Friday, September 30, 2011

Looking Up

I am happy to report that our yellow jacket numbers are greatly decreasing! Today our total count of yellow jackets killed in our home is ... eleven.  11!  That is amazing.  This is from over 300+ earlier in the week. Yesterday we still killed over 100 bees in our home, so 11 is AWESOME.  I mean awesome in that I only had to kill 11 bees, not awesome in that ELEVEN bees still found there way into my home and were secretly lurking awaiting their mutant lethal attack.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I are still sleeping downstairs on the couches.  Did you know that if you sleep on the couch, your back is EXACTLY in the correct position for a COLD WET DOG NOSE to nudge you?  I bet you didn't know that. I bet you didn't think about the one moment you were actually sleeping on the couch, is the exact moment your doggie would like you to know it is staring at you. Nudge. Nudge.  "HELLO HUMAN! YOU ARE SLEEPING ON THE COUCH! HI!" Of course the doggie doesn't want anything.  Just to say hello.  Such a good doggie.  Who doesn't love cold nose nudges at 2:00am? Did you also know that Mr. Yesteryear Acres is merely keeping me company each night?  He is NOT too afraid to sleep upstairs. Noooooooo. He doesn't want me to be alone. Isn't that sweet? I asked him if he were going to sleep upstairs tonight and he said no. He doesn't think I am quite ready for that. Awwwww. He is so thoughtful.  We won't at all mention that he is secretly thinking he doesn't want to be snuggling in bed with a bunch of yellow jackets. We will let him continue to protect me downstairs.  I have to say that the distance between the 2 couches does make the sound of his thundering snoring go from let's say the sound of a 747 to that of a small jet so that is a plus.  Another plus is that I learned that one should NOT make homemade apple crisp if one's house is being invaded by yellow jackets. See?  I have saved you from thinking that is a smart idea, even though you probably already made the connection that peeling fresh picked apples is not a wise and intelligent thing to do in a house full of bees. I had to learn the hard way.  I did finish the job and of course it was delicious BUT believe me when I say - that is the one and only time I will make my family apple crisp in a house full of bees.  Enough said on that subject.  Please do not ridicule me for not having the forethought of bees and apples - bad combo.  Lesson Learned. I also have GREATLY increased my eye/hand coordination. I can swing a badminton racket and kill a bee in seconds flat.  I think Wimbledon may be calling me. I am just that good. The other bright side into things are looking up is somehow the puppies all escaped the yellow jacket horror.  The puppies are on the other side of the house and managed to all escape sting-free.  The only doggie to suffer was Olive and she recovered quickly.  She also decided that she would no longer chase the bees in the house.  Lesson Learned for Olive.  We are all just SO much smarter now.  I guess I have to thank the thoughtful bees for invading my home and giving me a terror-filled week. Now that the humming is slowing down, I appreciate silence more than ever before. Let's hope that tomorrow is buzz free!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cave Man

I didn't know that I was destined to be a cave man.  Well not really a "cave man" per se but rather a person with an arm that looks exactly like the club of a cave man. After a long sleepless night my arm continued to grow in both size and hue.  This morning it was beet red and looked just like a cave man club.  I was thinking - probably not a good thing.  Turns out - I was right.  So now I am on medication which makes me V E R Y, V E R Y,   S   L  E  E  P  Y.  I feel like I am living in the bottom of a well.  I do not do very well on medication as I am ultra sensitive.  I take children's doses of things and still have reactions.  I try very hard to stay clear of all medicine but evidently my doctor said that the medication is absolutely necessary so I am taking it.  My doctor also prescribed an Epi-Pen as she fears the next time I am stung will not be a pretty sight.  Hmmmm. I am thinking that THIS time wasn't pretty. I shudder to think about what the next time will bring.  All-in-all the conversation with the doctor was quite bleak. Having survived a heart attack evidently does not go well with using an Epipen.  The conversation kind of went like this - well if you are GOING to die BEFORE the ambulance arrives, you can use the pen.  But you need to make sure the ambulance is VERY close because using the pen might kill you. Oh wow.  Thanks.  I love bees even more now.  I feel quite joyful.  Evil Epi-Pen vs. Evil Bees.  Perhaps I should relocate to Antarctica.....except I hate the cold. And the doggies aren't quite fond of frigid temperatures either. But if it is cold enough -the doggie poop DOES freeze making it rather easy to pick up and dispose of - so that is a plus! For now I guess I will continue to arm myself with 2 flyswatters, a badminton racket, a can of sudden death, and the hope that the gigantic yellow jacket hive living inside the brick wall of my house all die soon!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

You Wouldn't Want to BEE me!

