Wednesday, July 23, 2014
I routinely work out. Six days a week I hit the treadmill and either walk or run. I know there are people who love group fitness classes like tango dance lessons - Dance Doctor. I wish I was someone who enjoyed this sort of activity. The truth is I am just not much of a group activity type of person. My workouts allow me to check out from the world around me and clear my mind. I relish my time alone and think I am a better wife and mother because of it. There may come a time in my life when I feel differently but for now I look forward to an hour each day that is mine and mine alone.
I have been canning this week like a mad woman. It seems like all the produce in my garden needs to be harvested at the same time. This week I have canned green beans, raspberry puree, and strawberry puree. There was also a bunch of chicken that needed to be canned as well as the broth from that chicken. In addition to this I harvested potatoes and 10 quarts of snow peas. I will be picking green beans again tonight if the weather cooperates. It feel like it never ends but I feel good that I can put this food away for my family and know that it is really healthy and not full of pesticides and other stuff we don't want to be eating.
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Each year we seem to get closer and closer to self-sufficiency. This year we are focusing on increasing the food that we are able to produce on our property. Some people concern themselves with shopping for allred insurance burlington nc or more energy efficient windows as a means of cost cutting. Our way of saving money is to try to produce as much of our own food as possible. We have a couple of gardens for growing vegetables as well as several areas devoted to growing fruit. This week we planted a new orchard and in the coming weeks we will start raising quail for meat and eggs. These small steps inch us ever closer to not relying on other people or companies to provide for our needs.
Posted by LJN at 6:24 PM
Last weekend we build an incubator. This might sound strange but we have decided to raise quail for eggs and meat. They take up very little space which is perfect for the area where we used to keep our chickens. Our chickens went to live in the big farm in the sky after a long, long run. We decided after a great deal of research that quail would be a much better fit for our lives and property. Next week I should receive a shipment of quail hatching eggs and we will begin incubating them 24 hours after receipt of them. It should be fun to see how our newest adventure goes.
Posted by LJN at 6:18 PM
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
For the last few days our weather has been really warm. It was warm enough to melt the snow from our yard. It really felt like we could sell miami beach real estate from here. Today has been an entirely different story. This afternoon a winter storm hit our area something fierce. We have had nothing but snow since around lunch time. The winds are very strong making the visibility nearly zero outside. The last report I read said that would could get as much as a foot of snow by morning. The weird thing is that two days from now the temperature is supposed to be in the sixties. It is crazy to consider given we are in the midst of a blizzard today.
This week I got the gardening itch. This is the time of year when I really start to feel the boredom of winter setting in and have to do something to convince myself that spring really is coming. When this happens I start to plan my garden. Each year I use graph paper to layout a plan for how I want to plant things in my various garden beds. This helps me to insure that I am not replanting the same items in the same plot each year. It also helps me to determine what seeds or plants I may need. This is the first year in a long time that I am not starting any plants from seeds inside. I really enjoy that process but don't feel like I need to this year as I still have lots of produce from previous years in the freezer. It feels good to plan and look forward to getting my hands in the soil.
Sunday, March 02, 2014
I don't know if I ever mentioned it before but my husband majored in eduction while in college. As part of his studies he had to take a music class. I look back and laugh over this because the instrument that he had to learn to play was the recorder. The sound of him tooting away for hours on end will never fade from my memory. There is no way the sounds he produced will ever be confused with the you might find elsewhere. His music had a sad and humble sound that I don't believe anyone else could replicate. Thankfully his interest in playing music ended with that class but the memory of his music will forever linger.
Posted by LJN at 5:17 PM
It is funny how once to mention running in a group of people how many runners you will find. I didn't think anyone in my circle of friends were into running. It turns out that I know many people who are runners. Some are short distance and others are into half marathons. I can now say I consider myself a runner which is something I never thought I would say. Truth be told I am still working to improve my running and am a long way from where I want to be I am simply happy to be running. I now know that if I want to run with other people that I have options. For now I am happy to just keep doing what I am doing.
Posted by LJN at 5:12 PM
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
This summer my family is going to be spending a great deal of time in the outdoors. We are actively planning to fish and camp as much as we possibly can. We will also spend lots of time hiking. I would love it if we had some utility ATVs to use at our camp but we don't. Hiking is great physical exercise and my kids really enjoy it. Our last few summers have been spent gardening and working on projects, however this summer is not going to be. Our focus is going to be on spending time in nature and perfecting our fishing skills. My family is constantly complaining that we don't have fish often enough so I figure the best way to correct that is to teach them how to fish properly.
So...my husband wants me to take up hunting with him. He thinks it would be a good bonding experience for us and that it just might be fun. I have no problem with hunting and understand why people do it and the purposes that it serves. I have never considered myself as someone who would hunt unless I had to. The thing is that I now realize what a great source of really healthy meat hunting can be and have allowed myself to consider taking it up. I went ahead and registered for a hunter safety course next month. Even though I took one when I was 12 years old I believe I could benefit from taking it again 31 years later. I will let you know what I think of it when I am done.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Every night at dinner my husband likes to play a record on his vintage record player. We noticed this week that his record player has not been shutting off when it should. This is distressing to him, and he is hoping to fix the record player as soon as he can. We realize that this is not a great problem, but when you love music as much as he does it is bothersome. I imagine that it would be simpler if he just used some digitized method of listening to his music. He could easily find something like but he prefers his music to be created via an old school method. I have to admit that even though I am not a fan of music I do enjoy this nightly ritual we enjoy as a family.
Posted by LJN at 5:48 PM
I can't believe it is almost February!This is the time of year when I have to start thinking about this summer's garden. Typically I start some plants in late February. This year I believe I am going to keep my gardens very simple so that I can focus on something besides gardening this summer. We really want to do a great deal of fishing this year. Having a demanding garden hinders our ability to do much fishing. My plan thus far included a salad garden bed and a great deal of green beans and peas. We eat green beans several times a week, and that means we need to grow ALOT of them. I also intend to convert one of my old strawberry beds to an asparagus bed.
I have posted many times that I am not a big fan of most music. My nature is suck that I prefer quiet to having music playing. To add to this I don't know anything about music. If you asked me the difference between a regular piano and I couldn't tell you. There is however one thing music related that I like, and that is the Grammies. Seeing musicians perform at the Grammies is one thing I look forward to each year. I particularly loved watching Pink perform this year. I hope one day to see her in concert.
Now that I have finished my running program and have been running several times a week I find myself needing a new goal. I have no intention of curtailing my running, but I feel like I need to have a new goal. After researching some programs that are similar in some way to the C25K program I have decided to give the 100 pushups program a try. I am unable to do standard pushups so I am beginning with wall pushups. Surprisingly I am really feeling these in my chest and in the backs of my arms. I really need to work on toning up my arms and think this may be the perfect way to do it. I am also lifting weights a bit and intend to add more of that into my routine.
Posted by LJN at 5:15 PM
Thursday, December 26, 2013
After a very busy holiday week I am finally enjoying a quiet night. My children are engrossed in their Christmas gifts. My husband is on the phone listening to his friend talk about what sounds like a quest to find . I have escaped to our bedroom to be alone with my thoughts. I love my family, but I do enjoy a bit of quiet. After what seems like weeks of Christmas music and talk about Santa it feels nice to hear just the noise from the street. My family loves holiday music and has played it non-stop for weeks. They are finally distracted with something else and my mind is free to focus on just enjoying the downtime afforded me
Posted by LJN at 6:03 PM
I started the Couch to 5K program seven weeks ago. Today I finished the week seven, day one run. It felt amazing. This week requires you to do a 5 minute warm up walk which was followed by a 25 minute run with no breaks. I have run 25 minutes one other time which was 3 days ago. I just can't believe that I am now able to run for 25 minutes! When I think that just seven weeks ago the idea of running for 90 seconds seemed outrageous. I love that I can run and I am so proud of myself for sticking with it. I now have two more runs for week seven left which are identical. I know I am going to finish the program in a very short time and am thrilled that I have reached a personal goal.
Posted by LJN at 5:56 PM
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
My husband has decided that he wants to continue hunting in the future. This was the first year that he tried to hunt, and he found out that he actually enjoys it. This leaves up needing to buy hunting gear. I have considered looking for where to find a wireless trail camera and some hunting clothes. Because I don't hunt I am not sure exactly what he needs. I do know that he will need some orange blaze clothing, but what exactly that will be I don't know. I hope that he ends up being a successful hunter because all of the gear seems to come at a price. It would be sad if we bought gear and he never bagged any game. My biggest hope is that he is safe when he hunts and no harm comes to him.
Posted by LJN at 6:56 PM
I am only supposed to run 3 days a week. I usually walk on the days I don't run. Today I found myself feeling full of energy and like I "needed" to run. I decided to get on the treadmill and do a workout from an earlier week of the running program I use. It felt so good to run and not feel over extended. I simply enjoyed the run and when it was over continued to walk for an extra half mile beyond my normal 2 mile walk/run. I can't wait until I get to the point where running always feels like this. It was a good exercise because I remember when that week felt strenuous which shows me how much stronger I am today than even a couple of weeks ago.
