Wednesday, April 27, 2016


My oldest niece graduates from college next week. This past weekend was her last college musical, and it was none other than "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown". For those who didn't know, I've been an avid Peanuts fan since I was 8 years old. The following photos are from Welch College's facebook page, showing Em singing "Suppertime". Yes, she was Snoopy. :)  Her younger sister, who is a junior, is the one in red.

Of all the parts she had, I think "Suppertime" was one of my top two favorites. (The other was the scene involving Crabby Lucy.)  We crammed a LOT into this weekend trip, but hopefully I can post more pictures this weekend.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Who knew?

With my last seed order I ordered a book (yeah...that book buying moratorium is a lot like my fabric buying moratorium...only the ones I absolutely NEED/WANT) that deals with saving the seeds from plants. For many plants, it's not that big a deal, but there are some heirloom plants that if you don't save the seeds from year to year you run the risk of not being able to find those seeds. So I thought it would help if I actually read HOW to do it instead of throwing away moldy seeds or planting seeds and having nothing come up, which has happened a few years.

So the last few mornings, when my students have a 30 minute test stretch, I've been trying to read a few paragraphs. And I've learned that wasps, which I hate and make me swell like nobody's business, do NOT pollinate the flowers, but bees do. What really and truly shocked me is that FLIES are good pollinators as well. Yes, nasty flies, that crawl all over animal poop like it's a pot luck and carry diseases and germs and make annoying noises actually have a beneficial purpose (other than helping dead things decay). I'll still pull out the fly flap (aka fly swatter to some people) if I find them in my house. But the next time I find them buzzing around me outside, especially around my garden, I'll try to swat them away with much less irritation. After all, they are doing me a huge favor!

Monday, April 18, 2016


There are times when life is crazy, and then there's time I wonder if it's really life that is crazy, or me. At the moment I'm leaning more towards me.

Our tiller is in the shop. When we dropped it off, I was expecting to get a call that it was ready by the end of the week. We weren't told otherwise. I finally called Saturday morning, and was told "We told your husband it would be three weeks before we could look at it." I didn't reply that I was WITH my husband when WE dropped it off, and no such thing was said, as it wouldn't change anything nor would it help them get to our machine any faster. And it IS a busy time of year for lawn mower service repairmen. So Saturday I started hoeing, did one row and a half and quit with blisters. Today after proctoring achievement tests we drove to Fuquay (a nearby town). Their Home Depot actually RENTS service equipment. Even with the 30-45 minute drive home and back,  I was still able to till the garden and stay within the 4 hr rental time slot (though I did sign the 24 hr contract just in case it took me longer but they only charged me for the 4... :) And now I'm slam wore out.

Hopefully tomorrow afternoon/evening I can get the fence up and then plant Wednesday afternoon. April is passing way too fast. I want this year to just slow down, but it seems to be winding up faster and faster and faster.

Meanwhile I'm woefully aware that I tend to overbook my schedule sometimes, and I've been told I'm not the nicest person to be around when that happens. So I'm trying to prioritize these next three weeks and if something I wanted to do isn't on that "do or die" list, then it's no big deal if it doesn't get done. I'll let you know how it pans out.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

timed typing

We had a 24 hour "community outage" with the phone company. I know everyone on the dirt part of Bryan Rd had no phone or internet for that time frame. And at times like that I realize just how much I use the internet. Bobby was laughing at me because I had several things online that I had on my to do list (you know, important stuff, like research puppies, etc) that didn't get done.

In the meantime, the bathroom project of removing wallpaper is finally finished AND cleaned up, and I hope to receive a price quote from a painter today. I started tackling my sewing room yesterday, and while no one else would walk in and think "PROGRESS!!!", I certainly do. There's so many things I need to get done before my family comes in May, and I'm quickly running out of time to get it all done.

Meanwhile, there was another raccoon in the hen house yesterday. A dead one. We don't know for sure which way he made it in, but we know he tried to go out through the bottom (where I have planters shoved up against the buckled doors to keep anything from crawling up) and got his head stuck between the nesting box and the door and couldn't get out. I'm thinking maybe it broke it's neck, but I really don't know. All I know is it was there; it wasn't there the day before; and my cousin who came to remove it for me discovered it was already dead. Dead enough to be cold and have stiff paws, but not dead long enough to have a stiff body. How's that for grossification?  So now I've got to come up with Plan C.

And on Monday, Freckles had her puppies.

7 puppies, to be exact. Four of them clearly look like beagles (a combo of Little Dog and Freckles) and three are brown, which makes me think there may be a 2nd daddy. Time will tell. I may actually pick them up today, if Momma will let me, and see what genders we have. Sometimes I wish life would just slow down. Other times, the busyness of it all makes me laugh. And this is one of those times.

Monday, April 11, 2016

wild things

The last 15 years of my life I have seen more wildlife than any of previous years. Coyotes, foxes, possums, raccoons, deer, rabbits, beavers, owls, herons, osprey, snakes, field rats, and now....a muskrat.

