Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Random Pics of Cuteness

All of these pics are fairly self explanatory, but I will add a word about two. In one, our Little Someone is wearing a "hat" and has her magnifying glass and .... I guess, is looking for ? something. Then, while off to get a change of pants, someone decided to 'write with a pen'.
Santa pics didn't come out great... oh well, you get the gist.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Put Another Log on the Fire

Our Little Someone was getting logs and sort of stuffing them in the end of the pit -because she was "putting logs in for a fire" (there was no fire going).
You've got to understand, this was serious business being completed!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

And I Consider MYSELF an 'Older' 1st Time Mom! ...

I was 37 y/o & one week when our daughter was born. Then, when I read this news article below, I thought, "HOLY COW!" pun intended as this woman is from India.
...gees, and my masculine half and I think we're on the 'older' side.

Indian woman gives birth at age 70
AFP/Yahoo Buzz reports

NEW DELHI (AFP) – An Indian woman has given birth to her first child at the age of 70 after receiving IVF treatment, newspapers reported her doctor as saying Monday.
Rajo Devi, who married 50 years ago, gave birth to a baby girl on November 28 after in vitro fertilisation, said Anurag Bishnoi, a doctor at the Hisar fertility centre in Haryana state.
"Rajo Devi and (her husband) Bala Ram approached the centre for treatment and the embryo transfer was done on April 19," he told the Hindustan Times. "Both the mother and child are in good health."
Bishnoi claimed Devi was the world's oldest mother.
Another 70-year-old Indian was reported to have given birth to twins via IVF in July this year, while a 66-year-old Spanish woman had twins in 2006.
Devi's husband, aged 72, had also wed his wife's sister after 10 years of his first marriage did not result in children. His second wife also failed to become pregnant.
It was not clear whose egg and sperm were used in the successful treatment.
"IVF has revolutionised the way we look at infertility," said Bishnoi. "Infertility is no longer a social taboo or a divine curse. It can be treated scientifically.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Yeah, I know, she's not matching. But, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do- especially when your laundry breeds like rabbits in the hamper (plus, in this pic, she has yet to put on her pink coat).

And, hey, she's warm, ready to go, and the horses don't give two hoots and a holler what she wears. They know she's cute any which way.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Where's Waldo?

Who's there?? ...who, whooo could it be?
Wow, talk about camouflage!
My sister-in-law sent this pic that she took through her front windshield as she was leaving her place yesterday morning. For what it's worth, she lives out in the boonies (not a neighborhood) in the central-east part of Texas, so probably gets to see a good bit of wildlife... but, what a pic to get!
I had to look twice before I spotted the wise one.

(click on pic to view full size)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Well.... Duh!

Okay... my apologies for the title of this post. But come on(!)'s another 'science' experiment showing dogs think and feel more than ?? some people previous thought. You know, some of this stuff is so common sense that if one is around animals at all, they would say "duh!" too. Okay, okay ... playing Devil's Advocate, I know... there are some that have no exposure to animals. And for them, I'm sorry. So here's the article:

Studies show dogs have sense of fairness
By Randolph E. Schmid, Ap Science Writer –
No fair! What parent hasn't heard that from a child who thinks another youngster got more of something? Well, it turns out dogs can react the same way. Ask them to do a trick and they'll give it a try. For a reward, sausage say, they'll happily keep at it. But if one dog gets no reward, and then sees another get sausage for doing the same trick, just try to get the first one to do it again. Indeed, he may even turn away and refuse to look at you.
Dogs, like people and monkeys, seem to have a sense of fairness.
"Animals react to inequity," said Friederike Range of the University of Vienna, Austria, who led a team of researchers testing animals at the school's Clever Dog Lab. "To avoid stress, we should try to avoid treating them differently."
Similar responses have been seen in monkeys.
Range said she wasn't surprised at the dogs reaction, since wolves are known to cooperate with one another and appear to be sensitive to each other. Modern dogs are descended from wolves.
Next, she said, will be experiments to test how dogs and wolves work together. "Among other questions, we will investigate how differences in emotions influence cooperative abilities," she said via e-mail.
In the reward experiments reported in Tuesday's edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Range and colleagues experimented with dogs that understood the command "paw," to place their paw in the hand of a researcher. It's the same game as teaching a dog to "shake hands."
Those that refused at the start — and one border collie that insisted on trying to herd other dogs — were removed. That left 29 dogs to be tested in varying pairs.
The dogs sat side-by-side with an experimenter in front of them. In front of the experimenter was a divided food bowl with pieces of sausage on one side and brown bread on the other.
The dogs were asked to shake hands and each could see what reward the other received.
When one dog got a reward and the other didn't, the unrewarded animal stopped playing.
When both got a reward all was well.
One thing that did surprise the researchers was that — unlike primates — the dogs didn't seem to care whether the reward was sausage or bread.
Possibly, they suggested, the presence of a reward was so important it obscured any preference. Other possibilities, they said, are that daily training with their owners overrides a preference, or that the social condition of working next to a partner increased their motivation regardless of which reward they got.
And the dogs never rejected the food, something that primates had done when they thought the reward was unfair.
The dogs, the researchers said, "were not willing to pay a cost by rejecting unfair offers."
Clive Wynne, an associate professor in the psychology department of the University of Florida, isn't so sure the experiment measures the animals reaction to fairness.
"What it means is individuals are responding negatively to being treated less well," he said in a telephone interview.
But the researchers didn't do a control test that had been done in monkey studies, Wynne said, in which a preferred reward was visible but not given to anyone. In that case the monkeys went on strike because they could see the better reward but got something lesser.
Range responded, however, that her team did indeed do that control test as well as others in which food was moved or held in the hand but not given to the dog being tested.
In dogs, Wynne noted, the quality of reward didn't seem to matter, so the test only worked when they got no reward at all.
However, Wynne added, there is "no doubt in my mind that dogs are very, very sensitive to what people are doing and are very smart."
(sorry... just one more time... Duh! ...okay, I feel better)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Those Dad-Gum R.O.U.S.s'

I'm not a huge movie watcher. I like to be somewhat selective, as we are given only so many hours in a day and I like them to be spent usefully. So, if I am going to watch a movie, I hope that it makes me laugh, think, moves me, or all the above. For those times that I don't want to have to think or have my emotions toyed with, a light-hearted movie suits me. One such movie is called The Princess Bride.

There is a scene in the movie where the hero has to travel through the woods with his love. To do so safely, he has to watch out for three 'dangers' that he knows will be present in the forest. To the best of my recollection (I haven't seen the movie in a long time), the dangers are:
  1. Quicksand

  2. The Fire Swamp

  3. The R.O.U.S. -Rodents Of Unusual Size

Now, the only reason I bring this movie up is for the last point above...the R.O.U.Ss'. For, it is whenever I see a possum, that I think of this. Yeah, yeah, I know a possum is not a rodent. But, they look like one for all intense and purposes. In our barn, we keep our feed in a metal trashcan, but I recently had a bag of feed sitting out. Well, the blasted thing kept coming up with a hole. I would tape it... another hole. We knew we had/have a field mouse or rat or two in the barn, so we set up traps. We did come up with a couple of rats in the traps ... the snap kind (hey, it's quick). But, not only did the the darn bag keep coming up with a hole, something was relieving itself on one of our hay bales- I'm talking 'number two' relieving. Looked like it could have been a feral cat. Well, that was enough. We got the big traps out. Both are live traps. One made by handy-man-other-half and the other, is a smaller store bought wire trap.

Well, what do you know... we caught ourselves the culprit. Lucky for him, it was a "catch N release" situation. Before the R.O.U.S. was released a few miles away, I caught these pics.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Oh Go Ahead, Flatter Me

Met my new OB doc a few days ago (my regular girly doc doesn't do pregnant woman anymore, just GYN stuff, so I was referred). Am not one to fall head over heels quickly ......but...... I think I love her (I'll get to why shortly). Course, it was just one appt... and she's also a she. Many woman have all sorts of differing opinions on this... and if your doc fits you, then great. I am used to a man girly-doctor- and an older man girly doc at that. Not an over the hill geezer, but one that has experience. My experience with male girly docs (I've had a few of both in the past) is that men tend to be more gentle, if you will. I think the reason is because they don't have those parts, thus they don't know exactly how gentle or not they can be... and a woman does.

