life on the funny farm

Monday, September 30, 2013

D is for Apple.

Apple doesn't fall far from the tree, as they say.

My son Daniel (above, holding chicken) is writing a blog now.

Check it out!


That means you.


Click on over to his blog.
Leave him a comment!


Then come back here and vote for me on Top Mommy Blogs, why dontcha?


Just click the juggling chick and you've voted. You can vote every day till like, forever.

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Thanks!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Friend of Mine....

I have this friend who's going through a bit of a rough patch lately.

Poor thing.

She's dealing with two family members who are experiencing their own personal One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest moments.

On Saturday she was out weeding with her kids when she stepped on a nail that popped right through her shoe and into the arch of her foot.

And as it turned out, some of those weeds? Poison Ivy.  Yeah, she's got that.

Later that night, she was returning home from taking her kids somewhere when she got the call that her dog had been hit by a car. This particular dog NEVER leaves the yard, but for some reason he left it on a dark and rainy night and ran right out in front of a car. So my friend took him to the emergency vet clinic and didn't get home till three in the morning. It's touch and go for the poor old dog, who seems to have damaged his spinal cord. Time will tell. She's praying to St. Francis and all his heavenly buddies that he'll be able to walk again.


But the Calendar Gods must be pleased, still, so the next morning she was up at the break of dawn to take a couple kids to their job, and then later another kid to a soccer game. It was while she was at the game she felt it coming on. That achiness. When she got home she was able to confirm with a swipe across the temple: fever.

Went to the doctor on Tuesday, and he did a culture, so it's not confirmed yet, but she has all the earmarks of having the flu. 102.6 degree fever, cough, fatigue, feeling like she'd been run over by a truck. Doc says she's an "index case", meaning the first in the area. Asked her all kinds of questions about people she might have been in contact with that had travelled. Said the officials would have to be notified.

Made her feel very special.

Like Gwyneth Paltrow from Contagion.



Image source

Except she died, so let's think of someone else.

But special or not, she still had to contend with kids who needed rides, kids who needed to eat, a dog that needed meds three times a day and to be walked in a towel-turned sling, and a house that was falling into disarray faster than you could say influenza.

Not that she was doing much of anything to hold the disarray at bay. She would bleakly mumble, "Do your chores" from beneath the pile of blankets under the sofa, without any kind of follow-up or threat of consequences. She'd sweet talk the oldest into sling-walking the handicapped dog into the yard and giving him his meds. She would point a finger in the general direction of staples like cereal and eggs when asked "What's for dinner?".

Hopefully she'll be OK, this friend of mine.

Say a prayer for her, would you?


*******************





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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Weight Loss Wednesday

I am nothing if not consistently inconsistent.

As per usual, I lost only about 1/2 pound this week, following a bigger weight loss last week. The good news is that I'm slated for another significant reduction when I weigh in next week. And I can still proudly lay claim to having a loss each and every week so far, so that's good.

My caseload at work picked up, so I wasn't able to walk quite as much. I had to cut back from four or five miles in the morning to three. Still, I got in over 20 miles through the course of the week, so not too shabby.

Plus, I started adding in some very lame, slow jogging in pathetically short stretches. Just enough to make me wish I were dead. But what started as 50 yards here, 30 yards there, has ramped up to where I can now run move slightly faster than your Granny's walk for an entire lap, which is 1/2 mile. I am hereby setting a goal OUT LOUD that this time next week I will be able to get through a full mile. Now there's no going back.

I take it back, I take it back, I'll never be able to do it!

Breathe....

I can do it.

Right???

Anyway, I have a recipe to share with you. One of my fellow WW cronies shared it with us last week and I tried it and I thought it was the bomb. Perfect when you want something sweet and yummy and comfort-foody.

What you do is you take a 6" tortilla, and you spread some cream cheese on it. Then you slice up 1/2 of an apple and put that on it, sprinkle some cinnamon on it, and roll it up. Nuke it for about 30 seconds and enjoy. It's like a little slice of apple pie. It tastes like you're doing something dreadfully wrong, but it's only about 3 points.



