Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Meet Hawk

I can hear what most of you are probably thinking, and no, we were not in the market for a new dog. But at the same time, we have all wanted another chance to raise a happy, healthy, well adjusted canine (yes, by 'we' I really mean me). As I mentioned yesterday, I really feel like I failed Icky and I would love to make up for the mistakes we made with him.

So anyway, we were not looking for a new dog, but the circumstances to which we came to this point make me feel like it is the right decision.

The puppies are part Great Pyrenees (mama), and part Australian Cattle Dog (blue healer specifically). 

Bessie and her pups

Jared and I talked about it a lot yesterday, we talked to his parents about it last night (because we are living in their house after all).

While no one was over-joyed at the idea, everyone was open to it. I told Jared and my in-laws that I would find out if I could take the dog to work with me (which means he would only be at the house 3ish days a week).

Not only would bringing him to work with me be good for the carpet and sanity of the people at the house, bringing the pup to work with me would be great for him. Four months of learning directly from his mama (a working farm dog), as well as 2 other dogs. He will learn proper dog behavior, dog manners, and how to be part of a pack. He will get tons of exercise, and he gets to hang out with me all day.

When Emma and I went to work today (that sounds funny, but we enjoyed it), we talked to Kristen about being able to take the pup to work and she was excited about the idea. She also mentioned that if we wanted to, until he was ready to go home with us, we could bring him into the shop with us while we are working so he can get to know us and so that Emma can play with him.


So, we figured the hardest part would be figuring out which pup would join our family.

Out of the 7 pups, only one was a girl and she was spoken for.

Three of the pups have longer coats like there mama, which we know we would not want to have to brush out as often as would be necessary.

(The pup in the way back is the longer haired dog)

One pup has a medium coat, but we decided to focus on the two pups with the shorter coats. The look almost identical, with funky little white patches on their foreheads in the shape of a heart, and a brown spot on their back, close to their tails.

One we dubbed "Mohawk" because he has a streak of white fur coming out of his heart, where the other pup has a thin line from his. The other way we are able to tell them a part is that Mohawk's spot on his back is farther from his tail, while the other pup's is right at the base of his tail.

We spent a lot of time today playing with the pups, trying to figure out which of the two we might be more interested in.

Turns out both pups happily came to use when we encouraged them to, but Mohawk was less nippy and jumpy when he got to us. He would sit and let Emma pet him, and aside from the occasional boot chewing, he mostly kept his teeth off. The other pup wasn't really bad, but he had no problem climbing in Emma's lap, and he was a little more mouthy.

So, we tentatively reserved Mohawk. We let Kristen know that we wanted to watch both pups over the next week or so and she was happy to hear that. Once mama Bessie is ok with it, Emma and I will probably take the pups with us into the workshop, one at a time, to see how they do.

Although, if today was any indication, we will most likely be bringing Mohawk home with us on June 11th.

After some discussion, we have shortened the name, so this may be a bit preemptive, but

Meet Hawk :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

One Thing Leads to Another

I am continually amazed with the way the world works. Here is an odd little map of the last few weeks, in just one (or so it seemed) are of our lives.

Moved to Cresco and began the search for duck eggs (for consumption).
(Emma and I can not eat chicken eggs, but we both love eggs so much (and they are quick, easy, and nutritious) so we tried out duck eggs while we were still in Nevada. Loved them.)

Stopped by the Cresco farmers market on a Tuesday and inquired at all 6 booths about duck eggs. No luck. Mentioned it to the woman who was running the market and taking names for a weekly gift certificate drawing. No luck, but she was going to check.

The following Tuesday, the woman in charge mentioned that she might have a name for me.

Three days go by, but I finally called the number and left a message. I got a call back later that night. The woman (Kristen) runs a hatchery (The Country Hatch) and normally hatches all her duck eggs. For various reasons, she had more duck eggs then she could hatch so she was willing to sell us some eggs.

We chatted a bit and she mentioned that she was playing catch up because of some illnesses in the family and that currently she was short handed. I offered to help out in exchange for eggs.


Turns out she needs more help then she feels the eggs are worth, so starting today, I have a paying job! I will work 4-5 days a week, 8 hours or so a day and Emma will get to come hang out an the farm with me when she wants to.

Kristen also mentioned that she had 6 week old puppies for Emma to play with if Emma was interested.

We made plans for Emma and I to visit before deciding for sure if this would work. Yesterday was our first visit and it was love at first sight for both of us. With three dogs to pet and love, various cats and kittens to lather attention on, and more feathers for Emma to collect than she knew what to do with, she was a happy girl. Add in the saddle trained mules that Emma may get to ride at some point, and her day was made.

