Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Coffee Bean made me do it! ;-)


As I was reading Coffee Bean on The Righteous Buzz, she gave me the link to.... a personality test!

Anyone who has stuck around my blog for any length of time knows I'm a sucker for a personality test. So I took it, and here are the results:

Your view on yourself: Other people find you very interesting, but you are really hiding your true self. Your friends love you because you are a good listener. They'll probably still love you if you learn to be yourself with them.

The type of girlfriend/boyfriend you are looking for: You are a true romantic. When you are in love, you will do anything and everything to keep your love true.

Your readiness to commit to a relationship: You are ready to commit as soon as you meet the right person. And you believe you will pretty much know as soon as you might that person.

The seriousness of your love: You are very serious about relationships and aren't interested in wasting time with people you don't really like. If you meet the right person, you will fall deeply and beautifully in love.

Your views on education: Education is very important in life. You want to study hard and learn as much as you can.

The right job for you: You're a practical person and will choose a secure job with a steady income. Knowing what you like to do is important. Find a regular job doing just that and you'll be set for life.

How do you view success: You are confident that you will be successful in your chosen career and nothing will stop you from trying.

What are you most afraid of: You are concerned about your image and the way others see you. This means that you try very hard to be accepted by other people. It's time for you to believe in who you are, not what you wear.

Who is your true self: You are mature, reasonable, honest and give good advice. People ask for your comments on all sorts of different issues. Sometimes you might find yourself in a dilemma when trapped with a problem, which your heart rather than your head needs to solve.

If you want to find out just who you are too ;-), just click
here:


I do like the personality test. Like all personality tests, it isn't 100% perfect, but it *is* darn near.

Have a great one!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Caution: Ranting.

So it happened again. I took Jared to the diabetes clinic again today. And met with the same nurse.

Last night I had to call her because Jared's blood sugar level went down to 46. She dismissed it. It wasn't *that* low. (BTW, he found it low, not because he *felt* low, but because I went against the nurses direction to not test except before breakfast, lunch, dinner, and bedtime, and had him check 2 hours after eating to make sure his dose of insulin was doing exactly what it needed to be doing. He was zoned out watching tv and didn't notice how awful he felt.)

And then today, when she said "So you checked his blood sugar in the middle of the night, I assume, and found that he was still alive." I said, yeah, and then this morning he was going to go to school without eating anything at all until lunch until I found out and made him eat some of his lunch for breakfast and went and bought him a sandwich to replace his lunch. She replied that it is perfectly okay to fast. WTH?? And then pulled out a pamphlet about rules for family and friends of a diabetic which states that he has the right to no one looking over his shoulder at his blood sugar numbers. That unsolicited advice is not welcome. and the list of "rules" of "politeness" went on and on. And she gave it to him, right after I was telling her about this morning's problems!

Then, later on, she told a story of how a girl managed her diabetes just right, and then one day she had enough and ate the entire carton of ice cream in the freezer and didn't adjust her insulin. "And that's okay." she said. To which Steve piped up and told Jared, "What she means is, it isn't okay to eat all of the ice cream and not adjust her insulin, but that she needed to realize that she made a mistake and just move on and do what she should from there." The nurse, without acknowledging Steve said, "It's okay." Again, WTH??

Then another RN/CDE (certified diabetes educator) came in the room and the first nurse told him how she'd given Jared the pamphlet. He (the RN/CDE) then told about this cartoon that he thought was so hilarious. This boy is sitting at the kitchen table and his mother walks in and asks if he's taken his blood sugar. Through gritted teeth the boy said "yes" and she goes on "harassing" him while the boy is disgusted at her. And he said that he loves showing the pediatric kids that cartoon. Then, I'm not sure if he saw my jaw dropped to the ground or what, but he said, "And that just goes to show that if you manage your diabetes correctly, you're mom won't have to (I don't remember the exact word he used) nag you". AGAIN! WTH?????

So then, he said that he needed to manage his own diabetes, and because I'd practiced all day long I piped up (and startled myself, to be honest) and said, "I disagree." He looked at me and said, "Okay. Why?" To which I stated what I've been thinking for the past 2 weeks: Because he is 15! Because I still have to remind him to take a shower, and change his socks and underwear. He is a great kid, very smart, but he is *just* a kid. And he doesn't have to do this alone. Our family is on his team to help him." To which he replied that I am not a player on team. That *he* is the player on the team, and I'm the coach. (which really, has meant nothing. They do not talk to me, they talk to Jared only.) To which I replied, "Right, which means that I *make* the rules and he *follows* the rules." (cheering from the inside of my head right now!!)

