Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Laptop down!

Argh, I'm spending a little time laptop-free this week. My faithful old Inspiron has broken down. parts are in the mail - hopefully the right parts. But until I get it fixed I have no access to my email. It's like being cut off from the world! I can occasionally sneak in and use my hubby's computer, but it doesn't have my bookmarks and I can't access email from here. So until I get back online - have a great New Years, everybody!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Another Casualty

When I was little I loved my Grandma's wind up polar bear. I was only allowed to play with him gently, under supervision, and he was pretty threadbare back then even. A few years ago when my aunt passed away, we were cleaning up the house and discovered the polar bear still in Grandma's dresser drawer where she had always kept it. No one had moved anything since she passed away almost 20 years before! I took him home and put him on a shelf in the front room

Yesterday Barclay had been naughty and running around the loveseat to hide from us, so I pushed the loveseat up against the shelves so he couldn't get behind it. Later he noticed he could climb on the loveseat and reach the shelves, and the first thing he picked was the bear!


I'll be so glad when Barclay gets done with his destructive-puppy phase.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Surprise!

I couldn't post about this earlier, because I didn't want to risk spoiling the surprise. Scoops and Patrone are gone. They have moved just up the road to live with the boys who used them for 4H last year. The boys were so good with them, and enjoyed them so much their parents decided to surprise them by building an area for them at their house, and with the effort they put into that Martha and I were happy to give them Patrone and Scoops. It was an easy decision for me - I haven't had the time to work with Patrone that I wanted to have, and I know the boys will, especially with them being at home instead of having to beg their mom to bring them to our house to work with the llamas. So I know they have not gone far, and I will be seeing them again soon. I was happy just to be part of such a wonderful surprise for the boys. I know what it would have meant to me if my parents had done something like that when I was a horse crazy kid.

For us this means I only have Houdini left, and he is back with the sheep and goats in the backyard, so we only have one paddock of animals to care for. I think that's just enough work for now!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Houdini and Barclay playing

Christmas Day at home

Monday, December 22, 2008

Just for Annaliese!

I know Annaliese particularly enjoys the pictures of her little buddies, so here you go, enjoy!

And remember, these guys have a nice dry shelter, there's no reason to be standing outside covered in snow and looking pitiful. Except for the fact that sheep apparently aren't too bright :) You'll notice the goats stay under cover more so they are not frosted with snow, so I'm going to label them as slightly smarter!

Super 8!

Who remembers Super 8 movies? Dave played with them a lot as a kid, and my Grandpa had a regular 8mm movie camera. So what better to do on a snowy evening than pull out the projector and go through the films.

Luckily Dave's a whiz with these things, because five minutes into the first film there was a snap and the projector started making a funny noise. Turned out the drivebelt had been replaced by a rubber band years ago and it had broken again.

A little projector surgery later and Dave had replaced it with a new rubber band and got the whole thing going again. Next post I'll have to show off some shots of what we saw!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Beautiful Alki

Caught Alki and Barclay taking a nap on the couch. It's not odd to have dogs on the couch, but it is odd to see them sharing it :) That's Barclay closest to the camera, and Alki farther back.

Dave and Alki

Alki might be almost 14, but she's still got some play in her. She likes to play footsie, where you try to grab her front feet and she bounces away then comes back for more, then she gets a good scratch :)


We got an early blast of winter weather. Snow at Christmas is just about unheard of around here! But lucky us, it started snowing a couple days ago. First day we got around fine in the Stealth, because it has front wheel drive. The van is useless in the snow, and it was a bit hairy getting it home the first day. It was snowing hard and I closed the shop early and slowly drove home in the van, and it hasn't moved since.

The next day we headed out in the Stealth to go to work, and hit a slick spot and put it in the ditch! Luckily it was a shallow ditch, so the only damage was a few scratches from the bushes. Kyle came and pulled us out with his monster truck. Our hero! Once we got safely into town Dave bought cable chains for the car and then he was able to safely drive between town and home.

Yesterday (Saturday) Dave had a matinee play, so he dropped me and Barclay off at work in the morning, and I was there all day, watching the snow come down down down. Only a couple customers came by all day because of the snow, so it was just me and Barclay entertaining ourselves for hours on end! He didn't make it back to pick me up until after 7, so it was heading for 8 when we got home.

