Good bye 2016; Hello 2017

Happy New Year Y’all!!!

I know we are only a few days into the new year but let me tell you, I am ready to send it back.  Our house has been full of illness since the beginning of November!  It has been one thing after another and each illness has been different.  We brought in the new year with Influenza A.  Yay!!  Luckily it has hit all four of us within three days of each other so we all get to be sick together.

We leave on vacation next week before the craziness of planning and for the coming crop season begins and I am seriously hoping two things:  1) That we all feel better by the time we leave, and 2) that the relaxation, fun, and sunshine will help our bodies get back to a place where we can fight the germs again.  2016 had a lot of stress in it and I am hoping that we have left it in the past.

So, for now, I wish you health and happiness for the coming year.

Rain, rain, go away

After a rainy week, the sun has been out and the plants are soaking it up. The temps have continued to be in the 60s and low 70s so new growth has been slow but I think it’s about to take off this weekend when we have several 80 degree sunny days. 

We have started quite the garden this year and the first plants are in the ground with many more started in the house. We have 15 raspberry Bushes, 8 blueberry bushes, 75 strawberries, 2 elderberry bushes, and a row of sweet corn. The berry bushes were transplanted about a month ago and have adjusted well. 

I was out earlier this week checking on the plants and noticed some damage to one of my blueberry bushes. Turns out it has a fungus that causes canker sores on the stems. Not good. And it is highly contagious (this is so odd to be typing as it is about a plant 🙂). It is usually spread through the rain splashing the fungus to other plants and the. It goes to town.  After much research and deliberation with my farmer hubs; we decided that the best course was to cut off the afflicted branches. 

It was much harder and more painful than it should have been!  I love those lil plants. Especially since I can see the lil bunches of blueberries already growing. But here’s hoping we were able to get rid of it before it spreads to all of them and we loose the whole bramble. 


It amazing how much of yourself you can put into growing things. I am so invested and really look forward to the day we just walk outside for food as opposed to going to a grocery store.  In due time…. We are headed to the first farmers market of the year tomorrow and I AM SO EXCITED!!!

Spring is here!!!

Happy Friday y’all!  Spring has officially lasted longer than a day here in the Midwest. What a crazy couple of months here. But we are super excited about all the change. 

We FINALLY moved onto the farm about 6 weeks ago and have been loving life since then (another blog post on that later). One of the biggest and best benefits of living out of town is the ability to spend out evenings outside and less time in front of the television or tablets. The kids have the freedom to go out and play anytime they want, even if we are working inside. They have learned their boundaries and know to stay close. The Little Man even runs to whichever window I am near (usually the kitchen) and yells in to check in from time to time. He revels in the new responsibility of being able to have the independence and trust of mom and dad to be outside alone, well, with his sister.

It has been a rather wet week here but last night we had a break from the wet weather. The boys put on their rain boots and piled on the ATV to head down to the creek and frog hunt. Little Man was so excited he talked about it all night and was the first thing he mentioned this morning when he was waking up.


While the boys were hunting for frogs, Pretty Kid and I went across the street to the little piece of state property and hunted for some wild asparagus. We had so much fun out looking and trampling through the tall grass. It is so cool to teach them where our food comes from and to respect Mother Earth. So many kids today only know food that comes from a grocery store shelf that they don’t understand what it takes to grow the food to nourish their body.

Looking forward to fixing some of that wild asparagus tonight with dinner!

Vacation!!

As parents, the hubs and I don’t go on kid-free vacations very often. We don’t leave them for more than one night but about once a year; so when it happens, we count down the days and are giddy as school kids. For weeks ahead of time, we dream about quiet time, sleeping in, how nice it will be to not have to answer 50 questions an hour and respond to a constant stream of toddler/kid conversation. We look forward to a break from parenting and refereeing our two monsters. (Monster = very loved and affectionate term for the amazing lil creatures that are ours). 

So we spent Saturday packing for ourselves and the kids and cleaning the house and counting the hours til bedtime when we could tuck in the darlings and make our departure to the hotel by the airport so we could sleep in a lil before our 6:00 am flight. Finally the time come to say goodbye and good night. It went relatively well. Our 5 year old gets it and was ok with the week at the grandparents and our 2 year old has no clue but will be fine. 

Then I got in the car to leave and realized that as much as I have been looking forward to our trip and adult time, I have to wonder if it is worth it. Leaving my babies to go on vacation out of the country is huge. As a person and wife, it is totally worth it and necessary to relax and recharge and connect with the hubs but on the mother level, the “what-if” scenario risks make me rethink my decision.  We have all our ducks in a row with plans for the kids just in case and that eases some fear but still, if something happens and I’m not there I would never forgive myself. 

