Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Learn Piano - Free e-book on November 5th

I've always wanted to learn how to play the piano.  When I was in middle school (grades 6-8), I played the French Horn.  Of course, as a young teenage girl, I wanted to play the flute or the clarinet as my first choice, but those spots filled up quickly.  So, I looked around and decided that the French Horn wasn't too bad of a consolation.  It was great learning how to read music, being a part of a group working toward a common goal, and being in the marching band was fun.  Except, marching band practice was very early.  I'm talking 7:30am, which is very early for a teenager!

When I reached high school, I became more interested in sports, student council, and other clubs, so I quit being in band.  Now that I'm in my thirties, and a mom, I appreciate my music experience more, and I wish I would have stuck with it and maybe even learned more instruments.

Piano is one of those instruments that I wish I would have learned as a child or young adult.  As a matter of fact, we actually had a piano at home for awhile and my sister took lessons.  But, at that point, I already had my mind on other things.  The only thing I learned on that piano was "Three Blind Mice."

However, now that I have a little one of my own, I have a renewed interest in learning music.  Tomorrow, Thursday, November 5, 2015, there is a promotion on Amazon for a FREE e-book on how to learn to play the piano.  I can't wait to download it myself, and start learning now, so that when June is 4 or 5 years old, I can help her learn.

Here is the link:
Piano Scales, Chords & Arpeggios Lessons with Elements of Basic Music Theory: Fun, Step-By-Step Guide for Beginner to Advanced Levels (Book & Videos)

This book and video course is all that you will ever need for learning piano chords, scales, arpeggios, and basic music theory! Piano Professor, Damon Ferrante guides you through 140 step-by-step lessons (for beginner to advanced levels) and 25 streaming videos that are designed to be interactive, engaging and fun. The lessons will greatly improve your piano technique, creativity, and understanding of music. Whether you are teaching yourself piano or learning with a music instructor, this book and video course will take your piano playing to a whole new level!

This step-by-step method, used by thousands of pianists, has been proven to reduce the effort, time, and expense of piano learning--to make you play better than ever! You will now have everything that you need to know about chords, scales, arpeggios, and basic music theory. The course is designed for all levels.

There are also Instructional Videos to go along with the book, so that you have all the tools you need to learn how to play.

This book is great for everyone - young and old! If you download the book tomorrow, please take a week to read it and watch the videos, then consider writing an Amazon review. If you do, please click, "Amazon-Verified Purchase". The reviews should be around 5-10 sentences long. Then let me know that you wrote a review and heard about the book from me!

Remember, the e-book is free tomorrow!
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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Chicken Poop on the Porch (Free Range Chicken Problems)

In the spring, we bought 8 chicks from the local feed supply store.  They are almost full grown now; and the 6 hens are laying eggs.  We love collecting the eggs each day, and nothing beats the taste of fresh, free range eggs.  But...there is a dark side to free-ranging your chickens:  Chicken Poop on the Porch.

At first, the chickens stayed pretty close to their coop.  Then they got brave and ventured to the tractor shed.  A few weeks went by, and they traveled even farther to the garage.  And now here we are...the chickens think they own the whole property, including the house.  

The rooster walks right up to the back door to say hello every morning.  It is a misnomer that roosters only crow at dawn.  Our rooster crows all day.  All day.  The chickens love being on the back porch and the front porch.  And they make a lot of droppings during the day.  Which usually isn't a big deal, until their droppings are on your path out the door.  Then it is pretty gross.

How to Clean Chicken Poop Off the Porch
1st step:  Once it is dry, just sweep it off (don't try to sweep it while it is wet.  Yuck.).  I have a dedicated outdoor broom for these types of jobs.  I like having a broom with strong, stiff bristles.  

If you still have residue after sweeping, take out the hose and spray down the porch.  If you have some stubborn messes, you'll have to get out the scrubber.  Again, buy a specific scrubber for this job.  You don't want to scrub the bathtub with the same brush you use for cleaning chicken poop.  If you need to disinfect, any household cleaner should do the trick.  I'm partial to using what I have on hand, like Dawn dish soap or laundry detergent.  

