Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fun Pops

I feel a little guilty about admitting that I bought these. It goes against my principal of "healthy snacks" and besides I can make freezer pops myself with a kool-aid mix.

That said, these were on sale and I welcome the convenience. I have a full day of ki consultation/write-ups and not much time for making, mixing, cleaning and cooking. The boys are tackling the garden as our weeds are really taking off, so this small indulgence is their pay-off.

I had no intention of having one myself, but dang it! No one likes the coconutty-pina colada flavor. *sigh* Who am I to let a fun pop go to waste?

What's your favorite flavor....if you are into Fun Pops?

Monday, June 28, 2010

Festive 4th Decor: The Easy, No Measurement Way

Do you decorate for the holidays? I grew up with a Mom and a Grandma that decorated each month. I loved and looked forward to our festive homes, with fall/Halloween and Christmas being my favorites.

Since the house reno a couple of years ago, I’ve significantly downsized the amount of decorations I have.I kept just what reflected my style and only what I really love (I practice what I teach in those Feng Shui classes!) I also do not buy new decorations. I use what I have over and over and over. The only thing that I have been adding is ribbon. I put ribbons everywhere. I love ribbons. They are bright, festive, colorful, fun and REUSABLE. They also pack really well.

My sis-in-law made a Hobby Lobby run recently to stock up on baby shower d├ęcor and supplies. I found four roles of ribbon at 40% off. Adding the ribbon with an old piece of gauzy red, white and blue covering, I whipped up a table cover. Yes, it was an incredible feat, considering it was oblong on a round table. I solved the problem by cutting off four pieces of ribbon and tying the corners together. (I DO amaze myself sometimes, please don’t check the “even-ness” of it though!)

I took an old candle holder, threw in the blue star ribbon on bottom, added a red candle on top and plopped this on the table for the center piece. Next I took the same blue star ribbon and tied a few “Robyn Style Bows” to each of the light fixtures. “What’s Robyn Style you ask?” Simple: I just cut off a piece, tie it in a knot and “floof” it up. I DO NOT MEASURE ANYTHING, EVER! Just ask my husband, he hides the drill and promises he will oblige if there is anything I want to hang on the walls. He is all about precision and accuracy. I’m an excellent (well, not really excellent), I’m a great eye-baller (well, not really great either) I just take a guess, when it comes to placement, and call it good.

The whole look costs a little over five bucks, since the ribbon was on sale. I used everything else I had on hand, in new ways. I’ve never set the candle holder on that table and I hadn’t put the cloth there either. Come to think of it, I’ve never used those two items together before! Instead of shopping, I looked around my home to scan for what I have that I can use different ways. I haven’t found a new purpose for the children or dogs yet (sorry, bad joke, it must be from the drone of scooters and toy pistols constantly going off in the other room!)

My decorating took an entire 15 minutes. I’ll have it down to five next year, since the ribbons are already cut! Then again, next year, I may have a different idea altogether. I like to change things up and change them out often, so who knows what my dining room may look like then?

If you have spare ribbon on hand and don’t know what to do with it, send it my way. I have endless uses for ribbon. (Where this comes from, I do not know? Another mystery!) And, if someone could come to my house and show me how to tie those fancy bows, that would just make my day! I still can’t figure that out even after watching endless You Tube “how to” videos. I believe it is because I use both sides of my brain and I can’t tell which hand is which most of the time. Oh, please help!

If you are not the decorating type, no worries, there’s just as much enjoyment and pleasure outdoors, sitting by a flowing river, soaking up the sun, and taking in the amazing greenery of Mother Nature’s summer dress. This is my favorite time of year; HOT summer days, dreamy, steamy, moon-lit nights and fireflies. I am celebrating that this suck-tastic month is about to end. I think I might be coming back to life………….

Here’s wishing you a fabulous and FUN, Fourth-of-July Week!

And doesn't Cap'N Jack complete the look? He may just live in my dining room all summer. I am quite fond of him!

Little Peanut Johnston

Here is a picture of my little niece. We are all very excited to meet here. She's due to arrive in July. We had her baby shower over the weekend. I can't wait to post new baby pics!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Especially with Cap'n Jack!

Oops! I wasn't quite done....

