What A Week

June 8, 2012 | Category: blog train, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment

Ever had one of THOSE weeks? You know the ones. The ones where there doesn’t seem to be a single day that doesn’t have a small crisis or event that is going to cost you money in the longrun.

We got the news a couple of weeks ago that my husband’s grandmother was not doing well. We went home for a visit. Luckily for us, we have moved far, yet close enough to make a drive home for a couple of hours and make it back same day. Then last week, she seemed to take a turn for the worse and we were told she would be being moved to Hospice. This prompted us to plan another trip home for the weekend, which involved us lugging our dogs and Cassie’s bunny with us. Fun times!

A few days before our trip, I was flossing when I felt something odd. My left upper wisdom tooth apparently chipped and a large piece came off. I freaked out. I am terrified of the dentist. Yes, my approaching 40 self is petrified thanks to a horrible childhood dentist who refused to fully numb me before performing extractions EVERY single time I went into his office. So, I shakily called a dentist that one of my local friends had recently used, and after talking to the extremely friendly staff member who was sadly given the task of speaking to me, I made an appointment for this past Tuesday. When I got off the phone, I broke into tears, and I cried off and on for a couple of days, worrying all the while about the pain and ridicule I was going to have to endure due to my fears preventing me from going to the dentist for a much larger amount of years than I care to discuss.

Next came our weekend home to visit Nanny. We were able to spend some time with her on Saturday. On Sunday, she never woke up during our visit. My husband was able to sit with her for a good hour and a half while I took the kids walking around the hospital and busy.

On Monday, we had to fit in the shopping that we normally do on weekends. This included a trip to a Tractor Supply Co in a nearby town for chicken feed. I dropped my husband off to get the feed, and as he walked through the store’s doors, the air conditioner in my van began making a horrid sound. We had previously noticed that the air seemed to not be cooling nearly as well as it had in the past, so we assumed that the noise had something to do with that. I mentioned it to Si when he got in the van, as if I really needed to do so with the sounds the van was producing at this point, and he figured it was coming from the blower. The odd part was that despite the fact that it sounded like something was going to fall out of my van at this point, the air actually started to feel a bit cold again.

Nanny was moved to Hospice on Monday and on Tuesday, around 6am, we got a call saying she had passed away peacefully in her sleep. I was sad to hear the news, and a bit surprised at how quickly she was gone. Her funeral is set for this weekend, and I think that is when it will finally hit me and the kids.

As if that wasn’t a bad enough start to Tuesday, I also had my dental appointment to face. My van would not start, so we had to jump it. I did though, in full on panic and fear-stricken fashion, get to my appointment with time to spare. The dental assistant and dentist were so wonderful, and after 2 1/2 hours of talking, getting medical history, x-rays, fully numbing me (including a pre-numbing gel that I had never in my lifetime been given before shots – thank goodness for the advancements in the dental profession!). I felt silly when the dentist was finished. He did such a wonderful job in numbing me and making sure I was ok throughout the appointment, as well as not being understanding as to why I don’t go to the dentist unless I have a problem, due to my past experiences. It went well enough, and he built enough trust that I was even willing to book another appointment in two months to get some more work done. Will I go in with a smile and lack of neves? Not likely. LOL However, I won’t be quite as quick to tears and can probably breathe without having to be reminded the entire time. 😛

After I got home, Si took off to buy a new battery for the van. Amazing how much easier it starts now. LOL Apparently he was told a couple of months ago that it was weak, but he decided to wait until it wouldn’t start anymore before replacing it. I’m not going to say anything more about that one, other than we all know if I had been there when this was told, it would have been replaced. 😉

Wednesday I was dealing with a little bit of pain and swelling, but not too bad. I knew I needed to get some clothes and shoes for some of the kids for the upcoming funeral, so I took Elena and we headed out to shop. When I got in the van, the noise was still going strong and there also appeared to be a slight odor. The more Elena and I drove, the worse the smell got. I told Si when I returned home, and he confirmed my thoughts – something crawled into the ventilation system and died. So, Thursday was spent getting that taken care of, and $600 later, we now have a cleaned out and fully functioning ventilation system in our van again. It was, to quote a famous cartoonist, all “started by a mouse”. Blech!

