Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Butterbean Says ....

No pictures, please.

Thats What She Said

Since I have lots to share and no two things go together, how about I put this in "daybook" fashion, mmmkay?  Should this be a weekly thing?  Anybody anybody?
Favorite picture of the week:

 The minions curled up watching Backyardigans this morning.  Notice the "summer legs".  Every time Butterbean's knees heal, she falls and skins them again.  I swear we don't beat them, these kids are just forever running, jumping, climbing, and talking (the last one - they.never.stop.)

Least favorite thing of the week: Stinkbugs.

If they ruin my garden it's very possible you will find me curled up in the fetal position, crying.  For the love of all things holy, I spent $50 on heirloom seeds ... if I have to quit my job to hand squish these f$#%ers off my plants, the Mister will have to get over it.

Song I can't stop singing: Paint It Black by the Rolling Stones
Do I need a reason for this one?

I can't stop eating: Organic Pink Lady apples, and this amazing Coconut Lime Berry Cake.  If you make it, cut the sugar in half - it does not need an entire cup.  The Mister woke me up Saturday morning and requested this ... if he hadn't gotten up with the kids and let me sleep in, I would have told him to piss off.  But it's so easy and sooooooo good.

What I made this week :  Scrap-fabric flower headbands for Mooch.  She loves headbands, and since The Mister is usually the one getting her ready in the morning, these help her not look like a little hobo.

Rant of the week: I'm sorry, but I cannot get over the bashing Mrs. B took over the whole Circle Of Moms blog contest.  If you missed it, the contest is here (please vote for your favorite blog, whatever it may be!)and Mrs. B.'s blog post about the hoopla is here.  Yes, the bashers have apologized and have been removed from the contest, but I honestly cannot believe the hate spread by a bunch of alleged "Christians".  What an insult to the sweet wonderful Christians I know.  It would take up this entire damn post to cover all the misconceptions about Pagans, but allow me to hit on two that are burning me up right now:

Pagans do not believe in Satan.  Satan is a Christian concept, not a Pagan one.  The horned god that you see represented in Pagan works is the fertility god (just how deer sprout horns in spring when they are most fertile - get it?)
You don't need to pray for our children, and honestly ... isn't that a little disrespectful?  Isn't that implying that our children are in some sort of danger?  If raising your child to respect all forms of life, to take care of our Earth, to spread goodwill, to commit random acts of kindness, and to appreciate beauty every day is putting my child in harms way .. then by all means, pray away.  

And - the most dreaded - Thing I Have To Accomplish This Week:
I have to completely re-work our downstairs playroom/computer room.  I live with 2 clutter bugs and a two year old.  The clutter bugs would sooner chop off their pinkies then throw ANYTHING away ("Why are you throwing away that piece of paper Mooch scribbled on two years ago?  I WANT TO KEEP THAT!"  "Mommy, I need every single McDonald's toy I've ever gotten!  Yes, even the boy ones!")  I bought a few things to get the organizational groove on, and I need to sort and organize a ton of Mooch's school work from the last year, all our books (will I ever really read For Whom The Bell Tolls?  Prolly not.  Sorry, Ernie) and sooo much other crap stuff.  This is especially important now that the weather is heating up - our downstairs in a finished basement and is lovely and cool all summer long, I want to be able to enjoy it and not walk in and want to scream.

^ Connected to this project ... I need to dispose of some poor neglected fish.  Still alive.  I think a 100 lb dog and a cat who thinks he's a dog are enough pets for a little house.  What's the nicest way to do this?  We have a stream nearby, I'm thinking about sending them to live there.  

