Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Wordless Wednesday is here once again!!
I really LOVE this meme because I get to share some amazing pics, which is something I don't do enough. 

To join in the fun, click the redhead: 

And my pic for this week: 
These are  my 3 extremely excited kids, A6 and J8 being VERY goofy for some reason and B11 NOT wanting to show off her smile...I haven't a clue why not. 
This pic is a little old, it was taken last August on our way to the county fair. This was our first outing to that particular fair and ALL three kids won prizes that day in different events. 
I love that my kids can have fun together and take pleasure in simple country pursuits. 

That's Wordless Wednesday for this week!

Word Filled Wednesday

Wifey Wednesday #2

Here's my second week of Wifey Wednesday. This week Sheila shared a wonderful topic that many, many Christian woman do not want to talk about. It is a hard topic for some women, myself included, and it is one that she has some awesome advice about. 

This week she encourages us to be open about our pre-marital past and how to focus on 'making love' with our husband not 'having sex' with our spouse. 

She shares a great passage here: 
One thing I've found is that less than half of Christian women are virgins on their wedding night. And more than 1/3 of the women who weren't virgins expressed major regret over that. It's really impacting their relationships now. 

I will admit that I am a part of that 1/3. She shares an email from a woman who is in a situation similar to mine, except that I have been divorced and remarried and am still dealing with this issue.

My marriage is wonderful but I will admit that we do have 'marital issues' as far as the 'act of marriage' to put it in a Christian context. 

I LOVE some of Sheila's suggestions for creating an environment of intimacy within marriage: 
Try to make sex into something that is new and beautiful. Take baths together and just touch each other. Lie naked together and talk and explore, just with your fingers. Cuddle naked and talk--about memories, about dreams. You can even read a psalm together! Make nakedness and intimacy something that is beautiful, rather than dirty.

Try to spend some time, in bed, just kissing, rather than "getting to the main event". You take the initiative rather than him, and focus on trying to kiss him to show him that you love him, rather than just to get him aroused (you'll likely find this gets you far more in the mood, too). Practice touching him to say, "I love you".

And tell him what you're doing. Pray about it. Go before God and tell God that you're sorry for what you did before your marriage, but you want a new start. And ask God to help you get that new start.

Then walk in it. Think everyday, how can I tell him "I love him" in a new way? Challenge yourself like this. Do it inside the bedroom and outside the bedroom. As you start focusing on your connection, you'll find that sex life takes on a new turn. It's not just about that physical rush; it's about cementing a bond. Don't focus so much on "I have to have sex with my husband" as much as you're focusing on, "I have to find new ways to feel love for him and show him love!"

Well, that's Wifey Wednesday for this week!! 


Sunday, February 20, 2011

☺♥☺Share Your Recipe Sunday☺♥☺

Well, it's a lovely Sunday evening here in Maine. A balmy 14° at almost 6:00 pm.This Sunday I am joining a new meme called Share Your Recipe Sunday hosted by Sandy from Organize With Sandy.

Tonight I've decided to share my Uber-easy Vegetarian Chili and for the first time ever anywhere I am going to share my Blue Ribbon Cornbread recipe. I am SO glad to have this meme because I love to share recipes but it always seems kind of boastful to me to share them without a prompt! Laugh  
So here come's the yumminess!
Uber-easy Vegetarian Chili
1 small onion, diced
1 teaspoon oil (whatever you have on hand, even butter/margarine is fine)
1-15 ounce can of diced tomatoes, undrained (I use petite diced)
1-15 ounce can of whole kernel sweet corn (can be a smaller can if you like)
1-15 ounce can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1-15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 can of water (use a  bean can)
1 packet of taco seasoning mix OR 
1 Tablespoon chili powder mixed with 1 teaspoon each garlic powder & cumin
1/4 cup ketchup OR chili sauce (chili sauce will make it a little spicy)
Salt to taste

Saute onion in the oil until softened and translucent. Add all canned veggies, stir well to combine. Add seasoning and ketchup/sauce and stir again. Reduce heat to  low and simmer 20-25 minutes to heat through. 
**You can make this a regular chili by omitting one or both cans of beans and adding 1 pound ground beef which you would brown after sauteing the onion and before adding the veggies/seasonings.

