Monday, August 28, 2017

Harvey Teaching Important Lesson

Hurricane Harvey is continuing to pound the coastal towns of Texas with a wrath that we have not truly seen since Katrina hit Louisiana. The rains are continuing to flood more and more areas and billions of gallons of water has fell with more predicted to be falling in the next few days. The governor has simply said that it is a disaster area and news reports are saying that it is biblical flooding. Thousands have had to be rescued and many more will need to be. Simply put, Mother Nature has simply shown that she is still in control! Many lessons can be learned from this storm though.

First and foremost, all lives matter! For a few weeks, we have all heard of the chaos that erupted in Charlottesville, Virginia during protests over statues that commemorate the Confederate soldiers and flag. Monuments are being removed to prevent more chaos in cities all over the south and I have even heard people complaining of others using the word "Dixie" to describe the south. Whatever your opinions are on that subject are just that, your opinion. It really has nothing to do with our daily lives if a statue is standing in a park that honors Robert E. Lee or not. What does matter is that lives are important- all lives, whether they are black, white, Indian, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, etc. They all matter!

What we are seeing in Texas is proof that many still feel this way. Whites and Blacks are working together to save lives of those that are stranded in their homes. A rescuer truly does not care about the color of someone's skin, they simply want to save lives. Neighbors helping other neighbors and not worried about whether that person is the same race as them or even the same political party. When it comes to saving lives, no one cares what side you are on!

Secondly, Texas residents are showing that people still care! People that have lost everything are still working to help others that are in the same situation. Some of these people will have nothing left to go home to, but does that make them hate another group of people - the answer is no! They understand how scared the others are and are willing to help. That is the way the world should work! care about others and not yourself!

Third, Texans are teaching us to be prepared whatever the case may be. These families that are being rescued were prepared for a storm to hit. I am sure that many of those being evacuated bought supplies and were in the storm for the long haul, but circumstances change and as the waters are constantly becoming worse throughout the Houston area, many are realizing that their preparations were just not enough and it is time to leave!

No matter what the weather is, the issue is, the cause is, we should always be prepared to make the best of it or have an exit plan. No one went into this storm believing that we would see the torrential weather that we are seeing. Was it predicted to be bad? Yes, but many times predictions do not come true. For many, these homes are all they have and they felt it was best to remain there and hope for the best but are finding that they must leave and go with a new plan. We should always have a backup plan! Sometimes, are plans fail or go awry and we must go with a new plan.

As I watched the news today, my heart broke when I heard reports that some residents of a gated community could now leave their homes only by walking and that the waters they would walk in could be filled with snakes and alligators, but in comparison to daily life that is true as well. Sometimes are days are filled with a  way to survive but that way is met with snakes and alligators, so to speak. Someone whom has decided that they do not want us to do as we feel is right. Some one who has decided that their way is the only way things can be and so we fight those animals in our daily struggles. An alligator could be the boss that won't see the work that you do while praising someone that you know only does bare minimum work. A co-worker that won't give you credit for the work you have done or a bully in school. We must face these dangers head on to keep ourselves out of trouble and from drowning in self pity. We all know that the danger is there and we must keep our eyes on it.

Whether as a nation we come together for our brothers and sisters in Texas and help them rebuild their lives or not, we could learn a lot from the sights that we have seen so far and many more lessons can surely be seen in the next few days. Say a prayer for those in the path of this storm!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

A Day Late

"A Day Late and A Dollar Short", I have heard that saying many times in my life and I remember my grandpa saying that if you run late to work or on your chores, you will always be a dollar short of what you need. I might agree with him, but I just can't seem to get myself on track this week.

I try my best to write here on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday but this week it just has not happened. It seems to have been a busier life week than I expected. On Tuesday, my grand doll seen the orthopedic surgeon and she will have surgery in early October to fix the Blount's Disease that has caused her to be so bowlegged. I am nervous about it but it does seem to be a simple surgery and an easy fix. No braces or casts, which makes me extremely happy and it is outpatient surgery so she does not have to spend a night at the hospital like we originally thought.

