Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Life With A Farmer Has Moved to Wordpress

Life With A Farmer has moved to
Thanks for visiting, but if you would like to read all the new post you'll have to visit me at my new address:

My recent posts:
Affordable Phone Plans: Republic Wireless (a review)
For The Service You Gave (a tribute)
Apple Pie In An Iron Skillet, aka Apple Tarte Tatin (a recipe)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Outsourcing On The Farm

The Farmer has been busy for the last several months designing and building his little home away from home--his office/workshop. When he made the decision to retire, we both knew that neither one of us wanted each other to be underfoot too much. So it was decided that he had to have a place to escape to (or be sent to). J

During the late spring, summer, and early fall months, hasn't been a problem. If the sun is shining, he's outside. But as the long, dreary days of winter quickly approach, he's going to be needing a place to burrow into to make his phone calls, text his buddies, and plan his endless "to do" lists. (insert workaholic here).

The shed (aka garage) had been built years ago, but never insulated. So we are in the process of transforming it into a dry, warm haven just for him. Earlier we put some tin on the walls and insulated them (you can read about that little adventure >>>Here), but we never finished the ceiling and lights and insulation.

We've talked about it lots, but each time The Farmer would bring it up, I felt dread and despair sink into my very being at the thought of walking on ladders or scaffolding or anything else that would put me 9 feet up off the concrete floors (a little too dramatic? Hey, you ain't heard nothing yet!).

At any rate, I whined, complained, begged, pleaded, plotted and prayed until he promised to hire someone to help. So my job was outsourced to a couple of capable carpenters who has done a fantastic job!

The Farmer inspecting the work

clean-up afterwards

driving lessons

Yeah! She's Cool!!

After they are finished, we will still have a little work to do, but keeping with the outsourcing, I think we can get a neighbor to help with the insulation, and a heating/cooling expert to put in the furnace. Looks like The Farmer will be moving into his office by the end of October!

Moto E

Affordably priced,
without compromise.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Being Content

At sea...

My eyes were barely open, when the first light of day shone through the port hole. Looking out, I assured myself that the sun had not yet made her appearance. Dressing as quickly and as quietly as possible, I slipped out of the room to catch the elevator. Few people were out at this time of the morning, so grabbing a cup of coffee was not a problem.

I rushed through the dining room and out across the deck. The temperature was perfect; a little bite of cool air, yet the warmth of the day was not far behind.

Climbing the stairway to the first level wasn't high enough, so I ran up the second set of steps, and then the third. As my head popped above the staircase rail, the wind threatened to blow me back down, but I held my ground.

I quickly rushed to the starboard side on the forward deck. The wind was wild and tumultuous, but I didn't care. I loved bathing in its warmth. Peering over the side at the ocean, I was once again awestruck with the magnificent sight before me. The deep blue waves seemed as rich as velvet swirling around the ship. And as the sun rose above the horizon, there appeared to be an innumerable amount of sparkling diamonds cast upon the surface of the water. 
Oh! What a glorious sight!


Back on the farm...

I tossed and turned instead of sleeping, and although I could tell that it was morning, I couldn't begin to guess the time. Grabbing my phone, I checked the time--5:45. There was no use in lying there any longer, so I decided to get up and try to catch some quiet time before the rest of the house came to life.

After I stumbled to the kitchen to start the coffee pot, I unlocked and opened the front door and then went back into the kitchen to open the back door, too. As the coffee continued to gurgle, I glanced out the door and saw that the eastern sky was beginning to lighten up. It wouldn't be long now.

A few short minutes later, I had my coffee in hand and I slipped out the back door. Although there was a cool breeze blowing, the warmth of the day was already in the air.

The few clouds that were drifting in the sky were beginning to brighten, and turn pink. Soon the orange orb began to slowly rise upon the horizon, and I watched it grow larger as it continued on its path. The sun's light began to shine upon the dew, and the cows appeared to be nibbling on a field of sparkling diamonds that had been strewn across the pasture. 
Oh! What a glorious day!


In case you can't tell, I'm feeling a little poetic today. What thought inspired this provocative prolific prose? I'm glad you asked!
The other evening as The Farmer and I were sitting out on the front porch (him sitting, me swinging), enjoying the beautiful autumn evening, a thought came to me.

