Day 191: Rise & Shine

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Day 191. July 09, 2012

For the last week my body has decided that the time between 5:30 and 6:00 AM is the perfect time to wake up. And I quite like it. Simply because I don’t have to up, no alarm clock, no pressing schedule to follow. The dogs are still asleep, so it’s quiet. The birds chirp, the rooster crows, the cars pass by like waves crashing in the ocean – almost rhythmically. Oddly soothing. This morning I woke up to see the sun just beginning to peak above our backyard fence. It called to me in a way.

What a way to begin the day. With capturing the morning light, the brilliant colors of the sky. I love cool summer mornings, not a cloud in the sky. Sometimes I wish I could climb on top of our house, to sit up there with my camera in hand and experience the morning from a whole new vantage point.

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Day 190: Dash of Vanilla

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Day 190. July 08, 2012

Pancakes. Pancakes taste terrible. I think they make them that way so that we’ll smother them in sugary syrups. How is this a “good” breakfast? I always add in spices to my pancake mix to give it some sort of life. And my favorite topping, after grandma’s syrup, is mama’s applesauce. A refreshing mix to the dull, sometimes dry pancake texture. There have got to be better pancake recipes out there. I hate using boxed ingredients, especially when I know a scratch version would be just as easy to put together. It’s more a matter of trial and error that I don’t want to go through, especially when I’m cooking for five or six people. Tiny batches will have to be made and my official taster must be present. To the search engine I go!

Day 189: Special Delivery

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Day 189. July 07, 2012

“Make me this sign.” Aaron ordered me a few days ago. Those of you who have seen Die Hard understand the reference, those who don’t will just have to watch the film.

I had been meaning to since then, but in true character I kept putting it off. I remembered this morning when my body woke me up at 6:00 AM that Aaron leaves before 7:00 for work. I hurried to create a replica sign, though not exact it’s pretty good for having been completed in twenty-ish minutes. It wouldn’t be until 14 hours later that I learned of how useful it turned out to be.

Adam returned today from his four week stay in Germany “training” for his job. Not so much training happened, I’ve been told. But lots of photos were taken, a special screening of them is to come in the near future. And lots of alcohol & chocolate to share with the family.

I was excited to hear what Adam thought of our clever sign.

Aaron left it in the front seat.

All my hard work.

For nothing.

Puh.

I had imagined the looks of people walking past in the airport, those who comprehended the reference and enjoyed the lightheartedness of the joke. Didn’t happen.

But. Sigh. But then this happened. Violet squirmed & cried for joy when she saw her boy come home. And the sign didn’t matter so much anymore.

Day 188: Affectionate Noodles

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Day 188. July 06, 2012

One of the few pasta dishes that I love is homemade mac and cheese. It’s easy to guess that the reason for loving mac and cheese has to do with the latter partner in the title. Seriously, the possibilities of the different cheese combinations is quite possibly endless. Tonight, however I kept it simple with a colby, cheddar mix – there are a few select men in the family who don’t care for experimental food but instead cling to what they grew up with. I can respect that and often times I try to make dishes that I hope they’ll at least try without immediately turning their noses away.

I think it was a success. Grandpa even asked for me to e-mail him the recipe. I think the winning attribute was the crushed up homemade garlic croutons as the bread crumb topping. It added a little extra…pizazz.

Day 187: Kitten Rescue Operation

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Day 187. July 05, 2012

For the last week or so I could have sworn there was a  new rustling in the walls of the barn. Now, we do have the litter of four kittens in the barn scampering about and of course other various critters skittering. But yesterday my suspicions were confirmed when my brother Andrew sent me a text informing me that while he was up in the hay loft getting a bale down he discovered three kittens way down between our walls. We’re talking seven feet down. Six to eight inches wide.

Our hypothesis is that the mama had the babies up in the hay loft and they fell down between the wall. Separating mother and babies. We don’t know when or how long they were down there. I do remember seeing her up in the loft, but I had no idea she was ever pregnant. Poor mama. But today we freed them! And here is the long, long tale of how it happened.  Continue reading

Day 186: America. And A Dog Named Yoda

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Day 186. July 04, 2012

Okay. So it’s the 4th of July. Woo? I’m not one to really care about patriotic holidays. In high school I never wore our team colors, never went to sporting events other than that one Homecoming game freshman year because my best friend talked me into it. Anyway. I didn’t care about our sports teams or really have “school spirit”. I was an art kid. And the way I felt about my high school is kind of how I feel about America. I don’t root for us in the Olympics, really. Or care about wearing red, white, and blue on patriotic holidays. I don’t see today as being anything special because of how screwed up our government, healthcare, school, and food systems are. What are we celebrating? Our freedom to buy one dollar cheeseburgers from the gas station loaded with mystery meats and processed bread? Our freedom to dive thousands of dollars into debt for a higher level education that won’t even guarantee us a job once we graduate? Our freedom to act like Nationalistic cooks who hang flags from our trucks, drink till we can’t walk straight, and set off illegal explosives in our back yards? Good job, fellow Americans. I applaud you for being able to do one thing right.

But hey. This post isn’t about my great desire to leave this country the first opportunity I get. This is about a dog named Yoda. Yes, the cute one in the photo. It’s been nearly three years since I saw her last, when she was only six months old right around Christmas 2009. She came to stay at our house while her mommy and daddy went on a trip and oh the fun we had. It’s always amazing to me to spend time with other people’s dogs. And how well-behaved they are. Even if their owner disagrees. Other people’s dogs are a lot more fun to hang out with, too. ‘Cause they’re new and exciting. And at the end of the day (or week) they go home to someone else and you are left only with the wonderful memories of playing together.

Day 185: Ball of Energy

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Day 185. July 03, 2012

Jack wants to play. All the time. I throw. He runs. Catches. Runs back. Drops the ball at my feet. Rinse & repeat.

He could play for half and hour until finally he sprawls out on the ground panting like a lady dog in labor. So I move on with my day. But as soon as my attention shifts off of him he leaps back up and insists I take the ball. How?! How are you not tired?! 

So then I begin my next phase. Ignoring him. He picks the ball up. Drops it at my feet. Rinse & repeat. “Go find someone else” I say. My other favorite “I think it’s nap time. Oh yes, nap nap for Jack Jack.”

He’s got two hurt legs, both on his left side. So he limps with his back leg and scoots his front paw across our tiled floors. It’s very pathetic. And maybe a bit heartbreaking. Especially when he looks up at you and tilts his head in the most adorable way. And yet. With two hurt legs he still wants to play.

What a crazy dog.