lollygagging…

So, I’m kinda having a spa day today… See?

Facial!

Don’t get too excited. This doesn’t happen on any sort of schedule. Just when the mood hits me. Ha. And I’m just using some of my MK stock that I ended up with after I quit being a “Mary Kay girl”. Ha ha!

I really like to use natural stuff when I can…or rather, when I “take a notion”. (who has heard their granny or mom say that?)

I have used things like oatmeal and egg whites masks. What kinds of natural recipes have you used for skin care? I wanna know!

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girly-girl

So this is gonna be a post about nail polish, uhkay?

nail-polish
Today’s Topic: NAIL POLISH!

If you don’t like nail polish or talk of “doing nails”, then you should probably just move along right now. *heh*

I stopped getting tips put on about eighteen months ago. I love them, but they were destroying my natural nails and that made it impossible to leave them off every other month or whatever so they could “rest”. There was nothing but mush left and it took about 8 months for them to get back to a normal texture/strength and to grow any bit of length.

I have short, fat, pudgy fingers (thanks, Dad) and scars all over the backs of my hands with bulgy, knotty knuckles… so I don’t normally attempt to showcase my hands, y’know?

A nice set of nails (or my own longish ones when I used to be able to grow them) helped them not look quite so troll-ish. I can grow probably a quarter to a third of an inch of length now, but I tend to tear them off pretty easily. Even with top coats, I am rough on them and they’re not nearly as strong as they were when I was in school.

But… I have tons of nail polish.

LOTS of polish
I don’t have QUITE this much, but y’know…

More like this:

my stash of polish

At one time, my DIL-1 and I would attempt to do our own tips so I have a big supply of them along with all the powders, solutions and gels to do that too. I love the colors available these days, so I try to keep my nails painted or at least my toe nails in summer time.

I often have trouble choosing just one color, so I will do dots. I normally do a base coat, then three other colors with a row of dots in each color. I get comments and compliments on them every time. People think I’ve had them done or that they are nail wraps.
nails-purple dots
It’s actually pretty simple and when you are completely done, any off-center dots or different sized ones are not even noticeable.

my dotting tools

I just break the point off a toothpick, dab out a drop of the “dot” color on a piece of shiny junk mail (lol–reuse/repurpose, right?) and use the toothpick to make a vertical row of dots on each nail. Then I do the same with the other two colors and end up with something like this. This is my very favorite way to do my nails when I have the time because there’s an endless possibility of color combinations and it’s fairly simple and casual and shoot, it’s just cute. Seriously, I’ve never done them like this that at least one person doesn’t make a point to comment on them.
nails-peachy dots
So a few weeks ago I bought some green, red and white polish in the hopes that I could do some sort of Christmas nails. I actually had in mind to do dots again but just with two colors and in a random pattern instead of rows.

My Christmas polishes
You can see, I’m not a brand snob when it comes to polish.

I hadn’t decided which would be my base color til I got started and decided to check and see how well the white polish was going to cover. I’d never used stark white polish before so I wanted to see how it was going to work. I was surprised to see how well it covered. In one coat, I was all but done. The second coat was mostly to go over a few thin spots. So white ended up being the base color. I figured the red and green would show up best on it.

Before I show you my finished product, let me give you an idea of what I would LIKE to be able to have or do on my nails.

nails-snowmen nails-snowflake nails-santa nails-reindeer nails-red & green swirls nails-Christmas misc nails-Christmas lights

See? THAT’S what I wish I could do. However, I am a realist, at least enough of one to know that I ain’t gonna be able to do those! So I was gonna do my little dots, mind my own business, y’know? But once I put a couple of red dots on, an idea struck me…

Don’t laugh, okay?

holly-nails

YOU WEREN’T SUPPOSED TO LAUGH!!! ūüėČ

Okay, so my holly leaves aren’t whatcha would call fancy. But if you don’t look this close at them, they look fine enough.

I’m going to a Christmas dealie with my reunion group gals tomorrow, so I thought I’d do some festive nails. We’ll see how many of them laugh. ūüôā

I’m sure I’ll be trying some other ideas with my sweet Christmas colors, so I’ll post those when it happens!

Toodles!

dear Younger Me

I can’t believe how fast this year has flown by! It won’t be long til “D Day” and some of the kids are already asking me what I want to do for it.

As usual, I say that I’d rather just pretend it’s not here, but that never flies with them.

I dunno why getting older is such a thorn in my side. I mean, I know we all hate that feeling of getting older, not looking or feeling as good as we used to, seeing our children grow up before our eyes. Maybe it’s hard-wired into our natures to regret the passing of time?

