Saturday, December 29, 2012

Finally, an update

Okay so I have been lacking in updating my blog, I apologize.  It seems as things just have a way of getting out of control this time of year for me.
I hope everyone had a lovey Christmas, we sure did.  I think the best part of Christmas is that I actually get to spend some time with my family with out all the daily interruptions (school, work, and general life).  We did spend most of Christmas with some ailing plague.  I was sick for almost a week leading up to Christmas and the kids got it shortly after me :(  No fun when your sick but we made the best of the situation.
For the first year we spent Christmas Eve home as a family and it was great.  We usually go to Thad's brothers which is fun but we end up getting home way too late, the kids get cranky, and then we still have to do "Santa".  By the time Christmas morning comes we are all tired and cranky.  This year was so nice to be able to relax at home and enjoy the kids excitement over Santa coming.  We even did a special home grown dinner of only things we grew or raised ourselves.  We had spare ribs from our pig, corn on the cob, potatoes, and for desert apple pie from apples I froze from our tree.  It was so delicious!  Think this will be our new tradition for years to come.
Now all the craziness of Christmas is over and we are starting to feel better from what ever illness we had we can focus on all the great things we will have in the coming new year.  We have many new ideas for more gardens, animals, and building we need to make so hopefully we will be able to get some things done.  Winter is a bit slow for accomplishing things but we are hoping also do some clearing of the land to make pasture.  With only needing to worry about plowing snow and staying warm we are hopefully that we will have time to cut trees so come spring we can have more open space. 
With New Years just around the corner I should have more great stuff to update for everyone.  I debated making a resolution to work more on my blog but I know if I make that resolution it will fall by the way side just like most I have ever made.  I decided instead to not make that resolution in hopes that I will be able to follow through.  I know with the winter months ahead still I will find myself indoors more and that should allow more time for more updates. 
I hope everyone has a great New Year!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Fall At The Bull Homestead

I have always loved fall.  From the beautiful colors, the changing of the leaves, the crisp cool air, the bountiful harvests, pumpkin flavored everything, the beauty of the landscape and everything fall offers.  My grandmother always said it was because I born in the fall, maybe but either way it is my favorite season. 
I also love to decorate for fall.  I have tons of boxes/totes full of fall decorations yet every year I feel the need to make even more.  From the big display out at the road end to the cushions on the couch and everything in between.  This year I have only made a few new decorations so far but fall is far from over too. 

I wanted to take the time to share some of my fall favorites at the Bull Homestead.

This is my fall display at the end of the driveway for this year.  I have made one every year since we bought the property.  Although this is the first year I have not been able to use my 100+ year old wagon in the display I think it turned out well.  The wagon  just always added something special to it for me and it saddens me to be able to use it any longer as it needs major repair.
Apparently my displays at the road end have become quite popular with the local community as well.  This year with limited time and dreary weather I was behind on setting up my display.  I had a ton of people in my local community come up to me and ask if I was making the display this year.  One person who I would have never thought paid any attention to what I do actually told me they look forward to the change in season to see what great ideas I would come up with next.  It really made me feel good to know so many are interested in it as I love to make them and put a lot of thought and effort into making it. 

These are two of my favorite fall crafts so far this year.  The first (fall tree) was actually something I came up with last year.  I took a small tree cut it down and glued pretty colored fake leaves to it.  I liked it but the tree last year was so big with branches in all the wrong places it just never really looked right.  This year I was quite picky when it came to tree selection and it make a big difference in the finished product of the tree.  We will use the tree through out the fall, first decorating it with Halloween and then we will put Thanksgiving decorations on it.  My kids love making little decorations for the tree so it is fun for them too.
The bouquet of leaves (second picture) was made because I was looking for something to decorate my sitting porch with.  I used the same basics of gluing leaves on branches only on in a much smaller scale.  I put florist foam in the planter and covered it with hay.  I added some tops from the corn stalks we grew then finished it off with a small scarecrow.  It was actually quite easy but one of my favorite decorations so far.

