What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Resolutions Update



I make resolutions.  I track my progress.  And me being to dork that I am, I share my results here.  This, on good months, is GREAT.  On a bad month, however, it is just downright embarrassing.

May was a great month for a lot of things-but not necessarily resolutions.  I was so busy I tracked only my exercise (and even that, not very religiously.)  We had extra expenses like dumpster renting (resulting in no double mortgage payment) and extra large tasks to complete like completely cleaning up Hopestead (resulting in far less time to do unnecessary things, like make Christmas gifts.) 

Family Read Aloud(s)-one is the goal:

We read lots of little books through days, but no read-aloud at night before bed.  Fail.

House Project(s) of the Month-one is the goal:

We rented garbage and scrap steel dumpsters and took almost a week to clean  out the barns, outbuildings, basement and yard of all their J.U.N.K.  Dumpsters cost a pretty penny, I found out and it is no fun cleaning out 60 years worth of someone elses' garbage, but I am VERY happy and thankful that job is finally done.  I'll be sharing pictures soon (maybe tomorrow?) of the before and afters.  This was HUGE and was one of the biggest goals of the year! 

I have also been working steadily to create a nice sized garden for vegetables and a circular flower garden of perennials, herbs and annuals.  These two things have kept me VERY busy all month and there is still plenty of work to be done!

Several very generous neighbors have thinned their perennials and shared their abundance with me, so my Circle Haven vision is becoming a reality far more quickly (and cheaply!) than I had anticipated and I have far surpassed my 2012 goals for adding ONE perennial this year!  yay!

 Letter-writing: I didn't keep track but there were several.  Two, I know for sure of, went to Opa.  I can think of several more I sent out to friends but I can't remember total.  Probably about five.

Exercise: 23 times on my tally sheet but I wasn't diligent at writing them down, so I bet that number in reality was much larger.

Reading Bible: I was in the Word twice daily all month, but never just for myself.  I am becoming okay with that, I think. 

Drank 60 ounces of water: didn't record. 

Christmas Gift Made:  FAIL.  In fact, I was intending to make TWO things, to make up for last months' fail. Now I am up to THREE things in June.

Money to Car Fund: no- it went to getting car fixed after the deer incident.

Money to Savings: yes

Money toward Principle on House: Only managed to overpay $300.00.  Better than nothing I guess. :-(

Life happened and required more of us: our time and our resources leaving less for the resolutions but I think it was a very, very successful month anyway.  I am happy with all we accomplished. 

I can't wait until the end of the year when I tally everything up and see just how much we accomplished this year.  That will be a fun day and that will make the embarrassing moments worth it.
  

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Stormy




Day number two of storms on this, Thunder Mountain. 

Maybe all houses on hills boom and shake with storms (?), or maybe it is just the o.l.d. ones, but as much as I love storms, these can be at times pretty intense.  (I do have some residual apprehension from the tornado that hit down right next to our old place two years ago.) 

But on the other hand, I slept the best I have for quite some time last night-when the coolness of the stormy air came through the upstairs and took with it the stuffy heat of last week.  Ah.  I do love cool breezes.

And I get another day off of watering the flowers and vegetable gardens.

So, I'll take it.

It does, however, give me a sudden urge to sit and read.  Or crochet a bit.  Or do something frivolous of that sort.  In fact, I think I will.

Yep.  Thunderstorms are pretty nice in my book.  Even on Thunder Mountain.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Slave Horse




Memorial Day is the unofficial "garden starting" day around these parts and the day I have always begun the garden in years past.  But THIS year I thought I would be JohnnyontheSpot and work little by little in the weeks leading up to it.  And it worked out really great.  (I need only to do a bit more hay mulching and to create a separate pumpkin patch and I will be officially DONE the planting phase until fall!!)

Because I have been regularly working in the garden and getting things planted early, that left Memorial day open for other activities. 

Unfortunately for me, instead of normal peoples' "other activities" (like volleyball, swimming, camping out, barbeques, and FUN), I have a husband who wants to WORK all the time so OUR "other activities" are more like: splitting wood, cutting down trees, sawing up logs, home repair, fixing things. Yada Yada Yada.

It is my blessing AND my curse.

 Two weekends ago Matt cut down some trees from our woods.





 

Last weekend those logs were carted off to his Dad's sawmill.   Handy to have, his Dad.




And on Memorial Day, while the rest of the sane people of these United States were relaxing and enjoying a day off, Matt was at the sawmill turning logs into boards. And I was following him around like a little lost puppy dog, because that is the only way I can spend time with him.

And, oh yeah, it was 90+ degrees that day. 










