inner city apartment. Thanks a lot.
I suppose I am going to drag myself up and deal with it then.
I do feel better today. I think I am going to be able to do this. I may not feel that way tomorrow but for today, I'm good. It really is all mental isn't it? I mean you get so bogged down with the sheer amount of stuff..and then you get on the computer and see everything everyone else seems to be doing and get even more disillusioned..and on and on. I think I forget to take time for me..Just a couple of hours to go horseback riding or for a walk or whatever..I have books I have wanted to read for months an haven't done...I am hoping I can deal with my inner whiner this weekend and come up with a schedule that I will stick to. And there are so many reasons I love living here..Look at this picture. One of our chickens decided to hitch a ride..

Meanwhile..this is serious kitchen porn...

Yep..I told you. That is what I want..along with the clawfoot tub...AND IceStone counters..and the million it will take to do all of that.. That sink, by the way, is available at Vintage Tub... there is a ad on the sidebar..all the sinks are on sale through labor day, they have free shipping..and...look what I have just for you...
FREE Towel Warmer

Receive a FREE Towel Warmer with the purchase of any complete tub set (tub, faucet, drain, and supply lines).
Coupon Code FreeTW
Expires October, 1st 2007

Free Ground Shipping within the contiguous United States on all orders - even TUBS.
No Coupon Code Needed
No Expiration Date

EXCLUSIVE COUPON Save $100 with the purchase of a Complete Tub Set (tub, faucet, drain, & supply lines).
Coupon Code WEB100
No Expiration Date

Yeah, I know, that was very commercial of me. But they do have cool stuff.
Next thing:
I wrote an article today on the Thoreau Farm Restoration Project. If you are interested in history and the environment you will like this article. Thoreau Farm Historical Restoration Project

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Regular Readers...Read the post just below this before voting.
New several posts before voting

should I pack it in, sell cheap and move us to an efficiency apartment? are meant for better lounging could then invest the leftover money and become rich
yes, will the horses have their own room?
No. You are just tired and I am sending you chocolate
No..things are going to be better very soon..I talked to God and He said so
No. You deserve to spend the rest of your life working on the house free polls
I just found out that Marc's boss is advertising for a replacement for Marc. I am trying not to be upset..or frustrated but I am scared sort of. Nervous is a better term. I don't blame him in one way, Marc is in the wheelchair and the store is not set up for that..Marc has about 3-4 VA appointments a month and we can't always schedule them on MArc's days off..Marc is sometimes spacey from the meds..
How can I begin to find a job with the kids, the house, and being here for him?
God's purposes will prevail..He knows the plans He has for me...I just wish I did..
I wrote an article on Hub on heritage veggies. it is pretty interesting.
Heirlooms come in many varieties. There are numerous unusual colors, patterns, shapes, and flavors. With these fabulous plants you don't have to settle for mediocre flavors in your food but can experience many different flavors within the same type of more-(and submit to stumble, digg, or whatever..thanks!)
Autumn is arriving. Even here in Texas I can sense it's closeness. Like the part in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe where Father Christmas shows up so they know that Aslan is on his way and the white witch is losing her power..95 degrees does not feel so blasted hot...the light is changing color and the shadows are different.
It is this time of year that I miss my home. I don;t knwo exactly what I mean by that...there seems to be a place deep in my heart that I have never been able to find, a place that was, perhaps, birthed the summer I read every book int he children's section of the library in West Windsor, New Jersey. It seems to be a farm, a place where the leaves turn crimson in the Autumn, where some other dimensional me picks raspberries and blackberries in summer, and sips hot coffee whilst curled on a cosy windowseat during a snowy winter day. In spring this other me walks down drizzly country lanes and watches the birds return to their nesting places, picks the first few narcissus and iris, and gathers new asparagus and fiddle head ferns.
The odd thing is that every once in awhile I get a deep longing for that place that I have been- like today.
Anyway. I planted green beans. I could not till up the old garden because the tiller is not working and the garden itself has been fallow for 2 seasons. I just bought large bages of dirt at Home Depot and punched holes in the bottom to let the water run through. Then I punched holes in the top to plant into and voila! My simple, weed free green bean garden..if it works. I am tentitavely working on plans for my gardens, thinking that if i plan now I will be able to do them in the spring. I would like peonies, but am not sure about how they would do here..and I am a strong believer in xeriscapes and natural plantings so I will have to look into that more. I have a huge expanse of poison ivy growing nicely since the sheep are gone..I am thinking it will be a good place for blackberries.
Maybe rather than longing for what I dont have I need to create those things here.
The front entryway will get worked on this weekend. I swear I am going to do it.

