Monday, August 29, 2011

A New Leaf

I did something yesterday that I haven't done in months.... I got on the scale!! While it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, it was still bad. So now its day one of getting healthy. There's really no excuse, its not like I'm working. LOL!! I'm not one of those No Carb dieters. As a bio major I know you need carbs to remain healthy. My problem is moving! But like I said, there's no excuse. So I've promised myself that I will move, in some fashion, 30 minutes a day which I can split up in 15 or 10 minute intervals. No eating after 8pm at night and I truly need to get back to drinking more water during the day. I find myself downing a liter at dinner time because I'm so thirsty. I'm also going to eat breakfast, which I did while I was pregnant and have since gotten out of the habit. Nothing drastic, just sensible changes.

Not much planned for today. We got the majority of the cleaning done yesterday so I'm going to focus on the guest room today and getting this darn sewing done. The Man will be heading out to help our friend again. I think he's gonna stop and help my grandfather as well. So it will be Gabbie and I today. Hopefully she will take a couple good naps ;) Tomorrow we are going to wrap up the Airstream clean up. Its been rough and I know its not 100% (that would probably require a professional, in my opinion) but it will be ok for Poppa and Step-Mommie when they get in. I still have to wrap up their laundry as well which I'll be working on the remainder of the week along with washing sheets and good stuff like that.

As for the rest of the week, I believe there will be more peach butter, more cleaning, more sewing, and may throw in a couple craft projects. Who knows, only time will tell!

Sunday, August 28, 2011


It has been a busy week here. Miss Gabbie decided to crawl and is now into everything. To top it off, Friday evening she stuck my finger in her mouth and, to my surprise, I felt a tooth!! I can't see it yet but I can feel it and it has broken through the gum. Of course in turn she's a bit fussy. She's ok during the day when her attention can be diverted but the past couple of nights have been rough. I haven't slept much!! I feel so helpless when I know she's hurting. Its horrible but its something I better get used to. So if any of you mom's have any helpful hints on making teething as pleasant as possible, please feel free to pass them on.

Friday Gabbie and I spent the day with my Mother and Grandmother. We did a bit of shopping and had a blast!! I wish I could have bought some things but I know exactly what I want when we have some money rolling in!! We went to Old Time Pottery and let me tell you... I could have spent a fortune!! I love all the fall stuff that they have!! The Man got some down time while we were gone to study for his test coming up in September. In turn, I got "me" time yesterday. The Man is helping a good friend with some home maintenance projects and Gabbie went to her grandma's. I was going to work on my sewing but I found this project while surfing and just had to make one.

The one on her blog is a bit fru fru for me (I'm not much of a flower person)so I had to find something else to stitch. I came up with this...

I took the angled view so that you can see the different colors in the tree, it's not solid orange! The Man even liked it!!! It was pretty easy, I just drew the outline on the pegboard and dove right in. I want to make a couple more to swap out when the seasons change! It was fun too. I watched a couple good movies and it was done.

So now I still have sewing to finish but I know that I can get it done. I will be working on that today and tomorrow. I should probably get going, need to get a bit of cleaning done since I didn't yesterday. Until next time!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Sense of Accomplishment

Good Morning! Don't know why but I feel good today. The past couple of days have been full of accomplishment. Yesterday I bit the bullet and went to the health department to get Gabriella and I on WIC. Not my finest hour but the benefits will help us immensely. It was funny. You always hear horror stories about how the staff are rude and stuff. I guess they realized that I wasn't the average joe because no one was rude to me. The head nurse who filed the paperwork for us was extremely helpful. I had lots of questions and I guess it was obvious that I had no clue what I was doing. The nurse helped a lot. We talked about the colorful people she encounters on a daily basis and I confessed that I never thought I'd be in my current position. She assured me that's what these programs were there for; people in my situation that need a bit of help. It felt much better after talking with her and the other staff. They answered all my questions and told me exactly what to do when I got to the grocery store. I commented on the large amount of food that we can get and the woman replied "That's where your tax dollars go, use them." Very true!!! So I came home with my head a bit higher. I know that we won't have to spend too much at the grocery store now although coffee and creamer are not on the program.....darn!!!!

Another accomplishment was Tuesday when I took this 27 pounds of peaches.....

And turned it into this.....

