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A New Friend

July 7, 2014 - Author: Amy

After we lost sweet Bill, the plan was to do nothing for a while. Just let the dust settle, as it were.

Junior changed that plan when he began dragging his yo-yo around by its “leash” and calling it his puppy. He would also take his bike for walks and pet it and tell it it was a good boy.

And that was sad.

So we began to keep our eye out for what might be a good buddy for him. Someone smaller this time, who we could take everywhere. Someone young, so they could grow up together.

And we found this little guy.


He came from a farmhouse in Middle-Of-Nowhere-Kansas. When we pulled in, a whole herd of these little guys came running to greet us, and right behind them came a whole herd of little blond children. Having all those friends from day one ensured that this fella was used to being handled and very gentle.


Junior chose the one he wanted to take home, and he named him JoJo.

(After that creepy clown on that kid’s show, JoJo’s Circus. ~shiver~)


They were best buddies right from the start.


And I know they’ve got lots of fun times ahead. :)

18 Comments - Categories: Critters

I’m Alive

May 8, 2013 - Author: Amy

And my little man has been surprisingly amicable.  Maybe it’s all the trips to Dairy Queen, or perhaps that I let him sleep in mommy and daddy’s bed during the thunderstorm.


 Whatever the case may be, I’m just enjoying our one-on-one time.  Daddy doesn’t get home till Friday, but don’t try to come rob me because a) you’ll still have a lot of boxes to sort through to find any good stuff, and b) I sleep with a knife when he’s gone.  True story.  D thinks it would be pretty ineffective against an assailant, but I argue it’s much MORE effective than a gun I don’t know how to use.

(Before you jump all over me, NO, the knife is not in the bed where my kid is.)

Speaking of boys and relative naughtiness… 


 The furry one on the left got away from me this morning when he spotted a neighbor out for a run.  So I had to chase him, in heels, while my neighbor followed behind screaming “I’ll help you!!!” 

A runner, I am not.  Add in a dress and 120 pound dog and you’ve got yourself one cranky girl.  Someone isn’t getting a pig ear tonight.

 I bought this picture at an antique store recently. 


On the back in faded writing it says “Dutch Farmer ’19″.  I like it a lot, but then I watched an episode of Paranormal State and this family was being harrassed by the ghost of a mean old railroad worker, of whom they dug up an old photo and the girl was all “OMG, that’s totally him!” (cut to amateur drawing of ghost that looks exactly like a stick figure).  But it caused me to wonder if those things work in reverse.  Maybe this farmer’s ghost really liked this picture of himself and I just attached him to my wall.  THEN I started worrying about the buffalo skulls we have in the basement and what their spirits might thing about being a decoration.  It’s not like we’re using them as goblets, drinking wine out of them ala Lestat, but still… I’d be fighting mad if it were my dome.  Unless you bejeweled it first.

Long story to basically tell you that is the first and only piece of art we have hung in the house.  We don’t want to get too crazy till the walls are painted.  To date, we have one half of one room painted.  I’m thinking of leaving the rest as D’s welcome home gift.

What are you doing for Mother’s Day?  I plan to not paint.


22 Comments - Categories: Critters, Junior, Uncategorized

That Time I Failed at Life.

February 26, 2013 - Author: Amy

Remember that time that Kansas was under literal feet of snow when we were supposed to be moving out and I almost starved to death

The saga continues.

So there I was, home alone, minding my own business because like a genius I’d already cancelled the satellite and didn’t have anything to do BUT mind my business when I heard the sound of footsteps on the front porch.  I froze, half terrified it was a zombie, half hopeful it was Meals on Wheels.

I froze, because I knew I’d been spotted.  See?


And reality was so much worse than zombies.  It was a dude in a ski mask.  Legit.  Like that scene in Fargo.

But my momma raised a lady with manners, so like an idiot I answered the door.  He was actually very nice and apologetic about his appearance.

