Tuesday, June 29, 2010

the quest to conquer the house continues...

As promised from this morning's post here's the Before Bed Routine

  1. Clean up the house before you go to bed (20 minutes max) 
    1. Living room: pick up and put away things, magazines, dishes, clothes, shoes.
    2. Kitchen: Clean it up, shine sink, lay out clean dishcloths, and run the dishwasher
    3. Dining room/entrance: Clear the hot spots (I'm still working on that task)
    4. Review your check list to make sure you have not forgotten anything
  2. Think about tomorrow before you go to bed
    1. Check your calendar and/or planner for appointments
    2. Start a PODA (Parade of Daily Adventures [I've yet to learn about that but I'll let ya know when I do]) or "To Do" list for tomorrow
    3. Think about: What can I do tonight that will make tomorrow morning easier? 
    4. Gather up items that you do not want to forget and place them in a spot by the door
    5. Start Breakfast: Set table and plan what you are cooking
    6. If you plan to use the crock pot, then get some of those things ready so all you have to do is throw it together
    7. Lay out your clothes for tomorrow. 
  3. Focus on yourself before going to bed
    1. Get yourself ready for bed
    2. Take vitamins and other meds
    3. Take a bath
    4. Put on jammies
    5. Reflect on today's accomplishments
    6. Work on your journal (I'm spose to make a TaDa list and/or Gratitude journal)
    7. Read for fun
    8. Listen to music
    9. Prayer and/or meditation
    10. Fall asleep with a smile on my face. 
Sounds like a lot for one night. Ofcourse at the top of that list is 'Put the kids to bed' and 'Have a beer'.

I better get on it. Already past 8:30

I almost got my to do list done today. The dog got shaved, the corn planted, the garden watered and the kids fed. One load of laundry needs to be folded still and the other load put in the dryer. 

I have to take a chicken outta the freezer tonight. Tomorrow I'm making chicken pot pies (muffin size), chicken egg rolls and chicken noodle soup (should keep us full for a couple of weeks). 

Shoot looks like rain. I better go get my gardening basket. 

Does the day ever end?

House Habits

Well until I figure out the whole new page posting dilliwicker I guess here is where you're going to be following my newest adventure. Getting control back over my house. Years ago I was a housewife. I can't say I was ever a great housewife but that was my job in life and it was a daily practice. For the past few years (since being divorced) I've found myself a little lost and floundering some when it comes to what my daily practices should be. Keeping house doesn't seem as important when you don't have someone coming home to your hard work so it got put on the back burner. Sure I eventually got into the Monday and Thursday kitchen cleaning habit but mostly because I really picked up the joy of cooking and the kitchen was my favorite place to be. Sitting in the living room isn't as nice when it's just you, especially after having someone around for so many years to sit with you at the end of the day. So the kitchen, cook, create, eat. Now that life has gotten a little busier and I'm gathering a new me, reinvention is what that self-help book calls it. Years of learning and wondering and coming back again. 

So I joined this is the place to get back that lost control when it comes to the house and home. It's a good site. She emphasizes on not getting burnt out on the task of getting back on track; 15 minutes at a time. The house didn't become a mess in one day so it'll take more than one day to get it back in order. I'm sure none of you have that problem. :)

Yesterday was day one on the adventure. Flylady gives daily tasks called BabySteps when you're first starting out. Day 1's BabyStep is shining the kitchen sink. That is what I did yesterday and low and behold it's still spotless. 
It's not beautiful but it's clean. I'm not going to show you the rest of the kitchen counter though because it's still a tad bit behind. :)

Flylady has a Morning Routine that I put to practice this morning. I gotta say I feel a little more in control of my day so far. 

