Saturday, February 9, 2013

Off the Grid, Rachael Style.

Greetings from "the country," where we have serendipitously relocated Farmhouse operations. And, while the stars are about a million and one times brighter up here on out little hill, internet is a rarity and Target? Well who in their right mind knows what the hell a Target is. This is as close to living off the grid as I'd prefer to know in my lifetime - and the most harmonious I've ever felt about life in general..... And oh, the crap I waded through to get here.

So, in short, the blogging of it all is back. And oh, do I have a few things to say.  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Just Keepin It Real. {{The Happiness Project}}

My sweet friend from high school,  Lisa,  recently told me that maybe I should have a reality show called "Toddlers and Teens." She even promised that if I actually ever GOT a reality show, she'd TIVO the &^%$ out of it. I have that in writing. Just in case.

In the same message shared via Facebook (the end all of social communication... don't ask me to call you, because HELLO, strange and unusual!) she also told me that it looks like I have a pretty awesome life. Yes. Indeed. I do have it made up in The Farmhouse.   I have four amazing kiddos, a super-handsome-hard-working-church-going-Man, SuperParents who live just 500 feet from my front door, and the list goes on.

And, if you spend anytime on Pinterest or the Mommy Blogging world, you'd think mostly what I do all day is craft, bake bread and neatly fold Josh's laundry. 

I have come to realize that Facebook, blogs, and the like often produce a rosy picture of life ... not actually reality - far from it really... .  I am frequently annoyed with how WELL and SKINNY everyone seems to be according to Facebook and the Internets.  I say this as I have a delicious preschool - friendly lunch of frozen pizza. 

Things... they are not exactly... perfect.

Wanna know? Mmmmk. I'll tell you.

I have a broken relationship with my sister. We don't speak. Ever. At all. This has been going on for three years. That's a long time to miss your sister. Unfortunately, despite best efforts, there is no end in site, or light at the end of the Tunnel. This is very sad for me. She was my BFF. She is talented and smart and successful, and hello, we are missing each other's lives.

This sadness started to take over. It started showing up everywhere, from my heart to my face to my laundry room. It was - is - sad.

My teenager and I live in seperate houses. This is mostly because I wanted her to have all kinds of OPPORTUNITIES, and I sent her to live with her dad to get them. She had to leave all her BFF's here, and move into a foreign land with City Folk. She says it sucks. It does suck. But we're were doing this whole "for the greater good" project, and I still believe in it tremendously.  I miss her so much that it physically hurts. HURTS. However. She is thriving ... all A's and B's on her report card. Sigh. We usually yell at each other.

My dearest, best, favorite person in the world (outside of these walls, anyway) was just admitted to a drug rehab. That's a whirl of yuck I can't even discuss yet. It is just YUCK, and that's a shabby, disrespectful term for the whole situation.

I am telling you all this because, frankly, I think life is far more easy to be shared when we're just bein' REAL.  I wanna know that you too have a laundry basket full of mismatched socks longing for their partners, a little family dysfunction, and maybe one or two skeletons in your closet.  It would be far easier to share / get through it all if people could just be themselves.  Wrinkles, baggage and all.

So here I am, a good two months out from last writing, only to say that I too, got caught up in the perfection of it all.  It's been two months of Mondays in my world, dealing with the loss of important relationships (oy, AGAIN) and cleaning up the mess that addiction leaves behind.   I thought I had nothing good to say.  Boy was I wrong. 

More to follow.   For sure. <3

Monday, January 23, 2012

via Pinterest

So. I have a new addiction for 2012. A new perfectly fabulous way to waste time during the day and evenings... all from the comfort of my home, all while avoiding the ever-growing pile of laundry on my neatly made bed. I say neatly made because well, I want you to know that while I do have a massive Mt Laundry, at least it's all atop a freshly made bed. Adds to ambiance, I say.

The addiction I speak of? Pinterest. For those of you who have yet to discover, think of it as an online (and wonderfully stylish) bulletin board, where you can "pin" you favorite ideas. The best part is being able to see other people's "pinned" ideas... everything from recipes to crafts to gardening to haircuts. Quotes, artwork, photography tuturials... and, um, ways to organize your laundry room ::cough::. It's all there for the browsing. The hours and hours of browsing. ::swoon::


So, in between cups and coffee and matching socks, I am dreaming up / making plans to build a headboard out of old wooden shutters, measuring ingredients for my own homemade laundry soap and whipping up a new casserole recipe. All in the name of Domestic Goddess. Here's a few things you might enjoy.

Annie's Eas {{making your days taste better}}
I discovered this fabulous blog via a "pin" of her entry on what to make / pack / send / consider when sending a meal to a family. In the South y'all, we all send over meals when you might be sick, have just had a baby, or for any other of life's celebrations or sadnesses. This entry should be in the Southern Lady Handbook.  You DO have a copy, RIGHT?


