Saturday, May 29, 2010

I am in LOVE!

I'm in love with my husband, yes. With my kids, ABSOLUTELY! But ALSO with these adorable additions to our "family."
How can you NOT love this face?

Our ewes, Lily, Lambchop, Sally, and Daisy, all produced the most beautiful babies this last week.

Lily and Lambchop both had twins...

and Daisy and Sally both had one a piece.

The babies crack us up nightly. As soon as the evening starts to turn cooler, the babies start jumping around like little deer. Really. As we watch from the living room windows, the babies jump straight up into the air, and prance around like they can't believe they have legs! It's HILARIOUS!

I love this time of year, especially because of the babies that join our "farm" right around the end of May. Like a mother hen, I hover around our ewes until they have their babies, and I find myself praying for them nightly that their labors will go well, and their babies will be healthy. I'm always so appreciative when God hears my prayer, and they all are safe.

My heart is definitely FULL!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

This is NEVER good!

Now, I don't like to brag, but my garden this year is gonna be "All That and a bag of Chips!" I'm just sayin'. You know, I am getting to be a pro at this, what with planting several things OVER and OVER and OVER again already. My basil suffered a stroke soon after I planted it the first time. I don't know WHY they decided not to go on living, but the day after I planted 8, I came outside to see all of them totally dried up. SO, I got some more, this time, 9 plants. Then we had a small monsoon. (I'm pretty sure monsoons come inland to Indiana, right?) and the 9 little plants just couldn't take all that rain, and gave up, so the next, and LAST time, I planted 16 plants. Darn it all, I WANT to freeze some pesto this year, and so far, (I'm crossing my fingers) they are doing well.
My lone cucumber plant (one because more than that is just insane. We can't keep up with the volume of cucumbers), 4 watermelon plants, and 3 zucchini plants (same thing about volume of zucchini), have also died similar/yet more painful deaths. Remember when I said I had grown all of these by seed in my basement since Feb., and then one day, they were out in the cold frame, and the lid closed, and the glass in the panes FRIED everything I had worked so hard to grow. Yeah, my life is like this. Anyway, I replanted ALL of these, and out in the garden.....they have committed suicide. I have to go buy MORE of all of these. I don't know if the chicken poop that we worked into the soil was really strong (this didn't happen last year), or what, but this is getting ridiculous!
We have strawberries, peas, potatoes, green beans, tomatoes, onions, and corn that are doing just fine. Then Brent brought this home.

I call it the death machine. The first time this puppy came out, and the soil was tilled, it actually brought me to tears. Of frustration, NOT joy.
We have my father-in-laws tractor in our shed, and apparently this plow is my uncles. Who would've thought to put them together? I think you all know who....Brent. My husband, for all the wonderful things he does for me, does have one small flaw. His love for tractors far surpasses anything else. I think if I cut him, John Deere green blood would flow out.
Since my father-in-laws tiller broke halfway through our garden getting ready experience, Brent thought it would be great to bring over this plow. Now, nothing against it, I just HATE it.
The first time this showed up at my house, Brent used it on the West side of the garden and in the process, tore up the yard in 3 swipes because the plow didn't raise up, and he ran over my ENTIRE row of rhubarb. The clumps were so large, and the dirt was so heavy and hard, that when I went out to work it over, I literally stood in the garden and CRIED. It seemed like such a monumental job!
Our garden, however, got fixed, and things were planted, including 4 rows of sweet corn (our first attempt). I thought we were done. It was looking good, and then Brent got that sparkle in his eye. That evil glint that I know all too well!
He disappeared one night, and this is what I saw out back...

That horrible neon shirt he was wearing, and that horrible combination of tractor and plow. You see right where he's standing...that's the 16 basil plants, and 9 potato plants just minding their own business.
He got it in his head he was planting more rows of corn, and making a little place where we could nurture some trees and not have to mow around them.
I was starting to shake.

He was smiling that huge Cheshire grin of his.

That front tire was getting too close to my babies!

A little uneven at the end, and too much heavy dirt!

Now really, that's ENOUGH. You've made it big enough! Take the plow back! I can't handle this stress!

I told him I wasn't working the soil over this time, it was his idea, it's his job. He just smiled. I mean it I said!

Last night he brought home a huge tiller mounted on the back of a loader tractor he rented from our neighbor. This I just couldn't watch. I just didn't have the stomach for it.