6 pints of spiced peach butter and 16 half pints of peach preserves, minus the ones we ate. Yep....accomplishment!! So my totals for the season thus far are 16 half pints and 15 pints of sweet pickle relish, 13 half pints of blueberry jelly, 1 quart of blueberry juice(for more jelly), at least 10 quart bags of tomatoes, 30 quart bags of sweet corn, 42 quart bags of Dixie lee peas and its not even apple season yet!!Not bad at all! And let me say that the peach butter is out of this world!! Can't wait to eat that this winter. Next on my list is freezing butternut squash for Miss Gabbie, applesauce, and of course, apple butter!!! Thank God that we have a local apple orchard where I can buy all in bulk!

I wonder what I'll accomplish today?! More yard work I think. Mother wants The Man and I to help her mulch her house now. So I think we will be packing up Gabbie and heading to her house for the day. It will be nice to get out of the house, something I don't do very much anymore. I think tomorrow I'm going to try and wrap up these sewing projects. My in laws are coming in next weekend and I have to have a BUNCH of stuff done by then. I'm just about finished with the purses for my sister and cousin-in-law. Then I have a couple little things for them to use up the rest of their fabric. Gonna do some zippered make-up bags and little things like that. Then I have several projects for my niece, Emily. Although I better just focus on the main one and then move on after that. I'm getting carried away!!! I want to make her all the things I wanted to make for Gabbie when I was pregnant!!! I just couldn't because I was pregnant!! Like I said, I'm going to start with the main one and as soon as its finished I'll move on to the next. I have a funny feeling that everything I make for Gabbie, from here on out, I'll be making another for Emily. I'm still trying to figure out if I should do all Emily's stuff in pretty, light, and feminine or bright, fun, and cheery. What do you think?

Speaking of Gabbie...look out world, she's about 2 steps away from crawling or walking which ever happens first. She's pulling her self up and all that good stuff. We have to lower her crib because I found her half standing up in it this morning! YIKES!!!! She's scooting along though and getting into a lot more than I'd like. Time to baby proof the house. God give me strength and patients with this!!! Every day she does something new, learns something new, develops something new. Its truly amazing to watch her learn and discover. She never fails to amaze me.

Well I better have one more cup o' coffe and get going. Lots to get done and then we have to go to Mother's!!! Oh, I think I hear a tractor outside. Looks like we will have hay bales when we get home. I'll make sure to show you! Until next time!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Before and After

Well, once again an unplanned event came up. Friday evening The Man decided he wanted to join Mother and Step-Dad on their trip down to visit Mabel. So we woke up extra early and headed down to Birmingham to surprise Mabel. She, Mother, and I spent a couple hours shopping while the guys and Gabbie played video games. We had a great steak dinner on the grill and some awesome extras courtesy of Mabel. It was a great day until the drive home. Its a 3 hour drive and for some reason it seemed so much longer than that. We finally got home at midnight. Needless to say we spent the majority of yesterday recovering.

Here are the pictures I've promised. First the Before of the yard

And After....

It's amazing what a days hard work will do. Now for Friday night's shots.

We basically just sit around a fire, if its not 100 degrees, eat, and drink a couple cold beers. I've spent many nights like this since I was a child and fortunately, Gabriella enjoys it just as much as I do. She loves watching the fire and spending time with her family.

Today I plan on cleaning, laundry, and hopefully finishing up some sewing. I also need to spend a couple hours applying again. Neither of us have heard anything and we are both starting to get truly discouraged, especially The Man. Some days I wake up and I can't believe we are in this situation. I hope and pray that something comes around soon. Well, I better get going. Until next time!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Random Home Improvement

So Mother came over the other morning and instead of working on cleaning the house, she wanted to tidy up the outside. Mother can't stand being inside so I really wasn't surprised by this. I was surprised, however, by what she wanted to do. She wanted to do some major work, which we did, and lay down some mulch, which we did, alot of mulch!! I don't have the pictures uploaded yet but I'll get the before and afters up asap! Needless to say it looks great! So, that's what we've been doing the past 2 days and because of that don't have much to report.

Tonight we are at my grandparents house for dinner and a fire. I plan on taking pics to show you all just how we spend our Friday nights around here. Tomorrow its cleaning since I didn't get any done as planned! Oh well....that's my mother for you. I just wanted to check in and let you know what we've been up to. Hopefully I will have some pictures to post tomorrow morning. Until then!!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Good Morning!

I'm just a posting fool!! I was up early and figured I'd show you another quick creation inspired by Step-Mommie. Isn't it cute?! Love that fabric! I learned one valuable lesson with this one: if you don't drop your feed dogs then it doesn't turn out quite as planned. Oh well!! I won't do that again!

