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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pic of the Neighbor's Shed

O.k. I had to put it up. It just makes me laugh. This is the shed they put together (very efficiently) yesterday. And because they didn't attach it to the ground or any kind of foundation, when the wind came whipping through it picked it right up and dumped it upside down.

This evening when we left, they were burning some tiki torches...very close to their house.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Day Hike

Yesterday I went on a day hike with my 2 friends. It was probably the most perfect day ever to take a hike. I figured the best way to get over my dog experience was to march into the wilderness and maybe run into an alligator or mountain lion.

We had beautiful wild flowers in full bloom. The colors were so vivid and bright.

This is a picture of my friend and I. Notice this is the beginning of the hike since we are both smiling. Eightish miles later...not so much.






We talked about how an alligator would probably snatch us off this road. And if we had a small dog it would use it's leash for floss.


We also discussed all our doomsday scenarios and how bad the world is. We were going to go home immediately and build bomb shelters and/or run away into the woods so no one could tattoo bar codes or insert microchips in us. I'm pretty sure my other friend is wondering if she'll visit us in the nut house or just forget she ever knew us.


This is another picture of my friend....hee hee

We found this beautiful bright green swamp. Is that algae bloom or sulfanagens?


Here's some strange wildlife. They were bending over and crawling around taking pictures of flowers.

These are some leaf cutter ants. My friend informed me that they are actually farmer ants. We watched them from up in a tree come down the trunk and leave a leaf pile where other ants would come and pick up a leaf and go back to their nest. Repeat. There were also some guard/soldier ants with big pinchers scouting the surrounding area. We were very careful of these.



So that was my big day hike. I'm hoping we'll all go to Big Bend National Park in June.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Demon Dogs Next Door

This is a real rant. You are forewarned.

Today was the day we planned to put in a small water feature. Namely a fountain. This takes planning because our ground here is less than desirable. It’s an undesirable rock and tree root bonanza. Any time you dig more than one millimeter you will run into a rock and then a tree root. It takes considerable time and effort to accomplish putting things in the ground.
We decided we wanted this fountain in the ground like a small pond. I get started digging the hole and cursing the ground. Jace is inside talking to the internet people because you know that whole upgrading the internet thing went sooo smoothly. Instead of giving us an upgrade the repair guy turned us all the way back to dial up speed. I asked Jace if this is like a big joke in the internet industry. They probably think we’re stupid and don’t run speed tests to make sure they aren’t lying to us. But they are wrong and Jace won’t let that go till it’s fixed which means the repair guy is going to get real sick and tired of driving out here till he gets it right. Anyway.

I’m outside digging and I hear a bark. A bark that is very close and does not belong to my dog. I’m also wearing my hot pink grandma gardening hat. I look up and see not one but two of the new neighbor's dogs/puppies/hounds of hell in my yard and barking at me. And not nicely. I do exactly the right thing and run inside at the speed of light while screaming “Jaaaaaaaccccceeee” ! ! ! “The dogs next door are in the yard!” Now Jace jumps up and hands me the phone telling me he’s on hold. Out the door he goes and grabs the shovel and runs after the dog demons while screaming murderous phrases at them like “get out of here.”

He’s walking back to the house and I tell him in no uncertain terms that he is to go next door and tell the new neighbors that they better get those dogs under control, while pointing my finger toward their house. So off he goes with shovel in hand to “talk” with the neighbor. I’m still on hold with the internet company but I’m starting to turn from scared to really really mad.
Jace comes back from the neighbors and tells me the only one there is the oxygen wearing Grandpa who told him he would get the dogs. Yeah right. Jace told them that I am deathly afraid of dogs and that they could not let the dogs run loose to wander onto our property.

Me being deathly afraid of dogs is mostly true and I can narrow it down to two significant events. First, I watched Omen when I was a kid. All black dogs are possessed by Satan. Second, I was a little girl out riding my bike one day and came to an intersection in a neighborhood and this dog came running out chasing me. I was riding in circles and going crazy trying to get away from this dog, panicked out of my mind and all I can remember is that I almost got hit by two cars and there were cars at all four points of the intersection and no one helped me. No one helped a little girl almost getting viciously attacked. So now I am afraid of most dogs. Not all dogs. I have a dog. He’s smaller than the cat. The cat can beat him up. But he adores me. And I give him lip smacking treats.

