Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Holidays

We had a nice Christmas eve and day... even though it was interrupted a bit by a power outage due to high winds. Instead of having the husband's parents come to our house we ended up going to theirs... heck without power we couldn't cook Christmas lunch, not to mention having water to not only to cook with, but to drink or flush toilets with. *smiles* we do have a reserve for such situations but we knew everyone would be more comfortable at their house then at our powerless one. When we got back around 5:30 or so the power was back which was very nice, as most of the girls presents were dependent on some form of electricity. I think Paul's mom liked the apron and matching potholder I made her... I thought they were pretty!

The holidays are over and I am really looking forward to the future. I am making all kinds of plans for this coming year... and am very excited about the prospect of new beginnings.

What kind of plans do you have for the next year? I want to finally get my weight under control... I am going to do this by eating healthy and adding exercise into my day. I want to get a job to bring in some extra money and hopefully to make more friends. I want to make all our gifts for next year so there will be lots of fun projects going on. I want to get some of my stories written up... and I want to participate and win nano again in November.

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday... which ever holiday it is you might celebrate... and I wish you a wonderful new year.

~Wishing you peace and joy

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The sewing machine is back...

I got the sewing machine part I have been waiting for, so quite a bit of yesterday I worked on part of my gift for my mother in law. Ouchie... I do not like the pattern I picked out. So freaking confusing! Honestly the pattern was probably fine... it was the user LOL. But... after many rip outs and start overs I got the thing done. It turned out nice and I am quite proud of it. It may need to be adjusted at the neck as the bib hangs low on me... but I am quite a bit shorter then my mother in law. Paul tried it on and he is a lot closer in height to his mom and the bib fell nicely... so if need be it can be fixed after the holidays, but I think its going to be ok. I also pieced a couple of blocks to make into pot holders. One of them I love but the other I need to rework... I wish I could find the part of my camera that allows me to upload pictures so I could show ya... but hopefully it will turn up one of these days.

I need to get the house organized a bit... Eileen is coming home tomorrow and I want every thing ready so that we can decorate the tree and put out the decorations, the minute she gets home... It just didnt feel right to do it without her. *smiles* I need to get the ingredients for homemade pizza ... and sugar cookies. Its been such a hard year... I want the holidays to be fun for us. Start our new year out with a bang!

We got all of the truck unloaded from the weekend... its stacked mile high in our shed but hey its off the truck and we can shut the doors so alls good! It feels very good to have it all done... a relief so once we get Ms Leen home we can actually start to relax and enjoy the holidays.

Guess thats all from this front...


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Tired and almost done...

We left the house around 9 am yesterday and arrived back home at 1 am. We picked up the moving van in farmindale... (supposedly there is a quilt shop some place near the rental shop so I will have to see if i can find it today) and then met my sister and her boys in augusta. We traveled down to south portland and then spent an inordinate amount of time winterizing the house... and moving all the stuff going to storage into the van. We then took a quick trip to the storage unit, took everyone out to dinner at IHOP and then back to the house to finish loading up the truck.

We are all tired and sore and yet all thats left to accomplish is to unload most of the stuff into our shed, take a couple of dressers and a dryer to my sisters house in Waterville, and then return the van and we are done. Completely irrevocably done with South Portland forever, house and school wise. We still have beloved neighbors there... and Leen has friends there but we are done.

It may sound silly but I cried when I hugged my tree good bye... I hope the next ppl who live in that house love it as much as I did. This is the only picture I have of it. I took it last spring after I put the pavers in and right before I planted some pretty hostas etc... =( Its not like its going anywhere. I know that my neighbors Linda and Maryanne will take pictures of it for me if i ask =)

treegarden by seeking epiphany
treegarden, a photo by seeking epiphany on Flickr.

This year is almost over... and damn... I cant wait

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wouldn't you know...

So... you know the little plastic or metal thingy that covers your bobbin on your sewing machine? The thing that prevents the fabric from falling into the huge well right in front of your sewing machine needle? Mine is gone! Its not on the floor under the table, its not underneath the sewing machine, its not in the laundry room or with my other sewing equipment or supplies. I dont honestly remember the last place I saw the thing. *sigh* So after having torn apart the house... and not having found it, I am going to have to find a replacement part. Hopefully I can find it soon or my plans for the remainder of the gifts we are giving will have to be revised.

Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Packing and quilting and just stuff...

Today we are heading down to organize and pack up the rest of our stuff so that next weekend when we have the moving van we can just load that sucker up. Still am not sure what we will be doing with some of the stuff. There is no way we have room for all of it. We may have to rent a storage unit for the larger items that just wont fit in our new home. Perhaps when we find a new place this summer it will be a bit larger and have room for all our things. Then again we may have a storage unit yard sale instead. LOL

When we get back this evening I have some ironing and cutting to do so I can get some work done on a Christmas gift I am making... as well as cut some more strips for Leenies quilt. I cant wait to see that come together... and i have been procrastinating on it. I guess im a bit worried she wont like it ... worried that the colors are all wrong. But after a bit of soul searching I have come to the conclusion that (1) its going to be fun to make... (2) if she truly doesnt like it I know i can find someone who would love it... and (3) I will learn a lot making it. So those are all wins... and if necessary, next time I will take her with me to shop for fabric.

We got Maddys report card yesterday and she got all A's and one B in school. She is quite proud of herself and we are so glad to see her adjusting so well, making friends, working hard for her teachers etc.

Our landlords are getting ready to head south for the winter. Its going to be strange to not have them there. We have always had ppl around... always lived where neighbors were close by. But once they head out we will be on this hill alone. Kinda spooky, but I am sure we will adjust.