Here's the morning routine:
  1. Make your bed as soon as you get out of it. 
  2. Go into the bathroom
  3. Shower and clean the bathroom while you are there.
  4. Swish the toilet and leave the room never to return till later. It is clean and you can forget about it for now.
  5. Leave your bedroom with a load of laundry in hand and go straight to the washer. (her idea is a load a day keeps the chaos away)
  6. If you did the Before Bed Routine (I'll tell you about that later) the kitchen is clean (I only got part of the Before Bed Routine done last night so I'm a bit behind) and all you need to do is empty the dishwasher.
  7. Make coffee and start breakfast. (this morning was a dutch baby [I'll tell you about that one later too])
  8. Feed critters
  9. Feed the family (including myself) 
  10. Check your calendar
  11. Make your list of what you are going to do today
  12. Thaw something for dinner
  13. Checkbook balancing 
  14. Reboot the laundry (put in dryer)
  15. Hit the hotspots. (I'll tell you about those as I learn about them, basically it's where things tend to pile up like the coffee table)
  16. Take your vitamins and medications. 
  17. Sit down.
  18. Eater breakfast (I did that earlier when the kids did)
  19. Morning Meditation: God, Imagination, Focus, Thanksgiving (GIFT) 
  20. Now reward yourself with some computer time. Check your e-mail.
I got the first 14 steps done before 10. I'm slow and on the learning curve. I skipped to step 20 cause I wanted to share. :) Now to learn about step 15, do step 16, 19 and wrap up step 20. 

My to do list:
  1. Water the Garden
  2. Plant 6th and 7th corn squares
  3. Fold and put away laundry (yep gotta actually put it away, no more living out of a basket)
  4. Shave the dog
  5. Do today's BabyStep (I'll let you know what that is after I get it done)
  6. Make lunch
  7. Work on this weeks "Zone" (this week is the living room but every week it changes to a different part of the house so you're sure to do a thorough cleaning of all your house every month [handy huh?])
  8. Milk the goats
  9. Make dinner
  10. Chat with Mr. Right-for-me
  11. Before Bed Routine
It's not a long to do list but it'll take up the rest of the day. There's another blog in that list somewhere I'm sure and probably a nap. I better get at it

P.S. I met Mr. Right-for-me. :) (I'll tell you about that in another post)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

soul searching continues...

Life single. It's like a puzzle you work on it for weeks pouring all your attention into it just to find out it's missing like the entire border. Once the puzzle is put together you figure the border isn't such a big deal. And you might have put that puzzle together when you did have a border. Sometimes after you put a puzzle together you take off the boarder and it actually looks rather nice. But when the puzzle falls apart you find that the border is about the best way to start putting it back together again. But the border is missing. Sure you say, start with the most detail and then work your way out but it's not quite the same thing. It does work though, putting a puzzle together without a border but...

I find myself putting a puzzle back together without the border...

Maybe I change my day off into a full day of work. Busy is pretty good at keeping one's mind off what's missing.


Chaos is what happens when you're routine gets off track. Sometimes it's a natural disaster, sometimes it's a man made disaster. Sometimes it's your own doing trying to mix things up a bit for the better.

So your bags are packed and you're standing at the train station. But you have no idea where the train is going to take you, you just get on and wait to see. The trouble is the train is already moving. The fact is you're leaving behind where you were and you're headed somewhere else, no turning back now. Where you're going is a mystery, there's someone else driving the train. What you packed in your bags you hope is enough to remind you not to lose who you are no matter where you go. You wonder if there will be anyone to meet you at the next station. But then does anyone know you're even on it?

Ever have a gut feeling things are about to change? Change is good right? Growth comes from change. But then maybe it's just a dream and you'll wake up in the same bed you fell asleep in. Maybe. But do you really want to? Maybe change is something you've been craving. I think everyone craves a little bit of change when they've gotten into a pattern.

I'm just rambling. My virtual therapist's sofa. I think that's what blogging really is. This is where you smile and nod your head and write down the strongest prescription in your ability. :)

Ok back to routine.

Hope ya had a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sometimes I swear my oldest is an angel
Just look the way she lights up a room
Funny how a camera catches what you know is there but don't always see.

This is how the kids spent a couple of hours while I cleaned out the barn.
I'd be envious but what they don't know is that's exactly what I do every time I go down to the barn.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

laundry is fun with a helper

Sharing my coffee.. er um.. beer break with you...

