Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Today was a particularly joyous day as Yesteryear Acres now has a new worker for the summer! YEA!  I am beyond happy.  Our last "worker" just stopped showing up.  Didn't call.  Didn't write or text or email or facebook or any normal polite means of communication to let us know he was quitting.  He just stopped coming.  Nice right? This was of course after I had fed him at least 2 homecooked meals a day, every day for over a month. I guess you never know about some people.  Anyway - my son asked one of his friends if he would like to work here and his friend said yes.  He is a super nice boy and I actually think he was as excited about working here as we were to have him.  He loves dogs and puppies and thought that having a job that entailed taking puppies on walks and playing with them outside and taking care of dogs was about the best job on the planet.  I love people like that.  I mean it is a TON of work here but the unconditional love you get from the doggies and puppies just makes your heart feel good. I let him know that the poop gets cleaned up ALL the time and the job is endless because the second you get everything all clean and tidy - well it is time to start again. He was not at all deterred and did all the chores quickly and efficiently. The dogs just loved him.  Dogs are a most excellent judge of character and all our doggies took to him right away.  Even my little toy poodle (who honestly is a bit persnickety) loved him. My son worked really well with our new hired help and his day improved dramatically by having a friend to work with.  The timing couldn't be better as I am leaving to take my younger daughter to the Coast Guard Academy this weekend so the extra help is really awesome. Our new help said he might work during the school year as well. Wow! Both he and my son will be starting 8th grade in the fall - so this could be a nice long term job for him. I am super happy about the whole thing. Mr. Yesteryear Acres can now, maybe, just MAYBE, have some free time to get working on the bedroom upstairs.  I see hope!!! I see a light at the end of the tunnel!! I see the possibility that moving back into our bedroom MIGHT JUST HAPPEN after all!  Happy Days!!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Computer Age

This morning bright and early I showed up at my in-laws doorstep so that I could help them set up their brand new computer.  My father-in-law purchased his new computer almost a month ago and sadly I have been so busy I haven't been able to get over there to help him.  This morning as soon as I woke up, and had some delicious coffee ala Mr. Yesteryear Acres, I dashed out the door to their rescue.  I estimated it would take about 2 hours to get it all set up and done. All I had to do was set up his new computer, download all the updates, install microsoft and then transfer his information from my old laptop that he had been borrowing from me to his new computer. Simple.  Even a caveman could do it. OR COULD HE???? As soon as I started the project I remembered quite painfully why I got rid of my old laptop. It hates me.  Yes the old laptop actually despises me and thinks it is funny to say "FATAL ERROR"  "FATAL ERROR"  "CANNOT PROCESS REQUEST" over and over again. Oh my gosh it was so frustrating.  I would try to copy a simple file and the "estimated time" would start at 2 minutes, then increase to 5 minutes, then 3 hours, then 9 hours 38 minutes and then the screaming (on my part) would commence.  It didn't matter whether the file was 2KB or 2GB the computer fought me at every step.  It took me over 5 hours to get everything off of my laptop. His new computer however was awesome. He has a brand new monitor and it is so pretty. Oooooh -  I have monitor envy!  It is nice and big and so crisp and clear.  I love it! I downloaded all the updates for his new computer. Then as every person who has every set up a computer knows -- I downloaded more updates and then more again until finally the new computer was satisfied it was totally up-to-date. I did end up successfully getting EVERYTHING transferred to the new computer and was relieved when it was all done.  I showed my father-in-law where all his files and programs were located and bookmarked a few favorite websites for him.  As I was leaving, I decided to show my mother-in-law where to find everything on the new computer only to find out she didn't even know how to get online. Poor sweet mother-in-law! I gave her a quick tutorial, showed her how to use a search engine and bookmarked my blog (HI MOM-IN-LAW!!!!) so that she can read all about what is happening here at Yesteryear Acres.  I also showed her how to get on facebook so that she can see all the beautiful pictures she has been missing.  Now she knows how to see pictures of all her children and grand-children and great grand-children. I am so happy for her.  I never knew she was missing out on all the good stuff.  Dear Mother-in-Law.....I am happy to see you here.  I hope you and your hubby are happy with your new computer set up!  I love you!!!! Love, your adoring daughter-in-law.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Firefly Dance

Last night the kids and I had the best time.  I had almost finished working and was just about to sit down when my son asked me if I wanted to go feed the fish with him and take a walk.  Not one to pass up an opportunity to spend time with my teenaged boy, I immediately and happily agreed.  It is always nice when I get a small reminder that yes - even though I yell at him to bring down his disgusting dirty baseball uniform so I can wash it - and then yell at him again - and then again - that yes - he does still find that I am fun to be with. We decided to bring Juneau and his favorite chocolate labradoodle puppy along with us.  Both puppies walked all the way to the pond without being carried and then made it all the way around the pond too!  The fish were super hungry last night so they were practically leaping out of the water to get the fish chow.  Every time one made a splash - Juneau seriously considered going fishing.  We had a couple close calls as Juneau was pretty darn sure she was a fishing doodle and was ready to go swimming after the fishies!  When we got back my daughter joined us outside with a couple more puppies.  As it got darker and darker our back yard was filled with fireflies. They were everywhere.  We have always loved fireflies.  I used to catch them as a kid and put them in a jar and of course my kids did the same and I am sure their kids and their grandkids will also follow in our footsteps.  Catching fireflies in the summer is just one of those summer traditions that never grows old. As we were enjoying our light show, one of the puppies became bound and determined to catch a firefly.  She would POUNCE on the grass then look under her paws, only to find nothing there.  She kept eyeing the firefly, pouncing, and had the most adorable bewildered look on her face as she kept missing and missing. I have never seen a firefly chasing puppy and the 3 of us were in tears watching her.  It was as cute as it was funny.  We spent a long time out with the pups and then decided to call it quits . We just got the pups back inside when MAN it started to RAIN.  I mean sheets and sheets of solid rain.  We lost our satellite signal it was raining that hard. It was so loud in the house it sounded like all the faucets were turned on full blast!  The kids ran outside to play in the rain and I had the best time watching them....from inside....where it is dry. I am a smart mommy.  I then went to the bathroom to fetch the shampoo bottle and threw it outside for them. Might as well make good use of the weather.  The two of them had a blast and it was one of those awesome soaking rains where you almost can't see anything.  We topped the evening off with .....homemade cherry pie. Awwwww perfect evening.  Oh and one more thing.... Dear Mr. Yesteryear Acres....... I worked ever so hard late last night and watered the entire garden for you. Love, your devoted wife.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Scales of Justice

Today marks week 6 of my promised exercise routine.  I have not faltered for an entire six weeks and have been ever so faithful to my workout regimen. My sister asked me how much weight I have lost since I started my fantastic walking program.  I told her it must be LOADS and LOADS of weight. I mean I walked today and the heat index was over 100*. The sheer heat of the day should make the pounds melt off.  I walked yesterday in the big deep scary woods all alone. The sheer terror of the walk should scare the pounds off.  I walked in the early morning hours. The sheer energy it takes to get moving at that hour should burn the pounds off.  I walked late at night. The sheer devotion to getting up after dinner and walking past sunset should motivate the pounds off. I told my sister I would go check the scales and get back with her.  The news had to be so incredibly fabulous that I can't believe I hadn't thought to check my scale before she called! So up the stairs I went.  I have an old fashioned doctor type scale with the sliding weights.  My weight was near the end of the slide - still stuck there from the end of the winter doldrums.  I couldn't wait to slide my weight to the left! I got on. Teeter. Totter. Teeter. Man the suspense.  I am so ready to slide my weight! Teeter. Totter.......level. As in EXACTLY the SAME.  As in not one pound. Not one ounce. Nothing. NET ZERO! WAHHHHHHHHH!  I am certain my butt is at least HALF the size it was before I started walking!  My scale must be broken. My very dependable, most excellent scale obviously is playing a very nasty trick on me and has broken beyond repair.  My younger daughter says that her weight is just fine on the scale.  Oh Okay.  So the scale has a vendetta against me personally. I see.  Maybe the scale is mad because I haven't visited it lately.  Maybe it got lonely and is taking out its frustrations by REFUSING TO BUDGE. Mean scale!!!!  I am very sure that my lack of weight loss is NOT at all due to the yummy strawberries and whipped cream (and maybe a chocolate chip or two) because strawberries are fruit and fruit is good for you.  So that doesn't count. I am very sure that my lack of weight loss is not due to my love of chocolate because I read that chocolate is an antioxidant - so therefore  - it is good for you and a must have. Haagan Dazs Amaretto Almond Crunch ice cream is a DAIRY product. It has loads of calcium and protein. So that is DEFINITELY not the reason. I am also very sure that my weight loss is NOT due to my new found lovely lunch menu which is the best pasta ever.  Get a hot skillet, heat up some olive oil, a bit of garlic, garlic salt, cayenne pepper, fresh halved cherry tomatoes and the juice of one lemon.  Get it piping hot and then toss in some angel hair pasta. mmmmmm.  I eat it several times a week - but again....tomatoes are a vegetable. Lemon is a fruit.  Garlic keeps away vampires.  ANGEL hair pasta is angelic - and everyone knows angels are good - so what gives???  Tonight's menu calls for homemade cherry pie (with fresh cherries). See? Fruit! I couldn't be eating any better.  I think it is time to find a scale that isn't holding a grudge because obviously I am WAY skinnier than I was 6 weeks ago.  My scale just doesn't want to see the plain truth that is staring it right in the face: I am fabulously thin. My scale just doesn't want to admit it.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

