Category Archives: Country Chatter

Cold and Icy Days

Winter is definitely here and last week was foggy, which produced a buildup of ice crystals on everything.

On my way to the hairdresser, I stopped to snap these photos in her yard. The crystals were so intricate and delicate I had to just pause a moment and soak in the details!

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Old Farm Coat

Old Farm Coat

Blue
Farm coat
By the door
Old and well worn
Faded on the peg
Swims over my shoulders
As I trudge out to the barn.
Puppies are warm and cozy there.
We should have some new babies tonight.

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Livin’ Large

Today, the chickens got fresh, new straw bedding in their outside runs! They were in high heaven! I love straw! I love how clean it looks. I love how easy it is to manage! I have happy chickens and they give me lots of nice eggs!!

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Spring Fever

The sun is shining (most days), things are green (still), and it’s time to be outside doing things!!  And doing things, we are!  We had this nice patio furniture, left here by the previous owners, stored in our barn, so we decided to bring it out, clean it off, and give it a test drive on the porch.

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I like the way it looks, and I like that all of the seats are “rockers”, which makes for a very relaxing time while sitting outside.  The big tree in front of our house offers lots of shade during the hottest part of the day, so I can’t wait for it to warm up just a tad more, and I will be out here enjoying my porch, and the sights and sounds.

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The Woodman went up to the other house and finally brought back my whisky barrel pots.  He even surprised me and picked up a few 6-packs of flowers for me to freshen them up for the season!  I loved that thoughtfulness.  I will get the pots cleaned up, dead parts removed, and flowers planted soon!

He has also been busy setting up some new shelving in the basement for our canning supplies.  There are a few boards still on the porch as evidence!  I’m excited to think about how organized things will be in the basement soon!

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The Woodman also brought in some flowers that were in our back yard flower bed/weed patch!  They are so delicate and beautiful, and I absolutely love having cut flowers in the house.  I was so delighted when he came in with the flowers, and I hadn’t even asked him to do it!!

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There are a lot more projects to tackle as school is coming to an end, and summer is just around the corner.  Stay tuned for more updates from our little mini farm, homestead, country home!

Daily Life

It’s evening and I’m sitting here listening to my daughter practice the piano. Every note is joyful to my ears. When she was 5-8 years old, we took piano lessons, but she struggled and it was a lot of work to get through the practice sessions. We then moved 2 states away and went for 5 years without lessons. During that time, she would always go back to the piano and play what she could remember. I knew deep down she really liked it, so when she started school this year, I put her back into piano lessons.

She has improved so much in the past few months I couldn’t be happier! Her sight-reading has improved and her fingers are beginning to fly over the keys without effort! She has received numerous compliments about her hand position, and I’m happy for all the positive feedback she has received. Most importantly, I’m happy that she enjoys the process, and I see piano lessons in her future for the next few years!

Life continues to march forward. The weather here is bi-polar. One day it looks like spring is on the way. The next day we have 5 new inches of fresh snow. We already took the snow tires off the vehicle, but I think we jumped the gun a bit. We’ve thought several times that we should put them back on, but I think we will squeak through these last few weeks of winter without sliding off any roads.

I’ve been ignoring the paperwork. I just hate all the papers that come into my mailbox. I’d like a personal secretary to deal with all the papers in my life. I’ve gathered them here on the table so I can begin to deal with them. I’m not sure how the electricity is still turned on, as I don’t remember the last time I paid the bill.

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This is our table this evening.  It is very lived on!  Every single item on the table holds some sort of significance.

-Front and center is the awful pile of papers that I must attack tomorrow.  There are all sorts of unpaid bills in that pile, several from doctors and hospitals, and I’d like to just pretend they are not there, but they are.

-Bookworm Boy’s computer case is next to the left, and then his Geometry book.  He was sitting here doing homework for a while, and now he’s disappeared.  I’ll be calling him back soon to be sure he has finished everything for tomorrow.  His computer is next in the back corner.