So I'm finally kicking that bug that caught hold of me a few weeks ago. Yesterday morning I woke up at 4am without even an alarm clock. I haven't gone back to setting my alarm clock yet because most of my nights have been spent coughing or just not sleeping and I've been waiting till I get some real rest before pushing myself again. A friend of mine came to the rescue of my wet feet problem.
If you haven't already read about them.
My newest farm tools (and dear beloved friend and companions)
My boots.
Yea, I know. It's weird to love a pair of "shoes" this much but you'd just have to be my feet for a day to really understand how great it is to have a pair of boots that you don't want to take off.

What you all might not know is this is actually my second pair of this brand of boot. When I first moved here to this little farm I quickly realized I needed boots, shoes just don't cut it when you're waist deep in grass, weeds and everything else that lives in that first 3' above the earths crust. Nike's which is what I came here in are comfortable and they use to be the shoe I never took off but when you realize that every beetle, bug and thistle will find it's way between your toes you stop wanting to go outside altogether. That's hardly an option.

Anyways. Sorry I got off track there for a second. Let's see where was I?

Oh yea, so I haven't turned my alarm clock back on. 

Luckily for me my oldest is out of school so it's not such a pressing need. The goats are on a once a day milking schedule which means I can milk them pretty much any time I feel like it. Though I make a point of doing it within an hour of the day before. 

So yesterday started at 4am. Which I'm a little sad to have missed sunrise. Since it was the longest day of the year. It was already light when I got up. This morning I woke up at a more reasonable time 6:30. Since then I've planted in the garden, did a load of dishes, stripped all the beds of sheets and put them in the wash, folded jeans, sliced strawberries for the freezer until I get some pectin to make jelly. Fertilized and watered all my tomato, peppers, squash and corn by hand (small handful of fertilizer, cup of water per each plant), planted beans next to each corn. Picked and ate all the ripe strawberries. :) They were awesome (breakfast). 

Besides the usual, got the kids up and dressed, fed and watered the critters and hauled trash out. 

Next on the list? 

  • Finish above mentioned beer.
  • Make lunch.
  • Put in another load of dishes
  • Put sheets in dryer and fold clothes in dryer
  • Make sure everyone has water (Summer actually feels like Summer)
  • Plant more tomatoes
  • Shovel out the goat's barn
  • Vacuum living room, bathroom and bedrooms
  • Milk the goats
  • BBQ dinner
  • Have another beer
  • Chit chat and discuss the days events with multiple friends
Well I guess I better get at it. Good thing these boots are comfortable.

Oh yesterday's deliveries were almost uneventful. But I'm actually really looking forward to next year and having more customers. This has been quite the introductory year. 

Back to work!

Yes Boss!

Monday, June 21, 2010


Can you believe it? Summer! Today! When did that happen? Where the heck have I been? I'm speechless. And after I put a load of laundry in I'll be back to write a real post. :) Seriously I can't believe it's summer. Half the year is gone. The longest day of the year, is today. It feels like summer today, 70's and all week it's spose to be nice up to the 80's. Real Summer weather. What a nice way to enter summer. Too bad we didn't have more spring during spring and less winter during spring. Spring hardly even existed. Summer however is starting out without a doubt summery. Ok laundry. I'll be back.
My third most favorite picture of me. :)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Life's a beach!

Did I ever tell you how much I love....
my boots?
I love the beach too!
But I really, truly love my boots.
So much we went to the beach yesterday.
I really do love the beach.
I love the surf.
I love the sand.
I love the smell.
I just love it.
Did I tell you I love my boots?
Unfortunately I had to take them off to really enjoy the beach.
But I'm sure they appreciated staying dry.
I think my boots enjoyed the beach too.
A little bit of sun and relaxation is good for everyone.
Especially hard working boots.
A little sun and a little relaxation did us some good.
It was a great day for both.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Weed whacking!

