Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Is This What It's Like?

Is this what it's like?
To be a mother?

When I see this face, I feel -
 the deepest, most selfless love I've ever known.
I feel scared.
I feel hopeful.
I feel worried.
I feel overjoyed.
I feel proud.
I feel inadequate.
I feel wise.
I feel joy.
I feel peace.
I feel fear.
I feel grateful.
I feel.
All the time.
I feel things.
Deep things.
Good things.
Bad things.

Is that what it's like?

If you're the prayin' kind - keep the boy child in your prayers.  He's struggling with the structure of public school.  He's a square peg in a round hole.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Behold - the Mighty Vacuum

It's the only thing in your life that should suck.

See, now - if I could just stop right there.  Wouldn't that be a cute little post?
Witty - smart - cute.
I am going to stop saying drivel, cause I'm sure it's getting old.

But I can't stop there.
I have to tell you why I started vacuuming to the point of obsession.
I have to tell you what kind of vacuum I have, and why I like it, ad nauseum.

I know a lot of you chuckle at my vacuum fetish.
Y'all even make fun of me over it.
Yes, y'all. 
I think I have to spell it right.
I'm a conformist.
I'm sorry Shannan.

First, I must address something.  Did I spell gallivant wrong?  I originally spelled it galivant, which looks right to me, and spell check changed it to gallivant.  Why do these things bother me so?  Misspelled words prick my brain like an insect bite.

My obsession with vacuuming started when I found myself with a houseful of cats and fleas.
I kept getting bitten.
I was freaking out.
The thought of bugs in my house flips me out.
The whole bed bug scare has me flipped right out, especially knowing that on November 12th I'll be sleeping in a Holiday Inn bed in Columbus, Ohio.
My skin is crawling thinking about it.
When I know there is something in my house that shouldn't be there - law, there is no rest to be had for anyone.  I talk about it non-stop, and think about it constantly.

I began my attack.  I really didn't want to bomb the house, or use strong chemicals.  So I used me vacuum and borax.  I would walk in my living room with white socks on and stand there for a minute.  Within that minute, I would see the dreaded black seed on me sock.  I would get the vacuum out and vacuum wildly.
Numerous times a day I would do this.  White sock, stand there, vacuum.  I did this until I no longer saw any black dots on me sock after five minutes. It took a little over a week.

I'm embarrassed to tell you how many times a day I vacuumed back then.
For me to do it once a day right now is so totally normal, you have no idea.

I have an Oreck XL2 vacuum, and I love it.
If I had unlimited funds, I would probably have a much different vacuum, but this one serves my purpose.
I paid around $300 for this one.
It's lightweight enough for me to carry upstairs without clunking it all around.
It has a hypo allergenic cover, and I go the extra step and use the hypo allergenic bags as well.
They are rather costly, but I think my health is worth it.
Dreaded dust allergy.

The feeling that vacuuming gives me is a feeling of order.
It's the finishing touch to my chores for the day.
As I'm taking it out of the cabinet that I keep it in, I have a sense of accomplishment that the house chores are about done.
I don't like seeing giblets on the floor.
I don't know how y'all with kids do it.
Do you ever make peace with the giblets?

Monday, October 25, 2010


Lord have mercy - I sure didn't intend on taking a blogging break - it just happened, and then once I get out of the rhythm of blogging, it's hard to get back to it.

I've been busy gallivanting about Northern Indiana.

Gallivanting - to wander about seeking pleasure or diversion

Isn't the photo above divine?
It's my wallpaper.
You can snatch it here.

I had the privilege of spending a few days with some familiar faces.

Shannan is a warm cup of tea and a bowl of salsa and chips.
I feel the need to tell her every thought that passes through my head.
I love the look on her face at times.
I'm so glad I know her.

I finally made it to Cindy's Cottage, and I'm ever so glad I did.
I'm trying to get her to buy the house next door to me.
Her husband could use The Squirrel to stay in the parking lot at work during the week, returning home on the weekends.
Cindy - I beg you to consider this!

Did you ever have one of those days that you just felt was ordained by God?
I felt that when I was with Cindy.
The things we talked about, the things she shared with me - I so needed it all.
I got to sleep in what I call 'The Magic Bed'

Readers - I can't say enough about this bed.  You can read all about the room redo here, as well as see all the fabulousness that is Cindy's home.
Lately, I've been a notoriously bad sleeper.
Can't fall asleep - and when I do - I can't stay there.
That night - within five minutes of laying my head on the pillow - I was dreaming of dancing wedges of cheese.  I woke up only long enough to be confused about seeing cheese wedges dancing down my street - only to smile and sink back in the feather pillow realizing I was sleeping.  Oh sweet divine sleep - how you elude me at times.  I knew nothing until morning.

