Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscar Hoopla

So all the hoopla and excitement of the Oscars has now officially come to a close.  Being a dedicated puppy raiser - I hardly ever get to go out to the movie theater and instead must wait to watch movies at home on DVD.... hence - my large and dearly beloved DVD collection. I am always excited on new release Tuesday to see what new movie has come out on DVD and then eagerly anticipate watching it from the comfort of my living room. I get the added benefit of having a furry puppy or two to keep me company, so my movie viewing is always a good time for a snuggle fest. Despite the fact that we haven't yet seen any of this year's nominated movies, as always, we faithfully watch the Oscars. I absolutely must see what all the stars are wearing!  Mr. Yesteryear Acres always jokes that the next day I can see the entire Oscar show in a concise 5 minute wrap up on the morning news - but that is CHEATING!  You must endure the hours and hours of Oscar awards to prove your movie worthiness.  Last night's Oscars were a bit drawn out. I can't say I particularly enjoyed the hosting - but the clothes were delightful and it made me even more eager to watch the King's Speech.  It looks like a fantastic film. It won't be released on DVD until mid-April so I guess I will just have to be patient until then.  There were a few more movies that looked exceptional so my movie wish list is now complete. Guess I better stock up on popcorn for this Spring's movie festival.  The puppies and I have a lot of catching up to do!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

What Else.....Puppy work of course!

Since I was sucked into the American Idol time warp yesterday, I had to work doubly hard today to make up for lost time. Luckily it couldn't have been any nicer outside so a little bit of Spring Fever was in the air and working all day wasn't too bad. I did tons of housework, made fresh baked potato rolls, helped my daughter with some college planning, and I am happy to report that I got all new puppy pictures taken and of course - they are adorable.  Roxy's puppies are now eating solid foods and even though they are making a huge mess, some food is actually making it inside their tummies.  Most of it still gets licked off by their mommy which is great fun for them and deliciously fun for Roxy. Fiona's puppies haven't quite gotten the hang of solid foods.  They mostly walk through the gruel and get it everywhere. I mean everywhere. Paws, noses, ears, muzzles, legs - you name it.  Fiona is ever so attentive and licks up every messy drop.  By next weekend they should be pros. We also have some newborn babies!  Lola delivered her sweet bundle of double doodle puppies.We now officially have a full house of puppy happiness!  Look how sweet the newborns are:

Tomorrow I will get all the new pictures published to the website. There are tons of cute ones to see! Doing puppy work all day long is not a bad way to spend the day.  I get to be home.  I get tons of puppy kisses and hugs. I get to stay in comfy clothes AND I get surprises. Look what was waiting for me in the kitchen this afternoon:
My daughter made me a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice and added real passion fruit to the drink. Mmmmmm!  She said it was a treat for working so hard.  I am too lucky!  Puppy Love and yummy juice! Just the right recipe for a perfect Sunday!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

I am an Official Junkie

I promise I don't live in a cave. I keep up on daily events, read the newspaper and watch TV. What I have never seen however, not once, not even one episode is..... American Idol. I realize that this is probably shocking to most people given the ridiculously high ratings and Internet buzz and office gossip about American Idol. It seems as though almost everyone watches it but, alas I have not.  That is...until I walked by the living room and my daughter had it on and there was a man singing with a bass and WOW he was amazing!  I stopped dead in my tracks and listened with the biggest grin on my face. I was hooked instantly. My daughter had recorded several episodes of the newest season and we were both really tired from our trip so yes,  I have to admit -that today - my productivity level was ZERO. ZERO!  I started watching the show with her and suddenly I had 3-4 favorites that just blew me away and I needed to know if they made it to the next round. I mean I NEEDED to know. I couldn't walk away without knowing whether the bass player made it.  I couldn't leave without seeing if my favorite soft spoken singer was going to go on. In ONE afternoon - I became an American Idol junkie! How can this happen? How can an entire afternoon slip away JUST LIKE THAT?  What has happened to me? I have lived for 10 seasons with nary a glance at that show and now our recorder is set to record every single second of the rest of the season. My daughter and I have pledged to watch all of them together. I guess it comes down to - appreciating and loving real musical talent. There were a few singers that truly gave me goosebumps. I think I hardly took a breath during their performances.  So much talent! I just love hearing someone who is naturally gifted and has so much voice inside of them. It is inspiring. I can see why people watch.  I will admit that I loved it.  I will admit that I am already addicted and can't wait for next week's singing. However, I know I will NOT vote.   I mean that is obsessive right? Calling some number and voting again and again.  That is a time waster. That will not be me. No way.  I mean - the Bass player and the soft spoken singer guy and the kid with the pipes HAVE to make it....right?! what is that number?

Friday, February 25, 2011


This morning we awoke to a blanket of white. I was so glad my daughter and I chose to get a hotel so close to the University. Despite the fact we were less than one mile from the University we barely made it on time because our car turned into a snow covered carsicle overnight. The inch of rain we got yesterday was followed by a massive dumping of sleet and snow this morning. There were 449 other brave students that showed up for the accepted student day. We were greeted with warm apple pastries and hot steaming coffee so you know the day started out just right. I have to say my expectations were very high. I wanted to be WOWed. I wanted to feel goosebumps of excitement. I wanted to feel that when I left my daughter standing at the gates of the college I would feel nothing but happiness for her and her new adventure. In my opinion there were big shoes to fill on this college visit and maybe, just maybe, I went feeling a little doubtful that this could be accomplished. Well I am happy to report my expectations were not only met, but in many ways my expectations were exceeded. The professors were wonderful. We were lucky enough to spend several hours with the professors from the science department. The Botany professor made me want to take Botany. The Epidemiology professor made me want to take classes in Epidemiology. The Zoology professor was so warm and friendly and interesting; it was hard to say goodbye. The professors really made you feel like you were welcome friends that they have known for a long time. My daughter felt exactly the same way. She thought the professors were amazing. I think she was the most surprised when after talking to the statistics professor she was eagerly looking forward to taking her required statistics class. The campus was beautiful, the students were helpful and friendly, the food was delicious, and the whole day couldn't be better. If we decide to participate in another accepted student college day, the shoes THAT college would have to fill would be mighty big indeed. The reality of my daughter's departure for college is seemingly just around the corner but now instead of being a big scary unknown, it is a comforting exciting adventure that she can't wait to begin. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I hope it is a perfect fit

