Currently :: October 11th

Doing | I have been doing a whole lot of letting go. I'm not sure what it is, but something has just clicked in my brain/body. I'm done being completely stressed out about pretty much everything. I am slowing learning that things are what they are and if I can improve it, good, if I can't, move on.

Thinking | The husband's new job seems to be going well. He works four 12-hour shifts then he is off for four days. Shifts are 6am to 6pm and switch to 6pm to 6am every month. He just started his month of night shifts this week. It's a little strange.

Reading | Oh lord... uh yeah. Not much. I've been reading up on my tarot book, but that's about it.

Watching | All the things! I desperately wish that TV networks would space out when shows return for the "season". Every Fall I struggle to figure out what to watch, what to record, what to skip. I know, I know... #firstworldproblem.

Eating | September was pretty hectic and eating well was, unfortunately, not a big priority. We ate quite a few frozen pizzas and hot dogs. Hopefully, I can get myself organized again and being doing meal plans.

**Recipe I think you'd like: Frito Chili Pie from the Pioneer Woman. Husband and son wanted chili so I made this. They didn't eat it with the chips, but I threw some in a bowl, topped it with chili and gobs of cheese! By itself, it still made a nice tasting chili.

Weather | A little bit of cool weather, a little bit of warm weather. Definite prayers for all those living in South Carolina with too much water and those living in California with too little.

Work In Progress | I'm working on a Heirloom Chevron Throw.

October 10th | Show Me Your Favorite(s)

October 10th | Favorites

The Sun, The Moon, The Star

When I first received my deck, I immediately shuffled through them to just look at them, feel them. These three cards stood out to me and still do now.

This tarot challenge is hosted by @blackandthemoon via Instagram
Tarot deck | The Wild Unknown

October 8th | Tarot Challenge

October 8th | How do I accomplish this? 

 The Hermit | solitude, meditation

The idea of being a "hermit" is not supported in our society... but in the realm of tarot they are the most celebrated & valued creatures. Through mediation, solitude, & stillness they bring wisdom to all. When this card appears it's time to step back from the business of day to day life & focus on your inner realm. Become more self-aware. If you're intrigued by meditation, start now. Spend time by yourself. Your inner fire is ready to be lit... it will shine for all to see.

Well alrighty then. I hear you loud and clear. And it's very appropriate as I have actually been trying to mediate. It's proving pretty difficult for my anxiety ridden, never sleeping brain, but this card just reinforces my desire to keep practicing. Maybe this will lead to some amazing breakthrough on that goal I need to make a decision about soon.

October 7th | Tarot Challenge

October 7th | What goal should I focus on? 

Justice | With tails entwined, two cats look directly at you...  waiting for you to choose between them. Which is right and which is wrong? The justice card implies a weight or heaviness surrounding a choice you have to make.  Now is not the time to shun the concept of divine balance or karma. All of your choices affect your life and sometimes lives around you... both now and in the future.

I'm uncertain of my upcoming choices of goals here. I'm sure they will become clear soon enough.

Clementina Sweater

Last week it finally began to feel like Fall around here. I've had this Clementina pattern for a while, but never made one so I figured now was the time!

I can't remember what I originally bought this I Love This Cotton yarn for, but I really liked working with it. It's brightly colored, nice and soft. 

The pattern called to slip the last stitch of every row while holding the yarn in front of the work. It created the most beautiful edges!!

When I am making a project, I usually end up getting slowed down by sleeves. I hate using double pointed needles (dpns). I always end up with gaps, that knitters called laddering, where the needles come together.

So I decided to try using two circular needles to knit in-the-round for the sleeves. ERMAHGERD. This is the way to go for me. Once I got the hang of it, I finished the first sleeve and then went on to not only start but also finish the second sleeve on the same day! This is a big deal for me. 

The pattern is very easy to follow with basic stitches that give it very cute details. It goes from newborn to 6 years and it's only around $5! It took me a while to make it, but I was just so busy in the month of September that I barely had time to sit down and work on it. I made her a cute little beanie to match it too!

Now I have no idea what to work on next!!

October 6th | Tarot Challenge

October 6th | Where am I Physically? 

Daughter of Cups | creative, emotional 

Creative energy abounds from the daughter of cups. She's romantic, artistic, and easily inspired by her surroundings. A true dreamer by nature, she struggles to stay grounded or to deal with any harsh realities that come her way. Conflict of any kind is very disturbing to this gentle creature. 

Hmmm... well I'm not sure what I should take from this, but I think it's leaning toward "creative dreamer"  = lazy, get off your ass. Or maybe it just means that physically I'm a creator. I sew clothing, I knit items, occasionally I take photographs.

Tarot deck | The Wild Unknown

October 5th |Tarot Challenge

October 5th | Where am I Emotionally? 

