Saturday, January 16, 2010

Lemons, lots of them.


I have never wanted this blog to be about my problems, but rather how to rise above adversity and move on in my life, relying on the Lord for my provision.

That being said that, no one can know about the lemonade if the lemons are never seen. It just looks like sugar water. And my life is definitely not made of sugar water.

I had mediation on Thursday and it did not go well. It was many hours of things that I never thought I would hear my husband say. That should not surprise me, as he continues to live his life in a way that I never would have believed he was capable of when I first began a relationship with him at the tender age of 15.

I don't want to go into all the gory details, but the upshot of the whole thing was, he walked away from mediation because I would not agree to his final offer:

Sell the property now. Give him all the money which he will use to pay off all his debt (the mortgage and his 50,000 dollars in credit cards, his name only) leaving Michael and I with nothing and no place to live. Get a full time job. Put Michael in public school. He would pay 1400 dollars a month for four years and then he's done with me. Keep in mind, his tax returns for the last 6 years have been a gross of 155,000 dollars, and he retains the ability to continue on in that work. Me - I get to start over with no education.

We will now go have this settled in court.

Among the things I realize I will have to deal with are his accusations that I am unfit to teach Michael. That he never wanted Michael to be homeschooled. That I am lazy and do nothing to educate him. That he is deficient educationally, probably several years behind his peers, and that I break homeschooling laws. That he is socially deprived.

There are many other things that I will be having to deal with concerning this in the months to come. I won't blog much about them, as that is not my focus in life. However, I want any reader to understand that my blog name isn't a flippant title, but reality. Each day the Lord helps me to give the lemons to Him and watch Him make lemonade for us.

He prepares a table before me, in the presence of my enemies.
My cup runneth over.
Surely, goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.

Today, however, is Shabbat. A day of rest and focusing on the Lord's goodness, and the joys of life he has given us in family and friends; what is truly important. We have had some great phone calls with family today and we have some friends coming over to play games and visit.

May your day be blessed!



Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A Long Shot


I am trying to find another set of God's Design science books. These are the ones sold through Answers In Genesis, in the apologetics store.,153.aspx

We've gone through the green set already, and I'd like to get another set.

They are really expensive and I'm trying to be creative. Anyone have any they want to sell, or know anyone that does?

Or how about a trade? My green set for your _______ set? Mine have no writing in them, though Michael just found a page with a stain on it. I have always tried to save money by having the kids work off-book, so they can be reused.

We've got the three main titles, The World of Plants, The Animal Kingdom, and The Human Body. No supplements or TM, though.

Or I'd even be interested in going in with someone. The sets are 80 dollars each, but we could each buy a set and trade them off when done.

Michael is right at the end of using these great text books, as they are pretty much 1 through 8th grade. I'd always hoped to be able to get the others these last two years, but life sort of interrupted that plan. I'd love to be able to do them really quckly in this last half year of school.

Hopefully three of you have the other sets right now and I'll immediately be swamped with, "Yes, perfect! Let's trade today!"

'Cause she's got... HIGH hopes... she's got... HIGH hopes..."



Tuesday, January 12, 2010

SCOBY again.


I just boxed up a SCOBY (Kombucha baby - see tag sidebar) for shipping.

I'm sure someone else asked for one, but I'm not absolutely sure who it was. If you want one, please let me know!

Still in the deep freeze around here. Some of you broke yours already. I'm envious. But tomorrow our day is coming. We might even make it to 50 later this week. Meanwhile, still using the hammer and jugs of hot water at chore time.

I've been busy learning to eBay sell. Whew! Steep learning curve, eh? I've got up for sale one kidney, one lung, a gall bladder, an appendix - anything that's not absolutely necessary.

Sorry, a little eBay humor there. Michael says that was not funny at all. But he smirked - I saw him.

He is sitting down for his schoolwork and I'm getting busy around here.