          "…be content with such things as you have…" (Heb. 13:5)

The joy and relaxation I felt at that moment here on the farm was just as glorious as the moments I had enjoyed on my recent cruise.

Speaking my thoughts out loud, I said to The Farmer, "Why would I ever go anyplace else when the farm has everything I need? It's so peaceful and the weather is so beautiful; and it's absolutely free!"

"I know, we're really blessed here," The Farmer quickly agrees. "So, what are you fixing for supper?"

…Oh, yeah, now I remember …J

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Undeniable Victory

I'm not sure where they came from, or how they got here, but I knew what their plans were: to take over, to consume our belongings, to overtake us. And I knew I had to stop them…
In the beginning, I hadn't thought much about them. I had seen a couple of them milling around and hadn't really even cared. I had my own cares and concerns, and really didn't see them as a threat. But as time passed, I noticed that their numbers began increasing; soon there was a small army hanging around. Alarms began going off in my brain, like tingling senses, warning me that an invasion may be inevitable
And as if I had prophesied my own fate, they began coming into our home, invading our privacy, going through all that we owned, as if it were their own, and I couldn't stop it. Nothing was sacred, nothing was out of their reach, and I felt all hope was gone. I had no idea of how to get rid of these invaders. I wasn't a woman of violence, and I knew I would not be able to get a hold of the authorities in time.
But then it came to me…a delicious, delectable plan that would win the hearts of my nemeses and happily send them back to their own land. I would prepare a feast for them. Food is a binding element.  What better way to bring peace and harmony to any situation?
So I busied myself making my "guests" comfortable, quietly preparing what I knew they would love. They seemed to not notice as I busied myself gathering up all the ingredients I would need to prepare them a mouth watering meal of irresistible flavors. When I finished, I knew I couldn't get them all into one room, so I served them wherever they were. Some were in the kitchen, others were in the dining room, but most had gathered in the sitting room.
I placed the food in front of them, being careful not to startle or offend, and to my joy they began consuming all that I gave them. I could see the excitement, none of them held back. I gave them seconds, and they were grateful. How pleased they were that this great feast was given in their honor. They had come expecting to have to work at getting everything they wanted, and found hospitality instead.
As I stood back to watch, I felt a little smile form upon my lips. I had conquered these intruders all by myself. Not with strength, nor power, but with poison! Everything they were eating had been poisoned. Soon they would feel the effects…but not too soon, the poison was slow acting and they would be far away before they knew what I had done. They would take the left-overs back to their families and comrades, who would eventually be overcome as well.
The thrill of victory swelled in my veins as I contemplated the fate of each warrior, wreathing in agony as the poison slowly effected their vital organs. And as their loved ones came to their rescue, or their comfort, they too would be effected and eventually die.
Oh! How sweet the thrill of undeniable victory!
“As long as we have faith in our own cause and an unconquerable will to win, victory will not be denied us.”
― Winston Churchill

Each year we are overrun with ants for a short time. As soon as I see one, I know there are more present, I just have to find their trail. That being done, I place Terro in their path, and after they gather around and consume the sweet liquid, they take it back to their nest to infect the rest of their colony. 

I can't help but feel sweet satisfaction (pun intended) :) 

If they would stay outside where they belong, I wouldn't have to be so vicious! 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Home Schooling Moment

I can't believe the summer has ended--well, officially on 9/21--but as far as the season goes and homeschooling, the summer has come to an abrupt end. Daughter #4 is preparing to take college classes, so I only have Daughter #5 to homeschool this year. What a difference! The school closet is cleaned out and I had enough books handed down from previous "students" that I didn't have to purchase any books this year. She's not excited about that, but The Farmer is!

It's kind of a bittersweet moment thinking about all the time and effort we've put into this homeschooling thing. The preparation, the cost, the frustration, the head-butting, (and banging). But all-in-all, it produces a pretty good return on our investment.

What satisfaction to think that I was the one responsible for teaching them their letters and sounds, and hearing them form their first word and listening to them begin to read everything they see; a sign, a note, the back of a cereal box... And watching them as they figure out the curves in cursive writing; writing their name over and over on papers, napkins, and even the plastic table cloths at a church banquet (fortunately, they're disposable). Or the repetition of math facts, spelling words, Scripture memorization, and the constant call (from me) to "get busy". 

