Tuesday, August 4, 2015

It's Always Something

Checking the garden every day for ripe veggies or fruit has become a chore, forget about weeding I am long past having the time or energy for that!!
 Baking little treats for a care package to send to hubby as often as I can find the time is not just a chore it has been emotional knowing how much he is HATING being away from home
 Tracking BP and Blood sugar several times a day, recording the levels and my diet is a new chore I am not enjoying!!!! Normally I love to learn new skills, finding new ways for our family to separate ourselves from all the nasty stuff the world is so full of these days...its just another chore :)

Thankfully our family physicians are great cheer leaders in my quest for natural health and wellness, otherwise I think I would just throw in the towel and opt for yet another pill or two
 I won't put off enjoying special simple things with the grands no matter how weary I am some days.
 Keeping up with Tater Tot, oh my!!! It's exhausting, fun, physical, and precious. I don't want this time to be a chore!!!!!
 A week at the beach with a family the size of ours takes a whole lot of energy. Keeping the costs within our budget, planning meals, activities for possible rainy days, packing linens, pots and pans large enough to feed a crew, not to mention all the beach gear...enough said :)
 Watching the older kiddo's teach the babies the tricks of the trade when it comes to beach play...priceless
 Due to one of my reformulated meds I can no longer spend much time in the full sun, grrrrr but in the evening....OH YA. Our little girls had a blast dancing away
 They danced and pranced by the moon light stopping only for a sprinkling of Nanny's Fairy dust now and then.

That was the good stuff

The bad. Lord have Mercy!!!!

 Eight of the 11 of us came down with the Noro-Virus. Can we say NIGHTMARE. For the first time in I don't know how many years we didn't have washing machines. The big kids had to make daily trips to a laundry mate to disinfect linens, clothes, towels, you name it the little kids hit it if you get my drift :)

Somehow some way I was one of the lucky ones that stayed health. My job was to be the store runner for liquids, OTC meds, at one point I felt so bad for the big kids I bought new undies for all of the grands so the Mommies and Daddies had a few more back ups.
 The theme for my life this year seems to be if it can happen it will happen. If it can go wrong you can bet your sweet (insert whatever bad word) it will.

 Must Do's, need To' Do's, reminder notes or phone numbers, general lists of whatever are scattered here, there, everywhere. There are so many balls in the air most days I don't know which way to turn.

 This is so NOT ME!!!! Not only is this not me, it's not working for me.

I can go by the seat of my pants for awhile, but not on a daily bases. I need to get a GRIP!!!
I am a firm believer, always have been that cute counts. A budget counts too, but at some point the budget has to take a back seat to sanity and cuteness.

This morning I drug my overwhelmed slow moving rump out of the bed for some retail therapy. Maybe a new planner to at least store all that jumble of mess will help. It needed to be cute as well as functional, if I could find it on sale all the better. If not....hells bells it's cheaper than a trip to the funny farm. (maybe)

I went with Becky Higgins Project Life Planner. I am using one of these planners for our Essential Oil journey with great results.

Cute - Oh Yes!!
Functional -Yep, by purchasing individual components/kits that work for me to add to the planner
Price - Debatable, I bought my first one to try out when Hobby Lobby was running a sale so the price was pretty good.

Today...Nothing was on sale, refer back to this years motto :)

Did I print a 40% off coupon before I left home, of course not

AHHH, but I did have a brand spanking new smart phone (don't ask)  that I have seen ladies use to pull up the coupon. Bingo!!!

Did I know how to use fancy new phone for the coupon? What do you think?

Everyone in the world knows how to use all these new phone I will just be bold (or stupid) and admit to the clerk my dilemma.