-The center of the table holds a glass candle from Walmart.  I am very excited about the candles from Walmart.  I LOVE candles, and in the winter, always want some burning in the house.  It brings a calm atmosphere, and the flickering light is just somehow very soothing after a long day.  It’s something I do for me, something that I like just because, and it’s like a little gift to myself every time I see a candle burning!  I like having the candles in a glass jar as they seem a little safer, plus the wax can’t make a mess dripping anywhere.  I’ve discovered that the Walmart Mainstays brand burns evenly to the edges, a characteristic that I thought only could be found in a higher end candle.  Because of this, I see myself buying candles at Walmart much more often.  In fact, every time I’m there now, I’m always looking to see if there are any on sale.  Yesterday I was able to pick up Jasmine tea lights (16 per pack)  for $1 each!!  I bought all 8 packs that were there!

-My red water bottle is generally close to my work area.  I’ve been trying to drink more water each day, a goal that is ever before me, but somehow is easy to fail at each day.

-My cell phone is always near by.  What can I say about my iPhone?  LOVE that little gadget and practically run our whole life and business from its tiny little surface.  Technology is incredible and I’m thankful for the convenience of it.

-There is a birthday card for my mom that I will have to send her next year (sorry mom).  I simply didn’t get it in the mail on time.  Sometimes I get frustrated with myself because, in this circumstance, I bought the card in November, but then misplaced it, and when it was time to get it sent, I couldn’t find it.  It’s a great card, but unfortunately will have to wait till next year:(

-The paper just to the right of my MacBook is the class schedule for the school.  I was discussing with Bookworm Boy tonight his options for classes next year.  He needs one more science class, and he’d like to fit in one “fun” class along with the few required classes for seniors.  The Boarding School calendar was also part of the tools for that discussion.

-Plugged into the wall is an iPhone/iPad charger.  We now have one in the office, one in the living room, one in the dining room, one on each side of our bed, and the kids each have one in their rooms.  I have them all labeled so nobody can steal them from one another (a problem that hopefully will be solved now).  Can we say electronics overload here?

-My MacBook is on the table as I type this post.  I love this computer and will most likely be an Apple user for the rest of my life.  I loving how everything syncs together without any effort.

-The red table-cloth under the calendar is one that I need to “try on” the new table.  I think it will be too small, but before I donate it, I want to be sure.

-And finally, the red checked table-cloth protects my beautiful wood table, allowing us to work freely on its surface without the worry of scratching or damaging it in any way.  I’ll post about my table sometime in the future.  It was a gem of a find, and I LOVE it, and want it to last for many, many years.  The red checked cloth also reminds me of Laura Ingalls, as she described having a red checked table-cloth that Ma would put on the table in the evening after the supper was cleaned up.  There’s probably something nostalgic about using a red check table cover in my own home.  Perhaps it provides a sense of family togetherness, or somehow suggests a simpler time when life wasn’t so busy and complicated.  If nothing else, it makes me happy to look at it, and every time I can bring “happy” into my life, I will!

By KMc
© 2013 GraceWithoutTears.  All rights reserved.

Broken Wrist (Graphic Photos)

There never  ceases to be excitement around this home.  Unfortunately, it seems to be of the negative nature a lot of the time.

A couple of weeks ago, up at 49 Degrees North Ski Resort, Darien broke his arm.  As a Ski Host up there, I am often busy doing my own thing and my kids ski all over the entire mountain without me.  After going regularly for 4 seasons now, I am not worried about them getting lost, and I’m generally not worried about them getting hurt.  All 3 children are proficient snowboarders and can keep up with all of their friends when they’re on the mountain.

On this particular day, I was helping two girls down the mountain the easy way, just before closing.  When I got them safely to the lodge, I was greeted at the bottom with a wave from the Aid Room.  There is nothing worse than seeing your own child waving to you from the First Aid Room.  It was Kendrick, who looked to be in one piece, telling me to come, and hurry!

I took off my skis and went inside to find Darien with a first aid ski patroller.  They had his wrist wrapped with ice on it.

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He looked more disgusted than he did in pain, and I was disgusted as well.  My mind began churning regarding the finances and how we were going to pay for a broken bone, the necessary ER visit, and all the followup afterwards.  We had just been through a dislocated shoulder in May with Kaelyn, and all those bills ran us right around $6K.  I considered my options and if I could wait to see a regular doctor in the morning, but the Ski Patrol recommended we have him seen right away because the bone had looked rather displaced.

