Friday, May 22, 2015


   I'm sitting here watching HGTV and drooling over the homes they are showing.  So far this afternoon I have seen "bargain" lakefront cabins ($230,000 was the bargain price of the cheapest one) and am now watching the log cabin show.  These poor people could not find anything they liked in their $900,000 budget, so they upped it to $1,300, 000.  Finally they are finding something that is up to their standards.  Granted, it is in Vail, CO but still.  
   We would both love to be able to live in some of these homes with their breath taking views, gourmet kitchens and even saunas in the bathroom (ok, me more than him when it comes to the sauna).  Living on a lake is our dream.  Who would not enjoy having a separate media room with reclining chairs, your own boat dock and/or having your own swimming pool?   Then reality smacks us in the face.  You would have to furnish these places, clean them and my goodness, can you imagine the mortgage payments on those million dollar and up homes?
   My cozy little home would never make the HGTV cut.  My furniture is a mix of great sales, gifts from family, thrift store and garage sale finds.  We do have 3 bedrooms and 1 3/4 bathrooms.  We have a hot tub that we really enjoy that is surrounded by a nice enclosed structure that my hubby built.  Our yard is a mix of food producing areas and room for the dog and grandkids to play. Our mortgage payment is low and allowed me to stay home and homeschool our children for many years. My handy hubby has remodeled our home and made it so much nicer.  This has been our home for almost 22 years now.  We raised our children here, welcomed our DIL's into our family here and our grandchildren enjoy spending the night with Grammie and G-Pa here.  This is our home and to be perfectly honest, I love it! 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Mid May 2015 Garden Part Two

Pink and white columbine

Yellow and red columbine

Raspberry patch

Blackberry bush

Our newest pear tree is setting fruit

Apple tree, cherry tree and a very content dog watching for his girlfriend to come out and play

The last of the apple blossoms

Sweet cherries getting bigger every day

Blueberry bush

Purple lupine just starting to bloom

Mid May 2015 in the Garden Part One

Handy Hubby installed our new rain barrel

Grandma Anne's peonies in bloom

Irises in the front flower bed

My favorite purple irises

Heirloom variety of iris that I got at the Farmer's Market years ago

Clematis vines

Arctic Kiwi starting to climb the trellis, cucumber bushes in the pots and mint off to the side

Shasta Daisies...hubby hates the way the spread everywhere but I love them

Front terraced garden, roses in the bottom section along with irises and some other flowers, top section has tomatoes, pole beans that will climb the new trellises, squash and marigolds (most yet to come up)

Some more irises, 3 varieties of tomatoes and some strawberries in the hanging basket

Main garden bed with strawberries, rhubarb, asparagus, onions, bush beans, peas, kale, radishes, lettuce, spinach and mustard greens...oh and weeds

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

If It's Free, It's for Me!

I love finding a great deal on things and the best deal is FREE!!!!  In an effort to stretch the budget, I have been on the lookout for freebies and boy have I scored big time.  From online coupon codes, paper coupons and the college students moving out and leaving behind all kinds of things, we have been very blessed indeed. :)

Here are some of our free scores within the past 2 weeks:

~a 8x10 photo of my grandsons from Walgreens
~a 10k gold ring missing the center stone that I will sell for scrap gold and put the money in our vacation fund
~crafting supplies
~a jewelry box
~3 really nice coats that I will be giving away

~~6 bottles of shampoo and 4 deodorants (free after coupons)
~stationary and school supplies
~art supplies
~storage containers
~desk lamp
~a nice cooler

~a table with attached lamp (perfect since the grandchildren cannot knock over and break the lamp) ;)
~assorted grocery items
~fishing line
~assorted clothing items (some of which will be donated to a thrift store that benefits local people with disabilities)
~various plants

~a big wrought iron planter
~magazines that I have free subscriptions to
~samples for skin and hair care

I have also been going through my things here and purging things that we no longer need, use or fit.  Some of these things will be given away to friends that can use them and lots of it will be donated.  I love how when you trust in God to provide, He does so abundantly and beyond what you could have ever hoped for. :)