So here's the thing. This story does NOT have a happy ending.  This story does not end with...."and then Nutmeg was there all along!" This story involves sleepless nights, mutant yellow jackets and a real life horror story. It all started last night when Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I crawled into bed around 12:30am.  Within 5 minutes of closing our eyes, Mr. Yesteryear Acres yells, "TURN ON THE LIGHT! TURN ON THE LIGHT" I leap out of bed and turn on the lights and there on Mr. Yesteryear Acres' face was a yellow jacket.  We got it off without it stinging him and then proceeded to kill 4 more yellow jackets that were in the room.  We quadruple checked that the coast was clear and then gingerly crawled into bed. At 3:33am I wake up yelling I have been STUNG! Yes. In my sleep.  When I was doing nothing threatening except dreaming of a peaceful night's rest I GOT STUNG.  And evidently it was some massive mutant yellow jacket because my arm is HUGE.  It is all hot and swollen and gigantic.  It keeps getting more red and more swollen.  This morning it looked like this:
Which may not look that impressive but if you look carefully you can see it almost reaches my wrist and up to my elbow.  Well now it is past my elbow and beet red.  I have used ice and advil and benadryl - all to no avail.  So back to last night - the second I yell, "I have been STUNG" - I immediately grab my pillow and run downstairs because there is NO way I am sleeping up there.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres follows right behind to "keep me company" but we all know he doesn't want to suffer the same fate!  We set our alarm clocks for 6:30am so we can go outside and put expandable foam in the missing mortar in our bricks because that is where all the bees are congregating.  So at 6:30am sharp armed with a ladder, gloves, spotlight, and a can of foam we head out.  The bees are already swarming so Mr. Yesteryear Acres sprays the foam into the 2 holes as fast as he can and runs down the ladder.  Well now the bees are M A D!  They start coming in the air conditioning slats and the tiniest little holes in the window rope levers.  We start spraying and removing the air conditioner as fast as we can. I am armed with a fly swatter trying to keep the bees out while Mr. Yesteryear Acres is removing the window air conditioning unit. It is all very terrifying to me. I feel as though I am in a horror movie. So now we think we are through the worst of it.  I decide we should go take a walk and look at the sunrise and watch the beautiful colors light up the morning sky.  Well when I say that was the only moment of peace we had all day - that is an understatement.  The REST of the ENTIRE day has been spent with me holding TWO flyswatters and killing bees as they slowly find their way into our house one by one.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres has killed hundreds upstairs and I have killed dozens and dozens downstairs.  It is AWFUL.  Every time I take a step, I look for bees.  If I sit down, I have to look if a bee is there.  I can't drink my coffee without worrying about a bee on my cup. I can't put my hand on my computer mouse without looking for a bee. I literally have been getting up and killing a bee every 5-10 minutes ALL DAY LONG. As I sit hear and type my blog, I can hear a new bee. It is somewhere in this room.  I have to go and stop writing and get up to go find out where it is so I can kill it before it stings me. This is miserable.  I have to admit - when I went out the door this afternoon to take my son to cross country practice and a bee was in my HAIR and then one crawled up my son's leg and stung him - I cried a little bit.  I am not one for a pity party but honestly. I do not like bees.  I do not like being stung by bees. I do not like the agonizing pain in my arm from being stung.  We have a plan for tomorrow morning's early dawn assault.  I went shopping and have an arsenal of bee killing sprays. My favorite one has to be the one called "SUDDEN DEATH".  I bought 8 cans. I am going to sit with a can of Sudden Death in my lap all night long. There will be no sleep at Yesteryear Acres tonight.  It is war!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Apple of My Eye

Today's mission....PICK APPLES.  I have never been so late in the season getting my apples in.  I mean it is almost October and I have yet to get my apples picked.  We have been so busy that the apple picking has been pushed to the end of the list week after week. Well not today!  Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I started the day early so we could make time to fit in apple picking.  I usually go with the kids and we get the apples picked but since we didn't get that done in time, Mr. Yesteryear Acres said he would come help.  He hasn't gone for years so he was actually pretty excited about our day. We arrived at the orchard by 10:00am and got busy.  The orchard was pretty picked over but we had expected that given the late date. In just glancing from the outside, every tree looked picked bare but once we got in between all the branches and stooped way down low and used the picker for the apples way up high, we were able to easily accomplish our mission. We ended up picking one bushel of Granny Smith Apples and 3 bushels of Melrose Apples and were quite pleased.  Once we got back home we had to work double time but it was all worth it.  This afternoon I got a text from Mr. Yesteryear Acres. He said, "You are the Apple of My Eye." Awwwwww. I think I will bring him with me when I pick apples next fall. He is a very good apple date!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Good Little Picture Takers

Well even with my goopy bad eye - I still managed to get today's pictures done. I was really lucky that I had very cooperative good little picture takers.  As always there were the puppies that knew how to strike a pose:
and puppies that would just patiently wait for their glamour shot

Like this?

Or do you prefer the profile shot?

There were those puppies that just slept through the entire photo shoot

Dreaming about doggie biscuits

Then....well I heard Mr. Yesteryear Acres say,
 "Have you seen my blue handkerchief?"

Who me?  No. I haven't seen it all day.

And my favorite...
"Put the blow dryer away!"

I am cute enough!!!! 
Happy Puppy Monday Everyone!!!!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Poopy, Weepy, Goopy, Smelly

Bad days.  We all have them.  Sometimes we get more than our fair share - sometimes less but when a bad day is upon you - it feels as though it is upon you to stay.  Today was a bad day. It started the moment I opened my eyes. No wait - that isn't right.  It started the moment I opened my eye. As in one eye because the other eye was crusted shut in what I assume is a lovely case of conjunctivitis.  Now I haven't had pink eye since I was like 12 - but for some reason, today, out of the blue, with no precipitating cause - my eye is all red and yucky and gross.  From that moment on - my day went seriously downhill.  At 11am this morning I emailed my daughters "The Top 10 Reasons Why My Morning is LESS than Stellar".  I wrote it with as much humor as I could muster given that by 11am this morning I had a good solid 10 things that had gone really wrong. Since then, I have more than doubled my list. No one wants to hear a long list of poor pitiful me stories - so I will give you the cliff notes day involved finding dog, misplacing something very important which I still can't find, ruining a batch of cookies, and finding no less than 50 yellow jackets in my daughter's ROOM swarming with a vengeance. Yes. It is that kind of day. A poopy, weepy, goopy, smelly, mad buzzing bee day. The only good thing about a day like today is I can't think of anything RIGHT now but I am sure there is something in there. Maybe I will think of it as I get in my car. I am off to go buy more bee/wasp spray.  For some reason ... we are empty.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Dance? Yea Right