I must confess that I've been feeling quite introspective lately, and that always leads to a lack of blogging.
You see - I'm still struggling somewhat with my new found freedom.
I'm not one that likes to squander time in an unproductive way.
I feel the need for a purpose, a goal, a schedule.

Raise your hand if you're tired of fighting yourself.
*raises hand*

Did ya ever think that if you fight yourself so much to be a different way - maybe you are just meant to be the way you are?


Sometimes the road between who we are and who we want to be is a long one.
Oftentimes, that road needs to be travelled, because who we want to be is a worthy endeavor, and the changes are required.
Other times, you just need to stay put, set up house and enjoy who you are.

Do you know how often I struggle to make a short little cohesive post?
It's not in the cards my friends.
It's what I do.
I'm a Type A personality that is obsessive, compulsive, enjoys cleaning, collecting chickens, and sharing all of my random thoughts on the Internet with strangers. I try to cram way too much stuff in one day. I dream of cheese.
Is that a crime?

Cindy was anxious for me to meet a friend of hers named Clara.
I liked her before I met her - I mean, with a name like Clara - really?  Do I need to go on?

Her home was very small - and I'm all about that right now.  The smaller the better.  I'm ready to move into a shed -
What struck such a chord with me-was even that her home was so small - she still found the space for what she loved. 

She loves entertaining, and therefore - has a table for 14 set up in her living room.
Sounds ridiculous doesn't it!?
She used the family room in the back for couches.
I'm so tired of following rules when it comes to decorating!

She has a room - just for dishes.
I almost hyperventilated going in it.

If you look up the word organized in the dictionary - you'll see Clara.

I was really inspired.
It seems rare to meet someone that truly knows themselves, and then reflects that knowledge in their home.
It was beautiful.
I'm going to be making some changes around this old place - my home.
The useless wicker furniture on the front porch is going, and I'm going to replace it with an old farm table and a lot of chairs!
I've started working on the upstairs bedroom again.
I'm purging, organizing, and posting on Craig's List.
I'm flea marketing and antiquing.
I'm making changes on my personal house as well.
I'm trying to stay true to the list I made a couple of weeks ago - spending my time on what is important to me.
I'm signing up to do a half marathon (walking) in May of 2011.
I'm dressing myself - everyday.
Nothing fancy.
But I am wearing pants.  With buttons and zippers.

Change is sometimes hard.
I think it's worth it.
I feel like life has been a bit too easy lately.
I'm ready for hard.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Inquiring Minds - Part V

One of my latest favorites - taken by Aaron
 And ya'll thought I'd forgotten............

Question #43
Teresa asks:

Are there any specific numbers that you are irrationally afraid of and if so, why?

Dear Teresa - aren't you the clever one....sneaking this in here when you know full well that I fear the number 53.  Law, it's even hard to type it.  It had to be about 5 years ago - I was on a camping trip to Southern Indiana, and on the way down there, as I was a passenger in the car, I had my head turned out the window, and I kept seeing the #53 go past me.  It was semi-trucks.  The next thing you know - I started getting this weird vibe about the #53, and every time I would see the trucks coming up past me, I would turn away.  When we got to the campground - I saw a couple walking with matching shirts - you guessed it - the #53 emblazoned on the shirt.  We were in spot 53 at the campground.  The next thing I knew I was on Route 53.  The first purchase I rang up at work when coming home from the camping trip - $53.53.  I kid you not.  I started to freak out.  I'd look at the clock and it would be 3:53, 1:53, etc.  The temperature on the bank would be 53 degrees. Everywhere I looked - I saw the #53.  I felt like the universe was trying to tell me something - bad.  I was a nervous wreck the year Glen was 53 years old.  When he survived it, I thought for sure it meant that I was going to get the axe at that age.  When I see the #53 now - and I do - often - I still get this weird twinge inside, but now I tell myself that it must mean that my 53rd year is going to be the best one yet - ya, that's what I keep telling myself now.  I'm not sure I believe it.  If I do a post where I get 53 comments - law - its not good.  I wait on pins and needles for #54.  Sharing this irrational fear of a number seems to put just one more nail in my crazy coffin.  Seriously - I'm quite am.

Question #44
NanaDiana asks:
What else do you know about the fake accent lady?

Well, not much.  Obviously she's local - since there have been 'sightings'.  I feel sorry for her - I do.  She's got to be a bit mentally ill - I would think by her behavior that she's quite lonely.  If you don't know what we are talking about - if you are new - you might want to read about the Fake Accent Lady here.  Law, I hope she never signs up for one of my baking classes! 