Mother of Wands | domestic, vibrant, family, warmth 

The mother of Wands is a vibrant woman and happy mother. Family comes first in her world - she's very protective of it and is the dominant parent within the home. Though proud and determined, she has enough grace and beauty that you'd hardly notice her forceful nature. Oftentimes she has overcome great pain or trauma in her life. It's important not to be on her bad side.

This card made me a laugh. I am very emotionally invested in being a mother. Especially at this time when we have so much going on, I do whatever I can to make sure my kids are well and successful. And not just my own kids either, I feel like I've adopted all 145 band kids.

Tarot deck used | The Wild Unknown

October 4th | Tarot Challenge

October 4th | Where am I Spiritually? 

Six of Cups | memories, childhood, joy, nostalgia 

A card of beautiful implications, the Six of Cups focuses on the magic and innocence of childhood. The roots of years past are alight with color and vibrancy... look back upon them, get lost in your memories. Old friends may surface and seek you out. All reunions will be joyful. Enjoy simple pleasure and wonder in all areas of your life.

I can remember my mother reading tarot cards when I was a child. Maybe that's where my interest in them comes from now. Spiritually, I don't identify with one belief, I respect aspects from many. 

Tarot deck used | The Wild Unknown

October 3rd | Tarot Challenge

October 3rd | Where am I mentally? 

 Nine of Wands | strength, stamina, confidence 

As nines usually imply, your journey is near completion. But on this final stretch you find yourself growing weary, with doubt and fear running through your mind. The nine of Wands asks you to rely your confidence and realize how far you've come. Lift your eyes and take a few more steps... soon all your hard work will start to pay off.

Oh well this sounds promising. It also sounds like what I've been telling myself is right. There is a light at the end of this tunnel and maybe the tunnel isn't as long as it once was.

Tarot deck used | The Wild Unknown

October 2nd |Tarot Challenge

October 2nd | Show me your significator 
 Mother of Pentacles | Capricorn, Earth sign 

I did not plan this and found it kind of awesome that my card is also my theme for October. 
I also found it awesome that I had already decided to focus a bit on myself for October too. I have always been in love with Autumn and felt more myself when this season rolled around.

Tarot deck used | The Wild Unknown

New Beginning

I have decided that I have no idea what direction I want this blog to go in. September was crazy. I feel like a went through it with my eyes closed because it all happened so quickly that it is now over and I'm not sure what went on.

It's no secret to those that actually know me that I am spiritual, but have no religion. I believe aspects of many religions, but can't wrap my mind around others so I'm just me. Recently, a friend of mine tagged me in a photo on Instagram that was a challenge for the month of October. A tarot challenge. Now I know many of you think this is witchcraft or devil related, and that's fine, but it's not, in my opinion. I've found them to be seriously accurate in their meaning in the past. I've had a couple of sets of tarot cards for a few years, but only occasionally pull them out. I thought I'd give this little diddy of prompts a try so I can learn and be more open to possibilities.

So honestly, this space will become more knitting, more beliefs, more me. Maybe....

October 1st |Theme for October 
 Mother of Pentacles | domestic, loving, patient, confidence, firm foundations

*Tarot deck used | The Wild Unknown

pumpkin spice everything 

pumpkin spice everything 


Yesterday started with a 6am wakeup call. Get everyone up, fed, and ready to go by 7:30am. It was a Saturday and Saturdays are for sleeping in and pajamas all day. Not when you are a band mom in the Fall.

We hosted our annual marching band contest. For myself and several others it was the first time organizing something so large. I mean, I’ve been to the home show, but mostly as a spectator. We had many successes and a few things that need improvement. I was so nervous in the days leading up to yesterday and now it all went by so quickly, that I’m not sure how it all happened!

As soon as our awards were handed out, we had to quickly put things away and do a brief cleaning before loading up all our band kids, all their stuff, and all of us and heading out to another marching band contest last night!

It was amazing. It was exhausting. I can’t wait to do it again next year!


Pinwheel Pillow

Curses! I can’t crochet! *sends link to my mom*

This crochet pattern is available for free - Pinwheel Pillow

Currently :: August 30th

Doing: I finally finished my Boneyard Shawl! I won a skein of Caterpillar Green yarn in the Concrete and Tulip colorway from one of Taiga Hilliard's Instagram giveaways back in June. The yarn is AH-MA-ZING. It's a wool, cashmere, nylon blend and it's oh so soft. It's also a self striping yarn that is perfect for this shawl pattern.

Listening, eating, loving, watching: I'm totally lumping all of these into the same category because yesterday was the first band show of the year!!! It was just a preview show, as the official season hasn't started, but it was a great trial run. I love seeing and hearing all the bands. But this does mean that I'll be eating quite a lot of food that isn't good for me. Yesterday I ate mainly Snickers and donuts.

