Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year's Eve



I am so ready to boot 2009 OUT the door! Buh- bye now.


I want to see what fun things 2010 has in store for us...


Tonight we'll meet up with my horse trainer and friend, Rex, her very German and curmudgeon-y husband, Glen, and my previous horse trainer, Rex's Mom - whom we fondly call "The General".


Furry Husband has some bubbly Prosecco chilled and ready for toasting (sorry France.. we're ringing in the new year with Italy's charming bubbles...) and then we all head to the local Wellington, CO restaurant, Beauregards... named after the owner's ancient yellow lab complete with a giant picture of Beau on one wall. (because truly it IS all about the ani-mules isn't it?)


There we eat, drink and make merry to ring in the new year.


I bring party favors. Last year I brought little 2009 strobe light pins and we all joked about how they were going to send people into seizing fits.


Maybe I won't do the strobe light pins this year?


I'll find something fun. We like to give away whatever I find to the hard working wait staff and other people we know and happen to see out and about...


Last year I think I actually made it to midnight... we'll see if I konk out before this year. I am ONE year older ya know... us morning person oldies need our sleep. ZZZZZZZZ



Be safe tonight in whatever adventures you'll be having - Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What??

One of our veterinarians called last night. (when you have so many animals, you sorta need to have more than one vet to call... just in case one is unavailable... and of course there is one for the goats, one for the horses, one for the dogs and cats... etc.)


Anyway, this vet left a voice mail asking if I'd seen the movie Julie and Julia - that movie where the lead decides to cook each of Julia Child's recipes and blog about it? I remember seeing the trailer and thinking it sounded like a really cute movie.

And no, I have not yet seen this movie.


Anyway - our vet went on to say that this movie is just like my life.

!!


I'm not sure what that means? The message DID make both Furry Husband and I laugh...

Maybe I LOOK like Julia?? Well - maybe in the hair a little...



By the way, Furry Husband does a GREAT Julia Child imitation that makes me fall on the floor laughing so... there is that.


And come to think of it, I did always love that Dan Akroyd, Save the Liver skit, on Saturday Night Live where he plays Julia Child and winds up bleeding to death from a cut on the finger....


Monday, December 28, 2009

Mrs. Kravitz strikes again!

We have this neighbor... she would do anything for you. Her heart is in the right place. However... sometimes her head is ... well ... maybe not so much.

There is a long driveway to the East of our house and it runs the length of our property heading South to Mrs. Kravitz's house and another neighbor's house - Mr. White.

Mr. White has a big pick-up truck with a topper and he decided to try and blast through the snow blocking this driveway that happened to be just on the other side of our house Saturday morning. His truck got stuck... he was there for a while digging out and putting chains on his truck. Not long - maybe 20 minutes.

Furry Husband called Mrs. Kravitz to warn her about the snow drift and to not drive up because she could get stuck. Mrs. Kravitz didn't answer her phone and she has no voice mail or machine to take a message, but she has caller i.d.

After a time, Mrs. Kravitz noticed we called and happened to look out her window seeing Mr. White's truck but thinking it was a veterinary truck parked outside our house. (Large animal vet trucks have that sort of shell in the truck bed to hold all their instruments etc.)

Furry Husband and I were no longer at home because we were on our way to take care of a horse we were pet sitting ... on our way down the road, we passed by another neighbor, Grumpy Jack, on his tractor and exchanged friendly waves.


By the time we return to our house after feeding this horse and stopping at the grocery store for a few items, Mrs. Kravitz had convinced people Furry Husband and I were having some sort of veterinary emergency.

She called the CSU Vet Teaching Hospital to see if any of our animals had been admitted.

She called my horse trainer, Rex, telling her we had an emergency at our house.

Grumpy Jack came by on his tractor to clear the snow Mr. White's truck had gotten stuck in and Mrs. Kravitz was litterally running up the driveway, on foot, in a panic, to see what was happening at our house and if she could help...

We weren't home and she told Grumpy Jack we had an emergency. (Did I tell you Mr and Mrs Grumpy Jack are maybe the biggest gossips on the block? They always know what is going on with each and every house on the road....)

We walked into our house an hour later, completely unaware the pot had been stirred by our lovable, well-meaning neighbor, Mrs. Kravitz. We checked messages.... 1. Mrs. Kravitz out of breath asking what was wrong, she was in a panic over us and was trying to figure out where we were. 2. Rex, the horse trainer, "ummmm, your funny little watchdog called and said there was an emergency.... is everything o.k.?"

