"The greatest fine art of the future will be the making of a comfortable living from a small piece of land."
-Abraham Lincoln

Man it Stinks When Doctor's Don't Take You Seriously

So, I had a major sinus infection during the middle of last week.  Obviously, I went to the doctor.   Unfortunately I had to see a different doctor than my usual family doc because my usual family doc had given birth recently and was still on maternity leave.  He was a nice guy, a smart guy.   I told the guy that I have a history of tachycardia (inappropriate sinus tachycardia, in case you were wondering).   He proceeds to tell me that my tachcyardia is probably stress related, ie. it's all in my head and schedules me an appointment so he can do a psychological evaluation after my sinus infection is cleared up.  He then prescribes me an antibiotic, one that can cause complications in people with cardiac arrythmias.  Such as fast heart rates that are particularly stubborn and do NOT want to slow down despite multiple injections and a continuous slow drip iv of antiarrythmic medication.  

Sooo,  I took ONE stinking antibiotic pill and got a complimentary 3 day stay at the hospital, 2 blown veins, a cardiac CT scan, chest x-rays, ultrasounds on my legs (to check for blood clots), and plenty of nappy hospital food.   My heart rate did eventually return to normal but now I have to stay on a heart med prescription until I can get in to see my regular doctor because it's one of those fun medications that you have to be weaned off of.   At least it's not making me as dizzy today as it was yesterday.   And...now here is the positive part...it afforded me some more time to work on my crochet kitty for my daughter's friend and my knit sweater for Youngest.  Even though I'm not finished with either yet (don't judge me.) I'm much further along.

She's Better...Now it's My Turn to be Sick

Well, the Cookie is up, running around, enjoying herself today.   No sign of whatever laid her low last night.   However, I'm a different story all together.   I woke up with a fever, chills, a swollen tonsil, and a general gagging feeling in the back of my throat.  

Soooooo, I have been taking a lot of naps today.  Unfortunately, it was during one of those many naps that Youngest decided to walk for the first time (I just can't win).   Oh well,I'm off to gargle some salt water and veg on the couch.

Poor Poor Cookie

Poor Cookie isn't feeling too well.  She woke up this morning fine, happy as a fly on poop.   We had her outside with us most of the evening and she was enjoying herself, running and chasing squirrels up the trees, sniffing around all corners of the yard. 

But by late evening, when we had come inside for the day, she started to vomit.  I figured she must have gotten a little too excited chasing squirrels.  I put her outside to finish the deed and she wandered off just as happy as she was before. 

I brought her back in a couple of minutes later and she started to vomit again..and again...and again.  And now the poor thing has nothing left and has been laying on the couch next to my computer for the duration. 

I called the after hours vet number and they told me to keep an eye on her and if she gets worse to bring her in. So far her breathing has become a bit labored but I think that may be due to dehydration because of the vomitting.  We've given her two bowls of water so far (both of which she devoured which is a really good sign) and I'm waiting to see if it helps her breathing. She's perked up some at least after the water. If she's still in distress after a little while, it looks like we'll be bringing her in.  

I'm beginning to think she may have found something in the yard that was less than dog friendly, although I can't imagine what that could've been.  We don't really have many poisonous plants just growing in our yard (when we do spot one we rip it out roots and all, can't be too careful when you have little ones and furry friends around).
She did upchuck a bit of a submarine sandwhich that the kids and I had for lunch, they have a sneaky way of slipping the dogs food when I'm not looking, so there may have been something in the sandwhich that doesn't agree with dogs. 

Anywho, she's at least still feeling well enough to give Chandler the evil eye. 

You can just barely make out her glaring him down in this picture :)
She's a feisty one even when she's ill.

Do you own sheep and pigs?

Raise pigs for their meat and sheep for their wool?   Well, boy does mother nature have the solution for you!   You can combine your inventory.  Reduce the amount you spend on feed, increase space on your homestead for other animals/projects!   Do away with that old, tired system of raising a seperate pig and seperate sheep, opt instead for a sheep-pig!

I really thought this was a joke when I first heard about it but apparently they are 100% real.  They are called manglitsa.  I had no idea.   Apparently they are pretty tasty although I don't know how great they would be for fiber....

