Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Last day of the year. Good riddance! We lost Shake day before yesterday. He was the youngest and smallest of the calves. This summer I'm going to super-insulate the chicken house so that if we ever get calves this young this late again, that's where they'll spend the winter. That's where Burger and Fries are, with the heat lamps on. Hopefully that was enough, because it got down to -20.9° last night. (I shouldn't whine; it could be worse. About 20 years ago it got down to -45°. That was on a mercury thermometer.) And another thing that's going to get done this summer, I'm going to build a couple of popcan solar heaters for the chicken house.

Oh well, only another 3 weeks and the days will start getting warmer. Spring is on the way!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


OK, I have to admit it, it looks pretty out there. There's snow crystals on all of the trees and bushes, and the blue jays are busy at my bird feeders. I'm a bit concerned that I haven't seen or heard any cardinals this year. We always have them here, year around. I wonder what that means?

Here's a photo of my snowblower, dead in the driveway, and following is a gorgeous amaryllis bulb blooming.

Here's a couple of funny photos. The first one, a bathroom with a painted floor, was titled, 'Would you go into this bathroom?' The second is a smoker's lounge, with the ceiling painted.

Monday, December 22, 2008


-18.9° outside. It got down to -20.5° last night.

Well, one hurdle past, the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. And in less than a month, the second hurdle, the coldest days of the year. In only two months, we'll be just around the corner to spring. I can handle that.

My bean plant died, but my tomato plants are still alive, under the heat lamp and plant lights. I'm going to try planting another bean. Oh, the simple pleasures of life in Minnesota.

12:30 p.m.
I REALLY hate winter. Got the snowthrower going after putting the battery charger on it, but then the blades wouldn't turn. Christian had to do something with an electrical connection to get them to work. He got about 15 yards down the driveway when he said something started vibrating and it wouldn't go into reverse, so he turned it off to come tell me. Now it won't even turn over, nothing! So he shoveled out in back of the car, and went to start it, and the ignition was frozen.

I really would rather be in Florida...

1:30 p.m.
Ah comfort food, potato soup with lots of salt and pepper, hot cheese sauce and a generous dollop of butter, and 1 (or maybe 2) pecan tarts.

Monday, December 15, 2008


BRRRRR! It's COLD! -10°.

OK, the good side of it, we didn't get dumped with a lot of snow, less than a couple of weeks before the days start getting longer, just a bit over a month until the days start getting warmer, and in two months, spring will be just around the corner!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


What a zoo this morning!!

It started out OK, got up, let the dogs out, got both stoves going, got my coffee and sat down & called my sister. We chatted a while, then I realized that I didn't see my brand new $60 bluetooth headset that I bought to listen to TV without disturbing dear hubby. I knew instantly what had happened. Last night after I went to bed, Christian had to come chase a cat off my computer desk. That stupid cat knocked it onto the floor, and the ferrets got it (they LOVE rubbery chewy things). So I had to get down on the floor and look under the desks, hoping it was there. Nope. So the next step was tackling their sleeping boxes. I have about a dozen small cardboard boxes that I cut holes in and hot-glued together to give them hidey holes. I took the whole thing and shook it a little and heard a rattling, and of course, they have to stick their heads out of various holes to see what's going on. So I tore apart the top layer and shook it. Nope. Tore apart the next layer and shook it. YUP!! Found it. They had tore a small bit of rubber off of the ear piece, but other than that it's OK.

So while I'm doing that, one of them went and deposited a little present right in front of the door to the foyer. Teach me to disturb them! So I mop that up, and figure I might as well change their newspapers. While I'm doing that, another one leaves another deposit in front of the door! Mop that up, finish getting the newspapers replaced and mop the rest of the studio floor. Another deposit!!!! GRRRRR!

Then Lukas starts calling me. A bit early for him, so I go in there. Fang got out!! So while I get her and put her back (instead of taking Squeak out right away), Squeak decides she can't hold it and makes a deposit of her own in Lukas' bedroom. Get that taken care of, come back into the living room, and see cat throw-up. Get some paper towels to take care of that, and see Whiskers on Lukas' computer desk playing with something in the garbage. Go check, and there's Fang! She was standing on the dog bed in my studio and jumping onto my chair, and then jumping onto the half wall between the studio and living room. Rearrange things so she can't do that, and go clean up the cat puke.