Bobby saw it in the yard and we weren't exactly positive what it was. Neither of us had seen one before. So we googled it, and sure enough, it was a muskrat. Think beaver, but with a snake-like tail and much smaller front teeth. And of course, they're much smaller than beavers. There's a stray dog that has been coming and going at our place for a few months now. We think he may have been the one to discover it and place it outside our dog's fence line. We've not seen any more since then, but it was an interesting discovery, to say the least. So if you've ever wondered what a muskrat looks like, now you know.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

school construction update

About a month ago I was amazed as I'd leave in the mornings for work how much construction had taken place the day before. I did manage to get a few photographs, but have not had time to load them before now.  So here's the old updates from my bedroom window...

As they scalped the landscape, the came across a very large rock. This is only part of it after it was dynamited and drilled. They're still drilling on it a month later (can the noise PLEASE stop?!?!)

We took these photos the one night I got home early enough to walk before it went totally dark. Here they'd just poured the concrete for the main section of the building.

Looking back at the machine parking lot and our house.

You can see the scaffolding going up!

Scaffolding has moved up quite a bit and the height of one doorway is now completed.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

the insanity of my to do lists

Often when I have a lot of things to do, I find that making a list helps me prioritize and not forget anything important. But there are times, more than I care to admit, when that is not the case. I have this nice long list made it a day/days before, and the day ends and....only one thing, or less, is crossed off.  Case in point:

Yesterday's List of Things To Do:
 - find a place for glass jars
 - clean the chicken house
 - change batteries in dog collars
 - Call the Dr's billing dept.
 - Call a painter
 - CD to cousin
 - get out cooler for Wed
 - wire peas and plant the 2nd row (carryover from Mon)
 - finish removing bathroom wallpaper/glue paper
 - ironing

What I Actually Did Yesterday:
 - finished sorting slides
 - covered plants for cold weather
 - cleaned chicken house
 - spent time at Lowe's with Bobby
 - ran 2 errands
 - vacuumed the bedroom
 - cleaned up some yard debris
 - put out rocks around the end of Bobby's ramp to help deal with erosion
 - filled an "ankle breaker" size hole the dogs dug
 - called a painter

So cleaning out the chicken house was the ONLY thing on my To Do List that actually got done!!! Ok, well, two if you count the painter that I did call but had to leave a message. But that's okay. All of the things I finished were things that needed to be done as well, even if they weren't quite as high on my priority list. I'm sure if my husband reads this he will close his eyes and shake his head, much like I stare at him without blinking when he painstakingly tackles a day long task with almost no breaks until it's done.

So today I didn't create a list, because I really need to finish things from Monday and Tuesday. Yeah, some of Tuesday's things were carry-overs from Monday. Se la vie! Or at least, my life.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

valleys and mountaintops

Several years ago a friend of mine went though a very low valley in her life. It was one of those scenarios that even though you see coming you're never really prepared for the depth of it. And as the descent was about to pick up pace rapidly, we were preparing to head out of town. Later she commented on the people who weren't there for her when she needed it most. And in many ways, she was right. Physically, I wasn't there.  I met with a mutual friend before I left and gave money to ensure that some needs they would have during that time would be met. But I sent e-mails, I made a special trip to the store for a card, meaning instead of going to bed at 1am before having to start getting up at 4am, I went to bed at 2am.  With every prayer and most of my thoughts throughout that weekend her name was uttered up in supplication. And yet, my journey to check on my parents continued, because those planned times are rare and very important to me. But in hindsight, most of those things my friend never, ever saw. And I'm still okay with that. If I had to do it all over again, I don't think anything would change.

I was reminded of those days recently. Two friends have gone through similar circumstances, and they're baffled by the absence of friends. There are people who are fickle, who disappear during the hard times, who don't desire to see someone hurting or without their mind or in pain. There are also people who simply do not know what to say and have been verbally assaulted in past situations for saying "the wrong thing".  But I've learned that sometimes people are simply on a different path than the one you are traveling. The mountaintop experience you've shared with friends can sometimes lead you downward to different valleys. And while they're not physically there to walk through your valley does not mean you are forgotten...they're simply facing a very different valley than yours. It may not be as steep, it may not be as treacherous, but it is still a valley just the same.

And hopefully, when you both come out on top, even if you're not back on top of the same mountain, which usually you aren't, you can wave at each other across from the tops and rejoice that the other has made it. Sometimes the biggest support we receive comes from people who are not physically beside us.

Monday, April 4, 2016


I don't know what it is about having people come that makes you tackle projects you wouldn't normally take on. My niece is getting married in May, so two of my siblings and my parents will be coming to stay with us (some for just one night) that week. So there's a few projects that have been roaming in the back of my mind that are finally getting tackled. Both of them need doing, but since one was in an area of our house that we don't use too often it's not had top priority.

And that's probably one of the biggest differences between me and my husband. If there's something that needs to be done, he does it. Immediately. He may think it through first, but there will be absolutely no procrastination.

Me?  Hahaha. I'm almost the total opposite. I'll mull something over in my mind FOREVER before I move on it. And that movement may be actually beginning to research it or look at options, not necessarily start the project itself. If it weren't for deadlines, only half of the things I start would get finished I might not ever finish anything. I like to fool myself and say the problem isn't really all that bad, but then I think about my sewing room, and realize the problem is actually worse than I could ever imagine.

But somehow, things manage to get done. It might not be as quickly as some would like, or in the time frame I had envisioned, but it does happen. And in the end, that's all that matters. Mostly.