This is just a small sample of the fall beauty here this year.  The colors started out very dull and with in days were brilliant and colorful unfortunately the weather has been rainy and the skies gray hiding the beauty of the hill sides. 
The first picture is the hill behind the house.  Most of our property is wooded and it sure makes for a gorgeous display in the fall.  Although I searched all over trying to find a nice view of our property this was the only one I found that fit most of the property in the picture.  The dreary skies that day however did not help in showing just how pretty everything really looked.
The pumpkins in the picture are only part of the 70+ we grew this year.  I love pumpkins and when they still a little green they always look so pretty in pictures.  The pumpkins didn't take very long to turn the beautiful orange color though.
The rest of the photos are just little favorites around the house/property I wish we could have had a few more sunny days for photo taking but it is still beautiful just the same.

Hope everyone has enjoyed fall here so far and although the wet weather lately has affected the amount of beautifully colored trees the mountains are still beautiful to look at here.  When the leaves are gone I will still love fall and all that it still has to offer.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Raising The Pigs

We raised our own pig (for meat) for the first time this year.  We started from scratch back in April building a pen with help from friends and family, plus getting everything else we would need.  In return for their help we also raised pigs for them and two other friends.  So we ended up raising five pigs our first year!  Talk about jumping in head first to the unknown.
Our pig the day we got her
I had no idea what we were getting into other then that "pigs stink" or so I remembered from being a kid when my aunt raised one.  I knew I would have to help with the feeding and interact with the pigs as Thad works during the week and I was not looking forward to it at all.  I will admit that being short did make the thought of a 200 lb. pig very intimidating.  I was worried that no matter how hard I tried not to I would find myself attached to them only to have the time come to get rid of them.  I also worried how our kids (3-6yrs) would handle the situation as the rest of our animals are "pets".  We let them know from the beginning that we would be raising them for food or "bacon" and that they pigs were not "pets" to keep.  We didn't name any of the pigs other then calling them "Our" pig or so and so's pig to help prevent any attachment to them.  
The pigs really weren't that hard to raise.  The guys must have built a great pen for them as the pigs didn't escape once not even when they were tall enough to climb up on the fence and try to come over their feeder when I fed them.  Although half way through we did have to make changes to the feeder as they would not stay out of it making it almost impossible to get feed in it.  I would feed them in the mornings when I did the other animal chores and Thad would feed them at night.  He would always give them extra attention and play with them.
We did have one pig that wouldn't eat for a few days.  It was in the hottest part of the summer and this summer was hotter then normal for here.  After an online search and questioning friends who had pigs we ended up giving the pig Gatorade and feeding it separately for a few days.  It was soon back to normal but was the smallest pig at butcher time and I believe it had to do with not eating those days. 
When the day came to butcher the pigs the kids and I went to Grandmas house so we wouldn't have to witness the end.  I know its all part of raising animals for food but I was not about to subject the kids to this part of it.  The kids did know what was happening that day with out seeing all the gory details.  That and I did not want to be here for it myself either.  I think it was the best decision as the first thing our daughter said when we got home that day was can we have "bacon" yet and not really caring that we no longer had the pigs.
I think our first year was pretty successful considering "Our Pig" (the biggest for the beginning) ended up being 200lbs!  Since we already have everything set up we will most likely do it again next year.  Oh and as for the smell I remembered as a kid was so dreading it really wasn't that bad.  Maybe it was that the pen was not right next to the house or that having the other animals first has made my sense of smell less sensitive?  
Our pig a week before the end.  Some how they never appeared as big as they really were in pictures.
Please keep all comments on here respectful.  We respect your difference in opinion or that you do not wish to eat meat, raise animals for food, and so on.   We will not tolerate disrespectful comments and they will be removed.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Garden's End

The gardening season has come to an end here.  It is so sad to look at an empty garden after all the hard work and beauty that was in it at one time.  Now what to do with our "dead" plants and empty "plots"....

