Boogies and Kleenex

Hello all!

I took a little time away from the blog this past week.  Spending time with the family for the Thanksgiving holiday, which we celebrated last Saturday when my brother was in town from Louisville.

By Tuesday, Ro was down with the sickness.  She is already struggling with her two year old-ness so being all stopped up with a sore throat and coughs isn't helping her.  We broke out the humidifier, eucalyptus, and Hyland's.  She seems to be on the upswing, but Kleenex is loving us right now.

And I'm starting to get a sore throat and sniffles.

Yay.

Today is the last day of the 30 Day Blog Challenge.  Hopes for the Blog.  I honestly don't have great bounding expectations.  I just write or share.  I don't blog every day.  I'm not necessarily looking for advertising. Though I am happy to review products, like I have done in the past.  P.S.  Applegate really does have the best bacon and hot dogs!

I'm just happy to have this little space of the interwebs to occupy and call my own.  I hope you all had a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday!


All Dogs Go To Heaven

We are heavy hearted this weekend.  Our beloved 10 year old dog passed away overnight Sunday.  I've written about him in the past.

April 2009
December 2005
He was great with the kids, but big and rambunctious.  We noticed recently that he hadn't been eating his food.  He lost half his body weight seemingly overnight.  We thought he was having trouble eating his hard food, but when we tried soft canned food, he wouldn't eat it either.


We knew the inevitable was going to happen, but you just can't prepare no matter how you try.

Cyrus was an American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, or Staffordshire Bull Terrier, whichever you prefer, but most people just say Pit Bull.  He was from well mannered parents and we taught him to be a well mannered dog.  Loyal, faithful, protective.  He was THE BEST dog.   

If I Won the Lottery or Twenty Third of 30

On Thursday, I briefly mentioned a couple of homes in Australia.  Today I'm going to highlight one of those and show a different one that I love.

If I won the lottery, the very first thing I'd do would be to establish college funds for all three of my children. Their education and well being is first and foremost.  Then we would work on moving... to Australia. Of course, we would need to keep a home here in the US for holidays and family visits.  Plus I truly love Kentucky and could never completely leave.  Kentucky kicks ass

Alright, first up is a 1920's Queenslander or as I like to call it, "The Pretty One".  It has 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms on two floors.  Listed at $1,095,000.  Even if I won that lottery, I think it's still out of the price range I would feel comfortable paying for a home on only .1 acre (405 square meters).





This kitchen.  I die.  I think it is perfect. I would want to buy this house simply for this beautiful kitchen.



It has a salt water pool with an amazing waterfall.  It would be so relaxing to sit on those chairs with a good book and the sound of that waterfall.  More information and photos can be found on the listing.

Now this second home... it's not even about the house.  It's about this...



Uh... HELLO AUSTRALIA!  I can smell the fresh, clean air just looking at these.


I like the large, open drive way.  It feels inviting.



I love the openness of this kitchen.  The wooden countertop gives it a nice warm feeling.  Though I would definitely want to use the color palette from the first house!  The awesome part is that the walls are actually a similar color so I'd just need to paint the cabinets and put that nice tile accent behind the stovetop area!


The bathroom seems a little "cozy", but honestly, how much room do you really need?  Usually I am in and out of there in 10 minutes.  That sink, mirror, and base are cute and unique.

The outdoor area looks to be a great size, but I wouldn't be looking that way.  I'd be looking away from the house at this view!


You know I love these views, but this isn't even the best part of the property.  This property has solar panels, solar water heater, concrete water tanks and greywater tanks!  Bonus: 378 acres.  Price: $1,150,000.  You can find more information and other photos here.


My Worst Habits

... of which I have many.  Let's just highlight two of those, shall we?

1) I cuss like a sailor/trucker.  My dad was both.  He wasn't a sailor for long though. Backstory:  there was an incident that involved a drill sergeant, an empty box of cookies, and a locker.  He did receive an honorable discharge, but was decidedly "unable to adapt to a military life".  I'm proud of him and don't blame him, I would never have adapted either.  He drove a semi-truck for many years while I was growing up.  I always thought it was cool. But wow... truckers will say anything on a CB radio if they don't know kids are listening!


In all honesty though, I don't think I got the cussing from a sailor or a trucker.  I just caught it and it stuck. Damn it.

