November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving & stuff

BBQ wienies - some of our hor dourves

Well we got through Thanksgiving ok. Only thing we ran out of was cool whip and the only thing that didn't turn out was the noodles. And actually the noodles were probably ok but the broth on the other hand was NOT! My mom was here to help & eat with us. SR also was here to eat, although I practically had to force him to come =(

Later that night we went out to a few Black Friday sales and got some much needed things that was on sale for real cheap. I got a new griddle, blender, food processor, printer, thumb drive, blank DVDs, and some towels. This has been a real rough year for us on appliances. Actually it's been a rough couple years on them! In the last 3 years we've replaced -- 5 food processors, 5 stoves, 5 refrigerators, 2 crock pots, tons of can openers, 4 griddles, 4 electric skillets, 1 microwave and right now I'm in need of a washer!

I think it's the way they are manufactured or something because we've also went through a ton of electronics too.

But anyway. We also got the kids some Christmas presents but just a select few. Normally I'd be spouting how we're going to do very few presents for Christmas -- "no reason for such an excess!". This year I've not been saying that. Oddly no one has even noticed. We just don't have the money for stuff this year.

Normally I say that we're doing minimal but we still break our necks to get everything we can - this usually amounts to about $300-$500 plus with their grandparents & local organizations helping the kids make out like bandits! This year the local organizations did sign-up in secret or something because we missed the deadlines. Plus it doesn't help that older kids always get over looked here so I don't think it would of done much good to sign up anyhow for 3 out of 4 of the kids.

And both grandparents are currently broke because of Soc Sec screwing them out of their benefits (temporarily). SR is lucky and has some money put up for this type of thing. But my mom is having to stay with HER mom (who also lives off Soc. Sec.) and us because she doesn't have any savings.

But anyway. I have a bad feeling that this will be a meager Christmas. I'm positive my kids won't mind - in fact they have already said there isn't much they'd like to receive anyway =)  It just weights heavy on my mind though.

What else........

Oh yeah we went to the surprise birthday party. It was alot of fun! Real relaxed and I think that my friend really appreciated it. It's always nice to have your efforts appreciated.

Last week we also worked a day of overtime -- it SUCKED!!  Let me be honest here. Currently for income we are doing newspaper routes - we have been off and on for about 4 months. In the beginning we had 2 routes but after 2 months we gave them up. After a week we picked them back up for another 2 weeks, then dropped them again. A couple weeks after that we picked up a new route. It's a rather big route - more than our 2 old routes put together! Last week we got the chance to pick up another semi-large route. At the same time we were also offered (from a different guy, same company) to substitute 2 routes that is HUGE when put together. We know we're low on money and Christmas is coming so we said yes to both offers. ummm...yea. We just about killed ourselves! It was over 300 papers! It took over an hour to roll them all up and over 4 hours to deliver them.

It's very little income but hey it's something. And hopefully after this week we'll also have some unemployment too. Oh and I have a few ideas on how to make money but I have to find the customers LOL  Kinda hard when everyone you know is broke like you.

later...

November 20, 2011

slowly working it

Well I didn't word it correctly obviously and now I'm going to be going there on Tuesday. At least I'm not too busy then.

We went out Sat nite and had a blast! First we went to some friends' house for about an hour - then we headed up to the bar. I drank WAY too much but we had lots of fun and that's all that counts =)

Then I got up before I should have and got told by my oldest daughter that a chicken hawk was trying to get my rooster =( So the chickens had to be put up all day. I hope tomorrow or Tuesday I'll be able to build a roof like enclosure so they can safely go outside.

Oh and go figure we've decided to move again. Maybe I'm meant to be a nomad?! Oh well. I really like our yard here but can't stand the neighborhood, neighbors, pests, problems with the house, and I am soooo done with this town. Don't ask me why I was dying to move back here 3 years ago! I must of forgot the bad parts of living here. I sure do remember them now though.

This time we're looking at going closer to the Mississippi River but stay within driving distance of here. No far off places! We need to be able to come back easily -- like an hour or so trip.

sooooo we're looking but still got a couple of months =)

And tonight I started thawing 2 turkeys and cooking 1 -- by the end of the week I'll be sick of smelling bird cooking LOL!

later...

November 14, 2011

dilemmas & friends

Well I have somewhat of a dilemma. Last Friday I finally got to meet a new friend's daughter. Afterwards we added each other on Facebook and she left a comment on my wall. She said how much she enjoyed meeting me and that we should all get together again soon - like next weekend for her Mom's upcoming birthday (which is on Wed). It was a really sweet thing for her to be so polite to leave a comment but I had already talked to her Mom and we was all planning on going out to the bars on the weekend to celebrate.