After we stopped laughing... we called Mrs. Kravitz to tell her it was Mr. White's truck stuck in snow outside our house, we had tried calling to warn her about the snow - NOT about any type of emergency. Everything was fine, no one was injured and she could take it back down to defcon 1. We gave her a loving, but much deserved, hard time for jumping to such conclusions....

We called Rex to tell her all was well, sharing more hearty laughter -

We called Grumpy Jack to let him know everything was fine and there was no emergency.

Shew.

So much work to be done once Mrs. Kravitz gets involved!

You gotta love her.... besides, without her, we'd never enjoy such a good laugh when absolutely nothing was happening!



Saturday, December 26, 2009

Cranberry Obsession Snow Cake

I will never make a cake with this much attention to detail ever again.

Sometimes the fun is in the journey of creation.... and around the third hour of 'creation'... phooey. Furry Husband and I were SO over this cake that by the time we presented it at Christmas dinner, neither of us wanted to try it.

Not that it was bad or anything... but after seeing it and smelling it and tastes here and there of the batter, frosting etc. We were simply done with this cake.
Cake was made - not that difficult. It was sort of time involved with the steps and I didn't understand but I followed all steps to the T. Things like blending the flour into the egg white/sugar mixture in 5 equal parts, adding 1/4 cup water once each flour addition was thoroughly mixed to make the cake batter... shrug?
Paula Dean I am not. Once the cakes were done and cool, you were supposed to rub all the browned outer surface off so the cake would be this perfect "snow white". I think Furry Husband was poking his head in the kitchen questioning my sanity at this point.

This liqueur was brushed over the tops of each round... some cranberries boiled with sugar and cherry preserves, then cooled, was put on top of the first cake round brushed with this heinous smelling liqueur... oh, I am telling you - this stuff smelled so ... like really bad tequila or varnish or something... didn't help at all with my wanting to sample the cake when finished.
Anyway - put the 2nd cake round on top and let the frosting begin.

The homemade butter cream frosting... with one pound - yes folks, one whole pound o' butter along with sugar and white chocolate 'gently folded' into the butter cream frosting.... covers the cake.
Extra cranberry preserves are presented as a garnish and lots o' white chocolate was grated to sprinkle on top.
Everyone ELSE really enjoyed the cake... but yeah. Like I said, Furry Husband and I had hit the cake wall... please - no more Cranberry Obsession Snow Cake! If I smell white chocolate any time soon I think I will hurl.
Violently.
Oh - and the 40 mph winds started around 1AM Christmas Eve! YIPEEE! Wind causes all the very pretty, sparkly snow to .......
Drift. Drift. And drift. Boob high drifts. Drifts so hard packed by wind, they hold your weight. We have turned into mountain goats climbing drifts to get to the animals at feeding time. Cars stuck in drifts. Drifts across roads. Drifts shifting and changing and adding "interest" to our winter landscape.

Are ya catchin' my drift here?

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas... Eve!


I think I like Christmas Eve better than Christmas... all the anticipation and bustling fading to a peaceful quiet and we have the added bonus of snow this year!


Here is last year's Christmas picture... do you see the goat turd? Poor Furry Husband... it's why his face is 3 shades more red than normal. His last thread of sanity has always been "no goats in the house". Doesn't he realize that just makes me want to bring them in the house all the MORE? grin.

Of course Booker, the big, goofy, happy lug of a Gordon Setter isn't with us anymore... and it's bittersweet to see his handsome face in the picture above... but I was not as into Christmas this year so our annual, crazed, get as many animals as you can into the Christmas picture didn't happen. S'ok. There is next year! And there will be chickens... something for Furry Husband to look forward to!


I'm making a Cranberry Obsession Snow Cake this afternoon for Christmas dinner at Mom's tomorrow. I had to hunt down the Albertson's grocery store staff to restock the cake flour... Furry Husband asked why I couldn't use plain ol' flour. I told him in my most urgent, I gotta pee, where is the bathroom voice "Any recipe with OBSESSION in the title... NEEDS cake flour!" I'll try to remember to take pix...

Merry Christmas everyone - stay safe and I hope you enjoy the peacefulness of the day!

Oh - Spot was just tugging on my sleeve. The goaties wanted me to include this for you... From Spot and Speck and Mario... MERRY CHRISTMAS!








Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wintertime hike

Furry Husband and I went hiking in Hewlett Gulch last weekend. I figured it'd be good because bears and rattlesnakes are hibernating. Furry Husband brought a camera and documented a bit of our hike.


Our first stream crossing... I carried Toe cuz I didn't want him getting wet and I wasn't sure he'd use the stepping stones. SHEW! I made it across balancing on rocks with a small dog.