Friday, December 05, 2008


I sure am glad I don't live in Saudi Arabia. I follow several bloggers from the area, and one posted rules for dating (which in Saudi Arabia is illegal).

First on the list was to keep an eye out for cameras, because a photo of her with an unrelated male (although how anyone could tell because the woman is covered head to foot with only her eyes showing) could ruin her chances of ever getting married.

Next is the advice to have a confident know where she is going so that if she isn't back by a designated time, someone knows where she was headed. Sheesh, are the men in Saudi Arabia animals?!?

Next is to take a can of pepper spray along with and have a planned escape route. For a date!

Next is if they get passionate and she thinks about letting him kiss her, check his mouth for sores or blisters, since that might be a sign of STDs.

Next is to know how to make an emergency call or text message their equivalent of 911.

Next is the advice to not meet at an unknown or remote location. This advice is for the man as well, because if the girl's male relatives find out beforehand about the date, they may be trying to set the guy up so they can 'take revenge' on him for presuming to try to see their female relative.

Saudi Arabia has quite a long way to go to become civilized. Some people are trying to make changes, including their king, but it's a huge struggle to pull their country out of the 13th century.

On a funnier note, I woke up and heard some noises coming from Lukas' room, so I called his name and he didn't answer, so I jumped up, buck naked (good thing it was still dark), and ran into his room, thinking he was having a seizure. It was just Squeak throwing up.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


Just a few pictures tonight. Here's a rooster that decided my sidewalk post was a good place to crow from.

And here's Whiskers cleaning Squeak's ear. I love the first one where Squeak is not too sure of what his intentions are, and the second one she's saying 'ah, so nice...'

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Can I just quietly start pulling my hair out? and can I maybe give a little scream here and there?

The neurologist just called and he wants to keep Lukas on the name brand medication. After a month of wrangling with the insurance office with getting him switched over to the generic because they wouldn't cover the Lamictal at the 80/20, and having spent the last two weeks switching him over to the generic (after getting the OK from the neurologist), now I have to call the insurance and find out, because the neurologist wants him to stay on the name brand, if they'll cover it 80/20, because the first 10 people I talk to won't know the answer! ARRRRGGGG!!!!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


It's been a long week. Monday night at a little after 10 pm Lukas had a seizure, his first in 2 years and 11 months, to the day. It was a bad one, his lips were turning purple and blood was coming from his mouth where he bit it.

The big bad monster had indeed returned.

I gave him a dose of Diastat just a few minutes after it started. We're supposed to wait 10 min., but after seeing the blood I had Christian get the Diastat. After 10 minutes without it stopping, we gave him another dose. Then after 10 minutes I had David call the ambulance. It was a few minutes after that the Diastat started to take affect. The ambulance took forever to get here; David thinks they went by their GPS and ended up in the housing development south of us, just on the other side of our pasture. I decided to have them take him in to get him checked out, because he was running a fever (the doctor at the ER told me that the seizure could have caused that. I didn't know that.)

So they loaded him up, without any argument at all about taking him to Monticello instead of Princeton, and took him out to the ambulance. They got an IV into him without too much trouble, surprisingly. He was semiconscious by then. We got going, and I figured it was a good time to let loose (without the screaming I really wanted to do), and bawled half the way there and got it out of my system. Or at least it was out of my system until they tried taking blood at the hospital, and couldn't find a vein in either arm. Poking and digging, and Lukas going 'Ow, ow, ow!' I couldn't stand that and started leaking again. They finally put a hot pack on his foot and got some blood from there, not enough for a blood level though, so he has to go to the clinic tomorrow where they'll try again to get enough blood for it. David is going to take him in for that.

Turns out he had strep throat, and the fever is what set off the seizure. They gave him a choice between a shot or pills, and brave boy that he is, he chose the shot after I told him he would feel better quicker with the shot.

We got home about 4 am, would have been sooner, but Christian got lost and took a wrong turn on his way to pick us up. Not complaining, though. My eyesight isn't too good at night anymore, and I prefer not to drive after dark.

So this week has just been recovery mode. Lukas is doing just fine now, pretty much back to normal.

I've been in such a goofy mood, with the greatest urge to go shopping. Just what I need to do, haven't gotten the real estate taxes completely paid, bills up the ying ying, and there'll be more with the ambulance and ER bill. Well, I'm trying to spend moderately. I bought a used soda siphon on ebay, $20 compared to $100 new, for making my own pop. Actually, there's a cheaper way of doing it, but I didn't feel like hooking up bottles and hoses, mixing vinegar and baking soda and shaking bottles.

