Wednesday, January 28, 2009


A friend sent me a little challenge to list 25 things about me to pass on to others, and I thought I'd share mine with you. Some things came to mind quickly, but others I had to ponder for awhile.
1. I didn't have my ears pierced until I was almost 19 years old, not that I was afraid to do it, but I guess that I never got around to it. My navel was even pierced before my ears!

2. Tom and I have been together almost 9 years and I don't think there's been a day since our second time meeting up that we haven't talked to each other.

3. I have always been a spiritual person, but never more than now that I am the mom to two amazing little girls. It really sets your priorities straight!

4. I am a composting freak! Even my 2 year old knows that she has to save the peel of the banana she just ate for Mommy's compost bucket :)

5. I love black licorice.

6. My husband is covered in tattoos and I'm still too chicken to get one (hey, I can't decide what I want, ok?!)

7. I have a lot of German in me and sadly have the stubbornness to prove it. Sorry babe!

8. I once *accidentally* picked up a rattle snake that had an egg in it's mouth while I was gathering eggs at my parents' place. Never really cared for gathering eggs after that experience.

9. My brother calls me the urban hippie.

10. My family and I have a cat named Mr Bigglesworth.

11. Mr Bigglesworth (also known as Bigsy) is the meanest cat in the world!

12. My college roommate, Monica, has more dirt on me than anyone else in the entire world! She is still one of my best friends (and not just because of the dirt business!)

13. I can play the piano, and am slowly learning how to play the guitar.

14. I have no sense of direction whatsoever. Thank goodness I own a GPS!

15. My grandmother passed away almost 15 years ago and I still can't even think about it without at least tearing up.

16. I love my job, and being a nurse, but sometimes it's really hard to have compassion for stupid people.

17. One of my favorite past times is silly dancing with my girls in our kitchen.

18. I have become addicted to the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer--and am secretly having an affair with a vampire.

19. I might be biased, but I think that my husband has the most beautiful eyes in the world.

20. My favorite holiday if the 4th of July.

21. If I was a boy, my name would've been Robin.

22. I have never seen the Pacific Ocean.

23. I have shaken hands with a baby--before it was born...

24. I may complain about it occasionally, but I truly do love my naturally (very) curly hair.

25. I may not have the cleanest house on the block, but spending more time with my family is WORTH IT!

Monday, January 26, 2009


Okay, the book has been around what seems like forever (the whole series, actually), and the movie which came out in November has come and gone. So truly I guess I missed most of the hype. But I have recently finished Stephanie Meyer's Twilight and the second in the series, New Moon. Yes. I'm addicted. I can't even tell you why. It is all very high school, but the whole story is very intriguing to me. Earlier this month I watched a pirated version of the movie online (what can I say? I have a preschooler and toddler running around at home. Tom and I don't have a lot of leisure time to watch movies at the theater--unless it's Bolt or Madagascar 2...) The movie wasn't half bad either, but I definitely recommend reading the book--so much is always left out of movies based on a book!
*On a side note, half of my co-workers are now in love with Edward Cullen, including me!*


The weather was horrible today. It was a nice 65 degrees, but a ghastly wind has been blowing since the sun rose this morning. So that means indoor activities for Hartland today(and chipping away at Mommy's sanity). I was putting away laundry in the girls' bedroom this afternoon and caught them both in a rare down-time moment. Oh how they wanted to play outside! I think they were watching the garbage truck come through the neighborhood.
On a separate note, today was our first meeting of Ms. Mari and Ms. Maureen, Zoey's preschool teachers. They are so wonderful! The girls and I visited at the end of the preschool day. We met the six other students enrolled and had snacks with them. Zoey jumped right in, it was great to see! Now we'll just have to wait and see how Daddy and Mommy do once she's there!

