Sunday, October 31, 2010

Siesta Smiles

Today the weather was pretty nice. The list of things to do was long. There was no rain storm, wind storm, or loss of electricity that would provide an excuse to slow down the pace. Yet today brought something extraordinary. It brought something that NEVER happens. Today in the midst of all that needed to be done, Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I did something incredibly delectable. Incredibly delightful. Incredibly unheard of. Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I .......took a nap! Right smack in the middle of the day! We were sooo tired and had been fighting exhaustion all day long and we just looked at each other and decided right then and there we would actually lie down and close our eyes. We set our alarm for 45 minutes and we were out cold in seconds. I mean OUT. Our kids were nice enough to do all the work that needed done while we slept in peaceful bliss. Our alarm went off promptly in exactly 45 minutes from the moment our eyes closed and we didn't even hear it. We slept right through the alarm. Approximately 2.5 hours later we arose from our slumber. We literally jumped out of bed as we never intended to sleep so long. We felt a little guilty for sleeping away an entire afternoon but somehow the guilty feelings didn't quite last as the sleep was soooooo wonderful. It felt so great to be well rested. It felt so great to finally stop the incessant yawning. The world looked just a bit brighter and cheerful after our little siesta. I think that sometimes one of the nicest things you can do for yourself in the midst of hectic schedules and long lists of things to do - is to just stop. Stop the running around. Stop the crazy frantic pace and give your mind, body and soul a break. We both feel so refreshed and are now ready to tackle the week ahead. It was the nicest way to spend the day. I hope to do it again sometime!!!

What a surprise --- we are late

Have I mentioned that Mr. Yesteryear Acres is a wonderful husband? He really is.  He brings in my groceries every time I go to the store.  He puts gas in my car whenever I am running low. He is the best handyman in the entire world and can fix EVERYTHING.  He makes me coffee every morning just the way I like it. He makes me laugh each and every day. He is the very best father in the whole world and he works harder than everyone. I know I am very lucky to have such a wonderful husband and best friend.  I know I should never ever complain about my dear darling beloved husband.  I know I should NOT write in my blog that my dear darling beloved husband has a tendency to have absolutely NO idea what time it is.  I should NOT write that my dear darling beloved husband is ALWAYS and I do mean ALWAYS late. Now granted - Mr. Yesteryear Acres is ALWAYS busy.  He is never late because he was watching his favorite TV show or talking on the phone or hanging out with friends or drinking a beer or what have you.  He is always late because he is working on that one last thing or getting the puppies situated just right or working with one of the doggies or mowing that one last patch of grass.  He is in the garden, in the barn, working on a tractor, fixing a car, installing a whatchamacalit or repairing a hooziewhatzit. He just works right up until the time we are supposed to be leaving and despite the fact that for the last 3 hours, I will have given him quarterly updates as to the ACTUAL time - we are still late.  Sometimes I tell him we have to leave at 1:00 when we really don't have to leave until 2:30 and then.......yes ..... we are still late. I used to get really upset as I am definitely and wholeheartedly a Type A person.  If you would like me somewhere at 2:30 - then I am there no later than 2:15.  It is hard to be married to someone who thinks 2:30 means 4:00.  I have in my later years, decided it wasn't worth getting upset about the lateness because I SHOULD KNOW BETTER.  I mean - honestly - if you are married for over 23 years and you are NEVER on time - I think you give up the right to be shocked and/or disappointed when you are late. Inwardly, I still wish that he would be on time - but outwardly I keep it together and let everyone know we are running a little behind.  His side of the family is always particularly good about the fact we are late. Do you know why? Because they are always late too.  It is a signature family trait.  I really have no hope of it ever getting better.  If you notice the time - it is now 12:45am in the morning.  We have a project that needs to be done by tomorrow. Do you think we are done? Nope! Do you think I will be going to sleep any time soon? Nope! Do you think in the end I will remember that I had to stay up all night helping Mr. Yesteryear Acres finish? Nope! You know why?  Well it is simple. I love my grocery toting, doggie loving, farm gardening, coffee making, appliance repairing, wife loving husband of mine.  Even when he is late.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Garden That Won't Stop

Here it is the end of October and we are still enjoying a bountiful harvest from our garden.  This is astounding!  Yesterday we had the most delicious roasted brussel sprouts.  The brussel sprouts were just the right size.  I didn't need to cut them in half or in quarters which saved a ton of work.  I made a big roasting pan full and we were literally fighting for the last few pieces.  They were that good.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres called them "popcorn sprouts" because each brussel sprout was about the size of a piece of popped popcorn and just as addictive to eat.  Tonight's harvest brought more fresh tomatoes and a peck basket full of eggplant. My daughter and I spent 3 solid hours making baked eggplant slices.  I also made a fresh tomato sauce that was ridiculously delicious.  We were drinking the sauce.  The eggplant was so yummy, our efforts were worth it.  We all had at least 2 big servings each and then tipped the plates up to our mouths to drink every last drop of sauce. mmmmm.  My stomach is so big right now that I have to push my laptop down towards my knees just to have room to type. I am stuffed.  We ended up with enough eggplant to freeze which is awesome.  This winter we will look forward to another eggplant dinner and it will only take 10 minutes to heat up.  That in itself is something to look forward to.  Tomorrow we are having fresh picked green beans.  I feel so fortunate to have had so many months of fresh veggies to enjoy! I don't think our garden has ever lasted so long.  We still have quite a few tomatoes to pick. Our goal is to enjoy tomatoes throughout the month of November.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres particularly wants to eat a red ripe tomato picked from the vine on November 1st.  I am not sure that Mother Nature will cooperate but we can always try.  Pretty soon we will just have to harvest the remaining tomatoes in order to save them from the frost. The green ones will all be individually wrapped in newspaper and stored in a cool dark place.  With any luck on the First of December, Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I will unwrap a few treasured tomatoes and enjoy a summer tomato sandwich for lunch whilst the cold December wind fills the outdoors. I can't think of a better way to bring in the holiday season!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Will the Real Stress Test Please Stand Up

As per my usual routine of stalking our dear mail carrier, I was out to get my mail right on time.  Today's mail brought a gigantic stack of catalogues, sale ads, political advertisements and an envelope from my cardiologist's office. I put all the junk mail aside and opened the letter:
Dear Cardiologist Patient,
Enclosed please find the bill for services rendered.

Nuclear Stress Test

Amount due:

Payment Date: November 5, 2010

ACK ACK ACK ACK ACK!  Are you serious???!!!!!  How in the world could that test cost SO much? My son said that the letter was the ACTUAL Stress Test. If you open an envelope with a bill that high, and you don't die, you are fine. I think he might just be right. How is that bill supposed to make me feel better? How am I supposed to get into a zen-like state of serenity and peace when I have a bill for ONE test equivalent to the price of buying a used car? Or a luxury vacation... For two... At a beach... ..In winter... With first class plane tickets... And drinks....And food... And a personal pool boy! ACK! I think I stared at the bill for 10 solid minutes with my mouth wide open gasping for air.  Surely there is a more efficient way to treat a heart attack victim besides GIVING THEM ANOTHER HEART ATTACK!  Coincidentally this afternoon was my scheduled appointment to see my cardiologist so that he could tell me the results of my $5000+ test and bill me for another visit. I checked with the billing department when I arrived at the doctor's office and yes the nuclear test did cost that much. And yes, I did need to pay it. And yes it is so funny that I could go on a really nice vacation for that amount. I bring such joy.  So now onto the good news portion of my day...... I saw my cardiologist and he was NOT late!  Within 20 minutes of my scheduled appointment, he was in my room ready to discuss my results. Right there - that was a miracle.  And he brought good news - I AM OKAY! I am better than OKAY.  My heart shows no permanent damage and both the intake and outtake functions are doing great. He says I should be a test case for heart attack recovery, he was so impressed with my results. Yea for me!  He also took me off ALL my medication!  So no more pills!  I don't have to bring along my pill case of the day with all my little tiny cut up pills every where I go.  My daughter doesn't have to ask me, "Did you take your medicine?" ever again. I never have to remember if this is a pink pill day or a white pill day. The next time I visit a Doctor and they ask, "what medications are you on?" I can say NONE!  I guess with such good news the only thing to do is keep on doing what I have been doing.  Loving life, being eternally grateful, smiling at the morning sun, adoring my devoted family, wishing on falling stars, enjoying my cute fluffy puppies, and as always, feeling fulfilled by the love that surrounds me each and every day.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Gold Star

