Monday, December 31, 2007

truck pictures

Since I posted about the truck roll last Friday, I have been inundated by hundreds of dozens (okay, two) of requests for pictures of my poor truck. Anyway, I don't have any pictures of the truck where it rolled on its top. But I stopped by the body shop Monday morning and took some pictures.
The roof is caved in between 1-6 inches depending on where you look. The front windshield broke in the crash and the drivers window broke but didn't break up until they flipped the truck over to tow it. The front quarter panel crumpled a bit. The back window didn't break, it pushed out from its mountings when the cab crumpled down from the top. Surprisingly, none of the little orange lights broke from the top of the cab. The body shop did call and ask if I noticed that the metal plates that I use for weight in the box had punctured a hole through the inner wall of the bed. Nope, I hadn't. They hadn't noticed it until they started taking stuff out of it.

The final estimate isn't in yet, but in talking to the insurance adjuster, they won't total the truck unless they find the frame is bent or the engine is broken. I guess running upside down can cause serious problems for the engine. While at the body shop I picked up some odds and ends that had been stashed in the truck. I was very glad to see them because the sherrif that stopped out said that frequently accident vehicles are burglarized while they are on the side of the road. With the ban on towing, there have been dozens of reports of a window being broken out and the contents taken. I am surprised the newspaper hasn't reported it.

The last picture is of Kat, 45 minutes after we were helped out from the truck by two good samaritans (whose names I do not know). She didn't seem very upset by the whole ordeal.

Friday, December 28, 2007

now THAT was exciting!

I regret that I don't have any pictures to show for it, but at 10am this morning, I was on the way to take Kat to daycare and my pickup fishtailed on the road. I wasn't able to recover and it slid into the ditch where it rolled onto the roof and stopped there. Aside from being showered with the stuff I keep in the truck, pliers, jumper cables, flashlight, can of Mt Dew, I was just fine. First on my mind was Kat. She just cooed. I wish I could have seen her, suspended by the harness in her car seat. I kinda wish I had a 5 point harness, too.
When I released my seatbelt, I fell to the roof of the truck. I could see that the drivers window and windshield were broken and the drivers door was crumpled; no opening that.
I scrambled to get my cel phone out and call..... Who to call but Jill and tell her that I had rolled the truck but we were ok. First thought. Reaction. First to call was Jill. Not 911. Not neighbor with a tractor, but Jill. She took it well; she already knows I am an idiot.
Fast forward to 2pm. Dr. at hospital says I am going to be really stiff and sore. Kat is fine from the accident, but she still has alot of congestion in her lungs and sinuses. He gave us prescriptions for those. Truck is on its way to body shop and insurance has been called.
The sheriff says that we were lucky. No kidding. I didn't need him to tell me that.
All in all, I have lived a great year and wonderful life. I have been blessed in so many ways it is nearly impossible to list everything. The big things are Jill, Kat, family, health. As the new year approaches, here's to many more great years, filled with blessings... and good luck.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Kat's first Christmas

A great meal at my brothers. Turkey, potatoes and dressing. All of it VERY tasty. And DESSERT! Pumpkin pie and cherry cheesecake were most excellent!
Kat's cousin enjoyed the chance to hold Kat and pose for the cameras. They don't get to see enough of each other, so any time together is made the most of.

Then G'ma Sandy came to our house to help feed Kat bananas. Kat opens her mouth just fine, swallowing is a different matter. G'ma also found a book that Kat got that needs to be filled with pictures. "Who loves baby?" WE LOVE YOU, KAT!

It wouldn't be Christmas without a couple of presents to play with. Each gift must be subjected to rigourous endurance test that begin with chewing on them to see how they last.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

No, dear.

