Everyday Activities, Journal Style Posts

My Day Consisted of Doing Nothing

Yeah, yeah, I know I was supposed to decorate today, but hubby got today off as a federal holiday to honor President George Bush (senior) passing away. He is very rarely home during the week so, he refused to let me do anything aside from playing a Lego video game with him. I took a picture of the tv screen while texting one of the kids and just remembered I had a picture. This is the game I was playing. Lego Marvel Superheroes

I REALLY suck at video games, but the controls for the Lego games are super simple. Other games, I can barely walk around because you have to move one toggle to walk and another to look ahead. My brain just doesn’t work that way. So, he buys the Lego games and we play together. My favorite part is when you hit an enemy they burst into Lego pieces. When you smash the things in each area, they also burst into lego pieces, but they also explode into coins at the same time and you collect coins to buy characters and vehicles. It really is a fun game and they have so many games from Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings and even Pirates of the Caribbean.

I didn’t decorate today, but I have all day tomorrow to decorate and I WILL make a post about it with oodles of pictures of my decorating.

I did however, promise a blog post today, so I am keeping my promise. After video games we went upstairs like we always do because he wakes up super early, he goes to bed super early too. So, I put on Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince to watch until I go to bed. (I am a night owl and an insomniac so, I will be up for a while.

This post needs at LEAST one photo so, here’s a random picture. (I found the picture of my game after putting this in the post.)

I made an origami bat for my friend. I think it turned out fairly well. Okay one more random photo.

My son sent me this picture one day with the message saying, “Mom, I got a tattoo of you.” I am a cat lady and my kids share this information loudly and one in the form of a flash art (the random pre drawn tattoos in tattoo shops) I laughed and told him I thought it was sweet of him to have a tattoo of his Momma, but I hoped he didn’t mean that I looked like that. 😂

Along with the above rambling, I am going to give you a list of some of my favorite things and some random things about I hope it gives you a little bit more insight into who I am as a person instead of just reading about all of the disasters that happen around here.😂

I adore art, both creating it and enjoying other people’s creations.

I love to read and prefer an actual book over a digital version, but I own both a Nook and a Kindle Fire.

I have a soft spot for animals of all types. I am the kind of person who traps and releases every critter except for wasps and scorpions. They come after me and that’s just not cool. If they ran away, they would be trapped and released as well, but they are mean.

I still color in coloring books, both children’s coloring books and adult coloring books. It is calming and relaxing.

I love to cook and bake. I bake bread when I am stressed, angry, or frustrated. I bake from scratch, no bread machine. Kneading is all done by hand. I make better bread when I’m feeling one of these emotions because I take all my frustrations, anger, stress, out on the dough and it ends up being so soft and fluffy. I will eventually start posting some of my favorite recipes (most from the late 1800s to the early 1900s)

I have a blanket addiction. I love blankets and I am constantly making them, buying them, or being gifted them. One can never have too many blankets.

My astrological sign is Cancer.

I sleepwalk, talk in my sleep, and snore very loudly when I rip my mask off in my sleep. I have sleep apnea and use a CPAP machine/ oxygen condenser that forces air into my nose along with oxygen.

I don’t drive.

I talk to myself constantly. As long as I don’t start answering myself, I think I will be okay. 😂

I am also one of those crazy people who talks with their hands. (Not sign language, though I am able to hold a conversation in ASL, but the random flailing and flapping during vocal conversations.)

If you come to my house, I am going to assume you are hungry and feed you. Even if you say you aren’t hungry, you are getting a plate of food.

I love soup. Seriously. I make huge pots of soup and freeze it in individual servings and I always have at least four kinds on hand in the freezer.

Okay, last one because this has gotten rather long and a girl needs some mystery, right?

I can write legibly and draw with both hands. I have broken my wrist too many times and had to learn.

Until next time….

Everyday Activities, Journal Style Posts

General Homestead Update

As I stated previously, it has been a rough couple of weeks. I have been getting sunburned each time I go get the mail. I wear sunblock religiously. I put it on each morning, like most people would put lotion on. I reapply every few hours unless I am actually outdoors and then I reapply every hour. I managed to get severely sunburned while building the coop and I could not, for the life of me, figure out how I got so burned.