Even though clearly I am supposed to be locked away upstairs diligently working on taxes - I am not. I have a good excuse though! After dinner tonight my younger daughter and I are driving to a hotel and then first thing tomorrow morning we have an "official accepted students" tour at one of the colleges she is considering. While we await word from the other "dream colleges" as to whether she has been accepted or not - we do have one super college that has already let us know that "YES we would love to have you attend!" The college is hosting an all day event tomorrow and I am ready to be "WOWed". I really hope I get the "wow" factor.  This will be my very first official accepted student tour of a college that is NOT a service academy.  To compare a service academy to a civilian college is not at all fair because really they are so different. The campuses are different, the classes are different, the students are different and certainly the mission is different. I have so much respect for the service academies and all the students that attend them. They are really stellar places of higher learning. And so tomorrow - new place. New ideas. New ebb and flow. I am going with a very open mind and I am eager to see just what goes on at a civilian college and how it might be a perfect fit for my daughter. I want her to love where she will be going to college no matter which college she ultimately chooses. I want it to fit her like the most perfect glove. I know she has high expectations for tomorrow so I have a lot of hopeful feelings for both of us.  We will be treated to a tour of the zoology department and get to sit in on some classes. I am sure that will be the highlight of the entire trip as the zoology department is supposed to be top notch. My overnight bag is packed. My GPS is loaded with our destination. I have a batch of beef stroganoff slowly simmering on the stove for a delicious meal before we depart. My blog is written. My emails are answered. I am ready for the college zoology, biology, icthyology, ornithology, mammalogy, parasitology, entomology, ecology and all other ology adventure.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

And I thought I was Awesome!

Early this morning I dragged myself upstairs and spent the majority of the day locked upstairs in the computer room surrounded by mountains of paperwork and receipts and more paperwork and more receipts. I have earnestly begun the dreaded taxes. Evidently - the notion that "I AM SO AWESOME" because I did my FAFSA paperwork immediately at the beginning of the year - is incorrect. I "AM" awesome because on January 2nd I completed my FAFSA paperwork so that my younger daughter could get a financial aid package from the college of her choice. I am NOT AT ALL AWESOME because in order for FAFSA to be valid - you have to have already completed AND FILED your 2010 taxes. So all this time I was under the impression that I was awesome and all done with financial aid paperwork and amazing for being so timely when in fact I might as well not have filled out the financial aid forms at all. I have received numerous letters from the various colleges letting me know that NO I am NOT awesome. *sigh*  I am a complete and total novice when it comes to navigating the financial aid waters and evidently I am failing in that regard.  I don't like doing taxes. I really don't like paying taxes and what's more - I don't like being forced to do my taxes early in order to PERHAPS get a decent financial aid package for a college that MIGHT accept my daughter. Grrrrr. It would be so much nicer if let's say - a huge bouquet of balloons arrived and attached to the gigantic balloon bouquet was a lovely hand-painted scroll that was hand delivered by a lovely thoughtful man in a tuxedo and when he reads the scroll aloud he says, "DEAREST COLLEGE BOUND STUDENT - YOU HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED TO THE COLLEGE OF YOUR DREAMS!!!!" and THEN at THAT moment he could hand me the very small print that says, "Please fill out the financial aid paperwork that is very long and very boring and ultimately tedious in length BUT in exchange we will promise you oodles of scholarship money and grants. Sincerely, The College of Your Dreams." But instead - I get the "We are NOT going to tell you whether you have been accepted to the College of Your Dreams yet. In addition, you must fill out ALL this paperwork and send triplicate copies of every piece of paper you own and sign them and notarize them and take a blood oath and then fax them and email them and snail mail them in just the right size envelope and then MAYBE just MAYBE in another month or so, we will let you know if you have been accepted. Sincerely, the Financial Aid,  Paper Loving, Number Crunching Offices."  UGH! So yes, of course, I am upstairs working diligently on the finances. Yes, of course, I WILL get this all done ASAP. And yes OF COURSE, I am still stalking my mail carrier for news of where my younger daughter will be heading this fall. Until then, please send band-aids. I feel mass quantities of paper cuts are in my near future.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

2 Hour Delay...2 Hours Extra sleep!

OOOH thank you Mr. Winter. It was so nice of you to make a reappearance this weekend.  You made my daughter's plane delayed so she could stay home longer, you made my backyard all pretty and white, you covered up all the mud and dirty yucky puddles and you made the roads WAY too slippery for school to start on time. Everyone got an extra 2 hours of sleep this morning! It was heavenly. Even the Naval Academy called for a 2 hour delay! It was a gift of sleep for all and an extra nice way to start the day. Everyone was smiling as the happiness of our fun weekend was still with us.  As soon as the kids were out the door, I got to work on the website and uploaded all the new photos.  We have brand new little babies:
And Snuggly Sleepy Goldendoodle Babies

And Curly Little Polar Bear Doodle Babies
The house is full of sweet little happy puppies and well rested family members and a beautiful snow covered world outside. I have homemade Oatmeal Honey rolls rising in the oven and Cream of Yukon Gold Potato Soup simmering on the stove. I think we are doing Winter - Take 2 - just right!

