Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Worse...but... Better

The excavation project began today as scheduled.  I know you must think I am exaggerating by calling it an excavation project but trust me - the room renovation task is that arduous.  It is really overwhelming which is why we kept putting it off and putting it off.  This morning I told Mr. Yesteryear Acres I was starting the project. He balked and protested and said he would get to it and I put my foot down and said WE ARE STARTING TODAY. My son was the only optimistic member of the family and could see how we start the project and make some progress.  He actually was the first one to dig in. Right now the room looks a million times worse....but better.  We made a lot of improvement!  Once my son and I started working, Mr. Yesteryear Acres gave in and he started helping and then my daughter pitched in as well. With all four of us dedicated to getting this project on the way - it really went much more quickly than any of us imagined. We have things in piles all over the room and it looks like a disaster area BUT it is an organized disaster area.  I even have the new makings of a work area! I have my computer set up near the window and can see out to our backyard which is SO nice. I have a beautiful hillside to brighten my work days. I am so excited to finally get this project going. It was long overdue and the end result will be SO worth it! Part II....tomorrow!

Monday, July 30, 2012

It's Like Starting the Excavation Project

This morning I was ready for the excavation project.  I woke up ready to go! Let's start.  Let's get this thing going.  Let's get after this! Then.......I had to take new puppy pictures for the website.  Then I had to look through all 300+ pictures and marvel at how cute our puppies are. Then I had to upload all the new puppy pictures on the website.  Then I had to publish the website. Then it was lunch time and I was super hungry so obviously I had to eat lunch. Then I had to wait for my daughter to get home because how could I ever start the excavation project without her kind assistance? Come to think of it - I believe I shall put ALL the blame on my daughter because she wasn't ready for the excavation first thing this morning so clearly my lack of getting started is her fault. When the afternoon rolled around - was it my fault that the peaches were ready to be picked?  I mean..... peaches vs. excavation........Peaches Win!  You can't deny big softball size peaches just ripe for the picking! My daughter came home just in time to help me pick peaches.  We ended up picking a bushel and a half of Red Haven peaches, plus a bushel of Paula Red apples AND a peck of tomatoes.  That is like starting the excavation project but SO much better!  We ended up peeling and slicing 5 quarts of peaches for canning, prepared a delightful peach salad to go with dinner AND a made huge peach crumble crisp for dessert. The crisp is baking as I type and the house smells sooooo good!  I am sure when Mr. Yesteryear Acres comes in from the garden he will say we chose well. For dinner we have fresh baked tomatoes over pappardelle pasta. Yes it is like starting the excavation project......there is NO procrastination happening here!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Quilt of Memories

My younger daughter and I finally finished the big quilt project we started this summer! I made a quilt like this for my older daughter when she left for the Naval Academy.  She was no longer allowed to wear civilian clothes and had to leave behind all her favorite T-shirts.  I thought, "why don't we turn all your favorite T-shirts into a big quilt!"  That way she could bring all her favorite shirts with her and not have to say goodbye to everything that reminded her of home.  The quilt turned out beautifully and it is still one of my older daughter's most favorite possessions.  She brings it everywhere and loves it dearly. My younger daughter decided she wanted a T-shirt quilt for her dorm room at college so this summer we started making her quilt. Last night we finished the last of tufting all the layers and it is now officially finished! Now that is one big "To-Do" happily crossed off my list. I am so glad we got it done and we had fun doing it together.
All the pieces blocked out for the front of Quilt 
Sewing the blocks together

We took turns sewing strips and by the end, my daughter was pretty quick at assembling the pieces 
Front side done!

Ready for the batting
Pieces blocked for the back of Quilt 
Ta Da!  All finished!

Ready for her Dorm Room.  Now it will feel like home!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I mean it

This weekend I am going to take care of all the little things on my "To-Do" list and then come Monday morning, I WILL START MY LAST BIG PROJECT.  I mean it. August is knocking on my door and I will not procrastinate any longer. I will wake up with the birds. I will put on my serious housecleaning attire. I will arm myself with garbage bags, donation boxes, vacuum cleaner and all the essentials to tackle the last excavation project.  The longer I put this off, the worse the room becomes.  It is now the "Oh just throw it in there" room for EVERYTHING that doesn't have a proper place.  I believe that once I start - I may never emerge again! It really is that monumental of a project. It has been kind of a disaster area for a couple of years and I MEAN IT - it will be done.  Monday morning.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres has been coming up with all sorts of things to distract me from starting this project.  He is actually the biggest transgressor of "Oh just throw it in there" and he is living in fear that I may actually get RID of non-working things and mementos from the 70's. Mr. Yesteryear Acres insists that HE will clean the room but we all know that will NEVER happen so I am going to do it. Mr. Yesteryear Acres....say goodbye to your 8-Track tapes! I mean it!

Friday, July 27, 2012

We Got Rain!

