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


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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

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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??