Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Afternoon

Well well well.

It sure has been a while.  I do miss writing...I compose blog posts all the time in my mind.  I just don't have internet access readily available.  When I do, I'm usually spending the time paying bills or taking care of business.  I have become good at solving problems with out the internet.  This impresses me, because two or three years ago, I would have thought that impossible.  I think it really helps living in my small town filled with an older demographic. All I need to do is ask an older adult who I should see about my question, and they give me the first time, history and if I'm lucky, the name of the business they own, of the person I need to see to solve my problem.

For example, I need to go see Bruce, on Stone south of 48th towards Jo's house, to get my picture framed.  To get my laptop fixed, I went to NCATS, hidden in Baker College at NCRESA, to have an estimate.  They could not fix it. But suggested I go see someone "Grand Rapidsy" to fix it. 

In some ways I just love living in a small town.  Life is so much simpler.

I name dropped my dad, and I got a lead on an apartment, and that afternoon, we put down a deposit and started moving in.  That was in September.  We now have things like a kitchen table, a couch, carpet, and some bookshelves.  No TV or internet yet.  Well....we have my parents old old old tv to hook the N64 up to, but we left our tv at their house so they can watch Survivor.  I hung up a lot of my posters today.  The bathroom is heavy death metal themed.

I remember when I moved into my apartment in Nashville, that had more than 3 rooms.  Now I have two bedrooms, a living room, a bathroom, a kitchen upstairs.  In the basement I have a laundry room, a craft room, a second living room area, a storage cellar and a tool storage area with desk.  We also have a beautiful fenced in backyard with a big maple, birch and walnut trees.  A garage with workshop area in back and a storage shed.  Our backyard faces an old parking lot and trees belonging to the old elementary school next door.  Which still has a playground!  I live right in the city and only have two neighbors!  I love the house because it has been lived in by smart families who took care of it.  There are nails and hooks and light switches in the right places.  There are small things around that make it easier to live there.  The whole place is wired for dsl, cable, and satalite.  LOL!  And we utilize none of it!  You can even get cable in the garage!

Lilly likes it.  Her toys are there.  Ackbar is staying in the woods.  He says he prefers to be a country cat than a city cat.  Plus, Lilly stresses him out.  We visit him on Wednesday's and Sundays.

Lilly is busy growing teeth, walking and running, and making people show her their bellies.  Her favorite book is Peek-a-Who? and her favorite activity is going to stores and getting admired by old ladies and young ladies and all the men.  Really, she likes to go outside and see what sort of water she can find to play in.

Ugh.  My mom ran out of red wine and now I have to drink white.  Bleh.

Friday, September 12, 2014

House Rules

I have found freedom!  I rent my own house and now I can make all of the rules I want.  So far, I've made one...keep the safety gate to the basement stairs closed even when Lilly is asleep.  I'm finding it difficult to convince the other member of my house to agree to the rule.

But I'd rather have that than live by parents rules!  For the past year, if I wasn't at my parents house, I was at Josh's parents' houses or at my friend's parents' house.  It was like I was in high school all over again, only slightly better.  There was much less concern over drugs, sex, and alcohol. Proper music was still banned though.  And by proper, I mean music I like that sounds like terrible noise to parents.  Like System of a Down and Gorillaz.  A whole year of only listening to them in the car.   Luckily, all said parents, have otherwise excellent taste in just doesn't expand into rap.  And Beck is included in the rap heading.

Our house is small and brick and has two bedrooms and a nice basement.  It's not finished, but someone did live down there at some point, so it's cleaner than most basements.  The biggest selling points was the workshop in the garage, the large all fenced in back yard with nice old beautiful shade trees.  One is a walnut, one is a maple, and one is a birch.  There is a small patio too.  If you know me, you know I don't want neighbors and people up in my grill (business).  But we also needed to live in town so that Josh can get to work no matter what the weather or car state.  Well, to make up for that, the back of the house faces a grassy field that parents park in from 5pm to 8pm while their middle school sons practice football at the old elementary school.  So no neighbors behind us and a large nice playground to walk to!

It's very strange though. I now live in town, on a well known road, and can walk to my friends' house and parents' houses.  I can also walk to the library and the bank.  And on an ambitious walk, I could also walk to Bill's and get donuts!  I can walk to downtown easy.  I probably could walk to Fremont lake too. Heh.  I would walk from one end of Mount Pleasant to the other to go to a party, and MP is larger than Fremont.  So, pretty much, I can walk anywhere.  Not walmart.  I wouldn't walk there.

So what adventures have we had?  Well, first, there is a large dead branch hanging precariously from the maple tree.  Josh doesn't like it up there, but it's too high to pull down.  During the windy stormy day, we sat outside and watched the storm and wind blow across the field.  Josh wouldn't let me sit under the maple tree, where I like to sit because of fear of that branch falling.  So we sat under the birch tree.  The next morning, I got up and looked out, and wouldn't you know, a giant, solid heavy 12 foot long branch fell out of the birch tree and landed directly on my chair.  The other dangley branch did not fall, as hoped.  I leaned the fallen branch up against the corner of the garage as a trophy/warning.  It's to tell people to stay out, we may speak softly, but we carry large sticks.  Also, for feng shui reasons, we needed something on that corner of the garage to block the bad chi flow.

Ackbar has not moved over yet, but he will when we are done.  I hope he adjusts.  Lilly is walking and getting into everything and being generally cute.  She likes the new house, but she likes grandma's house more.  But that's because her wagon is over here and the woods and the food balls in the garden.  And Grandma and Opa too, of course!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

In Which Everything Goes Wrong and I Use My Brain

Today was another adventure in town.  Turns out Town is always an adventure.  And the last few times it has been very frustrating.  They closed the road from Gerbers to Bills and it is very inconvenient to me.  It separates the library and the bank from the grocery store, pharmacy and walmart.  Instead of going straight through, I have to go through back roads with odd stop signs and lots of other confused drivers.

Compared to going from 100 Oaks Mall/Woman's Health Doctor's Office to Antioch in TN, it's nothing.  There is in total 20 cars I interact with instead of 100.  But one grows accustomed to a certain lifestyle of no cars, roads or traffic jams.

Today I wanted to get new glasses from Walmart, but they would not take my state provided insurance, so I did not get new glasses.  Then I tried to get a hair cut there, but the wait was going to be 45 min, and I didn't want to wait with I got the times that my favorite haircutter is there.  They don't make appointments.  Her name is Stephanie and she gave me the best haircut ever.

