Monday, January 31, 2011

Come On Nature

I am quite a fan of the Proclaimers. They are a singing duo from Scotland and their songs are really fun to sing to.  Their song "500 Miles" is the ringtone for Mr. Yesteryear Acres. Whenever he calls I hear the Proclaimers sing, "and I would walk 500 miles and I would walk 500 more..." It suits Mr. Yesteyear Acres perfectly. Well I am thinking I should change my default ringtone to the Proclaimer's song "Come On Nature". I mean WHAT is up with the weather???  Tonight starts an epic winter storm that will move across the nation. 33 states are going to be affected by the storm. The evening news tonight said it will be the biggest winter storm our country has ever seen.  That is one powerful storm system!  Today was spent preparing for the worst. We are under a Winter Storm Warning but we are not expected to be buried by a massive snowfall like most people. Instead we are expecting a big ice storm.  In my opinion, nothing is worse than an ice storm.  It is completely disruptive.  It makes every single thing done outside incredibly risky.  Walking to the mailbox can take forever as each step is likely to have you land flat on your back.  Cars become carsicles.  Mailboxes are mailboxsicles. Sidewalks are most definitely sidewalksicles.  Last time we had an ice storm Mr. Yesteryear Acres slipped on our backsteps and broke his elbow. And he is REALLY good at balancing and walking on ice.  The doggies have trouble in the ice as well.  They end up sliding down the hill while standing perfectly still.  They give us a look that clearly says, "WHAT IS HAPPENING??"  Snow doesn't stop them. They romp around in the snow and make little snow doggie snowmen and have the best time burrowing and tunneling and romping through the snow.  I believe the dogs' favorite part is bringing all the snowberries on their coats back inside.  I mean how much fun is that!? Ice however, brings everything to a halt - including electricity.  We almost always lose power when we have ice storms. The longest power outage we ever had here was 10 LONG LONG LONG days. It gave new meaning to what it would be like to live like a pioneer. In anticipation of this, Mr. Yesteryear Acres was up at the crack of dawn preparing for the storm.  We need heat lamps, water, food, heat, lights etc.  We have well water so even our water is dependant upon electricity.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres has been working hard all day cutting firewood and getting buckets of water lined up and I believe we are ready for the storm.  I am going to go with the philosophy that since we are so well prepared, the worst of the storm will miss us.  I hope that wherever you are, the storm misses you too.  If not, make some really awesome snow angels!  It looks as if there will be plenty of padding to make the best snow angels ever!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Birthday Weekend Finale

Ahhh the last day of the big birthday weekend.  Despite having swim team practice and AP Calculus homework (how rude!) the day was still full of fun.  My daughter and I started the morning off by catching up on "The Bachelor".  We both agree it is a horrible awful no good very bad show - but we watch it anyway. I mean you have to see who the Bachelor ends up with! For lunch we had a big bowl of freshly made taco salad which was delicious.  While my daughter was at swim practice, I worked on her birthday cake.  This year she wanted Strawberry Banana cake and the bananas were just overly ripe and perfect for the recipe. I think it is going to be a good one!
I can't wait for her to get home.  I have to get busy on making her official birthday dinner.  We couldn't have it on her birthday because of the swim meet so we postponed the big dinner until tonight.  Her pick - homemade buttermilk fried chicken strips, mashed potatoes, broccoli and rolls.  Followed of course by cake and more cake and then a movie with world famous popcorn. We are doing it picnic style with a big picnic blanket out in the living room. She has always loved indoor picnics so we are having a picnic dinner, complete with milkshakes and hopefully a good movie or two! Now that is a finale!

Saturday, January 29, 2011


Can you hear the laughter?  Are you sure you can't hear it? Because my living room is filled to the brim with teenagers and all we can hear is giggle, giggle, giggle. Every now and then my son gives me a look that says, "WHAT can be THAT funny?"  I told him that is the sound of an 18 year old girl's birthday party.  It is supposed to sound that way.  He begs to differ but alas - he is banished from the party and must suffer listening to all the giggling in the next room. I prepared a feast for the party.  We have a big taco bar - complete with taco shells, burritos, chips, salsa, taco salad, homemade guacamole, nacho cheese sauce and all the fixings.  Later we are having a brownie sundae bar and I am expecting massive mounds of caramel and chocolate sauce to quickly disappear. You have to love a party where a bunch of teenagers are happily watching "Despicable Me".  Everyone loves the "IT'S SO FLUFFY!" part the best.  It is particularly fun to watch here because all the fluffy puppies are watching the movie with them so "IT'S SO FLUFFY!" is right in the room with them. I believe later they will progress to an action flick but for now, "IT'S SO FLUFFY I'M GOING TO DIE" rules the room. The puppies are very glad they were invited.  I don't know who is happier - the puppies - or the humans.  I am glad everything is going so well.  The hard part will be staying awake until the party ends at midnight.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres, my son and I are all stuck in the kitchen for the night. We will have to sit on bar stools and hang out there for the next 3 hours. My greatest fear is that they will find something to watch on the Farm Channel or Fishing Channel and I will be stuck out there listening endlessly to how this engine or that lever or that stream is marvelous. They can watch that kind of thing for hours. I might sneak out and hide in the bedroom with a good book.  I am fairly certain, they won't notice - well not until it is time to refill the sundae bar..... then I am sure I will be hearing, "We need more mini M&Ms and marshmallows!" Good thing I bought a truckload.  It looks like we are going to need it!

Friday, January 28, 2011


18 years ago my sweet daughter Amelia was born.  She made our older daughter a big sister, our family a party of four, and the love in my heart double instantly. In her 18 years on the planet Amelia has brought me nothing but joy and happiness.  Honestly. She is the most affectionate, kindest, caring, thoughtful, honest, devoted, and loving person I know.  She cares about the earth, the environment, the oceans, humanity, her family and all creatures great and small. On her birthdays Amelia always asked if all her birthday presents could go to the shelters to help the homeless doggies and kitties. She thinks about those less fortunate and always sees the good in everyone. She has been a lover of the water (and part mermaid) since she was a little baby and hopes to pursue her dreams of becoming a marine biologist or marine mammologist. Today could potentially be the last birthday she celebrates at home as next year she will be away at college and then onto bigger and brighter aspirations. We started the morning off with her favorite homemade cappuccino chocolate chip muffins and a big glass of fresh squeezed orange juice served in the traditional "Happy Birthday" mug.  While she was at school we decorated the house and got all her cards and presents lined up for when she walked in the door.  We only had a short time before she was off for her big home swim meet.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I are leaving for the meet in just a few minutes as tonight is "Senior Night" and we have to walk her down the swimming pool walkway. *sniff sniff*  It will be hard to not be teary tonight.  Her birthday, growing up, senior night, last home swim meet ever, last birthday at home, last daughter to leave the nest. I know the future holds more wonderful things for us, but it is hard to say good-bye to the way things are now.  Last night I tucked her in. Just as I do every night before her birthday. We always make sure to say good-bye to each passing year right before bedtime. Last night I said, "Tonight is the last time I will ever say good-night and tuck you in as a 17 year old. Tomorrow you will officially be an "adult" and have the right to vote and be ready for college and great adventures will await you."  I think tonight I might just tuck her in again.  I think I will say, "Tonight is the first night I will tuck you in as an 18 year old".....and then tomorrow night can be the second night and then the next night can be the third night and so on and so on.  I think that is a good plan. Happy Birthday Amelia! I love you!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Caustic Concoctions