I was about to say that in spite of the disasterous appearance of my home, it feels great to be here. The seat of my car was getting old. If you're following my blog, then you know what kind of a tizzy I have when my house is such a mess. There is a cowboy hat, an airplane cargo ship various books, a cooler, a sewing basket, a laundry basket, and several other items that shouldn't be in this room.

Jack is included in the mix. He hasn't made it downstairs yet. My dear friend Shari "gifted" him to Parker. She knows he's a huge pirate/Jack Sparrow fan (as is his Mama!) There's just something about rugged men.....ahem...excuse me, where was I?

So even though I can't see the counters in the kitchen and every room in this house is a disorganized mess, I am enjoying the comfort of my surroundings and.....the view. It's pretty HOT right now!

There's No Place Like Home

I'm writing this post from the comfort of my couch. My a*# hasn't sat down in a good long while; my goal today was to change that. Quite frankly, its an effort to move. Getting supper tonight has taken a tremendous amount of energy.

I have no idea how many miles my feet and tires have logged this month; I'm guessing quite a few. Hopefully, my tearing around is done for a while!?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Rising In The Mist

I am actually on a computer and writing this post from home today *gasp*  I feel like I've been on a long trip though I have managed to sleep in my bed every night. Each day has brought up something different to do and experince. Though I like the variety I have to say, it would be nice to have some down time. I have a sense this will happen after the 4th of July but I can't be sure. I just looked at the ki alignments for June and WHAM, looks like it will be another month of living in the "action vortex"!

I am posting a picture that a friend of mine took during the Journey Practitioner Training in Tahoe. I am not a morning person but I did get out of bed quite early to catch this sunrise. I must have sent some kind of intention about waking up and enjoying mornings because that is what I have been doing now, since April! I am up at the crack of dawn doing chores and taking care of animals, children, garden and home........almost in that order too! The kids usually don't wake up until after the pens have been cleaned and the animals fed. I then go in and feed my other "house animals" and we begin our day!

There's been a lot of inner questions and wrestling with my identify of late. I feel called to make changes and have some ideas about what those changes entail but I'm not in a place of action right now, I'm taking it all in. I had planned on building my farm venture and staying very close to home; raising chickens, milking goats, making cheese and working in the garden. I'd have time for all of these if I STAYED HOME! As of April, that was my plan! Apparently the stars had a different theme in mind for my energies. I am doing all those things yet I don't feel as passionate and inspired as I once had. The death of my chickens really took the wind out of my sails, much more than I expected.

 I work well when I have a goal in mind. Right now, I am searching. The chicken ordeal has widened my perspective and I am questioning my motives and direction. The boys are playing ball games and going to Junior Rodeos. Chad is on the rodeo trial, being gone every weekend. I have to think that it might be easier if I only had the garden, house and kids to focus on. Is this defeat? At times, it does feel like it. I think I've strung myself out too far. I had no idea just how busy this month was going to be and now that I'm in it. I am wondering where I am headed now? For the near future it will be a matter of putting one foot in front of the other and just keep on keeping on. I don't regreat having this experience. One never knows the full gamut of all that is involved until you are right in the midst of it. I feel like I've come too far to turn around and go back but I am also feeing a little lost right now. This is a strange feeling for someone who is usually pretty sure of her direction! One thing about farm/ranch life is that it will offer a vareity of emotions. Like the weather you can be on top of the world one day and at the bottom of the barrel the next!

I can say that I am not feeling like a victim nor am I asking for sympathy of any kind, only that the recent events are offering me a chance to really choose what I want for my future and right now, I just don't know. I could easily downsize and concentrate on my writing, which always seems to be supportive. I can see myself hiking and camping in the mountains, "living out of a pink RV with starts on the ceiling", roaming across the country taking pictures and writing articles, or even collecting cool antiques and opening my own shop.  Oh the possibilites are endless. I just need some time to feel out what is right and what most inspires me. Maybe this is all about me getting used to being here, as most summers before this I've been on the road? Maybe this is natural? I don't know (I say that a lot lately!) You're input and clarification is welcome. Its sometimes easier to see things from an outside perspective and since I'm in the midst of this vortex, I'll be happy to see through your eyes for a bit!

