Tuesday, September 28, 2010

am i a grownup mutant ninja mommy?


i always knew i had a monster in my head when i had a migraine, thankfully dr. zameel cader has confirmed it.  i am excited for what this discovery has done for the future of migraine treatment.   i hope one day that my children's children will not know the pain i feel. (my migraines are hereditary from BOTH SIDES and they seem to skip a generation!  thus, i mean what i say when i say my children's children - they'll get the bomb shell i have.)

[incidentally, i'll start back with my 30 days of green blog when i take more pictures.  that WAS part of my challenge...  i've been terribly busy this past week - so busy that i haven't had time to catch up on pictures from 2 weekends ago. funny what a  new job does to your life!  i'm not complaining though.]

Monday, September 27, 2010

"i told you be careful"

i wish i had a picture or a video to add here.

holly was holding onto the end of the nilo (train) table, bouncing on a balloon.  i said to her "holly, be careful, that balloon is going to pop!"
not 15 seconds later, it popped.

"oh no!" said holly.
i turned around and she had this look of horror on her face. (she was, of coarse, on the floor.)

kendal walked over and said "i told you be careful!"

together they walked over to put together puzzles and he was still saying "i told you be careful..." over and over.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

30 day green challenge - day 2

day 1 - we air-dry our clothes.

day 2 - we compost grass trimmings.  we plan to use this compost in our future garden (a garden that we've located downslope from our house, from which we can collect rainwater from our downspouts - and also that is downgradient from our yard thus catching any rain that falls.  because we have poor soils on our property, we also intend on building up the garden rather than applying numerous chemicals to "improve" the existing soils - this garden will be bound by downed-trees that we drug out of the woods into our yard, and will be back-filled with topsoil and mixed with the compost that we're making in our yard out of grass trimmings and leaves that we rake/mulch in the fall.  we've been collecting these piles for a while (we have more, this is just a picture of one pile).

PS this picture will be repeated because this compost pile isn't just grass!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

30 day green challengs - day 2

day 1 - we air-dry our clothes.

day 2 - we hand-wash our dishes.  this saves both water and energy.  i know most of you are like "no freakin' way am i going to hand wash our dishes!" but, technically, we don't actually have a working dishwasher, thus we are forced to do it.  (our dishwasher broke the first month we were in this house and we never replaced it).  and, i'll tell ya - practice makes perfect on this one.  we can wash dishes REALLY fast - because we do it day in day out, and have done it for years now.  we just replaced our drying rack (which was bamboo) because the pieces started to break.  we got a new one just like the old one, which lasted about 3 years.  and though i say (and have said) for years i want a dishwasher, i suppose that i am just fine without one (though occasionally - like when we have a big party - a dishwasher would be nice!)

chris is also taking my 30 day green challenge!  make sure you check out his blog.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

30 day green challenge - day 1

so, as i promised (to myself - to you?) here is the start of my 30 days of "what we do green" challenge - plus pictures (that i take myself - in our own house/yard).

if anywhere along the way you have any questions about how or why we do what we do, please ask.  or, if you have a suggestion about how we can do what we do better - feel free to suggest it!  also, keep in mind that this list is going to be pretty specific.  as an example, i may say one day "we recycle aluminum cans" and the next day i'll say "we recycle plastic" - mainly because i have to come up with 30 days worth of things.  however, that being said, i am trying to not say things generic like "we recycle cans and coke bottles" or "we use low watt bulbs".  i'm trying to come up with the things we do that go the extra mile that lessen our carbon footprint.

day 1 - we air-dry our clothes - outside, on a clothesline! we just started doing it this summer.  my only stipulation to the clothes line was that i didn't want to have to walk on the grass to get to a line, so we found one at lowes that was a pop-up-round one.  so, we mounted it (with bungee cords) on the deck corner so it is out of the way.  you're wondering what we'll do in the winter?  well, it came with a stand.  so, in the winter it'll also help increase our indoor humidity.  :)  and if you're wondering if it helped our electric bill - well, i wash probably 3 to 5 loads of clothes a week and i'd say that not using the dryer has lessened our bill probably 20 to 40 a month this summer.  i still put the clothes in the dryer with a dryer sheet for about 15 minutes - but probably 2 loads at a time (it isn't like they are getting dry, i just want the spiders to die).  it is hard to know exactly about our $$ benefit because we also kept the thermostat a little higher (warmer) than last summer (that is another day entry...) - but overall our electric bill has been lower this summer, even though rates went up last year.  yay!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

