Saturday, April 30, 2011

Yard Sales!

I used to go to yard sales every weekend. I always had fun. Some weeks I came home with nothing.  But it was still fun to go and look. I stopped going a while back since most Saturday mornings were spent working Real Estate.  I have been meaning to start going again but just never got a round to it.  I have been to a few every now and then but not every week like I used to.

This morning Jennifer, Caitie and I went to a community yard sale and had a ball. I bought stuff I wouldn't normally buy. I think it was just the giddiness of being back at it.  Regardless it was a great way to spend a Saturday morning!  As a friend said early ... cheap retail therapy!

Here are some things I bought:

  • A clarinet
  • 27 kids books on tape
  • 2 coffee cups
  • A zip lock bag full of wooden beads
  • Recipe cards
  • 2 Calender making kits
  • A small stack of books
  • A wooden necklace supposedly from Costa Rica
  • Sunglasses for Caitie
  • A cheetah print reading pillow for Caitie

I am sure I bought more stuff but that is all I remember.


Friday, April 29, 2011

2000 Daffodils and Jambalaya

Okay here it is Thankful Thursday.  First I have to confess that my list in my journal falls a little short this week. I  lost my journal for a couple days and couldn't find it anywhere. Finally I found it of all places under the couch. Why it was there I have no idea but it did set me back a few days.  So I am very thankful I found my journal LOL. I will put a short list at the bottom of things I wrote in my journal this week, but I had a special experience this week that I am so thankful for I just have to blog about it.

I have a friend here whose son was getting married last Saturday.  Things got a bit complicated with the schedule because it was Easter weekend.  They were having the rehearsal on Good Friday and the wedding on Saturday right after the church Easter egg hunt.  Then the Sanctuary had to be ready for Easter Sunday service.  It may seem like a crazy thing to do but when you are in the military and stationed overseas you use what time you have.

I have talked about my Friday morning coffee ladies. Well she is one of them and we all agreed to help in whatever way we could. There was a lot of family in from out of town and they needed places to stay. No problem the coffee ladies have plenty of room. Favors need to be put together for the wedding ahead of time. No problem bring them to coffee and we will put them together. Can't have the rehearsal dinner at the church because it is Good Friday. No problem one of the coffee ladies has a house big enough to accommodate.  It was amazing to see the planning come together for this woman we all love as she tried to put together a special day for the son she loves.  She was doing more than normal because the couple weren't here and she was determined to make it as stress free as possible for her new daughter-in-law to be.

The rest of us agreed to be there for the rehearsal dinner to serve and clean up so the family wouldn't have to work but could enjoy being together as a family. The groom's father made Jambalaya to serve the guests. It was SOOO tasty.  As we dished up plate after plate I watched this family so full of excitement, joy, and Faith.  This wedding has been a long time coming and finally you could see their lives merging and the beginning of a new family.

The next morning we all gathered together to decorate the church. She had collected 2000 fresh daffodils. We sorted and cut and tossed and arranged. We stuffed and twisted and shaped. Vase after vase, beautiful flower arrangements came together. The bride's bouquet and her two brides maid's bouquets were made. Oh my, they were beautiful. Small arrangements hung on the end of the pews each lovingly made.  I have never been a part of something like this. I have never helped make a day as important to someone as a wedding day is to a bride come together.  It was a blessing to me. So first I will say I am so thankful that I got to be a part of it. It was fun and I enjoyed every single minute of it.

On a side note:

As we were getting it all together my friend was thanking us and made a comment about how other people pay so much money for a wedding that looks like this one did and one of the other ladies said "Yes but not everyone has the Starbucks Coffee Ladies". We all laughed and went on with our flower arranging.  But I have thought about that statement over and over and let me tell she was right. Not everyone is blessed enough to have friends like these in their lives and I am so so thankful I do.

No on to my list from my Thankfulness journal this week:

  • seeing Easter in a new way
  • sprouting plants
  • early mornings
  • fresh coffee
  • Dan's new job
  • me quitting
  • I found my journal!
Everyone have a fantastic thankful week!


Thursday, April 28, 2011

President Obama's Birth Certificate aka Oh My Goodness What is Wrong with You People!

Okay I fully intented to stay away from politics on this blog since my ideas are bizzare.  I tend to be physically conservative, socially liberal, and I HATE the idea of socialism.  For the most part I am all about personal responsiblily and personal freedom.

Anyway that said they finally released the long form copy of President Obama's birth certificate. Let me tell you what I think about that. So what? He was elected President (unfortunately in my opinion not that the republicans put up a very good alternative) and so he is our president.  I think we have bigger things to worry about after the fact then whether this newly released Birth Certificate is real or faked or is he or isn't he a US born citizen. Bigger things right now to worry about than if he is Muslim or did he go to a Muslim school or was it all a huge conspiracy to get him in office.  So here are the things I would like to see our government leaders focusing on instead of a piece of paper that may or may not have been faked (give me break).