Masked stranger/likely murderer: “I know I must look like a monster, but wanted to offer to plow your driveway.”

Me: “NO!” ~slams door, runs away and hides under covers~

Where was my trusty sidekick/protector?  The people want to know.

trees 028Judas.

 Saturday was my poor husband’s birthday.  Before admitting that I had neither a gift or a card for him, I feel it necessary to remind you that I’d been snowed in for DAYS, almost starved, had a near-murdered experience, and also suffered from boredom due to lack of HGTV.

Somehow none of those things stopped my mom (that shower-upper) from making him his favorite treat – a sour cream raisin pie. 


Some of my favorite FB comments after sharing this picture: “Did your mom make him the sun?!”, “Do sour cream raisin pies normally glow in the dark?”, “He must be older than he looks because that pie is on FIAH!”.

To thank them for celebrating his birthday so sweetly, we kicked them out of their bedroom and moved into it.  Then D left for Texas for two weeks.  ~le weep~

Junior is bunking with me for the duration and nap time in the transition has proved… tricky.

nap What’s this?  Delicious mints grandma left on all our pillows?


Don’t mind if I do… 

nap3 I know mom almost starved to death this week, but let’s be honest, the last thing those hips need is chocolate.


The look of sweet victory.

D?  Lack of birthday festivities on my part in no way reflect my feelings towards you.  I still think you’re the bees knees and I’ve got some big impressive birthday plans in the cooker for when you get back – hopefully sans snow.  Miss you and love you!


Wifey of the Year

28 Comments - Categories: Critters, Home Building

What To Do With Leftover Turkey

December 13, 2012 - Author: Amy

If you still have turkey leftover from Thanksgiving in your fridge… Probably shouldn’t eat it.

But!  If you have leftover turkey in your freezer, or plan to have a turkey at Christmas, D made a delicious dish that was a welcome change from leftover turkey sanniches.

(Poorly adapted from here)

thankschristmas 037

Spicy Turkey Soup, y’all.

  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 4ish cups turkey (shredded)
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can hominy
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 anaheim chiles
  • 2 ancho chiles
  • salt to taste

Whatever you want on top – we just went with cilantro and lime juice.

D also made tortilla strips by cutting up corn tortillas, drizzling them in olive oil, bake, then toss in salt and garlic salt.

The lump of greenish stuff is sour cream mixed with salsa verde.  And it was fantastic.

We ate it and then this happened.

trees 016

And also this.

trees 022

Gosh, those two.

25 Comments - Categories: Critters, Eats, Junior

Buffalo Bill

July 19, 2012 - Author: Amy

Sometimes, life makes your mind up for you.

Since losing both our dogs in the spring, we have gone back and forth about getting a dog, when should we get a dog, what kind of dog should we get, which type would be best for Junior, do we want a puppy, or a rescue, or should we just take the free one offered by my FIL, what size, which types don’t shed again? blah blah.

We looked and pondered and hemmed and hawed.

And then D’s manly life partner called on Sunday night.  “You want this dog?”

He’d seen him wandering around his new abode for the past couple weeks, and just assumed he belonged to a neighbor that didn’t take particularly good care of him. But on Sunday night he went into an old hog shed on his property and discovered that this poor fella had been living there.

Yes, we want that dog.


 He came to us filthy, matted, covered in ticks and thirsty.

But man, was he glad to have a friend.  He let us love on him, clean him up as best we could and laid there so nicely as D pulled off tick after engorged tick.

Junior warmed to him immediately.

And he to Junior.


 He’s just happy to be around you, and will follow you gladly.  Even into the car for a date with the vet and groomer.  The vet confirmed he’s a purebred Great Pyrenees, best guess is about two years old, and healthy! 

While he was getting dolled up, I was buying all the necessary accoutrements to have a dog this size.  Our last two were about twenty pounds.  This one weighs as much as me!  He took to his new collar with no problem, and Junior likes to make sure he’s always got his bone handy.

