Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Bunnies and Princesses, oh, my!!

The girls' Granny & Uncle Robby came by to get them ready to go out trick or treating. We had to have a photo session, and I think the pics are totally adorable.

Amber the pretty Princess with her scepter and crown. What a doll!!!

Mazie the Bunny. She doesn't like the hat, and I imagine the slippers won't stay on long either. She's still absolutely adorable!!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Funny Monkey

Tavy was here to pick the girls up this evening, and Monkey walked behind her and next thing we knew, she had poked her head between her Mom's legs and gave me the funniest grin. I just HAD to take a picture. I love this baby. She's so funny.

Happy mail day!

I got an awesome package in the mail today. I joined in the Halloween Secret Sister Swap on CMK, and my secret sister totally hooked me up! I got ten sheets of Bazzill, a pack of Bazzill Really Big Chips, a Making Memories Chipboard Letter, a jar of Primas, two packs of Heidi Swapp Blossoms, a Heidi Swapp Paper Distresser, Heidi Swapp Frames, Heidi Swapp Credit Card Clips, a Heidi Swapp Mask, Heidi Swapp Chipboard Accents in pink, a package of Making Memories brads, a really cool card and a bunch of mini candy bars. She totally and completely spoiled me. Thanks, Chelsea!! You rock, girlie. :)

For all you Bama fans...

My baby girl's got it ALL right!!!!

A Face A Mother Can Love

Hannah asked me to take her picture the other evening, and this is the face she made for me...

This is so HER! She is such a ball of fun sometimes.

Never again!

Mazie was fussy the other evening, just before time for her Mom to come get her, so I put a bib on her and gave her an arrowroot cookie. These things are worse than biter biscuits!!! After eating three of them, goo was stuck all over her. Goo was squishing between her fingers. Goo was glued to the high chair tray. It took five baby wipes to clean the goo from three little cookies off my munchkin. Uck. I think that next time she has them, I'll make sure Peter gives them to her so he can clean up the mess. I'd rather give her an animal cracker - it's a lot less messy!


I've been having issues with Blogger. Major issues. Such as being told that my blog doesn't exist when I try to create a post! And not being able to comment on others' blogs. I've been checking out a lot of blogs but couldn't post, although I wanted to.

I wasn't going to do it, but I finally caved and downloaded Mozilla Firefox onto the laptop. That's how I'm able to create this post. Look out for some fun new pictures later on today. :)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Just their imagination

Amber was sitting by me this morning and I looked over and she had this Jacob's ladder over her eyes and was saying "cheese", trying to get me to smile. It dawned on me that she's seen Hannah do this repeatedly, and she decided to try it. We bought this toy at the Amish store in Indiana last year, and Hannah never figured out how to use it, so she pretended that it was a camera. Now she's playing with it the way it was intended, and it's Amber's turn to play with it as a camera.

I just love these photos - it is just one of those special moments when you can't help but smile and be thankful the little ones can see every color in the spectrum, not just the black and white we tend to see as adults.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Busy day

Mom and I have been working all afternoon, and we have quite a nice little bit to show for our labors.

Amber was a big help as well, and got to taste test everything, which she REALLY liked! I had a towel over a stool that I had my kettle sitting on while I put my apples through the sieve for applesauce, and when I put the kettle over on the stove to get more apples, I turned around and my towel was gone. I then looked for her - she'd been standing beside me watching me, and she had taken my towel, folded it and was putting it back into the drawer I keep my kitchen towels in! I explained to her that I needed it for a while longer, but I made sure to thank her for being such a big helper. Not bad for a 22mo!! She certainly takes pride in helping, as does Hannah.

Anyway, Mom just left a bit ago, and everything is cleaned up and our jewels in a jar are resting upside down on the counter - don't know WHY we do it that way, we just do. Mom claims it helps create a better seal, and we've never had problems with anything not sealing from doing it that way.