I annealed a load of beads, and was happy with a few of them. I've been trying to make owls, and a couple of them turned out pretty nice.

Another good thing, the floor of my studio is done! I really like it, and it's nice and easy to clean.

The boys started on my kitchen countertop now. The sink was really sinking, and it was definitely time to replace the counter. It's going to be black marble tiles.

Well, it's after 9, so I can go to bed now and not feel decadent! Goodnight all.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


How many of you, when asked about American western history, think of horses, cowboys and their horses, Indians and their horses. The American mustang is so much a part of this country's history, and it is being destroyed by our own government.

The government has allowed the Bureau of Land Management to so totally mismanage the wild horses of America. They have been rounded up, herds decimated or wiped out, resulting in injuries from the round up and injuries from forcing stallions together, and shipped off to holding pens. Now they have over 30,000 horses considered unadoptable, costing tens of thousands of dollars to support, and it is being proposed to kill them or send them to slaughter as 'excess horses'.

In the past eight years tens of thousands of mustangs have been removed from over 19 million acres of public land, often under the pretext that the land is unable to support them, but yet it can support the cattle that cattlemen lease the land for, for $2 a month for a cow/calf pair. Too many cattle are allowed to graze over-burdened rangelands while oil and gas drilling leases are handed out like candy, and 30,000 mustangs, supposedly protected by federal law, are incarcerated with a death sentance over them. Something is seriously wrong with this picture!!

In Montana, the BLM has used infertility drugs shot from dart guns, which caused problems from abscesses, bleeding, and swelling on the hips at the needle site in 76% of the mares darted. The drug itself has resulted in foals being born out of season, in the fall and winter. You might just as well as shoot them!

PBS has run a program following a Palamino stallion, Cloud, from the time he was born, and the website,, publishes news of the mustangs in his area of Montana and other places in the West.

Please help the American mustang by writing your representative and congressmen/women, (you can find your information at
and the BLM,
BLM Washington Office
Director James Caswell
1849 C Street NW, Rm. 5665
Washington DC 20240

BLM Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board,
Attn: Ramona DeLorme
1340 Financial Blvd, Reno, NV 89502

or email President-Elect Obama at

Thursday, November 06, 2008


I HATE the medical community!! It's no wonder it's in such a mess. I honestly think that computer programmers set up these computer programs for them, and the people who work with the computers can't even think outside of what the computer says.

OK, as I've posted before, Medica will only cover 60% of Lukas' seizure medication because there's a generic available. So rather than pay the $151 a month, I've decided to give in and go with the generic, which is $56 a month. But I want to wean him off the Lamictal and gradually get him on the generic. But in order to do that, I have to have both drugs. Well, their computer says you can't get medications ahead of time. Last month when I called Medica about it, the woman suggested trying the vacation option (which was denied by the pharmacy's computer). So last week I called again and asked how do I get this done. They said to have the doctor fill out a form and fax it to their pharmacy department. Called our pharmacy earlier this week to have them run it through to see if it got done, and no it was denied. So I called the doctor's office, and yes, they had faxed it, and they would re-fax it. So I called Medica and spent 45 min. (mostly on hold) trying to get it through this guy's head what I was trying to do. Told him I'd called Medica last month about getting the meds filled early, and was told to try the vacation option (he said there was no such thing). After about 15 min. trying to explain what was going on, and he wasn't getting it, I asked to speak to a supervisor. After about 10 min. on hold, he came back on and asked me to spell Lamictal, they couldn't find it on their computer. So on hold another 10 min. and back to him asking if I got a letter telling about switching over to generic. No, I didn't, and told him 3 months ago the pharmacy sent home the generic, and because there's been so many problems with breakthrough seizures with the generics, I returned it and got the Lamictal, and the next month was when the price shot up. Explained about me calling about trying to get the generic filled early so I could wean Lukas off the Lamictal and onto the generic. So back on hold for 10 min., then he came back on explaining about the formulary exception, and how I could have the doctor fill that out. Tried explaining again that I didn't want that (at this point all I want to do is try to get him on the generic. If he has problems with it, there will be no problems getting him back on the Lamictal. If he doesn't have any problems, maybe next year I'll talk to the doctor about trying to take him off the drug completely.)