Here's the catch. In my infinite wisdom (HAHA!) I say that sounds great but I think your Mom has plans? but pm me cause I have an idea. She pm'ed me and said hey why don't we throw her a surprise birthday party on Friday or Saturday cause that works for her. OMG! What do I do now?!

She's only 14 so I don't want to hurt her feelings cause you know how every kid wants to do something big for their Mom's birthday. But my idea wasn't a surprise party! My idea was to help her out by picking up a cake for her - maybe even a picnic supper so her Mom didn't have to cook on her birthday.

Why do I get myself into these things?! 

So here I go to leave a message to her on Facebook - wish me luck!

later...

November 12, 2011

honey mustard dipping sauce

This sauce is our new favorite! It tastes so much better than the store bought stuff and it's WAY cheaper! I found the recipe here. We've only used it for crescent dogs (mummy dogs) so far but our plan is to try it with other stuff in the next couple weeks.


Here's the recipe:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons prepared yellow mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
Mix all ingredients together and chill overnight.



Some hints - if you use immediately like we did it'll taste GREAT! But if you chill it and notice it's a tad too sweet then add a little more yellow mustard. Personally I thought it was a little to sweet after chilling but everyone else was ok with it.

later...

November 11, 2011

putting the menu together

I've been trying to get more prepared for Thanksgiving so I put together a menu and have started to buy the food needed. Usually I just wait till the week before and then buy everything I need but this year I'm trying to do something new =)

So this year here's the planned menu (links if possible)-

Appetizers
BBQ smokies
Veggies (celery, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes)

Dinner
2 Turkeys
Ham
Mashed Potatoes & Gravy
Stuffing
Green bean casserole
Corn
Noodles
Cranberry Sauce

Desserts
Watergate Salad
Cherry Fluff
Apple Cobbler
Pumpkin Bites
2 Pumpkin pies
Coconut pie
Chocolate pie

later...

November 10, 2011

Man I am so tired of running out of time constantly! We've been trying to go to a nearby town now for 2 days -- this town is only 1.5 hours away, not that it matters cause I've not got out of town yet!

We have plastic that we need to get on the rabbit hutches & chicken shed to weatherize it -- been trying to get that done for 3 weeks!

Then we still need to get the wood stove put in. Running this furnace is NOT going to be cheap but we have been for about 2 weeks.

Right now I'm looking at a bucket of parsley that's wilting on the table - it just got cut yesterday! There's been about 8 nights that have dropped beyond frost points.

The house is a COMPLETE mess -- not even gonna think about the yard! There's no way everything is ready for winter out there.

Too much to do and never enough time! wish me luck that's for sure!

later...

November 9, 2011

what happened to the 7 day challenge

Well I was unable to participate in the 7 day challenge this year. It's a difficult one for us every year because of the oldest son & youngest daughter's birthdays are in September. For 2 months we've said we were going to do days 2 - 7 but we still haven't.


later...

November 7, 2011

new blog address

Well I moved the blog over to here. To me I feel a little less exposed this way. Crazy I know but oh well. So here I am =)

later...

September 15, 2011

7 day challenge 2011 -- day 1

Ok it's that time again! So excited!! Every year Food Storage Made Easy does a 7 day challenge to practice and check if all your preps are in order. With this challenge you use, check, and practice your skills and stores of food and supplies. Every year it's held in Sept since it's national preparedness month. It's as difficult or as easy as you want it to be. We usually go in the middle for most days then there are few we go way over on and a few we go way relaxed on.

My only grip is that it seems to always hit my oldest son's birthday! Poor kid =(  But with 2 kids having birthdays in Sept it's bound to happen with one or the other.

Every day there is a scenario given with a set of stipulations - regular and advanced. At the end of the day you can fill out a report card to keep as a guide of what you need to buy or work on. Everyday has some basic set rules, they are --

  • No going to a store, or spending any money for the entire 7 days! 

Ok on to today's challenge! =)

sanitation crisis

A natural disaster occurred a number of days ago. Power has been restored, but you still don’t have access to your sewage systems. You don’t know how long you will be without water so you do not want to waste your supply by flushing it down the toilet … AND it’s about time you shower. You can’t put it off any longer.

