Saturday, July 31, 2010

Today was a good day.

We had so much fun today at the farm - the alpacas were super cute. They had an activity for the kids, a shop area with goods from all different women (photos, finished yarn projects and raw fiber). I was able to snag a bunch of misc. fiber balls in various colors - I'm going to try my hand at spinning my own yarn. We are debating getting a couple of sheep and/or a couple alpacas for the farm - but it doesn't make sense for us to do that if I don't like to spin. SO - I got some stuff to play with for a bit. We'll see! They had three different women there with various skills - one woman was on a loom making rugs, another spinning on a wheel (which is fascinating to watch) and the third was weaving on a tri-loom (a loom shaped like a triangle to create shawls and the like on).
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.

Alpaca Farm!

I'm going to an Alpaca Farm today! I'm going to an Alpaca Farm today! I'm going to an Alpaca Farm todaaaayyyyyyyyy! WOOT! Stewart Heritage Farm is hosting an open house, for people to learn about raising Alpacas and how to use their fiber. They are going to have a live bluegrass/rockabilly band playing, activities for the kids and merchants selling alpaca oriented goods. I'm excited! Mark, the kids, our friend's daughter and I are all going together - so it should be a good time.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Just one fix...

...And because it breaks my heart to see the previous post as my "current post" - I'm going to put something on a lighter note.

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...

There is a new song out that really gets to me. When it comes on, I can't seem to bring myself to change the channel, but when it's over I always have tears in my eyes. The song is by Eminem, with the help of Rihanna. It's about the pattern of an abusive relationship - loving with such passion that you could never imagine hurting that person...but it's that same passion that causes you to do terrible, unimaginable, things. I was in a relationship like this once. It never got to the point that I was physically broken, hospitalized or otherwise...but I was thrown down stairs, shaken to the point that you could see handprints in my upper arms. My spirit was very broken...and, at times, still is. I don't think this is something that you can ever "get past". I use that experience to grow from. From this, I knew that a man like Mark was the person I needed to be with - someone who knew when to call my bullshit, but would never hurt me on that level. From this, I know how to protect my girls from monsters like the one I was with (hilarious, life of the party with a nasty, abusive streak). From this, I feel like I'm never "good enough"...but hope that one day I'll realize that I am.

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

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Come on! Let's do this already!!!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Score ONE for the non-ghettoans (is that a word?)!! So here's the deal - this morning I had Drake take out our dog...with her leash, in a polite manner, conscious of our neighbors. As he was coming in, I hear him say "No! Go!" and he was talking to one of the pitbulls down the building! So I marched outside and there sat the owner of the dog. I said "you need to have your dog on a leash" - he said, "I just got up, I'm out here smoking a cigarette so I don't smoke around my kids"...I said "you need to either take the dog inside or put it on a leash or I'm calling the police". So there he sat...he said "you just gonna stand there? I'm getting ready to go to work", I explained that I was already "at work" (since I work from home) and that I was going to just go ahead and call the police since he obviously was not getting the leash. So in I went and I immediately called the police...they sent animal control out and unfortunately her hands are tied unless she witnesses the dog out/off leash but that she was able to give warnings and information about the laws of the State of Ohio pertaining to dogs (and specific to "vicious breeds") - we discussed the two neighbors that continually have their dogs off leash (the one this morning has a pitpull mix and the ones across the hall from them have one pitbull/ridgeback mix and one little dog). And if the Gods were looking out for I was talking to ANIMAL CONTROL the two dogs came bounding across the front lawn...unleashed!!! PRICELESS!!!!!!! They went right over to another neighbor who had her dog on a leash and got all tangled up with her - oh! It was poetry in motion...I couldn't have orchestrated anything better than that. The animal control officer walked out the door and immediately spoke to our neighbor - he lied to her and told her that they just got the little dog and that is why they didn't have a tag (they've had that dog for more than a year)...but he did have a tag for the pitbull mix - she explained the laws, told him that they needed to be on a leash, told him that the pitbull mix is listed as a vicious breed and that within 30 days they need to have an insurance bond on her or else they would not be able to keep the dog and they needed to get a license for the other dog. Oh! Sweet victory! I gotta say that I do fear the backlash from this....but for now...SCORE!

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


Mark is working this week, half days at Aullwood Farm/Audubon Center in Englewood. His class is 10 - 4/5 year old kids and he is teaching about farm babies and their life on the farm. Too cute! At the end of the week they do some type of performance/song/activity to show the rest of classes what they learned - so Mark is having the kids do the Chicken Dance. Too Cuter!
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

...ain't no sunshine when she gone...

