Psalm 27:4 "One thing have I desired; that will I seek after. That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life."

Happy Birthday to Me!!

Yesterday was a monumental day. I turned a great big 50.  My plan was to simply spend the day in my sewing room. However, the weekend has gone like this:

Thursday – Joel came home from Minnesota. Happy dance

Friday – Joel and I had dinner with our friends John and Debbie and stayed out until 1:30am!

Saturday – I spent a lazy morning online

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(my birthday shirt to myself)

then I went down to the sewing room and enjoyed myself:

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glasses

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(finished Kurt’s Christmas present sleep shirt)

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(covered a couple of cardboard boxes with contact paper)

Promptly at 4:30 I had put on a little makeup because Karra’s boyfriend was coming over for presents. My first present was a blindfold and a note that the best presents can’t be seen. Uh oh. They drug me out of the house with a little makeup, bad hair, and a blindfold.

We arrived at my Bestie’s house for a surprise 50th birthday party. Bumble themed, of course.

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(Kristen made a cake for me)

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(She cried when it was time to put candles in it)

And there were balloons and presents and my closest Ohio family to celebrate. It was a WONDERFUL birthday! There were balloons, too, but I didn’t get a picture of them before Catnip found them.

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And That’s What’s Happening on the Hobby Farm.

Oh, Hello

Well, WordPress sure changed while I’ve been away.

Happy Thanksgiving

Merry Christmas

Happy New Year

That’s covers the major ones. I have been away.

The Holidays were good and I got most of my projects done – still haven’t stained Kutt’s new bed ūüė¶ He’s being a trouper about the delayed bedroom makeover.

I accidentally went off my depression medicine right before Christmas. I think I’m still messed up from that. I waited until I had 3 pills left, like I usually do, only this time, the refill expired 5 days before I called. The pharmacy said they would call my dr.’s office. Six days later, I’ve been off my pills and am having the most bizarre dreams!! I’m getting dizzy like crazy and feeling like when I turn my head, it takes 5-10 seconds for my mind to make the turn with my body! Really creepy. And was a grouch!!! My kids would have used a different word: b*(^*&*. Karra announced that she would be following herself to Michigan if I was like that for Christmas. Personally, I would have liked to see her follow herself. Anyway, I called my dr. office and got back on my meds. I’ve been a much nicer person to be around since then.

I’ve really been re-thinking my blog lately and haven’t decided if I should continue on with the hobby farm, revamp what I write about, or start a completely new blog. Until I decide something, I guess I’ll keep rambling to you.

I feel like the hobby farm is winding down – or maybe just changing seasons. We butchered SugarBelle in September and I sold LibertyBelle in December – she’s now happily mated to a Hereford bull and expecting a Baldy calf. Torpedo is a steer – not as much fun as a moo moo mama, and a little on the grouchy side being by himself most of the time. ¬†I miss my cows. If we venture into a milk cow again, I’ll make sure I can get her bred easily, and also probably go with a regular sized cow. The Dexters didn’t prove to be all we had hoped for. I want a sweet cow. I want a dehorned cow.

The sheep are so easy to take care of – not to mention breed. Shamrock joined the ladies October 1st and we separated them in late December. Honey and Stormie already show signs of udder development. Kristen has bumped the girls and she’s pretty sure that 4 of them are pregnant. Rebekah we’re not sure of – she’s an awful lot like her mama, Daisy. ūüėÄ

One of the things I’m thinking about for future hobby farming is replacing our Shetland lamb that died and raising some woollies. ¬†It would probably be smarter to go with a spinnable wool hair sheep, but we’re still pretty leery of horns on animals. Soay have horns. Painted Dessert sheep have horns. When it comes to wool, Jacob sheep and Icelandic sheep have horns. Icelandics are pricey, too! ¬†I’m thinking about alpacas or llamas, too. My niece had a beautiful llama when she was in high school – Dominick. Oh, he was gorgeous!!!! ¬†If I could raise the fleece, there is a mid Ohio fiber mill where I could have them washed, carded, and spun. I could put them on my Etsy shop (which I finally opened!) as roving, or knit them into something.

We’re also talking about replacing our chickens this year, but not Brik!! And we may be getting piggies to grow for the freezer. Yum, yum.

My head continues to spin with ideas for how to start my own little cottage industry from my own little – well, big – cottage. ¬†The transcription course got bogged down in cyber relax massage chairs (don’t ask) and I’ve gotten very discouraged with it. I know it’s something I could do, but I really got hung up with it. And quite honestly, all I want to do is spend the days and hours of my life in my sewing room creating things. Fun things, usable thing, whimsical things, nonsensical things, practical things. Things that will bless people. Things that people can bless other people with.

OK, the Etsy shop. Yes, I opened it. The only item in it is one of Kristen’s paintings. I’d love to see her sell it, but in the meantime, it hangs in my living room and I really, really like it!