In no particular order:

  • Gas prices nearing $4 dollars a gallon.
  • Unemployment Rates at 8.8%
  • Increase in the number of people visiting food banks for help by an average of roughly 50%
  • There were over 650,000 people reported to be homeless in this country as of 2009. and U.S. statistics show that 50% of former foster youth will be homeless during their first two years exiting foster care.
  • In 2010 there were over 450,000 children in foster care in the United States.
  • The child poverty rate in 2010 was 18.2%
  • I saw a thing the other day that said 50% of all Latino girls will be pregant before they graduate High School.
  • North Korea is working on a Nukes program.
  • More and more and more and more and more jobs and factories are being sent out of country.
  • The United States of America is principally a transit and destination country for trafficking in persons. It is estimated that 14,500 to 17,500 people, primarily women and children, are trafficked to the U.S. annually.
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), since 1973, over 45 million legal induced abortions have been performed in the United States (what could we do to reduce this number?)
  • The United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate in the industrialized world. According to, a site managed by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, states that there are "750,000 teen pregnancies annually. Eight in ten of these pregnancies are unintended and 81 percent are to unmarried teens."
  • In June 2010 the College Board report shows average increases of 6.5% for public in-state tuition
  • To date there have been 7202 Coalition Military Fatalities in Iraq and Afghanistan 6012 of which were US military.
I could go on and on and on but I think you get the point. I would welcome debate, arguement, discussion or solutions to any of these problems but for Heaven sake can we quit fighting over what doesn't matter at this point and just fix our country!  We are in trouble here!  It is time to move past whose fault it was (i know it was ALL Bush right) or if President Obama can legally be our President (they faked this new birth certificate didn't you know) and let's just find some solutions before it is too late.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Something new!

Okay so here is what is going on around here. Dan and I both quit our jobs yesterday.  Wow scary huh? Not as scary as it sounds. Dan is just changing jobs. He has been at his current job for 12 years. This is going to be a good  move for him. I am very excited for him and this chance he has to do something new.

I am going to stay home and try to get a jump on my school work. The plan is for me to stay home at least through the summer. And then we can reevaluate things and see if I will go to work or not or if will just keep working on school.  Now that said I will keep my eyes open and if a great opportunity comes along I will do it.

This is that summer here at our house. You know the one. Where the kids are too old for childcare but not really old enough for me to leave them here by themselves ALL day long.  It will mean a drastic change in what can and can't afford to do over the summer but I am excited about getting to hang out with them.

Other than the years when the kids were little I have had a job of some kind since I was 16. It is kind of weird to think of being without one even for a few months. I know I didn't "work" when the kids were small but they needed me all the time. I didn't have down time to fill. The kids do their own thing now and really just need an adult presence in the house.  I am not sure exactly what I will do with myself but I have enough plans to fill about 4 summers so we will see how I do.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lessons from the garden.

I am not sure why it is that some of my biggest revelations come in the garden. Maybe it is because the only sounds out there are natural sounds. I have tried to have "quiet time"  in the house with no electronics on. Then it is unnaturally quiet and I can't think  because I am distracted by the silence.   The garden is quiet but not silent. That is the only answer I have for why I can think clearly there.

I have decided that I will do a series on the things I learn from the garden.  Believe me when I say that God meets me there and this seems to be where I learn and grow along with the plants.

So today I am going to write about choices. We make choices all day everyday.  Sometimes it is choosing right over wrong. Sometimes it is choosing good over bad. Sometimes it is just this or that.  But sometimes to get a good end result we have to choose things we don't want.  Like to have a clean house we choose to stay home and do housework instead of going to lunch with a friend. (sorry Wild Rabbit I wanted to eat one of your delicious sandwiches today)

Anyone who gardens knows you have to control the weeds if you want a successful harvest. So here comes the first choice. To weed or not to weed. I don't want to. It isn't the fun part of gardening. But if I want the harvest I have to choose to weed.

Second choice. I can work in the garden in the afternoon when I have extra time in my day or I can  find another time to do it.  Sounds like a simple choice doesn't it. Nope! The one thing I dislike above all other things is to be hot. Summer is not my friend. If I do it when it is convienent then I will be hot. So.... find another time. When would that be. Well either early morning before the heat or in the evening after the heat.  Okay well I hate to get up in the morning so lets go with evening.  Anyone ever heard of no-see-ums? They are tiny little annoying gnats that come out at dusk. They bite. Especially in the hair line.  Remember when I said I dislike being hot above all other things? Well no-see-ums trump heat.  So now what?

Heat, no-see-ums, or getting up early. No good choice. But if I want a good harvest I must choose one of them. So I grudgingly choose early. I don't like it. I am not happy about it.

Yesterday was my first day of early. I went out and did some yard work. Came back in and it wasn't horrible. I went out today and realized how beautiful the morning was. I am up. Wide awake and ready to start my day. Who knew?

Plus how can it be a bad morning even if it is early when you see new beans sprouted and you get to come in with warm eggs!  What a great way to begin the day!


Monday, April 25, 2011

Memorable Moment Mondays {Barbie Doll Clothes}

Have you ever tried to make tiny clothes?  It is funny I have heard people in the store talking about baby clothes and they say "Why are baby clothes as expensive as adult clothes? They use so much less fabric".  Well I can tell you why it is because it is SOOOO much easier to sew larger clothes than small ones.  The same goes with furniture for doll houses. It is hard to make miniature things. So just imagine how much time my mom spent making my Barbie clothes.  My Barbie didn't have those mass produced clothes like everyone else had. Nope my Barbie had designer originals. Man what a pain that must have been.

I don't know if she made them because there weren't stores in our area that carried barbie clothes or because they were cheaper. My guess would be she made them because that is what she did. She made all her clothes.  She made all my clothes. So she made all my barbie clothes.  Maybe she just had lots of fabric scraps and wanted to use them.  But regardless of the reason I know it was a labor of love.  I tried it with regular doll clothes once and then headed out Walmart LOL.

So tell me Mom ..... Why did you make them.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

I just want to take a minute before we head off to church to say Happy Easter to all my friends and family.  I am so very blessed to have each and everyone of you in my life.

