A Grand Way to Spend a Gloomy Day!

We adults often charge ourselves with being too “set in our ways”. You know the feeling….you sit and watch the same TV show, or perhaps sneak off after dinner to enjoy the ice cream that you have been nibbling at for a week….Somehow, this strange feeling of guilt creeps in, making you feel so awful. Then, you realize that you are deriving a sense of pleasure and you suddenly become aware that the behavior has become a *habit*. And, now that the behavior has been properly named, you realize that you are officially “set in your ways”.

Ah, not to feel alone!

Michelle had her friend Katie for a sleepover. Katie has been here before. Several times! However, for some reason, the kids remembered back to one time when Katie came, and they had a grand waffle party, complete with Angus, the Scottie, sitting in a youth chair, thoroughly enjoying the whole scene! (and some food!)

So…..when the kids got up, they were persistantly insistent that I make waffles so they could have a waffle party with TWO Scotties! Now, I really need to check the date on the FIRST party, as I think it was probably three years ago, when Angus was about a year old.

One of the most noticable differences between the first party and this one is that the kids are so much older now! And, it seemed like having the pup at the table was enough to make them happy the first time around….note the MP3 player atop the table this time……AND, see how the poor abused pups were invited to a BARE (for them, anyway) table!!!

Angus is on the left, and Murphy is in the youth chair. Look at Angus….head propped up on the table as though he is thinking the CUTER he is, the better his chance of getting SOMETHING!!!

Murphy just keeps looking at the table, as though *perhaps* food will appear……..

And Angus (very clever boy that he is) decides to “sit pretty” on the CHAIR!

Well, Angus’s ploy worked, because the Scottie Charm eventually overuled the three hungry tummies sitting at the table! The kids got up and prepped two small plates….one each, with a tiny waffle topped with real maple syrup and fresh whipped cream!

Murphy thought he was in waffle heaven! He wolfed his serving down…….

whereas Angus was a bit more dainty, taking some time to savor the flavor! (notice Murphy)
Finally, Murphy could take it no longer and volunteered to HELP down the waffle!

It really was a gloomy day here in the Bristolwood, complete with a quite dense fog outside. We were toasty and warm, heated not only by the woodsotve, but also the love that comes from being the owner of two adorable little Scottie boys who add so much to our lives!!!

When Things Get Turned Around

Ah, life is much better, now!

The little doggie boys are doing fine. I have no idea what upset both of their stomachs so, but they are both just as fine as can be.

We located the missing oils! AND, we now have them in our possession! Hurrah!!! We discovered that they went to Buffalo. They were just hanging out there, and the company decided to just send them back to the Bronx from whence they came. This is where we entered the picture.

Apparently, our company sent out another trucking company to acquire the oils from “da Bronx”. (hmmmm….wonder if our company is *chicken* to drive in the city?) So, the driver from the “sent” company must have been confused, as he then sent my order off with a DIFFERENT company than MINE! The oils made it all the way to Buffalo, when we called to find out. They were about to send them back…..We asked them if they would deliver them instead. Well, they wanted to charge us three TIMES the amount! Youzers! We called a gadzillion times…..finally, between OUR company, THEIR Buffalo and Bronx terminals, we were able to settle for the proper amount, and we received the oils yesterday, early afternoon! Fortunately, this is NOT typical.

After getting the oils, we were off to Rochester. We had to visit my mother in law. She had a problem with the TV in her bedroom. So, we grabbed a new one for her and delivered it to her.
We also needed to redo the vent we installed on her roof. The brackets needed to be replaced, so Ben and I got up on the roof to fix it. We got there late in the afternoon, and BOY, was it CHILLY up there. To add a bit of insult to injury, Ben was up there making a MOVIE with his little MP3 player…..what a corker! BTW, the little Archos MP3 player we got from Sam’s Club is phenomenal! It cost only $167 and it is amazing. It plays music, can be used as a camera or camcorder, (although only 1.6 pixels?) stores pictures, AND plays movies! It is 20 gig. Ben has been having the time of his life with that little player! It sure is cute and FUN!

Yesterday was Mark’s birthday, so we are two down, two more to go! I made him his favorite food for lunch….grilled Buffalo style chicken breasts (with hot sauce and bleu cheese dressing on the side), coleslaw, and brussel sprouts. (Michelle BEGGED me for those…isn’t that funny?)