I digress. Jace comes back inside and is back on the phone with the internet guy. I’m stomping around muttering “I’m gonna shoot them.” I find the pellet rifle and head back outside hoping they will be there. Picture crazy lady with hot pink garden hat stomping around yard with rifle. This is probably affirming the other next door neighbor’s suspicions that we stay home and drink all day while Rowan’s at school.

Here’s the deal. Now that the demon dogs have crossed the barrier, and the neighbors have been warned, they are now fair game in my book. Why be so terrible, you ask. Because I could have been Rowan outside playing. And I’m going to make sure she’s not in danger. I’m going to be a thorn in the neighbor’s side. They will wish they never moved out here. Grandpa won't be getting that oxygen delivery from home health if things don't go my way. And if their dogs come over to “play” again, I’ll have a real nice lead welcome for them.

Monday, March 22, 2010

This is working out great...

I'm falling behind again. You're probably looking at the date and saying to yourself that I didn't post this two days ago because you checked and I hadn't written anything. Well, I had. Just the title. And then I got busy.

I was actually busy reading everyone else's blogs. They've been very prolific lately. Lots of spring cleaning going on. We've been busy here, too. What with the weather getting better everyday.

* Almost everything in the garden has sprouted and it's been a wet spring and will be a great garden year if it keeps up like this.

* We'll start adding a water feature and sitting area tomorrow. One day it will also have a fire feature which will not be called a "BBQ Pit." As our imagination grows so does our gardening areas.

* We have some new neighbors next to us with a mean dog. I would like to shoot things with a sling shot at it. We never did anything to this dog and it just sounds like it would like to tear us apart. Did I ever tell you about the time I was getting out of a truck with a rifle in one hand and pointed it at a bunny and pow! I daydream about doing that to this particular dog. Did I mention I have a 4 year old, no fences, and their dog is on a leash made of thread?

* Been tweaking the t.v. system which I already wrote about.

* I've watched 2 food supply documentaries and Julie and Julia. I want us to eat better and would like to be able to cook food better. I'm shopping around for that Julia Child's cookbook. If it doesn't work out then I'm hoping I can throw it far enough to hit that dumb dog in the head.

It's actually late now and I'm going to get some sleep. I will post something of a well put together post tomorrow or Friday.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Internet T.V.

The past few days I’ve been consumed with a new idea. This is usually how things get done around here. I stumble across an idea and it has this nuclear explosion effect in my brain and I have to get it done because it’s such an amazing idea.

This week’s idea is “Why are we still paying for satellite t.v.?” I was on CouponMom and read a post in the forum about one family ditching their cable/satellite. They explained exactly how they did it and it was in simple everyday language. Sometimes when people are talking technical stuff I feel like Patrick from SpongeBob Squarepants.

The process is really simple. Find out who has free internet t.v., they made a list, and sign up for Netflix. I signed up for $8.99 per month and I get this month free to make sure I like it. This service lets you watch things instantly so it’s not the order a movie and wait for it in the mail, although I can do that in addition. I also get unlimited viewing. I was really surprised with the variety they have. Of course there’s a million movies but also documentaries and some t.v. series.

Now the technical part. Getting it hooked up to the t.v. I am usually on the netbook which makes things really tiny. Jace has a monitor cable plugged into the t.v. which plugs into the laptop or netbook. Finally I right click on the screen and choose graphic options and choose “monitor” and it magically appears on the t.v. Jace also has speakers that plug into the netbook so the sound is not this tiny netbook sound.

This is the beginner’s route to cutting the cord to cable/satellite. I can’t use the computer while it’s being used with the t.v. So here’s a couple of ways to get around that. First, there’s some new devices made by Roku. These are magic boxes that work with your Netflix subscription and something called the Channel Store. These start at $79.99. I read a review on them and they are simple to use and it frees up your computer for the cost of one month of cable or satellite t.v. Not bad. However, Jace says it’s kind of like buying a game console in that that’s all it can be used for. So the second option is to buy another computer that can be dedicated for the t.v. but you can also use it as a computer. Just remember you don’t need to buy a computer with a monitor. Lastly, you’ll want to check your router to make sure it’s up to speed and can manage all the devices you’re running. We need a new router.

In conclusion, my argument for getting rid of the satellite t.v. is that we don’t watch enough different channels for the cost. We’re paying $80 a month when we could be paying $8.99. We don’t even watch sports! We’re not even sports fans in any way possible. O.k. except the Olympics, but that’s only me. So why are we paying for 20 different sports channels? In fact we seem to have something like 800 channels of repetitive bull. Yesterday Jace called up our dear Directv and asked them about their $29.99 promo on their website. They told him that wasn’t really what the channel list was…So it’s just a pretend list?

