Sunday, September 28, 2008

Birthday Weekend

We celebrated Emily's birthday this weekend. She had a friend party and a family party. Can I tell you how badly I hate planning, organizing, and executing birthday parties?! And I had six children. The poor dears!

I did *not* want to do a friend birthday party. I expressed my opinion (in other words complained profusely) to Steve and he offered to do the friend birthday party for me. What a guy! So he helped Emily make the invitations and thought up fun games and relay races for the kids and put on the party while I went to the church and ate dinner with a bunch of wonderful ladies and got spiritually fed too.

Today we had the family birthday party. I am so glad for family around to support my kids!

Jared went a little batty and climbed onto the rafters at the pavillion.

After we ate cake and visited, I took my mom home. It was so nice to be out at sunset by myself in the quiet. I took some pictures so that I could share the beauty with all of you!

I hope that you had a wonderful weekend with people that you love and beauty of the fall too!

Friday, September 26, 2008


Hey, here is a funny thing...

Yesterday my van was on empty, so I stopped at a place just off the freeway and filled up, then got back on the freeway. I was talking to my mom on the phone, but was unconsciously listening to my engine. My van has transmission trouble, in that it has a hard time shifting up when the engine is cold, but lately my van has been doing crazy things, so I am in ultra-paranoid mode when I drive.

So here I am on the phone with my mom, and I notice that the engine is not shifting up. I tell her I've got to go and hang up. I listen, but notice that at 45 my engine is revving high, so I get over on the shoulder and turn on my emergency flashers. As I creep along the freeway going 35 mph while the traffic is whizzing past me at 65 mph my mind was thinking this whole predicament over. "How am I going to afford 2 car payments?" was the reoccurring thought.

A freeway exit was luckily just a couple of miles down the road, so I signaled and got off. As I was stopped at the stop sign I looked down at my speedometer and noticed.... that I had accidentally put my van in 2nd gear instead of drive. Ooops! BUT! I was ecstatic that I didn't have to buy another van!

Silver Linings & Rose Colored Glasses

Have you ever gotten so entirely consumed by life that it seems that you are running in circles, either emotionally or physically? That is where I am at.

An emotional hamster wheel is where I spend my time.

And do you know what that *does* to a person?

It has made me an emotional basketcase. My mother started dialysis yesterday. My ulcers still tend to act up mid-day to midnight. And I feel taken advantage of by my family.

Have you ever *heard* me so negative?! I thought not.

I am sick of being down, and I'm going to change it.

From now on I am going to look for all of the silver linings to the clouds.

Today my mom went in for dialysis. Her bloodpressure dropped to 50/20. It went back up a little, but not much. So they sent her home and told her to take the weekend off. SO! For my first trick: I am going to show you the silver lining to that cloud. My mother was actually really dreading dialysis today. It makes her tired and sick. The silver lining: She gets the weekend off! She'll feel better for Emily's birthday party this weekend than she would have. It will give her a few days to emotionally prepare for Monday, and it will give her a few days physically to get feeling better before she has to go back.

I am feeling overwhelmed with the great quantity of ill-behaved pets I have. The silver lining? Josh took his dog with him to his biological dad's house for the weekend or perhaps longer! One down, 5 to go! Now if I could find someone who loves black labs who'd love my 3 yo spayed female I'd be feeling great! And someone else to take a couple of very cute cats that have accidents I would be feeling FANTASTIC!

My ulcers are, for the most part, feeling better. Why, probably 60% of my day is free of pain.

My garden is close to being finished. We harvested two melons yesterday: a crenshaw and a honeydew. They were very good. There are a few more out there just finishing up. There are several cherry tomatoes that are ready to go into a garden salad tonight. The cucumbers and zucchini have slowed down producing. The pumpkins are oranging up. The green beans have maybe 1 more meal left in them.

To be honest, I am ready for fall. I am ready to be finished working so hard outside. I am ready for the natural shift of coming inside. I need to refinish the wood floors in my dining room and living room. I am planning on giving my laundry room a face-lift soon, too. I am not necessarily looking forward to the work, but I will love having a more beautiful home!

Here is to rose-colored glasses!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


This is the reason I care that people understand autism. He is often misunderstood, even by those closest to him. Some think that he repeats behaviors just to "bug" them. Some think he is "smarter than Melody thinks" and "knows what he is doing". Hum.

