Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Matt's Award!!!

Matt's Award!!!

Matt's Award!!!

Matthew's Award!!!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Chickens Don't Like Sugar Wafers

Morning! How are you on such a blessed sunny morning?
Come around back a minute... I have to tell you about my finicky chickens...
Last night I put this tray of munchies in their run for them to have this morning... sort of a breakfast buffet of sorts... I try to do this most evenings...
When I put it out, they all jumped out of 'bed' and ran outside to see what I had for them! This is unusual. Normally they don't like to be out after dark and eye me curiously, but wait for sunrise to check out what treats I've brought. Well, last night they came to check and munched a bit before returning to 'bed'.
This morning Farmer Fred had Gertrude, Matilda and the rest of the girls (along with our neighborhood) up at 4:30am for breakfast! After a few minutes of encouraging everyone to get up and enjoy the breakfast buffet, Fred quieted down nicely.
When I came into the kitchen at 6:45am, Fred gave me quite a detailed 'Thank You'... so nice to be appreciated!
I noticed, however, when I went to hang out a load of towels, that the sugar wafers were not eaten, but had been used well in some chicken version of a food fight!
So, no more sugar wafers for Farmer Fred, Gertrude, Matilda and the girls...
And...
I Need to get them some new toys!!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Matthew Bridges to Webelos II

Hi! Welcome back! You've caught me at Lockport Cub Scout Pack 61's Pack Night.
Doesn't Matt look handsome bridging from Webelos I to Webelos II? I love to watch him grow and mature and being a part of a Cub Scout Pack has made a huge impact! It has challenged him to reach beyond the safety of home and develop into a wonderful young gentleman.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

~*~ 10.21.11 ~*~

Yes, for the love of all things crazy, there is a new date predicted for rapture! 
Don't you wonder how many other predictions will be set for this same date?
 Earthquakes? Hurricanes? Floods?  
Well, I sort of got busy and never finished backing my BOB for 5.21.11... 
I didn't take it seriously as it was not Bible based... 
So,
My thoughts on the new rapture date are this:
Let's all use this date as a motivator...
I need to have my current Bible study finished by 10.21.11
I need to have the attic sorted and actually organized by 10.21.11
I need to fast for my church every Thursday until 10.21.11
I will read with my child(ren) every night at bedtime until 10.21.11
I will post what I am thankful for on Facebook every night until 10.21.11 
I will post on my fridge something wonderful about my child(ren) every day until 10.21.11
What can you think of to add to this list? 
I can see how starting these could not only help me get more done by 10.21.11, but also form a lifelong habit... a good habit! 

It is What You Make It

Funny how so much of who we say we are is based on what we own... how often do you hear, "I live in _____ subdivision!" ? 
Do you remember, as a child, thinking you were something special when you 'owned' that cool stick!? Or you had obvious super powers because you could climb a tree!? 
I remember being so excited because I learned how to build Barbie furniture out of a tissue box. I had be so sad because a friend had a Barbie house with an elevator. Santa had brought it. I was pretty sure Santa just didn't like me as I never got 'cool' presents. 
Then my little world expanded to include other children who were on Santa's bad list. Actually, they were just kids, like me, from multiple-child households. 
BUT, 
they knew things! 
And,
the things they knew came from living with adversity. Being poor, whatever that means to each person, can be a catalyst to learning great skills! 
While the rich kids played with their multi-level Barbie houses with elevators, we were building Barbie houses. And, while mine didn't have an elevator, I could re-arrange the floor plan at a whim! 
Now, as the single perpetually broke mom of an amazing Autistic ten year old boy, I have skills to share. More than that, I have the spirit of never giving up. The attitude that says, "keep saying I'm not capable of it and I'll make a profit off it!" 
I watch him build things I never could have dreamed up using what he finds around our homestead and I am grateful for sitting on Cherrywood in Toledo in Mary's bedroom making Barbie beds out of tissue boxes. 
Be grateful for what He has given you 
AND
For what He has not given you.
He has a reason.
Be blessed in all circumstances!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Dealing with Other's Words

Time has really changed what is acceptable behavior... unless you are over 30 years, you probably have no idea what I am talking about... there was a time when it was considered impolite to be rude... that, unfortunately, is no longer the case... 
So, what do we do when others are rude to us? It is, IMHO, very difficult to sit and just take it quietly... yet some circumstances do seem to require me to allow others to say and do whatever they want to/ about me... 
I would say prayer is the best way of dealing with those who are allowed/ encouraged to be rude to you... if you have no real control over how you are treated, then prayer is the best immediate defense...
But, you might, as I do, consider what alternative environments are available to you... funny, but my Sunday School class this week made me think of writing about 'adversity as a motivator'... it really can be the catalyst to a positive change in your life! 
So, as I humble myself, I am thinking harder about where He was directing me before I got sidetracked...? And what do I do to get back on track...? 
I am prayerfully grateful for the few friends I've retained... 
and i am back to looking forward to His plan/ calling for my life... the blessings to come will far outweigh the 'recent unpleasantness'... God is always there...
just waiting for us to say, "here I am and I'm ready to obey!"
Back on track and quietly smiling..........