As I was checking out I explained to the lady I had forgotten to print a coupon but that I did have a super cute (It matters) new phone. She smiled and said that will work, YAAAA

I then handed her the phone.
Her - I don't even know how to turn it on, I have a flip phone
Me - Me too until yesterday. I don't know how to use it but I do know it will do lots of stuff.
Her - She ask one of the other clerks for help. Turns out she too had a flip phone. Just my observation but it seems like the over 50 crowd work in the mornings. They are my kinda people

End results - They ask the manager for a code to get the coupon, the manager was more than happy to help out. I save $20.00

More importantly their customer service made my day, really it made my week :) Their kindness, time, and energy, was just what my stressed out self needed.  Thank you Hobby Lobby, your always my first choice in all things crafty, home related, party supply go to store.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Some Just Like it Simple

 Kara and I had a play date yesterday. Since Tater Tot has joined the family Kara and I don't have as much time to do the things we use to do. We wouldn't trade Blake for anything in the world but babies do wreak havoc on every day doings :).

First on our list of activities was to find a bathing suit or two for our upcoming beach trip for the wild child. Waiting so late in the season is a good time to get in on some great sales but the pickins are not great!!

 Kara got to choose where we would go out for lunch, she wanted beans and squashed potato's (mashed), works for me :)

The big event was an afternoon movie, her VERY first!! Kara is so full of energy that she doesn't even watch a full 30 minutes of cartoons, the exception being "Caillou" sometimes. I wasn't sure how it would go....

First stop the concession stand. I knew popcorn was out as she hates that it gets stuck in her teeth, she is not big on candy but she has discovered soda in the past few months, grrrr. She decided on water and carrots, figures...she is always surprising us in what she does or asks for. OK, they had water but no carrots...I remembered I had a baggie of almonds in my purse for emergency snacks for myself. Thankfully she was all in for that snack. I'm telling you this kid eats the oddest things

She sat quietly, minded her manners, even moved over closer to me for some cuddles. An hour into the what I thought was one of the most boring movies ever she ask if we could go home.  Are you sure? Yes, she wanted to work in the garden. Heck ya!!!! We are so outta here!!
 For whatever reason the middle of the kitchen table is where she likes to enjoy her treasures. Who cares...my motto is pick your battles, is this the mountain I want to climb? NOPE!! :)  How many kidletts do you know LOVE bell peppers? She likes them raw, no dip or sauce, just cut up and served.
 OK, so this photo is a little gross....Who but a child doesnt' mind having straight from the garden tomato juice and seeds running down their chin and neck? My adult taste leans more to a fresh tomato sandwich!!
 Washing the veggies is a favorite for all the grands, really any reason to play in the water is a good time. I was shocked to see her lining up the tomatoes in the window after she finished washing them. It's one of my favorite sights in the summer :) Be still my heart
 Before the day was done she wanted to pick some peaches to take home for Daddy. Aww. We didn't make a dent in our overloaded peach crop this year. Once again notice where she is setting? In the middle of the kitchen table :) After deciding each and ever peach was the "Bestest one eber" it was time to wash them off.
Kara works every job/task with flourish. With her hair flying it didn't take us long to get the peach washing complete!!

We finished our Play day off by eating all of the cucumbers we "Founded"  Our Kara likes the simple stuff in life.

Having all of the grands together in one place is a hoot!! They remind me of a litter of puppies romping and rolling around., so cute. I must admit other times its more like a riot, punches being throw, emotions on edge, everybody wants to win at any cost!

Having them all alone, just one on one, Nanny and me time....it's so sweet. They get to be the star, no need to share, no need to compromise, they aren't just one of the gang. It's such a special time, so much sweetness, my heart swells with love.