Yesterday after making our Monday deliveries the kids were watching cartoons so I decided to do a little tidying up of the garden area and around the house. When I know the kids are safely playing inside or elsewhere I get out the weedeater to make a long tedious job not so long and tedious. 
My 2yr old heard me going at it and came to help.
Since I was sitting down taking a break she decided she was going to take over.
And boy does she pay attention. This is one SMART little girl. 
She put on the safety glasses.
She put on the hat.
Don't wanna burn our head while we're out working in the sun.
She put on the gloves.
No lady likes blisters. :)
All set!
Ready to whack the hell outta them weeds!

How cute is she? I mean, come on. I'm in heaven here!
It's not the mommy that makes the kids it's the kids that make the mommy.
After we shared frozen fruit pops.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

What a lovely day off!

Today being my official "day off" I spent a lot of time doing nothing. 
It felt GREAT!
The weather broke 80!
Normally I would be wishing for cooler temperatures but after all this rain and cold weather and being Sunday so I didn't do anymore than I HAD to do I loved every minute of it. I BBQ'd lunch and enjoyed a couple of beers in the shade of a tree on the back porch. Then I took a long nap. The kids were at my aunt's until late this afternoon so it was quite the peaceful morning and afternoon. 
After the kids came home we moved to the front yard and sat under another tree. Enjoying the warm air and cool grass and the sounds of our little farm around us. Loving the idea that it was ok just to sit still and do nothing.
 Our little gosling's found our company interesting. The dog (who's head you see) enjoyed the company too.
We even enjoyed a frozen fruit pop. It was lemonade and tasted as good and refreshing as lemonade.
Of course this was all AFTER I fed and watered the goats, replaced an escaped kid, watered and fed three pastures of alpacas, the gosling's, turkeys, chicks, hens, dogs, checked on all my melons, squashes and pumpkins, weeded the garden and made a mental note of what was going to be put into the baskets tomorrow, wrote out a couple of recipes, put together four more recipe booklets for new customers and walked the farthest pastures fence line to see how well the job was holding up.

All in all it was a very relaxing and wonderful day!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs.... and other happenings :)

If you haven't seen that movie I highly recommend it. Today has been sprinkling ever so increasingly all day so we've been doing more inside chores than outside. For lunch the kids and I made a berry/yogurt smoothie and watched "Cloudy with a chance of meatballs". I gotta say for a cartoon that is a really fun movie.

I spent the morning picking weeds in the garden for the goats to snack on, put another gallon of milk in the crockpot for cheese, and converted a cupboard into a yogurt incubator (as soon as the cheese is ready to strain I'll be making yogurt and trying it out), started a tray of sunflower seeds, picked up another garden share customer, stuck a turkey breast in the oven for dinner and shoot half a million other things besides the normal farm chores. Tonight I'm going to discover how to love kale.

Yesterday I discovered blossoms on the kiwi vine. I'm excited. It's starting to feel like spring now that summer is almost here. Go figure. Hopefully summer doesn't wait till fall to show up. The good thing about all this funky weather is that it's abnormal which means next year we'll all have forgotten about it. Hopefully!
The geese and turkeys are really growing. Now to get the pig patio made and add a couple of weaners to the farm.

I gotta go pick salad to go with dinner, print out some recipes for my garden customers recipe booklet and slap together a newsletter. Oh and milk the goats. Long evening of chores still to get done.

Hope ya have a great weekend!

Monday, June 7, 2010

What a trip!

Literally. I delivered the first week of garden goodies to all my garden share customers. I'm exhausted! I was busy all weekend making cheese and labels and putting together a little recipe booklet. Then I was up till 2am last night printing out the beginning of my little recipe booklet. No I didn't get up at 4am this morning. :) I got up at 7. Since I caught that bug a couple weeks ago I've been milking in the evening. It's a good thing too, I don't think I would have been able to function at 4am. Besides the fact I took nyquil because I still have enough of a cough to keep me awake at night.

The goat cheese was a big success. No I haven't heard back from any of the customers yet but both my kids love it. I think it's real good too. In fact it's so good I think I'm going to make pizza tonight with it. It is Monday; it is pizza night.

