More Good Luck?

Weathervane of grasshopper, Massachusetts, cir...

(Do you know hard it is to find a photo of a grasshopper that isn’t “playing horsey” with another grasshopper?  Much harder than you think, let me assure you!  You can thank me for sparing you insect XXX pics.  You’re welcome.)So we have gone from the fear of a giant buzzing bug yesterday, actually a hummingbird and not a soul eating insect from hell, to having a real life bug in the house today, which caused quite the dramatic afternoon.  Especially with my overly dramatic children.

What was our insect visitor, you ask?  Well, as you can tell by the photograph, we were visited by a grasshopper.  Isn’t that strange?  A grasshopper in the house?  As it turns out, grasshoppers have a lot of symbolism attached to them, just as hummingbirds do.  They are also said to bring good luck, just like hummingbirds.  You know, if you believe in that sort of thing, which I like to because, why not?  I’ll take all the good luck I can get, thank you very much!  Even if it involves icky bugs.

So here is what I found about our little grasshopper friend:

“As a cultural symbol, this insect is a prominent feature in Asian traditions. For instance, the Japanese connect its molting phases with the wax and wane of the moon. Further still, the Japanese cherished the song of this creature (particularly the long-horned grasshopper), and believed the moon coaxed the music from them.

As a Chinese symbol, the grass hopper offers attributes of longevity, happiness, good health, good luck, wealth, abundance, fertility and virtue. In fact, grasshoppers were thought to be fertility symbols; specifically omens of the birth of a son (hence, another reason for its good luck symbol status as sons are considered prized gems within the setting of the family).

In certain regions of China, grasshoppers were kept as family pets and it was believed grasshoppers embodied the personalities of family members who were deceased. Keeping these reincarnate souls in the form of grasshoppers insured prosperity amongst the family members.

In Ancient Greece the grasshopper is a status symbol. Athenians would adorn themselves with golden grasshopper hair combs and brooches as an indication of nobility. The grasshopper is also a symbol of immortality as we see in Greek myth when Zeus grants immortality to Tithonus, who was later transformed into a grasshopper (who of course, lived forever).

In Native American Indian symbology and tribal lore (specifically the Iroquois nation) grasshopper symbolism deals with messages of glad tiding. In this context, the grasshopper is a harbinger of good news. Indeed, when this creature is seen on spirit walks, it is a sign that the seer will receive profoundly joyful news that will benefit the entire community.

Here’s a quick-list of grasshopper symbolism:

  • Lucky
  • Stable
  • Virtue
  • Vibrant
  • Content
  • Intuitive
  • Fertility
  • Patient
  • Peaceful
  • Creativity
  • Abundance
  • Insightful
  • Messenger
  • Connected
  • Courageous
  • Resourceful
  • Forward Thinking”

So did our little grasshopper friend bring us good luck?  I hope so!  We caught it and released it outside, since I feel fairly certain that squashing it would have also squashed any good luck they may bring.

Where will all of our good luck take us?  I’m eager to find out!  Also, if we could find out with less bugs and less fear of giant bugs, that would be cool too.

 

Good luck? Sure, I’ll take some!

Hummingbird

I was sitting outside on the back steps this morning, listening to the bugs chirping and admiring the crappy job the tree guys did when a very large thing started to buzz around my head.

I will readily admit that I am scared of bugs.  Hate them.  I possess the unique ability to be all chill and pretend that they don’t bother me around the kids, because I don’t want them getting my irrational fears, but I am slowly dying and screaming on the inside.

So I am about a millisecond away from jumping up and screaming, acting all a fool, when the ginormous thing lands on the fence, just a few feet away from me.

My heart stopped as I held my breath, prepared to see some mutated gigantic insect from hell, moments away from sucking my soul with it’s ghastly, buggy evilness.

As I opened my eyes through squinted lids, do you know what I saw?

A hummingbird.

*giant sigh of relief*

I let out a nervous laugh as the tiny, gorgeous little bird looked over at me as if to say, “Really?”  He sat for a few seconds and then flew away, probably to tell all his friends about the ridiculous loca mami that was so scared by the little hummingbird, she almost fainted on the back steps.

Soooooo…….

Completely ignoring the embarrassment of my little freak out, it is said and believed in many cultures that seeing a hummingbird is good luck.  Many Native American tribes and Mexican folklore tell of the hummingbird as having mystical powers, carrying our prayers to God and promising good fortune for those lucky enough to be visited by them, scared half to death or not.

Have you ever had a hummingbird buzz by your head before?  To be fair, they do sound like a massive insect, that buzzing noise their wings make, and their flitty, fast movements.  It’s not completely irrational to assume that it’s a bug.  I mean, it makes sense.  I see bugs far more often that I see hummingbirds.