Of course the greatest evidence of a successful student is seeing each one becoming an adult, and successfully going on to begin their own life as a wife or a husband, or take on a new job or career. And whichever road they decide to go down, I'm excited for them. Such is the circle of life. 

But as I said, I still have one more learner here, and for at least three more years I'll be a homeschooling mom. So, today being the first day of our new school year, the sweet, familiar sounds of homeschool begin once again: "Aww, come on Mom, do I really need to know this!"

1st day of Algebra 1...Looks like it's going to be a long year!!

Fortunately, a science project always makes the day a little more enjoyable. :)

If you have ever thought about home schooling, here are a few resources you may find helpful:

And if you are in the throes of your own homeschooling experience, here are a few encouraging resources:

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The Farmer Has Retired

When I look at people who have been working for a long time, it seems to me that they all fall into at least three different groups when it comes to the subject of retirement: 1) Those who fear retirement, 2) Those who can’t seem to acquire enough for retirement, and 3) Those who use work as a means to retirement.

The Farmer belongs to the last group. He’s a hard worker, and he has used a lot of his hard-working years to save up for retirement. He has never been able to sit and enjoy taking time off. I think it’s because he’s had his eye on a greater goal…retirement.

He typically left the house very early, and had at least a 45-minute drive to work. He was very diligent; working in the rain, snow, sleet and hail (the postman had nothing on him). He would often work late, go to bed early, and get up “Grumpy” (me), so I could fix his lunch for the day.

However, that has all changed. He has retired from his “real” job, and he’s learning to live an entirely different way. He’s sleeping in a bit later (I’m afraid that may change when the weather gets warmer), he refuses to go out and work in the rain or snow, and he’s spending way too much time contemplating.

As a son of a farmer, he learned early to work hard. He began following his father around and helping him with whatever he was doing. In fact, some of his most precious memories are chasing his dad out the door as he went out to do some work on the farm. They were always fixing vehicles and machinery or repairing fences. Lots of time was spent clearing the land, picking up rocks, and creating brush piles. And of course there was always wood to be cut, animals to be tended to, and an occasional building project.

Although he has retired from his real job, he has not retired from farming. These next few years are the years we have both been working towards; the years we can spend enjoying the farm. We are raising cattle, instead of building the herd. We get to look out off our porch at fields of grasses, instead of clearing land. And we get to enjoy the things around us, instead of always wanting more.

Oh, that doesn’t mean there won’t be building projects, and machinery to work on, or fences that will need mending, but for the most part he has plans of putting up hay, watching the cattle grow, and enjoying all that God has allowed us to acquire.

This brings to mind a story in which Christ told concerning covetousness. He said that a farmer spent his whole life building for himself. He had land, built barns, and gained riches. One day he stopped and looked at all he had acquired and decided to tear his barns down and build bigger barns to hold more of the things that he wanted. But before he could do that, God ended his life here on earth.

The Bible records that he was a fool, not because he achieved so much, but because as he gained everything he could to benefit himself, and never gave thought to prepare for eternity. Jesus said, “...beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consists not in the abundance of the things which he possesses.” But we are to seek God’s redemption first, and then live according to His blessings.

“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” Mark 8:36

No matter what riches you have this side of Heaven (or lack thereof), if you do not prepare for eternity, in the end you will lose everything.

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Luke 12:34

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter 2014

This was supposed to be posted for Easter, which was yesterday. Oh well, the celebration of the Resurrection should never end!

Hope you all had a blessed Resurrection Day!

Without the Christ

Without His birth, where would I be?
In a stable stayed the three
Angels announced
Shepherds observed
Wisemen came to worship the Lord.

Without the Cross, where would I be?
All my sins on top of me.
Full of guilt
A price to pay
My sins would not have been washed away.

Without the Christ where would we be?
Dying for all humanity.
His blood removed
Our guilt and shame
He took our place, we took His name.

Without His resurrection where would we be?
Death is swallowed up in victory
Buried three days
He snatched Death’s key
And rose with life eternally.

                                                                                -Cindra Enloe

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Walking On Thin Ice

“I need a camera,” I informed The Farmer last November.
“I thought you had a good camera on your phone,” he reminded me.
“I do, but it doesn’t zoom far enough. I need a camera that zooms so I don’t have to get out in the cold and take pictures. Remember last year when the cow had her baby in the snow? I couldn’t get close enough to get a really good picture.”

