Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Few....The Proud....The Marines

Today was Service Selection Day at The United States Naval Academy for the Firsties (senior class) midshipmen. After four long years of studying by the bay, the day of reckoning arrived for all the Firsties. The Navy let the senior class know which branch of the Navy they would serve. Most mids spent the morning anxiously awaiting the news.  My daughter could hardly sleep and we were both counting the minutes until the envelope arrived.  When she opened her envelope.....
This is what she saw:
My daughter is now officially a United States Marine Corps selectee.  In May as she graduates from the Naval Academy she will be commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps.  It is all my daughter ever wanted.  Today her dream came true. She is overwhelmed with happiness.  Me too.  She has worked so hard for this and she IS a Marine through and through. She is the most honest, faithful, loyal, hardworking, defender of rights, dedicated, determined, tough, and yes stubborn person. She never gives up. The Marines are lucky to have her.
Way to go my sweet Abigail ....


Tuesday, November 29, 2011


My appointment with the orthopedic surgeon went well this morning. I mean IF you are going to throw yourself down a steep embankment of treacherous mudslides and IF you are going to slip and let's say break your ankle and snap your weight bearing bone and IF you are going to rupture your tendon along the way - well then, yes I stand by my statement that my appointment with the orthopedic surgeon went well today. I do still have a broken ankle.  I still did fracture the weight bearing bone. I still did rupture my tendon but as of today - I don't need surgery! That is awesome news right there!  I have to go back in exactly 2 weeks for more x-rays.  The surgeon needs to check to make sure there is no shifting or displacement. If there is - well then he will just go ahead and "throw a few screws in there". What!?!? Throw screws in?  I do not think it is something as simple as that. I think when he says, "throw a few screws in there" he means he will OPERATE on my ankle! ACK! The key to my recovery is simple.....DO NOT PUT ANY WEIGHT ON THE LEG! The nurse told me at least 517 times that I can NOT put any weight on my leg.  The surgeon told me at least 476 times I can NOT put any weight on my leg.  In fact I cannot put any weight on my leg for 6 weeks.  6 entire weeks.  I cannot rest it whilst standing.  I cannot put my toes down.  I cannot rest or balance. I cannot in any way shape or form put even the slightest pressure on my leg.  The surgeon said something along the lines that if I do then well the fracture will run up my leg, my bones will displace, I will need serious surgery to repair the damage, etc. etc. etc.  I got it.  I got the picture.  Evidently, for hygiene purposes I am to sit on my bathroom floor and the most I can do - is a sponge bath. OH JOY!  Maybe I can give myself a bath while I bathe the puppies!!!  I am always all wet anyway! The very best part of my day was when the surgeon gave me a prescription for a knee walker!  Mr. Yesteryear Acres went out right away and got it. It is a LIFESAVER! It is SOOOOOOO much better than using crutches! You bend your injured leg and place  your knee on the padded cushion and hold onto the scooter handlebars while you push off with your good leg. Weeeeeeeeee!  I can take like 10 steps in seconds! And when you stop moving, you have BOTH HANDS FREE!  I can still trim puppy claws!  I can still brush the puppies and hold the puppies and maybe even make dinner!  It even has a cool basket attached so I can bring my phone with me and other essential little items.  The doggies all thought I was ultra cool scooting around the house.  They DID want to chase me just a little bit - but have since learned to stay back.  I am a woman on a mission!  I can make it to the kitchen and back in minutes now! YES! I think I just might make it through the next 6 weeks! Weeeeeeee!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Crying Like A Little Girl

So I am usually really tough when it comes to injuries.  I rarely cry when I get hurt. I think the last time I cried over an injury was when I was about 8 months pregnant with my first child and the disc in my back blew out and I fell to the ground in pain.  I physically could not get up off the floor. I admit it - I cried that day.  I can't remember crying over physical pain since.  Not even when I was hit by a drunk driver.  Not even when I had my heart attack. Not until...last night.  Yes, when I slipped and fell on my wet grassy hill, I cried out loud. I heard the largest "POP" when I fell and I believe I cried out something like, "OH MY GOSH! OW OW OW I BROKE MY ANKLE, I BROKE MY ANKLE!!!!!!!!!"  or something to that effect. I believe I was crying like a little girl.  Now I DID stop crying in less than 2 minutes so it was a very short pity party, but yes, I still cried.  At the exact same moment I fell down the TREACHEROUS EMBANKMENT,  the TUMULTUOUS MUDSLIDE, the INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS STEEP SLOPE.....aka....the small wet and slightly muddy grassy hill outside my younger daughter was leaving to go back to college so it was quite a big emotional production.  I managed to get myself up off the ground and stand up and wave goodbye to her with NO crying.  I am good like that.  This morning - I woke up, got off the couch (as I couldn't make it upstairs to bed) and stood up only to shriek just a bit. My leg hurt but I kept saying, "It's not THAT bad."  I took a shower and gingerly got in and out of the tub saying, "It's not THAT bad."  I put all my weight on my leg and if I stood JUST right - again it wasn't THAT bad.  I tried various positions, various methods of walking, various baby steps to find the exact, "it's not that bad" method of transportation.  Just to be on the safe side, Mr. Yesteryear Acres did take me to Urgent Care when it opened this morning. I told the very nice x-ray technician that it wasn't that bad.  I told the doctor that it wasn't that bad.  And then I found WAS that bad!  My crying like a little girl was evidently justified. First - the Doctor examined my leg and said that I completely ruptured the tendon in my leg.  As in ruptured.  As in torn from the bone.  Then I had x-rays taken.  When the Doctor walked back in the room she said, "Everyone who doesn't have a broken ankle, raise their hands!" So Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I raised our hands.  She told me to put my hand down. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!  I broke my ankle! I also broke the weight bearing bone in my leg! She said that if I put ANY weight on it, I can displace everything and make the break even worse. NOOOOOOOOOOO!  I had to get a temporary hard cast put on and tomorrow I have to go to an orthopedic surgeon! Nooooooooo!  The kind of break combined with my tendon rupture means NO WEIGHT BEARING on that leg AT ALL......for 4-6 Weeks!  None.  I have to have a hard cast. No showers.  No hot tub. No walking.  No carrying my cup of hot coffee.  No walking the doggies.  No exercising. No walking in the woods.  No playing with the puppies outside.  Noooooooooo!  This is not good. sigh. I can't even stand up for very long because I have to keep my leg elevated ALL THE TIME.  WAH!  Okay - just for today - I think I will go cry like a little girl. I BROKE MY ANKLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WAH!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

