Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Small Hiatus from Veggies

Today I did not process one single vegetable.  Not one. I didn't even slice a tomato or cucumber or snap one solitary green bean today. I know I have LOADS to do still but I declared today VEGETABLE FREE day. I did other exciting things today - like....LAUNDRY! Oooooh ahhhh!  And DISHES!  And everyone's favorite.... PUPPY POOP!!! Oh yes, I also took my son to cross country practice, picked him up, cleaned the refrigerator, answered emails and cleaned my computer.  Isn't that exciting?  And by clean my computer - I mean I actually CLEANED my computer.  I took a can of pressurized air and blew out all the vents and keyboard keys.  I cleaned the monitor and cleaned all of my keyboard keys. I lead an exciting life don't I?  I am sure I will pay the price tomorrow as I have about 2 wheelbarrow loads of beets to process and I haven't even begun the tomatoes yet. Mr. Yesteryear Acres thinks we have about 3 trailer full loads of tomatoes to pick. I predict that I will have the most wrinkly crinkly fingers on the planet by the end of Labor Day weekend. I will be boiling water and peeling tomatoes for hours.  I know it will all be worth it in the end but I have to say the massive workload that lies in front of me is intimidating.  I will just have to put one tomato in front of the other and get it all done. The most essential part of my tomato fest isn't the 104+ glass quart jars that I have to carry up from the basement and then wash and sterilize them.  It isn't the metal rings, funnels, lid magnet, canning racks or canning pots. It isn't even my favorite and bestest tomato knife.  No - the most essential part of tomato fest 2010 is....which movies shall I select to keep me company whilst I peel tomatoes for hours on end? This is a serious question! I mean it can't be such a GREAT movie that I find myself turning away from the sink with a sharp tomato knife in my hand and then absent mindedly cut off one of my fingers.  I mean with all that tomato junk in the sink - it would be hours before I realized I was bleeding! It also cannot be so boring that instead of focusing on the plotline - I am counting the exact number of tomatoes that I have peeled thus far.  That can be depressing! It has to be somewhere right in the middle.  So exciting that I ALMOST forget the fact that I have been standing in front of a sink for days, peeling sink full after sink full of tomatoes but not SO exciting that I leave the sink and sit in front of the TV with a bowl of popcorn. See?  It is a tough decision.  It could never be anything as fantastic as something starring George Clooney or Kevin Costner or Russell Crowe.  My back is turned AWAY from the TV.....I cannot SEE them.  That would be torturous.  I am going to really have to think long and hard to figure out just who will be joining me for Tomato Fest 2010. Perhaps I should pick Hugh Grant.  Just listening to his cute British accent should be excellent company.  Have you ever seen him as the Prime Minister of Britain in Love Actually?  Brilliant! Yes - I think Hugh will be just the man for the job. He is perfect.

Monday, August 30, 2010

What else?.... Cute Puppies!

Scarlet's puppies are almost ready for their new homes. They are all doing really well and are getting the hang of going to the potty outside.  They are the friendliest bunch of puppies and could not be any cuter. I took new pictures of all our puppies so everyone could see how adorable they are. Look at these faces:

This is a really fun age because the puppies just love to follow you everywhere you go and they are just so happy whenever you walk into the room.  Their tails are always wagging and they are full of kisses.  If you sit down for even a second - your lap will be covered in puppies. A lap full of loveable kissable puppies will always put a smile on your face.  Guaranteed. It is nice to know that whenever you need a big smile - a puppy is always ready to give you one. This is also a fun time for the new puppy families.  The puppies really look like puppies now and this is the time when everyone starts choosing just which puppy will be theirs.  When they are this cute - it is a hard choice!!!  I had lots of emails today oooooohing and aaaaaaahing over the new photos.  It was a really fun day.  I love an email box full of smiles! 
I also got a few pictures of our younger puppy babies.
This one is our "Got Milk?" girl.  She is SO cute!
These babies are just one week old.
Just about the time I thought I was done taking pictures for the day, look who joined us for Fresh Apple Pie....minus the pie

The apples must be really delicious because the 2 deer just stayed and ate and ate and ate while 9 puppies zipped all around the yard having a good ole puppy romp. And the creatures....Big and Small.....were loved by us all.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tangible Love

Love is most often thought of as a feeling. An intangible energy of goodness and warm happiness.  Something you feel so deeply that it completely fills your soul. It is an eternal light that guides your way each and every day. You can love other people. You can love food. You can love traveling, reading, swimming, animals, sunshine, palm trees, mountains, beaches, picnics, shooting stars, sand castles and snowmen.  The number of things you can love is infinite.  Life is full of so many good things to love and if you are lucky, your love will be returned to you again and again. Love isn't often thought of as tangible but I assure you it is possible to touch, hold and carry true love right in your hands. Today that is what I did. I had true love right in my hands and it made my heart smile.  While I was busy working away trying to get a million things done, my daughter was secretly cooking up some love right in my kitchen. She made Mr. Yesteryear Acres a fresh homemade apple pie with the apples she picked from the orchard. Anyone that knows Mr. Yesteryear Acres or Mr. Yesteryear Acres' dad knows that apple pie = true love. If you could have seen his face when he walked in the kitchen and smelled the pie baking, you would have seen what genuine complete happiness looks like. He was all smiles and that smile made me smile and our smiles made my daughter smile. The feeling must have lasted quite a while because then my daughter continued her baking project and made fresh homemade cookies. I am not a big apple pie lover but I LOVE COOKIES.  I mean I really love cookies.  I am almost always the one baking cookies and I am always happy when people enjoy eating my homebaked goodies. I know homebaked cookies make people happy but today I really felt what it was like to be on the receiving end - to be the one being given a homebaked cookie instead of the one giving the cookie.  I have to tell you - it feels wonderful.  It feels like you are so special. It feels like you could wrap your arms around yourself with a big goofy smile on your face while you say "Mmmm mmmm mmmm" just like that cartoon doggie on TV. It feels so heart warming that someone took the time out of their day to bake you something you love to eat.  And when my daughter gave me one of her delicious cookies, right then and there, I promise you, I held true love right in my hands. It was warm and smelled so good - and then you guessed it....I loved every bite. I think the next time I bake something, I will have an even bigger smile on my face than I usually do.  I know exactly how it feels to have someone make a cookie just for you.  It feels like love.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Green Bean Saga continues