Yep, I like it simple

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Goal for the Week

 I have been trying to work a bit on the grands playroom this week. With the kiddo's ages ranging from 1 year to 8 years there are just SOOOOO many toys. Right now I have been concentrating on the little girls treasures. A few repair's were in order, their doll stroller being one. During their toddler years they had loaded way too many items in the stroller, sometimes the item was themselves. The wear and tear  had taken it's toll on the fabric. I spent yesterday taking the torn components off to do some sewing. It's back in working order for now with hopes that Tater Tot will keep his chunky rump out of it.
 Our peaches are ripe for the picking this week. Most of the peaches are no bigger than a plum a few others are normal size. The trees are LOADED but due to the tiny size of the peach's they are good for nothing more than snacking. Friends, family, and neighbors will soon be running the other way when they see me coming knowing I have a bag of peach's to unload on them :)
 The other little project of the week has been printing photo's from our trip to the NW last month. One of the many treasures we saw along the way were barns like this one. I LOVE them!!! I seem to have a thing for barns, old, new, falling down, or brand spanking new, I get giddy looking at them.
There were so many barns like this one along the road. I have no idea why they are shaped like this but I intend on finding out today from Hubby's family :) Hubby still has it in his head that he needs some land to ride around on the tractor he thinks he must have, Sigh. After seeing these sweet barns I made the mistake of saying I think I could live out in the country if I had something like this to live in part time. Man oh man don't you know he jumped on that comment!!!

I have been feeling like a lazy bum since hubby is again out of town. My get up and go has got up and gone. It always takes some time to adjust to living alone again, reentry is also a challenge when he returns home :)

I needed a project. Nothing too big, nothing too physical, and nothing that requires I spend time in this oppressive heat. After chasing Tater Tot around last weekend, keeping him from climbing on anything and everything and watching him like a hawk that he doesn't put any of the little girls treasures in his mouth I thought tackling the play room might be a good place to concentrate.

The little girls still love their babies the best but they have branched out this past year to doll houses,  Barbies, and little animals, all of which come with lots of tiny little things. Keeping Tater Tot from ingesting all those accessories has become a real pain in the....and back!!! I am sorting, sorting some more, and trying to place things in containers that are toddler proof but child friendly, no easy task. But it is mindless work that is keeping me busy and possibly will make my life a little easier.

Poor little Tater Tot is going to start thinking his name is "No Blake Robert" Have you every had they joy of hearing 4 and 5 year old girls squealing at the top of their collective lungs "No Blake Robert", or "Nanny, Blake has my shoes"  (Barbie shoes, yikes!!) This is my take it easy but move forward goal for the week :)

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Natural Mopping

 This week I wanted to branch out a bit using my Essential Oils. Not sure mopping the floors is much a funk lifter but you just never know until you try right?
 I wanted to use a citrus oil...Lemon, Jade lemon, maybe orange but they will break down plastics. Since I wanted to save money and I like the convenience of the store bought brands container I went with Lavender and Purification. If my research is correct these oils should be fine in the plastic container....Time will tell.
 When I mixed up the potion the oils were just floating on top, of course I knew oils and water don't mix, duh. I gave the mixing bowl a good squirt of witch hazel then mixed again. It helped break up the oils so they blended in much better, not perfect but better for sure. I quickly poured the potion on top of my already prepared cloths. Recipe at the end of this post.
 Now for the big event. Will this really work?
 So far so good!!! Here is the extra saving bonus. Once the cloth was nice and dirty. Not sure nice should go with dirty but...whatever :) I just removed the cloth and flipped it over to the clean side. off I went again.
The results....Prof is in the pudding!!! The floors are nice and clean, no nasty chemicals, they are disinfected , and no cloudy film!!! The hardwood is nice and shinny as it should be.

I might just have a winner on my hands :)

 I mop, I mop a lot, I mop up some pretty sticky stuff, I mop up some unknown substances, our floors get nasty, they get nasty fast.

I have lot of kiddo's on my hands some days. Much of their playing happens on the kitchen floor...trucks, Barbies, bowling, and all that jazz. Yep I mop a lot!!!

I the cost of disposable mop cloths are not cheap, they are full of things I can't pronounce, it takes between 4 and 5 of the disposable nasty things to do just the kitchen, that's not counting the breakfast room.

Over the years hubby and I have installed hardwood floors in the majority of our home. A few years back we sprung to have the Living Room done by Pros. Worth every penny I must say. We have lots of hardwood, that equals the use of lots of disposable clothes.

Today I use 3 DYI clothes for the Kitchen and Breakfast room floors that was all that was needed!!! I did flip each of them over to use the back side, something you can't do with the disposable ones. The cloths didn't leave the floors "wet" as the disposable cloths did in the past. That always worried me a bit. There was no film once the floors were dry as there was with the disposable ones. I didn't need a mop and bucket and I sure as heck don't intend to be on my hands and knees mopping.

