01 January 2013
In fact, I spent the entire day today JUST eating veggies and cabbage soup. I'm THAT dedicated to being healthy.
However, there are some things I just can't do.
"They" want me to eat fish several times a week. Fish oil is fab for me and all that. Problem is, I just don't like it. At all. Well, it's ok if you bread it and fry it, but then it's not so terribly good for you any more, is it? I can tolerate it if someone serves it to me, but given the choice I will always opt for a different entree! I shudder equally at haddock, tilapia, tuna, salmon, or pollock. So I do take a fish oil supplement, but that is the end of my fishy concession.
"They" also insist that I should eat legumes more often. This one is a different problem. I actually LOVE beans and split peas. But I can only consume them in one small portion perhaps once a week - IF I also take 1/2 a bottle of Beano with my small serving. Eating more legumes or dosing myself with less Beano leaves me in agony with gas. Yes it's true, I love Beans, but Beans hate me.
And lentils? I'm not even sure that those are food!!!
Lastly, I don't care how many times "They" tell me that I need to drink green tea, I ain't gonna do it. I do not like hot. I do not like it cold. I do not like it plain. I do not like it with "stuff" in it. Green tea is nasty. End of story! I will stick to my black tea and black coffee. Thank You.
And my resolution for this new year? If I don't like it, I ain't gonna make myself eat it!
28 December 2012
And just what does a blogger do when they have nothing to say? Well, this blogger goes all free-flow on you! Anything that comes to mind! Strap on your seat bealt and hold tight because here we GOOOooooooooooooooooooooooo!
Let Antipholus in. That's my first thought. The girls are going to be in a Shakespeare play in April and their play book arrived in the mail today. They were reading over their parts and the afternoon was punctuated with, "Mom, how do you pronounce this word?" "Mom, what does this mean?" So I went online to look it up and found this wonderful website. It has links to the standard version of "A Comedy of Errors", a link to a musical version thereof written in the late 1930's and a modern day version called "Bill and Ted's Comedy of Errors". We spent WAY too much time there!
Christmas was nice, not considering all the guests who were hacking and sniffling. Of the nine of us present (ten if you count Rex the doggie), five were ill. We had a great time, but please take note: Laughing increases the coughing.
We had beef enchiladas and chicken fajitas with lots of fixin's and side dishes. It was majorly yummy! The girls made all the desserts at GrammaJ's house last week. They cranked out 3 pies, 1 awesome cake, gingerbread, and cream cheese mints. Then's the BHE's cousin made us some homemade Need 'ems. So. GOOD!
I really need to lose weight. You know, the same 15 pounds that I've been trying to lose since Silly-Head was born. I'll get on that soon. Right after all the cake and pie and candy is gone. *wink* Happily, I have been working out regularly, so it's just the eating that needs to be modified. Again. As usual.
I hate dieting! *sigh*
I am not sick. This is a blessing, but I am rather bummed because I am not sleeping well. Silly-Head coughs alot at night and my Mommy radar throws me into high alert. Then I can't get back to sleep. Until last night. Once Silly-Head told me that her coughing does not keep her up, and that it aggravates her that I come in and do wake her up to give her medicine, I threw in the towel.. No more Mommy compassion from me. Last night I just tuned her out and slept beautifully. Sometimes it pays to be a mean mommy!
(Of course, she knows she can wake me up if she needs me!)
I'm doing GrammaJ's laundry for her today because she has the flu. Which she got from us. I can hear her voice even though she is ten miles away, "Make sure you take the clothes out of the dryer while they're still slightly damp so they won't wrinkle." OK, GrammaJ. OK.
The goats are doing well, though I haven't managed to get them to someone who has a buck to get them bred. Part of me wishes we had bucks here. Part of me thinks that part of me is NUTS because bucks are stinky and noisy.
Then again, a buck named "Antipholus" would be pretty groovy.
Hopefully we'll get Annika bred in the next week or two. It may be too late for Mindy. Nubians only breed seasonally and her "season" is pretty much over for this year. Bummer.
On the plus side, we'll be getting a FREE show quality baby LaMancha doe next spring from a breeder who wants to encourage the girls to continue showing for 4-H. We are thrilled and much time has been spent trying to select a name for her. Naturally we'll have to actually see her before we can make a final selection.
Man, I'm tired. I haven't been sick at all, but the BHE has a theory that I am a silent flu carrier because I'm almost as tired as all the sick people are. Though we might be able to chalk that up to not sleeping...