Today I was out the door by 7:30am and drove my son almost all the way to Columbus to meet the bus for his shadowing program.  Our school sponsors a career based program for 7th and 8th graders where students get to choose a career path and/or interest and then shadow a professional for the day. My son chose veterinary science and got to spend the day at The Ohio State University Veterinary School.  It was a great opportunity and he really enjoyed the day. As soon as he got on the bus, I was off to my in-laws house.  I helped my father-in-law with his computer and then tried to help him fix his satellite TV. Yesterday's wind storm really threw his dish out of alignment and there was nothing I could do.  I let him know that if the problem requires a ladder, I am not the person to call.  I only can troubleshoot software issues.  He was forced to call a technician who hopefully will have it all fixed by Friday afternoon.  With so many people out of electricity and the wide path of destruction left by the storm, one misaligned satellite dish is pretty lucky.  I said my good-byes and headed straight for Walmart where I filled my cart with everything from the smallest travel-size toothpastes to giant 5lb tubs of peanut butter. You have got to love a store that has everything.  The puppies got some more yogurt and a couple of new toys and 2 new combs. Check, Check, and Check. My list was finally getting smaller.  Then I was off to Sam's Club where once again, my cart was filled to the brim. This time of course everything was giant size.  10 gallons of milk, 35 bottles of water, 50 bags of snack size lunch chips, huge bags of lettuce, carrots, avocados, bottles of salad dressing, etc.  I made good use of my cart and left not one single inch bare. My SUV was loaded and my list was almost completely scratched off. I even filled the SUV up with gas. I think I get a Gold Star for the day! I also worked with the puppies, found a great home for our last double doodle puppy, made a delicious dinner, did the laundry, cleaned the kitchen and backed up all my computer files. I am hoping that tonight I can finish up all the work that is left on my list and then treat myself to an episode of Survivor.  I heard one of the puppies ask me to watch it with her, so I can't really let the puppy down.  Evidently she has been looking forward to watching it all day long.  Little Black Collar puppy.....I am coming to get you.  Jeff Probst is waiting for us!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Orange Juice Snob

I LOVE Orange juice. Love love love it.  I could drink probably 1/2 gallon of orange juice each and every day of the year.  I could never be too full or too tired or choose a better beverage.  Now here is the catch - I ONLY like fresh squeezed orange juice. And by fresh squeezed - I really mean FRESH squeezed. I don't like orange juice from concentrate.  I don't like orange juice that is "fresh" but then bottled and pasteurized.  I don't even like orange juice that was fresh squeezed the night before or hours and hours before served.  I confess.....I am an orange juice snob. I wish it weren't true. I wish I loved Orange Juice that is sold in grocery stores.  I wish that I thought all orange juice tastes alike.  With the smallest of sips, I know immediately if the orange juice is really fresh squeezed or not. Whenever I go to a restaurant and read "Fresh Squeezed" Orange Juice on the menu, I have to ask if it is really truly fresh squeezed. The reply is almost always, "Why of course".  Then I get SUPER EXCITED and order the largest glass possible (with no ice) and wait for my heavenly nectar.  About 80% of the time, the glass I receive is not fresh squeezed.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres will always say, "but it tastes good" and I sadly disagree and give him my glass to drink. He loves all orange juice and is always happy to have a second glass of juice. If I ask the waiter about the juice I usually find out that the juice has to be "Fresh Squeezed" because it says so right on the label.  Or I find out something along the lines of, "well it had to be fresh squeezed sometime."  *sigh*  I always feel totally bummed out because every single time I get my hopes up for my favorite drink.  Today I went out to lunch with my mom and do you know what? The restaurant had "Fresh Squeezed" Orange Juice on the menu. I was of course so excited and asked if it was really fresh squeezed and they said yes and then SHOWED me the oranges they were going to use.  Oh I was SO happy!!!!  In about 5 minutes I got a BIG glass of FRESH SQUEEZED orange juice and it was SO delicious.  I savored every single sip.  Just writing about the juice makes my mouth water all over again.  I think it might be necessary to have lunch with my mom every week.  I think I will come up with some creative excuse as to why I must drive an hour to her work and then say how the drive just made me SO parched and whatever will I do?  My mom, who loves me very much, will never want me to dehydrate right before her very eyes and will definitely suggest getting a beverage of some type before I perish right on the spot.  Then I will casually suggest that we could go to the little cafe next to the bookstore and perhaps get a glass of juice. OR maybe I should do a little coughing and say I think I might be coming down with the flu and I think I need some vitamin C right away! Moms can not ignore the "I am sick" thing.  They have to swing into action and save the day. Yes, yes, I think my plan sounds perfect.  I wonder if tomorrow is too soon?  *cough cough*  I am almost certain I am coming down with something. I need JUICE!

Monday, October 25, 2010


As some of you know, I am an avid stalker of our mail carrier. I am anxiously awaiting the delivery of my younger daughter's college acceptance letters. I know that the actual stalking should not occur until after Christmas, but that of course doesn't stop me from my daily stalking ritual.  Well in today's mail, a BIG envelope arrived from the Coast Guard Academy! Ooooooh how I wanted to rip open that envelope and see what was inside! It was from the ADMISSIONS office!  Being the calm, cool and unexcitable person that I am.... I immediately texted this photo to my daughter at school:
See how calm I am?  See how big the envelope is?  See how much anticipation is building?  My daughter was super excited and wanted to come home early.  I was super excited and wanted her to come home early. Of course she stayed for the entire duration of the school day and of course I calmly waited for her to come home.  At no time during the day did the little voice in the back of my head say, "you know - they don't send out acceptance letters until Christmas".  The voice in my head said, "WOW I BET THAT IS AWESOME NEWS!"  I kept myself busy while I waited for my daughter to come home.  I cleaned the puppy boxes, washed the dishes, did the laundry, made dinner and cleaned up puppy poop again and again and again.  The day still managed to drag on and finally about 5 minutes before she was due to come home, I ran outside with the doggies to greet her as she pulled in the driveway.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres came up to the house even though he was in the midst of a big project. We all gathered around as my daughter opened the big ever so interesting suspense-filled envelope. AND what was inside??!!!?????  A new brochure on the Coast Guard Academy!  ACK! A brochure?  A brochure? We already have brochures.  We already have the Coast Guard Academy DVD.  We already have the Coast Guard Academy sweatshirts, sweatpants, hats, keychains, t-shirts and coffee cups. Guess I am back to stalking my dear mail carrier.  I suppose it is for the best.  She would definitely miss me if I weren't out there waiting for her every day!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Today's Blog is brought to you by the letter K

Today is my sister's birthday and so as promised, I gave her the best gift in the whole entire world....the letter K. Yes for her 40th birthday she can delight in the glorious gift of the letter K. I called her first thing this morning so she would be sure to get an entire day of joy from my gift. I am just so thoughtful.  Dear Sister - in case you didn't know - you are the best sister in the whole world.  You cheer me up when I am blue. You believe in me when I am in doubt. You laugh at my jokes. You confide in me your deepest secrets as I confide in you. We are two peas in a pod. Despite the fact that 5 years separate us in age - we are TWINS. You know everything about me and love me. I know everything about you and love you. Our bond will never be broken. Heaven help anyone that tries to get between me and my sister and more importantly, Heaven help anyone that tries to play against us in a game of Pictionary or Taboo.  They will most certainly lose by the widest of margins. I can draw a straight line and immediately my sister will know I am drawing a path in the woods.  I can say "summer camp" and my sister will know the answer is "Kool-Aid". We are unbeatable in any game where we are on the same team. Sadly, most everyone knows this and will insist that we be split up - but every once in a while we get to combine forces and honestly - there is no match. We were each other's very best friend growing up and remain as close as we did when we were kids.  So here is to my sister! 
Happy Birthday to the best sister. I love ya!

Hope your day was AWESOME!