I hope his joy of watching me fret, combined with his love of all things loud has come to an end for now. I might not make it through the summer!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Confessions of a Novice Blogger

Number 1: I am TERRIFIED, UTTERLY TERRIFIED of snakes. Ask anyone. Even the kindergartners in my class know it, and love to torture me with fake ones, pictures in books, etc. I've told my own children, if you see me laying out in the grass/pasture, you know I've seen a snake and have fainted/and/or died. Call 911 immediately!

Number 2: I have decorating ADHD. I know it, and freely admit it. A room in my home CANNOT be the same for more than lets say....3 months before I have to change it. Also, when I saw this picture I posted the other night of my new washer and dryer...

I immediately knew that 4 years of this yellow in my laundry room was entirely too long, so I've decided when school is out, I will paint this room vintage turquoise like the kitchen. I have the paint after all!

Number 3: The perfect job for me would entail running a quaint little country store where I sold my hen's eggs, things I have preserved myself, and cute little kitschy things like homemade cards, etc. However, in my neck of the woods, this AIN'T gonna happen!

Number 4: I would love to be a little taller. 5'2" just ain't cuttin it (and where are all the aint's commin from tonight?) I've been teased all my life about my height, my husband included. His favorite joke always happens on a Sunday morning on the way to church. It's just a given that he drives, and I ride in the passenger seat and read. So, whenever he gets in the drivers seat, he always says really loud, "Who was the last person to drive this? A circus monkey?" referring of course to my height, which then sets the kids into hyperactive silly mode all the 25 minutes to church. This also stems from the fact that unless I'm shopping in the petite dept. of a store, a pair of capri's, looks like a regular pair of pants on me.

Number 5: I don't regret stopping piano lessons when I was a kid. You know that sometimes you hear people say...."I wish I would've continued on with (instrument) lessons longer when I was a kid so I would've retained it longer as an adult." I don't wish that. Never have, never will. I was bitter for awhile when I stopped, only for the fact, that my sister, who is 3 years younger than me, stopped at the same time. I took three years longer from the mean little lady who taught us piano. Not quite fair.

Number 6: I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I don't regret for one minute moving my family to the country. I grew up on a farm and wanted to totally GET AWAY from that when I got married. Turns out, I only got 6 MILES away for 7 years, until we had kids and decided to move to the country. I don't miss people seeing what I was doing every time I stepped outside, and I don't miss the noise. I like the quiet country nights, and the 4 other neighbors on our road, who live a good distance away from us. I like the fact we can take walks on our road, and not have to worry about traffic, except for my grandpa's truck which passes our house at least 5 times a day to go to the main farm. My husband always wanted to live in the country, and for the first years of our marriage, I balked at that. Now, I guess I see what he meant.

Number 7: I wish I was a better singer. My sister has a great voice, and I'm pretty sure I don't. I mean, when I plug my ears, it sounds decent, but I know it's not. When we sing Happy Birthday to the kids in kindergarten, I sing the quietest.

Number 8: I love roller coasters. There is not many chances for me to indulge in this activity, since my husband is afraid of heights, but, I secretly get a big thrill out of them. The way your heart jumps up into your throat, the minute you climb and hill and then plummet down.....nothing like it!

Number 9: I could read all day long and night, if it didn't put me to sleep. I LOVE to read. Give me anything, and I'll give it a try. Maybe not a classic, though. My book club tried that, and I hated every minute of it! My dad loves to read, and passed it on to me. I hope my kids pick up on it. There is just nothing quite like transporting yourself to another world.

Number 10: I'm kinda glad this list is done. I can't think of anything else you don't already know about me!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

If I only had more time...

It's 9:43 PM and so far I've come home from work, cut someone's hair, went to a softball game that lasted 3 hours (including an hour of practice BEFORE the actual game started), started a load of laundry, fed 3 people supper (late), packed snacks for tomorrow at school, and packed 3 lunches, and this is just a typical night.
I had a friend ask me yesterday, "Well, do you think when you're done with school, you'll blog everyday?" Gee, I never thought about it. I guess I'll try. I'll have to come up with some new stuff everyday! Like for instance, I read this blog the other day, more left unseen, and like the idea of confessions. I'll do that next.
Anyway, I also noticed I haven't blogged since Monday. I'm sorry about that. I know when I read the blogs I read FAITHFULLY everyday, I kinda expect something new everyday from them, or at least every other day.....
So, I'll just tell you what's been keeping me since Monday.....
I've been waiting for these lovelies to show up...

