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The Price of Inheritance { The Reading Corner

Have to say…
I spend so much time buried in books these days that I am in need of adding some new great reads that I have loved this Summer!

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The Price of Inheritance was such a fun read!
You guys know I love history..my kids love history as well (probably because I have crammed it down there throats for years now and  so many of our field trips are historical.)
I picked this book up thinking it was going to be a romance.  It was and it wasn’t.  What I like most about this book was exactly that.  A love affair BUT more about a gal just finding herself and along the way getting a glimpse into the world of big ticket auction houses and how the “other half” collect their lovelies.
You know I hate retelling a story because I feel like that ruins the book for others but I will say this much…
I normally like “happily ever after” type of romance novels.  The kind where they ride off happily into the sunset.
I was surprised when this book half way ended that way and halfway didn’t and I STILL loved it.
Says alot…if you know me;-)

 

 

 

 

Next up…  The Selection Series

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  If you read this blog then you know…I love me a good Young Adults series.  I tend to read all book with or before my teens.  Thank God I read Divergent first…ugh!  Don’t get me started on that series (I can grumble alot about that last book.)
When I picked up the Selection I thought “Pretty cover I bet Haley would like this series perhaps?!”  Of course I read it first.  I loved it!  So refreshing to read a series that was truly PG enough for my 12 year old to read.  One that isn’t about Vampires, wolves or some other sort of freak show.
Granted it is a dystopian fiction but still a great series!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That sums up the last few weeks….or at least the books I liked:-)
Now back to reading.

Every year like clockwork…

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I just tend to hit this blah moment in life every year at this time.
Summer is slipping away…buried under organizing the kids upcoming school year…my garden is soon to disappear…the leaves are about to change…
and the darn oak tree is about to drop her gazillion acorns that I simply despise because they put a fast end to playing barefoot in the backyard.
It all just puts me in a blah mood…
I end up feeling like I have so much to post about and nothing to post about all at the same time.
Things I want to say…but don’t want to.
I teeter between sharing and not sharing…does anyone really want to read about endless planning,  juggling kids and life in general?
Not really would be my guess.  Maybe?
I keep this blog going so my kids can have a little diary of our life…in my own voice.
Share to much and you just open yourself up to judgement and criticism from strangers…not really feeling up to that right about now.
Lots of posts for my kids just sit in the “draft” or “private” sections of this blog.  Secret corners for them to find mom’s thoughts well after I am gone and diary pages just for them and them alone.
Blogging is just the easiest family diary I can manage.  Most things we do are pretty generic but I love writing, even though I am not so great at it.
Gathering thoughts here is a very old habit.

Sigh.
I am not ready for Fall to happen.
And I am.
All at the same time.

Ready for the kids to be back on schedule.  Not ready to spend everyday as the “mom taxi cab driver”.
Ready to see all my mom friends again on a regular basis.  Not ready to juggle seeing everyone and a little fell missing his naptime.
Ready to learn with the kids…homeschooling them always refreshes my knowledge on things like History and Literature…I do love this part.  I love the closeness it brings us.
Ready for field trips…nothing bad about field trips.  Nothing.  LOVE THEM.
Ready for lettuce out of the garden.  Not ready for the tomatoes to go.
Ready for new challenges and adventures.  Not ready for the changes…I have a hard time with it sometimes.  I like to think all moms do from time to time.
Ready to watch Adam merge into High School. Not ready…no terrified…that he is so close to being grown.  Did I mention the part where I brought him home from the hospital as a baby and cried for at least a solid day at the knowledge that one day he would grow up and leave us?  Yep…I did.
Ready to start homeschool preschool with Lucas…seriously love this age.  So thankful to get to do it all over again from the beginning.

At the end of the day the Fall begins, whether I like it or not.
The time of the year to be “thankful” and at the end of the day that word sums it all up for me.
I am quite thankful for this wonderful little family we have here.
We have made a lovely little life for ourselves.
Thankful indeed.

On a last note of this rambling post…
I am ready for the month or two break I take from the Facebook  fan page each year in September/October.  I simply turn it off for a few months while we merge into our new schedule.  The family needs my full attention (especially with all the traveling Daryl does these days for work) and this year I am even debating the brave step of deactivating my entire Facebook account for a few weeks.
I just need a social media break.  Do you ever feel that way?
Like life was just way better BEFORE Facebook?
Before, when people would actually stop by and see each other for real…not just tag the “praying for you” on a FB wall and running away.
I have been truly trying to not be that person.  To physically get off my duff and go and help my friends, in person, when things go wrong in their life.
Rather that the “praying for you…best of luck with that…” sort of lives we seem to lead these days.
Sometimes friends need more than an impersonal response to a bad day.
I would like to spend my Fall drinking coffee with friends and being more “present” in my own life…in their lives.
Sometimes to do so you just have to unplug.
Step away from the key board…and go days without checking e-mail (which by the way I currently haven’t checked mine in several days.  Shame on me.)
At the end of this post I shall find my peace with Fall…
Ready or not, here it comes.

The art of food hoarding…

Deep deep into canning and preserving season over here…
My kitchen is a hot mess…
But my pantry sure looks pretty.