So anyway, back on hold. Then he's back telling me I have to have a script from the doctor to switch over to the generic, and me telling him, well I didn't have a script from the doctor when the pharmacy switched him over to the generic. And he's explaining how the pharmacy calls the doctor and asks if it's OK to switch to generic, etc. That's when I lost it. I told him it was going over his head, and I needed to speak with a supervisor. Back on hold. Then the supervisor came on. I told her I wanted to get a month's supply of Lamictal and a month's supply of generic, and the next month I wouldn't buy any! She got it!! She asked so you'd give him the Lamictal in the morning and the generic at night? Yes!! So she said she see how they could work that, and would call back today or tomorrow.

There is something so WRONG with this system!

Friday, October 31, 2008


A typical day for me: Got up and had some SoBe while I read the news on Google & read my mail, switched over to NetNewsWire and caught up on some blogs I follow & read the news over there. Checked LampworkEtc. & caught up over there.

Mixed up the milk replacer for the calves (I do like my KitchenAid, sure beats a wire wisk) and went out and fed them, and then tried to keep them from sucking on each other while trying to stuff feed into their mouths. After a few minutes of chewing on the feed they started to settle down, so I took them out to the big pen and tried to keep them from trying to suck on the horses. Sally (the cow) let Shake suck on her a few minutes before she kicked him away. Took a bit longer to make sure they were settling down, then got the wood cart & filled it up & took it into the house & got the stove going to warm the living room up before Lukas gets up. Washed up the milk bottles and did a load of dishes. I can see my countertop!!

Had David call Kemper to see if the insurance OK'd the vacation refill for Lukas' med (which is what the insurance company suggested trying to do yesterday when I called them). It was denied. So I called the insurance company & explained what was going on. She said to call the doctor and have him call their pharmacy department to authorize an over-ride on the refill (I'm trying to get his medication refilled early so I can very gradually switch him over to the generic). So then I called the neurologist's office to leave a message explaining the above, and am still waiting for them to get back to me.

Now after reading a thread on Lampworketc. about ideas to save money, someone suggested making your own laundry soap. I've been meaning to try it, and I had all the ingredients I needed (fels naptha soap, washing soda and borax), so I mixed up a batch. I'm washing a load of rugs right now.

Made a batch of bread and it's in the oven now raising. Made a loaf of Italian bread and I'm trying to make a flat bread with parsley, garlic powder and Parmesan cheese. I should crumble up some dried tomatoes and put them on too.

Cleaned up a dog puddle and pile. I KNEW I should have let her out!

Have to get out yet and get a couple of packages of pink tulips planted, but first I'm going to do my Bible study.

That's it so far...

An Update:
Got the tulips planted. Made grape jelly. That was a long process, and if I do it next year, I'll make sure I do it as soon as I pick the grapes. I ran out of energy after picking them, so they've sat in a bucket out in the garage for the past week, and they got mushed and some got moldy. So it was going through handful by handful and washing and picking out the good ones. So now I have 10 jelly jars of Concord Grape Jelly cooling on my counter, and I'm sipping on the leftover juice. Pucker power!

Got all the dishes washed, again, and now it's back to mixing up milk replacer and get out and feed the calves and do chores, and if I have the energy, make some beads (after washing the bottles and pans, again). I got some new glass today, with a lot of new CIM colors and a new Double Helix color.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Well, I found out why Lukas' prescription went from a co-pay of $69 to over $150. Being that his seizure medication now has a generic available, they took the Lamictal off their approved drug list. Why don't I just go with the generic? Because when the generic came out, pharmacies were being told to switch to the generics, without even telling people. And the results was people having break-through seizures. Generic drugs do NOT have to be the exact formulation. They just have to be kind of close (like 20% deviation).

This just SUCKS!!!! I am so angry at the medical community! $1,341 a month for medical insurance, and we still end up paying thousands a year for medical care. And Lukas wouldn't have to have seizure medication if the doctor wouldn't have screwed up when he was born. I HATE the medical community!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


The boys came up today and did some stuff around the house. They worked on my studio. It's gradually taking shape, and the floor is gradually getting finished. I REALLY like the part that's done. So much easier to keep clean.