We got 23 pints of lovely pink applesauce from 1/2 bushel of apples. They were a red apple, and we cooked them with the skins on to get the lovely hue. This picture does not do it justice, but it's beautiful in the jars, and it tastes soooo good!

We also got 20 pints of apple butter. Well, technically 21 pints, but we kept one back to eat now! I made homemade (well, Bisquick!) biscuits and that's what we had for dinner. Biscuits, butter, fresh apple butter & decaf coffee. Yum!!! That was worth all the work we've done today.

On the agenda tomorrow: Grocery shopping, go buy more jars, then come home to make lunch, using the very last jar of our canned beef to make beef & noodles. Then Mom and I plan to make a batch of apple pie filling. Since Wednesday night is church night, we'll try to get it done as quickly as we can. Will also ask Peter to make some more supports for our canned goods pantry, as the shelves are trying to bow some.

After that, it's time to relax! Well, until Thursday, when we start over again!

Monday, October 23, 2006


We finally made it to the orchard this afternoon and came home with 4 bushels of apples (only two were for me!), along with two gallons of cider. Yummmm.

Mom and I worked together after supper and got a batch of "lard can apple butter" ready to go. We used one 1/2 bushel bag full and 1/3 of another half bushel to fill it up. The can's sitting on the stove, ready for me to turn it on to cook tomorrow. We plan to work up all the apple butter tomorrow afternoon, and while it cooks in the oven, we're hoping to make a batch of applesauce.

Thursday, we're planning to make apple pie filling. I also want to dry some apples, since those are always a huge hit at our house.

Looking forward to seeing my canning pantry full again with the fruits of our labors, looking like so many jewels on the shelf, just waiting for us to pick one and open it for some real delicious eating.

Yes, the domesticity has definately bit me here. :) That is a good thing. Definately.

The remaining apples after our batch of apple butter was prepared. One bag of Arkansas Black, one bag of Winesap, and one bag of Granny Smith. The apple butter was made from the other bag of Granny Smith. It's so interesting to taste the different types of apples. They really do have different tastes and textures.

The lard can sitting on the stove, full of deliciousness. It'll sit all night and I'll turn it on in the morning, and after bringing it to a boil, will let it boil for 3 hours before putting it through the sieve and cooking it down in the oven. This one lard can will make 20 pints of apple butter.

Will pull out a loaf of bread to rise in the morning so we can have fresh bread and butter with warm apple butter on it as a treat tomorrow afternoon. Yummmmmm!

Baby got a new pair of glasses...

We found these while moving stuff around this weekend. These were Peter's prescription sunglasses a few years ago. He tried them on and I thought he looked so funny, I just had to take some pictures. Then he put his current specs on and totally hammed it up for the camera. He's such a goofy guy, and I love him SO much! He totally makes my life complete. Thanks for being you, sweetie!



Being goofy...

My handsome honey...

It's a girl thang...

All three of our girls are in rare form this morning.

Mazie's having a grand old time playing with her tongue and the toys on the exersaucer after having a nice hour long nap.

Amber came to me in a snit this morning, but within ten seconds of me closing the door, she was smiling and happy! I got out some jeans & a t-shirt for her that were Hannah's and I had put them up last spring because she grew out of them. They're still a bit big on her, but she looks so cute! She's all warm and toasty now.

Hannah came in loving and sweet this morning for a change. Usually she's a bit distant after two days of not seeing me, but this was a nice change.

We're right back into our normal routine, which is awesome. Here's a few shots of them all doing their thing this morning. I have more, but Blogger is being, well, it's normal cranky self and won't let me upload. Grrr But anyway... Enjoy! :)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

I'm SO excited!!!

(Warning: Long post below!!)

Look what's in our kitchen!!! Peter's been working really hard on this, and it's finally inside!! Yayyyy! :) This is a Hoosier cabinet that we got for a little bit of nothing and Peter's restoring it. We've had it for well over a year, and never had the time to do anything to it, but lately his days and weekends are devoted to getting it done so we can have storage. He's really hurrying now because Mom & I plan to be canning apples next week!

