Monday, June 29, 2009

NEPHEW UPDATE

My heart aches for my sister tonight. She is being told that her son most likely will not come off of the ventilator and his lungs are beginning to harden because of it. (I don't understand this since Christopher Reeves was on a vent for so long).

So much has happened that continues to set him back but the biggest thing is that his pneumonia won't go away.

She wants him either at a different hospital...one where she feels they will actually work toward weening him.....or she wants him home. They said something about a nursing home but this breaks her heart and mine too. Her baby is suffering so much and there is nothing she can do but watch as he slowly dies.

Dear God I don't understand how she stands up to this. There is so little that we as her family can do for her. I feel at the very least completly useless. I never thought I would have to support her this way. I don't understand how she functions at work.

He says he is not ready to give up yet. He still wants to fight and show them they are wrong.

I don't understand how he can keep sane as long as he has been doing this. I know there are families who have gone through it longer but I bet not many of them are single moms of only children.

Your prayers are appreciated.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Saturday, June 27, 2009

NEW RHINO LINER!




They finally delivered my truck...2.5 hours late but it is here. I love it. Black gets hot so I won't be able to sit on it in the summer but I don't do that anyway.




After tomorrow I can haul anything I would ever want to haul.

Honest Scrap Award!



I was given the Honest Sccrap award by In the shadow of Juniper Hill and I have to tell you, when I went to do this blog I almost didn't get this done. I stopped at her recipe of Mediterranean Spaghetti. I want that for breakfast!
When you are awarded the Honest Scrap award here are the things you should do. (I am keeping in mind it is the middle of growing season and all of you may not have the time) First, you have to tell your readers 10 things about you they may not already know, but are true. Second, you have to tag 10 people with the award. Third, you have to let the people you've given the award to, know that they've received this award from you. Finally, make sure you link back to the person who awarded you.


Here are 10 things that you didn't know about me but are true:
1. I was born in Charleston WV
2. I have long hair and wish I was more of a hippie
3. My first car was an bright orange Ford Pinto with a glass hatch...that was a great car.
4. I got my first computer before Windows....the screen was black....go DOS!
5. I never took drivers ed.....(my new truck salesman knows this!)
6. 10 years after my divorce....I still have my wedding dress
7. I watched the first Lord of the Rings over 30 times
8. There are cabinets in my house that I have not looked into in months
9. If my life depended on it I don't think I could enter any dark place if I see a spiderweb
10. I fell in love for the VERY first time in my entire life 4 years after my the end of my 20 year marriage.


I have chosen the following 10 blogs to give this award to. It was hard to pick only 10 because there are so many wonderful blogs that I enjoy reading. I hope you visit each one and see why I like them.
A Single Mom's Adventures in Homesteading (it will have a new name soon)
Cold Antler Farm
Blind Pig and the Acorn
Ron's Life Journey -he doesn't post much but he loves the Lord very much
Living off the Grid at Ecclectic Farm

Grannys Garden
Basic Beekeeping
The Survival Podcast (not really a blog but I can't not mention them. I learn so much there)

I haven't notified these yet but I will try to after work.

Friday, June 26, 2009

EMERGENCY PREPS

Ok I have started moving forward with my emergency preps. The power outage set me to thinking about what I would do if the power was out for weeks like some of my customers.


Sitting on my counter are two kerosene lamps with no kerosene in them. They need new tops. My battery was decharged on my flash light. I was lucky I had a candle sitting on the counter and knew in the dark where the matches were.


I could not see my hand in front of my face!


So here are some things I bought with this weeks paycheck:


Handcrank radio-w/cell phone charger and weather radio

Peggy Layton's Emergency food storage & survival handbook

Water safety test kit--this is very cool

Extra wicks for the hurricane lamps

Solar battery Charger


For the Storm Box

hand crank am/fm weather radio that also has a cell phone charger

new flash light and batteries. What I plan on having in it also is - matches in a zip lock, playing cards, hard candy.


Bug out bag 1: This is my back pack which will be packed and ready in case we need for some reason to leave quickly. It will be kept in a safe place in the house. It will be with my firebox so that I can grab both quickly. It will hold 3 days of supplies...clothes, bath supplies, etc.


Bug out bag 2: this will hold 3 days of belongings and bath supplies for my daughter. She will have to pack this for herself.


