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Archive for August, 2012


I’m sore.

I’m tired.

I’m frenzied.

I’m sad.

I’m excited.

But I’m sad.

But I’m excited!

Nope, this isn’t hormones. This is a major, major life change. And by that, I mean it’s major. As in, pretty darn big. And then some. 😆

What’s got me all in knots and has prevented me from writing as usual?

I’m packing. Well, we’re packing.

Which means I’m sore, mostly from sitting on the floor.

Because I’m sore (and a bit frenzied, to be honest), I’m not sleeping well, which means I’m tired.

I’m physically tired, but also mentally tired, sorting through the horrendously long list of things I need to keep in mind while the clock is madly ticking down.

In the last week, I have made a HUGE dent. And by that, I mean, huge. As in, very nearly epic. 😆

I’ve made such a dent that in a short amount of time, I may actually be done sooner than I expect because there is nothing left for me to do that can be done now. It doesn’t quite feel like it right now, mostly because my house looks like a tornado went through it.

There are stacks of boxes in literally every singe room in the house.

While on the one hand, I’m so excited I’m very nearly super charged (less the bag of bones slowing me down) I am also really, really sad in a way. Well, the kids and I are sad in this department.

I expect that this time next week, all of my chickens will probably be on to their new home(s). {gasp}

Yes. Really. 😥  😥

It’s certainly not by choice, but there really isn’t any other option, although I have researched and had a game plan in my own twisted mind. I was convinced I could do it, but the logistics are going to be preventative, and those logistics also create an issue for the plans we had for the cat.

What’s this major life event?

We’re moving. 😀

And it’s not just a little one. After 17 years in this location, we are packing up and moving nearly 1,800 miles to the southern/central east coast.

It’s not just the location, either.

After 19 years with the same company, and third generation at that, we are changing companies for {literally} greener pastures. In some ways, that was not our first choice. But, as it turns out, it’s definitely the BEST choice, for any number of reasons.

The only single downside I can find is having to leave my chickens behind. 😦

We’re going to be leaving in a week or two (Hunny’s last day is next Tuesday) and then we’ll travel, all of us, to the new location. We’re calling it “The Grand Adventure.”

While our house here is on the market, we’ll be living in the RV until it’s sold. We’ve got toes and fingers crossed that it’s going to sell quickly so we can move onto the next house. And get more chickens. 😀

The kids are a bit sad to leave their friends, of course, but they are real troopers; looking forward to meeting new people and having a new, greener, less hot climate. With more chickens at some point.

The location is absolutely ideal- and hour to the mountains, and about that same time to get to the ocean. And there’s water- like, REAL water on the ground. In amounts big enough to swim or fish in. And do other stuff.

I’ve spent an entire day changing email address and accounts on everything I can think of. It’s also necessitated a new cell phone plan, which means ‘hello smart phone!’. (Really, don’t laugh- I just got text a year ago after having a cell phone for 3 years. I have to say, I’m totally loving it, though, and it’s going to be the primary tool while we’re in between houses, not to mention I’ll be glad to have map software while I follow behind Hunny with the big GPS in his truck…………. and running apps! Squee! :lol:) 

Anyhow. For the two of you that have noticed I’ve been quite lately and more or less MIA, now you know why. This thing took what felt like *forever,* but now that it’s here and finalized, time is of the essence and I need to get cracking. My body is protesting, but I’ve done a decent job of ignoring it.

I’ll try to update as I get time. Did I mention I’m excited?  😀

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Bridges are a part of life. If you’re alive, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

There are bridges from person to person- sometimes one will extend a ‘bridge’ to someone else, and wait to see if they cross it. {Or maybe that’s an olive branch.  :lol:}

Sometimes, there are bridges in our own lives- paths that connect one part of our lives to another. Usually, I think we don’t see these until we’ve crossed over and look back.

I usually don’t mind bridges, although it’s ever-present in my mind when travelling that you could get pushed over the side, like by semis or debris on the road, etc. I can’t help it; it’s just one of those things I think about when we’re travelling.

There are bridges, however, that really give me the heebie jeebies. {Ok, maybe I ought to make this confession, so it’ll put this in context: I do not like heights. Tight, windy mountain passes- like through the Wolf Creek Pass (that’s the trip when I fell down the mountain…………) especially get my heart rate going, and I will also admit that I have spent a significant portion of some drives with my eyes closed and praying} ESPECIALLY bridges over gorges. Or canyons. Or large bodies of water. Suspension bridges are really unsettling- I am convinced I can feel them swaying, because it always seems I’m on them when it’s windy.

