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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Life sucks...but it does go on, and so must we

Yesterday, he was chasing a frisbee
This afternoon, he tried to get the fresh green beans that I had just picked
Tonight, he crossed the rainbow Bridge

 Brady, our goofy, afraid of the rain, chocolate lab apparently had internal issues that we were unaware of.  We got him to the emergency vet, but there was nothing they could do once they found out his stomach was filling with blood.  The doctor spoke to both me and Ken about what was going on and how she felt that he probably wouldn't survive the anesthesia, much less the actual surgery, so we made the decision to let him go and not hold on to him just because we loved him and would miss him.

I told him how much we loved him and how thankful we were that he shared our lives for the past 6 years, then I told him it was okay to go - that he didn't need to hold on for us.  He slipped away as I was stroking his head and holding the oxygen in front of his face.

We are in shock and denial right now.  The children even asked if this was a sick my babies, it isn't and we would never joke like that.  It was just his time.  We didn't know he had tumors and we didn't know he would go so fast.  Honestly, we thought he had just gotten overheated and was having trouble cooling down.  We got him to the doctors as fast as we could.  I'm sorry that he's not here with us, truly, I am.

Rest in Peace, Brady Anderson Barry White Vann, you don't have to be afraid of the thunder anymore, and Spirit, Nugget, Deanna, SuzyQ, Summer, and Justy, as well as Kilroy are all waiting to play with you.  We love you, puppy. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Summertime Sillies

So, we are trying to NOT spend lots of money this summer and the kiddos are starting to go bonkers.  Apparently they feel that we must do something outside the home every day...hmmm.....ok, go play soccer in the back yard.....or practice the katas you need to know for your next belt test in karate.....yeah, those don't go over well.

SO....we found double packs of water balloons (2 different colored balloons in each pack, along with matching faucet attachments)....ok, so have a water balloon fight.  That worked - for a while - and things calmed a bit.  Then one got hit in the face and all hell broke loose....remember, both children wear glasses....yeah {sigh}.

Thinking about making them an obstacle course in the back yard (no, dog poop isn't an official obstacle, but they'd still have to watch out for it)....neighbors built a Pinterest-inspired kid-sprinkler, so thinking about doing something like that...or heck, just attaching the regular sprinkler up for them to run through....

We are all participating in the summer reading program through the library, but they aren't like me and can't just flop in a chair and read for hours on end....which kind of sucks since they need to read more to get more prize tickets and keep their minds active (not in that order for me, but that's how they are thinking).  Both are still doing summer school work so that they don't start the next school year off not remembering anything and both are doing well with their studies.  I have some concern over my son and his math work because, as always, he rushes through things and misunderstands/doesn't fully read the directions....can't afford for him to do that in the classes from his online school because that just means we wasted money and that's NEVER a good thing.

Any other suggestions on how to keep a 13yo boy and his 9yo sister busy??  We did sewing last year, but they don't seem interested in it this year....but both still seem to like cooking....and they helped with some canning this year as well (next round won't be until fall when apples are less expensive).....

Thursday, June 27, 2013

SEW much to do, SEW little time is having it's annual "fabric stash reduction contest" and this time it's for 2 months.  Yes, I was *very* excited to see that, but sadly, I haven't been moving as much stash as I had hoped.

I had planned, for the first month, to have finished at least 2 skirts, 2 dresses, and a shirt....what I finished was 1 skirt, 1 dress (that has been deemed a swimsuit cover up since it's so loose and baggy), and a Hawaiian shirt for DH.....progress, yes....what I wanted, NO.