After sitting on the roof at my mother in law’s house late yesterday afternoon for probably about an hour, I was ZAPPED when we got home. (all that fresh air, I guess!) I was too tired to even write!

Today’s agenda is to secure the camper for the winter. I hate doing that, as I often have these funny ideas about going camping in the winter. Ah well….I am not real fond of camping in the summer at campgrounds, as the (VERY often overwhelming) campfires kind of get to me. I love a LITTLE whiff of oak or hickory smoke now and then, but when you drive through great clouds of smoke, looking for your site, it is a wee bit too much! hehehe The camping “culture” can often be kind of humorous……

We All Needed a Break!

Yes, indeed, we did, so we DID! Take a break, that is!

We spent today just taking it easy, as I think we were all running on reserve! The kids did some schoolwork, but we decided not to run around or even do anything that took any effort. It was just an easy day all the way around….. Michelle disappeared for awhile…I had heard the front door close, so I peaked out to see what she was up to. She is so funny. She had taken both dogs outside, along with a box and packing supplies…WHAT was she up to?

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this one should explain itself well! Michelle proclaimed that Angus was tired of his wee small brother

So, Where Have I Been?

Well, too busy!

This past weekend, we were busy, as we celebrated Michelle’s birthday. Saturday night, we were off to take the kids skating. We are fortunate to live not too awfully far from a Christian center that has teen skates the first Saturday of every month. We stopped at Ponderosa for dinner…..ewwww…..we won’t do that again!
Oh, and one smallish problem…BEFORE the kids could go, they both needed new roller blades. So we popped over to a WalMart that was a good distance out of the way. The guy in sporting goods said they do not carry roller blades. HEY! HOW could a WalMart Superstore NOT carry roller blades? Ugh…he told us to check Dick’s Sporting Goods….only another 20 miles or so away…NO way. So, we went to a K Mart and they had them. Phew.

We got back late Saturday night. Sunday, we went out for Michelle’s birthday, and that was a bust. But, we had an ice cream cake at home and everything was fine!

Monday is a blur. I was SO incredibly busy with my business, I thought I was going to sit down and BAWL like a baby. You cannot believe how happy I was that we had to run out late in the afternoon! However….Mark had made an appointment to have the new cap for the new truck installed at 11 am on Tuesday morning. One more slight issue.

We needed to install the Bedrug! If you have a truck and have never seen one of these, you really must take a look. When we bought our first Chevy truck five years ago, Mark did a ton of research to find the perfect liner for the back. He finally settled on the Bedrug. So, we had our new one sitting in its box in the garage, It takes about 2 hours to install. So…..

I began the install at about 6 pm. Thankfully, I had washed the parts that needed to be washed on Sunday afternoon, when I backed the truck into the garage to prepare it. The temps have to be about 68 for the heavy duty velcro to “take” so you cannot imagine how HAPPY I was to build a nice warm fire in that fully insulated garage! The warm temps outside were also a bonus. We had to do a few other little tasks, but I was back in the house for the night by 9:30.

Oh, before I forget….here are some pics of the Bedrug…

This is the finished project.

Here is a picture of the driver side panel. You can see that Bedrug makes the install a breeze, as every little recess and obtrusion made in the pickup bed is accounted for by this product. When you receive the Bedrug, you get two pieces; the floor, and the sides. There is a giant zipper that you put together and it forms the entire back! The rest is so easy, as you place velcro onto designated points of the truck and the liner. It is so quick and easy, and within a couple of hours, you have a beautiful rug that can be washed when dirty. It fills in all of the “valleys” in the back, making the truck bed totally flat and COMFORTABLE! The kids and I actually slept on the old one one night!

So, after all of the stress from the business, I crawled into the back of the pickup and worked on installing the Bedrug. By the time I was finished, I was so exhausted, I felt like rolling over in the truck bed and just passing out. However, I found the energy to head into the house and crawl into bed…..

At about 10pm, Michelle SQUAWKED that one of the dogs had diarrhea on her rug in her room. I remember vaguely calling out to her, “Just clean it up!”. Little did I know……I was awakened at 2 am by my cell phone ringing. I made my way to my purse on the floor and snatched the phone out, toying with the idea of opening the window and lobbing the blasphemous contraption far into the blackness of the night. Being a rather responsible adult, however, I answered it only to find that Mark had fallen asleep in his chair and was calling to tell me that Angus messed on the floor in the office.