I have *never* been treated like this when I've taken a kid to the doctor. At other occasions the docs ask how "mom" is doing and reassure that they understand that this is just as hard on the parents. Not at this place. And I've had it.

I hate the fact that they made me feel so...so...overprotective, and that vigilance is a bad thing. I hate that they encourage rebelliousness. That they portray mothers as something to put up with. It just isn't right.

So, with Debra's help, I'll set up an appointment with a pediatric diabetes doc. Hopefully they will foster healthy family cohesion. Hopefully they won't simply dismiss an idea simply because the mother said it. Hopefully they will teach Jared that if you make a mistake it *is not okay*, but something to be accepted and move on, ready to do better in the future.

Sorry for the rant, but thanks for listening.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What I want to be. Now.

I've finally decided what I want to be: a Validator. Someone who validates. Someone who accepts another's beliefs & thoughts to be valid. Because you know what? I am sooooo thankful for the validators in my life!

You bloggy friends are some of my validators. My friends are my validators, too. And lately witih Jared being recently diagnosed, I have met a lady named Debra who is my hero.

Debra is holding my hand as I try to figure out everything from Jared's blood sugar patterns to purchasing the myriad prescriptions for him. She helps me coordinate his care, helping me find a new doctor that will be a better match for us, and guiding me toward a company for prescriptions that will help my costs be lower.

During the first call when her department was asking if I'd like their services and I said yes, the woman said, "Help is on the way.", and I cried. Those words are amazing when you feel so alone.

And today I saw Michael's previous therapist at the grocery store. I talked to her about the new therapist wanting to cast Michael's good hand so that he'll use his hand affected by CP more. I told her I thought it was mean, and she agreed. She told me why she felt it wasn't the best treatment in all cases. And I felt so relieved. Because occassionally there are people in my life who make me doubt myself and my mothering skills.

Jared's current doctor's nurse is one who makes me feel overprotective and irrational. She is constantly reminding me to put more of the responsibility of his diabetes on him. Which I don't understand because he *does* a lot of the treatment of his diabetes. He counts his carbs and figures out his insulin and injects himself. I just supervise. I will double check his math or Steve does, because too much insulin is way to dangerous to not double check it. And I steer him towards more healthful eating. In the visits with her, I take notes because I know Jared won't. He likes to just put the information in his memory; I like the hard copy, if you will.

So this past week I have really questioned myself. I have become angry and teary when I have to talk to them/her. And really, I hate feeling that way.

So thank heavens for Debra, who said that she had felt a pediatric doctor would be best ever since she took on Jared's case. And that she didn't think I was overprotective at all. That she thought it wouldn't be wise to make a 15 year old boy be solely responsible for such an intense treatment disease, especially where he is so new to it. Bless her.

So there you go. I want to be a validator too. I want to help people see that their feelings are valid when they are. And help them feel good about their good choices.

I guess I feel that my "overprotectiveness" is what caught his diabetes so early anyway. My connectedness with my kid(s) is what made me notice when things weren't right. And then my "irrational" determination to figure out what was wrong was what led to putting 2 and 2 together. But instead of a pat on the back with praise for a good deed, I got a pat on the head for overprotectiveness with condescension.

I have known that validation is very important, and I have striven to validate others. But that is what I want to always be: a Validator. The one who will lift those who are feeling uncertain to know that they are doing well. It is a lofty goal, but one I can feel good about.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday Stillness

Yesterday, Steve & I went for a drive up the canyon. It was such a beautiful, sunshiny day that we wanted to be outside. We drove up as high as we could, right to the closed gate. There was still snow up there:







The river was rushing, tumbling over all of the rocks and boulders in its way.


And then I saw this:

This spot seems cozy. If I were a deer, this is where I would lie down to rest.

c      d      c      d      c      d




And I realized that I forgot to introduce my fairy friend to you in yesterday's post. My family gave me this fairy statue for Mother's Day year before last. She lives in my garden, forever reading under the lilac tree. I ♥ her!


