Fall has Come to Iowa, the Garden is Being Put to Sleep, and Other Updates

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Happy Fall!! My favorite time of year!

Let me start by saying that I would have never imagined October would come and we would still have NO internet. There are several reasons for that…money, laziness, and some sadistic need to see if we could live without it. Today I’m in the library pounding out a couple of posts (hopefully…Pinterest keeps drawing me in!). I haven’t been making the drive into town as often as I thought I would because gas costs money, yo!

What’s been going on? Well, our little homestead threw out quite a few veggies this year. Not too bad considering we bullied turf into becoming gardens late this spring. Tomatoes, green peppers, sweet corn, kale, green beans, cauliflower, and beets have found their way into our freezer as well as freezer pickles and coleslaw.

Potatoes, spaghetti squash, and butternut squash are stored for winter. We ate all the kohlrabi, strawberries and lettuce as they were picked. The rest of the cabbage still needs to be picked. Some of it is going to be turned into sauerkraut and some of it will be stored for later.

And we did have a few duds…our potatoes crowded out the onions and 5 out of 200 grew. The potatoes didn’t produce as many as I’d expected. I also only got 2 sweet potatoes and those are funky-shaped. It’s a shame because those are my absolute favorite.

Now, the gardens are being cleaned up and the last things harvested. We’ll continue to let the kale grow for the chickens. They love it!

The chickens have been wonderful! We have so many eggs that we scrambled and froze 9 dozen eggs for later use. I also froze 3 dozen in ice cube trays so we can thaw one or two out at a time for baking. Even with the temperatures dipping recently, they are still laying strong with an average of 9 or 10 eggs a day.

We did have some heartbreak about a month ago. A neighbor dog got into our rabbit shed and killed Peanut’s pet bunny and fatally wounded our meat rabbit buck. It also bit Sweet Pea’s show rabbit’s ear leaving it unshowable. The only rabbit it didn’t kill or injure is the doe that won’t raise a litter. Dang. We’ll wait until next spring to get back into the meat rabbit business again.

Profession-wise, I haven’t babysat for a couple of months but I’ll be advertising for a couple of kids this coming week. I wanted to wait to see what was going on with me health-wise until I committed to taking on any more kids.

My health is still a little strange. I’ve seen several specialists now, had a multitude of tests including a CT scan of my chest, and I have no answers as to WHY I had a crazy rash and continue to have excessive fatigue, funky heartbeat, shortness of breath, and swelling in my feet. The good news is that the swelling has become less and less often. The bad news is that when I do swell, I’m also fatigued to the point of not having the energy to do basic housekeeping or homesteading chores. Thankfully, that hasn’t been that often lately.

I do have one more appointment with my family practitioner to go over my CT in more detail, but I’ve already decided to take this into my own hands and work a more holistic approach. I’ll detail that soon, and trust me when I say I’ll be blogging about it!

It’s safe to say that we have ZERO regret after moving back to Iowa. It’s been 5 months now, and I’ve seen so many fabulous changes in my kids socially, emotionally, and physically. There’s a lot to be said about living in a place you love surrounded by people who love you.

How has your Fall been so far? Do you have colder than average temps like we have?

8 years ago, I met my Match

8 years ago today, my husband and I went on our first date.

I met my husband on Match.com. Seriously. We were internet love birds.

It doesn’t seem like that long ago, but back then, text messages were expensive and there weren’t any fancy unlimited cell plans (and my cell phone was an analog phone that weighed over half a pound). I had a landline and dial-up internet so we started talking via Yahoo Chat.

J still has the little scratch of paper that he jotted my name and email address down on.

In my wallet, I still carry a printout of a little message he chatted me.

I knew within two weeks that I wanted marry him.

He swore he wouldn’t get married again before he’d been with someone for two years.

We got married 16 months (almost to the day) after we went on our first date. (J claims I tricked him into it!)

Our life together hasn’t been easy. We’ve been through job changes, an unplanned baby (and thank God for that precious Peanut!), becoming a one-income family, money troubles, job stress, kid stress, homeschool, and so much more but we always seem to make it through and come out stronger.

Happy anniversary to my love. I am so grateful you sent me that message, and I am even more grateful to have the honor to spend the rest of my life with you.

Remember When My Blogging Had Gone to the Puppies?

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Remember when our lives had gone to the puppies?
Remember when our puppies looked like this?

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Those puppies are now 9 months old, and they look like this:

And are those things terrors!
Although I’m really glad they have room to run now, do they HAVE to choose to run through our FENCED garden?
Do they HAVE to dig holes all over the yard? It looks like swiss cheese.
And this guy:

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He’s an egg stealer.
But just look at that face!
I forgive him <3

What’s Next for Missy Homemaker?

