Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday Afternoon on the Homestead

So far, a lovely day.  I was blessed to attend a wedding this morning.  It was just beautiful.  It was held in the bride family's backyard.  Not a fancy yard, a country yard, like mine, really.  Except more country.  You could hear the chickens during the service.  She is one of nine homeschooled siblings, marrying one of eight homeschooled siblings.  Everything was done simply, and inexpensively, and it was just absolutely wonderful.  The groom's father is a pastor and he performed the ceremony.  It was only in the 80s, plenty of shade and the Lord sent a nice breeze.

As long as I was fancied up, I had one of my sons take a new profile pic of me - sans the messy bedroom background:

Nothing much else going on.  Went to Breadco for lunch with my dear friend Betty, then ran a few errands.  Everyone is home again, waiting for Nevin to get back.  He is on a retreat with the other deacons, will be home sometime this evening.  I am glad he got to go, he has had a busy week:

He has spent a whole lot of time and energy shooting squirrels this week.  We have also taken out rabbits and possums who have attempted to eat our tomatoes!

The skunk we just let walk away.

And that is it!  The boys are quiet, I am continuing to check my blood regularly, eagerly anticipating (?) going to the doctor next week.  Actually, I am.  I like to have a course of action, a plan to follow.  Right now I have the one I made up, seems to be going okay so far.  Interesting discovery - just thirty minutes on the treadmill will really drop the glucose.  Yesterday afternoon it was 203 - high!  I jumped on the treadmill for 30 minutes, did a little over a mile uphill, and it came down to 134, which is within the acceptable range.  Yep, going to have to carve out time each day, at least once, plus some other exercise. 

Just keep thinking about the toes...
and the kidneys, eyes, etc.  It's all going to be okay, the Lord is in control.  I am reading Practical Theology for Women by Wendy Horger Alsup (link to her blog over in my blogroll) and she referenced this verse, which really spoke to me:
So we do not lose heart.  Though the outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16
That's right.  I need to be a good steward of this body the Lord has given me, but it is wasting away.  It is fragile.  One day I will have a resurrected body, but in the meantime - this is it!  But I must continue seeking the Lord, renewing my mind daily.  

The treadmill is a really good place to work on this!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Toes and Hair

I am very motivated by vanity. There - I said it.  
While Googling my way through various diabetes websites, I found a lot of disturbing images of feet.  See, that is one of the big problems with diabetes, you may have issues with circulation to your feet.  You can develop foot ulcers easily, and they spread all the way to the bone rapidly.  The only answer is amputation.  
I thought about showing you some pictures of those feet, but they are really awful.  If you want to see, you can go to Google Images and type in "diabetic foot" and find out more than you ever wanted to know.

Instead, I show you these feet:

After my very first pedicure

With my wonderfully comfy slippers

As you can see, I have reasonably nice toes, no weird disfigurations, polish up well. (Hey, we all have to have something going for us!).

I plan to keep them.

On another issue of vanity, immediately upon hearing the results and diagnosis from my glucose test, I pulled into the beauty shop and got my new super-cute cut.
I keep hearing Julia Roberts, in Steel Magnolias.


She had Truvy (Dolly Parton) cut off all her long hair and give her a pixie-ish cut.  She said she felt the need to "simplify her life".  

I feel the need to simplify my life.  
I find it interesting that the Lord has been leading me in this direction over the last few months, with much discussion between Nevin and I about our schedules, outside activities, etc.  I had already begun "mentally" streamlining our lives. God is so good.

Anyway, since Belle requested it, here are some pictures of the new 'do.  Try to remember, I am no Julia Roberts!

Sorry about the messy bedroom background, when getting a kid to take pictures you have to grab them when you can!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Diabetes, anyone???

So, it looks like I have diabetes.

It has only been a few days and I am already sick of thinking/typing about this.

Here is how it happened......

A few weeks ago I went to a Womens' Health fair for glucose, cholesterol, and a mammogram.  I was particularly interested in having my glucose tested.  I had gestational diabetes with three of my pregnancies, so I knew I had a greatly elevated risk.

My test came back a little high, 153 - should have been 140 or less.  So, I called my ob/gyn and asked him to call in an order to a local lab.  I had a fasting test done there.  That one was really high - 139, should have been between 65-95.  My ob/gyn said this was in the range (over 126 fasting) where diabetes is diagnosed.

So, I immediately went and got a super-cute haircut.  I do have my priorities in line, you know!  Then I went to Breadco with a friend, for salad.

I shared this with her (Shelley) and she got to bless me - she had just bought some file cabinets from a medical supply company and there were several brand new blood/glucose monitoring kits in them.  Yay!!!

