Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Ours was better than I thought it would be, truth be told. Davey's first Christmas seemed to go well. He liked opening up his presents, but was fascinated with some of the fancy paper as much as the new toys. I can't blame him - there was some pretty sparkly/opalescent blue that I would put on my walls I liked it so much.
Larry didn't get much on his big list, though try try try we did. Just couldn't find anything he asked for that wasn't ridiculously expensive - has anyone seen the pricing on Legos lately? They're frickin' nuts!!! SO, we did what we could, and came up with some great stuff that he enjoyed anyhow. He was irritated that his wish list wasn't fulfilled, but who as a kid actually got everything on their wishlist? I know I never did!!!
Larry & I exchanged token gifts(we both knew what we were getting), and that was pretty much all that there was. I felt bad not being able to get anything for my folks & Gramma, but there was nothing that she wanted, or needed that I could afford to give her. To top that off, she's read all the stories that are in the genre she enjoys, and I can't find another series that she has taken to yet. I will find one, but she's a tough sell. If anyone has any suggestions, I'll take em! She likes fantasy books, and has read the Harry Potter series so many times the bindings are coming apart on all of them. Her Twilight set is in similar shape - the cover is missing off the first novel (paperback) and the other 3 all have torn pages, coffee spills, etc here and there. The Eragon Series, or whatever it's called, is in the same shape as the Harry Potters, and don't even get me started on the poor condition of the Lord of The Rings set.... only problem is, Tolkien doesn't flow as easily to read, so she doesn't want to mess with it. That's one that she'd rather just watch the movies for (and she does!) But, I digress.
In short, hope all have a good week leading up to the New Year. I'm sure it will be more or less same ol' same ol' here. Season's Greetings!!!
Friday, December 18, 2009
Today I covered Rosettes, but have already done several others. Here's the teaser .... The Rosettes...
Spritz cookies... Little Davey's favorite -
Pepparkakor - a year round Swedish hit.
Fattigman's Bakkels - a Norwegian treasure.
And there will be more. Most if not all are going to be Swedish, Norwegian or Finnish in origin, though I may have to throw in something Danish. At any rate, all are lovely, and relatively easy to do yourself at home. Thanks for listening!!!
Please, check em out!!! http://swedish-is-sweetest.blogspot.com
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
So, Jessica at The Magical Mundane, Thanks for the tag - looks to be a good one!!
This was originally started by Heather at the Top Ten Christmas Blog. I don't know if I know of enough blogs to complete the tag, but I will sure as sugar try.
*Just simply copy & past the questions into your blog and then answer them.
*Then, tag 5 or more of your favorite blogs, and leave them a comment telling them they have been tagged.
*When you post your blog, please spread some Christmas Cheer and leave a link back to the Top Ten Christmas Blog, and the blog that you were tagged by.
1.Have you started your Christmas Shopping?
Nope. Not even a little bit.
2.Tell me about one of your special traditions.
Um... I can't think of anything super special. We unwrap the presents on Christmas Eve(Swedish thing) and have the Swedish traditions & kind of a fun night on the eve, followed by a traditional dinner on the day. Also, then Santa's presents are there in the morning - ooooo magical.
3.Are you a black friday shopper?
Hell no. I avoid that train wreck if at all possible.
4.When do you put up your tree?
Sometime between the first of December and Christmas Eve.
5.Do you travel at Christmas or stay home?
Stay here on the farm. Mom, Dad & Gramma are all right next door, so no need to travel.
6.What is your funniest Christmas memory?
Not much funny happens here, at least not funny enough to stick in my mind.
7.What is your favorite Christmas movie of all time?
I dislike the movies. However, the christmas cartoons - awesome. I love MOST of them.
8.Do you do your own Christmas baking, and what's your favorite treat?
I do 90% of the Christmas baking for the whole family, and send treats to certain neighbors & friends. My fave? I can't really pick. Depends on the day of the week. Spritz, Date Bars, Fruit Drops, chocolate chip blondies, toffee squares, fig bars, sugar cookies, oh, just about everything.
9.Fake or real tree?
