Tuesday, December 29, 2009

It's Christmas Break.....Means someone's got to be sick

Never fails, every year during Christmas break someone in the family gets sick, or worse.  Last year, it was my dad dying.  This year it was a quick trip to the ER for my youngest.  For the last few days he has been complaining of intermittent belly pain.  He also has been having a low grade fever.  My first thought, as with all my kids who complain that their belly hurts, "When was the last time you had a poopy?"  Danny told me he had one at his dad's house.  No big deal, a couple of days ago.  Well, earlier today, we were getting ready to travel to NJ to do Christmas at my Uncle's house.  First all, my kids love their Uncle Skip.  They look forward to seeing him.  So, when Danny told my mom that he thought that we shouldn't go today, as he felt too sick and hurting too bad, we knew something was up.  He was doubled over in pain, crying and crying.  Both my mom and I examine him, and took note that he had rebound tenderness in his right lower quadrant.....classic appenciditis symptoms.  Throw in the low grade fever.........off to the ER immediatly.  No sense going to his pediatrician, what are they going to say, wait a few days and come back if no better, or go to the ER and be evaluated.  So, we cut the middle man and went right to the ER.  Not what we all had planned.
We decided to go to the new local ER satellite.  We get there, and there is no one in the waiting room, and the guard tells use that there was only 1 other person in the ER.  We go right back, and as soon as we get to the room, the doctor is walking into the room.  The doctor agreed, the symptoms are classic appendicitis, so blood work, ultrasound, and x-ray are in order to see if my baby would be having surgery later or if something else was causing his severe pain.  The worse was me and my mom holding my baby down to help the nurses put an IV in his arm and draw some blood.  The nurse was so good explaining everything to him, and giving him permission to scream through the pain.  As soon as the IV was in, they wheeled him to the ultrasound, then to the x-ray.  Within 1 hour, we saw the doctor, had all the tests, and was waiting for the lab to finish up with the results.  Every test came back negative for appendicitis, however, my baby is constipated.  So off to the store to get some prune juice.  As soon as we got home, I got him a glass of prune juice mixed with apple juice (ER nurse suggested to mix the prune juice with apple juice to make it taste better), and heated it up a little.  My son told me that it tasted like apple cider, and he loved it.  Luckily, we started to have a little success before the night was out. 
I am just so thankful that I am home able to write about this, and not in the hospital helping my baby recover. 
So off to NJ tomarrow to celebrate Christmas in NJ.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I'm Trying, but.....

I have been trying and trying to move things in my living room enough to be able to put up the Christmas tree, but it just doesn't seem to get done.  I seem to have no motivation to get it done.  Today, I have managed to partially clean one area, only to find that everything is now in the middle of the floor....what to do with the stuff???  I usually put the tree in the corner, but my sewing machine is there.  I need my sewing machine up to finish a present.  I've decided to put the tree along a long wall, but would it be better to put the sofa there, and the tree where the sofa is?  I don't know.  Moving the sofa would allow the living room heater vent to be open, but moving it will partially block a bedroom door.  What to do?  I'm so conflicted.  I know the kids want a tree up badly, but I am not in the mood.  Too many sad memories!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

What Every Driver Needs to KNOW!!

When I got my driver's license, before I was allowed to drive on my own, I first had to know how to change a tire.  Every driver should know how to change a flat tire.  Personally I feel that it should be part of the drivers test.  It is very important.  I learned first hand today just how important.  Today, I had my first flat tire of my driving life. 

I went to pick the kids up from school.  All was well driving to school.  I parked the car, went in to pick up the kids for their dentist appointment that was scheduled for 15minutes after picking up the kids.  I pile them all up into the van, start to drive away.  As I am driving out of the parking lot, the car starts to pull hard to the right.  Knowing something was wrong, I stop the van.  I walk around the van and noticed that the rifht front tire was completely flat.  GREAT!!!  Mind you, it's 40degrees outside and pouring rain.  Of course it's pouring rain, can't have a flat in nice sunny weather.  Luckily I was in the school parking lot, and many parents are around.  My first challenge was to lower the spare tire down.  I have a van that has a spare tire like a full sized truck, under the car between the rear tires, suspended by a cable.   The problem, lowering the cable to remove the spare.  I thought there was a metal clamp that needed to be unscrewed.  I tried my hardest, a fellow parent tried, all while lying on the cold wet ground.  By now, I am soaking wet and freezing cold.  After many attempts, I finially figure out that the cable needs to be lowered by putting the tire crowbar into this little hole and turning it.  Once the spare is off, I place the jack up under the car and raise the car.  As I am jacking up the car, a student's father loosens the lug nuts.  Sure, I could do it, eventually, but to me that is the hardest part of changing a car tire.  Luckily, my boyfriend placed the lug nuts on, and were torqued just right...not too tight.  With the lug nuts loose, I finish raising up the car.  I remove the flat tire, place the spare on, and tighten the nuts up, lower the jack, and away we go.  As I was placing the spare tire on the car, another mother walks over and starts asking me how I knew how to change a tire.  She proceeds to tell me that she has no clue, that her husband would have to change her tire.  When I told her that I wasn't allowed to drive without first changing a tire by myself, she proceeds to tell me that she now plans on making that a requirement for her kids.  My first thought was that she should learn before making her sons learn.  Had I been stuck on a road, with nobody insight, I still would have been able to fend for myself, and be on my way.  Sure, it was nice being in a parking lot and not on a road.  It was even nicer having lots of people around willing to help.  The best part for me was fathers in awe that I knew what I was doing, and had more tools to complete the task than I needed. 

Besides knowing how to change a tire, every driver should have a few things in there car.  #1-jumper cables-it's always easy to find someone to give you a jump if needed, not always easy to find someone with jumper cables.  #2-A small tool box with a hammer, a few wrenches, and screwdrivers. #3-a small air compressor (Had I not been able to figure out how to remove the spare tire, I could have pumped up the tire long enough to get to a garage and have the tire fixed). #4-Windsheild washer fluid-never know when you might run out and need it.  #5-1 extra quart of oil, enough to top off the oil if running low-make sure you know how to check the oil.  #6-something to put on the ground just incase it's pouring rain and you need to lay on the ground (I will add this immediatly), not to mention, it will keep you warm in the winter if the car gets stuck

Just another day in my life for sure!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

It is Officially the Holiday's at my House

I don't now about you all, but what marks the holiday season at my house is the first offical fire in the fireplace.  Today was the day for the first offical fire.  Yes, last night we did have a fire, but only a chimney cleaning log to prepare the chimney.  Today was the offical fire.  Sent my kids outside for the brush for the firestarter, and to load up the log bin.  I then placed the dried brush in the fireplace, and with one match the fire was lit.  No fancy firestarters here, just one piece of paper, plenty of small twigs, some larger twigs, and small logs, and a larger log.  A little flame, and like magic, poof, a roaring fire.  All my tree cutting this summer has left me with some nice cherry wood to burn.  I know that it is green, and not the best for a fire, but I do have some wood left over from last year, and the green stuff will just have to do until I can break down and buy a couple of cords of wood for the year.  It's just so amazing how much warmer the house is with the fire going.  The temp in the house is the same, but it just feels so much warmer.  I don't know about you, but driving down the road smelling wood burning stoves going just gets me in the holiday mood.  Something about the smell just reminds me of winter and the approaching holidays.  Need to have something to get me in the mood. 
It has been an extremely rough year.  First my dad dying, then a dear family friend dying, now that same friends dog is extremely ill and the vet is strongly encouraging euthenasia.  My girls are very upset at the thought, but understand that she is very old (14yr old), very sick, and is having a hard time breathing.  Hard lessons learned way too early in life for my kids.  Also, on Wednesday, my childhood home is going to settlement.  I am very torn over the thought.  Just so many memories in that stupid house.  The many holidays celebrated there, the family gatherings, the stacking of hundreds of cords of wood, learning how to raise chickens and rabbits, the yearly chicken/rabbit kill with the hours spent plucking/skinning and gutting those stupid chickens and rabbits.  I moved there when I was 6years old, and almost all of my childhood memories are from the house. 
Well, I better get off this computer, as there is so much left to do in the house -cleaning bathrooms, making fruitcakes and rum balls, putting up a ceiling, and as always.....LAUNDRY!!!  At least the later is now much easier, as my one daughter is now the laundry queen.  She is the only one who knows how to work the washer, and she enjoys doing it...I say, let her do it.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Typical Day in My Life


Today was just another day in my house.  Too much to do, and not enough time to do it.  My kids and I started the day off by going to church.  We then went to the grocery store.  When we got home, I decided that I needed to get the fireplace ready for a fire.  That included cleaning the chimney.  I had already bought the chimney brush, now I needed to climb out onto the roof and get it done.  First, I had to move that heavy cast iron fireplace out of the way, so that I could get the the chimney.  See, years ago, before I had this house, there was a chimney fire and a new metal chimney was installed.  Well, metal chimney inserts are one piece, and you can not acess the chimney from the outside clean out door, only from the inside.  So, the fireplace was moved out of the way, and the chimney was accessed.  I then inserted the chimney brush and climbed out onto the roof and pulled the chimney cleaning brush to the top of the chimney.  Granted, not the way a professional would do it, but it worked.  I then made sure that all of the fallen debris was cleaned out of the chimney.  Reinstalled the fireplace, and then spray painted the fireplace with high temp fireplace paint.  It now looks so pretty, and we now have a fire going.  Granted, this is not for everyone, and not recommended.  It's just what I did today.  After that was all done, me and the kiddos got cleaned up and had a wonderful easy dinner.  Now, I am just sitting back enjoying the extra warmth coming from the fire in a clean chimney.  No, I don't do house calls.