For anyone over the age of let's say 30 or so - I bet you are keenly aware of the effects of the earth's gravitational pull. I bet you are keenly aware of the effects of a sluggish metabolism. I bet you are also keenly aware that if you eat an entire pint of ice will never leave your side(s). I am forced to combat all of this by sticking to an exercise routine. I try to walk every day when my son has cross country practice but last week was so busy I only walked once which is clearly not enough to ward off evil gravity effects. In preparation for the upcoming winter months, I purchased a "game" so I could dance away that darn sluggish metabolism. I found what appeared to be a good one in the "GAME" section. As in... Game: an activity engaged in for diversion or AMUSEMENT. This "game" is called Gold's Gym DANCE workout. Do you see how the word DANCE is in big letter? In reality this particular "game" is written like this:
Gold's Gym
So you see when I went to get this as a birthday present to myself, my thought process was something like this....OH DANCING!  I LOVE dancing.  I could dance all night. I could close down the disco.  Bachata, Salsa, Cha Cha, Meringue...Dance dance dance.  This is going to be great.  I am going to exercise and not even KNOW I am exercising.  I probably will be 2 sizes smaller when I am done with this.  I love dancing. I love games! I can't wait.
So today in an attempt to make amends for my missed days of walking - I tried out my new game.  Evidently the words, "Gold's GYM" are there for a reason.  Evidently the word, "WORKOUT" is also there for a reason. The reason being ....plain torture.  Since when does "dancing" include the words, "Engage your Core, Work your gluts, Tighten those abdominal muscles and other bad words like Squat, knee lift, lunge and stretching. The music was soooo soft in the background it was clear I wasn't at the disco. There were no disco lights.  There was no disco vibe.  12 more squats to go is NOT a disco feeling. I did end up finding some intermediate and advanced latin "dance" routines I liked.  I guess I will just block out all the bad words and see if I can make this work.  I will pretend it is all about the salsa. I will strain my ears to listen to the latin music in the background. Most importantly...I will have a GIGANTIC glass of water right next to me. I will need some reinforcement next time when I have all that FUN doing my "DANCE" workout !!!!

Friday, September 23, 2011


Happy First Day of Fall!  It is officially Fall!  Autumn is here!  And I know you are thinking I am going to talk about the beauty of the season, the tapestry of colors woven into the leaves on the hill, the glorious palette of hues and glows and embers and such.... well even though fall is by far my favorite season, I am not going to talk about the beautiful leaves today.  We will save all the glory of Autumn for another day.  Today is all about FALL TV. YAY!  FALL TV IS HERE!  No more reruns!  No more summer fill-in shows!  REAL TV is back!!!!! I am so happy. I love season premieres. I missed all my old friends.  I mean how is Gibbs doing?  What will Simon Baker do?  How will the castaways fare on Survivor?  SO many questions. So much to look forward to!  This week has been super busy here at Yesteryear Acres so I have all the new shows recorded and am hoping that this weekend we will get to see a few of them.  I have been anxiously awaiting the new fall season and am glad it is finally here.  My goal for the weekend.....popcorn, pajamas, puppies and premieres!  It is the perfect combo of goodness and happiness!!!!  Now if I can only make it all happen. It is actually a tough assignment. We normally don't sit down until after 10pm - which means by 10:15pm Mr. Yesteryear Acres is fast asleep but I am determined to start a fall TV festival of watching by 8:00 at least one night this weekend. Gibbs has waited long enough!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Why yes Olive, I was thinking the exact same thing

It is a good thing I have dogs. Dogs are great to talk to.  Dogs are great company. Dogs always agree with you. Dogs always think you are right.  Can you say that about ANYONE else you know? Of course not. That is why dogs are awesome.  Today Mr. Yesteryear Acres and my son have been away at the Farm Science Review. They left early this morning and won't be home until this evening.  That left me all alone for the entire day.  At first I was like WOW! I am ALL alone!  This is AWESOME!  It is so quiet! I can do whatever I want! I can watch whatever I want! But of course, I didn't do whatever I wanted nor did I watch whatever I wanted because I worked all day.  The longer the day went on, the more I realized that having the house to myself wasn't actually that great. It was a bit too quiet.  It was a bit too lonely. I didn't want to be a crazy person and start talking to myself because that would be weird so it was then that our labradoodle Olive and I started having more and more conversations together.  At first it was, "Olive, let's go to the kitchen so I can heat up my coffee".  Of course Olive was right there to help me.  As the day progressed it turned more into, "Olive we need to get the flour out so we can make bread, and Olive do you think we should make potato bread or honey oatmeal bread, and Olive we really have to start these dishes because we need this measuring cup again, and Olive I wonder what is in the mailbox followed by reading all the mail to Olive because obviously she was deeply interested. I am sure that is a very normal thing to do. I am sure that Olive appreciated my in depth conversations with her.  I mean she looked like she was interested. She wagged her tail every time I asked her a question. I guess I only need to start worrying if I let Olive start the conversations and actually do the cooking part.  So if you ever hear me say, "Olive - that is WAY too much butter that you put in our bread recipe....." I am guessing at that point - I might needs some company!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Escape....Non-Escape Artist

