"random thoughts"

On Preparing the Soil...

Just a few of the things I have been thinking about this week:
  • Where will I get lumber to build my raised garden beds?
  • How can I get as many garden-making supplies as possible for free?
  • Where on our property should I make the beds?
  • How am I going to get them watered once my garden is established?
  • Which home school board should I register with this year?
  • What changes do I need to make to my home schooling approach this year?
  • Can I get my registration in to the Home School Conference in time? (Thankfully, the answer to that was yes, I found out tonight!)
I am hoping to get my gardening stuff done by the end of this weekend, for two reasons:

1. Soon, the deadline for planting in our all-too-short growing season will have passed, and I will not be able to harvest anything before fall frost.
2. The mosquitoes the size of dragons have started to awake from their winter slumber, and dragon-fighting whilst building garden beds does not seem to be such a good mix to me. Besides, my shield and spear are still packed in the Sea Can.

I am slowly remembering how to blog without using photos. It's hard, but I think I can do it!

One last thought: today, I read an article that told me that white tea helps you burn fat, similar to green tea (only better!) Yay! I love reasons to drink tea. I can't stand the taste of green tea, but white tea I can handle. Will it make me skinnier? I dunno. But I can say it will, right? :-)

Would you like to come over for a cuppa?

Friday Good Things

I love spring! Here are some other really great things about today:
  • The sound of water dripping out of our blocked eaves-troughs--it means the snow is melting off the roof, landing in my front flower-beds, facing my almost-snowless front yard, and getting it ready for the sunflower seeds I am going to plant almost a month early this year! (If the winters be hard let the springs be early, I say.)
  • The TULIPS that are poking up in said front flower-bed! YIPPEE!
  • My husband's just-got-home kisses.
  • Three little boys that were well-behaved all day during errands.
  • Reading with my kids.
  • Jabin picking out a library book completely unaided for the first time--and the fact that he picked I Want A Pirate Suit, and that he loves it so much already, is just perfect. (I think I secretly want to be a pirate. But a nice one--none of this raping and pillaging stuff. Do you think there is a market for nice pirates?)
  • A craft room that is about half-way through the spring cleaning/reorganization process. I've been ignoring it all winter, piling scrapbooking stuff around my dining room table and tripping small children with it, because a) I was too busy to take the time to put things away properly in my craft room, so I would just throw things in there randomly, b) the mending projects were crowding out space for everything else, and c) it was too cold in that basement mid-winter to inspire me to freeze my knackers off to remedy the situation. Last night, I went and bought about 20 largish shoe-box-sized Rubbermaid containers, and the organization frenzy began, not abating until the wee hours. (There is something so therapeutic about uninterrupted organizing, I was hesitant to quit.) I shall be tackling the rest tonight.
  • Movie night with my hubby tonight.
  • The chocolate chip & banana cookies I shall be making shortly to be consumed during the movie. Mmm-mmm. Wanna come over?
  • These amazing kids:

I Could Use A Little Fuel Myself

I need to get out of here--out of my house, out of this town, beyond the boundaries of these four walls and this river valley. I need to breathe fresh air, see green trees, stretch my legs and my mind and my horizons. I need to get behind the wheel and drive and drive until I don't want to drive any more. I feel the call of warm weather, warm company, and warm Starbuck's Caramel Apple Cider.

I need an adventure. I've been cooped up too long, doing the same thing, stuck in bed, too tired to do my laundry. I'm tired of looking out my own front window. I'm tired of walking the same worn paths around my house. I'm tired of being tired.

C'mon, Honey! Let's load up our stuff, load up our kids, load up the van! Let's seek out adventures, greener pastures, the wind on our faces and the sun on our backs! Let's hit the road and get out of here!

Spring. Break. Can't come soon enough.

Never Thought I'd See The Day...

...when I would exchange U.S. dollars into Canadian, and receive a smaller number back.

Hmph. This current parity of our dollars is good for me the Canadian consumer, but it really sucks for me the Canadian who runs a business dealing mostly in U.S. Currency.

