Thursday, December 04, 2008

Introducing R... at the White House

R was invited to the White House this week, although he could not make it. Dang that would have been expensive. But his Ornament for the White House Tree did make it and Laura Bush announced her Red, White and Blue Christmas. So for the rest of us who could not make it to see the ornament anyway, here it is.

I am very excited and proud for him. He is taking it all in strides.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

We will miss you...

We lost one of our best friends last week. He thought he was a dog, and loved being an outside/inside kitty. He always thought of himself as a barn cat, and that he still lived out in the country. This meant that he would saunter across the street at a his leasure. Because of his laid back attitude we renamed him from Marshmallow to Marsh E. Mellow. We called him Marshy for short. He got hit by a car last week and managed to crawl up to our carport, where R found him. He rushed him to the 24 hour vet but the damage was to extensive and we had to put him to sleep.

So here are some pictures of our lovely cat, who loved to be held, and waited every morning to go outside with the dogs. He also came home every night when I called his name. The night before we lost him, he ran towards me at such a brisk pace, he was so happy I was calling him, and love it when I scooped him up.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


One of the down falls of where I live is we do not get a beautiful fall. Most of the trees in our yard, just fall off the tree, without even thinking about changing colors. They just give up and drop off. My neighbor has one of the only trees on the block changing colors and I have a gorgeous shot of it right out of our bedroom window. I thought I would share it with you.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Civil War Days

Our Homeschool group went to a civil war day activity where they had "actors" who told us about different areas in the civil war time. Some of these included, a field nurse, cooks, a medicine man, soldiers, spinners, weavers, blacksmiths, and teachers. Although we found out that in the time of the civil war there were no public schools or even one room school houses. Instead most students were taught at home.
It was a very enjoyable day, the perfect weather and I spent the entire day before hand bent over my sewing machine finishing K's bonnet and apron so she could dress the part.

This is the kids before the shot off the cannons for us.

Here they are loading it up. It was very dangerous work and VERY LOUD when they shot it off. The other students who were there were all 8th graders from local middle schools and the girls would scream every time they shot it off. That was every 15 minutes. So glad I never had to relive being an 8th grader.

And W.. listening to the very scary teacher. He was a big man and very strict. The children had to stand when called upon and he was just huge over W. He did tell us that very wealthy families who were planning on sending their children on to University sent their children to private schools, usually held in a local church.

On other news....
We sent R off today to the old Scatterville by himself. It didn't really take much convincing. All it took was a trip to Home Depot last weekend to look at decking for the tree house, and the children to do their, I'm so bored lets pick on each other like crazy so mom and dad can't think thing. They have this down to a science after all the time they have spent in Home Depot. Sad really, they start the moment we walk through the doors.

So it would be much quicker, and stress free if he went by himself. Plus putting three kids, sheets, blankets (it's cold up there!) and two dogs in the car for a two day trip sounded hard. He is going to drain all the plumbing lines, put RV antifreeze in the pipe traps (it is good to -50!), drain the water heater, clear out the water to the dishwasher, fridge and clean them out and shut them off. Then he'll turn off all the power. This is the first year we have closed it down for the winter, but after last years propane bill, heater troubles etc. I wonder why we didn't do it last year! $800 to heat a home you don't even visit. Ouch. So this year we will head up there around spring break, maybe redo the wood floors and get it back on the market.

I hope beyond hope that either the markets have changed or there is some financing changes that will help people buy our little cute home in the middle of no where. Maybe just maybe gas will stay cheap too! Yah, I'm dreaming.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pumpkins, compost and corn

The pumpkins have been planted in the back corner of the yard. I realize it is mostly shaded, and the soil back there is crap but I just had to try. We made mounds of potting soil and planted, jumbos, pie pumpkins and regular pumpkins. They have already began to pop up. We are hoping that we can have a renegade pumpkin patch much like Hagrid's in the Harry Potter movies.

The compost bin is now operational although not pretty. I refuse to pay $7 each for stakes for the panels to hold them up so my attempt at using the sticks we had are evident. It works for now and in the mean time I can hope to come along a pile of stakes in someones garbage bin like my pots that I picked up last week. There is a HUGE amount of leaves on the other side to use in composting and my layered garden beds. We just hope they are used up by the next time the leaves fall.

Speaking of which this is my temporary potting bench. It was a work bench in the shed, but we took it out because it just was not functioning for what we needed it for. Storage. Outside however it is a great work area. It is not currently connected to the shed however so that is on the to do list. Attach and level workbench and paint it with exterior grade paint.

The black pot is one of the many pots I found in the trash last week, there are about 10 more. This one we planted some carrots in.

I also planted some early sweet corn in the spot in the garden where the peppers once were. I am really out of seeds to plant (most are from a year or two ago anyway) so I'm off to find some great heirloom things to grow.

Friday, June 20, 2008

HOT! and finally some much needed RAIN!