Thursday, December 05, 2013
Our son's Boy Scout troop is in the midst of a huge recycling project. They had 10,000 pop cans donated to them and need to sort the cans in order to turn them in for cash. We have been helping the troop in the evening. This has been a good way to get to know the other parents in the troop. Last night we sorted cans with a mother who also happens to be a music teacher. She was also a chatter bug. I now know more about the rock n roller cart at wwbw than I ever wanted to know. She told me all about what it is like to teach middle school students to play instruments and put together an orchestra performance. My husband found it very funny to watch me listen to her because he knows that I could care less about music and don't have musical bone in my body. At least she helped pass the time and seemed to be enjoying herself.
Posted by LJN at 7:04 PM
I took up running about four weeks ago. It finally hit me that I needed some sort of exercise program that would encourage me towards a goal. In the back of my mind I have had a goal of running a 5K for a long time. Also in the back of my head is a ton of self doubt and old messages that tell me I am not capable of this. I read great things about the "Couch to 5K" program and decided to give it a try. My husband also started the program which has made it even more fun. Today was the longest I have run in my life. Although I am only 4 weeks into this 9 week program I am beginning to see myself as capable of finishing this program and being able to do something I never believe that I could do.
Posted by LJN at 6:59 PM
Thursday, November 28, 2013
We are not a family that needs to have the latest and greatest technological gadget. We have laptops and a very basic cell phone. We don't send text messages and have never used apps like goconnect. This might change in the coming weeks because I bought our family a tablet for Christmas. I thought it would be nice for us to have a small handheld device that we could use while on the treadmill or when we wanted to watch different television programs, and there wasn't a spare television. I don't want my family to become hooked on gadgets but I do recognize that the world is shifting and there may be a point where we need one of these gadgets as opposed to simply wanting one.
Posted by LJN at 6:32 PM
I go through spurts where I get completely taken with a certain television show. Right now my current passion is the show "Land Girls". It is a BBC show about women working on farms during the war. I don't know why but the show is enlightening to me. I didn't realize all the things that went on during the war. So much focus has been made over the years on those who were soldiers that I was unaware of the sacrifices of other people. Another show that I found enlightening was a show called "Bomb Girls". Both programs depict the important roles that women played in wartime. I am not saying that we shouldn't be educated about the sacrifice of soldiers but it is really nice to learn about the work of women.
Posted by LJN at 6:23 PM
We had Thanksgiving dinner today with family and a couple of acquaintances. My brother tends to invite his friends to eat with us if they have nowhere to go. One of his friends is a high school music teacher. He talked nonstop about his students and his class as well as music in general. We now know more about than we ever wanted to know. I am also completely informed on the stresses of dealing with adolescent children in a high school setting. I don't think he ever considered as he talked on and on about guitars and teenagers that we might not care. He may have been nervous and just felt he needed to talk to fill the silence. Either way it was still a nice dinner even though the rest of us never got a word in edgewise.
This morning I got up early and decided to do my daily workout and get it out of the way. I knew that I would eating a big meal for Thanksgiving dinner and wanted to be sure I had worked out a head of time. In my mind I knew that if I waited until later in the day that I would be groggy from turkey and have little motivation to work out. I am really glad I did. I ate dinner with no guilt and enjoyed every bite of it. I even ate dessert. Having given up grains a few months ago I have tried very hard to stick to my diet. My feeling is that this rare and very occasional indulgence is acceptable and human. I can always get back to working out and eating clean tomorrow but at least I worked out today and that is something I am proud of.
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
My in-laws stopped by for a visit yesterday. One of their prime objectives was to get our children to make out their Christmas wish lists. My in-laws always try to get the children everything on their lists which drives me a wee bit crazy. The children could put on their lists, and I have no doubt that they would get them. I am thankful for the gifts they are given, but I also don't agree with spoiling them rotten. I kindof wish they would spread their spending out over the year so that the children appreciate the things they are given just a bit more. When you get gift after gift all at once they don't seem as impressive as if you are given some here and there.
Posted by LJN at 2:02 PM
I don't know what it is about holidays but my children always seems to catch colds around the major holidays. It started about a week ago when my oldest son came down with a sore throat which was then followed by a fever. Once the fever lessened he developed a runny nose and subsequently a cough. About one week later my youngest son came down with the exact same symptoms. Today I find myself with a sore throat and a sense of pressure in my ears and head. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day which means I will likely be feeling terrible by then.
Posted by LJN at 1:58 PM
Friday, November 08, 2013
My older son's best friend lives just around the corner. He is an only child and a truly nice young man. The one thing that is hard for my son is the fact that his friend wants for nothing. He could ask for a one day and have it the next. He loves music and has every gadget imaginable. The one thing I am thankful for is that my son isn't that into music so we don't feel much pressure from him to buy music equipment. I understand that we don't have to keep up with this child's parents in terms of what we buy our son, but I don't always think my son sees it that way. I am glad that they are friends nonetheless.
Posted by LJN at 6:09 PM
We don't have cable or satellite television, but we do have Netflix and Amazon Prime. My husband and I try to pick a show that we both like and watch it together each night. We don't always watch something every single night, but we try to several nights of the week after the children are bed. We are currently watching "Haven". We like syfy type shows and recently finished watching "Fringe". We hopes that "Haven" would be a good substitute for "Fringe". It isn't quite as good, but we are enjoying it. I only wished that there were more science fiction shows. Nothing that my husband and I have watched thus far is something that we would be comfortable watching with our children.
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Recently I started watching the television show "Damages". I haven't really watched a legal thriller in a while and am completely hooked on this show. They don't prosecute your average cases like a law firm for personal injury would do. The cases they take all seem to involve things like ponzi schemes and defrauding investors which completely. I cannot wait to see how the show concludes. I have only watched it through season three and have two more seasons to go. My husband skipped ahead and watched the series finale and said that it was not satisfying in the slightest which leaves me bewildered. My home is that everyone in the show who needs to see justice would but it sounds like that is not going to be the case.
Posted by LJN at 6:44 PM
We have been canning apples lots and lot of apples. Mainly we have been canning apple sauce and apple cider. This has been a very good year for apples which is really nice after the complete crop failure in our area a year before. We made 7.5 gallons of apple cider and canned it. We have made 42 quarts of apple sauce and may do some more. I really want to be sure we have enough for a while in case something happens to next year's apple crop. The price of apples at the store is just ridiculous for this time of year which makes me think we are never going to see a drop in apple prices at the grocery store. Usually the price drops around this time of year but it hasn't. I plan on putting away all the apples I can at a low price because I am sure they will never go lower again.
Posted by LJN at 6:39 PM
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
It is that time of year when school is starting up again. This has been a crazy week in our neighborhood. It seems like all the kids and teenagers are having one last hurrah before school starts. last night I could have sworn I was listening to someone play a seymour duncan at Musician's Friend as opposed to laying in my bed. It really was as if I was standing in a store listening to people test out instruments. I guess these particular kids wanted the world to know they are taking music lessons and are proud of themselves. I personally wouldn't care if they were playing during daylight hours, but I prefer quiet in the middle of the night as opposed to musical rifts and jam sessions. At least school starts very soon and this will be done soon.
Three years ago I planted a teeny tiny peach tree in our backyard. My husband was convinced that it would be a decade before we ever saw any fruit on this tree. It was literally a stick about 3 feet tall when I planted it. Over the three years I have babied the tree and taken so much care to protect and nurture it. This year it was covered in blossom which became baby peaches. I thinned the peaches by about half and felt very bad doing so. In retrospect I could have thinned them even more to get larger peaches. This week we harvested the ripe peaches and there were 80 pounds of them. Had I thinned them even more they would have been very large peaches. I am so happy and know that next year thinning them is not a bad thing.
Posted by LJN at 4:43 PM
Friday, August 02, 2013
My son has gone to music camp for several years. It is really more of a theater camp than a music camp, but they call it "music camp". They offer some classes with a music focus but he elects not to take them. He once took a guitar class that he found incredibly frustrating and refused to take another one. What he has really enjoyed is the classes in stage direction. He even asked if we could get stage lights cheap at guitar center he could set up a stage in our basement. I haven't agreed to this but love his enthusiasm. I have always envied people with musical or theatrical talent because I have absolutely none. I won't be buying stage lights for our home, but I will support his interest in the arts as long as he wants to pursue it.
Posted by LJN at 5:19 PM
I make pickles every year. I have been happy and unhappy with the results. This year I decided to try to make them using lacto-fermentation. I have never made pickles this way and wanted something that might end up really crunchy. I am making dilly beans and traditional dill pickles. I tried a dilly bean today and believe I am really onto something with this method. I haven't tried a pickle because I think they need to ferment a bit longer. This is the recipe that I used: 5 tablespoons sea salt 2 quarts of chlorine-free water 4 to 6 grape, oak, or horseradish leaves 6 to 9 cloves of peeled garlic 2 large heads of dill Spices to taste Enough pickling cucumbers to fill a half-gallon jar I double everything and made a gallon of each.
