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I Am... Mama and Writer

First Mama.  Then Writer.  Though, of late, the latter has consumed a great deal of time as I work to get things in order to potentially be ...

Saturday, July 31, 2010


When I was a baby/wee one we had some dogs. I don't remember them. When I was around 12 my parents got a Lab puppy. I suppose we didn't do a good job of taking care of him and he was gone within a year... before the birth of one of my male siblings. What a bummer.

Jessie pretty much always had pets growing up. Cats. Dogs. Horses. A goat. Seriously. I'm glad cause I think it gives a person greater experiences with love and loss. Important in life considering that in all birth is the surety of demise. Knowing this is helpful, of course, but experiencing it is irreplaceable to understanding. True understanding. My understanding is sorely limited. Jessie has a LOT more experience with the various forms loss takes. I picked a good man to match me, eh?

So, anyway... my friend who gave us chickens has also given us a puppy. He's about Tea's age, actually. His birthday is a few weeks before hers. His name is (written phonetically so you do not think us blasphemers!) Heyseuss. ^_^ Actually, being silly, and choosing an outrageous name, we've chosen to register him as Heyseuss (Jesus pronounced using Spanish phonetics) de Slovak para Gollihugh. He is, afterall, sort of Mexican. I mean, that's where Chihuahua's originate, right?

If you'd like to see what he looks like, check out the FIRST picture on THIS link. Except, Heysuess is almost all black. He has very small white socks on three feet. Almost all the way at the bottom is a picture that has the name SASSY under it. Once again, Heyseuss is almost all black, not the color of Sassy. And he's only looked as happy as Sassy once (today, 7-31) since we've had him (brought him home the evening of July 30th).

Among the many promises we made our girls, to soften the blow of moving away from their friends and beloved teachers (at church), we built up the whole "farm" idea. They all wanted a dog. Kat specifically requested a pig. They are all excited about angora rabbits. They are all excited about goats. They know we'll raise meat rabbits, but those will not be for pets. They are still excited about the chickens (we've had them about a month, now, I think).

It'll probably take a bit longer to get Kat her pig (even though she asks about it REGULARLY) because it'll cost around $150-$200 to buy a baby teacup pig (the only kind I'm willing to deal with in our house since we definitely do not enough land for a large one or for breeding multiple pigs!). I'm sure Kat will be happy whenenver we get her pig - regardless of eventual full size. She just has a THING for pigs! Apparently, teacup piggies will stay 11inches short (or shorter) and rather light - for pigs and that size. But they are still super smart, as pigs are. So, I think it'll be fun. Also, I think we can deal with it!!

The Nigerian Dwarf goats will be a little taller than the pig, probably, but weigh less. Our dog will likely be the smallest pet (among the pig, goats, and dog... though the goats will not sleep inside!). Of course, the agora rabbit (which will live inside in a cage, as I have planned thus far) will be the smallest pet. I want to start collecting wool to build up a store to spin! SO much to learn!

Heyseuss is probably about 6 pounds, maybe less. He will likely not grow any more, which is a-okay with me.

Oh, he (the puppy) was given to us by my friend because she cannot sell him. He's almost a year old and everyone wants to buy puppies. Understandable. So, she gave him to us. (We actually got to choose from 3 year-old males.) Because she's an actual breeder of many dogs, Heyseuss has not been socialized with people. He's been living with an older male for quite a while, so he's been treated as the inferior. So far this is all right cause he's very quiet. He's scared pretty much all the time, which is sad, but he seems to be warming up to us quickly. The girls just LOVE him. Jessie is super happy to have another testosterone producer in the home. Seriously. That was one of his qualifications for our first pet. It had to be male. ^_^ Funny, right? ahwell

Next the angora rabbit? Or the Nigerian Dwarf goats? The latter would certainly help more (by keeping the lawn in check at least a little bit), but the former would be a bit easier... especially on the wallet. We'll see! Keep posted to find out! ^_^

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

PeaHens Today

Today was a quiet day. Not nearly as showy or exciting as yesterday. The perfect day for the PeaHens to stop by. There were three. My poor chickens were just itching to get out and be among fellow birds. I could tell.

So, now I wonder if we are on the rounds with the PeaFowl. How exciting, right? I'll let you know of any further sightings. Wouldn't it be fun/funny if the days on which the PeaCock came to visit were all exciting? And the ones the PeaHens dropped by rather quiet? :) We'll see.