My day isn't done quite yet though. I have to pick the kid up from school, wash all the dairy stuff, make crust for the pizza, milk the goats and half a million other things. I got a late start this morning since I was wrapping everything up at home. I'm a procrastinator and I question myself too much to get things done with time to spare. I guess I do have some time to spare considering I'm sitting down and writing on here.

I accomplished a lot over the weekend, though not even half of my to do list. Ever notice that the to do list never completely gets done? Even if I didn't add anything onto my to do list for the rest of this year I'd still have a million things to get done. Anyways. I built a pen outside for the geese. They're getting big. I can already see Thanksgiving dinner. Actually I have a feeling it's going to be hard to dispatch of all of them, even paying someone else to do it. They already have more character then the chickens. I'm planning on keeping atleast a drake and two hens. Too many more than that and I think I'll over do it.

Oh yea, it stopped raining Saturday, sprinkled a bit Sunday and is really quite nice today. Up in the 70's. Just hot enough to make everything bolt. ha ha. That's optimism I swear.

14 our of 24 eggs hatched successfully over the weekend. 5 eggs hatched half way but didn't make it out. I think it has something to do with the humidity. From what I've read that makes the most sense. But I guess that's not too bad. The smaller batches had a much higher success rate, I think I'll keep them down to a dozen for each hatch. Anyways so that's 22 new chicks growing up, hopefully most of them are hens.

Mr. eHarmony wrote again. The one that didn't find me attractive enough. I didn't read the email though. Just deleted it. Why on earth would anyone bother after the fact? I'm pretty sure I don't need any reminders. Anyways. I wasn't spose to mention that again.

I like that cross out tool. :)

Time to go get the kid and get back to chores. Maybe I should add nap onto that chore list. Hmm...

Friday, June 4, 2010

ants, rain, chevre and more chickies...

Of all the 5yrs I've been in this house I've never had a problem with ants. I mean sure you get the occasional ant wandering around the kitchen counter but they never stick around. Well I think they must see my house as a safe haven in all this rain because they're everywhere. The bathrooms, bedrooms, living room, kitchen. It's annoying. Last night I did a late night vacuuming because I couldn't bring myself to go to bed with the thought of walking on ants when I head to the bathroom in the middle of the night. They're not after anything in particular just escaping the rain. I'm sure all their homes are waterlogged by now. The news this morning said this afternoon is suppose to dry up and it'll be sunny for awhile. It's about time but I'm not holding my breath. It's June and it feels like the beginning of spring.

I made a big batch of chevre last night. You really don't get much cheese for the amount of milk it takes. I only used half a gallon of milk and got about 2 cups of cheese out of it. I sprinkled it with sea salt and herbs and it's very good. It's very dry but I imagine it'll make some really good lasagna or pizza. It'll be good on salad with some balsamic vinegar too. I brought a whole gallon of milk up last night just to make the cheese and restock my buttermilk. I have come to really love buttermilk, it makes everything taste so... um.. yummy! Now to learn to make sour dough and I'll be set. That and find myself a fridge to start aging cheese. I don't dare age cheese in my fridge, I'm sure it'd suck in some funky flavors and wouldn't be very good. My fridge isn't nearly big enough anyways. I do have more space now that I'm picking salad just for each meal instead of having to buy a weeks worth.

This morning I there were 14 chicks hatched out. I have 24 eggs due to hatch so I'll give them a couple of days and see how they did. All the other chicks hatching in previous batches made a bit of a mess of these eggs so I don't expect a high number and the humidity and temperature has changed dramatically with the past chicks. 14 isn't too bad though. So far I've only lost one of the previous hatched chicks so that'll give us 22 chicks to grow. Hopefully most of them are hens.

Elizabeth is napping next to me, which is ok, it gives me an excuse to sit still. There's not alot to do besides domestic chores with all this rain. A little more gardening inside. With all this indoor gardening I should be getting better at it.

I think I'll shampoo my carpets. Maybe that'll discourage the ants. Wet outside and wet inside. Sounds almost cruel huh?

Hope you're day is dryer than mine!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Bring on the rain....