On that note, I shall sign off for now. Here's hoping I shall write again VERY SOON. I'm truly hoping to make 2013 a year of writing - both here and on my novels. It's time to FINISH WHAT I START.
29 August 2012
Starting? We've never stopped. Oh there has been the inevitable lag in book work (though they have been doing a math lesson or two a week all summer), but learning? There's been oodles and oodles of that.
Girly-Girl has written four screen plays and is currently working on her fifth - all on hr own time. She is also begging me to purchase a High School curriculum that promises to help her "write a complete adventure novel in a year". She's only starting 7th grade! She also spent her first time working an entire week as a drama team member for a week of Vacation Bible School.
Silly-Head has more or less taken over farm operations here. She has STRONG opinions about goat care and breeding and milking. She adores the goats and does a fabulous job of working with them. It's been amazing to watch her work with the kids (we had triplet bucklings) and care for the does. She's the first one to jump in to help when we need to administer medication, give shots, trim hooves, neuter or bathe the goats. She is responsible, trustworthy, observant, compassionate, hardworking and self-motivated.
I'll take that over perfect grammar any day!
And there's more. They've both been reading almost daily, listening to Adventures in Odyssey, discussing Biblical truths, making all manner of arts and crafts, learning to sew, and keeping up with their piano practice.
They've made and shown items in several fairs, worked together to film and edit the first of Girly-Girl's plays with their 4-H club (the movie is to be shown at the county 4-H end-of-year banquet!). They've shown their does at 2 fairs and the girls and I all participated in a 2 day Civil War reenactment nearby. This involved a whole lot of hand sewing and problem solving. They learned several period games and crafts and taught them to children who attended the event. They also sold lemonade and cake and had to make change.
They've discovered Roy Rogers, Bonanza, Gilligan's Island, and the Cosby Show. They've camped and hiked and learned to have a good time even in the midst of hordes of mosquitoes. They've worked hard in 4-H at growing in leadership skills. They've cleaned house, cooked, and done laundry. They've spent HOURS in the basement acting out their favorite stories and inventing costumes.
In short, they've learned more this summer than they ever would have learned looking at textbooks.
Now I'm not saying this in order to brag. I think my girls are bright, but they're not geniuses or prodigies. They are, however, blooming educationally, morally, and physically by just living! I think most children would do the same given the similar opportunities.
We love homeschooling!
And now September fast approaches. School buses have begun their daily runs. Moms have done all the back-to-school shopping. People are getting back to their daily-grind schedules. But we are not. School for the next month shall be another adventure.
We are packing up the car and heading cross country - quite literally from ocean to ocean. No movies, no computers, and probably very little air conditioning. Just the Groovys and their camping gear, a AAA Triptick and a National Parks Pass.
It's going to be EPIC. And I betcha we just might learn a thing or two!
27 August 2012
No promises, but I do hope to begin writing here more again
16 March 2012
I RODE THE WHOLE, ENTIRE (as in, ALL of it!) TREK ACROSS MAINE! That was 180 miles from the mountains to the sea.
Fortunately, they gave all of us (over 2,000 of us) 3 days to do it all in.
See that pic up above? I was pretty much sobbing with joy there. You see, this was my FIFTH Trek, but my first finish. All the other times something happened to put me out of the ride.
But now that I've finished it once, I am ready to do it again.
I can't do it without YOU, though. In order to ride, the BHE and I must raise $500 each for the American Lung Association. If you'd like to help, just click one of the donation links in my side bar.
I and my asthmatic lungs thank you!!!!!
15 March 2012
Just do it.
So here I am. You know, writing and all.
Dang, I think I've forgotten how to write. That's not good. No, really. You see there are a few people out there who are under the impression that I know how to write, that I AM a writer. In fact, one of them contacted me last week. She and her husband head a child aid missionary organization. They travel all over the world meeting poor children and their families. Then they come back to Maine and work double time finding people to sponsor those children.
This lady has stories - great stories - and she wants to write them. Trouble is, she's a rather mediocre writer (self-proclaimed). So she's asked me to help her. I'll be reading, editing, reformulating - basically torturing her with my ready red pen of correction. But how can I wield said pen with any authority if I'm not writing?
Facebook has stunted my thoughts into short blurbs of pithiness. Now, when faced with the task of writing an actual paragraph, I go blank!
