Saturday, September 29, 2012

Popping In.....

Guess what?
I missed you guys.
A month is a long time!
Just wanted to say a couple of things....
Aaron got his license
Photo: Aaron got his license.....: -/ : -) : -(
He got his license the same day he found out he could start school in December.
It was also the same day I made a doctors appointment for some meds.
: -)
Phyllis is ailing again and in the house recovering.
She's got a bit of an eye infection and just seems under the weather in general.
I gave her a good bubble bath and a blow dry last night - made her some oatmeal which she ate up like a boss.
I plan on sneaking her in my backpack to the Appalachian Trail.
Photo:'s come to this
Hope you are drinking in the goodness of the autumn season!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

An Autumn Farewell

I'm not entirely sure how to convey how much I'm loving autumn this year - and this is only the second official day!
I've been bedecking the porches - stocking up on apples - and enjoying the changing slant of the light in the house as the days progressively get shorter.
It's the 360 degree circle of life baby - and I'm drinking every degree of it up.
So much going on at the moment - and honestly - I shan't have the time to blog for the next month.  I will be gone three out of four of the weeks in October -
Several of those days will be spent on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina with some dear friends - a couple more of those weeks in Missouri with family - and then a few days with the legendary Janie Fox
My soul needs this time.
In between all of that I'm throwing what I hope to be a fabulous Graduation Party for Aaron.
Wishing you all crisp leaves, sweater weather, hot cider and pumpkins.
Catch ya in November!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Feel Good Arsenal

I'm gonna spill some secrets here today.
I feel ridiculous.
I wake up ready to run a marathon most mornings.
I'm obnoxiously happy.
I have more energy than a two year old, and that's a true story.
I think this is the reason.
Real, unprocessed, whole food.
Lots of water.
B 12 levels finally getting right.
Liquid vitamins.
I've always been the kind of person that likes to be busy from sun up to sun down.
Always been naturally optimistic and happy.
I've always had pretty good energy.
Maybe it was more determination than energy - I'm not sure.
A couple of months ago - when I had some blood work done and found out that I had seriously low levels of B12 - I started getting weekly shots, and taking sub lingual B12.
It took a good month for me to be able to tell a difference in my energy levels, but my legs quit tingling pretty much right away.
The symptoms of low B 12 are many - from fatigue to mental confusion, no moons in your's really so much to list here...I really implore you to Google it and read up about it - please don't suffer like I did out of ignorance!
Methylcobalamin is the best source of B12 and that is what I take orally.  Most B12 supplements are Cobalamin - which your body has to convert to the methylcobalamin before it's used. I order it from Amazon where I get it shipped free when I buy at least two - I take about four a day right now, so I'm going through them quickly....
Methylcobalamin Vitamin B-12 5000 mcg By Bluebonnet - 60 Chewable Tablets
Since I have a wheat sensitivity that went unchecked for many years - my intestines do not absorb B12 from my food - I had the thought - "well then what about the multivitamin that I take everyday?"  I bought some liquid vitamins at the suggestion of my doctor - and I love these.Nature's Plus - Source Of Life Liquid, 30 Oz.
I had to man up to swallow it the first time - it's a thick green liquid.  I showed it to Glenco and he said it looked like pigeon droppings - which really didn't help at all.  I think of that EVERY time I take them now - but wow - I can tell a difference taking this.
I've started giving myself the weekly shots of B12.  It's cheaper, and the compounding pharmacy in town had the methylcobalamin that I wanted, and my doctor was injecting me with the cobalamin.  I hope to be able to go to monthly shots soon.
Exercise - I can't get over how it gives me energy.
You truly reap what you sow -
Sow energy - reap energy.
I find a direct correlation to what I eat and how I feel.
The littlest bit of processed food leaves me with a headache and a bit of a sluggish feel.
So not worth it.
Life is too short to feel anything less than fabulous!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Things That Make Me Ache from Happiness - Exhibit A


I adore ironing.
I'm always ironing for someone I love - and that makes me so happy I ache.
I love the sound and smell of the steam.
I love starch.
I love taking messy things and making them neat.
I love folding warm pillowcases and hanging warm shirts.
I love taking care of people I love.
My mom was a world class ironer. The ironing board was never put away - she ironed everything - pillowcases, pajamas, dishclothes, even our bras.
True story.
Maybe that's why I love it so - it reminds me of her.
I'm the proud owner of that ironing board.  Every time I take it out and it squeaks when I open it - I'm a kid again - standing at that ironing board on a cold Chicago morning as my mom would iron my shirt right before I put it on - so it would be warm.
I'd eat my oatmeal as my socks warmed in the oven.
I so want to nurture my family like that - it's the little things y'all.
The little things.
Today when I was ironing, I looked down and saw my mother's hands.
The ropey veins, the long skinny fingers.
My hands definitely show the years of work I've put around this old farm house - and I wear them like badges of honor.
The spirit of a homemaker is in every woman - I truly believe it.
Apron that thing up and wear it with pride.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Meat Bird Debacle of 2012

