Sunday, November 10, 2013

Other considered names, and Decor Dreams

Some of these are jokes. Some aren't. Sometimes it's hard to tell which is which.

All are sappy in their own way.

Puck's Place
Bottom's Hole
Goodfellow's Nook
(We were in Midsummer Night's Dream together in college. I was Puck and he was Bottom.)

Babysteps Farm
Fumbles and Fun Farm
Scrappy Patches ?
Friendship's Gift
Old Woman's Shoe
Hope Deferred Hollow
Happy Sigh Home
Plenty of Blessings Farm

I've been dreaming of decorating my own home for years, since long before I was ever grown and married. Much longer than I've been dreaming of raising my own food. I cannot express to you how excited I am that I can do WHATEVER I WANT to this place. Within our budget. And without tearing down the place and building a strawbale palace in it's place. The Ninja Time Lord is willing to let me have free rein pretty much with color and furniture and all, so long as he has some say on the furniture set up. So it's MINE ALL MINE AHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.


Anyhow, I still don't have the furniture set up or anything put away (we're making progress, I swear!) but there is a reason why I've been searching on Pinterest (for hours, shhhh) for Moroccan bedroom pictures.

I want every room in my home to be bright, cheery, colorful, full of light and fun and whimsy and to be kid welcoming EXCEPT my bedroom. I want my bedroom to be all I don't show the world, deep, dark, sultry, romantic, luxurious. No, not luxurious. Decadent. If the rest of my house is Skittles I want my bedroom to be Godiva truffles. Obviously, the Moroccan look is the way to go.

Unfortunately, not being rich in the legal tender sense, it will be a few months, possible more than a year before I get to start spending money and time on my love nest. (Yes, I said it. I have 8 kids. What do you want?) First comes the kitchen. (Oh, I have ideas for that! I've already bought some paint and cabinet knobs.)

So, why was I spending hours time trolling Pinterest for Moroccan bedrooms? It's the dresser's fault.

We have this dresser. It's a nice dresser, solid wood, heavy, in pretty good shape. Except for the paint job and the crayon/marker/pen on top of the paint job. It's a hand-me down and while it's not the prettiest right now, it has lovely lines and a lot of potential. It doesn't have drawer pulls though. So getting the drawers opened and closed is just enough difficulty that we don't really want to put anything in it. Which is a problem, because we have piles of stuff that would just love a nice sturdy drawer to snuggle into.

And if I'm going to be spending money on drawer pulls, by golly I'm going to be getting the ones I want, even if they will be accenting a beat up blue and pink monstrosity for a while.

I  needed to know what Moroccan drawer pulls looked like, hence my Pinterest search. See? I was being totally good and productive.

What I found, a bit to my surprise, is that most of the Moroccan style dressers I found had very basic and plain pulls. It wasn't about the jewelry, it was about the dress.

See that? It was a relief. Fancy handles are expensive! I'd need a minimum of the prices I was finding that could have easily been over a hundred dollars. So, now I just know that I need to spend pennies for the handles and hundreds of hours painting the durn thing. And some stencils, I think. Gonna need stencils.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Stressed. Out.

I feel like I shouldn't be stressed. That this overwhelmed, tear my hair out and shriek or go catatonic in the corner feeling, it shouldn't happen because I am here. In this house, in my new home, on this wonderful land that has so many possibilities I am ALLOWED TO EXPLORE!!!!!

But I am, anyway. We have all of our stuff in the house, in gigantic, unmanageable piles I don't even know where to start with. The furniture is taken apart and in the wrong rooms, and I persist in feeling like I can't do it, despite having taken them apart and gotten them there myself. The Ninja Time Lord is working long hours at two physically demanding jobs and yet I persist in feeling angry he isn't doing more at home to help me. I broke my ring finger tip today at work. My kids haven't turned into perfectly behaved neat housework helpers just because this is our place to take care of now. I have to share one car with my husband and therefore miss all the cool fun stuff going on elsewhere when he is at work. Just because I finally have a home to fix up and decorate doesn't mean I magically have the money to do so.