It actually rained here yesterday! Real rain!  We got 4/10th of an inch! The doomsday predicted repeat of June's torrential storm path didn't come true but we did get one huge thunderstorm to roll through here.  When June's storm hit we really had no idea something that big was coming. It caught everyone off guard. This time the news media had us well prepared and since we were expecting the worst - we got a regular good ole thunderstorm.  We were treated to quite the lightning show and other than a few branches here and there - we made it through unscathed.  Around 2,000 people in our area lost power and all but 500 have had their power restored so it looks like all is well.  The garden already looks happier! I think the crunchy grass is happier too.  This afternoon we saw 3 baby fawns nibbling on some grass on the hillside so they are happy too. This was definitely one welcome thunderstorm. We may just get tomatoes this summer! Yea for the rain!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Here We Go Again

We were under an extreme heat warning all day today with heat indexes well above 105*.  All day we have been warned of the torrential storms headed our way.  Given that our memory of having NO electric for over a week is still painfully fresh in our minds, we have spent the day preparing for the worst. Emergency supplies are all ready, extra water ready, dishes all done, all laundry caught up etc.  We have been running around like crazy preparing for today's storms.  As I write this blog, the skies have darkened, the winds have picked up and it looks like we are in for a good one.  Batten down the hatches!  Thar she BLOWS!  Let's hope things aren't as bad as the last time and I will happily be writing my blog tomorrow from the comfort of my home, lights on, refrigerator humming nicely and all will be well.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Things I am Not Thinking About

Today I am not thinking about the fact I miss my son.  He has been gone for over a week on a special trip with his grandpa. I haven't heard from him as there is no cell service where they are and I am definitely not thinking about how much I miss him.  Not at all. Not in the slightest. I am also not thinking about my daughter. I am not thinking how empty the house seems without her here. I am not thinking about how she makes me laugh or how much I miss her. I am not thinking about the heat advisory at Quantico nor am I thinking about what she might be doing this week.  I haven't given it a second's thought. Not at all.  While I am busy not thinking about missing my son and missing my daughter, I am also not thinking about the fact I need to start exercising again. I am not thinking about the fact my neck is still bothering me so that I haven't started back into my exercise routine. I am not thinking how I wish my neck were better. Since I am clearly not thinking about my neck - I obviously am not thinking about how I have NOT started the last room excavation that needs to be done.  I am not thinking about how quickly summer is flying by and I am not thinking about how desperately I need to do that room before my younger daughter goes back to college.  I am not thinking about her leaving for college of course - I am not thinking about many things today.  Mostly I am not thinking about how I am not procrastinating by writing my not thinking blog. Clearly I am the best at not thinking about things. I am just that good.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cute New Babies

We have adorable new doodle babies here at Yesteryear Acres.
Our sweet Goldendoodle Eloise had 11 new Double Doodle Babies.
We have 5 girls and 6 boys and they range in color from light cream to deep dark apricot. 
Here are the 6 Boys all snuggled together.

Awwwwww sweet little new babies to love!

Olive's Chocolate and Caramel babies are getting bigger.  Their eyes and ears are now open so the world is a lot more interesting to them.

2 Little Caramel Brothers

An Armful of Puppy Love!
Enjoy your Tuesday!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sandwich Saves the Day

For all of those worried about poor Mr. Yesteryear Acres and our leaving him ALL alone ALL day yesterday, with all that work and no company and no dinner, please don't fear. My younger daughter saved the day.  Of course the situation was never really dire but nonetheless - her sandwich saved the day. She concocted a most brilliant sandwich that put a big smile on Mr. Yesteryear Acres face the moment he took his first bite. It was so good in fact - we repeated it again today for lunch.  Her masterpiece?
A fresh croissant topped with melted double creme brie, sliced grapes, lettuce and spiral sliced ham.
I have to say - it was delicious.  All morning long Mr. Yesteryear Acres couldn't wait for lunch so he could have it again.  He happily whistled while he worked and lunch was once again a huge success.  Ahhhh the power of a good sandwich.    Mr. Yesteryear Acres LOVES to have his lunch made for him. It just makes his day. He is eagerly anticipating tomorrow's lunch as my daughter is already thinking of her next masterpiece.  She is convinced she can top today's success and surprise surprise -  Mr. Yesteryear Acres is willing to taste all the sandwich concoctions she can come up with. Such sacrifice. He really has it rough!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Many Hours and One Full SUV Later

