Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I can feel my summer mood coming on!

Today I gave part of a final exam, I have only two more Mondays and one more Wednesday until summer break starts. I love the month I am off before the kids are, I can get lots of jobs around the house done, the weather is great, and it stays light later. I always feel like I have more time when it is light at 9 o'clock, and I actually enjoy working after the kids are in bed and the sun is still up! The first thing on my list is to get the book cases into the living room and get that place in order.

After class, I came home to a robust group of kids. Emily was kind enough to watch Grayson today, and soon after I got home, the three school kids came home as well. For having six kids in the house, they were pretty good and not as loud as usual :) We ordered some pizzas for dinner, fed the kids and then Em had to take Declan to soccer and Haven went along. The other four kids split up amongst two rooms and two movies. The babies got bored and came down, we rough housed a bit and I am sure they will both sleep well tonight. It was actually quite peaceful with the four of them, they just hung out and played, not one single fight took place!

It was a really nice day, and all of my work is done, so I can relax and enjoy my evening.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I haven't posted since Sunday, big break :O

So I am settling down at PT school, just finals left so that is a huge relief. FT school got a bit busy as the other FT person in my department is heading out on a leave of absence., no biggie though, I worked alone in the department for a long time, so just a little extra on my plate. I also have an interview on Thursday for a PT tutoring gig, should be enough to help out during summer, and not too many hours a week, so I can still hang with the kiddos.

I absolutely cannot wait until the beach trip at the end of June. A week at the beach with the Fallon's and the kids, what could be better...maybe a week without the kids ;)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The nasty economy

I try not to talk about it too much here, but the housing market and the economy are really causing me stress. Our original plans were to move in the next two or three years, but with the way things look, we will be lucky if our house is worth what we owe on it then. Right now, my house value has decreased almost 20K in the last year, and it went down another 30K in the previous year. From it's highest value (which was too inflated) the value is now 100K less. That is crazy, we have owned the house for 4 1/2 years and have sunk a ton of money into it. It scares the crap out of me that the market and economy are so unstable. For the most part, my industry (higher ed) is stable and often sees growth during poor economic times, my husband's industry (IT) does not. If he lost his job, we could not survive, and we couldn't sell our house for anything worthwhile either. THAT is scary.

So now, what does one do about it? Well, we are trying as hard as possible to cut back on expenses. Usually this is pretty easy in summer, less is spent on gas, extras etc. I am hoping that I can pick up another part time job, that will offset the loss of my PT wages during summer and will pay down debt during the rest of the year. As long as I can work PT, I can handle another job, and I want to pack away as much extra cash as possible while paying down debt.

Maybe, just maybe, we will see an end to this soon, although I am not hopeful.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sweet memories

I was watching a show on diners today and one that was featured was Ed Debevics. This brought back memories of going to the Ed Debevics that was located in the village back in high school. I remember going there after the AIDS Walk, we got soaked to the bone and had to buy clothes, then we went and ate lunch at Ed Debevics. It was always fun to sit there and be harassed, the memories I have of going into the city as a teenager are ones that I wouldn't trade for anything. Back then the world was so new and fresh, and exploring who we were as people, our likes and dislikes, and trying new things always made the trips exciting. My friends from them, some of which I am fortunate enough to still have a relationship with, are so important to me. I became defined in those years, I learned more about who I was, and who I wanted to be through our adventures. Through the years, and relationships, college, jobs, kids, and what not, I can still see my friends as they were then, and I love that they still exist, and that they still let me hang around.

There were years when I first became a mom that I lost myself. I wanted to fit the mold of the other moms, perfect house, perfect kids, perfect everything. Well by nature I am not perfect, let's face it, I am more of a mess than I am together, although I do put up a nice front. I gave up on what I loved and tried to be someone I wasn't, and it was a sad and lonely time for me. Now I know who I am, and I am the happiest I have been in years living the way I do. I have let my hippie back out, and every day I strive to simplify our lives and our environmental impact. I know that the changes I am making will positively impact my family and cannot wait until we can move to more land. It is so rewarding to be yourself, more people should try it :)

How to stop the preteen train

So Brittan had a soccer game this morning, and we all got ready to go. I packed snack for the kids, drinks, etc so that Haven and Gray would have something while Brittan played (she gets snack at halftime and the end). We got there and my family wanted to sit far away from the field in the shade, I moved them to direct sunlight right along side the field, we were there to cheer after all.

Haven and Grayson went to play on the playground, and she comes back screaming and crying that Grayson hit her with a stick. I come to find out that he DID hit her with a stick, AFTER she tormented him, teased him and yelled at him. She then proceeded to throw a two year old tantrum, unpleasant with an almost 8 year old, and Ryan ended up dragging her off to the car. Her behaviour is terrible, and we are trying to get her under control before she hits her teen years. Anyone have advice? She is a strong willed, dramatic, over the top girl..HELP!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Under the weather, loving the weather

So I am feeling a little under the weather today, so much so that I actually went back to bed from 11 am-1pm, which is very unlike me. Prior to heading back to bed, I did clean up the house a bit, switch laundry, and get the bottom tier of the garden planted (Ryan did help me out at the end as I was really starting to feel ill...any zucchini we get is thanks to him!)