Saturday, October 23, 2010


We had lots of company here today so the puppies were happy happy happy all day long.  They got to show off their very best "WE ARE SO CUTE" looks and got tons of attention from everyone.  I was pretty much outside from 10am this morning until now. We ended up with a few puppies being chosen and going to their new homes.  It was fun to help families decide on just which puppy was the right puppy for them.  The puppies did their part to make the decisions unbearably difficult.  Just when someone would finally decide on a certain puppy - another puppy would make a last attempt to woo them over to their side.  For instance - if pink collar girl was the likely candidate to go home to her brand new family, why then lime green collar boy would just come right over and kiss and bat his eyelashes and give a pathetic "don't you LOVE me?" look and the whole process would start all over again. All the puppies were giving their very best performance in the "I am SOOOOO cute" category.  The weather was pretty nice so the puppies were in heaven playing, running, showing off while everyone went  "ooooh and ahhhhhh" all day long. While I was busy outside with the puppies - can you believe that the 2 football games that I wanted to watch went on without me?  Both Ohio State University (GO BUCKS!) and the Naval Academy had football games that started at noon today.  I pretty much missed both games but I did catch a glimpse here and there. I love to watch the Buckeyes play football and I love to watch the Navy midshipman play as well.  However, I don't watch the games in the same way. With the Buckeyes, I actually watch the game.  I cheer them on. I yell, "GO BUCKS!" and all of that jazz.  With the Navy games I definitely cheer on my midshipmen BUT what REALLY interests me are all the shots of the crowd. I am forever freezing the picture when the camera turns to film the midshipmen at the game.  Every single time I watch a Navy football game, I am convinced that I have found my daughter.  I make EVERYONE run into the living room while I have the picture frozen and say, "THERE SHE IS!"  Then I will text my daughter and ask her if she is sitting next to this guy, or the band, or the banner, or the aisle way etc.  Every single time - she answers NO.  I then always say, "Are you sure? Because I know I just saw you sitting right near the (fill in the blank)"   "NO MOM! THAT IS NOT ME!" is what I always get back in response.  Of course that doesn't stop me from fast forwarding through the game and then pausing at every single shot of the crowd, desperately looking for my daughter.  It is a game we play wherein I always lose.  You might wonder how I cannot recognize my very own daughter. Well the answer is simple - they are all DRESSED ALIKE!  They are in dress uniform with a hat on their head and you get a 1 second glimpse of a portion of a face in a sea of look-a-likes.  It is actually really difficult.  We Navy parents like to call it "Where's Waldo".  I mean in the real "Where's Waldo" Waldo is wearing a bright striped shirt, scarf and hat and looks NOTHING like the crowd.  In the Navy "Where's Waldo" game, they are either dressed all in white or all in dark blue and they all look the same! So today while I was watching the Navy game, I SAW MY WALDO!  THERE SHE IS!  And when I asked my daughter if she was standing near the bright blue "Don't Give Up the Ship" sign.......SHE SAID YES!  So I really found her!  Best football game ever!  And in case you were wondering - Navy won!  They beat Notre Dame!  The Naval Academy was so proud -they granted the brigade an overnight.  I am fairly certain that all the midshipmen agree - best game ever! I hope the mids have a great evening.  They deserve it! Go Navy!

Friday, October 22, 2010


I love playing games.  Maybe I should be more specific - I LOVE playing games! Scene It, Apples to Apples, Gin Rummy, Rummikub, Backgammon, Chess, Horse, Air Hockey, Dart Throwing, Pictionary, Scrabble, Boggle, Target Shooting - pretty much any contest or game - I AM IN!  If there is a chance to win - I want to win. I am sure it wouldn't surprise anyone to learn that I am really competitive.  I mean REALLY competitive. I am not in any way a sore loser - I mean if I lose - well then I lose and I am good about that.  I sincerely congratulate the other player and am actually happy that a good game was played. I like a challenge and in every single game - there is always someone who will win and someone who will lose so I take my losses well. BUT as the game is going on - I give it ALL I have. Growing up, I always played games with my sister.  My mom is NOT a game player.  In fact she hates games with the exact same intensity that my sister and I have for loving games. We played everything we could when we were little and still do to this day.  Whenever we are lucky enough to spend time together, you will catch us playing something. We love playing together and are very enthusiastic about it. We have to be very careful not to stand too close to one another if we ever play Wii Tennis.  We would literally knock one another unconscious with the racket in our attempts to ACE the virtual ball.  I think we both complain that we have virtual tennis elbow by the end of our set. We try to keep the game playing alive even though we live so far apart. We both have games on our ipods so that we are never without a good rivalry. We keep scores on most everything we play and compare notes. Scrabble competitions can be quite brutal.  We might spend an entire day thinking of just the BEST word we can play. I mean you wouldn't want to play a word for 42 points if you could come up with one that would count for 43 points! Even if we aren't playing against each other, we will MAKE it a competition. For some reason it matters to us what ranking of the marble rolling labyrinth game we have achieved. In our level to be the very best game player AND ultimate winner - we started a game way back when we were little kids. One day when we were waiting for our mom, we decided we would see who could say the alphabet the slowest.  I think I was about 10 at the time so my sister would have been 5.  It went something like this - A....B...C... and then it was my turn A.......B.......C..... Then her turn again A.........................B....................................C......................and this went on all day.  It was then I decided I would win this game.  I gave her the letter A that day.  The next day I gave her the letter B.  The next year I decided to give her the letter C.  It is now 35 years later and for her birthday this Sunday, I think I will finally give her the letter K. I mean what says Happy 40th Birthday better than the letter K?  I figure the day I turn 90 I will give her the letter Z. That way she can start her turn.  I mean giving me the letter A on my 90th Birthday seems like a pretty awesome way to celebrate the day.  She will only have to drag the alphabet game out a good 80+ years in order to win.  Knowing my sister's will to win -- she just might do it!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Stowaway Fly

I want to apologize in advance to any entomologists that might read today's blog post.  Any insect loving, pest loving, buzz loving person that adores flying creatures, I am sorry as this post will certainly offend you. I also apologize for not loving all of God's creatures equally. The fact is.......I hate bugs. Really. I hate them.  I don't like insects of any kind. I particularly despise insects that bite and sting - but really even if they just fly around me - I am bothered.  I know I should go to some "zen-like" state where I love the bugs and I want to save the bugs - but I am not that person. I am the person armed with a flyswatter.  I am the person that can HEAR a fly buzzing and must immediately arm myself with the flyswatter so I can rid my house of the menacing pest. I actually am bothered by the sound of a fly bouncing around a window pane.  I can't let it go. Sadly - this time of the year is when the flies who happily lived outside - want to come and live INSIDE my house. EGADS!  Don't they see all the infinite bountiful beauty outside?  Can't they appreciate the endless room to fly around and be free? Why must the come in my door the second I open it?  This is not a warm and friendly place to live. This is a hostile environment for bugs of any kind. I mean the fly is entering my home and my only thought is SPLAT SPLAT SPLAT! I am lying in wait, flyswatter at the ready! To make matters worse, today when I got in my car  and started driving down the road, I had company. A fly apparently thought that it would be nice to accompany me to my destination.  It didn't even ask permission.  There it was.  I could hear it buzzing around my head. So there I am driving down the street waving my arm in the air like a mad woman trying to shoo the fly.  And that fly KNEW I had NO swatter.  The second I shooed it away - it came BACK. It was torturing me on purpose! BUZZ BUZZ BUZZ!!!  How rude of it to just assume I would be glad to give it a lift.  I mean it HAS wings!  It could FLY to wherever it wanted to go ALL by itself!  Why does it have to go into my car and wait for a ride???  Does it have friends across town and is just too lazy to fly there?  I decided I would disrupt the ecosystem and natural balance of the world by opening my window and shooing the fly out into parts unknown.  Ha ha!  Take that fly!  You have NO idea where you are!  You are flying down the middle of a busy road with NO GPS! No roundtrip joy ride for you! HA! I rode back to my home enjoying the silence and knowing that there was just one less fly waiting for me at my door. Maybe I will be lucky and Mr. Stowaway Fly will have friends send out a search party.  Then they can all be gone for good!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Let's Chase Butterflies!

We have 6 puppies out of Belle's litter of 14 that are still available. They are 8.5 weeks old and are getting bigger every day. I am now to the point where I can only carry one or two pups at a time out the door every time they need to go to the bathroom.  I made many many trips outside today.  I suppose I should be grateful for the lovely weather as I didn't have to lug the puppies out the door into a snowstorm or thunderstorm. It was perfectly pleasant out and I tried to take note of just how pretty it was each and every time I went outside.  In case you were wondering, I took many notes.  In case you were still wondering - that meant that every time I came inside - a puppy needed to go outside. Every time I went outside - a puppy wanted back inside.  Evidently since their attempts at wooing me with the pathetic, "We won't eat unless you make us a roasted chicken" look was not working any longer - they all came up with an alternative plan.  I am not naming names.....Double Doodle Puppy...but I clearly saw you tell the others, "watch THIS!" as you whimpered to go outside. Then the others all were SO impressed with my quick action to take you outside, they followed suit.  Now this all would be quite fine if each time the puppies were whimpering they actually had to GO to the bathroom. But nope.  They were pretty much empty and thought it would be a blast to go chase butterflies and look at the clouds in the skies and play fetch with all the leaves around the yard.  Since I made so many trips in and out today, I brought my camera with me and spent a couple of hours getting new pictures.  The puppies are right at the age where the LAST thing they want to do is sit still for a picture. The second I put them down, they just ran right into my lap. I kept trying to keep the pups at an arms distance so I could take their pictures but nothing would stop their determination to run into my lap and start giving me kisses on the chin. I might have achieved my all time record in pictures of tails and ears.  Luckily Mr. Yesteryear Acres saw my pathetic attempts at solo photography and came to help. That made things so much better.  We ended up with some really great individual pictures of all the puppies. Each puppy now has their own portfolio of 4 great shots.  The rest of the day - in between running in and out of course - I spent uploading the photos to the website.  Hopefully I will have tons of people fall head over heels in love and the puppies will soon be off to their new homes. They are a lovable bunch and are sure to bring much happiness to their new families.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Laundry Confessional