Peonies. Ah, how I love Peonies. Always have. Always will. They remind me my birthday and strawberries are just around the corner, and the smell...the smell is intoxicating! I've been trying with all my might to protect them from you know who....

yeah, he's up there hiding his face again. TWICE I've found a hole, which exposed the roots of my most beloved flower, in my flowerbeds. Which has led me to have to do this....

fill in the area with rocks. And as I take this picture, I notice the rocks are covered with dirt, from, with no doubt in my mind, Rudy. The faithful, loving, crazy, loyal, yet utterly frustrating dog who I cannot keep out of my flowerbeds.

I've also been busy with this...

my very neatly done, if I do say so myself, lawn. I LOVE to mow the yard. Now, this has not always been the case, (I'm sure my mom is laughing right now....)but in the almost 13 years I've been married, this has been my job, and I've loved every minute of it. It's peaceful, it's serene. I can smell the newly cut grass, and then promptly go in the house and treat my allergy infested eyes! (But I still love every minute of it.) Last night the kids and I were talking and I told them to not eat anything until I got in to fix them supper. I reminded them that when they were small, and I would go out and mow the lawn and leave them in the house, they would sometimes finish an entire jar of cookies when I was outside. This brought on severe fits of laughter from the both of them.

Last night, my husband brought home this...

my first NEW washer/dryer set since I've been married. Did you know new washers and dryers no longer come with hoses and electrical plug-ins out the back? RIDICULOUS! Who thought of this?????If I didn't have a handy husband, this would've been a nightmare. Needless to say, it took the both of us to bring these in, and haul our others out...(Does anyone want to buy a still good washer/dryer set for cheap?), and Brent still worked until about 10pm on getting them set up. I'm doing my first load of laundry in these puppies tonight.

Lastly, I had a softball game to attend tonight for my favorite girl.

She did a good job tonight, but I just can't help but wait for the days when there is no school before a game, so she's not so tired. Especially when the games themselves last a good 2 hours, PLUS the 1 hour of practice before the game. That's a long time at the ballpark!

So, because of all this, I apologize for the absence. I'll do better. Counting tomorrow, I only have 4 more days of school. I already have my no school to-do list ready. Remember my pantry is mocking me daily! I need to reorganize it before it gets any worse. I have crafts to make for an etsy shop? I might start, and many other things to occupy my days.

I'll try to not let so many days come between our chats. Now it's time to go watch the Friday Night Lights I taped last Friday with my husband.

Good night!

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Little Hard Work

It all started with this box.

At my last PTO meeting, my committee presented me with a gift certificate to the local greenhouse for my hard work as PTO President this year. It was VERY nice.
I knew I wanted to create another flower bed, separate from the ones all around my house, I just needed to find a place. I walked all around the house several times. I decided on this...

at the end of my clothesline, which was painted John Deere Green (DON'T ASK! This was a sore point with my husband several years ago when I received this clothesline as a Mother's Day gift. He wanted John Deere Green, I didn't. He painted it, so this is what I got. UGH!) Anyway...
I started to dig. Our soil is HEAVY CLAY. So, just lifting up the grass was hard. It took me a good 1/2 hour to get this far...

I moved and split some Daylilies that I had, and some ornamental grass. I also used some of the zinnias, and snapdragons I bought at the greenhouse. This is the result.

I took the rest of the geraniums and snapdragons up to the front of the house. I'm not big on annuals. I prefer perennials, because they just come up, and I don't have to worry about them.

The old wagon was mine as a kid, and the window came from a friend who found it and others along the road in a junk pile.

I bought this trike at a garage sale a couple years ago, and I really like it for it's junky appeal. It fits my style.

The day ended with this gorgeous sunset against the amish barn next door.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Journey Back in Time

I took the day off Friday and went on Grace's 4th grade field trip to Sauder Village in Archbold, OH. It was a LONG trip on a school bus!

Field trips sure are different these days. MP3 players, Nintendo DS's, Ipods, and Iphones rule the seats. These kids didn't sit still for a moment the whole way there!
As soon as we got there, the girls hit the trails.

We saw prairie living as it was back in the 1840's-early 1900's. We saw one room houses with big fireplaces for cooking, a blacksmith shop, (with a man making actual metal works as it would've been back then), glass blowing, and carriage shops.

We even got to see where they kept the criminals. All 5 girls thought it was hilarious! And very sparse!

This ADORABLE house with a large garden beside it housed a family with 17 kids. The mother outlived 2 husbands, and died at the age of 79 with 101 grandchildren! That's a lot of birthday presents to buy!

There was a one room schoolhouse with a stern teacher, who rapped your knuckles if you spoke out of turn. Boys sat on one side, and girls on the other, and there were no glass windows, only something that resembled parchment paper, since glass was so expensive. Everyone shared books, and there was a fireplace that warmed the whole room.

