Saturday, December 31, 2016

Puppy Proof

I know you were disappointed with my post yesterday. No puppy pictures! So here is Eddie, trying to cozy up to Cujo for a little snooze time.

Cujo is still not thrilled, as you can clearly see. Poor little Eddie just wants to share a little body heat. The paint on his head is bugging me. I cut his hair after I took this picture. Like cutting bubble gum out of your child's hair. I thought about using peanut butter, but given Toni Louise's great affection for the stuff ....... she might try to eat the puppy's head!

Since none of his siblings will keep the little guy warm, I took matters into my own hands. His "sweater" is made out of a sock that used to grace my foot. The heel was worn, so I just cut it off and cut two slits for his short legs. Perfect fit. I realize it is but a temporary solution and I really need a longer sock to cover his long body.

He has not learned to tunnel under covers yet. But he has learned to grab the tassel ends from the afghans hanging on the blanket rack! I have more puppy proofing to do!

Friday, December 30, 2016

A Chandelier In My Casket?

Having a slow start to the day. Sipping coffee and meandering down the aisles of Walmart via the internet, and to my amazement I find that one of the recent mark downs is a casket.

I was unaware that one could purchase a casket at Walmart. Maybe I need to drink more coffee ..... Okay, this item is not available for pick-up. Imagine picking up your casket and then maneuvering through the aisles, shopping. I suppose you could load the casket with merchandise ...... but I doubt you could use the self check-out!

This item comes in various colors and materials. As strange as Walmart selling caskets was, the "related items" displayed on the page was what really caught my eye. Chandeliers and lamps. Why? No more coffee sipping. I gulped it down to fuel the brain. How exactly would you hang a chandelier in a casket?

A lamp, albeit a very small one, might work. You know, just in case one wakes unexpectedly. But the chandelier might be bit much. It would take up too much space and wouldn't really "hang" with lid closed.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016


"Cujo, look at the puppy." I beg. He is not happy about sharing his world with Eddie. Oddly enough, Cujo should be used to having other animals around, since he was rescued from a hoarder. A hoarder of dogs. Then he came to live with me and 3 other dogs. Not to mention a giant cat.

He even went so far as to close his eyes to avoid looking at Eddie. No, he is one unhappy little dog. Cujo is apparently eating his feelings, because he has ballooned into a fat little sausage. I caught him swallowing the puppy food whole, so I wouldn't hear the crunch. He was okay getting close to Eddie while Eddie was eating!

Another thing to add insult to injury. I put a sweater on him. He was not happy about this. I was going through Oscar and Emmy's old sweaters to see if I could find one tiny enough for Eddie. Eddie shivers when he goes out. Oscar and Emmy had matching sweaters. Turtleneck sweaters. I put that one on and Cujo had a crying fit until I removed it. This one has a shorter neck, but he is still unhappy. Poor Cujo.

Purple and gold, Vikings colors. This was Emmy's. It is too big yet for Eddie. He crawled out of it easily. I did remove Cujo's orange sweater, as well. Oscar never appreciated my efforts to dress him, either. Emmy was so good about wearing whatever I dressed her in. I have high hopes for Eddie.

Now, I just need to train him to put his toys back in the bin. I doubt we can count on help from Cujo.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Puppy Love

The power went off last night for a few hours and interrupted our long winter's nap. Well, I was awakened and so was Eddie. He squirmed a little and just when I got him settled, HeWho acts strange at times, began patting down the bed in search of the puppy. He found him (in my arms) and began patting his head. Eddie took this to be an invitation to play.

I ended up getting up and locating candles. Eddie thought a midnight snack was in order, so he climbed into the dog food dish and proceeded to tie on the feed bad. It was 2:30 in the morning! Nothing to do, but wait until he ate and then take him out for a potty break.

So, as soon as we got up at 8 this morning and repeated our 2:30 routine, Eddie was ready to nap.
It is hard to see, but Wall-E is right behind him. Good thing, too, because Cujo decided to put Eddie in his place this morning. He nipped him pretty good. Poor Cujo is so upset at having to share my affections with another. He is okay with Wall-E having my affection, but he resents Toni Louise. He figures she has her own person and should need none of his.

After a good nap, (I took one, too), I decided to take advantage of the sunshine and paint a fence. Just getting a jump on Spring time chores. I have a feeling that this year's Spring weather will not be as nice as last year's.

In light of the morning's lesson from Cujo, I didn't want to leave Eddie alone with just Wall-E for protection, so I hunted down one of Emmy's old harnesses and though it wasn't a good fit, it served the purpose.

