Animals, Books, Cooking/Baking, Dogs, Emotions, family, Holiday, Life, Nature, Photography, Reading, the World, Writing

Ahhhh… This Is What It Feels Like to Relax

Yesterday was a bit of a lazy day.  I got bills paid but when I tried to do the “free” car payment online it was $50 more than if I just sucked it up and dealt with traffic.  So I loaded up Moose and Stella and we went to the bank.  With Moose all but in my lap and Stella peering around my shoulder from the back seat the teller and I chatted for a bit about the times and dogs (it was video drive thru and there was no one behind me).  Once we got home (much swearing and the use of my phrase “damn tourists” repeated ad nauseum) we settled outside.  No I lie.  I wanted to bake the cupcakes for the kids birthdays before it got too hot (the one ac unit can’t keep up with all the heat and humidity this week).  Once those were done and cooling I did some thing unusual.  I grabbed my Minion quilt, my bag of books and writing, my camera bag and a few other things and we headed outside.  I laid out my quilt in the shade and set up shop.  Stella came and sat right next to me until I started to read my latest book The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma then she laid down beside me.  Moose and Essie were in and out.  As the sun moved so did we and we moved across the whole yard by the day’s end.  The kids spent most of the time out with me despite the heat (it didn’t feel so hot laying in the shade).  It was a relaxing day had by all.

I got some cool photos (I will download them from the camera and put some in this post) yesterday as well.  I found myself playing with the light.  I think I paid more attention to it because we were in the shade most of the time.  Especially when sunset neared.  The lighting got really cool then.

The only downside to yesterday was the loud music and fireworks.  The music I could deal with.  When the fireworks started they were sparse so Essie was going around the yard barking at them (she does this when the locals are shooting too close to the house).  But as the displays ramped up (we seemed to have them on all sides) Stella started to really freak out.  Essie and Moose were uneasy but coping because I had background noises going and I was nonplussed with the noise.  Stella began pacing around the house, a sure sign that she is freaking out.  So I pulled out the anxiety meds and snuck them into a cupcake for each.  That seemed to help but Stella would wake up (I decided to hunker in bed and read so we’d all be together) with some of the louder fireworks and just stare to make sure all was ok.  Things wrapped up around midnight or so.

I got a few books yesterday.  Well one is actually a pamphlet but you get the idea.  The pamphlet and one books are on Michigan butterflies.  We have so many different varieties this year I wanted to know more.  So I can sit outside with my bird book and butterfly books and see what we have this year.  The third book is actually a memoir.  It is part of my learning about the surfing culture books that I have on my Amazon list.  It looks so good and I really want to start it but I am making myself finish The Fishermen first.  I am halfway done and it is a very good book.  I get lost in the story (and it’s in Nigeria) every time I pick up the book.  But I really really want to read the new one!  Barbarian Days A Surfing Life by William Finnegan looks so good!  And I have a first novel coming in a few weeks from a new writer I discovered John Fram.  So I will be busy reading.  I am hoping this will compel me to get more writing done.  We’ll see.  It seems to have worked today!  This is a long one!

I will stop for now and download some of the photos from yesterday.  Thanks so much for reading this long post!  Have a great day and stay safe!

Animals, Cooking/Baking, Creativity, Dogs, family, Life, Nature, Photography, Thinking, Writing

Feeling Better, Being Busy

Thank you to everyone who reached out to me yesterday.  I am still playing catch up with everything.  I took a break form everything yesterday.  Mostly.  I did no social media or phone (Mom will be upset as a I turned the phone off).  I rested and read more Terry Pratchett.  That being said I still did dishes (three times… no four.  If I let dishes sit we get ants), trash went out, laundry got put away, plants got watered, front yard got mowed.  I had planned to do the back yard as well but I got an email from the paper asking me to cover a meeting last minute so I showered and attended the meeting.

I’m not sure what today holds.  Poor Chris was up around 9am.  For the day.  He only has to get through tonight and he has the rest of the week off.  He has more than earned it.  It will be fun to see how far he can get with the project bike this week.  I have been taking photos as he progresses.  I’m not sure what we will do with them but we’ll see.  I have a few ideas.   One thing I do need to do is read more in my camera book.  I am getting frustrated with not being able to get the rich colors of our sunsets and when I try to photograph the moon it turns out fuzzy.  Not crisp like it looks in the view finder.  Soooo I’m sure there is something to do about it that I don’t know.

