Monday, October 7, 2013

Best Little Museum in Chicago

If you love ancient history, archaeology, and anything to do with Mesopotamia, (and you happen to be in Chicago), this museum is well worth the sweat and blood to find a parking spot! Actual walls and ancient artifacts from as far as Egypt, Israel, and Babylon. A very impressive feat in transporting 40 ton sculptures across the ocean!

This is the museum I placed on my itinerary when I was planning another trip to the middle east and I saw a flight layover in Chicago. Fortunately, I ended up being in Chicago for a convention earlier this year and was able to sneak by.

I'm sharing this, because I know people who actually went to school here, or they have lived in Chicago their entire life and have never heard of the museum!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

We're HUMAN.

We had several hundred students tour the farm yesterday. While answering their questions, one boy said, "How did those pioneers do their dishes?"

I pointed out, "THOSE pioneers were OUR ancestors. We ALL had ancestors that lived without electricity and running water."

The boy shook his head and said, "not me. MY ancestors were animals."

I thought he was joking. He repeated himself, "my ancestors weren't people, they were animals."

Another boy piped up, "They EVOLVED!"...

A look must have crossed over my face, as the teacher wrapped her arms around him protectively and explained to the boy, "not everyone shares the same beliefs..."

I looked into the boy's eyes, wondering what I saw... Sadness? Emptiness? I couldn't figure it out.

Restoring the boy's dignity, I replied, "your ancestors were HUMAN."

Ignoring the look of the teacher, I said more firmly to the boy, "YOUR ANCESTORS WERE HUMAN!"

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Doomsday Prepper?


I think the biggest question is: What is YOUR doomsday?

Whether you have survived 911, Hurricane Katrina, or lost family members in Oklahoma City, we've all experienced, or know of someone, who has endured their worst nightmare.

My goal is to be prepared for ANY type of emergency.

I also have to be realistic. Since I can't DO IT ALL, I have to focus on PRIORITY.

What may be my priority may not be someone else's. I live in Texas, and focusing on staying comfortable when it's 100 degrees outside is important to me.

What's NOT important to me is staying warm in Winter.

To me, prepping is no different than buying auto, home, or medical insurance. At the end of the year, we're either rotating our stash, or starting all over again on deductibles.

I don't know about you, but I'd much rather pay insurance for a peace of mind than to have no back-up plan when that rainy day hits.

But I also think it's important to not to live our lives in fear. I'm reminded of the saying, I have lived a terrible life, most of which has never happened!

In order to keep a healthy balance, I plan for the worst, and hope for the best.

I still take vacations, splurge, and I still plan for a future.

I don't live to work, I work to live.

My favorite quote of all ---- Either get busy living, or get busy dying!  Shawshank Redemption

I don't know about you, but I'd much rather get busy with living.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Pool Was Draining

It was a VERY difficult decision, but we have decided to take down our 28' swimming pool. In a way, nature helped us make up our mind. One morning after a severe thunderstorm, I walked outside to water the chickens and did a double take. The pool (winter cover still partially intact) was completely hollow looking. Sometime during the night, the weight of the rain had pushed down on the tarp, and somehow tugged at the liner underneath. It was just enough of an opening that the force of the water was able to slip through the side.

(My next door neighbor must of thought it rained A LOT that night!) :) With the pool completely empty, and the tarp ripped at the sides, it was just another example of how our pool was draining our patience and becoming a money trap.

With pool supplies going up in price, higher utilities from running the pump day and night, and with a leaky filter draining water around the pool, we were harvesting mosquitoes like crazy. Then we had the decision to either readjust the liner, fill up the pool again and order another winter cover, or just let it go...

I listed the pool on Craigslist for free and it was gone the next day! The guy kept thanking us profusely for his "treasure" and I said, "No, THANK YOU!"

My treasure is the PERLITE found underneath the plastic liner (The pool was already installed before we purchased our home.)  I went online and haven't seen too many people talk about recycling pool perlite, but upon research, I've read over and over it is non toxic. Perlite is a form of volcanic glass that is mined all over the world. In fact I purchased a bag several months ago to add to my potting soil mix. Now that I have an entire "beach" of perlite, I plan to add it to all my raised beds.

Not wanting to tear down our deck, I'm trying to figure out a creative way to use the space. Stay tuned!