Monday, February 21, 2011


Delays can be so frustrating. They can ruin an entire day especially when you have everything planned out exactly and all of the sudden your carefully laid plans have to be thrown out the window. Today our plans got thrown out the window but instead of sadness and frustration - cheers and hoorays filled the air.  My daughter's flight back to the Naval Academy was delayed today. And then delayed some more. YEA!  It was like we were given the gift of an entire day together.  We expected our daughter to leave early - so our carefully laid plans were to get up, eat quickly and get out the door.  Now we were given a leisurely breakfast AND lunch! We were given time for coffee and fun. We were given family time - the best gift of all! We set aside our work plans and all hung out together, giddy with the extra time we had. We couldn't have enjoyed our President's Day more.  It was so unexpected and definitely most appreciated.  When our time together came to an end and I had to drive my daughter back to the airport the usual gloom and doom over her leaving was absent. We were all still smiling due to the flight delay. Even as I hugged her good-bye at the airport, I still felt so lucky to have had her for the afternoon that my eyes didn't fill with tears. She felt the same way. We had full and happy hearts. We filled every space of our weekend together and loved every minute. Tomorrow we will all be ready for the work-filled week. My list of things to do is a mile long and I am up for the task. First thing on the list - PUPPY PICTURES!  I had hoped to get them all published to the website today, but one delay trickled down to another delay which trickled down to setting aside the webpage until tomorrow morning. For today - I would like to give my deepest thanks for my day of delays. It was the best President's Day - airline flight delay - ever.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Party For Five

Today was a day spent hanging around the house. Ahhhhh. No concrete slabs for sitting. No dressing rooms for zipping. Home sweet home all day long. Of course despite the fact we were home all day, didn't mean the day was spent doing nothing. We don't have very many of those days in a year.  There is always work to be done and today was no exception.  My older daughter is only home for the day so we planned on doing some fun things together. Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I got up early and took care of all the puppies and took new pictures of our adorable babies.  I plan on getting them all posted to the website tomorrow.  They just keep getting cuter every day! It took about an hour to get all the new pictures done and they look like they all turned out great.  I am excited to get them all organized and published.  It is fun to share all the cuteness!!!! After the puppies were all snuggled back in their beds, I started working on dinner.  My older daughter requested homemade pot pie, and since I make it completely from scratch, it takes a good portion of the day to get it all put together. Roasted chicken - check. Roasted potatoes - check. Fresh sweet corn - check. Green beans from the garden - check. Petite peas - check. Homemade chicken stock, cream sauce, pie shells - check, check check.  One deep dish savory delicious Chicken Pot Pie - CHECK!  The best part of the entire meal???? I had it ready to serve at 5:00pm sharp and EVERYONE was ready!  We had all decided to have a really early dinner so we could do some fun family things tonight and for once, it all worked out! Mr. Yesteryear Acres and my son got all the chores done and were back in the house around 4pm this afternoon. The feasting began shortly thereafter and the rest of the night will be spent having fun. I can't wait.  Party for five starts now.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

14 Hours and 34 minutes later

I am home. I am tired. I am sore and exhausted. My toes are tired. My feet are tired. My back is totally wiped out.  I even have a blister....on my FINGER! What brought on this total exhaustion?????  DRESS SHOPPING. Oh my goodness.  My older daughter was granted leave from the Naval Academy for the weekend and came home late last night. Bright and early this morning, the girls and I headed out the door. Our mission - One Prom dress for my younger daughter and one Ring Dance Dress for my older daughter.  At the end of the 2C or "Junior Year" at the Naval Academy there is a very formal dance called the "Ring Dance" where the midshipmen dip their class rings in water from the seven seas and then get to wear their rings. It is a significant event and a most formal affair.  So today we headed off to find the perfect formal gowns.  In case you are wondering - this is NO easy task. Both of my girls have completely different tastes and both want my opinion at the same time and both want me to zip their dresses at the same time and both want their mommy at the same time. We went to every store. They tried on every dress. I think I zipped up at least 500 dresses today!  Hence the blister on my finger!  I was on my feet all day long and zipped and zipped and zipped and zipped.  My mom ended up meeting us and she also zipped and zipped and zipped.  We left no dress behind.  In the end - my older daughter found the perfect Ring Dance dress. It fits her perfectly and is SO beautiful! She looks amazing in it.  My younger daughter found the perfect prom dress. It fits her perfectly and is SO beautiful. She looks amazing in it.  They will both be the belle of the ball when their events roll around.  And for me.....well I am crawling and I do mean crawling into bed. I am fairly certain I will be sound asleep before my head hits the pillow and I will sleep happy in the thoughts that both my girls will be dreaming of their perfect dresses.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Swim Little Fishy

Ahhhh the sweet joy of sitting for 6 hours straight on concrete bleachers. What is more fun or more joyous than one's butt firmly plastered to a concrete slab? I believe my back is acutely aware of every passing second of every passing minute of every passing hour. I am sooo sore but it was so worth it. Today was the big District Swim Meet at Ohio State University. The entire natatorium was packed. It was so packed that one's butt cheeks barely fit on the bleachers and there was absolutely no elbow room. It is quite interesting to watch all the different kinds of spectators/parents at the swim meet. You have the yellers, the whistlers, the whooping and hollerers, the nail biters and the head shakers. You always see some parents that are  bitterly disappointed no matter what time their swimmer placed. I feel sorry for them. Me - well I am the kind of parent that sits and smiles. I smile with as much enthusiasm as I have and never really care what the time clock displays. My question is always - "Did you have fun?" "Did you go out there for the love of the sport?"  "Did you do your best?" And invariably the answer is always "Yes" so I smile some more. I say, "I am so proud of you." I say, "I am SO glad I got to see you!" And what do I get in return? Well I get smiles back! I get waves hello and happy faces and thanks for coming.  I am always grateful that I have children that compete fairly and honestly and are kind and respectful to their teammates, coaches, and their opponents. How could any parent ask for more? Today my daughter swam her heart out. Before the race even began I took a moment to reflect how lucky we were to be there. I looked at my daughter way down on the pool deck and she looked back at me and we both gave each other the look. The look that said, you made it! We are here! The look that said we love each other and here goes the very last swim meet of your entire high school career. So go out there. Go out there swimming with a big smile. Go out there and do your best because no matter what... No matter how you finish....I will never be more proud than this moment, right here, right now, even before your feet hit the water. So swim Little Fishy Swim! And she did. And she swam faster than she ever swam in her life. And I smiled, with the exact same smile I had when she hit the water. The second she finished she looked right at me and we smiled together. Good job my little fishy. I have loved every swim stroke of every event of every meet. 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

What a difference a week makes

One week ago we had temperatures below zero. The fields were covered in snow and ice and our sidewalks were mere tunnels carved out of the huge ice blocks that surrounded them.  Going outside meant - long sleeves, fleece socks, gloves, scarves, hats, parkas, heat warmers - the works.  The cars needed to warm up for about 15 minutes just to reach the freezing mark. Winter had left its cold bitter path and we were completely encased by its frigid temperatures and snow swept landscapes. Today.....the birds are out. The grass is showing.  A light jacket is all one needs to step outdoors.  No parkas.  No scarves and mittens. No ice scrapers. Actual, for real, honest to goodness shoes can be worn! It is 70* warmer today than last week. 70*!!!  This evening as darkness fell, a painter's palette of cloud brushstrokes filled the sky. I ran to get my camera and missed the peak display but it was still beautiful.
The entire sky was covered in brushstrokes. It was really so peaceful and lovely.  We all stopped what we were doing to admire nature's masterpiece.
The only creatures not to notice the spectacular art show were the deer.