I. Do. Not. Like. Them. 😀

No, really, I don’t.

I can appreciate them, however. A friend recently posted about a trip she had taken to Astoria, Oregon. When I saw the bridge she had shared a picture of, I thought I might have stayed under that bridge overnight.

No, sillies, not as a troll. There was a hotel. 😆

Sure enough, after checking the itinerary, I was able to confirm that we stayed in the hotel under the bridge on the trip that nearly killed me.

Wait. What? Didn’t I tell you about that trip?

Oh dear. That was the trip with many names. {The Trip from Hell……….. The Trip That Nearly Killed Me Dead…………… The Trip That Shall Never Be Spoken of Again and That Most Certainly Shall Never Be Repeated Ever, Ever Again…………} Without additional adjectives, let’s just call it The Trip.

The Trip came about over a deep desire of my parents to go on a family vacation for their 50th anniversary. Here’s the deal: they would pay for airfare, travel accommodations and lodging expenses for the duration of the two-week family tour down the west coast. We were responsible for paying for our food.

Sound good?

Here’s the part I left out- it was a chartered bus tour. All the way from Seattle down to San Francisco, in two weeks, stopping at 5 national parks and 7 state parks, with additional ‘natural areas’ and other points of interest, like the Oregon State Aquarium and Pike Place Market and a factory tour of Boeing and a ferry ride across Puget Sound. And leaving the hotel at 5:45 am to visit the tide pools at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area. Tons and tons and tons of stops. 

It was a chartered bus tour. With all 8 of us siblings and spouses (less mine) and 20 grandchildren. 10 of those children were 8 and under. On a bus. For two weeks. Getting on the bus most days around 6 am to leave the hotel and checking into the next one around 8 pmish.

Yes, that’s over 12 hours a day, much of it on the bus, driving down the Oregon coast; stopping 3 plus times a day for points of interest, sometimes for food; most often eating at least lunch on the bus (which had provided us with coolers, so we hit a Wal-Mart the first evening out on the road, and then after that, there were grocery stores that were 1/2 a mile one could walk to, if interested, after getting to the hotel after 8 pm).

We did one week of the tour and flew home in Redding, Ca. I am 100% certain that had I not gotten home when I did, I would have ended up in the hospital. As it was, Hunny took one look at me once we were off the plane and wanted to take me to the ER. Honestly, I was too tired to go, and just wanted to get home and sleep. We had planned to go first thing in the morning. Fortunately, it didn’t come to that, as I was able to de-juice some overnight, but it took me over a solid week of being in bed except to go to the bathroom to get most of the fluid out.

I have *never* been that swollen, nor do I intend to ever again. I was so swollen, the sides of my ankles were nearly dragging on the ground {and no, I actually am not exaggerating}. It goes without saying that my flip-flops were nearly impossible to get on in the morning, and once on, were not coming off because I knew if I took them off, I would not be able to get them back on later in the day………… 

It is really unsettling to have people stare at you because you are disfigured- even my face was swollen- they can tell something is clearly wrong with you. {And so now you understand why I didn’t go on the European version of this trip they all took this last June…………..}

But I digress. We’re talking about bridges. 😆 And one bridge in particular.

As it turns out, I do have a few pictures from staying the night under that bridge. Pretty neat to be under it, and it makes for spectacular photography. I am pretty sure, however, that I had my eyes closed while we were driving over it. 😆

Here are pictures of my view from the ground. 😀

You can see that I managed to get part of the bus seat in the picture. 🙂

Because life is a soundtrack, I leave you with Simon and Garfunkle’s Bridge Over Troubled Water…….. 😆

 

Or wait. Maybe we ought to go with Red Hot Chili Peppers Under the Bridge instead………… 😆

 

 

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Seems I’ve been thinking about food more again lately. You know how this goes……………

My pain level is up which means I’m not sleeping well. Because I’m not sleeping well, I’m finding excuses not to run because I’m tired. And sore. And not sleeping well. And in pain. And because I’m not running much, I’m in more pain. Which means I’m not sleeping well. So then I’m tired, which means I don’t run because I have things that I have to get done and can’t literally sleep the day away. 