Tomorrow should be interesting. I'm hosting a meeting at my house. It is SO not up to par. But I'm hoping my new friends will pass a blind eye over ALL the faults! At least the lawn is mowed! ;) THANKS to Grampa!!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A Peacock Kind of Day

How do you describe a simply and utterly wonderful day!? Well, I'll call yesterday a "Peacock Kind of Day" cause it WAS utterly and simply wonderful. :)

Our friend, Brother Marks, who the girls call Grampa and I'm adopting as a "Local Dad" came over to mow our lawn eary in the morning. Though Jessie has been home some, he's not been able to get even the majority of the lawn taken care of. It's been very frustrating to both of us, but has weighed most heavily on Jess, I believe.

The first thing I saw after getting out of bed was a PEACOCK in our yard. Now, perhaps this should not come as a surprise, given that we DO have peacocks down the block. But we've never had one in OUR yard... at least, not that we've seen. And with the windows in this place, we would likely see it if it had visited! Seriously, lots of windows. :) He visited a few times during the hours Grampa was mowing (with a riding mower). Mr. Peacock departed for good (at least for the day) around the time Grampa pulled out.

Also, during the time of mowing, I discovered that the first-time-home-buyer-credit had hit our account. So, I executed the use of it for the purposes Jessie and I had determined. We became offially "Revolving Debt Free" as of the A.M. on July 27, 2010. The weight... so much lighter now!!!!! We are so hopeful to tackle our ridiculously high student loans next. And then the house.... Eventually. All in due time. (These are goals for the next 15 years, probably! Especially given the expectation of future babies to join our family and the inherent cost of our chosen birthing method.)

After Grampa finished mowing, we asked him to help us move our chicken tractor from the carport to the yard. He was happy to help. (He ALWAYS is!!) The guys took the heavy end, I guided the light end. And it took about 5 minutes.... This is a job that would've taken just Jess and me at least twice that! I was really surprised at my feelings of euphoria upon seeing our chickens scratching in the grass, running around in a manner that looked and felt really joyous to me, and giving themselves dirt baths! How funny, right? I'm so silly for those silly birds! We're now thinking about names for the hens. I know, perhaps not THE smartest move... but if any of them turn out to be Mamas anywhere near as good as Blackie, they'll be around for a LONG time to come. :)

We also went to library yesterday. Library visits always make for happy times. At least, they do around here! And since it was SO super hot yesterday (and we are still AC free), it was extra nice to spend time in the AC someone else pays for... okay, so it's actually tax dollars, so we kinda pay, but still....

So we had a "Peacock Kind of Day" yesterday! How about you??

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Microwave Ovens

I posted quite a while back on this subject. Someone asked me recently for more information on why we threw our microwave oven out around a year ago or more. So, I'm reading as much as I can of the most helpful sites I've found before I send the information along. As I re-read this information, I feel an urgency to share it more broadly than the email I've sent out to the requester of information.

If you use a microwave oven, please ponder on whether you should continue to use it. Read what I've colleceted here. Pray. See if Father would have you put the microwave you have to the curb. Conventional food preparation methods may take a bit more time, but they are FAR healthier... WAY less dangerous! I mean, some of the foods we have access to currently can increase our chances of cancer, but using the microwave on top of that... well, recipe for disaster is what I'm getting from what I've been learning and re-learning.... and the Spirit says so, too. I believe it will to you as well.

ONE link to read for lots of good information. As I skimmed heavily, I found much of the information it took me ages to find in all kinds of different places when I initially learned this stuff. So, this one site is REALLY helpful!

Also helpful, though I didn't skim as heavily.

I always appreciate Dr. Mercola.

Some REALLY good info on the body's electrical systems and how microwaved food effects them. NEAT stuff.

Very nice list of the deleterious effects of microwave oven usage. Nice.

I hope you find this information useful... especially if you are trying to become healthier! I know that at the time I found this information, initially, the Lord led me to it. I know microwave ovens to be harmful and that putting ours to the curb was one of the really good things Heavenly Fahter led us to do!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Another Farm Visit

We were finally able to get out to the farm of a friend of mine from my previous neighborhood. She invited us, specifically, to come pick figs (because we'd chatted briefly about farming and she's learned that I wanted to have fig trees some day). She has a fig orchard (5 or 6 trees) and we had a blast picking a bunch on Monday evening! If we'd had to purchase the amount of figs we picked from the grocery store, we would have spent FAR MORE than $100! Seriously. And my friend would not take any money for our harvest! In addition to the figs, she gave us eggs, bread, raw honey (from HER bees), and bottled figs. I know... SO generous, right!! I'm going to be drying a bunch of the figs we picked today. We picked 'em on Monday, went to Orlando yesterday, so today is the first chance to do anything with them.

