Welcome to my side of the fence. . .

Welcome to my side of the fence. . . Here you will
enjoy some good laughs, maybe some frustrations,
and hopefully (if I'm a good enough writer), a few tears.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Fall is for Festive!

 It's that time of year again; the sun is shining softer, the leaves are on fire with color, and you step outside to smell the wood stoves burning. I love Fall. I really do. It seems to be when I am most organized. (Which is not saying that I am completely organized, lol!) I also love breaking out the fall decorations, doing projects, and creating a festive mood to celebrate my favorite season.  
Over the last few days, I have discovered my pumpkin recipes and have gone hog-wild in the kitchen. My favorite so far has been the pumpkin cupcakes with maple frosting that I made yesterday. Delish. And I have become an advocate of wheat flour, as I substituted half my flour with that. (I think it makes for a richer final product, plus it's a wee bit healthier.)

So cheers to Fall and all of it's festivities!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


 I was thinking yesterday what it would be like if I didn't home school. I would be lonely and bored. Though my kids may drive me bonkers, I appreciate and am thankful for the hub-bub they make during the day. They keep me on my toes and give me something to wake up for. I really love them and what we do. 


We had a horrible day last Saturday when we lost the water pump on the truck. BUT the day was much alleviated by good friends who allowed us to tow to their house, avoiding a costly tow, and allowing Scott to work on the truck there. (I mean, it's a big deal when one man lends another man his tools, lol!) The kids and I waited for developments at their house and I got bored. So Mac, their dog, and I played model and snapped a bunch of pics! Ain't he good lookin'???

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Who says they can't get along!? We sold the couch last night because we are trying to revamp the space we have and the couch we had was huge for the tiny space. Anyhow, the kids have taken over the empty space with Legos! They are building a Lego City, their way. They are actually getting along very well. Who'da thunk that just an hour ago they were in their rooms because they had been yelling at each other? It's gonna be a real heart breaker when I tell them in a few minutes that they have to stop and do their school work. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


I have issues, who doesn't? We all have wounds that almost make us who we are. I say almost because at some point we have a choice to alter (as in change, deny, or oust) the lies that form us. I battle this. I lose a lot. I also try hard to not let the word "Bipolar" define who I am. I am working really hard on that because I know that my faith can rise above it. But the reality is, I do have a mental health problem. And it takes over a lot, even when I am making choices to change the potential outcome. When it's "coming on" I ask Jesus for help. I ask for it to go away. I ask for his care. I ask to be in the palm of His hand. I ask these things moments before the storm hits. And I believe he answers these prayers because I am still alive. But he doesn't deliver me the way everyone wants me to be delivered. He doesn't deliver me the way I expect to be delivered. He works on me through my diagnosis. And although it doesn't define who I am, it is a tool for my sanctification. 
When I am in the storm, I can't "just change". I can't make the decision to just "get better". I'm not a light switch with an off/on. When I am riding the waves, I am just holding on for dear life. Literally. I am crouched in His palm, weathering the torrential downpour. And I can't stand, I can't think, I can't breathe. I can just be what it is at that moment. Hard
I am so frustrated that God has chosen not to cure me. I thought it could happen. I know it can still. But for now, I am who I am--evolving.  

Monday, September 17, 2012


 For many, fall brings thoughts of football. For us, we think soccer! Dominic chose soccer over football, despite the opportunity he had to play football. I think he's just too much like his daddy in sports. Dominic's favorite position is Goalie and I wish I had brought the camera yesterday because he played Goalie and did great! His games are Tuesdays. Saturdays, and Sundays, with practice on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Because he's in a U12 division, he's a big boy now! The soccer field is full size, the goal is full size, and the game length includes two 45 minute halves! Did you know that a soccer player will run an average of six miles? Well, at least in high school. . . 
P.S. Notice it's MY kid wearing the blue shorts instead of conforming like everyone else and wearing the black shorts???

First Day of School!

 Well, we got somewhat of a late start (because of the awesome camping trip we took!), but during the canning week, we also got some school started. It was mostly review, but it was schoolwork none-the-less. I was really proud of Nina and Dominic because they dove right in. 
Homeschooling is a hard choice for me because of my many challenges. However, it's worth it and I know I am doing what God wants me to do. Everyday is one day at a time and one foot in front of the other. Or something, lol!

That's My Boy!

 We had been canning for a week! We've had peaches and pears out our ears! But what made it bearable was the help of my son. Dominic got down and dirty with me for a little while, asking questions and getting to know the canning business. I am a proud momma!

 He peeled. . . 
 He boiled and packed. . . 
These are the two jars he did completely by himself! I marked them before slipping them into the canner and surprised Dominic because when they were done and cooled, I presented them to him. I told him this was the result of his hard work! He was so excited to keep them. One jar is sitting in the fridge, half eaten!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Chicken Coop and Goats

We had to take down the main entrance to the "pasture pen" so we could assemble the old/new chicken coop. And the girls were allowed to roam about the yard. I say old/new chicken coop because we are using Nina's old clubhouse that Scott built her some time ago and turning it into a new chicken coop with fresh plywood sides, but old framework. Scott got a screamin' good deal on brand new plywood at a garage sale--3/4 inch plywood at only $7.50 a sheet. We checked it out at Home Depot and it usually runs $22 a sheet! We are really happy of course. We wouldn't be able to do our stuff w/o having had the blessing.
Of course, having goats, there is a large amount of curiosity going on. And possible eating of things not intended for animal bodies. It felt like we were keeping our eyes on toddlers!
After discovering she can't eat screws, Star goes for the Gatorade!
Everytime we set any kind of wood down, the girls would be all over it, eating the shavings and nicks that we could barely see.
Star and I played movie star for a couple minutes with the camera.