But then again, I’m not totally against it. As I’ve gathered more years to myself, I have realized that all the time I spent wishing I was older, “I can’t wait”-ing for my first-born to walk/talk/whatever…what a foolish endeavor!

How awesome would it be to actually be able to go back in time to our younger selves and give them a head’s up?
Advice-for-my-younger-self
First, I’d tell Younger Me to learn patience. Don’t be so eager or insistent. Just let things happen, be prepared for whatever that is and enjoy each moment.
chill out!
Then I’d tell Her to take better care of her health. Don’t see the diabetes as a curse or an enemy. Just accept it as part of the plan God has for you, then do all you can to be healthy. Don’t fall into that rebelliousness that makes you say, “Who cares?! I’m going to eat what I want, I’m going to ignore my blood sugars.” I’d try to impress upon Her how mad she will be once she’s older and realizes she could have done so much better. I’d tell her despite the non-athletic nature of her parents and family to be active. To learn the benefits of exercise and how to do it regularly. Oh, Younger Me, it sure would have made these days and our future feel a lot better if only you had learned that.

Get into the habit of reading your Bible. Maybe then we won’t have such a sporadic study time. Learn to pray. Yes, I know. You weren’t really taught that nor will you find a really good resource for this in your church or family. Dig into scripture yourself. Ask people who seem to have a great prayer life. Maybe they don’t know you need to be taught.

Granted, since I was able to make it to the altar with my virginity intact (yes, I’m serious) obviously we did a fair job of guarding our purity. But trust me, there will be opportunities when you can still let things go too far. Don’t think only “the home plate” is sex. All those other bases count, too. Let me tell you that years down the road, IF you attempt to “home base” now, the aftermath could be catastrophic. Even though you waited for marriage, there will be a long, rough road ahead for you sexually, but don’t give up. Trust me…it will be worth it. Don’t give up.
dear younger self

Don’t give up. Nope. Do NOT give up. Put that on a loop in your head. You will need to hear it OFTEN.

Don’t buy the fairy tale that everything will be better once you’re married. Your life is tough at home, I know, you feel ignored and discounted. You feel like your opinions don’t matter, your preferences are wrong, your ideas are stupid. But getting married won’t change that. Even though that boy you finally marry will be your biggest supporter in the years ahead, it won’t change the fact that your family makes you feel worthless. Learn to find your own self worth. Find it not only in Jesus, but in your abilities and strengths. Don’t throw those away just because they are not affirmed by your parents.
your value
And then, when That Boy comes along who will fall for you immediately, don’t expect him to cure all your ills. Don’t expect that he can mend all the wounds you’ve accumulated to your heart over the years. Just love him better.

As for me, I regret the wasted time being mad at him for not “fixing” it all. You won’t realize that’s what you’re expecting, but it is. Your self worth will get so damaged growing up the way we did. Try and learn to lean on Jesus during those times. Don’t let the devil tell you lies about yourself. I know, I KNOW. It’s hard to do this as a child on your own, but try. Try harder than I did. Present Me is still fighting to deal with all the scars left by never feeling worthy.

Don’t let the betrayals of those you think are your real friends keep you from ever reaching out again. Maybe I should instead tell you to not expect everyone to be as deeply invested in the relationship as you are. Don’t toss your whole self into a friendship without measuring the other person’s dedication. Then, just be as good a friend as you can without expecting anything in return. That way, when they do hurt you, and they will, you won’t be quite as crushed. You won’t decide to lock everyone out and never find that ‘best friend’ you have always wanted.
some will never see you as good enough
I don’t think I’d have to say “Don’t worry about pleasing people.” because I don’t think we have a problem with that. I really need to ask one of my friends and see if that’s accurate. I mean, I don’t like letting people down once I’ve committed to something, but jumping through hoops just to make someone like me? I just don’t do that. But I think I will ask (and if any of the few who would be considered my friends are reading here, shoot, even if you THINK I’m your friend, chime in. send me a message or comment on this post!) …just to see if I’m anywhere close to right. I’m pretty sure that we don’t have to worry about being people pleasers.

Good job, Younger Me. You got one right!!
you're probably doing something right
So what other things would I tell my younger self, the Younger Me? I dunno… but it’s something to ponder.

What would you tell YOUR younger self if you could?

Ecclesiastes 4:13“Better was a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who no longer knew how to take advice.”

there are no words…

None. To describe the state of our society today? Absolutely no words.

I am heartbroken.

First there’s this going on in my very own state… I cannot bear to even attempt to put how I feel about this into words, so I will link you to a man who has done an excellent job.