A lovely little walk...

Today was another busy day.  I had my first puppy family here at 8am. They were really nice and they had a young son who made the most adorable puppy scrapbook I have ever seen. He printed off his puppy pictures from the website each week and had a little "watch me grow" puppy book.  He had the end of his book empty so he could fill it in with all the new pictures he would be taking of his very own puppy.  He asked me how I could say good-bye to my puppies and I said it was because anyone as sweet as he was and his family makes saying good-bye to puppies heartwarming and never heartbreaking.  I told him just seeing his big smiling face was the best start to my day.  We had more puppy families visit today and all of them were just awesome.  Thanks to all the families I met - I enjoyed having you here!!!  Sadly I had to leave before lunchtime so I didn't get to meet everyone as my younger daughter had a swim meet out of town.  Her meet ended up being at a city pool with absolutely NO SHADE whatsoever.  As in none.  No trees. No pavilion. No canopy. Nothing. Oh yes - and it was HOT!!  I could actually feel my skin cells incinerating and falling off as I was walking.  I was fairly sure I lost the first 5-6 layers of skin within 5 minutes. It was roasting hot! And parents of course do not have the luxury of actually getting IN the pool. Nope.  They get to bake and roast and burn while watching their children frolic in the nice cool water. So I did what any good kindhearted loving mommy would do......I left my daughter to fend for herself with her swim coach and swim friends. Yes that is right.  I deserted the pool area and drove out of the city to the nearest state park. The meet was 6 hours long - so I thought a small break would be a great idea. Once I got to the park I drove for about 45 minutes in search of a nature trail.  There were supposedly 14 miles of nature trails in the State Park and I was trying to find just one of them.  It was way more of a challenge than I anticipated.  I finally found a trail and parked my car.  I looked around and noticed......NO ONE.  The grass had grown over the parking lot and there was not a soul in sight. This gave me reason to pause and think about whether this was a good idea.  I mean I have been SO good and SO dedicated to getting my exercise in. If this had been a month ago I would of high tailed it out of there and would never ponder whether I should enter the deep woods all alone. Heck no!  I would have loved the excuse NOT to go. But dedication knows no limits so I decided I would just peek inside the woods and see how the trail looked. In case any of you do not like suspense or horror movies or nail biting anxiety filled tales...I will fast forward to the end of this story......I lived.  Now back to the let's enter the woods....So I started towards the woods and got half-way when I decided perhaps I should grab my water bottle and phone just in case.  And off I went.  Let me say that it was beyond beautiful.  Really.  The pine trees filled up the spaces so that the entire forest floor was blanketed in pine needles and it smelled wonderful. It was so pretty I decided to take the trail.  It was the pine ridge LOOP trail - so obviously it would get me back to my starting point so despite the fact I had no idea how long the trail was - I headed down the path.

As I got deeper into the woods I started thinking about the 100 or so Criminal Mind Episodes I have seen.  I also started thinking about all the horror movies I watched as a teenager.  I was thinking all of them began this way. I could hear the people in the movie theater yelling at me "WHY ARE YOU WALKING ALL ALONE IN THE WOODS!!!??!!! GO BACK GO BACK!"  I decided to try and NOT let my imagination get the best of me. Every bird that flew out of the trees, every squirrel that jumped ahead on the path was in my mind, a homicidal maniac waiting for his next victim. Yep, my pace hastened just a bit.  Then I started thinking about how much I hate snakes.  I mean I really really hate snakes.  If I so much as see a snake on TV, I will have nightmares that night.  What if a snake jumped out from the woods and BIT ME??!!!  I would die alone in the woods - just me and the snake!!!!!  So I started walking a little faster.  Then the path got really steep and there was a lovely ravine alongside of it.  This is when I tripped over a tree root which of course got me thinking...what if I BROKE MY ANKLE?!  And then fell down the ravine?? And then was bitten by a snake??  And THEN murdered by the homicidal maniac??!!  ACK!  Who in the heck decides to take a "nature walk" all alone in a State Park????  I had my phone grasped in my hands as tightly as I have ever held my phone. Ready to call 911 on my cell phone at the slightest movement. I checked my phone. Can you guess what comes next? Right...NO CELL SERVICE!  My only chance of surviving was to keep on walking.  So on I walked. On and On.  Then I thought - HEY THIS WILL MAKE AN AWESOME BLOG!!!!  So in thinking of my lovely devoted readers, I took some photos for you:

This is a lovely waterfall down the ravine...

The views of the lake were INCREDIBLE!

There were GIANT boulders on the path. 
They were really cool!

I walked the entire loop trail and I must admit, sprinted just a little bit when I saw my car.  I was SOOO happy I made it.  It was an incredibly beautiful walk, I just think next time, I want to share the beauty. I don't think I am meant for walking in the woods all alone.  I made it back to my daughters swim meet for the last 2 hours. I found a 1 foot square section of shade under the high diving board and literally hugged the high diving board ladder to try to prevent spontaneous combustion.  My daughter swam well and the end of the story is....I lived.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Scoop on Poop

