This is what I picture for my little homestead

Every year more and more happens at our home. Progress is slow, and at times  possibly reversed, but day by day we move closer to our end goals.

While reading the blog below every picture my brain goes “see thats what i picture!” I love what they were able to do.

Once upon a time, there was a house. A little prairie house. It was born in 1918, a homesteader’s dream, built to shelter a growing family from the harsh conditions of the high plains. It’s seen a lot in the past 98 years. Lightning strikes. Blinding snowstorms. Rattlesnake infestations. A shop fire. Tornadoes. The Blizzard of ’49.…

via The Story of Our Prairie House — The Prairie Homestead

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Baseball Birthday

Baseball Birthday

This past weekend my baby turned 1. I avoided thinking about it as long as I could , but at a certain point I had to accept that my baby is getting to be a toddler and let him have his day. Hubby’s mom was up from out of state, so the family would all be at the house, and that alone is a full house.  Just hubby’s family made a house of 9 little ones and 8 adults. We kept the party limited as we expected to need to be indoors, and I’m not sure about you, but that basically maxes out my home especially having that many kids running around. However, we had a great surprise in the form of an 80 degree sunshiny day.

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Thinking back it turned out great, but I really do owe it all to hubby. You see, I decorate, and plan, and fuss over the minor details. He on the other hand implements.  He’s the one that remembers the practical stuff; the things I wouldn’t use personally and therefore don’t think to buy, pickles, tomatoes, extra chips. I also don’t seem to understand how much food kids eat. The family gathered at our house the night prior too, the chips were eaten, the veggies were eaten, dinner was eaten, and popcorn was eaten. I was out of ideas, and one of my snackers was gluten and dairy free. I was in a bit of a panic for the next day. All I had planned was hot dogs, popcorn, and cracker jacks. Hubby to the rescue! He picked up all the practical stuff and no one was hungry at the end of the night.

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And since he took care of the real party needs, I got to set up cute baseball theme decorations. Baseball invitations (sample pic below) which turned out perfect!

Vintage Baseball Ticket Invitation - Baseball Birthday Party Invitation - Boy Birthday Party - DIY Printable

I ordered those here. Baseball toddler photos curtesy of me. Thank you. Baseball baby smash cake, I’m not a cake decorator, but I think it turned out pretty good. Baseball themed party supply table with a couple pictures of the guest of honor. And my awesome sister hooked us up with slip and slide baseball.

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We couldn’t have asked for a better family evening on the farm.

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Prayer Wall Project

Prayer Wall Project

When we first moved into our mini farm home, hubby brought me home an old large picture window frame. He thought it would be great for one of my photography or craft projects. I loved it! However, I couldn’t decide what I wanted to do with it. This window has leaned against the wall in our home oddly fitting in with the décor it was hiding behind. There it sat for going on 3 years.

Last week an idea popped into my head and I decided we needed a prayer wall in our home. Somewhere to post pictures of those we pray for, inspiration, big goals that seem unattainable, whatever fits. I wasn’t sure what this was going to look like, then one night a picture floated into my thoughts and it was the frame. And so, my prayer wall has taken shape.

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While cleaning the frame I became distracted by spider webs/nests. Took a few minutes to come back from my mobster mentality of killing anything spider related.  But I digress.

After cleaning the window (both sides), I hot glued mini clothes pins randomly across the glass. Next I printed some pictures I had that symbolized my prayers, and I printed them onto regular printer paper.

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Using some tags I picked up at a craft store at some point, I glued the pictures to the tags.

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I took some extra tags and wrote a few favorite scriptures. On the back of a couple of the pictures I jotted down my prayer.  Earlier a speaker at the bible study I attend gave us moms scripture cards.

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You can find those here. Those fit in perfectly.

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I’m kinda in love with this little project. Not too over the top, and fitting for my family.

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By the way, when I told hubby my window idea, he thought I was talking about the giant picture window that is the front of our house. I believe its 12 ft by 8 ft. the mental image makes me smile.

Perception & Reality: Soap Box

Perception & Reality: Soap Box

PERCEPTION-VS-REALITY

I think back on growing up, or even stories from those of generations past, and I get frustrated. Now granted I really don’t think the people as in the human race has changed so much over the years, but access to one another has increased 10 fold. People have judged each other since Adam and Eve left the garden of Eden.  For bible followers you know it is mentioned over and over (Matthew 7:1, Luke 6:37, and so on). The point is we judge. But what was once whispered in another’s ear, or gossiped about in small groups, is now plastered on social media. In the past people didn’t rent a bill board to say “hey sally waitress was flirting with my man, & made snide comments”, but it doesn’t take long to find that type of thing viral on Facebook.  Women have whispered and made assumptions for years. Men too. And I’m not above it. I try not to, but now and then I find myself judging other moms, or colleagues, or famous people, whatever. I try to catch myself and stop it in its tracks. However, it seems to have become acceptable to blast people on Facebook as if its not the same as taking out an add in the newspaper. Newsflash: posting to Facebook is the equivalent to a pre 2002 posting in a local newspaper.