They made a few beams, which will hopefully rebuild the barn entrance we had to tear down when we first moved in ...



and they made plenty of beautiful boards, which will be used this fall (after a summer of drying) to replace old siding on the cow barn.


I *guess* it was worth it.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Friday, May 25, 2012

Holy Cholesterol!





   


 




Yesterday looked a bit like this:

10 eggs............ Scrambled eggs for breakfast
6 eggs  ............Three loaves of eggbread
27 eggs ........... Pickled Beet Eggs (these store for six weeks but never actually LAST that long)
5 eggs..............Deviled eggs, for supper last night
12 eggs........... Egg salad (for today's lunch.)
14 eggs............ Breakfast strata (for this morning)
12 egg whites... Strawberry Angel Food Cake
12 egg yolks..... Vanilla Bean custard ice cream
                 and.. Vanilla pudding (we ate it for dessert last night)

Grand Total86 eggs

I was kicking myself for not have any fresh lemons in the house.  Lemon curd would have used up 16 some egg yolks! 

I *almost* made eggnog for snack time, but the children went visiting neighbors and skipped snack altogether.

And I ran out of time to make some homemade noodles-which, incidentally would have paired really well with the venison stroganoff I made for dinner last night.

I bet I could break a hundred one of these days...

Still, 86 ain't bad.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thursdays Dose of Cute

I told her to run and get her jammies on.  She came back out like this:



Risque'.

~~~~~~~

In other news:

Two weeks ago a deer decided to commit suicide, with my van being the lucky means to that end.
I was driving.  

It was a nasty first-time experience to car-inflicted deer death and/or hitting things with vans but all were safe and I was supremely thankful I was able to huff and puff the car into the driveway instead of having to hike with a van full of children, to the nearest house (which in the country, with no cell reception, would be a lengthy jaunt.)  though the drive was not a pleasant one; with the hysterical wails and sobs of children who believed their mother was a murderer.

Well, two weeks of being without a car later, today I pick it up!  Yay!  The best part?

They fixed the air-conditioning that has been broken for two years!  DOUBLE YAY!  


In other, more pressing news:

I am again, overwhelmed with eggs so I have declared today an  EGG-STRAVAGANZA day.  EGGSTRAVAGANZA days (for those of you new to the term) are days in which I try to use as many eggs as humanly possible in one day. 

I'll let you know how I do!  

:-)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The green grass grew all around




When the house is tidy and the school work is done I am usually one of three places. 

If I am not in the kitchen working or in the gardens planting...you can probably find me on a blanket in the green, green grass.

I'll miss my patio when it is raining and I want to be outside (there is nothing better than eating dinner outside in a rain storm, you know) but for now I have made a few happy spots around the yard that distract me from my patio-pining.

When it is sunny and hot,, I plant myself under the first big tree of the "tree fence" that gives the perfect amount of shade and where the children are playing in the hammocks in the background.  But more likely, on these beautiful spring days, I plop myself down in the front yard near the lilacs (that never bloomed) and the old, falling down barn where I can soak up the sun that I had so desperately yearned for all winter long.

It feels good to breathe deep.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Taters and A First Planting






I finally cleaned out the potato bin of the last of the winter POTATOES and cut them up for seed.  It feels good to have a fresh potato bin.  It will feel better to have a fresh and FULL potato bin!

~~~~

The potatoes and onions are in.  The sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, carrots, broccoli and cabbage too.  And we planted our first rows of spinach and lettuce- leaving space for a few more rows in the coming weeks.

But especially impressive is how arrow-straight the rows are.  

How DO we do it?!?


Rains are expected for the next few days so I *really* hope to squeeze some garden time in this afternoon to plant the last of my seeds---corn, summer and winter squashes, more carrots, cukes, etc. 

I am hardening off the 76 tomato plants- along with the flowers and basil and peppers and such- that I started way back when.  

Their time will come....

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Garden Update: The First of Many


When it comes to gardens, our method of choice has always been raised beds.

I'll be honest with you, the greatest factor influencing this choice has always been the fact that we have no rototiller or plow.

And I was NOT looking forward to creating a brand new raised bed garden section from scratchAGAIN.  (I've only ever done it every two years or so....har har...and it is more than a little bit back breaking.  And often pretty expensive!)



Turns out, one of our very kind neighbors DOES just this sort of thing and wanted to do it for us!

What a huge blessing it was and is and will be all season long!


I have never had a plowed garden before but the most exciting part is not having to work so hard to start a new garden!

After this season, we will probably build it up, as we usually do, "lasagna style". 



It will be interesting not having my usual walk-ways and many different beds.

I will have to fight every possible urge not to plant this thing so full I can't walk on it anywhere.


Because I have some BIG plans for this thing.  BIG plans.