I’m not sure he was truly convinced, but since it was right before Christmas, I had a really good chance of getting one. And I did. Doing the research, I got a great deal during the Black Friday sales (online, by the way).

And I’ve taken some great pics. I can sit in my sitting room and zoom in on the McD’s cup that is sitting on the counter and see the advertisement on the cup.

Can you see the cattle?

I’ve also taken some wintery shots off the deck when we had all that freezing snow the last couple of months.


Unfortunately,  after I got the camera, I  lost my muse for a time, because The Farmer hadn’t been doing much around the farm. Well, he has fed hay, and scraped the feed lot, and fixed waterers, and shoveled snow, and chopped ice on the pond, but  it was too cold for me to get outside, and too far away from the porch for me to take pictures. Until the other day when he went out to spread red clover on the pastures.

We re-seed our red clover in our pastures every couple of years, because it’s the natural way to put nitrate back into the ground (nitrate helps the grasses grow). A good time to spread seed is while the snow is on the ground, and right before spring thaw. Since the weather seemed to be cooperating, you can imagine how excited I was to find out The Farmer was going to go do something I could take pictures of and write about. I was also silently hoping to take a video.

Hurrying to get my coat and boots on, I rushed out the door just in time to take a picture of The Farmer pulling away. “Click” (always take two) “Click.” 

Walking along trying to adjust the zoom, I all of sudden found myself lying flat on my back, with a cracked elbow, rattled teeth, and a throbbing backside! The only thing that I was aware of was the fact that I threw my camera as I went down. As I lay there getting my bearings, my rendezvous with The Farmer was forgotten. Completely unnoticed by him, I hobbled into the house to access the damage, and was thankful to realize that nothing was broken. Later, retelling the story to The Farmer, I was amazed to find how much concern he had for my camera. I assured him that I too had come away unscathed.     

Later, as I was again walking outside (being more watchful this time), I thought about how quickly my world was “turned up-side down.” How I was going through the motions of my day, thinking, planning, doing, and then in a split-second my feet were gone from out from under me and I was lying helpless on the ground. All my thoughts, plans, and motions had been changed to something completely different with that one small slip on the ice.

Jonathan Edwards (a 18th century preacher during America’s Great Awakening) spoke of this very thing in his well-known sermon “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” He used Deuteronomy 32:35 as his text, “…their foot shall slide in due time.”

His sermon can be read here >>Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God , or you can listen to a reenacted version >>HERE<<. It’s a long read, but it is so worth the time it takes.

I was reminded of his key statement, “…their foot shall slide in due time.” When I slid on the ice, there was no warning, no flashing lights, no sounding alarms, and no stopping once I began to fall. My feet slipped and gravity took me down.

Edwards compares this with life on this earth and eternity. We all are walking around thinking about our plans and what we’ll be doing tomorrow and the next day, but none of us are promised tomorrow. No one is ever guaranteed more than the second in which we are living in right now.

All of us are one split-second away from eternity. And once that journey begins, all of our thoughts, plans, and motions will cease on this side of eternity. In a lot of cases, it comes without warning; a health issue, an accident, etc., and then we are on the other side of eternity.

Several years ago I made a very conscious decision to place Christ on the throne of my life. In God’s word He told me that I had offended Him; that I was an enemy of His, because I had been born into sin (we all have). And God cannot, and will not, associate with sin.

I read that God desired for me to be adopted into His family for eternity. He said that He had already paid for my sins that I had committed, and the sins that I wasn’t even aware of, because Christ took the punishment on the cross that was meant for me. And although Christ had taken on the sins of the whole world, there was still something I had to do to make this gift of salvation mine. I had to accept it. The work was done, the gift was given, the relationship between a holy God and an unrighteous people had been reconciled, but until I personally accepted His Gift of forgiveness, I could not be reconciled with God. We could never have a relationship unless I acted on His gift. And I did when I was 21 years old.

However, if God would not have sustained me, if He would not have had mercy to keep my feet on solid ground, if I would have slipped into eternity before I had accepted this Gift, my eternity would have been full of darkness, agony, and total separation from God.