But out bag 3: this is 3 days supplies and clothes for my grand children. I make this seperate because they are not always here.


Bug out box: This will carry more extensive camping/survival stuff. This will be if we need to be gone longer or won't be able to go somewhere where we would have to sleep outside.


So here are some things I would like to get done this weekend:


Chore #1: Fill all three kerosene lamps and place one on the wood stove, 2 in the kitchen on top of the the shelves.


Chore #2: Put together the storm box....mark the box clearly....place on the top shelf with the lamps in the kitchen


Chore #3: Begin to pack Bug Out Bag #1.


Fun things: walk down the street with J and D to the neighbors garage sale

mow - grass is starting to go dormant due to the 100+ heat

sort through the papers that came from the old car

water the garden

Have to go to work tomorrow after noon but hopefully only for a few hours.

Tomorrow is KK's 2nd birthday. Her party is Sunday. I am buying her some tools of her own. Hopefully pink tools.





Thursday, June 25, 2009

TONIGHT WE FLEW TO ALASKA

When I left work today, little did I know that I would end up over the snow capped mountains of Alaska and out over the cold Pacific Ocean....but that is where we ended up. But not until after dark.

^
First I picked up my littlest grand kids and we went to visit Nanny and Paw Paw. They ate happy meals and then Paw Paw gave them bobble head Jose Conceco dolls. What a treat!!! Bubba held onto his all evening and had it when I dropped him off.
^
Then we drove over the lake and the magical sail boats again filled the blue water.
^
Then we passed something even more magical and we had to turn around and go back! The fireworks stand was open!!! Bubba asked me to pick him up and he sat on the counter. The owner, a man about my own age, told me how much he liked my Boo. I asked him if he had any snakes. He said all he had was a packet with that was meant for small children with a little of everything. He handed it to Bubba who inspected each and every item in it. I leaned on the counter peering over his shoulder and grinning at the owner. Finally I asked..."Well what do you think?" He said in a wisened voice, "Hmmmm. I think this will do very nicely." I paid the nice man, who then produces a dusty army tank from under the counter and asked Bubba if he would like to have it. Bubba politely said "Yes sir I would very much". We waved good bye and came on to Nenna's house.
^
When I picked them up the littlest, KK wanted nothing more than to feed the chickens. This is so funny. I provided her with a little bucket and a bag of sunflower seeds. (the chickens favorite food) She made sure every chicken had some.
^



^
I had to inspect Jack. He is almost ready for harvest. He should store nicely in the house until Halloween.
^





Finally it was dark enough to try out the fireworks.
^









There is nothing more magical than sparklers.
^







Then it was time to load back into Boo and head back to the other grand mothers house. Bubba told me as we were leaving my street that Boo could fly....Really? I said. Yes Really Neena...can you fly her high? Yes I can Bubba.....let's go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
^
And off we flew....

^
Over Oklahoma we waved down at Grandpa and Grandma Suz....then we were over Kansas, on to Iowa, swooped over Wyoming and then we entered Canadian airspace. Where to next Bubba? How about Alaska? Cool lets go! There we saw snow capped moutains, lots of snow and polar bears....then we headed out over the chilly Pacific ocean where we saw a mother whale and her baby whale. Bubba saw a shark who was getting too close to the whale family so we warned them to swim away fast.
^
Then we had to fly home to Texas and before we landed Bubba wanted to fly very very high...so we did and when we were up high he grabbed a piece of the moon and stuck it in his pocket. He gave it to his other grandmother as a surprise.
^
Now I am home and getting ready to sleep. I hope I don't have jet lag tomorrow.
^

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

1976--A VERY GOOD YEAR

Here is my sister and her two friends from OH in 1976. Cool Pinto wagon in the back ground.



Tuesday, June 23, 2009

MONSANTO INFO

http://hilljacksplace.blogspot.com/2009/06/must-watch.html

SUNNY DAY---PRETTY SAILBOATS

On the way home I have to cross a mile long bridge over Lake Ray Hubbard going into Rockwall TX. It is very beautiful there. (for a city) There is a pretty movie theatre/shopping place with water falls overlooking the lake there.

That lake is beautiful (from afar) but when you look close at the shores you see trash, debris and places where kids have drug parties.