It took a few weeks to figure it out. I had gone to the pharmacy to get some stuff for my sunburn and the pharmacist came over to me while I was gathering different things off of the shelves. He asked me if I had been using sunblock, to which I replied, “of course”. He then asked me if I knew that my new prescription causes photosensitivity. I just looked at him dumbfounded because this tidbit was not listed ANYWHERE on the printout for the prescription, it wasn’t on the medication website, which I read thoroughly because I have so many allergies, it’s ridiculous. I asked why it wasn’t on the printout and he explained that they had just received the updated list of side effects since it is such a new medication (They had to order it for me when I filled it the first time.) I had no idea that this medicine caused photosensitivity. I had been using my regular spf 50 daily sunblock. I was burning every time I walked outside and I have been battling what I thought was a migraine for three weeks. Nope, not a migraine, light sensitivity due to this medicine. If it didn’t work so well, I would have called my doctor and had him change my prescription, but it works really well so, I’m not changing it.

They stuck a nifty warning sticker on the bottle this month that says, “Avoid exposure to direct and/or artificial sunlight while taking this medicine.” Wasn’t that nice of them?

I have found a way to avoid exposure. I have a very thin shirt that is long sleeved, but has built in sunblock properties. It’s a button down and breathes like I am wearing nothing. It’s that thin. I ordered a few more in different colors since the sun has become an enemy instead of just being a rival. I keep one by the back door and another by the mudroom door. I use the mudroom door a lot so, I needed one there as well. We never use the front door. I have no idea why, we just don’t. I was able to sit outside for a bit the other day earlier in the morning and I saw my very first humming bird ever. It was so loud. It scared me at first because I thought it was a giant wasp or a giant bug. I have a few feeders around the outside of the house.

The other lovely thing happening, which has delayed my chicks being ordered, is the air conditioning. We have two separate air conditioning systems. One for upstairs and one for downstairs. They are both on the fritz.

We have this nifty thing called a home warranty. It’s like insurance for appliances, plumbing, and electrical. Instead of paying full price, we pay a deductible and the home warranty company either repairs or replaces the appliance that fails. I highly recommend having one if you own a home.

The issue is that we live in the middle of nowhere so, they had to find a company willing to accept the job. This has taken two weeks. (Once they found one, the agent I spoke with told me how to avoid the wait in the future.) I finally spoke with the company and have to call Monday to set up the appointment.

So, for two weeks, our house has not been as cool as we normally keep it. I have managed to keep the air conditioning running for the most part by shutting it off for an hour or so and turning it back on after it thaws out. (According to the A.C. guy, it’s low on freon.) Heat compounds all of my health issues and makes me a very miserable human.

Hubby and I both agreed, that the chicks should wait until the air conditioning is fixed, since we have been in the high 90s and in the 100s these past two weeks. Once it hits 80° inside, I am useless. I swell up and I am miserable. It is definitely not fun. The other concern was regulating the temperature for the chicks. I don’t want them overheating. The humidity inside is also extremely high for some reason.

I probably won’t have many eggs this year, but I am okay with that. I don’t want to not be able to care for chicks because I am not fully functioning. I have contacted the company we are ordering from (I had to cancel my order.) They gave me wonderful news. They have Silkies hatching in July and August. This thrills me to no end. I think they are adorable. I can add a few to my order when I order in July. They had zero issues with me cancelling my order (the chicks hadn’t hatched yet) and were extremely understanding. I have room for 20 full grown chickens. I was going to get 10, but I think I will be getting more since they have a few colored egg breeds hatching in July and August.

Aside from my sun issues and the air conditioning breaking, we have had quite a few things happening around the homestead. Hubby finally taught me how to start the riding mower. This means I can mow any time I decide it needs to be mowed. I really enjoy mowing.

We are setting up the clothesline this weekend. I cannot wait for line dried sheets and linens. The smell and crispness of line dried sheets cannot be duplicated. I won’t even have to leave the back porch or put on shoes to use the clothesline. Hubby is setting up a pulley system so I can stand on the back steps barefooted and hang laundry or take it off the line.