This may be it.
I have been awake since 430 this morning. NOT thinking about work. Thinking about hunting. Friday, Kat was sick. Stay home, no hunting. Yesterday, it is so foggy that the imbecile in the red minivan was going 40 mph on the highway. I admit to myself, with visibility measured at 100 yards at best, I wasn't going to see a deer. They would hear me long before I saw them to sneak them. So I went to a buddy's house and 'helped' him work on his kitchen wiring.
Paul called last night, said lets go hunting on Sunday. The bad weather probably won't be so bad. Woke up this morning and the weather eye says "7*F feels like -17*F due to 35 MPH winds, gusting from the NE." Nope, not too bad.
All my gear is in the truck. Truck is scraped. Here I am sitting at this computer, waiting for Paul, sweating my ass off cuz I am wearing 4 layers of high technology insulation, designed to keep me warm in -17*F weather. Paul was supposed to be here at 6AM. He is obviously smarter than me. He probably looked at the weather and said to himself, no way, only an idiot would hunt in that crap.
So this may be it. The year I don't get my deer. No meat for the year, canned in jars ready to heat and eat. No justification for a rifle, shotgun, and revolver that were bought specifically for hunting. No participation in conversations about endurance, stamina, cunning, and strategy to outsmart the game.
I happened to talk to an aquaintence yesterday and he asked how I did, hunting. Skunked so far, I told him. He tells me that he got 3 and his driving team got 17. CHANGE THE TOPIC PLEASE. In fairness, I don't team hunt. It has happened when I got 2 deer in one day. But I stalk and sneak to 'catch' my deer. I cover alot of ground, sometimes crawling on the ground. I don't feel safe in a group of 12 people, shooting back and forth multible times. Read too many stories, heard too many accounts of "bullet flew over my head and smacked into the tree I was leaning against. It was great!" (Darwinism ALMOST at work)
I am tempted to hunt the deer that nest behind the garage and feed in the garden. I watched a pair of them yesterday. But they are so funny to watch, and since I treat my acreage as a haven of happiness, I am reluctant to ruin it for them. (odd sentiment for a hunter/gardener and someone that has hit a deer on a motorcycle)
Oh, well. There is always Fareway.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

SHE doesn't like being sick, either!

Well, lets see. So far we have found that prednizone makes Katerina very sick. I tried to give her some last night and she barfed everything in her tummy. It just kept coming out. Tried again this morning. Same result. So no more prednizone.

Katerina doesn't like the nebulizer, either. As soon as I lift it towards her face, the arms start swinging! I have to wrap my arms around her to keep her from pulling on the mask. The instructions say 12 minutes. TWELVE very long minutes. I don't like it when she is unhappy. She is feeling/sounding better. She isn't well yet, but on the road to recovery.

A friend pointed out that I am lucky to be on vacation for another week. This way Kat being sick doesn't impact my job. Jill and I don't have to juggle who stays home to take care of Kat. Joy. Cooped up in a house due to bad weather, with a baby that either is asleep (rarely) or crying or wailing. Incessant wailing. Here's to hoping she is healthy SOON!

Friday, December 21, 2007

spikey hair

I don't know why, but every opportunity I get, I like to shape and form Kat's hair into a rhino horn. I think she is cute, it is funny, it amuses me. She usually laughs at the attention.

I don't doubt there will be some form of payback in 14 years or so. Right now, that seems to be a long ways off. It will be here before I know it.

Pictured is one of my earlier attempts.