Oh, well. Silver lining: the U.S. dollar's plunge in the market has inspired a rather larger number of non-American buyers lately. I guess it all evens out in the end.

Thank you, Lord, for my blessings. Let me dwell on those, instead of the drawbacks.

Thank you, Lord, for giving me a business I can run from the comfort of my own office chair.

Thank you, Lord, for a strong and thriving economy to live in.

Thank you, Lord, for teaching me how to be a good steward of what you have entrusted to me.

You rock.

As an afterthought to today's post, and on a completely unrelated topic, this is worth a read.

What I Learned Today...

  • Adding 1/2 cup white vinegar to your washing machine's rinse cycle is a natural fabric softener, helping you avoid the health hazards of dryer sheets
  • There are more reasons to avoid buying from China all the time. Makes me so glad that we get our vitamins from superfoods such as blueberries and cod liver oil, and that I try to get local, organic produce and meat as much as possible--but makes me think twice about the fish from China in my freezer. Also, I think I have to return one of Noah's birthday presents.
  • That when you run your dryer at least once a day with a super-sized load, and your ducting travels over twenty feet to the outside of the house, it gets plugged. Then your dryer won't work anymore. Apparently, you are supposed to clean your ducting once every year or three. Makes it tricky when you can't reach more than 20% of it. (Someone was thinking!)
  • That our local fire hall gives free tours. I found this out when the fire commissioner came (at my request) to inspect our unused fireplace this afternoon. With three boys, you can bet I'm going to take advantage of the tour!
  • That having two twelve-month-old baby girls is more exhausting than I would have thought imaginable. I am so. glad. I got to send them home at 5. And I volunteered to babysit them all winter? Am I crazy?!
  • That Jabin really, really likes ice cream cones.
  • That Jude is a super-duper helper. I've known this for a while, but it's become quite obvious the last couple of days with the babies here. I'm going to miss him in the mornings when he starts kindergarten on Friday. (For more reasons than just that, but I'll miss his helping, too!)
  • Also, the contrast with the babies has shown me how grown-up Jabin really is. Just being able to talk helps. And walk. And feed himself. Okay, he's just really grown-up. Definitely not a baby anymore.
  • That it's pretty easy to be asleep by 10:30 or 11:00 when you're getting up at 7 and running off your feet all day. Think I'll go hit the hay.
How was your Wednesday, friends?

Indulgence, Self

No matter how many times I blow my nose, trying to blow the little parasite out, the virus that has infected my body holds tenaciously onto my sinus cavities. It feels like it's trying to invert my eyeballs, too. And it also feels like it's getting stronger, although I know I must be winning by now, after three days--mustn't I?

Perhaps it only feels worse today because I am finally allowed a little self-indulgence--no extra kids to babysit, no company to entertain, no place to go, nothing to do except keep Jabin's little fingers from opening and closing the CD player on my computer tower interminably and scrapbook on my computer.

Not that it feels like I could do much of anything else if I tried. I did roast some squash for the soup I'm making for supper. That's an accomplishment, right?

Jason took the older two boys to the pool. At 4:17 p.m, the sun has almost set. And now, I must go preview the movie I ordered for the Music Teacher's Association Ed night which I am hosting on Monday.

But before I do, I will leave you with an image of the layout I just completed. Of the digital layouts I have done so far (which you can view in my 2 Peas Gallery, here), this is the one of which I am the most proud.

Enjoy, friends! Hope your weekend is happy!

Transmogrified. That's just a fun word to say.

So, Colleen has been redecorating her blog, and it got me all inspired. I played around with my template for a few hours today, and PRESTO! Here you go! Brand new me! Or at least, my new template.

Tonight was haircut night for the boys. We started too late. Too close to bedtime. By the time we were finished, both the boys were traumatized by the half-hour in the chair, with the razor and the scissors and the hair down their necks. I was traumatized by having to try and get a decent haircut onto a kid (times two) that was traumatized, crying, and not holding still, without gouging them with the razor or scissors. The dog was traumatized by the number of times I threatened her with the razor and scissors to get out of the kitchen until I was done. I don't think Jason was traumatized by anything.