To go or not to go

So I WAS going to write my blog all about having my girls leave today.  It was going to be all about how the weekend was wonderful and how much I will miss them and how I will be counting the days until Christmas. I had the entire blog written in my head and it was a REALLY good blog.  BUT THEN - as I was taking the dogs outside to go to the bathroom, in the rain, in the dark, in my crocs......I fell.  I fell HARD.  I slipped on the hill in the mud and fell SO hard on my ankle.  I am super super tough and I immediately started crying as I felt and heard a loud "POP".  I rarely, if ever, cry from pain. Of course this was at the exact time my daughter had to leave to go back to college. So there I was in the mud, crying and she was crying and she had to leave and Mr. Yesteryear Acres was trying to pick me up out of the mud and we were both trying to say goodbye.  Not good.  Not at all.  So now I have to figure out - did I really really sprain my ankle or did I break my ankle?  Should I go to the ER or should I wait until morning to see how it feels? I cannot put ANY weight on it and I must say it is growing in size so I am sure that is not a good sign.  WAH!  This is NOT how I pictured my weekend ending! I mean I knew I would be in tears  - but not from falling in the mud!!! WAH!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Your Reservation is Ready

We had another busy day here at Yesteryear Acres as Lady's Double Doodle Puppies started making their way to their new homes. Puppy pick up day is always busy but also always fun.  It is awesome meeting all the new families on their very happy puppy day!!! We were blessed with a SUNNY WARM DAY!  I mean who could ever guess that at the end of November we would have a beautiful warm day?  It was awesome.  The puppies were happy to meet their new families and the families were happy to meet their new furry additions. Even though we had to work all day long on the weekend my girls are home from college - the girls had fun too as they missed the puppies so much that they had fun helping. Tomorrow they head back to school.  My older daughter has to be at the airport right after lunch and my younger daughter heads back in the early afternoon.  sigh.  The weekend just flew by.  Tonight we are going to make the most of our last evening together.  Board Games, Movies, Popcorn, Ice Cream - We are all set!  Party of Five - your reservation is ready!

Friday, November 25, 2011

But it is DARK out

Yesterday was everything Thanksgiving was meant to, food, family....FANTASTIC! It was a busy day spent caring for puppies, playing with the doggies, enjoying the kids being home and spending a delicious meal with those we love.  I finally got finished with all the chores around 10pm and my son asked if I wanted to go take a walk with him in the woods.  Of course I said, "But it is DARK out!"  My son evidently knew that.  He said he would bring a glow stick for me.  He also had charged up our glow in the dark doggie ball toy and said we could bring that too.  He was all like - come on mom - come on - the stars are out - the doggies will like it -- you can work off your Thanksgiving feast. How could I resist?  I really don't like the dark all that much.  I especially do not like walking in the dark because...I CANNOT SEE! But I put all that in the back of my mind put on my winter coat and shoes and out the door I went with my son and doggies.  Once we were outside......IT WAS DARK!!!  It was really DARK!  There was not even a shimmer of a moon glow.  I could not see a THING.  My son tossed the glow in the dark ball down the path and lit the way.  Our chocolate labradoodle Olive took off after the glowing orb and I couldn't even see where she went.  Next thing I know,  a seemingly levitating glowing ball bouncing back toward us.  It was pretty cool!  We couldn't even see Olive because it was so dark out so it really looked like the ball was leaping back to us all on its own.  We walked in the crisp darkness and enjoyed the thousands of stars in the sky.  We enjoyed the doggies chasing the glowing ball.  We enjoyed the silhouette of the trees in the darkness. A huge buck walked across the field towards us and we watched him disappear into the woods.  We talked some, enjoyed the quiet some, laughed some - and when we got back home I thanked my son for the most enjoyable late night Thanksgiving walk. It was the perfect end to a perfect day.

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Thanksgiving Day is finally here!  The day to give thanks! The day to reflect over what means the most in your life, what brings smiles to your heart, what makes your life so blessed. The day to be thankful and to share thanks. I am sure this comes as no surprise, but what I am most thankful for in this entire world is my family. I am thankful I have a wonderful loving husband who is the very best father and the very best business partner and the very best friend to me, to our kids and to our furry kids as well!  I am thankful my 3 children bring me more joy and happiness than I can ever express.  They fill up my very being with love. I am thankful for my loving parents - both my parents and Mr. Yesteryear Acres parents who are also the very best grandparents. I am thankful for my sister. We have weathered many storms together and will always be the best of friends. I am thankful for my brother-in-laws, sister-in-laws, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grand nephews. I am thankful for family.  A family that sticks together. A family that cherishes one another.  A family that supports you and loves you and is there for you in times of joy and also there for you in times of sadness. I am also eternally thankful and blessed to be able to share my life with all my furry doodle doggies and puppies and all the wonderful families that adopt our puppies.  I have been so lucky to have made so many Yesteryear Acres Puppy Family friends. I love all the letters and emails and pictures and posts on Facebook. I love staying in touch and hearing all about our doodle doggies bringing joy and happiness.  I live a very fulfilled, blessed and happy life. I thank you all!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day before Thanksgiving Thankfulness

