The C word

We have had one of those weeks that makes you remember what you are thankful for. Our week was unfortunately filled with the C word.

My Mother had a little skin cancer removed from her eyelid. It seemed like an easy procedure when they talked about it, snip here, skin graft there. In reality, my poor Mum looks like she was the loser in a boxing match. She can barely see out of either eye and if it were closer to Halloween, she would pass as the bride of Frankinstein.
It seems the prognosis is positive and I am hoping for a quick healing process for her. When you are dealing with your face, no one wants to be all cut up and I know my Mum will feel better when she can see the results.

The second surgery this week was my sister in law. She took matters into her own hands and had a¬†double mastectomy. This was a preventative procedure as she had tested extremely high for the cancer gene and I think its a very brave step that she took. I am glad to say it also seems like everything is going to be positive for her. She will have more surgeries scheduled to work on the reconstruction but she is now through the worst. I also wish her a quick journey through the pain. I can only imagine the weight that must be lifted of her mind, now that she knows she has called cancers bluff. Good for her! She’s a brave girl.

Our reality is that we must live every moment to the fullest. Do what we love, love what we do. Things can happen when you least expect them and that C word is never a good thing when its so close to home. We have to find joy in the little things and cherish every moment. I learnt this lesson at a very early age, when I lost my Dad but sometimes we get so wrapped up in living that we forget what’s important.

Time to simplify our lives. Slow down. Spend time with those we love. Act with kindness and help each other. Be kind to animals. ūüôā

I can think of plenty of other C words I would rather deal with next week – compassionate, caring, considerate, comforting, calming, etc

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change of season

I love Autumn.  I love the cool fall weather, I love the colors, the smells of the season, pumpkin everything and even the color of the sky.

Fall makes me want to start nesting!  You know, making your house into a warm, inviting home.   Settling in for the winter.

We have terracotta colors on our living room walls, so I particularly love the way our house looks when its decorated with pumpkins and fall wreaths etc.

Now the reality is we live in South Texas and apparently no one has let the weatherman know to update his forecasts.   Every day is still 98 degrees, there is no hint of a chill in the air yet and we have not seen that amazing September blue sky that I love.

Its ok, I don’t mind waiting until November for fall!!

This year, I am particularly in homesteading/nesting mode.   We are getting ready for our Terlingua adventure to really begin and I am busy getting my home and family ready for a more simple life.

You may have noticed there is a LOT of canning going on at my house!   I love it, its very therapeutic for me!!   I love the challenge of finding new recipes and trying different things.

This year I am really happy about how we are handling our health care too.¬†¬† We have turned our health¬†over to a more natural¬†wellness program.¬†¬† This makes me feel like I am doing something good for our family.¬†¬†¬† DoTERRA oil is AMAZING and we use it to help with every single thing¬†¬†from headaches to fevers to back pain etc etc.¬†¬†¬† You have to love a product line that only has positive side effects.¬† If you haven’t yet, I really encourage you to check it out for yourself.

http://www.mydoterra.com/kyralloyd

You can make purchases directly from the website.¬†¬† You can also click¬† “Join” and sign up to get a discount for yourself.

My hubby is busy building our home in Terlingua in his head.¬†¬† Poor man doesn’t sleep.¬†¬† He is just so excited to get started down there.¬†¬†¬† Our plans have changed a number of times, but currently we are going with the commercial property as our first plan of attack.¬†¬† This just seems to work in our favor, based on location and ease of having things delivered.¬†¬† This will (in time) allow us to have a drop off / starting point for our land up on the mountain, which¬†is MUCH harder to get to.

We are about to head out to our beach trip – keeping our fingers crossed that tropical storms will stay out of the area while we are there!

Then, we will come home and start planning our 3 year old daughters princess birthday party.   We do the party in October so that she can have an outdoor party without any of her friends suffering from heat stroke.

Then its the REALLY BIG ONE…Halloween.¬†¬† I seem to have given myself a challenge with Halloween costumes for my Iddy Biddy baby girl.¬†¬† I start looking in June!!¬† Then I hold my breath and hope that she still adores the costume in October!!

LOL no pressure!!¬†¬† We also have about 7000 children trick or treating here!!¬†¬† It’s really fun.