Now, I like food blogs. I reaaaaallly like food blogs with practical food I would actually prepare for my family. You can imagine my extreme happiness when, via Annie's Eats, I discovered her recipe for Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins. Oh yes, I said heaven. I made them for breakfast (x2)... they were every bit as delicious as you are imagining them to be right this very second


And so,this is how Pinterest will start to consume mass, mass amounts of your time. One recipe here, one craft project there and before you know it, you're redecorating you living room in zebra print ...  It's kinda like crack for the lot of us who suffer from ADHD...
I also made Rosemary Skillet Chicken this week... recipe discovered via Pinterest, from an adorable and useful site called Pass the Sushi.  Josh told me I could make it again.  Score.  If The Boss likes it, then everyone is happy.  This is the Farmhouse Kitchen Rule. 


So, in between bites of Peanut Buter Chocolate Chip muffins (seriously, did I mention those already?), I happened upon the "pin" of a dear friend, which linked me to a tutorial entitled "Giant Picture"!  Well, Helloooo, doesn't that just sound right up my alley?  Sugar Bee Crafts has this tutorial for the taking / endeavoring / attempting.  I suggest a strong GO FOR IT, because I did, and it's already finished AND hung on the wall.  In case you might be wondering, these two worlds of Project and Finished NEVER intersect for me, EVER.


The resulting photo is a mounted 3' x 4' wall hanging of The Farmhouse Chirren.  It was possibly the simplest project ever, and lo, it only cost The Boss about $16.00 .  Josh likes anything that costs less than $20.  Just for the record.  Be sure to read the post at Sugar Bee for specific directions.  I can tell you it's a simple as a trip to your local office supply store and your local Home Depot.  And then, just like magic, it will be on your wall, and your friends can marvel at how much you (DID NOT) spend on photographs.

Don't worry... I already have the next fourteen ideas lined up ... I am sure right now Josh is running away screaming, checkbook in hand. 

Oh, and I am leaving you with possibly my favorite finds ever on Pinterest... a few life affirmations, just in case you might be like me, and you know, need a couple.


Saturday, January 7, 2012


While the rest of the world has been doing it's thing, I have been busy raising a teenage daughter. She has somehow survived in spite of this fact, and is now a beautiful fifteen year old, complete with attitude, 1.6 million pictures of herself on her facebook page, and a great sense of humor. I'd call her the total package. I mean, I do good work, right?



However, despite my best "city girl" intentions for this one... somewhere along the way she learned about horses, cowboy boots and boys in trucks. Give her a good time with some loud country music, boys with Justin's on, and a Jeep or a pickup truck... and the girl is in heaven. Sigh. This was not part of my master plan, but it's worked so far. The kid loves some camo, what can I say?

Last summer, she moved in with her dad, for some "higher education." Dad lives in The Big City, complete with Starbucks within walking distance of home. I was sure I was sending my child right into Culture Shock. I was right. She quickly retired her beloved pink and camo purse. Its hanging in her bedroom now... Her cowboy boots stay here, at my house as well. She has three or six other pairs of boots now... none of which can be remotely described using the word "cowboy." I guess a sign of how times, they are a changin.'

For a while, I worried about how she would adapt from country life to city life. However, a couple of weekends ago, when she opted for new Topsider shoes at Christmas and later flung her brand new, sparkly, REAL Coach Purse into the front seat of the car, I ceased my worrying. Turns out, she's doin' all right in The Big City. And I reallllly want her purse.

She describes her new high school and friends to me... they all wear Topsiders (see above) and boots, have no idea a tractor is, and don't know much about country music. They wear polos and know about soccer and golf. Sigh. A preppy kid. Ok, I guess.

Last weekend two brave souls, my dad and Joshua, took her and a friend to the local Mud Bog. Folks who aren't from the south - you'll just have to Google that one. I've thrown a few pictures in for reference purposes. Josh and my dad "mud bogged" before they became organized events ... even Josh said it was less fun as a "spectator." I say that Josh had a great time, and only ceased having fun when some "young 'uns" referred to him as "Sir." Um, what was I saying again?


OH YES! Sarah Beth. Mud Bog. Right.


So off she went, in camo jacket and cowboy boots, out to basque in her true "element."

When she came home, a confession that assured me that she still knows where "home" is... "Mama," she said.... "I was really starting to give in and just like the boys in The City. Thank goodness Josh took me to the Mud Bog. There were boys with boots on everywhere. I think there's still hope."

And all is well in my world.

I'm pullin' for the boot wearin' type myself.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Resolution 101.

Blah blah blah. A post of resolutions for the year. Y'all ready? Y'all read one to many of these posts this week? Sigh. You're welcome.

I'll try and keep it short. Maybe.

I really only made one general, overall goal for this year... Live. A. Happy. Life.

I spent alot of this past year being.. well, sad. I destest admitting that. Josh says it to me all the time. Then we argue because hello, we all know he is ALWAYS wrong... even when he is right. When he is right I feel the need to argue with him just to keep him guessing. Can't have him knowing the truth of it all.

The sadness ... sigh. I have a very troubled relationship (not even sure the word relationship is a good term anymore) with my sister, and I miss her tremendously. Three years since I have seen her. THREE. YEARS. She has not met my babies. She has not seen my girls as teenagers. I sometimes (read: way too much) let this sadness get the best of me.

