Monday, March 31, 2008

Mixed Bag of a day

Yet again, Jansse was sick today. Yesterday too! Got a headache, fever, slight cough, sinus thing going. The fever thing is what gets me worried the most, and makes me keep him from school. Doesn't seem to be influenza, but it sure does make him tired. This morning he slept until 10 a.m. That is extremely unusual for him. Usually he's up no later than 7:30, whether he has to go someplace or not. Poor guy was really tired! Seems a bit better tonight, but I don't know if that is the Motrin or if he is indeed better.

Jansse discovered a tragedy today - the stuffed animal he got for Easter was devoured by that pesky puppy Bo. That lead to tears and a retreat to bed on Jansse's part. Even though at eight years old he is often so grown up and independent, stuffed animals are like real people to him! He has imaginary personalities and roles for each and every one he ever gets, and they are all his "favorites." I just laid on the bed with him and held him while he cried and cried.

Fortunately for me, I do have this photo of him from Easter morning holding the bunny who for that one week was known as "Easter Bunny." (By the way, Jansse doesn't believe in the Easter Bunny, just names his stuffed animal after him.)
It is a nice shot of Jansse, but right now I think it is best not to remind him of the tragedy.

What did console Jansse was the news that Andy was at the auto dealership arranging for a new car for us. This is something we have been contemplating for almost a year, and we have really put a lot of thought into it. As you know, this is a major purchase. We put it off last fall because we decided we didn't want the additional debt, and we would just make due with the GMC truck and Chevy Tahoe that we had. The biggest drawback to those vehicles was neither of them get good gas mileage. But, we just couldn't justify the added payment when we could help the gas situation by reducing our trips to town and our overall driving.

Well, as you know, gas prices have continued to go up, making the two cars that we had less and less economical. Finally, we figured if we could get something that got 26 miles to the gallon we would reduce our gas use on one of the vehicles by 1/2. That is likely to be at least $200 a month in gas cost reduction. Well, heck, that is almost the payment on a new vehicle if we traded in one of the gas guzzlers.

Then, the final straw hit. The Tahoe is in need of some repairs - we're estimating over $2500 in the next year because the transmission is showing signs of being on its last leg, and there is something wrong with one of the oxygen sensors, making the car run very rough, especially when it first starts. Plus, there are multiple other less expensive, but still necessary repairs that were going to have to happen. And then there are tires. So, between what we save in gas each month and what we will save in upcoming repair bills, we actually save some money by getting a new Subaru. Yep! Here it is sitting next to the retiring Tahoe at the dealership:

And here it is sitting in our driveway!

Just driving it home got it dirty already, but that's got to be okay out here, or the car won't survive. No clean cars after getting up our muddy driveway, or even after driving on all the rural roads we take to get to and from town! So, this purchase is something to get excited about! In our almost 11 years of marriage, we've only bought one other vehicle, so it is not like we do this every other year or something.
Now, for those of you who don't know, the Tahoe was a very special gift to us from my father-in-law. In 2005 he noticed that our 1999 Jeep was starting to need more frequent repair. Since he was planning on trading in his 2002 Tahoe for a new one, he decided, very generously, to give us the Tahoe in exchange for the Jeep, and then trade in the Jeep. As you can imagine, the six year old Jeep was worth a lot less on trade in than the three year old Tahoe, but he really wanted to do it. How could we say no? It was so thoughtful and kind of him to do that for us! So, there is some sadness in letting go of the Tahoe. But, as explained above, it is the best decision all around. (We had to keep the truck because it has the plow attachment, and since we got 8 inches of snow and needed to plow today, it was obvious that it still has a role to play in our lives. It is the older car, but oh well! Plus, over the past year, it has proven itself to be the more reliable as far as repairs go.)

To end the day on an even better note, Jansse and I finally heard the first SandHill Cranes of the year today as we were driving the new car up the driveway. They are later than ever before by at least four days, and I'm afraid the 8 inches of snow is not a particularly warm greeting for them, but it is fun to hear their funny calls again! A sign that spring is somewhere buried under all that white stuff!

Sunday, March 30, 2008

I'm hungery so I'm blogging...

I have a new strategy for not snacking my way through the afternoon. If I don't have anything else to do I'll blog. That will keep me from opening the fridge and eating, and it will keep my blog more active. So, what do you think? Probably sounds pretty stupid to some of you, but believe me, there are just certain hours where I need an appointment to do something or I will eat! Time to tackle that problem so I can get the full benefit from the time I'm spending on that step thing doing aerobics.