So one of the really fun and joyful things about having a nursing mommy dog in your home is that they like to drink a lot of water. I mean a lot of water.  The more puppies they have - the more water they like to drink.  The extra fluids is necessary so they can make more milk.  More milk means happy puppies.  So of course - you give them all the water they can drink.  Well sometimes when they drink soooo much water.....nature the middle of the night...when the humans are sleeping. You are sound asleep in your bed, happily dreaming again when, "HALOOOOOOOO HALOOOOOOO I HAVE TO PEEEEEEEEEEE" interrupts your glorious sleep time.  Although it sounds just like this, "BARK BARK BARK HOWL BARK" - but the mommy dog is definitely saying that she has to pee.  It takes a very trained and educated ear to decipher dog talk, luckily -everyone here at Yesteryear Acres is fluent in dog talk. So last night at 2:30am, "HALOOOOOOOOOO" can be heard in our house. Mr. Yesteryear Acres lets out the mommy dog so she can go pee. Up until this point - it is all going swimmingly for me.  I am in bed. I am asleep. Mr. Yesteryear Acres is the one letting out the dog. YAY! Then, out of nowhere, I am shaken awake by a frantic Mr. Yesteryear Acres. (It is at this point in the story I will direct you to re-read the title of today's blog just in case you are getting all ends well.)  Mr. Yesteryear Acres yells that Nutmeg is gone. Nutmeg is NOT the mommy dog - but somehow she got out and is gone. I fly out of bed, grab a flashlight, throw on my crocs and start looking for Nutmeg outside.  Meanwhile a grief stricken Mr. Yesteryear Acres jumps in the car with a spotlight and starts driving down our road desperately searching for Nutmeg.  I am out in the wet. I am out in the dark. I am all alone crying, "NUTMEG.....NUTMEG."  Out of the bushes jumps....a rabbit.  Not Nutmeg.  Then a wild cat runs across the path -again not Nutmeg but now I am afraid of the boogie man jumping out of the woods.  I walk to the pond. I walk to the end of the garden - which in case you are wondering is like a good 1/2 mile from our house. No Nutmeg, although the horses all run out to see what the heck I am doing so at least now I have company.  I start walking back to the house when I hit a slope of mud and yes FALL DOWN. I now have mud soaked pajamas.  My hands are covered in mud and my ankle and wrist really hurt.  As I limp back all muddy and sore, I still call, "Nutmeg! Nutmeg!"  NO Nutmeg.  An hour passes and Mr. Yesteryear Acres returns and sadly gets out of the car. He can't find Nutmeg. He is sick with worry. It is at this point I say, "Are you SURE Nutmeg escaped?" He says, "yes, I didn't see her anywhere."  I asked, "did you check her dog bed area?"  Wellllll he might have walked by it quickly, but didn't really check because he called her name and she didn't come and he assumed she was gone. (I am sure at this point you are almost smiling because you know I am standing there with a mud covered butt, and am soaking wet and it is 3:30am in the morning, and I have been walking outside in the dark for an HOUR - and you already know how this story is going to end).  SOOOOO yes.  I go and look - and WHOA would you look at that!!!!!  There SOUND ASLEEP is......NUTMEG.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres runs in and just starts hugging Nutmeg and she wakes up thinking WHAT THE HECK! Why are you hugging me?  I was SLEEPING.  I told Mr. Yesteryear Acres I have never been so mad yet so darn HAPPY as I was at that moment.  Nutmeg was safe.  All was well.  Now all that was left was for me to find some new pajamas! Goodnight Nutmeg!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Gee! Oh! Me Try.

Oh yes. It is that time of the year again. Homework time. How I dread it. How I loathe it. How I.....DON'T REMEMBER IT!!!!  I have easily skated by the past few years because my older daughter would help my younger daughter, my younger daughter would help my son and I would make dinner.  Excellent arrangement!  I mean let's face it - by the time they are in AP Calculus - I am of little help.  I am a whiz at Algebra. I am even pretty darn good at Algebra II. I have to say I am excellent at Statistics. But Calculus? Um. No. So now my 2 girls are gone and I have a 9th grader in Honors Geometry. Geometry. As in the class I hated the MOST when I was in high school way way way way way back in the day. I still can remember how much I dreaded that class. PROVE ....IF A, then B and on and on and on. Ugh!  So last night my son needed help with his Geometry homework. It started with patterns. Yea!  I am great with patterns. "Oh look - you just times it by 3, divide by 2 and add 6". Simple! Yea!  Then it progressed to if you had a polygon with n sides how many diagonals can be made for each polygon. Or .... if you were to have n lines that are neither congruent or parallel how many intersecting points would there be given the n number of lines. Yes. Right. Sure. Now for all your math majors with your hands in the air saying, "Pick me! Pick Me!" please remember ...I. Am. Not. A. Math. Major.  I am not even a science major.  My older daughter is a science genius. She is majoring in Chemistry at the Naval Academy.  She isn't here. I am here. I am here drawing diagonals inside of 3 sided polygons, 4 sided polygons, 5 sided polygons and on and on until I can figure out some pattern of n(n-3)/2 type thing. My son and I worked together for hours.  I think the homework was supposed to take 30 minutes. sigh.  I am ready for tonight's assignment unless of course it starts with IF A; THEN........I am running away!!!!! GEE! OH! me try!!!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Monday Monday

After my long weekend, I have to admit, I did not get up on time this morning. I was certain I would get up at 6:30am but then crawled back into bed for just a little snooze and woke up almost two and a half hours later. Ahhh there is just nothing like your own bed.  It was most definitely a good night's rest.  Once I got up - I worked double time to make up for the leisurely morning. As always, my list of things to do was forever long. I had to unpack from my trip. I had a lovely sink full of dishes waiting for me. I had puppies waiting for me. I had a mountain of laundry waiting for me. I had grocery shopping waiting for me. Evidently - I was missed.  I ended up getting everything done including making cookies for my son but I did not get the Monday picture updates done. Mr. Yesteryear Acres had a long list of things to do as well and we weren't able to get the pictures done before the afternoon rains came.  The pictures are SO much better when I get the natural light from outside, so I decided to wait until tomorrow.  The weather is supposed to be much better and that way I can get some awesome new pictures.  The puppies are all doing great and they enjoyed their nail trimming and brushing today. They will be ready for their photo shoot tomorrow.  Up next - vacuum packing hamburger meat and pork chops. Ooooh ahhhhh! Gotta love buying in bulk!!!! I know it will be hard, but please don't envy my evening. I am sure you wish you were here. Nothing beats hours of vacuum packing!!! Joy!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

We are Home Already?

I ended up leaving Annapolis a lot later than I planned.... it really is so hard to say goodbye.  Even with the extra time together, it was really tough driving away.  I don't think I will ever get used to that.  I know that it is an inevitability - but it never gets easier. Every time I have to say goodbye, I have to choke back the tears.   Once my mom and I were on the road - the time really flew.  It is a long drive home but we talked non-stop and the miles just kept flying by. We talked about our weekend.  We talked about the next time we take a road trip.  We talked about our ultimate dream vacation. We talked about what is the best way to travel, where we would like to go in the world, values, morals, integrity, world politics - the works.  It was a lot of fun.  Despite the fact we drank a TON of water - we made it home with only 2 stops.  That is pretty good! In fact when we only had 5 minutes remaining we both said, "We are home Already???"  7 hours of driving and we didn't feel a single minute of it.  Now that is a great travel partnership!!!!!!!  Thanks for the road trip Mom!!!!! That was a great weekend!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Being Together - Always Good

Today I got to spend the day with my daughter. There is really nothing better in the whole world than being with the ones you love. My daughter's spirits have definitely been lifted from our visit and I am so happy as well. The whole day was just spent being together. She is a happy, smiling, upbeat, happy fun person and I never tire of her company. I will be so sad tomorrow morning when we have to say our goodbyes. I am leaving her with all my homebaked goodies - and of course - all my love. The visit was far too short and I will be counting the days until we are together again. I know they say that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but for me - that is impossible. I love her with all my heart and soul.

