Where have I been?

It’s been twelve days since I’ve posted anything on the blog!  So what in the world have I been up to???  I’m glad you’ve asked!

I teach at an e-school (online/virtual school) in Ohio.  Our summer break is not the entire summer like most school districts get; instead, I get from June 16th through July 31st off.  The first thing I do every single summer break now is CLEAN!!!  Seriously, you would think the pigs lived in this house.  Okay, not really the pigs……..but definitely the dogs and the cats and, from time to time, a chicken or two (or 72 to be exact…).  I try soooooo hard to keep up with the cleaning around here during the school year, but with a school workday that lasts from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and then all the farm chores plus the running back/forth to Sahara’s band activities, the housework is truly done at a bare minimum from August 1st to June 15th (unfortunately – sorry Mom; I know you taught me better).

I have deep cleaned the living room, the kitchen, and the master bedroom so far.  I’ve even made my bed every single morning (except one).  That right there has to be a record of some sort (I rarely make the bed……..again, sorry Mom!).

The kitchen spice cabinet was completely emptied and moved into a set of drawers, and all the spices were labeled.  I keep most of my spices in pint or quart jars; I cook so much that I buy them in bulk.  I alphabetized them and dared the kids to touch them unless they put them back exactly the way I placed them in there (digging for spices in three drawers full of them just isn’t going to happen!).  After that, I was on a roll and switched around three cabinets to make the kitchen more efficient while cooking.  It’s awesome.  I love my kitchen!

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     The bedroom got a complete and deep cleaning; I actually dumped out my entire dresser and got rid of an entire lawn and leaf bag full of clothes that did not fit and/or I did not like any longer.  I did the same thing with Jake’s dresser and ditched all the clothes that didn’t fit him, too.  Sahara got into the spirit of things and did that as well in her room and got rid of THREE LAWN AND LEAF BAGS full of clothes!!!  I have the bags because I keep thinking I should have a yard sale, but then honestly, when am I going to have a yard sale???  I want the money but don’t want the time involved.  I have to figure out what to do with these bags that are setting in the hallway ASAP.  At any rate, though, the master bedroom now looks FABULOUS!!!  A plus of cleaning out my dresser is that now when my clothes come out off the dryer, I can put them all away because they all fit in the dresser so there’s no more living out of laundry baskets (just keeping it real with y’all….again, sorry Mom…….LOL).

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     Another big thing is that all the pork came back!!!  I’m going to write a mini post about the amount of pork we now have in the new freezer because it is a LOT.  It sure is good, too!!!  We even got back our smoked hams, bacon, etc. already.  Sometimes I like to get a small pack of bacon from the freezer and just sniff it………mmmmmmmmmmm.  Why can’t Scentsy make that scent???  I bet they wouldn’t be able to keep it in stock.

I got my teensy little garden planted, and I do mean it is teensy:  two pepper plants, one zucchini plant, three strawberry plants in a straw bale (it’s an experiment), and five tomato plants.  So far, the tomatoes are doing great, and the strawberry plants are growing, but the peppers and zucchini look like they’re about to just give up the ghost.  I need to hire a gardener.

I threw wildflower seeds into the front flowerbed, and Jake says, “Mom, your garden is out of control!”  The wildflowers tend to want to grow over the sidewalk so we have to walk in the yard.  I love them though.

Then the kids got sick.  They have been sick for almost two weeks now, but they’re finally on the mend (I think…knock on wood).  I actually took them to the doctor which means I really thought it was fairly serious because we tend to avoid the doctor like the plague around here.  She said it was a viral infection, and the kids wound up with four different medications each.  That is a LOT of medicine in my opinion.  I did give it to them though (again, I felt like they were really truly very sick and not just from a cold), and they are starting to finally sound better.  For a week all they did was sleep and cough and hack everywhere (I know – TMI – too much information).  I’m glad they’re finally starting to get better; it’s been a rough twelve days!!!

We helped Teddy and Morgan move into their first apartment last week.  We were so shocked at how nice it is; it’s way better than the first apartment we had when we were first married!!!  LOL  They’re excited to finally be on their own, and it’s exciting (and scary as a Mom!) to see them start this part of their lives together.  They’re just right up the road about four miles or so though, so they’re very close, and we can run over to see them whenever we want.  It’s definitely an adjustment for Gramma Izzie right now though to be alone again after living together with them at her house for just over a year.

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      We also have been battling a family of foxes and a rogue raccoon that are all after our chickens.  We are down to 34 now.  The raccoon got so brazen that it went into the coop by squeezing under the fence in broad daylight and killed and ate half of a chicken right there in the coop!!!  We were gone, and the dogs couldn’t do anything about it because they couldn’t get into the coop to get after it (because they are bad dogs that also like to kill chickens).  They did tree one large raccoon out front a week ago, and that one won’t be back.  We got it out of the tree, and I’m pretty sure it was so traumatized between us and the dogs that it won’t ever return.  Unfortunately, it appears to have relatives that don’t have the same qualms.

That’s pretty much it.  I have to think that Martha would be proud.

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