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Today’s tally…

11 jars of blueberry (local organic source) jam (Lucas favorite)
8 jars of salsa from our garden tomatoes, peppers and cilantro
6 quarts of dill pickles from our cucumbers
3 bags of cut corn for the freezer from local farm

Tomorrow….
Onto at least 8 quarts of stewed tomatoes
The “goal” on tomatoes is at least 80-100 quarts a Summer.  August is always quite the challenge.  Lucky for me I have a great local farmers market to supply those tomatoes.  When asked how long that last us each year the answer is…until January.  We love some tomatoes over here!
We will be heading to the mountains for some hiking and family peach picking this weekend too!  There will be frozen, canned and jams with those.

Yes, I feel like a hoarder…or a very industrious squirrel;-)

To every season…. {Gardening Chronicles

To say it’s “been a week” would be such an understatement.
We have had a sprained/torn ligament shoulders (poor Adam)…
Hornet stings that have left me looking like Sloth from the Goonies….10534575_10152275727150878_7544497445439797806_n
and finally, saying goodbye to the big garden…aka “my heart”.
Alas, the time and location proved to be too much.

Ouch.
Can I please just go to a bedroom and sleep for weeks?
I hear rumor I can’t do that so along I will go.

 

I suppose I will take one last walk around my big lovely garden and say farewell and share the last pictures of it with you guys…and ponder life.
Shall we?

Lots to learn in the garden about life.
You have the life cycle of course…you toil and plant…pray for things to grow.
They grow and they bloom.  They take your breath away…if you are smart enough to stop and enjoy.
There are those of us on earth willing to tend the good earth…to get dirty…to grow the food that feeds us all.  This is a necessary thing and isn’t it fantastic that there are those of us who love it?  Relish in the sunshine and enjoyment we garner from the harvest.  Who cherish the land we grow on.

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Some plants are tougher than others.  Stubborn, prickly and mean but when they finally get around to living they bear some amazing and beautiful fruits.

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Some plants just know what to do.  They plant their roots and give, give, give seldom asking for much…
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Then there are the flowers…always the flowers.
Beautiful…just lovely little gifts of beauty for us to simply enjoy and the bees.  They really don’t ask for much from us.
They seem so delicate yet they are tougher than we give them credit for most of the time.  They grow they bloom, reseed/multiply if you are lucky…if they decide you are just not kind enough or the ground friendly enough they just move on.
I totally get that.
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Some plants you just have to give up on and say “there is just no hope”…and plant new seeds somewhere else in hopes that a new plant that really wants to thrive will join the garden party.
That is just the way it goes…the garden party just keeps moving.  The joy of gardening and plants is that they grow anywhere that there is a little chunk of land and someone to love them.
Isn’t that true for humans as well?  We always thrive the most where we are nurtured, loved and protected.  If we can’t find those things we get to stepping….at least if we are smart.  We all deserve those things in live.  I for one made the decision years ago that I would never “settle” for being around anything less than  those attributes again.  I want to surround myself with beautifully kind people everyday of my life.
The ultimate goal…not always the way it lands though.
Plants aren’t that different.
The garden of life.  You get to chose where you put your roots.  You really do.
Chose wisely.

Fairwell big garden, you were wonderful to us this Summer.  Onto another season of change and chapters.  Thanks for the yummy food you provided our family…it really was appreciated.

Maddie’s Itchy Ear/ Hot spot remedy

When we got Maddie she came to us after a bit of an ordeal.
Poor pup had been through the ringer.  No one really knows her story.  What we do know is that she spent months in a pound followed by time at the Richmond SPCA where we found her and she saved us.  Because she is AWESOME.

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Seriously…why did anyone ever let this sweet girl go?  Beyond me.

What we knew very fast was that Maddie has terrible skin allergies.  Her belly had lost all fur and her ears were about the same in spots when we brought her home.
They sent us home with a prescription for allergy medicine they assumed she would need for the rest of her life.
I changed her over to high quality food, my home made yogurt mixed in once a day and oil blended salve and the below hotspot spray.
My guess is that this spray would work on any “hotspot” areas…Maddie’s “hotspots” are her ears.
Within a month of using this her inner ears had gone from a black, crusty, disgusting, itching all the time type of ear to a lovely pink shade that she only scratches occasionally.  I only spray it now when I see it flaring up on her from time to time.

This post I will share the spray recipe and soon the salve…but in all honesty the ear “salve”  isn’t much different than the Eczema ointment I used for Adam’s hands.  I add in a bit of home made Plantain and Comfrey oil to the salve as well.

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Ingredients:

1 spray bottle
Witch Hazel

Sweet Almond Oil
Fractionated Coconut Oil
Oregano Oil
Melaleuca (tea tree) Oil
Lavender oil

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I fill the bottle about 1/4 with the Fractionated Coconut oil, 1/2 Witch Hazel, 10-20 drops of each of the oils.

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Shake it up and call it a day…

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Now I am thinking Maddie may or may not appreciate a “keep toddler away” spray but I have yet to find that right mixture…
according to Lucas “Maddie is my very best friend in the whole world!”
I will say she is definitely the BEST dog in the world <3

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FYI…this works as a great bug spray as well…double Heck Yeah!:-)

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