Then we left walmart with out buying anything! Win!  When we got to the car I remembered that I had to get two red peppers and a jar of apple cider vinegar for my mom to make pickles.  So that meant another stop to Bills.  (I had already come too far to go back into Walmart).  At Bill's I tried to make small talk with Jess, the bagger girl.  I don't think they actually want/have time for small talk.  Next time I'll just stick to the weather.  Or maybe I'll make up a ridiculous two sentence story to tell them.  Maybe I'll fill my trunk with something FREAKY and then when I open it for them to put the groceries in, they will see it and have something to tell the other baggers.  That's an idea.

Then it was to the Library and then home.  And then I saw a yard sale (due to that stupid detour!) and decided to stop.  It was right in town, by where my friends' grew up and near the high school track.  The yard sale had some very nice furnature for sale.  Antique like, so it was fairly priced and out of my budget.  But they had a nice girls bike there I wanted and a vanity.  Next time.

Lilly was in her stroller, and we walked back to the car, and I found out that it finally happened!  I locked my keys in the car.  I knew it was only a matter of time.  My phone was also in the car.  So I walked to my friend's parents house and went inside.  No one was there.  I accidently let a black panther out (one of their black panther-like twin cats) and had to get him back in.  He rebelled by making his bones turn into jelly and almost slipped out of my hands.  It was worse than carrying Lilly around.  I bet it's the same one who jumped onto my shoulders while I was going to the bathroom there, and I was too pregnant to move or get him off.  I had to call for help.

Then I found another yard sale.  The lady there was using her iPhone, so I asked her to call me a tow truck.  She said she didn't know any towing companies numbers and didn't know where a phone book was.  As she was holding her small, portable, internet machine.  It took a lot for me to be pleasant and work with her at that moment. 

You see, this is another thing I knew would happen, is that I would also lock my phone in my car and I wouldn't know any numbers to call.  Josh was asleep and so was his phone (he's working nights now!) and I don't know my parents cell numbers.  And I thought to myself, who can I call? Who?


That's right.  Memorizing that number has been one of the best uses of my brain in a long time.  And I didn't even have to call 911.  The officer was really nice and a police officer got to my car before I could even walk back!  He got it open for me in less than 5 min.  and I didn't have to pay a tow truck. 

It was actually less stressful for me than remembering that I forgot the vegetables.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Adventures in Town

The Fremont, the Baby Food Capital of the World, hosted the Baby Food Festival yet again.  It is a week in which downtown (or just Town) is closed off and all the locals go on vacation and all the out of towners come into town.  There are rides and carnies, food, sidewalks sales and live music.  One year Da Yoopers came and played.  I just go their cassette tape free at a yard sale a few weeks ago.

This year we entered Lilly into the Baby Crawl.  It's a race where babies crawl from one end of the stage to the other on a mat.  I've never seen it before, but I had heard about it.  It's adorable!  So many crawling babies!  Lilly did not crawl, she sat there and tried to tear up the tape that was holding the starting line down.  I was so proud, she didn't cry and make me look like a horrible mom.  That's all I asked for.  The winners of the heats got a large stuffed Nesquic (chocolate milk) rabbit. All the entrants got a diaper bag (not an awesome one) filled with Gerber baby stuff.  Most importantly to me, it had a Gerber baby bib in it.  Those are the best bibs of all the bibs I've tried...until you reach the stage where you need the silicon ones that catch the food.  Those are leveled up bibs.

There was a drawing from the names of all the babies and the winner got a life insurance policy for the baby.  Lilly did not win that. 

Then I met up with a friend who lives in town so she's a pro at the BFF (Baby Food Festival) and showed me where to go to get another, different, diaper bag full of baby food from Gerber, including another bib.  Both Josh and I got a bag filled with the stuff. Best BFF experience ever.

Earlier in the week Lilly and I walked around at the Kids Expo, where all the kid related companies set up booths and gave out their swag. There were so many people and kids and strollers!  Lilly missed her nap and her lunch, and she is such a blessing.  She didnt' cry, she didn't get mad, she just sat there miserable, waiting for it to be over. 

At the EMS booth, I asked them if they knew the number for the police.  I've been thinking about this on and off for a while.  You are only suppose to call 911 if it's an emergency and if it's not you need to call the police.  But when you need to call the police, you usually don't have time to look it up on your phone, the yellow pages, the internet, wherever.  The EMS guy told it to me (924-2100) and then said that I can just call 911 anyways.  I was all, but it HAS to be an emergency.  In Nashville they have billboards up (the good ones were in spanish) explaining what was an emergency and what wasn't and whatever you do, don't dial 911 unless it is.  The EMS guy said that Newaygo County was probably not as busy as Nashville. 

Well.  That's something I hadn't thought of.  I like to think I would have, eventually.  I spent a lot of time in the car trying to figure out what to dial instead of 911.

Yesterday was Bill's Shop n' Save day again.  I needed milk and meat for Josh's sandwiches.  It was not as pleasant a trip as usual.  First, as I was pulling up, I had to wait for a mom and her small daughter to cross the parking lot to go out to their car.  They took their sweet time, but that's okay I said.  Then I went in and got a cart.  But it was the kind of cart where the green flap thing that Lilly sits on up front doesn't stay down.  It's spring loaded to flip up and makes it nearly impossible to get Lilly into her cart seat alone.  That was flustering and I forgot to sanitize the cart.  Not a big deal, I just don't like messing up my routine.  Step one is walk in and look to see who is working and choose which bagger and cashier I want to go to.  I have two favorites and I try to stick to them to increase my chances of building a relationship.  Step two is get a cart, put Lilly in it and sanitize it.  Step Three is Groceries.  So I was on step three, heading towards the donuts, and that same woman and daughter I had to wait to cross the parking lot some how got back INTO the store and I had to wait for them once again!  Finally, I'm to the donuts, and I find the bag and a tissue grabber sheet.  And this woman who is not old but older than me (60ish...this age hates to be called "older" even though that's what they are!) she comes up and is completely annoyed that I am in her way.  Even though I was there first, I could tell by the way her hands were always right behind mine and how she was trying to get into all the donut doors I was already getting into that she was annoyed that I was there.  I was inconvieniencing her!  Shit.  I was there first.  I hate it when people do that to me.  Why do people think it's okay to push me around?  She is probably the Queen of Fremont.