Then we met the puppies. Yes, all puppies are cute. These were no exception.

Emma petting one of the 7 puppies. 

We petted the pups, played with the kittens, checked out all the cute chicks, ducklings, and goslings (we even held a few!). Emma collected feathers and we both asked a lot of questions. We decided that we would indeed like to work for Kristen and learn about raising ducks, geese and chickens in the process.

While Emma petted the pups, I chatted with Kristen, asking about how much she would be selling the pups for, and when she was thinking the would be going to their new homes. I was mostly just making conversation.

Kristen asked if we were looking for a dog, and I briefly talked with her about our time with Icky, then we moved on to the next are of the farm.

Our last stop before leaving was (at Emma's request) to pet the puppies again. As both Emma and I were giving some love to the pups, Kristen mentioned that she would be happy to see one of her pups go free to a good home, indicating that she felt that the pup would be in good hands with us.

At first I was conflicted, but the more I think about it, the more I feel that we are being given a second chance. A second chance to do our best to raise a happy, healthy, well adjusted dog.

We loved Icky. I will forever be thankful for all of the lessons he has taught us, but for a long time now I have felt that I failed him because I was unable to "fix" him. I beat myself up a lot, telling myself that I should have done more, I should have been a better dog owner.

I won't lie, there is probably a lot I could have done to help him more, but I have also come to realize that what he went through before we got him had a very large impact on his future. Had it not been for us, I truly believe he would not have had as long and as happy of a life as he did with us.

And so, after talking it over with Jared and Emma, we have decided to add one more member to our family...

(more tomorrow!)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Which Plan Are We On?

I love the saying, "Life is all about how your handle Plan B," by Suzy Toronto. Fit's our life perfectly, as long as we pick a letter farther down the alphabet.

Need examples?

Plan A- When Jared and I first met, the plan was to enjoy our relationship until I left to retrain (about 3-4 months). I had already tried the long distance relationship and didn't want to do it again.

Plan B- Then we fell in love and bought a house. Tons of phone calls, letters, and quick weekend visits followed for almost a year. Jared proposed to me during that year in a crappy dorm room in Albuquerque, NM on Halloween (it was 2003).

Plan C- Jared was going to stay active duty enlisted until he retired.

Plan D- Jared separated from the AF, went back to school and was suppose to commission May 5th 2012 and we were expecting to head to Montana sometime after the New Year.

Plan E- Jared broke his clavical and so now the commissioning is on hold until he heals. We did however find out that he is scheduled to enter active duty on 30Sep12.

I am sure there are other plans in there that we have made and had to change for various reasons, but you get the gist of it.

And in case anyone missed it:

We may be in Montana as early as the first week in October! That's only 4ish months away!

Needless to say we are both excited and a little sad. Excited because this in between thing is kinda rough. A little sad though because we thought we would have a bit more time with Gramma and Boppa. Jared had plans to ride all the trails in Iowa once he was healed and commissioned. We had some fun trips planned, and a list of projects we wanted to help out with around the house.

With only having 4 months before we leave, we are going to have to start some serious scheduling. And because of that, I have decided to wait to take classes until the Spring of 2013. This will give me time to get all of our stuff in order for the move, as well as help out with projects around the house.

The good news is that we have checked 3 things off our collective to-do list so far.

The 20 something year old clubhouse has been torn down. The floor was starting to rot out of it, so it really wasn't all that safe.

We left the frame up though, because we had plans for it which included the need to build a planter box.

Why a planter box? For two reasons; 1. Growing veggies off the ground is easier on our bodies to plant, tend, and harvest, and 2. Now we didn't have to worry about the rascally rabbits eating all our greens.

We need a bit more soil before we can do our planing, but I figure we will be done by the end of today. Thankfully we will be here long enough to enjoy the harvest :)

We also sold the Jeep. We really didn't want to because the Jeep is way cool, but we since we left Arizona, the poor Jeep hasn't seen much off road action and that is what it was made for. We sold the Jeep to a guy who plans to use it as a farm vehicle as well as a recreational vehicle, so we are happy that it went to a good home.

Well, I am off to drag Emma away from her computer so that we can go swimming at the Fitness Center. She starts swim lessons on Tuesday so we thought it would be a good idea to try the pool out before her first class.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

School Trouble

So, I had finally decided to go back to school and study food and nutrition. Kinda a big deal around our house now and I figure that won't ever really change.

Besides, I find all the different ways the human body processes and functions based on the foods a person eats to be fascinating. I really would love to learn more about it (and yes, I can learn more about it without a college degree).

My big reason for wanting to go back to school now is that I have some education benefits from when I was active duty that I need to use up before I loose them and I would get paid while going to school.