little things add up

Work is work. If it wasn't challenging, they wouldn't pay me. Don't tell my leadership, but I actually enjoy challenges and solving problems. But I still want paid.
You know the saying, "Don't sweat the small stuff." The small stuff can be pretty annoying sometime.
For example, I went to Carousel VW in Iowa City to pick up Jill's little Jetta. 51,000 miles and it was due for a milestone checkup. I paid the bill, said thanks, got in the car and drove out to the stoplight to go back to work for the evening. What the heck, I thought. I am taking the next 12 days off, I might as well clean my desk and organize for my return. While waiting for the light, I notice that the CHECK ENGINE light came on. UH OH. So I navigate a bunch of left turns to get back to the dealership and go back inside the service dept. and tell them about the light coming on. The man behind the counter asks if I had left the property before it came oh. "Yes, I was at that stoplight, 50 yards from your driveway"
Oh, well then you need to make an appointment. If you have taken the car, it must be unrelated to what we did. I thought he was joking. After 20 minutes of discussion, I left. In my car with the light on. I am not done with them, but I had lost my temper and further discussion would involve swearing and not be productive. (but it would feel good)
Jill calls me and tells me I need to pick up Kat because her boss has asked her to work late. Since I am in IC, we work out a swap where she picks up Kat and brings her to work and we swap cars. I tell her what happened at the dealership. She is livid.
When I get Kat at home, I realize that she is more than just REALLY hungry. She wheezes and rasps when she breathes. So I steam her and hold her and then change her into PJs. She goes to bed and I fall asleep watching my 19" 18yr old TV, waiting for Jill to come home.
During the night, Jill wakes up because of Kat coughing. Really, it sounds like barking from a seal. Jill steams her in the shower, smears Vicks all over her chest and feet (have you seen that email flying around?), rocks her in the chair and pounds on her back to loosing her chest. Jill is up from about 1 till 455. Then she wakes me up and tells me that I better forget about my hunting trip vacation cuz I am taking Kat to the DR, be there at 8am when they open!
So I my plan is to go to the DR and hear that Kat has a cold, then take Kat to Carousel VW and discuss remedy for their actions. This all changes when the Doc doesn't say "cold", but rather, "bronchitis, nebulizer, Albuterol, ear infection, Amoxicyllon, and predinizone; have a nice day". I am still not sure what the prednizone is for, but the rest of the crap takes 2 hours to track down all over town. I got Kat home at 1130, fed her, nebulized her (which SHE likened to being gassed with pepper spray) and put her down for her nap. Sweet Dreams, kiddo!
So, tired, no hunting, still don't know what is wrong with the car, worried about sick Kat (BTW, these are NOT in order of importance), Jill still sick, still pretty upset about treatment from dealership. Of these little things, healthy family members are big things. Everything else is a little thing. But, jeez, do I need a bunch of little things all at once? Oh, well. Might as well go to work from home.
PS. as I read over this, I realize how incredibly fortunate I am. Two cars, two jobs, house, mostly healthy spouse, mostly healthy baby that is happy 98% of the time, not stranded on the road, the list is really lots longer. I got life good.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Good News! Kat woke up at 4AM!

And the reason that is good news is that she went to sleep at 730PM. She slept all of the way home from daycare. When she woke up she was STARVING! She has been eating alot lately. We tried feeding her squash again, but from her reaction she didn't want to learn HOW to eat. She wanted to EAT! So she drank about 8 oz of formula and was happy for a while and let us eat. Then at 730 she decided she wasn't happy any more. We put her in PJs and put her to bed.
Jill and I sat down on the couch for "just a bit" at 8. We woke up at 9 and went to bed. And we got to sleep until 4AM. NEARLY EIGHT (8) HOURS OF SLEEP!
I can hardly believe it!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

One day a month

Once a month, on the third Sunday of each month, I help put on a pistol match. It is held at a range located on a guy's farm in Linn County. My shooting has decreased from 2-3 times per week to this one day a month. When I started shooting I shot in a sport called bullseye. Very structured, very boring. I was introduced to practical shooting and was quickly hooked. Practical shooting is a bit of a misnomer. When the sport started, the intent was to simulate 'real world' situations that a person might find himself when on the wrong side of town. The sport has evolved into quick draw, multiple target, run and gun stages. Time and scores determine who wins the match. Holsters are tricked out, guns are heavily modified, and the courses are 'gamed' to get every advantage possible. There are still people that play with stock equipment. Stock holsters and guns that aren't modified and don't hold more than 10 rounds. To each their own. It is just a game, play it any way you want. As with golf or bowling or league softball, there are those people who take the game far to seriously. Their loss. The objective of playing is to have fun.

There is a gut that comes out (in the first picture) that is in his early 80s. He was a very young man in the US Navy in 1945, serving in the Pacific. He was still a young man when he was activated for the duration of the Korean War. When I am in my 80s, I want to be active enough to continue to play, hopefully with Kat. For that matter, when I am 88 I want to be in as good of shape as my grandmother.