I prefer real, but it doesn't always work out for me.
10.What day (as a mom) does the actual panic set in to get it all done?
Depends on how far I have left to go/what is left to do.
11.Are you still wrapping presents on Christmas Eve?
12.What is your favorite family fun time at Christmas?
Watching the kids unwrap their presents.
13.What Christmas Craft do you like best?
I like building gifts - rocking horses, useful things... and making christmas cards, cutting out paper snowflakes, making paper heart baskets, all kinds of things.
14.Christmas Music: Yes or No? If yes, what is your favorite Christmas song?
Yes. Bing Crosby - just any Bing. White Christmas is a MUST.
15.When do you plan to finish all of your shopping?
Probably just before Christmas Eve - if I'm lucky.
Here are the folks I am now tagging - most of them, I just love to read their stuff :D
1) http://theredneckmommy.com This woman is the shit. I love her. I do not know her, but her writing has made me cry on many occasions - in a good way. LOVE this site.
2) http://anotherchanceranch.typepad.com/another_chance_ranch/ I love this lady too. Another I do not know, but I love her friendly writing style, and she comes up with great ideas for friends & family. It helps, too that she is on a ranch - something I hope for one day.
3) http://violenceunsilenced.com/ Not for the faint of heart, and a totally different direction than the other blogs I follow, Violence Unsilenced is an incredible blog that sheds light on the horrors, and sad commonality of domestic violence in all it's forms. Give them some support. These women are so brave to share their stories.
4) http://strawnequine.blogspot.com HOSSES! I would love to have a little extra room in my barn for one of this lady's gorgeous reining quarter horses. And so much red .... oh, how I love the reds..... Paige writes about some of her day to day activities on her farm... (I love that name too... Paige)
5) and last, but certainly not least ... www.screweduptexan.com this lady has such great posts, humor, recipes.... contests sometimes too. that's always fun :D Just another neat lady.
There are more - one notable blog I have left out, just because I am 100% sure a post by little ol' me would go totally and completely unnoticed, but I'll post the link for your enjoyment anyhow. It is.... wonderful. Proceed at your own risk. You will be addicted. http://thepioneerwoman.com
Thanks Jess for the game! This was my first attempt at one of these, so I hope I did ya proud ;)
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Never once did she give me a lick of trouble, or one mis step. That is what I can count on her for. A good ride every time. Oh, and the sliding stops we did - to.die.for. She made it 2-1/2 fence sections on the 2nd slide - my math puts that at around 20 feet - no sliding plates.... though it was a little muddy. The other slides were in sand. Not nearly so slippery.
Yes... if not for firearm season starting tomorrow, we would be doing deeper water & swimming work while the weather holds.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
The leaves here are turning - have been for the better part of a month, but now the big maple tree outside of my front door has the prettiest little splashes of Sugar Maple Red popping up at it's crown, and some of the ends of the longer branches. The oaks are starting to turn golden, and the little patches of forest around here are starting to get really pretty.
Lake Michigan is fighting off winter as best she can - arguing with the shoreline in massive proportions with the large fall storms starting to blow over her vast expanse. I always feel bad for the ore freighters on Lake Superior around this time of year. Neither lake is one that I personally would want to mess with, but Superior is .... well, Superior. Deep, vast, and dangerous. I hear she's fighting with storms and swells growing and crashing waves too. Nature's way of saying 'get ready kids, here it comes'.
And before we know it, the end of October will be here, heralded by our precious kiddos. Dressed up for Halloween, begging for candy. I swear, this is going to be the year we have an old fashioned kid's halloween fiasco. I'm thinking bobbing for apples, hay ride, pin the nose on the pumpkin - all the oldies & goodies. Stay tuned. It's just getting started.
Monday, October 5, 2009
So, this year, our oldest boy came along to kick things off and ease the kids' minds. Of course, the best way to do this is to show them how we do it here in the 'sticks'.
They were lining up like crazy. There must have been oh, 15 kids or so that took pony rides, some of them twice. There were a few more timid kiddos though that would come near, but were afraid to even pet the old man. This guy was NOT one of them. He sat with Champ on his 'break'. Right on the ground with me & Champ, petting him for a good 10 minutes.