Wishing you peace throughout your day,

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Weekend Wish for You



I hope that you have a wonderfully relaxing weekend doing the things that make you happy!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Pictures from the hike


Last month while I was deeply engrossed in the Twighlight series, Steve hiked in the mountains without me. (Those books are sooo addicting!) He brought me back some pics, though:







Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Just a bunch of randomness


I avoided the blog for the past couple of days while my sleep deprived, angry mind rested. You know, like Thumper's rule of "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothin' at all."

But I'm feeling better now. I think. Well, mostly.

Jared is managing his diabetes well. He is becoming a master at carb counting. I am becoming more comfortable with the whole thing. Well, mostly.

And then there was Tax Day. Last month we finally got our $1000 in the emergency fund like Dave Ramsey suggests. Then Steve did the taxes. And the $1000 is now on its way to Utah State. Bah. I hope they use it to plow roads next winter. And salt them. So that I can safely get from point A to point B without sliding all over the road again. But it is probably too much to hope for. But I'm not bitter!

Steve took some pictures on our walk the other day. They turned out really good. Here are a couple:





And I got my haircut yesterday. I love getting it cut short (like to my shoulders) in the spring. It is just a shorter version of what I already had, so it isn't too exciting, but it is a wonderful change to me. I'll show you the pic that I sent to Steve's email yesterday. I take horrible self shots and the lighting is bad, but at least you can see the wonderful shortness of it!



Oh! and I found a great quiz. It is called the What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test. Do you love quizes like I do??? Well, this one is easy and painless. You just have to look at paintings and choose the ones you like best. The quiz description states, "A university study has determined through it's experimentations that a person's personality has a lot to do with the style of paintings they prefer." And it is pretty darn accurate, too! I am super impressed with it.

Go take the quiz! Come on, it'll be fun!

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What I did over the first weekend of Spring Break


Jared & I got to go away from home this weekend, the first weekend of his Spring Break. We had room service, well, Jared did, I had to go to the cafeteria. And we had maid service. I got to sleep somewhere other than home, which is something I've wanted to do lately. But the real estate agents are right. What matters really is location, location, location. Because while where we went took care of our needs, it certainly wasn't the vacation I've longed for.

See, to enjoy such things, I've realized that you have to be in good health, which just wasn't the case.

After watching Jared's dark circles around his eyes get darker and darker, and listening to him get up for the last couple of weeks and pee during the night, and listening to him tell stories of how sometimes he can see the teacher's whiteboard clearly, but other times it seemed blurry, and how his friends have taken to slapping his hands that turn purplish during school time because sometimes that makes them go back to a normal color, I finally realized what was going on and took his blood sugar level on Saturday morning before he had a chance to eat. And I found that his blood sugar level was 282. While I was calling the doctor's office, he ate sausage gravy on homemade whole wheat bread and his levels went up to 383.

So we took him into the doc on call and he had Jared pee in a cup. Sure enough, there was sugar in his pee. After getting the results, the doc came in and told us that my boy has Type 1 Diabetes.

So over the weekend Jared & I stayed at the hospital and learned about managing diabetes. It isn't as bad as it once was. They taught us that damage isn't done to the body unless high blood sugars are sustained. So we'll keep his blood sugars down in a certain level with insulin and he should be just fine.



So, I'm learning to count carbs. For instance, did you know that a 1 oz. cookie and 1 oz. of bread have about 15 carbs? I didn't. But a 1 oz piece of bread is bigger than the 1 oz cookie. And for every 15 carbs he has to have unit of insulin. Carbs are found in lots of things, even sugar free candy as we found out on Easter Sunday.

I am a person who likes to see the silver lining. "It could be worse" is my mantra. So for me, discovering that most poor kids are lethargic when they finally discover they have diabetes, and Jared just looked like he was sick with some unknown flu bug makes me feel thankful that I had a glucometer around to check him with and catch his early in the game. The fact that he was diagnosed in 2009, instead of in some past decade when they had less knowledge and diabetes seemed like a death sentence, makes me feel thankful. That we were only there for Saturday, Sunday, and through to Monday afternoon is wonderful. That we get to learn how to manage diabetes this week during Spring Break instead of my kids missing a ton of school is amazing luck. That we had such knowledgeable people surrounding us with love, good wishes, and a vast amount of information to make Jared's life more enjoyable makes me humbled and oh so grateful. And they gave me their cell phone numbers to call anytime, which relieves me. And knowing that we'll come home and be helped through life by such wonderful family and friends is tremendously comforting.



