Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sweet Abby

Most mornings this is what I see out my bedroom window looking out towards the barn.


There’s Abby waiting patiently for me to come down to the barn.  She’s such a sweet faithful cat. 


It was even raining lightly this morning and she was still waiting.  If it’s raining too much she waits for me in the barn and greets me as I open the door.   But must mornings she’s out there sitting, waiting for me and then she walks with me to the barn for morning chores.  Her quiet companionship is such a joy to me.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Lessons Learned From the Emergency Room

Several weeks ago I had the thought provoking experience of spending the day in the emergency room with my mother.  What started out as a trip to her doctor for what she thought to be a urinary infection turned into a trip to the emergency room with a kidney stone and urinary/kidney infection complicated by a known heart condition and newly discovered COPD, which landed her in the hospital for a week.

First off I must say that the entire staff in the emergency room was really wonderful.  They looked to be pretty busy that day but were still very efficient and very caring.  They kept us informed as much as they could and really made a bad situation a little easier.  And for that I am very thankful.  One of the doctors even bought me a sandwich from the snack bar.  I was starving by that time and really appreciated that.  What a nice guy.

One thing I noticed while I was hanging around waiting while they poked, prodded and tested my mom, was that a good majority of the folks coming into the emergency room not only had a problem needing immediate attention, they looked like a lot of them had other health problems that were complicating things as in my moms case.  This really made me take a harder look at where I was with my own health and where I wanted to be in the future. 

I  have always been pretty health conscious, but this year I will be turning 50.  Wow!  Where did the time go?  And I think that the times that I wasn't so good at taking care of my health have started to catch up with my body.  I have had a few health issues pop up that I'm dealing with.  And while we can't take back the past, we can learn from others and hopefully improve our own future.

So I have stepped up my own healthy efforts a bit.  I am more aware of what I'm eating.  I will still indulge in a Baskin Robbins ice cream occasionally, but the key word is "occasionally".  I am more aware if I skip a few days of working out.  Actually, my body is very good at letting me know when I've missed a few days.

Some health problems we have no control over, but we make choices every day all day long that affect our health.  Sometimes the choices we make don't show up right now.  But years from now, we may have to live with those choices.  My mom has smoked and drank for years and now she is paying the price for those choices she has made.

The good news is that you can still affect your health now and in the future by making better, healthier choices today.

If you smoke, make the choice to quit and get help if you need it.
If you drink too much,  quit or cut way back.
If your eating habits need improving, make the choice to eat better.
If you don't exercise, start.

Start small if you need to, but start somewhere.  And keep building on that.

And if you need some motivation go visit your local emergency room.  Oh, and my mom, she is still in a rehab nursing facility trying to get healthy and strong enough to go home. 

Monday, April 30, 2012

Healthy Microwave Popcorn

Here's an healthy, quick, and easy way to make popcorn.

Take about a 1/4 cup of popcorn kernels and put them in a bowl.  Drizzle a small amount of olive oil over them.  Just enough to coat them when stirred, maybe about a teaspoon at most.  Stir the popcorn to coat it in the olive oil.

Put the popcorn in a paper lunch bag and put some salt in if you would like.  Making about half inch folds, fold the lunch bag over about three times.

Pop in the microwave on high for about 2 minutes.  Microwaves vary so you need to listen and when the popcorn starts slowing down, take it out.  Ours takes less than 2 minutes.  I just set it for 2 minutes and then listen for when to stop it.  Don't let it go too long or it burns.  After a time or two you'll know how long and when to take it out.

Pour it in a bowl and it's ready.  It's pretty dry like this.  I've gotten to where I like it dry.  But you could add butter or seasonings to it.  This way you know exactly what you're adding and how much.  Good idea, especially if you're watching calories.  Or even if you're just trying to be more aware of what you're eating.  It has about half the calories and fat as boxed microwave popcorn.




Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Best Non-Toxic Oven Cleaner Ever

Last week we had to have the appliance repair man out to fix the oven.  The burners and the broiler worked, but not the oven.