I got very little sleep last night, waking up about every hour. When I realized I was awake, I would think about work and how to manage/improve my project. Wouldn't you know, when I woke up at 4am, I laid there awake until just before 5am, when the alarm went off. Then I had the hardest time waking up and getting out of bed.

You may notice in the pictures, everyone is in shortsleeves and the season looks wrong. At today's match, we started at 8am and it was 10* F outside. No breeze or wind, though. We had 5 shooters for about 2 hours, then another 20 showed up over the next hour. A good crowd for a cold winter day. Thank goodness we have a clubhouse and it has a woodburner in it. Also, one of the members brought about 15 qts of chili for us to lunch on.

Though I missed Jill and Kat all day, it was nice to get out and forget about alot of things. But it is even better to come home and see the women I love.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

what a relaxing day

Woke up late. Tried to figure out how we were going to deal with the news that a wonderful friend from CA was going arrive in DesMoines today. Not much warning and I would be in a pistol match on Sunday all day. So Jill went to work so that she could take Monday off if needed and I stayed home to do laundry and watch Kat, dog, deer & turkeys (sometimes I feel like a single parent. that one day a month that I have to stay home and raise our daughter, clean the house, do the laundry, cook my own lunch)

One thing that I really wanted to try was to feed Kat baby food. I had been asking women all week about methods they used to introduce food to their kids and had a plan. Well, several things went well. Preparing the food, putting Kat in the chair, having a spoon. One person said to have a camera ready, cuz the expressions would be great! All that ready except for explaining to Kat what this was all about.
She opened her mouth, I shoveled in a little bit of thickened squash. She looked surprised at the flavor. It was different! So she wiggled her tongue everywhere, tasting this new stuff. I don't think she swallowed any of it. Her mouth was aworkin', but she wasn't eating. After mouthing the food for a bit, she spit it down her chin. And I obviously had a defective bib. But it WAS cute. She liked the flavor, she kept licking her bib and hands. But she would taste it and drool it out.
I got lots of laundry done, watched the wildlife. Played with Kat on the floor. She rolled over from her belly to her back several times today. And back, a couple of times. Wrapped my stepdads present. (Socks for a long distance runner. He is in GREAT shape for a 59 year old man) Watched Harry Potter, took a nap, burned my lunch.
Jill is home now. It has been snowing non-stop all day. Maybe two inches.

Santa endorsements

Mom came over yesterday to watch Kat. As always she brings her camera. Every week, Kat changes. This week, the Santa's Helper clothes came with.

And although I think Coke tries to corner the Santa Icon, I think Pepsi has a real up and coming talent.

Turkeys are back!

First, I wake up at 5am to Kat fussing just a little bit. 3 ounces later, I get to go back to bed. I am pretty tired after the team holiday get together last night. We LAUGHED for 4 hours straight! I wake up again at 830 when Jill rolls out of bed. As I stretch and look out the upstairs glass door to the deck, I see that I once again live in the most beautiful snow globe. Flakes, nearly as big as your hand, are gently drifting down from the skies.
Then I look over the hillside for deer. It is what I do. I love to see the wildlife on the opposite hill or in my back yard. And who greets my eyes but the flock of turkeys that has been so shy for a couple of years now. While I watch, they come down out of the woods, on the pond and on the dam.
We used to get to see the turkeys every week for a while. When we moved in, they would run across the back yard or wander around the gazebo all the time. I still remember the evening I stood on the back deck and watched the flock roost in the trees, something I had never seen before.
It is good to see them back. I counted over 30 turkeys over the next half hour. They meandered around the pond and dam, searching for food.
All the while, the giant snowflakes swirling around.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Good Mornings!