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Frugal Outdoor Doings

~bought tomatoes and herbs at the building supply place since they are cheaper than anywhere else in this area
~ran soaker hoses through the raspberry and blackberry patch

  ~picked up some free mulch and compost from our towns yard waste composting site
~using the mulch from the pine trees around my blueberry bushes

~bought some cucumber bush plants at the local Grange sale and looked for the ones that had at least 3 plants per pot
~recycled some old planters to plant the cucumber bushes in

~Hubby replaced a valve cap that went bad on his car
~he also changed the oil and filter in it

~potted up 3 beautiful geranium plants that I found on sale while ago
~used a big planter that I bought at a yard sale a couple of summers back

~Wonderhubby called around to get a quote on how much it would be to have a service call to fix our hot tub...about $500 ouch!
~talked to a repair place that told him how to do it and ordered $20 worth of materials to fix it himself

~our old pie cherry tree died about 4 years ago and I had been looking for a fruit tree to replace it with and found this pear tree on clearance at Walmart for $ our other pear tree has a friend :)
~Jeff built me that blue bench down next to the shed (he also built the shed)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Police Lives Matter and Our Failing Legal System

   Yesterday, in the early morning hours, a dedicated police officer, husband and father of 2 young children who was much loved and respected in his community was shot.   He was out patrolling when he noticed some suspicious activity by a man and went to check it out.  The criminal shot the officer, stole his police car and then lead other officers of a high speed chase.  He then abandoned the police car and hid under a truck where he was later found and taken into custody.  The officers that arrested him showed great restraint knowing that he had just shot one of their own who was at that very moment fighting for his life. Sergeant Greg Moore died later that afternoon of his injuries. 

   The criminal that did this had a long rap sheet dating back to his teens.  He was on felony probation parole at the time of this latest crime and had been in and out of jail for a good part of his life.  His past crimes include grand theft, theft, DUI, trespassing, felony assault and battery on a police officer among others.  From what I have been able to gather, he was convicted of at least 4 felonies as well as lesser charges.  Why was this career criminal even out on the streets?  Because we have a failing legal system!

   Our legal system needs a complete overhaul.  Police officers work hard to arrest these criminals, and overworked prosecutors try to build solid cases to present in court.  The overburdened court system has judges with heavy case loads who's hands are tied by laws that need to be revised.  I have been in courtrooms where the judge has expressed his own frustration with the laws and felt that the criminal indeed deserved much more punishment than the law currently allowed for.  

   We need tougher laws for those who break the law.  This whole revolving door slap on the wrist for those who commit crimes has got to stop.  People need to be help accountable for their actions.  Victims need to have justice served.  Criminals need to be faced with longer and tougher sentences with each new crime they commit.  My personal feeling is if you assault a police officer you should at least get a long stint in jail and if you kill an officer, you should get life or the death penalty.  Maybe that would prove more of a deterrent.  I don't know, but something has got to change.

   For those of us who have loved ones that are police officers, things like what happened yesterday, the recent senseless rioting and looting across the country and the targeting of police officers shakes us to the core.  We know that our loved ones are out there trying to keep everyone safe and that they face the possibility of being hurt or killed in the line of duty.  Every hug, "I love you",  and phone call with them could be our last.  This is our and their reality.  This is what a family in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho is tragically dealing with.  Their whole world has been shattered.  A young widow will have to hold it together so that she can comfort her children, one of whom is so very young that she will most likely not have memories of the father that adored her and a son who is in the years when he needs his father's love and guidance.  Parents will grieve over having to say goodbye to their son far too soon.  Fellow officers will have to go on, knowing that one of their best died in the line of duty and that they could face the same fate.  So please, I beg of you, as the proud mother of a police officer, thank an officer for all that they do, pray for their safety and help get laws changed so that our legal system can do the job that it originally was set up to do.  Police lives do all others.