Saturday, November 29, 2008

Christmas Parade

The annual town Christmas Parade was this morning. We were lucky that the weather was nice even though it was a bit too warm for my tastes.

Unfortunately the parade started off on a bad note as one of the spectators got run over by a float. The rest of the event, the part I actually saw, turned out really well. Our club received an award for best equestrian group.

Paul and I walked with the gymkhana group as they rode their horses. We were in charge of picking up any lost decorations. The walk down the parade route was fine, the walk back to the beginning through traffic with our horses wasn't too much fun.

This was the first parade for Amigo and Malachi. They did great and we are really pleased that both of our kids' horses are so calm.

Friday, November 28, 2008


On Wednesday Lorna and I hit our local thrift store looking for jeans. She found 2 pair that were almost brand new and fit perfectly. I was not so lucky. I've been buying Wrangler Blues which are inexpensive but fit perfectly. The problem I've found is that a few of the pairs hold up well while other are horrible. I have 3 pairs, all 3 have a different fiber content. One pair ripped on a seam right after I purchased them, the company replaced them free of charge but the new pair ripped again in the same spot. I've had them too long to get them replaced but not long enough for me to feel that I got my money's worth out of them. I don't think I'll be buying anymore of their jeans.

I have a habit of saving jeans that are either worn out or unwearable for whatever reason. Last night I remembered that I have 3 pairs of jeans with broken zippers, the jeans themselves are still in good shape. I sat down and ripped the zippers out of a few worn out pairs and replaced the broken zippers in the wearable ones. I feel like I went on a shopping spree, I have 3 "new" pairs of jeans that didn't cost me anything but effort!

Thursday, November 27, 2008


That's a word that has described our life for awhile now. I thought I'd blog about our continuing weirdness.

I posted last year about how we don't do an average Thanksgiving. This year we are doing even less, I just don't want to spend the day in the kitchen. In fact it's 9:30 and I'm still sitting in front of the computer in my jammies listening to Paul snore. Yes, we are weird in that we aren't morning people...

I've been told by a few people that I'm hurting my kids because we don't celebrate holidays like "normal" people. But I guess I question the idea that being normal is healthy. We don't have the stress of making a huge meal, we don't overeat, and we don't spend a lot of money on one meal. I've always thought that the big traditional dinner around a beautiful table with family all sitting there getting along is nothing other than a TV fantasy. Maybe there are families out there that really do that but I've never seen it.

So we will spend the day reading and just hanging out and we will have a simple dinner tonight. Since we do everything late we will have dinner around 8pm. We are having a roast tonight because I found it really cheap at Sam's Club. It'll feed us for at least 4 meals so I'm excited. We will be having our favorite appetizer earlier in the day, homemade crescent rolls stuffed with cream cheese and roasted red peppers, because even weird people like us have some traditions.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Medical Insurance

I know I posted before about the fact that Lorna was denied private medical insurance due to pre-existing conditions. After that happened we broke down and put her on state medical because she needed surgery. All my beliefs about not taking government assistance went out the window when my kid needed medical care I couldn't provide. We are losing that coverage at the end of this month and I was perfectly fine with that until yesterday.

She had a follow-up appointment with the surgeon who wants to do a quick, 5 minute, outpatient scope to make sure everything has healed nicely. The scope is something that has to be done under anesthesia. The cost that was billed for the first scope prior to surgery was around $6,000. With the employer provided insurance that the kids are being added to we would be responsible for $2,100. When I asked about getting exact amounts and making payments I was told that it wasn't possible. The surgeon's office has put in a request for an extension of coverage with the state for this procedure and a follow up appointment. I'm frustrated that they won't take payments and can't give me actual cost amounts for the procedure.

I feel lucky that we have an medical coverage but I long for the days of the past when major things were covered with the payment of a small co-pay.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Morgan has given me the Marie Antoinette Blog Award.

It seems I was given this award because she likes to read about my crazy life and of course because I put up with an even crazier husband :)

I'll leave you with this little bit of wisdom from Malachi today just to prove that my family is not sane...

When I asked him why he didn't wipe his mouth or face while eating he told me, "Cleaning your mouth is what your tongue is for."

Monday, November 24, 2008


We received our first box of veggies on Saturday. Of course nothing ever goes right for us, there was a small problem with our box as it was missing a number of things. The organization we purchase from said they would replace those items in our next shipment though so everything will eventually get straightened out.

The amount of stuff we did get is a little intimidating. This one incomplete box contained more fruit and veggies than we have purchased in the last 2 months. One of the things I was a little concerned about when we initially signed up for this program was that we would get things that no one would want to eat. The first shipment contained a number of yams and lots of broccoli. Lorna and I like broccoli in Chinese food but we won't go out of our way to eat it, Paul really dislikes it (I think he'd rather eat the horse manure outside), and Malachi hates all fresh veggies.

