Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"Catching Up"

It has been a while since I have posted so I figured I would at least stop by and do some catching up. The Holidays are just about over and it seems that so much has happened in between.

On December 9th, I received a phone call that I pretty much knew would come eventually. It was a call letting me know that my sister had died. It was a pretty surreal experience and sometimes it still plays in my head. They never said that she died, only that she had "expired". Expired? What, like a carton of milk expired? Like a coupon expired? Expired? I don't know why that word seemed to bother me so much but it did. But I pushed past that to take care of what had to be taken care of and now she has been laid to rest.

The Holidays for me will forever be a reminder of loss. Around Thanksgiving will always remind me of the loss of my mom and now Christmas will be the marker for the loss of my sister. Holidays are sometimes emotional enough without being tied to these kinds of reminders. But alas, it will be what I make of it.

All in all there wasn't much joy for me this Holiday season although I went through the motions for my children. Still I am thankful each day that I am still here and had the chance to participate even if mentally distanced.

As tomorrow looms and marks the end of another year, I find myself in a reflective mood. I won't make resolutions but I will set goals and plan to use them to make my life more manageable. Next week school starts up again for both myself and the children. I am in no way ready to go back to that stress, but know that resisting it will only add to the stress.

January will also make me another year older and will herald one child's "Sixteenth" birthday. With that will come the desire to drive and a continuing of all the other teenage angst filled situations. Oh joy....

I am looking forward to beginning the Spring garden though. I am already receiving my seed catalogs and am contemplating how to go about this years crops. I am looking forward to that more than anything.

Overall, when I think of 2008 it has been a mixed bag for me. There have been ups, there have been LOTS of downs, but hey, it wouldn't be life if it was anything different right? But the best part is that I found a way to make it through both extremes. And as we face a new year, a new governmental administration, and a continuing declining economy, I think that making it through counts for a lot. To everyone I wish a safe and Happy New Year!! Till next time...

Monday, December 8, 2008


As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.

~ Henry David Thoreau~

This morning in my mailbox was an e-mail from a friend talking about Nostalgia. Many of the things enclosed in the e-mail made me smile. Made me remember. And while those times were not necessarily "The Best of Times" across the board, there were and still are a lot of fond memories connected to them.

Sadly, I don't have many fond childhood memories, after a certain period of my life, but the ones that I do have I have always treasured and protected. Most of them took place during the six years that I lived with my grandmother and the respective summers thereafter.

My family originally resided in South Carolina. It was where I was born as well. I left South Carolina a few weeks before my sixth birthday and would go on to grow up in Chicago Illinois. I remember most of the happiness and safety that I felt disappearing shortly following this move.But that's another story....

In South Carolina there were cousins and aunts and uncles and grandmothers and great-grandmothers providing direction, love, and needed discipline. There were gardens and red clay dirt, and memories that were formed in the kitchen and many meals that came out of those kitchens. Neighbors still looked out for you and were considered "Extended families". You knew that even if your own grandmother didn't see you doing something she would know by the time that you got home because the "Surrogate grandmothers" made sure she got the information. It was double for me because my grandfather's sisters lived right up the lane from us, so there was no hiding for me.

There wasn't a lot of money in the beginning and I remember times when my grandmother would drink coffee so that I could have whatever there was for breakfast. I remember having a bottle fashioned out of a coca-cola bottle and a nipple, filled with coffee. I remember taking baths in the tin tubs now used for feed. There were kerosene lamps and for a while an outhouse. Those were lean times, but I still never, ever, remember feeling like I did without. I only remember being happy.

I remember my great-aunt having my cousins and I pick beans and okra and tomatoes and greens from her garden to have for dinner. I remember the chickens that ran around the yard, the big black cauldron that was used to boil water for washing clothes. I remember feeling sad when great-grandma caught a chicken and either rang his neck or chopped his neck off with her small hatchet. I remeber a pot of boiling water,and feathers all over the kitchen. I forgot my sadness when said chicken filled my stomach at dinnertime.

The sheer quality of the fresh, homemade food was a delight in and of itself. To this day I can still remember the aromas, the tastes, and the absolute love that went into the preparation of those meals.