They couldn't believe their luck. GRASS, GRASS and more GRASS! I don't think they have seen real grass for over 2 solid months.  They grazed the entire late afternoon.  To think that just a few days ago, my son was cross-country skiing across the fields is almost impossible to believe. All that snow disappeared right before our eyes. We all stayed outside and admired the sunset.  We got a wonderful display of colors and it was a nice change to be free from teeth chattering. The sky slowly faded from white brushstrokes, to pink brushstrokes to an entire pink sky:
As the sky slowly turned a deep red, we all headed back to the house.  Happy and warm with thoughts of spring.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


My younger daughter is battling a rather yucky infected thumb laceration.  We have been soaking it in Epsom Salts and applying Neosporin daily but it is taking a little time to heal.  The other night my in-laws were over for dinner and Amelia's thumb injury was brought up. I did not know that the topic of one single thumb injury could turn into an entire dinner conversation but of course, here at Yesteryear Acres, it did.  I believe it all started when I said that kids today have it SOOOO easy with their little cuts and wounds.  Neosporin was NOT around back when I was little.  No sir! We didn't have some clear gel that was completely painless.  We didn't have cute little Band-aids or antibiotic creams or all the other wimpy products on the market today.  We had....MERTHIOLATE!  Mercurochrome! Monkey Blood! Liquid Fire! I DO NOT HAVE A CUT ANYWHERE I PROMISE! Bottle of bright orange/red Pain Inducing Misery! If you ever wonder what it would feel like to put liquid acid of fire right onto your cut, just use one glass dropper full of Merthiolate and you will know what TRUE PAIN is!!!  My mom loved the stuff. It was the only thing we had in the house. It came in a brown bottle with a glass dropper and just thinking about it could bring an instant flood of tears to my eyes. If we had a paper cut - Merthiolate. If we had a blister - Merthiolate. My sister and I would do all we could to hide any cuts we might have.  I remember one time cutting open my knee and insisted on wearing pants for days on end.  I believe my knee turned several shades of yellow and green oozy liquid, but even fear of losing my entire leg due to a raging infection was not enough for me to tell my mom.  Because if she even got a hint that I had a gaping wound on my knee - out would come the Merthiolate. AAAAAAHHHH!  It burned SO badly!!! It was the worst thing in the entire world! As I was sharing my greatest fear of the dreaded Merthiolate, my mother-in-law just laughed. And by laughing, I mean almost rolling on the floor.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres was in full agreement with me.  He said almost word for word what I said about hiding any injury because of the intense fear of the MONKEY BLOOD treatment.  All the while my mother-in-law just laughed.  I bet my mom is laughing right now too.  I bet she can't even stop laughing thinking about how many times she used that on my sister and I, just like my mother-in-law used it on Mr. Yesteryear Acres.  The only coherent thing I could get out of my mother-in-law was "Well it worked!" I suppose that is true.  It did work.  It worked so well that back in the day when we didn't have knee pads, or helmets, or safety glasses, or elbow pads - we got injured a LOT less than kids today......or at least that is what we told our parents!!!  I believe the rise in the numbers of cuts and wounds interestingly coincided with the invention of Bactine.  Bactine only stung a little.  It was like a miracle cure.  Of course we weren't lucky enough to have Bactine in our house  - but Mr. Yesteryear Acres was.  He said he clearly remembers when they made the switch. I bet he does! My kids haven't had the "pleasure" of having me pour Merthiolate on their cuts.  They got Disney Band-aids and Neosporin. Whatever will they do when they grow up? Their "Back when I was little" stories will be pathetic. I feel sooo sorry for them. Don't you?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I can read

Did you know that? Really. I can read.  I can read an entire pamphlet AND absorb the information AND understand all the fascinating facts contained within each clearly written paragraph. Evidently our local school system does not think I have the capacity to read - so tonight we had a mandatory meeting, at dinner time, that lasted over an hour, where........... the handouts were read TO us. OH! MY!  WOW!  When I read the words on the handout that said, "On March 1st, be at the school no later than 5:40am" I was so confused.  I didn't know what that meant. Be at the school? What school? 5:40am? Is that morning? Is that evening? No later than...does that mean to be on time? OH no. I was simply and hopelessly lost and confused. Lucky for me, I went to the mandatory meeting and when one of the staff members at the middle school read the words "Be at the school no later than 5:40am" OUT LOUD ...WELL a light bulb went off RIGHT THEN and I had an A HA! moment.  I knew exactly what was expected of me! I realized they meant meet at my son's school! I realized 5:40am meant bright and early in the MORNING! ON TIME! Whew! I am so glad I went tonight. I am so glad that each and every sentence in the handout was painstakingly read to me at least 100 times slower than I could read it myself because NOW I know exactly what I need to do. I wasn't at all thinking about how hungry I was.  I wasn't at all thinking about my homemade Amish Chicken and Noodles waiting for me on the stove. I wasn't thinking about my homemade buns. I wasn't thinking about dinner time at all.  I also wasn't thinking about how many times a staff member had to repeat "NO CASH will be accepted for payments" before insanity set in.  While I was clearly not thinking about the "NO CASH will be accepted for payments", I was also not in complete and total shock that after the 25th time they mentioned NO CASH, someone raised their hand and asked if they could pay in cash tonight.  Evidently the reading out loud doesn't work for everyone. I don't think reading silently would have helped either so then I am back to my original premise of WHY oh WHY did I have to go when I promise I DO know how to read????  I did make it home safely.  We did all eat a rather late dinner but Amish Chicken and Noodles is a very kind and friendly dish and it stayed nice and warm and was waiting for us all simmering on the stove when we walked in. I can't wait for the next mandatory meeting/story hour.  I just learn so much!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today is a day to celebrate the ones you love.  How nice to have a holiday that says, "I just want to let you know....I love you".  Sometimes life is just so busy and hurried and days can go by without giving much thought to how much those you love mean to you. It is easy to believe that those closest to you will always be there. Valentine's Day is a day designed to make you slow down, to stop, to reflect and most importantly to let the people you love know that you care.  I am so lucky to have many Valentines in my life.  I love them with all my heart and soul.  This morning my sweet Valentine Mr. Yesteryear Acres had my morning cup of coffee sitting on top of a cut-out heart. He even used pink paper to make my homemade valentine.  His valentine made my heart smile. He also made a HUGE snowheart out on our back hill.  He walked up and down several times to carve out a big heart in our snow covered hill. He makes a snow heart for me every winter.  I love that about him. I love a lot of things about him but most of all, I love the fact that he loves me. Just the way I am. I think there is nothing so wonderful, so special, so fulfilling than to know you are loved. Unconditionally.  With a love like that - anything is possible. Even though I see Mr. Yesteryear Acres every single day - I never forget to think about him, to appreciate him, to love him. I think this quote by Claudia Ghandi says it all, "If I had a single flower for every time I think about you, I could walk forever in my garden." I think we should all walk in an endless flower garden filled with the memories, love, gratitude and joy we have for our loved ones. Happy Valentine's Day. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Refresh...nope. Refresh...nope. Refresh...YAY