Today I am thankful for the gigantic huge smile on my face.  My younger daughter came home last night and EVERY one is excited she is here.  The doggies are beside themselves with happiness.  She has a parade of doggies following her every step she takes.  They just can't get close enough.  This morning she played fetch with some of our doggies and puppies and the smile on her face just warmed my heart.  The things you miss most are the simplest things. She misses playing fetch and being covered in a pile of happy tail wagging puppies.  I miss that too.  After we were done playing with the puppies we got busy in the kitchen.  We already have a loaf of honey oatmeal bread in the oven and we also made two pumpkin logs.  Pumpkin logs are DELICIOUS sheet pan size pumpkin cake rolled up with cream cheese filling.  It looks like an enormous Ho Ho when you are finished. Mmmmm.  Just like always, my daughter was there to lick the cream cheese frosting off the whisk.  That makes me happy too.  I don't have big wishes or big dreams......I get all the joy and thanks I can ever want or need - just by having my family together doing normal family things.  My older daughter comes home tonight and all will be right with the world.  Happy Day Before Thanksgiving!!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November Thankfulness - Day 22 - And now the season begins

Tonight my younger daughter comes home!  I am pretty sure what I am thankful for today is now obvious!!!!  One of my older daughter's friends attends the same University and she offered to give my daughter a ride home tonight.  That saves me over 6 hours of driving!  I am SO thankful for that!  While she is on the road making her way here, I am busy getting everything ready.  Laundry - check!  Bedding washed and beds made - check!  Delicious dinner in the oven - check!  One very excited can't wait is it time yet when will she walk in the door Mom - check!!!!  I am thankful that my family will all be together for Thanksgiving! Next year my older daughter is likely to be deployed somewhere so I am extra thankful that she will be home this Thanksgiving.  As a sneak preview as to what I will be thankful for tomorrow older daughter comes home tomorrow!  My thankfulness cup runneth over. And now the season begins!!!!!!! So happy!

Monday, November 21, 2011

November Thankfulness - Day 21 - Conversations

Time really flew by today and I still didn't get everything done that I was hoping to accomplish.  It is 9:30pm and I still have about 2 more hours of work to do before I can take a break.  It was just one long busy full day and tomorrow will be more of the same. With Thanksgiving right around the corner and puppies going home this weekend, my list of things to get done is pretty endless. Tonight after dinner my son started talking to me about what he wants to do when he gets older.  What kind of career he would like to have and what type of activities he enjoys. I almost said that I was too busy to talk. I almost said that I have a ton of work to do and can we talk about this another time.  And in only thinking about the work I have to do - I almost missed an opportunity to bond with my son. I am so thankful I put down my keyboard. I am so thankful I listened to what my son wanted to talk about. I am thankful that I took the time to realize that work is work - but talking with my son - that is something I never want to miss.  We had a really great conversation.  We talked about what majors in college lead to which career paths.  We talked about the Naval Academy and how much he would like to go there.  We talked about his future, his hopes, his dreams and all that he wants to accomplish. I am thankful to have a son that likes to talk to me. I am thankful that I am home and available when my son reaches out. I am thankful that even though I still have tons of work to do - none if it will ever be more important or more pressing than sharing an evening with my son. He has an amazing future ahead of him. I am so thankful I get to be a part of the planning.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

November Thankfulness - Day 20 - Blogging

I have been writing a daily blog for over two and a half years without missing a single day's entry.  Most of the time, I know exactly what I am going to write about. Something happens during the day and I have the AHA! I AM GOING TO BLOG ABOUT THAT! moment. Every now and then I have a family member say, "OH NO! You are going to blog that aren't you???" And of course the answer is, "YES!" I like those days because the blog practically writes itself. Once in a while I am forced to stare at the blinking cursor racking my brains over something worth sharing. In all honesty - my days are very repetitive. I clean up puppy poop about every 30 minutes.  I water the puppies every 2 hours and take ALL the puppies out and then ALL the puppies back in. By the time I get that done - it is time to do it all again!  It doesn't matter if it is blazing hot or bitterly cold.  Every day is pretty much the same routine.  Same goes for Mr. Yesteryear Acres. Poop patrol, doggie feeding, washing doggie buckets etc.  If I wrote, "hey I cleaned up poop" every time I did it, I could fill endless pages with puppy poop repetitive boredom. I clean a lot of poop! So I try to share a little insight into things other than puppy poop and share a bit of myself every day. My blogs immediately post on my blogger site.  The second I hit "publish" there they are.  Facebook used to have an import blog application and although it didn't fetch the blog every 2 hours like it was supposed to, it fetched my blog regularly enough that it kept my blogs fairly current.  In early September the wise people at facebook decided to eliminate the fetching of blogs.  Of course they didn't come out and say that - it was kind of like "WHERE IN THE HECK is the import blog button???"  Once they admitted they removed that ability, I have been working hard for a solution.  About 2 weeks ago, I added the Networked Blogs app and had it go fetch my blog.  It does it very reliably but the blogs don't appear in the newsfeed. I found that out today when a few people let me know they missed me.  I was thinking, "where did I go?"  I have still been writing every day. So I think I will try to manually post the link into my status along with the Networked Blog app and hopefully that will work.  My thankfulness for today???? Thank you to everyone who reads my blog. I am thankful that you like my writing. I am thankful that you tune in to see what is going on here at Yesteryear Acres. I am thankful for all the feedback. I am thankful for all the comments. I am thankful that my writing touches you, makes you laugh, makes you think, makes you appreciate and hug your family just a little more than you did the day before.  I am thankful to all my readers.  THANK YOU! Tune in tomorrow! You know I will be here!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

