Holiday Break

It is not like I have posted that much this month anyway, but just so you don't think I have completely dropped off the face of the earth or gotten debilitating morning sickness or something, I thought I would make an official announcement.

There will be no more blogging until after Christmas. Perhaps even until after the new year.

But I will be back, I promise. And when I do come back there will be lots of pictures of our adventures, and probably some pictures of the little baby bump too. So be sure to check back.

Spoiled

We went to my parent's house this weekend for an early Christmas celebration. It was lots of fun. More on that later. For now, let me show you how much Marge likes my parent's house.

At home Marge is not allowed on the furniture. Ever. Never. Okay, maybe once when I was severely sick and Marge had Pink Eye making her eye swell up to the almost shut point and making her really pathetic looking, we may have taken a sick day and snuggled on the bed all day long. But other than that, no furniture for Marge.

At my parent's house we bend those rules. (yeah, not so good for the consistency, oh well).

Marge loves the sofas. And actually tucks herself under the blankets.


Yeah, she got under there by herself.


Her nose gets particularly cold, as demonstrated above.


She was pretty much in heaven.


And who could refuse such an adorable face a seat on the sofa?

Food Preferences

I think that the word "craving" would be too strong a word; however Munchkin has made me quite particular about what foods I do and do not want to eat. No food is neutral any more. I either would really love to eat it, or just won't bother eating it at all.

I have not decided if this is a legitimate symptom, or simply me embracing my lazy side, using Munchkin as an excuse. Who knows.

Here are a few things that, thanks to Munchkin, I have very much enjoyed.

Don't worry, it doesn't have that much caffeine. And I don't have it that often.

Edit: Mon Amour thought that it was important that I point out that when I tasted this chai for the first time a couple weeks ago, I full expected to enjoy it moderately, and casually sip it while I worked. However, I took one sip, and it tasted so good, that I had to push aside work for a few minutes and just savor the tea. For all I know, someone could have called me during that time and I don't think I would have even heard the phone ring. It was the best thing I think I have ever tasted. (Since then I have enjoyed it, but managed to keep my head on straight while eating it.)



Single handedly ate a whole box in 3 days. At least my cholesterol should be in good shape.



Bring on the dairy. The creamy, whole milk kind. Or pretty much anything dairy for that matter.


There are also some things that, thanks to Munchkin, I do not enjoy very much:

Yup. It seems I have a moderate to strong aversion to all those vegetables that are good for Munchkin. My determination to eat healthy for Munchkin's sake was short lived. I still try, but honestly, broccoli, cucumbers, carrots, etc are just not something I can get real excited about right now.

Blog-Changing Announcement

Or rather life changing I suppose.

I would like to introduce our little Munchkin!
Yup, it's true. There is a real live little baby growing inside me, and making me all kinds of hungry (and happy!).

Munchkin is currently a little bigger than a grape, and looks mostly like a little blob. But Munchkin is healthy and growing, and we love him/her already!


Munchkin should make his/her grand appearance sometime mid July.
In the mean time, you can probably expect less cow posts and more baby posts in the future. It's going to be fun times!

Cow Eyes

How can you not love those big sweet, sad, smelly cow eyes?

All grown up

Remember Bert and Ernie? (Also, remember that until recently I have had their names backwards. Black face = Ernie. White Face = Bert. I was wrong for a long time)

Remember how they were all cute and tiny when we first met them?


Here they are a few weeks ago:

It's hard to tell from these pictures I suppose, but they really are growing up. They are rather sizeable young cows now.


And still best friends. They follow each other everywhere (most Ernie (black face) follows Bert (white face, aka Fatso))

Nose Dive

Marge does this funny thing when we put her face harness on to tell us that she doesn't like it. She plants her nose on the ground and starts pushing her face along the carpet. She also does it outside sometimes in the grass.

I have always just assumed she was trying to get her harness off. Then I read somewhere that that is what dogs do when they find a scent that they like and they want to remember it, or mark it with their scent, or whatever.