It has been weeks, over three since we have had rain, and it's been in the 90's with high humidity also. Thursday the rainless streak broke and we got over an inch. The yard looks wonderful now. Today however it is seems like it is 100 already.

On Wednesday we meet with our homeschool friends and for the last two weeks we have been doing this!

We have been meeting in the evenings and having massive water fights. Its been much fun and it hasn't been to hot where we are. They even have a pond, this Wed. we stayed late enough to see bats, and lots of frogs and fish jumping out of the pond.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Young Wizard takes to broomstick

My young wizard who at the age of almost 6 has been listening to Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone very intently for a 5 year old, made himself a wand and a broom stick. Putting those together with his fathers hat and some glasses, he looks just like a young blond harry potter, much to the delight of his mother.

This is K's idea of cooling off. She insists on being outside even though it is nearly 100. Instead she asks me to turn on the sprinlers. I can't wait to see my water bill next month.

These are my peppers. The one on the right was tortured in my garden, while the other one has been in the shade with dappled sunlight. As you can see there is a HUGE difference in how they look and as soon as I get more potting soil I am pulling the other four peppers out of the garden and into pots too. I wonder if corn would do well in my garden? I am so tempted to pull out the tomatoes too and just planting the whole thing with corn.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Our Weekend

We decided Saturday to load up the kids and head on an adventure to Dallas. Armed with Harry Potter on CD we drove over to Lula B's and found it to be a fabulous antique store dealing mostly with midcentury things. We did find the perfect couch
but it was much to much money for it's condition. We could have bought a new one for that amount. Still lovely. Next we piled in again and headed up the road to two Vespa Shops. R drooled over them and if I had not been there, I suppose he would have put a deposit on one that day! (see me rolling my eyes!) Luckily for him I was and said, "Yes dear, those are very nice. No."

We then found our way to the shopping area that had an Urban Outfitters and tried out a couch we have had our eye on.
It wasn't anything to write home to for comfort and the price is still not dirt cheap. We also went over to West Elm across the street, the kids kept commenting that it looked like IKEA really really LOUD. It was not priced like Ikea. Then we sat on a sofa and the kids slipped the cushions off the couch faster then you can say, "What are you doing?" So this couch would not work for us.

We also found a Whole Earth Provision Company that was totally cool. Way cool clothes, shoes... oh I could drool all day over the shoes. Keens, Crocs, Tevas, all those great rugged sporty shoes. They even had live butterflies in their store and the really cool thing was they allowed dogs in their store. It was neat to see a lady in the womens section browsing clothes with her yellow lab.

Sunday was father's day. Now we do not go all out for any holiday other then Halloween, Christmas and birthdays. Dad wanted some raspberry filled donuts. K and W got sprinkles.

after our donuts and coffee, K,W and I went outside to work on some projects before it got hot. We found from my little experiment that the airconditioner puts out about two gallons of condensation water a day.
The two of them quickly got to work putting the water on the garden. I hope to be able to rig the hose to go directly from where it comes out now to the garden itself. I need another hose!

Next on the list was the compost pile. We currently do not have one but instead had a big leaf pile from the fall that now is the big leaf and stick pile. Sticks do not help in composting.

So we spent the morning pulling the sticks out of the pile until it got to hot. Most work is to be done on this, this week.

Inside the kids decide to make playdough at a little center I set up just for them, it has all the supplies they need and they know how to fix it.

it's always lovely to have an activity that they can do all on their own.

We rounded out father's day with grilled cheese sandwiches and homemade onion rings. Then a quick jot to the store to get R some Blue Bell Key Lime Pie Icecream. Yummy.

Friday, June 13, 2008

What I did this week

I was looking at the blog Farm Dreams and she is posting weekly her goals and what she had done for Indendence Day Challenge. I really liked it but since my garden is so little and our storage situation bad (No basement or garage), I am not likely to start this challenge. However reading it made me probe myself, and what things would I like to try to do every week. I do have a list, so here it goes:

1. Make something-
This could be something from fabric, clay, wood, anything.

2. Plant, Harvest or Grow-
I hope to continue to plant, it's hot here right now and not a good time to plant. However in
another month or two we start a second planting of summer things.

3. Do something good for the enviroment-
We recycle every week, but we do not have a compost bin yet. I would also would like to find a
cheap way to recycle rain water (we have no gutters) and use the water on the garden.

4. Exercise-
I lack it.

So here is what I did this week:

1. Make something:

I made myself a skirt that looks hideous. Not the patterns fault but my big booty's fault.
Then K pointed out I owed her a few skirts so I whipped this up for her in an hour and half. She timed me. Complete with headband. She loves it and has worn it a few days in a row now.

Here she is again with Marshmellow

2. Plant

I planted four sweet pepper plants and a jalapeno this week. However after a week of them being in the garden at full sunlight, they look sun scorched. I did plant one in a pot on the back patio sitting along side a tomato and believe it or not the tomato and the pepper are doing a TON better then the rest of the garden. I guess there is to MUCH heat and sun down here. I wonder how many pots I can put on my porch next year?