I went to bed and felt a bit better after my rest, came down and vacuumed, did the dishes, drank some tea and folded a few baskets of clothes. Dinner tonight was eye steaks (I am still amazed at how delicious the meat is!) sauteed potatoes and onions, jasmine rice (for Ry and Gray) wilted greens and salad, such a feast! All of it was so delicious, and I love that we are back into grilling and fresh veg season.

After dinner, the kids and Ryan took a walk, and I made them some pudding for dessert, and everyone has had a fun and relaxing afternoon and evening. Soon the kids will head to bed, I will settle onto the couch with tea or coffee and maybe a book, and a glorious breeze will blow through the open doors and windows. You have to love this time of year, everything is green and growing, the garden is full of summer harvest potential and the air is fresh. Perfect.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Anyone can cook!

So, I really don't understand when people say they can't cook. You throw stuff together and get a meal, and for me it never seems stressful or hard, even when cooking from scratch.

Tonight I planned to make chicken and dumplings as I had some nice leftover roast chicken and I had the drippings from that chicken as well. So I diced half an onion and chopped a few carrots and threw them in a pot with the drippings. Cooked them until tender, added the diced leftover chicken, some flour, salt, pepper and fresh sage. Added some water to top the pot and left everything to cook for about half an hour. Came back and everything was bubbly, so threw in about half a cup of half and half and some peas, mixed the dumplings (flour, milk, parsley, salt, pepper and baking powder) and added them to the pot. I ended up with too many dumplings, so they couldn't spread out, so I threw the pot into the oven and the dumplings cooked to a lovely crunch on top, and the soft and tender dumplings on the bottom. Simple, delicious and all made from scratch.

Productive day

So we got up and got the girls to school, although I had a bad night and was a bit crabby, the morning went off without a hitch. Came home and did a few chores. Ry went back to bed since he was really tired, and then Gray and I went out. Dropped off some clothes at Goodwill then we were off to pick up the CSA stuff. Another great haul, I cannot tell you how thrilled I have been with the amount of produce and the quality is amazing. I wasn't expecting much out of the Spring CSA, so I am looking forward to seeing what comes in the Summer!

I got the top tier of the big garden planted, the snow peas are looking great, the pole beans didn't start as well as I wanted in the peat pots, so I directly sowed a bunch more. The carrots and all three types of lettuce are in the ground. Tomorrow the tomatoes, cukes, zucchinis and eggplants will go in the ground. When that is done, everything will be planted, and I am so excited and relieved!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

We have meat!!!

Emily and I went and picked up our beef order today. It looks great, except we did opt for A LOT of ground beef, so next time we will not ask for so much! Looking at what we have, we will be placing another order in the next few weeks. It takes awhile to get the meat in, almost two months, so we want to plan ahead. Next in line is finding a pig, mmm bacon, sausage, ribs and ham!

On the agenda for today, I need to go teach and then home to make burgers!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

What does the future hold?

These last few weeks I have been antsy, maybe it is the spring weather, maybe it is the sheer abundance that needs to be done daily, but I want a slower lifestyle. Ryan and I have always agreed that the plan is to move to a nice piece of land. He is OK with it ending there, us living on our land (hopefully near a reasonable city) and planting a garden and some flowers. I, on the other hand, want a small farm. I would love raise chickens, pigs, goats and horses. I am fine with the circle of life and having an area where the broilers live (so we don't get attached) and then have our laying hens that we treat as pets. I have no issues with raising some pigs and sending some of them off to the butcher as needed. I want an apple and pear orchard, a huge berry patch and large garden. I would be content sitting at the farmers market in the summer and learning to make yogurt and cheese. The simple life is something I feel I need. I am so high stress, that it is easy for me to overload myself, and slowing down would be good for my soul and my health.

We talked about it tonight, and Ryan is OK with moving to the land and letting me have my mini farm. He does not want to head south, but he is OK with heading north, maybe into upstate NY. If the housing market recovers in the next few years, we will try to get him a job up there since my FT gig is from home and I can move with it. It would be awesome to have only one job, and for us to have more time together as a family. It is my dream, and while it seems so far away and unattainable, maybe we will get lucky.

A well deserved quiet day

It is still rainy and gloomy today, but that is OK as I plan to hang about in my pajamas. With the nasty weather, I am sure there will be no soccer, so I have no need to leave the house. My classes are on break, PT school is all caught up so all I have to do is basic things for FT school. Dinner will be a delicious pork roast and all the fixin's, there is nothing better than cooking up a storm on a cold and rainy day. I plan to rest and do a little housework, and that is about it. Since I am still feeling yucky, I feel the day off will be good for me, and I know Gray could stand to enjoy the quiet today too.

