Thursday, March 31, 2011

Keeping it all in Perspective

Do I have to be perfect? 
Does everything have to be done today?
Does my house have to be spotless?
Maybe it's enough that Captain Asperger has on clean clothes?
Or that we read another chapter of a book together?
That we still are getting along?
That Matt was dry all day?  :)
Maybe it's way more important that we took a long hike together and rediscovered why we're best friends?
Yes, the house does need to be way more organized, 
But...
With the issues my child has...
And me working 48 hours/ week....
I have to prioritize....
I'd rather have Matt happy than have a perfectly spotless house.
I get a little more organized every day and that's okay with me.
Some things are simply way more important than a perfect veneer!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"Autistic-Like"~ Please view on PBS

http://www.autisticlike.com/PBS-dates.html

Power Lines vs Trash Pick-Up

Amazing how, even though trash can no longer be picked up in alleys due to low power lines, Waste Management doesn't seem to have any problem parking directly under these power lines for street pick-up!
Anyone out there seeing similar incidents?

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Building a Treehouse!

Hi!
I found Matt busy working on cutting wood to build a treehouse and thought I'd snap a quick picture.
This was taken through the kitchen window and the chicken run so that I would remain unnoticed and obtain a completely candid photo.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Freeform Inventing

Welcome back!
As Nick and Steven put my fence back up, Matt was busy building this in his tree.
This brings back memories of a time when all we had to play with was what we could find outside.
True creative thinking stems from making the impossible with items that could not possibly be put together to male anything useful!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Temporary Repairs

My fence is back up!
Nick and Steven came by and put it back up for me... friends are awesome!!!
Now I can hang out laundry with minimal fear it will be pulled off the lines. Now Mr McDoodle can run loose in the back yard while I tend the chickens and hang laundry.
This is so nice!
Now, this is just a temporary repair.
To control the deliberate flooding caused by my neighbors I will be erecting a concrete block wall about two blocks high.
The posts will be placed in the blocks and the blocks will be filled with concrete.
I will be running two drains from the wall (to the street and alley) to keep the pressure from building up too much.
So, my fence is repaired and a busy summer of upgrades awaits!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring in the Chicken Run

Ah! 
Warmer weather hit and Farmer Fred herded all his girls outside to bask in the sun!

Crockpot Delight

Well, I got carried away cleaning out the fridge and realized I have a lot fresh vegetables.
I threw them in the crock pot with a bit of Sazon and Adobo!
A yummy dinner will be waiting when we get home!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Christian vs Preppeing

Hi! 
I have a bit of a dilemma and wanted to share my perspective as compared to what I am hearing.
Your opinions are definitely wanted. 
I am a prepper. 
Yup, I am in the process of making sure my family has enough of everything to last at least a few weeks if a disaster hits. 
I am overstocked on some things that I come by easily and short some things that are more expensive or that I simply need to make time for. 
But, my dilemma is this: 
Is prepping a non-Christian practice? 
I keep hearing, from a few sources, that prepping is not a Christian practice. 
That we should rely fully on God and He will make sure we have all we need without us doing anything extra.
I am of the opinion that God gave us wisdom. 
That He fully expects us, to the best of our capability, to be prepared for whatever is obviously coming. 
So, as Japan slowly dies of radiation poisoning and the weather is weird, I will prep. 
So I will keep prepping. 
Prepping means I stock up on toilet paper or bar soap when it's on sale. 
It means that I recycle the grey water from my washing machine to water my fruit trees and vegetable garden. 
This means that I am saving a bit more money with every prep I do. 
Prepping means I am challenging myself to live more frugally every day. 
What can possibly be un-Christian about that?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring in the Chicken Run... a Celebration of Warmer Weather!

