Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I Resolve. Maybe?

I *resolve that as soon as the kids are back in school I will dedicate more time to the deciphering of this crazy world we call blogging. I think I’ve got the basic idea, but I feel like such a beginner.
It all seems so overwhelming, and there’s so much to learn.

Proper etiquette, especially, is something that eludes me. I can write an article and post it, but then what do I do with comments? How do I respond to them? How do I use this thing as a way to communicate, other than my one sided babbling?

Following, and followers. Such an interesting idea. To know that other people even want to read my ramblings is kinda cool. I'm just learning what that really means.

Then, there’s layout and design; picture placement, background adjustments, and so on. I’ve played around with it, but still feel very boggled.

So, maybe, when the kids are back in school, I’ll have more time to research, and “get with the program”. But, that is a pretty tall order, expecting to have more time. There’s never more time, just different uses for the time I already have. And, one thing that I’m quite good at is the finding and executing of multiple uses for my already over-abused time.

Oh well, it’s a nice thought at least.

In the meantime: any advice, suggestions, or just plain sympathy would be much appreciated. And, if I happen to have offended anyone with my "unknowing-ness", I apologize! Be patient with me...I will be learn-ed, some day! maybe...

Thanks for playin’!

*I originally posted with the word Resolute instead of Resolve. But, I think Resolve is really the word I was meaning. I was thinking Resolute because of Resolution. Maybe Resolute is better? Would that even make sense?
To make a Resolution, would that be to Resolute? Anyway, I think you get the idea...

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Neighborhood Supplier

I hate bees! and wasps, and hornets, and all manner of flying, stinging, buzzing things that bear a common resemblance.

I’ve been very diligent in making sure to kill all possible forms of wasp/hornet nests anywhere in my reach. I regularly check along the fence and all around the outside of the house, in all their usual places of living.

Somehow, I just can’t seem to get rid of them, even though I’ve eliminated all their nests.

It’s extremely frustrating.

I had come to the conclusion that the neighbors were the ones harboring these horribly annoying creatures; and I was somewhat in a state of annoyed acceptance.

Well, today, Tad happened to be standing in a place where he was able to see up on top of the roof.


Under the eaves of the roof we could see 3 GI-Gantic wasp nests!

And that was just on one side of the house. We went to check out the other side, and sure enough there was at least one more gigantic nest,

and one mini one that seems to be a work in progress.

I knew there was an old nest up there, and had suspicions that it may have been housing a few new wasps, but didn’t realize how enormous this colony had grown.

Anyway, I was happily prepared with 4 cans of wasp spray; ready to begin the Death of Many.

I’m not really a violent person, but sometimes I just can’t help myself.

With the fine-tuned navigation skills of a 9 year old boy, I managed to successfully empty all four cans onto the roof, while barely missing all of them!

We don’t have a tall enough latter to climb onto the roof, so I used a mini step latter and reached my arm as high as I could in that general direction. Tad stood on a chair a few yards back, with a perfect view of the nests. I relied on him to help guide the spray into the right place.

Well…enough said, I guess I’ll be on my way to buy some more wasp spray.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Keep on, Keepin’ on