I still think that for the most part Marge is simply making her displeasure known. But for the particular instance in the video, it was definitely a fun smell thing.

video

Unfortunately, said fun smell was actually deer scat or something similar. Clearly though, I realized this too late. Suddenly it was time for an unscheduled bath.

Sharing the Space Heater

It has gotten quite cold of late, so when I am working from home, I break out my trusty space heater. It is easier (and quieter) than the stove, and warmer than our baseboard heat.

I really enjoy it.


So does Marge.

Remember how she is actually cold blooded?


Yeah, she hasn't grown out of that.

She sits right in front of it blocking all the heat from getting to me, and pretty much scorching her fur in the process.


Sometimes I move her just to make sure she doesn't catch fire. And also so that I can get some heat. But how can you disturb a puppy with such a sad face?


She looks so innocent when she is cold.

Magically Calming Face Harness

Marge spent a lot of last weekend in her "Halti"


aka her Magically Calming Face Harness.

Its purpose is not to keep her from biting (she actually has full range of motion with her mouth). It is mostly intended to keep her from pulling when we take her for walks (and it works wonders for that).

But when around the house (namely my parent's house) and when she is tempted to torment my parent's elderly dog, it is wonderfully helpful for just calming her down.

She can be crazy one minute; you put the harness on, and suddenly she is an adorably pathetic bundle of lovable fluff.

We try not to abuse the power of the Magically Calming Face Harness. It may lose its power from over use one day. But until then, it's a lifesaver.

A family movie night

Perhaps eventually I will tell you about the main part of my thanksgiving. But that will take time, and photo editing and all that. So for now, just a small anecdote that epitomizes my wonderful family. Slightly gimpy, but impressively resourceful.

It was Friday evening. We wanted to watch a movie. A particular movie - Up. It should have been a simple thing, but it turned it to a rather comical series of complications.

First, the only way my parents can play a DVD on their TV is through the XBox. Only the powercord to the XBox was fried. We needed a new one.

Unfortunately, we have the "old XBox" so only select stores carry the cords for them. So we had to hunt around a bit.

Once we found the cord, it was time to find the movie. RedBox is a wonderful thing. Unfortunately the first one did not have our selection. Lucky for us my parents live in a significant metropolitan area, and there is more than one RedBox in the area.

Movie and cord in hand, we headed home.
We settled around the TV, and inserted the DVD. Tragically, the XBox (perhaps because it was "old") did not recognize our DVD. It recognized other DVDs that my parents own, but there was no getting it to read the one we wanted.

Well, let's check On Demand. Our movie must be there. Nope. No such luck; its not available OnDemand.

Being desperate to watch that particular movie, we decided to do what we do at home. Namely, to watch it on a laptop. Laptop movie viewing is a much less pleasant experience with 6 people than with 2 or 3.

A couple minutes into the movie, it decidedly wasn't working. Time for plan I've-lost-count. Fortunately, my little brother is rather brilliant. While none of us owned the proper cables to connect a laptop to the TV, we thought perhaps we could connect a 2nd (larger) monitor, to the laptop.

And that is what we did.


It took a little bit of time, and a LOT of technical equipment, but we got it working. And watched Up on a small screen (but NOT a laptop screen). (Side note, in the picture above, it's hard to tell but that is little brother's face of triumph. )
Note the surplus of useless technology - TV, Xbox, Xbox power cord, Cable box, and laptop for that matter.

Here we are setting up the "movie theater"


This picture epitomizes the situation.
Marge was apathetic and had an itch.
Little Sister was sleepy and disintereted
Mom was cold and concerned.
Dad voted to just watch something else, but his vote didn't count since he was bound to fall asleep 10 minutes in no matter what we did.
Mon Amour was unphased, but couldn't see what was happening
And Little Brother was disgruntedly saving the day.

It was good times. I love my family.