One thing I have taken care with is my gluten intake, because gluten= inflammation which = higher level of pain for me. And even though it still is pretty sucky to not be able to eat what I want, I know I feel better when I don’t.

Foods can cause all kinds of problems. If you’ve been reading along, you’ll have some information on this topic. For those of you not real familiar with this subject, I’ll pass along that I’ve spent a lot of years being familiar with how food affects the body. In addition to gluten, all kinds of things- like MSG and food coloring, etc- can affect not just how a person feels, but how they function (gluten in particular is linked to inflammation, which can cause depression).

I have a friend whose son has a multitude of issues. She was aware of concerns with MSG (which she eliminated) and food coloring. She and a friend of hers both had boys diagnosed with ADHD. Their experiment consisted of colored popsicles. In this case, they used sugar-free popsicles, which, of course, contained food coloring. She had no idea gluten was a problem, but after sharing a lot of information with her, she decided to go gluten-free, and the last I heard, was having really good success with it, in addition to eliminating food colorings and MSG.

In addition to food sensitivities, some people also have other food allergies. Even if a particular food doesn’t send you into anaphylactic shock, you can still have a food sensitivity or allergy. I spent a number of years counseling breastfeeding mothers, and one topic that was visited frequently was diet; particularly allergies.

There are those that will tell you that gluten-free is a fad, as are concerns over MSG and food coloring and imitation sweeteners. My reply would be to look at the data; look at how many children and adults are diagnosed with all kinds of conditions, particularly as compared to even 50 years ago. And then stop and think about what has changed in the US since then……………

Food for so many is a struggle. I know it is for me, particularly since no one else in my family has food issues, and it’s my job to feed my family in a pretty rural area that doesn’t have very good options. It’s easy to get discouraged.

This morning, though, in spite of the daily headache of dealing with these things, I was uplifted and set to giggling. (Ok, well, laughing so hard I cried may be more accurate………..) If you’ve been reading along, you may remember that in my former life, I was a music/theatre major and that I have a keen obsession fondness for all things music theatre/opera. One of my favorite shows ever is Les Miserable(so much so, that I confess to having at least 4 {different} full soundtracks and libretto……….)

So, without further ado, here’s my morning offering for all of us food allergy/sensitivity/intolerance sufferers. Enjoy!  😆

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So, I was poking around the internet this morning, and guess what came across my desk? Yep, you guessed it: more Gotye. Apparently, this song has been a hit to the point where it’s got numerous covers and parodies. As a result, Wally decided he’d get on board and make a new video of his song, featuring “The YouTube orchestra.”

And you know what that means. 😀 Yep. I went looking. 😆

Before I link to his video, here are some others I thought were paste-worthy:

Pentatonix

 

Matthias Harris

 

Dutch Choir

 

Orchestral Cover

 

Well, if you sat through that one, go get a cookie and then be rewarded with the singing version of that video: 

Walk Off the Earth

 

I momentarily thought about including the harpist, but figured we had enough instrumental.

Have you heard enough yet? 😆 Here’s the original Gotye YouTube Orchestra:

 

If you still want to hear more, click here for “The Top 10 Covers of Somebody That I Used To Know.”

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Being the fan of chickens that I am, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to read about Mike, The Headless Chicken, who lived for 18 months after an unsucessful attempt to be eaten for dinner and then was taken on the road by his fortune-seeking owners.

Initially, this strikes me as something too impossible to be true. I mean, how did he eat? How did he survive not running into stuff? How did he know where to roost at night? How did he escape predators?

The ‘proof’ that the town of Fuita, Colorado has a link on its town website for Mike and has an annual festival? Well, that doesn’t make it true. I mean, for goodness sakes, Roswell, NM has an annual UFO festival, even though it’s not linked on the city website. I’m pretty sure we can’t equate festival = real.

Nonetheless, I was so compelled by this take that I decided to go looking researching.

Of course, there’s a Wikipedia page for Mike. Knowing that Wikipedia doesn’t accept any first hand accounts (and why not? I mean, they really ought to think about not accepting anything that doesn’t have first and second-hand resources! Look also at the bit on journalism………….) gets my hinky meter going, mostly because it’s commonly known that second-hand information is heresay, which isn’t generally admissible in court.

So, then I thought I would check Snopes. Nada. Although there was a reference on the discussion boards there, there is nothing written up about Mike. Poor Mike. Not worthy of urban legend status according to Snopes!  😥

I did, however, hit the jackpot when I stumbled across this article from the Denver Post where Mike had thrown his hat, er, head into the presidential ring. Using “It’s a No-Brainer” as a campaign slogan for the “Free Range Party ticket” was genius!