My grandmother and her mother were maids by trade. Over time, other family members became Educators, Principals, there was a Lawyer, some worked for factories, Coca-Cola, and other trades. Most of those relatives migrated North. My grandfather was one of the first Entrepreneurs in that little town that I grew up in. Eventually, he owned a laundromat, construction company,and was part owner of a funeral home. Unfortunately, he and my grandmother did not make it as a couple and she did not share in his eventual good fortune. Still, he always made sure that if we needed anything, we received it.

As I got older, I never understood why my grandmother and great-grandmother never got upset because they had to work as maids and clean and cook for others. As I matured, I understood that they did what was required of them to take care of us. Pride had its place, but family, family was priority!!! Still, I cannot remember one time when I heard either of them complain. They were a STRONG bunch of women in those days and I always admired that.

My great-grandfather had passed on before my birth, and my great-aunt moved back to South Carolina to live and helped my great-grandmother pay for the two tract houses and the parcel of land that they sat on. This aunt was a FIERCE saver and planner. She always extoled to us the need to save and prepare ahead. She and my great-grandmother took the back house and the front house was given to my grandmother and their brother, who was paralyzed. My aunt, a cousin and myself, were the other occupants. Everyone worked together to make sure that we had a decent life. We would converge to the back house for meals and afterwards, my great-grandmother would sit in her rocking chair and smoke her pipe. My grandmother was a quilter, and my great-aunt would regale us with stories of her life in the "Big City". God, how safe I felt in those days!!! This instilled in me an INTENSE love for family and a misguided expectation that EVERYONE else would have this same love for family as well. I would learn this wasn't so.

I remember Monday morning clothes washing which has ingrained in me a love of hanging my clothes outside to dry. I remember the time that my grandmother and her mother would put into cooking which has developed in me my own love of cooking. I remember being in the kitchen with them and taking in the sights and the smells and watching how they did what they did. Just thinking about it makes me well up. It is that part of my life that shapes the "authentic" person that I am. I know that I cannot duplicate the past, nor do I want to. But I do want to take those memories and use them as the diagram for my life now. They are memories that I cherish and have always loved.

I want to take the values and the wealth of information from those times and imbed them as a part of my life today. I won't do it the same way they did, because times have changed, and we have to move on, progress. Still, those things will be my foundation and will be a huge factor in the choices that I make in my present life.

It's good to be Nostalgic from time to time, but we still have to live in the present. I know that. We have to be realistic, we have to remember ALL that was involved, not just the good things. I know that too. But deep, deep, within me lies the base of my love for the unadorned, the natural, the simple things of life. This is who I am.

For me, those things aren't just a bit of nostalgia, they are home. Till next time...

Friday, December 5, 2008


"A man either lives life as it happens to him, meets it head on and licks it, or
he turns his back on it and starts to wither away."
~ Gene Rodenberry~

I am still in a deeply reflective mood. There is so much that I want to share. Yesterday, I took a break between classes to write in my paper journal. There are several things that have been weighing heavily on my mind.

Writing has always been a catharsis for me. It is a way for me to get feedback and to take a second look at my thoughts.

One thought I have been tooling around with is the difference betwen people actually "living" their dreams and those that only "talk" about it. What was it that put them on the road to their desires and kept them there? There are some people that don't have a lot of money, yet, they are living what I like to think of as a "defined" life. They knew what they wanted and were not willing to to let anything stop them from achieving it. I wonder if it all boils down to "choices?" Are some willing to give up things that will propel them to their life goals while other are not? Does it have to do with what one deems as important?

If we are truly honest, how many of us "say" that we want to live a certain way yet our actions prove otherwise? How many of us just don't want to do the work or make the sacrifices, yet convince ourselves that we are actually doing the best that we can ? How many are willing to admit that they are really, only doing the best that they are "willing" to do? There is a big difference between the two. And usually this keeps us right where we are; stuck in the lane of "Dreams Deferred".

So I suppose we have to REALLY seek what it is that brings us the most pleasure. Would we rather have "things" or would we rather own our homes outright? Do we really deserve that vacation after a stressful year or would an emergency fund be more prudent? Choices.

When I look back over my own life, I realize that some events took place which contributed to making my goals more "difficult" to reach, But, I made the "choice" to give up on a lot of the things that I wanted to accomplish, or filed them under "impossible". I still have to sometimes drag myself kicking and screaming past this mindset. But now, I am willing to acknowledge that my "choices" will still serve to make the difference between my success and my failure. Now, I want to know what I was not willing to do before, that I need to do now to make things happen.

