Thursday, May 31, 2012

Coop progress for the egg birds...

A little over a month ago, I posted about the progress of the egg bird coop.  Well, yesterday (only a little over a month later), I finally got the thing all closed in and critter proofed.  It doesn't look much different than it did, except for the trim around the roof to close in the gaps of the rafters, there's a chicken door installed at the bottom now (with double latches to further raccoon-proof their humble abode), and my garden has had a month to come in and look quite nice up against the giant pile of crap chicken coop in my front yard.

Now here's a great tip that I read (and obviously didn't heed the warning), and I'm passing on to you before you make the same mistake I did:
Get your coop done before you get your chickens!!!!!

Thankfully, my egg birds aren't growing at nearly the pace of the meat birds, and they're still perfectly content with their pampered life in my spare bedroom.  So they're pretty thrilled about my lack of good planning on this project.  BUT, I'm not.  They need to get out of my house, and into theirs.  So I'm off to spend some quality time with my post-hole digger, and hopefully make some progress on getting them a fence before the end of today.

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Getting creative with family portraits...

I always thought that formal family portraits were about the most dorky, unnatural, and horrid things to sit through.  These, however have changed my view a bit, and may make me rethink actually doing some ourselves someday (gasp!).
must do a shoot like this
Check out their entire shoot (from clean clothes all the way to this awesome, messy, painted finish shot), done by Ryan Ray.  FYI: The hot Dad in the shoot, Erik Clausen, is also a fantastic photographer himself.

And a couple more for you to check out that I thought were enough out-of-the-ordinary for me to find acceptable...

~ Because I think it's totally appropriate to make out with your husband as often as possible, especially while you're paying someone boatloads of money to take a family portrait watch your kids for you while you do.  By Ashley Mcnamara (check out the 2nd pic on the 2nd page of slides in this gallery).

~A nifty one where a family took a head-shot of each family member over a period of 30 years.

Pretty neat, huh?!

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

have you ever had a Mom-date?

How was everyone's long weekend?  I hope it was full of BBQ greatness.  I did something over the weekend that was long overdue, and highly recommend that every other mother on the face of the planet make time for now and again.  I took myself on a Mom-Date.  Just me, flying solo, no schedule, no worries.  Seriously, folks, this is an important thing to do every now and then.

Here's what you need to pull of a great Mom-date with yourself:
~Someone awesome to watch your kid/s for an unspecified amount of time.  It has to be totally OK with them if you decide to be a little late getting home (by, oh, 3 hours or so, if need be).
~Something flattering to wear.  You deserve to have a day where you can play dress-up and look nice for yourself.  It doesn't have to be fancy.  It just has to be something you feel good in.
~Functioning speakers in your car.
~About $40.00 in cash.

For my date with myself I:
~did a quick session of yoga with a new video I found on Pinterest.  I'm still not up to full work-out potential after my surgery.  So the 15 minute quickie was just enough to make me feel less like a sloth without overdoing anything.
~wore jeans and a tank top, not fancy at all, but it's an outfit I feel attractive in, so mission accomplished.
~went the extra mile, and spritz on a little perfume for myself.  I don't think I can truly explain why this felt so fantastic, but I can't remember the last time I actually wore perfume, and it was thrilling to have some on and feel like a real woman who gave a shit about herself.
~rolled the windows down in my car, and listened to whatever I wanted to as loud as I wanted to.  No joke, NPR was on just as loud as the Beastie Boys.  This is was my day to do whatever I wanted, remember?
female cast of what to expect when you're expecting
What to Expect When You're Expecting
~ took myself to see What To Expect When You're Expecting.  Kind of an ironic choice, since I just got "fixed" a few weeks ago, but it's the chick-flick that was available, and that's the genre I was shooting for to add some humor to my day.  Have you ever gone solo to the movies?  IT-IS-AWE-SOME!  No compromising with anyone on what to see, it's cheaper when you only have to buy one ticket, and if you bring along your snack-sneaking tote you can hide a water bottle and some yummy goodies that you can pick up at a convenience store along the way for a fraction of the price of popcorn, and a fraction of the calories as well.  Additional bonus:  it's totally OK to cry at the sappy parts when your husband isn't there to witness your moment of weakness.    
~treated myself to something I won't feel bad about later.  I was in desperate need of new shorts for this Summer.  I was down to only one pair left (the cut-offs I made myself last week) that fit me (in a good way.  the rest from last year were too big.  Finally!).  So I went to Goodwill, spent $21.00, and came away with 4 pairs of shorts.
~didn't sweat the small stuff.  I was running late for my movie because I stopped for my snacks, and there was a longer that expected line at the store.  Oh well.  I called to let my husband know that I'd be coming home later than I'd originally estimated so he wouldn't worry that I was dead, picked a later showing of the movie,  and went about doing my shopping before the movie instead of after.  Trust me... once your husband gets a glimpse at the relaxed, unsnarled version of you that he married ages ago, he will have no problem whatsoever with hanging with the kiddo/s while you take a day off now and then to refuel.

