Friday, December 28

RED LETTER DAY TODAY

Today was a really cool day. A really GREAT day to be exact.

Had the entire day to work, goof off, and run errands with my husband as the girls spent the night with an Aunt.
We worked in the barn, went to pick up the meat from the pig we had processed at the butchers, went to get my

UPDATED COMPUTER
from the media place... and I am now the proud owner of a WINDOWS 98 with a CD burner and a 3 way copier,scanner,printer.
(part of my Christmas present from my husband and his parents. I am on a high.

I didn't think I really was missing much, until I logged on tonight and WOW - so much new stuff to play with. I havent firgured out the CD re-writer quite yet, though thanks to MORPHEUS I am learning how to download MP3 files.

The girls already have their lists of music they want me to get for them.

So yeah - today was a good day.

EXCEPT for the fact that we are under a snow EMERGENCY tonight..... potentially 12 inches by tomorrow evening.
AAK. I hate snow. I shouldn't complain though...at least I don't live in Buffalo. (hey that rhymes)

Our best friends will be starting home from Florida tomorrow too... funny how many times I have went to call then and see what they were doing, only to remember that they were gone. drats. I am sure there will be lots of catching up to do once they get home.
I was jealous...wishing I could be in Florida but NOT NOW! I have my new toy and it's better than any Barbie Dreamhouse, lemme tell ya!

well, my files should be almost done, I better go see!

Tuesday, December 25

'bout forgot

My kids and husband tried to fool me too.....
They wrapped a big square box (just about computer size) and put it under the tree. They then configured some more boxes to look like a new keyboard and a monitor. Funny thing was, I didn't even notice it until I unwrapped them! They were sure I was shaking and snooping to try and figure it out.
Too bad for them I was all caught up in my own surprise.

I also didn't give you a barn update. this will be a very prevalent topic in the days/weeks/months to come as we have 17 ewes that are expectant mothers. Between those 17, we should have 30 lambs running around and wreaking havoc in the barn soon.

The first ewe is due anytime. Legitimately, she should lamb on or after Jan 1 for us to utilize her lambs as show prospects. We are hoping she can clench until Monday night!

As a rule, the ewe's don't generally show ME any signs of impending labor. They like to wait until my back is turned, or I leave the barn for the night. A survival of the species, you might say.
I dont know if they understand on a certain level that I will watch and wait and even intervene if necessary, but they sure don't like me to catch them in the act, if you know what I mean.

This next week should be a doozy. We have 5 sets of lambs coming within 3 days. I will have my hands full. Thank goodness I have the time off, however I am thinking that they might just call my office and see when I am due back to schedule their deliveries.
I haven't gotten around to installing the video cams in the barn yet.
hee hee hee
hey..... thats a really good idea.
Wow -
Nearly 10 days I have gone without logging in. Most of it has to do with the fact that we had all kinds of holiday marathoning ...is that a word? to do. Now that the presents have all been unwrapped, and the spirit has been shared we all breathe a collective sigh of relief and SLEEP.

I never feel more dog tired than at the holidays. Trust me, this year is wasn't because I killed myself baking and cooking and shopping..I let a whole lot of that go by the wayside. I think it is just the anticipation that wears me out. In ways, I'm very much like my kids yet, in the fact that I really enjoy the excitement of giving and recieving gifts.

I must say, though, I would much rather give, than recieve. I catch myself feeling too blessed, and almost embarassed. Not like I got a Lexus and a new townhouse, but I am occasionally overwhelmed by the volume, and scope of our families and friends who do such nice things for us. Does anyone else feel that way? Man, I do. I was into about the 3'd present at my in-laws house today and I felt like I should just stop because I already recieved too much.

BUT - I must tell you, that the husband surprise went very well. If you don't remember, I had bought him a new gun for Christmas. He really wasn't expecting it, as we don't usually exchange high dollar items as a rule. I almost couldn't contain myself for the week I had his gift just waiting.
Our good friends agreed to house his present so he wouldn't stumble upon it here. The gun, also included it's own gun cabinet to go along with it that I had wrapped the glass on the inside so one couldn't tell if it held anything just by looking at it.