I have a vision of clarity that is coming soon. I can feel it deep within my body and being. It feels far away but I know that it is not. It will arise, as the mist of an early morning does, when I give myself time and space to just be. I miss sitting beside a body of water and letting my thoughts drift, the shower just doesn't cut it anymore! I still dream of lazy days and moments of calm, peace and quiet. That's what I most want. That is not what today looks like. I have a five year old asking me to baby sit for her pet wolf, an 8 year old that is looking for a shovel, (pray for him, he usually can't find his underwear in the morning) and an 11 year old that is bossing everyone around telling us all the work that has to be done before Dad gets home from work (I am included in the "everyone"---he thinks he's older than I am sometimes.) I will continue to post throughout the week. I am finding the blog is a deeply therapuetic way to help bring my energies to center. If you are brave enough to read and keep up with such random thoughts, I thank you!!!!

This week's agenda; Wednesday, hair appointment with my favorite, dynamic Hair Goddess (she works incredible magic folks! Barb is the BEST!) I will take care of errands and food list for my sis-in-law's peanut shower Saturday. Thursday, up before the sun with chores, travel to Hastings to watch my rock star cousin compete in his final High School Rodeo Finals! Go Austin Go! (so very proud of this boy, he's an awesome roper!) Friday, work on peanut shower album and gifts and perhaps do a little organization. Saturday, up before the sun again and head north to Peanut's Shower and Sunday ??? hopefully a long nap!

Here's wishing you peace and direction wherever your jounrey takes you today!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

We're Spent

Its been a long weekend. We took in the Nebraska Land Days parade yesterday and today was Pake's Junior Rodeo.

I was up at five to do chores, pack the cooler, dress children, cut and wash fruit, make a dessert and clean up the kitchen. I like coming home to a clean space. Since there's been so much in and out this month, I've tried to be diligent about keeping things picked up and put away. My goal is to be able to clearly see counter tops and floors. Quite the challenge during these past few weeks.

I'm afraid I'm so tired I don't know which way is up. I feel like I'm going through the motions and powering forward when all I really want to do is flop down in a chair (which is exactly what I am doing right now!) I have an exhausted "wolf" on my lap. She and her cousins played hard, howling in the back of the suburban!

Pake had a good day; 5th in goat tying and flag race and 9th in pole bending. He's pooped too.

The house is cool and quiet. My focus is shot so it's probably not the best idea to blabber aimlessly through this blog. We have one more busy(fun) day which involves a road trip for baby shower supplies and then home for an entire day. I hardly know what project to focus on first!

Here's wishing you a relaxing evening and a fabulous week!

Friday, June 18, 2010


Her favorite place is in the feedbunk! We just wish Mama took a liking to her as instantly as we have! This month has been nothing short of "suk-tastic", which has become my "word" lately.

We are "growing sprouts" in midst of all the s*#+ that's been piled on us in the last 18 days or so. Feathers and Camo are thriving as are the guineas. We have sort of fallen into a rhythm though its been anything but predictable. Chad has been gone all week at school. He was home for two hours and then hit the rodeo trail. He did take Sparky along so it is slightly more quiet around here. I already miss the wild giggle!

We are off to go reclaim our peas. It was too hot earlier to do any weeding. We spent most of the day getting baby settled in. She is darn cute I tell you! She's going to give us a run for the money. Summeria is spirited, opinionated and wild. She seems to la, la, LOVE Pake (who wouldn't?!) He is the only one she'll come to right now!

We have a full weekend, starting with a big parade tomorrow, and then on Sunday, a Jr. Rodeo and a FUN birthday party! Did I mention how much we heart summer?!?!?

Our New Addition

We welcomed home our new baby today. We are happy to introduce Summeria. She is a DOLL! Any question of should we have done this/should we not have done this was erased the moment we saw her little tail waggle.

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Walk in the Park

One of the things I most love about summer is the flexible schedule. I have a rough idea od how the day will go but nothing is set in stone.

We enjoyed a fun morning; the boys checked out library books, we dropped Marley off at Buddies for a trim (thanks Annette, awesome job! He looks sooo much better!) Back to Maywood to get the repaired mower (thanks Jason, we really needed it to work!) Back to the library for a game of Clue. Back to Curtis. I decided to order a pizza while we waited for Marley. The kids were starving (and Mom was too)!