After careful meditation, I realize that I need to get to really know "me". I no longer need to know the person that was manufactured based on what other people thought or think I should be. From early childhood, I was never allowed to be an "individual". I grew up in a home where a "Cookie Cutter" persona was expected. I was told what I should do, how I should do it, who I should become, and how I should go about it. Any sign of individuality was stifled and labeled rebellion. So I "built" the person that I was told I should be from the blueprint given me. I have allowed "that" person to usurp my existence for far too long. I feel it is time for that person to hand back over control, and that I become the rightful ruler of my life.

I always thought that "simplicity" was the secret elixir that I needed in order to be happy. But I was wrong. While simplicity is one of the strongest elements, alone it is powerless. I first have to build a strong internal foundation. I have to work from the inside out. It will mean taking chances, and making mistakes. Maybe a LOT of mistakes. It will mean facing my fears. It might mean risking being thought of as foolhardy, or unreasonable. But if what I want is worth it to me, then I will have to accept these possibilities without contest. I realize now that I can be frugal, aspire to homestead, live off the land, whatever, but if if don't have that internal peace first, none of those things will make the least bit of difference.

For 47 years, I have made the "choice" to do it everyone's way except my own. I think some adjustments are in order. I have made the choice. I think I am long overdue. Till next time...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"Brainstorming A Bit of This and That"

I've been in quite the reflective mood lately. Lots of things that I want to work on, incorporate, and pick up my step in. Tomorrow is the last day of actual classes, and I have two finals back to back next week. The weekend and the beginning of next week will be spent with my head in the books. I am looking forward to the Winter break.

I love not having homework for it affords me the opportunity to cook more in the evenings. When I have homework, I usually cook on the weekends and provide more "Fix it yourself" things doing the weekdays. It has worked very well for us so it is probably something that I will continue to use as I continue my education.

There is something about the fast approaching winter months that changes something in me. It brings out in me a sense of pulling in and cocooning. Actually, if I had my way, I'd probably cocoon most of the time. But since I am not rich and most likely never will be, I try to make a very concious effort now to use my time wisely if possible.

Between classes, I have been reading different material on budgeting, stocking-up, natural living, etc. One of my favorite reads is "Mother Earth" which was sent to me by a very dear friend. I can't get enough of that magazine. There are other magazines dealing with Homesteading that I get a glimpse of online, but there is nothing like holding the magazine in your hand and marking things and going over and over it. Until I was gifted with the magazine I would read it in the school library. It would always sooth my nerves after a hectic day of classes.

Some of the things that I have been reflecting on heavily is getting my stock-up back in order, savings, teaching my children financial accountability, being more financially conscious myself, and coming up with ways to build an emergency account. Although the dynamics of my household have changed, I am still the household manager and am therefore responsible for the financial goings on in my home. At the end of each year, I like to reflect over things and challenge myself to do better or at least work smarter.

One of the books that I am reading on "Simplicity" by Janet Luhrs, makes some very profound statements regarding financial independence. It is nothing that the average person isn't already aware of, but sometimes we all need a nudge to remind us of what we perhaps already know, but fail to do. Some of the points that I wrote down for myself are:

* If you don't want to work too much don't accumulate a lot of debt, don't spend the money.* While those words seem very simplistic, most of us "tell" ourselves that we are thrifty but allow the little things to keep us tethered to debt.

* When you have money saved, you have "Options". Without money saved you have "No" choices.* To that, most of us would say that with today's economy "who has money to save?" But if we are honest again about the little things and some of the not so little things that we feel are "needs" when they are really "wants", we would be surprised.

* You have to be willing to make certain choices and sacrifices that will lead to your larger life goals.* Usually when someone sees the word "sacrifice" they are immediately turned off. But unless you have a large income, sadly something will have to be sacrificed. You just have to ask yourself what is the priority.

* You have to create a financial plan to lead you to your life goals.*

I took a lot of time to meditate on this point. To REALLY ask myself what is my "life" goal. Many people feel that they know the answer to that question but really are basically just very vague.

* Financial success is not about being rich but about being smart with your money.*

I think this is an especially crucial thought as we ride the tide of our present economy. So many people are losing jobs and homes and have no emergency funds to at least tide them over until they can figure things out. Sadly, as Americans, savings is just not that big on our list of priorities. This is going to lead to lots of heartache many.