OH PINE MOUTH! How you make me SUFFER! Yes, yes - I am now on day FOUR of Pine Mouth Misery. It is almost indescribable how AWFUL the Pine Mouth affliction is.  It consumes my every waking and sleeping moment. It is dreadful. I have tried to combat it with almost every means imaginable and yet still I suffer. I think I might be suffering more due to my never ceasing vigilance to rid myself of this awful pine mouth! I have gone to extreme measures. Let's see:
Gargle with warm Salt Water................Result - rather salty mouth and then.....ACK PINE MOUTH!

Gargle with Baking Powder in Warm Water........Result - Horrible weird salty powdery taste and GAG ACK.....PINE MOUTH!

Brush Teeth and Tongue with Baking Powder Paste....Result - Horrible weird salty powdery gritty teeth and then...........ACK PINE MOUTH!

Chew Gum.....Result - sore jaw and ACK PINE MOUTH!

Chew Wintergreen gum - thoughtfully given to me by my son who knows that I HATE wintergreen......Result - "ACK I HATE WINTERGREEN!" ACK PINE MOUTH!!!

Eat VOLCANO FIRE Thai Noodle Soup with extra spice........RESULT - Burn at least 8 layers of skin off my lips, set my esophagus on fire, create an inferno of gastric disruption in my stomach, run to the bathroom 8 times to violently empty my colon completely and then...........ACK PINE MOUTH!


Eat LemonHeads......Result - ACK these LemonHeads taste like PINE MOUTH!

Gargle with undiluted, raw, Apple Cider Vinegar........Result -1 gallon of tears flowing down my face, gagging and drooling for at least 5 minutes......ACK PINE MOUTH!

Gargle with pure lemon juice............Result  -ACK LEMON PINE MOUTH!

Gargle with Hydrogen Peroxide..... Result - Look like Rabid Dog....ACK PINE MOUTH!

Take phone call from mom...."giggle giggle...I see you have "Pine Mouth" Seriously?"   Tell mom that YES I HAVE PINE MOUTH .....result I STILL HAVE PINE MOUTH

Pickle = Pine Mouth, Apple Cider = Pine Mouth, CranApple = Pine Mouth, Spicy Tomato Sauce = Pine Mouth, Popcorn = Pine Mouth.

Result of trying to eat and/or drink something every 3 minutes to rid myself of this awful retching pine mouth taste...................I HAVE GAINED 30 POUNDS AND STILL HAVE PINE MOUTH!!!!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I am being tortured!  Really! TORTURED!  When I tell you my tale of woe - you probably won't think it sounds that awful, but I am telling you it is really really HORRIBLE and I am in complete and utter misery! So my story starts about 3 nights ago when I ate a delicious salad that had toasted pine nuts on it.  It was scrumptious.  I love pine nuts and never thought of putting them on a salad.  They are really good that way!  Then on Monday night, I made pasta with artichoke hearts, fresh cherry tomatoes, a little lemon and some freshly toasted pine nuts.  Again, DELICIOUS!  I had seconds!  Monday night, I started having a really bad taste in my mouth.  I couldn't get rid of it.  When I woke up on Tuesday it was MUCH worse.  No matter what I did, this acrid, bitter, metallic HORRIBLE AWFUL NO GOOD taste in my mouth would not go away.  I ate some of my artichoke pasta with the pine nuts for lunch and didn't even enjoy it.  After I was done, it was like the horrible taste in my mouth was magnified a million times.  As the day wore on, I could barely drink water it was so bad. Nothing would relieve my misery. It is as if I have the white rind off of a grapefruit stuck in my mouth. I mean a big huge piece of white pithy grapefruit rind and you are forced to chew it all day long. So I decided that I would go to the doctor first thing in the morning and beg her to help me.  That is how bad it is!  Before I went to bed, I got online and started researching just what in the heck is afflicting me. Do you know what I found??!!  Do you know what "serious" disease I have? It is called "Pine Mouth". Yes that is right. PINE MOUTH.  It is caused by eating PINE NUTS! Honestly!  Evidently some people have an adverse reaction to eating pine nuts which causes the taste buds to produce an AWFUL taste that lasts 5-14 DAYS.  Nothing will relieve it. So many people wrote how they couldn't eat or drink anything for days on end due to the overwhelming bitter acrid taste in their mouth. It is all you can think about.  Despite the fact we ALL ate the pasta, I am the only one to suffer from Pine Mouth. Everything tastes awful. My coffee is yucky, my peanut butter and jelly bagel is yucky. I cannot enjoy orange juice or water or marshmallows or chocolate or lollipops or gum or ANYTHING. Ugh.  And of course if you look at me, I am fine, so no one is really thinking how sad they are for me. Evidently the most vile taste in your mouth is INVISIBLE to everyone, so I just suffer in silence.  Poor me and my pine mouth. *sniff sniff*  

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Honestly, Truly, Actually, Really, Seriously

So today was honestly, truly, actually, really, seriously, going to be the day the Mr. Yesteryear Acres got back to working on remodeling/restoring our bedroom.  It has been in total disarray for about 2 years now.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres started the large project with high hopes for finishing it before the end of the summer in 2009. We have everything from our bedroom downstairs in our parlor and it is a complete and total mess.  I hate it.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres hates it. The kids hate it.  It is just a huge inconvenience and the unfinished project looms over our heads with nagging intensity.  The project was moving along quite nicely until the day I had my heart attack and ever since then, one thing or another has prevented the project from really getting started again. It is beyond frustrating, but when it comes down to the love and care of living creatures, or the comfort of having our bedroom creatures win every time. And so it stands. Empty. Alone. Unfinished. Unloved. And seemingly unending.  Yesterday afternoon Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I came up with a great plan on how to get back on track and we were planning to start this morning at 6:30am.  I mean this is it.  THE DAY. The day to put on the painters caps and hop on the ladders and start sanding some walls! I think we may have even gone as far as to say something like, we have to have some good luck now! I believe that was our downfall.  I believe the moment we thought that our interruptions were behind us....WHAM!  Yet another delay.  Poor Mr. Yesteryear Acres. His crown on his back tooth fell off right before he hopped into bed last night.  I mean it just popped off. Honestly. So instead of putting on coveralls at 6:30am, Mr. Yesteryear Acres headed off to the dentist for an emergency crown repair. Well I guess I should be happy that something got remodeled! Maybe tomorrow things will go our way. I will have my sanding papers ready just in case we are honestly, truly, actually, really, seriously going to get started on finishing that room.  Until then, good night sweet puppies. You have been so sweet to share your bedroom with us. Maybe one day we will be old enough to get our own room!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Catching Up