Monday, November 2, 2009

November Already???

How can this be?  How can it possibly be November already?  Turned the clocks back this past weekend, and now night comes before supper.  This is the one part of winter that I can do without.  Too many dark hours. 

Kids were at their dad's for halloween, and for once I did not make their costumes.  I just couldn't get into it this year.  So, their dad had the kids make their own costumes.  My oldest decided to go as a laywer, my youngest, a golfer.  The girls, well, one was a dog, and the other a remote control.  I am not one to spend money on costumes, I much rather see creativity.  Wish I could have seen their creations.  One thing I do not like about living where I live....I never get any trick-or-treaters.  In the 10yrs I have lived here, I have had a grand total of ZERO trick-or-treaters.  Since my house sits on a major road, it does not lead itself to visitors on halloween.  Also, it is not the best place to send the kids out on the hunt for treats.  Their dad lives in a wonderful little neighborhood with street lights and sidewalks and houses sitting on 1/4 acre lots, so lots of knocking on doors.  I miss that.  Glad my kids have a good place to go.  Growing up, I never had anywhere to go.  There were 6 houses on the street I grew up on, including mine.  Mind you, the street was close to a mile long. 

Haven't been up to much of anything lately.  Since the kids have started school, things are a bit crazy around here. 

I can't believe it will be CHRITmas in a few short weeks...how can this be?  I am so not ready for it!!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I Love Goodwill


I love Goodwill stores. You really can get some great buys at Goodwill. Take this chair. I found this chair and it's matching set (six in total) at my local Goodwill store. They have the original store tags with the date of promise and purchaser listed on the bottom of the chairs. They were made May 1971, promised June 1971, and were for someone named Seigel. I have been wanting matching dining room chairs for quite a while, especially since my current chairs have been glued, nailed, reglued, and renailed back together several times. I sat on the chairs at the store, and every one was very sturdy feeling, and all with the original metal casters still in place. I checked out the price.........$15/chair. That means for $90 I can buy the complete set....SOLD!!!! After putting them in my car, my mom and I drove to the local Joanne Fabrics and bought some clearance material to redo the seats to a more updated look. For just $7/yard I was set. Today, I started the task of updating the chairs....this is what I now have.

All told, the chairs cost just $18.50 each. What do you think??

Thursday, August 13, 2009

And the flower is an.........


Amaryllis Belladonna (aka: Naked Lady Amaryllis)
Believe it or not, it is an amaryllis. My mom and I searched and searched the Internet for hours finding out the name of this flower. I see them all over here, and never knew what they were, so off to the world wide web for the answer. Both my mom and I were shocked to find that it was an amaryllis, but after knowing what it is, it made sense.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

What is This???


Ok, this is a flower that I have growing in my yard and I see them everywhere around here. I do not pretend to be a flower expert, but I do know many flowers as my grandmother was English and always had different flowers around. Growing up with her around, I had to know the flowers by just looking at them. I had to know what bulb was what, just by looking at the bulb. She was always out in the garden toiling in the soil, planting something. This is one I have never seen before moving to this area. So, what is this flower? Any ideas?
The flower is a light pink color. It blooms on the end of a long stalk, no leaves. It stands about 2 ft tall. The blooms last about 1 week, and blooms at the end of July, every year (a perennial). It is a bulb.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Not a Baby Anymore :(


My youngest woke this morning and wanted to make breakfast for his grandma. He cut a bagel in half, cooked it, buttered it, made the coffee, and then decided he needed to make breakfast for everyone else. This is what he made.....sausage. From fixing a wheelbarrow to making breakfast.....He will make a good husband on day.....long time from now I hope.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Gender Roles

I was always taught that you can do anything you put your mind to. I try to instill that frame of mind into my children. I obviously enjoy doing things that most would consider "GUY" work. It's not that I am forced to do it, since I am a single mom, but I do these type of things because it is "FUN".



My youngest also thoroughly enjoys doing this type of work. We are working on restoring an old rusty wheelbarrow. Currently we are stripping all the rust off, filling in the thinning areas, then will be spraying it with primer and a new coat of paint. A new tire, and new handles and it will be good as new.






Looks like my daughter also enjoys this work. Michelle, loves being outside. She also wants to help mom use the drill to sand the rust off. Do I enjoy teaching my kids to use power tools???? YES!! I am glad that they are learning to do things themselves instead of having to pay someone else to do them, or throwing things out just because it doesn't look brand new. Our next project will be to strip the paint and rust off an old (was my grandfather's) metal swing. Then we will need to replace want might need replacing and prime and paint.



In case you were wondering why I cut down that dogwood tree in the previous post, I cut it down for a few reasons. First and foremost, it was dying. In the spring it hardly bloomed, there were several dead branches (despite the lush look of it in the photo). I know what killed it, and carpenter ants are to blame. Upon cutting the tree down, I cut into a huge carpenter ant nest. I knew they were in there before I cut the tree. I had ant killer standing by. Instead of a live, active nest next to my house.....the nest is dead, and so are the ants. I am very choosy about trees I cut down. Any tree I cut down is either dead, dying, or dangerous (growing at a 45 degree angle).

Monday, August 3, 2009

Wonder Where I have been???

Maybe this will explain it:
This is only a small snippet of what I have been up to instead of blogging.
There are only so many hours in the day after all.

Before
After (almost done, still needs a little more work, but it's getting there)




Yes, my chain saw has been real busy this summer.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

I have not forgotten

I have not forgotten you all, I promise. It has been a bit nutty around here. You all know that I took the kids camping (see below for proof), we also went to a family reunion. Well, since coming home, we have been washing everything in site ( or so it seems). All of the blankets, pillows, clothes, stripping beds and doing all the linens. See, the weather here has been wonderful drying weather. As a matter of fact, my 4th of July consisted of doing laundry and working. No fireworks or picnics for me. I love the smell of clothes dried outside. What's even better, since there was no humidity, and a good breeze, and temps in the 80's.....it was only taking 15-30minutes to dry the clothes, and soft to boot because of the breeze.

Since then, yesturday was hair cutting day. My mom and I took my younger twin for a hair cut. She hates to have her hair up, and the other one loves to wear it up in a ponytail. So, twin #2 got her hair cut to just above her sholders. It's real cute. I got a trim, and my mom has what she calls the worst haircut ever. She is not happy, and almost want's me to fix it. Then we came home and trimed twin #1's hair (just took off the ends), buzzed oldest son's hair, and mohawked youngest son's hair. I know...MOHAWK you say. Well, it's a modified mohawk. It looks more like a marine cut from the front, but a mohawk from the back. I figured that since he has been asking for months, and it is the summer, as long as it is a normal cut for school....let him have the mohawk. It makes him feel special....ie not worth the fight. Then, both me and my mom double teamed my sister and cut her hair. My sister has.....let's just say.....more hair than any 1 person should have, and no, it's is not long, just alot of it. I shaved the back and sides, just enough to make it look like a wedge in the back and just enough over the ears that it is cool. Then we started cutting. I would cut until I got tired, then my mom would cut, then me, then my mom. I would see a spot that needed cutting, cut it....and so it went for about 30minutes. Mind you, her hair was above her shoulders to begin with. Her hair is just so think and she has so much of it, that you can cut for hours without it looking like you have cut anything. Finially, we decided that stop, let her wash it, and see what it looks like after it was washed. Needless to say....it looks good.