My daughter and I left the house this morning at 10am to go do ALL her college shopping.  I had a goal in mind of about 3 hours for this particular adventure.  3 hours of shopping and we would be done, finished, finito! Boy was I wrong.
The first mistake was thinking we could tackle Walmart quickly.  Evidently - that just can't be done. We were there forever and the lines to check out were ridiculously long.  Then it was off to warehouse clubs, home improvement stores, stores and more stores.  The good news is that WE ARE ALL DONE! YEA!  The bad news is that we have to empty the car. BOO!  The SUV is loaded.  I mean once I am already out shopping for the day, I might as well get EVERYTHING that is on our list. LED light bulbs, milk, oven mitts, shower curtain liners, Duct Tape, sugar for my coffee, etc. - yes I got everything on our list as well.  Despite the fact it took all day - we did a great job.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres did not look all that happy when we returned this evening. Mr. Yesteryear Acres did not look like he thought we did a great job. Mr. Yesteryear Acres did not run out to greet us full of joy and happiness, bouncing with overflowing gladness at our return. I may have told him I thought we would be back around 2pm. We may have returned at 6:00pm. We may have spent a lot of money. We may have left him with all the farm chores and all the watering and all the cleaning to do all by himself. We also may have forgotten to pick up dinner.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres....why so grumpy?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

One month left

Exactly one month from today - all the kids will be back in school. Sigh. I was never the kind of mom that was eager for summer to be over. I know some moms who are so excited when the kids go back to school but it always makes me sad. I hate the end of summer because then it is back to homework and sporting events and homework and bedtime and homework. Did I mention homework? Oh how I love the never-ending, "Did you get your homework done yet?!?" conversation each and every day. I am already dreading the thousand pieces of paperwork that will come home on the first day, all asking basically the same information over and over and over again. I mean don't they have this stuff computerized by now?  I would love it if they just sent home paperwork that asked if there were any changes since last year. If the answer is no - VOILA! DONE!  That would be awesome.  I know that is just a dream that will never come true - but hey - everyone should have dreams! For now I better start dreaming on how to spend our last month of summer.  We haven't had time to do anything fun yet so I want to be sure to save a couple of days for doing something purely recreational. Mr. Yesteryear Acres has barely had time to get his fishing pole out.  The pond is definitely lonely! I also have one big cleaning project left to tackle so that has to be at the top of the list. Tomorrow I am taking my younger daughter shopping for college supplies. Yes. Reality set in.  One month left of summer.  GO!

Friday, July 20, 2012

New definition to Bird Watching

I really love birds.  I love to watch them at the feeders. I like to have them flutter around on my walks.  I love all the different colors and songs.  Birds are awesome. Lately however, I have been on BIRD WATCH.  Serious bird watch!  We have a Mommy Hawk with three rather large "baby" hawks right in our backyard.  They have really had a growth spurt lately and it appears that this week is "Let's Teach my Babies to Hunt" week.  Oh that mommy hawk is determined.  She is scouring the area for easy prey for her sweet "little" babies.  I now have to let the doggies out while waving my arms and making screeching "Get out of here" sounds so she doesn't confuse some of our smaller doggies for fast food.  My younger daughter has a doggie that is only 4lbs and that Mommy Hawk looks at our sweet little Penny doggie as if she were a snack.  You can just see the smile on her face that says, "HAPPY MEAL 12:00!" We now have to be quite vigilant when we let the doggies out.  Our normal "Let Dog In" and "Let Dog Out" schedule has become "Let Dog In" and "Let Dog out....NOT UP!" Dear Mommy Hawk, I know your babies are so adorable and so loved but please do not let them eat our Penny doggie.  She is not on the menu.  Thank you.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

What is this? The TODDLER section?

Today my daughter and I decided to get a little more serious about our commitment to physical fitness. We started the summer off GREAT.  We were walking and exercising and we had really made awesome progress.  Then the heat wave struck. And then we lost electricity. And then we were miserable, and the house was hot, and there were no showers, and there were no fans, and there was no cold water or ice cubes or anything refreshing. We lost our forward momentum and all exercise ceased.  It was just too much to put on our plate.  Now that we are back in the land of working showers and cool fans - it is time to get back into action. We went to go treat ourselves to a new exercise workout outfit. There was a huge sale at our favorite store so how could we say no?  Once we got there - OH MY.  SO many choices!  So many awesome colors and awesome styles!  Every single outfit looked AMAZING on the hanger!
"How about this one?" 
"OH I LOVE IT! What size is it?" 
Size.......EXTRA SMALL.  How about this one?  Size...EXTRA SMALL.  EVERY SINGLE TIME I found something I liked it was SIZE EXTRA SMALL!  What is this?  The TODDLER section??!!!  Honestly.  They weren't real size extra smalls either.  They were the size extra smalls that super super super super skinny super models would wear. Super skinny super models that are 5'0 tall and weigh 90lbs soaking wet! Grrrr.  OF COURSE everything looked adorable. THEY WERE ALL TODDLER exercise outfits.  I know, I know - I suppose if you exercise REGULARLY - you would be able to WEAR Extra SMALL exercise outfits. Clearly, I am not an extra small.  I am not even a small.
"Where are the clothes for REAL PEOPLE?"
"Those sizes aren't included in the awesome sale. They are full price."
OH I SEE.  Only super super super super super skinny super models who clearly do NOT need cute exercise outfits get the sale price. sigh.  Maybe it is easier to just say no to ice cream...................NAH!  Who needs a cute outfit to walk in anyway?!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Rain Dance

