Friday, August 31, 2012


OH I have such a torturous dilemma.  Our tomatoes are just coming on.  I have enough tomatoes picked to start my first batch of canning for the year! Hurray! I have to can 104 quarts of tomatoes in order to have enough tomatoes for our family.  We eat a lot of tomatoes!  Although I do not enjoy the process of canning tomatoes, I LOVE tomatoes, so I can.  And can.  And can.  Some days I will literally peel basket loads of tomatoes for 10 hours straight.  I am that devoted to having my own tomatoes.  I am sure there are many of you that think it is SO much easier to open a can of crushed tomatoes from the grocery store - and you are right. It IS so much easier. However, if you were to taste one of my quarts of crushed tomatoes - you would feel like you were instantly transported to summertime. Whenever I open a can of my tomatoes - it is fresh picked heaven.  This year I promised my two daughters that I would make each of them 12 pints of my spaghetti sauce.  That is 24 pints of sauce that needs to be cooked and canned.  So here is the dilemma - do I start with their 24 pints of sauce or start with the Yesteryear Acres crushed tomatoes and count 12 quarts done? What if I don't get any more tomatoes???? What if these are the only tomatoes that survive this drought?  What if I make the spaghetti sauce and then have NO tomatoes for Yesteryear Acres?!!!  Tragedy!  Dear daughters of mine, I know you already have figured out the answer to the dilemma.  As if there were any choice. One gigantic stockpot of Yesteryear Acres fresh spaghetti sauce is simmering on the stove.  Care packages of deliciousness will be on the way soon!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday CLEAN day

Thursdays at Yesteryear Acres are reserved for HOUSE CLEANING.  UGH. I hate house cleaning.  I mean it is not that fun.  It takes all day.  It is tiring.  To clean our house takes at least 6-7 straight hours of non-stop cleaning.  It is an all day project. Yet, house cleaning is a reality. It must be done.  When you live on a farm and raise puppies - I guarantee there are not enough hours in the day to keep a clean house all the time.  The second I am done cleaning, a doodle doggie will bring mess up my house or Mr. Yesteryear Acres will walk in covered in dirt or I will get my kitchen counters sparking bright only to turn around and find them loaded with veggies from the garden.  In case you haven't experienced getting your own veggies from your garden, let me say, they do not come in bright and shiny and clean.  They make a big mess. So once a week the house gets cleaned top to bottom. Every nook and cranny. I could DREAD Thursdays but Thursdays will still happen.  The house still needs cleaned.  Dreading Thursdays certainly will not stop Thursdays from being the cleaning day. Instead I have found reasons to have joy when I clean. It makes Thursdays much more pleasant.

I like the fact that no one here at Yesteryear Acres expects me to clean on Thursdays.  I am thanked each Thursday for making our house nice and clean. My son always thanks me.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres will leave thank you notes for me when he comes in the house. Mr. Yesteryear Acres is thoughtful that way.  In return, I always thank him for mowing the lawn or weeding the garden.  Even though we have our own tasks - we are eternally grateful for what we both bring to life at Yesteryear Acres.

I am grateful that I can clean my house. When my older daughter was in junior high, I was hit by a drunk driver coming home from her cross country meet.  I spent 6 months in a hospital bed.  I also recovered from a heart attack and last November,  I broke my ankle.  I couldn't clean at all. The worst feeling for me is to NOT be able to help or do my fair share of the work.  I am so grateful that I am healed and physically able to clean my house.  It is something I never take for granted.

I am thankful I have a big beautiful house to clean!  I love my house. I love Yesteryear Acres.  There isn't a day that I don't take time to be appreciative of my beautiful home.

I like cleaning my kids' rooms because I love them so much.  Even though my 2 daughters aren't home, I feel closer to them. I take time to remember all the fun times we had. I look at all the memories sitting in their room and I am grateful for every single one. When I clean their room, I feel surrounded by love.

I like making my gigantic bed. I can't say that stripping a bed and washing the sheets and making the bed is fun BUT Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I shared a little bed for almost 25 years.  We just got our king size bed not too long ago and it has made the biggest difference. Mr. Yesteryear Acres doesn't have sleep apnea anymore.  He sleeps like a baby which means I sleep like a baby.  We are both so much more rested. We have the most comfortable bed in the whole world with the softest sheets and every single night - I smile when I crawl into bed.  I always say, "Oh my gosh, I am sleeping on a cloud of happiness" and Mr. Yesteryear Acres says, "me too."  Then we fall asleep holding hands.  25 years of marriage and we still hold hands every night. When I make my big gigantic bed, I feel grateful to have a perfect place to sleep every night.

I like the fact that I burn lots of calories by cleaning my house.  I mean that is two birds with one stone!  One clean house - one thinner me!  That is a winning combo!

I like the instant gratification I get from cleaning a room.  As soon as I am done cleaning a room and I see it all sparkling and clean, I just smile.  I love that feeling.  Of is just at that instant when.....
a doodle doggie comes in
a puppy romps by
Mr. Yesteryear Acres dumps a load of tomatoes on the counter or
my son drops his muddy boots on the floor
which is why
Every Thursday is CLEAN day. Feel the joy!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Am I being taken advantage of?