A sobering quote from his post: ” If we think we can restore peace and truth by ‚Äúfollowing the law,‚ÄĚ I believe we are in for a rude awakening. The law is dead. We are left with two choices: follow truth, or obey the dictates of our culture and the godless tyrants who lead it. “ ~Matt Walsh

Then there is the horrible plight of the Syrian refugees, where the body of a poor child has been found on Turkish shores after his father put him and the child’s mother into a small boat in an attempt to flee starvation and all the horrors of their homeland. Now, the entire family have become casualties.

I can’t begin to imagine the desperation that would drive me, as a parent, to put my children into a tiny boat on the rough seas. What horrors must they have been trying to escape to feel that was a safer option?

My heart is broken. I have strong, deep and almost violent feelings about both these things. I think of poor Saeed Abedini and the torture he’s endured all these years he’s spent as an American citizen in an Iranian prison, jailed for his Christian faith. He’s been ignored and abandoned by his own government, separated from his wife and young children.

Oh Lord Jesus, what is to become of us? How can we, as Your people, Your children, see all that is going on around us and not become despondent? Hopeless? Depressed? Even faithless? I can’t see myself ever losing faith in You, but frozen with despair? I feel myself edging close to that.
Help me, Jesus, not to fall into that pit! Help me be the prayer warrior these people need! Heal our sick nation, our war-torn world! Help me as I am faced with challenges on social media, as I attempt to be a gentle dove, to be as wise as a serpent in my answers or, in some cases, in my silence!
Oh Lord Jesus, let it be so!
Amen.

a healthy homebrew…

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When a friend told me about this stuff, I did some research and found this on YouTube, it was called “Good Girl Moonshine”. ¬†My husband, bless his heart, can’t remember names at all, so he inevitably began to call it “Good Girl Juice” and occasionally requests that I fix him a bottle of it. ¬†We can only hope he’s not telling the guys at work what he calls it. ¬†Ha.

Now, I was skeptical upon seeing the downright ecstasy with which these two sisters extolled the virtues and health benefits of drinking this stuff. ¬†But since I’m always looking for something to help give me energy or lose weight, I was game to try it. Here are the simple ingredients for making this concoction:

  • ice (fill a 32 oz. container to the top)
  • purified water (just don’t use tap!)
  • lemon juice ¬†(2 Tsp)
  • ginger root, grated ¬†(2 Tsp)
  • apple cider vinegar [also known as ACV] (2 Tsp)
  • sweetener ¬†(to taste)

First of all, make sure whatever brand of ACV you get that it has “the mother” in it. ¬†Ha-ha.. I know, that just sounds weird, but stick with me. ¬†This simply means the ACV is organic and unfiltered, which leaves it with strands of the apple protein, enzymes and friendly bacteria. ¬†It will appear as a sort-of ‘sediment’ which may float at the top or settle in the bottom of the bottle. ¬†I use Bragg’s brand because it has been around for forever and has a good reputation for being an excellent product. ¬†ACV has TONS of benefits for your health, including stabilizing blood sugar, promoting weight loss, and aiding digestion among others you can read about here.

Secondly, purified water. ¬†We all know the importance of pure water. ¬†Don’t take a chance with your tap water. ¬†

Thirdly… the lemon juice, make sure it is 100% juice and not a cocktail or a lemonade mix.

Fourthly, (is that even a word?) and probably the most complicated…ginger root. ¬†My adventures in procuring “the perfect” ginger have been varied and somewhat disappointing. ¬†I’ve bought it from Kroger, Walmart, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

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I can’t really tell that it makes a difference where you get it other than from Whole Foods, it will more likely be organic. (but check to make sure if that’s what you’re looking for) ¬†No matter if it’s organic or not, ginger root is gonna be different. ¬†I’ve found some that are a dark yellow, almost brown color, others that are bright yellow and more moist. ¬†Ginger is stringy by nature, but sometimes it will be MUCH stringier than others. ¬†Those daggone strings drive me nuts!

 

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Egads!  The strings!!!

Ginger will grate best when it’s frozen, so pop that baby in the freezer soon as you get it home. ¬†I’ve read posts that say you don’t HAVE to peel it, but I don’t like the papery texture of the ginger peel, so I use the back side of a knife and scrape the peel off as best I can.

 

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We have grown extremely fond of ginger as witnessed by my empty tub of Trader Joe’s famous Triple Ginger Snaps. ¬†They’re the bomb & a couple of them make a nice treat after a delicious, healthy supper.