I'll be back, my lovelies ... here's a tease of a project I've just started ... what could it be? ;-)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sweaty Betty

I've just done a lunch time mad dash to Goodwill for some treasure hunting, and returned with a bag o' loot!
  Today's temp is hovering in the high 80's, and the humidity is approximately 1 kajillion percent.  The kind of weather where *no one* (I mean me) can possibly look presentable for more than 5 minutes. 
I am sweating like, well ... me in church*  As I walked back with sweat rolling down my face, soaking my hair, and surely making happy lil' smile imprints on my pants below my butt cheeks, I had to wonder : am I a sweaty freak?  Do I do this every year when it gets hot?  I think I may need to lay the blame on genes.  I'm a mutt really, but predominately French, German, and Irish.  Think brisk temperatures, wind-swept tundra, rocky forbidding shores.  Not blazing sun and stifling humidity.  I also burn and then freckle in the sun, so I avoid it if possible.  Right now I have a farmer tan from working in the garden in tank tops - my shoulders and upper back are a deep caramel, and the rest of me is fish-belly white.  The lovely shade where you can see all my veins and whether or not I shaved my legs this morning.
No, we are not a hot-weather people ... although I do retain fat very well (making me especially hardy through lean winters), I have broad shoulders (I could probably pull a plow after the horse gets tired), and I do possess the famous child bearing hips.  Thanks ancestors.
Oh, and the fabulous treasures have me in a crafty mood.  The crafting gods hit me with a fantastic idea on my walk back, and I will be posting about that in days to come.  Stay cool, chickens!

*Disclaimer - the last time I set foot in church, the whole bloody place went up in flames, so this is a hypothetical situation.  

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

More progress!

Hey there all!
Hope you all are well and it is sunny wherever you are.  We have had almost non-stop rain, but the sun is shining today and I'm loving it.  My parents kept the girls last night and The Mister worked a midnight shift, so not only did I have the entiiiiiiire bed to myself (oh, sweet bliss), I got to get up and run this morning, then play in the garden for a bit before getting ready for work.  I am so excited about how everything is growing - this is my "experimental garden" year, where I get to figure out what works and what doesn't, and as long as the stink bugs stay away I think we are going to be able to produce a lot of food.  
The whole plot has had a thorough soaking the last few weeks, so now we just need some sun.

 My Moonflower planter is starting to look really good.  I put this trellis in the day before last and it's already started to climb.

 A bean plant my sweet friend Mary gave to me, and our planter of mustard greens.  For some reason there's a bald spot in the middle of this planter - I'm thinking of adding some seeds in so we will have an ongoing harvest.
Strawberry planter, with PVC pipe insert.  I saw this idea online a decided to try it, since our planter last year died off so quickly.  You take a piece of PVC piping cut to the height of your planter, drill holes along the length of it, and fit it into the planter before you add soil and plants.  This way the strawberries throughout get an adequate supply of water.  So far, so good!
 A newly transplanted heirloom tomato, sprouted from seed.  This is a Black Tula, a beautiful slicing tomato.
 We have established that I am a cheapskate of epic proportions.  I needed to add trellising to my peas, and of course I was not going to spend a dime on it.  We have a birch tree in our neighbor's yard that hangs over our yard and sheds branches pretty regularly - to the point that at least once a month anything that we can't use gets bundled up and taken to the city compost pile.  We had a big bunch gathered, and I decided to make some of the smaller branches do some work as pea brush.  Not only does this not cost squat, it looks sooooo pretty.  3 big sections of branch were put to use with some garden twine as trellising along the back wall.
*Happy Dance*
 My "nursery" of baby heirlooms.  C'mon, lil guys.
 Oooh, radishes.  I have so many plans for you.
 This iris came from my Mom's house a few years ago.  This is the first time it bloomed and boy, was it worth the wait.  This is on the shady North side of the house, and apparently it's quite happy!  Mooch loves this, purple is her favorite color.
 Sigh.  Can anyone use about a ton of lemon balm?  You thought I was joking when I said one little sprout turned into Herbzilla, didn't you?
 And something NOT from my yard, but oh-so-beautiful I wanted to share.  My parent's house is surrounded by mountain laurel, and it is in full bloom right now.  It is so pretty and smells wonderful!  

