Kicking off Summer Fun…

I love summer! Always have. I am a tropical bodied person and just get so down in the winter. I love all the wonderful summer activities and really enjoying each moment the sun is out.

We took my baby to the strawberry patch; the first time for the whole family. The patch smells ABsoLUTEly WONDERFUL. Wow…sweet, juiciness in the air. I wish it would waft over to my house. We only live a mile away!

I made some jam! I haven’t tasted it yet, but my oldest assure me with a loud YUM that it was good. I made blueberry as well, not fresh but they were buy 1 get 1 free. Made fruit salad with lots of fresh stuff. My little guy loves fruit. I even got some nectarines out when he wanted candy and I told him that fruit was nature’s candy. He didn’t agree but then proceeded to gobble it down.

We are fortunate to live near some bodies of water to cool down and my boys rode a jetski while we were at one of my husband’s co-worker’s party down at his river lot. Loads of fun! I, of course, took my WIP and finished up one boot.

Sunday, we visited my friend in the nursing home and took his dogs for awhile. I’m always sad when we leave. He is adamant he wants to go home but he is paralyzed on one side. 😦

We went home for dinner and just relaxed…I’m hoping to do some more of that this weekend! I have off the next 3 Fridays so long weekends abound in the month of July. I’m so looking forward to it!

Have a great 4th of July, US and everyone else have a great weekend!

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Up for a quick breath

After crocheting and knitting my fingers to the bone, I have completed my final paid project (I think) for this season!! Yay! With the sales from my hats and some other crafty projects, I made enough money to buy my kids’ entire Christmas! Amazing! I’m just so thankful that people ordered so many things and that my friends have been generous with sharing their love of my creations and bringing me so much business! You are awesome, friends. I love ya! I also did make quite a few things people ordered and just gifted them for the sheer love of seeing someone loving their hat!

Now, I have today to finish up 2 more hats for my brothers and 2 shirts that I’m making for my dad so I can mail them off tomorrow. What concerns me is that the postal system is a bit jammed up and I’m mailing out 2-3 priority mail to get to Arizona by tuesday! Here’s hoping!

So, here’s a round up of the completed projects for the last couple weeks.

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The Minions

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Bearded Beanies for twins

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Bane from Dark Knight Rises

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Giraffe

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And finally, how I package my creations for delivery. I also have a little thank you tag that I put on my bags.

I hope every one has been having a productive season as well! Now I’m going back to work!

 

Never will be a morning person

Let me preface this post with I love my children. I really do. However, some days, I feel that I am not fit to be a parent.

Yesterday and today were those kind of days. My oldest son, who is going to be 14 next week, has some special circumstances. I know this. I know that he is going to need more time and care and consideration than most children. He is AD/HD with Asperger’s. We’ve lived with this his whole life. I have yet to really cope with this. Especially in the morning when I am not in my right senses and we wake up with 10 minutes to get to the bus stop. I know in the end, this is my fault. I’m a hot mess in the morning and because of that, my family suffers.

I am not the shining beacon of love and compassion when I wake up. Ever. Nor am I that person even after my morning coffee. I am more like the afternoon sun of warmth and clear skies person. Better yet, the moon has risen and the stars are shining night owl. Yes, yes, that is me.

So when the alarm clock has been going off for almost and hour and my child is still in bed and I have yet to wake up but get everyone up and out the door, let’s just say, it’s not pleasant. I said some things I didn’t mean yesterday. Like “I’m NOT BUYING any video games you want for your birthday! YOU ARE GROUNDED FOREVER from electronics!” I crushed his little heart. I could see it in his face. He is very much looking forward to the XBox 360 edition of Minecraft that I have yet to purchase but now will be scrambling to get to the store this weekend because we are giving him his gifts on Wednesday, his birthday. I can’t take away the disappointment I have already caused. I feel ashamed. 😦

I’ve heard other parents lament over their parenting skills but that doesn’t make me feel any better. I’m not so sure that I’m going to make it til my toddler gets to be a teenager. I may lose my mind!

Lazy, lazy me

Actually, not really. I just feel that way since I haven’t posted in a bit. I’ve been wayyyyy busy and haven’t mastered how to post on my mobile. I’ll figure it out.

