Sorry It’s Been So Long . . .

but this is kind of how I’ve felt for the last month:


Either wiped out like the dog, or buried under the dog.

We all managed to get sick with bad colds right after Kristen’s show and were still sick when Joel came home for his visit.  He tried to avoid us while he was home but still ended up a little under the weather when he went back.  He’ll be home for good on Sunday and I am so glad.  It’s tough being the solo parent even temporarily.

I’m sure I have pictures on the camera to share with ya’ll, they’re just still on the camera and at the moment I’m avoiding making the meatballs for dinner.  I did get the French bread made and am going to try this luscious recipe for garlic bread from Old World Garden Farm for supper:

I do have the happy news to report that Karra was accepted to her #1 choice college!!!!  Yeah!!!!!!!  And now is seriously campaigning to go to the jr. college for her first 2 years and then transfer.  Why am I having a hard time with that?  Is it because that is the exact thing her Mom REFUSED to do (and one of the reasons her Mom never got a bachelor’s degree) or am I struggling with it because “I” went to so much trouble to help her get into #1 school.  I stressed along with her for the transcript and class descriptions, the SAT and the ACT; I struggled and encouraged and supported through the interview and the wait.  And this is the thanks I get??  “Um, I think I’m going to stay home for 2 years, keep working, keep volunteering with cameras and shading at church, and go local.”  The kid wants to save a bucket of money and do the financially sensible thing and I’m having a hard time with it?!!?  And can you guess who’s bright idea it was to use Dave Ramsey for personal finance class anyway?

I can’t believe my major confliction.  Joel even agrees she’s making a sensible choice.  And she doesn’t even want to move into the bonus room and have her own apartment – she wants to stay in her bedroom!  Kristen is salivating to get that bonus room – and she has 3 years of high school left.  She who plans to go local to culinary school and live at home until she gets married.  Someday I’ll get my bedroom sized sewing room back.

At least I can end this with a funny story that I told over on Christian Homesteader.  The Saga of the Cell Phones:

I spent yesterday morning on school & trying to order cell phones. I kept getting error messages with no confirmation numbers or “thank you for your order”. So I threw my hands in the air and Kristen and I went to the store and bought phones and a plan and now we have unlimited talk & text (which we’ve been burning up) and limited data. I came home from that to find a phone call from the credit card company fraud alert. I called them and they wanted to verify two charges to T-Mobile, one local and one online. Great. Called T-mobile and found out that my order had been received and was being processed. WHAT? The rep said she’d get that online order cancelled.

This morning I woke up to an email that my order shipped 8 hours after the phone conversation that was supposed to stop it. Called them again explained what happened. She found the order and the tracking number and notified UPS to stop the shipment and return it to them. Cool. We kept playing with our new smart phones and did school and then I got an email that UPS had tried to deliver the package – SERIOUSLY?? That phone call turned out to be the cancellation notice, but the package was already in Columbus. It is still on it’s way back to T-Mobile. While I’m on the phone with them I get an email that my new phones have been activated (given phone numbers that are local but outside of my area code). Now WHAT??? I’ve talked to 6 different people at T-Mobile they were all great and only one of them didn’t see the humor in all of this. They cancelled the numbers for the phones in the box on the way back to the warehouse. Deep breath.

But the saga continued the NEXT day with an email that my credit card had been charged.  I have yet to get an email telling me they credited my credit card for the returned box.  Oy vey, has this been hysterical.  We also “figured out on our own” that my and Kurt’s SIM cards were in the wrong phones, so we switched them.  Well, when the land line was ported to the cell phone on Monday guess where it went – Kurt’s phone instead of mine.  Had to switch the SIM cards back.  It means I gave Grandma the wrong phone number for Kurt – Oh No!!

Also on the day of the great cell phone saga this happened:

I had to take Kurt to his camp out so I dropped Kristen at the barn early and told her I’d be back before her lesson was over. Got caught in traffic, had to sit in the drive through line to get Kurt some supper and then had to wait to talk to his commander to find out when to pick him up tomorrow and let them know that Kurt has an antibiotic with him. I’m driving down dark (gravel) roads that I swear sprang curves after we drove through them in the daylight. My Oreo McFlurry was getting melted and my new phone goes off. I know it’s Kristen wondering where I am, but I can’t get the phone to answer and don’t want to take my eyes off the road! I was almost to a gas station to pull over and call her back when she called again. I got the phone working this time & had my little hysterical rant about being in the middle of nowhere on a dark curvy road and not able to find my way back to civilization and where in the world was the highway and how did I get back on the ramp when I found it – and she laughed and told me to breathe. I was 20 minutes away and trying to find the on-ramp to the highway. It felt like an illegal U-turn onto the ramp. I was 3 minutes from the barn when she called AGAIN and I answered the phone: “WILL YOU GIVE ME A BREAK? I’M ALMOST THERE!” Laughter. Two hours after I dropped her off, I finally made it back to the barn to pick her up. I sat and ate my melted McFlurry in front of her while everyone else drove away.

