Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Please. Contact your representatives (you can use the button in my side bar!) and tell them that you want them to stop NAIS.
The USDA’s proposed National Animal Identification System (NAIS) was originally designed to give big beef producers help in getting export markets which required disease controls. The idea is that every single livestock animal in the United States will be identified and tagged. All livestock animal movements, including horses taken to a training facility across the lane, will be tracked, logged and reported to the government. The benefit is to the big factory farms as they get to do single ID’s for large groups of animals. Small farmers, pet owners and homesteaders will have to tag and track every single animal. There are NO exceptions - even small farms that sell direct to local consumers will be required to pay the fees and file all the paper work on all their animals. All owners/breeders of horses, llama and alpaca, exotic bird, etc. will be required to participate in NAIS. Homesteaders who raise their own meat and grandma with her one egg hen will also have to register their homes as ‘farm premises’ and obtain a Premise ID, tag all their animals and submit all the paperwork and fees. Those who refuse to cooperate with NAIS will be subject to heavy fines and will be denied the right to exhibit their animals at state fairs, 4-H fairs, Future Farmers of America shows, and all horse shows. You can be assigned a premises ID against your will or without your knowledge. NAIS is not legislation but a program designed by USDA bureaucrats with the help of businessmen and manufacturers of ID tags. This program hopes to obtain the billions needed to oversee every single animal in the US by slipping it into the Farm Bill."USDA's proposed program could be compared to a finely crafted blueprint for a concrete blimp." -LivestockWeek
This is everyone's issue. Not just people who want to raise animals. This is worth your time. Go,, do it now.
If you live in the Huntington area I'll make it one step easier for you:
Robert Byrd (D)
John Rockefeller (D)

Nick Rahall (D-3)

Joe Manchin (D)

Evan Jenkins (D-5)
Robert Plymale (D-5)

House of Delegates*
Kevin Craig (D-15)
Carol Miller (R-15)
Jim Morgan (D-15)
Doug Reynolds (D-16)
Kelli Sobonya (R-16)
Dale Stephens (D-16)
All you have to do is say" Please say NO to NAIS". You don't have to be an expert on the subject (but please, do your own research) to call or email your representative and take your government back.
Could you use a new TV stand? Who couldn't, right?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Soggy but Nice.

Well, it's just lovely out today. About 70 degrees and sunny. We sink to our knees in mud if we go out but beggars can't be choosers can they? ha ha.
I didn't get much when I went out shopping yesterday. I don' t know why I thought that I'd see anything to buy AFTER Christmas when there wasn't anything BEFORE Christmas. blah. Oh,, don't get me wrong,, I still managed to spend some moolah but you can't hardly leave the house without spending something.
I bought some clearance Christmas junk, some clearance candles (our power is going out A LOT lately) a pair of pants, a shirt, and a jacket. Big whoop.
The chicky girls have been laying machines lately. We have a surplus of eggs. Well,, that is until I make potato salad on Monday! Mmmmmm,,, 'tater salad. I never tire of the blue eggs we're getting. They're so pretty! I can't wait to get some more birds in the spring.
Speaking of tasty natural organic food. Please read this article: SWAT team raid on private family's home
I don't generally take WND as actual "news"(too many of their news story's have been later refuted) but this time they are dead on the money. I read the story in the family's local paper (online) about 2 days after it happened. That story has now been edited (content taken out,, not replaced) and then went missing. This is RIDICULOUS. This stuff really happens. The fact that it's not front page news is suspicious at the very least.
I'm trying to follow this story as closely as I can. They are a homeschool family and their means of schooling (in the legal sense) has been confiscated by the authorities. I'm assuming that they use OVA for their children's education since they said that all of their children's schooling was done via the computer.
What a crock this is. The authorities even took their personal food supply.
Ok, I'm just ranting now, you'll have to make your own determinations about the situation.
I'm off to enjoy the lovely day!
I'm so glad that I'm beyond the point where I have to concern myself with engagement rings!

Friday, December 26, 2008


I will be going out into the world today by MYSELF!
whoo hoo!
My kids are to the age where they would probably be more fun for me if they were girls (tho I'm happy they are boys) because they've lost their tolerance for shopping.
When they were wee, I could just ply them with candy, pop them in the stroller and we were off but now it doesn't matter how much I bribe them with, they last about 20m.
Now, don't get me wrong, they are well behaved, but they do this subconscious thing where they turn into zombies. They stand about 6 inches away from me. When I take a step, they take a step, when I look up, they look up, when I turn, they turn.

It's very annoying.

When they come out of their zombified stooper, they whine things like
"where are we going next?"
"and then where?"
"When will we be done?"
" can we go to EB, Babbages, ToysRus?"

Now, before I had kids, my genius plan was that I would always take the kids to the toy store FIRST, that way I'd avoid the constant "when are we going to the toy store?" question. What I did not anticipate tho was MY limited amount of energy and their patience taking a nose dive after they've got what they wanted.
So today, I leave the 9 year old and the 12 year old with my mother and I venture out into the land of clearance brasseries without shame or whining.

I can even stop and eat something without it costing $27.00.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's POURING here. I went out to let the chickens into the run. I have on my knee boots and I'm carrying an umbrella. The girls have never seen an umbrella apparently because they had a total fit. They all escaped into the barn yard and huddled in the corner while staring at me in terror and cussing me. I had to close my umbrella to get them back into the hen house. Better yet, upon reentering the hen house, Coco started setting in the nest so I'll have to go back out an collect eggs again.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Carpenters. Jesus and the Singing Ones.

Merry Christmas Darling.
The greeting cards have all been sent, the Christmas rush is through.....

Thank Goodness. I bought the last gift today. ( I need an appropriate emoticon for this space, perhaps a dead smileyPhotobucket )
All that's left is the big day.
This year isn't going to be like the years previous. We'll actually still be able to see the Christmas tree. It won't be obscured by the massive mound of gifts. Every year we set back and look at it in utter disgust.
The definition of stupidity is to do the same thing over and over and expect different results. Well, buying all those gifts never made us feel good and didn't do anything to glorify the reason for the season so why do it? Not this year. I'm sure there will be bitterness from the spoiled children but "oh well". I can only try to replace the gifts with a little peace and simplicity.
I don't have all the gifts wrapped yet but I think that's the last thing on the list.

I took the boys up to the Mall today to enter a Call of Duty competition put on by the Army. Yeah, I know it's a recruiting gig but no where.... on ANY of the signs did it say there was an age requirement. It never occurred to me about the age requirement on the game. They were not kind to us and it kinda pissed me off. All the punk kids that were sitting there laughed at T1 and I wanted to go over and grab their "soon to be shorn" heads and bang them together. All T1 wanted was the participation Tshirt. We'll not even mention that he would have kicked all their asses. But I digress.
After that we ran into Walmart to pick up some blank CDs and rent a movie from the Redbox. We're standing there at the Redbox by the front door and we hear the "whomm whomm whomm" go off of the security alarm. We hear a guy scream "STOP" and come barreling into the front buggy area. This is a HUGE guy by the way. Not "good huge" but like 450lb 5ft 8. He stops cold, buckles over and grabs his chest and puts his other hand on his knee. He sits there a second and I start to move towards him to get him on the ground and call 911 when he raises up and says "JUST KIDDIN!"
DIE. Seriously. If you're acting like you're having a heart attack at your size you D*** well better be. I could have smacked him.
I think I'm going to take a nap. I feel a bit moody and unwell anyway and I shouldn't have left the house today. BLAH!
I'm going to need some diet pills after this year's overfeasting!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Took a little Vacation

  • Baked cookies
  • Christmas shopping.
  • Still haven't sent out cards
  • Up to my eyeballs in school stuff

I took a bit of a blogging vacation didn't I? ha ha. I just a bit overwhelmed I guess. Blogging seems to be the first thing that falls off the list.
I went out and made cookies at a friends house the other day. That was fun. It really was. I made my butterscotch no bakes. I thought it would be good not to take up any oven space. Plus they are soo soo easy to make.
I still haven't done any Christmas shopping. Nice huh? I swear, I just have NO good ideas! It's getting down to the wire. Saturday, my mom is going to keep the boys so I can go out and spend tons of money on worthless crap that no one wants. Yay. (That's me in the picture by the way! lol) I just can't get into it this year. Spending money this year seems so irresponsible. Sigh.
I did buy Christmas Cards. I haven't sent them OUT but hey,, I bought them. I have addresses on most of them but I've yet to sign them. Most of the ones that are addressed and signed are setting in boxes that I've yet to mail out. Nice, right?
Then I'm up to my eyeballs in stuff for EAGLE and TESTING. Groan. I'm just a ray of sunshine today aren't I? ha ha.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I'm Tired.

