Friday, January 31, 2014

Gloves and Hats not required!

Oh my gosh - I went outside today without a hat!  Without Gloves! I cannot remember the last time I went outside without looking like someone working in the polar ice caps.  The only thing I have exposed are my eyes as the rest of me is completely bundled and then some. Today felt like a veritable heat wave.  I never knew 34* could feel so warm.  Grits and I decided we couldn't miss such a perfect weather snow walk.
Grits says that it feels like summer!

Come on!  Faster!

Oh alright....I'll come back to get you!

This is how she encourages me to walk faster

It works every time!

And she is off again!

Look who we found waiting for us by the pond! Yay!  Walking buddies!

Finally not too cold for the camera!

HEY!  Those are REALLY BIG Doodles!!!!!

I wonder what that hay tastes like

Better catch up!

Trixie says, "Now that was FUN!"

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Until the Purple Sky sent us in

This morning my son did something totally different....he went to school! We did have a 2 hour delay but then - off to school he went.  The house seemed quite empty without him home!  He asked me if I wanted to go play in the snow after he was done with school. I said that it was clean the house Thursday and I didn't think I would have time.  He gave me a very good speech about making time to enjoy life and the snow was just perfect and it has been too cold to play so I finally agreed that at 4:30pm, I would stop everything and go out with him.  Let me tell you, I am kind of a driven person and stopping mid-project is almost impossible for me.  At 4:30pm, I needed to switch laundry loads, brush the doggies, empty the dishwasher, load the dishwasher and put dinner in the oven.  How could I just stop?  At 4:37pm, my son dragged me outside.  I am SO glad he did!  We had the best time together.  We ended up playing a snow doodle doggie version of "Monkey-in-the-Middle" and the dogs had a blast.  I think they probably ran 10 miles back and forth between my son and I.  We took a long hike and then as the sun started bathing the countryside in a brilliant orange and red, we headed on back.  The sky deepened to a beautiful purple and it was time to go inside for the night. I still have a million things to do - but now I have a million things AND a big smile on my face. I think the snow break was just what I needed!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

ONE Pancake

This morning our paper proudly announced that our city was the coldest official location in the U.S., including Alaska, at 19 degrees below zero. What an awesome distinction! Here at Yesteryear Acres our thermometer read -22*, so maybe Yesteryear Acres was the coldest location!  It sure felt like it. Once again, my son's school was cancelled so this morning it was his turn for the big warm breakfast.  He decided to make pancakes.  He asked me how many I wanted, to which I replied, "One".  This set off a long series of, "Are you sure you only want ONE pancake?" and "What about One-and-a-half Pancakes?" or "Can't you eat two pancakes?"  I assured him that with my commitment to healthy eating, one pancake was all I wanted to eat.  While I would love to eat 6 pancakes....that would lead to 6 pancakes surrounding my mid-section. Those pounds don't come off like the used to! My son got busy making a gigantic batch of pancakes because he can easily eat a dozen or more and Mr. Yesteryear Acres can put that away without even trying.  When I was called to breakfast - this was my plate:
One pancake. One GIGANTIC pancake that didn't even fit on the plate!  I asked for one pancake and boy did I get one!  By the son's blueberry pancakes are delicious!  And I was SO good watching my calories.  See?  I just ate one pancake! Commitment to healthy eating preserved!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Warm from the inside out

This morning when I got out of bed it was -18* (actual temperature).  Mr. Yesteryear Acres said it had already warmed up 7 degrees since he got up. Wow! Heat wave!!! It is hard to think that as I sit here this evening at -5* we are a whole 20* warmer than this morning.  Never fear though....the temperatures are swiftly dropping and tomorrow will be another cold one.  To prepare for our arctic blast of weather, Mr. Yesteryear Acres insists on a big warm full country breakfast to start the day.  He says we have to warm up from the inside out.
Here is my son's plate this morning
There are three eggs buried in there along with the homemade biscuits.  We also had big glasses of fresh squeezed orange juice to complete our breakfast feast.  As soon as we were done, Mr. Yesteryear Acres began preparing a venison stew......for the doggies!
He says they need to be warmed up from the inside out too!!!  The doggies LOVED their stew and decided maybe this cold weather IS delightful!
I'm not so sure.  I mean letting the dogs out is quite the ordeal!!!! At least we have a ton of snow to play in. You can barely see our pond now.
No ice skating here!  The snow is almost up to the top of the dock. We had beautiful snow rollers down our hay field too.  Looks like tomorrow we are in for another delicious breakfast.  I think Mr. Yesteryear Acres just might be onto something!