And he is thankful that he feels so much better. Better than he has in months, so he tells me. So he just couldn't quit smiling for the pictures I snapped for his scrapbook.

It could have been worse. So much worse. So while it was tiring to have to wake up with him at 3 am last night to make sure his blood sugar levels hadn't plummeted, how glad I am that he woke up. And he was glad that he had a reason to eat some of that dried pineapple that we bought yesterday for when his blood sugars were low. He wasn't very low, but after reaching up to 403, 80 seems low to his body for now. He was a bit shaky and feeling funny, which is what a low feels like, so he ate some pineapple and came right back up.

And I got to sleep in my own bed without having to dash out of the house at 6 to make sure I can talk with the doc when he comes around for rounds like I did Monday morning. Or sleep on a fold out chair that I can feel all of the springs and bars and wake up every 3 hours to check on Jared like on Saturday night.

Managing Jared's diabetes will become routine and normal and second nature. And for that I am truly grateful.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Something to brighten the day


Back in January I made a playlist to beat the blues. All upbeat songs, mostly Country. I figured that moods take a nose dive after Christmas, and the playlist would lift me and any who listened. I think I've discovered that I need the playlist more right about March. By then I'm sick of winter, but living it Utah, winter isn't ready to let up. So. My January playlist is back. You'll have to turn it on manually, but it's there, on my sidebar. If you are having grey skies in your soul, take a listen. If you like Country, you'll like these songs and they'll brighten the greyest skies!

Have a great weekend! And smile: It's finally Friday!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Oh the places I'll go to eat my green eggs and ham.

And when you're alone, there's a very good chance
you'll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

(Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss)



I saw this formidable guard standing lookout next to my neighbor's pasture fence last evening when Steve dragged me out on a walk. I wasn't much in the mood for a walk, but I did want to get out of the house. We didn't go to far, thank heavens! Typically I love going on walks, but my back has been achy as of late. I think it is the stormy weather affecting the arthritis. But finding "the guard" on duty made it all worthwhile.

I need to get in shape and strengthen my core. (To bad exercise isn't my cup of tea.) Steve went to physical therapy a couple of times for his back trouble, and they gave him some exercises. (That man loves to exercise! He thinks running is fun! I think it is something to do only when Michael runs away.) Because of his persistence encouragement, we both did some of those core strengthening exercises last night, too.

We both did "the plank" and "the side plank"

(image from www.goodhousekeeping.com)


(pic from www.amazingabdominals.com)



And then he did "the torpedo". I opted out of this one.


(pic from www.iposture.com)

Man, they are tough! My daughter was laughing at us and saying we were just old if that was hard. I kept telling her to try it before she passed judgement!

Steve reminds me very much of Sam-I-am in Green Eggs and Ham when it comes to exercise. He wanted me to go for a walk with him, then do the back exercises,

You do not like them. So you say.
Try them! Try them!And you may.
Try them and you may, I say.


even though I protested.

I do not like green eggs and ham!
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

Sam! If you will let me be,
I will try them. You will see.


But just like in the book, I'm ready for some more.

Say! I like green eggs and ham!
I do! I like them, Sam-I-am!
And I would eat them in a boat.
And I would eat them with a goat...

And I will eat them in the
rain.
And in the dark. And on a train.
And in a car. And in a tree.
They are so good, so good, you see!

So I will eat them in a box.
And I will eat them with a fox.
And I will eat them in a house.
And I will eat them with a mouse.
And I will eat them here and there.
Say! I will eat them ANYWHERE!
I do so like
green eggs and ham!


So tonight, I will go for another walk and strenghten my core some more.

Thank you!
Thank you, Sam-I-am!


So, yes, thank you, my Sam-I-am!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things....




The blossoms survived the snow! A week ago my apricot tree started blossoming. The next day it snowed. The snow stayed for several days, saddening me at the thoughts of no apricot jam or fresh apricot smoothies.

Then, on Monday the days warmed again. I ventured a glance at the apricot tree and saw fresh blossoms and bees buzzing around getting their fill of the sweet nectar, and all the while pollinating my apricot blossoms. My prayers were answered!



I will love making the apricot jam this year! I will see it as a wonderful miracle.




And this? This is my nicest cat. We have had many cats over the years of living on the farm. Most were as good as feral; we had them simply to keep down the mice.

We have had only a handful that have wound themselves around my heart, and this is one of them.