Friday, January 23, 2009


The past few days have been 70+ degrees here in Hartland, and the warmth has given me even more spring fever than in previous days. My old pruners disappeared over the winter (either eaten by a dog or forever hidden by little hands) so today I purchased a trusty new pair and got to work. Our little quad trailer was filled with clippings of shrubs from the front upper yard. I also attempted to hack out a menacing weed-bush that I haven't been successful in killing in the 3 1/2 years we've been at the homestead. I will prevail! This year we're just going to have to dig it out because trimming it WAAAYYYYY back only seems to make it grow bigger and faster!
The garden prep continues with adding more fill soil and compost to the raised bed. Just a couple of more weeks and we can get seeds planted indoors! Then starts the cycle of bringing all the plantings outside in the morning for sunshine, and back indoors once the sun goes down. *Thank you my love for putting up with your maniac wife!* I've noticed that the garlic and Egyptian walking onions I planted over the winter are starting to peek little green shoots out of the ground.
In other news, this next week is going to be a busy one for miss Zoey. On Monday morning she and I get to go visit her preschool classroom and meet her teacher Ms. Huband and the speech pathologist! She's also going to get to have snacks with the 6 of her new classmates. Exciting stuff! We've been a little concerned about her speech (she has a huge vocabulary, but has trouble with several different consonants) and after being evaluated she qualified for a preschool program through the public schools here in Hartland. Even better, her preschool will be the same school she'll transition into for kindergarten. On Tuesday Tom and I will meet with all of Zoey's new teachers to set up an IEP, then that afternoon starts Zo's soccer practice! Yes, Badger hoopla has begun once again! Wednesday is Zoey's first day of school and Camryn has her 2 year checkup at the pediatricians. If I continue to blog, you'll know that we survived our week :)

Tea Time

Tea time everyone! Never mind that we employed the use of straw cups and a bucket of goldfish instead of fine china! As you can see, all of our friends came to join in the festivities (even a poor, naked barbie doll...) And a grand time was had by all!
Zoey's new favorite past time is to host tea parties or play restaurant. And that in turn, means that our living room is crowded with every little chair and stool she can find :)
Camryn happened to miss out on this particular party because of nap time. Thank heavens I can still get her to lay down for one--but it's starting to be a struggle. If she wasn't still in her crib (read: cage!) I don't think that she stay still long enough to fall asleep. Much to our horror in Hartland, Zoey went cold turkey on naps just before her 2nd birthday. Cams has lasted a few months longer, but sooner or later we're going to have to retire the crib!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Freshman prom, holy cow...My friend Michelle (far right) shared this picture with me the other day. Now after embarrassment, then laughter, I'm passing it on for you to enjoy (no snorting, please!) This was 1993, the year where we all pretty much decided to go stag because the girls were boycotting the boys and vice versa. What rebels we were! Good times, good times.

Saturday, January 17, 2009


And so the season starts... Since the last week of December these garden supply and seed companies have been teasing me with beautiful pictures of luscious, bright red tomatoes, mouth watering peaches and spicy peppers. Oh the agony I feel as I turn each page! Spring fever has hit!
In the next few months you will realize that I am a small scale gardener with very large scale dreams! Over the past few winter months I have been diligently composting my raised garden bed and have been slowly buying supplies to construct another raised bed in the next few weeks (What did I tell you? Large scale dreams!) I saved several seed from plants during last year's growing season, including: Sweet 100 cherry tomato, zinnias, yellow banana pepper, and my jalapenos. They were all great producers. Also to return from last season (I had seed left over): Detroit beets, German radishes, okra, zucchini, butternut squash and many, many different flower varieties!
My goal this season is to have a large array of tomatoes for sauce and salsa to freeze/can. I have bought several seeds in the last few months and so far am planning on starting: Roma tomato, San Marzano tomato, Purple Calabash tomato, Costoluto Genovese tomato, Brandywine tomato, Rinaldo Red Bomb tomato. Last year I had 28 tomato plants, and this year I'd like to at least double that (Don't tell Tom! LOL) Just a few more weeks and I can get things started indoors! More to come as I finalize the list. Thank you Grandpa Robert for my love of playing in the dirt!

