Thursday, February 26, 2009


I just finished New Moon and I LOVED it! I think I liked it better that Twilight. I felt like I really got to know Bella in this book. I got to know that even with a great guy like Jacob around, Bella's heart *really* belongs to Edward. And just as importantly, that Edward's heart has always belonged solely to Bella.

In this book, relationships with characters other than member of the Cullen's family were developed. With Edward around this would have been impossible because of Bella's thoughts being consumed only with him.

Maybe I also liked not worrying about bedroom scenes. :-)

Yesterday I shared my idea about opening a shop for Springtime selling only, but when I shared my plan with my family they all had individual concerns. So for the time being, I won't pursue it. But someday....

I did ask Steve to buy the domain name for me. I didn't want it to get snatched up between now and then. I will call the future store.......The Spring Chick ( I think it's cute!

And today, I'm doing important reading Eclipse. :-) Have I ever mentioned that I'm obsessive?

And Happy Birthday to my step-sister Jalene! I hope it is a wonderful day!!

See you tomorrow, my friends!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wouldn't it be fun?!

I had the greatest idea today! Okay, when I owned my own feed store I loved selling bunnies and chicks for Easter/Springtime and I loved selling seeds. I didn't love all of the other junk of owning a feedstore, just the Springtime fun.

I started thinking: how fun would it be to turn the garage into a little shop (the garage is really to tiny to store vehicles) that is only open from the first of March to the end of May?! I would sell just what I love: chicks, bunnies, and seeds. I would put a doorbell in there that people could ring for service, so that I could go about my daily tasks until someone shows up. I would love to share what I would call it, because it is so cute and brilliant, but until I get the .com addy I want I don't dare.

Steve isn't quite so sold. He didn't love the hoops that we had to jump through to start up our feed store a few years ago, nor the threats of "if you don't pay this tax, we will send out a warrant for your arrest." Yes, our county is so friendly to businesses!

And with the problems with our neighbor,he is wary. But the neighbors two houses down run a pretty large daycare, and the cars coming to our place wouldn't even compare to theirs, so who knows.

But I do love the idea....

As an after thought I took a Twilight quiz and I'm.....


You're Jasper Hale - You have a calming personality and a simplistic way of looking at life. People like to be around you because you can help keep peace and are friendly to everyone. Although you do have a quiet side, you would be well balanced with a bubbly, spunky mate.

Okay, so Amber says there is no way I'm Jasper and that I always lie on quizes, so she took it for me and I'm....

You're Esme Cullen - Your maternal instinct to take care of people and be kind draw people towards you. You're compassionate and loving, yet firm when you need to be. You appreciate hard work and value the beautiful results of your dedication to any project.

She still doesn't think it's me though! :-)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Twilight and a Kids' Interview

I finished Twilight today and I am totally hooked! So much so that I ran to 5 stores to find New Moon. For those of you who have read Twilight, what do you think? Do you love it or not? Did you like the movie?

I saw the movie a few weeks ago and decided that I liked the story, but didn't think the characters were developed well. It made me want to read the book.

The book did make me uncomfortable when I thought about it putting my daughter in Bella's character.

The thing that made me the most uncomfortable was the two of them playing with fire so often and to such extremes. The guy thinks that she smells much so that he wants her blood. (Edward is a vampire, did you know?) He thinks that she is "hot" and wants her body, too. Whenever Bella is touched by Edward her pulse races and she wants Edward too, but she thinks Edward will keep things under control, so she doesn't need to worry. There is major chemistry and then Edward stays all night, many nights in a row while she sleeps. What?!

So, after knowing how attracted they are, they kiss while lying on her bed. Are you kidding me?! They are playing with animal instincts on both counts. Scary! It makes me worried that my daughter might think it is okay to behave this way as long as "nothing happens". I, on the other hand, am very much a fan of Joseph (You know, the one in the Bible who runs away from Potipher's sexy wife who wants him to lie with her?). Run away from temptation, don't just lie there!!

No, nothing ever happens, which makes me all the more worried, because how true to life is that? You have a gorgeous guy in your bed who can seduce you with his breath alone...and you SLEEP? What is wrong with you?

The story is great: good vs evil, very exciting plot, very sweet first love romance. (She is the first girl that Edward has fallen in love with, and he is over 100 years old! How flattering is that?) But I do worry about young people thinking that they can tempt themselves that much and not give in.

What did you think of the book? What about the romance/sensuality? Am I just a puritan or what?!

Anyway, I also saw a Kid's Interview on Farm Dream's today that I just had to do with my kids. Boy they think I am a blogging fiend! Take a look at our candid interview with Emily & Matt:

1. What is something your mom always says to you?

M - Don't fight with your sister.

E - Find Michael's shoes.

2.What makes your mom happy?

M - When I do the dishes.

E - Being with her honey (Dad).

3. What makes your mom sad?

M - saying that you hate her

E - fighting

4. How does your mom make you laugh?

M - tickling

E - tickling

5. What did your mom like to do when she was a child?

M - play with dolls

E - play with Barbies

6. How old is your mom?

M - 39

E - 39

7. How tall is your mom?

M - probably like 6 feet

E - I don't know

8. What is her favorite thing to do?

M - look at blogs

E - being on the computer

9. What does your mom do when you're not around?

M - look at more blogs

E - relax

10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for?