This sadness... It's kinda like having a hole in your heart you cannot fill, no matter what you try to pour or squeeze or shove into it. There are always leaks and gaps. I have finally given into the fact that these gaps are unfillable. Boy, that battle only took a year.

In this year, I am sure I forgot to smile and complained a lot and lost and left behind a great deal of the person I am. I got to the end of this very long year and heard myself telling my mom that the whole thing had "destroyed me". Man. I heard myself say that. It made me even more sad. I was just ... lost. Seriously and completely - lost. There is no making this better - no repair... as my "Jewish parents" used to tell me... "It is what it is."

Combine the above with an evening spent looking back over pictures of my girls when they were small (now halfway grown, don't make me talk about it) and looking at my precious babies everyday, I have just decided there is simply no time to waste on sadness in this life. Not one second.

Because you know, the terrible truth is - our babies grow up, our parents get older, and our lives change faster than we can shake a stick at. The worst thing that can ever happen is to look back at your past and wish you could go back and change something... wish you could go back and get back every minute you missed. I can't do that again this year, y'all.

My babies are fifteen, twelve, three and two. (My friends who don't have children just rolled their eyes at me... it's okay, I love them) I have, as my wonderful Aunt Karen shared with me (bet she had no idea I have remembered it ever since) a " table full" of healthy, happy children. 75% of them adore me. Save 25% for the teenager, who likes me well enough. (I can live with that) I have a hard working, dedicated man and father of my children, who lives and breathes to make us all happy (which, as he points out, is a full time job plus overtime in itself). I have my parents right next door - a daddy who STILL saves the day... and a mama who loves to come and collect my ever-growing laundry to wash ... and I usually add an extra seat or two at the dinner table.

I got it made y'all. And I am going to find the time to celebrate that every day this year.

So, my suggestion to you - turn it up, turn up the happiness you can scrounge up REAL LOUD - drown out the heartache you might be carrying around, and find a way... a place... to dance.

(my teenager probably just deleted me from her facebook friends, but I think it was worth it.)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

(One of) The Greatest Story(ies) Ever Told

Like I said, y'all, I could never, ever be a career blogger. I have to have the luxury of throwing my hands in the air, slamming the laptop, and pretending my online existence never happened. Then of course, like any good Drama Queen, I must also be able to return, with flair, whenever I see the need... and ask, in my most southern-eye-lash-batting-voice, "Miss me?" Ahhh yes. Mommy Bloggers.

I thought y'all might enjoy this story... you know, to kick off your holiday season.

So to make a long, complicated story four chapters shorter, with much less eyebrow-raisin', Josh and I have known each other most of our lives. There are, indeed, pictures of us together in a sandbox here or a pool there. I remember when he dyed his hair with bleach (cough, yes, he did) and he remembers thinking I was a nerd.

As we entered high school, two seperate worlds divided us socially. I knew he was there, he knew I was there. He says I was a snobby band nerd, I say he was a loud, hell-raisin' redneck. I am not really sure the laws of physics allow "band nerds" to be combined with the word "snobby" in the same sentence. Annnnnyway. I certainly would have never been caught with the likes of him, and he would never associate with us "band folks." Ahhh... can y'all feel the love here already? His high school buddies often tell me that they remember seeing me as well - but that my nose was always too far up in the air to notice them. I say this has way more to do with the fact that I am exceptionally tall (for a girl) and they disagree. Oh well. At age 34, I am more than willing to admit I was missing out on one hell of a good time with those hoodlums. Boy have I heard some stories.

Are y'all ready for me to get to the point? Boy, I am !

I asked Josh the other day what he tells his friends about his Baby Mama.... like you know, because I call him "my hardworkin' man," and "Mr. Bullock" and other sweet things that will surely make y'all roll your eyes. But really, what DO dudes say about their significant others to their buddies? And so he answered with....

"I tell everyone I got the Homecoming Queen."

Gulp. Um.

So here we are, almost 18 years out of high school, four kids, a house, two horses , a minivan and the whole nine. And HE thinks I was Homecoming Queen? Oh my. Houston, we could have SERIOUS ISSUES.

We live in some kinda crazy bliss we can't describe - partly because yes, we are having the most fun we've ever had with the life we lead ,and partly because most days we have no idea how we get from coffee to bed time. When you have four children, this is life. We sync our email calendars to remind the other where they need to be and when... and somedays I don't see him after he leaves until I realize it's his face I am lookin' at on the other pillow.

But y'all, I swear, I was never, ever the Homecoming Queen. Not even laughably close.

And so, I prepare to give him the news of our lifetime, the sentence that COULD BE a dealbreaker.


"Josh. Love. I was never a Homecoming Queen."
(insert me starting to babble on about my BFF, who actually WAS our homecoming queen, and then, my other cheer friend, who was Homecoming Princess, and blah blah blah)

And he says


Well. That's okay. You're MY Homecoming Queen.

Man. I love this guy.

Yes, really. That's the story. No, really, you can't get that five minutes of your life back. Just consider it a donation to the arts.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

guest starring

So, while I am busy overseeing Joshua's progress on refinishing the hardwood floors here at The Farmhouse - and - pondering my return to bloggy greatness - I am guest posting today at Lacy's fabulous blog, Living on Love.