There is a knitting shop near by that offers free knitting classes as long as you buy your supplies. I am hoping to take a class or two, I can do a lot of basic stuff (i have made mittens, scarves, christmas stockings and a baby sweater)... but it will be nice meet people and hone up some of my skills. One of the classes listed in the fall was for making socks. I would love to learn how to do that. Anyways... I have to get the listing for the winter and see what is offered. I would love to take a quilting class as well... but the only shop i know of is a bit of a distance away. I will have to check out the community classes in the area.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Weekend update...

The weekend was fun stuff... The homecoming game was a blast, I really enjoyed watching my niece in her element. She loves to cheer and she works hard at it. It meant a lot to her that we could come and watch. The team lost the game but the cheerleading was pretty awesome.

I really enjoyed the time we had while the eldest was home from college... when she and her sister werent being snarky with each other that is. I had this image in my head of us all being a happy little family and actually enjoying time together. Forget that the girls squabble a lot... and hubby had to work.. and the eldest was missing her boyfriend... but heck... how could i have been so delusional... sheesh. All in all it was a wonderful time, we went to the game... went to hubbys parents house for dinner on sunday and spent time with family, the girls and i watched movies on monday... and leen and I went to have coffee with my sister on tuesday while maddy was in school and made banana bread. All in all it was nice (when i wasnt wincing from listening to one or the other roar)

We are waiting to hear back from the real estate dude about our house down south. He is going to call and discuss what he thinks we can get for it if we put it up for sale. I hope he hurrys... I am tired of waiting *smile*

Guess thats all from this neck of the woods...

Wishing you a day of peace...


Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Strange dog...

I am sitting at my computer, reading quilting blogs, dreaming of actually doing some quilting and all of a sudden the dog starts going ballistic. Barking ... growling and he is doing this while facing the wall. I look over to where the intruder just has to be climbing through the wall and all i can see is the laundry room garbage bin.... no different then usual. Well actually there is one thing different... i put a liner in it. So i walk over ... put the bin on the ground (I keep it on the counter otherwise the smart arsed dog chews on dryer lint) and he gets even crazier. He is crouching... growling... barking... backing away just getting totally carried away. I bend down and touch the bin "come here Jasper... its just the laundry bin" and he starts to creep forward... and then starts barking again and the pitch is getting really high for him. So i reach down... take the liner out of the bin and hide it behind my back... he creeps/crawls over and sniffs it... nudges it with his nose and then goes to lie down.

Everything is once again... right in his world.

I love this dog, even if he is slightly crazier then me.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Where has the time gone?

Ok I see by the date on my last post that its been some time since I updated this thing. Do I feel badly about that? Yes and no, yes because there is so much to tell you and it will take forever to get it all out. The highs and lows of the move, how it felt to take my firstborn to college and leave her there... the drama of being pulled over by the state policeman... how well Maddy is adjusting to being back in a public school atmosphere... and the joys of living in the country. The no part is due to the whole "blogging without obligation" thing i have going on in my sidebar... who ever thought that up was a sheer genius *smiles*.

The move:

Hah... i say that so calmly... as if its done. Well get that fool idea out of your head right now, the move is not over. Oh we had a good start, tons of boxes, two trips with the moving van, gosh we were so exhausted after that weekend, but a large percentage of our stuff was up here in the new place. However... we still have a basement and garage full of stuff. We are going to attack that in a 2 part effort... another rental of a moving van... and the rental of a dumpster. The dumpster will only be on the premises for 10 days, and we will fill that sucker as full of crap as we can. Not that i have crap in my house... but, well ok... after 11 years in the same place... we had some crap. Then the moving van will take care of the remainder.

Selling the old house:

We have a bit more work to do to get it ready for sell... at this point I am almost willing to just let the thing go to the first person who walks by with a 5 dollar bill and mild interest. Ok ok thats a bit of an exaggeration there... but I dont plan to hold out for top dollar in this economy. Hubby on the other hand is expecting a bit more and unless one of us is swayed over to the others point of view I forsee stormy clouds heading our way. But like many storms I know we will eventually sail out the other end into blue skies and so on... (after he finally figures out that his brilliant, adorable, incredibly talented wife was right all along. hahaha) Just a bit of mild humor there... ahem!


We tried our best to do everything we could to get Eileen ready for college. We went to summer orientation, read everything we could get our hands on, discussed meal plan options with her... supported her in her course choices... everything. We listened to her fears, cheered with her when her roommate called... stayed up with her when she couldnt sleep... but we forgot something kind of important.

We forgot to get ourselves ready for having a child go to college. We forgot to prepare ourselves for that long walk back to the car after leaving our firstborn in a strange environment. We didnt think about what that long drive home would be like, the sleepless nights wondering if she was sleeping well, staring at a plate of food wondering if she would like anything they served... looking at the carton of soy milk in the fridge and knowing that none of us would drink it and she wouldnt be here to do so. Its like a part of you has gone missing...

6th Grade:

I loved homeschooling Maddy. Sure there were days that we both ended up frustrated... but all in all it was a rewarding experience. The decision to put her back in public school was an incredibly hard one. We have overall had a wonderful experience. Ok so the whole getting up at quarter to 5 to catch a bus that got her to school 30 mins early was a bit of a headache... but over the past several weeks we have done what we could to make it all work for us. For the time being Miss Maddy is driven to school and home again. I dont have a job yet and this allows us some extra time in the morning to sleep in a bit, and not have to be on anyone elses timeframe except our own. (with the exception of course of being at school before the bell rings) She has an awesome advisor team... and her core teachers and I are feeling our way about... its kind of strange... but we will make it work.

Dah State coppah:

long story short... over due inspection sticker... drivers side window that was stuck... his little visit with me on the side of the road cost us 133.00 bucks which led directly to a new car. weird eh? See I tried to get the dang thing inspected and it was going to cost us 2300.00 bucks... there were so many things wrong with it. Now we are driving a toyota corolla and loving it.