Question #45
Brenda asks:

Well just because I would feel left out if I did not ask at least one question. What is your favorite color? Oh one more....What is the favorite plant/flower you grow?

My favorite color is green.  Everything in my house is green. Almost all of my clothes are green.  I have to be careful when I shop-I'm always immediately drawn to anything green!  My favorite flower - dear - that is like picking a favorite child, or a chicken.  Hmmm......I don't think I can answer that.  It happens to be whatever is blooming at the moment.  I must say daisies make me extra happy.  I love anything that blooms profusely.

Question #46
Joycee asks:

Do you have a secret ambition that lies deep in your heart?

I would have to say it's to answer all of my emails on a timely basis.  At this point - that's what it feels like - a secret ambition!  Joycee - if I tell my secret ambition - well it's not a secret anymore!  I'm going to do it - I'm going to spit it out.  My secret ambition is to be super fit - to be able to run a marathon, or do some other endurance sport.  It's not too late yet-perhaps if I would become obsessed with working out, instead of German pastries, I'd be on the right track.

Question #47
Fran asks:

Where do you get all of your energy and motivation? I am envious of all you accomplish. You are a wonder!

Oh dear - a wonder huh?  I'm not sure where I get all of my energy - I'd like to know - cause I feel the need for more lately!  I've always been a bit driven about things that strike my fancy.  I burn out quickly on things and then move on.  I learn it - and move on.  Wish I was more about sticking with things - but I'm not.  Seems I have this insatiable desire to know HOW to do things.  That seems to give me the energy to carry on.  I do tend to crash and burn though - so I'm not sure it's a good thing to be like me - how I long to be balanced.

Question #48
Cheryl asks:

Bacon is $3.00 a lb. and up!
What do you think of that? ARGH!!!

I don't like it one bit!  The blessed pork belly was over $3 a pound at the meat market.  I'm going to sound like a smoker now - I'll quit eating it when it gets to $5 a pound.  Ya.  Right.

Question #49
debbyrose asks:

How many hours of sleep do you get a night? I think MUCH less than me cause you get way more done in a day than I do.

Well - that varies as much as our weather does dear Debbyrose.....I try for a good seven to eight hours.  Saturday night I got three - thanks to hormones - sometimes I get ten.  I guess it all balances out.  I sleep more than you'd think.  I just never stop moving once I am up.  Now that I'm staying off the computer more, it's 'ridikerous' how much I can get done!

I'm just going to answer five at a time - this is a lot of drivel.
Have a most wonderful Monday!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Diary of a Mad White Woman

My name is Jayme.
I blog here.
Miss me?

Lord have mercy.

It's becoming harder and harder to blog without my camera.
I get it back on Wednesday.
I promise.

Friday morning - I woke up feeling off - tired - sore.
Seems that it took me half the day to get me chores done.
When Glenny got home from work - we took off to get all the vittles for our 'Oktoberfest' celebration that we were going to have the following night.
Right before we left - I became unwell.

Let me explain 'unwell'.
It happens to us womenfolk once a month.
It's what my aunts and mom called it.
The same wonderful women that brought us 'aye law'.
According to my ancestors - a woman is not to cook, bathe or do anything when she is unwell.
They believed they could die if they washed their hair, and if they cooked, it would spoil.

By the time we got to the grocery store - I was - well - um....not in a good mood.  Ya, that's it.  I wasn't in a good mood.  If there's one thing I've learned whilst being unwell, in a bad mood - keep yer yap shut.  Tight.  I don't feel that hormones are an excuse for bad behavior, so I keep my yap shut.
Or I try too.
Glenco loves, and I mean loves to torture me when he knows I'm like this.
In fact - I think he tries to get me to lose it.
We had a big discourse in the grocery store about sausages.
He was adamant that there couldn't be an Oktoberfest celebration without bratwurst.
I tried calmly explaining to him that indeed, we could have an Octoberfest without bratwurst, and we were indeed not going to have bratwurst. 
My jaw was aching at this point.

We went to every local library in Lake County Indiana to find a German Folk Music CD.
Glenny felt the need to talk loudly in the library, and sing a little song that he's just made up that was sung to the tune of 'Love Machine', but he'd changed to the words to "Washing Machine".  I could see the look of sheer delight on his face as he knew he was not only embarrassing me, but that my dam of restraint was about to break.  The library is a holy place.  You just don't mess in the library.  You don't.


It took me a good three hours to return to my sunny self.

Saturday morning we awoke to chicken carnage.

