Thursday, July 31, 2008

Look where I have been

Im so excited.... and I just cant hide it........

I went to another llama farm! Another one! Me! I did!

This farm has 7 llamas. 6 adults and 1 little guy. Manny, Midge, Nino, Jet, Nikki, Dusty, and Grumpy...oh, wait, thats a dwarf...that last one is Gidget.(I know Im not supposed to have favorites. Okay? I know. So, Im not gonna say that Gidget was my favorite. Im not. That wouldnt be nice.)

I GOT TO FEED THE LLAMAS! Me! I did! And man, did they all like their food. They each had their own little food trough, but they kept running to each others and switching places. It was too funny. Then one guy got kinda mad at another guy and spat his food at him. He didnt "spit" like ewwww...gross...spit. It was just food, but got his point across just as well.

But wait, it gets better. So much better. I GOT TO WALK THE LLAMAS. Me! I did! I got to walk Manny and K got to walk Nikki. Nikki is the little guy. Just 10 mos. old. He kept nudging the other 2 llamas while we were walking because he wanted to let everyone know he was still there. Just in case we would have forgotten. He also liked to veer off course quite frequently because he was so curious. Just like a little kid. Everything was still so new to him. See me on the phone? We were walking along and my phone was S. G wanted to talk to me. "Are you at the llama farm, mama?" Yes. "Are you having fun, mama?" Yes. I am. "Are the llamas being good, mama?" Why, yes. They are. "Can I talk to the llama, mama?" Maybe another time, baby. Mama is right in the middle of taking the llama for a walk. Then there was a moment of silence. " Is the llama in the stroller, mama?" No, baby. He's walking like a big boy. "Oh. Okay. I love you, mama." I love you, too, buddy. Bye.

When we got back from the walk I got to try to take Manny's halter off. ALL BY MYSELF. I have to admit, it was a little intimidating at first. He was pretty big and pretty shifty. Trish(the farm owner) was there guiding me thru it the whole time. I had to get my arm around his neck and guide his head towards me and unclip the halter. While still holding the lead....well, what I didnt take into account was that I am right handed. I mean, I know that Im right handed, but the way I was holding his neck caused me to all of a sudden to become left handed. That wasnt working out so well. But, all was well. Trish stepped in and pulled the halter off the rest of
the even tho I wasnt able to do it all on my own. It was certainly good practice. I loved every minute of it.

Here's Jet! Enjoying the nice breeze while he takes a break in the barn.

And THIS! How do I even begin to describe this....

1 kiss

2 kiss

3 kiss

This is Gidget. She gave me lots of llama love. I just took it all in so I would have enuf to last me till next time!

My little girl is growng up




Monday, July 28, 2008

Garden Progress

These are the Amish Paste tomatoes that I started from seed(thanks to my great friend, Angie!) I am so happy with how they are doing. I cant wait to start canning them.

These are my Cherokee purple tomatoes. They are coming along very nicely. I am having some really bad splitting on the tops of the tomatoes, tho. Is that just because it has been raining so much?

This here is my front lawn....or the beginning of a front lawn anyway. Every time we get a huge rain our front yard and all the new seed ends up down the street. Really. Im not joking you at all. We have to go scoop it up and start all over. So, needless to say, it is a long, frustrating process.

This is my double knock out rosebush. I am in love with this bush and I talk to her every day. She seems to like that. She also likes all the dirt that gets dumped on her from the Tonka dump truck.

Little itty bitty cucumbers. Look how sweet they look.

Survival of the fittest

K had her annual birthday sleepover this weekend. I managed to make it out alive! Even if I ended up walking around half asleep the next day. Girls....we all remember those all nighters, right? Seeing who could stay up the longest, snacking all night, playing practical jokes, laughing, and carrying on.

As a mom, that 5 am bedtime just doesnt seem to be as enjoyable.
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Summer treats

One of my favorite summer time treats. Yummy Donut Peaches. The kids eat these things by the handfuls and I have to be at the market super early to even get them. Otherwise they are ALL GONE.
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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mama rule #2

Okay, so from my last post you already know Mama rule #1....You dont get to turn past the age of 8.