So it's time to raise the bar. I need to write. I need to write often. I need to write well. I need to remember the finer points of communicating so that when it is time to help my friend I can feel confident that I am doing my best for her.
This will be happening here on this blog and on my cycling blog. Maybe it will even be happening on my novel(s).
Oh please let it be happening on my novels!
Keep your eyes open. Groovy is BACK!
13 January 2012
For the past year, The BestHubbyEver has had a bee in his bonnet about rising fuel prices. We have a large house heated by an oil powered hot-air furnace. It's been getting plum painful to see the bill after the oil man comes to fill up our tank. Oy!
Accordingly, he (That would be the BHE, not the oil man) has been looking into alternative heat sources. You know - wood stoves, propane heaters, pellet stoves, Amish fireplace thingies, or insane amounts of aerobic exercise.
He discussed all of them with me and I smiled and nodded politely. He is not an impulsive man, so I knew a decision was going to take a while. In the meantime we could go on as we have been with me sneaking over to bump up the thermostat every time his back was turned.
A wife who's shivering in a parka in her own living room WILL do what she must to survive!
Anyhoo, he finally decided that a pellet stove was what we needed. He had me look them up online and compare their prices and ratings. He talked to everyone he knew who had one - they all love theirs - and he measured over and over again to figure out the best place to install it. Finally, he called a few stove shops and had them come out to give us estimates.
The short story is that we have had a pellet stove in our kitchen since November
ARG! We interrupt this blog post to report another strong evidence of Groovy's mediocrity at blogging. She can upload pics. But can she arrange them and put them where she wants them in the post? NOOOOOOOOOOO!
Henceforth, the following pictures are A. out of order and B. not where I want them in the post. Just use your imagination to fix it all, K?
Here is my sad, lonely, and COLD desk waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay over on the far wall of the living room where it is always chilly. (Oh the irony! See all the blankets on the recliner??!!)
This is the only doorway opening in the-wall-that-cannot-be-removed. That round, brown hooey in the wall is the fan that presumably blows the kitchen warmth into the living room and bedrooms.
Here's one of the cozy spots the BHE set up. It's a lovely place to read or visit with friends.
And here's our pellet stove corner, complete with yet another comfy chair.
This is the model we own -a Napolean NPS 45.
And here is where I get to tell you how much I love/hate it.
First of all, after MUCH debate, we decided to install the stove in the corner of the kitchen, blowing inward to the rest of the house. I was a little worried about placing it there because there is a wall between the kitchen and the rest of the house. I was concerned that the heat might stay all bottled up in the kitchen and wouldn't make it adequately into the rest of the house, even though we did aim the blower toward the doorway. When I finally realized that the BHE meant for the stove to be our ONLY heat source (I was under the insane delusion that we still might use the furnace on occasion - you know, if we got chilly or something) I begged him to tear the dividing wall down completely.
Alas, it is a load bearing wall. Curses, foiled again!
Instead of tearing the wall down, we did some ventilation experiments. The final result was a fan near the ceiling that blows from the kitchen into the living room, and a cold air return vent near the floor.
The BHE moved some cozy chairs into the kitchen and then *gasp* moved my desk into the living room (It WAS in the kitchen. It's been there for the past 10+ years!) and we were in business.
Here's what I love about the pellet stove:
1. We finally have a warm spot that we can go to if we're chilly. (Not so fun with a hot air vent...)
2. I can hang wet clothes, etc near the stove to dry quickly.
3. I finally have a warm place to raise bread, culture yogurt, or start sourdough!
4. The flame is cheerful and cozy.
5. We all tend to hang out together in the kitchen/dining area instead of going our separate ways in other parts of the house.
6. The oil furnace is still functional so I can use it to fill in the heating gaps. Or at least, I can if the BHE is not here.
*gasp* Did I just say that?????????
And now, the reasons I Hate/Loathe our new pellet stove:
1. The reason we all tend to hang out together in the kitchen/dining area is because the rest of the house is COLD. ie. In spite of our best efforts, the kitchen area is significantly warmer than the rest of the house! Including bathrooms! *shiver* And bedrooms! *shiver* And the living room where my desk is! *shiver*
NOTE: It is very hard to type with numb hands and it is very difficult to enjoy watching movies together when we're SHIVERING! (We have no tv. Movies are seen on the iMac or they aren't seen at all.)
I'm just sayin'...