We named him Bill. 

Buffalo Bill, technically.  It may be a bit of an odd choice, but his personality is that of a polite, reserved, older gentleman. 

And he’s big as a buffalo!

42 Comments - Categories: Critters


June 4, 2012 - Author: Amy

I told D that I have a new theory:

I’m worried that in a past life we were mass murders, or pedophiles, or really awful people that skinned puppies to make fur coats.. and that karma hadn’t gotten around to us until now.

I don’t know how else to explain this string of horrid luck.

On Friday, after a rash of bad news, I updated my Facebook status.  “I’m tempted to ask what else, but I’m afraid God will take that as a personal challenge.”

On Saturday, we lost Winnie.

After someone installed the wrong carpet in the bedroom, we didn’t have enough to finish the bonus room so we had to buy more and during that process discovered that the carpet pad had sprouted legs and walked off.  (hmm)  So we got to buy more of that too.  Appraisal is tomorrow and we HAVE to be done by then.  So we were in constant motion all weekend, rushing to finish.  We had the carpet guys, friends, family, neighbors, etc. in and out, in and out. 

And Winnie jumped ship.

We drove all around, hollering for her.  I asked every person who happened to be outside if they’d seen her.  We checked both shelters, left descriptions and contact info.  I put a “lost” ad on Craigslist, and made fliers.  I can only hope some nice family picked her up and that our paths will cross soon.  The thought of losing both dogs in the span of a month is just too much.  As Junior and I drove around looking for her, I was literally speaking outloud to myself? God? That biznitch Karma?  “Enough.  This is enough.  No more.” 

I hope he/she/it listened.

Then I threw myself a fantastic pity party.  I mean one for the record books.  Ugly cry accompanied by soulful music and a fierce ‘woe is me’.  It had it all! 

Except for other guests.  All the people I would normally invite to a party were busy rallying on my behalf.  It’s awful hard to stay blue when at the end of the day, you’ve still got a whole heap of things to be grateful for.

Long lost friends who come over to help you clean up yard debris AND bring you a hand made gift.

Neighbors who make sure you eat, and install kitchen lights they picked up for you at a silent auction.

Parents that are willing to watch munchkins so we could focus on working.

(That’s the new carpet.)

The fact that we were blessed with the coolest kid to ever walk this earth.

And my husband’s cute butt.


34 Comments - Categories: Critters, Home Building

When It Rains…

May 9, 2012 - Author: Amy

Our puppies have been staying with my in-laws on their farm while we’ve been displaced.  And they love it there.  They have lots of land to run on, they get to chase cows and horses, and they get spoiled terribly.

It is the one comforting thought when you lose a pet.  Knowing that they were loved well and spent their last days happy.


We brought our sweet, happy, loyal Toby home for the first and last time last night.

And our hearts are broken.

33 Comments - Categories: Critters, Uncategorized

Cedar and Stuff

January 24, 2012 - Author: Amy

Things are getting pretty exciting around the ol’ homestead, because it’s finally time to start with the fun stuff like picking out paint colors and deciding on cabinet finishes.  The insulation is in, and sheet-rocking has begun.  This is in the master bedroom.

My tub hole The area around the tub has been framed, and my bathtub has arrived and is currently in the basement waiting for it’s new home.  It’s big.  I’m excited. 

The ceilings above the great room/dining room/kitchen are vaulted and cedar, which is now being installed.  My heart skipped a beat when I saw them.  J’adore!

Our beams are reclaimed, and obviously very old.  We got the main one that spans the length of the room for $25.  I’m thinking of changing our last name to the Thriftertons.  Thrifty Thrifterton has a nice ring to it!

More cedar.

With any luck, this should be the last week I’m forced to use crappy iPhone pics.  You remember how Satan Toby broke our camera?

