Cleaning Up

There were going to be pictures with this post, honestly there were, but by the time I realized I hadn’t taken them, it was dark. “That’s ok, “ I thought, I’ll just take them in the morning, and post then. It sounds like a great idea, except that it is raining buckets. So, forgive me for the lack of pictures, I’ll post some when the rain stops.

Saturday, I decided that the house and yard needed some serious attention so every thing else could wait.

Katherine and I painted our yard art additions, until we ran out of paint. I have two old tires and two wooden bushel baskets with the bottoms gone. I painted them and put the baskets inside the tires. We also painted an old bicycle. I’m thinking about turning the basket/tire combinations into fairy gardens. I was going to put the bicycle out with the red feather morning glory, but the ground isn’t level enough to support it.

My little tin man lost and arm, so he’ll need surgery soon. I need to build another one too. Our former pastor from our old church asked me if I would build one and donate it for the Buckner Mayor’s Christmas Tree auction. I told him I would, so I need to get on it.

Back to the house: The second task was Katherine’s room. Organization is not one of her strengths. It’s really not one of mine either, but I’ve taught myself as I’ve grown older. She just needs to figure out what works for her. To help her not be so overwhelmed, we took a lot of stuff out of her room. She has her furniture (although I took a small table and plastic drawers out), and the stuff she uses every day. Of course, we left the books on the bookshelves, and the knickknacks that are on the recessed shelves, because they aren’t going anywhere. They just keep the Beta company. We dusted, emptied out drawers full of stuff that she had forgotten she even had. She likes the openness of the room, and she also likes the “ambiance” (her word, not mine) that comes from having a thicker curtain hung that keeps more sunlight out. And what is this new curtain, you ask? It’s the top sheet from her Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sheet set. She never uses it and it always ends up on the floor, so I thought, “Why not?”

She has her laptop, her Kindle, her violin, her bow, and her drawing supplies. When she decides she wants something else, we will come up with a plan for storing it so that she can keep track of it. The down side to all this is that all the stuff we took out of her room is in my living room, along with all the stuff I pulled out of my craft closets. There is just a path through the living room. It will probably be like that until I can get the Shelf Elf (Ed) to build me some shelves. I would do it myself, but that is a skill I don’t have.

Ed will be off Monday and Tuesday, and has promised me a blog post, so I hope you will hear from him soon. In the meanwhile, I’m taking a couple more classes from Blogging U, starting on Monday, with Writing 101. Some of what you see over the next few weeks may seem like it doesn’t belong on a homesteading blog, but please bear with me, and go along on this little side trip. In the meanwhile, lift me up to the Lord for really good time management skills, because I am going to need it!

Oh! One more thing. Ed and I finished the Whole 30. I lost 8 lbs, and Ed lost 20! The weight loss is exciting, but the way we both feel is the true reward! We’re going to stay with it.

Connie

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This, That, and The Other Thing

Last weekend marked our first anniversary on the homestead. This weekend will mark a year since my accident. A lot has changed in the last year, and in some ways, not nearly as much as we would have liked. However, in all things we are thankful to God. He allowed us to get this place, and He kept me from being crushed under the wheels of my son’s car. Life is good!

Earlier this week, when we were out feeding the dogs, I told Ed that although we seem to have the ticks under control, the dogs (Libby particularly) were still infested with fleas. He suggested we bathe them Thursday morning since he didn’t have to be at work until three. I thought that was a good idea. By the way, the DIY tick repellant recipe that I use on the dogs, as well as the one for us, can both be found here. It works great for ticks, but like I said, the fleas are still a huge issue.

So, early Thursday morning, Ed, Kat and I, did dog bathing duty. We hadn’t bathed them since we moved. Bathing them at our last house was a super challenge. If you are interested, you can read about that, and a couple year’s worth of other dog and cat stories here. (I went back and read Ed’s post about that bathing, and noting his analogy and vocabulary choices, I am amazed at how much the Lord has worked on that man!) Of course, he told you a lot about Libby yesterday. I  can add a little information: Before I got Libby, I was told she was a “pure bred Lab”. Obviously, she isn’t. As I’ve often said, “She’s no more pure bred Lab then I am!” You cannot bribe her with food. She just dosen’t care. Our last vet witnessed this and told me that training her was going to be challenging. He was right: Libby is now eight years old, and she still won’t come when she’s called, if she has something better to do.

Anyway, back to the bath. Now we have outside water spigots and hoses; things that make dog bathing oh so much easier. I recorded the bathing this time, but compared to years past, it was a non-event. The highlight of the bathing was probably Meeko running past Libby a little too closely and hitting her right in the jaw with his hard head! Besides, from where I placed the camera, most of what you see is our backsides. Nobody needs to look at that! We don’t even want to look at it!

Speaking of big backsides. Today, we are starting the Whole 30. I will keep you posted as we go through our thirty days of eating only meat, veggies, fruit and healthy fats. No grains, no legumes, no dairy and definitely no sugar or processed foods. I’ve already been doing a modified version of that as we used up food we already have, and I’m feeling pretty good.

Also, earlier this week, Kat and I carried some things out to the barn. While we were there, I wanted to check the two rooms that have doors where we have been storing holiday decorations, things that belong to my boys, and the majority of my book collection.

To be honest, I was most concerned about the books. I had seen rodent evidence around the barn, and I didn’t want them nesting in my books. I turned on the light and stepped up into the room. I had started to check some of the boxes; shaking them first and listening for anything moving. Then I heard Katherine express some surprise. I honestly don’t remember what she said, but when I turned to look, she was pointing at the floor that I had just stepped over.

There was a rather large snake skin. I think I may have jumped. I really don’t like snakes! Intellectually, I understand that there are good snakes and poisonous snakes, but the scared to death side of me doesn’t pay much attention to intellect. My second thought was that if that skin was in this closed room, it’s previous owner might be in here too! We went back to the house.

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Kat and the snake skin. She thought it was cool!

Later that evening, I relayed the incident to Ed, showing him the skin that we brought back to the house with us. He said, “Well, he’ll keep the rats and mice out of your books.” “Yes,” I replied, “and he’ll keep me out of them too!”

We’re still debating on whether we should give up on the garden for this year. It’s really over grown and not producing much. The pole beans have been showing us lots of lovely blooms, and very little bean. If anyone has any ideas about that let us know. Since we were told the previous owners had their garden in the same place we have ours, we are both thinking that we should compost and mulch that area well, and then let it be fallow for a year. That way, if the soil is as depleted as we think it is, it will have a chance to recover. If we can get a cold frame built, I am thinking about a fall garden with some greens and broccoli, cauliflower etc.

beanless beans

beanless beans

I am also working on pulling together what I need for this home school year. We are switching to the Charlotte Mason method of homeschooling, which means shorter lessons on a wider range of subjects. We will still be using Life of Fred for Math. We will be reading from many different books, some of which I already have, and some I will have to order. Amazon and I have become great friends! I would love to be able to take advantage of their affiliate program, but Amazon and the state of Missouri had issues, so I can’t. Anyway, for Kat and I, school starts September first!

Speaking of home school. Last year, during Botany, we stuck some tooth picks in an avocado seed and put it in a glass of water. Now, we have a nice looking start on an avocado tree. Don’t expect to ever bear fruit here, but it is a nice looking house plant. I just have to keep Adora from laying in it.

avocado seed

avocado seed

avocado plant

avocado plant

Well I guess that’s enough this, that and the other for now. Have a great weekend!

Connie