Fifi is gone ya'll.
I'm so sad - she was one of my first girls.
She survived the first raccoon attack - only to be killed by one a year and a half later.
God rest her sweet soul.
My favorite banty rooster was taken, as well as a young poult that had no name.
It's a long story as to why these birds in particular were vulnerable.
I'm not kidding when I say that all the birds were quiet yesterday.  There was no clucking and cackling as usual.

Our Oktoberfest was a smashing success, even without bratwurst.
A new obsession:
German desserts.

I'm still not on the computer much - and I really have to say, I'm not missing it all that much.
I really do plan on continuing to blog -
no despair necessary.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Pot - The Recipe - Some News

The Pot

I just want to prepare you.
I'm going to talk about the pot - a lot.
It's up in the house.
I felt the need for a cigarette after I opened it and placed it on the stove for the first time.
I've been talking to it.
Caressing it.
Cooking in it.
I have to make sure the Lodge symbol on the knob is perfectly lined up with the handles.
I say good night to it.
And good morning.
I'll have my camera back next week, and I'll be taking pictures of the pot, and the food that's in it.

I may blog about this pot as often as the Pioneer Woman blogs about Charlie.
Prepare thyself.

The first thing to cook in the pot was bacon.  It seemed fitting.  I was making Spicy Collard Greens to go along with the Fried Green Tomato recipe I'll be sharing in a minute. Tonight I'll be having Farmhouse Pork Chops and Cabbage up in the pot.
Law - I love that pot.

The Recipe

When I found this recipe, there was a note attached to it that read:

Dear Jayme:
Give this recipe a try.  I made it up just for you, cause you are my favorite.
Divinely yours,

That is the only explanation for the fabulosity of this recipe.  There are no words for it.  You are going to need to make up some words when you eat it.

Please don't be put off by the recipe - it seems a little daunting, when you read it at first, but it goes together so quickly.  I've had leftover sauce and cheese here, so all I've had to do is fry the tomatoes and we've had dinner in a heartbeat.

I know it will be one of your favorites.

I swear one day, Glenny is going to come home to find that I've exploded.
Life just seems to wonderful at times.
It feels that my body can't contain it.
I pray that I implode - it wouldn't be so messy.
And y'all  (I'm sorry Shab) know I don't like a mess.

I've been enjoying my time away from the Internet.

I had the immense pleasure of spending the day with her yesterday.
It was almost too much to bear - there were knitting shops, cupcakes and scooters involved.

The News

I'm going to begin teaching baking classes.
Pie making.
Mastering the Art of Cookies
Breads, Muffins, Scones

Class size will be limited to four.
A snack will be served.

Please email me if you are local and would like to sign up for a class.
I haven't the exact dates picked out - when you do email me - can you let me know what days and times would be good for you?

Monday, October 11, 2010


I thought for sure - with no doubt about it - that I would fail miserably at my 'three day Internet-free Sabbatical'.

Thursday night - I was sitting in the living room with my so called 'beloved laptop' and had it open on my lap as I was watching TV with Glenco, enjoying the warmth it provided.

He'd oft look over at me, only to see my eyes on the computer screen, and hear tapping.
He asked several times if I was interested in what we were watching.
I would answer with an enthusiastic yes.
And close the lap top.
And five minutes later, I'd try to sneak it back open and wonder why the screen had to be so bright that Glenny would notice that I yet again was checking email.

And then for one single second - it felt wrong.
It felt unfaithful.
Why couldn't I even sit and watch a TV show with my husband?

And then I remembered my fix at the Super 8 Motel parking lot whilst camping.
It was like meeting my wi-fi junkie.

And then I remembered my recent habit of leaving the laptop open on the kitchen island so that every time I pass it I would check emails/comments/blogs.  And the sad thing was - I wasn't answering any of my emails.  It overwhelmed me.  I was just collecting them.  And in some sick way, I wanted more.  And then a sweet lady sent me a blog award, and I accidentally deleted the email - and now how rude she must think me, never even acknowledging it.  (I hope you are reading this - I'm so sorry!)  Being rude is one of my worst fears.  I would NEVER want someone to think that I would purposely be rude to them.  I really wanted to respond to every comment I would get, realizing it was impossible, it would stress me out so much.

And then I remembered when I got stung on the neck by a bee on Thursday and felt that everyone needed to know, so I posted it on Facebook.


It was in that moment, Thursday night when I realized I was a bit out of control.
I shut her down.
I closed the laptop after posting my 'Soul Searching' post and pulled the plug.
With the warmth of the laptop still soaking in my legs - I felt like I was sure to fail.

Friday morning I woke up.  I was a bit uneasy as I drank my coffee without my laptop.
I then decided to sit with a piece of paper and meditate about the things in my life that were important to me, and find out where the Internet ranked.

It ranked # 12.

