Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dream House

Today my husband was working a  landscape job in Star.  He realized as he was getting near the end of the day that he needed a couple more bags of paver base.  I ran to Lowe's for him and had to use my Garmin GPS to figure out how to get to the job without going far out of my way.  At one point I was sure that my Garmin was getting me lost.  But I figured it would get me there eventually and just went along for the ride.

I've learned that sometimes when you're just going along not knowing where you are, you see interesting things....I found this house.  It was empty, weather beaten and run down.  But when I saw it I almost stopped in the middle of the road.  It tugged at my heartstrings.  But I had to get the materials to my husband so I went on my way.  However, on the way home, I made sure I drove past it again and this time, with no traffic around me, I DID stop in the middle of the road.  I was able to snap a quick picture with my cell phone.  Of course, the picture doesn't really do it justice.  Maybe this is the point when I need to explain that I have a love for old farm houses.  Whether they're still in great shape or dilapidated, I still love them.  (A part of me probably even loves the old run down ones more.)  If I had an unlimited supply of money, I would find just the right one and restore it to it's original splendor.  I think this one would be perfect for restoration.... 

What's In A Name?

I thought maybe I had talked about it here, but I can't find a post about must have been just on Facebook. But here's the scoop...I am wanting to start up a roadside produce stand. We live right on a busy main road and it would be an ideal location to just go ahead and set up a little stand where I can sell our garden produce after work during the week and throughout the day on weekends. I have this wonderful vision of it being something that I can eventually make a web site for and even link it to my Twitter account so customers can follow me and I can post what veggies we're selling that day. I still have a lot to figure out and plan but here's my main dilemma right now:

I need a name.

I plan to only grow organic so I thought of having something in the name like "bare" or "naked" and it would get attention, lol. I didn't see a website out there already with a name like "naked veggies" or "bare veggies" but when I tried to look up the domain they're already taken. I also thought of having a name that includes MY name in it. The one I wanted most was "Plain Jane Produce" or something along those lines. But of course, there's a web site out there called plainjaneproduce already that is actually a branch of Chiquita. Damn it. Then there's the idea of using our last name so the other day I thought it was cute to use "Baker's Acres". Um....would you believe there's a camp site in New Jersey of all places with that name?? I'm starting to feel a little discouraged.

So here's where I need your help. I'm open to ideas...I had joked around in the past about having a watermelon & cantaloupe stand and naming it "Jane's Melons" but I really want it to be about ALL the produce. I plan to have veggies, some fruit (the melons) and eventually if my chicken idea takes off, maybe some eggs. That's why I like the "produce" idea a lot. I don't know if my tiny little plot can really be called a "farm". Are there legal ramifications to calling yourself a farm? Hmmmm... I might have to look into that. Anyway, does anyone out there have some good suggestions? I'm not saying I'll get big enough that I'll end up marketing to grocery chains or anything, but I'd like to keep it open to be able to have a web site, a Twitter account, maybe come up with my own logo....
Let's hear your ideas!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

You Are What You Eat....

I have made an executive decision at our house and I want to get some chickens. I know it seems like this is the "in" thing to do lately but that's not why I'm doing it. I've been thinking about it for a couple of years now and finally decided that despite what the rest of my family thinks about it, I want to do it.
My sister has been giving me a lot of very good information about current food practices (Take the time to watch Food Inc. it will open your eyes) and I just don't want to depend on the giant food conglomerates for our main sources of food (eggs, beef, chicken, pork, etc.). We already have a freezer full of beef that came from a steer that our neighbor gave us. This was a steer who was raised on grass, roaming our pasture and eating freely. Not loaded with hormones, not given a bunch of chemicals, just allowed to consume all the pasture grass it wanted (hay during winter). The only "chemicals" it was given were vaccinations when it was born. We were able to see it every day and know where it came from and what it was eating. After doing this once and liking the beef we got from it, I am determined to continue to raise our own beef from now on. (Or at least get the beef from a trusted friend if we're not able to do it ourselves, if we have to move at some point & don't have the room.)

But, I digress....back to my chickens. When we moved into this house it came with some standing structures out in the pasture along the south side of our property. There is what we call the "tack barn" which is really just a small one room building that the original owner used for a woodshop. Then there are two "shelter" type structures that were apparently used for livestock, llamas, horses, etc. at some point. One is larger and we used it last year for the pig pen. The other is smaller and we haven't used it for anything since we've been here. But after looking at it, I've decided it would make a great chicken coop.The structure in the upper right corner of the picture is what I'd like to enclose on the front with chicken wire and make a door on the right side so we can get in & out. With just a few chickens we can have a regular supply of eggs and if we get a few more we can also have some for butchering too. (Although I have to admit I don't think I can manage the butchering on my own, even just for the chickens.) Plus if we get our garden fenced in this year, I can let them roam around the garden & eat the unwanted bugs.
If I'm able to start this endeavor, I'll be sure to keep you apprised of the progress. Oh...and I'll also let you know how it goes when we decide to get the goats too...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ladies, this is awesome--Men, you may want to step away for a moment...