Yesterday, I worked on life things with my father in law and mother in law. After recently changing many of their finances around, it has been much work to get things in order. Since I am in charge of their finances, I have to be the one to handle most of it. I also deal with most of her doctors and meds. It can be challenging, but I will survive.

Another unexpected chore came up yesterday and threw my day for a loop. My husband now has an office to use for his garage and it is a small trailer that was once used for a jobsite trailer and it needed a good cleaning and chairs moved into it. He mentioned it and I knew he was asking for my help so I set it up for him yesterday. Today, I will move in file folders, stapler, a bulletin board, etc. I know he will need pins, notepads, etc so I will work on that today as well.

I have considered a part time job until my Pink Zebra business increases so I am going for two interviews this week. One is this morning at the library service building where I have applied for a courier position. I also have one tomorrow at the local school district where I would be a substitute teacher. I am qualified for both but find pros and cons to both. More on that later.

Have a good day and enjoy whatever weather you are having. Fall will arrive soon!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Eclipse 2017

The Solar Eclipse of 2017 has crossed our farm and moved on its' way. It was a beautiful sight even though we were not in the path of totality. For about 1 hour and 20 minutes, we were able to view the moon gracefully and beautifully crossing over the sun slowly making the sun disappear. We were only about 90% covered, but you could feel the change in the air and there was a calm that I do not think I have ever experienced.

The 2 minutes or so of darkness was not a complete dark, but was more light a late twilight. I attempted to watch what the animals had done while it was occurring and did not notice many changes other than it was still. Not a rooster made a sound ( and they are usually really noisy) and the rabbits were lying still in their cages. It was as though they were well aware that there was a change in the air.

While it was partly cloudy, we were still able to enjoy a large amount of the historic and enlightening event. The air cooled and I noticed that the humidity that we were feeling just a few minutes before suddenly seemed to be gone. The color of our surroundings seemed to change. The grass even seemed to be a different shade of green that seemed as though it was mixed with a grey hue.

If I ever have the opportunity to take it another solar eclipse, I pray that I am able to take a trip to a city that is within a path of totality as I am sure that it was breathtaking and very calming to some. My daughter commented during the brief time that the moon completely covered the sun that she felt a calm that she had not felt before and I had a certain calm feeling as well.

Now it is raining and cloudy here, but when I stepped out just a few minutes ago, I was still in awe as to how things seem to be more still. In a world where everyone seems to be looking down at their phones, I Pads, etc. it is amazing to think of how many were looking up today and the peaceful areas where many were gathered and all remained calm. Peace at it's finest!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Going Camping 101

Hello friends! Hello Readers! Welcome to the Friday edition of Slatersfunnyfarm. All is well on the farm and weather is good too. We could use some rain and the farm needs a good weed job, but overall all is fine. Yesterday evening brought a cool down with the humidity  dropping some and that always makes a better day. We are experiencing a drought and that makes me sad, but I know that we will get rain when God decides we will and not before, so I just say a prayer. I do not want rain this weekend though as we are going camping.

Camping is such a relaxing time for me as I don't have to do all of the cooking and there is no cleaning, no laundry, and our phones don't work so that is great for me. My husband needs the rest as well as I do. My oldest daughter may camp as well with us and that will be fun. I do enjoy the time away from all the stress at home. I am thankful that my father in law and youngest daughter and family will care for the animals as we are gone.

We have a nice camper although it is a little older and that makes going much easier as I keep most items in there so I really have to pack is clothes and food. We have extra clothes already in there so if I forget something, it is generally okay. Of course, there are the necessities like graham crackers, chocolate bars and marshmallows for s'mores as well as camp chairs and hot dogs. I do not believe that the kids that will be with us could live without hot dogs and s'mores. ( Honestly, doubt that my husband could either.)

I was able to make a trip to our state fair yesterday and I have plenty to share about that, but I decided that I was going to wait to share those details later. For those in the path of the total solar eclipse, I hope that you are able to get some great looks at it and enjoy it for the occasion that it is. We will only see about 80% of it, but it should still be a great experience. Had I done more planning, I would have been in a town that would be a total experience. For those that have plans this weekend, enjoy! For those that are stuck at home, make the best of it. Have an indoor picnic- spread a table cover, have some great picnic food, and pretend you are at the beach, forest, wherever you prefer to be. Life is too short to not enjoy each minute of it.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Weekly Finds

Good Morning! I am late writing this post because I always write on Wednesday, but I just did not find the time to yesterday so I am catching up this morning before my daughter and I are heading to the state fair for a bit today.