So between the movie snacks, the admission to the theater, and my new shorts, I spent a whopping $36.00 for and entire day of totally unscheduled, unstructured, uncomplicated me-time.  Ladies, please make time to do this for yourself.  SOOOOOOO worth it...

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, May 25, 2012

Farm-fresh Friday: Mysterious flowers, and some fun links to bring in the weekend...

Does anyone know what kind of flower this is?  I have no clue.  It's tall (about 2ft), and has clusters of these little orange petals, almost like Phlox, but I've never seen them in this tangerine color before, and the petal pattern isn't quite right to be Phlox...  the other totally mysterious things is that these weren't in my garden last year.  They just appeared this year around Mother's Day.  I planted a wildflower mix in there last Spring, and, of course, threw out the package afterwards, can't for the life of me remember what kind of mix it was, or by which company.  Awesome, I know.  So I can't even Google the list on the packaging until I find the thing that looks like these.  I'm aware, I could have more grave issues to deal with right now, and I do, but this one in particular is becoming quite troubling to me...not because it's all that major, but just because I don't know the answer, which tends to piss me right off...   

And since it's Friday, and because it's my blog, and I can completely change subjects in the middle of a post if I chose too, here's some totally non-floral stuff to roll into the weekend with...

~This t-shirt is next quite high on my must-have list
~The color I just painted my toenails, and it's a wicked lot of fun
~My Summer fitness inspiration pic.  The bikini is pretty awesome too.  The closest I could find to something similar was here, but it's currently out of stock.  Seems to be my luck lately with fashion finds.
~And I think this is pretty darned funny...   
Take away point: go for the nerds.
here's more of them if you want a good laugh

Thanks for stopping by, and have a great weekend,

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: bathroom remodelling on a budget...

So, our appraisal for our refinancing of our house is tomorrow.  I have the new master bathroom done enough for show, but nowhere near actually done yet.  And by that I mean, it all looks just fine, but it's completely useless, other than to (hopefully) boost the value of our house.  With any luck, we can shoo them through there quickly enough that they'll "ooh!" and "ah!" over the aesthetics, and not linger long enough to discover that the tile in the shower still isn't grouted, there's no base-board trim yet, and of course the minor detail of it being just a show-room bathroom right now with no actual working plumbing whatsoever...  So please, for the love of God, DON'T use the toilet in that bathroom if you come over.
This is what the new bathroom looked like as of my stopping point last night.

Anyway, for today's Thrifty-Thursday posting, I thought I'd share a few of the things that we pulled off in our master bath remodel for pretty cheap... 

I found the 2 wall sconces as a set on Ebay for a few dollars in a horrid shiny brass color and the ceiling light came from ReBuild for $5.00, and was also in a wickedly awful brass finish.  I had my husband work his magic with a can of spray-paint on all the fixtures, and they came out pretty OK.  Speaking of paint, I also saved a ton by buying Local Color paint for the walls and trim.  It's recycled paint made locally from discarded latex paint collected through a Hazardous Waste program.  A 5-gallon bucket is only $42.00!  

I scored this vanity cabinet at ReBuild for $25.00, made the vanity top out of a counter-top remnant we had in our basement (so, basically free), got the sink and faucet as a combo deal for $189.00 on Overstock (with free shipping on an insanely heavy item, thank-you-very-much), we found the medicine cabinet/mirror at ReBuild also for $15.00 (after having to return the new one we bought at Lowes because it was broken), and the towel bars were (if I remember correctly) about $4.00 a piece at Big Lots. 