My friend has a farm of 34 acres! It is AWESOME!!! They have chickens, peacocks, peahens, cows, sheep, 5 hives, and dogs. She breeds dogs. She's giving us one of her dogs; a 1 year old male who just hasn't sold. He's very sweet and we're looking forward to taking him home soon.

I definitely prefer visiting farms to making a trip to Disney. Funny? I kinda think so, but can't help it. It's SO much more fun!!! I don't know if our girls would agree with THAT assesment, but they loved hunting for eggs and romping around, holding small puppies, observing wild turkeys, deer, watching the sheep, cows, and, of course, we definitely love the peafowls! They collected peacock feathers with eyes the whole time.

The girls are totally excited about finally getting a dog. :) I'm nervous, but also excited. Jess is glad to add a male to the household! ;) (I think that's mostly a joke.)

Our day was very good yesterday. I really REALLY needed the Orlando trip this time. I mean, I thoroughly enjoy it every month, but there are some months that I feel the NEED for it more than others. This was definitely one of those. Jessie was really relaxed and had a good time with the girls. The girls, of course, LOVED spending lots of time with just Daddy - as they always do!

So, we are well and happy. Taking it easy - or trying to and trying to focus on the silver lining and playing the "Glad Game" every day.

How are you doing with the "Glad Game"?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lessons from "Patience of Blackie"

Lesson 1
I need to be careful how much I alert my kiddos to dangers (especially with that really alarmed sort of tone) cause I want them to take me seriously every single time.

Lesson 2
Because each of my children are different, I need to deal with each of them differently. Different moves (diciplinary and otherwise) are necessary to end up with the same result.

Lesson 3
This too shall pass.

Just as a note, I've already discovered these things from actually BEING a parent, but it's nice to have the reminder Blackie has provided. And nice to feel the lessons sinking in a little deeper and in a little bit of a new/different way.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Patience of Blackie

Like unto the "patience of Job," but since I'm totally a human and have a really hard time comprehending fully that which is so extreme as his experiences were... I find it helpful to look at things I can comprehend more fully to help me learn important lessons to and in my simple little life.

Blackie is our hen. She has seven chicks. They like her. She seems to like them. At the worst, she tolerates them very VERY well. They like to take food out of her mouth. For the most part, this behavior has only been attempts, really, but still! They jump on her back and try to stay there when she moves. Her chicks follow her around constantly. They respond to certain sounds immediately.

When Blackie perceives danger, she makes certain sounds and the chicks (for the most part) come running and she puts them in a corner and stands between them and the perceived danger. She protects her chicks. When she makes those sounds too frequently, though, some of her bolder chicks stop paying attention and might only head in her direction and then stop and head back to what they were doing. Lesson 1.

A couple of Blackie's chicks really like to try to sit on her back. I'm not sure why they want to be there, but it doesn't seem to bother her too much. She has certain moves that simply put the chicks off balance and they go tumbling off. She seems to know, generally, which chick requires which moves to be unbalanced and tumble down - thus she uses different moves for different chicks. Reducing her personal effort to enjoy the desired outcome. Lesson 2.

Why is it that young seem always to want what parents have (especially food)? Blackie's chicks are definitely in line with that tendancy. When they are after what she has, she generally gives it to them - or has already consumed it, thus they lose interest in the no-longer-visible thing. She seems to have a deep knowing that this phase of her life will pass and she'll be able to eat most anything with similar greediness from full-grown chicks, but over whom she'll still have authority (I would guess, anyway since she's the senior hen). Lesson 3.

And this final bit is mostly just as commentary on chicken life. For whatever reason, the chicks we have seem to enjoy their feed even more once one of their siblings has peed on it. Strange, right? Kind... okay, REALLY gross. I'm hoping this is really just normal chicken behavior! :)

By the way, I numbered the lessons cause I'm interested in knowing what YOU think the lessons are from each! I'll try to remember to share what those lessons are for me, with you, later. What lessons do YOU see?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I'm feeling broken right now. I'm not exactly sure why, but I think it has a LOT to do with reading the parenting books I've been reading when I have spare moments. They are GOOD books, but my reflections are disturbing... mostly, strangely enough, having to do with my childhood. How strange to have these thoughts and feelings after feeling such peace over the same for some time!

