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Beautiful Clematis – Wordless Wednesday

FFR Clematis June 2014

Beautiful Clematis

My photo does not do this Clematis justice but I still wanted to share it! This is a clematis at one of my paper customers. It makes me sad because when I transplanted mine last year from our townhouse to the house we are renting, it took a step backwards and is a puny little thing. :( Sniff. Sniff.

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Retirement

This is a featured post.

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Used with permission. Copyright: iriana88w / 123RF Stock Photo

My mom retired five years ago. Wow. It seems like yesterday. My dad did not get the chance to retire completely while here on earth but he is fully retired now and has been for over eight years. I do not know if my parents had dreams of what their retirement years would look like. I am sure it would include many car shows though! They loved going to car shows together and old cars was a passion of my dad’s. My dad was just 56 when he died. After my dad died my mom had my sister and her family move in with her for a while so she wouldn’t have to be alone and then gradually they all needed their own space. My mom offered our childhood home to my sister and they found mom a new place to live for a new chapter in her life. My mom’s idea of a retirement home is her little home in the woods away from people but still close enough to town that she can get what she needs. My sister shares the property but has her own little humble abode. I know my mom is not the norm but she is for my small hometown, which only has one golf course and I do not think there are any homes on it like there are on golf courses here in the U.S.

Golf course communities are appealing to many retirees. They opt to live on a golf course during their retirement because of the attractive views, ample time to tee off and watch others play your favorite game. Golf is a game of leisure, right?

Pool and community activities are another feature retirees are drawn towards when living at a golf course retirement community.

Golf course communities are usually 55+ so there are no screaming, meddling children 24 hours, seven days a week, unless they are visiting grandma and grandpa for the day.

My parents are not into golf so you wouldn’t see them at one of these retirement communities but perhaps your parents are gung-ho to live in one, like my aunt and uncle in British Columbia. If that is the case, you can find out more here.


Do you know anyone who lives in a golf course community?

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Why We Aren’t Taking a Family Vacation #PGeveryday #Sponsored

My husband and I love to travel, so do our children. We have traveled to Texas, Canada, Florida, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Minnesota and Iowa on family vacations or weekend trips. We always have fun, make memories and of course face challenges.

Travel Map of USA
Copyright: hamik / 123RF Stock Photo. Used with permission

It has been a number of years since we took a family vacation. Probably 2009, if I remember correctly. Money has been tight, plus we have chosen to become farmers. Summer is our busiest time on the farm with our CSA (Consumer Supported Agriculture), markets, egg and chicken business. That is one of the downsides to farming. One of the agreements Robert and I had when we decided to farm was that we’d still take vacations. Well…we didn’t realize how long it would take to recover from a bout of unemployment nor did we expect another season of unemployment so soon.

FFR CSA Week 2 062514

Like the author of this article on P&Geveryday™ titled, Why We’re Skipping Summer Vacation, I admit it is kind of hard sometimes when we hear of others taking their family vacation. I also confess to being green with envy sometimes. But like Christie Tate and her husband, we realize this is the season of life we are in. Extended family vacations are not in the cards for us due to our commitments at home.

That does not mean we cannot take day trips to Chicago to visit museums, the zoo, Navy Pier or the Shedd Aquarium or travel other short distances. It just means it will take a bit of planning on our part to make sure everything at home is taken care of first.

P&Geveryday™ has a section on Travel Tips that will be useful to parents planning trips with children. P&Geveryday™is committed to making every day just a little easier by helping you achieve a life full of rewarding moments. Every day. The site aims to inspire, support and empower you to unlock the extraordinary potential in your everyday life. It offers a variety of topics, helpful articles for family life, delicious recipes for the 4th of July, etc. Check out their informative P&Geveryday Facebook page too.

Do you plan on taking a family vacation this summer? If so, where? If not, why not?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Natural Mosquito Repellent – Do You Use it?

Re-posted from July 2013.

I don’t know what it’s like where you live but here the mosquitoes are horrendous. We don’t like to use chemical laden insect repellents. We tend to rely on a natural mosquito repellent, like our essential oils. I’ve taken to putting the essential oil Purification on at the beginning of my paper route and while it does not work 100%, it does deter many of these pesky creatures. We have also used cedarwood, peppermint and lavender.

Rural Countryside

Mike the Gardener had a little article on what to plant in your garden to repel mosquitoes and I sure wish we had got our lemongrass and marigolds planted! Our daughter did plant a pot of catnip for the cats, which has sprouted. That was more to keep the cats down at the barn rather than at the house – they think they are house cats and try to get inside! But they have a job to do down at the barn – rodent patrol – so we want them to stay down there. Our children love those cats and started feeding them at the patio door and guess where they camped our and hung around? Yep, the patio door! Or any door for that matter. We nipped that in the butt by telling them to stop feeding the cats at the house or the mice would take over!

So do you have a natural remedy to combat the mosquitoes? Have you ever grown your own natural mosquito repellent?