Since Saturday was so bad we decided to close today (Sunday) and just stay home and enjoy the snow. And it snowed all evening and this is what we woke up to.

8 inches of snow with a nice icy crust on top! That's a LOT of snow for the pacific NW. I can hear it occasionally falling off the trees with a crash!

Alki didn't like it at all! She just wanted to get back inside! Barclay liked it so much he went way out in the pasture and just sat and watched and listened.

The sheep didn't seem to mind. Some had snow on their backs, even though there's a cozy covered stall for them to use. The chickens didn't want to come out of the coop, so I fed them in there and moved their water nice and close. The llamas also do not seem to care about the weather, though they are staying under the shelter for the most part.

I don't think there is anything quite as beautiful as fir trees weighted down with snow. Days like this make me feel so lucky to be able to live out here in the country!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Superplexus

I love physical puzzle toys, you know, those interlocking horseshoes or little wood puzzle boxes. I also love labyrinths, the little 'ball on a tilting maze' toys. So when I saw this, I decided I had to have it. I hope it's as cool as it looks. It's a 3D labyrinth inside a hamster ball - basically. You try to get the enclosed ball bearing through the plastic maze. It sounds like a great time waster :) Cool story behind the inventor's struggle to bring it to market too. Available at ThinkGeek, but since I saw it mentioned on Boing Boing I doubt they'll last long! Supposedly mine is in the mail, I can't wait!

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Who's that knockin'?

Tap tap tap...

Mom, there's somebody at the door!

"Excuse me, do you have any stale bread in there?"

"Honey, did they say if they have any bread?"

I think we'd better give them what they want...

We're outnumbered!

Crazy time of year!

(neither of those is me :) that's members of the 501st who came to our grand opening)

Because we own a mail order toy store this is the busiest time of year for us. We don't really enjoy the holidays, it's not a month of time off work, gathering with friends and family, decorating the house. It's a solid month or more of hard work, late nights, and coming home and dropping on the couch exhausted, right before getting back up and running out to the shop to pack more packages. And this year, with the retail part of the store, we have to be manning the physical location as well. 7 Days a week. With no days off. And for some reason Dave decided this would be a good time to do a play?

We close the store at 6pm, but sometimes customers wander in late, and I'm never one to send money away. Seemed like I couldn't get them all out the other night, and I didn't get to lock up until 6:30. By the time I got home it was fully dark and Dave was gone to rehearsal, and as Barclay and I walked up to the porch (Barclay goes to work with me sometimes), I noticed the motion sensor light was on. Because there was a llama on the porch. Patrone ran off into the yard and disappeared into the darkness. So Barclay and I went out there and I was annoyed to discover all the llamas in the front yard. Barclay was delighted, he was running around playing with them while Houdini tried to stomp him! All the while the sheep and goats were bleating their disapproval - they wanted to run around the front yard too!

I went and got a flashlight and gloves, because it was COLD, and found the llamas had pushed down the wire fence, and that was why they were in the yard. So I got my tools and fixed the fence by flashlight, then took some grain and put it in the paddock in their bowls, so they just about bowled me over getting to it. About this time I noticed Barclay was gone. But he soon showed up again, he had been out in the field. So we went back inside where it was light...

And he was filthy up to his knees, plus a big smudge on his forehead right between the eyes! Looks like he must have been out digging through fresh molehills! So into the tub he goes for a foot rinse. And I finally got onto making dinner about 8pm. And people wonder why I'm so tired!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Undeniable proof

...that you can find anything on the net - even things you would never have thought to look for.

Sorry...that just made me laugh! Had to share :)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Rooster Tales

Well, my suspected rooster turned out to be a rooster for sure, and I really don't need two boys. They get along fine for now, but I don't want cock-fights down the road. I decided to put him on CL for $15, figuring if anyone was willing to pay $15 for him they probably weren't planning on eating him. Sure enough, I got emails from someone wanting to know his age and see pictures of him, and tomorrow they're coming to pick him up.

As you can see, he is turning out to be a very handsome bird (he's the one on the left, Big Bird is on the right), and starting to get a really nice tail. He's probably going to turn out nicer than Big Bird, but I'm already attached to Big Bird, so I decided the new boy would be the one to go. I tell you, I just LOVE these Buff Orpington chickens, they are so pretty, and they just look right to me - they look just like a farm chicken should.