Monday, January 27, 2014

We heard that!

Juneau's puppies are 3 weeks old and their little ears are open so they can now hear all the day-to-day happenings at Yesteryear Acres.  As soon as we walk into the room, they all greet us with little barks of excitement. They are just soooo cute! You can watch them run around saying, "We heard that!"  Here are this week's pictures......
Juneau's 2 Light Apricot Boys

Little Teddy Bears of Cuteness

Juneau's Apricot Boys

I love their little white markings

A matched set!

Juneau's 2 Caramel boys

They have silky soft coats

Juneau's soft wavy coated girls

Her dark apricot curly girl

She says it is naptime!
Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Tale of Two Doggies

We have certainly been given ample opportunity to enjoy our winter this season.  Record setting arctic temperatures, record snowfalls, windchills that whip right through every single layer.  There is no doubt - it is winter! My son has had school cancelled more times this winter than the previous winters combined.  It looks like tomorrow will be another "Snow" day - or rather, "It is WAY TOO COLD TO GO OUTSIDE! " school cancellation. Our doggies know it is winter too.  Our puppy Grits LOVES LOVES LOVES  snow days.  She bounds outside with so much enthusiasm.  Today she was almost buried in snow and you could just see her leaping from snow drift to snow drift, burying her face into the snow until she was covered from head to toe in frozen "snowberries".  She can't get enough of it.  You can almost hear her, "OH BOY! SNOW!  What does THIS snowflake taste like?  What does this pile of snow feel like? What does this snow tunnel look like? I LOVE SNOW!"  My doggie Scooter is another story.  When I open the door to let him out, he turns around and gives me the look that says, "SNOW? AGAIN?!!! Grrrrrr"  He then waits on the top step as if some miracle will occur and the snow will disappear.  After an eternity, he finally acquiesces and slowly and reluctantly walks down the remaining stairs.  When he reaches the bottom, he is done.  He refuses to walk one more step and RIGHT there is where he decides to do his business. As if walking another 4 feet will kill him.  He then turns around, walks up the steps and you can almost hear him, "You made it snow, you clean that up".  The rest of the doggies fall somewhere between the two extremes.  Most of them love it.  I mean snow DOES taste DELICIOUS!  Just ask Grits!!! 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

At least we have the Banana Cake

I know. I know. I had a really really really long break with my younger daughter at home so in no way can I complain that she is gone ....but WAH!  She is gone!  It will probably be the last long break like that.  We had SO much fun together this winter break.  We went on snow hikes and snow walks and sledding and skating and played with the doodle doggies every day.  We made some gourmet culinary treats and spent every minute we could enjoying each other's company.  I am so grateful for all the time we had and now.......the house seems a little empty without her sweet smile. She is just the most considerate, sweetest kindest person and her presence fills the house with happiness and endless smiles.  I know it will be hard for her to be away - just as it is hard for me to have her gone. We have already set up a time to video chat because of course - we miss each other already.  I know we will quickly get into the "School Routine" and the weeks will start ticking away but for feels so sad to have her gone but at the same time - we are so grateful for the time we were given.  Mr. Yesteryear Acres and my son and I will have to eat a piece of her birthday banana cake in her honor.  Thanks for a great break!  We miss you!
ps....your cake is delicious!!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

And So It Begins Again...