Anyway, back to why I might "love" my new doc. She is very thorough (yeah, after the labs she ordered, the bloodletting commenced-FIFTEEN tubes of blood. I was able to walk out on my own two feet). Other reasons; she is high-energy without being hyper. She does a thorough ultrasound....

But, the number one reason why I like her is because of something she said while she was doing the ultrasound. It was a trans-vag ultrasound and she had looked and measured all and was finishing with finding/measuring the right ovary. I watched the monitor as she was having a time finding it. As she was finagling around looking, she said, "I would think it would be easy to see because you are so thin". thin, she said?!? Did you hear that?!?

Now, for those that don't know. I am not like I used to be. I used to be thin. I used to be a double-aught (that's farrier talk for a double zero). And speaking of doubles, my weight used to be double digits. Hasn't been double digits for 18- 20 years. So when she said this, my first response was a knee-jerk response, "I'll have to let my husband know you said that."

It was then, I started the internal dialogue, "Did she really say what I think she said? Yes. Well, maybe she meant my internal parts... like the lining between each is thin... maybe she didn't mean me". So I said aloud, "You mean internally, like the lining between things?" (I know, I'm such a dork at times). Anyway, she said, "No, I mean you. I mean you're not fat, you're thin."

That, folks, is when the love affair started.

{Footnote: Okay, all semi-facetiousness aside, I actually find it really appalling how most all forms of media portray that a woman's bod is what makes them important... which, in Hollyweird, is often a stick figured, hot-dog lipped (my unique other half's word for botox lips), helium balloon chested young woman. If they focused more on what's realistic than what's starved & surgically altered, a lot more woman wouldn't be so unrealistic with what to expect with regards to their looks. Hey, what's important is health ...and that can look different on different people}.

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Planned Surpise

Ohh, I'm tired. That's my first response.

Second response: Oh how surprised I was! Even though we were planning.

How does THAT happen you ask. Well, I'll tell you, but I have to first post a WARNING for those that proclaim "TMI" (too much information) more than your average person. If you think this might apply t0 you, then Stop Reading.

So, how was this planned, yet it still surprised me?

"Not in a nutshell"... the story starts a LONG time ago- when I was in the womb of my dear mom. Sometime in her second trimester, she started bleeding. Back then the docs sometimes prescribed Diethylstilbestrol- a synthetic estrogen better known as DES.

DES was first used in the early 1940's. Its use continued until 1971 when the FDA -finally- removed it from the market because of links to cancer and other reproductive anomalies found in the children of the mothers that took it. Funny enough, a double blind study of pregnant women was not published until six years after DES received FDA approval for prevention of miscarriage. This study was published in 1953, when DES was at it's peak in sales, and concluded that DES had no effects in helping the prevention of miscarriages. Other studies were also published showing links to anomalies and cancer... Hmmm... I was born in 1969... a whopping 16 years after findings were made public.

Call me a critic of powerful drug companies.

Okay, so enough on that. But I did have to lay that groundwork to get to the next part. So, to continue on, I had my share of 'problems'~ namely pre-cancerous biopsies... gees, I have had so many, I can not recall. I even had the LEEP procedure done- where, with an electrosurgical wire (kind of like a cheese slicer, but electric), they cut & cauterized all in one swipe the top of my cervix off. Still didn't take care of the pre-cancer, so I was sent to an Oncologist Gynecologist -a cancer girly-doctor. Upon being referred, I was told/'prepared' that the worse case scenario, I could have all girly parts removed. LONG story shorter (I'm trying), what I had was "Adenosis" -that is, normal cells in an abnormal place, thus appearing as cancer. Through all of this (surgery and all), my husband and I also learned that... I'm "small" ...well, hellllo, I could have told you that! All kidding aside, my doc said, "There's no way you could deliver a baby, it would have to be cesarean. You would be split stem to stern because your cervix is so small." That is a quote from my forward doctor, of which I love.