But from the bridge it looks like a fairie land. Today though, that part of the lake was full of sail boats. All the sails were over 2 stories tall and the sun was shining off of them as the cast about on the water.

It was great.

PS...I left a message for my loan company to call me tomorrow and take my pay off!

DEBT VIPERS

I do not have nearly as much debt as many people. I had 4 credit cards. I paid off one early in the year, I am paying off another tomorrow.

The other two are going to be tougher to pay off. They are cut up and I am not using them any more but they are still like a viper with it's teeth sunk into my neck.

Why on earth did I ever touch a credit card???

I know better. I am smarter than this. Starting on the 20th of next month I am going to have a truck payment. That will make it harder to pay those off. But I feel like I am being strangled.

When I was married we had over 150,000 in debt. Not all unsecured but still debt all the same. I don't think a debt like a house payment is as burdening as unsecured debt but it is still a burden.

How did we even breathe with that kind of debt???

The payoff process is painful. The debt I will pay off tomorrow is 30% interest and the min payment is $176/month!

I will not do this any more. I will not have any more unsecured debt ever in my life! And I will budget and work to pay off my secured debt early. I would love to wake up one morning and stand on my front porch completly debt free....wonder how old I will be?

Saturday, June 20, 2009

HER NAME IS BOO

Well it had to be done. I have lived way long enough without one. It was time to get it over and start toward paying it off early.




ps...you notice the two things that get to sit under the carport?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

THE PORCH IS DONE!

WHEN I GOT HOME, LOOK AT THE SURPRISE I GOT.
DON'T I HAVE A GREAT DAUGHTER????













ps...IF YOU NEVER LISTEN TO ANY OTHER POD CAST--PLEASE LISTEN TO 6.18.09 SURVIVAL PODCAST! (bad language warning) please forgive the language, listen to the content please.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

GROUNDED!

Well I got tired of not getting any eggs. So I grounded them to the chicken house. Then I found the secret nest! It was so full that an egg had rolled out and I found it while doing trash patrol.




I mowed for 1.5 hours, and then planted 2 plants that were given to me at work. They are tropical and will die this winter but they are pretty. I will take pics tomorrow.

I also tied up the front tomato plants. Two are hanging with little grape tomatos. The others have little greens hanging. I bagged up some wire that I will try to sell as grade 2 copper.

While watering the garden I noticed something that very soon will cause me a problem. Pumpkins are not really a climbing vine. They like to travel along the ground. Well one of the travelling arms got tangled with a climbing yellow hubbard and up the garden fence it went. Now that arm has a baby on it. The fence is very shaky. I will have to add a post there but I am going to need to make a net hammock for the pumpkin to rest in while it grows. These pumpkins can reach more than 10-20 pounds! So the hammock has to be strong.

I like problems like that you know? Well I sat down at 8:45pm to check emails and blog and out of nowhere I got a back spasm. A bad one. It took my breath away. I was doing a lot of bent over work with the tomatos and planting tonight. I hope it is just sore.

Monday, June 15, 2009

IN HOPES OF HALLOWEEN

I have to tell you that Pumpkins are my favorite thing to grow. They very showy with their wonderful giant yellow flowers and double dinner plate sized leaves. Next year, I am doubling my pumpkin patch but I am adding a soaker hose and mulch early.
Here is pumkin #1. I swear this thing has doubled in size just since the last good rain.




Here are two more.





My little chickens spent the night outside last night. The adult chickens love them and hang out with them all day long. I am sure they would eat them given the opportunity.

Here is the long view of the garden. The perimeter weeds serve a purpose. The wire is about 3-4 inches above the ground so I quit weed eating there so the weeds would block any nosy chickens.

I have a zuchinni! I thought I planted a hill but nothing happened!

Some of these tomatos will be ripe in just a few days.

This butternut squash will be ripe in about a week.

Every runner that strays outside of the wire fence area gets strung up on the fence. It is such a good squash year.

Ok so the sunflowers didn't make it to 6ft but they are pretty anyhow.

Look at the pretty canteloups. The bees are just buzzing all over them.

While standing in this garden I felt very at home. It doesn't matter that there are weeds or that all my tomato starts were eaten by my chickens today. I really like growing things.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

END OF THE WEEKEND

Well, other than some swimming and playing with 4 grand babies, I got little done this weekend. I was planning on catching up this evening but I have a head ache.

