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Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

We had a great Christmas. Ellen made out like a bandit, as usual. She was funny this year. For some reason she didn't champ at the bit to open her presents; she'd just ask me which ones were hers, then she'd look at them and then leave them alone.

Christmas morning, Gary came straight into the house from the barn with us. He told her we were going to open our present.

Ellen held up her hands and said: (and I quote verbatim) "But wait, we need to eat breakfast first."

So we delayed the gift opening for an hour; per a 3 year old's wishes. Go figure! So far the gifts she plays with the most are a little toy cell phone from my mother and the little pup-type tent that Gary got for her. We have it set up in her bedroom.

We had Christmas dinner here, as usual. I got out my pickled okra and let everyone try it. They all liked it. Gary said when I first told him I was going to make some pickled okra this past summer, he thought I was wasting my time and supplies. But even HE likes it. I think this coming year I will try a spicier recipe; put a teeny bit of hot pepper in it. It's something different to put on the table...and easy to do as well.

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This morning we had a storm come through and dump some rain on us. But mid-morning it cleared up and the sun came out. It was still windy but Ellen wanted to go outside and fly her kite.

This kite is a little foil butterfly about 2 inches wide, maybe. It has a long tail running from each wing. Surprisingly enough it flies really well. We got it up there to the end of its 40 feet of string.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What's Been Happening

Today we got our annual yeast rolls from the School of Metaphysics. The guy made me laugh to myself when he noted; "You have your stove outside in a building without walls. Why?" Apparently he'd never heard of an outdoor wood furnace. I never had either 'til I came here. I told him we heated the house with it, that there are pipes underground.

Ellen is excited about Christmas, but she really isn't clamoring to open her presents yet. She asks which ones are hers every day, then she just walks away, apparently reassured that they are there waiting for her. I hope she continues like that every Christmas, but I won't hold my breath.

On Sunday night we went to the church Christmas program. The kids did a great job as usual. Afterwards the kids gave out the presents they'd gotten each other. (Having exchanged names a couple of weeks ago.) Ellen got a little box of toys from her Sunday School teacher and a cute FurReal baby chipanzee from her cousin William, who's 6 months younger than she. Ellen was enchanted with all the gifts, especially the chimp...she hadn't wanted anything to do with going to the program in the first place. She had to sleep with the chimp that night.

On the drive back home she asked; "Why did I get all these presents?" I told her because it's Christmas. "But it's not Christmas yet."

I have been amusing myself with a couple of different projects. I decided to not put lights on the Christmas tree this year. Too much hassle, and we never plugged them in much anyway. So I have been making little garlands from popcorn, cranberries and dental floss, and stringing them on the tree. They look pretty nice.

After Christmas I am going un-decorate the tree, but leave on the garlands. Then I am going to put the tree in a 5-gallon bucket with a bunch of rocks to hold it upright and put it out in the yard. I will decorate it with my other project; homemade bird suet cake thing-ys.

An acquaintance gave me a big bag of pine cones. I am going to roll them in the homemade suet (which is actually peanut butter and shortening), coat them with birdseed and hang them all over the tree with red yard. Along with the popcorn and cranberry garlands, it ought to be pretty. If it is I will post a pic. If not...well just ignore this.

Have I posted about my adventure getting the Christmas tree yet? I will check...if not I will write about that next. It's hilarious. Well, kind of funny. I'll let you be the judge.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Always An Adventure

Also known as AAA.

This is what I ought to have named this blog.

Anyway. Today I drove the dozer again. Had to tow some sort of something that hubby was working on from down by the sawmill up to front area.

The last time I did this one of hubby's friends was astounded at my obliging attitude about doing such things. His atonishment kind of puzzles me; but then again his wife isn't as adventurous as I seem to be.

So, because of such surprise reactions, here is a blog on having an adventure, helping hubby and how such things can be so fun and easy.

Like I posted before, driving this dozer IS easy. Here is a horrible picture of me at the helm:




Here is the view from the driver's seat:


Here are the main controls:


This inverted "V" concept is rather simple, but can be confusing. To go forward you pull the knob down to the right; the further down you pull the faster forward you go. To stop you just return the knob to the top of the "V." To go backwards you pull the knob down to the left. The fun thing is that you can go from forward to backward in one movement, you don't have to stop at the top of the "V." The knob to the far left is actually the throttle, it's currently in the neutral position, if that's a legit term for it.

Here, in my milk-sloshed chore shoes, I am steering to the right:


Yes, you steer with your feet. Push right, turn right. Push left, turn left. It feels strange not having a steering wheel, and it's even stranger to feel the thing turn when you aren't going forward much.

Now see, it's fun and easy to help out occasionally. OK, ladies. Next opportunity you have, drag your guy off to a farm show and tell him you want a bulldozer for your anniversary, or birthday, or whatever.