So here is the recipe

Empty disposable mop head container
8 cheap as dirt wash clothes - I bought a bundle of 12 from wally world, under $4.00
1 1/2 Cups water
3/4 Cup white vinegar
5 Drops Lavender Essential Oil
5 Drops Purification Essential Oil

First fold the wash clothes the same way in the container as the disposable clothes are done.

Next mix up the potion, I always use a glass bowl for mixing when using essential oils.

Pour the potion slowly over the washcloths. I let mine sit for a bit then flipped the closed container over to make sure all of the cloths were wet.

I only made 8 clothes for now as I was not sure how many I would use nor how fast I would use them. I'm not sure how long or how well they will store. Since there are no preservatives in the potion I will keep and eye on them to watch for mildew and a possible sour smell.

Why the oils?
Lavender has 101 uses!!!! Besides smelling good it is also and antiseptic.
Purification is a blend of essential oils made by Young Living. It disinfects, cleans, and deodorizes. lots of other good uses as well.
Adding the oils to the potion not only cleans up some of the nasty germs left by the rug rats, it also helps cover up the odor of the vinegar.

I will keep you updated on the shelf life of my new cleaning tool :) I should also add it is good for the environment :) no more disposable cloths in the dump. I must admit that is not my primary reason for this DIY...I want clean safe floors for the grands, and I want to do it on the cheap :)

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Catch up Time Again

 Busy Girl Kara turned 5 years old Thursday. To celebrate her special day we had some "Girl Time" The little girls are all about "Girl Time" these days
We started the day with Mani and Pedi's
 They were looking and feeling very girlie after some pampering
 Next on our list was a "Ladies Lunch" Kara thinks Karsyn is a hoot when she gets all "Girlie"
 I have been in a funk for over a week :( That old grey cloud lifted just a little when this box showed up on the door step today.
DD#1 and I are going to branch out a bit this summer by making some cleaning products for around the house. I needed to get stocked up of a few things for that adventure.
Finally some of the kid blends were in stock!!!! I have been trying for months to get some!! This one will come in handy for sure "Sniffle Ease"
and "Tummy Gize" We are all set for whatever nasty stuff the grands drag home with them
Due to the size of this months order I earned 2 new to me oils "Aroma Siez"
And "Ravintsara"
Here is the cause of the funk I can't seem to shake. Hubby is back in the field after just 2 days home from vacation, UGHHHH. He sent this photo of a recent dust storm.
Just when we get settled into a normal routine it never fails, hubby gets called out :(  You would think after all these years I would handle it better but I seem to be getting more and more frustrated as the years go by. Having to travel hundreds of miles from home for months at a time STINKS!!!! I hate it for him, I hate it for me, I hate it for the family!!!!! He is just a few more years from retirement but continually being pulled away from his family makes early retirement a real possibility. The thought of that also brings with it a whole lot of stress. Are we ready yet? Have we saved enough yet? What about health care? What the heck will he do with himself all day? Its hard to keep life in balance when we never know what tomorrow will bring.
I feel guilty when the man is gone :( I have the pleasure of being in the home he has worked so hard for. I get to be with our big and little kiddo's while he is stuck in motels watching stupid TV. I get to participate in all the big and little celebrations and adventures he has to miss out on. I am in a funk this time for sure!!!
Today I have to step up. I'm not ready to kick up my heels just yet but I really need to focus on something that gets my motor going again :) Not sure what it will be yet other than mopping the kitchen floor the little kids have done a number on!
What activity do you do to chase the funk away?

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th of July

 So enjoyed spending the morning with our bunch of Firecracker's
 It was a beautiful morning for a parade
 This was Tater Tot's first year to participate in the parade. Needless to say he enjoyed the festivities :)
 A shot from the car window as hubby and I traveled to his family reunion. Way off in the distance you could see a family farm. What a beautiful country we live in. God Bless America.
 Hubby's retirement dream :)
After a WONDERFUL time with most of hubby's family we hit the road even farther north to Wisconsin for a short visit with one of his Aunts. Check out this hanging basket at one of the restaurants we ate at. A huge basket of lovely!!!!