We headed to the park and were excited to met up with our friends, Darcy, Ty and Shawn. I took this picture shortly after lunch. A few small minutes of movement, peace and quiet in my day. I love small town parks. I have the urge to stretch out, make grass angels and watch clouds go by! It didn't happen today, sometime it will.

After snagging a piece of pizza (Pake ate 4!) We headed home. I power cleaned/reorganized anf the boys spruced the grounds with the mowers. Each of them were also treated to a trim, compliments of Mom's clippers.

We almost got the days to-do list licked but a few tasks will be carried over on tommorrows agenda. I just got done sketching out my daily schedule for the rest of June-----yikes. Its going to be busy, really, really busy.......

I've some to realize it is a good thing I have the phone and the technology I do. Without it, the blog posts would be few and far between!

The one thing this month has NOT been is a "walk in the park"--- I'm glad its summer. It is busy though somehow, it all seems to get done and fall in line. I'm still fantasizing about spending the entire day in my hammock, reading a great book, but if given the opportunity, I'd take a walk in the park too!

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Kids Fun Day

We took in the free, fun, festivities at the Buffalo Bill Arena this morning. It was a nice time, the kids had a ball. The highlight was Pryce reaching in grabbing this fish in one of the tanks and grabbing this fish! She's much more brave than her mother!

I can't believe how quickly the day has zoomed by. We made it home from NP by 2. Loaded the mower, took it to the repair shop in Maywood (again) and then came home to let the goats out. I'm getting ready for golf now. I just have to load my clubs. Its been a long day; I can't wait!

I'm glad I didn't do much yesterday morning. I'm making up for it now!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Third Time's a Charm?

If the saying hold true I'll be a happy cowgirl! If not, you'll hear abput a goat roast coming up! I know that sounds cruel, I'm kidding! I wouldn't even know how to load the gun!

We just have to have tomatoes!

Sunday, June 13, 2010


I'm happy to report progress is being made on the coop. Chad is quite the builder. He's done this all by himself, in what little spare time he's had. There is tin up on the backside, it is starring to look pretty amazing!

Progress is halted on the project though. Work/career takes priority; that's just part of having an off-ranch income. We work around work schedules!

We took this afternoon at a much slower pace. Blue Sparkle crashed for two hours. I may or may not have dozed off while holding her. I pride myself for having an amazing talent of appearing to be watching a moive, through my eye-lids, and answer (sort of!) questions directed at me. Please don't ask what they were, I do not remember!

I've decided we need days like this more often. I barely did dishes, folded only one load of laundry and I never touched a broom all day......true story. My accomplishment was getting dressed, this was a pajama day if there ever was one.

I have no idea what this week will bring. To say I'm "gun shy" is an understatement. Chad picked up replacement tomatoes so that is one project on the list. I wanted to steam clean my carpets but the machine is broken down. I am a floor person. Seeing stains on the floor is like fingernails on a chalkboard to me.

For right now, I'm not going to worry about it. The kids are waiting on me for a movie. I think I can make it through but the pj's are on......just in case.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Spinach Tasties

Do you remember how, as a young child, how certain foods made you cringe? Spinach and squash did this to me. The first time I ever heard about Spinach was from the Popeye cartoons. I watched in disgust as he’d guzzle spinach from a can (barf). I had no intentions of EVER trying this food. It ranked about as low as squash, the most disgusting vegetable ever grown. My distaste was further anchored when my mom made me sit at the table until my squash was gone. I don’t remember how long I sat there but I do remember missing “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown”. I also remember telling her that the reason all the Pilgrims died is because they had to eat squash. I was not a fan.

I’m not sure where the change occurred, maybe it was when I really started learning to cook, without a box and directions? Or perhaps it was during perhaps during the brief stint of juicing and eating raw foods? Spinach with an apple became one of my favorite energy boosting drinks. I also started eating it with salad, quesadillas, and calzones. Ironically, it has become one of my favorite greens. Who knew? I can’t say the same love has developed for squash or “squish” as I call it. I will eat it, for the sake of my children, who do love it. They prefer it heaped with butter and brown sugar; and I confess that this is how I first had to start swallowing it down. My tastes have refined though, I can now get by with olive oil, herbs and sea salt. It’s not bad. It’s not my favorite, but I will eat it and that means I’ve come a long way.

