Yep. I've been MIA.
No, I haven't been trapped under anything heavy... except my life.
My life isn't "heavy" like a burden, there's just a LOT in it.
Like your favorite purse... it can be a lot to lug around, but you wouldn't DREAM of being without it or anything it contains!
So, since my last post of actual significance which was... hmmmm... let's see... August 16th! Agh! Shameful! Since then, a lot has transpired and I just haven't had the organization of thought to make it all presentable in a palatable manner. As a result... I am resorting to a list.
Due to the fact of linear thinking and a chaotic mind being mutually exclusive, this list is most certainly NOT in chronological order:
• On August 21st, Princess gave birth to our newest heifer: Rosalina. She's ADORABLE and is a constant source of smiles and general amusement. (No. I don't have a picture yet. BAD cow mom! I'll post one when I can get her to hold still long enough to snap a shot.) This brings our herd back up to four ladies. If Sparky doesn't throw a bull calf in February when she's due, we may have to resort to buying our beef. Yes, I know it's possible to "freeze" females... I just can't do it. I'm weird. I know. No shock there.
• We are now down to four cats. On October 24, we had to put down our oldest kitty, Houdini, aka: "Old Pet." It was difficult, but better for everyone in the long run. He was 15.
No, I won't be changing the name of the blog to Fabulous Four Cat Ranch. Lucky Seven it will remain because... well... I'm confused enough and it rolls off the tongue so nicely.
• I'm now buying our coffee beans green and (thanks to the tutelage of Lisa B.!) roasting them myself. It's fun, economical and STUPIDLY easy! I may have to do a tutorial post. If you only knew... You'd kick yourself. James has even gotten into helping out with the roasting from time to time. Purely due to his innate brilliance and good judgment he has become quite the roast master himself with virtually no help from me.
• Also, thanks to Lisa B., I am learning to make my own soap! It's so cool. She has these brilliant formulas she has devised herself and has kindly taught me how to prepare them. Chemistry is so cool! Don't be expecting a tutorial on soap making though as this is top secret, proprietary stuff and if I tell you how to do it, she'll have to kill me. If you would like to experience the loveliness and quality of Lisa's hand made soaps you can purchase them at her Etsy shop. Go there now! Christmas is coming, people!!
• Other ongoing projects: making my own pot cheese and Kombuch Tea. Both YUMMY and fun... though the whole Kombucha culture/mushroom/SCOBY thing vexes James. Yea, it's a little creepy looking while it's brewing, but it's SO GOOD and cheap to make as opposed to buying it. Example: At Whole Foods you can buy what I think is about a 12 oz bottle for around $2. I can make two gallons of the stuff for HALF THAT! Uh huh. That's what I'm sayin'.
• Since October 6th we have been making dinner for twelve every Monday and will continue to until at least the end of the year. Due to completely unfathomable and overwhelming circumstances, our Pastors' family has blossomed from four to eight... six of whom are teenagers. That's a pretty expensive endeavor on ministers' incomes, ya gotta admit. So, when the opportunity presented itself for us to contribute in the form of a dinner once a week, we jumped on it. Really, it's fun for us and such a blessing to get to do something so helpful for people who do so much for us. They are SO appreciative it makes us want to do even more. If only we could.
• We had yet another epic battle with the Tar Weed this year. Yuck! There is no magic bullet for this menace of Biblical proportions. It feels SO GOOD when we can finally mow it down in the Fall.
If anyone has advice for how to safely wipe this stuff out for good, please SPEAK UP!
• Anna got her Red Belt in Tae Kwon Do! So, yes, that does mean I travel with my own personal body guard. Don't let the sweet smile and angelic demeanor fool you...
If you're a board, she's lethal.
Lumber trembles at the sound of her name.
She has never missed a board break.
Her kihaps are a thing of fierce beauty. The stuff of legend around the dojo.
I'm glad she's on MY side!
• James had fun painting my hair for Halloween. We even thought briefly about doing something similar the next time I got my hair colored for real but wisely reasoned that much more than a week past October 31st it would cease to look cool and fun. Rather, I would take on the appearance of a soccer mom trying to pass as a rock star. Not pretty.
I stuck with the tried and true color combo and will keep my rock star fantasy safely confined to the shower.
• Under the heading of "Sometimes 'too good to be true' Really ISN'T" or: "God is totally mind-blowingly generous!" we found ourselves the fortunate recipients of a FREE SPA!!
Yes, you read correctly.
To make a VERY long story short... Our church owns a house that had a spa behind it that had to be removed or the insurance company wouldn't cover them.
In the weekly email mail bulletin, buried in the middle was a message that basically said, "if you want it, come get it and it's gotta be gone before the first week of November is up."
Well, as you can well imagine, we were all over that one like syrup on a pancake. We were the first to respond, thanks to the fact that I'm in front of my computer most of the day, and gave the spa a happy new home.
After investing in professional moving services (can you say 700 lbs!) and a small fortune in electrical wiring, breaker and a replaced power relay, it's up and running! Of course we had to shell out some cash to get it set up and working, but we would've had to do that even if we bought a brand new one so we're ecstatic... as are all of our parents' aching backs... :)
Gratitude? We're SOAKING IN IT!!
Well, folks, you are now officially up-to-speed on the dizzying swirl of excitement that is my blissful little life. :) Hope you're all well and happy out there in the blogosphere!