We have DISH satellite. Have had it for the 7 years we’ve been here and we’ve been happy with the service. The last year or so though, we’ve been getting flyers in the mail advertising free upgrades to HD DVR for NEW customers. I called a couple of times to see if that offer extended to existing customers and of course it didn't. Oh of course I could upgrade and pay $300+ for the new boxes and dish and installation. Ugh.
Well low and behold, last week we got a flyer from them saying that they want to reward their loyal customers (ha – they want to keep us!) by offering free HD DVR upgrade, Free HBO and Showtime for 3 months (they automatically cancel after the 3 months), $10 credit for 12 months etc. etc. etc. I called on Monday to see if there was a catch. NONE….other than committing to them for 24 months, otherwise we’d get charged $15/mo for any months left on the 24 month agreement. AND she noticed that we had Autopay and that made us eligible for Cinemax for a year for $.01. I signed up for it (installing this Friday!) and they’ve already added the premium movie channels. We watched Burn After Reading last night – a strange but funny Coen brothers movie.
I shouldn’t be so excited about this, but I’m looking forward to recording shows. And fast forwarding through commercials (I think we can do that?)
If you get this offer in the mail, there really isn’t a catch to it. Just need to commit to 24 months. I kept asking the lady on the phone!
Now we need to find something to replace our HughesNet internet service.
What is wrong with me? I seem to be doing some really stupid things. Sometimes I think I’m just not as sharp as I used to be (shut up everyone!) and maybe I’m just getting old. I don’t think getting older necessarily means you’re going to do stupid things, but in my case…… I’m looking forward to my “mature” years (retirement in 10 years!!), but I’m afraid I might be one of those people who forget about the oven being on and then burn down my house. Some evidence to present to you; 1) Last week when Andre was gone I put some frozen veggies in the pressure cooker. It takes awhile for the jiggler to start jiggling so I guess I forgot about it and went outside to water my garden. THANK GOODNESS I came in about 10 minutes later and heard the sound of the pressure cooker going full blast. The veggies were very well done, but I was lucky I didn’t get side tracked by something else. 2) I got to work one day and realized my pants were on backwards. They were pull on with stretch waist so that’s an easy mistake…..right? Everyone got a good laugh at my expense. 3) I constantly spill things on my clothes. My coworkers can tell if I’ve already been to lunch by looking at my shirt. 4) Speaking of that, last week I stopped at Starbucks on my way to work and got a Grande Soy Mocha. Walking into the door I switched hands to show my badge to the guard and of course spilled my coffee on my shirt. I got a lot of it out in the ladies room at work, but someone told me to use a Tide Pen and I remembered buying that at Costco last year. I got home, got the stain pen out and rubbed it all over the stains on my shirt. Got the shirt out of the wash and saw lots of WHITE BLEACHED SPOTS all over the shirt. It wasn’t till the next day when I was telling people about this that I looked it up online and realized what I had was actually the CLOROX BLEACH PEN – for use on grout and caulking. Then I remembered I had actually bought it for the bathroom grout. STUPID! 5) This morning I got out a bandage for a blister on my toe. Went to put it on and it looked really strange. Then I realized it was a nasal strip. OKAY, the box looks the same.
So maybe I just need glasses, and I really have been kind of dorky and clumsy and absent minded (it’s from thinking about too many things at once, right?) all my life. Age is really about how you feel. Just wish I didn’t feel so dorky and clumsy and old.
Took the What Dog Are You quiz and got this result;
Wow, You're a Labrador Retriever!
Labrador Retriever The Caretaker
Your family is what makes you tick, and you never "flea" from an opportunity to hang out with the whole gang. A family picnic complete with hot dogs, deviled eggs and a refreshing swim in the lake is hard for you to stray from. Your sparky temperament and dogged intelligence mean you are not only a blast to hang out with, but great to work with as well. Your close pals appreciate your patience and forgiveness, knowing you'd rather let sleeping dogs lie than dwell on the mishaps of the past. Your dashing good looks may one day lead to a modelling career, if only you can tame the unfortunate clumsiness that sometimes causes you to go flailing from the catwalk. Learn more »
FAMOUS LABRADOR RETRIEVERS: Bill Cosby, Jackie Onassis, Dr. Phil, David Beckham
This is a great cucumber recipe. We have way more cucumbers than we can eat, so I made this and brought it to some friends this weekend for a side dish. They loved it too. Now I’m looking for a recipe for cucumber soup….. Creamy Cucumber Salad Recipe #116236 This is the best way to use up garden cucumbers. Cook time is the chill time. by *Parsley* 1¼ hours | 15 min prep SERVES 6 • 1 cup sour cream • 1/4 cup sugar • 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar • 1 teaspoon dried dill weed • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper • 4 large cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced • 1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced 1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together sour cream, sugar, vinegar, dill, salt and pepper. 2. In a separate large mixing bowl, toss together cucumbers and onions. 3. Pour sour cream mixture over top and mix together. 4. Chill at least 1 hour before serving.