Being a Christian is more than a religion to me, it’s the fulfillment of my purpose in life. It’s the reason I was created, and it’s the reason I wanted to share this with you. I’m not being trite when I ask, but have you been reconciled to God? Have you made a choice to follow God’s law and trust in His gift of eternal life made available to us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? I truly hope you have.

When I had questions about eternity, I found my answers in God’s Word. Reading the books of John, Romans, and Psalms answered a lot of my questions. I hope it helps you, too.

“…God commendeth (demonstrates) his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us…being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life…

We also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement." 
Romans 5:8-11

Thursday, January 30, 2014

I Miss You In The Ordinary

Recently, my mother-in-law passed away after a short bout with cancer. Up to that point in her life, she had always been healthy. At age 86, she didn’t take any medications, and she would walk 2 miles a day—Monday through Friday (on Saturday if the weather was really pleasant).

Often her daughters would come over and walk with her, and she would always encourage me to walk with her, also. Being her next-door neighbor was a good enough reason to do it, but I always had an excuse: I was too busy, too tired, too grumpy, too lazy (probably the real reason). At one point I justified not walking with her because I didn’t want to get too attached to her.

Judge me if you must, but this reasoning came after her sister had passed away. For years, every morning between 7:00 and 7:30, she and her sister would call each other just to talk and check up on one another. After her sister passed, I saw the pain and loneliness that my mother-in-law had felt for her sibling, and I made a conscience decision that I didn’t want to suffer that.

Knowing that she was a bit older than I, I assumed she would go before me and I was preparing myself emotionally (some psychologist out there can work on that if they need to). But when I began to reason within myself, I saw this for what it was…just another excuse (a twisted one perhaps).

Eventually, I began to walk daily with her. She encouraged me, prodded me on, and took it easy on me those first few days while I adjusted to her walking pace. Actually, she was just recovering from a cold that she had harbored for several weeks, so she was only walking one mile a day in the beginning, and I was able to keep up with her (wow, that’s pretty sad, since I’m 43 years younger)

After several months of walking, talking, griping, and laughing together, she found out that she had a very aggressive form of cancer and was given 4 to 6 months to live. But like everything else she faced in life, she stayed strong, faithful, and level-headed. She got her house in order and began telling her kids how she wanted everything done. She planned out her own funeral, took care of all of her financial business, pretty much decided who was going to get what, and assured us all that she would be okay, because she had accepted Christ as her Savior and she knew her final destination (although we already knew this, because it showed in her everyday life).

My mother-in-law was many things; loving, giving, faithful, energetic, stubborn and proud. When she became too weak to walk with me, she still encouraged (and threatened) me to keep on walking for my health. And I did, mainly because there was a need for someone to stop in each day and help her with some meds (it kept me accountable).

She was a strong woman and wasn’t used to being helped out. But eventually, the cancer made it impossible for her to be by herself. We kids began taking turns staying with her, and my fear of becoming too close became my reality. We spent weeks doing ordinary stuff for her; talking with her, reminiscing with her, eating with her, watching TV with her, and just being with her.

And now I find myself missing her in the ordinary—when I walk past her house, Sunday afternoons, eating candy bars and drinking sodas, watching Matlock, and a hundred other things that became daily routines. So many things, that I couldn’t begin to list, and no one else would understand, because they are just my memories.

I Miss You in the Ordinary
I see you in the ordinary,
In the things that happen day-to-day.
I see you in the ordinary
As I’m walking along life’s way.
I miss you in the ordinary,
In the things I daily do.
I remember you in the ordinary,
And realize how much I miss you.

In the commonplace of living
You have affected all of my days.
I miss you in the ordinary-
I miss your extraordinary ways.
“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”
Psalm 51:10

Monday, January 20, 2014

An American Dream

An American Dream

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream to day.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with is vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and  black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

Martin Luther King, Jr., of course, delivered this historical speech on August 28, 1963, in the middle of one of the most turbulent times in America’s history.

There is no denying that racism and prejudicial treatment was rampant in parts of the United States, and there was a need for change. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a successful leader in bringing about a lot of that change for our nation.