As you can see below, I have an ancient Salad Shooter that I’ve started using after grating the old fashioned way quickly got too time-consuming. ¬†I don’t know how long my Shooter will work because, seriously, it’s OLD and the grater cone has a crack in it, but it sure beats the grater EXCEPT for having to stop and disassemble the thing to clear the strings. ¬†ARGH!
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I’ve also used my old-fashioned crank grater…you know, the shiny silver kind your grandma probably had that you either clamp or suction to the counter. ¬†It is tied with the Shooter for efficiency. ¬†Meh.

STOP THE PRESSES FOR THIS UPDATE!  [9-14-15]
I had been contemplating buying a zester, which is basically a very fine shredder/grater but I digress, to see if it would do any better for this. I had serious doubts and didn’t want to end up with another kitchen gadget I had no room to store in my house, but the other day I found one in Burkes on sale, so I grabbed it and lo and behold:

ZESTER!

IT WORKS!! And wonderfully well, I might add! I did enough for my 48 ounce bottle in two snaps. FOR REAL! No stopping to clean the blades, no immense waste from all the strings (there ARE no strings with the zester!) Be sure it’s still frozen though, I’m sure that made it all the quicker.
So rejoice and cue the “Hallelujah Chorus” y’all…then run out and get yourself a zester RIGHT NOW!
And now back to your regularly scheduled post….

So, really grating the ginger is the single most time-consuming part of this whole process.  I will admit to using ground ginger in a pinch.
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However, let me spare you some pain by sharing what I learned the first time I used ground instead of fresh: ¬†use ONLY 1 TEAspoon of the ground, not a TABLEspoon…and DEFINITELY not TWO tablespoons!! ¬†(stop laughing!) ¬† Be aware, too, that the ground will not completely dissolve, so just be sure to shake it each time before you take a swig so it’s not all concentrated at the bottom or that last mouthful will FEEL like you put 2 tablespoons in it.

Once you finally have your ginger grated, you’re ready to put your concoction together. ¬†You simply put all the ingredients in your jar or bottle (more on that in a sec), shake it up really good and let it sit for about 5 -10 minutes (if you can wait that long).

As for sweetener, I have a couple different things I use.
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Yes, I actually use regular ol’ sugar too. Having had type 1 diabetes for over 40 years, I have tasted pretty much every artificial sweetener to come down the pike. ¬†I have tasted some dawg-nasty stuff, trust me. ¬†I don’t really care for any of them, even the newest stuff, and I avoid artificial sweeteners as much as possible.

Then there are the side effects of using those types of things. ¬†I have never been able to tolerate stevia, but I keep trying. ¬†Most any artificial sweetener will give me a headache. ¬†I don’t need any of those, thank you, so when I am going to “splurge” on a sweet treat, I just go for the real thing and bolus to cover it. ¬†Now you know. ¬†So anyhow, I make a 48 ounce batch for myself (that’s the size bottle I have) and so using around a tablespoon of sugar in that amount along with the properties of the ACV apparently, I don’t need to bolus insulin for it. ¬†It has never caused my blood sugar to spike.

Okay, now for the bottle. ¬†If you watched that video linked at the first of this post, you will see they are using regular ol’ glass Mason jars. ¬†That’s fine for most anyone, I suppose, but there are many downfalls to using those. ¬†For one, my hands are too small to easily grip a quart jar. ¬†They are glass…difficulty gripping them is a pretty sure bet I’m gonna drop one and break it all over the place. ¬†Not fun. ¬†They don’t travel well. ¬†Sure, you could go ahead and put the flat and ring on it if you wanted to take it with you in the car, but it ain’t gonna fit in the cup holder, ya know? ¬†Then there’s the problem of actually carrying it from one place to another. ¬†What do you do? ¬†Put it in your purse? ¬†No, I had to find a better solution.

My family is full of outdoorsy nutjobs. ¬†Seriously, they love hiking, kayaking, camping, cycling (of course) and rock climbing. ¬†We are always in the market for VERY sturdy equipment. ¬†Somewhere along the line, my husband and boys found these things…

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Nalgene bottles rock! ¬†We have about 5 of them just between Hubby and myself. ¬†They are made of a hard BPA-free plastic that’s almost indestructible. ¬†In addition to these Nalgene bottles, we get something called a Cap-Cap for them so that they’re easier to drink from.
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You can see most of the Cap-Cap in the above photo. ¬†It essentially lets you have a smaller opening to drink from (eliminating that inevitable face-splash from drinking from the larger one) and still have easy access to the wide-mouth of the bottle for filling with ice and liquid. ¬†I got some of my Cap-Caps on Amazon, but they also carry them in most outdoors or sporting goods stores. ¬†REI is our favorite. ¬†I swear I’m not getting kickbacks, but we do love our awesome outdoor gear! ¬†You can also see this is my 48 oz bottle. ¬†Nalgenes come in 16 oz, 32 oz and 48 oz sizes. ¬†They also have different styles and cap-types available.
The single downfall I have found to using my Nalgene is that it’s like a little baby drinking from a huge sippy cup. ¬†You are NOT gonna sneak a sip from it in a meeting or group setting, trust me. ¬†But if that’s the only drawback, I’m okay with it. ¬†Ha-ha!