M - blogs

E - blogs

11. What is your mom really good at?

M - shooting (guns)

E - blogs

12. What is your mom not very good at?

M - staying off the computer

E - biking

13. What does your mom do for her job?

M - look at blogs (said laughing)

E - homeschool

14. What is your mom's favorite food?

M - Mexican

E - Mexican

15. What makes you proud of your mom?

M - keeping her temper

E - everything

16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be?

M - a fairy god mother

E - Supermom

17. What do you and your mom do together?

M - homeschool

E - bake

18. How are you and your mom the same?

M - both have dry skin

E - I have her nose

19. How are you and your mom different?

M - I am a boy

E - ?

20. How do you know your mom loves you?

M - she makes food for me

E - because she tucks us in every night

21. What does your mom like most about your dad?

M - everything

E - everything

22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go?

M - zoo

E - her room (where her computer is)

There you have it. I blog, therefore I am.

The full story of my neighbor problems.

I alluded to my neighbor yesterday, but I didn't want to talk much about it. I was still fuming. Today, I am feeling a bit better, though I still think more drama may be around the corner.

I've mentioned before that I hate drama, and I really haven't had much from all of my neighbors in the past.

Anyway, these particular neighbors are interesting. They moved into the neighborhood 2 1/2 years ago, at the same time as the neighbors on the other side of them moved in. The house that they bought had stood empty for 3 years as it was in the many stages of foreclosure, so the neighborhood had treated it like a vacant property: kids played in the yard, my chickens free ranged on it, I mowed it, and mostly it was just...unused. When they moved in, since it was winter, my chickens were in their coop close to their food, the kids weren't really playing outside, so they had no problems with any of us. Come spring though, my coop had spaces the chickens could get out and roam and the kids still ran on their grass.

So I totally understood that year when they complained to me about my chickens. I saw that they truly were a problem, so when they called and told me that they were trying to seed their lawn and my chickens were eating the seed and could I please do something with my chickens, I apologized and brought them a top of the line (think $40) bag of grass seed from my feed store (that I owned back then). The only frustration was that they called right before I left for work, and I couldn't fix anything right then, but I got on it in the space of a couple of days.

They still ended up calling the police, though, because a few renegades still got out during those first couple of weeks as I was patching up places where they continued to get out. Then they complained of the rooster crowing and had a police officer come out again.

And that was the first year.

The second year, they complained that chickens were getting into their yard (and her husband came over after he'd been drinking to yell and swear at my husband about it). Again, it was in the spring before I had a chance to patch up the problem areas that had happened during the winter. So we put up a chain link fence between us and them to contain the strays, and I patched up my coop. They said they didn't have money to contribute to a fence, and we were thankful that we had been given most of the fencing material by a friend who had offered it to us. (It was second hand, used to fence in an area for a bit, and our friend had been given the materials, but wasn't going to use it, so he gave it to us.) Their family didn't so much as dig a fence post, but simply watched us carefully, as we put up the fence a good half foot or more into our property. (My husband is the most polite person I know, thinking of other's feelings way more than I do. He knew they were attached to a certain bush and chose to put our fence into our yard more so that they could keep the bush intact. Smiling (which was more than I could do), he told them that he was going to do that for them.)

For understanding and clarity: the neighbor on the other side of my next-door-neighbor built a chain link fence on their side after the neighbors I've been telling you about complained of the other neighbor's children being on their propery. So they have a mostly fenced yard because of problems with neighbors on both sides.

Now we are into our third spring with these people. Winter here isn't finished and the ground is mushy with mud since the snow melted last week. Most of the chickens have been in, with the exception of a handful of bantams that were hatched in the orchard and that fly 30 feet up in a tree to roost at night and have been impossible to catch. (As a side note, the orchard is owned by a neighbor. He has never had a problem with our chickens being there. Just so you understand...)

So on Sunday morning at 9:00 a.m. ...on Sunday, when the store is closed!... this woman decides to call and tell me that she has had a problem with "twenty" of my chickens being in her yard in the past few days. Huh. I think that is about my entire flock, but anyway..... I tell her we will take care of it. My son goes into the orchard and tries to catch the bantams. He comes in defeated. I call her and tell her that since it is Sunday and the feed store is closed and I don't have any chicken wire at my house I can't do anything right then, but if she had some chicken wire she could just put it at the base of her fence (the one bordering the orchard) and the chickens won't be able to get into her yard. Her response? "I don't think it is my responsibility to take care of your chickens." and then she told me that "You don't have to do it today, I just wanted to make you aware of the problem." I tell her that I'll do something on Monday.

So on Monday I call my neighbor with the orchard, asking if he minds if I go onto his property to put up the chicken wire on his side of the already existing field fence. He didn't have any problem, he just told me to "do what I needed to do to appease her". And he told me that she went over to his house to talk to his wife on Sunday morning at about 10:40 a.m. (after telling me at 9 a.m. that I didn't have to do anything about it today, but she just wanted me to be aware), and then called him that night around 6 o'clock. Thankfully he told her that he wasn't going to get involved: no signing a petition or complaining to anyone about it. He said that he isn't bothered by my chickens. He also told her that I had been here first and had had my animals long before she got here. Thank heavens for good neighbors!!!!