Anyway, the bottom line is that I love everything about this time of year.   I love being with my family, sitting around a bonfire, sharing life, making memories.   Autumn just seems like the perfect time for that.

very taxing

The list of things I would like to accomplish on my Do Something Journey is pretty long.

But nowhere on that list does it say – “learn how to do business taxes”.

Honestly, it doesn’t.¬†¬† I double checked.

We have 2 businesses.  While I will help make money and I will certainly help spend money, I DETEST doing the paperwork and taxes!!

So I procrastinate.   Then I procrastinate a little more.    Then I increase my stress level by 706% because I procrastinated, so I have to hustle my rear end to get them done.

Trust me – this method of avoidance does not work and I do not recommend it to anyone.

Anyway, today was the end of the line for excuses and I got my stupid tax info done.   I feel the weight of the world just came off my shoulders!!

So, let the procrastination for the next round of taxes begin, because I do not heed my own advice.

I know that I can find a lot of better things to do with my time.

Speaking of which, perhaps I should make more jam, I think I am running short…

sept 5 2013

Birthday wishes

My Iddy Biddy baby girl is turning 3 today.

That’s 3 years that I have had the pleasure of being called Mummy to this perfectly, gorgeous child of mine.

We tried for so long to have a baby.   We had 3 failed pregnancies before her and she was probably our last attempt.

I think I actually had an easy pregnancy.¬†¬† My doctors didn’t agree!¬†¬† I had vasa previa, which is a rare condition meaning that¬†one of the babies arteries was covering the cervix, so there was a high risk of her bleeding to death if I went into natural labor.

I was fortunate.   I was considered high risk, due to my past pregnancies and my high maternal age (yep, nothing like a pregnancy to remind you that you are ancient and every cell in your being is well past its expiration date!).   I was tested by every specialist known to man and they spotted the vasa previa at 19 weeks.   At 20 weeks, I went on bed rest Р6 weeks at home, 7 more weeks in the hospital.   Fun!

The doctor scheduled my C section for Sept 3rd.   Only 32 weeks.   They gave me the run down of the million things that could go wrong.   I was stressed out of my mind!   So, on the evening of Sept 2nd, I sent my hubby home to take care of my dogs (priorities Рyou know) before he came back for the delivery.  My mum spent the night in the hospital with me, laying on the pull out chair.   We talked til 4 am, which was about the only way I got through the night!!

I¬†am not sure I really ever let myself¬†envision the day that I¬†would hold my¬†baby.¬†¬†¬†There were just so many bumps along the way and while I hoped upon hope, I¬†didn’t know what that day would hold.

So on Sept 3rd around 230pm, my hubby and I welcomed this tiny little 4.1lb baby into the world.  8 weeks early.   She was so perfect to me.   Your childs birth makes you know that love at first sight exists.   Well, I loved her before she was conceived, but I was overwhelmed with love when I saw her tiny little face.

We spent another 3+ weeks in the NICU Рthen home.

Then I¬†blinked and here we are,¬†3 years later looking at our daughter,¬†who is now a¬†“big¬†girl”.
This 3 yr old girl who is scared of the dark and is just starting to have bad dreams.   She and Cinderella are on the first name basis.   She dances with Prince Charming.  She sings My Rainy Day Girl and thinks The Villians are singing about her.      She amazes me with her memory and how smart she is.   She is kind, loving, funny, sensitive, independent, looks exactly like me in miniature and is everything in the world to me.

I know everyone loves their children and I know I am not telling you anything you don’t know, if you are a parent.¬† I swear, sometimes I look at her and I think my heart will explode.

We have lovely friends with children of the same age, who helps us stay sane.¬†¬† We have a wonderful friend that watches my daughter¬†and has become like family.¬†¬† My Mum & Stepfather and my Mother in law are great grandparents.¬†¬† My Dad is watching her from heaven and holding her in his heart, I just know it.¬†¬† My daughter was born on my dear friends birthday – so I believe that covers Hilary’s birthday gifts for life (yes?¬† Happy Birthday Hilary).¬† My Iddy Biddy baby girl has a cousin of the same age,¬†who she adores.¬†¬† My husband and I are lucky to have this little girl.

So Happy Birthday to my baby.   I love you more than words can say.   I spent every minute of my pregnancy wishing  good things for you in life.   I continue to wish them all for you, even more, every day.  A million times over.