2) Nail biting.  I struggle with this daily.  I've always bitten my nails.  It has actually gotten better over the last few years, but I have to keep my nails painted at all times.  And pray that I'm not in stressful situations.  I finally decided to take the plunge into subscription boxes.  This month I joined Julep.
Boho Glam - November 2013 starter box
I took their little style quiz and was awarded the Boho Glam profile.  This profile gets two polishes and one beauty product each month.  I'm not much of a make-up wearer or beauty product person so I should probably switch to a different profile, but I'm going to give it a try for a couple of months and see how it goes.  Having a couple of new polishes each month will surely help me kick the nail biting habit.


What Makes Me Sad

This state of this once great nation that I live in makes me sad.  The United States of America.  Better known now as...

image credit: flickr user beverly & pack
'Merica.

Don't mistake my sadness.  I still have pride in my country.  I just hate how entitled people in this country have become.  Especially the government. How do we keep electing this ridiculously ignorant individuals?!  I wish there were an option of "I don't want to vote for any of these fools" available.

I really enjoyed reading this article.  The views of people who weren't born here.  The things that they could not believe about the US until they moved here.  If you have the time, please read it. It's very enlightening.

The most mentioned thing is the size of everything.  The nation itself, food portions, houses, cars, etc.  We've made strides to downsize our life.  We would absolutely love nothing more than to be tiny house dwellers.  It's a bit hard with three children, but one day we dream of living with less, growing our own food, using less resources.

I wish I could just tell the world that not all Americans are, well...  'Mericans.  And our senators, governors, and the like, certainly don't represent the majority of us.  Neither does Hollywood.

It's all just really sad and makes me want to move to Europe.  Or Australia.  Perhaps this house. Not exactly small living friendly, but wow.  More than likely it would be this house.  It isn't an updated, modern home, but it has solar panels, solar water heater, water tank, and a greywater system!  Bonus: approximately 48 acres of land.  All the gardening I could do!  All the livestock I could have!

Yep. Moving to Australia.


Movies That Make Me Happy

Is it considered okay if I combine days on a challenge?  I'm voting for yes.  We've been so busy the last week or two with cars, basketball, and sickness that I've gotten behind in writing and scheduling posts.

The Cinema or DAY 19 - MY FAVORITE MOVIE

I have a long list of movies that I could watch many times over.  There is one movie that I absolutely adore. Actually it's two movies, but I never watch one without watching the other.


The Godfather 1 & 2.

Never the third installment.  It was rushed and is no comparison to the first two.  The soundtrack was amazeballs.  The costumes are absolutely beautiful and really put you in the time period.  I love it.  The family dynamic, while seriously dysfunctional, shows their love for each other no matter what it takes. The actors are perfect. It's just perfect. I love it.

The Happy Portion or DAY 20 - WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY

Firstly, let me just say that when we got into a minor accident a few weeks ago (Oct. 26th), I was completely freaked out.  No one was injured, the car suffered only minor damage and the other driver (an 18 year old college student who failed to stop at a stop sign IN THE WAL-MART PARKING LOT and swears she "didn't see" us in a bright orange car) was at fault, but we've all seen the commercials.  The ones from lawyers offices that repeatedly tell you that you better get a lawyer or the insurance company will utterly screw you over.  I was terrified that the other drivers insurance wouldn't pay to fix our car and would give us a hassle.

I was so wrong.  Our insurance company was easy to work with and helped get us started.  When I called her insurance company, I spoke with the sweetest lady who took all of our information and I emailed her a copy of the police report.  The next day I got a phone call from the actual insurance agent who set us up with the adjuster for our area.  The adjuster called the day after that to schedule a day and time to give us an estimate on our car.  Even though they said we didn't have to do so, we took our car to a local body shop that works closely with the business that my husband works at to get an estimate from them.  The next week we took our car to the local office to meet the adjuster.  He gave us an estimate that included replacing whole parts straight from the manufacturer plus other parts and labor AND he came in above the body shop's estimate!  We got the check in the mail a few days later.  They even paid for our rental car while our car was in the shop!  It was so painless.

Yesterday we picked our car up.  I didn't realize how much I missed it until we pulled in the parking lot and I saw it sitting there.
All pretty and shiny again!  It felt so good to have her back.  I will admit that I miss the size and room that came with the rental car, a 2010 Chevy Impala.  The only complaint I had was the fuel economy.  While it got decent gas mileage, we are used to our 4-cylinder Kia, not a 6-cylinder.  And we've been doing A LOT of traveling.  Our son's first 5 basketball games this season were all away games.  So having my sweet little orange car back with minimal hassle makes me happy!


A Photograph of Me - Eighteenth of 30


And here I am.  I am too old to have mastered the art of a good selfie.  My current profile picture throughout the social media-osphere is a photo of myself from several years ago (see sidebar).  I'm usually behind the camera and rarely in front of it. I guess now is as good a time as any to change it.

