Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The joys of small town living

Huge wind storm last nite. Mix rain and below freezing temps and what do you get? A whole lotta yuck.

Pair that with staying in a rental property and all your stuff is packed in boxes that are scattered about everywhere.....a mess. So, when the power goes out last nite who gets to be stuck in the darkness with 3 kids? MWAH. And hubby, too.

I have one candle that is readily accessible. Oh, and some birthday candles in the cabinet. Which actually turns out to be a good thing since we have only a little teeny, tiny lighter that is pretty much on E. We light the one candle and then proceed to carry it around the entire house looking for the big, brown box marked candles. Eventually find the box and now we have more candles to light. That is where the bday candles some in handy. Light them and then pass the torch.

During all this we do have one flashlight that is a rechargeable gem. We do take turns using this while we are scurrying around looking for things. We do not, however, want to use it often for fear that it will use all its juice and then what. Of course, we have no idea how long this outage will go on.

I did manage to scrounge up many useful things in my hunt. Several candles, matches, some gum. Never know when I might need that over the course of the evening. I gotta keep these kids quiet somehow, right? Never did find the battery powered radio. One of the main things on my search list. It would have been nice to know what was going on out there, how long to expect it, was there school in the morning? Those kinds of things.

Needless to say, this began about 6pm or so. By 8 the house was getting a little cold. Its time to get the little guy down to bed. I am fearing a huge blow up on his part. He will not get to listen to music, he will not get to have his fan on, he will not get to have his space heater making his room all warm and cozy. Mind you, I have kept him up a little later on purpose. Hoping that he will be so sleepy that he wont notice all the things that arent right. I pull out his long footed jammies, a long sleeve onesie, some socks and his diaper. He is all nice and cozy. I grab him another blanket, get his teeth brushed, read Itsy Bitsy Spider by candlelight and then lay him down. The whole time I have my fingers crossed. Night, night, the whole deal.....He falls fast asleep and we never hear from him again till morning. I still think I sealed the deal when I let him carry the battery powered lantern up the stairs. He even asked for it this morning.

The power came on, I think it was like 11 pm last nite. Not so awful.

So, today...on the honey do list.....emergency kit supplies....another storm brewing tomorrow..I dont want to have to do this all again without the things we need. What do you have in your emergency kit? I am for sure thinking I need some chocolate in there. Im just saying.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Are you In or out?

I am so thinking about having a covert backyard chicken operation when I get into the new house.

Are you in or out?

Think I could win the neighbors over with fresh eggs? I have only begun my research. It appears that I have a lot of reading to do.

The question is how much trouble could I land myself into? I get a fresh egg share now. Its affordable and convenient. (and legal) But, its not the same as having your own chickens.....

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Rain barrels

I was actually just out meandering in my normal blog reads. And like always I come away with such useful information. You know how it is. You get to reading one and then they link to somewhere and then you follow and then..well you had better had your initial one bookmarked because before you know it you cant seem to find your way back home.

Rain Barrels. My husband and I have talked of them. The idea of them. The conservation of them. Being green and frugal. They almost just fit in like we should have always had them. Never once in my mind did it ever occur to me that I couldnt use the water I collected to water my veggies. Now, I dont know that I would drink it, but my thinking on that was not really that thought through either, I guess. I just didnt want the extra protein from all the bugs and stuff....and who knew how long it had been sitting there.

So, when I was reading one of my fave blogs this morning she led me to another blog of my liking and she had written a blurb on rain barrels. I commented and she replied and led me to this great blog.

Did you check it out? Their water system? Isnt it just amazing. Now, I dont know that I need all that. But just imagine what you could do with all that water. How much your veggies and fruit trees would just love you to pieces. Because for some reason they just love that rain water over the hose water.

