Sunday, December 26, 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010
I've been reading a blog...Cold Antler Farm...the blog of a young woman, realizing her dream of becoming a farmer. She makes you believe that your dreams can become a reality too...When you have a moment - check her year in pictures:
It was after watching that video that I couldn't wait any longer...I had to find out just how close we were. I looked online and found a realtor (a husband and wife team) who specializes in helping people find small farms in the counties that we are looking at. They guided me to a wonderful lender, who also specializes in credit counseling and helps you understand which debts you need to focus on. Our lender put together a game plan for us and everything looks like we'll be good to go once we get our income taxes back and take the first couple of months of 2011 to work on paying off and paying on time etc. SO we are going to watch the home for sale - work on the plan and HOPEFULLY try and get something going around March. The goal is still to move at the end of the kids' school year -but if we could get a home sooner than that...WOOT!
So here I sit, watching It's a Wonderful Life...and thinking about how it truly is. Our five children are in their beds with visions of sugar plums dancing over their heads. I've got my favorite guy on the couch next to me. My trusty dog is "her chair". A cat sleeping under the tree and other scurrying around here and there. A coating of snow blankets our front lawn.
NORAD says that Santa is heading toward Charleston, SC...so I better be off to bed now.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
We had a great dinner inside the trolley at the Spaghetti Warehouse, watched our first showing ever of the Dayton Ballet's Nutcracker and ended the night (so I thought) with walk around Lincoln Park, a park in our town that goes crazy with Christmas Lights. They remove their water from the fountains and put lit trees throughout. As we were walking through the trees...holding hands and stopping for the occasional kiss...Mark started with "the talk"...the good talk...the I'm everything he has ever imagine in a partner talk...OH! I thought - this is it! He's going to ask me to marry him! He reaches in his pocket for what I thought could be that little box filled with a band of gold and maybe a diamond that says he wants to be with me forever. But WAIT! It's a long box! Oh crap...I think I'm just getting my early Christmas present...a necklace? a pen set? :-) What could it be? It's a Nutcracker. He wanted me to always remember this night and think about this moment each time I looked at this sweet little Nutcracker, holding a tool box, with a hammer and a beautiful diamond ring! He didn't go for the single diamond either. I was marrying him...but I was also marrying his daughters too and he gave me a beautiful ring with a larger diamond in the center and a smaller one on each side (this was before the past/present/future bands came around and he had to have my ring specially created for me). He got down on one knee and asked me the most wonderful question I've ever been asked (by the most wonderful man I've ever known)...and of course I answered YES!
Last night, we were able to recreate that date with a couple of tag-alongs. Tiff, Kait, Gage, Drake and Cora - all seven of us were able to have a great Spaghetti Warehouse dinner and watch the 7:30 showing of the Nutcracker (the kids all stayed awake, loved the mice and the sheep and toe shoes and truly enjoyed the ballet) and because it was tremendously cold we drove (rather than walk) through Lincoln Park to see the lights. It was incredible to experience that night again with all of our kids.
It has been a crazy 15 years, lots of ups and of course some downs, five kids, a handful of moves - we are working on our biggest venture yet. One of the kids asked me if I still would have said "yes" and as I looked around at all those faces, thinking about how I'm the luckiest woman ever my answer was "Absolutely" and then I was asked if I would have done anything different...looking at those same sweet faces and hearing all of our laughter my answer was "Never"...here's some pics for your enjoyment.
Sept. 1995 - We met
Oct. 1995 - We moved in together
Dec. 1995 - We got engaged
July 1996 - We got married in Lincoln Park, the same place we got engaged so the girls could be a part of our special day
Dec. 1996 - We had our wedding ceremony with the rest of the family (yes, we celebrate both anniversaries)
Nov. 1997 - We got pregnant with Gage!
Aug. 1998 - We had Gage...on August 8th, 1998...he was 10 pounds 1.2 ounces
Dec. 1998 - We got custody of Tiff
June 1999 - We got custody of Kait
Oct. 2000 - We moved to Fox Hunt Apartments
Nov. 2000 - We had Drake...on Nov. 10, 2000...he was born nearly 4 weeks early and was still 7 pounds 7 ounces
Fall 2001 - Shelby started back to college
Fall 2003 - Mark started back to college
Oct. 2003 - We had Cora...on Oct. 24th, 2003...born two weeks early and was 8 pounds 8 ounces 2005 - Moved back to our house on Culver
Early 2005 - Tiffany moved out
June 2006 - Shelby graduated from Wright State University
June 2006 - We moved to Florida, Shelby started working for Truefire.