This past Sunday we went to the Pennsylvania Heritage Festival in Troy, PA. It was awesome! We learned how to make logs and checked out all the old school ways things were done. Let’s just say that I’m very grateful to be a modern girl. I like to think that I do things the old-fashioned way like make soap, knit and grow my own food, but for real, it’s still more modern than what our ancestors did.

Did you know that people slept on mats stuff with corn husks on the floor!! I can’t imagine. And that boys wore dresses until 4 or 5 because of diapering? I thought that was amusing. We also talked to a chair caner. I think it’s kind of tedious weaving chair seats but the results are pretty cool. There were so many other things that went on but the baby didn’t have the patience to go through much. He did enjoy the sheep that were getting sheared and BAA’d loudly at them. We also rode the hay wagon about 6 times because he loved the horses as well.

It was a lovely day. I love doing stuff like that with the kids. I did get one picture of Van Wagner who is a musician/teacher/historian kind of guy but I won’t post that. My husband likes his music and it is all about PA. Amazing to think there’s just so much history here!

We had a good time.

On the Horizon?

I hate getting up to go to work. I want to stay home. Most times just to loll around in my bed. I know that is not what would happen because my baby doesn’t take well to sleeping in and since his sleeping arrangements are currently residing in my bedroom, I certainly know that lying in my bed is an unrealistic wish. However, I still wish that I didn’t *have* to get up to go to work.

It would be lovely to stay home and ramble around my house and work erratically when work comes in but honestly, I’m not sure how that would work out daytime wise. The baby isn’t keen on having any attention not on him and when I set him up with me, he wants to push all the buttons as if he is working on the computer. I see this is a work in progress. For a brief stint, I was home freelancing after being laid off when my oldest was younger and there was a constant litany of “mom” yelled at me. Thankfully, the baby doesn’t talk yet. I can deal with the shirt tugs better than the cacophony of a little voice.

The goal eventually is to have enough work to stay home and do it and quit my job. I do love my job. I just love my kids and home more. The orders are rolling in more and I’m starting to get a momentum that I’m hoping by my next child I can stay home. I know my hubs wants to do the same and we’ve realized, we are not corporate people. We knew this at the time we started making soap. Now I’m hoping with all of our combine streams of income, we’ll be able to accomplish what many people hope to.

I can feel the dawn breaking of new opportunity. A tiny sliver of light is peeking on the horizon.

Mattress Stuffing

The last couple months I have struggled to get to the gym. I really, really need to get there. I don’t know how we are going to do it but it must happen. I was thinking of just cancelling the membership because I know they are just raking in the dough of members who have the best intentions of using the membership but instead just let it wane such as myself. I have it set up in an account that’s just my transfer account that has just enough moolah to link to random things like my etsy, paypal and other auto transfer things that need paid out so my main account is secure from hacking. The caveat: remembering to make sure that all the money is in there for these various auto-payments.

I usually set reminders of when I need to send money to the transfer account and the bank sends me reminders when I set them up. However, when one doesn’t put to the reminders in there are prices to pay. I don’t know who the brilliant mind at the banks decided that $40 should be the overdraft fee but i think that is HIGHWAY ROBBERY! Twice this month, I’ve overdrafted my account because once, I used the wrong damn card (they all look the same!) because I decided not to rearrange my wallet after my baby was playing with it the first time and then I didn’t post a reminder for the gym membership dues needing renewed.

DAMN IT ALL TO HELL. $80 down the drain in fees. I’m about to resort to taking all of my money out of the bank and hoarding it at home. The bank just doesn’t pay me enough in interest to keep subjecting myself to this. I’m terrible with money and this is just another kick to my pride after YEARS of trying to get financially responsible and stable. Let’s just say my dear husband is just not happy with me. I might have to resort to having him hawk over my accounts again. It’s painful for me to say that but this girl works hard for her money!

Let this be another hard lesson to me about fiscal responsibility. I know that I’m at fault since I failed at the vigilance I was developing to be money conscious. I hope you all learn my lesson, too.

A Warm Spot

My baby likes to sleep with me on the couch and he snuggles and spoons with me (more often, he actually sleeps on my head like a cat). I rolled over and thought that he had also and I had a delightful little warm spot on curled up on my back.