Dr. King fought for human equality. His famously orchestrated March on Washington had a big impact on our country. While quoting from The Declaration of Independence, King encouraged our leaders to be mindful of the statement that all men are created equal. And this declaration goes farther than King quoted. It goes on to say, “…that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

As a nation, we have come a long way. We now have laws that prohibit racial discrimination in employment and have ended racial segregation in our public schools. We have a president sitting in the Oval Office that would not have been able to be there 50 years ago. Other discrimination barriers have been broken also. If you are an American, no matter what race or gender, it is possible for you to rise to the pinnacle of government or private business. You can own your own business, work for someone else, or run for any office in the country. You have the liberty to pursue your own happiness.

Unfortunately, there are those who think that the liberty to pursue happiness, has become a right to be happy. Just like money can’t buy happiness, neither can handouts. People who are given things without working for them tend to become ungrateful and dissatisfied (just take a look at your kids at Christmas time).

This nation was set up in a way that everyone could have the opportunity to make a living by human ingenuity and hard work, and then be able to prosper through modest spending and wise investments—not on race or gender.

In fact, I think we need to change the way employers hire their employees. Can you imagine going in for an interview and the potential employer not having you fill out a resume that asks for your race or your gender, but instead has questions about your morality, your loyalty, and your attitude. Wouldn’t it be great to be chosen for a job or position based strictly on your ability, intelligence, wisdom, or endurance level? My! People may actually begin to appreciate their employment, while employers may actually be able to hire and fire according to performance. (wonder why no one has thought about that?)

Unfortunately, as sinful human beings, there will always be some prejudice. It’s hard to see things through other people’s eyes. Prejudice is not a political issue, it’s a heart issue, which can only be altered by Divine intervention.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Re-Arrangement

“Mom! I can’t believe this! How could you?”
I hear my daughter’s panicked questions coming from the other room.
“What happened? Why did you do this? You’ve got to put it back!”

Rolling my eyes and laying down my laptop, I get up and go into the kitchen, knowing what the problem is before I even walk into the room. There I see my 16 year-old daughter standing with all the kitchen cabinet doors flung open. The bewildered look on her face and the hands flailing about her head, tell me she is not happy with what she sees.

When she notices that she has my attention, the shrills begin again, “What have you done? This is no good, no good at all! You can’t keep changing the cabinets. The cups don’t go near the plastic bowls, and all the plates are suppose to be on the same shelf! Please tell me you haven’t changed the stuff in the drawers. Aagh! You moved the silverware! Change it back! Change it back!”

Oh, brother, I think to myself, and then reassuring her I say, “It’s fine. I just moved around some things to make it more convenient for me.” Rolling her eyes, she takes her Oreo and leaves the room. This is a familiar episode we go through any time I decide to rearrange the cabinets, or the furniture, or if I turn the kitchen table in a different direction. My kids act like I have committed some heinous crime. What’s that about?

Is their childhood so unstable that they have to hold on to every steady fixture or utensil that has ever crossed their paths? I don’t believe it is. We have lived in the same place for 25 years, we’ve been going to the same church for 10 years, their Dad has had the same job for 35 years, and they’ve attended home school all of their life with me, their stay-at-home mom, as their teacher. How much more steady could their lives be?

Regardless, this is my kitchen; I do all of the cooking and most of the cleaning. The only time my kids like to come into the kitchen is when I am fixing them something to eat and they are waiting on me to fill their plates.

I used to be more sympathetic. I didn’t want to damage them in some way that would cause them to fail in life. But now seven of my nine kids are grown, and I decided it really doesn’t matter how careful you are with their psyche, they all turn out a little screwy anyway. (hee, hee... oh wait, maybe I am the problem)

I’m just kidding on that point. I know that parents are responsible for some of their children’s idiosyncrasies (hopefully, we are their biggest influence, after all). And I think it’s obvious to this self-proclaimed doctor of psychology, that children are affected by change. However, when that change is done in my domain, they need to be able to accept it.

I do not go into their bedrooms and make them change them to suit me. There are some requirements of keeping a half-decent room, but other than that, they are free to arrange and rearrange their rooms any way they would like.

Maybe I should inform them that if they want to help more in the kitchen, then I would allow them to have an input into the way it’s arranged or not rearranged. But since that’s not going to happen, I will continue to move things around the way I like them. And I’m sure they will continue to complain about where things are…or aren’t. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Smartphone Plans Starting At $5 Per Month

Has the high cost of living made an indention into your budget lately? It has ours. We have had to plan a budget, re-plan that budget, and then tighten it up just a little bit more.

Between Dishnet, Apple, Nintendo, and Sony, our budget had just about become unbudgeted!