The sky is cloudy today but it is still warm.  After all the full sun intense heat of yesterday this is a welcome reprieve.  I will need to get out and do my thing out on the deck instead of staying inside.  I can pile all my books and such in a bag and head out there once I finish this.

I hope to make the new puppy treat recipe today.  I still haven’t made any for the kids.  They have not seemed to mind much.  Atleast I have all the ingredients.  I will let you know what they think of it.  These will be the first ones since Moose was diagnosed with kidney disease.  Speaking of which he goes in on the 10th of July for a recheck.

I am in need of sitting down and figuring out what I need to do with my writing as well.  The newspaper is a nice steady but there are other projects that I am missing out on due to procrastination.  So a list needs to be made and priorities need to be made.  And followed through on.  And on that determined note I will sign off and get things moving here.  Thanks for reading!  Stay safe!

Animals, Cooking/Baking, Dogs, Life, Nature, Photography

Keepin’ It Real

The day had dawned sunny and stayed that way.  the dogs have been rotating outside to lay in the sun then come in and lay in front of the fan to cool off.  Then head back out.  So I think I will be spending the day outside myself.  I do need to make some pico today though.  I told Chris he’d better savor the tomato taste as it cost $20 for the bag of tomatoes (I got some for the recipe and also for eating on sandwiches).  I about fell over when they rang them up at the store!

I got my absentee ballot for August’s election here.  So all I need to do is sit down and do my research on the various selections on the ballot.  I’ll probably do that either tomorrow or Saturday.

Yesterday I managed to get the backyard mowed and trimmed (the front doesn’t look that bad so I decided to do it either today or later this weekend), dishes done and laundry done.  I need to put laundry away but that won’t take very long.  I also was able to swap out the soapy water soaking Chris’s carbs from the project bike.  Hopefully they are clean enough.  I also discovered that we really do need a dishwasher.  Ours tried to flood the kitchen last night.  Thankfully I caught it in enough time.  So next week we’ll be looking at replacing it.  The question is do we go new or used.  I think new because it will have a warranty but Chris thinks that we should do used because of our hard water situation.  We have well water that is very hard.  Sooooo…. I have researching for them.  I guess we’ll see.  Since he is dropping his truck off today to be repaired if we go with new delivery would be included.  But that’s just me.  Like I said we’ll see.

I spent a lot of time taking pictures yesterday.  I will need to download some of them from the camera to post on here.  I apologize for the duplicates yesterday.  It is difficult to tell which I shared on here and which I did not.  That being said I’d better get to downloading them because that takes a good 10 minutes or so depending on how many I download.  Thanks for reading!  Stay safe and have a great day!

*ed. note:  The camera battery doesn’t have enough juice to send the photos to my phone so I can upload them on here so I will post this and add the photos later today or maybe in a separate post today.

Animals, Cooking/Baking, Dogs, Exercise, family, Food, Gardening, Life, Thinking, Writing

Another Beautiful Summer Day

The sun was out.  The clouds seem to have rolled back in.  And that is fine with me.  I got started on another story yesterday so after get as much as I could on paper I went and worked in the gardens.  I will probably do the same today.  I need to go get kibble for the girls and canned for Moose.  I will call the vet to see if they sell the canned food there.  I’d rather save the $20 coupon for the bag of kibble when I order it.

I kept the kids busy yesterday so everyone was ready for bed by the time the sun went down.  I have been trying to do some kind of exercise every day.  Yesterday I got Chris to try the hula hoop that I got.  I did it too to show him I wasn’t any better at it than he was.  We both had a good laugh.  I try to do about 15 minutes or so a day with it since I can do it while I watch tv at night.