Life in the country:

So many things different. Cant run to the store real quick anymore to grab something i forgot... its an hour round trip and thats if i dont get out of the car lmao. If we lose power... we lose water... and we lose the ability to flush the toilet, though our neighbors were so very helpful on this front. " take a bucket down to the lake and get water to flush the toilets" hahaha So now we have bottles of tap water under the sink in the bathroom for just such an occasion... we labled them "potty h2o". We get all of 5 channels on tv with the antenna... and on a sunday afternoon we get football, football, baseball, lawrence welk and one other station and i dont remember what they were playing. Its a bit like culture shock I guess... Wheres the green mountain coffee at the gas stations... Wheres the flipping food channel? ...what do you mean no pizza delivery?

There is so much more to tell you but I am drawing a blank... and i seriously do need to get something posted...


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Our Weekend...

Have you ever had one of those Starbuck's double shot energy drinks with guarana? I tried a mocha one today... boy howdy was that thing good. Unfortunately... too good... and I drank the whole thing, at 5:30, quarter t' 6. So now its 12:11 am... and I am *boing* wide awake with no signs of slowing down, actually my body is exhausted... its my brain that is wide awake. So... what do i do? Log onto my blog to let the world... well that teeny tiny part of the blog-o-verse that reads my blog know how our weekend went.

Saturday we went to lowes and got drywall to finish up the bathroom, and boy.. we had so much fun with that trip that 2 hours later we went back. That time we got ceiling tiles and mud (cause I forgot to mention to the dear hubby that I was almost out *smiles*) We worked on the bathroom trying to beat the storm when his parents showed up to drop off some stuff. Wish the visit could have been longer but we had so much to do and the sky was getting darker and darker. Luckily we were able to get almost all the drywall up before we had to wrap for the day. Electrical storms and powertools do not mix well =P.

Sunday we got up, packed stuff in the car and went to visit the new house. Its truly lovely! The owners are very very nice and seemed excited to meet us. We didnt get to meet their cat but their dog Lady who is 16 years old was very tolerant of our young pup and said pup actually behaved himself rather well ( I think he was only at half energy due to the length of the ride.... lol). She only barked at him at the end of the visit and we were told it was because she was jealous of all the attention "he" was receiving... so we made sure to give her even more lovens... she was so sweet it wasnt hard at all to do. *smiles*

The house is awesome... I know we will be very happy there and I just cant wait till we are all settled in our new home. Today was pretty much a trip up to sign the lease, show us gals the house, and we dropped off a few things for Paul as he will be staying up there this week as opposed to a hotel room. We made sure to take a table into the house first and we enjoyed our first meal there together. We also each took one thing for the house to kind of let it know what to expect from us *laughs* Paul took his chess set, Maddy, one of her favorite fairies, Leen took one of her buddhas, and I took one of my windchimes. I think the house likes us *wink*

Guess thats it for now, hope you all had a wonderful weekend...

PS... think i am gonna fit in well in our new neighborhood ... she (the landladyess ) invited me to a class she was holding in her back yard tomorrow night... meditation with crystal bowls. Its amazing how the universe works isnt it? I so cant wait to move!!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Around and around we go...

Todays list of "things to do"

~sand the walls in bathroom from H E double toothpick
~take eldest to doc and see if I can convince her to do the meningitus (spelling?) shot today as opposed to taking her back a week from friday. This way i dont have to listen to her moan about a shot for 7+ days
~pack (yes i said this already... so? have you seen the amount of crap we have accumulated in 11 years lol)
~call and get electric switched into our names on new place
~research internet service in new home
~research phone carrier (we are going to need one as cell phone coverage is pretty terrible there)
~pack (did i mention that we are pack rats?)
~write a nasty note to hubby and suggest he come home and pack and I take a mini vacation
~call bank
~call around for a moving van
~call and make arrangements for Jasper to go to doggy camp this weekend
~return overdue library books
~grocery store
~hire a taxi so that when i go out tonight... after attempting all this stuff... i dont have to drive on the way home if you get what I mean.

ok so im kidding about the last one.


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Update on us...

We took lots of pictures of the house we looked at on Sunday but have decided pretty much we wont be taking it. The biggest reason we said no was heating that house would cost an arm and a leg and perhaps a torso or two. The pellet stove not only wasnt in yet... but they hadnt ordered it. So that would mean the house was heated entirely with propane and its one huge house. The fireplaces dont work at all and it was very ramblely... rambly... spread widely out... sheesh!

I fell in love with it though, it had so many period features. Beams to hang flowers and herbs to dry, cast iron bathtub, original pieces in the fireplace to hang pots on to swivel them into the fire... a iron box built into the hearth to bake bread... the history buff in me cried... "Mine... mine... all mine" *smiles* But, the mom inside me looked at how the house was laid out, the distance between the rooms, the various problems that still hadnt been fixed and put her heels into the ground and said no way! So I listened to the mom in me. *cries*

We have 3 other houses we are in contact with owners about... Paul is looking at one on friday before he heads home. So I am keeping my fingers crossed and I know that the right place will come along eventually.

The bathroom is coming along slowly but surely now. Packing is progressing ... the list of things we want to do to the house is shortening every day... so things are moving on that front.

Eileen has finally gotten to talk to her roommate at college, which has set her mind to rest on that front. She has put in notice at her job ... and she is engaged.

Yes.. eileen, at the ripe old age of 18 is engaged.. her young man spoke to Paul and I before he asked her, assured us that they were definitely waiting till after college graduation to get married, but that he was joining the national guard and wanted to make a commitment to her before he made the commitment to them. She is happy, looks at us as if we are insane if we even mention waiting till after grad to get married... "of course we will mom... sheesh!" so things are ok... but scarey on that front. Not sure I am ready for my child to be engaged, I really wanted both my girls to get out there and taste life a bit before settling down, and I am worried too about Shaun and being in the national guard. He however feels strongly that this is something he needs to do. Not only to help the two of them financially... but to be there in support of our country. I know my father would like this kid... Wish he and mom were around, they would be so tickled with all their grandkids.

