Friday, April 30, 2010

Finally! The end of April!

Today is the first day in a long while that I have had a chance to sit down and write. My class for April finished yesterday and I submitted the grades last night.  Whiteybare also moved in officially this week, so that has added to the busy schedule of the household. But, I now have a 3 day break before my May class begins. Whatever shall I do with all this spare time.

Well, today I made strawberry-blueberry muffins for breakfast.  Admittedly, they came from a mix, but Little Guy doesn't seem to mind too much.  I'm looking forward to making actual strawberry muffins when our strawberries start producing this year.  Provided, of course, that we get to them before the animals do.  I also have plans for an Italian Beef pizza at some point, on homemade pizza dough. 

The dough would obviously be made in our breadmaker (which has been a gift from the gods).  And requires the leftovers from the Crockpot Italian beef Sandwiches I made this week. (Thanks to!)  I had plans to do this whole homemade dinner thing, but our kitchen is a mess and I can't stand working in it.  There isn't enough room or clean dishes, and I end up getting all tense inside.  It's generally  Big Guy's job to do the dishes but, like everything else, dishes fell to the wayside with all the other chores. 

I am also going to work on the calendar and family room today and start getting our schedule back on track.  I want to get this place back to a point where I don't want to set it on fire and run screaming into the night.  Though, with a 4 year old hurricane running through the house, that may NEVER happen. I need to get done what I can today.

This weekend we're going out of town, though things aren't going to be nearly as pressed as I thought they were. Saturday we're heading up to Holland, MI to see my sister-in-law.  Sunday is NOT Mother's Day.  I say that only because I trule thought it was for the past month.  It's a welcome surprise though because now I'm not trying to figure out how to fit everything in. 

Monday starts my May class and I am teaching Fundamentals of English again.  It will give me a good ten minutes at the end of class to write something while the class does their freewriting, so I hope to get back on the blogging track as well!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Weekend's end with guns and bread

I love weekends with my family.  This weekend has been an excellent weekend in terms of recharging the batteries.  We've been clearing out space for Whiteybare which required  moving much of Little Guy's stuff into his room.  We moved his car table which holds his collection of Hot wheels and his train set into his bedroom.  We also moved the TV and PS2 into his bedroom.  I'm feeling kind of torn about that one.

On the one hand, we are now one of "those" parents.  The ones whose four-year-old has a TV and PS2 in his bedroom.  On the other hand, this effectively limits what he can watch.  When the TV was in the front room, it was hooked up to cable and Little Guy discovered Cartoon Network.  I wasn't too thrilled with him watching it since I prefer that he watch good programming.  I became even less pleased when this new programming he had discovered led to him actually punching people and laughing about it.  That was a swift trip to no TV for a while.  However, now that he has the TV in his room, it's not connected to the cable and I know exactly what he can watch. 

But moving the rooms around wasn't the only thing we did this weekend.  We also picked up our Mosin Nagant rifle from the gun store.  Big Guy and I spent the evening yesterday cleaning it off, wiping it down, and learning how it works.  It's a beautiful bolt-action rifle that we've polished and cleaned up nicely.  We're looking forward to target practice out at my mom's place and maybe even hunting.  We were talking about how great it would be to have a Thanksgiving turkey that we just caught ourselves.  Yum!  Needless to say, it was pretty cool getting a gun made in the 1930's all cleaned up.  Big Guy and I Were talking about how cool it would be to find out the history of our gun in particular, but I wouldn't even know where to begin. 

This morning we woke up too late for "church", so I made coffee and waffles instead.  I added powdered sugar and vanilla and made a large batch of waffles.  Little Guy ate about 5 waffles and Big Guy and I decided we could not find better waffles even in a pancake place.   I put the pack of uneaten waffles in a ziplock bag in the freezer.  It will make a great breakfast throughout the week.  This evening, I even dug out an old jar of strawberry jam that hadn't set to use in bread. 

