Tuesday, October 26, 2010

What's Brown And White And Shits On My Floor?

A puppy!
We had been checking the classifieds and shelter websites for a few weeks and finally on Saturday, since it was raining and I had to cancel my afternoon outdoor photo shoot, we decided to call on a litter of puppies and drive half-way across the state to go look at them.

We knew we wanted to start from scratch with a brand new puppy, but we didn't really have a preference of breed. The Gardener wanted something smaller than our last 2 dogs but not rodent dog small. I wanted another big dog, something 100 pounds or more. The girls just wanted a dog.

After two hours of driving in the rain, we arrived at the dairy farm where the puppies were. We took one look at the little fur balls playing in the calf shed and knew we would be bringing one home with us. There were six puppies left from a litter of ten(!) St. Bernard-Blue Heeler mix mutts. The mom was the Blue Heeler and the dad was a big and filthy (again with the rain) St. Bernard. The puppies were all so cute that it was hard to choose one but eventually after looking them all over and tipping them up to see which ones had the equipment we were looking for (not that it matters since he will be neutered when the time comes), I picked this little boy and that was it. He was ours! Well, after I paid for him, of course.
The first whole day he had no name. We all just called him Puppy while trying out every name we could think of. Binny came up with some silly suggestions like car and tree and cat and mailbox. Finally, the next day, the Gardener had a Dukes of Hazzard flashback moment and started calling him Flash. You know, Sheriff Roscoe's lazy Basset Hound?
So far he's been about 70/30 with the whole housebreaking thing. Good thing he's small and his messes are small too. Every time we take him outside, he goes, but sometimes he'll have just gone out, then five minutes later squat and pee on the rug. Then back outside. He'll get it eventually...

So lets hear it! How cute is he?

Friday, October 22, 2010

8 Questions

...stolen from Secret Mom Thoughts

1. What's your favorite book?
Bright Shiny Morning, a novel by James Frey. Yes, that James Frey. The one named a liar by Oprah over some embellishments in his drug rehab memoir, A Million Little Pieces, (which for the record, he says he originally shopped the book around as fiction). Of course he may not have remembered everything so clearly, he was living on crack cocaine and alcohol. Real or not, it was still a great book. Both were great books but I love the characters in Bright Shiny Morning and the many stories all going on at once.

2. How do you get over writer's block!?!
I do one of these little quizzes to fill the space in my blog between Wardrobe Wednesday photos. Or just avoid my blog until I get an email from somebody checking in to make sure I'm still alive.

3. What's your favorite Holiday? why?
Anything between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Because it's warm out, the garden is growing and I can wear minimal clothing while sipping an iced beverage.

4. What's one place you would love to visit? Anywhere that's warm in January.

5. Do you have any pets? Not currently unless you consider the pigeons squatting (and shitting) in our barn as pets. In that case we have about 50.

6. What's your favorite thing to bake? Well, I'm making a chocolate chip cheesecake today... It's my favorite thing to eat!

7. Do you like sunsets or sunrises? Both.

8. What's your favorite movie? I don't know that I really have a favorite movie. I like lots of movies, but I really love documentaries. The new season of PBS's Independent Lens started and I can't be more excited! This week's film was The Parking Lot Movie. I loved it!

Anybody else need some blog filler? I'd love to read your answers to these 8 questions.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Wardrobe Wednesday

Yesterday was pajama day at school. My kids still love pajama day and had been planning their outfits ever since the half sheet of paper listing all of the clothing themed days for Red Ribbon Week came home in their backpacks.
I think Mae regretted wearing those synthetic (shiny?) pj bottoms as soon as the first gust of the north wind blew right through them, but once again style comes before comfort in her book. Binny too was trying to make a statement. A statement about how we need a dog.

Anybody in your house wearing something noteworthy today? If so, link up!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sound Bites From The Road

More from last weekend's road trip with my brothers...