So, I have been testing my blood the last few days.  I also sat down (for hours) and read info on diabetes, and picked up the ADA Complete Manual.  Pretty good reading!  I wrote out a meal plan for myself, based on the one I followed when I had gestational diabetes.  And, got back on the dreaded treadmill.  It actually felt....empowering.  My reading after lunch today was within the normal range, so I am hoping that with close monitoring, following the nutritional guidelines and getting exercise I can keep my blood sugar under control.  I have an appointment with my primary care physician and a nutritionist over the next few weeks.

So....this is kind of scary.  I don't get sick, I don't even have any allergies.  And now I have a "chronic condition".  Wow.  I am not even (much) overweight.  Actually, I am 12 pounds over the "healthy" guidelines, so at least by this winter I may be able to get back in my favorite jeans.  I don't smoke, I don't drink, I get enough sleep, I take my vitamins......but yet, there you go.  The Lord is in control, always, and in all things I will rejoice.  Right now, I am rejoicing that I have family support and resources to get medical help, that I don't have a lot of weight to lose, and at least now I know why my feet hurt!

This is going to be interesting, to see how the Lord uses this.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday Afternoon on the Homestead

Finally time to sit down and reeeelllllaaaaxxx!  A busy weekend here - a kids' birthday party at a waterpark Friday, a baby shower Saturday morning, a kids' birthday party at a skating rink Saturday afternoon, then some squirrel hunting here last night.

The squirrel hunt turned into a rabbit hunt last night, when one of our hunters spied a couple brown rabbits heading out of one of the gardens.  A few bunnies bit the dust.  Nevin got another one running out this morning.  After all our work (especially Nevin's!) there is NO WAY we are feeding our crop to the rabbits.  Every time I find a half-eaten tomato I think about how tasty fried rabbit can be.

Excellent Sunday School today.  We are in John 12.  We started John in January of 2011.  We are going through the book word-by-word.  We will maybe finish this year.  I love this sort of teaching.  It sure beats "topical" lessons from a quarterly, that is for sure.  I feel like I am really getting a opportunity to know the Word. Our sermons are the same thing, the elders are currently preaching through Ephesians.  Grace, grace, grace - feel like I come away from there saturated in the grace and mercy of the Lord.

And now...home, relaxing and watching Soul Surfer.  Nevin and the big guys are at a meeting at church, then hopefully we will all be home together soon.  This week is crazy busy for Nevin, blessedly calm for me.  Hopefully my slow week will translate into me being available to help him.  I wish I could do more, but I don't know how to build cabinets......

And that is it - they just walked in the door, so the second shift of the day begins!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Little More Thankfulness Never Hurt

Here are just a few more things the Lord showed me this morning...

Nevin at work in the cabinet shop.  It is going to be 105 today.  The shop is not air conditioned, though he does have huge fans.  However, it is going to be HOT.  I am so thankful for a man who works hard for his family and built this business from nothing, with only his own brains and back.
And, by the way...
WE built this business, Mr. President!

Tony feeding the chickens

My beautiful Vivien.  How does she manage to stay on that rail???

Two things I am very thankful for - cats and fresh tomatoes!

They all find places in the various gardens to get out of the sun during the day.  Good for keeping away varmints, too!

Thankful Thursday

Two in one morning - I am borrowing this theme from The Upward Call. I have also seen it on other blogs, so I am not sure where it originates, but I like it!

Thankful for a great time of fellowship last night.  Had singing, praise, prayer, and a really good teaching from Proverbs 7 and 8.  I love our church, and especially love the small groups we have.  You really get a chance to know people by regularly attending these groups.

I am thankful that the Lord was gracious to me, He saved me from my sins.  Christ hung on the cross for MY sins - and no matter what my past was, or whose fault anything was, or what I did - it is forgiven.  He save me despite what I was, and lifted me up out of the cesspool.  Hallelujah!!

Thankful for a full day at home, to get some much-needed housework done before a super-busy weekend.  Disappointed that a lunch plan for today had to be cancelled. Thankful, though, to have the time open because now I am going to be able to watch a friends' children for her while she goes to the doctor.

Thankful for another day here to serve the Lord, to enjoy my family, to love my get the picture!

What are you thankful for today?

It is Better to Enter Heaven

I might get around to posting something today, but in the meantime I want to share
my friend (and Sunday School teacher) Amy's blog post from yesterday.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

One of those annoying healthy-living posts

Generally, I don't talk about health/fitness, et al.  Well, only once a year, around January 1, when I commit to eat healthier and get more exercise.  But.....

Yesterday I went to a womens' health fair, sponsored by a local hospital.  As I am now among the class of "un-insured or under-insured", I qualify.  It was very nice, very well done.  I had my glucose checked, my cholesterol and had a mammogram.  Then I got to discuss the results with a nurse and go over my numbers and what needs to be done to change them.