On Saturday night I made broccoli au gratin to go with some chicken wraps. We are still getting lots of tomatoes out of our garden so I'm still trying to come up with ways to use them up. Amazingly Paul really liked the broccoli. I have never cooked broccoli before so I was just glad it came out okay.

Last night I made a creamy veggie soup that used celery, potatoes, broccoli, and carrots from our box. I've never made soup before and the recipe seemed to be kind of basic, assuming you knew what you were doing, so I wasn't sure I was cooking everything correctly. I thought the cut up veggies were kind of pretty so I snapped a picture.

The soup came out great. Malachi even said it was okay although we did have to fight him to get him to finish the little bit I gave him.

One of the things we've noticed about the shipment we received is that all the produce tastes different than the stuff we buy at the market. The celery actually has a flavor and the carrots are really sweet. I guess there is a very large difference in fresh organic produce when compared to regular grocery store produce. Now I just have to figure out what to do with yams...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

More Projects

We are still working through all that scavenged building material we picked up. We skipped a weekend of projects because of rain but last weekend we were back to work.

We finished the washer and dryer enclosure. It needs a few little things like expanding foam in the cracks and handles on the doors, but for the most part it is done. We will get around to painting it soon.

The metal rack we built the enclosure around is large enough that I was able to fit our plastic tubs full of sheets and blankets next to the washer (we only have 1 closet in the entire house). All of our extra possessions (out of season clothes, blankets, Christmas decorations) sit in plastic tubs underneath our deck. The sun has been beating down on the edges of the tubs for 2 years now and the tubs are starting to disintegrate. It makes me wonder about the idea that plastic doesn't break down very easily.

The second project for the weekend was the floor in Lorna's room. Since the room is tiny (9.5x7.5) it only took us 3 hours to actually lay the floor. We finished up the moldings just as it was getting dark.

There are only 2 rooms in the house that are left to be replaced, ours and the bathroom. Because our house has a post and beam foundation the ceramic tile the previous owner put in the bathroom is popping up. Due to the height of the fixtures and the condition of the sub-floor, we've decided to replace the tile with some of the left over laminate from the hallway. We don't take baths (too much water) so it's not like the floor gets that wet. I need to texture the walls and repaint them first so it'll be awhile before that room gets finished.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Happy Birthday

Today Lorna turns 13. Many people seem to dread the teenage years but if the last few months have been any indication of what the upcoming years will bring then I'm looking forward to it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

You win some, you lose some

Yesterday was a day where we made a positive step forward in our quest for eating better and a step backward in not wasting resources.

Our step backward occurred due to a broken printer. It never fails that the printer will break right after you change the ink cartridge. A major paper jam broke one of the rollers inside the printer, part of it actually snapped, and the carriage mechanism that moves the ink cartridges along could no longer move. The printer was only 1 year old. These things are just not made to last which doesn't do much for my desire to not waste resources. Since we scan lots of stuff for both my store and Paul's work we decided to just purchase a scanner and a separate printer instead of getting an all-in-one. Problem is, no where we visited yesterday sold them separately. We ended up with another all-in-one, one that uses different cartridges then the old one. I was really excited to see that HP offers recycling of the old printer until I saw that I not only have to ship it to them but I also have to pay them to recycle it, so it's going to the dump. I tried to shop locally for my new printer but after calling around I found that no place in our valley sells them. I know there are many people up here that don't even own a computer but I'm still surprised none of the stores carry even one kind of printer.

The positive step forward in eating occurred because I signed us up to receive a produce shipment from small farmers. It's a service that is newly available here in our valley and it's cheap! For $33.80 we will get enough fresh produce to feed the four of us for at least a week, it's all certified organic (not that this is a major deal for me), and it's "local" (as local as we are going to get at 50-200 miles from here). The boxes average 30 pounds a week so I'm going to have to change the way we eat in order to use it all before it goes bad. More of our money will be going to small farmers and less to Sam's Club, that alone makes me excited. Since that amount of money is about half of our food budget for the week there will be lots of changes made around here in what I cook. I'm excited to see what our first shipment looks like next Saturday.

Sunday, November 09, 2008


The last week has been absolutely insane with stuff going on. Yesterday was the annual show for the Sweet Adeline's group I'm a member of. This is my first year so I had no idea what a big deal this was going to be. We've spent the last few weeks practicing at the location of the show but we had 3 straight nights of rehearsal before the actual show day. We sold out for the evening show yesterday and everything went really well. I'm really glad it's over though because I'm exhausted! Now we will be getting ready for contest in March.

The second half of the show featured Ready, Willing, and Mabel. This group was absolutely incredible, I can't say enough good things about them. Paul and I enjoyed them so much we purchased one of their CDs. If you like acapella vocal jazz with 4 part harmony you should check them out.