Friday, November 30, 2012

The End of November

 I hope the month of Thankfulness November has been a good one. It was a great thankfulness month here at Yesteryear Acres.  There have been big special moments when we were a Party of Five gathered around the table laughing and enjoying each other's company, busy moments filled with cleaning and fixing and baking, wonderful moments with new little puppies being born into the world and lots and lots of little moments.  The little moments in between are my favorite.  They are the quiet things that can easily be overlooked. They are the usual and ordinary things that might not feel special but when you look backwards through your life, you realize that your life is really comprised of all the little things. The best thing about writing a daily blog, or remembering to be thankful every day is that every single day you look for things that bring you joy. You stop to think - just what made me smile today? What brought me happiness? If you spend a little time every single day looking for joy and thankfulness, you might be surprised by how much you have to be grateful for. I find joy in all the little things.  Doggies that follow me around the house with their tails wagging, a delicious dinner with the people I love, looking out the window and watching the deer frolic in the woods, putting on warm socks right from the dryer, getting funny texts from my son or I love you texts from my daughters. Sometimes it is something as simple as catching a glimpse of Mr. Yesteryear Acres and my son working side by side fixing a tractor or loading a trailer. I see so much of Mr. Yesteryear Acres in my son and when I see them working together, I just smile.  I know how much we will miss my son when he heads off to college.  The moments they share together now are so precious to me and I am grateful for every single one. Thank you month of November for bringing so many happy moments to my life. Tomorrow morning when I wake up, I will hurry and try to beat Mr. Yesteryear Acres on the "Happy December First"  and then I will be ready for all the joy and happy moments of our beautiful holiday season.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Who wants popcorn?

It is a known fact that I make EXCELLENT popcorn. It is really that good.  A little fresh picked popcorn from the garden, caramelized butter, secret seasonings - I am talking delicious mouth-watering, you will love it popcorn. It is a Yesteryear Acres specialty and we eat it quite often.  It is one of my favorite evening snacks.  Whenever I make popcorn late at night, the conversation with Mr. Yesteryear Acres goes something like this:
Me: "I am going to make some popcorn, do you want some?

Mr. Yesteryear Acres: "No, I am too full to eat popcorn.  I will just have a glass of water."

Me: "Are you SURE you don't want popcorn?  Cause I will make EXTRA if you want some.  If you don't want any, I am going to just make one small batch for me."

Mr. Yesteryear Acres: "No, I don't want any popcorn tonight."

So then of course, I head out to the kitchen and I make TWO batches because EVERY SINGLE TIME without fail - Mr. Yesteryear Acres says, "Oh that popcorn smells so good......can I have some?"  I believe there is some Law of Human Nature where the smell of fresh popped popcorn elicits an immediate Pavlovian response and must be consumed immediately. I have never made a batch of popcorn without someone wanting it.  I honestly don't know why I bother to ask who wants popcorn.  The end result will always be "I do!!"  It goes without saying that I am very thankful that Mr. Yesteryear Acres plants row upon row of popcorn every year.  It takes up a lot of garden space to grow your own popcorn.  It is also a TON of work to get the corn off the cobs.  It is super sharp and our hands get SO sore from shelling the corn but in the end it is all worth it.  So who wants popcorn???

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Not Another Nutcracker!

I am not sure whether to be totally excited or totally frightened.  Tonight Mr. Yesteryear Acres and my son left to do our Sam's Club shopping run. I am excited because I have the ENTIRE HOUSE TO MYSELF!   I am going to watch sappy horrible TV shows that I love with NO TALKING.  I am going to surround myself in quiet and bask in the peace and serenity of a quiet house doing JUST WHAT I WANT.  OH my.  Heavenly! I am frightened because both Mr. Yesteryear Acres and my son went to Sam's Club.  Together.  With a long list. AND I definitely detected a Christmas twinkle in their eyes.  Oh Mr. Yesteryear Acres can NOT resist Christmas things.  He loves Christmas.  He loves EVERYTHING Christmas.  I know when he gets to Sam's Club they will have ALL their Christmas things out and I know Mr. Yesteryear Acres will think we need yet another Nutcracker.  "OH LOOK AT THIS SANTA!!!!!"  That is happening RIGHT NOW.  I can feel it.  I can see them getting another cart.  I can see it being filled with Angels and Nutcrackers and Santa Clauses.  I know that our SUV will be filled to the rim.  My only hope is that the things on the list actually make it home.  Please Mr. Yesteryear Acres, Don't forget the Milk.  We all know - Santa loves milk with his cookies!!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Turkey Goodness!