We are also beginning a major project of finishing half of the basement. After having a house full of family in May, we both agreed, that we need more room. He really likes my idea of using corrugated metal for the walls. (Insulation boards behind the metal and waterproofing behind the insulation boards) He said we would never have to worry about painting and it would make the room so much brighter because light will reflect.

The one side of the basement can be turned into two bedrooms. The kids have already been bickering over who gets the basement rooms once they are finished. They bicker over who gets which room when they come home now. So, it wasn’t shocking that they are already bickering over the basement. Regardless of who gets the rooms, we will have to have Dish Network come wire the rooms for satellite tv and an electrician to wire for outlets and lighting. I am thinking of doing the industrial look for outlets and basic sconces for lighting. The ceilings are too low for ceiling fans or even normal lighting. Someone would hit their head on them. The ceilings are high enough that no one has to duck (as long as the kids stay under 6 ft they won’t have to duck) As far as heating and air goes, all of the duct work is already there, we simply need to add vents. That part will be easy.

We currently use the basement for a storm shelter so, having actual bedrooms, power, and television down there will make it much more comfortable for everyone. It will also turn our 4 bedroom house into a 6 bedroom house. Eventually, we will add a bathroom because water lines are already in place. There is a sink down there already.

So many projects are on our list. I don’t think we will ever be without projects. The coop has a floor, the window has been secured, we tested the roof with a pressure washer and ended up raising it a bit for better drainage. Gutters will be added along with a rain barrel, which will be a water source for chickens and for the greenhouse which will get added one day. The run is complete aside from the gate, which will take about 10 minutes to put it on the run. I still need to paint something on it so, it isn’t eggshell and boring. Perhaps I will do that this weekend since I have nothing else planned for the weekend except a clothesline. If I manage to avoid the sun and get it painted, I will take oodles of pictures. Until next time…

Emergency Preparedness on the Homestead, Homemaking on the Homestead

Emergency Preparedness on the Homestead Part 3

It’s 2:30 in the morning and insomnia is keeping me from sleeping, yet again, so, I am writing the third part of my Emergency Preparedness on the Homestead series. This post will focus on the Household Binder. I realize this may not seem like an emergency preparedness item, but it really is and I will explain how to create one as well as why it should be a part of your emergency preparedness plan. This will explain everything and you will know how to create your own by the time you reach the end of this post.

First, I am going to give you a list of supplies, some of which are necessary, while others just make the whole process more enjoyable. I will differentiate between necessary and optional with an asterisk next to the necessary items. Almost all of the necessary supplies can be found at Dollar Tree stores and are generally inexpensive no matter where you purchase them.

Supplies for your Household Binder

  • *One 3-ring binder (I used a 1 inch binder)
  • *Clear plastic page protectors (these are plastic sleeves for sheets of paper)
  • * Tabbed Dividers (you can go with the inexpensive paper ones or the more costly plastic ones. It doesn’t matter which ones you use.)
  • *Paper (either notebook paper or printer paper or both.)
  • * a pen or pencil
  • Dry erase markers
  • Colored pens
  • Pocket folders with 3-ring holes pre-punched
  • A 3-ring hole punch
  • Washi tape
  • Stickers
  • Highlighters
  • Printer
  • Printed pages (this will make more sense as I continue)
  • Markers
  • Colored pencils

Now that you know what supplies you need, we will get started on what a Household Binder is and what goes inside.

A Household Binder is an organizational tool for your home. It helps you to keep track of everyone’s schedule, favorite recipes, important dates such as birthdays and anniversaries, and so much more. I am sure you are still wondering how this related to emergency preparedness and I promise I will get to that, but first, I am going to give you a list of sections and pages for your Household Binder.