Weather: The weather has been amazing! It's starting to get a little hotter though and with that comes humidity. Boo.

Thinking: We visited an ENT about Neil's broken nose (that the ER said wasn't broken) this week. He said that if we had come to see him within 2-3 days he could have just push it back over, but because it had been 15 days, he couldn't. Since he is still in the middle of soccer season, he suggested we schedule an appointment in six weeks and see about fixing it then. Neil was so excited that he wouldn't have to miss any games that I didn't have the heart to tell him they will likely re-break his nose in six weeks.

Next week will be insanity. Three soccer games, a band fundraiser, a homecoming football game, and probably a little of some other strange happenings. But in the midst of all of this craziness, a little light at the end of the tunnel... Chris got that new job. He doesn't start until September 8th though.

Currently :: August 23rd

Doing: I'm doing a lot of finger crossing. Chris put in an application at the aluminum recycling plant in our town last week. He's done the interview and signed papers, but he still has a physical and drug test to do, scheduled for next week. This job will pay more and offer insurance benefits as well as retirement 401k. The next week or so is going to creep by until we hear if he has been officially hired or not.

Thinking: The first home football game of the season was Friday. The band boosters run the concessions for the games while the band plays during time outs and half time. It was a first for myself as well as a few of the other ladies. We didn't really have any idea what to expect, but at the end of the night, it was a success. I'm thinking that the rest of the home season will be just as successful!

Watching: Today I watched my four year old daughter be so excited with herself. We've had a mouse that has refused to be caught. He's tripped a couple of traps FOUR times and not been caught. He's sneaky, stealthy, brazen. Earlier this week, he walked across my chaise chair in the living room when I was sitting on the couch. The next day, as I was getting that four year old out of the bath tub, he struggled to drag a Sour Patch Kid across the kitchen floor... right in front of us! We had enough and my husband bought sticky traps today. This afternoon Rowan came into the living room from her room, huge smile on her face.

"I killed the mouse! I killed the mouse!"

My husband and I looked at each other, looked back at her. "Uh... where?"

"In my room! I killed it with my foot."

Surely, we thought, she's joking.  No. No, she was not. The mouse came from behind her bookshelf and stopped, looking at her. So she jumped down and "stomped it with my left foot". ERMAHGERD.

My daughter is a mouse murderer.

Eating: We've been eating a lot of frozen pizzas and not-so-good-for-you food. Between soccer games, football games, and various practices, we've just not been home to eat a better meal.

Loving the weather: I can smell Fall y'all! I'm sure it's seen as cliche, but it really is my favorite season. Always has been. I'm a big lover of football and bonfires, however, I am not a pumpkin spice latte fan or an Ugg boot fan so I suppose it evens out.

Currently :: August 16th

Doing: Like whoa. I've been doing quite a bit of running because "Back to School" y'all. Band practices, soccer practices, preschool evaluations, booster meetings for band and soccer, ... trip to the ER because my son played in his first ever soccer game (it was actually a scrimmage game) as the goalie in the JV game and while diving to save the ball, got knee'd in the face by the opposing player. Broken nose. FIRST EVER SOCCER GAME. Thank goodness I was at a booster meeting and did not witness this or the fact that he continued to play, finished the JV game and started in the varsity game.

Thinking: I'm very sad about the loss of some trees from the church next door. They are building an addition that will be a rec center not only for the use of the church, but for the community too. I just had no idea they were going to be tearing down so many of the trees and it makes me very sad. If you follow me on IG, you've seen the video of the last oak being felled. I did get a message from the pastor letting me know that that specific tree has some issues and probably would have died in a few years, but it still hurt my heart and I did shed some tears. So now, I've been thinking about what/when/where to plant new trees in our side yard in the Spring.

Reading: I'm still reading What Lies in the Darkness by K. L. Cottrell. I've just been so busy that I've not had much time to relax and read. Or knit and that's just sad. I did a little knitting and a little reading, but not as much as I should have.

Watching: We put our Dish Network subscription on pause back in May. Did you know that was possible? I didn't, but when I called to cancel, the operator told me about this service. It's basically just paying $5 +tax every month so you don't have to repay to restart your service if you want to do so after the pause. You can chose to pause your service for 3-, 6-, or 9-months. We were paying almost $100 a month. It just wasn't a necessity. However, my in-laws recently told us about Sling Tv. It's just $20 +tax per month. It has nearly every tv station that we regularly watched! ESPN, A&E, HGTV, Syfy, Disney Channel, and more. We are trying it out for now on our new gifted-to-us Roku stick. So far it's pretty awesome. The only drawback is that you can only stream to one device at a time right now.

AND! It's preseason football time for the NFL! Woooooo!

