Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Where are we going?

Going for a ride? Epi was on the run when Nate opened the door of his truck. This very hopeful poodle hopped in and made herself at home!

I'm still alive!

Wow! It's been awhile! Spring has brought about many things to keep us busy! Nate and I got up at 4:00 am the other morning to go scout for turkeys. We didn't see any, but the sunrise was beautiful! It was so neat to hear the birds start singing - I mentioned to Nate that it sounded like an orchestra warming up. He said that it is called the "Dawn Chorus" So pretty! The weather has been very warm - it was snowing one day, and 80 degrees the next and 80-90 for the rest of the week! We have been busy outside, so not much has been done inside. Confession: I am back to Day 2 of keeping my sink shiny! I feel ready, though, to start again. Practice makes perfect, right? Saturday, there was an auction here in town at the storage units. They were auctioning off units that hadn't been paid on. I went to see if I could find a rototiller, snowblower, sewing stuff, or a really nice queen bed. OK, so I was hoping a little too much. It was pretty much all trash! Papers that should have been recycled, rather than paid to be put in storage. I didn't buy anything, but spent the day helping Nate's aunt and uncle who bought 2, because she wants to put things on ebay. I was cringing at the thought of what the insides of the houses looked like, and realizing that I don't want to have a cluttered house - which I have already decided, but needed a reminder.

Crafty posts will be coming soon. I can't ignore them much longer!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Deerkeys and an Impromptu Photo Shoot

In our area, there is suspected to be a mythical creature known as a "deerkey". This animal changes shape from a deer into a turkey and back. If you are out hunting for turkeys, it will take its form as a deer, and vice versa. We went out for a hike yesterday scouting for turkeys. Because we were just scouting, and not hunting yet, we saw the creatures in both forms. Next week when Nate goes out, they will all be in the form of deer.

Last week, we went for another hike with the dogs. The sunset was so pretty on the walkway, I just had to take some pics of the poodles. I have so many of them looking in every single direction BUT the camera! At least I got this one. This past week has been so nice and sunny and warm! April showers are coming for the next week, which is OK - we put in grass seed and peas, and I would like to see them come up soon!

Day 11 and counting!

My sink is still clean! This really is a record for me! Since my downstairs was cleaned for Easter, I have also gotten into the habit of keeping it that way. I now have a morning cleaning routine that includes emptying the dishwasher, washing the breakfast dishes, sweeping every other day, and doing the laundry. This is so awesome! I am so much calmer with a clean house, I have been able to do more reading, and had some friends over for a spontaneous dinner without freaking out!

There is a downside to this, though. I don't want to get my sewing stuff out and make a mess! My crafty side is absolutely begging to be let out! I think this is a case of "be careful what you wish for".... it may be worth it....jury is still out....

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

We had my parents and sister over for dinner as well as Nate's aunt and grandfather. What a fun day it was! I did a major clean for it - but now I have to create a schedule so I can maintain it. I've taken a day off on Flylady - but I will still shine my sink. It's probably something like "make your bed" which A.) didn't happen because I was the first one up working on the meal today and didn't get back to our room, and B.) because the poodles ended up staying the afternoon in the bedroom, and IF it was made to begin with, their tantrums would have made it otherwise. (And they throw REALLY good tantrums) As it is, there is torn paper and plastic all over the floor that I need to clean up. :)

Here are pictures of the cake I made for Easter. It was a carrot cake with cream cheese topping topped with these cute animals. I think the pigs were my favorite.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Flylady Day 2

"Get dressed to lace up shoes....shine your sink before you go to bed"

Said sink is shined for the second day in a row. They say that you need to do something consistently for 21 days before it becomes a habit...19 days to go!

I got dressed today (like always, aren't you glad?) but not to lace up shoes. Nope...not gonna happen. I have always been a barefoot kind of girl...would love to add pregnant to that, but will have to be patient on that count. Lace up shoes mean going outside and having fun - hiking, bike riding, playing tennis, going out to the barn to see the animals (a non-issue for wearing shoes - tetanus and worms are not my thing)...not for staying in the house. I always take my shoes off when inside. My feet just like being free! My grandfather said that he was raised to keep shoes on in the house. I was impudent and replied that he didn't train his daughter very well - I learned it from her. He laughed and said that it wasn't for lack of trying! This is the first time I have tried a mirror shot and will definitely have to work on my technique!

My darling husband was folding laundry tonight and found an infant jumpsuit I had found at one of our local thrift stores. It really is too cute.

Isn't it adorable? I am a sucker for smocking. Would love to add that to the thousand things I want to do. Maybe I'm jinxing myself, but I don't believe it. Anywhoo, Nate picked it up and asked if it wasn't a little too small. I pouted and said that he had mentioned that I'm his "little wife" (not true). He responded by saying that I was - he just thought the hips on the jumpsuit were a little big for me (again, not true, but definitely a boost of confidence :) ) I think Brad Paisley said it best when he said it isn't a lie - it's love :)

It's not fair!

