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Tuesday, January 31, 2012



Yesterday, my youngest boy came home from school and told me that the kids in his reading group all teased him for eating red, orange and yellow bell pepper slices for snack. He told me that the kids all said the fresh peppers stink and were gross. In a Benadryl haze, I am suffering from Spring allergies in January, I told him they were wrong but that I was proud of him for eating healthy. What does this have to do with carrots you might be wondering by now, lol, well cut to this morning... I decided that a nice crock pot of chicken and dumplings is just the thing to make myself feel better from this wacky January’s weather that has me having spring time allergies.  In my chicken and dumplings, I like carrots. This may not be the traditional way of making it, but I had it somewhere and I like the color and sweetness the fresh carrots add to the dish.  So, there I am peeling carrots and my mind wondered in the quietness of the kids are at school and my dog is snoring louder than a freight train, silence. Those poor children in the reading group who do not know the goodness of fresh sliced bell peppers. And for the record,  I do not know who was in his reading group that day so I have no idea who they are or if they just don’t like peppers but in my head at that moment those anonymous children were “poor little deprived children”.   Then I thought, how many kids today think that all carrots look like those prepackage baby carrots you can buy at the super market? I wonder if they realize just what carrots look like. Now, I’m not knocking anyone’s preference to fruits and veggies, I myself am no fan of kiwi fruit, so I understand there are personal taste involved, however, baby carrots are real carrots cut/sand blasted down to that mini size. In my opinion, they lose all the sweetness of what a carrot is in that process. Maybe I’m lucky and my children like fruits and vegetables, but it worries me for the up and coming generations that they are losing touch with where their food comes from and what its natural form is.  The natural form of chicken is not the pink sludge that is deep fried at fast food restaurants just as it is not the natural form of a carrot to be all mini and smooth and uniformed. It is not natural for all eggs in the carton to be of the exact same shell consistency and color. It’s just not natural. 

The moral of my story, if there must be one,  going along with my “back to basics” mantra, is it’s time to go back to basics with food. Experience food in its natural state a little more often. I understand the appeal of processed and precut and the convenience of it all but perhaps this spring and summer as the farmer markets are getting up and running, buy some fresh produce, in its natural state.  Let your children experience the markets, picking out produce, smelling melons to check for ripeness. It is such a wonderful way for children to learn about where food comes from and just maybe they will be more willing to try a new vegetable if they pick it out themselves.  Well, it is food for thought anyway.
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Sunday, January 29, 2012

January 29, 1925

January 29, 1925, this is the day that my grandfather was born. Living though the Great Depression and many Wars, taught him the value of family and hard work. Everything I am today is because of who he was.  He worked his way up from switchman on the Grand Trunk Western Railroad to the Train Master.  He was a man who would go out in the rain, snow, sleet, whatever to care for his animals; he worked many jobs to take care of his family. He loved my Grandma with all his heart. He was not afraid to stand up for what he believed in and to fight for it, but he was kind and caring with his wife, kids, grandchildren and pets. I always knew that I was safe from whatever boogeyman was out there because all boogeymen were afraid of my Grandpa.  I was lucky to grow up with a knowing, a sense of belonging and confidence because I knew my Grandfather was in my corner and no matter what happened he would be there. He taught me to be tough and kind. To love my family and show kindness to those less fortunate. He had such a mischievous streak, one that I could recognize in myself.  His grin often got him out of trouble with Grandma or into it deeper depending on the situation. He taught me to ride a horse, to saddle them up and respect the power and the intelligence of the animal. He never judged me when I had a baby at 19 and was unwed and I named that baby after him.  At that point he lived in Texas and was raising cattle so he was not as close as I would have liked him, but he sent my son photo albums of all the cows. On the back he wrote, the prices and weight of them, where he bought them. Maybe it was his way of imparting some wisdom to the next generation, but I treasure them. He sent my son cowboy boots and that summer when he came up to Michigan, my son was 3, we took him to his first rodeo. Grandpa sat with him on his lap. He loved his family, no matter how old or young.  It has only been 2 months since he has passed. I hung his spurs and his favorite horse’s bridle from hooks in my bedroom. It’s my tribute to such a wonderful man, a man who shaped so much of who I am.  He was my partner in crime from the day of my birth to the day of his death. 

Happy Birthday Grandpa! I love you and love doesn’t die.
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Friday, January 27, 2012


January for me has always been a month of promise. It’s not just the promise of a new year, but the promise that the seasons are changing. The days are slowly starting to get longer instead of shorter. It may still be incredibly cold here in Michigan, however the Spring season is on its way. There is a promise in the air of January that simple says life goes on and the circle will continue. 

Winter itself does not bother me. It is a chance to reflect, turn inward and recharge yourself. It’s a slower time of year in my family. The Spring, Summer, Fall sports have wound down, the schedule of school has become a good routine, and most importantly the lawn does not need mowed. It’s a time for baking and large family meals, indoor games and movies to catch up on.  The cold, snow and ice are not the hardest part of Winter for me, it is the lack of daylight.  January days are still not all together long here in Michigan, but they are starting to get longer with each day.

Soon, January will give way to February and February to March, and this will bring back Spring, and the return of the busy season in my life. Sports, homework, lawn mowing, they will all return with gusto. My quiet evenings slowly turn to long evenings filled with one busy activity after another. The chance to snuggle on the couch to read a book takes a back burner to planting and weeding gardens.  Don’t get me wrong, I welcome the change of seasons and the warming weather and longer days, but I also appreciate what January gives us too.

