Friday, December 28, 2012

Seed Frustration -

In my frenzy to get things going for this year's up coming garden, earlier this month I was taken by seed fever. I needed seed packets in hand to begin plotting my raised beds, to make and remake plans of a fruitful garden while greedily hording my seeds.

Since I had the time, I decided this year I would get some truly spectacular seeds, not just a fistful of Burpee's from the local home improvement store. I wanted heirlooms. I wanted to carefully select my varieties for hardiness and flare. I wanted to shop with careful consideration.

Since I didn't really know of any reputable sites offhand, I decided to go with I liked their website, the prices were reasonable, and they had a vast selection of seeds with fantastic descriptions of each variety, as well as some customer reviews.

Cute huh?

After pouring over the various seeds, I finally placed an order. At checkout I was told a few of the items were on back order - no sweat, after all, it's not like I was planning on planting tomorrow. The bulk of the order, I was told, would ship out in just a few days and I would receive an email confirmation when it shipped. This was on December 6th.

And so I waited. After a few days I checked my account on the site and it assured me my order would be shipping out the 14th. And so I waited some more. No shipping email. Frustrated, I checked back in on the site on the 20th. Nothing had shipped, even the order still stated it would be shipping out the 14th. Irritated, I used the handy-dandy Live Support feature. After giving the nice text box lady my order number, she told me she couldn't understand why my order hadn't gotten shipped out, and she would make sure it went out that day. Satisfied, I waited some more. No shipping email.

Now on the 26th, truly ticked off, I wrote them an email, asking them to let me know what was going on with my order or to refund my money so I could place an order somewhere else. I received a response that my order was indeed shipped out on the 20th (so much for a shipping email), and I was led to believe it contained everything but my onion bulbs, which I was told wouldn't ship out until January 22nd. I guess it's a good thing I placed my order early as I may not receive anything till Spring at this point.

According to the tracking number they provided, my seeds are in CT today, so should hopefully be here soon. I'll double check everything thoroughly when it arrives to ensure everything was included. I'm really disappointed, especially since I ordered from specifically for the chicken forage seed mix they offer. I don't think I'll be placing any more orders with them in the future. If anyone has any other great sources they know of for seeds, I'd love some suggestions.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Hi, my name is Sarcasta-Mom, and I'm a Pin-aholic.

It began innocently enough - a pin here and there, a recipe or two on a heavy day. Really, at first I wasn't even that into, I swear. But all the cool kids were doing it, and before I knew it, I was hooked.

A little Grumpy Cat just to get me going in the morning:

Then maybe a recipe or two - a little bonus if it involves crescent roll dough:

 Perhaps a little fashion for the size 2 me?

Damn Size 2 Me - you'd look great in this!

And then I'd be good. I swear, I could stop anytime.

But now I've gotten into the hard stuff - self-sufficiency projects. Now I'm awash in re-purposed wood pallets and 55-gallon food grade barrels. Now I now what a 55-gallon food grade barrel is. And chickens - beautiful, egg producing, walking garden gold. I must have them all!!!!! Mwa-ha-ha!

Not a day goes by when I'm not pinning about rain barrels, or garden layouts. There is a stash of old old windows in my garage, just awaiting the day when they are transformed into this:

Oh Pinterest, you are a cruel and creative mistress indeed!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


Lately K, our darling girl, has been less than darling. She's been rude, abrasive, and just plain mean. We've been pulling our hair out loosing our minds, and frankly, wondering how the hell we're ever going to make it through the teen years if this is her at 10.

Finally last night, I pushed the issue - I told K she needed to talk to me, to tell me what's going on, that I missed my sweet little girl. She pushed back - she didn't want to talk to me. I told her I just wanted to help her. I asked her if someone was hurting her. She yelled. I held my ground.

Finally the dam burst. In between heart-wrenching sobs, K told me how sad she was. She told me how all the girls at school were making fun of her, mocking her clothes, telling her she's fat, shunning her because she doesn't do gymnastics. She told me she wanted to be thin, to be athletic, to have the right clothes. She said the girls ask her where she got her clothes, and when she said Goodwill, they reacted with disgust and more torment. When she wears the pants her grandma made her, pants she loves, they make fun of her. When she wore her red cowboy boots that her grandpa got her, they asked her where they were from, and when she said Garnet Hill, they told her it was a hillbilly store (for those of you who aren't familiar with Garnet Hill, it's a very high end store, not a hillbilly in sight. Clearly these terrible little girls have NO idea what they're talking about). It went on and on, every cruel word pouring out on a flood of tears.

I held her tight, and my heart bled a little more with every word. I had wondered why the beloved cowboy boots had only been worn a handful of times, why the cute clothes that she had once loved so much remained in drawers, forgotten.

One of the things we always laugh about is K's crazy sense. She has always picked out her own clothes with garish gusto. She has always told us she's an individual and proud of it - and I've always been proud of her because of it. While she doesn't do gymnastics, she is a natural horse woman, and has competed in shows with confidence and grace. It takes a lot of athleticism and skill to do that.