30 day green challenge

so, here is a challenge for you AND me.  for the next 30 days, i want to post one thing that i do that is "green" - now an added bonus challenge for me is to photograph it in my own house/yard. 

thus, this will not start today for me.

anyway, i will post yet another couple of pictures (i am trying to catch up on september's pictures) of the kids on thursday night (sorry, still not a birthday party post...) during dinner.  these are too cute not to share right now.

we cut open a pomegranate and they kids wanted some. i was concerned the seeds would freak them out so we got out the food mill and put all the seeds INTO it.  then, we juiced it.  the kids LOVE grinding on the food mill.  so, we drank the juice.  kendal has a juice-stain mustache (and a spaghetti-stain goatee).  and yes, i know he is wearing holly's bib.  but, technically he is sitting in holly's chair too!  :)
cake anyone?  (yes, her  mouth is dirty too!  but, why clean it for cake?  and, i also learned that she will not pick up a cupcake with her hands.  it was the fork or she'd lean over and bite it like a dog.  funny little girl she is!)

A worm named Joe

There once was a worm named Joe.  
 Can you see Joe?  Maybe you can look a little closer.
Joe was a nice worm 
who really liked to squirm.  
Joe went to the park, 
I found him on some tree bark.
Next he met a squirrel 
who had a sister named Pearl.
That was all we saw of Joe.

(I know Joe technically isn't a "worm", but I wasn't sure if he knew that yet.  
I wasn't gonna spoil the news to him about his upcoming metamorphosis!)

more late night inspiration

why is 3am when i get my ideas?  i can't just lie there and forget them.  i have to get up and process... create...

photoshop is an ADDICTION!  (as is photography).

so, here are my latest changes.  input is appreciated!  (as in, which do you like the most?  am i going in a good direction or should i have stopped when i started?)

 the "original" from yesterday - bright, bold colors -  i wanted to say here that if you have ever held a stampin' up workshop with me, you know how much i love to sponge.   the original one here, well, i "virtually" sponged it.  if you know me from a stamping perspective, you may recognize it!  :)

soft, faded colors using pioneer woman's vintage action:

and here it is texturized (using MCP texturizing action).  texturizing is where i can get carried away.  now i like this one the best, i like how i put a yellow texture (from kelsey anderson photography - a friday free one!) over the light purple and it turned it peachy to plum brown.  i think it did spectacular things to the colors not only in the border but also in the picture itself (you probably have to blow it up to really appreciate it).  to me, this one looks more vintage (with that 70s feel).  i'm the one making it.  i want to know what YOU think!

again, anonymous comments are super!

Friday, September 17, 2010

making my "thing"

last night i woke up in the middle of the night with a vision.

well, actually this started about a month ago when gymboree came out with their newest line (for baby girls, the homecoming/fall line).  they had a shirt that said "sugar and spice and everything nice" which sounds a lot like my blog title, sans the GNEISS part. 

speaking of gneiss, it was so nice to see rocks today (in people's office cubbies) and hear words like "monitoring wells" and "site assessment" and "clean up" (when not referring to the floor and toys).  i felt like a geologist again for the first time in a while.  WHEW, nice.

so anyway, not that i'm a pro at picture taking OR editing or anything but i do have a big "shoot" (though pro bono) this weekend with the farm tour.  and, if i'm gonna be giving out those pictures, well, i did want to sorta get my name out there for any potential business in the future.  so, i was trying to think of a "business" name (without being a real business, since i haven't technically made any money yet) and, well, i came up with one.

sugar and spice.  well, it goes right along with this blog - and probably my personality too, and all the things i love to eat too. 

so when i got home from work today, we played and played (the kids and nathaniel and i) and then i sat down at this here computer and figured out how to make rounded AND floating edges.  i.e., this:

and then i took that and made it into something with my NAME on it.  this will be easy breezy to recreate into different shapes or with different color backgrounds or font colors... should i actually take some worthwhile pictures this weekend.

