Monday, August 29, 2016

Busy Busy

Busy Busy...

What a week! Heck what a month! Can you believe this home renovation began in May! We have been busy with the band camp, Scout camp, Order of the Arrow, and home improvement projects that I have been having a difficult time keeping up with my post. 
Life is about balance and sometimes things just have to wait a bit. 
Oh and school has started! I don't know how it happened so fast but I now have a son in High School! Yes, 9th grade! This brings joy to me but also a whole new experience.
First, I wanted to share that our wood floors are finished and I could not be more happier! We had a local craftsman do the work and Masters Flooring did an amazing job!  
  Here you can see Ronnie on the left and one of his crew on the right. 
Masters Flooring was very polite, dedicated to their craft, and they went above and beyond to explain and go over every detail. 
This was great for us because we tend to be picky. 
We give our highest recommendation to Masters Flooring!
I could also write a blog post alone with how naughty and difficult both our cats were! Oreo was not happy about getting the floors done and escaped. Well lets just say, he ripped the screen basement door and took off. After searching for two hours we found him on the back deck sleeping on the chair. Oh and then he meowed at us like we woke him up. 
Oreo also was a handful while my husband was installing cat five cables, tearing out the old carpet, setting up the indoor video security system, and my husband was notified with 35 notifications last week with videos of the cats and a cricket setting the indoor video camera off. My favorite video is of Gelato stretching and looking into the camera. 


As you can see, the entire first floor of our home has been remodeled. Overall, the kitchen was the hardest but buying new furniture was rather fun. You have no idea how many fabric choices you have with Norwalk and Smith Brothers of Berne. The furniture will arrive in about a month, Oh and we also decided to refinish a few pieces our self. More on that Friday.
What have you been busy with?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Oh Lampe Berger.. You Smell So Good!

This Little Light of Mine

Product review of Lampe Berger


The other day I was checking my email and I came across a charge for a Lampe Berger gift set. My first reaction was, “Oh Great! Our credit card has been stolen.” I immediately sent an email to my husband at work and was shocked with a response from him that said, “Oh I bought that.”



Our Lampe Berger

Yes, my “Dear Husband” decided to do a bit of research on the internet on how to combat strong smells. We have recently installed wood floors on the first floor of our house and the fumes were a bit strong the day we came home from the hotel. He purchased this lamp after reading several 5 star reviews and hearing how amazing the Lampe Berger works. I was surprised and beyond pleased with our lamp. Within a few minutes we were smelling a very pleasant fragrance and no trace of the wood floor fumes was left. 

Our lamp was purchased from Amazon for $30.00. Each lamp comes in an elegant gift box, complete with catalytic burner, solid snuffer cap, decorative shade, filling funnel, and instructions for use. Lampe Berger eliminates undesirable odors, creates a beautiful scent in the home, and decorates the home with exquisite lamp designs. Twenty minutes of burn time per 110 square feet is all you need to purify the air and leave it wonderfully fragranced. The product is made in France. 

Photo Credit: Linly Designs Blog
Oh and the product came with very easy to follow instructions. 

 “Since 1898, the mission of Lampe Berger has been to improve the quality of indoor air. Initially created to purify the environment in hospital rooms, today, Lampe Berger creates a universe where undesirable odors are banished, leaving an environment that is delicately scented. Lampe Berger decorates the home with exquisite designs to complement any decor and can be used anywhere in your home. The atmosphere that you create will vary according to your selection of Perfumes de Maison. The patented Lampe Berger catalytic burner system releases their premium home fragrance while it destroys offensive odors left behind by tobacco, cooking, and pets.”


I cannot even begin to say how pleased I am with our Lampe Berger. I highly recommend this product! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Monday, August 15, 2016

Learning about Language and Culture: Neuchâtel

Learning about Neuchâtel


A few years ago I went to Geneva Switzerland for a writing conference. I really liked the area but was more touched by the area of Neuchâtel. I now have a pen pal from the area. We have never met in person. Her husband Alan McCluskey is an author and my family spent the day with him during our first trip to Switzerland. However, I wanted to learn this week a bit more of her area.  Huguette and I have become close friends during the last three years. I have been practicing my French, I learned my colors, numbers, and a few greeting.

My friend Huguette was thrilled with my video of my simple French phrases to her. I hope to speak the language better so that we can Skype and one day I will go back.


My biggest mistake at the conference years ago was that I did not adventure out. I wish I would have visited more of the area that I have just learned about. Neuchâtel is rich with not only cheese but with many local artist. Creux du Van is one area that I did see but I would like to go again with Huguette. It is a canyon with hiking trails and panoramic views. The area also has a Gothic church and castle that Huguette and I wrote about. She often walks around the large lake and visits the many shops and outdoor markets. I also learned on my own research that Laténium Museum has 50'000 years of local history - modern presentation at the archaeological park and museum. This is amazing. I am sure Huguette will be able to tell me more. 

Click here for more photos that my husband took from the visit.
As for my French, I am not able to understand much. They speak very fast and I have found it difficult to understand. One greeting that the local area uses to say hello is Hihi.. This was really neat for me to see when a letter has arrived in the mail. I also like the artwork of the Swiss stamps and the different meals that Huguette eats. She even goes to a local mill for her grains when making bread. She eats mostly organic and meals are a longer experience than American meals. I hope as we deepen our friendship that I will learn more and that I will have the opportunity to visit Switzerland again.