Why do jellybeans have to be so good? I have had a hate relationship with them since my childhood - I was not into having candy taste like spices.

I grew to like Starburst jellybeans in high school, and went looking for them yesterday.

None were to be found!

I tried the Jolly Rancher ones and they are soooo addicting! They will work until my Girl Scout cookies come in!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Accountability Plea!

I really need some help and I think you guys will give it to me! I tend to be messy - not compulsive hoarding messy, but just messy! As I have said before, I clean all at once, and then don't from cleaning overload. I am trying FlyLady's system, again, and am going to do it this time! I prefer my house to be neat, because it is so calming, but I don't know where to start, which increases my stress level. I have tried the system before, but it seems so simple, I jump right in, and burn myself out. This time I am starting at Day 1 - Shine your sink...that's it. Now my yellow flowers can enjoy a clean sink!

Before I started on the sink, I had to deal with what was IN the sink. So I washed my dishes and put them into my..umm...

built in dish-drainer, yeah, that's right! Then I scrubbed the sink, dried it, windexed it, and oiled it with some olive oil and a few drops of lavendar essential oil. It smells so good right now! I know, it sounds like overkill, just for a sink, but its so rewarding!

I guess I am asking for help getting and maintaining a clean house. Any suggestions would be appreciated! My husband deserves a clean house because he lives here all the time. Why do I clean it just for temporary guests or when I get around to it?

On a sad note, Nate didn't get the position he had been offered because the funding hasn't come through. At this point we weren't too surprised - it has been over a month that they have been waiting for it, and it was announced that several thousand state jobs will be cut over the summer. I am so thankful that we both have steady jobs right now, that I am not too upset about it. It would have made for a great summer, but looking at the bigger picture, all of our needs are being met and we have each other! The Binghamton shooting earlier in the week hit pretty close to home as its about an hour away and when we have major shopping needs is one of the cities that we go to. Add the shooting today in MI and all the others lately. People are getting so frustrated, and you can't tell what is safe anymore. I have purposed once again to LIVE, instead of being fearful of what may happen.

My Pretties

Spring is showing her face again! I have been pestering Nate for some pussy willow branches for a couple of weeks now, but we haven't seen any that were easily attainable. Wednesday, we went up to my parents and I was able to spy some that were starting to blossom on the side of the road. On our way home, Nate cut me some, and I bought a flower arrangement at P&C. They are now set in sand and river stones - I really love the look, but there is too much going on in it. It needs to be simplified. Any suggestions?

The yellows by the sink were what was left of the arrangement that I didn't use in the above one. I like it. So nice and cheery!

The gerber daisies are enjoying some much needed growing light. I repotted them into their pot now which is a big teacup. Oh the amount of caffiene that would go into a cup like that!

Some of my seeds are starting to come up - thanks for the kick in the pants, Shell! I have been meaning to since February - but haven't taken the step. So far the mesclun, buttercrunch and brussel sprouts are up!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Our trip...

Last Wednesday, we went to Buffalo, then went on to Niagara Falls. On our way out we stopped at Montezuma Wildlife Refuge. The day was chilly and rainy, so we didn't see much. Once we got to the Canadian side of the falls, the sun came out, and we were able to walk around and see the rainbows. On our drive back Thursday, we went back through Montezuma as it was a much nicer day. Right now, the park is filled with migrating birds. We were able to watch this blue heron fishing at a distance of less than ten feet. So Cool! There are several pairs of bald eagles that nest there, but we only saw one in the distance. There were also coots and northern shovelers that I don't believe I have seen before.

Great Blue Heron

The Hunting Stance

Red-Winged Blackbird

Northern Shovelers

Red Squirrel


It was a great "weekend in the middle of the week." We had a blast!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Little Fish

Our fish population more than doubled today - not the best timing as we may be moving soon, but they are so cute! These guys are Aulonocara stuartgranti cichlids - Peacock Cichlids from Lake Malawi in Africa. The females stay a drab brown color, while the dominant male turns gorgeous shades of blue and yellow. They are mouthbrooders - when the male and female court, the female lays her eggs on a smooth rock, then pecks at the male's dorsal fin. He fertilizes the eggs, and she picks them back up in her mouth where they hatch about two weeks later. They would stay there, and gradually start to leave her mouth. We flush them out, where they can grow in a baby net until they are big enough to be released into the tank. These guys came from two mamas. One is a younger first time female - she had 7 babies. The other is our oldest female - she looked huge, but I didn't think there were 40 in there!

This is the male in a quart jar to give an idea of his size. I love that blue!

Saturday, April 4, 2009