I thought of doing Jabin's first haircut tonight, but it was already past bedtime when the other two were done, so his hair can get a little longer and wispier.

Tomorrow: SCRAPBOOKING! YAY! It's the monthly scrapbooking day at the church, which I skipped last month due to lack of preparation, inspiration, and transmogrification. Instead, I transmogrified into a vegetable and sat on my couch all day. Not really. I don't remember what I did that day, but sometimes it just seems like more effort to decide on a project ahead of time, and pack just the amount of stuff I need for that, so I don't end up hauling everything in the craft room down to the church for a few hours.

This time, I'm prepared, though: I started working on this project I've had in mind for about a year and a half now, and only got a little ways into it, so I threw it in a crate and I'm ready to go for tomorrow! It's a "Special People" book for the boys. Since we live so far from most of our family and friends now, I thought I would make a little mini-album for them of our "immediate" extended family, and their close friends, so they can always be reminded who those people are and why they are special--and that those people love them. You never know, you might be in it. Yes, I'm talking to you.

I'm actually taking Jude and Noah along to participate in the "organized activities" downstairs, and give Jason a bit of a day off. Last year, the few attempts I made at bringing the children were a disaster. We were too new to the church, both the older boys felt a little too displaced and out of their comfort zone with the other kids and adults supervising, and there were no "organized activities," just a moshpit of toddler to pre-teen children being "supervised" by young teenage children who did little to entertain them. Jude and Noah kept wanting to be at my table "helping" me. Between them and the nursing baby, not a lot of scrapbooking was accomplished.

I am optimistic that tomorrow will be different. Jude and Noah know a lot of the kids. This year, wonderful Sheila has taken the reins of the babysitting group and organized activities for the kids to do. And the baby-who-is-teething-two-molars-at-once is staying with Daddy.

Optimism.

"Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier." -Colin Powell

If I stay optimistic enough, I might be able to finish the book, even if I get transmogrified tomorrow, too. But other than a few little kinks to work out, my blog template won't be transmogrified again anytime soon.

Happy weekend, friends!

Remember, I was very young then, and a year was forever and a day...

"I lead a small life...small, but valuable."
-Kathleen Kelly, "You've Got Mail"

The day started out as any other day. Jabin let me "sleep in" until five minutes after 7 before insisting that he be fed. Jude and Noah were awake and out of their rooms before I got all the way to Jabin's room. (They share a wall with his room, but in our bungalow-style house, there is a whole other set of rooms and a hallway between the master bedroom and the nursery--I use the baby monitor to tell me when Jabin is awake, but it is a minor trek to get over there and do something about it.)

So, the fact that all three children were awake precluded me from going back to bed after feeding the baby.

I put on a Feivel movie for the older boys, fed Jabin, put him back to bed, and then decided that I may as well get dressed. There just seemed like nothing better to do. Then I remembered:

"It's my birthday!"

Twenty-nine years old. The last year of excuses for immaturity. For three hundred and sixty-five more days, I will still be in my twenties. For the next three thousand, six hundred and fifty I will be existing in my thirties.

The twenties began the same year I got engaged for the first time. The same year I broke off said engagement. The same year I spent 5 months in India. The same year it seems my entire life changed--and I entered the world of adulthood.

The twenties are only a hop, skip and a jump past the teens. When you're in your twenties you can still feel like you will live forever once in a while. Your whole life is ahead of you!

The day you turn thirty, you suddenly have a ten-year buffer between you-in-the-now and the-teenage-you. While in some ways, this is good, it's kind of like entering a No-Man's-Land as far as age is concerned. You are no longer in the hip twenties, but not yet to your forties, when you have (hopefully) made something of yourself, started well on your way to raising your children successfully, and have a fairly secure financial base under you. Your whole life is NOT before you--you suddenly realize that a good chunk of it is behind you. The thirty-year-old-you is who the seventeen-year-old-you thought of as someone who was "older." An "older person." Someone much, much older than you were. While twenty was the age of emancipation, thirty seemed like a far-off, hazy future--if you even lived that long.