Tonight, while typing this blog, I can feel the simplicity of life, the way of nature that promises life to go on, seasons to change and I am thankful for the quiet of the house around me. The laundry is done, the dryer is quiet, and the dishes are washed and put away. There is a steady hum to the furnace as it works to keep the house warm.  It’s a cold quiet night, but one that is good for the soul.
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Are My Children Crazy?

Well that is a loaded question isn’t it? I would have to say for the most part they are perfectly sane boys’ ages 12 and 9. Well, as sane as boys ages 12 and 9 can be. However, we recently made a wonderful purchase of new furniture for our living room. A question came up then what to do with our old, worn and certainly well used loveseat and recliner. Throw it out you might think, free-cycle it, set it outside and see if someone picks it up… all very good ideas.

Alas that was not the case. My boys decided they must have these pieces of well-worn furniture for their bedrooms.  So began the movement of trying to fit a loveseat into my oldest boy’s room and a recliner into the youngest boy’s room. These rooms are a whopping 10ft x 10ft size rooms so needless to say it was a tight fit. The only casualty was 1 door hinge…which Husband fixed this morning while letting me know that when he moves furniture the doors do not “just jump off the hinges”. Funny, that’s what happened, it’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  
The best part is that the boys have now decided that they will be sleeping on the furniture and not their beds. Who needs beds anyway? This raise a new question…is a bed a mattress and frame or is it wherever you may lay your head for the night? My dogs certainly think the rug under my feet while I type makes for a great bed. Our chickens prefer to roost up in the rafters of their coop instead of the nice roosting poles that we installed in the coop. My boys apparently are also of the school of thought that beds are where you make them. My youngest boy looked up at me from his new "roost" in the recliner and told me his old bed makes a wonderful table. lol  

Their “new” beds may be unconventional but they chose them and if you can’t choose an unconventional bed when you are a child, just when can one choose one? I am also wondering how long this will last. How long will it take before they are self-conscience of society norms and veer away from the unconventional? I hope it doesn’t happen. I hope that when it does, they still hold on to some unconventional things, the unconventional are fun.
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Friday, January 20, 2012

A Simple Life

I started off this blog saying I live a crazy life and I want to get back to a simple life. What in tarnation could I mean by a simple life? Shoot, I have 2 dogs, 2 cats, 4 chickens, 1 mouse, 2 boys and 1 husband; there is nothing simple about that.  What I mean by a simple life is that I want to get back to basics, back to a time things were simpler, not necessarily easier. I may never be 100% self-sufficient but I strive to bring some of that self-sufficiency back to my world. 

Getting back to basics is like forgetting the rat race and keeping up with the Jones. It’s remembering to enjoy the time you have with your family and friends. To me it is the pleasure of picking a vine ripe tomato strait from the garden that you grew and using it to feed your family. It is watching chickens scratching in a yard. There is something so peaceful, basic and right in the world when chickens just go about being chickens. Back to basics is reading from books not just watching the movie. It is about making sun tea on your front porch and saying Hi to your neighbors.

Back to basics is also about making conscience decisions to take a simpler route. It is deciding that you are going to grow and preserve some of your vegetables. It is deciding to make cuts in things that are unimportant and increases to the things that are. That could be making cuts in time at work in order to spend time at home. It could also mean buying a used car instead of a flashy new one and using the money saved on something else.  It is making your house into a home. One that is inviting and then actually invite people over. I guess what I am trying to get at is invest in relationships, make memories.

I am all for technology and the advancement of science and technology, but I am also all for slowing down.  I was reminded again today that life is far too short. It is time to get back to the basics. Love your family and friends. Enjoy the simple pleasures and be kind to people. These are the things that I strive for, because in the end what will matter to mine and your loved ones will be the time and memories you leave behind, not your ipod or fancy car.
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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Housewife vs Domestic Engineer

When Husband got home from work this morning we laughed at me starting a blog and calling myself a housewife. I don’t know why the term has such a negative connotation for me. I’m certainly not a Domestic Engineer as the math involved to be engineer material is far beyond my reach. lol All day today it has sat with me. Do I hate the name of my new blog, my new adventure? I’m not sure. I am rolling it over in my head and trying to come to terms with Housewife. I mean it is what I am. I’m a stay at home mother and wife.  The term itself just seems so lacking. It takes me back to a pre-Women’s Lib movement era in my mind. Am I settling for less than what my Rosie the Riveter predecessors gave to me in their fight for equal rights? Has society itself come so far that the idea of a simple housewife is an insult? Am I the only ones who feels this way?

I certainly do not think of myself as the pre-Women’s Lib housewife.  For the most part, I’m not. In reality there was a Women’s Movement and now I have the luxury to decide if being a stay at home mom and housewife is right for my family and me. It’s this luxury of choice that my housewife predecessors didn’t have that separates us.

So today, Im a proud housewife, it is what I do and it is my choice. I enjoy being the person to take my children to school and pick them up after. I like to have dinner ready before Husband heads off to work for the night. It is me that gets to sit down and do homework with my boys and shuffle them to practice and friends’ houses. I revel in the moments in the car when the older boy says something to the younger one that reflects a lesson I have taught him. It reminds me that they do listen and absorb so much from their parents and their caregivers. I have the luxury to be both and for that and for now I am embracing my role as Housewife. 

Now that its settled I can get on to blogging about things. lol All sorts of things. . .
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