This is the new garden. It's not fancy... it's just dirt. That said, the recent additions (beans, basil, carrots, radishes, cabbage, celery, dill, parsley, etc, etc, etc) are doing well - especially the beans.... and the tomatoes and watermelon seem to be appreciating the transplant from the containers to the good stuff (real dirt).
Last night, I came home from the local hardware store with more seeds. O (the 4 year old) was sooooo excited. She demanded that we start digging the second garden bed right then and there so we can plant our new seeds. She wanted to 'help.'
O's idea of helping involves letting you do all the work and just as you're seconds away from finishing the step at hand (either tilling or shaking) she yells, 'Hey!!! I wanted to do that!!!!!" and then stomps away to play some more.
Anyhow... where was the story going? Oh yeah.... did you know dirt was sexy? Me, being a nearly 36 year old mom of 3 surely isn't the sexy one... really.... those cat-calls from the random pick-up trucks driving by must have been for the dirt ('cause if they were for the 4 year old, we probably need to get a gun, etc).
Conclusion - if you want to appear sexy and feel good about yourself, go out in the yard and dig up some dirt. Cover yourself in dirt... let it cake on your hands, arms, legs, and face (due to the fact that they're sweating so much).... and you too can hear cat-calls from random pick-ups driving past your house ;)
Recently, there's been a news story floating around the internet about a man being tossed in jail for collecting rainwater on his own property. The case cites a 1925 law about the man having illegal reservoirs. Seems silly to me (the law, not harvesting rainwater).
We also can't escape the fact that we're in a drought.... but we're still seeing some rain a few times a week... and when it rains in Georgia - it seriously pours.
In solidarity with the man going to jail for his rain harvesting system - I want rain barrels.
We fill up the kiddie pool every day (at least 75 gallons of water) and I water the garden every day too (although I've taken to dipping the watering can in the kids pool and carrying the water to the garden to save water and money).
I've seen many tutorials about how to make your own rain harvesting system - most are cheap and easy - except for the damn barrels. They cost a pretty penny. We've been debating it for weeks.... the cost.... would it make sense? We spend about $100 a month on water... but half of our water goes to outdoor uses... we would need about 4 barrels to have enough to meet our outdoor needs.... and at current prices on barrels alone, that would be about $300-$400. No, not right now. Can't do it.
BUT, on a whim, I searched our local Craig's List. The rain gods are smiling on me today!!! There is a man selling barrels (60 gallon with lids) for $20 each. For less than $100 now, we can save about $50 a month for about 10 months of the year - year after year after year.
There are so many great recipes and options out there... but I'm having trouble locating 1 simple ingredient. Washing Soda. Not Baking Soda.... but Washing Soda.
I have everything lined up to make a batch of Liquid Dishwasher Detergent... but I need to get my hands on Washing Soda.
Do you make your own cleaners? Do you have a favorite recipe? Source for information? Supplies? Where do you get your Washing Soda?
PS - I found the Liquid Dishwasher Detergent here: http://choosingsimplicity.blogspot.com/2012/01/choosing-simplicity-homemade-liquid.html
Great stuff - check it out!!
Update on our Homemade Liquid Fabric Softener - It's Fabulous!!!! But I'm not sure the lavender I added is really making it's way to the finished/rinsed clothes. They don't smell of lavender and the ants still love our laundry. I've taken to spritzing the clothes on the line with a spray bottle of water & lavender oil. It's helping... as is dousing the whole laundry area with cornmeal. A HUGE thank you to those who suggested the cornmeal!
I won't lie - although I think I'm a good liar, it's not in my nature - business with Another Cup slows down in the summer. I know this would be the perfect time to revamp my photography website and book some weddings.... but.... I'm tired and I'm not sure I have the extra time and energy right now. Yup. I'm feeling beat.
