Thursday, January 8, 2015

I stopped writing a few months back and have done myself, my family, and my posterity a disservice. I don't feel like going back and "catching up", but I can start from today.

#1. I am putting some concepts into practice that I've done a significant amount of reading on and I am excited by it. As a Mom of four who spends an inordinate amount of time getting excited about pee and poo IN the potty and not on any other surface, it feels so good to be excited on an intellectual level as well.

#2. Remember my 30 before 30 list? I went off track when we decided to sell our house, move to the country, and have a baby. I'm only trying to tackle 2/3 of those again, so it feels like perfect time to get back to it. My first violin lesson in a long, long time is tonight.

#3. I Pinterest searched 'minimalist craft room'. Not a whole lot came up in the search. Is hoarding just part of crafting? 

#4. Crafty projects I'd like to put into practice this year... knitting socks, making my own buttons, sewing machine writing, and a stained glass Nativity.

#5. My children are growing like weeds. Most of them speak fluent English now. It is the source of much of my frustration and hilarious at the same time.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

July 10

The irony is not lost on me....there was once a time when I would have sold organs on the black market in order to be pregnant. Today? I just want this baby out of me. Today is my due date. And except for four and a half weeks between back to back miscarriages, I have been pregnant since last May. Only elephants should be pregnant for years- it makes humans cranky.

It's a been a rough farm week. I came home from a long day and appointment with my midwives and just sat in the driveway. I noticed Mama llama having a fit down on the lower fence line which was unusual. I looked down to the newly fenced poultry pasture to see a dog (not ours) chasing our poultry. All the ducks, chickens, and turkeys are fenced within a half acre area. Not only have we found out that within that fencing is a fox den, but apparently a dog can get in. Thankfully, Husband happened to be home because I can't run very well at the moment, and especially not in 102 degree heat. Damn dog killed two chickens and our biggest turkey.

Our last doe kidded unexpectedly last week as well. We thought she was doing fine, but I noticed yesterday something was off with her. Tonight when we took the last three babies to be disbudded we found out what. She has pink eye and is most likely blind in at least one eye. Because she's so young she probably got it during birth and since we weren't present during the kidding she didn't get the same attention as the others. She's been quarantined to the garage in a pen to avoid spreading it to the rest of the herd. We came home after hitting the drugstore and I busted out my rusty nursing skills. I'm hoping we can clear it up and she will keep at least some of her sight. Thankfully at this point no one else has it.

Have I mentioned that it's bloody hot? Oh, well it is. But because of that the deer don't have as much to eat so they have taken to stalking my porch during the night. One night Husband sat waiting for them with a pellet gun. He's also got a little pile of rocks sitting next to the front door so he can lob them in their direction if he sees one. Last night I thought he was going to break his neck sliding down the hillside when he decided to chase one around the property. I just let Jango loose on them which seems to do the trick for at least a day or two. Most of my plantings are "deer resistant", but I have a couple that I've tried to sneak in. Only a few things have been damaged and it's not that big a deal, but it just adds to my crankiness.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I used to blog. And get pedicures. And I prided myself on a wicked clean kitchen floor. But, that was a long time ago. Life before we had baby goats living in the guest bathroom because the chicks/ducks/turkeys were taking up the Master. And before we milked cows and goats and counted poultry at dawn and dusk to be sure of their numbers. And there was that time I chased a coyote with a golf club. That was awesome. Thankfully we don't have neighbors or someone might have called the cops.

"911, what's your emergency?"

"Uh, yes. There's a very pregnant woman running down the road screaming "BASTAGE!!!!!" at the top of her lungs and swinging a golf club."

In my defense, the bastage had my drake in his mouth. That's a male duck by the way, not some weird Urban Dictionary phrase you need to look up. In fact, please don't. I just probably don't even want to know.

