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Liebster Award: Sharing New Blogs!

One of my favorite bloggers,, has nominated me for a Liebster Award for new blogs. I had never heard of this award before, but I’m honored to be nominated!

Here are the answers to my questions:

1.) How long have you been blogging for? A few weeks this time, though I blogged for a short time back in college.

2.) What is your favorite pizza topping? Black olives.

3.) What’s the one thing you could never live without? My family, of course, but as far as “things” go, I’m awfully attached to my computer. I wrote my first short stories on a typewrite. I think I cried the first time I used a word processor.

4.) What’s the best book you have ever read? I have to pick? I’ve read so many, and so many good books. Can we narrow it down at all? What genre, era, author, or subject? (Or by what mood I’m in.) If you come to my house and pick a random book off the shelf, that could very well be my favorite book. That day. I’m a bibliophile. Can you tell?

5.) What musicians are you currently listening to? I listen to a variety of artists and genres, everything from classical to hard rock. Since my daughter was born, I’ve mostly been listening to lullaby’s and kid songs.

6.) Where do you live, and do you like it there? Alabama, and strangely enough, I do. The climate is nice; it never gets cold for long (which is a plus, when your body has issues dealing with the cold, like mine does.) The growing season is 7 months long and you can usually overwinter greens and root vegetables. Most of the people are nicer than the stereotypes, and while we don’t see eye to eye with many of them, most people are content to mind their own business. That said, there are some places in this state (and several others), were I would not feel safe traveling with my family.

7.) Of the places you have traveled, what city/country is your favourite? Toronto, Ontario. I love that city and would have moved there if it wasn’t so cold. I just can’t handle freezing temps in August.

8.) Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Living here on our farm with my wife and children. I hope to publish one of my novels by then. I’ve published several short stories, but I want to get my novels out there as well.

9.) Cat person or dog person? This is a hard one. I prefer dogs and I’m allergic to cats, but I got “adopted” by a Siamese cat in college. Gabby (short for Gabrielle) is a full-blood seal-point Siamese (with papers no less!). My then roommate bought her from the breeder as a surprise birthday gift for her fiance, who had been toying with the idea of getting a cat. That didn’t work out so well. Gabby quickly took up with me, and when the roommate said she was going to take the kitten to the pound if I didn’t want her, we made it official. She’s been my cat and I’ve been her servant ever since. (I should have bought stock in the company that makes Claritin long ago.) Interesting fact: According to her papers, Gabby was born on 9/11.

10.)  What is your least favourite word? Can’t. Don’t ever tell me I can’t do something. I’ll do it just to prove you wrong. This stubborn streak has served me well, coming as I do from a very poor family and a very rough background. I taught myself to read as a child, made it through high school (with honors), not only went to but graduated college, etc, all despite and because of the numerous people who told me I couldn’t do it.

11.) Imagine you’ve moved into a new house that is painted all white; what colours would you paint the walls? We’re actually in this situation, having just bought our house back in August of 2013. The walls were all white when we moved in (except for the kitchen, which is a loooooong story). I hate neutral walls, so we’ve been slowly painting all the rooms. T’s room is a sunny yellow. Our bedroom is a dusky rose. The dining room is a sage green. The living room will be a warm white with pink undertones. The third bedroom will be a pretty lavender or lilac color. We’re still debating the rest of the house.

via Liebster Award: Sharing New Blogs!.

Favorite blogs:

I have several, actually. Here’s a sampling.

I’m also supposed to pass this on to other new bloggers. I don’t know that many, but here’s one I really like:

And here are your questions:

1.) How long have you been blogging for?

2.) Why do you blog?

3.) Where do you find your inspirations and materials?

4.) Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

5.) What’s the one thing you could never live without?

6.) What’s the best book you have ever read?

7.) What drives you outside of your blog pursuits?

8.) Coffee, tea, or neither?

9.) Who’s your favorite blogger?

10.) What’s your favorite color?

11.) What do you like most and least about blogging?


Moving with a baby (and other signs you might be crazy)

We realized even before T was born that we needed to sell our land in Tennessee and buy something much closer. Either that, or put off our homesteading plans for several years. We didn’t want to do that, so we put our land up for sale in late April of last year. Luckily for us, it sold really quickly, and we closed on it just before T’s birth.

In the meantime, we began searching for a place down here. We knew it was possible to find a place that met our requirements, as we’d seen several properties come up for sale already. It took longer than we expected, and not only did we not have a contract on a place before T joined our family, but she was six weeks old when we signed the contract for our house.

Moving with a baby is never easy. Moving with a newborn is even worse. Not only were we dealing with the sleep deprivation and other adjustments that come from having a baby, we were trying to pack to move out of our rental and to figure out how to do the repairs and renovations that had to be done before we could move in.

We closed on our house on a Wednesday. The following Monday I ended up in the hospital with my thyroid acting up. It had been giving me problems for some time but we didn’t know it. All the symptoms had been written off as stress or sleep deprivation. Instead, I had a toxic multinodular goiter that almost caused a thyroid storm.

So, I was out of the picture as far as moving or renovating was concerned, at least for a while. I ended up staying home for two weeks on a complicated cocktail of drugs trying to recover and get my thyroid under control.

If you’re keeping track, not only did we just have a baby and buy a house, but I had gotten deathly ill. And the house wasn’t fit to move into.

Kelly’s mom took care of the baby while she and her dad started on the house. First, they painted the dining room and two of the three bedrooms. Those rooms were bad enough that they had to be done before moving in. We decided the rest of the house could wait.

Next, they pulled out the awful carpets. Carpets are a no-no in a house with someone who has asthma (me) and animals. The original hardwoods were there, but they were in horrid shape. Check out the picture below.

hardwoods before

We had expected they would need refinishing, but this was something else again. Kelly and her dad went at it, and four days later the floors looked like this:

hardwoods after

After that backbreaking job, they put up the fence in the backyard. And then we were out of time. Our lease had ended and we needed to get out of the rental, so we hired a moving truck, called in our friends and family to help, and moved. It only took three trips with both the rental truck and our pickup. It’s surprising how much stuff people can acquire.

Now we’re here and settled, and things are going much better.  But yes –we’re probably crazy!