P.S.  I'm too cheap to go to a real salon to get my hair done so I color/cut it myself.  I made a slight oops yesterday and went a bit too dark.  It was a little shocking at first, my hair had been a lighter brown/slightly reddish color, but I'm starting to get used to it. When I was younger, I kept my hair a darker brown color.  Next time, I'll go with a lighter, more medium brown.


My Thoughts on Education - Sixteenth of 30

Having two children in the school system, I am constantly tempted to homeschool them.  The current state of education in this nation is laughable.

I've noticed as I've become older that the kids seem to be getting dumbed down.  My kids haven't ever done an honest to goodness book report.  They can read very well (my son could read before Kindergarten), but I feel that more emphasis than is necessary is put on "hurry up" reading for AR points.  AR stands for Accelerated Reader and is a program that assigns points to books.  In our school system, the kids get goals to reach every 9 weeks.  What happened to reading for fun?  Or just reading a book once a month and then writing a report about it?  Last 9 weeks, my son's Language Arts (they don't even call it English anymore) teacher told me that he would have a better grade if he'd taken more AR tests.  This irritates me.  He has 7 other classes (with homework) every day, not to mention he's also in the band and plays on the basketball team.  Reading 4-5 books every month and a half isn't impossible, but highly unlikely.

Grammar/spelling.  Today's students probably can't even define these words.  Raise your hand if you remember spending day after day conjugating words?  Also breaking down sentences to show what were nouns, verbs, prepositions, etc.  Memorizing, writing, and re-writing your spelling words.  There should be an app that allows parents to force their children to use proper grammar when texting. N dont 4get da spellin wurdz.  Every time I see this stuff I feel like a little bird is dying somewhere.  Grammar and proper spelling ARE SO IMPORTANT.  If you don't use them properly, you look ignorant.  Period.  I'm not perfect myself, but at least I put forth my best effort!

Cursive writing.  Why is this being ignored?!  Neither of my older children have good penmanship.  I tried to help my daughter with her math homework last week.  I tried.  I had to tell her to slow down because I couldn't read a single thing she was writing!  They have done cursive worksheets in the past, but it was several years ago.  I don't feel that there was too much insistence in learning it.  This is just another example of something that can make you look less than you are.  If I had to print everything I wrote... ick.  You would think I was in the 3rd grade.

I would like to have penmanship this beautiful...

1930s Postcards - Penmanship
image credit | Flickr user pancakes for dinner
Of course, I'm speaking about the state of schools in my area of 'Merica.  Every day I see one more reason that makes me want to move my family to Europe.  Education and other wise.


P.S.  I'm totally skipping today's prompt!  I follow 91 blogs through my Bloglovin.  They are all my favorites.  Each in their own way.

Yeah, I Skipped a Day

Please don't sue me, but I skipped yesterday's post.  The prompt was about healthy habits.  I probably could have written a better post about my unhealthy habits.  I always have lofty ideas, but have no willpower to follow through with them.  I'm lazy and haven't found the proper motivation.

Today's prompt asks where will I be in five years.  Well, I'll probably be right here.  Hopefully on a newer couch in our living room that we've replaced the funktastic carpet in.  But by and large, I'll still be here.  Still be doing laundry day and grocery shopping on Sunday, baking the best banana bread my kids have ever tasted, mowing the grass on Saturday, knitting, probably drinking more coffee than I do now.

And then it dawned on me...

In five years, I'll be sending my son to college.  My oldest daughter will be a Senior in high school.  My youngest daughter will be in Kindergarten or 1st grade.

Suddenly five years seems like tomorrow.  Suddenly I don't mind that we had to travel to three away games this week for my son's basketball games.  Suddenly I'm only slightly less irritated that I have to get up early on a Saturday morning to take my daughter to All District band tryouts.

Suddenly I want them to just stay my babies forever.


Thirteenth of 30

DAY THIRTY - WHAT'S IN YOUR FRIDGE

Ummm... my fridge is funky so I'm definitely not gracing you with any photos.