Ahhhhhh so nice to be home!  Today I spent most of the day catching up on all the things I missed. Things like dishes, and laundry, and bills, and emails, and website updates. It was a busy day.  I also got to read some wonderful email updates on our puppies!  Since Christmas, I have received a flood of emails from some of my puppy families. I love updates! I love getting puppy pictures!  I love reading about how my puppies are doing!  Some of the emails came with pictures which is even more awesome.  Some are adorable "Waiting for Santa" pictures:

And others are "I LOVE BEING A SNOW DOODLE!" pictures:

But most are "I love being a doodle" pictures

Thanks for all the emails and photos. I love getting them, I love hearing from you and I love seeing all my doodle babies all grown up. It really makes my day!!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Even Colder!

I take back yesterday's C C C C cold post and double that Brrr with a BRRRRR and another BRRRRRR on top of that!! I arrived home and was greeted by 13* temperatures that are supposed to fall into below zero digits tonight. Of course I was wearing a thin black shirt and no coat.  Smart right? Luckily Mr. Yesteryear Acres had the car all nice and toasty so I didn't suffer long.  I cannot believe how COLD it is.  I put on more layers the second I walked in the door. Now that I look like a properly dressed eskimo, I am ready for the week that lies ahead.  Despite the temperatures, I am so happy to be home! Even frigid temperatures cannot diminish my love for being home. Mr. Yesteryear picked me up right on time and had a big smile on his face when he saw me.  I was so happy to see him too! When I arrived home, my daughter had a homemade chocolate cake waiting with a card that said, "WELCOME HOME MOMMY!" and she drew a heart in the frosting.  My son had all the farm chores done and I even got a hug hello.  We are having a fantastic meal prepared by Mr. Yesteryear Acres.....a huge pork roast that has been slowly roasting since this morning, homemade mashed potatoes, corn from the garden, fried apple slices, rolls and for the finale, my daughter's delicious chocolate cake.  I am so excited! My mouth is drooling and it smells SO good. I cannot wait.  I am going to have a huge glass of cold milk to go with my meal to make it complete.  With smiling happy faces surrounding me, a house full of mouth-watering delicious aromas, a lap full of cute cuddly puppies, I can truly say, there is no place like home.  I am glad to be here!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

C c c c o l d!

Brrrrrrrrr! I am a Popsicle. I am a frozen human blizzard cup. I am so cold my teeth are chattering and my nose is running and I think ice cubes are falling off of me as I walk. Am I in Ohio where it is a whopping negative -18* ??? No, of course not! I am in ........FLORIDA! I am in Florida and I am frozen! And every time I mention that I am cold someone around me will say, "aren't you from Ohio??? You should be used to the cold!" Well, I am from Ohio but that does not make me less cold when it is 50* outside and the wind is REALLY blowing and I have summer clothes on and it is 20* below my comfort zone. It is so cold in fact that I am my hotel room. My mom and I went to Universal Studios for our last hurrah. We ended up leaving early because we were both walking icicles. We just couldn't stop shivering. We did however cover a lot of ground while we were there. My mom HATES roller coasters. She hates anything that spins or goes upside down, or is fast, or on a slant, or shakes or quakes or sprays water. You can see that our choices were very narrow at the parks. I kept saying, "Come on! You might like it if you try it!". My mom kept saying NO she would not. So we walked by many attractions but I did get her to go on Twister and Disaster and a few others.  She did NOT NOT NOT like Men in Black but quickly forgave me for talking her into it. I only left my mom's side ONE time. I decided I wanted to go on the Incredible Hulk coaster. I let my mom know that I would be RIGHT back and ran to go on the ride. Well lets just say, that ride is FAST. VERY fast and I was counting the seconds until it was over when.....WHAM! The ride came to a complete and sudden screeching stop while we were on an angular area of the track. Dead stop. I wasn't too happy and then I really wasn't happy when I began to worry that the other car would run into us from behind. It didn't but there we sat mid-ride for about 10 minutes while maintenance came to do repair work. We couldn't get out of our very tightly fitting harnesses and the breeze was quite cold. After that ......we decided that we had enough "adventure" for the day. We left the park with hours left to spare and are now under blankets and blankets and more blankets and are not moving for the rest of the night. It is the very newest and greatest theme park ride. It is called "The Hibernation" and we are not coming out until winter is over!!!!!

Tears of Laughter

 I generally go through every day with a big smile on my face and consider myself to be an overwhelmingly happy person. I like to surround myself with other happy people and I love to find good things in each day. Laughing is something I do with gusto. I am not a meek or timid laugher. I am a full deep down to the depths of my belly laugher. I am probably fairly easy to spot in a crowd, especially at a comedy movie or with a group of friends, as I am the one clearly enjoying the moment and laughing and having fun. Sometimes I will get the "look". The look that says, "I think that is enough happiness" and I have to wonder about those people. I don't laugh at inappropriate times but when I do laugh, it is a what some might consider a loud laugh. I just don't hold my enjoyment in. I let it all out so I can refill and laugh some more. How can there ever be "enough happiness?" Life is supposed to be enjoyed and laughing and having fun is part of what makes life so great.  My mom and I had dinner tonight and we just could not stop laughing. We were cracking each other up. We were very considerate of the diners around us and laughed into our napkins but for most of our dinner we were drying the tears running down our faces. We had just the best time. While we were eating our dessert, an older couple came up to us and I was afraid that we had been too noisy with our dinner. They asked if we were mother and daughter and we told them we were. They then said that watching us have so much fun together was one of the nicest things they have ever seen. They said that all mothers should enjoy their daughters and all daughters should enjoy their mothers as much as we do. We agreed! We then had some other diners come over and talk to us and they also thought that having that much fun with your mommy was undeniably special. We met some really nice people. We heard stories about their moms or their daughters and I was touched that our happiness made so many other people feel happy. I guess laughter is contagious! My mom and I just have one more day together before we head back home. We are not the type of people who lament the last day and feel sad that our time together is coming to an end. We don't whine or moan or feel blue. We enjoy that last day all the way until the very last minute. You can bet that tomorrow....there will be some major good times rolling and I am going to guess some tears of laughter to make our day complete!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Everyone knows the story of Goldilocks. Her bed was too hard, her chair was too soft, her food was too hot or too cold. Evidently....I was Goldilocks today. I could not for the life of me find the right temperature to enjoy the day.  I must have moved from chair to chair enough times to make that an official aerobic workout. "Now up and move and down and sit, and up and move and down and sit". It might be the newest and greatest exercise craze! The sun was really baking hot today. I know, I know, I have to be incredibly grateful to even have warm sun, and I was, but I am talking baking hot.  If I were a casserole, I would be fully cooked and ready to serve. There was very little breeze and I could feel layers of skin scorching off my body despite my use of 70SPF sun screen. I could only sit for a while until I became just too hot to sit any longer. So then of course I moved to the shade where for some unknown reason huge wind gusts were present ONLY in the shade and in about 3 minutes, I was freezing. So back to the sun and then back to the shade and then back to the sun. Do you want to take a guess as to whether I drove my mom crazy today? I was given a very poor temperature regulator at birth. I always wear sweaters in the house during the summer because the air conditioning is too cold. At the same time, I can overheat in the sun faster than anyone I know. My ideal temperature would be around 74* all year round. Of course that rarely occurs so I always wear layers so that I can be prepared for whatever weather comes my way. So today... I was Goldilocks. My mom willingly followed me from the sun to the shade countless times and never complained. That is true love as the shady area wasn't near the sunny area and by the time we were all set and comfortable and in the best part of our books, it was time to move back again. Luckily, I am very good company and my mom really loves her Goldilocks so all was well. We got our books read, had lots of laughs, loved the warm sun and cool breezes and had a great time. If you put the whole day was just right.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Food Coma