The marinade I threw together for the steaks I got turned out awesome!  I made a yogurt pie as well.  A very simple recipe that I got from my Grams.  Graham cracker crust, small tub of Cool Whip and two fruit at the bottom yogurts (it has to be the fruit on the bottom stuff… and if they are tiny like the current Yoplait size get three).  Just mix up the yogurt and then mix the yogurt into the the Cool Whip.  Put it all in the crust and refrigerate until firm. Voila!

I am feeling rather restless this morning.  I will probably take atleast Moose with me to the store.  I need to get Essie another frisbee so I won’t do the curbside pick up this time.  I may splurge and get the kids some toys too.  They never last long but they make the kids happy while they do last.  I think I will wrap this up and try to get out the door and back before Chris gets up.  I hope you have a great day!  Thanks for reading and stay safe!

 

Animals, Cooking/Baking, Creativity, Dogs, Emotions, family, Food, Life, Writing

Feeling Scared

This morning’s anxiety is due in part to Moose.  He’s been sick the past two mornings and doesn’t eat breakfast.  He does eat dinner.  This morning he has been very pacey.  This started around 7am.  I finally gave up and came out to the living room with the girls after I let him outside.  He hasn’t laid down and slept since we came out here.  He just stays in a spot for a few minutes then he will get up and wander around to another spot.  I have already called the vet and left a message.  I am very concerned.  There is something wrong.  I just don’t know what.  He comes to me every little bit and stays a few minutes for love then wanders off.  He will do a partial stretch then plop down in the middle of it.  He’s finally drinking some water.  But not very much.  And he has wandered outside.

I just don’t know what to do.  All this seems to be symptomatic of kidney disease.  My concern is that it is progressing way too fast.  I may call the vet’s office back and added a few new issues.  I just don’t know what to do.

The other concern is my writing.  I am stymied mentally.  I seem to get flashes here and there but not very often.  I just do the paper anymore.  Things are all messed up all over due to the COVID-19 so there isn’t much to cover outside of the virtual meetings.  I’m just grateful I can still do that.  Atleast it is writing.

Moose has wandered back in and laid down on the floor (he is usually on the couch but this morning he seems to prefer the floor) in front of me.  I think he actually shut his eyes and let himself fall asleep.  He is my baby.   If anything happens to him…

Oh, the dinner I prepared (Chris did sear the meat then slow grilled it) was a big hit.  It turned out really really good.  I’m going to wrap this up and call the vet again.  Thanks for reading!  Have a great day and stay safe!

Animals, Cooking/Baking, Dogs, family, Food, Life

In a Fine Fettle

Things have gotten complicated here.  Last night I managed to break my toe (a heavy mug fell and the rim hit just above the main joint of the big toe that connects it to the left foot… twice as it bounced).  Feels lovely this morning.  But more importantly there is something wrong with Moose.  I have been up since around 6am with him.  He has gotten sick numerous times and won’t eat.  I thought we could go back to bed but he just laid on the floor beside me until him tummy made him get up.  Then back outside he went.  I finally gave up around 7am as he was getting sick a lot.  So here I am.  I don’t know what to do for him.  I will call the vet tomorrow even if he gets better today.  All these things are symptoms of his kidney disease getting worse.

It is still cool out so I will wait to put the plants back out.  I had them out yesterday since it was sunny and warm.  We didn’t get frost last night but it was a near thing.  I’m glad I brought them all in.  I still have seeds that I need to get out.  My concern is that I have planted seeds and seedlings alike and their growth compared to the ones in the containers is stunted.  I can’t help thinking that the ants have something to do with it.  I even put the good dirt down when I am planting in the gardens but every time a few days later a bunch of ant mounds show up all over the area I just planted in.  It’s very frustrating.

Since today is Chris’s day off I will be making another Mexican dish (his choice).  It will be a bit different from the recipe since I couldn’t find the meat they called for and I added a spice or two.  The dish is called carne asada.  I even made my own pico de gallo last night.  (I was going to do it today but I thought it might taste better if it sat a day or so.)  Hopefully it all turns out.  I will let you know tomorrow.  Speaking of which I should get to it.  I have to make the marinade and it has to soak for atleast two hours.  So thanks for reading and I hope you have a great day!  Stay safe!