Today’s Goal: Learn about and use proper sanitation practices in a crisis

Here's my report card for today -


Quite honestly we didn't do the actual challenge. Today was my oldest son's 18 birthday. I spent the day showering him with love & attention, getting him registered to vote, trying to get his license (will finish tomorrow!), getting him his 1st tattoo!, and watching him buy his 1st pack of cigarettes (for me!). We snapped a ton of pictures and had lots of fun! Unfortunately we didn't get to go the strip club but that was on the agenda LOL!

We did go through this same type of situation in May so it's still fresh in our minds. We've actually lived without running water and sewer for over a month in the past 2 years. We learned alot and perfected our methods then. I'm not saying it can't be tweaked because it can be, of course! But I have no doubt we would of made it through today with no problems =)

Can't wait till tomorrow's challenge although I'm not sure how much we'll be able to participate =(  We have a busy day tomorrow planned. But if it's something really interesting that we're not able to do we'll do it the 1st day after the challenge is over. We had to do that one other year.

later...
 

September 13, 2011

lightspeed

Yep that's how things have been going here at the speed of light! Let me try to say some of the stuff =)

To start with my mom has been staying with us off and on now for about a month. Don't get me wrong I love having my mom here but it's very draining also! She's always busy - up cleaning or something. 15 years ago I loved it when she came to visit because my house would be so clean afterwards. Now I just think - why not sit and talk for awhile?

On the job front - Gene got 2 paper routes. Well actually we all got 2 paper routes since they are across town and Darkside has to drive him there. Alexis and Eddie has also been helping him too.

But that has made Darkside and I miss out on sleep. Plus Darkside had to tell his job that he can only work certain hours which made his check even smaller. So then I decided to start back selling Avon. But to be honest I've been wanting to for awhile anyway =)

Then we found out last week that there was a vendor event here in town on Saturday. So we decided it would be a great time for Alexis to sell some of her hats & scarves so she can raise money to ship the rest to Pine Ridge Reservation. She had over 90 hats and about 20 scarves! Over 2 totes full which is very heavy! It cost $20 for the booth and she needed $20 for change - when she came home she had that money back plus $15.50. She was so happy! She also got a special order for a scarf and a lady said she had some yarn she no longer needed that she would donate to her. Oh and she also got to meet another girl she's been texting for the first time.

Ummm........ we've gotten more rabbits and still have 3 babies left. Our does are bred now and we're about 1 week away from kindle time. And we bought another hutch too.

We've been getting bigger eggs everyday. Still have a hen that likes to peck them though. We average 8 - 10 eggs a day which is pretty good with 10 hens. Also we're down to 1 rooster (FogHorn) because I was able to find someone on freecycle that wanted the australop rooster we had.

We had all but one of our goldfish die - so we've got new ones. I bought me a male betta - he's blue and still nameless =(

We got a new puppy yesterday - he's so cute! Half lab, half german sheppard. We've named him Roofus. He was born on May 2 this year.

Mice and/or rats continue to be a terrible problem for us here. I put out some poison even though I hated to since we have the 3 cats but I just couldn't do nothing. Stupid cats aren't helping! I've threatened to not feed them but I just don't think that will help LOL  We're not real close to fields but I know that don't matter. I've seen the farmers out starting to harvest so the mouse population will rise I'm sure. Wish me luck!

Ok that's all the updates on the animals & jobs. Next I'll tackle the plants =)

later...
 

August 29, 2011

EGGS!!!

Yep, we got em now! HAHA! Today we got 9! Out of the nine 3 were white so all the white leghorns are laying - YEA!

We're down to 11 chickens -- 10 hens and 1 rooster. I freecycled the autralop rooster to a couple that has 24+ autralop hens. He's probably really happy now LOL!

later...
 

August 5, 2011

figures, lists, and numbers

I've been thinking about all the different things we need to add to our preps. I've got lists in my head for short term & long term -- buy now & buy later -- nice to have & NEED to have. Then come the lists that are the prices of each item and certain places to get them.

I THINK I WANT TO SCREAM! lol

So my goal is to keep things simple. Main idea pick an item, figure up how much we need of that item and how long I want to keep it/re-buy it. The items I pick have to be something that I don't think we can lived without (usually the kids & Darkside help with this).

Things we NEED should be stored as long term as we can afford or at least as long as I can say without sounding too crazy LOL Money is tight (real tight!) so items that I can't get with my food stamps have to wait till we have more money or tax time.

First up - water. This is THE MOST IMPORTANT! We had a emergency end of June/start of July this year that I've yet to post about where we learned how bad we've let our water storage decline. We also learned how poorly we were prepared for a long term shortage. So this month I'm planning on fixing that as much as possible.

