Thursday, April 30, 2009


Playing for Change

This is amazing.

I have yet to take a moment to figure out how to add a video to blogger. ;)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

On Pandemics and Homeschooling

I find this particularly interesting this morning. I was especially moved by the replies.

"These are the bits and pieces I agree with...
We may not be able to save the world but we can make educated choices. About what we eat and where it comes from. What we do, and how we build a sustainable lifestyle that our children can emulate and improve upon. Be the people we want our children to become. "

"In order to not mentally make myself sick,I learned to pick my battles to worry about and mainly I learned that I can not save the whole world and that some things I just am not able to do anything about."

I'm not going to panic. Just going to keep it calm and keep on moving forward.
I'll panic about the little things :)

On another note, I really don't care for public schools. This is putting it lightly.
My teenage daughter has literally begged me to take her out of school.
and iI'd love to have the little ones home with me as well.
We might also get a whole lot less of whatever is going around. It's a vicious cycle with five children.
My little guy stays home with me. He has an anaphylactic reaction to nuts and we carry epipens with us everywhere. I do not trust the school to keep him safe. Not for one second.

I think I will focus on learning my options. Unschooling is what I lean toward, but I need to do my research. If I don't go that direction...there is a montessori school twenty minutes away.

Here I'm sharing some pics from our last garden before we moved from Idaho. This was shared with the sweet older couple living next door. They were a wealth of informaion. I miss them.
See the Borage.......

broccoli, cauliflower, berries, squash

beans cukes, peas, strawberries
The little guy helps
As for the infestation of us. I am considering cutting all of my hair off. All.
I was concerned about how I would look and how my hubby would respond to it..
I expressed my concern to my hubby and he said let me tell you a secret....then he whispered
"I like you naked". Hahahahahahahahaha.
Ok, I get it. Get over it and stop stressing. It's just hair.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Planting the Gardens

We are only a few steps away from planting.
The compost/manure/ mixed in with the top layer of soil.
The center path is dug out and looking beautiful.
The kids and I made a game of everything today.
We dug the middle row from the garden, but before we could do that evenly we tied it off with string, making two race lanes :)
That was fun.
Then we made a path all around the garden about a foot or foot and a half from the fence.
The imaginary fence I mean, lol so we can get around the rows once they are growing.
About the fence....
We haven't gotten quite that far. Takes cash we don't quite have yet.
We know it's a must. The deer make themselves far too comfy in our backyard as well as the cats, the chickens, raccoons, and other............varmints :)
Kiddos and I have decided to sew up a scarecrow.
That's the easy part.

The companion gardening is what has me frustrated.
Almost enough to just toss it all out and plant where they land. Oh I wish I weren't such a perfectionist. My uncle use to tell me I was a tad neurotic.....I know he was sugar coating it.
It's how I was raised. If I didn't do it right the first stepdad made me do it twenty more just for the fun of it.
These days I'm thankful. I hated that man back then. Maybe still do, yet he taught me endurance, perseverance, and patience. He wasn't patient. I learned to be.
Whoa I just got a flashback memory of painting the shed.....and painting it again the right way..

Today my garden space increased a bit.
It is 80'x50' . Was 70'x50, but we cut down a tree that was growing sideways.
The earth there was so rich and beautiful. The pine needles did a glorious job of creating some truly amazing soil. I'm going to plant strawberries in that spot. I'm allergic to them, but what a treat for the kiddos.
Maybe I'll mock up a drawing really quick and scan it in.

Our house sits facing East. Maybe it faces West. Honestly I'm not sure which one is supposed to be the front door.
What we call our backyard is on the North side of the house. This where our deck and lounge/activity area is.
The garden is on the North side of the house as well, but it is back in the clearing and is the only large area with no trees overhead.
It faces South. There is a gently slope toward the house and this will make for good drainage.
It will have a nice wind blowing across for good ventilation as the plants grow. I've made the rows going north to south.
I wasn't sure if this was logical, but I was sure hoping. Makes perfect sense to me.
This way everything gets full sun down the row and nothing is shaded.

