Monday, June 29, 2015

Poison Ivy?

We didn't get family pictures yesterday. Wanna guess why?

Saturday, June 27, 2015

What I Want

I'm trying to change my life. I'm trying to form it. It's too easy to do what is easy, but the things I want in my life are not easy. They'd be worth it, though. I'm never going to have them without working for them, and in order to work for them I have to know what they are, why they are, and set real goals. I also need to do the things I can do now, now, instead of dreaming about what I'd like to do "someday" when life is different somehow. Like, "someday" I will have more money, more time, and more self-discipline, all of which will fall magically from the sky to bless me for my long difficult trial of having less money, less time, and less self-discipline. Cause that will totally happen. Someday.

Till then, though, these are some of my "wants" that I can work on right now, in no particular order:

To learn Russian.
      Seriously, I have no excuse for this. I've been piddling around wanting to learn Russian since I was 16. I had some lessons. I went to St. Petersburg, Russia, where I picked up a fair amount and then came back to America and promptly forgot most of it. (Okno is window, though. I remember that.) I own the Rosetta Stone Russian language program, level 1. I go to church with real honest-to-goodness Russians. Why am I not fluent? Because I dream instead of practice. Just ridiculous. You here, who read this? Judge me. Feel scorn and disdain, and when you see me (since most of you who read are personal friends) ask me, "So how's that Russian coming?" and when I stammer an excuse please, roll your eyes and snort. Seriously. Accountability works wonders, and humiliation is my greatest fear. I'll thank you.

To host monthly events.
      I want to have people over. Sometimes a party, sometimes a few friends, sometimes just one family. Nothing fancy, I don't do that. But I want a hospitable home, not just a place where people are welcome, but a place people want to come. And where they receive regular invitations.

To have a functional and self-sustaining farm, with happy healthy animals, which will eventually include poultry for meat and eggs, four-legged meat animals, no-legged meat animals, dairy animals, and edible plants.
      Ok, I am not taking this all on at once. Babysteps. This year I'm going to work on the animals I have, making sure they are healthy and happy, and my land is taken good care of. I have big plans for the future of Stumble-On Micro-Farm, but for now, I'm going to focus on doing a good job with what I have already.

To have a homey, simple, diy decorated home.
      Oh boy do I have a ways to go with this. Plenty of ideas! Just look at my pinterest boards. Seriously, go look at them. They're awesome. None of those ideas are in my house yet....This will be just a little tough, because at the moment my house is kinda last on the budget. So the main thing I will be working on currently is simplifying and getting rid of stuff. I want a small but functional wardrobe, a small but USED crafting collection, and even......less books. That will hurt. However, I am not a library. I do not have the room. I do have a library card. As soon as I pay off the small fine on it, it will even work again.

To learn how to play an instrument.
      I want to learn the fiddle. I even have a fiddle, and Old Time Fiddle for the Complete Ignoramus. The fiddle is slightly broken, and at the moment I don't have the wherewithal to get it fixed, so I'm starting with the piano. A keyboard, actually. At least that I have some background in; I still know where middle C is.

To have Bible and prayer time everyday.
     I manage to get on the computer everyday. Prayer and Bible shouldn't come second to that. No excuses.

To be fit and healthy.
     Consistency is key. I really need to get the the habit of being active and eating well. I've discovered that I do better grain-free, and again, accountability does amazing things for me. I am very thankful for the friends I have doing this with me. They sometimes help me get over the stuff-my-face-with-donuts phases I go through regularly. Sometimes nothing helps.

To be an outdoorsy person.
     I love the outdoors. I should spend more time in it. This goes hand in hand with the one above.

To have a great relationship with my kids.
    I homeschool them and work side by side with them daily, but I need to remember to have fun with them, and just listen to them sometimes, and really work on building memories and communication that will last post-moving out. At the moment my kids still claim to like me. I doubt their sincerity at times. They are either very forgiving or very lame, otherwise.

To be a successful homeschooling mother.
      I wonder if I will ever feel like I've achieved this. There is always so much more I want to do and/or that I feel like I should be doing. Basically, my goals for my kids are simple: I want them to be godly, brave, capable, kind, and curious. That's it in a nutshell. A really large nutshell, like a giant massively giant pecan shell. This year I have kids most of the ages between 16 and 0. The older ones are pros at changing diapers, so at least I have that part of capable down.

Ok, I have 10 of these, but this post is truly ridiculously long and boring. So I will finish it and bore you some more later.

Tomorrow I'm going to post about Sir Dex's baptism, with a truly ridiculous number of photos.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Night Owl Problems

Look! The Time of Making Poor Decisions and Not-Caring is upon us!
Staying up late is easy. No matter what time I got up in the morning, what I did all day, how well I slept the night before, or how determined I am to get to bed at a reasonable time finally, midnight, one or even sometimes two am can show up before I realize I haven't shut off the light and laid down yet.