I made the shower curtain out of some fabric I'd purchased for something else, and ended up not using all of (so, again, basically free), and that wide trim piece between the vanity and shower was left over from when we put some new siding on the back of our house 2 Summers ago (so, again, basically free).
   Also, it goes without saying (although, here I am saying it anyway) that doing the work ourselves saved us an absolute TON of money.  Hubby did the electrical work and the drywalling, I did the tiling in the shower, built the vanity top, and the painting.  Our dads have helped out a lot too, which we're very lucky for. I'll also toot my own horn a tiny bit over my developing skills with our table saw.  Making a new space in an already existing home calls for some tricky custom work.  I spent most of yesterday having some serious quality time with a myriad of tools in our basement making some custom trim pieces to fit around the shower pan, oddly-sized (recycled from what used to be my closet) door frame, and around a spot where I messed up the tile a bit in the shower (whoops!).  Most of these tasks we did on our own totally sucked, and I wouldn't recommend them to anyone who isn't 100% confident with rapidly spinning blades, high voltage, or messy substances that are hard to wash off.  For some folks it would be totally worth the extra coin to pay a professional to get it done right.  In the case of some of our projects, it would have been also, but what's done is done, and we learned a lot from out mistakes and successes.  

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How to dress like you're awesome...because you totally are...

Dear Moms,

   It is totally possible to still feel like a bad-ass mega hottie when you have kids.  Please do try.  

Below, I've put together an example of how I'd do that, if I were you.  Actually, this is how I'd do it for me.  You can do it however you'd like to.  You'll need the following items to look and feel like the cool mom on the playground (think Halle Berry):
~Shampoo.  Give yourself a treat and wash your hair today.  If you're not up for a good pampering though, substitute with a cute hat (bonus, it'll keep the sun from wrinkling your pretty little face while hiding your filthy hair)
~Any tank or T with a design that would be suitable for a rock-star to wear, but has enough coverage to wear a proper bra underneath.
~Any pair of jeans in a flattering, modern, not-too-dark-not-too-light wash, preferably in a looks-good-on-anyone straight cut, with a waistline that stops below your belly button.  If you've lost your navel behind the top of your jeans, you're in some never-allowed Mom-Jean territory that you need to unzip your way out of pronto.
~Any pair of comfy flats, sandals, flip-flops, moccasins, etc. in a fun color of your choosing.  They just have to look cute poking out under your jeans, and be comfy enough to spend the day in.  Major bonus if they're made out of a material that's easy to clean cat shit off of.  For whatever reason, any sand box within a 5 mile radius of an outdoor cat is like the holy grail of thrones.  I swear the neighborhood cats all get together in the evening and troll around looking for the most frequently played in sandboxes and have a contest of who can crap the most times in each one.  Sorry...back to the post you started reading for fashion tips...
~Any bag that's large enough to be a diaper bag, but doesn't look at all like a diaper bag, and is in a simple enough in style and color to go with lots of outfits (to get the most bang for your buck). 
~A few bangles that look shiny and cool, and sound neat when they jingle together.
~A pair of sunglasses to, duh, protect your eyes from the sun, and also to make you feel that much more like the rock star you are.  

rock mom

Just so we're clear, I can't afford a single item I included in this look.  I didn't do this to tease you (or me).  I chose these pieces because they looked simple, comfy, and fun, and wouldn't be at all difficult to find cheap knock-off versions of.  If you're rollin' in the dough though, or you just want to see what folks spend entire paychecks on, you can click on each little pictures above and it'll bring you to where you can check out their price tags.

Now go forth and make other moms jealous of you.

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The perfect wedding (guest) dress. Please help me choose!!!

"Mint to be" dress
Well, it's wedding season again.  It's that special time of year to find that perfect oh-so-flattering-but-not-so-much-as-to-show-up-the-bride frock.  I had my heart set on this one (pictured on the right), but by the time I'd spotted it in my way-not-age-appropriate teeny-bopper magazine, and hopped on the site to purchase it, it was sold out.  Just so we have this straight, I'm not usually one of those see-it-want-it-buy-it kind of gals.  I peruse the fashion pages like nobodies business, but I think this was the only time EVER that I'd loved something from a magazine well enough AND (key factor here) actually been able to afford it, threw my magazine down, and literally ran to the world wide web to make this dress mine.  Not going to lie, I was majorly bummed about this loss.

