Do you guys remember me going to the Farm Expo last year?  Well my mother, my son and I went again today and it was awesome!!! We bought farm fresh eggs YUM!!! And chamomile and thyme transplants!!  Got a busy day tomorrow so off to bed I go but here are our eggs!!  It'll be the very first time I've tried them straight from the farm... So excited for breakfast!!!!! 
I am so excited to start working on the farm again!! I emailed Farmer D and told her that we are staying in town (we thought we might be moving... that's a whole other post) and that I ready for my old job back!  If you've been with me since the beginning you probably remember my work on the farm last season.  

I haven't heard back from her yet but in a previous email she said she'd welcome me back with open arms! There is something so satisfying about a hard morning's work on the farm.  Not to mention it's giving me tons of experience for when the day hopefully comes that we own our own mini farm!   

If you're new to my blog check out my category Farm Girl Wannabe to see all the pictures of the farm last year!!

Yay for farm work!! Here's a pic from last year!
That sucker was heeeeeavy!!
This past October my husband and I celebrated our 4th anniversary... I know we've still got a long way to go but we've definitely seen our challenges and I'm starting to see how difficult marriage can be and how hard you must work at it... especially when children are involved.  As a homemaker who is able to stay home with our son I am so incredibly grateful for my husband who goes to work every day and works so hard to further his career to ensure that I can always have the position that I have at home.  

Unfortunately it is incredibly difficult to keep this at the forefront of my mind at all times and sometimes (like most wives I assume) I find myself nitpicking my husband's faults.  I could be wrong but I also think homemakers may be a little bit more prone to having "the grass is greener" and "what my life would have been if..." thoughts.  Now if I'm wrong... forgive me... you can just consider this somewhat of a confession post then LOL.  What I'm getting at here is I think it's very important to keep reminding ourselves of all the reasons we are grateful for the men who make it possible for us to have the wonderful gift of keeping house and caring for our children.  

Okay so now I feel like I'm starting to sound like one of those super religious, serve your husbands type bloggers and believe me... I am faaaaaaaaaaaaar from being one of those.  However... and maybe it's the part of me that feels I should have been born in a different era... I feel there is definitely something to that frame of mind.  Sure... my job as homemaker, wife and mother is way more difficult than I ever thought it'd be.  I don't get an hour lunch break nor do I get a 15 min smoke break whenever I feel the need if I were a smoker (which I'm not and neither is my husband.... that was just a weird example that I thought of because I remember my co-workers always going outside for smoking breaks when I worked outside the home).  It is a 24 hour, 7 day a week, 365 day a year job.  BUT.... because it is part of what I love about being a homemaker... I don't see why and frankly I see it as my duty to have the household clean and supper on the table for my husband when he gets home.  I want him to come home and be proud of the lifestyle he chose and not be secretly wishing he were the homemaker and I was the bread winner.... because frankly... between us... he'd probably be MUCH better at the cleaning part of my job than I am!

Okay so to the point of all this rambling... I'm adding a new feature to the sidebar of my blog and it's going to be called "I Love My Husband Because...".  Here I will list daily or as often as I think of them... all the reasons I love my husband and why he is the man I chose to marry.  I consider it almost a type of therapy for myself... If I make it a point daily to write (or type) something positive about my husband that I love... I imagine those thoughts will win the battle over any negative thoughts I may be thinking and will, in turn, make our relationship better and lessen my nagging.   

I hope this doesn't sound silly... but I feel it is something that will really be beneficial for us.  My husband tells me every day all day long why and how much he loves me.  I think it's my turn to do the same.  
"Well Traveled"... what does that mean exactly?  I looked it up and the definition I found online was... someone who is well travelled has been to many different countries and is familiar
 with their cultures.  Now I'm not arguing this meaning or the people it defines but can not a person be "well traveled" if their travels remain within the United States?  Now I understand staying within the United States does not give us the cultural differences traveling to other countries would... but are there not other opportunities to learn about different cultures?  I guess what I'm getting at here is if there is no desire to travel afar... are those people who choose to stay close to home at some sort of disadvantage to those who are "well traveled"?  I PERSONALLY do not believe this to be true...  I have known people who have been to the far off corners of the world but frankly lack in kindness and appreciation and I've known those who have never left their hometown who have more knowledge, love and gratitude for their lives and the people in them than anyone I've ever met.  