So I had to get busy and find some way to save some money. One of our greatest expenses is the cell phone. When we first got a cell phone, I was the only one that needed it. We got rid of our home phone, which we couldn’t seem to get below the $30 mark (for local calling only), and used my cell phone instead.

But alas, as a frog being boiled, I got used to the convenience of the cell phone, and the luxury of became an expected need. It wasn’t long until I was lured into the seductive power of the Apple iPhone. What style! What ease! What power! I went from talking to family and friends on the phone to being able to map out a long trip, or look up an elusive meaning to any word I came across, not to mention when Siri came along. With these smartphones, we hold the world in the palm of our hands. (Ahh…I digress.)

However, as the kids became teens, they thought they needed phones too. Son #4 was able to purchase his own phone. He too started out with a nice convenient cell phone, but was quickly caught up with the whole fandomhood of Apple I-Phone-itus. Looking at the family plan, he could get an iPhone fairly reasonably, as long as he gave them two years of his life. And we soon found that two-year commitment had become very costly with purchasing the data plan, paying overage costs, and a little mishap with a river excursion. Fortunately, he was financially independent from us. J

Daughter #4 was next. For a short while, she was satisfied with a $20 phone and that cost us $10 per month. But she quickly found that wasn’t sufficient for her. She now has Virgin Mobile prepaid, but it’s still quite a bit more than our budget likes.

So I got on the WWW and began to search “cheap smartphone plans”. I just couldn’t go back to a dumb phone. I tried to use The Farmer’s phone and didn’t even know how to operate it anymore. It didn’t do anything when I touched the screen. And all those push buttons just had numbers on them…it was so confusing!

Fortunately Daughter #1 lives very frugal and she told me about a site called mrmoneymustache (highly recommend you check him out). On his site I found a company called Republic Wireless.

Republic Wireless is a company that started a beta phone service in 2011. The way I understand it is that their phones use existing free wifi service to make calls. Unlike the big boys who use the cell towers and charge you an arm and leg, this company makes use of free wifi hotspots that you find everywhere. I have used free wifi from McDonalds, Lowes, Starbucks, Target, and my favorite car dealer, Chris Auffenberg Ford, in Washington. And of course I use the wifi I have here at home.

However, Republic Wireless doesn’t only rely on free wifi, their phones also use the cell towers. The default setting for their phones are free wifi, and the backup for the cell phones are the cell towers.

When I first began to look into it, the only phone they had was their beta phone—Motorola Defy XT. And the only plan they had was $19 a month for unlimited text, data, and talk (a lot cheaper then I was paying for that same service). So using Daughter #5 as a guinea pig, we purchased the phone for her and I tracked her activity for that first month.

She got great reception, always had service, and never missed a call (well, except when I would be calling her to check to see if she had finished her chores while I was away—not the fault of the phone). So when my servitude, I mean contract, with AT&T ended I switched to Republic Wireless.

Unfortunately the beta Motorola Defy XT was not available, but fortunately they offered an awesome Android phone, the Motorola X (and I could purchase the white color for the same price as the black-can’t do that with the iPhone). I love it! With a little bit of a learning curve, I find the Moto X as appealing to me as the iPhone.

Now here’s the best part (well another best part), Republic Wireless offers smartphone plans starting at $5 a month! The plans range between unlimited talk, text, and data (wifi only) for $5/month up to unlimited talk, text, and data (wifi and 4G) for $40/month. There are other plans for $10 and $25 per month.

I have had Republic Wireless for 1 ½ months, (Daughter #5 has been with them for 4 months) and I highly recommend their company. If you would like to look into what they have to offer, here is my affiliate link. Just link on the image.

Seriously, I will be saving $480 a year using Republic Wireless instead of AT&T.

That’s just enough money to go on a 7-day Caribbean cruise!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

500 Words a Day Challenge

One of my resolutions for 2014 is to write more. To help keep me accountable, I’ve joined a writer’s group that has proposed a challenge of writing 500 words per day until the end of January. So for the rest of the month I will be writing about random things in order to fulfill that challenge. I hope you find them interesting and not too random. (wow! 66 words already…hee, hee)

Okay for the first topic, I have decided to try and express why I write a blog. One reason is because I love my life here on the farm. The Farmer is sometimes uncomfortable with all the attention he gets through my blogging. And he does get highlighted a lot, but it’s because my world revolves around him, and Life With A Farmer is all about, well…living life with a farmer—and he is THAT farmer.