I will do all the research and then, of course, come to my own conclusion on how to handle the rain barrel issue. What about you? Do you have an opinion? Would you water your veggies with rain barrel water? Or do you think it is too risky?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Breaking out the big guns

So, I got to take my sexy man of a husband out to get some new clothes. A much needed event. After seeing him still sporting clothes from high school....he was due! We, well okay, I, picked out some great things for him to wear. New zapatos, too!

Fast forward to today. I was catching up on the laundry. Something I seem to do every day...altho it seems I never actually catch up. There is always something in the hamper. I have lessened the craziness of it by really going thru alot of the families clothing inventory. Purging, if you will. How many clothes must one have, really? That has helped tremendously. New things that my husband and I are purchasing are of a higher quality in hopes that they will last longer. The kids...we still hit the sales racks and the resale shops. They grow so fast....

Back to the laundry....the new things we purchase I also do not dry. Not only does it conserve on energy(and I am all about that) I am hoping that it will prolong the life of the items. After the items had dried I had to get out the iron. Okay, here's the thing. I really do not iron. I have never liked it. And in the past I had purchased things that I knew would not need ironing. I mean, I know how to iron. My big brother showed me how. He has always been in the restaurant business and has to look all seamless and fab. So, I pulled out the iron and the board...I began the process...fill it up with water so that the steam will help pull out the wrinkles. Let it heat up. Okay. Ready. Get the shirt all ready to iron. Its all nicely laid out on the board. Pick up iron. Move it around. The goal is to get the wrinkles out, right? This is taking forever. I mean forever. I am going over and over them and they still seem to be there. Ughhh.

Hubby offers to go out and get me a new iron. What? A new iron? Are you kidding? This one is an heirloom. I have had it since we were married. My ma got it for me. From the Goodwill. How can I get a new iron? That is just crazy. Okay, you twisted my arm. Go ahead.

He returns from the store. With this. The Sunbeam Steam Master 4214.

This is like the iron from the Gods. Or as my husband pointed out a saying from Wil Smith.

Old and Busted.

New hotness.

Did you know that irons arent supposed to leak water when you use them? Did you know they are supposed to get so hot that you cant touch them? And steam? They actually steam. That is amazing. Mine had holes to steam, but you pushed the button and the steam just came out at random moments in time....never one of them being when I actually needed it. More like after I had set it up and was moving my shirt around on the board. And it has a retractable cord. No more trying to figure out how to get the cord to stay all wrapped up on the iron.

Needless to say, I was in pure awe of the new appliance. As were the kids. Oh wait, maybe they were just in awe at seeing an iron. The mere appliance confused them. That's pretty bad, huh?

House update

I am totally amazed that in 4 days time my house is framed up. All of it. Is that insane? Next up is the plumbers and the electricians. We have walked thru and marked out where we would like to have outlets and where we would like to have the spigots outside. Pretty cool!

This is the kitchen all marked out. It sure made it easier for me to visualize what it is going to look like. Of course, its never the same as the real thing. The rectangle in the middle is the island. Where I am hoping to fit 5 barstools. All the markings on the back wall that you see are where the bottom cabinets and stove and such are going to be placed. I learned from the last house that it was too hard for me to get the window above the sink open without actually sitting in the sink. I wasnt able to reach over and have enuf ooommmph to push the window up. This time it is a casement window. All I will have to do it turn the crank. Then I can yell at the kids just fine!

This is just one of my archways into the dining room. I love the arch as opposed to the square. It somehow makes it seem cozier to me. Maybe it is the roundness in comparison to the hard corners....

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

So true

My husband sent me this.

I don't know about you, but this is strikingly true in my family. It really is quite interesting. When my Ma was younger she got to pretty much have the run of the blocks around her house. She got to walk thru the celery fields to go meet my grandpa at work. (Is that right Ma, or am I totally making that up?)

In my childhood I got to walk to the little shopping mall that was quite some ways from my home. I got to go to the swimming pool that was across the street from my home. I got to do this all by myself as long as I came home and checked in every once in awhile. There was a park across the street as well. It had nature trails and a nature center. This I went to along with a friend and we walked the trails and played in the creek. Looking for tadpoles and minnows.