November Thankfulness - Day 19 - Weekends

Today I am thankful for the weekends.  Well actually more specifically - I am thankful for the days when my son is home.  We don't really have "weekends"  here at Yesteryear Acres.  Saturday brings the same amount of work that Tuesday does.  There is no Friday night celebration because the work week is over.  We have a 7 day work week, 52 weeks of the year.  The only way to tell that it is in fact "the weekend" is that my son is home from school.  I get to see his smiling face and hang out with him for 2 days straight.  Today Mr. Yesteryear Acres, my son, and I all had a lovely lunch together.  We got to chat about all kinds of things and it was nice just to have some time to sit and relax before getting back to work. I like Saturday nights because my son doesn't have homework looming over his head and we have time to catch up on a TV show from the week and enjoy some popcorn and ice cream for the night's festivities.  Sunday morning brings family breakfast. Tomorrow Mr. Yesteryear Acres is going all out with a full Sunday morning feast. He is making sausages, eggs, pancakes - the works. Pretty soon oranges will be in season and we will have fresh squeezed orange juice to go along with our Sunday feasting.  Nothing tastes better on Sunday morning than a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. It is one of my most favorite things in the entire world. Even though we work just as hard -if not harder - on the "weekends" we get to do the work all together and that makes the weekends the best part of each week. Weekends equal more family time.....and for that - I am ALWAYS thankful!!!!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

November Thankfulness - Day 18 - Love Nature

Today I took the time out of my day to go take a walk at the beautiful arboretum that is close to our home.  It has over 3,000 acres of lovely nature to enjoy.  I just love going there. It is so peaceful and so beautiful.  You can't help but be in awe when surrounded by nothing but trees and pastures and flowers, and rolling hills as far as your eye can see. It can really rejuvenate your very soul.  As I walked today, I didn't even wear my headphones. I usually have music playing as I do my exercise walk - but it was just so crisp and cool and blue and beautiful outside today, I decided just to soak it all in. I listened to the crunching of the leaves under my feet, watched the squirrels chase each other for the last of autumn's harvest and admired the difference in the landscape now that autumn is coming to a close.  The views were much different today as opposed to one month ago when all the trees were still full of leaves.  It felt a bit desolated as the trees were bare and there was not one single soul out walking today.  I did have to break out the winter coat and gloves but I am prepared to brave the cold air in exchange for breathing in a little bit of Nature's blessings. I am glad I did.  The walk was serene and peaceful and reminded me once again how thankful I am for the Nature that surrounds me.  I feel blessed to be among the trees and fields of green. It is a beautiful place to be.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

November Thankfulness - Day 17 - One Week to Go

Today I am thankful that there is just only one week left until Thanksgiving! One more week until my family is together. One more week until the feasting begins.  Mmmmmmm Turkey! Mmmmmm Pumpkin Pie! Mmmmmmm Stuffing! I love Thanksgiving!  I love Thanksgiving food.  I mean it is the BEST meal of the entire year.  I think it has to do with all the love that goes into the cooking.  Everyone preparing their favorite dishes.  Everyone looking forward to the gathering of family and friends.  Every single dish has so much love in it -how can it not taste heavenly?  I truly believe in the spirit of Thanksgiving. A day made solely for being thankful. We always go around the table and express what we are most thankful for and it always comes down to the same thing.  We are thankful for family.  We are thankful for love. We are thankful to be gathered together around the table sharing a meal prepared with love for those we love. It is my favorite holiday. I feel thankful every day and in just one more week - It will be THANKFUL THANKSGIVING DAY!!!!!  I can't wait!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

November Thankfulness - Day 16 - I am Dry!

Oh today marks a milestone in puppy housebreaking progress!  AND I am SO thankful!  Today I stood on my porch, where it was dry, and opened the door for the puppy and she went outside ALL by herself to go potty! YEA!  I didn't have to go out in the rain! I didn't have to walk through the wet grass.  I didn't have to sing the "Go Potty...Go Potty" song.  In just two short weeks, the little light bulb has gone on in my puppy's head and "let's go potty" has become a million times easier.  This is a very good thing to be thankful for. This is a very big step in the housebreaking happiness.  I honestly think the trip to Annapolis sped up the whole process.  When I was there I had to carry the puppy down 5 flights of stairs, all the while she was thinking, "I can't wait to get to the bottom so I can go potty". Once we finally made it outside, she had to pee immediately.  She hit the grass - and she was done.  The long anticipation of getting outside probably made her more cognizant of what was expected of her once we got to the grass. Who knew that a long road trip, a hotel room on the 5th floor, a long road trip back would actually accelerate the housebreaking process? This is a November Thankfulness that will last and last and last.  Tomorrow morning..... I am staying in my pajamas!  On the porch!  And I will be DRY! YES!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November Thankfulness - Day 15 - Handyman

Oh my did we have storms race through our town last night.  Tornado warnings, 2+ inches of rain in less than 30 minutes, winds, thunder, lightening.  It was a good one.  Our creek turned into rapids in minutes and our whole backyard looked like a swamp. The tornado sirens were all blaring and Mr. Yesteryear Acres got out all the emergency supplies, candles, flashlights, emergency radio, etc.  We are very efficient with our storm protocol.  We have it down to a science.  Just like clockwork - after about the 3rd lightening strike - we lost electricity.  I am fairly certain we are on some electric company circuit that is so sensitive that a tickle from a feather would cause a blackout. We always have to be prepared.  We had all the doggies in the basement with us and waited for the tornado warning to pass.  Eventually the electricity came back on and it was 12:30am by the time I headed up to bed. As soon as I got up to my bed, I asked Mr. Yesteryear Acres what the heck was all over my pillows. They were covered in white pieces of "dirt" and it was everywhere.  When I got closer, I realized it was in fact....plaster.....from the ceiling....on my VERY VERY WET pillows!  The roof was leaking, through the attic, all the way through the ceiling, all the way to my poor poor pillows. Now Mr. Yesteryear Acres was already in bed.  With 3 doggies. All snuggled up for the night. Did he notice the "drip, drip, drip" onto my pillows? No.  Did he notice that my pillows now weighed approximately 50lbs each from soaking up all the water? Nope.  Did he notice that the ceiling was still dripping water ON THE BED? Nope again.  sigh.  Who doesn't notice water pouring from the ceiling????  I dug out a huge bucket to catch the dripping water and got Mr. Yesteryear Acres to help move the bed so that we wouldn't end up swimming in the middle of the night.  Can anyone guess what the new repair project is?  Yep - Roof Repair. Today's thankfulness is that I am so thankful that I am married to a real life Handyman.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres can fix anything. I just wish his "fix-it" list wasn't quite so long!  Living in a house that was built in 1823 means that at any given time - something needs repaired and Mr. Yesteryear Acres is our handyman repairman. He is on call 24/7 and is the most dedicated, reliable, hardworking, loving handyman.  I am thankful to have him for all our many never ending projects. Speaking of which....time to get the big ladder out.. again. Thank you Mr. Yesteryear Acres!