Friday, May 20, 2011

More Stuff

Either my home computer is being a dirty tramp or Blogger is, I can't figure out which one.  I have a whole bunch of pictures I wanted to upload, but it was being weird.  Anyway, I wanted to show you what kind of awesomeness can be found at Goodwill for $1.  ^^  My lily-of-the-valley, my favorite flower, came up huge this year, but is being crowded out by my lemon balm.  One teensy little lemon balm plant has completely taken over my 8 ft bed on the shady side of our house, so I think I have to get mean with it and cut it wayyy back.  A few stalks in my cute new owl vase, with lamb's ear and some petunia cuttings.  

Sigh.  I got trimmer-happy with my hydrangeas this year.  They had tons of little buds, and a few remaining dried-up blooms from last year.  So like a fool I hacked off all of last year's blooms, and all of the new buds promptly dropped off.  One of these days I'll learn to trust Mother Nature to take care of any tidying.  The middle structure has my new clematis vine, carefully transported from my Mom's house.  I have killed every single one of these I've ever had, but this one likes me!  Since I took this picture a few days ago it has climbed almost completely to the top of that structure.  This bed still needs to be cleaned up a bit, if it ever stops raining.
Yesterday we had some pretty intense thunderstorms during the afternoon, with the worst one kicking up right as I left work.  I have to park a good 1/4 mile from my building, and to get back to my car I have to cross our Green.  I like thunderstorms, as long as I can watch them from our covered porch or look out a window at them - I don't so much enjoy them when I'm running across an open area while lightning strikes flash close by.  I got home and my whole little family was napping, so I got to curl up and read and nap with The Mister for a bit (he's on vacation this week).  
And it didn't hurt that Mooch's Joe Corbi's order from school was delivered yesterday, since we ended up napping pretty late.  Threw together a salad, poured a glass of wine, and called it a night!
Have a peaceful weekend, loves!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Also, this is making my day.

Vicious Killer

Someone was a little jealous Mooch was getting Mama time and he wasn't.

 Face of the beast

Obviously to be feared

Daggone Rottweilers!  So mean! 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Garden Progress!

I have so many pictures other than this, but I stupidly loaded them onto my computer at home and deleted them off the camera.  These I had to rip from my FB account.  But I am so excited with how the garden, and in fact the entire yard, is developing.  I know the anklebiters need a certain amount of grass to run like crazy on, but I'm starting to think that grass is dumb.  Dumb, I tell you!  Why would I devote my entire yard to grass when I could grow food and herbs and other amazing stuff instead?  Cue to me defiantly blowing dandelion seedheads all over the place - I want dandelions.  I am going to make them the must-have lawn accessory.  You can eat them, and they have pretty flowers, and the seedheads can keep your children entertained.  And by not spraying them with weed killer (or the dreaded Weed n' Feed - more on that here) you are saving your children from increased allergy and asthma risks.  Don't be the dick who needs the greenest lawn.

Anyyyyyyyway, here are a few pictures, more to come!
 My in-laws came to visit a while back, and they like soda.  We don't typically have it in the house, so the Mister was dispatched to get a couple of liter bottles.  After they left we dumped the remainder of soda down the drain, then rinsed the bottles and put them in the recycling.  I was on StumbleUpon and came across an article from a man who cuts the bottles in half, fills the bottoms with pebbles and soil, then adds seeds and water and flips the bottle closed.  Instant greenhouse.  I had to try it.  These are cabbage seeds that sprouted within a few days!  The bottle keeps the seeds moist and warm and they sprout very fast.  In the other bottle I sprouted some Chocolate Beauty bell peppers.  They have both been moved into the garden and the bottles are now being used to sprout valerian and angelica.  
 Side view of the garden.  My garden!  I have a kick-ass garden!!!  Guess I better cross this off the to-do list.  The pots on the side are my heirloom tomatoes, which I'm nervous about.  They're not very big except for a few.  Next year I will start them earlier and maybe use the soda bottle trick under the grow lamps.  The wooden planter is mustard greens and we moved Mooch's strawberry plants, which last year got eaten by slugs, into a planter.