Annual Hair Cut

I don't get my hair cut nearly as often as I should. I am told every 8-10 weeks is customary. I am averaging about every 8-10 months. I would have had no idea how long it had been between cuts, except that the lady who does my hair was not pregnant when I last got it cut. And her newest son was born a couple weeks ago. That means at least 9 months.

But, I do love a good drastic transformation. I can't help it.
Sorry to those who don't know what my hair looked like before this. It was probably 4 or more inches longer than this, and was always in a pony tail. That was the old.

This is the new:


The back may be my favorite.


It's even cute when I put it behind my ears. Which is good, because as much as I try, I know its going to be behind the ears from time to time.

The lady that cuts my hair goes to church with me. She told me should wouldn't let me go another 9+ months without a hair cut. She said she would remind me in about 10 weeks. For that I am very thankful because it seems you blink and the months fly by; I need these kinds of reminders.

Living Vicariously

All of my friends (it seems) are having (or already have) babies. I love babies. So until it is time for us to have our own baby, I am living vicariously through all my friends. Which is actually kind of nice because I think I have a friend at every stage of babydom. From newly expecting, up through the toddler years and beyond. Tis fun stuff.

This past weekend, I got to go to a good friend's baby shower.
There were lots of pretty presents.


The guest of honor looked very adorable, with the cutest baby bump

There were lots of lovely presents
The sweet grandmotherly folks were perplexed by fancy new-fangled baby gadgets, including a "Sleep Sheep" which is a stuffed sheep that makes soothing sounds for the baby to fall asleep to. They were assigned the task of figuring out how to make it work; it was a comical adventure.

There was also a nice large present, in the form of a stroller/carseat combo.

which the happy father to be had a lovely time assembling.

All in all it was a delightful time. I cannot wait to meet their little boy!

Yet Another Sunset

Here is the sunset as it was beginning to go down.
And here it is almost set. With a lot less clouds as well. But I promise its the same sunset.

See, like I told you - much more universally appreciate-able

Recalling my love of ASL

Once upon a time I took an American Sign Language class at a local community center. I loved it, so I took another. I also loved that, so I began to volunteer with the teacher of the class in the deaf preschool class that she taught. There I met some of the most amazing 3 and 4 year olds in the world.

I loved it so much, that when I started my community college education full time at the naive age of 17, I jumped headfirst into an ASL interpreter program. It was only then that I learned that loved the language, but I didn't appreciate the Deaf Community (there is a distinct but complex difference between deaf people, and the Deaf Community. I have nothing against deaf people, but wouldn't survive in the Deaf Community. It's complicated).

My favorite aspect of interpreting is actually the theatrical / musical side of it. I saw a Shakespeare play interpreted in ASL once; that was glorious. We also had a professional interpreter who specialized in concerts / Broadway, etc, come to class one day and show us a few numbers. It was breath taking.

Unfortunately, I do not have a theatrical bone in my body. Performance makes me nervous. I got to tour an Opera House recently, and just walking onto the huge stage and looking out at the empty theater, knowing full well that I didn't have to do anything, made me nervous. Yeah. So I quit the interpreters program. And went on to major in English. A nice safe major.

Anyway, the point of the post is this: I still love ASL as a language. And love to see it "performed" to music and the like. And that love has recently been renewed - because a friend of Mon Amour's randomly linked this on her facebook.

He's fantastic! But from there, I went on to find lots of quality ASL interpretations to popular music, and I am addicted. I LOVE being able to understand most of it, and learning new signs, and figuring out how to interpret idioms into something that makes sense in ASL.

Now I have written too many words. And I doubt many people but me will appreciate this. But it had to be posted.

Tomorrow, something more universally appreciated. Sunsets.


Senior Citizen

Of the small herd of barn cats on our farm there are 4 or 5 new ish cats, and then 2 or 3 old cats. The old cats are actually the friendliest.

