Thursday, June 30, 2011

Jack & King Are All Ears

My boys, Jack and King [my dogs], have been shaking their heads for about a month now. I have searched through their ears with flashlights, tweezers on standby, and ear drops, trying to figure out what-in-the-world is wrong with them.

King shakes his head then Jack follows.

Sometimes it's in unison.

Maybe it's a trick!

Tired of worrying something was drastically wrong I made an appointment to see the Veterinarian to get to the bottom of it. 

Unfortunately for me, it is not fun hauling the boys to town as they are ranch dogs, not the type of dogs that cozy up in the back seat excited to go in the car.  My dogs pant, drool, and walk in circles until the car is moving fast enough that they finally settle down.  They would much rather ride in Polaris Rangers where their heads can stick out the sides, their ears can flap in the wind, and they can jump out in a moment's notice.

I brought my oldest daughter to come with us so I would have help. Thankfully! The moment I opened the car door, the panting and drooling began again, I took them out of the car and the frenzy started.  It's like a scene out of Dumb and Dumber, they criss-cross back and forth until the leashes are in a tangled mess and the person stuck holding the leashes have their ankles nearly severed from the dogs circling round and round! 

It only took us 10 minutes to get 25 feet from the car to the office entrance, but that's okay, we made it in!

This is how it went...

After we got them calmed down, we were finally able to make a dash for the front door to get them in the building!

Weights done; King needs to lose a little [ he's a food thief ], and Jack needs to gain a little [ he gets jilted out of food ].

Jack thinks if he can hide under the chair no one will see him.

He won't even look me in the eye.

Poor boy is scared.

King is scared too, but instead of hiding, he wants to sit in my lap!

Sorry boy you are too heavy, not to mention your breath!

The Vet [doctor] came in to give the boys their shots and look into their ears but they were too "feisty" so they took them one-by-one to the dreaded...back room, where dogs who nip, get wrangled down by two or three people to keep them in place.

When the doctor came back with King, he pulled down the metal table and set a paper-towel with something quite interesting on top, as if presenting a gift.

It was a darn FOXTAIL that was the culprit of King's head shaking!

We have a lot of these weeds, they can reek havoc on animals ears.  King must have been going crazy with that deep in his ear canal.

Glad that was over for him.

As for Jack, he was Foxtail free! He didn't have an ear infection either.

He was trying to trick me for attention!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Farewell to Princess

I have the same routine with my animals everyday.  All four, two dogs and two cats, sit at the back door peering through the glass watching for movement in the house.

I make the coffee first.

Then I go outside and say good morning to each as they put on a display of affection including dancing, prancing and arching with tails wagging and swagging.

Then I feed them.

One morning a while back, Princess, my favorite cat, wasn't there to greet me. She has done this before but usually only for two days at the most.

I never really liked cats before I moved to the ranch. I never thought they had much personality and they don't come to you when you call them!  My thoughts about cats all changed when I fell in love with Princess.  

Princess was named Princess because she ruled the ranch. She came with the ranch when we bought it.  She owned our back patio, and allowed our two new ranch puppy's to live with her after several cat-clawings to show the dogs who was boss.  They became great friends and protected each other from predators invading their space.  Whether it was a skunk looking for a left-over morsel of dog food or a coyote on the hunt, they have always been together like a pack. She ran with the dogs, rough and tumbled like a dog, and went on walks and hikes wherever we went.  She hunted mice and gophers and kept the population of those to a nice minimum.  She even accepted one more to the pack when one of her "grand-children" [cat] came from the barn to the house looking for refuge and daily meals. {He's a lazy one}

It's been three weeks now.
I look for her everyday.
I call her name everyday.

We have coyotes that most of our barn cats succumb to at some point in their lives. We also have mountain lions, bob-cats and owls too. Though I have never heard of a mountain lion getting a cat.  I have seen an owl take on a cat like nobody's business. I never thought an owl could pick up a normal sized cat but seeing the after-effects myself, I can attest that does happen.

 She's probably not coming back.

We are all sad in the household and I thought I would create a scrapbook or photo album of Princess so that we could easily look back on pictures of her to keep her memory alive, for a while anyways.  That's when I discovered I really didn't have very many pictures.  Over the six years that we had her, I only have a handful. 

