Friday, August 31, 2012

Home again, home again, jiggety jog.

Last weekend my mom, a friend and her mom took a trip to MO to see an elderly family friend of theirs and to do some sightseeing. We stayed in a quaint little town and travelled around to different areas each day. We had a great time.

This is a little crooked house at a "heritage seed" place. It cracked me up and I get the "Little Crooked Man" song stuck in my head each time I look at the pic.

They have a little pioneer village where there is a "pioneer day" festival the first weekend of each month.

They had beautiful gardens...

...with beautiful flowers...

...and very unique flowers.

They have a miniature donkey who cracked us up and reminded us of "Donkey" on Shrek. So stinkin' cute and absolutely full of himself.

And little mini horses too. I love minis.

We stopped at several antique stores and I got this pic for A.

This is D, hanging with her homies, sportin' her bonnet.

There were gorgeous sunsets.

You know how I love a sunset.

 We went to the Laura Ingalls Wilder home place and museum. This is where all of the "Little House" series of books was written. Rose Wilder Lane wrote several books here too.

Mom and I.

We saw the little rock house....

the setting....

and the gorgeous front door of the house that Rose had made for her parents.

We visited Amish country...

scooped the Amish Loop....

saw farms, bought tomatoes and baked goods and had fun with/watching the Amish. It amazes me that their lifestyle is still so well preserved in this world.

And to top it all off there was a rainbow when we were just about home.

Three years ago yesterday we brought J home after a 4-year wait. He continues to do very well, thank God. He has some attitude issues but he is a 14yo boy. So far this school year he is doing his own homework with just a little help now and then. He is earning gum by doing it himself. He has a part in a play at church for Christmas and I hope he can pull it off. I asked him if he was going to remember all those lines and he said, "If dey turn de projector around and I can see de words I will remember dem!" Smart boy. Turn the projector around and shine the words on the back wall. He's always thinking.

A started her sophomore year at college on Monday. So far, so good. She isn't driving her car with the standard transmission yet but there were title issues.

Remember our refrigerator saga from 2 Christmases ago? We are having a dishwasher saga now. We bought a new one and it was leaking. It was determined that there was a crack in the tub. A new tub was ordered and a service call set up. They didn't come to the service call. It was rescheduled and they came today but when they opened the box the new tub had been bent and possibly cracked! So, a new, new tub has been ordered and another service call has been scheduled. Sears in case you are wondering. It's really laughable if you think about it. What are the chances? Apparently high at this house. Too funny!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Happy birthday!!

22 years ago today (well, tonight actually) this little baby came into the world.
"You must've been a beautiful baby, 'cause baby, look at you now." Happy birthday to my first born! Love you muches!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I love where I live

Dad's boat died last weekend. Well, the outdrive died. I emailed him some options from CL but he was so busy with everything Haiti that he didn't have time to look at them 'til much later in the week. We were bummed because we were planning to go to the lake after church on Sunday and dad couldn't take his boat. Well, he and T went and looked at a "parts" boat Sat afternoon and hauled it home and had the outdrive off of it and on to dad's boat by 9 Sat eve! And it worked! We had a great time and pics will follow.

We were "gleaning" things off the parts boat and J piped up with, "Oh look! Dere's de fire exterminator!". Extinguisher/exterminator. So close. And then when we were heading back to the house he saw a toad and said, "I should take dat to school to digest it." Upon further questioning it was determined that the word he was searching for was "dissect". Digest/dissect. So close. This kid cracks us up!

A and P didn't go to the lake with us Sunday. It's probably the first time since we've had the boat that A didn't make it out there with us. They both work so much and P is in school and A will be starting soon, I guess they just wanted to be alone.

Both of our daughters are currently learning how to drive a vehicle with a standard transmission. I think that's hysterical. A friend has been teaching R and I've been teaching A. Both vehicles have been stalled repeatedly in the learning process. I think the girls are both getting the hang of it though.

And now the pics. I love this little face peeking at me through the door. Too cute!

This is how I do schoolwork if one of the cats is around. They think I learn best with one of them laying on my chest in the way of what I'm trying to read. I'm not so sure.

Yes, she still loves to get in the stroller and drink from her sippy cup. And no, we haven't sent the video to AFV yet.

She also loves the ironing board, not that she gets to see it very often.

I love that we live close to some beautiful lakes.

And that the "Old man of the sea" (or lake in this case) was able to get his boat going again.

J and his friend fishing off the bow of our boat.

Dad relaxing on his. It was a gorgeous day. Temps were just right.

The water is still down but not quite as low as it was. Look at the beautiful rock formation here. J was impressed with the echo it created.

The view from the other side of the rocks (and the top of J's head).

There were a few herons fishing over here. I love the contrasts of the blues and greens in the sky, land, water and reflections.

I love that I live where this morning sky...

...becomes this evening sky.

We get some pretty sunsets 'round here.

I love it here even when the oatmeal boils over in the microwave. And yes, I scraped it back into the bowl and ate it.