We are starting a new season here in the Girard house and I am so excited while nervous at the same time. There will be more details to follow as we have more details and more information is available for public knowledge.  Many of you know all about it as you have prayed us through the decision making process. Even small changes most people make easily are a major thing around here LOL.

For those who don't know I will probably blog all about it Monday or Tuesday. It isn't what any of you are thinking. Meaning:

*We aren't moving.
*We aren't adding anyone to our family in anyway.
*We aren't giving any kids away (any takers?).
*We aren't getting rid of my chickens.
*We aren't changing churches.
*I am not changing my college major again.
*I am not getting my goats :(    .... yet anyway I am still working on Dan LOL
*We aren't joining commune.
*We aren't going to star in a reality show.
*We aren't having any "real housewives of  ________" over for dinner.
*We are taking a trip to... well anywhere.

My point in all this being that after yesterday's blog about the importance of Easter A Day Late and a Dollar Short... because Easter is more Important than Christmas I can't think of a better time to be starting something new. So everyone go be with your family. Have a good time! Hunt eggs.  Eat ham. Do what ever it is that you do on Easter but above all else CELEBRATE! He is risen and because He is risen we are saved!  The cross is not about the pain and suffering. Not about the thorns and the nails. Yes they are a part of it but that is not what it is about.  What it is about is His blood shed for us so we may be saved and His Resurrection on the third day!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Day Late and a Dollar Short... Because Easter’s More Important than Christmas

I know I have been mentioning Ann Voskamp a lot lately. I am sure I will move on to other topics at some point but I just really really loved her book. I love the idea that our relationship with God is as simple (haha) as trusting in his sovereignty and being grateful for the life He has given us.

I read her blog most days and right now she is celebrating Easter. I don't mean they are planning an Easter Egg hunt and will be having a special meal on Sunday although from things she has said they are probably going to do those things. I mean she is CELEBRATING Easter. The way most of us celebrate Christmas.

I guess I had never really thought about it before. I mean Christmas is the "big" Christian holiday right? Then Easter right? Or is Thanksgiving second and Easter is third?  Thanksgiving is about being thankful and Christmas is Holy and Easter is... about spring and rebirth right? With a little Empty Tomb and Easter eggs tossed in.

I am embarrassed to say that I have never given Easter the place it deserves in my life.  We did the resurrection eggs with my kids when they were small and explained why we celebrate Easter. I didn't forget it was all about the Cross. I just never really thought about it as something to celebrate. I have always celebrated the time of year and the fun and the family and then been grateful we had this holiday because of the Cross.

I am not sure if I am making any sense here at all because it doesn't make sense to me now.  I am thinking how could the reason for the holiday not be the thing you celebrate on the holiday.  Then I think about all the time and effort and money spent to celebrate the birth of Christ. I do not have a single Easter decoration for my house. I have BINS of Christmas decorations. I spend weeks preparing for Christmas but barely even prepare for Easter. We might make cupcakes for tomorrow and if the kids were smaller I would hide some eggs we spent a couple hours coloring.  It is easy to see which holiday comes first for me.

I am not saying Christmas doesn't matter. It does! We should celebrate His birth. But what does His birth mean without His death and resurrection? 

So now for the day late and dollar short part. I found this link on Ann Voskamp's blog and I am actually closer to 16 days late because it is a 17 day devotion leading up to Easter. I didn't do it as a devotion but I read it and it blessed me so here is the link:

Free Easter Devotional with Eater Passion Tree {Because Easter's More Important than Christmas}


Friday, April 22, 2011

What is it about music?

If you were following my 30 days of Thankfulness posts then you know that I LOVE music.  My IPod is a bizarre collection of stuff that includes classical music, jazz, blues, lots of country, 80's music, rock, pop, grunge, a bit of heavy metal, praise and worship, and contemporary christian. Crazy isn't it but looking at my IPod is a bit like looking into my mind. There is an order to it but it is only visible to me.

I am having trouble with my IPod right now and have been without it for about 3 days. That got me to thinking about how much music means to me. I can't imagine a life without music. I think it is interesting because I have NO musical talent at all. I mean if you give me some sheet music and a clarinet I could probably play what ever was in front of me but I find no joy in making the music. It is a skill for me not a talent. I just want to listen! Okay and maybe sing as long as no one can hear me LOL.

So I was wondering what is it about music that moves us? I know of more than one church that has split over music. Parents and their kids have been fighting over what the kids are listening to for decades.  I am not sure why it is that music touches our soul the way it does.  I remember when I was taking an english class in college years ago the professor said that todays music is the poetry of our generation. 

What I do know is that I can use music to influence my mood. It motivates, encourages, and lifts my spirit. It also has the ability to depress me. I can use music to help pull myself out of a funk or a can use it to wallow a bit if I want. I even have a play list on my IPod called "weird mood".  That is for those days I feel like wallowing a bit.

I honestly don't know what it is about music that makes it more than some sound and some words but what I do know is there is something special about it. So here is a video for one of my old favorites Trisha Yearwood singing "The Song Remembers When"

and a new favorite Mathew West Singing "Strong Enough"


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bee Thankful

So I kinda miss my 30 days of Thankfulness. I am still doing it in my Thankfulness journal but that isn't the same because while I am thankful for these things I don't get to share them.  So I decided to do Thankful Thursdays.  So each Thursday I will pick a few things I wrote in my journal over the last week.  I won't list them all since I writing them down each day and it would be a pretty long list.