So, coming up in time... I'm a horse breeder. We only breed by artificial collection and insemination (our stallion doesn't know a real mare... he doesn't know any different, so he's happy). What I'm getting at is that I know a fair amount about reproduction and how goes all. Timing is important. So, when when my manly half and I were ready "to try", I had it all planned. Got my LH Surge urine tests... let's you know when your ovulating (thing is, I know when I do already since I can feel it, but wanted to 'be sure'). Well, we tried for 10 months the old fashioned way- hit me at the right time and all, but it was a no-go. So, I told my tired other half that I didn't think his swimmers were getting through ... you know, the small cervix thing. It was simply a matter of physics. They needed a little help. So, I went to my Equine vet... yes, I said vet- as in horse doctor and asked him for an Equine Eye Flush Catheter- it's real small, about the diameter size of a pencil lead. I figured this could help the little swimmers get where they needed to go. All I needed to know now was... how far. Since I had training and artificially inseminated many a horse, I know that your average horse's cervix is about 3 inches long.

So, I called my GYN doc and asked. He told me (and I could hear him roll his eyes) and then he said, "When you're done trying Artificial Insemination, give me a call and I will hook you up with an AI specialist". Well, I did the deed ONE time -with a little help from my XY half, and I was pg (pregnant).
There you have it... how our Little Someone came to be.

So, what's this got to do with a 'planned surprise'? Well, as my other half and I want another child and 10 months of "the typical way" didn't get us our first child, I/we were planning to do the AI deed again. I started with doing the Ovulation LH Surge tests (because timing is important) and it showed that I was getting close, but the little test line was not quite as dark as the control line (though very close). Later that evening, we happened to... well, we're married... anyway, about an hour after we romped in the hay (proverbially speaking), I felt myself ovulating. Didn't think anything of it as we tried the "old fashioned way" for 10 months before AI-ing for our daughter. I continued the LH Tests for a number of days just to make sure. Well, sure enough, the test line got weaker and weaker, so I had ovulated (those ovulation test lines... well, I was obviously being too picky about the hues).

Anyway, I told my husband that we would just have to wait until next month to AI. Well, heck, that never came... I was feeling some pretty good pulling sensations. So, I counted days and realized I was late (something I never am). Then, the following conversation took place in my head: "Nooo way. Well, you have a test, take it. Nooo, it's not possible... just take the test, you have two of them." So I did and about dropped my jaw.

That there, was my planned surprise (due first half of July if all continues well).

{Footnote 1: Actually, our first was also a 'planned surprise' in that I was so... how do I say... 'conservative' with my approach, I totally did not think it took}.

{Footnote 2: Why did I get pg. 'naturally' the 2nd time when I couldn't to begin with? My understanding- pregnancy. It can really stretch, move, flatten and bulge things (internally & externally) in ways you don't want to happen and there's not a darn thing you can do about it}.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Hello, I'm Bz and I'm a Laundry-Room Eater

Ohhh, am I stuffed. It is the day after Thanksgiving and I had this feeling, that I thought that I would learn from, yesterday. I mean, gees, I can understand when a year passes between this feeling ...or even a month (Christmas), but the next day... I obviously didn't learn.
The thing is, when you have fabulous food sitting right under your nose and mouth... and you are hungry... it's instinct, instinct I say, to eat.

Just an example: take a gander at the photo (you can click to enlarge). It is a tin of leftovers that we got to take home from my mother-in-law's house. Look in the upper right of that tin of food, you will see a bit of potato salad. Yes, there was more, but I tried the potato salad last night... then I find myself eating it right out of the tin. The meld of flavors reminded me of how the mouse felt in the animated movie, "Ratatouille" when he first combines wonderful flavors for a whole new world of taste... well, that's what it was like for me... as I stand next to our laundry room's refrigerator... gobbling down potato salad.