We've got the regular inhabitants of ketchup, mustard, mayo as well as banana peppers, lemon juice, lime juice, butter, milk, a couple of left overs, lettuce, carrots, sliced cheese, shredded cheese, a 1/2 pound of sliced turkey, some pepper jack cheese, biscuits, a 12pk of Natural Ice beer, and a 4 pound pork loin that I'm putting in the slow cooker for after tomorrow nights 4th AWAY GAME IN A ROW.  Also... eggnog!  Love me some eggnog and no one else in the house likes it so I can drink it right from the carton. *wink*

Our fridge was in this house when we moved here.  Which means it's several years old. It used to have an ice maker, but that quit working a while back.  It isn't very cold.  It has a leak.  In fact, it actually has a couple of leaks.  One on the outside that we have to keep mopped up.  One on the inside that we have to keep soaked up or the dreaded mold will grow.

Yes, it's gross.  Yes, we hate it.

No, we can't afford to go buy a new one right now.  Hence the mopping and soaking.

My friend Cam introduced me to an Instagrammer, BeeandBabes.  I'm sure you are wondering what this has to do with my refrigerator.  It's because I am completely in love with this woman's house style.  Starting with this image...

Image credit: Instagram user @beeandbabes
Do you see this fridge?!  It's a commercial unit from TRUE.  I die.  Now I MUST HAVE ONE.  I love the glass doors.  Forces you to keep that puppy clean.  I wouldn't need one quite this large, but doing a little research I discovered that a single width refrigerator and a separate freezer would be only slightly more than the side-by-side Samsung that I've been coveting for a while now.  Considering that "slightly" is about $1,000...  Eek!

So let's just pretend like this is what the inside of my fridge looks like!

Twelfth of 30 Days

DAY 12 - YOUR FAVORITE CHILDHOOD BOOK

I was in the 4th grade when my teacher, Mrs. Holdcraft, began reading to us from Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.  It was my introduction to poetry.  I would sit and read this book over and over.

EARLY BIRD
Oh, if you're a bird, be and early bird
And catch the worm for your breakfast plate.
If you're a bird, be an early bird --
But if you're a worm, sleep late.


Eleventh of 30 Days

I'm starting to notice a pattern with this challenge.  It involves lots of lists.  And I'm okay with that because I'm a list maker.

DAY ELEVEN - TEN FAVORITE FOODS

  1. Cheesecake.  I don't play around with cheesecake either.  While that store bought tub might be useful in a pinch, I ALWAYS make mine from scratch.
  2. Cherry RC/Coke.  Never Pepsi.
  3. Corned beef and cabbage.  Every one in the house loves corned beef and I usually have to buy two because they usually only come in around 4 lb roasts.
  4. Chicken noodle soup.  
  5. Reese's.  Pieces, Cups, Fast Break.  ALL THE REESE'S.
  6. Chinese food.  The pork/chicken on a stick, beef and broccoli, mushrooms, pork with mushrooms.  Yum.
  7. Reuben sandwiches.  WITHOUT the Thousand Island dressing.
  8. Pickles, olives, picked okra.
  9. Banana peppers.
  10. BACON. BACON. BACON.

Tenth of 30 Days

Garden of the Gods - Shawnee National Forest - Illinois
DAY TEN - BEST TRIP OF YOUR LIFE

I can't say that I've taken the best trip of my life yet.  We don't do much traveling.  Too expensive. However, I have been to a few places that brought peace to my soul.

One of these places is in the Shawnee National Forest in southeast Illinois, Garden of the Gods. It's in the middle of nowhere and one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.  Rock formations are the primary attraction.  These wonders of nature are somewhere in the neighborhood of 320 million years old.  It's just peaceful, serene, and beautiful.

Another place... Gulf Islands National Seashore.
Fort Pickens - July 2012
After visiting in July of last year, we knew this was the place we wanted to visit every year.  And then the Universe decided that it had other plans.  Located on a barrier island just south of Pensacola, we stayed at the Fort Pickens campground for three days.  I've done nothing but think about returning and just lounging on the beach.  There are several things to do in the area, but this was the one thing everybody in the family agreed on.  Rest, relaxation, and salt water.  Pure bliss.


Ninth of 30 Days

And nine days into November, I forget to post.  I'd apologize, but if you don't know how forgetful I am by now, then you haven't been reading long enough!

DAY NINE - WHAT'S IN YOUR BAG/WALLET

  • Keys
  • One of Ro's knitted hats
  • Lotion purchased from a local company, Brynnly Naturals, from the local farmer's market
  • A BumGenius wetbag
  • Two pair of Alva training pants 
  • A wallet
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Strawberry ChapStick
  • Gum
  • A Much Ado About You planner (she's no longer making them... boo)
  • Notebook
  • Library book
  • Usually the phone I took the photo with...

Eighth of 30 Days

DAY EIGHT - FIVE (OK...Just ONE) CURRENT GOAL(S)

I don't really have five current goals.  I suppose if I put my mind to it I could come up with five.