Oh man....I ate too much. I mean really too much. My mom and I went out to eat and the food was ridiculously delicious. Every bite was heavenly and my brain never registered the STOP EATING button once I was full. So of course I finished every bite and now I am so full I cannot move. I am a gigantic blob of tired overstuffed unmoving fullness. The biggest problem was the bread. The chef was a French baker so the bread was a traditional fresh baked steaming baguette with soft French butter waiting on the table. Mmmmmm. The couple sitting at the next table remarked that their bread basket was so full that they could never eat that basket of bread in 10 years. Hmmmmm. I had 2 baskets.  I mean the bread was hot and chewy and rich and soooooo good! The restaurant also had passion fruit coladas and passion fruit is my very very very favorite fruit in the entire world. How could I say no? It was mmmmmmmmmm good! Every sip made me smile and make a yummy sound. I actually made an audible yummy sound with each sip because that much goodness can never be contained inside. The "mmmm" just has to come out. If the fresh baked bread and passion fruit coladas were not enough....they also had panko encrusted  green beans with a hint of lemon. Would it surprise you to know I ate an entire bowl full? I mean I just couldn't stop. Oh my. Such goodness. Such yumminess. Such fullllllness! So now I am sitting here and I am slowly slipping into a food coma. I might not recover. I might be in my food coma forever. I may never eat again. Oh wait....tomorrow I hear they are serving Szechuan eggplant! Okay, so I believe, I mean I am not certain, but I believe I will emerge from my food coma just in time for dinner. Wow! I am such a fast healer!

At Last

Tonight my mom and I went to a Karaoke club. Oh my gosh was that fun. I have a very wide variety of songs that I enjoy from all genres so it is even more fun for me to go and listen to everyone sing. In case you are wondering....NO I did not sing! I don't think I could ever drum up the courage for that one nor do I think the audience would appreciate my singing talents. I think they are better suited for singing in the shower or while driving along some long stretch of highway. I don't have the kind of voice necessary to entertain an audience. Even if I do know a lot of the words, it doesn't mean I should be singing them. This advice could be taken to heart to some of the "entertainers" this evening. Wow.....some people really can not carry a tune.  The nice thing is that the same people that cannot carry a tune, are the same people that do not know that they cannot carry a tune, so their feelings are never hurt. They are blissfully happy singing "I've got friends in low places" for the 14th time in a row. I think after this evening, I could sing the song backwards as I certainly know the lyrics that well by now. My favorite part of the karaoke evening were the surprise AWESOME singers. Singers, that by the looks of them, didn't reveal the awesomeness inside. I mean every now and then some shy looking timid person would go up to the stage and WOW just nail every note and bring the audience to their feet with a voice that was amazing. I got goosebumps just listening! One girl got up and sang "Part of your world" which is the song from The Little Mermaid and boy she was SO good.  She sounded as if she were the original recording artist. I am missing my little mermaid back home so when she sang it, I immediately thought of my younger daughter. She loves that movie and truly is my little mermaid. She would have loved hearing that song tonight. Another woman sang "At Last" and I mean right there you have to be pretty brave because everyone knows that song is the most romantic song in the world and is a required "you MUST dance with your wife" song. She was terrific! I mean really terrific and she had never sung for anyone before in her life! It was really so beautiful. I had a bit of tears in my eyes. Here is this woman who has all that talent right inside her and she never even knew. No one knew. She belted that song out and I think everyone was speechless. It was completely wonderful and she was overwhelmed with the applause. I think one of the favorites of the evening was a group of three gospel singers who sang Whitney Houston's "How Do I Know" in the most perfect harmony I have ever heard. I would buy tickets to a concert of theirs. I love hearing such vocal talent. I love seeing people sing their hearts out and have the time of their lives. If I get the chance to go again, I should be fairly easy to spot. I will be the one with biggest smile on my face, tapping my toes, clapping my hands and (quietly) singing along. Tonight I will go to sleep with an entire concert playing in my head. I think I will just replay the really good ones. The "Friends in Low Places" will have to wait for the next time it is Karaoke night. I think I will start with "At Last". As in... At Last I am going to bed! Night!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Reading is Fundamental

I love to read. I think reading is one of life's greatest pleasures. I love to read adventures and mysteries and go to far off exotic lands. I seldom get to read as I am way too busy to justify curling up with a good book, but if given an opportunity, I would choose reading a good book over just about anything. I know some people think that if a book is good enough, someone will make it into a movie and they can just wait until then. Boy are they missing out! Books let your mind fill with rich images and well developed characters.  They take you places you have never been and treat you to tales of wonder. Whenever I watch a movie based off a book I read, I never think the characters look or sound they way I imagined them to be. Even if I really really love the movie, I am always glad I had the opportunity to read the book as well.  Sometimes I will enjoy the movie and the book with the same passion. Even if the movie is far different than I imagined, it still can be extremely entertaining and fun to watch. Since I do not get the chance to read very often, I have to make up for it whenever I go on vacation. I try to squeeze as much reading in as I can each day. I usually read and finish one book a day. I always figure any day I can read an entire book is a great day. Today I read a page turner. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out what was going to happen. I don't think I moved for hours. It was a fantastic book, and as soon as I finished that one, I immediately started the next one. It has been a reading marathon day for both me and my mom. We did come up for air at lunch and dinner, but now we are back at it again. I might just get two novels finished today. Ahhhh. Life is good. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

To sit and.....

