So Why’d You Move to the Country?

Lot’s of urban folk dream of moving to the country…and some make those dreams reality.

But sometimes reality isn’t quite what those people expect it to be.

Newspaper Headline

Yes, this is a real newspaper headline.

Not that I’m not a transplant myself, but at least I knew what I was getting into when I said “I do” to Farmer D.


Of course, the same list can apply to at least a few cities I’ve visited, too.

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Hot Flashes: Seven-Word Sunday

12019445-cartoon women Hot Flashes

Aging is fine, but hot flashes SUCK.

Zumba Class: Seven-Word Sunday


Tried Zumba today.

Looked stupid. Had fun.

What? Not Working Outside Today?

Though Farmer D worked over this morning at his “real” job (you know, the kind where you actually get paychecks and everything), I was the only person that seemed to be moving before noon today.

My father-in-law actually stayed in his house,

the Amish crew constructing the new equipment building didn’t show up,

Building Construction

and the dogs didn’t spend the morning playing in the front yard.

Miss Annie

Why, you ask?


Because it was too bloody cold.

My Gift to You: A New Year Survival Kit

I sat down today knowing that I wanted to write a blog post, but having no clear idea of what I wanted to say…though that usually doesn’t stop me.  After browsing Pinterest, the 365 Project, and Twitter as ways to procrastinate, I found this gem in my email Inbox.

So I give you A New Year Survival Kit to help you out each day.





New Year Survival Kit

Your New Year Survival Kt contains:

  • A toothpick to remind you to pick the good qualities in everyone (including yourself).
  • A rubber band to remind you to be flexible. Things might not always go the way you want, but things can usually be worked out.
  • A Band-Aid to remind you to heal hurt feelings (either yours or someone else’s).
  • An eraser to remind you that everyone makes mistakes.
  • A candy kiss to remind you that everyone likes a hug or a sincere compliment.
  • A mint to remind you that you are worth a mint to someone (especially yourself).
  • A piece of bubble gum to remind you to stick with it and you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.
  • A pencil to remind you to list your blessings every day.


  • A tea bag to remind you to take time to relax and read over that list of blessings.

Wishing you love, gratitude, health, friends, caring, sharing, laughter, music, and warm feelings in your heart every day of the year.


And special thanks to Ginny for sending this my way.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland: Seven-Word Sunday


Walked in winter wonderland–didn’t even fall.

(Thanks, L.)

I Can’t Honey, I Have Homework

I haven’t uttered those words in a very long time…since 2007 to be exact.

That’s the last time I gave large amounts of money to a university in order to do lots of work and eventually (after giving even more money) getting a piece of paper with my name on it.

(The first time was when many of you were in diapers.)

Don’t get me wrong. The problem is that I LOVE school. So much that I’ve been researching some options and trying to figure out how to work it into my crazy life.

But for now, I’ve discovered Coursera, where I (and you) can take college-level classes…FOR FREE!

Because I’m a bookworm and have loved the stuff since I was a kid, I’ve enrolled in a 10-week class on Greek and Roman Mythology.

Yeah, I just said a 10-week class.

And in order to pull this one off, I’m going to have to either prioritize better or give up a few things.

Here’s my list so far:

  • Mopping – actually this one’s too easy because I HATE to mop.
  • Ironing – another no-brainer, because I don’t iron unless I have to. (But if I did, I’d gladly give it up.)
  • Grooming – or perhaps not, because I am obsessive about hygiene. However, I could probably give up shaving my legs for 10 weeks.
  • Sex – uh, no.
  • Pinterest – I’d sooner give up sex. :-)
  • All those FB games that people keep inviting me to play – except Words with Friends (my Mom actually  calls me to tell me it’s my turn. )

What do you think?

How do you find extra time when you need it?

Dear Farmer D, This Makes Me Think of You

Dear Farmer D,

This photo makes me think of you:

Coffee plates and cups at Things Organized Neatly.

And coffee.

Especially the Turkish kind, because I now know it’s supposed to look like this.

"C'mon. Swallowing the sludge is good for you."

And…I love you both.

And I’m happy to discover that you weren’t trying to poison me.

One More Truck, or Why Dad (Is Broke and) Has Grey Hair

By the time you read this post, Farmer D will be with our 16-year-old, two counties away, and once again spending his hard-earned money on the “perfect” vehicle for a kid that will probably get in at least one fender bender in the next two months.

Luckily, this is the last time. We’re DONE buying vehicles.

It’s not so bad when you only have to worry about a kid or two, but when I married my darling husband, he came complete with six kids.