My torture began on last Thursday night, when I gave him the key to the gun cabinet, with a note in rhyme telling him to keep this key with him as it was the "key" to his Christmas surprise. For 5 days he drug it around, knowing it was a gun cabinet key, but not knowing anything else. We went to my grandparents, and he was an avid gun collector, so my husband was on HIGH ALERT while we were there, and then the scene repeated itself everywhere we went.

The friends who agreed to keep his surprise, also went to Florida for Christmas. My task was to get him there, unsuspecting, while they were gone to find it. I had anticipated making him wait until late Christmas night, and then springing an emergency call from their house sitter about lambs, or water in the basement...something urgent.

Wellll..... the girls just couldn't wait that long to open presents. We ended up doing it Christmas Eve, at about 11pm. I faked a call, and told him we had to go over there immediately. I said they had water in their basement. He was all geared up with the shop-vac and water boots when he rounded a corner and saw the cabinet. He was speechless. That is the best in gift giving. STUN them speechless.
That was MY best present, to see the look on his face that said he was had.

I think that is what it is all about for me...I like to make people happy (for the most part)
heh heh heh

I am also off work until January 4th. WHOOOPEE! Don't know what I am going to do with the time yet, but I am sure just having a breather will be a nice break.

Well, I better get back to basking in the post-holiday glow.

Merry Christmas to all......and to all a good night.

Monday, December 17

Holiday Work-Parties..

I said that I would get you more details, and here I am. Last night Blogger was being obstinate so I had to be patient and wait until it felt like posting my words. I didn't want to risk losing several hundred words like I did last night.

Saturday night we attended my husbands work party. I must first inform you that his company is an asphalt paving,concrete and excavation business. Not that this is unique, but to give you a mental picture of the slice of americana that is it's employee base.

It was held at a very nice, but not swank banquet hall, and the owners provided an open bar all evening.

That is where most of the "fun" starts.

I like to go, but I always end up leaving wishing that they had shut down the bar after the first 15 minutes.
I am one to enjoy her liquid celebrations, but generally I like to do so in private, or at least in the company of people who will know that I don't overindulge on a routine basis. Yes, those type of friends who will show you the way to the bathroom, and maybe even hold your hair as you pay your debt to the god's of foolishness.

These people forego the food and head right to the bar. By the time dinner is served, most are sufficiently pickled. This leads to whoops and hollers and other embarassing gestures as their crew leaders and even owners step up to give thanks to the masses for the productive work year.

This year was no different.

We have learned to place ourselves at a "safe" table, trying to avoid those that give way to acts of vulgarity in the name of celebration. We didn't screen our table mates quite well enough though.

One of the foreman was so polluted, he nearly cried when he recieved a George Foreman grill as a doorprize. He carried it around the rest of the evening like he had just won the lottery, thanking everyone in sight. Good thing his wife was nearly as inebriated as he was or I think she would have been appalled.

Note to self: Never get drunk and make an ass of yourself in front of people who have never seen you do it before...they will share it online with millions of their compadre's.

We left unscathed and in receipt of a handsome bonus check - which is good because I will need it to pay for the fabulous Christmas gift for my husband that will put me in the books.

Sunday, December 16

OH SO LONG !

I really haven't forgotten to blog...I just haven't found time to sit still.

With Christmas sneaking up on me I have been in overdrive. I finally have all of my shopping done for gifts that are outside my immediate family, except my grandpa, but he is a quick trip to Wal-mart and then he's done too.

The girls Christmas is going to be difficult this year. Not only are they at THAT AGE where everything I select is not nearly ugly enough for them, but they also have some interesting items in their top 10.

My oldest, is in a volleyball league that will set her dad and I back over $100.00 in the next few weeks so I already explained to her that she shouldn't look for TOO much under the tree, and she is okay with that.

But to compensate for the $100.00 we are giving her, we also have to give our youngest daughter something comparable....and that's where it gets all confusing because she really isn't in need of much.

I am really going to get wife of the year award though...

I am a keen observer and participant in life, and I am unashamed to say that I look for opportunities to display my diverse skills as a diplomat and a forward thinker as frequently as possible.
Some may describe it as underhandedly sneaky, but oh well, they don't have to live with my husband.