But we live in the boonies, and I could yell profanities at predators all the live long day and no one is going to bat an eye. It's kind of awesome actually. If we had pesky neighbors they might be put off by the fact that we have encouraged our children to pee the perimeter of our property because it keeps the deer out. I may or may not have done my part in protecting my crepe myrtles. I'll never tell for sure, but I will have the most beautiful purple crepe myrtles lining my front drive. So help me!

So, yeah. I might not have written for a while. But this is still very much Crazytown.

Monday, March 31, 2014


Packed up some wood puzzles of a craft swap.
Bottle fed our baby goat.
Milked the cow in the rain.
Found the secret hiding place of the chickens and collected ten eggs.
Started tiling the backsplash.
Cleaned up a little.
Had a home assessment for solar installation.
Friends over to play.
Made my favorite dinner of bulgogi, spicy kimchi coleslaw, and sticky rice.
Lost another chicken to something that is really starting to tick me off.
Milked in the rain again.
Went and cut more wooden puzzles for a different craft swap while Husband did the bedtime routine.
Came in and found my wool coat so I could warm up and have a bowl of ice cream.
Chatted with a friend on-line for a bit.
Headed out to cut the last puzzle and feed Bella her last bottle.
Go to bed.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Conversation in the front seat....

"What does he do for a living?"

"Um, I think he's a nurse."

From the back seat...

Girl Child, "Wait, are you saying boys can be nurses?"

Boy Child, "I HAVE NIPPLES!"

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Yeah, about that...

I rarely talk about money, especially not on my blog. Or ever if I can help it. Few subjects make me more uncomfortable. I get this awkward anxiety over it that takes me back to third grade and some lasting awkward memories.

You see, when I was little my family had money. Or at least the appearance of money. We lived in Mexico which I'm sure helped to skew the perception. There was a maid, a full time gardener, private school. We lived in a big family house with a pool. But I also remember when my Mom and Dave separated and we moved to live with my grandparents. At one point there was a reconciliation, but our lifestyle was completely different. My mom worked nights as a CNA. Dave went from being president of a company to at one point delivering pizzas and then as a beauty supply sales rep. Job to job and next business venture to next business venture and somehow (I don't know the details) we were living in Texas. My mom had gone back to school and was to finish her semester by staying with some people from the ward. My sisters and I were to move back to Utah with Dave a few weeks before my mom could come. Someday I might write about that trip, but most of the memories from it leave me with a pit in a my stomach. We made it only through the generosity of strangers and had to miss Trick or Treating that year.

Back in Utah, Dave and my grandma took us school shopping at D.I. I remember seeing and wanting a denim jacket. I wanted it sooo badly. It was $8.00. They said I couldn't get it because it was too expensive. I wasn't an idiot. I was going to be in third grade. I knew what money was and I knew that eight dollars was not a ton of money. It was standing embarrassed at DI that I realized something was wrong. The weird anxious feeling that accompanied is the same feeling I still get when having to talk about money.

Later that school year a boy at school made fun of my grandma chosen shoes by saying they were just like his grandma's shoes. It wasn't until this week that I realized that, oh my gosh, they could have been his grandma's actual shoes. Along with the memories of the neighbor boy I was madly in love with down the street, my favorite elementary school teacher, and breaking my nose by jumping a crack in the sidewalk on one foot in rollerskates on a dare, I also remember that Christmas happened due to the generosity of family members and knowing that my aunt paid for my Mom's plane ticket to visit us over Thanksgiving. When I think of my mom, I still picture her meeting us after school that day wearing jeans, a turtleneck, and a pink sweatshirt with puffpaint like teddy bears and a faux fair aisle embossed pattern.

Even though things were tight, I never went without. My mom worked hard so that when they divorced we stayed in our house. By the time my mom married my dad in Jr. High, life was different again. We lived in a middle class neighborhood in Southern California. There was always the expectation that we work and earn our own money, but we went to Disneyland at least once a year, ate out, built a new house. My parents worked hard and still do, but shopping at thriftstores has been for a long time more about the thrill of the hunt for me than necessity.