In cleaning out the utility room I came across some sage green fence paint. It was from my house in Minnesota and as unbelievable as it may seem, the paint was still good! It is at least 12 years old! The color is subtle enough to look like weathered cedar and I did not have much fence to paint.

I hooked the leash to a part of the fence that I wasn't going to be painting and proceeded to start brushing paint on the fence panels. Next thing I knew, Eddy had managed to loosen the Velcro and escaped from the harness. He stayed close to me until someone came up and he ran over to see what they wanted, then when the car left, he started to go after it.

I was beginning to wonder if taking him with me was such a good idea. He will have to learn to stand his ground with Cujo eventually. I called out, "Eddie, come back here." .......... AND HE DID!!!!!

He knows his name! Well, he was the only one there. But he came right back to me. We were down by the pond and most vehicles turn before they get to us. He saw several more turn and every time he would go about 10 feet from me and come back when I called him. Emmy would do the same thing.

The wind picked up and the sun moved and left us in shade. so I stuck Eddie in my sweatshirt and brought him back to get warm. As you can see in the picture. He gathered all the toys he could find and piled them up before he settled down to chew on the rope toy. Look close and you will see the paint on his sweet little head.

I am so smitten with this sweet puppy! As I write this, he is asleep among his toys and Cujo is nestled as close to me as he can possibly get. In answer to the question of Eddie's name. It was not my choice. He did not come with a name, but HeWho loves dogs as much as I do, said he looked like an "Eddie". I named all the other dogs, with the exception of Oscar and Wall-E. They were named when they came to me. All those seeking a puppy breathe fix are welcome!! This means you, Sioux!!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Santa Was Good To Me!!

Merry Christmas to me! This is Eddie. He is 8 weeks old and HeWho loves me spent yesterday on a mission to bring Eddie home. I am in love!

 Well, I was until I saw this picture of myself. Why didn't anyone tell me my hair was gray? The sun turns it blonde when I am gardening and I seldom study myself in the mirror. Where did those wrinkles come from??

But, who cares about a few wrinkles when you can hold this sweet little guy? Look a that face! He looks like my Emmy! He will grow to 8 to 10 lbs and has long hair just like my little Emmy.

He is so low to the ground I can hardly tell when he pees. He goes out with his bigger new siblings and I only know he peed when one of them rush over to sniff it.

Speaking of the rest of the pack ........ Toni Louise is having none of this puppy nonsense. She left the bed and shunned all of us by sleeping in our sitting room. She has zero maternal instinct.

Martha, the boy cat, showed his disapproval with a loud hiss and spit. Martha knows better than to scratch. He has moved into the office and looks at me disdainfully when I come in to check on him.

Cujo is really upset about the situation. He has never had to welcome a new animal into our home and he does not like this one bit. He refused to sleep in his usual spot and got on the other side of me last night. I was wedged between Cujo and Eddie, with Wall-E keeping watch by my feet at the foot of the bed.

Wall-E is tentatively checking the puppy out. He will play with him and run after him, while Cujo and Toni Louise stay as far away as they can. Wall-E is a good soul.

I placed a small bowl of puppy food on the floor for Eddie. His little legs look like they might be 2" long, so I knew he would not be able to eat from the communal bowl. He ignored the little bowl and just got in the big bowl to eat. He might look like my Emmy, but I sense a little Oscar there, too.

I give you fair warning ........ there will be so many puppy pictures headed to the land of Blog!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Surprise Gifts

All the boxes are packed and gone! While I was all set to have another marathon cookie baking day, it was not to be. Those last two batches killed the hand mixer and the stand mixer. The hand mixer has seen lots of use. It was my go to appliance unless I was willing to drag out the Oster Kitchen Center.

This machine has a sizable footprint, but it does everything. An entire lower cabinet is dedicated to holding the base and all the attachments. The food processor, the blender, the meat grinder. It is all bulky and sucks up space. I will admit that I was totally annoyed when I had to finish that second batch of cookie dough manually. I muttered and stirred. What the what, I asked myself as I labored over that thick sticky dough. Then I remembered that it was over 40 years old. And really, the only part that doesn't work is the mixer. The beaters will not stay connected. The motor is still good.

It is vintage. Maybe I will be able to find the mixer and beaters. The one beater is sort of mangled. Well, both of them, one more that the other. I set it up and got it going. Then I decided to handle another task, since I no longer had to hold the mixer. This is when the one beater came loose and was caught up in the other one before it was pulled free, as well. The ensuing noise was not as loud as it would have sounded if not for the earbuds and the audio book I was listening to. Oops.