P.S. If you happen to sign up for Mike the Gardener’s Seed of the month, please use our referral code: https://www.averagepersongardening.com/seedsclub/step_2.php?node=R28D4WDCHM so we can get credit for it.

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Reverie Sweet Slumber Pillow Review

FFR image for posts

 

Reverie Pillow

My husband said this is the best pillow he has every slept on!

The Sweet Slumber Pillow is 100% cotton quilted with a removable cover that is machine washable. Guess what’s in the pillow?  Nope, not feathers, it is shredded natural rubber.  Cool, right?  This fabulous pillow is hypoallergenic, anti-bacterial and dust mite resistant. Those are great assets in a pillow.

My husband claimed this pillow the second it came in the door. He has never slept well nor found a pillow that is comfortable with him.  He tends to wake up with a headache.  Since this Sweet Slumber Pillow arrived he has had minimal headaches in the morning and is sleeping much better.

Reverie also has a mattresses and linens. You can order yours today!  Click here to be taken to Reverie’s website.

**If you have an allergy to latex, I would advise against this pillow**

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Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Review – Smiley360

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received this product for free from Smiley360 in exchange for my honest review. You can join Smiley360 here!”

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Cleaning just started smelling better in my house!  Many thanks to Mrs. Meyer’s brand cleaners, I no longer have a harsh chemical smell my kitchen.  It now smells of geraniums and it’s so refreshing!  All of Mrs. Meyer’s products are “cruelty free, not tested on animals and are all biodegradable. “ myers

I was happy to test of the following products all are scented in geranium:

Mrs. Meyer’s Liquid Dish Soap – At least 97% of the ingredients are naturally derived.  It has essential oils that get the grim off dishes.  Yet it is safe for you and our environment.

Mrs. Meyer’s Liquid Hand Soap – The hand soap also has essential oils that are easy and soft of your hands and it smells great!

Mrs. Meyers’s Counter Top Spray – Just spray this product on no-porous counter tops and whip away the dirt.

Mrs. Meyer’s has a wonderful line of products to choose from, including household cleaners, hand & body, laundry, and air fresheners.  You can choose from 14 different scents, ranging from radish to baby blossom.

I really enjoyed these products no only do they smell good, they clean really well also.

Mrs. Meyer’s is available online as well as your grocery store.  Head over to Mrs. Meyer’s Facebook page for great tips!

Happy Cleaning!

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Is Your Water Bill Higher than Normal?

This is a guest post.

If your water bills are costing more than usual, you need to read this.

A bill that is much higher than what you have been paying then the first indication is that you might be having some leaking pipes. The sound of running sound is audible even when you turn off all the fixtures but you are still to able to find it, this is when you actually need to call a professional and get it fixed right away. Besides your water bill, the leaking water might damage your house flooring and the furniture. It is important that you check the faucets after use and make sure that they are properly closed. Then check the water meter, if it is still moving then surely there is a leakage which needs to be repaired.

Plumbing in CA under-the-sink
Photo compliments of Peter Griffin. Used with permission.

• Finding the exact point

Try the following tips to locate the exact leaking spot. If the sound helps then you can easily locate the source. Else you will have to find an amplifier devices that will give you the exact location when help close to the pipeline. Check for the satins in the ceiling, and then it might be the water tank that is leaking.

• Get professional help to locate the problem

At times, water travels along a line and gets accumulated on the roof top so the exact location might be somewhere else than the staining. If there are no stains and signs but the water meter seems to be moving, then locating the hidden leakage can be little trouble. Make use of a flashlight to get the pipeline in the basement or in case you have a crawl space.

• Fixing the problem

If the leaking is too an extent then you needs to turn off the water supply first in order to fix it. Make use of the main shut off valve to deal with it. The leaky section might need to be replaced or can be stopped with the help of a sealant. However, if you are not able to reach the pipe that needs to be repaired, calling a plumber has to be the ideal choice.

• Clamps can help

Make use of a clamp that will stop the leakage for few months if you don’t wish to replace the pipe immediately. A solid rubber blanket keeps the clamp in position and will hold it for several months to come. Get to the nearest store to buy a rubber sheet and some clamps exactly the size of the pipe that needs to be repaired.

• Measure the diameter of the sleeve clamp

Sleeve clamp of the pipe’s diameter will work the best. Protect the leakage by wrapping the rubber blanket and then carefully screw the clamp. A pinhole leaking can be fixed with a hose adjustable clamp. You are not able to find anything else, and then you can always go for a C-clamp.

• Apply epoxy putty

To make it even more secure, you can apply epoxy putty around the fixture where you are not able to apply the clamp. Make sure that the pipe is thoroughly cleaned and dry before the application. No matter, what you are doing, turn of the water supply and let the solution to stay for a while and get solid. All the above measures can be taken care as a DIY program but in case of any trouble, if you’re currently
residing at Simi Valley, CA. Find plumber in Simi Valley who spent years in plumbing industry.

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New Swiffer Sweep and Trap #NewFromSwiffer

This is a sponsored post for SheSpeaks/Swiffer.