We gathered our things and headed to the nearest ER.

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Once the bandage came off, it was clear that the bone was very, very broken.

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This is not a natural position for a wrist to be in.  Thankfully, Darien was not in a tremendous amount of pain.  They took an x-ray and ultimately determined that they didn’t have anyone who could properly set the bone, so they sent us down to Sp*kane to see another ER doctor there.

Can I just say, at that moment, I was very upset.  TWO ER visits in one day???  Seriously??  My hopes that this might not be as expensive as Kaelyn’s shoulder were shattered.  And why couldn’t they just refuse me in the first place, if they were going to send me to Sp*kane anyway.

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(Smiles because they just put a warm blanket around him)

The drive went smoothly and we arrived at our second ER.  Our doc was young and vibrant and full of energy.  He walked in announcing that he had set lots of arms like this, and immediately I liked him.  We talked about different options as I was hoping to avoid anesthesia, based solely on the fact that it is extremely expensive, and as cash patients, I was hoping to cut any corners that could be cut.

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Darien was a trooper and went through all the motions with what seemed like a smile on his face.  They were able to do some local anesthetic, use traction, and set his arm while he sat there in a mild daze.

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This photo shows some glazed eyes, I guess the drugs had kicked in a little more by this time!  It’s amazing what they can do these days with medical supplies and knowledge.  They got him splinted, x-rayed,  and soon we were ready to go home.

The good news is that, within the scope of broken bones, this was not a serious break.  The bad news is that I haven’t begun receiving all the bills yet.  I am hopeful we might get through this for less than $5K since he was not put under.  But with 2 ER visits in one day, it could be much worse than that.

Fab Abs

January Fitness Challenge

Sometime after Christmas, I stepped on the scale and was utterly shocked.  The number was just 5 pounds shy of the highest number I ever saw when I was pregnant with my first child.  And I’m NOT pregnant.  Something had to be done, and quickly!  My late night snacking habit and lack of exercise had to change, and immediately!

It wasn’t too long before a friend of mine posted this little calendar on her FB profile and simply said, “Who’s in with me?”  I immediately responded and said “I’m in!”

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I started with Day 1 and worked my way through this calendar.  I also joined My Fitness Pal, and started tracking my calories and exercise diligently each day.  Boy, were my eyes OPENED!!  I was consuming 1000s of calories on junk food alone, and with no exercise to offset all the late night snacks, it was clear why the number on the scale had shocked me.

I set some goals, and I’m happy to say that since around January 7th, so just about a month ago, I’ve officially lost very close to 10 lbs.  My goal is 15 more lbs, a number I think I can reach, but more importantly, I just want to feel great, energetic, and I want to know that what I’m putting in my body, is serving a purpose in giving me nourishment and keeping my immune system alive and strong.  The best defense to disease is prevention, and with medical costs getting so high these days, the best defense for your pocket book is not to have to go to the doctor!

Besides doing the Fab Abs, I also did squats each day, adding 5 per day throughout the month of January, and finishing with 150 by the end of the month.  My current goal is to maintain Day 31 of Fab Abs, do my 150 squats, and jump on my mini tramp 20-40 minutes per day.  There is still room for improvement as I am doing girl push-ups, and I can only successfully do 2 minutes on the plank without cheating.  I’d like to be able to do “real” push ups, and hold a solid 2:30 plank before the year is up.

I have also been working on some flexibility, and occasionally I’ll do a Jillian Michaels DVD, if I really want to punish this body of mine!  I have a long way to go before I’ll feel fit, like the way I was during High School, but I feel so much better already, and I’m only a month into this new way of life.  I had aching muscles in my neck, and down the back of one leg, stemming from my tushie, and all of that pain is now completely gone!

And the best part is when I exercise, I can afford to have a treat now and then, which makes me happy because I still have a very strong sweet tooth!!

By KMc
© 2013 GraceWithoutTears.  All rights reserved.