My son came home from school yesterday and asked me if he was being taken advantage of. I said that I didn't know - what was up? Well everyday it seems that one of our doodle doggies ANXIOUSLY awaits his return from school.  She cannot wait for my son to get home.  In fact she waits IN HIS ROOM for the big return.  "Oh my goodness is my favorite boy home yet? I cannot wait for my favorite boy to come home from school!"  She is a very devoted doodle doggie.  She is so faithful in her unwavering commitment to wait in his room right around the time my son is due to walk in the door.  Up until now - my son and I pictured her sitting by his bedroom door. My son and I pictured her eagerly waiting with her tail wagging.  My son and I pictured her almost whining with anticipation, not able to contain herself over the soon-to-be joyous reunion.  Yesterday my son came home and didn't do his usual, "I AM HOME!" call through the house.  He was running late for cross country practice and had to hurry and change.  He ran upstairs without announcing his arrival. Of course our devoted doodle doggie was waiting for him.......just not the way we pictured.......
Oh faithful doodle doggie, is the bed comfy enough for you?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Personal Trainer

I have been faithfully following my new fitness routine each week.  I have really started to notice a difference too! This morning I had an itch on my arm and when I went to scratch it - I felt MUSCLE.  Real muscle.  It shocked me!  I made Mr. Yesteryear Acres drop everything he was doing and run inside so he could witness the miracle. He verified it - actual real 100% muscle. Wow!  3 weeks and ALREADY I have muscles! Yea!  This makes me very motivated to keep with my strength training.  I believe Mr. Yesteryear Acres said something like he hasn't seen any arm muscles on me since we were in college. So okay he didn't have to go THAT far back - but point taken.  We were both proud of my progress. To be diagnosed with WAY too little muscle mass was disturbing but thankfully - all you have to do is keep up with the strength training and VOILA! Muscles!  I am fairly sure all this progress that I have made is thanks to my personal trainer.  Or should that be personal trainer(s).  Yes.  It is true. I have certified personal trainers assisting me EVERY day with my workouts.  They come at a great price too! All they require is a scratch behind the ears and they are there for the duration. Yes - my athletic personal trainers are doodle doggies.  Today I realized that they are very dedicated in their passion for my strength training.  As I was doing my plank exercises my little doggie Scooter jumped on my back and made himself comfortable.  Evidently I wasn't training with enough weight. What a thoughtful doggie.  When I was doing my back extensions my doodle doggie Blossom licked my fingers every time they hit the ground.  She was saying, "WAY TO GO!" and "Keep up the Good Work!"  Whenever I say....."Who wants to go for a  WALK" I have the most eager doodle doggie volunteers.  It is never a bad time for a WALK!  I know most people have trouble finding their very own personal trainer - but I am blessed with several.  Best thing about my personal trainers? They are ALWAYS ready, happy, eager, and loving all day, every day. Who could ask for more?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Back to our Regularly Scheduled Program

It was back to work as usual this morning here at Yesteryear Acres with puppy, puppy, puppy, puppy work, love and fun! Puppy nails needed cutting, puppy coats under region needed trimming, and a couple of puppies needed puppy baths.  It was a busy day but lots of fun.  Mondays also mean puppy picture update day so here are all the cuties.....
Is that Mr. Yesteryear Acres????

It is! It is! Let's help him!

Wait for us Mr. Yesteryear Acres!

We just LOVE him!

I am so adorable - I think I will just sit here and pose.

I am ready for my close up!

I am so snuggable!

Me too!

Our Caramel and Chocolate babies are just starting to open their little eyes.

Our newest little Double Doodle babies. They are so precious!
Happy Monday!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Make a Legal U-Turn

After a very productive weekend spent helping my older daughter, I said my goodbyes and started the long drive home. A good friend of mine gave me an alternative route for my trip home. I wanted to avoid the Washington, DC traffic and her route took me around another way so I was sure to not spend my life waiting in a long line of traffic.  The route is not the most direct route home. I think it adds 30 minutes more drive time BUT it is a definitive 30 more minutes as opposed to spending an indeterminate amount of time stuck in traffic. I headed out with my hand written notes for my journey home.  Almost immediately my GPS had other thoughts.  My GPS did NOT like the new route home.  About every 1/2 mile my GPS would say, "At the next street make a legal U-Turn".  Every crossroad would begin with, "Turn right here and then in 100 feet, make a legal U-Turn".  I have to say I began to get paranoid.  Mile after mile my GPS wanted me to TURN AROUND.  She wouldn't give up.  Even after I drove 21 miles from my starting point, the GPS was still asking me to make a U-Turn and go back to the beginning.  21 miles!  She would NOT give up or start a new route.  I traveled through some small towns and through some roads with lots of traffic lights, but the drive was pleasant.  Even with the GPS screaming at me to MAKE A LEGAL U-TURN, the drive was a good one.  After 2 hours of driving, the GPS gave in.  It finally re-routed my trip to what I had written down on paper. The drive home was long but it was really beautiful.  I saw the Shenandoah Valley and picturesque mountain vistas.  There were many beautiful farms along the way and so many apple trees.  It was a nice drive and I am happy to say, I am finally home.  I am so tired - but I am still smiling.  It was a much needed mommy trip for my daughter and I am glad to have made the journey. I got a really nice thank you from my daughter when I got home - looks like she was glad too.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

OH! It is ERRAND Day!

