Thursday, July 31, 2008

Look Mom! I posted twice this week!

Soooo, here's what happens when you can't move around on your feet too much. You blog a lot more than usual.

Last week Robin over at Be Still and Know... taged me with this meme

Here are the tag rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

So here are six random things about me:

1. I have two places in this world that I dearly would love to visit before I die or the Lord raptures the church. One is the English countryside. I have been in love with England since I was in high school and have devoured many a book that takes place in the English countryside. Specifically I would like to visit Yorkshire where all the James Herriot novels take place and Shrewsbury where the Brother Cadfael stories take place. I want to stay in a little country inn and have a real English country tea. Oh I could go on and on about this but lets just leave it with, I really would like to visit the English countryside someday.

The other place I want to visit is Israel. I want to walk where my Lord walked and see all the places that I've read about in my Bible.

2. When I was thirteen I had a crush on the horse racing jockey Steve Cauthen and wanted to become a jockey myself...just so I could meet him. LOL! The things kids think!

3. If someone told me I HAD to have plastic surgery done but I could pick any part of my body for the remodel I would choose my nose. I have one of those rather heavy Northern European jobbers that are really not all that feminine looking.

4. I love going to Disneyland. I haven't been there in about 20 years but I bring it up every year as a possible vacation destination. The kids are starting to catch the bug too, I think we are wearing Husband down.

5. Even though I handle myself pretty well in front of and around large groups of people I am at heart a rather shy person. There are times when I would happily fade away into the wall paper. I also hate trying to start a conversation with a newly met person. I often can't get past the weather. It's really no reflection on the person, it's really about my own self-conciousness which I've been told is at the heart of shyness.

6. I'm a small town pastor's daughter. I grew up in a fish bowl. I was so happy to go away to college where no one knew who my Dad was or what he did for a living. I loved the anonymity!

Now I live in a small town. Husband is the Youth Leader at our church. God has a sense of humor that's for sure. The fish bowl isn't quite as transparent and it's not the same fish bowl but...I live in it again!

So there you are...six random things about me! Now let's see, who will I tag? Ummm...okay...

Shawna over at We Lift Our Eyes Up

Gina over at Ward and June

Amy over at Sonshine Cottage

Jenn over at Grace and Glory

Frances over at Cherish the Days (aka Woman of Faith)

Linda over at 2nd Cup Of Coffee

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

...and this little piggy is layed-up.

I thought I was just going in to have a couple of plantar warts removed. And indeed, I did have them removed. I just didn't know that it would mean being off my feet "as much as possible" for the next week. Or that my foot would still be numb from anesthesia nearly 24 hours later. Or that my little piggies would be so swollen.

I'm not kidding. When I went in for my initial consultation with the podiatrist he told me I would be hobbling around for a couple of days and that would be it. I was thinking a large bandage and a few days wearing flip-flops.
Not so. Instead my little piggies got wrapped up like they were going to the North Pole and they get to wear this charming piece of footwear when the do get to go hobbling about...which is usually when I need to use the facilities.

Isn't it lovely?

I've learned two things from this little ordeal.

#1 - When you get a wart on the bottom of your foot don't wait thirteen years to have it removed. Just get it taken care of immediatly.

#2 - When you go in to see any doctor to have a procedure done ask a lot of questions. Ask what the worse case scenerio might be. Ask what "hobbling around for a couple of days" looks like to him.

This was not a worse case scenerio...he told me what that was while he carved a crater in my heal....but it was certainly more than I expected.

I hope I haven't grossed you out with all this information. I tried to avoid most of the gorey details. But let's face it...I'm looking for pity. Yes, please pity me and my little piggies! But not too much. I go back in a week for the bandage I first expected and I should be hobbling accordingly after that.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I think I need a nap.

I'm tired.

I mean to's the middle of the afternoon and I really want to take a nap. However, I have a list of things that I need to get done or nearly done today. Mostly they involve getting things reading for next school year. Specifically they involve getting my carpet in our schoolroom/family room clean.

Monday I rented one of those machines they have at the grocery store and in the time I had allotted I ran the thing over our carpet as many times as I could. However, by the time I was done it was still pulling some pretty dirty water. I quit and hoped for the best. At $28.00 a day I didn't want to rent the machine a second day....besides that I couldn't as I had to make a shopping trek on Tuesday.