We are living under some kind of Sci-Fi type dome where NO rain makes it to the ground. We can watch the radar screen full of BIG DARK GREEN and YELLOW warnings of torrential rain absolutely vanish the second it hits our area. Our friends less than one mile away got an entire inch of rain the other day and we got nothing. Everything is so dried up around here.  The grass is yellow and crunchy.  The creek is so dry it is nothing but dust.  We have to fill up the horse trough several time a day as the horses just drain it dry.  Watering our huge garden takes HOURS.  We have over 100 tomato plants and each plant needs a good 1/2 bucket full of water. Our corn is so short - I believe it will qualify for the Guinness Book of World Records, "Shortest Corn EVER".   It is a never ending process to try to beat this drought.  Yesterday my daughter and I did the rain dance all day.  We asked Mother Nature to PLEASE send us some rain.  Rain. Rain. Rain. Rain.  We have so much extra work with all the watering. Most of our day is devoted to watering and re-watering. We will be lucky if we can harvest actual vegetables out of our garden rather than harvesting dehydrated produce!  Right now it looks like we are making the fixings for dehydrated soup mix! It was just about time for the second round of watering last night....when the skies darkened!  The thunder began rumbling!  The rumbling got louder!  My daughter and I cheered! We ran outside. COME ON RAIN!  COME ON!  All of the sudden, we felt a drop on our head! YES! RAIN!  Then two more GIGANTIC drops fell from the sky! YES RAIN! YES!  And then....it was all over.  Four drops.  That was it.  When Mr. Yesteryear Acres came in, I complained that our rain dance didn't work.  He informed me that it worked perfectly.  I asked for rain.  I got rain.  The fault lies in the fact I neglected to specify just HOW MUCH rain I wanted.  I see.  Okay.  Today during my rain dance - I am specifying how much rain.  I would like enough rain so that nothing floods yet, the creeks are full, the grass has enough moisture to gain just a little bit of green coloring, the garden is fully saturated and the outside is cooled enough so that it doesn't mimic the temperature of the sun.  Is that asking too much?  Maybe I should set my rain expectation a little lower.  Perhaps I should start with 6 drops of rain. Okay. COME ON SIX DROPS OF RAIN!  YOU CAN DO IT!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

You have a SPARE!

Mr. Yesteryear Acres took our daughter to the Doctor today to get her stitches taken out. She had a SURPRISE surgery about 10 days ago and today was the appointment for the removal of the stitches. That was supposed to be my job but my neck is still so sore I didn't think I could do the 2 hour round trip drive to the Doctor's office.  My daughter was really good about it - but we all know - she wanted her Mommy to take her to the doctor.  She was nervous about having her stitches removed and Mommies say things like, "It will be okay" and "It will be over before you know it".  Mr. Yesteryear Acres says things like, "I hope you don't bleed all over your nice shirt".  Yes.  Good ole Mr. Yesteryear Acres.  One time Mr. Yesteryear Acres was in the kitchen cooking and hot oil sprayed out of the hot pan and hit my daughter in the eye.  She of course was in serious pain as she had burning oil IN her eye.  I ran to get ice and all of that while Mr. Yesteryear Acres continued cooking.  Later that evening as my daughter was trying to get sympathy for her hurt eye, Mr. Yesteryear Acres said she knew she was fine.....after all......she has a spare! Isn't he so sweet?  He is just so mushy with all that attention isn't he?  The good news is that my daughter survived all the love and comfort provided by Mr. Yesteryear Acres and came away from her appointment just fine.  The stitches are out, the biopsy was negative AND even better.... she did not bleed all over her nice shirt.  Thank goodness!

Monday, July 16, 2012

ACK! I can't turn my head!

I woke up this morning at 5 am with one overwhelming thought, "ACK! I can't turn my head!" Ugh.  Somehow in the middle of the night my neck went out and now I am in severe pain. I can't look left. I can't look right. I can't look up. I can't look down. I am walking around with a pained look on my face and have to turn my entire body just to see something.  The pain goes all the way down my arm so that even my elbow is in pain. Ugh.  I am fairly certain I didn't do any rock climbing whilst sleeping so why this happened to me is just a mystery.  I have lists of things to do!  I have things that need to be done! I can't lift a glass of water to my lips! ACK! Looks like it is time for a heating pad and Advil. Sigh. I guess I won't be much help today.  Hopefully it will get better soon!! I have my "To-Do" list on the calendar...in INK! I double checked and there is not one single day that says, "Lie around in severe pain unable to move head"  It looks like leftovers will be on the menu for dinner.  Thankfully we have a refrigerator full of good ones! Dear neck..... GET BETTER FAST!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Time to Get Busy