Dear Mr. Yesteryear Acres,
This blog post is very boring.  You definitely will not want to read it.  I am going to go on and on about the tedious task of doing the laundry and I wouldn't want you to read my blog and then feel guilty for creating such mountains of laundry for me to wash. I know you would feel great remorse and I wouldn't want to burden you with such overwhelming sadness. I will continue to wash your mountains of clothing and the mountains of towels and washcloths and doggie laundry and kids' laundry.  I shall suffer in silence.  Please don't worry one bit about me.  I am fine.
So here is the real story -
Here at Yesteryear Acres - we have lots of laundry.  We have doggie towels, doggie blankets, work clothes, nice clothes, more work clothes and more towels. There is at least 1-2 loads of wash to do each and every day of the year.  Now if I were a good housekeeper - I would actually do the 1-2 loads of wash each and every day of the year. If I were a great housekeeper I would actually do the 1-2 loads of wash each and every day of the year AND I would FOLD the laundry the second the dryer alarm buzzed. Alas, I am neither a great housekeeper nor a good housekeeper. I never seem to get that folding part of the laundry chore done correctly.  It isn't that I lack knowledge on how to properly do the laundry, it is that I lack motivation.  Besides having wrinkle free clothes - what in the world would possess me to RUN to the laundry room as soon as the buzzer goes off and then immediately start folding and pressing my clothes? Well it appears the answer to that question is - Nothing. And therein lies the problem.  I wash the clothes then I carry them out to the living room and then create multiple mountains of clean laundry that alllll need to be sorted and folded. Just about the time when there is absolutely no place to sit down in the living room as the couches are buried beneath the mountains of clean towels, it occurs to me that I should fold all the clothes.  I like to make a big deal out of the horrible task that lies before me.  I like to sigh and complain and I always am sure to show Mr. Yesteryear Acres the HUGE piles of laundry that only I can fold. I act like I deserve a medal of honor for completing such a monumental task.  Now for my laundry confession.....I actually like saving the laundry up until I have TONS to fold. As I whine and mope and put the back of my hand up to my head and say "Woe is me"......inwardly I am smiling.  Why you ask? Well because I get to sit and fold laundry for an entire Grey's Anatomy episode or an entire episode of House or some other sinfully delightful TV show. I am given carte blanche to sit on my butt in the middle of the day and WATCH TV.  I make it look like I am working REALLY hard. I don't know why no one has ever figured out that the laundry always takes exactly the length of one TV show to fold. Sometimes I have to knock over a few washcloths and refold so I don't miss the end of my show. I mean you have to look REALLY busy while McDreamy is operating.  Today I had so much laundry that my folding time bled into the next episode of Grey's Anatomy.  I tried my very best to make it last to the end of the second episode but I was done within 10 minutes.  Now I have 3/4ths of the show left to watch and I need a really good excuse to get that accomplished.  Hey I know!  I have to wash the clothes from my trip to Atlanta!  I am sure the 3 outfits will take at least 35 minutes or so to fold. I must get busy right away.  My work here is just never done.

Monday, October 18, 2010

My Little Butterballs

Oh my!  My very little tiny puppies that I left when I headed to Atlanta have doubled in size over the weekend!  I couldn't believe how big they were when I returned.  I asked Mr. Yesteryear Acres if he fed them Miracle Grow or some kind of magic growth powder but he assures me that he did not.  He said that the puppies just prefer his cooking to mine. What the heck? I was being SUCH the chef to the puppies.  I was making yogurt parfaits for them in the morning.  I was giving them pumpkin delight in the evening.  I made them nice warm fresh cooked white rice.  I even added turkey to their meals. What did Mr. Yesteryear Acres prepare?  PUPPY FOOD.  Yep nothing but plain puppy food.  No parfait.  No pumpkin surprise. Nothing. When I watched Mr. Yesteryear Acres feed the puppies this morning, the puppies all scarfed down the good ole plain puppy food. I couldn't believe it.  And all the puppies are now big butterballs with nice full bellies and wagging tails of happiness. Not one puppy gave him the pitiful, "where is my rice?" look. Not one puppy demanded the yogurt surprise.  Um...what is up with that? Have I been snookered? Have the puppies been having a secret meeting where they all agree I am a sucker for sad forlorn faces and will immediately give in and add special treats to their food?  Were they all laughing behind my back saying "watch this....whine, whimper, sigh, whimper....ha ha ha - here comes the yogurt!!!!" I believe I have been had.  I washed all the very licked clean - not one piece of food remaining - puppy dishes this morning and realized once again that my doodle puppies are awfully clever.  They know a pushover when they see one. Tonight I fed them dinner.  They all got.......puppy food. And yes - they all happily and joyfully ate every bite. I think I caught one puppy saying "the gig is up" right before they devoured their dinner. Ahhh my sweet butterballs. It is a good thing you are so gosh darn cute!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Last Day of the Conference

Today's agenda was more of a roundtable discussion where everyone contributed helpful hints, ideas, plans and schedules that really work for their program. It was great to hear all the different products and ideas that other breeders use.  The morning just flew by as the discussions were quite animated and lively.  It was a lot of fun as we all learned some new things and it was nice to just sit and share stories and tips we have gathered over the years. I think it was everyone's very favorite part of the entire conference. 
Here's the group photo - (we are missing just a few breeders in the shot)

And here is my favorite conference attendee

After the conference concluded, my daughter and I just had one hour to spare so we ran (literally) over to The World of Coca Cola. 

We bought our tickets and skipped the movie and headed straight to the displays. We saw coca-cola memorabilia from the beginnings of Coca-Cola until the present day.  We watched commercials from around the world which was really cool. The best part of the Coca-Cola tour was the room that had different Coca-Cola products from around the world.  Some of the drinks were pretty good and some were just plain AWFUL.  I am sorry but I will NEVER EVER drink "Beverly" from Italy.  YUCK!  I about choked on that one.  "Pine-Nut" from Africa was surprisingly good as was "Bilbo". "Inca Kola" from Peru and "Simba" from Paraguay were so sickeningly sweet I thought I would get instant cavities from just one sip.  At the end of the tour we each got a souvenir Coca-Cola in an 8oz glass bottle.  We could have stayed much longer but we were really glad we got to do as much as we did.  It was really fun.  The ride home was fairly uneventful.  We made a quick detour through Centennial Park aka Olympic Park

We then navigated MARTA and rode the subway back to the airport with no problem.  Everything made it back safely home: our luggage, our doggie biscuits from the conference, our coca-cola bottles and yes, even Ralph made it home safe and sound.

Home Sweet Home!!!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Labradoodle Breeder Conference

I sat on my butt all day today. I mean ALL DAY LONG.  I never sit down all day.  It was actually hard to stay awake because I am so used to running around and taking care of puppies and taking care of dogs and just sitting still in one place for the entire day was totally out of character.  Our breakfast meeting started at 8:00am and breakfast was actually really good.  That had to have been the best bacon I ever had at a hotel.  It was flat and crisp and full of flavor.  I had several pieces of bacon and still was dreaming about having more.  It was that good. The hot biscuits were pretty good too! After breakfast the all day seminar began.  It was okay - but just having one speaker for the whole day made for a very long drawn out event.  The coffee was all gone by 10:00am.  I think all of us were longing for another cup.  I kept looking at the door and hoping someone would refill the decanter but no such luck. No more coffee came. *sigh* We covered a lot of topics during the seminar. I think we talked about everything from prenatal care to properly socializing a 6 month old puppy.  It was nice to see that I already do almost all the techniques mentioned today.  I felt pretty good to know that our little puppies have been raised with just the right mix of love, stimulation, socialization and training. We watched videos, talked about the different options on how to raise young pups and had a few healthy discussions concerning the responsibilities of being a good breeder. By the time 6:30pm rolled around, I was beyond tired.  The entire last hour I think I yawned every 30 seconds.  I was done.  My daughter was done.  I think all the breeders were done too. I know my back was killing me from sitting in the conference chair for 10.5 hours. I was glad when the day's events were called to an end.  My daughter and I and another labradoodle breeder went to dinner as soon as the seminar was over and that was a lot of fun.  We talked about all the things we do each and every day and it was nice talking to someone else who cleans up as much puppy poop as I do.  Tomorrow we start again at 8:00am.  The conference should end just in time to get our things and catch the MARTA back to the airport.  I'll be glad to get back home again. 