I spent most of the day Monday with my youngest and her sweet queen. Although the grand is to the stage that she does not want to sit in carts while you shop. It is very annoying, but we finally compromised some and we did get to do a little shopping. My attitude can quickly change about being in a store when all I am doing to struggling to get her to listen and then being distracted by her crying. I know she is to that age that she needs to state some of her independence, but I also feel that some of the time, she is just trying our patience.

Anyway, I found some great items at a local thrift store and the Goodwill and just had to share with you all reading this. First, I set out to find some fall décor for the house as I plan to put that in place within the next week or two. At a local shop, I was lucky enough to find these two cute planters that I believe aren't quite fall but with fall flowers will work perfectly.
 I decided that I would show you just what one looked like up close. I may only use one for flowers and use the other one to store phone cords and chargers in on my desk in the office since I think that they are so cute.

Next I found a really cute candle that fits good in my kitchen with the other primitive items I have there, it is strawberry cheesecake scented and I instantly fell in love. I purchased it at Goodwill for 99 cents.

I was super excited to find this adorable little snowman that is holding a pumpkin and wearing a pilgrim hat. I collect snowmen and could not resist him. He was 99 cents but was half price, so how could I pass him by?

I also shopped at Dollar Tree and found some cute fall décor. This sign is probably one of my favorite fall items. I just thought that it was such an adorable sign, but has an old look to it as well. I believe that it will fit good with the other décor that I have. 
Another Dollar Tree find was this adorable scarecrow! He is felt and simple, but still super cute. I gave him to the grand doll to put up in her room. I will still get to see him, but he has a forever home with her. 
Speaking of the grand doll, I always tell her that I love her to the moon and back and we have a couple of signs that I bought for her room here that say the same thing. I also bought a Christmas ornament that said the same, so when I found this picture frame, I could not resist buying it to hang in her room as well. 
While at Goodwill and Dollar Tree, I also found a couple of things I could buy for her and she can enjoy now and later. She loves farm animals and so this Elmo book was perfect because it is about farm animals. She can name most animals by looking at them, so I know she will love "reading" this to me. 
The Leap Frog box is actually a metal tin and is "My First Spelling Bee" . I know she is to young to be spelling, but when she gets a little older, it will come in handy. Each card has a photo one side and the spelling on the other side, while each word follows a spelling pattern. I believe I paid a dollar for it and so it was a good buy. Finally, the package of smiley face stickers is going to be used on her new behavior chart of chore chart. She loves to help with getting clothes out of dryer or other chores around the house and so I figure it is time to show her a small treat when she does what she is supposed too. It won't be cash and it won't be a huge treat, but something small and something that we can do together. 

I hope that you found some of the items to be as interesting as I did. Nothing new really on the farm so shopping was the topic today. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Tips for Cleaning Windows

AH! The dreaded chore of cleaning windows- maybe, not for you, but it is a chore that I am not fond of. Today was the day to clean the inside of my windows and so I got busy early and got those windows sparkly clean. I have a few tips that I think makes the job a little easier and I thought that they might help you as well.

  1. Buy a good window cleaner. I prefer Windex, but I have used cheaper brands as well. Purchase an extra spray bottle too because that one bottle is going to become two bottles. Purchase a bottle of white vinegar too. 
  2. Once you are home, pour half of the window cleaner into the extra spray bottle. Pour white vinegar into both bottles of window cleaner. Shake well after replacing the lids on both bottles. 
  3. Grab some newspapers and use them to wipe the windows with after you have sprayed the cleaner on. 
  4. Always work from top to bottom and be sure to get into the corners of the windows. My windows always seem to have a layer of grime at the top near the window frame so pay extra close attention to those. 
  5. Be sure to clean in small circles as it seems to not streak as bad. 
  6. Take a good look and when they are sparkly clean you are finished. 
I find that if I clean my curtains the same day that I have cleaned the windows, I am always on a schedule with them. Curtains seem to get over looked at times and I do not like to not have clean curtains with clean windows. 

