Maybe I should just label this HOT Mess. Let’s be honest; I’m as hot of a mess as there ever has been. I managed to shorten the blog absence between this and the previous post this time, though… so you’ll have to cut me a break.
Learning to farm is tougher than I ever imagined. Learning to live in a tiny farm house is also a stretch for this city-born girl. Not to mention: Mama is now the only functional dishwasher in the building… but I’ve finally come to a place in my journey where dish-washing engenders therapy (and service to God), rather than sadness.
On the garden front, I’ve also had accept limitations, even though I still have BIG DREAMS. There’s JUST too much wilderness and too many bugs… and tho I aim to plant it all, I’m only one freckled girl with over-40ish aged joints that remind me often how little I can check off the gardening to-do list. I may end up with pumpkins and squash and not much else to show for this year’s prolific planting. I’ll take it.
Everything else is just the icing on top of the garden cake… Including the two juicy strawberries I managed to eat before the kids saw them this week, and the daily nasturtium flowers I munch on when I water plants. I’ve come to like nasturtiums better than arugula because they have even more of a peppery punch.
I did tell you about the rain water barrels, right? I’ve never gotten to the bottom of the first one. There are two full barrels. The one we thought to put a spigot on (smart) refills before I can ever use it all. I just have to figure out a way to get a hose set up in my greenhouse and I’ll be set.
On my list of to-do items for the greenhouse:
1. I need shade fabric pronto – the cacti are melting…
2. we are going to use one of the old window units we replaced to see if we can cool it down just while we are in there working – have to install that someplace…
3. Still working on the cement mortar between the bricks.
4. Have some furniture to move in there and lots of garden bits of this and that which are accumulated in boxes in the garage and on the porches, which I have to take in there and “decorate” with.
I have so much to share with you and my brain is a mushy Saturday pile of tangled thoughts today, so I’ll just give you a random list for my May update. How’s that??? You would expect nothing less of me, I’m sure.
NATURE – We found a turtle which came up on the deck… he scared me to death (had no idea they could run that fast), ran through my legs, under my skirt, into the house, under some chairs, and opened his mouth to try and scare Kevin off when he was carrying him back outside. Sadly, a few days later, after setting him free in the flower beds, Kevin hit him with the riding mower because the weeds were too high to see him. He had to shoot him (to put him out of his misery) – which while humane, was very sad for all of us.
We like the critters here. You could call me Ellie May. We let all of them live, including the possum under the house, the armadillo under the shed, and the rascally raccoon who snuck into the house and stood up on the table acting like he was going to box my husband’s ears. Every week we discover some new thing. The boys like to photograph the bugs and frogs.
Maybe we can add a nature farm feature here at the blog when they are old enough to type for themselves. I’d love to have them be “guest authors” to get their computer, technology, writing, and social media skills. Not to mention, teaching others about nature is a great way to remember it forever!
Also… there have been dewberries… and sadly, they were only ripe for a short time. I wish they grew all year… and I wish the high grass and (possible) snakes didn’t prevent me from getting to them all. THEY ARE SO YUMMY.
LTC – We got to go to a Bible Event called Leadership Training for Christ in College Station recently. My boys learned a lot this past school year in a Wednesday night class at church, but they didn’t do it all year, so they didn’t “compete”. I can’t wait for them to go next year and maybe this time they can be on the team instead of just sit on the sidelines and watch.
We really enjoyed visiting the Texas A & M Campus, too.
THSC – We just got back from taking photos for the Texas Homeschool Coalition’s Called to Teach Convention in Dallas, TX last week. My boys got to be in their kid program and had fun hanging out with their buddy, Porter. I’ll be adding a photo album for the convention to my photography website at some point in the future.
Will you be at THSC’s Called to Teach Convention in the Houston area (The Woodlands)? I’d love to see you, if so. Don’t be shy. Come up and say Hi if you see me taking photos there.
HOME EC – I’ve been back in my groove. Thank God, I finally turned a corner with my major aversion to cooking after I lost my mom two years ago this month. Grief does weird things to you. Sometimes those things affect others. I’m thankful to have had understanding kids and I’m grateful that the man stepped in to his role as pizza-night chef without hesitation. This past week he cooked stuffed peppers, too.
I’ve been menu planning again and cooked an Asian meal last night that my youngest deemed “better than Panda and Pei Wei”. Since Panda Express is second only to Freddy’s for him, that’s a big deal. I also cooked at the homeschool convention. I’m excited to up my cooking to every night instead of just a few nights a week to double down on saving money.
STORAGE SCRAPE – Still digging out. I’m determined to get out of our rental box car container by next Wednesday. Please, Lord Jesus. Help wanted. Holler!
I did manage to sell one of the bedroom suits, one of the three couches, one of the desks, one of the TVs, and I gave away a small TV stand and pine chest. If you are in need of some good furniture, I have some for sale! I’m determined to get out of THREE storage units by the end of the summer.
SELF DEFENSE – The boys participated in an amazing free class put on by Williamson County’s Sheriff Department teaching them how to avoid being abducted. I love that they are offering this great resource, especially for ultra-socialized, friendly homeschool kids who tend to talk to anyone of any age and not assume the worst of people. Ha!
I’ll have to add this to my BIG LIST OF HOMESCHOOL FIELD TRIPS soon.
We’ll be at the Called to Teach Convention (me and the boys) at the end of May. I have to come up with a menu for the trip. Any suggestions for quick skillet meals and healthy on-the-go snacks? I bring my own food to convention.
Our family reunion for my husband’s folk and My BLOGIVERSARY is coming up in June. I love a good Czech reunion (read: poppyseed kolaches). I also love blogging… even when it has to sometimes get put on the back burner. I started this blog on June 8th of 2005. That makes me a fossil relic out here in the blogosphere. Let’s see… one, two, three… that makes 14 years.
You’ll want to come check out the blog in June. I’m going to see if I can manage to get it refurbished. It’s about time for a redesign.
COOL OTHER STUFF
Ever wanted to get out of debt?
Even downsizing into a tiny farm house wasn’t enough to entirely wipe out our debt. We paid everything but the new vehicle and some medical bills off when we got here, but our renovations proved to be much more expensive than we expected since we had unforeseen problems with the roof, the foundation, mold and rot, and electrical. That means credit card debt, so I’m in the Dave-Ramsey-Wanna-Be camp, too.
Check out Maggie’s inspirational post about her journey to become debt free. You can also get tips from Amy Lynn Andrews. Want to join with me in encouraging each other in following their footsteps? I’m already down with it, especially since I’m over my cooking funk. I’ll probably share a little as I go about how I’m doing with my progress. I love Maggie’s idea of creating a debt paper chain and keeping the family progress on her fridge to inspire them to eat at home. I also love Amy’s tip #7 to think ‘upside down’:
Instead of asking the question, “How much can we afford?” ask “How little can we reasonably get by with?”
– Amy Lynn Andrews
I’m off to enjoy the rest of my weekend. Hoping to stay tornado free (there was a watch earlier today) and not get too pelted with rain (it’s in the forecast until next Wednesday). Have fun and thanks for reading!
Disclosure: The Panda Express link in this post is a sponsored link. I’m sure you don’t mind since you probably like them as much as my little guy. Who doesn’t?