Monday, November 14, 2011

November Thankfulness - Day 14 - A Baker's Dozen

Today I am so thankful for the 13 little beautiful puppies that were born to our sweet Juneau and Barkley. This is Juneau's very first litter and she did an AWESOME job! She was a little confused when the first puppy popped out.  She had a look on her face like "Where Did That Come From???" Once she started licking the little puppy clean and the puppy nestled up next to her - the next 12 puppies were a breeze.  She had it figured out completely and lined her little babies up one by one. We have TEN boys and three girls in red caramel, caramel and caramel cream coloring.  They are all plump and healthy little puppies.  That is THIRTEEN reasons to be thankful.....wait let's make it 14 reasons.  Juneau gets the biggest thanks of all!!!
Puppy Pile of Cuddles!

Little sweet babies

A little curly boy

A wavy coated little girl

Thank you Juneau!!!!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

November Thankfulness - Day 13 - sniff sniff

I said my goodbyes to my older daughter this morning and made the long drive back to Ohio. You would think after almost 4 years of visiting my daughter at the Naval Academy I would be able to do a simple goodbye without feeling so sad.  As always - I am a trooper when saying goodbye. I look cheery.  I smile a big smile.  I look quite happy.  I give her one last goodbye and talk about how we will see each other again before too long and climb into my car.  I slowly drive away, looking in the rear view mirror to give last minute waves goodbye and drive off.  Without fail - within 10 minutes of my leaving her, the tears run down my face.  I can't help it.  I hate saying goodbye.  I still feel like my daughters should live in my home and I should be able to see them every day and eat dinner with them every night and chat about all the things that happened during the day.  Emotionally - I feel like they should still be with me but logically - I wouldn't want them to be anyplace else.  sigh.  It is a battle that lies within my mom heart.  I know they miss me too so we are equally sad.  Our hearts are full of wishing we were together.  I thought about my sadness on my drive home and decided that for today - I will be thankful for the sadness in my heart. I am thankful for the sadness because I know, without a doubt, no one feels this much sadness in saying goodbye without having a heart full of love. A heart that has spent every moment being loved by my children and loving them back. I know that the in order to miss my daughters to this extent only means that I love them with equal intensity. And so I will embrace the sadness and be glad that I am lucky enough to be sad in missing my girls. My heart is filled with a great love.  Who can ask for anything more to be thankful for?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

November Thankfulness - Day 12 - 5 flights up

I am staying on the 5th floor of a hotel while visiting my daughter here in Annapolis. My daughter often says that the very hardest part about being at the Naval Academy is missing the doggies.   She can deal with missing her family because we can call and text and email but the doggies - there just is no substitute for a furry best friend snuggled in your lap.  On this trip I brought a puppy along so that my daughter could get some puppy snuggles.  I thought it was a great idea and so nice of me.  What I didn't think about was how much work it would be to bring the puppy.  First of course there was the puppy car sickness fun on the way here. I am very much looking forward to part 2 tomorrow when the puppy and I travel back home.  But that isn't the hard part.  The hard part isn't training the puppy or taking care of the puppy or watching the puppy.  The hard part is....I am on the 5th floor which means - every hour or so - I walk down 5 flights of stairs, take the puppy outside, do the "go potty, go potty...GOOD GIRL" routine, and then walk back up 5 flights of stairs.  Next hour - down 5 flights, "go potty" routine, up 5 flights. Next hour - repeat. I didn't know I signed up for the stairmaster program for the weekend! I know...I know...I could take the elevator but that means walking all the way down the hall, waiting for the slowest elevator in the world with a puppy that really really has to pee, and then being stopped by everyone in the lobby who wants to play with the cute puppy, and then walking all the way around back to the clean wooded area for the puppy to go pee.  If I take the stairs - I am down in a flash - I exit right by the wooded area - and I am back  I think I might be getting in shape at this point. I think I might be toned and awesome and all that. I think that is me telling myself a big lie because each flight of stairs only brings huffing and puffing and I am sure I am really not in shape despite my lengthy stairmaster routine. So today the thing I am most thankful for, the thing that brings me the greatest joy, the thing that is my Day 12 of Thankfulness is........ I am thankful I am not on the 6th floor!