...Although this weekend maybe it should be more like "too much sunshine when she gone". My parents invited us to join them at a local campground (about an hour from here) to enjoy a weekend of fishing, swimming, campfiring, s'moring and the like...They said they were going in their RV and that we were able to "rough it" with them in there. "Rough it"!? C'mon! We are tough - we are tent people, we are sleep on the floor of the tent with a sleeping bag kind of people, we are cook over an open fire people. EXCEPT when it is the hottest weekend of the year. How hot? FREAKING HOT! The heat index hit over 100 was sweltering! We couldn't get into the pool fast enough - we'd spend 3 hours at a time floating in the cool water - when we weren't in the pool we put our tails between our legs and enjoyed the "roughing it" of the air conditioned RV - we cooked sometimes over the propane grill, hiding behind the RV in the shade, other times we cooked inside the RV and another time - well...we gave up and went for pizza. Apparently we are all about roughing it, unless it is just too damn hot to rough it. We did spend two of the evenings around a campfire, laughing, dreaming and watching the heat lightning off in the distance - we shared stories, talked with the kids, enjoyed my parents and their stories of their trip out west (and I think my parents enjoyed being out of their RV and around the fire with their grand kids). I love our times around the fire...a fire ring is a definite at our farm.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Outta Here (again)

"Leaving...on a jet plane...don't know when I'll be back again". Ok WEELLLLL not exactly - but we ARE leaving in the minivan, following my parents in their RV to a nearby campground and I do know when I'll be back again (Sunday). A short trip but it will be good to be away from the ghetto, apparently our plan is just to stay away from the 1900 block most of the will make our remaining time here go by faster.

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

Ode to Ghetto

Oh sweet ghetto, where we live. I adore you. I love the flies that swarm around the 1/2 empty 40-oz cans of "beer", I love the 3 leg...make that 2 leg "grill" that has been laying on its side for a couple of weeks - obviously not able to function as a grill anymore, I love the toys strewn across the yard for days on end. I love the "man" urinating in the street and being so drunk that he rides the child ride on toys down the hill. I love the child who thinks it is ok to use nail polish to paint my car. I will be ever so sad when we are done loading up our moving truck and drive away laughing and giving all of you the finger in ghetto fashion.

Score! it was my birthday and I got a decent amount of cold hard cash to spend on whatever my heart desires. This doesn't happen very fact it is typically once a year that I get Shelby money and spend it I did!
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!
So then the AWESOME, AMAZING thing happened...I drove past a house, ya'know the one that always goes to auctions and then pieces the items out and they had a 1913 Free (brand) Treadle Sewing Machine in a beautiful cabinet. All it needs is a good clean up, maybe a sanding and staining on the top and it needs a belt. I am so excited! I know it's like "what's the big deal about a sewing machine" - Well, let me tell you...I've been searching for a sewing machine just like this and I've only been able to find them for $300+ AND I got this sewing machine with another treadle base (to put an awesome piece of reclaimed wood across the top for a table) for $55!!!! WOOT WOOT! I love it! THE BEST BIRTHDAY FIND EVER!!!! Check it out...

Saturday, July 17, 2010


So tired...but it feels so good. Mark and I helped our friend move into her new apartment yesterday. She had one storage unit filled to the brim, that had been there of around a year and another unit that was even fuller than the last...this one from 9 years ago. In three loads were were able to move everything she owns to her new home. Most everything went into her living room - because after 9 years you kinda forget what ya' packed. So she has this ginormous job of sorting through every box. We helped her get her and her daughter's beds set up, her washer and dryer hooked up and one of her miniblinds replaced. I know she is a little overwhelmed - but I am excited for her.

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

Happy Birthday to Me!

These are my last few moments of being 35...about two and a half more hours. I'm hoping that 36 is going to be this amazing year, filled with so much growth and change. In a way, I feel like I'm just getting old and not exactly where I thought I'd be in another way, I am amazed at all that I have accomplished by age 36...
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

Garden Update...