Well, gotta go, taking youngest and mom to Lowes.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Kids Having Fun



What's better for breakfast while out camping than having Pop-Tarts roasted on the morning fire???

Kids say that there's not much better than that!

We are camping in the pine barrens of New Jersey. Me and the kids came up to NJ for a family reunion, and I decided to take them camping. Last night we had hot dogs and s'mores roasted out on the fire. This morning we woke early, started the fire....only using one piece of paper and twigs...and had to have a good breakfast. This is the first time that I have taken them camping. It is quite the adventure. We are tent camping with a dog. Luckily my uncle only lives about a mile away from the camp ground. He has 3 acres of woods......free firewood galore. I want to take them canoeing down the river, but think that we will forgo that this time around. All they want to do is go swimming in the camp's heated pool...not that it needs to heated. We are having great weather....about 89 degrees with no humidity. Nice camping weather.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sometimes it just pays to complain

When going out to eat, I usually don't like to complain, unless things are intolerable. Tonight was one of those nights. I decided to take my sons out to Red Lobster for dinner, since today was packed with me cutting some brush along my driveway and using the chipper to make some homemade green mulch. Granted, I have a lot more to do, but need to sharpen the chipper blades first. Since I was so tired, I thought it best to relax and have someone else cook.

We went early, since it is Saturday, and I didn't want to have to wait to eat for a hour or longer. As it was, we waited 10-15 minutes, not long at all. We were seated, decided on what each of use would eat while waiting for the waiter to arrive. We probably waited longer for the waiter to come and take our drink order, than we did just to be seated...already starting off on the wrong foot for me. I kept reminding myself that it was busy, but with the boys asking over and over when they could get a drink, it was hard to keep reminding myself.

Since it took so long to get our drink order, we ordered our food at the same time as the drinks. The drinks arrived....not what I was expecting. I was feeling nice to the boys, so I let them order a cherry slushy (which I knew was going to cost extra), what I did not expect were these tiny glasses. I asked about it, and the manager came over and explained that they were larger than they look, and actually hold 14oz, even though they only look to be about 8oz. Ok, no problem. The next thing I know, the manager comes over and told me that the waiter actually charged the drinks incorrectly, but he fixed the problem. I then had to ask the waiter to bring out the biscuits, since the boys were hungry. He brought out the biscuits, little plates, and my salad. As I was handing out the biscuits, the second plate was filthy. It had what looked like dried cheese on the plate. Now, me being a nurse and having worked in the food industry, I know that no microbes can survive on the plate after going through an industrial dishwasher, as long as it is working properly...but I DO NOT WANT TO EAT OFF OF A DIRTY PLATE!!! I calmly handed the plates to the manager as he was walking by, since I saw him much sooner than the waiter....where ever he was.

I don't even get a chance to taste my salad, and the main course arrives. Now, I've had it. I said something to the waiter, who responds...."They just cooked it fast tonight". No, it is a time management issue on the waiter, not the cook...I think to myself. The manager comes back over and agreed that the waiter was not managing his time wisely. The manager decided to completely take over the table. He didn't want anything else to go wrong......

Sorry Charlie, not going to happen to me tonight.

Yep, had another problem...be it minor, but another problem. Me and the boys were sitting there trying to enjoy the food, and a worker was bringing ice up to the front to the bar....hits the back of the booth, and ice comes flying out and lands on me.....and to top it off, the worker didn't even realize it happened. As she walks back past, I stop her and calmly asked her to be careful next time and explained what happened. I guess she said something to the manager, because the manager comes over and completely comps the meal.

Yea, it was probably a $30 bill, completely free. I felt terrible, do I leave a tip, do I not?? How can you not leave a tip, especially when the food was free? But if you tip according to the bill, then the tip would be zero. Way to much to stress all about a stupid tip.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Just Another Day Without Water


As if finding a snake in my house this week, and having to replace the well pressure tank just a month ago is not enough to make me have doubts about the house I live in and love, today was just another day of the trials of living in a house built in 1925.

Today started as any other day. Since I didn't run the dishwasher last night (put Rid-X in the toilet to maintain the septic tank), I started it up first thing this morning. I did my normal everyday things, watered the dog, used the bathroom on several occasions, used plenty of water first thing this morning. Well, I decided that I needed to cut the grass while the rain decided to stop for at least the day. I was cutting the grass, and my belt on the riding mower fell off. I put the belt back on, and then went to use the push mower for some hills. Started it up fine, actually my 6 yr old started it up on the first pull. Started to cut the grass....it stopped. Tried and tried as I might to get it to start back up, it acted like no gas was getting to the carburetor. Yes, there was a full tank of gas. This happened another time, so I drained the fuel tank, made sure the fuel lines were not clogged. Called my boyfriend (a mechanic), explained the situation, asked about the air filter. He agreed that the air filter could be dirty, all I needed to do was to wash it out, dry it, and then put oil on the filter and replace the filter. So, I take the filter out, and decide to wash it outside. Turn on the spigot....no water. I used that spigot earlier in the day, so maybe it was a fuse. Go down stairs and check the fuses to the water pump....all are OK. I did change the fuse, just in case (old screw in type fuses....remember house built in 1925). I even checked the breaker box, flipped the breaker, just in case...no luck. The pressure gauge on the well is reading a big fat ZERO. No pressure, therefore the pump should be kicking on....no luck. I wiggle the pressure switch and check the pressure switch, looks like it is engaged, so the pump should be coming on...no luck.

Gotta call a plumber.

I am handy, but I know my limitations. So I called a few friends that are plumbers (the kids go to school with a lot of contractors), and a plumber is at my house within 30minutes of finding out that I had no water.

Well, I need a new well pump. It doesn't really surprise me, after all, all the other things in the house (heater, water heater, etc) were 30+ years old, and the water pump was probably no different. What really surprises me is how shallow my well is. This was the second of a few surprises for the plumbers. The first shock was the fact that my well is in the basement of my house. That alone caused a change in tactics. Normally they would use a pump puller to pull the pump up out of the ground, but this is a job where that was not an option, as the pump puller is a big tool. The second was where they were going to pull the hose that attaches to the pump to, since my basement is only so big, and normally the hose if 100-200 ft long and does not easily bend. They needed a straight shot. Luckily I have back stairs, and they were able to use those stairs...not that they needed them. They started the pulling process, only to find that the well is only 40-50ft....maybe. I have hose longer than my well is deep. When the plumber who was at the well told the other guy to stop that the pump was out, the other guy said...."There's no way". I always wanted to know how deep that well was, but would have preferred to know on my own terms, not like this. Well, at least within the next hour I should be back with water. After cutting the grass, all I want to do is to take a nice long hot shower.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

On a Break

Sorry, have been out of touch a bit lately. The kids are out of school, and have found a new addiction, Farm Town on Facebook. It has been taking up way too much of my time. Not to mention that this is my week to work. I will be back up to normal soon.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sometimes I HATE my House!!!

Like today. Today I really hate my house. I was on the computer in my chair, and look over onto the floor next to me, and what do I find????? a 3-4 FT LONG BLACK RAT SNAKE! I hate snakes. Luckily, I knew it wasn't poisonous, but still....it was a snake. I run to the kitchen to grab something to pin it down with. I get it pinned down, and grab it. Even though it wasn't poisonous, I still don't want to get close to its head. I get my oldest son to open the front door, and I walk down to the road, and throw it onto the road, hoping a car will run it over. Did I tell you all how much I hate snakes???

By the way, Scooby is doing much better. He was so much better 1 day after the antibiotics.

I hate snakes! Just had to tell you all that again.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Poor Scooby

I have a 3.5 yr old beagle named Scooby. He is an outside dog, as one might expect, since he is a beagle. He is very quiet. Only ever barks when hungry. He loves for the kids to play with him, and he loves being petted. Today, I came home from work to find him lying on his house looking so sad. I go over to him to pet him, and make sure he has plenty of food and water. He looks up at me with this sad eyes. I give him fresh food and water, he hops down to the ground, unable to bear weight on his right front paw. I check out the paw, looking for swelling and feeling for any possible fractures. I feel nothing. He lets me feel all around the paw, and lets me move it without a problem. Still he will not bear weight on the paw. I decide to take him to the vet, but since it is after 5pm, and a Saturday to boot, the vet is closed. So I take him to the local 24hr animal clinic. The doctor agrees that she does not feel anything strange. He does have a fever of 103 (normal is around 100-100.3) The doctor decides that he has Lymes. I can't believe it, Lymes disease, of all things. Not only has my one son had Lymes 2 times, and my ex-husband, and my mom....now my dog. So, antibiotics and pain meds for the next couple of weeks.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Lightening and Thunder

I love thunder storms. The gentle rumble echoing across the sky. Lightening can be a little scary, only from the point that it can be deadly. I usually don't fret about that, but it is in the back of my head. I love to watch the lightening light up the sky. To see those crooked lines brightening the night sky is mesmerizing. The smell of the rain in the air is so refreshing.