It is finally warm enough to leave the chicken door to the coop open all night and put the platters of leftovers in the run instead of the coop!
I had gotten into the habit of placing their treat platter in the coop in the mornings because it was to cold to bother with the padlock on the run and because I did not want the platter to freeze to the ground.
Now that the weather has finally changed for the better, I am placing the treat platter in the run after 10:00pm when Farmer Fred, Gertrude and the other girls are sleeping.
In the morning, when Fred wanders outside, he let's the entire neighborhood know a full breakfast buffet has been set out for his little harem! I am absolutely sure the entire neighborhood knows he's awake and ready for breakfast.
His buffet for tomorrow morning will consist of leftovers Willie Mae brought me as well as a cabbage and a bag of greens. I'll add in any leftovers from today's meals and set it out tonight.
If lucky, newly emerging bugs will find it in the night!
Then they will have a wonderful breakfast buffet covered with fresh juicy delectable bugs!!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

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Dating vs Surviving

It has been brought to my attention that most men are liking for a woman they can take care of. A female who only does the Biblical female roles. A true Proverbs 31 woman.
I think this may explain why I am not dating. I simply cannot afford to just sit and wait for a man to rescue me.
Now, there are many things around my little homestead I can't physically do or would rather not do. I end up having to hire a man to help me. I just simply don't have the same physical strength as a man.
And, given the option, I would choose to have a big strong man around to take care of me. Someone to assume responsibility for paying bills and doing major repairs. That would be truly wonderful!
In the meantime, I must make do and persevere. I can't just let the place fall apart while I sit at my sewing machine!

I Think I May Have a Neighbor Problem!

Good morning!
The weather has been beautiful here!
But...
This is what I found when I went out to feed my chickens!
The neighbor insists it just fell over all by itself!?
The green at the bottom of the posts is the part of the metal stakes the posts are bolted to. The stakes go 30" into the ground.
The lattice was screwed to the posts.
Since this photo was taken they have moved the fence closer to their yard and folded it in half.
Wonder what would possess them to do all this if they didn't knock it down in the first place?!?!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Project 365~ Why Should I Do This?!

Hello! 
Welcome back!
I have a new project I wanted to share with you today. 
 'Project 365' 
This is something I should have already been doing, yet sort of have been at the same time.
The point of the project is to take a photo of something meaningful to you every day. 
Then use this 'photo diary' to watch your world change and see how the things that matter to you change with it. 
Now, to me, this means to take a photo of something that really touches me deeply. 
My intention is to take these photos each day and use these for my blogs. 
As I sometimes post blogs, like this one, devoid of photos, there will, undoubtedly, be days where I will post multiple photos/ blogs. 
I think this will serve two purposes~ first to prompt me to post more regularly; second to give you a deeper look into my world. 
I know that I do a lot of introspection as I read my blog posts and look at all the photos I've posted. 
Sometimes I can't help but ask myself, "What were you thinking?"
Or...
"What happened to your plan to get ______ done?"

My challenge to you is this:
Take a photo of something really special to you every day. 
You don't have to share these photos with anyone, but look through them often and watch as you world changes!

http://content.photojojo.com/tutorials/project-365-take-a-photo-a-day/

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ramblings from the Homestead