I am going to finish taking the vinyl stuff off and put in new trim where the wood has rotted out...I know how to finish it off now, with a certain type of molding, blessedly inexpensive, and I am hoping that I will have it done by Monday. Good intentions anyway..and you kow what they say about those!

how to make cloth diapers

save money, help the environment! CLoth diapers are easy to make and you can sell them on ebay!

read more | digg story

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

My daughter and son in law left yesterday..the house feels empty the way it does when someone is missing. ;(
I have to get organized ...I used to be so incredbly oprganized it wasnt funny and now...not. I know alot of it is becuase I am overwhelmed.
Anyway.I think I had better turn my attention to the office bathroom. The tiles are going to start to come up because it was never sealed and finished. There is no way Marc can do this so I guess I will just do it. After all, I am reasonably intelligent...I can follow instructions..surely I can mud a wall and patch, cut baseboards and nail them in..right? right???
I have written a couple of more articles on Hubpages. Look..please read them..if you like them digg, stumble, or whatever them..I especially like stumble. The last one I wrote is on making cloth diapers ...I made ALOT of them in the past altho I am beyond that stage now..and NO I do not miss it.
how to make cloth diapers

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Raising Turkey for food and profit on the homestead

how to raise organic pasture fed tukey and make money doing it.

read more | digg story

Saturday, August 25, 2007

I just wrote a thing on straw bale construction...I really am interested in it..ever since (o.k..I know..that does not look it my country roots showing? Is it ever since or every since? ) the three little pigs I thought houses mad e of straw were cool.
I mean, straw smells good...It is itchy and you really don't want to roll around in it too much :;:snicker::: because you will have little red bumps that itch..but the smell is heavenly.
That has absolutely nothing to do with straw bale construction.
I talked to Marc about building a straw bale barn..I just really like the idea and think it is cool..I've got some cool pictures in the article of homes and I think it was translate well into a nice snug barn. He was skeptical.
There is nothing new about that. I am the one that runs ahead..he is the one that is very downt o earth but he loves me so he will sort of nod and smile at my antics. is like I Love Lucy around here about half the time but without the cuban. He is an Iraqi linguist (learned in the Marines) so I guess he could yell at me in Iraqi...IF he could remember how to say anything other than military terms. I was actually going ot use real phrases and then I remembered that it would probably lead to black helicopters on whisper mode hovering outside my window.

If you get a chance please read the articles....or just go and click on things...or leave a comment or whatever. Thank you.straw bale homes
It is still hot. And summer has hit, albeit late, here none the less..It is hot, dry and ...dry and hot. Texas being on the cutting edge also added an unusual twist this year..North Carolina humidity.
So we are breathing through straws, fanning ourselves and just being generally miserable.
Trees are falling down like crazy..I would feel a little paranoid but it isnt just our property. It is all over town..and I know our horses, devious as they are, are not sneaking out at night to strip bark off of all the trees in the county. There is some other force at work here. We will have firewood to last until the Rapture..and that is a good thing.
I cant concentrate enough to know hwat to do next.There are so many needs that they overwhelm me right now and i am doing next to nothing. Research of course, but that allows me to enter a glazed and dazed state as I stare at the computer so it is no good for actually getitng things done.
I made donuts this morning. That is something. I tend to be a person, who, in spite of being a mature christian (ha! whatever that is) still has trouble defining myself by other than what I right now my esteem is very low..I am doing nothing, accomplishing nothing..and the voice of my mom haunts me in my sleep. :( I keep reminding myself survival is an accomplishment right now. Not screaming at the kids in frustration is an accomplishment now. Getting math and english and reading done is an accomplishment.
I wish I could wipe the slate clean and have a do over. Where is that darn Easy Button?
I need to get the office cleared. We had a college student move in (Bible College) to help him ..we cant afford to contribute financially but can give to him in this way..anyway he moved into what was my sewing, crafting, staging room for all the house projects..all of htose things are now stacked int he office with a narrow walkway between stacks. :( I am tempted to just toss everything..but so much of it is unspun fiber, fabric and such that I hate to do it.
I need to replace a board on the soffit face in the back..and I need to finish repairing the door frame in the front. I have no clue how to do this or where to start. I keep trying to argue with God that I am a GIRL. I don't know HOW..but He will have none of it.
I have written a couple more articles on Hub:
Minimizing Your Carbon Footprint about how to have less impact on the earth by the choices you make daily. There is a cool link there to help you calculate your footprint.
Green investment has some thoughts on how to invest your money in a socially responsible way..if, say, you had any to invest after buying all you needed for the trim on the 3rd floor balcony or something...anyway..check them out.
HAppy Saturday.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

O.k..a few days ago Momlady gave me the Nice Matters Award. I wanted to p[ass that on because I have met SO many really NICE friends and old..SO...