And we can’t parent like parents used to either. For the same reason! Now granted I was raised a bit different from others my age, and I tend to have a hard time knowing what is acceptable for the age of my child. One day my husband didn’t hear the bus and my son (kindergarten) wasn’t allowed off as no one was there to meet him. This is in the country mind you, where the next neighbor is a quarter mile down the road. Its not a group stop. Picking my son up at the bus garage I made the mistake of saying she could have let him off to see if the door was open, and wave if dad was inside. WHHAAATTTTT!!!!! You have never heard a group of women get so appalled. Took everything I had to hold in my “CALM THE FLOCK DOWN!”.  Silly me. Its not the time of kinder kids walking to school alone anymore I get that. But WOW. In town if the kids live within one mile they have to walk. What happens then?

We now live in a time where kids walking alone to the park leads to CPS. Kids alone at a pool get kidnapped, peanuts are banned from schools, and farming technique advancements can kill you. You neglect your baby if you feed formula, and are obscene if you nurse in public. You are an absentee mother if you work away from home, and lazy or non-contributing if you stay home with the kids. Thin and your viewed as unhealthy or vein, heavy and your lazy or careless. Eat GMO and you’ll get cancer (I don’t believe this, don’t attack me), eat organic and you’re grossed out (or is that just me?). Put your kids in multiple activities and your overachieving and a helicopter parent, leave them out and your poor or not concerned with your child’s social and mental expansion.

Perception becomes reality with few to no questions. People look at protesters as those at the Oregon wildlife refuge and think “what a bunch of crazies, why hasn’t the government shut them down yet”. But at the same time, rioters burn down buildings and yell to kill police, and its understandable. The line between the two is so gray it comes down to social portrayal. Imagine this: a newer construction suburban neighborhood in what’s considered “county” draws young parents which draws friends of those parents. As often happens in human nature the group is drawn together by children of similar ages, parents with similar interests, similar beliefs, ect. After say 5 years many in the neighborhood attend the same church, or branches of the same church. Kids go to the same schools, and parents have what seems like neighborhood barbeques since they are so connected. Heck the HOA puts on a yearly block party, and meeting every couple of months. Two more years go by. Kids are getting older, they see their dads go on occasional hunting trips and decide they want BB guns. Kids are now a bit old for the traditional Daisy Red Ryder, so for Christmas one gets a more advance model kida looks like a real gun, but its got the bright color markings. No big deal. Neighbor kids get jealous, and slowly a few more boys get some too.  One day a couple of the dads take the boys to shoot targets. Its laundry day and a Saturday. One dad for lack of clothing wears a pair of cargo pants and a camo shirt the last clean one. A kid from the group just likes camo and wears it with everything. Sue nobody is looking at the neighborhood with the prospect of buying a new home, and sees the camo clad gun toting bunch. What is wrong with these people! They’ve armed the kids. She tells Beth, who changes the story a bit, who tells Jessica. Jessica knows of someone in the area and mentions they are really close nit, they have regular meetings and all go to the same church. Beth mentions to Sue, who now has the impression this is so not the place for her, but is a bit extra concerned for the kids……..

Sound a bit like maybe it should be investigated more? We don’t need another WACO right?

I get its totally conspiracy theory like, but how far from likely is it? lets just throw a quick online rant about the creepy neighborhood for grins in there and see how far it can go. Its such a scary thought! Perception becomes reality so fast anymore!

I can keep going, but its depressing I will stop.

Love of all things rustic

Hello all! It’s been a while since my last post, I’ve been seriously slacking. Actually life has been so hectic that things fell by the wayside. All my life craziness has apparently caught up with me, because now, with a baby due in April, I’m hanging out at home on bed rest. This is day 2, and do you know what there is to do on bed rest? SIT AROUND! Needless to say I’ve signed up for Netflix, and busted out embroidery projects to work on. The little things about living on my little farm that didn’t seem like a big deal before, are now feeling a bit restrictive. For example, until moving here I had lived in the town with the first fiber internet, boasted to be the fastest internet in the country. Do you know what I have now? Satellite internet that bounces off a potato shed a few miles away! Loading. Loading. I was once asked by a friend from the wet side of Washington if we had internet and phones and stuff like that in my area. I laughed and said, “Nope we jump up on the roof and yell from house to house”. Well, I may have been being sarcastic at the time, but I’m starting to feel that way with my internet. But it’s okay, Netflix still mails DVDs.

Anyway, that’s really not the point of my post today. Since I have time to sit and plan, I’ve been planning my schedule, and getting excited about this spring/summer. One of my favorite things coming up is the variety of vintage shows throughout the area.