....How about turn it into a cemetery!!!  The fence was already there so we just removed the bright and colorful signs and replaced them with a few dollar store items (free from my sister who didn't use them any longer).  The ghosts are just broken branches and trash bags filled with "dead" leaves.  We used a marker to make the faces and instant ghosts....BOOOOOOOOOOO

The tombstones in the garden have a bit of a story behind them...I made them the first year we bought the house.  Since I never had much area to decorate for Halloween and all of a sudden I found the few decorations I had looked out of place in such a big space.  I used them the first year and when I went to use them the second year my oldest (2yrs at the time) was so scared that real ghosts would come out of them I had to take them down.  We stored them in a small storage area under the house.  The next spring we built a new porch and framed in the house but never remembered to take them out of storage:(  They remained in there for the next 4 years only to find them accidentally when we were replacing a board on another construction project.  Thankfully my daughter is now old enough not to be scared and the worked great for the garden.  I only wish I would have put vegetable names on them.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Not Dreading School Shopping

With school quickly approaching for my girls I was dreading the thought of going shopping plus the added expense of school shopping is never fun.  Last year I shopped sales all summer to save time and money when it came time to go school shopping.  This year the lack of time to shop had left me wondering what we were going to do for school shopping.  I think I hoping that their clothes would just magically appear....

...And they did.  Just look at this drawer full of school clothes!  The best part is they didn't cost us a penny that and they are new with only a few "almost" new hand me downs.  This left me smiling and relieved at the same time. 

With two children going to school both girls and my little guy still too young for school all needing clothes I was dreading going shopping.  They needed clothes not only for school but for the coming colder weather and some that were bigger sizes too it was not going to be cheap this year.  With some great luck we wont be spending quite so much time or money shopping.  Here is the story of our great fortune and how it didn't cost us a fortune!

My oldest daughter also my neatest had a birthday in the spring and got a nice combination of warm and cool weather clothes.  Thankfully this summer has been HOT and she didn't need to wear any of her new warm clothes so they were packed away in storage still new.  The few outfits that she did wear are still in nice shape as she rarely ruins her clothes and any that wont work for school are in good enough shape that she can still wear when she changes out of her school clothes.  Her downside on birthday clothes has always been that she has grown every year and never really reused her clothes after they were stored away so they were always handed down to my other daughter sometimes with tags still on them.  This year she will be lucky enough to keep those clothes because when everyone asked her size I would tell them a size bigger thinking ahead so to speak.  That and I always felt bad that she didn't get wear some of them before.  So although we will need to buy her a few things as she doesn't get hand me downs from a bigger sibling we will not be replenishing her complete wardrobe this year.  Yes I am smiling again just typing this :)
My younger daughter's clothes "magically" appeared from hand me downs (some still new) and her most recent birthday.  The clothes we stored that her bigger sister outgrew two years ago are a perfect fit for her this year.  This year instead of adding to our toy supply I asked everyone to get her clothes and some school supplies for her birthday.  She still got toys enough to make her happy and the clothes made me happy and saved us tripping over even more toys.  It was a win, win!
My little guys clothes were the issue.  We could hold off buying him clothes as he wouldn't be going to school but he needed clothes the more then the girls going to school as he has grown so much this summer.  We have already started cooling down here and he need sweaters and pants that fit as his that were left from last year are now two sizes too small, literally.  He had even already out grown some of his summer clothes.  Believe it or not like "magic" his clothes appeared too.  A friend of a family member was looking for someone who would like some boys summer clothes their son had out grown so they took them thinking of our son, not even knowing we were looking for some too.  As for the need for warm weather clothes that was quickly solved too.  Someone who works with the hubby said he had some smaller boys clothes from his son who is much older then ours but figured we could just hold them till we needed them.  Well apparently they have been storing them longer then he knew as the clothes are the perfect size.  Plus we will have some that are both warm and cool clothes in bigger sizes we will store till needed.

Yes we will still need to buy shoes for everyone, some supplies for school and a NEW outfit or two for the girls we were so lucky for all that we were given.  Now I cant wait to take the kids shopping as they will have fun trying on shoes and clothes and I will be able to share in their excitement knowing it won't be a three day process and we wont be breaking the bank to buy them clothes.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Real Reason For The Garden