I am so going to audition for Cirque du Soliel next year....
Up and off the trail... I think the dogs see an approaching mountain lion...


Oh - I guess it was the demon spirit of a mountain lion and it is now residing in my little dog, Toe, as witnessed by the glowing, red, demon eyes.


Our last stream crossing.... and straight home to hot coffee laced with Baileys... oh, I do love my weekends!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Spot's been figured out and biting dogs...



She went back into heat Saturday night - cystic ovaries. We took her to the goat vet for a hormone shot, then up to see Headliner, the buck, again. Let's hope she settles!

Sister called me last night to ask advice. She had a foster dog from a shelter. The shelter told her the dog was good with other dogs, cats and children. The dog attacked another dog, unprovoked, twice... the dog began going after Sister's cat with intent... and the dog had been good with the 2 yr old baby...


....until Sister called.


She said she'd been folding laundry with her baby and the dog. Baby reached over and touched the dog's paw.... dog lunged at the baby. Dog left welts on the baby's head. Didn't break skin, the baby is fine and unhurt.

Sister wanted to see if I thought she should give the dog back - she said in a voice that sounded a little more than stressed, "The dog had Baby's head in it's MOUTH!".

YES! Let someone else foster that dog and tell the shelter so they can re-evaluate the dog.


Someone would probably love to take on a challenging dog... however, it's not my Sister. Especially when her child is in jeopardy of being mauled! Nope. Way too many nice, nice dogs out there.


We have two shelter dogs in addition to our little purebred dog... all are good with children.


Bequia, our cattle dog mix, LOVES children... her whole body takes on an air of happy bliss when she hears a child or baby's voice. She loves being near children - the quick grabs of Bequia's fur in plump fists delight our little cattle dog - the shrill screams of a baby's exuberance send Bequia into a fit of happy sighs. Her contentment around children is almost physically tangible...


And we still watch the dogs when they are around kids - even our sweet, child loving Bequia. Dogs and kids don't automatically mix - only takes one second and a bite can last a lifetime.

You all probably know this already.... but boy, oh, boy did that little reminder hit close to home last night!



Oops - I almost forgot - HAPPY WINTER SOLSTICE! Every day we'll get a little more daylight from here on out... wa-HOOOOOOOOOOOOO!





Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gettin' up more than you fall....

Roxanne Quimby is the woman who created Burt's Bees - with the assistance of Burt of course. She gave an interview to Inc. magazine and one paragraph really struck me.

In the early years, I had some midnight-of-your-soul type of times. Once, I came home from a fair and found the window in my cabin blown in. Snow was all over. It was 20 below and 3 in the morning. I hadn't made any money and the car had just barely made it there. I really believe that success is just getting up one more time than you fall. It doesn't come from one brilliant idea, but from a bunch of small decisions that accumulate over the years. And you shouldn't underestimate the amount of work that's involved, the amount of fear that's involved.

Wow.

Them's some strong and inspirational words right there. Applies to more than just bid'ness doesn't it? Riding horses.... Life.... if we can all keep getting up, it only takes getting up one more time than you've fallen.

Anyway - my appointment with Rosso was changed - Rex has an injured horse and so we'll get to it another day... s'allright. All is well - the sun is shining!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Clothespins...



Large wooden clothespins.
I picked some up a couple weeks ago cuz Joelyn wanted me to track Toe on my own. She has been out of town and couldn't help/instruct me with my tracking efforts.
I'm so new and unused to and don't know what I'm doing with tracking that once the person has walked the track, I can't "see" in my mind where they were. I completely lose the picture of the trail they left..
She said if I used clothespins to drop like breadcrumbs, it would help me see the track and Toe would get an extra confirmation for his sniffer... the wooden clothespins hold scent. Aha!
And how does one infuse their scent on a wooden clothespin? (git your minds up and outta that gutter!)
I put one set of clothespins on my side of the bed wrapped up in my pj's and I put one side on Furry Husbands side o' the bed with his pj bottoms. I made our bed and I guess I neglected to tell Furry Husband I was "scenting" the clothespins.
That night he pulled back the covers and shot me an incredulous look. "You want me to sleep with clothespins?!!!"
"No, no, no sweetie pie, honey bunch, love o' my life... I was just scenting them for Toe so when you lay a track for him, we can ...."
He didn't really wait for my explanation... he's lived with me long enough to know aaaallllll about my crazy animal schemes.... he simply breathed a big sigh of relief that his wife hadn't finally gone off the deep end and he crawled into bed.
Sweet dreams Furry Husband, sweet dreams!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cystic goats and courage...

Hmph.

Spot had her date with Headliner Thursday evening. Sunday morning Spot was in heat again. Wha??