Today I did something I never do. I mean never. Even if I try to do this, I cannot because the guilt I feel is so overwhelming, I just cannot do it. I....did.....nothing. That's right. Nothing. I sat in a chair for over an hour and did absolutely nothing. I didn't read. I didn't talk, I didn't sleep, listen to music, check my mail, and what's more...I didn't worry. I just sat. It was so nice. It was so relaxing. It was very soothing to just sit and breathe and not have an agenda or somewhere to be or somewhere to go. I tried to just sit and let my mind empty which is a very difficult if not impossible task. I tried to just be content in the moment and let all the worries and concerns of life float away.  I have to say I had to actively work on this about every 2-3 minutes as i would catch myself thinking about what I needed to do when I got home or which emails still needed answering or how everyone was doing back home, but then i just made myself stop and focus on relaxing. It is something that does not come easily for me, but I did it. I think I liked it too. Of course after about an hour, I grew restless and had to go do something, but for that hour, I relaxed as much as I think I am able to do so.  I might even try it again tomorrow, but I doubt I will actually follow through. I already made a list of things I want to do and I have a pile of books waiting to be read. I wouldn't want to disappoint Mr. Larsson or Mr. Parker. They have been patiently waiting for me for months. Perhaps I will stay up late this evening and get one whole book finished.  That sounds just about as lovely as a way to finish the day as anything I can think of. Mr. Parker, here I come.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

One on One

Is there anything better than one-on-one time? Time that you get to spend just with one other person. When you don't have to work so hard to make everyone in the room feel better but instead can simply focus on one person. To just think about what they like or don't like. To just think about the things you like to do together and to sit and talk and get caught up in the moment of being together.  I love one on one time.  I love to have one on one time with my husband. We seldom have that together but when we do, it is heaven. I love the stillness of being with him and the comfort he brings to my very soul.  I love spending one on one time with my children. I love just listening to what is going on in their life and to totally immerse myself into their existence. I love the feeling I get when my attention isn't torn by the distractions of every day life and I can just be in that moment. Spending one on one time is one of my favorite luxuries in life. This week, I get to spend one on one time with my mom. Just the two of us.  We have left our loved ones behind and are spending an entire week together. We are going to read books together. Go out to eat together. Play games together. Sit together, walk together, and maybe even go out dancing together. Most importantly ....we are going to spend the week laughing together. We love each other's company. We make each other laugh to the depths of our very being. Sometimes we laugh so hard that the tears roll down our faces so quickly that we need mountains of tissues to dry the streams of happiness.  I feel so very lucky to be able to spend the week with my mom. I know so many people that would give anything to just spend one day with their mom and I do not take my time with her for granted. I cherish every minute. My mom is a vibrant, happy, glass is always full, life is great, appreciative soul, and I love that. I will miss my family back home but I know that Mr. Yesteryear Acres will take care of everything and everyone just like he always does. I am so very lucky to him in my life. Without his thoughtfulness, I could never take the time to be with my mom. I will still be checking in with my emails every day, but I might be a little slow in responding, so if I am a little late, I apologize. I probably will be off somewhere laughing and smiling and having the very best time with my mommy. Who could ask for anything more?

Friday, January 14, 2011

The weather forecast

Early this morning while I was taking care of the puppies, the daily morning news program was playing on the television. Mr. Yesteryear Acres always has the news on in the morning so we can start the day fully in the know. Well today, I felt so lucky to have the news on. I must give my deepest and most sincere thanks to our local meteorologist. Without his kind and most insightful forecast this morning, I might have been totally oblivious to today's weather forecast. Do you know what sage advice he shared with his viewers this morning? Do you know what incredible and amazingly insightful suggestion he provided? He said that today......January 14th.....was...........another cold day. Whoa. Who knew? In addition, he said that today.....was a day you needed........a jacket! I am not kidding you. He said, "Folks, today you are going to want to wear a jacket.". Tears of appreciation immediately sprung to my eyes. With it being a balmy 12* outside, I was so grateful to know that I might require a jacket. I mean there I was, standing there in my Bermuda shorts, bikini top, straw hat and sunglasses when my weather man let me know that today was a JACKET day! Oh my gosh! I was totally dressed inappropriately! I had no clue! I certainly I couldn't tell it was cold out with the foot of snow on the ground. I missed the signs when I had to excavate my car from the igloo that encapsulated it. When Mr. Yesteryear Acres used a chainsaw to cut a hole in the ice on our frozen pond so that he and the kids could go ice fishing - again I was clueless. The fact that our porch door was frozen idea it was cold. When I came in the house from getting the newspaper and my boots were filled with snow and my hands were frozen to the mailbox, again, I was certain it was a jacket-free day. Whew! I immediately ran upstairs to change into a sweater, scarf and long pants. Tomorrow I better just stay in my pajamas until AFTER the weather forecast. Left to my own doing, I might set out my snorkel and swimsuit. After the awe-inspiring weather forecast this morning, I feel I cannot trust my own judgement.  If the polar bears traipsing through my backyard are any indication....... Polar fleece MAY be needed tomorrow, but I just don't know.  I shall wait before making any snap decisions. I just hope that tomorrow's forecast will be just as helpful as this morning's forecast. A jacket wearing day in Ohio, in January, with a foot of snow on the ground, when the high temperature doesn't go above 20*, I just never saw that coming.  Thank goodness for my local weather forecaster. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

And each one is unique

This afternoon Mr. Yesteryear Acres called me outside to see the snowflakes falling from the sky.  They were falling in perfect crystals.  Every flake was picture perfect - displaying all the elegance and unique qualities of each beautiful snowflake. I love it when that happens.  I love to catch the snowflakes on my mitten and admire each individual snowflake.  I love to look around and see how all the unique snowflakes contribute to the beauty of the landscape.  Each one is special and extraordinary and together they blanket the earth in white sparkly beauty.
They reminded me of the paper snowflakes my children made with construction paper and a pair of scissors.  They would fold the paper into small sections and then cut out intricate shapes and patterns and when they opened the paper, a beautiful snowflake appeared.  Each one was different and they were all splendid. My children are like that. Each child is different and unique. They each bring something uniquely wonderful to this world and when I have all my children together, my world is blanketed in the most lovely landscape imaginable. As I watched the snowflakes fall, I was glad I took time out to appreciate Nature's wonders.
I thought about how the beauty and uniqueness found inside each snowflake is like the beauty and uniqueness in all of us. 