Today I gathered up the rest of my things and packed up my little car. To say it was at full capacity would be a bit of an understatement. Thank goodness my Dad is an excellent packer! He can look at any array of variously shaped items and get them to fit as if they were made to go that way. It's like the most complex puzzle ever and my Dad can just *POOF* get everything to fit. I always ask my Dad to pack up my car by stating "Dad, I packed way too much stuff and it is never ever going to fit in my car. However I would like it too because I really need it all. Can you pretty please help me pack my car?" being the loving Mr. Yesteryear Acres that he is, he ALWAYS helps me. I think this might have been his finest masterpiece yet! He got absolutely everything to fit! Thankfully I had a very easy drive all the way back to school. I made excellent time and was even able to bring all my stuff inside before my meeting!! I have been in meetings and working on paperwork all evening! We have quite a bit of work to do before all the residents arrive for the new semester.I haven't even had the chance to unpack my things yet and settle back into my dorm room. I will be in meetings for most of tomorrow and then I have to create my new bulletin board. I will need to dig out my sheets and blankets so I can at least sleep tonight! My dorm room is still having heat issues. It's so cold in my room that I think polar bears could happily live here. My university actually just sent out an email warning us about the extreme cold and how they will be working on all the heating issues as soon as possible. They suggested that students bring extra clothing and blankets back to school. I didn't need an email reminding me how cold it is. Im frozen to my floor! I do not have high hopes of being warm anytime soon, as I have had people come to fix my heat several times already. Alas that is the curse of living in a beautiful old building. Thankfully I love my school and building. I can't believe it's a new semester, all the work and classes haven't even started yet!!!!  I miss my residents so much! I cannot wait for them to get here already!!! And so it begins again!  

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Happy Early Birthday to Me!

My birthday is in a few days and unfortunately I will be back at school and most likely unable to come home for awhile. So what did my wonderful family do? They made my birthday dinner tonight! My Dad is an excellent chef. He makes the most delicious steaks you have ever eaten in your life! He breaks out that cast iron pan and it's like magic happens. We had steak, 7 grain wild rice, homemade sour dough bread, and sauteed cabbage (which is so insanely good!! It tasted EXACTLY like the steak!). For dessert homemade banana cake! Banana cake is my favorite cake in the whole wide world! They even put extra homemade cream cheese frosting on it!! YUMMM!!! I was so busy today packing up the rest of my stuff that I was so surprised with this delicious ensemble of  birthday happiness!  I am so pleasantly full! What a great early birthday! The thing I love the most about living here at Yesteryear Acres is my family. We are such a tight knit unit and we just roll with whatever life throws at us. At the end of the day it isn't what was planned versus what actually happened that matters, it is who you spend your day with. I love spending the day with my family. They make the most out of every situation. We laugh so hard until we cry, we help each other, we support each other, and we love our doodles! So sure my birthday is the second day of the new semester... where it is supposed to be about -13 degrees outside... and I won't have my family or doodle buddies, but why not celebrate an impromptu birthday tonight!? Because with my family, any night is special enough to be birthday night! Thank you for such a wonderful night! I love you guys! Happy early birthday to me!!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Packing for School, Not as Simple as it Sounds...

As I have mentioned earlier this week in a blog post, my college added the new Winter Term this year which allowed me to have an extended winter break. When packing to come home I could not decide what I wanted to bring home and what exactly I was going to need. Packing at school went a lot like this..Sure I haven't had a chance to wear this sweater dress, but what if I NEED it?! Then I would toss it into the center of my room into the "pack me" pile. As a Resident Assistant for my building my door is usually open and I have residents stopping by to chat and whatnot. They thought my packing methods to be extremely entertaining. To say I pretty much packed everything would be quite accurate. Packing seemed difficult then, HOWEVER now I am realizing how simple it was. I was in a very small box of a room with all my belongings in the once little space they are allotted. They simply got shoved into a bag. Well lots and lots of bags. I had nothing else to do, but pack. My little car was quite full. When I got home my Dad may have questioned if I had moved out. I simply couldn't leave school for a month and a half without my favorite sweaters! It's winter! I could get cold! And the boots. Yes the boots ,they just HAD to come too. It's simply an outfit that cannot be broken up. BUT now packing has proven to be a nightmare. I am so glad I started this process today. I cannot remember what is still at school. Exactly how many sweatshirts did I take home versus leave at school? If the heat in my room is still broken? Then I am obviously going to need to take extra sweats. And so the great debate continued for every item I wanted to pack. How many socks did I take home. Did I take all my running socks or just a few. Did I leave enough workout tops at school or are they somewhere here. The hardest part about packing was having the doodle doggies watch me gather up all my things. They would follow me from room to room as I searched for the things on my list. Phone charger here, blanket here, laundry out of the dryer, etc. They would follow me and stage their own little protests. You don't really want that blanket Amelia, look how much we love it. Don't we just look so cute on this blanket!? Don't you want to snuggy with us? I think you should just stay here under this blanket forever. The kitty doodles even had their own sabotage.. Oh boy look at this warm laundry! WOW you were so nice for heating up your clothes for us. You won't mind if we just sleep in this basket do you?! Nahh I didn't think you would. Thanks pal! You don't need these clothes because you can't leave!!muahahahahahaha!! On and on this battle continued throughout the day. I got squeaker toys dropped in my suitcases, rag-bones dropped at my feet, kittens batting my running shoes until they were under my bed. My favorite counterattack was my dog literally stealing the socks out of my bag and RUNNING full speed out of the room and hiding them in the bathroom. She wasn't just playing fetch. She would come back and cry until I turned around and she was off stealing another item of clothing. Oh doodle doggies don't you know I will miss you all the mostest!!! You are the bestest animals in all the whole wide world! I never WANT to leave you, but I must pack and go back to school! If I could I would pack you all up and bring you with me, alas I cannot bring dogs into a dorm room. I promise to video chat when I am gone and snuggy every time I am back home. Oh please oh please let me pack! I call truce! If you let me finish packing I promise to play fetch for as long as you want tomorrow AND let you snuggle up in my blankets! Until then... pretty please let me pack!!!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Delicious Blustery Snow Day!