At our first rest stop, I walked into the women's restroom and peered under the stall doors to find one without feet. I found an empty one, walked in, locked the door. For a 6 stall bathroom full of women, it was fairly quiet in there. Then all of a sudden, before I even had a chance to hang my purse on the hook, I heard some fumbling around in the stall next to me, followed by a quiet "good Lord in heaven" from my neighbor, then a big WOOOOOSH of the toilet.
"Hey Al, watch your speed, there's a Johnny Pinch up ahead on your left."
Me to my brothers: "Hey guys, look, it's an Olive Garden! I could totally go for the soup, salad and bread-sticks lunch!" Younger bro pipes up from the back seat and says, "No way I am eating there. I refuse to eat at a restaurant where their thing is to treat me like family."
"Hey Bro, What the hell are we listening to?" "Shut up, dumb ass, it's Bird and the Bee. The Hall and Oates tribute album."

I dare you to listen to this and not be in a good mood afterward.
As I was opening the door to MY hotel room for the first time, my brother walked over and informed me that while I was checking in at the desk, he read the front page of a five day old Grand Forks Herald newspaper that was sitting on a side table in the lobby. There was an article about the recent surge in cases of bedbugs in hotel rooms. He then waved his finger around and said, "The picture in the paper looked a lot like this room."
About 20 minutes from home on Sunday night, we were all exhausted and sick of each other. It was dark outside and the sky was as clear as can be, making the crescent moon look like it was on fire. My brother breaks the silence in the car with, "Hey guys, check out the shit-house moon."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wardrobe Wednesday

Guess who found the basket of winter accessories?
Anybody in your house wearing something noteworthy today? If so, link up!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Peaches Winner And Why I Didn't Post This Before Now

I accidentally hit publish on this post earlier, way before I was finished with it, so disregard the earlier version in your blog reader. Oopsies!

First the winner of the peaches! So I went to Random.org to pick a winner of the quart of peaches, BUT since I once again couldn't figure out how to save the little box that shows the result, you'll have to take my word for it. And after I explain it, you'll know I'm telling the truth. I had 16 comments on last week's post and the random number generator chose 7. Now, quick open the comments window from last week's post and look who #7 is. Ali's mom. I'm Ali. My mom won. Sorry, Mom, but you're disqualified. I know it must have taken you the better part of an evening to figure out how to leave a comment on my blog, and bravo for that, but I can't let you win. Or at least you can't be the ONLY winner. (You can pick up a jar of peaches on your next visit.) So, I did it again and this time #5, True Blue Texan was the winner. Congrats, True Blue! I'm hoping to mail the peaches out to you this week.

Now on to the excuse of why I didn't get to this yesterday and why I'm still so incredibly tired today yet.
A big, flat, treeless excuse called North Dakota. As soon as the bus picked up the girls for school Friday morning, my brothers and I climbed into the car and started the 10 hour drive to visit our grandparents in Grand Forks, North Dakota. My grandparents are pretty much the only people I will sit in the car that long for... especially with these two chuckle-heads as company.

The drive was gorgeous but the stupid temperature display kept taunting us the whole way reading at or above 80 degrees for most of the day while we were stuck inside the car. And apparently farting in the car and refusing to open a window while your sister is gagging in the seat next to you never gets old. That's alright, I made my other brother take pictures of our younger brother while he was sleeping, with the sole intention of putting them on the Internet. I tried to get him to bust out a sharpie and draw on younger bro, or stick something in his mouth, but he wouldn't do it, predicting it would make the weekend even more miserable for the rest of us since younger brother is a bit cranky to begin with.

More driving...And junk food...Finally around 7pm Friday evening, just as the sun was starting to set, we arrived in GF. Not a moment too soon either. Our bodies were so sore from sitting so long that when we finally opened the car doors and got out, it took a lot of stretching and mumbling, 'holy fuck, my ass hurts' in order to stand upright.

We checked into our hotel (The only room available in the whole Grand Forks area. Not until I went online last week to book a room, did any of us realize that we were going on the same weekend as the University of North Dakota's homecoming, and a Brad Paisley concert. We actually couldn't even get a room anywhere for Saturday night.) and look what was in my room! The boys got a 2 bed room but since the hotel was so booked up, they upgraded me to a whirlpool suite. Too bad I didn't have time to use the giant tub. I did however, take advantage of the large bathroom mirror and took a self portrait, after I showered off 660 miles of road trip funk and ran a curling iron through my hair. I had big plans to spend every moment in my very own hotel room watching trashy cable reality shows, but as soon as I located TLC and MTV on my TV, the boys invaded my room with pizza and beer to watch a baseball game in my big room. After dinner, younger bro and I went out for a few drinks with our cousin and some of his friends. Big bro passed the hell out fell asleep on the sofa in my room so we let him sleep and went out for the evening. We had a good time and the weather was perfect for a drunken night out in a college town. Don't freak out, Mom. We took a cab home.