Loving: I am loving that my dad is back from his visit to Florida! He was planning a trip anyway, but this one just ended up being a little more spur of the moment than he would have liked. I really wish the whole family could meet somewhere in the middle every year just to visit with each other and catch up.

Weather: The weather has been surprisingly pleasant for the middle of August. Not very humid or rainy, jusssst right. But... (there is always a "but"...) we are expecting rain chances every day next week. The rain doesn't bother me, the humidity is gross.

Cleaning Schedule Printable

With school starting back last week and my youngest beginning preschool next week, I thought I would revisit and share my weekly/monthly cleaning schedule with you guys. I didn't realize until I decided to write this post that nearly exactly a year ago, I wrote the first post about my new schedule! My current one has been changed slightly from that original schedule.

I have dropped the ball on keeping to the schedule during the Summer months. Things have fallen apart. Laundry builds up quickly in our house with five people. Dishes? Ugh. Sinks overflow after just one missed washing.

Having a visual checklist every day really helps me to keep up with every day chores. It also helps to break it up over the whole week and I really only spend about an hour every day doing the daily items. Laundry, of course, is the most time consuming, but because I try to do at least one load every day, I'm not spending all day Saturday or Sunday just doing laundry.

Did you know that Good Housekeeping recommends only washing your towels every 3-4 uses? I had no idea. I wash them all after just one use. I'm just not sure I can get on board with using a towel for a week before washing. I still wash the bed sheets once a week, but they also say you only have to do that every other week.

Do you use a schedule to keep up with all the cleaning in your home?


You guys. I've been drunk since my last post.

Not really, but wouldn't that have made an interesting new post. Really though, things are slowly looking better.

Remember how the washing machine repairman was due to be here on July 31st? Well it was still July so of course I got a phone call a little after lunch saying that he had left his route early due to sickness and wouldn't be arriving that day. The soonest she could reschedule him was August 17th. AUGUST 17TH! A full month after his first visit and almost a month and a half after the washer broke down. I grudgingly agreed because what else was I supposed to do. It wasn't the fault of the lady on the other end of the phone. It was just still July.

The more I thought about it and the closer the first day of school got (August 6th here), I decided I'd had enough. I wasn't waiting another almost 2 weeks for him to come. I had already had the thing taken apart before so I did it again. It took my husband and myself less than 20 minutes to fix the damn thing. Works like it's brand new. I've been washing clothes like a MAD WOMAN. I know this is a "first world problem", but I am so happy to have my washing machine back. Yesterday I finally called the A & E Factory Service number and told them I just wanted to cancel the upcoming appointment. When he asked me why, I told him I didn't want to wait a month to get my washer repaired. We paid for the 3 year warranty, but having to wait for a month and a half to get repairs done is ridiculous. The repairman is coming all the way from Nashville so no wonder he only gets "in the area" once a month.

And let's see... I made some stuff.

Kaia needed a backpack/bag and I just couldn't go out and pay $50 for a good one so I made one. This one has love in the stitches bitches. Plus it's mostly black and has skulls, but the skulls are colored so it's the perfect compromise. I'm working on making several shirts, dresses, and pants/shorts/skirts for Rowan to wear. I have all this fabric so I feel like there is no sense in buying new clothes when I can just make them.

P.S. My baby is starting preschool next week. Boo. So I'll leave you with a photo of the oldest two who started yesterday.

Bless It

When you are from the South, you will use the phrase "bless your heart" more times than you realize. Occasionally, we say this and actually mean that we understand, we feel your pain, and/or we just get it. However the majority of the time, we are really saying,  "That fool is so screwed.", or "Yes, screw you very much too."

This is me and July. We have a complicated relationship. If you are in any kind of proximity to me in the month of July, I apologize. More often than not, I do a little happy dance when August 1st rolls around.

July has its fair share of good. We've got births. Both of my daughters were born in July. My friend, Cam, gave birth to a little girl in July. Another old friend had a son in July. Hell, the birth of our nation took place in July.

But we also have deaths.

Remember my friend, Cam? Her daughter, Brooklyn, also passed in July, the 23rd, her birthday. My grandmother passed on July 6th, 2007. One day (and a few years) away from my youngest's birthday of July 7th, 2011. My grandmother loved to go to the casino riverboats so when she passed on 7/6/07, we kind of joked that she almost got that jackpot. Then my youngest was born on 7/7/11 at 11:17am. I knew my grandmother was there. Both of my husband's grandmother's passed in July. One on the 10th, one on the 25th, which happens to be my oldest daughter's birthday too. Most recently, my niece, Kiana, took her own life. On July 23rd. The day my best friend gave birth to and lost her first daughter. Two days later, on my oldest daughter's birthday, my brother lost his childhood best friend to liver cancer.