Fall 2006 - Mark started University of South Florida
Oct. 2006 - Kait moved out
2007 - Mark worked at Great Explorations
Fall 2008 - Moved back to Ohio
Nov. 2008 - We moved into our current apartment
Dec. 2008 - Shelby started working for Ecos
Jan. 2009 - Mark started back at Wright State to finish his degree
June 2009 - Kait moved back in with us :-)
June 2010 - Mark graduated from college
Dec. 2010 - Tiff moved back in and the whole family is back together.
Dec. 18th 2010 - Recreated our engagement night with the whole family.
....and for the future...here's hoping that in June of 2011 we will be buying our farm and establishing our homestead.
Happy Sunday all...five more days until Christmas Eve!!!!!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
I'm hoping this works - I love having her here we all just need to...adjust.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
...So then tonight I received a phone call. "Hi, um...I need to talk...um I know this is going to be a shock..." In my head, while I'm talking to my 23 year old daughter, I'm thinking I'm going to become a grandmother...but the conversation turned to..."and well, can I move back home?" (Best Decision Ever) and our apartment is getting ready to get ever so slightly smaller...Did I mention she asked if she could bring her cat? I drew a hazy line in the sand and said "Please try and find a home for the cat".
Looks like fate might be pointing us in a new direction soon. Where's my farm house?
Saturday, December 4, 2010
This morning we woke a dusting of snow...no big deal, I thought, we can still go through with our plans of watching the horse-drawn carriage parade tonight, I thought. But then it started to snow again...and it just keeps coming...it's not horrible - only about an inch and 1/2...but I don't really see an end in sight. It might be a night for hot cocoa and blankets on the couch.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
The perfect size would be a 40x48 ft. barn. Here is the plan for the interior layout:
The living room leads into the dining room (this whole side of the house -living/dining/kitchen is open concept). The dining room will be big enough for our entire family to sit around the table without anyone being trapped in their seat and not having enough room to walk around. Along the wall: built in mega pantry of the WORLD! I want enough space in my pantry to can enough food for at least 6 months (preferable a year) - I also want addition storage in here for large stock pots, bowls, and crock pots etc.
The kitchen will be perfect. The sink will have a window in front to be able to look out while washing dishes. A dishwasher is a MUST - I know there is a "green" debate on dishwashers - but last I read, if you have a very efficient dishwasher you use less water than you would hand washing. Plus, we spend SO much of our time hand washing dishes - if we had a dishwasher, during canning season especially, life would be SO much easier. I'd like to have a stove/oven combo and a wall oven - we cook SO much and on the farm we'd be home cooking even more often and having the ability to cook at multiple temperatures. I also want a HUGE island to be able to use as a prep area for canning, baking etc. I want both a fridge/freezer combo and a stand up deep freeze to have easy access to stored food.
In the main hall the runs the length of the barn we'd like a nice wood burning stove to keep us warm - we don't plan on having a furnace. Also, we'd like a large, but narrow storage area on the side to store our Christmas and memory boxes etc.
Opposite of all that will be mine and Mark's bedroom - we are happy with a simple room - we just want enough room to walk the bed without having to turn sideways or crawl over something. Our bathroom will be roomy - we want a big bathtub...because frankly sometimes we like to relax in the tub, together. Next is our office area that has built in storage under the stairs going to the loft/kids bedroom area. and then the laundry room, that has a 1/2 bed off to one side and walks through to an extra bedroom. In the laundry area - I want retractable clothes lines to hang clothes during the winter and rainy days. I still want a dryer - but hope to only use it in emergency situations. **Up near Cora's bedroom, I want a laundry shoot so it makes it easier for the kids to throw their dirty laundry downstairs.
Speaking of the kids - lets talk about the upstairs. I want the central area to be an open loft area with games, a library/reading spots, a pool table??? If it is open, then we can still be connected to the kids even if they are doing something different. On either end of the loft area will be a bedroom - Cora gets her own with either a double bed, or a single with a trundle. The boys will either share a bedroom - or have smaller separate bedrooms - depending on what they decide at the time (we go back and forth on this one).
I love the idea of having the suspended, sliding barn doors, instead of the swing open doors. I'm thinking something along the lines of this:
Having doors like this just allows more room for better furniture placement etc.
Outside we want a nice deck space with an area to cook outside (we REALLY enjoy grilling out). I'd love some of the deck area to be covered to be able to get out of the sun, but still enjoy the outside area. We want a smaller barn area to house whatever animals we have (but big enough for them to be comfortable). We also want a CUTE chicken coop - yes, we are one of those...who want our coop to be cute, with flower window boxes for the ladies etc.