We put them in the backyard to mow. You can see where I moved it back a bit today to give them some greener grass.
Excuse me ma'am, your clothes are falling off. This is Monkey - a hair sheep cross - shedding her coat. We wormed everyone today and all I had to mark them (so you don't re-worm someone by accident) was BluKote. You can see it on their foreheads where it is supposed to be, but it also smeared all over them and us. ugh.
Mom and SON? Isn't Spot a big boy? He is a 3 month old BLxSuffolk and is going to a home where he will be their terminal sire. Lucky boy!
My manager just got back from a management retreat. She asked us to take the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (voluntary of course). It is kind of interesting.
I am an INFJ type. Introverted (44%), Intuitive (25%), Feeling (25%), Judging (11%). Idealist/Counselor type. Guess it fits.
This part is true “Idealists are sure that friendly cooperation is the best way for people to achieve their goals. Conflict and confrontation upset them because they seem to put up angry barriers between people.” Is being Idealistic the same as being Unrealistic? Hmmmm…..
Famous people with the same personality type - Eleanor Roosevelt, Gandhi, Jane Goodall, Emily Bronte. Take the test. Yes/No answers. I found it fun to read the temperaments.
Yesterday I became a granny. My son Ben and his girlfriend Teresa had a BIG baby boy - Colin David. 9 lbs! Everyone is healthy and they are coming home from the hospital today. Teresa's mom is there (Tampa) and I'll give them time together before I pop down there in a month or so. I just remember how stressed I was after having my first (Ben) and having too many people visiting right at the beginning.
With the joyfulness of life we are sometimes reminded of the sadness of death. My niece Miche lost her fight with cancer last week. Her husband Larry has lost the love of his life and the mother of his young children, yet because of his faith he has a wonderful, positive attitude. His messages througout the last year have been an inspiration.
Please keep them all in your thoughts. My sister-in-law Carolyn has lost her daughter, which no parent should have to go through. This is less than a year after her husband, my brother Jeff, passed away, also to cancer.
Here is Larry's latest message. The sermon link is very good, but if you want to just hear the part about Miche', skip to minute 26:00.
********************************************************************************* This morning I listened to a message on Christian hope from an area minister whose wife Miché knew through her local MOPS group. I sat and wept at the end as he told just a small sliver of Miché’s journey. The message is posted as an audio file at http://blog.area10church.com/ under the section for 05.31.09 The Guaranteed Return - Hope and Death. I have also run in to a few folk who have come up to me and said “I didn’t wish to bother you since I didn’t know what to say.” Feel free to bother me; maybe not all at once! What would be best in the immediate future, would be sharing a story about Miché’s life and how she influenced you directly, or through our family, or through MOPS and other activities. Even if it is in a small way, these are the times and stories I wish to preserve to have in the future, so please feel compelled to also write it down so I can look back over it with the children. These memories and reflections can be e-mailed to AYGilbert@Hotmail.com, or written by hand this weekend on clipboards that we will have available. A simple hug is also a welcome greeting. Now about the kids! They are doing well; we are blessed to have an experienced hospice councilor who has experience working through children’s grief. She has been meeting with the kids regularly for a number of months. I’m not the expert on this, but my suggestion is to ask my kids about their activities this weekend. Zach is having a great soccer season in Upward soccer, he just got his equipment for his summer adventure day camp, reads voraciously, will hum the Star Wars songs all night and he loves playing board games like daddy. Meredith is enjoying gymnastics, has just finished her summer swim lessons, and is attached to her American Girl Bitty baby. Also, if you are comfortable, please feel free to bring your children to visit with mine. It would be good to have some children for them to visit with! It has been a unique experience selecting a resting location for Miché’s earthly remains. It has worked together in an amazing manner. When mountain unicycling along a trail on the north shore of the James River, I would frequently exit the trail and ride into Hollywood Cemetery. This cemetery is laid out in rolling hills and set in downtown Richmond. It is full of history with hundreds of civil war soldiers buried. I have now found out it has two US presidents, and Jefferson Davis the president of the Confederate States of America. They will be celebrating his 201 anniversary of his birth on Saturday morning before we visit. It is a perfect fit for Miché with all the history. The extended obituary follows, with links to the Richmond newspaper.Thanks so much for all the support and love!