Our End-of-summer Camp Trip 2012

So we went camping to Cape Disappointment last week, Tuesday-Friday. Shannon (my cousin) house-sat for the four days. I have to admit, I was worried about the animals the entire time, mainly--of course--the goats. But all was well and my worrying was for nothing, thank God.
At Cape Disappointment, pretty much located where the mouth of the Columbia meets the Pacific ocean, we were able to enjoy the cliffs, the evergreens, and the beach. Last year we visited both lighthouses, hiked, and biked, but this year we mainly just hung out and did absolutely nothing but chillax and eat. It felt good. At the beach, the kids built forts out of the driftwood, then hung out in their cool shady spots, under their fort. Dman's fort consisted of many twists and turns; Nina's was open concept. They were both excellent designs. I think I may have future architects!

At first the weather was blustery and chilly, but as the hours passed, the wind died down, the sun peaked through, and the temperatures rose. By time we left on Friday, it was nearing mid-eighties at noon. We were just thankful there was no rain, like years passed.
It was a peaceful time. No hurries, no worries (except about well-being of goats). Of course we wanna go next year. There's something about Cape Disappointment that keeps drawing us back.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Plums, plums, and plums!

So we have a friend who offered us pickings from their Italian plum tree! Uh, duh, I said yeah! I've never canned plums before, so I did three different things: I canned plum jam, using apples as a natural pectin; I also canned hot pack, and I canned cold pack. I have never cold packed canning before. The way "they" brainwash you nowadays, cold packing is a no-no because it doesn't kill germs like hot packing does. But when I hot packed the first batch. . . they kinda turned to mush. They are still edible and delicious, but not pretty. So I cold packed the second batch and they look much better. I think it's cause these plums were extremely ready to pick/can/eat. I got nine quarts. It was definitely a learning experience.

The jam gave me twelve pints, plus half a quart for the fridge, right away (I didn't seal it). And it tasted good.

On Monday, I am taking a huge risk because we are buying two boxes (24 pounds each box) of peaches and two boxes of pears for canning. The risk is, I can't can them until we get back from camping--Friday. I was opting for one of two choices. Either find a cool spot somewhere in the garage to store them, or refrigerate them. I am opting to refrigerate because while we are gone, it's supposed to be mid-eighties for the weather. I don't think any place in the garage will be as cool as the fridge. But this was a deal I just couldn't pass up--only $14 a box!

Thank you God, I'm back!

**Sigh** It's been a long time, people! I could give you my list of seven billion reasons why I have been gone, but that's such old news, I'm not even gonna go there! The good news is, I am back to blog! And it feels GREAT!

Where do I start? Well, how about with goats??? Last I remember, we were about to get Alice, our pregnant doe. We got her, she came, she adjusted well into out herd of now three, and is currently big in tummy and head-honcho attitude. Alice let Arabella know, right from the get-go, that she was in charge. Even now, when I go out to see her, she still shows of and gives Arabella a good charge or head butt. I read somewhere that she's just showing off.

When we first got Alice, she was huge for the timing of pregnancy. Now, she's just pregnant. She's not huge anymore. Considering she's just a hair off from six weeks to delivery, I think she looks normal big. But then I see her everyday. Having something I care so much about--in my care--and this being is pregnant. . . I stress. I stress whether she is eating enough, whether she is healthy enough, and whether or not the babies are okay. I fuss about all my goats, but knowing there are little lives at stake just heighten my fuss levels.

When we got Alice, she was a healthy goat. But since we have gotten her, she is a beautiful goat! Don't get me wrong, she was in good condition in the beginning. But now she is in great condition; her fur is so luscious, thick, and shiny now. All dander is bye-bye! And her attitude! At first, she was fussy, kinda negative, and quiet. Now, she's a talker, comes when called, and loves to be whispered to. She is still my dominant girl. But she's so different than the first days she got here. Maybe it's the pregnancy hormones, who knows?

Soon after we received Alice into our herd, we got a little surprise. Eleven of them, to be exact. . . One weekend morning, Scott got up to do the feeding for me and about five minutes after he left the room, he was back. And waking me up. He said, nothing was wrong, BUT I needed to get up and come outside. And when I got out there, there were eleven chicks running around! Apparently, they had hatched under the barn. And we were oblivious. It was great! The downer is, three died to dogs. (Angel, our dog, didn't do it. For once.)

Since then, we have had another broody hen, Road Runner. Road Runner is a small banty that Dominic has completely tamed. She took in a clutch of nine eggs and nothing happened. We are pretty sure that the eggs were not fertilized. In fact, the eggs--all but one--disappeared one by one. We wonder if the chickens were eating them? A raccoon? Aliens?

We have also had a problem this summer with non laying hens and we think we have nailed down the reason. They need a bigger coop. Much bigger. Our girls are not happy and they need space to be happy and lay. So when we get back from camping next week, guess what is on our to-do list? We already have the framework done, we just have to assemble and close it in.

So that's the up-n-up on the "farm" animals. There's so much more to say, but I will close for now!