I talked to my goatie friends... called our vet to discuss and it turns out that Spot may be cystic. Meaning she isn't ovulating so she's like a reproductive skipping record and the breeding on Thursday couldn't work.

However, she may have had a false heat... and in that case was the Thursday heat the false one or the Sunday heat?

Owch. It's confusing and making my head hurt.

The plan thus far is to wait until Friday. If she is cystic, she'll come into heat again and we know how to proceed... a shot of GnRH to get the ovary ovulating and then a shot o' lutalyse to cycle her again and she gets a 2nd date. Success rate percentage high.

If she doesn't come into heat again... well.


Things get confusing and uncertain.

We won't know if she is pregnant or not... ultrasound won't work for another couple weeks and if the vet runs a progesterone test to see if she ovulated... well, the test won't show if she ovulated Thursday (good) or Sunday (bad)...

Anyway, like I said. It makes my head hurt so I'm not thinkin' 'bout it til I have to on Friday.

*****************************************************

On the horse front, the sub-zero temps and the death of my Pa impacted my riding in a pretty huge way. It's finally thawed out and I was able to ride my mare Sunday. Ooooeee my thighs are unhappy with me... sore, sore, sore.

Tonight is the barn "Hen Party" for all us crazy horse women to gather 'round and squawk... and tomorrow I'll take that pipsqueak Rosso up and Rex is gonna ride him. Saturday, I'll have a lesson on 'im. Sunday I ride my mare again...

Hopefully watching Rex ride and seeing no harm befall her talented head will help my instinctual lizard brain see there is nothing to fear and my confidence will return. She and I both agree that Sera pulled more dangerous antics when she was a youngster but for some reason the fear kicked in on Rosso.

The more successful rides I have on him, the more confidence I will gain.

This fear thing is really weird. I've never experienced it before. I've been cautious or careful or hesitant before in situations but never downright, lilly livered, yeller bellied, boot quakin' skeered.

Last time I rode Rosso, I really thought I would be fine. I was calm and joking with Rex and I thought I was cured only to find that once I was sitting astride him my legs began quivering uncontrollably in fear.

Shocked and surprised me! So bizarre how your rational mind and your primitive instincts can be at war.

I talked with the horse chiropractor and she said there was a book published a while ago - she didn't remember the title - but it was about how many big horse trainers went through a "fear" phase. The book discussed how the fear started and how they each got over it. I'm talking famous, big name trainers.... I gotta look for that book.

In the meantime... just like John Wayne says, "Courage is being scared to death but saddling up anyway."

I will overcome and I'll be saddling up... here's to a good and productive ride on Rosso!


Friday, December 11, 2009

Shew - what a day!

Spot met Headliner yesterday and all went well. Hopefully, right this very moment, she is cooking up little goat-lets and in 5 mos. we'll have new life on the farm.

Rex, my invaluable horse trainer, called and the regular Thursday barn cleaner injured herself... could I clean stalls? Yes. I could and I did.

The printer called and our label "fix" was ready to be picked up at the same time Spot had her date... lucky Furry Husband got out of accompanying me on a goat date. He went to pick up labels instead...

When it rains, it pours eh?


Label fix?

My first preservative contained the dreaded "parabens". Parabens. Mmf. A lab rat somewhere got cancer... parabens were associated with this event. There is no proof or scientific documentation that the parabens caused said cancer. You can read more about parabens here and here .

However, once a cat like that is out of the bag, you can never really put it back in. That cat is wiley and has sharp claws.... mee-owch!

When I first developed my formula, there weren't paraben free preservatives. When I had my labels printed, there wasn't a paraben free preservative. Due to consumer demand, there are paraben free preservatives now.

I met with my printer last week to develop a fix... it's easy for me to make a paraben free lotion, however, the labels I printed earlier list parabens.

I would be shooting myself in the foot to take a product to market and automatically alienate or scare a segment of my market. Once they are scared off they won't come back... some might but others will forever be lost.

I needed to get the parabens out of there. Yes, there was a cost to fix my label and yes, that sucks because it eats into profit, but in the long run, I haven't scared any prospective clients away.

The customer is always right.... doesn't matter if your personal thoughts don't match. Doesn't matter if there is no scientific backing or proof, you simply gots to listen to what your customers want.

Happy FRIDAY everyone!



Thursday, December 10, 2009

Spot has a date... in microfleece?




We made lotion last night. Lots and lots and lots of lotion. We thought making it all at once would save time... and actually making that quantity made things work less efficiently. Lesson learned.

