Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Imagine With Me, For A Moment...

If you aren't aware of the high level of racial tension in this country, you've been living under a very large rock. Racial tension so thick you could probably grab a butter knife and slice right through it.
 
I tend to shy away from politics and current controversy on this blog here, but when I read about a news story and I'm sitting here with tears literally rolling down my face, I can't just ignore it. I also don't like to use the word "unfair," as it sounds kind of childish and immature to me. But I can't think of many better words that describe this situation.
 
Maybe you saw the article about the group of teens who brutally attacked a 61-year old man and beat him within inches of his life.
 
Oh, what's that? You weren't aware of this story?
 
I wasn't either, until today. (Granted, I've been on social media a lot less lately, and this is exactly why.) It happened on April 22nd. That was 20 days ago, if you don't feel like counting. Almost three weeks ago, yet I hadn't heard a word about it until today, when it randomly popped up on my Facebook newsfeed. I decided to check Yahoo and MSN. Nothing, without a somewhat extensive search. The articles I did come across were anywhere from 15 minutes to 11 hours old. Brand new articles, mostly speaking of the charges these kids are facing now, rather than articles that reported what happened WHEN it happened three weeks ago.
 
Hmm, interesting, isn't it?
 
All we've heard about for the last five weeks are the riots in Baltimore, how these citizens are so angry and want justice. (Which they appear to have gotten, since the police involved in the case were charged with murder, manslaughter, illegal arrest. But I digress. What do I know?)
 
Yet, a group of teens who almost kills a man for no reason at all goes without reporting?
 
You'll notice that the article I linked above doesn't mention race of the teens. And it doesn't need to. Whether these kids are black, white, hispanic, or yellow with purple polka-dots, they're still a bunch of worthless punk-a** jerks. #notsorry
 
 
 
But imagine with me, just for a moment.
 
Let's say a couple of Caucasian teens were fighting outside the home and on top of the truck of a 61 year old African-American. The owner of the home simply walks outside to try and break up the fight, and a mob of 40+ Caucasian teenagers attacks him and beats him within inches of his life. He is put into a medically induced coma because of the amount of damage that is done to his body.
 
What are you seeing?
I'm seeing complete, utter, un-controllable CHAOS. More of Baltimore. More of Ferguson. More of whatever else is to come - because you know more is coming.
 
But the teens that did this to this man were African-American. The article doesn't state that, but follow-up articles that explain the charges against some of these teens do state that and they show pictures of these teens.
 
What happens? Three weeks pass and no one even knows about this story.
Does this make your blood boil? My chest is literally pounding with anger as I write this post.
 
The media skews, over-reports, under-reports, hides things, and is basically as corrupt as you can imagine. Don't rely on the media. However, facts are facts. This happened, and we SHOULD be angry that it was all but covered up. We should be angry that this man's life was all but taken, and that he'll never be the same - physically, mentally, or emotionally. We should be livid. But I do not recommend burning down our neighborhoods, or going out for "retaliation" on anyone. I do not recommend breaking into any stores to loot and steal from people who had nothing to do with any of this. I certainly do not condone throwing rocks or anything at other teens, just because of what happened with a group of them.
 
But anger? You sure as hell better believe I'm feeling ANGER.
 
There are unfortunate exceptions, as there always are. But generally speaking, my fellow Americans - the racists in this country, of which I USED to be proud to be a part, are NOT the Caucasians.
 
Have a good day.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Current Mayberry Routine

We don't have cable.
 
For the past few weeks, after we get the boys to bed, Matt and I sit down and turn on the classic TV channel that we do receive via our $13 rabbit ears (best investment!). The Andy Griffith Show is on every night between 8 and 9, and we watch that.
 
 
I just adore the simplicity of this show. Language is never a concern, the jokes are always tasteful, and it has us belly laughing without fail during every episode. Love it!
 
Do you watch any classic TV?
 
What's your favorite show?
(I Love Lucy is mine!)
 
Happy Hump Day, friends! Hang in there, the week's half over!
 
 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Garden 2015: Prepwork!

If you read my post where I shared photos of the exterior of our new house in Michigan, you saw how excited I was about that little 500 square feet of garden space!
 
Ok, 500 square feet is significant, but I'm super excited and am going to do my best not to get overwhelmed or over-do it.
 
As with any undertaking, there is always prep-work involved.
 
We had some pretty nice weather this past weekend, so I rented a Roto-Tiller and got to work breaking up the compact soil that had had feet of snow sitting on top of it for so many months (before I got here, thank goodness - but I have a feeling I'll get my share this next winter....).
 

 
Pre-tilling.
 
You'll need to move, sir.
 
Post-tilling.

 
After I smoothed it out a bit, and broke the rake into two pieces. Didn't know my own strength, it appears. Oops.
 
Who doesn't have time for a couple sunny selfies when they're working in their garden?

 
The last frost date in my zip code is May 19th. I hope to plant very close to that, if not that day. But I want to make sure the soil is warm. To assist with the warmer soil temperatures, I covered the soil with this black plastic. This creates the black t-shirt effect - heat gets in and can't get back out. (I purchased more plastic and covered the middle strip a couple days later.)
 


 
On Sunday, I went back out and just planned and schemed. I have drawn up a plan, and know what's going where. We'll see how close to the drawing everything is when it's all seeded and sprouted, though. :)
 
 
I'm VERY excited about the whole process. The boys and I started sunflower and pumpkin seeds Sunday afternoon. I can't wait until we can direct-sow our seeds, and buy our tomato and pepper plants from the greenhouse and get those into the ground.
 