So last night, Jared and I caught the renegade chickens as Steve poked them out of the tree as they tried to roost last night, and we put them in a dog run that is fully enclosed. But I still don't trust that a police officer won't be by.

And that is my tale of woe with my neighbor. It is also as gossipy as I get, so I hope that you don't take me for a gossip. I just simply hope that at some point everything will work out with this neighbor, because I hate the contention.

I don't know, maybe I *am* a crappy neighbor, but I just really wish that they valued neighborly peace as much as the $15 the chicken wire would have cost them, because it really would have ended their problems for good.

Monday, February 23, 2009

The Weekend

Our weekend started with this:

Jared made breakfast for all, arranging it to be as delicious to our eyes as it was to our taste buds.

We had Karen's birthday dinner on Sunday evening. Here are some of the pics. Some turned out fuzzy, but I like the way they look anyway.

lighting the candles

make a wish

The Birthday Girl

group shot

clean dishes

Other happenings of the weekend:

I read a lot in Twilight and can see why Bella likes Edward so much. He is just the right combination between dangerous and wonderful, isn't he? ...I would totally freak out if my daughter was dating him though!

Visited my favorite library and borrowed some lovely picture books to be shared by all, and a Junie B. Jones...mostly for me. I love that girl!

Went to an early dinner with Steve at my favorite Mexican restaurant.

There was a frustration with a neighbor, which soured yesterday. I won't mention much about it to spoil the post, but I truly wonder when these particular neighbors will be satisfied...if ever.

I hope that you had a wonderful weekend, and I hope you have a magnificent Monday!

Friday, February 20, 2009

My Purse

Betty at "Keeper of the Skies Wife" tagged me with a purse tag. Here are the rules of the tag:

1) Post a picture of whatever bag you are carrying at this moment. No going up to your closet to pull out that cute one you use for special occasions. I want to see what you carried today or the last time you left the house.

2)I want to know how much it cost. This is not to judge. It is purely for entertainment. So spill it. If there is a story that goes along with how you obtained it, I'd love to hear it!

3)Tag some peeps then link back here so people know why the heck you're showing all your bag business!

I can't begin to tell you how glad I am to be tagged now instead of like a year ago or so! I have started carrying less. Whew! It would have taken all day to tell you what I had. What can I say? I raise boy scouts! ;-)

So here is my purse:

I found it at a thrift store last fall for $2! I was thrilled!

And here is the contents:

The manilla envelope is a package that my mom asked me to mail for her. I need to put that on my "to do" list and finally get it mailed!

The three note books each have a separate purpose. The light blue one is a day planner for 2009. The navy blue is my notebook for the music for church. I am the music person/choir director. (Don't be impressed. I think I was just asked to do the job since my name is Melody. ;-) I also write in it as a journal. The cream colored one is a notebook Gracie Lou's gave me when I bought some material from them. It is supposed to be a weekly menu & grocery list, but I don't always use it for that.

The loose papers are a receipt for groceries I bought yesterday and a deposit slip, also from yesterday.

The cute wallet was a Christmas gift from my wonderful husband. It is a Dave Ramsey designer envelope system. It lets me have the much needed envelopes for using cash, room for a book of checks and a register, and a place to hold DEBIT cards and ID. Those who know Dave Ramsey will understand why I stressed DEBIT. :-)

Keys, keys, and more keys on a key ring. My cell phone. A brush. A shoe horn to help me get Michael's shoe on over his brace (he has CP).

And the little blue pouch with a zipper is an accessory from my last purse. Inside are the little things: a box of tic tacs, a small package of tissues, a small glasses' screwdriver, a baggie with some change and a couple dollar bills (not sure which kid put the baggie in my purse though...), and a couple of Tahitian Noni chews my mom gave to me the other day.

I tag:
Christy at Farm Dreams

Becca from the Great Mediocre

Carlie from The Evans Express

Kim from The Inadvertent Farmer

Tammy from laugh, live, learn, love

Marvelous Thing from Marvelous Pigs in Satin

Kate the Great from Dear Goodness

And I'll be watching for yours Joy! I saw that Betty already tagged you at the same time she tagged me.

Have fun ladies! I look forward to seeing your goodies!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Karen!

Today is Karen's (Josh's fiancée and my soon-to-be daughter-in-law) birthday!

Happy Birthday, Karen! I hope it has been an amazingly wonderful day for you!


The weather was great today. Not a cloud in the sky. But I'm afraid that there was still a cloud in my soul.

I'm not one who loves to revel in sadness, tragedy or depression. I bring it up because the anxiety is a strange symptom for me. One that I've never had before. I'm not sure where it is coming from. If any of you have suffered with anxiety, I would love to know what you did for it and what it stemmed from.

I am concerned about where it is coming from. I am still working on whether it is a physical problem, spiritual problem, or emotional problem. Interestingly enough, the ulcers in my esophagus have acted up again. I am sensitive to things: medicine, being out of balance, clutter, etc., so I am trying to discern what is the problem so that I can fix it. Any wisdom is greatly appreciated. (If you'd rather respond in an email, my email addy is on my profile.)