My niece, Kiana.
I swear I can't make this shit up. And it doesn't get better...

This one time, my friend and her husband and son decided to pack up and move to the peachy state of Georgia. They were back in less than 24 hours because when they arrived at the new rental home, it was falling apart. To the point that there was no way they could stay even one night.

We went camping last year and squirrels ate a hole through our tent to get hot cocoa mix. There was squirrel shit everywhere. Not to mention, it was also 100F in the shade the entire week and we had severe storms. Every day!

Last week, my dad packed up a small bag and headed to Florida. It's about a 15 hour drive from our place to where my brothers live. He originally thought he would leave around 3 or 4 o'clock because it's easier to drive straight through at night. He was ready to go by 11am though so he left out around 11:30am. At almost 4pm, my phone rang. He was stuck. In Chattanooga. Still 10+ hours from his destination. So after my husband had been at work for 10 hours, he got home, did a quick clothing change, and we headed back out. We borrowed a trailer big enough to load up my dad's vehicle, but realized after looking for 30+ minutes and several phone calls, that the ramps my husband just made specifically for the work trailer last week... had been sold by the office manager. So we had to track down ramps before we could leave. We get to Chattanooga and the truck is running fine. He thinks getting caught in a many miles long traffic jam must have messed up some sensor... yada, yada. He follows us home because we failed to realize this trailer HAS NO LIGHTS.

Eight-ish hours later we roll back into Bowling Green. It's 2am. My dad is about to pass out. So we stop at Waffle House, Chris goes home. My dad and I have breakfast and coffee at 2am at a Waffle House that is surprisingly hoppin' for the hour. There were even a couple of guys playing guitars and banjos singing Johnny Cash songs.

Are you still here? Still following along? Bless you. No, seriously.

I hate to even talk about this because it may be embarrassing for her later, but... I had to take my youngest to the pediatrician on Monday because she had what is called a labial adhesion. I'm not going to explain it, but you can gather that the procedure was painful. Moments after leaving the doctor's office with a little girl that just want to go home, Mother Nature let loose a deluge of rain. Flash flooding amounts of rain. I had to stop several times on the way back home because I couldn't see even a foot in front of me. Now she is holding her pee in because it hurts to go to the bathroom and she cries in pain every time. *sigh*

Monsoon season...
My sister-in-law calls on Monday evening and tells my dad he's coming to Florida. She books him a round trip plane ticket. Outbound flight is on Wednesday. Now my two oldest kids are still doing band camp, 8am to 4pm everyday and my son is also doing soccer practices from 7pm to 9pm every night. Rowan has her 4 year vaccines scheduled for Wednesday morning so I call and reschedule those, which works out fine because the new appointment is in AUGUST. Now my friend Pam has an entrance interview type dealio at the school she is starting classes at soon at 8am on Wednesday morning so I tell her it's fine that her daughter stays with us Tuesday. This is ok too because Chris just goes to work an hour later than normal and drops all three kids at band camp. *shoo*

Meanwhile, my dad's flight is scheduled for 9:24am out of Evansville, IN. We get up at 5am. I get myself ready, coax the youngest to please use the bathroom before we leave, fix a cup of coffee, and we are on the road before 6am. Granted it was 5:59am. Still counts as before 6am.

We don't take the shortest route because Google says the road is closed in one section. Google was wrong, but I'll get to that in a minute. Dad is nervous because he hasn't flown in a great many years. He's not sure what to expect anymore. I'm nervous because I don't normally do this kind of driving. The husband usually does all that. We arrived at the airport without incident an hour and a half before scheduled departure. A miracle all by itself. We say our goodbyes and I head back home.

Dad calls about 30 minutes later to let me know they have delayed the flight by an hour. I GOT UP AT 5AM, BUSTED ASS TO GET THERE EARLY AND THEY DELAYED THE FLIGHT. *breathe* I decided I wasn't going to take the long way home and got off the parkway at the next exit. Driving down a skinny, country road in Henderson County, Kentucky between two parkways, I get stopped at some construction where the backhoe is half on my side of the road. The workers help me slowly move between the ditch on one side and the backhoe on the other. Not 10 miles down the road, I run into a farming incident. The entire road is blocked by a "hi-boy" (vehicle with very tall, skinny tires, able to drive through crops without damaging them) that has accidentally fallen off the side of the road and can't get up. So another farm equipment vehicle is there trying to pull it out.

I just want to go home. And drink. At 10am.

Finally get through all of this, make my way to Owensboro, the parkway is not closed (just under constuction), and get myself home. I call my dad to let him know that I've made it safely. His flight doesn't take off until almost 11:30am, two hours after it was scheduled to take off, which means he will miss his connecting flight in Atlanta. They get him on another flight, on a bigger plane, and he is happy.