However, finding a degree I can work on on-line is proving to be difficult. I thought I had it all figured out, but then I found out that one of the 5 class I planned to take through a community college in Kansas isn't offered on-line. A big bummer because all of the other classes are offered on-line and I have been assured that the classes would all transfer.

I really don't want to have to go through yet one more college for just one class.

I had hoped to start taking classes this summer, but it looks like I am going to need to do a lot more research.

I envy people who know exactly what they want to be when they grow up, and actually do their dream job.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Throwing Flowers

This past week has been really busy on so many levels. We are trying to get settled in at Gramma and Boppa's, I am trying to get our eating situated again (moving threw a monkey wrench into everything and both Emma and I were feeling the effects of eating foods that our body doesn't tolerate), and we were preparing for a wedding. Auntie Sara and Uncle Rich's wedding.

Saturday was the big day. Emma and I didn't have a ton of responsibilities, but being the flower girl (and the mother of the flower girl) meant that we did have some. I was also suppose to be a personal attendant, but I kinda failed on that end cause I have no idea how to do make up and, well, that apparently was what I was needed for.

Sorry Sara!

Lucky for Sara she had another attendant and a handful of bride's maids so she was well taken care of. I kept busy running around after Emma and her cousin Logan (who's mama was a bride's maid).

Anyway, here are some pictures from the wedding, which was beautiful.

 We don't believe in separate clothes for playing and special occasions :)

 After about 2 hours of photos (and playing) Emma was already pretty tired. This was her staring off into space while contemplating her upcoming duties as flower girl.

We didn't get any pictures of Emma throwing (or in her case chucking) flowers, but I believe the photographer did so we will have to wait for those.

The flower petals in Emma's basket were from bouquets of flowers that Uncle Rich had given to Auntie Sara throughout the year, as well as flowers collected by Emma from Gramma's garden. Emma loved collecting the flowers and adding the petals to the salt for drying.

This picture was taken by Logan (he just turned 3). He did a great job the entire day, even though he was really overwhelmed and kept missing his mama.

Here is Emma saying hello to the Percheron horses that were in charge of getting the wedding party from the lake to the expo building where the reception was being held.

The wedding party on there way to the reception. Emma had a blast on the ride, even though she couldn't really see the horses much.

 And the reception. We brought a cooler of food for me and Emma (you know, gluten/dairy/etc. free). Once the food was done, the real party began. Our plan was to stay until just after 8 (because that would be an hour past Emma's bed time). We didn't end up leaving till 9:20 because we all were having a great time. Emma danced a TON and ran around just as much. She made a few new friends and just had a great time. She really wanted to stay till the end, but staying up till Midnight is a once a year occasion. Once we got home we realized we hadn't gone for our daily walk and it was a beautiful night so off we went. Emma is NEVER up/outside that late so it was a real treat. She got to see fireflies and stars. Thankfully once we got into bed, she was out pretty quickly. She eve slept in an hour the next morning!

Congratulations Sara and Rich and cheers to many, many happy years together!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Getting Settled


I seemed to have quit writing rather suddenly. I hope that no one is suffering from withdrawals :0)

The last week or so has been a bit crazy with trying to finish up the house, pack the last of our mounds of stuff, and slowly get said stuff moved into my in-law's house.

We have a long way to go before all of our stuff is moved in and we are completely settled, but we are getting there. We should have it all figured out just in time to move to Montana. But hey, then we will have people doing all the packing and moving for us :0)

Jared is healing well, though not fast enough for him. The beautiful weather we are having makes him want to go out and ride his bike so badly. Poor baby. His mobility is amazing though, so he should be starting physical therapy in the next week or two.

Emma is LOVING having so much time with Gramma and Boppa. She has been super helpful with getting things unpacked and put away. She has also be very helpful in the garden being Gramma's helper. I can't wait to get all of her stuff situated so she can feel truly settled.

I am glad to be under the same roof as Jared and Emma again. There is still so much work to do, but it will be easier to focus now that I am not missing my family so much.

I am scheduled to start classes on-line June 4th. I am excited, but also wondering if this is the best time to be going back to school. I suppose I will figure it all out before the 4th. 

As we unpack, we are preparing for a yard sale. June 15th and 16th is when the yard sale is scheduled for and that is our goal date for having everything unpacked and situated. So far our yard sale pile is pretty impressive, and we are excited to keep adding to it.

So, all is well here for us. We are excited for this mini chapter in our lives and we are going to try to do our best to enjoy our time with family and friends.

I hope all is well with you and that you are having a wonderful Spring!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I Should Really Be...