Then guess what!  I discovered that they did indeed hire new people at Bill's.  The newest lady was working in the deli, where I get the meat for sandwiches.  First, she didn't have the customer service training talk yet, and I had to wait a while for some other lady (her trainer) to see me and come tell the new lady that she could stop what she was doing to help me.  I asked for one pound of tavern ham.  So the lady had to spend a few minutes figuring out how to get her gloves on.  Then spend some time figuring out how to open the sliding glass doors to the meat, and then talk to the trainer lady about which meat was the Tavern Ham.  This is okay.  New people are slow.  So she grabs a stack of ham and puts it on the scale.  It's half a pound almost exactly.  She spends a minute figuring out how to press the scale buttons so the price comes up.  Then she puts one more slice on the stack to bring it up to 0.57 lbs.  Then she starts to pack it up, and the lady trainer her says that she thinks I asked for a whole pound of meat.  I confirm that I did.  So the new lady grabs two slices of ham...and nope, that's not enough.  So she grabs two more slices.  Nope.  She man-handled every slice of ham of mine for the entire second half a pound!  She had to go one to two slices at a time! UGH.  That was not okay.  That's not due to being new.  That's due to being slow.  (I know, I know, maybe she was nervous about taking forever and wasn't thinking clearly b/c she's new.  I know.)

Then I grabbed Josh's favorite potato chips and left.  The cashier lady was nice and the bagger was Nate.  I don't know him.  But I go to him every time.  We discussed the weather as we walked out to the car.  I'm trying to practice asking him a nice question that doesn't have to do with the weather for next time.  It's hard and I usually chicken out because I'm shy and just mention the weather again.  I'm thinking I'll ask "So, are you in school?" Or should I say college? 

And that's my life.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

My Secret Passion

Back before I was married, but living in Nashville, I came home for Christmas break and I broke my ankle in a terrible sledding accident.  There was not blood and carnage everywhere.  I was on crutches for 4 months.  I came home in the spring time still on crutches and had to go shopping at Bill's Shop'n'Save with my mom for wedding shower food. 

It was a long and hard crutch around that store, so I decided to sit down and wait for my mom.  I picked out a donut (either sprinkle or glazed), paid for it, and sat at the front of the store on a bench.  An elderly grandmother type came and sat next to me.  She also had a hard time walking around the store.  I ate my donut and it was one of the best things I've ever eaten.  That moment of relaxing in the store eating a piece of heaven is one of those moments you notice and know you will remember forever. 

That's when one of my brother's friends who worked there walked up and accused me of stealing the donut and called me a cripple.  Per usual of his friends.

But, still, I did not forget that donut.  I went on a secret quest throughout Nashvile for the next 5 years, looking for it's southern equivalent.  About 7 months before Lilly was born and we moved, I discovered the closest I could get to a Bill's donut.  It was in a store on a very busy street, Murfreesboro Pike, on my way to work and home. The unfortunate part was that they closed at 1pm.  Which I found out after turning, in the rain, to go there, missing the drive and having to make not one but two left turns on a 6 lane road.  In the rain.  In case you haven't driven in the rain in the south, it's similar in danger levels and difficulty as driving in a snowstorm up here.  It just is. 

I never left home early enough to stop for donuts on the way to work. 

So I moved home.  Now I can have Bill's Donuts whenever I want. Except Fridays, when they sell out.  And that one time when Carly promised me Bill's donuts when I visited, but Bill's was closed so they got Lofthouse Sugar Cookies from Walmart instead.  A valiant effort, but not the same as those donuts.

They are made at night by a guy who's girlfriend I met at the Library.  He has a 10 month old daughter and 3 year old son.  They were also at the library.  They are cake donuts and they are amazing.  My favorites right now are the bear claws (I think they are called that).  They are brown and flaky with donut flake and filled with apple and cinnamon.  But not too much to be overwhelming, just enough filling that you know it's there.  And then it's covered in delicious glaze.  They are rectangular and the edges and corners get crispy, and then are covered in that glaze, making them extra crispy.  I like to pull the edges off and eat those first.  Then I like the sprinkle donuts because they are so colorful and pretty.  Bill's does the sprinkles in colors to match the season, the current holiday, and to match the local high school colors.  I usually choose the most colorful ones.  I like it when there are two main colors with a third sprinkle color, sprinkled in (if you will).    I like the light brown colored frosting for the sprinkled donuts.  You can also choose white or black.  The best donuts there of all of them are the sourdough ones.  When they are cooked they split open on the top, like a banana bread.  Then when they are covered in glaze extra glaze fills in the cracks and it hardens better.  The regular glazed cake donuts get a little soggy b/c the glaze will soften and get sticky in the humidity. 

My mom doesn't understand why I buy and eat so many donuts.  That's a lot of extra calories.  But I don't buy nutty bars or cheesy poofs or chocolate to eat.  I just buy donuts once a week when I do my grocery shopping.

On a side note, when I went to Bill's on Friday, at 2 pm, I found out that that's when all of the oldest of the old people do their shopping.  The store was FILLED with the elderly, pottering around, barely able to walk, with their clip boards and sale flyers.  I chatted with a lady who was shucking corn to make white bean chili and wanted to put the fresh corn in it. It just looked so good.  We discussed if 2 or 3 ears was enough.  Then I talked to the youngest person there, who informed me that her granddaughter just turned one year old that day!  And almost every single one of the people stops and talks to Lilly.  It was a busy day and there was a lot of managers working at Bill's.  In the back of the store I heard one guy saying he just hired 2 people and he was worried if it would work out or not.  He was pretty excited about it.  Then in line I heard two older gents discussing how they interviewed 4 people, three internal and one external, but no decisions were made yet.  I guess Friday is when Bill's does their hiring.  It's a good place to work b/c they have baggers still.  People who bag your groceries and then carry them out to your car for you with special bagger carts.  Lots of people who work there have worked there for 10+ years.  I always get inline where this guy, Nate, works.  I haven't gotten the courage up to talk to him yet, but I'm working on it.  I tried this time, to ask about the lack of delicious donuts, but he was busy and grumpy, and the bagger girl, Jess, talked to me instead.  She said she was disappointed too that they sold out b/c she eats them on her break. I think I will try to strike up a conversation with Jess next time too.  She carries my groceries out to my car a lot, so I should have some chances to discuss more than the weather.

Oh, when I say it was a busy day, I think it was, not because there were a lot of people there, but because old people like a lot of extra help.  Sending things back to the isles and getting the workers to grab what they really wanted to buy.  Stuff like that.  And of course, that sort of service and courtesy, is what gets them the customers.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hairy Babies, Pets, and Bad Yard Art

On the way into town, there are things you look at.  What do you look at when drive to work or town? How long have you been looking at these things?  On my way to work in Nashville, I looked at the street sign that said "Edge-o-Lake Rd" just like that, and thought thoughts on it almost every day.  I looked at the houses by the stop sign and judged them.  I looked at the trees change in the treed part of the drive.  It really was a pretty boring drive.  Now, on the way to Fremont I get to look at the large statue of a fetus being held in a hand and a large sign next to it with anti-abortion bible words on it that is a whole paragraph long and I can't read it while driving by.  Below it in the ground are crosses set out to spell ABORTION, and there is one cross for each child aborted every day or year or something.  I used to know in high school.  This year, they haven't weeded the crosses, so it's looking a little rough.  There is also a beautiful feild of red poppies mixed with a purple flower, and a lot of amish buildings too, with their laundry hanging.  But there is a new item, something for my parents to look at for the next 30 years.  A large tree fell down a while back, right on the edge of the road, sort of in front of a house, if there was a house there.  There is a fallen down barn and a burnt up mobile home (it just burnt up last month) and maybe a dilapitated house too.  (it's not a pretty corner).  But the tree broke about 10-15 ft up, and so there was a large 10-15 stump (Trunk?) left.  That stump was carved in a large 10 ft coca-cola glass bottle and then painted to look like such.  WHY?!?!  WHY DO YOU WANT THAT IN YOUR YARD? I'd rather have the fetus in a hand.