After cleaning those windows, I say grab a cup of your favorite coffee or tea and a good book and relax a bit. I know I like too. 

Have a great Monday! 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

History and Charlottesville

All eyes and hearts have been on Charlottesville, Virginia this weekend following the tragic events that occurred during a protest over a statue of Robert E Lee.  My prayers have been for those that lost loved ones during this tragedy and for the parents of the young man that drove his car into the crowd of protestors.

I am not planning to make this a political post and I pray that no one takes it in that context, but I am truly trying to understand why there was a protest at all. I understand that many places in the south still seem to hold faith in the confederate flag and what it stood for. I also understand that many people do not hold to those beliefs. This is a statue, nothing more, that honors a Confederate soldier that led many into battle. This statue is part of American history, whether it is history that we like or not.  It is a period of time that we can learn from and move on from, but I don't feel that moving on means that we must remove the statue because it holds a replica of a belief that we truly do not want to admit that some had at one time.

I like chocolate ice cream over vanilla, but I would not expect my company to not carry vanilla ice cream just because I don't like it. It is a flavor of ice cream and any ice cream shop should carry it. The statue is part of our history and whether we like it or not, it does not change history, but it can change the way we think about the events that led to the statue. Robert E. Lee was a confederate soldier and leader and we can't change that. No protest, no crime, no death, absolutely nothing can change that part of our history!

Race has been an issue in our country for many years and yet, have we truly learned anything from the history of race relations? I don't believe so. Lives matter , whether black, white or any other color, they matter. People matter! Skin color does not! Whites and Blacks commit crimes, white and blacks can be educated and contribute to society. Whites and Blacks can live in peace if both sides are willing.  What makes race an issue are the people that seem to believe that they are better than the others. However, we are never better than another race. All Men are created equal! God never made one race more superior than another. White Supremacists are simply whites that feel that they are better than another race. They do not convey the feelings that many whites have.

Many would say that a protest is a right and I would say that I agree to a point. What makes a protest a bad thing is when you add someone that thinks they are better than another group of people or someone that does not understand that their views are not necessarily right and someone that does not believe in authority or discipline, then the protest can turn violent and wrong. A peaceful protest would not need shields and guns or other weapons.

For some unknown reason to us, this 20 year old young male decided that he had a right to drive into a crowd of people for standing for what they believed in while he was protesting for his right to do the same thing. What sense is there in that? NONE! What difference did his taking of innocent life have to do with a peaceful protest over a statue. A piece of art that truly just honors a true life person that is a historical part of our country.

It is time for us to wake up as a society and realize that children need to be taught respect and discipline. It is time we realize that history is there for us to study and learn from. It is time that we stop attempting to offend others when they are doing something that we should never allow in any part of business. It is time for us to take a stand for intelligence and realize that all lives matter.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Friday Fun Bits

It's Friday and I am thankful that it is. I really do not know where all of the hours this week went. I have cleaned and I have managed to work my business some, but not as much as I was hoping to get done. I am meeting friends tonight and I am thankful for that.

It has been a tough week financially for us, but we managed and we are making the best of things. We have helped my in laws with a new water heater, helped our son with attorney fees for a small matter that he needs to be taken care of, paid a hospital bill from my husband's back surgery, bought groceries, pajamas for the grand doll, had the horse's teeth floated, paid to have the camper floor replaced, and many other small bills. I am exhausted just thinking about it.

The brakes went out on the flatbed truck my husband uses for work and so those had to be replaced, but of course, other things were wrong when he tore it down so we had to replace those parts as well. UGH! I despise car repairs! Nothing is ever a simple issue.

Well, I am going to leave you with a nice photo of a porch because that is where I want to spend my weekend. I hope you have a nice weekend as well!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Cleaning Day

As I struggle weekly to keep up with all the chores that I need to accomplish, I have tried many things - a schedule, daily chore list, cleaning one room a day, etc. All of the ways online to keep your home in order and still manage to get other chores done, but I always seem to fail. Not that my home is not clean as I am cleaning part of it every day, but it just seems as though the clutter never leaves.