Image source



Anyway, that's it for this week. For any of you also on the weight loss path, hope you're doing well. Let me know how things are going for you!

And for anyone just joining in, you can read what I've written on this subject previously right here:


Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8



Till next week, happy weight loss!!




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Thanks!

Monday, September 16, 2013

To-Do Bin

Show of hands, who has a "slush pile" on their desk?

A "get-to" pile?

You Moms know what I'm talking about. The birthday party invitations, the lunch order forms, the community service forms, grocery store flyer, the coupons, the appointment cards, the reading logs to be signed, the permission slips.

Yeah. THAT stuff.

I had a sizable slush pile, myself. As in, I needed mountain climbing gear to tackle it. And I was always forgetting what was in it, and handing things in late. Bulletin boards, side of the fridge, they haven't helped much because things still have a way of getting hidden behind other papers.

Well the other day, I did something about it. I had an old file box that I used to use for keeping recipes, but I changed the recipes over to a different spot, so it was sitting empty. It's made out of that plastic that you can write on with dry erase markers, and it holds hanging files.

So I stared at it for a few minutes.
I scratched my head.
I stared some more.
I squinted my eyes and I pondered.

Then I said "Ding ding ding!" and all the kids looked at me like I was off my rocker again.

I quickly made up a few file folder tabs, then drew a list are on the front of the bin in Sharpie, with several categories such as School, Medical, Critters, and a couple others.

I thought the words needed a little more contrast to be viewed clearly, so I taped a piece of plain printer paper to the inside of the bin. That helped.

Then I put papers from my slush pile into the appropriate folders, and wrote each task on the front of the bin, using dry erase markers.

I threw a calendar into the front of it, so as dates come up, I can add them to that pretty quickly.

Now all I have to do is glance at the front of the bin to know what my to-do list is, and I can just reach into the folder to retrieve the item, rather than shuffling through a slippery stack of papers.

For instance, lunch order forms? They're in the school folder. The dog license renewal forms? In the critter folder. And those items are written on the front of the bin so I have a visual reminder of what-all's in there. No more "mystery pile".








Since I originally made it, I added another file for coupons and flyers, because I realized that was something else I tended to find all over my desk or kitchen counters. So now when I get them, I stick them in that folder and then pull them out to look them over when I get the chance.



And you know what? I love this. I REALLY love this. And once again, I did not have to buy a thing, but just repurposed something I already had lying around.



How about you? What do you find works well to keep you organized?


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Friday, September 13, 2013

Farm Friday: Traffic Jam

Took my meat birds in for processing last weekend. They were inconsistent in size since I had ordered straight-run instead of pullets only like last time. Still, they ended up getting to a nice size for the most part.





They had NO idea what they were in for. But I maintain that raising my own birds for meat is not cruel, because they had a MUCH better life (and death, for that matter) than their factory-farm cousins.

If you'd like to read about my thoughts and experiences raising birds for meat the first time around, you can check these out:

Meat-n-Greet
Time To Say Goodbye.
I Lost It. Yes, IT.
The Cost of Sustainability



On the drive out to the farm, I hit a bit of a traffic jam.



Those Amish think that just because they're harvesting corn they OWN the road. Sheesh.




Happy weekend, my people!



****************


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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Weight Loss Wednesday

Woohoo!

Finally got to one of my goals, which was getting 25 pounds off. I'm actually down 26 pounds now, which is 1/3 of my total goal.

Thought I could have accomplished that a little earlier than I did (like end of August), but oh well. Day late and a dollar short.

One thing that certainly helped move me forward was that I was able to begin walking again. I used to walk in the mornings with my friend Debbie, but once I started working in Wilmington that became increasingly harder to do.

But I've just switched to a closer office, so I no longer have to drive 45 minutes or an hour to get to my first patient (I'm an Occupational Therapist working in home care). So when the kids started back to school last week, Debbie and I began walking again.