I will leave you with some beauty from my Saturday's venturing:

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Answers to "Life"

Today and yesterday I noticed that I have been anxious, which is strange, because really I don't have anything to be anxious about.

Sure, I have the day to day stresses of chauffering kids, being cook and maid, mommy and wife, but those typically don't get me down. I am thinking that it is a combination of the impending doom that the radio talk shows and the paid advertisements are selling me, along with the weather.

Who hasn't heard all of the conspiracies of the economy and isn't a bit shaken about it? Thankfully my husband has his job...but all of his fellow programmers were laid off a couple of weeks ago. He had seniority.

And then there is the worry of terrorist threats. I have heard of gatherings where "experts" are talking to people about impending biological weapons: mostly pneumonic plague. A friend told me that the expert said that a pandemic threat of pneumonic plague isn't an "if", but a "when". So as I researched it I discovered that to survive you have to determine the illness and treat the sick person within 24 hours of onset of symptoms for survival. Who can determine illness within 24 hours unless there have already been deaths with the same symptoms?

Combine all of those worries with barometric change and there is a recipe for ostrich and turtle syndrom, because if you can't see the evil that is out there, it can't hurt you. Unfortunately, anxiety and depression can follow.

The barometric pressure change really CAN cause people to have mood swings! As a preschool teacher at a commercial daycare, I would see the kids in my class boucing of the walls and being down right naughty. I would later talk to the other teachers and found that they had the same thing happen in their classes. Later when I picked up my kids from daycare, my friend, their babysitter, remarked how naughty all of the kids had been that day. She lived in the same area of town as my daycare, and it happened regularly enough that I considered my scientific theory to be fact.

So for the past two days of cloudy, stormy days, my claws and fangs have been out. I have been snippy with the kids and pretty blue and anxious.

I have tried to combat the blues with baking...I've gained about 5 pounds, so that really isn't working for me.

I have also tried "house cleaning therapy", and slowly the problem areas in my home are becoming manageable, so that one is successful.

Other than those coping techniques, I am praying more and trying to keep "abundance" in my mind. That is my word: Abundance. It seems to combat fear and frustration in my mind.

I am also excited to read more about "The Yoga of Cooking" like Beauty that Moves was talking about today.

Some quotes from her post that really moved me was, "'When we practice daily tasks like cooking or washing dishes while doing mantra, chanting, or focusing on the breath, then the whole task changes. It becomes yoga. It is taking yoga into our daily lives, having a sense of serving something larger than our small selves.' ~ Narayani Levine" and "Certain foods support mental clarity and spiritual practice, they provide balance and awareness. Other foods can drain energy, create mental fog and physical sluggishness. They can also drain your sense of peace" and "I'd love to write more about the yoga of preparing and serving food, the kitchen as sacred space." I am looking forward to more of her posts about this.

I'm also hoping that my worries will be burned off with the sunshine in the spring.

So, I guess in answer to my own question in this post from today, I clean, meditate, pray, think happy thoughts, try to find beauty and blessings around me, and visit with friends on the phone.

I would love to hear your feelings on the things that I worry about, along with ways that you cope with lifes stresses, be they big or small, real or borrowed trouble.

Have a great night. I will enjoy it more, now that my dresser is clear and dusted! That area was my cleaning therapy for today!


Does life ever get you down? Something that normally wouldn't bother you too much feels like it is the last straw?

Ever wish you could be a turtle and pull your head into your shell for a while? Or be like an ostrich and bury your head in the sand?

What do you do when you feel that way?

(picture from

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Gray Day. Bah.

It is another gray day. Snowy. Cold. With just a touch of mud under the layer of snow. My mood has followed accordingly. If weather can be considered peer pressure, I'm a pushover. And that's no bull.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentine's Weekend

Did you do anything special for Valentine's Day? Steve & I took off for the day and just hung out.

We went to an art museum first.

All State had their projects there, so we got to see all of the cream of the crop high school students' work along with the regular exhibits.

And one person had strategically located long stemmed roses and little momentos along with framed notecards telling about each item. The last item was an ENGAGEMENT RING! I almost wanted to sit and wait for him to bring his love through and see him propose!


Speaking of which, my son, Josh, got engaged to his girlfriend, Karen, this weekend too!

They are planning on getting married the last part of September. Congratulations, you two! We love you!


After the art museum we went and saw Twilight. Have you seen it? I was disappointed that they didn't flesh out the characters very well, but the story was interesting. I am going to read the book to really get to know Bella, Erik, and Edward.

We went to dinner, looking for the least crowded place available. We ended up eating some yummy Chinese food, and went to the grocery store and got some dessert.

We went and looked for second hand books after we found the library closed, then went and bought some groceries, and picked up Season 2 of HOUSE at the video store.

Do you watch HOUSE? Steve and I are addicted to it after Amber told us about it a few weeks ago. So we are catching up with the old stuff. Is House obnoxious or what?! Yeah, but as Josh and I were discussing it he told me that House reminds him of me...then he laughed and said he loved me anyway. Hum. I've seen similarities in our personalities too, but I'm not sure what to make of him reminding my son of me!