Blue Ribbon Cornbread
This cornbread has won me several blue ribbons on both coasts at the LA County Fair and Orange County Fair in California and at the Skowhegan State Fair, Athens Valley Fair and Blue Hill Fair here in Maine. 
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-15 ounce can of creamed corn
1/2 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
4 tablespoons butter, melted
Combine the first five ingredients. Add corn, milk, egg and butter; stir until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter into a greased 8-in. square baking pan. Bake at 400° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted near center of bread comes out clean. Serve warm. Makes 9 squares.
Those are all for tonight! Hope you have a great week and happy eating!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A funny for the road!

Judson Laipply's "Evolution of Dance" has been a favorite video of mine for a while now. This guy is hilarious and there's some GREAT songs here. No worries about language or anything, just pure enjoyment!

My 1st 'Wifey Wednesday'

Well, I have fallen out of the habit of writing while the satellite internet was down for a couple of months. Blessing have abounded lately on my homefront and the Wildblue is back! Today I decided to find some more memes to join and to prompt me to write. I have found a few I want to take part in, this particular one being high on my list! Click on the pic above to go over to To Love Honor and Vacuum and join in the fun!

The big lesson that I got from today's entry was this:

With most things that bother us, the solution is not to convince him to change; it's to change the dynamic in our house ourselves, and he will likely follow along.
Wonderful words of wisdom that I am going to take to heart! My hubby has spiraled into a deep depression lately what with being laid off and only doing temp jobs until he gets called back permanently. It is rough but he is working at least four days a week which leaves us two to work on the house we're building and one for rest. God has been meeting all our needs and strengthening our marriage in ways that I first thought of as hardships and pain but they are simply God's refining fire purifying us and strengthening us as a couple. We are able to communicate in ways I didn't think possible; we've found out that we speak different love languages, mine being physical touch and his being acts of service. SO when he cleans the counter off or sweeps the floor he is saying "I love you" loud and clear. The problem was I didn't get it,  I thought he was hiding in the kitchen to stay away from me. Often when I tried to hug him, or give him a neck rub, he would get flustered and I thought that meant he didn't want me to touch him, or that I was interrupting him...he has learned now that he needs to reach out to me with a hug or a cuddle now and again, and let's just say that I've learned very well over the past few weeks how to do some nice construction and furniture building!
Oh wow, I can tell I'm going to have a BLAST with this meme! I have something to look forward to on Wednesday again!! 

Word Filled Wednesday

This is my first entry in a new meme I'm joining in called "Word Filled Wednesday." These Wednesday entries are not going to be about me and in fact this is going to be the only where I will add an explanation. 
Click on the button to join in the fun:
This verse has been on my heart lately because of the wonderful turns my life has taken. Maybe I'll share those things in the Wifey Wednesday post...look for it!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Our Homesteading Story

