Saturday, October 30, 2010


I have not felt well lately, so today Matt took Ben to a birthday party and I stayed home and piddled around.
Jake and I burned some yard debris, I watched a horrible vampire thing and finally, I settled on working on Zephyr's wardrobe. 

Here are the results:

The plan is to write the campsite number on in washable marker.
No, that's NOT a photo of Poppy!  I know it looks so realistic, who knew how talented I'd be with slick paint?

I also sewed in little tags with our names and numbers on them into each of her little shirts, even the ones I have not blinged yet.  

She is such a little love, she is exactly what I hoped for in a little dog, we all just adore her.  Look at her hairy little monkey arms poking out.  Eep, she's SO cute.  When she wants me to hold her, she will stand on her back legs and raise her arms, sometimes she does a pink-tongue poke out.  It's just too cute, she will be spoiled rotten within another month.

She has mastered sit, knows her name, has started to really chill out with the big dogs-though she is still a bit nuts over the cats.  So far, she's not had any accidents in the house, she is quiet in her kennel at night.  She's very, very sweet if a little psycho about squeaky things...

Young Writers

Roamschool is up and active with the kids and a couple of their buddies (hopefully  more will join!) making up our young writers team! 

I am so proud of these guys, NaNo is a great way to flex those writing muscles.

Check out the 100% non-lame workbooks here

They are available for anyone to use, even if you are not doing NaNo.

Good Luck, everyone!  One more day of sanity and then the fun begins! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


It's odd that it's only the middle of the week.  This has been a long-feeling week.

Today I watched Dear Zachary: A letter to a son about his father.

It broke me.

In other news, Zeph was MUCH better with big dogs and kitties today.  And she went potty outside all day.  I am so bummed about her tinkle in Cathy's brand-new carpet yesterday! 

We bought her a smaller squeaky, what is it with dogs and their need to make the squeaky squeak?  Jessie will STILL drive Kuma nuts with squeak toys.  I think they are pretending it's screaming for help while they mangle it.  Jessie has a stuffed squirrel.  Kuma has a stuffed hot dog.  He covets the squirrel for the fluffy tail and will sometimes steal it and nosh on the tail.  Then Jessie steals it back and he goes after her.  And we sing 'Jessie's Squirrel' to the tune of 'Jessie's Girl'.  You know-"where can I find a squeaky like that, like Jessie's squirrel...Kuma wants Jessie's squirrel." 

Zeph has pink monkey, blue bone, crab crab, squeak poodle and now yellow's not shaped like anything, just round with knobs.  I can't think of any songs about them, but I can envision her in a full body cast if she gets into Ben's turtles again.  That was drama.

I finished the big dog pen today, I still need a couple more posts across the back, but they are not running around with the howling hunting dogs tonight.  Zeph is still out of luck, we cut the fencing too short and I am going to have to move some posts around to get it to reach without patching it.  Don't want Frankenfence.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gearing Up!

We had lunch at Cathy's today to celebrate Halloween!

 It looks like I decided to go as a pregnant person!  Ack

Mmm, punch!

 Stew with mashed tater ghosts and cheesy hay!  Yum!

And finally, Zeph has a new harness, which is perfect for holding her lovely new wings!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Saturday Night

We have had an active week! 

On Wednesday, we picked up our new dog and a potential friend, who went back Thursday due to being a cat-hater and a little snappy.  We kept the original planned-for dog, named her Zephyr Zipporah and so far, she's been an amazing fit.  Not quite as seamless as Kuma, but still, she's a very good little dog and a fast learner.  And she came potty trained and updated on all vax AND spayed.  What a deal!

Thursday, Suzette came out for the afternoon and we had a great time just chit-chatting.  I can't think of 2 things we talked about, but that's fine with me.  : )  Sometimes I need a few hours of hen time (as Matt calls it).  The kids played outside together in this wonderful fall weather we are having, I wish it would stay like this all year long.

Friday, we went to lunch and fishing with my father, then MNO was last night.  I was SO tired...I think I would have enjoyed it more with some solid sleep under my belt.  As it was, we had a great turn-out and I got to catch up with a couple moms I rarely ever see.

Today we worked most of the day cleaning out the dog shed and cleaning up in the yard.  We put the pigs out in the yard to graze on the last of the green grass-it's mostly dead from the drought.  The dogs got along better today, but Zeph is a twerp, she just CAN'T seem to stop trying to lick the big dogs in the face.  It's making them both nuts.  They did all lie down in the same area for a while, I THINK she will eventually chill...

I spent most of my afternoon cleaning up a place to fence in for her.  We had the shed split in half for the big dogs and the cats.  The dogs started being a little freaky about the cats eating in there-I think maybe a cat crossed the line somewhere...probably they tried to snuggle.  We moved the cats to the porch and over the past year, their space was filled in with...junk.  I don't know why we hauled so much stuff to the shed instead of the trash, but that's where it all is now.  I swept the shed and moved things around and now the doghouse is set up on the 'cat' side where the big dogs can't get to.  I made a door to go out into a separate smaller yard that is 3/4 fenced as of tonight. 