The roofers finally came, but did not repair the roof correctly (used the brown shingles instead of black ones and only patched areas) and they were supposed to return this week to redo it properly. Haven't seen them. My washing machine stopped working, had to wait a week for the repairman to come, who had to order parts and couldn't return to install them for two weeks. Due to be here tomorrow. Oh and one of our cats got run over.

July. Bless it. One more day.

Currently :: July 26th

Thinking: No more telling ourselves that we will go visit my family next vacation. We will actually do it next year.

Listening: Cicadas. I guess they are in one of their cycles, but they are everywhere in the evenings and LOUD!!!

Reading:  I am desperately trying to catch up on my reading. According to GoodReads, I am four books behind schedule on my reading challenge. Ack. I started and finished Fablehaven by Brandon Mull this week. It was a decent fantasy book, but the brother, Seth, is a punk. Last week I won a giveaway of a signed copy of the book What Lies in the Darkness by K. L. Cottrell. I've only just begun reading it.

Watching:  I'm doing a lot of sitting in my car watching my son at soccer practice. I tried to get out and sit on the bleachers. There are dive bombing red wasps and little gnats that BITE! I looked like some crazy person flailing my arms around every few minutes. Now I totally envy cows with swishy tails.

Eating: Dang it... I forgot to write a post about that chicken!

Weather: Pretty hot, humid. This hot then rainy then hot weather has really taken a toll on our tomatoes. They are splitting and rotting. We are able to salvage some as long as we pick them as soon as they begin to turn orange and then let them ripen on a window sill. I made a couple of pints of black bean salsa on Friday afternoon. I haven't tried it yet though.

Doing: Thursday afternoon we found out that one of my nieces committed suicide. I have never been close to any of my five half brothers. They all lived in Florida while I grew up here in Kentucky. I only met my niece, Kiana, once. We hadn't been down there since 2006. It doesn't seem like it has been nine years. My dad, who lived down there for many years before moving back to KY, is heartbroken. He left early Friday to drive straight down there. I've been doing a lot of crying then feeling guilty for being so sad and crying. I barely knew her. I'm crying because I never had the chance. I'm crying because I'm a mother. I'm crying because it still hurts. It is hard to find words.

Flashback Friday

Originally posted | July 21st, 2014 | A Vacation Story: The Good
I am still in love with this house. I dream of one day building a home with a dog trot.

*Fair warning... long post with lots of awesomesauce photos!*

For me, the best part of this vacation was visiting the 1850's Homeplace located in the southern, Tennessee part, of Land Between the Lakes.  If there is anything you should know about me, it is this...  I was born in the wrong era.  I love to see and hear about all the history.  Though I am partial to phones and internet as well as electric and indoor plumbing, I would like nothing more than to buy some wooded acres, build a tiny house on it, throw up some solar panels, and call it home.  After visiting the Homeplace, I have new ideas banging around inside my head on what I want that tiny home to look like.  On to the photo tour!

First off, I forgot to take a photo of the actual entrance which is this sort of earthen mound.  You go inside the doors to the gift shop and museum type area that held artifacts and information.  Walk out the back doors and follow a little wooded path that opens upon this wonderful old farm!

This is the main house called a double pen.  It has this amazing breezeway, also called a dog trot.  While not exactly a "tiny" home, it's smaller than most modern homes.  The dog trot area is what immediately set my brain to thinking.  It was stupid hot and humid that day, but this home was cool and breezy.  All the windows were open.  The curtains were all gently blowing in the breeze.  This house was cooler than my own house is with the air conditioning on.  Why do we not build houses like this anymore?!?!

All of the buildings were picked up and moved to this location from the LBL area, with the exception of the main home which came from a nearby location in Tennessee.  I was just amazed that these homes/buildings were not reproduction, not made to look old, but actual original buildings.

This is the back porch area.  The open space in the wall to the right is the dog trot area that also includes the stairs leading to the upstairs open landing between two bedrooms.  To my right is the parlor and to my left is the kitchen.

Holy awesome kitchen Batman!  The crocks!  The iron skillets and pots!  THE STOVE!!  

 Looking out the front part of the open upstairs landing is a view of some of the crops from the era.  Tobacco and corn were growing in this field.

From the back view, you can see the kitchen and the smokehouse building.  As well as getting an upclose view of the shake roof.

Resident mouse catcher.  Do you see the width of these wooden floor boards?!

This was the large fenced-in garden.  What a great way to keep out unwanted critters.  Never occurred to me to fence the whole garden.  Nearby was the corn crib and garden tool shed.

 I fell in love with this sweet little single pen home.  It's much too small for our family of five, but was so cozy and efficient.

Plus it had this flower and herb garden right out back.  Who wouldn't love to just step out the back door for fresh flowers or to grab some parsley?