3. Something for the Enviroment
I didn't do anything. However I have figured out a way to put a hose attachment on our air conditioner condenser thing and use that water in the soaker hose. (Our air system has a pump that will kick on after the air is done and pumps out the condensation into our yard.) It soaks one area of the yard and actually puts out quite a bit of water in the summer. I also want to set up our compost bin this weekend, but the heat may have us staying in. 90's again.

4. Exercise
I walked for three hours at the zoo on Monday but not much beyond that.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Eating Vegetarian and Gardening

It has been over a week and almost going on two weeks where I have not prepared a meal with meat in it. I am thrilled, as I have wanted to go vegetarian for years, although lack the follow up to it. I will miss BBQ burnt ends, but since I don't make them and only eat them a few times a year it's not really an issue. We are not going vegetarian for the obvious reasons but instead are tired of buying meat, and the impact that meat eating has on the environment. There is a lot of land that is dedicated to growing feed for cattle and other animals that could be used for actually growing real food. I know I have lived in farm country. I can tell you what winter wheat looks like, corn, wheat, and soybeans. I know when it's about ready to be harvested.

What pushed us over the edge of meat was actually the economy. We are making changes now, we don't have to but we can only see things getting worse. The more we are not dependent on stores, truckers and in turn oil the better. We are increasing our own food production from our little 4 x 8 garden to as much as my shady yard will provide. The prospective area in the yard is very limited to the south side of the house and is in partial shade later in the afternoon the closer you get to the front yard.
It would help in my urge to provide most of our foods if we would stay put long enough to see a garden be fruitful. We had the most beautiful strawberries in our last home. I wish I could have taken them with us. Here strawberries grow but they take up so much space that I need to find an alternative way to grow them in a small area that does not cost anything to plant them in. I have seen some really neat stackable containers but in order to get enough plants in them it would cost me well over $100. I just can not justify spending that much money to grow your own fruit.

It is also so hot here already. They are calling for us to hit the 100 mark weeks earlier then usual. We have already gotten to 102 heat index this last weekend, and with it that miserable out I don't feel motived to leave my airconditioned computer chair.

K is really having a hard summer so far. She loves to swim. We have not put up our pool because we found that you are supposed to have a special pool permit, fencing that goes up 6 ft and alarms on your doors. Now I don't feel that is all necessary for a blow up pool, but we do have little neighbors living next door and our pool is big enough that it does need to be hidden. So we are applying for a permit to put up a fence. Crazy. We built an interior of a house without a permit but here we need a permit for a fence and front doors.

In the meanwhile K has found a way to satisfy her thirst for water.

This is her and our neighbor taking part in the small K method of cooling off. Much more water saving then bugging mom to slip and slide. Now if only I can get her to use the water on the garden we'd be in business.

Monday, March 24, 2008

It's done...

finally it is done enough to put it on the market. The wood floors still need done but the rest is finished minus, a few knobs, a stair rail in the basement and a light there too. So here's the pictures of our one room school house, gutted and turned into a 2 bedroom 2 bath home.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Happy Birthday to me!

It's my birthday... I used to always have these expectations, someone else would clean the house, cook dinner, bring me flowers, a cake etc. It never happened. I was always grumpy, crampy (I always seem to be menstrating!) and just plain not fun to be around. Then last year the worst happened. (OK it could have been MUCH worse but still.)

I sat in the very cold house in Scatterville watching them pump 3 feet of water out of the basement. There was no heat because we turned it off for safety. So it was pretty bad. At the same time it was also one of the best birthdays ever. I was surrounded by my friends, and I have the best friends in the world! They bought me flowers, chocolate, wine and made the best chocolate cake ever! They were the best gift I have had, just being surrounded by the love.

So this year, I have been thinking about my problem with birthdays, and I have determined that it is my way of looking at them that makes them so bad. So I expected nothing, absolutely nothing. I knew that R would be in Dallas all day at a conference and I would not have a car. Well already my day has been wonderful. My children are the best ever!

I woke up to an I luv Yoo poster on my wall, and another one Happy Brth Mom. There were little paper chains sprinkled all over the floor. My daughter has been an angel, she woke up with me and then started to do the laundry, and then put all the clean dishes away and reloaded the dishwasher. She had made me a birthday card and two paintings.

W woke and brought me a handmade card that said I love you mom. With a heart chocolate taped to it. T made the card above for me. I am also expecting my Dad to come up today so he can be with me on my birthday. I'm not sure I have been with him for my birthday since College! Yes I think it's been 20 years!

So here's to expecting nothing and getting all the love in the world.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Life in the eyes of a 7 year old

after many many months of losing the cord, the charger, the battery and the camera itself, we found all the pieces to my old camera that has been given to the kids. Here are the pictures that K took.