Monday, May 23, 2011

Life as it Really is...

Funny how it's sometimes so easy, and other times so hard to pick an article title.. some subjects just seem to produce their own title, I suppose... today's title reflects my life... I am rambling... chattering softly to myself so no one hears (I hope)... small things like,"I need to vacuum this office", and, "why didn't I pack lunch?" my wold has recently been turned upside down... what made sense is no more... and literally everything I say/ do is wrong... wonder if they are reading my blog? apparently not as I have not been reprimanded for it yet... what on earth?!?! this is so crazy!!! so I sit quietly... this is not so bad... I have my music... Family Friendly WBGL... Contemporary Christian happiness through an iPhone app.... 
amazing how a completely weird turn of events can change your life and your whole perspective... I used to be very open about who I am and what I do day to day... didn't think too much of it as my life is basic and sort of boring... then something happened... I think it was just changes in society... and someone I tried to help prep 'offered' to break in and take my preps instead of prepping on his own... 
so I became more private...
recently... 
well, things went beyond weird...
I can say rumors can ruin people's lives... 
and that damage is very difficult to reverse...
the trust, at least in my case, will never be rebuilt...
I have lost so many who I thought were friends or family...
yet, it's not the end of the world...
God is still there...
He sees all... 
He holds me close as this runs it's coarse...
He shows me why I must endure this...
so, now I am quiet... I will rebuild my trust in the world... to a degree... 
but I am going to allow very few to get close to me... 
if I'm not sharing the real me with you any more, give it time... you may be able to rebuild the trust lost... 
times like these really show who true friends are...
I am deeply grateful for the true friends I do have...
You Are A Treasure!

More Weeds to the Palace Yard, Please!

Yes, Farmer Fred and his harem are a weed- munching bunch! He has taken to supervising me closely whenever I am outside. If some sort of munchie is not brought post haste as soon as I appear out back or in the kitchen window, he loudly let's the entire neighborhood know just now abused and neglected he feels he is!
Sometimes I do wonder if he realizes he is not the only child I have?
I'm not sure he cares~ he just wants to be spoiled.

Chickens Eat the Weeds

Good Morning! Isn't it a beautiful day? Come on a round back and see what Farmer Fred and his harem are up to. Would you look at then scratching and munching?!
I've been pulling weeds this morning and throwing those into the chicken run. The chickens get so excited when they see me coming with more fresh weeds to munch!!!
Most of the weeds will be eaten today. This truly fresh organic snack seriously cuts onto the amount of corn and layer crumbles I have to buy saving me a bit of cash! And it's a food source I know is pesticide and fertilizer free providing me with better and safer eggs and raw chicken for my family.
What is the favorite snack of your chickens?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Travel Snack Box

Do you carry a travel snack box in your vehicle? If your family had to spend several hours sitting in your vehicle waiting for a tow, what would you munch?
Our travel snack box is never full of the same munchies twice, although I can say there are some staples I try to keep in it. Favorite must-haves are raisins, figs, dates, nuts and homemade yogurt chips.

Friday, May 20, 2011

5.21.11

Funny how I've wanted to write this particular blog for awhile now and just couldn't get started... now that tomorrow is the day, I have motivation... life is odd like that... So, what is so special about 5.21.11? Well, maybe nothing... maybe it will be just another day... but, there are a few theories out there floating around that I find interesting... I, personally, enjoy all the theories as each makes me stop and look at how I view the world... each requires me to do a bit of research... research is always good as it expands my knowledge... learning is always a good thing... sometimes I simply learn that people don't know what they are talking/ blogging about... sometimes I find useful info... regardless, I have learned something...
So, for tomorrow... I have heard two different options for us... 
The first is that Jesus is finally returning for the His church.... While this would be truly wonderful and I'm as ready as I'm gonna get, I just don't see it specifically happening tomorrow... at least not with a date posted on a billboard... seriously people! Do you read your Bibles?!?! "He will come like a thief in the night." It is not for us to know the exact date and time of His return... that is why it is So critical for us to each get saved and maintain our own salvation with fear and trembling... He will return when we least expect it... expect it every day... 
Every Day!
The second theory is that there will be a Mega Quake tomorrow... well, I am closely watching the PDC World Disaster Alerts app on my iPhone... there is an awful lot of activity along the New Madrid Fault Line... and it does seem to be gearing up for something... if you don't have that app, Get it Now! It is so cool!!! Anyways, the increase in volcanic activity and the shear number of quakes makes me a bit nervous... I'm not sure that anyone can predict a Mega Quake that accurately, but... I could see how a Mega Quake scheduled by HAARP could happen on a specific pre-published schedule... 
This is supposed to flood the center of the US from Canada to Mexico to one degree or another... Mega Quake... 10.0 or greater... this quake, triggered by all the recent quakes, is supposed to trigger a flooding that will wipe out everything at/below 500 ft above sea level...  
So, are you prepared for tomorrow, 5.21.11? 
I am saved and I think I am prayed up... :)
I have a duffel bag and an outfit each for Matt and I packed...
I am So not ready for a Mega Quake! I guess this is my wake-up call on my bug-out bags... get it together, woman!!! Tonight I will finish packing the duffel bag, which should be kept in the Jeep, get tire pressure checked, snack box filled, back pack finally organized with all our assorted band aids and neosporin, plan what to do to make this the ultimate adventure for Matt vs a life-altering disaster, and watch the app all night... 
How prepared are you for a major disaster?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Logical Infrastructure Improvements