We got a breadmaker off of Cheapcycle for $25 and have definitely gotten our money's worth.  We've made loaf upon loaf of bread, spending only the money needed for the flour and the sugar.  It's been working out extremely well.  Currently, I have the batch of bread with strawberry jam in the breadmaker in an effort to produce a good breakfast bread. This will leave our day-to-day bread free for sandwiches and give us a good, hearty fruit bread for breakfast.  I have plans for cherry bread and perhaps even berry bread.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wanting to go from Urban Homestead to Homestead

Economic times have become dark indeed, and desperate times, as they say, call for desperate measures.  When Whiteybare (as he wants to be called) showed up at our house and told us that he was losing his home, Big Guy and I didn't even flinch.  Our natural inclination was to say: "Stay here, we'll make room for you."  From there, we discussed our own burgeoning unhappiness with the community we live in.  So we decided that the group of us would get our own place and we'd do the hippie thing, grow our own food and work together, become a truly extended family. 

After that, we thought we might be able to do this with a few more friends, but the planning just didn't work out for a variety of reasons.  But, in the past 2 weeks, we've done pretty much nothing but look at houses and try to find good spaces on craigslist.  It's been frustrating to say the least.  But, even after the fall of the initial commune plan, we're still going to go ahead and try to form a mini commune.  We also have more time adn a wider variety of places to choose from, even if we're renting and not buying. 

Honestly, I recognize that what I am looking for is probably out of our reach, but it doesn't stop me from wanting better.  The goal is a house in the country with a big yard for gardening, a fireplace, and room enough to raise animals.  I guess you can take the girl out of the country but you can't take the country out of the girl.  So, right now we're looking for a place to rent that's "good enough", or a house on Land Contract that suits our needs and our wants. 

With Whiteybare moving in, we have someone who agrees with and understands our desire to find a country place, so this partnership should work very well.  He gets a place to live, and we all get an extended family with the same values and desires.  In addition to that, Big Guy has picked up a rifle and we're going to look into going deer hunting this year.  It's exciting, the little steps we're taking.  I just wish we could take the big step and get a place of our own. 

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Celebration, EC droppers, and the end of Spring Break

I hope everyone had an amazing and peaceful holiday! We handled it pretty well. We woke up, woke little guy up, and enjoyed the fun seeing what the Easter Bunny brought him. We also discovered the bunny had hidden candy-filled eggs around our yard. Little Guy thought this was awesome. We went over to my in-laws house for a brief visit before we went over to my mom's house and discovered the Easter Bunny had indeed been busy. Little Guy got another basket and another chocolate bunny!

When we went to my mom's house, Little Guy wanted to go out right away and feed the chickens, ducks and the goat. He chased after Mocha the goat with a handful of hay, desperate to get close enough to touch her. However, unbeknownst to the rest of us, there was an attack rooster on the prowl. While he was chasing after Mocha the goat, Little Guy tripped and fell. The "Bad Rooster" was on him in a flash, pecking and scratching at him. We rescued the screaming boy and carried him up to the house. On the way there, I decided it would be a good plan to get him to feed and interact with Good Chicken so that Little Guy didn't develop an irrational fear of them. We got him a cup of food and while he fed the chickens on the deck, Big Guy, my mom, and I used sticks and a bat to keep the bad rooster at bay. It worked too. By the end of the visit, not only was Little Guy not afraid of the chickens, he was also chasing the bad rooster with a stick telling me he had to "whack dat bad rooster". That's my boy. Once the fear is over, it's time for vengeance and retribution.

Tonight begins my class schedule again. I feel like I'm almost totally unprepared, but that's nothing new. The beginning of the month always makes me feel that way. I'm teaching a Comp II class this month which means a great deal of paper writing and grading involvement. However there are other events which shall prove, at the very least, interesting. It's enough to be a blog entry in and of itself.

In the meantime, Top 5 EntreCard Droppers for March are:

Dave Lucas
The Third Uncle
Orient Lodge
Computer Aid