Nothing big or world ending or a good reason to shriek at my kids and send them all to bed early. In fact, it's not even near to the better reasons I had to be stressed out a mere three months ago. August 7th my family was living with friends and no prospect of ever having our own place, my husband was working a horrid dead end job that didn't pay near enough for us to save money even living with friends and getting not getting any nibbles on the hundreds of resumes he was putting out there. We have it good, real good right now.

So seriously, I need to go apologize to my kids who are NOT horrid little home destroyers but what actually makes this place home and more important than any toilet paper holder or picture frame. Then I need to smile, take a breath, and go to bed. Drowning my stress in tv, internet, and Milky Ways in the middle of the night does not, matter of fact, make me feel better. Go figure.

Pictures will come. Eventually. Promise.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Going to bed now. Ish.

Well, I did screw up this time. So now I'm posting 13 minutes after the "deadline" and when I have to be at work in less than 8 hours. Today was good though. I have decided to take a walk with all of the kids everyday as soon as I get home from work. We did today and it was nice. We met some neighbors, enjoyed the beautiful trees and some charming houses in the neighborhood, and accidentally stole a neighbor's dog. Seriously, it wasn't our fault; the little guy just would not stop following us. My kids got all fired up about getting our own dog and I told them it would happen shortly AFTER this house is all set up. Tomorrow I will share pictures, and you can see the chaos that having as many books as a library and as many bookshelves as a phone booth can cause. Maybe, though, they are now motivated enough to work on cleaning up even when I'm not standing over them.

I decided to buy a moped today, and then decided against it tonight. It's fun and cool and could be a little helpful, but for just a few hundred more I could get a truck which would be fun and cool and a whole lot helpful. Face it, if I need to transport fencing materials and goats to stay within fencing materials, a truck is more suited than a moped. Plus I don't think they make goat helmets. Though now I want to google that. Ah, my ADD brain at midnight...

Made a thanksgiving menu today. It looks like we will have 20 people to feed: our family of 10, our god-family of six, my parents, and a friend and her daughter from church. My parents are the only non-gluten free members of this group...I think they are dreading the meal just a bit. Except for the biscuits which I think I will let my friend make because she is AWESOME with gluten-free baking, everything is also going to be grain-free. But not dairy-free. Because we don't roll that way. Wanna see the menu? Maybe tomorrow I will actually link to the recipes for this, but tonight I'm just going to copy and paste from the document.

Thanksgiving Meal for 20 people

2 Turkeys and 6 extra legs (provided by us)
Fruit Salad
Cranberry sauce
salad greens and dressings
Macaroni (diced cauliflower) and Cheese w/bacon (provided by us)
Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Asparagus (provided by us)
Skillet Apples (provided by us)
Peach Crisp
Chess Pie, 2 each of lemon, chocolate, and brown sugar (provided by us)
Pumpkin Pie
Whipped Cream or whipping cream
Drinks: water, apple cider and hot chocolate will be provided by the us. Eggnog, liquor/beer, tea or anything else is welcome.

Whatdayathink? Any suggestions?

Monday, November 4, 2013

I was hoping that by today, November 4, the house would be set up, we'd restart homeschooling, and I would start painting and getting prepped for an additional family member of the canine variety.

Today I went back to my previous out-of-home job. Only part-time, mind you, but still. I'm gone during a large chunk of the day working for money. I'm not really happy about it over all, but I am really so happy that I can ease the burden on the Ninja Time Lord, who has been working 80+ hours a week and is beginning to become zombie like.

I will be working 6 hours a day Monday through Thursday, so really, it's not too bad. Especially once I get used to it.

Meanwhile, the house is NOT set up, we are still drowning in mounds of books, homeschooling is not back to full tilt though we did manage a half day today, and painting and dog looks dreadfully far away.