-- Extended Obituary:TENTOR, Miche' Young, 37, transitioned to eternal life on May 25, 2009, with her family by her side. A loving wife, mother, daughter, sister, faithful disciple, community and Veritas Classical Christian School volunteer and friend to many. Born in Roanoke, VA, raised in both Roanoke and Virginia Beach, she lived her last eight years in Richmond. She and Lawrence B. Tentor were married on December 2, 1995 in Virginia Beach, VA. Miche' graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor's degree in History and later obtained a Master’s degree in Education from an across state rival in Blacksburg. She was an active member in the Delta Gamma Sorority and an Organizational Leader with The Southwestern Company. After teaching several years in Roanoke City schools, Miche' devoted her time to her family and children. Active in her church, Immanuel Baptist, she was also instrumental in leading Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS International) in Virginia. Miche' was cherished by her husband Larry Tentor; children Zachary and Meredith, Richmond; father Robert Young and wife Shirley Young, Roanoke; mother Carolyn Pursell and predeceased step father Jeff Pursell, Virginia Beach; father-in-law Richard Tentor and wife Kathleen Tentor, Schenectady, NY; sister Angela Gilbert and brother-in-law Sean Gilbert, Atlanta, GA; brother-in-law Marty Tentor and wife Pam Tentor, Auburn, MA; along with several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephew, extended family, and caring friends. A celebration fellowship will occur 6-8PM Friday, June 5th, 2009 at Immanuel Baptist Church (www.immanuelbaptist.org) and is business casual. The Celebration Memorial Service is at 11AM on Saturday, June 6th, 2009 also at IBC. After this service we will be escorted to Hollywood Cemetery (http://www.hollywoodcemetery.org/) for the Rite of Committal. As many know, Miché was actively involved in the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers, www.mops.org) ministry and saw many lives changed! You can celebrate Miché's ministry with a gift to MOPS that will impact moms and families around the world. Please send your gift with "In celebration of Miché's ministry" in the notation section, either online or mail to:MOPS International, Inc.2370 South Trenton WayDenver CO 80231 Miché was also active in Zach’s school community, which was one community that has also tremendously supported our family across this year. You may send a gift to support the mission of glorifying God by cultivating students of wisdom and virtue through a Christ-centered, academically rigorous classical education. The schools website may be reviewed at www.VeritasSchool.com (corrected from last posting). Please send your gift with "In Memory of Miché" in the notation section, either by mail to:Veritas Classical Christian SchoolAttn: Aileen Crain, Director of Development6627-B Jahnke RoadRichmond VA 23225804-272-9517
This is White (hair/wool mix lamb), nibbling at a thistle. If only they would eat it. Guess it’s just too prickly. This past weekend I sprayed all of the thistle since it was getting pretty tall. We also got 5 sheep sheared on Monday morning, before it got too hot. The rest are getting done this weekend. The shearing actually went well. Only a couple small nicks here and there. We used the stand, but had it on the ground instead of up on its legs. It was easier to get the big sheep into the head rest that way since they really don’t like walking up the ramp (we learned last year!). I sheared the good wool off their backs and sides first. Then Andre would get them on their butts so I could shear the belly wool off that we don’t keep. I even got brave and sheared Romey’s nether regions – Andre telling me the whole time to be careful! Last year I used scissors to clip around that area because I was so scared of hurting the poor guy. The sheared sheep all look so WHITE after the rain the past few days, and I’m sure they feel much more comfortable. At least this week is not too hot, but we really need to get the rest done soon. Next year I’m going to get shearing done early spring!
Julie P. tagged me with the following blogwork. I am to list six things that "I appreciate that may, to someone else, seem unimportant, but to me are precious."