We are up to our ears in green beans. There are just sooo many tiny sweet tender beans and it is taking us forever. I snipped beans last night until I wasn't sure what hurt more, my fingers or my back. Mr. Yesteryear Acres came to help and he got as far as "She loves me.....She loves me not" while snipping the ends of the beans before he fell asleep on the floor with the pile of beans under his head.  I set up my buckets and containers on the living room floor and snipped until I couldn't feel my legs or back any longer. I finally gave up around 12:30am and headed to bed.  I was up early this morning as I had to make a nice breakfast complete with scrambled eggs and toast for my son.  He had his first cross country meet of the season so I wanted him to have a good start to his day. I dropped him off at school and was back home by 7:30 this morning and started in once again on the beans. I set up a better system for snipping and covered my couch in sheets and set up everything on the couches. Ahhhhhh. That was a million times better than sitting on the floor.  I then turned on a good episode of NCIS and got busy.  I snipped beans until 11:15am when I headed off to my son's cross country meet.  Alas...when I returned home from the meet, the beans were still there waiting for me. I worked on them with my daughter this afternoon and we finally got all the beans snipped, cleaned, blanched and packed in quart containers. We stood in the kitchen over steaming pots of boiling water until every last bean was done. We still have more beans to pick and more that need to be put away for the winter.  There are many more hours and hours of beans in my future. I think tomorrow I should pick the beans while Mr. Yesteryear Acres does all the snipping and processing.  I mean, he got to sit outside on a beautiful summer day with the bright yellow sun shining down on him and a lovely breeze to keep him cool. The birds were singing, the deer were off in the distance and the horses were out there to keep him company. I was starting to feel a little bit sorry for myself when Mr. Yesteryear Acres shared his side of the bean saga. Mr. Yesteryear Acres thinks perhaps he got the harder end of the deal with the green bean business. I of course beg to differ but nonetheless, his side of the story goes something like this.......(DISCLAIMER - Mr. Yesteryear Acres didn't actually say any of this because he is too nice to ever complain BUT I am thinking he might have thought this once or twice today! LOL)..... "Have you ever wondered what it would be like to pick four laundry baskets full of beans?  I am talking full size laundry baskets full to the top of green beans.  And not big ole green beans either. Noooooo, my wife likes them teeny tiny and all uniform in size with no big beans in them.  She prefers them very young and tender so that it takes about 100 beans just to get a partial covering in your basket.  Now I admit they ARE delicious that way but the amount of work is almost quadrupled in order to pick enough for the winter. I spent all day in the blazing sun with no breeze, bent over picking bean after bean, hour after hour, barely watching the level of beans in the basket rise.  My shirt rose up about 2 inches in the back as I was hunched over the plants, so now I have a lovely 2 inch sunburn across my lower back right to my jeans line.  I am walking like a man in his late 80's as I haven't been able to stand up straight for several hours. My wife, Mrs. Yesteryear Acres, has been sitting on a nice cushioned sofa on a soft sheet with her legs propped up watching TV shows.  I heard her laughing while I was desperately pouring myself a glass of ice water as I was afraid I might drop from dehydration.  I took a peek in the living room and she is set up like a princess surrounded by her green beans. All she has to do is snip off the ends.  How hard is that?  I have a permanent river of sweat running down my back as I toil out in the fields and she has Gibbs and Ziva and Abby to keep her company all day. I am thinking that tomorrow we should switch jobs!"
Dear Mr. Yesteryear Acres, thank you for picking all the beans.  I will very much look forward to snipping and processing the other rows of beans that you will so lovingly pick tomorrow morning.  Gibbs and Ziva are already waiting for me.

Friday, August 27, 2010

I Hope You Like Green Beans

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to snip 4 laundry baskets full of green beans?  No?  Not even a little? Doesn't it sound like that would be the ultimate in fun and entertainment? Not really???? Gee.  That is what I get to do tonight. Snip. Snip. Snip. Snip.  Then tomorrow in between taking care of the puppies and going to my son's cross country meet,  I get to process all the beans. And I wouldn't want you to get the wrong impression and think that I would be snipping four laundry baskets full of BIG ole green beans because that really wouldn't take hours and hours and hours. Oh no...we like our green beans nice and petite and mmmmm just right. There are literally hundreds and hundreds of green beans per basket.  They almost melt in your mouth they are so young and tender.  See how beautiful they are?

If you ever want your doggie to do a fantastic trick and feel you would really love to give your doggie a yummy treat - fresh green beans are awesome.  Our dogs love them. The puppies love them too.  Whenever I stand at the sink snipping away, I always have several pairs of eyes watching my every move.  What they are silently saying, "Oh I hope she drops one! I hope she drops one! OH PLEASE I hope she drops one!" The second I hand them a fresh green bean they immediately take off to some corner with their ultimate treasure.  Honestly they are that good! And yes - the humans in our home REALLY love them too! Green beans make delicious additions to sandwiches and wraps.  Tonight we are having homemade buttermilk fried chicken strips and putting them on warm tortillas with fresh (raw) green beans, paper thin sliced cucumbers and fresh tomatoes.  Put a teeny bit of buffalo wing sauce and ranch dressing on there, wrap up your tortilla, and you have yourself the best and most mouth watering delicious wrap on the planet!  I made myself hungry just writing that! What we can't eat fresh this week will all get processed and frozen for the winter.  That way we can enjoy our beans all year round.  The goal for green beans....52 quarts. I hope there is something really good on TV tonight.  I have a feeling I might be in for a double feature as I sit and snip and snip and snip. I wonder if Kevin Costner would like to keep me company? I am certain that he has to be a green bean lover and would make an excellent companion for Green Bean Fiesta night.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Time for Homework

You would think by the time I reached the ripe old age of 45 I would be done with homework right? WRONG! I forgot how peaceful the summer was without homework assignments and parent signatures and of course the lovely sound of "I DON'T GET THIS PROBLEM!!!!" that is so sweetly and softly spoken...kind of like the sweet sound a chainsaw makes cutting through an enormous log while you are perhaps simultaneously listening to the sound of a sick screeching parrot screaming in your ear. Ahhh yes. School has begun.  We are at day 4 and already the complaints and the woe is me and the we must torture mommy endlessly has already begun.  My son is taking French 1 and is already massacring the language.  His pronunciation leave quite a bit to be desired and he takes great joy in asking me how I am about every 90 seconds.  I believe today alone I heard "Ce Va?" 1,980 times. I have also been asked, "What is your name" at least 500 times. I am being stalked everywhere I go with my son singing the French alphabet and missing the letter H every time. Ahhh the joy.  Today alone I have helped with French, Algebra, AP English and Physics. I think my brain hurts. Evidently my brain has been quite dusty over the summer and has stored the part that loves sine and cosine and tangents WAY in the back recesses. Okay that was just a bold lie. There is no part of my brain that loves sine, cosine and tangents.  I mean seriously...today I had to walk 32 meters to the north, turn 30* and walk another 45 meters and blah blah blah blah.  Who turns exactly 30* anyway?  Of course I can't tell my kids that.  I have to act SO interested. OH wow!  What is the inner degree of THAT triangle?  How much land DID that man cover whilst walking? Isn't that so INTERESTING?!!  I am fairly certain my kids aren't buying it. My son had to come up with multiple ways to get every single integer from 1 - 20 using only the numbers 1, 2, 4 and 5. He didn't seem to share my enthusiasm for how delightful that particular math exercise was.  He didn't seem to share my enthusiasm for how fun ALL his homework is.  And so the torture begins.  I pretend to LOVE LOVE LOVE helping them with their homework and they don't even try to pretend they LOVE LOVE LOVE doing it.  My son is the best at not pretending he loves it.  He is the best at loathing and stalling and moaning.  He will probably deny this with all his being BUT....once he started finding the ways to make all the integers from 1-20 he started smiling.  And then he started liking it.  And then he found more ways to solve each integer than the homework specified because he was so good at it.  So despite ALL those protests...inside of each of my kids you will find a dedication to do all those dreaded homework assignments passionately. And that makes Time for Homework honestly not too torturous.....even if I do have to say "Je suis fatigue" 2,987 times a day.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Even Hours