2. The pellet stove is high maintenance. We have to brush out the ash (particularly from the burn pot) and clean the glass in the door daily. This necessitates shutting the stove down, opening it up and making a mess. Every Day.
It has to be vacuumed weekly - either with a special ash vacuum or with a shop vac with special filter that will keep the ask from being regurgitated back into the air.
40 pound bags of pellets have to be carried up the stairs from the garage once or twice a day (depending on how many pellets we've been burning).
3. Like wood stoves, pellet stoves apparently attract dust. I have dust webs everywhere - from the ceilings, in the corners, on the floor. I can dust a room and then next day it is coated again. Blech!
NOTE: Max Tuttle, our chief dustbunny, loves this aspect of pellet stove ownership.
4. The pellet stove has an electric auger and blower. If the power goes out we will have no heat at all.
5. Hmmmm, I don't guess there actually IS a 5. I thought there would be because my feelings toward the pellet stove are much more negative than positive. (It doesn't show, does it?) I guess God is reminding me to be more thankful for #'s 1-6 in the "love it" department.
Ok, so there you have it. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time to bring up another bag of pellets...
15 December 2011
Author Tricia Goyer is hosting a meme this month so I thought I’d join in.
From Tricia: Here’s how it will work…post and answer the below questions on your blog or Facebook. Then either tag specific people or tag your readers/friends (so they will answer share and answer the questions too). Then hop over to my blog to fill out the linky. Easy. I’ll choose 10 winners to receive a 4 book Tricia Goyer prize pack***!
Here are the MEME questions!
1. What’s your favorite holiday song?"Mary Did You Know"
2. What’s your favorite holiday tradition?
I really don't recall any "traditions" from growing up except that GrammaJ wrapped her gifts to me in colored wrapping paper and all the gifts (many, MANY gifts - see #6) from Santa in white tissue paper.
As for now, we have our last devotion of the Advent season with the whole family (including the folks and Uncle GrumpyPants and Uncle Pickle Nose) before we open gifts. We each read Scriptures about gifts God has given to us. Then we ponder the strange, selfish and bizarre fact that it is HIS birthday, yet we are the ones getting gifts - from Him and from each other. We take a few moments to pray silently, then we each write on a 3x5 Card a "gift" we want to give to the Lord for the coming year. We fold it in half, then write our name on the outside and it goes in a gift box under the tree.
After Christmas, I pack the gift box away (without peeking at what anyone wrote). The next year, as our devotion time starts, I pass out the old "gifts" so that we can all consider how well we kept our promises. (If someone is only with us for one year and not the next, I mail their card back to them.)
Once all the "gifts" are in the box, we sing "Happy Birthday" to Jesus. It is my favorite Holiday tradition because it really helps us all to focus on Jesus instead of on materialism and greed.
3. If you could travel one place with an elderly family member where would you go?
Travel with them? Ack! You're scaring me! :-O
To be perfectly honest, shopping in a nearby city is about as far as I'd want to travel with any of our 3 remaining parents... (No offense to them!)
4. What questions would you ask?
We're quite close to our folks now and see them all the time. I think they've told us pretty much everything by now. I never knew my grandparents at all and the BHE's are long gone. However, if the BHE's paternal grandmother (aka "Great Gram) was still alive I'd love to interview her about EVERYTHING. I got to know her in a small way when the BHE and I were dating and we visited her a few short times in the early years of our marriage. She was a cheerful, colorful old lady and we loved her dearly. It makes me sad that Girly-Girl and Silly-Head never got to meet her.
5. What is a non-tangible gift have you received from an elderly relative?
Wonderful examples of endurance and faith in God.
6. What is the best/worst/strangest gift you’ve received from an elderly relative?Hmmm. Tough one. I've never really had any elderly relatives and the BHE and I didn't think of our folks as "elderly" until the past 5 years or so (They are, all three, in their early 70's).
Keeping that in mind: The BEST gift we've gotten from our folks (most notably from GrammaJ) has been date money for our birthdays (The BHE and I celebrate our birthdays only 3 weeks apart) and for our anniversary. It has been wonderful to be able to go out and enjoy each other sans kiddos even when the budget was tight. That's a gift we have determined to pass on to our adult children.
