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I ran across this today, and thought it was a brilliant idea. I’m always searching for something new and fun to read, so I’m sure I’ll be happy with all this list has to offer. I emailed the mojoey guy to be added to the list. I’m hoping this will help me connect with even more atheists online. Of course, it might also open me up to more religious criticism, but oh well. Hey, speaking of which, anyone seen zdenny? He’s practically disappeared. I kind of miss his asinine arguments.

I’ve already browsed a couple of the member blogs, and they definitely have some style. You should check it out, too.

Ok, yeah, I realize now after I just typed the heading of this post that that line is from a very religious song, but I’m singing it in my head with a few different words:

Oh, happy day (Oh, happy day)
Oh, happy day! (Oh, happy day)
When I bought (When I bought)
Oh, when I bought (When I bought)
A new riding mower! (Oh, happy day)

Yep, I lucked out today. I packed up the boys in the van, then we headed out to the store to look at printers for our computer. (We haven’t had a printer since I was in college!) On the way to the store I noticed a big Garage Sale sign and a yard full of stuff. Being the garage-sale-aholic that I am, I just had to stop. The boys and I got out, and the first thing they do is run over to a riding mower sitting in the driveway with no sign on it. I browsed a bit while they sat in the seat together and pretended to drive, found a nice big cast iron pan with two handles (wierd, but cool) for a few bucks, then struck up a conversation with the man running the sale. He mentioned that the mower was for sale, and that the guy who owned it was pretty hard up for cash after he lost his house to foreclosure. Thinking it would be out of my  range anyway, I inquired about the price. $1400, he told me. Hmm… sounded good. So I asked him how it ran and how “used” it was. It had only been driven 23 hours total (said so on the little guage), still looked relatively untouched, and when he started it up and ran it… well, it purred like a tame lion.

Ok, so at this point I’m warring with myself. It would be AWESOME to have a riding lawnmower/tractor. But that was a lot of money. I told him I could probably do a payment plan of $350 a week for four weeks to pay it off, and he said he would ask the owner and get back to me. I totally didn’t think I would hear back from him. He just called me and told me that if I could pay cash up front, all in one fell swoop, that he would lower it to $1300. I countered with $1200, and BOOM! He accepted! We have just enough in the account to pay for that and this week’s bills, so I’m going to take it.

Did I mention that I AM SO EXCITED? No? Well, I am! We’ll go pick it up as soon as the boys wake up from their nap. I had to hook up the big trailer for this one, because the mower has a 50″ deck that wouldn’t fit on the little trailer. Oh. My. Gosh. That trailer has to weigh a thousand pounds on its own. Good grief, I nearly broke my arms off trying to haul it out of the tractor barn, up the tiny slope, and to the waiting van. It’s all hooked up now. Not sure what I’m going to do when it comes to loading and tying down the behemoth of a mower, but I’m sure we’ll figure it out.

In case you’re interested, it’s a Cub Cadet LTX 1050 VT. These puppies retail anywhere from $2200 – $2800 depending on where you buy it. Here’s a picture of one:

Nice, huh? I can’t wait to see how it handles this large expanse of lawn. The owners of the house had to hire someone to help me with the mowing, but maybe with this monster underneath me I can do it all myself. *fingers crossed*

Man, for only getting about two hours of sleep last night, this sure had been a great day. Now, if only it would rain a bit so I could work in the garden…

Ok, it’s after 1am, and I am still awake. It’s hot, so I keep throwing off the covers, but every time I do that I feel things crawling on me. I finally decided to smack one of those things, and found two dead fruit flies on my leg when I turned the light on. Ugh! Nasty lil buggers.

I think I need to get a bug net to go over my bed or something. Screens would be nice, but there is no way I am paying for improvements on a house that isn’t mine. Maybe I can just duct tape these screens into place. I’m so frustrated. I just want to sleep, but now my lit up computer screen is just attracting more of the darn things.

G’night, all. Hope you sleep better than I am.