The hay is leftover from Samhain decorations - I had a bale outside with pumpkins and gourds sitting on it, and I had thrown it under our deck with the intention of adding it slowly to the compost bin.  I came across another article (I need to start keeping track of this so I can credit people!) that touted covering your garden with hay to keep the soil moist and keep down weeds.  This is a line of zucchini and yellow squash - I should mention that I did thin the line after this was taken.  I can't wait for these suckers to start producing - and for fried zucchini blossoms!

Heirloom sugar snap peas on the left, radishes on the right.  Yum!

This is in the back of the yard - a little bed I created in front of the compost bin.  See that tree-like thing in the back?  That's my first ever witch hazel!  I treated myself to it at a local plant sale, and I am so excited to have this growing in our very own backyard.  I look straight out at this bed from my kitchen window, so I get to see flowers and birds as I slave away over dirty dishes.

Little shady bed on the opposite side of the yard.  That stick is mountain laurel, which grows all around my parent's property.  I absolutely love it, and the fallen branches look like driftwood.

Our latest herb/faerie garden.  Mooch added the decorations, I added the dill, thyme, oregano, and marjoram.

My kids go through berries like crazy.  This is an everbearing strawberry plant, which claims to produce from now through September.  We shall see.

This I'm so excited about (no, not the dog butt).  This is a thornless blackberry bush.  I'm starting with one but there may be others, snuck in so the Mister doesn't notice ;-)

The site of the next project, the rain garden.  That pile is sod that we dug up when we put in the garden.  I started to move it into a bin so we could take it to our community compost pile and dump it, and disturbed two gigantic wolf spiders that both had egg cases still attached to their abdomens.  So I'll let it stay for a while, or at least move it bit by bit.  If anyone has a fetish for digging really big holes, please feel free to come over and start digging.

Monday, May 16, 2011

My First Award - Woot!

The fantastical Miss Colleen at Cheap Wine and Cookies hit me with an award!

 I am not going to promise to not get big-headed over this.
So lemme see if I can do this right:

  •     Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post. You rock, Lawyer/Marine/Mommy/Wife Person!
  •     Tell your readers seven (7) things about yourself.
  •     Give this award to fifteen (15) recently discovered bloggers.
  •     Contact those bloggers and let them in on the exciting news. 
1.) I am compulsively cheap.  I think this is why I don't enjoy clothes shopping like the rest of the female population - honestly I'd rather spend money at the farmer's market or Goodwill.  And yes, I buy clothes there - and get complimented all the time on the bohemian look.  :-)  It's also why I will probably never get a smart phone, I could think of lots of other ways to spend that money.  And it leads to me being fanatical about not wasting food or electricity.

2.) I have a bit of survivalist in me.  I remember reading Valley of The Horses by Jean Auel and being mesmerized about how this woman had to survive, and do so by her own wits.  With the state of the world being so crazy, being self-sufficient is very important to me.

3.) The first time I picked up a deck of tarot cards, it felt like I got an electric shock.  I randomly drew a card and it was the Queen of Cups.  I looked up the meaning and was thunderstruck - it fit me to a T.  To this day before I read the cards I sit and meditate with my hands covering the cards until I feel that hum of energy coming from them - and my readings are always insanely accurate.  Mooch now loves to play with the deck, and I had her draw cards the other day and she got a reading that was dead on.

4.) When I was living with an ex-boyfriend who was completely irresponsible (don't we all have one?)  he used to use my car and get a lot of parking tickets and never told me about them.  I found out via a scary letter telling me my license was about to be revoked.  I ran down to the court building to pay the fines, only to discover that I was $8 short on cash and they would not accept a check, they were closing in 15 minutes (and this was the last day to pay the fine) and for the love of all things holy I could not find an ATM.  Feeling panicky I ran into a little restaurant and went up to the man behind the counter and blurted out "If I write you a check for $8, will you cash it?   I know you don't know me (started crying here) but I'm desperate and the women in that building are evil and I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO."  The man behind the counter patted my hand, opened the till, and took out a $10 bill.  "Here honey, take it.  You would do the same for me."  Those words ran right through me.  Would I?  Would I have put myself out there for someone else?  The fact that this man was blindly believing that I was a good person and wasn't going to, I don't know, buy drugs; was so humbling.  I thanked him and he repeated it again "You would do the same for me."  That experience reminds me of the person I want to be, every day.