 Thanksgiving is just my very favorite dinner of the entire year.  I LOVE Thanksgiving Dinner.  I love turkey.  I love stuffing.  I love gravy. I love scalloped corn. I love pecan pie, pumpkin log and pumpkin pie.  I love everything about Thanksgiving dinner from the food to the company to the sentiment.  There is simply no better dinner celebration. I dream about Thanksgiving dinner all year long and am so filled with thanks and happiness when the big day arrives. This year we cooked a big 26lb Turkey for Thanksgiving which can only mean one thing......TURKEY GOODNESS ALL WEEK LONG! Oh yes. I am in turkey heaven!  We have had Thanksgiving leftovers every night.  We have had turkey and gravy over hot fresh baked bread, Grilled turkey and cheese sandwiches,  Thanksgiving Dinner #2 - with ALL the fixings, turkey sandwiches for lunch and tonight.......mmmmmmmmm Homemade Turkey Noodle Soup!  Every year I always say, "THIS is the BEST turkey soup I ever made!"  but this year it is THE BEST TURKEY SOUP I EVER MADE.  I cooked the turkey bones all day long and oh my.  SO YUMMY.  We will have turkey noodle soup every day for lunch the rest of the week.  Turkey Goodness.....I LOVE YOU!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Puppy Thankfulness

This Thanksgiving we had DOUBLE the thanks!!!!  We had two litters of puppies born to bring lots of puppy snuggles and smiles to our holidays.  My daughters were so excited to have new puppies arrive while they were home.  They missed having newborn babies to love!
Our sweet Trixie delivered her rainbow litter of Double Doodle Goodness
Our very first Black Satin Double Doodle Babies!

AND our first Chocolate Double Doodle Baby!

Awwww. Just look at Trixie's boys

AND our sweet Cream Caramel Labradoodle Juneau delivered her babies so we have Double the smiles at Yesteryear Acres!
Awwwwww.  Newborn Snuggle Puppies!!!

Lady's puppies are almost ready for their new homes.  Today they played an awesome game of Leaf Pounce!
What is more fun than Leaf Pounce?

I got mine!

Mine leaf is little. Does it still count?

Who chewed the other half of my leaf?

I am the winner!  I found a red one!!!!
Happy Leaf Pounce Monday!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thankful for the time we had

If you listen closely, you can hear the sounds of my tears landing on the floor.  Our Party of Five was short but sweet. My older daughter headed back to the Marine Corps Base early this afternoon.  Everyone was so sad to see her go but the saddest goodbye was when my two girls said goodbye to one another.  They hadn't seen each other for five long months and having to say goodbye so soon after being reunited was tough.  No one likes to say goodbye to their best friend. The hugs lasted a long time and the tears fell. We are trying to remember that Christmas is right around the corner and we will all be together again soon.  Saying goodbye to my younger daughter today was equally as difficult. My son was so sad to see his sisters leave. My daughters were sad to be the ones leaving. We all know that the next goodbye will be the hardest.  Right after Christmas, my younger daughter will be off to Europe for 6 months and my older daughter will be stationed who knows where. I don't know when my girls will see each other again. I don't know when they will see their brother. I don't know when I will see my older daughter again. I don't know when the five of us will all be reunited again. It will be a long long time.  My girls were both thinking about how much they will miss each other when said their goodbyes today.  We were all thinking that.  We couldn't help it.  We know that the times we will be a "Party of Five" are quickly fading away. So for now, we are going to focus on Christmas and the extreme gratefulness we feel that we get to spend it together.  After that - what will be, will be.  All the sadness in the world and longing to be together can't change the reality of the situation. We will continue be grateful for every moment we have together. We will be happy for every second of family time we share and we will look forward to the time when we will all be together again.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

2 days in ONE! Now that is something to be thankful for!

This morning my daughters and I left the house at 6:10am and braved the BLACK FRIDAY shopping experience.  Okay - so it isn't technically Black Friday but it is still Black Friday weekend so even though it is Saturday - the Black Friday moniker pretty much counts.  It takes about an hour to get to the nearest major shopping place so we pulled into the parking lot right around the time the stores opened.  We were prepared for the madness.  We were prepared for the lines.  We were prepared to park in the farthest parking lot and walk forever to get to the stores.  We were armed with coffee and determination. We arrived at the covered parking area and........there were TONS of spaces! What?!!!??  Did I read the store opening times incorrectly?  Was the store closed????  We parked our car and opened the doors to the store and......hello?  Hello?  We were pretty much the ONLY people there!!!!!!  We went right to the early bird morning specials and GOT EVERYTHING!  They had just the right sizes.  They had just the right colors.  They had everything on our list and more!  We were the only ones in the dressing room.  We were the only ones in line.  We made quick work and got to all the stores and just as we were finishing up, tons of people started arriving.  We made someone's day when we  pulled out and they got the perfect parking spot.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres was SO surprised when we pulled in the driveway at 1:15pm.  He figured he wouldn't see us until late tonight. My daughters were so excited as now we had the WHOLE day ahead of us to enjoy.  They didn't really want to be away from home as they missed home SO MUCH.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres actually quit working early and we have spent the day laughing, watching movies, eating popcorn and enjoying our time together.  I am so thankful our one Saturday has felt like two! We need all the time we can get as tomorrow will be here before we know it!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thankful to have made it all 45 minutes!