So, I trudged down the stairs, wondering why I was being punished for only wanting to SLEEP! I cleaned up the mess and sprayed on the Nature’s Miracle. I headed back to bed, when Mark advised perhaps Angus should be kept with me. OK….I carried him upstairs and made up a little bed for him on the couch in the bedroom. I was beginning to drift off once again, when I suddenly heard this “cccggghhhhfff” noise….and Angus jumped off the couch. I turned on the light, and Angus had vomited on the couch. Once again, I ventured down the stairs, grabbing the paper towels and Nature’s Miracle. I cleaned the couch, and literally fell back into the bed.

Suddenly, I became aware of a “wetness” on my nightgown….again, I turned the light on, only to find that apparently BOTH Scotties were sick. Murphy had apparently “oozed” little dots of diarrhea on the sheets. I grabbed all of the bedding off the bed and raced down to the basement to begin laundry detail.

By 3:30, I had resigned myself to the fact that I was not going to be able to get any further sleep. By 6 am, all of my laundry, (not just the bedding) was washed, dried, folded and put away. I had to get everyone up by 8 so we could leave for the new truck cap at 9. Oh, and since we were heading halfway to Buffalo, we called my parents and made plans to meet for Michelle’s birthday since we were unable to connect on her birthday. We were to meet at 2. Oh, AND, while we were at it, I needed some chemicals which I could pick up not too far away.

I got everyone up and dragged my sorrowful body out to the truck several times….loading items into the new bed liner. I decided that since the dogs had been ill during the night, I would bring along their crates and put them inside while we were away. That way, were they to be sick again, it would be “contained”. With everything secured, we were finally ready to shove off at about 9:15.

Ah yes….as fate would have it, Angus hung his little head over the cup holder, and vomited again. By this point, lack of sleep had turned me from my cheerful self to a downright logical thinking person. I grabbed Angus and his little padding, instructed Michelle to bring Murphy along, too and grabbed both crates from the back of the truck. Mark was thinking he was hallucinating as I took the dogs into the house with crates in tow. I placed the crates near one another on the kitchen floor, secured the dogs, and gave each one a cookie and a little drink of water. I turned on a nightlight and told them we would be home in “several hours”.

After cleaning the yellow vomit off my seat….yes, Angus let loose again as I removed him from the truck….we were finally on our way at 9:30. The ride there was totally uneventful. That is, until Mark backed the truck into place for the new cap to be hoisted on. A guy who was there to help asked if we “knew” our right brake light was hanging by a wire? I jumped out and looked…what a bummer….a BRAND NEW truck with a light falling OFF? The guy who owned the business looked at it, and said apparently, someone tightened the (PLASTIC) holder so tightly, it cracked the holder, making the light loose until it fell out of place!

The cap was put on, and the guy who sold it was incredible. He is only 24 and owns his business with a really cute house next door and was just married. He wired the light in the new cap effortlessly, then used body tape to patch our brake lamp into place. We were on our way again by about 12:30. Mark had found a Chevy garage that could replace the light, but we would be too late if we went there. So, we picked up my chemicals and began making our way to meet my parents. It looked like we were going to be nearly 1/2 hour late. My mom called to tell me that the restaurant we had planned to meet at was GONE! Good GRIEF!!! My parents said not to hurry….they would look around for another restaurant.

We made it to the mall where we were to meet about 25 minutes late. As we passed down the road, we saw many different restaurants, so I asked if we should go to the Olive Garden, since it was a stone’s throw away. My parents agreed it would be good, so we ate there. It was so good to get their great salad, and it just kept coming. Since I had not eaten all day, (remember, I had gotten up at 2 am, and it was now 3 pm.) I was hungry enough to eat my fist. After we were done, my dad brought in TWO birthday cakes. A yellow one. And, a chocolate one!

As it always happens, we giggled and laughed and had a good time with my parents. We left the restaurant and headed home.

At one point along the way, Mark became very upset. I had been leaning back with my eyes closed, so was unaware of what had happened. He had seen a car on the side of the road. It looked like the car had collided with a deer, and the deer was not dead…it was bloodied and flailing about on the side of the road. The car was just sitting there with its headlights on the deer, probably hoping that it was injured enough to not try hopping up. Poor Mark. Things like that upset him tremendously, but he had further troubles ahead!