The plan is to stock The Crazy Bumble Bee.Etsy shop with baby blankets and bibs. At least to start. I have a partially finished blanket in the sewing room for my friend, Sarah, whose baby shower I couldn’t attend on Tuesday because I’M SICK! ¬†I really like piecing together squares for a simple baby blanket. It’s fun. I’m looking forward to blessing the Woman’s Clinic of Columbus with baby blankets, as well as stocking the Etsy shop. ¬†Hopefully by fall I will have some Christmas items done that I can stock as well. I would still like to do a completely Christmas shop, but I’ve felt God speaking to me about that, so it may be something I keep separate from The Crazy Bumble Bee; I’m not sure at this point.

Kurt’s LEGO robotics and invention team is doing well and they’ve advanced to the State Finals competition next month. Go LEGO Force! ¬†Kristen had her first IEA show yesterday (I left my death bed to attend). She did respectable for her first Open classes, two fourth place finishes. She and our team’s top horsemanship rider both drew the same horse and after watching her teammate have a not so good ride, Kristen started to get her in her own way. But when she went out to ride, she rode that horse! She definitely had the better ride and when we watched a really good rider on him later, she only finished one place above Kristen and her teammate on the same horse. It was a big win for Kristen in that she didn’t let herself focus on her teammate’s ride, but went out and tried to do something different to find the horse’s buttons. And it worked! Our next show is in West Virginia! and is the weekend after Kurt’s LEGO competition.

And That’s What’s Been Happening on the Hobby Farm.

 

 

 

Hello

Hey Blogosphere! I have been totally AWOL, I know. I know. ¬†Once the fleas were dealt with, life kicked up a notch and then there were robotics things and a horse show and Karra’s birthday and we’re doggy sitting our friend’s Pomeranian – and that is where the funniest post in a long time is probably going to come from. Hopefully next week amidst the cleaning and cooking and paper checking of Thanksgiving week, and after the barking in my brain has subsided, I’ll drop by for an over due visit.

38 days until Christmas!! I hit the panic button, but it hasn’t engaged.

And That’s What’s Happening on the Hobby Farm.

Infestation

I went down to the sewing room on Tuesday and found out that the fleas we thought we had whipped had whipped us instead. I could see the stupid things jumping on me and when I came upstairs, they came with me on my socks! Yesterday I vacuumed in the basement until the filter in my vacuum was so dusty it wouldn’t suck anymore. Then I swept. I had the kids start throwing things outside – including my beloved cardboard box collection, just two months before Christmas!! The ramp that Hubby built so we could drive 4-wheelers into the basement was completely infested. I had Kristen soak everything she could with the hose and everything outside got rained on last night. I emptied a bottle of flea spray in the sewing room on Tuesday and bought 3 more bottles yesterday. I didn’t get the entire basement covered, but bought 2 more bottles today and finished it. Meijer no longer has bottles of flea spray :)¬†There are bags of denim that I sprayed, but need to wash to be sure. The saddest part is knowing that I’m going to have to thoroughly clean the basement every week for the next month. I WANT MY SEWING ROOM BACK!!!! ¬†NO, I NEED MY SEWING ROOM BACK!!!!!!!!!

At church last night in the middle of a wonderful service I could feel my glands swelling and my throat starting to hurt. Right now, I’m curled up in my emerald green Christmas robe in my comfy Chicago Bears clothes and feeling miserable. Kristen has a pot of homemade chicken soup with lots of garlic simmering away on the stove. I love her.

Though I do think my previous reflection is very worth pursuing, at this time, Hubby and I are content to just do some belt tightening.  Much, much easier now that we have over 500 lbs. of our own farm-raised beef in the freezer.

So,¬†I’ve been back in the craft room and being my creative and goofy self. It’s been so fun to do little things again. ¬†I’m knitting up a flurry, but those are all Christmas gifts; so, no sharing just now.

I’m sure that many other people have those little, plastic, 3-drawer, rolling bins floating around their house. I had one that was re-purposed from Kristen’s room to the sewing room. Unfortunately, it came from her former purple life. What’s a Mom to do when the purple box just doesn’t go? Spray paint!! I still had the LEGO color paint that we are no longer using in Kurt’s bedroom redo, so I shot that purple puppy a nice happy, shiny, GREEN! ¬†I transferred my patterns into the drawers (freeing up old pattern boxes for another makeover) and slapped on some chalkboard stickers for labeling. Voila!

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It turned out much better than I was expecting it would. ¬†The white one beside it is holding lots of different glues and miscellaneous craft supplies. I haven’t decided if I’ll paint it or not. My other spray paint options right now are yellow and blue. ¬†Maybe I’ll chalk paint it. Hmmm?