Right next to the veggie garden is the herb garden. I thought it would be fun to do something more whimsical with this. I dug it in a medallion shape or a circle, with an open end.
It is 28 feet across at it's widest. In the middle is 14 feet of grass. I'm going to put a bistro table and chairs there or maybe put stone in and throw some pillows out there.
I considered a fire pit, but we chose another spot for that.
I can imagine the herbs and flowers in full bloom with me laying in the middle with all the scents mingling in the air as I have the privacy of the living wall. Oh yes I can just imagine that.
Maybe I should have made a full circle so I could hide there from the kids, lol.

My children really are quite wonderful. But this mama needs a break. Just a little one.
Hubby worked for seven days in a row and I'm shocked that I still have my hair.
He may only give me a ten to twenty minute break from the kids now and then, but boy I sure notice when I don't get it. It only takes five minutes of closing my eyes and breathing for a moment to regain my balance and clear my mind of stress. Not all the stress goes away, but I do feel refreshed.

Everyone helped today. Hauling and digging. Working. I hope that the children will understand that their hard work is appreciated and that it will pay off in the end as they see and eat the fruits of their labor.

Here is my list of what's going in the veggie garden. I'm too lazy to alphabetize it for ya.
Please forgive me.
tomatoes many varieties
cucumber many varieties includin my fave lemon.
squash varieties
melons oh so many including moon and stars mmmmmmmm
greens lettuce, spinach, etc...........
peppers varieties including chocolate YUM
raspberry bushes outside the garden
blueberry bushes outside the garden

Some are cool weather crops that won't go in until fall or late summer and I might have forgotten some for now. I've been digging the day away and am not thinking very clearly. In a good way.

We also have several fruit trees, yet we do not know their age or their overall condition.
We will have to wait and see how they perform.

In the herb garden (several of these will also go in the garden between veggies)
mints (contained deeply underground)
fennel (isolated)
basil mmmmmmmmmmmm
cumin-nigella sativa
mullein (still not sure on this one) I use to take a mullein tincture
sweet annie(ambrosia)
mexican tarragon

I might add more as I find things I like. I'm hoping to make the farmers market this next weekend.

I would like a green tea plant, but I think I'd need several to make a go of it.
At $25 a plant, I'm not thinking that's frugal when I can buy tea at the natural market for pennies yet at the same time I do want to be self sufficient so we'll see.

I'm going to save here while I try and whip up something to scan.
I will also add what makes good companions and what to keep far apart.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Garden Planning

It's a beautiful day. The kiddos and hubby let me sleep in.
And.........................hubby made breakfast. Oh I think I'm in heaven, lol.

Today I will sit down with all my lists and plan out this garden.
I'm going to be trying some companion gardening so it's going to be work this first time.
Next year it will be easy. I hope. ;)

I'll try to put up pics of my finished plan tonight.
I am so excited to get these plants out of my sewing room.
I have some picnic quilts to make.
We discovered laying out on the grass is not such a great idea.
*scratch scratch*

I also discovered there is a whole colony(heh-heh) of sticker weeds out there, hiding in the tall grass just waiting for my bare foot to come near. ouch!!

ETA.........I mowed the lawn. I must say that's a useful way to shut the brain off.
The chickens were chasing me around the property.
I got absolutely no planning done. :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Moody Mama

Oops, sorry. I have been garden planning, caring for seedlings, caring for sick kiddos, baking too many batches of chocolate chip cookies and not updating my blog.

Some of my girlie's test results came in.
The liver function test came back normal WOOHOO!! and Whew!! Let's just say I am so so very thankful. We are still waiting on a couple other things. We are staying positive.
My mood has been up and down. Physical therapy is seriously taking it's toll on me. I've woken up in the middle of the night just gasping, trying to calm myself down and use the appropriate muscles for's not easy when you're half asleep.

