Winter Wonderland

Last night our area got about 3-5 inches of snow, depending on where you live. Me and my husband took our toddler out for his first day of sled riding. It only lasted about 12-15 minutes, but he loved it. I got some great snapshots of the countryside while we were out. It’s too bad the pictures just can’t do justice for the real view! It was absolutely breathtaking. I love the silence of winter, especially after a snow. It’s so peaceful being outside in the fresh blanket of white. Its so pure. I relish that feeling!
Enjoy the pictures!
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Looking Back to Christmas

It is cold outside, but hot in my house as I sit here typing. The wood stove is going, and as usual, it just about heats us out. I’m considering opening a window (even though it is 30 degrees outside). The baby is taking his midday nap. I feel pent up in here. I love being home but I just want to get out and accomplish something today…I guess writing a post will be a small accomplishment of sorts, so here I am.
Our Christmas was really good this year. Every year is a little different. This year it seemed that there were multiple family events to attend. Which was really fun for the baby, and good for us to see everyone! Something that my side of the family (not my husbands) is dealing with is the fact that my oldest sister and her family are leaving the country at the end of the month to be missionaries. I can only speak for myself and my feelings, but it has been bittersweet for me. I know that they are following God’s call on their lives and what they are doing is right and amazing and so much more. And I’m so happy, for them and the people they are going to minister to. But my own selfishness sometimes gets the better of me and I know I am going to miss them all terribly. So, I’m struggling with that and it comes and goes.
But other than their leaving at the back of my mind, Christmas was special. Getting to spend time with loved ones. Not feeling too rushed to get anywhere. Remembering the true meaning of Christmas and trying to pass that along to my little boy. I call him the “baby” but he’s really a toddler. I had a lot of sweet, short conversations with him about Christmas and why we celebrate. I also tried to teach him thankfulness this season. It warmed my heart that he would say or sign thank you (when prompted) to his gift givers. Even at this young age, he is able to learn that important lesson.
So anyhow, I’m kind of rambling. But I hope that all of the people reading this had a special Christmas season as well. Until next time!

Christmas thoughts at 2:30am

It’s 2:30am Christmas day. I woke up about an hour ago to the whiny cry of my 19 month old. Not whiny in a bad way, but a sleepy whiny that let me know that he was probably wet. I got up and went to check on him. He was a poopy mess. I think he has a touch of the “bug” that’s been going around. But he’s now back in bed sleeping. Clean and filled up with a refreshing drink of gatorade, to stay hydrated. I did some laundry and disinfected some things and now I’m taking probably the one chance I have today to blog a little bit.
Christmas has been so fun this year with a toddler. He has learned how to open presents. He has been so sweet when I remind him to say “thank you” to the giver. I think this is so important. Many people may think he’s too young to get on about this but I know that he’s not. Especially after seeing him do the sign for “thankyou” – it looks almost like he’s blowing them a kiss. Sometimes though, he says it pretty clearly too. It warms my heart. I am trying to instill gratitude and thankfulness in him. There are so many unkind and ungrateful people in this world, that it matters to teach him right.
Merry Christmas everyone! And remember to be thankful for the gifts you receive. I am thankful. But most of all, I’m thankful for Jesus Christ, as He is the first Christmas gift ever given. He came as a baby, lived a perfect life, and died on a cross to pay the debt for our sins. Thank you Jesus, I love you!

Here’s a song my family used to sing when I was growing up:

He’s the reason for the season, for the trimmings and the tree
May this Christmas time remind you that he came to give it all
He’s the reason for the season, He’s the purpose of it all
May this Christmas time remind you that He came…to set men free!

Grumpa Joe is right on the money! Please read and stay involved in the fact that our government and many people right now are trying to take away our second amendment right!

Grumpa Joe's Place

So many things have happened while I slaved in Santa’s workshop. I can’t believe it all. The new furor about gun control really irks me. I will give up  my gun when Hollywood refuses to make any movies with stories that involve guns. I do think the U.S. should outlaw crazies. I’m sure our Progressive Liberal élite think tanks can come up with a suitable test to decide which of us is inclined to be a crazy who shoots innocent children and conservative people. Once they have that test solidified, they can begin putting it to use by gassing everyone who tests positive for crazy.

Of course guns are not the only things that kill school kids while they are in school. Back in the nineteen-fifties a school fire at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic school in Chicago killed ninety-two kids. These kids died a very painful slow death…

View original post 547 more words

What did you step on???

Me and my husband had did a little investigation last night.  What prompted this rambunctious research, you might ask?  Here’s the background story:  About a month, or two, ago, my hubby was walking through the house one evening.  I called him into the other room, and on the way in he stepped on something.  He asked me to look at his foot cause he thought he stepped on glass at first.  He had a reddish spot and said it was really sore almost like it was burning.  When he went back to see what he stepped on, he found that he had actually stepped on a bug.
I had seen these bugs around the house before and killed quite a few of them.  I wasn’t sure what they were though.  One time (small side story here) I killed one of these bugs with thermal paper (a gas receipt or something), and the smashed bug “goop” instantly had some kind of reaction with the thermal paper, turning it black!
So anyhow, our curiosity was peaked, to say the least.  It was some kind of beetle, so I did a search on beetles in Kentucky.  I found some great articles with pictures and was able to quickly identify which beetle it was.  Here is a picture:1I also read about the larva which like to eat dead wood (which explains why we have them around the house).  I have seen these little guys in the flower beds and just never knew what they were.  They are slow moving and good prey for quicker things like centipedes. Gross looking though…sorry for that.2132096So, here’s where the story gets good! The original article I read didn’t say anything about fire colored beetles having any kind of defense mechanism.  It actually said that not much is known about the adult stage of this beetle.  So, I dug a little more.  And I found this picture of another beetle called the Blister Beetle.  The orange variety looked similar to the fire colored beetle but was definitely not what he stepped on.  So, I read about the blister beetle and found this interesting data.  They produce and carry a poisonous substance called “Cantharidin”.  It is similar to strychnine and arsenic in toxicity!!!  The interesting fact I found, however was that certain insects (FIRE COLORED BEETLES INCLUDED) will eat dead or alive blister beetles to obtain the protective qualities from the toxin. They are immune and remain unharmed.

Externally, cantharidin can cause severe skin inflammation and blisters.  This explains what happened to hubbys foot!  If toxin is somehow ingested (for instance, in animals) it could be much worse:

Cantharidin is absorbed through the intestine and can cause symptoms such as inflammation, colic, straining, elevated temperature, depression, increased heart rate and respiration, dehydration, sweating, and diarrhea. There is frequent urination during the first 24 hours after ingestion, accompanied by inflammation of the urinary tract. This irritation may also result in secondary infection and bleeding.  Taken internally, as little as 10 milligrams can be fatal in humans.

I found a lot of bulletins teaching farmers about blister beetles and what to look for because they can turn up sometimes, in alfalfa hay.  Even if the beetles are dead the chemical is very stable and toxic and therefore can harm livestock, especially horses.

I was pretty excited to have found out the answer to our little mystery case.  I have read a lot in the past two days about this and below are a few more links if you are interested.  One is a link to the blister beetle page.  Thanks for reading!  Has anyone here ever seen these beetles in their homes or gardens?  Would love to hear some stories!

More links:

The Piano Guys

This is a pretty awesome video! I hope you can watch it.  I never knew a piano could be used in such unique ways to make music.  I think the members of my family who read this blog will especially appreciate this video, as we appreciate music in general.  Enjoy! (I know I did).

Want to see more videos or learn more about the piano guys? Go here: http://thepianoguys.com/