Friday, October 15, 2010

Aquarium Fun

Well we did it! We stayed at the aquarium ALLLLL day long.  We were there when it opened and were still there when the aquarium was closing.  We saw every fish, crab, bird, snake, frog, plankton, ray, shrimp, jelly fish, otter, whale that was there to see.  My daughter was in absolute heaven and loved every single second.  Her face hurt from smiling so much.  We had a terrific time and the whale shark exhibit was amazing!  They had HUGE whale sharks in a HUGE tank swimming around with tons of other schools of fish.  It was incredible.  Here are a couple of pictures from the day:
We actually both climbed through the acrylic tube so we could visit the penguins.

See?  So worth the long crawl through the tube. Hello Penguin!

The Manta Rays were so graceful and fun to watch.

See the huge black tipped shark at the bottom right of the picture?  See the WHALE shark at the top? IT IS HUGE!  That was an amazing creature to see!

Got Grouper?

Caribbean Reef Tank

My daughter and a Whale Shark above. We watched them for the longest time.  It was awesome!!!!
After the day at the aquarium we met up with all the breeders for "dinner" and conversation.  We were at a fancy bar/bistro and the "hamburgers" were SOOOOOO small.  Really.  We were all laughing because they were the size of thumb tacks.  We were impressed that someone could actually make hamburgers that tiny.  They would fit on a tea set for little dolls and the little dolls would still be hungry!  I think most everyone left this evening pretty hungry. Tomorrow night we have made it our mission to go to a real restaurant with real food.  We spent all night laughing and talking about business and dogs and puppies and it was a blast. It was great to catch up with all the breeders.  Tomorrow we are in seminars all day and hopefully will learn some great tips in raising superstar doggies! 
ps.....Dear Mr. Yesteryear Acres....I just wanted to let you know that EVEN though your daughter has many many stuffed animals in her room and EVEN though you would never ever approve of bringing home yet another stuffed animal.........
"Ralph" followed us home.

 We asked him not to.  We told him that you wouldn't want him to live with us but he insisted.  He is a very sneaky whale shark and when we turned around - THERE HE WAS.  We had no choice but to invite him to stay. Good night Ralph.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Oh Atlanta

We are here!  My daughter and I arrived at the airport right on time but our plane was late leaving as it was oversold.  We were on the runway for quite some time as the flight attendants began checking almost every carry-on bag at the door to the airplane. My carry-on was one of the casualties and was not allowed on board.  Instead of just gate checking the bags - everyone's bags became actual checked luggage and had to be picked up at the baggage claim.  There were a number of very unhappy passengers. Some had connecting flights and had to trust that their once carry-on bag would arrive at their final destination.  They couldn't even have it back for their next leg. The flight attendants had to deal with a bit of an angry mob. I was a little worried as I had my laptop in my bag but it made it here just fine. Once we got our luggage we bravely headed towards MARTA and took the subway.  We found which lines to take, made our transfers and got to our hotel with no problem. It was very efficient and the total cost for 2 people was $5.00.  How AWESOME! We are definitely taking the MARTA back to the airport.  It was easy and with the money we saved - we ended up being able to go out to eat dinner tonight. We ordered several appetizers and had a lovely variety of delicious dishes.  My favorite.....FRIED GREEN TOMATOES! :)  I just love those! Tomorrow morning we are off to the aquarium.  I am going to do something tonight that I never ever get to do! Go to bed early!!!!  I am NOT going to let out the doggies and puppies at midnight.  I am NOT going to clean up puppy poop. I am NOT going to listen to the puppies say, "ARE YOU GOING TO BED WITHOUT US??? WE misssssssssssssssss you!!!!"  I am NOT going to get out of bed at the crack of dawn to clean more puppy poop.  I AM going to crawl into bed and then pull the covers up and then close my eyes and then sleeeeeeeeeeep all the way until MORNING.  Ahhhhhhhh I feel sleepy happiness. I hope Mr. Yesteryear Acres enjoys having the bed all to himself tonight....well almost all to himself.  He is sure to have several doggies in there to keep him company! 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What to Pack?

I am leaving tomorrow for the International Labradoodle Breeder's Conference in Atlanta. My younger daughter is coming with me which will make the whole trip even better.  Our first labradoodle breeder's meeting isn't until Friday evening so Friday morning we are heading off to the Atlanta Aquarium.  We will be there the second it opens and I am sure we will be there until they kick us out at the end of the day.  My daughter LOVES aquariums.  She loves all types of sealife, creatures, oceans, exhibits and anything that has to do with marine life in general.  She hopes to study marine biology in college so being able to spend the day in the world's largest aquarium is a dream come true.  There are more than 8 million gallons of water at the Atlanta Aquarium and more animals than any other aquarium in the world.  My daughter can't wait.  I can't wait to see her happy smiling face all day long.  We are sure to have fun.  Saturday we will be at the breeder's conference all day long but there is always so much to learn, that I always have a great time. Saturday night we will get the chance to hang out with all the breeders and just talk and spend the night laughing and enjoying each other's company. That is just as much fun, if not more fun, than the seminars. I have gone to every labradoodle breeder's conference since they first started holding them. This will be my 5th year going and I am looking forward to seeing my colleagues.  I have spent most of the day getting all the things I need to do around the house finished. All I really have to do now is pack. I still don't know what I am packing!  I need to figure this out.  I am never the right temperature.  I am usually cold, so even though I am sure the weather in Atlanta will be delightful, I will have to pack long sleeves for the trip.  Then there is the whole "what to wear to the airport" dilemma.  I mean you want to be comfy when you are crammed into your seat like a sardine, but you don't want to look like you just rolled out of bed. You have to find just the right mix of, "I look nice" yet "I am soooo comfy!"  Slip on comfortable shoes and socks are also a must.  No one wants to walk through the security with naked feet! I need to figure out 3 outfits and get them in the suitcase pronto.  I leave tomorrow so there is no time to spare! I also need to make some popcorn for one of my breeder friends.  I have been promising her some of my special delicious popcorn so I have to get that done.  I hope there is room for it.  At the very least I need to make up a batch of my special seasonings and a bag of my hulless popcorn kernels.  That might be better so it doesn't become a bag of crushed dust by the time my suitcase arrives around the carousel.  I wonder if I keep typing and typing my blog - that magically my outfits will appear and then fold themselves neatly into my bag?  Nice thinking right? Okay - I guess I have procrastinated enough.  I must go figure these things out and get it done.  I know!  I will reward myself with a bowl of homemade ice cream when I am done!  Nothing says get busy like a bowl of maraschino cherry chocolate chunk ice cream waiting for you! Suitcase - you are about to be packed RIGHT NOW!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

I Glow in the Dark

Well I did it.  I got my Stress Test crossed off my list. I will of course deny the following statement....."It wasn't really that bad" and instead I will insist that I was tortured all day. First I had to wake up when it was DARK outside.  REALLY DARK.  I cleaned up after all the puppies and Mr. Yesteryear Acres took over the morning breakfast duties. I put on what I considered the perfect exercise outfit - nice and comfy - and brought my bag of goodies.  I then had to leave my beautiful house WITHOUT COFFEE!  Yes, you read that correctly.  I wasn't allowed to eat or drink after midnight last night and that included having absolutely NO coffee this morning. None. Zilch. Nada.  And what is worse than that, is the cardiologist office is over AN HOUR away and I had to drive in rush hour traffic with NO coffee.  I had to watch all the happy little commuters with their happy little commuter coffee cups drive by all smiley and warm inside because they had their morning cup O'Joe.  Not me.  Once I finally arrived - I realized that my perfect outfit was completely worthless as I had to undress and put on a hospital gown.  UGH.  Now why did I go to all that trouble to find a nice soft shirt and nice soft pants only to have them discarded into a plastic bag in exchange for a gown with bad velcro? And if that weren't bad enough - I had so many sticky electrodes placed EVERYWHERE I felt a bit like Frankenstein.  Then came the part I dreaded the most - the IV. (This is where I will say in a very quiet voice - that Steve (my nurse) did a very excellent job of putting in the IV and in actuality my flu shot hurt much more than the IV did.) In my loud and whiny voice, I will still say, "I had a NEEDLE stuck in my vein!!!!"  The rest of the day was just long.  Injection of radioactive isotopes. Long period of waiting. Picture time.  Long period of waiting. Exercise time. Another Injection of Radioactive Isotopes. More waiting. More pictures.  You get the idea.  I made it a whopping 12 minutes on the INCLINED treadmill clipping along at a fairly good pace.  The Dr. said I won for the day as I stayed on longer than anyone else the entire day. As I collapsed, I felt wonderfully in shape!  I felt terrific! I felt like I was just a power walker SUPERSTAR!  I then took a second look around the waiting room and realized that half of the people taking the stress test were not ambulatory and the other half were just slightly (very much) older than I was - but HEY a WIN is a WIN!  I got a special electrode sticker of my very own to commemorate my win.  I also got a card to take with me to the airport on Thursday.  Evidently I am going to light up that x-ray machine like fireworks.  My card lets the airport security know that I am indeed radioactive and should be allowed on the plane despite my glow in the dark status. I will continue to glow in the dark for the next 48 hours. Isn't medicine wonderful?  I find out my results on the 28th.  I think that is highly efficient of them.  I mean it would be silly if someone told me TODAY how my test went.  I would much rather wait for at least 2 weeks wondering how I did and then get up early and then drive an hour and then wait in the waiting room forever and then get undressed and then put on a hospital gown and then wait for the doctor to come in the exam room before I ever find out how I did TODAY. I mean that is a MUCH better use of my time! Until then I shall light up the night with my glow in the dark smile.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Early O'Thirty