Okay – time to talk about everyone’s favorite puppy subject……Puppy POOP! I know, I know talking about poop is gross and never a great topic of conversation but face it – poop happens!!! And what’s worse is puppy poop can be full of parasites. YUCK! Why do puppies get parasites – well for one thing – because they are puppies! The puppy intestinal tract is very immature and prone to pick up all sorts of nasty things. Plus puppies who love to explore, love to explore with their mouths. Decaying leaves….mmmmmm! Rotten tomatoes….delightful!!!! Dirty muddy puddle ponds….OHHHHH so lovely!!! Cat poop (aka Tootsie Rolls) absolutely divine! If it is yucky or dirty or smelly or off limits, why then - that is the bestest and most perfect place for a puppy to be!!!! On top of that, a Mommy Dog carries worms in her milk. Gross right? The worms are passed through the mommy dog’s milk into the puppies tummies. That is why puppies need to be wormed every 2 weeks when they are little. The odds are just stacked against them. One of the most common puppy parasite is Coccidia. Here at Yesteryear Acres it is something we fight constantly. This is pretty common in young puppies. Coccidia can lay dormant in a puppy’s intestinal tract and then become active with the stress associated with leaving their littermates, a change in environment, stress from travel, change in food or water – etc. It can be hard to catch as it can be dormant in one stool sample and appear in the next. We have our puppies stools tested before they go home. We take a sampling of all the puppy poop from one litter and the vet mashes it up and tests the batch. No matter how hard we try to maintain perfect stool samples it seems that we have one or two puppies go home and then develop coccidia. Coccidia is really easy to treat – but left unnoticed can cause bad diarrhea and stomach upset. The medicine is called “Albon” and is a vanilla or butterscotch flavored liquid medicine. Puppies love it and it is a once a day dose for about 10 days. I know for the puppy families who bring home a puppy that has a positive stool sample result – that is never fun – but in our 10+ years of raising puppies, I can tell you we have never had a single puppy go home that wasn’t well socialized. We have never have had a puppy that wasn’t well loved. We have never raised a puppy that didn’t go on walks, didn’t get to explore the big outdoors, didn’t hang out in the kitchen and love people and noises and all the commotion a loving busy family brings. Sure I could raise the puppies in an absolute sterile environment. I could keep them in a small area that is bleached and never allow visitors or small kids to come and play with them. I could put down an artificial grass surface and enclose it with a fence and bleach that and keep the puppies from ever being exposed to any germs whatsoever but that isn’t healthy for a puppy’s mind, spirit or soul. Life is messy. We love to take our puppies with us to the pond, through the woods and out in the yard. We love to have little kids here to play with the puppies. We love to have big kids here to play with the puppies too! So Coccidia happens. It happens here, it can happen at your place – puppies just are prone to parasites. But don’t worry. Puppies can be cured of Coccidia and it is rarely serious and once the puppies mature their intestinal tracts are much stronger and are immune to most ailments. Puppies however can never be cured of isolation so we will continue to take our puppies over the river and through the woods and we will love them and when you pick up your sweet puppy, you will know without a doubt that your puppy was cherished from the moment it was born. So to anyone who has brought a puppy home that had Coccidia and to any future puppy families that brings a puppy home that develops Coccidia, I am sorry that your puppy didn’t have perfect poop. I can’t promise perfect poop in our puppies but I can promise that the puppy you meet here will be full of unconditional love and once you bring home your new furry family member, you will marvel at how much laughter and joy your little four legged baby will bring to your heart.
Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sweet Smelling Hay

Today was a full day with non-stop work.  I woke up early and immediately got started on my to-do lists and didn't get a break in all day long. Mr. Yesteryear Acres worked around the clock as did both my son and daughter.  We had lots to get done.  The big news is....the hay is done! YEA!  That is always the best feeling when all the hay has been baled and is finished.  We had a huge bumper crop of hay this year and got enough hay for the entire year in just one cutting.  All the hay bales are lined up and they look awesome. They make for a beautiful countryside pictorial setting. When you walk by them you can't help but smile and Oh my gosh the hay smells soooooooo good.  Really!  It has a fragrant sweet smell that almost makes my mouth water it smells that good.  The hay has a slight hint of bananas and honey aroma with an earthy deep grassy fragrance that just smells like the countryside with all its goodness.  I wish I could add the aroma of our hay to this blog as an attachment.  I would make this part a scratch and sniff and everyone would say "ahhhhhhhh".  Besides the hay, today was a busy puppy day.  All 12 of Ariel's puppies got the treatment today.  They all got their nails clipped and new collars. They also spent a lot of time outside today with my daughter and I playing in the grass.  They are learning that the big green world outside is actually a lot of fun.  A few of them took to romping around and checking things out but most of them ended up crawling in our laps in big puppy piles of love. They were super sweet. Autumn's puppies also got their nails clipped.  Each puppy has 5 claws on each front paw and 4 claws on each back paw so altogether there are18 toenails to trim for each puppy. If you add both Ariel's puppies and Autumn's puppies together - I trimmed 378 puppy claws today. Whew!  All of Ariel's puppies are eating solid food now so they should really start to grow this week.  Autumn's puppies are getting ready for their big weekend as they start to leave for their new homes.  Tomorrow I need to make puppy care packages for Autumn's puppies. Of course one package just might be missing.  The one that belongs to Juneau!  I am pretty sure that Mr. Yesteryear Acres loves her too! Yea!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I suppose I am a little behind the times in the fast food world.  We don't eat out often. It is a rare occasion for us to choose something besides a yummy homecooked meal as we are pretty dedicated to fixing something delicious each and every night. Fast food is just one of those things that we rarely consume. While granted - it is fast - and yes - it can be particularly tasty - it is also loaded with calories and fat and does nothing for the digestive tract. Nonetheless - today I stopped for a fast food lunch as I had been up since 4am  and wouldn't be home until well after noon and I had nothing in my stomach. So I pulled into an infamous drive-thru and ordered 3 tacos.  Yep. Three regular ole nothing special run of the mill ordinary tacos. Now at home when I make tacos - they are fabulous.  I make fresh guacamole, nacho cheese sauce, salsa from our garden - the works.  Taco night is SO good that we eat way more than we should.  My expectations were not so high that I thought someone would go to the trouble of making homemade guacamole BUT I did have a picture in my mind of a taco shell that had filling. When I opened my "taco" it had approximately one teaspoon of "meat", 4 pieces of cheese and 6-7 pieces of lettuce and absolutely no tomatoes or salsa whatsoever. Now before you go thinking that is an okay taco - let me be exact in my description. The 4 pieces of cheese were just that - 4 pieces of shredded cheese. As in cheese that has gone through a grater and the end result is tiny skinny matchstick pieces of cheese. Yes. I had 4 of the grated cheese pieces on my taco.  As for the lettuce - same deal. 6 pieces of grated lettuce.  My taco was 1/3 of the way full. Being the kind and understanding person I was - I thought perhaps that this taco was made in haste and just was missed somehow.  I had high hopes for taco number 2. I unwrapped my taco......hmmmm 3 pieces of grated cheese and I think something minuscule that should be lettuce. Wow.  Really?  I can't believe how pathetic my taco is.  It is then that I find out that if I wanted a taco that was mostly full and had taco toppings in it, well then, I should have ordered a Taco SUPREME. You see if you order a "taco" well that means that you get a taco shell BUT if you order a Taco SUPREME - well that comes with taco toppings like lettuce and tomato! WHOA! So I am guessing the brilliant masterminds of this particular restaurant had a board meeting one day and they thought - man we need to sell a SUPREME TACO.  And one guy came up with great ideas like guacamole, refried beans, salsa, larger portions and the top executives all said "Nahhhhhhhh - that is a horrible idea. I know let's sell a REGULAR taco and call it Supreme!!! YES YES YES!  And then we will call the pathetic empty shell a "taco! The people will love it!!!" Gee Fast Food Taco Restaurant, I never knew SUPREME meant "as expected"!!!!  I will definitely have to rewrite my vocabulary definitions.  I was under the impression that Supreme meant MARVELOUS, OUTSTANDING, EXTRAORDINARY!  When I would say "Honey you did a SUPREME job on that project!" I was thinking it was a nice compliment.  Now I know what I really was saying was "Honey, you did a most ordinary job on that project. That barely met my expectations. It was so mediocre I hardly noticed you did anything at all."  I apologize to any and all persons that I have mistakenly complimented by using the word Supreme.  I will take note of the new use of the word and use it accordingly. I just might take the time to write a note to a certain fast food taco restaurant and let them know that I think they did a Supreme job on my lunch.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wildlife Day

Today was wildlife day.  We saw more cute adorable wildlife creatures today and I figured it deserved an official title.  The day started off with 2 raccoons crossing the road.  And they were BIG raccoons.  They must be eating Manwich meals or something because they were almost the size of small dogs!  Then later today a beautiful big white crane visited our pond and although that sounds lovely, he is in fact an unwelcome visitor.  He is just about the best fisherman ever.  Better than I am.  Better than Mr. Yesteryear Acres.  We ended up taking our game warden with us to chase off Mr. White Crane.  Our game warden never fails us.  She has beautiful amber eyes, four legs, a happy wagging tail and is a lovely chocolate color.  Her name is Trudy and she has worked very hard to obtain her game warden title.  I think the crane got the message that our pond is indeed a NO FISHING ZONE. He flew off in search of a new fishing pond. On our way back we saw the cutest little bunny rabbit.  It was so close we could almost reach out and touch it.  Even our game warden thought the bunny was cute and let it be.  We did suggest that it head back to the woods and it took our suggestion. Once we were home we had a real live animal hospital situation when a bird flew into one of our windows and was knocked unconscious.  My daughter immediately sprang to its rescue.  The birdy was a vireo and we were frightened it wouldn't make it but with some loving TLC from my daughter, it came back to life.  We even got a movie of the birdy and I can tell you my daughter was SOOOO happy that the birdy lived. She really took it to heart and it just made her day when an hour later the birdy flew off happily. He even waited to thank her before he flew away. We also saw 2 pileated woodpeckers and a wild turkey. I was beginning to wonder if we had added an aviary to our woods. It was a great birding day!  We had quite a display with 2 male cardinals wrestling for a good 10 minutes to see who was the top bird along with barn swallows and a mommy killdeer and her babies. To top off our wildlife day we were visited by a mommy deer and two of the cutest little baby deer ever. They were SOOO small.  Of course they still were covered in spots which made them even cuter and the twin babies just followed their mommy everywhere. I am pretty sure the deer family was thinking just how delicious apples off the apple tree would  be - but if you saw how adorable they were - you would gladly give them your apples.  The babies weren't much bigger than the size of 16 week old puppies and they were just so cute they made everyone immediately stop what they were doing and say "awwwwwwwwww".  I can't wait for them to visit us again.  So June 22nd 2010 is now officially known as wildlife day. Thank you little animals for visiting us and making our day.  We loved having you!!!!!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy First Day of Summer!

