We’ve been busy potty training Baby, maintaining life for our tiger salamander Lizard (who has her own Facebook!), and our 2 new BFF cats, Wall-E and Noodles, kindly adopted to us from Paws2Help Foundation.
Touch A Truck
The kids and I have just returned from a wonderful community event called Touch A Truck with proceeds going to the Children’s Advocacy Project, Casper, and the local chapter of Mothers of Preschoolers. It was a blast!
Never heard of it? It’s a national “idea” (as noted on Touch A Truck’s facebook page) “where children get to rub elbows with their favorite hometown heroes. Come and climb on and explore your favorite vehicles including police cars, fire engines and construction vehicles.“
Other vehicles included tow trucks, a couple of construction vehicles, a retired police car (looks just like the one driven on Andy Griffith!) known as “Car 54″, a garbage truck, and local trucking companies like Shlumberger. Big Boy, Baby and me got up to 4 hours of nonstop behind the wheel action, free samples of milk (we lucked out with chocolate this year), and the chance to pretend to be a police officer or fireman! It was the 2nd time the event occurred in Casper and we look forward to it next year.
Hmmm…well we’ve done a fantastic job of playing in our backyard. We have had fire pit nights, roasted marshmallows and I do have fairy lights I re-purposed from our stash of Christmas light decorations. The kids have played back there for the first time since they were born. Really grateful we can do that. Big Boy is desperate to go “camping” in a sleeping bag under the stars. He is so used to going camping in our 37′ 5th wheel that he doesn’t know what camping under the stars is about!
I insisted this year that we do SOMETHING, which resulted in me getting planters, flowers, getting seat cushions for a dumpster dive futon frame, popping a few decorative solar lights shaped like dragonflies, and organizing what is back there. I think it looks nice. Next year I plan to put up trellises and climbing vines on the fence. I hope that next year I can do vertical planters from pallets.
warm hot weather is here to stay so we’ll be going places around the state. I’m able to pitch my giant tent on my own, start a campfire, and cook over an open flame with my cast iron. My husband is over the road and although he doesn’t want us to do things without him, I don’t actually see us doing anything if we “wait.” I plan on visiting a few ghost towns, and exploring areas I haven’t been to yet. These will be overnight visits as we have new pets and while they are well prepared to be alone for a few days, the dog is not. I can’t handle him and the kids, and if something happened to him my husband would divorce me. I’m going to be using my new Samsung Galaxy SIII to post vlogs and writing posts on the road. I hope you’ll enjoy them and live vicariously through us!
Until the next time!
It’s always hard when a good friend – your pet – becomes very ill, or experiences great difficulty as they reach an advanced age. I’d like to tell you Calico’s story as today I put her to rest.
Calico is the last of my last adoptions. She turns something like 18 years this year, placing her in her 80s in human years at least. I’ve been a part of her life for about 12 years. Calico was brought into the shelter the day my Mom and I were looking for a new cat to adopt. Calico’s elderly owner had died and she and 7 other cats and some other dogs had come in and my Mom’s eyes lit up. I agreed she was the most beautiful cat I’d ever seen. We put Mom’s name on the list and I was the first to show up at the end of the waiting period.
The photo doesn’t do her justice. The most emerald or jade colored eyes, a glossy long haired, tri-colored (black orange and white) coloring I’d ever seen.
At the vet about a week later we found that she was older than what the shelter pegged her age at, and that she had 13 rotten, broken and abscessed teeth requiring immediate surgery. We would have taken her even if we’d known so we were upset when that was overlooked by the shelter vet.
Over the years she matured and although preferring to be the sole, only cat, found a comfortable love with her new BFF Moochee (a gay male who thought he was dog – reminded me so much of Eddie Haskel I named him “the Mooche”!) Before her surgery she wasn’t fond of Mooche but the way he took care of her after surgery won her over – grooming her, helping guide her to the litter box, and cuddling her.
We moved to California and that was some experience for her – she rode the dashboard the whole time – after the initial fear in the car, she reveled in the freedom it allowed her to see. I loved seeing the fearless curiosity she exhibited and although liked being an indoor cat would frequently go outside on adventures that turned my hair white looking for her.