I woke up Tuesday morning and saw these awful rusty sort of stains in the high traffic areas of the carpet.


What to do, what to do?

Buy one of the above. Also known as a Bissell Quicksteamer Model No. 1970. Small but affordable.
I don't need to do the entire floor, just the areas that have that rusty brown stain which hopefully isn't a permanent sort of stain. makes me tired just thinking about it.
Soooooo, instead of doing that today. I ordered our school curriculum. It felt really good to get that task done. It also is a motivator to get the carpet clean and get furniture back into the schoolroom/family room.
Which brings me back to my need for a nap.
Think I'll go take one and see what I can get done after that!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

As if chickens weren't enough....

...we bought a pig.

(Okay, I'll let that sink in for a minute.)

Well, we actually bought half a pig.

(I'll let you cogitate on that a moment.)

Alright...let me do some 'splainin.

We went in with another family on a weaner (as in a baby pig that has just been has nothing to do with what it might become later) which they are housing. We are helping pay for the feed (they're doing the feeding), and in the fall my husband (not I) will help with the butchering.

For an investment of about $50 or $60 we should end up with about 125 pounds of meat. We will still have to pay the local butcher to smoke some ham and bacon but I'm pretty certain it will still be A LOT less than we would pay for all that meat at the grocer's.

So why would we buy a pig? Well I had to think about that for awhile myself. I am not a big pork eater. However, when an opportunity presents itself for inexpensive food, sometimes you have to take it.

With prices on nearly everything taking such incredible leaps I'm looking for all kinds of ways to save money. Raising our own food seems like a no brainer. In the past what that meant for me was growing a garden. And this year we do have two tomato plants and two struggling squash plants (I think we will be lucky to get anything off of them) but we are already making plans for a much larger and more productive garden next year. And we are now raising animals.

Honestly we are doing more than just planning a garden and raising chickens and a pig, we are rethinking our lifestyle.

It's very easy to go to the grocery store with a list of things I need and pluck them off a shelf , put them in a cart and pay for them. It's somewhat harder to dig around in the, make sure everything gets water, isn't eaten by a bug, harvest the produce and find a way to store it for future months (ie. can, freeze or dry it). However, I think it is more satisfying and much less expensive to do so.

The same goes for the pig and the chickens. (Besides that the chickens add a lot of entertainment value.)

Some friends of mine and I have also begun looking at the things we buy out of convenience that we could be making ourselves at home. Soaps and cleaning products have become our target. We are a little bit surprised to find that they are easy to make and much less expensive. Did you know that you can make your own laundry detergent that cleans your clothes just as well as the name brand products for a fraction of the cost? Check it out here at The Family Homestead.

I like the thought that I can stretch our ever shrinking dollar by learning how to make some things myself and also by growing some of our own food. I also think that in many ways it is much more wholesome. I like knowing where my food is coming from and how it has been raised.
I know I've seen this question asked on other blogs but I'm going to go ahead and ask it again. What kinds of things are you doing to stretch your dollar (or pound for my friends across the pond)? Are you making lifestyle changes? Have you bought a pig?
By the way, the picture of the chicken at the beginning of the post is one of our newest editions. Her name is Nellie.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Ummm... was a little busy. I've got a post in the works for tomorrow!

Whoever coined, "lazy days of summer" hasn't been to my house between June and August.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Time Is Slippery

Remember last week when I said I wanted to post something pithy about the passage of time and so on. Well, I don't know how pithy this will be but here are some thoughts that I keep having about the passage of time.

I'm having difficulty understanding how quickly time goes by. Do you remember being nine years old and waiting for Christmas to come? I mean it felt like it would never get here. Days upon days, weeks upon weeks....trying to be good, pestering your mother with your wish list, writing to Santa at least three times. Now I look at the calendar and think, "Oh my goodness, Christmas is only sixth months away!"

My father-in-law has a theory about this phenomenon. When you are five a year of your life is only one-fifth of your life. So say you are looking at your life in terms of a pie (I prefer mine to be peach pie thankyou) one-fifth of your life is a pretty big chunk of pie.