Tomorrow we have to pick up our meat order (hooray!) and then I have to teach. Thursday I am planting the seedlings in the main garden. Looks as though the trellis isn't going up this year, so I need to go and get some tomato cages. I am so excited to get the plants into the ground, and even more excited to see the fruits of our labor!

Once everything is planted, I will post some pictures.

Monday, April 21, 2008

A long day, and a long night

My day has been long and tiring, and I still need to go to teach class.

We got up very early, got the girls off, then Gray and I came home to clean up. I baked muffins for the girl scouts and did my course checks which took forever. Dealt with a rude student, cleaned up a bit then went to lunch. Came home and did the dishes and some other tasks, finished grading papers, inputted grades and got dinner going. Class tonight will be long, and I really am not feeling well, so I am happy that tomorrow I don't have to leave the house. I am staying in my PJ's all day and trying to relax. We will see how it goes :)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Planning for summer eat local challenge

It is always fun to try a challenge, and this year we will be trying the Eat Local challenge. While cooking up dinner tonight, I realized that almost everything included will be local this summer. We had a simple supper of potato pancakes, and this summer the potatoes and carrots will be grown in our yard, the eggs come from the CSA or farm, and I serve it with my own homemade apple butter made from local apples. The only non-local ingredients are the salt and the flour, and I am on the lookout for local flour :) Anyone know where I can get some that is grown and milled in VA?

Rain and more rain, but the plants will grow

Our beautiful weather has left, no more sun or warmth, not even a trace of it.

Today is gray and rainy, and being that I already feel sick, I am not thrilled. Looks as though tomorrow will be more of the same, and it may spread into Wednesday....yuck :(

On a bright note, our meat order comes in on Wednesday. Poor Emily has to go get it since I have class, and she gets to take Ryan and Grayson along..poor poor Em. We got the freezer all defrosted this weekend, so we are ready for the beef to come, and we have plenty of room to store some of Emily's as well! I am so excited that 1. we have really healthy, tasty fresh beef and 2. I won't have to buy beef during the summer when are bank accounts are lean :)

Now I just need to bulk up the chicken supply, and I will make a run to Costco to buy 10 whole chickens and at least 25 lbs of chicken breasts and 10 lbs of legs and thighs to get through the summer. My goal is to only have to buy milk, cheese, the occasional bread, and a few other small items through summer. The CSA and our garden should keep us in fresh veggies and the small berry patch will give us enough for eating this year (and more than enough for canning and freezing next year!) We will pick strawberries for Mother's Day and will get at least 3 if not 5 flats of berries. This year I will can the jam rather than make freezer jam and I plan to bake bread in pots at Christmas time and give it as gifts with the jam, yummy!

I am itching for fresh foods. If my plan works, I should be able to skate by on under $100 a week during the summer for food, some weeks may be as low as $50, not too shabby for a family of 5!

When will housing stop dropping?

The housing crisis is really screwing with our plans. We have been fixing our house up, redoing bathrooms, kitchens, etc, all as we planned to move when I was done with school. With housing the way it is, it is looking unlikely that we will have the option to move out of our house in the next three years. This puts a lot of pressure on me to find a full time, onground, teaching position here that pays enough for me to pay back loans and us stay in this house. This also means that we would be here much longer than anticipated, as we wouldn't move if I secured a job. The scenario now is that I will do my best to find a job here and if I do, we will find a new house with more land in the area here. That will be a tough feat since most of the houses on land here are ridiculous in price.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Feel like hell

I just feel like crap. I guess I got the kid's cold, but man, I feel crappy. Congested, sore and tired. The cat also has a belly ache, so that means a trip to the vet tomorrow, with three kids in tow. Yippee.

I still need to go grade papers and get my butt to bed. The kids will be up early and they don't care how I feel. Tomorrow I need to grade the papers I don't get to tonight, fold clothes, clean the house, take the cat to the vet and go to swimming for two hours. Fun, fun, fun!

Oh it makes me so mad!!!!!!!

So I just watched a video on how to save money at the grocery store. The clip was from ABC News, and they missed a big opportunity to talk about buying local, but of course, they didn't. They explained that grocery prices had gone up 17% in a year and then went to the store to point out that sausage costs more than bacon and skim milk less than 2% (are we happy about that?). They then said that you should buy fruit in season, and very briefly mentioned fuel costs affecting overall prices.