Thank you for being my gift.   Thank you for allowing me to be your Mummy.

Surprising Saturdays

Today was an interesting day.

Last week, I accepted the challenge of making jam for the first time. I had my Mum helping me, which definitely made it easier and we were lucky that our jam was a success.

But as we all know, one lucky batch of jam, does not an expert make!

Nonetheless, my husband has decided that I can now whip up anything into a topping for his toast, So he took it upon himself to pick some Muscadine Grapes for me.

Let’s be honest…prior to about 4 years ago, I had never even heard of a muscadine, let alone tasted the jelly. We have thousands of muscadines growing wild all around the property that our business sits on and a few years ago a lady came and asked if she could have some grapes to make jelly. Of course, we agreed and picked a ton of grapes for her. We were rewarded with jars of delicious jelly a few days later.

We all know that I am on my Do Something journey, so apparently I won’t back down from a jelly challenge (or so it would seem), which means, today I made some of the aforementioned Muscadine Jelly.

Oh the sweet, disturbingly staining, redness of it all.

Actually this jelly is so dark red, I can not even get a photo of it – it just looks black. But my shirt looks like I killed someone, believe me, its red jelly.

aug 31 2013

I had no help with my jam making project today but it was alright. I have to say, the muscadines are way more work than the raspberries from last time, but by some small miracle the jelly is rather delicious.

And this one has actually set, unlike the raspberry jam.

I used 5 lbs of grapes in this batch and my kind hubby must have picked approximately 15 lbs of the little buggers, so it’s possible that this is just round 1!!

So as the day continued…I logged on to my blog and noticed that someone must have shared one of my posts. The “What you didn’t want to know” post about dog rescue. I am super excited because they have shared it and lead many new people to my blog. In fact, traffic went up by roughly 800%! How awesome. Thank you to everyone that reads my little blog. Additionally, I am pleased that people from around the world got a glimpse of what goes on in San Antonio’s rescue community.

Last but not least, an update on Marmalade, the bunny. (See, I am obsessed with Preserves!). My boy (or girl?) is a feisty little thing. He holds his own with the puppies through his cage bars. He is eating every vegetable that I have in my house. I spend a good chunk of my day between letting him run free around the living room and cleaning his darn cage!!

aug 31b 2013

He really is the last thing that we needed but he is so stinking cute! Really? What are you going to do!!??

7am Rescue

You know how they say there is someone for everyone?

Well I would say, I am married to my someone.

This morning my husband left for work around 7am. He called me a few minutes later telling me to come and help him save a rabbit.

Imagine what a picture of loveliness I was…Un-brushed hair, pajamas, no shoes, mascara smudged, you get the picture? In other words – scary.

So I run outside and right there, on the road next to our neighbors house was a fuzzy little bunny rabbit. Obviously a domesticated rabbit, obviously not knowing where he should be or what he was doing.

Then followed ten minutes of pure entertainment for our neighbors…2 grown adults, 1 tiny rabbit, scurrying back and forth, lots of hopping. We finally corralled the poor bunny into our garden and one final, decisive swoop by my hubby caught the little bugger. He screamed like a banshee! The rabbit too.

Caught.

This is a calico colored rabbit with beautiful long fur. I know nothing about rabbits, but I would say he is a cutie.

Within 2 minutes of catching him, we knew we were keeping him of course! We woke up our baby girl and showed her.

aug 27 2013

It was love at first sight.

Add him to our current zoo and that makes…too many.

But what can you do?¬†¬† Animals are living, feeling creatures.¬†¬†¬†While I am not an advocate of keeping caged animals, I can’t leave this boy to fend for himself on the road.

So now we have a pet rabbit named Marmalade, who lives in a huge hutch (currently in our living room!!) with enough hay, pellets and treats to last a lifetime and a family who already loves him.

jam!!

Today I decided to Do Something I had always wanted to do…make jam!

My mum has made jam before, so she came over to help me.   So I also got to spend time with my mum, which makes the jam all that much sweeter.

Then because we hate to do anything by half, we decided to go straight for the good stuff –¬†Raspberry Vanilla Grand Marnier jam!

Yes indeed!

aug 24 2013

I am doing a happy dance while I type!!   I am overjoyed, since it was not nearly as complicated as I thought it would be.