I have been running around like crazy since I got up this morning.  Seems as though my daughter needed 1,000 things done and hasn't had one second to get anything crossed off her list.  Her list was so overwhelming that she just couldn't even begin.  One by one we have been crossing everything off her list.  Doing a long list of unenjoyable things by yourself is torturous but doing a long list of MUST DO things together is MUCH better.  We have done everything from bank runs (YES Grandma Yesteryear Acres, we DID get the check cashed you sent, and she is SO happy she has the extra money for uniforms) to going to the cobbler for a boot repair to....MOVING HER THINGS OUT OF HER CAR! Evidently she has been living out of her car since she got here. It was hard to get going at first and I have to say the non-stop rain has made some of the errands less than pleasant but as the day has contined - the smile on her face has continued to grow. We are making great progress and she is so happy I made the trip.  We are finally getting her settled in and she is very relieved. Guess I better get back to it.  More errands to run!!!! OH! It is ERRAND Day!  Glad to know!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Made It!

I made it!  I have arrived in Quantico a few hours later than I thought but I AM HERE.  Oh my goodness----- TRAFFIC! UGH!  How can anyone stand that much traffic? I was in complete dread of the Capital Beltway around Washington, DC and I was right to dread it.  Horrendous! I-95 South towards Richmond, VA wasn't any better. How can there be SO many lanes of traffic ALL congested? Why does everyone want to merge into my lane? How can there be so many cars all traveling the same direction in the MIDDLE of the afternoon??? ARGH!  I will have to ponder these visits to Quantico.  I miss my easy route to the Naval Academy.  I never had to drive there with the white knuckles of death on my steering wheel. I left this morning before 7am and the NEXT time I make this trip, I am leaving before 6am! I think if I aim to leave one hour earlier MAYBE just MAYBE I can miss the beltway traffic. The good news of course is that I made it.  No one rear ended me. I didn't end up on the side of the road like so many other cars I drove by.  The refrigerator in my room is large enough to hold ALL the food I brought for my daughter.  I had to remove the ice tray and then I loaded the freezer to capacity!  Now all I have to do is wait for my daughter to be relieved for the weekend. Okay Marine Corps - I am here. You can let my daughter leave now. I shall sit here and wait. And wait.  And wait.  Is she here yet? Nope.  How about now? Nope. Now???? NOPE. Okay I am ready! I am here!  I am waiting!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Birthday Wishes

Oh my goodness!  Thank you EVERYONE for all the wonderful birthday wishes!!!!  I have felt the love all day long.  Every time I walk by my computer - I have another birthday wish! It has made my day so special and I appreciate every  single Happy Birthday wish! I have had a really busy day full of cooking and preparing for my weekend road trip.  I have hardly had a chance to sit down but the birthday wishes have kept me smiling and feeling like the birthday girl all day long.  I almost have everything ready for tomorrow.  I am leaving VERY early tomorrow morning with the Puppy mobile full of happy puppies excited to meet their new family members. As soon as I am done delivering the furry bundles of joy - it is off to Quantico to deliver my "Mommy Food Rescue Package" to my older daughter.  I have meals upon meals prepared for her all packaged in quart size containers so she can keep them organized in her freezer. Whenever my baby is hungry - she just has to pop a meal in the microwave and she is all set! Mr. Yesteryear Acres is grilling her marinated chicken strips right now and I just have a few side dishes left to prepare.  Looks like I will be on time and ready to deliver happiness all day tomorrow! Now that is a most excellent birthday!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Cooking, Snipping, Cooking and more Snipping

I have been busy in the kitchen ALL DAY LONG and looks like tomorrow will be more of the same.  I had this CRAZY idea that tomorrow I would celebrate my birthday by relaxing and watching a movie but I now see that my birthday will be celebrated in the kitchen.  Hey! Maybe some day Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I can celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary AND my birthday in one relaxing fun-filled day.  Until then - more work for us. I will wake up tomorrow and think that it is just a regular ole Thursday rather than my birthday. That should help. Why all the work? Well I have to drive my puppy mobile and do a puppy delivery on Friday so I have to get all my puppy care packages ready and of course make sure all the puppies are bathed and ready for the trip. I also have to make a special delivery to my older daughter at Quantico.  She has sent out the SOS signal for food and I must come to her rescue!  I had my day all planned out for cooking and baking when....... of course the green beans in the garden WERE READY NOW. You simply cannot put off doing the green beans when they are ready.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I have been snipping beans for hours and we are still not done.  We need to finish blanching them this evening and then pack them in quart containers for the freezer. In between all the snipping, I still have been working on my daughter's food rescue care package.  So far I have a HUGE stockpot full of pot roast simmering on the stove. It has fresh garden veggies in it so it is a really healthy and delicious roast/stew/soup. I also have 8lbs of chicken breast that I cut into strips and are now marinating in the refrigerator overnight. Tomorrow Mr. Yesteryear Acres will grill them so I can put them in freezer quart bags. My rolls are rising in the oven, my szechuan green beans are ready for the wok....and I am only about 1/2 way done.  Can you say more cooking tomorrow?        Just another busy day here at Yesteryear Acres!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Road to Wellness