I'm over it now, but it's crunch time, and I need to have an option nailed down lickety-split.  Just to put in perspective how dire this wedding guest dress quest situation is, I have a wedding to go to in 2 weeks, and no dress.  Well, that's not totally true...  I have 5 dresses, all of which are either totally inappropriate, or require altering in order to work.  But now that my dream dress is sold out, this is what I have to work with, and I need your immediate assistance choosing which one to wear.  They are as follows clockwise from top left:

~one dolman sleeved "granny floral," as my husband would call it.  I happen to love this dress, but it's about a million sizes too big for me, and has long sleeves (not to mention the fact that my husband thinks that this is about the least attractive thing on the face of the planet...not just in my wardrobe, but ever, and probably wouldn't touch me with a ten foot pole while I'm wearing it).  But in a pinch (pun intended), it could be belted to give me a figure again, and I could suffer through if it were to be a blisteringly hot day (and Hubby could suffer through looking at me in it for one afternoon).

~one pink wrap dress that has gotten me through every other wedding, party, funeral (with a dark cardigan over it) for the last several years, and would do just fine in a couple weeks as well, but I need to repair it's hem first.

~one LBD that I'm madly in love with (mostly because I made it myself, and am amazingly proud of it, regardless of how simple the style is and the fact that a monkey could have also done a bang-up job with the pattern I used), but I still have this aversion to wearing black to a wedding.  Maybe if it was a formal evening wedding in the Fall or winter, but not for a Summer afternoon in a field.

~one I-have-no-clue-why-this-was-ever-purchased-in-the-first-place, borderline too short, a bit too tropical in pattern to pull off in Vermont, and a size too big for me frock.  I think this may have been an impulse buy back before we spent our Hawaii money on new bamboo flooring.  Like the Granny floral above though, it's actually pretty comfy, with a belt it could work to not look like a Hawaiian potato sack, and it has a nice little crochet detail at the neckline so I wouldn't have to fuss about jewelry.

~one long black maxi dress (totally appropriate for lounging around my house on hot summer days, but not at all appropriate for a happy, summer wedding).  And I bought it last Summer for a slightly plumper me.  So it needs to be altered a bit now (like all the rest of them, it seems) to prevent a disastrous wardrobe malfunction on the top half.  This one's really not even a contender for the wedding.  I just threw it in the picture to prove to you that I own something other than short, slutty, granny dresses.

My last option would be to make something entirely new, like the LBD, but in a different color or pattern.  It would be totally pushing the time limit I have to start from scratch, but it could be done.  I'm open to thoughts, suggestions, and unrelenting criticism...

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, May 21, 2012

The chickens are outside!!!

Jurassic Park has left the building.  My egg birds are still inhabiting the spare bedroom, but they're not growing at nearly the alarming rate or producing a fraction of the stink factor that the meat birds were achieving.  The little feathered dino adolescents now have a much larger space to walk about, and poo upon whatever the choose.

A half-finished fence with an old door as, well, the door, but cut off  and turned on it's side.  An old storage shed now full of straw bedding, and a fancy new compost bin made from old roofing material right out side... what more could you ask for?!  Indoor plumbing would be nice, but I'm not a chicken, and I asked my chickens what they thought about plumbing, and one of them answered me by shitting on another one's back.  They're some classy creatures...

So far they all refuse to venture outside...
...Except for this one, who fell out, and very quickly scrambled back in

For those of you professional chicken bringer-uppers, you'll note with great disapproval that I've used chicken wire on my outdoor section of their enclosure.  For those of you who don't know, "chicken wire" is a stupid name for this particular type of wire fencing, because it's not really all that suitable for chicken enclosures at all.  It's child's play for a raccoon or skunk to peel it right open, and let themselves in for a midnight snack.  BUT, the outdoor area of their playpen is for daytime use only, and I've fortified the shed like Fort Knox.  They'll be closed into their fortress at night, and only allowed out in their skimpy-wired outdoor area during the daytime.  So really, it's only purpose is to keep the little ding-dong-osauruses from walking too far out into my yard and leaving deposits for my dogs to devour.  And for that, the flimsy wire will do just fine.

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: 5 Ways that my clothes line saves me money...