I have a couple of scrapbook page sneak peeks to share. These are for a class at Keepsakes By Design - schedule will come out in a couple of weeks. The first one is a page with wedding theme for a ... well, a class on doing wedding layouts. There is another layout all done for this class, but not photographed for sneak peeks at this point. Interesting thing about this page though, is that I saw a digital layout here: and I did the page IRL. Loved the sketch for its openness and simplicity, and really loved making the elements and embellishments. So, here are two photos that give you an idea of what the page will entail without giving the whole thing away:

The next peek is at a page of my mom dressed for her Junior Prom. This is a separate class on using the new Boxer line from Basic Grey. Again, there will be another layout in this class, using the same line of patterned papers, but with a very different theme. I like this use of my mom's photo. She went to the prom in the early 60's (like 1961, I think), so its not really vintage, but it's not current. These papers were perfect for that. I used some crackle paint, which I loved, and made mini flowers from a technique I saw on this blog: some time ago. Here's a look:

I've got a page I'm working on for the prima challenge, but it is not ready to show yet. It could be done, but I feel like it needs a little something more. I love the photos and certain elements about it, but it is so . . . well, plain. The challenge gives a sketch and says do something with it. I think I was to wedded to the sketch and focused on getting that part right that I was weak in planning embellishments. So, I will work on that some more (have until April 25th to finish that) and hopefully I'll be happier with the results soon.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Getting Old and Scrappy!

So, I'm starting to realize how old I'm getting. Just the casual observations of stiff joints - especially in my hand - crows feet around the eyes, more grey in my hair, less able to hide the overweight thing, you know, stuff like that.

Last night, perhaps to torture myself with my un-graceful aging process, I decided to try fussing with low-light and artificial light photography. The only model I had was ... me. Ugh! Got out my tripod - Thanks Again Elizabeth for the Great Christmas Gift! This session of photos proved my theory about me getting old, that's for sure. I must have shot 100 photos, and only one is even close to worth of sharing with the public. And believe me, I could tell you a million things that are wrong with it (besides the fact that time and time again I prove myself to be a terrile indoor photographer). But, here it is:
At least I managed a smile. I also learned - well, reminded myself of something I already know - IT IS MUCH MORE FLATTERING TO HAVE THE CAMERA ABOVE YOU. Don't ever try it from below because the results are just plain gross! The straight on thing isn't so great either. These days, gotta do whatever it takes to get even the slightes improvements in a self portrait.

Tomorrow I'm taking Jansse out to the upper part of the barn for a little photo shoot - with the right window open up there, the light is fun to play with, so I'm hoping to get some good shots of him.

Now, in response to the photo taking session and my observations about double chins, and other unsightly things, I am renewing my dedication to this:

I've been using them regularly, but today I did it with more vigor than ever before! And I counted my weight watcher points, and I'm just determined. I know many have heard that from me before, so I just have to admit the proof will be in the pudding (and if it isn't fat free, there will be no pudding!).

To console myself from the shocking reality of what I actually look like, I used a little free time this afternoon to make this:

It was fun, and productive because it is a sample for the "Spring Challenge Series" at Keepsakes by Design (link in upper right corner of this blog). Pretty simple, but nice to get a whole page done in less than two hours. I'm usually much slower. I did alter some Prima flowers with Luminart paints, and distress edges of papers, but other than that, it was pretty much stock product - another unusual thing for my pages as I usually have to alter and adapt everything, which probably accounts for the length of time I need to complete a page.
Just two weeks until I go to Inspired Artist Workshop (, and I'm starting to get excited. Need to spend some time this weekend getting out the photos I need to take, and starting to pack my supplies. It will be here before I know it.
Going on a trip like this (all the way to North Carolina, a place I've never been before) is so bitter sweet. You see, I'm excited to go, but I'm not excited to leave Andy and Jansse behind. I will miss them terribly! Life is so much more relaxing and peaceful when I am with them - I feel like I know what I'm doing with them, where as with the rest of the world I always feel a bit out of place. Hummmm. Maybe something I need to work on, huh?

Saturday, March 22, 2008


Happy Easter to all of you who are stopping by. It is a time of celebration of triumph over sin, death and the grave - a victory none of us could claim without the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ! What a great thing to celebrate!

We spent our time this evening as a family, first searching and searching and searching, unsuccessfully for the Easter Egg dying kit I bought on Tuesday - no where to be found. It was one of those kinds where you add oil, and it makes marbled eggs, and I was so excited to use it because when I was a little girl we had that kind one year, and I remember how happy my mom was with the results - she was very excited, which made me very excited. Failing to find that special kit, we resorted to using the kit Jansse won at the Easter Scramble put on by our church as a community outreach. Jansse saw the hand of God in the fact that he won this item once he realized we just weren't going to find the other kits.