We do not have money. My husband has been out of work for almost a year now, and making ends meet sometimes takes a small miracle, and a lot of juggling. I have always taken a certain amount of pride in the fact that I've managed to give the kids everything they need, even if sometimes it's second-hand. And now, that pride has turned to anger and shame. I'm angry that I can't give my daughter the "right" clothes. I'm ashamed because these girls have chosen to embarrass my daughter because I'm to poor to keep her in style.

I also knew just how K felt. I was never popular growing up. I was always a little on the heavier side, and I never had quite the right pants, or accessories. I'll never forget the day in 7th grade when I went to sit down at the lunch table with my friends - and they all picked up their trays and moved to another table. It still hurts. My freshman year of high-school was spent at a boarding school because the teasing and torment was bad it was driving me to a nervous break down at 14.

Things got better in high-school. I embraced the fact that I was different and found friends who celebrated that. I even managed to have a "popular" friend or two. Things got better as I got older and learned what what really important. I think a lot of people have had similar journeys.

And so I do my best to impart this wisdom. I tell K that she is beautiful, and smart and talented. I tell her that these thin, fashionable girls pull other people down because that's the only way they know how to feel good about themselves. I tell her she doesn't have to answer to these girls when they ask her where he clothes come from. I tell her she needs to stick with the friends who love her for her, not for her brand name clothes. I tell her I love her and she's one of the most amazing people I know.

What I don't tell her is that I want to hurt these girls and their shallow parents who give them these standards of worth. That I want to shake them, and hurt them, and make pay for ever making her cry. What I don't tell her is that I want to buy her clothes from Justice, and a phone, and gymnastics lessons, and all the things she thinks will make it better, make it stop. Because as much as I value individuality and strength of character, I just want to fix it, make it all go away.

But I don't tell her these things. Instead I pour words of love and strength into her wounded heart and hope that it's enough to help her heal. She stops crying and tells me she feels better. I hold in my own tears until she's asleep.

I hope I have the strength to protect her heart and keep her smiling. I hope that I can give her the humor and support it takes to navigate the sharks.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Neighbors

One of the inevitable pitfalls of moving to a new neighborhood is new neighbors. As a rule, I tend to be pretty hesitant to meet new people, while GH is total social butterfly. This often causes a bit of friction as GH badgers me into trying to make new friends, while I insist a semi-hermit existence suits me just fine, thank you.

The neighbors that live just on the other side of our fence have become GH's most recent pet project. Just after we moved in, GH went to a local concert and happened to meet this "really cool" guy - only to find out days later this "really cool guy" was our new neighbor. GH wasted no time becoming friends, even going to another concert with him a few weeks later.

I have yet to meet "cool guy" or his wife. Or their six kids. Yes, six kids - that terrifies me. GH keeps insisting that we should get together with them, hang out, etc. I keep insisting my friend quota is full up, and I don't want to get involved in any new potential neighbor drama. Stalemate.

Then, a move I wasn't prepared for. While I was at work yesterday, one of their child-shaped minions dropped this off with GH:

He texted me and let me know there was a box from the neighbors. He suspected it contained baked goods, but insisted on waiting for me to get home to open it.

It was indeed full of baked goods:

Cute little homemade cookies of every shape and size. Damn.Well played neighbors. Well played.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Deep Breath

So many things. Too many things. That is the story of this life.

So many things have changed since I last checked in with this blog. There's a new house. There's a new outlook, new life plans. Change and progress and all of that happy nonsense.

In light of all that, I've decided to give this blog a face lift and a new perspective. I've changed the layout, and I'm sure it will continue to morph as I pick up some tech savvy skills. Most importantly, I'm changing the focus here.

Over this past year, due to many factors, I've given a lot of thought to life in general - what's important, what makes me happy, how to live the best life I can for me and my family, etc. In the end, it's all come down to one concept - simplicity.

One thing that a lot of people don't know about me - I'm a farm girl at heart. I love growing veggies and my roses. I love farm animals and the smell of fresh hay and manure. Luckily my best friends own the farm where I board my horse, and I can go there whenever I'm in need of a farm fix.

What would really make me happy, is a farm of my own. Unfortunately, life has decided right now I need to live in a small city. Bugger.

Recently however, I've discovered there's a large movement of people who are doing small scale farming and various self-sufficiency projects right in their backyards, in cities all over the country. The concept has me excited and inspired. I've obsessively researched plans, methods, concepts and techniques. I am ready to begin forging ahead.

I'm hoping that maybe my ventures will help inspire other people to give some of these concepts a try. If not, maybe then just a good laugh as I try to make it work? Either way, I'm hoping to have fun and maybe learn a little something. Always worth a shot, right? And of course, there will be plenty of "life stuff" to fill in the blanks......
The brilliant tomato planter we created from an old round bale feeder up at The Farm this past Spring. Can't wait for Spring...