We'd love to have a minimum of 5 acres - but honestly the more the better! My dream is like 30 acres. We wouldn't farm all 30 acres - I don't think that is necessary. We only want enough to sustain our family and some extra to help others. I'd like for us to have plenty of room for our barn, our pasture and animals, a play yard for the kids, garden, wooded area for hiking and exploring - a creek would be AMAZING!!!! In a perfect world, we will also have enough property to add a few (hopefully 5) "shanties" - MUCH smaller homes on the property to allow our children a place (Tiff and Kait could stay there now, the kids when they are older) to still live close to home to go to school, work on their career, start their families - without the stress of HAVING to pay for an apartment - but having individual space so we aren't all right on top of each other. While the little ones are still little we'd only need a couple shanties and build them as we need to.
So what are we waiting for? Credit score, down payment and to know where work is going to take us. The hope is that by the kids are done with school in June we will have all the direction, credit worthiness and savings to get everything we need...or at least enough to get us in the right spot and we are willing to work on building the rest.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
The sad part of Drake's birthday is that he felt jinxed. The night before his seventh birthday he got seven stitches over his left eye. Certainly scary but not life threatening. This year his birthday was different. It started with normal birthday morning kisses, delivering treats to the class (yummy homemade pumpkin muffins with homemade cream cheese icing with vanilla and cinnamon) - and then Mark and I went off to work. Then, I received a call from my Dad. I could tell from his tone that something terrible had happen. I know this is going to sound morbid...but I have this list in my head. The "hello Shelby, this is your Dad/Mom/Mark/Uncle and so and so has passed/is in the hospital" list. I know...it's horrible that this list exists but there are certain people in our family that aren't in the best of health or are very elderly and I would imagine that sooner than later we will be receiving the dreaded call that something has happened...but again, this time it was different. My dad continued to say that my Aunt Lynn, my 57 year old aunt, was struck by a car and killed instantly. The story began that she and my uncle were walking my cousin's dog on a beautiful, clear day, just as the often do...and the story ended with learning that a "man" who had taken ambien, valium and geodon and was overly concerned about his "missed cell phone call" had veered so far off the road that he struck my aunt with the driver's side of his car, throwing her body 50 ft. in the air, nearly struck my uncle (if it hadn't been for the dog pulling him to the side) and as Lynn crashed to the ground - my uncle didn't even realize that was his wife for the past 15 years of his life. Mother to his stepdaughter and stepmother to his children, grandmother, best friend. He ran to be by her side...but it was too late and she was gone. What makes this man feel like it is ok to drive in this condition? At what point will he learn his lesson? Did I mention that this was his THIRD accident this month? One accident he hit a woman's car so violently that it pushed her car off the road into a telephone pole, another accident the other driver said that he saw Forshee (the driver) coming up behind him and braced for the crash...at impact you would think Forshee would immediately stop his vehicle - instead he continued to accelerate his vehicle for a while before coming to a stop. This man needs to be rehabilitated but he also needs to be jailed for his actions. This "man" has a wife and children - he has already killed someone - could you imagine if his family was in the car and he killed them?! Or if they had to experience this horrific accident? What if he would have killed my uncle as well? I don't understand how much has to happen to make this asshole realize he has a problem.
In addition to this accident, another Chittenango HS grad's car went off the road and rolled and she passed away and yet another Chittenango grad, a soldier in Afghanistan was killed by a roadside bomb...I know that this strong town will recover...but right now they are suffering from such extreme devastation. I feel so much sorrow for my little hometown. But here is what I believe and what I told Drake...his birthday is certainly NOT jinxed...we could have died on his birthday...but we didn't. On his seventh birthday he could have lost his entire eye and instead he only got a few stitches and his scar makes him look handsome, rugged and tough. Finally, although Aunt Lynn passed on Drake's birthday - if she had passed just two months earlier, she wouldn't have been able to make it to her daughter's wedding, or take the trip to China with my uncle to visit my cousin and his partner, or make a work trip to Vermont to see my other cousin and his partner...while it is unbelievable, heartbreaking, devastating that she died, I believe that when it is your time it is your time and fortunately she was able to leave her children and grandchildren with such wonderful memories.
So here I sit, watching Elf, on November 21...four days prior to Thanksgiving. Normally, such nonsense is boycotted until after the Thanksgiving holiday...once Black Friday arrives, I'm all about Christmas...but this year, I think it has hit me a couple days early. I think I just need the love, snuggles and warmth from my family that the holiday brings...it has been an extremely hard week. After we got back from NY I worked about 60 hours. trying to catch up and spent the weekend working a holiday event and giving away light bulbs.