Friday, September 16, 2011

I am definitely not a city traffic girl

So today I drove into Bethesda, Maryland.  Perhaps many of you - maybe even every single one of you will be thinking - that is a very busy city.  I, of course, did not have that thought. I didn't realize its proximity to Washington, DC.  I did not realize it was a major metropolis. I didn't realize that when a light turned red - it was merely a suggestion to go slower. I didn't realize that everyone honking behind me while I was stopped at the red light meant that I was in fact to RUN the red light because red lights do not have the same meaning here.  I learned quickly that I was not a good driver for the city atmosphere.  I learned quickly that when my GPS indicated that I had 3 minutes left of my journey there would be an additional 20+ minutes of travel time because I would not be moving any faster than a snail's pace. And ultimately I learned that I am definitely not a city traffic girl.  I dare say this shall be my only venture into Bethesda. I am quite grateful for my mom who took over the driving duties and got us safely to our destination.  She grew up in New York and was a complete pro. We are happily safely in our room. Whew!  Guess who is driving us out of the city.........NOT ME!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Hard Part

I have been busy since the second my feet hit the floor this morning. I had way too many things to do and not enough hours to get it all done. Was that the hard part of my day? Nope.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres picked some tomatillos from our garden and I made a delicious Tomatillo and Avocado dip.  It is scrumptious.  You have to husk the tomatillos and boil them and then you blend them with olive oil and garlic and make a wonderful dip with fresh Avocado. Was that the hard part of my day? Nope.  I finally made this recipe for Snickers Cookies that was given to me by a dear puppy family.  You make this yummy cookie dough and then take mini snickers bars and wrap the dough around each individual mini snickers bar and then bake them.  When I say YUM - believe me - it is an understatement.  Was that the hard part? Nope.  I put together puppy packages, gathered blankets, did the laundry, washed the dishes, cleaned the puppy area.....again not the hard part of my day.  I made fresh from scratch homemade rolls - a double batch - and the whole house smells absolutely delicious.  So easy! Not hard!  I went grocery shopping and picked up things for my mom, my son, my daughter, my husband - again simple.  I took my son to cross country practice, picked him up, took him to the varsity girls volleyball game, picked him up. Not a problem. I made buttermilk pork chops, slow roasted cabbage - fresh picked from the garden, and scalloped potatoes for dinner.  You would think that MIGHT be the hard part of the day - but you would be wrong.  I packed my suitcase, gathered up all the things on my daughter's list, picked out some movies, got the cords together for the DVD player so I could hook it up in the hotel room, backed up my computer, charged my electronics, went through the mail.......all in a day's work. Not hard.  So what was the hard part of the day????????? Oh - well I believe it was when my son walked in and said, "OH WOW COOKIES! OH WOW HOMEMADE ROLLS!  OH WOW GUMMY BEARS!" and then I said - they are for your sister. At that moment...... THAT look......yes.....that was the hard part of the day. I am sure you can imagine. It looks like this mom has more baking to do when she returns from the Naval Academy.  I am afraid that look will remain on his face until I make amends. He gave me some suggestions - More homemade rolls, more snicker bar cookies, golden graham smores, puppy chow and I could make some fresh squeezed lemonade and maybe some homemade ice cream. Gee - he is SO helpful!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cyber Hug

Moms are great aren't they?  They love you more than anyone in the whole wide world and would do anything for you.  My mom is like that. That makes me pretty lucky.  I am like that.  That makes my children pretty lucky.  This week has been kind of a hard week for my older daughter.  You know the expression, "You can only be as happy as your least happiest child"?  Well it is true.  I have been feeling her pain all week long. She has been in my thoughts every second this week.Today a light at the end of the tunnel appeared and I can't tell you how my spirits were lifted.  Even though I personally wasn't going through her ordeal, I felt every moment.  I sent her plenty of cyber hugs, but that just isn't the same as the real thing. I think it made us miss each other even more. Today, we finally had some much needed laughs and things are feeling much better. This weekend is going to be even better than today. My mom and I are planning a little road trip to visit my daughter at the Naval Academy.  We are bringing her care packages and smiles.  Nothing feels better than that......for her....and for me.  Good food, good company, good movies, good shopping.... good times!  I can't wait to see her.  Guess I better start baking!!!!  I already have a long list of requests. Friday will be here before I know it!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sunset.....Moon Rise

I can think of no better way to end a day than to walk outside and take the time to appreciate a beautiful sunset.  Let's face it - every single day - without fail - the sun sets and despite this amazing fact, very few times in one week will people walk outside their doors to go "ooooh" and "ahhhhh" over the beautiful  masterpiece of nature. I, too, am guilty of letting the sunset way too many times without giving it the appreciation it deserves. Some things are worth taking a break for.  Sometimes life is best appreciated in the little moments. The quiet beauty of a sunset shared with the people you love can breathe life right back into your soul. I feel like it can push the "reset" button and make things all feel right again. Tonight Mr. Yesteryear Acres, my son and I took time to enjoy the setting sun.

It was a brilliant display. The clouds gathered right before the sun started to sink into the horizon.

We thought the show was over when the sun appeared right below the clouds once more

The swallows were swooping up the bugs and soaring through the red glow of the sky

We got one last peek before it disappeared for the evening. We admired the brilliant pink and purple sky and before we knew it a huge orange moon slowly started to rise.  I tried really hard to get some decent pictures but it was too dark for my camera to really capture the beauty.