They are short and sweet with no explanation.  I hope you can figure out what they all mean but if not use your imagination LOL

♥Rainbows at just the right time.
♥Timothy being Timothy
♥Gardens Planted
♥Our generator
♥Little chicks surviving with no light
♥Blue and Green eggs
♥A new (to us) chair
♥Curious girls


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"No Hoochie clothes" aka "No you may not have pants that say "juicy" on the butt" aka "Your butt is not a billboard!"

This is something I have ranted and raved about for years. Ever since Timothy was in about 2nd grade and we went to PTA function as a family.  There was a little girl in front of us who was in the 5th grade. She had an absolutely perfect heart shaped rear end. Do I  know this because I typically look at 10 year old's rears? Of course not! I  know this because she had paw prints and a cute little saying on her rear practically screaming LOOK AT ME!

Then later that week we went to Busch Gardens and saw a girl in her teens walking around with a pair of shorts on that said Bootylicious.  At that moment I declared there would be no words on my daughter's behind.

It got worse as Caitie got older. I am a Walmart, Target, Kmart shopper. I don't do name brands or department stores. I least I didn't. Until I learned that if I didn't want my daughter to look like a skank at 10 years old I had to find another place to buy her clothes. At one point we bought her t shirts in the boys department so they would cover her belly.  Nothing but Hoochie clothes everywhere I looked. It has only gotten worse. I thank God for Justice because while the clothes may scream TWEEN  they cover her body.  They also cost more than Walmart.

Anyway the other day I read this article by LZ Granderson and it outraged me and tickled my funny bone as well. I like the way he writes and I like the way he thinks so check it out if you want. Just click the link below.
Parents, don't dress your girls like tramps!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

God's Grace

My friend Heather and I just finished reading "One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are" by Ann Voskamp.  There are so many things in this book that I would love to share with everyone. I highly recommend that EVERYONE read it. Which makes me think of Jon Acuff's blog post Not Knowing how to tell someone their favorite book didn't completely change your life too. and I hesitate to make such a statement because you could read it and hate it. LOL

That said, the book's message is weighing heavy on my heart right now.  We have had a rough weekend here in Gloucester.  This tornado took our community by surprise.  We don't have tornadoes here. We have hurricanes.  We are used to those.  They come with days of warning, evacuation orders, and time to prepare.  We have storms but nothing like what was here this weekend.   There was property lost, dreams lost, and more than that there were lives lost. 

There were also many close calls.  Our pastor's wife was sitting in a chair moments before it was demolished by debris from the house next door.  Some friends of ours huddled in another friends bathroom while the storm destroyed the house next door to them.  I am pretty sure my friend Melissa's house is the only house left standing on her road.  So I guess my question is why? Why was our house spared? Why Melissa's neighbors but not Melissa?  It seems so random. But if what I say I believe is true then God is in control and it isn't random at all. Okay but that doesn't seem to make sense either.

This is something Ann Voskamp talks about in her book.  Having faith when things aren't good.  Seeing God's grace when things are falling apart around you.  It is hard. She tells of a time when her son was injured in a farm accident.  While it was bad it wasn't as bad as it could be. 

 From the book:

As her son, Levi, comes home, he holds up his bandaged hand and Ann says, “But hey—he has a hand.” ...  “God’s grace.” her mother whispers. "God's grace".  She pats my shoulder and I feel her relief…and something dark…angry…ugly.  And a slippery question serpentines up me, nearly shakes my tongue with its words but I refuse it.  But the words still come quiet, hard and black, squeezing me tight.  And if his hand had been right sheered off?  What of God’s grace then?  Can I ask that question?

Being thankful. In this book she calls it "eucharisteo". Eucharisteo is drawn from Luke 22:19, And He took bread, gave thanks [eucharisteo] and broke it and gave it to them.” Eucharisteo, in the Greek language in which the New Testament was written, means “thanks.”  “Charis,” at the root of the word, means “grace,” and “charo” means “joy.”  Giving thanks. We talk about being thankful. But how are you thankful in the face of tragedy.  Ann Voskamp calls it "The hard eucharisteo" giving thanks to God when you are faced with trials.  When cancer comes. When car crashes come. When divorce comes. When abuse comes. When tornadoes come.

So  "What if my house or family weren't spared? What of God's grace then? Can I ask that question?


Monday, April 18, 2011

Mary Mary Quite Contrary

Mistress Mary, Quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With Silver Bells, And Cockle Shells,
And so my garden grows.

Since we had no power for a day after the tornado it was the perfect day to get our garden in.  Plus I checked the almanac and it said it was a good day :) no planting on a barren day or you will be sorry!

So anyway we put in pole beans, swiss chard, squash of many varieties. We also planted an herb garden. I am very excited about the garden this year.  I will keep everyone updated. I am hoping to have enough to either give a bunch away or to sell some at the local Farmers Market. I still have an entire section to plant. Not sure what all I am putting there. I am thinking either strawberries or sunflowers.

I am sure there will be pictures to follow. LOL


Memorable Moment Mondays

As I was listing the things I remembered the other day I got to thinking about how many wonderful memories I have. I had such a hard time choosing the ones to list. I decided that I wanted to list them.  I also figured no one wanted to read a 50 page blog of my childhood memories. So.... I decided on Memorable Moment Mondays. I am going to talk about one wonderful thing I remember every Monday. One wonderful thing that makes me smile ☺.

So this Monday I am going to choose one. It is the one that kept sneaking in when I was writing the other day but I couldn't find a way to make it fit with others.