I could really use a break right now.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
I wish our path would switch on a light or point an arrow or SOMETHING! How frustrating to stand at this fork in the road and truly have no idea which part of the Y we should go on. I despise this place. Hate it. Am willing to do just about ANYTHING to get out of here. I'm ready to go pitch a tent in the middle of nowhere. But my fear is that the moment we take fate into our hands and buy our piece of Heaven, work will say "BUT we need you HERE" UGH.
I do not enjoy living in limbo. I'm a planner.
We spent a couple evenings at my parents' campground this weekend - it is really beautiful there. Lots of stars, a cutie little pygmy goat and the best Trick or Treating ever! Yup, the kids got to do a trial run with Halloween this year and start stocking up on candy early. This is an annual event at this place and it is FUN! My parents found a really great location to store their RV and spend some nice time with neighbors and friends that they can get along with. Funny thing is that the people that live right across the "road" - the woman works at Cora and Drake's school...SMALL WORLD!
So today I went to the store and grabbed some more yarn to finish Cora's sweater...I'm dreaming of the day when I'll have a big enough kitchen to spread out, cook, can, preserve and prepare..a yard where Mark can play with the kids without fear that the neighbors are going to say or do something harmful. On a beautiful day like today...I'd love nothing more than to be knitting on my back deck and looking out over our land.
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Oh! BTW we FINALLY sat down to watch Food, Inc. last night and lets just say I hate Monsanto a little bit more now...need to get our land A-SAP!
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
We got back late Sunday and are still trying to catch up from the weekend.
I was able to have a sit down with our new Senior Manager this weekend and have a renewed excitement for my job. I've always loved my job - but this gives me an idea of what my future looks like...and it looks bright!!!!!
Sunday, September 19, 2010
Most of our children were very excited about our adventure; however, Gage, our city boy, was none to thrilled. We explained that sometimes we do things that accommodate things he thinks is fun (our recent trip to NYC) and sometimes we do things that the rest of us like. Drake stopped in the middle of the store - looked at me and said "Mommy, I LOVE this store" - he and Cora wanted to buy one of everything :-) (so did I!). After the store, we drove through the rolling hills of the Kidron, Millersburg area and saw so many beautiful farms and horses. We passed a ton of black, horse drawn carriages...some with open tops so they can enjoy the beautiful day. Some had just single young men, others had older couples (just a man and a woman), and some were filled to the brim with mama, papa and a handful of kids...little girls decked out in their bonnets. I am so fascinated by this culture. Did I mention that Gage said "Yeah! I thought it was really cool!!!"...when asked what he thought about our adventure.
Today we are going to A Wool Gathering at Youngs Jersey Dairy, outside of Yellow Springs, Ohio. Apparently they are going to have a number of wool vendors, sheep shearing demonstrations and yummy ice cream.
Next weekend Mark and I are going to go for our get-away weekend. Courtesy of my work :-) One of our programs needs help in the Pittsburgh area, so Mark and I are making the drive there and staying a couple of nights. We were trying to look for a way to spend our Sunday and an amazing opportunity fell into our lap! The Unusually Unusual Farmchick offered two free tickets to the Mother Earth News Fair...and Mark WON! We are going to try to sneak over there on Saturday too...but Sunday is going to be FILLED with learning about sustainable living...another GIANT leap toward our own sustainable farm life.
Last night Mark and I perused some of the land available in this area (online listings)...and drooled over a couple of the plots and one old farmhouse in particular. The plan is to build our dream...but if we can find something that someone has already built and it fits all of our needs we'll be happy to take it off their hands.
I wonder where life is taking us...I get frustrated but I think that is a twinkle of light I see at the end of this VERY long tunnel.
Monday, September 6, 2010
Sitting on the porch/patio with Mark and watching the kids explore our land.
Drinking sun tea with our own herbs mixed in.
Picking through our harvest.
Having a big island in our kitchen for canning.
Bread dough rising near the fire.
Watching movies on the side of our barn.
Watching the chickens scavenging through the yard.
Watching the goats play around.
Having time to stare, relax, crochet.
Taking a shower in our outdoor shower after a hot day in the garden.
Looking into a pantry filled with veggies and fruit from our garden.
Making apple crisp and apple pie from our very own apples.
Taking a tractor ride to the back lot and letting the kids pick out their own pumpkin.
A pot of soup made from our fresh veggies.
Having our dining room table in the middle of the room so no one is stuck in their seat and we can freely move around the table.
Dinners at the kitchen table (rather than TV trays).
Going an entire weekend without turning on the TV or playing on the computer (especially for the kids).
Snuggling up on our extra long couches and watching the fire.
Having a great kitchen where we can bake, cook, create our hearts out.
Having a dedicated area for the sewing machines so we can just hop on and be creative.
