Blueberry Hill

It’s blueberry time here on the farm and I spent a lovely morning in the shade watching my husband pick blueberries. I had my little official blueberry picking basket, but really wasn’t feeling up to crawling around in our forest of fruit. The berries this year are enormous and juicy, so if you are interested, we will be having our driveway sale in the next couple of weeks.

I’ve wandered back up to the house after several conversations with the animals, found a good book, made a blueberry smoothie and will be planting my butt on the porch for the rest of the morning. I’ll be glad when this pneumonia plays out as I am already bored with sitting around.

Check out my pics for an anti-inflammatory treat: Almond milk, blueberries, strawberries, flaxseed and stevia.

Summertime at the Farm

One of the most wonderful things about being at home, is watching everybody else do yard work…haha! Pneumonia has it’s benefits.

Honestly though, I thoroughly enjoy just being at home hanging out on the porch or vegging by the pool. It has been a rough couple of years with the frustration of pool companies, but I am so thankful that this summer, all systems are GO!

As you can see by the pics, it was certainly worth the wait.

Many thanks to the most handsome pool boys EVER!

Daikon and Decongestants

FD236E7E-218B-4A51-AEC8-F92A668A0FF1.jpegAfter several punky days of sniffling and sneezing (thanks Margaret), I finally crawled under the covers and succumbed to this dreadful head cold.  I doubled up on my Vitamin C and Zinc, along with a few other ancient motherly remedies, followed by a vat o’vicks and a soak in my salt water pool.  Needless to say, I still felt like crap and turned to the big guns with nasal spray and DayQuil.  It was so pitiful on Monday as I rolled into Walgreens for the above ammunition, only to find myself in the parking lot like a junkie trying to pry off the childproof top of the spray bottle.  I actually had to go back inside where my friend October (yes, that is her name) tried to help me, but was eventually forced to get a pair of pliers out of the drawer and two cashiers gripped and wrenched until it finally popped off.  (Glad it wasn’t just me.)

I stayed at work long enough to know I needed to go back home, and dragged my sorry self back to bed.

By Tuesday, all the chicken soup in the world wasn’t working and I gave up the fight and went to the Little Clinic at Kroger.  I was happy to note that I was their only customer and the young man who listened to my tale of woe, was very patient and quite comedic.  I have so many issues with the medical profession and it takes a lot to make me go, but if you have to go…  this place was ok.  They called me in some antibiotics and some kick-ass head-meds, and they were ready at CVS before I even made it to the car.

So for the rest of today, I will be sitting around watching my favorite cooking shows in a mild haze of antihistamines and ginger water.  I imagine I will be back at work tomorrow, though I am not planning anything too strenuous.

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This is what happens when I’m home alone with the cooking channel.  Grilled chicken, fresh spinach and daikon salad with homemade dressing.

Thanks to all of my buds at work who have been checking on me  (Hey, are you dead yet?) and taking up the slack while I’ve been out.  Just in case I have spread my cooties throughout our team.  Here is the recipe for a quick recovery:

Cut up ginger, lemons, limes and mint leaves

Soak above ingredients in the water overnight in fridge and enjoy with a shot of tequila for medicinal purposes, of course!

 

Nailed It

The “Woman vs Wild” home transformation has been getting hot lately… literally.  Yesterday we started on the front half of the storage building which we creatively call “The Shed”.  It’s a dark oily smelling place full of tools, gardening stuff  and  all manner of supplies for home and garden upkeep.

A few weeks ago, which has it’s own upcoming blog post, we gutted the camping end of The Shed and ridded ourselves of massive amounts of tangled fishing poles, mouse eaten tents and empty bottles of propane.  It now has lovely new plywood walls and shelving units full of organized and usable camping and fishing gear.

Since that side turned out so nice, I wanted to keep the magic flowing and dug into the mess where we keep such things as the lawnmower, broken weedwackers, piles of rakes, shovels, bags of bug stuff, etc.  It isn’t as bad as most other projects that we have tackled, and once we ditched some big stuff, it really just came down to organizational storage.