It was a pretty big day. I mentioned yesterday that our new group was having a registration fair today. I didn't need to do a whole lot to prepare for it but there was still quite a bit to remember.
We had an EXCELLENT turn out! I just cannot believe how many folks showed up! I haven't counted how many families we have involved yet but I think it's somewhere around 20.
Of course it was pretty near pandemonium all day but I don't think we missed anything really. All the "i"s are dotted and all the "t"s are crossed.
I hope.
Today started with me getting up and doing laundry, putting on a roast and loading the car. Oh yes, and checking my email 14 times. I just knew if I didn't, that I'd miss someone that was trying to get ahold of me at the last minute. After that I drove to a friends house and picked up her stuff because she's in Florida (DOG!). Next we set up and discovered we had no change for the cash box. Off to Kmart. I did about 20 different things all day. I felt like one of those 8 armed goddesses. I even got to hold a baby twin! Oh, he was very cuddly. (NOT THAT CUDDLY,, Don't you people get any ideas)
At the end of the day, I helped jump a vehicle and headed home. Not before stopping at Goodwill and dropping off a bunch of junk though.
When we got home, I straitened up a bit and CRASHED. When Chris got home it occurred to me that I have a turkey in the fridge thawing. I'll have to cook that tomorrow. I was out of the stuff to brine it so off to the store.
My Kroger had Cheerios for $1.00 a box! The BIG box! That's just too good of a deal. the trick is that you had to buy 4 of them. No big deal, I can do that! I'm going back tomorrow to buy more! Guess who's making White Trash next week!?! ha ha.
So, the turkey is brining in the fridge as we speak. I hope it's good. It's the first time I've ever tried brining. I used Pioneer Woman's recipe.
Now I'm going to finally hit the bed. Wow... am I tired.
I'm supposed to write about home theater sconces. Really? In our house that's called a lamp. LOL

Monday, December 8, 2008


So tomorrow is the big day. Registration day for E.A.G.L.E.. I'm nervous and excited. It's been a lot of work but it's been a labor of love.

Please consider coming out if you're in the Tristate area. We've reduced tuition costs thanks to some generous gifts and reworking of overhead.

Our first 4H meeting will be tomorrow too. It will be the last day you can order your curriculum booklets. If you've considered 4H in the past, feel free to come out and see what it's all about!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Friday Highlights- just one really

  • Cupcake Pops

I woke up early Friday with the urge to bake! I've been eyeballing these

They're from the Bakerella Blog, which I love. They are deceptively easy to make and OH. SO. DIVINE. My presentation is very lacking but the they are sooooooo yummy!


This week's dinners consisted of the following:

  • Monday- Boneless Pork chops and Mashed Potatos
  • Tuesday- Beer Braised Corned Beef and Fried Potatos
  • Wednesday- Leftovers + Fishsticks for the kids
  • Thursday- Mom's night out (NO COOKING FOR ME!)
  • Friday- Potato Soup and Peppered Bacon Sandwiches

For this coming week, I've looked over the Kroger paper and planned the following:

  • Monday- Ground Chicken Tacos (shredded cheese on sale 2/$4)
  • Tuesday- Roast ($2.49lb sale) and noodles ($1.00 off coupon)
  • Wednesday- Brined Turkey (already in the freezer, used $7.00 coupon)
  • Thursday - Leftover Turkey + mashed potatoes (coupon for $0.80, makes them $$0.20!)
  • Friday- Chicken Tenderloins ($7.99 sale)

Most of the sides come from the pantry. I won't have to buy any this week. Hopefully, I'll get out of the store for less than $100.00.


Chris and the boys rigged up a light in the coop today. Hopefully it'll keep it a little warmer in there. It's really cold!!!! I also read today that outdoor lighting will keep coons away. Speaking of that, we haven't caught anything in the trap. I think it's just too daggone cold.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thursday Highlights

  • Spider Graveyard
  • Mom's Night Out
  • Heater was messed with again
  • Kittah Trap

What's up with my house? We have spiders everywhere!! OMG,, I hate spiders so much. I mean really, I panic and get light headed and I have to quit talking about it. (puts head between knees) Our house (more specifically our bathroom) has become the place where nasty creepy disgusting brown spiders have come to die! (and live sometimes). In the summer we see more spiders when it's getting ready to rain but I've never seen this many cold weather spiders before! I looked briefly for a picture to include but I started to see the room spinning so you'll just have to use your imagination.

Tonight was mom's night out. I love Mom's night out so good. It's nice to get to go out and chit chat with other mommies without being interupted 10 zillion times. Not to mention getting something good to eat. Tonight we went to Max and Ermas. I didn't tip my waitress. She wasn't very attentive, my well done burger was medium rare and she stood over me waiting for money and she hadn't given me a bill! Yeah,, no tip for you. I had a good time otherwise tho.

About a month ago, our new heating unit stopped working. We had Chris's uncle come over and look at it. Well they quickly found out what had happened. Someone had sabotaged the power disconnect. Hmmmm,,, very suspicious. No big whoop really. A mild inconvienience. Well, this morning I woke up again to an ultra chilly house. I shuffled around for a while before I went to look at the thermostat. Blank again. Same thing as last time. I went outside to check the box and sure enough,,, it was standing open and the someone had messed with the lever again. It's getting real old. Just sayin.

A friend came over to play with, I mean,, watch the kids tonight so his wife and I could go out. He brought a Havaheart trap for the fox. As soon as he went out to set it he said "your cats are going to end up in this!" Well, wouldn't you know it? As soon as Chris came home he found our old fat male cat in the trap. Poor kittah,, he was so so stressed. Keep your fingers crossed that we get a fox!

Wednesday Highlights

  • Science Club
  • Hair Cuts
  • Yahoo Crashed
  • More Christmas junk
  • My Husband>Tom Hanks

Science Club rocked my socks off again today. We have such an awesome group of parents, we really do. Lynda's Mike brought in his kit full of orthopedic hardware and told the kids all about how it was used. There was real bones to touch and examine. We learned about all of our joints, different types of fractures, how screws are put into bones, what happens when you get a plate put in your head, etc. It was REALLY cool. The "impressive" factor will be hard to top on that one!

After we finished up with Science Club I took the boys to lunch and to get their hair cut. Boy did they ever need it. I coulda knit a sweater with the hair that was on the floor. We tried out a new barber. Our old barber retired after a massive heart attack. This guy did a real good job and was kinda funny too. He gave T1 a Peter Boyle!

HA! He spun him around in the chair and told him "welp,, I'm done! Do you like it?" LOL The look on T1's face was priceless.

When we came home I went to check my email and I just about had a small heart attack. Yahoo did not exist! I mean,, it was no where to be found! Google found ZERO results for ""

After trying about 20 different ways to get to my email and making 12 different calls I was ready to get a brown paper bag and start breathing into it. I tried one more time and a teensey bit of the page came up. I refreshed, a teensey bit more appeared. Each time I refreshed, it got a little bit better. Ok, blood pressure is going down. Eventually it came back up. It was a rude awakening. I depend on it WAY too much.

I ALMOST have all the Christmas junk up. I think there is one more box up there in he attic, somewhere. It took me until 1am to get the mess cleaned up that the 3 boxes I got down made. Little bits of garland, packing paper, random boxes, OH MY!