Now that the puppies have all gone to their new homes, it is time......for another project!!! You can imagine all the cheers and HURRAYs that could be heard here. My younger daughter said, "WHAT!!!????"  Yep. I am that mean.  We have one more room to tackle this summer.  One more "disaster area" that desperately needs our attention.  It is going to take at least one week of solid work to whip it into shape. It is really a mess.  It has kind of been the room where if you didn't know where to put something - it went there. I am talking a total makeover. First thing is to keep Mr. Yesteryear Acres VERY busy.  VERY VERY BUSY. OUTSIDE.  Most of the junk....oh I mean "precious memories" are his.  He keeps everything. That broken answering machine from 10 years ago MIGHT come in handy someday!  We have 2 shelves in this room full of CASSETTE TAPES.  We do NOT have a cassette player. Why do we have so many??? OH because some day Mr. Yesteryear Acres will want to play his cassettes.....from the 70's. I mean who doesn't want to pop in good ole ABBA in the good ole cassette player in your good ole walkman? ACK! Cleaning out this room is going to take some finesse.  It will take some sneaky sneaky work.  I am putting down Wednesday as the start date. Wednesday my daughter and I shall tackle the room and hopefully we will be done in one week.  Goal set. Time to get busy!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

All Day Puppy Smiles

Fergie's puppies all went home today. From early this morning until this evening it has been non-stop puppy smiles. Everyone fell in love with their new furry babies. There is nothing so awesome as love at first sight. I often get asked how we can part with our adorable puppies and the answer is always the same.....I love seeing happy families! There is nothing better than watching the happiness on everyone's faces as they meet their new furry best friend. The puppies are always happy too. They have people running to meet them and hug them and love them forever. It is just the best feeling and makes for a most awesome day.  To all our new puppy families and all our sweet puppies....travel safely on your long journeys home.  We will miss you adorable puppies but are so happy you are all so well-loved!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Puppy Weekend

This weekend all of Fergie's sweet chocolate and chocolate peanut butter babies are going to their new homes.  They are just the most beautiful doodle puppies! I can't wait for their new families to meet them!
We love the cooler weather! Last week was too hot!

Even the sunshine feels good now!

Hey LOOK!  It's Mr. Yesteryear Acres!!!! YEA!

I am going to pounce on him!

Hey look - I found a spot of GREEN grass!

Everybody loves Peanut Butter and Chocolate!

Who's going to pounce on the new toy first?

Let's do it together! Yippee!

Thursday, July 12, 2012


Our horrible week long torture of having no electricity during the heatwave is something I hope to never live through again. Not only did we have no water, no lights, no air-conditioning, no fans - we had sad doggies and sad puppies that had no way of understanding why we couldn't cool them off. They would just look at us, panting like crazy, wondering why we weren't able to make them feel better. It was oppressively hot and pretty much the most miserable week ever. It was my older daughter's last week at home and we had planned on doing fun things during that last week but instead, we all just suffered. All week long I kept thinking how HAPPY I would be if I could flush the toilet without having to fill the back of the tank up with water.  I would be SO HAPPY if I could have a cup of coffee. I would be SO HAPPY if I could turn on the lights and have the lights turn on. All I wanted was my electric back. I realized how little it takes to make me really happy. I just wanted my power back! Now that we are fully restored, our water pump working, our house nice and cool, our doggies happy and full of cold fresh drinking water - I am happy. I turn on the lights...click...lights turn on...HAPPINESS follows. It is so easy to forget how awesome electricity is. It is so easy to take something as simple as flushing a toilet for granted.  Turning on the faucet for cold drinking water is something I do all day long but the second you go without that convenience, you realize just how very lucky we are. We don't have to go to the well and collect buckets of water.  We don't have to traipse for miles carrying water containers just to get a drink. We open our refrigerator and out comes cold fresh food. Life for us is pretty easy and although it might not be something you remember to be grateful for every single day, it is important to be appreciative of those type of things we often take for granted. Any day that you go to turn on your lights - and they turn on - that is a good day.  Any day that you can get cold water from your faucet - that is a good day. Any day that you can escape inclement weather - that is a good day. Any day that you are home, safe and sound, in comfy temperatures, with the family you love, and the doggies surrounding you....that is a good day! Click....lights...HAPPINESS!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Recipe for a Perfect Birthday

Today my little baby boy turns 16 years old. Without a doubt, he is one of the hardest working people you will ever meet. He is Mr. Yesteryear Acres junior in every way.  He never takes a day off. He does all the hard manual labor, all the dirty work, and whenever he has that rare minute of free time, he spends it with the doggies. He takes them on hikes, goes for swims, plays fetch. He is completely devoted to Yesteryear Acres and I am grateful for all he does every single day.  So today, on his birthday, we asked him what he would like to eat for his birthday meals and of course - his list was long.  He is a growing boy after all! The following is the recipe for a perfect birthday....
all homemade
from scratch
(yes my daughter and I will be in the kitchen .....forever)
Eggs Made to Order
Home-style Potatoes
Cinnamon Pull-Aparts