1) Having good friends and family and the times I get to spend with them. 2) Waking up and hearing A snore. 3) Wool socks. 4) A comfortable bra. 5) The responsibility of being the caretaker of many animals (along with help from A). 6) Stinky wet dogs, old furniture and tile floors (i.e. not caring if they are in the house and jumping on us or on the furniture).
Last year I kept briefly seeing this orange bird around the house and in our lane. Looked it up in a birding book I have and thought it might be a Scarlett Tanager or a Baltimore Oriole. Two days ago I had the camera out taking pictures of the sheep and the new horses next door, and out of the corner of my eye I saw a flash of orange. There she was, pulling wool off the fence at the other end of the paddock. I couldn’t get close and I didn’t have the correct lens, but I got a couple of blurry pictures. Can you tell what it is? I’m thinking Oriole because the head is black. The Tanager has an orange head. There were two, but the male (darker orange) was too far away to get a picture. Hopefully they are building a nest nearby and I’ll get to enjoy seeing them more often. (click on pics to enlarge) (edited to add - Could be an Orchard Oriole. Interesting that the nesting information mentions that they line their nests with wool, among other things. ) http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Orchard_Oriole/lifehistory
Here are the lambs eating their dessert – a sheep-lik that has molasses in it! I have to keep it away from the fence or the dogs get into it. (It does smell good – they should make one for people!)
We had two work horses living in the field next to us since we’ve been here. One died last month and the one left was obviously distressed. They were both sweet horses, and were always hanging near the fence line when the sheep were out and I even saw one of them break off a high branch with new leaves on it, and give it to my sheep on the other side! Not kidding! He did it several times.
Here are the new horses. The one on the right is the old one.
We wormed all the sheep and lambs. The little boys got banded (this makes them wethers, i.e. its) and spent the afternoon laying in the shade and crying for their moms. By evening they were up and eating and none the worse for their experience. Next week everyone gets the CDT shot and the lambs get ear tags. I also need to start shearing. I have so much to do around the house with the sheep and dogs and keeping the house clean (impossible) and wouldn’t you know that I have to work overtime/weekends for the next two weeks. Ugh.
One of my beautiful Border Leicester ewe lambs has goopy eyes. I noticed when she was born that they looked different, but determined that she could see because she blinked when I waved a hand in front of each. Recently they have been getting very watery and goopy, so I started putting an antibiotic ointment in them. Yesterday Andre mentioned that her eyes still looked bad. We looked closer and I think she has entropion eyelids. This is when the eyelids are inverted and the eyelashes are scraping the eyeball and this causes irritation and eventually can lead to blindness. I read up on treatments and first tried to tape the eyelid down but I couldn’t get the tape to stick. (I thought duct tape worked for everything!) The next option and the one that most of the books I have recommend, is to inject penicillin into the lower lid (hers is just the lower lid and that is typical), which forces the lid out, away from the eye. I’m not exaggerating when I say this scared the beejeesus outta me. But I had the needles and I had the penicillin, so I did it. I had visions of poking the poor baby in the eye, but I just held the needle parallel to her skin and pulled out a pocket of skin and injected .5 cc under each eye. It did what it was supposed to do. She had two little bumps under each eye and hopefully will get relief from the eyelashes. It is supposed to leave some scar tissue that will keep the eyelid from inverting again. I followed up with antibiotic ointment. I’ll be keeping an “eye” on this one. I’ve named her Helen. She going to be a beautiful girl for wool, but I won’t breed her because this condition can be hereditary. Her mother Bitty had twins last year and they didn’t have a problem.
Finally went back to WW last night. I hadn’t been since the end of October! Thankfully I hadn’t gained any weight since then and actually lost 5.6 pounds. That’s not exactly a lot in 6 months, but I hadn’t really been following the plan/counting points either. Guess some of the good eating habits stayed with me. But I knew that I needed to go back to the meetings to maintain a better rate of weight loss, or I wouldn’t reach my goal weight until I was 80 years old! I really like the meetings and find them very motivating. I might lace up some sneakers and start walking a mile or two a few times this week. Our lane is 8/10 mile long so just up and back will be a good starting point. Just have to jump over the pot holes that are still filled with rainwater from all the rain we’ve been having lately. NOT COMPLAINING. The sheep are loving all the grass and new leaves on the trees and bushes. We’ve been using the dogs – different ones each day - to bring in the ewes and their lambs from the big field. It’s fun to watch how the dogs learn to not be as pushy with the ewes or they will turn and run the dog down! That will change when they start weaning their lambs and aren’t feeling so motherly.
