My house smells like a Strawberry Shortcake Doll

My house smells like a Strawberry Shortcake Doll


Spring is here! One of my favorite parts about spring besides the lack of freezing temperatures is foods. All the best snacks start coming back out. Our strawberries aren’t out yet, but someone’s are so we stopped by a fruit stand and bought a flat of strawberries. They taste amazing. Plus strawberries make a great snack option since our house is working to be more diabetes friendly.

Now I will admit I am horrible. I’m trying, but I’m basically the diabetes equivalent to a chain smoking wife with a husband with lung cancer. Luckily, or somewhat anyway, hubby doesn’t like the same junk food I do. I’m a candy eater; he goes for chips and baked goods. I don’t like chips, and the only baked goods I really go for are chocolate chip cookies or cake batter. There is a good chance my son will also have this struggle, so I really see the value in ditching my sugar (though I usually just take it to work). It’s really hard. But I digress, I’m trying.


Anyway, we bought the flat of strawberries and I’ve been cutting them up and dehydrating them. We use an Excalibur food dehydrator, but there are many options. I like ours because its square and you can remove trays for taller foods. Dried strawberries make a great snack option for hubby to take to work, and I can also add them to oatmeal or yogurt, or mix up a trail mix for the “snack shelf” for our son to grab.


When dehydrating strawberries or any other heavily water based food I make sure to cut them a bit think, usually about ½ inch slices.


I take the end pieces or berries that seem a bit small for drying and I place them in a bowl (cleaned and trimmed as needed). After I’m done putting the berries I want on the drying trays the other slices get put into food saver bags and thrown in the freezer for later. Frozen berries work great in the summer as a replacement to ice cream or popsicles; they’re our son’s favorite warm weather snack. We also make homemade ice cream for home BBQ gatherings, and they work great as a topper once thawed.


I’ve had a helper with the food prep, though I think it was mainly so he could steel fresh berries.


After we cleaned up our mess, my son  volunteered to give scraps to the chickens. He likes all the squawking from the chickens when you bring treats.

DSC_0032 DSC_0037

Diabetic note:

Some fruits contain a very high amount of carbohydrates that can cause high blood sugar levels in diabetics. The 30 grams of carbohydrates found in a banana, the 50 grams found in a mango and the 52 grams found in a 16-ounce serving of orange juice can be too much for some people with diabetes. Checking your blood sugar levels after eating is the best way to determine whether the foods and fruits you eat allow you to keep your blood sugar levels under control. Strawberries and most other berries tend to contain less carbohydrates per serving and constitute excellent fruit options for all diabetics. – more information at:


Kudos to the working single mom

Kudos to the working single mom


Kudos to the working single mom: It’s not something I’m good at, so the ones that are, I’m not sure they get enough credit.

This last month has been chaos for my family. This blog post has actually taken me all week to complete. I work at a large seed company, where my job focus is wheat. Guess what. It’s plating season. My office is planting, our associates are planting; our distributors are selling to farmers who are planting. We shipped out over a million pounds in 3 days. However, on top of this, I’m basically a single mom 3 days a week; hubby is working out of town.  My childcare provider has had to take a leave of absence, so I’ve been commuting my son to another daycare 20 minutes (17 miles) away from my home & work. My commute was 6 minutes each way, it’s now 30 when you factor in – in/out of car time.

I’m exhausted. Three plus days a week, we eat like crap because I have an hour and a half to take care of animals, get dinner made and eaten, and fight a kid into bed who doesn’t get why he has to leave early and get home late. Before, he could have a complete breakfast and have time to play after getting home.

This is what my house looks like right now.


Now, in fairness it’s Tuesday and Hubby comes home tomorrow, so like every Tuesday, I run around cleaning up making it look like it’s been clean the whole time. So it won’t look like this tomorrow.  He knows I do this, but knowing it was messy and seeing the mess are two totally different things.