Maddy says she is excited about going back to public school... but I feel sad about it. I seriously enjoyed homeschooling her, and feel its a wonderful option in todays world. I have struggled with this decision for some time now... but we are going to give it a try. We have heard wonderful things about this school, it will give her a chance to meet kids in this new place we are moving to where we know no one. It will remind her what public school was all about... and if for any reason it doesnt work... we know homeschooling works for us. Hopefully this time we can find a support group we feel more comfortable in. The old one was nice but we just never clicked. Maddy herself has already requested that we continue studying things on our own... she really liked the whole child led education, we spent a heck of a lot of time on colonial new england and the revolution... not because I wanted to... but because she was absolutely fascinated with it. Anyways... as soon as we know for sure we are moving into the district I will call and make an appointment for a tour and any testing they might need to perform.

Maddy's first day of school will be Aug 27 (paul and my 20th anniversary) and Eileens first day of college is Aug 29th.

Paul is still loving his new job... the company puts him up during the week in a hotel so he has a lot less commuting to do... but its still a long haul for him, and we definitely miss him being home during the week. I cant wait till we are all living in the same space again.

Guess thats all from this front...


Friday, June 27, 2008

A gaggle of girls

Miss Sarah came to stay with us for a few days this week while hubby was up in Winthrop. I truly love this kid... and have since the day she was born. She is my sister's oldest child and happens to be almost exactly 2 years younger then my oldest. She has the prettiest dimples and when young they could get her out of all sorts of trouble.

Last night we were waiting for hubby to come home from work. He had stayed up near winthrop for the last several nights but decided to come home at the last minute so we waited supper for him. The girls were all outside with the dog waiting patiently. They wrote welcome home dad on the driveway in chalk... chased each other... sat in the road and giggled while waiting to see a particular van pull onto our road.

"Is that him? I think its Dad... no its the wrong car. Is that him? Maddy dont push me... Dang it... where is he? Oh look its a car... is that him? Sarah dont step on my drawing" Anyways it was very cute to watch... Finally Hubby arrived and I bet he was a bit surprised to see the gaggle of girls lined up and waiting on him *smiles*

The two oldest dyed each other's hair, they all have done each others make up, gone shopping at the mall and out to lunch, watched movies till they fell asleep in the living room at 1 am, slept in late, loved on the dog... giggled, fought, smiled, whispered, and just made me grin watching them.

I really can't imagine anything better then a gaggle of girls.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Harried days and the long commute.

Cell phone~ white screen of death, fixed by tech department at verizon

Disposal~ refuses to grind up food or even rotate, replaced

Dishwasher~ refuses to drain ( directly related to new disposal put in over the weekend ) waiting on hubby to return from winthrop area... take out new disposal and pop out plug that is *supposed* to be popped out if you have a dishwasher feeding into disposal. With the plug the water cant drain. *sigh*

Loss of internet~ chooses weird times to just not work... and then is working fine 20minutes later

loss of phone~ someone unplugged the cord that goes from the answering machine to the wall... I kind of enjoyed the lack of constant ringing *smiles*

Check coolant light on car dashboard~ checked coolant... level is fine, sometimes the thing is on... sometimes the thing is off. I am ignoring it in hopes that it will just eventually go away.

Outside faucet (of course the one on the second meter for use on lawn and pool) wont shut off so every time we water i have to turn it off inside the house at the meter using the shut off valve.

wii wont connect to the internet~ probably related to the on again off again internet access.

I am afraid to even wonder what will go belly up next.

On a different note... hubby seems to be really enjoying his new job. The commute is really a lot to handle though ... especially on extremely busy days so he is staying up in winthrop area this week and will be home either tomorrow or friday after work. Once we can trade in his old car for a more fuel efficient one perhaps on less stressful days he can sleep here and commute... but right now they are smack dab in the middle of end of month/end of quarter for one of their biggest customers so its kind of crazy there.

I cant wait till we can get ourselves up there and in our new place. Havent found it yet... heck havent listed this house yet... waiting on this dang bathroom. Soon as its done or even at the stage where the walls are up but need mudding and painting we can list it. But with it not even close to being done we are in a holding pattern. Hopefully hubby can get the subfloor in this weekend. If things werent so expensive i would hire it out... but we just cant manage that right now.

Things are looking up for us... I just keep telling myself that we have to be patient a bit longer.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Endings and Beginnings...

The graduation party for teengirl and her boyfriend (teenboy) went very well, filled with tons of food, tons of loved ones, lovely neighbors, sunshine and an ever popular moon bounce. Hubby and I worked our butts off getting ready for the event, our yard never looked so fine, the house was ok as well... but the main setting was the yard. The peonies were beautiful, the lupine gorgeous and the lawn green and lush. We had so much food it was amazing, hamburgers, hotdogs, pulled chicken, shrimp, salsa rice, bean dip, chips, crackers, cheese, fruit salad, potato salad, grapes, strawberries and a host of goodies headed up by pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and a pumpkin roll. We had so much food that an entire dessert tray was forgotten inside the house and not missed. The graduates loved the moonbounce... they even shared it with the other kids... and some adults as well *ahem* Even Jasper the dog had a party guest... Teenboy's grammie brought her dog and Jazzy was in heaven.

The next day was fathers day and it was very low key... so low key in fact we are celebrating it next weekend. We had to run to the mall and get hubby all outfitted for his new job which started today. We got him lots of new dress pants, dress shirts, ties and so on.