Animals, Cooking/Baking, Creativity, Dogs, family, Food, Life, Photography

Exploring New Things

Last night I was up til past 1am dinking around with the camera.  In and out I went trying this angle and this exposer time etc. trying to get the “perfect” shot.  I got some nice shots over the course of the day as well that I will share.  I found out that I can connect my Nikon camera and my i-Phone and get into all kinds of trouble.  It makes it easier to share on my social media platforms (I don’t have any of that on my laptop except for this because the phone has better protection against viruses and hackers (knock on wood)).  I haven’t really messed around with the camera and laptop beyond installing the apps.  When I found I could pair it with my phone I messed around a bit (I can even take a remote photo from my camera with my phone).

My running yesterday was a bit of a mess.  Since it was chilly and overcast I decided to take Moose and Stella when I did my running.  It all went well until I got to the grocery store and found that with everything going on I had forgotten to bring the recipe so I had no idea what to get to make dinner for today.  Grrrr!  So I got what I could from our regular grocery list and then took the kids and groceries home and unloaded them then headed back out the door to the local grocery hoping (and succeeding) in find the rest of the things on my list.  And a few bonuses.  I have two more plants to take care of (a grafted cactus and a Venus fly trap) and two more Minions to join my…. I hate to say collection…. my Minion family.  They are Carl and Dave.  (Incase you were wondering they came prenamed as all Minions are.)

All three dogs are outside today.  Once breakfast was done out they went and have pretty much stayed out.  The sun isn’t sure if it is going to stay out or behind clouds today.  It’s supposed to be in the 70s (around 21C) today.  I plan to spend as much time as I can outside.   To read, to write, to take an embarrassing amount of photos.  But right now I need to get dinner started.  I have to cook things then put them in a crockpot.  I may be adapting the recipe a bit but that is nothing new when I cook.  I hope you have a great day!  Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Animals, Cooking/Baking, Creativity, Dogs, Emotions, family, Food, Life, Nature, Thinking, Writing

Cooking Satisfaction

It’s been raining for nineteen hours.  I had just gotten back from the store when it started yesterday.  We are under a flood warning until tonight at midnight.  The winds have been steady and strong.  I’m sure there will be a lot of debris to pick up.

Yesterday went pretty well.  I made the lemon pound cake using a recipe from my Winnie the Pooh cookbook (this is the same gem that has given my my much loved banana cake recipe as well as the ever popular sandwich bread recipe).  I wouldn’t be surprised it it did weigh a pound!  I had to hand stir everything so by the time I was done I hurt a lot.  But I got that in the oven and started on the enchiladas.  Those turned out very well.  Chris kept coming out to see what was going on with the myriad of smells.

We lost power around quarter to five this morning.  The girls left the bed in search of Chris but Moose stayed with me.  He shook a little bit but I ended up turning the light on just a bit (Chris made my tall bedside lamp an adjustable light many years ago) and he snuggled right back in and we were able to go back to sleep in short order.  Everyone is asleep now.  I just need to go and reset all the clocks.

I am hoping I don’t need to chose between fixing the car and taking Moose in.  The Jeep slipped out of 5th gear while I was at speed.  No hand on the shifter or anything (I drive a stick shift).  I am concerned about that.  But if I limit my driving… and I do have the motorcycle if needed.

My plan had been to do my yoga before I did this since once I am done the kids usually want attention.  Buuuut with letting them out after feeding them it is easier to use the time to set the laptop up and make my coffee.  Going to let them in and out doesn’t disrupt as much as it would trying to do a yoga routine.  So I guess I will give it a go once this is done.  Maybe I can do it outside on nice days.  There is a rather long warm up routine that needs to be done four times before you get to the daily routine (that needs to be repeated and average of two or more times on average… each day is a different routine).  I told myself if everything was still sore I just needed to get through the warm up once.  I am not sure how everything will respond so I will wait and see.  I think the Monday routine is the Sun Salute.  I will let you know tomorrow how that goes.  Oooo, I’d forgotten that I usually do my article writing for the paper before I do this so yes yoga will have to wait until after I finish my blog.  I have a meeting tonight to cover so that will be a factor tomorrow.

I’d better get going so I can do some yoga (before I make anymore excuses up).  I hope you and yours are safe!  Thanks for reading!  Cheers!