Here's why I use my clothes line almost every single day in the Spring, Summer, and Fall (not so much in the Winter, because Vermont winter wind makes pretty quick work of making bra-cicles)...
clothes line

1.  I find that hanging clothes out on the line is calming and therapeutic in an old-fashioned, simpler-time kind of way.  This saves me absolutely no money what-so-ever, but it helps with my stress level which is pretty priceless. 

2.  Mother Nature rocks at stain-fighting.  The sun helps naturally "bleach" whites, and between the sunlight and the breeze, odors simply disappear.  This saves me money a few ways; I don't have to spend extra money on stain-treatment products, I don't have to waste the water, electricity (and more money) by running the washer on the heavy-duty-dirt-getter-outer cycle, and I don't have to replace The Kid's clothing as frequently (don't tell me you haven't thrown away an article of children's clothing because of any number of mysterious odors that you hope remain unidentified.  This goes for Husbands also...).

3.  I save money on my electric bill by not having to run my dryer as much.  Even when it's raining out, I still hang clothes out on my covered porch.  The damp air prevents them from drying completely, but the breeze helps dry them enough that I usually only have to throw the load in the dryer for about 20 minutes to finish it off.  

4.  I don't have to buy new clothes as often.  Dryers wreak havoc on the fibers in clothing.  Elastics, delicate fabrics, and thinner threads don't stand a chance at longevity against the heat of a dryer.  

5.  I don't have to buy any of those skin-irritating, artificially scented dryer sheets to have the "Fresh Linens" or "Summer Breeze" kind of scent to my clothing, and they don't come off the line all electrified with static either... see #2 on how Mother Nature rocks.

I'm off to hang some laundry out...

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Make-it-work-Wednesday: My not-so-junky "Junk" Drawer, and how you can have this awesomeness in your house too...

I firmly believe that every kitchen should have a junk drawer.  It's the place where everything from super-glue, to batteries, to scissors, Sharpies, outlet covers and flashlights can unite, and harmonize for the greater good of your home.  But I furiously dislike when this drawer is messy.  Do you want to stick your hand and a rat's nest of super glue and scissors?!  Well, I don't!  Good grief!  

Here's how I keep it looking like this (yes, ALL the time)...
1.  I'm armed with a drawer organizer, and I use it to it's full potential.  I don't push it all the way to the front or back of the drawer.  I allow it to "float" in the middle so that I can utilize the extra "compartments" that are made available In front and behind it (shown above where my burglar-beater flashlight lives).

2.  I take all batteries out of their packages so I can cut the clutter of the packaging and also have a clear view of how many of each kind I have left.

3.  I think those rubber-band balls are boat loads of fun to bounce around, but not so practical if you actually want to use your rubber-bands.  I keep mine contained in a baggie, so they're not pinging all lover the drawer, but I can easily find whichever size I want.

4.  I think it's OK to have a couple things in there that are not normally junk-drawer candidates.  For instance, I keep our  Epi-pens in there instead of in the bathroom with the rest of our first-aid supplies.  (Call me crazy, but...) I think it makes sense to have Emergency items close to where an emergency is likely to occur.  It's far more likely that my husband will come in contact with shellfish in the kitchen as opposed to in the shower (unless we have some truly scary creatures-from-the-black-lagoon incident bubble up in our shower, and in that case I think we've passed the point of an Epi-pen being our savior anyway).

5.  Duct tape is in the next drawer down, and also very well organized, and easily accessed.  So, with that handy addition I figure this drawer contains every single thing I could possibly need to MacGyver the hell out of anything in my house, wrap a birthday present, save your life, or beat you senseless.  Pretty cool drawer, huh?

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, May 14, 2012

Manic Monday: April showers bring May allergies...

It's that time of year here in Vermont.  The trees have their leaves, lawns are being mowed, and the flowers are coming out in full bloom now.  I used to think that allergy medications were the greatest thing on the face of the planet, until I started paying more attention to the side effects.  If I took the non-drowsy kind, then I wouldn't sleep well for the first few days that I was taking it (this was a hard hit for someone who drinks about a pot of coffee a day with no ill effects on sleep pattern).  The may-cause-drowsiness warning on a label is, for me, the equivalent of it saying, "you're going to pass the F out for days, bitch.  And both worked so well as a decongestants that my sinuses would dry to the point that I'd get nosebleeds if you looked at me wrong.  Yuck.  So, no, the pollen didn't stand a chance against my system when armed with those little wonder pills, but neither did I.  It's a really scary sight to see a sleep-deprived woman with a nosebleed.  REALLY scary.    So I started doing some research into natural allergy remedies, and I'll share with you the ones that seem to work pretty phenomenally for me...