Swinging on a hammock with Mark, watching a spring rain sweep through our land.
Having an area outside good for cooking out.
Eating peaches and pear, still warm from the sun.
Rows and rows of berries - blackberries, raspberries, black-raspberries, strawberries.
Having a space for everything.
A comfy spot to be lazy on our patio.
Finding an old barn to tear down and use the wood to create elements of our new home.
Driving the nails into the wood to form our home.
Not living in the ghetto.
Challenging Mark to a game of scrabble on our game board end table.
Hearing the "clank" sound of our bottles as Mark and I "cheers" to a dream come true.
Sunday, August 29, 2010
We are trying to do our ultimate spring cleaning...now that it is almost fall...to make this apartment a nicer place to live. I know with Ohio winters we will be spending much of our time inside and we need to have space to be able to spread out a bit.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Go through the clothes and find out who needs what...Check!
Buy new backpacks...Check!
School supplies...Check, Check, Check!
Cora's hair dyed raspberry...Check!
Drake's hair dyed blue...Check!
Gage's hair dyed Midnight blue...Check!
Met Drake and Cora's teacher...Check and Check!
It is close to bedtime at the Roberts' and the kids are ready for a brand new school year. I find it unbelievable that Gage is going into 7th grade, Drake 4th and Cora is in 1st. Kait is starting her sophomore year in college. I'm not ready for my kids to grow up this fast. Don't get me wrong...I find it awesome and amazing to watch them grow into these the incredible human beings - so different and complimentary, so sweet and conscious of others feelings (most times), so wild and crazy and yet very well behaved. I'm proud of my kids. Sometimes though it is hard to stretch out that umbilical cord and hopefully, one day, I'll be ready to cut it.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
We had a crazy trip last week. Two weeks ago today I was notified by my company that they needed some help with their Philadelphia program and they asked if I would be able to come and help for a few days/week. Mark and I were going to make the trip together and then the three little ones decided they wanted to tag along too.
We left on Saturday morning...it's about a 10 hr. drive from here to there...but on the way in we decided to make a pitstop at Hershey's Chocolate World. We rode the ride, we sampled the chocolate, we bought some goodies...and we got back on the rode. An hour and 1/2 later (ish) we were checked into our hotel in King of Prussia. Sunday morning we got up and made the just over 2 hr. drive to NYC for Mr. Gage's birthday!! Gage is definitely my city boy and loves everything that the bright lights of New York have to offer. This was our first time getting out of the car and really being able to explore the city. We parked near Central Park and climbed the rock structures there, we walked down Madison Ave and 5th, we went into the Trump Tower and made our way down to the Empire State Building (with a limited budget...just a glimpse from the outside would have to do this time)...After that, we made our way back up Broadway and through Times Square...we got to see the magical "ball" and I realized it was MUCH smaller than I expected. The trip was amazing and I'm so glad we were able to do it!
Back in Philly, I had a ton of work to do...but we were able to fit in a couple of side trips between work. We made our way into downtown Philadelphia and saw the Liberty Bell, toured Independence Hall and stood in the rooms where the Declaration and the Constitution were signed and took a walk through Chinatown. Finally, on our last night there, we took a drive over to Atlantic City...dude, this place is a fairly shifty. I guess I had mini-Vegas strip in my mind...but it was more like casino - scary ass ghetto - casino - scary ass ghetto...not really a place that I'd got to "hang"...we just parked at the Taj Garaj...we walked into the Taj Mahal and I introduced the kids to the wonderful world of slot machines (I truly hate slots...but they were on the edge of the main hall and the kids wanted to see what those things actually did...BTW, I'm up $5!), we walked out onto the boardwalk...all the way to the end...past the rides and games...we walked out onto the beach and dig our toes into the sand...the dirty, yucky sand - but hey, it counts! We let the water run over our feet (and in the kids case...their entire legs, some of their shirt etc). Once we sat on the bench on the boardwalk for a bit we decided we should head back to the hotel. Oh! I nearly forgot...they had this big, circular, birdcage type thing out on the boardwalk, near the taj Mahal...at around 10:30p or so, they had a family (Dad, Mom and two kids) come out and ride their motorcycles in the cage...one at a time, doing 360's, multiple people in at once, a little girl standing there while her dad rode around her...scary and cool at the same time...the kids thought it was amazing.
I'm so fortunate that my work allows us these occasional trips...that I can take advantage of a free hotel room and while I might be putting in long hours...it also allows us to play and adventure as a family and do things we were certainly not expecting to do. This unexpected trip will hopefully get our family through another couple of months in the ghetto...before our next adventure and hopefully (eventually) the ultimate adventure of moving!