YES we need to buy in season...if we all bought in season think of the impact it would have. We also need to buy LOCALLY. Prices are not as affected when a product only travels a short distance. I know the beef we are getting costs me way less than the cheapest supermarket beef when you average the prime cuts with the ground. That is because the beef is from Maryland, and the travel time is minimal, and the increased cost to the farmer is small, so he can keep prices lower. We pay more for milk than at the grocery store. Last I checked, a gallon of 2 %milk at the grocery store ran us just over $4, and I pay $3.60 for a half gallon. I am fine with paying the extra, my kids drink less of the farm milk as it is quite rich, and I am not getting all of the hormones and antibiotics, which is worth every cent! I also enjoy recycling the milk bottles, and I am content to pay more for milk for less trash being produced. Right now, I get my eggs from two different farms, one costs me $1.50 a dozen for free range brown eggs (find them in the store for that) and the other comes as part of the CSA costing me about $3 a dozen, again, cheaper than the good eggs at the store. My CSA haul last week cost me about $23 and I got a nice jar of local honey, eggs, broccoli rabe, green garlic, radishes, salad greens, and herbs, and if I had bought all of that at the store, it would have run me at least $35. Oh why can't everyone get that it only takes a few more minutes, and the payoff is huge for everyone?

Friday, April 18, 2008

So tired, and the day won't end

So, we got the back garden almost ready to go. A few more bags of manure and soil, a few more runs of the tiller, and we are up and running. It is such a relief to know that we are almost ready to finish the planting. Once the garden is planted, I can move on to other tasks that have been on hold. This summer I need to get the bookcases up in the living room, the garage needs an overhaul and I want to paint the kitchen cabinets and re-grout the countertops. Also, if I get the time, I will paint the master bathroom and tile the floor. All this plus work, take care of three kids, run them around town and do all of the garden work, canning and cleaning. Should be a breeze right?

Who turned on the heat?

As is typical here in Virginia, we go from 40's and 50's to high 70's and 80's almost overnight. Today's high is expected to each 85, that is pretty dang warm for April!

Gray and I went and hauled another 20 bags of soil today. Then we planted the side garden, all but the sweet potatoes which won't be ready until mid May. Ryan finished the berry patch, and I hope we get lots of berries, although we know the first year isn't the best. We have a ton of strawberries, three blueberry bushes, raspberries and blackberries. They will come back each year, so we will be enjoying them for years to come. The main garden is still a work in progress. I am hoping we can move a bunch of the soil into the lower garden today so that i can till and plant it next week. the upper garden still needs to be turned a lot, it has probably not been moved about since the house was built over 30 years ago! We also need to build the trellis, which should be a simple bunch of two by fours, although sinking them into the soil might be tricky. Worse comes to worse, I can grow the beans and tomatoes in cages, although the end result will not be as plentiful.

So much to do, but we are making headway. Now if I could figure out a way to do all of this all day, keep the house clean and get my work done, now that is quite the feat!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Doctors, oil changes, CSA's and more!

So, it was a bad night. A very long and loud bad night, but it is over. Took Grayson to the doctor, he has another ear infection and sinus infection. They gave home a14 day treatment of antibiotics, but Ryan and I are thinking of throwing the script out. We are tired of giving him these medicines and them not working. I do know if he would get on Dr. Tom's table he would feel better, but there is only so much coaxing you can do with a three year old.

We also had the oil changed, yippee. Then we headed off to gather the weekly CSA goodies. I have been very happy with what has been packed up each week, and admit I was nervous about the Spring CSA as the options are usually limited in produce. This week we have a huge bag of greens, more radishes, green garlic, chives and parsley, broccoli rabe and a jar of honey! That is a great haul for what we are spending, and I love that we are supporting local farms. I cannot wait to see what we get for summer, and along with our garden, I am feeling hopeful that we will be able to can and freeze enough to last most of the winter!

I am now off to till the new garden once more and plane the acorn squash, butternut squash, sweet pumpkins and fingelings. Sweet potatoes will also be in this garden, but the plants will not be in until May.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Banking on a bad night

So it is not even 9:30 and Gray has already been up screaming. Haven has come down and told me that her stomach hurt. We are in for some fun!

Who needs sleep?

Do you know what does not make for a good night's sleep? A three year old wailing every 30-45 minutes, all night, until he FINALLY fell asleep at 6 am and I had to wake him at 7:30. Seems Gray has caught Britt's cold and he is having trouble breathing, hence the frantic screaming all night. Today he looks awful, and is tired and crabby. Gave him a treatment and figure we will be at the doctor tomorrow if the wheezing doesn't get better and he keeps screaming, usually means the boy has an ear infection.

Today I have presentations, but I believe we are short a group, so class may be quick, thank goodness. Then when I get home, I have grading to do, then off to bed EARLY!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The power of friends

Gray and I had a busy and trying day out today, and when we got home, there in front of the door was a package. Inside were two awesome books on organics sent by my friend Rachel. I cannot begin to tell you how much it meant to me to come home and find something that was meant for me, that someone thought of me, it made me feel very special. Rachel and I go WAY back to 6th grade and I wish we lived closer so that we could share more of our lives with each other. It meant so much that she thought of me, especially as the last few days have been hard for me. It means even more that Rachel took time to send me the books given I know she is crazy at work, moving and dealing with family illness. It takes a special person to think of others when there is so much going on in their life, and Rachel is one special person who I am grateful to know.