Of course, it was an apple picking party, and what group apple picking soirre is complete without a hayride? Well, they did those too. Hay ride to the larger area of apple orchard, and back to the house. The adults enjoyed it just as much as the kids, I think.
I didn't take the hay ride, though when I saw the pics of the kids playing and helping each other in the orchard, I kinda wished I had. That's alright though. Me & the other kids were busy with the pony. Look at these guys though. Picking up ones they missed, comparing sizes of the ones they picked. How cute.
Then trouble showed up - with a capital 'D'. David. Two of them. Yep. That's my dad and my boy in the pumpkin get up. I think they're pretty cute together. Dad had been holding him for a while, sleeping - probably a good 20 minutes before he woke up, then it was a great game of pass the baby between my folks, me, and Larry.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
I was still deeply grieveing for my grandfather when I went into work that day. I was working at a pet store, and Grampa was always heavily on my mind. I was in the bird room when my boss started shouting from upstairs. I couldn't understand her from the noise in the room, and my little friend, DJ laughing in my ear. I walked out, DJ still on my shoulder. She told me to come look at the news. The two of us stood there in shock. Tears starting to stream down both of our faces. I was the one that broke it up. After all, they were in New York, and here we were, the animals still needed to be looked after. I still popped in from time to time to hear the news. I was still there when the second plane hit. We were horrified. Only DJ seemed to not notice. chewing on my hair, pulling on my collar. By this time, I was numb. I mumbled something about Bin Laden. (I still remembered some of the names that Clinton had let free. I was sure it was him, though I could not remember all of his name. I wish I could forget it now.)
Somewhere along the way, the chores at the shop got done. I was only supposed to help open up, then I was gone. I cried all the way home, wondering what my Grandfather, who had lied about his age to join the navy after Pearl Harbor, would have thought about this.
A tiny part of me was glad that he didn't live to see New York and the Pentagon attacked. He would have been incensed, angry, and mournful, just like all of us were.
I was grateful that I didn't know of anyone in New York at the time, or if I did, I didn't know they were there.
My heart was crushed when the first tower fell. I can't even begin to explain it. But, I don't have to. Any American with a soul felt the same way. The sorrow of the innocent lives lost. The pride for the brave souls on Flight 93.
The belief in my heart that more people on the plane could have fought back, but were in too much fear or shock to believe what was happening.
I still remember some of the numbers that the reporters were spouting off - their estimates of the dead and dying far outstipped what was found. I still don't trust the reporters at NBC. They seemed the most .... thrilled at this tragedy. The one that seemed the most enthralled was Lester Holt. I liked him before. But he had this manic look in his eyes that I will never forget or get over. Does anyone else remember that look? Lauer looked scared. So did most of the others, but Holt - wow. I can't even describe it. I know I watched every other newscast that day, but that one reporter. I can't even begin.
And here we are. 8 years later. I still live in the same place. I am still married to the same man. We still help my Grandmother, even though my parents are now with her. But, we have a 7 year old son, and a 7 month old son. We lost a baby between the two, but we still had each other, and our son. The wise wise wise little man.
I still think of Grampa every day. However, I now think of every patriot that has defended our country and our way of life. Every Day. Thank you for your sacrifices. You are appreciated. You are remembered. And, you are loved, by many that you do not, and may never know. Thank you.
And, that little weasel hiding in the mountains - we haven't forgotten you either. Though our administration may be a little lax right now, does not mean that you're off the hook. We're going to get you sooner or later. Sooner would be better, but better later than never.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Well, long story short, we are buying my mom's laptop. Don't know what kind it is. I do know that I have a key pad on this one, and that moves my arrows over, so I am forever hitting numbers when I mean to down arrow. I'm sure I'll adjust.