That meant:

  • 13 years of assorted school functions, including plays, art shows, band/choir concerts, and bad dinners
  • Too many parent/teacher conferences to count
  • 2-3 kids in braces at any given time…sometimes with multiple appointments in the same week.
  • At least one doctor’s appointment EVERY month.
  • Always someone who needed new shoes.
  • More dirty towels than ANYONE should wash in a lifetime
  • The stress of teaching 6 kids to drive (which D promptly delegated to ME)
  • And 6 beginning cars

We lucked into a few cars (with family members or friends selling them), but this time, Farmer D and son have been driving me crazy. The talk for hours about engines and mechanics and all sorts of things I couldn’t care less about…all in the search for the perfect used truck.

The boys even made me go to a rather sketchy part of one city last week to look at a truck described as “clean” and “rust free.” Turned out that the vehicle in question was priced  a good thousand dollars over what it should have been, had a bent frame, cigarette burns on the driver’s seat, and a bed topped with a paint-covered rust ring.

Yeah, like we were going to bring THAT home.

The guy on the lot wants HOW much?

It’s definitely a farm thing. Though there are used cars in someone’s front yard on almost every street, boy HAS to have a truck.

I think it’s unnecessary and sexist. Of course, I had secretly hoped that by this time I could get a new car and give 16 the one I’m driving.

I guess it’s not going to happen.

As I’m typing, the guys are headed out to pick up a pickup they described as “rough-looking, but it runs good.”

I can’t wait to see what they bring home.

Luckily, it’s cheap.

And it’s the last time we’ll ever have to do this.

So What’s She Really Like?

My most flattering portrait ever.

Though I’m active on Facebook, Twitter and the 365 Project, I’m a classic introvert, but in the interest of doing something different for the new year, I’ve decided to be more open about my life.

Rather than write pages that no one wants to read, I’ve recycled one of those silly quizzes best left to those far younger and far more interesting than I.

Read at your own risk.

What color are your socks right now? I’m wearing slippers at the moment, but if I were wearing them, they’d most likely be black, white or navy cotton.

What are you listening to right now? The dog snoring and the wind chimes on the front porch.

What was the last thing you ate? A piece of Ghiradelli hazelnut chocolate (that my wonderful son-in-law gave me for Christmas.)

Can you drive a stick? I can not only drive a stick shift, I prefer it. Unfortunately, my current car is an automatic.

Last person you spoke to on the phone? A telemarketer. Damn, those people annoy me.

How old are you today? Exactly one day older than I was yesterday.

What is your favorite sport to watch on TV? Golf? I’m not much of a sports-watching kind of girl.

What is your favorite drink? Coffee.

Have you ever dyed your hair? The question should be: When is the last time you saw your real hair? Mine has run the gamut from light blonde to dark golden brown, with some purple thrown in around Halloween this year.

Favorite food? That is too hard of a question. I like real food (none of that over-processed chemical-filled boxed crap for me). And I like variety.

What is the last movie you watched? The Unknown Woman.  It was very good.

Favorite day of the year? Any day when the sun is shining and I’m free to go do something I want to do is a good day.

How do you vent anger? I am vocal and sarcastic—not a good combination—though my mom and my husband are the only people who usually hear how I really feel.

What was your favorite toy as a child? Someone gave me a long-haired black and white stuffed dog when I was a baby. I carried that thing around until its fur wore off…and then mom recovered “Mangy” in light green corduroy.

Favorite Season? Spring and Fall.

Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds, but I’m not much into bling. I also prefer silver to gold.

What is your favorite flower? Lilies.

What is your favorite color? Purple, red or black. Depends on my mood.

Cherries or Blueberries? Blueberries. Especially if they’re in a pie.

Living situation? In a house with my darling hubby, cranky dog, and two of my six stepchildren.

Do you drink? Not enough. (See the last question.)

When was the last time you cried? I had my pre-Christmas breakdown, but have been doing well since then.

What is on the floor of your closet right now? A shoe rack, a bag of clothes to donate, a box of CDs I can’t seem to get rid of, and my laundry hamper.

What are you most afraid of? Of losing the ability to see the beauty (and absurdity) around me.

Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers? Cheeseburger, please.

Favorite dog breed? Annie J. Dog, the rescued girl I adopted almost two years ago, is a terrier/pit mix.

Favorite day of the week? Monday. The guys are usually busy around the farm. The kids are in school. If everything works out right, I either have time to run errands, or some time to myself.

How many states have you lived in? Only Ohio.

Care to know anything more—or have you learned too much?

Better yet…what are some of your answers?