Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Is that even a word?  Can I use it for a blog post title?  I think I have mental constipation (sorry if that brings about an icky image).  I had all these things I wanted to share here, but no time to write.  Now I have a few moments but can't remember any of the things I wanted to say.

I'm terribly frustrated-more so than usual.  I keep trying to carve out a little time for me, so I can improve and feel refreshed and stop being a tired grump all the time.  It doesn't seem to matter what I try, nothing has worked so far. 

In April I learned of a "Mom Telesummit" full of speakers and topics that interested me, all online.  I signed up and even paid the $39.95 to have access to the MP3 recordings and PDF files of each class.  I think there were 10 during one specific week.  It's now July, a full three months later and I have listened to one whole class.  Yes, just one.  My son went to VBS for a week and I scheduled 3 or 4 for that week.  Didn't get to listen to a single one.  He went to my parent's house for a week-same thing.  My husband promised to give me two hours "off" every Friday and that hasn't happened yet.  The one I've watched I just put Goober Gus in front of the TV with a movie and "took" my class.

When reality that my husband was not likely to follow through with his support plan, I decided I'd pay someone to watch him for a few hours each week (my son that is, not my husband-ha ha) but since we're leaving in a few days for vacation, I haven't started that yet.

This morning we came to the library for their weekly children's program and it occurred to me that since he likes to play the computer games here, and there's free wi-fi, I could bring my laptop and headphones and listen to a class while he plays.  I was super excited!  Then another family came in and it got noisy.  What happened to the days of whispering in a library?  My son will sit quietly playing the game until another child comes in, then he's just as noisy, if not more so, than the others.  I couldn't hear my class-they were so noisy they overrode the sound going directly to my ears.  It was mostly the other 3 kids, but I did get up and tell my son that if he didn't start whispering we'd leave.  I'm happy to report that he started whispering.  Not that it helped, the other kids ignored the instruction that their mom finally gave to be quiet.  I realized that I had listened to 20 minutes of the class and had no idea what she said.  In frustration I turned it off and decided to do something where sound isn't an issue.

So my question is, how do you get a little quiet time at your house?  If you're an early riser, I'm jealous.  I've tried that route and it doesn't work.  I'm either in a fog for the entire day and worse off than usual, or darling son wakes up hours earlier than he usually does and there goes quiet time.

Vent over, advice greatly desired!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Update to Weekly Farm Report

I made my report too soon.  Tony took the truck out this afternoon to collect broken tree branches from yesterday's storm.  The goats love them and it's free food!  While he was out, someone gave him three HUGE garbage bags full of apples!  We just finished sorting them and were able to save about 2 bags worth.  The other will be goat, cow and horse treats.  So now to ask for YOUR favorite apple recipe.  The recipes in my Home Canning book include:
  • apple butter
  • conserve
  • syrup
  • jelly
  • juice
  • pie filling
  • preserves
  • apple-rhubarb chutney
  • wedges in cinnamon red hot syrup (yum!)
  • studded with cherries and raisins
I have lots of canning jars AND plenty of freezer space, so let's hear your ideas! 

Yes, there are so many we washed them in the bathtub!

Weekly Farm Report

OK, so I made it for a second weekly report.  It's a start!  This is what I got at the farmer's market today.  There's 4 pounds of apples that I got in exchange for 2 dozen eggs; 3 bunches of purple and white carrots that normally go for $3 per bunch, I got all 3 for $5 because it was getting close to quitting time; the purple plums and beets were received for a pound of garlic chevre; the yellow plums I bought because it was a new vendor and I wanted to make friends; and the pickled zucchini just looked fun!  The owner of the apple orchard will trade me apples for eggs every week.  Not pictured are 2 giant sunflowers to go into the garden and hopefully help feed the chickens this winter, and a baby willow tree.  The willow tree was a gift from the people we bought the stevia and mint plants from a few weeks ago.  The chickens ate all the leaves and I was asking if they'd come back with just roots there.  She wasn't sure and doesn't have any more mint or stevia, and Tony had shown interest in a willow when we were there, so they gave me one.  It's been great getting to know the people at the market.

When we arrived, my son says, "hey, it happened again" but I wasn't sure what he meant.  He could see the people at the market and was excited because the beef vendor has a 3 year old boy that he likes to play with.  He calls him his new friend, so today we got his name.

I went to the pasture twice to check on critters (Tony goes every other day) and the day I took my camera, Elsie and Jasper wouldn't stand up.  Today they were grazing together but I didn't have my camera. 

We had quite a rain storm yesterday afternoon and then last night when I locked up the hen house, one was missing.  I haven't seen her today (thinking maybe she roosted elsewhere with the rain) so I think a coyote got her.  Everyone else seems happy though.  Goats included.

So that's it for this week.  Hope ya'll are well!

Friday, July 16, 2010

This Heat is Killing Me!

Maybe not literally, at least not yet, but I can hardly do anything!  I don't even have the energy to prepare meals, so I'm doubly knocking myself out.  It's a downward spiral, that's for sure!  My head is heavy and groggy, my thoughts are fuzzy, my ears are ringing more than usual.  But I don't sleep well because there was hardly any physical activity during the day, and that adds to the trouble too. 

Fridays are my new "afternoon off" according to Tony.  He said he'll give me time off every Friday from 3-5, and today I'm thinking of taking the laptop to some local place that has free wi-fi, where I will either begin planning a routine to fit in more essentials and fun stuff, or just read blogs and catch up on stuff like that.  So I'm thinking I ought to go force feed myself (did I mention that besides not having the energy to prepare food, the heat also kills my appetite?) so I will have the energy and brain power to enjoy my time off.

