Friday, January 30, 2015


I found a great book on decluttering and tidying:

(not an affiliate link) just sharing

I have spent quite a bit of time using this book to take control over the stuff in my house.
Some of the advice was a repeat of things I had read before-but her perspective is great.

You start by envisioning what it is you want your life and space to look like.

My vision is to have a space where I can create art, meditate, find the kitchen tools I need with ease and have an organized place for the kids to do their school work. All in about 1200 feet of space.

I already know I cannot make myself do many of those things if I have piles of stuff everywhere.
I have tried decluttering by room-this book declutters by type of item-starting with clothing. I started with books though-because that is my issue. I only buy clothes when I absolutely have to and I have always been careful about the clothes I buy.

Books on the other hand....


Like many people who advise on decluttering you should only keep what you love-but she also addresses things we keep because they were given to us by people we love. Guess what! I DON"T have to keep all of those business clothes my mom gave me :)

I am still working my way through this book-but I can already walk through my house and feel SPACE!! My bookshelves look so much nicer and all of the discarded books are making their way to new loving homes.

I'm working on the kitchen right now-which is quite a challenge because I do not have a lot of cabinet or counter space. Still trying to figure out how to manage this issue.

Friday, July 4, 2014

the garden-July 4th

The garden is crazy-who knew all of those plants would actually grow food!!
This morning was amazing-crisp cool weather. In the South. In July!!

I dug through the massive jungle of plants--see the previous post to see them as wee baby plants--they are now giant crazy masses of tomatoes and cucumbers,squash and zucchini. none of them even came close to staying within the confines of the raised beds. The pathways are nonexistant.

but I grew food-lots of it.

here is this mornings bounty:

all of those tomatoes went into the canner and yeilded 4 quarts of canned tomatoes! I already had several tomatoes in the window sill for slicing and salads. Actually I have veggies everywhere. My current table center piece is made up of a platter of garden vegetables.

I'm not complaining-but I am amazed at how well this gardening thing works. Plant it,feed it, water it and then eat it!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

gardening adventure

For the past few years I have sort of planted a garden. Which means I purchased seeds and let my youngest randomly plant them in the pile of topsoil that we still had not gotten around to spreading out.
It would be cool until June when the weeds would finally win the fight and take over.

This year the man decided it was time to do some proper gardening. In one weekend he managed to whip the whole garden into shape and give me a fresh start at a proper garden. a month later and I am still winning the war on the weeds.

of course its not quite June yet.

seriously though-I think I may win this year. I have nice beds and straw down on the paths. I feel like a real gardener. I have even harvested a few yellow squash and a zucchini that promptly became a stir fry breakfast. who knew that one day I might have a garden worth taking a picture of :)

so heres a photo of my own personal produce department:

garden 2014

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Free homeschool year

First a little full disclosure here: I am a curriculum hoarder. I have been homeschooling for almost 15 years. I have managed to purge all of the things I know I will NEVER use but that still leaves a lot of books.

My goal this year is to resist the urge to buy any new curriculum. I have $30 budget that was from books I sold-so I am telling myself that I can put that back into our curriculum budget.

Other than that we are going to homeschool FOR FREE this year.

what I have on hand is pretty sufficient-I have things I bought ahead of time last year that will cover us for the coming year.

its actually pretty embarrassing the amount of curriculum and books I have managed to hoard.

While I have been working on my spring purge I found two complementary years of sonlight-world history on two levels-which I have most of the books for.
Konos volume 1 which I also have most of the books for and beautiful feet geography which I would need a set of maps to complete with the kids.

I'm still not sure what we are going to use-I have plenty to choose from-its like my own used curriculum sale from the attic.

My first step was to clear off the bookshelves and reorganize by topic.
The history books are in order from earliest to books about recent history and resource books that cover the full sweep of time.

the bottom shelf holds the teachers guides and reference books like dictionaries and some random books that just didn't fit anywhere else.

I went through our science books keeping only a few on each topic (how many books about weather do we really need?) I kept in mind the various learning levels of each child my kids are so widely spaced they need different levels on the same topics.

the top shelves of each bookcase have my books-fiction, parenting, etc. the books only I read or would read if I could find some time :)

It was after organizing the books that I realized we really could finish through high school and probably never need to purchase anything else.