There were lots of animals (horses, oxen, chickens, ducks, sheep, pigs), a small blacksmith building, a huge tool barn, and lots of little outbuildings to house tools and food for the specific animals they were near. Absolutely worth a visit if you are near the area.

Next up on the tour of Good Things... the Woodlands Nature Station.  The Nature Station houses native animals that are unable to be released back into the wild.  I wanted to go to the Nature Station so I could see the red wolves.  There are fewer than 300 of them left in THE WORLD.  Recently (May) the wolves here had a cub!  Great news!  Bad news... we waited and waited and waited outside their pen, but no sighting of a single red wolf was had.  No sightings of their coyotes either.  Apparently they were all hiding out due to the rain that was moving in later.

We did see turkeys.  Much prettier on the table for Thanksgiving.  Very mean in person.  Several different types of owls, which were scary and fascinating.  Do you know how tiny a screech owl is?  A bobcat who gave no shits whatsoever that we were there, like any other cat.  A groundhog, a few deer, an opossum, a bald eagle, and lots of hummingbirds and other birds.

Inside the learning center, there were all types of skulls and butterflies plus pelts of various native animals.  A skunk is surprisingly soft.  They also had snakes which Rowan was fascinated with.  Next time we visit we will try to go earlier in the day when the animals may be more active.

Lastly, before going we decided that while we were there we would pick a place to eat out one night.  I looked over the restaurants in the area.  Considered visiting Patti's 1880's Settlement, but I decided I didn't want to visit the place that every one else visits when they go.  I wanted off the beaten path.  I found it at Belew's Dairy Bar.

It was the best decision I had on the whole trip.  Do you see these prices?!  I had no idea it was going to be such a great value.  Cheeseburger? $2.80.  Grilled cheese?  $1.85.  Most expensive item on the menu was the shrimp basket and it was only $6.20.  Oh and these prices included tax.  AND!  Do you see "curb service"?  That's exactly what we got.  They come right up to your car and you don't have to be parked right next to the building either.  When your food is ready, it gets put on a nice stainless steel tray that hooks right on your window.  We ended up talking to each of the three carhops.  They were the nicest, most friendly ladies.  Each had a smile and were very helpful.  The burger was a little flat, but tasted great and the milkshakes were amazing!  I can see why they have been in business since 1951!

I have been thinking about that Homeplace and how sweet the ladies at Belew's were and it's a good thing too because if I focused on the bad stuff, I'd have a stroke.  

Pretty Dresses

My brother, Jim, came to pick up our mom this weekend. She is going down to stay with him in Florida for a few weeks. A much needed vacation for her. Plus she'll get to spend time with that side of the family as well. It has been a few years since we'd seen each other. It was a quick trip, he was really only here on Saturday, but he and our mom came over to the house for most of the day.

Mom had a whole chicken that she didn't want to go bad while she was gone so I stuck that in the slow cooker. I used a recipe I will definitely be sharing on here soon, but of course I forgot to photograph the finished chicken. We were all so hungry that we dug right in and ate it all. Nothing but bones left. Poor chicken. Bonus, we got to eat tomatoes and corn straight from our garden.

You know what else I forgot to photograph? Me and my brother. They'll be back in a few weeks. Hopefully with a few more days to hang out and go exploring.

The older kids have started band camp this week. Soccer conditioning has also begun. I'm officially a soccer mom again. (Kaia used to play.) With Mom gone and lounging on a beach somewhere, I haven't a sitter for Rowan so I'm not able to volunteer as I'd like to do for camp. So I've donated bags of tomatoes instead.

Someone hasn't been taking her older siblings being gone very well. Last night it rained quite a bit and filled up her little pool. Today she just would not stay out of it. I kept telling her she would get her pretty dress all dirty.

I turned to see her like this. She said, "Look Mama! I can sit in my chair and play in the water without getting my pretty dress dirty!" I'm not sure if she is a genius or an expert smartass.

CURRENTLY :: July 19th

I love the Sunday Lately idea, but I noticed that I wouldn't always have prompts available for the next week. So I'm going to make a couple of changes and go back to doing Currently posts. I'm going to be using the same prompts every week. I think it will be easier. I like the idea of a post on Sundays to recap the week. I won't be hosting a link-up at this time, but I'd love to see others posts too so be sure to comment and leave your blog address!

The prompts I'll be using will be from the following:  doing, thinking, listening, reading, watching, eating, loving, weather, enjoying... I might not use every prompt every week and you don't have to either. Feel free to add new ones as well if they fit your week. I might just steal your prompts for my next week!

Doing:  Cleaning. I've been doing a lot of cleaning. Mostly it was that back room/laundry room. Completely cleaned out and empty now. I would like to pull our dining room table up from the basement and put it in there. Our actual dining room is a bed room now, but that's a whole different blog post.