So the repair man gets in and is investigating the problem and I am suddenly aware of how dirty the oven and the top of the stove really are.  It was a bit embarrassing.  I'm sure he has seen a lot worse, but this is my oven.  I don't want to be known as the lady with the gross oven.

So he has to order a part and come back next week.  Ah ha! Here's my chance to redeem my reputation.  I got out my Shaklee Scour Off and Basic H Degreaser and went to work.  It was amazing how easily they cleaned it right up.  And no toxic fumes.  I didn't even wear gloves.  I just rubbed Scour Off on with a micro fiber sponge and water.  I used the Basic H Degreaser on some of the greaser areas.  It worked great.  And it took less than half an hour.

The repairman will be so impressed because I'm sure they really notice these things.  OK, so maybe he could care less, but I'm so happy to have a clean oven and stove.  Almost enough to enjoy cooking.  Almost.

And not only are the Shaklee Get Clean products non-toxic, they are also environmentally safe and economical, too. 

The Best Non-Toxic Oven Cleaners Ever

Note to self, " Keep the oven clean.  It might need repairing."  I guess that's kind of along the same lines as always wear clean underwear.  Fortunately I don't have a problem with that one.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Natural Easter Eggs

Even though my daughter is sixteen she still likes to dye Easter eggs.

Now that we have our own chickens we get brown and green eggs.

I wasn't sure how they would turn out the first time we dyed them, but they're beautiful.  The colors are very deep, rich, jewel tones.

And some of them have their own designs already on them.  I'm not sure what causes that, but it adds to their specialness. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How to Care for Introverts

I saw this and could so relate to it.  I'm an introvert.  My husband is an introvert.  My daughter is an introvert.  We're a family of introverts.

But I think people misunderstand introverts.  They think introverts are shy and don't like being around people.  When in reality they just need a lot of private time and space.

People are surprised when I tell them I'm an introvert because I'm not all that shy and I love being around people.  But I also love my space and time to myself.  As a matter of fact I need time to myself or I start feeling very overwhelmed.

When I read this to my sixteen year old daughter we had to laugh because this is so her.  It fits her to a T.

So the next time you think a person is just "unsocialable" or "stuck up" ( I used to get this a lot because I used to be very shy) think again.  They may just be an introvert.  Or maybe very shy.

Just remember that introverts just need their space and down time.

Friday, March 16, 2012

You Are My Sunshine

The last few days we've had rain, rain, and more rain.  With all of the accompanying mud.  I've had to go out and play in the mud trying to drain horse areas by digging trenches through the mud. Yuck!

So I thought I would post some pictures from the other day when the sun was out and we had some beautiful blooming sunshine.  Daffodils!

Rain, Rain go away
Come again some other day

Like next month.  Please take a vacation somewhere else.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A beautiful end to a beautiful day.  This is looking out our upstairs bedroom window this evening.

Almost Spring

Spring is officially twelve days away, but today sure gave us a little taste.  Is was beautiful.  In the mid 60's.  Sun shining.  We're expecting rain after tomorrow, but for today it felt like Spring.  Here are some very early signs of Spring around our place.  I believe the pink flowers are a Flowering Quince.
 It's always the first things to blossom every year.

These tiny new little buds are from our Pear tree.

That's about all we have blossoming or starting to bud right now.  Not even the Daffodils are blooming yet, but they're getting close.

The cats were out enjoying the sun.  Here's Emma.  Rolling around being Emma.

And Grey Stripe.

Here is a picture of our side pasture.  Look at that blue sky!

And of course here's the horses waiting for lunch.  It's so hard to get two horses in a picture where both are somewhat still, have their ears forward,  and at a good angle.  And look at how dirty Skyler is.  She's hopelessly muddy.

Oh, and here's our hens, Lucy, Ethel, Poachy, Maria, Ruby, and NoName.

Looks like there's a couple of eggs that need to be brought in.

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!!