When he was a baby he didn't want to be held. He was content to stay in his crib. Once, when I pulled him into bed with hubby & me because it was an extra chilly night, he cried until I put him back into his crib. Through the years we have helped him to change his mind about being snuggly. Now he loves hugs and gives them with enthusiams the likes of which makes you need a chiropractor afterward. He has to is now part of his routine.

Routine is huge! When starting a new routine (moving him from a nursery class in church to a regular Primary/Sunday School class was our last huge change) I have to make sure that it is set up in such a way that will be best for Michael and me because *that* is the routine will be living for a long time. If I let him go to the bathroom or leave class even once, that is what he thinks is "normal" and wants to do each week. He has a routine for his day and even for how he treats each person.

For my mother he asks for songs that she has sung to him since he was tiny. (The Eensy Weensy Spider)

For everyone that he wants to talk to (including everyone at the store, library, post office, doctor's office....) it is to hug their arm, look at their watch for a minute if they are wearing one, shout "Look!" as he shows them his new and lost teeth, and then snap his fingers. People who know Michael know what comes next and don't walk away until he snaps. People always remember Michael once they have met him. I have often heard the comments like, "Oh! I've met *you* before! I saw you in WalMart and you talked to me then (spoken to Michael)." or "I'm always so glad when he comes in. He is such a special little guy (spoken to me)."

When he was a toddler he had no empathy. He pinched little children just to hear them cry. It was while I was disparing at this terrible stage he was going through that I realized that as a baby he'd never cried when other little babies cried around him. That type of baby empathy is a normal thing for babies to do, but Michael never did it. It was then that I *knew* that he wasn't being malicious. When he pinched he wasn't angry or frustrated or anything. He did it for the noise they made, the same as he turned on and off the light switch and looked at the lights to respond, or how he pushed the button on his toy to hear the music. It was cause and effect; nothing more, nothing less. I quit putting him in situtations where he was around little children, because he needed to break the routine. It took about 2 years, but he forgot that routine and in its place was a "learned" empathy. From our family's example (how we treated him) he learned to pat softly and when a child was sad he'd ask, "Are you ok?" He "learned" empathy.

There are myriads of examples, but let it suffice to say that raising Michael has been difficult, and would be difficult no matter what simply because it tests my patience and makes me look outside of the traditional parenting methods for answers of how to help him work through his "naughty" stages.

When you have a disabled child there is no book for "What to Expect in the First Year" or second, or third or ever. We can't know whether something is a fleeting stage or one that will last for years. Many times we don't know if our children will walk or talk or potty train or learn to read and write. Doctors and other parents of handicap children know better that to even guess. But then when people who don't understand make judgements like: "Michael knows better" or implies that he is being malicious, it makes my job just that much harder. Rather than feeling support I feel judged. I'm sure I'm not the only mother in the world that has felt that way.

Do you know what I'd love for you to do to help me show support to these mothers as they struggle throught mothering these wonderfully complex children?

Suspend judgement.
Suspend giving advise.
Get to know her situation.
Learn about her child's disability.
Let her cry on your shoulder.
Let her use you as a sounding board.
Just be there for her.
Just love the child for who he or she is without taking offense at their behavior.
Don't show your frustration at her child or try to discipline them.

You'll never know how much those things mean to her!

So now, in the words of Paul Harvey, you know the rest of the story.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Autism Awareness

OH! Before I forget, check out the Potato Soup recipe that Keeper of the Skies Wife posted! Cooking the bacon first, then sauteing onions, carrots, and garlic in some of the bacon grease....Oh my! Can you just smell the wonderful smells emitted from that sauce pot?? And then later adding heavy cream. Heaven.

A few days ago she (Keeper of the Skies Wife) posted an entry entitled "Apples" and had this picture on it:

In trying to understand autism, there is a wonderful site at that can describe some of the "symptoms" of autism. Check it out! There are probably many, many undiagnosed people/children with autism out there that people simply label as "naughty" or "unruly".

Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone was simply more tolerant and loving to these people? They aren't playing mind games. They don't really try to get your goat. It is a social block for them that understanding people can help them build relationships in spite of.

Do yourself and them a favor and learn more about autism.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Under the Weather & "Girl Movies"

Ooohhh. Boy am I sick! On Friday I started getting sick, and by nighttime I was groaning (which I rarely do), feverish, jelly-legged, and dizzy. By Saturday morning the fever was done and my legs were feeling stronger, but I was still weak and dizzy. Today I have woken up with a major throat infection! Argh!

For those of you who read this post:
Carpe Diem you will also know that I have been struggling with GERD and through an EGD scope last week found that I have ulcers on my esophagus. If you know me, you'll know that I have an aversion to medicine. So after the doctor told me to go on PPI blockers or get esophageal cancer, I was a nervous wreck.