We have things quite scheduled here at Yesteryear Acres so that all the creatures big and small get cared for properly.  Dinners for humans are planned around school activities and sports.  We make it a priority to always eat dinner together, at the dining room table, with no cell phones, no texting, no computers, no instant messaging and no TVs.  You know like back in the day when parents asked their kids, "how was school" and kids answered back right away and said "boring".  Not like today when parents ask kids, "how was school" and then there is a long indeterminate pause where all you here is the clicking of the keys on the cell phone so they can tell their BFF Waz up? and How R U? and LOL, and then finally you get a "huh? did you say something? oh yea school was boring." Nope we don't do that here.  We have real conversations and real laugh out louds. Sometimes we eat dinner ridiculously early so we are sure to make it to a meet on time and other times we eat dinner WAY late in the evening after a meet is over. It is nice to make having meals together a priority and I think the kids will remember all the family dinners we have enjoyed.  The care of our four legged family members is also very scheduled. New puppy pictures are taken over the weekend. Mondays are puppy nail trimming days. Fridays are "sanitary" trimming days. Wednesday we check ears and make sure they are all nice and clean. Some chores are done EVERY single day. Doggie pans, puppy pans, and water buckets get scrubbed and cleaned every day.  Poop gets cleaned up from the yard many times daily and all the doggie runs are cleaned no matter what Mother Nature has planned for that day.  The hottest day of summer with heat indexes reaching way over 100* does not prevent the good ole poop clean up.  Blizzards, ice storms, torrential downpours - it doesn't matter because poop happens no matter what the weather.  Poop removal is done here every single day of every single week of every single month of every single year.  Even on Christmas.  There are no days off. Puppy poop gets cleaned up about every 15 minutes.  Puppies are messy and need lots of attention. They also go outside every 2 hours like clock work. Depending on the energy level of the humans - the first time out is somewhere between 6am and 7am. If it is a 7am morning - then you know that all day long - it is an odd hour day.  Puppies get watered and go out at 7am, 9am, 11am, 1pm and so on.  Last out of the evening is somewhere between 11pm and midnight.  We rarely go to bed before midnight so usually midnight wins. Today was an even hour day.  The puppies did really well and almost every puppy actually went potty outside each time they went outdoors.  They are good puppies! They are super loving too.  They made the even hour day go by pretty quickly and were very appreciative of all the love. I have a T-shirt that says "Agenda for the Day" ... "Let Dog In....Let Dog Out....Let Dog In....Let Dog Out....Let Dog In.....Let Dog Out.....Let Dog In..." and so on. I wear it sometimes in case I need help remembering just what it is I am supposed to do ha ha ha ha. It is quite appropriate isn't it?  So tomorrow if you happen to look at the clock and it is let's say 11am...and it is an odd hour day - you will know exactly what I am doing right at that moment.  I probably will be right in the middle of letting a dog in.....letting a dog out.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Coffee for Two

This morning Mr. Yesteryear Acres surprised me by having our coffee all ready in "to-go" cups.  I followed him outside in my pajamas and he had cushions all ready and we went out to the dock to enjoy our lovely cup of joe.  It was lovely.  The sun was still low in the sky and created beautiful colors on the blue water in our pond.  We sat on our lounge chairs and slowly sipped our steaming cups of coffee and just talked.  Just the two of us - well the two of us and a couple of doodle doggies.  A doodle doggie makes the very best blanket you know! They are nice to have on your lap on a cool morning. It was really nice to be able to have a morning together with my husband uninterrupted. No questions. No emergencies. No errands. We haven't been alone to chat since....since....hmmmm - well I am thinking it was on our drive to Annapolis back in May. See?  That is a long time to not sit and chat with your very best friend.  We talked about our plans for the fall and what we wanted to get accomplished. We have lots of plans and big hopes for things to get done around the house. And then we just sat back in our chairs and soaked up the quiet. I have to admit I enjoy quiet much more than I used to.  I used to hate quiet times and would busily think of all the things I needed to do or I would worry about something or someone.  I never could just sit in the quiet and find it relaxing. My mind couldn't let go of my many to-do lists and quiet seemed an enormous waste of time.  I don't feel that way any longer and this morning I really enjoyed the stillness. Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I watched the fish swim across the water creating waves as they went by.  We watched the mockingbird family fly to and from their nest in the pine tree.  We watched a deer eating the apples off the ground by our apple tree. We looked at the clouds and sky and green pastures and smiled. It was a little slice of heaven right there added to our morning coffee. It almost....just almost...made me feel okay that the kids were all at school. I mean if they called right then and said they were on their way home - I would be REALLY happy - but I have to admit, that sitting there on the dock, in the peace and quiet, surrounded by nature, with a warm doggie blanket, holding hands with my husband, was pretty darn perfect.  I have to give it to Mr. Yesteryear Acres.  He really knows how to start the day with a smile.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Today I celebrated my 45th birthday and with that came some significant milestones. First - of course - being 45 years old is a milestone in itself.  I think I am just at the right age where I have lived long enough to have had meaningful life experiences, events, struggles, hard times and happinesses and still young enough to fully apply all the knowledge I have acquired during my 45 years to my daily life. It is a good age. The worries of youth are long behind me and the stillness and peace that comes with growing older bring appreciation, gratefulness, and joy. My oldest daughter reached a milestone today.  She signed her 2 for 7 papers at the Naval Academy.  The 2 for 7 signing is a commitment by the midshipmen to promise to finish the remaining 2 years at the Naval Academy and then promise to serve in the Navy or Marine Corps for an additional 5 years of service. Once the papers are signed, they are bound by the laws and demands of the Navy. It is a very important day and I am so proud of my daughter.  She has promised me pictures of her signing ceremony for my birthday present. I can't wait to see them. My younger daughter had her own milestone as this was her very last first day of high school.  She is now officially a senior.  We will be having a lot of "last this" and "last that" as the year progresses.  Some will be sad. Some will happy.  I will continue to live in the moment and for today - the last first day of high school is a good thing.  My son had his last first day of junior high.  Next year he will be at the high school. Sigh. Of course this should be as no surprise to me as I had to once again buy new jeans for him as he continues to grow like a weed.  We are now up to size 34" length jeans. Yes, he is 14 years old. Yes, I will need to take out a loan to keep him clothed. Perhaps buying new jeans every 2 months is a milestone. I wonder how long he will keep that up? A couple of milestones that I missed.....I was hoping today that I wouldn't have to write my name and address and telephone number a thousand times on my children's school forms. Wrong. Why can't the school save that information on something called...a computer???  Why do I have to fill out 750 index cards with the same information over and over each and every year? Honestly.  I got a hand cramp writing our dentist's name and address on every card.  I also hoped that today I might not have to do laundry and dishes. Bwahahahaha! I am so funny.  It is nice to dream though isn't it? And lastly, I was hoping that today I would mark the most exciting milestone of all time.....a birthday without having to clean up puppy poop. My dreams of that particular milestone were all washed out by 7:55am. And then again at 8:20am.  And then again at 9:30am. Followed quickly by another lovely "present" at 9:35am. Pretty much every hour. Oh well. At least I got tons of thank yous and lots of appreciation!  You just have to love puppies for that!  They gave me birthday greetings and wishes every time I walked in the kitchen today!  So another year starts.....I am looking forward to each and every moment of each and every day.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Best Meal of my Life