Do you remember this commercial?

It's a spoof on the movie Castaway. My husband is the FedEx guy. He does his job very very well. Well today he had a package for the woman that killed our best friend. He delivered the package and was completely professional. This was a bigger accomplishment than hanging onto a package for 5 years while being stranded on an island. I'm just sayin. I know his boss knows they have a great employee in him but I don't think they realize just HOW exemplary he really is.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tuesday Highlights

  • Paragraphs
  • The Handmaid's Tale and Netflix

Today I had T2 do the reading practice for the West Virginia Westest. Part of the test involves writing a paragraph stating 3 ways the 2 parts of the story conflict and agree. The child just cannot articulate himself. I know... he's 9 but wow.... it was really bad. It's definitely something we need to work on. That's a homeschool bonus though don't ya know! We CAN work on it,, we don't have to rush along because the lesson plan says so.

I think I mentioned that I read "The Handmaid's Tale" last week. Great book. I pushed the movie to the top of my netflix cue. I heart netflix, I really really do. I mean, I hardly EVER watch television anymore. I probably haven't turned on the TV on purpose since the last new episode of Lost was on. That was what? May?

Anyway.... back to Netflix and my movie. (speaking of not being able to construct a cohesive paragraph) I'm more of a documentary kinda gal. Netflix is chock full of 'em. My most recent fav is the Natural History of the Chicken. It's a PBS documentary. Watch it, you won't be sorry.

Ok, so someone grind up an Adderal in my hot chocolate would ya? The MOVIE. Good flick. A wee bit cheesy but entertaining because I'd read the book. I'm not sure people who haven't read the book would enjoy the movie. It's also a wee bit graphic, be forewarned. There is lady bits and sex acts. I think it would make a KILLER movie if they redid it today. I liked the way the movie ended better than how the book ended but I liked a lot of the foreshadowing and the details that the book had. The book was a weak 9/10 and the movie rated a solid 7/10.

Deeper still, the book has many feminist undertones but not so much that it ruins the storyline for me. I rather liked it. It is a dystopian setting which if you know me at all you know I'm drawn to. It's the paranoia. (waves at the black helicopter) The speculation about the fundamentalist totalitarianism was also very intriguing to me. It's a quick read. If you like to read a freaky book, pick this one up! It's back at the Barboursville Library now!

Tomorrow is Science Club and house cleaning. Yay!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Monday Highlights

  • snow
  • band
  • grammar
  • math
  • Christmas decor

It snowed on and off today. Nothing stuck. I'll take snow to winter rain any day of the week.

I went early to band today. I wanted to catch all the members of the band so I could be sure they all had a shirt to wear to the concert on the 15th. I think everyone but one person has a shirt. I got a greater precentage of the band fees this month than I usually do, that's a bonus. I did forget to pay the band instructor though. I swear,, sometimes I'd forget my head if it wasn't attached.

Grammar took forever today. T2 was required to look up a bunch of words in the dictionary and write their plural forms down. Well our Giant Merriam Webster Large Print Edition assumes that you're not a mental deficiant if you're using it apparently because if it was a simple word then it didn't give the plural form. Does T2 just flip 1 page back in his book, read the rule and use some common sense when asked to write the plural of "bill" down? No. He sits and fumes and fusses and whines "I can't ffffiiiiNNNNNnnnnndddd itttt". By the time he got to "Blueberry" I thought I was gonna kill him.

T1 did excellent on his Algebra quiz today! He only missed 1 out of 38! The one he missed was just a goofy mistake too. That's fine. He neglected to simplify -3^2 properly in one problem. He said it was -9 instead of +9. He coulda kicked himself. I told him I never once in my whole life got an honest to goodness A on an algebra test so that's quite an accomplishment in my book! There were some doozey problems on it too!

I decided this year that I would get the Christmas decor down a little bit at a time instead of all in one fell swoop. I HATE the mess it makes. It takes me all day to sort through the junk and then another day to clean everything back up! So one box at a time this year. I should have it all out in a week or so. I took all the fall decorations down today and put them back in the attic. Flip me a fish, right?

Just another exciting Monday.


Ever consider putting a turbocharger on the 'ol minivan? Well, look no farther than the pros at!


Monday, December 1, 2008

Something Shiney. Post 400!

I love Martha. I'm not sorry. I just do. I love all her kitchy crafty stuff, her cookies that no one in their right mind would ever actually bake, her "good things" and the way she adds "ing" to nouns, makes them into new words (like "paper toweling") and of course the way she makes people belive that anything she does is the"end ALL" because she uses "the" in front of it. May I present to you.....

THE Newspaper Christmas tree.



This was too much fun. They are so much cuter in real life too. Plus? Anyone can do this. It was so easy. I made the big one on an old knitting needle and the little one on a ten penny nail. To give you an idea of scale, the star on top the little one is one of those little reward stars.
Here's a link to video instructions if you wanna make one too!
Happy 400th blog post to me too btw!

Do you know what else I love? Office Supplies. I love envelopes, highlighters, a fresh reem of paper, hanging folders, and tabs of all sorts. I'm sick that way.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Monday's Highlights

  • Rain

  • Band

  • Determiners

YAY FOR THE RAINY SEASON!! not. Oh. My. Goodness. I HATE winter rain. I mean I really hate it. It makes my joints hurt and I despise sinking up to my knees in mud. We got 3/4 of an inch today. If it had been just a few degrees colder it would have been 7 inches of snow (according to Tony Cavalier). Cold rain SUCKS. The cats and the chickens agree. The chickens spent the whole day in the hen house and the cats sat with their furry little knees crossed at the back door all day because they didn't wanna go out to do their biznuzz. When the hens stay inside for the entire day that means that the next day the poop will be EPIC. So yeah,, the boys are out cleaning it now.

It seems we have a few hawks watching the hens now. We're really going to have to build a larger covered run. Dang.... a lot of trouble for a few birds.

Oh, and I hope all the people who thought we were going to get snow last night are enjoying their bread and milk. Dang people,,, it's just snow. It goes away after a day or two, can't you survive without having to make a panic run to the grocery store?

The band is sounding very good. It sounds a lot like music they're playing now! WHOO HOO! Their Christmas Concert is on December 15th.

Joke for you:

A pirate was walking down the wharf and had a large steering wheel attached to his belt buckle. A sailor, feeling more confused than bold ask him "why do you have that there?" to which the pirate replied

"ARggghhhh, it drives me nuts!"

Buh-dum CRASH.... she'll be here all week folks... tip your waiter, try the veal.

T2 came to the place in his grammar book where he has to learn about determiners. I must admit that I do not remember ever learning about determiners. I can tell this seems totally pointless to him but Easy Grammar is such that you must learn it or you won't do well for the rest of the book. It says that you learn these to help you identify the noun. Is this really an issue? Identifying nouns I mean? I mean, I guess it is helpful when you have a sentence like '

"Sally's aunt is staying at her house"

Sally's is not a noun per se. It's a possessive noun determiner.

Whatever... it's just one of those times where he's having a hard time wrapping his mind around the big picture. Maybe I am too , a little.

Off to another day of big fun!


Leptovox? Have you ever heard of it? We'll probably all need a bit of it after Christmas!


Monday, November 24, 2008

New Week, New Book

Sunday Highlights:
  • Housework
  • My Desktop is gone
  • Started Holes

I told someone the other day that my house is a total rat hole. Well, maybe not but it's "pertnear" close. It seems like such a loosing battle. I get it cleaned up and then all someone has to do is breathe and it's messed back up again. We are too many people and we have too much stuff for this size house. It's just impossible to keep cleaned up. But with the help of my menfolk, we tried to clean up Sunday. It was for not because here I am Monday morning,, looking around and I see that it's right back to where it started. Blah.

My desktop computer is in the hospital. It's been doing all sorts of weird stuff for a long long time now but just recently it started that thing where it locks up completely every 5 minutes. It was driving me NUTS. I think I have a bad spot on my hard drive too because I was getting the blue screen of death like 4 times a week. If I turned it off and turned it back on,,, it was fine so I guess it wasn't total death. But yeah, it's pretty eat up with disease so it's going to spend some time in surgery and recovery.