Some mornings, Jill and I have it all together. Relatively good nights sleep. Wake up to the clock in a good mood. She rolls out to shower while I head downstairs to let the dog out, warm a bottle and eat my cereal for breakfast. When she is out of the shower, it's my turn. Somewhere in all this we get Kat on the bottle and she (so far) always wakes up in a good mood. When she is done eating she lets the bottle roll away and she 'talks' to the baby in the mirror or the animals on the ark quilt, entertaining herself. Then I dress her after I am dressed and get her into the carseat and we scoot out the door. Hopefully to carpool with each other to work so Jill can take a nap and I get to spend an extra half hour with my best friend. Even if she is asleep.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ice storm cabin fever

Here we are, cooped up in the house. three loads of laundry, done. all dishes, done. Play with Kat and dog, done. Scrape off truck, done. fold towels & PUT AWAY (we never do this, living out of a laundy basket all the time), done.
While folding and putting away laundry, I folded up 7 pairs of underwear for me. When I put them away, they joined another 6 pair in the drawer. And SOCKS! I think I have 10 pair of work socks 5 pair of athletic socks and 10 pair of crew socks. no wonder my S&U drawer is crammed full. And since my mind always wanders, I wondered, "what is the right number of underpants a person should have?" Really, how often am I not going to do laundry each week. Especially the essentials like underwear. Is there a Lean Process that I can apply to my clothes so that I don't have so much money tied up in inventory? I have approximately 6 pairs of biz casual pants and maybe 10 shirts to mix them with. Functional if repetitive. And don't get me started on womens clothes. Seemingly countless styles and colors of socks and underwear and bras. multiple colors and styles of skirts and blouses and dress pants. Even half a dozen dresses. I cannot remember the last time she wore a dress. But, I must admit, quite a variety to choose from. No wonder it takes longer to "decide what to wear".
After laundry came wrapping Christmas presents. For me, a chore. Not a big fan of wrapping, especially solo and sober. Jill was upstairs studying for her class that starts in January. (I just checked and she really cannot even spell procrastinate) Wrapped for a while, got distracted by the 7 whitetail deer that 'snuck' across my back yard. I could watch them for ages. They meandered over to the scrub woods behind my garage and bedded down. No clear shot. (see picture on other post for woods)
Went outside and started the truck to scrape the windows. Took the opp. to walk the lane back to the evergreen trees. Yep, everything has turned to a sheet of ice. All of the rain has frozen.
Scraped the truck.
Came inside and checked my email. Found out that my backordered TV from Black Friday has been canceled by the company. Too much demand, not enough profit. Sorry, and all that. Grrr.
Oh, well. Just a TV. Not like I don't have a lot to do around the house.
Full Disclosure - Jill did not write this. I put her picture at the top to share Kat pictures.

stinkin' ice storm

$1,500. couple dozen favors. 3 days of vacation. All to replace the roof on the garage and garden shed.

12 hours into the 3rd ice storm in as many weeks and 1/2 a tree falls on my new garage roof.

I wonder what kind of damage that did. And Jill doesn't want to go up and check. Chicken.... Oh well.

I was logged into work when their network crashed. So I thought I'd blog.

There is a tree down at all of my neighbors. One of the willow trees was bent so low coming home that the little VW Jetta barely scraped under the branches coming up the drive.

Sure is beautiful, tho.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Supporting your spouse