I am not sure how old I was when Guy and Sue got married. I am going to take a guess and say right around 7.  Sue spent more time with us then most Aunts. It always seemed more like she was a sister than an Aunt. I loved to go spend time at the Farm after they got married. I had so much fun there and adored Guy.  Well one time we went out riding on his dirt bike/motorcycle thing. I honestly can't remember what kind of bike it was. We went out and jump hills on the bike. I LOVED it. It was so much fun.  I don't think I was even scared (at least not in my memory). I was so sure Guy wouldn't have done it if it wasn't safe. We did kinda slide and not quite land right once.  All I remember is Guy telling me not to tell my mom. LOL.

I have so many wonderful memories of the time I spent with them.  But I still don't like pigs.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Tornado? What tornado?

So yesterday the town I live in was hit really hard by a tornado. A tornado. In Gloucester. That is just so messed up.  I grew up in tornado alley.  I spent most of my life in cellars and having tornado drills in school. I thought that moving to Virginia I wouldn't have to deal with tornados. We have hurricanes but not tornados.

When this storm hit we were watching a movie we had recorded.  Then the power went out.  We were like great no power. We got a box of cards and Dan and Caitie were playing War. Then the phone rang. It was Marie wanting to know if we were okay.

"Are you okay, do you have any damage from the tornado?"

Tornado? What tornado? I can't believe a tornado came through and I didn't even hear it. The closest damage was about a mile down the road from my house. There have been 3 reported deaths. The damage is huge. One of the counties two middle schools is destroyed.

My heart breaks for the families who have been affected by this.  There are those who lost homes and property. Those who lost loved ones. Those who have lost their sense of security.

It was scary. That is for sure but we have one picture that says it all:

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Chickens in the bath tub.

We all have things that remind of us of our childhood.  Some of us are blessed enough to have most of those memories to be happy ones.  Most of the things that take me back the second I see them make me smile. 

When I hear Loretta Lynn or Chrystal Gayle I remember playing my mom's records.  When I see a station wagon I remember the one we had when I was kid. For some reason that always makes me think of bring pudgie our dog home from the pound. 

When I see big colorful bangle jewelry or big full green indoor plants I think of Aunt Neda and how I loved her house.  I will never see a make-up kit without thinking of Aunt Bonnie and the red lights on top of antennas and water towers remind me of Uncle Jerry telling me those were alien space ships. 

 I love rain gages because I remember helping my great grandfather put one up out by the clothes line. He died when I was 4 so that is the only memory I have of him.  And saltine crackers with peanut butter and white milk glass chickens with peppermint candy make me smile because I think of Grandma when I see or eat those.

I spent years collecting the glasses we had when I was little because everytime I drank out of them they made me happy.  I have so many things like that. I remember wrestling on the floor with my dad and the girl scout Jamboree with my mom. I remember when we moved to Quanah and my pretty pink rufflie flowery bedspread with my metal bed.  And telling Doug to go tell mom he was scared so I could sleep on his bunkbed cause I didn't want to seem like a baby and say I was.  I can close my eyes and tell you where everyone sat around Mamaw's table when we were all there.

In a lot of ways I have tried to recreate that with my own family.  Like my obsession with the green glasses I want to keep pieces of that childhood with me.   I am sure that is where my chickens and my garden come from.  I spent so much time every summer with Mamaw helping with the garden and the chickens.   Along with all that recreating there where I few things I said I wouldn't do.  I said NO pigs. I don't like pigs. No collections of things from the past piled in corners and covered with blankets. If I don't have room for it it needs a new home.

And straight up, under no circumstances, absolutely NO CHICKENS IN THE BATHUB!  One of the things I loved most about Mamaw's house was her clawfoot bathtub.  I loved to fill that thing up and soak! I can remember going to Mamaw's house it the spring and the tub was full of chicks. We would have to clean out the tub before I could use it.  When I decided to get chickens I said no chicks I only want layers because I don't want to deal with babies. I don't want chicks in my bathtub. Well I went to Tractor Supply yesterday and they had chicks. I caved. They are cute. The chirp and peep. It is adorable. I bought some. Couldn't help it. We got home and had to find a place for them to live until they are big enough to go outside in the pen.

What are we going to do with them?  We can't leave them in the tiny little box they came in while we construct a place. We can't just put them out in something they would be cat food. What can we do? "Put them in the bathtub", I said.  Oh My! Full circle I guess.

So here are the babies in there nice cozy plastic tub.   They are cute and the kids are loving having them.  The new plan with the cute little ones has been like a balm making us all feel better after losing all the others. I am happy to report they only spent about an hour or so in the bathtub.

They are so cute. If you look you can see a couple of them have marks on them. The marks are drops of food coloring so the kids can tell the ones they picked apart from the others.

We had to take the plastic tub we put them in and slide it into the dog crate so the cats couldn't get the chicks. Although the peeping drove the cats crazy at first they are just ignoring it now.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Almost Perfect Weather Days!

I am really a spring fall kinda gal.  Don't want too be to hot. Don't want to be too cold.  Today is almost a perfect weather day.  Perfect would be in the fall when the temperature is about the same but it has that crisp feeling that shouts cold is coming.  Spring has kind of a humid it is about to get hot feeling to it that causes it to be 1st runner up for the perfect day.