It was then that I realized that I was giving my best time and effort to #12.
Not #1-10.
But #12 ya'll.  #12.

Law, indeed.

Guess what?
I didn't miss the computer.  Not only did I not miss it, I felt I had an aversion to it.  I felt alive and focused and happy and in control. I felt so mentally uncluttered!
I talked to my friends - on the phone.
The phone.

I didn't feel the need to Facebook the fact that my cat was sick on Sunday and I had to shampoo carpets and strip and wash the bedding.

And guess what - I bet my friends didn't miss reading that.

By Saturday night I was convinced that I was disconnecting the Internet from my home, and going to take little scooter rides to Panera Bread to answer emails and blog once a week.
It felt so - peaceful.

By Sunday night I'd decided not to blog anymore.
It felt so self centered and overwhelming to me.

This morning I logged back on, and read my comments, and laughed, and realized that I did miss ya'll.
And then I realized that you DO need to know the day the pot arrives, don't you? emailed me that it's been shipped.
The preparation begins.

I'm giving myself an hour a day on the computer for now.
That's a lot of time when you think about it.
What if -
You exercised an hour a day?
Helped a neighbor out an hour a day?
Spent an hour a day having meaningful conversation with your spouse or a friend in need?
Prayed an hour a day?
Cooked an hour a day?
Read a book an hour a day?
Cleaned an hour a day?

So - to give #12 an hour of my time a day - I'm being very generous to #12.
Very generous indeed.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Soul Searchin'

Dear Blog Buds:
Just wanted you to know that I'm taking a bit of a break, just a few days, where I'm going to keep my computer turned off.  I realized today that I've filled the hole of Aaron leaving with the internet, and for me, that is not acceptable.  I just feel that I'm on the computer too much - I do hope you understand.  My goal is to stay completed disconnected until Monday.  Sounds so silly - just three little days - but it's what I need to do.

Please - have no fun until I return.....

Domestic Nirvana - Pumpkin Sheet Cake

I was happy as a lark yesterday.
It was the boy child's day to come over and spend the night.
I made him take photos for me.
I did not once mention homework.
Not once.

I decided to do all my house chores yesterday, so I could have the next couple of days free.
With order restored in the abode, I pulled out one of my favorite pumpkin recipes.

Behold the Pumpkin Sheet Cake.

It's a humble little recipe, it 'tis - but it delivers.
It delivers moist, pumpkin, cream cheese goodness right up in yo mouth.
Tis the season, ya'll.

I shan't forget the feeling - yesterday - a feeilng of domestic nirvana.
Clean house - smelling of pumpkin and spices.
Frosting that cooled cake - swirling the cream cheese frosting artistically about.
The only thing that soiled the image was that I was not properly dressed.  I was still in me pajamas, and my pendulous German landlady breasts were a bit too free for my liking. Had I been dressed in an apron - well - images like that are too good to be true.

Can you imagine life without cream cheese?
Nor I.
Wouldn't want to.
In fact - I'm so enamored at the moment with the thought of cream cheese - I just wrote this:

oh dear cream cheese -
so white and heavy -
sounds like me -
but it's thee -

my dear dear sweet cream cheese!

Ok, I know it's lame - but ya gotta feel the love - don't ya?

Upon bringing this cake to a big chili cookout one day way back when - a chef - a real live chef that catered Cindy Crawford's wedding of all things - asks 'who made the pumpkin sheet cake?'
I shyly replied 'why I did sir'
'It's delicious' he responded whilst licking the dear sweet cream cheese off his lips.

Now, if that ain't reason enough to be up in the kitchen making this cake - I really don't know what is.


Pumpkin Sheet Cake with Dear Sweet Cream Cheese Frosting

4 eggs
1 2/3 cup of sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 15oz. can of pumpkin
2 cups flour
2 t ground cinnamon
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t salt

In mixing bowl, beat eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin.
Combine dry ingredients and gradually add to pumpkin mixture, mxing well.
Pour into an ungreased jelly roll pan (15x10x1).
Bake for 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Cool in pan on wire rack.

Frost with this:

3/4 cups of butter, softened
6 oz. dear sweet cream cheese, softened
1 t vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar

In mixing bowl, beat butter, cream cheese and vanilla until smooth.
Gradually beat in sugar. 
Store frosted cake in fridge.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Inquiring Minds - Installment IV

First things first.
I bought the pot.
It wasn't $35 - but I got it for $57 and free shipping.
I feel complete.
I'm going to kiss the UPS man and make banners to put out in the yard.
Instead of saying 'It's a Boy' - It'll say 'It's a Lodge!' and 'It's Red!'
No one can say 'she doesn't have a pot to pee in' now!