If you look really closely you can see 3 moons LOL!  My shutter was VERY SLOW motion.
Evidently, my picture taking talent lies with puppies and setting suns!
I tried one last time and managed to get just a small glimmer of the moon. Even though the pictures can't capture the magnificence of the orange moon - it was really a sight to see. It was a perfect evening to say thank you to the sunset and thank you again for the moon rise. Thank you Mother Nature.

Monday, September 12, 2011

It is Monday - Must be Picture Day!

Mondays are always fun around here.  Mondays mean Puppy Picture Day!!!  Everyone is always so excited to see how much their little puppies have grown in one week. The first few weeks there is not a huge change....
Here are Lola's Double Doodle babies. They still look pretty similar to last week's photos.  Their eyes are still closed but they are getting a little bigger.
Ariel's labradoodle puppies are little butterballs.
They are so snuggable!
Fiona's goldendoodle babies are just getting to toddling stage. They are up on their little feet trying to figure out how to walk without falling over.
It is hard to believe that in just a few short weeks these puppies will be up and romping about all over the yard.  Roxy's puppies are now ready for their new homes.
They can't wait to meet their new families!!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011


This morning I am sure we all share a collective thought in remembering the tragic events of 9/11. Thinking about the 10 year anniversary and how our lives were forever changed, is still to this day, heartbreaking. Thousands of Americans died that day. Husbands, Wives, Neighbors, Friends, Children, Loved Ones, all lost, many with no chance to say goodbye. I remember sitting in front of the television 10 years ago thinking, we will never feel safe again. We are vulnerable. In the 10 years that has passed since the terrorist attack, life has moved on. Time healed many wounds and happiness entered our lives once more. It might be easy for some to let the memory of 9/11 fade far into the background. While I do not believe it is necessary to dwell on the terrorist attack, I also will not forget. I will not let it become just another date on the calendar.  I will not let the memory fade. We must remember.  We must remember to be thankful for all those that serve. Thankful for our police, our firefighters, our military, our National Guard, all the men and women of our country that sacrifice their lives daily. We need to remember to be thankful for our "ordinary" heroes. People who, for the love of a fellow American, would willingly go back into harm's way to save someone else. We have heroes at home and abroad. I believe there is a hero inside each and every one of us. So do something heroic with your life. Give of yourself to another human being. Help someone out in need. Send a care package to an unknown service man or woman. Bring homebaked cookies to your local fire station.  Go out of your way to thank someone. Don't fall into the routine of every day is the same. Be grateful to be alive. Be grateful for your family and do not forget to tell them how much you care.  Open your hearts and share your blessings. And never, ever think that 9/11 is just one isolated incident. Do not ever take your freedom for granted. It is not free.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Oh! It is a DOG Umbrella!

The day's events didn't exactly go as planned. But of course - not having things go as planned is pretty normal around here! We seldom have things go just as we envisioned and we are okay with that.  Raising puppies means - puppies come first - everything else takes a back seat. I had high hopes to get several flats of raspberries picked this morning but alas, that was not to be. Instead we all worked here at Yesteryear Acres getting some much needed projects finished.  Roxy's puppies REALLY wanted to help us work outside.  Once we let them outside with us it was clear that "helping" us meant winding in and out of our feet and sitting exactly where we needed to put something down.  Kind of like toddlers.  They have an uncanny knack for being exactly where you would like them not to be.  Of course they are ridiculously cute - so who can blame them for trying to help?  Mr. Yesteryear Acres and my son built a nice little playpen for them so they could see us working and still "help" with our projects.  I remember when I thought the beautiful green sun umbrella was for me.  I remember when I thought it would just live on our dock and I would sit under it and read away the hours. Guess I remembered wrong.  Who loves the big sun umbrella most of all?  Yep.  The puppies!
Oh! I see! It is a DOG Umbrella!

They really love their new umbrella. They said it was just what they always wanted.  It is even their favorite color. They thanked Mr. Yesteryear Acres for their new thoughtful present.

Thank you Mr. Yesteryear Acres!!!!
We are SO glad we could help you today!!!! 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Raspberry Time

Tomorrow morning as soon as my son wakes up I think I shall kidnap him and take him raspberry picking. I normally go with my girls who are all day dedicated pickers. They pick quickly and efficiently and don't stop until the baskets are full. My son is more of a.....let's say a connoisseur.  He believes that in order to really appreciate the bounty that is being picked, one must sample the goodness. And often.  His basket is usually mostly empty.  I am determined to change all that tomorrow. I need a good raspberry picker! Raspberry picking is kind of a thankless endless job.  The raspberries are SO small and squishy and fragile. It feels like you pick for days and days and every time you look into your basket, there is still a long long way to go.  The problem is of course - I LOVE raspberries. I could never have enough raspberries. I Love love love love them. Mmmmmmm. They are so good.  I dream of having a gigantic big popcorn size bowl full of raspberries sitting on my lap as I endlessly pop each delicious berry into my mouth. So I am going to take my son with me. I am going to see if I can get him to assist in the monumental task of filling several flats of raspberries.  Perhaps I will say something like I won't share any of the berries that I pick unless he also has a full basket. We all know that isn't true of course.  My son will also know that isn't true. I am fairly certain that tactic will not work. In the end - what will happen is what always happens.  I will pick and pick and pick. My son will ask if I am done yet.  My son will actually take raspberries out of my basket to eat instead of picking them off the bush.  I will finally get enough berries and I will be completely red from head to toe. I will put the berries in my car and start the long drive home. Then I will scream in shock as my son will have consumed half the berries before we get in the driveway. Yes - it is raspberry time. I believe I am ready.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Camera Phone