I have been at work most of the day and now I am heading out to do some work in our yard.  It is a disaster. Over the last week the grass (better known as weeds) have grown up like crazy. We have stuff sitting everywhere. Life has gotten busy and the yard work snuck up on me.  I am going to break it down into small jobs that I can do over the next week or so cause once it gets hot Dan is on his own.
I need to get some pretty hanging baskets for my porch. Weed my azaleas which are covered in buds.  Plant some herbs.  Mow the grass. Plant something in the hanging baskets out front. And haul off a TON of crap.   All before it gets too hot.

The trick to all of this is to manage to get the outside done without losing control of the inside.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Good Intentions aka Smiley Face Ballooons and Chocolate Covered Strawberries

I always have "good intentions". I am really a very thoughful person.  What I am not is a person of follow through. A friend recently shared something that difficult was going on in her life. Later that day I was at the store and saw a card that made me think of her. I bought the card. I bought a coffee cup with the "perfect" saying on it.I filled the cup with hershey's kisses (cause everything is made better with chocolate) and......... 

a week later it is still sitting on my counter to be dropped off.

Yesterday I was out looking for chickens. No luck by the way but I will find some.  When I got home there was a smiley face balloon and a container with a few chocolate covered strawberries in it.  It had a note attached that said "Just something to brighten your day".  Nothing big. Just a balloon and few strawberries. It made my day. Not because I love chocolate covered strawberries (but I do!) but because she went out of her way to lift my day.

We all know the old saying and where good intentions get you don't we?  I think instead of being a thoughtful person I will work on being an uplifting person.  And I think I will go deliver the cup of hershey's kisses.


Monday, April 11, 2011

The He-Man chicken haters club.

I have friends who have chickens and friends who are planning to have chickens but they are all women. I go to the chicken swap every time they have one and most of the shoppers and the sellers are women. Now don't get me wrong there are a few men but mostly... women.

Dan fought my urge for chickens for years. Eleven to be exact before he finally caved and helped me set up a coop.  One of the husbands at the swap on Saturday said to us "I am just here to build coops and haul cages if you try to talk chickens to me my eyes glaze over."  Dan and he talked a bit commiserating about their wife's chicken obsessions.

Now that all my chickens are gone I am on a chicken hunt. A friend who has chickens and an incubator has offered to try to hatch the eggs that I had collected the few days before the "great chicken catastrophe of spring 2011" as Caitie calls it.  We don't know if any will hatch as they weren't collected and tended as hatching eggs but we will see.  As she was setting up her incubators her husband walked in. She said he looked at her and said "What are you doing" She said "I am going to try to hatch 20 more eggs."  His response..."They better not be for us!"

I told Dan they should start a club for the husbands of the crazy chicken ladies of Gloucester.  He agreed and said they should call it the "He-Man Chicken Haters Club". Not that he really hates the chickens that just sounds catchier than the "My Wife is a Crazy Chicken Lady Club".


Sunday, April 10, 2011

My chickens :(

So sad to say that one of our dogs got in with our chickens and killed the whole flock. Ya'll know how I feel about my chickens. It was so horrible. I had just written "warm eggs" on my new thankulness list earlier yesterday.  I also wrote about my chickens on Day 9 of 30 Days of Thankfulness.

Now here I am trying to decide what to do about our dog who got out of our yard and killed all the chickens.  How to go about rebuilding the flock. It isn't cheap and I spent 30 dollars on new chickens yesterday just to bring them home to be dog food :(

I feel horrible. Actually a little bit sick about the whole thing. What a mess.  I am not feeling particularly thankful at this moment sooo

So in response here is a short list of things I am grateful for today:

*That it is a pretty day today.
*That the Kaya didn't get out.
*A fun evening with friends.
*The chicken community here in Gloucester: they are so kind and have already made suggestions where I can get more laying hens.
*That I didn't buy more chickens at the swap yesterday.
*That the ones I bought weren't too incredibly expensive.
*That the kids go back to school tomorrow.
*For Caitie while helping me choose the picture for todays blog "that one is sad but funny we need that today"


Friday, April 8, 2011

Tweens (ugh)

First let me say I hate that name. It makes me picture some kind of little kids cartoon character like a doodle bop or a teletubbie.  That said having an 11 year old girl I understand the need to call this no mans land age a name.  Just as teenagers they think they are grown and aren't, tweens think they are teens and aren't.

They aren't little kids that is for sure.  We have lost that somewhere along the way. Kids are growing up too fast.  Too old for toys but too young for make-up.  It is a hard age to be and a hard age to parent.  It is new territory for me. Girls are different from boys.  Don't get me wrong boys have their share of issues but the girls drama is insane!

So Caitie had spent the night at a friends house and was supposed to come home yesterday afternoon. I told her to call me AS SOON as they returned to the house so I could go get her. No call. No call. No call. A text message asking if she could stay another night I replied no but still no call.  Finally I hear from her at 8 pm. 

Come to find out they had been home for hours she and the friend decided if they waited until late enough to call me I wouldn't want to come and get her and she could stay another night.  I found this out too late and their plan had already worked.

Score one for Caitie.

Hope she enjoys it cause I am on to her now.


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Day 30 of 30 Days of Thankfulness (30 Days of Thankfulness)

Wow I can't believe it is done! All thirty days. And I finished it! That in itself is something I am thankful for. For finishing something. I am the worlds worst at unfinished projects.

This small little thing, this 30 days of looking for something to be thankful for, has turned into something bigger and I am so so thankful for that.  It has caused me to look at everyday things a little bit differently. I have always considered myself to be an optimistic person. But over this past month I have realized that optimism is about believing things will all work out in the future. And I do believe that. I believe in a God who works all things for good for those who love God (Romans 8:28). So how can I not be optimistic?  But what this showed me was that optimism isn't what brings joy.  Always thinking that eventually things will be good can cause you to overlook how good things are NOW. That is where joy comes from.  Joy comes from being thankful NOW!  That is what I want in my life. Not anticipation of future Joy (which I have) but Joy now, everyday in everything.

