September 29, 2012

Finding a Balance

I know it's been a while. I've been so busy lately and have yet to find a balance. How do I read so many wonderful blogs, keep up with my own, work full-time, enjoy my family, work on my house, create... Everyone seems to manage their busy lives somehow right?

As you know I started a new job a few weeks ago. Unfortunately I was deceived during the interview process and it wasn't what I thought it was going to be. I enjoyed the children I was working with but there were a lot of issues with the other staff and the environment. I've been at a loss as to what to do. I wondered if it was something I should just stick out for a while. I'm not one to give up easily and thought it was terrible to quit a job only after a few weeks. The Lord never ceases to amaze me though. He's got a plan all figured out even when we don't. The very same day I was planning to put in a notice to resign at my job I was contacted about a preschool teaching position at the church we just recently started attending.

It looks like it's all going to work out for HIS glory and HIS purpose and that's what I need to focus on. I suppose that's what helps me keep a balance. How about you, how do you maintain a balance in your life?

It's important for me to create and do things that are fun. We've been busy doing all sorts of stuff to our house. Like fixing up the master bedroom.

We took the drop ceiling out and put up drywall. Then we textured and painted the ceiling. It's made such a huge difference. We are really loving our cozy room. More pictures to come soon.

Recently I also had fun refinishing a cart that was left behind by the previous owners. We've turned it into a printing station in our office/library. I'll have to share more details on the process that I used to accomplish the look.

In between projects at the house and this crazy job stuff. I got sick (insert sad face). My doctor recommended one of these:

Have you ever used one before? They really do work. It's a pretty amazing sensation I must say. I highly recommend using one.

Of course my husband and I have gotten out to do some fun stuff in-between all the madness. A few weekends back we actually went to a Garlic Festival.

It was so crowded but we really enjoyed it. I was disappointed we didn't get there early enough to try the Garlic Ice-Cream but we still got to try other garlicky delights.

This was the kind of thing where the experience was with us for days after. Do you know what I mean?   With all the free samples, fried garlic and garlic pulled pork we ate, the scent of garlic seeped from our pores.

Hope you can take some time to have some fun and do something you enjoy. Here's to finding a balance!

September 9, 2012

Bog Walk

A couple weekends ago we went on a bog walk at the Tannersville Cranberry Bog. That's where I found out all about the GallSince the bog is protected by the local nature conservancy you can only access the bog with a guide. We were lucky enough to have a botanist lead our group, if only I could remember half of what he said...

The Tannersville Cranberry Bog is a special place! Since it's a wetland and has such a unique ecosystem there are floating boardwalks to walk on.
It once was a huge glacial lake and because of that is now the home to many unique plants.

It's the lowest boreal bog on the eastern seaboard! The climate inside the bog provides the perfect conditions for plants that would normally be found in colder climates and further north. 

This bog is home to some of North America's most beautiful native orchids. I was really hoping to see some but none were in bloom. I was not disappointed though because there were still so many other exotic plants to see.
Like the Pitcher Plant.
This plant is a carnivore! It produces sweet smelling juice which lures unsuspecting insects right into it's mouth. They were mesmerizing. 

The above photo is of a Pitcher Plant flower.

As you can see this bog was not at all like a cranberry bog is portrayed on those cranberry juice T.V. commercials.

Although there were still plenty of wild cranberries to be found.
Aren't they beautiful?

September 4, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday (gall)

Ever seen one of these before?

They've been falling out of the sky around our house lately. The Cookie Monster said they look like eye balls. I think they're pretty.

We went on a bog walk a couple weeks ago. It's maintained and protected by the local nature conservancy, you can only go on the walk with a guide. We were lucky enough to have a botanist lead our walk. Wow was there a lot of information and lots of BIG words. While on the walk I saw one of those things pictured above. I was thrilled to have a botanist available to ask what it was. He said, "oh that's just a Gull." I was like wow the only type of Gull I've ever heard of was the Sea kind.  Then I found out it was spelled Gall more specifically an Oak Gall. Some people actually refer to them as Oak Apples. Immediately I realized the Galls at my house weren't falling out of the sky, they were coming from the MIGHTY Oak in my yard. 

I'm so thankful for this big beautiful tree. It's shocking to me how big it really is, it makes my house look tiny. The botanist told me that Galls are harmless. They are actually the trees reaction to larva of a certain type of wasp. He said if I cut one open I might find a bug. So that's what I did. 

I slowly cut that Gall open half expecting an insect to jump out at me. I think I just found larva... Apparently these wasps use the Gall as both food and shelter. I learned that Galls are actually used in some Chinese medicine. They can help soothe sores, cuts and burns. Also recommends they be used in cases of diarrhea. So if you're ever out in the wilderness and have a problem and nothing else is available try drinking the juice of a Gall. Here's one more fun thing about Galls, they have such high Tannic Acid they work great for tanning and dyeing material. Many tribal groups actually used them for decorating pottery, leather and baskets. 

I'll have to share some of the pictures I took while on our bog walk soon. I hope everyone had a relaxing holiday weekend. I know I did. Monday was my last day of freedom for a while! Today I start my new job. I'm gonna try teaching the tiny tots. I got an early education position for the county I live in. I'm excited and nervous.  I'm looking forward to teaching again and having an opportunity to impact such impressionable lives. I'm sad to leave my new farmhouse everyday. I was really enjoying all the time for projects and critter watching. I know that this is what I'm suppose to do though so I will do it willingly and see how I can be used. 

Thanks for reading today's tidbit, hope you found it as interesting as I did!