EDITED TO ADD:  The story of sheep pigs is apparently trending on Yahoo now.   I must be ahead of the times! lol

Crochet Dishcloth

This is the second dishcloth that I made.
The pattern is Crochet Flower Dishcloth from Coats and Clark's website.

That's basically been it for the crafting front around here.   We've all been a bit run down with colds and I've been trying to get the garden planted.  I got a few seedlings in the ground the day before yesterday, only to wake up this morning to a nice, very late, frost.   Soooo, starting over is probably in my very near future.   Oh well, at least gardening is good for the soul. 

Chicky Dishcloth

Our dishwasher decided to go towards the light on Monday.  There was no reviving it this time.   It lived a good, long life.   It was built in the very early 1990's so I suppose about 16 years of service isn't too shabby.   Towards the end it was getting a little cantakerous but it still did the job most days.   But alas...all things must come to an end.   On Monday the dishwasher just decided to quit.  The motor died.   Kapoot.   Unfortunately, it did so when I had a full sink of dishes and a full dishwasher of dirty dishes.  

After lamenting my bad luck, and spending a good 45 minutes washing dishes by hand, I decided to try to turn lemons into lemonade.   So, I made a couple of dishcloths.   I only have a picture of one at the moment...the first one...

Chick dishcloth in it's natural habitat.

I got the pattern for this dischloth off from Melissa's Knitting Pages (there are ALOT of cute dishcloths on that blog).  I must admit that making these little dischloths helped brighten the prospect of washing the dishes by hand. 

A little political humor...

If you are easily offended then I apologize in advance.   But if you are one of those easily offended folks, may I suggest lightening up a little bit, life is to short to take every little thing seriously.  

Now I will commence with the funny....


Discovery Announcement ~ The densest element in the known Universe has been found! Pelosium:A major research institution has just announced the discovery of the densest element yet known to science. The new element has been named Pelosium. Pelosium has one neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 224 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 311. These particles are held together by dark forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons. The symbol of Pelosium is PU.

Pelosium’s mass actually increases over time, as morons randomly interact with various elements in the atmosphere and become assistant deputy neutrons within the Pelosium molecule, leading to the formation of isodopes.

This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientists to believe that Pelosium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as Critical Morass.

When catalyzed with money, Pelosium activates CNNadnausium. That is an element that radiates orders of magnitude, albeit as incoherent noise. It has half as many peons, but twice as many morons as Pelosium.

Book Review: The Revolutionary Paul Revere by Joel Miller

Recently I signed up for a nifty book review program from BookSneeze.   Basically, the publishers at BookSneeze will send bloggers free books in exchange for honest book reviews.   You Review the books you receive on your blog and on a selling site like Amazon.  

The latest book I recieved from BookSneeze was The Revolutionary Paul Revere. 

"The Revolutionary Paul Revere starts at a gallop and never slows down. Escape into Revere’s adventure-filled life: from childhood through the French and Indian War; from the military occupation of Boston through Revere’s part in the Boston Massacre trial; from his role in the Boston Tea Party through his days as an express rider for patriot leaders; from the tragic death of his first wife through the whimsical pursuit of a new love; from his job as waterfront spy through his famous midnight ride; from his role in the worst American naval disaster before Pearl Harbor through his eventual vindication."

I, for one, love historical biographies and this book really didn't let me down.   It was informative, anecdotal at times, and brought new insight on a major player in the revolution who gets very little time in traditional textbooks.  

One of the best things about this book though, at least in my opinion, is that it's so easily relatable.   You get to take a peek at what life was like for an oridinary patriot living during extraordinary times.   Revere becomes more than just some guy on a horse, he's becomes a person with whom any one of us can identify.   Some of the struggles that our founders faced are similar to ones that we face now such as economic hardship, political activism, family difficulties and triumphs, work, and friendships.   This book does a wonderful job of illustrating these areas in Revere's life.   I can honestly say that I would recommend this book.  


See this t-shirt?   The one with more holes in it than swiss cheese?
I have one that looks just like it, although mine is a nice storm cloud gray color not military green.  I've had it since I was a freshman in college.
It was one of my favorites.  I wore it all the time.   100% cotton just like this shirt in the picture.   I got it from Target, paid about $10 at the time.  It now has basically just as many holes in it as this brand new shirt.   I started to use it as a rag.
This shirt, that looks just like my rag, will set you back $1,600.  