Northern Raw Honey-- 1 lb.
Available here
1.  Honey***.  Raw Honey, to be more specific.  I eat about a tablespoon of it daily, starting a few weeks before everything is projected to start blooming, then continue each morning during allergy season.  In order for the honey to really work magic on your system, it should be from as local of a source as possible.  That way you're ingesting the stuff made from the specific sniffle-causers in your area.
  "When you put a small amount of the seemingly harmful irritant (bee pollen from local flower pollens) into your body, your immune system builds defenses or immunities against the foreign substance.  This will make the immune system “ready” to handle any of that substance in larger quantities the next time it is in contact with it. So there is no “hyper-reaction.”  It is a similar concept to using a vaccine.  Bee pollen goes quickly into the blood stream in small doses, just enough to kick your immune system into gear."  -Source

2.  Water.  Drink wicked lots of water and help flush the gook out of your system.

3.  A Neti Pot.  I'm not going to lie, I still haven't quite gotten over the weirdness factor of using this thing.  But it works really well.  It however does not feel spectacular if you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror while using this thing and start laughing hysterically.  For those of you who have ever caught a wave in the face, you already know that choking on salt water is a nasty experience.  Just sayin'...
Ingber and Aniston

4.  Yoga.  While we're getting all crunchy hippie here, eating our raw honey, and pouring the allergen-laced snot out of our faces, we might as well really do it up and get our yogi on, right?  Yes, absolutely.  Go check out Mandy Ingber's site, then order the Yogalosophy DVD.  If this is too much granola for you, just keep in mind that this is the woman who keeps Jennifer Aniston (as well as countless other rock-bodied celebs) in such phenomenal shape.  All that downward-dogging, stretching, breathing, and twisting helps "wring" the irritants out of your system, as well as help work on that high-and-tight yoga butt you always wanted.  You can't really go wrong with this one...

***As innocuous as honey seems, it can actually pose health risks in some cases. Honey proponents warn that there is a potential for an allergic reaction to it. And since honey can contain bacteria that can cause infant botulism, health officials warn that children under 12 months of age whose immune systems haven't fully developed shouldn't eat honey at all [source: Mayo Clinic].

Thanks for stopping by,

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Special Sunday post for Moms...

We're currently neck-deep in this country's Mommy Wars.  So what better weekend than this one to have Mothers' Day fall on?  It's high time that we just all admitted that there are aspects of motherhood that some of us totally rock at, and some of us majorly suck at, but we're all good Moms.  We're all doing (as my dad would say) the "same thing, only different." 

Some women have jobs outside the home, some don't.  Some do yoga every single day, some eat corn dogs on the couch every single day.  Some drive Suburbans, some drive Priuses (Prium, Prii?  What is the plural of Prius, anyway?).  Some aren't married, some have been married for a million years, some are married to a woman.  Some are black, some are white, some are black with white kids, some are white with black kids.  Some had their babies when they were 17, some when they were 47.  Some are dressed to the nines every time the venture into public, some wear tattered jeans and t-shirts.  Some are die-hard Organic-only everything for their babies, and some are die-hard Walmart fans.  Some put their kids in pre-schools that guarantee a placement to Harvard someday, Some put their kids in public schools, and some teach from home.  None of them are wrong.  Please repeat that with me... NONE OF THEM ARE WRONG.   When a mother says, "this is hard," please understand that she isn't complaining about having her kids around... she's simply venting that it's totally terrifying to make and raise a functioning member of society and not worry every single day about what the outcome could be like.

If I think back on the things I've done "wrong" as a Mom, and could make a list of do-overs: I'd write more down when my son was little, I wouldn't yell so much, I wouldn't stop breast feeding when he was 5 months old (I know, tisk-tisk, right?), I may have not even started breast feeding in the first place (even bigger tisk!), I wouldn't make him wear the clothes I thought were cute on a toddler but he hated, I'd have eaten healthier food while I was pregnant, I'd have eaten healthier food after I was pregnant, I'd have gotten one of those wrap-carrier thingies and actually used it, a lot, I wouldn't have agreed to work a night shift when my son was still a baby, and on, and on the list goes.  But it is what it is.  And through all the "mistakes" came this great Kid...