The first thing we did this morning was to load the swim meet qualifying website to see if my daughter qualified for Districts.  No results were posted.  The next thing we did was to hit "refresh" on the swim results.  The next 250 things we did was to keep hitting "refresh" on the swim website to STILL see no results.  If you are wondering whether we are very good at clicking "refresh" the answer is, "why yes we are!"  Finally late this afternoon the long anticipated link appeared!  With nervous apprehension we clicked on the 2011 Central District Swimming and Diving Championship Qualifiers and YES!  There was her name.  She made it in all four of her events!  Of course we are all so excited.  Now she can add a fourth District Qualifier patch to her letterman jacket and she has one last chance to break the school record.  She is SOOOOO close.  The pool at The Ohio State University is wonderful so she really has a chance this Friday.  Menu for the week?  Carbs, Carbs, and more Carbs, fresh squeezed juices and extra fluids each day and lots of rest.  The District swim meet at OSU will most likely be her last swim meet of high school. Only the very best and lightning fast swimmers go onto compete at the State Championship and although my daughter is a great swimmer - states is a very long stretch. So Friday is the big day.  I think I might have to make some homemade pasta for her.  I mean what better carbs could there be than a big bowl of homemade mommy pasta?  I better get out the pasta drying racks - - I feel like I may be singing "O Sole Mio" all day tomorrow!

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Today was a really special day.  I was up and out the door early this morning.  I picked up my dear neighbor Wilma and we headed off to see Amelia swim at the Sectional swim meet. Wilma has never gone to a swim meet before and really wanted to see Amelia swim before it was too late and Amelia was away at college.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres made Wilma a big mug of hot chocolate and I had a delicious cup of coffee so we were all set for our road trip. We talked the whole way about life and love and the choices one makes to truly lead a happy life.  Wilma is a wealth of knowledge and she and her husband had been happily married for almost 65 years before he passed away last fall.  I still miss him almost every day.  He was the kindest man and Wilma is just the dearest person ever. She has kept a diary since she was 16 years old.  She writes in it every day without fail and in doing so, she remembers almost everything.  She said the best part about keeping a diary was that she was always right in winning an argument about what happened when.  Her husband Paul said he never had a chance.  Everything was in that diary - so he already knew he lost the bet before it had even started.  Wilma had been encouraging me for years to keep a diary so that I would remember all the little things in life when I got older. Today I told her that it was just a little over 3 weeks away from my online blog/diary being one year old.  She was really proud of me for faithfully writing every day.  Anytime I think I am too tired to write my blog or perhaps can't think of anything to write, I think of Wilma.  If she can keep a diary every day for the past 68 years, I certainly can muster up enough energy to write mine.  She is an inspiration and I love looking at her diary with her to see how things were way back when she was younger.  The cost of living has sure changed dramatically - but the things that make one truly happy haven't changed at all.  The essential pieces of a happy life are still exactly the same now as they were back in the late 1920's. We both agreed that we were so lucky to have found our forever love so young in life and we both have lived our lives feeling eternally grateful for that and all the blessings that have followed.  Our time alone today just chatting in the car was really touching. She is a remarkable woman. When we arrived at the meet my daughter was so excited to see Wilma.  It made her day even better.  Everyone on her team swam so well today.  They gave everything they had and left every ounce of effort in the water.  Amelia swam her very best times of her entire life and earned points for her team. Now we have to patiently wait for the results.  All the sectional times have to be tallied and accounted for and sometime tomorrow, we will find out if she swam fast enough to qualify for Districts.  We will probably hit "refresh" over 1000 times on the District swim qualifiers website anxiously awaiting for the results to finally be published. If she qualifies for Districts, we get to go to The Ohio State University next week for the big District swim meet. I think I might need to bring Wilma along again.  Amelia and I think she is our lucky charm....both at swim meets... and in life.

Friday, February 11, 2011


Today is my older daughter's 21st birthday. 21 years since the day she arrived into this bright beautiful world of ours.  For the past 21 years, she has brought me nothing but overwhelmingly proud moments and complete joy. My sweet Abigail is one of the most persistent, honest, driven, dedicated, moral, stubborn, and devoted people I know. She has the strongest moral compass and without failing always does the right thing. She does the right thing when all around her, a different path has been chosen. She does the right thing when it costs her personally. She does the right thing when no one is looking. She has the most unbelievable sense of right and wrong and is driven to live her life with integrity.  She stands up for those around her as much as she stands up for her own beliefs.  When she was a senior in high school and told me that she wanted to go to the Naval Academy - I knew right then and there - she would be going.  Her sense of honor is held to a higher standard than most and the Navy is certainly lucky to have her. I know she will go on to do great things during her service. Today marks a huge milestone for her. She can now hang out with her friends on the weekend. She will be blessed with a little more freedom and a little more time to relax.  The actual "drinking age" means little to her but the opportunity to hang out with all her friends that are legal, to be able to go to the restaurants and weekend hangouts with them with no restrictions - well that is a birthday present in itself. That is the very best part of her birthday. Finally after 21 long years, she can go out and have fun with her friends and not be left behind because she refuses to bend any rules. So Happy Birthday my sweet Abigail. I love you so much. You are an inspiration to me and to your family. You continue to persevere and make us proud every single day.  Whenever I think of you - I smile and my heart overflows with gratitude and love for all that you have brought to me, to your dad, to your sister, to your brother, to your fellow midshipmen and to your country. I hope your birthday is the best birthday yet! Have fun! Enjoy! Celebrate!  No one deserves it more!!!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

DON'T put THAT in there!

