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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 ...

Friday, August 20, 2010


The whole "living without AC" thing has been going pretty well. It's been hot, but we have been favored with many clouds, good amounts of rain, and many clouds. A body cannot appreciate overcast days until you have to endure a good handfull of Florida Sunny ones with NO AC. I'm tellin' you, the days when the sky is clear, the girls and I roast. It's burning hot, for serious!

So, yesterday was one of those days. Burning. Hot. We endured. And roasted. And sat a lot in front of the fan. And steamed. Seriously hot. Even with 21 foot ceilings in the main living area it is seriously hot. Lately our general area has been experiencing record highs. Yeah. I know. Seriously not cool given our circumstances. But we have been favored (please re-read above if you're not sure how we could be favored whilst living without AC).

I think yesterday I wasn't feeling so grateful. And so, the Lord showed me how it could be worse. (I'm pretty sure I was feeling sorry for myself in the burning heat and feeling like it couldn't get worse.) Well, it did. You see, even during the hottest days of not-a-cloud-in-the-sky and/or no rain, we have the cooler nights to look forward to. It generally gets mostly comfortable by around midnight. Which, because of Jessie's work schedule, is usually when we're going to bed (even though I totally want to fall asleep by 9pm every night lately!).

So, last night, Jess and I were in bed by midnight. Yeay! We weren't up any later! I fell asleep quickly, for me, but woke with a bit of a start right at 1am. I felt super confused. Why did I wake up? What was wrong with my environment? Cause I knew there was something amiss. And then I knew: the fans were not rotating. It was burning hot - already. I'm sure the electricity was off a total of 1-2 minutes. Within that time ALL of us were awake. Ria and Kat to use the toilet, Tea, Jess, and me because it was just THAT dang hot. Tea was screaming in discomfort. Jess and I were snappy. Not a nice night.

The electricity did not come back on until 5:07am. I know the exact time because I checked my phone (THANK YOU EVES!! the one I rolled over in the van gave up the ghost, at least with my SIM card in it, a week ago!) when I felt the fan begin to blow on me.

Between 1am and 5:07am I woke up at least 4 times to spray myself with water from my haircutting spray bottle (just water, of course). Poor Jess had to get up for work within 2 hours after the electricity came back on. During the time of the outage, he got up at least as many times as I did. He got wet fabric and wiped our girls off and tried to make them more comfy as well as himself. Since I'd been kicked out of bed by Tea, I didn't know any of that until this afternoon.

Even if I had known, I don't know that the story would be much different. Jess is a MUCH better night-time parent of older than 1 year olds than I am. Our children are completely and totally my responsibility from birth until around 13-18 months old. After that Jessie takes over and does a bang-up job! It's really a lot less intense if you remember that night nursing requires between 6 and 8 wakings when exclusively nursing and planning to do so for two years. At least, that's the way it's been for me. And that 6-8 times only decreases at around 10 months old - but even then the nursing wakings are between 4 and 6 times per night. Anyway, thankfully Tea slept a while after Jess left for work and then all our girls got along quietly for a while, so I got a bit more sleep than he did.

So, living without AC is really not all that bad. Living without fans... now THAT would be hellacious. Seriously problematic! Thankfully, as a result of the fine-tuning of our electricity consumption, we've been able to reduce our electric bill just below the budget allowance and I'm hopeful we can get it even a little bit lower since we're turning off our water heater daily. We'll see!

The point is, it's working... this whole living without AC. It's endurable AND it's helping our finances. Difficulty in the short-term... sacrifices and all, so that later in some unforeseeable future time, we can maybe have things a bit easier AND have no debt to worry about! So, as long as we can run the fans, it's working. ^_^

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Jessie Is Published

I hope you'll read his work. It's sort of a joint effort, really. I write, he reviews, changes, and approves for publication. Sometimes not in that order, but that's more due to his work schedule than planning or anything else.

So far he's earned $0.02!!! ;) heeheehee That's not much, of course, but with your help we can get up to the $25 for first pay-out. And that would be SO nice! Any extra income is always appreciated. I'm sure you feel us on that!

How can you help? Well, read his articles, of course. ^_^ He gets paid for the traffic to his pages, subscriptions to his writing, and page view quality (time spent on his pages, as I understand it). So, check us out often... if you would. It'll certainly make a difference to us!

Our goal is to publish at least 3 times each week. This week most of the publishing was today, but hopefully it'll be more spread out in the future.