For days I prayed about what to do, and on Friday I decided to just treat the GERD and the ulcers will clear up. I really don't feel like I can take the PPI blockers since it goes so against what I believe (HCL is my first line of defense against parasites, salmonella, and any other bacteria that would harm me). So, I have decided that I will make some diet changes (not eat meat and grains together. I have read in Fit for Life and other places, too, that the acidity needed for each is different and digestion is slowed trying to process both), make sure I don't go to bed with food in my stomach (which means I do not eat after 6), eat smaller portions more frequently, and check often for feelings that digestion is happening regularly (empty stomach feelings about 3-4 hours after eating).

I have tried this for the past few days and it seems to be working well. I have not woken up at night from deep sleep with burning in my throat, which is a common thing for me if I'm not careful. Through prayer and a blessing, I feel that the esophagus will heal correctly and I will be healthy.

So, you will not be hearing of my ulcers any more unless something major changes.

And, after I kick this bad bug I'll get back to being more upbeat, I promise! I think I've just needed to whine, so thanks for listening!

A few good things have come from my "down-time" though. I have re-watched some favorite "girl" movies.

"Kate and Leopold" was a hit even with my teenaged son and my dh. I think the Leopold character was one that ds respected and admired, especially when he ripped into Kate's boss with intellect rather than yelling and swearing.

"The Philadelphia Story" was another that Steve rented for me. It is one of my all-time favorites! I love the combination of Katharine Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart, and Cary Grant. Such a classic!

"Made of Honor" was a great first-see for me. I really enjoyed it.

I really wish I could find my DVD of "The Lake House". That is one of my favorites! I love Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves! Ooooh! Or "A Walk in the Clouds" with Keanu Reeves. Such great, great movies!

I am very lucky that my guy (does that have the same feel as "my woman" would? I hope not, because I tried to change it just to "Steve", but it totally changed the feel. I hope he doesn't feel like it was a pat on the butt and head, but will feel the affection that I meant.) will watch "girl movies" with me and enjoy them. He is as eclectic as they come, liking major action adventure, sci-fi/fantasy, musicals, comedies, westerns, dramas, and romantic comedies.

I hope that you have a great rest-of-the-weekend!

OH! And do tell me your all-time favorite "girl" movies! Pretty please? I still have some days of recuperation ahead!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Carpe Diem

This past week I have been suffering with a tremendous ache in my stomach. It caused me to go to the doctor, ER, and yesterday I went and got an EGD scope done. It appears that I have ulcers on my esophagus. The sphincter muscle leading to the stomach doesn't shut properly. The doctor, after scoping me, told my husband that if I don't get the ulcers healed that cancer is very likely. So. I am now taking the much-hated PPI acid blocker that he prescribed.

During the ER visit, the doc ordered an ultrasound to rule out appendix or gall bladder trouble. No problem with those organs, but it seems that my kidneys have abnormalities in them. After looking up kidney lesions, thinning, nodules, and cysts on the internet, I made a consultation appt with a nephrologist. The fun just never ends.

I was talking with my dad the other day. I am the baby in my family, so I am seeing the genetic possibilities as my aunts and uncles die from one thing or another, but typically not just from old age. On my dad's side, my aunts have cancer and my uncles have high blood pressure/heart problems. On my mom's side, lupus, kidney disease, & diabetes are standard. I told him that I have looked over my gene pool and have decided that I want to get out! That's right! Everyone out of the pool. Impurities have been detected.

I certainly hope that all of you had a way better week than I have! But, then again, it *could* always be worse. I am thankful that I felt pain and went to the doc so that they could catch my esophagus problem *before* cancer had attacked. And I am thankful that I *know* that I have kidney problems early on, so that I can baby my kidneys, and hopefully not be in renal failure like my mother is.

Carpe Diem!

Monday, September 15, 2008


It is amazing how quickly kids grow! It isn't until I go back in time with old pictures that I notice how much my children have grown!

April was talking today about looking at her kids' pictures from a year ago, and it made me go back and look at mine from 3 years ago:

As compared to their first day of school pics this year:

Sunday, September 14, 2008


For lunch we bar-b-qued chicken and hamburgers and had a REAL garden salad...from OUR garden! This is the first of the romaine and buttercrunch lettuce that we've used, and honestly it tastes a little bitter. I think maybe because it is too warm during the days, it has made the leaves bitter. Next year I think I'll plant lettuce seed instead of buying/planting transplants. Over all though, the cucumber, lettuces, and cherry tomatoes tasted and smelled wonderful!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

"How Smart Dumb Are You" Quiz

You are 79% smart!