I hope all you remember the whole "We don't need another housecat" routine... Part of that heated discussion centered on the fact that I don't totally agree with hunting, yet I support his enthusiasm for the sport as much as I can because HE enjoys it.
I think we have covered that here also.

I think the hunters like to think that they are providing a service, keeping the animal numbers in check, but they rarely kill the ones that nature would have selected, given the opportunity.
Thats my platform selection on the NRA subject.

Now I also understand the difference between what I believe, and what others are entitled to.
My husband enjoys the outdoors, and has been hunting and trapping and shooting since he was a tyke.

Back to the World's Best Wife award...
I am getting him a muzzleloader for Christmas. Don't ask me how to use one, hold one,or why they are even used anymore.....kind of like buying someone an outhouse if you ask me, but that's what he wants, so I am coughing up the dough to make him happy.

Now - if you know me, you know that in actuality I am just lining up my next request.
I like the cards to always be stacked in MY favor, thankyouverymuch.
And for this one, he will be deep in hock for several holidays to come!

The girls have been pretty giggly all weekend. They wrapped some presents for me for my husband while we were at his company dinner.(more details later..) They were about busting, trying to goad me into guessing what they were. I used this as a learning/teaching/sharing time.

I told them about the time.....what was I?...maybe 10 or 11.....
But I found all the Christmas presents in my mom and dad's closet while they were at work. Well, I didn't just happen to be cleaning or putting laundry away, I was SNOOPING for them. I saw them ALL, even opened a few that I couldn't determine the contents from outside the wrapping paper.

I remember feeling evily wicked, but in a delectable way. I was privvy to the secrets of Santa, and no one knew. naa-naa-naa!

That Christmas was my worst one ever. I remember recognizing the packages one by one as they came out from under the tree. I felt guilty for knowing. I felt guilty for deceiving my parents, and robbing them of the surprise that should have been on my face. I felt horrible because it just wasn't like Christmas. My Christmas was over, it died that day in the closet.
FastForwardToFuture........

Now, I NEVER EVER snoop. I'm telling ya, you could leave the stuff in a bag on the kitchen counter, tell me it was my Christmas present, go away for a month on vacation, and I wouldn't even peek. Nope. Never again.

The girls were just wide-eyed. Evidently they thought it might be fun to squelch their growing curiosity.
I don't think they would peek now. I don't think they will even share what they got the other for Christmas.
Thats a good thing, Martha.
Trying to set up a link- blogger Style....



hmmm.....guess I can't figure that out either.

Tuesday, December 11

Ok, here's the scenario - lets see how YOU would handle it.
(happily, it's not at my house for once)

Your daughter asks if as a favor, one of her colllege girlfriends lives with you in your very spacious home as she does her student teaching at a school near you, as she is still in college per se, but actually lives in another state. This would save her rent for 4 months, and you would barely know she was there.

She wouldn't ask you to clean her area, wash her clothes,or even prepare her meals. She would give you $25.00 a week for what she did eat, either with you, or as leftovers afterwards.

Sounds good, right?

Well, what would you do then at the end of her student teaching, when she realizes that living rent free is a pretty sweet deal?

If you were me, and the homeowner involved, you would tell her that her time was up, and to start looking for somewhere else.

And then she doesn't.
and doesn't.
2 weeks pass after the end of her student teaching and she is still content to come in late at night so she can avoid you telling her to leave.

You then confront her and give her until X day to be packed and leave, to hell with other plans, just get out of my house.
X-day comes, and she sleeps in until you go to work.

Your daughter calls you at work that same day telling you that the girl is finally packing, but she is taking things other han hers. Things that she might need to set up housekeeping in a new domicile.
Towels, pans, you name it. Conveniently, her initials are also the initials of two of your daughters, so anything will LM on it is happily going in her bags, CD's, books, you name it.

I forget the movie, but it had Michael Keaton in it and he was one hell of a renter. It reminds me of that situation.

In all my wisdom, I advised her to go home, observe the situation and then call the County Sheriff's office for assistance in removing her from the home peacefully.

I don't know what she did.