Well, the present stuffed feeling comes from, I kid you not, the most scrumptious dressing any holiday has seen (and, let me tell you, I am not superfluous with dramatic language). I am fortunate in that this dressing is made by my mother-in-law, thus I have had delight before in stuffing myself miserably on such wonderful fare. Perhaps the only thing left to figure is how to enjoy such foods without stuffing to a stuffed feeling... well, I know the answer to that as I type- "Stop eating"... or slowdown and give that ole Hypothalamus time to register... yeah, yeah, that is it. That's what I'll do from now on.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Remember Walkman Earphones?... how about WalkDog Earphones

So I am in doing laundry and checking on a Little Someone every two minutes. Last I left her, she was in the guest room rummaging through the drawers of the desk in there (not much in the drawers). Knowing I have another (approximately) two minutes, I come back in to put the remaining clothes in the washer... when someone comes running in exclaiming, "Momma, Momma, come look. Smudge has earphones on!"
Well, sure enough the old pair of plug-in walkman earphones, that were in the drawer, were on the dog's head.
...and someone was very proud.
and the four-legged someone was... let's just say, she's such a good and patient dog.
Then our little someone says, "Come on Smudge, let's go walking." though this is a newfangled type of leash.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

FALLing just past Spectacular

This burgundy red Nuttall Oak leaf was more brilliant than this, but I did not capture its most spectacular moment. It was a lighter and brighter crimson red- just gorgeous. We have two types of Red Oaks at our place; the Nuttalls and the Shumards. Though the trees are very similar in rate of growth, leaf shape (though Nuttall lobes have a deeper cup), size, & spread, we prefer the Nuttalls for their color.

Here's more info for kicks-N-grins...

The Nuttall Oak tree's Mature Height is 60 - 100 feet, Mature Spread 50 - 70 feet, Soil Type Widely Adaptable, Moisture Widely Adaptable, Mature Form Round Crown, Irregular, Growth Rate Moderate, Sun Exposure Full Sun, Flower Color Yellowish, Green Insignificant, Fall Color Reddish Brown, Foliage Color Green, Zones 5-9.
The Nuttall Oak tree, Quercus nuttallii, was not distinguished as a species until 1927. It is also called red oak, Red River oak, and pin oak. It is one of the few commercially important species found on poorly drained clay flats and low bottoms of the Gulf Coastal Plain and north in the Mississippi and Red River Valleys.The acorn or winter buds identify Nuttall oak, easily confused with pin oak (Q. palustris). The lumber is often cut and sold as red oak. In addition to producing timber, Nuttall oak is an important species for wildlife management because of heavy annual mast production.
Nuttall Oak trees are a good choice for low poorly drained locations. During winter, squirrels find a ready supply of acorns, since many acorns remain on the tree into January. Acorns are favored by deer and also eaten by turkeys.

Friday, November 21, 2008

This is Such a "Small" Blog...

...that I will help a commenter out directly (plus, the more relevant things to write about are going to take a bit of energy & time~both of which have not been exceedingly great lately). In the previous post, a commenter asked me to remove the cat & toothbrush pic, as they cannot get it out of their head when they brush their teeth. So, because brushing is so important and in effort to help this individual out, here are some different pics regarding teeth brushing ...and, as the last will show ... why brushing is so important.

This one was a little ... painful to post. For the women around him, I would think this is 'birth control'.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Why Food/Drink Taste Bad After We Brush Our Teeth