We ended up watching a couple of episodes. Cheerful stuff: Autopsy (about a 9 yog with cancer) and Acceptance (about a death row convict having hallucinations).

Yesterday Michael got to go to church after missing last week. He was soooo good! He sat still and did what he was supposed to. After church Steve went and picked up Karen and Josh and they ate Sunday dinner with us. We sang "Happy Birthday" to Steve since we finally had the whole family together. It was a very good day.

See my new header? I love that picture! I took it quite by accident (I was just clicking pics when we were stopped at stop lights - I didn't have time to carefully choose the pics I'd shoot), but it looks perfect! On Saturday we took the camera along and got some pics. I've signed up with Associated Content, and I think I'll turn in one of the pics for the weather of the week. For those of you who don't know, Associated Content is a place to go to read articles, poems, etc., but it is open to all to write or photograph and send it in for pay. Steve has done a few things with them, and I just signed up. I like the thought of making a little extra money!

I had a fun time today putting up a new look! I love changing it whenever I get the desire! I got the background from background city. Fun stuff! I'll have to post how I change thing on my Pimp My Site blog soon. It really is easy. I tried Cutest Blog on the Block's stuff but got frustrated, so I figured out (with Steve's help) how to change it myself. It has opened up a whole new world!

I hope that you had a wonderful weekend, and I'm heading over to your blog now to read all about it!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Birthday of a Very Important Man

This was today's project. And what a project it was! My bookshelves get very unruly very quickly...and I haven't straightened this one for months!!

My impetus? I mean, other than the shelves spilling over and books lying in front of the bookshelves for lack of room. My keyboard didn't work. Nope. So I had an internet free day...until I figured out that I had plugged the keyboard into the wrong slot...then I took a picture of my bookshelf and came to say hi!


Today is the birthday of a wonderful leader, creative thinker, very brave, and an exceedingly handsome man. And I'm not talking about Abraham Lincoln, although it is his birthday too.

Nope, the man that I am thinking of has been my sweetheart for 13 years. He has stuck by me through thick and thin: my second child (then 3 years old) biting him as he held her in her carseat when he and I were courting, my third child (then 2 years old) peeing on his $500 Harman Carden speakers when we'd been married for only a couple of months, and me being ornery for those several years I was pregnant with his children (#4,5,6,& 7). The man is a saint! Happy Birthday, Steve! I love you more with every passing year!


Today is Matt's Blue & Gold Banquet for cub scouts, so my family & I are off to eat a supper that I didn't have to cook. See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love."

(Image from The Nutrients of Life blog.)

I'm sure by now you have all heard about the bushfires that have occurred in Australia. The deaths. The destruction. The devastation. Sometimes it can leave me feeling very helpless, wondering what one person can do to help.

Remember yesterday how I told you that I have found some wonderful bloggers from Australia? Well, they have posted some ways that one person's help can make a difference: donations of money, donations of handmade/homemade items for auctions/sale, donations of clothing or toys. There are links on their blogs of who to contact to make such donations:

The Nutrients of Life has posted two messages: "Help Needed" and
"More Help Needed"

And Che and Fidel's post "today our country isn't so lucky" also has links to ways you can make a difference.

Please take a moment and visit these blogs, read their posts, and try to think if there might be some small way that you can help.

Remember the words of Mother Teresa: "In this life we cannot do great things. We can only do small things with great love."


P.S. Here is a site (Handmade Help: How to Be Involved) that is telling step by step how you can help if you make homemade crafty items.

There are ways to donate money for the wildlife, the red cross is seeking donations, and there are many other charities that can also use donations listed on those blogs I mentioned. Just do what you can. And don't forget that prayers help too.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Somethings old, somethings new, somethings found while I was blue...I mean sick.

After I wrote "My favorite smells" post yesterday, Joy responded, "I like all that stuff too, but health food stores always smell weird to me."

Yep, Joy, my daughter thinks that health food stores smell funny too. I like 'em. I'm not sure why. When I lived in Kentucky I loved to visit local shops run by Amish families. Their stores smelled similar to health food stores. Maybe I like the smell because there are so many fun, exciting, unique, and unusual items I have found in both. I think the "funny" smell translates to my brain as exciting. Or maybe I'm just weird...could be!

I've been doing some tidying up on the blog. I've found that cool stuff accumulates on my sidebars much in the same way as it does in my house! Yes, it's true...I'm a pack rat. So I dusted and straightened and organized a bit so that maybe my sidebar doesn't go on for a mile.

And then I added a clock to my sidebar. I saw one, I don't remember whose site I saw it on, but she lived in London. It was fun to be able to see what time it was there as compared to my own time, so I added my own clock.

I have found some very fun and interesting blogs while I've been sick the past few days. A few from Australia (Ché and Fidel, The Nutrients of Life, hazyjane), one from Japan (Collecting Leaves), one from Idaho (Laugh, Live, Learn, Love) another from Utah (ordinary life magic), and one that I'm not sure where she comes from (beauty that *she* the one from London?!) {How I hope I'm not forgetting any! They all have been fun to visit.}

It is great fun to collect favorite blogs...and I could cut down on space by not listing as many of you, but it is the interesting people in the Blogdom that attract me. When I find a blogger whose style I love I look on their sidebar to see who they read. And most of the time I find *more* bloggers that I love. Not to mention, I would love for all of you to meet each other, so I'll leave up my lengthy and growing list.