Today was the very last day before school starts.  Tomorrow will be a sad day as the kids go BACK TO SCHOOL and yes, I will actually and truly miss them. I LOVE it when they are home. It is the best time of the whole year. I dislike school starting as much as the kids dislike it.  It is a hard adjustment for me and for them!  For some odd reason the school system here ALWAYS picks my birthday as the day school starts.  If my birthday falls on a Tuesday - then Tuesday is the first day of school.  Wednesday - yep you guessed it.  So this year Monday IS the first day of school and yes tomorrow is also my birthday. If we can, we like to have my big birthday dinner the night before because the first day of school is always hectic.  To me, the very best birthday presents in the whole world come from the heart and of course my family has the very bestest and biggest hearts so this birthday was no exception.  My family made me the very best meal of my life!!! Oh my gosh it was soooooo good!  Everyone worked together to create the birthday masterpiece.  We cooked everything outside so the mess stayed outdoors.  Excellent idea!!!
The menu:
Delicious Homemade Rotisserie Style Chicken, Sweet Potato French Fries and Fried Tomatoes.  And for dessert....my favorite cake in the whole world. Swiss Chocolate Cake with Classic Chocolate Frosting. It was HEAVENLY!!!
Here is Mr. Yesteryear Acres hard at work.

His masterful creation of fried tomato slices.  Honestly - the best thing I have ever eaten.......EVER!  They were soooo good!!!!!
Mr. Yesteryear Acres made 4 cookie trays full of tomatoes.

I am a very good assistant to the Chef. See how hard I am working?

Mr. Yesteryear Acres made a TON of teeny tiny itsy bitsy julienne strips of sweet potato fries.
OH I love these!!!!

I think I ate a garden full

Mr. Yesteryear Acres can not be outdone as Master of the Grill
Birthday Kiss
My perfect cake.  I LOVE chocolate!!!!

Thank you for the best birthday dinner!!!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Half a Bushel of Happiness

Today was Half Bushel day!  My daughter and I started the morning off by picking a half bushel of peaches.  The picking was really tough.  The trees only had a few peaches here and there and some were WAY too ripe and others were still rock hard.  It took a long time to pick enough to get our half bushel basket full.  We then picked a half of a bushel of Gala apples.  After our peach expedition -the apple picking was a breeze. The trees were totally loaded and we didn't even have to move before our basket was overflowing.  To continue with the Half Bushel theme we actually picked an exact half bushel of zucchini and eggplant and then picked a half bushel of tomatoes.  No more. No less.  That is all there was.  The tomatoes are just starting to ripen now and it won't be long before we are swimming in tomatoes.  I am hopeful that Labor Day weekend will be tomatofull!  I need to can at least 104 quarts of tomatoes to get us through the year so I should be peeling tomatoes for the entire 3 day weekend. It is always a ton of work but I LOVE TOMATOES!  So the work is well worth it.  After my daughter and I were finished picking all our garden goodies, we treated ourselves to the best sandwich of the summer...........White Squishy Bread, Miracle Whip and Fresh sliced tomatoes. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm!  Lunch couldn't have been better.  Every bite was full of sun-ripened juicy deliciousness!  Once our bellies were full we got busy processing our half bushels of goodness.  We processed half of the peaches and ended up with a gallon of sliced peaches to put away for the winter. We then sliced all the eggplant and zucchini and a lot of the tomatoes and roasted them all. The house smells heavenly.  Hopefully when the vegetables are done cooking, we will have a few gallon ziplock bags full of roasted veggies for the freezer!  Even though my daughter and I have crinkly wrinkly fingers from all the peeling and chopping, we are happy.  It was a day well spent and we will all enjoy the hard work later!  I am hopeful that tonight we can watch a movie with our doggies and just sit and relax. Maybe we should pop some homegrown popcorn into our half bushel basket and enjoy!  I am kind of thinking we deserve it!!!