I have one more ewe due to lamb. Border Leicester Jazzy who had triplets last year. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for all girls from her.
BTW – I’m thinning the flock at the end of summer (after weaning) as we just don’t have the room. Romey the Ram is moving to a friend’s farm to meet new lovely wool ladies. I’ll probably be giving away some nice sheep to good homes (I must know you). If anyone wants a purebred Border Leicester ram lamb let me know - the boys will be “banded” soon.
Ethel has passed. Those in the border collie/sheepdog trialing world know exactly who Ethel is. She was a champion for the border collie, striving to maintain the working ability in these wonderful dogs. She held training clinics for many years at her Sunnybrook farm in White Post, VA. Andre and I didn’t have border collies until 8 years ago, so we never had the chance to attend those clinics. But we did have some moments in the last few years with Miss Ethel…… We initially met Ethel a few times at our neighbor’s farm Keepstone, where she had driven to visit Wink and to get help with working her dogs. Later that fall we were at the Fall Fiber Festival and Sheepdog Trial at Montpelier, VA, which is a yearly trial put on by the VBCA (VA Border Collie Association). We were helping out and also running our dogs. At one point I happened to look down towards the parking area and saw a large car trying to come through the entrance to the exhibitor’s area. It was Ethel and she was engaged in a “conversation” with an event person who was probably telling her she couldn’t go where she was trying to go. I went down to see if I could help and she yelled “WHO ARE YOU”. I told her and she wanted to know where Wink was. I pointed to the handler’s tent at the top of the hill and she said “Get in”. I did of course, the dogs jumped in the backseat and as I pushed aside her lunch that the dogs had nibbled on in the front seat, she proceeded to drive VERY FAST up the hill. I vaguely remember a woman pulling her child out of the way. She pulled up right to the handler’s tent and there she stayed for the rest of the day, watching the trial. I think her keys were taken away from her by concerned family members not too long after that. A couple years later, Andre and I helped out with a trial at Sunnybrook. She had stopped having trials at her farm years ago, but let some people know that she would like to have one again. So the day before the trial we were there helping to put fencing up for pens, panels etc. Ethel was talking to me and asked if I’d ride with her to the top. She really wanted to see how they were building the pens up there. So I hesitantly said yes and hopped in her golf cart. I had heard that the cart was known as The Grey Peril or The Grey Pearl, not sure which. After riding with Miss Ethel that day, along the ridge, very fast to the top, I think The Grey Peril is the more apt name.
Poor Belle. Just as we've conquered the UTI, she starts having issues with the poo. Thinking it was a problem with the raw diet, I just upped the % of bone in her meals to firm those poops up. AND THEN.....It's always a shock when you see something moving in your dogs poop. Yep, good ole roundworms. I took in a sample to the vet and they also saw coccidia. The vet wasn't concerned and said she probably had them all along but they are now showing up because of added stress to her system - worms, teething etc. Sorry if this is too graphic for you guys. But I know some of my friends have dogs (some have LOTS of dogs like we do!) and we all learn from the experiences of others. She got a dose of Drontal for the worms (the puppy Heartguard I gave her last month was probably not a high enough dose for her weight). She's also on Albon for the coccidia. NOW, I need input on how to get her to not bark from the time I let her out at 4 am (yep - she's got an early internal alarm clock....) until we get up at 6. We've been dealing with it by putting pillows over our heads to drown out the noise. I'm thinking of camping out in the trailer tonight to get a good nights sleep.
It all started so innocently. A friend at work mentioned how dry her skin was and I pulled out my Bag Balm from Sheepman Supply. (Yep, I keep it in my purse!) It works wonders on dry, cracked winter skin, if you can get past the antiseptic smell. I mentioned that I bought a tin of it for Andre at the local feed store because his hands were cracked, but had also seen it in a catalog that we recently got in the mail – The Vermont Country Store. She giggled a bit when I said that and said “You can get A LOT of interesting things in that catalog”. I pressed further and she said “Ummm…..well……you know……for a woman’s or a couple’s…..needs….”. I could not remember seeing anything like what I thought she was referring to in the catalog, but she assured me she had the catalog at home and was quite surprised also. I said “That’s the magazine with the guy’s grandmother on the cover”!!! I still didn’t believe her so I found the store online. Searched around a bit and sure nuf….. Look for yourself. http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/Shop It was also strange that the same afternoon we had that conversation, there was a headline on AOL.com about the very same thing! Apparently they have added a line of “toys” to their otherwise wholesome and down home type of items and their loyal customers are quite upset. Time will tell if it’s a good marketing ploy. I guess if you’re going to order those things in the mail, you’d want your local mailman to think you were just getting some Vermont cheese in the mail. The raciest thing they used to sell was Bag Balm!