I try to get a full 48 ounces of GGJ every day. ¬†I haven’t found that it gives me tons of energy which is really disappointing, but it is obviously helping me lose weight. ¬†After the cycling kick-started my body into dumping some weight, adding this is the only thing that could be helping me continue to lose even after NOT being able to ride for over two months now. ¬†Now THAT is exciting!

One more product before I go… this:

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We laughingly refer to that as my Nalgene Purse. ¬†It’s made by a company called ChicoBag¬†and we bought one for me (at REI) after a short hike up to Natural Bridge wherein I had to awkwardly tote that heavy bottle the whole time because I had on running shorts with nowhere to hang it on my pants.
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It doesn’t work as well with the 32 oz, only because you will have to roll or push the top of the bag down a bit to expose the top of the bottle, but is designed perfectly for the 48. ¬†Even when I’m just around the house drinking my GGJ, I put it in the bag. ¬†It keeps it from sweating on everything and makes it easy to grab and keep right with me. ¬†I’ve been known to take it into the grocery store or even a restaurant with me. ¬†It “wads” up into itself leaving you with a neat little stuff sack, has a small caribiner to clip your keys to when you head out for a hike or paddle. ¬†It also sports a couple of little skinny pockets on the handle just right for a pen or a tube of lip balm.

Let me know if you start drinking your own Good Girl Juice and how it works for you! ¬†I’d love to hear.

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rain – – bleh!

So, SO much rain. It rained all last week, flooding a couple times, actually and I haven’t gotten to ride at all!

I am feeling so pathetic! I need to ride! Here’s hoping for a chance in the next couple days!

I finally got the yard mowed today. It was in desperate need after going without all last week and then all the rain.

Tonight, instead of going for the group ride I went out to visit with the ladies in my reunion group. We hadn’t gotten together in months and months! It was nice and on Saturday, the one lady is having a fish fry, so there’s that to look forward to.

Wednesday, there’s a big shindig to celebrate our town becoming a TrailTown, which is a big ol’ deal and such a great thing for us! After that, I have an appointment to get a long-overdue haircut.

Thursday is our next planned group ride with some of the older and newer riders and they go at an easy, ride-at-your-own pace that I like. They don’t mind if I stop a million times to check my sugar and stuff which is really nice.

Maybe I can ride with the other group tomorrow night too…they go at a bit faster pace, but I may go anyway. Or maybe Hubby and I can go Wednesday night.

I dunno, but have mercy, I have a busy week ahead and hope, Lord willing, (and I’m sure He is…that’s me, layin’ it off on Him *shame*) I will get some accomplished on this house too.

Blessings to all!

wonder dawg

max-kayak-May2015

So, here’s our Maxie.¬† We had been talking about a canoe/kayak trip for Memorial Day with our youngest babies for a few weeks.¬† This is the day before that, when “they” (meaning not me) decided we had time to make a practice run down a closer river than the one we had planned for Memorial Day.

I’m not sure what possessed us to think Max ought to go, but go he did.¬† And he did awesome.¬† He is such an amazing little boogar.¬† I’m always impressed with him whenever we take a leap and take him with us somewhere.¬† He’s such a good boy.¬† He never seemed the least bit scared on the water, although he did simply step or roll out into it a few times.¬† We’re not sure if he thought all the pollen on the surface meant there was solid ground where the water was still so he should be able to walk on it or if he needed to potty and was determined to get to a good potty spot.

As unafraid as Max was, I, on the other hand, was not so brave.¬† Almost from the start, we hit a bit of rough water, or rather the Hubby was moving more than I was comfortable with and I panicked.¬† That just set the mood for me.¬† I suddenly remembered how little I actually liked canoeing.¬† The kids have a couple of kayaks but Hubby has a canoe, so that’s what we float in.

I don’t much like a canoe.¬† I don’t much like water, actually and especially if it’s moving at all.¬† In case you didn’t know, the very first time Hubby took me canoeing we went with his buddies to a river he’d never been to himself, with class 3 rapids and he had never been in the back of a canoe (where you steer from) he’d always been in the front!