We have had some sort of garden since the first year Thad and I were married.  Our first year was just cucumbers and tomatoes and we holy smokes we had tons of them that year.  It was pure joy keeping track of how many of each we would harvest each day.  We had over 200 cucumbers that year but every time we would pick one it was like we were picking our first.  Seven years later, we have moved to our home and have three great children.  Every year we make an effort to have some sort of garden to share that same joy with our children.  They have had lots of fun in the garden since they have been babies from eating dirt to picking their first ripe vegetable but this year was the first year I have noticed so much excitement in them.  Maybe it is because they are all older now and they all could help with every aspect of the garden this year.
The kids have been fascinated with the garden this year right from the beginning and putting the manure in to planting the seed and even picking the occasional ripe pea.  Last night however was the first time I we were actually in the garden all to once harvesting anything that was ripe.  Just listening to the kids excitement was worth all the time and effort we put into the garden.  They were picking everything they could get their hands on, smiling and giggling the whole time.  It was so much joy for me to be listening to them so excited.  The most exciting moment however other then picking the only ripe tomato was that they were just as thrilled to be eating the same things they picked in the garden for dinner.  As a mom it was just as rewarding to know that they were happy eating food that was not only healthy for them but also safe from all chemicals.
Even though it can be a lot of work especially this year with the dry spell we have a garden filled with fun and laughter but most of all love.  I wish the world could share in the same joy we shared last night.

Sunday, July 29, 2012



Overwhelmed With Summer Fun?

As it is not even August and summer is basically just started I already wish summer was over?!?  Is summer fun too much sometimes???  We all remember summer as kids and how fun it was to have summer vacation.  There was no school, we played outside, swam in creeks, played with friends, had the occasional family picnic and played and played till school started again.   However as a children I also remember spending most of our summer home and how my siblings and I enjoyed everyday of summer vacation.  We would be home for weeks in a row and we enjoyed it.  That is the same summer fun I wanted my children to grow up remembering.  Yet the farther we progress into summer the less it seem to be happening and I have yet to come up with a solution for resolving this problem.
This time of year is very hectic for us here and everyone else as well I'm sure.  I come from a very large family that all basically lives in the same area.  The last few years it seems every week something is happening and when its not my family having a gathering Thad's family has something.  Our chaos started back in May with My niece's birthday and our anniversary the same day followed by a holiday/party/gathering every weekend since then and will not end till the kids return to school (I hope).  Some how in between all this celebrating we have had animals to raise, gardens to tend and try to squeeze in some family time.  We have had to enjoy most of our family time in the garden and with the animals which makes me happy we have them but still that time has been limited this year by one thing our another.  Is this the normal???  Is this how my kids should remember summer???  Were we the lucky ones growing up that we were able to enjoy our every day of summer vacation???
Every year we say the that next year we are not going to go to everything but every year its the same chaos.  Are we overwhelming our children with all this chaos?  They are so busy every day I feel they do not get to enjoy their summer vacation.  On the few days that we are home they are bored?  We have plenty for our kids to enjoy here but they are just used to everyday chaos and running around that they don't know how to react to being home.  Makes me wonder what memories they will have of summer when they are grown?
I have tried to think of a way to calm down our summer chaos and miss a party/celebration or two but it never seems to work.  I have had this discussion a lot with my Mom on how they managed to escape the summer chaos when we were little and she simply says to stop doing all the parties.  How can I tell my niece/nephew we can not come to your birthday party or tell our family we can not come to their picnic even though we went to the other family's party the week before?  How do I ask that same family to come to a birthday party for my kids when I didn't go to their party?  How can I tell my kids even though you cousin just had a HUGE party you can not?  If we just stopped doing everything would everyone understand that it is just too much sometimes?
I am typing all this knowing that in less then a week my daughter is having her 5th birthday party.  We have been so busy this year I'm actually dreading having this party.  If I had not already planned and invited family to this party I would change the whole thing.  I feel bad that again we are going to have to ask family to change plans and come celebrate my daughters special day.  But at the same time how can I not make her birthday a special day for her?  We used to have huge parties for our kids and invite the whole family on both sides (aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, friends and all their kids too) but it was getting to the point that we could barely afford to have a party and still get our child a birthday present.  I have scaled down the invite list tremendously since then.  I know my daughter may feel a little sad that she wont have the huge party she is used to but I also know she will be happy just to have the party as well.  Unfortunately this party also means another week with a party and less time to enjoy summer/life.  I will be starting a new tradition for my kids birthdays after this party.  They will do as I did when I was little.  We will celebrate their birthday the actual day of their birth even if its a school day.  They will have a cake and who ever wants to come is welcome to come but we will no longer have big parties that take a week of planning.  This is just my first step in taking back our life and the next will be saying NO we can not make it to your party/celebration.
I really don't quite know how to end this blog so I will end it by saying I hope everyone who reads this knows it is okay to say "sorry we cant make it this time".  It has taken me a few years of chaos to understand this myself but this is going to be my motto not only for summer but forever.  We are letting our years pass us by and cant even remember the fun we had last week because were are already celebrating something else.  We have a great family (on both sides) and I'm hoping that they actually read this.  I also hope they can understand when we all of a sudden stop going to everything.  I will also understand if they read this and decide the same.  I know if its this crazy for me it has to be just as crazy for them.
Here's to enjoying the rest of my summer the simple way---> with my kids and husband!

