An old post revisited

Because I’m a little dry where my writing muse is concerned, I decided to post something that I wrote on another blog two years ago. Yes, it has made that big of an impact on my life and is probably the only time I’ve written entirely from the heart. Please don’t take it as preaching – it’ll seem that way – and just read it as the history of my awakening.

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Winter’s Grace; Pugs -n- Peckers

We’ve been having a lot of snow this winter. It’s fairly unusual for Boise to get this much. Most years we may have a few inches around the middle of December, then it warms up enough to melt, and we might be lucky enough to get some more snow in February. So far this winter, we have had about a foot in total. It’s kind of nice that about three inches sticks around for so long that it provides a nice, crunchy base for the new snowfall.

Right now, we have an inch of slush out there threatening to freeze and make for very exciting road conditions in the morning. I’m glad I don’t need to go anywhere tomorrow.

The chickens are doing great – better than I expected. We’re still getting at least two eggs a day from the coop, even though everything we’ve read about chickens said they’d decrease production in cold weather. Now if I could just give them away faster.

Oh, I read the funniest thing today in a book at the library…

“Chickens are the new pug”.

It’s in a new book about urban homesteading. What’s really funny is that we have pugs, too. I know that in the last few years the whole country has gone nuts for pugs, but we’re not the bandwagon jumpers. I had pugs while growing up, they’re nothing new. I’m accustomed to their personalities, so I knew what to expect when I was able to get my own. There were a few things I’d forgotten about them, though – like the fact that they do shed. A lot. I’d say “moult” is a more accurate description. And it happens on the first day of Spring, too. You’ll come home from work or whatever, and there will be an entire dog-worth of fur in a lump on the living room carpet.

But we love our puggy dogs.

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Three days in…

And I’m finally posting.

Well, I have to say that our entry into the new year was quiet and uneventful. Nice, though. We stayed home, had a great dinner, spent time with the kids, played games and all that family stuff. Hubbins is still on his “mandatory” time off until mid-month. He’s feeling like he should be getting some things accomplished around here with all this free time he has on his hands. I tell him he needs to just enjoy it while it lasts.

I do wish we could have taken a short trip to Arizona during this time, but cash isn’t happening for us right now. Besides, with all the nasty winter weather of the last week or two, I don’t think it would be wise to try to navigate the highway down through Utah… let alone the one from Page to Payson. I really don’t like driving on ice and snow, and there’s no way that I wouldn’t take a turn driving. So better to wait until good weather.

In other news, I finally finished up a DVD I’ve been working on for my mom. She has hounded me for several years for photos of the kids on a CD so that she can look at them easily enough. I did her one better and put together a nice 15 minute show of photos and video clips. She should like it. I hope so, anyway. I made sure to include a clip of Cindy doing her snow-avoidance. :)

Wonderful holiday; Slumdog Millionaire

It was really a good one, in spite of all predictions. The kids were terrific. Hubbins and I had fun. Middle son came over for a visit, which was really nice. We stuffed ourselves with turkey – again – and stuffing – ditto – and then very delicious black & white New York-style cheesecake for dessert.

I made the cheesecake. Hubbins loves cheesecake, specifically New York style because of its firm texture. I try to make at least two a year, and I love to experiment with different new recipes. The black & white was a first for me, and it was incredible. What was even more incredible was the fact that I followed the recipe and it actually came out perfect.

A very good holiday.

Tonight, daughter went to her best friend’s house for the night. They practically own her over there, really. She’s there about 40% of the time she’s not occupied with school. Son was not happy about losing his playmate for the night. He’s at that age where he’s extremely clingy towards his sister, and she’s at that age where she’s starting to not want to be annoyed 24/7 by her brother. We got him down eventually, though.

Oh, and we saw Slumdog Millionaire.

Holy holy cow. I wanted to see that movie from the second all the hype started. I don’t know where I first heard about it. But every review from every corner of the world has said that Slumdog Millionaire was THE BEST MOVIE EVER MADE. Or at least close to that good.

Go see it. It is as good as the best movie you have ever seen. If not THE best movie you will ever see.

Oh, and I’m changing this last part… “fortunately” got to be a little restricting. So now, you get what I decide to put there.

TO-DO LIST: Smile at every single person you meet at the store tomorrow. Not just a pasted-on smile… really SMILE. Feel it. See what happens.

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Normally, I wouldn’t post any images of myself in a blog. However, I really had fun playing around on the site where I made this – you should also go play!


Beautiful, serene Christmas Eve

Shopping is finished, the kids are ready for bed, I’m sipping a cup of eggnog (the grownup kind), and we have a big night of giftwrapping ahead of us. We just started a new family tradition of watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation… the kids are old enough now, and they loved it. Then a little light websurfing, and a round of the Numa Numa song. And now the kids are watching the last bit of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I’m thinking about how much work needs to be done yet – cleaning up the kitchen from two nights of dinners. And prepping the ingredients for dinner tomorrow (I prefer a Christmas Day dinner). I also need to try to figure out what we’re going to do with a wayward mouse caught earlier tonight.