You gotta keep moving if you wanna stay warm,



Sunday, January 10, 2010

Have I Been Scammed, or Just Educated?


Or possibly both.

The day after Christmas I placed our first seed order for the gardening year.

One of the things Michael and I want to do is sell cut flowers at the farmers market. So I did some shopping for pollen free sunflower seeds. They are more expensive than standard sunflowers with pollen and there were a lot of packages of 10 seeds for $2.50.

I did more searching and began finding much better deals. One particular variety appealed to me at the moment and this is what I saw.

Nice. Even free shipping!

And the details.

Well, they got here yesterday.

We opened it excitedly, and this is what we found...

A closeup.

Yes. Those kernels have no hulls. They look rather like snacking kernels. I wrote back to the seller:

Hello, I just received my order for these sunflower seeds and they are not what I was expecting at all. These seeds have no shells and they cannot be planted and grown. I am very unhappy with this purchase. Can you please send me seeds that can be planted and grown? I hoped to have these pollenless cutting flowers for this summer. Thank you.

And this was their very informative response. (Read mild sarcasm)


So I decided to be a little more specific in my questions:

How and why did they come to be without shells? That is a lot of extra work for garden seeds, and I've never seen that done before. Where is the packaging that shows what variety of sunflower they are?

All this time, I am researching on the web... and I got another slightly annoying response, giving me no more information than I already knew.

I am a dealer and buy my seeds in bulk. That is how they arrive to me.

I have an eBay store. My answers will be MUCH longer and more informative than that. I am considering sending this message back, before leaving negative feedback.

I am pleased by your quick replies, but frustrated by the simplistic nature of them.

Every dollar is a struggle for us, these seeds are not just seeds, but the commitment of valuable garden space for producing cut flowers for setting at market so that my son and I can survive financially. If these seeds are not the pollen free variety we need, then we can't sell them and we've wasted a lot of time and work.

Nothing in my experience of gardening in my entire life has shown me that hulled, unlabeled sunflower seeds would add up to an expensive cut flower planting lot.

I am left with choosing between returning these seeds at my expense, when they were not listed as hulled in your eBay ad, or using up an entire garden bed and hope they sprout and are the type that was claimed in the ad.

If these seeds are as you claim, at least give me the information I need to feel comfortable with my purchase, and not spend the next 6 months wondering if I've been had.

Thank you.

I don't know, am I asking too much? I do not feel comfortable with this purchase. Would you?

OK, so I was off to do research on the web again. You know, a lot of time in my life is spent on research.....

I could not find anyplace that recommended removing the hulls from seeds to plant them in your garden.

I did, however, find that people who sprout sunflower seeds for baby greens, or seed sprouts, buy them this way and that they are indeed supposed to sprout better that way. Many of them say it's good for gardens as well, as an added afterthought.

So I have several questions after all this

1. Why would anyone go to the time and expense of shelling these sunflower seeds for mass sprouting of pollen free varieties? You would not want to spend the extra money on a specialty variety that you were never going to worry about if it were pollen free or not, because you were going to eat them as sprouts.

2. I seriously doubt that this seller, out of the goodness of her heart, individually shelled 100 seeds for me, so they would sprout more easily. So she's obtained them, already hulled, somewhere else in bulk and is selling them off in lots of 100. How do I know that these hulled seeds are even the variety listed?

Actually, somewhere in my mind is a concise and logical list of successive questions to ask, thereby leading all to one conclusion. There is no way this is legit. However, it's locked away tightly in the Fort Knox of my mind and I can't seem to remember where I left the combination right now.

All I know is, we have a choice. Either return these at our own expense, or plant them and hope they grow, and double hope they are the variety she claims so we don't waste valuable garden space on a useless variety.

I don't think we'll be buying seeds off eBay again. I have since found many pollen free varieties, at good prices, from well known seed sellers. And I wonder if we can sprout one of these kernels and see what kind of flower it produces by real sunflower planting time....

Anybody out there with experience planting only the kernels?