Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bring On the Rain!

Hello friends! How is the weather in your neck of the woods? It's very cool and rainy here today. Last weekend it was in the upper 90's and fairly humid (although nothing too awful to bear), but a cool front came in last night bringing rome rain showers with it. The windows are open and the sound of gentle rain is wafting through the house. Beautiful

As promised (albeit a little late), let me tell ya all about my wee little garden! I'm so excited because we haven't had a garden for a few years (and that attempt didn't work out too well, although I'm not sure why). This one was tough to start because the garden location was all grass. That was a WORK OUT. 6 days later and my blisters are almost completely healed, and the manual turning of earth is all but forgotten.

Here is the short list of crops I'm hoping to harvest later this season:

~corn (Honey and Cream Hybrid)

~cucumbers (Burpee picklers)

~watermelons (Crimson Sweet)

~pumpkins (Jack-o-Lanterns)

~peas (Sugar Snap)

~tomatoes (I purchased this seedling earlier this season & can't remember what type it is)

So far, I have sprouts from some of the corn, pumpkins, and watermelons. I think I see a couple peas also, but it's hard to differentiate between sprouts and weeds when they're just poking through :)

This is the beginning of a hopeful journey to simpler living. Really, having a garden and producing your own veggies (and fruits if you're lucky) is not at all simpler than trekking to teh grocery store and picking something off the shelf. However, I will know where these came from. I will know what was put on (or not put on) them. I will know that these veggies didn't use any energy sources (besides my own:) to get from garden to shipping across the US or any oceans to get here!

On another garden note, I found this on Pinterest a few days ago:

Source: via Kelly on Pinterest

This. Is. Brilliant. I'd love to have strawberries, but they take room, spread like wildfire, and usually the birds get them. This solves one of those dilemmas, at least!

What's your garden look like? What do you hope to harvest?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Wishes!

A happy Memorial Day to all of you! Although this day/weekend is known as the "official" start to summer (and boy, has the weather lived up to it!), let's remember what the holiday is really about - a time to reflect on and honor those who sacrificed everything, up to and including their lives, while defending our country.

I was down with some sort of tummy bug for a couple days, but I'm feeling better today (and I'm off work, so yippee for that!). Although the neighboring town has a Memorial Day parade, I had lots of excuses not to go. Patrick has worked, like, 16 hour days this weekend and slept in. Thomas was out late with friends last night and slept in. Plus, it's way hot outside, and I'm a wimp. So inside we stay. We do have plans to barbecue later this afternoon! I'm well prepared with burgers and dogs, potato salad, corn on the cob, party potatoes, chips, and drinks. I made cupcakes yesterday, but that just doesn't seem right. We needs something "summer"...watermelon and strawberries spring to mind!

Tomorrow I'm going to tell you all about the garden I finally got planted! A little late, but hopefully we will still reap the benefits of homegrown goodness! Until then, have a happy and safe Memorial Day!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Balancing Act

Today is my Friday! Wahoo! And tomorrow is the older kids' last day of school (what?? How did that happen?!?). I'm glad to be back at work, but at the same time, not at all.

You see, I took an involuntary hiatus from work because of some really careless and forgetful stuff involving our taxes, which affected my professional license. Really careless. So I was not allowed to work until that was all taken care of and the proper documentation on file. (The moral of that preface is to never let things slide! At least not the really important things). But this time off led to, well, time off. Time to actually be here at home with my children. To be here when the older ones got home from school. To be able to bake bread, or a more involved dinner, or a dessert. (I believe that God allowed me that time too so I could take care of Dexter and be a little more attentive to him in what turned out to be his last days). Of course, we had a couple pay periods with no pay, and that hurt (and still hurts)...badly...but God provides in one way or another, as He always does.

photo credit

Now that I'm back to work, however, it's like I'm having to relearn how to perform the juggling act of the working-outside-the-home mom. And truly, I never had that juggling act mastered in the first place! Thanks to Money Saving Mom, I have discovered the Motivated Moms app.