Our farm is owner financed for 15 years, originally @ 12%. Let me tell you all about one reason I will from now on deal directly with the seller:
We started our land search back in 2008 when things became truly untenable at our old place; it was a jointly owned property between my dad, who lived in California, and I. I've lived here full-time in Maine since September 1999. The longest I've been out of state was the week long trip we took to Niagara Falls & Toronto in 2007. I have a sister who has a drug problem and wants to stay living the way she is, and my dad's trailer that he and mom spent the summers in was also on the property where we were living. We had just cleared about a half acre over there, invested in a small tractor, got the house finally sided after it being a quarter done for 8 years...numerous things my dad was always gonna get to for me in the summer but got ticked off about something else and never got around to...So, he decided to let my sister and her boyfriend, with a record of drug prosecutions longer than I am tall, live in that trailer year day while we were gone they got someone to drive them to the equipment rental and dug a trench across the driveway, jacked a line into our phone box, our cable line and our power, buried it, and then had a nice neighbor with an excavating business gravel the driveway to hide the trench...yeah, real enterprising when they figured they would get 'freebies' for as long as they were there. Well...our phone bill, thank goodness, was one of those unlimited plans, so it went undetected for a LONG time...same thing with the cable, I had a good speed package and didn't notice a drop in speed...considering I had been on dial-up even the dropped speed seemed blinding fast to me, lol!
When our power bill went from $80 a month, to $170, then up, and up, and up from there until one month it was over $400...that was when the 'theft of services' was discovered. 
My dad always used a generator when he was up, him and mom didn't use much power and they had a propane water heater and stove, like we did. Well, my sister sold that water heater to someone, along with dad's little 3-phase RV fridge that he ran on propane usually and on 110 when he had the generator running. SO the story came to light when I called and said, 'Look, you guys are grossly misreading this, every other month I've given you all the benefit of the doubt, maybe my husband's running the AC when I'm gone or some such, BUT now it's coming on fall and there's no AC running, etc and we have propane water heater, dryer, and stove. SO I would like you to come out and help me figure out what's going on, please.' 
They sent a crew and one of the guys used a voltmeter...and they went into the basement with my hubby and that was when the BRIGHT ORANGE 110 line was discovered...running from a hole drilled into the basement wall UNDER our porch...and my husband said, 'Well, that's us, anyway...I wonder what it powers?' So they came back upstairs and one switch at a time in the breaker box they threw each switch...first the kitchen went, then the office, then the bathroom, living room, kids room, shop outside, and then there was one breaker left. A double, unmarked. As soon as the CMP man flipped that switch, we heard shouting from across the driveway. Now, here is where the real enterprising side of these thieves shows up: they had scrounged an old meter off an apartment building and mounted it on a pole at the road, 'like CMP told us to do, and the power line is underground.' Yep, the same day they trenched the driveway to jack into our utilities, they trenched their back lawn so it looked like CMP had been there. Yes, I am naive and trusting at times...this time though CMP cancelled the bill, and I had them take the service line down. We used our land savings down payment to get a generator set-up going and we've been off grid for over a year, going on two years, now actually. 
We started looking for a place that we could truly call 'our own' immediately after that. My sister and her boyfriend both had outstanding warrants and in spite of what they did, and the fact that over 20 marijuana plants were found growing inside the trailer, my dad said they could come back to the trailer. When the state's child protective services office was called and I was in danger of losing my kids because of those people, my husband and I really went land looking in earnest and found the place we know call 'paradise.' Our own little farm in the woods, if you will. We got a terrific deal by going owner-financed. 
Sadly for the landowner, the woman we bought the place from developed chronic heart failure and died within months of us signing the contract. Her son, a lawyer, is a flat out crook. We have been paying since August of 2009 on our land, to the realtor as the contract specified and then to her son after her death as we were notified to do. The landowner, a well-past retirement gentleman, winters in Florida but lives just miles from us. It was brought to our attention in October that this poor man had not received one cent of the money we had paid in. He initially contacted us requesting contact info for the real estate agency as no one would return his calls...when we told him about Virginia's passing he said he knew and had been told her son would be taking over things, just as we were. My husband and I traveled to the real estate office and found that someone else had bought the business just prior to Virginia's passing and the son had elected to retain the contracts on the  land and homes she had sold before her death. He had been collecting payments and NOT passing them on. Virginia had probably gotten caught up in her health and had brought her son on board well before her passing to take over things and he decided to embezzle instead...well, nobody can find this man at all...his law practice is gone, his home has been cleaned out and stands empty...craziness. 

So, if you are going to be purchasing land for sale by owner, or through an agency with owner financing, make sure all contracts have some sort of clause in case of any wrongdoing on the part of the agency or their agent. 

Our landowner has elected to forgive the payments we've made to the realtor, and just started collecting from November directly from us. We were very fortunate as there were many other avenues he could have pursued, including retaining an attorney and a long court battle with us in the middle...