Ladies, today we're going to talk about your period. Yes, that awful monthly visitor that we all hate. I am the first to admit that I am one of those women who is horrible about remembering when it's due, having supplies on hand, etc. But when I upgraded my phone at the beginning of the year I found an application that I think is totally awesome! (Yes, that's the Southern California beach girl coming out in me...I said totally awesome...)
It's called "My Days" and this little application has really been helpful to me. In this application you can click on a specific date on the calendar and add "Start Period" or "End Period". You can even take it a step further and add "Had Sex" or "Took Pill" if you need to keep track of these things (or if you just want to remind your husband that no, it has NOT been WEEKS since the last time you had sex.) ;) Once you add in your first period cycle, it then calculates when all of your future periods will be. It also tells you when your are in "high fertility" days and when you are ovulating. This can be handy for those of you who might be trying to get pregnant. Or if you're like me, when to NOT get pregnant.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, for me) this is only available for the Android-based phones--not iPhone or Windows based. But if you have an Android-based phone I would highly recommend looking into this application. If you don't, hopefully your phone has a similar application available.

Oh...and did I mention this is FREE? Yay for free!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Just Call Me Madam....

So to try to supplement our current income, I've been trying to find a job I can do in the evenings. Preferably something that doesn't take too much time away from my family and is interesting enough that I'm not bored out of my mind. I just had an interview today at Mystique Dining in Boise and to quote the woman I talked to there, "We like you!" (Thank you to my junior high school Glee teacher, Mr. Dublin for casting me in various parts in musicals so I would be prepared for this later in life...ha ha.)
Technically I don't know if I'm what they call "hired" this point I'm "auditioning". I will only work one or two nights a week to start off so they can see if I'm a good fit with everyone else and to see if I like it. My official title is "Hostess", which is not the typical hostess you think of at a restaurant. I do not stand by the front counter and seat people as they come in. Instead, the people who come in are guests to "my" dinner party. They're announced by butlers and seated at a table that holds 18. I welcome them to the evening, let them know what will be in store for them and then proceed to "mingle" and help out the butlers throughout the night. (Announcing courses, helping fill drinks, making sure the guests feel like it's all about them...)
Did I mention I'll be wearing a Victorian dress the whole time?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Ebay Listings

Every once in awhile I go through my closet & the house and see if there are things I can get rid of that I don't use, wear, need, etc. Lately it's been about shoes.
I've had a bad habit in the past of buying a pair of shoes because they look really cute in the store. Then I get them home & wear them maybe once or twice and then they sit in the box in my closet not getting any use. By listing them on Ebay, someone else who would appreciate them more can buy them for less than they would from the store.

So if anyone out there is interested, I'll be listing several things over the next few days or weeks. You can find my listings here:

Pass the info along if you know of anyone else who might be interested...I won't give anyone a guilt trip by telling them that the proceeds from these bids will go towards my son's graduation present trip... ;)
Let the bidding begin! :)

What Were They Thinking??!!

This is the last year my son is a "child"...he turns 18 this summer. Every year I have done up an Easter basket for him, using the same basket (with stuffed bunny attached) that my parents bought for him when he was 9 months old. (Call me a sentimental old fool...) So I decided to go all out and make him a basket full of all of his favorites from over the years. A trip the local Walmart was necessary.
As I was walking down the Easter aisle at Walmart, I happened upon something that made me do a double-take.

Behold....the sugar cookie lollipop with the pornographic monkey (squirrel??):

Who's brilliant idea was it to decorate these cookies this way?? What is that supposed to be?? I showed a picture of it to my husband and he said, "Maybe it's a flashlight, honey." Yeah...because monkeys carrying flashlights just screams Easter... I could see maybe a mushroom...but again, why a random mushroom in front of a monkey for Easter? Oh, and not all of them had such a cap on them. (Maybe these were the Gentile monkeys?) I'm sure there was some original concept behind these (maybe it IS a squirrel and that's his nut. Heh.) But either the machine that made these was set incorrectly or the people who did these by hand were giggling to themselves while they decorated.

The really funny thing about it (as if x-rated monkeys on children's Easter cookies was not funny enough), was that there were several other styles of these cookies. All of the other boxes had about 1/2 of ONE box left. This style? FIVE boxes. So I know I'm not the only one who saw these and thought they looked like they should be sold at the local adult shop instead of the Easter aisle at Walmart. I can just see the parents, seeing them and picking one up to put in the cart saying, "Oh, what cute a little monke.......oh.......OH!" And then quickly putting it back on the shelf and scurrying away.
Someone at quality control needs to be fired....