This is how we balance. I take care of indoor stuff, and cover the outside chores as needed, and he does the reverse. We both slack off when the other is out of town; it’s how we keep things balanced.

I’m not really complaining. Though I’m tired, I know it won’t last long, and the alternative wouldn’t work for me either.


See? All better.

On a side note, my son’s lab has decided the chicken coop is a great place to hang out. He doesn’t bother the chickens, but they were out.

DSC_0001  DSC_0003

I did a 5 minute fix that’s probably only going to last till Hubby gets home. But hey, I think I should get some credit, I managed to herd the chickens back into the coop, and my great dane didn’t catch a single one! She is the epitome of chicken killer.


*** He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. – Isaiah 40:29

Up-cycled craft room

Up-cycled craft room


When we moved in back in May the plan was that this winter we (meaning I) would go room by room painting and designing/decorating. Now that winter is basically over I’ve actually started. As I mentioned in a past post, I chose to start with my office. The previous owners used this room as a small bedroom. I suspect it was last pained in the 90s as a baby’s nursery and never really updated. It was this awful two tone Pepto-Bismol pink (pictures don’t do it justice in the ugliness). Plus someone had filled in nail holes as if they planned to paint then never did anything else. The room really just looked dirty and pink. They even painted the light fixture.


I started by pulling everything I could from the room. The desk was too big to remove unless I took it apart, so I opted to leave it in the room and paint it there given it was 10 degrees outside. The desk was a cheap find ($40) from craigslist a couple years ago for a temporary office for our landscaping business. I have not been able to decide on a desk for this room so until I do I opted to paint the desk to give it a facelift. Laminate is not a cooperative material to repaint, so I ended up using 2 coats of primer we already had, then 2 coats of black paint & primer designed for multiple surface types.  This I also had on hand from when I painted our dining room table.

Next I took on the floors. These floors are rough. They are original to the home, but it looks like the previous owners pulled the carpet and stopped at that. They have not been sanded or treated at all. Plus the boards have shrunk over the years, and it looks like there have been spills that the wood soaked up and left stains. I’m still not sure what I want to do with the floors, so I’ve started by washing them and treating them with wood oil. I used a few coats, the wood is so dried out it absorbs the oil like a sponge.


Next I chose my paint pallet. I love teal so that’s where I started. I also chose a midgrade paint primer mix.  The first time I painted a room I was in early grade school and was painting apartments at the retirement home my grandma ran, and for whatever reason I love painting. I’m not a messy person when I paint, so I tend to tape off the edges and go. This time I purchased a paint sheet to cover the desk and few items stacked on top so I can set tools and a wet washrag on it without worry.


Once the room was taped off I started with the main colors. I had to use two coats of the teal for proper coverage. I then let it dry for a few hours before working on the trim. I’m not a patient person so I opted out for letting it fully dry and re-taping before starting the trim. I used a medium size art paint brush for the trim portion against the wall, a larger brush for the main trim, and then for the flat portion on the chair rail I used a small roller.


The final step was style and functionality. I chose not to bring back in the tall file cabinets. I had 2 short drawer sets from an old desk removed from my work office. These were already black, so that was an added plus. I also found a weird 80s wall shelf that was in a closet when we moved in. I ditched the heart shape portion and turned it into a table top shelf and added a rod for my ribbon spools. Then I found the different things that really symbolize me. I pulled my 1st SLR from its storage hideout and put it up for display. I also hung my favorite historical picture, and one of my own prints. I hung my 1st public art show award, and my sons T-ball pictures from last year. I left one wall open, and plan to pick up a large frame at Ikea and have one of my black and white prints enlarged for display. The closet has great storage, but it’s not pretty so I’ll be keeping the door closed.

DSC_0537 DSC_0540 DSC_0541

Overall I love my new space. The room update only cost me $180.00. Purchased supplies included: paint, rollers, tape, painters sheet, and a new light fixture.