I am a really good cook.  I make super delicious meals and I cook almost every day. It is a passion of mine and I really enjoy it.  Other people seem to really enjoy it too!  I am super lucky because Mr. Yesteryear Acres is also a really excellent chef.  He makes the most mouth watering dishes.  That is where our similarities end.  I make things that people have heard of.  I am not that creative.  If I make a roasted chicken - it is just that - a roasted chicken. It is delicious but you won't find me putting something you have never thought of into the roasted chicken dish.  You will get exactly what you expected. Mr. Yesteryear Acres however goes out of his way to add the unusual.  To think of things no one has ever thought of before.  If he is in the kitchen whipping up a masterpiece, you will undoubtedly hear me say, "DON'T put THAT in there!!!"  He comes up with the most crazy concoctions ever.  And of course - every single time - it works.  It is always delicious.  I mean REALLY delicious.  It isn't what you think it is going to be - but instead it is even better. Some of the most delicious things I have ever eaten have been prepared by my sweet Mr. Yesteryear Acres.  His latest concoction was....salad.  Yep. Salad.  I made a delicious pasta with fresh asparagus and some roasted garlic bread and his job was the salad.  I walked into the kitchen and he had some olive oil sauteing in a pan and was adding some of his flare to the oil.  In a bowl was freshly crumbled blue cheese. The next thing I knew, Mr. Yesteryear Acres grabbed the cherry tomatoes and threw them into the hot steaming oil.  I screamed, "DON'T put THAT in THERE!!!!" but it was too late.  The tomatoes were sizzling within seconds. Next he added a cup of fresh squeezed orange juice and gave everything a quick toss and dumped the hot steaming tomato concoction onto the crumbled blue cheese.  The chopped romaine lettuce went on top and then he quickly tossed everything together and topped the salad with some coarse sea salt. OH MY GOODNESS! It was without a doubt the best salad ever.  It eclipsed my very delicious asparagus dish.  Every bite was so good. The tomatoes popped in my mouth with extra sweet savory flavor and the hint of orange with the melted blue cheese was so good.  I licked my plate to get every drop of the dressing that was left. I will be dreaming about his salad for days. I have no idea what I am making for dinner tonight...but I am hoping a bit of DON'T PUT THAT IN THERE makes it to my plate.  I hate to admit it - but he is really that good!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

15 Days

That is what the meteorologist said last night - 15 days.  That is how many days we have had since December 1st - without precipitation.  15 days where we saw something called "the sun" or at least partial views of the sun.  The rest of the days have all had snow or ice or rain or sleet or all the above. Winter is sure putting on quite the display this year. It just won't quit. Tonight it will be a whopping -13* below zero (real temperature) and warm up to something like 10*.  It is soooooo cold!!!! Yesterday while I was at the vet's office I said, "OH LOOK! IT IS SNOWING! WOW! YEAAAAAAAAA!  We haven't seen snow in SO long".  I got a lot of mean looks over that one. I think I might have brought a few people to tears.  Everyone seems to be pretty sick and tired of the winter scene.  There are a few mornings when my daughter has swim practice at 5:30am. As in - she is IN the pool swimming at 5:30 in the morning when it is bitter cold outside and dark and dreary. She usually leaves the house right at 5:10am to make it to the pool on time.  On nice days, she rolls out of bed around 4:55am and is out the door 15 minutes later. She can't remember the last time she got to "sleep in" until 4:55am.  With our lovely winter, she is up before 4:30am just to scrape all the ice and snow from her car.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres even cleans her car off before he goes to bed the night before. Slushy puddles, icy windshields, slippery sidewalks, snowdrifts, roof raking, backyards of treacherous ice - I believe we have had our fill.  Now I know it will be warm soon enough.  I know we will probably break the record this summer with the number of days the heat index is over 100*.  I know that we will all think IT IS TOO HOT! But right now....oh my does that sound SO good. I miss you Mr. Sunshine. If you wanted to bring a few smiles this way - a nice warm sunbath would sure brighten our day. I have my blanket all ready!  Scooter and I would really like to snuggle in a few sun rays for a while.  You don't even need to stay long - maybe an hour or two.  I will look for you tomorrow.  Hope to see you at my window!!!!!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day of Worry...all ends well

Last night my sweet loveable doggie Scooter did not feel well at all.  Scooter is my constant companion.  He is my very bestest furry friend. He is Mr. Yesteryear Acres' bestest furry friend too.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres brought Scooter home as a present to me when I was recovering from a car accident.  I was hit by a drunk driver and spent months recuperating in a hospital bed.  I couldn't do anything, couldn't go to my children's events, couldn't go out, and I couldn't even play with my doggies. It was a long long long 6 months.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres brought home a tiny toy poodle that was just the right size to snuggle in my hospital bed. He named him Scooter and Scooter stayed in my bed with me every day while I got better.  He was under 2 lbs when he first arrived:
And now fully grown he weighs 6.4lbs

Last night Scooter was really sick.  We were up all night worried about him.  I don't think Mr. Yesteryear Acres or I got any sleep.  We can't imagine life without our sweet Scooter. He helps train our puppies, follows us everywhere we go and is the best companion. Scooter was in a lot of pain and his tummy was all distended so first thing this morning I ran him into the vet's office. Thankfully all the really scary things were ruled out early on.  It turns out that Scooter hurt a disc in his spine from falling on the ice.  He was in too much pain to go to the bathroom so that is why his stomach was all bloated.  Scooter is now on steroids and pain medicine and is feeling SO much better already.  He was able to go to the bathroom and can walk again - slowly - but surely.  He is on strict bed rest so that he can heal.  The vet said that I should stay in bed with him.  I asked for a prescription for that but sadly I didn't get one. I guess I still have to work but Scooter has a nice soft blanket that is on the floor and I just bring Scooter and his blanket with me from room to room.  Even though a hurt disc is awful - it isn't as awful as some of the other things it could have been and I am so grateful he will be okay!  Tonight we will all sleep cuddled up thankful that Scooter is feeling better. Thank you dear veterinarian for making my furry baby better. 