Long term plan -- buy 6, 55 gallon water storage containers and connect them in some way so that it will be easy to cycle the water when needed and also so that we can use it easily. I would also like to have some sort of siphon or pump to use with these just in case the power is out. 6 x 55 gal = 330 gal or roughly 1 drum per person which should last 27 days. Now to be completely honest that wont work like that because we do have animals that we also need water for but it's a decent start.

Short term plan -- buy about $100 worth of bottled water this month. This will be beneficial in a couple ways. For one I noticed as we were going through the emergency that the single serve bottles were best - everyone got their own and I could see who was being hogs and who wasn't. And for two since they are packaged I with an expiration date I don't have to worry about "did I write the date on this or not?". And three, it gets us semi-prepped for now. And four, worst case scenario we can always use them after we get the above system in place as back up.

Next thing - toilet paper. This is about the second most important LOL! This is also something that will have to wait till later because of lack of money. But here's the goal - 2 years worth of tp, one we're using and one for storage. With the ultimate goal of constantly having 1 year's worth put up. Now I was trying to figure this up and it's kinda difficult. Let me spell it out =)

We currently have 6 people in our home -- 3 girls, 3 boys. At anytime this number can fluctuate. We have one girl who is very pre-puberty and refuses to wipe (I've come close to beating her but what good would that do?!). We also have the variable of sicknesses, future in-laws, current in-laws, more kids, and company to figure in. We do not buy paper towels or tissues but use tp as a double duty for these things.

So our normal 24 pack lasting almost 3 weeks will not be likely to count on in my opinion. I think a 24 pack every 2 weeks is a better figure. So that means for 1 yr = 26 and 2 yrs = 52. Each one costs (right now) with tax $6.96 but I like round numbers so $7. So to buy what I need for 2 yrs to get started I'll need $364 and the round numbers thing plus a possibility of inflation makes that into $375.

Now on top of that I also need to store this in a way that will preserve it as much as possible from moisture and rodents. That's an additional amount. I'm thinking plastic tubs -- but they aren't water/moisture tight and the price is high. So my other idea is buckets -- I think it'll cost too much for little amount stored. Last idea I have is a plastic trash can which may not be completely water tight but I could put them in a bag inside the trash can. Big plastic trash cans only cost about $15 and can hold alot I would think -- like maybe 3-4 ~ 24 packs? But again that still means 13 trash cans which  is $195!

I just don't know yet need to think more on this! And for now that's all the time I have =)

later...
 

August 4, 2011

lazy day

Picture of today --



Well today was a lazy day even though it was decent outside. I guess we needed a day to reboot from all the draining days? LOL It doesn't help that 4 of the 6 of us are getting too little sleep :\

What we did today -- got the potatoes inside and washed, watered the garden, made raw salsa, did Miss Vicky's makeup (youngest daughter), and also made her some new eye shadow. Oh yeah and we picked up a pair of sandals from a freecycle listing but they didn't fit me or Alexis =(

Hmmm.....

Oh yeah and I downloaded a new program that allows you to see, hear & print guitar/bass tabs. So then we was able to d/l two new songs for Chiam -- Ratt ~ Way Cool Jr  and  Great White ~ Mista Bone. He's having a blast trying to play them!

And we also managed to get almost all of our other "normal" stuff done -- except I meant for the kids to move the hamster's water bottles around. We did a complete cleaning of all their stuff about 2 weeks ago and I've noticed that since water bottles were switched that some of them have a hard time getting water now =( I really need to make sure they do that tomorrow!


Oh and last, on a sad note, Darkside's biggest, oldest goldfish died today ='(  We could tell he was feeling poorly cause he hasn't been swimming like normal. That old fish was the only one that lived through the "GREAT BLEACHING OF WINTER 2010" (I know I should lol but it does sound silly!) Short story - we cleaned the tank THOROUGHLY and didn't rinse well enough and lost all the fish but one.

later...
 

August 3, 2011

Jeez it's just been too hot lately! I really hope since it cooled down alot tonight that it'll be cooler for the next couple of days. This heat makes everything impossible to do.

Let's see.......

The pet store lady said wait a couple of days then call her. So that's on hold for awhile.

Still trying to harvest potatoes and still need to process the ones we have harvested. And the herbs are doing GREAT! Still getting tomatoes thankfully!  Here's one that looked funky we got the other day =)


LOL It looks like it's got a dingy! Too funny! I have no clue what caused it to do this?