My children....they get to play in the yard. They got to walk to the neighbor's house, like 4 houses down the street. We lived on a culdesac. They got to ride their bikes down to the beginning of the street and then turn around and come back. Now that we have moved we get to start all over again till we get things figured out.

It is amazing to me how much more sheltered our children have become. For reasons that makes sense and for reasons that don't. Things that happen in the world today make it so that our kids wont be nearly as street smart as they could be. The things that I learned along the way as I was able to explore and inquire. My kids wont have that. At least not as kids. In some ways I see that as a hindrance. In other ways I see it as a blessing. I mean, not being out there keeps them from being hurt, right? But then not being out there keeps them from learning. Keeps them from being able to see it all and know how to make the choices that they may need to make. It is a double sided coin.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Went to see this movie.

Totally hysterical and emotional and fun...all wrapped into one. I would see it again. I, however, do not agree with the rating. 13 is pushing it. Quite a bit. I tend to be very conservative on what I let my kids watch. This has a lot of good lessons and points, but the romantic scenes are too much for a 13, 14, 15, yr old in my opinion.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

House Update

The basement plumbing and floor have been completed as well as the garage floor.

Next on the list is framing. I am sure the neighbors out there are gonna love to hear that going up all day long! The last house we were in, we had built as well. We were one of the first houses done. So, I got to enjoy all the construction noises, construction people, and the many flat tires that we had to endure due to all the construction crap laying around.

One of the worst parts of enduring the construction crews that we had to experience was when the men decided it would be totally fine to walk out in the middle of our culdesac and take a leak. That was nice. Believe you, me. I was on the phone the instant that I had to view that and let them know that I was not happy with that and that it was totally unacceptable. I mean, I have children for crying out loud. They were building like 15 houses out there, Put up a dang potty house. Right? No, I guess they thought that was a bad idea.

I kept calling and complaining and they kept saying they would take care of it. It kept happening, so my first response was to not allow them to use my outdoor faucets. They would use them all the time to do brickwork and whatever else. They always asked and I always said sure. They were mighty surprised that first time they came over to get permission to use my water and I said No. They looked at me with quite the odd look and and I proceeded to tell them that when they decided to stop relieving themselves in the middle of the street then they were free to use my water again. Funny how a potty house showed up that afternoon!

Hopefully, this crew has better manners and all the future neighbors wont have to go thru that!

Friday, January 11, 2008

that feeling of....

Ever get that feeling that you have too much stuff? Like things are too messy in your head by seeing all the stuff.

I know that right now this is all stemming from the fact that we have sold our home and moved into a small rental. I know that right now my life is in a bunch of boxes and totes. I know that when we were moving in I was wondering why I had a lot of the things that I do. What do I need it all for? It does not define me. I define me.

I think that when I was in my late 20's I felt like I needed stuff. We had a little extra dough, we were comfortable. I bought things. Not tons of things, but more than I ever had before. Like I had this desire to have things. I mean other people had things, why not me?

Some of it, I think, comes from my childhood, when we had very little. The things I did get then I cherished and never wanted them to be out of my sight. They were mine. I took great pride in them. But this buying thing that happened to me didn't give me the feeling that I got back then. When I had so little. Dont get me wrong. I liked the stuff I bought. It was nice or pretty or whatever, but the feeling of pride wasnt there. That feeling of pure simplicity hasn't shown itself in quite some time.

I have decided that I would like to have that feeling back. That pure, simple, unchaotic feeling. The decluttered feeling. The, I have to save and save for something feeling. There are times when I become impatient when there is something that I have decided that I want or even "need". This impatience goes against every grain of my frugality. It causes me to feel rushed or pressured to make a decision. Or pushes me to come up with some reason as to why I "need" it.

We moved in our rental about 1 month ago and since then I have decided that I am ready to let go of these things. These things that are causing me chaos and not filling me up. In fact, they tend to make me feel quite hollow. Like I could begin to lose sight of who I am behind all the stuff.