Today marks the first day of summer - the longest brightest sunniest day of the year. I celebrated the first day of summer with my younger daughter. We took a really long walk together and talked and laughed and just enjoyed each other's company. The day was beautiful and it epitomized the perfect summer day. At first I started to think about all the things I had to do and wanted to hurry home but then I saw the happiness in my daughter's eyes and I thought about how much our walks mean to us.  I decided to forget about all the work that waited for me at home and instead focus on just enjoying our day together. I am painfully aware of how our days together are sadly numbered and they will be gone before I know it.  My daughter is so much fun to be with and is an endless supply of complete and total smiles and happiness.  She is one of the kindest people I know. I am lucky that she loves to be with me and that she chooses to spend her free time hanging with her mom.  I know that most teenaged daughters don't think of their moms as their best friends. I am so very appreciative that both my daughters love to spend their time with me and think of me as their best friend. My teenaged son, although in a quieter form, also enjoys hanging out with me. That pretty much makes me the luckiest mom on the planet.
After my walk - I did get busy and I ended up getting all the things on my To-Do list accomplished. The puppies also spent their first day of summer enjoying the sunshine and great weather. My daughter helped me get some awesome pictures of the puppies. They are all in the "I am SOOOO cute!" stage which is really fun.  The puppies are loving their "recess" time outdoors and are just adorable and fun to play with.  The longest and brightest and sunniest day of the year was much appreciated by all. Hello Summer!!!!! Glad you are here!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

Today is Father's Day. A day to reflect on all the wonderful things fathers bring to the world.  Fathers are the quiet calm in a raging storm. They are the unfaltering strength that holds a family together through whatever life throws their way. Fathers often aren't the ones to get the flowery cards or that special just perfect gift. They never ask for much yet are always content with what they are given. They are often not the ones to get the phone calls to fill them in on all the happenings from loved ones.  They usually hear that information second-hand as moms are almost always the ones to get the news first. Fathers might not be the most spoiled family members but they are the most treasured.  Good fathers can always be counted on to be there whenever you call.  Good fathers can always be counted on to say just the right thing. Good fathers make daughters feel special and they let them know there are no limits to what they can do in life.  Good fathers make sons feel special and they let them know there are no limits to what they can do in life. They are almost predictable in their actions and in that predictability lies security, safety and happiness.  I am blessed to have a loving father. He is there for me whenever I need him. I am blessed to have a loving father-in-law. He too is there for me whenever I need him. They are both devoted fathers to all their children and devoted grandfathers to their grandchildren. I am blessed to be married to a man who is the very best father to our children.  He is there for them every minute of every day. He only wants the very best for them and has instilled in my children a love of duty, a love of honor and a love for their country. He is a most honorable man and I am blessed that he is such a huge influence in who my children are today. I don't think fathers hear it often enough - but thank you to all the good fathers in the world. Thank you for caring for your children and loving them. Good fathers raise good children who go on to become good parents. And the cycle of life continues with all the potential and wonder that it is meant to have.  Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Polar Bear Cub

I am pretty darn sure that the cream girl in Autumn's litter loves me so much that she neeeeeeeds to stay here.  As in forever.  As in I think I really really need that cute little polar bear of a cub to be my puppy.  We haven't kept a puppy in a while and I don't have a single cream doodle doggie that throws chocolate babies - so really it is almost a necessity.  She is a big big stocky puppy and she is totally in love with me.  She is always by my side and she is a pretty easy going mellow pup and I am totally in love with her. Now as I am plotting on just how to make it official....I am thinking that tomorrow is Father's Day.....and what says "I LOVE YOU" more than a sweet cream puppy that licks you and kisses you and follows you every where and thinks you are ever so smart and clever and benevolent?  I am thinking that tomorrow should go something like this: "HAPPY FATHER'S DAY Mr. Yesteryear Acres!!!!!" and then I sneak the puppy onto his lap and then the puppy gives Mr. Yesteryear Acres her best and sweetest look and does the classic doodle head tilt pose and kisses him on his chin. I mean that has to result in complete and total love and voila!  The Polar bear cub is ours!  I am sure Mr. Yesteryear Acres will never see my devious plot coming.  He will just be mesmerized by her beautiful blue eyes and that will be that.  I wonder if it will look too obvious if I already have a name for her?  I am thinking because she looks just like a polar bear she should be named "Juneau".  Awwwww - see?  That is so cute!  That is so irresistible!!!!  Who could resist a cute puppy named Juneau???  Alright. Wish me luck!  Tomorrow is puppy day!!!!  I mean tomorrow is Father's Day!!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Red Cardinal

Do you ever have moments when you think of something that only one other person would find interesting and just smile? It could be a certain smell, or look, or situation - just something that isn't related to anything but instantly makes you think of somebody else. For instance, one day when I was walking at the arboretum with my daughter I stopped dead in my tracks SO EXCITED because I thought I saw an oriole.  I was convinced I saw the deepest red oriole EVER. I dragged my daughter off the path to show her the most beautiful bird in the whole world while my daughter was telling me it was a cardinal. I just wouldn't listen because I was sure I was seeing the most beautiful bird in all the world.  Well of course it was a cardinal. A very deep red cardinal but a cardinal just the same.  My daughter and I laughed at how sure I had been. We decided that he was obviously the stud muffins of all cardinals because he really was very brightly colored and definitely was something to look at.  Now whenever I see a cardinal - I think of my daughter and smile.  Yesterday she told me that she saw a cardinal and thought of me. Nice how that works isn't it? I have lots of those type memory connections.  I can never eat a maraschino cherry without thinking of my grandpa who used to give them to me when I was little. They were the best tasting things I ever ate. I can't watch any military type commercial without tearing up as I think of my daughter and my daughter's friends. Sometimes a song will come on the radio and I can remember exactly where I was when the song came on.  Once in a while it is just silly - like if I hear "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme" I remember riding in the way back of a station wagon as a child and for some reason, I remember that it was completely dark outside as the music played.  If I hear "Feed the Tree" I am instantly in Michigan enjoying the lazy days of summer with my kids laughing as we sing at the top of our lungs. If my mom and I ever hear anyone start talking about wine - we immediately start laughing our heads off. Kool-Aid makes me think of the summer I surprised my little sister at camp. I showed up yelling "Hey! Someone forgot to pack the Kool-Aid!" I know that she thinks of that day whenever she has a glass of Kool-Aid as well. Isn't it funny how just little things can last so long in your memory? It just goes to show that life REALLY is all about the little things.  Big moments are expected and unforgettable but they are woven into the tapestry of life just now and then.  Real living and real memories are all the little things that happen each and every day.  The cardinal that says hello on the tree branch in the morning. The long drive that ends up being so much fun because you talked and talked the whole way about everything and anything. The game you played while waiting at the airport that still makes you smile every time you think of it. Life is not one big thing - it is lots and lots of little things. Take time to appreciate all the little details. You never know when one little detail will end up being something that fills your heart with love.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summer Reading

