Friday, May 28, 2010

On the road again

We are heading to Mt. Rushmore for the Memorial weekend. We got a call from some dear friends a couple weeks ago and wanted to know if we wanted to meet them there and camp with them. This made me laugh. Evidently we have become the safe campers. We constantly get asked to accompany different families on either their first camping trip or their first camping trip with kids. I'm not sure how this came about other than the sheer volume and crazy adventures we seem to go on. I haven't seen my dear friend for a long time. They adopted a little girl 9 years ago who is between my kids' age and whom they think is a cousin. I love these girls and can't wait to wrap them in a huge hug. But the most exciting thing is the fact that I get to meet their new son. By a miracle of God alone they got pregnant and had a sweet little boy 4 months ago and I can't wait to meet him! This is his first long road trip. I wonder how they are doing. At least this time they have a full-fledged backseat babysitter! His dad is a Major in the army and once gave us a tour of the Pentagon when he was stationed there. Very cool it was!

This trip with all its green rolling hills, Rocky Mountain views, and cattle ranches reminds me of Ike's first camping trip to Arches National Park in Moab, UT. He was 6 weeks old and has been camping more and hiked more miles than most adults I know. Or a few years ago when we took MacGyver's parents back there. Back before GPSs were a staple. It was my turn to drive. The kids were in the far back asleep and the men folk switched places with us women folk. My mother-in-law and I were just talking up a storm when I realized we were low on gas. And the last sign I read was "no services for 207 miles". Growing up in the East never prepared me for this reality. In the West there isn't a gas station on every corner. Or food. Or a bathroom. Or anything that resembles civilization. And this girl never stepped foot in a Girl Scout meeting. By contrast, MacGyver is an Eagle Scout. He was born prepared. He was also asleep. Very asleep. I've never been more awake and aware of my condition. And neither has my mom-in-law! Needless to say; we were sweating. And praying. I didn't run out of gas (that day). I had to laugh a little seeing his face when he woke up as I pulled into the gas station and we told him what happened; and a little from relief, too! I never said life with me would be boring!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

More Puppy Chatter

We just got some feedback from one of our last puppies, Dozier. He went to an Extreme Fighter/Body Builder in Philadelphia that has been incapacitated by diabetes. He couldn't leave the house to work out or even go to the store, for fear his blood sugar would crash or spike fatally. He called the other day crying to say this little 11 month old pup, that he has had for two weeks, has given him his life back. He has been out walking, shopping, and has been able to start working out again because this little pup. Wow! Again, I love getting this feedback! It makes all the work worth it! He wakes him up out of a dead sleep and if the man pushes him away or tries to ignore him, he gets louder and more persistent and has even jumped on his chest and barked into his face until he gets up. Just the other day, he came back inside from going out to get the mail and was greeted by a flying dog. He had jumped off the couch into this man's arms barking, barking, barking (which is his alert when either his blood sugar is too high or low). And he even goes so far as to nudge him while he is eating to get him to continue eating until his blood sugar has reached a more normal level. That is just so amazing! What a dog! We already have 7 puppies from our next litter spoken for and she is not even pregnant yet. So cool!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Three hour tour

The kiddos and I decided to go on a short hike yesterday after church. It was a beautiful 75 degree day. We packed a lunch and some water bottles and drove about 5 minutes down the road. The hike was beautiful but grueling, going straight up a wet creek bed for a mile on a little used trail. We only saw 2 people as we started the trail and they were coming down. And then it dumped us out onto a well-used hiking/biking/horse-back trail and we suddenly didn't know if we should go left or right. I have a Verizon Droid phone with no less than 6 apps such as compass, Geobeagle, Googleearth, Altimeter, etc. You would think a person would be able to figure it out with at least a compass. Unfortunately, the best I could do was know that I needed to head west back to the Jeep. And then we got to this spot that overlooked downtown Denver...

And then we stopped a biker to ask him where the trail comes out. I have a pretty good idea that it would end up about 5 miles south of where we were parked and we would have to follow the road 5 miles up the curvy mountain road. We took a vote and decided to just turn around and head back the way we came. I've always contended that my knees hurt worse going downhill than up. We all agreed. But we made it back safe and sound 3 hours later a little muddier, scratched up, and sorer than we started. All in all, a wonderful day!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Quilting-Part Uno

I totally would have to buy this cute wooden sign if I had a sewing room:

Izzy and I went to town to run errands today and stopped to look at some material for her 4H quilt project. We had to go to WalMart for a few things and thought we'd start there. They don't even carry fabrics (or at least that one didn't)! So, we looked at their mats and rotary blades instead. I Suwanee! I've made two quilts before but they were both baby quilts and the only thing I had to buy for those was material. Needless to say, I didn't realize that a nice size mat and rotary tool would run close to $50 alone. I was a little underprepared. I must have been wandering around looking a little forlorn and disgruntled because a little birdie whispered in my ear that all the rotary cutting tools and mats were half off at Joann Fabrics AND most of their quilting material was 40% off. Jackpot! Just what I needed! Boy that sweet birdie saved me a bundle! I didn't even stay long enough to get anything on my list and hightailed it over to Joann's. Izzy and I spent over an hour trying to coordinate materials and I think only the daisy pattern fabric was not on sale. Well, what do you know? The sweet lady that cut my fabric signed me up for email coupons and then gave me one for 40% off one regularly priced item. So, I ended up with a huge mat and rotary tool and 6 yards of material for about $50. Woohoo! I'm guessing we saved $40-$50. Yay! Thank you all my sweet birdies! I love bargain shopping!

Here's our cool-o new toy:

Ok, sew (hehe), from the left, we have a cream background with a faded-red stripe, which is also the back;
the second one is the one Izzy picked first and where we pulled all the colors from-
its a yellow-cream background with the same faded-red, green, and brown;
the third is two different shades of green;
the fourth (my favorite) is a brown background and 2 of the same shades of green.

And here is a picture of the canyon as the sun was setting and we were heading home:

I kept wondering if we'd see the bear when we got home. It reminds me of the book I used to read to my kiddos when they were really little...Goodnight Moon, Goodnight Mountains, Goodnight Bear...

More Surprising Visitors

We had surprise visitors last night. Can I just say how shocked I am the census people found me? I filled out my form but not having an actual address throws them off. Not even 911 knows where I live as witnessed by the recent chimney fire incident.

And then this morning, we had another surprise visitor.... He evidently likes the horse grain. It was knocked over, lid off and scattered about this morning when I went out to feed. FYI, my son wears a size 5 mens shoe (or a size 7 womens if he wears my boots). Evidently, this bear is a bigun with big claws to boot (pardon the pun)!

I wasn't sure how well all our little friends along or that they cohabitated with our big furry friend...the Mountain Lion.

I'm just glad he didn't get into our garbage cans. There's another project...bear boxes!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Nod to the Dedication

I have to give a nod to the dedication of the census people. I think "Through Rain, Sleet or Snow" used to be the motto of the US Postal Service. I believe it has been abandoned and adopted by the dedicated Census Bureau. But it might be a little more like "Through Rain, Sleet, Snow and Mud". And here is the rest of the story...

I spent the afternoon at my girlfriend's house in town and brought her son, who is my son's age, home to spend the night and possibly the weekend. They have big plans to dress in camo and scour the trees and hills for "the enemy" tomorrow and if it dries up enough, get in some shooting practice for 4H. On the way home, we stopped at the grocery store to pick up a "few" know...milk and bread...which turned into a $74 trip with half of it being fresh fruit and vegetables. Can you tell what I've been craving? Oh. And also some yummy ice cream sandwiches at the prodding of some young boys. I know. I'm a pushover. It rained the whole way home aaaannnnndddd... my groceries were in the back of the truck. They got wet. Really wet. In fact, it has been raining for hours. Guess what my road looked like when I got home? Yep. Mud...Mud...everywhere! I actually managed to get the whole way home without getting stuck with only the minimal sliding sideways, downhill. And I had a visitor waiting. Yep. My friendly and very dedicated census worker and brand new friend, Wendy; who was stuck up to her front axle in mud. Her first words to me when I parked and walked down to greet her..."Don't be angry, don't be angry". Apparently she has been greeted by some not so friendly homeowners in her history with the Census Bureau. I surmised she wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. So, I invited her in to call her boyfriend and get a cup of hot tea. Isn't that obvious? I'm Southern. Born, bred and raised. Plus, I felt sorry for her. Evidently, she had been trying to dig out for over an hour. She was wet. And muddy. And needed something hot to drink. Ike built us a nice fire. (I'm loving that mountain boy more every day!) It's a good thing we weren't out of town or made a spontaneous decision to stop at the theatre or go bowling. So, she shed her oh so muddy boots at the front door and washed up and we sat down for some Oranged Spiced Green Tea and chatted. She told me that while she was waiting she really had to "go" and couldn't wait any longer and felt bad that she had to tarnish the area near the "Sacred Ground" sign at the Catholic Hermitage (we call it Monkey Village). Cracked me up, it did! And, we called her very lost boyfriend, and guided him to our little island of paradise via the road that is not... and then it happened...HE GOT STUCK! I had to laugh. I lauged a lot. The whole things was a little unbelievable and so funny! He had a truck, with four wheel drive and even a tow chain, but he got high-centered on the logs lining our lower road. There was no hope. I have to give him credit, though...they are big logs. Like 24" in diameter. MacGyver cut them in sections with his 22" blade (the chainsaw blade, let me repeat, the chainsaw blade :-) was not long enough. Moving on. So, he got a little impromptu exercise and ran the rest of the way down the road to the cabin. And had a cup of tea. Really. We had a full-on tea party. Mike and Wendy. My new friends. He owns a big game guide service and a fly-fishing store in town. And has fly-fishing classes on Saturday. We have a date with a fly-fishing pole. It's always been one of my goals in life to learn to fly-fish. It's on my bucket list. It might be in my near future. Yeah! So, we got warm and I outfitted him. Ha! That's pretty ironic...and funny! Anyway, I outfitted them with rain jackets and mucking boots and we jumped into my truck so I could go pull Mike's truck out so he could then pull Wendy's Outback out of the mud. I tried to gently pull him out but the mud was having no part of that so I had to yank him pretty hard and with the first jerk was able to get him off the ginormous log and down the road to some higher ground and traction. And with a couple jerks Mike was then able to get the Outback out and to higher, more stable ground. And with a quick exchange of phone numbers and a quick explanation of where on the map she was, they were off with quite a story of their own to tell. I'm pretty sure he didn't think I had it in me and would just make a bad situation worse. I think he left impressed with this city girl turned mountain girl. MacGyver, you taught me well. And you would have been proud. You know, it's MacGyver's job, normally, to rescue the stranded, helpless, confused strangers, but today it was dropped onto my plate. And I became the hero of the day in Deer Creek Canyon! pictures. I was a little busy. And the truck needs a bath! Sorry.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My boy is growing up