I’ve been contemplating this a lot lately. I really love this little blog. I love seeing the familiar faces pop up in the comments. I love hearing from people on my FB page and seeing you all like me on Twitter.

But I have a problem, and it’s a biggie.

I STILL don’t have internet.

Why on God’s green earth can we spend billions and trillions of dollars perfecting a spying system that can identify people in their backyards from space (What? Have you never seen Google Maps? I can practically read my license plate on there.) but we can’t seem to get reliable affordable internet two miles from a major interstate and 5.5 miles from the nearest town?
Continue reading What’s Next for Missy Homemaker?

A long overdue update

It seems in life, curveballs are one of the only reliable things. I’ve been thrown a couple of those in the last month which is one of the reasons that I’ve been so absent. There’s another reason too, and I’ll get to that.

I’ve been having some medical issues lately that involve a blistering rash reaction to sunlight, swelling of my legs and feet, joint pain, and a crushing fatigue.
It’s been a total bummer because I’m finally in my dream house, homesteading like I’ve wanted to do forever, and back in a place I LOVE <3.

I hadn’t wanted to go to the doctor, because…well…I just don’t like to. But, because my heart was also acting up (I have this thing where every so often my heart will do this weird thing with racing heart beat–like 120+ bpm when I’m just sitting still, skipped beats, and a really funky rhythm), I decided to go.
Continue reading A long overdue update

Whatever happened to the SAHM going back to work?

Back a couple weeks ago, I wrote about what SAHMs needed to consider before they decided to go back to work. At the time, I had applied for and was waiting to interview for a job with a pretty large corporation.

There were several reasons I wanted to go back to work. I wanted to be able to have extra money to pay everything off early. I also wanted to finally get my career back on track, to live up to the standards I’d set for myself as an educated woman many years ago, and quite frankly, to finally have something that was just mine.

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I interviewed for the position the same day we closed on our house. I felt the interview went very well, and two out of the three managers I interviewed with stated that I did a fine job. But the third… I’m pretty good at reading people, and he just wasn’t into me at all. Perhaps I came off as too confident of my abilities (Some men just don’t appreciate a woman who can hold her own with men). Perhaps he didn’t get the feeling that I’d be a ‘part of the group’ as he kept saying was the key to being successful in the position.

Either way, I didn’t get the position. I was quite stunned as I was more than qualified (with one of the shift managers even telling me that I had more experience than he had in several areas!).

I was bummed because the job paid REALLY well, I would be in an environment that I was comfortable and one that I know I could be very successful in. The extra money was the biggest reason  though. That sure would have been really nice.

If I’m honest with myself, there were things that I was dreading about the job though. The 35 minute commute would really suck come winter especially considering that depending on what line I was working on, I’d have to be there at 3:30 a.m. or 4:00 a.m. And those hours. Ugh. I’ve worked them before, and it’s damn near impossible to have a normal home life when I’m going to bed at 7:00 p.m.

What happens now?

Well, I’m not sure. There are definitely other places I could apply. I could get a part time job in town just to bring in some extra money. I see the YMCA has openings.

Maybe I’ll wait until the kids go back to school and find something then.

Maybe I’ll sell my new truck so that money can be put back in the budget and buy me some time.

Maybe I should talk to my husband about it and ask him his opinion.

 

What?? No internet?!

Today marks  two weeks that we’ve been on the homestead. More importantly, it marks two weeks that we’ve been without both internet and reliable data services on our cell phones.

Let me tell you…it sucks.

I thought I’d be down with driving into town (it’s only 6 miles to the library after all) a couple times a week to write and do any other online things that need to get done. Oh, naive one…how silly are you?

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Going to town requires a few things I don’t necessarily enjoy doing such as…getting dressed and making myself presentable. It also requires planning as the library isn’t open 24/7 like my old internet was. Then there’s the issue of my computer not wanting to connect with the library internet once we’re there. Awesome.

So while I chastise the boys for being so down about not having any internet, inside I’m throwing my own little tantrum.

I WANT MY INTERNET BACK!!

One would think with the technology available today, there would be reliable rural internet available. One would also think Sprint could get its head out of its behind and create a network that works like they say it does.

But alas, it’s not meant to be.

I did find a solution to the connection problem. I have to be sitting in the room with all the other computers while working on mine. So imagine me, sitting at a library computer open to one thing and my laptop open to WordPress. Nerd-dom fo’ sho.

Let me leave you with this today. We have the most amazing views.

MIA in Blogland

Hi Everyone! I just wanted to fill you all in on what’s been happening here at Missy Homemaker and why I’ve been MIA in Blogland.

Packing has been in full swing here as we ready ourselves for the LAST move for a very long time (I hope!). There has been at least three trips to the thrift shop and one more to go as we clean things out and decide what we want to keep and what should move on.