Still no eggs from the chickens. Been feeding them every scrap I can to entice them but no luck yet. It may be the heat? Young birds are so finicky.

Need to make some laundry detergent again. Last time we did it (too long ago) we tried the liquid method because I wasn't getting the soap small enough to dissolve quickly and I broke my 3rd food processor grating it. The liquid is more difficult to find storage for but is easier to use at the moment you need it.

later...
 

August 1, 2011

KISS concert


That's my husband (back left) and my oldest son (back right) and my oldest daughter (front center) right before they hit the road to go see KISS in concert at the Prairie Capitol Convention Center in Springfield, IL on July 18th.

My husband is a HUGE fan of Gene Simmons and KISS, has been for about 20 years ever since they were in the area then. He has all kinds of memorabilia, a tattoo, and he even named our oldest son after Gene Simmons! So when we heard that they were coming back to Springfield while on tour this year I knew I had to get him tickets!

They were not cheap either! And this was for bad seats but...... I couldn't let him pass this opportunity. =)  We asked the kids who wanted to go and who could pass. They all said they wanted to, of course! The 2 younger ones  I decided should wait. I also didn't want to go so I could stay home with them. I'm not a HUGE fan of KISS, plus with my back they way it is now I just don't know if I could have made it in line. It wasn't a huge deal for me to miss it but I did want to see how excited my husband got heehee!

In this picture you can probably see the excitement on everyone's faces but if you look close my husband and oldest son are a tad less excited. That's cause number 1 - my husband HATES crowds passionately! and number 2 - in Feb 2010 I won tickets from the local TV station to go see WWE. My husband and oldest son went as they are the biggest wrestling fans in the house. It sucked for the most part. Oh they liked the opportunity to go and finally see in person but the pizzazz that is shown on TV wasn't there in Springfield. So they thought that KISS may suck a little with their whole stage show. SO NOT TRUE!!

KISS rocked their butts off! They did the whole she-bang too -- pyro, fireworks, confetti, everything!

Needless to say they came home half deaf, dead camera batteries, a full SD card of videos and pictures, and with a brand new deeper love for KISS! Even my daughter who normally only likes pop diva music LOL!

I hate spending money but you know what? Sometimes it's so worth it!

$160 - 3 nose bleed KISS tickets
    25 - concert Tshirt & bandana
    15 - gas to drive to Springfield
----------------------------------
going to a KISS concert = PRICELESS!


video




later...
 

July 31, 2011

constant changes

We're constantly going through changes around here -- probably pretty normal for most households though =)

Today we go to talk to the pet store lady to see if she's ready for the baby bunnies. She wants to get some of the mini rexs first. I think I'll send one sex at a time, tho I'm not sure yet. A couple days ago we were finally able to sex them properly. None of the grey ones or Speckles are boys =(  Though the all white one is so I may keep him to breed back. We ended up with 5 of one kind and 6 of another -- can't remember which is which now LOL

Another thing is that we keep all our rabbit and chicken feed in the the chicken coop covered in plastic trash cans. Well we just noticed something has been chewing at the top of the chicken feed. Now I knew that may happen but it was far cheaper to take a chance with a plastic trash can for $5 each then to be broke at that time to buy $20 each metal trash cans. I just figured we'd have till early winter before something started chewing on it! Plus I never would have thought something would chew near the top and not at the bottom. Oh well you live and learn I guess.

Still no eggs yet from the girls. I think we're going to have to get rid of the 2 roosters soon their getting pretty noisy! I really don't want the city to try any shady business and make me get rid of them.

My oldest son got a job in the past couple of days. It's an easy job with few hours and little pay but I'm still so proud of him! And his first comment was "now I can help out with bills and stuff"  -- AWWW! Isn't he a sweetheart? =) Of course I'm going to have him use his money on him -- his phone, shoes, clothes, etc. I'll have him help with something small so he feels like he's helping (and he would be!) but not take all his money. He's always been such a responsible boy.

And my oldest daughter has been wanting to help out too so she's been crocheting new dish rags for us! Before now she's not had much luck with crocheting but she's getting pretty good at it now =)  I need to go buy some more cotton yarn though she's used all I had already!

ok that's all for now. gotta get to work on stuff!

later...
 

