Dec 29, 2010

My Pets

This is Chic. She was our pet chicken, and lasted until late spring/early summer of this year.

   We have a minor fox problem. We bought Chic along with 24 other chicks. She lasted the longest.
She was super tame! She liked to randomly hop up on people's heads, follow everyone around, and jump up to places where she wasn't allowed to be...
Crazy bird!
Chic was a real sweetie, and she got along with everyone-even Bear! They hit it off really well-they did everything together...

(: She kept him groomed pretty well too.

Chic really loved people!

I really miss her. ):

Meanwhile, Bear has been enjoying posing for some pictures himself. He especially loves the ones in which he gets to look melodramatically out into the middle distance!(:

He is a really special pet.
He is four years old, and I got him in 2007, when he was about 6 months old.

I love him so much!

Dec 28, 2010

Why you should never leave the house wearing slippers.

Have you ever needed to run somewhere real quick? Somewhere where you wouldn't even have to get out of the car? And in getting ready, you thought you'd just go in your pj's or work clothes, or slippers - whatever you were wearing at the time?

Same here. I had this happen just this morning. I needed to run Abe to Ruckersville. Just a quick drop off - I wouldn't even have to get out of the car. (In this case, the Green Bean, our 1998 suburban) I was fully dressed, but I had my cozy, fuzzy house slippers on. Knowing what was involved with the trip, I just decided to leave my slippers on. No need to change.

Abe was in the driver's seat when I got out to the sub, so I jumped in as passenger, along with my unfinished cup of hot tea. We were moseying along - going down a curvy, country road - when the car died. Completely and totally died. So, no steering, and hardly any brakes. Abe managed to stop safely and pull over. I knew what to do. See, we've been having an issue with the battery shorting out on us, but it had never happened while driving! Only when it was parked and you had to start it up. I jump out and landed right in a snowdrift. Right off the bat, I have 2 slippers full of snow. Brrr! I hustle around to the front, Abe pops the hood, and then I and an act of Congress get the hood unlatched and lifted up. I reach in and wiggle the correct cable, the light comes on, Abe starts it up, I wade back through the snow drift, get in, and we're off. Before I can grab it, the rest of my hot tea gets dumped down the console and into my purse. Bummer.

We get to Ruckersville, drop Abe off, I clamber over the console into the driver's seat, and I'm headed home. All the while, I'm praying that the car won't die on me again. Especially going down 29! I made it approximately 1 mile, and it died. Thankfully, I was passing the Food Lion and was able to coast into the parking lot. Sort of. By the time I got it off the road, I could hardly steer it. I pretty much came to a stop by bumping a curb and blocking both lanes of the local Coffee Shop drive thru! I jump out, and go through the whole procedure again - this time by myself. As I get back in the car, I notice little hard things in my wet slippers. Little pieces of gravel from the pavement. I shake them out, wave to the cars waiting to get in the drive thru, and hit the next leg of my journey.

This time, I only make it a 1/2 mile - maybe. Smack on 29 with lots of traffic! I stuck it in neutral and coasted to the next driveway. I knew I wouldn't be able to make a 90 degree turn into a driveway - the steering was gone! So I just pulled over to the side of the road. Put on my flashers - oh wait. There's absolutely no power so I have no flashers. Great! I jump out, and do the same thing... again. There is so much traffic going by that I stand off the road and wait to get back in. This time, my slippers are full of grass and weed bits. When the traffic has a good break in it, I dash back to the driver's side and get in. Only a couple more miles to go and then I'll be off the main road. All this time, I've been staying in the right lane just in case I had to pull over. But now, to get off 29, I have to get in the left lane. Oh dear. Please Lord, don't let it die now! I make it to the stop light, wait through a red one, then finally get to turn onto the windy, country road again. Thank you Lord!

It happened two more times before I made it home. The last time was at a stop sign. There I am, flopping around in my wet, weed-covered slippers; the hood up and me trying to act like this is no big deal and I know what I'm doing. Sure enough, cars start showing up and backing up behind me. I wave them on around. They poke around me, craning their necks to see what is going on. I smile real nicely at them, slam the hood, jump in, start it back up, and dash and pray all the way to my driveway.

As I pull into our house, I make the decision NOT to drive the sub again until this problem is fixed. I squish and squash and flop into the house. Angi is mopping the kitchen floor. I track all the way across and down the basement stairs. I go up to my sick husband who is home with the stomach flu and tell him how grateful he should be that I'm home safely. He has no idea what I'm talking about. I fill him in, then plop down next to the wood stove and start drying out my slippers.

I really am thankful for the safety I had. All of the "dies" could have happened in worse places. I made it home just fine, and now that it's over and my feet are dry and warm again, it's funny!

The next time you're tempted like I was, go put on your shoes! :)

Dec 18, 2010

Wood heat - 4 times as warm....

"#1. cutting. #2. splitting. #3. hauling. #4. burning." :) (This is a Dad-trying-to-make-us-feel-better-ism)

Saturday afternoon, and we all head out to cut, split and haul wood. There is still snow on the ground but its not too cold out - probably mid-thirties.

Angi with a load of wood in our ancient wheelbarrow.

Me using the chainsaw (that Dad sharpened and started for me:)

(mom made me put that one on:)

Conni pulling our new cart thingie...

Dad, splitting the ginormous ones...

Abe, making it look easy :)

Me with the chainsaw (which is actually pretty fun once it's started) Abe splitting, and Angi..... well, i think she is loading the cart, but at the moment she is paused :)

Angi unloading under the back deck.

Water for each of us...

Dad watching me - and laughing :)

loading the wood..... (i think this is really why Mom and Dad had 4 kids - this whole operation is a lot of work! lol j/k:)


Mom decides to have a try at splitting. Abe had left the axe stuck in a piece of wood..... and she couldn't get it out! Not a very promising start :) It was hilarious to watch :)

Ok, finally got it out, now lets see what she can do...

Basically nothing was accomplished :)

I think Angi is laughing at Mom here :)

She decides to have a try at it. Actually, Angi is pretty good at this - except for the aim part :)

This was the sliver she split off :) lol :)

Impressive, huh? :)

I took a break from the chainsaw so dad could add some oil to it. When he hands it back to me, he says: "Start it now, that will make you feel better" :) Here are my attempts....

When I would pull the cord (which, btw, should so be on the right side, hello!) it would just jerk the whole thing around!

Abe is laughing at me....

Dad helps....

....and I try a new approach.

I was able to start it, but it cut off as soon as I looked up in triumph - talk about annoying :)

Typical Abe...

All the kids...

Abe is holding a packed ball of snow against my cheek. COLD!!!

Best friends...

We were all done...... but Dad was still working away..... He has the Pecan Syndrome - for those who know that term :)

We got a cord of wood today. We did the math, and we go through about 10 cords a winter. One in October, 2 in November, December, January, and February, and 1 in March. Just kind of an interesting fact for anyone who cares :)

He is going to kill me for posting this, but I couldn't resist :) This is what he was wearing under his snow pants and coat :)

We love you, Abe! :)