For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, we bought our house 3 1/2 years ago and have dealt with a dark, dreary kitchen ever since. Now we've really started working on it, and the whole room is 10' x 26', so it's huge, but everyone hated being in there because it was gloomy. Hopefully pretty soon, it'll be the hub of our home. I'm already enjoying cooking more and being in the dining area more, because one whole wall in the kitchen end and the entire dining area is painted a lovely bright apple green.

This is the "before". The paint was all bubbly and peeling, so he sanded it all down. He's putting on a coat of primer, and then will paint the outside white. The legs will have "leg skirts", which are 3/4" metal pieces that fit over them, then ant traps will go on, and finally, we bought wooden casters that will finish the look. Since Gilbert was SO wonderful to sandblast all the hardware (latches & hinges) that go with the cabinet, in exchange for a home-cooked meal (thanks, Bro!!), for now all the hardware will be a brushed nickel look.

Posing pretty for the camera... :D I'm so thankful he's doing all this hard work for our home. I really appreciate his willingness to learn how to do these things. He had to semi-disassemble the right end to replace the piece of wood that fits in the frame, because the original had bad water damage and the wood itself was bubbled and flaking off in strips. It was iffy, we weren't sure if it could be repaired without destroying the dove-tails, but he did it and it looks fabulous!

A rough shot of the inside. There are 3 drawers, including a metal bread box on the right side and a large drawer on the left, along with two doors below. The inside was gross, not dirty, just very discolored from age and use, so he's priming it to seal it.

You can see the top part of the cabinet. There's one long door on the left, then double doors in the center, and a single door on the right. The three small holes at the very bottom have drawers to go in it. The large rectangular home has the groove for a roll-top (tambour), but it wasn't included, and we didn't want to go to the expense of replacing it, when I plan to put my new blue & cobalt canisters in there anyway.

The top and bottom are attached with metal brackets that go on the sides and there's a porcelain tabletop that goes in between. When it's assembled, you can actually pull the top and it will come out quite a ways to give you an actual work surface. Looking at the top today, I think it's sorta an eggshell/pale cream color, which should look ok with the white.

You can see our nasty green ugly linoleum in this picture, too. Eventually we plan to replace it with a nice tile. I'd love to have cork tiling put down, but we may end up with a black & white grid instead, which would suit me just fine, too.

This is the kitchen itself - the part we're still working on. For some reason, the end of the cabinet is painted with brown primer (they had a dishwasher installed at that end, and we moved it when it died, but put the freezer there so it hasn't been an issue), so it's going to be painted. We also are planning to take the marble-print contact paper off the metal cabinets, and put on new drawer pulls and door handles. The walls are going to be apple green, just like the rest of the kitchen, and I'm going to make curtains & valences for the windows. The range vent hood will be replaced, and hopefully we can get the stove painted.

The fridge is in a box that actually sits out in the garage, so there's not a lot we can do with it, although I'd like to make the box a bit deeper so the front doesn't stick out. The heater above the fridge will be removed and we plan to make a display shelf in the hole that is left. :) All the flourescent lights (5 of them in 1 room!!) will be replaced with pendant lighting, with a chandelier in the dining area to match.

So now you can see what I've been talking about all this time! Lots of work left to do, including painting the wooden cabinets on the other side of the room, but hopefully all that won't take but just a few months to do. Thanks for letting me share my excitement with you! :)

Need a bit of help, please

As most of you know, we're doing a lot of work on our kitchen at the moment, and I need some help...

I'm wanting to go purchase material to make curtains & valances for the windows & back door. I'm hoping to do a nice white batiste, with three ribbons for trim. Our colors are apple green, white & cobalt blue. If I buy the colored ribbons, is there something I can soak them in or some way to treat them so that they won't bleed when we wash the curtains? I'm planning to do a green ribbon stripe, a cobalt ribbon stripe and a nice plaid stripe, if I can find the right colors. I'd hate to go to the trouble and expense if they'll get ruined the first time I wash them, ya know?

