Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Becoming more self sufficient...as a family

So, my husband has decided that our 3 acre tract around our house is to be called 'the farm'.  I am all for it.  Our daughter's old playhouse is being recommissioned as a hen house.  The back acre, previously wasted, will be our farm.  We are starting with what we have, which is a lot more than most people have and we are grateful.  Eric, my husband, has done TONS of research (he says it's his favorite part). We are going to have kale, broccoli, sweet potatoes, basil, green onions, onions and cilantro.  I recently requested green bell peppers (just FYI, they are NECESSARY for all cajun cooking).  He and the kid made soil blocks, so we don't use the peat growing cubes (peat is NOT renewable, by the way - it takes much longer to grow than is reasonable for us to use - we are destroying whole eco systems for our convenience of growing from seeds).




First Eric made the little soil block maker out of a vitamin bottle, some bolts, and elbow grease.  He then mixed our top soil with hummus and rotten wood and made these little blocks.  My daughter and I added the seeds to the hole and we let them sit for 7 to 12 days.

We had some rotting trees around the property.  Everything that couldn't be used as firewood (our wood burning stove is our only source of heat) went into something called a hugelkultur (hugel for short).  It is a component of permaculture and is a commonplace farming technique in places with less fertile ground.  Rotten wood is very good for soil and as it breaks down slowly, something like this will continue to provide nutrients and water for our plants for 10 or more years with little to no additives and with minimal irrigation.  We are planting perennials there so that we can just let it grow and enjoy the literal fruits of our labor.  Blueberries and blackberries are this heaps top priority.  Those plants will be surrounded by asparagus and whatever else catches my husband's fancy.  I dug a trench 20 foot long, 3 foot wide and 6-10 inches deep.  We piled all of our wood into it.  We are now in the process of covering the wood wall with topsoil and compost.  Here are a few pictures.






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Friday, January 24, 2014

It's A ....................Cute Puppy Post!

I got my Christmas wish which was that the dog not have her babies on Christmas. Her first litter three years ago was born on the 23rd. It just added an extra level of chaos to the holidays. Though it was a wonderful learning experience for my son. The first litter all went to a training program to become working dogs. This time we made it to January before she had the puppies. I thought it would be easier in January. I was not as prepared as I thought. She went into Stage 1 and stayed in it for 36 hours. That is 36 hours she kept me awake petting, snuggling, comforting her. If I fell asleep she would climb on our bed and lay on my back - which has a lot of problems so 100 pounds of dog on it woke me up every time! In a hazy fog I let her out at 10:00 am on Saturday morning, I needed to take care of some human morning things and she barked. Now I had been aggressive with my husband & son when she barks get her in asap. This time I was tired and I had something I had to do that would only take a few minutes at best. So I said, "Wait five minutes girl!" It's always that one time isn't it? That one time we aren't prepared? I opened the door to a puppy on the porch. The puppy was fine. I named it Cement.
This labor was a little rougher on me and Momma. She's getting her spay. I wasn't too concerned as her pups are great for training programs. The first litter was easy breezy for the most part, but this one was problematic from the puppy on the porch. I got her in her whelping box where she quickly had Chocolate and a yellow one. Puppy four was born still. The next two were born not breathing but a quick call to my Aunt, who breeds English bulldogs, on number five and I became a pro at swinging them to life. Number seven was also yellow and born without problems but then the nightmare began. Daphne, our Momma, labored a very long time. Finally, my husband helped her deliver her last stillborn. At that point the dog and I had been dealing with some form of labor a little over 48 hours. I was a walking, talking zombie. The ones born after the first stillbirth were very small so I did help them get fed the first few days as well. With eyes open, you would have a hard time picking out the three small ones from the three larger pups today. They are all healthy, happy, and starting to play a little bit with each other. I'm happy to say three of them already have forever homes with families that will love them. No, they haven't left us yet. I'm confident the other three will have no trouble finding their families when the time comes. Who could resist these cuties?
As I promised a cute puppy post here's a parting shot of a yawn. Until next month.....

Monday, January 20, 2014

Busy...busy...busy and no I'm not writing


I don't think I've stopped since before Christmas.  Our holiday was NOT the best.  Husband was sick before the holiday.  I got sick at the in laws.  In fact, it was the first time in 10 years that my husband and I didn't celebrate the holiday together.  Sure, we opened presents but I stay behind at the in laws while everyone else went and partied it up elsewhere.

Then the hubs Tahoe needed a new fuel filter and fuel pump.  And that was before we even left the in laws house.  We were semi stranded for two extra days waiting for it be fixed.  *sigh*  When then come home and everything seems okay for about two weeks and then we are hit again.  Actually three times...Refrigerator is now going out.  Dryer belt broke and then we had to buy a new alternator for the Tahoe.  Can you say...FLAT BROKE!

But yes, it can get worse...I've applied for paying jobs and I've been rejected 4 different times because I'm overqualified.  Yes, overqualified.  *head desk*  I'm sure that no one wants to hear the rest of the story because I know I sound like Debbie Downer so I'll stop.  But I do have good news...

My husband and son love me.  Regardless of what has been going on in our lives, we love each other and support each other.  And after hearing my sad tale of woes...that's really what matters the most.  Money doesn't make the world go round but it does help when things break.  The love and support within my immediate family is a godsend and I wouldn't trade that for all the tea in China.

Until next month...


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Yay for 2014!!

The end of one year and the beginning of another is always the most busiest for me.  I know it is for most people.  So I am always happy once the craziness of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years is over. 
 