Speaking of mice, I have also managed to do a little decorating in the kids/guest bathroom. I’ll be back with the details in a new post. Until then, here is hoping the upcoming week goes better than this one did!

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Unbelievably, our oldest son becomes a teenager tomorrow. So hard to believe! The grandparents were asking about birthday lists from him and when I got it and took a look, I honestly had nothing jump out at me as what we should get for him. So, I talked to him and we decided that our gift to him would be to work on his room. Everything pretty much got thrown in there and placed without any real order. On top of that, his room had almost a girly theme to it and I knew he wasn’t fond of it. He loved the space and not having to share a room with his brother anymore, but the pastel green walls and flowery border the previous owners had left was far from cool.

So, we let him decide what colors he wanted to work with. He wanted to keep his reversible comforter, so that saved on our costs a bit. He chose the paint swatch, then chose some accent colors for shelving and his chair while the paint was being mixed. Cassie and I painted the chair and bookshelf once we got home.

Yesterday, we scrubbed the walls, moved the furniture into the closet and center of the room, taped off the baseboards and such, removed that lovely border, and then got to work painting. For some reason, hubby and I both thought the color was way off from what we thought Jacob had chosen. I called him in to take a look and he said he really liked it. So after the first coat of paint, I went and found the swatch, and sure enough, it was right. Whew!

After the paint dried, I went through Jacob’s artwork and chose two of his paintings to frame. That was no small feat, let me tell you! I have never seen someone with so much paper in my entire life. Let’s put it this way: he has gone through 5 reams of paper since Christmas, and he has been drawing daily since well before that.

I have to say, I REALLY am happy with the change in the room, as is Jacob. We rearranged the furniture while he was sleeping in his brother’s room last night, so he was excited to see the completely new look to the room.

So, let’s take a look-see, shall we?

Before: dull, disorganized, and somewhat girly. Don’t you just love that border in the left photo? haha You just know he did!

After: A bit more organized, boyish, bolder, and way more “Jacob”. haha Apparently Lucy decided to photobomb in that bottom left photo. Oops!

The other kids are a tad jealous now, I think, so they are all starting to make plans for their rooms. Should be interesting to see what they all choose.

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Since my last post, we have taken a few trips to Disney World. We are season and annual passholders and have really been enjoying having only a short hour drive to the parks. Our first trip this month was to celebrate our oldest son’s birthday. I can’t believe it, but he is turning 13. Where in the world has the time gone? Anyway, he decided he wanted to go to Animal Kingdom and then later hop over to Magic Kingdom. We did everything on his list, including the newly opened Dumbo. He even had his first solo ride, so it was a pretty big deal for him. We all had a blast!

We had another birthday trip, this time for my oldest daughter who is turning 9. Her trip happened to fall on Mother’s Day. Disney had cast members with baskets full of carnations that they were passing out to the mothers, but they gave one to Cassie and it made her feel so special. her sister was a wee bit envious, too.

The kids and I have been sick with some sort of sinus type ickiness this week. I feel like someone has punched me in the ribs due to all of the coughing I have been doing. Thankfully, the kids seem to have a much milder case than I ended up with. Of course, mine may be because I haven’t gotten much rest and on day one I grocery shopped, came home and mowed the grass with my hubby, and also cleaned out the chicken coop. Fun times. 🙂

Since we’ve been feeling under the weather, we decided to take the week off from school. I rested for the most part, but I also took the opportunity to get back into digital scrapbooking. It helped that my dear friend, Neverland Scraps, had a new kit that she created this week, called “Blossom”.

The colors and clusters of elements caught my eye and I was able to easily use it to scrap two pages:

Kit – Neverland Scraps: Blossom
Template – Bella Gypsy : Little Full, LottaSap

kit – Neverland Scraps : Blossom
Template – Template Challenge 117–Tiggernjen
Font: Waterfalls

It’s such a pretty kit, isn’t it? She also has a really nice add-on freebie on her blog, so be sure to go and check it out!