Sections

  • Finances
  • Calendar and Important Dates
  • Pantry
  • Housework
  • School/Work
  • To Do
  • Babysitter
  • Pets
  • Medical
  • Shopping
  • Holidays
  • Emergency Preparedness

Pages

  • Babysitter checklist/Letter
  • Seasonal Task List
  • Holiday Gift List
  • Holiday Budget
  • Household Budget
  • Monthly Bills (due dates, amounts, and who to pay)
  • Monthly Calendar
  • Weekly Calendar
  • Yearly Calendar
  • Birthdays
  • Anniversaries
  • Internet Account Passwords (for paying bills, children’s online gradebooks, etc.)
  • Master Grocery List
  • Master Pantry List
  • Master Freezer Inventory
  • Master Fridge Inventory
  • Master Pantry Inventory
  • Household Member Clothing Sizes
  • Emergency Kit Inventory Checklist
  • 72-Hour Kit Inventory Checklist
  • First Aid Inventory Checklist
  • Housework Schedule
  • Laundry Schedule
  • Spring Cleaning Schedule
  • Holiday Menu
  • Birthday and Anniversary Budget
  • Address Book
  • Phone Book
  • Pet Medication Dose Tracker
  • Map of Child’s School (in a sleeve)
  • Child’s Class Schedule (in a sleeve)
  • Emergency Escape Routes
  • Household Fire Drill Schedule
  • Household maintenance Records and Schedule
  • Copy of immunization Record and Immunization Schedule for Children
  • Pediatric Over the Counter Medication Dosage Charts (for Babysitter or Parent who doesn’t normally do this)
  • How to for Spouse or Significant other for running things while you are away.
  • Current Shopping list (workable)
  • Current To-do list (workable)
  • Bills to pay (in a sleeve)
  • Daily Schedule (workable)
  • Weekly Schedule (workable)
  • Weekly Menu
  • Monthly Menu
  • Daily Menu

Now, you have a pretty good idea of what a Household Binder is and what it includes. If you noticed, there are pages for sitters and pages for your spouse or significant other, which will give them the information they need to do things they don’t normally do. For example, if you are at work, in a meeting and unable to answer your phone, the dosing chart for fever reducer is in the household binder. So, if your little one suddenly starts running a fever, the person caring for him or her can now accurately dose your child. Say you are unexpectedly hospitalized and unable to pay your bills, your spouse or anyone you trust can open that binder and successfully pay your bills for you while you are unable. If you have to suddenly leave town, your most used recipes are in this binder as well as a daily schedule, a weekly schedule, and if necessary, a monthly and yearly calendar and Schedule can be included as well.

If you have started building a stockpile because you became obsessed with couponing, you can keep a running list of what is in your pantry, when those items expire, and you can even chart put where everything is located in your pantry. A master pantry list allows you to go through the pantry and ensure you have your most used pantry items stocked up in the pantry, but it will also tell you what is missing when you can’t figure it out by looking in the pantry.

A maintenance schedule reminds you to change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, have the chimney cleaned, air filters changed on schedule and the central heat and air units serviced, which keeps your family safe and helps save money on electric or gas bills.

Those optional supplies like dry erase markers allow you to write on the plastic sleeves and then just wipe them off when you are finished. Washi tape and stickers are simply for decoration. Colored markers, pens, pencils, and highlighters allow you to designate a specific color for each member of your household, making appointments much easier to distinguish with a simple glance. (You can color code your entire house to make life even easier. One color per person and that color is applied to drinking cups, tooth brushes, bed linens, underwear if you have multiple boys or girls, etc. Just let each one pick their favorite color and color code everything possible.)

I do hope this post was helpful to you. A Household Binder really is a wonderful tool and it falls right in line with being prepared. I strongly recommend including the emergency kit checklists. Check your kits twice a year. The best way to remember this is to schedule those checks on the dates for Daylight Savings. This doesn’t work if you live somewhere that does not participate in daylight savings such as Arizona. If you live somewhere that does not participate in daylight savings, check your kits on your birthday and your significant other’s birthday, or on your children’s birthdays. If you are single, use your birthday and Valentine’s Day. This way, if anyone asks what you are doing (and you don’t actually have plans) you can easily say, “I have a date, it has been planned for a year.” You will be telling the nosy person asking the truth and if they ask with who, just say, “someone important, but I am not at liberty to say” again you will be telling the truth because this date is with your emergency preparations and the important person is yourself. Keep the nosey buggers guessing. 😂

Until next time…