Today I had a really nice conversation with my Doctor and I am feeling quite proud and enthusiastic about my road to wellness. I just passed the 3 year anniversary of my heart attack so being healthy is something I do not take for granted. I had a complete blood work physical done and by complete - I mean they checked EVERYTHING.  My results came back and I am doing really well.  The only areas of concern will all be erased with my continued commitment to fitness.  I definitely need to build my muscle mass and I have to incorporate that into my weekly schedule, which I am now doing faithfully.  My doctor asked if I would go an entire week without eating a single meal, and of course I said NO and then he said, with that same determination that I have to eat good food every week, never neglect the strength training and fitness portion of my health. It is vital that I do it each and every week. I agreed to put my health as a priority and EVEN when I am overworked and overscheduled and "too busy", I will make a point to not be too busy to get my fitness in.  He reminded me that by taking care of myself - I AM taking care of others.  I tend to forget that as I put my own needs at the bottom of what needs to be done. I always put everyone else first. I was reminded if I don't take the time to stay fit - then there will be no ME to take care of everyone else. Along with the reminder to take care of myself, I got a lot of praise and validation on how well I am doing. He said my journey towards wellness is inspiring. It felt really nice. Guess I better go hit the weights. I have some more muscle to build! I am looking forward to my health report next year when I predict that I will get A+++++ and Lots of Gold Stars all the way across my chart!

Monday, August 20, 2012

So much cuteness!

Monday is Puppy Picture Day and of course it brings nothing but cuteness.   The puppies are so adorable and our days here at Yesteryear Acres are filled with awwwws and ohhhhs and so much cuteness! See what I mean.......
Eloise's Double Doodle Puppies are starting to really grow now

They lick their bowls clean at supper time

They are learning to go potty outside

And they are really good at snuggling

Nutmeg's baby doodles are still really little

Their little eyes will be open next week and then they can see us all say....
"Awwwwww "
Happy Monday!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Must go Shopping

Mr. Yesteryear Acres finally heard from our older daughter. It has been a long time! I have to admit that I thought the time my daughter and I had to chat or email each other while she was at the Naval Academy was really limited.  She barely had time to talk and I was lucky to get an email.  Well compared to how much I have heard from her since she reported to TBS at Quantico - that was a BOATLOAD of communication.  While she was at the Naval Academy, I usually got a quick short email that said, "I love you" or "Have a good night" or  "I am doing fine".  How I miss those very long emails!  I haven't had one email since she left. I haven't even talked to her.  She is that busy.  She is that exhausted.  She told Mr. Yesteryear Acres that if she tried to send an email, she would probably fall asleep while typing it.  She is in the middle of really tough training. Let's see - carrying an 80+ pound rucksack while covering 3 miles every 30 about NO THANK YOU.  Her conversation with Mr. Yesteryear Acres was really short and ended abruptly as she had to get back to work but the bottom line is this -
She is fine
Actually it was more like this -
She is fine
Evidently she is starving. Guess I better go shopping!  Looks like I have a massive cooking project awaiting me this week.  My girl needs food!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

I will miss her!

This morning my daughter and I left the house shortly after 6am and started the long drive back to her University.  I had all her belongings packed in our good ole Yesteryear Acres SUV (also known as the puppy mobile) and she followed me in her car. It was a long and very quiet ride.  When I first left the house, I wasn't quite ready for music as I was barely awake, and then as I continued to drive, I decided I would just sit in the silence and think about all that we did this summer.  We made some great home improvements and finished so many MUCH NEEDED house projects. Mr. Yesteryear Acres worked extra hard as did we all and although we didn't really have much "fun" time - we got so much accomplished that it was all worth it.  I was a little sad that we never did have a full day off or got to go on any mini adventures together as a family but all-in-all ... it was a great summer. The house looks great and I know we are all proud of what we accomplished.  I ended up leaving the radio off tor the entire ride there. I have never done that and I have to say that I got a lot of thinking done. I made plans, gave thanks, reflected back, and looked towards the future. Once we arrived at my daughter's college is was non-stop work.  This year she lives on the 3rd floor AND the entrance to her building from the parking lot is in the basement so you know what that means.....FOUR FLIGHTS UP and FOUR FLIGHTS DOWN. To say that I am tired is a bit of an understatement.  We got everything unpacked, picked up her books, set up her computer, made her bed - everything is finished.  15+ long hours later and I am finally home. My ride home wasn't quite as silent.  I didn't make it very far before I turned on the radio because on the way home, I only had one thought. I WILL MISS HER!

Friday, August 17, 2012


Today is my younger daughter's last day at home. WAH!  I have to leave tomorrow at 6am to take her back to college.  Say it isn't so!  Say the end of summer isn't here! It can't be time for school already!!!!! We have spent all day packing and scurrying around as fast as we can. No matter how hard we try, we can't make the clock go any slower. The day is flying by and we still aren't done with everything we need to do. We are spending the day denying the obvious and  just trying to get through everything. Anytime my daughter looks at me, her eyes are wet. Anytime I look back, my eyes are leaking a bit as well.  Tomorrow will be a hard day saying our goodbyes but this year we are planning on trying to see each other more often so hopefully we won't miss each other as terribly as we did last year. Tonight I will set the table for FOUR people and then.....we will be down to three. Sniff sniff. Maybe if I wish really hard - tonight will just last and last and last.  We can always hope right?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Never Alone