This morning I was ever so diligent and got all the new pictures posted to the website.  I can't believe that Belle's puppies will be ready to go to their new homes this weekend.  I feel like they were just born yesterday!  Time has really been flying by lately.  I am trying to pack as much as I can into each day but still feel like I have so much to do. This weekend Mr. Yesteryear Acres will be in charge of the puppy pick ups all by himself.  I am going to be in Atlanta for the 5th annual International Labradoodle Breeder's Conference.  I am looking forward to the trip as I get to talk with other labradoodle breeders and we get to share stories and bounce ideas off of each other.  We are always looking for ways to do things better.  We usually have some really interesting speakers - vets, trainers, reproductive specialists, genetic educators, and behavioral consultants. We try to cover many different topics of interest to dog breeders.  It is always a great trip and I come home with lots of new ideas and always learn something interesting.  I am leaving Thursday night so that just gives me tomorrow and Wednesday to get everything done.  I will be burning the midnight oil for sure this week!  Most important thing on the list is of course....what do I pack? Which shoes do I bring?  Do I need a jacket?  I mean seriously.  Packing is always of the utmost importance!  I also need to figure out which is the safest way to get from the airport to downtown Atlanta.  Should I go via MARTA?  Is that a good idea with a rolling suitcase and a carry on?  Will I be saying "HELLO I AM OBVIOUSLY A TOURIST AND HAVE NO IDEA WHERE I AM GOING BECAUSE I AM DRAGGING A SUITCASE DOWN THE ROAD" or is that a good idea?  Taxi? Shuttle?  I am not an expert taxi passenger.  I have called for a taxi all by myself exactly ONE time.  And that time, the taxi cab driver had his car break down and pulled off the highway into the parking lot of a deserted strip mall in the middle of nowhereville, and I thought I was going to die. So what is the best way to get from point A to point B in Atlanta? I must figure this out by Thursday.  I still have tons to do tonight including packing my "TO DO" bag and lunch for tomorrow.  I have to be at the cardiologist at EARLY O'thirty in the morning. UGH.  Now I know why they call it a "Stress Test" - who is happy and stress-free about getting up at O'Dark-Thirty? Who wants to drive over an hour to an appointment to get hooked up with wires and machines AND YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO HAVE A CUP OF COFFEE!?!! Seriously.  They should rename the test "HORRIBLE STRESSFUL NO COFFEE NO FUN VERY BAD MORNING TEST".  *sniff sniff*  Guess I better go pack my blankie and tennis shoes and books and lunch. Maybe I should pack 2 blankies! WAH!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Summer Fun in October

We made the most out of our Sunday today and it felt just like a perfect summer day ---- even though it is October.  First the weather was absolutely terrific.  Warm blue sunny skies and a delightful breeze made the day even better.  The puppies had a blast outside today and we all spent a lot of time enjoying the great day.  I have some really good shots of the puppies and can't wait to update the website tomorrow morning.  The puppies have really grown and are once again SO cute!  I mean look at this face:
All 14 of Belle's puppies are just teddy bear cute.  I love that!!!! After all the puppy pictures were taken we decided to do one of our very favorite summertime activities and we made 2 batches of homemade ice cream.  The first batch was homemade cookies and cream. Mmmmmm.  It was just the right blend of oreos to vanilla ice cream.  Our next batch is my absolute favorite favorite favorite flavor that we make - maraschino cherry chocolate chunk. I could eat that every day!  We ended up with 10 quarts of ice cream and we definitely looked forward to our dessert tonight.  Our neighbor, Wilma, just loves ice cream so we invited her over for dinner tonight.  We also invited her grandson which made the evening even more enjoyable.  He is a senior at OSU majoring in engineering and is a really nice person.  My kids adore him and we all spent our dinner laughing and smiling and then laughing some more.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres put a 22lb turkey in the oven earlier today so we had a big delightful feast for dinner.  Once we licked our plates and bowls clean, we all headed out to the pond area. Mr. Yesteryear Acres had a beautiful campfire going and we added the special pinecones that my sister sent to us.  We had a kaleidescope of brilliant colors to enjoy for hours.  The stars were all out as well and the evening couldn't have been any nicer.  I am fairly certain that nothing tops a lovely October summer day.  Ice Cream and Campfires just make for a perfect evening.  I am so glad we were able to share our evening with Wilma and her grandson.  Evenings like these were meant to be shared with the ones you love.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Missing Family Functions

Today was a really busy day.  It started before 7am when I was busy making my son scrambled eggs and toast. He had a cross country meet this morning and had to be at the school to catch the bus by 7:30am.  Then started the long breakfast routine for all the puppies followed by baths (yes again) for several of the pups.  I guess they didn't get the memo that clearly stated they should have their hair combed, be dressed nicely and most importantly - be CLEAN for their big adventures home today.  I am not naming names (Ms. Orange Collar) but that was quite a spectacular display of how yogurt can get everywhere. Once everyone was all cleaned and beautiful, the puppies started going to their new homes. It was really great meeting all the nice families.  We spent most of the day outside and as soon as one family left, another arrived.  Everyone was super nice and we are definitely lucky to have such loving puppy families.  In between the puppy visits, we had non-stop work to do.  I haven't sat down all day. Today was also a big party day at my sister-in-law's house.  She has been planning this party for months and I have had it on the calendar forever.  Her daughter is home for college and it was a welcome home themed party and all of Mr. Yesteryear Acres family will be there. My sister-in-law lives a little over 2 hours away.  That seems like such a short distance to most people, but sadly for us - it is an impossible distance given the fact we raise puppies.  We never leave the puppies for longer than 2 hours.  They need water, they need loving, they need to go outside to go to the bathroom.  They are little defenseless helpless creatures that we brought into the world - so we are responsible for their health and well being.  To go to a party 2 hours away - means that it takes 2 hours to get there, 1-2 hours to visit, 2 hours to get home which equals at least 5 or 6 hours away from the doggies and puppies.  It just can't happen.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I are used to splitting up and taking turns for family functions. He had really hoped to take the kids and go visit his sister today.  Well, sadly he didn't make it.  We were just that swamped here and the farm chores didn't get done in time and as always - doggies come first.  I know everyone will be really disappointed.  It is hard for people who don't have lives that revolve around caring for live creatures to understand the level of commitment it requires to properly take care of four legged furry children. It often means missing out on some fun things.  It often means missing out on things that we REALLY wanted to do - but just can't.  It even means that even though in August, we thought we could do something on October 9th - when October 9th came around and we were blessed with 14 puppies to care for and 8 puppies going home - well caring for the puppies became the only thing we could do on October 9th.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres is sad to have missed the big event.  He is sorry he missed seeing his family......but most of all....he is really really really really sad he didn't get to have his sister's applesauce cake! That just might be the saddest thing of all.  Poor Mr. Yesteryear Acres.  You will just have to ask your sister to make a special cake just for you because you know deep down in your heart......that I won't. I mean it has RAISINS in it! YUCK!  And then even if I were to make one, you would just say how your sister makes it better - so please Mr. Yesteryear Acres - just beg your sister.