A shiny new day

So, I was up late last night, as I expected, grading papers. This morning I got the kids up and made french toast and sausage for the girls, eggs and sausage for Gray. I figured we could all use a hearty start to the day. Brittan was feeling better, so she and Haven were dropped at school and Gray and I came home to clean up and get ready for our day.

I need to grade at least 10 more papers this morning, then we will go to lunch, the farm, Dr. Tom's and home. I will make dinner, then we will drop Haven off to play and Brittan, Grayson and I will go to soccer. Home for supper, baths for the kids, and work for me. I know the day ahead is a busy one, but I also know it will all get done, simply because it has to.

My class I am taking is getting ready to end, so I am anxious to finish that work this week and say goodbye to the awful stress. A new class begins in two weeks, so it will be a welcome relief. I have three more assignments due by Saturday, and I anticipate finishing the big one tomorrow night. Thursday is usually a slow day here, just housework and gardening, so it will be a good opportunity to finish out my classwork.

Off to grade essay exams!

Monday, April 14, 2008

What did you do today?

Here is what I did:
Took Haven to school, took Gray and Britt (home sick) with me to get snacks and cereal and go to the bank. Came home and vacuumed the house, washed the rug, made cookies for the girl scouts and my kids, made my kids lunch, gave them a nap, mopped the floors, did the dishes (twice), worked at both jobs, answered a million emails, did course checks for over an hour, mentored new faculty, helped old faculty that seemed to forget the requirements of their job, emailed some more, organized the laundry, took a shower, got ready for work. Now it is almost 5 and I will be leaving for work, I will be home after 10pm and will grade more papers, at least 15 all essay exams, that should take a few hours. Tomorrow looks just as busy, but such is my life!

Note to Husband...Part 2

First off, for anyone else reading this, my apologies that this has turned into husband anger, but this is really my life and sometimes you have to write it out as it comes.

Dear Husband...again,
So glad you read the other note, now why don't we clarify a few things. When you say I always distrust other women, and that I am nervous about all of your other relationships (you said paranoid, I am being nice) why can't you give me an example? I can think of at least 8 women your are friends with who I have no issues with at all, who I don't care about your friendship or give it much thought. When I asked you to name ONE other person, you couldn't...hint, that is because the only other person I have ever had concerns about nearly ended our marriage. You want me to think this is me being crazy, paranoid, jealous, etc. Let's start with crazy, I admit in lots of ways I am, but not in this situation. Paranoid, not so much. Jealous, well I am sure there are people I am jealous of, usually people with good relationships (haha) and more money, but I can GUARANTEE that there is no way that I would ever be jealous of some white trash girl from upstate NY. I mean, I am sure it is loads of fun to come from a family with heaps of baby daddies and multiple marriages and no education, but I will stick with my current status, thank you very much.

I promise you one thing, four years ago when this happened I was 7 months pregnant with Gray and feeling very trapped. I am not now, and I have no problem with you walking out the door, nor do I have a problem kicking you out. See, I have been smart all these years, and made sure that I was working towards making enough to support myself and the kids. Sad that I had to feel this would happen again, even sadder it did.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

stupid class

I know you were all really worried about if I would earn a B- (passing in doctoral studies) in my class. As it stands, I have an A- and even if I don't do any remaining assignments I would earn a B-. Given that I will do the assignments, I am anticipating an A- or a B+ at the worst. Needless to say I am very relieved!

crappity crap crap crap

Britt just came downstairs and told me her head and stomach hurt. Hmmmm, kid has been really weepy, cold and tired today. Checked her temp and she is just over 100, and knowing Britt, she will get to 103-105 pretty quickly when she feels as bad as she does. She took a two hour nap today and just went back to lay in her bed, that is not a good sign. Oh well, she will miss swimming tonight, and if I can, I will send Haven with a neighbor, if not, oh well, I do the best I can.

At least I premade dinner, and I am going to do the dishes and vacuum so if I have a sick kid all night, I won't have to clean tomorrow morning. Plus I SCRUBBED the master bathroom, it is one of those often neglected rooms, so I can offically move the kittens in there tonight. I also overhauled the master bedroom so I can sit up there and grade lots and lots of exams tonight in a super neat and clean environment. Woohoo, lucky me.

A note to husbands

Here is an idea, don't take your wife for stupid. Really don't take your wife for stupid when she cooks, cleans, raises the kids, has a master's and is halfway through a doctoral program and has caught you in lies before. Don't assume that she won't find things out, that other people won't tell her or that you are suddenly so bright that you can pull one over on her.