I'm also planning to make the change to all cloth napkins as opposed to buying paper napkins. Not only will it be cleaner and safer for the environment, but cloth napkins are softer & gentler than paper. I thought I'd go find a nice preshrunk cotton and cut 18" squares, then just surge them around the sides and call them finished, unless my new machine has a hemming foot. Is this the right material to use? And what's the best way to finish them off? Is 18" too big? What is the normal size for a good quality napkin? Should I buy a different type of material to make formal napkins for those special occasions? And if so, what?

I realize I'm asking for a lot here, but I'm hoping that my wonderful friends will help me out with ideas. :)

Life is funny

It's interesting to think back on the 12 or so years that I've been using the internet, and to see how my activities and priorities have changed.

Back in the beginning, it was all about ordering free catalogs and the chat rooms on Prodigy. Didn't know anyone else with email, so that wasn't a huge priority. Didn't realize that chat rooms could be a dangerous place to hang out, and didn't know the bad things that would evolve. I suppose that ignorance is bliss...

Then when we switched over to AOL, it was all about sharing music and photos with people I'd found online. Oh, and IM's. And hunting freebies and test drive offers. Those things were my main source of interest, and I spent hours online doing just that. And don't let me forget the shopping. I did a LOT of online shopping, mostly using coupon codes & special offers. I got a lot of really neat stuff, a lot of which I still have.

A few years ago, I switched to a local ISP, but still had dialup. I hung out on one particular message board and did a lot of freebie hunting, along with being on groups that traded/created custom made graphics and OE stationary. Loved those unique sig tags and being able to send cool emails with music, motion, and cool fonts!

When we bought our house 3 1/2 years ago, I switched over to DSL. Then I discovered scrapbooking. I spend time on an awesome scrapbooking-based MB, and get loads of inspiration and encouragement for my creativity. I sometimes sign up for a really neat freebie, but most of the time, I'm using the computer for research. I research quotes, medical information, find sketches & ideas for scrapbooking and craft projects, homeschool information, etc.

The past few months, since we've been doing hardcore work on our kitchen, I've been using the 'net primarily for price comparison and finding the exact products we want/need before going to the store to make a purchase instead of paying shipping. My new favorite site? Lowes! I spend WAY too much time on their site, and am on there yet again this morning. I'm now looking up pendent lighting for the kitchen. It's coming together quite nicely. :)

My other two favorite things to do lately? Spend time reading blogs, both of people I know and of people I've "met" online. I'm learning a lot about being a homemaker, being a woman of integrity & wisdom, I get to learn about new ideas for child-training, what life in a large family is like today, get tips and tricks to make life a bit simpler and easier, how to protect the environment by reducing waste, and the biggest draw for me - what's going on with my friends & family! It's great to be able to check out someone's blog to see the latest photos and learn what's going on in their world. It makes the world feel a bit closer and makes me feel less "out of the loop", since I'm very much a homebody who doesn't get out much.

I try to keep my blog updated as much as I can, too. It's neat to be able to take a picture of something really cute that the girls are doing and upload it to my blog, then send their Mommies an email to check it out, and they get to go see it right away! I like being able to use my blog to share the special moments with them as they happen. That's a good thing.

I also love my email. Let me just say that I *heart* Gmail!!! It's one of the greatest invention since sliced bread. JMHO. :) I love being able to have conversations with family & friends in real time without having to use the phone. It makes my day to be able to have these convos, and invariably it makes me feel good for the rest of the day, because I feel loved. :)

Like I said in the beginning, it's neat to see how my priorities and activities have changed over the years. Guess it's a sign that I'm growing up. :)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sickies have struck

Thanks to the various factors that affect each of us, everyone in our house is sick today, with the exception of Peter - he's almost impervious to illness.

The babies are both sick - snotty, grumpy, stuffed up, ukky. Being sick must be really not fun when you can't even blow your nose. Therefore, we've been using the "snot sucker" around here. Amber's even been bringing it to me, because while she hates it while I'm actually using it on her, she loves being able to breathe afterwards. Mazie - totally different story. I used it on her yesterday afternoon and she has been mad at me ever since!! Wouldn't even let me hug her yesterday before she left. She sounds like I need to use it again, but I don't want to listen to her scream.