So with gloves up to my elbows, I got up early and started in on two enormous rubber totes full of small “cha-chi” type house stuff, leaves, dead bugs and unmentionable mouse “presents”.   These totes are the type that you put a Christmas tree in, so you can image how much crap we had thrown in there.  Now, don’t think I didn’t want to just dump it, but there was probably a hundred bucks worth of wood screws, pounds and pounds of galvanized nails, and countless peg board hooks, paint brushes and duct tape that I was surely going to need.  So in I went.

As you know, it wouldn’t be me unless I found some humor in the mix, so I started labeling the resulting smaller more organized totes with my kind of fun.  So when I am working on a project, and go looking for supplies, here is what I will see:

Tote #1:  Nailed It

Tote #2: Screw You

Tote #3: It’s Got 2 B Glue

Tote#4: Electric Avenue

Tote#5: In the Paint

Tote #6 Watergate Tapes

Tote #7 Hooks on Phonics

Tote #8 Chicken Shit (this one headed to the barn)

I am never a fan of spending my whole weekend working on the house project, but tonight, as I sat on the porch, with the yard mowed and my new wicker twinkle lights overhead, I heard a little voice inside my head… “Yeah… you nailed it!”

Unexpected Transformations…

Lately it has been feeling  a little like my house is possessed.  Friends have been suggesting that I may need an exorcism to rid my abode of the ghosts and gremlins that are causing so much havoc.  I laughed when they said it, but deep down, I was beginning to think they were right.

When we bought this place year’s ago,  the previous owners handed us a book about our house that she had written called “Under the Sycamore”.   It was appropriately named as we have several big ones around the property, however, the book was not about a summer tea garden.  It was about the house being haunted by a Civil War widow, whose husband is buried in the historic cemetery across the street. Great.

Scoff I did, though there has been times when I am in the oldest part of the house that I think of the book, and glance around to see if there might be something to this ghost stuff.

Naw… this is not a post about how I saw spinning furniture or flying statues of the Mother Mary (which my family in New York swears happened in our living room).  I will tell you this, however… there has been so much miserable luck at my house lately, I did actually visit every room with burning sage and then just for luck I made a circle around the house with salt.  Whatever that ritual is supposed to be good for, I sure do hope it worked.  I have seen my Catholic friends bury one of their Saints headfirst in the dirt to help find lost items… I have seen my old neighbor’s nanny wear chicken feet around her neck to ward off evil demons and I don’t even want to mention what my Cajun friends do… so burn baby burn (btw, sage smells pretty nice).  Do I believe in this? Let’s just say, I like to cover all my bases.  If it will stop the hemorrhage of cash surging out of my wallet, then I would put a totem pole in the front yard and do a nekkid dance with sparklers shooting out of my ass… don’t judge me.

So here is where the story gets good.  Seven years ago while Chance and I were vacationing in Switzerland, we bought a crazy expensive cuckoo clock.  We figured this was a once in a lifetime purchase and though it cost almost $100 to send  home, we did it.  Needless to say, like everything else I own, it stopped working immediately and has been collecting dust on the Sunroom wall ever since.

Yes… here it comes.  Two days ago the damn thing started working.  I nearly jumped out of the chair where it hangs on the wall behind my seat.  What in the world???  Not only did it start working, but it has been ticking all week!  Craziest thing ever!  Why would it start working after all of this time?

My only guess is that the house and all it’s bug-a-boos has finally started figuring out that I am serious about my kick-ass rampage and that if it isn’t going to be with me on this transformation … it will end up at the curb with the other gifts to the gods of garbage.

I think that the ghost is happy with the improvements I have been making, and can appreciate the effort and strife some of the construction has put me through this year.  Then I thought, maybe she is just happy with the cemetery clean up that we did a few weeks ago during the Eagle Scout project and has granted us a little break in the money pit saga for sprucing up her hubby’s digs.    Either way, I am glad to have something work out right.  I hope this is the beginning of a new trend and an omen of things to come.

If I start to see weirder than usual things happening around the house, I’ll keep you all informed, but until then, it’s nice to know, I’m not the only thing around here that is “cuckoo”.

Eye of the Tiger

Rough and tumble sports have always been my go-to for exercise and fun.  You will never catch me wearing Spandex or flitting around in a tiny tennis skirt with matching panties.  I played ice hockey and soccer in high school, and it is safe to say I have never been a petite flower.  Although I loved the ice, the spitty mouth guards and my 7 trophy staples in the back of my head, I discovered martial arts about 20 years ago and have never looked back.   I mean, karate is awesome!   There is virtually no running, I get to hit stuff, and I do not have to play well with others.  Perfect.