I wonder if I put my shirt up on Ebay if I could get some money?   I mean, I would expect people would want a discount, so how about I start the bidding at $800, I mean, crap that's half off.   LOL.

One Pair of Baby Pants Down...Several More to Go

These pants are seriously one of the easiest sewing projects out there.   A beginner could make this with virtually no problems at all and a more experienced person could turn out several in one day.

For Youngest's pants I used the monkey print flannel fabric that I've showcased on here previously but you could use really any fabric that is suitable for clothing, including old adult sized t-shirts.

There is a detailed tutorial at the handy home projects blog.

Spring is in Bloom.

Our cherry trees decided to take the peach trees' lead and blossom out today.

Spring flowers always remind me of my favorite Albert Laighton poem:

They are autograph's of angels, penned
In Nature's green leaved book, in blended tints,
Borrowed from rainbows and the sunset skies,
And written everywhere--on plain and hill,
In lonely dell, 'mid crowded haunts of men;
On the broad praries, where no eye save God's
May read their silent, sacred mysteries.

Thank God for flowers! they gladden human hearts;
Seraphic breathings part their fragrant lips
With whisperings of Heaven.

The poem is aptly named "Flowers". :)

On the homesteading front we've been easing into the spring rhythm of things.   We have several plants started and ready to go.  DH plans to till the garden tomorrow and then Oldest, Middle and I will work to transplant the seedlings into the garden over the next day or two.   Chandler is itching to get to work clearing the garden of all the typical garden pests.   We're still working with Cookie to get her fully trained in that department but she's making big strides.  I think we'll be able to let her loose in the orchard by the end of the month.   Both of them worked together yesterday to snuff out one of the many voles that has taken up residence in our yard.   They made pretty quick work of him. 

 Typically, when the dogs are working, they run through our orchard at the farm and our garden here at the house barking incessantly into each hole created by some rodent until we give them the commands to stop. The trick is getting them to bark and dig only at the rodent holes, not just dig up the entire garden.  We'll do that every day for about 3 weeks at the beginning of Spring.  Ordinarily that harrassment is enough for the rodents to leave for the remainder of the season but these voles in our yard are particularly stubborn.  They aren't doing as much damage as they were when we first moved in but they aren't gone yet either.   The stress must at least be interrupting their mating cycles because the number of vole tunnels has decreased significantly and Chandler isn't dragging up as many as he had done in years past.  

We've purchased new floors since our carpet has gotten to the point of no return.   Even though it wasn't my first choice, we opted for laminate floors simply because of the durability issue.   We wanted a floor that would withstand the hazards presented by children (ie. matchbox cars being dropped onto it, roller skates speeding across it, juice spills, mini wrestling matches, among other things) and the dangers posed by pets (nails scratching across it at a high rate of pace while two dachshunds attempt to rocket themselves towards a squirrel sitting outside of a window).  With those things in mind, we decided that laminate really was our best option.   Hopefully we'll have that installed within the next couple of weeks.

On the crafting front things have been pretty quiet.   I saved the egg cartons from the Easter egg dying extravaganza and plan to let the kids to a couple of projects with them over the next couple of days.   I've gotten some work finished on The Afghan from Hell and some done on Youngest's sweater.   I also have 2 pairs of light summer pants for Youngest and Middle cut, pinned and ready to be sewn so hopefully I'll be able to get that done within the week although it may be a little dicey considering the moving and packing that will have to be done in order to get the floors in.  

April showers...

Bring peach blossoms!

I had been outside with the kids all day today playing with squirt guns, chalking up our driveway, watching them ride bikes and scooters and playing with the three puppies we still have here at home.

I had walked by the peach trees several times and even took a little time to study the buds on each one.   That was around noon.  None of them were open but some looked about ready to pop.

It wasn't until it was just getting dusk, with a nice storm rolling in, that I happened to go out to get the dogs inside and noticed this one little peach blossom.  The first of the season.

I loved it so much that I had to get TWO pictures of it.

Happy Easter!

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

-Mathew 28:1-10

Meteors headed for Earth??!!!!

Meteors are heading for Earth.   Aliens have crash landed in my backyard, scientists in Switzerland have developed a device that allows dogs to talk to people, and there is a bug on your shoulder. 

Happy April Fools Day everyone!

Now I'm off to partake in a little bit more light hearted Tom Foolery.