and so my last thing to say here is that (well, things) #1, i'm surprised at how many comments i got on my jpg, raw, and jpgautocorrected blog poll!  thanks guys!  and, they were just that - in that order.  #1 is the jpg, right from the camera (that one was my least favorite).  #2 is the raw image that i processed - i like that one a lot, but #3 is the jpg that photoshop elements 8.0 corrected on its own (i think i would have tweaked it differently, but i was trying to make the poll "even"). 

the jpg edited seems to be the majority's favorite (both on blogger comments and facebook comments).  i liked the #2 (raw) the most, but the #3 (jpg corrected) was a very close second.  so close that i had to make that poll!  thanks to all who participated.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

shooting in raw vs jpg

ok, i need your input!  i've been shooting in both raw and jpg (two different formats - jpg is when the camera does the processing for you and raw is when i do the processing) and, well, i'm wondering which YOU think is better!  i like the raw better but, since i have to process EACH photo - and if i take 100 pictures, well, that is a lot of work.  so, i'm wondering if the product is worth the work!  especially when the  jpg is just fine (for the most part).

so, here are the three pictures below (in NO particular order).  one is just the raw image that i processed myself.  one is the jpg image, straight from the camera (no editing), and the other is the jpg opened in adobe elements and "autocorrected." you can click on the image to make it larger (if maybe you want to check for details).

so, if you would please take the time and tell me which of these three images looks the best. (if you're feeling particularly chatty, maybe you could tell me why you picked that photo over the other 2!)

if you are an anonymous reader, please just post an anonymous comment!  there is no way of me tracking back to where or who you are.  i just really want input here!  :)

thanks everyone!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

what i've learned from 3 years with kendal

1. his giggle is contagious. 
2. firetrucks are REALLY cool.
3. he has a unique smell about him - very sweet sort of like honey.  i used to think it was the burts bees baby wash that i used but i have long since stopped using that, and he still smells sweet.
4. running like an old man is really funny!
5. spaghetti and bananas make a great dinner and breakfast bars make a great snack.

6. i remember still right now how hard it was to push him out.
7. i remember how strange it was to hold a newborn baby - of my own.
8. i remember how much of a failure i felt when i gave him his first formula bottle.
9. i remember how scared i felt when the nurses took him away for his first surgery.
10.  i can't imagine my life without him. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

is there something magical about the number 3?

(pictures from the morning of kendal's first day of preschool!)

i'm sure you're all aware that kendal turns 3 tomorrow.  i can't believe it has been 3 years since he's been in our lives.  how blessed we are.  triply, since we have holly too. 

yesterday, we had a morning out.  i had to go grocery shopping and since our grocery store has now changed from whole foods to earthfare (i love that store, well, all but the deli section, that part i prefer whole foods...) so i decided to first take the kids over to the airport.

this is where i noticed the magic of 3 first.  though we were at the airport, where he knows where he is and is usually in a hurry to get to the observation deck, he stood right beside me while i got holly out.  no running away.  no complaining about having to step up on the curb.  he held my hand.  we all 3 walked together.  part of the obv. deck was in the shade, part was in the sun.  i was cold, so i wanted to move to the sunny part (the end we do not usually stand in).  so, i asked to move down.  we all moved down, no problem.  i explained why.  he said ok.  and, we stayed right there.  from there, we could see the little play area with sand down below.  k&h saw another boy and wanted to play.  holly was slow on the stairs so i carried her but kendal walked the whole way down using the rail and my hand.  then, he greeted both the boy and the mother and played with them (which isn't unusual).  he was sweet as can be (which also isn't unusual).  when it was time to go, there was no fight, no whining.  he got right in the car.  the only drama was the fact there was sand on his shoes (also not unusual for him not to like to be dirty).

next we went to target.  kendal and holly sat in the cart and shared a cup of water with a straw.  SHARED.  kendal was very patient with her.  this also is not unusual for him, but there was no whining that holly wasn't sharing with him.  target was fine.