Phyllis finally got herself a man.
Isn't he a beauty?
He's supposed to be a banty, but he's almost mid size - smaller than the big birds, bigger than the banties.  I haven't done any Googling to find out about this guy - I just know I love him - and it makes me happy to see my banty hens in the company of a gentleman.  And he is a gentleman.
I like that in a rooster.
He isn't named yet -
Remember Clarence?  Well - he went to the sale barn y'all - that bird was mean as a snake.
There's so much I haven't told you.
Remember the whole meat bird thing?
Golly - this could take a while to explain.
OK - the Cornish Cross chicken - the one we all grill, fry, roast and eat everyday - well - it's a hybrid bird bred to be market ready in six weeks.  In fact - if they aren't butchered in six weeks - well - they start to drop dead from heart attacks, they can't walk because their legs can't support them - all sorts of awfulness.
I was going to post a picture here on the blog - but many of you read this first thing in the morning, and I just didn't want to ruin your day.  I'm sure you can find a photo online if you are curious.
I didn't want that - I wanted to raise meat the way our grandparents would have raised meat.
I think what they did was just cull out the old birds - well - that's not happenin' here - so I have to raise them from babies for the sole purpose of meat.
That's what I did.
I went to ye olde feed store this Spring and picked up 18 straight run (a straight run is unsexed birds - meaning - they haven't sexed the birds knowing which are hens or which are roosters) mixed breed birds.
I did not name these birds, I did not 'watch' these birds.  I fed and watered them.
They were spectacular birds - gorgeous, proud, cocky, strong -
I found myself calling them "baby" and "honey" when I would go out to feed them -
"Here you go baby...."
Then I'd scold myself - "no, no!  They are not baby and honey!  They are dinner!"
Every time I went to the feed store to get my feed, the guy there asked me how they were doing, and kept telling me how I should have got the Cornish Cross.
Then I would explain to him how I wanted a more natural 'heritage' chicken - and he would say - "you eat seedless watermelons, don't you?  They are hybrid!"

Well played Feed Store Man, well played.
I kept hoping that a few of these would be hens, and I would keep them - but don't ya know that every ding danged one of these were roosters.
To say that my yard was noisy was an understatement.
For those of you that don't know - roosters crow ALL THE TIME.  It's not just a time or two in the morning - oh no, they crow all the live long day, and well up til dark - so imagine 18 of them up in your yard.  I'm surprised the neighbors didn't complain.
Then - the fighting started - for about a week it was madness - all I did was break up cock fights, which was futile - because they started up again as soon as I broke them up.
I would check the birds for weight every week - they were beautiful - feathered out - large - but there was no meat on the danged things! 
I made a decision to take all but two to the sale barn and sell them - I didn't think that they would be worth the money to butcher them - and they were getting really expensive to feed - seriously - I think I had like $20 into each bird at this point!
Glenco cobbled up some cages and off Aaron and I went to the sale barn.
Lord have mercy on my soul did it smell on the way there - we had the window open and we were hanging out of them - 'breathe out of your mouth!' I kept saying...
I got $8 for each rooster, and I learned a lot through the process - so, although I still consider it a failed experiment, it wasn't an epic fail.
The two that were left?  Well, they were the meanest ones...the ones that stirred up all the trouble - the ones that came out of the roost box ready to rumble.
Truthfully, it kind of freaked me out - I wasn't sure I could deal with this - I mean - I saw these birds, I looked into their eyes, I saw their poop.
The way these birds screamed when I caught them to take to the butcher - I shan't forget anytime soon.
Rather haunting.
I knew if I didn't cook them, Glenco would - well, let's say this in a way that doesn't make him sound mean, cause he's not - he'd flip out.
There really wasn't much meat on the bird at all - the legs were pretty meaty, but just a few bites of breast meat.
I made chicken noodle soup and pulled mine out before the noodles were added.
I manned up and put a bite of the bird in my mouth - I couldn't swallow it - I massaged my throat and finally it went down.
It was utterly delicious.  Moist, tender - very flavorful.  It made the nicest stock I'd ever seen.
Will I do this again?
I think so - I will raise Freedom Rangers next year - they are a hybrid - but they aren't as 'Frankenchicken' as the Cornish Cross.
Of course I then had the bright idea of fencing off the entire back two acres, getting two hundred Freedom Rangers and going into the free range, organic chicken farming business.
: -)
Wonder if the neighbors would mind 200 crowing roosters?
I just love my all or nothing personality.