What if we all stopped to appreciate what is all around us every day? If we stopped what we were doing and listened and thought about all we have been blessed with. If we look up towards the skies with the eyes of a child and smile at all we see. What if we put all our unique qualities together and blanket our earth with an endless sparkly beauty.  It just takes one moment to stop and be thankful. Snowflake moments can happen every day. Just step outside.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

One Hour Snooze

Well we didn't quite get enough snow for an official snow day.  We did the snow dance and everything but alas the snow removal street cleaning crew did a most excellent job and the roads were fairly clear by this morning.  The only thing we managed to eek out of this winter storm was a one hour delay for school. I have to say - it was very welcome - and the snooze button was promptly pushed for a glorious 60 additional minutes of sleep. The kids made it to school safely and we were all blessed by pretty snowflakes falling from the sky for most of the day. I had a huge list of things to get done today but for some reason everything took longer than I had hoped and I didn't get nearly the amount of work accomplished today as I had hoped. I could blame my sister....because she kept interrupting my work with instant messaging. I am not saying that I didn't want to talk to her.  I am not saying that chatting to her about clearance sales, and which pajamas are the softest, or what movies are out this week, or how nice her organized DVD shelves look wasn't fun. I am just saying that she is so much fun that I kept chatting to her instead of doing what I was supposed to be doing.  Did I make it to the bank today? No. Did I get my refrigerator cleaned out? No.  Did I get the laundry all finished? No. Did I notice in my sister's picture that she emailed me of her new organized DVD shelf, that she messed up on a section of her movies and the movies from Babel to God's and Generals were in the wrong order? OH YES! I got THAT done today! Maybe I am being too hard on myself.  I mean that is a huge accomplishment.  How many sisters would take the time to REALLY look at an emailed picture of DVDS and notice some out of order? Well I can think of 2. Me...and my sister.  One time I emailed her a picture of my VERY AMAZING BEAUTIFUL wall of DVDs and she noticed I put one of the Pirates of the Caribbean in the wrong chronological order. EGADS! What was I thinking? Thank goodness my sister and I both work so hard. Can you imagine the devastation if we weren't both so dedicated? I suppose tomorrow I will put more effort into getting things crossed off my list.  There isn't a chance for a snow day so I will wake up raring to go. I will not look at very nice pajamas that are on clearance.  I will not scrutinize DVD genre organization pictures. I will not procrastinate at all....I mean that is AFTER I have my morning coffee, and play a scrabble word, and text my daughter. THEN I will get busy.  Good plan.  I am ready!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow Day!

I love snow. I love it. I love it. I love it! Snow makes everything look so beautiful.  I always hope for lots and lots of snow.  I think I must secretly want to be a meteorologist so I could spread the news of blizzards and massive snowfalls throughout the land. I never think we have enough snow and perpetually wish for at least 3 feet of snow to fall from the sky overnight.  Today's forecast called for at least 5 inches of snow.  Now 5 inches isn't exactly a massive snowfall but around here it is a most welcome snow covering. The first thing we do whenever we hear about an upcoming winter "storm" is to check the school closing lists.  I am not sure who is more excited, me or the kids.  We all want school to be cancelled so we can have an official SNOW DAY.  Snow days are the best. They mean hot chocolate with marshmallows.  They mean sledding out back.  They mean cross-country skiing and snow shoes and snow forts. Snow days mean FUN.  So this morning when we all woke up and nary a flake of snow fell from the sky, we all sighed with sadness.  The kids slowly made their way out the door and I started in on a day full of paying bills, bills and more bills. I figured I was already drowning in sorrow from the lack of snow, so I might as well do something sorrowful.  I was making very good progress when WHAT IS THAT?! SNOW!  Lots and lots of SNOW! Nice big snowflakes starting falling from the sky.  Yea!!!  Time to celebrate!  It snowed so much that school was released early. SNOW DAY!  Time to put on the snowsuits and mittens and scarves and head outside into the winter wonderland!  I have a loaf of bread baking in the oven ready for us when we come back in. Maybe we will be lucky and it will snow non-stop all night long and tomorrow will be a snow day from start to finish! I think our sledding hill would love our company. It looked rather lonely and nothing breaks a heart like a lonely sledding hill. Don't be sad dear sledding hill....we are on the way!

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Trick

We have an 8 month old chocolate labradoodle named Olive that my son has been training.  Her full name is Olive Ewe.  Get it?...  My son refuses to call her that - but hey - it is her official name.
Here is a picture of Olive this summer as a young puppy. Even then she was already helping my son with the farm chores.

This is after a youth day pheasant hunt this fall:

She is a really great pup and is completely devoted to my son.
Here is a recent picture of her. Most of the time she looks just like this:

She is focused on my son and just waiting for his next move. She can't wait for my son to ask her to do something with him. She is in love with him. My son is equally in love with Olive and never hesitates to mention how cute she is.  I think I hear something along the lines of, "Mom! Look at Olive! Isn't she SO cute?" at least every 5 minutes.
 Each morning when Olive and my son wake up, my son has a look on his face that says, "I AM NOT AWAKE YET" while Olive's face says, "GOOD MORNING! I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! I LOVE YOU! Oh and one more thing...I LOVE YOU!" It doesn't take long for Olive's enthusiasm to spread and in no time my son is smiling and ready to start the day. Olive follows my son everywhere.  I mean every step he takes, Olive is right there with him.  She is always looking into his eyes and asking, "what can I do for you next?"  She is completely and totally in love with him. My son has been working on teaching Olive some new tricks.  This Christmas he got Olive to open his Christmas presents for him.  I am not kidding.  He waited until Olive unwrapped his presents and of course Olive was only too willing to oblige.  She even got a few presents of her own which she was quite happy about.  One was a stuffed animal that has a place for a empty plastic water bottle to go inside. That way it makes that wonderful crinkle sound every single time Olive picks up the toy. She loves that toy as she has always had a thing for water bottles.  The newest trick is for Olive to go fetch something to drink for my son. It started with her picking up a gatorade bottle or water bottle off the floor and then handing it to my son.  It has now progressed to much further distances.  Yesterday my son called me and asked me if I could get him something to drink. He was way back on the hill and I told him I didn't really want to get bundled up and walk all the way out there.  So what did he do?  Yep.  He sent Olive.  I went to the basement to get a bottle of water and walked out to our porch and there was Olive.  Waiting for me with her tail wagging in anticipation. I handed her the water bottle and off she ran to give it to my son. My son thought it was the greatest thing ever! He is still talking about it today.  His next plans are to teach her how to go to the basement and get a water bottle all by herself.  He has great plans for how she can go fetch a root beer or gatorade -perhaps even a COLD one and then go all the way out to the garden or wherever he might be and run all sorts of errands for him. He is so excited.  The most awesome is Olive.  She can't wait to run his errands for him. I think my son might be on to something here.  Perhaps Olive would like to bring in the groceries! Or make dinner! Hey I know...maybe Olive would want to do the dishes for me! I will have to bring this idea up with my son.  I mean if she can go fetch cold beverages....I say why stop there!  Dearest Olive....I LOVE EWE!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Snow good