This little 30 day experiment hasn't gotten me there.  This is too big a change for that. Remember what I said about idea and not finishing things? That is all about finding Joy in what could be, not what is.  Wishing for something different. I am not saying that isn't okay. It is a part of myself I wouldn't want to get rid of.   But it is part of myself that needs to be tweaked a bit.  I need to remember to be thankful for NOW. For what I am doing NOW.  It's hard to be depressed when you are thankful. I am learning that also.

So this is only the beginning of this for me.  I am glad those of you who have read my blog started it out with me. I won't be subjecting you to my daily lists, although I am sure it will creep in on occasion.  So now I will dig around upstairs in my book shelves, pull out one of my many many gratitude journals... rename it a thankfulness journal (Don't ask me the difference or what it matters but to me gratitude is different from thankfulness. To me gratitude is on the surface and thankfulness is gratefulness from your soul.  I know, crazy, but that is the way it is in my mind.) and keep thinking of everyday things to be thankful for. I know not everyone is as blessed as I am so it is time I live like it.

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.  ~Thornton Wilder

Hem your blessings with thankfulness so they don't unravel.  ~Author Unknown


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Day 29 of 30 Days of Thankfulness (Dan)

Okay, I know I said I wasn't going to do the typical my friends, my family, my house kind of list that I was going to look for the less obvious thing I was thankful for.  But seriously did anyone who knows me really think I would get through 30 days of thankfulness and not mention Dan?

There is this blog that read everyday. It is called Stuff Christians Like and I think he is hilarious.  I know he isn't everyone cup of tea but he makes me laugh.  The other day he was posting a list of thoughts that had run through his head in about 5 minutes as he sat in an airplane.  It was crazy funny. I thought to myself that no one else's brain works that way.....except maybe mine.  Then at the end of the blog he said that when he told his wife what he had been thinking and she said "It must be exhausting to be you"  I laughed and laughed and then I thought wow John Accuff is married to a Dan.  That is just like something Dan would say.

I can't imagine what it is like to live with someone who is so ...... me.

I can't tell you how many times I have come up with a new plan or idea and Dan just goes with it.  He just rides the roller coaster till the end knowing I have either hit on the next big thing or I will get tired of the idea and move on.  He grounds me in a way that doesn't hold me down.

I know I get a little crazy sometimes.  I am just thankful Dan along for the ride with me.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Day 28 of 30 Days of Thankfulness (Seeing old things a new way)

I love the whole "repurposing" movement that is going on right now.  That probably isn't surprising considering how much I love thrift stores and yard sales. I mean if I had to pick one thing I like most about no longer selling real estate it is having my  Saturday mornings free for yard sales again. But the whole recycle repurpose thing has taken on a life of it's own. There are shows on HGTV and DIY about repurposing. (notice how they had to give it a cool name.... repurposing sounds great doesn't it). 

My problem is I am crafty but not creative. There is a HUGE difference. I am good at making things but not so good with coming up with the ideas for the things.  I struggle to see things in a new way.  An old window is just an old window to me until I see something cool done with it. That is why I love craft classes and magazines and those HGTV shows. Give me the idea and I can run with it.

But right now I am seeing something else in a new way. Something that I thought was tried and over done.  Right now I am seeing thankfulness in a new way.  That is kind of funny considering the fact that "everyone" has talked about it for years. Gratitude journals take up entire shelves at the local Christian book store.  The idea that we are to be grateful for all things in something we hear all the time.  As a matter of fact it has been done and talked about so much that if I hear someone talking about it or see a book about it I think "Yeah Yeah be grateful it".

So this looking at an old thing in a new way started about a month ago.  I was looking for a picture of rain to post on this blog.  I found the perfect picture in google images. I went to the page it was from to make sure it wasn't someone's personal photo I was about to steal. It was on a blog from a couple years ago. I blog where the writer was doing so many days of things she loves.  I thought what a neat idea for a blog.  Then on her page there was a link to a blog on Thankfulness and the two kinda merged in my head and the idea for my 30 Days of Thankfulness sprouted.  I didn't go into it seeing thankfulness any different it just sounded fun.  First the Gardener must prepare the soil.

Then a few days into it I started the new book for our Tuesday night study.  One of the first things she talks about is thankfulness and the lack of it. That got me to thinking. Next the seeds are planted.

Then through out the day I would see something silly or small and think that could be something to put in my Thankfulness Blog. Or someone would see me at the grocery store and say "Warm Fuzzies huh?" I would laugh and say "Yep Warm Fuzzies" Then the fertilizer is applied.

Seeing something old (gratitude) as something new (thankfulness) has started to grow and I realize I am looking at things a little different. Then a friend says you should check out this book that I got today called "One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp" so I download the book and start to read it. Now the plants are watered.

I am captivated (my mind is literally as it is pretty much all I am thinking about right now) by her idea that thankfulness for the small silly things in life as well as the big amazing things is truly really what life is all about.  That it is the highest form of worship.  That it is the only way to true joy. That it is the greatest of all gifts we can give our children.... to be thankful in all things.  I know it is all a growing process. You don't plant a garden and get fruit the next day. I see how with this 30 Days of Thankfulness the soil of my soul was being tilled and weeded and prepared so that I wouldn't read the title of the book Heather suggested and say "Great another book on gratitude".I am not sure how long it will take for this to grow.  What I do know is that I know what seeds were planted and I am sure of the eventual outcome.