I know what I will be getting for Christmas. A hand mixer. I will buy it myself and wrap it up. This way my sweet husband can be as surprised as he is when one of the children open a gift from "Mom and Dad". He will be as clueless of the contents as he has ever been. And I get what I want, while he gets to be surprised.  


Sunday, December 18, 2016

42 Years Ago

Yesterday we celebrated 42 years of wedded bliss.
I would be lying if I said it was all bliss, but the good outweighs the bad. As much as I complain make light of his shortcomings, I am well aware of my own. He is not afraid to point them out. He used to be careful when doing so, but I have mellowed with age. Like a fine wine (whine?).

We were homebound all day. Our road was not a priority for salting and plowing and they did not get to us until late afternoon. The interstate was passable, but getting to it was like skating in your vehicle. HeWho was called out a couple of times, but declined. One was a cab ride some 50 miles away. We both felt sorry for the people who needed to get a rental car, but they were in a warm and safe place. No one should have been driving in the mess, as tiny little white beads of ice was falling from the sky and adding to layer of ice on the road. It was so bad that HeWho has a McDonald's biscuit EVERY day did not get his morning fix!!

He did go out to help one of our kampers get to the interstate and he flagged down a plow to request some salt for our road. Then he went with another tow truck driver to help a neighbor out of the ditch. The car had been in the ditch for over 24 hours and the owner is older than we are, my kind hearted husband did not want him to drive the car up the hill to his house, so he did. (The occupants of the car were not in the car for that time, they were safe at home).

So, we were home most of the day, feeding wood to the wood stove. HeWho loves me gave me an Echo for our anniversary. I was unaware that I wanted one. Our daughter has one and she yells commands at it all the time. He must have been impressed with it. I will have something to talk to that will hear me. All this depends on someone programming the thing. Not me. HeWho has the box and instructions sitting on the table net to his recliner ..........

Wonder how long it will sit there? He says the print is too small to read and the light next to his chair does not work. One would have thought that being confined would have provide a perfect opportunity to do indoor things. I even suggested that he might want to help me go through all the plumbing supplies and sort them by size. He just looked at me. I am the organizer in this family ....

So we spent a quite day watching a movie and some Judge Judy. I did notice that every time I looked at him, he was eating. I must have tucked this little tidbit of information in the back of my mind. Late in the evening, I realized that he had hit the cookies I had planned to send to the kids!! He was not selective and had eaten a good many of every kind, with the exception of the coffee cookies. 

Today was spent in the kitchen. I sent him to get supplies for baking and started making cookie dough to chill. Then I made 2 huge batches of candy. Crockpot candy. It was easy enough to make. You just throw the baking chocolate, the almond bark and the chocolate chips in the crockpot on low for an hour and a half. Then stir it and add peanuts and pretzel pieces.

The only problem was finding enough flat surfaces to line with parchment paper. I made one chocolate batch and one white chocolate batch, Each batch yielded over 100 candies. While I was waiting for the chocolates to cook, I made two big batches of cookies. Ginger snaps and more coffee cookies. So my cookie sheets were tied up. I finally remembered a cabinet door that was in my "can't toss" pile. It was perfect to line with parchment paper and drop gobs of candy batter on.

For several hours I popped one pan in the oven while I rolled out the next pan. I rotated 3 big cookie sheets and made candy in between. When I got caught up I chopped an onion and some celery and a carrot, threw it all in the dutch oven  with a little olive oil and let it sweat down while I peeled some potatoes. Pulled out another batch of cookies and dumped some chicken broth on my veggies and let them simmer while I kept on with the cookie dough.

I am exhausted! But I have filled 3 boxes with goodies for my kids, just have one more box to fill and HeWho runs errands can go spend a fortune at the post office. I wanted to deliver these in person, but the icy roads and subzero temperatures in Minnesota had me rethink a road trip.

So, while I did all that cooking and two loads of laundry, one would think that someone else would have programmed the Echo. This did not happen. Guess I will have to do it myself. Tomorrow. On the phone with my son. He reads my blog sometimes. Do not think you can avoid my call just because you have been forewarned, Jeffrey!

Friday, December 16, 2016

I Won!

The weather did not warm up much and flurries twirled through the air as I ventured out to grab some wood. I had every intention of filling my wagon and the hand truck and wheeling the first load in.

That did not happen. The moisture was freezing as soon as it hit the ground and I was slipping and sliding as I walked to the wood pile. I grabbed as much wood as I could carry and very carefully made my way to the back door. I counted the pieces as I put them in the #2 wash tub net to the wood stove. I had nine pieces. That's all.