I wasn’t sure that I would be able to get spinach to grow. I planted it the same time as I did the onions. It was an experiment to say the least. The seeds are so dang tiny! I just scattered them about, said a little prayer and let Mother Earth do the rest. Well…………she did. It's grown beautifully and my only regret is that I didn’t plant MORE.

This week we feasted on a delicious spinach strawberry salad (recipe following) tasty spinach omelets, and chicken spinach salad. I love picking it and eating it fresh, I had no idea that I would love a vegetable this much and then again, I had no idea that I would have the week I’ve had. Surprises everywhere!

Here’s a delightful way to use berries and spinach, both in season right now:

Spinach and Strawberry Salad

Pick your spinach from garden, wash, tear and plop it in your favorite bowl or buy a good bunch of it from your favorite Farmer’s Market!

Pick strawberries, wash and slice or buy it from your favorite berry vendor

Toss it in a bowl with a handful of your favorite nuts, I use walnuts. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds would be great too. Then, drizzle dressing all over your creation.. I make this in my magic bullet and keep it for several more servings. A little goes a long way, this lasted a week

½ c. sugar ¼ Worcestershire sauce

2T. sesame seeds ¼ t. paprika

1T. poppy seeds ½ c. olive oil

1 ½ t.onion, minced ¼ c. vinegar

I sliced a grilled grilled chicken breast and tossed it over the spinach. Sprinkle dried licorice basil and feta cheese over the top. I added just a drizzle or two of dressing. (I went back for seconds………….and thirds!) There’s a picture of this on the June 10th post, Growing On


Friday, June 11, 2010

Meet the 4 Amigos

Hail to the Survivors

Here is a picture of Feathers and Camo. It looks like they are getting along pretty well. I am glad they have each other. I am also glad, by the Geace of God, they were able to stay. Life, death is out of our hands. I'm grateful for this blessing.

New Babies

Chad surprised me with a delivery of four baby pearl guineas. He looked for chicks but they were out. Not a surprise really, didn't expect we'd be able to find the kind we had close by.

Pake was pretty reluctant to "get attached" but the other too fell right back in love; kids bounce back. I can't say I'm excited to start from the bottom, three-day-old level again but looks like I will. It night be easier with only four instead of 30. Like Pake, I feel a bit reluctant. I'm still very sad yet I know that its time to go forward. Its hard not to with Park and Blue Sparkle around.

They are pestering me to get the tank set up. So out to the barn I go. It is darn sure not going to be quiet, these birds are "squawk boxes". I'm very glad they are NOT in the house!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Growing On

I've just sat down for a simple, fast lunch. In light of the challenges this week, I'm reminded that always, always there is hope. Life continues, wounds heal and growth happens, even if you are a dandelion pushing up between a crack in the sidewalk.

I want to thank everyone for the kind, supportive and sincere comments left on this blog and my facebook page as well as the phone calls, texts, emails and hugs, which I really needed! Your support has help me process what initially felt like total devastation. I feel blessed beyond belief to have such wonderful friends. THANK YOU!

Times like this seem to make me doubt myself and second guess my path and purpose. I am not going anywhere but I am taking the rest of this week to really take a long, hard look at what I am creating. Some things are out of my hands, which is difficult to acknowledge for a girl who wears a purple shirt with an S on the chest! ( Some of you have seen my "Super Girl" shirt, so you know what I'm talking about!)

I've done some inner work, alignment and journey sessions to help process the shock. I feel better today. It is my personal belief that building and destruction are both necessary elements in the art of creation. New awarenesses arise when old beliefs, thoughts and paradigms are broken down and released. Sometimes it takes a sudden, shocking shift for this to occur. Since I'm right in the vortex of this storm, its hard to see out but I trust that a higher path is emerging.

I could ponder the "why's, the what if's" and continue to analyze the event from every angle and that will not bring my birds back. Self-guilt only works for so long because the vow I've made with my truth has already broken though that ego-illusion. So here I sit working with what is. I'll pick myself up, dust off and move forward. I'm not in the mood to dance or even skip, the most I can do it put one foot in front of the other and try NOT TO THINK! I feel deeply, no matter if it is over the loss of my chickens, goats eating my plants, kids fighting or a dirty look! I am an emotional being and I choose to see this as a blessing rather than a curse.