I work my day job right up until Christmas Eve.  Then Christmas Eve I am planning the next day, preparing for Santa to make his or her appearance, and cooking/baking.  It didn't help that my girls decided to stay awake until 1am that night.  Christmas morning was definitely worth everything I had put into it though.  The girls woke up to everything they wanted and we still had two more stops that day. lol.  Santa brought laptops, American Girl dolls, movies, and more dolls that they wanted.  Our house now looks like a doll house with everything we have.  I love having girls. ;-)  So here's a few pictures from our Christmas...
 


 
Our Tree
 

Our cat sleeping under the tree
 

 
The girls with some of their gifts...
 
And here's a few of mine...
 

 
This smells AMAZING!

 
 
Two days after Christmas was Abrial's birthday.  The birthday girl just turned 12 so I've got one more year with her before she turns into a raging hormonal teenager. lol.  So I had to work on her birthday which I felt bad about because usually I take off work but luckily I only worked until noon.  Then I picked the girls up and we went shopping at Justice, we had lunch at Shaggy's, then more shopping at Toys R Us.  Finally we got back home and I fixed her chocolate cupcakes with homemade buttercream purple frosting as requested.  Later, I took the girls to grandmas for the weekend and I went out and had a much needed drink. lol.
 
But here's pictures of the birthday girl...
 
Abrial the newly turned 12 year old. (This is as close to a smile as I'm going to get.)

 
And Madyssen demonstrating how awesome the cupcakes were lol
 
 
 So that was our holiday season.  New Year's Eve was a day and night spent at home with wine and sparkling white grape juice watching Dick Clark's Rockin Eve as we always do.  I rang in the New Year with my two girls because hubby abandoned me and went to bed at 11. lol. 
 
Hopefully this new year holds lots of great things for us all!
 
Hope your 2014 is wonderful too!!
 
Thanks for reading!!
~Jinni 

 


Sunday, January 5, 2014

Christmas is awesome!!

In honor of it being right after the Christmas and New Year Holiday I'm going to share some of the awesome presents I got!!
 An amazing photo album from my mom of a trip we took to New York last year. Most amazing vacation week EVER!!
An amazingly cute jewelry holder. Isn't it adorable? This was from my MIL.
And a BEAUTIFUL jewelry cabinet from my awesome husband, because I totally already filled the other jewelry cabinet he gave me last year for my birthday!! I do love my jewelry!!

And in honor or presents I'm totally going to give one away.
A swag pack and naughty candy cane to celebrate the release of A Very Menage Christmas. I do love naughty Christmas stories! So tell me the best present you got this year!!



Members Only, Book Three
Skye has spent her life being the perfect daughter for her prominent, wealthy parents. She says all the right things, wears all the right clothes…and lies through her teeth about the kind of sex she needs. The bland “gentlemen” she dates don’t know a thing about what gets her going—and when they find out, they run screaming. In her deepest, naughtiest dreams, she finds a man…or two…who knows just how to tie her up and tease her until she’s begging for more. But those guys don’t really exist, do they?
Jackson wants one thing for Christmas, and her name is Skye. He’s watched her from afar for ages, biding his time, waiting for his chance to give her the kind of pleasure she craves. And this Christmas he’s going to get his way. He’s enlisted his buddy Nick and the two of them are going to give Skye a holiday treat she’ll never forget.
Inside Scoop: This holiday threesome features bondage and spanking benches…and creates whole new uses for Christmas lights and candy canes.
A Romantica® BDSM erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave
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Jennifer Kacey is a wife, mother, and business owner living with her family in Texas. She sings in the shower, plays piano in her dreams, and has to have a different color of nail polish every week. The best advice she’s ever been given? Find the real you and never settle for anything less.



Wednesday, January 1, 2014

What are your goals for 2014?

It has been a roller coaster year for me and so exciting. I attended my first convention and book Chasing Sam, Saving Margaret, Waking Sarah, Finding Hope, Just Right, and Trevor! I hit Amazon Catagory Bestseller Lists with four of those! I started this group, The Romance Troupe, and have gotten to know these fabulous ladies and several of us have teamed together to put give you a Valentine Surprise. I stepped up and volunteered to take over the Newsletter at my RWA chapter (DARA) for 2014. Very excited to dig into that position and get to know more fabulous people in the writing industry. I attended my first book signing and plan on two more this year!

At home it's been a little more challenging, but we are stepping up to the challenge and loving life.
My husband got a new job in July and is absolutely loving his position. Our daughter was diagnosed on the autistic spectrum and has a very severe speech impairment. Because she needs to be in a special education program and speech therapy, I stepped down from my teaching position over Christmas break and have become a stay-at-home-mom. Wow! Totally new for me. But, I'm really looking forward to spending my time with her and helping her catch up to her peers. We are going to rock this spEd pre-k and then my husband and I have to decide if she needs to be homeschooled or not. Which it totally cool with me, cause I was homeschool by my mom from k-12th and LOVED it. Yeah, I know. How did a homeschooled kid turn into an elementary school teacher. What can I say, I loved teaching.

So, this year 2014! I have so many plans. At least 10 books are on my release calendar this year. Two conventions have been decided on. I'll be in Arizona in May and San Antonio later this summer. So if you want books signed. I'll be there!

I have personal resolutions as well. My health could be vastly better. So I'm giving up soft drinks...ouch. And I'm working with a trainer and losing weight to try and avoid ending up with diabetes. I have a side bet with my husband that if I lose a certain amount of weight I get to put blue streaks in my hair. Squeal!

I have my work cut out for me, but I know I can do it and this will be an even better year than the last.

What are your goals for 2014?

_______________________________
Krystal Shannan 
Putting Magick in Romance One Soulmate at a Time
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