last was earthfare.  here we ate lunch.  he was hungry at this point and he found the little sample things and in which they had those fried green beans.  kendal loves green beans.  he kept wanting more.  i got a turkey sandwich for them and a roasted veggie sandwich for me. he crawled in the booth and ate the cheese and the meat with no protest~  holly, however, she only ate bread and a little bit of meat.  i gave kendal her cheese. so during the actual grocery shopping part, holly was in the cart and kendal was walking with me.  he kept getting in front of me and i'd tell him that i couldn't see where i was going when he was in front of me, that i preferred it if he walked beside me.  so, he'd slow down (or back up) and walk beside me (until he got in front of me again - i was just walking too slow for him!)  THIS IS HIGHLY UNUSUAL.  usually he wants to push or run or get stuff off the shelves.  he is usually "wild" in the grocery store and often i have 2 carts - one with the kids in it and 1 for my groceries. 

maybe i am seeing the magic of the #3.  of coarse, i'm starting to see the terror of the #2 with holly.  she's such a sweetie but when she doesn't get her way, stand back!  she's gonna let you know it.

Monday, September 13, 2010

10 points

Scale:  Picture is on concrete.
10 points to the first person who correctly guesses what this is!  
Bonus if you can remind me where I found it!  The more I think about it, it didn't come from where I think it did.  But, don't get me wrong, I know exactly what it is...  :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

have you been missing kendal?

he's been hiding under his daddy.

here he is tucked safely at blue jay point, falls lake, raleigh, NC.

daily bokah

bird house at blue jay park, raleigh NC

first picture of the day.  just a shot to make sure my settings were OK.  guess sometimes random shots turn out OK!  (the white balance is off, thus the blue tint!)

burrito recipe!

this is a hodge podge of recipes in our kitchen.

the actually burrito recipe is from the thornburg recipe book that kathy made nathaniel.

dina's burritos  (edited the way i make it thus making it "bean" burritos)
1 package large flour tortillas (if you get them at whole foods or earthfare, you can get them without preservatives in them!)
pot of refried beans (recipe to follow)
shredded cheddar cheese
shredded jack cheese
enchilada sauce (recipe to follow)
black olives
sour cream

preheat oven to 350.  fill tortillas with ladlefull of beans and a heavy sprinkle of cheeses and a few olives, fold closing both ends of tortillas.  place seam down in large shallow baking dish.  pour enchilada sauce over burritos.  top with cheese (however much you want).  bake for about 45 minutes or until cheese starts to brown.  serve with condiments.

the rest of these recipes are from the joy of cooking!

in order to make refried beans, you first have to cook dried beans.  thus, here is my recipe for cooking beans.
mom's secret to making "gas free" beans is to wash, rinse, and pick a bag of beans and then boil them for 2 to 5 minutes and then turn them off and leave them there for at LEAST 2 hour (or overnight). that secret works for any beans but if you want to make refried beans, you may want to be cooking black or pinto beans. drain and rinse the beans and then put them back in the pot and add:
few tbs butter or olive oil
1/3 cup chopped onion,
3 whole cloves
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp dried thyme
cover them with water.  bring to a simmer and let them cook until they are tender - about 1-1/2 hours.
add 1 cup of a dry red wine (or chicken stock, i add wine since i prefer no meat products).
cook an additional 20 minutes, uncovered.  it is ok if they are juicy. remove the 3 cloves before you eat (they are hard, still, and if you stir the pot you'll see them mixing around the pot.  just remember they are hot!)

refried beans
in a LARGE saute pan (cause this makes a lot!) over med heat

2 Tbs veggie oil
1 med onion, chopped
stir until golden brown (about 10 minutes)
add 4 garlic cloves (minced) and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

saving the juice, add ALL the beans (you can add 1 cup at a time but i find it just as easy to add them all at once) making sure they are strained (no juice) and mash with a potato masher or the back of a hard spoon.  it is easiest to start in one spot and move out from there. after they are smashed (they won't be mashed like you get in a can), you need to add at least 1 cup of the reserved bean cooking liquid (or water).  it will thicken as it sits.  it will take about 10 to 15 minutes to mash them all.
then, add salt to taste.

this makes about 3 times the amount you will need for the burritos, but you can bag and freeze it for later.

in a large pot or skillet (i used a pot)
2 large onions, chopped
2T minced garlic
2T oil
cook about 5 - 10 minutes until brown and clear
1/4 cup chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground red pepper
cook for 1 min stirring constantly and add
two 28-oz cans diced tomatoes, drained

cook for 3 minutes.  cool and thoroughly puree in the mixer or with a submersible blender.