I can't imagine having a kid that's any different than the kid I have right now.  And if all those things hadn't happened the way they did, he might not be that kid.    

Your children are exactly the way they are supposed to be, because the series of events that took place in your life while raising them are exactly the ones that were supposed to happen...  
Oh, and because my Mom rocks too, here's one more pic.  This is her with my son on the day he was born, which makes her not only an awesome Mom, but a pretty fantastic grand-Mom (Nana as she likes to be called).  This might be my last Mothers' Day celebration, because she might kill me for posting a picture of her on the internet.  But the woman deserves to be celebrated.  I even like her well enough that I dug up half my garden to give her grown-by-me flowers as a present.  By the way, Mom, you're getting flowers later today...

Happy Mothers' Day everyone!

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, May 11, 2012

Farm-fresh Friday: Rule #1: Don't name your food...

Yesterday the official separation of the egg and meat birds happened.  It happened for 2 reasons...  1.  Because the meat birds are growing way bigger way faster than the egg birds, which makes them big food-hogging bullies, and 2. because one of the little egg birds figured out how to use one of the giant meat birds as a launch pad, and bounced her way out of the box at 3 in the morning.  She was all kinds of pissed off about being out of her warm box and made a big (loud) enough stink about it to wake me up, make me get out of bed, and put her back where she belonged.  

So now they're in separate containers, and most importantly, they have a lid.  

Chickens are not difficult creatures to take care of, but nevertheless I'm a little impressed with myself for making it through the first week, learning as much as I have, and only causing the death of one of them.  In that death though, we learned something else; that my son will make an excellent farmer someday.  You see, I was totally dreading having to tell him that one of the chicks had died.  He was, as I feared he would, starting to like them, and had even started naming some of the egg birds.  So, I very carefully broke the news to him that one of the meat birds had died, and you know what he asked?  "Did you eat it?"  No, by the way, we did not harvest the bounty of a singular chicken nugget.  But it was nice to know that he can get attached enough to be friendly, and treat them with kindness and respect, and still understand that they're going to be our food. 

 Since he proved that he could handle the life-cycle of farming, I let him go ahead and name some of the egg birds (and I named the rest).  So, we committed one of the cardinal sins of farming; we've named our food... 

Meet Rosie, Starr (after Ringo, because The Kid is awesome and loves The Beatles), June (because she's one of the black ones, and I like Johnny Cash, but she's a girl so I couldn't name her Johnny after the Man In Black, so I gave her his wife's name), Velma (from Scooby Doo), Polly (because the movie Along Came Polly is where the term "sharted" came to light, and this chick had the most severe case of sticky-butt of the two we had to clean up last weekend.  charming, I know), and we have one little red one that we're still in search of a name for.

I'm calling this box of meat birds Jurassic Park.  One name to encompass the whole bunch.  Seriously, Folks, someday take a good look at a 1-week-old meat bird.  They look just like little fuzzy Velociraptors.  Frankly, I'm a little frightened of them...

Thanks for stopping by,

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Thrifty Thursday: Book swap...

by Alfred Eisenstaedt

My mom is way cooler than me, and therefore has way cooler toys.  She has been trying to get me over to the dark side and purchase a Kindle for months now.  I got my act together a while back and finally traded in my archaic Blackberry for an iPhone (still not as cool as my mom's though.  Mine is last year's model because I could get it for one dollar instead of a hundred of them), but I'm not budging on the electronic book debate.  I consider my household to be pretty "green," and not big participants in the forest-obliteration game.  We're not major paper wasters, and actually go to great lengths to find alternatives to many of our paper products.  But I just plain love the hell out of the paper pages of a book, because:

1.  Books give me a pre-bedtime break from lit screens (tv, computer, etc.) which they (whoever they are) say is an essential component to getting good sleep.  people who keep their eyeballs glued to a screen right up until the moment they close them have proven to have much more retched quality of sleep than those who give themselves a 30 minute break from the light before shut-eye.  It's to do with the light in the screens, and the way they trick your brain into thinking it's daylight, and that it's time to be up and about.