Good morning! 
It's a beautiful day in Illinois! 
I can only hope it is at least half as beautiful where you are.
My day started off pretty well~ Matt made it to school barely on time, but against his better judgement~ LOL! 
The chickens were all waiting when I finally got out there, just inside the people door, for me to finally let them out the doggy door into their run. I could almost hear them saying, "Come on, Mom! We want to play outside!" I threw a handful of assorted spices on the floor of the coop and two of the girls began to scratch at the bedding there.
And so now I sit at work~ it seriously is a 4-letter word! 
Not so bad today~ did a couple dishes, swept out my bathroom, read the paper.
Now on to finishing (not that I'm ever done!) balancing out rent books. I am grateful that this part never ends as there would be no money for our paychecks if the tenants didn't pay rent. So, I will pause here and balance books for a bit.
Hmmm........ so I have noticed that I am in need of Bible study and prayer time. Missing three weeks of church has left me way beyond needing my battery recharged! I am seriously not liking myself very much~ such a grouchy demeanor I had this morning. Yuck!! 
Yes, I was outwardly smiling, but, inside, I noticed, I was not feeling very Christian. 
Thinking I Need to start hitting my knees. Have got to get back to basics. 
48.0 F degrees in the parking lot at work. Weather bug says it's the same temperature at Taft Elementary school. Always good to crosscheck! 
It is a good day to play outside~ ride bikes, start yard work... 
I am feeling a deep need to buy the discount mulch out back at Menard's! Hmmmm............. wondering how long it would take me to move the prickly pear and patio for the toter out of my parkway and raise that flower bed to about three feet high? Then I can replant my prickly pear and move the climbing rose and hibiscus out there, too! Surrounded by a fresh layer of mulch that little corner will be So Pretty! 
A bright, happy, flowery dam to hold back flood water from the neighbor's yard. 
Yup! Need to play outside tonight!!! And Matt can ride his bike. Oooo! I can't wait to get home!!!
Headed outside to take Matt fresh clothes at school~ What a Beautiful Day!!! 
Rolled down the window on the Jeep and put my arm out! 
Ah, Spring is finally here!
It's like a whole new beginning.
Can't wait to get out of work!!! 
Now...
Do I stay late to see how the new outside lighting Ken Kemp is putting up for us is bright enough? 
NO! 
Not tonight! 
Tonight I leave on time so Matt and I can play outside. 
Tomorrow night I will check all the new lights as I have to attend a neighborhood meeting in the evening anyway. 
Hopefully these new lights will be bright enough that the problem children will stay across the street where things are not well lit!!! We like our rental properties safe and quiet. Too many senior, veteran and handicapped tenants here to tolerate anything else.




Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Warming My Toes by the Fire!

As I sit by the fire I realize how easy it is for things to get completely out of focus.
What really matters?
To me, IMHO, all that really matters is having my family close to me and a few good friends I can really count on.
Odd that something I blogged earlier today was hammered home so firmly tonight.
But, as I sit here, I am so grateful I am here.
I am grateful to be free to be myself.
I am grateful for a job where I can show up in old sweats if things are just too crazy.
I am grateful to be on my own home.
I am grateful for a small circle of supportive friends.
Yes, there are many things I want that I just can't have right now.
I want to finish college.
I want to own a campground.
I want a loving cooperative supportive husband (I honestly do believe that exists).
I want a hug every day.
Sometimes we just have to focus on all the great things we already have.
I am truly blessed.

Friends~ 'Christian' vs All Those Who are Nice to You

I am well aware that the Bible says our closest friends should be fellow Christians. That we should have the majority of our fellowship/ social activities with Christians. 
I am, however, also aware that many who say they are Christians are wolves in sheep's clothing. 
It seems, all too often, that those who say the least about what a good Christian they are, are the ones who truly "walk the walk and talk the talk."
But I also know that we are to be a light to those still in darkness.
We are to show though our everyday lives who Jesus is. 
By spending time with someone who is unsaved or backsliding it is possible to open their eyes and have them see Jesus in us. 
I am fortunate as most of the people I talk to are Christians. 
I am fortunate as most of these people accept and love me for who I am.
Yes, there are still those who judge me.
There are a few who think they are better than me because:
1) they have a college degree
2) they have belonged to a specific church longer than myself
3) they are younger
4) they are thinner
5) their house is more expensive
But, my true friends just love me for me. They know who I am inside and that I'll be there for them when they need me.
They know I love hugs and steal hugs from them whenever I can. 
I think I'd rather have people around me who have a true Christian demeanor vs those who can recite all the reasons they are the holiest person in the room!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Earthquakes and Tsunamis

How did the recent events in Japan affect me? 
In considering this question, I am unsure. 
I was already so numb from all that had already gone on. 
I had been crying for so many days.
When I saw it on the news, I remember wondering if the quake in NZ had set this one off.
And...
When and where will the next one be?
And I realized my stash of critical personal papers weren't with me! 
And then remembered that a tenant's mom lives there.
Would her elderly mom be okay?
How was the tenant coping?
~
So now I am rethinking my lack of organization and how unprepared I really am. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Matthew Graduated!