Cooking/Baking, Emotions, family, Food, Life, Motorcycles, Nature, Thinking

More Sunshine

The sun is out shining brightly.  It is supposed to be more of a summer’s day today.  So it becomes a question of if I am getting groceries today or tomorrow.  I dread going because it is was too people-y last time.  I swear everyone only gets a few things off their list so they have a excuse to go to the store to get out of the house.  I don’t blame them but does everyone have to go the same day I do?  So when I go I will end up power shopping also known as going through as fast as I can just getting what is on the list so I can get out of there.

We picked up Chris’s project bike yesterday morning.  It is an ’81 Yamaha 650 Twin.  He has been thinking about what he wants to do to it for the past two years.  It seems to be in decent shape despite having sat for 11 years.  Since that bike is now in the garage with the Tenaris and the 600RR I asked if Chris would help me move the Pearl (a ’92 CBR600) into the garage from the shed.  She is crammed in there with all kinds of other crap that was supposed to go into the garage.  So she will make her grand entrance tomorrow afternoon sometime.  Maybe having her out with space that I can actually work on her will get me going on fixing her up to be a track bike.  First thing she will be getting a bath to get all the grunge off from sitting.

Truthfully I would like to stay home today but I may have to get groceries today as I did promise to make a lemon pound cake (from scratch) and I need a few more ingredients.  There is also a Mexican dish it sounds like I am making as well (Chris sent me a recipe that he thought sounded good).  I got the treats made the other day so the kids will be set for a few weeks.

I’m sitting here looking at my two Minion kites.  I still haven’t flown either one of them.  My Bob one looks like it is going to need a fix as one of the corners won’t stay attached to the frame.  I’m not sure what to use to fix it.  I don’t want to upset the weight balance of the thing.  Maybe I will monkey around with that today too.  We’ll see.

I guess I’d better wrap this up and get my day rolling.  I hope you and yours are safe and well.  Thanks for reading!

Animals, Books, Cooking/Baking, Dogs, family, Food, History, Learning, Life, Nature, Reading

Seeing More of Nature and Reading

The apple pie did not turn out as expected.  It was a bit juicer than promised in the recipe.  But still edible and still good.  We were blessed with full sun and warmth yesterday.  Which according to the weather app might be the last for a few days.  I finally got to see my little peeper that is hanging out in the pond gardens.  He is about the size of a thumb nail but he sure can sing!  That was how I managed to see him.  He was singing and his expanded throat is white.  I just hope that the resident garden snake leaves him alone.  We are getting all kinds of critters this year in the yard.  I had a chipmunk pop on the the deck right at my feet and just sat there and looked at me while I read.  The little one was so close I could feel fur!  Then the bird population has increased as well as the variety of birds.  We have cardinals (I think only once before have we had cardinals), red winged blackbirds, grackles… I could go on and on.  We even have hawks flying over head again.  It is so nice to just sit in the backyard and watch the animals.  They don’t even seem to mind the dogs when they are out.  We’ve had robins hanging out doing their thing while the dogs do theirs in the same area.

I managed to finish reading two books yesterday.  So that means I started two more.  Lol.  One of them is actually a restart.  That one is Lucrezia Borgia by Sarah Bradford.  I almost finished it last time.  But it has been long enough that I might as well start over.  I’m in the mood for some history reading.  The problem will come in when I start researching as I read or finding other historical stuff I want to read about.  I have numerous shelves in my library devoted to history.  I look around and see various books I have started for research and wonder if I should restart or just continue reading them.

Everyone is asleep here.  I woke up at one point in the night with Essie in the crook of my legs, Moose in the middle with his head on me and Stella (of all places) with her head on my pillow beside me and her snout in my head snoring away.  I had to try not to laugh and wake everyone up.  The breeze has become wind.  The tree branches are moving pretty freely right now.  They still look bare from a distance but when you get close you can see the buds.  So much for their “hottest spring on record” theory.  We still get frost at night.

Well my coffee is empty so I need to refill.  I think I will curl up with a book and a fresh cup of coffee.  I hope you and yours are safe!  Thanks for reading!