The funny part of the evening was the new seal on our lotion bottles. I had been using shrink wrap bands but those can be easily pulled off. My new bottle supplier has these "lock and seal" things. Think aspirin bottle and the Styrofoam disk you have to break through that says in tiny letters, "sealed for your protection".

We put them on and screwed down the lids... and since we can't READ directions... we unscrewed the lid to see this new lock and seal technology.

Wha? It's not working! The little disk is stuck up in the threads of the cap! How is THAT gonna work?!? We were stressing over it but put them on each bottle anyway.

I looked at the directions this morning and sure enough, at least 30 minutes needs to pass for the micro seal glue to adhere. Furry Husband unscrewed 4 bottles randomly and sure 'nuff the lotion is locked and sealed. Hooray!

The wind kicked up... drifts of snow so hard packed they can support our body weight (and I ain't no petite flower people!) were on either side of the gate - knee deep - and we couldn't get out to the cars. There was another drift behind my car... after much shovelling I broke out.

Only to have Furry Husband call about an hour later to tell me, "uh, honey? Spot is in a full on heat."

Great.

She was supposed to meet the buck, Headliner, last night for a little tryst. It was so cold, she was not showing any signs of wanting to meet the George Clooney of goats.


Now that the sun is out and it's a whopping 7 degree heat wave out there, she's changed her mind.

**Oh - side note - when you buy your goat some fleece outerwear at the thrift store because they are cold and shivering and you are worried about them? It's not nearly as easy as you might think to get said human clothes ON said 180 lb goat when she is quite sure she should NOT wear human clothes.

Do you think she should keep her fleece outerwear on for her "afternoon delight" with the buck today? Do you think he will find her that much more irresistible?



Wednesday, December 9, 2009

B-B-B-B-BRRRRRRR!

Last night saw a low of -23 with a -31 wind chill. Oh the poor ani-mules! The horses have blankets, the goats extra straw in their little houses... we gave everyone mucho hay so they can generate heat from the inside out. It's all we can do but man was I cringing thinking about them out there.

Spot has her date tonight. I don't know if cold will affect her "mood"? Tho', it is supposed to heat up to 18 with sun today, so maybe the date will be unaffected. Fingers crossed.

Scary story today for you!

The front page of the Denver Post had a story about cattle mutilations... these 70 yr old ranchers in Southern CO are finding cows with all the innards taken, eyes, brains, ears, tongues, udders...

The tender meat is left, the bones of the skull/neck are picked completely white and clean... literally overnight.

There are no tracks anywhere near the carcass. There is no blood anywhere near the carcass. The areas taken are cut with surgical/laser like precision.

I tell Furry Husband I think it's the Chupacabra. He thinks aliens.



Monday, December 7, 2009

Drum roll please.....

The whole reason I started this funny little blog was because I wanted to start a small business... I read that showing customers a glimpse of who you are helps sell product.

And then the blog sorta went in all directions - ka-blam!


Mostly I wanted to make some extra money to help with the money sucking black hole in our back yard called: Horses. (oh I love them dearly and it's what I DO to be happy - but they get a bit spendy)

Well - stuff happened along the way and my business was put on hold.

Guess what?

I took my product to EsScentuals in Old Town (our quaint downtown area full o' local shops and eateries) to see if they'd be interested in carrying it or if they'd have advice.


THEY WANT TO CARRY MY LOTION! There was no hesitation. The owner of the shop liked the lotion feel, liked my packaging, they have no goat milk product on their shelves, it's fresh, it's local... she thinks it will do well and she asked me (get this) if I was ready to go big!We have your 2oz gift packs, 2oz singles and 6oz bottles....

Furry Husband and I are very excited. We have an order to fill and we have an idea of the type of boutiques/spas/stores we'd like to see carry our product. The owner of EsScentuals has been in the business since the early 80's. She is knowledgeable and a very lovely woman. She thinks I won't have any issue.
It's only one order, I know... but every body's got to start somewhere.
I sorta keep thinking someone is going to come pound on my door and ask 'Just what in the hell do you think you're doing? YOU can't do this...'

Oh. But I can. And I am.
Star's Hollow Farm is goin' retail baby!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Oh no! Little Toe!


Thanksgiving night we were going to bed and we kennel up the dogs cuz our bed just isn't big enough for 2 adult humans, 3 dogs and 6 cats...

Well Toe seemed a bit "off"... a slight limp.

Hmmm. We didn't think that much of it because he'd been bombing around all day and was perfectly fine. He ate his dinner with the usual gusto... he seemed fine and the limp was very slight.

