Friday, May 15, 2009

And It Just Keeps Coming...

Have you ever been woken up at 4:45 a.m. by someone pounding on your door & ringing the doorbell? It's not fun. That happened to us this morning and when my husband went to check on who it was, there was a cop standing at our door. That's enough to give anyone a heart attack in the wee hours of the morning.
It turns out someone's horses got loose (two of them) and the police assumed that since we had a pasture with an open gate, they belonged to us. The truth is no, we don't own any horses (which we told the policeman) and we only keep the gate open because my husband parks his truck behind the house. But even after we told the officer that they weren't ours, they just said, "Well we put them in your pasture and secured your gate. You'll probably be getting a call from someone later." Then he promptly left. Um......they're NOT our horses!
So later this morning, once the sun had come up, we made the unfortunate discovery that these horses had trampled through our garden. Yeah, the one I'm having trouble with anyway. Those few precious tomato & pepper plants that survived have now been trampled under horse hooves. Really? Is there anything else fate would like to do to our garden?

On an up-note, we got a call from our neighbor last night--the neighbor who we've been getting the pig feed from and who arranged for us to get these pigs. He said that if we sell the pigs now, we'd lose our shirts so he made a deal with us. He is going to supply us with our pig feed at no cost for now and then when the pigs are sold and we receive our checks, we can pay him back for the feed then. I'm so glad we have nice neighbors! I think people are really pulling through & rallying with their neighbors during these tough times. Like bringing over tamales for no reason like our next door neighbors did the other night or what Hobie is doing by working with us so we can keep the pigs. This is why I love where we live.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow?....(not so well actually.)

Okay I don't know how my sister does it... She has had a really awesome garden for years now and from what I understand they're expanding and planting even more gardens. They plan to sell a lot of what they grow at their local farmer's market in West Virginia. I've done small gardens before but have usually bought plants & planted them directly to the garden. This year I wanted to save money so we bought all seeds and I started some of them indoors to give them a head start. This past weekend we transplanted all of the plants grown indoors. But soon after we planted them we had a late frost warning two nights in a row. I ran to the store and got some plastic cups to put over them for protection and just today took them off to see how they did. Yeah...not so great. I lost all but 2 or 3 of my pepper plants and only about 1/5 of our tomato plants made it. Oh and the onions I planted also didn't make it either. It's SO disappointing because now we have to start over from scratch. It's already the middle of May and my huge garden hardly has anything in it. I honestly feel like giving up. We wanted so badly to have a big garden so we could give back to friends & the community (through a local foodbank) and now it looks like we may not even have enough just for us!

Then to make matters worse, today my husband made the decision to start looking for someone to buy our pigs. These were the pigs we bought at the urging of a friend so the boys could do a 4H project and sell them for profit at the end. The problem is you don't see any of the profit until the end of summer. It's only May and we've already spent about $250 per pig (including purchase cost, food, etc.) You see these are "show pigs" so we've been told we can't just feed them slop. If we could, we'd be doing okay. But these pigs have to be fed grain and believe me they eat a LOT. The problem is that with me only working 4 days a week now and Randy still not being able to find a job, how are we supposed to feed pigs with expensive feed?

I don't know, it's just incredibly frustrating to have everything falling apart like this. No garden, no pigs, no jobs.... I've been trying so hard lately to think of something I can do for extra money right now. I mentioned before about the talents of my mom & sister. I watch shows where people have started their own businesses with just their God given talents. I just feel like I don't have anything I can do that is worth making extra money. It's kind of depressing actually. This is supposed to be the start of a "better life" for me and instead with all of the economy problems and things that keep happening, it just seems like things are getting worse instead. I'm sure my ex will call it karma or something. If anyone has any good suggestions, I'd love to hear them...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

It's Mother's Day...

As usual, it's been way too long since I wrote anything on here. As I'm sitting here at my computer this morning, with some quiet time of reflection to myself, (Randy is asleep, Collin is at his dad's as usual and Trevor stayed the night at a friend's) I felt inspired to write some things down. (I'll warn you, this may be more of a "serious" post today...)

My mom:
As I look back over the years, I can't help but compare my life to my mom's. In fact, my ex-husband, in one of his moments of nastiness, tried to "insult" me by saying that I was "just like my mom" and had "followed her path". He said it because I decided to divorce him right around the time Collin was 15 years old. My own mother divorced my father when I was just a few months from turning 15. So I suppose some people may agree with him and say I'm following my mother's pattern. When I think of him saying that, I smile. I mean it's not like I said, "Hey this is the time my mom divorced my dad, it's high time I got cracking and got in step with the plan!" Things just happen in life, that's all.
But the reason I smile is because I think my mom is a very strong woman and has been through a lot in her life. I WISH I was more like my mom. She says what she wants and doesn't worry about what other people think, like I do. She is so incredibly talented too. She makes the most beautiful quilts. The other day I got out a book she had given me on quilting and tried to read through it. But to my brain it was like reading a foreign magazine. And the fact that quilting is so math-oriented is way too much for my non-mathematical mind. When I was growing up she was always trying something new... She sewed, made cakes, painted, gardened, made leaded glass creations and even learned how to do body work on a 1966 Mustang (my first car)! I've tried to learn different things too, but the difference with my mom is she was good at everything she did. She'd learn something and then attack it with full gusto. I try new things and when they don't turn out right I just give up, the failed attempts either thrown away or tucked away in some closet somewhere out of sight.
All I can hope is that someday I'll find my niche like my mom and be even more like her. A talented, smart, strong woman.

On being a mom:
It's kind of tough to write on Mother's Day when my own son isn't living at home right now. I won't go into the personal details because they're just too...well...personal. But those of you who are close to me know about it so I don't need to explain. The toughest part in this is that you try so hard to always do the right thing and even when you do what you believe is right others don't see it the same as you. Everyone keeps telling me that he will get over it eventually and as an adult will most likely look back and realize I had good reasons for everything I have done. But right now it's difficult to sit back and be patient and wait for that time. I spent time yesterday with some friends, one of them who is currently a single parent of a 4 year old boy. Watching the interaction between them brought back SO many memories of times together with Collin and I'll admit it was a little hard. I want that boy back who thinks the world of me; who wants to be around me all the time; who shares private jokes with me that only the two of us get. I guess for now I'd settle for him just wanting to be live here again...

Whew, okay...let's shake that off now and get a little humor back into this thing!

Here is a link to a great entry the other day on Cake Wrecks: Multiple Choices for Mom
(The cakes my mom made were WAY better than that) ;)