I can tell you one thing that we are NEVER here at Yesteryear Acres......we are never lonely.  I mean NEVER. If you have a home filled with doodle doggie love, then you have a constant friend.  You have a constant companion. You have someone who will just look at you with unconditional love in their eyes just because you are you.  I am never lonely here at Yesteryear Acres. In fact EVEN if I wanted to have some alone time - it just wouldn't happen. When I go to the bathroom.....a doodle doggie follows me. "HELLO MRS. YESTERYEAR ACRES, I LOVE YOU! I MUST KEEP YOU COMPANY AT ALL TIMES. YOU WOULD NOT WANT TO GO IN A ROOM WITHOUT ME! DO YOU WANT TO PET ME?" When I go upstairs to make the beds....a doodle doggie follows me. "OH! ARE YOU MAKING THE BED???? DO YOU WANT ME TO HELP YOU?! DO YOU WANT TO PET ME?" When I take out the trash, switch laundry loads, make dinner, unload the groceries from the car, clean the house......a doodle doggie is right there to keep me company. "OH BOY OH BOY OH BOY AREN'T WE HAVING FUN?!  DON'T YOU LOVE DOING THIS!? I COULD DO THIS ALL DAY! HEY! DID YOU WANT TO PET ME?" In fact I cannot even take a shower without a doodle doggie sticking their nose into the shower curtain and then moving the curtain aside just to say, "HI!  ARE YOU TAKING A SHOWER?! DOES IT FEEL GOOD?  ARE YOU WET? ARE YOU DONE? DO YOU WANT TO PET ME?!" So if you are feeling lonely or blue, if you are feeling your shower time is just too boring, if you feel you don't get enough attention in life...add a doodle doggie! You will never be alone again and your heart will be full of love.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Silver Bells of Love

Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I have been married for 25 years today. 25 beautiful happy joyous years.  I can't imagine having a better friend in all the world than Mr. Yesteryear Acres. He is the most thoughtful, loyal, dependable, loving, trustworthy, honest person and I am so lucky he is mine.  I appreciate him every single day.  There isn't a day that goes by that I am not grateful to have him in my life. And do you know what, there isn't a day that goes by that he isn't grateful to have me in his life. He appreciates everything I do just as much as I appreciate everything he does.  I think that is a big part of why we love each other so much.  We make each other laugh, we are always there for one another, and we always are so grateful for all the hard work we both do. So what did we do to celebrate our big 25th Wedding Anniversary? Well Mr. Yesteryear Acres did all the farm chores with my son while I cleaned the house with my daughter.  Then Mr. Yesteryear Acres and my son power washed all the rugs from the house while my daughter and I cleaned all the living room furniture. We also cleaned out our big closet in the living room. We emptied it completely and vacuumed and organized.  As we were busy with that project, Mr. Yesteryear Acres and my son cleaned up debris from a tree that got struck by lightning.  Maybe it isn't what most people do on their 25th anniversary but for us - it was just perfect.  It has what we have done for the past 25 years.  Working hard, laughing hard, taking care of our doodle doggies and our family and being together.  Sounds pretty perfect to me. Happy 25th Anniversary Mr. Yesteryear Acres. I love you.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Goodbye Sweet Trudy...You will be so missed

Today was filled with sadness.  My son's doggie Trudy, his constant companion since he was about 5 years old, his best friend in all the world had to be put to sleep this morning. Last night Trudy got very ill. She couldn't even get up. My son slept on the floor in the kitchen with her and this morning they rushed to the vet.  Trudy's spleen had ruptured and since she was so old, there was no saving her. The only choice was to put her out of her pain. Mr. Yesteryear Acres and my son buried Trudy right near my son's favorite campfire/camping spot. He and Trudy spent many nights camping there together.  My son put on Trudy's favorite John Deere collar and said his sad goodbyes.  Losing a beloved pet is losing a family member.  Trudy loved my son more than any person on this planet. My son loved Trudy that much right back.  She will be missed. When I think of Trudy, I picture this.........
She was always by my son's side.....even until the end.
"One last word of farewell, dear master and mistress. Whenever you visit my grave, say to yourselves with regret but also happiness in your hearts at the remembrance of my long happy life with you: "Here lies one who loves us and whom we loved." No matter how deep my sleep I shall hear you, and not all the power of death can keep my spirit from wagging a grateful tail."

Monday, August 13, 2012

Oh How They Grew!

The puppies all grew so much while I was away!  I was greeted by furry little wagging tails and SO much cuteness. Mr. Yesteryear Acres and my son did an awesome job caring for all our little furry family members and even welcomed some new babies into the world. Our sweet Milk Chocolate Labradoodle Nutmeg had 8 beautiful babies while I was gone.
We have 2 Red Caramel Doodle Babies and 6 Chocolate Doodle Babies
They are so adorable!
Our Double Doodle Puppies really grew and can now come outside to play. They will be starting solid foods later this week.

Here are 2 Dark Apricot Boys

And Our Caramel Cream Girl

Of course Olive's Labradoodle Puppies are ALWAYS happy to see us.  Playing outside is SO much fun and they love everybody and everything. They are super friendly and so much fun to be with.