Anyway,  yadda yadda yadda, good luck, yeah, I’ll take it.  Maybe I won’t nearly pee my pants next time I get buzzed by a hummingbird.  That really would be some good luck!

 

Pickles!

This was our first year growing cucumbers, and I have to say, they have enjoyed their luxurious stay in our front earth box!  The vines exploded from the box, trying to choke out the tomatoes and quickly pulling down the trellis we installed to help keep it upright.  Hidden in all the ginormous leaves, we found equally ginormous cukes.

 

That isn’t even the biggest one we grew!

With our bounty of giant cucumbers, I decided that a batch of homemade canned pickles was in order.  I slaved away, not really, and made a batch yesterday in the afternoon lull of naptime.

 

Added a touch of garlic, some black  peppercorns and fresh sprigs of dill for flavor and because they look pretty.  I gotta say, I love canning from our garden!  It’s fresh, it’s delicious, it’s economical and dare I say, it’s just plain awesome.  Hope my family and friends like pickles.  I think these will go nicely with some fall canning of apple butter and applesauce.  Well, not to eat together.  But as a gift.  You know what I mean.

Lightning struck…..our tree.

This summer has been insanely hot and dry.  We have been so far past due for some good rain, so when the storms rolled in on Friday night, it was a comfort, knowing that we were getting some much-needed precipitation.

I woke up in the middle of the night to a very loud crash.  I sleep with ear plugs and a sound machine because Abe snores like nobody’s business, so for something to wake me up, well, it has to be pretty loud.  It was storming pretty good at the time, so I assumed that what I had heard was a loud clap of thunder.  I managed to go back to sleep, but I was woken up from the storm a few more times through the night.

Saturday morning, as Matt was taking the dog out, he opened the back door and quite dramatically announced that there was a huge branch in the yard.  Knowing how our kids like to over exaggerate, we assumed there were a few stray branches strewn about the yard.  I decided to look for myself.

 

Well, what do you know, the kid actually under exaggerated the huge branch.

Upon opening the back door, we were immediately greeted with a large portion of the huge tree that had fallen from the storms.  Probably the loud crash that woke me up in the middle of it all.

 

Closer inspection seems to indicate that the tree was struck by lightning.  We were actually lucky that the tree fell how it did because as you can tell from the first picture, this tree is crazy close to the power lines.  And of course, it also missed our house and our neighbors house, which was a huge blessing.

 

We have tree guys coming out this morning to chop it all up and haul it away.  I don’t know if they will have to take down the entire tree yet or not.  The tree is definitely shifting though, and it is leaning pretty heavily on our house and another tree.  Hopefully once it’s all chopped up, we’ll see there was no lasting damage to anything.

So how was your weekend?  Less chaotic, I would hope!

Feliz Aniversario!

 

Last weekend, Abe and I celebrated 12 years of marriage.  I was given 12 gorgeous roses, a home made breakfast and, knowing me as he does, a  beautiful, glittery Disney anniversary card.

 

My husband is awesome.

We had the tiniest of weddings in a tiny little Las Vegas style wedding chapel in St Louis city.  When I say tiny, I mean, we were scrambling to make sure we had enough witnesses to sign the papers.  I had my brother, a friend from work and her two little girls as my flower girls, and that was it.  I had invited my sister, but she declined.  Yeah.  So…..

After our quick ceremony, we hopped in the car and headed to Destin Florida, where we spent a few lazy days at the beach before we headed down to Disney World.  I had never been to Disney World before, and even though I was a grown up, it was still magical and amazing.  Disney never disappoints.

12 years later, and through all kinds of crazy ups and downs, here we stand, stronger than ever and more in love than that rainy July morning when we said “I do”.  My husband really and truly is my very best friend in this world.  He is my soul mate and as hard as it is for even me to comprehend, I love him more each and every single day.

 

 

Quiero estar contigo para siempre, mi amor.

Citrus Lane Deluxe Shower Box!

In addition to Citrus Lane’s amazing monthly subscription boxes, they also have a really cool Deluxe Shower Box that would make the perfect baby shower gift!  What a great way to help prepare for the new bundle of joy and be introduced to the awesomeness that is Citrus Lane at the same time! Shall we dive into the Deluxe Shower Box and see all the fun goodies that are included?  Vamanos!

The Deluxe Shower box is full of essential goodies for keeping both mama and baby happy.

Included with every Citrus Lane box is this handy insert that gives you all the details of the products inside, along with handy tips, tricks, and even some unique coupon codes just for Citrus Lane subscribers.  Gotta love a coupon code!