There were plenty of other points that I have been meditating on for my own circumstances, because I feel that the better equipped I am, less bumpy the ride.

Once school is out, I plan to do a deep pantry inventory to re-stock what I have used over the past six months, and it is time to take some time to put together my winter menus. I set a certain budget for Holiday shopping and so far am sticking to it, and I am planning on giving my children savings accounts instead of stocking stuffers this year. I have also set up 5 small goals to try and reach by next year's end. One will be a larger sustainable garden. I am looking forward to that one. I drive by the AG center here every day and see the sign for the program to become a Master Gardener. If I knew that I could work it around school I would have signed up yesterday. But, who knows.

I have just had a feeling of a pressing need to up my game as regards taking our economy seriously. I am not saying that we should panic or anything, but just daily make decisions that would serve to bring us closer to our life goal whatever that might be. That is my hope and my plan. Wish me luck. Till next time...

Saturday, November 29, 2008


It has been raining here since around 3:00 p.m. yesterday. I love it. There is a possibility for thunderstorms throughout the day. I hope so. Something about rain and storms just relaxes and calms me. Rain unleashes in me a contemplative spirit. That is exactly how I am feeling today.

I usually do not like to watch or listen to the news. There is always more heartache than good usually. Yesterday's news was no exception. My heart goes out to all the families who lost loved ones in Mumbai. My thoughts and prayers also go out to those who lost loved ones in what I feel was a most senseless way; by Black Friday shoppers. Have we become so ingrained with the desire to have and to possess that we could trample a fellow human in the pursuit of a purchase? Obviously the answer to that is yes. It simply boggles my mind.

When contemplating these tragedies especially the Black Friday deaths, it just gives me all the more impetus to build upon my desire for a frugal, simple life. I want to get back to natural living as much as humanly possible. Restarting my garden this past summer let me know that this sort of life is where my heart truly resides. I have to admit that I have let other things over the years sidetrack me and keep me from my goals, but I am determined to turn that around in any way that I can. I will start again with baby steps, but I "will" reach my goals.

I have always been more of an unconventional person. I don't like to follow the crowd, and I don't like to do things simply because others are doing it, or somebody else feels that I should. I have nothing against suggestions, or advice, but I want my own voice to be the one that I hear the loudest. Over the years, I have relegated my own voice to the background and have been very unhappy in doing so. That needs to change.

The upcoming year is fast approaching. It is usually the time that we make resolutions, that are usually broken before the ink dries. I won't wait until then. I am going to use each and every day that I am blessed with "now", to continue to make the changes that I need to live my life in the passionate way that I crave. Each and every day I plan to incorporate more of the things that I love. As the tragedies that are reported on in the news shows, "Tomorrow is promised to no one". We have to do all that we can each and every day that we are granted a chance to do so.

So maybe that will mean that instead of rushing around trying to keep things in order all the time, I will grab a book, a cup of coffee and some time to just relax. It doesn't mean that I will let things go to pot, but it does mean that I will realize that it is alright to just "breathe" sometimes instead of trying to always accomplish something. Yet, there are certain things that I would like to do.

I look forward to planning for my spring garden. The thought of that really excites me! I want to learn to can, and to improve upon my storage techniques. I'd like to have a better savings plan in order. I want to teach myself to play my guitar. There are some home improvements that I want to try my hand at instead of letting them intimidate me. I'd like to continue working to make my home one of those comfortable places that the kids can bring their friends to for fun. Most importantly, I want to continue to strive for that feeling of family and belonging with my loved ones and friends.

I don't want to be one of those people chasing "The American Dream". What does that really mean anyway? No, I want to just live my life as close to my own "personal"dream as I can. For me that means learning to be as self-sufficient as I can. It won't be easy, it will mean lots of hard work, and it will perhaps mean bucking what most people consider "the norm". But you know what, when I look at all the other alternatives out there, I know that it is more than worth it.

Till next time...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"A Warm Welcome"

Just wanted to send warm welcome to the new followers of the blog. Welcome Guyz and Earth Heart!!! So nice of you to stop by. A continued thanks to my other "faithful" friends who have been with me since the beginning. A VERY Happy and Safe Thanksgiving to one all. Till next time.....

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

"One Year Ago Today"

Today marks the first anniversary of my mother's death. It does not seem like that much time has passed, but it has. Thanksgiving will always be tied in with her passing.