Now say you are, oh, forty-three (yeah, that would be me) that pie is now in 43 smaller slices of that same pie and the older you get the smaller the slices get and the faster the years go.

Scary, huh?

The other difficulty that I'm having with this whole time thing is that stuff starts changing. Stuff I don't want to change. Most specifically parents start showing their age. In my mind my Mom and Dad are still young and busy with life. And in many ways they still are. However, my father informed me that he turned 70 this year.

Huh? Well if he's seventy that means I'm....well anyway. My Dad also told me that he made me executor of their living trust (gulp) and that he's looking forward to when my Mom gets to retire. (Retire? Y'all are doing what? Retiring? That's for old people!)

I'm trying to be gracious about this whole time thing and aging and all that but I have to tell you it is a little mind-boggling. I am appreciating more and more passages from the Bible that refer to our lives as being "but a vapor" and that our days are pre-ordained. And I'm thankful that this is not the only life I will live.

This life that I'm living right now is just the beginning, the proving ground for eternal life. Things here are a mixed bag of joy, sadness, elation, pain, happiness and sorrow and as I'm told in Romans 5:3-5, "And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us."

My God is busy molding me and shaping me into His image and whether I view that time as short or long or both it is, in the end, His perfect time.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I am frequently plagued by worry and anxiety. It seems to be my thorn in the flesh. In fact there are times when I feel worried and anxious and I can not pin point what it is I'm worried and anxious about. (This, I think, is related to hormones.) There are other times though that I know all too well what it is I'm stewing over. I prefer these times because then I can easily pick up that worry and hand it over to Jesus.

I sometimes take it back...but He is gracious and always lets me hand it over again.

When I can't pin point the source of my worry I'm learning to just look and fix my eyes on Jesus.

Hebrews 12:2a says, "Let us fix our eyes on Jesus..." in some ways nothing more need be said. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus...and as the song goes "look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace."

All the things of this world that occupy so much of my time and attention, all those things important for carrying on life in this world are put in their proper place when my eyes are on Jesus. They are temporary, fleeting, but a vapor in comparison with the eternity I will live in and with Jesus.

When I fix my eyes on Jesus and things get put in their proper place there is no place for worry or anxiety and His peace that passes understanding floods in.

Fix, look deep into, focus alone upon Jesus. "....the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." ~Hebrews 12:2b-3

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I Think Summer Causes Writer's Block

Summer just doesn't seem to inspire me to write.

Don't get me wrong...I often think, "Oh, I really ought to blog about this!" Whatever "this" is, but when I finally get time to sit down and write I've completely forgotten what it was I wanted to write about.

Maybe I'm just getting old. I did have my forty-third birthday last week. And I was going to blog about that...but didn't. I even made up a little ditty to start it out with...wanna hear it?

Okay, here goes,

Happy Birthday to me

I'm forty-three

Oh Lord have mercy

How can this be?

And then I was going to write something pithy about the passage of time and so on.

Well, that's about as pithy as I got.

I was also going to do a post about the three flats of strawberries I recently picked, froze, dried, pied and jammed. Here's a picture:

Yes, you are right, that is A LOT of strawberries! But it's nice to know we'll be enjoying them in their many new forms for months to come. Unfortunately that's all I have to say about that.

I was also going to post about the rather untimely and violent death of one of our chickens at the paws of our dog.

Yep, she got into the coop and decided to have a snack. By the time we got to the coop (which is now away from the house), which was only a few seconds, one chicken was dead and one had literally flown the coop. The other two were definitely in need of therapy.

Husband took the dead chicken and administered some discipline and then tied it around the dog's neck for the rest of the day. Please don't call PETA on us. This is an effective means of dissuading a dog from eating your egg suppliers. She hasn't even gone within ten feet of the coop since "the incident".

Our chicken that flew the coop did return the next day. We think she may have been roosting in one of the nearby trees until the danger passed.

And that's all I have to say about that.

So...for all eight of you out there still reading my blog and checking in on me...thank you. It's a testimony to your perseverence.

I think I'm going to take a cue from Mary at Keep The Light Shining and post just once a week. At least for the duration of the summer. You can find a new post here every Wednesday...yes, including tomorrow. So at least I now have a goal and you don't have to waste time checking in on me the other days of the week.

Blessings to you all and thanks for still stopping by!