Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Turning 30 and aphid attack.

I'm 30 y'all. I'm 30. Yikes. BIG yikes.

I remember when I was probably 12 and met some kids who had an older sister who was thirty (married and with children). I thought that was just plain crazy and then as I got older and my youngest brother was born when I was 18 I realized...that is going to be me! And my little brother will be 12 when I turn 30. At the time I thought "well, life will basically be over by then so I guess that'll be ok."

Obviously my viewpoint has changed as now I view those who are 40 and 50 as still "young." A few years ago when I was translating for that medical group in Brazil I remember commenting that my previous patient who was 42 appeared to be more like 30. I asked my good friend Kim "don't you think?" and she said ", he looks to be in his forties. I think you're just getting older." And I think she was right.

So as awful as I thought it was going to be turning 30, well, it wasn't so bad. It was actually kind of fun. As I left the house yesterday morning I saw this in my yard....

And then at the first stop sign I saw this....

And then at the next stop sign this....

Then this....

Then this....

and finally this....

I couldn't stop smiling and laughing about it throughout the day. If I had not have known that my sister-in-law was thousands of miles away in an Indian village I would have KNOWN it was her. Jonathan wouldn't tell me for several hours as he loved hearing me beg and take guesses. I never did guess who it was (and never would have). It was one of Jonathan's good friends (mine too but the two of them have been friends for years) who came all the way down Grandview mountain (we're talking a 40 minute drive, folks) at MIDNIGHT to put these signs up. Isn't that so thoughtful? I thought so. 

I also had a good friend take our girls and me out for coffee and hot "chwocolate" that morning. It was fun! 

Then that night my in-laws, hubby, daughter and I went to chatty for an awesome supper at Longhorn. I don't know if the stuffed portabella was better or the humogatroud "chwocolate" cake for dessert! Either way it was yuuuuuuuuuuummy. 

And now I'm 30. 

And what activities do I find fun in my old age? 
Gardening. Oh how I LOVE gardening. I've never loved something so much that I've known so little about. It IS a bit overwhelming but I am soaking up as much information as I can and I'm just diving in. You gotta start somewhere so that's what I did. And I'm having a blast in this process.

My new favorite question to ask someone is now "do you have a garden?" and if the answer is "yes" I follow that up with "tell me all about it!" I've gotten some really good tips and ideas and I've realized that a lot of people know just as little as I do about gardening and yet still attain success (success is a relative term, however).

I've even been able to pass on some tidbits of information myself which makes me feel like an expert gardener.

I am 30, you know.

So this is what my herb garden looks like.....

It has only been planted for a few weeks so still looks rather sparse. But I am excited about everything that's in there! There are three tomato plants in the back, basil, dill, oregano, mint, lavender, stevia, aloe and a few more that I don't even remember the names (gotta love Lowe's clearance's hard to resist an herb that's 99 cents, even if you don't know what it is!)

And here are my vegetable gardens that probably won't get enough sun to produce a ton but....

In there I have 4 more tomato plants, 2 eggplant, several cucumber (2 different varieties), strawberry, banana peppers, bush beans, watermelon, lettuce and zucchini. The last four were all started from seed and seem to be doing well except zucchini. Apparently the soil has been too cold and most people around here aren't having success with zucchini. 

My main desire is to have plenty of tomatoes! Oh how I detest store bought tomatoes. I think I'd rather dye cardboard red, eat that and save the money. So I am trying oh-so-hard to do all I can to help the tomatoes along. 

Because of that I noticed right away when my two heirloom plants had some spots on their bottom leaves! I discovered that the problem was a common one...aphids. 

Ugh, aphids.

But that is where the green bottle comes into play....

Hopefully this concoction of water, garlic, hot sauce and dish soap will take care of my aphid problemo. We shall see.

The only thing that could be nicer about having this garden to work in would be living in the house where it is located. But that will come in time.
Until then, we will enjoy the little things in life. 

Like "chwocolate".....


Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I have discovered a great way to test the love of one's friends and family. And that a foreclosed HUD home that needs lots of work without a lot of money to hire the work out. Let me tell you folks, we are so loved. We have had friends come as far as MI to do nothing else but help us in our (ongoing) journey to make our new blessing-of-a-house ready for us to move in. This process is taking much longer than anticipated and although it is a constant struggle to remain patient in this process we are confident that it WAS a gift from the Lord and have no regrets (not sure if our friends and family feel the same way. ha).