WORST? GrammaJ had an unhappy childhood with few, if any gifts. Consequently gifts mean alot to her. A. LOT. She likes to get them and she LOVES to give them. It makes no difference to her that the gifts she feels compelled to give are, at all, wanted or necessary. Over the years she has given the BHE a weird buttoning towel thing that he was supposed to wear after a shower. We use it to dry the car. She also bought him too small swim trunks (They were a "good" brand and she got a deal) and she has bought us, as a family, innumerable manicure sets, bath poofies (which none of us use...), and various other personal care items. She's also bought "toys" like model airplanes for the BHE or a baby doll for me. She still cannot fathom that we don't want gifts - and lots of them. She is sweet and generous and means well, but sometimes it borders on the ridiculous!
And that's not to say that she hasn't come up with some wonderful gifts over the years. It's just that she wants so badly to bless us all with what she didn't have that she tends to go WAY overboard!
From Tricia: On December 22nd ten people who have filled out the linky will be selected at random to win one of the ten 4-book prize packs. You can either have it sent to yourself or a friend. To enter all you have to do is answer the MEME on your blog and then fill out the linky on this post. Easy.
Then be sure to pop over and read the other MEMEs on the linky – let’s celebrate our elderly loved ones!
Everyone who visits is tagged I hope you will join in! Have a wonderful day!
13 December 2011
(You can find proof of my blogging mediocrity in the underlined section above. It's not supposed to be underlined and I ain't sharp enough to figure out how to fix it!!)
Over the past year or two, my interest in vegetable gardening has been growing. Unfortunately, not much IN my vegetable garden has grown except for a lovely crop of tomato hornworms and a plethora of pesky slugs. So this spring, the Best Hubby Ever is planning to build me some raised beds. I can fill them with free goat compost and some lovely loam and maybe, hopefully, grow some real food.
Goatsong's gift to me was an autographed copy of The Heirloom Life Gardener by Jere & Emilee Gettle. It's a gorgeous hardcover book full of easy-to-understand and practical wisdom for organic gardening. It may even help a less than mediocre gardener like myself actually, you know, GROW something other than weeds!
Thank You, Goatsong!!!!!!
A thousand apologies for not keeping everyone up to date on our goat adventures. We've been busy with raising the kids and milking Annika.
The boys, Rutherford and Ulysses, found a happy new home as pet wethers (a wether is a neutered male goat).
My grandkids loved to come visit the boys while they were here. Ji-Ji even gave them kisses!
In a quest to keep them entertained, Silly-Head became a human goat toy.
But all that attention was not enough. They wanted to GET OUT!
So we sold them to a very sweet couple who email me goat baby updates. :-D
At this point, Mindy has been bred (we think) and we just stopped milking Annika so she can rest up and be bred next month. After that we'll keep her on a fall breeding schedule since Silly-Head and I aren't overly enthused with winter milking. I already miss the milk, though. Hers is so sweet and creamy!! I made cheese and have taken it to a couple of Christmas parties thus far.
It. Was. Amazing.
Looks like I'll have customers lined up out the door once we get some more does (Oh PLEASE let Mindy have doelings!) and step up our production levels. :-D
24 August 2011
First of all, remember how we were going to breed Annika this Fall? Well, that sounded like a good plan, but God has a REAL sense of humor. As we were preparing her for a local 4-H show we noticed that she was a little on the chubby side. AND where she had been flat before, she now seemed to have a bit of an udder, AND she was dripping milk.
After talking to her former owner (we bought her 3 weeks ago), it seems that she and the buck may have already had a tryst around the end of April.
Yep, we're having goat babies after all! Looks like I'll be milking this winter. In the basement! Where it's WARM!
She's actually due within a day or 5 of our next goat show in late September, so this could get interesting.
In the meantime I'm trying to get together a birthing kit, locating milking supplies, and "kid proof" our fencing. None of which I was planning to do until next Spring!
Nigerians usually have 2 or more kids. We're hoping for 2 does! Then I'll sign them over to the girls as their own goats and Annie will be mine.
Mindy, the larger, older doe, had a cough when we got her and several other health issues. We were able to deal with some of the problems by switching her feed and giving her some supplements (she had a copper deficiency), but the cough has gotten worse.
I finally called the vet on Monday and now we've got her on nose drops and antibiotics. Yes, folks, Groovy can now give shots!
I'm happy to report that she finally seems to be improving.
By the way, both the girls and the goats did a super job in our last fair. Girly-Girl got a 2nd for showmanship and fitting, Silly-Head got a 6th in the same age division and got a 1st (with a trophy!) in the Novice class. Mindy got a blue ribbon - even with her health issues, and Annika took a 1st AND made Junior Grand Champion!!!