Friday, August 20, 2010


My older daughter is safely back at the Naval Academy.  I dropped her off around noon along with the overflowing car load full of her uniforms and books and issued items and her comforter and blanket and pillow. We said our goodbyes and are already counting the days until we see each other again. I made the long drive back and was happy to play all my favorite songs on the car stereo. I picked all the best songs and happily sang along. It was nice to listen to what I like instead of relinquishing the stereo to my children. Ahhhh good road tunes finally!!!!! I talked to my mom on the phone for a long time on my drive home today.  We have both been so busy that it was awesome to catch up.  We actually talked for hours! OF COURSE I was using the hands free bluetooth phone system - so yes Mr. Yesteryear Acres - both hands were on the wheel and I was very safe while driving home. I was really glad to have spent the time with my mom.  We had some very much needed catching up to do. She was very good company!!!!  I got home in time for a late dinner and Mr. Yesteryear Acres had fresh picked sweet corn and tomatoes ready. Mmmmm.  That was delicious as always.  After dinner the four of us when out with a couple of doggies and puppies and played with bubbles.  Actual old fashioned, comes in a plastic bottle with a plastic wand, good ole bubbles.  If you ever want to have a very good laugh and be covered in smiles - blow bubbles for your doggie.  They are hysterical!  Our dogs do jumps and flips and run all over trying to pop each and every bubble before they hit the ground.  We were all laughing.  The kids loved it when Mr. Yesteryear Acres kept saying he was such a master with bubbles but they kept outdoing him in bubble performance. They were getting about 40 bubbles out of each wand and Mr. Yesteryear Acres had one or two.  It was pretty funny.  The doggies didn't seem to notice.  When Mr. Yesteryear Acres put his bottle of bubbles down....he was greeted by a furry wagging happy doodle with the bottle of bubbles in her mouth.  She wanted to let him know that she was ready for more.  It was a lot of fun being kids tonight and having fun blowing bubbles. The simple joys here always remind me.....there is no place like home.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Perfect Egg

We finally got to eat our dinner last night at 10:15pm.  I couldn't let my older daughter go back to the Naval Academy without a last goodbye delicious dinner. I asked her what she wanted for her last evening at home and she said she wanted Eggs Benedict.  Despite the fact I am a very good cook, I have never once made Eggs Benedict.  In fact, I have never once made a poached egg.  Well if Eggs Benedict is the wish of the evening - Eggs Benedict it is!!!  I started earlier in the evening and made a batch of homemade rolls.  I have been told that my rolls are heavenly - and while I can't exactly promote my own rolls as such, as that might sound a bit gloating, they are REALLY yummy! I then went out to the garden and picked fresh zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, onions and red ripe tomatoes. My younger daughter and I then sliced all the veggies, tossed them in some olive oil, a little fresh lemon and seasonings and roasted them for an hour.  I whipped up some homemade hollandaise and set it aside on warm. The next step was to poach the eggs. I was REALLY nervous because the dinner all came down to this one moment. The success of my new dish Eggs Benedict ala Renee - depended on the eggs being perfect. I got the water to the perfect low rolling simmer, slipped the eggs in and in exactly 4 minutes - I was looking at a skillet full of perfectly poached eggs.  I put the roasted vegetables on top of my homemade roll, topped the veggies with the perfect poached egg and then spooned hollandaise on top.  My family was duly impressed. Heck - I was duly impressed.  The dinner was DELICIOUS!  I mean perfect!  Who knew I had that inside me all along?!  My daughter was actually a little miffed because she had to go back to the Academy TODAY and I waited over 20 years before I ever made what is now without a doubt her favorite meal of all time.  She has asked to have that each and every time she comes home AND I am to please make it for her every time I visit her at the Academy. It was really that good.  We ended the evening with one last campfire evening.  We sat out by the pond under the stars and made campfire caramel apples.  Perhaps in another blog I will share my fantastic campfire caramel apple recipe because they are SO good and a lot of fun to make while sitting around the campfire together.  The apples were the perfect end to the perfect meal with of course the perfect egg.  We stayed out until almost midnight and even saw a few shooting stars.  I think we all made the same wish......that it won't be too long before we can all be a Party of 5 once again.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Procrastination.....never quite a good idea in the end

Today is the LAST DAY of the summer that we will be a Party of 5. I am driving my older daughter back to the Naval Academy tomorrow morning.  We all won't be together again until Thanksgiving. It is a sad day but instead of wallowing in sadness we were hit with gigantic "must get done before I head back to the Academy" missions. All those days of summer when we could have easily tackled any number of the must get done items - those days came and went.  Way back when - procrastination seemed like a great idea.  Why do all that yucky stuff now?  We should enjoy summer!  We should do it....tomorrow!  Well tomorrow after tomorrow after tomorrow passed yet nothing on the MUST DO list got crossed off. So what did my older daughter do all day? Work work work!!!  Tons of boxes had to be sorted and the MOUNTAIN of laundry that needed to be washed TODAY almost circled the globe.  I believe that Tide will be sending me a big thank you card. I have to be their biggest supporter after today's laundry tasks. It is already after 9pm and we haven't even had dinner.  We haven't packed the car. We aren't even close to being done. Tomorrow morning will be here before we know it and we will be hitting the road first thing. I guess we can wish that we did all these last minute items a little at a time over the course of the past month OR we can be thankful that we spent all those days not thinking about the return to the Academy. Reality came knocking on our door even though we tried so hard to deny its entrance into our lives. So today was a day to get things done. To marvel at the mass amount of things one family can get done in just one day.  To be grateful for all the days this summer we loved being a Party of 5.  To be happy for all the laughs, all the good times and all the accomplishments here at Yesteryear Acres. We are an awesome Party of 5. Try as I might to hold back my tears - I know they will freely flow down my face as I wave my final good-bye to my daughter and make the long drive home alone. Most will be tears of sadness....but a few will be tears of happiness and pride. I am grateful for every minute she was home and so happy that we were all able to spend so much time together. I will wave good-bye knowing that she is off - fulfilling her dreams and her own destiny. Nothing makes a mother's tears shine brighter.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Pond Day!

Today I did something I never ever get to do - I did absolutely.......nothing!!!! I actually honestly seriously did nothing for almost 2 whole hours today! The kids and I went out to the dock armed with a delicious lunch and nice cold drinks and sat out in the brilliant sunshine for almost 2 hours. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, the water was cool and refreshing and the living was definitely easy.  It was AWESOME.  I brought a book out with me. Reading on a soft comfy chair in the beautiful sunshine, by clear blue water and green pastures is just about my favorite thing to do in the whole world. I think every 5 minutes or so I looked around just to soak in the beauty that surrounded me and to smile at how peaceful and how happy I was to be sitting right there on my lovely dock.  We all got rosy cheeks and a nice little suntan and I got about half of my book read. It was HEAVEN!  After the much deserved break, we had swimming lessons.  I am sure you are thinking that perhaps my son was receiving swimming lessons or some other person was at the pond - but nope.  Here at Yesteryear Acres swimming lessons are for the doggies!  We took a couple of older pups out to teach them to swim and a few young doggies too.  They all did their best and most perfected the dog paddle quite quickly.  The swimming lessons all gave us some really good laughs and I think we might have a few contenders for the dock diving competition.  We ended our afternoon with a very long photo session for my younger daughter.  We took over 500 pictures for her senior picture portfolio. We did complete outfit changes - the whole deal. We got some AWESOME shots and it will be hard for us to pick which ones are our favorites.  They are really that good. I think it might just be the most successful photo shoot ever.  The pictures off the dock turned out really well and the lighting was just right.  All in all - I say our day was picture perfect!