I'm sore and tired and feeling very old.....yet I'm content with life.

Today I was driving down the road to pick up my kiddos from school.

(Yes I wish I could say I home school or unschool my children, but I'm afraid that would leave all of us a bit loopy). As I was sitting at a red light I noticed a couple walking on the sidewalk.

They seemed lost in one another, hand holding, grinning. Her hair was ever so slightly blowing on the breeze and it seemed almost surreal. They seemed oblivious to the traffic, construction, noise and people around them. I imagined that someday that would be me.

I would guesstimate they were in their mid forties.
Were that my husband and would have been a different story.

I would have been worried about my saggy knees and my pasty skin, tugging at my too tight shorts since all my clothes are suddenly too tight, annoyed by the traffic and the people all in a hurry to get somewhere. The sun would have been making me squint and that wrinkle between my eyes would get deeper. Yes that's me. The worrier. The one who stresses. I wonder if being a mom for the last fourteen years has made me who I am?

Then again. I'm ok with that. I'm happy. Strangely so it would seem, lol.

Telling myself everyday that everything is going to be ok. I will be well again.

Reminding myself of the beauty all around me.

Sometimes I feel there are two of me.

If it were another day I might have been just as happy as she. Grinning and thanking my lucky stars for all I have been blessed with.

Most days I notice the most simple of things...grass blowing, sound of the wind in the trees, new freckles on the tip of my daughters nose,the scent of the earth, many things that I remember noticing and appreciating as a girl. Why suddenly are all of these things coming back to me.

Well, I don't know the answer, but I'm thankful they have.

Perhaps I haven't lost quite as many brain cells in childbirth as suspected.

Still... lost more than I could spare though, heheh.

I've been going in circles. I have so much to do and I start one project only to abandon it for somehting that seems suddenly more important.

I wish someone would come over and tell me what to do.

I have about ten sewing projects started as well as a garden half planned out.

Perhaps I need to just shut my thinking brain off for the weekend and just sit back and see what unfolds.

I've been laying on the swing outside lately as my hubby rototills the garden. It's all I can do.

I've shoveled, raked, been planting,etc...and now I have strict orders of no more than 40 minutes per day. Fine with me. For now.

It seems to me that our hens think of my hubby as a sort of pied piper.

He walks to the garden with the rototiller and they surround him like he's famous.

Here are some photos I have snapped lately.

Loving his kitty on the swing.

Ruby. One of our hens. She's pretty bossy.

Path to the gardens.

First he admires it holding it gently.....

Then ..........

Vintage sheet for some quilt squares and perhaps a matching nightgown for my girl

He watches over me...can you see the blue sky in his left eye?

Trellises and tomatoe cages I made from found items and branches

Arbor also made from branches from having the trees trimmed.

Just another view

One of the pullets(was a pullet :) is laying WOOHOO..isn't it teeny tiny

comparing it to these

I'm really trying to get motivated for a couple tutorials.
I've gotten the patterns cut out and everything, but the seedling are crowding me right out of my sewing room. I'm going to pretend that I can bend over and happily cut fabric without wincing and that I might actually have the strength to sew and breathe at the same time.
I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, :)
Have a wonderful weekend.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Today I worry

I've been worried ever since I gave birth to my first baby and today that is the same child who my heart aches for. Ok, I'm a worrier and my heart aches for all five of them, but my teens cause me excessive stress and anxiety.

You see.....they weren't raised by me.....long story short.......I brought them home a while back and they are troubled.
My younger children are often confused and saddened over how my teens are.......but we all love them.....try to understand...

Several months ago my daughter had an accident. Today we have an appointment to see how her organs, body, etc... are healing. She has been in severe pain these last couple weeks.

When she eats she feels ill right away. She has pain and she can't relax enough to sleep well.

I have my fingers and toes crossed that the Dr. will say all is well and that she has simple growing pains. Oh geeze do I hope that's what the Dr. will tell us.