MAN sandwich.  In case you don't know what a MAN sandwich is - it is a gigantic, over-sized, overstuffed, huge sandwich. One that can barely be contained in one's hands; it is THAT large. MAN sandwich ingredients: Huge sub bun, turkey, ham, mozzarella cheese, white american cheese, thin sliced cucumbers (from the garden of course), tomatoes, lettuce and ranch dressing
Pepperoni Pizza (because the MAN sandwich isn't enough food)
Root Beer Float

Buttermilk Fried Chicken Strips
Mashed Potatoes
Homemade Macaroni and Cheese
Fresh chopped veggies and ranch dressing dip
Fried Apples

Warm Chocolate Cake
Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream
Homemade Peach Ice Cream

Did I mention he is a growing boy? 6'4" and still getting taller......do you think it is my cooking???
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Hope you get your fill!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

How did this Silverware drawer get so messy?

This morning I went to get a spoon out of the silverware drawer and noticed it was JUST a mess.  The forks and spoons were not neatly stacked and it clearly needed my attention.  The entire drawer was emptied, cleaned and the silverware properly stacked. Then I went to microwave my coffee.  How did the microwave get so messy?  Clearly the roof of the microwave needed a good scrubbing.  So did the glass dish on the bottom.  The walls also needed my attention.  Heck -the whole microwave was just screaming for me to clean it.  Then I went to the pantry to put away the sugar. EGAD! How did the entire pantry get so messy? Cookies next to potato chips. Marshmallows not in the baking bin. Obviously that entire pantry needs completely emptied.  Every single can, box, cake mix, croutons, ice tea mix, soup, seasonings, plastic ware - all needs to be removed. It is clear that this is a disaster area. It will take me HOURS to get this put all back together properly. And would you just LOOK at the pots and pans cabinet!!!!  How can I ever find a saucepan in this mess?!!  It needs completely re-organized.
I have spent every single second of this day cleaning and re-organizing and finding projects that obviously need to be done RIGHT NOW.

Raise your hands if you think I am avoiding thinking about my daughter being gone.

Gee....you didn't ALL have to raise your hands at once did you???

I wonder what the linen closet looks like..........

Monday, July 9, 2012

And the Tears Fell

This morning we said goodbye to our older daughter. It was so hard.  We have said goodbye to her many times so we should be really good at it.  We should be pros.  We should be able to say goodbye to her with smiles on our faces and not get all choked up.  We should be able to.....but we weren't.  Today's goodbye was the hardest.  It might have even be harder than the goodbye we said when she walked through the gates of the Naval Academy for the first time.  Today when we said goodbye - we said goodbye to the rest of her childhood.  We said goodbye to her living at our house. We said goodbye to her being safe within the walls of the Naval Academy.  We said goodbye to knowing where she was at night, knowing the dangers she faces, and we said goodbye to the thought of having her safe and sound.  Her grandma called her last night crying as she said her goodbye.  Her grandma never cries. The doggies were all so sad this morning as they watched our daughter load her last box into the car.  My daughter said goodbye to her doggies and to the comfort of having them to snuggle with at night.  My son and younger daughter said goodbye to their big sister and best friend. Mr. Yesteryear Acres gave her the longest hug goodbye and the tears filled his eyes.  He couldn't hold them back.  Either could our daughter. Our tears fell as she drove down the driveway. Mr. Yesteryear Acres waved goodbye and said, "Goodbye our Second Lieutenant.....good luck at your new job!"

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I miss her already!

Today is my older daughter’s very last day at home.  Sadly, I will miss her last day here.  I had made promises to deliver some puppies today and as much as my heart longs to be at home for our last day together, as always, puppies and commitments come first. I will be on the road all day and today will be the last time my sweet daughter will truly live here under our roof. First thing tomorrow she heads for the Marine Base in Quantico, Virginia to begin The Basic School training. We never expected to have this month together as a family. The original plan was for her to report to duty immediately following her graduation at the Naval Academy.  Her company report time changed and we were blessed with this gift of one month together at home.  The best part about having her home for the month was saying good-morning to her every morning. Having lunch with her every afternoon. Eating dinner together every night.  Saying good-night to her every evening. Laughing until I cried every single day.  The worst part about having her home for the month is now I am SO used to saying good-morning to her every morning. Having lunch with her every afternoon. Eating dinner together every night.  Saying good-night to her every evening. Laughing until I cry every single day. When she left for the Naval Academy four years ago, I thought I would never get used to her absence. It was the saddest moment of my life. Eventually a new rhythm of life formed and although I missed her with my entire being, I learned how to set the table at night for four people instead of five.  Then when my younger daughter left for her first year of college, I learned how to set the table for three people. This past month I have had all five of my loved ones at the table and that has been the most precious gift. I feel as though I am starting all over again….tomorrow I will set the table for four…and my heart breaks once again. I miss her already.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Happy Hot Birthday Mr. Yesteryear Acres

