Sunday, 22 December 2013

Gearing up for Christmas

Gotta gripe - Blogger no longer lets me log in and write from my own page - I have to go to my "home" page on blogger first. But anyway...

We are getting things in motion (I hope) for the holidays. Tomorrow is church, including a musical program and lunch, and Monday we go to my parents (if the ice melts!), getting home just in time for Christmas, when we will go next door for a family dinner. So today we did a LOT of baking. :)
Pancakes for breakfast, two bar cookies, two candies, snickerdoodles, dinner (including the best roast potatoes), dressing... And I'm proud to say the kitchen is less messy than when we started this morning. I'd done sweet potato casserole, a cookie, sausage balls, and bread roll dough previously. My fridge and freezer are both bursting at the seams. :) I am nearly, but I've been trying to control myself, and have officially lowered my own maximum weight by 10 pounds. (Thanks, Wil, for the inspiration. Eventually I'll do better.)

Occasionally I'd sneak out of the kitchen and wrap presents. We aren't going overboard this year (I think), partly because we couldn't think of much that we needed, and partly because we'd spent already on the home improvement sector. My phone is my present, and I suppose the air compressor is Bob's. The children are all getting new socks, and a couple other items that we'll talk about later.

It rained last night and all day today, flooding the garage - well, that's a strong word, but it did require a little work from Bob this morning. Oklahoma got ice, but we were rain, staying just above freezing all day.

Gina the dog has been doing well. We walk her, but not a boy alone because they get impatient, and then let her loose to play. She loves to run! She will run out into the pasture, but won't stay very long, and is always happy to come running back. She's learning a few commands, and *I think* the boys are learning to be patient and kind with her (she's very submissive and needs lots of encouragement).

Work on the living room is going along slowly, as Bob has been working for other people. Also, we've been having some trouble with the van. As mentioned on Facebook, Bob had to replace the fuel regulator thing that first went out a couple of years ago, leaving us stranded at Lowe's. We've learned to recognize the signs, and change it about once per year. But it is still sluggish going uphill, and doesn't like to shift from 2nd to 3rd. Also, the driver's side headlight  - the whole assembly - goes dim when the lights are brightened. So there is that.

I'm playing with my phone a lot, and really like it. I plan to do a full review when I feel like I know enough about it to do so.

Saturday, 7 December 2013


more dog info:

They were back the next morning, and two of our chicken tractors had been broken into and 8 hens were dead and mostly eaten. We decided to take Duke back to the shelter, where they all loved him and said they'd take him back.

This morning Naysha walked Gina, and when she went to put her back in the pen there was a misunderstanding with Bob, and both dogs got out again.

We tried to keep our ears open, but the first thing we heard was Gina barking at the rabbit. When Bob went out to catch her he saw Duke eating more chickens.  All of one tractor (3 good layers and our only rooster) are gone. Bob restrained hisself and put Duke back in the pen.

(Yes, I said hiSself. It makes grammatical sense. Think about it: her shelf, his shelf; her self, his self.)

Come Monday, Duke will be taking a ride in the van.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Happy Holidays

Yes, it's been a week since our most American of holidays - Black Friday - but I'm finally getting to it. ;)

It all started the Thursday before Thanksgiving, when the Lighthouse of Faith Mennonite Church had their annual community Thanksgiving dinner and choir performance. We planned to go, so I had the boys start out early to walk the dogs. A little sooner than we expected them back, Cedwryck came back alone, with some out-of-breath story about the dogs getting away. So I took off and met Riah where he was trying to go into the woods. Turns out Ced needed to  pee, so he asked Riah to hold his dog (Gina, a black and tan girl) while he went into the bushes. Riah proceeded to tie his dog (Duke, a big tan boy) to an electric pole so he could hold Gina. Well, he noticed Duke managed to get free of his tie, and in the excitement and trying to catch Duke he let go of Gina, and both were away into the woods. The worry here was that Gina was wearing a leash attached to a choke collar. Duke had his halter and leash.

Well, we called and spoke to the man at the nearest house, and went on to the dinner. Over the next few days we put up flyers, contacted the shelter, went door-to-door, and walked in the woods looking and calling. We also prepared to go to Bob's cousin's house in Branson for the family get-together.

On Thanksgiving day we went to Branson and spent a nice day with Bob's family. Everybody was together for the first time in 3 years. The cousin has a nice, HUGE house (3x the size of ours) and everybody was in a good mood. The food was good and plentiful, and the TV didn't stay on too long. After supper we made our exit and checked into a hotel. Because of a misunderstanding, we ended up with two rooms and split boys and girls+Daniel. We drove around the main drag, checked out some folks standing in line for store openings, and got fresh doughnuts at Krispy Kreme, then went back to hotel for baths. Daniel didn't want to go to sleep, but finally settled down in my bed about 11:30.

Friday morning we had breakfast in the hotel, featuring toaster waffles and the worst coffee ever made, during which a family with a show there in town came in, sang a song, and handed out flyers for their show. Then we went out for more sightseeing. The lakeside walks and fountains were accessed from Bass Pro Shop's parking lot, but with the shoppers out there was a line just to get in the parking lot. So we passed on that. We did go to one shopping center where I hit a Corelle/Pyrex/corningware outlet and Bob checked out a tool store. I got some mixing bowls and a storage set.

Then we headed home, where, when I opened my door to step out, there stood Duke! I didn't see him until I opened the door. He seemed very glad to see us and wanted lots of petting, then went to bed and slept the rest of the day. He still had his harness and leash, though the handle of the leash had been cut off. He had not lost weight. The boys assumed it was over for Gina and so were very sad.

After looking over Duke and unpacking the car, we went to Springdale. Bob got a DeWalt drill set at Lowe's, we looked at air compressors and cell phones in 3 stores, got a new leash, a sheet set, and granola bars. Then back to Lowe's for the air compressor.

The next couple of days are kind of a blur. Oh, I remember! I spent 2 or 3 days online, looking up cell phones and price plans. Finally decided on one and they wouldn't sell to my address. So tried again with MIL's address, and the third time it went through. :) But by then the phone was backordered and I'm supposed to get it Monday, but with this weather it'll probably be delayed. I got a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, with a pre-paid plan from T-Mobile. I'll let you know how it goes.

Yesterday we got a call from a family that had Gina. Bob went to their house, over 2 miles away, and Gina came to him when he called. They had picked her up off the highway, still wearing her choke collar and leash, and were feeding her. She was dirty but fat, and SOOO glad to see Duke. We were in shock that both dogs made it home - besides the leashes, it is deer season and the folks tend to shoot first and ask questions later.

Today Bob and Ced walked the dogs while Riah and I fed them and the chickens and it began to sleet. A few minutes after they got back, Riah decided to go into the dog pen to pet them, and they got out. Haven't seen or heard from them since. I'm trying to not care too much. I love dogs, and have always had one, and have always done my best for them, but these guys just don't want to be here, I guess. Maybe we need to let go a bit and view them more as barn cats.

Blackberry the cat has noticed a shift and has been coming in the house more lately than she did all year.