These feelings are what every mother and parent goes through. It is amazing how many emotions you can feel once someone else depends on you. I have always loved to travel by airplane, boat, train, any mode of transport. I’ve been flying since I was only a coulpe years old and have never had any reservations about boarding a plane. But this morning, as I board my flight, I have a moment of healthy apprehension. I hope to instill the same love of travel in my kids and cant wait t to take them on our next adventure. Our son have been to Hawaii and already loves planes. He tells us often that he wants to go on a plane ride. 

Now, as I share with you my reservations and apprehension, I am en route to a wonderful vacation that was a surprise from the hubs for our 11 year anniversary. Which is crazy to believe. Who would have thought it’s been 11 years already. CRAZY!! 

So, I shall sit back and enjoy my Starbucks and remind myself that the kids are well taken care of and being spoiled as they should be by grandparents that adore them. And I will take a week to recharge and reconnect with myself and husband.

My Mighty Fix

  A couple months ago I traded in my monthly Birchbox subscription for the Mighty Fix subscription from the awesome people at Mighty Nest.  I love them for many reasons but the top two are that they are eco friendly and harmful chemical free and they also send 15% of every purchase to the school of your choice. I never have to worry about the items I buy and if they are safe for my family and home.  They have also taught me more about how to make my home and family safer and help to preserve Mother Earth for future generations. 

So the Mighty Fix is a monthly subscription box for $10 a month and you will receive a product each month that is valued greater than $10. I have received three subscriptions so far and love each one.  The first was two packs of organic cotton kitchen towels for doing dishes and I love them. I use one everyday and they are fabulous.  The second two months (June & July) I received a Goddess Garden Organic spray sunscreen and a bottle of LifeStings Bug Repellant Lotion.  I have not used spray sunscreen in several years and my son was excited to have a spray. It coats evenly and is not made with any harmful chemicals. I spray the kids then rub to ensure they are covered well. The LifeStings Bug Repellent is fabulous. It’s a lotion and at first I was a little skeptical but after trying it, I am sold. The active ingredient is catnip oil and it works well. There is no deet or citronella and is quite gentle on the skin. 

My kids have very sensitive skin. One has eczema and the other swells massively from mosquito bites plus she breaks out in a rash if you look at her wrong. Neither product irritated either kid and they worked so effectively I will definitely be stocking up on both. 

I am looking forward to this months box in hopes that it has something to help with packing lunch and snacks for on the go. 

Tick tock, tick tock

So I realized today how fast time can get away from you. One minute it’s Memorial Day and the next time you blink it’s time for school to start. When I started this blog, I intended to post at least weekly, especially with farm updates along with family lessons and random thoughts. What I have learned over the last 8 weeks or so is that our plans don’t always work out as we wish. I have also learned just how busy we can be. Which makes me wonder, what can I do different to help manage my time. 

I am a mom to two wonderful actvive preschool kids, work a full time career outside the home, help manage a start up vegetable family farm, in addition to being a daughts, grand daughter and sister.  We all wear so many hats it is amazing we don’t meet ourselves coming and going. I was lucky for the past 10 years to live away from family and explore several areas of the U.S. But while doing so, I also didn’t have to balance many of the family obligations that I do currently. 

Don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly grateful for the people and opportunities I am afforded in life but just looking to figure out my way. 

So I ask you friends, how do you manage your time? What is the best time management tip you have to share? 

 

Food Truck Friday!!

I am currently working in downtown and love the vibrant energy you can feel just walking down the street. When we moved back to the area, I knew that I wanted to work downtown again. It is just something that makes me happy and look forward to going to work. I can go out and walk on my lunch, there is a grocery store so when I need something for dinner I can grab it without delaying my arrival home in the evening, and the food options can be limitless.

I recently spent a Friday lunch with some ladies I work with enjoying a concert and food trucks at a little patio in the heart of the city. Food Truck Friday will be a new requirement during the summer. Now, I know that some people may turn their nose up at food from a truck, but let me tell you it is AMAZING!! And gourmet. Gone are the “roach coaches” as we used to fondly refer to them indie is many moons ago. A few years ago in Milwaukee, we realized how much they have changed to become quite a trend. I had a delicious crepe with goat cheese, pesto, arugula, bacon, and tomato with a sweet basil dressing. It was nothing short of life changing.   

In addition to the crepe truck, there was a deli, a BBQ, a Mexican, and one other that escapes me. All in all, the selection was plentiful and the long lines were proof of their deliciousness. The band played while we hung out and ate and it was a relaxing way to decompress for a bit. I am looking forward to next time and maybe a lunch date with the hubby.