Friday, November 11, 2011

November Thankfulness - Day 11/11/11

Happy Veteran's Day! Today's thankfulness moment was on my mind the moment I woke up.  Veteran's Day is a day to remember and show thanks to all our veterans. We thank them for their service, for their dedication, for their selflessness. We thank them for giving up so much of their lives, their wants, their needs so that we can enjoy our freedom and liberties. My older daughter was given the day off from the Naval Academy today and I am sharing the day with her.  To say that I am thankful for the day is an understatement. I don't get many days during the year to spend with her and to spend Veteran's Day with her is even more special. I am thankful for this. I am thankful for the Veterans. I am thankful.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November Thankfulness - Day 10 - Bath in a Bottle

Today I spent ALL day in the car. ALL day.  With puppies.  All alone.  I loaded up the puppy mobile early this morning and hit the road.  I had puppies to deliver and I decided to bring the puppy I am housebreaking along with me for company.  The puppies that were being delivered were SO good.  They didn't cry.  They didn't pee in the car.  They played happily together and were good little puppies.  Blossom (my little puppy) however decided that she would be a great representative of just how fun a car sick doggie is to travel with. I knew we were going to be in trouble about 20 minutes into the trip.  I was all set up with the waterproof pads and paper towels but the drool started flowing freely before I even got to the interstate and even the paper towels couldn't stop that.  Our first episode of throwing up happened right as I was cruising along Interstate 70.  Trucks were on either side of me and up came the first pile.  (Notice how I said "first".....there is more to come).  I felt very proud of myself for being prepared with the waterproof pad. I even thought, "YAY! It all landed on the waterproof pad!"  As I was driving, keeping in the lines, keeping my eyes on the road - I started carefully rolling up the waterproof pad making sure not to drip anything on the car seats.  I am still of course thinking that I am awesome.  Once I got the waterproof pad rolled up and stored on the floor on the passenger side......yes.....up came pile #2.  This time no thoughts of awesomeness came to my mind.  In fact as the trip progressed the only thought I had was, "HOW can there by anything left to throw up?!"  So I am sure you are wondering WHAT am I thankful for today?  Well it is a very easy thankful thought! I am thankful for "Miracle Groom".  This is a wonderful spray in a bottle that is a waterless bath.  It was a MIRACLE indeed today!  After each lovely "present" Blossom left for me - I cleaned her up with Miracle Groom and she was as clean and lovely smelling as when we left the house.  It really saved me today! Whoever thought of putting a puppy bath in a portable spritz bottle is a genius! I am VERY thankful!!!!!  And don't worry - Blossom is feeling quite fine now and we arrived safely!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November Thankfulness - Day 9 - Garden Goodness

Tonight we had our very last fresh meal from our garden for the year. Mr. Yesteryear Acres picked the last of the fresh leeks and carrots from the garden and I made a cream of leek and potato soup for dinner with garlic croutons that I made from scratch.  It was DELICIOUS.  I even took the time to grate all the potatoes so that each bite would be filled with potato yumminess.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres had several bowls. It was that good.  Our garden is now officially empty.  We are sad to see the end of the garden season but happy with all the garden goodness we have ready for the winter months.  We work really hard all summer long to preserve our veggies from the garden.  Our usual summer haul is
110 Quarts of Fresh Tomatoes
65 pints of sweet corn
55 quart bags of green beans
26 pints of Salsa
12 gallons of beets
6 gallons of peaches
26 pints of strawberry jam
6 gallons of vegetable soup
and 8-10 gallons of roasted vegetables
It takes a TON of work to get all of those vegetables picked, prepared and processed.  Sometimes I spend 10 hours a day just peeling tomatoes.  If you saw our trailer full of fresh picked sweet corn in need of husking, cooking and cutting the corn from the cobs - you might be tempted to run away.  The only thing that keeps us going is knowing just how good all the garden goodness will taste during the winter months.  And so we do it.  It is never fun but the rewards are just so darn tasty it is worth it.  Today's Thankfulness is dedicated to enjoying all our summer's wonderful bounty. I am so thankful for our garden's delicious vegetables. I am thankful we put in the hard work. I am thankful that the garden was so good to us.  And I am especially thankful that the garden work is done and all that is left to do is...... enjoy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

November Thankfulness - Day 8 - Voting Doodle Doggie

Election Day. Sometimes a day that feels like you have the inconvenience of squeezing just one more thing into an already full day.  Other times a day that feels like getting out and driving to the election poles and getting wet/cold/tired/ might not be worth it.... but it is.  It really is.  Having a voice is something every American should treasure.  We have the right to be heard.  We have the right to vote.  We have a say in who runs our country, what laws need amended and what policies should be enacted. This is a treasured right and so for today's thankfulness- I am thankful for the right to vote.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I went to the poles together.  We brought one of our cute little doodles along to help us in the voting process.  While Mr. Yesteryear Acres went inside and voted, I stayed outside and our little doodle was the official greeter and welcomer to all that voted.  It was a nice socialization interaction for our doodle doggie and put a lot of smiles on the voters' faces.  This was the first time for our doodle to meet people using canes and she was a bit curious at first but then realized it was nothing to be concerned with and greeted everyone with equal enthusiasm.  We got to say "hi" to some senior citizens and kept some younger citizens company.  When it was my turn to vote, Mr. Yesteryear Acres took over and he did the same.  In the end we got 3 "I Voted Today" stickers.  One for me.  One for Mr. Yesteryear Acres. One for our very proud to be an American, Thankful for the right to vote, Doodle Doggie! She is proudly wearing her sticker on her collar.  Way to go Voting Doodle Doggie!

Monday, November 7, 2011

November Thankfulness - Day 7 - The little things

Today's thankfulness is all about the little things. Not every day is a magnificently special unbelievable WOW day.  Most days are just normal days.  Nothing especially interesting. Nothing especially dreadful.  Just a run of the mill normal day. You might not even think to give thanks on these days. Nothing really sticks in your mind as being memorable and before you know it, the whole day is gone just like that.  The thing is - if you look for things to be thankful for - then even your run of the mill normal days will provide you with plenty of gratefulness.  Today was one of those busy days full of nonstop work but here are a few of the little things that made me smile.  I love getting texts from my 2 daughters that just say "Hi Mommy" or "I love you"  I get one just about every day.  That always puts a smile on my face.  I got my mountain of laundry COMPLETELY folded - so again - another reason to smile.  I trimmed all the puppy toes today and was thankful that I had cute little puppy nails to trim.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I had lunch together today and I was thankful to share a few minutes with him.  This evening when I was outside at dusk, the bright moon was rising in the sky and the silhouette was really beautiful.  As I was admiring the moon, a bluebird flew right in front of me and sat in the limb of the tree.  I took a moment to just stop and breathe and take in the beautiful scenery that surrounded me.  I am always so thankful for the beauty in nature. I guess the thing I am most thankful for today - is that I never forget to give thanks.  I think a grateful life is a happy life. Here's to all the little smiles that add up to one happy day.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