Friday, July 20, 2012


Well I have been meaning to keep everyone updated with our garden as we were growing it but we have spent so much time with just weeding and watering it, tending to animals and just enjoying our summer that we haven't had time to blog about it.  I will try my best to get everyone up to date as we just ate our first food from it two days ago here are some photos of our progress so far this year.

Above is two months worth of growth in our garden we are finally starting to get to crops other then the leafy greens.  

We have already harvested all our our spinach.  We did the new popular pallet planting for our spinach and it worked out great.  There were no weeds to pull at all.  We had spinach in so many salads that we were actually sick of eating spinach.  I could bare the thought of wasting what we had left growing still so for the first time ever I canned some.  We waited over a week before I let Thad try it.  He said it was delicious so we are planting more to harvest again before fall comes as I only ended up the 3 small jars after we had already eaten so much of it.

Below are some of our firsts of the year.  Our first of many cucumbers we had grow.  Oh and we had this guy for dinner tonight so this pictures is from last week.  The first peas we picked and ate the same night.  Or first time growing zucchini and they are growing like crazy.

Aside from the garden by the house we also have a patch of sweet corn and two potato patches.  The corn was mostly eaten by crows as soon as it started growing but the potatoes are growing nicely.
One of our two potato patches.  Last year we only had this one and had enough potatoes to last through Jan.  We also saved all the small potatoes that started growing and used them as seed potatoes this year. 
A small row of corn we planted along the driveway with the seeds that wouldn't fit in the big patch.  We were lucky we did as most of the corn we planted in the big patch was eaten by crows before it had time to grow.

What is left of the corn we planted in the corn patch.   It is growing nicely but unfortunately there is not a lot of it left.

We planted pumpkins last year where we planted the corn this year and surprise, surprise one pumpkin plant decided to grow this year.  We had planted more pumpkins but the chickens decided they needed to eat them the day after we planted them so this is a welcome freebie this year.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Chicken Napkins Save Money

One of the few things I have always hated was that we were always running out of paper towels.  That and the fact that we were using way too many of them!!!  Seemed like it was just easier to use them in our busy lives then it was to do something out of our normal routine.  I had decided this is the year we would cut back on our use of paper towels but I didn't have any idea how it was going to happen or when.  I was also looking forward to the money we would be saving not buying as many too.  
Over a month ago I was shopping and found a stack of 8 cloth napkins in the clearance bin.   They were brightly colored and not anything that would match our home but I bought them hoping we could start using them instead of the piece of paper towel we have been using (5 per dinner plus what we used at lunch).  The first few nights we used them off and on but then we started using them all the time.  Still it seemed like we were still having to resort back to paper towels as I could not clean them fast enough.  Lately it seems we have not used hardly any paper towels as when we didn't have clean napkins the kids were using some of our 30+ washcloths as a napkins which the kids thought was just great.
A roll of paper towels started lasting longer and longer.  It was so nice not seeing an empty roll there all the time.  Surprising myself as even I had cut back on using paper towels to clean up spills or drying my hands by using dish towels.  I have tons of dishtowels but never seem to use them.  I was surprised how such a small change in our every day routine made such a big difference.  We actually had a roll of paper towels last us more then a week!!!  And we were going through 1 every few days!!
I did feel bad for the kids using wash cloths as napkins so today I decided to make some napkins out of some of my material.  While I was searching for a good material I came across my chicken material.  This is material I have had for a few years.  Thad bought it for me because it matched my chicken themed kitchen.  I loved it but never used it because I didn't want to have to give it away which seems to happen with most of the things I make. I hadn't been able to find a use for it till now.  I folded it till I had the size napkin I wanted and then sewed the edges.  The whole process took me less then 30 minutes and we ended up with 16 napkins.  I haven't done the math but I'm sure we will be saving loads of money not using all those paper towels.  Plus I finally got to use my chicken material for something for us.  It was a win, win all around.