Yup, Nicor gas is actually digging up the area of my street that the City of Joliet just redid last summer!
$ An amazing waste of money$
IMHO, it would have been more logical and economical to install upgraded gas lines while the streets were already torn up for the new water lines!
Just my opinion.

Homemade Toothpaste~ Update

Ok, so the dispenser bottles I was using combined with the water instead of coconut oil was not working... water at the top and a clumped mess at the bottom! I drained out the water, heated the bottles under a hot faucet and remade with heated coconut oil. I'm using freezer bags as dispensers now with great results.
Even Matt liked the taste and application process better!

Monday, May 16, 2011

More Weeds to the Palace Yard, Please!

Yes, Farmer Fred and his harem are a weed- munching bunch! He has taken to supervising me closely whenever I am outside. If some sort of munchie is not brought post haste as soon as I appear out back or in the kitchen window, he loudly let's the entire neighborhood know just now abused and neglected he feels he is!
Sometimes I do wonder if he realizes he is not the only child I have?
I'm not sure he cares~ he just wants to be spoiled.

Treasures Around my Grey Water Pond

I noticed this beauty almost buried by leaves from the lily and iris!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mexican Coca Cola

Hi!
If you have never tried it, you should head to the nearest Mexican grocery store and buy a Mexican Coke or Pepsi!
It tastes so much better than the American version.
Try one and let me know what you think!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Our New Tent!

Yup! It's tent time in my world!!! That means we sleep outside and the beds stay made and fresh until it's flat out too cold at night to sleep out (unless the winds puck up). That would be below 42 F.
There is just something about sleeping out back in our tent that makes everyone wake up smiling. Call it fresh air, vacation atmosphere or tent-therapy.
Regardless of what it is, you'll find us out back snuggled up with a book.
Happy camping!!!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Fresh Eggs!

Fresh eggs are the final step in our cycle.
1) The chickens eat the weeds.
2) The chicken run and coop are cleaned out to provide compost to plant our gardens.
3) The chickens lay yummy eggs.
Then it starts all over again!!!

Lasagna Gardening

Hi! Welcome back!
Yes, I am honestly this far behind at getting my garden in! I know it's sad, but the crazy weather and other responsibilities have kept me away.
This year I'm only doing lasagna gardening. My soil is not soil, it is clay and large rocks, so this method saves my back.
First I pull most weeds (OCD?). Then I lay out 2+ layers of cardboard with 1-2" of compost on top of that. The compost is a combination of chicken droppings and the contents of an old compost bin (2008). Seeds are planted right into the compost and I water as needed.
The peas (bottom of pic) are already 1-2" high! Matt and I love peas, so these are a blessing indeed!!!
What is your favorite gardening method?
Lasagna?
Double-digging?
Trench and mound?

Yummy Weeds!

Yes, I've been on a weed-pulling mission today! And, while I pull weeds, Farmer Fred has taken to softly growling encouragement. It is so funny to hear him!
It's like having my own little cheer leader!!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pink Perfection

My parkway makes me smile! And it makes the front of the house more private!!!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Laundry Day!

Sometimes a laundry table can be disguised as other things!
I'm starting to like folding as I take laundry down and the pallets are the right height to stack laundry on.
Life in the country is a blessing!