Friday, October 8, 2010

October and the Garden is Still in Action

Summer is officially over. The leaves are turning, the furnace has already been turned on several times, the airconditioners are out of the windows, the screen door on the porch has been replaced with the storm door, and yet ....the garden vegetables are still coming on strong.  I think someone forgot to tell my garden that Autumn is here.  Between yesterday and today I picked over 3 bushels of tomatoes and Mr. Yesteryear Acres and his dad got an entire mess of green beans.  We have peppers upon peppers and so many eggplant that this weekend might officially be called "Eggplant Extravaganza".  I will be making everyone's favorite -- baked eggplant slices.  It is very similar to the eggplant inside eggplant parmigiana but we bake ours which is much healthier than deep frying and just as yummy.  Our pumpkins are HUGE and are just begging to be Jack O' Lanterns at the end of the month.  We will be harvesting our first brussel sprouts of the season this weekend and I can't wait for that.  I love roasted brussel sprouts! mmmmm!  Today, just because I ADORE Mr. Yesteryear Acres, I made him his very favorite summer meal.  His mommy ALWAYS made it for him so of course he just has to have it or else he might perish.  I made a gigantic stock pot full of fresh green beans, potatoes and ham.  I snipped all the beans earlier this morning and then put the beans and potatoes and ham on the stove to cook all day long.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres likes it when the whole mess is good and soft and squishy.  You might be able to tell by my not so enthusiastic description, that I do not like green bean, ham and potato goop. I do not like it Sam I Am! I do not like mushy green beans and I am not very fond of ham and really don't like it all together but Mr. Yesteryear Acres just LOVES it so I acquiesced and made it for him today.  My menu idea was MUCH better and I was going to make this delicious ground pork, fresh green beans, rice noodle Thai recipe that everyone loves but when I told Mr. Yesteryear Acres, he totally put out his bottom lip and gave me the most pitiful pouty face. He said he had not had his favorite summer dish yet and summer was over and he has been waiting ALLLLLLL summer long for his green bean, ham and potato feast.  See?  I mean it was a REALLY good face.  I picked out a normal size stock pot (12 quarts) and Mr. Yesteryear Acres just shook his head "NO" because that would NEVER be enough.  I had to dig out the really big stock pot and fill it all the way up.  So much for my green beans.  Alas, I think I will eat popcorn for dinner tonight after I just watch the boys drool and ooooh and ahhhhh over their very hearty mushy meal.  You should have just seen their happy faces all day today.  I guess I underestimated the power of green bean gunk.  I will just have to make it more maybe two times instead of once.  I mean right there - I have already doubled the amount from this year!  I am such a good wife!!!!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bath Time

Lola's puppies are ready to go to their new homes this weekend so today was bath day.  It is really funny to see how each individual puppy reacts to their "spa treatment".  First up was Turquoise Collar girl.  I had the bubble bath all warm and ready for her and picked her up and put her in the warm water.  She immediately sat down and had the "ahhhhhhhhh" face.  She was quite content and just soaked in the tub.  She didn't try to get out or run around - just pure bliss.  Her bath was done in a jiffy.  Next up was Orange Collar girl.  The second I put her in the tub she thought "OH WOW OH WOW OH WOW...I AM SO LUCKY!  This is the biggest bowl of water I have ever seen!!!"  It was everything I could do to convince her that the soapy bubbly spa treatment was in fact NOT a big glass of water.  In my attempts to get her interested in something other than drinking the tub, my journey to becoming completely soaked began.  Next up was Black Collar Boy.  He was interested in EVERYTHING.  "Wow - what is this?  What is THIS?  Oh my WHAT IS THIS and HOW DOES IT TASTE??!!!"  The faucet was his favorite.  He found out that if he licked the bottom, drops of water came out and he was so completely enthralled with that - he didn't even realize he got a bath.  Next on the list was pink pawprints girl.  I believe she thought she was no longer part of the canine species but instead a pureblooded cat.  She kept putting her paws in the air so she wouldn't touch the water.  I had to end up holding all four feet so she could get in the tub.  She clearly gave me the look that said "HELLO - I was clean ENOUGH already!"  Mr. Blue collar boy spent his bathtime looking for a rubber duckie to play with.  He didn't want to get out.  Green collar girl thought that splashing me was the ultimate in pure joy.  I am convinced she splashed me on purpose.  I saw the little gleam in her eye that said, "Ha ha ha - who is the wet one now?" I was just getting ready to bathe Ms. Blue Collar girl when my older daughter texted me to say she needed me on the computer right away.  Ugh.  I mean I was dripping wet and just ONE MORE puppy to go - but of course I dried off and got on the computer only to find out the really important thing she had to tell me was that she didn't know her Thanksgiving schedule yet.  Ummmmm thanks. I finally got the last puppy, Ms. Blue collar girl, all nice and clean and then do you know what I did????  Can you guess? YES - I TOOK A SHOWER!  And when I was in my shower I said, "Ahhhhhh, Oh WOW, I am so LUCKY, this water tastes good, where is my duckie, I wonder if I was clean enough already and HA HA HA! Who is the wet one now!?!"  See?  We humans aren't really that different from our sweet doggies are we?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Maybe it is how I phrase the questions?

On the way home from cross-country practice this afternoon, I realized that my son ACTUALLY knows how to tell someone how his day went.  For some unknown reason my son only responds with mono-syllabic answers to my very long and enthusiastic questions. A typical afternoon's conversation goes something like this: "How was school?" I ask this every day in the hopes that one day I might find out something interesting.  I am the eternal optimist you know.  His response is always something like "good" "fine" "same as yesterday".  The answer to "how was lunch, how was cross-country practice, how are your friends, how was French, how was the bus ride, how is Algebra?" is again greeted with the same flat response, "good".  I once read that most parents of boys who are midshipman at the Naval Academy get the following repartee from their sons: "I made it to the Academy" Which is followed several years later by "I almost forgot, Parent's weekend is tomorrow."  And then finally the coup de grace, "I graduate this weekend."  I actually believe this is true. I sometimes will have other parents email me for information because they can't get any news from their sons.  My daughter is quite thoughtful and emails me whenever she can.  I fear that when my son is finally on his way to college I will be informed of only 2 things - he arrived and he is graduating. *sigh*  So today when I picked up my son from cross country practice and asked him how it went, he started to say "fine" but just at that exact moment my phone rang and it was my older daughter.  I put her on speaker phone (because I was driving and everyone knows you have to have 2 hands on the wheel....thank you Mr. Yesteryear Acres) and when she said hi to her brother - well the floodgates opened.  He talked all the way home. He hardly took a breath.  He filled her in on every single detail about his cross country season. My daughter also ran cross country so apparently they share some bond that I will never be a part of and they just chatted and chatted and chatted all the way home. I never got a word in edgewise and secretly loved every moment. I never knew so many interesting things happened at practice.  I also learned what was going on at school. Evidently the answer to what did you do today in Algebra is NOT "nothing".  They DO things at school.  Gee - this entire school year my son almost had me convinced that they actually did "nothing" in each and every class.  I guess I will have to have my daughter call home every few weeks, at the exact time when I am in the car with my son - and suddenly I will be in the know!!!!!! Genius plan!!!! Until then, I guess life will be good, fine, okay and I already told you.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Suicidal Milk

If you are a reader of this blog, then you know that we tend to consume quite a lot of milk each week.  Our normal consumption is 10 gallons of milk every week and that is just white milk.  If I am feeling like an extra nice and sweet mommy, I will also buy chocolate milk and my family can easily go through an additional 3+ gallons of chocolate milk per week on top of the 10 gallons of white milk. So when I tell you that I had to go to the store today to get more milk, it would probably not be a surprise to anyone.  What is a surprise however, is that evidently I picked a gallon of milk that had a suicide mission. Had I known what atrocities would await me as I pulled in the driveway this afternoon, I might have chosen a different gallon.  I mean really - there had to have been at least 100 gallons of milk in the store.  I could have easily chosen a different gallon of milk to bring home but no, I chose the one with a mission.  I pulled in the driveway, just as I do each and every time I return home.  I put the car in park.  I turned off the ignition.  I pressed the automatic open button for the back hatch.....this is when I heard Mr. Yesteryear Acres yell, "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"  As soon as the back hatch was opened, the milk with a mission HURLED itself right out of the car, did a complete flip, crushed the top completely and then landed in the upright position. And there we watched as the milk flooded out of the split plastic gallon container right onto the gravel driveway. The milk was gone.  Gone.  There was no saving the milk. All I have left to remember our time together is the empty plastic container that is practically split in two.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres said the entire feat was quite impressive and gave it a 5.8 for form on a 6 point scale. So I guess this week my family will consume a mere 9 gallons of milk. I am sure by Sunday, I will hear how parched they are.  I am sure they will all lament the passing of gallon #10.  I never saw it coming.  Poor little milk would have been delicious with a stack of oreos!