When this all happens at unknown time in the middle of the night, I am not a big fan. Especially when the thunder is so loud it sounds like a freight train running through your bedroom. Or the lightening so profuse that it keeps your room bright, even through room darkening shades. But, when the rain is so hard that is it washing away that rain smell......it stinks. This is all what happened to me last night. A big storm came through and woke me. I had to shut the window, to keep the rain out, and to keep the sound down. It was one of those storms that yo just know the power is going to go out, and sure enough, my clock was blinking when I woke this morning.

At least the plants got water.....trying to see the good side of being woke up in the middle of the night.

Monday, June 1, 2009

June 1st, the official start of meteorological summer

June 1st if the first day of meteorological summer. To celebrate my oldest and I put up our pool today. 15ft diameter, 56in deep. Yes, it is big, and yes, it has to come down each year. My boys are all sad that after 8 hrs of filling, it is only 1/4 full. I keep telling them that even after it is full, it will take days to warm up, since today it was only 75 degrees(43% humidity), and it is only 60 at night. Not to mention that I live on a well, so the water is cold coming from the well.


Before Kenny and I were able to put the pool up, the ground had to first be prepped. I had to level out the ground. Since I had some peat moss lying around, I decided to use that. I used 4 bags of peat moss to try and level the ground. Now that the pool is up, I have noticed that the ground is still not completely level. At least that it is not as bad as it was last year (last year it was off by 6inches, this year only by 2 inches maybe). Also, by placing the peat on the ground first, the base is so soft, no more feeling roots and rocks through the pool floor (yes, there is a tarp down first to protect the pool).

It will be nice when I can kick the kids outside to go swimming, they have so much fun in the pool. Ahhh, summer is here, now if only the weather would start to feel a little more like summer.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Does This Look Like 9yr Old?


My mom has the twins for less than a week, and look at the picture she sends me. She went on the plane in pig tails, and now high heels.....what's next?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Poison Ivy....YUCK!


Getting poison ivy is the worse. I know first hand, as I am just getting over my first brush with it this year. Well, I just got back from taking my youngest, Danny, to the doctor as he had this small rash right under his eye. I knew he had some poison ivy around his ankles, forearms, and right around his chin. It's just that what was under his eye looked more like a bulls eye (ie Lymes). So, off to the doctor. If it was Lymes, he would need antibiotics, if it was poison ivy, then not good near his eyes. Turns out, Poison Ivy. Since he is still breaking out, and it is right under his eye, he is now on steroids. I am torn about the steroids. I hate having to give it to him, but don't want poison ivy rash in his eyes. Now, I have a hyper 6 yr old dancing all around......as if he wasn't hyper enough. Oh how I hate Poison Ivy.....guess I just need to bite the bullet, wrap myself up head to toe and go pull it out....not my idea of fun.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

This date in History, more exactly 2000

This day 9 years ago, I was in the hospital 32 weeks 4 days pregnant and 3.5 cm dilated. I was on and IV of Mag Citrate that stopped the contractions, and being started on a SQ infusion of Terbutaline. I was on complete bed rest and would stay in the hospital until I delivered, hopefully 2-3 weeks away. It was not to be. Shortly after noon, I had a severe coughing fit, and thought that my water broke....needless to say it was not my water but just the foley cath not being put in the right place. The doctor came back to check me and low and behold, 4cm dilated, the point of no return. Given that it was twins and only 33.5 weeks, for safety of the babies, it would be a c-section. The doctor went back to his office to finish with the few patients he had in the office, and to cancel the remainder of the scheduled patients of the day. I called my husband at work, only to find that I could not get in touch with him. My mom was with me (she was with me all night), and we were all set to go, when my husband showed up just in time to get dressed (only after he finished his lunch....he made the doctor so mad that the doctor threatened to start without him) and go with me to the delivery room. I was so excited to finally see my babies. I was fine, until lying there in the delivery room I saw the ambu bags (bags used to breath for the babies if they weren't breathing on their own. That was when it all hit me, they are too early. I wanted to turn back, hold them in just a little longer. It was not to be. At 108pm, my first daughter was born with a healthy cry weighing 4lbs 12oz. At 109pm, my second daughter was born, also with a geed healthy cry and weighing in at 4lbs 9oz. The doctors checked over the girls, and then brought them to me to see them for a few seconds before they had to whisk them away to the NICU. I told my husband to go with the girls. He stayed with them and there I was lying in the OR waiting for the doctor to finish. I was them moved to the recovery room, where my mom sit waiting for me. It was a hour or 2 before she finally found out that I had the babies and they were fine, only after I told her. She to this day still talks about how she stayed with me all night long, and was the last to know or see the girls. See, as soon as it was decided that they would be delivered I called my dad and sister who rushed to the hospital with my then 15month old son. My dad and sister was present at the NICU window when the brought the girls in, so they got to see them. My poor mom was in the recovery room waiting for me, waiting for any information. I was then taken to my new room, on another floor as the girls. See, during that summer, there were 12 sets of different multiples on the books to be delivered, and at least 7 of them had delivered within that month.....so many tiny babies that they had 6 satellite NICUs set up around the hospital.
Six hours later, as soon as I was able, I jumped into a wheelchair and went down to spend some time with my girls.
Michelle/Elizabeth Happy Birthday girls. From 4lbs 9oz and 4lbs 12oz (respectfully) to over 80 lbs each. I love you both. My you have grown and are getting more beautiful everyday.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Busy, busy, busy....

Well, it's been a busy last couple of days. Yesterday, I was the school nurse yet again at my older 3 kids' school. After school, I took the 3 to the grocery store to pick up something for dinner. When we got home, I immediately got the chain saw out and proceeded to cut down 3 maple trees the wildly grew out of control. I know what you are thinking, why cut down a maple tree. Well, in these here parts, maples are almost like weeds. They are so prolific, and how they were growing was more dangerous than they were beneficial. They were growing at a 30-40 degree angle, and not straight. They were also growing at the corner of my fence, and starting to damage my fence. So, I proceeded to cut down the first, not a big deal. I was able to get it to drop exactly where I wanted it to drop. Then I cut down the next one, no real big deal there either, as it was just a sapling, but big enough that I needed the chain saw. Then I get to the last one. Problem! It was leaning in the direction of my clothes line. This is a huge deal, as I do use my clothes line almost exclusively in nice weather. (Hey, it saves $30-40/month using the sun power...I'll use that instead for those kind of savings) I decided that there was no way to cut down the last one, without taking out my clothes line. So I proceeded to take down the lines, hey, they needed to be tightened up anyway. After removing the lines, down the tree came. So, after downing the trees, they were cut up, and the kids helped to take the branches to the back of the property into the woods. After the tree clearing, we had a cookout for the girls' birthday. We had grilled hamburgers, baked beans, and chips. We ate outside on the picnic table. The kids had a blast, and the dog enjoyed the leftovers. After eating, I decided that since the maples were gone, that overgrown Burning Bush needed a haircut. All I can say it that it is NOT overgrown now. It may look terrible the remainder of this year, but next year it will look fantastic. There was a lot of dead wood that was removed. After bush pruning, off to eat ice cream cake and give the girls their birthday presents. They now know that they are going to grandma's in Florida for 3 weeks. They are so excited. The boys are a little upset, but understand that they have already been by themselves, and it is only fair.

Today has not been much calmer. Woke up to take the 3 oldest to their last day of school. Then, rushed back home to go out to breakfast with my youngest and grandma, before my doctor's visit for my ankle. After the doctor gave me the all clear (and explained a little more why I am having so much discomfort....he did more than I thought). We rushed back up to the school to pick up the kids from school. Since school let out at 11:30, we had to have lunch. Pizza at the local pizza parlor....yum. Back home to do more work. Chain saw back out, and more cutting. This time, I trimmed some branches of a magnolia tree that were too low. My mom and I also moved my composter closer to fence, since it can now be moved since everything is now so much neater and trimmer. We also planted a lavender plant, and some cannas. Used the weed whacker to do some trim, and washed a few loads of clothes. I started to use the chain saw and remove another tree (a dogwood that is half dead), but as I started I now know why it is half dead...carpenter ants. So I used the boric acid I have lying around and placed it into the tree where the ants were coming. I'll give the boric acid a few days to work and then down that tree too. I'm thinking of taking the kids out and wash my car in the next few minutes, but as I am sitting here, I think that I am starting to tire. Of course work is starting to call me(I don't start for at least 3 hrs yet) about setting up admissions for the weekend....looks like it's going to be a terrible weekend at work, oh joy.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Awards

Today was the awards assembly at school for my older 3 kids. Every student in the elementary school gets an award from their teacher to show them how special and unique they are. The teacher picks out one special trait of each child to highlight and to encourage each child to continue to that trait.