As a result, I got dumped out no less than three times, each time in a section of rapids.¬† It was everything from¬†unnerving to terrifying.¬† My insulin pump got water damage and one of the buttons get broken from hitting the solid-rock river¬†bottom so I spent the next few days giving shots because I had no pump, not to mention that my sugars shot up during the remaining 2+ hours of water-time and¬†3 hour ride home.¬† I think that’s one of the biggest reasons I don’t like being on the water.¬† It’s a constant fear that my pump will get damaged.¬† Other than that, I would like the water except that I can’t swim…and I hate getting water in my nose and ears.

Yeah so I probably won’t ever be liking water so much.¬† Heh.

I learned on that first trip that moving water is POWERFUL and if you are dumped out in it, you won’t just casually wade to the shore and stroll out of the river.¬† And if you are pinned on top of tree roots or anything else by said water, you might as well forget getting out of the water on your own.

So yeah, those things might have been flashing through my mind every time the canoe rocked back and forth and each time I heard the boat scraping rocks.¬† Then there was the moment when, for some reason, Hubby couldn’t steer the canoe fast enough to keep it from ramming underneath a tree.¬† Since I was in the front of the canoe, I was rammed into and under the tree too, and when I grabbed the limbs to keep them from taking my head off, the canoe tipped just enough to spill me out and Hubby either got dumped or jumped out, leaving poor little Max¬†in there, floating off by himself. After him jumping out on his own, it was funny that he was the only one that stayed in.¬† I came out with a couple of fingernails ripped off and one bleeding with a hunk of meat hanging off the side of one finger.

I wasn’t¬† happy, as you can imagine.¬† I wanted to go back right then and there, but um… well, you don’t “go back” in canoeing.¬† Nobody comes to “pick you up.¬† We had to go on, but my babies suggested we use their kayaks and let them use the canoe.¬† DIL #2 insisted we switch since the kayaks are easier to control in the water.

So Hubby and I got in the kayaks and let Baby Son & DIL #2 in the canoe.¬† I still wasn’t completely comfortable, but it was indeed much simpler to navigate the water and in all honesty, I very much enjoyed the floating down the calm water… but the “bumpy” areas are SO not my favorite!

I decided by the time I had paddled to the take-out point, that I wouldn’t go back with them the next day on the originally planned trip.¬† My neck and shoulders were horrifically tight and they’re still sore today.

This is Max on the trip back home.Max: Post-Kayaking
I think we are both done with river running for awhile.

The Baby kids, hubby and a friend of theirs went and had a good time.¬† When it took them about 9 hours to run the section they did, I was very glad I’d chosen to stay home, even if it was boring.¬† Maybe I’ll go on the river again, but probably not until I’ve had time to forget that I don’t much like it.

Ha!

Genesis 41:51 – ¬†“….‚ÄúGod has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house.‚ÄĚ[

crick

Not “crick” like “down by the…” Nope. I have one in my neck. Well, not really a crick. More like the muscles are so stinkin’ tight!

Now this has been going on forEVER! I normally am tight up there and along the tops of my shoulders, but it’s getting to the point where it hurts all the time, not just with certain movements.

Sheesh!

I really should go see the chiropractor, but I haven’t made an appointment. I don’t see much use in trying it right now since we are leaving for Hubby’s work conference on Sunday. I doubt I could even get in before we leave. Tow of the kiddos have been going lately and it takes them awhile to get scheduled, so I guess I’ll try to make do and call when I get back late Wednesday.

My sister came by today to leave some egg cartons. We chatted for a little while and it was good. She later called me and offered to keep Maxie-Wag for us while we’re gone. I had mentioned our trip while she was here and that we were planning to take him with us.

I told her I’d let her know and that for now, we just planned to take him. I said if something changed, I’d call her. I’m just not sure she could handle him for that long.

For one, he’s a little hyper sometimes. He likes to jump. Over, in, on and under stuff. ANY stuff. He’s like that cat meme…

So, if he can reach it or fit in it, he’s SO there. He jumps in people’s vehicles, in their laps, or their chairs if they make the mistake of vacating it. And most of the time, it’s not just to sit there calmly to be petted. Nope. He gets all up in your bizniss, right in your face like, “Hey! Look at me! Here I am! Whatcha doin’? Whatcha’ talkin’ ’bout? You should do something (let me out, feed me, find me a toy)! I won’t get out of your face til you fix this situation. You’re welcome.” He also likes to use me as a sort-of vertical trampoline. At least that’s what he acts like, coming from the other room sometimes, full speed ahead and *POUNCE*, he’ll plant all fours on me with enough force to leave a bruise just because he wants my attention. Seriously!?

I’m just afraid four days of him will be too much for her. And then she can be pretty forgetful too and I’m afraid she’d forget to put his radio collar on when she let him out, or that she’d try to grab/catch him by his front feet when he’s bouncing up to face level the way he does. Usually that means he wants you to cuddle him like a baby, but sometimes he’s just doing The Tigger. Just because he can.