The driver's side window on our van is a bit broken. The motor doens't work efficiently or well, so putting the window up and down is difficult, at best. Often enough it simply doesn't work. This past Sunday (and I actually think this is funny, which I state because I fear it may not come across that way given my current state of mind) I left the windows down when we went in to church. I figured it wouldn't rain. I obviously was not listening well to the radio (our FAVORITE station z88.3: safe for the little ears in your car!) on the way to church because Ria told me on the way to the van that they'd said it was going to rain. My ears were not hearing right then, obviously.

It was fun/funny to experience the concern of a few of our Ward family over the expected wetness in our van after the tremendous storm we'd had. I figured it would be wet. The storm struck during sacrament meeting. And I did have the opportunity to reduce the wetness, but I decided staying where I was had greater import than worrying about the water on my seats. I figured they would dry (since we park under a carport and I basically always leavce the windows open) AND I would dry after sitting in the wet seat.

There was a surprisingly LITTLE bit of water in the van or seats of the van. The storm was really tremendous. What a blessing. It was completely dried out by the time I went grocery shopping on Monday! Nice. Right?

So, my chicken tractor isn't officially broken, but I still don't have wheels on it, so it IS still under the carport. My poor chickens. I hope we can get that remedied/fixed (thus it falls into the "broken" category) very soon!

Monday, July 12, 2010

AC Free

So, we're getting into hotter months. All right, one, but still. I perceive time differently when I remove and/or reduce use of modern day conveniences. Somehow, it's slower. In a nice way.

Of course, on the days (thankfully only a few so far) on which I feel a desire to ONLY sit in front of a fan, the slowness doesn't feel nearly so nice! :) But, the niceness is true, generally.

Heavenly Father has truly been merciful. Even though Jess has always touted his preference for the heat, he hasn't done all that well with it when he's been home. It's been really interesting. After the one pretty bad day, each weekend he has had to be home, the weather has been REALLY cool... well, at least relative to what I've been dealing with through the rest of the week. This seems to me another confirmation that this is definitely what Father would have us doing right now... AND that this "testing" time is more for me than Jess. Interesting, right?

In other "living AC free" news.... I've been doing REALLY poorly at maintaining our yard (even just the front). The reasons are myriad. Suffice it to say, "Man plans, God laughs." ^_^ This is definitely true for my experience of maintaining our yard with tools powered only by our (my) efforts. It's disappointing... I'm disappointed in me, but I'm hoping to get things back under a semblance of SOME control in the near future.

Thankfully, laundry with no dryer is still going well. I've only "cheated" once. Jess needed some shorts and I couldn't find any that were already ready (he was home REALLY early from work one Sunday and I wanted him to come with us to an activity, thus the shorts were needed in an unexpected manner and time). So, I stuck 'em in the dryer and got them mostly dry before we had to leave. These particular shorts of his normally take 1 (very hot dry) day or 2+ (muggy) days to dry. So, I feel like, given the circumstances and all, it was kinda an ox in the mire situation. ;) Otherwise, the laundry has continued to remain low to completely maintained (no full load of laundry to wash) during the past few weeks. This is a WINNING streak for me! ^_^ And I DO attribute it to the method of hang drying that I need to do with our space and such.

I'm becoming less internet crazy again. (Also an AC-free type thing, in my opinion.) I haven't been thinking about posting blurbs on FB every day or every time something cools happens. I didn't think to post about our chickens until yesterday and decided I'd rather write to a friend and hang out with another In Real Life friend instead. And there were two days last week that I was just busy enough to forget to get online. :) Nice.

So, we continue to progress in our efforts to live as the Lord would have us do! Oh... and I'm less blustery lately. I've read some good parenting books and am feeling more confident in my dealings with my girls. I'd been feeling really unsure and generally frustrated with them before. So, I'm using my not-on-the-internet-time very well! ^_^

How is life treating you!?


We've got chickens!

Last week was full of building a chicken tractor. (Of which I am PLEASED as punch to say I built about 80%!!!) And worrying about a number of things.

I was very busy.

Then, on Saturday, a wonderful lady from my previous church group brought me over a hen with her SEVEN chicks! (Older chicks, but still....) We don't know how many hens we have yet, but she's got another hen with FIVE more chicks she wants to give me... I just need to build another chicken tractor. How exciting. A GOOD reason to have a LOT of fun!!! ^_^ (I really did enjoy building the chicken tractor. And now, with one done, I'm sure I'll have even more fun cause I know more about what I'm doing!!!)

So... we've been busy.

The girls LOVE that we have chickens. As do I, of course.

Our first step into becoming farmers! :) Hopefully, more news of a similar vein will follow soon-ish! How fun!!

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