It was so nice of the sun to show up for Mr. Yesteryear Acres birthday today.  The sun must REALLY REALLY REALLY love Mr. Yesteryear Acres.  The sun must want to pull out all the stops and shine down on Mr. Yesteryear Acres with all the power it possesses.  The sun started awfully early this morning with the heat seeking missile rays to show Mr. Yesteryear Acres just how much he is loved.  Dear sun.....we got the message.  We feel the love.  I believe everything is melting.....as in Mr. Yesteryear Acres is melting. The garden is melting.  The roof is melting.  We spent Mr. Yesteryear Acres birthday hosing down all the doggies. We made a doggie sprinkler system and made sure each and every doggie had fun playing in the cold refreshing showers.  It is really nice to be able to cool them off. Some of the doggies were hesitant at first and kind of darted in and out of the water.  Other doggies just walked right into the center and did NOT move one inch.  Their faces said, "ahhhhhh".  The rest of Mr. Yesteryear Acres special birthday will be spent taking care of the doggies, the puppies, the house and just trying to keep everyone cool.  Happy Hot Birthday Mr. Yesteryear Acres. We will have to celebrate your birthday in style after the heatwave. I am thinking you will want EXTRA ice cream....and you deserve it!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Surprise Surgery!

The things we will do here at Yesteryear Acres to get out of the heat are just mind boggling.  To say we have had a rough week here would be an extreme understatement.  The heat is just torturous.  Even when we lost power for 10 days back in 2008, we didn't suffer as every day the temperature was about 72* outside with a lovely breeze.  105* is the predicted temperature for tomorrow and no one is happy.  We have several heat related deaths out in our area of the state.  It is miserable. My daughter had an appointment with a dermatologist yesterday to check out a lump on her head. It was supposed to be a quick appointment and if it the lump was something that needed medical attention, we were to make a follow up appointment for it in August.  Once we got to the doctor's office, the dermatologist took one look at it and said, "let's do surgery right now and get that taken care of".  Surprise Surgery! Oh boy!  You can imagine how happy my daughter was.  The surgery went well and she is home resting. We did enjoy the air-conditioning while we were there.  So the highlights of our week, as in the best things that have happened to us all week long, as in this is the best it can be..... were:
a fractured tooth repair
a punch biopsy surgery.
What will next week bring??????  Could I make a request for a 20* drop in temperatures to bring it to a nice and comfortable 85*?  Is that too much to ask?  Oh...and ice cream.  I think next week should bring ice cream too! We need it!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Dentist....Hooray!?

All week long I have been dreading my visit to the dentist.  My appointment to fix my fractured tooth from the ever so dangerous crushed peanut on my Pad Thai was cancelled due to the power outage.  A part of me cheered when I got the message that my appointment was cancelled.  Well the dentist office got their electric back on and said, "Come on in!"  Ugh. Dread. Fear. Trepidation. WAH! I didn't want to go.  I hated the thought of going and then.......WAIT a minute!  The dentist office has ELECTRICITY!  The dentist office has toilets that flush!  The dentist office has AIR CONDITIONING!  The dentist office has cold water to drink!  Maybe this dentist thing isn't so bad after all!  Mr. Yesteryear Acres said I was lucky.  My kids said I get the whole morning off and they were jealous.  Everyone here would gladly change places with me and I am getting a FRACTURED tooth repaired.  So I went.  And when I pulled open the door to the dentist office....cold air rushed over me and surrounded me in happiness.  I walked in and said, "SALVATION!"  Everyone laughed and said I was the happiest cheeriest dental patient they had ever seen.  They did a good job too. My tooth is all fixed and I got to enjoy 90 minutes of lying down, cooling off and relaxation.  Who knew?!  Dentist...HOORAY!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Fourth of July! As soon as I woke up this morning, I put on my patriotic outfit for the day. I am sporting red shorts and a blue and white striped shirt. I am ready for the festivities! When I came into the kitchen, Mr. Yesteryear Acres was already wearing his patriotic theme for the day. Blue Jeans and a Red USMC T-shirt. Doesn't get much more patriotic than that! My 3 kids are similarly dressed.  Despite the fact this will be a NO fireworks (cancelled due to the power outages), NO ice cream, and certainly NOT a cool holiday - we are all grateful for all we have been given and are happy to celebrate the Fourth of July all together. We only have a few days before our older daughter sets of for Quantico where she will face much tougher trials than a mere power outage.  We have become masters at cooking outside on our propane stove and will have our traditional hamburger cookout no matter what the weather brings.  I hope you have time to enjoy your family and have a most wonderful Fourth of July Holiday! Happy Independence Day!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Three Hour Tour