Zeph needs a smaller gauge fence than the bigger dogs, she can jump through their fencing!  hahaha.  So, we are making her a small...about 20x20...fenced area with a way to get in the shed away from the big dogs.  We will eventually get rid of the fences and do a wireless fence, but for now, this will work.  She can get in the shed and into the doghouse, which will be heated this winter, and, being inside, will always be dry and out of any drafts. We don't plan on leaving her outdoors all winter, but there will be times when we are gone all day or possibly overnight and it's important to have her a safe, heated space where she can have her own food and water and potty and play area.  Anything longer than overnight and we will kennel her.  But not for a while, we want her to feel secure here and know we are not giving her away!  The Disney trip next fall will be the first time we will be gone for any period of time...I am already fretting about her!  *sigh*  I wish I could just take things as they come and not look ahead for potential worry.  Maybe she will love camping so much that she just comes along with us.  I have no doubt other dogs get to go to Disney.  LOL

I am excited about her camping debut!  We are planning a quick weekend trip soon to let her see how she likes the great outdoors.  The plan for now is for her to be our camping dog and she can come with us on trips.  Jess and Kuma are just too big for traveling with and they often get filthy and washing an 80 pound dog while camping somewhere is not easy...much less 2 of them.  Plus there's trying to hike with them on leashes about to DIE to run after something, trying to hold a camera steady with a dog tugging you, trying to go in to eat somewhere and coming out to windows so smudged from dog-smooch-nose that you can't see through them, THEN getting the sniff-probe as they try to decide if you sneaked anything out for them, and the occasional driving help when they want to bound around the van to get a better view...a 9 pound fluff pup will be easier.  

Here are some pics from the week:

Paper, the barking tree frog, was released after about a day of observation.
He stayed in the aquarium on the porch (with no lid and that stick he is on going all the way up into the Jessamine vines) for 3 more days, then came back in the house and got on the bookshelf, we put him back out and he stayed on the porch, then moved to the rain barrel (where he was originally found) and as of this afternoon, was still out there.

Aaaaaah!  My house is tilting forward!

This is the heron Zeph tried to be friends with.
It was not meant to be.  : (

Zeph goes fishing with Granddad!

Jake's hooked a river monster while in the background, Chan is unsure what to do...Zeph walked down and got in that man's lap and went to sleep.  hahaha! 

The river monster was only the line getting caught in the rocks.  Again.
The man finally set Zeph off his lap and she came back to join our family again.  hahaha!

Monday, October 18, 2010


 Welcome Paper, the barking tree frog, to our terrarium for a few days. 
S/he will be visiting from the rain barrel.

Crickets have already been consumed.


Ah, as October thunders toward its conclusion, I am gearing up for another year of Nano.

November is National Novel Writing Month, or Nanowrimo for short, or...Nano for

The object is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, starting November 1 and stopping November 30.  The short time forces more writing and less second-guessing.  The first year I did it, 2006, I finished with a week to spare, which was good because we left Thanksgiving Day for Disney.  The next year, with less on my mind, I managed to squeak in.  In 2008, we spent the last 2 weeks of November in Florida, so I did not even attempt.  Last year...the month came and went and I ignored it. 

So, this year, I am ready to give it another go, I have a few ideas and most importantly for myself, names for my main characters.  Naming people and writing conversation are my 2 big ordeals.  If the names are perfect, I can write the characters.  My first story was about a young single mom, Magellan, who found herself knocked up and in a bad situation.  It was totally biographical, a rip-off of my own life.  It was like bloodletting, it was painful and it brought back all those memories and fears and in the end, freed me like nothing I could have imagined.  All that bile and fear and pain and just general pissed-offed crap poured out until what was left was clear, thought through, seen from older eyes and finally, filed away, done with. 

I love Magellan and her son, Journey.  I think about her now and then, wonder how they are now.  Yes, she was born of my experiences, but she was smarter than I was at 21, she had me at 32 to smooth a few paths and leave out a few details that were painful at the time and amounted to nothing later.  It was like talking to myself from the future and being able to reshape what was relevant and hang on to the important stuff.

I am getting excited, trying to organize a few ideas without doing myself in with too much planning.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Today Matt and I headed out to Wiggins Hollow to hike and geocache.  The drive in was...hairy.  The road into the Hollow is not for Nettlevan, one part , I was pretty sure we were going to be down one oil pan and whatever else is under there.  She did fine going in, coming out, I was not able to angle the wheels the same way and we slid into the gully sideways.  There is nothing more scary than a van sliding sideways.  It does not matter what you mash.  It don't stop.  The wheels took turns not being on the ground, so there was spinning and the bottom did indeed scrape along the ground, but it's been so dry, luckily it was mostly sand and just sort of...smooshed out of the way when hit.  

We finally got through that spot, though I was so freaked that at the next rough patch, I had to back up twice before I was okay with going over it.  There was road on both sides there, just no middle.  I was having visions of missing the road and sliding off and tipping over into the deep rut.  I pulled over as soon as we were back on level ground and looked all over underneath, it seems fine.  I won't be doing THAT again.  

Blogger has yet again made moving the pictures akin to getting my teeth drilled, so they are in random order.  The mantis picture in particular has been all over the place.  waa

 We found a cold spot!  In front of the springs.

Mostly the trail was like this, and with hills.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Wade Mountain

Today, after a stop at the library where I managed to snag a book I have already read (grr), we headed to Wade Mountain for a hike.  

We rambled up the side of the mountain to the top and enjoyed the views, the fall colors and hanging out together.  Matt and Jake found several geocaches along the way, too.  I love karst topography, so it was a good day for me all around.

On the way home, the hot now sign was on at Krispy Kreme, so we grabbed a dozen and proceeded to undo the whole 4.5 miles of hiking in about 3 minutes of decadent warm sugary goodness.  Oh, it was SO worth it.  I have not found a KK as good as the one in Savannah that tastes like the doughnuts are cooked in butter, but the North Parkway store is a close second for sure.  

I am not going to battle blogger to get the photos in order, just use your imagination to arrange in some kind of order-or just look at the leaves.