Today my younger daughter and I decided we would join my older daughter in her workout routine.  My older daughter is a 2nd Lt in the Marine Corps......did this give us a hint as to the intensity of the workout?????? No - not at all.  My younger daughter and I have been working out regularly.  My younger daughter and I have been lifting weights and working out on treadmills and bikes and have been ever so faithful in our commitment to staying physically fit.  My older daughter asked us if we wanted a beginner routine.  We replied, "OF COURSE NOT!"  We are ready!  We are fit!  We said we were probably ready for EXPERT level but we would stick with an intermediate routine. Ready. Set. GO!
First exercise - jump up in the air with hands overhead and then quickly hit the ground and do a push up and then leap in the air and repeat.
Second exercise - do some sort of lumberjack move with weights swinging up overhead and then swinging down towards the ground and doing a squat where your rear touches the ground and then leap back up and repeat.
Third exercise...........OH MY GOSH I CANNOT GET UP.  My older daughter is doing all this single leg, leaping, leg lifting, weight lifting, aerobic, cardiac, high knee jumping thing while my younger daughter and I are attempting to get up off the ground.  As the routine continues - my older daughter continues to leap and jump and lift and run and my younger daughter and I are more like someone caught in slow motion.  We are not jumping.  We are stepping.  We are not leaping, we are merely getting to a standing position.  We are not lunging - we are trying to bend our knees.  You get the pictures.  Every 5 minutes my younger daughter asks, "HOW MUCH LONGER!?!??!!" Every 5 minutes the time does NOT CHANGE.  We somehow managed to do the entire workout (albeit in slow motion) and I am thankful to have not perished during the routine.
My older daughter went on to do some pullups and more abdominal work.  My younger daughter and I SLOWLY collapsed onto the couch.  Can I have some water please?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thank you for a house full of people I love. Amen

Happy Thanksgiving Day! The thing that I am most grateful for in this world, the thing that brings the most pleasure, the thing that fills my soul and makes me complete is my family.  My family means more to me than anything. They are my greatest happiness. Today and every day I am so thankful for my family.  Here at Yesteryear Acres we celebrated Thanksgiving all day long. We were surrounded by love and gave thanks for all we have been given.  My older daughter made it home from the Marine Corps late last night and I joyfully said goodnight to my son and my younger daughter and my older daughter as they all climbed into their very own beds in their very own rooms. The Yesteryear Acres Party of Five was complete! Together we have spent our Thanksgiving Day caring for doodle puppies and doodle doggies and cooking cooking cooking.  Tonight we had our huge Thanksgiving Meal and everything was perfect.  We were surrounded by family and spent hours at the dinner table laughing until we cried.  I feel complete. Thank you for a house full of people I love.  Amen.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Doodle Friends - Thankfulness Day 21

I am so very grateful for all my doodle friends and doodle families.  I have made so many kind and thoughtful doodle friends throughout the years. I have many wonderful doodle breeder friends that bring compassion and understanding to the 24 hours a day/7 days a week doodle doggie job. Their friendship is a continual blessing.  I always knew that raising doodle doggies would be a most excellent way to spend my days, but I never knew it would bring with it so many dear friends. I get doodle doggie picture updates like these that bring me so many smiles!
Doodle Doggie Bringing Comfort and Joy

Doodle Doggie waiting for a snack

Doodle Doggies posing perfectly for their Doodle Portrait

Doodle Doggie and Best Doggie friend enjoying the waterfront

Doodle Fireman Doggie

Good Little Doodle Doggie
and so many more.  My inbox is FULL of smiles!!!!
 I am also super lucky because my doodle friends sometimes bring me presents and everyone knows....I LOVE PRESENTS!  I have been blessed with everything from brownies and cookies, to a Marine Corps Mom keychain and tomato plants.  I have been treated to fresh crabs cooked to perfection and I have been incredibly surprised by the most adorable doodle purse ever. I have even received mail packages with Salsa Verde chips! 
Did I mention...... I LOVE PRESENTS! I am seriously touched by all the thoughtful gifts that have come my way.  They have brought us SO much joy!!!  Raising Doodle Puppies is the best.  
Having Awesome Doodle Friends.......I am SO VERY THANKFUL!  
You mean so much to me!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Preparations - Thankfulness Day 20

I have been so busy getting ready for Thanksgiving Day.  There is so much to do and so little time!  Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I have been running around trying to get everything just right.  Today I have been cleaning, cleaning, cleaning! If all goes well...........we will be a PARTY OF FIVE by Thursday morning.  We are so hopeful that our older daughter will make it home.  She hasn't been home since early July.  Today I was busy dusting every nook and cranny of her room.  I cleaned and dusted all her American flags (and believe me - her room is full of them), her Congressional Flag, and all of her Marine Corps and Naval Academy mementos. My biggest Thanksgiving wish is that I get to say goodnight to her at home while she is safely tucked in her very own bed. I also cleaned my younger daughter's room as she is ON THE WAY HOME!!!! YEA!  She called me from the car to say her last class was dismissed early so she is on the way!  SO THANKFUL and SO EXCITED!  I am also very thankful for all the help getting everything ready for Thanksgiving.  Last night my son took THE LONGEST GROCERY LIST in the world and did ALL the Thanksgiving Grocery Shopping!!!!  I mean all of it!  He got every single thing on the list too!  As always, I am so thankful for all the love surrounding me at Yesteryear Acres.  It makes every day a day for giving thanks!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Just What I Wanted to Be - Thankfulness Day 19