This morning dawned bright and early in the Smaht household with a phone call at 5 am. Our lovely neighbors Linda and Maryanne kindly gave us a wake up call. They are up every day at that time... so they offered to make sure we were up too *smiles* I adore these women, I truly do. A few minutes later I looked out the kitchen door and what do I see on the porch railing? Two cups of coffee covered by tinfoil to keep them hot.

We have truly been blessed with these women as our neighbors for the last 9 years or so. I will miss them terribly when we move and have been trying to convince them to move north with us. So far they arent budging but who knows...

So hubby is off to his first day on the new job, I hope he really loves the place... Good luck baby!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

*blink blink*

Teengirl has graduated, done her project grad thing... the big family grad party is this weekend... I hope i survive it.

Hubby got the job in Winthrop... omg... hubby got the job in Winthrop... omg. *smiles*

hubby got the job....

so we have to get the house ready to sell, Sell the sucker... find a new place to live, get caught up on the stuff that tends to fall in the wayside when you arent working... find him a car that doesnt guzzle gas... has airconditioning or at least windows that work right... and is road worthy (always a good thing) ...

omg hubby got the job in Winthrop...

The weekend of the 21st we have orientation at Leen's new school... she is going to be staying in a dorm... hubby and I will stay in a hotel, Maddy will be with her Mimi Linda.... and Jazzy is (hopefully) going to go stay at the kennels he has been to before where the doggies get to play in a yard all day long with other doggies... he loves it there so very much. They fit dogs that match in temperament... and have two different doggy yards. They sleep in individual large doggy crates at night with blankies they bring from home and their special toy. He will come home exhausted but in a very good way.

omg hubby got the job... WOOT!

Soaps are doing fine... I need to take teengirl to the fabric shop to get the stuff for her quilt... She wants a log cabin like maddys... but she gets to pick out the colors herself. Heck if i get good enough at this everyone will be getting some kind of quilted thingy for holidays... (just gotta get the quilting part of it figured out...)

Guess thats all for now...


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My Girlz...

This is what happens when your teenager helps to hold up the quilt so you can take a picture of it.

This is what happens when the preteen owner of said quilt sees the afore-mentioned teen goofing off and wants to get in on the action.

One is a drama queen and the other a goofball. Question is... which is which? Somedays it flip-flops so much that I have a hard time telling.

Friday, May 16, 2008


It was a busy busy day in the neighborhood today. We got the whole lawn mowed for the first time this spring... I cant believe we had to do it already, some of that grass in the back yard was as high as my knees. Well hubby would say it wasnt that bad... that in fact I am a trifle short but we just ignore him *snicker*

Worked a bit more on weeding the garden from heck... when we get a new place I swear im going to put in shrubs, and use lots of landscape fabric... forget the flower gardens that turn into weed gardens.

Maddy was busy today with her schoolwork... we did spelling, nonfiction reading comprehension, A History of US and 3 lovely chapters, 15 minutes of reading a journal about a little boy during the American Revolution and finally an investigation in her Saxon Math book. We have our portfolio review coming up soon so we need to get that thing in order. She recently did an investigation on probability so we are going to make up a poster about that for the portfolio. Its really just a matter of organizing the thing so I can have something to refer to, when I talk to the other parents about what maddy and I covered this year.

Leen went to work, got picked up from work and then we went to Target and filled out a college registry for the child. It was very strange to follow my first child around a store while she picked out things to take when she goes away to college. Its coming along so very fast and i just dont know if i am ready for it lol. Surreal is perhaps the word i was looking for... it was very surreal. Where did 18 years go? How could it have passed so very quickly. Its so very cliche to say but it seems like yesterday that she was learning to walk and so on... but honestly... when did the child... err young woman grow up?

We made peanut butter cookies... and they were so very good.

I made beer soap... and I hope that is so very good... will know tomorrow.

Im tired.. and rather then sleeping I found myself wandering around ebay looking at quilting fabric. Sheesh!

Hope you have a lovely weekend... wishing you peace


Thursday, May 15, 2008

And so it goes...

Things have been running rather smoothly as of late.

Math everyday began seamlessly, with only one squawk from her,and I let it pass over me. When the Madster saw I was firm on it she buckled down and the math time is happening even more quickly then before. Spectrum Spelling 5th grade is going quite well... and she is rather enjoying the nonfiction reading workbook we began this week. We are enjoying "The History of US", she seems rather excited by the chapters we have read so far... and the sidebars seem to be a big hit with her. We never did pick up the Rosetta Stone Spanish again... It was quite the investment and I know she wants to learn it, so its a matter of finding a spot for it. This week we worked on Owls, Bats and Ants (for science).. she has a ant project to finish up this week.

I really like the oak meadow social studies/english combo... not too sure about the Environmental science aspect of it. I think if we do homeschool next year we will find a different program for her science. Perhaps a more hands on one that has projects and puzzles and worksheets... she really seems to like that. The reason the SS and English is working I think is that we supplement it heavily with the suggested books and readings... and if we find something we enjoy (such as diaries of kids of the time, we devour them as well) I need to make sure we have a week where we do some of the projects for her colonial/revolutionary america section... making butter, embroidery , making candles, and so on.

I am getting tons of good ideas from the Homeschooling forum I joined. I just wish i had found it so long ago. Its called The Denim Jumper

On the job front I put in some more applications and I even got to speak to a manager... I was quite impressed... Hubby continues to look and actively seek jobs as well. Something has to break free one of these days... it just has to.

The upstairs bathroom is in progress finally... not sure if i mentioned it before but its been a bare shell of a room forever now.. in fact its the reason we couldnt refinance last summer. Heck the plumber has already been paid and the fixtures bought... it was a matter of getting it gutted and the floor ripped up etc. the plumber stopped by yesterday at hubbys request and so its begins... I cant wait to get that project done. That will be the last big, big project we do in this house. I so cant wait.