July 30, 2011

movie - Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead


We watched this movie last week - it was so moving! I was so inspired to try out the same technique because let's be honest -- it wouldn't hurt anyone to try it right? So a couple of days later I get the ingredient list together to do the juice that is showed the most in the movie and go buy the things I need. The next day the kids and I get to work on making the juice (recipe & site links below). Here's what my juicer looked like at the end -


And here's our juice all finished and ready for us to give it a shot -- literally LOL


Ok first off let me be completely honest --- this was some potent stuff! I can see how it's healthy and can make ya healthy QUICK lol

But also I should point out that I HATE cucumbers - tho I didn't taste them in this - and we don't eat kale. In fact this is the first time I think we've ever ate it! And I think that is the main thing you can taste in this -- kale.

We didn't like it. So we tried to tweak the recipe till we did =) We tried it with a little salt -- nope. We tried it with a little agave nectar -- nope. So then we tried it half-n-half with apple juice -- yep! It's way better with the apple juice.

The whole idea tho is to replace your food -- ALL OF IT, eventually -- with fresh made juice only. I really think this idea can work, I believe wholeheartedly in what the movie showed. But there's two things I must do before I can jump into something like this - 1. find more recipes that I like   2. budget so I have money available to buy the ingredients

When I went to the website I realized that there are many ways to implement this "diet" which makes things nice for working it into the whole family. Like I seen on there you can do it for 5-10-15 days or just to supplement your normal diet, whatever you want. Hey I can work that! LOL

Darkside has been having so many stomach problems this last year and me with my blood pressure so we've already been trying to drink lots more juice. I seen this movie and it's message as a little bit of a wake up call to do it more and make it ourselves. Don't know why I didn't think of it myself LOL

So if your the least bit interested then here's

the trailer on YouTube -- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9SGWcZwk7c

the movie facebook (just noticed that there are some great helps on there! go figure I didnt look there first!) -- http://www.facebook.com/FatSickandNearlyDead

the website -- http://www.fatsickandnearlydead.com/

the recipe for the green juice -- http://jointhereboot.com/reboot-program/the-reboot-express/during-your-reboot-express/reboot-express-meal-plan-day-1/


oh yeah and another good thing is ...... the chickens LOVED the pulp left over after juicing all that stuff LOL

later...
 

July 29, 2011

tomatoes & shooting guns =)


I am in so much love with all the tomatoes we've been getting! Here's some I served the kids with lunch the other day. They all like them as long as I put a sprinkling of salt on them =)


And I know it just a trick of my eyes but the yellow ones seem to taste soooo much better than the rest.

Soon I need to go get my canner checked out at the extension office so I can put some of these bad boys up. I'd like to do salsa. Last time I did salsa something messed up and all but 2 jars was ruined =(  I'm taking any chances anymore and am planning on pressure canning them. I don't know I may give it one more go with a different recipe......

We had fun tonight playing shoot the kid with the bb guns. No we're not crazy just a little wild =)  My son Eddie (#3) got a set of bb guns for his birthday and they aren't very powerful. Plus with the plastic bb's they can't be too dangerous if you put some distance between the gun & target. LOL

It was funny we were having the oldest boy run like he was dodging real gun fire and then we'd try to get him - only did like twice. But that was with the daisy gun and metal bb's. For that we only pumped it twice and put about 50 feet between us. After he got tired of running around we set a pumpkin & can up for target practice. Dontcha know that we only hit those 3 times! LOL definitely need to practice more!

Someday I hope to get some paintball guns. I think we'd have lots of fun with them!

later...
 

July 28, 2011

makeup

In the past 2 years I've really got into makeup. Not that I haven't always like putting it on from time to time, but it was always the same things year after year. Now I do things WAY different =)

It all started when we moved back to Illinois and was staying with SR. See he's a big bar go-er so after about a month or so he finally talked us into going too. The first couple times I didn't even bother with putting something nice on -- I just wore what I had worn all day LOL

What did I have to dress up for? I wasn't there to meet a man or anything. Plus this is the same bar my mom used to go into all the time years ago -- blah, blah, blah. Until I got there and seen that the bar had definitely changed over the years! They now had a DJ there who played mostly dance/hip-hop -- what a change! And later in the night people who came in actually looked nice. But not one of those girls had good make-up on.

Well I don't have any nice clothes - or the body to show off - but I can do my makeup =)  So I went to Walgreens and picked up some new stuff that was on clearance (I'm cheap like that!). One thing I picked up was gel eyeliner, I'd never even hear of this stuff but it was cheap so I figured what the heck I'll figure it out! Once I googled it I seen a YouTube video by Petrilude -- I watched that and seen the other ones in the sidebar and was lost forever!