yesterday we went to blue jay park (pictures forthcoming) and we spent quite a bit of time in the sand pit.  there, we encountered an small, attractive, thin woman (about gina's size) and a meat-head looking husband and their child. the child was a little bigger than holly but not as big as kendal, and isn't really important in this story except that i thought it was sweet that she tried sand at which time the mama panicked a little!  not that i wouldn't have done the same thing...  not judging that part.  :) 

so the mom was very friendly and interacted with kendal and holly.  she was one of those loud-talker types that wanted you to hear everything she was saying.  like, when she was getting the snacks/lunch out for her daughter, she went into a spill about how she ate healthy and how "daddy" needed to eat healthier.  she went ON and ON about how important eating healthy was.

she was feeding the daughter veggie sticks (carrots).  not sure why she wasn't just calling them carrots, but anyway... i suppose she'd be one to call a grilled mushroom on a bun a mushroom burger.

i judged.  you know what she was drinking?  diet dr. pepper.  there is nothing healthy about a can full of cancer causing chemicals in an acid bath!!!  drink a water, woman.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

these boots were made for stomping, and this rock was was made for stomping (on)

actually, this isn't the stompin' rock,  it is the dancin' rock. and, that is exactly what my children do on it.  if it rains this week, it is because of the rain dancin' that happened today!

P.S. she's wearing gymboree clothes and boots - i can't remember where the hair clip came from, except that it was with something i ordered on etsy.  and, the wings are imaginationcouture.  her cuteness and sparkling personality that is so easy to capture on camera came from her daddy and me!  ;)

happy birthday to me from me

i know i'm a little early, and this is a bit unusual for me to give something to myself, but it's one of those things that if i don't do it - no one will.

my problem is that my photo editing software doesn't allow me to import raw images from my camera, thus i just shoot in jpg.  that is fine, but, i want to shoot in raw.

so, i've been wanting to upgrade to something that is newer than my camera.  i currently have photoshop elements 7 (PE7) and was considering another one of adobe photoshop's programs called creative suite 5 (CS5).  the only thing is that usually this program is $699 so that is too expensive for me and most folks unless you are making a lot of money doing photography.  BUT, adobe is running a special right now for CS5 for $299 and, well, that is pretty much how much i have in my camera fund (i.e. the money i "make" taking pictures).  so, great opportunity to get a top of the line program.

unfortunately when i tried to install the trial, i got some errors.  i took that as a sign that that wasn't the right thing to do (put all my "eggs" in one basket) so, i've since decided to just get PE8 (which will allow me to use raw images since it is the newest version).

what i'm interested in, also, is all these actions and textures that i've recently discovered.  CS5 would be better for the actions but PE8 is just fine for it too.  and, by getting PE8 i still have plenty of money left over to buy some actions and textures and templates too.

for instance, last night, i just HAPPENED to be online when one of my three favorite photography blogs, kelseyandersonphotography posted a status on facebook that she was offering her "whole store" worth of actions, textures, and templates (for cards, books,etc) for $100.  this is usually priced over $600.  oh my God!  i bought it.  i still haven't finished downloading everything.

i also bought the complete workflow actions set from MCP actions (another one of my three favorite photography blogs...).  if you want to buy me a birthday present, you can buy me the only other one i have in my wishlist:  magic-print-it-boards but right now i think i'll have to save up a little more for that one. i don't want my little nest egg bone dry...

and just for completeness sake, this is my other favorite photography blog (pioneer woman photography). they have two sets of free actions that anyone with photoshop needs to download!!!  incidentally, their instructions are also the easiest.

ok, so, happy birthday early to me!  now i have some installing work to do.  well, not really, i'm not even done uploading all those files from kelsey anderson!  so exciting!