Over the past few days (of idling surfing the net on my computer while feeling like garbage) I also happened upon "How to build a $15 shipping pallet compost bin" article on This Garden is Illegal. Awesome stuff! I'll show you when I've made mine! I have enough pallets to build a barn...

I also found THE MOST WONDERFUL SITE IN THE WHOLE WORLD! Grit Magazine: Celebrating Rural Community Since 1882. And blogs on that site from homesteaders! I have loved reading some of the articles and looking at the pictures. I just can't get enough!

So that's what I've been up to. I hope you'll take a look at some of the many links I've left for you. They are good stuff!

How about you? Have you found any fun sites or blogs you'd like to pass on?

I hope that you are healthy and happy today! If you do happen to be sick, I hope that you get well very soon!

Have a great day!

Monday, February 9, 2009

My favorite smells....

clothes right out of the dryer
bread baking in the oven
newborn babies
puppy breath
cookies right out of the oven
earth right after rain
grass growing
lilacs in bloom
health food stores

What are yours?

Friday, February 6, 2009

Cabin Fever

Two posts in one day; are you impressed?

I'm afraid that I've got a bad case of cabin fever coming on. I thought I was going to love staying home and going nowhere for the second day in a row, but I'm feeling a little cooped up. So I relieved it a little bit by using some homeopathic photography, and you, my dear reader, get to see my masterpieces.

I call this one "Puppy Love"

This one is a practice in impressionism (you thought it was just blurry, didn't you?!). I'll call it "Mittens". Just take a few steps away from your monitor to be able to enhance the view.

And this will be known as "The Photographer"

I have really practiced my Impressionistic Art skills and have gotten super good at it! Why, about 1 out of every 3 pictures is perfect. Look out Monet!

A little of this, a little of that. drink the cod liver oil to help relieve dry skin? Did I read that right?

Really! Drink cod liver oil, just a little bit - like a teaspoonful, every day. It is good for your skin and your brain! Brains need fat, the good kind, every day. And your skin will love you for it. I know it sounds weird, but trust me! It works! But....your burps will be gross. Just warnin' ya.

And Betty, I like to use olive oil too. I use it on my feet. But usually the smooth skin is a nice side effect, because I use the olive oil to dilute the essential oils that I use. I know, I know, it sounds crazy. BUT, have you heard that if you have a sore throat that you should rub vicks on your feet? It is the same concept. You have lots of receptors in your feet, and when you put essential oils on them it will use the oils medicinally. So at night before you go to bed, dilute some essential oils (the kind that can be taken internally) in some olive oil (about 1/2 and 1/2 - about 3 drops of the essential oils per foot), rub it on your feet and put socks on. Your feet will thank you! And those callouses on your heels will be non-existent.

Last night I did my normal routine and went upstairs to make sure that my kids were covered up before I went to bed. As I covered Emily up, she sat straight up and just looked at me like she was half asleep. "It's okay sweetie, it's just mommy making sure you are covered up." Sleepily she replied, "I knew you'd come," and she laid down her head and went back to sleep.

What a wonderful tribute she gave me. That simple statement held a lot of power. It surprised me that she said it, but I'm so glad that she verbalized her thoughts. I'm glad that my kids are secure in me. That they "know" that they can count on me. And when they verbalize it, it is a pat on the back for me. I hope that I can always live up to their expectations.

Michael has been sick for the past few days. I felt really yucky yesterday too, but I'm feeling a bit better today. Michael seems to be feeling a bit better today. He stayed out of bed and watched some tv this morning for a while. For the rest of the week he has mostly slept. I feel so bad for my kiddos when they get sick. I hope that he will be back to his mischievous self soon.

If I don't have a chance to talk to you until Monday, I hope that you have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Q & A ... Mostly Fish Oil

See?! I knew you all knew too much about me to ask anything else! So I'll just go right to Joy's question about the Cod Liver Oil.

Joy, I take the cod liver oil by mouth and it works internally.

Right now I am struggling to find some cod liver oil that works. My chiropractor is the only person I know who sells Premier Research Labs Products (whose pricey products I love)...and he is backordered. :-( So I have been out of my "Quantum Cod Liver Oil" for over a week. My skin is dry. Not bleeding dry yet, but I feel like an alligator. And my lips! They were so chapped a few days ago! So I'm trying to find a new brand that I can fall back on.

I visited a local health food store yesterday, and picked up a middle-of-the-road in price cod liver oil. I bought the capsules thinking that they would be better than liquid....but those suckers were huge! I about choked! So I had to bite the second one open, suck out the oil (it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be) and spit out the vegetable capsule. We'll see how this one works. I'll keep you posted. Sounds like something a lot more important when I promise that "You'll read it here first!" doesn't it? Okay, maybe not.

I used to use Udo's Oil for my Ogega 3, 6, & 9's, but I had dry skin constantly even when I used it religiously. In September my chiropractor suggested that I use a fish oil instead. He explained that the fish process the seaweed and other "vegetable oils" into a form that is easier for some to utilize. So I tried it and I'm hooked! My husband, Steve, bought some cheap fish oil at the grocery store for me soon after I took my last of the good stuff, but it didn't work.