His name is Mittens. He loves people. He will allow us to cradle him like a baby. He will nap on our laps. He is angelic.

May our lives with Mittens be long.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

No Ulcers!

I'm not going to write much today, since my thought processes are still clouded over by the drugs they used for the EGD, but the ulcers are GONE! (Don't have a clue what I'm talking about? You can read about it here and here.)

Thanks for your prayers and positive energies you've been sending my way, I greatly appreciate them! Talk with you again soon,

Monday, April 6, 2009

Whirlwind Weekend



This weekend was wonderfully busy. My sister and her family from out of state were here visiting this weekend, so Steve, our kids & I, along with my other sister and her husband, kids and their kids had a great time getting together and visiting this weekend.

On Saturday the day consisted of a natural history museum trip where we saw some live reptiles too, and on to Chuck E Cheese Pizza for some hard core playtime! The kids had a blast, and the adults had a great time visiting and watching the little ones' eyes light up with delight.

Then on Sunday, we got together at my sister's house, had a bar-b-que supper and everyone played Dance Dance Revolution. Okay, so I sucked, but everyone had a great time!

We also took a family photo with all those present. Too bad our brothers couldn't be there, but it couldn't be helped.



It is funny to look at the pic and realize that this is really just 3 sisters and their families! My older sister (9 years older than me) has three kids and each of them are married(her "baby" boy is engaged) and one of her daughters has two kids of her own, my younger sister (13 years younger than me) has three kids (they are all still little), and I have six kids with one engaged. Wow! That is a lot of people!

It was great to just spend time visiting. Now it's back to work with school and housekeeping!

Have a great day!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Happy Birthday, dear Jared...


My boy turned 15 a few days ago...not much of a boy anymore, I suppose.





I'm pleased to say that he is growing into a fine young man. He stays out of trouble, gets good grades, does his chores without much complaining, and is learning to be chilvalrous. His teachers, friends, and family all love him. Happy birthday Jare-bear! Hum, do you mind if I still call you Jare-bear, Jare-bear?



This is when he most looks like "Jare-bear". Wasn't he cute? This was when he was 8. His favorite things to do back then was to climb trees, catch crawdads, turtles, and salamanders. This was the age he was when his jr. Sunday school teacher brought me a copy of the next week's lesson and told me that it was for Jared. She explained that she had given the lesson and starting asking some questions about it, and Jared said that he didn't think it was fair that she asked them the questions when she had the answers in her book. So she asked if he wanted to study the lesson the week before and he said yes. LOL! That's my boy.

It was also the year that he went up to Steve and said, "Hey Dad, where is your Honey?"...yes, he was looking for me. And another time he went to Steve and said, "I'm not very happy with your wife right now." When he was 3 or 4 he dashed into the kids' bedroom with the peanut butter bottle and a spoon, looked quickly around and dashed under the bed and asked the other kids, "Have you seen Mom?" He was my Dennis the Menace, though he never *meant* to be naughty.

Oh! Here is a funny story! When he was about 2 we were visiting some friends who managed a motel. Their apartment was connected to the motel's check in desk by swinging doors (you know the old western swinging bar doors? Those were the ones!). Jared went through the door and paused before clearing the door's swinging range. The doors came back and hit him in the behind. He turned around, glared at the doors, and hit them! They came right back and smacked him. So he hit them harder! And they hit him again. Finally, determined to get even without suffering retribution, he hit the doors as hard as he could, turned around, and ran.

Back then he was an adorable little boy with big, squeezable cheeks and Dennis the Menace naughtiness. Today, he is a young man who opens doors for women, is kind to children, helps little old ladies across the street (figuratively speaking, though he does help his grandma with whatever she needs), and is kind to animals.

AND he shows up as #1 on Google if you search for "Pioneer Son".

I love you Jare!
♥< >< >< >< >< >♥< >< >< >< >< >♥< >< >< >< >< >♥

Hey, here is a funny thing. As I was lying in bed, I looked up at the ceiling and the lampshade was casting some funky shadows. Take a look at this!

With flash - how it normally appears:



And without flash:



Way cool! It reminds me of a color wheel. That night there were two sources of light happening. First, there was the computer moniter's light (we always watch House, Chuck, or Smallville on our computer before bed) and light from the closet. The shadows cast were from different light sources. Cool huh?!