Well I’m off to go watch a documentary on China and 20 episodes of SpongeBob. March Madness? Whatev.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Zipline

Doesn't this look like fun? Just sayin.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring is Boring

At least this week spring is boring. There's just not much of anything exciting happening.

* We finished planting the spring garden. Let's see if I can remember everything that's in there. Corn, lettuce, sunflowers, strawberries, bell peppers, tomatoes, spinach, microgreens, squash, beans, peas, cucumbers, and watermelon. We also added to Rowan's "pink" garden which is a garden with only pink flowers, her favorite color.

* I got my closet cleaned out and managed to organize all my crosstitch items in a big tackle box. I was really happy to find out I had so much stuff and dismayed to find out I had so much stuff. Lots of duplicate things. Still lots of room in the tackle box for more things. Also found the rest of my Lavender and Lace patterns I found on clearance a few years back. Still have 5 never opened.

* I've become a huge fan of reading books on the itouch. Also been listening to audio books while I work on crosstitch.

* I've gotten very far behind in coupons, which is easy to do and happens quickly. Organized them today but I'm still 4 weeks behind and might have to just forward them in a mail coupon train. Sometimes it's better to just start fresh instead of trying to catch up.

* Jace has been trying to keep me entertained and laughing but frankly I think this week is a dud. Maybe next week will improve. I'll keep you posted if anything interesting happens, like I paint my toenails or something.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Snake Farm and Exotic Animals

With Rowan still on Spring Break we went on another adventure today to the Snake Farm and Exotic Animals! I don't think my friend believed me when she texted me to keep Rowan close and I replied that I had her eat bacon before we left. Except that we did eat bacon before we left. I realize this might not be a good idea but at least we skipped the barbecue sauce.


Rowan is still pretty sure we're going to see a dinosaur today. Her Father let her watch Jurassic Park, etc. etc. you get the idea. Going into the snake farm we are immediately surrounded by...snakes. There's some alligators, a big tarantula, and some scorpions. All fatally poisonous.

This guy was very pretty and I can't remember if he had a skull and crossbones on his tag. (That means "deadly", "venomous", "we don't have the antidote")

This one is a little hard to see. His head is in the front and he was moving. He was one of two snakes that were very interested in us. He's a Black Mamba. Like the most poisonous snake in the world. He wants to be my buddy.
There were some very big snakes. They could eat a person. It was very humbling to know that your idea of the food chain is not their idea of the food chain. I'm so happy we ate bacon.

Rowan decided this was a dinosaur. I'm wondering how he feels spending his day watching turtles and snakes.
After fighting our way through a hundred snakes we made it outside. This is where they have big humongous birds. I'm just going to call them parrots because they have colored feathers and I'm not really a bird person.
This is the largest rodent in the world. It's bigger than my dog. Not very exciting.

Now we come to the petting zoo/feed the glutton animals. I had to help Rowan get started because she was pretty sure they were going to eat her arm off. Soon she had the flat open hand technique mastered.
This was a funny moment. First, it's the fattest Llama alive. It hogs all the food. The little girl in pink was really mad and told Rowan not to feed it because it stole her whole bag of food. I guess she was sticking around to try and punish it by not letting other kids feed it. Since Rowan does not know the disastrous social ramifications of not following the crowd and just getting on with her life, she fed the Llama and giggled because his lips were so tickly. I can tell you that llamas have really bad breath. Gag.

The pigs and sheep thought her hands tasted really good, which is just wrong. See paragraph one if you don't remember.

Here are some tortoises and I think she was asking them what they were doing there. If they came to see the animals, too.
More birds. This is a peacock being chased on the roof by a turkey.


Now we are leaving the Snake Farm happy and with souvenir buttons with monkeys. There were some monkeys but it was too dark to get pictures. It was a good educational experience to see all the different animals up close. I felt sorry for some of the animals but not the snakes and alligators.
On our way home we stopped at the next animal farm...

And fed the ferocious beast! We also had a nice conversation about how she thinks her dad and her have super hero powers. She won't elaborate since I don't have any super powers and there's some kind of code of silence about it.