I guess thats all on this front... have been working a bit on my soaps as of late which you can read about in my craft blog which is listed somewhere here... Have a wonderful evening....


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Update from the homeschooling front...

Well the school year appears to be coming to an end for the known world... but not in ours *smile* We have so much we want to cover yet... well one of us does anyways. The other is grumbling and muttering under her breath as she stomps around the house.

I set the stage a few weeks back when at dinner at her grandparents house I informed the family that we would continue on with schooling till we reached the Civil war... She said no no... school ends when Leenies does... and of course Grammie and Papa were quick to agree with me, so maddy just sighed lol

We are just finishing up the American Revolution (this kid knows more about the american revolution then I did in highschool)... we are working on George Washingon currently...and will soon be onto Ben Franklin. We are also going to continue working in our Saxon math book ( i love love Saxon math)... She seems quite accepting that we have now moved to one lesson a day as opposed to the 3 a week we were doing. Science is rolling along merrily... as is art etc...

There is so much we could cover... so much we could do... but where do you draw the line. When do you say "enough is enough... lets break for the summer." Do you? Should you? I know after last summer we had the hardest time getting motivated to start again in the fall. On top of that whole scenario...I honestly thought we were going to be moving this summer.. and that Maddy would be going to a new school in a new town to make friends and get involved with activities to gain more friends and so on. My heart had accepted this... it was a done deal. If we moved it would be the best way for her to meet other kids her age.. It would be the only... ONLY reason she would return to public school. I have no doubts whatsoever that we can cover maddys education and do a dang fine job of it. If we are still in this town come September... what do i do then? She has accepted she is going to public school... I had adjusted to the idea... but we took her out of this school system for reasons that havent really changed... and I feel sick putting her back in to that same system. Perhaps it would be different, it would be a different school... different teachers, middle school, hormones... boys and girls... ouch!!! ( My baby is growing up)

I just dont know any more... I need to spend some time really soul searching this and figure out what is best for Maddy... best for the family... and best for me.


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Chicken tater tot casserole...

One of my girls favorites. I had posted previously the original tatertot casserole... but have since updated it so that the eldest will eat it. She doesnt do beef or pork...

1 pound ground chicken
1 small onion diced
spare peas
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
handful of shredded cheddar cheese
1 scant bag of tater tots

Saute the onion in a bit of olive oil in a pan. When translucent remove and then add the ground chicken, brown. Take a 13x9 inch pan, grease it or use pam. In a bowl, mix the soups, peas (we use frozen) onion and cheese. As soon as the chicken is browned and drained add that to the bowl. Pour this mixture into the prepared pan. Top with tatertots. Now we like to be kind of obsessive about this. We work as a pair and try our darndest to line the tater tots up perfectly. I am sure just dumping them would work as well *smiles* Cover with foil and bake in a 400 degree oven for 45 mins or so. Test the tatertots in the center of the pan... if they are hot, and the casserole is bubbling away, toss a bit more cheese on top and bake till melted. If the tater tots are still cold... then its not done lol... so cook a bit longer.

We like to eat this with a tossed salad and biscuits.

Its not healthy... but dang its comfort food with a capital C.

I think we are having this for dinner tomorrow night.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

wonderful wednesday...

Maddy returned home from her amazing adventure with her grandparents. It concluded with a trip to the Shrine Circus with her Mimi, her sister, her aunt Nan and cousins Sophie and Gabe. The circus was the awesomest (is that a word) she had ever seen.

Eileen.. aka Teengirl is spending the day with her Mimi tomorrow. Grammie is coming at 10:30 to get the child/teen/young woman... and who knows what mischief those two will get into. This whole job thing has been incredibly stressful for Ms Eileen. Its her senior year, she is going to prom in a week, graduating in a month, going to college orientation 3 weeks after that and then to college end of August. She doesnt have her license yet... up until this week her job wasnt giving her more then 5 hours a week... and the financial aid package she was offered is $8000 short of covering her costs for school. So anyways... a day away with grammie will do her some good.

We got the news today that Hubby isnt getting the job with the company in central Maine... according to them " they still are interested in bringing him on board" but they are talking months... not weeks. They did mention an opening they currently have... were almost embarrassed to offer it... but heck I dont know... if they can give him a position now... that will lead into a different one say 6 months down the road... its a job. On the other hand if he took it we still wouldnt have health insurance and couldnt afford to buy it on our own... and we would have to sell the house yesterday... move up there tomorrow... cause we couldnt afford to pay for him to commute. I just dont know anymore... I am getting rather discouraged. Heck ... forget that. I am moving past discouraged and onto Angry with the world. So I spent the day slapping primer on purple walls and trim... and muttering. Im not angry with hubby ... not even angry with the company... just sad and depressed and I want it to just all go away.

just call me cranky pants...


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Went to dinner at Hubby's mom and dads house tonight where the Chef du jour was Miss Madelynne. She prepared a 3 course meal for us including a lovely potato and leek soup starter, a chicken and pasta course featuring greek olives, a tossed green salad and rolls and it was all finished up with a yummy brownie pudding cake that her great great grammie used to make for her Mimi Linda when she was a little girl. Maddy was quite tickled with herself and Mimi Linda was a bit proud as well.

We had a birthday today... Mr Jasper is officially 1 year old now. Woot... Happy Bday Meestah J. Its hard to believe he has been with us for 9 almost 10 months.

We got some more work done on Maddys room today, that purple is being awfully stubborn and we are going through primer very quickly. I cant wait to get that room done so we can move on to the next project *smiles*

Maddy, Grammie and Teengirl are going to the Shrine Circus tomorrow... after that the tired Mimi is dropping the girls off here at the house and then probably going home for a long nap... lol I think Maddy has worn her grandparents out.