In other serious news - there is a killer on the loose in the area.
Three men were shot, one died, one in critical condition.
The gunman then shot a farmer four times just down the road from Aaron's house.
He survived.
He's still on the loose.
This isn't supposed to happen out here.
I feel afraid to hang out my laundry today.
I'm taking the shotgun out with me as soon as it's daylight to check The Squirrel and let the chickens out.
Here I sit - in the dark with my laptop - afraid to turn lights on this morning - you know me and my goofy serial killer phobia - and now there is a killer.   Here.  In my hood.
Surprisingly I slept well.
Despite there being a madman on the loose in the area, I only dreamt of painting trees.  I had a big spray gun, and I was getting ready to paint the big maple tree in the yard, cause the shade of green wasn't right.
Aaron and Glen were giving me a really hard time - telling me that the leaves would be gone soon.
They just so don't get it.
And then there was something about cantaloupes, but I don't remember.

Let's get back to the questions shall we?

Question #32
Delena asks:
Have you ever been to Canada? No we don't all speak French....I love your honesty and your sense of humor. Is Glenco funny too?

I have never been to Canada.  When I first got my drivers license and a car, I decided I'd drive from Chicago to Canada to get a gallon of milk, cause I'd heard that they came in plastic bags (is this true?).  I wish this story wasn't true - but it is.  I got all the way to Kalamazoo, Michigan before I tired of driving and realized I was a goofball.  I want to go to Canada.  I have a friend I'd love to visit.  I want to see Prince Edward Island.  I want milk!   Glenco is a stitch - and it's one of the reasons I married him.  I couldn't be married to a fuddy dud.  You just gots to  have a sense of humor!

Question #33
Jen of The Cottage Nest asks:

This is getting weird. I've been planning a similar post. Now everyone will think I'm just a coop copy cat. Do you think we might have been separated at birth? That's not my question. My real question is What are your favorite and least favorite chores around the house.

I'm sorry I keep stealing all of your ideas.  Perhaps you should consult me before posting?  Or I you?  Great minds think alike!  My favorite chores?  Law - now you'll think I'm silly - I really like them all - well, the cat box, I don't cotton to that too much - but I love my kitty and I like knowing I'm making it a nice place to potty in.  I don't like washing pots and pans much.  You know my love of vacuuming, so I guess I'd have to say that I LOVE vacuuming, and that it's my favorite chore.  It's equivalent in my mind of dressing and putting on perfume.  It's that final touch that makes it all seem right in my mind.  I love seeing little giblets on the floor getting sucked up.  I'm mad.

Question # 34
From Beyond my Kitchen Window asks:

What household chore do you dread doing? For me it's all my bathrooms.

Please see above answer.  All your bathrooms?  Girl!  How many do you have?  I only have one.  See - I really DID need that pot!

Question #35
Jensamom23 asks:
I'm JUST beginning to raise chickies...what breeds are your favorite and why?

I'm no expert by any means - but I do have a little experience with me birds.  I like them all - I do - there are so many fancy birds that I'd like to have - but they aren't too winter hardy.  I'm a bit worried about the little banties this winter - they will require the heat lamp 24/7.  I would have to say that the Buff Orpington would seriously be one of my favorites.  I just like saying Orpington - plus they are a nice dual purpose bird - should you ever get hungry - they lay nice big brown eggs, they are of a gentle demeanor - they are lovely to behold and they knit well.  Could you find a better bird?  I think not!  I have a hen, she's a Production Red, Stubs - and that girl is a laying machine.  The Black Australorps are lovely, a heavy breed, good for overwintering.  The Americana that I have - Fifi - she is a pretty bird, but I'm not too fond of her comb - and I can't look at her for long without getting the heebie jeebs.
Hope all that helps!

Question #36
Taking Heart asks:

Do you have any banty chickens? I had a few when I
was young and called them my little midgets chickens... my mom bought two thinking we'd have baby bantys... but they were both boys...

I do - I have Phyllis - who came here with six baby banties.
I adore them.
These are the chickens I refer to as the Italian Mob.
They are just so shiny and showy and bossy.
I have three roosters and three hens - not a good thing - but so far, there isn't too much mayhem in the yard.
If I notice one of the  hens being  - how do you say this nicely - overused? - I will have to separate them, or get more hens - cause I shan't be getting rid of the roosters!

Question #37
Lisa asks:

Do you collect anything special? Is there something that you have looked and looked for that you have wanted for your house or outside but have been unable to find?