Don't get me wrong... traveling is a wonderful thing and when I hear about someone traveling and coming back exploding with excitement, talking all about the wonderful things they saw, and being very passionate about sharing their experiences with other... I simply love it!  What I don't like is when people use it as a measuring stick of how "well traveled" they are and acting as though they are "better" than those who have not done the same.  If the opportunity arises for us to travel abroad it's not like we wouldn't take it.  If I had to choose where to go, the list to choose from would consist of Italy, Germany, Costa Rica and Chile... The two places I see off that list being the most likely to happen are Costa Rica... because we almost went at one point but our trip got canceled... and Chile because my husband has friends there and he knows the area well from having spent a couple months there one summer.  However... the places that have been the most appealing to me as of late have been places right here in our own country.  Sometimes I wonder if we take advantage or simply aren't aware of the beautiful places America has to offer.  

I'm going to post a few pictures that I've found of gorgeous places that I would LOVE to visit right here in America... I guess my message to you today is... no matter where you've been, no matter who you know... if you are not kind, respectful and compassionate... it simply does not matter. 
Horseshoe Bend (Arizona)
Havasu Falls (Arizona)
Columbia River Gorge (Oregon)
Oregon Coast
A Clothesline Poem (Anonymous)
A clothesline was a news forecast, to neighbors passing by.
There were no secrets you could keep when clothes were hung to dry.
It also was a friendly link, for neighbors always knew 
If company had stopped on by to spend a night or two.
For then you’d see the “fancy” sheets and towels upon the line.
You’d see the “company tablecloth” with intricate design.
The line announced a baby’s birth, from folks who lived inside
As brand-new infant clothes were hung, so carefully with pride!
The ages of the children could so readily by known;
By watching how the sizes changed, you’d know how much they’d grown!
It also told when illness struck, as extra sheets were hung;
Then nightclothes, and a bathrobe, too haphazardly were strung.
It also said, “Gone on vacation now,” when lines hung limp and bare. 
It told, “We’re back!” when full lines sagged with not an inch to spare!
New folks in town were scorned upon, if wash was dingy and gray,
As neighbors carefully raised their brows, and looked the other way…
But clotheslines now are of the past, for dryers make work much less.
Now what goes on inside a home is anybody’s guess!
I really miss that way of life - it was a friendly sign;
When neighbors knew each other best by what hung on the line.
Well... for those of you who didn't see my Facebook status update... Our dryer broke!  It broke once before last year and the amount of money it took to fix it combined with the amount it would take this time (because I'm pretty sure it's the same issue) would pay for most of the cost of a new dryer!  So... I'm holding out for a new one and I won't be calling anyone in to fix the one we have now.  

So with that said... I've sort of been thrown into the deep end with line drying our clothes.  All last week it rained... so we had to hang a line in our house! LOL... it worked quite well actually and that's how we dried our clothes when it rained for five days straight.  But today we have warmth and sunshine!  I've already hung a couple of loads outside on the line and they dried so quickly!!  In fact I told my mom (who is visiting right now) that I think line drying sheets might be faster and more effective that drying them in a dryer!  They don't wad up into balls keeping the center wet and no wrinkles!!  

As it warmed up throughout the day today though I did take notice to little gnat like bugs on my baby's clothes when I went to take them off the line.  This doesn't really bug me (no pun intended)... just a few shakes and they came right off.  With bigger items like sheets I noticed it was a bit easier to shake them while they are still on the line to get anything off and then just a small shake once I take them off.  I will admit I was a bit paranoid about bringing bugs into the house that I turned all the clothes inside out and back again with a few shakes just to be sure they were all gone. :) 

So anyway... I'm loving it so far.  And not having a dryer hasn't been a problem whatsoever!  Maybe I'll get a new one just before winter rolls around!  Until then though... I'm having a great time hanging my clothes out to dry! 
Every single dog bed that we've ever purchased has been great as far as our dog's comfort.  But even though they all say "removable and washable cover"... I've never found a dog bed that I could really clean.  Frankly I find it IMPOSSIBLE to remove the hair from the dog beds even with a vacuum.  And unless I can remove all the hair from those covers I would most certainly not put one in my washing machine.  