Monday, February 7, 2011


Being the typical Type A person that I am - today I worked on the plans for my daughter's graduation party. The graduation party in June. Yes, I am already thinking about June. I am weird like that. I feel like I am behind as it is already February!  Where did the time go?  I went and looked at a lovely place to have the party and worked on the menu ideas and shopping lists.  By the time June comes around - I will definitely be all set. Since I was already out and about, I then did what I have been putting off for weeks. I bought things to organize my receipts and bills and paperwork.  I am far from a great accountant.  Okay - honestly I am not even CLOSE to being an accountant.  I need to be more organized.  I need to have things filed properly.  I went and got banker's boxes and folders and wallets and labels and hopefully all the materials I need to be fully organized and ready for you know what.  The horrible word.  The word that shall not be written. The word that will be approaching in April. Ugh.  I am starting NOW.  Which is really great. Which should be rewarded.  Tomorrow I am going to work on organizing my office ALL DAY LONG.  I have scheduled tomorrow and the next day to be locked away with no sunlight and no break until I have everything organized by month and neat and tidy.  I will use my Type A personality for good. I will dedicate my Type A personality to making my office that is all the way upstairs and seldom used because I prefer working on my laptop from my very comfy reclining chair with my legs propped up and a lovely view of the backyard and the birds and the trees and the puppies and all of that to my dreary office with no view tucked upstairs BUT nonetheless - I WILL GO UP AND WORK! I will do it.  I will make it clean!  I will make it orderly! I will make it so when the dreadful month of April comes knocking, I WILL BE READY.  Okay.  Good plan.  I am prepared to do battle. OFFICE SPACE -  Here I come!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

State Race

Today my son and I spent the day in the car driving the long journey home. We woke up early and packed up all our stuff before enjoying a leisurely breakfast with my daughter.  She didn't have to be back at the Naval Academy until 6pm this evening but we had a long drive ahead of us and she had a long day of homework awaiting her.  We sadly had to end our day a bit early so that we could get everything accomplished.  While driving home, my son and I had fun battling to see who would reach each state line first.  We have a game we all play in our family where you MUST be the first one to stick out your arm as far as it goes to the front windshield, so that you, are in fact, the very first one to cross the state line.  Sometimes we act very nonchalantly, as we have not a care in the world, while slowly stretching our arms out and then quick as lightning throw our arm forward so as to win at the last second.  Other times we try to engage the other person in a jaw dropping intense conversation so that they are so involved in the discussion there is no way possible they can see the upcoming State sign. Usually though it is just an all out laugh fest as everyone is keenly aware that the state sign is quickly approaching and the contest almost always ends in a tie.  No matter how many times we play it, the game never gets old.  The game never fails to elicit a laugh or huge smile.  Despite the fact that my son is 14 years old which is WAY WAY old - he is still not too old to play the State game. Driving home we pass through several states - some more than once - and we tied every time.  We tried every variation of the game, feigning boredom, looking for a lost item etc - but no one was fooled.  We arrived home safely just in time for a delicious feast prepared by the ever so thoughtful Mr. Yesteryear Acres. The second I walked in the door, oh my goodness - it smelled heavenly!  He made a crispy roasted chicken that was to die for. It was so moist and the skin was soooo crispy yummy, I had 2 helpings.  My son was in heaven as well as he missed his doggies and was enthusiastically greeted at the door with a lot of dog kisses and tail wagging. Once again, there is no place like home.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Day of Nothing

Today was spent doing.....NOTHING! My daughter got the whole day off from the Naval Academy so she and my son and I just hung out together all day long.  My son, who works all the time, didn't quite know what to do with so much free time.  By 10:33am this morning he was already wondering what to do.  He doesn't really know how to sit around and do nothing.  He works every single day without fail so an entire day off was foreign to him. He managed to fill in the empty spaces of the day with a LOT of snacking - so it ended up working out very well for him.  He can really put away the food! Thankfully I brought a ton of food with me so he was all set. His day off was much appreciated. We spent the day with no agenda. We had nothing on our "To-Do" list for the entire day. I have to say watching your son and older daughter laugh and joke and have the best time together with no worries makes for a terrific day.  The weather outside was wet and dreary. The weather inside - delightful! Tonight a bit of reality creeps back in as there is homework to do and I need to cook dinner and do some dishes - but for the day - the nothingness was completely awesome. The only real thing on my "to-do" list is ....... be with my family. And in that lies everything.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Puppies Safe and Sound

This morning came bright and early as the puppies happily followed my son and I out to the Puppy Mobile.  It was a big day for them.  Time to meet their new families!  My son was my ever faithful co-pilot and we picked out an awesome book-on-tape to entertain us along the way.  Ginger's goldendoodle puppies and Stormy's chocolate puppies finally were able to go to their new homes.  The furious winter weather we have been having lately had prevented most of them from making the travels but today, the sun was shining!  The roads were clear and the ice was gone!  My son and I decided to deliver the puppies to their new families and end the day with a visit to my daughter at the Naval Academy. It is her 21st birthday next week so we wanted to bring her some birthday cheer. We loaded up our fabulous puppy mobile with our precious cargo and headed off. The puppies were the best travelers! They seemed to love the puppy mobile and happily played together for the entire trip.  We had 3 potty stops along the way and they all did their business immediately and then were ready again for the next leg of the journey. I think the puppies must have really liked our book-on-tape because no one whined or whimpered. They all listened to our story and were excellent travel companions. My son of course was the most awesome co-pilot and it was so great to have him along for the trip.  The puppies adore him and his presence made the whole trip fun for us all. When we finally arrived at our destination, the new families were waiting for their furry new best buddies. It is so much fun to see so many happy faces full of long awaited joy. The puppies all had their tails wagging and it was a great end to the long drive.  The rest of the night will be spent laughing and having fun with my daughter.  I brought her favorite meal and fresh made rolls and of course world famous popcorn. Sounds like movie marathon time to me!!!! 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Snozzberries Taste Like Snozzberries