When adding new pieces to my home I like them to have stories behind them. For example, Hubby and I had a little weekend getaway, and on the way home stopped at this cute shop in the little town of Reardan, and found this great desk. It’s not a monumental moment for us, but the desk is now something I see and remember our mini road trip weekend.

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Honestly I don’t remember much about the weekend, but I remember the quality time of our drive, and stopping at the little shops on the way home. I have a fun “sign” I found at the Vintage Faire in Okanogan, it was a fun girl’s trip with a friend I’ve had since middle school. The sign is made using an old seed bag from Othello. Although the seed company I work for is a town over, Othello is close enough that it was a little piece of history from my area I could incorporate in my home.

I’ve compiled a list of great events in the Eastern Washington area and most are coming up soon:

Antiques & things – April 4th at the O’Sullivan Grange hall between Moses Lake and Warden off Hwy 17

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The Vintage faire – April 25th (yearly, last Saturday of April) Okanogan Fair Grounds, Okanogan WAvintage faire

Farm Chicks – June 6th Spokane

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Love of Junk – June 12-13 Walla Walla

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Best late excuse – sorry cops were searching my house.

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So my internet has been down, but it is up just in time for me to tell my crazy running late for work story. So here goes. Deputies don’t drive around our area very often, so yesterday morning I was a bit surprised when I saw one drive by, then a little annoyed that he drove through my property treating it like a personal turn around. But hey whatever. So I take my son to the babysitter and realize I left my cell at home, then didn’t tell her or get her phone number again. Living just down the road I decided to rush home and get it. Like anyone living in the country (and some city dwellers), I left the truck running and ran inside to grab by phone. As I’m coming out a deputy is pulling in. Now I know something is up, but at the same time, I’m struggling to care as we are shorthanded at work, I’ve got a gal from our CA branch there to meet with me, and I’m already going to be late. So as politely as possible, I slow down to see what the deputy has to say.

Here’s how this goes:

Deputy: “You look like your leaving, have you been here all morning?”

Me:  “for the most part, but I left just a bit ago and took my son to daycare, but forgot my phone.”

Deputy: “well, we have a really bad guy running loose right now and we suspect he is trying to find a place to hide and a vehicle to steal”.

Me: “so, leaving my pickup running with my purse in the front seat while I run inside, probably not the best plan”.

Deputy: (eye’s rolling) “No. Do you ever leave your doors unlocked?”

I must have made a funny face (I’m no poker player), because he does this exasperated eye roll with a “you leave your doors unlocked” – more of an accusation this time.

Me: “well the back door to the laundry room, but there are 3 big dogs in there, so I highly doubt he made it in”.

Deputy: “We have reason to believe he is hiding in your house, would you like us to check it?”

Now this seems to be a pretty big leap, but given hubby was going to be working out of town and I would be coming home alone with a 5 year old in tow……

Me: “well, alright, I should at least lock the door, your welcome to do a walk through”.

I go in real quick, and my inner bad ass is going I’ll  just check the rooms myself real quick – if I let the dogs out its going to be this big stop harassing the deputies (there are 2 now), don’t lick, don’t knock them over, yada yada yada. At the same time my brain quickly touches on that I have a pistol hidden nearby, but the deputy is standing right there and that seems inappropriate. I figure if there is a bad guy, one scream and the Great Dane eats the bad guy and cops come running in. I say “I’ll just peak in and lock the back door real quick”. I failed to mention that the laundry room leads to more of the house.

Me: (as I come back) “Well, I locked the door, and there doesn’t appear to be anyone hiding in the back bedroom or bathroom, or anything”.

Deputy: (serious eye roll) “you checked the rooms yourself?”

Me: “yes, their clear, however, you are welcome to check around the property outside, I don’t think anyone would hide in the chicken coop, but feel free to check around”. My mind touches on the hidden pistol again, but that still seems weird to get out with the deputy standing there, plus I’m sure picking up a gun while in the presence of the deputy would definitely slow down my progress of getting to work.

At this point, the local farmers are pulling into my driveway and I’m still going, I’m totally going to be late. I do a quick introduction, and everyone was nice enough to move trucks for me. I called the gal down the road and let her know what I was told – “stay in side, bald white bad guy hiding in the corn field”. Turns out she knew too. So I tell hubby, who is now not so happy being away, but gets the full story from the other neighbor after I hung up.

So here’s the outline:

Turns out the neighbors son was moving out and the night before had loaded up his guns, TV, and misc stuff in his truck. The next morning he goes to leave, and this guy is steeling the stuff in his truck. So the neighbor’s son takes off chasing the guy on foot into the cornfield boarding our property. After losing track of him the neighbor goes back to his house and finds 3 guys in a car have arrived and are trying to take off with his stuff. Deputies arrive about this time and chase the 3 guys in the car, who in turn roll their car. Deputies found a bunch of master keys, slim jims, and other paraphernalia. Those bad guys get arrested (guess they also punched the ignition on another vehicle in the area).