I feel like it's going to be therapeutic for me to work in the garden. It's so quiet and peaceful out there, with birds chirping and the breeze blowing.
 
I'm looking forward to sharing it with you!
 
Do you garden?
 
What's your favorite vegetable to plant?
 
Any advice for a semi-beginner?
 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I Am Done.

Over the years, I've thought that it would be cool - with the proper knowledge and preparation of course - to just take off deep into the woods somewhere remote, and live the life of the Alaskan Bush people. (I'm sure you've at least seen a preview for that show on TV.)

Little to no contact with society, grow our own food, raise our own meat, be survivalists. But mostly just not to be a part of mainstream society.

Kind of "out there," I know.

But as I read the news stories of these demented idiots in Baltimore, it sounds better every day.

As I hear Bruce Jenner being called a hero, it sounds better every day.
(SIDE NOTE: Bruce Jenner wants to be a woman. Fine. That's his deal. But there are policemen, firefighters, and soldiers putting their lives on the line every day. There are young children battling deadly illnesses. There are children and adults alike simply trying to stay alive in poverty and war-torn lands. Let's please re-define the word 'hero.')

And as I see the sheer HATE that is spewed all over everywhere just because someone's opinion differs from some else's, getting away from all of these people just looks better and better.

Does anyone out there have a lot of wooded acres that might be able to spare a couple of them?

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I'm Done.

Over the years, I've thought that it would be cool - with the proper knowledge and preparation of course - to just take off deep into the woods somewhere remote, and live the life of the Alaskan Bush people. (I'm sure you've at least seen a preview for that show on TV.)

Little to no contact with society, grow our own food, raise our own meat, be survivalists. But mostly just not to be a part of mainstream society.

Kind of "out there," I know.

But as I read the news stories of these demented idiots in Baltimore, it sounds better every day.

As I hear Bruce Jenner being called a hero, it sounds better every day.
(SIDE NOTE: Bruce Jenner wants to be a woman. Fine. That's his deal. But there are policemen, firefighters, and soldiers putting their lives on the line every day. There are young children battling deadly illnesses. There are children and adults alike simply trying to stay alive in poverty and war-torn lands. Let's please re-define the word 'hero.')

And as I see the sheer HATE that is spewed all over everywhere just because someone's opinion differs from some else's, getting away from all of these people just looks better and better.

Does anyone out there have a lot of wooded acres that might be able to spare a couple of them?


Out With the Tub!

Sometimes, impromptu projects are the best projects.
 
We had a big hot tub sitting in the space - it came with the house. The sellers clearly stated that they did not know the condition of the hot hub, and there was no guarantee it would work.
 
We had a technician out and it was going to cost over $1,000 to get it up and running, with no guarantee it wouldn't break or leak again next season. No thank you.
 
I advertised it for free on Craigslist and it was gone 2 days later. Score for us!
 

 
What we were left with was a very visible air conditioning unit as well as a random corner of lattice and a couple oddly placed 2x4's.
 
I have a fun vision for a comfortable sitting area down here. It's nice and shady with a breeze under the deck, and I think it will feel fabulous on a hot summer day.
 
So, I grabbed the electric drill on a whim and started taking screws out!
 
I think it opened up the space a lot, and I'm anxious to find some outdoor furniture pieces to makeover, perhaps a porch swing, and a hammock to make this a nice little place to sit and read a book on a hot Saturday or Sunday afternoon!
 
 
And this picture of the boys is just cute. Look at Hendrix in all that camo. Love him.
 
Stick around - I'll share our Michigan adventures and house projects with you as we complete them!
 
Happy Spring, friends!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Michiganders - Our New Home (Exterior)

Howdy, friends! How's your second winter spring coming along? Has anyone else gotten snow this past week? Ugh, makes me just want to scream and throw things, including an adult version of a toddler tantrum!
 
If you read my previous post, you saw that we are now living in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. We moved for Matt's job, and instead of going through the annoyance of renting again, we purchased a home. It's a ways out from our work, though not out in the sticks by any means. The house sits on two acres, it's pretty quiet, and we really like it!
 
I'm sharing exterior photos with you today, and hopefully I'll share interior ones soon! Sorry for the gray skies and leafless trees, but I guess it's winter in Michigan until August.....
 
 
 
 
Front yard:

 
View to the west of the front porch:
 
 
Peering into the backyard from the west side of the house.
 
Backyard:
 
More backyard - woods beyond the fence!
 
The smaller of the back patios - double doors leading out from my office/sewing room:
 
 
This beast (on the bigger of the two back patios), which is no longer there.
It was disclosed when we purchased the house that the condition of the hot tub was unknown, and it was coming with the house "as is." We had a tech out, and would have gotten it up and running had the price tag been a couple hundred dollars. But to the tune of $1,200, I advertised it for free on Craigslist and Facebook and someone came and got it that night. It's their problem now. :)
 
Back of the house, from the southeast edge of the back yard.
 
Southeast of the house:
 
East of the house - two stories - perfect for bikes, mowers, etc.
(Camper is not ours, though ours will be parked in that spot very soon!)
 
Deck coming off the kitchen

 
Now.....I present to you the part of the yard that I'm MOST excited about - A Garden!!!
I purchased "Vegetable Gardening for Dummies" and am reading it at a fever pace. I can't wait to get some veggies in here and hopefully have a bit of a harvest to share with you in a few months! 
 
There you have it! The exterior and yard of our new (to us) house. Like I mentioned, we really like the location and the quiet country feel without being a million miles from civilization.
 
We are pretty much settled, so I'll try and get you a tour of the inside soon - then you can come along with me as I do several little projects and make it really "ours."
 
Stay tuned, and stay warm! (Ugh.)