Because I am sick. I'm snotty, post-nasal drip, ringing ears, stuffy head, sore throat, the works. Ugh. Hate being sick, it's the worst. I've already taken some medicine, hoping it'll help me feel better shortly. Peter brought me a huge cuppa Joe from BK, so maybe the warmth will make the chest aches lessen. Hope so, anyway.

Hannah's home sick today - she had a really rough night last night. Fever, restlessness, etc.

So those of you who can pray, please do so. Pray that this will hurry up and get out of our house, and that we don't start passing whatever it is around to one another. That we can all get well and soon so that we can finally meet baby Emma. I've not seen her yet, although I really want to, because I haven't felt well in a while, and didn't want to get her sick. Also, please pray that Peter won't succumb to the sickies. We'll do our part by trying to stay away from him as much as possible. Would hate for him to take ukkies to work and give it to his clients. That would be bad.

Anyway, on a positive note - I'm thankful to be alive, it's supposed to clear off this afternoon and be gorgeous!! They're calling for a high of 82, which is a HUGE change from the 33 degree low we experienced just a couple of days ago! Overall, life is good. :)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Weather woes & chilly toes

There's a lot to be said for a well insulated home. When we had the inspector out to check out the house before we bought it, he said that there was R-34 insulation throughout, with extra insulation in the attic. As a result, the house holds heat wonderfully in the winter and stays cool in the summer. Our utility bills are reasonably low, even with all the wall heaters on during the winter and all three window units on in summer. During the spring and fall, we just open the windows and enjoy.

Now the weather woes...

It's cold and rainy, but I'm not willing to turn the heaters on just yet. The only way we've been heating up the house is to open all the blinds on the south side of the house in the morning, but by afternoon, when the trees block the sun, it starts to cool off inside. So by tonight, the house has cooled off very much. My office/scraproom/playroom is in the northwest corner of the house, and the wind is blowing. My toes are chilled, my legs are cold, and I feel like I need a sweater on. I can just about guarantee that if I walk outside, it'll be warmer there than inside. This is a great thing during the summer, but not so much now.

I am thankful for the extra insulation, though, and thankful for the impact it makes on our budget when we're using extra electricity to make it comfortable for ourselves. I'm thankful for the rain (although I'm NOT looking forward to the storms that look like they're heading our way in a few hours), because after the long dry summer, we really need the moisture. I'm thankful that I don't have to be out in it for any reason, and I'm thankful for my nice warm socks, extra quilt & flannel pj's.

So in the midst of my chilly toes & stuffy nose, I can still find the silver lining. As Martha Stewart says, that is a good thing. A very good thing indeed. :)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Recipe swap!!

It's getting to be perfect soup/stew weather and new recipes are always welcome in our house. So I was excited to see that Tammy is hosting a recipe swap this week. You can find all the details here. I'm looking forward to the results of her endeavors!

Since I'm a "wonder cook" - where I tend to chuck a bunch of stuff together then wonder how it's going to turn out, I do a lot of experimenting with my cooking. The worst that's going to happen is that we won't like it, so here's one I came up with the other day...

Beef & Veggie Soup
  • 1 lb ground sirloin
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 16oz. bag frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 15oz can black beans, drained & rinsed well
  • 1/2 bag O'Brien style hash browns (with peppers & onions)
  • 1 15oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 qt tomato juice (I used home-canned tomatoes that had been blended)
  • 1 packet Ranch dip/dressing mix
  • 1 packet taco mix

Cook meat and onions together until meat is browned. Drain well and rinse with hot water, then add with all other ingredients in a large pot, mixing dry mixes in well. Cover and cook on medium until it comes to a boil, then turn heat down and continue to simmer soup until all vegetables are tender. Great served with cornbread.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Another milestone!