Monday, January 12, 2009


Here in Hartland when Tom is at work, the girls and I mostly keep it low key in the evenings. One of Zoey's favorite things to do when the weather is cooler and we can't stay outside long at the end of the day is to shell some of our pecans. We moved to our little farm just a few days after her first birthday, so she's now had three seasons of pecans to gain some experience! We gather our supplies at the dining room table: nut cracker to share, a big shell bowl and a pecan bowl for each of us. Thus far Camryn has maintained the position of being in charge of passing out pecans to us (and sneakily eating the harvest...), but it won't be long before she's sitting right along side us as well! Once we're finished, we bag up the bounty in little freezer bags to pull out for snacks or recipes later. There is nothing quite like a cold, crunchy pecan to munch on (Some great memories of Great Grandma Ida and her pea green fridge--I remember running over to her place and asking for some of her frozen "capons"!) The cracked shells make a great addition to the compost pile.

This year was a resting year for the trees, meaning that the trees put more energy into growing instead of producing pecans. We gathered about 12-15 grocery sacks full of pecans this winter (Not quite sure because we've been giving some away as we gather), so we decided not to sell the bulk of them as we usually do. Next year should be another high yielding year for us. I think I'd like to start weighing the production we have each year to collect some data--Hhhhhmmmm, I sense a project! If anyone would like some pecans let us know, we have many bags and evenings of shelling to go!

Friday, January 9, 2009

PT Time Again

Well here in Hartland we've slacked the last couple of months, but beginning this week we are hard core potty training. I kept telling myself that I just needed to get through our little vacation stint before potty madness started...And here we are.
Not that I've had mountains of experience in the potty training field, but for us it's panties or bust! And of course, setting the timer numerous times throughout the day. Day 1 was a headache, but thanks to a little bowl full of pink M&M's (yes, as a matter of fact I DO bribe my children!) Camryn didn't mind too much that she spent more time in the bathroom than ever before! Day 2 was pretty much the same, but we were able to stretch the time out to 45-60 minutes between bathroom excursions. On Day 3 I decided it was time to venture out of the house. The girls and I walked to our neighborhood park and played for a little over half an hour before walking home. Accident free, you go Cams! We spent most of the afternoon in the back yard playing and seemed to stretch potty breaks out further. That evening as I was cleaning up the kitchen, I realized that I had forgotten to set the potty timer and also that I hadn't seen or heard from my busy little toddler for awhile. Dreading what I was going to find (e.g. I once found Zozo in her closet painting her walls with a lovely, but stinky shade of brown...No further info needed!) I tip toed down the hallway and found a little pair of pants thrown to the side. At the bathroom door was a carelessly tossed tiny pair of purple Dora the Explorer panties. And much to my surprise was Camryn, sitting atop the potty! Yay ladybug! Who cares that she unrolled half the roll of toilet paper trying to get a handful?! Today is Day 4, and much to amazement and delight, we've had much of the same. Please, oh please let this not jinx us!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Play Time

We had such an incredible time in Cloudcroft, hanging out with the family! AND to our surprise there was plenty of snow for us desert rats to play in! Okay, it was really only 4-5 inches (more in a few drifty places) but it was more snow than Zoey and Camryn had seen ever! Our home away from home was very 'mountain cottage' like and very cozy. We enjoyed plenty of snowball fights, sledding and snow angels.
We brought bicycles for everyone to ride around on but then found that the cabin was pretty much in town. Of course for those of you that have been to Cloudcroft, you know that town consists of a little mercantile and an Allsup's convenience store (okay, plus some touristy places!) We didn't get to ride bikes due to excess ice and snow, but we walked all over the place which was nice. There were several little play areas around town that we visited to let the girls run off some extra steam. It was so nice to be up in the tall pines and have a change of pace and scenery. And so now it's back to reality and all the fun that goes with it.