This is one of our sweet Caramel Boys

And our big Chocolate Boy.
Happy Puppy Monday!!!!!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

3 Year Survival

Three years ago I suffered a heart attack and almost died and so today is my 3 year anniversary of being EXTRA SUPER grateful for everything I have. I am healthy and happy and here on this planet to enjoy all life has to offer. Since my heart attack was a stress induced heart attack I have learned many things since that horrifyingly scary day. First and foremost is never ever ever never ever take your health for granted.  The second you lose your health - all the other things in your life that you thought were so important vanish instantly.  To be healthy is a gift that should be treasured and nurtured. Today on my 3 year anniversary I have pledged to make sure I take even better care of myself. I am going to do cardio exercises a minimum of three times a week for 30-60 minutes at a time and in addition I am adding a new pledge. I am going to do strength training exercises 3 times a week. I have recently learned how important strength training is for women and I have been severely lacking in that area.  Strong muscles are essential to a long healthy life and I am going to treat my neglected muscles to a nice workout every week. I am determined to get my muscles into tip top shape.  Exercise alone is not enough to stay healthy as nutrition plays just as important a role in staying healthy. We already eat really healthy food at our house as we have our big delicious garden but we do eat bigger portions than we should so I am going to cut down on my serving sizes to make sure I stay in great health.  Those are the new things in my pledge to stay healthy as the rest are things I practice daily.
Always Be Grateful

Always show your loved ones just how much they mean to you. Never take the love of your family and friends for granted. Tell them you love them.

Always Be Grateful

Never worry about something until the time comes when it is necessary to worry about it. You will know when that time comes but until that time arrives - do not waste precious hours and days and weeks wondering about the "What Ifs".  Life will certainly always throw a few roadblocks your way but if you spend your life worrying about what MIGHT happen you are sure to miss what IS happening.  Usually in the moments in between the road blocks - lots of happiness and joy can be found.  Treasure the moment. Put the worrying aside.

Always Be Grateful

Laugh Often.  I laugh every day.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres makes me laugh. My children make me laugh. My doodle doggies make me laugh.  Sometimes even I make myself laugh.  HAVE FUN.  SMILE. One genuine smile can brighten an entire room. Share the joy!

Always Be Grateful

Don't spend your life waiting for the big moments.  They only come around every so often. Instead - make every single day a big moment.  Life is all about the little things. Recognize them. Enjoy them. Appreciate them.

And Never forget.....Always Be Grateful.  A grateful heart is a happy heart. I am grateful that my heart is healthy and happy. Be grateful for all you are given. I know I am.

Goal Made!

I got up this morning at 5am and was out the door and on a hike by 5:30am.  My sister and I set a goal to do the guided 8 mile canyon walk this morning. The walk takes you up through a meandering uphill pass through the canyons and the pace is a steady 4.0 miles per hour.  We were due back promptly at 7:30am.  To some of you this might seem an easy task but I am not used to climbing hills and I am definitely not used to climbing mountains so I was pretty much huffing and puffing the entire way.  My sister and I kept squarely in the middle of the pack and we worked hard to not fall back.  The walk was so beautiful and even though it was hard, I loved every step.  There was one spot on the walk that was a straight 1/2 mile uphill.  The guide suggested we circumvent the hill and at that point, I was so tired that I agreed.  As we neared the end of the walk the thought that I only accomplished 7.5 miles really bugged me.  I wanted to meet my goal and I missed it by 1/2 mile.  One of the guides heard me telling my sister how disappointed I was that I didn't meet my goal and he offered to take me on the missing 1/2 mile piece of my goal. He took off at a quick 5.0 mile per hour pace and made me climb a long incline hill so that I could get the full effect of what I missed. It was hard but at the end - such a feeling of accomplishment.  Goal made! 8.0 miles in 2 hours! Check! I feel great!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Dirty Chin

Last night at dinner my daughter kept telling me I had dirt on my chin. My sister and mom saw it too. I had a big dirt splotch on the bottom of my chin.  When we got back to our room I washed my chin three times with soap trying to scrub the splotch off. I kept thinking my chin was much more sore than it should be.  I got closer to the mirror only to discover that it was in fact not a splotch of dirt but instead a bruise. This brought about immediate laughter by everyone.  Why is a bruise funny? Well let's just say that we went to an exercise class.  Let's just say the exercise class was devoted to abdominal muscle workout.  Let's go one step further and say....I HAVE NO STOMACH MUSCLES! I have the most pathetic stomach/non-existent abs in the world.  I am the proud owner of a muffin top. During the ab workout we had to lie on our stomachs and stretch out our arms above our heads. Then we had to lift our arms and head and neck and shoulders off the floor and hold it.  Every time the instructor said, "and relax" I would flop to the floor in writhing agony. I. Can't. Do. This! It was torture.  Lift. Flop. Lift. Flop. Lift. FLOP. And  I bet you are laughing too. Because now you know how I got the big bruise on my chin.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

School for Ants?!