She needs to be strong so she can love her new bunny,

Do me a favor and keep her in your thoughts- thank you. xoxo

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thinking Breathing Listening

These days I find more joy in today....I don't drift as much looking for peace.
I honestly feel that I have never found more happiness or been more content with life.

Today we went for a bike ride.......the bike trail is an old railroad....through the forest, cool and along the lake......smells of childhood little man in my bike basket...holding on for dear life.....but smiling.....grinning from ear to ear....

As we rode there came a bend in the path...we didn't know what was to be found around that corner...I said aloud to my's like a quote isn't it.....or rather many quotes........

Then I thought about how very different my life is now than when I was younger.
I grew up feeling unloved, with an abusive stepfather and I was always alone....
Then I moved out when I was 16....lived the wild party girl life.......and now, now I live the life I always dreamed of.

I have everything I have ever needed and longed for......Love, acceptance, trust, faith.............

Over the last year I have been amazed at the fact that I am still growing, learning, changing, and now healing.....who knew. I use to be afraid of aging. Now I look forward to it.
This is truly a path that I am thankful to be on. The one of spiritual growth. It's as if as you grow older you become more childlike......

Tonight was disturbing. My son is struggling. He fought cancer and won, yet he is struggling with demons that I don't understand.
They told us that there has been a study done on the children that went through the treatment he did and those children are dealing with anger issues. I'll say that's an understatement.
My son has violent outbursts out of nowhere. It brings tears to my eyes and a terrible pain to my heart. He screams and weeps, goes on a tirade throughout the house, destroying everything in his path with the power of a natural disaster. It's painful to watch.
In the end when it's over I lay down next to him and wrap my arms around him pressing my lips to his hair and telling him calmly that everything is going to be ok, quietly talking to him or sometimes just laying there holding him tightly, all until his breathing slows back to normal and his heart stops pounding. God. I use to pray to take his place when he was ill. I'd do it now as well. There's a storm brewing inside him.
I'm frightened for him.
I'm going to be taking him to counseling. I thought I could heal him with love patience and understanding, but I don't believe it now. I have never in my life seen such anger and frustration come from such a small child. I don't understand it at all.
I'm doing some research on stones that promote healing, emotional wellness, inner peace, etc.... just for kicks and because just maybe I believe in such things. I will do anything for my child. All my children. I'm open to any advice.

My boy and me

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Is it Spring yet?

Madness.....that's what it's been like around here.

Sometimes I find no words that make matter how I try,'s this theory I have about childbirth and brain cells...but it's my story, heheh.

My seedlings are reaching, reaching, reaching their little necks out for some sunshine, only it's not to be found. Gray skies....that's all we've had.

Veggie seedlings

This morning my little man woke me up and said "mama it snowed", sure enough.....outside was a blanket of white. Crazy Oregon weather.

Thought I would again share some pics of recent goings on.

Got the chance to sew up a pair of gardening gloves from Weekend Sewing, did I already mention that? It's so not easy to photograph ones own hand with only 50mm or 85 mm lenses ;)

Once I had a fabric stash the nearly size of Canada(no joke), but slowly it's been's hard to see some of it go, yet we really needed to put the money toward immediate needs.

not much left in the way of hard to finds and what I do for me.

This is probably not even an 1\8 of my stash
These are my knits. Some of them, lol.
You can't see the lower shelves of all eco fabrics, my hemp jerseys etc........ love love love can find them here.

I was very selfish and frivolous.....not there anymore... I've had this stash for a few years...

Favorite Vw' VW's and someday I'm going to have a real one, not barbie sized :)

short sleeve camp shirts

My reliable workhorse....rocketeer

My baby..featherweight

I'm looking forward to some princess and the pea fabric soon to make the girls some nightgowns.
Heather Ross's far far away line.
I haven't been buying fabric......sort of learned my lesson and am far too frugal these days to pay much for fabric unless it's for a special occasion or something much needed.
Too often I would buy and hoard all the popular fabrics and I wouldn't even sew them up.
Too afraid to cut into them.
I have more of a thing for vintage fabrics and even sheets...I cut those up with great joy.
We were able to rototill the garden spot a bit this past weekend before it starting pouring.
That's the plan for the coming week. Rototill and get the raised beds made.