Guess thats all from this front...


Monday, April 21, 2008

Post weekend...

Dang I am tired....

On Saturday my sister came down to visit with her eldest and the bf... (boyfriend as opposed to bestfriend) Teengirl had plans and was gone most of the day... but the maddster was here and the kids spent some time wandering a local beach and then playing on the wii. The two 16 yr olds actually seemed to have a good time hanging out with the 10 yr old... no fights... no screaming... no slamming doors... well until the 18 yr old came home, then all hell broke loose. *sigh* I guess its normal... some sisters just dont get along. I never used to get along with my sister either...and look at us now. So I am in hopes that eventually the two girls will love... like... be able to be in the same building without sparks flying out of their eyes and nasty words spewing out of their mouths. A mom can dream eh?

So anywho... my sister didnt leave until almost 10 oclock at night... we ate homemade pizza for dinner and played several rounds of Assassin (incredibly fun game) and then the jerks got me hooked on yet another freaking "reality" tv show. America's top model or something like that. Its not like I dont watch enough of that stuff... american idol, survivor, the amazing race, big brother, top chef, project runway, Hell's kitchen... I love all these shows, though currently I am sort of ignoring survivor and AI and barely keeping up with BigBrother (thank god for tivo or the fake version my cable company offers). Also on Saturday my mother in law called and made arrangements to pick up ms Maddy on Sunday, so on top of watching the show with my sister, making dinner, intervening when bloodshed was looming with the girlz... i was doing laundry and helping the youngest decide what she would take to grammies house.

Sunday- Mimi Linda showed up at noon to pick up the maddster... Maddy was so freaking excited and she did all the packing for her trip (10 minutes away lol) She took 3 pairs of pants, 3 shortsleeved shirts, 3 long sleeved shirts, unmentionables, pjs, 1 jacket, 2 movies, 3 books, one borrowed knitting bag with a project as well as her new knitting book she got for Xmas, 1 stuffed animal, her DS and all her games and her most important item... her new Rachel Ray cook book... "cause mimi and i are gonna cook up a storm" When i carried all the stuff out to the car i jokingly said this is the first load, and Hubbys mom laughed and laughed. The kid had one duffle bag, one back pack, one plastic bag of shoes and one knitting bag. Apparently Tuesday Mimi and Maddy are going to make up a menu, go shopping for ingredients, cook a meal and we are all going over for a fine dining experience.

After Maddy left I spent the afternoon trying to muck out her room. Her room is one of the ones we definitely need to paint before we sell the house.. maybe I mentioned already the dark purple walls with almost blackish purple trim... the list of friends in the closet and the writing on the ceiling. I would like to have the ceiling, and trim done at least before we pick up miss maddy... it would be nice if it was all done but at the same time we are working on the upstairs bathroom. right now its a upstairs hole. We are talking no floorboards... just floor joists... no walls just studs... plumbing pipes sticking up out of the floorless floor and wall-less walls. Its horrid. Hubby is working hard on it... and as soon as he gets a few more wall studs in we can call the plumber to come and start putting in the new plumbing and taking out the old icky stuff. I cant wait till this is all done... it feels like the projects have been going on for the last few years. We start we stop we start we stop... yanno? Life just gets in the way and before you know it you have been down to one bathroom for over a year and it becomes "normal" I dont remember the last time both bathrooms were working because before this era (of the upstairs bath not working) it was the era of the downstairs bath not working. Any ways... it will all eventually be done and we can sell the house and move to a new one where the projects begin anew. Yikes!

I didnt actually get a chance to pull out maddys quilt, when we finally were done with the days work, had dinner etc we took showers and threw ourselves in bed and were asleep in seconds.

Hope you all have a wonderful day... the teen wants to go driving, i want to start priming the trim and hubby... that rat is still sleeping.

Wishing you peace ...

PS... Teengirl mentioned to me that she really misses Maddy. *shakes head*

Friday, April 18, 2008

Life in the fast lane...

We worked on the yard a bit more today, spent time in the fresh air and digging in the dirt. Maddy made another "stew" and then proceeded to host her own show about the best way to make meatballs to go in said stew. The kid is a natural born "foodnetwork" star... her admitted heros are Rachel Ray and Paula Deen... the kid has a future I tell ya.

We grilled hamburgs and one Amy's Veggie burger for dinner and followed that up with the chocolate cake i talked about yesterday. Dang the thing is good... and it only takes 20 minutes to bake. Yum!

Hubby hasnt heard yet from the company up north... I am trying hard to not be discouraged by this. I know they will get in touch... its just a matter of when.

We have a few plans for the weekend... my sister is coming down for the day tomorrow. She needs help with her Statistics class work, and she is bringing my niece and the bf. Her hubby and the boys are staying home but hopefully next time they will come and visit. We are going to continue to get some work done in the yard, as well as the house. I need to get out and purchase the paint for Maddys room, and perhaps get the good stuff for my trim paint... its either that or repaint all the trim in the bathroom, living room and dining room to match the new cheaper aka crappy trim paint we picked up a month ago.

The kids are both off for April Vacation next week so other then the days Maddy is with Mimi and Papa and the time Teengirl spends with them we will be all busy busting our behinds working on the house.

I also want to try and get some more work done on Ms Maddys quilt. She has now taken to hinting that it would make a fine birthday gift... as long as its done. She started saying this in January. Does she know her procrastinating mom or what? Granted... January is when life started its little rollercoaster dance... but still! I have one strip of border on... need to continue it around and then 3 other border strips to go... Its supposed to be a twin... we will see.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend...


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Spring has sprung...

The weather has been just beautiful the last couple of days, so we have been spending lots of time in the great outdoors.