Yesterday after I told him I went to the health food store he mentioned taht Carlson's cod liver oil is supposed to be good, and I did see that in the health food store, but I didn't get it because it was a liquid and I thought it would be nasty, but after sucking the oil out of my capsule, I with that I would have tried it.

Good luck, Joy, with your dry skin. I am hoping that both of us can get some relief..and soon!

Have a great day, all!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Good news!

My very good "real life" friend's husband found a job!!! Hurray for Maren and TGH! Congratulations you two! I am soooo happy for you!

I didn't realize how much I am affected by the lives of my friends, but I am so relieved for them. The storm clouds in my soul have lifted!

Earlier today I did a "25 Things I Love Meme" and was ask a question by Joy, so here is what I'm going to do. If you have a question regarding the 25 Thing Meme or anything else about me (but what don't you know?!) write it in the comments and tomorrow I will answer all of your questions when I post, okie dokie?

I'm off to join Maren in the TGH-has-a-job-dance as I make dinner!

25 Things I ♥ Meme

Are you ready for a Meme?

This one is tricky...25 things?! The sheer number of things to come up with is overwhelming, isn't it?! I'm changing it a bit and titling it:
The 25 Things I ♥ Meme

1. Let's start with this one: I ♥ these bumble bees! Be Different...Act Normal is having major giveaways. The bumble bees are what I love. So, by pointing you in her direction, I get to add one more comment in the drawing! Wish me luck, because....

2. This is what I'll do with those bumble bees: I will put them on a wall with this poem:
What do you suppose?
A bee sat on my nose.
Then what do you think?
He gave me a wink
And said,”I beg your pardon,
I thought you were the garden.”
-English Rhyme-

Too cute, huh?!

3. I love avacados. I do! Sprinkle generously with Redmond's Organic Natural Garlic Salt and it is heavenly.

4. I have really dry skin in the winter. I have hands that crack and bleed. BUT! This winter I have taken *good* cod liver oil (not the garbage at the grocery stores) and my hands have been soft and smooth! Never! has this happened in the last 6 years since I moved to the dry climate in Utah.

5. I love Vitamin B. When I am feeling out of control I take my vitamin B and it makes me feel much better. Standard Process has good vitamin B.

6. I love "warm" smelling shampoo and conditioner in the winter. My favorite is Suave's Vanilla Floral shampoo and conditioner, because I'm all about cheap! And I love the smell!

7. My very favorite soap is Oil of Olay with shea butter. Just regular bar soap. It is wonderful for dry skin!

8. My all time favorite hair spray is the Aussie aerosol. Sorry about that. I know it isn't great for the ozone, but it is terrific for my hair. It is the biggest "un-green" thing I do. The pump hairspray leaves my hair crunchy, but the aerosol has great hold without the sticky hairspray feeling.

9. I love coffee mugs. The bigger ones. With cute pictures. Each member of my family has their own mug with its own design. It is how we tell our cups apart and I don't spend my day washing hundreds of cups!

10. I love Redmond Real Salt. I love that it is *real* salt. Real Salt also sells: Garlic Salt, Onion Salt, and Seasoning Salt. ♥ it!

11. I love good smelling dish detergent. It is why I buy the detergent I do. Hey, if I have to wash loads of dishes to clean up after my family of 8, I want to enjoy it!

12. I love Young Living Farms and their essential oils! Steve signed us up as resellers/representatives last year, but we haven't done much with it yet. But we buy our own stuff. And I LOVE Lavendar Days! I am so excited for it! I love the wagon rides around the fields of herbs...the smell is wonderful and relaxing. Only five more months!

13. I love getting my hair cut! And I love that Merrilee cuts my hair with such skill. I never have to worry about her cutting it wrong, so I can just relax and visit with her. I found her about 5 years ago and have always been pleased with her cuts.

14. I love good books! I am half-way through The Long Winter after starting it last night. If I could choose one book for everyone to read, it would be this one by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

15. I love art. I can get lost for hours in art museums!

16. I love to write poetry, but I'm shy about sharing it. Steve is about the only person who has read most of what I have written.

17. I love to draw. I'd love to learn to paint better. And if I could simply master lighting I would be so happy!

18. I love to take pictures. Photography has always been something I've been interested in.

19. I love to eat good food. This one should be separated in half: "healthy food that tastes wonderful and makes me feel great" and "non-healthy but tastes fabulous" food. My favorite treat is "bars". Here is the recipe:

2 sticks melted butter
3 cups graham crackers
Mix together and pat onto the bottom of a 9" x 13" pan.

Put the following layer on top (in order):
2 cups coconut
2 cups chocolate chips
2 cans sweetened condensed milk

Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. Let cool completely. Try not to devour. ;-)

20. I ♥ Patchwork!

21. Tide Detergent! Stains are rarely left behind when I use this miracle worker!

22. I love Better Homes & Gardens "Dream Gardens" Calendars! If I can't have a dream garden of my own at least I can enjoy the pic in my kitchen!