Yesterday I brought Ackbar and Lilly to the vet where I discovered that my cat weighs one pound less than my baby.  Despite the fact that Ackbar's figure has slimmed down and he has a nice kitty waist now, he somehow weighs more than ever at a large 16 lbs!  It's all muscle weight, I'm sure.  The trip was one of the hardest and most adventurous trips I've had to go on with a baby.  I couldn't carry both in at the same time, so first I carried Ackbar in in his crate, then I went back out and grabbed my purse and the stroller.  Lilly was asleep, so I didn't want to wake her and put her in the stroller.  And then the stroller wheels were locked, and I was in too much of a hurry to unlock them, so I picked it up and carried the stroller in, like a giant nerd.  Then I went back out to get Lilly.  Next time, I'm just waking her up.  Then we got into the room, and I realized I had left the paperwork in my other purse, and had to run back out to the car to get it. 

The vet commented on how beautiful and handsome he is.  She also commented on how beautiful Lilly is and how much hair she has.  She tactfully didn't use the same compliments on Ackbar.  But if she had, I would have said "That's how I like them, beautiful and hairy!"  That's funny.

We spent the weekend at Grandma Colombini's house. She has a great dog named Chance, and he is a mini collie...a Shetland Sheep dog.  He looks like a foot rest and has a lot of hair too.  We realized that Chance and Lilly have a lot in common, number one being the first comment they both get when strangers see them is "Look at all that hair!"

Tomorrow we go see Don Benson play in the park in Fremont.  He is a jewelry maker and folk musician!  He and his wife make my favorite jewelry, I have a collection of it (they sell at Bliss Fest) and we've been listening to his cd for quite some time!  I'm excited to see him sing the songs I know and I sing too.  There's one about taking a bath together, there's one about where to send money (he actually sings teh PO box number, so you really can send him money) if you burn the cd, and there's one that goes "My dogma ate my karma".

Friday, June 27, 2014

Ackbar Has a Hard Week

The most disgusting thing happened today.  It's up there on my top 10 list of most disgusting things I've ever seen.  Possibly the most disgusting...but maybe that's because it's so fresh.  I can't stop thinking about it and repicturing it in my head. 

Ackbar has been acting upset the last few days.  I thought it was his stink following him around.  Today he came up to me and meowed and laid down in the middle of the floor.  His food bowl was full and he rarely meows, so I decided to groom him.  He needed some special attention.  So I was brushing him.  His back, right behind the tail is where he gets dirtiest and gets most of his matts because he can't clean back there.  I was brushing it really good, and some black stuff came out of his fur.  I wasn't sure if it was flea gunk or a scab.  He's had scabs back there before.  So I was brushing it to the side and looking to see if I could see his skin, to make sure it was all okay and I saw something.  It was round and tan and gross.  At first I thought it was a maggot that had hatched/was growing in his skin.  I've seen that in our barn cats growing up.  Gross, but not disgusting.  Then...I saw the legs.  It was like a hard tan shell with little black legs coming out of the side, like they were longer but the brown shell thing was growing over them.  It was about the size of a dime.  I realized it was a giant bloated tick!  Ugh.  I did the gross dance and called for my mom.  Ackbar kept on trying to rub against my legs.  Josh came outside and looked at it and said to pull it out.  No way! I was (and am now) trying not to puke.  I made him go get my mom.  She was reluctant because she was busy filling out a mailing form on the internet, but I was persistent and still doing the gross dance.  She got some tweezers (she, at this point, didn't truly understand the size) and came out and helped get it off him.  UGH. It was disgusting.  He had a big bloody hole on his back, and a giant clump of skin and furr came off with the tick.

I didn't see this part, thank goodness, but Josh stepped on it.  He said it popped and a bunch of black goo blood came out the side.

Ackbar is very thankful.  I am still traumatized.

Monday, June 23, 2014


What an exciting summer this is turning out to be!  And I didn't even get to make the pilgrimage out to Colorado with the rest of the cousins.  Someday, I will have money and a bigger truck and a camper and a paid vacation in order to do so.

And that someday may be sooner than I think!  (Think in 2 years, not 10). 

Josh is sleeping with Lilly right now and my parents are out and about doing their things.  So it's just me, for once.  Why is Josh home on a weekday? Shouldn't he be working?  That's what you'd think right? What with a job through a temp agency at Magna assembling car door handles, there's no time for breaks and napping with babies.  Well, last week he over slept and was 30 min late to work.  The temp agency said that that is a money waster for the company and told him not to bother coming in again.  What a depressing day!  Oh, he over slept because his alarm on the phone did not go off for some reason unknown to us.  Yes, it was raining, but it was in airplane mode to save battery, and it's worked before in airplane mode.  All I know, it was a blessing from God.

Yes, a blessing.  Because that night he got a call from Gerber, and they want to hire him in to general assembly!  What an exciting happy day!  This is and what I can only pray, will be his final "real" job.  They pay a living wage (after his probation period), give benefits, and actively try to keep their workers once they're in.  And you want to know what I think? I think it was his degree that he finished that set him ahead of many of the rest of the applicants.  I mean, he has 9 or so years of food experience that applies when you are making baby food, he has a bachelors in biology and chemistry that applies when making baby food in a giant plant, and he's ready to settle down in a job for a long time.  We heard that it's extremely hard to get into Gerber's and one guy stayed out all night in a car waiting for the applications to be handed out the next morning before they started online applying.  We heard this after Josh applied online, without the help of all my friends' dads who work there.  Boy were we surprised when he got the call for the interview.

I'm a little early in announcing this, I wanted to wait until he started and settled in, but I'm just too excited.  So, if something happens, don't be surprised or sad or judging.  I'm trying my hardest not to count my eggs before they hatch, so I won't relax until he's in in in.

And on that note, I have a phone interview this week for a position at Gerber too!  I'm not going to get into it because it's just an interview and one thing I've learned is you don't get a job until after the interview.  Plus, if I don't get it the position, that's okay I want to stay home anyways.