5/ $10.00 at Menards!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Little Corners of Happiness

Hi! Yup, I'm cleaning again.
For some reason I always want to clean this end of this room first. Maybe because this is the end of the room where the wood stove is? Maybe because my Grandpa's clock is here?
This is by far the homiest spot in the house. And yet, is is an unfinished room. I think it's the whole cabin feel that pulls me in. It's rustic. A lot of wood everywhere. Comforting and cozy.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Taking a Friend to Church

Good Morning!
Happy Mothers Day!!!
This morning, as I drove through the parking lot at work, I saw my friend and asked him to come to church with us. Such a blessing that he said, "yes!"
As I sit here in service, I am truly blessed to have my friend, Jessie, sitting next to me! To hear him sing and see him raise his hands in praise is such a blessing to me.
Today I reconnected with the Lord~ where was He taking me again? Serving Him is more important than anything else in my life.
It's so good to be back on track.
This has really made my Mothers Day special.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Burdock

Good morning! Would you look at all this lovely burdock basking in the sun!
Last summer there were just a few plants and I really didn't bother much with them. I did think about harvesting those celery-like leaf stems, but there was too much chaos for me to even consider canning, so I left it be.
Now there is a plentiful crop! I will have enough to add to whatever meals I can this summer and have some to add to meals regularly.
Sometimes I wonder about all the people who don't realize how many wild plants are edible. How do they not know that their diet is lacking? How do they not know how much healthier they could be?

Friday, May 6, 2011

Brunson Gravesite

Hi! So glad you had a moment to stop by Oakwood Cemetery! This is such a neat historic cemetery in Joliet, IL. As you wander the paths between family plots, you will notice and, no doubt, be amazed at the number of veterans buried here!
My son, Matthew, and I take care of the Brunson gravesite. Brunson's are distant relatives of ours and we found this gravesite neglected, so decided to become it's caretaker.
Cyrus Brunson is the matriarch of this gravesite. He was well known in the area for his orchards of fruit trees. His homestead was on Rt. 53 somewhere across from the quarry and the Brunson graves that were moved to the Lockport Cemetery. His home was known as the house on the bluff.
Cyrus also served in the Blackfoot war with Harold Sisson.
Being a caretaker for a gravesite gives us a good feeling of giving back to those who gave so much.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Soaking in a Tea Bath

Good Evening!
How about a long hot bath?
Feel like you just can't get the dust and dirt of the day off with just your usual soap?
How about trying a long soak in tea?
1) Make sure your tub is clean and all cleaning products are rinsed off.
2) Turn on the water as hot as you can take.
3) Add 3 tea bags of whatever variety you like. (chamomile is super soothing and good for sucking impurities out of your pores)
4) Climb in and soak.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Hiking the Purple Trail!

Fungus Among Us!

Purple Trail in Pilcher Park!

Sometimes we just hike for fun and scenery! Today was one of those hikes.

Camping Out at Work

Good Morning!
Shhhh....
My boys are still sleeping!
We spent the night at work. We do that every so often just so we know that everything is under control and quiet.
I have a twin bed and Matt and Mr McDoodle crash on the floor. Apparently Doodle likes the heat from the top of Matt's head!!!
It is so nice to wake up and see both of my little snuggle-butts curled up together close by.
It's also nice to wake up in my office as I can just roll over, shower and set up breakfast before I sit at my desk. No driving across town required!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Left-Overs are a Treat!

Hello!
Welcome back!
Farmer Fred and his harem always appreciate a tray of fresh leftovers.
Heck, they appreciate a tray of old stale leftovers!
Let's face it, they're greedy!!!
But they're uber-cute and keep down the bug population, so I'll keep them!
And, the fresh eggs are awesomely yummy!
I like this trade~
Unlimited fresh juicy bugs and stale leftovers
For
Fresh Eggs!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Car Organizer

Hello!
Welcome back!
I so have to tell you about my cheap and easy car organizer!!!
You know how it goes~
My purse starts out in the front passenger seat, then slides to the floor.
All my catalogs for Avon sales do the same.
And
My kit for sewing patches on Matt's brag vest for Cub Scouts.
I simply got tired of picking everything I owned up off of the filthy jeep floor! I set something within reach and, when I need it, it's out of reach on the floor!
So, I went into Office Depot and scouted around the store for a container to suit my needs. This bin is the perfect size to fit snugly on the seat and the seat belt wraps around it without slipping off.
Now everything I need is right at hand and kept clean.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Homemade Toothpaste

In looking at all the information on fluoride poisoning a friend keeps sending me, I decided to make my own toothpaste. I found a recipe on the Internet and modified it to ingredients I had on hand.
Ingredients:
Ziyad orange blossom water
McCormick's pure orange extract
Znax snack topping
Baking soda
Okay, so the left bottle is chili and the right bottle is orange.
The recipe called for using coconut oil, but I couldn't find mine, so I used the orange blossom water.
Each bottle has orange blossom water and baking soda in it. One has orange extract and the other has Znax.
The toothpaste cleans my teeth very well, but has separated out in the bottles. It is impossible to get it to remix by shaking, so I am going to drain off the water and mix coconut oil in. Guess I'll stir it with a butter knife so I don't have to dump it out and try to put it back in.
I'll post later to let you all know how this goes!
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