Friday, August 6, 2010
In garden news...after harvesting nearly five pounds of potatoes last week...we decided to eat them (they were amazing!) - the skin was very thin, the potatoes had a nice flavor and most importantly - we GREW them! We have baby tomatoes growing out there - our tomatoes seem to be late bloomers...but then again we grew from seeds and had a late start after our first set of seeds were AHEM destroyed! But they are growing cute little baby ones. The cucumbers are tasty and I THINK I might be seeing some beans out there (checking from the window, we need to venture out there). All of this part is just trial and error - we'll see what works and what doesn't...this doesn't seem to be a stellar year for the garden, but anything home grown is better than nothing.
Thursday, August 5, 2010
Sunday, August 1, 2010
POTATO! POTATO! POTATO! It is so exciting to excavate and find those little nuggets of gold. We found little tiny baby ones and ginormous ones - so so exciting! Not to mention that we grew (I'm guessing) around five pounds of potatoes!!! SWEET...these will go nicely with some pork tenderloin in the next couple of days and I'm sure another meal (or two?).
Then we (and by "we" I mean "Mark") brought the dirt around and we spread it over the front garden - which makes it look so nice. Strangely though, us being out there cleaning encouraged some of the other neighbors to come out and clean up their spaces...I mean, I'm talking baby steps here but still...counts! We had one neighbor come out and sweep up her door frame and main hall area - she asked if we were coffee drinkers and if she could have an old container to add dirt to for cigarette butts...others were talking to us about gardening (both the flower garden in the front and the vegetable garden in the back). We had kids playing in the front yard, neighbors being somewhat neighborly and our garden looks really pretty.
After all that, we went through the remaining items from my friend and her daughter from their "great move". We finished playing "keep or toss" with the toys and browsed through a ton of books and took the remaining to Goodwill (I'm talking boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff...I'm thinking it was 3-4 VAN FULLS)...amazing what she collected over the years and was ready to get rid of and after our children went through and kept all that their hearts desired and still had that much to giveaway. Our friend is ALMOST settled, I'm impressed by everything she has been able to do in the past couple of weeks.
Then, we went over to my parents' house and visited with a family friend that we haven't seen in many, many years. It was nice to catch up and share old stories, talk about babies (who have now grown into young adults) and make tentative plans for future get togethers. Did I mention that we were even ON TIME for the party and brought a cucumber (mostly from our garden), tomato (mostly from Aullwood Farm) and Mozzarella Salad (YUM!).
Gotta say...I think we kicked a little ass today.
Saturday, July 31, 2010
Another great part of the day...when we were on our way to the farm, right in our neighborhood, we found the garage deals of the century! As we were driving past, Mark says "hey, I think that's a water bath canner" (yes! I love my man) - I jumped out and Mark was absolutely right! It was not JUST a canner - but a canner with the wire rack - for $4!!!!! FOUR DOLLARS! I doubt that it has even been used! I also found a blue and white pitcher and wash bowl for $5 and a serving bowl for $.75!! I couldn't believe it! All that for less than $10. SCORE!!!
Today was a good day.
Friday, July 30, 2010
I got some of my farm fix this week...Mark has been working all week with a group of 4-5 year old kids at Aullwood, for their "Farm Babies" program. Since a lot of my work this week required me to be in this area - I've been spending my lunch hours snuggling with pigs, goats, a baby cow, some sheep, a bunch of chickens and being in awe of their garden. Their sunflowers reach high above my head...they let us come home today with a green pepper, a handful of tomatoes and a couple of carrots. I LOVE LOVE farm fresh food and I love sharing our garden and others sharing with us. I can't wait until we have our garden and can teach our children the importance of growing enough to share with family, friends, neighbors and strangers.
Love the way you lie....
Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
Well that's all right because I like the way it hurts
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
Well that's all right because I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie
I can't tell you what it really is, I can only tell you what it feels like
And right now it's a steel knife in my windpipe
I can't breathe but I still fight while I can fight
As long as the wrong feels right it's like I'm in flight
High off her love, drunk from my hate, it's like I'm huffin' paint
And I love it the more I suffer, I suffocate
And right before I'm about to drown, she resuscitates me, she f**kin' hates me
And I love it, "wait, where you goin'?"