I guess that’s about it for now. I should have some updates on the garden soon. Everything is growing so nicely. Until then, have a great weekend!

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It’s springtime on the homestead, but it is starting to really feel like summer around here. It is hot, hot, hot! We’ve been busy cleaning up our property when it isn’t sweltering outside. Digging up roots from unwanted weeds, cutting grass, removing wood mulch chips that were in the flower bed near the house…too close for wood to be located. It’s been a lot of hard work, and to someone who has never seen our property, might look as though we have done nothing. We have though!

When we moved here, I proclaimed we would not have chickens. haha It is funny how things change. In March, my cousin gave us four Plymouth Rock Hens. We already had a coop that just needed a little work to get it in good enough shape to house our newest family members. They are awesome egg layers, giving us at least 20 eggs a week, if not more. We have given some to neighbors and friends and family members when they come for a visit. We also have frozen some for future use, since I have read that egg production tends to decrease in the colder months.

I was surprised at how full of personality chickens are. The kids love feeding them weeds and bugs, and they get a kick out of holding the weeds just high enough for the chickens to jump a bit to catch a bite. All of the kids have helped collect the eggs, feed and water the chickens, and clean out the coop. We have enjoyed them so much that we bought 6 baby chicks at the beginning of April. It’s been so much fun watching them grow from little balls of fluff to feathered “teens”. We’re fairly certain one of them is a roo, and we are waiting to see on the others. I’m hoping he’s the only male in the bunch, but I suppose time will tell.

One of the neat things about moving in the winter is getting to see all of the plant life that comes alive in the springtime. Our property, an abandoned nursery, is certainly full of little surprises everywhere we turn. As I was cleaning up some overgrown brush and dead branches last month, I discovered that entangled in the mess were tons of blackberry or boysenberry bushes. I was extremely excited, because I grew up picking blackberries in my backyard as a child. My mother had offered to bring some clippings with her on a future visit, but this saved her the trouble. I gave her a call to ask about transplanting. Since I already had some blooms, she said to wait until the season is over. So, we stopped working in that particular area of the property and will transplant them and continue work at a later date. In the meantime, we are enjoying the berries we have been picking off of the plants. Yum!

We had spoken to one of our neighbors soon after we moved here, and he said they gave up on having a garden because the only things that really grow here are potatoes. Well, I am stubborn. We still have hundreds of pots on our property that were left by the previous owners. I decided that for starters, we would just plant some different veggies and such in containers, and then once we get the property cleaned up, we will get a tiller and then really dive into gardening. So far we have planted some corn, baby carrots, hot peppers, sweet peppers, tomatoes, parsley, basil, and cilantro. Oh! And I just planted some eggplant about a week ago.

The herbs have grown like crazy, and I am looking forward to adding more varieties soon.

We harvested the carrots a little over a month ago and have since planted more.

Our watermelon plants are doing awesome! We have at least ten growing off of four plants, and there are still several blooms on all of the plants.

My tomato plant is growing like crazy and has a ton of blooms, but no tomatoes so far. I am really hoping to get a couple this season, but we may not luck out this time around.

My peppers, poor things, are doing well despite the heat. They look great in the mornings, but by the end of the day, they look completely wilted. It’s funny, because they somewhat reflect how we feel from the heat. I’m always so happy to see them perky again the next day. We have 5 peppers in one pot, and several blooms on the other plants that will hopefully be pollinated soon.

The corn…well, that was just a disaster, so we have started a couple more to see how it goes. I know another neighbor mentioned his corn and sugar cane crops did poorly this year, so maybe it just wasn’t meant to be for now.

We also discovered another surprise plant that is growing in a huge area in the backyard – Maypops, otherwise known as passion fruit. I had never seen the flowers before, so I showed them to my husband and told him they look like something you’d see on Alice In Wonderland. He sent a picture to his cousin who is a Master Gardener, and once we had the name, we researched a bit. I was excited to see it bears edible fruit. So, we are letting them do their thing for this season, and then we will transplant them when their season is over.

So, that’s just a partial update on what has been going on in my neck of the woods. I’ll be back soon to post more progress soon.

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