Monday, August 16, 2010


Corn, Corn, Corn and yes.....more corn! Today was CORN day!!! Mr. Yesteryear Acres was up bright and early and picked a trailer full of fresh sweet corn and so began our annual corn day.  We try to process at least 52 pints of corn so we can have delicious sweet corn every week of the year. Usually corn day falls exactly on our anniversary but this year it waited just one more day so we could spend our anniversary without being covered in kernels of corn. You can't imagine HOW sticky corn is! It gets EVERYWHERE.  All over the counter tops, cabinets, stools, shoes, legs, arms - you get the picture.  We look like walking corn cobs when we are all done! The process takes all day long and it is a massive group project to get it all finished. About half way through the day it is necessary to remind each other just how much we like sweet corn and how glad we will be when we get it all processed.
Here is the trailer ready for the husking
mmmmm sweet corn!

The husking crew

Our doggies LOVE LOVE LOVE corn day!  Nothing like fresh sweet corn for a delightful treat.  They eat it right off the cob and are SO excited. We have major corn loving doggies here!

Eloise had her fill.....she quickly found she needed a corn nap!

The counters were stacked from end to end with corn

and more corn

Mr. Yesteryear Acres, my oldest daughter and son were the designated corn strippers. They spent hours getting all the kernels off the cobs.

My younger daughter and I packed the corn into pint containers.  Our days workload....70 pints of corn!!! YEA!  We got our year's supply of corn done in one day AND finished before dark!  That is a miracle right there. We usually are still processing corn until way after midnight. Five hard workers really made a difference!  We still have lots of corn that will be ready to be picked this upcoming weekend.  Guess our corn stand will be up and running! Please pass the butter and the salt!!!! YUM!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Happy 23rd Anniversary

Today marks 23 years that Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I have been happily married. And when I say happily - I really mean it. The day I married Mr. Yesteryear Acres was the happiest day of my life and from the moment I said "I Do" and every moment since, it truly has been Happily Ever After. Of course we have little arguments here and there and have days where I am sure we completely annoy each other, but we have never had a huge fight.  We have never had a disagreement that couldn't be met somewhere in the middle to solve.  We have never been on opposite sides of an important issue and have never once disagreed in how to raise our children. We have never had one single day in 23 years of marriage where we didn't love each other to the depths of our souls. When I met Mr. Yesteryear Acres at the young age of 18, I knew right then and there, I found my forever best friend, best companion, best confidante for life. It really was love at first sight and the best part about that was....at that moment it was love at first sight for Mr. Yesteryear Acres too. Last night we took a break to celebrate our happiness with Mr. Yesteryear Acres' mom and dad. They brought the most delicious steaks for dinner and we had fresh picked sweet corn from the garden. The corn literally went from the garden right into the pot. My father and mother-in-law will be celebrating their wedding anniversary in 3 more days.  They have been married for 59 years!  How about that! Isn't that just the nicest thing to think about people who love each other all the days of their lives? I know without a doubt that Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I will follow in their footsteps and have so many many many more happy anniversaries. True love does still exist. I am surrounded by it every day. Happy Anniversary Mr. Yesteryear Acres.  I love you more than I did yesterday and no where near how much I will love you tomorrow.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Thank you for all the well wishes!

I received so many nice emails and posts about the one year anniversary date of having my heart attack. Wow. Thank you so much! That really made my day! As many of you wrote - yes yes yes yes - doodles are the best!  I am definitely lucky that I get to spend my days playing with doggies and puppies.  They are little vessels of unconditional love. Dogs are happy to see you no matter what the weather, what time of day or night, whether they are hungry or full, tired or ready to go - it doesn't matter to a doggie.  They just wag their tails and give you that irresistible "I LOVE YOU" look.  They are the best at comforting you when you are blue and are equally as happy to share in your joys. Doodle doggies are big bundles of love in a beautiful furry package. They make our lives whole and fill our days with so much love. I had a couple of people email and ask me if I was a changed person because of the heart attack.  Did I have a significant change of opinion on life or who I wanted to be or what I wanted to do with my life? Before I had my heart attack, I was a happy, positive, upbeat, loving, smiley, grateful person. I went out of my way to make sure everybody was happy and I would put myself last just to make sure that everyone else was okay. Being married to Mr. Yesteryear Acres and being a mom to my 3 children was the absolute most important thing in my life and every single day I felt so lucky to have such a loving family.  After having my heart attack, I am a happy, positive, upbeat, loving, smiley, grateful person. Being married to Mr. Yesteryear Acres and being a mom to my 3 children is the absolute most important thing in my life and every single day I feel so lucky to have such a loving family. I think that the only significant difference is the realization that life is fragile. I try not to focus on things that might or might not happen but rather think and appreciate the things that are happening in the moment. Each day is something to treasure. Almost dying definitely makes you think of how you want to spend your time and who you want to spend your time with. I choose to spend my time with the people I love. I love being with my family. I love being with my dogs and puppies. I love spending time with people that see the glass half-full and will make the most out of life. I choose to not spend my time with those that wallow in negativity. Life certainly isn't easy and there will always be bumps in the road but I want to share my happiness with those that share the same passion and love of life that I do. I see life as a beautiful blessing and I appreciate all the big things and the little things and even the messy things that life has to offer. To me life is a wonderful journey filled with a million little things that make you smile. The first firefly of the summer, watching your children play in the snow, taking a walk with your favorite doggie, drinking coffee in the morning with your spouse, feeling the sunshine on your face - all of the little things that happen each and every day are the pathstones that fill your life. I want to live a life where those things matter and in return the things I give back matter.  I think Erma Bombeck said it best, "When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me."