Yesterday I went to a nutrition class and the beginning of the class was a question and answer session. First question, "How many servings do you think are in a pound of pasta?"  My answer was 4.  And by 4, I meant 4 moderately hungry adults because obviously if they were really hungry, we would need more pasta.  WRONG.  The correct answer on the box is 8 servings. EIGHT? I cannot even imagine serving dinner for EIGHT people with ONE box of pasta.  The nutritionist went on to say in actuality there are SIXTEEN servings of pasta in one box of pasta.  WHAT?! 16??? Are you serious? A serving size of pasta is 1/2 cup.  The next question was, "How many servings do you think are in this 1/2 of a bagel?"  Let's see - 1/2 bagel obviously equals 1/2 serving.  You are missing an entire half!  WRONG!  The correct answer is 1/2 bagel equals TWO servings.  There are FOUR servings in ONE bagel.  What IS this class?  A class for ants???!!!!  I continued to get every answer wrong.  1/8 of an avocado is an entire serving. I can eat a whole avocado for a snack!  Olives are counted as fat. Don't olives grow on trees??? Corn is a starch. We grow corn in a garden therefore corn is a VEGETABLE. And ONE banana counts as TWO SERVINGS.  UGH! She showed us a serving size of cake and I said, "In my house - that is called the last bite!" Evidently I have some re-thinking to do on how much food I serve my family. I really have some re-thinking to do on how much food I serve myself.  sigh.  Luckily you can eat as much vegetables as you want every single day so Mr. Yesteryear Acres - please water our garden.  Looks like we are going to need it!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Barbie Bike

The last time my daughter rode a bike it was a Barbie bike with tassels and a little bell. The last time I rode a bike I was in college which was........let's just say it wasn't yesterday.  This morning, I had a great idea that the two of us should take a bike ride.  We signed up for a guided bike ride that was 12.5 miles long. I figured great easy bike ride. Well I was wrong.  I neglected to read the fine print.  I neglected to read it was a Level III bike ride.  I neglected to read the 900 feet elevation change and the ride was for advanced riders.  We left completely unaware of what lay ahead of us.  From the start the biking was tough.  My daughter and I kept thinking we are SO BAD at biking.  We had to pedal constantly. We were huffing and puffing. There was absolutely no coasting or resting.  We didn't realize we were biking uphill though - we just thought OH MY GOSH WE ARE SO TERRIBLE.  The topography of the area led us to believe we were going on short little hills upward followed by flat terrain and then up again.  What we were actually doing is climbing uphill the entire duration. We were miserable.  I believe tears were in my eyes as I kept thinking....HOW WILL WE MAKE IT BACK?!!!!  We were only about 1.5 miles from the turn around when we literally could not make one more rotation on our bike pedal.  We simply could not make it.  We were worried about saving some energy for the return trip home.  We were worried that vultures might start circling soon.  We were worried that the last thing the two of us would ever see would be the bike trail. We felt utterly disappointed that we couldn't finish.  We felt a bit like failures.  We just didn't have anything left.  When the rest of the group finished the leg of the trail and made it back to us, it was time to head back.  We SADLY got on our bikes.  We grimaced when we hit the seat and then............WHAT THE HECK! We were FLYING!!!!!!  It was ALL DOWNHILL!  We actually had to use the brakes as the speed limit for that trail was 15mph and we were going too fast. OH MY GOSH WE ARE AWESOME BIKE RIDERS!!!!!! We are the Lance Armstrong of bike riders!!!!! WE SHOULD BE IN THE TOUR DE FRANCE!  We had giant smiles on our faces.  We could get our water bottles out and still we were flying.  I think we pedaled a total of 12 times for the entire ride back.  In retrospect, had we known the entire ride was uphill, we would have made it to the finish as we would have realized we would be treated to an awesome flying coasting trip home. OR perhaps in retrospect had we known we would be biking up a MOUNTAIN we would have stayed home!  My daughter has let me know that she will never, never, never ever never ride bikes again. I wonder why?

Screaming Like A Little Girl

Last night as my mom, my sister, my daughter, and I were walking, my daughter stopped suddenly and said, "I just stepped on a piece of garbage or something.  I stepped on something weird."  This was immediately followed by loud screaming and her running off at the speed of light. All we could hear was, OH MY GOSH!!!  I JUST STEPPED ON A TARANTULA!!! My sister looked where my daughter had just run from and yes - there was a tarantula.  A tarantula ran across my daughter's foot.  I have never really seen someone run quite that fast.  Of course as soon as I heard my sister verify that yes indeed there was a tarantula on our trail, I was running at light speed right behind my daughter. We ran all the way to our room.  My mom was stopped by a very concerned security guard who came running because he heard laughing and crying and screaming and laughing and crying  and was wondering if we were all okay.  He said he heard someone scream like a little girl.  My mom then told him that a tarantula crawled across her granddaughter's foot.  The security guard's response......"OH! I would scream like a little girl too!!!!" Oh the adventures we are having!   TARANTULA!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, August 6, 2012


Today I got the most awesome compliment. I had someone come up to me and say, "I have never seen someone so happy. You are just the happiest person."  I really love that she said that to me because - well - it is true!  I am a really happy person.  I try really hard to share my happiness and treat people with kindness. I think it is much easier to be kind and thoughtful to everyone you meet and it is definitely a healthier way to live.  I smile every day.   I laugh every day.  I am joyful and thankful every day.  I think if everyone took the time to reflect on all the blessings that have been bestowed upon them, all the good things in their life, all the loved ones in their life - they couldn't help but smile.  Sure there are bad days but that IS the nature of life.  Good Days. Bad Days. Fun Days. Sad Days. Life is full of ups and downs and good and bad but overall life is a gift. Life is a precious happy gift and yes - I am the happiest person. Smile!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Surprise Trip!