The next morning... the limp was still there... a bit more pronounced, but he ate his breakfast and I could find nothing wrong with his foot.
I stayed home from work that day (not because of Toe's foot but cuz I had the day off) and as the day went on, Toe's foot swelled and kept swelling. He wouldn't put any weight on it at all, he was hopping around on 3 legs and when I tried to have another look, he would yelp and wriggle and struggle cuz it must've hurt like a mofo.

I clipped all the hair around the area and for the life of me, I could NOT find any injury, grass seed head, mark or puncture anywhere.

I called our vet and she stopped by with some antibiotics. She looked and couldn't see anything either... her thought was maybe a grass seed head had worked it's way into the webbing between his toes.

Poor Toe. He was miserable... he was hiding, he didn't want anything to do with anybody... when I took him outside, I had to carry him and when I set him down, he would lay there vs. running around announcing his presence to the neighborhood with a happy BARK, BARK, BARK!
.
I was really worried. I was imagining all sorts of terrible things... he had an infection in his blood stream, the seed head would move through his body and cause some instant death somehow...
I dunno... after Booker died and then my Dad... I was feeling like this new dog that I love so much would be taken as well. Furry Husband, a big softy (shhhh don't let anyone know!) let Toe sleep with us that night.

The next day Toe was markedly better. The antibiotics were doing their thing or whatever happened to his foot was on the mend... tho' he began licking it and wouldn't leave it alone so I had to wrap it with a sock and elasticon.

I never did figure out what happened. He's fine now. No swelling, no abscess, no scab, no nuthin! We think maybe it was a spider bite... after all that painting, all the spiders were displaced and maybe one bit him? I don't know - it's a mystery! I'm glad to have my happy, joyful, bossy, grumbly baby dog back to normal tho!


We took him with us to Jax Farm and Ranch today... he was mooned over by several of the staff, he was wiggle butt happy to see everyone and he got several treats. THAT is the Little Toe I know and love.

Here he is today.. in his new coat. I know - it sorta sissi-fies him.

Shrug.

He has longer hair and he is short enough that he gets really wet when we have more than a couple inches. We've gotten about 5" of snow today; it's the first time he's worn it and it really does help keep his little belly dry!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Martha Stewart I ain't...

We've been living here 8 yrs and we had new windows put in so there was exposed drywall/texturing above the windows. I guess we sorta got used to it... you don't really see it after a few years.

Since we were having our biggest crowd yet for Thanksgiving, we decided to paint with Thanksgiving as our deadline. We started out taping the trim and washing the foot boards/walls, putting down drop cloth...


And then?


And then we reached a point where we just didn't care. We wanted it DONE.
.
I'd come to an obvious dog slobber mark with dog food/hair stuck to the wall and I'd paint over it.
Martha Stewart would be white knuckes to her open mouth horrified.
I also discovered I'm a really bad housekeeper. We moved the couch, or the washing machine or whatever and there were violently rabid warrens of dust bunnies.
We had spider webs at all corners of our ceilings... we brushed them all down and ever since we find spiders jumping out at us in the oddest places. They've been displaced and they are looking for new homes.
I'm pretty sure Martha would be putting on a hazmat suit to come into our home.

We had this cat a long time ago who had some sort of growth in his sinuses... it caused him to sneeze violently every hour or so and each time he had a sneezing fit, ropes of snot would be flung on the walls. Awesome.

Once they dried, there was no gettin' 'em off. It was like cement. Those remnants were also covered with paint. So there will be no more misty eyed fond remembrances of Pancho (now gone to kitty heaven) when we'd pass by some long ago dried snot flung upon our walls....

I think Martha might have a quiver lip... getting ready to cry at this point.

I stopped using tape and tried detail work with a brush and a wet rag to wipe the drips or "coloring outside the lines" and there were no more drop cloths. The little hallway area has drips of paint embedded in our carpet. meh. It's on our list to get laminate floors next year anyway....

So while I'm sure we woulda sent Martha screaming down the road, we're pretty happy with the results. I like to think it's a warm Tuscan yellow... but really?

It's like we're living in Velveeta macaroni and cheese. It's comforting. Mac n' cheese is total comfort food is it not?




yes, our washing machine is right smack in the kitchen. Fun huh? Cook up yer meal and wash yer delicates all at the same time!




Friday, December 4, 2009

Babies and Raisins

I just heard on NPR that some lady went into labor on a Southwest plane and delivered a baby on board while the plane diverted to Denver.

She and the baby were whisked away by ambulance and they are in Aurora, CO doing fine. The plane continued on to Ohio or wherever it was supposed to go....

How messed up would THAT be?

You are on a plane and some lady's water breaks... there is blood and mucous and membranes and placenta and umbilical cords and 'gina.