However, now comes the problem of what to do about getting off all the pictures of my sweet little monkeys. There are many on there, not to mention the half billion bookmarks of sites that I cannot remember one of. Ugh. I do NOT want to start over on that ball of wax. Oh no. I will find a way to make that damn thing work long enough to remove what I need. Oh yes, I will. And when I am finished, I will use the stupid thing for target practice. Yes. That's a good use for a fried computer. Sight in my rifle. Deer season is coming, ya know. A girl has to be ready. That's right. Ready to go and sit with a camera, and let the does walk over her legs again for the 6th year running. I know, I could shoot one, but I am holding out for a buck. The does always have babies with them, and I can't be responsible for orphaning one. So, I'll let them walk over my legs again. Such an odd feeling to have deer walk almost on top of you. So far, they have not known that I was there. Maybe I'll procure a trail cam and take some pics of them walking over me. THAT would make for some good stories, eh? No, no, no. That won't do. Then I'll have to explain to my hubby why I didn't shoot her. Hmmm. damn. Another dilemma. But, I am off to bed for now. It must be done so I have the strength to stay awake while my son works on his handwriting. It has to be more boring for me because I am not doing anything at all.
Wait - what was I talking about? How did I get here? Nevermind. Sweet dreams!
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Oh, how my heart aches. Tis the season - the MOST wonderful time of the year, for sure. When it's nice out, I look at the trees, and breathe in the cool air and can think only of the wonderful things that most people think of - hearty soups, autumn colors, fresh bread, apples & cinnamon .... you know. Like most ladies of distinction. However,all of that happens to tie into other things that make me obsessive this time of year - Trail riding through fresh fallen leaves, fighting my horse off the apple trees, and my favorite favorite favorite part of the season .... bear hunting season.
I have long had a love for bears. Always fascinated by them, dream of them, and of course horses. One day in my future, I hope to combine the two, on a nice pack hunt out west where I can only get to my bear by long trail ride, and can only get it out by pack mule. If I'm lucky - a BIG pack mule, lol.
Anyone who has known me for even a little while at just about any juncture in my like knows that my heart yearns to go north. I want to be in the only other place in the world that I feel like I am home - the upper peninsula of Michigan. The air is cleaner, colder, and crisp. The humidity is not as bad as it is here, and the people are wonderful. So far, all the folks I've had contact with are just what I want to be around - when I want to be around people that is, which is not so often.
Bear season will start soon, and the gentleman that put me on my first bear, and his guys that crack me up so much (super nice guys) have been getting set up for the opener, I'm sure they're busy as hell, checking everything time after time after time, to be sure that they are ready for the hunters that they will guide to the woods. Whether they know it or not, I consider them friends of mine. I think they do - there was some pretty heavy picking going on both ways last time, and as my Grampa Harry always said 'If I didn't like you, I wouldn't pick on you'. We're weird like that.
Until I went hunting in that reigon of the upper, the only other place that I felt like I was home was near Escanaba - of course, that nearly is home. I have family that I love there, and I visit every chance that I get. This fall will be the second year that I haven't gone up to hunt, and my trigger finger is getting anxious. Last time I sat in my stand there, I saw wolves, coyotes, deer, pine martins, ravens, squirrels, partridge, foxes, and even got the crap scared out of me when a porcupine fell out of a tree nearly beyond my line of vision. The first bear on that trip I saw was a pair of cubbies that tried to climb my tree. I watched them for 3 days, on the final day, their mama let me know she was there, and that she knew that I was there too. I have never felt more polite, yet happy to have a gun in my lap. The next stand, was a bomb, but that's where I saw the porky. funny buggers. Another stand was a bust on my fault. I misunderstood my directions, and thought that I had to walk myself out. I stayed until I couldn't see then walked out - should have stayed. Dumb move, on my part. Saw deer and ravens there. At one point (don't remember the order, there were quite a few) came the perfect stand. Nice big, beautiful bear, and I was ready. Calm, cool, eased myself to take the shot - and clean missed. Took me a while to figure out that I was a moron for not shooting out of my treestand with all my camo on before we went up. Scared the crap out of the bear