I think it comes down to respect. Jill and I are career minded. We are both in school full time to (hopefully) improve our positions at work. We work full time to support our lifestyle, but we also enjoy the challenge of being contributing adults. If not at this job then at another. Due to the nature of corporate America wanting to do more and more with fewer and fewer, there are a number of demands that are put on our time. It is difficult to get work and school done in a normal day AND get Kat from daycare before daycare sets her outside for the night.
We (so far) manage this by communicating and scheduling. And making allowances for the demands of the others goals. We try hard to communicate that there may be term projects coming due that require working late. Or work that requires working late or even Biz Travel. And sometimes you boss will ask you to show up for work at an unmanageable 7am for a meeting. So you gotta get going in the morning.
By being supportive of Jill's goals, I will reap the rewards. She is my partner for the rest of my life. If she is happier and satisfied with where she is, that can only result in less stress at home. Less stress is a good thing. Usually means more happiness, hugs, smiles. All that leads to a happy content Kat! (keep baby happy - new mantra) Jill is supportive of my goals. She is the helping hand when I am down, the kick in the butt, when I need it. She will give me space and a sounding board at the right times.
I think this all comes together because we respect each other. Life isn't about always getting what you want. (think PHilton) Life is about working for what is important to you and those around you. I sincerely believe that by helping others achieve their goals, I will achieve my goals. And life isn't all about ME. Now that we have Kat, I understand that life is all about raising a little person, to give her a chance to experience her life.
This whole post is a result of a conversation regarding work/life balance today. A coworker was having a difficult time with challenges of the job, challenges of children, and challenges of spouse. I really wondered about the challenge of the spouse because Coworker didn't seem to have support from Spouse. Spouse was contributing to the stress, wanting work/career to stop intruding on Life.
This made me reflect on how Jill and I prioritize, schedule, and communicate. Our relationship isn't perfect. But it is the one we will have for the rest of our lives. So we have to make it work.

Grocery Shopping

Ever heard the advice, "don't go grocery shopping when you are really hungry?" Ignore at your risk!
We pushed Kat around the store while she slept and Jill and I bought everything we thought we would need to ride out a 12-24 hour ice/snow storm. You know, 21 cans of condensed soup, chicken, tomato, potato. Or four (4) boxes of spaghetti. Or THREE boxes of chocolate brownie mix. And 12 Lean Cuisine meals. And after all that, I think we forgot the saltines. How can I have soup without crackers? It just isn't right!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Kat is home!

Kat spent the weekend with G'ma Pat. Jill and I took the time to do some shopping together and take about a dozen naps. We tried to pick her up on Saturday night, but the windshield on the car iced over after about a mile. So I went and got her today. Jill hasn't put her down since she got in the house! We missed her so much!

Better fill the bird feeder

While I learn about this blogging thing, I have had dozens of cardinals, bunches of juncos, and a couple of black capped chickadees stop at my empty bird feeder outside my deck window. After they see the feeder empty, they turn and look in the window at me, as if to scold.
Sheesh. Sorry bout that.

The latest girl in my life.

June 30, 2007 - Jill is due any day now. After running around doing chores, taking care of stuff I sit down to watch TV about 930. I push the button, the screen flashes an intense white, then nothing.

July 1, 2007 - Jill gives birth to a happy easygoing little bundle of joy we call Kat. Life will never be the same again.

Amazing how much your life can change from one day to the next, isn't it.

People were amazed that Jill and I decided to have children. For one reason or another, none of them really very good, we had always said that other people could have children but we weren't going to. Then, after 13 years of very happy marriage, we decided that maybe we had been a little hasty. Perhaps life could be better and more fulfilling. Not that we wanted for much. As a pair of DINKs, 'want' usually equaled 'got'.

So we talked about it. ALOT. How did we feel about this. Or that. What were we willing to give up. What would need to change. Should we move back into town. After a lot of uncertainty, we decided we would change our lives forever. So we rented an instructional video, practiced a few times, and voila! We were going to have a little person. Full time. No turning back. Our responsibility. And no matter how much we talked about it and thought about it, we had no idea. But we wouldn't change anything. Everything happens for a reason. For some reason, Jill and I needed to wait a while before Kat came along.

Kat is so much fun. Sure there are times (at night) when I wish she didn't intrude on my lifestyle so much. I really like my sleep. But she is amazing. She makes all kinds of funny sounds. She does funny things. She has really sharp nails. Then there was the time (hopefully only time) that she POOPED on me while I changed her diaper. First week she was home.

I find myself watching the clock at work for when it is time to go pick her up. Jill almost always takes her to daycare, I like to pick her up. When I get home I take her out of her carseat and walk around the house with her snuggled under my chin, held to my chest and feel the sensation of happiness flood my body. It is so fulfilling. I know she will grow and I cannot always do this, but I enjoy every chance I get.