Something new in the Davis household this morning!! Lookie what's going on now!
Ok, so I helped her - she's not quite pulling up by herself yet, but she DOES get up on all fours - hands and feet, with booty sticking way up in the air. But this morning I stood her up and she stayed like that for a loooong time, maybe 5 minutes or so, and I finally took her hands off the sides and sat her down. Needless to say, she was not happy with me for that!

Looks like she's doing a pretty good job. Her legs were a bit wobbly, but hey - she stood up there and hung on like a trooper!

Might not be able to tell it here, but she's grinning to beat the band! Guess she thinks she's hot stuff. LOL This little girl makes my entire heart smile. Just love her SO much. I love my other girls too, and they're just as special, but this one's just so much fun to watch as she grows from a little helpless handful of snuggles to an opinionated, outgoing, independant person. It's exciting to see her personality grow day by day.

My girls totally make my day. Thank you to both Mommies for letting me be a big part of their lives. And thank you for being my sisters by choice. I love you. :)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Food find!

Kroger had butternut squash on sale last week, so my sweet honey got one. It sat here for a while because I wasn't quite sure what to do with it, and finally found a recipe online yesterday and set out to make it. Well, it didn't turn out. :( The squash part was fine, but the crumb topping turned into slush, possibly because of the high humidity in the air. So I added more flour and it turned into something resembling cookie dough. So I had to create my own variation, and I must say that it's a big hit in our house. Even the baby loves it! Here's my variation...

1 small (2 lb) butternut squash, peeled, seeded & sliced 1/4" thick
3 apples, peeled, cored & sliced
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup flour (I used self rising and it worked fine)
4 Tbsp cold butter
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 20-oz can crushed pineapple, undrained

Layer squash and apple slices in a greased 9x13" pan. Mix all remaining ingredients together until well blended, then pour over the squash & apples. This looks like a mess, and I think adding a bit more flour would even be ok. Anyway, it looks ukky, but just spread it out the best you can to make it evenly cover the squash & apples. Then cover with foil and bake at 350* for 45 minutes, or until squash is tender.

The batter/pineapple mixture makes it almost like a cobbler, and it's SO good! Enjoy...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Vision Forum Contest

There's a great contest going on over at Life In A Shoe, and they're giving away prizes totalling around $1500.00! If you haven't checked Vision Forum out, you really need to!

Budding artists

The girls wanted to go out and color on the sidewalk this morning, so Peter sat on the porch and watched them while I entertained Mazie inside. This is the beeeautiful results of their hard work. It started to rain so I snapped a couple of pics before it all got washed away, and it rained for about a minute, then stopped, so their artwork is still there for their Mommies to see. :)

My proud little artists, who had to come in out of the rain. :D

Sunday, October 08, 2006

I'm a Great-Aunt... AGAIN!!

Welcome to the world, Emma Grace!! For all the details, go here.

Have you ever?

I got this from Susan Godfrey’s blog and thought it sounded like fun.

The idea is to copy and paste to your own blog and bold the things you have done. (You can copy by highlighting and then pressing CTRL and C at the same time).


01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper

21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can

32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends

43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain

65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch

78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Gotten flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Passed out cold
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived

105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school

131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes

134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life

If you want to take the challenge, please leave a comment!

Definition of heartache

Sad post - don't mean to bring anyone down, just need to "talk".

I went to bed happy, yet utterly exhausted at 7:40pm last night. It's nights like that, when I'm too tired, that my mind lets its' guard down.

Around 1:30 or so, I had a dream. There was nothing bad in the dream, it just was about things that I've gone through in the past. Particularly the loss of my children. Grief grabbed my heart and put the squeeze on. I was sobbing in my slumber. The pain was very real, and it was almost debilitating.

I tried to wake up and managed to rise into semi-conciousness enough to realize what was happening. I tried taking deep, cleansing breaths and finally managed to make the tears subside somewhat. I then grabbed my magazine that I'd been reading earlier and started reading to distract myself. I did go back to sleep and had a decent rest for a few more hours, but even today, the pain is there.