Don't lie and say you aren't talking to someone when you are. Don't tell her that you are "just friends" and then treat said person better than you treat your wife. Don't say that you never discuss your wife and then bitch about your relationship or your wife. When your wife says a relationship you have with another woman is too close, take it as a hint that it IS TOO CLOSE. If you have to lie, sneak around, hide things, etc....guess what, the relationship is more than friendship and inappropriate.

if you are sending this woman things in the mail without telling your wife, there is something wrong, and when you have done this before and lied to wife for a year, anticipate that she will be blowing her top sometime soon. Also note that that same stupid wife you thought you could trick will ensure that one of two things happen, either this woman and you quit all contact, or you and wife will quit all contact. Think about it.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Chuggin' along

We were busy today. Got up, got the girls off to school, grabbed Grayson and Emily and off to PT school, then we picked up our CSA share, grabbed Em's girls, went to the feed store, then to Lowes, then home, then Lowes again! Ryan tilled and planted today. We also got a new grill, and I am SOOOOOOO excited to have one that works. Then Haven had riding, Ry went to parent/teacher conferences and I had a conference call.

Tomorrow will also be a bit busy, but not as much. Cleaning, planting and organizing, but spring is coming!!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Almost there

So, I sat through six presentations, came home and took the kids to dinner. I am now back home and hunkered down in my PJ's with a cup of GOOD coffee working on my paper. Thankfully, the professor granted an extension, so I need to write three pages tonight and I will finish the paper off tomorrow. Now all I have to do is run around tomorrow morning, clean the house, have a conference call and finish this paper and I can relax!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


If you know what Tomato Rhumba's was let me know by posting a comment.

Bonus points if you know what chain restaurant it was an extension of.

HINT HINT...I know there is one lurker who knows this answer ;)


So, one of the side effects of being so high stressed is that when you break, you break hard! Right now I am in a ton of pain, achy all over.

Currently I have a group project that is due tomorrow at PT school, and one group is having a full on meltdown. It is not fun to have to get in the middle of drama and be the one who punishes. In addition, a bunch of my students did really poorly on an assignment, so I need to find a way to pick them up tomorrow.

FT school is kicking my tush, I have a lot of little things to do that add up to a lot of time. My class is ridiculous and the paper that is due tomorrow is not even started, sigh.

Usually Thursday is my light day, this week I have to drive to PT school to fill out a form, then I need to go get our first CSA box. Then home to work on the gardens and then Ryan will go to the girl's parent teacher conferences while I take a conference call. Hopefully Haven's riding teacher will allow us to just drop Haven off and then pick her up after lesson, since we cannot be in two places at once!

Doom and Gloom

OK, the weather has to change, and SOON!

The gray nastiness that is a Virginia "spring" is enough to make you crazy. Keep in mind that this comes on the heels of a gray winter, so I need a little sunshine.

We got going pretty well today, I got my green coffee and it is roasting away, Hurrah! Once I am dressed, we will go with Emily and get her girls, then the normal Tuesday lunch and farm ride. Tonight Britt has soccer if the weather cooperates.

I know everyone was as worried as I was about my paper. My instructor posted a sample paper, so now I at least know what to do.

Off to put clothes on!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Long Days

I am sitting in a VERY HOT classroom while my students finish their exam. I got all of those papers grades and really tried to figure out what I am supposed to do for this paper. I have read the information no less than 20 times and I still cannot figure it out. It would be helpful if the teacher would email me back, but alas, no response. I guess I will do some grading tonight for FT school, so I can dedicate tomorrow AND Wednesday to writing this stupid paper. I am looking forward to a few weeks off!

Where do the days go????

It is almost 3 pm and I am not sure where my day went. Funny how some days you look at the clock and time is dragging, and others it flies!

I still need to wrangle some dinner for the kiddos and get dressed for work, but most everything else was taken care of. I have another monster paper due, not even sure how to do it, but I will start tonight when I get home at 10. If all goes well, I will have all of my Wednesday classes papers graded tonight so that is off my plate, then tomorrow is farm day and I will be busy writing the paper and doing grading. Ah well, at least I have a high B+ in the class, almost an A-, I just need to get these other papers correct.

Monday Blues

It is just nasty outside, that gray misty rain that makes you wish the sky's would just pour and get it over with!

We got a late start today, the girls were tired from swimming and getting to bed so late. Maybe that is my fault since my almost 8 year old is trained for a 7:30 bedtime, but hey I work at night and need my sanity!

Girls got to school on time, barely, then Gray and I went to see Dr. Tom and then ran to get snack stuff for the brownies and a few other odds and ends. Came home, made coffee (still the nasty stuff) and started to do my Monday Course Checks. Well, something is up with the site and I cannot get into the classes. I am sure it will clear up soon, but it put a kink in my morning. So now I will go vacuum and switch laundry and do the housework thing, so that I can do the checks later. I also have to figure out dinner for tonight and go to work. I am giving an exam tonight, so I plan on grading some of my other classes papers and working on one of my papers. My favorite thing last week was arguing with my teacher. He said that DDB Needham was an abbreviation, I wrote back and told him it is the corporate name. He wrote back and said I needed to look further into it, hahaha, I KNEW people who worked there when they changed the name officially to DDB Needham (that is why there are no periods!!!!) Wrote him again and gave him the history and explained the branding changed in 1999 to officially change the name to DDB Needham (plus it would be stupid to write out the full name)

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Almost chicken time

So the kittens are growing nicely and three will leave and go to new homes in a few weeks. We will be keeping one of the calicos who is yet to be named, and the gray little one who will be called Tuesday. We are now a house with three cats, a Newfoundland, a hamster and by summers end, chickens.