When John and I got married we had nothing, but we were too young and dumb to notice. We were waiting tables and going to school. We busted our backs to put each other through school. I became a nurse and he an electrical engineer. We were never going to be rich, but nice and steady paychecks every two weeks is what I'm about. The uncertainty of starting a small business or jumping from job to job makes me feel like an awkward third grader whose teeth are too big while wearing some punk's grandma's shoes. Life insurance, health insurance, 401k. That's what I'm about. But life still happens. Sometimes you make stupid choices like buying a new Mini Cooper on a whim and others you fulfill God given callings like taking in three kids on your dime. Either way, life is expensive and the money's got to come from somewhere.

So, knowing that talking about money makes me almost physically ill, you can imagine how awesome the conversations around our house have been when we found out that the company John works for is downsizing this year and offering severance packages to those who voluntarily leave. Good ones. One we couldn't pass up. Even if it meant that we might have to move after just planting an orchard in a house we thought we'd live in forever. Completely out of character for us and a little risky, we had to take it. As of the end of March, husband will no longer be employed with the company he's worked for for eight years. He has to take his sabbatical so he will be "on vacation" for eight weeks. That's only part of the good news. The other good news is that it looks like I don't have to move. We are expecting the official job offer to come in this week or next with a company that's actually one mile closer than where he's been working. More good news...I don't want to throw up or jump out of my skin due to anxiety anymore. Also, I'm going to be cow-sitting at my house in a few weeks for a couple months and milking a sweet black Dexter named Pepper.

Moral of my long and boring story...things have a funny way of working out.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Sometimes, on a good day, I knit to relieve stress. Wednesday I cast on a pair of socks, a dishcloth, and Scrunch's Easter sweater. I have already needed to frog the socks when one of my bamboo knitting needles snapped from my holding them too tightly and then again when I accidentally yanked the cording from the needle on my circular needle when I switched to magic loop.

Saturday I am driving a van full of my knitting group to one of the biggest yarn/fiber expos on the West Coast. The day cannot come fast enough-except that I have to clean out my car before then and it might take me all day. It is a very needed and well timed outing for me. And my car is grateful.

When I was in nursing school we took a mental health wellness quiz based on life stressors. You got points for major life events like a relationship status change, new job, moving, etc. Then you tallied all your points and it gauged how likely you were to become ill. At that time, I had enough stressors to be dead. I used to joke about it because I didn't even have kids or a mortgage! Ten years later, I guarantee that quiz was faulty. Had to be. Or that's why this is Crazytown and I'm it's Mayor. In the next two weeks (preferably one), I hope to have more clarity on a few of those stressors that are giving me and my knitting grief.

Some of my nearest and dearest kept going through all this major life drama. I was literally sitting in a hospital parking lot (because it was the cheapest, closest parking to our Pioneer Day fieldtrip at the Fort) when I got the voicemail from one of my oldest and dearest that she was being admitted to the hospital. This has helped to give me perspective. But then I think I'm going to lose it if I don't clean out my car, and I'm back to square one. My kids are fine, my marriage fine, but if one more person clogs another toilet I'm going to run screaming down the gravel road.

I had a self imposed afternoon of bedrest because this baby feels like it is trying to climb out, but I didn't knit. While Juju and Porkchop napped, I traced dresses for Scrunch's paper dolls. I played on my computer while she glued sequins and buttons to everything, including the back of my skirt I found out later. There are sequins and bits of ribbon still all over the bed. We laughed at her silly baby name suggestions. My favorite being Rainbow and Peter Pan of the ones that will never make the actual potentials list. This was a welcome change from stressed out, cranky mommy of the last couple days.

Who knew parts of being a grown-up were going to be so lame? And it's not the things that FlyLady can help me get a handle on. So, I knit. I might never actually finish something and have to keep restarting, but I'm still here. Tomorrow I hope to recharge and stock up so I can keep going.

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