When I was a little girl I had a Great Dane doggie bestest buddy.  She was the best dog you could ever ask for.  I knew way back then that I always had to have a doggie best buddy in my life. A doggie's endless unconditional love is one of life's greatest pleasures.  When I was in college I worked at a Pet Store as an assistant manager.  I LOVED the animals.  I loved being with the animals.  At one point I considered not finishing college as I was offered the manager position but there was something just not as fulfilling as I wanted it to be working at the Pet Store.  I decided to pursue my degree and after a while, I realized that the Pet Store wasn't for me.  It was because I loved the animals so much, that I couldn't work there anymore.  I couldn't stand the cages. I couldn't bear to see the puppies arriving in the store that were WAY too young to be separated from their mommies.  I also couldn't deal with the financial status of the pet store being more important than the health of the puppies. I had to part ways. Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I talked about how much we loved dogs and how we would love to be surrounded by doggie best buddies. Almost 20 years ago we bought our very first Labrador Retrievers that we named "Ozzie and Harriett" and they were GREAT dogs.  We raised Labrador Retriever Puppies for many years and then we fell in love with Labradoodles and decided to raise doodle doggies.  We now have Labradoodles and Goldendoodles and Double Doodles. It is DOODLE HEAVEN here!  I could never ask for a better job in my whole life. Spending my days raising Doodle Doggies is just what I wanted to be when I grew up! I am ever so thankful that I have the best job in the whole world.  I get to be with my family.  I get to live at Yesteryear Acres. I get to spend my days surrounded by doodle doggie love!!!! Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I are so thankful.  It is just what we both wanted to be.
Here are a few of the cuties here for this week's Monday Puppy Picture Update
Playing outside is SO FUN!

We get to play chase the leaves

and take potty breaks like good little puppies

and POUNCE on our littermates

and chill out and soak up the sun's warm rays

and play keep away. MY LEAF!

And give high fives!

We are too little so we just snuggle

But it won't be too long before we get to play leaf chase too!
Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

When it works, I am thankful....Thankfulness Day 18

Let's just call today a great big wash of frustration.  A pile of not that much fun and quite a bit of agony. Evidently the electronic/internet/phone gremlins decided to hover over Yesteryear Acres.  In fact the gremlins reach was SO great, it reached my older daughter allllllllllll the way at the Marine Corps Base in Quantico as well as my younger daughter away at college.  Why did the gremlins have to visit? I have NO IDEA.
Here is the Gremlin Count
1) My phone randomly turns off whenever the battery level dips below 30%.  No warning.  No hesitation. Complete shut down.  Only way to bring it back is to plug it into the wall where it will come back on and proudly show 30% battery remaining.  I now have to do a total restore on my phone and erase everything.
2) My older daughter's phone is totally fried.  As in the phone store played TAPS for it.  As in there is NO way to transfer any contacts whatsoever.  It will not power up at all.  So now she has lost ALL her contacts.  Everyone from high school.  Everyone from the Naval Academy.  Everyone at the Marine Corps Base.  And before you ask if she had a backup copy of her contacts - let's just go with the obvious answer.  No.  She spent FOUR hours at the phone store to only to be told it would take at least 2 weeks for a replacement phone, they had no loaner phone, they had no rental phone.  So of course she had to use an "upgrade", pay the ridiculous fee and has a blank phone with no contacts.  You can imagine her joy.
3) Meanwhile my younger daughter's phone will no longer send texts.  At all.  Nothing.  And I spent hours on the phone with technical support, having my daughter go through 100 different repair steps to only find it is a server issue.  And now we have her phone really messed up and it won't be able to be corrected until the server issue has been fixed.
4) AND to make my whole circle of Gremlin fun complete - our modem from the phone company is going down.  I have to run upstairs every 30-45 minutes, unplug, reboot and then re-install the modem software, encryption key and re-establish an internet connection for every computer.  Although I am SURE this is helping my physical fitness mental state is questionable.  And the cherry on top of my Gremlin sundae is that the phone company no longer provides modems to their customers....but you are welcome to purchase a new one at full price.  OH BOY!
So EVEN though this post doesn't SEEM all that thankful - it only goes to show that WHEN my electronics/internet/phones all work - I AM REALLY THANKFUL.  Please Gremlin.  Go away.  I wish to bathe in my thankfulness for working electronics. I AM SO THANKFUL WHEN THEY WORK!!!!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Look at the Stars, Look how they Shine for you - Thankfulness Day 17