Mama rule #2: If mama is on the phone then you are not to interrupt. Now, there are exceptions to this rule. Are you bleeding? Are you injured? Did you just break an appendage? Those are pretty much the only exceptions that make it okay to talk to mama while she is on the phone.

My kids have become quite creative in veering from the rule. There is the "whisper to me while I am on the phone." Its a form of talking, just muc
h quieter, therefore in their minds, a perfectly acceptable veer.

We also have the "come and stand next to me while I am on the phone and stare." Their reasoning on this one is that if they stand there long enuf and stare at me then I will for sure get annoyed and then ask them what they need.

There is also the "come stand next to me with object of question in hand, such as a certain video, remote to the tv, empty bowl(which means they would like to fill it with a snack), etc." Then they figure, all I have to do is make a nod of the head or give the angry mom look and then they will have their answer. No talking involved there, right?

My all time favorite is the "write a note and bring it to me and then I have to try and answer without actually speaking to them." In theory, this sounds like a good idea until the next thing you know they have a whole conversation written out on this little piece of scrap paper that is as big as a gum wrapper and then at some point I have stopped listening to the person on the phone so that I can concentrate and squint really hard to read the paper. This one has many times led to mama putting up the hand. Meaning Im not taking any new requests at this time, but you can take a number and have a seat if you so desire.

These are just a few of the requests I have gotten recently.

Now, I have to say that these are quite simple and not the ordinary ones that I receive, but still requests that the kids feel are important enuf that they cant wait till I am finished with my call. But, as was pointed out to me earlier today, in the kids' minds everything is very important to them....all the their time line is much different than mama's.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The big 1 2

Turning 12. Hard for a mama...happy for a daughter.

12 you say, but there are only 8 candles on that cake.....In this house there is a running rule handed out by mama that you are not allowed to go past the age of eight. So, all cakes after 8..only get 8 candles! You can see in the picture how delighted K was upon the realization that once again she got to be 8!

This musta been something really good!

This, my friends, is some serious cake eating.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Looking behind, and ahead

Ever had one of those days? Where it starts out just all wrong. You try to fix it along the way, but really what needs to happen is that you get to start over. Wake up all over again.

That was my day it seemed. Every time I turned around or even just kept walking straight the obstacles seemed to get bigger and bigger. I dont know what you do in that type of situation, but I tend to organize. I dont have control over some of the other stuff, but I for sure will make sure everything is in its place. Even go so far as to find a new place for something just so then I have a new project to keep organized.

This day called for a big dose of organizational medicine. It even spilled over into vacuuming and dusting and such.

It was the vacuuming that did it. The vacuuming. The soothing sound of the machine. The way it leaves those nice tracks in your carpet. (Okay, thats pushing it...but still, bear with me) There are 2 things that can happen when I am on an organizational mission. I can either end up in organizational utopia, where I just get so into the moment that everything else just fades away, or it takes me down memory lane. Something, and it can be any small thing, somehow, conjures up a memory so big that at times I have had to keep working and working until the memory was basically re-enacted in my head. The full version. Nothing edited. Im not talking a little remembering and then its done. I mean like I am there again. I can reach out and touch things. Smell things. Be there again.

So, when I say it was the vacuuming. I really mean it was a stool. Which leads me to the vacuum.

I was vacuuming. My bedroom. And then I bumped into the stool. A little stool. Inconsequential to the average Joe, but huge to me. Huge enough to invoke a memory that I had not thought of for many, many years.

My grandma. She was a huge part of me. Still is, really. I think of her every day. Mostly tho, she comes into my thoughts when I am having a day like today. She reacted to things very similarly to myself. Her need to be in control was always looming. Everlasting. Same as mine. When she needed an out, or needed to vent, or just needed...she organized...and cleaned. More than that, tho, she always made it clear that there was no time for complaining...just get up and fix it...get up and try to do something. Anything to make it better. Sitting there complaining that you are having a bad day is not gonna make it better, she said. You have to do that.