...working on the house. I have been here since Monday, working like a dog. The living room has a fresh coat of paint (bone white) and the base cabinets in the kitchen are now white instead of sunshine yellow.

I really meant to paint the base cabinets about 3 years ago, around the same time I painted the florescent orange walls an olive green.

The family room steps finally have the last few peel and stick floor tiles in place. Another job that should have been finished 3 years ago.

I painted the outside trim around our big living room window so it now "matches" the rest of the windows in the front of the house.

Most of the windows have been washed on the inside, Emma's closet has been painted white, the yard no longer has toys and tools scattered all over the place, and the dumpster we are renting is starting to fill up.

A huge thank you goes out to my friend Desiree who has helped me get everything done.


I would be so far behind if you hadn't come over and helped. I really appreciate it.

With that said, I need to get off my butt and keep working. I still have the sheds to empty and clean, the basement to empty and clean, the kitchen to empty and clean...

Thankfully we will have another trailer here tomorrow so that I can get the rest of our crap stuff out of the house so that the cleaning part will be easier.

Have a great day!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Goal: 30 Days Completed!

Yeah, I walked every day for 30 days! I am so excited that I actually managed to meet my goal. I have really enjoyed my walks, especially the ones that Emma and Jared accompanied me on. We even had Gramma walk with us the on day 29.

I had meant to take a picture of our last walk, but with all the craziness of trying to get stuff ready to load into the trailer yesterday, I completely forgot.

Speaking (writing?) of the trailer, I think for the next week or so I will just continue with the walking around the block and skip the push ups and sit ups. I am SOOOO sore from moving boxes and furniture yesterday that I could barely lift my arms this morning. I figure it isn't going to get much better because tomorrow I will be unloading the trailer and starting on Monday, I will be paining and doing repairs around the house. That will be plenty enough exercise without adding more.

But, the house is mostly pack thanks to the help of our awesome friends.

Thank you to the Desiree, Lane, Patrick, and Bill. There is no way we could have gotten all that stuff loaded without your help.

Thank you so much to Boppa for driving 3 hours, loading for a few hours, then driving another 3 hours. We appreciate all your help.

Thank you Gramma for being on kid duty. It made it so much easier to get things packed knowing someone was keeping the kids entertained and out of harms way. I loved watching you reading to the kids outside under the maple tree :)

There is still a bit of work for me to do in the house, but I hope that by this time next week the house is on the market.

Hope everyone has a great day, I am off to pack a bit more stuff!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Goal: Day 28 and 29 Complete - Boxes and a Jared Update

One day to go till I meet my goal of walking around the block everyday for 30 days!

My next goal is mostly more of the same, only because our next couple of days/weeks are going to be crazy enough without trying to add in some new exercise. My goal is to shoot for 20 minutes of walking each day (but at a minimum around the block) and add in 5 push ups/sit ups on alternate days.

Again, nothing drastic or physically draining, but I have enough going on to drain me physically. Like packing boxes and hauling them around.

Phew. That's tough work! We have made some serious progress but I really feel like I am soooo far behind.

We have some awesome friends coming by to help us load the trailer tomorrow. The trailer that my awesome father-in-law is driving down to us tomorrow. Which he took 2 days off of work to do.

Thanks Boppa!

My mother-in-law came down yesterday so that we didn't have to drag Emma to Jared's follow up appointment for his shoulder this morning (more on that in a minute). Since Gramma has been down here, she has kept Emma happy with lots of outside time and lots of attention, she has done all of my dishes, helped pack, swept, walked with Emma to the post office and the library, and overall has been a great big help.

Thanks Gramma!

Jared's shoulder is healing well. He was given the o.k. to start VERY light physical therapy- basically raising his arm out to the side and out in front of him till he feels discomfort, then stopping. As soon as he is at 60 degrees he can start going to actual physical therapy. He is at about 40 degrees right now.

Well, I think that about catches everyone up to date.

So excited to complete my goal and empty out my house!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Goal: Day 25, 26, 27 Completed - And Some Boxes Got Packed!

It has been pretty busy here. We have completed our walks for the last 3 days, today being the best day weather wise. Jared has gone with us on at least 2 of the past 3 walks, so that made them great as well.

We have been busy packing some boxes. Despite the fact that we have gotten a bunch packed, I still feel like nothing has gotten accomplished.

Oh, and I found out yesterday that I was accepted by the University of Alabama for their Food and Nutrition degree! I will be taking Anatomy and Physiology I and II as well as a few Chemistry classes through Northeast Iowa Community College this summer and fall, but after that, all of my classes will be on-line through UA.

I hope everyone is doing well!

3 days left!