One of my very best friends got the keys to her new apartment yesterday. I’m so excited for her – this is a giant leap in her life. She lived with her now EX-husband for many years, in his parents’ home. Since her divorce, her life has been pretty tough, she’s been living with her mother and step-father, and now this new door opening is very exciting. The apartment is in a nice area and has two bedrooms, 1 ½ bathrooms, a laundry area and a back patio (just to name a few things that will make her life easier). She will have her very own room and so will her teenage daughter. I’m very proud of her. Last night, we went over to the apartment for a tour and to help clean…it’s getting there. She has a lot to do before it will be to her standards…but I am confident that she will get it done and we will help as much as we can.

Mark is helping so much around the house. I cannot express how much I appreciate what he is doing. I know it is hard on him to be in limbo – it’s hard on all of us. We had always imagined that when he was done with school he’d jump right back into the 9-5 world and start teaching right away. Strangely though, it feels (to us anyway) that he should put that on hold for the moment. He will be an amazing teacher once the time comes – but to have him here, helping with the house, packing stuff away, cleaning closets etc…is incredible. He is making it so that our move (whenever that may be) will be a million times easier. (Thank you baby!)

We keep waiting for that call/email that “feels right” to us. I imagine it will be with the company I am with now – because I really like where I work and what I do – but I realize that there may be other opportunities in store for us too. Yesterday I was nominated for the Outstanding Employee Award…that makes me feel good. My boss is a great person and always seems just as concerned about my career as he is his own. That is a very good thing.

On Sunday we spent time in the garden…we repotted two of our VERY END OF THE SEASON peach trees (not sure if these are gonna’ make it – but they still have green leaves) – we also moved all the trees to a spot that isn’t QUITE as sunny as the last. Being that our trees are in pots, rather than the ground, they dry out much faster and the sun can really do them in if we can’t be there to water as much as we’d like – plus we’d like to conserve Mother Nature’s water as much as possible. We went through the whole garden and weeded and cut back the grass that is growing too tall. Our garden, after a few weeks at mom’s and another week in NY, needed a lot of love…and it still needs more. We have yet to setup our trellises, so our beans are reaching out for anything (including our fencing) to grow on…to cute! Cucumbers are growing and so are the beans, we’ve got a couple of onions ready to pull and blossoms everywhere. I’m loving in…

For your viewing enjoyment…

Eventually...our orchard...right now, we have 4 apple trees (Empire, Macs, 2-yellow), 3 peach trees, a nectarine, and a pear.
My farm crew...
The garden before the great weeding event...
The after shot...
Mmm...what's that I see...

Urban Farming at its finest :-)
How many peach trees can fit into a 1989 Honda Accord?

Mmm...Fresh Compost in the morning

Smells even better in the back of my van...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

By the way...We have baby cucumbers growing!!

I Love New York

This summer has been wonderful so far (with the exception of the heat wave…and broken air conditioning)…first a “staycation” at my parents’ home and then a true vacation in upstate New York…what’s next for us??? A move??? Hopefully…hopefully soon.

We just got home from a little piece of Heaven called Chittenango, New York. This is my hometown, my first hometown that is. This was the place I was born and lived until I was nearly eleven, but my roots grew deep here. I have family still in the area, many of the Eggerts are scattered in Chittenango and Collamer and a favorite Aunt in Lakeport. It has been a few years since we’ve been able to go as a family. I’ve only visited a couple times and only to say good-bye to Grandparents that have passed. This visit was very different. It’s hard to explain – of course it was different because the visit wasn’t related to a sad event – but it was something more. We stayed at my Aunt’s house – a number of years ago, she bought a home directly on Oneida Lake and has a three tiered deck that looks out onto the water. Being the water-moon baby that I am there is nothing better than to wake up in the morning, drag my ass out to the deck, sit next to my favorite guy, drink a cup of joe and watch my kids explore the shoreline. Mark and I sometimes sat quietly, staring at the water and other times we laughed and dreamed about the future.
We ate at Eddies (one of our favorite restaurants), enjoyed some REAL NY pizza, hiked Chittenango Falls, dug our toes in the sand at Sylvan Beach, toured my hometown (pointing out “where I used to live” and sharing stories about the different places), visited with family and just really enjoyed being a family.
We drove up a creepy road (Gulf Road) that winds through the forest and ends up at a place called Top of the World. You can see forever…literally. We drove up there during the day and came back at night. We saw more stars than I have ever seen in my life…we actually saw satellites and the Milky Way and just missed a sighting of the Space Station. I deeply wish Tiff and Kait were able to go…but life got in the way for them…money, school, and work (Oh My!) but eventually they will be able to join us in NY too.