In the front yard we took a bunch of old concrete pavers (that we had sitting in piles in the back yard) and used them to seperate the tree garden from the lawn. Everything inside the pavers is garden... everything outside is lawn, sounds simple I know but at times it was hard to tell. So everything outside the garden has been raked and is soon to be fertilized and then over seeded... and everything inside the pavers has been weeded and hopefully will have a fresh bed of mulch on top of landscape fabric. (I wont be putting the fabric on until the hostas start coming up... and we know for sure we are getting mulch.)

The yard is starting to look rather nice in the front... but we still have so much to do. Its a bit odd... making the yard look so nice so early in the season... and to know that someone else will be enjoying the gardens and the lawn this summer. I don't think its really hit any of us yet that we are moving. On one hand the idea of moving and having a fresh start is exciting... but at the same time... leaving behind my huge maple tree ... the gorgeous lilac bushes... the gardens... the girls' swimming pool... the neighborhood... our beloved neighbors Linda and just feels a bit uncomfortable. This is one situation where you have to just trust... trust that the universe has a plan... cause I sure as heck know I don't *smile*

Maddy is going to be spending a couple of days with her Mimi Linda... she is so excited. She wants to cook and knit with grammie... and she is making lots of plans. I sure hope Mimi and Papa are prepared for the whirlwind that is heading their way. I am in hopes of getting Miss Maddys room emptied out... and painted while she is gone. A nice neutral color... currently is it light purple with an almost eggplanty purple trim. Not sure what in the heck we were thinking *smiles* but its gotta go.

I am going to make The best chocolate cake from The Pioneerwoman Cooks . I have made this before and the family just lapped it up... you really have to try it.

The dog has been really enjoying his outside time lately... we stuck his tie up right in the front yard and when we are out there.. he is out there. Sure has cut down on the amount of barking he does at people and trucks passing by.

Hope your week ended on a high note... and I wish you peace!


Monday, April 14, 2008

Life is changing... the merry-go-round that seemed to be running smoothly took a drastic nosedive and has transformed itself into a roller-coaster. Up and down, around the curve... the last few months have been mind-numbing.

Hubby was laid off in March after a couple of months of short weeks. He has been searching for a job, I have been searching for a job and we have been in a bit of a slump. We have tightened our belts, held tight to our girls and through all of this we have learned some surprising things about ourselves and what we are capable of.

Hubby has a hot job prospect in central maine... but its been an incredibly slow process. We should hear by Thursday, and we are all keeping our fingers and toes crossed for good news. We are acting on the premise that the job is his... and that the job offer will be one we can accept, in which case we go into overdrive getting the house ready to sell.

Maddy and I have continued to homeschool through out this. I readily admit that somedays were incredibly short and other days it just didnt seem to stop. We are still working in our Saxon math book... and the things she is learning boggle my mind, I sure wish i had access to such a book when i was her age. Perhaps my fear of math wouldnt have followed me into my 40s. *smile* Social studies is going well... We are learning about the beginning of the revolutionary war... She seems rather fascinated with the whole thing. In science we are learning about ecosystems... what happens if a creature is taken out of its environment and moved to a foreign one... etc. We are using the Oak meadow courses for both Social studies/English and Environmental Science. Not sure i would sign up for the science again... but the other is pretty dang awesome.

I am in hopes of updating this blog a little more frequently... until we talk again...

I wish you peace,

Thursday, March 27, 2008


Since the last time I posted we have been through many changes in our family.

Our beloved "Ms Bear" has passed. The entire family was affected but Maddy who loved her bearbear best has had a pretty tough time of it. Bear had been withdrawing a bit and we thought it was because Jasper had been a bit rough with her. I went down to do laundry one day and found her laying in her kitty bed, she looked fine to me until i went to pet her. She was skin and bones. Ms Bear was an extraordinarily fluffy cat. Even sick as she was she was poofy. So when we would see her .. we didnt notice she had lost as much weight as she had. I called the vets office the next morning and took her in. They did an xray and discovered a mass in her lungs. The cat was struggling to breath. The vet was very honest that Bear was dying and encouraged us to have her put to sleep as she was suffering. We spent a bit more time with her... and then brought her back to the doctors office that afternoon to have her put to sleep. Paul and I stayed with her and stroked her and then went home to comfort our girlz. Maddy is having a really tough time of it... Ms Bear was her best friend ... and had been with Maddy since she was about 3 years old. We love ya ms bearbear!

Pauls hours were cut down to just two days a week shortly after my last post, and he and I started looking for work. He found a company in Central Maine that was interested in possibly making a position for him.. but in the middle of the talks, Pauls job was terminated. Just not enough business to keep him on ... and then the company in Central Maine decided that it was important that the third owner who lives in NJ meet with paul before any decision was made. Its a wee bit scary... neither of us working... bills pouring in... but we keep on going. We are both looking hard for postions... trying to keep things on an even keel for the girls.. trying to keep some semblence of normalcy in our lives. As long as we trust in each other... and that this is something we are meant to go through and that something better will arise out of it... it will be ok.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Time Warp

Wow I realize it has been just about forever since I updated this blog... almost like we jumped from September straight into January. Since the last time I updated we have moved from Pilgrims to Colonists... resisting math to loving math... a complete kitchen floor and newly refaced kitchen cupboards... a visit with Adventure girls and a Shamanic healer where we learned to dance and drum up energy and that we have a dolphin (Maddy) and an antelope (Regi) as Power animals... a newly accepted 2008 college freshman (fall) at U Maine... Thanksgiving, Christmas, a precious new baby in the family born on Christmas morning, New Years, and a wedding we just returned from. Amazing... and all in the blink of an eye.

Hope your holidays were as wonderful as ours and wishing you joy in this new year..