Early this morning my Brother's school was cancelled due to frigid temperatures and a very windy snowfall. I was so excited to have another day with my Brother before I go back to school at the end of this week. What a lucky day! To make the most of our extended weekend (he had Monday off too) I got up to make everyone breakfast. Who doesn't love Irish oatmeal in the morning!? It takes a long time to cook, but the steel cut oats are absolutely the best! A yummy hot breakfast on a very cold morning did the trick. The warm Irish oatmeal got us all toasty from the inside out and ready to face the blustery outside. Our doodle doggies were really glad we were warm enough to take them outside for a fun romp in the snow! I call our puppy Grits a snow puppy how much she just loves to go out and play in the snow. She was so adorable trying to catch all the snowflakes in her mouth! She also really likes it when I make snowballs for her to chase and eat. I think she might be part polar bear. After our snow romp I decided that this snow day needed chocolate chip cookies. I mean who doesn't like a warm cookie after being outside? My Brother absolutely LOVES chocolate chip cookies and always whines a bit when I spend my time making "fancy" cookies. You know the kinds that take wayyy more then the 5 minutes it takes to make chocolate chip cookies, and I feel so accomplished afterwards, like "wow those cookies took a lot of work and just look how pretty they are!" and when I ask him to do a taste test he is ALWAYS like "ehh, it's okay. I like chocolate chip better".  ARG!! So on this snow day I gave my Brother his plain boring chocolate chip cookies. And I will never let him hear me say it, but man he was right. I haven't made chocolate chip cookies in forever and they were so darn good!!! Keeping with the trend to do as much cooking as I can before I go back to school, I decided to make cook-to-order omelets for diner. We had all the fixings anyone could ask for, four different cheeses, tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions, ham, peppers, and spinach. Mmm they were PERFECT if I do say so myself. We even had croissants and fresh squeezed orange juice or grapefruit juice to go with it. Now to finish off our delicious snow day I am off to the kitchen to make a big pot of hot chocolate! Because who doesn't love hot chocolate with marshmallows AND homemade whipped cream on a blustery snow night like this!?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Puppy Picture Monday!

I must say that when I am at school Puppy Picture Monday is my favorite blog of the week! I always miss our doodle doggies when I am away. Every Monday I get a perfect dose of puppy cuteness to start the week off right!  So here is to dog lovers everywhere, IT'S PUPPY PICTURE MONDAY! YAY!!

Juneau's puppies are starting to open up their eyes and are growing even more adorable everyday!
Here are the sweet girls 


Juneau's beautiful baby boys

Cuddle Time!

 Belle's babies have their eyes open too!

The little guy in the middle says "CHEESE!"