Calico became heartsick when Mom went into the nursing home. I had planned to take her to visit but when it became obvious that Mom didn’t remember her I tried to encourage Calico to spend more time with us.
Today I wait for the appointment time of 1:45 p.m. to say goodbye. I’m lucky my husband is here so that I go alone. My husband has not had to do this journey with pets, friends or family, so he has a curiosity about it. He admires my strength in taking Calico myself but is fearful of the time that he may need to take his dog, whom he’s had since weaning.
As my children are young, they don’t quite understand. I’ve told Big Boy in simple terms about her going somewhere where they’ll care for her and she won’t be sick anymore, but she won’t be coming home with me.
I love you Calico. 199?-2012.
Here is an interesting article on whether all calicos are female and a loving tribute by another pet owner who had to say goodbye as well.
Yes, I did in fact plan on completing the post I had written for menus but I had a mishap with my laptop charger cord. I really dislike that Dell has 15 different types of cords…for the same laptop but our Best Buy GeekSquad coverage doesn’t let them make any special requests…small children, no small pieces. Ugh.
I’ve seen the cords “improve” from the tip that is plugged into the laptop that easily bent and broke the interior wiring so you could no longer charge the laptop to the free-spinning 3-piece charger. That’s the one I have duct-taped together so it doesn’t get taken apart.
I had finally given up on finding the piece, ordered another through our Geek coverage, waiting for the deliver yesterday or 2 days late today, when I found the long lost piece. I can’t wait to see what improvement Dell has come up with in their latest charger cord for this laptop. It’ll be the “spare”. I seem to go through them about every six months or so…housing has been shredded by recliner metalwork, one child bite, but mainly worn out pieces that disrupted the whole charger.
I’ve made donuts at home, but I’m pretty terrible at frying vs. burning in general. I decided to take the plunge into baking them. There are some pretty good reasons to bake rather than fry. The oil to deep fry them in is basically where all the “fat” comes from so eliminate it so you can put on those sprinkles!
terrorized trolled the internet for different recipes…I wanted a fast donut recipe for those mornings I want a donut bad – “flour”, the days where I want an old fashioned type – “cake flour” and the actual donut using “yeast”.
Today I made the “immediate” recipe because every few minutes Big Boy is asking for donuts! I found Bakerita‘s recipe to whip up. Don’t mistake the baking part with real yeast tasting donut. This is like a regular cake taste. I’m going to try to figure out a ratio to make it a yeast donut by adding like 5 Tablespoons of yeast. I know that adding a ton of yeast will yield almost instantaneous “rise” in other recipes I’ve tried where time wasn’t a friend. Although you can get a donut pan, you can flip your muffin pan (I know you have one) and use that for the donut the same way if you aren’t ready to put out money for a donut pan. I did buy one yesterday (shh, don’t tell Husband – he loves donuts but thinks these things are ridiculous but what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him)
I really like the idea of the rainbow donuts, I’ll try them.
No, I’m just wrangling my kids, a salamander, home repairs, and trying to get out of the rut. When my husband is home (which he was for almost a month) he depresses the hell out of me and what I’d like to accomplish with a blog, any kind of work, etc. Not real supportive and figures it’s a waste of time. I just don’t bother to do anything blog related when he’s home during the day or if he’s here at night.
Now that warm weather is here I’m anxious to explore and travel this great state of Wyoming. Soon I’ll do vlogs as well as pictures. My son will be out of school at the end of the month to free us up to traveling. We plan to tent camp as much as possible. Casper Mountain campsites are not yet open – a lot of snow still, and where there isn’t snow it’s mud and lakes.
We are fishing but again the weather has been weird and I don’t like fishing when it gets too windy because I have to stop whining so loud because my kids are whining a little more than me.
Trying to eat our way through the elk and antelope. Husband is *fingers crossed* to get tags and success for filling them (aka permit in a good hunting area and killing it on the first trip out). Trying to come up with enough recipes to fill a smallish wild game recipe book for the fall.