Swaddle Designs Marquisette Swaddle Blanket $15.00

Let me tell you right now, swaddling your newborn baby will be a lifesaver!  There is magic in the swaddle, something that instantly soothes and calms a fussy baby.  Now, swaddling can be tricky.  It can be tough to remember how to fold the blanket, and near impossible if your blanket is too small.  This awesome swaddle blanket is 46 square inches, plenty big, and has a sewn on tag that reminds you, should you ever forget, how to properly swaddle your little blessing!  Swaddling your baby makes them feel secure, which makes them calm, which makes you calm.  It also reduces the risk of SIDS, and, when not being used to swaddle, can easily be used as a lightweight nursing cover!  This swaddle blanket is awesome, well made, and will be used well past the swaddling stage of your baby.

Cloud B Sleep Sheep Rattle $4.95

First of all, how adorable is this little sleeping sheep?!  It is velvet-y soft and sized just right for tiny baby hands.  It is also a muted rattle, meaning when you accidentally drop it on your way to put your baby down for an afternoon siesta, it won’t make a sudden loud noise, waking the baby up.  Why aren’t all baby toys muted?  And kids toys?  And the world in general?  At any rate, this rattle is just precious and sure to be a favorite lovey.

Bathtime Baby Bathing Baby Hair & Body Wash $9.50

Bathing Baby was founded by a mom who wanted healthy, safe skincare products for her own baby.  This versatile hair and body wash is very gentle, hypoallergenic and fragrance-free.  Newborn babies smell amazing as it is, why cover up that magic?  You won’t find any parabens, glycols, sulfates, dyes, BPA or phthalates in this wash or the packaging.  Just a healthy, organic wash that is perfect for a brand new baby.

Minted Gift Card $50.00

Now that you have a brand new baby, it’s time to announce it to the world!  At Minted, you will find amazing, high quality artwork and customized announcements, thank you cards, stationary, you name it.  There is no end to the amazing things you will find on their website, the hardest part is choosing what you want!  This very generous gift card will definitely come in handy for announcing your little prince or princess or even for purchasing an amazing art print to decorate their nursery.  Warning: This site is highly addictive!

Pearhead Babyprints Tin $14.95

Babies grow so quickly!  It will amaze you how fast your little pumpkin will grow just in their first year of life!  Maybe you have had a not so fun experience with hand print kits in the past?  You know, the messy plaster kind where you have to mix the powder with the water, let it set for the magic amount of time when it’s not too wet but not too hard?  Goodness, I know many a tear has been shed in my casa alone trying to use one of those kits for my babies.  Here is where the brilliance of Pearhead Babyprints comes in.  There is nothing to mix.  No mess.  Dare I say, no tears!  It is an air dry clay!  You simply roll the clay out, press the hand or foot into it, and walk away, smile still firmly intact as your print air dries.  That’s it!  True magic!  Love it!

Mommy’s Bliss Gripe Water $11.99

There will come a time with your new baby, when no amount of swaddling will make them stop crying.  Maybe it’s gas or an upset tummy.  These moments sneak up out of nowhere and can leave a mama, and papi, feeling pretty helpless.  That is when it is a true blessing to have something like this on standby!  Gripe Water is alcohol free and contains naturally soothing fennel and ginger.  It has even been used for teething related tummy upsets and colic.  Trust me when I say you definitely want to have this waiting in the medicine cabinet before you need it!  It is a very stressful thing when baby is crying and you have exhausted all your tricks.  It’s usually these times when it’s a tummy ache that can be very quickly and effectively treated with Gripe Water.  It’s a good thing!

Have you been keeping count of the amazing value of the Citrus Lane Deluxe Shower Box?  My calculations put the value of this box, not counting the peace of mind and convenience, at $106.39.  Wow!  This box is available directly through the Citrus Lane website for only $35, with free shipping!  If you want to order a gift subscription, you can add the Deluxe Shower Box for only $25!  Pretty impressive!  It would make an amazing shower gift, or even a great gift to yourself as you await you little one’s arrival.

Have I convinced you of the awesomeness that is Citrus Lane yet?  Click HERE to check them out and buy a Deluxe Shower Box or subscription of your own.

Citrus Lane has very generously provided a 10% off discount code for my readers!  Just enter 10BLOG during checkout. (good until 8/14)

Another neat little feature Citrus Lane has recently started is the Pop-Up Shop, where they make items from the most recent box available to you through their website for a limited time.  This is a great way to snag extras of your favorite items or even to score some items that were included in other boxes.  You have to act fast though!  The Pop-Up Shop is only open for one week, and this month’s Pop-Up Shop is due to close on Friday, August 3, at 9am PDT.

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Citrus Lane has an amazing community of moms that share ideas and tips with each other, along with their love of the awesome boxes that arrive on their door steps each month.  Have I told you how awesome Citrus Lane is yet?  Because they really, truly are.

The awesome folks at Citrus Lane sent me a Deluxe Shower Box free of charge so that I could review it and share it’s awesomeness with you.  I was not compensated in any other way, and as I have said about a million times now, I really do love Citrus Lane!