It’s linked to Time Magazine, which had taken several pictures, including Mike being fed by syringe. Honestly, I’m not sure how Mike managed not to aspirate. And cracked corn?  😯

Anyhow. While this seems fantastical, early evidence suggests it’s true.

You tell me: true or hoax?

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It’s Not Just Me


 

Cartoon
Parade
®

ILLUSTRATION: GRAFILU. CARTOON: RINA PICCOLO

“Would you like a wake-up call
in the morning, sir?”

See? It’s not just me! 😆

While I’m pretty sure they are trying to say this is a rooster, I’m don’t think it quite looks like one. The tail feathers are not long enough, and it’s just too plump. Combine that with the stance (the lack of neck being stretched out proudly), well, this is a hen, no doubt about it. 😆

While we do currently have three boys (yes, you’re reading that right) that I’m working on rehoming, I stand firm in my belief that I have The Answer to the problem of sleepy teenagers. Indeed, while I admit that boys are obnoxious loud, I still maintain that for all around perks and morning awareness, hens are the best.

I say this, because after having solid experience with boys, I am here to proclaim that said teenagers (and indeed, children of any age- clearly NOT the parents, but the children) become quickly adept at tuning out the orchestral cockerels. While the boys actually do give us a variation of the egg song when the girls go out of sight, it’s our girls that are consistently good with just the morning alarm; unless, of course, they are actually laying an egg. And then we get more singing. 😀

So, you see, it’s not just me that knows that chickens make excellent alarm clocks. Y’all go get one! (and if any of you want my sweet boys, let me know! :lol:)

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“No one steps on Archer land.” This had been drilled into everyone in Anderson County, Texas- including the school children. When bully Hiram Ellis pitches 10 year-old Meridith Hayes’ lunch bucket onto Archer land, Meri has no choice but to disobey the edict and retrieve it. She’s not going to let Hiram get the best of her, even if it means taking her life into her own hands!

While Meri isn’t shot to pieces, she does end up with a leg caught in a metal trap. Hearing the hunting hound closing in on her followed by an Archer, Meri is resolved is to be brave in her final minutes. What happens next shapes the rest of her life.

After releasing the trap and seeing her home- leaving the Archer land for the first time since swearing an oath to his dying father- Travis knows he’ll never forget those startling blue eyes. Meredith knows that the tall tales about Travis aren’t true, and she holds on to a fantasy of being in love with him as she grows up.

Years later, Meredith has been passed on to live with her aunt and uncle after her own father’s death. As business owners, they see her as a pawn to gain power; her father’s land her only dowry. After all, her leg defect leaves her undesirable.

The match leaves her cold; her dreams of true love shattered. Meri struggles to comply. Right before her engagement is announced, Meri hears of a chilling plan to burn Archer property, forcing them to sell to her unscrupulous intended.

Meri has no choice but to warn the Archers. Her participation in attempting to put out the planned fire results in a head injury which keeps her on the ranch with the four single Archer guys- including Travis. He acknowledges remembering her; understanding that the trap that broke her leg resulted in a permanent limp, one leg being slightly shorter than the other. The responsibility of it all comes crashing down on him, and weighs him down.

Eventually, Meri’s uncle comes to the ranch, looking for her. Once he realizes she’s there, he demands one of the boys marry her, now that she’s been ‘compromised.’ And so, the Archers take to drawing straws………..

I absolutely loved this book. This was another title that had me reading it all in a single setting. It also left my copy dog-eared and giggling. Some of my favorite lines include, “Not even frilly-smelling laundry could tear them apart,” (stemming from the belief that all women smell flowery, and thus, they would too, since she was doing their laundry) and “Except for the handful of weeds he’d presented her that morning, he’d given her nothing but a scarred leg and a dented head.”

See what I mean? I absolutely LOVE books that make me laugh. This one had enough tension in to make you wonder what was going to happen next. There’s also the inevitable kidnapping (but not her) and the leering goon who makes sure she knows he’s going to have his way with her.

I don’t know that I’ve read anything else by Karen Witemeyer, but she goes on my list of authors to get more titles from. I give it 5 out of 5 stars. Click below to see the trailer!

I received this book from Bethany House Publishers for this unbiased review.

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