Great question Lisa!  I collect vintage alarm clocks.  I don't care if they work or not, I just like them.  I collect chickens and cats.  Well - not really- just seems that way.  I guess I don't 'collect' anything else.  I do try hard to collect memories.  They don't take up much room and don't require dusting.  As far as looking for something I haven't been able to find....hmmm....I'm afraid I don't have the vision for that.  I usually really don't know what I'm looking for - but when I see something, I can usually thing 'oh, that would be great there' - so I guess the answer is no -

Question #38
Debbie asks:

In one of your posts you mentioned buying a Silpat AFTER you got out of debt. My question is what did you do and how long did it take you to get out of debt? and how do you like the Silpat? :)

This might be a lengthy answer - it might not be.  I went on the Dave Ramsey system a while back - using cash - envelopes,etc.  I think MOST people are familiar with him - if not - Google him - it shall change your life.  We got completely out of debt, house and all - for a while I was so militant - I wouldn't buy anything that I didn't absolutely need.  I'm that way now some what, until I have fifty people telling me to buy the pot!    I think I would say that I'm much more conscious of my purchases now.  I really TRY to think them through and not be so impulsive.  I do not have one credit card to my name.  That took so much adjusting - it's cash or nothing baby. I would always look at Silpats and long for them.  I love them!  I want a couple more.  Would you like me to talk more about Dave Ramsey and getting out of debt?  I'm staring to think I should - since I was a terrible credit card abuser, and got myself into $20K of credit card debt.  What a lesson learned.  Once you are debt free - you will never, and I mean NEVER want to owe anyone a dime again. 

Question #39
Jamie asks:

Is Glenco camera-shy? You sound like the most WONDERFUL aunt!Do your other nephews and nieces get jealous of Aaron? Love your posts!

No, I wouldn't say he's camera shy - do you ask cause he's not on the blog much?  Hmm...I'll have to remedy that.  I do know he's worried about his receding hairline.  I can photoshop that though.  :-)
I AM a wonderful Aunt!  Thanks for noticing!  I don't know that my other nieces and nephews are jealous.  Sadly - I don't see them very much at all - and would have to say, that I don't have a very close relationship with them.  I only have one other niece on my side of the family - and she is in her 30's and lives a few hours away.  Glen's side of the family gifted us with lots of nieces and nephews - but his family is not very close, and barely even gets together around the holidays.  It's always made me sad that it's that way - and I try to get the family together at least once a year.

Question #40
Anne asks:

Jayme, I see you have lots of questions but I am going to ask one. Do you love living out this way and do you often go sighting see in our lovely town here just for the heck of it and act like you are a tourist.
I do enjoy reading your blog and one of these days would love to meet up with you in town for a cup of coffee or something especially since we are practically neighbors. Have to say I passed your house the other day and it is looking so pretty my dear.

Anne- I would love to meet you someday soon!  I would say to stop on over - but I fear you might catch me nude, in the middle of a hot flash!  Ha!  I do love it out here - love it.  Coming from the streets of Chicago, this was such a refreshing change.  I don't feel like I can breathe now when I get in a busy town or city, I need my open spaces.  I can't say that I feel like a tourist - but often, I feel so thankful and grateful that I thank God as I'm driving down the 9 mile stretch, and I see the freshly harvested fields, and I feel so happy, and at home.  When you passed the house - did you notice the awesome yellow chair that I got at the flea market?  Did you notice the grapevine that Glenco put around the outside of the door?  Love fall!  Hey - are YOU the one that stopped asking to buy pumpkins!?

Question #41
Janie Fox asks:

How much wood can woodchuck chuck? Nah, just kidding. Do you have a favorite scripture?

Well Janie - given that a wood chuck could chuck wood - I'm not really sure how much it could chuck.  Depends on it's work ethic and the soundness of it's teeth, dontcha think?  My favorite scripture - law -that would be a doozy of a question.  So many come to mind quickly - it's awfully hard to pick a FAVORITE - like - golly - let me think - I would have to say it's the scripture in Matthew where Jesus says 'my yoke is easy, and my burden is light'.  I think we all get so religious, and caught up in works, trying to earn our own salvation - and it's something I have to constantly guard my heart from.

Question #42
Das Flower Patch Farm Girl asks:

Minnie Mart, you shan't be watching up the BL tonight, not with 50+ questions to answer. And it's only 8 o'clock! You done shot your fool self in the foot, sho 'nuff. Here's my question: If you had to choose between chickens and your vacuum clean, which would you choose?

Law girl - don't you know how to get right to the heart o the matter.  I cain't choose  -  I just cain't.  Given that the chickens be like vacuum cleaners on the outside - do it make them one and the same?
I cain't choose, and I won't.  I won't I tell ya!