On to those empty pattern boxes. I had 6 all together and Kristen swiped 3 of them for putting her kitchen supplies in – stored in the schoolroom of course because it’s closer to the kitchen. At least her things are out of my hutch. ¬†That left me with 3 boxes, one ugly, really old, blue one, and two, newer, black and white boxes.

I started by gluing the box sides together.

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I totally messed up on the lids, and they were too wide, so I had to break it apart and try again. The seam was really, REALLY well done the first time. The second time not so good, so I covered it with a couple layers of washi tape.  I had a coloring page from a box of Krispy Kreme donuts that I had kept because it had one little bee on it. I thought it would make a really nice front for the new box.

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I had way more fun than expected coloring that thing. I had to trim the border and then re-apply it to make it fit the box, but I think it turned out really well. It now houses all of my soap making supplies in two convenient spaces! (Sorry, I didn’t take an inside picture – I’m bad).

That last box needed a big makeover. It was faded and sad. So, I painted it a nice, bright, happy, yellow.

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The bottom still needs its makeover, but it is, after all, the bottom of the box.

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You can see around the edges of the box and inside the lid, what the old blue color looked like.  I had a sudden burst of inspiration for this little box and gathered some supplies together.

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Aren’t those papers pretty? They were in an old package of origami papers that Karra gave me when she cleaned out all of her craft things to move on with her adult life. The papers are in three different colors and I can’t wait for inspiration to hit with the green ones!.

This project is still in progress, so you’ll have to wait for the finish.

I also have one more crafty thing going on.

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I found this cute idea on pinterest. It’s a ring of canning jar rings. Instead of spray painting, I found a bottle of acrylic paint in a pretty orange and I’m painting it on in thin coats. When I have it just right, I’ll lightly spray the pumpkin with gold spray paint. I haven’t quite decided how to finish it off, stem and leaf wise. ¬†I did glue the rings in place so that they don’t slide all over every time I pick it up. I started with hot glue, but have ended up finishing with tacky glue. It’s turning out really cute.

In other news, we found happy homes for all of the terror kittens in my basement. Mozart, of course, moved upstairs and has taught Catnip that having a buddy isn’t such a bad thing.

Boston, Pepper and Zoe Grace are all out in our barn. The boys are getting their thick, fluffy hair quite dusty. All three are as lovable as ever and Uncle Sage is so chill with them. Old Man Johnny doesn’t like Sage, but he seems fine with the kittens.

Timmy and Tommy went to the horse barn last Monday. By Friday they had been re-named Wrangler and Cinch. I guess I’ll adjust. Wrangler Tommy is everyone’s favorite little love bug. Timmy Cinch is much shyer. He does NOT like it when the horses whinny!

And That’s What¬†I Did by Myself Successfully!

 

Reflecting

I have actually been waxing reflective lately. I’ve also been waxing nostalgic for the days of leisure in which to reflect and to write. ¬†I think of dear Caitlin over at the Coffee Comrade and remember fondly those days of having one little one to tend to. All of the quiet time during naps and early bed times. Ah.

Not that those memories have anything to do with what I’ve been reflecting about – just to have time.

I was hurrying out of Meijer on Monday feeling kind off out-of-body for some reason I haven’t been able to identify. Anyway, I was passing those full shelves and displays of fruit and vegetables and thought, “oh my gosh. I refuse to ever FEEL¬†poor again.” ¬†Maybe it was the scrounging together $5 to buy milk and bananas on a short week, but I was feeling a little empty-pocketed. Just looking at all of those delicious foods made me feel so rich. So blessed.

I was trucking along on my walk this morning still thinking about the full groceries. I started to wonder if I could get my family to go for a “Third World Hunger¬†Challenge”, eating only what’s in the house and not going to the store when we ran out of something. ¬†The first things to¬†run out¬†would be the milk and the bananas, followed by the bottled water (that one would hurt ME the most). ¬†What do you do in a third world country – or a refugee camp – when the milk and the water and the fruit run out? There’s no market. There’s no money.

I think the saddest thing I thought of today is that I probably can’t get my family to go along for just two weeks. ¬†How would we live when the Pepsi and chicken nuggets ran out? What could I feed Kurt when the milk and cheese were gone? How could I survive drinking tap water and putting powdered milk in my coffee? How sadly spoiled we Americans are.

Today was it. The first day of the 12th year of homeschool. Where in tarnation did all of the years GO???

But before school, there was the end of summer vacation – and canning.

We had a wonderful time in Michigan: no salt, no sharks, no problems. Sigh.  Before we left Kristen & Kurt cleaned my van. The interior looked just as bad as the exterior (translate: I forgot to take before pictures)

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When I went to the car wash, the water jets pushed my new driver magnet right off the van. I walked behind the van at the cheese store and about freaked out. Kristen was planning to drive to Michigan and we needed the magnet. I went back to the car wash and looked everywhere – of course there was a car in the bay that I had used so I’m standing on my head trying to see in while they got their car washed. I can only imagine what they were thinking! I couldn’t see it anywhere, so I called the phone number and a really nice man told me to wait until the other car left and I would find it on the floor – and sure enough there it was, getting the magnet side washed, too. Huge sigh of relief.

