The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. -Proverbs 1:7

Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost you all you have, get understanding.-Proverbs 4:7

Monday, April 30, 2012

I want.

I caved on the MRI.  Not on the treatment, just the MRI.  Because I started thinking about documentation of issues from someplace the medical profession actually recognizes.  Just in case I need that when I'm old or something.  And because I'm not all that bright when it comes to Google and tend to think Google is my friend.  Even though I know if you Google anything health related, the internet will have you dead by sunset. 

I have a herniated disc.  Good to know.

For the record, I would not like to ever have another MRI.  I should have Google'd that.  45 minutes nearly naked in a tiny tube where the strapped me (even my head) to a table.  Good times.  Not.  It took a lot for me to not push the panic button so I could get out of there.  Evidently, I do not like to be in enclosed spaces.

Enough of that.  I want.  Really want to be out in my garden.  I'm tired of laying around and this is prime season.  It's started, but there is so much to do.  I couldn't do any work, but I could take pictures...

It's not technically time to be setting out tomato plants, but I had 3 seedlings that were probably going to die if I left them in those little containers any longer.  They are these.

 Sugar Snaps I got from High Mowing Seeds.  I'm not sure if I'm happy with them or not. We've had such a funky spring I might be unfairly judging them.  We shall see what they do.  P.S.  I'm not all that fond of our four maple trees.  They make such a mess.

The birds will probably get to them before I can.  Not much to worry about.  I only have a few surviving plants from an old patch.

I need to figure out some things to do with tarragon.  Really, it's too much.  Anybody want some?

Bleeding hearts will always be my favorite, but irises are so lovely....

This is a weird thing.  I planted one purple columbine a few years back.  Now, I have columbines all over the place.  And they are all different, white, yellow, purple...  How did that happen?

Friday, April 27, 2012

Spaghetti for Colombia

Busy raising money for the Colombia Mission Trip.

All the spaghetti and dessert you could eat.

Live entertainment by DMK: An adaptation of Max Lucado's "You Are Special".

The two cutest puppies ever.

Some other entertainment I did not get pictures of.  ;-)

Did I mention there was dessert?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Comfort Food

I wasn't planning on making an entry like this, but some of you are starting to ask me where I am and where I've been.  Because I've pretty much checked out of real life beyond going to work.

The short answer is my back is hurt.  And it is painful.  After 3 weeks of constant pain (albeit I am no longer in the pain I was in), it is all I can do to go to work.  I wasn't planning on any of this and once it occurred, my plan was to not make it a major event.  I feel like it has become a major event.

Without waxing on an on, it's going to be o.k.  In time.  I have chosen an alternative approach to healing.  Why is it that what seems totally logical is termed "alternative"?  Why is it that insurance doesn't cover what seems logical, but does cover what seems completely illogical?  You know, just go every week to get a steroid shot until eventual surgery?  Oh yeah.  Because there is no money in healed and healthy people.  I'm happy with my choice even though I realize it is not a quick fix.  Be assured, I've already heard I should just go get the shot.  And that annoys me.  I'm not really in the mood to hear it again.  I would not like to just go and get an MRI.  I would not like to just have surgery.  Some of you are crazy...just sayin'.

My dr. assures me I am getting better.  I am intensely tired before the sun goes down and sleep is pretty much instant.  (I have never experienced instant sleep.)  I have ridiculous dreams.  Every night.  I kind of like this part of it.  It's like I've never before slept in my life.

At any rate, that's where I've been.  I am here.  Completely "over" the whole ordeal, but evidently it shall continue for awhile.

Some days are better than others and there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the sequence of good days and bad days.

Yesterday was BAD.  Today is better.  I discovered if I continually eat ginger that I can walk upright with just a little limp.  I guess it's good I like ginger?

Even so, I called off the back end of today.  All I did was go to work and then to my dr.  I didn't take anyone anywhere. I did not run any errands.  I did not clean anything.

I made a nice pot of black bean chili to go along with some delicious bread.  I didn't bother to tell my kids it was vegan, because I wanted them to eat it.  They did.

There is this one other benefit...Let's say I was thinking about ice cream.  All I have to do is mention it and somebody will go and get me some.  You know what's coming next...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mail Day

Is it scraping the bottom of the barrel for something to say when I start posting pictures of my kid pulling dandelions out of the lawn (which is comprised of more weeds than grass)?

Would it help if I turned it into a product review?  If you click HERE, you can get a closer look at this contraption.  I was going to order a different product, but the video got me. 

This is where I feel the need to tell you I have an Amazon addiction.  I order everything from Amazon.  I love that I can order something today and it will be here tomorrow.  Confession: Everyday is "Mail Day" here.  Tomorrow, I'll be getting 36 plastic shoe boxes and a whole lot of toilet paper.  Don't ask...just sayin'.

What was I talking about?  Oh, yeah...this dandelion puller.  I bought it for me, but he loves it.  I usually am not very good about sharing my new toys, but I was feeling extra nice today.

It's only a matter of time before the girl discovers it and then the fight about who gets to use it will be on.  Promise.  Not complaining.  I could have worse problems than having to mediate fights over who gets to pull weeds, right?

As for the product review, as far as I can tell, it works as advertised. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A couple of things about chickens...

1.  When you first get them, they are cute; like the size of ping pong balls and all soft and fluffy.

2.  After a week or two (We've had these for two weeks.), they go through an awkward stage.  This stage lasts for a long time.  They get all lanky and only have part of their feathers.  And mine always start growing wary of humans about this time.  It's like the "teenage phase" of chickenhood.  The yellow ones have been named "Lili" and "Mimi".  The black ones are "Magdalena" and "Sophia".