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

P.S.  We’re roughly two weeks away from baby lambs!!


Wow, we’ve been going full steam around here.  It’s not that the calendar is THAT full, it’s just things going on every day.  Or maybe I feel it because Karra got a new job and now I’m running Kristen to the barn 5 days a week – could that be it?  We’ve also had appointments for this and that and I’ve been seeing the chiropractor.  A real whirlwind.

Kristen’s first IEA event keeps getting pushed back by circumstances, but it looks like Dec. 7 is a go!  She’s excited to go with the team this Sunday to observe a show and then it’s practice, practice, practice.  And we got an unexpected refund from the orthodontist yesterday that will cover the (very expensive) entrance fees for her first two shows!!  God has been so faithful to her about this opportunity.

And after all of my stress and hard work to make Karra’s 18th birthday without her BFF awesome – someone blew my gift!!!!  One of the guys she works with in the media department at church told her he could get her into the booth at a Blue Jackets game to observe the “real” process.  And when is that game going to take place?   BEFORE the game I bought tickets for!!!!!!    I delayed her birthday game so that she could see the Black Hawks and someone I don’t even know trumped my 18th birthday gift – GRRRRR!  It will still be spectacular because her birthday game will be against Chicago, but I wanted to take her to her first game – 😦 😦 !!!!!  I’ll recover, but it really blows the steam out of my great gift.

I can’t believe it, but my baby girl with the chubby cheeks turns 18 on Sunday.  All of you Mom’s can relate to this:  didn’t we just drive to the hospital last week?  Wasn’t it just yesterday she was carrying around George? (until Daddy let him get lost at a store somewhere).  I’m pretty sure she was telling Little Baa not to get dirty just this morning.  Where did it all go??  OK, enough nostalgia.  It’s not like she’s trying to rip the apron strings out.  The closer it gets to departure time the more she appreciates home and security.  AND SHE GOT HER ACCEPTANCE TO KSU ON WEDNESDAY!!!!  Yes, I’d prefer she goes there, but it’s not her number one choice.  We’re still waiting to hear from them (could it be that’s why I’ve forgotten for 3 days to mail that last reference letter to them?).  I think she was surprised how excited she was to get the KSU acceptance.  I’ve told her and told her that she would get accepted to any college she applies to.  I think now she believes me.  Doesn’t Mommy know best?????

The next few weeks aren’t going to slow down by any stretch of the imagination – it is, after all, my FAVORITE time of the year!  We’re going strong just about everyday next week and then it’s Thanksgiving week already.  Don’t know yet if we’ll have any company for the feast day this year.  It will be really sad and strange not to have Joel’s family here.  But if no one can come, we’ll just start our Christmasing early!  (And catch up on some school that I’ve let get behind – ooops).  I have lots of crafting going on and more planned, but don’t I always have too many projects lurking in my little room?  I will post a picture of the kids’ stockings after I get Kurt’s sewn together.  It will be so neat to see all 3 hanging together.  Next one up is mine, but only because I don’t know what to do for Scrooge, er Grinch, um, Mr. Joel!

We haven’t had snow to speak of yet, but it’s in the forecast for Sunday!

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

Just a Quickie

My Mom periodically sends me coupons in the mail that she has clipped from the local Sunday paper.   I have gotten dozens and dozens of notes over the years that started out, “Just a quickie . .  .” (usually trying to get the coupons to me before they expire!).  So, this morning I have “just a quickie” for ya.