PS, move over shutterfly - i'm on the market for making christmas cards this year!!!  i'm serious about that.  all i need to do now is find a printing lab to get prices and some samples and, well, i'm totally gonna market some christmas cards.  so, who is in???  we all love having our cards digitally made... so, you can use ME this year!!! i can even take your picture for it.  REALLY!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

job update

i don't have much time to write because since we are home and i had to call into gymboree for another reason (which i'm about to tell you), i let her know we were home for the weekend.  thus, i'm working this morning.  :)

anyway, i got a job offer!  this isn't a job i applied for either.  it, i suppose, has spawned from a job i applied an interviewed for though.  last may i applied for a job with the pre-regulatory landfill section of waste management and i subsequently interviewed with them.  it was a great interview, one that i felt good about when i left.  but, i knew that i didn't have a lot of the qualities that they wanted - like, i had no contract experience.  lots of geology experience, no contract experience. 

so, i haven't heard who got it or whether i didn't get it as they haven't sent out the "we hired someone else" letters yet.  either way, it has been long enough that i know that i didn't get it.

wednesday when i got home from work, i had a message on the home answering machine from the supervisor asking me to call her back because she wanted to talk with me about doing temporary work for them.

WHAT WHAT???  this is so awesome.  i didn't get the job but she thought of ME to do temp work!  that is awesome!  so of coarse i'm up all night  (with a drippy nose) running numbers trying to figure out how much i need to get paid in order to cover childcare, etc.

thursday morning i could hardly wait until 8am to call her to get details.  anyway, the hourly wage was quite reasonable, she wanted me 2 or 3 days a week, which was up to me how many and which days.  she said she was quite flexible since she knew i had little children and she just wanted me to do what i could because she really wanted it to work such that i could come help them.  :)  again, awesomeness!

thursday morning: quick calls to daycares trying to get accurate costs for part-time daycare - we can afford, thankfully, buttons and bows which is where kendal went when he was little (and we LOVED IT) but they don't have immediate openings. BUT, since katelyn is going to school next spring she has a fall that is wide open for a job - and, well, she agreed to nanny.  so, we have childcare open with someone we love and trust 200% and they love 300%.  so, this couldn't get any better, right?  well, except for the part that i have to call gymboree and tell them that i got another job.  :(  i love those ladies and i absolutely hate letting them down.  they knew i was looking for a "real" job (not that gymboree isn't real, but i say "real" as in a job in my own career) so this shouldn't be a huge surprise except that i've been looking for so long and i can hardly believe it has come to me!

friday morning i promptly called my to-be supervisor back (while waiting on a car estimate) and let her know i was in on her deal - that childcare is covered and, basically, when did she want me to start!?! (and that i had to give a 2-week at my other job).  so, that is all taken care of.  i may have a 1 week over lap of gymboree and this job but i'll manage that somehow.  she said she'd work with me on scheduling - she actually said that i didn't have to quit my other job that she'd always work with me on scheduling!  but, i'm not sure i'm totally ready to "give up" my kids 5 days a week right now.  plus, gymboree doesn't pay enough to cover childcare, waste management does.  hope that makes sense.

so i let teri (gymboree) know and she was excited for me.   i know deep down she has to be upset.  i am upset for her.  i love working there, it is a lot of fun and everyone there is so nice.  that store has a great sense of family, i hope that i can arrange somehow to stay on but not work much at all.  not sure how that'd work though.  :/  i just don't want to overextend myself.  alot of change at once can be counter-productive.  and, i want to give this job 110% .

ok, gotta get dressed and run to gymboree.  last weekend of the fill-a-bag sale which means 30% off everything in the store including sale items.  awesome sale.  if you have kids, you should come shop this weekend!  we have the most adorable stuff.

Friday, September 3, 2010

9 years to hear the call of fate

somewhere around 2001 or 2002, i stopped at neuse sport shop when i was working down in kinston (when i worked at DOT) and bought a knife for $5.  it is a pretty knife with a wood handle, it folds in half - i put it in the console of my kia and never used it.  then i got an explorer - it moved into that console, still unused.  then we got the vibe.  i haven't really thought much of that knife in a really long time.

it is interesting that quite possibly the events that ended today could have started back in 2001.  we had such a rough morning yesterday.  i was up all night wednesday with a runny nose, sore throat, and a cold.  aches and chills but not really a fever.  i literally blew through 2 boxes of tissues (that is enough to fill up a trash can in case you were wondering).  nathaniel slept on kendal's floor because he had leg aches, holly had a nightmare so she was in the bed with me (remarkably sleeping through my snorts).  this weekend is the walbring family reunion up in indiana. i worked all day saturday so we still had to pack thursday morning (yesterday morning) and both kids were so whiney - we had a tough time getting it done.  we had planned on leaving around 9 or 10, but at 11:11 am, i said "i bet it'll be 2 before we leave!"  this was of coarse as i slung myself on the bed, again, in exhaustion because of how crappy i felt.  nathaniel almost called off our trip because of me and my complaining.  he said to me later "i knew you were sick because of how much you were whining about it!" 