The other day, this cat (and older one) pretty much made my day.


He was so wonderfully affectionate, and would purr even when I simply got close.

I think he even managed to purr while simultaneously hissing at Marge. Poor Marge.


I still tell myself I am not a cat person. But maybe if I had a barn, and could have barn cats, I would be a barn cat person.

Quality vs. Quantity

My little sister came to visit the other weekend.

We had a lovely visit of doing nothing.

We walked around and took pictures of the cows.

My little sister takes lovely pictures.

I take tons of pictures of the farm. So occasionally I stumble on some good ones. But Little Sister's pictures always seem to turn out beautifully.

Introducing: Oscar

Allow me to introduce the latest addition to our Seasame Street themed petting zoo.
This is Oscar:
He came to the farm a few weeks ago and my landlady emailed me to tell me he was here. Her exact words were "He's in the field with Bert and Ernie. He looks like Ernie. He is #52"

Well, I thought to myself "cool, another white faced cow" assuming, as I have been that Ernie is the white faced one. However when I went to find him, I discovered that #52 is actually all black. Meaning two things:
  1. I have been wrong all this time about which is Bert and which is Ernie. Bert has the white face. Ernie is all black. My bad
  2. That my landlady's comment is actually comical. Oscar "looks like Ernie" in the sense that he is all black....like every other cow in the field. Not a helpful comparison at all.

Anyway.

He's a scruffy fluff ball. And I like him.
He is definitely the new cow in town. No one seems to be hanging out with him yet, and he seems very tentative about everything. Hopefully Bert and Ernie will take him under there wing.

Rite Aid

For a long time now, I have known that I needed to break into the world of drug store rebate shopping. I have read all about it and seen some of the fabulous deal you can get from the drug store. But because I have never been drug store shopping, it just wasn't on my mental list of sales to check every week.

Well, it was time to fix that. For my first trip, I decided to go with a good friend and expert deal shopper. Together we headed off to Rite Aid - armed with a print off of their corporate policies on couponing, etc. In case things got ugly and we needed to pull out the big guns. (Fortunately, we did not have to, everything went quite smoothly)

It was not a huge trip in terms of stuff purchased, but it was monumental nonetheless.

Here is what I got:


Total Cost (after my rebates come in): $0.00

Yup, it's not much, but it was all free. And it is all stuff I will use - toothbrush, shampoo, lightbulbs, and who can refuse free chocolate.

I will spare you the details of the transaction, but it was a combination of mail in rebates, SCRs and manufacturers coupons. For more info on how to work this kind of deal for yourself, go here.


Cute faces

I love these little cows.

They just have the sweetest faces.

They are so shy, but curious at the same time.
So cute.

Soy Bean Harvest

For a long time this was parked in our yard.


Just waiting for these to show up so that they could start the soybean harvest.

Once they arrived it only took about 2 days.

They soybeans are gone now.

There is nothing left to harvest. It may as well be winter.

New born

Most of the baby cows (all 20 of them) were born a month or more ago. But just this past week, there was one last new addition. It looks very tiny next to the others.

Here is its mother giving it a little bath.
video

It is super cute.

They grow fast. The other "little" cows in this video are just a month ish older than the pint sized one.

Time for a frost

In general I am not a huge fan of cold weather. Winter is much too dark and cold for me. But, since there is no stopping the arrival of winter, I vote we skip this middle ground. It's cold, but not freezing. Which means that all the flies on the farm are very sleepy, but not dead.

They like to sleep on the side of our house:

All the little black dots are sleeping flies.
When ever you open the door, a few particularly groggy ones who have landed on the door, just kind of fall into the house, where they warm up and wake up.

We have way too many flies for November. It's time for a cold, hard, frost.
Sorry flies, its not personal, but I am tired of swatting flies like it's July.


Making up for the lack of pictures

It seems I let two whole posts go by without any pictures. This must be remedied. Enjoy these random farm pictures with out any narration.