Not so much a resolution. I tend to make more lifestyle cleansing choices. If that makes sense. Choices that can affect my life in a positive ongoing way.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

How cool is that?

Wouldn't you love to have this as your backyard bird?

Up to speed

Yes, I have admitted before that I am not a computer whiz. I know, you would never be able to tell had I not told you, right? Some people think that since I am married to a computer genius that I therefore have the same technologies running thru my head. Or that I receive them via some kind of osmosis. Yeah, not so much!

In fact, when I started this blog I was told in no uncertain terms that he would not be helping me. He wanted me to learn how to do things on my own. I was fine with that. I was going to say that myself. I don't want you to help me. I can do it all by myself. But, I didn't. Are you kidding? I knew I was going to need some help, sometime. But, I have been persevering. I have been trying most of it out on my own. I learned how to add the pictures and I learned how to put in the links. I even have a few people who have stuck it out and actually read this blog of mine. And I ask my friends and readers questions. How to do certain things. What did I do wrong. That kinda thing.

Which leads me to my question. What the heck is a tag cloud? And what do I need it for? If I have it, then do I not need the category list on my sidebar? I mean if for nothing else...they look kinda cool. Do I need one?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

You have to watch this show

This new show came about on the Food Network channel. This channel happens to be my daughter's favorite thing to watch. And one of mine, too! I just know she is gonna be on Iron Chef one day. Anyway, she brought this show to my attention.

She knows how much I love fresh foods and that I love to cook them. I love to watch them grow and experiment with them. Cook them in different ways.

If you are a food lover. If you love fresh, homegrown, outta the dirt goodness...then you have to take a peek.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

I am loving it

61 degrees in January.

That is not normal.

In case of motion sickness....

Do not watch your son play Mario Galaxy on the Wii.

He seems to be walking around planets that happen to be spinning. He walks upside down on things that then spin him all around. He jumps from planet to planet and then has to fight a great big gopher that shoots up outta the planet.

I am sitting here thinking that I really need some dramamine. Like now.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Really, what does it mean?

No, really. I am serious. I have seen it a bajillion times in my 33 years of life.

Test Pavement.

They are testing the pavement? What are they testing it for? Durability? Looks? Bumps? Cuz it always seems pretty bumpy and wobbly.

Really, I don't know what it means.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

I cant believe it either

One of the drawbacks to living in a small town is that you don't have as many resources as you do in a larger environment. Case in point....RECYCLING.

I am so stressed over this. There is NO recycling in this darn town. How can I sleep at night? Coming from an area that does offer recycling I just got used to the idea of filling up another receptacle that was designated for recycling only. I never sat back and pondered over it. I just did it. I used something that I could recycle and it went into the recycle can. Now that I can't recycle I have to see all the things going into the regular garbage and know that they are going right into the dump. I am having major stress over this.

I have one option. And to be honest it is not a very good one. The larger town that is about 10 miles from here does offer a recycling drop off area. It has these great big dumpsters with nice pictures on them that tell you what to put in where. Sounds great, right? Well, not really. See, the dumpsters are hardly ever emptied and to make it even worse, people will just drive by and dump their regular trash in there. Taking advantage of the fact that they then got rid of their garbage for no cost. This, however, makes it harder for the people who are trying to use the dumpsters for the actual idea of recycling. When the city sees the trash in there they then have to close down the whole site in order to do a clean up. So, it stays good for a few weeks then starts all over.

AHHHHHH....does anyone have any ideas for me? I try really hard to limit my use of plastics. Really hard, but sometimes it is near impossible. When I do have to use it, I would really like to know that it is getting recycled. Glass I can try to reuse myself. I save a huge amount of plastic just by having my milk delivered to my home in glass jugs. But, I still need to do more.

Can I like write a proposal to the village and ask them to offer recycling? Yes, we are a village. Not a city. Not even a town. Anyone?