First I thought "Ugh...just another list to make me feel like I'm behind in everything!". But this isn't the case! It's a very streamlined format and it lists different things for you to do every day. If there's a task you don't need to do, it can be hidden so you don't have to deal with it. (It was so very hard for me to hide the "feed pets" task. Tear.) You can also add a task, no matter if it's a one-time thing or something you want to repeat daily, weekly, etc. It also has a daily Bible reading option, and includes quiet time and exercise on the daily tasks (moms need those reminders sometimes - at least this mom does!). And if you're not into apps, they have a paper version as well! (Yes, both the paper version and the mobile app cost a few bucks. However, sometimes it's worth a few bucks to have someone make that list for get your home sparkly and your mental clutter is reduced too!)

So far it's working out great. And as long as the Lord would have me work outside the home, I'll be diligent in both my jobs. It is His Will.

Today I'm linking up with:


****I was in no way compensated for this impromptu review of The Motivated Mom app. I'm fairly certain they don't even know who I am, let alone that I am reviewing their app :)****

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sad Day for the Family

It's hard to believe I haven't posted since Easter! Lately I've been trying to simplify my life (declutter mentally, emotionally, and physically, that is). Sadly, blogging was something I put on the back burner of a commercial grade stovetop. The good news is that things are very slowly coming together. *VERY* slowly.

Last night I had a minor setback, at least on the emotional front. Our cat Dexter has been sick for awhile with what I believe was hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver. I thought he was getting better, but last night he took a decided turn for the worst and passed away around 9:20pm. I was able to be there with him as he took his last precious breaths (although I did send my older kids upstairs, since I didn't know exactly what was going to happen). To say that I did not take it well is a gross understatement (I am still weepy this morning). My husband arrived home from work shortly after Dexter passed and did the majority of the picking him up, preparing, burying, etc. I did hold the flashlight for him, but that was about all I could bear to do.

Dexter at the beginning of his odyssey

Dexter came to us in sort of an odd way. The kids and I were visiting my dad in New Mexico. He was preparing for a move to Minnesota, so we took a week to visit and help him finish up his house (painting, etc.). An ex-roommate of his was Dexter's owner but left Dexter there when she moved out. Dad kept him, but wasn't too emotionally attached, and he certainly didn't want to take the cat to Minnesota with him. I fell in love with Dexter and that was that. By the end of the week, when my husband flew in to join us, my one and only job was to convince him to let me bring Dexter back to Missouri with us.

We scrambled to get everything we needed to allow Dexter to fly (my husband worked for the airline at that time, so we flew standby everywhere we went). Instead of driving to Albequerque from where we were, then flying home, we decided to rent a car and drive to Denver, then fly home from there (we *love* Denver and had some extra time). Dexter was none too thrilled with a long car ride, but the vet had given us some medication to help soothe him during any car rides or flights we took. All things considered, he did very well.

Dexter invading the bathtub

Once in Denver, we were astounded to see that there were no available seats heading to St. Louis. In fact, every flight was overbooked! This is not good for standby passengers, because you're just that - standby. We discovered open seats on a flight to Chicago, so we took a leap of faith and grabbed those up, hoping to get a car in ChiTown and drive home. Dexter did as well as can be expected on the flight, meowing pathetically even after being medicated. He was one tough kitty though, and made it through like a champ. Since gracing us with his presence, Dexter has fit right in with this family. SPOILED. ROTTEN. He's been with us through having another baby, job changes, and moving twice. He quickly became just another member of the family, and although his incessant nighttime meowing got annoying once in awhile, he was the greatest feline I've ever had.

There is nothing comfier than a Dexter pillow.

Dexter, may you rest in peace. Thank you for being such a goofy addition to our family: a foot warmer on cold nights, a playmate for the kids, and an all-around wonderful cat. I hope you loved us as much as we loved you. You'll never know how much you'll be missed.

RIP Dexter the Attack Cat 5/14/12