Good things are already coming through, the dark clouds are breaking up. Today's primary lunch ingredient came from my garden---spinach. I didn't expect it to grow, so this was a tasty surprise! I had spinach post for later with a couple of delicious recipes to share.

I also found my berry bushes have a few fruits on them, which I didn't expext to have for another year. The garden is coming along nicely.

And the best news yet......I got a surprise phone call from my folks asking if we were going to be home. It rained like crazy up north, so they are headed our way this afternoon! Ahhhh, things ARE looking up! I have three excited children that are now bouncing off the walls in abundant anticipation of the arrival of our guests.

This has been a rough patch. I can see my garden thrives when s@#* is thrown on it, so perhaps I can follow suit. I've had plenty of fertilizer this week. Now, its time to cultivate the ground and see what is ready to be planted next? Time to "grow on". Thank you, with all my heart, for helping me find the rainbow, it appears that it is right here in my yard.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Quiet Barn

I put off this post for a couple of days because I'm still in shock and grieving.

Every day for the last two months I've walked into the barn to the chorus of peeps and quacks. I've carried water, cleaned the pen, fed and cared for the 28 birds at least twice a day every day, and I enjoyed every minute.

I am heartbroken and devastated to report that our dog somehow jumped into the center of the tank and broke through the protective screen. It was a massacre. I wish I wouldn't have got out to look because the tragic image is now burned in my mind.

I know this is part of nature. I knew that it was dangerous to have birds so close to the dogs and cats. I trusted the screen would hold them in and keep other critters out. I even expected I'd loose a few but never did I imagine that I'd have to say goodbye to all but two. Apparently one duck made it and one chick, the kids call "Camo", are still with us.

While I have ill feelings toward Bo right now, I can't hate her; she's saved us from rattlesnake bites on two occasions that we know of and perhaps more that we don't. She watches the kids and does her job of keeping the place secure from coyotes and other unwanted critters. Its hard to love an animal so much only to have her also be the one that promptly ended a long-time goal that was so, so close to being realized.

They were cool birds. I was looking forward to watching them grow and collecting fun, colored eggs. Their new home will be done this weekend. All that work, effort, time and money is down the drain and there's not one thing I have to show for it except a severely bruised heart.

I don't regret bringing them home. They were a joy to watch, listen to and care for. I've always told my children its the experience, not the outcome that is important. This one is tough to take.

I haven't had the heart to go visit the survivors. I can barely walk by the tank, and whenever I think about it, tears well up in my eyes.

I know I need to "get back in the saddle" and find more chicks. I know this but I feel beaten down and utterly defeated.

This has been a rough week. I backed into a panel trailer and dinged the bumper, the goats got six of my bed tomato plants and I sliced my ankle with rusty barb wire. Its easy to focus on all that's gone wrong lately. Its one of those weeks I have to wonder what I am doing and why. Gut check time. I honestly didn't want to write this post but if it somehow helps someone who's gone through or is going through a rough patch, well, then its worth it. Life ain't all roses......sometimes it really crappy.

In all the pain, sadness and defeated feelings I know that I will heal. I haven't shared with many people, I tend to clam up, shut down and isolate. Its an old pattern than I am releasing. Writing this blog helps a lot. Those I have told, have been sincerely supportive and reinforces my belief in the power of love and the human heart. Their kinds words, hugs and encouragement gives me hope when I'm really tempted to throw in the towel and walk away.

This wound is deep and it stings. The quiet barn is so quiet. I expect to heal; right now I'm just giving myself permission to feel all that's here, free of judgment. I invite your thoughts and prayers to be with my family. I've written from my perspective but really we were all invested in this project.

It may seem silly to cry over chickens, but anyone who's cared for an animal(s) knows what it means to carry the responsibility of their life and well being on your shoulders. When things go right, there's no greater feeling and when things don't, you feel the depths of a sadness that you may not want. No one does.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


This is what I ended up doing today, the post about my groovy raised tomato bed can wait!

Today is one of my best friend's birthday and we are celebr8ting by playing a little golf. My body was sort of craving a nap but it is nearly impossible to say no to a plush green fairway. Its gorgeous, a little breeze a lot of sun, my kind of day. I can sleep this winter.

How did you relax and unwind today? Whatever you did, or didn't do, I hope you enjoyed yourself immensely!