Congratulations! You are smarter than a fifth grader! You actually know that coffee is hot (even without that warning label on the McDonald's cup), and you never operate your toaster oven in the shower! YAY!

How Dumb Are You? Quiz
Take More Quizzes

This is a fun little quiz. Be careful, or you'll be tricked!

Ok, one more.

What Element Moves Your Spirit?
Your Result: Air

Your Spirit is moved by the Element of Air. You may have some trouble making up your mind, as you are always open to new suggestions. You are logical and an excellent communicator.

What Element Moves Your Spirit?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Now. I have to quit procrastinating those loads of laundry, dishes in the sink, and kitchen floor that needs to be mopped! Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Farm Daze

I'm feeling a tad melancholy. I long to be on a farm. I have owned two farms and lived on one of them.

We bought a place in Snowflake, AZ a few years back. It was remote. And peaceful. And quiet. So quiet in fact that once when I was sitting on the back porch I *heard* a bird's wings flapping before I actually saw the bird. It was the kind of place where an Indian Brave could have been painted as he stood at the point of our hill with the wind blowing the Eagles feathers on his headdress and walking stick. It was a very cool place. Snowflake is in the high desert in Arizona, meaning that it gets cold in the winter and actually snows occasionally.

The farm was 20 acres, with a tiny house, barn, and big building that was unfinished, so it could have been made to be any building we needed. The property had a man-made pond, complete with coy fish and cattail bushes. There were a few fruit trees and many other trees too.

We never actually *lived* in Arizona though. We had plans too, but at the last minute (we were told by our realtor that an offer was being made on our house) Steve felt in his heart that we should stay put. So we did.

The farm that we *did* actually live on was in Kentucky (click to see original sale info from years ago).

It was in a part of Kentucky that still has Amish living there. In fact, we lived in a remodeled Amish built house. It had electricity, but was heated by a wood stove. I am a pro at building a fire in a wood stove, and was the official fire-builder. Our house was wonderful! It had a balcony that the children adored, a huge upstairs hallway that was as big as a room where the wood stove was. It was *my* favorite room!

The upstairs hallway wasn't in the hustle and bustle of the daytime "stuff" to be done, but kind of out-of-the-way. It was lit by all of the windows in the bedrooms, yet seemed kind of darkish, in a nice way. It had views out of the windows on the doors too, on the east and west of the house. I loved sitting there rocking in my chair talking on the phone to my family 2000 miles away, and I loved lying by the fire in the winter. It was the warmest "room" in the house in the winter and was where I put Matthew's crib when he was born 6 weeks early during the coldest part of the winter.

Our house was located on 120 acres of land, about half in woods and half in cleared pasture. We heated with wood from the dead-fall trees on our property. We drank water from our own well. We heated the water and cooked with propane that was held in a large tank outside that was filled a couple of times a year. We were about as self-sufficient as possible, and it was wonderful.

Steve worked at home during that time. He worked for a company based out of California doing web work before the .com crash.

The kids homeschooled all the years we lived there. Ah well, there was those 5 months that they went to a small country school, but we decided we liked being together too much to continue that.

To get to our house you had to cross a large creek that bordered our property on the north side. Usually it was dry, but occasionally during heavy bouts of rain we'd get trapped at home by a high and fast flowing river. It was exciting and relaxing to be stuck at home for a while.

After crossing the creek, you'd follow the dirt road past our fruit trees bordering the creek on one side and the cornfield on the other. At the duck pond, the road turned right and continued on to our house. A small creek continued to border the road on the left.

Before crossing the creek to go the house, you could go into the wonderful animal barn where the children loved to play. I loved caring for the baby animals that were in the stalls filled with nice clean, golden straw, and occasionally I got to milk our Jersey cow, Buttercup. Buttercup originally came from the dairy across the road from us. The dairy sold her to us because she only had 3 good teats, and therefore they couldn't use her. There were several cows to choose from, but Steve chose her because, as he later told me, "She was the most beautiful cow at the dairy." I always felt that if Buttercup was a woman I would have been jealous of the admiration Steve had for her beauty!

After visiting the barn and seeing Buttercup the Jersey milk cow, Patches our large Nubian wether goat, Dolly our unshorn sheep, and Beauty our little Nubian nanny goat, you'd turn around and head toward the house.