5.) When I was 5 months old, I almost died from intucesseption (sp?).  It's basically when your intestines get tangled and you can't release any waste.  I was bleeding out when it was discovered, and I was medi vacced to a hospital and operated on immediately.  I have a scar that goes completely across my stomach and created a permanent fat roll - but I could be dead, so I'll take it.

6.)  Running is spiritual to me - I run as much for the mental health benefits as the physical benefits.  And I had never liked running before I had Mooch - I started to lose weight and have never stopped.  One of my biggest fears is being injured and not being able to run again.

7.)   The Mister and I did all the "wrong" things when our relationship started - we went home together the first night we met, we basically never spent a night apart again, and we had said I love you within a month.  11 years and two babies later - take THAT, "Rules" ladies!

OK, tagging.  15 fucking people?  Ugh.  By the way, I like to swear when I'm not around my kids, I probably should have added that on.  
Anywho - I will tag

1.) Bumber's Bumblings
2.) Dear Goddess, Bless Me
3.) Green Witch With Sprinkles
4.) Dark Mother Goddess
5.) Mrs. BC's House of Chaos
6.)  Kally's Cauldron
7.) It's Not That Serious
8.) Sweet Bliss
9.) The Compost Bin
10.) Rue & Hyssop
11.) Return To Rural
12.) Olde Baggs n Stuft Shirts
13.) Pagan Culture
14.) Blissful Karma
15.) Goats In The Garden

Since I'm short on time, just be aware that I love all of these ladies and their posts make me laugh and think and all that good junk.  Have at it, ladies! :-)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

You Can Be Rad, Just Not As Rad As Me.

Because *I* won the giveaway over at Goats In The Garden!  I won 2 bars of their handmade goat's milk soap.  If you are a frustrated homesteader like me who longs for goats, check out their blog and store, it will make you happy.
What has been going on in MamaLand?
Mooch's Mother's Day Tea was last Thursday.  

 That candle holder on the table she made for me.   She was so cute and proud of all her crafts, which were all so cute.

 "See, Mommy?  I gave myself 'Tangled' hair!  I look just like Rapunzel!"
Saturday we went to the opening festival of a state park near us, which was fun although hectic.  Having a 5 year old who likes to be pulled in a wagon, and a 2 year old who absolutely refuses to sit in it and wants to walk everywhere is an issue.  Mother's Day was good, although the Mister was working mids and was supposed to get out at 8 am, and instead had to stay until 11:30 due to some tomfuckery.  I find Mother's Day goes better if I tell everyone exactly what I want, so I did.  And I got to run and nap and get a Cosi salad for dinner with a big glass of red wine, and it was lovely.
I have been in the garden and yard non-stop over the last week, and I swore yesterday I would take pictures then I went ahead and forgot to.  As a Mother's Day present to myself I got a foxglove when I went to get mulch the other day.  I LOVE these ... if I had my way I would have cleared out there entire stock and got one in every color.  I planted it in the rear of the yard where I can see it from my kitchen window, right underneath a beautiful plaque of the Moon Lady.  
I have also bought :
a thornless blackberry
2 everbearing strawberries
tuberose begonia
And I have scored from the dumpster behind Home Despot an entire flat of beautiful tomato plants, with peppers mixed in.  They had also dumped two gorgeous planters of petunias - scored those too.  
Many, many pictures to come, loves.  Lots of upgrades to the yard, and today I will be attempting to transform our first rain barrel, a cast-off apple juice concentrate barrel, into a more functional one with a spout.  Our water bills have been ridiculous and I refuse to pay to water my garden.  
Be well.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