In the last 2 years I've spent over $1000 in makeup, hair, nails, and clothes. Heck I think that's the most I've spent on those things in the past 30 years combined! And I can't stop I love it so much =) The stuff I've learned in the past 2 years is astounding -- things I only dreamed of doing before.

So there's the story and here's all the best pictures from the past 2 years of makeup (dates ain't all right) -


later...
 

July 27, 2011

chickens

Ok now today is all about the chickens =)


To start off when we bought these chickens we were well assured by the farm store that they were ALL hens and I of course believed them (NOT!!). And surprise, surprise we have 2 roosters! I was soooo shocked =O  In all honesty I believe that the farm store people were just going on what the nursery said, although I had hoped it was a good sexer but I wasn't real lucky with that.


Now for a break down of the breeds we got -


  • 4 white leghorns (1 is a rooster)
  • 2 silver-laced wyandottes 
  • australorps (1 is a rooster)
  • 1 white rock
  • 1 barred rock
  • 1 black sex links
  • 1 cherry egger (RIR/NH cross)
  • 2 golden-laced wyandottes
Not sure what we will do with the roosters yet but we'll have to do something eventually. And we still haven't named any of them except the white rock which the girls nicknamed Snow White =) Any day now we'll get our first eggs -- already got a box with a golf ball in there! Still need to build 2 more boxes and get them put up.

I LOVE my chickens! I love chickens period! I can throw just about anything out there and they'll eat it right up. My sweet piggy girls =)  Although I have noticed that they didn't eat the potatoes I threw in there? (they were potatoes that were bad or got chopped in half during harvesting)

Because I took too many pictures of them and because they don't have names yet - I'm going to have a slideshow to showcase them =)




later...
 

garden harvesting

We've been harvesting tomatoes like crazy! Yellow, red, black stripe -- big, little, and one split =(  LOVE all the maters! =)

Plus we've been trying to get all of our potatoes out but this takes alot of time and effort. Sadly when we do harvest anymore we'll have to pull out the pumpkins too since we inter-planted them thinking it would work. it won't work =(  But we planted them too early anyhow so we'll just plant them again in the next couple days.

Then there's all the herbs and the onions. Oh! And berries -- blackberries that were already growing here! Their tart but good.

Then tonight I decided to give up on the corn and get it out too. We had a decent harvest 32 ears but they are only half the size they should be. The only thing I can think of is that they were packed in too tight? I may plant more not sure yet.

Still need to plant the fall garden -- brussel sprouts, broccoli, peas. We also are going to try the cucumbers, zucchini, carrots, and green beans again.

later...
 

July 26, 2011

rabbits

Well since I haven't shared it here yet --- we're rabbit farmers now! =)

Since neither one of us felt like we could do the slaughtering part, we only do pet rabbits. I have to say I rather like raising rabbits. Right now we're just starting to get into it for the most part. We have decided we're going to name any we keep after singer/musicians.

OK on to the intros!

First is Madonna - she died within a day of us getting her =(  the transport and auction was too much probably. We was told she was bred already. mini rex doe



Next is Janis Joplin - dutch doe
Janis had one litter (6) that all died the same day, not sure what happened. She had them out of the box and it was SUPER hot out so maybe those things are all factors? Plus it was her first litter. Here's one of the babies, I think it wasn't going to have Dutch markings -


This is Dimebag Darrell our mini rex buck -



Then there's Taylor Swift our small mini rex doe. She had a litter about 6 weeks ago - not one died! Five all black and 2 soft grey. Dimebag Darrell is their dad =)



And last but not least is Mama Cass who is a dwarf doe. She was bred when we got her and after the deal with Madonna I figured the whole litter was a loss. Nope! She had a litter of eight and has four still alive so that's not bad! She has one baby that I'm particularly fond of =)




See the white one with speckles on it's face? that's the one I like =) we secretly call it speckles! it comes right up to me when I am by their cage. But keeping it may not be an option so I'll have to wait and see =)  Just like I'm partial to one of the grey babies too LOL

Right now we have 6 functioning cages but the potential for at least 1 if not 2. All the cages need work since we didn't build them and they are quite aged. But it sure beat having to build them from scratch!

In the next week we will be re-breeding all the does (possibly) and sell all the babies to the local pet store. It'll be sad to see them go but make things here a little easier to breathe! The money will help pay our utility bill and the best part is we will be coming out ahead of what we put into the whole operation by about $30 which ain't bad =)

The next set we should make even more money. Although it will all go towards xmas. Then we'll have to take a break in the breeding for a couple months cause I don't want to deal with losses because of the cold. We've also decided that next year we will take a break in the hottest part of summer too because it was hard dealing with the babies in these high temps.