These are just a few...

Princess on the prowl for some delicious treat running through the fields.

One of the two litters she had before I took her in to get spayed.

She was a great mama.  She would have her kittens somewhere on the ranch in a hidden location. Then when the time was right, she brought them up to the house one-by-one and put them down on the porch floor as if she was saying "look what I it's your turn to take over!"

Princess was Sophia's best friend, she was gentle and let her carry her around anywhere.

Goodbye to our girl, Princess {Mama Kitty} as Sophia and I called her.

I encourage people to take more pictures of the things they love. 

Once they are gone you can't get them back.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Just Yesterday...

I said we were done
I couldn't take the heartache of losing another one

Just Yesterday...

I was pregnant again
what joy you brought 
mending my once broken heart and filling it with love again

Just Yesterday...

You were a baby in my arms so sweet and peaceful
learning to crawl and walk brought excitement to us all

Just Today...

You said you were ready
with Teddy Bear and Bunny tucked into your side
I laid next to you reading your favorite books
then watched you fall fast asleep
in your new Big Girl Bed!

This is how it went...

Big sister, Hailey, Sophia and I spent all day transitioning Sophia's room from crib to big-girl-bed. We had such fun, but the changes were a bit overwhelming for Sophia.  She cried when the room was all done and didn't want to take her nap in the big bed, "only crib" she said, over and over.

I too was sad to see that my last one, the baby, is really no longer a baby.

When night-time approached, I asked her if she wanted to read books and go to sleep in her big girl bed. She didn't answer at first, but when we got into her room, she looked around and said yes.

When bedtime approached, she sat on the bed under the beaded canopy, holding her new puppy, and telling it that it was time to go to bed.

We talked about her side-rails and how they would protect her from falling out of bed. We talked about the pretty sparkly beads and how she was like a princess in her new bed.

She played with the beads once more and said, 
"mommy you read books wif me." 

We read a Princess story that I hoped would bring magical fairy-tails to her dreams.

We read another favorite which was one that I used to read her sisters when they were young.

She held onto "Cozy," her beloved blanket, we said our prayers, and I told her I would lay with her until she fell asleep. "I love you Mommy," "leave door open all the way," she said. I turned out the light and crawled back onto the bed and laid there listening to her breath while the knot in my throat grew and the tears welled up in my eyes, realizing my baby is growing before my very eyes.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Volleyball Festival

Volleyball Tournament
Festival 2011

My niece, Makenna, plays volleyball, just like our two girls.  We went to watch her team crush some competitors during her 5 day tournament. 

This is how it went...

Unity; team preparation and pep talk. 

Flawless serving.

Dad watches from behind as Makenna sweeps another ball across the court.

Way to jump girls! Great block.

Makenna does a great job protecting her position and backing up her teammates, she's "on it today!"

She's a great blocker with her height giving her advantage over the competitors.

My girls are on the sidelines giving her support and cheering her on as their team wins one game after another.  They can't stand it that they aren't out their on floor crushing the ball alongside their cousin.

Way to go girls!
Great job. Good luck tomorrow!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

SmorePops - No Campfire Needed

Inspired by my sister-in-law, Holleigh, to make marshmallow pops with sugar- sprinkles, I changed my mind when I saw the box of graham crackers in my pantry.  

I thought I made up this great new recipe idea for chocolate covered marshmallows coated with crushed graham crackers on a stick!

I thought's been done before! Probably a million times, according to the my web search!  Oh well.

This is how it went....for me.

I melted two cups of Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips in a double-broiler, my version...a glass bowl sitting on top of a pan of boiling water. 

Stir the chocolate until smooth.

Do not lick the spoon, you will need it!

My little angel, Sophia, helped demonstrate how to put a stick in a marshmallow. 

Those hands makes my heart melt!

She is really concentrating on doing it just right!

She's only 2 and already cooking with me...yeah!

 I coated the end of the stick with chocolate, put them on a cookie sheet, and popped them in the refrigerator for a 10-15 minutes until the chocolate hardened.  [The chocolate helps keep the marshmallow firmly on the stick.] 