I’m doing some home repairs but it’s slow going. I’m a wreck from digging through junk and old memories. Husband brought all of my boxes after I begged and pleaded that I’d take them from the 10 feet he’d bring them through the house. I’ve been going through them to trash old papers (not important stuff), repack some things to better organize and declutter as much as possible. Husband seems to have gotten more charitable towards me having a hutch for my crystal and a hutch for my knick-knacks. I plan to get those 2 pieces of furniture at estate sales this year.
My Husband is excited to get a Man-Cave. We concluded to convert the old garage that was converted to a daycare/living space back to a garage. It would cost us more money to convert it to the same level as the rest of the house vs. busting out the window and putting a garage door in. Plus I mentioned how much it cost to heat the space which really limits us. In the meantime I’ve been doing clearance work and we’ll move his heavy as hell made of cheap fake wood in there. I’m not sure why Husband needs a desk, he never uses a desk just the laptop on his lap and doesn’t do any work at home. Whatever, “Man-Cave” it is. As I’m the electrical guru in our house I’m going to rethread the land line and cable through the wall from the common shared wall of the living room and garage so that there is feed to his desk. After 7 years the living room of the house will be used as a living room again. I’m tired of living like I live in a trailer house – my freezer doesn’t need to be in the living room that used to be a garage because I have junk piled and a dog kennel in my actual living room with the front door.
As it is, I’ve rearranged my son’s room to remove hiding spots because he’s recently become a 5-finger bandit. Sent my Husband a photo of it and he likes it so much he’d like if for his room. ??? Guess it’s what he’d like if he was an almost 4 year old boy. Big Boy did say he’d like a room painted blue. My Husband thinks Big Boy has a ton of toys but in reality he doesn’t – yes, more than some kids but much less than a lot of children whose rooms I’ve seen. What really distorts the picture of how much you have is clutter and poor organization. Now that Big Boy’s belonging are better organized (his rock collection in window sill, dino figures on the top of his bookcase, books in a bookcase) his toys all fit in a small 3 drawer bedstand that I’ve had since I was 8 years old. I am planning on adding a shelf in his closet to hold the bed linens and a mini shelf to hold his shoes. I’ve lowered his closet rod so that he can reach his shirts. All his other clothing (undies/socks, pants, pj’s) are folded in a medium 3 drawer in his closet. Real closet doors to complete.
Haven’t started on Baby’s room yet, but hope to have some things going. I’ve got a tv to remove as the picture tube (or whatever they call it) was affected by some magnetic issue. The top the of the screen has rainbow lined snow at the top but still a great 2nd tv for when Husband is watching a scary movie or one the kids aren’t wanting to watch (okay, like I want to see Rambo any more than he wants to see The Notebook). Plus the remote took a dive into an empty bathtub breaking the circuit board. TV is not universal remote capable. I’ll do the same for her, but she has 2 of those dressers in her closet as the guest bed is also in her room. Last week I took one side of her crib away and she’s sleeping in it like a toddler bed. She was ready for this move but isn’t quite up to sleeping in a twin bed yet. By the way, my son has forever wanted to sleep in the queen size guest bed (formerly my Mom’s bed) but now he’s digging his claws into keeping the twin bed in his room instead of moving up to the queen. So Baby gets the queen. I’d like to put some shelves up for her but it may be premature as she doesn’t have a collection of anything yet.
Husband and I don’t have much to do to our room. I’d like to add another shelf and some side shelving because the closet extends beyond the closet doorway. Then I can go ahead and hidehole things that are not for children to see or touch…like my jewelry box.
Of course last November I started to tear into our bathroom walls. One, to get rid of drywall that was molding and rotting to pieces from water damage. Two, to jump start my husband into saving money for a bathroom remodel. We got that sink but everything else has stalled. You gotta do it in bursts sometimes when the money just isn’t there – bills first, and putting towards rainy day savings, second, of course.