The 2nd Victim

I had a feeling this would happen. After milking Egypt I ran the milk straight to the house to cool. I have a system now and dare I say, it seems to be working.

Last evening was lovely and the goats appeared to be enjoying a bit of freedom from the confines of their pen. I asked my "butterfly chasing son" to watch them for me while I went to the house. He apparently became distracted or found a BIG butterfly, forgot or didn't hear me.......whatever! The point is my two beautiful pink Geranium flowers became desert for Egypt and Aries. Count this as the second and third victims, as we lost a pepper plant the first day they were here. Parker is about to get fired! (hummmmm, maybe that is what he wants?)

I can't be too upset, I knew this was a possibility but it didn't make me any less pleased. I was downright, stinking mad.

I hope they grow back, they were so pretty. Pryce picked out her very own, "pretty pink flowes" and was so excited to water them every day. Add this to the loss of our two new barn kitties, and we had a real flood of tears and emotions.

I'll be writing about the tomatoes later. The family is hungry and Sunday just caught up with my body.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

At the JR Rodeo

Today's post finds the Johnston Clan at Thedford's Junior Rodeo. Its on the chilly side, and a whole lot windy.

We are sitting under a tent, "camping out" this afternoon. I am kicking myself for not buying one of these shades on sale last fall. I have a feeling we'll be using one often.

So far, Pake got 5th in goat tying with a 17 flat, Parker rode a steer for 2.7 seconds and Pryce goat-tail un-tied. Right now she is much more interested in digging holes for her ponies and playing with her bff (and cousin) Cayson.

I have to say this is the longest I've sat on my can, and I am having a heck of a time staying awake! I know if I were at home I'd be working in the garden (fun) or downstairs, reorganizing the basement (not so fun)!

I do think I've burned myself out following the rodeo trail. I've followed Chad around since 1994. I have a hard time getting excited to pack coolers, lawn chairs and whatever else we drag along. I'm fickle though; if the event has to do with golf, goats, gardens or greenhouses I'd be all over it!

It is fun to watch my kids and hang out with the rest of the Johnston Crew. My adorable nephew keeps telling me he loves me and I keep melting. He's my little buddy and is determined to prevent "Aunt Robyn" from getting bored! He's sad he forgot his book because he knows I'd read it to him (we sit and read and read and read when he comes for visits!

I see the barrel racing has started so I should act like I'm paying attention. I might need a nudge here in a bit, my eyelids are heavvvvvy!

Coffee anyone? I need a pint!

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Friday, June 4, 2010

Morning Greens

I'm mobile blogging while letting my goats graze. I have no plans to be on or near a computer; I'm grateful for the technology that let's me communicate with the outside world, away from the confines of a desk and walls. I LOVE being outside, especially on days like this. It may get hot later but we've got right now to enjoy!

I am finding the "morning graze" is deeply relaxing. Its a great time (and sometimes the only time) I get to sit and just be. Everything seems right with the world, even if choas is building from the house, with waking, whiny children a few yards away!

I wouldn't spend the money to go to a fancy resort to "relax". If I could spend the entire day, doing little other than watching goats graze, I'd be quite content. Its a pretty easy "job"!

Its starting to warm up though and I've promised these tomatoes a new, summer home. I have chicken chores and plants to water and countless other to-do to get to today.

I think I'll linger a bit longer then hit the ground. What's your favorite way to greet the day, relax and unwind? Please share!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

This is where I'd run away to.............

Sometimes I just want to run away. It would be easy to find me though, all you'd have to do is head west. Don't get me wrong, I dearly love this place. After being here for 16 years, its a good bet that this is where I'll be hanging my hat for a good long time.

We were only going to be here for five years. That is the amount of time that we alloted to be in a new place. If we didn't like it we'd leave. For seven years, we lived in a small town, otherwise known as a village, population 318 or 324 depending on which direction you came in from! We are not town people. We felt suffocated. Wide open spaces are what I crave and..............mountains. I have the deepest love for mountains. I was headed to them and then got sidetracked by a cowboy, with a college degree!

Things got a lot better when we found and purchased the land that we are on. We'd driven by it for years and always thought it would be cool to "have a house right there". We didn't really imagine that it was possible, we were mearly thinking and dreaming outloud. Then it happened. What seemed like a divine stroke of good luck and timing the land came up for sale and we were able to buy it. A dream come true.