Of course, all the cleaning isn't going to prevent the chickens from visiting again tomorrow.  But, as much as I dislike having chicken poop on the porch, I do love letting them free-range.  June loves to watch them out the back door.  And that's really the only reason I need.  So, I can deal with the daily mess for now.

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

June is here!

(This post was written in November, but I took a blog break for awhile.  To capture the memory, I'm posting it now).

Our sweet baby girl arrived on November 16, 2014 at 7:21am.  We named her June.  She is such an amazing blessing, and she arrived into this world in a memorable way.

Here is her birth story:

Around 11:30pm on Saturday, November 15, 2014, I started having contractions.  I wasn’t sure what they were at first, but Seth realized I was restless, so he asked me what was happening.  We decided that I should get in the bathtub for a while and drink a couple large glasses of water to see if they stopped or slowed down. 

By 12:30am, the contractions had become more intense and longer.  Each were about 35 seconds long, with each contraction beginning about 2 minutes after the prior one started.   Around 12:50, we texted our doula, Becky, to let her know what was happening.  We didn’t hear back from her, so we called her at 1:15am.  Her mom answered her phone and told us that Becky was on her way to the Midwife’s Place birth center already, with Suzanne.  Suzanne is a friend from church that was due around the same day as me.  Becky was also her doula.  We tried contacting Becky by texting Suzanne’s phone, but since Suzanne was in labor, we didn’t get ahold of her.  Contractions continued to get longer, closer together, and more intense.

Shortly after that, we decided we better head to the birth center.  The drive is about 1 ½ hours from our house.  We had gotten some snow earlier that day, and the roads weren’t too bad, but they were slick in places.  When we got to the interstate, Seth called the birth center to let them know that we were coming.  Rachael, our midwife, asked some questions about the contractions, and we told her our doula was already there.  She said that if we weren’t progressed enough, she would send us walking, just to prepare us for what might happen.

The drive was mostly silence, with me squeezing Seth’s hand and using my phone to time the contractions.  They continued to get more intense throughout the drive.  I could tell that Seth would accelerate when I squeezed his hand during a contraction.  I had my eyes closed for most of the ride, but I knew that we were getting closer and closer to our exit.  When we finally exited at Bellevue, there were road crews salting and scraping the roads.  At one point, Seth had to put on his hazards and pass the trucks on the shoulder to get past them.

We arrived at the birth center around 3:30am.  Just as we arrived, we heard a cry from the other room.  Suzanne had had her baby!  Seth helped me into the birthing room, where Rachael helped me onto the bed to check my progress.  I was 6cm dilated and 100% effaced, which is the perfect time to arrive at the birth center.  We didn’t need to leave.  This baby was coming soon!

I decided to get in the tub to start laboring in there.  Rachael started filling it up, but had to check on Suzanne and her baby.  Becky didn’t yet know that we were there.  It was a little while later when Rachael told Becky.  I think Rachael thought that we had already contacted her.  Seth was with me the whole time, I used him as support through each contraction.  

While in the tub, I was progressing well, and contractions continued to intensify.  I stayed in one position for awhile, but when Becky did come in, she encouraged me to change positions.  After laboring in the tub, and a little outside the tub, I asked Becky if I could have Rachael check me.  I wanted to know if it was time to push.  Rachael checked me at about 6:20am.  She said I was 10 cm dilated, and encouraged me to push.  I got back in the tub and knelt or squatted during contractions.  I pushed for about 1 hour, and was able to reach down and feel the baby’s head a couple times.  Throughout the entire labor, Seth, Becky, and Rachael were all very encouraging and supportive.  They helped me with my breathing and keeping the moaning low.  I didn’t talk much, but I felt supported the whole time.  I used Seth as physical support by grasping his hands and pulling with all my strength. 

At 7:21am, baby June arrived!  She was born in the water, immediately placed on my chest, and able to stay there until the umbilical cord stopped pulsing.  Once it had, Seth cut the cord, and they gave June to Seth to continue the skin to skin contact.  I then delivered the placenta, and Rachel helped clean me up.  I was then able to join Seth on the bed to snuggle and nurse our new baby girl.  It was an amazing birth experience, and a miracle to experience.  We are so thankful to Rachael and Becky for supporting us.  And I’m so thankful that Seth was there the whole time to help me feel secure and confident to have a natural, medication-free birth.

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