he sat down clean on his backside, then bolted. That's why I really did think I hit him- never saw him again, and there was no sign that I had actually made contact. Boy, did I feel like a jackass on that one. I could have my order of where I sat screwed up, but I digress. The last stand, I was told there was no way I would see another mama. I had gotten close enough to one, and had no desire to see another. For 3 days I watched this one little bear come in, and grind his face into the bait, scratch his butt on a tree, and act like a goon. A big bear rushed in and scared him, but I never saw him. I had stayed til nearly end of my hunt period and the fam was starting to miss me, so I decided that even if I only saw the little bear, I would take him. He wasn't a cub, but compared to my first bear he was a little guy. Still, after nearly a month of hunting, I knew that to me, it was better to go home with something than to go home empty handed. So, thats what I did. I shot the little guy, then not 20 minutes after I shot him, his bookend twin came in, and was promptly scared off by a mama and 2 cubs. Oh, boy. Mom saw the downed bear(died instantly) and treed them about 20 yards from me. They were eye level with me them in their big white pine, me in my cedar. She paced around, sniffed everywhere, circled my tree for a bit, sat at the base of my tree, walked to her cubbys tree, and laid down. She never once looked up at me. Never knew I was there. The cubbies saw me, but didn't make a sound. We 4 sat like that until after dark when my guide/friend came to pick me up. As soon as she saw the lights from his atv, she blasted off the way she came, cubs still in the tree. That was about the only time I got nervous, as I knew that they were still treed, and she would now be on the offensive. As he walked in to help me out of the tree, I told him there were 2 cubs in the pine, and mom took off the way he came. He grabbed my bear, and threw him on the atv as I climbed down. His advice to me - don't unload your gun. Oh boy. So down I went, gun loaded, safety on (not my preference, but I knew the danger was quite real) he ran to meet me at the base of the tree, telling me 'don't talk, don't rush too much, but try to be quick - I have your back' I was so happy he was there at that moment. As I undid my harness, he pulled the stand, and had me go ahead of him out of the stand. Threw the stand on the atv, and said - 'don't unload til we're at the truck' oh. wow. that, I didn't expect. I figured we were cool. not so, apparently. As we blasted down the trail, he told me that was the most dangerous situation all season. I know he was right. But I didn't want to think of it at the time. It was a great hunt all in all. Great people helping me. I cannot stress that enough. GREAT people helping me. I love those guys they're hands down the best there is, and as I said - he worked his tail off trying to get me on a bear. No one could have tried harder, and for that I am grateful. I am grateful they did much of what they did. Setting up stands, running me in & out to all of them, hauling out the bear, hell, he even gutted it for me this time. (I asked him to, there was a different method he had than I did, I wanted to see it) Hell, when I was up and on my own, he even made sure I got into my cabin before he went home. Great, gentlemen. All of em. Had fun while my hubby was up too, though he got his durning the first week, then we went home, and I went back. I couldn't stand leaving my tag unfilled.
Of course, this would bite me in the ass a bit it took me another week or so, even though I did get my bear(oh, horrors, a week alone in the UP! I was in heaven). My car died about 20 miles west of the mackinac bridge on the way home. I had to wait for hubby to come and save me, my car, and my bear. But even with that, I made some friends in Naubinway. I remember walking in flustered as hell. The woman behind the counter at the resteraunt looked concerned, asked if I needed to use the phone. I said, 'well, my car is dead. I'm stranded, at least for 6 hours. SO - what do you do for fun around here?' Such great people - you just don't have too look too hard to find them. I even wrote a story about it that got published in the Porcupine Press. My way of acknowledging the wonderful people up there. I will make it one day. All I ask for is a nice little cottage, with a wood burner, and enough land for me & my horses to be happy. Doesn't have to be massive. 12 acres would be just fine. Yep. Just enough land for a little house, a little barn, round pen, riding arena, and pastures. Hell, a little more room never hurt anyone either.... lol. One day. One day.
And when I do - oh, boy. Black bears, beware. I will stalk you for years between licenses getting to know which one I want in my freezer. Oh, my..... bear stew. How I miss you. Probably another year anyhow, unless we move there first. oh..... my dreams. Maybe still possible. I hope, I hope!