Today's Thankfulness, or rather this evening's thankfulness... my appreciation for the beautiful night sky.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I often go out late at night and star gaze.  It is something we really enjoy. We love finding all the constellations we can.  We love the twinkling of the stars. We love the vastness of the giant star-filled sky. We love to go back to the pond in the complete blackness of night and lie down on the dock and admire the millions of stars in the sky.  It brings a sense of serenity and peacefulness to our hectic and busy days.  Last night we were treated to a meteor shower. Bright brilliant green comets streaking across the sky bringing "Ooohs and Ahhhhhs" as our faces alight with huge smiles.  Meteor showers bring a whole other level of appreciation and wonderment.  When I look up at the stars on a dark clear night, I am reminded of just how small we are. No matter how big our worries or problems might seem, they are really small in comparison to the world around us.  I like to surrender my worries to the stars, find comfort shining down from those up in heaven and give thanks to the beauty that surrounds me. Look at the Stars.  Look how they Shine for you and everything you do.  Thankful.

Friday, November 16, 2012

All Creatures Great and Small - Thankfulness Day 16

Life here at Yesteryear Acres means always having a animal companion to make our days better.  We love all our creatures both great and small.  We love the deer that frolic in our woods.  We love the fish that swim in our pond.  We love raising chickens and having fresh farm eggs. We love the goslings and birds and doodle doggies and all our doodle puppies. One of my favorite sights at Yesteryear Acres  is watching our horses out in the pasture. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't truly love seeing my horses. To me they are living beautiful works of art. I just love them. Sadly, today - we had to put one of our horses to sleep.  The vet has been back and forth trying to save our old pony but today he said there just wasn't any more they could do for him.  We are all so sad to say goodbye to Pappy.  He was a great pony. He was easy going and would do anything for a backscratch.  I am thankful to have had so many years with our sweet Pappy.
Pappy is the pony on the far left  
He fit in perfectly with the big horses
No matter what season, what weather, what time of day
The horses are a beautiful sight each and every day
Growing up with horses brings a special kind of joy and happiness that can't be found anywhere else
They give the best big hugs!
Pappy - we will miss you.  Thank you for being such a loving pony.


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Twins - Nope! Thankfulness Day 15

My sister and I have been best friends forever.  I was five years old the day she was born and the second she arrived into this world, I knew I would never be lonely again.  We had a rough childhood growing up but we always had each other.  My sister knows what it is like to be me.  I know what it is like to be her.  We bring a set of experiences that no other people on the planet share. We have an unwavering support for one another and provide each other with unconditional love and compassion. When we were little, I know she felt the comfort of having a big sister that was always there for her. What she didn’t know is that I felt that same comfort by having a little sister that was always there for me. No matter what, we knew our sisterhood bond of unwavering friendship and devotion would never be broken. We are competitive but not so much that if the other one wins, we aren’t filled with the same joy that we have with our own victories. We love to play games, laugh, share stories, go shopping, and just be together. We always get asked if we are twins - we are that much alike. There have been many times in our lives where she needed me and just as many times that I needed her.  When I suffered a heart attack 3 years ago, her support was one of the things that helped me grow strong again. My stress-induced heart attack was caused by a confrontational attack by a step family member which not only caused me physical pain, but mental anguish as well.  My sister was there for me. She believed in me and she knew what pain I was in. She was a constant affirmation of strength and empathy and provided me with unconditional acceptance of the steps I needed to take to be healthy.  My heart attack only strengthened our bond as she was there to lift me up and provide me with the validation I so desperately needed. Today and every day I am thankful for my sister. A long time ago she gave me a shamrock laminated in a card that reads, “You will always be my Best Friend”.  The card sits right on my desk and whenever I see it I smile because I know no matter how many miles separate us – we will always be the best of friends and the closest of confidants.

 My sister… my first friend …my forever friend – I am so thankful for you. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pit Crew - Thankfulness Day 14