Saturday, May 29, 2010 Oh my, I am so behind on getting my garden in now! With my hubby home for a week of fun, I didn’t get ANY new plants in the ground this past week. I still have half of my tomatoes, all of my peppers, two more kinds of onions, the cukes, the cole crops, and the beans to get in. Yikes! I sure hope we start getting some regular rain again soon, because if this hot hot weather keeps up I still won’t be able to get any crops in. The soil here is hard-packed clay, and it’s been baked solid in the sun. It’s seriously like trying to dig through rock. I’m afraid that if I try to plant anything now it will just die on me or I’ll damage it accidentally with the hard dirt clods. I guess I have to try, though. I’m thinking I’ll be hauling a lot of buckets full of water up the hill these next few days to try to soften up the ground a bit. It’s times like this that I really wish the boys were older. They could help then, instead of being a hindrance. I love them dearly, but they pretty much guarantee that everything takes four times longer than it has to with their short attention spans and penchant for trouble. We had a wonderful week with my husband here. We went to parks, an aquarium, a zoo, a Cabella’s, and got to visit with a lot of his family. He left yesterday morning for CRC down near Atlanta. Sometime in the next week or so he’ll finish with that and hop on the next flight out to Kuwait. From there, he goes into Iraq on the next available transport. I’m really trying to stay strong for him and our boys, but I do have my worries. I worry that he’ll be so hot and bored over there that he’ll resent the decision to change his career. I worry that I won’t get to hear his voice more than a few times a month, and that the boys will forget his voice altogether. I worry that he’ll be harmed somehow, or that the experience will be so dramatic a change in his life that he’ll come back a changed man. I hope he never has to see an IED or a missile up close. I hope that he isn’t witness to the carnage that comes with being in a war zone. I hope this next year just flies by so I don’t go completely crazy and have to be committed to the funny farm. I’m optimistic, too, though. I realize that even though there are a lot of negatives to this huge change in our lives, there’s also a good amount of positives. We’ll be completely free of debt in a few months. We’ll be able to save up for our own land and house. We’ll be forced to live separate lives, but maybe even that is a good thing in a way. I’ve depended on him for a lot, and I think it will be good to know that I can still do all this if something were to ever happen to him. And I’ll appreciate his presence a whole lot more once we are back together, instead of taking his open availability for granted. I’ll miss him so much! I do miss him already, but I know after a year of my sunshine being gone I’ll be reveling in the daylight when he returns. On the to-do list today, and for the next couple days probably: – Grocery shopping – Water the garden – Plant out tomatoes – Plant out peppers – Plant out cukes – Finish planting onion sets – Mulch the garden – Clean the bathroom – Do all the laundry that piled up this week – Scrub down the kitchen – Clean up the mudroom – Buy a fan for the scorching living room

I’ve taken a break from being the homesteading novice I am to spend some quality time with my love. He’s only here until Friday morning, and we’ve been making good use of the little time we have together. On Saturday, we went to the Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek. That place is so cool, and the kids had a blast. Saturday night we stayed in a hotel with a pool, which the kids also LOVED, then left early Sunday morning to spend the day at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. The city terrified me, especially the chaotic traffic and nasty smells everywhere, but the aquarium was very nice. The boys were absolutely mesmerized by all of the fish, the dolphins, and the belugas. Our youngest was scared to the point of shaking by the sea otters playful antics, the poor, goofy kid. We all thoroughly enjoyed the 4-D theatre where we got run over by rats, spit on by a shaggy sailor, and rumbled by thousands of dancing penguins.

Today we had family portraits taken. We got a few really good ones. If you know me on Facebook, look for them in the near future. I won’t be uploading them here, since I still want to protect our privacy in some small way. We also had lunch and supper with various family members. We have another family meal planned tomorrow with some of the grandparents. Not looking forward to that one. It’s with the uber-religious side of the family, the same ones who left a long, all-caps rant on our wedding webpage nearly 5 years ago saying that we were going to hell and that we were generally bad people. All because we wanted a wedding ceremony free of religion, and refused to participate in the prayer before our reception dinner was served. But their infinitely stupid granddaughter (my sister-in-law) who has had four children with three different men, watched her children be abused and done nothing about it, lived like a leech off of the government/welfare/charity of others, never held a good job for more than a few months, and made every irresponsible decision a person could make… well, she’s the golden child because she is a “good” Christian. Barf.

Ok, that’s enough of the negative. Focus on the positive. My hubby is an addict. Yep. He’s addicted to American Idol. So much so, that he’s completely forgotten about the bag of yummylicious cherries in his lap. He eats cherries like I eat chocolate-covered anything. I wonder if he’ll be able to watch stuff like this over in Iraq? We don’t watch a lot of TV, but he’s always liked this show. I hope he isn’t deprived of every little thing he enjoys while he’s over there. At least I can still send him treats like his favorite cookies and dried fruits.

Ok, show’s almost over now. Back to spending quality time together! Toodles, y’all!

May 2010

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