We saw log cabins, "large" homes, and even an Indian camp.

There was a working grist mill where they were grinding corn into cornmeal. These are the colorful flour sacks back then, which they made dresses/clothing out of. I wish I had one today for some cute pillows!

We ate ice cream and popcorn, went shopping in the general store, saw a lady weaving a rug, and much more. It was a LONG day, (I guess I already mentioned that....did I say it was a LONG day???), but the girls had fun. I would like to go back when we have more time to stay. I'm glad I went. It was a beautiful sunny day, and I enjoyed spending time with my girl.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Caught in the act!

I love our dog, Rudy. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE him! Although, our relationship hasn't been all honeymoons and roses.
He came to us about 5 years ago. Just showed up at our rental house at the time, and never left, as much as we tried to make him. He stuck with us, and he LOVES our kids. He LOVES us, and we love him. He is a good dog, not a very good puppy all those years ago, but a GOOD dog.
Except for one TINY thing.

He makes his bed in my flower beds.

Yeah, buddy. I caught you in the act. Usually, his hearing is so acute, if I unlock the front door, he is UP and OUT of the flowerbeds before I can actually catch him.
I think he's actually AVOIDING looking into my eyes.

He knows he's done something wrong. I was calling his name, and he wouldn't turn his head.
Last year, I actually took time to search the wonderful Internet on ways to keep dogs out of flowerbeds. We had put dumb looking stakes all throughout my beds, and small decorative fences, etc. all to no avail. The Internet ACTUALLY said, you cannot divert a dog from laying in your flowerbeds. Some things like funny smells you put out will maybe divert them for a short while, but dogs are smart darn it! They'll get around the stinky smell, and learn to live with it. Our dogs Rudy, and the puppy Sadie, will just wind their bodies around all the decorative fencing/stakes we've put out. So, I'm ready to throw in the towel. I have purposely left areas of my flowerbeds plant free.
They seem to go back to the same spot over and over again.
Here's the evidence...

muddy paws. We have a creek that runs behind our house where Rudy also loves to go, and his feet get muddy, but these are flowerbed feet!

He's avoiding my eyes again, but I can tell....

and he knows.....he's been caught in the act!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

A Trip to the Farm Market

Today would've been a great day for planting the rest of my garden if it weren't for this...

and for the fact that every seed that I started in my basement got fried the other day. Now, let's back track a little. I started my seeds in the basement under a fluorescent light a couple months ago with such high hopes. This past week, the temperatures were fine, so I moved most of the seedlings (I had an epiphany one night, which I know was God, telling me I shouldn't move ALL the seedlings outside) outside into the cold frame Brent built me last year. The first few days went fine. However, soon, the WINDS came. They blew shut the lid of the cold frame one day while I was at school, and just in the 8 hours we were gone, fried every single one of my seedlings, plus all the basil I had purchased from the local greenhouse the night before. To tell you I was very upset is an understatement.

The temps for this weekend were also dismal, and one more chance of frost is in the forecast. With my heart heavy/hopeful, I went to one of my most favorite places on earth today.

Next to my dreams of someday working in a library, this place of employment would also be on the list. This place is a little heaven on earth. It combines a greenhouse filled with heirloom plants that I love, gifts of all kinds, seeds, homemade paper, and antiques. It's very kitschy and homey inside. Just the kinda place my son refuses to go into!

The vintage patio chairs call to me as we walk into the front door. They are beyond my price range, but I've always wanted some like it.

I knew I needed to replace 1 cucumber plant, 7 tomato plants, 3 zucchini plants, 9 basil plants, and 2 pepper plants.

Grace and I headed down each row.

I found all that I needed, and more.

The heirloom tomato plants all had names like: Silvery Fir Tree, Tigerella, Marmande, Brandywine, and Anna Russian. I bought them all.

In the gift shop, there was this item. The price tag originally said $11, but was marked down to $1. How could I pass it up, I ask you?

I had in my mind an idea of where I wanted to use it, and $1 usually screams BUY ME!

I also found these cute cards for $.60 each.

I thought I could arrange/hang them around some pictures.

Here is the final result of the little seeds box.

It works nicely in my kitchen to hold writing utensils, and a pad of paper for the phone.

I love it. And I had a wonderful time browsing my favorite greenhouse. I plant to plant my garden next week, barring unfavorable temps. Let's hope the 45 degree weather is soon a thing of the past.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you tomorrow!