I have found that regardless of the dynamics of your relationship with your parents, their passing will always leave an indelible mark.

I came on here with the intention of writing something thoughtful, something heartfelt. I even contemplated using the letter that I wrote on her birthday this year.

But instead I will mark this day with simply saying that we remembered, and we will never forget.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

"Long Time No Blog, Again"

As usual,

it has been forever since I have taken the time to sit down and write something. I don't know what it is, but I have been so tired lately that even thinking about writing has been almost painful.

Just feeling rushed, and tired and pushed to get through each and every day. Updating my blog feels like a luxury.

So on yesterday, I decided that I would work most of the day to make sure that I had today off for the most part. I didn't want to have anything that was pressing or trying or "needed" tending. And since I stuck to the grindstone and got everything done, here I am.

I did take a bit of time this morning to go out into what is left of the garden.

I think that I have been neglecting doing so because as childish as it sounds, working in the garden makes it TERRIBLY difficult for me to want to get back to my routine.

It is like when I work outside, I am transported to a place that I don't want to leave. I don't feel the time constraints, there are no other people and their attitudes to deal with, little noise. I just get so wrapped up into it that I don't want to get back to the norm.

So I did a little raking and watering, and sweeping off the porch. I took in the laundry that I had hung out yesterday, and cleaned some things from the yard. I had the boys out to help with a thing or two before setting them free and we got the garbage ready for pick up tomorrow. I filled my watering bin back up, tidied up the hose, and then headed back inside. I have the basil that I planted sitting on a shelf next to the back door. The scent from it a constant reminder of some of the things that truly make me happy.

Tomorrow it is back to the routine and the rush, and the "must do's. I am looking forward to the end of this semester even though the Holidays are fast approaching. I got half of my shopping done already and will concentrate on the other half this month. I wanted it do it thoughtfully, but as quickly as possibly.

Yet, no matter how rushed, or pushed, or overwhelmed I have been feeling lately, I am still grateful that I have something to be rushed, pushed, or overwhelmed about. Got to find the positives.

Hope that all are well and that life is treating you kindly. Till next time....

Thursday, October 16, 2008

"Long Time No Blog"

I haven't blogged in it seems like forever. I guess I have just been either too busy or too tired, or too distracted to do so.

So much is going on as usual. I still haven't been able to pry myself from my constant desire to cocoon. If anything, I seem to want to do so even more lately.

I am once again having trouble in math and I am beyond frustrated. Things are going "Lightning" fast in this class. Before I can grasp one subject we learn two to three more. I am falling behind. I am still trying to stay positive, but some days are harder than others.

To top that off, so many people seem to be getting ever more rude and the world that we live in today just lacks care. It is as if every man/woman is for him or her self and more and more tension is mounting out there the closer we get to the election.

I am not one to talk politics or religion and prefer to keep my thoughts and feelings to myself and am most adamant about that. But the rumblings out there are most disheartening to me.

I still feel that if my foot were only long enough I would still be kicking myself in the ass for not making the proper preparations in my life so that I wouldn't be 47 and starting all over again. Life is not like it was ten years ago. Hell, it is not what it was 5 years ago. It's hard out here.

I think that we all need to take heed, and keep our eyes open in the months ahead. Maybe I am getting more and more cynical as I get older, maybe I am just a realist. But for whatever it is worth, I think that if it is a helping hand that you are looking for, it is a surer bet to realize that it is more likely to be at the end of your forearm.

Oh, what a cheery, welcome post to christen my new blog. Peace all,
Till next time.....

Thursday, September 18, 2008

"For The Sake Of Mental Health"

I had a completely different kind of entry prepared for this evening. I was about to hit send when I decided against it. It was full of cynicism, and doubt. It was full of more thoughts of just wanting to withdraw further and further into a shell. So instead of sending it out into the Universe, I deleted it and decided instead to work in my garden and cook. These two things are always a reminder to me of all the things that I still have to be grateful for.

I have been compiling some recipes over the last few weeks. Some of these recipes are for a change in diet that I have set up for myself. The other recipes are for the upcoming cooler days of fall and winter. It has been cool here for a few days and I pulled up a recipe for some potato soup. I have pulled up so many that I can't remember who to give credit for it. But it isn't mine. Still, I wanted to share it because I thought it was a quick and easy way to to make a favorite.