Once the garden is planted and the kittens move out, I will begin preparing for the chickens. I am hoping to be able to order 17 week pullets rather than day olds so that we can get our eggs sooner, but we will have to see what happens. First in line will be building out the coop and run, which needs to be covered due to all of the hawks we have.

Oh the horror!

It is horrible and terrible and awful that I have no more coffee. OK, actually that should read that I have no more GOOD coffee, I do have those horrible little black beans you buy at the grocery store. I cannot believe that I used to actually like that stuff, I have been spoiled by the fresh roasted coffee, something about it filling the house with the aroma, the deep gloss of the beans, oh it is heaven.

I ordered more green beans, but they won't be here until tomorrow. You can bet you bippy the box will come and the roaster will immediately be turned on so that I don't need to suffer another day.

I absolutely love roasting coffee, I love the smell and the sounds it makes when it first cracks. I wish we could purchase a commercial roaster, and I would make and sell my own. Maybe next year will bring the cash we need to get that running. Best part of roasting coffee, you can do it at home (we would make a room in the garage) and I would sell it at local farm markets, online, to local restaurants, etc. Such a good dream :)

Need to get moving....

So I have vacuumed the house, fed the kids and put some laundry away. Then I sat down and did a little work, but I am just feeling slow today. What I need to do now is clean the bathroom, switch the laundry and fold a bunch of clothes. Then the kids need lunch and they are ALL resting today since we have swimming. While they nap, I will mop the main level and figure out a dinner plan and grade some papers. I am hoping that while I am stuck at swimming for two hours, I can get a lot of papers graded.

OK, I am off to get moving on my jobs!

Rainy day

It is a rainy, rainy morning. In one way, I am relieved that Haven won't have riding. On the other hand, I am itching to till the side garden so I can get my butternut and acorn squash, sweet pumpkins and potatoes in the ground. We should be past first frost, so if tomorrow cooperates, I will be tilling and planting that garden, and on Thursday Ryan will till the berry patch and the main garden. My seedlings are growing strong, so I am anxious to get them into the ground as soon as is safe.

We determined the structure for the tomato and bean trellis. Ryan wanted to use lattice, but I was concerned it would block too much light, so we are using the trellis netting. The frame will be 2 x 2's with a ladder top to provide support, then we place the netting. Each year we will replace the netting as needed, but the frame will be sturdy and will last. The upper garden will house beans, tomatoes , carrots and head lettuce. Lower garden has the four types squash/zucchini, eggplant, two types of cukes, and leaf lettuce. I am so very excited for the harvest :)

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Britt had her first soccer game today, and while it looked like a crazy mess of pony tails and blue and white on the field, the kids seemed to have fun. Brittan seemed to like it, and she was really tired after the game, and hot. I hope that the weekly practices and games will build up her stamina. She is just a little wisp of a kid, so she tires easily and gets hot/cold quickly.

While Britt was playing her game, and we were supposed to be cheering for her, Haven was being a pain. She is so used to all events being about her, and being the center of attention, she couldn't stand that this was for Brittan. She whine and moaned and just plain acted poorly. Her bad attitude followed us to lunch after the game, where I ended up leaving Ryan and the kids and going to the car just so I didn't have to look at her scowly face anymore.

Then we went to Lowes and bought a tiller for the gardens and some more soil. We also picked out a new grill, especially since the one we have is from when we bought our first house over 7 years ago and I grill as much as possible in the spring and summer.

Cam home and I started cutting away at the top tier of the new garden. It was hard work, and I don't even feel like I got that much done. Next we will use the tiller in the top and bottom tiers, and I will build out the side garden. So much work, so little time.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Actions and words

Why do people not understand that for many of us, myself included, all the pretty words in the world don't change the actions. I have been chastised often for walking the moral high ground, and for being judgmental, and I admit to those faults. One thing I always do though, is apologize when I am wrong and try my best to live my life doing the best I can everyday. Some days I fail miserably, others I don't, but I do try every single day. I don't care what people tell me, as a matter of fact, I am most apt to not believe them anyway, but I do know what I see, what people do, and how they act.

Lobster and three year olds

So I decided to take my boy out to lunch. and when I asked he where he wanted to go, he said Red Lobster. I said fine and off we went. We get there and guess what he wants to order....macaroni and cheese! Well, of course I let him, and I had some shrimp and we headed off from lunch. Went to the store to look at bookcases and dressers, then off to the toy store as promised. We had over $60 in gift cards and we left with almost $40 left, I have never had that experience before! We got some new outdoor toys, sand toys, bubbles, etc. It is getting to be that time of year when I can kick the kids outside to play!