Ahhhhhh! What a lovely weather day!  I am not sure where the humidity went but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE stay away!  Today has been just delightful. The second you walk outside it feels wonderful. The sun is shining brightly and everything is so fresh and clear and not a haze to be seen for miles.  The puppies are a MILLION times happier today.  We romped around outside for hours this morning.  Everyone was playing and running and having a blast.  Not a single puppy ran to escape the heat by hiding under the bushes as the day was just perfect.  This afternoon the older puppies and I walked back to the pond to play for a while. They had a blast and so did I.  I am trying to come up with a good excuse to sit by the pond and read for a while. These lovely summer days just make me want to have time to read a good book. I LOVE to read.  It is one of life's great pleasures and sadly I rarely have time to read.  I have to save my reading time for vacations.  My dad has a lovely cabin nestled in the woods right on a lake in Northern Michigan and I go up there every summer.  It is a perfect slice of heaven.  My favorite thing to do is to walk down to the dock, sit in my chair and read, read, read all day long.  I like to read one book per day.  I have to make up for all the time I never get to read during the year.  A perfect week at the cabin is sunshiney days, a cool breeze off the lake and book after book after book. I devour every book I have been wanting to read all year long. I am probably quite the boring companion but I am so busy all year long that I relish the quiet beauty of nature surrounding me while I read exciting tales from faraway lands. This summer, Mr. Yesteryear Acres is working on building a dock on our pond.  I am fairly certain he thinks the dock is for fishing but of course he couldn't be more wrong.  The dock will become the "Reading Dock" where one can go to find just the perfect chair, and perfect sun, and a perfect nice cool breeze with a page-turner of a great book.  I can't wait for the reading dock to be built.....after the bedroom.....after the farm chores......after the tractor is fixed.......after the garden is roto-tilled......after the hay is baled. *sigh*  I might have to go set up the perfect chair right next to the lumber that will someday become the reading dock. Perhaps the puppies really want story time!!! I am sure they have all been eagerly anticipating the new James Patterson book or have been dying to hear all about the Girl with the Dragon Tatoo. Maybe tomorrow I can find a way to incorporate story hour into my day.  I can just hear the summer novels calling me!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

If you look for Beauty....You are sure to find it

Today I brought my camera with me on my walk around Yesteryear Acres. Instead of focusing on the muggy heat and time left until my exercise workout was complete, I focused on all the beauty that surrounded me. I found beauty in every step.....

Here is our house from the hill in the backyard
A little bunny hopping on our trail around the woods

The beautiful Field of Hay
I love it when the wind whips across the hay field.
It looks like waves swimming across the ocean in a sea of green.

The Hay is chest high. I like to walk along the edges of the hay and let the tops tickle my finger tips.

Our beautiful pond. There is nothing more peaceful than sitting by the water's edge and feeling the tranquility of the moment wash over you.

Our pond with reflections of sky
Little Fishy Swimming into a Cloud
Pond and Sky

Our Garden
The Beginning.....

Sweet Corn!!!
And Tomatoes.....110 Tomato Plants = Happy Me!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

New Home For Puppy

Nutmeg's new family came right on time this morning. I love it when puppies meet their new owners and it is love at first sight. Nutmeg loved her new mommy the second she met her and Nutmeg's new mommy loved her right back. Nutmeg's new name is now "Annie". Annie's new mommy was so happy because she just loved Annie's coloring and had always wanted a doggie that color. Annie acted as though she knew the morning was all about her and followed her new mommy everywhere she went. I gave Annie one last big good-bye hug before she left and Annie looked at me with a big smile. She knew she was going to be loved forever and ever. I am so happy for Annie. She is going to have a wonderful life. Annie and her new family have to drive all the way back to Wisconsin today. I hope the weather holds out for them. The forecast is just dreary. Hot, Steamy, Muggy, and Humid. And don't forget rain. Lots and lots of rain. Our yard is getting rather soupy. Our hay is ready to be cut and baled but it is just too wet to even think about getting that done. This morning when I walked back to the pond, all the hay was completely lying down flat. Poor wet hay. I checked on our garden and everything is coming up nicely despite the fact it looks as though we are growing our vegetables in a hydroponic facility. One of our standing jokes around here is that whenever it rains, I always tell Mr. Yesteryear Acres that I have been hard at work watering the garden for him. This morning I let him know that last night I watered all 110 tomato plants for him and he said I was overwatering them and I could stop. I guess the consensus is unanimous. The hot sticky wet weather of June can please move on. The doggies and vegetables and horses and humans would all be quite grateful for a bit of drier less moist weather. Until then, guess I better put my galoshes on before I go outside to get my workout in....and maybe I better bring along a snorkel as well. From the looks of things outside, I just might need it!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hot and Muggy

Man was it ever hot today. The air was as thick as pea soup. It felt like the dead middle of summer where everything just sticks to you. Even the puppies were zapped of their energy when we went out today. Everyone ran for the shade of the bushes as they all stretched out trying to stay cool. I tried to go on a walk with the pups only to find I had absolutely no takers. They all looked at me like "HELLO - it is AIR CONDITIONED inside! Let's go back in!!!!" Even Nutmeg didn't want to go walking. I had to tell the puppies that today was PICTURE day!!!! I said it in my nicest most excited voice, so they would all get excited and practice their best smiles, but they weren't convinced. My daughter and I took all the photos as quickly as we could but I am afraid all the puppies' faces say the exact same thing...."Are we done yet?" It was like taking picture after picture of teenagers that didn't want their pictures taken! No one wanted to smile. I think I will take all new photos again this weekend. Hopefully the humidity will ease up a bit by then. Even with the sticky heat, the puppies are really doing well with going to the bathroom outside. The second I take them out - they all do their business right away. Hey..... Maybe it is because of the heat! They are all hurrying so they can come back inside the house! I have the smartest puppies don't I? Along with the long hot puppy picture session, I had a million things to do today. I ran errands all morning long and crossed a lot off of my to do list. Mr. Yesteryear Acres and my son have been out in the garden working all day. I shudder to think of what they will look like when they finally return. I am going to guess they will resemble walking mud men. I think I better go empty the washing machine right now so that they can immediately throw their clothes in. YUCK. Tomorrow morning bright and early Nutmeg leaves for her new home! I am soooo happy for her. She is a super sweet puppy and she has the nicest family coming for her. I will really miss her but I know she will be so loved and so well cared for with her new family. They already have another Yesteryear Acres doodle so Nutmeg will have a sister doodle to play with. I need to go get her baby blankie and new collar ready for her big day tomorrow. Tonight is her last snuggle night here. Tomorrow - a brand new adventure begins for her. Yea for Nutmeg!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday Happenings

Today was another good day here at Yesteryear Acres. My son is home and he is just the biggest helper. When he got up this morning he said he would take care of all the farm chores which was just awesome. We lost our summer helper so having my son step up and do the chores is SO appreciated!!! That left Mr. Yesteryear Acres plenty of time to sand and spackle the bedroom upstairs. YEA! I felt happy all day just thinking about the work being done on the bedroom. My white ghost is back!!! While the boys worked away, my daughter and I made sure that we kept up our end of the work schedule. We first had to get our exercise in and headed out to the arboretum. I had some awesome Latin Reggaeton tunes for the walk and kept grooving the whole time. I was still smiling when I finished. It was a good workout day. We then went grocery shopping and loaded up on more yogurt and other good things. The puppies were particularly happy to see the yogurt parfaits for their supper! Our older puppy that we named Nutmeg is doing really well with the housebreaking. She is on day 5 with no accidents and is the sweetest puppy ever. She is so much fun to hang out with. I think Nutmeg might have a new home! I hope to hear from her new family tomorrow. I hope so because she will bring somebody a lot of happiness. She has a heart of gold! Nutmeg kept my daughter and I company while we made our delicious dinner. One of the best things about summertime is that my daughter has free time to help me cook. She loves to cook and we have so much fun making our family dinners together. She is actually now doing the lion's share of the cooking as she is becoming quite the chef. I take the back seat and do the sous chef work while she does the main production. Tonight we made buttermilk fried chicken strips and twice baked potatoes. For dessert my daughter made a delicious carrot cake (from scratch) with homemade cream cheese frosting. It turned out perfectly and the dinner was excellent. I have to say that Mr. Yesteryear Acres and my son are particularly happy with the new dynamic duo summertime cooking team. The hardest part is trying to outdo the feast we made the evening before. We have set the bar pretty high. Tomorrow will be more of the same. My daughter has 4 hours of swim team practice so we will have to squeeze in our cooking time later in the day. We also have puppy picture day tomorrow! I am going to take new updated photos of all the puppies. Look for some awesome pictures to be posted by tomorrow evening. The puppies are really starting to grow now and are TOO cute. The photo session should be a good one!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Whole New World