The next morning I woke up early to indulge in a Teen Mom marathon on MTV while I ate my complimentary hotel breakfast of frosted flakes and strong coffee. I had a raging headache so I didn't feel like listening to the whirlpool tub fill for an hour, otherwise I would have climbed in. I considered it the night before but changed my mind when I thought about the possible news headline:
Intoxicated Wisconsin woman drowns in Grand Forks hotel room. Details on page 8A.

After we checked out of the hotel, we went to see our grandparents.
After being hospitalized twice and spending 3 weeks in a nursing home this summer, Grandpa Conrad is doing great, especially for a guy who turns 93 next month! My brothers and I decided that since he doesn't have any of his musical instruments in North Dakota and probably won't get much of their stuff from their Arizona home until next summer (they recently moved back to ND to be closer to family), we wanted to get him a new keyboard to keep him busy. Off to Target...
After some assembly... Grandpa was back in business and playing songs for us.
We spent the rest of the afternoon outside enjoying the beautiful fall weather.
The boys played hackey sack (sp?) in the front yard...I took off my shoes...
And Grandpa drank a beer.
After we said a tearful goodbye to my grandparents, we headed out across the border into Minnesota (since there were no hotels available) to stay the night at my brother-in-law's house. Uncle B and his girlfriend were out of town for the weekend anyway, so we had the whole place to ourselves. The boys had never been and had a good old time checking out all of Uncle B's junk toys.Later that evening, younger Bro solidified his status (once again) as a crabby son of a bitch. I'm not going to elaborate too much but I will say that he wanted to watch some (stupid) baseball game and didn't feel like asking the guy behind the bar at the restaurant I chose to change the channel. I was so hungry and confused at the whole situation at that point that if our older brother hadn't been along, I may have strangled younger bro. We then found a bar that was airing the game and they actually had a decent menu beyond typical bar food. I'm still a little pissed though that he insisted on being such a big baby. No wonder he's still single!

The next morning we got up and headed for home. Another long day of driving...
It's good to finally be home, but visiting our grandparents was well worth the trip. We may even do it again...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wardrobe Wednesday

I love these shoes. Wanna know why? Besides matching my patchwork hobo bag and the fact that they add 2 inches- rocketing me up to roughly the same height as a 7th grader, these shoes are super comfortable and require absolutely no effort to put on.
I love these brown leather clogs so much that when I saw a pair in black on the clearance rack at Boston Store (for about half of what I paid for the brown ones) I had to have them. I don't wear the black as much as the brown since they don't match my one and only purse, but I love that I have a black pair in case one day I find a black purse that doesn't look like a hefty bag.

Psssst! If you haven't already, go enter my giveaway for a quart of home canned peaches. If you participated in my Monday Garden Club anytime this season, leave a second comment for an additional chance to win.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday Garden Club And A Giveaway

Well, after what seemed like an eternity of no Internet access, our motherboard has been replaced and I'm back online and ready for a garden update.

I harvested this trailer full of produce last week while I was computer-less. The little yellow winter squash with the green stripes are delicious. I split, seeded and baked 2 last night for dinner and believe it or not, the kids scraped out every last bit of squashy (and buttery, brown sugary) goodness. Binny may have even licked her plate...

There are still a few giant pumpkins out in the garden that were too big for me to carry up to the house.

We had our first frost warning last night. There were a few squishy tomatoes this morning but the peppers I have been reluctant to pick (because they are still ripening) were okay. I then decided to pick all of the peppers that were mostly red or yellow and not chance another night outside.
And yes, my front porch still looks like a produce drop-off site at a food pantry.
The sunflower seeds are ready to harvest but I haven't gotten around to it yet. I probably have enough to plant an entire 20 acre field of the happy flowers. Anybody local want some?
One more thing... Remember last year at the end of the season when I gave away a pint of peaches? Well, I'm doing it again! Except this time I'm giving away a quart because a pint of peaches is never enough. To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. If you happened to participate in my Monday Garden Club any time this season, leave a second comment for an additional entry. This giveaway is open until Sunday October 10. I'll draw and announce the winner next Monday. Good luck!