Since I am so busy, I need lots of quick and easy meals that I can make and freeze. I know that cooking from scratch is the best and the most healthy, but sometimes you have to improvise. I am all for that.

So here is the recipe that I pulled up for the soup.


* 32 oz. Frozen Potatoes O'Brien

*2 Small packets White Gravy Mix( I chose Jimmy Deans)

*1 Large Chicken Broth

*Shredded Cheese

I also at the suggestion of the original recipe maker added cubed smoked sausage. You can also add pieces of bacon if you are really into meat and that smoky flavor.

Cooking Instructions:

Pour broth and potatoes in stock pot;heat. Once broth is hot, mix in both packets of white gravy mix. Heat to boil and simmer 20-25 minutes. Add cheese,salt and pepper to taste.

That is the original recipe and it came out delicious.


 This bowl was still steaming out of the pot. Someone (not me) requested some for lunch. Once it has sat for a bit the consistency is MUCH thicker and the flavor is very full.

I also baked a German Chocolate cake for the others and have some Flax Seed cookies for myself. They are quite good and quite filling.

While the cake was baking and the soup was simmering, I went outside to work in the garden a bit. I had the "wee one" water the plants inside the makeshift greenhouse, and I took care of the rest.


 Pumpkin up to the "Nogoodniks" of trying to jump the fence into my garden.

 More Tomato beauty. I love it!


Close-up of the trellised pumpkins.


 Winter squash and sugar snap beans next to it.


 My only remaining cucumber plant( in the middle) trying to grow.

I could just feel a calm pour over me and I truly needed that today.

And for all of you following the saga of "Belle and Beau", good news. There is a reconciliation in the works.  After seeing the headlines of the "Three B's: The Bailout of "AIG", the Buyout of "Merrill Lynch", and the Bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, Belle decided that Beau was right about not starting a family right now. They are continuing in counseling.

Well, that is it for this "Homestead". Have a "Fabulous Friday" everyone, and I will see you next time...

Sunday, September 14, 2008

" Sunday"

Well, today has been a pretty quiet day overall. I finished up dinner preparations, took care of the garden and have things almost ready for the upcoming week. Then it is off to take a nice hot shower, wash my hair and settle in for the night. I hate this part of Sunday because I usually dread going back to the routine. But, that being said, I consider myself fortunate to have a routine to go back to.

In the garden, I basically cleared some weeds from the aisles and raked into between them.

 I watered the plants and made a few discoveries. I put a little manure around the roots of some of the first plants that were planted, and I trellised the pumpkins as they were growing into the sweet potatoes. I was about to clean out the bucket from the cantaloupes when I came across this.

 It looks just like a little watermelon. The other little one that was growing fell off and I decided to just scrap the cantloupes. Now I hope to see the development of this new little find.

In my greenhouse, the plants are still growing. Not as much as I had hoped, but still growing.


 The watermelons seem to have stopped growing. I was hoping that putting them in the greenhouse would help accelerate their growth but again, I think I planted too late in the season.But, I plan to grow earlier next year and more plentiful.

In the flower garden, the Hibiscus are still in bloom as are the Marigolds.


 I am going toplant some mums as soon as things cool down a bit more.

 Remember how these plants and how they looked when I first rescued them? They are really thriving now.



Overall, I had a very enjoyable day in the garden.

Well nothing else to see around here folks. Hope a good week is ahead for everyone and I will see you...the next time.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

"Busy Saturday"

Greetings and Salutations.

Before I get into my usual drivel I would like to send out prayers and wishes for speedy recoveries for all those affected by Hurricane Ike in Texas, and the survivors and families of all those affected by the train crash in Los Angeles. I hope that they get the help that they need speedily and that three years from now the Hurricane victims are still not struggling to get back to some sense of normality. And for all of us not affected, may we remember how fortunate we are, just how precious life is, and how in the blink of an eye it can change forever.

Now back to the drivel....

Over my way,it has been a busy Saturday. I woke up pretty early this morning. Didn't feel too great but pushed past it to do what needed to be done today.

There was the usual Saturday fare of chores, and today "The Wee One" had to work on his science project. He did a diorama of the "Okefenokee Swamp".

I had been looking for stuff for weeks and finally we...erm...he, put it all together. Uh...yeah, that's the ticket.