I’d keep it if I could. At least until the weather thaws. It would die out there right now, and I’m not about to put it back out in the chicken coop where he trapped himself.

The snow just keeps coming down.

Yesterday I nearly killed myself shoveling the driveway and sidewalks. It was surprisingly fast-going, done very quickly compared to how long I thought it would take. But it took me hours to recover. I’m just not used to shoveling snow. :)

Looks like I’ll get a lot more practice over the next week. Unless I can feign inability well enough that Hubbins will feel sorry for me.

THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Fortunately, Christmas is nearly over, and we can focus on getting the New Year started right.

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Snow and the holidays

I awoke this morning moments before Hubbins took off for work. I wanted to make sure that I told him to drive carefully – thinking that there was probably a black ice issue with the re-freeze overnight. He was already pulling out of the garage, so I managed to wave to him and give him the “I love you” sign. Then I took a look outside… wow. It looks like it snowed about four inches last night. It’s beautiful. :)

Then the trash truck drove past and I realized that our trash bin is nowhere in sight.

My goal is to wait as long as possible before having to go out and wrestle it through the snow and out onto (or near) the sidewalk. Wherever that is. Cold is just not my thing. I’m a desert rat, born and raised. But living here allows me to experience seasons, so it’s a trade-off. Normally, we have very little snow in the winter – but weather is getting weird these days. We may have a very white winter this year.

I’m not done shopping, though!

Hubbins has done the majority of the buying the last couple of days, since I’ve been feeling under the weather (haha). Santa’s bringing at least one of the things requested by son. Daughter doesn’t believe anymore, but Santa won’t forget her… need to keep up appearances. I think he got her socks or something. Token gift, you know. But there are two or three gifts still needing to be purchased, so hopefully I will have time this evening to go out and shop.

Yes, I’m crazy. Insane at times.

I suppose I could wait and shop around 9pm to avoid the crowds. Not that shopping late is a guarantee of stressless shopping… but it’s more likely that I’ll have at least a little more elbow room if I wait until then.

THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Fortunately, I learned how to drive in snow from a true Canadian. UNfortunately, half the people living here in Boise don’t know how to drive in snow.

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She’s a little off her feed.

Yeah, I started really feeling nasty last night while watching tv. Head feels like it weighs a ton – it’s my sinuses. I know I’m not alone, and I completely empathize with everyone else who is dealing with being sick during the holidays.

Hubbins let me sleep in until noon today. I was actually awake for awhile from about 7-8:30, but didn’t let him in on that fact.

I wish I would have been up, though. You see, we got a few inches of snow overnight.

He told me that, when he went to open the run and let the girls out, Jan and Marsha managed to follow him back up to the porch just fine. He came inside to prep their oatmeal. When he brought it out for the girls, Cindy realized that she was going to miss out if she didn’t figure out how to get up to the porch. And then hilarity ensued…

Cindy flew, landed in the snow, hopped up and flew again, landing in the snow, took off again… all the way to the porch. And then when she hit the porch, her feet were so covered with snow that she slid ten feet into the plate of oatmeal. :)

I loves chickens. They’s funny.

I just wish we had gotten that on video somehow.

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A fun time was had by all.

I did the coolest thing today. I participated in a focus group/mock trial. And it was probably the most fun I’ve ever had while working. Can’t talk about it for three weeks, until after the real trial, but wow… the process is fascinating and we all learned things. And the guy conducting the survey – he told us he’d been in several large cities doing surveys like this one – said that we impressed him with how well we understood the information presented. (I bet he says that to ALL the… cities…)

Since I had been gone from very early this morning until evening, the girls had spent the entire day in their run and coop and were SO happy to be let out when I finally got home. They had gone through every morsel of feed pellets that was in their feeder. I can’t imagine how bored they must have been all day. Of course, it was almost sunset by the time I let them out, so they didn’t get much roaming time – and then they all three fell asleep next to the back door, on the porch step. I went through the garage to get them. Carried all three at once back to the run, listening to their sleepy cooing all the way. Ahh, I love having chicken daughters.

Oh – I forgot to go to the Christmas party at the place I used to work. That’s fine, I was just too busy today to remember. It’s still going on, but I’m in my pjs already and I don’t feel like getting dressed again. They’ll forgive me, I hope.

THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Fortunately, I’ve grown enough as a person to know that putting myself in the other person’s shoes is a very good way to be fair and impartial.

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Oh, the chickens!

They’re weathering the icy cold just fine.

Hubbins did a little more insulating on the run so the heat would stay in better, and now it’s maintaining a 29-32 degree temp 24 hours. I’m going to make them some more oatmeal this morning to warm their tummies before they go out to play. I feel kind of silly for worrying about them so much. Yesterday, I read something about a woman who had one of her hens run off during a blizzard. She found the bird in a snowbank the next day, feet up, frozen – brought her inside, thawed her out, and the chicken is just fine now.

Strange, wonderful birds.

“The only animal you can eat after it dies AND before it’s born”

I read that on a tee-shirt somewhere.