"I'm leavin' you," "no you ain't come back"
We're runnin' right back, here we go again
So insane, cause when it's goin' good it's goin' great
I'm superman with the wind in his back, she's Lois Lane
But when it's bad it's awful, I feel so ashamed I snap
Whose that dude? I don't even know his name
I laid hands on her
I never stoop so low again
I guess I don't know my own strength
Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
Well that's all right because I like the way it hurts
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
Well that's all right because I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie
You ever love somebody so much you can barely breathe
When you with em you meet and neither one of you even know what hit em
Got that warm fuzzy feeling
Yeah them chills used to get em
Now you're getting f**kin' sick of lookin' at em
You swore you'd never hit em, never do nothin' to hurt em
Now you're in each other's face spewin' venom in your words when you spit em
You push pull each other's hair
Scratch claw hit em throw em down pin em
So lost in the moments when you're in em
It's the face that's the culprit, controls you both
So they say it's best to go your seperate ways
Guess that they don't know ya
Cause today that was yesterday
Yesterday is over, it's a different day
Sound like broken records playin' over
But you promised her next time you'll show restraint
You don't get another chance
Life is no nintendo game, but you lied again
Now you get to watch her leave out the window
Guess that's why they call it window pane
Just gonna stand there and watch me burn
Well that's all right because I like the way it hurts
Just gonna stand there and hear me cry
Well that's all right because I love the way you lie
I love the way you lie
Now I know we said things, did things, that we didn't mean
And we fall back into the same patterns, same routine
But your temper's just as bad as mine is, you're the same as me
When it comes to love you're just as blinded
Baby please come back, it wasn't you, baby it was me
Maybe our relationship isn't as crazy as it seems
Maybe that's what happens when a tornado meets a volcano
All I know is I love you too much to walk away though
Come inside, pick up the bags off the sidewalk
Don't you hear sincerity in my voice when I talk?
Told you this is my fault, look me in the eyeball
Next time I'm pissed I'll aim my fist at the drywall
Next time there won't be no next time
I apologize even though I know it's lies
I'm tired of the games I just want her back
I know I'm a liar if she ever tries to f**kin' leave again
I'ma tie her to the bed and set this house on fire
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
BTW - I'm not a dog hater...I LOVE all animals but these animals aren't treated properly...owners get them because they want to be cool pitbull owners - if were respectful of their animals and their neighbors, if they took the time to train their animals to stay with them and not shred gardens, knock over other animals and people - we'd have no issues.
Monday, July 26, 2010
I miss Mark when he's gone. I get used to him being here. Sometimes when I go to work he tags along (which I love). He's my very best friend, he's intelligent, he's a dreamer, we're very much the same, but very much different and he's the most handsome man I've ever seen. While we were camping we celebrated 14 years of marriage (we've been together for nearly 15 years). In that time we've had three children together, gained custody of his two daughters, moved from the Culver house to Fox Hunt, back to the Culver house, to the beaches of Florida, to my parents house and to here (the ghetto), we've gone to college and both have graduated, we've worked at different companies, saw many people join or be born into our families and we lost too many people, life has been a struggle for us at times but we have always faced the challenges head on and learned from those experiences. I look forward to the day when we are relaxing on our porch with a glass of sun tea and I'm kicking Mark's booty in scrabble.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Our garden is growing and our bushes and trees are looking gorgeous. I was worried that we might have lost one of our peach trees from the late replanting...but I saw new growth and that made me excited. Can't wait until next season when (hopefully) we'll have enough fruit to maybe make a pie.
Monday, July 19, 2010
I bought the supplies to create the cutest little change purse (if I do say so myself) for Belly. I've had a couple of requests for these (a-hem...looking at you Aimee and Drake) and just maybe one of these days I will get time to do them!
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Today, we have NO PLANS! NO COMMITMENTS! How did that work out? I mean, usually we are filled to the brim with work, or family, or life plans - but today - NOTHIN' not a thing. Am I going to work in the garden...maybe...(ok, probably), am I gonna clean the house - who knows I might just do something wacky like grocery shop. I'd love to use this time to hit a couple shops that I've been dying to check out - their is a hydroponics place that I'd like to look at (we are thinking of trying out aquaponics on the farm...that we will be getting eventually...) and there is this cute vintage shop that I just want to see what they have. Oh - and I MIGHT just fit a nap in this weekend. You just never know how crazy this Roberts family can get when we aren't committed to everything else.
Hope everyone has just as an amazing weekend as we plan to have.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
14 years ago, tomorrow, I made one of the best decisions I could have ever made. Mark and I went and got our marriage license. On my 22 birthday...I was young, but ready to become a wife and an instant mother to two young girls. I'm not saying I was perfect - or I did everything right...but I feel that I have been the best wife and mother I could have been (could be) with the tools and training that I was given. We've added three more amazing children to the mix and I think I've done a great job with them too...At least I've made it this far and it feels like the kids all still like to see me every morning and kiss me goodnight every night. I'm proud of the fact that I went back to school and got my degree. I'm proud of where my career is at right now and looking forward to see what the next year brings for that. I've realized that it truly doesn't matter what what anyone outside of my family unit thinks about the decisions that we make, because Mark and I ALWAYS consider what is best for us, our children and our family unit. I feel like I am a good person - I help others less fortunate whenever I possibly can and love Mother Earth.