There's a heat advisory in effect here today.  Telling people to stay inside with air conditioning and drink plenty of fluids, and check on elderly family and neighbors.  Tony won't care and might still try to take our son out to do something so I can just stay here, but I think it would be better if they had a cooler place to hang out.  I say cooler because we don't use the AC from noon til  because the rate goes up during that time.  However, even my cheapskate-ness has limits and if it gets too hot inside the AC's going on!  It's hard to say what temp that is, as our thermometer is not accurate, nor is the inaccuracy consistent.  We've tested it against a digital thermometer and when it's cool in here-like winter time, the temp can be off by as much as 10 degrees (reads high).  But in the summer it can show 90 and be 86.  So I just don't trust it, and go by feel most of the time.

This sure turned into a long post for someone who hasn't done much this week, therefore doesn't have much exciting to share.  Tomorrow I will go to the farmer's market and trade a pound of cheese for a few pounds of plums, see what other deals are out there, and then go to a used curriculum fair for homeschoolers.  Next week we go to the statewide homeschool conference, with lots of vendors and more workshops than I can fit into the time allotted.  Speaking of that, perhaps I'll pour a cold drink, grab some cheese and finally choose just which workshops I'll go to!  Stay cool, everyone!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Weekly Farm Report

Maybe if I call it weekly I'll remember to do it every weekend?  OK, so where to start?  The deal of the week, probably...

The last time we were at the farmers market (as shoppers) I took a little of my goat cheese and the owners of the grass fed beef company tried it.  She said it was a little too strong and she wanted it to be creamier, so I agreed to try a few things and contact her.  We missed the following weekend, so yesterday was our next trip there.  I had made two batches of goat cheese-chevre and fromagina- with the freshest milk I had.  I took notes of what I did so I could recreate the environment if it were successful.  The chevre was creamier, and not so "goaty" and Tony mixed it with a dab of olive oil, garlic and salt.  Even creamier!  I didn't season the fromagina.  She tried them both-and I traded her the batch of fromagina for a pound of new york steaks!  They were on special for $8.45 per pound, so I got that per pound on my cheese!  The man at the neighboring booth likes the chevre so I told him I'd make a special batch for him Monday and trade for a few pounds of his fresh plumbs.  I feel a cobbler coming up!

Elsie and Jasper came home last night.  Look how big he is now!  It was dusk, so I couldn't get good pictures, but I'll get more this week.  See how the flash captured his eyes?  They got off the trailer and RAN all over the 2 acre field.  The 2 horses were wild at that point too and poor Boots (we changed Bolt's name) didn't know what to do.  Just as we were leaving the pasture the neighbor caught us and asked if we wanted to pick some apricots.  Um YEAH!  We got several pounds, plus cleaned up what was on the ground to bring to the chickens.  I made a batch of jam last night as soon as we got home.  I need more sugar now before making any more though.

My step son was here for a few days with his girlfriend and his cousin.  They borrowed the truck Tuesday to go to a local watering hole and burned out the brakes.  They found a ride home but we had to go repair and retrieve it Wednesday.  The yucca were blooming along the road and Tony got some great shots.  I've never seen red in them before.

Friday night we were hot (we don't use the AC til after 7 when rates go down) so we went to the store for some fresh fruit and drinks and drove around looking for downed tree branches to use in making a goat playground.  We stopped by the pasture to make sure the water tank was full and this was our view!

I think that's about it around here.  The monsoon season is in preview mode, meaning we get the heat and humidity without the wonderful cooling rains.  It was in the 80's already at 730 this morning, ugh!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Never a Dull Moment

Especially when there's a 4 year old boy in the family!  Yesterday we stopped at a little hole in the wall taco place for lunch.  Our darling son thought he'd be cute and slide the highchair to our table to sit in.  We told him he was too big, but he proceeded to try and climb in anyway.  He got stuck.  Literally.  I couldn't pull him out.  Tony and I together couldn't pull him out.  I was laughing quite hard by now.  We tried a different tug and he finally slipped free.  We tried to use it as a learning moment, but based on today's events it went in one ear and out the other.

He's had a stuffy nose for a few days.  It usually happens when he has lots of water play time, so a week in the pool at my parents house was good cause for it.  Today he kept making snorting noises but when I'd ask if he was blowing or sniffling he couldn't answer, and would never do it when I could see him.  That should have been my first clue.  At dinner it looked like he had a blob of mud in his nose so I got a tissue to have him blow.  Nothing was coming out.  I tried pulling on it and realized it was hard-so I thought he had a rock in his nose from playing in the mud.  Nope.  It was most of an almond.  He had a bowl of mixed nuts at 11 this morning.  For 8 hours this thing has been in his nose and I couldn't see it until tonight!  Why does a child even think  about stuffing things up his or her nose?  Is it a boy thing?  Tony says he never thought about it as a kid, and I know I didn't, so what causes this insane behavior?

I don't think the detailed version of what a doctor would have to do to get it out had any affect on him either, as he'd wait for Tony to stop talking (a miracle in itself) and then say something totally unrelated.  It wasn't until after  I had the nut out that I thought about taking a picture.  No shortage of blog material around here!

Storm Warning

Storm Warning is a book by Billy Graham.  It's a revised and updated edition.  I've been trying to read it for weeks, and just can't muster up enough interest in it.  Maybe it's because it reads too much like a list of facts rather than telling an interesting story with those facts.  There are too many other books I want to read, so this one is getting a thumbs down and I'm moving on.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Juvenile Hens Make Their Own Roost

Our five juvenile hens are still returning to the backyard to roost in their baby coop, but yesterday I walked out to see that they had knocked over the ladder and are roosting on it.  We haven't moved them to the hen house yet because they probably can't reach the roosts and to make lower ones puts them under the other hens and they'd get well, pooped on.  They need a good spot in the hen house, don't ya think?