I saw the headline above and thought, "Well, I know the answer to that." I formulated a nutshell answer in my mind and proceeded to read to see if I was right ... well, I was wrong. I thought it was a PH difference thing going on and the sudden switch from one to the other (toothpaste to food/drink) caused the yuck-factor. Nope, below is the answer. Found it interesting.
(copied from Matt Soniak on Yahoo Buzz)
If you have no idea why I'm pondering that question today, go brush your teeth real quick and grab a drink (orange juice, iced tea, beer—anything except water). Awful, isn’t it? You can thank sodium laureth sulfate, also known as sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES), or sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) for ruining your drink, depending on which toothpaste you use. Both of these chemicals are surfactants – wetting agents that lower the surface tension of a liquid – that are added to toothpastes to create foam and make the paste easier to spread around your mouth (they’re also important ingredients in detergents, fabric softeners, paints, laxatives, surfboard waxes and insecticides).
While surfactants make brushing our teeth a lot easier, they do more than make foam. Both SLES and SLS mess with our taste buds in two ways. One, they suppress the receptors on our taste buds that perceive sweetness, inhibiting our ability to pick up the sweet notes of food and drink. And, as if that wasn’t enough, they break up the phospholipids on our tongue. These fatty molecules inhibit our receptors for bitterness and keep bitter tastes from overwhelming us, but when they’re broken down by the surfactants in toothpaste, bitter tastes get enhanced.
So, anything you eat or drink after you brush is going to have less sweetness and more bitterness than it normally would. Is there any end to this torture? Yes. You don’t need foam for good toothpaste, and there are plenty out there that are SLES/SLS-free. You won’t get that rabid dog look that makes oral hygiene so much fun, but your breakfast won’t be ruined.

Friday, November 14, 2008

It's the Little Things in Life

For some time now, I have realized that it is the Little Things in Life that make it what it is. I, absolutely, maintain that assertion. And here is a prime example...

We lived in our house for almost seven years before the below 'Little Thing' made it's way into making my/our lives better. Though our home was custom designed & built, there are a few things -had we known- we would have done differently. I'm sure that is the case with most people that have had a home built. Hindsight is always 20/20.

Anyhow, our 'toilet room' is a room unto itself, as our bathroom is a larger open room with the bath, shower, & his/her sinks. Our toilet closet... it's like little closet, it has a shelf for books & bathroom whatnot, it has room for a little trash-can and a basket of toilet paper. We put a specialty picked timer for the vent fan- so we can turn it on and leave, allowing us to think of the next occupant, yet we don't have to remember to come back and turn it off... okay, that's a 'little thing' too.

Anyway, we thought that we had thought of everything with this little toilet room. Alas, we had not! For it was dark upon entering at night. A nightlight you say! can do, there was no outlet. We have a mild nightlight in the larger bathroom area, but did not have one in this little offshoot of a room.

Sooo, I bought a clock with a 'luminescent' dial ...haa! That was a joke (and let me tell you, I searched the Internet over). Okay, so after sending this clock back, my handy other half says, "I can wire a different cover-plate with a plug". You can WHAT?!? ...well, why didn't you say so!?!

So, this is a "Little Thing" that has made all the middle-of-the-night trips to that little room so worthwhile. See the itty-bitty nightlight under the switch and next to the timer dial...
(sorry for the blurry resolution, wanted to show light while illuminating,thus couldn't use flash)
And let me tell you... this soft little green glow lights up the joint! We leave the bathroom door cracked and, in the middle of the night, one can be drawn like a moth ...without being blinded.

It's a great Little Thing.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Dandy was a Dandy

I was given an unregistered German Shepherd puppy when I was just 16 yrs old. I vaguely recall that my mom was out of state (had gone to visit family in Oregon) when the pup came home. Funny, as my dad was home, but somehow the pup made it into my/our lives.
She, Dandy... her full name was "Just Dandy" was just that, 'Dandy'. Got her name while perusing the school dictionary that could be found in the wire baskets under every desk in high school. It was a history class with coach Williams- big burly, sweet man who was a Jeopardy show fanatic and would often gets spit collected in the corners of his mouth because he could talk a blue streak on one breath alone.
Anyway, I was bored as usual with class and had this pup at home that was on my mind... and she needed a name. So, I got the dictionary out from the wire basket and started flipping pages. Can't begin to remember the words/names I passed or considered because, obviously, the one that stuck was when I got to the word 'dandy'. I read the definition. Went something to the effect of: something or someone of exceptional or first-rate quality.
Well, that was enough for me, I knew the pup well enough to consider her as such and she got her name, however masculine it may have been.
She was a good dog... wanted to please, please, please- like most in the herding group. Trained her to hand signals from as far as she (or I!) could see. The only thing I couldn't train her different about was cats, but that's another story.
I had Dandy until the day she was put down at 13 1/2 years old. She is buried under our big pecan tree. Was not an easy task and one that I had made an appointment for once already and cancelled.... won't go into it. If you're a dog-lover, you know... not an easy thing (sighhh).
Anyway, here are a couple of pics. Had her trained to ride the old mare I got was I was 14 yrs old. Had to put a saddle pad under a blanket on the horse, as even trimmed dog nails can poke.
This second pic is a painting that was done from a picture of Dandy. A friend of my mom's did it for her... for me. It hangs at the end of our long hallway in our home... kind of a relaxed old sentinel keeping watch.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Fall of the Garden