Once the marshmallow is dipped in chocolate, roll in crushed graham crackers. 

Roll the sides and the top in the crackers.

Roll several times until the chocolate is fully covered.

  Prop the ends of the sticks in Styrofoam or lay them flat on a cookie sheet and place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes until the chocolate has hardened.

 No Campfire Needed for these smores!

My kids loved them, I didn't get to have one as they only lasted for 15 seconds before they were swiped up and eaten.

There's always next time! 

Friday, June 24, 2011

On A Summer Day

This summer has been going great, but I think our older kids have a bit of "cabin fever." They are used to being so busy with sports and school activities that they aren't home very much. Now that they are home for summer, we have had a lot of days where we stay home not doing anything special, just being a family.  So to cure the boredom I invited my oldest brother and family up to the ranch so the cousins could hang out and have some fun.

This is how our weekend went...

The morning after everyone got to our house, I was the first to wake up. As I pulled myself out of bed and walked into the kitchen toward the coffee pot I heard this horrendously loud noise coming from the garage.

Oh great, I thought to myself!

I was worried it would wake everyone in the house, so I ran out into the garage to see what the noise was.  I opened the doors where the hot water tank is stored and saw that the noise was coming from the heat recirculating pump which was gasping for water-flo and there wasn't any to be had. As I shut it off, I said to myself...

Why do things break when my husband is out of town? 

Why did he choose to go fishing in a remote location where cell phones don't work?

Why am I out in the garage crouched down in the water heater closet filled with spider webs at 6:00 am?


Not fair!

Luckily, Vic is very organized with his list of Contacts for every person we know and I was able to text our plumber. After explaining to him the sounds and symptoms in the water heater closet, he assured me it was not the plumbing, it was the well pump and I needed to call the pump company.

Uggg! Of coarse they were closed on the weekend and I could only leave a message.

Life with no running water is very interesting, especially with 9 people. 

We had to set up rules for going to the bathroom, stack-up piles of dirty dishes in our sinks for days and turn on/off the faucets a thousand times because we kept forgetting the water was off.

During all of this, my sister-in-law and I had to come up with things for our two year olds to do that didn't involve water to keep them busy. Our tweens and teens got creative with their ideas on how to have fun at home water or not.

The first thing the tweens and teens did was to dress up in home-made creations that resembled Steve Urkel and Flashdance put together. Not sure how that came about but it they played the part VERY WELL.

Nice shorts...pull em up a little higher!

1, 2, 3, 4 yep you're all there.

Lovin the RED lips!

After awile the kids were bored again so we decided to rent Big Mama II or III, I've lost track of which one it's up to now.

The adults went outside to enjoy some new wine we wanted to try out as well as my sister-in-law's guacamole dip that is simple to create and tasted awesome! 

The next day the kids still had some creative juices flowing and they came up with some more good ideas to keep busy. 

I suggested an old game that I used to play...hopscotch! Of coarse they all looked at me like I was kidding and rolled their eyes.

They came up with a beauty makeover contest. Each teen made over their pre-tween cousin and they wanted the moms to judge who's makeover was the best.


This is how that went...

Uuhaaa [sigh] my beautiful 10 YEAR old niece, Brooke, came prancing outside looking like a high-schooler and I nearly fell over, not before I grabbed my camera and started a photo session though!

Her look was high fashion all the way, sporting a fabulous hair-do and make-up by Hailey.

Look at those eyes! Hailey did a great job accentuating those baby blues!

We like this look, a more serious but still sassy and sweet.

Then it was time for my other niece, Alexis, who is Brooke's twin sister to come out and model.

Oh My Goodness! Yes, she is only 10, my daughter Megan performed magic on Alexis by doing a great job on hair and make-up for her makeover session.

She's a natural beauty just like her sister.

Alexis was sporting a new bohemian inspired top with leggings and my black patent leather high-heel wedges!

I'm still crying at how grown up and beautiful they looked for their makeover contest...and I'm sad she fit into my shoes! 

Of coarse my sister-in-law and I picked both girls as winners!

How could we not...they are both gorgeous!

Just after the kid's contest, I felt like I won the lottery because the well-pump- repair-guy showed up and fixed the well! After 2 days without water I was so grateful!
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