When I was younger I used to watch Gilligan's Island. I knew the whole opening song by heart.  For some reason the part of the song that goes, "A THREE hour tour" is playing in my head over and over.  Our generator hasn't been working and Mr. Yesteryear Acres discovered that this tiny, seemingly insignificant, small gasket/rubber/seal/diaphragm piece was corroded.  I am talking a piece the size of a small button. We have been trying desperately to find a replacement part.  With all the stores around here closed due to no electricity, IF we can get someone to answer a call, the answer to "do you have this part?" is, "I have NO idea!"  No one has their inventory online, most stockrooms are completely in the dark and finding this piece has been impossible.  We don't even have working phones as the cell tower is down so we have to wait for Mr. Yesteryear Acres Dad to make all the phone calls, email the answer to us, wait for me to find a signal with my iPad, so I can download the message, and then answer him back, praying that the message is sent.  Yes. That is A LOT of fun.  Finally Mr. Yesteryear Acres Dad found the part.  Total cost $2.86. Yes for the mere price of $3.00 we have been SUFFERING. The warehouse that had the replacement part was WAY on the other side of downtown so the drive to get there would be at least one hour.  Or so I thought. Did I mention there is NO power anywhere?  Which includes traffic lights. Did I mention there were trees down everywhere? Which includes closed roads due to TREES IN THE STREET. Driving to get the replacement part was like navigating a tornado ravished area.  It really is that bad out here.  Churches without steeples, houses without roofs, cars without tops! Everywhere you look, there is destruction.  As we made our way to get the part we were detoured, stuck in traffic, lost AND I forgot our GPS so I had NO idea how to get out of the middle of downtown. I never go there and I was completely lost as there were so many streets closed. It was then that the Gilligan's Island theme song started playing in my head. A THREE HOUR TOUR.  I was wondering if we would EVER make it home! Our trip for the $3.00 gasket/valve thingy took me FOUR HOURS.  Four hours. I wonder what tomorrow will bring. Are you thinking heat, darkness, and more fun?!  Me too!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Bad News - Thunderstorm Good News - Free Showers

Thanks to another round of storms last night, an additional 20,000 people lost power so that our restoration of electricity might be pushed back until next TUESDAY.  As in July 10th.  For those keeping track - we lost electricity in JUNE.  I like to say that because then the misery sounds even worse. We haven't had power since JUNE! Ack!!!! The number of power lines that were down before last night's storm numbered 9,000.  The electric crews worked all day and repaired over 1,500 electric lines. After last night's storm - 10,500 power lines were down. That has to be SO frustrating for the people working. It is as if the entire day working didn't even matter. Last night the storms rolled in around 7pm and it just POURED.  Since we are so short on water, we took the opportunity to take free showers.  Yes, that is how dire things are around here.  Our evening entertainment is showering outdoors in the rain. I mean what else do we have? Once the sun goes down, it is blatantly obvious that we have no power.  One - we are sweltering.  Two - it is completely dark. Three - we are sitting around an LED Flashlight with nothing to do. Gee, I can't wait for tonight's festivities. Popcorn anyone? Oh wait - that's right - we don't have any way to pop the corn! ACK!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Water - Yes ...Sleeping - No!

Mr. Yesteryear Acres was able to get an emergency work around for our water situation.  We have a small generator that can power the water pump OR our refrigerator/freezers.  We have to cycle between the two every hour. So for one hour - we get water. For the next hour - we get to save all our food in the refrigerator.  And on and on all through the night.  The rest of the electric is out as the generator is too small to handle anything else.  The downstairs temperature of our house is a nice and balmy 85* and rising. The upstairs temperature of our house is the temperature of the sun. To say we are hot and sticky and slightly miserable is an understatement.  I mean I am all for Little House on the Prairie but only when it is for a quick evening festivities... and the temperature outside is right around 70*.... and I have something cool to drink.... and my dogs are happy.... and...never mind. I don't want to live back in the Little House on the Prairie times! I want my ice cubes! I want my fans!  I want my washer, dryer, stove, water, and ice cream back! My doggies are all hot, hot, hot! I don't even have a fan for them. Wah!  What's worse.......the power company just sent out an estimate as to the SOONEST we will get power.  Are you ready? Are you thinking tomorrow? Wrong. Are you thinking Tuesday? Nope.  Fourth of July? Nope. Estimated time for the restoration of power......Midnight.....JULY 8th! Guess we are in for more sleepless nights downstairs in our living room, sticking to our chairs, with no place for a pillow, desperate for a bit of cool air. Anyone want to come and join the fun?! I didn't think so. Wah!