I'm not depressed, just tired. Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference but when I know I'll wake up feeling fine tomorrow, I know.

There's good news though: this Saturday I will be doing my first completely homesteading type thing: attending a goat and sheep seminar! Apparently people come from hours away to attend this, and it is only 13 minutes away from our new home. So yay!

Right now though: I'm going to bed. This was only supposed to be a couple of lines but apparently I am as bad about typing as I am about talking.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

So it looks like I already messed up

but I didn't. Not completely at least. I forgot to post my blog entry yesterday, but I did write it. So now, on the 3rd day of November, I am writing my 3rd post. Just as planned.

We didn't go to church this morning. :( Too exhausted from moving, and too sick. Let me tell you: do not start eating sugar, fast food, and gluten just because it is convinient while you are moving. You need your strength and your health while dealing with the dust and paint fumes and sheer work involved. I don't think I am actually sick with a virus or bacteria; I think I just majorly compromised my immune system with my poor food choices just as I was upping my exposure to dust, bug poison, new paint and carpet fumes, and lots of heavy lifting. Whatever, I'm pretty miserable now. Constant headache, sinus infection, cold sores, exhaustion, bathroom issues, and a all feels familiar. Oh yeah, this is how I felt frequently before I went grain-free. Believe it or not, I'd forgotten.

Well, back on the wagon. Today I will have eggs and bacon and veggies, and tomorrow I go back to work at my old job. Yep, after a few weeks of my husband working upwards of 80 hours a week, I ran into my old boss one Sunday who said they wanted me back and were willing to work around my schedule. So I'll be sanding doors about 25 hours a week now, during the day while the Ninja Time Lord is home. He'll come home in the morning, we'll all eat breakfast together, then I'll leave and he will supervise their homeschooling. After lunch and school he will go to bed and I will be home about an hour later, so for one hour four days a week my kids will be on their own. They can do that. I'll check their homework and then we will all work together on our projects. That's the plan.

I'm not excited about going to work, but I'm glad I have this option so the NTL can have some time with the kids and to rest. If I am going to be homeschooling, homekeeping, gardening, and livestock raising, not to mention redecorating/painting/writing and whatever else AS WELL AS working part time, well, I need to fix my eating!!

 PS: How discouraging. It seems like every name I like has already been used.

Naming the place

Picking a name, for me, has never been a simple procedure. It has to have a good meaning, a personal meaning, a meaning that "fits." It has to be beautiful, in sound, handwritten, and typed up. It has to be unique but also easily spelled and pronounced. If I'm naming a kid, it has to start with a different initial than those already used, but I'm not naming a kid right now. (Already have the next boy's name picked out, and several ideas for a girl's.)

I'm naming this bit of land we just bought. I plan on living here a long time. Instead of putting effort and thought into looking for or dreaming about my someday dream home and farm, I will be putting everything into making this my dream home and farm. It isn't perfect, not if you are comparing it to my castles in the sky. Only 3 bedroom, not strawbale, it's a mobile home. Not enough land only 1.4 acres, no pond or creek, not next door to friends (yet). It is what we were able to get and it is perfect. I am very happy to have this place and I am looking forward to putting my heart and blood into making it ours. Starting with naming it, and rearranging furniture over and over again.

As usual, my husband and I aren't on the same page, exactly. He is thinking Galen Vale, I am thinking something more like Whirlygig Farm. You can't get more opposite than those two. Other ideas I have are the sappily inspirational Phoenix Nest Farm or Try Try Again Way. For more fun: Shindig Shoe, Puck's Place, or Thistle Dew Home. I'd like to find a name that reminds me of the help we've received from friends to get here. The more I think, the more I come up with, but I haven't found one that "clicked" yet, and I don't know if we will find one that both of us like! Maybe we will have to have a secret vote and let the kids help...

Perhaps I won't be so eager to name this place immediately. After all, I have 9 months to pick a baby name. I guess I could wait that long to settle on a home name.