I'll make sure to share when he's got new stuff up, too. THANK YOU, in advance, for your support! :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Lesson Blackie Taught Me

First: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Dad! I won't tell everyone how old you are, but I hope your day is a really happy one. :)

So, the lesson is not all earth-shattering or anything. But it IS meaningful to me. What is it? Well, the lesson is: it's really okay for a Mama hen to spend time away from her chicks so that she can return to being a really good Mama when she returns. Now, I DO think this principle can be over extended, as in Blackie's case (but, then again, she's a bird... so probably it's just right for her kind)... but what I mean is that people acting like Blackie would be inappropriate. How is Blackie acting? Well, needing to be away from her chicks ALL day is a bit extreme... at least, that's my opinion. And since this is my blog, that's what you get! ;) But taking some time away is quite okay.

I have long known this, but the lesson is especially well taken at this time when there really isn't a WAY for me to get away in a meaningful way... MAN, that's a lot of "way"! ;) With Jessie working ALL the time and doing some specific and necessary other work when he should otherwise be home and available for relief of full childcare responsibilities, I have not had a real break from full responsibility for our daughters since the last time I was able to spend a couple hours in the temple. I can tell you, the strain is beginning to effect me. Not positively.

Hopefully there will be another temple trip, at least, in the near-ish future. 'Cause it doesn't look like Jessie's "weekends" will be available for childcare-relief of any sort worth mentioning. We can hope....

Sunday, August 8, 2010

All's Forgiven

We just found an egg. Our first egg!!!

Okay, so, actually, JESSIE found the egg. :) It's a lovely light greenish color. Reminiscent of "Green Eggs and Ham" which, of course, is totally perfect since my kiddos LOVE Dr. Seuss! Kat actually wants to call our puppy Dr. Suess. ^_^

So, ALL IS FORGIVEN... Blackie is now an egg producer!!!

Maybe that's why she's been acting so crazy! I mean, humans get kinda crazy when they are fertile... or their bodies are able to reproduce. Maybe chickens do, too.

I'm definitely letting Blackie out daily now - with few qualms. I just hope we continue to be so blessed as to keep her near home. She WAS trying to investigate our neighbor's yard today... and since the fence is a bit of a problem... *sigh* We'll see.

Lessons from Blackie

FIRST... HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO KIRSTEN!!! I cannot believe you are already TWO!!! ^_^

So, for the past many days Blackie has been acting a bit differently. She's been FAR less patient wtih her growing chicks. She's been especially hard on the two birds who seem most surely to be males. She's hen pecked them, pulled feathers and then consumed them... and basically been a bit mean. Additionally, she's been acting a bit nuts... like almost flying into the main door I use to access the outdoor part of the chicken tractor. She's definitely been more anxious and nervous... and her chicks have seemed more anxious and nervous and definitely afraid of her.

Blackie came from a farm. She was a chicken who roamed 34 acres. Or very nearly. There were that many she could've roamed. When she hatched her chicks, she was confined with them to a small space. Apparently other hens will kill the chicks that are hatched. I'm not sure why. I'm still really new at this whole thing. I can imagine, though, that it's far too much of a job for one hen to protect her brood from lots of other hens. So confining her with her chicks is a good safety measure.

Well, I've seen the confinement area for the hen and chicks. It's quite small. So, when Blackie came here, she was moving into a larger home than the one in which she'd been confined.

Until her chicks grew some.

They are now flattening the grass area in about 24 hours when they are moved to a new area in the yard. This would not serve a chicken who has been used to fresh grazing every day for her whole life prior to babies. At least, it wouldn't serve or be sufficient when he chicks are more able to fend for themselves a bit more.

What resolution could there be? Well, I decided, even though my fence is no more in place than it has been, to let Blackie out to fend for herself. I did so for a few hours yesterday afternoon. She was nowhere in sight when I went out to put her back in the tractor. I looked. Didn't see her. And then I called her. And there she was... walking right toward me after I called her! She came to the tractor, wandered around it looking for another way in than the one I offered, and then reluctantly made her way in when I moved out of her way. She investigated the run area a bit and then made her way into the coop.

I let her out again today. Hopefully it will continue to work this well until I ca let all the chickens out all day and close them up at night. That will happen when the fence is fully in place. Thankfully the chicks really have not known anything other than confinement for their short lives. They are not really stir crazy!

So, the lesson? Any guesses?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

And Then There Was...

A phone in my yard.



Yes. Especially to my wondering eyes!

It should not have been, since I actually DO know myself quite well. And for those of you who know me pretty well, you will likely not be surprised at all when you consider who is writing.


Okay, so... my old small silver phone that has SO many phone numbers I could not have otherwise replaced has been recovered! On top of it all, it's been recovered by none of than me! Weird, right?

And how?

Well, a few days ago I felt that I absolutely must mow the lawn. At least half of the front yard lawn. Our mower is a Reel mower - THANKFULLY under the circumstances about which I'm going to tell you, at least. A powered push mower probably would've sucked my phone right up and spat it out in millions of small pieces! Seriously.