Fall is here. It's not so much cool right now- although we have had a cold snap already come through, but it's the rain. For me, it signals the changing season. Hence, no more garden. Yes, some people have a Fall garden, we don't. Well, we haven't yet... perhaps if congress adds another hour to the day (I won't get started on wanting to be like Arizona or Hawaii and the blasted time change).
ANYway... our garden~ this pic was taken a couple of weeks ago. As it stands now, most of the old plants have been taken out as we pass the garden here and there on our way to the barn. It hasn't had it's Final Clean-out yet though.
We did get some mighty nice foods from it this year. However, with the exception of one, I did not take any pics. This is the one I did take. We LOVE cherry tomatoes and we had a plethora of yummy ones that just kept coming...
This fruit is not from the garden, but from the our Florida Prince Peach tree. It was the tree's first crop since we planted it. The peaches were small, but quality/taste abound. They should be bigger this next time around as the tree has done much growing and settling in...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Honey, Call Me Quirky.... or Corney.

I like good Cornbread ...and I like it with honey. So, in effort to get the max ratio of honey to cornbread-without having to refuel (the cornbread with honey), this is what I sometimes do...

When I bake the cornbread, I make mini-muffins. This way, once dressed with honey, they can just be popped in one's mouth. To get the max honey benefit without getting it all over, I goes the quirky... I poke my finger in the middle of the muffin and fill it with honey (gees, I almost feel like I've taken off a piece of clothing after that) ...anyway, it sure makes eating this dynamic-duo easy.

Let me say, for the record, I do eat honey and cornbread in the normal fashion too.

Ohh, and have got to add, this Orange Blossom Honey is/was fabulous- didn't hit too hard, was smooth and sweet, but not 'over-sweet' if you can imagine any honey not being over sweet.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Living in the Land of Nine Year Olds...

Good short story to post...
The most eye-opening civics lesson I ever had was while teaching third grade. The presidential election was heating up and some of the children showed an interest. I decided we would have an election for a class president. We would choose our nominees. They would make a campaign speech and the class would vote.
To simplify the process, candidates were nominated by other class members. We discussed what kinds of characteristics these students should have. We got many nominations and from those, Jamie and Olivia were picked to run for the top spot.
The class had done a great job in their selections. Both candidates were good kids. I thought Jamie might have an advantage because he got lots of parental support. I had never seen Olivia's mother. The day arrived when they were to make their speeches Jamie went first. He had specific ideas about how to make our class a better place. He ended by promising to do his very best. Every one applauded. He sat down and Olivia came to the podium. Her speech was concise. She said, "If you will vote for me, I will give you ice cream." She sat down. The class went wild. "Yes! Yes! We want ice cream."
She surely would say more. She did not have to. A discussion followed. How did she plan to pay for the ice cream? She wasn't sure. Would her parents buy it or would the class pay for it. She didn't know. The class really didn't care. All they were thinking about was ice cream. Jamie was forgotten. Olivia won by a land slide.
Every time Obama opened his mouth, he offered ice cream- and fifty percent of America reacted like a nine year old. They want ice cream. The other fifty percent know they're going to have to feed/milk the cow.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Unbelievable... on so many accounts.