We have new neighbors. I was really worried when I heard a group of young men was moving into a house behind ours. This house was formerly owned by an 85 year old widow. Let's just say that things were always quiet. One of our neighbors told us that these young men were in a band. I had all kinds of visions in my head about loud nightly jam sessions. I could see them shopping for a fender modern player at musicians friend and moving in drum sets and amplifiers. As it turns out they are in a band, but it is a blue grass band. They practice at a local establishment and have day jobs. The leave very early in the morning for work and turn in for the night just as early. My worries were for nothing.
Posted by LJN at 5:10 PM
I am not good at making excuses. I would prefer to just be honest with people, but that isn't always possible. We know a family that has been trying and trying to make our children be "friends". The problem is that our kids are very different, and our families are very different. The mother of the family seems to think that because we home school, and they home school we must think the same on everything. The reality is that our parenting styles are very, very different. I have yet to have play date where I didn't walk away feeling slighted or angry about something the mother implied I should be doing (like spanking my kids), or the way she parented her children. My kids listen to me without hitting or screaming. They understand limits, and we don't treat them like babies. I have tried time and time again to open my mind to this family, but I find myself more and more often just making excuses as to why we can't or don't want to get together.
Posted by LJN at 5:05 PM
Sunday, July 21, 2013
We have had such a heat spell in the area that it is crazy. It actually got hot enough in our truck this week that the review mirror fell off. I know this isn't a major repair and it is isn't like I have to find destaco hydraulic clamps or something. It was still enough of a repair to be an inconvenience. I had to visit a couple of store to find a repair kit that would fix my particular mirror. You really don't realize how much you use your review mirror when driving until it is gone. Thankfully we live in a small town with minimal traffic. I would have been completely lost without the mirror if we were still living in the big city.
Posted by LJN at 4:52 PM
My son has a friend over to visit for a while. This child is super nice, and we enjoy having him here. The only thing that drives me just a little crazy is that every time he visit he wants to plan a sleep over. There are just days when we are tired and don't want to be kept awake all night by kids chattering. This is especially true when my husband has to work the next morning. Voices carry quite a bit in our house and having kids up all night is not fun for us. I have yet to agree to a sleep over because we feel like we just don't know this child's family well enough. I am not only concerned about my child sleeping at their house, but any problems that might arise from him sleeping here. I think too few people think through what baggage a child might bring into their home during an overnight visit. Once we know them better I might feel differently but for now the answer is going to be "no".
Posted by LJN at 4:46 PM
Two years ago I planted six raspberry plants. Today I have more than enough plants. Thankfully I planted them in an area that would contain them. I have thus far this year picked about 9 pounds of raspberries. I am still expecting a fall crop of berries from my plants. Yesterday I spent the afternoon pruning out the plants that are done producing. This was the first year that I actually felt like I understood what I was supposed to be doing when it comes to pruning. I need to buy a book on raising fruit because it might just shorten my learning curve.
Posted by LJN at 11:50 AM
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
A friend was over for a visit yesterday and we started talking about using coupons. She sees absolutely no point in using coupons and prefers to just buy everything she needs at a dollar store. I have no problem with that but was trying to explain to her that with a little effort she could be getting stuff for free. I explained to her that shopping the way I do is actually the same as getting paid. For example, yesterday I went to CVS and purchased about $65 worth of stuff. After my coupons and rewards I paid $17 for the items but I also received $24 in Extra Care Bucks which are the same as cash. This mean I got the items essentially for free and paid paid $7 on top of that. I then take those Extra Care Bucks roll them into another deal and get more stuff for free. That particular purchase had a higher out of pocket expense than normal. I usually spend less than $5 for $70 in items. She thinks it is too much work and yet complains about how tight their budget is.
Posted by LJN at 7:35 PM
Monday, June 24, 2013
My father-in-law officially retired this month at the ripe old age of 70. He didn't really want to retire but his company was restructuring and it seemed that there was only a matter of time before he was laid off. In July he will be moving to a new place in the south. I can only imagine how much he will need something like a cleaning service raleigh nc. His new house is bigger and I am quite sure he is not used to maintaining such a large home. It should be interesting to see what he does with his time once he is officially moved in. Right now his life is centered around packing and preparing for the move. I don't think the reality of being retired has fully set in yet.
Posted by LJN at 6:35 PM
We are in the midst of a heat wave. It feels really weird since just a week or so we were complaining because it was so cold and wet. This week the humidity feels like it is at 100% and we haven't had a drop of rain. The ground is dry and cracked and our plants are sagging. We are sagging as well. I don't know how people live in areas where the humidity is constantly like this. It just takes all the energy right out of you. I feel like I need another shower and I haven't really done that much today. We might get some rain this weekend which should be nice.
Posted by LJN at 6:31 PM
Thursday, June 06, 2013
I can't tell you the number of hours each week I put into clipping and organizing coupons. I often wonder if someone were paying me by the hour to do this how much I would make. What I can tell you is that for pennies on the dollar I am able to bring home quality items that my family needs and uses. I am reaching the point where my shopping trips are getting smaller because my stockpile has grown so big. It is a good feeling to have a nice supply of things on hand should something happen and I am not able to get to the store or I can't afford to go shopping. I also think I am teaching my children good lessons about budgeting and stretching a dollar.
Posted by LJN at 4:45 PM
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
My youngest son has a friend over to play yesterday. This friend is also home schooled which always makes for a fun visit. It is interesting to see how our children relate to one another. The mother of this child stayed and chatted during the playdate and remarked at how I had my "classroom" set up. I don't have anything special for our workspace like a studio trends desk at WWBW or other special desk. What we do have is one long desk that extends from wall to wall in our dining room. This allows us to keep all our computers in one place and out in the open. I like being able to see what my children are doing during the school day. We have tried a number of set-ups, but this one works best for us. I know the kids would like to keep their computers in their rooms, but I see that being a huge distraction during the school day.
We are very close to being able to spend a night in our cabin. Last weekend we put the finishing touches on the roof which was a huge project. Next weekend we will be spending time cleaning the interior and moving in some of our stuff. With a dry roof we will be able to now focus on the interior. It will be nice to be able to take our time to make the cabin exactly how we would like it to be and not feel rushed to stretch our budget or anything else. The interior needs some cleaning and painting, but the rest of the work is only cosmetic. I am very much looking forward to spending time as a family at our new tiny cabin in the woods.
Posted by LJN at 5:32 PM
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Last night my husband and son were supposed to go on an overnight fishing trip with their Boy Scout troop. We has a series of very bad thunderstorms come through about the same time they were supposed to leave. I was actually quite worried about them because the troop has been know to camp in virtually any weather situation. Thankfully, everyone has the good sense to decide to stay at the church and have their camp out there. It ended up being a very nice trip for the boys who really enjoy just having what amounted to a sleepover in the church. I am glad to have my family home and safe.
Tuesday, May 07, 2013
I don't know what is going on with me this week but I am exhausted. It is like I cannot get enough sleep. I tried to go to bed early last night but just couldn't stay asleep. My gut is telling me that I am either under some sort of stress that I am not aware of or something is going on with my internal clock. If I don't get some rest soon I am going to need one of those santa Barbara rehab centers. I recently read that some celebrity when into rehab for exhaustion. I didn't even know that exhaustion was something you could need rehab to treat.
Posted by LJN at 5:33 PM
I spent most of yesterday working in my garden. I cannot tell you how good it feels to once again be working in the soil. I hate getting my hands dirty, but there is something to be said for digging in the dirt. It makes me feel grounded and filled with a little bit of wonder. When you put a seed in the ground it is like making a wish. It is like believing in the miracle of life. A small, hard, dried up little pellet goes under the soil and with a little magic a tiny seedling bursts forth. Tending the tiny plants is a joy everyone should experience. There is just something about seeing a plant go from a seed to harvest that is amazing.
Posted by LJN at 5:24 PM
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
It seems like every year we have a huge list of projects that we need to complete each summer. This is the first year in a long time that I can envision myself sitting around wearing a pair of RayBans. We don't have anything we need to build, and there are no giant tasks before us. It will be nice to have a summer to simple relax and tend to the garden. There will always be things that need doing like canning and preserving, but that often doesn't feel like work. I am quite sure my family will be glad to have time to actually do some fun things and enjoy the warm weather.
Posted by LJN at 5:21 PM
I am not nor have I ever been a huge fan of cats. I would consider myself neutral when it comes to cats. I neither like nor dislike them. I do however have a cat and that cat loves me dearly. He follows me everywhere but knows when to leave me alone. He doesn't do any cute things I feel the need to bore the world with stories about. He basically sits around or sits next to me. In my opinion he is the perfect cat. Not needy, not mean or destructive. My cat just exists in our house and asks for a little bit of attention every now and them. I must say I love him.
It seems like each time I go to visit my parents I find myself sorting out something to do with using the computer for them. I cannot tell you how many times I have explained sending email to them. I might as well be talking about using eoncode.com for web to print or a foreign language. I love my parents, and they are great at a number of things and infinitely wise about so much but I really doubt they will ever grasp using a computer. Helping them is the least I can do even if I have to do it over and over again.