Which brings me to another happy realization.  I've gotten an interview for every job I've applied for since I've moved.  I think this is due to my Master's Degree.  I just can't believe it's paying off!  I didn't get the jobs because I wasn't the right fit for the positions, and I agree with that.  It's absolutely important to me that I get a job I enjoy if I'm going to be away from Lilly.  Plus, to get all religious on you,  I do believe God has a plan for us and that's why it's taken so long to restart our lives here.  He's not going to let me get hired in until it's the job he wants me to have. 

Now the best news, due to Josh's early termination, he gets to spend three weeks at home with me and Lilly before he starts!  See, God knows what he's doing, messing up our cell phones and all.  Just in case you were wondering, Josh unpacked a Darth Vader alarm clock to use.  Courtesy of his sister Ryan.

Now, I know you are dying to know the results of our car being fixed. is fixed!  Both doors open properly, the wheel is not going to fall off, and it has AC.  It's like a brand new car except for the smell and the cigarette burns from the last owner.  (Did I ever mention that the car looks like shit? Runs great, ugly as hell.)  I fixed the door handle and it was a lot easier than I ever thought it would be.  I took off the door panel, the door handle casing, unlatched the window openers and automatic locking casing, (in a different order than I listed) and replaced the handle.  I put everything back on, and the last step was to snap back in the handle casing.  It wasn't going in, so I gave it a good shove, and snapped out a plastic latch part I hadn't put in place properly! So there is now a big hole in it.  Yes, I broke part of it on the very last step.  It's okay though, it just adds to the broken plastic appearance of the car.

This morning I got up and the house smelled of sesame oil.  I didn't know when we cooked with it, but it was pretty strong.  Then I brought Ackbar his breakfast in the hallway, and it smelled even stronger out there.  How can that be?  I sniffed again and thought about it.  Our house smells not of sesame seed oil, but of skunk!  Pretty badly too.  Ackbar did not get sprayed, he smells delicious, like kitty cat.  So, as far as I can imagine, a skunk walked up to our house, said, Screw You, and sprayed it.  With his two, independently controlled stink sphincters. You should research skunks, they are quite amazing, and have the greatest chance of all animals of having rabies. 

Lilly is almost one year old.  She has gotten so big!  She likes to dance and crawl very fast while yelling.  She loves to go outside, but she is afraid of touching grass.  And leaves and tree branches.  She is afraid of barking dogs but not dogs that don't bark.  This morning she was terrified of a blue beach volleyball and screamed bloody murder when I rolled it at her.  We've worked her through that fear and now she can throw it away from her.  Lilly does not like going to sleep or changing her clothes or being forced to sit in her car seat.  She does like riding in the cart at Walmart and at the grocery store.  She loves grapes and strawberries and baby food pouches and drinking water.

Ackbar is coming to realize that his life is no longer as peaceful as it used to be and that it will no longer be so.  He sleeps on my dads chair, and Lilly crawls up and yells at him and touches him.  So he gets up and goes and sleeps on our bed. (It's his fault he chooses her nap spot as his own napping spot).  I bring her in to nap, and she yells at him and grabs at him there.  So he gets up and goes to sleep back on the chair.  She wakes up and finds him and makes him move once more.  Once, I put her on the bed (it was dark in the room) and I laid down next to her and there was something there.  I yelled in fear, and it turns out I laid on Ackbar.

This picture is from the end of May.  She is bigger now.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Adventures In Town

Well, well, well.  Summer is here.  It sure did sneak in.  Sometimes I'm not sure if it is or not.  I mean, the leaves are out, and it gets warm, but everyday I wake up and put on pants and a long sleeve shirt.  I think about last year when I would have been wearing my shortest skirts and smallest tanktops for about 2 months by now.  I suppose part of it is that there are so many mosquitoes here.  I can't go outside as much as I'd like and I can't set Lilly up in the shade because we will both be sucked dry by them.  And I'm one of those people who aren't (normally) bothered by mosquitoes!  For a while there Lilly looked like a little measles victim with all her little red dots.  Luckily they don't seem to bother her.

Yesterday was a hot and muggy day though, but it was Monday, and that means errands day.  I packed Lilly up and a big pop up camper porch tarp and headed into town.  First we dropped what I hope is a porch tarp for a pop up at the JNJ Online Auction building.  The tarp screen thing came from my MIL new used pop up camper.  She didn't want it, and I said, I can try selling it at the JNJ.  The JNJ Online Auction is like a We Sell It On EBAY story, only they have their own site.  They do all the work for me, even taking the pictures, and their cut is 2$ or 15%.  So we'll see how much I make.

Next it was Library Time!  There Lilly made friends with a really nice guy.  I feel like I talked to him in the library before, 6 months ago.  He LOVES kids and babies.  I remember him because he sets off my gaydar then and now, but he has two kids of his own.  That doesn't mean he doesn't have a husband, but I think he mentioned his wife last time.  Anyways, he's very personable and chatty and told me that kids just get better and more fun everyday.  Even through all the hard stuff and even when they grow up to be 5 and 8.  That's just what I need to hear.  Most people who comment on this topic complain about how hard kids are and tell me to enjoy Lilly while she is little and "easy" to take care of.  I agree with this guy though, Lilly does get more fun everyday and everyday the hard things get easier, and new things get harder.

We signed up for the Kids Summer Reading Program and I signed up for the Adult Summer Reading Program.  I've been asking about when this starts once a week for the past two months.  FINALLY!  I LOVE the summer reading programs.  I still use a coffee mug that says "Reading is Dino-mite!" with a dinosaur on it that I won one year.  Lilly wrinkled all of my papers for me.  That was very helpful.  Then she picked out a book on tape for Grandma, Beloved, but Grandma already heard it.  She helped me pick out a book too, Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit.  It was from the display of books that I need to read from for the Adult Summer Reading Program.

After the library, we went to the bank.  I was going to go in and tell them to stop sending me blank checks to fill out and use as unlimited credit money because what if they get into the wrong hands?  I don't like it.  But it was too hot and Lilly was missing her nursing and nap time.  Instead we went through the drive-thru teller and did our banking.

Last, we did the hardest part.  And you thought going to the JNJ Online Auction store was the hardest part!  Nope.  We went to my dad's mechanic and I had to get an estimate on fixing the car.  We decided to fix it up and drive it this summer instead of selling it as is and buying a new car.  I'm going to get the passenger door fixed so it opens all the way.  He told me he can pry the door panel out but it's going to scratch the paint.  I laughed at that.  No one will notice a few more scratches.  I'm going to get teh AC fixed because for some reason, I don't mind not having AC in Nashville...but here...oh no, I must have it.  I don't understand myself sometimes.  And finally, he's going to fix the bearings on the left tire, so it won't feel like the wheel is going to fall off.

