Monday, July 30, 2012

Supplement orders due Wednesday

I am placing a supplement order this Wednesday for anyone who needs supplies. I will only be ordering once or twice a month so get them while you can!

Sunday, July 29, 2012


How have you been? Hanging in there? Well, I turned 40. That's the big news around here. After a year of dreading my big birthday, the day came with relative ease and I can even add, with peace. There were a few reasons that I wanted to skip this birthday if that were an option and they don't have a whole lot to do with my aging body. I'm not excited about that part either but my real issues with 40 is that my young mother life is ending.

 I always dreamed of babies and a house full of kids and now, life is going to change. In the next short 10 years, I will have pretty much all my kids out of the house with the exception of Tate who will most likely always be my buddy. If all goes as planned, I will be sending 3 boys on a mission. I will have sent my kids to college. I will become a grandmother. I will probably have 1-2 daughter-in-laws and a son-in-law. I think all this is great but the idea of not having my children in the same house with me makes my mother heart ache. That is a lot of changes in just 10 years. 

But, in the past few months as I have talked with my oldest about his upcoming college semester, his mission and a what kind of wife he wants, I have become sort of excited. I get to have daughter-in-laws! I get a son-in-law! I get to have grandbabies filling my house and putting little fingerprints on my walls. As much as I am sad that my family is changing, I am happy at the same time. It will be good. I am excited to see what my children will do with their lives. I am excited to see them start their own path. I am excited to a part of what happens next for them. Motherhood will never end. It just changes and I think I am OK with that now. 

With that said, I need to get to they gym. I am getting older. I am feeling it. Time to spend a little "me" time on making 40 look good. 

Thanks for all the birthday wishes! It was a great day!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Feeding the Ants.

After our delightful summer rain, the ants were washed out of their homes and into and around mine. No bueno. They are in my pantry and last night, there was a constant stream of them coming out of a baseboard upstairs. How in the world? Anyhow, I don't do the poisonous stuff around here so I needed to find a more non-toxic approach, pronto.

I decided to invite the ants over for a little snack. I mixed them up a little organic strawberry jam and some Mule Team Borax. Half and half. 

I put it in a small little shallow dish next to their entry point. Within minutes, there were hundred's of ants in the bowl. Wish I had a picture of that to show you. However, in the morning, they were all gone but this one little guy in the picture. My pantry and my upstairs are free of ants. They eat their fill and take it to their nest. Suddenly, they don't feel so hot and their little lives end. Before they die, they do one last act of service and share it with the queen. So sorry. She doesn't feel so well either. 

The ants are gone. I have a billion outside as well so I need to figure something out there since I don't want the chickens to eat my little treat. Maybe a little DE. Any ideas to share?  

Monday, July 16, 2012

Kids and Money

Vacation time is over. I am tan and relaxed. Time to get back to blogging and pondering how in the world I am turning 40 this month. Wow.

I had someone ask me about allowances and my take on it. What a great blog topic. It is so individual for each family and I have certainly wavered back and forth on the subject but here is what goes down at our household:

First, I think there are certain things kids need to do without being paid simply for being part of a family: They should keep their room tidy. They should take turns doing the dishes and do daily chores. They should participate in family yard work day. All this, gratis. No compensation other than the privilege to be living with the greatest family on earth and to be fed and clothed. 

Now, kids do need to earn money. They need to learn how to manage money and how to respect each and every dollar. They also need to learn how to work hard for what money they do get.

They have options there. They can go out and find work via babysitting, yard work, hitting up grandpa for work or finding some creative way to bring in the cash. They can also ask me for cash jobs. These are jobs that are outside their usual required chores and come with a certain assigned dollar. They can take them or leave them. It's up to them if they want to earn the money but money is not handed out for free around here. Life doesn't work that way and they need to learn it early. As parents, we cloth and feed them and pay their way if it is a family activity. If they want to do something with a friend or go spend some cash frivolously at the neighborhood store, that needs to come out of their own pocket. If they want some toy aside from birthday's or Christmas, they need to learn how to save for that item. 

Some of my kids love to do the extra jobs and earn the money. Some don't. The older ones figured out side jobs early on to earn some cash. They tutor, teach piano and guitar, babysit and do yard work. The younger ones are eager to follow in their footsteps. These jobs pay better than mom. 

So far, my children have learned, for the most part, how to be responsible with money. Most of them are very good savers as they appreciate every dollar they have earned. They are not quick to blow it since they won't get an automatic handout at the beginning of the week.

For our home, this works great and in hindsight, I wouldn't change a thing. It creates motivation to earn and to look for opportunities to work. In the real world, no one is going to pay you just because you make your bed. I would be rich if that was the case. I don't think it is ever too early to learn real life lessons.

My take. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Garden Wars: A surrender to Aphids

Remember this photo just posted a week or two ago? Well, here you go today:

Those darn aphids won. At least in the middle section with my Armenian cucumbers. I left town and with no one to wage battle, the war has ended. Fortunately, the aphids did not like my peppers and green beans. They also ate up some squash plants in my other garden. It was almost time for those to give up the ghost anyways but I always take it so personal, like they should just grow forever. So sad. Soon it will be time to plant again and in a way I am relieved, I leave town again and now I don't have to worry about them. They can just die. I would still like to come home to some plants, however. I still need to be able to pick something everyday for a year so the war is still on for the rest of the garden. 

I did get to pick a lovely melon today.

The color was amazing. Food grown the right way is so much more vibrant and the flavors match the color. I have enjoyed these melons and am sad that I don't have too many of them. It was savored and appreciated. Now, I won't have anymore fruits growing until the oranges are ready in November. Peaches, blackberries, plums and melons all done. So sad. If I had to rely on what I grew, it would be a long wait for something sweet and juicy. I can't wait until my apple tree is mature enough, then, the summer apples would be on in the next few weeks. The other sad news beside my cucumbers dying is that my beautiful peach tree has also died. The broken branches from the overload of peaches has killed it off. Sad. Sad.  We will plant two more in the fall but it will be  a few years before the peaches will grow. Ugh. It is a never ending battle. We have learned the need for a good prune. Unfortunately, too late.

I will be happy with what is still growing. I picked a good variety of peppers and chili's for our fajitas along with tomatillo's, zuchinni and onions sauteed up together. I never really knew what to do with tomatillos except for green salsa but they are great just cut up and sauteed or grilled as well with the other veggies. They add a little tang to the meal. 

I hope you all had a wonderful 4th of July. How in the world did we end up with 70-80 degree weather for July? I actually felt a little chilly outside tonight. It was as cool as a Halloween night and the moon matched to boot! Beautiful! Too bad it won't last.