Later in the afternoon I hear from my neighbor’s dad (whom I work with) that they caught the bald guy. Turns out the irrigation district worker was going by and stopped to ask what all the commotion was about, so my neighbor tells the story. Irrigation guy goes “no way, a guy matching that description just walked out of the corn field and is walking down the road right now!” so my neighbor drives down to see if he is still there and calls one of the city officers directly. My neighbor gets flagged down by bad guy who asks to borrow his cell charger! Needless to say, neighbor says no, and the city cop arrives and detains bad guy until deputies arrive.

So there is the craziness of yesterday morning. Lesson learned: locks doors, and perhaps leave dogs out.

A Working Mom is NOT the Minority!

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I’m a working mom, and though at times I don’t want to be, I’m proud to be a working mom. But today my frustration is directly related to the “don’t want to be” part. It seems to me that those who have school age children are of the same mind: schools act as though everyone has a stay at home parent!

working-moms

Now my son is 5, will start kindergarten this fall, and I am already pulling my hair out in frustration. Let me start by describing my community:

We are a farm based community, and as such, the population is low and greatly made up of people that fall into the migrant worker category. Our town has exactly one preschool, technically it is a migrant council head start, and as such has very limited openings with very specific restrictions, of which we don’t qualify. And that’s okay, but on top of this there is not a single licensed daycare provider in this town (facility or home based-nothing!).

With this being the case, children either attend preschool in a neighboring town (20 miles away), don’t go to pre-school, or are accepted to the migrant council head start. I chose to homeschool for preschool, and from what I can tell my son is good to go, but I am concerned that he has not sat through a real school setting, just Sunday school, and I’m not sure that counts. Anyway, our school offers what they call “Kinder Camp”. It’s a program offered (next week actually) that allows the kids to experience ½ day kindergarten and the teachers get to evaluate and decide how to split up classes. I’m very excited about this especially since for many of these kids English is their 2nd language, and with not having a preschool, the kids are all over the board.

When I registered my son for kindergarten I was told this camp would take place, and I would receive information on it when it came closer. Not how long it was, full day vs 1/2 day, or anything of usefulness. Actually the school didn’t really even post anything on kindergarten registration at all, I had to ask about it, and a friend mentioned a flyer was sent home with her kids. Anyway, I finally get a postcard in the mail Saturday (the 7th!) saying the mandatory orientation for kinder camp would be at 8:30am on the 16th. That’s all the info on this post card by the way! So I call, turns out it’s a 2 week program, from 8:30-12:30 M-F. WTF! Let’s not make it easy or give notice!

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I work in town for a pretty flexible company, and that’s even hard for me to swing. Reminder, there is no daycare in town! So I was all excited because I’ve been taking my son to Moses Lake (roughly 15 mile commute) to daycare, but found a high school girl to watch my son once she gets out of school, and then once he starts school she can watch him in the afternoons too. This is great, my girl can’t drive. So for my son to attend, not only do I need to arrange on 1 week notice to have the morning off (I got lucky and my department is just going to shut down for a few hrs so I can attend), I have to figure out transportation too. Luckily my work was okay with me shifting my schedule 30 minutes for 2 weeks, but how many others can do that? Oh and as it turns out, when school starts, the 1st two days for the kindergarten kids will be ½ days, but not for anyone else (new vacation day request – 2 days for school, yeah me).

The more I get into this the more grateful I am for the job I have (4 weeks’ vacation, holidays off, and about 2 weeks off at Xmas); most jobs are not that flexible. What about other parents? Why do schools act like you are the minority for working? I’m a mom who doesn’t work from home, I bust my booty to be a good mom, help provide for my family, and yet I get a guilt trip for working. WTF! If you are able to stay home that is awesome, and many “stay-at-home moms” are working no doubt about it, but that job is still the less common job. Yet somehow in my immediate circle I am actually the only “work-away-from-home” mom. Not sure how that happened, but some days I am incredibly jealous and have to remind myself of the benefits I have from my work.

So for those in a similar position remember the pluses:

* life enriched by co-workers and other connections (adult conversation & new friends)

* spending flexibility (though it may not be much for some, it’s more than nothing)

* Child social interaction (for me this is the only real kid time my son gets)

* Savings/retirement

* Good medical insurance

* Vacation and holiday time allow extra at home time for the big things (sorry this isn’t relevant for my friends in LE, EMS, ect).

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So anyway:

Dear Warden School District & multiple others,

Thanks for reminding me of all the great stuff I can’t do with my kid.

Sincerely,
#pissedoffworkingmom