Brrrr! Despite the appearance of the sun it is darn right cold outside today.  It is the kind of day that calls for at least 2 mugs of hot chocolate with extra marshmallows! If I didn't have so much work to catch up on, it would be the perfect day to crawl under a blanket, slowly sipping the mug of steaming cocoa and curling up with a good  book.  Ooooh that would be heaven!  Instead of course - I donned on my winter snow suit and headed outside to take some pictures of the puppies.  If you were to ask the puppies if it were cold outside, I think they would all say NO.  They had a blast and they all came in looking a bit like snowmen.  They collected little "snowberries" in their fur and brought the frozen snowballs into the kitchen to share with everyone.  Aren't they thoughtful?  Just about the time that all the snowberries dried on the kitchen floor, the puppies were ready to go back outside and play some more.  My kids are the same way. It is never too cold to play outside in the snow.  There are snow forts that need to be constructed, snowmen to make and hills to slide down.  I mean that is a full itinerary right there.  My kids like to make snowcones with real snow and a little maple syrup drizzled on top. Evidently the puppies thought the maple syrup was not needed:
It was particularly delicious snow.  After all the romping and playing around
I think we were all finally ready to head inside to warm up for a while.

I got all the puppies back inside the warm house and then started peeling off my layers.  I took off my snow boots, my hat, my gloves, my scarf, my snowsuit, my sweater and what do you know? I was back in my pajamas again! Maybe it isn't too late for that cup of cocoa and a book! Perhaps if I hide way in the corner under the blanket, no one will find me. Shhhhh.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Winter Take 2

We had a small break from the bitter cold and snowy winter wonderland last week.  We had rain and warm temperatures and all the beautiful snow melted. Do you know what happens when a foot of snow melts with a torrential downpour? MUD! A lot of MUD!  Mud everywhere!  Do you know what doodles love???? You guessed it! MUD!  They love to become one with the mud and have a complete mud soaked spa experience.  I am quite convinced that our apricot doodles secretly wish they were chocolate doodles and just lie in wait for the chance to romp in the mud. I am always prepared for the endless parade of mud in early spring but a mudfest in early January is never appreciated. Mother Nature has been kind enough to blanket us with a beautiful snow-filled landscape once again.  We have had a nice little snow storm here with a bit more expected.  The muddy brown dingy world has all been cleansed with a bright white sparkly happiness.  When I woke up this morning I saw our magnolia tree's branches all dressed in white.  The backyard was so serene and peaceful in the glistening snow.  It was just breathtaking.  It looked especially wonderful considering I didn't have to drive in it today.  All the beauty just waited for me to come home. Tomorrow I plan on taking all new pictures of the puppies out in the white fluffy snow.  I should be able to get some really good shots.  They are getting SO cute. This week's pictures should be a lot easier than last week's where I had to keep them from getting all muddy for their photo shoot. As soon as I snapped a the puppy ran to find the biggest muddy soupy hole and then begged for more friends to come and play. Tomorrow they can tunnel and build a snow fort. Welcome back winter! I could just lie down and kiss the snowy ground!
I love you winter!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Snow place like home

Yea! I made it back home!  My long trip is officially over.  The drive to Annapolis was a really easy drive and I made it in good time.  My daughter was a most excellent companion and DJ extraordinaire. We talked and laughed and sang all the way to the Naval Academy.  Once we passed through the security gates, the laughter abruptly ended as we had to say our goodbyes. Sigh. I hate that part.  My daughter hates that part.  Saying goodbye is always tough.  I missed her the very second she disappeared from view.  I know she feels the same way.  I sadly got back in my car and turned around and headed home.  What awaited me on my long drive home was snow, snow and more snow.  Oh and darkness...lots of darkness.  I absolutely hated the drive home.  There were hours that went by when there were no lane lines as the freeway was totally covered in snow. The only thing visible were 2 small thin lines of the tire tracks in front of me.  Sometimes I didn't even have the tire tracks. I just put my car equidistant between the guard rails and kept on driving through the snowy darkness. I think I used almost an entire gallon of window wiper fluid trying to keep my windshield clear. It was one long drive.  I think next time I will have to stay overnight in Annapolis and skip the driving there and back in one day idea.  It is just too much for me to do, especially considering I was only accompanied by my boxes of tissues on the way home. Try as they might, they just weren't that comforting. I am SO glad to be home! I can tell my home sweet home really missed me.  I can tell my doggies really missed me.  I can tell my son and daughter and husband really missed me.  But most of all.... I can tell my pajamas really missed me. PAJAMAS!!!!  I AM HOME!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Oh yes, I would love to cancel my airline reservation

Did you know that if I drive my daughter to our airport, say my goodbyes as she boards the plane, then turn around and drive home....I will receive a text from her within 15 minutes of walking in my door saying she has landed safely.  Yep - by the time I drive home from the airport, she has already landed in Baltimore, Maryland.  Now in that same line of thinking - if I drive my daughter to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, say my goodbyes as she walks up the steps, then turn around and drive home....approximately 16 hours of my day will have passed me by. For all of you in the guessing mood - guess what I will be doing tomorrow.  Is it driving my daughter to the airport and driving home giving me loads of time to recover from not being sick OR instead is it driving through the snowy mountains (and yes it is snowing) and then driving back home all alone only to crawl into my bed around midnight tomorrow evening? Of course the answer is - I am driving her back to the Academy.  Oh my daughter is SO excited. 8 more hours with her mommy. No packing her suitcases to fit the FAA rules and regulations. No worries about what can fit into her bag and what can't. No worries about how to get from the airport to the Naval Academy. Nope. She doesn't have a worry in the world.  I am now once again Super mom.  She has asked me to drive her back to the Academy instead of having her fly back almost every day.  Everyday I gave her the same answer, "NO!"  This didn't stop her from pleading with me. She even said, "Pretty please" but I wasn't falling for it.  No was the answer.  No I wouldn't drive her. No and No and NO and especially NO because I already bought her return ticket! And did I mention that I was friends with a box of tissues and perhaps wasn't up for the long journey? And did it just start snowing with a vengeance today? And did I want to say goodbye to my pajamas? As it turns out, I actually need to deliver a puppy to Annapolis and the family waiting seriously needs the puppy now. It wouldn't be fair to them if I waited until I visited my daughter in February for her birthday. So, yes, I would love to cancel my airline reservation. I leave tomorrow bright and early and hope to be home before midnight.  Dear snowy mountains...leave a small path for me.  I am heading your way!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I love you my sweet tissues