I love where I live because of the people here with me, even when they leave things like multi-function levers from their car on the computer desk. 'Cause everyone should have a multi-function lever on their desk.

And now I must go do some schoolwork. I wonder where those cats are?

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Phone pics and catching up

Wow, busy as usual around here! J started back to school. He was so ready to spend every day with his friends. So far, he's had a good attitude towards the work and making this his best year ever. He's in 8th grade so he's a big fish in a small pond until he gets to high school next year. High school!?! How did that happen?

I finished one class so far and am getting ready to start the next one. I won't have as much lag between the 2nd and third ones because I already have the book for the 3rd. I have to figure out how to time that better.

A bought herself a used car. It's a standard. She doesn't know how to drive a standard. It's been....interesting. She goes back to school the last week of August. Sophomore year of college! How did that happen?!? She is also determined to do well and make this her best year yet. I hope they both succeed.

Did I mention that T couldn't stand not having a truck so he has a truck again? And we have a very nice Jeep Grand Cherokee for sale if you or anyone you know is interested. He's a happy camper. Or trucker. Or something.

I had a doc appointment yesterday. He confirmed that the tendonitis is back in my left wrist/base of my thumb. I'm trying some super duper new miracle cream and a compression brace. And praying that it works.

Dad's boat died Sunday. Well, the outdrive died. We are all very sad because it's so fun to go out in two boats. Sigh...

And now, the pics. Yes this is sideways. Yes it's "set up" and yes, I really do fill in with sharpie where I missed or where it's growing out. I missed a chunk by my temple this time. Not sure why.

The evening sky was awesome one day last week.

Love this pic over the pool. And the big crocodile head cloud. Too cool.

It got prettier and prettier. I love how the cloud is casting shadow.

This was the other side of my cobbler bowl the other night.

His allergies are back so he's passed out on allergy meds again. At least we found a dose that helps some without making him a total zombie.

"Look out for me oh muddy waters! Your mysteries are deep and wide." (Song from the play "Big River") We had a lot of rain the other day and the river behind the place where I work got large and muddy.

And our little river flowed briefly.

And the sky looked awesome!

And now, I must get some schoolwork done.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

One down.....

.....thirty-nine to go. Classes that is. I'm thrilled to have completed one class. The 39 to go is a bit overwhelming to think about but I just have to do one at a time. The books are ordered for the next two classes so now I just have to wait for them to get here. I'm excited!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Happy birthday!!!..... my wonderful hubby! I hope and pray you have another blessed year!

And happy birthday to his twin, D, too.

Bridget (R's horse) made it to CO. The horse moving company picked her up Sat night and she arrived at the stable near R's house Mon night. She was sweaty but fine. I'm just glad she's there safely. The other two horses here seem fine also. They probably wonder when Bridget's coming back from her ride. I hope Lady does ok when dad takes his horse riding. We shall see.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pssst, want to save some money?

I read this blog this morning;  The timing was perfect as last night we discovered for sure what I've been suspecting for a while. The new dishwasher is leaking. I don't know if it's done any damage under the sink to the subfloor or not. Then A called saying she was having car trouble. She managed to get it home but now T has to try and fig out what's going on with it. Hoping and praying it's a simple, inexpensive fix.

I've been making our own laundry detergent for some time now. It's natural, easy to make and it's cheap! I started doing this because my cousin (over there under "Blogs I read") got me going on it. The soap doesn't suds much, if at all, and I had a hard time getting past that in my brain. But, the clothes are clean. Would you like to know how to make it, save yourself some money and do something all natural for your family? Here we go.

These are the 3 ingredients. Yes, just 3. They can be found in a small section of the laundry aisle, usually by the laundry boosters. Make sure you get "Super Washing Soda" NOT baking soda. Very important. The soap is about $1 and the boxes are $3-4. The recipe is; 1 cup washing soda, 1 cup borax and 1 bar Fels-Naptha soap, so the cost per recipe is very small. In the nearly a year I've been making it, I'm only on my third box of washing soda and my second box of borax.

Begin by opening the fels-naptha and cutting it into small pieces. I usually cut it in half the long way and then each piece in half again the long way. Then I start cutting smaller pieces from that.

Put it in a food processor or blender. I don't have a food processor so I use a blender and only put half the soap in at a time. Grind it up 'til it's coarse.

Then start adding the washing soda, processing as you go.

Do the same with the borax, dumping parts of it into containers so it's not all in the blender at one time. 

This is the finished product. Store it in an airtight container. Use 1-2 tablespoons per load, depending on size and amount of soil. I usually use a heaping tablespoon for a large load.

You can also use vinegar in place of fabric softener. It's much cheaper and all natural. The vinegar smell doesn't get on the clothes. I've been experimenting with lavendar essence in the vinegar. So far, it's made the vinegar not smell like vinegar but it hasn't gotten the lavendar essence on the clothes. I was wanting to have a faint lavendar smell on my clothes. I will keep experimenting.