The human body and mind is a mystery, no matter how much research has been put into learning about it. How does the mind manage to supress hurtful things so successfully? When a body is so exhausted, does the mind have to go to sleep too, allowing the pain and anguish to come flooding out? How does the heart seem to clench up when we're so sorrowful? How can a person live through such pain without the heart actually breaking into tiny shards?

I feel as though I'm in mourning yet again today. It'll be worse through the holidays, but I didn't expect it to start so early. I have a ball of tears at the back of my throat, and I feel depression trying to sneak up on me. I hate feeling this way, and all the grieving in the world won't do a bit of good. What's gone by is done and finished. Life has moved on. I can't change things, no matter how much I would have liked to. I can't make time move backwards. All I can do is try to move on and be the best I can be.

Sorry to be so maudlin so early in the day, but I felt the overwhelming need to put my thoughts out there for someone else to read. I need to convince myself that I'm going to be ok.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Update on the homefront

We've made quite a bit of progress with some things today. I've been listing stuff to give away on the local Freecycle group. Peter's working on our Hoosier cabinet and got the top all finished and it's in the kitchen, just waiting for primer and paint. Yay!!

If you're not familiar with a Hoosier cabinet, here's one that's similar to ours. However, ours is vintage and we're restoring it from a sadly neglected state. Under the roll-top area, ours has three small drawers, and instead of a flour sifter in the long door on the hutch, it has two shelves. It also has the original porcelain top, along with the original hardware, which I'm going to replace with brass hardware. This has been a project-in-the-works for well over a year now.

I can see my kitchen coming together quite nicely, and just can't wait to be able to have company over without being ashamed. LOL We have a few more projects that need to be taken care of before that can happen, though. We still need to take the Con-Tact paper off the metal cabinets, and paint them if necessary. Also need to finish painting the wall the stove's on and the end wall, take the doors off the wooden cabinets and get them primed & painted, along with the cabinets themselves.

We have a wall heater above the fridge (???) that I'd like to have taken out, and the lower shelf in the between-the-studs pantry thingie needs to be replaced where the previous homeowner's dog chewed it half off. We also need to paint the stove and replace the backsplash piece that goes on the wall behind it, as well as replace the vent hood above it.

We're planning to look into replacing the vinyl with tile later on down the road. We also need to get the china cabinet refinished and in place so I can display my heirloom dishes. Then we'll be done! LOL

We've been talking about doing a few things outside as soon as the main stuff is done in the kitchen. Looks like we're going to be doing some major shrub & bush removal, as the landscaping is just simply ugly. Not sure what we're going to do yet, but almost anything will look better than what we have now.

We've also been discussing building a wall unit in the alcove in the living room. This would eliminate the need for free standing bookcases through out the house. It would also (hopefully) provide an out of the way home for the children's toys, along with some of our homeschool materials and the things we need for our Avon business. This will be a couple of years down the road, though, from what we figure. We're planning to do it all ourselves. :)

Let me just say that after years of living in apartments and with other people, and renting and stuff, it feels wonderful to be able to make this house our home. I'm so full of hope and joy at this moment, it almost overwhelms me. To see how we've been blessed, it's just amazing to me. :)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Domesticity scares me...

Last night before I went to bed, I got this sudden urge to clean. As it was around 11:30 or so, I refrained. It was too late to get started. My last thought before dropping off to sleep was that I would do it this morning.

So this morning I got up and started! I'm not currently doing Flylady, but her lessons must have lodged in some spot in my mind, because I'm doing a little, then resting and reading email. I've got some physical things going on right now that makes it extremely painful for me to stand for any length of time, so I'm thankful for a rolling stool and hardwood floors. LOL So far, my kitchen is cleaned, my living room in coming into shape, and I'm excited!