Overall, I am not in bad shape for a 46 year old broad.  Menopause did horrible things to my waistline (nicer to blame that than the four kids!), but overall, a little achy joints but otherwise pretty good.

I need to lose some weight.  Okay, knew that.  Blood pressure was 122/86, not bad, but should be 120/80 or below.  Glucose should have been 140 or less, was 153.  This was my main cause for concern.  I had gestational diabetes with three of my pregnancies, so I am very familiar with the diets, blood testing, etc.  Do not want to go back there, ever.  Having had GD, I am at a higher risk, so this bothered me.  I am going to have to go to a lab and take a regular fasting test and see where I am.  In the meantime, I got some cinnamon and chromium pills to take.  It is supposed to help you metabolize sugars better.  We will see.  When I told my results to my friend who went with me, she asked if I had be itchy lately.  YES!!!  I have switched soaps three times in the last week or so, in the evening my whole torso and upper arms itch-itch-itch.  She said that is a sign of high blood sugar.

Side note - I thought about Googling all this, but my kids' pediatrician told me to never google symptoms, you always think you have something far worse than what you really have.

Anyway, started taking the pills.  A nice side effect is that if you burp you think you had a snickerdoodle.

My cholesterol overall is 191, and it needs to be below 200, so that is okay.  The good cholesterol, however, should be at least 50, preferably 60, and mine is 45.  The nurse suggested flax seed oil or meal, and........regular exercise.  I bought a bag of flaxseed mill (surprisingly inexpensive, I always expect healthy stuff to be a price gouge) and have added it to my smoothie today.  I don't taste any difference.  And, I did a half hour on the treadmill.

So, there is the update on my physical health.  This little adventure yesterday got me thinking about my spiritual and mental health as well, and some of the tie-ins.  I need to think a little more, and will elaborate later this week.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Saturday Morning on the Homestead

A quiet day today.  Nevin and the big guys are at church this morning for the monthly Mens' breakfast.  I am not completely certain what goes on there.  Nevin is speaking this morning, but he did not tell me what about.  I made sure he had three dozen eggs to take and the boys had their teeth brushed, that is pretty much the end of my involvement.

I really like that when Nevin takes on a commitment it does not automatically become MY commitment.  I had always thought that anything he did would be more work for me, but it has not turned out that way.  If he needs help, he will ask.  But he does not assume that if he is going to a breakfast that I am preparing the french toast casserole.  He actually does not WANT me to - because then it was my project, not his.  He would much rather show up with a couple dozen donuts from the shop that he picked up himself, than a fancy dish that I got up and made.  Good man.  Of course, if he wanted me to I would certainly make whatever he wanted.

I think I am going to putter about the house this morning, maybe pull a few weeds.  The garden began producing red, ripe tomatoes this week.

These are Early Girls. They ripen, on average, ten days before the others.  
With the tomatoes came.....squirrels.  Squirrels have descended on our garden.  Nevin has shot several in the last few days.  The cats are funny, because when he shoots Esther (my old lady that we rescued last year) runs for the hills when she hears the gun, but the rest just sit there, because they know they are about to get a fresh squirrel treat. 

(Side note here - I have a picture of A.J. munching a squirrel, but decided not to include it.  I thought it was cute, others might get all queasy inside.)

Henry was very upset that Nevin gave them to the cats, instead of dressing them for us (ug, they like fried squirrel, I am not a fan).  But Nevin said they had ticks on them, he didn't want to mess with them.  I heartily concurred. 

Going to dinner at some friends' this evening, looking forward to that.  One of the things I really like about our church is that it is a younger congregation.  We have a lot of young people in the twenties, just starting their families.  Young enough to be our kids...!  Anyway, one such young couple with two small children has invited us old folks and our four kids to their home this evening, and I am really looking forward to it.  It is interesting, moving into this "older" stage of life.  On one hand, I don't really feel older (except my feet really hurt alot). I think getting started on our family later (32) has kept us in a younger state of mind.  Most of our friends in their mid-forties have grandchildren, or at least have launched a few young adult children into the world.  Our oldest is 14, youngest is 7, so we are just-entering-high-school-still-firmly-in-elementary-school with this crew.  Many of my closest girlfriends are 10-12 years younger than me.  It is how I get away with being kind of bossy.