My oldest, Kenny got the Obedience Award from his teacher. This is quite a feat, considering his teacher is that teacher from school that everyone hated. The stickler for rules teacher. She expects certain behavior, and tolerates nothing less. After having her for the past year, Kenny has told me that he is so glad that he had her, because even though she might be strict, she was really fun. (Mind you, she has a room full of rambunctious 10yr old boys....at anytime you can walk past her room and it is so quiet a pin can drop and it can be heard, personally I completely understand her and her teaching methods, and the kids learn).

Twin #1....aka Elizabeth got the award for The Sincere Heart. The teacher wrote the following about Lizzy: Lizzy has such a generous heart. Her motives are always pure, and she tries very hard to always do the right thing. I appreciate her honesty and love for others. Not to bad in my opinion.

Twin #2.....aka Michelle got the award for Truthfulness. The teacher wrote the following about Michelle: Michelle continues to impress me with her honesty. She is always quick to confess if she accidentally saw an answer, or if she can see someone's paper. Michelle is full of integrity even at such a young age! Again, not too bad if I do have to say so myself.

I am so proud of my kids.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Substitute Teacher/Nurse

Today I had the luxury of filling in for the school nurse at my 3 oldest's school. I was the substitute school nurse. Since she teaches 5th grade science, I also was teaching science today. I also had to fill in for another teacher who was out. So I had the sheer pleasure of teaching 5th grade spelling. The funniest thing about that, it that I am a horrid speller. Science was easy, just had the review for a final test that the kids will have tomorrow. I had their test, and went over every question on the test in the form of a game. It was fun for me and the kids. Spelling was another story. I had to give a spelling test to the kids. What's funny about that is that I pronounce some words differently as I spent my entire formative years with my English grandmother. So I tend to pronounce some words a little differently. Of course, half the words on their test today were some of those words. For instance, the word fragile, I pronounce frag (long I) le. Hostile (again pronounced with a long I). The kids were laughing at me, stating that the teacher told them that nobody pronounces the words that way, and to say them with a short I. Then I really confused them by saying genuine with a long I. Don't get me started with vegetable (pronounced ve ga ta ble) all short vowels sound and 4 syllables.

Then I came home, cooked out on the grill after cutting the back yard. Now, at almost 9pm, I have to make cupcakes for my daughters' class for the morning, in celebration of their 9th birthday. Their birthday is on Saturday, and this year the are getting some great birthday presents....Last day of school on Friday May 22.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Grannies Girl

Here is my youngest daughter, Michelle, managing to look like her granny Jax (aka The Mommanator). She was helping me with my compost. You can get a glimpse of my composter in the back of this picture, it's the black/blue barrel being held with 2x4's.(One day I'll get a better picture and instructions on how to make). I made it for no more than $20. Michelle and I were taking the composted material out of the composter and planting hanging baskets with the black gold. Unfortunately, during my gardening this past week, I managed to find myself some Poison Ivy(actually I knew I was pulling it out, but thought that I was taking precautions against getting in on my skin....at least it is now out of that part of the yard). On what fun!!! Dosing myself with benedryl and calamine. Luckily it's not terrible, and this is enough to keep it at bay.



The freezer was moved out of my mud room a little while ago. It works fine, just way too big. In it's place I now have a much smaller freezer. My problem is that once it gets into the freezer it tends to stay there, so the smaller the better.

Just spending a lazy Sunday at home with the kiddos. I only get them one weekend a month, so we tend to chill that weekend. Right now we are just chilling watching an on-demand movie-gotta love on-demand.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Saturday Fun??


Today we had our family portrait taken for the church directory. I am so excited, as I have been wanting to get a new family portrait taken for a little while. The best part is that there was no sitting fee, and a free 8x10 of the picture that will go into the directory. The coolest thing is that the guys who were doing the directory, just so happen to do this for a living and are members of the church. The photographer was Greg Phelps, he did a great job of getting everyone to look and smile at the same time. The graphics guy is Dave Arthur of @rtuur Graphics. Dave was able to take Greg's pictures and edit them to make at least one great picture. Then he was playing around for the benefit of my kids, and taking my face and putting it on Danny's body. We were having fun, and it's great having guys taking you pictures and actually getting at least one great photo out of the bunch (with 5 people, you will always have one doing something weird).

When we got home, I decided that since I have the kiddos all dressed up, why not take a photo in front of my favorite tree. I know that this isn't the best photo ever, but they were tired of getting their pictures taken as well as not wanting to stand where I put them. Of course, we did a silly picture, but that is one best left for the tissues (fingers and noses....need I say more?)

After we finished the photo fest, cleaning the house was the game plan for the day. Well, after a few short hours of cleaning, all we have left is to vacuum the house and mop the floors. I guess I will finish that up after I fold a few loads of cloths. I don't know if you call this fun, but something needed.

Contest Winner


The 100th post contest winning number is #3-Congratulations go to Jessica from The Dietzel Family

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

100th Post-YEA A GIVEAWAY!!!!

This Contest is NOW CLOSED


Well, it's my 100th post. I can't believe it. When I started this blog back in October, I never expected that I would get here so quickly. Over the past few months so much has happened; a bathroom remodel, a new washer and dryer, my youngest starting school, my dad dying, my boys finishing their first football season, so much more. In commemoration of my 100th post, I am celebrating with a giveaway.

I am giving away one of my favorite things, a basket filled with the following: sugar scrub, bubble bath, body butter, a candle all in the fragrance of Lime Tea Blossom. In the basket also includes a loofah and a wooden massage tool. This basket is an aromatherapy dream! I love every product in this basket. The sugar scrub is the best, leaves your skin so soft. The body butter is fantastic....a little goes so far and doesn't leave your skin feeling greasy.

To gain chances, just do the following-
1 entry-leave a comment (with contact information)
2 entries-follow me and leave a comment stating that you follow me (for my current followers just leave a comment stating you follow)
3 entries-blog about this giveaway, then leave a comment with the link
The maximum number of entries is 3 total per person.

This contest will end on Saturday May 16, 2009 at 2pm EST. At that time I will use random number generator to pick the winner, if you are the winner and I am unable to contact you for your mailing address within 3 days of contest ending, I will pick a new winner.

Good Luck to you all, and have a wonderful day.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cutting Grass


This is twin #2 cutting the front yard. It finially stopped raining long enough to cut the grass. I had to get this mower out to cut "The Hill", the hill is in the very front of the yard right near the road-and a bear to cut. The hill's grass was about 2 ft high, as it hasn't been cut yet this year. I kept telling her that I could get out the riding mower to cut the grass (since the picture only shows about a quarter of the front yard), but she was having fun. How can I not let her have this much fun?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My New Toys

This is my new washer
AND This is my new dryer.






My dryer finally went and died. I tried to fix it, to no avail. So I went out and bought myself a new washer and dryer. I will keep my old washer and keep it hooked up, just to have 2 washers (I do tons of clothes). I have been wanting to buy myself a new washer, since my present washer likes to keep lots of lint on the clothes, and since I line dry the clothes on good weather days, having little to no lint on clothes is kinda needed. This new little toy has a lint trap that can be removed and cleaned out. I'm so excited. The best part is that since I was willing to take the display models they took 10% off each and another 10% off the washer since it is energy star. So, a total of $186 off both. Hey, I'm all willing to take money off, even if I have to take the display model to do so. I can't wait till tomorrow when they will deliver them and I can wash and dry clothes in them. Right now I am stuck with hanging the clothes in the bathroom to dry (it's been raining now for about a week-can't dry them outside-bummer). They are made by Samsung-but who cares? I don't care who they are made by, as long as they work.
Yea, I get excited about the little things.
By the way-this is my 98th post-stay tuned for my 100th post-it's coming soon, and I have a surprise for you!!!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Cool Link

As you all know, I've built myself some raised beds. I have since planted them with many different types of vegetables. I just wrote out what I had in each square foot on a piece of paper, however, since that time I found this wonderful FREE website that allows you not just to plot out what you placed where, but also the correct number according to the square foot garden plans. I like it because of the color pictures, and how organized it looks. I have taped it inside the house on a wall going out to the garden, so I always know where it is. I'm sure that I could place it in a Ziploc bag and staple it to the front of each raised bed, but for now this works. Check it out and tell me what you think.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Does it ever end???