Or so I thought the spot was the baby. I rolled over some time later to a wet spot.

He peed on me. Through his diaper.

 

I wish that he would sleep on his own. It’s a struggle. We’ve Ferberized him and he prevailed for two weeks of crying two hours each night in his crib. Then he learned he could climb out of his crib and any nights of peaceful slumber in the near future were darkened. Even after much research and methods, I’ve resigned myself to letting him sleep with us. I can’t go on being sleep deprived.

I’ve found this funny blog post by another mom about her research on baby sleep from experts. Makes you wonder how any parent is getting any sleep.

Late Nights to myself

I love when everyone is sleeping. I can think without interruption and get some mad craftin’ on! I’ve been particularly busy the last couple weeks trying to prepare the soap business for a craft show this weekend. I’m not quite prepared yet. There have been a few hitches. I didn’t check the size of the one product I’m labeling and the labels are way too big. I ruined a sheet of labels tonight because in my infinite wisdom I decided not to run a test print. I think I may never get spray adhesive off my glass dining room table even though I laid newspaper down. The 3M people really know their glue! I’m hoping vinegar or something is going to help that. And I still have more labeling to do. I’ll continue tomorrow night.

I’m quite excited for this show because I’ve given the packaging a facelift and introducing some new stuff. There’s the new perfume oil debuting in Lavender Patch, a very popular scent in soap and lotion. I’m not fond of licorice but I got some anise in for a new soap awhile back and now have Licorice lip balm. My little toddler terror seems to really like the licorice because he’s constantly sniffing the soap. I’m thinking his next lip balm will be the new stuff also. The other day I think he ate a tube of chocolate lip balm. He loves his lip balm. Thankfully, it’s all natural edible ingredients!

I’m still working on marketing materials other than the small informational brochure. If I get to it tomorrow, on my list is making vinyl decals. That’s a small start. I have a t-shirt design, I just need to get shirts and get a screen around to print. Keeping up with soap and lotion production is time intensive so getting to this other stuff just keeps getting pushed back; 

That’s okay though, I get the chance to have these wonderful late nights to myself. Craft on, mama. Craft on!

 

Homesteading Summers

Summer 1 – 2012

A few weekends ago we cracked open a jar of pickles we canned last summer at our first summer kick off party and we were delightfully impressed with ourselves. They were tangy, salty, and full of wonderful dilly flavor. I was quite inspired to do it again this year with our own pickles! Last year’s pickles were someone else’s crop that we experimented with. After we gathered all our supplies from various stores, our cupboard and read up on what pickling entails, we set out for a long, hot day of canning. Our efforts were rewarded with three quarts of pickles! 549566_691791877092_281878998_n

Not a lot mind you, but plenty for our first try.

I thought that would be the end of our homesteading adventures, but alas, no. We have grand ideas. We can be more sustainable! And produce is very expensive.

Summer 2 – 2013

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We put in a garden this past Memorial Day weekend. It was the perfect weekend to do so. Not too hot, with a breeze and lots of time on hand.  I rarely have much time to do time and labor intensive things at the house so I’m hoping that having this garden will help me cultivate the family time as well as vegetables for my family.

Preparing the plot of land for our family garden was a huge task. It’s just a tiny bit of our yard but full of foliage, some weeds, some plants that needed transplanted and whole lot of rocks. The dirt has a lot of clay in it and random rocks embedded in so tilling was a chore. Thankfully, I didn’t have to do that bit. This whole gardening business is literally backbreaking work. I hope we get lots and lots of veggies! This earth mama seriously needs to see the fruits of her labor! I planted green beans, lettuce, corn, zucchini, cucumbers, bell peppers and tomatoes…nom nom nom.

My loving husband constantly laments over his hope that I settle down and have time to do all the things I say I’m going to do with this garden. He’s already said we need to set aside a day for the canning. I can already see that disaster of a day happening. He doesn’t handle heat well and it gets HOT in my kitchen.  I’m thinking of all the lovely foodstuff we’ll be making with our crop. Salsa, spaghetti sauce, salads, stuffed peppers, cream corn, zucchini bread and of course, pickles!  We’ll see if all this happens. I’ve already started daydreaming of eating the food.