Getting up early is hard. No matter what time I went to bed last night, what I have to do today, how well I slept the night before, or how determined I am to get up bright and early and get things done, eight, nine, or even sometimes 10 am can show up before I realize I haven't opened my eyes and rolled out of bed yet.

There are times when I have thought: "Hey! I'm a stay-at-home homeschooling mom! Let's just make my schedule fit my procliviations!" Unfortunately, that really doesn't work so well. Obvious reasons are things tend to happen in the mornings, like ups deliveries, park days, and church. Also, not all of my kids are night owls, and those that aren't can't really be trusted without some supervision. Worst of all though, is my self-discipline, patience, and desire to be "good." Those parts of me do not stay up late.

When I do manage to get up in the morning, it's rough, but soon I'm skipping around, determined and excited to have a "good day" and "get lots of stuff done" and "be an awesome mom." Apparently these ideals attach themselves to me sometime around 5 am, and then, whether I am awake and up or sleep for another five hours, they wilt and die over the course of the next 13 hours. That means at 6 pm I am done.

Anything important to discuss or do or take care of? Funny. You better hope I already made supper by 6 pm. Otherwise, someone else can do it or just eat cake, whatever. I don't care about healthy meals for anyone, but especially not me. Losing weight is for losers, obviously. And at 7 pm, I am an awesome gainer who can polish off a whole package of cheese and crackers and then follow it up with a pint of ice cream. Who am I kidding? Make that a quart. As long as I have a good book or tv show or music, I don't notice the household chores that need done. My kid wants to snuggle? Sorry, buddy, should have asked me BEFORE 6 pm. I still love you, but don't touch me. Go away. All responsibilities just need to go away. After five is happy hour, for me to hide in my bedroom and be alone or hang with my friends somewhere far away from my sticky living room and cluttered kids. And then I will stay up too late, because it's easy and after 7pm I don't care about being smart or good.

No one knows when Jesus is returning, but I really hope it's before 6 pm.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Good Mamma Rabbit

Nice to know there are some good ones. I'm so tired of my bad rabbit mommas. I'm starting mostly from scratch now. As soon as I get the rabbit run finished, hopefully this week, I'll share a lot of pictures. I'm trying colony style. I figure if I want to have happy meats, I need to not cage them up. Happy isn't just for chickens. I'm not sure how it will work...I'm very nervous about their adjustment, getting along, parasites, and/or possibly figuring someway to get out and disappear....but I'm giving it a go anyhow. 'Cause see? There are good mommas.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Fathers' Day

We had a surprise birthday party last night for Little Big Boy. He turned 6 earlier this month. The party was the older girls' idea, and they did most of the work. It was very nice. June parties are easy...all you need to do is provide some food and water in the yard. I can't believe he's so baby number 7 he should always stay a baby...right?

The bells at church today tolled 9 times for the victims in Charleston. Lord have mercy. The families are responding with amazing grace. I can't even imagine....when I think about what it would be like for someone to come into my church and shoot, kill, my friends and family..,I've always had a great imagination, but it's not so great I can imagine myself talking about forgiveness and Christ's love less than a week later. I'm afraid I may be more like Dylann Roof than the people of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Lord have mercy on all of them, and Dylann, and me, a sinner.

Today is my dad's 35th Father's Day, my husband's 16th, my father-in-law's 43rd (I think), and my brother-in-law's first. Once a father or mother, never again not. We are very blessed in the fathers in this family. They are all still around, still married to the mothers. Rare in this time. I am very thankful. We don't have any big plans today, but my husband is taking a nice long nap, which he has more than earned. We'll see if he wants to do anything when he wakes up.

Sir Dex's baptism is (finally) this Saturday. He's a bit past the 40 days, but we wanted to wait till his leg was definitely better. We're getting family pictures taken the same day.

Happy Father's Day, father's everywhere! Be a good one...nothing matters more.

The formatting is screwed up on this post and I can't figure out how to fix it.

Friday, June 19, 2015

A little more joy in the world

I HAVE A NIECE (written June 18th, 10 pm)

I have a niece! My sister had a little baby girl today. June 18th will always be a special date forever now.

My sister texted me to see if we could Skype...I had literally just said bye to the other people I was talking with online and laying back to go to sleep. It had been an exhausting day, and I was so happy to go to bed early.

Now I'm bouncing off the walls.

She is gorgeous. Both my sister and her daughter. So beautiful. Both of them, and those words. Her daughter. My niece.

I love where I live. I don't want to live in Minneapolis. niece. My sister.

I can't post this yet. She wants to tell a few special people herself first, before it's made public. But I had to write it.

I don't have much to say here,'s not my story and it's not my daughter and I don't want to share her private details publicly, but I'm happy happy happy and I want everyone to know that this world just became ten million times better because a little Music just came into it.