23. Girl Scout Cookies! Be Different...Act Normal has recipes! Hello, Thin Mints! There goes the diet....

24. I ♥ my favorite tv shows! Smallville & Chuck are my absolute favs! House is alright, but man he gets on my nerves! I also love oldies: Cosby Show, Mad About You, Andy Griffith, Brady Bunch, Gilligan's Island....

25. I love to laugh. I love to be silly. I am one of those people who laugh at their own jokes. And sometimes....I snort. Laughter really *is* the best medicine!!

If you'd like to do this Meme, let me know when you post it, okay? You can make up 25 of anything: stuff you love, random things about you, favorite Christmas presents you've ever gotten....whatever. Have fun!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Catching Up

This was a forgotten pic on my camera from a couple of weeks ago. Would you look at that rooster in the background?! Isn't he gorgeous?? He is a mix between an Old English Bantam roo and a Pheonix hen. His coloring is absolutely gorgeous. Look at his golden hackles! Ahhh. His sister is right behind him, but Phoenix and Old English hens look similar, so she just looks typical. But the rooster on the other hand....a Clark Gable among chickens, I'd say!


Because of back pain I didn't get many things done in the past few days that I wanted to. One of the things that fell by the wayside was pick out a new scripture for the "Memorize 24 Scriptures a Year" challenge. So today I'll rectify that!

Here is my new scripture that I'll be working on:
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Matthew 11: 28-30

What this scripture means me is that I'm not alone. He has offered to share a yoke with me to bear everything that is given to me. I was going to enumerate, but I don't need to. You all understand what a mom, wife, and daughter of God has to bear. Mine might be a little different than yours, but we can all empathize with each other. What a glorious thing to know that I (and you) have Christ to help along the path!

If you want to join in on the Scripture Challenge it isn't too late, just drop a note at Be Still Beth


Later today I might get around to thinking about the 25 Things About Me meme. I have some friends out there that have given a blanket "anyone who reads this blog is tagged", so I ought to be honest, huh?!


Amber might have strep throat. blah. Her bff has it and they are inseparable...and Amber has a cough, feels like she has a fever, and has a sore throat. Gross. I want to nip that one in the bud before the entire family gets it!!


On to more cheerful news, Josh and Karen came to visit yesterday. It is always nice when Josh comes home to visit! And Karen is such a joy to have around!

Josh gave me some Chips Ahoy cookies for my birthday, the sweet kid! I love those things!

I do wish I would have been up to cooking for them though. We just had pancakes and eggs for supper that Jared helped me make. It was a far cry from the pot roast I had promised, though. Oh well, there will be other times for pot roast, or something else equally nice that they'd like.


I hope that all of you are doing well! I really enjoy reading all of your blogs. I also visit all blogs of commenters and because of that my reading list keeps getting longer and longer! Thanks for that! ;-) I check over all of the blogs on my "Places to Go and People to See" everyday. I need to be better at leaving comments, though. I know that I love reading your comments on my blog, so I need to do likewise.

Well, I'm rambling, so have a great day and I'll be seeing you on your blogs next!

Monday, February 2, 2009


All weekend my back hurt, so today I went to the chiropractor. I'll be glad when it's tomorrow...the first day always feels the worst, doesn't it?!

I finished Honey for a Child's Heart for the second time. It is such a wonderful book! She talked about sharing books with your children. She commented that the characters in the books are like good friends, and shared books means that you and your child have shared friends as well.

She told about her son getting in a situation of peer pressure that could have been harmful if he went along with the crowd, but at that pivotal moment, a book about a similar situation came to mind. Since the outcome of the book's peer pressure moment had turned out so badly, her son knew what he must do, and he chose to do the right thing.

She said that at first it was she and her husband recommending books for their children, but as their children got older, they started recommending beloved books for their parents to share as well.

I love this quote from the book:
"As Christian parents we are concerned about building whole people- people who are alive emotionally, spiritually, intellectually. The instruction to train up a child in the way he should go encompasses so much more than teaching him the facts of the gospel. It is to train the child's character, to give him high ideals, and to encourage integrity. It is to provide largeness of thought, creative thinking, imaginative wondering - an adequate view of God and His world. He can never really appreciate the finest without personal redemption. But many a redeemed person lives in a small insecure world because he has never walked with God into the larger place which is His domain. We have books and the Book at our disposal to use wisely for God's glory.

A young child, a fresh uncluttered mind, a world before him - to what treasures will you lead him? With what will you furnish his spirit?" (pp 21)

What wonderful places children (and adults!) can go in books! What awesome people we can meet! And what great lessons we can learn, even from dangerous situations, while we sit safely on the sofa.

When my older children were small I would admonish them to choose their books carefully, because the people in those books would be their closest friends for the next several days as they were reading those books. If the characters didn't have the same principles we did, it was likely that my children would learn bad habits, even if it was to be sad or naughty, from them. I hope they continue to think of those things as they pick out books for themselves that I am now unfamiliar with.

Reading is a wonderful opportunity for growth and learning. Through The Long Winter I learned that I need to be prepared for emergencies and to never take things for granted. By the way, that is the next month's book on my reading list for the book club.

I hope that you will read Honey for a Child's Heart with me this month, and be sure and let me know what you think of it, will you?