The temps around here have been in the 90's since Saturday. For Maryland and April, that is very strange. Usually the temps are in the 70's with occasional 80+, but never in the 90's+ this early. So, I have been driving around in a sauna, not a nice comfy car.
Since the end of last summer, I have been waiting for my boyfriend (a master car mechanic with all the certifications a mechanic can have) to fix my air conditioner in the car. Finally, he decided to help me last night. He knew it was a simple vacuum hose that needed to be replaced, or so he thought that was all. We replaced the vacuum hose, took all of 30 mins (longer to dismantle the dash than to replace). We placed the new hose on, recharged the compressor, and low and behold....new leak. He thought that was a possibility, since a broken vacuum hose should not cause the freon to leak out of the system (vacuum hose only controls the vents to open and close). Since he thought I might have another leak somewhere, we placed freon dye in the compressor to aid in finding a "leak". He thought he had it narrowed down to some gasket seals that seal the hoses to the compressor. When he came home from work today, we took the dash back down, and replaced the gaskets and recharged the compressor with only 1 pound of freon, just in case that was not the problem. Of course, the gaskets were not the problem. He finally found the leak. Apparently, one of the air conditioner hoses ($190 shop cost, not what one would pay retail...that would be closer to $300), was rubbing against a fuel line. After 5 years of normal car vibration, the air conditioner hose now has a 1/2-1 in hole in it, right where it was rubbing against the fuel line. He can't tell for sure, but the fuel line may also be worn some too. He is fit to be tied. He can't believe that anyone would design a car so poorly to allow these hoses to rub together. He is convinced that it is a major safety issue, as the fuel line can easily be compromised now. Since discovering this, I have called the car manufacturer to report the issue (can't hurt to call out the potential safety issue). Unfortunately there is no recall about this issue, however, they gave me the number of the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, the people who issue recalls. I called them, and am in the process of officially reporting a major car safety issue. This is the first step on how automobile recalls are issued. Granted, this does not help me now, as I still need to have the leak fixed, and repaired in such a way as to not cause more damage to the fuel line. I know that I am lucky to have a boyfriend that can fix the problem, but if he is unable to fix the problem without replacing the ac hose, then he will need to take the car to the shop that he works at. Luckily, he should be able to work something out with his boss, but still, all and all it's about a $800-1000 job (full price).
Do I really need ac in the car??? Driving 32,000/yr-yes!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Please meet Sadie Lynn


I have decided that I prefer the name Sadie Lynn. May I please introduce you all to Sadie Lynn. I won't be able to meet her until June, but I can't wait. My mom is taking care of her for me until she comes up in June. All I want to do is snuggle with little Sadie, but at least she should be house broken by June. Better that Granny Jax potty train her than me.....I'm not that devoted.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Molly with my new Puppy



We are thinking about the names Sadie or Sasha. Still not 100% sure, but what do you all think?? She is a Yorkie-poo

First Iris and New Puppy

This is a picture of my first blooming iris of this year. This is a heirloom iris from my great-grandmother's yard. They have been passed around and passed around from family member to family member. Everytime they need to be thinned, they get passed down to yet another family member. I will have to thin them again this year and plan on passing them to a teacher at my kids' school.


My mom is buying this puppy for my kids. It is a pure black puppy that is 9 weeks old and will not get much bigger. So, what should I call her? I need to come up with a name for her. Please help and give me your suggestions.




As for my ankle, the doctor did a steriod injection in my ankle. The pain is getting a little better, and I expect to be better as the days go buy. The docotr felt that the pain was related to the increased swelling in the ankle, and the injection has decreased the swelling. Yahoo!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Nuttin Much

Nuttin much happening around here the last couple of days. Kids are in school and I've been back and forth to physical therapy. Today was supposed to be my last day of physical therapy, however, it looks like I need to go for another 3 weeks. The strength is not near what it should be, and I am still having a significant amount of pain (even though I did what I did this past weekend-it hurt while I was doing it). I wasn't supposed to go back to the doc until June, but my physical therapist and I both agree that something isn't quite right and I made an appointment for the morning. All I want is to be able to walk without discomfort. As it is right now, it feels like I'm walking on a nail in my joint, then the burn starts. I've had this surgery before, and by 6 weeks post surgery I was back to normal. It's been almost 6 weeks now and I am no where near normal.

Other than that, nothing much has been happening. Just the daily grind.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Beauty Is All In How You Look At It


This may look like a huge mess to most people, but to me it is a beautiful site.

In the first picture, there used to be a 5-6 ft diameter tree stump and an entire tree lying all around. It was a huge disaster. As you can now see, the stump and tree is gone. Yea, the mud looks bad, but given that it was pouring here today, it is a welcomed site. A little grass seed and water and it will look wonderful.




The second picture is of the dreaded hill. It used to be a trench with a ton of brush and mounds of dirt. Now it is nicely graded mud bath. I'd rather see the mud bath to be honest. A little grass seed and it will be wonderful, just like when I first moved to this house.

It's all how you see things.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Soil Toil



Another busy day at the ole homestead today. As you can see the new beds are done, filled with homemade soil mix, and planted with lots of good ole veggies. Even have dinner ready to eat at anytime (gotta love a crock pot and pulled pork sandwiches).
So far for the weekend only 3 ticks were removed, with only 1 actually having attached. The worst part about the attacked tick was where it was attached, right under the fold of twin #2's ear. It came off without too much of a fuss. Here in the Northeast/Mid-Atlantic area, ticks are a huge deal. My oldest has had Lyme's twice, both were primary cases (not relapses, but actually 2 separate cases). My mom has had Lyme's, and when my oldest had his first case, my ex was also diagnosed with Lyme's just a few weeks after our son. In my kid's school (only 300 students), I know of at least 30 different kids with Lyme's. The only thing about this time of year I hate. Ticks are probably one of the reasons why I am cleaning up the yard, not to mention the great taste of home grown veggies.

In case you are wondering, the tall posts on the back of the beds are the trellis part of the beds. They are there to grow the watermelon, cucumbers, pumpkins, and bird house gourds up instead of out. I have been growing cucumbers up for the last couple of years, and it is so much easier. Not to mention that the entire cucumber actually turns green, not half green and half yellow (the sun-it do ripen fruit). Well, gotta go check for more ticks......FUN!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Taming of the Shrew

This is a picture of twin #1-aka Lizzy. She was biggest helper today.


Today my kids and I were doing some yard work. I, or should I say the kids, removed some old rotten wood to a lower spot on the property. I then removed some honeysuckle, aka The Shrew, from the fence that it was wrapped around. I cleaned myself out a nice little spot for my new planting beds. We then proceeded to build one of my two new beds. I am going to start square foot gardening. I have been using a raised bed for years, but this year am going to use the square foot method. Tomorrow, I will build the other bed, make the trellises for the beds, mix the soil up, fill the beds with the soil, and plant me some seeds. We will have lots....lettuce, spinach, radishes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, scallions, pumpkins, pole beans, watermelon, and maybe I will try my hand with eggplant. All of this in 1-4x8 ft bed and 2-4x4 ft beds. I need to get all this done before the rain starts, which is scheduled for tomorrow evening. After I get this done I will take a picture and show you all.

I will also ask my oldest son to help me move some more wood to the lower part of the property tomorrow. I am trying to clean up the yard a bit. I am really excited about Monday. On Monday I have the landscaper coming to remove a fallen tree from the part of the property known as the play yard (it's a fenced in area with a swing set), as well as doing a little grading work. The biggest part of the project is removing those 5ft diameter pieces of wood and the stump. It will be so great to have the added space.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Egglnader Part 2






Well, today was the big egg lander drop day at the school. Much fun was had by all the kids. Many great ideas were scene. Here is my oldest dropping his egg lander-Yes, the egg survived. All and all, I think only one kid had an egg that did not survive. Some of the ideas included cutting a slit into a Nerf football and placing the egg in the football. The football was then not just dropped, but thrown for a long pass-yes the egg survived. Also, much bubble wrap could be found, along with packing peanuts, home made parachutes, and sponges. As you can see, Kenny's entry was a little different. It is just a cloth pouch to hold the egg, and the pouch was suspended in the middle of a large cardboard box by elastic. The kids really seemed to have a great time. We had great launch weather with sunshine and temps reaching 73 wonderful degrees.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Egg Lander Part 1


My son has a 4th grade science project to go with the space unit. He has to build an egg lander. This is the first draft of the egg lander. It works the first several drops, however, after about the 10th drop, the egg cracked. The other problem with this design is that you can not take the egg in and out of the stocking without tearing the stocking off the box (and since the stocking is duck taped to the box-not a good scene). Mind you, the egg lander is going to be dropped onto cement from the top of a second story staircase, so it does need to take a little bit of a beating. My son are going to be off soon to the local Walmart to get some elastic to make the egg lander ever better.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Water Woes, or are they?