Sunday, June 24, 2012



Every year at my sisters there is a huge celebration for the 4th of July with food, carnival games, horseshoe tournament and even fireworks.  It is a great time and I usually help her with what I can to get everything ready for the party.  I know from previous years the decorations are starting to dwindle or get shabby looking.  She called me one day and asked where I found all my DIY projects so she could try to make some new decorations with out it costing a fortune.  Myself I just search the Internet till I find what I'm looking for and then try to recreate it with what I have.  But I did tell her to check out Pintrest.  She did and found a few that she liked so I decided to save her a few dollars and make the decorations myself as a birthday present to her since her birthday is the day before her party.  Lets hope she likes them.

Fire crackers!!  Made from scrap wood.
7 firecrackers made from scrap wood, piece of old clothesline, and scrap wood

The scrap lumber was cut into random lengths and painted with Red and Blue paint that I already had from other projects

I arranged them in to different patterns and painted words on them
To add the wick to the top I drilled a hole and hot glued the clothesline in the hole
1 of the 7 different fire crackers I made for almost nothing.

My Pennant Garland.  It was really simple and took less them a half hour.
Here is a small section of the finished garland.

I started with 5 red white and blue colors and cut them into triangles.  The size of the triangle is determined by how big a pennant you want.  Mine were only 6inch.
I took some blue material and cut it into strips about 2inches wide to use as the string.
I folded the string and sewed it.  I also sewed the triangles on at the same time.
The end result is over 100 feet of pennant garland.  You could also sew the triangles next to each other but I chose to separate them so I would end up with a longer garland.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Welcome Summer

With summer only a week away and the temps getting warmer already I was looking for some new pool toys.  Some that are safe and gentle enough for the kids and the pool.  This year we upgraded the pool for the kids as they are no longer babies and the 3 of them didn't fit in the kiddy pool at the same time any longer.  I needed some toys that wouldn't risk popping our inflatable pool because being a single income family we really can not afford to have the expense of getting another pool and actually we probably will have to go back to using the kiddy pool if this one gets damaged.
I searched the internet looking for some inexpensive suitable toys.  Of course they are all too expensive or not something I want to risk popping the pool with.  Then I discover some cute do it yourself pool toys on Pintrest that used 3 sponges cut and tired into sponge balls.  These were just what I needed since they were soft and gentle enough for my kids and my pool.  So I set out to our local dollar store in an attempt to recreate them.  Each ball required 3 colored sponges so I figured I would need to buy 10 sponges (5 of the 2 packs) which would make 1 ball per kid with a left over sponge for me to use for cleaning.  However when I got there the store had no sponges so I searched the shelves looking for an alternative and discovered the automotive sponges and the gears in my head started turning. 
Here is how I turned 3 automotive sponges into 12 pool toys and only spent $3.00 on them.
I started by slicing the automotive sponge in half thus doubling the amount of sponge I had to work with.  If you would prefer a bigger fatter sponge you could probably leave it at is original thickness.
I then cut the sponge into strips across the sponge.  If you wanted a bigger ball you could cut it the long way.  Since my kids are little still I opted for the shorter balls.
I followed the same procedure with all three sponges.  Then took them in groups of 12 to make the sponge ball.
I used a rubber band to hold the sponges together and then trimmed of any longer ends.