Of course there is that used curriculum sale coming up.....


Well hello there blog. we meet again.
Let me tell you what has been happening around here.

After three years of having no garden and a huge mess where my goldfish pond used to be-we have a garden.
I can't stay inside now-I can't stop looking at it.
All of my herbs were still there in the weed ridden beds-waiting to be uncovered.
The giant hole that was the pond of death for my lovely koi is now filled in.
I no longer have to face it with the guilty feeling of having let them die-quite by accident.
I have a garden of raised beds for the sun loving veggies and several rock lined beds for the lettuces and other plants that can tolerate a little less sun.
once again my secret garden nestled beside the house where no neighbor can see is beautiful and useable.

Once again I find the kids in the hammock enjoying the filtered shade sun dance created by the swaying willow tree.

I am so thankful to my husband who worked all week and spent a very long weekend helping me shovel and measuring and cutting wood for the raised beds. Who tolerated my grumbling over his need for perfectly level pathways. I am so glad he didn't let me get away with my slap dash do it fast way of hurrying through things. Some things take time.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Sometimes Christmas is hard

I look at my last post-so hopeful that things would work out.

They didn't

Sometimes things just don't go the way we hope they would. I can't share many details because it is no longer my story to tell. Our attempt to bring in a teenage family member into our home did not go well. Teenagers are hard-and they don't always want the same things we do.

It has been about 3 weeks now-almost a month. I realize that I am pretty depressed. I have been for a while. Since all of this started really.

I don't mean a little blue. I mean lay in bed watching law and order reruns all day eating junk food kind of depressed.

Christmas is only making harder. those sappy commercials make me want to cry-not a few tears-total breaking down heaving sobs.

So many things weigh on me right now-I am really trying to find a way out of this funk. I hate it-it makes me feel pathetic-and cranky.

I need to be there for the kids-they need to heal and understand what has gone on.

The past few days I 've been making myself a list of things to get done. A bare minimum list-but its something.

For the moment I'm trying to provide a nice holiday season for the boys while inside I long for the winter after the holidays-that long stretch of quiet where nobody expects you to be cheerful-full of holiday spirit.

So-my fellow mamas out there who are struggling with all the falalalala--good luck to you this season. May you not melt into tears at an inopportune time-may
you relatives be somewhat tolerable. Be good to yourself-and eat all the cookies you want.

Monday, October 14, 2013

a new season

Life often brings unexpected changes.

Seven years ago life surprised us  with the arrival of our youngest son.

We were able to wrap our heads around it and eventually our life changed to include this new family member and now we can't imagine it any other way.

Now we have a new change.

Two months ago we added a new member to our household. My husband's 14 year old grandson. This one has been a little harder for me to adjust to.

Two months in and I am still adjusting. The whole family is still trying to figure out how this new person fits in.

I know he must feel the same way.

He has been a part of our lives since he was a baby-weekend visits once a month or so. Raised in a different household with different rules and a different view of the world.

I know he must feel like an outsider sometimes-sometimes I feel the same way. Longing for a moment with just my kids.

I want him to be able to feel he has a home-but we struggle. it has only been two months.

beyond that honeymoon period where everyone is on their best behavior-but not quite to the point where we have been able to get used to the changes.

We will be facing the challenges of providing holidays. Already feeling the stretch of feeding another teenage boy-clothing him.
He is in public school. That alone has taken a while for me to adjust to. Waking every morning fixing a warm meal and dispensing medication before sending him of to catch the bus.

I am sure at some point this will all feel like second nature to me. Right now I struggle with resentment toward his parents who seem to hold little regard for the gift of parenthood.

I struggle to not let that resentment spill over toward this child who just wants to be a part of our family. Who wants to feel the love he sees our children have received.

I work every day to encourage my heart to include him-to feel compassion despite the rolling eyes and teenage attitude that sometimes permeates his being.

Time will bring us all together. Someday we will not be able to imagine it any other way.