Monday, September 10, 2012

With Flying Colors

back in 2009 when we first started homeschooling....
Ladies and Gentlemen ....
drum roll please....
He did it.
The BoyChild passed the GED with flying colors!
He did extra great in Science and Reading.
We were busy decluttering his room upstairs (I'm forcing everyone to declutter!) - and I had to come downstairs for a potty break - there on the kitchen island lay the mail....
There it was.
A 9x13 envelope with Aaron's name on it.
My heart started pounding.
I ran upstairs with it.
Aaron and I sat on the edge of the bed just staring at it -
I felt his heart - it was jumping out of his chest.
He opened it - we looked -
Meets or exceeds Math
Meets or exceeds Language Arts
Meets or exceeds Reading
Meets or exceeds Social Studies
Meets or exceeds Science
There's his diploma.
We were both speechless.
We hugged so hard.
We ran down to tell Glenco.
We called his mom.
We texted people.
We Facebooked.
Happy day!!
We've since been to Chicago to start the enrollment process for Paul Mitchell.
He should be starting the January session - he has to wait until he's 17 - and he'll be 17 in December.
This week he starts looking for a job in earnest.
This Friday he takes his driver's test.
All so quick.
seems like yesterday we were planting a garden together....
Last week I was decluttering the office (two large bags removed!) - I was cleaning out the desk drawer and I found all of Aaron's pencils.  Many of them never used (I had a little pencil fetish for a while - bought pencils for every holiday, etc.)  Some of them were worn down to the nub with a replacement eraser on them - I thought of how often Aaron struggled with math and would erase so many answers, so frustrated, so defeated.
I just kept smelling those pencils.  I sharpened them all and put them back in the drawer.  Relics of a day gone by - memories of sitting on the couch - drinking lattes together reading, laughing and learning. 
We both learned so very much.
The biggest lesson I learned homeschooling was to calm the heck down.
Children learn so much more in a relaxed environment of nurturing and love than they do in a strict environment of starting school on time everyday and pressure of understanding everything.
To say I'm proud of Aaron is such an understatement.
I'm so proud of the man he's becoming.
I'm so impressed with his manners, his sense of humor, his kind heart.
I'm so impressed with his ambition and hard work to get on with his life at such a young age.
I'm going to be sucking the marrow out of these few, precious short months that he'll be here with me more often than not.
Come January he'll be gone - off to Chicago - having new experiences, meeting new people, learning - growing and fulfilling his destiny.
Aaron posted this on his Facebook page - I love it.
Rock on Aaron - I'm so blessed you are a part of my life.
Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in square holes.

The ones who think differently.

They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo.
You can praise them, disagree with them, quote them, disbelieve them, glorify them or vilify them.
About the only thing you can't do is ignore them.

Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy. How else can you look at an empty canvas and see a work of art?
Or sit in silence and hear a song that's never been written? Or gaze at red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

We make tools for these kinds of people. While some see them as the crazy ones, I see genius.

Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.


Monday, September 3, 2012

Anonymously Yours

I'm not sure how to start this post.
Thank you all for coming to my defense - it meant so very much to me.
The anonymous comment:
You! Judging someone for weight! That has to be the most sickening
 self righteous thing I have ever heard.
This broke my heart up in a million pieces.  I really wasn't prepared for it - I had just sat down at the computer for the first time on Friday morning, had my tea - and was pretty much punched in the stomach when I read it.  In all the time I've blogged, everyone has been really nice.
Thank you.
I'm not saying that the person that wrote that comment isn't nice - she or he is just stating what they think and believe, and I won't fault them for that.
I wasn't going to delete the comment just to make things 'all nice' here - that's not being authentic.
I thought about making it impossible to leave anonymous comments here - but I don't want anyone that doesn't know how to set up an account to feel left out and not be able to comment.
I can say that I cried on and off  about three times over it.
Cried when I mopped the floor, cried when I vacuumed, and cried when I got comments defending me.
I felt sickish to my stomach most of the day.
I really wish I didn't let things like this bother me - but I do.
My first thought was to go to Dairy Queen.
My second thought was to write a blog right away defending myself.
Explaining myself.
I don't think innocent people need to defend, or explain themselves.  I did nothing wrong - just shared a raw thought, and we all have those.  Why I share so much, I have no idea!  I wish I could just share decorating ideas and recipes and be done with it - but life is about so much more than all of that - and I feel the need to talk about it.
Hopefully - you feel the need to read about it.
For those of you that really do know me, or can get a real sense of what I truly am like by reading my blog - you know that I'm not being all high and mighty since I lost weight.  On the contrary - I have this sense of humility and wonderment over the whole thing - I feel like I've survived the Holocaust or something, and I think 'how did I survive?  How did I escape?' 
I'm seriously humbled by the whole experience.
Would the lady at the school get around easier if she lost weight?  Yes.  True statement.
The fact that I assumed it was her weight causing her to limp was what bothered me about myself - it's like assuming someone that falls asleep in church doesn't love God as much as I do - when perhaps they've been up all night on a bedside vigil of a sick child.
Do you see what I'm getting at?
Did I just defend and explain m'self?
: -)
Good things have come from this though - I feel like my skin has thickened a little - and it needs to - I felt incredibly loved by so many people - I got texts, emails and awesome comments.
To anonymous - if you are reading this - I just want to thank you for speaking your mind - I want to thank you for reading my blog - I'd love to give you a big hug.
Now let's lighten up around here.