I need ideas on how to develop a good relationship with someone far away....what search words should I put into Pinterest for that, you think?

Finally have a plan for highschool

This was built by Derek Arnold. Google him, he's interesting.

Firstborn has expressed an interest in learning blacksmithing, welding, and engine repair. So if I assign him a school project to make something like this, that would totally work, right?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

So many Republican candidates!

I usually wait till a little later in the campaigning, but today I did the "I Side With" quiz. Too many names I didn't recognize at all were being discussed on my facebook page, and I needed to know which of my friends to like more or less. (I kid, I kid!)

I discovered that while I have clear ideas about most social and domestic policies, foreign policy leaves me befuddled. I have no idea what ought to be done; the world is a mess. One of the questions was what I thought we should do about Iran's nuclear weapons facilities, another asked about declaring war on ISIS. It's like trying to vote for a president: there are no good options.

Not for me, anyhow...the candidate I supposedly agreed the most with still only ranked at 65%. The next one ranked 64%, and they were from two different parties. I could probably go back through the quiz, retake it just as honestly, and get a whole different line up, too.

That's a good quiz, because 1) it is a good guide for what issues I need to study up on and 2) it gives me a bit of appreciation for what difficult job the leader of our country has. I was agonizing over picking between two completely contrary options for several of the questions, because I honestly couldn't figure out which was better. I also noticed a couple of times when I didn't answer with my "preferred" solution, because I couldn't see how the government would be able to effect such a thing....whew.

Our political system is messed up, I firmly believe, but it's good to remember that there are no easy solutions.

This is not the post I want to post right now, but I can't post my other one till later....


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The worst thing about trying to lose weight

is how 2 weeks of eating well can be entirely undone by 2 days of eating poorly.

It makes it all seem pointless.

Other things aren't like this. Practicing a musical instrument consistently for two weeks isn't a waste if you skip two days. Going 2 days without reading doesn't negate all you've learned from two weeks of reading daily. Being a great mom for two weeks straight (have I ever managed that long of an unbroken stretch? doubtful) isn't destroyed by two days of hiding in your room eating ice cream while the kids watch tv all day. cream. Great. Now I'm hungry.

It's not fair. I'm totally over here pouting.

But I'm not eating the ice cream.

I swear.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Swimming Hole #1

We got there about 6 pm Sunday evening. Later than I had intended, but with plenty of light and warmth for a few more hours this day in June. It isn't a much visited spot...the path wasn't always obvious or easy, but it also wasn't long and my directions were good. The way was lined with blackberry bushes and the fruit was just beginning to ripen.

This is a good spot. Not deep, except in one small place, perfect for a small jump off of a rock. Under the water was large rock and sand, not much mud or slime. The water was warm, and while there were no trees up close to the pool, between two tall hills it didn't have sun so late in the day. Everything was green, especially behind the waterfall. It was easy to climb beneath and behind the water because the rocks were covered in lush moss that felt like a wooly rug. Before I knew that, my heart stayed in my throat as I imagined my clambering kids slipping and cracking their heads on the way down to drown in shallow water. After, though, I perched on a rock in the middle of the waterfall and enjoyed watching my children splash and play below. They found a patch of Blackeyed Susans and a dead crawfish. We all kept an eye out for snakes but didn't see any.

I didn't take my three youngest because I wasn't sure what the swimming hole would be like, and it was good I didn't. This is an age 6 and up location only. But because my nursing infant was left at home, I didn't want to stay too long, so we left after only an hour and a half. We took our time walking back to the car, munching on tart berries and admiring the sunset. We'll be back soon.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Farm produced babies

Two weeks ago  15 baby rabbits were born, six in one litter and nine in another. One promptly died, and then three more a few days later. Turns out one of the mothers wasn't particularly interested in feeding them. So we put started letting the two litters take turns with the good mother, which has worked wonderful except for the weakest one getting fly strike and dying. Life on a farm isn't easy, but now we have 10 fat squirmy silver fox kits escaping their nesting box and being pretty much the second cutest things ever (obviously my new son, Sir Baby, is number one).

They have some competition now, though. My broody Ameraucana is finally enjoying the fruits of her labor. Last night one little black chick hatched out of a brown egg, and this morning there was another black and white chick under her. She isn't pleased with our looking under her, but I think I saw a few more eggs pipping. If our camera charges quickly I will see if I can get a picture or video to post here.

I have a job interview today. I'm not excited to work outside the home again, but thankful that it only has to be part time and my husband can be with the kids while I do it. We'll see how it goes. My priority is my family and home and farm, and right now the main thing those need is a little more money. You do what you have to.

Oh! Thought I should mention we have finally settled on a name for this chunk of mud and weeds we are trying to turn into something productive: Stumble On Micro Farm.