A life contemplating the blessings of Christ becomes a life acting the love of Christ. ~~ Ann Voskamp the harvest.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Day 27 of 30 Days of Thankfulness (Cats)

I had a whole nother post planned for today but have you ever had a thought that was brewing and it is in there churning and it just isn't ready yet?  This thought/idea isn't ready for other people yet or at least I am not ready to share it with everyone.  So I was sitting here petting one cat watching the other one outside playing and trying to decide what I would write about while I let my other thought stew.  Then I realized I am thankful for these cats who are such a part of my day sometimes I don't even notice how wonderful they are.

I had a cat that I loved. His name was Newton and he used all 9 lives. That poor cat was just as beat up as you can imagine.  His three closest calls were when we rescued him from the pound (not a no kill shelter), when he got in the car on a REALLY hot day and we didn't know it and shut him up in there, and when he disappeared for 2 weeks after a bad storm. He came home with his back end crushed and the muscle in one leg atrophied.  But that was years before we lost him. He just kept on going.  Then about 2 years ago he was gone. We have no idea where he was just gone. I kept waiting for him  to come back like when he took the 2 week walk about but it didn't happen.  So I said "NO MORE CATS.  They won't stay in the house and then they get hurt or killed and I can't take it so NO MORE!"

Then a friend from work said her daughter had rescued a cat only to discover she was pregnant. So she needed homes for the babies. I looked at the picture of the kittens she posted on the bulletin board at work for days before I went and got Tonka.  His name is an Native American word for big feet and his paws were HUGE!  Right now he is sleeping in the window happily and everyone who has heard me talk about him knows he is my baby!

Then last winter (the one a year ago not the one that just passed) we had a calico that showed up under our porch.  I told the kids not to feed her.  If you feed her she will stay. She has a home. She needs to go back to it. DO NOT FEED THE CAT! Then we had that all that snow.  It was strange for here to have so much snow so late.  So I said fine go get the cat and bring her in.  Caitie insisted she was a boy and wanted to name her Steve. I insisted the cat was a girl because Calico's are girls 99% of the time. I have actually only seen one male calico ever (shout out to Bama) and they are crazy rare. But the whole time the cat got used to us she called her Steve. Finally she warmed up to us and decided we were okay. I checked and yep it's a girl.  So she is now called Stevie. And Stevie, who sleeps with Caitie at night, is outside doing her cat thing. Looks like she is hunting. Voles I think based on what she is doing.  She is the sweetest cat.

I like our dogs. Dogs are great. But I LOVE my cats!


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Day 26 of 30 Days of Thankfulness (Quiet moments)

Most of the week Dan wakes up at 5:15 am and leaves the house by 6. Timothy gets up at 6 am and Caitie at 7. On Saturdays we don't usually set an alarm and I wake up around 7:30 or 8. Either Timothy or Caitie is usually up by then.  But Sunday mornings.... that is different.

I set an alarm on Sundays so we can get ready for church and Sunday School. I get up and the house is so quiet. It is a different kind of quiet than the kind after everyone leaves.  After everyone leaves you can still feel the hussle and bussle and rushing around that went on. The peace has already been disturbed and it just isn't the same.

On Sunday mornings there is a special content kind of quiet in the house. The kind that holds expectations for the day.  The kind that says that all the people I love most are warm and cozy and safe and sleeping right here in this house.  The kind that says any minute the house will be crazy and rushing and full of energy.  Usually I don't care for the quiet. I want music or the tv or some kind of noise going on. But on Sunday mornings I love the Quiet.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Day 25 of 30 Days of Thankfulness (Our Yard)

Okay for this post make sense there are a few things you have know about me up front.  I do not like yard work. I do not like to be hot.  I do not like mosquitoes  or no-see-ums (which for those of you who don't know are tiny little gnats that bite).  It appears the rest of my family agrees with me for the most part.  I do not have a "yard" I have acreage.  But to really understand how that can all be true and yet today I can be thankful for our yard you have to have read Day 6 of 30 Days of Thankfulness (Ideas).

I have some big plans for my yard this year!  I have trees/hedges that I want to pull out. I have plants to be divided. I have ideas for a new flower bed. I want to plant my garden in old tires (believe me pictures will follow).  I want to paint the front porch. I want to paint my swing. I want to plant a row of butterfly bushes or hydrangeas in front of my fence line.  I want to cut back the honeysuckle and fix up my back patio.

Shoot this morning I want to fence the acreage fill it with pigs and sheep and goats and spin wool and make goat milk soap and ..... You get the idea!  This morning with the sun shining and the whole day ahead of me I am full of ideas! Thank you yard today you are my muse!


Friday, April 1, 2011

Day 24 of 30 Days of Thankfulness (The Mundane)

I got nothing today.  Today is kinda blah.  I am going for coffee with  my friends like every Friday. I am thankful for that but I already wrote about it.  I have an appointment this afternoon for work.  I have to go to the store and the bank. I have whole handful of errands to run.  The kids are heading to school. It is the end of the quarter so not much is going on there.  We don't have much of anything planned for the weekend. Just some to do stuff around the house.  Sounds pretty boring doesn't it?

That is what I am thankful for today. Sometimes we all need a day where we have a simple to do list. A simple no frills day.  A day free of DRAMA!  Just a plain ordinary day.  I am feeling like I need one of those and so far it looks like today could be one of them.