I dunno. It would be nice to not have to worry about him when we are out. There’s some kind of social thing at a fancy restaurant one night, then of course, we’ll have to get food at least a time or two. We can’t leave him in the room even in the crate, so we figured we’d have to crate him in the truck, even if we leave it in the garage and walk wherever we’re going. Depending on the weather, that could mean we have to leave the thing running so he won’t get too warm. Then there’s the sorta-scary thought of having to try and keep him occupied all day while Hubby’s in his labs or whatever at the conference.

In one way I think it’d be great to have Max there to keep me occupied, but then I think, I COULD just take LOTS of long naps or watch LOTS of movies too…and I could easily do that, trust me.

*sigh* I just hope I’m not too freaked out by being in the middle of a huge city and will be able to go take him out walking some. Looks like there’s a big park about a quarter-mile away. I might attempt to make it over there. Just not sure about walking.

Not that I couldn’t, but when I think of something like that, I get nervous about what would happen if I went low or something, ya know? Argh!

And now I am in that horrible indecisive cycle where I can’t make a stinkin’ decision. Drives me crazy.

Ah well… I guess writing about it didn’t help and how pathetic is it that I had to sit down and write about whether or not to take my dog on a trip?!?!

I am certifiable!

Proverbs 16:33“The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.”

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escapist chickens & the mystery thereof

Yeah, so a couple days ago on Thursday, I had been out running errands all afternoon. I met Hubby for lunch and then started doing my stuff around town, so it was around 3 pm when I finally got home.

Before I left to meet him for lunch, I ran out to take care of the critters… let Samson out of his pen, give Max a potty run and see if the chickens needed water and check for eggs. They were almost out of water, so I pulled their waterer out of the coop, pushed the door together and rinsed and filled the container, replaced it and shut the door back, pushing the huge slide latch with the hook on the end so it can’t possibly slide out accidentally.

All was well, there was about 4 eggs which I took inside then I locked up and left for lunch.

Fast forward to 3 pm… I was wiped out once I got home and unloaded groceries. It was a windy, blustery, gusting early April day and I guess battling the wind made everything seem harder. I plopped down on the couch where I can easily see out the back door to where the chicken coop and run are in the backyard. I am busy catching up on Facebook and such when out of the corner of my right eye, I see something round and white moving on the patio. I look up to see what it is.

Lo and behold, a chicken is bobbing across the patio and I am flabbergasted as to how she got out there…as I set the laptop down on the coffee table, moving to go to the door for a closer look, I see she is not alone. I quickly count and realize ALL nine of them are out running around in the yard!

Through the door, I hastily glance at the run to see that door is securely latched, so I immediately think, How on earth did the coop door come open?? as I slip on my shoes and head outside.

I count the chickens again to make sure they are indeed all loose and wandering in the yard. Yep, every last one of them. I run over to the coop, around to the door which is not visible from the house at all and… it is securely closed and latched tight, just like I’d left it.

Now I am truly flummoxed! I walk all the way around the entire enclosure… the coop is attached to a run, which is open to the area underneath the coop so they have some sun blockage or a place to get out of the rain while in the run, and then on that side, opposite the “people door” for the coop, is the small, spring-action door into the run. It is made of wire on a wood frame with a claw latch. It won’t stay open unless you hook it back to the run itself, it always springs closed behind you.

So all this while, I’m walking around and around this thing, trying to discover some hole where these chickens could have escaped. I’m also calling Hubby because I just can’t figure out how this has happened! He immediately asks where Samson is and I realize that I need to secure him ASAP!
Samson, our chocolate lab, is a big softy. He’d be content to just lay around wherever you are, unless you’d like to throw a ball. Then he’s all over that until your arm falls off. Either way, he just wants to be near you. He used to be amazing with our chickens. We had let them out in the yard numerous times with Samson and after a few times of training him that he wasn’t allowed to chase the chickens, he was good with them. Never offered to bother them at all.

Until his sister, Emma, who lives on the hill with my parents, started coming down when they were out. She killed one of the chickens her second or third time, then I caught her and Sam both up under a wood pile after one. I dragged Sam to his pen and threw rocks at Emma til she went away. All I could see under the pile was a bunch of white feathers, so I didn’t look any further. I was so mad that she’d killed another chicken! I was so mad that my parents didn’t seem concerned about keeping their dog on their property.

We have had Samson on an underground fence for years. He’s not the brightest crayon in the box when it comes to navigation, so he got lost a couple times after wandering off. So we went to the trouble of buying a trencher, the fencing, extra wire, the control box and his collar so we could keep him secure. Once he learned where the fence was, he never ventures too close, which is great now that we ride bikes.