My pressure tank on my well has been bad for quite a while. It has not been working for at least a couple of years, which has been causing my pump to cycle on and off repeatedly. For anyone who doesn't know, this is not good for the pump at all. It can cause a pump to stop working prematurely. Well, a new pressure tank has been on my list of to get items for the last 2 years, and today, I finally did it. I decided that it was time. As much as I needed the tank, I was also scared to get one. See, living on a well poses a whole set of issues, most dealing with pressure. I have get water pressure for a well, and didn't want to lose all that great pressure. Hence the reason for waiting so long. I asked a fellow church member, who is a plumber by trade, how much it would cost. Him being the kind hearted man he is, only charged me $75 (actually, when I first asked him, he was willing to do it for free if financially I couldn't afford it). He even told me not to buy the tank, as he could buy it at his cost, and it would be a lot cheaper. So, a new tank I got today. It took longer to remove the old tank, as it was severely water logged, then it did to install the tank. All said and down, a total of 2.5 hours of work he did at the house, I tried to give him more, but he was not having it. He refused to take more money. I know that he was giving me a break, being a single mom and a fellow church member, but I felt so bad. I know that he has a family to feed, as his daughter is in the same class as my son. I do appreciate the gift and am very thankful.
So, have you ever had a situation such as above, where you knew you were being given a great discount, and felt bad about it?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He Is ALIVE!!!

Today as we all gather around family and friends, don't forget the real reason to celebrate Easter. It's not for the candy, or the feast we will all gorge ourselves on, but it is to celebrate the Risen Lord. Luke 24:6-He is not here, but is RISEN:remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee. We celebrate Easter not for the death of Christ, but for the fact that Jesus conquered death and is ALIVE! Through Him, we all can have life.

Have a wonderful Easter, and remember to Thank God for his gift and for allowing Jesus to die for you, and raising Jesus!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spring Fever


This picture was taken on the front/side of my house. Today I had spring fever, and decided that it was time for the first lawn cutting of season. So, on top of cutting the grass, my kids and I removed a fallen tree from the front yard (actually, one that my youngest cut down with a hatchet last year), then we cleaned out some flower beds, mulched said flower beds, planted a few flowers (bleeding heart for one), then decided that weeding was needed in this flower bed. So, the girls and I weeded out this flower bed. I also planted a purple pincushion flower in this bed. All of this was completed before 3pm (mind you me and the kids also went out to breakfast and bought the flowers that I planted). Now my ankle is really hurting.

I can't wait for the weather to get even warmer and then my lavender, clematis, and black eyed susan's will be in bloom. Now, all I have to do is remove a dying cherry tree about 20 feet from this flower bed, buy and weeping flowering cherry and plant it in place of the dying tree. Nothing is ever done at this house. Next week I have a landscaper coming to grind an old 5 ft stump (5 ft diameter-very old tree that ice took out about 2 yrs ago), remove all the old wood, and grade a couple of small areas. I can't wait for them to come and finish that project, because then I can make a new flower bed where the tree stump will have resided. My kids love being outside and planting. I think that it just gives them an excuse to be outside and get dirty. After all, just the other day, my youngest and I were planting seeds, I know it's a little late for seeds, but better late than never-another excuse to play in dirt. The best part of doing all this dirty work, is getting into my new shower and having hot water run all over my body and splurging on a great smelling body sugar scrub. Yum!

I guess spring fever is in full force over here.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Flowering of The Cross



Today at my kid's school they had the Easter Chapel. The Easter Chapel is what is known as The Flowering of The Cross. The school places an ugly old wooden cross on the stage to represent the ugliness and death of the cross. Then every student proceeds to place a flower on the cross, symbolizing the life that came from Jesus dying on the cross. It really is quite powerful, as at the beginning of the chapel, all you see is 2 pieces of dead wood on the stage, then right before you, it transforms into this beautiful living thing. During the transformation, everyone is supposed to be reflecting on their salvation and how Jesus died for everyone's sins, a sinless man giving his life to save all those who are willing to accept His gift of ultimate sacrifice. Imagine, a room full of 350+ kids (ages 5-17) and their parents all reflecting on God's grace and giving a small token of their thanks in the form of a flower.....amazing. Every parent was encouraged to go to the cross with their child/children. The moment is too much for words.

Please watch the video to have just a small glimpse of this special moment(sorry the picture is so fuzzy, but it gives you the idea).

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My Baby


Today my youngest and I went out to the local pizza joint for lunch. While at lunch, he had to use the restroom. When he came back from the restroom and proceeded to take my hand in his hand. He then closed his eyes, took a bow, and kissed the back of my hand. He then told me that what he just did is what princes do to their princess to show them how much they love them. How precious is that? My heart just melted.

Earlier in the day, he went to physical therapy with me. While there he was the perfect gentleman. He had to go to the bathroom, and since he was never there before, he didn't know where to go. So, in the middle of my therapy, he says, "Excuse me, but could you please tell me where the bathroom is?" All day long it was "please", and "thank you". Everyone we meet today kept saying, "What a polite young man you are". Makes me want to jump up and down for joy knowing that I must be doing something right....This all coming from the kid who wasn't accepted to private school last year because of bad behavior.....what a turn around.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Pictures around the yard



Just some pics from around the yard

Waiting and Cheap Food

Here I am waiting. Waiting for the water man to show up to do routine maintenance on my water neutralizer at my house. Why is it that repair guys can only give you a four hour window to show up to complete the needed repairs? Four hours? I understand that traffic can cause delays, and other things can come up at other houses that can cause delays, but 4 hours, come on! There are so many other things I can do in that time, besides waiting around my house for some guy to show up.

On another note. I don't know what is happening at my local grocery store, but they are having some great sales. I just bought 5 pounds of a fresh pork roast for $4.95. That is only $0.99/lb. So, me and the kiddos will be having BBQ pork pull sandwiches for dinner. That will me 6 people (my boyfriend included) will be eating dinner for about $1/per person. Now, try and go out for that price. The store also had pork ribs for $0.99/lb, butter $0.99/lb, 15 oz Life cereal for $0.99, and many other items for $0.99. I guess they are having a $0.99 sale. They also have Folgers coffee for $5.99 for 2.5 lbs (normally $8.99). Not to mention, they also are giving away free gas. For every $100 spent, you earn $1.50 in free gas. I know that's only 1.5% gas back, but hey-I would be spending the money there anyway, so any money back is great, even if it is only as a gift card for gas.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Friday


Well, it's been a dreary stormy Friday. Had physical therapy early this morning, then went to Joann Fabrics, and then to pick the kids up from school. Spring has definitely started with a vengeance. Today we had our first thunder storm of the season, and what they say about April showers to so true. It has rained then entire month of April so far.I just can't wait for the flowers to start. At least I have some daffodils and hyacinths starting to pop their pretty little heads.

Right now my kids are playing a bible trivia game on the play station. My oldest is getting all the answers correct. Not to shabby. In just over an hour, I will be on my way taking the kids to their dad's house. I am so looking forward to a nice quiet weekend home alone/kid free. Probably the only benefit to being divorced, having weekends alone. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids, but when they are home playing, the 4 of them together are very noisy, and I don't like a lot of noise. Kinda funny, having 4 kids and not liking noise.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Playing Around

As you can tell, I am playing around with another new look. This was a free template I found. I don't know how long I will keep it, I may change it again tomorrow, but then again, I might just keep it a while.
Went to church tonight with my kiddos. My church is starting a new women's Bible study, Beth Moore's Psalms of Ascension.
I've also been wanting to get another family portiat done, wouldn't you know it, I go to church and discover that this year the church is doing a photo directory. This is where I got my last family portiat done. So, I'll be making an appointment to get the photo's done. I'm so happy. Finally, another good family portiat.