November Thankfulness - Day 6 - Red Beauty

Today as I was walking my dog the hill behind our house was literally aglow with the setting sun.  It almost looked like the hillside was on fire. Every leaf was illuminated with the colors of the setting sun.  The reds were particularly brilliant. I then started thinking about how beautiful the color red is in nature.  My favorite trees in autumn are the magnificent red ones.  Some trees are just so red they take your breath away.  I have a big tree out back that has the most beautiful red leaves and this afternoon my dog and I walked on a carpet of red leaves.  I took time to admire each one.  I thought about my favorite sunrises and sunsets - they are always the ones with the deepest reds.  A red cardinal in winter is a lovely sight. A big red harvest moon can make me stop everything I am doing just to take in the breathtaking view. There is no sweeter sight in June than red strawberries ripening on the vine.  How about the first red tomato of the summer? My mouth starts watering as soon as I set my eyes upon the precious prize of summertime. Red roses, red hearts of love, red flames of a campfire warming the night - all bring smiles right to my soul.  Today I am thankful for the color red. It may seem like a simple thing to be thankful for - but just think how much beauty that one color brings to our lives.  Red - the color of love - thank you.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

November Thankfulness - Day 5 - Laundry Mountain

So far today I have washed 3,652 loads of laundry.  I have at least 812 loads left to wash. Okay, okay - that might be a SLIGHT exaggeration but I am not kidding when I say I am doing wash load after wash load after wash load.  Why you ask? There is a slight chance that my ever so dear 15 year old son forgot what dresser drawers are.  There is also a chance that his clothes were scattered over the entire surface area of his room.  And in that same vein, there is an additional chance that no one, not even the greatest mastermind of all time, could decipher which of those heaps of clothing were in fact clean and which of those heaps of clothes were dirty.  I can tell you that to do a "sniff" test to see which clothes were clean only resulted in immediate gagging and near fainting from the toxic fumes. The only recourse - wash everything.  And so - I am stuck for the entire weekend washing clothes.  I have to hold my breath, reach into the bags holding the dirty clothes, shove them in the washer as quickly as I can, pour in the laundry soap and then gasp for air before I pass out.  I then select the ultimate wash where the load is sanitized and it takes approximately 2 hours before the washer determines it has indeed rid itself of the putrid stench. Then of course the clothes go into the dryer where the lint catcher is forced to extract all the Labrador retriever dog hair clumps from the clothing.  I think I could make a sweater just from my lint collection.  I also am amazed/concerned/bewildered/shocked at all the very TINY clothes that are coming from my son's room. I don't believe he has been a boy's size 8-10 for quite some time but I have witnessed a number of small tiny shirts thrown into the wash. Hmmmmm. Could it be that this enormous project was long overdue????? By the end of the weekend my hope is that all the clothes are clean. All the small clothes are ready to be donated to a boy that is not 6'3" and clearly too tall for those sizes. And finally, all the clean clothes not only make it upstairs to this certain tall boy's room BUT also make it INSIDE the drawers. A mom can dream can't she??? So in all my washings and foldings and sortings and breath holding - my November Thankfulness for today is - Washing Machines! Thank goodness I have a nice big washer that can wash and sanitize all those clothes!  Thank goodness I can get other work done at home while my washing machine does all the hard work.  And thank goodness the clothes smell SO much better now!!!!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

November Thankfulness - Day 4 - OH you mean WHERE I go!

For all of you that have had the extreme joy of housebreaking a puppy, take solace in the fact that I have done it many, many, many, many, many, many, (did I mention many?) times.  I am in the process of housebreaking a puppy right now. Yes, I do get up from my chair a gazillion times. Yes, I have faced frustrations and setbacks just like everyone else. And yes, there IS a light at the end of the tunnel.  The biggest obstacle in housebreaking a puppy is realizing - that it IS just a little puppy.  They have limitations. Their brains aren't so far developed that they can instinctively read human thoughts. Even though clearly YOU are standing out in the drizzly rain, with frost forming on your toes, and shivering because you ran out in only a robe and slippers - the puppy isn't thinking about you.  The puppy might not even be thinking about going potty.  The puppy might be thinking - "What does THAT leaf taste like?" or "OH WOW! Did you see that butterfly??"  As much as you want the puppy to ONLY be thinking about going potty - it just doesn't work that way.  First of all it takes a while for the puppy to make the connection between peeing and receiving praise. In the beginning, the puppy has no idea that the act of peeing causes the human to be so darn happy.  It takes a while before the puppy can connect - peeing = joy.  Then we move onto the next step. Picture this - YOU are a puppy.  You just peed outside.  For some reason your human is jumping up and down for joy because you peed.  You don't know why.  You had to pee - so you peed.  Why is this a cause for celebration?  How can peeing cause that much excitement? Now picture the next are still the puppy....and you pee inside the house.  Now the human is MAD!  The human is fuming and yelling and running around with towels and spray!  Perhaps the human lost her mind!  One second the human is joyful over pee.  The next second the human is mad about pee.  Don't you wish that human could make up her mind????  And why is she scrubbing away all that delightful pee smell?  How is that productive?  Pee smells wonderful.  Clearly - the human is crazy.  This routine continues until one day, a little light goes off in the puppy brain. The puppy has an AHA! moment!  AHA!  It is not THAT I pee that causes is WHERE I pee!!!!!! Well why didn't you say so in the first place?????? My November Thankfulness for Day 4 is for the AHA moment.  I give thanks for when a puppy looks at you after it pees outside and has the proudest look on its face and it is just waiting for the preponderance of praise.  You can see it.  The puppy is clearly saying - I just peed OUTSIDE and that makes you happy. What a good little puppy!!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