So I'm sitting here, snuggled up cause its 63 degrees outside and we have all the windows open. I've got a cup o' coffee in my fave mug and yesterdays mail that I can finally read, yes, it's a poultry catalog. What's in a poultry catalog you ask, well poultry. Babies! Yes you order specific breeds of chickens, turkey, ducks, etc and when they hatch, they are shipped to you. How cool is that!!! So I'm dreaming about my future chickens and drinking coffee in the amazing weather. Its a great start to, hopefully, an even greater day.

Mother should be here soon so I'll leave at that. Until next time!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Finally Finished Something

Well I've been working on my sewing projects, among other things. I finally finished one although the rest are coming along pretty well. This was something that I thought of one night and just had to make one. As you know our bedroom is getting a makeover and the dresser needed a little color. I'm not about to paint it so I decided to make a runner for it. To the fabric pile I went and I pulled out a charm pack that Step-Mommie gave me. Our room is red with hints of turquoise and although there is no turquoise in the charm pack there is plenty of red. Plus I love the fabric. It give the room a bit more of a country feel to it.

It was the first official thing that I've quilted. All my other quilts have been tie. I also did a self-binding quilt, which was a first as well. Its not perfect but it does the trick. I don't have any before pictures but here is one of the bedroom now. I'm glad that I'm a Goodwill addict cause I wouldn't have had all this random stuff laying around. Add in some paint and a couple of nails and you get a some-what cute bedroom. I'm changing the window treatment but to what I don't know yet. Definitely something different, too much floral. On the opposite wall is the dresser and a wing back chair that desperately needs to be reupholstered or at least slip covered. The sconces are our IKEA buy. The Man was constantly rolling over and knocking the lamp off the nightstand. I told myself that sconces would be great but couldn't find any that were in our price range and not ugly. I had found some on IKEA's website but they weren't available to ship. So when we went to visit Poppa and Step-Mommie we grabbed 2 and they were 10 bucks each!!! You can't beat it!!!

Here are some pictures of Gabriella I took the other day. I just have to say that she takes my breath away. She's so beautiful.

She's already such a country girl. She loves being outside and loves playing in the garden, especially the peas.

Speaking of country, our bee keeping mentor came out to The Farm yesterday to help us catch the bees up. We have been seriously neglecting them for quite some time now. Luckily for us, they were doing just fine. It turns out that we will have a honey crop this year after all!!! YIPPY!! Come October we will be harvesting about 30 to 40 pounds of honey! I'm so very happy that our hive is doing well. The hive has grown significantly since last year and we may be able to split it in the spring. And to think that we were contemplating getting rid of them. So glad that all is well in bee land!

Well, I think that's about all for tonight. Mother is coming over in the morning to help me get some serious deep cleaning done, so I better get to sleep. Until next time!!

PS I can't figure out how to "comment" back on my posts, so thanks to all who comment. I'm still trying to figure out how to get back to you but I'll get there!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Overwhelmed and Humbled

I don't know if you listen to modern country music but there is a song that talks about seeing God today. I don't know who its by or the entire song but the gist of it is that God is all around, always watching. I can honestly say that I saw God today, or, at least, the workings of God. In order to explain I have to admit some very SCARY things.

I paid the bills last night and, after everything was taken out, we had $60 left. TOTAL! Never in my life, even in high school and college, did I have only $60 dollars to my name. Needless to say The Man was panicked. I simply told myself that we would just have to stay put until Tuesday when I get my unemployment check, but The Man was concerned about any emergency that would come up between now and then. I try not to be pessimistic about things but he did have a point. An emergency presented itself this morning as I went to feed the dogs. Only a days worth of dog food left! Now, under normal circumstances this would be FAR from an emergency, but when you only have $60 bucks, its down right catastrophic! I tried to put it out of my head and figure out how we would get the girls feed. I knew that something would happen and we would have a tad bit more funds to buy dog food. I figured that I'd search the house for lose change and cash it in. Ummm.... that's a really good idea now that I think of it. We need to do that!! There's probably $100 bucks lying around! Sorry....on with my story. Any who, I went on with my day (childless again thanks to mother) and got some sewing done along with reorganizing/cleaning my sewing closet. All the while the amount in our checking account kept popping into my head.

This afternoon The Man went to the mailbox and found an overwhelming surprise... God, in a sense. Inside was a letter and a check from my brother and sister-in-law. This isn't the first time they have saved us and I'd be willing to bet that it won't be the last. Needless to say I cried my eyes out. Even The Man got a bit misty. I swore then and there that as soon as we pull ourselves out of the crater that we're in, we will do something amazing for these two, just as they have for us. So this blog post is dedicated to them. I'd like to introduce you all to my amazing brother and sister-in-law, Flappy and Whippy. That "bump" is my sweet niece Emily, whom I can't wait to meet.