Here is the finished result:



 A Close-Up


I have been slow cooking a roast since late afternoon that should be just about done now. I will make mashed potatoes and green beans to go along with it on tomorrow. There will be a baked good for them and I will more than likely subsitute asparagus for the mashed potatoes for myself. Cooking is definitely up there with gardening,and simplicity as the things that give me a sense of peace and joy. Ahhh, simplicity.

I have ironing to do for the week and the garden to water and check on for tomorrow. After that, it will be a nice hot bath and hopefully an early bedtime. I have a history test on Tuesday, so that will take up most of my attention for the next couple of days.

And speaking of the garden, there is trouble is "Paradise". Remember this happy photo?


Well today, things looked like this:


Apparently, Belle wants babies, but Beau says no because their work is seasonal and "Kid-Crows" would demand a more stable income. Seems that Beau enjoys only having to work a few months out of the year and isn't ready to give up that freedom just yet. I sure hope those two get it together because I need them to be focused....What?

Well, that's all from ye' olde Homestead today. Hope that Saturday has been kind to everyone and that Sunday is even better. Enjoy it, and make every second count. Till the next time...


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

"This and That"

Well the test is over. I won't know how I did until Monday. I have decided not to think about it anymore. It will be what it will be and I did the very best that I could.

That being said, I came home feeling kind of out of it. I really can't explain it. I think a good word to describe it would be jaded. I just feel jaded right now. More and more each day I just want to find that little space that is calling me and go to it. Geesh.

To pacify those feelings, I went outside and walked around the "Homestead" today. I was going to take Pumpkin for a walk but couldn't find the leash. I thought she might enjoy a nice walk and I wanted to get out and clear my head. There are a lot of pitbulls in my area and sometimes the irresponsible owners just let them run free. Even my teenager warned me about going to far off the block and about the dogs. So I aborted the thought and just went into the garden instead.

I have so many trees around my house. With that comes leaves, pine straw and whatever else that comes from trees. I really need to get out and do a good raking and sweeping of the yards and driveway. It will be good mental and physical exercise. I will probably have to put it off until next weekend since the Science Project will take priority this weekend. Plus, I will have to break it down so as not to do anything to my back.

I must have been out there for at least an hour this evening. I had only planned to go out for a few minutes, but once I was there I started doing a bit of this and a bit of that. It made me feel much better just to have that bit of peace and quiet surrounded by my plants.

Each day I am surprised to find more tomatoes growing even this late in the season. Of the summer plants, here is some of what is left and the tomato plants still growing.




I also took the last measly serrano pepper off the vine.


 A few more of these hot peppers are left as well.

Still a lot of green going on.


 These are the peppers that I put under netting. Can you see it?

Every time that I think the Bell Pepper plants are done I find something else blooming. Guess I will just leave them alone and let them do what they will do.


 Here's the little Aloe plant that I had given up for dead. I just sat it in the growing area and it was behind some of the buckets. Looks like it is trying to come back to life.

Look who else has joined the "Homestead"

Her name is "Belle". So that is why "Beau" is smiling that sheepish grin!


I have to work on "Mama's Corner" and plan to plant some Mums which were one of her favorites. I remember mums growing under the kitchen window once in the house I grew up in. I guess it is one of those things you remember when it doesn't happen often.

I have some reading to do but decided to just relax a bit tonight. I will do my reading in the morning before I head to history class. Tonight I just want to eat something, take a nice bath or shower and then head in for the night.

Well,that's it for this homestead for now. Hope that everyone had a good Wednesday. I'll look for you the next time...

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

"I'm Going, I'm Going"

I know, I know, I am supposed to be studying. But I can't seem to sit still. I am always tense like this the night before a big math test. I just have to walk away from it every few minutes or so.

I usually feel better when I stall...erm... write so I decided to go ahead and post a bit of what would have been my next journal entry.

My garden is looking kind of ratty as I haven't been able to do the usual maintainence. There are still some veggies growing from Summer's crop.



 Check out my Pumpkins spreading out. Below is a night shot of them and selected other crops.

I have netted off the remaining peppers to keep them safe from the birds and I also got this little fellow to help me protect the remaining tomatoes.


Isn't he cute? I call him "Beau". Yes, he is "Scare-Beau". What?

Ok, I know, I'm stalling. It's back to the books. Be good until the next time...