So, when I found the 27 week fitness challenge at a local dojo, I signed up the next day. My weight loss had stalled at 50 pounds, and there was only one answer for success and that was exercise.  This challenge is perfect for me.   There is a lot of kickboxing and calisthenics and I lift weights and walk on the alternate days.  It is going better than expected and now that I am in Week 8, I think I can begin to see some results.  I know I have gotten better at “planks” and some other evil exercise called “mountain climbers”, but  burpees and other flailing attempts to throw myself on the mat and jump back up again still need a lot of work.  So far so good.

I am steadily moving closer and closer to my end goal of hiking the Grand Canyon in 2019, so this fight is real!  Just like when I climbed to the top of the Mayan ruins in Mexico, I took it as a personal challenge. Step by step with the Rocky music playing in my head, I wouldn’t accept defeat.  Standing at the top with arms over my head shouting  “Magnifico!”  I’m not sure what that means, but it felt fabulous!

So with less than a year away from my big canyon adventure, where I will hopefully not doing anything remotely like planking or burpees, I will be working like a mad woman with “the eye of a tiger!”

 

Woman vs Wild Home Repair Update

Well, I bitched my way through the entire year (2017) with endless contractors coming and going, and yet the same pool and hardwood floor projects never did get fixed.  Short of standing in my driveway with a t-shirt cannon and my cash, only a drunken trip to Vegas could have wasted more money.

Did I mention that we are now on our seventh pool company? Yes? Well, sorry, but you’ve got to admit… SEVEN????  Each one dogging the last and each one peering into the swamp of doom and declaring somewhere around a $500 fix.  Several left running with their rubber hoses between their legs and didn’t even have the balls to jackhammer up the cement pool deck like their other chlorine cousins.   One company charged us over $400 to just point at the problem and put blue painter’s tape in an arrow… I’m assuming this was to let other pool sharks know where I kept my checkbook.  This latest company seems to know what they are doing, however, the bill has already soared to over $3000.  I’ll keep you posted.

We are also on our 4th hardwood floor in the same room in just one year.  Yes, I know you have heard this story too.  Again apologies… just trying to bring my new readers up to speed.  Just imagine moving your furniture into a POD every couple of months, taking all of your paintings off the walls, and living for a week or more in your bedroom with a Sheep dog, a Sheltie and various other menageries… only to find out that they screwed it up again and we will be waiting until the planets align to give it another go…  Now they are stating that they never put a floor into a house that doesn’t have a vapor barrier.  I guess that’s a new rule, since these are the same people who put the last two floors in.

Me: “I thought I had a vapor barrier?  I paid Onyx Interiors for one, and didn’t you say you were concerned about the barrier being messed up by our cats????

Them: “Lady, I look under a lot of houses.  I guess I made a mistake.

Me:  Considering how many times you have F*CKED up my house, wouldn’t you pay more attention?”

Them: “I don’t have to listen to this.”  Click.

I’m just saying… it’s a good thing that this conversation wasn’t in person.

So here is the “Woman vs Wild” Home Improvement Update:

Last Sunday as I was putting away my winter clothes (Ok, I was premature about that) I went into an obscure closet in our office.  It is a very old house with closets like Narnia and  clothes rods longer than any firehouse I’ve ever seen.  The roof pitches like an “A” frame which makes it great for shoving shit in there that you never want to see again.  However, on this trip I noticed a white shirt that now looked tie-dyed… WTH… it was wet and hanging next to a red jacket (also wet)  The F*CKING ROOF IS LEAKING!  I couldn’t believe it!  This is in a totally different section than the last leak (that caused all the problems with the hardwood floor), and may I remind all of my readers that our metal roof is only a few years old.

I spent all of Sunday hauling weird clothes to the spare bedroom floor (yes the one I just beautifully painted and decorated).  We called a repair company, but in almost a week’s time, they have not called back.

So with buckets in hand and the most rain I have seen in many years, I sat on the floor and just tried to figure out what in the world to do.

Money Pit: 10,000  Deb: 0