Finally after over a week of whirlwind activities I have a few hours of quite time before an evening with the big and little kiddo's for a cookout and fireworks. I think I might just have a few days of R & R coming up :) I'm getting a little excited with the thought of a few days of NOTHING that must be done!!!!

Hubby and I had the best time traveling to Illinois for his family reunion. To insure this almost 40 years of marital bliss continues, I packed a nice picnic basket of hubby's favorite snacks as well as an 18 hour book on tape knowing we had a VERY long two days of travel. We love books on tape when we have a big road trip, the hours and miles just fly by :) 

To say the family reunion was perfect would be an understatement. Other than the COLD weather it was 3 days of wonderful. We had lots of time to visit and reconnect with everyone. The motel made sure to put all of us long distance cousins on the same floor so we could visit from room to room and enjoy breakfast and coffee each morning. Sharing a meal with the family at a great restaurant our first night in town followed by desert at one of his cousins....yummy in so many ways.

An all day picnic with the gang was over the top fun. So blessed that his family opened their homes to host such a special day for all of us.

As it seems to always go as soon as we pulled into our driveway hubby's job threw a monkey wrench into our summer. More on that in tomorrows post.

It's time to load up my side dishes for this evenings cookout. Looking forward to yet a few more hours of family time to celebrate the 4th. The SIL's will be riding the grill this evening, LOVE that!!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

What the Heck Have I been doing?

 On of the biggest things that has finally been knocked off my To Do list (for now) was to finish up with all the poking, probing, and tests the Dr's. had ordered. So I have this pile of machines I have to take with me wherever I go and record whatever my body is doing, grrr Seeing how's we are going on a quick trip and the fact that I think I deserve a special treat for all the not so fun testing over the past two weeks, I bought myself a new bag :) Everything fits perfectly inside and its really cute, so much better than the yucky bags they all came in!!
 I was also SUPER busy helping DD#1 host her first ever essential oils workshop. There were bags to make, recipe cards, labels for the bottles, the bottles themselves, the list was LONG.
 In and out of soooo many stores finding cute useful things her ladies would need when they started mixing their lotions and potions.
 All that running around in this HEAT!!!!! UGHHHH
She had her workshop last night with 9 ladies. Everything was perfect :) The ladies all had a blast and are looking forward to her next workshop. Seeing as how one of the BIG no no's for me is being around too many different opened essentical oils at one time I spent the evening sitting on her back porch. Nothing like being the yard dog in 100 degree temps. Oh what we do for our kiddo's but it was worth it.
 I between all the ripping, running, and creating I finally finished the second quilt I HAD to have completed today. After a spin in the washer and dryer all that was left to do is look for tiny loose threads.
 It's so soft an cuddly. If it wasn't over 100 degrees I might just break it in with a early evening nap
 This is as close as this finished quilt is going to get to the clothesline. Honey its HOT outside!!!
That's the Good, the Bad, and now for the Ugly. I spent most of the day Sunday getting fruits, veggies and such cut up. Made a few picnic sorta sides as well. One of the main sides our SIL's and hubby wanted for Fathers Day was a pan of cheesy potatoes. Just as they gang arrived the timer went off on the oven, perfect. I turned the oven off but left the potato's inside so they would be nice and warm when dinner hit the table.
As hubby and I were kicked back in our chairs enjoying the peace and quite after all the big and little kids left I remembered that stinkin pan of potato's was untouched still sitting in the oven!!!!

A mind is a terrible thing to lose :)

Today was one of those days. Not one single thing went right. Of course this only happens when you have no time to spare :( Rather than give up I just dug in and carried on. Hubby and I are on the road in the AM before the sun comes up to visit his family in IL. So excited to see everyone we are so far from.
Looking forward to an uneventful trip!!!