Posted by LJN at 5:11 PM
Yesterday was a joyous day in my house! The temperatures have finally dipped out of freezing and signs of life are all about. I was able to get out in the warm weather and do something I truly love - GARDENING! Now is the time for planting cool weather crops like peas, carrots, and greens. It felt so good to be putting seeds in the ground at last. Winter seems so long when you are a gardener. I can't wait to see how things grow this year. I only hope for an easier gardening season that last year. It was really hard to keep things alive last year in the heat and drought.
Posted by LJN at 5:07 PM
Tuesday, April 02, 2013
About a week and a half ago we received some troubling news that one of the adult leaders from an organization our older son belongs to had come up missing. He was the last person you would ever expect would go missing. There has been an intense search for him, and there are absolutely no clues as to what might have happened to him. This is a very tough conversation to have with my son and I find myself not knowing exactly what is the right thing to say to him. All I can say is that we are praying for his safe return and that he has simply taken some time for himself. The reality is that the longer he is gone the less hopeful the situation seems.
Posted by LJN at 8:09 PM
Wednesday, March 06, 2013
I have a friend who is constantly making fun of all of my projects. She asks me when I am going to join the Amish. She doesn't understand my need to be self-sufficient when things are just as easily bought at the store. There was a time when I would have agreed with this, but I see the world in a different light now. It is important to me to know how to do things on my own in case a time comes when things cannot just be bought at the store. This might seem a bit farfetched but we have seen things happen in the last few years where the system has broken down due to various things like natural disasters. Even a short term emergency could throw many people for a loop. I don't want to be one of those people.
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
This spring and summer we have a big project ahead of us. We intend to rebuild one of the camps on my parents property. It need some serious work and we may need to look for 4 post lifts online to get the job done. Our hope is that we are able to fix up the camp in order to be able to use it for getaways. It has been vacant for a long time and has not been cared for properly. My husband really wants us to have a place with four walls and a solid roof to use all year long. Our pop-up camper is okay for spring and summer but gets really cold in the fall and winter.
Posted by LJN at 8:01 PM
My newest hobby is one of my old hobbies that I let fall by the wayside. I have recently gotten back into shopping with coupons. Primarily I am shopping at CVS. I never shopped there because I considered it to be rather expensive. I now realize that there are tons of bargains to be had if you know how to use coupons and rebates available at CVS. My shopping has been not only fun but rewarding for me. I am able to get bargains for my family that allow us to save money on things we need and use frequently. The staff at CVS has been great thus far and seem to really want shoppers to use coupons. This is a big change from other stores who try to make using coupons as difficult as possible.
Posted by LJN at 7:55 PM
Friday, February 08, 2013
A few weeks ago I decided to try and experiment which involved using more natural health and beauty products. The first thing I did was to make some homemade toothpaste. At first I hated the taste of it, but now it doesn't bother me in the slightest. I also decided to wash my hair using homemade shampoo and conditioner. It took a couple of weeks for my hair to adjust but now it seems great. I haven't done anything like get a hepa filter for home, but I did get a water purifier for our faucet. My husband is currently using some homemade deodorant and seems very happy with it. He has very high standards when it comes to deodorant which makes me think it must be good stuff.
Posted by LJN at 6:46 PM
This week I set a goal for myself to work out 5 days in a row. There wasn't a single day that I wanted to work out or even felt like it. I did however make myself work out. I managed to log 13.15 miles of walking and to burn 2050 calories while doing so. As much as I hated the idea of walking I did feel good about myself when it was all said and done. I try to tell myself that each and every day I owe it to myself to exercise no matter how much I would rather just sit around and do nothing.
Posted by LJN at 6:42 PM
Friday, January 25, 2013
I am about two days into testing out a natural hair cleaning method. This method does not use shampoo, but relies on baking soda and apple cider vinegar in place of shampoo and conditioner. I went into this knowing that it would take a few weeks for my hair to adjust to this method. Right now my hair feels kind of heavy and is very static filled. I know that this is just the beginning and I am not going to give up yet. My goal is to eliminate as many chemicals as I can from my daily life. I can put up with a few weeks of bad hair if the goal is attainable. Supposedly this method will give you great hair when it is all said and done.
Posted by LJN at 5:57 PM
Thursday, January 17, 2013
My new job requires me to work a longer shift than I previously worked. I do, however, get an hour off for lunch. This allows me to come home and have lunch with my family. I didn't think I would like having an hour lunch, but I do. I now have time in the middle of the day to run errands or do something like shop quickly for replacement windows in virginia beach or whatever. My family likes seeing me in the middle of the day and I like connecting with them like this. My commute to work is much shorter which means the trip home only take 5 minutes. So, life is good for a change and I couldn't be happier.
Posted by LJN at 2:39 PM
I am almost through the first week at my new job. So far it has been a very pleasant change from what I used to do. My employer is still the same, but I now work in a different department entirely. We handle a different group of clientele as well. I am so happy I decided to try to find work in a different area rather than leaving my employer altogether. This allowed me to retain my rank, pension, and benefits.
Saturday, January 12, 2013
After a couple of weeks of really cold and snowy weather it has warmed up here considerably. It was warm enough today that my son wanted to play outside. I explained to him that because it is so muddly all we can do it daydream about playing outside. We talked about what we will do outside when the ground dries and how much he wants to visit some of swing sets richmond va has to offer. In the back of my mind I am just hoping that we get a bit more cold weather because we need it. People don't realize that fruit trees and certain plants need so many hours of really cold weather. At this rate we may not get that unless February gets really cold.
Posted by LJN at 7:03 PM
For the better part of the day we have been trying to figure out our new ham radios. It is fairly easy to get a ham radio license. The problem is that just because you have a license does not mean you understand what you are doing. Figuring out how to program a radio is a challenge to say the least. Despite the amount of information on the internet you still have to decipher what a great deal of it means. This means more research and more research. I am confident that we will figure it out but for now it is frustrating to say the least.
Friday, December 14, 2012
For the most part my Christmas shopping is all done. I still have a couple of last minute things to buy for my husband. I think he wants something called a work positioner but I have no idea what that is. He also wants some new socks and underwear. I might love that he doesn't have wild expectations for his gifts. Every gift I have bought thus far is wrapped. My cookie dough is in the freezer waiting for baking day and I feel really ready for the holidays. It will be so nice not to be completely stressed or overwhelmed.
The last month has been pretty stressful for us. My father almost died and my husband has had ongoing health problems. It seemed like I was walking around with this perpetual burden on my shoulders. Today I ran into my Dad at the grocery store which was really surprising considering where he was last month. He thanked me for being so proactive on his behalf when he was sick. It made me feel really good. My husband was offered a new job today which should help with his stress level. Although he is still feeling under the weather and facing more testing at least he won't be coping with a job he loathes for much longer.
Posted by LJN at 1:52 PM
Tomorrow I am going to take a day long class about becoming a ham radio operator. The class is designed to allow participants to pass the test to obtain a ham radio license. It is going to be a long day and I am sure I will spend some of it daydreaming. I will likely be thinking about my final preparations for Christmas and not about stuff like where can I buy a stanchion? My husband and oldest son already have their ham radio licenses which made me want to pursue getting mine. There will be about 75 people at this class which really surprises me. I didn't know that many people were interested in this particular hobby.
Posted by LJN at 1:38 PM
I am sitting here right now with my two children right next to me. They are starting Christmas vacation today. I feel so lucky to be able to spend every day with them because we home school. Being their mother is the best job I could ever have and watching them grow into men is simply amazing. Each day it seems like we are reminded by this cruel world how fragile life really is. This holiday season I urge you all to hug the people in your life a little more and a little tighter and remind yourself how lucky you are to have them. So many people will be facing this season without loved ones to hold....
Posted by LJN at 1:32 PM
Thursday, November 22, 2012
I haven't slept well in the last couple of weeks. It doesn't seem to matter what I do to try to get a good night of sleep...I just can't. I think I have so many worries on my mind that I never quite relax. To top it off my husband has take up twitching all night long and I get woken up constantly. It is driving me crazy and I know he has no control over it but I am loosing sleep. Right now I am so worn out I could cry and there is no rest in sight.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Tomorrow we are going to my parents home for Thanksgiving dinner. We are also going there to help them with a project. My mother is in serious need of a new kitchen sink. Thankfully my parents have every tool known to man in duplicate. I you ever wanted a one stop place for the best selection of jigsaws or wrenches it would be their home. It really does make it easy to work on stuff at their house because you never have to bring tools with you. I know it isn't an ideal way to spend Thanksgiving but we are happy to help make life a little easier for them.
I really felt like I was done canning for this year until today. I realized that I had a half a bushel of apples sitting on the porch that I had forgotten about. Since there was nothing else pressing that I needed to take care of I decided to get the apples in the canner. I cut them up and cooked them in my turkey cooker on low for several hours and them ran them through my food stainer. I ended up with 6 quarts of beautiful applesauce that my children are sure to enjoy. I do believe I can finally say that I am done canning for this year. January might be another story altogether, especially if I find some sales on meat!