OK friends - that's all for now.  That last question has me so riled up that I can't think straight - that and it's daylight.  The Coop Keeper don't cotton to burning daylight up on the computer.  There's laundry to hang, vittles to cook, and critters to tend.

Please pray for the safety of our town today, and pray for the man in critical condition from a gunshot wound to the head.  May we all realize the fragility of life, and live our lives accordingly. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


The very word 'home' is making me bones ache.

We got home late yesterday afternoon and I did nothing but soak in the tub for a good long while, washing the last remnant of smoke off my body.
I have to admit, I like smelling like bacon.
I slept like a bear in hibernation last night - and only had odd dreams about merchandising Christmas decor at the Pier One, and tracking Abe Vigoda, who was a serial killer, and I was a detective.  I really need to look into this serial killer obsession I have.

I have to say that the camping trip was a great success, and this trip was one of my favorites.
Even though it was unseasonably cold and wet at times.
Even though the fish weren't biting.
Even though we had heater wars everynight, and I have a black eye to prove it.
I nearly gouged my eye out on the corner of the counter whilst searching in a stupor of slumber for the heater in the dark.
Like the old saying goes - it's all fun and games til someone loses an eye.

I often question why I leave home when I feel so ding danged happy to return.  Maybe that's why I leave?  It makes me realize how I love it here?

I worried about the 'girls', about the Italian Mob, about the cats, Maude, about the baby chicken, about the flowers being bitten by a frost - about the house still standing.
I wondered how I'd feel if I came home to a smoldering pile of rubble.
It makes me realize how incredibly attached I am to this little plot of land I call home.
Perhaps too attached.
Oh, you wouldn't believe what I've got up in my sleeve now.
Glenco just might be on board.
It's called Micro houses. 
I'll say no more - for now.

For now, I'm happy as a bug in a rug to be home - to be restoring order, to be simmering soup and wearing fuzzy socks and petting the cat that felt jilted while we were gone.
I'm happy.

I think I'd be even happier if I had this pot.

I'm a little obsessed with it.

In our Walmart run (we ALWAYS make a Walmart run on camping trips) I saw this pot on the clearance rack, all up in a dented box for $35.  Because I'm still in my 'buy nothing new' pledge that I made this January, (and I've done quite well, not perfect, but good)  I passed it by and my friend bought it.

I went to bed thinking about that pot.

I woke up thinking about that pot.

Must. Have. That. Pot.

My winter happiness may hinge on that pot.
I wish it weren't so.
I really wish it weren't so.
But I think it might be.
And that makes me feel shallow and materialistic.
And then I feel the need to apologize.
Cause I think I'm gonna buy that pot.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Suckin' Up the Free Wi Fi

Sitting here in the parking lot of the Super 8 in Marshall, Illinois.
Sucking up the free wi-fi.
I may or may not be addicted to the internet.
Wanted to give ya'll the update on the camping trip.
Weather is holding up well - only rained for three hours yesterday.
We are eating like kings and pigs - like king pigs.
Found another state park in the area that looks like a dream to camp at.

Taking Benadryl at night to sleep, but it's causing odd dreams.
Slept with the curtains open last night to see the sunrise this morning.
Benadryl induced visions of lime green floating extension cords outside the camper window...
Playing musical heater with Glenco - on, off, on, off - he's hot, I'm not.
So far, I haven't had to strip down and sit outside in the lawn chair.

The campground is lovely, and very sparsely inhabited, which gives me peace.  There isn't too much of a mess going on.

The fishing has been iffy.

House sitter reports that the chickens are all well.
She warns me that she may steal all me banty chickens.
Law - she don't know what she's asking for.
They're all hoodlums.

Well friends - just wanted to let you know that the Coop Keeper is alive and well.
Having a very relaxing time.
Looking forward to coming home and bathing and sleeping.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Returning the Squirrel to it's Natural Habitat

Well, we are off for a few days.
Returning The Happy Squirrel to it's natural habitat.
Not bathing - please see above comment.
Eating well.
Not sleeping due to serial killer phobia.
Asking people to neaten up their campsites a wee bit.

I'll continue my Inquiring Mind series upon my return home and thawing.
Did I mention the temps are supposed to be in the low 30's at night?

Why is it so much work to leave?
Lining up house sitters.
Washing windows.
Did you know - that my mom washed her front windows whilst she was in labor with my sister Cindy - she didn't want to go to the hospital and come home to dirty windows.
It's genetic.
Why do I feel the need to clean cabinets and closets before I go anywhere that involves a night away?
Why am I not ready even though I'm unemployed and not homeschooling anymore??

Last time I went camping, all I did was complain about how hot it was.
God has a great sense of humor.
Low 30's.
At night.
As in Fahrenheit.