We’re getting back about $1500 from our Federal and State tax returns. Guess how much we spent this week on a cat emergency? Yep – approximately $1500.
The cat is fine. He had been wheezing and making gurgling noises in his throat for about a week so I brought him to the vet on Monday. They did x-rays and found something that looked like a foreign object in his trachea. It’s highly unusual for a cat to suck something into it’s windpipe they tell me. Since my vet didn’t have an endoscope small enough to go down a cat’s airway, we were referred to the big fancy veterinary hospital in Leesburg (where they serve Starbucks coffee for dog’s sake). By the time they did the procedure, they couldn’t find anything. Guess the little bugger finally coughed it up or something. Sheesh.
I feel that every time we get a little extra money, something comes along to deplete it.
So all that puppy peeing drama turned out to be a UTI after all. About a month ago I brought in a urine sample because I KNEW that Belle was peeing too much. When they didn’t find anything, I told myself to be patient and maybe her little bladder was growing…. Well it started getting worse and last week after getting up every 2 hours to let her out at night I decided there HAD to be a problem. So I got the soup ladle out (it is THE BEST way to capture urine as long as it’s right out of the dishwasher and doesn’t have nasties on it to start with! Guess no one will be coming to my house now for chili…..) and captured her urine and drove it to the vet’s office on my way to work. I was all ready to tell them to give me drugs for her NO MATTER WHAT OR I WILL GO ELSEWHERE AND TAKE MY MULTITUDE OF DOGS AND CATS WITH ME ALONG WITH ALL THAT MONEY THAT IS KEEPING YOU IN BUSINESS. When I got to work there was a call from the vet telling me that yes, Belle had an infection. So she had gone a whole month with this thing progressively getting worse and me believing that it was a behavioral issue as they suggested. Poor Puppy. She was probably in pain and not able to tell us beyond peeing every 15 minutes and soiling her crate every day and night. At least we hadn’t been punishing her for her accidents because we knew there had to be a reason that she couldn’t control it….. She’s now on Clovomax(?) for 14 days and we have to capture that urine again tomorrow to make sure it’s working. The good news is that she is now staying dry in her crate all night and seems to be on the road to recovery. I just hope she’s not one of those girls who has continuous UTIs. She and Blue are now on a RAW diet. It was pretty scary for me at first and when I started with Blue - I was cooking everything. But then I started to worry about him not getting enough calcium, so after reading all I could, buying 3 books on the subject and sweating a lot about it, I dove in. Both are doing great on the diet and so far have had chicken parts and turkey necks along with some organ meats. I also give oatmeal and some veggies to supplement. (Andre was a little embarrassed at Martins the day I found Turkey Necks and shouted “Turkey Necks for 39 cents a pound!” I think he wanted to slink out of the store….)Anyway, I still sit with Belle while she eats to make sure she crunches her bones up and she seems to be doing fine with it. At some point we’ll probably switch all the dogs over to raw, but I think Andre still needs to be convinced. In the meantime, we have switched from Pedigree(!) to Kirklands Chicken and Rice or Lamb and Rice which I’ve read is a pretty good choice as far as kibble goes.
Yesterday turned out to be so nice (low 60s!). Andre took the dogs out to exercise. A couple of them have put on some pounds over the winter because of lack of activity (not unlike their humans…). Plus they were stir crazy because we had so much ice on the ground this past week, making it impossible to do anything outdoors. He takes out the tennis balls and tosses them with a ball flinger (?) and they run and run and run. Good for conditioning. I wish I was ball motivated. (Your minds are in the gutter, don't go there!) Some of the dogs actually retrieve the balls, some just run and others (BAD SHANE!) take the balls and run off and hide them. Belle is just learning the Border Collie games. So here are the pics I’ve been promising. Belle! 5 months old.
She loves her big brother Blue.
The main guy. The one who controls the madness.
Figuring it all out.