The story said there were 2 nurses and a Dr. on board to assist... as well as flight attendants ... and they took over the back of the plane for the birthin'.

Eww. Talk about yer stains.....

*************************************************************

And then there was a story on Yahoo about the Sun-maid Raisin girl gettin a makeover. She went from looking like this, the raisin girl I know and love from the 1970's....

To....
VOILA! This new raisin girl. *cough* lookit her raisins *cough*


She's not SO different from the 1970 version...exept for her bigger *cough* raisins *cough*

I dunno man. I guess Sex. Sells. Raisins.

I think the next time I'm feeling a bit randy... I'm gonna give Furry Husband a new pack o' raisins and we'll see where it takes us. To new heights I'm sure. (rolling of eyes)

Maybe instead of changing Sun-Maid raisin girl's *cough* raisins *cough*... they should update her hat...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ummmm...

Is it wrong that I had to mail something to a man by the name of Dick Chase today and it made me laugh?

I know, I know - it's a generational thing. My Dad went by the name of Dick... but um... at least my Pa's last name wasn't Chase.



Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving for us starts out with the infamous neighborhood walk. We live in a rural area so a walk around the block is 4 miles.... we all gather at Gina's house and head out by 9AM.

Sometimes people ride horses... one year people brought llamas... another year someone brought a pygmy goat. There are always dogs, dogs and more dogs!
It was a beautiful sunny day - we pass the Irish Cobb horse farm...
We pass by John and Nancy's house. John had a double hip replacement so he didn't join us but watched us all pass by with the grand kids... And we walk happily down the road... cars pass slowly gawking and I always wonder if they think it's some sort of protest movement. Save the turkey!


Here I am with my Ma and Little Toe.... I wore my BIG sunglasses. Furry Husband calls me Chachi when I wear 'em. As in, "Lookin' good there Chachi!"

We cook our turkey on the grill and we mostly we sat outdoors chatting; enjoying the gorgeous day...


Oh - here all the 4 women... Mom, Me, Sister and Baby...


And finally it was turkey time!


Along with pie, pie and more pie..... MMMMMM


I hope you all had a very happy, yummy and wonderful Thanksgiving!!
The End.













Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Seattle Part II

I had an hour before leaving for the airport. I couldn't stand straight and Furry Husband told me I looked like I had spina bifida.

My back went out when I bent over to scoop up some birdseed for my bird feeders and I can tell you I was clutching my back, waving my fist at the sky cursing the birds that day my friends... curse you, you foul feathered fowl! Curse you and the eggs you hatched from!


I made panic calls to chiropractors in the phone book. I found a guy who worked on Saturdays and he said he'd fit me in if I left now...


My hair was all dorked out and it's not exactly how I wanted to leave home... in a big rush, twisted in 6 different directions and stooped over with pain. I gave Furry Husband a big hug and kiss and gimped out to my car.


The chiropractor guy looked like Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Only older. And balder. He did have the long, scraggly hair all around his bald head mullet-style.

That guy struggled to fix my back and he was huffing and he was puffing and he was sweating and he was grunting. He was soft and out of shape. He could not get my back adjusted. I could tell I was still really messed up.

I was beginning to be a little afraid. I put all my trust in this guy and I didn't know him from a serial killer. No one knew where I was and I was alone in this guy's office.
I was trying to figure out a plan to get away from him should he begin to do something dastardly... it's always good to have a plan.... and then the exam was over.

shew.

He said that was all he could do for me with a shrug of his shoulders. I was still pretty dicked up and I felt like crying because I was hurting and frustrated and I'd been looking so forward to this trip!

While I was waiting to pay, I noticed he had a picture of himself at the reception desk framed with a Maya Angelou saying about a HEro or a SHEro is someone who makes the world a better place... with a picture of HIMSELF.

Because I guess he is a SHEro or HEro?
Seriously?

C'mon.

Seriously?

Anyhoo - deep breath - let it go.

I made my plane, I made it to Seattle ... it was wunnerful, wunnerful, wunnerful to see my friend, Shonda!

Sunday all day was dog agility and I shoulda taken pix but I was hobbling around like a 108 yr old lady who forgot her walker. It was crowded with dogs and people of every shape, color, size and personality. Really fun to watch... Shonda qualified and she had really nice runs with her dog, Patch.

I thought to myself as I was weaving thru the crowd of dogs and people like a geriatric... if someone bumps into me?
I'm gonna fall down.
I will fall like a ton of bricks.
People will stare and a crowd will gather 'round and someone will call a whaaa-m-bu-lance for my sorry arse.

I managed to stay upright.