But, wait, you ask, what about the driver's inside door handle? Aren't you going to get that fixed?  No, no I'm not going to get it fixed.  I'm going to fix it myself!!!  That's right.  I ordered the part for $4 and watched a video on YouTube.  I feel fully confident in my abilities to fix it up.  I just have to take off the door panel, switch out the handle, and then screw the panel back on.

And despite the heat, the lack of sleep and no milks, Lilly didn't cry once.  She loves adventures and going to town.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Puke Cheese?

I was thinking.  I read in my Survival Guide Book that cheese uses rennet to make cheese with.  Rennet is very powerful stuff I suppose and it comes from the stomachs of all baby mammals.  That's why baby puke and probably early poops, look like cottage cheese.  Because it is.  Because of the rennet.  The book says that much of the rennet used today comes from veal.  But what about back in the day? What about people who made cheese but couldn't afford to kill their only baby calf?  Do they use baby squirrels or bunnies?  Do you know what I would use?  Baby puke.  They say that rennet is powerful stuff and you only need a teaspoon, so it seems to me that some diluted rennet in baby puke would work just as good.  Also, I've had baby puke in my mouth from more than one baby and it wasn't as gross as you think.

Before I read this book and wrote that above paragraph, I really liked the name Rennet for my next baby girl.  I'm going to think carefully on that choice.  BUT it is better than Sue Diligence.

My oldest friend's older brother his here now with a tractor.  He and my dad are pulling cement blocks from the patio.  Big ones...5 ft by 5ft pieces.  It's a long story as to why, but it involves a large mistake by Elmer's cement company in Traverse City.  I don't suggest them.  Anyways, Lilly is fascinated!  That's why I can write this...she is busy sitting and watching it happen through the sliding glass door.  She has only ever sat this still for this long before when she was sleeping.

Agh.  They got the cement loose and pulled it away to the back with the Hops.  Now Lilly has found not only me, but something laptop.

Friday, May 16, 2014

A Busy Day In The Rain

Well, it's raining, again.  Josh got stuck in the driveway this morning with my truck!  My dad said next time he should put it in four wheel drive.  I laughed.  Like my truck has 4x drive.  So silly.

The driveway is now a 1/2 mile long puddle of mud.

Nathan came home last week or so to visit and to do some training at work. (Now he lives in Germany).  He helped my dad start a Hop Farm in the back pasture.  I think my dad has about 30 plants now.  He is also repaving the cement pad outside the garage and the patio.  He is breaking up the old cement and using his skidster to drag the cement blocks to make mini-patios out back by the Hops so that we can sit out there and watch the hops grow.  Hops are used to brew beer.  He is brewing beer today too, actually.  It's his first lone brew.  Normally, Nick, my brother in law and family brew-master comes and helps him.

Life is different here than in Nashville. It is much more routine actually and peaceful.  Yesterday during the bigger rainstorm (all day long rain rain rain), each family member drove into Fremont at separate times.  Even my mother!  She usually leaves to Fremont once a month.  We all went to the library at different times for different reasons too.  And then two other people drove down to see us.  Good thing no one was swimming naked out front, with so much activity going on.  It's a big deal when someone makes to the end of the driveway and rings the doorbell.  Which this reminds me of what I wanted to say:

Yesterday, I was in the living room and Lilly was crying for a nap/wanted a change/was stuck like a rat in a cage/or something, and my mom's cell phone rang.  At our house, when the phone rings, everyone stands up and runs around yelling "The phone is ringing! The phone is ringing!" Now that we have separate cell phones, you have to yell the name of the person who's phone is ringing too.  This is because usually the person is away from the phone and can't hear it, and you have to yell so they can hear you sooner and come running.  Also, my parents are hard of it's important to yell very loud.  So I was yelling "Mom!!! YOUR PHONE IS RINGING!" because she was in her sewing room with the door closed sewing.  And as I was yelling that and trying to get to Lilly, the doorbell rang!!!  And not just any doorbell, but the one by the door Josh and I use.  So this means it's a new person who has never been here before.  It's the old front door and not used anymore.  That's why Josh and I get it.  So I also had to yell that the doorbell was ringing and that someone was here!  "SOMEONE"S HERE!!!"  We yell that much the same way as when the phone is ringing.  I ran to answer the door, and it was a young kid my age.  He said "Hi, I'm here with the power yada yada yada put the sticker on the kuboda and switch the battery wires."  And I was all, okay.  And thought it was weird that the meter reader would knock on the door to tell me about putting a sticker on teh kuboda.  And what the hell is a kuboda for that matter?  It must be the little metal box that houses the meter.

Then I went back inside and my mom asked me if the lawn mower man came.  Whhhaaattt?  It was my dad who the exact moment the guy rang the door tell us he was coming to put a sticker on his lawn mower, a Kuboda.  And it all made sense.  My mom had to run out there and find him to show him where the lawn mower was.  I guess that's what he was expecting me to do when he rang the door bell and I answered, but I just thought he was the meter reader and shut the door on him.

Monday's are errand days and I can do all of my errands, stopping at 3 to 4 stores, and never leave Main Street.  Everything is on one road!  It blows my mind.  I like to go to Walgreens b/c it's the only place that reminds me of Nashville, only this one is cleaner, newer and bigger.  And the people are small town people and are nice.  It's like they stuck small town nice people who know everyone into a big city store.  This is a good thing b/c they have no problems telling you how to bend the rules and use the most coupons to save money.  Very little corporate loyalty b/c the corporate part of Walgreens doesn't cater to the small towns.

Monday, April 7, 2014


Spring time is happening! (I think...there was a layer of snow out this morning).  The turkeys come around everyday and eat food by the birdfeeder and in the garden and around the yard.  There are about 20-30 of them that walk around together.  I think the different groups of them are meeting up and hanging out...flocking if you will.  There are at least 3 males but I'm thinking there are two more, younger ones.  Those are called Jakes.  They puff up all their feathers and walk around regally and try to attract the females.  We haven't seen any actual mating yet, but my dad says the male birds jump on top of the females.  He also says that when you shoot them, you have to shoot them in the head, otherwise the bullet bounces off their feathers.  He then showed me how good their eyesight is.  He grabbed an unloaded gun and stood by the sliding door with it, inside, and they saw him and the unloaded gun and took off.  I don't know how they knew the gun was unloaded...but my dad was sure to point out to me that it was.
I have been busy with crafts when I am not with Lilly.  Currently I am knitting me a pair of socks.  They will be my first knitted socks and I think easier than I ever thought they would be.  I used to think they would be really hard to make, so I didn't try.  But I have been reading Elizabeth Zimmerman books and learning her style of knitting.  She doesn't use patterns but knows how to do the math and percentages to knit without them.  I'm using a mix of that for the top of the sock and the foot part of the sock, but am using the instructions for turning the heel I found in a different book.  Her heel turning instructions are too confusing for my first time turning a heel, but in the future when I know what is suppose to be happening, I'll be able to use Ms. Zimmerman's book.