Kat is getting alot bigger, and I haven't been very good about taking her picture as she grows. This is her first Christmas and we have been fortunate that we have had a few inches of snow so the back yard looks like a postcard. She won't remember it, but Jill and I will.

OMG! I forgot the dog!

While I rambled on last night about a little bit of who I am, I forgot to mention we have the most fierce little dog, Madeline. Named after Madeline Albright.

I was tricked into this relationship by Jill. I didn't realize it, but she made the mistake of stopping by the local pet store to buy aquarium/fish supplies. You know the story from there. She saw the cute puppies, one 'fetched' her heart. Now all she had to do was sell me on the idea.

The following weekend we were at a baby shower, guys in the basement, women upstairs. Since Jill didn't know anyone but the expecting, she was a little bored. I was getting along in the basement playing video games and shooting pool. So she came downstairs and asked if I minded if we left. While driving home she said she wanted to stop at the fish store to show me something. I had no idea.

Yes, she is cute. But do we need a dog? YES! The salesgirl was very good at her job. She could tell the TWO LIES that you must be able to tell when you sell dogs. "No, barely sheds hair at all." AND, "Nope, this breed doesn't bark much. Quiet dogs." HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

We fell for it and, $400 later, became caretakers of a cute Shiba Inu.

Maddie is very territorial and resents the intrusion of ANYTHING on her property. She is also very jealous and doesn't like anyone around her caretakers. She has been wonderful to us giving us years of happiness and something to talk about when the conversation runs dry.

To give you an idea of how fierce she is, let me tell you about Maddie and the Bull. This did her ego no good, socially speaking.

While helping my Mother In Law (MIL) clear downed trees from the creekbed on her farm, Maddie ran around and investigated everything. Since we were in the cattle pasture, eventually the herd of cows came to investigate the sound of tractor (food). Well Maddie couldn't tolerate strange animals around so she ran back and forth between the herd and us in the creekbed. After 10-15 minutes, the cows got fed up and left. All but the herd Bull. Bull came forward to see what we were doing and what was this little noisemaker was about. 1,800 pound Bull. 22 pound Maddie. Have you heard the one about the size of the fight in the dog? Maddie put herself squarely in front of Bull, barking and snapping at his nose. Nose to nose. Bull tossed his head, nose chain swinging around, and stamped his feet. Maddie would run a very tight circle, giving about an inch before standing right in front of Bull, snapping and snarling. One of the other workers said out loud, "that is the bravest stupid dog I ever seen" MIL said to me, "don't worry Kevin, I will tell Jill there was nothing you could do to keep her from getting trampled."

But Maddie didn't intend to lose this battle of the wills. She kept her place, moving only when Bull tossed his head, but moving right back in front of Bulls nose to keep him from coming close. This went on for five minutes, seemed longer. Then to our astonishment, Bull spun around and trotted away. We were all shocked! And Maddie came trotting over to us and I swear her little chest was puffed with pride, as if saying "nothing to it, cuz I AM the toughest dog around!"

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Seven acres????

Hi there!
My name is Kevin and my wife Jill and I found a beautiful acreage in the woods back in '02 that we wanted to move to... and we got lucky because the couple living there were getting divorced. So after talking to the wife of the couple, Jill and I got the property in the divorce.
It has worked out well for us because we needed to get out of town. No yard, no space, no peace and quiet. Here we have the beauty of the outdoors. After a day in the rat race, we drive 1/2 hour and take a gravel drive and end up at home. In the summer time, you cannot see any of our neighbors houses. But you can see the woods and pond. And hear the neighbors goats.
You can take a deep breath and relax, letting the stress and pressure just puddle at your feet. At home, they just don't matter.
LIfe events
Back in June our T.V. stopped working. The very next day Jill gave birth to our first daughter, Kat. Kat is the most enjoyable full time hobby I can imagine. Before Kat I didn't understand what parents talked about.
Now that Kat is here, I have no idea what I wasted all of my time doing.
Anyway, I don't know what I will type or how often. But I hope people enjoy when they stop by.