Thinking:  I've been thinking about starting back up with my PostCrossing post card exchange. I haven't sent any cards out in almost a year. I didn't realize it had been so long and I'm kicking my own ass for being gone for so long. It's actually very fun.

Reading:  This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel. It is about a young Victor Frankenstein.

Watching:  The Whispers. It is crazy, but I can't stop watching. Also The Astronaut Wives Club. It's more about the clothes and decor and less about the astronauts. I usually avoid all things ABC because they seem to have a bad habit of cancelling shows that I really like, but these two are pretty good.

Eating:  Pesto. The basil plants in my garden are producing more than I would have ever imagined when I first planted them. NOT eating the jalapenos that we've canned because... holy shit Batman, these suckers are HOT, HOT, HOT. And we are overrun with them. I just canned six more jars on Thursday!

Loving:  PlayDoh. Rowan has discovered the joy of PlayDoh. It is partly my fault that she hasn't played with it in the past. It's kind of messy. So I've always avoided letting her play with it, but I've let her have what we had on hand this week. It's been hours, HOURS, of her sitting, playing, creating, and loving her PlayDoh.

Weather:  The beginning of the week was a little scary. Severe storms, hot and humid, flooding. We were so lucky in our half of Kentucky as we missed the major storms. I'm trying not to complain about the heat too much because I'm still trying to get over all the freakin' snow we had this past Winter.

Enjoying:  The air conditioner. With the temperatures being so hot and the humidity being so high, walking into a nice cool house is definitely a blessing. However, I am dreading what next months electric bill is going to look like.

Do you know what I like about a Currently post? I can work on it throughout the week. Like when I won the book giveaway. I realized I could add that into this post. Yeah, I think I'm going to like it this way.

Flashback Friday

Originally posted | July 9th, 2012 | My Time with Abraham Lincoln
     It was a nice little trip. My kids seem so small for this to have only been three years ago.

Last week was a blur.  The husband was on vacation from work all week and we were busily doing things around the house.  I had a "Honey-Do" list a mile long.  With it being the week of July 4th and the holiday falling right smack in the middle of the week, we decided to kind of just hang around the house.  Of course the price of gas and the oppressive heat played a large role in that decision as well.  (It finally rained here last night and as I'm typing this... it's overcast without even the hint of a ray of sunshine!)

We woke up on Thursday and decided we'd had enough housework.  A mini road trip was planned.  A picnic lunch was packed.  A gas tank was filled.  Off we went!

There are a few things people from Kentucky are really proud of:
  • University of Kentucky basketball (EIGHT National Championships y'all!!),
  • bourbon,
  • horses,
  • and Abraham Lincoln.
Since it's not basketball season, we don't have any horses (or even know how to ride one), and this was a family road trip so no drinking, we opted for a trip to learn more about our 16th President in Hodgenville, Kentucky.

Did you know that Lincoln was born in Kentucky?  He lived at Sinking Spring Farm until he was two when his family moved about 10 miles East to Knob Creek where he lived until he was seven.  

Our first stop was at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace.

Not really thrilled to have to sit in the hot Sun for a photo op.

The actual Lincoln family bible.  It was huge.

An old cabin typical of the area serves as a symbolic cabin of the Lincoln's in the spot where their cabin stood.  Did you know... Thomas Lincoln, Abraham's father, purchased 300 acres that was known as Sinking Spring Farm for $200 in 1808?

The marble and granite memorial building surrounds the old cabin.  The cornerstone was laid in 1909 by President Theodore Roosevelt.  It was dedicated in 1911 by President William Howard Taft.

The Sinking Spring.  It was at least 20 degrees cooler near the spring.  Abraham Lincoln drank from this spring y'all!

We traveled about 10 miles down the road to his boyhood home at Knob Creek

This cabin looks just like the first.  This cabin was constructed by the Howard family in 1931 using logs from a cabin that once belonged to the Gollaher family, friends and fellow farmers of the Lincoln's.

It's hard to imagine a family of four living in this small cabin.

There are hiking trails located at both places, but the temperature alone was over 100F.  The oldest daughter and I did venture just down one path to see Knob Creek (above).  We've gone so long with so little rain and too hot temperatures that the creek is dry.  I asked the Park Ranger how long the creek had been that way.  He told me that until two weeks ago there were a few places further down the hiking trail that still contained small pools of water, but that those too were now dry.

Next and last stop was back in Hodgenville at the Lincoln Museum.

For the most part it was a great way to spend time with the kids and just get out of the house.  We had a picnic lunch and a scenic drive.  I look forward to returning, possibly in the Fall, when the temps are cooler and we can check out the hiking trails.