In addition to being in our own yard, which I could've only found AS I was mowing, it was squished into the ground (mostly sand, which one could only be thankful for having a mostly sandy yard in circumstances like these!).

How? Why?

Well, the night I "lost" the phone, I honestly do not remember putting my phone back in my pocket after using the toilet. Rather, I clearly remember putting it on top of a TP dispenser in a public bathroom (and if you know me, you KNOW memory is an issue at times!) and NOT picking it back up because I was dealing with Tea, too... well, obviously I did pick it up. It promptly fell out of my pocket when I raced from the van to the bathroom upon arriving home. We have a turnaround spot in our yard, off of our driveway, into which we turn when we arrive home, so that we can pull into our carport in reverse. This makes future departures much easier because our driveway is rather long and we're more used to backing IN to it than OUT of it - since that's what we've mostly always done since we've lived here. Anyway... the phone fell out of my pocket when Jessie pulled into the turnaround spot and I hopped out to race to the bathroom in our house. It had obviously been run over a couple times after it fell to the ground there in our sandy yard. Thanks be for sand there for these circumstances, right!? But the only thing amiss was a small piece which seems squished out of place. I pushed it back in line with the phone (where it was supposed to be) and the phone seems to be fully functional. Love my OLD phone! It is one durable piece of technology! It's a Nokia five faves phone... maybe not quite 8 years old. Jessie thinks it is more like 5 or 6 years old. But that IS ancient as this technology goes... isn't it?

So, all of this worry and weirdness and world-full-of-lonliness for the few days of torture I endured living without my phone would have been averted if only Tori's (my) memory was sure and clear. Let me tell you, living without AC is CAKE, even here in the heat of the deep south, compared to living without a phone!! And the craziest things about THAT is that I haven't used the phone to speak to anyone other than Jessie since I've had it back! Seriously.

I've been observing Blackie some more and she's taught me another valuable lesson that is sort of related to this phone-less experience... stay tuned for that!

Thank you to those who acted as angels in my life by offering me their no-longer-in-use phones! I was offered four different phones by four different people and I am SO very grateful for the blessing you are and the miracle you brought to pass in my life! Seriously. Really and truly!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Life Without...

So, I've willingly given up a lot pretty recently. They were things I would've had to let go or do without (once I got the electric bill!), but giving it up of my own accord certainly made it easier. I definitely know the difference since we lost AC in the house we used to rent about 2 months before we moved out of it. So, I already knew what it feels like to lose something I like and didn't want to give up.

As of today... I am without phone. Oh, the pain! No... SERIOUSLY! My anxiety level has about tripled. So, what did I do? I watched a movie. I've said for some time now that TV is the middle-class man's opiate. So, once more I prove myself super weak and ineffective. But at least I didn't do what I first thought about doing! Wathing the movie definitely DID the work I hoped it would do. Now... need to borrow many more movies from the library... No, not really... but maybe. *sigh*

Obviously, it has not been easy for me to lose my phone. One of my first thoughts was that I would just return to FaceBook use a little earlier than I'd planned. Well, I've talked myself down from that skyscraper, but it's still really tempting! So, you see, I really have done better by watching a movie than my first thought!!!! ;)

Don't we all feel a bit safer because of phones? I mean, we can call for help at home or abroad and know that someone will answer almost immediately! We can call and check on our loved ones when they have been absent a bit too long. We can SPEAK to another adult using large-ish words AND be completely understood... or at least, with a phone we have the ability to do so at any given moment.... Even if we don't actually make any of those kinds of phone calls... we could! Now, I can't. I think that's among the top reasons my anxiety has increased so dramatically. Thankfully my modern-day opiate is still effectively working even though the movie ended a few hours ago.

I was able to return to my current "extra" work with the opiate soothing my jangled nerves. The work? Helping Jessie find restaurants to which to apply in person as well as and applying on his behalf online. It's time consuming work and the online applications can require some writing (but not the fun kind)... so it can be stressful on top of the effort to simply maintain things around the house.

Pray for us. We are praying for a miracle, really, at this point. Jessie will submit his two weeks' notice in about 5 or 6 days. So, I'm sure you can now understand more fully the number one reason for my anxiety level to be anything more than the regular mild stress of home-stay-Mama-ing.

The Lord directs and we do. THAT is the reason for the upcoming submission of notice and that's all there is to it. I honor my patriarch and must trust in his understanding (after questioning much). So, I'm sure it'll be all right. But I'm equally as sure that your prayers will carry us some... or, maybe, I'm hoping they'll lift me. I could really use it right now. Thank you, in advance, for caring enough to send a few good thoughts and words of support to our Father in Heaven on my little family's behalf!

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