Our rounds of college visits are over and now I have to convince her to go where I think she should instead of where her heart is set.  Oh yeah, it’s her life, Mom, not yours!  I have truly enjoyed and cherished the time spent with Karra on our cross-state tours.  The memories of sweltering and too long campus tours and the Sonic we shouldn’t have eaten, but did and regretted and then did again!!  For some reason she is more bothered by that foot long chili dog than I was – oh, was it good!!!  And all of the times we got lost – including yesterday WITH the Navi System!!  That was the machine’s fault because she told me to turn left at the second road but there was no FIRST road!!!  We just drove in circles on campus a couple of times before we got onto the right road and out of town.  I love that mechanism 🙂

Today I’m frantically trying to can peaches, make salsa, shred zucchini (and make bread to replace the two we gave away), freeze zucchini, feed some old summer squash to the chickens while I dream of fried summer squash to devour myself, try to decide whether to make more pickle relish or make sweet pickles with the cucumbers that Kurt isn’t devouring, cleaning and preparing for Life Group and trying not to kick myself for planning a trip to Michigan right when the tomatoes are ripe and we only have a handful of days left until school starts.  I think I’ll sleep the whole time at my Mom’s!

I did manage to get my carpet shampooed (and Lexi promptly re-soiled it two nights in a row) and have been working on two DIMS Day projects.  I have to finish my part of the pantry door, which translates into finding whatever I did with the blue painters tape, but Kristen’s part of the project turned out gorgeous.  It’s exactly what I wanted and I smile everytime I look at it.  The other project is gifts so it will have to wait until September to be posted – along with Karra’s bedroom curtain update that is taking much longer than expected.  Who would have thought that a valance could be so much trouble?

Well, my “quickie” has gotten long and I need to hit the treadmill – now in the basement where I can use it early in the morning without disturbing a sleeping husband.  I have a peach crisp in the oven and the pork loin in the crockpot simmering away into carnitas that will be barbecued for tonight’s Life Group – wish ya’ll could come and share the food and fellowship.

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

College Visit

It wouldn’t be a college visit unless we got lost – but I had the new van with the Navi System so it didn’t matter!!!  And I’ve named the Navi System “Miss Flanagan” because every time she gave a directive I said “yes, ma’am”, but the sing-song in my head wanted to add something.  So, when I finally identified the sing-song as coming from Annie I had to name her Miss Flanagan.

We had a great time, liked the campus (the Rec Center almost lives up to the one at UC), and when we talked to the  department people Karra’s face lit up and she got excited.  Yes!  That’s what I want to do!!  So, we’ve decided to revisit UC to look at the their program in that field.

And the getting lost department?  Such tiny wrong turns we could have corrected them all by ourselves with out Miss Flanagan’s help. 🙂

Sadly, we couldn’t do our traditional stop at Sonic for burgers & shakes.  There are no Sonic drive-ins in NE Ohio!!! WAH!!  So, we ate at Cracker Barrel.  Karra had grilled rainbow trout and I had spicy grilled catfish.  We had steak fries and I had fried okra & Karra had healthy fruit.  And then we had apple dumpling ala mode with carmel pecan sauce. OH MY WORD!  We ate ourselves silly – and it was sooooo good!!!!  The nice gentleman at the next table tried to steal a bite (something my Dad would so do) and his wife had to chastise him.  I just laughed.  He was impressed that we demolished that dessert.  I HIGHLY recommend it – even after fish, fries & fried okra.  So, we walked around and looked at the gift shop for about 10 minutes then headed home.

5 minutes down the road – “Oh, this is bad.”

“What?  Are you sick?”

“I have to go the bathroom!!”

“Why didn’t you go before we left?  We walked around for 10 minutes and I used the restroom again.”

“I didn’t have to go.  I went before dessert.  Oh, this is bad!”

“I wonder where all of those potholes are we passed on the way up.”

“NO!  DON’T.  I’ll explode like the Indian Ocean!”

So, she tries to distract herself reading the information we gathered at the university visit and she’s reading the summer rec center information and you can rent kayaks and equipment for the weekend.  Hey, when the cousins come next week and we go kiyakaking  – and off we go into gales of laughter that didn’t help the girl with the Indian Ocean in her bladder.  Hehehehe.  And then we got stuck in 15 miles of construction that slowed us down and made it even worse and we’re coming up on our exit and she starts begging, “Mommy, please, please, stop!”  Feigning reluctance I turn off and pull into the BP station which she recognizes as a drop off point to meet the church van on it’s way to Elkhart.  I told her it was on the way so it was no big deal.  I Am So Awful!!!!

I have really enjoyed our visits to different colleges and the bonding time with my oldest child.  We don’t necessarily bond over food, but today was extremely enjoyable.  We’ve had such good laughs and been able to really talk about things we wouldn’t talk about at home.  She really is a level headed kid and she’s going to do very well at college.

And That was a Homeschool Adventure off the Hobby Farm.