The last few weeks Husband has been riding me hard about staying in the house until it’s paid off. Instead of selling in 2016 and buying a property by 2019, he wants to accelerate the payments we’ll have freed up to pay off the 1st mortgage. My fear is that he’ll rediscover his new found luxury of buying more things with loans and getting lazy when work gets slow. He’s done both in the past 5 years which causes a lot of marital friction. Pushing this dream of moving to the country where I can have some chickens and I guess, the gentleman’s farm hobby, will not happen. I want to live in a non residential zoned area where we aren’t restricted by the number of dogs or cats we own (total of 3 dogs or/and cats). Which would mean my strawbale house will not occur until he’s retired. By then, he’ll find another excuse like “we’re too old, let’s just stay here”.
It frustrates me because he says those things and then changes his mind again. I’ve got us on a budget and we’re sticking with it pretty well. It bodes well that we’ll stay on course to be debt free of all but 1st mortgage by 2016 still. From there we can re-evaluate what we want. The kids would be kindergarten and elementary school aged and can also voice what they’d like. I suppose I should say I’m concerned my dreams of a strawbale home won’t come true – which is part of the factors involved I moved to Wyoming – but there are 4 more years.
I had the opportunity for Husband to participate in a strawbale workshop at a local garden nursery that was building a landscape wall. Signed up for it, but after Husband said “yea” that morning I ended up going to it. I’ve enjoyed the hands-on experience I’ve gained and yes, once the YouTube video is complete, I’ll share a link. The project is slow going – it was supposed to be a one-day workshop that looks to extend 6 one-day weeks. It was not as well prepared for the workshop as I’d have liked. The class consisted of 4 of us, and the wall is 5 feet tall and about 40 feet long with 1 corner, 2 entrances. An ambitious project and supplies were underestimated. It initially being offered as a 1-day, 4 hour workshop, I’d assumed it was a couple of bales for each of us, with supplies to use. The owner of the business wants a landscape wall and we’re the “labor” which isn’t a bad thing, but I think the owner may have also underestimated the undertaking. It’s a live and learn type of process I will admit, so it takes shape slowly through the learning curve. Such as, the owner wanted to do a lime plaster but didn’t have any of the materials needed nor a source to obtain the materials from. I have some contacts in the strawbale field that I am confident will help us get supplied. It’s very exciting to be involved in the project and I look forward to sharing it with you.
Here’s a sneak:
Happy Mother’s Day! In honor of it, I made my children this sweet crepe from Alton Brown (with a few tweaks added, like Watkins Danish pastry flavor instead) filled with fresh sliced strawberries, a dabbling of chopped peanuts, and drizzled Hersey chocolate syrup. Of course Mommy gets the scrambled eggs with Tabasco!
As I get older I find more and more of my friends are experiencing as have I, the loss of a parent, or serious illness of a parent. In my case I am lucky to still have my Mother living, but she is afflicted with a dementia affecting the frontal lobe called Pick’s Disease. It mimics Parkinson’s with muscle debilitation, Alzheimer’s for the memory loss, and Schizophrenia from mood changes. Mom has hospitalized October 8, 2010, I had to jump through hoops to get her onto Medicaid so that she would be medically covered by what Medicare didn’t cover, and the ongoing 24/7 care she would require in the future. It took 2 weeks to get things in line and I put her in a nursing home then went to the hospital with early onset labor. One shot later, 2 days later, another shot, and by that Friday – a baby over one month early.
My daughter had incomplete lungs and heart. Emergency surgery was performed 24 hours after birth due to a collapsed lung. She was LifeFlighted by Learjet to a St. Luke’s Children’s Hospital in Denver, CO, and spent another 2 weeks there. Baby is healthy now, but it was really scary.
My Mom thought I’d abandoned her in a nursing to get rid of her. She didn’t know where she was, who the people around her were, and having constant hallucinations about people hurting her and the others – murdering, locking them in closets, etc. Not true. But still horrific for her to live. She retreated within her mind in a few months because the reality was too great for her to live knowing that one of her greatest fears at the end of her life was going to happen.
For the rest of her life I’ll count her days in the nursing home in the same that I count the days of my daughter’s precious life…bittersweet to be sure.
I’ll be going to the nursing home today, bring her flowers, kiss her, hug her, have the children see her, and not only will she not know us, not remember she has a daughter, but completely forget we were there in just a few seconds after we leave her sight. It’s not right, but it’s the way it is, and we’ll have the memories.