This week I have a surprise trip that popped up at the last second.  My mom, my sister, my younger daughter, and I are all on an adventure.  My mom called with the good news that she was taking us on a weeklong trip devoted to exercise, relaxation, and good health. We jumped at the opportunity.  My daughter and I have been working so hard we feel so lucky to have been invited. We are so excited to all be together.  My sister lives in Vermont so we don't get to see her very often.  We had just been talking last week about how she hasn't seen my younger daughter in such a long time and she missed her and now here we are - all together.  We are going to get up early in the morning by 5:30am every single day and are going to take walks and take exercise classes and take excellent care of our health for the whole week.  We are watching what we eat and are eliminating fats and sugars and (ACK) ....even desserts. I plan on coming home quite healthy, fit and relaxed.  Thanks mom!  You are the best!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Getting Bigger

Our sweet Doodle puppies are getting bigger.  Olive's chocolate and caramel Labradoodle puppies are now learning how to go to the bathroom outside and are starting to romp around the yard and play.  They have also mastered licking their dinner plates clean.  They are the friendliest bunch of puppies and are just so sweet.
We call this one "Tonka" cause he is a big puppy.

Our sweet caramel girl loves everyone.

My son calls this one "Liberty" in an attempt to sway me into keeping her.
He thinks he is winning....
Eloise's Double Doodle puppies now have their eyes open.  They are adorable and of course are so cute!
They are very good at giving kisses

And snuggles

Hello World! Nice to see you!

Friday, August 3, 2012

OH! So THAT is where it was!

Now that we are nearing the end of our room cleaning/excavation - I can't tell you how many times I have heard, "OH! So THAT is where it was!" All week long we have been finding missing items.  Items that Mr. Yesteryear Acres had been insisting were thrown away. Items that Mr. Yesteryear Acres may or may not have placed in the room. Items that Mr. Yesteryear Acres may or may not have then forgotten he placed in the room.  Items that Mr. Yesteryear Acres may or may not have been very grumpy about and then had to feel quite remorseful this week as we unearthed the missing items. My son also found some things he was missing as he evidently followed Mr. Yesteryear Acres lead in, "I don't have a place to put this right now so why don't I throw it in here!" mentality.  I can't say that I haven't had some sort of ultimate pleasure this week watching them find what they had insisted was LOST FOREVER.  I never put their things in this room so clearly, I am not to blame.  I just like to sit back and watch the, "OH! So THAT is where it was!" look on their faces.  Who knew cleaning a room could bring so much joy. The room looks fantastic and all that was lost, has now been found.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Reading is FUNdamental!

Today as we continue with Round 3 of our "excavation" project....the end is sooooo near! I think we may just get this room DONE before the weekend.  I had budgeted at least 2 weeks to finish the room but everyone has been helping out so we are making real progress.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres has been coming inside for several hours each day to assist with project which really has been great.  I have to say I wasn't able to get rid of his ABBA cassettes but we did manage to get several big boxes of things organized for donation. As hard as this is for Mr. Yesteryear Acres, he has been a real trooper and we have gone through box after box of his precious belongings and things are really whipping into shape.  I tackled our giant bookshelf today. I think I may have saved every book I have ever read - which is just a inordinate amount of books.  I feel like each book has taken me on some fantastic journey or is a lifelong friend. I took a big step today and decided to share my friends. I said goodbye to so many of my treasured books.  I kept my very favorite favorite ones but all the rest were donated to our local library. The librarian was so excited when my son and I showed up with our many boxes of books.  They were just tickled and said it would make a lot of people really happy. The books were in excellent shape and now my love for reading can be passed on.  My bookshelf looks fantastic now.  I had triple rows of books stacked every which way and it really looked like quite a mess.  Now all the books are nice and neat and of course organized by genre and alphabetized by author. I made so much room on the bookshelf that now all of Mr. Yesteryear Acres construction books, drafting books, engineering books, welding books and all of his assorted remodeling books fit perfectly.  He is so happy to have all his books where he can find them.  I guess that now he can find all those handy construction manuals.......he can start planning on the big kitchen renovation! I bet Mr. Yesteryear Acres will just love it when I mention my new project plan!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Don't Forget the Brown Sugar!

Today is the day. The day my son has waited for. The day marked on the calendar as THE DRIVING TEST DAY! My son has anxiously waited 16 long years for this day to arrive. He has been crossing the days off the calendar one by one, willing today to FINALLY get here.  He could hardly sleep last night as we had the very first appointment this morning.  We left the house this morning with plenty of time to spare and he passed the test quite quickly.  He has been driving tractors since the day his legs were long enough to reach the pedals and is a great driver.  Getting his license today means NO MORE MOMMY chauffeur.  He is so excited.  Do you know who is MORE excited? MOMMY! No matter how much it might not be cool for your mommy to come and pick you up from Cross Country practice or Track practice or baseball games or what have you - it is really not that much fun for the mommy to wait for the bus to get back or leave in the middle of dinner or wake up at the crack of dawn.  Let's just say - we are both really happy.  My son couldn't wait to come home and show Mr. Yesteryear Acres his new Driver's License.  I have to say - it is a really great picture!  He looks like a 16 year old boy that just got his Driver's License with a great big happy smile dreaming of all that freedom.  Freedom to drive wherever he Birthday Boy, "Now that you have your license.....can you please, go fill up the car with gas, pick up my prescriptions at the pharmacy and also load up the truck with the boxes we are donating and drop them off.  We also need a few things at the grocery store so you can swing by there on the way back home.  Oh yes....and don't forget the brown sugar!" Who is more excited now?! Drive Safely!