This post is going to be L-O-N-G. From here on out I won't have too much text (that is the plan, anyway!) but pictures to sum up our life the past few months. Usually when my dad writes an email he entitles it "Bullets" with a brief description of the 200 activities they have been involved in in the previous weeks leading up to that email. So that will be my style for this post...these are the bullets of our lives from Feb until now....

Bullet numero uno. 

* House - lots of wonderful friends and family have made a huge difference in this sometimes crazy process!

I have huge limitations in what I can do to help but tearing up subflooring is one thing I can do! 

It wasn't planned this way but one Saturday we had lots of friends show up to help! We got all of the pee-soiled (dog) carpet out of the house as well as the downstairs bathroom project started. 

This was only the first of many nights these guys spent on getting the downstairs bathroom finished so that we could have it inspected for our escrow moula. One night they didn't get home 'til after 11pm!

Bob the builder. He came all the way from MI and turned his original 5 day stay (to work on the house) into a week. This man worked from dawn to past dusk every day. He was happy working for fresh goat milk so I kept him supplied :-)

My dad and brother Matt came up to do the kitchen/dining room floor. They were held back a few days we had complications with a rotten beam underneath the floor but they stayed through Easter Sunday (working during the Easter service to finish) and the floor is BEAUTIFUL.

Jonathan's dad has been there helping since day #1. He has been amazing. And today is his birthday. Happy b-day dad!

Paul (from our church) has been helping in a variety of ways but the one thing that we just don't know WHAT we would do without him is in the electrical area. He has saved us SO much time and money by donating his time and wisdom.

Staircase that J's dad and Bob-the-builder closed in.

We had to put furring strips over all of the exposed logs in order to insulate the first floor (the previous owners were paying between $300-400 a month to keep the house heated!). It ended up taking us over 2 weeks to complete this task.

Many of the logs had to be chiseled out to keep the strips straight (so that we don't end up with walls that make you motion sick when you walk in the house!)

Another little helper arrives on the scene.

I need to take this moment to mention my mother in law. Though not pictured on here she has played a pivotal role by keeping the "little helper" occupied while we work hard. Whenever we go to pick Karis up from their house the first thing she says is "I don't want to leave! I want to stay here all the nights and all the days!" Vovo takes such good care of her and does so many fun things during their time together. We'd probably be another month behind if it weren't for her help!

After weeks of waiting the insulation company finally showed up.

This is how the living room, kitchen/dining room and downstairs bedrooms look now. It really lightened it up, didn't it?

Ok, enough of the house for now. We should have more pictures to show later this week.

Bullet numero dois.

Goat sitting. I love my friend's Becky's goats and mini-farm. I can now say with confidence that not only can I milk goats but I can "get foam" which, apparently, is the mark of excellence in goat-milking :-)

Bullet numero tres.

Our Boliva/AZ friends came through again...always fun to have company!

Bullet numero quatro.

I managed to sneak in another Chick-fil-a opening.

There were 400 people at the opening so out of us 4 adults only my cousin Jen and I made it into the raffle. We split the tickets between the four of us!

It's almost like our family reunions end up at Chick-fil-a openings :-)

I got to meet my cousin's cutest-baby-in-the-world for the first time. I love that child.

Perhaps it was partly due to our own sleep deprivation but we had a little fun watching dad sleep. And we documented it.

And my personal fave....

Bullet numero cinco.

We got a van!!! for 1/2 of the blue book value price. Another gift from the One who has provided so many blessings this year.

Bullet numero seis.

Misc family pictures....

Isn't she so grown up?

Selling candles and decoupage pictures at a festival this last weekend (I have NO idea why my hand is on my hip but it's the only picture that J took)...

I had more to say but my munchkin is waiting to jump on the trampoline, I have an elderly friend waiting for us to visit and we get to celebrate my fil's b-day at a Mexican restaurant tonight (wahoo!)



PS. I don't even have time to preview this so please forgive any mistakes and/or typos!