A small footbridge spanned our small creek that ran in front of the house. It was the bubbling sound of that brook that we went to sleep to every night from spring to fall, as we laid in our beds after a long day of work and play and listened.

It was also in that creek where the children played most days. They caught and released crawdads, dragonfly naiads, and all kinds of other creatures. It was where the animals, domestic and wild, got their drinks of water. Oft times the children would catch buckets and buckets of box turtles and with sadness release them every evening.

If you could make yourself walk past the creek, you'd follow the sidewalk to our big front porch that was the full width of the house and about 6' wide. A porch swing was usually in use on the left, with some child upstairs on the balcony. Entering into the house, you find yourself directly in the dining room, with a gorgeous soapstone wood stove on your left. That wood stove is my absolute favorite, and I long to buy another someday.

The kitchen had a HUGE pantry, about the size of a normal bedroom. It was full of all of the basics. The rest of the house was like a typical big-family house: 6 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, a nice sized laundry room (with a window with a great view!), and an attic the full width and length of the house. It was an ideal house.

There was a shop the size of a smallish house (upstairs and down), and the kitchen of the original house on the property hooked together by planks spanning the divide. The shop had been used by the Amish to cut & sand their wood, while the kitchen was used finish the wood. A small sawdust shed was out back.

Our large chicken coop bordered a HUGE garden that was probably about a quarter acre in size. On the other side of the garden was a pond fed by the creek that ran into it.

Going the other direction, there was a turkey coop that was smallish but nice. A large tobacco barn was on down the creek a ways, past the rows and rows of wild raspberry bushes.

Down the piece a ways was a "hidden valley". It was the most peaceful place, surrounded on all sides by woods, with a bubbling brook bordering one side.

If you followed the logging road up on the hill you'd find a beautiful meadow. I hear there is a house there now.

I do believe that those years that we lived in Kentucky was a gift from the Lord, to remind us how Adam and Eve must have felt in the Garden of Eden years before.

After 5 years of living in our part of Eden, Steve and I felt it was time to move on, and that is when we moved back to Utah where we were, for the most part, raised. And here is where we've stayed. Someday, though, I hope there is another farm waiting for me.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Falling off the Wagon

(Ok, this isn't really a story about *me* falling off the wagon.... but you'll love my story! =) )

You'll never guess what happened today! I was bringing the kids home from school on a small country back road, following a flatbed trailer full of peaches in boxes, and being pulled by a tractor when two of the boxes fell off the wagon (thus the title, see?!). The guy driving stopped and the guy on the back of the trailer with the peaches got off and took a look at the casualties. He must have decided that they were worthless after hitting the pavement like that, and he went back to the trailer. I caught his eye and I motioned toward the peaches and back to myself, asking if I could salvage some for myself. He waved and I took that as a yes. I gathered up an entire bushel sized box full of peaches from the side of the road! Some were beyond hope, being splattered upon the ground, but most were just bruised and very dirty.

So, I got an entire bushel of peaches for being at the right place at the right time (for me, I feel sorry for the farmer who lost part of his crop). It was a $30 value before any were damaged, and I will be able to salvage at least half of the box. I am so thankful! It will save my family money and give me the peaches I had desired to put up for the winter.

It's funny, I had told Emily today that I wished that one of our neighbors would offer us peaches off of their tree simply because they couldn't use them all and didn't want to see them go to waste (like we have in the past with our apricot tree). It seems like that sort of happened.

It is nice to know that the Lord is listening. (For clarification purposes: I am in no way saying that the Lord caused the box to tip off of the trailer, but that perhaps he knew that was going to happen and let me be in the right place at the right time.)

And I hope that by my picking up those peaches and using them in spite of their imperfections, rather than letting a heap of partially good peaches rot by the side of the road, that farmer felt a little better about his loss.

I hope that you saw the blessings that the Lord put in your path today too.

Monday, September 8, 2008

"What Kind of Shoe Are You?" A Flip-Flop?!?

I was visiting Farm Dreams and came across this quiz:" What Kind of Shoe Are You?

I took it the first time and was a Flip-Flop

You Are Flip Flops

You are laid back and very friendly.

Cheery and sunny in disposition, you usually have something to smile about.

Style is important to you, as long as you can stay casual.

It takes a lot to get you to dress up!

You are a loyal and true person, though you can be a bit of a flake.

You tend to "play hooky" and blow off responsibilities a lot more than most people.

You should live: By the beach

You should work: At a casual up and coming company

But because there are a couple of questions in the quiz that I couldn't really decide which was truly *me*, I went back and did the quiz again. This time I am a Clog

You Are Clogs

You are a solid and down to earth person.