To top it off, the same daughter just invited a Brazillian exchange student home for the holidays (1 month) because he didn't have anywhere to go. So now, here's this 20 something, non-english speaking male in a home of 4 women for an entire month over the holidays.

Whooooooo-ee
Glad I don't live there.


It's 7 am in the big city.
Now thats late for some of you to be just getting out of bed, but on my days off it's just plain UNHOLY.

I am aware that there will be a time of eternal rest but I can't wait that long.
After working the night shift for nearly 9 years I have forever mangled my biological clock. I never know if I will be wide awake and still going strong at 2am, or bone tired at 7pm and ready for bed.
It's a curse I tell you.

Somehow, I got myself into another pickle.
A neighbor who raises hogs talked to me the other night at a school function and he said that he had 3 250 pound hogs that couldn't make the truck, and he wanted to know if we wanted them. I knew that we could use the meat, and my best friend and her husband also might like to have one. I then called my in-laws, and they were game too.

So I called the neighbor back and said we would take all three. Thing is, that he needs them out of the building this week, but we couldn'tfind anywhere to get them processed until the end of January.
EEK. To top it off, my in-laws want a "CERTAIN" place to do it.

Well, my friend found a place to do it as a favor for her, since they attend church together..YEAH
But the hauling and loading part is still in the planning stage. That will be my job, as they need to go in tomorrow. So if you run across a crazy lady with 750 pounds of hog in the back of a trailer, give her room - she doesn't know what she's doing.

Romantically, I like to compare my relationship with my best friend to Thelma and Louise, but realistically it's more like Ethel and Lucy. We come up with the dammedest things sometimes.

I can't really decide if I am going to stay up and be productive today, or go back to the still warm flannel-ly goodenss of my bed. AAAak ! the choice, the choice.

Life in the post-Ronnie house is adjusting well. The newest addition who has yet to be officially named
(Weezie, Zoe, Kitty) is doing all things kitten. Like I had said before, she adores our dog, and Sadie wants nothing to do with her and that is a comedy in itself.

The new kitten's barn-sister must have been injured somehow last night. As I was finally preparing the lambing area in the barn she came squealing in, not using her back leg. Of course, all work had to stop as I triaged the injury. I can't tell if there is a break anywhere, but her complaints lead me to believe that there is something not right back there.

Fearing another multihundred dollar vet bill, and imminent divorce proceedings, I made her as comfortable as possible after some pain reliever and antibiotics to combat infection and released her to the care of a fresh bed of straw and food at her immediate left and right. After watching our friends dog heal completely after a broken pelvis and leg I hope the same for her.

The threat of lambs is very real, and becoming more obvious every day. Soon there will be even longer nights, and I can only hope that this year I won't have to "rescue" and give the "treatment" to as many as I did last year. I just can't leave things alone, and let nature take it's course.

Lambs are very fragile creatures once born and the first week of life is a pitfall of potential disasters. They can be stepped on, get pneumonia, get scours, get cold, you name it and they will find a way to die from it. Many a time I have had lambs in my bathroom,living room, bedroom in some form of recovery.... It's like suddenly delivering 30 children. But I love it -
Please pass the Prozac.

Well, I am going to try and pass by my bed without getting magentically drawn into it. Wish me luck.

Sunday, December 9

AAAAK...the holidays.

Without the precursory snow, and crappy weather here the holidays have definatley snuck up on me.
It's hard to feel all jolly and to crave a warm fire with egg nog when it is nearly 70 degrees in Indiana.

This weekend was a very busy one. (to some extent)
The husband set off with some friends to go hunting in southern Indiana in the state forest. Don't ask me why, except that if they didn't get a deer down there, they might be able to blame it on the fact that they had no idea where they were - versus staying home and not getting a deer that they knew was in the woods.

I don't try to rationalize much when it comes to hunting.

Funny thing was, I felt kind of abandoned. Not that I missed him terribly, just that he didn't think for a second that I would mind doing it "all" while he was gone. Now, "all" isn't really a terribly huge tedious task, but he was really comfortable packing up and heading out knowing that I would worry about whatever came up.