First, let me start with the END of the story.  We are all fine.  We are safe.  The story has an everyone is FINE ending.  I just didn't want you to worry while you were reading about our adventures as a PIT CREW yesterday so I thought I would spare you the suspense.
Yesterday Mr. Yesteryear Acres, my son, and I went out to meet my parents for my birthday dinner.  Yes, I know my birthday was in August but this was actually the first date that we all had a free evening at the same time. We left our house ON time - which let me tell you - here at Yesteryear Acres with all our doodle doggie and doodle puppies - that is a miraculous feat in and of itself. There we were driving along the busy freeway when the car engine warning system flashed a red exclamation point, "LOW TIRE PRESSURE!"  What? Is it sure?  What is ....OH NO!!!!!!!!  FLAT TIRE!!!!  Just like that.  We were barely able to pull off the side of the freeway.  I said something like, "OH NO! WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO!?!???!!!!"  I am sure I had a panic voice when I said it.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres and my son said, "Change the tire."  Just like that.  No excitement.  No CAN YOU BELIEVE WE JUST GOT A FLAT TIRE!!!  Just a simple, "change the tire."  It seemed simple until we went outside to jack the SUV  up. The cars were FLYING BY.  I mean the speed limit is 65, but evidently that was the suggested starting MPH.  It was pitch dark and NO one was slowing down.  We had about 6 inches between the tire and the road.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres gave me a flashlight so I could stand on the edge of the road and wave it to try to get cars to either slow down or move into the other lane.  So there I was, waving the flashlight and NO ONE CARED!!!!  My faith in humanity was being CRUMBLED!  I kept thinking, "PLEASE don't hit Mr. Yesteryear Acres.  PLEASE don't hit my son".  Then as more cars barreled down the freeway getting awfully close to us, I had the occasional, "PLEASE don't hit me either!"  It was ridiculous.  I started counting. About one in every 20 cars moved to the other lane.  The other lane was open too!  It wasn't like it would have been inconvenient for them to move over!  I was actually shocked.  I was waving my flashlight like a mad woman.  MOVE OVER! MOVE OVER!  No one listened. I stood there in awe.  I actually couldn't believe it and I still can't believe it.  Luckily Mr. Yesteryear Acres and my son are MOST EXCELLENT pit crew members!  They had the tire changed pretty quickly and we were safe and back on the road in no time.  So I am sure you KNOW what today's thankfulness is! I am thankful that Mr. Yesteryear Acres and my son are safe.  (I am also thankful that the car tire chose to go flat when I wasn't the one driving it all by myself even though that isn't the nicest is so true!! I am glad I had them to fix the tire!!!)  I am really thankful that both my son and my husband know how to change a tire in record time and we were able to make it safely to dinner and back home again.  What's on today's list? TIRE SHOPPING!  I hope to be thankful that we find a good deal on tires!!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Don't forget the Shopping List - Thankfulness Day 13

Mr. Yesteryear Acres is not only the best husband, father, business partner, chef, friend, handyman, doggie's best friend BUT he also is a great shopper! Yesterday in the wet, cold, rainy, yucky, miserable day - Mr. Yesteryear Acres went out to do our shopping. The list was ridiculously long and it would have been really helpful to have 2 people do the shopping. Mr. Yesteryear Acres had to do a huge overloaded flatbed run through the checkout, load up the SUV, and then go back to do a huge shopping cart load.  Did he complain? Not one bit.  Am I thankful? SO THANKFUL!!!!! I got to stay home in our nice warm house with my doodle doggies while Mr. Yesteryear Acres tackled the "we need everything" list. He is always willing to run to the store and load up the SUV.  It doesn't matter what is on the list or how long the list is, Mr. Yesteryear Acres can be counted on to cross every item off.  He even thinks of things I forget to put on the list.  If we are running low on cream, he remembers.  If I am almost out of my Greek Yogurt, he remembers. He always remembers to bring home my favorite yellow cherry tomatoes and never forgets my healthy bread.  He brings home everything on the list and more.  Thank you Mr. Yesteryear Acres. You make our house a home.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Weatherfulness - Thankfulness Day 12

Today's thankfulness is devoted to weather.  Sunny, Rainy, Windy, Snowy, Stormy, Blissful - I love it all.  Horrible awful weather days just make me more appreciative of beautiful days.  Cold cloudy days make me think of blankets and pajamas and popcorn and movies. Beautiful sunny days make me think of flowers and swimming and hiking and picnics.  I love living where we have a HUGE variety in our weather systems.  Yesterday it was 73* and sunny.  Today it is hailing/icing/raining and really cold.  We get it all.  We get the beauty of all four seasons.  We get the fun of having closets full of winter boots AND summer sandals.  Living here at Yesteryear Acres means snowing and sledding and swimming and fishing. It is a cornucopia of weatherfulness.
Here is to yesterday's wonderful weather AND to my thankfulness that Mr. Yesteryear Acres said, "let's do the puppy pictures today in the beautiful sunshine!"  He knew today would be RAINY and COLD!  Good ole Mr. Yesteryear Acres!
The late Autumn Flowers still smell wonderful

Mr. Yesteryear Acres has the best lap in the whole world!

The sun feels so good!

What game do you want to play now?

I want to chase leaves!

I've got my eye on a great big maple leaf!

Hello.  I look just like my Daddy!

You know you said it!  They are so adorable!!!  Little snuggle bears!
Happy Monday!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Thank you for your Service -Veteran's Day Thankfulness

Today (and each and every day) I give my deepest thanks and gratitude to all those who serve to protect us. These men and women give of themselves and sacrifice so much so that we can be free.  They go without their warm beds, good food, family, friends, loved ones.  They go without a kiss or hug goodnight, a walk with their favorite doggie, they go without everything that is near and dear to their heart so that we can be safe in our warm beds, eating our good food, being with our family, friends and loved ones. My daughter was so young the day she walked through the gates of the United States Naval Academy. At that exact moment she said goodbye to her childhood and took an oath to defend our country.
Her Grandpa who served in the United States Navy Seabees was there to personally give the oath.