My end result was 12 very nice sponge balls for only $3.00 ( my 3yr old helper is holding one so its not in the picture).
These were actually super easy to make and my kids love them.  They do not hurt when they throw them at each other and float so my little guy doesn't have to struggle to reach them at the bottom of the pool.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Memorial day

Far too many people have no idea the true meaning of Memorial Day!
A child family member (not my kids) said to me the other day that they were learning about Memorial Day in school.  I asked what they had learned and they told me about red, white and blue, the flag and soldiers.  I asked the what they learned about soldiers and the reply was that they need to be supported on Memorial Day because they are at war.  I was a little aggravated that this is what the school is teaching as the meaning for Memorial Day.  I explained the true meaning to this kid and they were completely unaware this was the meaning as that was not what the teacher told them.  Why is the school teaching the wrong meaning???  Why don't we just teach the kids that there is no reason for this holiday any more???  Any way I was too mad to put this in word that made sense that day so I'm trying to today.
 Memorial day is a day to show respect for fallen soldiers.  While yes it is great to show your support to all our service members past and present the holidays designated for them would be Armed Forced Day or Veterans Day.  Or for that fact any day of the year is a good day to thank and support a service member.
I'm not trying to offend any one for the way they choose to celebrate on Memorial Day.  I'm definitely not trying to start a debate but too many have told me the wrong meaning for Memorial Day lately.
Please by all means enjoy this holiday as many have sacrificed all so we could.  Our family will be celebrating too.  Papa Bull will be marching in the parade again this year with the Legion at the age or 81.  Thad will also be in the parade with his father then they will both be part of the ceremony at the cemetery remembering the fallen.  Me and the kids will be in the parade with a float symbolizing the true meaning of Memorial Day.  That afternoon we will be having a picnic and enjoying ourselves knowing that many sacrifices were made for us to have these freedoms.  My request is that while you have picnics and kick off your summer please remember the true meaning while you are celebrating.  And since the school is not, please tell your children the reason for the holiday.  I know the word "died" is harsh for little kids but if we do not tell them the true meaning of Memorial Day then how will they learn it.  My children are 3,4,6 and I have explained the reason we have this holiday to them with out any sugar coating.

So I'm sharing this definition from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Memorial Day
Remembrance of American war dead

Memorial Day is a federal holiday observed annually in the United States on the last Monday of May.[1] Formerly known as Decoration Day, it originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War. (Southern ladies organizations and southern schoolchildren had decorated Confederate graves in Richmond and other cities during the Civil War, but each region had its own date. Most dates were in May.) By the 20th century Memorial Day had been extended to honor all Americans who have died in all wars. Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

Of course there is much more to read about Memorial Day on the Wikipedia page but this first paragraph was enough to make my point.  I am totally for supporting all members of the armed forces, my husband SSG Bull included and love that people want to support them.  I just wanted to point out how the nation has seemed to forget the reason for Memorial Day.   

With that said hope everyone has a safe and happy Memorial Day remembering the fallen.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A new look to old planters

As a favor to my Aunt I was asked to bring new life to some old planters she had.  Great concrete planter to start with were saved from being tossed by adding color.  She wanted them to show the details in the animal and the tree.  After a good cleaning (scrubbing with a vegetable scrubber) they already looked new.  I almost didn't want to paint them as they looked so nice but she wanted colors so I gave it lots of thought and came up with the idea to have a light colored background so the animals and the tree would be more noticeable.  As for the detail it showed up mostly on its own when I added the colors so just added some black color to any lines that needed more definition. 

What they looked like to start with (minus the dead plants)

After a good cleaning and a coat of light green paint.    

Added some of the colors and details.

All finished.  How do they look? 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Since it was nice rainy day here and I couldn't be outside doing any of the good stuff that needs doing like gardening, yard work or making new flowerbeds. I decided to try making my own Mayo.  We have our own chickens so finding a use for the eggs has been one of my favorite things to do.

The recipe I used for my mayo is:
2 Egg Whites
1 Table Spoon of Lemon Juice
1 Teaspoon of yellow mustard
3/4 Cup of Vegetable Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste.
Mix all the ingredients but the oil in the blender on low.
Slowly with a small steady stream add the oil to the mixture, still mixing with the lowest setting. 
Adding the oil can result in slight spattering. 
*you can use 1 whole egg in place of the the 2 egg whites but it makes the mayo a yellower color*

The Bull's Pen Blog

So everyone has a blog so I figured I might give it a try....How hard can it be right???
On a side note I made my own Mayo today....It was soooo easy!!!  I'll post more on that later.  As this is all new to me and will have to spend some time tweaking it......  So how did I do for my first post?