They Love to snuggle

May your week be full of doodle cuteness! Happy Monday!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

The Perfect Solution... A Shopping Day With Dad

Hello everyone! This is Amelia and I am acting as this weeks guest blogger!! I know it is shocking that I am still home on winter break. My college just added a new winter term this year which gave me about a month and a half long break! Most of my friends are bored and ready to go back to school, but life here at Yesteryear Acres is never dull! And to make sure that I wouldn't even be tempted to say I was bored at home, my lovely Mother scheduled for my wisdom teeth to be removed over break. Luckily I am finally back on my feet and eating somewhat "real" people food again (before it was applesauce and oatmeal for days) and I am back to work. I have been cleaning and taking care of doodle doggies as well as getting ready to go back to school.
Today my Dad asked me if I wanted to run errands with him and of course I said yes!! I was delighted to go on an adventure after a week on the couch. I love the way my dad shops. We have a list and we look for every item on the list by way of "let me just look at this really quickly". My Dad likes to browse a bit, but I swear he finds the best deals around. If we find it, perfect he puts it in the cart and crosses it off the list. If we cannot find it he makes notes... out of stock, not carried anymore, couldn't find it, etc. So that the next person who goes shopping knows exactly what we have and what we don't have and why. My Dad is also the most thoughtful shopper ever. He comes up with the best things, sometimes things that you didn't know you needed and you don't know how you ever functioned without it. Our mission today was to start the "I-am-going-back-to-college-after-a-month-and-a-half-and-therefore-my-dorm-room-food-stock-is-empty-and-I-also-need-school-supplies-for-the-new-semester" mission. Being the thoughtful man that he is, my Dad was the perfect guy for the task. He thought of everything and more. I was a bit out of sorts because with my wisdom teeth surgery I cannot eat certain things for what feels like eternity, but really its only about 3 months or so. However this includes my favorite breakfast granola that I eat EVERY SINGLE DAY at school. Like every single day, no exaggeration (* okay not the days I oversleep a tad bit and run to class shoving my toothbrush into my backpack). I simply didn't know what I was going to do. Being Mr. Yesteryear Acres, my Dad did not even flinch. He came up with a perfect solution in under a second. Oatmeal. Yes I know that sounds simple, I even mentioned that I ate oatmeal above. AHA! But he takes it one step past awesome, oatmeal in coffee to go cups! Now all I have to do is add some of the hot water I use to make my coffee in the morning to my 'insta-oatmeal cup' and presto! breakfast is served!! That means even the days I am running late I can eat food! That means I can walk and eat at the same time! Which means no more choosing to forgo food in order to walk to class rather than eating and literally running to class! My whole semester and college career just changed with that brilliance. My Dad even suggested that I could pack food that I make into the to go cups and heat them up in the microwaves around campus. So for all the times I don't have enough time to go back to my room to eat or when I am studying all night in the library or working on a project, I now have food. I almost did a happy dance right there in the store!!! SO MANY MISSED MEALS! NEVER AGAIN!!! My Dad is the bestest shopping companion ever!! We finished the mission with perfect tiny sticky notes for text book side notes, organic brown microwaveable rice bowls, applesauce cups, peanut butter, almond butter, oatmeal, coffee to go cups, cans of tuna fish (with dinner ideas brainstormed by my dad and I), and the perfect writing pens! Mission= Super Successful! I will really miss home when I go back to school, but I will have my Dad with me and inspiring me in all the little things that helps me succeed in school! Thank you Dad for the best shopping day! You always help me more than you know! 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

That's What She Said

My daughter loves to write and so this week she will be the blogger for Yesteryear Acres.  She wrote for Yesteryear Acres a few times last year and I just loved it.  It was fun to see life at Yesteryear Acres from her perspective and also it was SUPER fun to ask her, "What are you going to blog about today?"  I am always thinking of my daily blog post. Sometimes late at night, thoughts of what to write about keep me up.  Then of course the next morning, I totally have forgotten my awesome ideas from the night before.  Some days it is SO easy to come up with the blog post.  The day's events practically write the blog for me.  Other days, honestly, all I did the entire day was clean up puppy poop and take the puppies inside and take the puppies outside and clean up puppy poop and repeat. On those days coming up with a clever blog post can be a challenge.  I mean you can only read about puppy poop so many times!  So this week, I get to sit back and watch my daughter come up with the blog posts. I get to watch her transform the day's events into a magical blog of the day.  This will be awesome!  So tomorrow look for...."That's what she said!"