For Christmas Presents I made out of wood a Growler carrier.  It's like a carrier for a six pack of beer bottles, only it holds two growlers instead.  I'd show you a picture, but apparently it's on a different computer.  I knitted a nice dishclothe with a tree on it and I made a doll ornament.  It was a very small doll and at every step my mom told me to start over b/c it was too small and there was no way it would work.  Well, I proved her wrong!  It worked. I stitched yarn on her head to be hair and fashioned her a red dress and found some glitter paint for her shoes.

My latest finished project is a knitted bunny rabbit.  I've been knitting it since we've moved, so my parents have been waiting to see it finished.  They think it's missing its head.  I think they are crazy.  He looks just like he should look.

Friday, March 21, 2014

A Month of New Feels

Well, well, well, it has been a long time, hasn't it.  Josh finally got a job and stopped taking my laptop to the library every day to look for one.  Now I have it, and my parents agreed to let me hook it up to their internet!  Freedom at last!

My mom is a modest person and doesn't like to brag, so I shall do it for her.  She is the luckiest lady in the world because she doesn't have to do the breakfast and lunch dishes.  I do them now so she can spend more time working on her work and making us money.

Josh's job is just a temporary job, I would say part time, but he is suppose to get 40 hrs a week.  It's a line cook position at a sports bar called Vitales near Grand Rapids.  It doesn't pay enough to warrant moving out though.  That's fine with me.  Spring is coming (so they say...I'm not sure I believe it) and that means tons of fun stuff to do around the house!  I already started spring cleaning and am working on washing the walls.  I have one wall done.  The bathroom is next.

So this last month has been full of "feels" as the internet would say.  First I interviewed for the position at Mich Tech up in Houghton, and I did terrible.  It was a phone interview and I broke all the rules the internet says about what to do and what not to do during interviews.  I'm not being self deprecating, I am being a realist, and it went bad.  Very bad.  Embarrassingly bad.  And that's the part that got me down.  I was embarrassed at how bad I did and I haven't failed at something this big in a long time.  But then Josh talked to me and reminded me that we didn't actually want to move and that really we preferred that I stay home with Lilly, and I felt tons better.

In fact, I tried my hardest for a job and didn't get it.  Now I can devote 100% of myself to being a Homemaker.  Sigh.  If only I had a home. *dry laughs*

Then, after that feelings of failure, Chucky got very sick very fast.  Chucky is my parents cat and my childhood cat (the one that lived the longest after Mama Kitty), and friends could say, the fourth child of this family.  He passed away and it was very very very sad.  I cried and cried, more than I ever had over a death.  I didn't want to talk to anyone for a while and I was mad at Ackbar for being here still and Chucky wasn't.

As part of dealing with anxiety, and it comes from mindfullness meditation, I like to look at new emotions I feel and examine them.  These two events will be really nice and interesting in the future.  It's nice to have pain and sadness and failure for actual reasons that can be accepted and understood and make sense.  Sometimes when I am depressed, I feel all of those same emotions, but no reason I understand, and therefore there is little hope that they will go away.  With these actual events, I know that day by day the feelings will slowly change and become less.  When I am depressed, I like to remember how I felt when my highschool boyfriend and I broke up.  It was very hard and very sad, but it also went away...and when you feel nothing for so long, it's nice to remember when you did feel something.

I was going to upload a picture of Lilly, but alas, the picture is too large and the internet is too slow.

She is almost crawling.  She is very good at rolling around and finding paper to eat.  She got in her first real fight with me.  I was trying to feed her and she insisted that she could do it herself, by holding on to the spoon full of food and pulling it towards her, and I, in my wisdom, said no, and always try to pull the spoon away.  It makes a really good baby food launcher doing that.  She then refused to eat and made a high pitched noise and pinched her lips together and pulled her head back and made little fists and turned all red.  She was very frustrated and angry and refused to eat.  So I gave her the spoon, and went and got myself my own spoon.  She cheered right up and tried to feed herself from an empty spoon.  I would sneak my spoon in when I could.

She also puked into my mouth the other week when I was holding her above my head.  We were visiting Josh's dad.  It was all green (from green beans) and tasted like sour milk and baby stomach acid.  I saw it fall down at me in slow motion and there was nothing I could do.

We went for a walk two or three days ago when it was 40 degrees out.  She sat in a baby hiking backpack thing.  I saw her holding her hand out to feel the breeze flow through her fingers.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Baby Got Back

Lilly has started singing.  She sings "Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba"  and we finish with "Barbara-Ann".

Today a secret (post secret type) dream came true.  On the tv show Freinds, Mabel, Rachel's baby girl, would only laugh when you sang her Baby's Got Back.  Well, today was the first time that Lilly and I heard that song together.  She danced and laughed and informed me that I was a freak all at the same time.  I always wondered if my life would be like Rachel's.  It's not, and I would never spell the name Mabel, it's totally Mable.  Der.  Just so you know, I figured that out a few weeks ago.  Josh's grandma's name is Mable.

She wanted to dance to Hammer Time but she was busy nursing and nothing, not even MC Hammer will interrupt that.  She let me know.  She's a smart girl.

She is one week shy of 8 months.   8 months of me not working.  I have an interview next week to be the museum manager of the Seaman Rock and Mineral Museum at Michigan Tech University.  I don't know how I feel about that.  I have never been so down the middle of the road on an issue.  I only applied because it is my dream job...IF I have to work.  See? It's difficult. 

I made some homemade hummus.  I prefer store hummus, but it makes a good rye hummus sprout sandwich for sure. I also soaked some black beans and made beans and rice.  It's also good.  We are going to have sloppy joes for dinner!  I can't wait.  We bought sale buns from Bill's Shop and Save.  It was like 80 cents for 4 buns..perfect deal.

We were going to have tacos, but we are snowed in and can't get to the store to get corn tortillas...not that we couldn't make our own, but sloppy joes sound better.  Yeah, we are set for food, for probably 2 months at least, if we didn't try hard. Fingers crossed that the snow melts by then.  If not....well, then there are greater problems.

I've always wondered how my life would have been if I went to Mich Tech instead of CMU.  Not as good, I'm sure.  Josh went to CMU, not Tech.  Plus, CMU has good sweatshirts and I found a sweet tshirt in the Rock Room at CMU left by an old student and it's my favorite shirt to snuggle...even after 5 years.  That's got to mean something.