Time out for necessary "doodies".
Blue Cool down - good thing there was still some ice.
I got tagged to do this exercise (thx Julie!) – write 40 things that people may not know about me. I haven’t lived a hugely exciting or varied life so most people know the few things about me there is to know. But I’ll take a stab.
1. I was born June 13, 1957 in Washington, D.C. in a hospital that no longer exists - Hahnemann Hospital. I grew up in Herndon, Virginia and had a very happy childhood. 2. There were 4 siblings in the family. Bryson, Jeff (passed away last year and I still can’t believe that he’s gone), Keith and myself. 10 years separates Bryson and myself. They are all wonderful, caring men. My parents were the best. They have passed. 3. I took piano lessons for 7 years when I was in elementary and middle school. My mother (the church organist) introduced all of us to piano lessons and all ended up continuing on with either the piano or other musical instruments. I hated to play then, but now love it and have our family piano. Andre plays too. I also played the flute and was second seat one year. 4. I was a majorette in High School. It was a fun group of girls and a time that I remember with a smile. I dated 2 tuba players. During this recent Inauguration, I remembered that I was in an Inaugural Parade in the early 70’s(Nixon!). All the high school bands in Fairfax County, VA joined together into one group and all the majorettes and flag teams marched alongside of this huge band. Little innocent me was subjected to lots of profanity during that parade! Wow, people didn’t like Nixon? J 5. I got married when I was 19 and had my son Ben when I was 20. Too young. Daughter Erin was born when I was 28. It wasn’t a good marriage but I tried to make it work. We split up when she was 7 months old. I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. 6. I’m going to be a grandmother this year. Ben and his girlfriend Theresa are expecting. They live in Tampa. 7. I met Andre when we both worked for the U.S. Senate. He had come down from Maine with Sen. George Mitchell’s administration, when he was Majority Leader. There were lots of cute “Mainers” for us girls to sink our claws into. He was cute AND nice and we hit it off right away. We started talking at an after work get together at a local bar – My Brother’s Place – and I snared him away from a sleazebag! who kept grabbing his ass. 8. I love sushi. 9. I can’t stand the sound of people eating food. Some commercials (Grape Fruit) drive me insane. Andre has learned to eat carrots in another room. 10. I’m too critical of people, but I keep it to myself. I usually give most people a break when I meet them and assume they are good, but once they lose my respect, it’s gone. 11. I love the smell of my sheep. I have a wool sweater from Ireland that still has that strong wool/sheep smell and I LOVE it. 12. I love my hot tub, in the winter when it’s snowing. I really like sitting there and looking at the stars. 13. I like maps. Andre does too. In fact there is an old atlas that stays in our bathroom and is our “reading material”. Weird. Some people have Reader’s Digest, we have maps! 14. I really want to learn to spin wool. I have the spinning wheel, I have the wool, I just need to find the time. I get stuck like that a lot. Things get put on the back burner as I’m living day to day, and it’s so easy to just chug along and not do anything but work and sleep. 15. I like watching stupid shows. The latest is Sober House (off shoot from Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab). Also, Intervention. Wow are those people screwed up! I also like any shows with ghosts or paranormal research. Stupid I know, because I would NEVER want to come face to face with a ghost, but for some reason I like hearing stories about OTHER PEOPLE who have. Andre laughs when Ghost Hunters is on and he says “Wow, they saw an ORB!” Those shows occasionally caution that people should never play with Ouija Boards. I never would now, but when I was young our parents gave us one for Christmas!!! They used to be very popular and all my friends had one. Of course we always accused one friend of moving the pointer! 16. I don’t like work/job. I really want to win the Lottery, but only play when it’s over 100,000,000. I have to say that since I do have to work, my job isn’t too bad. I really appreciate it now that so many people are losing their jobs. 17. I don’t go to church because I became disillusioned. When my first marriage was failing my MIL wanted us to go to Jim and Tammy Bakkers ministry(!!) for marriage counseling. Oh yeah, they turned out to be great role models. Then our minister at church started having problems. He apparently was an alcoholic and went on binges, which the church covered up. Then money started missing and people saw him about town, having dinners with a lady in the choir and it came out that he had been “counseling” her through her divorce and they were having sex in his office at church. Ugh. I know they are humans and subjected to the same temptations, but come on. Priests and church leaders have to hold themselves to a higher standard because they can so easily take advantage of young boys and girls, women in despair and anyone weak in spirit. I am religious, but I am not ready to attend church. I went to several churches in the area when my brother passed away, and found comfort in the music. I haven’t been recently. 