I took the boys out for ice cream this evening and stopped by the feed store. I am so grateful that they are open on sundays. I bought 50# bags of chopped corn, complete rabbit food, oats and black oil sunflower seeds.

I mixed all of them together and the chickens are very grateful. The goonies will be too when they come back from the pond.

I took the kids on a ride in the trailer and we stopped on the hill by the pond and turned it off. As I watched the pond surface I started thinking we have fish in there but we never have had them before. I have come to the conclusion that what is rolling the surface is bull frog tadpoles. I remember seeing them dart to the surface last year and swim straight back down. Because these rolls are so large I bet that is what it is.

I tried to begin this weeks mowing but the sun was too bright and the sound of the tractor too much for my head.

I hate just sitting in the a/c and doing laundry but I guess that is ok.

As soon as the advil kicks in I will finish dishes. My wonderful daughter cleaned the kitchen and living room for me while I was off feeding horses.

I was undoubetly the most crabby person I knew EVER this weekend. My grandboys could not do anything right without getting in trouble.

When I got off of the tractor I saw my oldest was in his "going home" clothes and that made me sad. I asked him if he wanted to sit in the swing with me while he waited for his mom. He did.

I told him I was sorry I was so crabby. He very simply said "It's ok if you are crabby nanna." I asked if he would love me even if I am crabby and he said he would.

We ritualistically ate the first tomato shared between me and the two boys....daughter's comment? "Nope I'm good."

That was a wonderful tomato.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

SWEET SLEEP

Have you ever woken up slowly from a long nap when it is just too hot outside to work?

Sometimes you just open one eye.





Then you are awake enough to say hello.







Then you are awake enough to kiss your best friend.




Boy do I wish that this was me who got to take a nap.

SUNNY SATURDAY

Ok you all know I have a GIANT bed. I decided to put my tiny little 2 yr old granddaughter in bed with me to sleep last night. You guessed it. I had feet in my face all night long. And holy cow she is a heat generator!!!!


Here is my experiment of the day. I have been wanting to make a Solar Oven for a while. I will need a more insulated one for winter but I figure since it will be over 100 today this one should work just fine.



I will be baking squash casserole.

Update on my nephew. Did I tell you he has pneumonia again? He isn't feeling good at all as of yesterday. They are going to have to start him all over again trying to get him off of the ventilator.

Friday, June 12, 2009

END OF A 3 DAY WORK WEEK

Wow that went really fast, but But many tornados touched down in N TX on Wed evening and tonight also. I am watching the radar thinking I am going to be a busy girl at work come Monday.

I got home late: 8pm with 2 grand kids in tow and two more coming later tonight.

I cooked a late dinner and as soon as food was in their tummies, their little eye lids started getting droopy. So I snuggled one down into my bed and one in another bed. I may move him to the bottom of my bed before the other two get here. There certainly is enough room.

My 2 yr old grand girl KK is so funny. Last time (from the backseat) I heard this.....vibbit vibbit vibbit vibbit vibbit...and it went on and on. Finally I said "Bubba...what is she doing?" Very matter of factly he looked over and said "She's a frog".

This week....(from the backseat) I heard ...."HELLOOOOOOO HELLOOOOOO M BODY THERE? HELLOOOOOO HELLOOOOO M BODY THERE?"

This went on for at least half an hour. I really had to laugh. I wish I could see inside her head.

Last night I taught my 2 older grand boys how to pick squash in the garden. How to twist them off of the vine and how never ever ever to step on the runners. I showed them one that I had stepped on and how it had died. Here is what we harvested: 5 squash, 3 eggs from a hidden nest and 1 small tomato. It has rippened for 24 hours and is ready to eat. I will share it between everyone in the family for breakfast. This is an important tomato.


It should be over 100 degrees here this weekend. I have much outdoor work to do. I see a couple of siestas in my near future.


Hope your weekends are productive and cool.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

BACON IS FINISHED

Ok I took the bacon off of the smoker. Sliced it and put it on the griddle. I think it is too salty.


But my grand kids are scarfing it up along with 2 fresh eggs each!




While the bacon was smoking we went for a drive in the tractor wagon (no pics sorry)

Played in the pool because it was almost a hundred degrees.





Played boxing....I think Bubba was letting KK win.