You seek – and almost always achieve – a really sound balance in your life.

You are stylish yet comfortable. Mellow but driven. Excited yet calm.

You are the perfect mesh of contradictions.

No matter what happens, you have the ability to stay well grounded in your life.

People know that they can truly depend on you.

You should live: In Europe

You should work: At a company dedicated to helping the world

So, I am a comfortable slip on shoe. That's somethin'! And if I put the two together, I am supposed to live by the beach in Europe. Steve? Steve are you listening, dear? It is my *destiny* to live by the Europe. Could you please make the arrangements? Because if it is left up to me, I won't move. I'd have to organize all of my "stuff" in boxes, and though the quiz didn't tell this part (though Steve knows this for sure!) I am a pack rat. So unless you hire a moving company, we might just stay here forever. Waiting for the day when I get the house into "Better Homes and Garden's" shape like I'd like to. Really I would! But where do those people put their gazzillion of books? And what about the boxes of hand-me-downs for the kids? And their bottles of zucchini relish, apricot jam, and bottled peaches? And what would happen to my frozen zucchini? It wouldn't travel well, that's for sure. So maybe we'd better stay put.

The quizes are pretty accurate though. Probably the truest statement they made was this one: "You are the perfect mesh of contradictions."

Go ahead and take the quiz. I'll be watching to see what shoe *you* are!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

My day was just peachy, thanks.

Thanks for all of the encouragement that you all gave me in my last post. Of course, you are welcome anytime! =)

Canning peaches was my extra project today. And here is the.. um...huh, it's not quite the "final" result, because I've still got a 1/2 bushel box to finish, but this *is* my mid-point result:

I'm beat. I didn't start canning until about 7 p.m., and I didn't finish until just before 11 p.m..

Tomorrow I have to take Amber back into the Doc. I had her there today because her toes were turning purple when she was up for any length of time (like 15 minutes!) The doc cut her cast down the opposite side from the break and gently pryed it open just about 1/4" to make some more room, since we all thought that she was turning purple because of lack of circulation. Tonight though, she is in more pain than before and is complaining that the cast is too loose, and all the while her toes are continuing to turn purple. Sheesh! I don't remember any of this happening when Emily had a cast on her arm.

Anyway, I hope that you all had a wonderful day, & I'll let you know tomorrow what the doctor decides to do with her cast. I'm thinking he'll send her to a specialist, but we'll see.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Beyond Homemade Breakfast

As Emily, Matt, & I were eating breakfast, they commented that everything we were eating I made. That was an awesome "aha" moment, and I was especially happy that my kids noticed.

Our breakfast consisted of whole wheat toast (made from wheat that we ground on Saturday) with apricot jam (some that we canned in the past few weeks), and over-easy eggs (from our own chickens) with sweet-pickle relish (that I bottled about a month ago). Very awesome!

I love that the produce is free of insecticides, the relish was made with all natural sea salt, the chickens haven't been given hormones or antibiotics, the bread is made with only oil, yeast, sugar, salt, water & whole wheat flour. I hope that gardening & cooking with whole grains will be something that they will always value and do when they are older.

I have a big bowl full of tomatoes that I will make into primavera sauce and bottle it. With the many zucchini that I have, and after relishing my relish this morning (sorry, I had to say it!), I think I'll make some more relish! This time, though, I'll make bread & butter pickles (especially for Steve) and dill relish (especially for Jared). I also picked up a bushel of peaches from a local farmer's market that I'll slice & bottle in a light or medium syrup. I think I have my work cut out for me this week!

I hope that you can have an "aha" moment too and realize all of the good that you do in your circle of influence!

Have a great day!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Working on the Farmette

The goats got a new pen on Saturday. Ellie loves perching on top of the doghouse. Next thing to construct for them is a loafing shed; I don't think the doghouse will hold both of them much longer!

An Old English hen hatched out a few more chicks over the past week! I spied them living in the garden yesterday as I went out to check on the ripening produce.

The strawberry plants are sending out runners and all of the plants look really healthy.

I was excited to see this pumpkin turning orange. It won't be long now!

This pumpkin has a long way to go, but I love the variagated leaves.

The lettuce looks so beautiful! I haven't ever planted a fall garden before, but I am really liking the results!

Sorry about the wrong dates on the pictures. My youngest dd misplaced my camera so I'm using my oldest dd's camera and I haven't figured out how to change the date.

I hope that you all had a wonderful Labor Day Weekend!