I'm hoping to get to work on some more things so that I don't have to spend $$$ on school clothes 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Garden Time

It's been a little while since I posted, but nothing really "exciting" has happened around here.  Well, I say that, then think back over how my cat (17 years old) fell and was unable to walk for a little while - he's now on potassium supplements that also have something in it to help his old aching joints and is doing well.  As soon as we got the cat back to acting normal, the dog was seriously ill.  It started last Tuesday, and Wednesday he wasn't able to keep his food down.  We don't know what happened or what he got into, but it was definitely something in our yard because he's now afraid to go out without one of us walking with him {sigh}.  One thing that we thought of was all the recalls on pet we got rid of all the pet food and treats, even got rid of the food/water dish in case that was contaminated....he's only eating Blue products now - dry in the morning and a dry/canned mix in the evening.  He's finally returning to his normal goofy self - happy and bouncy when it's meal time, following us upstairs at bedtime, staying close to me during the day....oh, and yes, we thought of taking him to the vet, but here's a picture to show you what I'd have to try and lift into the Jeep:
Yup, HUGE chocolate lab (as in over 100lbs of goofy).....he definitely lost a bit of weight being sick, but I still couldn't lift him up.  We think that, because he spent a few days just flopped on the floor, he managed to hurt his rear legs, so we are monitoring that as well since labs are notorious for having joint problems {sigh}.

On the positive side of life, the garden is going bonkers - still no ripe tomatoes, but they are slowly starting to show up on the plants, and the corn is growing nicely....lettuce will be used in tonight's salad, collards are keeping the bugs fed (I just haven't gotten around to picking any), and the bean plants have pretty little blooms on them....not sure what is going on with the solitary pepper plant.  Here's what we have now:

We got things planted later than normal because of the odd weather that we had this year, but things still seem to be doing well.  I think that, next year, we will definitely add a soil treatment or some fertilizer to the garden beds before we plant anything, and we probably won't have anything to do with collards or peppers.  This is the 3rd year that we have had problems with our pepper plants, and I'm tired of wasting money on them.  The lettuce that will be going into tonight's salad is on the left in the 2nd picture - Oak Leaf lettuce.  Our Romaine isn't big enough for me to cut yet, but I'm thinking I might throw some of that in as well....maybe free up some space for the other heads to grow more.....

SO...that's all that's going on around here other than swim lessons for the children, trying to stay ahead of the laundry, and keeping things fairly calm (when I can).....already looking forward to a mini vacation in October just to get a break from everything....and can you believe we are only in the 3rd week of summer vacation from the public schools??!!???

Thursday, June 6, 2013

wacky weather, feeling out of sorts

So the tropical storms have started....well, I'm in Virginia, so I don't usually pay *that* much attention to them (other than tracking to keep an eye on where my family members live)....however, Andrea - first one of the year - has apparently picked up speed and brought us cooler temps and rain.  Last night she was traveling at 3mph and wasn't supposed to get to us until Friday afternoon but would hang out until late Saturday/early Sunday....I'm hoping that the fact we are getting rain today means she will keep moving and be gone by Saturday - we have an end of year cook out planned.

Yes, I know...Man plans, God laughs....but we've rescheduled this cook out so many times

Since the last post, I tackled the spaghetti sauce again.  I found the recipe I used for my original sauce a few years ago and decided to make it a little chunkier with green peppers, onions, and garlic....we have too many jars of the sauce made with Mrs. Wages spice mix and they all have a slightly burned taste to them, which I kind of expected but which still caught me off guard....I think I'll try to use those in lasagnas or other dishes where there are enough other's what the most recent batch looks like:

 There are 8 quarts of this - ALL sealed - and about a dozen of the first attempt.  I'm pretty happy with the progress of my canning....getting the things done that I know we will definitely use over the course of the year.

I have reached the point where I'm ready to try new things for future use....but I forgot how time consuming it is and how you have to be fairly accurate as you time the water bath and the cool I think I'll take a break for now and come back to canning when it gets closet to the start of school (apples will be cheaper in the fall anyway).  I will be doing some more dehydrating....just have to figure out what snacks I can make the will actually be eaten (or not since I can vacuum seal I am taking a day for myself and am SO thankful to my friend Matt for agreeing to keep an eye on my son (who is going to be playing computer games with Matt's son)....I do have a few errands that need to be done for the benefit of the family, but other than that....I can work on stuff that is satisfying just to me....very rare thing...haven't decided on a course of include sewing, might include knitting, may even just be vegging out and reading.....