´¯`•. January 03, 2017


Hello!  I’m severely remiss in writing.  But in my defense, vacation kind of gave me an excuse not to write everyday.  Still… now that Brian’s back to work, it’s time to play a little catch-up.

Home Again!  We made it back from Toledo Monday night.  The trip was so packed, I’m still not thru working on pictures (and updating my blog – only have two of the three days done). I also love to put pictures on FB – not for my friends, but because there’s a ‘places’ section in the ‘about’ section, and it has a map that logs where you’ve been.  I’m trying to fill my map, moving out from Michigan, so putting Toledo on that has been a nice addition/accomplishment!  I’m plugging away at it, but there’s  LOT to do.

Recital.  I also still haven’t finished editing dance recital pictures… and today Lydia’s being recruited to help me make a video DVD of the show.  I have all of the little clips, they just have to be edited, put together, and polished.  Big job, but if we sit down and get to it, it shouldn’t be too hard.

Let’s see… since we got back:

Tuesday was half-day school (going back after vacation is always half-day, to ease us in), and I had laundry from the trip and unpacking to do.  It was a day of putting things away, and ‘prepping the canvas’ for the next series of events, if you will.  I did cheat and nap – we caught colds in Toledo, and I get so stressed – working on where to go, how to get there, what to do, when to do it… I wear down more than the others, because I have to be ‘ON’ all the time.  Brian’s just my driver/supporter, and the kids just tag along.  I feel like a general planning a war, when it comes to trips!  Coming home and having an unwind day afterwards?  It’s kind of like a reward!

Wednesday we got two new (to us) goats.  There’s a lady in one of my homeschool groups whose family has been given the opportunity to be missionaries to Guatemala, but they have to be there by the end of January.  Needless to say, they are liquidating their household as fast as they can.  They also have two goats, three alpaca, and a HUGE turkey to re-home… and since she said they were Nigerian goats (and that’s what we have) – I said I’d take them.  We really don’t need them – what we need is another intact male, and these two are wethers (got the snip-snip, are the goat-y equivalent of eunuchs).  But our one [intact] male is alone – his old fart companion died in 2016.  And they’re herd animals – they really don’t thrive, alone.  So we went and picked up the goats.

Ramone (now ‘Reuben’) and Pedro…?  Are *NOT* Nigerians.  Pedro turns out to be a pygmy, which means he’s about the height of a cocker spaniel, only fat as a barrel.  Reuben is HUGE – the size of a small donkey.  Nigerian in the face, but NOT a Nigerian.  They’re both super sweet and de-horned, so they’ll be fine companions.  But it was definite *false* advertising!!!!

Thursday night my girl and I had supper out with my BFF and her daughter, to exchange gifts.  My BFF commissioned my husband and I to make her some sort of puzzle keeper.  She wanted it 48″x36″ – that’s so big, you can’t get thru a door!  And it had to be light-weight, so she could move it around.  We ended up making it 42″x26″ – we used the tray of a dog crate (ordered on-line, separately), and a piece of PVC cut to fit inside of it.  We affixed handles to both sides of the PVC, and I lined the inside of the tray with fleece that she could pull out and just wash, if it got dirty, but it would make it so the pieces wouldn’t slide around on her.  It was HUGE, even at that size!  But she loved it.  And it was a present from the heart – that we got to craft for her.

My Hero.  She was telling us over supper about how there’s a DEAD POSSUM in her garage, and it’s tail is curled around the leg of her ladder, and she can’t use her ladder *or* go in the garage because it’s DEFILED… so (because she’s single and doesn’t have a hero on hand), I offered my knight in shining armor to her.  Brian doesn’t mind being the hero of the story.  He got gloves and an old shovel, and after work Friday went over there and got rid of it for her.  She was so funny – she had to go in the house while it was removed … just too disgusting to watch, and she texted me about it!!!  *Giggles!*  (I disposed of two dead chickens by myself, just that week.  Without a shovel.  Shhh.)  Differ’nt strokes for differ’nt folks, LoL!!