We moved Lukas' computer out of his bedroom and into the living room now that that's all tiled. He wanted the stuff out of his bedroom, and it will certainly be warmer in the living room now with the wood stove going. The only problem is, he likes to talk, and talk, and talk, and I have to respond. Right now I'm trying to watch the history channel, and he's sitting over there burping and watching wrestling. Oh well, at least he's polite about it and excuses himself.

Got some new photos. The first one is Whiskers beating up on Bandit. Whiskers just had surgery on his ear. He had a hematoma and the ear flap was filled with blood, so the vet had to drain and stitch it. We had him fixed while he was there, too. $300 later...

Then there's Squeak protecting Lukas from Pip. Not very comfortable for Lukas, though.

OK, Elaine, here's photos of my flower garden. This is a picture of the pink hollyhock.

Now here are a couple of photos of what I thought was hollyhocks, but notice the different seed pods on the swcond photo.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


OK, too tired to do much of anything besides sit on the computer, so I'll post some things I've been thinking about writing instead of just letting it sit inside of my head.

Let me see, there was last week when Christian and I went down to Fleet Farm to pick up feed, nipples and bottles. On the way back I drove, and we stopped at Burger King for some lunch. So I'm driving along (city streets and not the freeway, thank goodness), and see something moving on the windshield, look up and there's a big spider on the inside of the windshield! I HATE spiders!!!!! So I quick pull over into a parking lot and at the same time I'm yelling 'Christian, Christian!!' After we got stopped and I jumped out, I told him what I saw. He came around and got in and saw it and tried killing it with a napkin. There's a freaking space between the windshield and the ceiling of the car!!!! And guess where the spider went!! So I stuffed some napkins up in there the whole way across my side of the windshield.

OK, so there we are driving down the road again, and the spider comes out on Christian's side of the windshield! He grabs a napkin and tries to kill it, it slides down a web (and where the heck did that web come from or can they spin that fast?). He breaks the web trying to kill it and it falls into the Burger King bag into the fries! He gets it out of the fries and finally kills it, and then eats the fries!!!! EEEWWWWWW!

Well, at least the spider is dead.

And then there's the calves. They have the scours (the runs), and today is their first day on antibiotics. They're about a week and a half old, at least, and I've been introducing them to grain. The way you do that is when they've finished their bottle, you take some grain in your hand and stick your fingers in their mouth (they're looking for more milk, so that's not hard to get them to do that). OK, now Burger is the only one who has gotten to like the grain so far, but the other two don't much care for it, so you have to try to pry open their mouth and dribble a few grains in there (Calves have SHARP teeth, and it doesn't help that I have a cut on my left index finger and a scrape on the right index finger).

So there I am, dribbling grain as fast as I can into Burger's mouth, who is bumping and pushing me for more, and also trying to get some grain into Fries and Shake, who would rather suck on Burger's or each other's, how do I say this, male reproductive organ! They know that there should be an udder somewhere between the front and back legs of a four legged creature, and if there's something hanging down, they'll try sucking on it. So it gets to be quite a fiasco, trying to feed Burger, pry open the other two mouths to get grain in them, and detaching them from things they shouldn't be sucking on, and at the same time trying to stay away from their rear ends, because when something comes out from that end right now, it comes out! Yuck!

What a zoo...

Today I went down to Walmart to pick some stuff up. I don't get out much anymore, because Christian does the weekly shopping. Twenty years ago I was making $20 an hour doing house drawings for builders and was by default the computer tech at work, and now I'm feeling positively giddy browsing the tea isle at Walmart. Pathetic!

I'm not complaining, though. I've got it as good as it can get in this system, fairly healthy, a regular income, a roof over my head, land of my own (and the bank's).

Wait a minute, I can too complain! It was sleeting today! Winter is coming! NO, NO, NO!!! Oh well, I'm not going to think about it...

Friday, October 17, 2008


Shame on me for not keeping up with my blog, but it's been busy and on top of that I've been battling my natural tendency to eat and hibernate because winter is coming (and have been giving in to both way too often!)

First off, our government at work just sometimes leaving you shaking your head and wondering why. In Minnesota there is something called Green Acres. For someone with more than 10 acres you can get a break on your real estate taxes if you are involved in agriculture or wood harvesting. Well, several weeks ago I received a letter informing me of changes in the law. So last week I went to an informational meeting in Big Lake where they tried to explain the new law.