And I had forgotten what a great weight loss/fitness tool walking can be. I mean, what's not to love? It's free, it can be as challenging or easy as you want it to be depending on your pace and location (hills vs flat), and you can almost always find time to fit at least a little bit of walking in.

For instance, while I did laps in the park for the bulk of my miles, I also walked around soccer fields during practices.

By the end of the week, I had logged just shy of 35 miles.

82,000 steps.

My caseload is beginning to pick up, so I'll have to curtail my walking a bit, but I should still be able to get three miles in most days.

Walking off the rest of the considerable weight that needs to come off.

One foot in front of the other.





Booyaa.



Anyway, that's it for this week.  For any of you also on the weight loss path, hope you're doing well. Let me know how things are going for you!

And for anyone just joining in, you can read what I've written on this subject previously right here:


Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7



Till next week, happy weight loss!!




Throw me a vote on Top Mommy Blogs? You know the drill by now. Just click the juggling chick and you've voted. You can vote every day till like, forever.

Top Mommy Blogs - Click To Vote!

Thanks!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Times, They are A-Changin'

I can't get used to the sight.

The sight of only two kids getting on the bus.

Not so long ago, I watched six kids climbing onto the bus in the early morning hours:





But now? Often it's just two.

Patrick graduated. James gets a ride with a friend.

Rosie often hitches a ride with them.

I drive Daniel in to his school.

Most days it's just Julie and Bella.



I'm feeling very old.



I would share first day of school pictures with you all, but James was having none of it. Nor was Daniel. Julie's and Bella's pictures came out nice, but Rosie looks like a globally delayed deer in the headlights. So then I couldn't post pictures of the other girls but not her, so now I'm caught in this dilemma. I thought of having them all put on their first day outfits again and just staging the whole thing, but I have reason to believe that would not go over so well.

Sigh....







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Friday, September 6, 2013

Farm Friday: Musical Chickens

Musical Chairs Chickens


Last week I played musical chickens.

I had moved the meat birds in with the layer hens, but they didn't really grasp the concept of roosting at night.

Not known for their smarts, those meat birds.

As a result, a few of them fell victim to the night life.

Meaning they got eaten by someone thing other than our family members.

By the time I had lost three of my dozen birds, I wised up
I'm not known for my smarts, either
and penned them up in the rabbit run.

Then I decided it was high time my new layers, five sweet little Buff Orpingtons, be released into the gen. pop.

So it all went something like this:

Meat birds in with the layers.

Meat birds in with the rabbits.

New layers in with the old layers.

Ducks still penned in the nursery.

And later this morning:

Meat birds taken in to be "processed".

Ducks in with the layers.

Repeat next summer.







Clear as mud....







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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Weight Loss Wednesday

Shoot. I had my meeting last night, but I didn't do so well.

I still had a loss, and that's the main thing, because I've had a loss every single week so far.

But it was only about a half pound.

In looking at my booklet, I noticed a pattern. It seems I tend to lose a pretty small amount, like under a pound, and then the next week I'll lose a more significant amount, like two or three pounds.

So if history means anything, I'm looking at a bigger loss next week, which will put me past that 25 pound mark I've been anticipating.

Also, I started back up with walking with my friend. We used to walk once or twice a week in the mornings. We did two laps around the park, and she had to go. But I didn't, so I continued on my own and did another five laps! We're walking again today and then tomorrow. Hopefully we'll be able to keep up with walking together at least three times a week. Walk that weight right off.


Anyway, that's it for this week. Nothing earth shattering in terms of tips, just keep at it and don't get discouraged when progress slows. For any of you also on the weight loss path, hope you're doing well. Let me know how things are going for you!

And for anyone just joining in, you can read what I've written on this subject previously right here:


Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6



Till next week, happy weight loss!!




Throw me a vote on Top Mommy Blogs? You know the drill by now. Just click the juggling chick and you've voted. You can vote every day till like, forever.

Top Mommy Blogs - Click To Vote!

Thanks!

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