I've made several tomato cages out of fencing I found out in the woods.
I also made some cute ladder type trellises out of limbs that were cut from the trees.
:) need to take pics of those.

Here are a few random pics.

mama made blueberry banana rice milk smoothies.....

These are little mushroom planters made of terracotta.

Newest member of our family.

Fresh eggs every morning.......

Bad kitty (Don't worry, this doesn't happen anymore)

Likes to be the squirter, not the squirtee

You ever see that cartoon with the two bunnies...the "what?" one, lmao........

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Stopping to smell the roses

My girlie went to a sleepover and we went to pick her up this morning.
The drive was lovely as it always is where ever we seem to go......breathtaking.
I have seen the V of birdies since I was a girl, but I was speechless.
The kids and I were so excited to look up and see for miles and miles nothing but flocks of geese.
It was magical.
I did not have my camera......shocking because I take it everywhere, but this was just a quick trip then back home to work.

I found this picture online so you could somewhat imagine what we saw.

There are more here

I know it's just an everyday thing to many, but since moving here I have found the beauty of everyday life. I'm trying to have the same wonderment the kids have....oh it has been awesome.

Friday, April 10, 2009

On finding my love of cooking

For a few years I was lost. The me I knew. She stumbled and fell and it was like that old know..come on...."I've fallen and I can't get up"

Yes I am so an 80's, early 90's child. I still say some of those uncool words too and I'm not going to tell you what they are cause that would be like so bogus and I don't want to like gag you with a spoon or anything.

I was sick and I refused to do anything..oh and I wanted everyone to help me and give me advice but I had a hundred and one excuses why I couldn't do anything.

I stopped baking and cooking. My husband went into shock, lol, ok not really...but he wasn't a happy camper.

Well anyway long(old)story short....I am cooking and baking up a storm these days.

I've found my groove.

As I should have been all along, I'm teaching the kids to make all of the things my grandad, great gramma, and mom taught me to make.

This was our latest adventure in cooking.

Homemade chicken egg noodle soup.

I promise no chickens were harmed in the making of this soup.
Well...none belonging to us anyway, lol.

We considered buying some broiler chickens, but we all agreed that not one of us is man enough to do the dirty work..... ;) Besides...we cuddle our chickens too much to consider them dinner.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hello Sunshine

He was determined.

The days have been warmer and I have been working outside as long as there is light.
Our garden is marked off and ready for the organic soil/compost we have coming today.
Trees have been trimmed, the sunshine is filtering through and the grass is reaching up ever so sweetly and slowly........the moss has taken over the yard, but I there is hope.

I will share pictures today as I have a million and twenty two things to do.

I will say that I splurged and purhcased Weekend Sewing and Artisan bread in 5 minutes a soon as I pulled them from the box I was in love.....I'm not kidding you.......

Oops I need to run......promise I'll be back tonight to put the pics up....

Oh did I ever tell a lie, sheesh.......I have been swamped.
I am buried in chicks and seedlings... ;)

It's suntea season....WOOHOO

Iced mint green tea (apple mint, yum)

He likes it. :) and he deserves it as he's been working hard on the property.

New books.......I saved up for these was excruciating, but I am learning to be frugal.
I'm doing a good job too.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Blogger ate it. Seriously, it did.

I'm so frustrated and I'm holding a grudge for a bit.

Until then......I'm building raised beds and putting up deer netting.

My seedlings are all doing very well.

For the most part anyway.

There sun has been scarce. The broccoli is rebelling. :)

The hoophouse will go up next August.

I figured out that I don't need it right now anyway and that I need to put more effort into keeping the deer out of my garden.

We now have 28 chickens.

A few chicken tractors are next on the list.

It's going to be a very busy spring.