Just nine pieces and I STILL WON!!! HeWho loves to drive and not walk anywhere if he can help it, didn't even make it to town today! Did not fix his flat on the golf cart. The roads are treacherous and he spend a lovely afternoon with the discovery channel while I dithered in the kitchen.

Seems like I just got up and it is already dark. Tomorrow doesn't look much better.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Place Your Bets

I am tired of winter. The nasty driving conditions means I won't be able to see my kids before Christmas. They generously offered to receive cookies via mail. It is just not the same, though.

I ventured out this morning to grab some wood for the fire. Sixteen degrees out there, but the wind was not blowing. The minute the cold air hit my eyes they began tearing and cold drops ran down my cheeks, then froze. I had every intention of filling my wagon and pulling it to the back door. I just loaded my left arm and grabbed an extra piece and hurried back inside. My toes have not been warm since I left my bed this morning.

It is supposed to be warmer tomorrow and I plan to move some wood. I will use a wagon or even the hand truck. Whatever is available to me. That's how I roll. HeWho drives is planning to replace his flat tire on the golf cart, then load the trailer with wood and move it under the shelter that will keep it dry and close to the back door. I bet I move more than he does tomorrow.

I can tell you how the day will go. He will get up, fill his cold up with Diet Coke and head to McDonald's for his morning biscuit. I know. He will swallow all his daily pills first for his high cholesterol and blood pressure and gout. If there is a pill for it, he will take it. Better than changing his diet! But that is another story to tell another time.

Greasy biscuit and unhealthy beverage in hand, he will pull into the tow yard and amble in to chew the fat with his cronies. I should say here that he is older than the rest of him, so that makes him the wiser one, right? After he wastes some time there, he will come home, sometimes with a coffee for me. A bribe.

He will then poke around in the wood stove as he tries to get the temperature above 80. Playing in the fire will prompt him to go outside to the wood pile. He will stare at the tire for a time, you know, to determine a course of action. Whatever this course of action will be, I can guarantee it will involve a trip to town to purchase something.

By now I will have done some wood hauling on my own. He will admonish me, the little (or not so, as the case may be) woman to go inside and stay warm, that he will make sure we have wood! I will obediently head indoors to warm my hands. Not so much because he told me to, but that I will be ready for that specialty coffee he brought me. He will head out and ask me three times if I need anything from town. Upon leaving, he will advise me that I can text him if I think of anything.

I will go back out and haul more wood in his absence, and be on my second load of laundry and be planning dinner. It will be early afternoon before he gets that tire fixed .... and that is if all goes well. I will pull a wagon full as I push the hand truck full. If I make 4 or 5 trips, I should be able to stack a sizable load of wood by the back door.

Go ahead, place your bets.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Cookies and Frogs

After a miserable cold and dreary weekend, the sun is out. Still cold, but things seem a little brighter, cheerier and bearable with the sunshine.

I lost three good tenants this weekend. They moved on to another job site. Always makes me sad to see good tenants go. I was happy that I had already had two cookie baking marathons behind me and was able to fill tins with goodies to send along. I also made little salt dough ornaments. I made some with cinnamon and some with cloves. They smell so good. I had ordered special cookie cutters a few yeas ago and forgotten about them until I saw the recipe on Pinterest.

One of the cutters was a frog and we all know I love a frog or two. I decided to make some frog ornaments for my kampers. Painted them and gave them faces and personalities. I think they turned out good, if I do say so myself.

The other special cutter is, of course, a dachshund. I made about two dozen of those, intending to decorate my own tree with them. My tree is so small, it would be overwhelmed with dogs (kind of like my house).

So, this has been "locked" in here for over 24 hours. It saved, but I had to close down and reboot twice. I am no longer happy with my Wi-Fi. It seems to have hiccups.

I abandoned the computer most of yesterday and all day today. Lest you think I was wasting away watching soaps and eating bon bons, I was not. I was in the kitchen all the live-long day. Baking cookies and washing dishes. Maple bacon cookies, a double batch of ginger snaps, raspberry thumbprint cookies, maraschino cherry/chocolate
cookies, and cheesecake truffles. Oh, and some peanut butter chocolate fudge truffles, too.

I also did laundry and cooked dinner and just finished putting the second coat of polyurethane on my new kitchen island top made of reclaimed wood. Insomnia has been visiting lately and I have high hopes that all this activity will make me be able to sleep.