November Thankfulness - Day 3 ....Slide Show Happiness

I have my new computer working fairly well now.  I can do almost everything I need to do with only a few minor adjustment here and there.  Every now and then I open a document that says I am NOT the owner and I do NOT have permission but I am pretty quick at fixing it so I think I am on my way to having the new computer function as my main one. Right beside me is my good ole laptop.  It is still hanging in there although I rarely use it now.  I don't have the heart to close the lid and turn it off because my screen saver is a slide show of every single picture I have stored on my computer.  Since I am not using my laptop, I get a continual slide show of goodness that never needs interrupted.  As I work on my new computer, I can look right next to it and see my lovely photos.  It goes something like this - puppy, puppy, puppy, dog, child, puppy, puppy, puppy, dog, Mr. Yesteryear Acres, puppy, puppy, puppy, dog, me. You can tell I have a zillion puppy pictures on there! I am SO enjoying all my pictures!!!!  I normally don't have time to look at them. The second I sit down to work at my computer, I wiggle my mouse and alas, my pictures are gone.  Now I can watch my pictures click by as I work all day long.  I LOVE it and today's thankfulness is all about my slide show happiness.  I have been able to go down memory lane AND get my work done.  It is perfect!  I am very thankful to have taken so many great pictures. I love seeing how little my kids once were. I love seeing how much they have grown. I love watching smile after smile after smile of happy memories flash on my screen.  It is a constant show of love, happiness and good times.  Who doesn't love that???  I don't know if I will ever be able to turn off my laptop now!  It has been far more entertaining than I ever imagined.
Here are a few that made me smile today
We have been raising puppies a long time!
I can't believe how little my kids are in this picture.
This was back in the day where the best toy in the whole wide world was a big cardboard box.
Unbelievably - this is the last picture we have of all 5 of us together.  I think it is time for a new family photo!
The day my daughter was inducted at the United States Naval Academy. My son still wears that hat almost every single day.  It no longer looks anything like it did in this picture!
Oh remember when he was sooooo little??  I could just hug him and stand over him and be taller than him????
He hasn't changed at all.
Either have we!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

November Thankfulness

Egad!  Yesterday was November First!!!!  The month of Thanksgiving!  The month of Thankfulness! My day was so hard yesterday that I totally forgot to start my month of things I am things I am thankful for.  November is such a special month that every single day should be devoted to giving thanks.  Thanksgiving Day just isn't long enough to put all that goodness into one short day.  We need to spread the gratefulness throughout the whole month! A friend of mine and I have been doing this for years.  It really makes November even MORE special!
SO - yesterday - even with all the sadness - I still had many things to be grateful for.  I think the thing I am most grateful for yesterday is puppy hugs and puppy love.  Nothing heals a heart faster than a puppy all snuggled up in your lap.  Puppies just love you.  They love you when you are happy and they love you when you are sad.  I think they might give you even MORE love and snuggles when you are sad.  I know my little doggies and puppies and big doggies gave me lots of extra love yesterday.  I really needed it and was so grateful to have them in my life. November 1st Day of Thankfulness - PUPPY LOVE!
November 2 - Day of Thankfulness - today I am glad to get some much needed housework done.  My kitchen has kind of looked as though a Bakery, a Garden and a Zoo all exploded inside.  It has needed some TLC and I have been so busy, I just haven't gotten it done.  I had clean dishes piled up. Unopened mail. Spilled flour that kind of dusted my carpet along with garden tools, cauliflower tidbits and maybe....just maybe a dog biscuit or two. Today I made it my mission to tackle the kitchen! I made great progress too!  I am grateful to have my clean kitchen back!  Spice rack - all clean! Every jar of spice that I own - all clean! Bookcase - clean! Oven - clean!  Stainless steel fronts on appliances - clean! Oh happy me!  Now what do you think I will do in my very clean, very perfect, very lovely kitchen?????  Make homemade spaghetti and meatballs of course! Oh well - I am sure my kitchen will look delightful in red!!!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tears and Sadness

Watching those you love consumed with grief is one of the hardest things in life. Our dear sweet neighbor's funeral was one of those heartbreaking moments of pure and utter sadness.  I know I will never forget the image of Larry draped over his wife's coffin saying his final goodbyes. Larry and Joanne were the kind of couple that did everything together.  Every errand, every doctor visit, every lunch outing.  They have been married for 53 years and they were always together. Every time we see them they are smiling. I don't think there has ever been a day that I have seen Larry without a smile.  He is a genuinely happy content and grateful human being. You could see how much Larry could hardly bear to say goodbye to his beloved wife.  We all left the room for a little while so he could say his last goodbye in peace. Larry had a lot of hugs for us today - and a lot of tears.  I felt his pain right to my very soul. I have never seen Larry cry - I was reduced to pure and complete sorrow.  When we arrived home from the funeral  - more sadness followed.  Our sweet chocolate labradoodle Fergie accidentally smothered one of her puppies while we were gone.  We found the puppy lying underneath her. I guess maybe Joanne needed a puppy friend in heaven today. Later this afternoon after I was able to pull myself together - I went over to Larry's house to visit with his youngest granddaughter. She was all alone sitting outside in the grass. She had the hardest time today saying goodbye to her grandma.  I brought a puppy with me and we played outside together. We were both able to smile and laugh at the cute puppy antics and for a little while, our hearts healed just a little bit. I let her soak in all the puppy hugs she wanted and the puppy gladly obliged.  I think the puppy knew she needed a lot of extra snuggling. Now that I am back home, I think I will do the same.  Puppy hugs are needed all around.