So...Happy (early) Birthday to me!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Urban Farming at its finest :-)
How many peach trees can fit into a 1989 Honda Accord?
Mmm...Fresh Compost in the morning
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Sunday, June 27, 2010
I wish this feeling of anxiety would go away. I have that jitterbug feeling - like I forgot something...I think it's because of the move (or non-move as it stands at this moment) - but it is a frustrating, annoying feeling.
Thursday, June 24, 2010
We've completely outgrown this place - we are bursting at the seams. So, we've started packing. That's right! We've started the process of sorting, purging and packing our items that aren't regularly used. That feels good. Although the house seems strangely messier while we are in this process...but soon freeing and refreshing.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
On a garden side of things - we were able to celebrate the first bite of fresh blueberry. Drake picked our very first "harvest" (read: single berry) of blueberries :-) We let the three little ones share our bounty...and it was "good, not great, but good" - Ok...after waiting and waiting I will take "good" for our very first berry off the bush (considering that our sad little bushes weren't sure last season if they could live another year). With lots of tender touches, fresh dirt and compost mix with a little bit of organic 3-3-3- fertilizer from Marvin's Organic Gardens we were able to perk those bad boys back up and they paid us back with the most beautiful blueberry I've ever seen. There are a ton more still on the bush - just not ready for picking...
The trees recently purchased were not digging the containers that they were in - we replanted them in pots about twice the size of the ones they were in and added some sand, soil and peat...we watered them and talked to them a little bit and they immediately seemed perkier.
Our beans are reaching out to grab and climb - one of my favorite plants to have in the garden for the reason. It makes me laugh to see those silly little climbers twisting (hog tying) around another plant or sometimes even themselves...
We went to Aullwood Farm yesterday (http://aullwood.center.audubon.org) - what a great place! We saw goats, cows, pigs, sweet baby lambs and sheep - the barn swallows were super cool too...there were a ton of nests with little baby faces peeking out the top.
Ah! Farm life.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Someone once asked Mark if he was "walking" for graduation and my response to that was "Fuck YES he's walking"!!!
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
I can't wait to make pies and fresh fruit salad and can for the winter and make applesauce, peach sauce, pear sauce and...Oh! Let's just say "I can't wait!"
The kids picked some OH SO YUMMY raspberries today. I still haven't tried any raspberries yet this year - but I hear that ours are DELICIOUS...
Sunday, June 6, 2010
I got my motorcycle permit this weekend. Kait got a scooter and in Ohio you need to have your motorcycle endorsement in order to ride on the street. So since Mark and Kait will both be able to ride - I figured that I would just try it out and take the test and I passed. Now I just have to work to do the "road test" and I'll be road worthy...FEAR ME PEOPLE! Just kidding! I mean, it's a scooter...how bad can it be?!
I'm feeling the need to be creative - since the garden is growing (for now) and I don't need to get my hands dirty there - I feel like creating something with yarn and a hook! I want to try a sweater - crocheting a sweater. I don't know when I'll start or how it will go or how much cursing there will be - but I'm feeling like it is soon.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
Sunday, May 23, 2010
We went to Grand Lake St. Mary yesterday - I actually had to do some store visits in the area (for work) so I grabbed the family and off we went. It's such a nice (long) ride...but what an amazing sight when the lake peeks out from the farm land. It's too cold to get into the water yet - but we plopped down on the rocks and just stared at the water. Ever see the movie Big Fish? I dry out too if I'm out of the water too long. My energy is drained. This place has me drained. I don't understand the nonsense destruction - for example, we went to our garden yesterday and someone had disconnected our hose from the rain barrel and turned the barrel to ON - so it drained all 55 gallons into the ground around the barrel. There was no benefit to them for this. Just waste. Just disrespect for other peoples things. It's disappointing to say the least.
However - AUGUST...sweet August. That is the plan - out the door August 1. We've been waiting for work to give us the word on when/if they want me to move to another location for a new program...but we are going to take control of our own destiny. If we haven't heard anything by the first of August the plan is to move to another place and go month-to-month for a while - hopefully we will hear something before then though and give us new hope and new dates to look forward to.
Mark graduates in LESS than three weeks (2 weeks - 6 days to be exact) - JOY! We are going to be doing the graduation announcements today and hopefully sending them out Mon/Tues!!