I love having a camera on my phone. When I first bought a phone with a camera, I didn't think I would use it much. I mean I had a perfectly good camera, why would I need one on my phone? Who needs to take pictures that badly? Well evidently the answer to that question is, I do.  I love being able to capture a moment and save it forever.
Some are simple things like Dinner is ready.
Last night my son really wanted me to make General Tso's Chicken for dinner so I sent him this picture text to let him know it was time to eat.
Some are things I want to share
Like when I had 2 deer share my walk with me
I want to capture the Beauty of Nature
Sometimes I need to take a picture because there are things that cannot be believed without photographic proof
such as
How can it be this hot in SEPTEMBER??? This is the themometer in my car and was taken last week!
When I say the corn was at least 8 feet tall
I really mean it.  I am standing right next to the corn in this picture. I am 5'8".  Look how tall this corn is? That is definitely picture worthy!
Sometimes I like to send a little love like
"Your doggie loves sleeping on your blankie"
Thanks for the fun night together.
Many times when I am taking a quick picture, I think of the lyrics to John Mayer's song, "3 x 5"
You should have seen that sunrise with your own eyes
it brought me back to life
You'll be with me next time I go outside
no more 3x5's

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

No More Tears at Dinner

Here it is almost 3 weeks since I dropped off my girls at college. I cannot believe I have survived 3 weeks already. At first their absence was completely crushing. The very first night that I set the table for 3 people, I couldn't stop the tears from flowing when I sat down to eat.  3 plates. 3 Cups. 3 napkins. It was all so sad. I had tears falling down my face for pretty much the entire dinner.  The rest of the table was so empty. I am now getting used to setting our dinner table for 3.  I am grabbing 3 plates instead of 5 and 3 glasses. It only takes one trip to the dining room to bring all the glasses out. Clean up is easier too. 3 plates seem to only take seconds to load into the dishwasher.  I don't need to cook quite as much food either. The other day I made buttermilk fried chicken strips and realized I didn't need to make batch after batch after batch. I was done cooking in no time. I guess that is how it is. Slowly I am getting used to doing just one load of laundry a day. I only have to run the dishwasher once a day. I suppose that part is nice.  The usual haul of 10 gallons of milk per week is now lasting almost 10 days. My daughter's little doggie Penny is doing better too.  She was SO sad when my daughter left.  She wouldn't do anything except lay on my daughter's blanket. It broke my heart just seeing Penny so sad.  It isn't like you can tell a doggie where her bestest friend went. I had tears in my eyes every time I snuggled with Penny.  We both were missing our bestest friend.  A couple of nights ago Mr. Yesteryear Acres figured a way to get Penny back to her old peppy self.  Each night he brings her bowl full of doggie food out to the living room. He sits on the couch with her and puts her bowl of food next to him on my daughter's blanket. Then he sits with Penny the whole time she eats. Well Penny just LOVES that.  Her tail has been wagging and last night she knew it was time for "I am the Princess" dinner hour.  She started running in little circles and hopping for joy. It is the cutest thing. Penny loves the new routine and is bouncing around happily once again. I talked to both of my girls over the weekend and they seem to be settling in as well.  My younger daughter said she is feeling more at home this week. I sent her a huge care package and that seemed to help a lot.  The transition for both of us has been kind of tough - but we are managing to make it all work. I can't say that I wouldn't jump for joy and be SO happy if I got the chance to set my table for five - but there are no more tears at dinner...not even Penny tears.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Magic Air Conditioning

Why hello cold weather! Where in the world did you come from? How could I literally be melting all last week and then today need a sweatshirt?  Last week I hugged the tree line as I did my daily walk.  One day it was so hot that I hid from the sun as if I were a vampire and would explode if the sun's rays hit me.  I walked a half-mile pathway and the second I reached the unshaded part of the walk, I did a 180* turn and went back the other way. I kept that up for the duration of my hour walk and I still was melting with every step. Today I walked out to my car and thought perhaps I needed a sweatshirt! I couldn't believe the change in weather. I actually looked for a sunbeam to try to warm up. There was no sun to be found but instead a very cloudy sky and TONS of wind.  I bet there was a significant windchill factor! The puppies thought it was all very grand.  They had been so miserable last week, running for the bushes, hiding under the shade and begging to go back inside the house. Today - they ran everywhere. Skipping with glee, hopping with happiness and enjoying the cool temperatures.  I think the puppies think I am magic and that I brought the air conditioning outside. They kept running over to me to thank me for the magic air conditioning! I can't take any credit for the change in weather but it was a great day watching all the doggies and puppies enjoy the lovely breeze.  There was a lot of doggie romping with tails wagging and happy puppy zoomies all over the yard. Judging by the pile of zonked out puppies, I think they are all going to sleep well tonight!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Who Doesn't Love Cute Puppy Faces?

Today I put the word "Labor" into my Labor Day Weekend. I started the morning with a nice 3 mile walk with one of our doggies and then got busy with all the work that had to be done. My son was feeling a bit under the weather, so I added taking good care of him to my long list of things to do. I pretty much was hopping the entire day. The good news is that my son is already feeling much better and I got a ton of things crossed off my list. The most important thing of course was PUPPY PICTURES! Everyone has been eagerly awaiting this week's updated photos so I was really glad to get that done. They are just so cute with their adorable squishy puppy faces. You can't help but to have the biggest smile on your face whenever you walk by. They are all so cute.

Awwww - see now you are smiling too!!!
Cute Puppy Smiles!!!!!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

By the Dawn's Early Light

 This morning Mr. Yesteryear Acres, my son, and I headed off for our big sunrise celebration.  We left the house promptly at O-Dark-Thirty so we wouldn't miss a single second of our Labor Day sunrise. Our labradoodle Olive was ready for the big event. My son was "mostly" awake....
It was a pretty stormy and cloudy sky. We were wondering if we would be rewarded for all our early morning efforts when all of the sudden the sky filled with a beautiful pink glow.

It was a beautiful sight

The sun started rising right up into the clouds. It was a big fiery pink ball. I think I took over 20 pictures of the sun as it started heading up into the clouds. It was awesome!
Here you can see it the bottom just slipping up into the clouds above.
Then a ribbon of sky appeared as some of the clouds parted

And the warm glow of the sun started warming us all up

We sat and watched the sunrise as the birds serenaded us.