As we drove on, the rain began to pour down, making the unfamiliar roads (secondary, as opposed to traveling the thruway) even more trying. We did arrive safely home at about 8:45.

Now, I raced towards the house, filled with anxious anticipation as to what I would find…Murphy was in his little crate with no problems whatsoever. He was in fine shape, but his little crate moved along the tile floor as I edged near to it! Angus had only a small little mess way over on one side of his cage. He had pushed his blanket far from the scene! How funny! Both dogs looked so happy as they danced about after being released from their crates! I decided not to feed them until this morning, just to make sure their tummies were settled. I did, however, give each of them one cookie before they went to bed.

Murphy slept in until 6:30. Unheard of for him! I wondered if he had been stressed yesterday, to the point that he slept like a log last night! Who knows?

Oh, here is a picture of the new cap!

And, the broken lamp!

Today there were two *major* items on the table. One was to get a new brake light installed under warranty. Secondly, I was excited because our new WalMart Superstore was opening this morning! I know….HOW could that be exciting? Well, I just like buying groceries there, and they often have some cute things for the kids.

After packing orders today, I went up to take a bath and get ready to leave. Michelle came upstairs and told me “Daddy said we have a problem.” I went downstairs to find that the trucking company I contract sent a second party trucking firm to acquire some oils from a company I buy from. Well, the secondary truck driver REALLY botched up the order, and my oils are now floating about somewhere in the state of confusion! My order that was to arrive tomorrow will now be rerouted once it is established exactly WHERE it is!

After a slight case of heartburn from the aforementioned situation. we were off. I had to get the service manager of the “local” (16 miles away) Chevy garage to approve the replacement of the broken light on the truck. He told me it was VERY unusual for such a thing to happen. Thinking on my feet (which I rarely do), I retorted it was VERY unusual to be driving a BRAND new truck and have the light fall out, dancing about on the bumper for who KNOWS how many miles. He was quiet for a time….then, commented that we had the new cap installed? I was ready to SCREAM as I told him the light was broken BEFORE the cap was even put on. He told me he guessed there was no reason not to replace the light as there was no obvious damage. Gosh, I felt like a PIRATE! Does EVERYONE on earth lie???

We headed to the new WalMart and enjoyed looking around. We bought some honey turkey which I love from the deli, as well as all the furnishings to make some subs for supper. Upon completion of casing out the new store, I checked out. My total of $249 seemed awfully high, but I did buy a number of some higher priced items.

As I was making the subs for supper, I glanced down at the deli bag the turkey came in. I didn’t have my glasses on, but it sure looked like that turkey was AWFULLY expensive! I grabbed my glasses and nearly fell to the floor upon realizing I had been charged (a mere) $93.46 for my 1.12 pounds of turkey!!!! I promptly called the sore and alerted them. The manager apologized quite profusely, noting someone must have entered a faulty PLU. I cannot imagine anything in the deli selling for $85 a pound, but who knows? So, another trip to WalMart is in order to straighten out the deal.

I am off to bed now. I pray that life will settle down into a more “ho hum” pattern, but I don’t know. There is still my oil wandering about. And my credit that needs to be given. And, can you imagine what tomorrow might bring?

I am counting blessings tonight. For health. For healthy children. For healthy dogs. And, for a much better tomorrow!

Lubs Dem Apples!

The other night I posted about my baked apple recipe….and went to bed feeling very hungry and deprived! So, I decided that since these apples ARE apples, and they have goodies that are mostly *breakfast* food, they should be eaten for breakfast!

My kids LOVE these things! What fun to wake up to the scent of apples and goodies baking in the oven! My daughter, Carly, called this morning to ask for the recipe since she was already downstairs, and didn’t have access to her computer. She began thinking of new additions to the recipe while we spoke….she added some vanilla syrup and apple pie spice! She was doing some work on her house today, and as she told me about that when she called late this afternoon, I forgot to ask about the apples…..bet they were good, though!

My Scottie soaps are on their way and I will wrap and send out 200 bars of Cinnamon and Clove bars this coming week. Then, my soap making self can slow down just a bit, making a small batch of the 10 different Scottie varieties……I will probably just make a small batch of 24 soaps each day. That way, I will be able to have some control over my swirlies, and I always feel a bit more confident with smaller batches.