Which in turn, means I will now be making more jam and (double bonus) I get to buy more jars!!   Sorry honey, start building more shelves!!

Anyway, it was a success and we really didn’t let anything go to waste today…I used the boiling water from the jars to heat my double boiler and made more soap.

Todays’ soap was Lavender Ylang Ylang, using DoTERRA essential oils.

Now, if I can just make some deodorant before the baby wakes up, I will feel like I accomplished most of my to do list for the day!!

FYI – I believe we are having toast for dinner!!

Habits

Have you ever wondered about habits?

There are probably¬†things that we do, that we don’t even think of as a habit.

Now, I am not talking about intimate things but just your basic stuff that gets you through your day.

For example, are there things that you do daily in your morning or evening routine, that you just never, ever skip?

Is there anything else, that you firmly believe you should do daily?

Like Р remove your eye make up, read before bed, take a certain supplement, exercise etc?

I would love to know – we are all so different and I think its interesting to learn what others do.

I have been known to¬†think something would be¬†wholeheartedly vital to add¬†to my daily routine, only to stop doing¬†it again¬†2 weeks later, cause I¬†just don’t have the time or inclination anymore!!

Here are some things that I do almost without fail –

  • Drink at least a gallon of water daily.
  • Take my make up off each night.
  • Moisturize.
  • Check facebook!! Lol.¬† More than once!!¬† ok…perhaps almost obsessively.
  • Update what¬†happened that day on¬†a perpetual calendar for my baby girl.
  • Give hugs and kisses to my baby girl and each of my dogs too!!
  • Take a picture of my Iddy Biddy baby girl.

I am sure I do more.   I will have to add as I think of more.  So much of it I do without even thinking.

I bet you have a more interesting list than I do, mine is pretty boring!!   I would love to know what you do Рplease share!!

Herb Farm

It was a girls day out today!!

The long awaited, much anticipated, SPA DAY!

Wait, do you hear choirs singing “Hallelujah”???

No?¬†¬† ok, let’s move on.

aug 21 2013

We went to Fredericksburg Herb Farm – a little piece of perfect, right here in the Hill Country!

The Herb Farm has changed a lot over the years.   It used to be a small house with a tiny café and the spa was an old stone cottage.   It was tiny but lovely.    Now they have a large restaurant, cabins for overnight stays and a full service, absolutely beautiful spa.   Big changes, but somehow they have not spoilt the feeling of the place at all.

aug 21 c 2013

I enjoyed an amazing facial, while one of my friends had a reflexology session on her feet and the other had a pedicure.

After our sessions were finished, we each sat in a huge recliner in the Relaxation room and enjoy a drink.

I think we were all about 2 minutes away from falling asleep.  If you are in or around Fredericksburg I highly recommend a trip to the Herb Farm.

Next, we did the mandatory stop in Luckenbach.   I love that dot on the map.

It was quiet there today, but we got to look around the Post Office/General Store.

I bought my hubby a tshirt as a consolation prize for not going to the spa!!

Then we headed back home and had lunch in town.   What a great day.   It was much needed and I hope we can make it happen again shortly.

aug 21 b 2013

fruit dip

Strawberries.

Beautiful.   Red.   Strawberries.

We buy them all summer long.¬†¬† I buy organic, so while I hate to admit it,¬† a fair number of them¬†end up in my composter, since we just can’t seem to eat them fast enough.

Truth be told, even though I am vegetarian, I sometimes struggle to eat enough fruit.

I mean, unless you consider chocolate a fruit, then I have my fruit quota nailed.

My daughter eats fruit like a champ.   So, I always look for ways to convince myself to eat more fruit and typically that includes adding something bad to it.

So when I mixed up a batch of this fruit dip I was pretty happy, since there is nothing processed in it.

Here’s what you need…

Cream Cheese

Raw Honey

Homemade Vanilla Extract (store bought will work just fine)

Ground Cinnamon

Sea Salt

Use as much or as little of each ingredient as you want to – I just wing it¬†each time I make it.¬†¬† Don’t skimp on the salt though!!!

Mix them all together and suddenly the composter is not getting your strawberries anymore.

Trust me, you can probably eat it with just about any fruit and it would taste AWESOME!!

Enjoy.