This was just a laugh and a half. They were talking about 'this seems to be the legislature's intent' and 'we're getting a new bulletin every week further explaining the new laws.' It seems the state auditor, sitting in his cozy little office down at the state capitol, decided the law needed changing. I doubt the man has ever been on a farm. What it comes down to is that anything not plowed, pastured or mowed is considered unproductive land and is taxed at the full rate. You can't have an electric fences; they're not considered permanent. Wood lots can be enrolled in a new category of Forest Management (after getting the DNR to come out and set up a forest management plan, which you then have to follow), and even then it's a higher tax rate than regular Green Acres. I'm glad I don't have any swamp or slough land, as it's considered unproductive and is therefore taxed at full rate.

And get this, this bill was added in an 'omnibus bill' at the last moment, the legislators were told it was to make things more fair (?), and didn't go through any kind of committees or public hearing. So the way the law reads right now, I have to get the rest of my land fenced in this year yet (right now I've only got about 30 out of 45 fenced with barbed wire). There's no way, not with still paying on Lukas' dental bill, and having had to pay $800 to have a new well pump put in. Fence posts are $5 a piece, barbed wire is $60 a spool, and just the work involved. I hate working with barbed wire; I always walk away bloody. But it's the only thing that will keep cattle in. Oh, another good one from our government. They are in the process of trying to decide how many cattle you have to have to qualify. Right now they can't tell me if two is enough or not. This is just a hoot!

So anyway, Wednesday Christian and I went up to Mora to pick up a calf. Sally still hasn't come into heat, and it's getting pretty late to have her bred. We ended up with 3 Jersey bull calves. They were really cheap, $17.50 each. I have got to get the clutch on the truck replaced next year (another $1200 I don't have) and have the boys build a livestock box for it. They had a half grown Angus calf at the sales barn, 400-450 lbs., would have been perfect for butchering next fall, and it went for $86.

So here's the new additions:
Burger, Fries and Shake (Christian named them. We don't name our butcher animals human names, if you're wondering about the names)

Yes, they're very cute, and it's sometimes hard to think about where they're going, but I'm NOT ready to turn vegetarian, and by raising my own meat, I'm making sure they have a good life up until that last ride, and also I know it's good healthy hormone and drug free grass raised meat.

So many things to do this time of the year... I still have bulbs to get dug up, apples and grapes to get picked (I'm going to try to make grape jelly), wood to get in and get cut up, barn to get cleaned one last time, and so on and so forth. At least the weather is cooperating.

A couple of more photos, my nephew Mark not watching his cigarette but Squeak is, and Scottie on the old Farmall tractor.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Life just shouldn't be so complicated.

I bought a coffee/expresso machine several months ago, figuring to cut down on clutter on the counter (I like expresso, David likes his coffee weak). Last week it started blowing the circuit, and finally a couple of days ago it quit. My self cleaning litter box (less than a year old) quit working, so I figured I'd save the $100 and just clean the box myself. That lasted 2 days before I decided the $100 was well worth it. I've been having ongoing problems with my satellite receiver (signal dropping, etc.) and the tech has been out twice in the last month to try to fix it. My lawnmower deck has been making awful noises (my own fault, I know, for trying to mow a pasture with it). What else? Oh, Lukas got a cold, and now he's complaining about his good ear being clogged up. Why, please tell me, does he have all the problems on the good side, and not the deaf side. The deaf side produces almost no earwax, whereas the good side produces it overtime. I've done the peroxide soak twice in the last week, and I'll do it again when I get him up. Oh, and there's Tynha. She's the loveliest dog, but she's 13 and has hip dysplasia, and has started leaking. And she always insists on sleeping in my bedroom. Last night she tried getting up and fell down, which woke me up (besides the howling cold front that came in last night), but she tried again and got up and went to my door, which had blown shut, so I had to get up to let her out of the bedroom, and then had to go wash the pee off my leg where she brushed up against me.

I know it's just about time to put her down, but it's not quite yet. Not when she lays on the floor and puts her paw up to her face and whines/barks to come play with her. Not quite yet.

Oh, and yesterday I went and bought a new expresso machine (NOT a combo), got it home and was going to make a cup of coffee, and discovered the coffee filter for it was missing! ARRRRGGGGGG!!! Life just shouldn't be this complicated!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


What a gorgeous fall day (although my garden got frosted last night, grrr!)