Friday, August 13, 2010

Starry Starry Night

Our evening under the stars was a complete success!  The oppressive heat lifted right before dinner and we had a great cook out back by the pond.  My older daughter was the Chef du Jour and she cooked hamburgers out on the grill with a secret recipe she learned this summer during her Navy duties.  They were excellent!!!  She has never grilled before nor has she made hamburgers and I say she has it down.  Everyone loved them.  A good friend of ours came by to join us.  He was the best man at our wedding and he is a great guy.  He brought a homemade chocolate silk pie for dessert that was delicious! We had a fun time reminiscing about the old days and the kids got a big kick hearing all about their dad back in the day.  It was really funny! After our friend left we cleaned up and then packed up our things for our night out under the stars.  We had pillows and blankets and cushions and headed out shortly before 11:00pm.  The meteors, while not as plentiful as I had hoped, were brilliant and did not disappoint.  We had blue streaks and green streaks and meteors that left huge trails of brilliance across the night sky.  The clouds had cleared up right around dinner and the sky was ablaze with thousands of twinkling lights.  The dock was the perfect viewing platform for the show.  We all laid out in the night air gazing up at the milky way and gave the appropriate "WOW and OH" with the occasional "DID YOU SEE THAT ONE?!!!" until one by one we drifted off to sleep.  My younger daughter and I were the first to awake a few hours later as Mr. Yesteryear Acres was snoring loud enough to wake the surrounding countryside.  Just to make sure there would be absolutely no sleeping, my son's dog who joined us out on the dock for the star show, was also snoring at full volume. We tried to block out the "symphony of snores" but really - I can't imagine ANY one sleeping through that! We laughed and then enjoyed some really brilliant meteors.  As the dew began to soak us completely and our pillows and blankets were absolutely wet all the way through, we all decided maybe we would sleep the rest of the night in our own beds.  We all headed back to the house a little after 3am and slept like babies in our own dry comfy beds dreaming about the meteor shower and all the beauty and brilliance of the spectacular night sky.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

One Year Survival Anniversary Date

Today marks exactly one year ago when I suffered a heart attack at the age of 43. I was in intensive care for 10 days and came very close to dying. It is a very odd thing to almost die. I am sure most people don't think about that kind of thing very often and I am also sure many people don't think that I think about that kind of thing very often either. When you go through something like that - it is hard not to think about it. Having a heart attack certainly makes you take a second look at your life and at the things that matter most to you. My heart attack was stress induced. I had a very nasty encounter with a now estranged step-family member. She is a toxic type person who verbally attacked me about my children and family - and well it literally broke my heart. I have never suffered such abuse and I vowed to never be on the receiving end of that type relationship ever again. Toxic people are toxic.  They do nothing for you and even though the adage "Sticks and Stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me" seems like it should work - in reality - words can hurt even more than sticks and stones. A broken bone heals far faster than a broken heart. My health condition is not one where removing fatty foods or limiting salt intake fixes things. My health depends on being surrounded by good people with good intentions and to walk away from people who mean harm. So that is what I am doing. I am much better now and will be scheduling my one year check up to make sure everything is how it should be.   Before my heart attack I wasn't much of a weeper. Granted the occasional sappy movie would get me - but other than that - I was pretty tough.  Now I find my eyes watering over the simplest of things. I find more meaning in life's little moments.  When we celebrated my husband's 50th birthday and I looked all around our beautiful property and found myself surrounded by so many people that care for my husband and love him - I admit it - I got teary. I heard a country song on the radio the other day and while my son was singing along - again I could feel my eyes filling up. I guess I will forever be one of those people that has to have a kleenex for momentous occasions.  I know there is no stopping the waterworks. I am powerless to hold back my feelings. The passion I have for life is at a higher level now and I do not take one second for granted. I really and truly love my life. I love raising puppies and I love working from my very own home. I love being with my husband each and every day and I love that he is home to share in the work together. I am grateful to have 3 children that love us so dearly and a husband that is my very best friend. The intensity in which I love them back knows no boundaries. I know I lead a blessed life.  So what does one do to commemorate the one year anniversary of a heart attack?  Well if one lives at Yesteryear Acres - lots of puppy kisses, cleaning puppy poop, feeding dogs, watering dogs, and general doggie work. You know - life goes on and every day is a good day type thing.  I actually thought we would do something super special today and skip all the work, but in looking back over the day - doing what we always do seems fitting. I am not grateful for just the super special fun days - I am grateful for every day. And today is a day to be thankful for.  Tonight we are all planning on grilling hamburgers out by the dock and having a campfire to make campfire caramel apples for dessert.  The Perseid Meteor showers are tonight so we are bringing cushions and lying out in the darkness under the shower of stars. I know with every falling star....the wishes I make....have already all come true.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Fair Fries

mmmmmmmm Fair fries!  Delicious greasy tiny skinny vinegar soaked salty fair french fries! They are the epitome of the fair experience and never to be missed. We left early this afternoon and headed to our county fair and of course the first thing on everyone's list were the Fair fries. This endeavor is not to be taken lightly.  You can not just amble up to the closest french fry vendor and buy the first fries you see. Noooooo. Even if your kids are begging you to just BUY the fries - it is an art.  A fine art actually.  The french fry stands have to be scoped out.  Some have big fat fries that are pretending to be fair fries but clearly are just ole regular fries. Some are overpriced and put in very small cups to make it appear as though there are tons of fries but in reality the cups are so tiny that the fries only appear plentiful.  You have to search and scope and wait until you find JUST the right french fry stand and THEN and only then can you get a big ole bucket of steaming hot fries that are literally pouring out over the sides. Then they must be doused in malt vinegar and covered in salt. mmmm. Perfection!!!!  Along with the bucket of french fries we also got the requisite lemon shake-up and walked and walked and walked until we covered every corner of the fair.  We saw the Black Angus cattle, mini lop bunnies, lambs, turkeys, jersey cows, baby goats, horses both big and small, vegetables, quilts, and every size tractor ever made. The day was hot and humid and fair perfect.  We all had a great time and enjoyed our gastronomical feast of fatty goodness.  Our bellies are full and our feet are tired and thankfully we got enough of Fair Happiness to last until it rolls around again next summer.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dwindling Days of Summer

As the days of summer quickly vanish to just a dwindling handful of precious moments, I wonder where did the time go? How did time fly by in a blink of an eye? Remember when you were little? When the time before Christmas seemed like an eternity?  When the hands of time clicking on the round black and white clock hanging on the cement block walls of the school building never seemed to move? Ages passed before your half birthday arrived. And you had to count your half birthday because it took so long for it to finally become the halfway point to your next birthday. You could never just say you were 10 years old if you were 10 and a HALF.  Those distinctions were important because time seemed endless. The lazy days of summer were full of long hazy days spent playing in the lawn sprinkler followed by catching fireflies in a glass jar in the evening hours. I know the cliches, "Time flies" and "Your kids are grown before a blink of an eye" - but the cliches are firmly grounded in reality. It seems as though summer began yesterday. Our list of things that we wanted to do and the goals that we wanted to accomplish were fresh and new and seemingly attainable.  Now just a few days remain before school starts and our days of summer will abruptly end.  My oldest will be returning back to the Naval Academy. My younger daughter begins her last year of high school. The last year of junior high awaits my son. I think my whole family is feeling just a bit melancholy today as reality is quickly creeping up on all of us.  We have so much left that we still wanted to do and no time left to get it done. I think I will have to let all those "must do" lists go and just spend every minute we have left enjoying each other. Projects come and go. Life has a way of interrupting all the nice neat lists and ideas and goals - but isn't that the very definition of life? It is messy and not very orderly. Summer isn't about the items we crossed off on our list of things to do - but instead all the moments involved in between the items on our to-do lists.  The laughs. The hard work. The fun times. The late night dinners. It is all the little things that weaves the fabric of our days together. I want to make sure to make the most of the few moments we have left before life intercedes and separates us once again. I think I shall throw out the "to-do" list and make a new one.  I am going to put just one item on my list. Just one. My to-do list - "Enjoy".