So... I was in search of something that would last a long time, not weave in the hair that my dog leaves into it's fabric, and not retain that pet odor that accumulates no matter how clean you keep your pets.  I had several things on my mind and I was about ready to go purchase some things to make my very own dog bed.  Then suddenly... I thought of the best solution ever!! A CRIB MATTRESS!!!!! Get the cheapest crib mattress you can find... throw a $1.99 thrift store sheet over it and throw that sucker on the floor for your pet!  

This is absolutely the best dog bed I could imagine... it's comfortable... it's INCREDIBLY clean because I can just spray it down and wipe it, a sheet is MUCH easier to get hair off of and if not... I can just grab another one from the thrift store!  I just did all of this today and so far she's been on it for the past two hours... I think she approves!  Here are some pictures... I just threw it down quickly because I wanted to see if she'd even use it so I'll probably take that sheet and sew it to make it fitted and somehow spruce it up a bit but she looks comfy does she not?
When I saw here in this position below... I knew it was a keeper. :) 
Would you like to know how I made this... 
... Look like this?
For the longest time I've wanted to make my own pasta and if I would have known it was going to be this easy I would have started doing it a LONG time ago!!  Recently my mom and I discovered a pasta maker/roller on sale at one of our favorite stores for an incredible price!  It was the only one left and we decided to snag it... 
Most of the instructions inside were in Italian so I did a lot of my research online... I came across several different recipes for pasta dough and decided to pick and choose from each recipe and make a dough recipe of my own and I'm happy to say it'll do JUST fine!  After preparing the dough I was ready to get started... first I needed to put my pasta roller together... 
Well now that was easy... everything literally just slid into place!  And just like that I was ready to begin!  The first step is to make pasta sheets that will then be cut into whatever shape of pasta you desire... this Imperia only came with one attachment so with that I can do fettucini and spaghetti. These next steps were a BREEZE!!!  The only difficult thing was when the pasta sheet got too long it was a bit difficult to handle... but all I did was cut the sheet in half and problem solved!  I also started off by cutting the dough ball that you see above in half and the sheet you see below is sending half of that dough ball through the first setting about four times. 
Speaking of the "settings"... see that little knob to the left of the pasta sheet above?  That is what you turn to bring the rollers closer together or further apart.  When you start out you want it on your largest setting and you need to roll the dough through each setting about five to six times before going to the next thinner setting and you do this until you have your desired thickness.  Down below is a picture of when I had to cut the sheet in half because it was getting too long and difficult to handle all by myself and I had actually already rolled them through a few times... 
Now came the cutting!  Here's a tip for this part... let your dough sheets (above) sit or hang from a drying rack for a little bit before sending it through the cutter.  If your dough is too soft it might stick as your rolling it through and then it is a PAIN to get the dough out of the roller and you can't continue making pasta if dough is stuck in the roller... trust me... it doesn't work ;) the above pictures show my SECOND round of pasta... not my first LOL.  It was a bit too difficult to take pictures as I was cutting the pasta and having to catch it as it came out so here's a picture of the pasta in my hand right as I had rolled it through... 
And voila! You have pAsta!  It was incredibly fun and so rewarding!  My son, who isn't eating ANYTHING right now, watched me do this and then proceeded to gobble it up with just a little bit of olive oil and some parmesan cheese.  Yes it's THAT'S good you don't even need sauce!!! So alas... here is yet another item we are adding to our list of things we no longer have to buy.  It'll be homemade pasta for this little family from here on out!  Oh and by the way... that TINY little dough ball that you see in the first picture above... produced all this! 
Here's some fettucini from my first batch... yes even after messing it up it STILL turned out delicious!
Our very own homemade pasta that is quick, easy and delicious... What could BE more magickal?!