I found a chiropractor in the area who helped fix me on Monday... and after the chiro? We hit Pikes Market ... and the Space Needle... and coffee shops.... I know - I look like a man. Bad camera angle from the space needle.

Shonda tweaking a brass nipple. Nipple. Such a funny word. Nipple.

Oh and I had fresh seafood... it was glorious!

Patch didn't get the attraction to Seattle. She thought it was stupid. It was all concrete and waiting in the car for a long time before she could go back to Argus Ranch to play frisbee...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

SEATTLE Part 1

Shonda and I had a whole lotta fun in Seattle... but before Seattle, there was a surprise party for Harry (of the infamous Harry and Sally) in Estes Park. Sally rented a duplex cabin, invited me and Furry Husband along with two other couples.

We all arrived to surprise a semi-suspecting Harry ... after all Sally is devious. She enjoys being deviant and we all love her that much for for her mischievous ways.

Everyone brought wine - I think there were 20 bottles for the 8 humans.

Trouble.

Let's just say that by the end of the night, we were calling Danni's Oma (grandma) in Germany to sing a very raucous, slurred Happy Birthday. Danni is German and speaks it fluently... gawd I love people who are multi-lingual. It is so amazing to me... but only because I want to speak another language fluently and don't. I took a semester of German in college so I could ask Oma how much does that cost, where is the airport and what is that?

And I did.

I asked Oma ALL those things.

I have no idea what she said to me but it sure sounded cool.

Needless to say we didn't sleep much and we were a bit green around the gills the next morning on our way back to Ft. Collins.

Once home, I entered into my manic "I'm leaving home so I must do everything today because I may never see my home ever again" phase.

I cleaned house, cleaned the horse pens, cleaned the goat pens.... and filled bird feeders.

I had to fill the bird feeders because, you see, I am a 107 year old lady trapped inside a 39 yr old body. I like to feed birds, watch birds, talk to the birds and I have a million cats.... crazy cat slash bird lady.

I bent over to grab a handful of peanuts for the jays... snap -- pop -- crack

My back went out.

My back completely and totally went out on me.

When I stood up to tell Furry Husband, he said I looked like a deformed person I was so crooked everywhere. And it hurt. I couldn't stand up straight at all.

I was leaving for Seattle in an hour.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Bode Miller

My little doe, Speck, visited Bode Miller last night for some good, good lovin'. Nope - not the amazing Alpine skier but a little buck with the same name.
I drove an hour to Lyons, CO to see Marilou at South Fork Lamanchas.... and I was thinking after being shoved into a dog crate, driven for an hour only to be pulled out of the dog crate in a dark and unfamiliar place... led down a hill and over a bridge to be put in a pen with some strange buck.... well, it's really not so "romantic" is it?

I should have given her a few beers and a shot cuz isn't everyone more horny after drinking? I mean... duh. That is why there is that country song... "Let's get drunk and screw". Am I right people?

Anyhoo.... Marilou went into the pen with my doe and held her collar while the buck did his thang. My little doe looked SO surprised and scooted forward. Then any time the buck came near her she would leap like a stag...

And with my sick sense of humor I laughed and said out loud..."Oh. Sweetie, it only hurts the first time!"

Tho' I did end up in the pen to help Marilou hold her. And I know to non-animal people that may seem strange and bizarre.... and I guess it is sorta. Only if you are a little goat that is in heat for the first time, there is simply no goat version of the Judy Blume book "Forever" or "Are You There God, It's Me Margaret" to explain what is happening to your little reproductive tract.



In the end, the goats figure it out.

Case in point.....

When I was done milking Spot last night, she leaped off the milk stand and RAN to the gate leading into the buck pen. RAN I tell you. Stood there with her little behind in his face while all 250 lbs o' him body slammed the gate trying to get at her.

When I grabbed her she looked at me like.... "Whattya doin? I WANT ME A PIECE O' THAT BUCK!"

Well - she can't have him. She is scheduled to meet Headliner... a nice buck in Livermore. I marked her heat date on the calendar and in 3 weeks she has a "date". I don't think an experienced doe like Spot will need any tequila that night to get things started.

Lookit him.
It's like she's gettin' her shot at the goat version of George Clooney.

**As a side note... Sister and I did fine with Dad today. I think it was really more shocking to her because she was hearing things in detail about his condition from nurses and other professionals and couldn't deny the inevitable. Things that aren't pretty. I hope I was there enough for her... I tried to be.
I really feel o.k. and at peace with everything - said my goodbye and told him I loved him.

Course I'm perfectly fine NOW. I'm probably still "processing" or something. I'm sure I'll watch some stupid coffee commercial 3 days from now and it'll make me cry like a baby....