PhotobucketT2 and I started reading "Holes" last night. T1 came to listen because he's never read it either. We read the first 6 chapters and that lead to them fighting over the book. They both wanted to take it to bed with them and finish reading it. I love it when I have to say I'm going to hide the book so we can all discover it together! ha ha ha.

Here are some learning links for "Holes" by Louis Sachar


Holes reading unit



Do you have a local trophy shop? Yeah, a Trophy shop! No? Do you need a trophy QUICK? Try They do trophies for all kinds of things and can rush ship you one in 24 hours. They even do Pinewood derby trophies!


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Christmas Shopping 11/22/08

Saturday Highlights
  • Shopping, lots of it

  • Blisters

  • German Paper Folding- Stars

Chris didn't work today. I was given a budget and a task to go find Christmas presents, SANS KIDS! This is a task I can get into.

Me and a friend set out today at 11:30am. We stopped at an Estate sale because,,, it was an ESTATE SALE! Wow, I do love me an estate sale. This one did not disappoint in the normal estate sale fodder. There were 1000 books on how to get closer to Jesus, pans that no one should ever cook with again, a bird sitting on a log (inside joke), and old shoes. Just about the time I thought we'd found everything worth having, we went downstairs.




This person had a typesetting business in his basement! It looked like (by the style of the things) that it hadn't been used since the 60s but it was amazing! Such cool stuff to look through.


I ended up coming out of there with a few boxes of envelopes but that's about it. I was overwhelmed! I sent Chris back with more money to get more stuff but it was all gone by the time he got there.

So then we went off to shop. Oh man... did we shop. In 8 hours of scouring every store we came home with a very disappointing amount of stuff. It doesn't help that the boys weren't very helpful in telling us what they want. I made them tell me 4 things they wanted the other day and I was able to find a few of them but it looks like I'll have to order a good bit of it from the internet.
At one of the first places we went I found the cutest pair of shoes. I love them so much. They went perfectly with my shirt so I bought them and put them on.
Blisters, swelling, pain. Breaking in a new pair of shoes on shopping day was a huge mistake. I knew it was but did I listen? No. I let the lure of cuteness suck me in. I ended up putting my old shoes back on. Ack.
Here's another issue, there's nothing to buy out there. I mean... NOTHING. It's all just junk. The stuff under the tree is going to look sad sad sad this year. I mean... a MP3 player doesn't really wrap up very pretty,, ya know?

On crafty fronts... Do you need a rainy day activity? I've taught T2 to make German Stars. He's getting really good at it! I think I'll string these and make a garland or maybe make Christmas cards. You can find a tutorial HERE.

Thursday/Friday catch up

Thursday Highlights

  • catching up on bookwork

  • 4H Leaders meeting

Let's talk about math. Both boys are very very math minded lately! They are doing so well. T2 and I have been concentrating on multiplication and division since September. Yes, I know this is a 3rd grade skill and T2 is technically in 4th but he didn't really grasp it fully last year. This year I decided that we would immerse ourselves in it until he "got it". Well I think he finally has. He can get 50 multiplication/division facts in under 2 minutes. I think it's almost time to get back to the books for him! We've been using manipulatives and drills until this point.

T1 and algebra. He's seeing the light. He's doing very well. I know I mentioned wanting to get the Teaching Textbooks math but I never seemed to be able to come up with the money (it's really pricey). A good friend gave me the entire "Key to" series and we LOVE IT! He's really getting it and is doing algebra problems that make him feel so proud of himself. I asked him the other day, " If I'd shown you that problem 2 months ago, would you have believed that you could not only DO it but you UNDERSTAND it?". He just grinned from ear to ear. For the first time ever he's been getting 100%s on his work. I'm proud of him!


Thursday night I went to a 4H leader training meeting. Good stuff. We learned how to help the kids keep track of the money and how to record the meetings. We learned how to put on a "Skill-o-Thon" which were kinda cool. I got to meet some of the other local 4H leaders. They gave me the skunk eye, btw. I'm not "one of them" LOL. I'm so glad I went though because they were having the first Rifle Team meeting too and I got the boys the last 2 slots on the team. Now you'd think my kids would be just overwhelmed with excitement over this... right? Not so much, they're whining about it. I think they'll have a blast once they get to practice. They have to now,, they have tshirts. ha ha. We'll have our first meeting on December 9th. We're officially a 4H club now!


  • Made a turkey
  • Took the kids Christmas shopping
  • Finished a book
  • Foxy Brown is back.

I cooked a turkey Friday evening. Now I generally cook a pretty rockin' bird. It's not hard and if you loosen the breast skin up and ram about 10 pats of butter under there,, how can you go wrong?

I'll tell ya how.

Forget about it. Yeah,, I kinda forgot about the turkey cooking and over cooked it. It's still yummy, just a little... tough? ha ha ha. That's what mayonnaise if for right? Geeze, it's no wonder we're the fattest people in the country. I'm not talking about Huntington,, I'm just talking about my family! ha ha ha.

The kids have no idea what they'd like for Christmas. Not only is there nothing big that's a must have this year, my spoiled rotten brats have everything they want! I told them to think of FOUR things they really really want. No dice. They couldn't come up with anything. After much window shopping they finally came up with 4 things each.


  1. An Iron Maiden "A Matter of Life or Death" Tshirt
  2. A video Mp3 player
  3. A professional Yo-yo
  4. Zelda for the Wii


  1. Lego Indiana Jones for the XboX
  2. Lego Indiana Jones legos
  3. Nerf Vulcan Gun
  4. A Metallica/ACDC/Aerosmith Tshirt

I finally finished a book I was reading. I've been reading it for well over a month. It's a GREAT book I just haven't had time to sit down and commit to finishing it. It's called The Legend of Mammy Jane by Sibyl Jarvis Pischke. Just an awesome book if you love reading about the old ways. It wasn't the deepest or the best written book I've ever read but come on... it's spectacular considering the woman who wrote it is a hairdresser!

It's the semi-fictional account of the history of the Jarvis family in Oka, WV (just past Charleston). More importantly it's a tale of how good sense and hard work will always prevail over any situation. I think a few people in government should read this book. I think a few people that think they're going to get something for nothing should read this book. I'll get off my soap box.

It's a great book. If you can get your hands on a copy, read it! The Cabell Co. Library has it (or will soon) but the cheapest you can get it on Amazon is $30.00. It's just not widely available.


Our fox is back. He is crafty, that's for sure. We've seen evidence around the hen house of fox infiltration. Unfortunately, I'm never ready for that fox when he shows up so we'll have to trap him. I don't want my girls being "Triple Delight" for that fox!

On the upside of this though,, T2 has been feverishly researching foxes. He wants to do an entire presentation on foxes. I've never been more grateful for the laptop! He can sit in the same room with me and do his internet thing while I keep a watchful eye on him. I had to make a potty run and as I was coming back down the hall I heard him say "I'm going to w w w dot FOX dot com" and I was like.... "NNNNNNNNNOOOOOoooooooooo" Thank goodness it's just Fox Network's website but you just don't know do you? ha ha.

Well, now I'm caught up. Don't you feel better now that you know all the exciting stuff that is going on here at Backyard Academy?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Highlights from today?

  • Our last Spanish Class

  • Science Club

  • A trip to the bank

  • I finished a hat.

  • The chickens are alive

So our Spanish tutor has decided to discontinue our classes. The kids are a little disappointed but I think they'll get over it. It was starting to be a little hard on the pocketbook anyway. What I was paying out a month for lessons almost equaled a weeks worth of groceries and you know how I'm feeling about that!

I started her a hat last night as a thank you gift. It was a quick knit and I think I'll definately do it again but I may work it out so it can be knit in the round instead of the 2 needle way the pattern called for.