Sorry, back to the stool. Its a little stool. Maybe 12 inches high, if that. Little wooden legs, oil cloth cover that is delicately worn. Faded, but still vivid. It was grandma's. It always sat next to the TV cabinet. From the time I was 5 I always went to spend a good deal of the summer with my grandma. That stool was always there. In the same spot.

It was known, in no uncertain terms, that the stool was my ally. (And, no, not just because I am vertically challenged.) It was multi -purpose, that stool. It helped me physically, but also mentally and emotionally. It was where I went to sit when I needed to think. When I needed to cry. When I needed to remember.

So, today, I stopped vacuuming, and sit on the stool, I did. Remember, I did. And the memories were so there. So now. It was hard to realize where it stopped and my day in front of me began. But, in sitting there I realized that it was all okay. I would be okay. The day would be okay. So, it was only natural, at that point, to get up and start again.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Vacation 1.2

After all that jungle trekking we were lucky enuf to still get a few more hours of sun. We took full advantage of the sun and decided to take a dip in the pool.

This is a new sign since the last time we were at the inn. It seemed that this time every person, aside from us, that was at the inn had at least one dog with them. If not more. The inn only has 5 units. It is a little family run place. We really like it there because they are super friendly and offer lots of little things that the bigger places do not.

Anyway, Im getting totally off track. We swam for a little bit and then grabbed our books and decided to take it easy on the lounge chairs for a bit. There were 3 lounge chairs, mind you. And by lounge chair, I mean the kind that you can lay out on fully flat if you wish. There were other types of chairs, but I wanted to lay in a lounge chair. I also wanted to lay in the lounge chair that was partially in the sun. S took one chair in the partial sun. This left one more in the dappled sunlight and one fully in the sun. I head over to the chair that I want and look who decides they want to sit in it. Heyyyyyy, I whine. Thats my chair. I called it. She is not caring. AT ALL.

I decide at this point that it would be a good idea to just sit in the chair that I want. We can share, right? Its not hard to share. Her idea of sharing is not the same as mine. She let me have like a corner of the chair.

Oh, look. I have room for A leg to lounge on the chair. One leg. At this point I am half on the chair and half off. Scoot over, I say. Scoot it over. At some point she decides that I am okay and there is really no reason to take up the whole chair. She moves over and at least now I can fit both legs on the chair.

Do you see my pretty painted toes? My toes are very seldom painted. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have painted my toes. AND 2 of those times S actually painted them for me. Isnt he so sweet. This time it was hmm...raining...and he offered to paint my toesies...okay, so he didnt actually offer. I asked him to. But still. He was flattered that I asked him and he said he would just love to. The first time he painted them was when I was 9 full months of pregnant with G. I was due to go in for a C section the next day and he knew I was feeling a little anxious and nervous. He asked if I would like him to paint my toes. Paint my toes, I say? I would LOVE that. Considering I havent actually seen my toes in like 2 months....And they looked just lovely. Once I delivered G and was able to see them again!

I offered to paint his while we were on vacation too, but he very gentleman like declined my offer.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Vacation 1.1

The rain did stop for maybe half a day. Just long enuf for us to go out exploring a ways from the inn. Lest we look up and find it pouring down on us we tried to stay close to home when we were walking.

This particular exploration involved a geo-caching event. What, you ask, is that? Sorta like treasure hunting. You need a handheld GPS thingamajig and access to a computer to alert you to potential caches in your area. Oh, and what I did not know was that you also need bug spray. Lots of it. And a walking stick. This helps aid in defense type moves in case an unwanted critter should happen to want to join your group. You never know. I like to be prepared. So, imagine my surprise when we are walking ti da...and then we stop.