I know that they visit my blog often so if you're reading this you two, Thank You from the depths of my soul. You have no idea how much you mean to me. Whippy, I have some more stuff for you, not too much, that I'm sure you'll be able to use. I'm also about to start something "pretty" for Miss Emily. I pray that it is finished by the time Labor Day gets here. I wish you guys were able to come as well but I understand why you can't. Please know that you guys are always with me, in my thoughts and prayers, every day. I miss you tremendously and can't wait until we see each other again. If ever you need me, I am always here.

Well, I think I've been emotional enough for one day!! So there are two morals to this story. Moral #1: never doubt that God will take care of you. Moral #2: Family is the second most important thing

Until next time!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Taking a Breather

Mother came and picked up Gabbie earlier so I can take a brake for at least a couple hours. I've been sitting here filling out applications for everything under the sun. If we don't hear anything soon I honestly don't know what we'll do. As soon as I make this post, I'm heading to my sewing closet to get some projects done. I just have to take a break from reality for a while. Hopefully The Man will go fishing in the morning so I really have some quiet time. We will see.

Not much else going on here. The garden is wrapping up. I have about 5lbs of tomatoes to put up tonight and a bit of peas. There are 4 batches of relish in the fridge at the moment. As soon as all of that is done there won't be much after it. The Man and I are getting the garden ready for the next planting. I'm excited about this because we've never planted fall crops. I hope they do well.

I guess I'll finish up with my applications and head to sew. Until next time!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hanging In There

We have been busy since my last post. We had an amazing time in Ohio with Poppa and Step-Mommie. We will definitely be visiting them again. There is so much to do up there!!! Once Gabbie gets older we will have a great place to vacation to on the cheap ;) Our vacation was short lived though. As soon as we got home it was back to reality. Reality entailed tomatoes, peas, and cucumbers. Prior to our long weekend away, we went through the garden and picked all the cucumbers and all tomatoes with any bit of color to them. When we got in, all the toms were nice and ripe. I put up 18 quart bags of peas, 5 bags of tomatoes, and have 3 batches of sweet pickle relish in a brine. We've been going dawn til dusk. Finally everything was done this morning and The Man and I took the day off. It was hot, 99 degrees, and over cast all day. We were just waiting for the sky to open up, which it finally did this afternoon.

Now that the majority of our garden is slowing down, we are trying to plan for our fall/winter crops and early spring crops. I got online and ordered several seed catalogs to help us out. The man at the Co-op said that their fall seed and plants won't be until the end of the month. Hopefully we can get a plan going by then. We have big dreams, as you know, and we are slowing making them come true, at least as the farm goes.

I have to admit that we have had a bit of a push when it comes to The Farm, or at least I have. Before Gabbie was born I was told to read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingslover. I bought it and had just started it when Gabriella made her grand appearance. Needless to say it got pushed to the side for a while. I picked it back up again a couple of weeks ago and have been reading like a fiend! What she and her family have done is what The Man and I want to accomplish as well.

She has become my personal inspiration not only as a "farmer" but as a mother. I was truly touched and influenced by this book. If you want, not only a good read but a lesson on cooking, family, and exactly where your food comes from, read this!! She's an amazing person and a great writer. She writes like you were sitting at her kitchen table chatting away about the garden. I love her!!

With my new found focus and determination came the inevitable equal and opposite reaction, i.e. I heard about the job I've been interviewing for. They decided to got with another applicant. I was crushed; hysterical was more like it. I honestly thought that I had it. I needed that job so bad!!! I get teared up just thinking about it. So now we are back at step 1. The Man hasn't had any leads and I haven't had any more. I'm trying to keep my faith but I can honestly say I'm at bottom now. I know that with the support of my family we can make it through financially but I also know that can't last very long. I applied to a bunch more places today, we both did. There's not much out there that would pay what we need to get paid. I've got all my feelers out to everyone I know. I even have a convent, a whole convent, praying for us (a friend from high school is a nun!)I honestly don't know what else to do. I feel like a failure not only because I didn't get that position but because I put myself in this position.

I guess its normal to feel like this but I can't help but say "what if" and "if only". I'm trying to remain grateful for everything but its very difficult. I feel like a disappointment and I can't stand that feeling. I pray that it passes quickly and I get my old confidence back soon.

Tomorrow is a busy day, playing catch up from today. My aunt and uncle from Illinois are in and Mabel is coming in as well. The weekend will be full of family time which I badly need right now. I am so very grateful for my family. I'd be lost without them. I hope that one day I am able to "pay" them back for everything whether it be monetary or not. Until next time!