Ravelers can find the pattern


I have no idea what yarn I used. I just know it's some lovely GGH stuff that I got on clearance at ACMoore a long time ago. The pattern says less than 2 50g balls but I didn't even come close to breaking into the second ball. It only used one. This hat looks really smart if you have hair. My model there doesn't really do the hat justice.

Anyway... I finished it up this morning, stuck it in a gift bag... and VIOLA!,, gift.

Science club rocked hard today! I mean really, it could not have gone better! Last time we learned about how electric current worked and there were so many great hands on activities. This time Mrs. Racina dumped out a bunch of supplies and said "Now, take what you know and make a flash light!".

And you know what?

They did! So cool. I just love it when everything comes together!

I made my third trip to the bank this month. Hmmm,,, lets see,, it's the 3rd week so yeah,, 3 trips. Band monies are due on the first Monday of every month and I inevitably get checks every single week. This annoys me and is hard to keep up with.

ok,... griping about that is over. Just had to get it off my chest.

Last thing,, it was COLD last night. Really cold. When I got up this morning the chickens coop door was hanging open on the side.


After I yell at and guilt my children to almost tears I go out to investigate the coop myself. Not only was the door open all night but there is NO BEDDING in the coop! Poor poor chickie hens.

This is not the end of this rant.. let me tell ya. They are alive though,, as I knew they would be but it's the principle of the matter you know?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


It snowed a bit last night. Nov. 17th. Just as a matter of record, we had a bit of accumulation on Nov. 16th last year! I love this blogging thing! Now I can really see the benefit of keeping a diary. I can see why so many have done it for so long. It's really cool to look back and see when the first snow fall was on the previous year or how motivated you are to start school.
Today we have a smidge more than a dusting. It's supposed to snow/rain all day today. We also have schoolwork to complete and many errands to run.
I have to get my glasses tightened, go to the store, and take the kids skating.
If we're going to do all of that, we better get at it! Just had to make a note of the weater for today!

Monday, November 17, 2008


For years now, I've been a proponent of not celebrating commercial Christmas. Oh sure,, the birth of Christ is always first and foremost but he really wasn't born on Dec. 25th anyway so why not just forget the whole thing? I'm sick of padding corporate pockets. What in the world would happen if people stopped going on a spending spree the last month of the year?

Black Friday is the day that stores hope to quit operating in the red and move to the black (financially). So if everyone decided that they were not going to buy a bunch of dumb crap that no one needs between the dates Nov. 28th and Dec 24th, what would happen to all of these stores?

I say, let 'em fall.

Perhaps after the initial shock wears off, small businesses will start to thrive and value for your dollar will be restored. I don't know,, it's just a theory. I don't have any financial models to back it up or any articles to point to, I'm just thinking out loud.

Instead, I want to celebrate Festivus.

Festivus is traditionally held any time between December and May but it can be held at any time in response to family tention. It begins with the annual Airing of Grievances. This can be done in any way you like. This is an opportunity to create your own family traditions. Legend has it that one family wrote their grievances on the refrigerator with black magic marker every year. Feel free to not deface your appliances.

During this Airing of Grievances, a celebratory dinner is served. Nothing like your family telling you where you've failed in life during dinner huh? The Festivus dinner traditionally consists of Meatloaf or Spaghetti with Red Sauce, and is followed by a Pepperidge Farm cake decorated with M&Ms. Acceptable beverages are Bourbon, Rum, Beer and Wine. The only unacceptable food are bagels.

After dinner and the Airing of Grievances, Feats of Strength are preformed. The head of the household chooses someone to challenge in a wrestling match. The chosen one may decline if he or she has something else to do, such as pull a double shift at work. Festivus is not over until the head of the household has been pinned to the living room floor in said wrestling match.

Festivus Miracles have been known to happen. They generally consist of minor coincidences like running into your drunken neighbor at the liquor store or getting a phone call during an uncomfortable conversation. (see Airing of Greivances). These can also be recognized year round.

As for decorations, there are few. A festivus pole is the centerpiece. It should be made of a heavy gauge aluminum with a "high strength to weight ratio". Nothing should adorn the pole and serve as a distraction from the Feats of Strength and the Airing of Grievances. When not in use, the pole must be stored in the crawlspace of your home.

In lieu of buying gifts for other people, you donate money to the Human Fund. This often involves going out and purchasing yourself something or just withdrawing money from your bank and putting it in your pocket.

Doesn't this sound like a better holiday? I mean, it's frugal, not fussy, you get some excersize, and your mental health is clear.

Festivus! A holiday for the Rest of Us!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Seriously. Who can afford to eat these days? We did our grocery shopping today and it was insane. We spent half as much as we would have on gas but we're spending more on food. The food is about to break the bank.

I won't even tell you what we spent today and last week and the week before, it's totally embarassing. I'm ashamed. I will tell yo that I am resovled to do better.

The first thing I need is a plan. I need to know what we're eating that week.

The second thing I need is a list. No "oh wow! it's on sale, let's get it" purchases.

The third thing I need is an organized coupon system.

The fourth thing I need is time to go to the store ALONE. The shopping should not be a family project. The family feels like they need to go so they don't miss out on any prime snack food. This is costing us.

The next thing I'm thinking about is . Does anyone do this? I saw a lady on the local news the other night who is feeding a family of 6 on $50 a week. I investigated our area's offers and the only one I'd really use was Kroger. I'm not too thrilled with the price either. There is a monthly fee.

I'm trying to console myself with reminders that we eat every meal at home. I cook at least 16 meals a week. That's a lot of groceries. The boys are eating more than ever too.

*sigh* I don't know. I just know something has to give.

How am I ever going to be able to afford vacation rentals at this rate? LOL

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Report by T1

Ok, so Project Day kinda snuck up on us this month. Not really snuck up on us so much as I have been oober busy and hasn't had time to do any extra cool stuff with the kids. I mean, we're getting in the basics but nothing they can show off. So T1 threw together a quicky report tonight.

Maurtis Cornelis Escher was one of the most famous artists of the 20th century. He is one of my favorite artists because I like his creative three dimensional drawings. They look really cool.

M.C.Escher was an illustrator as well as an accomplished artist. Like Michaelanglo and DaVinci he was left handed. Over his lifetime he created over 2500 original works of art.

Escher was born in 1898 in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. He was the youngest of four sons born to George Arnold Escher and Sara Gleichman. “Mauk”, as he came to be nicknamed, was a sickly child and a very poor student. He actually failed the 2nd grade. He eventually left school in 1922, having gained experience in drawing and making woodcuts. Woodcuts are carvings that are used to reproduce artwork by inking the block and pressing it to a piece of paper.

Escher met and married Jetta Umiker. Together they had a son named Giorgio Arnaldo Escher, after his grandfather. 1937, the Escher family moved to Ukked, a small town near Brussels, Belgium. WW2 forced them to move again in January of 1941, this time to Baarn, The Netherlands. They lived there until 1970.

One of my favorite of his works is called Waterfall. His most famous work is called Metamorphosis III. It is large enough to cover an entire wall! Metamorphosis III uses a type of mathematical art called tessellation. Tessellation is using a shape over and over again to cover an area without any gaps.
Escher's works remain as popular today as they were during his life. Chances are that everyone of us has seen a piece of his art at one time or another. Mr. Escher died in March of 1972. He was 74 years old.
After he was done with his report we gave Tessellation a try. This was fun and easy too!

T2 is going to show off some of his Lego Stop Motion videos.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day

Today was a really busy day and I'm BEAT. A successful day but it took more effort than I'm used to expending, ya know?
This morning I had to head out the door to our first EAGLE meeting. This entailed loading the SUV to the hilt. Food, decoration, paperwork, and supplies.
I made a tastey cranberry chicken salad, cresants, cornbread (my recipe, sorry, no link) and Taco Soup.
The day went wonderfully. It's going much better than I ever imagined. I think people are excited now which makes ME excited! And as if it couldn't get any better?
We got a ROAD grant for $500 for our group today! YEAH!! Wow, it's really a shot in the arm and boy do we need it! Just another sign that we're doing a great thing by starting this group!
We also had a 4H meeting today. I think we'll have a LOT of fun with this group. There are so many great things that you can do under the 4H umbrella. We're going to use it for all it's worth!