Much of this week has been consumed with re-evaluating the use of my time, making plans and final (I really mean it!) purchases for school this year, and doing busywork.  Yesterday I started on a website for our business, hopefully will have that up soon.  Sometime this week I hope to get our school plans more "together" and able to post them.  We shall see.  This week is shaping up busy: dinner tonight, then church tomorrow and an ordination service tomorrow night (did I mention Nevin was ordained as a deacon a few weeks back?) for two of the men in our church; park day with the homeschool group; a health fair (getting my bloodwork and mammogram for free!); c-group Wednesday evening; a friend and her children coming to lunch Thursday and a birthday/pool party to attend Friday, and baby shower on Saturday (I am bringing quiche).  The FOLLOWING week, though, I have STAY HOME written all over the calendar!  The shop has gotten busy, I need to have free time to be home, be there to help Nevin as needed, and just keep things running smoothly.  When I get out-of-the-house busy things tend to fall into chaos here.

It is past time to feed the chickens, cats and guinea pig.  Thank goodness the kids fed themselves today!  I shall go pull those weeds, and spend some time in the Word, while it is nice and quiet here.  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Huge flower

Sorry about the huge header picture, I will work on that!

Status Update for July

Right now, I am......

Sitting: At the kitchen table, doing some paperwork for the business, balancing the checkbook and paying bills.

Drinking:  My second cup of coffee with Stevia in the Raw and Aldi Fat-free French Vanilla Creamer.  It is much better than it sounds.  I will have at least one more.

Enjoying:  The quiet in the house before they all wander out.

Revamping:  All my plans for the school year.  At least it is still just in my head and I don't have to erase a lot yet!  Also revamping myself mentally for the upcoming year and the new schedule - trying to eliminate a lot of "out of the house" stuff, see how school goes on a year that we stay home a whole lot.

Doing: Today, some laundry, taking the guys to play basketball with friends, then Henry is having a friend spend the night and Tony is going to a friend's to spend the night.  May also do some barbecued pork steaks.

Processing:  This last weekend.  We went to Iowa to visit Nevin's family.  Always a nice weekend, no rush, no hurry.  A lot of time in the car to think about stuff.  God, life, plans for the future.  Big stuff.  Thinking about how I truly use my time.

Preparing:  Not much, I think I am still stuck on processing.

Reading:  An ebook I downloaded and printed.  I hate printing ebooks, they end up with giant print and 8 1/2x11.  But, I hate reading on the computer even more, so there you go.  I also started "Converting the West:  The Biography of Narcissa Whitman" last night.  It is inter-library-loan, so I need to get on it.

Praying:  Not much lately.  I seem to have lost my focus.   I guess praying I will get it back.  Lately it seems my relationship with the Lord has been pretty lazy.

Deciding:  That I probably need to get dressed and finish paying the bills.

Copying:  from Staci at Writing and Living

Tuesday, July 10, 2012



I have modified the original recipe, this is how I fix them and we love them.  They are sort of like a Taco Bell Enchirito, if you ever had one of those.  Enchilada/burrito combo.  A pain to assemble, but very good.

1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup flour
4 cups water
3 Tbsp chili powder 
1tsp garlic salt
2 lb ground beef
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup refried beans
12 small/taco size flour tortillas, warmed
4 cups (?)bag of shredded mexican cheese

In a large saucepan, melt butter.Stir in flour until smooth, gradually add water.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for one minute or until thickened.  Stir in chili powder and garlic salt.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer uncovered for ten minutes.

In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the beef and onion until meat is no longer pink, drain.  Stir in refried beans; heat through.

Spread 1/4 cup sauce in a greased 9x13 pan.  Spread 1 Tbsp sauce on a tortilla, then heaping 1/4 cup meat mixture.  Roll up and place seam side down.  Do this with all of them, pack them tightly in the pan.  Pour the remaining sauce over them (it looks like a lot).  Pour whole package of cheese all over it.  I top the whole thing with jalepeno slices, too.  

Bake at 350 18-22 minutes, uncovered, until cheese is all melted.  Take out and let sit a few minutes for sauce to soak in good.  Serve with lettuce, tomato and sour cream.  

I ended up with a little meat left over this time, I am saving it for leftover tacos.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Fourth of July on the Homestead

Even in this drought and 100 degree + temperatures, our gardens are flourishing.  We are very fortunate - we have a well, not city water, so we can use as much as we need without seeing a huge increase in our bills.

So, for the holidays, a little tour of how our garden has grown.....
Okay, these are not plants, but are these kittens getting cute or what!!!  Platinum and A.J.  I don't recall what A.J. stands for, have to ask the boys.

New bed by the playset

Tomato Garden #2 by the driveway

A Purple Coneflower

Tomato Garden #3, next to the beautiful clothesline

Chickens don't much care for the heat, either.

New bed by the big tomato garden.  You can see the shop in the background.

And the other end of the bed.

Nevin working away.

I am so glad we aren't paying for water, other than in electricity to run the pump on the well.

I don't know why this frog is sitting on the water spigot.  My guess is that it is cool.

Bed by the big tomato garden.

This is the main garden in front, full of tomatoes, peppers, zuchini, cucumbers and a few beans.