WOW! My son is home from his amazing week at the Naval Academy. The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, & Math) program was outstanding. My son learned more during his one week at the Naval Academy than he did in an entire school year. He probably had more hands on experiences in one week than he will his entire time in high school. He came home full of stories about all his accomplishments. When I picked him up at the airport not only did he look taller but he looked like he had matured as well. He was pretty excited about his adventures at the Academy. He liked being surrounded by other smart determined students and loved being challenged by his professors. The chemistry labs, biometric labs and systems engineering classrooms were of great interest to him. He loved every minute. He admitted he had so much fun, he wasn't quite ready to go home and wished he could stay just a little longer. He said that every day was filled with new things to learn and he was too busy and too happy to have time to think of home. His week at the STEM program has made him even more determined to attend the Naval Academy. I am so happy for him. How awesome to be able to find something you love and have your goals set in place at the age of 13. Some people spend years figuring out their passion in life, some never find it. I am not sure how we got so lucky that our children have already found theirs. My older daughter is passionate about graduating from the Naval Academy and serving her country. My younger daughter is really looking forward to participating in the AIM program this summer at the Coast Guard Academy and with any luck, she will be one step closer to being admitted. My son is full of new ideas, new experiences, new goals and a whole new world of technological and engineering career paths to pursue. It is every parent's dream to see that spark in their children's' eyes. That spark that says "I will". I see that spark in my children's eyes and I know without a doubt they will follow their dreams and go on to do amazing things. Tonight we are hanging out all together and happily listening to all the incredible things my son learned while he was away. My son is in the middle of the living room floor totally surrounded by all his doggies and he is filled with hopes and dreams of the future. My deepest thanks to the Naval Academy and the STEM program for making my son's dreams a reality.

Friday, June 11, 2010

True Love

Today was a day for the THREE AMIGOS... my mom, my daughter and I. We haven't had time to hang out together since Spring Break so it was most definitely overdue and so much fun. We started the afternoon with power shopping. We tried on tons and tons of clothes which although looked fabulous on the hangers - did not translate well on real humans. We had a couple of very big laughs at some of the outfits. I was in search of some longer T-shirts and sadly could not find a single one. My daughter had much better luck as she is completely adorable and everything looks cute on her. My mom and I both decided to live vicariously through her and had fun seeing all the cute things she came up with. After my daughter found the cutest summer dress we found ourselves in the purse section of the department store and spent a good portion of time looking for that "must-have" summer purse. So many choices! So much fun! Purses always seem to fit just right. The hard part is choosing which one you love the most. I wouldn't say we were shopped out - as that could never happen - but we did end our power shopping early so we could go see the movie "Letters to Juliet." My daughter just loves romance movies and while I would have preferred to see Russell Crowe as Robin Hood - I couldn't deny the pathetically cute faces that both my mom and daughter gave me when they said that they HAD to see Letters to Juliet. I am not sure what the reviews are for the movie - but I have to admit.....I liked it. It was really cute and who doesn't love a story about TRUE LOVE? The movie takes place in Italy so if you have ever wanted to see the countryside of Verona, Italy AND watch a movie about true love, you will definitely enjoy it. My daughter, my mom, and I smiled the whole time. That is 2 solid hours of grinning - so 2 big thumbs up for that! After the movie we went out to grab a bite to eat and chatted and laughed and talked about True Love. We are lucky because True Love is all around us. I have just the very bestest most loving family and of course, I found my true love! Speaking of True Love, Mr. Yesteryear Acres did an awesome job of caring for the puppies so that my daughter and I could have a day out. As a bonus, the puppies ate all their dinner tonight. That is awesome because a couple of the puppies still weren't too sure if they liked doggie food. They still liked their mommy over solid food so I am happy they are all eating well. I am sure mommy dog is too! I am looking forward to seeing my clean platers tomorrow morning.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rejuvenating Youthful Walk

This morning as the sun was shining brightly I decided to get my exercise in before the day got too busy. I could hear the Arboretum calling me and I was ready for an awesome workout. Mr. Yesteryear Acres had already hooked the trailer up to the SUV and let me know that he needed it for at least another hour or so. Refusing to let that minor setback stop me, I decided to take his car. The car with the manual clutch. The car that I haven't driven for years. But the determination to exercise knows no boundaries and the glorious day awaits!! I quickly put on my authentic workout gear, complete with hip pack/insulated water bottle carrier, iShuffle and my favorite walking shoes. I decided to leave my hat behind as a little Vitamin D is good for the soul. Off I went! Okay....slight pause as I set off the alarm to my husband's car and couldn't shut it off. Take 2 - Off I went! Why is his car so slow? Why is Mr. Yesteryear Acres running behind me yelling? Emergency Brake? What do you mean by Emergency Brake? OH TAKE OFF the Emergency Brake! Take 3 - Off I went!!!! Ahhhh the sweet warm sunshine. The birds singing. The beautiful blue sky. The day couldn't be better. I think I will take the very long trail and follow the autoroad! I set off at a wonderful pace. With each step I could actually feel myself getting younger. I am amazing! I think my butt must be 2 sizes smaller already!!! Just look at my legs. They are looking great! WOW! I feel like I am 20! I throw my head back to gaze at the beautiful pattern the deep green tree canopy makes against the brilliant blue sky. It is breathtaking. I smile at the butterflies. I take big deep breaths in and fill my senses with the smells of flowers, trees and summertime. What a beautiful day! I quietly sing along to all the great music and happily keep walking. Several arboretum workers drive by in their golf carts and I think how sad that they have to drive when they could be walking. They are missing all the beauty! Even though I clearly don't need anything to drink as I am in such awesome shape, I will take just a little sip of water. I am not even sure why I bothered to bring the water bottle. The day couldn't be nicer. Oh my.....where did these hills come from? No worries - I keep walking and walking although my pace is slightly slower then when I started. Good GRAVY! WHEN WILL THIS HILL END??? No wait a minute - WHEN did they put MOUNTAINS IN OHIO?????? Oh my gosh. When will I get to the top??? Gasp. Gasp. I check my pedometer. ACK! I am barely at the halfway mark! I can feel my face getting redder and redder with each step. I am fairly certain that if you were to crack an egg on my forehead it would immediately turn into an omelet. More water. I need more water. I desperately want to pour the cold water on my face but I know without a doubt it will immediately turn to steam. I keep walking and walking. A song comes on that has something like you must feel like you are dying and I can barely whip up enough energy to nod YES YES YES I AM! Where are the golf carts???? Why won't someone stop and give me a ride back??? Oh my gosh. I feel that I am contributing to global warming by the sheer heat intensity from my face. WHERE IS MY CAR? How long is this road???? Why did I leave my hat behind? Vitamin D can be found in a glass of milk!!!! Finally I see my car looming in the distance. Sweet salvation!!!! I slowly crawl to my car to once again set off the alarm. I collapse into the car fairly certain I will never walk again. Okay. Engage clutch. Put car in reverse. ACK! First gear! ENGAGE CLUTCH. Put car in REVERSE. Why is the car going forward??? Engage, Reverse - FORWARD. Engage, Reverse - FORWARD! I am almost to the tree up the hill. My face couldn't get any redder with the heat exhaustion and deep seeded embarrassment. Finally I get the car in reverse and make it home. As soon as I fell out of the car, Mr. Yesteryear Acres said, "Wow, your face is really red!" Really? I had no idea. I think tomorrow I will stick to the wooded trail. Evidently I am not young enough for mountain climbing!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