So, after all of that, I came home and found a taker for my little rooster. He's going to live with other mini chickens and hopefully be very happy. YAY!
The boys thing this day is full of win because COD 5 (Call of Duty 5) came out. They're at the store now picking it up. Oh yes,,, it was prepaid! LOL
Tomorrow? Spanish.
Friday? Project Day.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Happy 233rd Birthday USMC


During the American Revolution, many important political discussions took place in the inns and taverns of Philadelphia, including the founding of the Marine Corps.

A committee of the Continental Congress met at Tun Tavern to draft a resolution calling for two battalions of Marines able to fight for independence at sea and on shore.

The resolution was approved on November 10, 1775, officially forming the Continental Marines.

As the first order of business, Samuel Nicholas became Commandant of the newly formed Marines. Tun Tavern’s owner and popular patriot, Robert Mullan, became his first captain and recruiter. They began gathering support and were ready for action by early 1776.

Each year, the Marine Corps marks November 10th with a celebration of the brave spirit which compelled these men and thousands since to defend our country as United States Marines.

Our "Hen"

Is an imposter. Listen for yourself.

I think we've found a home for him tho. He really is quite sweet.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Meet Chicken Little

When I came home today from picking up the boys at the slumber party, I had a message on my answering machine. One of the mom's in our homeschool group had called and asked if I knew anyone who wanted a small hen.

uhhm, no,, I don't know anyone like that! LOL

She said that it was just randomly clucking around in her neighborhood in the West End of Huntington. She didn't know if it was a small breed or just a baby chicken but I told her to come ahead and bring her down, we'd take her in.

She's a sweet little hen. Very docile. I don't know if the big girls will like her or not so we put her in the little run and let the big girls out into the yard. The big girls have been talking to her all afternoon. I think it was a good thing to put her in the small run. The pecking order might be a little hard on her.

She was so thristy! She drank and drank and drank. She appears healthy, just a little stressed.

I think she's a White Leghorn Bantam. She has a cute little cluck. I hope the girls adjust to her and welcome her to the flock!

Week in Review

This week went surprisingly well, considering how poorly I was expecting it to go.
Election Day could have been very depressing but it hasn't gotten me down. I have a sense of peace about it.
Nov.6th came and went and I didn't collapse into too many puddles of tears. Although, I may have just made a little puddle just thinking about it again.
Wednesday went wonderfully. Ms. Racina presented a SPECTACULAR lesson on electricity for our Science club and it totally rocked my socks off. I can't thank her enough. I'd put a picture up but my camera is mysteriously MIA. That happens almost every time I hear "MOM? can I use the camera?"
Thursday brought mom's night out and that was fun as usual. We went to Outback. We griped, commiserated, enjoyed a glass of wine and ate wonderful food and cheesecake. Doesn't everyone deserve that every once in a while? It really was lovely.
Friday- Took the kids to Tarahs and dropped them off. Ahhhhh, the noise level is drastically reduced in my house!
As for the week ahead?
It could prove to be very hectic.
Monday is band day and I'm supposed to go to my house cleaning job but I may have to once again scoot that to another day. We may or may not have a 4H meeting on that day. I'm sure my employers have just about had it with my scooting the days. I usually clean on Tuesday but this Tuesday is
E.A.G.L.E's Homeschool Parent Luncheon! So I have lots to do to prepare for that.
Wednesday we are free. Yay. Thursday also looks blissfully free. I'm sure that both of these days will find some way to fill up with some task or activity as they always do but for now... they are free.
Friday is Project Day. YAY PROJECT DAY! We love it. It's one of the best things that we do.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


The views expressed by the current political administration do not necessarily represent the views or opinions of myself, Crystal Newman, my immediate family, my friends, Christians, Conservatives, Americans, Liberals, Democrats, Libertarians, Constitutionalists, the Founding Fathers, Dogs, Cats, Goldfish, or any subgroup therein. Any laws, police actions, bills, or subversive take overs are solely the responsibility of the Marxist Party. Any member of the above groups and subgroups shall assume no responsibility nor accept liability for the downfall of freedom. By electing this administration, you agree and adhere to the terms of this disclaimer.
Jus' sayin.

Monday, November 3, 2008


But not like you'd think. We were doing algebra on the back porch today when T1 yells "FOX!!"

This is not something that I hear the kids yell every day. I darted out the back door expecting to see a teensy little red fox or possibly a very large squirrel scampering away but no.....

This guy was big and very very VERY determined to get my chickens!
I was barefoot but I grabbed the pitchfork and ran towards him yelling "GIT!! GIT!! GIT!!!" The fox just stood there and even came towards me a few times. Then he bared his teeth. I've never encountered a mean fox before. Heck, who am I kidding?, I've never been that close to ANY fox before. I'm thinking Copper from the Fox and the Hound. This guy's name was not Copper, let me tell ya.

This guy kept coming back for more. He had no fear what so ever of us. His eye was on the prize. The prize was a triple chicken dinner.

Not today foxy.... not today.


Do you see my poor stupid hens checking out the fox on the other side of the gate? They're all like "Hey! You wanna play?,, you wanna come join our flock?" and all the while Foxy is licking his lips. We don't live in the woods people! It may look like it from these pictures but we live right in town!

Ugh, now we can't let the hens out in the "barnyard". We have to keep them in the coop. They are not going to be happy.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween at Carter Caves

We spent last weekend camping at Carter Caves. It was so much fun. I can't wait to do it again next year. They have a Trick or Treat weekend. All the campsites are decorated to the hilt! There are pumpkin contests, site decorating contests, costume contests, ghost stories, scary (ish) movies on the big screen, and more!
Let me just say,,, it's REALLY hard to get a good shot inside a cave without the proper equipment! In Cascade Cave they set up a stage and had two marvelous story tellers sing songs and tell ghost stories. That was a blast and would have been even better had the audience not been incrediably rude. What's up with that? The red blob you see is one of the story tellers dressed up as "The Devil's Daughter". She was great.

I gave the kids the carving equipment and told them to "go to it" this is what they came up with! They had a lot of fun doing it.
The light and the leaves were just perfect.

T2 Dressed up as "A Halo Guy". He and daddy made the costume. Homemade costumes are the way to go aren't they? I mean, anyone can BUY a costume, but it takes more imagination and skill to come up with one on your own!
Oh, and T1 decided he didn't want to dress up but at the last minute he decided he wanted to Trick or Treat. So he went as "average pre-teen boy" ha ha ha Isn't that scary enough?

We'll definately go again next year. That was the best Trick-or-Treating ever!