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Tonight my in-laws are stopping by for a quick visit. They will undoubtedly be asking my children to come up with lists of things they might like for Christmas. Every year they go absolutely crazy buying things for my children. It is to the point of being ridiculous. I really wish I could make suggestions of practical things that they need like rechargeable batteries aa for all the toys they get or some new socks. I don't really feel this is my place since it isn't my money they are spending. I have decided this year to buy my children only one toy and the rest of things we give them will be practical. This should help with keeping things a bit more reasonable when Christmas does occur.
Today is my birthday. I decided this morning that I didn't want to shell out a great deal of money taking the family out to dinner. Rarely have I left one of our local restaurants feeling like I had a great meal that was better than something I could make at home. As a result I decided to send my husband to the store with a list of special ingredients for a meal that I was craving. What he returned with was enough food for not just one meal but two of everything I had been craving. The cost was much less than we would have spent eating out and the meal tasted absolutely perfect. My son made my day by making me a red velvet cake with salted caramel icing. It was a perfect day!
Saturday, November 10, 2012
This week my father was discharged from the CCU unit at our local hospital. The hospital did not call my mother to let them know he was being discharged. Had they done this I would have been there for his discharge. Trying to explain medical things to my mother is nearly impossible. You might as well be trying to explain how ph meters work as to discuss medical care with her. She simply assumes that she is not going to understand what is being told to her and shuts down. She brought my dad home with a bunch of new medications and some handouts on his care but no recollection of what was said to her. It boggles my mind that the hospital wouldn't want to ensure that someone in a state as fragile as my father is would be discharged to someone who clearly doesn't want to understand his care. Needless to say I have sorted through all the papers and medicines and developed a plan that is his best chance at getting better while living at home.
Posted by LJN at 4:20 PM
This afternoon I took some time for myself and went out shopping. I never go shopping for things for myself. This has been a really crappy week and I just needed to pick up a couple of things that were just for me. I found a couple of pairs of discounted shoes and a sweater at a thrift store. I really wanted to find a new pair of jeans but couldn't find anything I liked. I may just take my existing jeans and alter them to fit what is trendy today. I am just completely sold on skinny jeans on a woman my age. I wore them when I was a teenager about 25 years ago....
Posted by LJN at 4:16 PM
Monday, October 29, 2012
I have been trying to get together a wish list of Christmas presents for my family. Each year I get emails and phone calls from people in our family wanting to know what they can purchase for us that we need or want. My husband would like some diamond blades for his saw that he uses to prune trees. Both my husband and my older son are going to be taking their ham radio licensing exam next week and would love to have some radio equipment. My youngest son is desperately wanting a couple of very specific building sets. For myself there is not much I would like aside from a waffle maker. I like to have a list on hand to help people and to lessen the chance of gifts being received that we already have or may not need.
Posted by LJN at 12:18 PM
Hurricane Sandy is making a path towards our neck of the woods tonight. Although we are not on the coast this is not going to spare us from feeling the impact of this super storm. We are expected to get relenting rains and high winds over the coming hours. We spent yesterday getting for the possibility of being without power and other necessities for an extended period. I can only hope that this storm somehow weakens and heads back out to sea very soon.
Posted by LJN at 12:10 PM
Friday, October 12, 2012
I love shopping at the end of a season because the deals are so plentiful. Right now is a great time to shop for summer gear like flip flops or discount pool parts. I found a bunch of sunscreen and bug spray for next to nothing the other day. Another thing I like to buy at this time of year is water toys for the kids. For pennies I find great toys that are virtually disposable because they cost so little. If the kids leave them behind at the beach I don't feel as bad as if I spent a ton of money on them. When winter is over I will be shopping for things like gloves, sleds, and hats. Bargains abound if you are willing to wait for the right time of year to shop. I try to keep a list of when things go on sale in order to remember when to shop for certain things.
Posted by LJN at 6:41 PM
Once again I find myself at a loss for what happened to me. Over the summer I seemed to have gained weight I did not intend to gain. I am now back where I was last year and facing another season of getting the weight gone. It disgusts me that I just keep making this circle despite knowing what the problem is. I simply cannot eat grains and sugar. I know this and yet somehow when the stress piles on I choose to eat things I know will leave me here. So, tomorrow is a new day and a step back towards being in control is going to happen. I am going shopping for protein and more protein and I will gain control once again.
Posted by LJN at 6:33 PM
The weather has turned cold here and I know that winter is just around the corner. I am dreading the piles of snow that are coming our way. The thought of being stuck inside all winter makes me dream of beach house rentals destin fl or someplace else warm. This winter is supposed to be really cold with lots of snow which means we will be stuck inside more than normal. Last winter was mild enough that it felt like we had somehow escaped to a vacation destination. I know that we will not be as lucky this winter which leaves me already daydreaming of a vacation to a warm destination.
We have been trying to find or forage free fruits and nuts whenever possible. It isn't that we can't afford to buy these things but free is always better. Our trips to find free apples were very unsuccessful this year because the fruit crops in our area were ruined by a late frost. We decided to try to find chestnuts this year and went out last night looking. After about an hour of looking around we came home with about 1.5 pounds of chestnuts. As I type my son is roasting them in the oven. It should be interesting to see how they taste. Hopefully, next year can find more.
Friday, September 21, 2012
In my house there is something you will never find and that is someone watching sports. All of our neighbors are sports nuts and head off every weekend to watch college events. I seriously have never seen a college press box in my life. Instead of sports our family likes to sit around and watch scientific documentaries. Even my first grader loves to watch shows like "Nova Science". It might be geeky but we love to spend time together this way. Some families love sports but give us a good show about how the human brain works and we are happy people.
Posted by LJN at 5:01 PM
We have frost warnings in effect for this weekend. I was hoping to milk a couple more weeks of growing out of my garden but the frost is going to put an end to that. This has been a crazy gardening year with the drought and heat. Lately we have been having a lot of rain and the plants have seemed to spring back to life. Now the frost is going to put an end to that growth in a day or so. I still have brussel sprouts to harvest but those are supposed to be improved by a light frost. I am hoping to leave them on the stalk for as long as possible to get as many as I can. The next year is going to be interesting with rising food prices. Getting as much as I can put away now is a good way to hedge against those rising prices.
Posted by LJN at 4:51 PM
Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Last year we didn't get the flu vaccine. This year we did. I got the shot and my kids got the flu mist. Two days after getting the flu mist they both came down with colds. Runny noses and LOTS of sneezing. I have to keep telling myself that getting the flu vaccine means that they will not get the flu. I have to wonder if they are really going to be less sick this year since every time they go to get the vaccine they end up with a cold afterwards. Would they have gotten these colds if I hadn't taken the to the doctor's germ filled office?
Last year we didn't get the flu vaccine. This year we did. I got the shot and my kids got the flu mist. Two days after getting the flu mist they both came down with colds. Runny noses and LOTS of sneezing. I have to keep telling myself that getting the flu vaccine means that they will not get the flu. I have to wonder if they are really going to be less sick this year since every time they go to get the vaccine they end up with a cold afterwards. Would they have gotten these colds if I hadn't taken the to the doctor's germ filled office?
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
The evenings are starting to turn rather cool here. This makes me realize that winter is just around the corner. I have a bunch of things I need to do before snow falls such as cleaning some richmond windows in our attic. The garden still has a ton of fall cleanup that needs to be done to it. I love growing so much food in our backyard but it can sometimes be quite a bit of work to keep everything neat and tidy. It is really important to cleanup all the debris from the growing season in order to keep the garden healthy for the following year.
Posted by LJN at 12:57 PM
The last couple of weeks have been a bit trying emotionally because I have had to confront my parents about my father's driving. My Dad is 72 but looks and moves physically like an 92 year old. He has terrible difficulty moving his body and remaining alert for any period of time. This has not prevented him from driving and he has had several accidents as a result. My parents both just seem to want to ignore the elephant in the room. Finally, I confronted them both and layed out exactly what I would do if he continues to drive. Needless to say I am the least favorite person in my family right now. I have to believe I did the right thing and have to hope that it has some impact on them.
Posted by LJN at 12:52 PM
Saturday, September 08, 2012
After a hot and dry summer we seem to be getting a lot of rain all at once. Normally on a Saturday I would be spending time in the garden but the weather is making that impossible. My I will go find basement flooring options or shop online for shoes. It is weird to have a day where I don't have to be either pulling weeds or harvesting produce. I almost feel lost when I don't have something I have to do on a weekend. I spend most of the week teaching the kids and weekends are typically when other things get done. I know that when the rain stops there will be a ton of produce that will need tending to so for now I will just enjoy doing nothing.
Posted by LJN at 9:24 AM
My oldest son has been with the same cyber charter school for 5 years. Until this year we have been really happy with the school. We have been able to work at our own pace and set our own schedule. This year the school decided to implement a number of changes which push us very close to the feel of a traditional public school. Children are required to have daily classes with teachers in various courses. My children perform above grade level on test mandated tests which makes this move questionable for us. It will essentially slow down my children's progress because they will be held to the pace set by the school for those classes. We are going to start researching other options because 75% of the reason we chose to home school was so that we could work ahead as much as we wanted or needed to.