My new favorite quote

"you boys can keep your virgins
give me hot old women in high heels
with asses that forgot to get old. "
Charles Bukowski (Love is a Dog From Hell: Poems, 1974-1977

I may be only 32, but I'm digging this!
What's going on where you are today?  There is an anti-abortion rally going on in front of my building.  I was walking across the green today and there were signs that read "Warning - Genocide Photos Ahead"  I thought, what is this a war thing?
Nope.  Poster sized pictures of aborted fetuses (what *may* be aborted fetuses - there is a question in my mind about whether or not that is entirely true).
I averted my eyes and got into my building as quickly as possible.  Then I had to leave to go to Mooch's Mother's Day Tea at her school and walk by them again.  When I was returning to my building there were groups of students walking around with "We Support A Woman's Right To Choose" t-shirts on, handing out condoms and yelling, "Be careful!  There are anti-choice advocates ahead with graphic images!"  One of them stopped me and said, "Here, please take a condom"  
I won't lie, my head swelled to about 1 billion times it's natural size when I got to utter the words, "Actually, I'm not a student.  And I'm probably not your target audience, but thank you.  And thank you for being out here"
Then I walked over to some maybe 20 year old hunky looking dude sitting on a bench and handed the condom to him and said, "This will probably do you a lot more good than me."  He laughed and said thank you.
Aaah, the world is crazy.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

All-Clear, and Ag Day

She's OK!
Dermatologist checked Mooch out and said she has hereditary moles (moley moley MOLEY) and that they are fine.  My aunt had reminded me the other day that our Pop-pop was covered in moles, and that she probably had the same thing.  Mooch walked into the dermatologist's office and unfortunately they had the room set up for the appointment after her - someone who was getting shots.  Frickin syringes everywhere.  She looked at me and collapsed in tears on my lap, sure that the whole "you're not getting shots today" thing was a bald-faced lie.  Luckily the promise of a milkshake afterward got her through.  Thank you again for all your good wishes and love sent her way.
Saturday was the University's Ag Day, one of my all-time favorite events.  The Mister was working so I filled up the tires on our sweet John Deere wagon, packed up all our essentials and headed out with the minions.  We stayed for almost 4 hours and had so much fun!  
Mooch being dressed up as a buzzy-bee at the honeybee exhibit.  See that booth thing in the background?  Full of bees.  One of the entomology students (jealous) stood in there and talked to the kids about the importance of honeybees while they swirled around her.  Butterbean was too into her ice cream.  The University has a creamery that just opened, featuring ice cream made from the milk of the cows we have in our Ag department.  Isn't that awesome?

A baby calf!  Right next to her was a big mama cow who had given birth 6 days before.  The girls absolutely loved the cows, the calf was licking Butterbean's fingers and trying to nurse.
I met up with a neighbor and her son, and the kids were going crazy on the hay bales, racing back and forth (probably burning off the sugar rush from the ice cream). 
Mooch with You Dee, our school mascot!  Butterbean was terrified of the giant blue chicken.
Petting bunnies.  I really, really want to get a bunny, but that may put The Mister over the edge.

Dancing!  The bands this year were really good.  Butterbean danced for about a minute, but I could barely tear Mooch away.  Look at this face!

Hay maze!  I probably could have just thrown a bunch of bales in our backyard and they would have been in heaven.
Look at this cute lil' buzzy bee

And pony rides.  Mooch is an old pro at pony rides since we have approximately 85 gazillion farm festivals around us, but this was Butterbean's first time ever.  She LOVED IT.  Like, threw a screaming tantrum when I went to get her off loved it.  Kid, these rides are $5 a pop!

I hope you all had a peaceful, lovely weekend.  We are celebrating Beltane all this week, planting like crazy and being outside as much as possible.  I have to take pictures of the goings-on in our yard, there have been some MAYJAH changes :-)
Peace and love to all my lovelies!!

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