I was moved to tears when I saw my father-in-law in his dress uniform alongside my daughter. So much love.  So much emotion. So much gratitude. There are no adequate words to express the depths of my feelings that day.
Four Years Later, My father-in-law was there to give my daughter her first salute.
I could barely take the picture as the tears rolled down my face.

The two of them LOVE swapping military stories and will talk for hours and hours. "Hey Abigail, Did I ever tell you the time when I....." 
Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I know so much more about his Dad than we ever did.  He is an amazing man.
And this little boy......
Who is now this tall boy
Can't wait for the day when he will serve.
From my family to yours and to all military families everywhere
Happy Veteran's Day
Thank you for your Service

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Date Night - Thankfulness Day 10

Oh I am SO thankful that tonight is going to be Date night for Mr. Yesteryear Acres and I!  Mr. Yesteryear Acres is going to come IN THE HOUSE by dark time tonight.  He is going to STOP working when the sun goes down.  I can't tell you how thankful I am for Daylight Savings time.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres has NO idea how late it is until it is pitch black outside.  During the summer months, he is never inside before 10pm.  Now that Daylight Savings time is upon us, Mr. Yesteryear Acres gets the hint that it is getting late as early as 7:30pm!  Miracle!!! If we lived in the Land of the Midnight Sun - I probably wouldn't see him for months!  He is definitely a hard-working man.  I am usually just as busy inside so it is rare for either of us to actually sit down before 10-11pm at night. Well tonight, we have officially declared it a night off.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres is going to make his special Steak dinner and then we are going to watch a WHOLE movie.  That's right.  An entire movie from the opening credits to the final ending.  In one evening.  We are going to have popcorn!  We are going to have ice cream! We are going to have a date night!
And what I am really thankful for is that after 25 years of marriage, I know that even though I just wrote that we are going to have an official date night with popcorn, ice cream and a movie..........Mr. Yesteryear Acres will fall asleep on the couch right next to me within 15 minutes of the movie starting. But he will be there and I am so thankful for that. He will be there right next to me and even though he will probably sleep through date night - I wouldn't have it any other way.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres is the best movie watching, popcorn eating, ice cream loving, date night companion I could ever ask for.  AND no matter how many times he has seen a always seems like a new movie to him! Ha ha ha! All right sunset.....I AM READY!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Sun Visor and Snow - Thankfulness Day 9

Very early this morning I left in complete darkness to make a puppy delivery trip to Maryland.  The puppies all looked at me with blinky weary faces wondering why we had to get up so early.  I hit the road right on time and just about the time I was feeling really sleepy, up rose the sun.  It was a great big red fireball that lit up the world.  I got to drive straight into the fireball.  I was EVER so thankful for the car's sun visor.  I don't know if I could have made the drive without it!  There wasn't a cloud in the sky and the sun was shining in all her glory. As I headed into the mountains, I was surprised and happily delighted by a sneak peek at winter! The entire landscape was sparkly white and the snow just looked beautiful.  It made me smile the rest of my trip.  I arrived in Maryland right on time, and then greeted most of my puppy families with their new furry best friends.  I had one puppy family running 2 1/2 hours late so I spent a good deal of time getting to know the parking lot. Once I finished with my puppy deliveries, I  hit the road for my long drive home just in time to............. drive right into the setting sun.  Yes, I got to drive into the sunrise AND into the sunset all in the same day.  So today I am thankful for
Puppy Families meeting their cute new puppies
Sun Visors
Beautiful snowscapes
(Yes, I DID take these while driving BUT I kept my eyes on the road!)

But most of all....
I am thankful to be back home safe and sound!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