While I was busy in the kitchen, HeWho likes to eat any cookies that do not "look right", dozed in his chair while watching TV. His taste varies wildly. For awhile he was watching a documentary of war time weapons, then I noticed that he had switched to a Christmas movie on the Hallmark channel. Apparently there were quite a few cookies with imperfections that had to be eaten, because HeWho was not very hungry when I served dinner and he has now gone to McDonald's for a burger.

I am tired, but not sleepy, but I declined a burger, instead I will go to bed.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

I Don't Care

My Cujo gives me so much joy. How could anyone be cruel to that sweet face? Someone was before he came to live with me. Could have made him mean, but it made him scared and timid. This is the face I see every night before I go to sleep.

Thank goodness for my dogs. I would become a nasty sarcastic person if not for them. Ever watch Judge Judy? She has never been patient or willing to abide idiots. She is not mellowing with age. When either plaintiff or defendant tries to justify their case with a lot of extra information, she will simply say shout "I DON'T CARE!" She can get away with it, because she is the judge and her decision is final.

I want to be her for just one day. I want to tell the man on the phone making the reservation that I DON'T CARE what he plans to do before he gets here. I DON'T CARE what time he gets off work. I wonder how many times I would repeat that phrase in 24 hours.

I am in a foul mood today. The skies are gray, again. My toes are cold and I am sick of staying inside. My hands ache and I can't sew. I am sick of TV, even Judge Judy. I would get in my car and leave the property, but since being towed, I hesitate. It has had a brand new alternator installed by a professional and is just fine ....... I think.

Speaking of vehicles. Tis a well known fact that HeWho drives does like to purchase vehicles. When he acquired my current car, he took over my previous car and we then had five vehicles. My VW bug was working just fine and I loved that car, but after HeWho ruins cars drove it for a time, it became inoperable. Oh, it will start and run ..... as long as you don't stop anywhere. Can't open the driver's door and I am certain the electric windows no longer function. I thing the driver's door panel is off, because he was "fixing" it. There is a Ford F-150 pick-up sitting behind the barn (the barn being the receptacle of all the junk HeWho cannot part with) This truck needs an engine. I have heard that engines are really important.

There is a Saturn sedan parked in the front of the property with a For Sale sign. This is the only vehicle HeWho managed to empty and wash. My nagging skills seem to have lost their touch and I will need to work on that, because HeWho is not Jay Leno and these vehicles are not collectibles.

Despite all that, he bought another truck. A Ford F-150 with 2 gas tanks. I noticed the two gas caps right away, with my eye for detail. Somehow, purging myself of this new information is not helping my mood. I think perhaps I should just go back to bed with my furry friends and start the day again after a nap.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Just Call Me Sherlock

I took a little walk yesterday through the tent area and came upon this. I was baffled. A car/truck door propped up with a shovel next to a fire pit. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that it was a fire pit inside a larger pit and in bad need of shoveling out.

Here you can see things from a different angle. I am perplexed.

A rake in a stump adds more drama. This definitely deserves an investigation. I will employ all my skills to uncover the mystery.

I grabbed my phone and texted the master of my universe and demanded to know what was going on in the tent area. He didn't even try to play dumb. He knew it was there.

I was wondering if maybe we had a squatter claiming his homestead. Odd things seem to find me, after all. Still a mystery why someone would begin their nest with an abandoned car door and some yard tools while claiming two fire pits made up of old wheels. I am feeling a DIY rustic theme.

Mystery solved. Turns out on of our camp workers was downing trees in that area on a cold windy day. He found the car door in the woods (this means an intruder was trespassing here and dumped this door on my property, but that is another headache for another day). Scott (camp worker) is quite resourceful. He created a wind break with the car door and built a fire to stay warm while he cut up the downed trees and split the wood! Not too sure about the rake .......

Friday, December 2, 2016

Keep Up With Your Keys!!

Okay, I have to confess that I may have taken on more than I can handle. I am still working at least 8 hours a day in the utility room. Every time I think I have decided where everything is to go ... it changes. I think I have moved every set of shelves twice.

As of today, every wall and every surface has been painted or scrubbed down and is in place. I spent the better part of the afternoon and evening sorting out various containers of nails, screws, bolts and nuts. Not to mention door hinges, knobs, drawer pulls and all sorts of odd findings and discoveries. I didn't actually count the number of screw drivers and wrenches .... yet. The number of drill bits boggles the mind. I will count those, too. Tomorrow, maybe. My head hurts and my hands are dried out from the bleach water I used to wipe everything down with.

HeWho answers the calls of those unfortunate enough to lock their keys out of their vehicles, came home with a pizza, and left immediately to unlock the police cruiser for one of the local police departments. I don't find this reassuring for some reason.