Yeah, they say when a country learns that it can vote themselves a handout, they will. That's the start of the decline... although, slowly, but surely, redistribution of wealth has been going on for a while. I can only wonder if it will now occur at supersonic speed.
So, for that and many other reasons, I will be adding to my wardrobe. I like the three shirts here and really feel the sentiments of this first one (O shit!). But, will pass on it as I'm not a cursing person- especially around 2 y/o and I can't see explaining it very well.

Sooo, that leaves these two below... I like both for different reasons and will be ordering one of them. If you get a chance, tell me which you prefer... or, if you happen to be one that doesn't find either humorous, then save your time.

Be Very Afraid...

....yeah, I am. It's Super-Tuesday and I have all but held off on thinking about the possibilities. It has been easier to think of it only in passing, but really pondering the possibility of... let's just say, I've put it in the back of my head ~ can't do anything about the outcome anyway... well, short of my little vote. So in less than 24 hours, either way, history will be written. All I can do is cross my toes... and, sadly, I can't do that very well. I can only hope that.......
Geez, I don't want to bear the thought.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween was 'Buzzing' with Excitement!

Our first Halloween went off without a hitch. Our Little Someone had a grand ole time. And, though a little shy here and there, never did she want to take her costume off or get fussy or upset like I hear so often happens with little ones. I think much of that has to do with preparation in talking about it/explaining ahead of time what we'll be doing and making sure nap time is not put on the back-burner... who knows, maybe we just got lucky.

The first three daytime pics were taken at a little Halloween gathering in a neighboring development near us. Our little Bumble-Bee had fun seeing the other "silly kids dressed in costumes".

Look at me...
Our Blue-eyed Bumble-bee...
This pic doesn't show all the kids running around. Here, you see our someone was holding onto her pumpkin that she picked out...
Our first Trick-or-Treating door!...
Looking at all the 'silly decorations'...
(those are big round 'ghost' earings hanging off my ears).
Starting to catch on...
Whoo-hoo! I like this, "let's go to another house"...
Momma and her little Buzz...

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Aging Process... Stinks.

As seen before~ young, fresh, smooth, newly carved pumpkins...
Then, it happens~ time passes and things settle, sag, turn wrinkly, spotty and mold appears... then the little one's top caves in... while we sit at the table, eating dinner.

Needless to say, these puppies are going to the burn pile later today.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween~ A Few Years Ago

One of the things I liked about teaching was being able to let my goofy side show and/or stepping out of character. Though I haven't had a chance to scan the pic of when I dressed up as "Mrs. Roper" (from the Three's Company show of way back), here are two that I did have electronically.
Here I am on the right as~ "Pippi Longstocking".
This dress below is an authentic reproduction/replica Civil War dress. It was borrowed from a friend and I "walked on egg shells" the whole day while wearing it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Our Little Someone got to experience her first pumpkin carving... well, she didn't experience the carving part on her own, but she helped in every other way. Including throwing the pumpkin seeds/insides to the disposal dogs. No, they didn't get it all or even much more than a few tiny handfuls, as I wasn't about to risk the 'this will make their gut do strange things' phenomenon (hey, they're 160 & 162 lbs respectively and if a regular person has 'clear the room' capability, imagine a person-size dog).
ANYway, pumpkin face making was thoroughly enjoyed... well, except for the part when my 'so-focused-on-carving' other half stabbed himself with a very sharp knife while doing the 'baby' pumpkin (we had a momma & daddy pumpkin too). After bleeding and butterfly bandaging, we finished the pumpkins.
While daddy carved, someone was putting the pieces back~ "Where's the other eye, momma?"
"Here it is."

"Where's the pumpkin's mouth, mommy?"
"Here it is." ...and she got it to fit back in place... and took it out again... and put it back... and so on...
Guess who's coming to dinner? ...pumpkins!
We dimmed the lights in our dining room for just a bit to show how the pumpkins light up. After we turned the lights back up, someone wanted to "turn the light off again, momma".
We did.