I got the estimate back, and am thrilled that the lens is fixable and for “only” $90 which is still much cheaper than a new lens.  The bad news is that the impact from the camera hitting the floor caused the part that holds the lens onto the camera to break as well.  $80 for that.  But still, less than expected!

I told Toby that considering all the carnage he’s caused, euthanasia would be our cheapest option at this point.

He laughed at me and then ran off to pee on the neighbor dog. 

34 Comments - Categories: Critters, Home Building

Good decor, bad dog.

January 6, 2012 - Author: Amy

Someday, I will share with you the story of how D and I came to be.  The condensed version is: His cousin, Amber, is one of my besties.

Amber called the other day to ask if we wanted to grab dinner because she’d gotten us something for the house.  So we met up for delicious Mexican food and she presented us with this:

Amber: I thought it looked like you.

Me: It TOTALLY looks like me, thanks!

Amber: I also got you this, because I thought it would be cute to display your corks in the jar.

Me: *glug, glug, glug*

Me: It IS cute!

Amber: You can write the dates on the corks, and if there was a special occasion.

Me: No need to document my lushiness…. ;)

PS – I’m really sorry about the crappy iPhone pics, but Lucifer Toby

reached up with his freakishly long arms and grabbed our camera off the table and proceeded to chew the lens lid and strap to bits, and what was probably the impact of it hitting the tile floor broke the lens.  It won’t rotate or focus and there’s something rattling around in there.


Anyone know if lenses are fixable, or am I buying a new one?  Who wants a free demon dog??

26 Comments - Categories: Critters, Home Goods

Winnie (not the Pooh)

December 21, 2011 - Author: Amy

Christmas came a little early at our house in the form of a fluffy, wiggly, bitey, loving little puppy named Winnie.  As in Winifred, not Pooh.

(They both look a little unsure, no?)

She is an Augi (Mini-Australian Sheperd/Corgi mix).  We had been on the lookout for a good puppy pal for Toby, but were going to wait until we were out of the rental and in the new house with all the land for them to frolic and play on.  Toby just has way more energy than we’re able to help him burn, and he loves going to the in-laws farm to play with all the critters there. 

Which brings me to how we ended up with Winnie.  One of the critters at the farm, Hank, a dearly loved blue heeler who had had a back injury and was in a wheelchair chariot, had gotten very sick and had to be put down this past fall.

Here’s a picture of Hank in his chariot running with my MIL, her dog Chloe (who is Toby’s mom) and Toby bringing up the rear.


That was this past Mother’s Day.  My first Mother’s Day!  Here is another pic from that day!


So anyway, Hank was gone and my FIL had run across this litter of puppies that he thought he would like to help him work the cattle and stuff.  (I have no idea how dogs work cattle, but I just go with the flow.)  So we all decided to surprise him with a puppy for Christmas. 

And the puppy was awesome!  So cute and fat and short.  And he had brothers and sisters left… and we were sorta interested.  And then another member of the family decided they were interested too.  And so we called about the others, and they said if we took both, they would give us a group rate.

Yep, we got a discount puppy for Christmas.  We’re nothing if not thrifty.

So Winnie came home a little earlier than expected, but it worked out because she and Toby were immediate pals.  Since she’s not totally trained yet, and Toby has a tendency to chew on Junior’s things when we’re not looking, we put them in a tiled portion of the house with a baby gate up.

And came home to this.

Junior’s stuff, Christmas gifts, D’s shoes, a pair of my *ahem* underthings… all destroyed.

I had plans last night, so poor D was faced with this all alone.  Toby and Winnie had to sit in time out while he cleaned up the mess and wrangled Junior, who is teething and uncharastically grumpy.  But by the time I got home, all I had to deal with was this:

And this:

And this:

Which got me to thinking… maybe I should go to dinner with the girls more often.  :D

Love you, D!  Thanks for being the best hubby, daddy, and puppy-daddy EVER!

15 Comments - Categories: Critters, D (Also known as Tex and Hubbylovepunkinpants)