Another solution to cover household expenses? I could get a job. A real job. I remember what those were like.... wearing nice clothes. Getting to the office early to enjoy my coffee before the phone started ringing and emails flooding in... putting out those "fires," making things happen, troubleshooting, hiring/firing/reviews, coaching, teaching.... sales.... trade shows.... travel.... I was damn good at my job.
But let's be realistic. I'm no longer in Seattle or LA. I'm in Augusta, GA where I'm lucky if I understand what the person behind the counter is saying.... and it's been years. 4 and a half years to be exact. I haven't worked outside the home in 4.5 years. I haven't held a "real" job since kiddo no. 2 was born. I've photographed some weddings. I've sold some photos. I've done some freelance marketing and design work. Now, I build things. But... not things most of you would term a "real" job.
I don't punch a time clock
My schedule revolves around diapers, bottles, naps, snacks, and Dora
I wear my PJ's all day long (and yes, they have paint on them)
I use my "break time" to do the dishes or toss in a load of laundry
I was talking to O about what I could do and where I could work.... I had high hopes... back to the Corporate World or maybe even a Non-profit... but then I remembered that we only have 1 car. I need to find a job I can work nights. Sad.
My daughter seems to think I would make a really good janitor since I like to sweep a lot. Thanks Kiddo.
Raise your hands - Who can tell me what this is?
Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
This is my tool of the week. I'm seriously loving my Kreg Jig. It makes absolutely perfect pocket holes - every single time - and I can use wood plugs that fit in the pocket holes perfectly and hide the screws.
No more pre-drilling. Hidden screws. So quick. So easy.
If you want to build furniture or cabinets... buy one. Trust me.
Right now, I'm building a large, deep, glass front cabinet - a custom request - a variation of the "Shadowbox Shelf - Rustic Vineyard Wood Frame."
It's absolutely beautiful and nearly finished... and I might just have to build a few more to list in my shop ;)
Recognizing medical emergencies -
According to the American College of Emergency Physicians, the following are warning signs of a medical emergency:
Here's the thing... I need surgery and I think if I showed up, they would take me right back and cut me open. I'm not afraid or a wuss... I've actually already had this particular surgery twice already in the past 2 years (not to mention the 3 other surgeries I've had in the past 2 years). I meet a couple of the criteria on the list (although not exactly related to the abdominal issue in question).
My question for you... if you can't get an appointment for several weeks with the doctor and there is no Urgent Care (only an ER available)... would you go to the ER? My life is not in danger... I just need medical care and to get a surgery scheduled SOON.
I think that's the kicker. I need it to be actually scheduled. I can't just go get it done. It has to be planned. I need time to line up help for the house and the kids and the puppy... and I need to finish a few orders for work as well. And even taking the time to line it all up.... the appointment... the lab work.... the pharmacy... daunting... the wait can be hours... I can either impose on my friends and feel very very guilty.... or I can take along the 3 screamy ones... Crap.
I want to hear from you - at what point would you go to the ER? Have you ever been to the ER? How long would you wait on an appointment to see a doctor? Do you put off your own medical care because it's just not convenient?
In a conservation effort (wallet and resources - although I suppose those both boil down to money), we put up a clothes line. The clothes will be linty, but fresh and dry... going back to our roots... doing-it-old-school... childhood memories and all that jazz.
The only issue is that our clothes are literally stiff as a board and covered in ants. Yup, we, as many locals, have a HUGE problem with ants. Our yard is one huge ant hill. I guess the ants are in love with our laundry detergent.
Picture me trying to shake ants off boards...
It's not that easy.
We have boxes of dryer sheets (I tend to stock up on items when I can get them SUPER cheap), but those won't do a whole lot of good in the washer... and I really don't want to go buy liquid fabric softener. What did I do? I Googled it, of course!
A blog called "One Good Thing, by Jillee" popped up in my search. She posted a recipe for homemade fabric softener - 6 cups water, 3 cups vinegar, 2 cups hair conditioner. Seems simple and cheap. http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/02/homemade-fabric-softener-finally.html
Now, to address the ants. I'm assuming shaking ants off non-board clothes might be easier, but still no fun.