My Hard Working White Ghost

Once again today our summer worker/helper didn't show up. Sigh. We didn't even get the courtesy of a phone call to let us know that he wasn't coming. I am fairly certain that today's youth are quite familiar with a thing called a cell phone. I am literally one text, one call, one email, one facebook post away from being reachable. Is it that much to ask to at least be polite enough to notify your boss if you are not coming to work? I sometimes fear that I sound like the crotchety old "BACK IN MY DAY" type person but honestly BACK IN MY DAY - you showed up for work. Every day. And did what your were told. And could be counted on. You also worked really hard and didn't expect much in return. We have a lot of work to get accomplished this summer and have very high hopes for making serious progress. Thankfully Mr. Yesteryear Acres is the hardest worker I know and is putting his heart and soul into crossing each "To Do" thing off our list. Today he worked for 5 straight hours sanding our bedroom. When he emerged from the room - he was completely white from head to toe. Even the canals of his ears were white. If he were to close his eyes and stand in front of a white sheet - he would have been completely invisible. Mr. Yesteryear Acres - the great white ghost. I have never loved a ghost more. Our bedroom is getting closer and closer to getting the primer coat on the walls! Oh I cannot wait! It is what I am looking forward to more than anything. While Mr. Yesteryear Acres sanded and sanded and then sanded some more, I took care of all the puppies and held down the fort. All the puppies got their toenails trimmed today and a couple got "sanitary trims" which means I trimmed the hair under their tails. I find that puppies are much more lovable when their outdoor "business" stays outdoors and doesn't come back in stuck to the long hair under their tails. I have yet to find someone who thinks differently. I have to say I did an excellent job today and I will absolutely NOT admit that the reason I did such a great job was because I wore my reading glasses while trimming. If I were to admit that - it would mean that I actually can barely see the little puppy toenails without my glasses. It would mean that while holding out their paws, I just see a mass blurry furry thing and the second I put on my glasses MAGICALLY 5 little claws appear. I will just say that I look particularly nice in glasses and wanted to look my best for the puppies. I am sure that is why the puppies were extra appreciative today. Tonight will be a late night for Mr. Yesteryear Acres as he has all the outdoor farm chores to do without help. I might have to call him and remind him that I have a delicious fresh strawberry pie waiting inside for him when he is all done. That just might be the motivation he needs to keep on whistling while he works. Perhaps I should serve a big scoop of vanilla ice cream along with the pie. He definitely deserves it!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

No Nap for the Weary

At a very young age my mother instilled a great fear in me.... The fear of napping. My mom is adamantly opposed to napping. If she were ready to drop from sheer exhaustion and had NOTHING in the entire world left to do and it was a rainy stormy dreary day and all the electricity in the house was out and her eyelids were barely staying open - STILL she would not nap. There is never a good reason to nap and the most violent of the napping offenses would be to nap as a passenger in her car. That one is a particularly hard one to master as staying awake for hours after endless hours of driving on a turnpike with nothing to see out the windows - well that takes pure talent. I don't believe I have ever taken a nap while she is driving. It is simply one of those cardinal rules that cannot be broken. So today - what did I want to do more than anything? Yes, you guessed it - NAP. I woke up tired. I sleepily walked into the kitchen this morning and barely could keep my eyes open while I fed the puppies. I think even the puppies knew I was tired as they were particularly sweet and loving this morning. They all loved their yogurt parfait breakfast and were very kind about thanking me. I then stacked up all the puppy dishes as I was just too tired to wash them. I stumbled to my computer and answered all my emails all the while thinking about how nice climbing back into bed would be. But alas - there is no napping allowed. I decided that I would force myself to put one foot in front of the other and keep plodding away. Instead of napping, I worked in the kitchen for over 2 hours cleaning dishes and organizing all the plastic containers. Instead of napping, I sorted all our mail and got my bills in order so I could pay them at the end of the week. I then remembered reading something about exercise being responsible for the rejuvenation of one's energy and so I put on my pedometer, cranked up my music and walked for 30 minutes. If I were the star of a great movie - where there is a happy ending and all is right with the world, I would tell you right now that my walk was fantastic! I felt ALIVE and raring to go. But woefully, my walk only made me more tired. I lumbered along looking pathetic the entire 30 minutes. I think even the dogs felt sorry for me. So now I still need to make a homemade strawberry pie, fold 6 loads of laundry, feed the puppies and think of something ultra creative for us humans to eat for dinner. And yes - I still really want to lie down and just close my eyes for 5 minutes. There really is only one thing left to do in a situation such as this.......ESPRESSO!!!! I think I better make mine a double!!!!!
Espresso works!!! With renewed energy I got everything done this evening! Laundry - Check! Puppies- Check! Homemade Strawberry Pie - Check! I even made Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast for dinner. Espresso, you are my friend!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Airport Tales, Butterball Puppies and Girl Time!

My son and I left early this morning for the airport. My son entertained me all the way with his quick skills at naming that tune. I have got to hand it to the kid. He can nail a country song, title and artist in less than 5 seconds of listening to the intro. He doesn't even wait for the lyrics to start. He is fast and very accurate. He even got some oldies. We got him checked into his flight with no problem and the airline ticket counter person was nice enough to issue me a gate pass so I could keep my son company until boarding. Both my son and I got to do the full body scan at the security checkpoint. I had to remove all my jewelry, watch, hair clip - basically everything except my pants and shirt. Nice to know our airports are safe. At the gate my son and I watched people head to and from the gates and made up awesome stories as to where they were going, who they were meeting and what they did for a living. My son is really clever and makes up the most detailed stories. We had a blast. I said my good-byes as he boarded and headed back home. The drive home seemed ever so lonely as compared to the drive to the airport. I already miss him! Once I was home it was PUPPY TIME! The weather was finally nice today so Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I took all the puppies outside to enjoy the beautiful sunshine. The puppies got their nails trimmed and coats brushed and had fun romping around in the yard. It took two hours to get all the photos done today. Hannah's and Autumn's puppies all got the individual puppy picture treatment. I take about 20-25 pictures of every puppy and then pick out the best 2 pictures of each puppy and publish them to our site. Autumn's puppies are big butterballs! They are so nice and square with awesome coats. They look amazing. Autumn's puppies will start solid foods this week and will grow even more. I am pretty darn sure I am going to have to keep Autumn's cream girl with the lime green collar. She is just so adorable. She reminds me of a polar bear cub. I think she wants to stay here at Yesteryear Acres! She would make a lovely addition. I must seriously ponder this one.
Tonight Mr. Yesteryear Acres is working late in the garden. Now I know I should go out there and help him BUT my daughter is sitting right here and we both have that look on our faces. The look says ----oooooh no boys in the house.....we should go watch a girly show without interruptions!!!!! I think that side of my brain just might win! I think it might win and want popcorn! Sorry Mr. Yesteryear Acres!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Packing, Shopping, Packing and More Shopping

Tomorrow my son leaves for the Naval Academy for a week. He is participating in the Naval Academy STEM program. Being all boy - naturally he didn't want to pack his bags until today. So early this morning I asked him to gather all his clothes so I could wash them. Notice how I didn't ask him whether they needed washed - this was an obvious and correct assumption on my part. So down came a mountain of laundry which I dutifully began washing. As each load came out of the dryer it occurred to me that the clothes coming out - looked suspiciously smaller than the boy that was to wear them. My son has had a major growth spurt. When I say major I mean that last June my son wore size 8 shoes. This June he is wearing size 13. Last June my son was 5 feet tall. This June he is 6 feet tall and yes he is still growing. My husband is 5'10" and I am 5'8" and our 13 year old little boy towers over both of us. Sometimes it is hard to keep a serious face while scolding him for a messy room when I have to wag my finger and look up at him looming over me. My little boy is not so little. So today I put my mommy hat on and MADE him try on his clean clothes. Okay. So maybe I need to run to the store really quickly and get a week's worth of new shirts. My son is NOT a shopper so I had to go out solo. I came back with a nice assortment of new shirts AND got his approval. SCORE! So back to the packing. Man clothes take up SO much more room in a suitcase than boy clothes. I had to get out the bigger suitcase. We were really making progress now. We got to the undershirts when again - I was left looking at undershirts that were pathetically small. I had my son try them on. I immediately got the impression that it is in no way a cool thing to have one's shirt end above one's navel. Back to the store! I got boxers, undershirts and more socks. I was willing to pack his suitcase quite neatly with everything folded just so, but once again I got the look that mommies do not pack 13 year old boy's suitcases. My son wanted to throw everything in the suitcase. As in literally THROW it all in. I wanted things packed in neat cubes. A cube for shirts. A cube for undershirts. We ended up compromising. He agreed to put his clothes in folded and I agreed to let him pack. Tomorrow we leave for the airport bright and early. I will really miss him! He is super excited and is so looking forward to his trip. I hope it is still cool for 13 year old boys to tell their mommies all about camp as I cannot wait to hear all about his Naval Academy adventures.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Kitchen Day