Now, only three hundred sixty-five more sleeps until I can kiss the hip twenties goodbye. What are the thirties? I guess I'll find out when I get there. (I suspect they will be whatever I make of them. Pretty clever, huh? I figured that one out all by myself.)

So, after I realized that this day marked the beginning of the Last Year of Hipness in my life, my day still continued to unfold pretty much the same as usual. I still went about my routine, playing with, instructing, and serving my family. I still read blogs in the morning before breakfast. I still did my office work. I still just went about the business of living. However, there were a few exceptions.

I received four Happy Birthday e-mails. One of them was from a friend who, while she obviously did not remember it was my birthday, was so good to receive a letter from--a personal note from a real person--that I'm counting it anyway. The other three were great, too--thanks for the roses, Ang, by the way! Electronic is not quite as fragrant, but definitely worth it's weight in entertainment value.

I received two Happy Birthday text messages.

I received one Happy Birthday phone call--from my brother! You have no idea how momentous this is unless you know that this may be the second (or is it the third?) time he's called me, using a real phone and everything, in five years. I'm pretty sure it hasn't been more than three. He's more the type that will drive all night from Seattle and show up on your doorstep for breakfast with no forewarning at all. The phone? Pffft! Whoever uses that archaic device? I'm sure glad he decided to suffer the inconvenience of punching buttons today instead of just hopping in the car and landing on my doorstep with a cake, albeit a slightly wilty one from twenty hours of driving--it really meant a lot, bro.

Best of all, Jason and I went on a date. A real one. We left our kids at our new friends, the Neufelds, and went to see "The Devil Wears Prada." In our small-town theatre, it was either that or "Talladega Nights"--and neither of us like Will Ferrell. It was a chick flick--we could tell even before it started, because Jason was the only guy in the sparsely-populated theatre. Beforehand, we went to DQ and got dessert--mine was a choco-strawberry milkshake. I drank about 1/4 of it before the movie, then 1/4 of it after, and decided I was done. And then I had a pounding headache for the next half hour. You'd think a girl would learn! (Man, I wish we had a Booster Juice in this town!)

The two best things that happened to me today were nearly at the end of it:

1. As we drove back up to Neufeld's house, I could see Jude in the big picture window waiting for us, grinning and waving as we drove up the block. It's not like I missed the kids while we were out, but the mere three hour break was enough to make me appreciate them that much more when we got back--and that beaming, excited cherub-face that eagerly greeted us at the door reminded me how great and special it is to be a mommy. No harder job in the world--and no better one, either.

2. As I finished up my kitchen chores for the night, after the boys were in bed, Jason came out of the office and said he was going to turn in. He asked me, somewhat nonchalantly, if I was going to blog tonight. This is not his usual going-to-bed question. Most nights I hear, "Are you coming to bed soon?" So I thought something might be up--perhaps he sent me an e-card from Blue Mountain, as he is rather fond of doing. I was not prepared for what awaited me.

No, it wasn't a room full of balloons and streamers and flowers and chocolates. (He did that for Valentine's Day when we were in college.) I came into the office and plunked down in my chair, then noticed the plain white number ten envelope propped against my computer with my first name on it, scrawled in Jason's distinctive eleven-point-font hand.

Jason has written me a few letters before, and they always melt me. But this one I shall read every day for the rest of my life. I don't know what I did to deserve a man who loves me as much as he does, but I only wish every woman was so blessed. Thank you, honey, for the best birthday gift you've ever given.

So, as I wrap up my first day as a twenty-nine-year-old, I remember that although my world seems small, and it seems I am not making much of a difference, that I should not measure my life in breadth, but in value.

And today, I know my life is valuable. (Even if the hipness is waning. --Hey, I heard that! Stop with the comments from the peanut gallery! I said "hipness", not "hippy-ness!" The Frisch child-bearing hips aren't THAT big!)

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee?
In inches, in miles, in laughter in strife?
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes?
How do you measure a year in the life?

How about love?
How about love?
How about love?
Measure in love...

("Seasons of Love" from
Rent by Jonathon Larson)