The Rock Room was three floors down and around several's where I did all of my rock cutting and smashing and powdering and grinding. I  would spend 8 hrs a day in there during the summer, alone, doing my research (cutting, smashing, powdering) and listening to the CMU college radio station (BEST radio station ever, hands down) and I would call in and request songs.  Only I coudlnt' think of names of the songs I like that were current, so I would request the Eagles.  I would eat lunch with Matt and Asher out on a picnic table near the greenhouse and talk about our professors.

I COULD have been drinking and floating down the Chippewa River on inner tubes.  Did I miss out?  I'm not sure yet.  But to be honest...I've had more jobs than Josh and he DID do all the river tubing.  So..maybe I did good. Maybe.  Plus, I'm pretty much terrified of tubing down a river.  There are shit tons of spiders on all the banks and in the trees.  Truth.   And I did* love a good rock crushing. *do love

Josh is snow-shoeing to the end of the driveway to pick up the mail and check and see how bad the snow drifts are (we can't get out today).  I tried very hard to get to go too...but then there would be noone to watch Lilly and Josh said she couldn't come on a sled.  The roommates (parents) are out of town, so there is no one to plow and we are not allowed to work the plow-machine (skidster). 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Lamb is just a Sheep in the Long Run. ~Denmark Saying

I've been reading about raising sheep, and it's a lot of work.  It involves at least 3 sheep because you can't have just one, which is fine, but that's more tricky work.  And sheep involve gross things like infections, sickness, and tagging the ears.  Stuff you wish you could have the vet do, but you can't afford to, so you do it yourself.  I'm not sure I'm up to that stuff just yet.

When describing how to help a ewe birth a lamb, if it has horn buds, you should help the ewe out by pulling her vulva apart to make room for the horn buds.  I'm not sure I can handle lambing.

So there's a lot of thinking going on about that.  One thing I do know for a fact:  I don't want any sheep with horns.

I think my simpler goal to attain to help the sheep farm decision is to get into what I'm most interested in, and that's the fleece.  I want to start to learn how to work with the raw fleece.  Spinning it, carding it, etc.

And first, to attain that goal, I need money.  So my real goal is attaining money.  Lots of it too.

I can do that.

Lilly and I went to the Toddler Sit and Read time at the Library today.  She was so amazed at the 3 other children there!  She would make her I-See-A-Kitty noise and wave her arms around excitedly at them.  She even sat and read the book and didn't try to eat the book!

Josh and my mom laughed at me because of why I think Lilly is a genius.  She is a genius because she can drink water from her sippy cup!  She knows that if she tips it up, water comes out!  It's amazing.  But she is still working on holding the cup upright before tipping it up.

I watched the opening ceremonies for the Olympics this year.  It's my first time ever seeing them and it's amazing!  I wish I hadn't ever missed any.  I loved seeing Russia put their best face forward and to learn about the history that they cherish.  It makes me want to learn more about Russia.  I must say this was probably the first time I learned about Russia from Russia and I knew there was no American Propaganda attached to it.  I can't recall the details enough to repeat it on here in a well thought out manor, but I liked the comments President Obama made about his relationship with Putin.  Vlady Vlad as he prefers to be called in private.  I'm sure.

Not too long ago we heard on the news that someone was in trouble for selling pig colon as imitation calamari.  Josh says I am wrong for never wanting to eat calamari again.  I'm not really that grossed out at all or worried, I just have no desire to eat something that can be confused with a pig's colon.  What if calamari is just imitation pig colon? 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Private Party Time

Yesterday Josh and I co-hosted the best Superbowl party I've ever attended.  It was an exclusive affair, a Private Party if you will.  Nathan and Mandy barely made the guest list...too bad they had other plans (too bad for them!). The other hosts?  My mom and dad. I guess that makes Lilly the sole guest.

The food was delicious!  My mom made bean dip and artichoke dip.  Josh made chicken legs in the style of barbeque and hot wings.  He made the hot wings sauce and it tasted just like hot wings!  Mmmmm.  I made mayonnaise and used that to make ranch dressing for the chicken.  I also made a hot fudge cake and made sure ice cream was purchased.

In the morning my mom and I went out to the garden, braving thigh deep snow, and dug up some parsnips.  Those and a sweet potato were made into chips, which were eaten during the game.

We pre-gamed with a match of Euchre, Josh and I losing spectacularly.

It's easy to get thigh deep snow if you're short.

It was really fun to make all the delicious food and then eat it all ourselves.  Plus hot fudge cake is my favorite and I haven't had it in years and years. 

I learned a lot preparing for this:
1.  I do not like homemade mayonnaise.
2.  How deep the snow really is. (I haven't been outside in a while)
3.  How easy it is to make hot wing sauce
4.  That hot fudge cake is still just as delicious with 3 tablespoons of coco powder instead of 6
5.  I'm a sucker for the Made in America/Detroit Pride truck commercials.

On another note, I lied about not being outside.  I went snow shoeing on Friday in actual deep deep snow.  I can now cross that off my bucket list.  Life goal accomplished.  It was hard as hell and more tiring than running.  I did not make it very far. I walked through the back pasture and into the woods and then out of the woods at the shortest path possible.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Dipes and Wipes

I have started using reusable diapers and it's a lot easier than it seems. "Duh." says every mother who has done so.  The hardest part is that it is really hard to find cloth diapers online and in stores.  It's also hard to figure out what it is you actually need and it's really expensive to just go in and buy stuff without knowing if you need it or not.

What you need are the snapping babywraps, only one would work but no more than three.  Then go buy the Gerber 10 or 12 pack of the thri-fold clothe diapers.  I received a bunch of organic cotton ones that came with my diaper wraps.  They are nice, but they are so fat, they barely fit Lilly.  The thinner ones from Gerber are better.

When they are dirty, I bring them to the laundry room and soak them in a tub in the sink until it is time to wash them.  If you don't have the luxury of a laundry room sink,  I think a big 5 gallon bucket with lid next to the changing table would work.  Just fill it with some water and a little vinegar or soaking agent of your choice (or nothing, just water), and keep the dipes in there and carry the bucket to the washer when it's time.

Now, onto the fun stuff.  Lilly is almost 7 months old and she is sitting up mostly unsupported and she definitely rolls over.  Her favorite game Flying or Being Upside Down.  She does not like changing, but she does like being naked and being clothed.  She likes to sleep and she likes to sharpen her little baby talons. She likes puppies a lot and her best pet friend is Patches, Grandma Diane's foster kitty.  Patches is old and breaks most of the rules in the most uncaring way.  I call her Packages.  Lilly does not like it when I pick her nose.  She laughs when you kiss her chin.  Her favorite food is green beans, and she likes chewing on a calculator the most.