When the kids were finished, the interior looked amazing!

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They pulled it into the garage where I couldn’t get really good pictures, but I assure you, my van was a night and day transformation!

While we were chilling at Grandma and Grandpa’s the kids did a lot of reading of “Calvin and Hobbes” books. It keeps them occupied and they have a great time laughing at our family favorite comic strip. Even Present got in on the fun.
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Of course, Present also got her nose into Kristen’s cereal bowl and fresh blueberries – I’m not sure where the picture is. We both got yelled at for that one ūüėÄ

Once we were back home, we had to deal with the garden. There are no pictures of the bounty because the task before us was extremely daunting. 88 tomatoes on the first picking. For 3 days straight (Thursday, Friday and Saturday) Kristen and I chopped, diced, peeled, sliced, stirred and canned. She brought up all of the frozen broth from the freezers so that we could pressure can that and get it out of the freezer to make room for the beef next month. We put up tomato paste, sauce, and diced tomatoes; more pickle relish, peaches and peach jam. Plus lamb and chicken broth. AND Kristen thawed and ground about 12 lbs. of lamb to make sausage. The corn we blanched and froze, but it was past its prime and will probably end up in chicken feed over the winter. I came home to 5 club sized zucchini in the garden and promptly pulled the plants. I also pulled the cucumbers because we have 6 on the counter from before vacation and an overflowing 1/2 bushel since we came home. NO ONE wants that much pickle relish for Christmas!  We still have salsa on the list and that will use some cukes as well.

By the end of the canning session it was obvious that our leaking kitchen faucet had to go; okay, it was obvious before we left on vacation, but Hubby got a real dose of it while we were gone and that was enough! So,late on Saturday, Kristen and I decided the time had come and we would go get the new faucet. Before that could happen, while she was trying to heat water to put in the diced tomatoes – the microwave died! 5 minutes on high, for tap water temperature. Not good. So, we were looking for a microwave as well. I found one I liked at Home Depot.

Off to the store, to find out that they don’t stock their microwaves at Home Depot. They didn’t have the one I found on line, but Kristen found one she liked better. We went to order that. Guess what, that will be $15 to remove the old one and $60 to have the new one delivered-to the store! Are you kidding me? Sorry, fella, that’s too much added on to the price. Lowe’s had absolutely nothing, so I checked Menard’s on my handy dandy smart phone. Well, soil¬†my britches and call me a Gronkel’s auntie, there was my Maytag microwave in stock! Oh, wait, in stock with a stainless steel handle. I just bought a bronze finish faucet for the kitchen, don’t really want stainless steel right there. Ah, here’s the all black option – two weeks to get it in. But, hold the presses! -ships to store for FREE!!! Oh, how I love that word!! ¬†FREE ¬†FREE FREE!! ¬†Order that puppy up and we’ll live with out a microwave for 2 weeks. It will.not.kill.us.

Sunday rolls around and we’re at Menard’s to get a piece of steel that Joel needs for the trailer. I showed him the new microwave with the nice metal handle – no plastic! – he was impressed. ¬†Back home we came to nap and relax and then Kristen decided that she could install that faucet by herself. You Go Girl!!

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Daddy was blown away when he got up from his nap. And you know what the hardest part of the whole process was? Figuring out how to turn the dump thing on!!! We rolled the lever back and forth and back and forth and checked all of the connections twice. No water. Kristen had pulled the hose out and was looking into it when she bumped the handle away from the faucet and got sprayed in the face!! Apparently, it turns on by pushing the lever away from the faucet and then adjust for hot and cold by rolling front or back. I’m telling you, folks, I’m not going gray, I’m going blonde!

Which brings us to today. The first day of school.

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I can’t tell you how precious these pictures are and how much my kids have grown up every year. To see all of the pictures together on Karra’s board for graduation, was something else.

We had a couple of firsts on this first day of school – Kristen threw up, never had that happen before. I recommended that she NOT take her vitamins on an empty stomach in the future. We started at 8 (another first) and both kids were done at 12:00. ALL done, not just sort of done. And I sat in the school room and worked on stuff right along with them. Amazing.

One of the things we noticed with the leaky kitchen faucet and all of the canning was a funny smell in the laundry room and kitchen. We thought it was under the sink, or something from the canning. Turns out it’s the washing machine. THAT is all I need right now. But, Kristen and I did look at them at Home Depot and decided I’d like a stacking set, to maximize room in my laundry. That will be a post for another day and another time (I have a baby blanket to make today!)

And That’s What’s Happening on the Hobby Farm.

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