2.  I'm clumsy as hell, but I've yet to break a book while banging it around the inside of my purse.

3.  Sharing them is an awesome, frugal, way to give and gain knowledge and entertainment.  I know there's a way you can digitally share your Kindle treasures too, but it's just not the same.  When you share books with someone you get and give a present every time.  And you also get great insight into what your friends and family are into at the moment (comes in wicked handy when planning for other gifts down the road too).  Our copy of The Hunger Games is currently in the hands of a good friend of mine.  The Dirty Life is on it's way to my Step-Mom, and just the other day I got Animal Vegetable Miracle in the mail from my husband's cousin because she's been reading my blog and thought I'd love it.  How thoughtful is that?!   I give most of my chick-lit to my mom when I'm done with it (yes, even though she has her fancy-schmancy new Kindle), and she gives us all kinds of weird stuff to read that I never would have picked up otherwise, but end up liking quite a lot .  Have you ever read Sh*t My Dad Says?  If not, do.  It's hilarious.  She also gave us Go The F**k To Sleep, which you should look up and listen to it being read by Samuel L. Jackson.  Now that I think of it, my mom might just like to give me books that have swear words in the title so that I have to find creative places to put them now that my son can read quite well...

Side note: did you know that if you go to, and type just "the" in the search bar, The Hunger Games is the first thing that comes up?...and not just under the books category either... under All.  I just thought that was impressive.

Thanks for stopping by,

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

how to get completely lost in the internet, and love every minute of it...

People like me are the reason that Pinterest is taking off like wildfire.  It's like totally legal crack for grown-ups who have brains that function like pinball tables.  You sign on, look for a recipe, and 3 hours later you've found a new bikini, and you wonder why your decorating skills suck so much worse than all those people who were the original thinker-uppers of pallet coffee tables and iron pipe book shelves.  It's enough visual stimuli to come dangerously close to making eyeball blood vessels burst.  The makers of that site are pure evil.  And I love me a little bit of evil.  So, since you're sitting here reading my blog on this dreary Wednesday, and aren't getting anything done anyway, here's some stuff to help completely obliterate the rest of your day's productivity also *insert your best interpretation of a comic book villain's laugh here*

Here are some of my recent "pins" on some of my favorite "boards".  Feel free to click on every single one of these links and see if you can make it all the way to the black hole of the Internet...

My Style
//jane birkinmadly in love with this sweater
shirtJane, outfit

Hair and Makeup
step one to growing out my cropped hairBold lips, neutral eyebrows and bangs

Fantastic article on "skinny fat"Slim and Reshape Calvesyoga
Bad-ass chick competing in an event that would make me puke less than half way through, calves, yoga


quickly pickled veggies / elephantiePineapple Ginger SmoothieBest tomato soup recipe.

Sew Stuff
PJ's Tutorial. They look so comfy. I want shirred waist shirt dresssweater blanket

Party Ideas
Gorgeous light idea.dress pattern gift wrap!!!double dip all you want

The Kid
adorable little style (:Kid's room idea!Free pdf pattern for a Chewie stuffie.

patioAwww.. I love this! Now I know what to do with all of that "pom yarn" We are going to have the prettiest bird nests in the neighborhood!house number on siding

Orderpretty home office/kitchen.  love the shelving
amazing sofaLove the relaxed, eclectic feel. Photo by Michael Graydon. via @Joanna Goddardentryway

Green Goddess
Homemade Lotion Bars! None of the yucky chemicals, parabens, formaldehyde, petroleum, etc. that you'll find in store-bought lotions!For Dry Skin Soothe: Combine 2 Tbsp honey with 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice. Apply to your clean face and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse with tepid water followed by a cool rinse. This can be done three times a week. “This mask heals, moisturizes and balances the pH of the skin,” says Macan-Graves. “Honey is a humectant and natural antibiotic that heals and moisturizes. Apple cider vinegar helps balance the pH of skin and soothes damaged skin.”Josie Maran's Daily Sun Protection.  wish this wasn't so expensive.  I want this in the worst way...
Lotion bar, another one of the quadruple-fablillion uses for honey, the sunscreen I wicked want

There!  That ought to keep ya busy for a while!

Thanks for stopping by,