I realized this week how grown up and mature my boy is becoming. He'll be 11 in two months and this week has been a big wake up call for mom. He's almost as tall as me. He can even pick me up. He just crossed over from Cub Scouts into Boy Scouts. He has one more month in Elementary School and in just a few short months will be starting 6th Grade. How can that be? More than the lapse of time, I see it in other areas, too. He has started feeding and caring for the horses pretty regularly (although I was the one to go out in the freezing rain tonight). He wants more privacy and has learned not to let his sister taunt him into fits of anger (as much as he used to) by pretending it doesn't bother him and eventually she stops. He filled up my flat tire using his dad's air compressor and when that flipped the fuse box he marched inside, opened the box and flipped the power back on like he's done it 'his whole life'. He carries a wallet with his ID, library card and Hunter Safety card. He has his own .22 rifle and is shooting really well and does a great job taking it apart, cleaning it, and then putting it back together. Today he brought in wood, split some wood and started a nice fire. Yesterday the kids were learning about fuses and Tesla's coil in school and one of their assignments was to go out to the truck, find the vehicle's fuse box and report back how many there were and what some of them control. He said, "Oh, I know where some are" and retrieved a few spares from his dad's toolbox so they could study them. He's constantly reading and teaching me things and his autonomy in completing his schoolwork has improved immensely (which has always been a huge goal of mine) and probably the one gauge that I both embrace and mourn at the same time. He's growing up so fast. I've always proclaimed that although I am a mom of young children, I am raising adults. One day they will leave our little nest and enter the world as giving, loving, confident contributors of society. But does it have to happen so fast? I remember having a conversation with him when he was about 4 and I asked him all teary what was I going to do when he was too big for me to hold in my lap? He said, "Don't worry mama, I'll hold you." I cried. That just seems like last year. I would definitely say he and I have a special bond; the kind only a mom and son can have. We are buds and we love to tease and pick on each other and he LOVES to scare's just something we do. He still lets me snuggle with him, read to him and hang with him but I also see him wanting to spend more time with his dad and learn all the tricks of the trade from MacGyver. He's becoming a little man and I am proud to watch him grow and find his own identity. Part of the realization is that we have a lot of things we want to do as a family before he is off doing his own thing spending more time with his friends than with his family. I guess, mostly, it just makes us not want to take it for granted and be a little more purposeful.