GOAL! Thankfulness Day 8

Today, when I stepped on the scale this morning.... happiness enveloped me!  I REACHED MY GOAL! I am officially down 18lbs and am at the exact weight that was prescribed to me a few months ago. THANKFULNESS AND THEN SOME!!!! In early August I was faced with some somber health facts. Even though I wasn't particularly heavy, all the weight I was carrying was pure fat. I had no muscle mass.  I had way too much visceral belly fat.  I had very little strength. My body composition results were depressing.  It was right then and there that I vowed to make a change.  In my defense, I have had some rather significant health crisis events that added to my weakened state but the facts were plain and simple.  Gain some muscle mass and in the process gain good health. We have always eaten well  here at Yesteryear Acres.  We eat 3-4 vegetarian meals a week and we pretty much make everything from scratch. The changes I made were subtle but resulted in significant results.  I have NOT dieted.  I am not on ANY diet.  I made lifestyle changes that I will stick to the rest of my life.  The most important change was of course exercise.  I do cardio exercise 4-5 times a week. I do it without fail.  I don't think of excuses to NOT exercise.  I accept the fact that I must exercise in order to live a long and healthy life and so I do it.  I also strength train 3 times a week.  Just this week, I was able to increase my weights for every strength exercise!  That was a HUGE accomplishment! I can't say that weight training is my favorite thing or that getting on the treadmill is SO fun BUT I can say that I look a million times better.  I feel a million times better. My clothes like me a million times better too.  The actual act of exercising doesn't bring me great joy but the feeling after I am done - well that is pure joy.  In addition to exercising, I have cut down my portion sizes and I am conscious of everything I eat.  I have been sticking to REAL food.  I never eat low-fat or sugar free or any processed type "fattening" food pretending to be low calorie.  I eat a sensible breakfast full of fiber and protein.  I eat a really healthy lunch which has protein, fiber and carbs.  For snacks, I always make sure to combine protein with my carbs.  I never eat one without the other. I eat whole grains and brown rice and quinoa.  I added greek yogurt as something I eat regularly. I can't say that I LOVE it - but it is really good for you and I feel pretty darn healthy after eating it. And just to emphasize that this is not a weird diet thing - I still eat homemade bread and cookies and ice cream and candy.  The only difference now is that if I am going to have cookies - I have one or two cookies.  I don't have a plate of cookies (who would ever do that!! ha ha ha!).  If I want some M&Ms - I eat them.  BUT my limit is nine single M&Ms in one day.  Could I eat the ENTIRE BAG of M&Ms?!  SURE!  But honestly if you know that every day you can have 9 M&Ms - then they aren't some forbidden deliciousness that you crave.  You just happily eat your 9 M&Ms and look forward to having them again. It is all about moderation and healthy choices.   If I didn't just experience this for myself - I NEVER would believe it but I promise you - IF you give your body healthy things....Protein, Fiber, Vegetables, Whole Grains.... you won't crave things that are bad for you.  Before August, I probably ate Doritos and Potato Chips a minimum of six days a week.  I literally would perish if I didn't have chips with my lunch!  Now - I hardly eat them.  It is weird because I don't even crave them.  I don't crave a lot of things that used to drive my "bad" eating habits.  I feel satisfied and have lots of energy and I feel super healthy.  Give it a try!  You will be surprised at how quickly your thankfulness will come!!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Do Good - Thankfulness Day 7

After the long road to the Presidential election there are bound to be those who are overcome with joy and gratitude while others wallow in the depths of despair.  I have friends on both sides.  It is rare to have everyone united and joyous at the same time for the same reasons when it comes to politics. In the midst of bitterness and disappointment as well as in the midst of of celebration and victory - one thing should remain... kindness.  Go out of your way to do good things. Don't just be a good person but DO good.  If we all reach into the depths of our souls and bring forth the goodness that lies within, we can come together and take joy in what makes America a great place to live. It is the responsibility of every citizen to care for their fellow Americans.  Reach out.  Offer assistance in the time of need. Provide a support system for your neighborhood.  Be someone others can count on.  The littlest gestures can sometimes bring the greatest relief.  Be thoughtful.  Be kind.  Be grateful. We have been given many blessings. Countless blessings. Never take that for granted and always remain thankful for every happiness that is bestowed upon you. A grateful life is a happy life.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Right to Vote - Thankfulness Day 6

No matter how you feel about the election, the candidates, the issues or the arduous task of voting, the fact we CAN vote and DO have a voice is something to always be thankful for.  We have the right to our opinions.  We have the right to express our opinions.  We have the right to have differing view points.  If you love your candidate - that is awesome.  If I love my candidate - that is awesome.  If they in fact are not the same candidate - that is our right and the fact we have a choice - is awesome.  No matter how the election turns out this evening, we as Americans have lined up and secured our vote and voiced our opinion as to who should be the next Commander-In-Chief of our great country. Having a daughter graduate from the Naval Academy and at this very moment out in the wet, the cold, the damp, the chilly, training as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps strengthens my belief in what we stand for.  We stand for Freedom.  Whoever gets the honor of being the next President of the United States of America - please keep my daughter safe.  Protect her and all those who serve.  Watch over them as if they were your very own children.  Thank you.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Puppy Picture Mondays - Thankfulness Day 5

Of course it goes without saying that I am so very thankful for my sweet doodle puppies!  I love them so much and am so blessed to be surrounded by puppy snuggles every single day.  Every Monday is Puppy Picture Monday and I am thankful that Mondays bring people smiles and happiness. I have so many people that look forward to Mondays just so they can see the cute new adorable puppy picture updates.  I am super thankful that I have a nice camera that can take pictures quickly! I used to have a camera with the slowest shutter speed ever.  I would have the PERFECT puppy pose, "CLICK" and then 5 seconds later the camera would take the photo.  In the puppy world....5 seconds is WAY too long! By the time the camera would actually take the picture - that puppy was already onto something new!  My camera now is much faster and even though I have to take at least 300 pictures every Monday - I have far more pictures that are puppy perfect rather than just pictures of tails and ears flying by. Sometimes it is hard to pick my favorite pictures of the week. They are just so cute! And so - I wouldn't want this Monday during our Thankfulness November to go by without a few cute pictures from today.
Recess time!!!!


What's for dinner tonight?

Snuggle Teddy Bear 

Lady's Double Doodle Puppies are getting bigger

But sleepy time is still best!

Our newest McGyver Christmas Doodles!

So precious!

Happy Monday of Thankfulness!