Clutter at our home is usually papers and just things that get carried in from another room and never put up. I decided today that I was going to tackle an area that needed to be cleaned and decluttered. I have a wooden cabinet that I was using for a work space when I first began my Pink Zebra business and it had suddenly became a catch all. I decided that I was tired of seeing the clutter on top of it and not being able to see what was inside of it, plus I needed a space to place the board games that seem to never get played in the summer.  I felt that the job was going to be a tough one, but it actually worked out good and did not take forever. I cleaned all of my business stuff out of the cabinet because I have an office to work from. Then I took the games that was on top of the cabinet and stacked them neatly in the bottom of the cabinet. Amazing how different it looks and how much nicer my living room looks without the clutter on top of that cabinet.

Once I decided where else the games can go, I can eliminate the cabinet as it belongs to someone else and she was kind enough to allow me to use it when I was complaining that I did not have enough storage room. Our home has three small closets, one per bedroom. UGH!!! We added a nice cabinet in the bathroom when we remodeled the floor so that we had somewhere to put towels. It was such a nice addition.

I also cleaned my desk here in the dining room where the computer sits. I had a pile of papers to be filed, filled out, etc, and today was the day to do that as well. I even cleaned the drawers out and it is such a nicer space to work from. Isn't it amazing how much better we can fill about a space once it is organized?

Dinner is on and we will eat by about 6:15 and I will have part of the evening to work here as well. My husband came in and laid down and said he is not feeling well. I hate that but I understand as he has been really busy and not taking his medicine as he should. Plus, he did not sleep well last night so that does not help.

This is how I am going to decorate the top of the cabinet or the top of my curio cabinet with the Guitar Naked and a bottle of fall smelling Soak from Pink Zebra.  All you do to add some fragrance to your home is use the Soak to put some liquid fragrance on the guitar and you have a nice décor piece that will fragrance your home. I love my business!!!!!

Enjoy your hump day and make the rest of the week meaningful!   

Monday, August 7, 2017

Grace and God

"Grace doesn't depend on suffering to exist, but where there is suffering you will find grace in many facets and colors" is a line in a book that I am currently reading and it reminded me so much of the many times that I have wondered why our world is in such a state of dishevel and why crime is so prevalent.

Many times I have said to myself that I don't understand why God created men to be abusive to their wives, men that are sick and abuse children, women and men that harm their own children. Many times I have questioned why God has allowed so much evil into the world. Today, while reading a book, I realize that God is not the one allowing it to happen. Society is the force allowing it to happen. We have tried to control our lives in our way and not allow God to work in His way.

Starting with the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve, God did not tempt Eve to take that apple. The serpent did and God did not make her eat it, instead of asking God what she should do or simply knowing that God did not want her to eat it, she made her own decision to accept that bite and allowed the choice to be one that allowed all humans after her to understand the ability to make choices and those choices are what has consumed our world and our lives. Those choices are why so much evil lives in the world today. God does not want our children to die to teach us some lesson or to punish us for something. God wants us in a relationship with Him that we talk daily and share all of our lives with Him. He wants us to live a fear free life, but we allow fear to enter in.

I am reading the book " The Shack" by Wm. Paul Young. If you have not read it, I recommend that you get it today and take the time to read it and enjoy it. Think as you read about the amazing lesson that it teaches, think about the words and search your soul as you read each chapter. It deals with so many of the emotions and thoughts that we have. It is a powerfully written book with a story that makes the words leap off of the page. I am only on chapter 14 and I know that my world has changed as I have read the words. I won't share the story line and I wont ruin any moments of the book by sharing too much here, but I want each of you to read this book and consider the lessons within.

I know my heart is clearer today as to what my relationship with God should be and my walk with Him will take a new stride from here on out. My views of what I thought God wanted are much different. I know my Bible well and I know what God done for me and I thought I knew what He wanted, but I have a new realization as to what some of the verses that I have thought were the plan of life are truly meaning and what I feel I need to do. Is there one plan to get to Heaven? Yes, I believe so but I also believe that many paths can lead to that same plan.

We may not all take the same lesson away from the book and some may question as to whether I truly know my Bible and trust me when I say, I do. My faith in what is God's will is not different, but the steps that I think will lead me there are different now. My love has been renewed and a change has been brought into my soul. I hope that you will read the book and find some of the same wonderful words that I have gained from it.