The legend of Stingy Jack
In old Ireland, there was a drunkard named Jack. Jack was so stingy that he only ate turnips. He spent most of his days and most of his nights at the pub.
On one of these nights he said he'd trade his soul for a shilling for just one more drink. Well the ol' Devil heard this and asked Stingy Jack if he meant it. Jack replied
"oh yes, my soul for another drink".
So the Satan turned himself into a shilling and spun 'round landing on the bar. Kinda gives new meaning to "the love of money is the root of all evil" doesn't it?
Instead of buying a pint with that coin, Stingy Jack put that devil of a coin into his pocket and headed home, munching on a turnip. He kept it there for some time but Old Scratch whined and carried on and made such a ruckus from inside that pocket that Jack struck a deal with him.
"If you'll agree to not come back for my soul for 10 years, I'll let you out"
Well, reluctantly, the devil agreed and Jack took the coin out of his trouser pocket and flipped it into the air. The coin sprung to life, turning back into the Devil. Now you'd think that with such an experience that you'd mend your ways. You'd try to be a better person but being who he was and generally just being human, Jack continued being Jack.
Ten years to the day, Jack was walking home after being at the pub. The 'ol Devil appeared in his path. Jack wasn't surprised but was a little dismayed. He'd hoped the devil had forgotten but he DID strike a deal with him so he said,
"I'm ready to go with you, I am, but first, as my last request, may I have one of those apples from atop that apple tree. I'm so hungry"
The Devil thought this was a reasonable request and was frankly a little thrown at the lack of fighting and opposition on Jacks part. The devil climbed up the tree to get the apple. As soon as he was at the top, Jack took out his knife and cut a cross on the trunk of the tree.Now you and I know that the devil can never come across the sacred symbol of Christianity! Oh but he wailed and cried and carried on. Finally Jack was ready to strike a deal with him again. He said
"I'll get you down but you have to promise to never try and come for my soul again!"
The Devil baulked at this, he did not want to agree to it but he had no choice! Jack threw him up a rope. Satan tied it to a tree limb and Jack tied the other end to the base of a horse hitching post. Together they made a slide of sorts out of the side of the tree so the devil could get down.
Well, Jack went on living his life. Never amending his ways. One day, as all folks do, Jack died a natural death. Since the Devil could not claim his soul Jack went to the Pearly Gates. St. Peter said "Jack? What are you doing here? You were selfish, drunken and unrepentant your whole life, I cannot give you entry into the gates of Heaven!" "You will have to go... DOWNSTAIRS"In an instant, Jack found himself in Hell. The Devil said "Jack? What are you doing here? You know I cannot claim your soul!" Jack explained that he had no where else to go to which the devil replied "GO BACK WHERE YOU CAME FROM!" But the way back was dark and windy so as a final gesture a coal from the pits of Hell was thrown to light his path. Jack scooped up the coal and placed it in a hollowed out turnip he had been eating to keep it from burning his hand. Ever since Jack and his "lantern" has been traveling over the face of the earth looking for a place to rest. The Devil doesn't want any more dealings with that tricky old Jack so be sure to place a Jack-o-lantern on your stoop tonight!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Well, Today Was NOT Good

Today was "one of those days". I kept fighting "chance" all day and "chance" kept winning. When will I learn??

It started when I woke up late. I hardly ever sleep late anymore. I kinda wake up automatically at 7am or earlier. Today I woke at 9:02am. That's not terrible except we were supposed to be downtown at by 10:00am.

This is when I should have given up.

I persisted though. I looked for some clothes and realized that the majority of the boys clothing was still dirty from our camping trip. I'd thrown some in the washer the night before but they were still wet. I ran in and threw 2 pair of pants in the drier. If I could get them dry-ish by 9:30 we could still make it. I ran back into the bedroom to find myself something to wear and it was like aliens abducted me and I had lost time. It was now 9:25! EGAD!!!! I hadn't even bathed. I gave myself a spit bath and yelled at the kids to get up,, QUICKLY!

(yes, the kids will not get out of bed unless I yell at them)

We managed to get it together and headed out the door at 9:50. We were going to be late but we were still going to make it... kinda.

As we were getting off the exit at 16th st. , I hear THUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMPTHUMP

and I thought "when did they put rumble strips in here?"

Then I got a sick feeling, there are no rumble strips, it was my tire.

Where was I going to pull off? I found a RiteAid and pulled towards the back of the parking lot.

Getting out of the car, I hear a loud hiss. T1 also heard it and pointed at the front passenger tire.

"There it is!"

Looking down, I saw this:

Some giant chunk of road trash was lodged in my tire. It was loosing air fast. In just a few moments the tire was almost completely flat. Great, I'm going to have to change the tire. Now I'm no stranger to changing tires, I've done it many times but never on the Pathfinder. I know it makes no difference how big the car is that you're changing the tire on but jacking up that beast made me a little nervous.

First things first though. I had to find the supplies in the back to do it. I located the jack tools pretty easily and then I found the jack. The jack was BOLTED DOWN to the back of the car! Now this seems like a pretty simple obstacle to overcome but nothing is ever simple right?

  • It's like 29 degrees out and I'm totally not dressed for 29 degrees because,, oh,,, I don't know,, it's OCTOBER? My hands were freezing. Like icicles I tell you!

  • It is unclear where it is bolted down because it's embedded into the frame.

  • It's never been removed before and it's REALLY in there.
(not my trunk btw)

I did finally get it unscrewed and I learned stuff I guess. The kids learned a few new curses, too.

So then I stand there and say "Where is the spare?" I seriously didn't know! T1 and T2 both simultaneously pointed under the car.


So I have no idea how a person is supposed to get to that so if all else fails? Follow directions. I pulled out the owners manual and you will not believe this.

Really.. you won't. Get this, You have to assemble the jack tool in an unnatural fashion, blindly feed it down a long narrow hole in the bumper, and then imagine how to fit the "T" end of the jack tool into the key slot and then crank the tire down.

Again with the cursing. Really people, this is tricky.

So I get the spare off and by now, I'm FILTHY. That tire is GROSS. I move to the front of the car to put the jack under the frame. I'm laying on the ground trying to determine what is the car, what is the frame and what is fiberglass. It's not as cut and dry as one might think!

About now I hear "YOU NEED SOME HELP?"

The nicest old guy came over and helped me. As he was getting down on the ground to look under the car he said "I just had knee replacement 3 months ago, I better take it slow!"

Oh my goodness. I begged him to let me do it but he wouldn't hear of it.

We worked together and had that tire off and the spare on in no time flat after that. Such a nice guy. I was happy for the help. This also is not the best part of town. 16th St. is known for it's shady company. I knew immediately that this guy was decent. We missed the class at the library of course. This is quite a long and convoluted tale and I could regale you for hours because this is not the end.

We came home and I got a real life shower. By this point, bathing was NOT an option. I was gross. I called my mom to see if she needed a ride to work and she did indeed need a ride. That gave me just enough time to run up to the mall and get the tire fixed.

It's now about a quarter till 12 and I'm at National Tire and Battery. They've always been really good about fixing our tires. We seem to have the worst luck picking up nails in our tires. Pretty sad considering how infrequently that car leaves the driveway.

I tell the tire guy that I've picked up a LARGE piece of metal in my tire and he says that it'll be at least 2 hours. Great. So the boys and I went to wander about the mall for a while. We had lunch and mooched some magazines at Borders. At 3pm I still hadn't heard from NT&B. They were supposed to call my cell when they were ready for me to come pick it up. I decided that we'd walk back to NT&B and wait there. We wait in the waiting room for about 10m when I decide that we have to go. I have to get mom to work by 4. When I step back out to the counter the tire man says "OH, I was just getting to yours!"


So I told him "how 'bout I leave the tire with you, I have to go" He says... (here's the kicker people) "oh! yeah, you can do that"


So he goes out to get the tire and comes back in without it. He was gone like 3 minutes? He lets me in on the news

"yeah, that hole is too big, we can't fix it"

Oh. My. God. You couldn't tell me this almost 3 HOURS AGO? I wanted to throttle him. I get to buy new tires. JOY.

So I whip over to Mom's house (which is fortunately right around the corner) and take her to work on 5th St. I got NOTHING accomplished today. NOTHING. No school, no class, none of my other errands and chores. Such a failed day. I didn't get home until 4:30 and I was really feeling my blood pressure rise. So what do I do? Eat Ruffles chips and dip for dinner. Real good for the blood pressure huh? I think I need some orovo.

Now I'm setting here at 1:46am and I realize I didn't turn the chicken light off. My poor birds are trying to sleep with a 45watt bulb shining in their face. Maybe tomorrow will be better.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Slow. I like slow

Not a lot to report.

T1 cracked his head at the roller rink on Tuesday and we had to take him to the hospital. He had/has a concussion. How do you know when you no longer have a concussion? When it stops hurting? That was a nice unexpected expense.

We were supposed to go to Fort Boonesborough on Wednesday but we had to stay home and watch his head do nothing. Yay.

Today we didn't do jack squat. Well,, we did go to Lowes. I had to price some PVC pipe and wood for room dividers and shelves.

I finished a scarf today of my own design. I'll post a pattern soon. I think I'll try to write the pattern down and then test knit it myself. It was a quicky so no big whoop.