Here's a little stroll down memory lane...I just had to dip my toe into some old pictures of my boy!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Forecast: Bleak

I can't believe it! "They" are saying we could get a foot of snow tonight. EEK! We've made the first fire in a week or two and the rain just changed from hail and then to snow in a flash. Ick! The only consolation...A big ole pot of homemade Southern Brunswick Stew, fresh Cornbread from a cast iron skillet and a big glass of sweet tea. Yum!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day

This morning, my kiddos woke me up at 7:00 to deliver me breakfast in bed. A big bowl of  Special K with strawberries. I requested cinnamon rolls for dessert. And then they brought me the crafts they made at school. This is the first time they have made me something for Mother's Day without me knowing about it. It was very cute and sweet. And their card made me crack up. It was a Hoops and Yoyo card. You know. The funny, obnoxious ones? They sang Amazing Mom to the tune of "Amazing Grace". It went something like this..."Amazing mom, You're wonderful, We think the world of you! And though at times we do some bad things, We know you love us too!" Hey, we made you a big cake, mom. KABOOM! UH, OH, maybe we'll just make you some rice cakes instead!

Izzy made me a poem and an acrostic:

I learned about love from you, watching your caring ways. I learned about joy from you in fun-filled yesterdays.



Vacspackler (very creative, huh? I'm surprised she didn't use vacuum)
Energetic (since when?)

You Rock
Opposite (very)
Unique (is that nice for you're weird?)

and Ike made me a Top Ten Reasons I Love You:

Mom, You Are The Best!
10. You feed me.
9.  You love me.
8.  You play with me.
7.  You teach us.
6.  You help us solve things.
5.  You stop fights.
4.  You smell like a horse. (WHAT?)
3.  I love you.
2.  You help us.
1.  You're the best!

Makes a mom proud (especially the part about smelling like a horse).

I asked MacGyver yesterday if Mother's Day meant I didn't have to wear ranching clothes and lift anything heavy. He said sure. How gracious. I was prepared to go to my knees. Believe me! My body can heave-ho no more. Instead, we are planning on grabbing some lunch after church and doing some Geocaching instead. We haven't done any Geocaching up in these parts. Yeah! Our family was born to explore and we finally get a beautiful, warm, non-working day to do it. The only thing this Mother's Day is lacking is a nap-but the day isn't over, yet!

Happy Mother's Day everyone!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Oh! What a Beautiful Mornin'

I like to sing to my kids. This is not one of their favorite songs. But seriously, it is absolutely beautiful. I am sitting on my front porch having a cup of coffee and just finished my morning devotions and listening to the music of the creek and birdies. The elk are grazing in the meadows and the sun is shining on my face. The thermometer reads 38 but because my porch faces East, it feels more like 55 and I am basking in the morning sunlight. I say it is just what the doctor ordered...she called me about two weeks ago and told me my vitamin D was low. I'm happy to comply. I'm wearing yoga pants and a matching jacket...thought I should wear something besides my pjs just in case someone dropped by. Not likely but MacGyver is coming off shift today. He would probably rather find me dressed for a change. I love how dry the air is.  The creek provides a bit of moisture but I'm surprised at how loud it is. We haven't had rain in a while. We did have a light dusting of snow yesterday morning but not much else to speak of. Unfortunately, it is time to get my work clothes and boots on. Today we have to work on getting the foaling shed and fence up. I'm glad I had a chance to 'sit a spell' and enjoy all the pretty music outside this morning.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

One-eyed or Two-eyed

My back has been killing me lately. I haven't been sleeping very good or thinking straight either. It must have something to do with all that "rock climbing" and "bouldering" I've been doing. I wish it was as much fun as it sounds. Anyway, I finally gave up the ghost and went to the chiropractor and he "set me straight"...hehehe...I couldn't help it. I was so thankful to be able to sleep an entire night without fetching a heating pad, ice pack, hot shower, or pain meds. I did wake up stiff and sore, however.  I sweetly asked my hubby to swing by the store while he was in town and see if he could get me a few things, one of which was a back massager and one I could reach that stabbing pain in my left shoulder without always needing someone to stick their elbow into. Yikes! I know that sounds terrible but it actually feels putting alcohol on a mosquito bite. Never mind. Anyway, when MacGyver returned with the mother of all massagers, my girl wanted a "turn". She giggled and wiggled and decided it really tickled. She ran to fetch her brother and from the other room I heard, "Hey, let mama massage your back and tell me if you are a One-eyed or a Two-eyed." I obviously was as confused as I'm sure you are and asked her what she meant. Evidently, if you are just a little ticklish you are a One-eyed and close just one eye but if you are really ticklish you are a Two-eyed and close both eyes. She is definitely a Two-eyed. I asked her what I am if I am not ticklish. Her response..."You're a Three-eyed because you keep all three of your eyes open...the front two AND the one on the back of your head!" And there you have it. I'm a Three-eyed...