I'd love to hear y'all's suggestions!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Welcome to Galen Vale (maybe), and 30 days of daily posting ahead....

October 22nd, 2013, was our 14th wedding anniversary. On that day, we closed on our first house, our own home on our own land. Yay! Words cannot express how thankful we are for this place, our own Galen Vale. It's been a rough road for the past two years, losing our large rental home and then moving into a 1200 sq ft townhouse with no yard or friends within an hour's drive. In June when it came to renew our lease and we realized they were raising the rent another $75 and Jason had his hours cut back and gas was rising...we were at a low low place. We were low enough that my husband okay'ed us taking a desperate risk we had considered before but dismissed. We moved in with friends.

For four months all of our stuff was in a storage unit and we lived with our godparents and their kids, 16 people in a 1600 sq ft home. We paid a small amount in rent and utilities, and since we were about 10 minutes from everything we do, we were able to save money during that time. We expected to be there about 9 months to a year, but as you can imagine, the stresses of two families under one roof drove us to start looking seriously for our own place after just four months. Don't get me wrong! We are all still friends and I am so thankful for their sacrifice for us; if it were for them we wouldn't be here. But it's a good thing we didn't have to stay the whole amount of time we expected.

On October 7th, after a very discouraging day looking and being told "no" repeatedly, after becoming sure we were going to end up renting a shack in a trailer park, right before bed I checked craigslist one more time. Something had new had been posted. I called immediately, even though I was too drained and sad to expect much. I was the first one who'd called, and I set up an appointment to see the house the next day. I saw it October 8th, a Tuesday, then went to go look at another one that looked good the same day. I spent Wednesday thinking hard and praying about it, and told the owner we wanted his house on Thursday morning. Home inspection was Friday, and we called the lawyers that same day. We closed two weeks after I first saw the house. Today we have been here a week and a half.

I'm not doing Nanowrimo this year, the first year since I first heard of it back in 2005. Too much is going on right now. But I am going to post something here everyday this month. Maybe not much, but daily.

Tomorrow I'll explain how we may or may not name it Galen Vale, and ask for your name suggestions!

Monday, May 6, 2013

"This is my life, and I'll take it and enjoy it and be thankful forever."

That was how I ended my last post, about 8 months ago. It's still true.

It's May 6th, 2013 now. 2013! Where's my hoverboard?

Yesterday was Pascha.
The Ninja Time Lord, Tavi, and my Right Hand Girl

 I love Pascha. We had an exciting one this year. We were all sick with a sinus infection and cough. We spent an hour searching outside for our new cat that was hiding inside, which put us behind in our baking and bathing. After thinking all year that this Pascha would be warm and sunny (it was in May in South Carolina!!) it was 54 degrees and very, very rainy. My 8 year old son's candle-wax-catcher (what is the name for those?) caught fire and tried to burn down the church. My youngest daughter kept trying to grab the candle flames. I realized right after the sermon of St. John Chrysostom that I'd left the cheesecake brownies I'd just managed to get in the oven in time, still in the oven, still at 350 degrees, 50 minutes away back at home. I spent much of the rest of the service worried that as my exhausted hubby rushed back home in the dark, wind, and rain he would get into an accident and die while my home burnt down. Fun thoughts. Thankfully, I am excellent at compartmentalizing so I was still able to enjoy the service, but oh, the relief when I saw him walk in right during the passing out of eggs at the end. Poor hubby, though.

New since last posting: we're grain-free. Even at Pascha feast. I was pleased with myself both for resisting temptation and for not feeling all that tempted by the grainful foods there. Today, however, I am in complete brain-fog from the sugar I consumed. Not doing that again. Ick.

Ok, I'm not going to write anymore today. I plan on being back tomorrow though. I'm re-thinking what I want to use this blog for, not that you can tell by what I just wrote. I'm tired. Going to bed now.

Christ is Risen!