Hallelujah! Yippee! Happy Day!!! I woke up this morning to the wonderful aroma of coffee brewing and cautiously approached my steaming delicious cup of java. I slowly took a sip when..........IT TASTED LIKE COFFEE!!!  It was so heavenly! My pinemouth is GONE! Oh my gosh! That was the longest 10 days EVER! I have been missing out on so many yummy things.  My daughter's wonderful birthday cake - pinemouth. The delightful breakfast for dinner feast - pinemouth.  Fresh squeezed orange juice - you guessed it. BLECH!  I have tried everything and anything to rid myself of the wretched pine mouth affliction to no avail. This morning - it was just gone.  Just like that.  Every sip of coffee was so wonderful, tears about sprang from my eyes.  For lunch I made angel hair pasta with cherry tomatoes and a bit of fresh lemon. SUPERB!  Dinner tonight is homemade slow-cooked pot roast. I have had it simmering since 11am this morning.  Fresh baked rolls are in the oven right now and the entire house smells delicious.  I am so excited because tonight - dinner will finally taste as good as it smells!!!  I have been in such a good mood all day long because that horrible no good very bad awful wretched bitter acrid vile taste in my mouth is GONE! I don't think I can ever eat pine nuts again.  I love them so much but I never want to suffer through pinemouth ever again. It was really awful.  Now I can be so happy because my orange juice tastes like orange juice! My pasta tastes like pasta! Strawberries taste like strawberries and most importantly the Snozzberries taste like snozberries! Happy Day!!!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

And The Wind ROARED

Day Two - No school again! We are definitely feeling the full force of the winter storm out here.  We have so much ice that we have ice upon ice.  Everything is coated with an inch of solid ice.  Our backyard is a total ice slope.  The dogs literally slide down the hill while trying to go to the bathroom. The wind is furiously blowing.  I had to take my son to the orthodontist this morning because for some reason, THEY WERE OPEN! Mr. Yesteryear Acres started to thaw the car around 7:30am this morning and it took over an hour before the carsicle defrosted.  Even the tires were glazed in ice.  We gingerly headed out to the orthodontist by taking teeny tiny baby steps.  I ran to the grocery store to stock up on a few items while my son was at his appointment and almost came crashing to the ground when I put my foot in a patch of black ice.  It looked wet like everything else around here but it was a solid slick patch of ice that almost did me in.  When I pushed my cart of groceries to the car the wind was blowing so hard it took my hat OFF my head.  No hood, no hat, no steering ability.  People in their cars gave me the look that said, "Let's Get Out of Here! We don't need anything in the store!!!"  It is brutally cold, brutally windy and SO slippery.  Mother Nature has won this round for sure.  Early this morning my son and I had a rather small but loud argument.  He was worried about his dog sliding down the hill.  My son was wearing a T-shirt and sleep pajama bottoms.
My son: "I am going outside to check on my dog"

Me: "You can see your dog from here- she is OK. She will make it back up the hill"

My son, sliding on his CROCS: "No! I am going outside!"


My son: "I AM FINE!"


Yep! Out slipped his feet and WHAM! He landed HARD right on his backside.  He will be SO sore tomorrow and he really hit the ice. Did I run right outside to go help him? Nope. Did he look at me with sorrow in his eyes? Nope.  Was he laughing because he KNEW right then and there that this was all on him? Yep!  I believe I said something really special.  Really meaningful.  Really heartfelt. I believe it was, "See? You should listen to your mother".  Mother's really do know best.  I guess Mother Nature knows best too.  We should all stay inside where it is safe and warm!!!! 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


ICE DAY! No school today. Schools are closed. Colleges are closed. Roads are closed. Businesses are closed.  We have a lovely steady icy rain falling everywhere. Every branch on every tree is frozen solid. It is a solid mass of ice outside. It is more than slippery.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres had to put crampon spikes on the bottom of his boots in order to even stand up outside. When I let my little doggie outside this morning, he had to take his do I put this delicately....... his morning POOP. While he was in the infamous poop position, ever so slowly, he started sliding down the hill.  He couldn't really stop what he was doing, so down the hill he slowly skated. He did get his business finished, but climbing back up the hill was quite the task.  His front legs worked fine but the back two just kept slipping out from behind him.  When he finally made it back to the house, he clearly gave me the "I AM NOT GOING BACK OUT THERE!" look. So what can we do to combat this icy dangerous scary life threatening outdoor winter storm????? GLEE! My younger daughter and I have undertaken the arduous task of watching the entire first season of Glee.  I mean everyone else knows what is happening with that show and we are in the dark as to what the show is about and who is on it and what all the commotion is about. It is almost a survival type situation that we watch it.  My son didn't see it that way.  He didn't give me a warm and fuzzy look as he was strapping on his spike crampons so that he could traipse outside into the icy rain in order to do all the farm chores. He didn't exude a happy, wow you are working so hard mom, and I am so glad you are in your pajamas watching Glee all day, type attitude. Mr. Yesteryear Acres didn't either.  They are both outside in the pouring icing rain, and my daughter and I are under blankets with the TV on and we might even make popcorn in order to make the day complete.  The doggies and puppies are with us so we are ACTUALLY working really hard.  We are keeping them safe.  We are keeping them dry.  We are keeping them from sliding all the way down the backyard and into the frozen creek. We are keeping them from the icy armageddon that surrounds us.  It is the least we could do.  Maybe once we serve our hot fresh baked bread and our fabulous "breakfast for dinner" delight this evening they will forget all about the wet, cold, dreary, icy, slippery day they had. We already have the bread in the oven and we are making eggs benedict and fresh squeezed orange juice, homemade julienne style home fries, and maple bacon. I am thinking that tonight we are going to have to let the boys decide what movie we will watch. Something tells me that a Glee Marathon just won't do it. But for now......SING!