I researched two people from Neuchatel, Switzerland.

The first person I researched was Jean Piaget. So many amazing people in the field of Psychology have come from Switzerland. Since this was my field of study in college. I was interested to learn more about Piaget. Piaget was known as a genetic epistemology (the origins of thinking).

What Piaget wanted to do was not to measure how well children could count, spell or solve problems as a way of grading their I.Q. What he was more interested in was the way in which fundamental concepts like the very idea of number, time, quantity, causality, justice and so on.

Much why he is known for being the first cognitive psychologist. He developed an early interest in natural history and by the age of 15 he had published several papers on mollusks.

He was educated at the University of Neuchatel where he majored in psychology.

Piaget earned his PhD in 1918 and he accepted a teaching post at a boys' school in Paris, France run by Alfred Binet. Binet developed the Binet Intelligence Test that is still in use today.I really enjoyed learning this about him. I always thought he was French not Swiss. 

The second person that I found that was interesting was Maurice Bavaud. He was also born in Neuchâtel on 15 January 1916 and executed at Plötzensee in Berlin on 14 May 1941.

He attempted to assassinate Adolf Hitler in 1938. He traveled to Germany on 9 October 1938, planning to shoot Hitler with a pistol. However, he did not fire because he was too far away from Hitler. The spectators in front of him denied him a clear view, by raising their hands in the Nazi salute. When he could not produce a train ticket for inspection, he was arrested and handed over to the Gestapo. At that moment, his firearm and compromising papers were found on him. Under torture, Bavaud finally admitted his assassination plans and was brought before the Volksgerichtshof. 

He was sentenced to death and guillotined. Could you imagine how brave he must have been? To stand up for his beliefs when so many were following Hitler. 

Oh and for fun. Here are a few more fun French phrases in case you get into trouble. “Je te jure! Je n’ai rien fait! (I swear, I didn’t do anything!) and Va savoir pourquoi!(“your guess is as good as mine!”) 

My french is slow and not very good, I am so grateful for Huguette and for all that she teaches me!

  ... as for my Language and Culture Merit badges..... 

“Ouais, t’inquiète pas, je te tiens au courant.” (Yeah, don’t worry, I’ll keep you up to date.)”

Friday, August 12, 2016

Babysitting the Huff Backyard Chickens

I Am A Chicken Sitter!

From July 2 to July 6 I was given the best opportunity ever! Our good friends Jen and Andy went on a trip and needed someone to watch their chickens. I was so darn excited that I jumped for joy and even showed up to take care of the critters before they left! 

The Huff Family backyard chicken farm was much fun and I learned a lot. I also was given very good instructions. This task was split between a few of us and I must admit that taking care of chickens was not what I expected. Now I am a city gal so this was huge for me. After all, 8 chickens, 2 guinea pigs, 1 hamster, two cats, and 5 turtles was a good start! It was like my own little zoo to be in charge of.
Day One: I learned the ropes so to speak. I followed my written instructions and only spilled the water feeder because I forgot to latch the pin at the bottom. I think the chickens are watching me because this job really seems too easy. Actually, I think they may even be sizing me up to see what I am going to do.

Day Two! 
Oh Goodness! Chickens do not listen!

I did the morning task and all the indoor animals were very well behaved but the chickens did not want to go to bed tonight on my second shift! I was told at dark they would climb up their little ladder and roost. Well the hens were clucking and pecking. I crawled in the little door to corral them and I almost got stuck in the cage! However, I remembered the rope string that will let you out. Finally at 9:00pm they went one by one up the ladder but they sure did look at me strange. Made it home just in time to set off fireworks. 
After all, it will rain tomorrow. 

Day Three: (Fourth of July) Chickens were in roost early. They must have known they would be in trouble for being naughty! I am pretty sure they were faking sleep. A few of them were fussing in a soft coo for the others to be quiet. One of those Buffs was even playing watchmen. My proof below!
 Well, I was shocked to see their water stuffed with bedding and they knocked over the food jar. Oh and somebody pooped on the food jar!  I swear on my MaryJane farmgirl apron that I heard a cluck that sounded like a laugh!
Day Four: All Huff chickens are alert and awake Very quiet and odd. They didn't even try to rush me for feed. I reckon it was guilt! Had my hands full with the indoor animals. They knocked over a few things and food bowls were tipped over. I sure do love how the one cat crawls up my leg and snuggles me.

Day Five: Well I caught the road Island Red in the act of kicking up bedding into the water bowl this morning. Then she pooped on it. I told her that was not very Southern Ladylike.
 However, the rest of the hens were very happy to see me. I gave them a bit of extra feed as a treat. I did notice that a few of the wrapped plastic eggs were kicked out of their nest. I think they want to lay and return to their normal schedule. 
That Red is a trouble maker!

Day Six: My last day! I sorta will miss the chickens. Sorta sad in a way. I think they were getting use to me. I did sneak them a tiny bit of watermelon. I made sure the coop was very clean and reminded that Red hen to not make a mess. Alas, Chicken don't listen very well. I found the indoor pets easier but I did rather good with the chickens. And none died so that was even better!”
Oh I earned my MaryJane Farmgirl Sisterhood Merit Badge too! Isn't it fun when you get to try new things and get rewarded for it. Nevertheless, to me Living is a reward and I plan on making it something to really cluck about! 


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