And hung out in the hammock. I think I created a hammock monster. KK would not get out. She wanted her tea and sat and talked to herself and drank tea....nice life!




video

NAP TIME: MAKING A HOME MADE SMOKER

Ok the kids are down for a nap. Now is the time to get out my power tools. (then I don't have to share!!! lol kidding just kidding)



Ok I had an old smoker that the prior homeowners left because it was missing the front temp guage and only had a hole there.





They also left a length of foil dryer vent. I bought a cheap charcoal grill last year about this time and have used it maybe 3 times. Since I am not cooking out over the fire, I will make use of this now.






I connected the vent hose to the hole in the front of the smoker lid and the vent hole in the top of the charcoal grill with screws and washers. This was not an easy chore. Since it is about 90 degrees outside I was dripping sweat by the time I got done.




The area I want to work is under the carport but it has some dry grass there so I drenched the whole area with water just in case.




The pork belly has been rinsed after it has cured for a week (6 days but I have to smoke today).








Now I am waiting for the fire to burn down to coals. This is always the hard part of waiting.


I will update photos after I put it all together.
UPDATE: IT WORKED!!!! SMOKE IS COMING OUT OF THE TOP AND BOTTOM HOLES OF THE CHARCOAL GRILL. NOW ALL I HAVE TO DO IT KEEP IT GOING UNTIL ABOUT 6PM MY TIME AND IT WILL BE DONE. THIS IS SO COOL. COST OF THE SMOKER...WELL THE BACON WILL STILL END UP COSTING ABOUT 5.99/POUND BUT IT IS ORGANIC AND I TRUST THE PEOPLE WHO RAISED IT. TO BUY THIS FROM REHOBOTH IT WOULD BE 7.99/POUND AND LOCALLY I HAVE FOUND IT AVERAGING 9/POUND. SO I FEEL THAT BY DOING IT MYSELF I AM SAVING AT LEAST $2/POUND.
NOW IF I WERE TO GO NON ORGANIC AND JUST ORDER A PORKBELLY FROM WALMART OR KROGER, IT WOULD BE EVEN CHEAPER. I WILL DO SOME THINKING ABOUT THAT.






LAST DAY OF VACATION; VENTING

I am sorry but I have to vent. During this 7 days my parents have been to our family reunion which I missed to stay home and be available to help my sister. During this time my daughter went and stayed at their home to take care of their 4 cats. 3 are indoor only. 1 is outdoor only.

I got a call from my sister this morning. She had gotten a bill for her son's stay at ICU and it was $675,000. Most of this was medication that he had been given. She was crying. Not because of the bill.

But because my mother, on her way home, was yelling at her (at my sister) because my daughter told them on the phone last night to pick up something for fleas on the way home as she had been eaten alive while in their home.

#1...why on earth would they torment my sister over something like that when she is driving to Baylor to watch her son get a chest tube?
#2...why on earth would fleas matter when your grandson may be dieing in the hospital?
#3...why on earth would fleas matter when your daughter just got a bill for over a half a million dollars for a hospital stay?

I don't want to live long enough to become my parents. I never want to live long enough to not care about anything but myself.

Monday, June 8, 2009

VACATION DAY 6-BLOG 2: REST

Although I didn't get my porches cleaned, I got a lot of work done over the last 6 days. So just as in the beginning, I will take the remainder of my time at rest. (kind of)

I will set my alarm clock in the morning for 6:30 and get up and clean the kitchen and living room. By then it will be time to go pick up the grand kids who are coming to stay all day. I will cook them pancakes and then we will go to wally world to pick up KK a bathing suit, and then go to the spray park (if it is working). Then come back and nap and just hang out for the rest of the evening.

By the way it took me 6 hours total to mow this place. I will need to plan on staggering my mowing times. But tonight, during the time after the sun went down and the chickens and guineas were putting themselves to bed, I looked out over the field and it really was pretty. It was a wonderful cool evening even though it got really hot today.

My daughter who has been house sitting for my parents came by for dinner. I could not resist it and built another fire and cooked the last two steaks. She brought out Bandit and let him run around in the grass. She is for sure his momma. He kept coming back to her and "flying" up on her leg to be petted. (see the feathers in the grass behind her? this is everywhere in my whole 3 acres-evidence of the coyote raid)