Yea, you guess it. It's raining. Still. Geez. I mean really. This morning my alarm clock went off at 4AM and I got up and did the usual. Opened up the door, it was so wet and chilly I went back to bed. I keep meaning to start milking the goats twice a day again to up the supply for the incoming demand. They're doing great with just once a day, a whole 1 1/2 gallons every day. I mean that's pretty dang good. I've taught my oldest the fine art of being a smartass. The other day I had the bucket and jars ready to go and she says "Time to go to the grocery store?" That's what we've deemed the barn, The Grocery Store. Just 9 short weeks ago you'd hear me say about 3 times a week "We need to go to the grocery store for milk." I think I just missed saying it or my oldest missed hearing me say it. Anyways.

So I went back to bed. The twice a day milking will happen when it's not so soggy and wet in the morning. I hate being sick and I'm not going to tempt fate again. The 2yr old and I have been taking advantage of the fact we're stuck inside. Well more me than her, I think she caught my bug. Poor baby. I fixed my old Kirby and got the floors vacuumed. It stopped working a couple years ago and I wasn't feeling ambitious enough to figure out why and so the journey of vacuum cleaners begun. The quest of finding a cheap vacuum that lasted more than 6 months. For some reason, may it be my long hair, or the straw or all the clumps of dirt or even all the little toys that end up being sucked up, vacuums just don't have a very long life in my house. I've successfully killed a few. They end up sitting in the corner of the kitchen because I keep hoping that I might be able to plug one in and it'll magically work again. Hasn't happened yet. Or atleast not long enough to call that chore done. So I dragged the Kirby out and figured out what was ailing it. This vacuum was bought by my mom about 14yrs ago and has worked lovely ever since. Only I could kill a vacuum as nice as a Kirby.

That wasn't my only feat today. I gardened. Indoors. A thought crossed my mind today watching all the rain come down and wondering if it was ever going to be dry enough to plant seeds outside before July. I've been a little worried about the gap in my gardening. It's amazing how wet it's been. Yea, I know. I said that already like a million times. So I started two flats of corn. I think tomorrow I will do melons and some winter squash, because otherwise I don't think anything is going to be put into the ground. I know maybe I'm being impatient or a little worried about July this growing gap in gardening. Next year I think I'll try one of those hoop houses, get the ground working in my favor even if the weather isn't going to. But then the way it was last year and the way it is this I can only imagine what next will look like. Probably be in the 70's by March. Just wait.

The normal chores got done too. Dough is rising and will be ready to be put in the oven when we're done milking. I turned the rest of the chicken from last week into a nice sandwich stuffing. I wish the cucumbers were ready, I've been craving fresh pickles. You know the kind you soak for half the day in the fridge and then devour at will. For some reason the idea of chicken sandwiches with crunchy pickles on it makes my mouth water. I'll have to compromise with lots of lettuce instead. I think I might have some store bought bread n butter pickles in the fridge that just might have to do.

Sometimes I have a pause, when I think about how different life (my life, not the general form of a normal life) is now compared to just a few years ago. Today I wondered if the mayonnaise would still be good and decided to make a new batch (yea make it), when I think of pickles it's the kind I cut from my garden and decide if I want to add a pepper to the mixture to make them zesty or just extra dill, the only thing I've been to the grocery store in the past 3 weeks for is cereal for the kids. That use to be a weekly venture. Grocery shopping. Funny how the little tid bits of independence add up. I even fixed my vacuum cleaner. :)

I've been sprucing up my blog site too. I have too much time on my hands with all this rain. I should take up a new hobby. Quilting or something. Hmmm....

Oh our last batch of chicks are hatching in the incubator. 8 out of 24 so far today.

I got the bad news today that I'm losing my renter at the end of July. That's kind of a scary thought. No one likes a pay cut. I'm not exactly excited about having to find a new one. I might see how the summer holds up before deciding. Hopefully the geese, turkeys, goats, chickens and garden will be profitable. You might keep us in your prayers though. Should be an interesting chapter to write about.

Check this out before June 4th!

They're giving away a set of 10 dvd's on homesteading.  That's the kind of education I need. :)