3.  You know that game toddlers play?  The one where they think if they can't see you, then you can't see them?  Pretty sure they are thinking if they just keep staring at that wall, then that means I don't exist and can't be staring at them (and maybe won't try to reach in and grab one of them).

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rain and Chai

1. As much as I've been enjoying the early warm weather, we badly needed the rain. We aren't going to get much, but some is better than none, right?

2. Who doesn't like a little chill in the damp air when laid up? I feel like I've been laying around for weeks. In reality, it's only been a few days. Am probably going back to work tomorrow, though; on account of knowing that whenever the teacher is away the students will play. By now, my guess is they are probably getting wild-ish. I've never missed this many days of school before.

3. Have I ever done a business review? Publicly and in writing? Hmmm...I don't know. Maybe this is the first. It will be short. If you find yourself in need of a chiropractor, go here. Even if you aren't in need, go there. Because maybe you are in need and just don't know it. Trust me when I tell you that you do not want to wait until you know it. Truly the best medical experience I have ever had...despite the situation.

4. Chai. Who doesn't love it? I made some with almond milk and's close to perfect, but seems a tad light. Maybe I should try coconut milk next time?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Spring Break #4-The Family Farm

I almost forgot about this last post from our trip. Sort of. I was thinking about what I wanted to say. Because it is possible I could write a book.

This is a picture of a picture of the family farm. It doesn't look anything like this anymore, but this is exactly how it looked when I was a little girl. My great-grandparents lived there up until about 11-12 years ago. The house burned in a fire a couple of years after that. The barn is still there and there are still cows, but everything else is gone; the garden, the picket fence, the tree we used to make treehouses in...gone.

This is the yard where the house was. It looks so small without a house on it. The house was pretty good sized, so I have no explanation for that. You can see part of the tree I used to climb all the time. It's dead now. Somebody should take it down.

So, I was driving by there (because my Grandma Helen lives right down the road) and saw some lilacs. When I stopped the car, I could smell them from the road. The next day, my grandma helped me dig a shoot from the bush for me to bring back to Maryland for my own yard.

Before we left, I went to look at where the garden used to be. It was a huge garden, let me tell you. I saw a row of these bluebells under where the grapes used to be. My grandma told me how she had dug the bulbs from the creek (on the other side of the farm) when she was a little girl and my Grandma Boone (her mother) let her plant them under the grapes. This must have been roughly 70ish years ago. I had to have some of them. They aren't looking too good in my Maryland garden, but perhaps next year they'll look a little better.

I should probably make a whole other post for this next thing, but I'm kind of wanting to wrap up all the spring break fun. Knowing we don't get to burn stuff in Maryland, my grandparents saved up the brush to burn during our visit. I suppose that might sound strange, but evidently kids like to burn stuff. I was a little alarmed at the size of the fire, but that's probably a result of living away for so long now. My grandparents weren't alarmed at all.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Catching Up

He caught up to me. We are both on our 40th year now.

There is a juice fast in our near futures, which was enough for me to rationalize his annual birthday feast. One of my co-workers tried to shame me into taking him out for dinner; her rationale being he's been eating my food for a long time now. It's too bad I have this policy about refusing to wait for food accompanied by the arrogance I can cook it just as well (or better) myself (in the time it would take to get seated somewhere). He seemed alright with having to eat my cooking yet another night. Mesquite grilled steak and shrimp with roasted garlic potatoes, caramelized onions and baby portobellos and steamed broccoli.

And Boston Cream Pie which is actually the cake I always get on my birthday. It tasted so good then, I decided he could have it for his too. The real truth is his favorite cake is German Chocolate, but I didn't have time to make one and the store didn't have it.

40 next year...that's something to chew on.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Break #3: Hunting Mushrooms

When I was little, I used to go mushroom hunting with my dad. Mushroom hunting takes patience. For all of the tromping around Iowa I did, I can only clearly remember finding one.

I've taken my kids mushroom hunting in Maryland. We've never found any. I know they are here, but we've not had any luck.

We went out with my grandpa. It was a little early in the season yet and I had been hearing everyone (Evidently, everyone in Iowa goes mushroom hunting.) talk about how they had been out already and had not had not found any. I was not all that optimistic about the whole thing, but hopeful.

We found 9. Jac was excited to find them and I think he would have went hunting every day we were there. I actually didn't find any. Go figure.

My grandma fried them up for us; a process that involves butter and crackers and egg. Something is wrong with my kids, because they didn't like them (after taking the tiniest nibble and swearing they tasted horrible). More for me.

P.S. If you wear a skirt whilst mushroom hunting, you may get poison ivy. Just sayin'.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Not that Easter has anything to do with baskets and chocolate bunnies...but have a Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spring Break #2-Earning Money For Colombia

Alicia is trying to earn money to pay for her Colombia trip. Grandma Helen (my mom's mom) offered to pay her to paint a new shed they had just built.

I knew this before we left for our trip and in my mind I was thinking "shed".

It turns out, in Iowa, sheds are the size of small barns.

All three of us (Alicia, Jacob and I), began painting it last Sunday. We painted all day and only got one coat finished on two sides. It was 90 degrees that day (on April 1st...that's so crazy) which meant we ended up burnt.

In the end, Grandma Helen had mercy on us urbanites who do not have experience with barn painting. The shed was not finished when we left.

Grandma Helen is a monetary supporter of her great-grandkids' activities and one of them (who is currently indebted) will have to finish it. Sorry Erin.

Totally random picture... People in Iowa like yard art. A LOT. We passed this house on my grandma's road and Alicia had to stop and take a picture.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Spring Break #1

I'm back! I know. It's been awhile. I took a trip to Iowa to see my grandparents.

These are my mom's parents:

And these are my dad's parents:

I have other stuff to show, but that will have to wait. Right now, I'm just thinking how cool it is I still have all of my grandparents at my age and that my kids have had a chance to know them.