Went out mowing last night. We live on a 40 acre square with a 5 acre strip going out to the county road. I've been on that strip maybe twice in the past 18 yrs., so I'm making it a goal to get a path mowed and disced to that strip, with the intention of going and getting dead wood out of the woods there. Come to find out, someone has made their own path out there, with ATVs. So now I've got to get a couple of signs posted banning ATVs.

No new pictures to post, so I'm going to post one of my all time favorites. It's when Scott, Scottie & I made our first trip out west with the RV, and it's at Mount Rainier National Park. You can't see Scott's expression, but it's just pure bliss.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


Just some photos to share today:
A bee in a morning glory, Mark grouting with Pip supervising, and a couple of pictures of Whiskers relaxing on the hammock. Goofy cat! And last, the woodstove installed in the living room. This is the stove that my mother's family used to heat their house when she was a child. I'm going to tile the Durock on the walls.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I really hate the medical community. Not only are they vastly overpriced, but they're arrogant. Yesterday we had an appointment at 8:15 a.m. for Lukas to get his wisdom teeth pulled. The dentist finally showed up at 9:05. I had decided that if he wasn't there by 9:15 I was pulling Lukas out of there, and was going to tell them I didn't trust a doctor who was an hour late at that time of the morning. Who knows what he was doing the night before. Almost $1400. With the original diagnosis and the consultation, it'll be over $1700. It is so disgusting!

Well, at least it's over and he's doing OK so far. The pain med and ibuprophen is keeping the pain under control. Here's a photo of him after we got home yesterday. He fell asleep in the recliner, and Squeak is keeping him company.

I miss my laptop. It's at the Apple Store getting a new fan put in. They said it would take about a week. I'm using the old iBook, and it is SLOW!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


OK, I'm off on a tirade!! Health care! Lukas' epilepsy medication just doubled in price. This time a year ago it was under $70. Now it's $138. We pay almost $1500 a month in health insurance, which wouldn't be so bad if it covered our health care, but it doesn't. Our deductibles run over $4000, and then it covers 80% of our doctor bills.

This is just insane. And depressing.

Monday, August 18, 2008


Been having another heat wave. That's put an end to my pasture mowing for a while, which is probably for the best because that last patch of poison ivy got onto my arms.

Not much to write about, pumpkins and squash are looking good, gophers killed the cukes in one of my raised beds (next year I'm buying some hardware cloth and put that down in it), got a plague of grasshoppers. When I'm mowing in the pasture I have to pluck them off me and out of my clothes. It sure is fun to watch the chickens chase them though.

I've got some photos to share. First are pool pictures:
First is Mark catching the football, then Christian throwing Scottie into the water, then Mark/Nick and Christian/Scottie having a pool fight.

Then there's a hummer on my feeder:

Then there's Whiskers trying to take a nap.

But Squeak feels like playing...

We just can't let a sleeping cat lay there... Let's tease it!

OK, lay off already!! Now I'm REALLY annoyed!

OK, stand off.

Now Leave Me Alone!

Monday, August 04, 2008


It has been just too hot to do much of anything here. I admit it, I am a wimp concerning the heat. My comfort zone is 50° to 70°, and with it in the 80s every day, and black gnats, deer flies and horse flies outside, nothing much gets done.

Elaine and I went to our family's reunion yesterday. We got to see our cousins and my aunt and uncle, and got to look at some old photos. There was sadness in acknowledging the passing of time and the growing thinness of our ranks. Here's a photo of us with our cousins and aunt and uncle:

OK, let's lighten the mood a bit. Here's Fang trying very hard to get out of my studio. She's gotten out a couple of times, so she knows there's a way. The other day she tried climbing on a Rubbermaid shoebox that was on the floor, and tried jumping up and grabbing the edge of the table. Of course, she didn't make it. Belly flop on the floor! So here she is wanting to get out.

And checking out the situation from a stack of books.

That didn't look good, so let's try it from the tube roll,

Getting ready for takeoff!

Success! Or at least it would have been if I hadn't been there to grab her.

Here's a photo of Scott and his dog Vana.

And Scott and Vana discussing the state of the world,

And Vana trying to play with Whiskers. Whiskers isn't too crazy about playing with a dog he doesn't know.

Here's Whiskers playing with Squeak,

And here's Pip, sprawled out on the back of the recliner, at the end of another hot day,