This is it, he says. What's it? This, where we are. It is somewhere within like 5 ft of where we are. To the right of the trash receptacle. Well, that cant be right, I say. To the right of the trash can cant be it. Why, he says? BECAUSE, to the right of the trash can is the jungle. THE JUNGLE. Who would put a cache in the jungle? Most people, he says. Well, I am not most people. I am not going in there. How bout I stay out here and you go in there? Ill stand guard and make sure nobody else sees us. Good plan.

A little later I hear, I found it.

Okay, I say. Here, Ill toss you the camera and you can take some pictures. No, no. Just walk back here, past the can, pass the trees that look like they could have really big snakes and bugs residing in them, and keep walking some more. Ill tell you where to turn. Im not liking this. Im not liking this. Ewww..I just stepped on somthing. What was it? I dunno. Something that I did not like. It crunched.

I make it back there. He's lucky that we got any pics. I stayed for all of one minute and jet setted my way out. The bugs were eating me alive. This is me taking a pic of him logging us in the notebook as I am walking backwards out to the path.

This is nothing tho compared to the first cache we hunted for. It landed us on this little boardwalk/bridge type thing.

The clue that went along with this particular hunt had something to do with The Simpsons show, which I have never seen. S, of course, keeps random useless info in his head like that. He knew that it had something to do with the bridge specifically. Before he shared this revelation tho, I was already sent off the bridge to investigate.

See me? I am not really into the whole going into the wild idea. I figure, what the hell. Go in, look around, come back out. I holler, why arent you in here with me? He says, I have to watch the stuff. We dont want someone to take the camera and GPS. Oh, right. Watching the stuff, you say.

Yes, that is my backside. I am sure he was having a great time watching me look for the damn cache.

For all I know these are the heads of all the other people who have tried to find this dang treasure. Heads, coconuts, same difference.

It was then that he decided to share the revelation that the cache must be under the bridge. Just to be clear, I say. I am NOT going under that bridge.....Im just saying.

Vacation 1.0

We had a great time on our vacation. Even if it happened to rain pret'near the entire time. This is what we saw for the 4 days that we were in "sunny" Florida. From our room and from our car!

Speaking of our car. We rented a Toyota Prius.

Have you ever driven one of those? Okay, so I didnt actually drive. I rode. But still, it was pretty George Jetson to me. There wasnt even a key really. It was like this little card type thing that you put in a slot and then you pushed a button to start the car. No turning of the key. Just push a button. And then push another button to make sure the car was in park. There was a little gear shift looking device that served as your shifter, but the weird thing was that it didnt actually stay in the gear you put it in. You moved it to the gear and then it popped back after it changed you to drive or whatever. I am so not ready for all this. has a rear sonar device that beeps as you back up and it has a camera, too, so that you can see what is behind you. (This I would probably use. Maybe could have avoided that garbage can that one time....)

And this? This is the control panel of the car. It is like a touch pad screen. Reminds me of a cash register at a fast food joint. Pretty high tech stuff!

Anyway, there was a lot of relaxing and reading and napping. (For sure there was no frolicking or rolicking) I kinda like the 4 pm nap tho. If only I could figure out a way to make that into my day now that I am home!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Home sweet home

We made it home last nite about dinner time. This is what we came home to. Gotta love those kiddos!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Note to self

Cauliflower is really good.

Too much cauliflower stored in your fridge will make for lovely cauliflower smells emanating throughout your house every time you open the fridge door.

Storing Broccoli

We have been getting so much broccoli in our share that they gave us a little tip in our weekly newsletter on how to store it. With our vacation coming right up and having a grandma coming who cant eat broccoli, I figured what better time to get it done. I mean, I have tons of time to add xtra things on my to do list now, right?!

It was so simple. Granted, Im not sure how it will hold its texture and firmness after being frozen, but thats okay. Its worth a try. I can always make soup!

Heres how much I started with. Virtually, a sink full. That is 2 shares worth of broccoli.

You then cut it into 1 inch pieces. Add the pieces to some boiling water and cook for appx 2-4 min.

Remove from boiling water and plunge into ice water for 5 minutes.

Drain and let cool till all broccoli is cool to the touch.

Put in freezer bags and store!