Posted by LJN at 9:12 AM
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Whenever I am canning I always open up all my kitchen windows and turn on several fans. Whenever my kitchen windows are open I always seem to smell the drifting scent of my neighbor smoking what might be cao cigars. I have to wonder what he smells coming from my house each day. Today I canned salsa, ketchup, sloppy joe sauce, and barbecue sauce. It smelled like a tomato factory in my house which leads me to wonder what it smelled like outdoors. I have to say I prefer the smell of tomatoes over cigarette smoke any day of the week. I hope my other neighbors feel the same way.
Posted by LJN at 7:46 PM
We are entering the final days of summer vacation. Our children go back to school on Monday and it seems like summer has flown by. We accomplished a great many projects this summer and yet it feels like we have so much left to do. I am hoping to be able to get a few more things done before cold weather settles in for good. The garden is still producing and with any luck we will be able to finish stocking the freezer with stuff like brussel sprouts and greens. I had hope to track down some sweet corn at a decent price but didn't find any. I suppose I will have to try and grow it myself next year. There is a bit of canning left to do and I am trying to buy all the meat I can before prices sky rocket.
Thursday, August 09, 2012
My Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer in May of this year. It was pretty scary time for all of us. When you hear the words cancer you never know what to expect. He just finished 9 weeks of radiation treatment and is looking forward to the next phase of living. He was not a surgical candidate because of a multitude of other health problems that he has. We are all hoping that the radiation was successful and that the cancer is now in check. It would be really nice to be able to look forward with hope for many more healthy years.
Posted by LJN at 4:09 PM
Friday, August 03, 2012
My in-laws have been on us since we were first married, twenty-one years ago, to plan for the future. We have heard over and over again about the need for us to have a retirement accounts. Over the years we have both gotten a retirement account as well as life insurance. I was surprised to find out that my in-laws do not have life insurance. This surprises me because there are so many options for getting life insurance including low cost life insurance no medical exam required. We even and short term disability insurance and they do not. It makes me wonder if the only thing they are preparing for is a happy retirement and not any possible illnesses?
Have you read about the drought? How could you not! It is a horrible thing which is going to have ripple effects on our country for sometime to come. My question is what are you doing about it? Are you stockpiling food or will you just adjust your budget when the time comes? I have always practiced a degree of preparedness in my life and the news of the drought has heightened this somewhat. I am putting away extra produce that I did not intend to can this year. I am also trying to extend my gardening season to grow more produce that I have in previous years. Another thing I am doing is trying to buy meat now while it is less expensive to freeze or can for the future. I keep reading that meat is going to be sky high and we eat a lot of protein. I am considering trying my hand at raising meat birds next spring if I can find someone to butcher them. What are your plans?
Posted by LJN at 3:56 PM
This week my youngest son turned six years old. It is so hard to believe that he is already going into first grade. It doesn't seem like so very long ago that we were laying him down to sleep in a crib and setting the baby monitors. Now he is playing video games and riding a bicycle. He is an absolute joy in our lives and we feel so very lucky to have him. We honestly did not think we would ever conceive a second child and having him is truly a miracle. I cannot wait to see the young man he becomes in the years to come. If the next six years pass as quickly as the first six it will be here before I know it.
Posted by LJN at 3:40 PM
This is the first year that I have actively tried succession planting in my garden. The idea behind this is that you are consistently planting something new in your garden. When one thing has produced enough of what you need you take it out and plant something else. This is something I struggled a bit with at first. It was hard to pull out healthy lettuce plants to make room for beans and herbs. I started with replanting in the place where I had removed my garlic. From there I have moved onto planting kale and brassicas where peas came out. I just pulled my green bean plants and started a crop of carrots. This weekend I will be taking out my pickling cucumbers to make room for a fall crop of snap peas. I love the idea of the garden always producing something as long as the weather holds.
Posted by LJN at 3:36 PM
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
My husband is a man who is very organized and has certain rituals that keep him this way. Every night before bed he picks out the clothes he is going to wear in the morning and puts everything in the bathroom. He lays out his watch, keys, pocket knife, and wallet. These are items that he has carried with him for the entire twenty years we have been married. There have been times when I have considered getting him something like a new Texas Tech Wallet but I know he wouldn't use it. He likes things a certain way and as long as something is still usable he doesn't care how old it is. I used to laugh at his little routines but after all these years I have come to appreciate his habits. It would be weird to go in the bathroom at night and not see his stuff laid out on the sink.
Posted by LJN at 1:34 PM
My oldest son is very active in Boy Scouts. He is always working on one merit badge or another. This week he decided to start working on his merit badge in Communications. One requirement of the badge is that he start a web page or a blog about a topic that interests him. Being that this is something I know just a wee bit about I steered him towards starting a blog. He has take to blogging like a fist to water and needed very little help setting everything up. It is neat to see him enjoy writing and find an outlet for his creativity. The only problem is that now he wants to spend all his time blogging and does nothing else.
I think I have blogged about the fact that we have a couple of gardens. One is in our backyard and the other is on my parent's property. The garden at my folk's house is pretty large. It is the first year we have planted there and I really had no idea what to expect. We go up there just about every other day to water the garden and it is amazing to see the difference from day to day. As it stands right now the garden looks like a forest. The plants have grown so large that it is hard to tell where the rows are which makes watering difficult. I can't wait to see what we are able to harvest from the garden when it is all said and done. If the size of the plants are any indication it should be a good harvest this year!
Posted by LJN at 1:18 PM
Today I sent out invitations for my youngest son's sixth birthday party. I cannot believe that he going to be that old already. I seems like only yesterday we were changing his first diaper at the hospital and storing stuff on the overbed table. Now he is riding a bike and playing video games. He wants to have his birthday party at a local beach area which should be really nice. I love having these types of parties outdoors. The beach provides all the entertainment the children need and cleaning up is always super simple. My oldest son was born in December so we have no choice but to have a party at our home. My little guy is already compiling a list of things he hopes to get for his birthday and exactly what type of cake he wants. It should be an easy party to plan which is how I like it!
It seems like there are all sort of clubs you can join that will send you something each month like a "book of the month club" or a "fruit of the month club". This month I joined a "seeds of the month club". I received my first shipment today and am really happy thus far. The first shipment is for 8 packages of heirloom seeds and four packages per month thereafter. The price to join was REALLY reasonable. I can't buy heirloom seeds for this price locally or online. As long as the selection varies I should have all the seeds I need for my garden next year!
Posted by LJN at 1:08 PM
Right now I am in the middle of canning a batch of green beans from my garden. At this time of year there doesn't seem to be day when I don't have some sort of produce that needs to be processed for storage. My plan for the day is to get my canning done and then rest because I have a cold. I might take a hot bath this evening. My friend suggested I take a seaweed detox bath but I think I am just going to take a bubble bath. What I would really like it to be able to lay down and sleep for about 8 hours straight. This cold has me up every hour or so to drink some water due to all the coughing I am doing. I am thankful that canning green beans is a pretty short process and I won't be spending all day in a hot kitchen.
Posted by LJN at 1:03 PM
July is not the month to have a cold and a fever. Nonetheless I have one and am absolutely miserable. I have had this cold for just about a week and it seems to show no signs of going away. It seems a bit like and allergy attack aside from the fever. My children have also had the same symptoms which makes allergies seem unlikely. Hopefully it all goes away very soon because we have a short vacation planned in the next week.
Posted by LJN at 12:56 PM
Friday, June 22, 2012
We are getting ready to go camping for the weekend. It is always fun to see what we end up dragging along when we camp. My husband likes to bring everything imaginable and would like pack a double jacket fire hose if we had one. His idea of camping is to have all the conveniences of home at our finger tips as opposed to roughing it. We end up taking so much stuff that if takes me another week to put it away once we get home. I figure that whatever it takes to make him happy while camping is worth the extra effort even if I find it a bit silly.
Posted by LJN at 9:04 AM
This week our oldest son went away to what we thought would be a great camp experience at our local conservation district. Yesterday we picked him up from camp and were saddened to learn that he had a pretty awful time. The leader of the group informed us that the kids there picked on him without mercy. She suggested that we enroll him in some sort of martial arts class to boost his self-esteem. What irks the crap out of me is that we are supposed to do something about him as opposed to these other parents enrolling their kids in therapy fix whatever makes them feel the need to be bullies.
Posted by LJN at 9:01 AM
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Today is one of the hottest days we have had thus far this year. It is a day like today that makes me appreciate being able to get outside. For some reason our house is much hotter inside that it is outside. I love to sit on our front porch and bask in the breeze. We have really simple furniture on our porch but it is comfy. I know it would look better with something like different teakdesigns for teak outdoor furniture that are available but I am happy with it just as it is. We have a number of cushions on the furniture and a fan to keep it breezy. All I need is a book and a cool drink and life is perfect!
We have been spending a great deal of time working on our gardens. Finally it seems as if the work is paying off. A number of people have commented on how good our gardens look. I know it is too early to judge if all the hard work is going to pay off when harvest time comes but I feel positive as of right now. Thus far the peas are producing well as are the strawberries. The next crop to come in should be my bush beans. The zucchini should start producing right about then as well. I am hoping to be able to get a second planting in because I was able to start this garden early due to the mild spring weather.