Our house is on the main route for the town’s annual bicycle ride that brings in riders from all over the country. I know there have probably been many cyclists who have had a heart attack seeing Samson come barreling toward the road, barking, not knowing that he’s contained. I’m sure they wonder why he stops and just “chases” them as far as our driveway and only to within a couple feet of the road. Anyhow, the point is, we have taken pains and gone to great lengths to keep our dog at our house.

I know my parents would be mad if we let him roam around at their house the way Emma has done here. She’s a good enough dog, but when someone else’s dog steals your dog’s toys and gets him into trouble, she ceases to be on your good side, ya know?

So there’s been that whole thing going on until about 4 months ago, when my youngest son, who lives in the basement apartment of my parents’ house, got a dog and put in a radio fence for him, and Mom and Dad then bought Emma a collar too. So at last, she’s contained, but it’s too late for Sam. He can no longer be trusted out with the chickens.

So I go looking for Samson only to find him, napping contentedly on the porch. Poor fella, he stretches and looks at me like, “What?” as I lead him to his pen. Then he noticed the chickens…he knew exactly what was up then, and almost went into the pen on his own.

I told you, he’s a good, good dog!

I was still on the phone with Hubby, repeatedly assuring him there was NO WAY those chickens just got out, that someone must have let them out. I emphatically told him yes, both doors were securely latched and I couldn’t find any holes or separations in the wire. I was completely stumped as to how they got out.

I don’t know if he thought I was crazy or what, but as I was talking to him, all the while still visually scouring that coop and run for a way the chickens could have escaped, I realize someone has walked up beside me.

It was my sister, who lives next door. I have no clue where she came from or how long she’d been there, but I immediately ask her, “Did you let the chickens out?” and almost as quickly, I chuckle at how crazy that sounds. She gets this shocked look on her face and denies it. I’m sure she was stunned because as it was, she had just pulled up in my driveway and walked over to me just then, so she was clueless about what was going on.

I get off the phone with the Hubby and start telling her what happened and still just going mad trying to figure this mystery out. She informs me that she just came to get an egg because she wanted to make my Baby Son some brownies for his birthday, which was also that day.

By the way, this all went down April 2nd, the day after April Fool’s day, so had it been one day earlier, I’d have been on the hunt for the prankster who let my chickens out!

After calming down a bit, I took Sis into the house since I’d already gathered the eggs for the day, and got her one and we sat down to talk a bit. She hadn’t been to the house in ages and was in a visiting mood, so I went with it. Every little while, my mind would go back to those blasted chickens and how on earth they could have possibly gotten out. I had decided that some random person had to have walked a good 30 yards from the road to the back of our house, let them out and then waited to latch the door back.

Yeah, it didn’t seem too likely to me either, but neither did the idea that anyone in the family let them out, so I was desperate to reason the thing out for my own sanity!

DIL1 came up after she got off work, just to visit, I think, and we told her the saga and she couldn’t come up with a good scenario either. Not long after DIL left, Hubby came home and hobbled with his crutches straight over to the run to ‘figure it all out’, I’m sure. I am almost certain he thought I was crazy, in some state of low blood sugar or fatigued delusion…but after he’d walked around it once, he didn’t have a good answer either.

Hmph!

So, while we were out there, the three of us because Sis was still there, Hubbs and I went into the run to replace the big water tank that had tipped over where the chickens had dug under one of the supporting blocks. While we were in there, Sis shut the run door that I had propped open earlier so the chickens could get in there if they needed to… and remember, the wind is fierce all this time…whipping and gusting like crazy. So all of sudden she yells, “HEY! This door blew open all by itself!”

We look around and see that even though the door is made of 1-inch-square wire, the wind is strong enough to shake it back and forth when latched and that the latch rattles open after awhile.

Thank God!! You can’t imagine how relived I was! I was seriously about to lose my mind trying to solve this mystery. I never imagined the wind could have blown that door open!!

And so, the mystery of the escaping chickens was solved and I got to smooth the tension I felt about getting together at her house this coming weekend for Easter. I told her how Mom had “invited” me to this thing by saying “If you wanna come, fine and if you don’t, fine.” Sis seemed to think it was ‘just Mom’ these days and didn’t seem to have a clue what instigated that. She’s not usually very subtle and if she’d been talking to Mom about me, she’d have let it slip or have outright said what was bothering her. So…anyhow, there’s that much tension I no longer have to deal with, thank God!!

He is so SO good to me! *big smile*

1 Peter 1:22“Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart,”