so finally after 12, we were on the road.  nathaniel was driving and the other 3 of us were sleeping.  we woke up in burlington for gas and i turned on a movie for the kids.  i was still achey but we were trecking onward.

we got to the 421 split in winston and we went north.  we were in traffic but we were moving steady about 60 mph, which is the speed limit.  out of nowhere, the car in front of us hit a tire.  it moved about in the road, nathaniel was slowing (but couldn't slam because of traffic) and said "what do i do?" at which point i replied "you have to hit it!" and he did.  it was loud and we went over it (as opposed to it going over us) and within seconds we were bumping along.  we thought we had a flat tire.  we pulled over about 100 feet behind another car who had also hit the tire. 

we did not have any flat tires but we had lost part of our bumper pieces and were concerned our radiator had been damaged (which it had but was still functional).  the hard plastic flaps that protect the underside of your car had been partially separated thus hanging, which was the noise we heard (they were hitting the road).  we knew we (he) had to get them to stay up.  

in front of us was a small white car with plastic hanging off the front.  this small young girl looked at us and walked over.  she asked us if we had scissors, which we did not.  i got in the driver seat and remembered about that knife, wondering if it was in the vibe - at the exact same moment that nathaniel knocked on the window to ask me if we had that knife.  it was in the console!!!  i gave it to him and i followed him in the car as they walked to her car.  he cut off the plastic that was torn away from her wheel well.  that is the first time that knife has EVER been used.

the poor girl didn't have anyone coming to help her.  what if it hadn't been us that stopped?  i know our car was damaged too but what if someone ELSE had a knife and was going to "help" her?  she was so small and young and didn't know what to do. i had that knife i my car to help her!  even if that meant we had to hit a tire and skip our vacation that we had planned for over a year.  i mean, no one was hurt.  we are missing our vacation but we helped someone in the mean time.  we just may have saved her life.  who knows?

you all know im a big believer in fate.  even if it costs $836 for repairs plus the cost of gas to and from winston.  oh, and $5 for the knife.

Where do your eggs come from?


saw this link today on one of my facebook feeds and i just had to read it.  you know, we buy our eggs from a local farm (turtle mist farm).  local meaning about 10 miles away.  they are yard birds that have a coop to nest.  they pick around the farm (which also raises meat-sheep, pigs, and a work horse and some turkeys too) and anyway, they are some darn good eggs.  they only incubate eggs to get new chickens and roosters.  they have some different breeds so they probably sell their roosters.  they definitely don't grind them up and feed them to dogs. 

i just think it is so important to know where your food comes from.  not just your eggs, but if you are gonna eat beef, then you probably want to know where that comes from too.  you are what you eat - and what they eat too.  i'd much rather spend more and eat a local, grass/pasture fed bovine than a CAFO raised steer shot up with steroids and antibiotics its whole live to make it grow fast and be immune to diseases.  if you eat that meat, you're eating those chemicals too.

off soapbox.

our neighborhood homeowners association just imposed dues this past summer and half the neighborhood is in an uproar.  there is talk of dissolving the HOA when the cycle ends (in 2 years maybe, can't remember when that is).  our restrictive covenants say that we can't have livestock, so right now we can't have anything like chickens or goats - or even breed dogs even inside our own house.  BUT, if our HOA gets dissolved, guess what - WE'RE GONNA BUILD A CHICKEN COOP!  we've wanted chickens for so long.  i absolutely hope that the HOA goes away.  i want a "rent-a-goat" to munch down the brush, a chicken coop, and a flock of birds to lay us some eggs - and maybe some guineas to keep down the ticks if the chickens don't do it well enough.  man oh man i'm excited about that.  i don't even mind the $50 a year because i know that having a HOA has benefits, but i can save $50 a year on eggs!  :)  heck i may can make $50 a year selling eggs to my neighbors!  ha!


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