Well, his smile was so big tonight as we said prayers and his "Thank you God for..." was "...for finally finishing the God and Family class"!
Yes, something to smile about. He finished the class successfully and with only one meltdown! He memorized the Ten Commandments without much help from me (other than encouragement and the fact that I hung them on the bathroom door).
Yet another Cub Scout program that has helped Matt to grow and realize all he is capable of.
And realize how much God dearly loves him just the way he is!

Bedtime Prayers

Good Morning!!!
I wanted to share our bedtime prayer routine as I find it an amazing barometer of Matt's day and all the things he couldn't verbalize as they happened. 
It does seem like, after a long hot bath, tucked deep in cozy comforters with fresh sheets and pillow case, he feels safe to share.
Our prayer is simple. I think the simplicity is the key to it's success. 
We start simply with, 
"Thank you God for..."
Then we each list what we are truly thankful for that day. 
I always let Matt go first. 
Sometimes it is something as simple as,
"letting me sleep near my Mom."
Sometimes it is,
"for me having friends today,"
which brings me to tears as friends really ought to be a given when you are ten years old!
We follow our thank yous with
"Please, God, help me..."
We list what we need help with the most.
Matt's is usually 
"mind my Mom,"
or
"be nice to my Mom."
Mine is usually,
"to be a better parent to Matt and understand what he needs."
This is followed by hugs and kisses...
And a way better understanding of each other.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Numbness

My friends, please bear with me for a bit. I have had an overly busy week and am behind on everything. A dear friend died without family to mourn her and Matt was diagnosed with Aspergers, which I knew he had, but now it is formally 'out there' and a reality. 
Right now my priority has to be Matt and the continued battle for a school setting that will be right for him.
I will try to get back to you as soon as I come up for air.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Yogurt Chips with Pizzaz!

More yogurt went into the dehydrator. This time I sprinkled liberally with Znax 2go. This is an Hispanic seasoning readily available at any of the Hispanic grocery stores.
It's a blend including chili powder and makes yogurt and fresh fruit salads so yummy!
It's also great on chips. Simply sprinkle the chips with lime juice then Znax.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

FDIC? Seriously?!

I was sitting in the drive-though at my bank and, as a habitual reader, I was reading the 'interesting' sticker on the chute. When I finished laughing and told the teller, 'no, I really was okay and wasn't trying to get her attention', I took this photo of it.
"What,"you ask, "is so funny about this particular sticker?" let me ask you to read the whole sticker again slowly.
Yes, the money is insured by the 'credit of the United States government! If that does not scare you into banking your money in your back yard under the shed next to your dog's grave nothing will.
The country that is insuring the money we loan to the banks (so they can loan it to others) is the same country that is so far in debt it could easily be taken over by another country simply on the premise of collecting the debt owed!
Seriously folks!
When China or Russia demand repayment in 30 days or they will take possession of this country, the same as a bank repossesses a house when repayment of a loan stops, what are we going to do?
There will be nothing we can do.
They will have collected a debt.
We will be their possession.
Legally we will belong to them~ be subject to their laws.
And so, the sticker made me laugh... ... maybe so I wouldn't cry.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Beware of Sinkholes!

Once this was a pond.
The farmer who owned it had no idea that his farm and his pond were sitting on a cavern.
Then, in the 1920's the bottom fell out of it~ well, at least the portion covered by boards.
When the farmer realized his pond was gone, only to be replaced by a hole in the ground, he boarded up the hole to prevent his small daughters from falling in and getting hurt.
The hole remained secured for 40 years until he sold the farm.
The new owners opened up the hole and began to explore their caverns!
Makes me wonder how many more caverns are out there boarded up?
If every fresh water spring could be coming from a cavern, don't you have to change the way you look at those springs?
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