Monday, October 4, 2010

I Never Knew

I think today must have been, "Let's go out and run errand day" for everyone around here.  I believe people woke up this morning and thought, "HEY it is MONDAY! Let's go to the bank, the grocery store, the phone store and let's make sure to create traffic to make the enjoyment complete."  Now if I were a smart person, I would have turned around and headed home as soon as I saw the many cars parked at the bank parking lot. But, evidently, I am not a smart person.  I did not think to myself that most people around here use the drive-thru and with that many cars in the parking lot, it is sure to be a long line in the bank. Nope.  I parked my car in the remaining spot, steadfast in my ways, and said I WILL MAKE MY DEPOSIT TODAY!  Imagine my surprise when there was *gasp* A BIG LONG LINE!  Again - at this point - I should have perhaps made Tuesday errand day - but again - I failed to recognize an intelligent choice and instead stood in line.  When I finally made it to the teller window, I was helped by the teller that also operated the drive-thru window, so that my wait time was increased three-fold. How lucky for me to pick the busiest teller. Since my day was already going so brilliantly, I headed straight for the cell phone repair center.  The worst time to EVER go to the cell phone repair center is when you are happy and gleeful and full of optimism because once you enter the repair center, all your happiness will be sucked out of you immediately.  Since I already stood in line forever at the bank, I figured today was as good a day as any to get my phone exchanged. I have a windows based mobile phone that is supposed to do everything. I carry full insurance on my phone so that if there is any electrical, software or mechanical issues - I can get a free replacement.  Ahhh if only life were that simple.  Wouldn't it be AWESOME if you could call your cell phone company and say. "Hey the phone I have which I carry full insurance on - isn't working properly."  And then the cell phone company would reply, "Oh I am terribly sorry! I will send out a new replacement right away!"  Instead, I get to call the cell phone company.  Have the cell phone company send me to the retail center.  Have the retail center send me to the repair center.  Have the repair center call the cell phone company.  Have the cell phone company tell the repair center that they will send a new phone to the repair center so that I can pick it up later this week. Is there logic in this?  I mean if I call the cell phone company to say my phone isn't working, shouldn't that be sufficient? After 4 complete hard resets, one dozen soft resets a day, missed phone calls, non-responsive software, phone that randomly turns itself off, frozen screens - wouldn't that meet the criteria of "I WOULD LOVE TO MAKE A PHONE CALL but my phone does NOT work"?  I guess the obvious answer to that question is NO - because I sat at the repair center and waited for them to tell me that my phone isn't working properly.  Oh thank you.  I never knew.  And just to make my day of waiting complete, tonight I went to the high school swim team meeting for students and parents.  There I got to sit for over an hour and listen as the handout was read to me. Now I don't want to speak ill of parents or students or the community - but I am fairly adept at reading, and if I am handed a informational sheet - I can actually read it myself! Really.  I can sound out all the words and everything.  I learned that particular talent a while ago, and I think I have it pretty well mastered.  Perhaps the meeting should have been called "story hour". I could have then looked forward to a nice story being read to me whilst I snuggled in my blankie and maybe even had a cup of hot chocolate to go with the story.  I wonder who I can complain to about the marketing of this meeting?  "Information Meeting" - that implies vital information that must be obtained at the meeting.  "Story Time" - that implies a nice anecdote being shared aloud so all can enjoy the tale. So if I look backwards through my day, I can be happy that I was able to see the dexterity and skill of the bank tellers as they kept all their money organized and accounted for.  I can be happy that I was able to test out the softness of the metal stool at the repair center and become mesmerized by the sheer number of cell phone cases displayed on one wall as I waited for the very knowledgeable repair person to solve the mystery of my non-working phone by informing me that my phone isn't working properly. I can be happy that my hearing is A-OKAY and I am able to enjoy a terrific story hour where I can learn that if you show up to swim practice - you will perform so much better than if you don't show up. Go figure. Wow - I never knew. What a great learning experience I had today. I am very lucky to have learned so many wonderful things today.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Colleges Colleges Colleges

Today I sat for HOURS with my younger daughter as she applied to the other colleges on her list. She already applied to the Coast Guard Academy the second the application was available.  The Coast Guard Academy had 5 essays plus a number of references and other required material so she was on that as fast as she could.  The Coast Guard Academy is her number one choice and she truly could not have been more prompt in getting that application submitted.  Today was the day for all the other colleges she is interested in.  I was the official application fee provider, the spell checker, the fact finder and the cheerleader. I provided snacks which were essential for morale.  I am really tired now.  We started at 3:00 and JUST finished and it is after 11:00pm.  I did more sitting and waiting than anything. Everytime I got up to water the puppies or let them out she eagerly awaited my return. My daughter just liked having me nearby because this was a big moment. Probably one of the biggest really.  These applications are the precursor to her future destiny.  As of 11:06pm, Sunday, October 3rd, 2010 all her applications are complete.  All the essays have been written.  Everything that was asked for has been submitted. My daughter said that a huge weight has been lifted off her shoulders and now it is up to fate as to which direction she will go in the fall. Even though my back is slightly killing me from sitting all day, it was actually a pretty fun day.  I loved reading the essays she has been working on.  I think they are really great and a couple of them are outstanding. I got goosebumps reading them.  I hope the admissions officers like them as much as I do! She worked hard on them and I think they really reflect just who she is.  Now that the applications are finished, the only thing left to do is to stalk the mail carrier! We should hear back from the majority of the colleges before Christmas so from now until then, I shall be at the end of the driveway eagerly awaiting the mail delivery.  I will try to act totally cool though.  Like - "Oh Hi. I just walked out here. How lucky to run into you" or "I didn't want you to over extend yourself reaching into our mailbox" or "Looks like rain. Thought I would just bring this mail in before the bad weather arrives" or even "I was just making sure our address sign was visible from the road."  Those all seem ultra non-chalant don't they?  I mean I would never RUN down the driveway yelling "IS THERE AN ACCEPTANCE LETTER IN YOUR PILE TODAY!???!!!!!" See?  I am a really cool mom.  My mail carrier will never suspect a thing!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Day Was Gone Just Like That

Did you ever have a day where the day was gone just like that? Before you know it, dinner time is here and you look back and wonder how the day flew by so quickly. Today was one of those days. I spent three hours this morning publishing the new pictures to my website. I have brand new individual pictures of all our puppies and it takes forever for each picture to upload. I think the website looks really great. Some of our F1B Labradoodle puppies have the silkiest coats and they are all just adorable. I am super happy with this litter. They are incredibly sweet and so cute. This afternoon was spent doing housework and puppy chores and then I helped my daughter get ready for the big homecoming dance. I did her hair in a French braid that started on one side, wrapped around the back and then ended in a side bun. I actually got it perfect on the first try and she loved it. It was fun hanging out with her as she got ready. She looked absolutely beautiful. I hope she has a fun time tonight. It is pretty cold and dreary outside. I don't think wearing high heels and a short dress will feel too particularly wonderful in this weather. Hopefully they will be able to get some good pictures inside the dance. With the cold air settling in, I think I will have to start baking something warm and deliciously autumn-like tomorrow. Maybe some homemade applesauce cooking on the stove and a pumpkin cheesecake in the oven. I am fairly certain my family will all agree with me on that one! The smells of autumn goodness always brings a warm smile right to your heart.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sunshine Friday

YEA!  The sun was out today! Oh how I missed the sunshine.  It was just beautiful out all day long.  The puppies loved it. The doggies loved it. Mr. Yesteryear Acres loved it and I loved it.  My daughter and I brought the camera outside with us this afternoon and took some great pictures of the puppies while they were playing.
This puppy is going to grow up to make sure all the leaves get raked in the yard:

This one already knows how to sit:

And this one knows the true meaning of taking it easy:

It was nice to spend the afternoon out in the sunshine. Tonight we all enjoyed a delicious dinner, prepared by yours truly, and capped the nice weather day off by heading out to the dock tonight to see all the stars.  Nature's planetarium didn't disappoint. We got a great look at Jupiter and saw 2 really good falling stars. We brought a constellation guide out with us and found some new constellations. That was really fun and I learned that what I thought was the little dipper wasn't even close! I must do some more studying to be better prepared for our next star gazing evening.  I would still be out there but the clear sky brought about some seriously falling temperatures.  I was freezing!  I think it is just about time for a nice big mug of hot chocolate and some melted marshmallows. I will get all the new puppy pictures published to the website tomorrow morning, but for tonight - it is time for slippers and a warm comfy robe!