Posted by LJN at 4:44 PM
If I had one dollar for every building brick I found on the floor of my house I would be rich. My children are absolutely obsessed with building things with them. My youngest son attempts to replicate everything he sees from arch metal buildings to farmhouses. It is amazing how they can take a vision they have of something and bring it to life with plastic building bricks. My only wish is that I wouldn't have to pick them up one thousand times a day and that I would have to step over them on my way to the bathroom at night.
Posted by LJN at 4:28 PM
Our children have gone to spend the weekend with their grandmother. This is a rare event in our house. Usually the children are only gone for a night rather than a couple of nights and this usually is a once a year event. It is weird to have this kind of time on your hands. I miss my kids but it feels nice just to have a bit of quiet time to ourselves. We went out to dinner, without the kids, last night for the first time in about a year. What a nice relaxing meal it was. My kids will be back tomorrow and I can't wait to have them back but until then I will savor the quiet.
Friday, June 01, 2012
This week we finally finished the big garden we put in at my parent's house. It was a huge project to get this garden put in because we had to clear the land, till it, and install a fence. Because my parents live in a remote area there are a number of animals that would find our garden a very good place to feed. To keep them out we decided to put up an electric fence. Not being familiar with electric fences we had a bit of a learning curve in putting it in correctly. Now that it is finally in we are going to cross our fingers and hope that the fence does the job and the critters stay out.
Posted by LJN at 11:25 AM
We haven't had rain in what seems like forever. The yard has only needed mowing a couple of times this year. Last night we got quite a bit of rain and it seems as if the grass grew a foot overnight. My husband is going to have to get out the reel lawn mower as soon as the yard is dry. He is very particular about how the lawn looks and takes quite a bit of pride in keeping it perfectly manicured. I really could care less as long as the grass gets mowed periodically. I think that mowing the lawn is a form of stress relief for my husband and that he feels a sense of accomplishment in making it look just right.
Posted by LJN at 11:16 AM
Finally we have rain!!! It is something I have been wishing for and wanting since planting the gardens. The temperatures have been perfect for growing plants but we have been lacking water in a serious way. I have 3 rain barrels and they have been empty for weeks. The cost of water in our city is outrageous which makes it a tough pill to swallow whenever I turn on the hose lately. Thankfully we are supposed to get quite a bit of rain over the next few days and my garden is so very thankful.
Posted by LJN at 11:03 AM
Sunday, May 13, 2012
It occurred to me yesterday that my oldest son is only a couple of years away from being old enough to drive. This seems a bit unbelievable since we just started leaving him home alone for short periods of time. My hope is that he doesn't show an interest in driving for a long time. His sense of direction is not that great which makes me thankful for gps vehicle tracking devices. The idea of him behind the wheel is a bit overwhelming. Maybe he will mature over the next few years and my opinion will change. I can understand why my parents didn't let me get a driver's license until I was 18 years old. They were in all likelihood protecting me from myself.
I usually have good luck starting seeds inside for my vegetable plants. This year was the exception. After months of battling to keep my plants healthy I ultimately decided to put them in the ground yesterday. Rather than throw them out it seemed like giving them a chance to make it outside was a gamble worth taking. Should the plants not thrive outside I will replace them with starts from the nursery. If they do make it then all my efforts to keep them alive will not have been in vane. The temperatures here have been unseasonably warm for a very long time. It may even be warmer outside than in my house which would make the plants happier.
Monday, April 30, 2012
Our children have chores that they are responsible for each week. One thing that we go back and forth on is whether they should be paid to do these chores. Even my youngest son has simple chores that he does such as wiping down the switch covers and dusting. Sometimes we pay our older son for his chores. It really depends on how many other things he is requesting to be able to do. For example, he wants to go to several different camps this summer. I told him that if we were to send him to a few camps then he would need to do his chores without being paid. It only seems fair that if we are stretching the family budget to accommodate these activities that he also stretch his budget so to speak. Do you pay your children for doing chores?
Posted by LJN at 3:12 PM
Over the years I have tried my hand at crocheting a variety of things. Mostly I end up making misshapen hats and scarves. No one ever wears my hats and they sit in the closet collecting dust. Today my mother stopped by and showed me how to make crocheted pan holders. It is really easy and something that fits into my crocheting skill set. I can see where I will ultimately have made enough pot holders for everyone I know. There are only so many that you can use...
Posted by LJN at 3:09 PM
Sunday, April 22, 2012
My father has been having a great deal of trouble with his health over the last couple of months. For some reason he is having difficulty walking and is now using a couple of canes. He is considering getting a scooter or possibly a free spirit knee walker to help. I really wish that he were more persistent with getting his doctor to figure out why he is having trouble walking. My concern is that he will give up trying to stay strong and need to use a wheel chair. There has to be some reason why his legs would be failing as rapidly as they seem to be. I may have to insist on going to see his doctor with him and see if there are answers that my father is not conveying to me.
This week I took our five year old to have his vision tested. I had my doubts about how cooperative he would be with the process. As it turned out he loved the eye doctor and responded to him much better than he did the pediatrician who attempted to screen his vision last month. The results of his test showed that he is very near sighted and definitely needs glasses. We ordered a pair and he cannot wait to get them. I feel sad knowing how hard he has been working to see things and that we didn't pick up on this sooner. I can't wait to see how he responds to them and if they make a difference in how he reacts to the world around him.
Posted by LJN at 1:51 PM
Yesterday we ran into a friend that we haven't seen in over a year. The last time we saw him he was quite heavy. My speculation is the he was pushing 350 pounds at the time of our last visit. I hardly recognized him this time because he has gotten quite slender. My impression was that he must have found some secret bullet for weight loss like safe diet pills that work. The truth was that he simply lost the using good old fashioned diet and exercise. His eating plan consists of low carb and high protein along with daily exercise. I couldn't be happier for him because he seemed so full of life and absolutely healthy. A year ago I felt sad for what his future might hold if he didn't get his weight in check.
Posted by LJN at 1:23 PM
Every Sunday morning I go out and run errands. I like to get up early before the stores are crowded and hit the town by myself. This is something I look forward to each week. Home schooling my kids means I have little time by myself which for the most part doesn't bother me. I know that come the weekend I will be taking myself out for a coffee and a leisurely walk around the store. Today I feel like crap which cut my shopping trip quite short. I don't know if it is the change in the weather I feel like I am right on the edge of having the flu. This is not cool and I know there is nothing I can do about it. After I finish some pending work I am going to crawl into bed and vegetate for the rest of the day.
Posted by LJN at 1:19 PM
Thursday, April 19, 2012
We are very frugal people. Over the last couple of years we have worked very hard to limit our debts and be fiscally responsible. There was a time in our lives where we had very significant levels of credit card debt. It felt like every week we inched closer and closer to possibly needing car title loans Delaware in order to make ends meet. Thankfully, with a great deal of careful planning we paid off those debts and have made it a point to never incur debt of that level again. Whenever we buy something it has to serve a purpose and be something we actually need. I know so many people who buy things just to buy them. It is a trap many of us have gotten caught in. Things never really make you happy, especially if you never really own them because you have so much debt.
The last couple of days have been really warm in our part of the country. It seems like we have two warm days followed by two or more really cold days. This makes it hard to know what to do with all of the plants. I seem to be covering and uncovering plants on a daily basis. I have been worried about how my new plants would survive given the constant temperature fluctuations but somehow everything seems to be greening up nicely. My gardening habits tend to be a bit like flying by the seat of your pants. Somehow, thus far my instincts have been mostly right on just about everything.
Posted by LJN at 5:23 PM
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
It has been about 3 weeks since I started making our dog food at home. So far the cost has been really reasonable and our dog seems to love it. I usually make enough for one week at a time. I try to keep the food at a mix of 45-50% protein, 30% carbohydrates, and 20% vegetables. My choice of ingredients varies and this keeps things fresh for her. Some weeks the cost is a little more or a little less depending on what we have on hand. At most I have spent three dollars on a week of food and as little as $1.00 using things I already had on hand.
Monday, April 02, 2012
I love the attitude that my youngest son has towards himself. He sees his little being as totally awesome. Wouldn't it be great if we all could sit and list our positive attributes on a daily basis? The child told me today that he is creative and smart. He went on to tell me that he is full of good ideas. I felt like he deserved a trophy just for feeling so good about himself. In someone who is not five years old this type of talk might be viewed as conceited but it doesn't seem that way coming from him. What I heard him saying is that we are raising a child who feels positive about himself and his place in our world. I would so much rather him talk affirmatively about himself that to tear himself apart. As he grows older the world will undoubtedly shape his view of himself in a different way. For now I am happy to hear him be pleased with every facet of himself.
There are days when I wonder why I read the news. It seems like no matter what source you turn to for information there is nothing to find but negative news stories. I realize that sensational news sells but is the news really a statement on the realities of the world we are living it. To judge the world based on the news would be to say that children are being abused in homes everywhere and public places are no longer safe. I think I need to take a media break for a while. I know it isn't good to bury your head under the sand but when you start to loose faith in people as a whole it might be a good idea to step back for a while.