Friday was the ‘Rogue One Rebel Training’ event at the library.  We dressed up (had to re-arrange some costumes from when we’d been Star Wars for Halloween a few years ago – durn kids keep growing!!!), and went.  It was PACKED – and everyone was in costume.  It was way busier and huge(r?) than I expected it to be!  Anyhow, Owen doesn’t fit R2-D2 anymore, so we just brought him along and propped him against a wall, and people were taking their kids’ photos with him.  It was kind of kewl, we got to contribute.  And of course we won a prize in the costume contest – we’re pretty impressive, when you get six of us there, together.  (We have Leia, Han, Luke, C3PO, Chewbacca, and I am always Darth).  And yes, I was the only parent in costume… but the littles LOVED coming over and pushing the buttons on my chestplate, making Darth ‘talk’ or ‘breathe’.  It was fun.)

They had a bounty hunter obstacle course, rebel scavenger hunt, Death Star/light sabre pinata, Death Star destruction simulation booth, a Nerf blaster training program, and paper bag Wookies/yodas.  So that was fun.

New Years’ Eve we went to town to get lumber for the BIG Weekend Project (capital letters necessary).  We had lunch out at Steak n’ Shake, and got a bunch of 2x2s and 2x3s and some stone-faced paneling… and then we went home and started BAKING.  (<< Not building!!)

Bark Bar!  My big plan was to make candy bark – all sorts of flavors – for New Years’, this year.  Last year, I wanted to make a whole bunch of dessert pizzas… fruit ones and brownie ones and cookie ones, and cinnamon-apple, and Gruyere and chocolate ones?  Well, my cousin wanted to come over, and his family is gluten free.  Which would’ve been bad enough, but they’re also corn-free.  It. Is. IMPOSSIBLE to bake without corn syrup – it’s in everything.  I tried hard, but everything was destroyed with *alternative* ingredients – quinoa flour is horrible, Arrowroot doesn’t work in food… it looked SO good, and yet because of them tasted SO nasty!!!  They were NOT invited back, this year.  (Worse?  They brought pizzas, too.  Ones with gluten and corn syrup in them.  I was *pissed*.  She’d insisted on the phone to me that I *HAD* to accommodate, but when they got there, she said they decided to ‘bend the rules’, after all.  I was seriously upset.)

Anyhow, this year was SO much better!  We made Cookies n’ Cream bark, Pina Colada bark, Dark Chocolate with Cranberries and Pecans, Mint Chocolate, Peppermint bark, and Galaxy Bark (which had grape and raspberry swirled, and tasted a bit like grape Bubbalicious gum!)  It was fun… we sugar buzzed and watched movies and banged pots at midnight.  Would’ve probably gone in the hot tub, but it seems to have developed an issue while we were in Toledo.


Sunday and Monday we BUILT!!!  Did I tell you about my building brainstorm?  We’re putting in a fireplace.  See, back in the day, I went thru a survivalist phase, and asked if we could put in a wood stove in the basement.  I thought it would be a good idea, in case power went out, to have an alternative heat source.  So we did… but it resulted in a big 10″ galvanized pipe running up thru the parlor.  It’s seriously ugly, and has been irritating me for years.  So just before Toledo, I was looking at it, and thinking maybe we could build a fireplace around it and hide the monstrosity.

My guy wasn’t sure what I was talking about, but I can draw in 3D pretty good, and made up extensive plans for him, so he’d know what I’d like.  He (of course) modified it from ‘blonde version’ to ‘this will work better’, and we’re pretty excited.  Sunday we went and got all of our lumber and paneling, and then moved everything (including my baby grand piano!), and when half the parlor was shoved to the side… we started building!

It being Tuesday, we’re back to work/school, again.  Tonight we’ll be working on putting the brick facing on the structure we’ve built.  Hopefully the log unit we got on eBay will come soon, and that will just make things feel even better.  It’s going to be so warm and cozy.  I’m just a *little* concerned about where everything’s going to land, when it’s done.  That room was wall-to-wall before the fireplace… it could get interesting!!

Anyhoo… I’d better scoot.  There’s so much to do, and I keep finding more to distract myself.  I found a site that lists all the free e-books at Amazon for the day, so now I’m stacked to the gills with reading material, and there’s photos and the DVD to make and I’ve got to print out another full sheet of badges that we’ve earned, and as if that weren’t enough, I found an on-line list of Xangans and where they’re blogging, now… and I’m checking those out, too!  Will be back, later!

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