1. I want to give this award to a very special blogger, someone i have known for many years altho we have never met in real life. This woman has called me to check on me, has encouraged me, and prayed for me through all of the weirdness my life seems to ooze even though she has faced major hardships and pain in her own life. So..Marla, thank you.
confessions of an adhd artist sahm

2. My next award person is Jenny at Up the Hill Gang who has also been a friend and sweetly COMMENTS on my blogs unlike the rest of you lot. :)

3. Next is someone who I never met IRL but I think *might* be in the same odd genetic whirlpool as me. I am adopted so who knows? Rechelle at Country Doctor's Wife is hysterically funny and never fails to make me laugh..and totally identify with what she is writing about...because we both know what it is to be the mom of a plethora of testosterone laden individuals that truly believe the way to a woman's heart is being able to burp the Star Spangled Banner.

4. Valli, from More Than Burnt TOast is rapidly becomming one of my favorite bloggers ..especially with her *droolworthy* pictures.

There are actually a ton of other people but this is it for now.. :) Enjoy your awards.... you deserved them

On to the next thing...
I have been writing for Hubpages. According to my very lucrative contract with them I need to promote myself on my other blogs...this and apron ...
I have been really looking into green techniques. I think that as a Christian it is important to be gentle with the earth. I don't understand the mentality that has no concept of the intricate details that went in to creating htis planet. Personally if I was God people would get smote regularly.
Luckily I am not God.
Anyway..I want to restore this house but I also want it to be off grid, sustainable and gorgeous. All on the $3 I found in my pocket this morning. One way is to create a sustainable garden, one that is created especially for the climate and soil conditions here...
I wrote baout some of the hows of that last night, Sustainable Organic GArden Design so check it out.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I seriously have a great idea. I have been designing rainwater collection systems in my head for months..and also gray water irrigation systems and I thought today how cool it would be to recycle your free water! I mean...the calculation for rainwater harvest is 75% of 600 gallons per 1000 sq ft of catchment per inch of rain..The other 25% is figured to be evaporation and loss. SO for our house that is 1200 +/- gallons of water per 1 " of rain. WOW! Then once you hooked your system up to your house for your free water you could reroute the graywater pipes to be collected in a seperate cistern to be utilized for garden. WOW! again.
Now..I just need time, materials..materials and time... :)
I did write an article on this today, since i was thinking about it..If even half of the houses in our town had rainwater collection systems in place there would be virtually no flooding and it's residual negative effects on the environment. If rainwater collection systems were in place the drought and dropping water tables that we face every summer in North Central Texas would not cause undue problems. read the rest here and take a look at the picture from when our proerty flooded. An entire storage shed floated on to our is now a chicken coop..Thanks God!
ATTENTION RECHELLE at Country Doctor's Wife

I can't get to your website. I keep getting an error message... I think the government suspects our plan and is trying to infiltrate our communications codes and has programmed your blog to ignore my blog. Don't tell them about matter how much chocolate they offer you.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I am tired.
I am cranky.
I want a small apartment somewhere where I can call maintenence to come fix anything that needs fixing.
And while they were doing that I would get my nails done and have a massage.

It has been about 700F outside..which means it has been 768 F inside since we dont use A/C. It is humid..I mean really at all like Texas..more like Michigan only MUCH hotter...or North Carolina around Camp Le Jeune (I spent a decade there at Tarrawa Terrace one year..It is when I got interested in raising livestock..The roaches were huge...but really really hard to milk.)
Everyone is melty..and headachy..and cranky. And we had ANOTHER stupid huge branch come down and tear up one more fence.
Have I mentioned my fantasy apartment? >:(

Oh..I wrote a hugely fascinating article about heritage breed goats. it..comment on it...meanwhile I think I am going to just sit here and sweat...
My fascinating article about goats. Actually there is a hysterical video there about the tennessee Fainting Goats. :)

Grin is obviously dreaming of a small efficiency apartment as well.....