Linking to The Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop at

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Creating a Household Notebook

Have you ever felt totally disorganized.  Things are not getting done, meals aren't happening,  laundry's dirty, house is a mess.  When this happens I feel out of sorts, lacking energy, and just not good about life.  So this month I'm on a mission to get clean and organized.

So today my project was to put together a Household Notebook.  A Household Notebook puts all your "stuff" together in one place.  Your ideas, plans, goals, information, routines.  All that stuff that's floating around either on your desk or in your head.  And you can put anything you want into your Household Notebook.  Whatever helps you to get your life together.

My categories may not be the same as yours.  And mine may change as I use it.  I may need to add something or maybe combine some things.  That's the nice thing about using a binder.  They are easy to change.  Here are the categories that I put in mine Notebook to start with.

Routines: I'm still working on this one this week.

Lists:  This is just a place for all of my lists.  Things to do now or in the future.  Ideas.  Lists of whatever.  I'm a list person and seem to have a lot of them.

Cleaning:  This is a place for cleaning lists.  I have my Shaklee cleaning pages and some Martha Stewart Cleaning Checklists.

Goals:  This is where I write out some of my monthly goals.

Meal Planning:  This is where I have any meal planning things that might be helpful along with meals plans.  This is something I really need to work on.

Health & Fitness:  Any information on Health & Fitness. Eating right. Exercises. Stuff like that.

Home Maintenance:  Some more Martha Stewart Checklists and some forms for home and car maintenance.

Gardening:  Here I have some monthly information from OSU Extension Service.  This is also where I'll put garden info once Spring gets here and I'm able to start planting.

Blogging:  Here I have blogging stuff.  Ideas, info,etc.

Homeschool:  Homeschool forms, ideas, contacts.

Financial:  This is just for account and policy info.  I have another binder that I use for Bill Paying.

Medical Info:  This is for insurance, doctor, and medication info.

Internet:  This is for websites, usernames, and passwords.

There is quite a bit of stuff.  Some gets used more often than others.  But it's handy to have it all in one place.  I also have file cabinet for permanent storage stuff. A Household Notebook is for info and often used stuff.  And it's fairly large so it is not meant to leave the house.  That would be where a planner would work.

Here are some of the websites I've used for forms.

Life...Your Way  A lot of really great printables for just about everything.
Martha Stewart  Need I say more.

My next steps are to write out my routines,  fill out forms, and work on meal planning. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Organizing Make up

 I don't wear a lot of makeup, but I do wear some.  I love the Bare Escentuals Mineral makeup.  It's not real heavy, but it has enough coverage.  As I'm getting older I realize that I can't cover everything and still have my skin look natural.  I also have a bit of rosacea and the Mineral makeup doesn't seem to aggravate it.  

But one thing I don't like about the BE Mineral makeup is that the labels are on the bottom of the jar.  You can't tell which jar is the right one without picking it up and looking on the bottom only to find that it's not the one you wanted.  I find myself always picking up the wrong one.  

So I finally decided to get out my label maker and fix the problem.  The top drawer is where I keep my BE Minerals.  In the morning I just pull out the whole drawer while I'm using it.

 Now my routine is quicker and less aggravating in the morning.  Always a good thing.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Horse Fun

We had beautiful weather this weekend.  Warm and sunny!  So I decided to get the horses out in the arena for a little bit of play time.  Here's Chase being very photogenic. 

Enough of that!  Here's some action shots of Chase having fun.

My camera couldn't keep up with him.  But then he settled down and we did some groundwork.  He definitely needs some refreshing, but he did pretty good.  

Then we got Skyler out.  She's not as photogenic as Chase, but she is so sweet and respectful.  

And muddy.  I keep her blanketed to minimize the mud.  Right now just her head, neck, and legs are muddy. But after Jessica worked with her we got her cleaned up.

Both of them have their winter coats and are pretty fuzzy right now.  And they're starting to shed.

Hope everybody else had some nice weather this weekend.  It was a nice respite, but today it's back to being overcast with a chance of rain.  But I know spring is just around the corner and the longer days are nice.


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