Dearest tissues, my faithful friends. You have been so good to me. You have stayed by my side day and night. You have accompanied me to the bathroom. You have accompanied me to the kitchen. You have helped me to feed the puppies, clean up their poop, take them outside. You have been my constant companion whether I am laying down or sitting up. Your presence plastered under my nose has been ever so comforting. I do not know what I would have done without your kind attention. Please don't be offended by my casting you aside in mountainous piles only to be removed and forever burned as toxic waste. Please don't be offended by the fact I replace you every 30 seconds. You are ever so appreciated. In fact, you are so appreciated that Mr. Yesteryear Acres went to Sam's Club last night and bought 8 more boxes of my dear sweet tissue companions. I have a box in every room. It is the only way I can get from one room to the other. I am actually impressed with the endless production of mucous that is replenished with every passing minute. I certainly think I should be empty by now. Despite all of the above.... I am still not sick. So don't worry about me. I am just choosing to wear my pajamas all day today. I am choosing to crawl from room to room. Mr. Yesteryear Acres chose to take our son to the orthodontist appointment this morning. I was definitely well enough to take him, it was just that Mr. Yesteryear Acres thought that taking our son to the orthodontist this morning would bring him overwhelming joy and happiness. My younger daughter chose to run to the store to pick up more milk because what is more fun than a milk run? And finally the dinner menu for tonight....poached eggs and toast....has been chosen because that is way better than the originally planned handmade pasta with garden tomato sauce. Nothing goes better with tissues than a nice soft poached egg. That and jammies and a blanky. And maybe a little Russell Crowe or Brad Pitt. They seem to go really well with tissues. Of course some might say - they go well with everything. Good thing I am absolutely not sick or else I might miss them. Cheers to feeling well. Cheers....with tea with honey.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Pajamas and Tea

My head is so full and I cannot breathe. I have gone through loads and loads of tissues. I feel sorry for all the trees that have been sacrificed for my poor pathetic nose. It is so sore and raw. Last night I propped up all the pillows on my bed and slept with a large pile of tissues and a trash can by my side. My eyes are running non-stop and I look like I have been watching depressing movies all day. I am not sick though. I refuse to admit defeat. I am perfectly healthy. I will still get dinner on the table on time. I will still have all the puppies cared for and watered and fed and loved. I will still wear a smile and spend time with my older daughter as if I am the healthiest person on the planet. I am fairly certain I am fooling everyone. I do not at all sound like I have a balloon in my throat and the tissues plastered under my nose do not in any way indicate that I may not be 100% well. I can pretend that I have been watching Hallmark commercials and that is why my eyes are watery. It is a perfect plan. No one will ever suspect a thing. No one except maybe the person who discovers the trash can overflowing with tissues and the thermometer by my side and the fact I am still in my pajamas drinking tea. Maybe I should go get dressed. Maybe I should make something other than chicken noodle soup for dinner. Maybe I should......just find a nice soft blanky and sit down for just a minute. Just one short minute. With a blanky. And tea. With honey. And maybe a movie.  After all that is perfectly normal behavior for healthy people! Achoo!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Surprise Visitor

Today we had a fluffy surprise visitor.  It was really cute with great big eyes and all the doggies thought it was completely fascinating. It looked so cute and fluffy we all just wanted to reach out and pet it.  Was it a cute fluffy puppy? Nope.  A cute fluffy kitten? Nope again.  Just who was this surprise visitor? Guess whooooooooo
That is what I saw from our window!  I grabbed my camera as fast as I could and took a few shots from inside the house.

Of course I was so excited I yelled for everyone to come see our cute fluffy owl friend.  It was fun to see it sitting right in our magnolia tree. I decided to run outside to see if I could get a better picture of it.

Surprisingly it didn't fly away and I got a few good shots.
Everyone got a chance to see the owl which was really great.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres and my son came outside with me and we admired the owl together.  Some people....I am not naming any names....admired the owl from inside the warm house....

Since I ran outside without a coat, I can't say she had a bad idea! It was chilly! We all watched the owl until it saw something up in the woods and took off for parts unknown.  Thank you for the visit Mr. Owl.  We loved having you!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

One Last Hurrah

Sadly, today was the last day of Christmas break. It is always a sad day around here.  I never want break to end. The kids never want break to end. The puppies never want break to end. I would be eternally happy if break went on endlessly.  I love having all my children home. It is the thing that brings me my greatest joys. So today we spent the day playing with our Christmas gifts one last time.  My younger daughter received a cupcake cookbook for Christmas so she delighted us with her culinary masterpieces.
The whole gang:

                                     Mr. Hippo

                                         Mr. Goby Fish
                                    Mr. Chocolate Moose
                                      Ms. Seagull
                               Bottom's Up Duckie
                   The Grand Finale.....Mr. Snowman!
The cupcakes are sooooooooooo good......too good.  We aren't allowed to eat the masterpieces.  Just don't tell Mr. Snowman.......he seems to missing something. Mmmmm Mmmmmm good!

Hope your last day of break was as delicious as mine was!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 2011!!

Happy New Year!! Can you believe it is already 2011?!? Time sure does fly. It flies by when you are working around the clock. It flies by when you are lying around doing nothing. It flies by when you don't want it to and it flies by whether you are looking backwards or looking forward. Time is a constant whether we want it to be or not. Time passes and things change. This year will bring a few milestones to our family.  My older daughter will turn 21 and officially become an adult.  She will experience intensive summer training for the Navy and start her last year of college at the Naval Academy. My younger daughter will graduate from high school and go off to college in the fall. She turns 18 this month and will become a part of the voting public.  My son will start his first year of high school in the fall and will find himself with no siblings to harass. Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I will adjust to all the milestones as we always do and will continue to pour our heart and soul into our family happenings and sweet doodle babies. Last night we went around the table and discussed our New Year's resolutions. We know better than to make resolutions that sound wonderful but are likely never to come true. Mr. Yesteryear Acres is never going to lose 20 lbs and look like he did when he was a young boy in college.  In that same regard, I am not going to lose 20lbs and look like I did when I was back in college either.  The days of wearing bikinis are long behind me but we both have vowed to work on keeping in shape.....even if the shape is a bit rounder than it used to be.  I am probably never going to become a certified accountant with all my notes and bills and paperwork color coordinated and in chronological order but I will try to become more organized and file my paperwork in a timely manner. We might not win the lottery, travel the globe, restore every room in our house back to its original condition or become lean mean fighting machines but we will do the best we can each and every day to do be good and to do good. We all vowed to become a better part of who we already are. To appreciate all of life's blessings. To love one another with no reservations and to help each other become all that we were meant to be. Our resolutions are to love life, love each other, love our doggies, our home and to be grateful for each and every day. Now that is a New Year's Resolution that is easy to keep.  Happy New Year to you and to those you love.