This might sound strange, but at least when he is here we can sometimes guilt each other into doing things that need done, instead of just frittering time away because it's a weekend. For instance, we have nearly 30 lambs coming, some in as few as 2 weeks. Our barn needs to be set up yet for lambing, and ewes needs shots. Could I have done it this weekend? sure. but no one was here to make me feel like I should be doing it. heh heh.

I set out to do some christmas shopping on Saturday and that went great, except for the fact that I can't ever remember what I need once I get somewhere to get it. It's like the atmosphere of stores give me amnesia. I can give you an itemized 50 item list at home, but get me to the store and I am clueless. I must get distracted easily.

I am also a one person shopper. What that translates into, is that if I need to buy you a gift, I can't thik of anything else. If I try and buy two gifts at the same time my mental hard drive crashes and I have to reboot. I will not only forget that I already have your present under the tree and wrapped, but I will find the exact same thing I bought, and take it home again.

That makes shopping for my current recipient list of 36 people a difficult task.
I won't even go into how I have 36 gifts to think about, then I would be tired.

I am finding that I am turning into a big poop as far as holidays are concerned. The novelty of holiday decorating and cookie baking has turned into a lesson in practicality for me. I realize that it just wouldn't be practical for me to bake a thousand things we would just eat, and set around a bunch of nic-nacks I would just have to take down in a few weeks. What I am conserving my energy for, I don't know.

A few years ago I think I used up all my Martha Stewart genes. There were festive decorations, homemade gifts, all the holiday goodies you could shake a stick at and oh so much more I can't even remember. Sadly, I think I remember realizing that most people don't recognize the value of your efforts.

I can sweat out a special gift for someone, making sure it is just perfect and once unwrapped it joins the legions of "stuff". I remember specifically a Christmas when we just didn't have any money to buy the kind fo gifts I wanted to give people, not even my very own family. We had, in my opinion a very meager exchange. The big ticket items in our house were the utility of socks and underwear.
I remember that those inexpensive gifts (not necessarily the socks and underwear) were revered and appreciated as much as gifts I had spent nearly too much on in later years.

And here I go, carrying on about gifts and such. It wasn't even a day ago I was sadly observing that the season has really changed for the worse in my lifetime. I wish that we could get away from the commercialism of the season....but it will never happen.
Maybe this year there will be more gifts from the heart, instead of from the wallet.

For me, I still have 10 gifts to go.
I always save the hardest ones for last too. You would think I'd learn.

Wednesday, December 5

My server has been really irritating lately.

I had several great long posts set up - and they wouldn't post, because something in something wouldn'tcommunicate with something else.
Don't ask me, I just blog here.

I have been increasingly computer illiterate recently. I am thinking that when this all was new, I could flub my way through most of it, learning as I went. Now I am finding myself being "out-teched" at every turn.

My mouse was defunct. It was doing that stick-and-catch routine that all ball driven equipment eventually degrades to. I thought I would be brilliant and just run out and buy myself one of those optical "mice" that didn't need a blasted rolling thing-a-mijiggy.

I was equally pleased when I found one at Wally-World for $18.99. Now some will say that you get what you pay for, and they would be right.

I nearly ran home with the new gadget and happily download the hardware, plugged in the new mouse,
(IT ALL FIT PERFECTLY) and anticipated my new internet life, BALL FREE.

It didn't work. NOTHING. ZIPPO.NADA.
I unplugged it all, replugged it, checking for bad connections and the like, thinking I must have had a bad connection. STILL NOTHING.

THEN - in desparation, I sought the instructions. (I am part male, evidently)
Right off the bat, the directions began talking about ports. Serial ports, PS/2 ports,USB ports, PS/2 adaptors.
It was like a bad rendition of "Who's on first" by Abbot and Costello. Not only did I not know what the HELL they were referring to, but I have only ONE plug that my mouse can even GO in on my tower, so I was pretty wasted trying to figure this all out.

It's like getting a new microwave,VCR or universal remote that only has the instructions in Japanese.

There isn't a happy ending to this story either. The new neutered mouse is still sitting on my computer desk unplugged. I am now considering replacing my computer so I can get one that the mouse will be compatible with.

But for now, I will wait until the spirit moves me to figure it out.
First I will have to learn Japanese.