Ok, up next -- chickens!

later...
 

July 25, 2011

changes.....

"Accept change and you will survive. Embrace change and you will thrive."

Seen that quote on an email and wanted to save it here, I love it! It's so true!

There's been many changes around here lately -- in the yard, in the house, relationships, and emotional as well. But it is what it is and we'll just go from here =)

Trying to get as much done in the little bit of nice weather we're having and it's hard. All last week we couldn't go out to work until almost dark cause it was so hot. Even that late in the day it still was almost too hot to do anything.

We mowed just 3 days ago and since it rained yesterday for the first time in awhile all the grass grew back already! Had to mow it again tonight. I'm thankful though that we got some rain.

Also had to re-treat the yard with seven dust tonight. I really hate using it but I hate the mosquitos & fleas worse LOL

Got alot of stuff lined up to share here in the next few days so stay tuned =)

oh and it was our 13th anniversary today so this is for you Darkside -
I just couldn’t let today go by without taking a minute to tell my amazing husband Happy Anniversary.  It was thirteen years ago today when I was the luckiest woman alive, who was able to marry her best friend.  I love my husband even more today than I did on that July day when we shared our vows.  I have been blessed to share so much with him including having 4 amazing children.  I thank fate for sending him to me and for blessing me with an amazing life.  I love you honey!

later...
 

May 20, 2011

more planting!

I can't believe it but we've been planting even more! And I forgot to mention the trees we planted!

Ok first - we built and planted 2 boxes and the swing side of garden #1, it covers the whole width of it. One box is all herbs and the other is for radishes, turnips, and carrots (which we still need to plant). The herbs we chose were - a volunteer chive, 3 yr old sage (still going strong!), basil, lemon balm, thyme, lavender, mint, and rosemary.

Then up on the side of the house we started our very own orchard or mini trees. I'm so excited about these! We have 2 sweet bing cherries and Jonathan & McIntosh apple trees. I really hope these work and we have fruit soon! Though I know it'll probably be a year at least =(

And around the back deck/porch we planted 6 winter gem boxwoods. In the front yard we planted an aristocrat pear tree that we bought last year. Then we hacked and hopefully fixed a badly overgrown hibiscus bush. If it doesn't fix it then we'll have to replace it. Also the very back corner of the lot we had to chop on a old arborvitae, I really hope it lives.

still have a few more things to plant here and there and there's a ton of flowers to move around to new places. work, work, work!  love it! =)


later...
 

May 13, 2011

our back yard =)



Ok this is gonna be long and drawn out but here's our backyard =)

Yellow letters 1st
  • A - fire pit
  • B - swing
  • C - clothes line
  • D - shed
  • E - mini shed
  • F - chicken coop & run
  • G - rabbit hutches
  • H - firewood
  • I - compost bin
  • J - willow tree
  • K - tire pots
  • L - blueberry plant
  • M - grape vines
  • N - Williamette raspberry
  • O - Latham Red raspberry
  • P - Williamette raspberry
  • Q - Heritage, Jewel, & Fall Gold raspberries 
  • R - Carapho blackberry
  • S - Ebony King blackberry
  • T - Carapho blackberry
  • U - Ebony King blackberry
  • V - Christmas tree from 2010
  • W - thornless blackberries transplanted from neighbor

Pink letters now - rows go right to left
  • A - tomatoes - Roma, Early Girl, Black Prince, Lemon Boy, Yellow Pear, Yellow Cherry X2, Mr. Stripey
  • B - tomatoes - Heinz seeds, Rutgers, rainbow heirloom mix, tigerella, large red cherry, tiny tim, Pink Brandywine
  • C - peppers - Bonnie Green Bell, Mexibell, Big Early Bell, Yummy Bell, Gypsy, Sweet Red Cherry, Anaheim, Pimento
  • D - peppers - Peter peppers, Kalidescope, green bell
  • E - Peas
  • F - Bluelake 274 beans
  • G - Bush Kentucky Wonder beans
  • H - Broccoli Waltham 29
  • I - every other one - Flat Dutch late cabbage, Dwarf Improved Brussel Sprouts
  • J - iceberg A, romaine lettuce
  • K - Honey & Cream corn
  • L - cucumbers - Parisian, Little Dillicious
  • M - Zucchini
  • N - Celery


And there are still lots more things to plant! I'm so happy we are able to even do all this in our yard =)


later...