Monday, August 9, 2010

Got Milk?

Today was another work all day long type of day. We had much to do after taking yesterday afternoon off.  My younger daughter and I took some adorable pictures of the new puppies.  This little guy has white markings on his chest, mustache, chin and toes.  He is a cutie and has the silkiest coat. I think he looks like he is saying, "Got Milk?" 

Scarlet's puppies are getting bigger every day and are adorable.  I just love the double doodles. This guy looks just like a puppy from Scarlet and Boomer's previous litter.

He should look just like this (minus the snow of course) when he gets just a little bigger:

This little guy...

Will grow up to look just like this sweet double doodle boy

The puppies are all doing really well and we are lucky their mommies are so attentive and loving.  They make our job a lot easier especially when the puppies are little like this.  The mommies do most of the work from birth to 4 weeks of age so we make sure to give the mommy dogs extra TLC and delicious snacks. Deer steak is one of their favorites.  I think they can smell it the second it comes out of the freezer LOL.  It won't be too long before their puppies join in all the festivities. Watching them grow is one of my favorite parts of raising puppies. It is amazing to watch a little tiny newborn puppy that fits in my hand turn into a fluffy fur ball of love. Every week when I take new pictures, I know I am sharing the joy of watching them grow. It is fun to share the love!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Yesteryear Acres Cannonball Splash

Today was a fun day. We spent all morning working and then in the early afternoon my younger daughter and I went to the orchard and picked 2 pecks of early summer apples and a bushel of peaches.  Oh my...the peaches are SOOOO good!  We were literally dripping with peach juice. Tomorrow we are making a deep dish lattice top peach pie.  Everyone is very much looking forward to that!  Later this afternoon once all the work was done we celebrated the finished dock project in style!  The dock is completely done and looks amazing.  Here are the two hardest dock workers ever:
Once we took the official dock completion photo the fun really began.  We all broke in the dock and started the first official Yesteryear Acres Cannonball Dive competition.  It was SO much fun. We had a blast taking dive jumping photos.

Mr. Yesteryear Acres after a particularly awesome cannonball splash.
Synchronized Diving Perfected

My son got off some spectacular height on his splashes

Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I enjoying the swim filled afternoon

Tandem Jumps were the best
The dock builders celebrate

It felt amazing to celebrate the completion of our long awaited project.  Summer just got a whole lot more fun!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

50th Birthday Party

Today was Mr. Yesteryear Acres 50th Birthday party and it was perfect.  The weather was perfect. The food was perfect. The company was perfect. I am so happy we had such a perfect day.
The dock was done with no time to spare
My older daughter decorated the life ring.  I think it is awesome!!!
Mr. Yesteryear Acres friends and family all came to celebrate in the happiest of occasions.  It was a lot of fun.  We had fishing, target shooting, cotton candy, snow cones, watermelon - cake and pies for the bake-off. 

We ended up with a 5-way tie on the homebaked pies.  The best part was definitely the judging. mmmmmm
We of course had some delicious birthday cake

Mr. Yesteryear Acres said all his wishes already came true.  Everyone stayed until the sun set and it was darker than dark outside.  We watched the stars come out and enjoyed the friendship, the family and the laughter.
Happy Birthday Mr. Yesteryear Acres

Friday, August 6, 2010

10:01 pm

It is 10:01pm and we just returned from back at the pond.  The ladder finally was finished around 9:15pm tonight and all 3 kids celebrated by running off the end of the dock in a great cannonball run.  The ladder got excellent use this evening! We are all whipped tired and still haven't had dinner yet and we have to empty the trailer before we eat.  We worked all day long with no breaks.  My son weed wacked the area around the pond and fence line for over 4 hours straight.  My younger daughter raked out all the grass and clippings out of the pond and along with my son's help got everything hauled out and dumped.  My older daughter helped Mr. Yesteryear Acres all day long and probably knows more about power tools than she ever thought possible.  Tomorrow is more of the same until late afternoon when the big party starts.  We will have to get up extra early to make sure we get everything done.  The pond area looks amazing and we are all so proud of the work we got done.  I am planning on taking tons of pictures of the finished project.  Everyone did a great job and worked super hard.  I am so excited for Mr. Yesteryear Acres Big Birthday party. We are having a mini State Fair theme complete with corn dogs, cotton candy, roasted corn and a watermelon eating contest.  We are also having a pie baking contest with who else but Mr. Yesteryear Acres as the judge. That along with some good ole fashioned fishing with cane poles should complete the fun. The weather looks awesome so everyone - kids, adults, puppies and doodle doggies should all have a great time.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Try as we may - we just can't beat the Mother Nature.  I think she has an idea that we really really LOVE lots and lots and lots of rain. Perhaps she doesn't want a ladder to actually become part of the dock. Alas, once again, we have been defeated by the weather and the ladder is still not installed.  Argh! Maybe tomorrow will be the day the dock is finally finished! We do have high hopes as the weather looks like it will finally take a turn for the better.  The kids made the most of the day and had fun this afternoon running off the dock and jumping/diving into the water. Getting out of the pond was of course particularly challenging but hey - who doesn't love getting covered in mud on the way out?  Just one more reason to jump back in!  I have decided that I won't be joining any one in the diving competition until the ladder is in place.  The thought of sinking in mud whilst trying to exit the pond for some reason holds absolutely no appeal for me. Go figure! Along with the ladder installation we have the busiest day planned for tomorrow.  We will be working non-stop from early morning until way past dark.  We have some new beautiful lavender plants and black-eyed susan flowers to plant around the dock and steps to put in. We have to mow all around the pond and we need to get some party supplies because SATURDAY is Mr. Yesteryear Acres big party day.  We are going to celebrate his 50th birthday with family and some close friends out by the pond.  We are trying to get everything BEAUTIFUL for his big celebration day. Our list is a mile long and if we get everything crossed off it would be a miracle. We are going to give it our best! Mr. Yesteryear Acres definitely deserves an awesome day so we are all working really hard to make things extra special for him.  So far - the dock is pretty much done so that is a BIG item off the list. Hopefully we will make some major progress on the rest of the list tomorrow and will be ready for Saturday. I must remember to set the alarm clock for sunrise! It is going to be a busy day!