I have a bottle of lavender oil left over from a home flea treatment... and it turns out ants are repelled by lavender too! Whoo hoooooo! I don't even have to go buy lavender conditioner or a bottle of something special.
I'm making up a batch right now and I'll test it out with a fresh load of laundry in the morning ;)
To be honest, I wasn't too fond of the idea of bringing home a puppy. I have enough on my hands. I think I might crack and be rushed off to the nut-house at any moment on any given day.
I'm nearly 36 (I think... when you're in my position you kinda forget), I have 3 children (all under 5 years old), I try to earn a living (from home while trying to wrangle the kids), and I do the good-old-homemaker-type-things.
My life is loud, messy, and full of chaos... and tantrums... and screaming... and oodles of laundry... and sippy cups...
Now, we have a puppy too. It's like adding a large abusive baby to the house. One that runs about, chews, chases, bites (playfully, but it still hurts), breaks things, whines, cries, barks, digs and pees here and there. More chaos.
But, honestly, when I think about it... it's not all that bad. Yes, there's more volume in the house, but with all the shrieks and screams now, what's a bit more? Are the kids fleeing in terror of the puppy, or just running from the one with the stick trying to play some game that involves hitting and poking? Is the poop on my shoe 'cause Iz pulled off her diaper or was it the puppy? Is that puddle in the playroom the puppy, Iz (again pulling off the diaper), or just part of the fun game called 'let's shake and throw sippy cups till they explode?' Is the mangled toy the puppy's fault, or just my kids? Really, I can't quite tell. It's all the same... just a little bit more.
Will the day come when more will be less?
This is the face of my ever charming 4 year old. She's stubborn, she fixates and throws tantrums over the seemingly littlest things, she's smart, she can be very charming....
Over breakfast this morning, she made her lovely 'mean face.' She wrinkles up her nose, squints her pretty little blue eyes, grits her teeth... and makes this noise that sounds like a tortured pig. Soooooo charming. The words that left her mouth.... post squeally-grunt... "You're gross, icky, dead."
Fabulous. All this over asking her to eat her food before I turn on the TV.
Next comes the stamping of the feet... the hands on the hips.... and, oh yes, sticking out the tongue.
I know every child is different... every child has different needs and needs a different approach... but I'm kinda lost with this kiddo. She truly is 4 going on 14... and if this is a preview of her teenage years, I'm in serious trouble. Thoughts? Ideas? I feel like a failure.
This cannot continue... her little brother and sister (although very different children) can't see this as normal or acceptable.... help!
Isn't this just the cutest little baby watermelon you've ever seen?
After spying this little one today and then reading the news (drought, crop failure, impending doom and gloom at the grocery check-out).... I grabbed the shovel.
Yes, it was nearly 100 degrees... yes, I had a 4 year old wanting to "help" and asking questions every 10 seconds... but it had to be done. We needed a larger garden. A big garden. A huge garden. We need food.
I had planned on waiting on saving money to make nice raised beds... with good fertilizer and top soil... pretty... fancy... but really, we can't waste time. We need to plant now.
Like a crazy woman with too much caffeine in her system, I grabbed the shovel and started digging. I only managed to come up with a 4' by 6' bed in the over-sized front yard... but more will come soon.... promise.
I planted beans - wax and green, and carrots and basil. Then I rushed inside and started looking at planting schedules for Georgia. Now, as you might know, I hate to shop (it is a 4 letter word, you know).... Etsy and Amazon are my answer to everything. I picked up some great heirloom organic seeds from www.etsy.com/shop/kenyonorganics and www.etsy.com/shop/HeirloomsRUsSeeds.
Thankfully we have a long growing season and I'm not too late. We can have a harvest and our grocery bills won't be insane... Wish me luck & smooth digging!
A work in progress