... ... ...

Yeaaaah... nope.  I had a bunch of goals at the beginning of the year and while I've actually accomplished many of them, most of them are just getting bumped to next year.

However, I do have the book goal.  Which I AM going to make y'all!  I didn't think I was going to make it for a while, but I've read 20 of my 25 book goal.

Here's a list of what I've read this year.

Currently, I'm reading Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr.  I have another downloaded to the Kindle from the library, but I can't read two different books at once.  My brain just does not compute. So while this isn't a post about five goals, it's still a post so I'm calling a WIN!


Seventh of 30 Days

DAY SEVEN - YOUR FIVE FAVORITE SONGS

This is hard for me.  I love music.  I have more than five favorite songs.  I had to let my daughter help me pick five from my play list.  Without further ado...


I love Pink. Like have a huge girl crush on this woman. As soon as I heard this song, I laughed and then played it for my husband.


This is the song of my youth. My first Metallica song. I could put the entire Black Album on here, but we settled on this one because it was the first.


Glenn Miller folks. Big band music. This man didn't even need words to express what he was saying.


Oliver Stone's movie The Doors came out in 1991. I was 13 years old. Suddenly I was introduced to a whole world of music.


Elvis Presley. And there isn't anything else to say on that.

This was so hard!  I feel like I am shirking other songs.  Five is just not enough.


Sixth of 30 Days

DAY SIX - WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF

I'm not too scared of many things.  Mice don't bother me.  Snakes don't bother me.

Bugs.  Bugs scare the crap outta me.

If it has more than four legs than I run away screaming like a little girl.

cave_cricket.16841941_std

The scientific name for this beauty is Rhaphidophoridae. We call them cave crickets.  This, my friends, lives in my basement.  I'm not a big fan of bug sprays and pesticides, but I was willing to compromise when it came to these creepy, disgusting, weird looking... *shudder* ... crickets.

Instead of sprays, we caught a toad outside, named him Albert, and put him in our basement.  We are now on our 2nd incarnation of Albert.  After a couple of years, we took the first Albert back outside.  In just a couple of weeks, we started getting ... *shudder*... cave crickets again.  We caught Albert the II and he's kept them from creeping me out while doing my laundry.

So things I'm not afraid of - toads.  Things I am afraid of - cave crickets (and other things with more than four legs).

Fifth of 30 Days

DAY FIVE - YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT

It's a bit hard for me to pick one specific moment in my life that makes me proud.  I have three children. They have all done things that have made me the proudest mom on the face of the Earth.

It would probably be easier to point out the non-so-proud moments.  Like neglecting to take any family photos for about a year.  Or that one time that one of the kids pointed out a particularly embarrassing object/item and pointed it out as loudly as they could.  Or that time my son just pulled down his pants in a friend's yard because he had to go pee.

There are some moments that make your ability to parent seem like a WIN.

Your children knowing who Nirvana, Bob Dylan, The Doors, or AC/DC are and recognizing their music.  Or when their teachers give them so much praise for their politeness and academic abilities that you think they must be talking about someone else's child.  Or when your toddler says a new word you didn't even realize was in her vocabulary... and she does it EVERY DAY.

I guess I would have to say that my proudest moment came three different times.  October 21, 1999, July 25th, 2001, and July 7, 2011.

Fourth of 30 Days

DAY FOUR - YOUR DREAM JOB

If you had asked me as a child what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would have said veterinarian.  Specifically, an equine veterinarian. I've always loved all the animals, but I wanted to work with horses.  Not that I ever had a horse growing up.  Or knew anything about horses at all.

Today is a little different.  I would absolutely love to curate a museum.  

field museum two
Images by myself | Field Museum in Chicago 2006

The photos aren't the best (scanned photos from an inexpensive point & shoot camera), but these were taken at the Field Museum in Chicago from a trip my husband and I took in 2006.  I could have stayed in there all day and night.  Just taking it all in.  Those butterflies on the left were as large as my hand.  They were beautiful.  My idea of an awesome vacation would be to go to all the Smithsonian buildings.

Yeah, museum curator.  That's my dream job.

Third of 30 Days

DAY THREE - YOUR FAVORITE QUOTE

This is a bit hard for me.  I have several favorites.

There is one I always turn to when I'm feeling a little frazzled or stressed.

Don't worry about the world ending today.  It's already tomorrow in Australia. --Charles Schulz 
You can't really go wrong when you are listening to the man who created Charlie Brown.

image found here