We need to winterize the camper….quickly! We had such a surprise when the temps turned from fairly comfortable to really frosty! We had not had a good hard frost, then yesterday, late in the day, we had a snowstorm! The temperatures plummeted downward and we were shocked that the snow, albeit a rather skimpy amount, stuck! Now, I heard the weatherman announce that the temperatures this time next week will be pushing towards the 70 degree mark. Such wild swings……


What does one do when one gets bored? Well, around here, we play with the dogs and get crazy!

Now, in looking at these pictures that we took a couple of days ago, can you IMAGINE where Charles Schultz ever came up with the idea of Snoopy dancing gleefully with his nose raised high in the air?

I Can’t Believe it is November!

Does anyone know where this year has gone? I think I somehow misplaced it! Every year, I think I am going to enjoy the months of September and October more than ever before. And, every year, those months slip by so quickly!

November is a busy month for us. Not only the wonderful anticipation of Thanksgiving, but several birthdays….Michelle’s, then Mark’s, then Carly’s, then my mom’s! How is that for busy?

It seems that with the advent of November, the cresendo building up to the Christmas holidays is so exciting!

I know that for many people, this time of the year is lonely, and even unbearable. For those who suffer pain at this time, I pray that God will grant peace and love like they have never known before. I pray for a great outpouring of love and compassion for those who surround these folks, and that they would be inclined to share the love and joy of the season.

I enjoy the short days…I sometimes feel like I am the only person on planet earth to say that, as so many people tell me they get depressed by the longer periods of darkness. This is the time of year that I pull out the old Christmas classic movies and enjoy them all over again! I love White Christmas and It’s A Wonderful Life and all the others from long ago. Last year, I bought Little Women, and although it isn’t technically a Christmas story, I watch that as well! I light candles and just enjoy the warm and calming feeling that surrounds their glow….

I enjoy going to the stores and seeing them getting geared up for the holiday season. The shelves appear to be swollen as though pregnant, and about to burst! And, all the displays! Oh, I could never grow weary of looking at all the trees….even the artificial ones seem to glow so happily.

OK, I will stop for now, and get back to the business of the day!

Every good breeder of animals knows that although they give their litters the greatest care and love, eventually, the little ones must leave and go off into the world…into the hands of those who would choose them! And, even though I have never been so fortunate to have helped whelp a litter, I DID make many, many bars of Scottie Dog soaps!

Today was spent getting their “paperwork” in order! We used the new laser printer to print dozens and dozens of labels, giving pertinent information for the soaps! I sat on the floor, working to make sure each little Scottie bar was tucked safely inside its box, ready to make its journey to places unknown!

As I surveyed all the boxes, I couldn’t help but find my mind wandering off…..wondering where each box with a Scottie soap would wind up!

Each bar of soap is tucked into a little kraft box, nestled in a bed of french vanilla paper shreds. After confirming each little Scottie was snugly packed inside, I pulled some of the shreds up over the top of the soap protecting the top of the bar in the event that they get jostled about in shipment!

Finally, the labels were mounted, and a little golden seal was applied to insure the box would remain closed.

My little soaps are all wrapped up and ready to leave….I just need to get them into their shipping boxes and send them off!

These soaps were so much fun to make, and the wrapping was a lot of fun! It was a lot more interesting than cutting and applying cigar bands! (which is what I always do for my regular soap bars)

Ah, there is one more thing I wanted to add here….The other day, I found some very sad-looking Empire Apples that had been left in a bowl on the table. I suddenly (uhoh!) got this brainstorm…..I mixed about 2 tablespoons butter, 1/4 cup flour and 1/2 cup of oatmeal together. I then took a sharp knife and bored a hole into the middle of each apple, cutting out all the seeds. I also cut a little off the top of each apple to make a nice little “cup” to put the dry mixture in. I “stuffed” each apple with the mix, pushing it all the way down to the bottom of the apple. I placed these on a sheet of foil on a baking sheet. Then, I poured a nice helping of real maple syrup over the top of each apple, allowing it to go down through the dry mix. Finally, I grabbed the foil up and made a big “pocket”, so the apples wouldn’t dry out. I baked them at 350 for about 45 minutes. At that point, I pulled the foil back so the “stuffing” could get browned a bit. After removing from the oven, allow to cool, then top with fresh whipped heavy cream. This was terrific and it gave the apples such a good flavor, as opposed to just “plain” baked apples! Oh, and one more way to add even more flavor? Next time, I am adding some chopped pecans!