I also wanted to start recording my memories of things that happened in my childhood or in the past (mostly to keep them safe for future generations, because I’ve found my head is not the safest place on the planet for such things). These are a little harder, because I usually have to wait for someone to remind me of something that happened earlier in life.

Poetry is another love of mine. I find myself sing-saying things as I look out the window at the snow or take walks through the woods. Even when I’m outside watching The Farmer work, I sometimes begin to hum a poem. My Mother writes poetry also, so I’m sure I got the love of it from her. But I also contribute my love for rhyming to Dr. Suess and (oh it’s right on the tip of my tongue)…It’s a children’s show about a mannequin that would come to life when the store closed, and there was a talking mouse that talked in rhyme all the thyme J

Politics and religion are something that all bloggers are warned to stay away from because it could kill your blog faster than anything could. Therefore, I don’t usually discuss my political views—it’s not going to make a difference what I think anyway. The government has many problems on all sides—Republicans, Democrats, Independents, and whatever other party there is out there. Okay, I will say this—I think we need a complete overhaul and get back to the Constitution being our guiding factor. I’ll stop there because I feel a whole rant coming on.

However, I do write about my faith. If you have read any of my posts, you will notice that there is a defining factor of my faith in the God of the Bible. I believe in the Trinity, the miraculous birth of Christ, His sinless life, and torturous death on the cross. I believe my sins (and the sins of everyone else) were placed upon Him. I believe Jesus took my place of punishment (because I am a sinner and undeserving of Heaven), and had the power to overcome death and defeat Satan by His miraculous resurrection. And I believe that one day I will stand before God and He will say to me, “Enter into the place which My Son has prepared for you.”  

All this is found in 2 Corinthians 13:14; Luke 1:26-35; Mark 15:1-39; John 3:1-21; John 14

Okay…well there it is—556 words! I would love to hear from all who stop by and visit my blog. Please leave a comment. Also, if you have any ideas on a subject I can write on in January, write it in the comment section below and I’ll try to accommodate. Have a blessed day!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Resolutions for 2014

It’s time again to consider if there is anything in my life that needs to be improved, changed, or even eliminated. Last year I resolved to consider my ways and allow my paths to be directed. So, getting out my list from last year, I see that a lot of the things on that list will be on this year’s list also: lose weight, be more consistent in Bible study and prayer life, be more punctual (just to name a few).

It’s kind of frustrating. This whole set-goals-and-don’t-meet them deal is quite discouraging. I’m not usually a Debbie Downer, but looking at last year’s list put me in the dumps. But as I’m writing this, my Positive Polly side begins

to react.

If I compare myself to last year, there has been some improvement. Not as much as I would like, and I haven’t completed all my goals, but there have been significant changes. In the area of weight loss I started a program (The Fast Metabolism Diet), stuck with it, and found that my metabolism began to change, which caused me to lose weight. I plan to start that again this year. 

In the area of Bible study and prayer, my goals were to get up every morning and read and pray before starting my day. Although most days I have been able to accomplish that, sometimes Bible study gets put off until later in the day or before going to bed; but later is better than never…right?

Timeliness has always been a daunting factor for me. Some people who love me and can get away with such statements (uhhum) have told me that I will be late for my own funeral (not sure that would be my fault), but I have surprised these same loved ones and been on time quite a bit this past year. I think this year I’m going to keep track of the times I’m on time or early for an event, just to keep for evidence (and bragging rights).

Other areas in my life need improving (nobody’s perfect, right?), so I’m going to go back over last year’s list and probably add to it. But this time I’m going in with a prayerful heart and asking the One who knows me best what He would have me change. Too often we can’t see the forest because of the trees, and when we take a good hard look at ourselves we may be looking through rose colored glasses. (wow, I used two clich├ęs in this sentence…too much?).

I’d be interested in your resolutions, too. Do you remember them from last year? Were you able to accomplish them? What are some new ones you are implementing this year? Please let us all know by commenting below.

May 2014 find you safe, happy, and at peace.

“For it pleased the Father that in him [Jesus] should all fullness dwell; and having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself…” Colossians 1:19-20