New layout

As you can see, I've been playing around and changed a few things on the ole blog. Thought that I needed to keep with the change of seasons and change to a spring pic and colors.
So, whatca all think??

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

What to do?

My mom went home on Sunday, and she made it safe and sound. Monday, my youngest was home from school for a teacher work day. Today I have been washing the laundry that accumulated since Sunday, all 3 loads. They are outside drying in the beatiful sun. I have been kinda lonely here today. It is so quiet. I don't know what to do. I know what my mom would say..."move this and move that (furniture), but my ankle is a little sore from climbing up and down the stairs from doing laundry. I still have to take it a little easy on the ankle or I will be sorry later. I guess I'm just a little down. Alone. Depressed.

Monday, March 30, 2009

New Blog-Go Check It Out

An old college roommate of mine started a blog. It is about her adventures abroad as a missionary. She was an English major in college, and has a way with writing. If you interested in a great cerebral read, go check her out at http://welltraveledchick.blogspot.com/
Right now, Meredith (affectionately known as Mere) is posting about her adventures (or misadventures) in Ethiopia.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

All Alone

Well, my mom, the mommanator to those who know her, left at 7am this morning to go back to Florida. She came up to help me while I had surgery and was confined to the bed. I will miss her, and her cleaning ways. She did all the laundry for me while she was here. That alone is not an easy task. Trying to keep up on the laundry alone is a full time job. Before she left, she managed to move all my furniture around, to make room for new furniture from her NJ house. Her brother drove to my house yesterday to deliver a couch, 2 chairs, a freezer, and his oldest daughter who left with my mom to stay with her for 2 weeks. I am so excited about having a new couch. I know that it is not brand new, but it is only a couple of years old, and it is in much better shape than the one I had. Now, all I have to do is paint my living room, but that will have to wait. The next project in the house has to be redoing my girls' room. After that, then another bathroom remodel. These remodels will not be nearly as involved as that last remodel. The girls' room only need wallpaper stripped and painted. The other bathroom is a little more involved, as the current floor needs to be removed, a little sub-floor repair, then install a new floor. Then new cabinet and sink, wallpaper removal, and paint. I have been wanting to do the floor in there for quite a while, but am a little scared about the sub-floor. I don't know why, but sub-flooring is a little tricky. After those 2 rooms, then painting the living rooms, then I will have to have all my hardwood floor refinished, not to mention a new front porch-hey, anyone want to come and help? By the time I do all this, then it will be time to start over....oh, the joys of owning a house. At least I am still one of the lucky ones, and I am still able to think about remodeling my house, and not worring about when it will be foreclosed. Actually, I love house remodeling. It is so exhilarating to see it all come together. So, what are your passions?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Weirdness


This is a photo that I took of a flower and inverted the colors. I kinda like it this way. What do you think? It has a strange artistic look about it, at least to me it does. I guess that I'm kinda strange that way.

Well, I have physical therapy in about an hour, and will have to go soon. My ankle is doing quite well, just one spot that really aches still.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sunday Sickness

This has been one killer of a cold season. Today, my youngest woke with a fever and sore throat. While me, my mom, and the other 3 kiddos went to church, mu sister stayed home with the youngest. When we finally returned home, poor little Danny was lying in the bed with those big sad eyes almost crying. He felt as hot as a firecracker, and he cried every time he swallowed. I tried to give him a Popsicle to eat, but the poor fella cried with each bite saying it hurt too bad to swallow. Finally, my mom and I were able to get some Motrin into him, and he finally took something to drink. Now, he is running around outside with his big brother playing. It is so amazing to watch kids be sick. One minute they can be crying hysterical and only wanting mommy (or grandma) to console them, the next minute, they are running around. I know that he really is not feeling good, and his throat is beet red, and I suspect he has strep, but have to wait till the morning when I can get a doctor appointment for him.

Church was great this morning. We are having a revival week at church this week. Harold Vaughn is at the church for the week. If you are not familiar with him, his main ministry is church revivals. He goes around to different churches during their revivals. Today his sermon was on the importance of having God as you Saviour, and if you die today and face your maker, would you be prepared. I know of about 10 people in the second service who got saved. They is a major party in heaven today. Praise God, and am so excited about the next services.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Coffee anyone? It'll be ready in 15mins

Since I have had my ankle surgery, my job allows me to continue to keep working and not need to take disability while my ankle heals. I know that I am real lucky, however, I hate 5am calls. There is nothing worse than being in your last hour of sleep and the phone rings. I take care of the issue, only to realize that I only have 30mins before I need to get up. Guess I better just make coffee and lunches. Hey, maybe I will surprise the kids and make pancakes for breakfast....but then again, I just caught my girls trying to sneak around into my mom's room. Ahh grandma will be so blessed.....3 grand babies and one dog in her bed....better her than me, that bed is only so big.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Warning-Soap Box Post

Went to the doctor today for my first post-op appointment. The cast came off. Now, I have to wear a walking cast for at least until I see him again (April 11). I also have to start physical therapy 2/week for the next month. Taking the first step was a little rough, but each step is a little easier.

Sometimes being a nurse is a terrible thing, as I see things and know that they are not being done according to standard of practice. The office aide (dare I say nurse) cut off my cast then the doctor asked her to remove my stitches. Well, being a nurse and knowing the importance of hand washing, I expected her to wash her hands before removing the stitches. Did she? No! I understand that in today's health care industry, actual hand washing with soap and water is gone by the wayside, and alcohol based hand cleansers are all the rage. Even though the CDC and JACHO (JACHO is the accreditation agency) all recommend only using alcohol based hand cleansers when washing with water is not possible. Well, there was a wash basin with soap and paper towels in the room where my cast was removed. I was really perturbed by the fact that she dared to touch my wound without clean hands. Yes, she had on gloves, but that is no excuse. I almost told her to wash her hands, and I should have. I did however tell the doctor about it, and he told me that she should have and that he would have a talk to her. Hand washing is the exact reason why these super bugs (multiple antibiotic resistant bacteria) are becoming the norm. A simple thing such as hand washing can do so much. The best thing about it that is just plain old soap is enough. You don't need antibacterial soap for it to be effective, just proper technique. The following is put out by the CDC to explain how to properly wash your hands and when you should wash your hands.

When to Wash

• Before eating.
• Before, during, and after handling or preparing food.
• After contact with blood or body fluids (like vomit, nasal secretions, or saliva). • After changing a diaper.
• After you use the bathroom.
• After handling animals, their toys, leashes, or waste.
• After touching something that could be contaminated (such as a trash can, cleaning cloth, drain, or soil).
• Before dressing a wound, giving medicine or inserting contact lenses.
• More often when someone in your home is sick.
• Whenever they look dirty.
How to Wash
• Wet your hands and apply liquid, bar, or powder soap.
• Rub hands together vigorously to make a lather and scrub all surfaces.
• Continue for 20 seconds! It takes that long for the soap and scrubbing action to dislodge and remove stubborn germs. Need a timer? Imagine singing “Happy Birthday” all the way through – twice!
• Rinse hands well under running water.
• Dry your hands using a paper towel or air dryer.
• If possible, use your paper towel to turn off the faucet.
(I always add one more point-After using the paper towel to turn off the faucet, then use it to open the door)
Remember: If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based wipe or hand gel!

If everyone followed these few simple rules, there would be a lot less illness. After all, have you ever watched the number of people who use the bathroom who do not wash their hands. They will go to the bathroom, go to the mirror, look in the mirror, play with their hair, then leave. They touch the door handle when they leave, and if you are at a buffet.....they then go and touch the serving spoons. Think about it. Next time you go out to eat, and have to use the restroom, watch through the door, you'll see what I mean. YUCK!!! That is why I always add using the paper towel to open the door.

Okay, off my soap box. I'll go back and just put my foot up and rest now.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Bitter Sweet Memories

This time of year is always packed with family holidays, today is no exception. 40 years ago today my parents were married. Of course it is bittersweet this year, and tears will flow, but tears of memories and joy. No tears of sorrow are allowed. My dad would never have wanted tears of sorrow. We have nothing to be sad about. Sure, it's hard and he is missed, but he is the lucky one. He is celebrating with us. Having the ultimate celebration with God. Right now he would be smacking me upside my head for crying and I can hear his telling me to knock it off, but still the tears flow. Yes, I miss my dad, and will continue to miss him.

I am thankful for the time we had with him, thankful for my parents getting married 40 yrs ago today (in the snow no less). Thankful for having parents who loved each other deeply, and openly. Thankful for being loved by my parents. Thankful for having him as long as we did. Thankful for my parents giving me life.