Posted by LJN at 5:43 PM
Sunday, April 01, 2012
My oldest son has been taking Spanish lessons since he was in second grade. He is now finishing sixth grade and seems to have a pretty good handle on the Spanish language. I often find him translating things he reads that are written in Spanish into English to show off his skills. It is like his brain is already operating as some sort of converter of languages. I think this is an important skill to have in our ever diversifying world. My hope is that he continues to expand his understanding of the language and his fluency as time goes on. I believe there will come a time in his life when he is glad to have an understanding of the Spanish language. He doesn't always appreciate the work it takes to learn his Spanish lessons but I know that one day he will be glad he knows at least some Spanish.
Posted by LJN at 5:59 PM
I don't know what my problem is but I cannot seem to grow onions for the life of me. I have tried so many times and I keep saying that I am going to give up. This year I decided to try once again but instead of using bulbs or seedlings I am going to use starts that I bought from a company that specializes in onions. My plan is to get them in the ground sometime this week and cross my fingers that something actually grows for a change. I am also going to be trying to grow leeks for the first time. I realize that I can buy onions very cheaply but I hate to be beaten by a plant and refuse to give up until I have tried every possible way of growing them.
Posted by LJN at 5:51 PM
One of the many things I love about having my children in a cyber school is the degree of teacher support that we experience. During the month my children and I get to have video conferencing with their teacher's to discuss whatever questions or issues we might be facing. When my children were in a traditional school we were only able to conference with their teachers once a year. Any other communication we received from the teacher was via a note sent home. I never felt like I had a real relationship with their teacher's in that situation. I now really feel like my children's teachers are truly invested in their education and are evaluating them as a single student rather than in the context of a classroom full of other children. The emphasis is truly on their performance as a student rather than their role within the dynamics of a larger classroom full of children.
Posted by LJN at 5:42 PM
It is finally time for spring break for our children. For some reason this year it felt like spring break would never get here. Despite the mild winter we had it seemed as though this school year went on and on. We did have a fairly long Christmas break but the children and I all had the flu during it. This made it seem as though we never had a break all school year. Luckily we now have a little less than two weeks to relax and enjoy our wonderful spring weather.
Posted by LJN at 5:36 PM
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
This morning I made a big decision for our older son. It seemed like he is finally old enough to stay home alone for wee bits of time. Given that he is almost thirteen this may seem late to some people. It seems like only yesterday I was shopping for maternity dresses. I trusted him to stay home alone for a half hour today. Of course I lectured him on everything imaginable before leaving and quizzed him on security issues. I feel that the only way kids mature is by being given responsibility. He has always been a little late in the maturity department which made this a tough call. I figure there may come a time when he has to stay home alone and being ill prepared for that would make it harder. By taking baby steps he will be ready for the responsibility of staying home alone for longer periods of time.
Spring has definitely come to our part of the country. It is really early this year for such warm weather. I can always tell when spring is here by the way my sinuses feel. Today it feels as if I have a bowling ball perched atop my skull. My head feels so full and my eyes are watery. I just know that allergy season is coming fast this year. I love spring but I hate dealing with a runny nose and sneezing. I guess I shouldn't complain too loudly since I only had to shovel snow twice this winter....
Posted by LJN at 2:32 PM
Thursday, March 01, 2012
My older son has lost his computer and television privileges for the next month. He decided to take some short cuts with his school work and was caught in the process. What is hard with children today is that they still can find ways to access the web using different technologies. I forgot my son could access the web via his cell phone and e-reader until he asked me if he could track down a vlc download. He saw nothing wrong with this because he wasn't using the computer nor on the television. Apparently I wasn't specific enough and should have stated that his internet privileges had been suspended. He is a very literal child and told my statements for what they were and decided to work within those parameters.
Posted by LJN at 4:58 PM
Normally I make a point to buy grass fed local meat. There are times when I bypass this rule and this week I did just that. Chicken breasts were on sale at a local store for a price that I have not seen in 5 years. I decided to make a large purchase of these in order to can them. If food prices skyrocket in the coming months or years I would rather have some meat than not be able to afford any at all. In my pressure canner I currently have 14 pounds of meat and another 14 waiting. I realize that this meat is not ideal but it will provide my family with nutrition in a pinch and will store for a long time in my pantry.
Posted by LJN at 4:49 PM
Saturday, February 25, 2012
My younger brother is going to be coming home in a couple of weeks. He has been hinting that he has some important news to share with the family. My secret hope is that he and his girlfriend will be announcing their intention to wed. For so very long I have hoped that he would find someone to share his life with and she is a perfect match for him. I would take great joy in contributing to their wedding in any way I could. My husband has already promised a bachelor party complete with pool tables and swisher sweet cigars. We are likely getting ahead of ourselves in planning to celebrate his wedding but it is fun to envision a long happy future for them. My brother is almost forty and has right to find his soul mate. Until, he quite by chance, met his girlfriend I honestly believed he would live his life as a bachelor. His personality is such that he would never settled for just anyone to share his life but promised himself that he would hold out for true love. My hope is that he has at long last found it.
Posted by LJN at 7:34 PM
It has been four months since we began eating Paleo foods. For the most part this has not been as huge an issue as I might have expected. I know people who say that they could not give up grains, dairy, and sugar but it isn't too hard after the first couple of weeks. We have recently begun allowing ourselves one meal a week that is not Paleo. Typically my husband and I choose to have Chinese food as this meal. Even though the meal is not totally Paleo what we choose to eat if generally protein based. I feel it is important to allow ourselves a meal like this occasionally in order to make life seem like it is not all sacrifice.
Posted by LJN at 7:28 PM
About a month ago I decided to try and experiment that I read about online. As you might know I am an avid gardener. Specifically I am a vegetable gardener. The project I read about involved re-growing celery from the bottom of the bunch that you would normally discard. I started three celery bottoms by saving the last couple of inches and placing them in a shallow bowl of water. After three day I was almost ready to declare the project a bust but then decided to put the bottom in pots of moist soil. Within a day or so my celery has started to grown new stalks and leaves. The plants are now a couple of inches tall and very much resemble baby celery plants. I am excited to buy more celery in order to repeat the project. I dehydrate the celery and then have the bottom to grow for planting in my garden this summer.
Posted by LJN at 7:12 PM
Friday, February 17, 2012
My younger brother has never been in a serious relationship until last year. Quite by accident he met a lovely woman and they are now head over heels for each other. Given that my brother is 36 years old you can imagine how happy our family is for him. What is awesome is that this woman shares most of his interests. They are constantly going on hiking and camping trips together. She has even camped in the snow with him. That is a sign of true love in my opinion! It wouldn't surprise me to get an announcement in the coming months that they will be getting married. It should be easy to find them the perfect gift given their wide range of interests. I can imagine my brother registering for gifts like bike racks at cracksandracks.com as opposed to someplace like a department store. They are the type of couple who would want gifts they will really use as opposed to things that will just sit around collecting dust. I am just thrilled that he has someone in his life who brings him as much joy as she does.
Posted by LJN at 2:48 PM
This week is the time of year when I begin starting my garden for the upcoming season. Even though there is still a bit of snow on the ground it is now time for seed starting. This year I am scaling back my seed starting a bit and will be trying more direct sowing of seeds as opposed to transplanting seedlings. This week I started about 30 pepper seeds and hope to have a decent germination rate. Last year I had some germination problems and started my seeds later in the year. This left little wiggle room for starting new seeds. By starting earlier I hope to have more time to start a second batch of seeds if these don't germinate well. Peppers can take up to 3 weeks to germinate as opposed to some plants that only take a few days. This year I am planting heirloom varieties which is something I haven't done before.
Posted by LJN at 2:42 PM
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
This weekend I got the itch to start gardening. I had been reading about growing lettuce and other greens inside and decided to try it. I started a tray of spinach and a tray of lettuce. It has only been a couple of days but they are already sprouting. I love to see things growing! We were in the process of moving our seed starting equipment upstairs and I figured I might as well put it to use. It doesn't cost much to run the lights for starting seeds. I figure if the lettuce and spinach grows I will not have to buy it at the store. We go through a lot of lettuce and greens and have to run to the store a couple of times each week. Having it at home might save at least one of these trips.
Posted by LJN at 5:08 PM
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
This week I was speaking with a friend about the size of our kitchens and layout of our houses. She has a house that is much smaller than mine and is always frustrated with it. I think I surprised her when I said that my kitchen frustrates me because it is larger than hers. What she doesn't realize is that this kitchen is half the size of the one at my previous home. In the conversation we started talking about decorating and she referred to my house as eclectic. I don't know if this was an insult or not. I can't judge because her home is decorated in rustic decor throughout. My house is eclectic in the sense that I have no theme. I collect things I like that are priced right. The colors might be atypical but they aren't wild. I just can't figure out if she like my house or thinks it is crazy. When I hear the term "eclectic" I think of the crazy neighborhood lady everyone gossips about.
Posted by LJN at 7:31 PM