That’s what this life is all about, isn’t it? I seem to learn that lesson, over and over again. I guess I only internalize it in small amounts; but I’m surely building a stock pile of Lessons Learned.
Yesterday was a really hard day for me. I was incredibly discouraged, about many things, but most specifically about gardening. At one point during the day I started to write a new post about all my afflictions, and I titled it “Growing Pains”. It ended up being a really long and depressing list. I put it aside to finish editing later, and as I walked away from the computer I started to feel a release, just from “venting” and getting it all out. It’s amazing how just “getting it off your chest” can help you sort out your feelings, whether it’s writing it down or talking with friends. It may seem to others like you’re “whining”, or looking for a solution to all the world’s problems, but I would highly recommend that if you have something bothering you, to just get it out. Be careful about how you do it, though, you may need to warn others of your intentions; otherwise, you could end up with a whole bunch of unwanted advise, or even starting a fight.
Although venting did help, a little, I was still consumed by a cloud of discouragement and self pity. At the end of my “draft” post I did type: I’m just going to “keep on, keepin’ on”, and for some reason that phrase has stuck in my thoughts.
Well, this morning, nothing drastic has really changed but I did wake up slightly less glum. Throughout my morning I’ve been slowly noticing small things that have also helped to improve my attitude. A few disappointments that, yesterday, I had included in my list of failures have, today, started to show some hope. There have just been small things that may seem miniscule or unimportant, but sometimes all it takes are a few small bits of encouragement to change your whole outlook. A simple change of attitude can be a powerful thing. Viewing the world through a different perspective can reroute the course of your entire day, and potentially even your life.
I think a lot about perspective and attitude, and I realize how important and powerful it can be. It’s still really hard to take control, and to be in charge of how I look at life. I think the hardest part is being unwilling to give up my negative thoughts and bad feelings. I don’t know why it’s so much easier to wallow in self pity; whether we do it aloud, or secretly, in our heads. If we can remember to consciously choose to look at things optimistically and to literally “count our blessings”, life takes on new meaning. Things look good, the future is brighter.
Anyway, I’m starting a new list. It’s not nearly as long and overwhelming as my “afflictions” list, but it’s a start. Another good lesson I’ve learned is that Bigger doesn’t always mean Better. Little can still have a lot of impact.

My Happy List, of Good things so far Today:

The dead flowering plum tree has new buds!
The rose bush has new blossoms
The apple tree seems to have fewer bugs
My dead pumpkin has new growth
My banana squash is recovering from a hard start, and has two good fruits

Malachi slept all night
Eli woke up dry, and peed in the toilet
I had a shower before the day was already over
Tad has new books to read, and is enjoying reading
Ati hasn’t had a “melt-down” in a few days

It seems to me, when things are the absolute hardest that they can possibly be, when I’m ready to just give up, if I can keep going just a little longer, just put one foot in front of the other, then the dark tunnel does start to get brighter.

So, just remember to “Keep on, Keepin’ on”. When things look bad, there are ALWAYS good things right around the next corner.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Over-rising may cause Shrinkage

So, I've been trying really hard to be good at making bread. Today I learned an interesting lesson, maybe.
I'm not quite sure of the actual reason behind my discovery, but I've been speculating.
I made some bread today, and as usual, I prepared enough dough to make two loaves. I separated the dough into two equal pieces and shaped them into to similar looking loaves.
Then, as usual, I got distracted and lost track of what I was doing. I just happened to walk by my rising loaves in time to notice they were way too big. One wasn't quite as big as the other, so I decided to just bake it anyway.
The bigger loaf, I decided to re-knead and reshape it. Then, I had to run an errand so I put it in the fridge to rise slower.
When I got back it had risen to just the perfect height, so I set it on the counter to warm up a little while the oven preheated. Then, I baked it like normal.

Here are the results:

What do you think?
The one on the left (the pretty one) is the one I reshaped and allowed to rise to the proper height. The one on the right is the one that rose too high.

So, my theory: Over-rising may cause Shrinkage...good to know!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

It’s ABOUT TiMe!

On Sunday, June 28th:
In the midst of my construction project (rebuilding Ati’s room), Malachi finally decided to try out his legs.
He was so funny! He’s been taking his sweet time learning to walk. He does really well when he’s holding on to furniture, so there isn’t any concern about whether or not he will be able to. He just hasn’t wanted to let go and do it on his own.
Randomly, he decided to climb up on a stool and stand straight up. He's made us wait so long that he just had to do it with a bang; can’t start out the easy way, he had to get up high and make it dangerous.
He was so proud of himself; smiling and squealing. I got a few pictures, in between him falling off the stool, and also being pushed over by the other kids.
It sure is about time, though, he’s now 16 months old, and by far my slowest to get with the program. We're still waiting for the actual walking, but at least this is a good start.