18. I don’t drink alcohol. Not for lack of wanting. I slowly became allergic, so unless I want to do party tricks and turn all red and blotchy and stuffed up, it’s just not worth how it makes me feel. So now I’m the designated driver if Andre wants to have a couple. Works for us! 19. I went to Old Dominion University for 1 year. I took some classes at community colleges throughout the years, but I never got my degree. I regret that. 20. I read 3 or more books at the same time. I’ll read a few chapters in one and then another night I’ll start another book. I have about 10 books waiting in the basket beside my bed. I prefer non-fiction over fiction. 21. I’m not a good cook. I once made baked chicken with a coating of crushed Frosted Flakes, because I remembered someone telling me how good it was. I didn’t remember correctly. It should have been made with Corn Flakes! No one finished their chicken. 22. I pick through Chex Mix and Chinese Rice Cracker mixes, etc. and only eat what I like. I only like the Chex cereal and leave the peanuts and pretzels. I pick out all the wasabi balls and the shiny rice crackers and leave the nuts, sesame seed thingies etc. This drives Andre crazy. 23. I’m a Democrat. I’m a liberal. Tree-huggin, bleeding heart. I am so excited about the new administration. I’m very tolerant of other views, and actually like to hear debates so I can understand where people are coming from. I have no patience with bigotry, racism and hate. 24. I don’t like to vacuum or do any housework really. Andre helps a lot, which I really appreciate. If we ever get to the point where we have disposable income, I would like to get a maid to come in once a week. 25. I had guinea hens and we enjoyed them. I called them little hovercrafts because of the way they’d run across the lawn and you couldn’t see their feet. Sadly they became meals for the hawks and foxes and we gave up after a few years. Same with our chickens. After having them for 2 years, one day something got all 6 of them. Of course with the birds gone, so are the RATS. I heard a commotion in the garage one day and thought the neighbor’s cat had gotten in, so I was calling “kitty, kitty”, and then saw the rat tail as it scurried away. YUCK. 26. I don’t like talking about myself, so this exercise is a little uncomfortable. 27. I get choked up when I watch border collies work stock. I’ve been known to wipe away a tear or two. 28. I’m afraid of guns. It’s a phobia because I have a feeling that if I even look at a gun, it’s going to go off. I plan on taking a gun safety course in March at Gander Mountain. Facing my fears. 29. I was the Student Council President in 6th grade. All A’s. THEN, 7th grade happened. Went to middle school and got my first F. Very traumatic. 30. I had a BFF from 1st grade till we graduated from HS. We were inseparable. Kept in touch for a few years but haven’t seen her in 25 years. Donna Kay King – are you out there? I miss you. 31. I don’t like to “go shopping”. I do most of my shopping online. 32. We sing silly songs to our dogs. Each one has its own. 33. I need 9 hours of sleep at night. 34. Don’t make me communicate when I first get up. Questions that only require yes or no are fine. 35. I don’t like soda drinks. Ginger Ale is tolerable. I don’t like the sweetness of dark colas and I just don’t like to burp I guess. 36. I must buy the Washington Post on Sunday. The rest of the week is read online. 37. I sometimes buy Star magazine. I’m a pop culture junkie. But I’m starting not to care because they now talk about people I’ve never heard of. I don’t care what Miley is doing, but give me some Brangelina! 38. I have to buy new wool socks every year. I absolutely love them. By the end of the season the heels have blown out. 39. I am friends with a group of ladies who all used to work together at the Senate 20+ years ago. When we started leaving for other jobs we decided to meet once a month (or close to that) to keep in touch. We still meet. Good Good Friends. Hey B’s! We once had a “reading” done by a psychic. She told us we all were together in a past life. And we were men! 40. I keep the thermostat at 63, but someone keeps turning it up to 64.
Andre and I moved to the country in 2002 to have a little land. We have 7 border collies, 4 cats and now sheep. I've named my farmette 4UFarm because we started out 2 years ago with 4 ewes. 3 Border Leicester sheep and 1 Suffolk thrown in for good luck.
We train our dogs to work sheep. I'm learning to make use of the wool and have a carder and a spinning wheel. With Andre's help, I shear my own sheep - bad back and all.