Swiffer Sweep and Trap

Our family of ten creates a lot of dirt. I mean a lot of dirt. It is extremely hard to keep the house clean. Add living on a farm, forget it! We’ve tried many different cleaning products, but ever since we had laminate flooring at our townhouse we’ve used and gone through a lot of Swiffers over the years. When you let children help clean…ah…things happen…lots of things…especially breakage. Now, here at the house we are renting we have a combination of laminate, ceramic tile (cold in winter!) hardwood floors in the bathrooms, kitchen, front entry way and our main farm entrance at the side of the house, which is the reason I was interested in trying the new Swiffer Sweep and Trap.

FFR Swiffer Sweep and Trap_1

I like the new Swiffer Sweep and Trap for light traffic areas and quick mop ups. It is perfect for the bathrooms and our front entry way. It does not get the corners very well without some maneuvering.

FFR Swiffer Sweep and Trap_2

Even though we were using the dry Swiffer sheets for cleaning, my sheet was damp when I took our photos as I had just rinsed it out to reuse for the purpose of this review. As you can see the sheet was picking up dirt…

FFR Swiffer Sweep and Trap_3

And the trap was picking up dirt…the sheets are very easy to put on the Swiffer via the two little hole at the top and two on the bottom of the trap flap. The sheets can be reused too if you wash them but do not put them in the dryer, just hang them to dry and they last longer.

FFR Swiffer Sweep and Trap_4

The trap easily comes off to discard the dirt…

FFR Swiffer Sweep and Trap_5

By the squeeze of the two grey buttons.

FFR Swiffer Sweep and Trap_6

The Swiffer Sweep and Trap is light weight and easy to use and just hit the shelves at Walmart today!

For more information about the New Swiffer Sweep and Trap visit:

Website: http://www.swiffer.com/products/swiffer-sweep-trap
Program Hashtag: #NewFromSwiffer
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/swiffer
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Swiffer

Do you have a favorite Swiffer product? If so, what do you like about it?

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Week #10 Saturday Top Five Laughs – Join the Blog Hop!

Saturdays Top Laughs dentistmelsbbutton-11

I took some time off over Christmas so I broke my straight run of posts for the Saturday Top Laughs but I enjoyed the time off! And now it’s time to laugh with the Goulds again! Once more we have joined The Mommyhood Chronicles for Week #10 – for us – in the Saturday Top Five Laughs of the week.

6. My husband was messing with the garbage cans at the end of the driveway on garbage day, when our three year old saw him from our front window he started calling, “Daddy!” Then it changed to, “Robert!” which came out more like “obert”. I proceeded to ask him what my name was and he goes, “eesa”. It was cute and now he hasn’t called us by our names since. Recently I taught him our real names but it was like one time so I was surprised that he remembered our real names, then again he does hear us calling each other by our real names.

5. Robert celebrated his birthday recently and the girls made him two birthday desserts but only one was ready to eat in time. He said the next morning he had a bad dream (I call it a birthday nightmare) that mice came and ate his chocolate chip cheesecake during the night. He woke up with relief to find out the cheesecakes were just fine. ;)

4. Kittens climbing across Miss Moo’s back.

3. Kittens sitting under Miss Moo’s udder to catch the drips of milk in the morning.

2. Padfoot, our goofy Newfie, jumping to catch snowflakes!

FFR Robert's Vader Tweedie Squares

1. Our children started calling my husband “Vader” after watching Star Wars over the Christmas break. Our 14 year old daughter, B, discovered “Vader” is the alternate spelling of the Dutch word “Vater” meaning father. Darth Vader means “dark father”. B and O even decorated their dad’s birthday dessert accordingly. B’s been calling me “Mater”, latin for mother.

That’s as good as it gets this week. How about you, what laughs have you started 2014 with? Or what nicknames do your children come up with for you and your husband?

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2014 is Here! Happy New Year!

FFR HAPPY NEW YEAR

Another year has come and gone….and I am not sure how I feel about it. I cannot say I am excited about the new year. Excited for spring and summer. Guess I am quietly contemplating what is going to happen when my husband’s unemployment runs out in 2-3 months. It kind of puts a damper on the new year cheer to say the least.

Looking back on 2013, I can honestly say it wasn’t all bad. The good list certainly outweighs the bad.

The Good:
Finally sold our townhouse.
Increased my income….somewhat.
New work at home job as hostess on Moms.com
Saw growth and potential in our wee organic farm venture.
Added a cow to our farm family.
Healthy family.
Not one but TWO visits from my mom.
Birth of my first niece on my side of the family.
Signed a two year lease with our landlords. Hard to believe one year is gone already. Only a year left.

The Bad:
Sixth miscarriage in June 2013.
Husband’s second job loss in five years.
Loss of poultry.
Bad break with a client.

Looking forward to 2014, I really only have one goal in mind and several others stirring. I don’t like to make new year’s resolutions because past experience tells me I won’t succeed. I prefer setting short-term and long-term goals.

What about you did you make any new year’s resolutions?

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