We finished the day with giving me a new hairdo. Yes, I'm facing the camera. Beautiful!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Cascade Caverns

This week Rowan is on Spring Break. I’m not sure what she really needs a break from. I think it should be more like Parents Week at the Spa. Since she is in preschool I’m wondering if maybe she needs a break from…what, playing? It’s not like she’s slaving over calculus over there.

I decided that since it’s Spring Break and I have some days off from work maybe we should do something and she can go back to school saying she did something. A few weeks ago she brought home a brochure for a place called Cascade Caverns. It’s not far from the house and I think she might like it.

Off we go. We make a stop for the bathroom and a requisite McBrat meal. Only miss one exit and enjoy the scenic drive over there. Stop at the convenience store for the bathroom again.

Once there we get our tickets for the hour guided tour and kill 20 minutes walking around and stopping in the bathroom. Oh boy, the fun is about to start.

I think in my head..it cost this much for the tour. We are the only ones here because no one else is out for Spring Break yet. We’re probably the only people who came in all day, so they’re operating in the negative. I suppose that’s the allure with all things touristy. The high stakes game of raking in the dough or having a slow day.



The tour girl shows up and she’s all, “blah blah blah 119 steps that you’ll have to climb back up on the way out blah blah blah.” We make our way down the steps and into the mouth of the cave. Rowan’s asking where the dinosaur is. The cave is pretty and kind of a cool thing to do if it’s raining and chilly outside. The inside of most caves is in the high 60s.

The tour girl points out many interesting formations and tells us a lot, “duck your heads here.” She was able to show us 2 bats that were itty bitty and so cute. We could have reached out and touched them if we wanted. Apparently they were hibernating but I just knew that at any moment hibernation was going to be over and they would wake up hungry and see me and attack me with their little rabies infested bodies. Rowan asked, “what do they eat?” “Little girls,” said I.


Further into the cave someone had put a fake snake along the path to scare people. The tour girl told Rowan she could have it. That made Rowan and me happy. Now I didn’t have to buy her a souvenir. Every girl’s favorite toy, a fake snake.

Many times along the tour the girl told us how much better this cave was to those other so called nicer caves. In some ways I thought she was apologizing for what the cave seemed to lack in some areas. I didn’t really mind. It was only a day trip. Not even that. It was a half-day day trip. I didn’t have really high expectations. We had a good time.


We drove home in traffic. Rowan kept asking, “Daddy are we home? Where are we? Where are we?” “We’re on our way to the Home for Little Girls Who Won’t Be Quiet, Rowan.” That caused a snake to be thrown to the front of the car. Jace says, “Rowan, stop throwing snakes at your mother.” I think this is hilarious. Do you ever think you’ll be saying something like that to your kid? Only in our family.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Attacking my closet

Oh when is she going to write another post? What's it been? Like a week, right. Geez, she gets a visitor map and thinks she's a celebrity.

I know I'm slacking. I have 4 posts to go up soon. Since you're so patient I'm giving you a hint:


1. Dave Ramsey Total MoneyMakeover Live (pics)

2. Attack of the closet (pics)

3. Attack of the Dentist (possibly)(absolutely no pics)

4. Caving (spelunking) in Texas...with Rowan (pics)


I can't possibly expand on these without getting myself in trouble because I'm taking a yummy pain medicine. So after #3 is taken care of then all the other posts will fall into place.

I will give myself a deadline of Tuesday.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Boring Updates

I’ve been taking a little break to catch up on some things around the house. Namely cleaning the house. Here’s a few thoughts and things happening that I’m posting till I’m all caught up.

* I’m really enjoying my new visitor map. I have no idea who in Singapore came to visit but I appreciate it. Right now I’m up to 5 different countries. I’m easily entertained and look forward to seeing it updated everyday.

* I got an iTouch today. Jace has one already and will overload me with info on how to use it. I’m not kidding when I say Rowan knows more about how to use one than me. I hear there’s a Twitter app and hopefully there will be a blogger app. I glanced at the audio book app which I think I will really like. I’ll also have my own music for jogging.

* We looked at some RV’s today. One was a classA and the others were 5th wheels. Unbelievable how “homey” they look now. One had a fireplace in it. Anyway, they are way-roomy. Some are bigger than a New York apartment.

* Lunch was not very good today. Ate at a Jason’s Deli and had the corned beef. Guess I thought it would be as good as another restaurant we ate at but it’s not.

* Going to see Dave Ramsey this weekend. No he isn’t a musician. If you don’t know then google his name. Awesome way to change your life.

That’s it in a nutshell. Hope to be back soon.