Britt had fun with Daddy on the field trip and Haven came up grumpy, but cheered up. I made some Flannel Cakes with sausage for dinner, a calm and and quiet dinner.

Just me and my boy

So Ryan is off for the field trip. He and Brittan have sacks filled with sandwiches, drinks and goodies. They are going to the Children's Museum, so I know they will have a blast! My husband has very long curly hair he wears in a ponytail and a goatee, and he is about 6'3" tall, so people make a lot of assumptions about him. Seems the teacher gave him just Brittan and another little girl we knew from dance, she gave more kids to the moms, can we say sexist? Little does she know that he could have handled half that class single handed and they would have had an awesome time and been watched over and safe. I have lots of complaints about my husband, but I swear he is better at wrangling a ton of kids than I am, he keeps them safe while also making sure they have a fun. I know that Britt and her friend will have the BEST time!

Haven rode in with them and will hitch a ride home. She is a bit jealous of Britt's trip, but I promised that as long as I could, I would go on her upcoming field trip. I had also said I was planning to take Gray to the petting zoo, but with all of the rain, it doesn't seem like a good idea. Maybe I will see if I can find something special to do with him, although he seems content to just get some alone time with me. Maybe we will play cars on the floor or break out the playdoh, some special alone time for him.

UPDATE= I think I will take him out to lunch and to get some new outside toys....especially since he just came up to me, hugged me and told me I was pretty. ahhhh, little boys are so sweet!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Liar liar

OK, so I did work. BUT, before I did I read half of a book, while sitting in the living room, under a blanket, drinking tea. That is big for me. Now the work is done and I am off to make lunches for tomorrow and to convince the hubby that we should watch a movie.

Yummy smells

Since I decided to have a quiet day (haha) I only cleaned the house, did the dishes and went to the grocery store this morning. Brittan has a field trip tomorrow and Ryan is going, so we needed goodies to fill their brown paper bags.

Came home and unloaded and made some chocolate chip cookies for the kids. Ryan is a bit down, stuff at work, so he also needed some cookies to cheer him up too. The weather got nasty and it was sleeting (when will spring come!) so I went and grabbed the kids from school so they didn't have to ride the bus in that muck.

Came home and started dinner, a roast chicken, roasted veggies and FAVORITE dinner. Tonight I will NOT work, I will only watch a movie with the husband and have quiet time. Now tomorrow, that is another story.....

Smelling the flowers

There are moments we all have where we need to reexamine our lives. Luckily for me, these happen almost weekly, and I try my best to learn from mistakes, my own and others.

So, I am going to sit and watch a movie with my son, because I fear I haven't spent as much time doing the fun things with him. Husband is back in bed since he is exhausted and stayed up late last night trying to support me while I finished my paper. Then I will clean my house and find a way to not feel so bad about myself. The funny thing about life, sometimes people hold up mirrors and use them to help you better yourself, and other times they hold them up to make you feel worse. It is my choice how I feel about myself, and I decided that I will try to push those bad feelings aside and focus on the good. No one is perfect.


It is now after midnight, and I am up...again.

I finally got all of my work done. I have to make a few changes to one paper, and haven't heard back regarding the other, but I am hoping all went well.

My day was nuts and long and I am exhausted. I feel like I haven't stopped moving in weeks. I also feel like no one understands my life, and fear that this journey is going to be a lonely one. It is unfortunate what you learn in time, the lessons I have learned from my experiences are diverse, from having my heart broken, to seeing it swell with love. I guess only time will tell who will be standing with me when all of this is done, but there is little I can do about that. I am one of those people who feels that if you cannot do something to the best of your ability, then don't bother, and it applies to all aspects of life.

I wish everyone who criticizes me or tells me how or what I should be doing could spend a single day in my life. I think then they would see just how hard it is to balance all that I do, and how close to the edge you are standing at all times. I am trying my best everyday, even if it doesn't seem like it, and I am sorry if it isn't good enough. It is always easier to stand outside looking in and tell someone what they should do, it is very different when you are immersed in the situation. This is by far the hardest thing I have had to do.

All I can do it get up tomorrow and keep pushing forward. I am thankful for the small handful of people who have taken this journey and can provide insight, although I don't know anyone who has done this with little kids and two jobs. If anyone knows someone like that, send them my way, I am sure we both could use the support.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Bad mornings, good days?

So the morning began badly, really, really, really tears, sick to your stomach badly.

BUT...I got the girls off to school, Gray and I went and made copies of the exam for today, we renewed my car registration, came home and cleaned up, I heard back regarding Fall schedule at PT school, boss at PT school gave me a bunch of information on finding a teaching job and all I have left is to get ready for work and do my call.

So my crappy morning can be done now, I am hoping for a decent day and night, and then tomorrow I am doing housework ONLY!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


If no one hears from me in a few days, send a rescue team....I fear I am drowning in this paper