There has also been trips out to Iowa to see my honey who is still living in a campground by himself. Don’t feel sorry for him though. Our camper is nicer that some of the homes I’ve lived in. Peanut and I actually spent Easter weekend out there, and the Easter Bunny found Peanut at the campground. It was raining, so he hid the eggs in the camper. Since the older boys go to their dad’s every Easter, I think this would be a great tradition for us to start with Peanut.

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This last week we had to run the puppies to the vet for their rabies shots (we’ve done their other shots). We were a little shocked to find out that the poor puppies didn’t simply have dry skin or even a food sensitivity like we’d thought, but scabies otherwise known as mange. Gross. Those poor babies. So, LOTS of washing things in hot water and extra cleaning in areas that the puppies spend the most time.

And there’s one last thing that’s been taking up a little bit of actual time and a LOT of mental effort.

I’ve decided to go back to work. I’ll expound on this more later when I know what’s going on for sure, but I can tell you that there’s a lot more to this decision than even I suspected. As a matter of fact, I’m working on another blog post with a few things that could make or break a job offer.

Oh, and for those curious, we’re still limping through homeschool. Punkin and Peanut have finished their school work for the year. Peanut is moving forward with 1st grade material, and Punkin is reviewing his work from this last year. Jeremy and Sweet Pea aren’t too far behind.

This Sunday I leave for Iowa to finalize everything for our new house. We have the final walk through Sunday evening and the closing is Monday morning. EEEE!!! I then have an interview Monday afternoon (It’s going to last 3 hours. Wish me luck!) during which time J will move the camper out of the campground to the homestead.

Monday night will most likely be chinese take-out on the floor of the first home we’ve ever purchased together. I wish I could put into words just how excited I am!

Tuesday will be a very early day for both of us as we have to drive back here separately so J can have his truck to move the things the moving truck won’t. It’s a 5.5 hour drive, at the end of which we’ll have to finish up any last minute packing and cleaning. Do you know how hard it is to clean a little house filled with boxes? Darn near impossible.

Wednesday is moving day! The truck will begin loading around 9 a.m. and will most likely finish up around 1pm. We’ll clean anything that’s left behind the movers as they go. When the they’re done with the house, the boys, dogs, and I will start our 5.5 hour drive back out to the homestead.

The truck unloads out there on Friday, so we’ll be spending Mother’s Day setting up our home. Could you ask for a better gift?

Back to packing I go. Even though it seems like we’ve done a ton, it looks like there’s so much more to do. Why this surprises me I don’t know, because you’d think I’d be used to it by now.

Frustration-Free Shoe Tying with Magic Fingers

Kids learning to tie their shoes… it’s a big deal. For some parents, it may be a bittersweet time, but for others, like me, who have been tying someone’s shoes for the last 16 years (almost), it’s one more step towards independent kids. It’s beautiful.

My oldest three boys were taught to tie their shoes by their dad, so when it came time to teach Peanut, I wasn’t sure where to begin. He wasn’t at all interested in learning either.

Well, this not being my first rodeo, I’ve learned not to push the issue until he was more interested.

Except he never got more interested.

Knowing that there’s a 95% chance that Peanut will be going to public school next fall, I knew that we had to get going on this. The boy’s teacher was NOT going to appreciate him asking her to tie his shoes all day long.

A couple of days ago, I laid down the law. “Peanut,” I announced, “you have only 10 shoe ties left from me, so you’d better get interested in learning how to tie them yourself.” His brothers were instructed to give him only 5 shoe ties.

Punkin helped Peanut out by making a tying shoes practice box. He took an empty tissue box, punched holes along each side, and threaded a long, thick shoelace through them.

Then, we introduced him to our secret weapon…The Magic Fingers Method of tying shoes. While it took my other children a week or two (or maybe longer. I’m old and my memory isn’t so good anymore.) to learn to tie their shoes proficiently, it took Peanut less than 20 minutes total over two days.

The best part of this method is that the laces stay tied, and did I mention it was easy?? Go now. Save days of your life by learning this and teaching your children this method. Even Punkin has now switched to tying his shoes this way.

So see? All the cool kids are doing it.

I’m taking a vacation

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas or simply a great day with your loved ones.

I’m taking a small vacation from blogging, but wanted to remind you of a couple things.

First, the Family Friday Link-up is still live! You can link-up your family friendly posts here.

Next, don’t forget to enter my giveaway for *free* wellness coaching. You can win one of 5 individual 3 month wellness coaching packages or one of 5 spots in a group wellness coaching 3 month program beginning January 20, 2014. The giveaway is below, and winners will be notified by January 3, 2014.

Also, now’s the time to start on your SMART Goals! You can read about them here (and use the free printable)!

Lastly, make sure to come back here January 1, 2014. I have another great surprise for those who didn’t win the giveaway but are still interested in letting me help Make 2014 the Year of the Best You!