Grace will lead me on my path and lead me Home!  God bless each of you and know that love is what is truly meaningful in our lives. Love like you expect Jesus to love, but do not be judgmental as we all tend to be.

Amazon is a great place to order the book from. I hope you learn and discover as much as I have. I will be watching the movie at a later time but the book has been an eye opener for me.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Weekend Wonders

Hello Friends! I intended to write this blog post yesterday, but I failed at that. I was going to write it at 11:30 yesterday evening so that I could write my Friday FunBits post, but I decided that I was sleepy and went to bed. However, I have not lost sight of my goals that I set for myself as I have written three posts this week.

Anyway, this beautiful sunny morning is bringing some wonderfully cool weather to us and I am thrilled to see it. Our heat and humidity has been awful the past few weeks, but this morning is just beautiful. It is 57 degrees at the moment and the sun is out and shining through the trees in my sideyard that I can see from the window by the desk. The roosters are crowing to wake the neighborhood and I have already taken a walk with my cup of coffee to take a treat to Rambler, my horse.

My husband and daughter went to Ohio for the weekend and so I am home alone basically. My mom is here but she spends most of her time in her room and so I have most of the house to myself. I plan to do some cleaning today and I may spend quite a bit of the day sitting in my chair outside reading. I am currently reading "The Shack" and I find that it is a wonderfully written book and the storyline is intense at the moment. It is the type of book that I don't want to put down. I also plan to take a look at some quilting magazines that I picked up at the library the other day.

I enjoyed a nice lunch with my friend on Thursday this week. We took a trip to a larger city about 25 miles from us and went to Olive Garden. It was a nice time to enjoy a good meal and spend a few hours chatting. She is one of my long time friends as I am sure we have been friends well over 20 years. We have shared many good times as well as bad. We have been there when each other lost their father, we have been there through births of our children and our girls are just a few months apart, and we have shared many joys and defeats together. Our spiritual beliefs are the same since we attended the same church for many years and we have held to our principals throughout our years even when I did not attend church and found myself slipping away from God and yet, she never turned her back on our friendship. Thankfully, I never lost sight of the principals that I believed in.

Well, my goals for next week are going to stay the same as this week. Busy with my business, farm life, family, and keeping my blog up as it needs to be. Take care and enjoy your weekend.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Corn, Corn and Oh more Corn

Mid week is here and I swear I have done enough work for the entire week. I have been actively working my Pink Zebra business this week and I have been doing much work around the house as well. The farm tends to be a little hectic mid to late summer and it seems that I have hit that time. Never enough hours in the day to finish the work that needs to take place. UGH!

Mainly this week has been corn.  I have pictures of the corn for you but it seems that they are not loading at this time. I guess I will just write without photos. My husband and I love to freeze sweet corn for winter and this year we decided that I would do most of it this week. That means many hours in the kitchen with ears of corn needing shucked, blanched and cut off cob, placed into freezer bags, labeled and put in freezer. I don't mind the work really but it is hot work and the air conditioner just doesn't seem to circulate much air in our kitchen.

Luckily, my daughter did help some this year. Since Monday, we have frozen over 50 quart bags of corn and that came from over 12 dozen ears of corn. Most of it came from a friend of mine that sells corn each year and we truly enjoy it. The rest came from a local source that we have bought from on occasion. I know it will be even tastier this winter when snow if flying, but wow has it been work.

I have figured out that if I use my electric knife to cut it off the cob with it seems to be a little easier work and so I have sure gave that a workout this week. While doing the corn, I have thought of how we have not had zucchini bread in probably a year and with the weather to cool off this weekend, I think that is going to be on my list of things to do. I really just want to enjoy my weekend, but I am sure that I will be working most of it.

Speaking of work, I really need to get busy and sell some Sprinkles. I better run and I promise when I can get the corn photos loaded, I will certainly post them. (By the way, if you read my previous post about goals, I am meeting them daily so far! )

Mother's Day

 Mother's Day can be such a beautiful day for many people, but I always think of the moms that have suffered losses of children, either ...