Mom's also coming up in a few minutes, and we're planning to go to the orchard to get a few bushels of apples. We plan to make & can apple butter, applesauce & some apple pie filling. I also want to dehydrate some apple rings as well. Can't wait to see my larder getting full again. I also want to can some beef chunks later on in the year, perhaps after the first of the year. Gotta do that when it's cold - helps keep the smell down. Love the end result, just hate smelling it while it's cooking.

So why does domesticity scare me? Because I'm NOT a domestic person. I do like to have my house cleaned so that there's not a whole lot to do, however. I've been at a total loss for the last couple of years, because of the lack of storage in the kitchen. I like having a place for everything and having everything in its place. That's just me. I've been posting quite a few items on the local Trader group and on Freecycle, so hopefully some of my things will be finding new homes soon. :)

Then maybe I can breathe easy again...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Licking a smurf

Peter was feeding Mazie some lunch when he asked me to come take a picture of her. She was eating blueberries & apples or something like it. She just looks like she's having a total blast eating, doesn't she?? I just had to share these pics of her. :)

Simple pleasures

Seems like a lot of folks are using this phrase lately, me included. I found one this morning that just put the warm fuzzies in my heart. :)

Mazie usually doesn't want me to hold her when she's sleepy, she just wants me to put her in the playpen so she can lay down and sleep. Well, this morning, I realized that part of the problem was that her face wasn't covered up! So I put a receiving blanket over her, and she popped her thumb into her mouth and went right to sleep with minimal fussing!!

I got to hold my sweet, darling little baby for quite a while, and got to stroke her soft, chubby cheeks and her downy hair, and just look at her. She's so beautiful, and almost always makes me smile.

That was my simple pleasure for the day. :)

If you have a favorite simple pleasure, please leave it in the comments. I'd love to hear what brings the warm fuzzies to your heart.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Apologies and randomness

It has been brought to my attention by persons who shall remain nameless *ahem... cough...cough...Jeni...* that I'm sadly slipping in updatages. It's been a weekend. And I'm still tired. Sorta kinda got my light times and dark times mixed up, so my sleep times seem to want to be all the times. Sorry for the non-updatedness of my poor neglected blog. I'll try to do better.

Now for the randomness:

Loved the storm that rolled through early Sunday morning, and had my bedroom window open so I could hear the rain and watch the thunder. I fell asleep to the sound of raindrops singing a siren song to me... too bad I had to be up at 5:45 to switch yummies in the crockpot. :)

For those scrappers of you, I cut out almost 600 balloons last night using the QuicKutz tool. Not the Squeeze, the regular short handled blue one. Needless to say, my ribcage and right arm are some sort of sore today!!!

Peter bought a butternut squash the other day. I gotta see if I can find a good recipe for it. Saw one somewhere or other that had sweet potatoes (still got 1/4 bushel in the kitchen - we're gonna be orange before we get them all eaten!!) and squash and I think brown sugar and nuts of some sort. Gotta go hunting for that recipe - it sounded sorta yummers.

What is it about bubblewrap? Why does the act of popping tiny plastic bubbles filled with air make us feel so stinkin' good?? Is it the destructive factor? Or is it the noise factor? Or is it seeing something fat go to skinny in nothing but a pinch of our fingers? So weird, but so very satisfying. Got a package this afternoon with four sheets of bw in it... one each for the girls, one for MyPete and one for Nene. Fun, fun, fun!!!

Why do little kids always want to stand right smack dab in front of the screen when you've got a video on? Do they figure they'll see it better if they can only focus on one square inch of screen real estate at any given time? My vocal chords are getting tired of saying "You can't stand there!!! Go sit over there...". I think I've said it fifteen times, at least. Ugh

Why is it that when I do eat breaky, I'm absocottonpickinlutely starving by lunchtime and if I don't eat breaky, I'm fine until around 3pm or so?? Maybe it's because my metabolism got woken up too early, so it's vowed revenge on me by making me hungry. :D

Anywhohah.. those are my randomnessages for today. If you visit, PLEASE leave me a comment!! I live for your comments! Not really, but it's nice to know that my verbioseness is appreciated. :)