Well, tomorrow I'm going to check in with the eye doc. I need to get my glasses prescription changed. Not because I'm seeing things like color wheels on my ceiling, but because I'm squinting a lot as I read. One of these days I'll be like the other older women whose arms simply aren't long enough to hold their books while they read them.

And on Tuesday I go in for my 6 month check-up with an EGD with the gastro doc. I'm not looking forward to it. If you remember, I have ulcers on my esophogus...and I think they're back (you can read my whole story here and here. They were completely gone for about a month, right before Christmas. But now there are moments when I feel the discomfort again. It isn't as bad as back in September, but I think I'm going to have to go on the meds, dang it. I have tried to be so good. But I'm refusing to worry until after the appt. & I have to. We'll see.

Anyway, I'll try to drop in sometime this weekend, but if not, I'll see you next week. I'll for sure let you know the results of the EGD.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Look what I found!


So last night was my first Bernina sewing machine class. My back was killing me, and I was having terrifying thoughts of carrying my machine upstairs where the class is usually held. I ran by JoAnn's to see if they had a case with wheels so that I just had to pull the machine most of the way, and hope that April was right and some guy would be at the class and chivalrously offer to carry my machine up the stairs. But alas, no wheeled bags. So they called another store close by who said they did have the cases I was looking for, and at a reasonable price. BUT there was no time to get the bag & get to class by 6:30, so I decided I'd dash up there after class and save my back next week.

Class went well. It was held on the main floor, so there wasn't any stair climbing. The other ladies were cheerful and fun. The instructor and lesson was easy to understand, and I came out of there knowing more about the buttons, controls, and able to take apart the bobbin case, clean it, and oil it. Success!

After class I dashed up to the other JoAnn's, who would be closing in 15 minutes after leaving my class and was located in another close-by town. They were open! So I grabbed the case I liked and left the store. Another success!

By now I really had to go to the bathroom. Home was 1/2 hour away, and I couldn't wait. So I decided to go to Barnes and Noble bookstore. My plan was to hurry to the restroom and afterward pretend to browse so that they didn't think I only went in there to use the bathroom, and then hurry home to get the kidlets to bed. As I walked down the middle isle there was a sign on a table: "Homesteading" and the table was covered with homesteading classics: Back to Basics, Encyclopedia of Country Living (10th Edition?!), Chickens in Your Backyard, a book of square inch gardening for those with small plots of garden space, a few on beekeeping...and then I saw THEM!

Ball: Complete Book of Home Preserving; 400 delicious and creative recipes for today, and The Backyard Homestead edited by Carleen Madigan!

I tried to leave the store without them, because I had not budgetted money for books this payday. But looking through them I was so enamoured I just couldn't. So I bought both of them. What treasures! Probably the Ball book doesn't need much commentary, since the name speaks for itself, but The Backyard Homesteader is filled with great stuff like (listed on the back):
Learn how to:
milk a goat * prune a fruit tree * dry herbs * make dandelion wine * bake whole-grained bread * tap a maple tree * make fresh mozzarella * brew beer * mill grains for flour * save seeds for next season, and a whole lot more!

I was impressed with being taught which grains are easily hulled, which are hardy, which are difficult. How to check out a goat and find which will be the best milker. Planting fruit vines and trees and how to care for each. Making your own vinegar - even the fun herbal kinds. How to start a hot bed to extend the growing season - even through the winter! *All* about herbs. How to braid garlic which makes it cute & practical storage. How to make cider, ale, and wine. Best variety of crops for beginners. And much more! It is the best of lots of other books combined into one! And how jealous I was to learn that the woman lives on an organic farm outside of Boston! Life doesn't get much better than that, does it?!

So I came home toting my unbudgetted purchases totally over $100 into the house, and Steve, without criticizing, just starts looking at the books (he glanced at the sewing tote, but he wasn't really impressed, the MAN! :-) and then he fell in love with the homesteading book too. He sat and looked at it longer than I did. Good thing for me that he never thinks books are a waste of money!

I see more preserving in my future! With 400 recipes, how could I not! Looking at the pictures makes me want to fill up shelves and shelves full of delicious and beautiful food from my garden.

And maybe I'll try to sew a bit today too. I *hate* cutting out the material for my quilt blocks, and my friend told me about charm packs with precut material. That might be something right up my ally! But for now, get out the rotary cutter, here I come! ;-)

Have a great one!