Its take a lot of work to get it to look like it does today. This ground was undeveloped, a trail road and a Toyota were the only means of getting to the location our house sits on today. There were no buildings, no fence and no roads. Everything that is seen today came from the ground up. It is a work in progress.

So it is ironic then that I would ever think of wanting to run away, isn't it? With so much hard work invested in this place, why would I want to leave? I think the answer is simply home=WORK! Running away for my symbolized retreat, time off/time away and taking a break from the daily responsibilities and chores. When you are on vacation you are not dealing with the drudgery that is ever before you the minute you wake up!

I've always loved traveling, seeing new places and meeting new people. Though this year I've felt a strong pull to stay closer to home. I am a bit tired of coming home after a long weekend and facing a mound of laundry that looks like its been worn by 1,000 people. In truth, there's only five of us but if that chores falls behind, even for a few days, it is a frightening job to catch back up on.

When I get overwhelmed, the first instinct I have is to want to leave, retreat and head out. I don't like conflict, I don't like constriction. I want to get to a place where I can breathe and relax. I want to go to the mountains. Last summer, we finally got to Yellowstone. I've waited, wished and hoped for this vacation for a long time and finally took a few days to go visit. Those visuals, vibrations and breath-taking scenes are still with me. I am so glad that I took 900 pictures, these are what I've been looking at lately when I find myself feeling tense and rigid. There's something magical about mountains and water. The real thing, of coarse, is so much better, but the pictures work. I love this scene of one of the grassy meadows in the park. I can see my log cabin nestled right in those trees................*sigh*

I don't have any real plans to go anywhere this summer. I am quite sure this is where I'll be. I am seeing now that my belief of home=WORK needs to shift. There's no reason why I can schedule a private, personal retreat right below the deck with a glass of tea, a good book and the hammock. I can do this..........I CAN do this.......I can DO this.........I tend to put of relaxation until my work is done, though it is clear that isn't going to happen. I am going to just have to find a place to stop and take a break. Again, I am sure this reads as a "no brainer" because anyone in their right mind would probably just say to h#$* with it all and just sit down. I'm getting there, I'm just a very slooooow learner!

I won’t go so far as to say I am caught up. I am not by any means, I am seeing how it may be possible to fit everything in that I still need to get done so long as I am not near the computer or phone. I have to stay on track so that I will have some time next week for a few “fun” projects that I’ve wanted to indulge in.

We are settling in to more of a routine; the chickens and goats chores are a challenge since we don’t have our permanent facility up yet. We are making do and still having fun, it just seems that there are more steps to take and certainly not a direct, easy flow to the cleaning, care and maintenence.

I am thankful the kids are helping me. They are good little workers. Pake helped milk and get the goats in the trailer during the rain last night. He was probably tired after the ball game but he didn’t show it.

Today’s plan includes excavating the sleeping quarters, bathroom and closet and finding the bottom of Pryce’s room (pray for me!) I also need to reorganize the downstairs and the craft room. I have cards to make and a bazillion scrapbook pages to catch up on. Its easy to tell when I started doing more outside work and less time in the house (think my children will notice the gaps in the time frame when I had over their scrapbooks down the road?) There are articles to write and photos to organize, a baby shower to plan and horses to train.

We have full rest of the week and weekend but I think it is do-able if I stick to my guns and stay focused. Though the last couple of days (and well, heck, the entire month of May) have been challenging, I have amazing love and support around me. I am surrounded by great people and for that I am deeply thankful. I think that it what is most important anyway is not how much we accomplish in a day, not how much we knock off the to-do list, it is really about being their for each other and supporting those around us on their path.

I am learning a great deal about myself, my weaknesses and strengths via the people, animals and experiences on this place. I hope to write about it soon. I stil want to run away; if the invitation to head west arises, I'll like jump in the vacant seat. I can be packed and ready in five minutes, but I'm afraid my goats, dogs and kids would have to come too, we are kind of a packaged deal now!

On second thought, I'll stay. I just remembered what the laundry pile looked like and how long it took us to move back in. I think I can get there though. I'll just look at this picture, close my eyes, relax and see those mountains in my mind..............