We're supposed to go camping this weekend. The weather is going to suck but oh well,, it'll be an adventure.

I haven't done laundry or anything else for that matter for days.

I did cook a turkey and made turkey soup. Yippee.

Wow.. I'm just a bundle of fun aren't I?

Oh,, I did finish a Truly Tasha Tudor Shawl on Sunday. Ravelers HERE.

That's a friend of mine from Knittin' Kittens modeling it for me. That's awful yarn is it not? BLECH! I ran out and was only able to put the trim on one side but it turned out very cozy and nice just the same. I donated it to the Oncology Center at Cabell Huntington. I wonder why that one spot looks so messed up? eh,, no matter.


This Tshirt and other funny t-shirts are available at



I'm a little to into my chickens. I've mentioned before that they are "my girls". They make me really happy. One day when we have a lot more room we'll raise some meat birds but My Girls will retire and live as long the Lord lets them.
I've been reading about what things I can add to their diet to keep them healthy and keep their egg production coming at a normal pace. Over and over again, I read that plain unsweetened yogurt was really good for them and they LOVE it. I had to run right out and get them some. It was on sale this week at Kroger. BONUS.
The directions for feeding chickens yogurt are:
1. Put yogurt in a bowl.
2. RUN!!
HOLY MOLY did the yogurt fly! They are crazy for the stuff! Oh we laughed and laughed. So much pleasure for $1.99.
That's Miss Prissy by the way. She's the one who had the egg problems a while back. She and I have a bond now.
Ok,, so it's a weird bond and it's probably only me but whatever... humor me OK?

What would be the best diet pill for me? One that made white chocolate covered Oreos look gross to me! OMG,, they make me salivate like Homer Simpson. Oreos... tastey Oreos... beautiful white chocolate covered Oreos.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


All da plumbers in da house, pull your pants up!

Ok, I have no idea how long they'll let this stay up but I captured this with my camera. This is one of the best things I've seen yet. Pure gold.
Here's a direct link to it. LINKY

Oh,, the music player is on the right hand side,, just click the square to turn it off.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Ok,, this is nice!!!

For anyone who tunes in here regularly, you know that I complete little assignments and I generally tack them on to the end of my usual posts about my every so boring life in general. I rarely ever identify with any of the products but I say a little something about it and move on. Everyone's happy right?
Today's looked no different but I checked out the link to see what I would be writing about and what a breath of fresh air!! Funny republican baby tshirts! There are always such funny liberal T's and that's cool but rarely do you see any good Libertarian or Republican stuff!
Oh,, and this site has cute baby clothes, too!

Sometimes you just can't help it.

You just loose it, ya know?
So today T1 and I were reviewing exponents and variables. Reviewing mind you.... meaning he should already kinda have this down.. right?
I ask him to simplify -3xrrxxt
Now the right answer is -3 x^3 r^2 t (sorry, I have no clue how to type exponents otherwise)
He says -3x to the "r" to the "t"
Ok,, I'm gonna kick his B to the U to T SQUARED if he doesn't start using his BRAIN!!!
Do you think some digital signage with math rules on it would help? Yeah,, me neither

My Hiney Hurts

Because I sat on it all day.
I'm not kidding. I got really into working on a project and I didn't get up for hours!
I really wanted to get it done while I was motivated to do it,, ya know?
A group of us homeschool parents wanted to create a place where everyone could get together, take classes, socialize, hold meetings (scouts, 4H, project day, etc) all on one day. We're all really tired of keeping the roads hot every day of the week. Sure,, sometimes it'll be a really long day but then it'll be OVER and we can sleep in the next day! ha ha (like that'd ever happen!)
So we're getting ready to have the grand kick-off for E.A.G.L.E Education and Group Learning Enrichment. We also wanted to launch a website so I guess this is it's "soft open" as it were!
Check out
I made it all by my lonesome! I used real life HTML and everything! It even has a message board! Be sure to check out the links page because that took me FOREVER! ha ha. Now some of the tabs are really lacking content but it's only because I have no content to put in them yet!
I have to write about acne. Acne stinks... big time.. so there

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Some Updates

Monday the 13th- My meeting with other moms about the Homeschool Enrichment Program went exceedingly well. Afterwards I went out and mooched a bale of hay and got a bag of apples. I made apple butter from them that night and canned them the next morning!
Tuesday the 14th- Went to my housecleaning job and I didn't feel like I made any progress. I hate that. I really want to do a spectacular job and sometimes no matter how hard I work, stuff just doesn't show. Oh well, I do what I can do,, you know? That evening we went to a skating birthday party. Fun stuff!
Wednesday the 15th- Spanish class, my kids are dorks, I'm going to leave it at that. After that we came home and got our hovercraft for Science Club. I can't wait until someone sends me some pictures of that contraption because it ROCKS! Really, it was so cool.

OK,, so I have a few complaints about stoopid people.
The Walmart Lady
I ran down to Walmart the other night to get a bit of 5mil plastic for the skirt on our hovercraft. I asked the lady if I could get about 5 feet cut. She grabs her yard stick and scissors and follows me to the rolly rack that has all the plastic and flocked back table cover and the like.
She's trying to measure this 60in wide plastic off the roll with a YARD STICK. She didn't act like she wanted me to help her at all! She kept on giving me that "I'VE GOT IT" huff when I'd offer to hold it taught for her.
Ok,, whatever,, except it's imperative that I not come home with less than 55 inches of the stuff. If she cuts it wrong then I'm bringing it back.
She awkwardly cuts it and takes it to the desk to remeasure it.
I'll let you guess if she did or not.
Answer: No.
48 inches.
She says "I don't know how I did that!" and "I'll just have to try again!"
So we saunter back over to the rolly rack and she pulls out more plastic. Now the roll that I want is all the way at the bottom. I start to mention to her that she should pull it all the way out and then measure it when another walmart lady walks up. They both start to struggle with the measuring of this plastic when I say
"you know,, the tiles on the floor are exactly 12 inches"
WML #2 says "No they aren't"
and by now these women had started to make me nervous because I could see that there was very little plastic left on the roll so I said "Yes they are!"
I grab the yard stick (from the floor, not out of her hand) and measure a tile on the floor
"see, they are exactly 12 inches. If you pull out the plastic, line the bottom up with a row of tiles, and then count up 5 tiles, you'll have 5 feet and the piece will be exactly plum"
They both looked at me like I was an alien.
WML#1 handed me the scissors. I KID YOU NOT.
So we take the piece back over to the table and she acted surprised that it worked!
This is not rocket science people.
Then it gets really good. This stuff is sold by the foot, not by the yard like everything else in the fabric department. She looks over at her conversion chart and says "5 feet isn't a yard and 2/3rds" and I said "sure it is".
She argued and argued with me AND the conversion chart!
She finally charged me for a yard and 2/3rds. Here's the kicker....
It's $1.97 a foot, not a yard. She charged me $2.60 for the entire piece instead of $9.85.
Pure genius.

Fire Station Lady
We needed a slick spot to test our hovercraft. I never imagined when I conceived of making this thing that it would be SO LOUD. I didn't want to run it in the library, you know.. the Shhhhh factor.
So I walked up to the fire station to see if they would let us use the garage floor for about 15 minutes. I talked to a little guy and he said he didn't think that would be a problem, just go upstairs and make an appointment.
I go up and talk to the secretary. I tell her what we're doing and why we need the floor.
You'da thought that I was asking to disenbowl kittens or karate chop kindergartners. Every time I pleaded with her she would say "oh no, I don't think so, someone could get hurt, we can't have things floating in here"
"It DOESN'T FLOAT LADY", "you get farther off the floor when you walk!"
"oh no, there's too much liability with that"
OMG. Omg omg omg omg.
I shoulda just showed up and and asked for forgiveness later. I really want to show the boys that to follow procedure and be nice but seriously,, it's really REALLY difficult when people are idiots.
We ended up doing it at the library btw. They are SO good to us!
Appetizer recipes. Now THAT is right up my alley!