Today's completely stormed-filled day did not go unnoticed by me. I did perhaps think that I was too overzealous with my Cloud Appreciation tribute yesterday as the skies opened up and dumped gallons upon gallons of rain. Everything here is soaked. The yard looks like a lake site, our stepping stones to the driveway are submerged and the smell of very wet dog lingers in the house. Yes Mr. Clouds you showed your awesome power today. Maybe tomorrow you could SHARE the day with Mr. Sun. I think that would be awfully thoughtful of you and most appreciated by us. Just a wee bit of drying out would be lovely. When the forecast is that dreary - there is just one thing to do - bake! My daughter and I spent the afternoon in the kitchen and cooked up some delightful treats. We processed and sliced 2 pecks of strawberries and made a beautiful fresh strawberry pie. My daughter even took photos of our masterpiece - it was just that perfect. While we sliced quart after quart of strawberries, we did have a little entertainment to keep the fun going. We put the movie "New Moon" in the DVD player and it was just right for the day's activities. The movie was not too cheesy and was just interesting enough so that we could still keep working and not miss anything nor was it too engrossing so that all our fingers were still intact with no lacerations. We invited a puppy to keep us company in the kitchen the whole time and I believe he really liked the wolf parts. He seemed to be quite enthralled with all the doggie scenes. After we finished the strawberries we did manage to get to the arboretum for our workout. My daughter ran while I walked which brought week THREE of my exercise routine to a close. I have been ever so faithful to my walking and am quite proud of myself. The more I do it, the more compulsive I become in making sure I get my days in for the week. It is a very good thing. When we returned home from working out - more cooking was in order. We made twice baked potatoes, marinated butterfly pork chops and fresh sweet corn. The meal was fantastic and we are all now waiting to recover from eating too much so that we can thoroughly enjoy the strawberry pie for dessert. I think we are calling it a night early and are going to have the puppies join us in the living room as we catch up on a few episodes of NCIS. Pajama Time!!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Mr. Cloud

Today as I was picking strawberries in the blazing heat it occurred to me that clouds are sadly under appreciated. Poor clouds. No one ever looks outside and smiles with glee over a cloud filled sky. Children don't run outdoors yelling "YEA! Look at all the clouds! We love cloudy days!!!" When you have the big family picnic, summer wedding, graduation day or any other outdoor event planned - clouds are never what you hope for. Everyone wants Mr. Sun. Mr. Big Beautiful Yellow Hot Scorching Sun. Mr. Sun gets a lot of credit. He gets a lot of thanks and praise. Mr. Sun just soaks up all the gratitude for every single nice day of summer. The weathermen always love to give you the weather when the forecast calls for bright sunshine. Everyone smiles when looking at the sun-filled forecast. Well today, I am giving thanks to the clouds. My daughter and I went to the strawberry patch and it was hot. I mean baking hot. The strawberries didn't fare well this past week with all the storms. The standing water and blazing heat made for a kind of strawberry soup haze in the air. It took us twice as long to get 1/2 as many strawberries as last week. We traveled about 3 feet for every good berry. After 45 minutes of picking in the heat and feeling the sunburn spread on our legs and shoulders, who showed up? MR. CLOUD! A big beautiful dark cloud that instantly dropped the temperature about 15 degrees. My daughter and I just stood with our faces to the sky and relished the cool breeze that appeared. We decided right then and there that clouds deserve some applause. They bring the rain. They bring shade and cool breezes. On a bright sunny day nothing is prettier than white fluffy clouds. They give us a dazzling show of animal shapes, dragons, monsters, people and the cutest puppy dog ever. Lying in a field staring up at all the images that float by is a great way to share some fun. One person's menacing dragon is always another person's beautiful flower. So thank you Mr. Cloud. Thanks for bringing a little relief from today's overwhelming heat in the strawberry patch. My daughter and I are definitely glad you showed up today!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Official Start of Summer

Summer can now officially begin. The last day of school was today and at precisely 2:40pm you could almost hear the sound of pure happiness fill the air. As that last bell rang and the kids poured out of the buildings, summer officially started. Good ole summertime. Where a big shade tree and an ice cold Popsicle brings happiness like no other. Where endless days of sunshine and freedom and swimming and playing and running and biking fill each and every moment. Summer is my favorite time of the year simply because I get to be with my children almost every single day. I love having them home. I love eating picnics outside and watching movies together. I love that we can hike in the woods together, bake in the kitchen, sit by the pond, play with the puppies or sit together while we read great summer novels. I love having time to just enjoy each other without the worries of homework and schedules and deadlines. I feel like a child again when summer starts because I have so much fun with my kids. I am instantly young again. This summer I am going to squeeze out every drop of enjoyment I can. My younger daughter is now officially a rising senior in high school. Depending on her school choice, this summer could potentially be my last summer with her home. My son is officially a rising 8th grader and I am going to guess as he continues to grow older, he might find one or two things more interesting than hanging out with his mom. I know how quickly the summers of childhood fly by. Blink and you just might miss them. I hope I can find a way to slow down time and make these summer days last as long as I can. Tomorrow we will kick off summer with yet another trip to the strawberry patch. We can't get enough of those sweet sliced strawberries topped with a big tower of whipped cream. Nothing says summer is here to stay like a huge bowl of berries! Let summertime fun begin!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness

I had the nicest telephone call earlier from a father whose daughter is getting one of our donated puppies. He was almost in tears as he told me how much happiness our little puppy will bring to his daughter's life. I had a hard time not crying on the phone listening to him tell me how much a puppy means to him, to his daughter and to his grandson. I am donating one of our sweet little chocolate puppies and will be delivering their puppy to them on my way to the Coast Guard Academy in July. The grandson is autistic and non-verbal. His mom cares for him all by herself as the marriage did not survive raising a special needs child. They have wanted a puppy for so long and the mom is a huge doggie lover. This week her son has been practicing the sign for "dog" and is doing really well. He is also getting really close to saying the word "Bo" which will be the puppy's name. The father told me he almost stopped believing in random acts of kindness but his faith has been renewed. I feel lucky to be able to bring such happiness to another family. Giving back feels amazing. It renews your soul and brings meaning to your life. I think everyone should try to give back just a little. Even small acts of kindness can go a long way towards making the world a happier place. Just the other day while we were picking strawberries, my son spent his own money to buy his sister and I some cold water. When he pulled out his money to pay for the water, he dropped his $5.00 bill on the ground without noticing. After he walked all the way back to the patch and gave us the water he realized he lost his money. When he returned to the farm stand and asked the farmer if anyone saw his money, the farmer had the $5.00 bill for my son. Someone found it and turned it in! How nice is that?! I was really touched. My son had worked so hard for that money and I was so appreciative that someone was kind enough to turn in the lost money. Random acts of kindness DO still exist. I truly believe that no matter which side of the kindness you are on - the one who provides the act of kindness or the one that receives the act of kindness, your heart will be filled to the rim just the same. Spread some joy. Help a neighbor out. Give a hungry child a big hot meal. Offer to run an errand for someone who is overburdened. Help load groceries into an elderly person's car. It just feels good to do good. And please don't forget, if you know of anyone who has gone through some rough times, has served our country or has a child with special needs, and maybe just maybe, life would be changed for the better by adding a four legged furry family member to their home, please have them email me. I would still like to help spread some cheer with a few more donated puppies.