Friday, January 17, 2014

Whatever Shall They Do?

Ironically, my daughter's worst week of suffering last week was the doggies best week.  What is better than lying snuggled in an electric blanket with your favorite snuggle buddy all week long?  Agenda for the day? Snuggle. Snuggle. Snuggle. Followed by more snuggling.  How the dogs suffered! This is what I saw every single time I walked into the living room
Do you want to go out?  Do you want to play ball? Do you want to move?

Ummm No.  
They pretty much stayed right by my daughter's side the entire week.  Today my daughter looks great and the doggies look miserable.  No more blanky!?!  No more snuggle time!?!  Why are you up?!?  Why are you getting dressed?  What is happening?  Whatever shall the poor doodle doggies do now? Guess they will have to get up and go play fetch or do other real dog work.  How they suffer!

Thursday, January 16, 2014


Well after one long suffering younger daughter has survived and is alive! The wisdom teeth surgery really knocked her for a loop.  She has been in a lot of pain and hasn't moved from the couch all week.  I have been blending all her food into the consistency of baby food, and she still has hardly eaten. She has really been miserable and I have been on milkshake duty, baby food making duty, medicine duty and ice duty all week long.  Despite my vigilant efforts, my daughter really had not improved much and was down for the count.  Today however.....she is alive!  She is smiling!  She is up and walking about and looks a million times better.  Her face swelling is also so much better today and she actually ate real food.  It is still soft food but she ate! And she had an appetite.  I think the worst is finally behind her.  It was so awesome to see her smiling face.  I really missed it!!!!  Tonight we are going to snuggle by the fire and watch whatever movie she wants.
Grits is ready!  She says, "Don't forget the homemade ice cream!"
Everyone is happy that my daughter is finally feeling better. Yay!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Never Mind

I should learn not to expound upon meteorologist predictions. I should realize by now that if I say, "It is time to hang up the ice skates", then the following day we will be hit with frigid temperatures. Mr. Yesteryear Acres couldn't believe that the ice on the pond was disappearing. He said it was way too thick and when I showed him the receding ice pictures from yesterday's walk, he insisted he see the pond for himself.  When I reached the pond
It was completely frozen again

If I didn't have yesterday's pictures - Mr. Yesteryear Acres probably wouldn't even have believed me

Mr. Yesteryear Acres said, "See? Still frozen!"

All Grits cared about was that Mr. Yesteryear Acres came on the walk
"Oh Boy! Oh Boy! Mr. Yesteryear Acres is here!"

Isn't that how everyone says thank you?

Looks like the ice skates are back in action!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Where Did the Ice go?

We have had a really nice deep freeze on our pond for most of November and December.  At one point the ice was so thick, I am pretty sure you could drive a car onto the ice with nary a crack.  It has been perfect for ice skating and every morning you can see fresh deer prints across the snowy ice.  Just last week it looked like this
But when I took Grits for a walk this afternoon.....
Grits said, "Hey! Where did the ice go?"
I mean it is still hanging in there but, it is getting pretty thin

I do not think the deer will be walking across the ice this evening

Not unless they like ice SWIMMING rather than ice skating!
I am sure we will be inundated with another round of winter storms before spring sets in but I think today we should hang the ice skates up for a while. Looks like ice skating activities will have to be placed on hold. Hey, if the temperatures don't drop soon, maybe I should get out my paddle board! I could ice/slush/paddle/skate/ board my way across the melted/frozen/icy/slushy pond!

Monday, January 13, 2014

One Week Old

Juneau's little puppies are now one week old. Juneau is the best mommy and is taking awesome care of her 10 little babies. Right now all 10 are lined up and nursing happily while Juneau is nestled around them with a happy wagging tail.
If you listen closely, you can hear them all filling their tummies with the nice warm milk.  Life is good!
Juneau has 6 boys

and 4 girls
I love their little white stripes on their heads

Next week their little eyes will start to open

But for now....

It is still naptime all day long
Happy Monday!