The morning was just breathtakingly beautiful

I have to admit before the sun gave us her glorious show, I was thinking how much easier it was to enjoy sunsets. I mean I am ALREADY awake. I don't need to set my alarm. I don't need to pry my eyes open. It is nice to celebrate the ending of a day but this morning definitely made me appreciate the beauty in welcoming a day.  We all felt happy and content and filled with peace. It was a really great start to our day and the smiles on our faces are still there from this morning. We are already thinking we need another sunrise celebration soon. Mr. Yesteryear Acres and my son have been busy giving me their submissions for breakfast picnic menu ideas.  I never realized that homemade potato pancakes, homemade baked bread hot from the oven, maple bacon and ham and cheese omelets were typical breakfast fare for picnics - but they assure me they are indeed quintessential. Guess I better get busy figuring out how to pack all of that into a picnic basket! Looks like I am going to have some breakfast cooking coming up again soon!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

3 Day Weekend

Yea!  Who doesn't love a 3 Day Weekend? 3 Days of family time. 3 Days of good food. 3 Days of celebrating the joyous Labor Day Holiday......except for one thing....Mr. Yesteryear Acres happens to believe that "Labor" day should include "Labor".  I tried to explain to him that it was actually a holiday to take a day OFF from doing Labor but he believes I am mistaken. If you took a look at his long list of "must do" items for this weekend - you would quickly realize that there is NO way all those things can be done.  I love Mr. Yesteryear Acres. I love his sense of optimism. I love his CAN DO approach to life. He is a dedicated, loyal, hardworking man. So hard working in fact, he rarely takes a minute off. My son and I are devising a secret plan to kidnap Mr. Yesteryear Acres tomorrow at O'Dark-thirty. We are going wake up Mr. Yesteryear Acres before he has a chance to get his bearings and have him join us as we watch the sunrise. We are doing a picnic breakfast and everything.  I am making the overnight breakfast casserole right now and I am pretty sure we can pull it off. We are determined to take just a few hours off from work and just enjoy being in the moment. What can make you feel more grateful for a day than watching the beautiful colors glow from the sun's rays as it wakes up to say good-morning? Wish us luck!  Hopefully tomorrow's post will be full of breakfast sunrise pictures!!!!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Actually - phones do not like coffee

Sooooo maybe I was a bit premature in stating my phone's resiliency with the coffee encounter. Last night as I was texting my daughter, my phone kept getting dimmer and dimmer.  The keyboard backlight seems to have lost the battle. Coffee 1. Keyboard light 0. WAH!  I even did the rice trick overnight but alas - no keyboard backlight.  The rest of the phone is in great shape. The camera works, ringtones, search engine, texting - all 100% operational.  Just my poor poor sad keyboard has to be all alone in the dark. Every time I see the dark keyboard, I feel so sad.  I did it. I drowned the poor keyboard in hot steamy sugary creamy coffee. I feel a sense of dread every time I open my phone. It doesn't stare back at me with a bright happy shiny light. It is just dark and sad. I know eventually I will forgive myself for drowning my poor phone, but for now, the pain is too raw. It is just right there at the surface.  I actually love this phone.  This phone has worked for me consistently without fail since I got it. It doesn't drop calls. It doesn't get hung up. It doesn't inadvertently call China whenever I put it in my purse. It receives my emails, answers calls, texts, tells me the weather, allows me to look up facebook. It is a great and faithful phone. And what did I do to my faithful phone? I gave it coffee. Sigh.  I guess a faithful devoted phone like that needs a friend. A really good friend.  A friend that won't leave it side. A friend that won't give it coffee. A friend that will light the way......I am thinking a FLASHLIGHT friend!!!!  YES. I need to find a flashlight friend for my phone! Then I can pretend the backlight keyboard works! My phone can be happy and shiny and all better. Now where oh where can I find a flashlight that likes coffee???

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Coffee Phone

My laptop gets incredibly hot.  I am fairly certain that if you were to put food items under it - they would cook thoroughly in minutes. For a period of time last year, I had a very weird lattice type rash on my thighs. I later learned that I had burned all the layers of skin way down deep from excessive use of my laptop. I think it is called toasted leg syndrome. Since then I use a cooling pad whenever I have my laptop on my lap and I also put my laptop on a large cooling rack when I am not using it. That way the air can circulate around the entire laptop and try to keep it relatively cool. So now you have the set up.  Me, my chair, my laptop, my cooling pad and the cooling rack on the desk.  Every morning I sit in my comfy chair, put the cooling pad on my lap and put my laptop on my lap. Perfect.  All I need now is coffee.  I have just the spot to put my cup. It is nice and flat and actually has a very nice coaster right there.  Do I use that spot? Of course not.  Do I use the coaster? Of course not. Do I instead, precariously balance my coffee cup on the cooling rack because it is a good 18 inches closer to me than the coaster. Yep.  Does Mr. Yesteryear Acres say every single morning, "You know you are going to SPILL your coffee doing that". Of course he does.  Is Mr. Yesteryear Acres ever wrong? Is anyone getting a premonition of what is going to happen next? OH yes.  Coffee EVERYWHERE!  A brand new hot steaming perfectly brewed cup!  All over the desk.  All over the floor. All over the papers and pens and box of tissues and..... MY CELL PHONE!  Noooooooooooo!  It is too late.  The damage is done. I immediately yank out the battery to my cell phone and tenderly clean and dry it.  I then place it in front of a fan all the while apologizing to it for being so careless.  I go about cleaning up all the coffee, with cream, and sugar that is in every nook and cranny and once it is all bright and shiny and clean, I begrudgingly walk up the stairs to tell Mr. Yesteryear Acres that yes, I spilled the coffee. Of course he just laughed and laughed. "I told you so!" Yes, Mr. Yesteryear Acres, yes, you were right.  I will hereby use my coaster and put my coffee in the appropriate coffee location. Evidently cooling racks are not the best spot for coffee cups. Especially very large cooling racks with giant spaces between the tines. Now I know you are thinking about my poor phone and what is surely its demise........well I put it all back together about 5 hours later and VOILA!  It is OKAY!!!!!!  I guess even my cell phone loves a good cup of coffee!!!!! It really is good to the last drop!!!!