So, we launched our fun time together - all three of us participated, as you'll see in the photos below:

Jansse ended his egg dying session with a little bit of "face dying" and then dancing around in what he believes in Native American Indian style. Fun, fun, fun! The red to his face is because he forgot to put sun screen on before snow boarding lessons today, but the blue is all egg dye! Off to the shower and then bed for him!
Have a wonderful Easter!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Morning Before Spring

Tomorrow is the first day of spring, and I thought this would be a good day to take a look at how my garden is doing in preparation for the big event. You will see, that although there is much beauty, it is not the kind that we generally associate with spring.

This is the junipers in the landscaping around the house:
Here we have the most blatant sign of spring in the yard - buds on the aspen trees. Notice they are encased in ice. Still beautiful. I hope they survive the freezing to become leaves!
And this is the path towards the swing set.
The gate to the vegetable garden:
The stone path in my flower garden:
Some chicken wire in the garden that makes a beautiful pattern in the snow.
There you have it! Spring Eve in Montana.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Good things are Great!

So, this has been a hectic week of spring break with less playing than I anticipated, but I think the spring breaker - Jansse - is well rested, and that is a great thing! there have been some other good things both through the week, and particularly today that I thought I share with you.

1. Jansse learned to play Yahtzee: Yes, this is a great thing as prior to this we have not played games as we probably should. He plays quite well, it is good for his addition skills. Best of all, today he proved that he likes to play with his imaginary brother Junu when Andy and I are not available. Can't beat that! Especially since Andy was busy with court appearances and putting together an important brief that is due this afternoon, and I was wading through bill paying (ugh!).

2. About that bill paying: It is always a good thing when everything gets paid and there is still money left in the bank. And, as happened today, it is even better when a couple of the bills (mostly medical) are paid off - yeah! Fewer to pay next month!

3. Sprouts! If you had been here this afternoon when Jansse discovered these babies you would have smiled a mile wide. He was so excited - came running in to tell me all about it! And not quietly, I might add. Excitement was huge! So, seeds planted on Tuesday turned into sprouts by Friday. That is great! I don't know which plants these are, although they could be straw flowers, lavender or a couple of other flowers. Jansse did all the actual planting, and we did not keep track of what went into which pots.

4. Free Stuff: I watched the tutorial on the IOD blog for using Prima's Build a Frame Stamps, and guess what! They were using a great little template to miter the corners of the frames. I noticed that it was available on the Prima Hybrid site, so I went to see how much it costs - free! Yeah! I got it at that price, down loaded it and printed it right away. It is fantastic. Here is the link to the tutorial: and here is the link to the free item: On the shopping page the item you want is right at the bottom of the page at this time. It is a simple tool that needs to be printed on a transparency, but boy it will really be helpful! Go get it, especially if you have those stamps! I'm thinking of practicing a lot, and then developing a class for Keepsakes by Design's next class schedule - which should go out in a couple of weeks, so I'd better get busy!

5. FORGIVENESS! This is the best of all great good things, as many of you know. This week I was able to experience that as I made a faux pas that hurt/offended a dear friend. After confessing and asking forgiveness it was beautifully granted. Wow! That is so humbling! And yet it is also such a great way to feel the reality of God's forgiveness in such a tangible way! The dear friend is a Christian, and I'll tell you, keeping short accounts and doing what God asks when you've messed up sure does make sleeping a lot more restful!

So, what good things were great in your week?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

SPRING IS COMING?!?!?!?!?!?!

We are on Spring Break from school this week, and the snow is melting, and the weather has become quite unstable - yesterday we had highs in the fifties with snow flurries on and off. It must be getting close to spring.

The other sure way to know it is spring is because there is so much dirt everywhere.

For instance, there is fresh potting soil in the pots as we allow those flowers and veggies to get a start indoors - otherwise they will never ever produce any fruit this summer because there won't be sufficient time before it starts to freeze again at the end of August or early September. Here are Jansse's spring plantings:
He really did them all on his own. They are all flowers for his part of the garden. By the way, when he talks about his part of the flower garden it gets bigger every time, and I'm a bit fearful that I won't have anything left by the time the snow is gone and he goes out to claim what he believes is his. Probably he'll give it all back to me when he realizes how much weeding has to be done!

As you can see from this photo, the snow is melting around the house.
I was out in the front field observing the melting snow and the ground it revealed as I looked for my step-aerobics shoe that is now missing. I believe that in fact the culprit for it's missing status is that beautiful six month old puppy in the foreground of the photo. He likes shoes, but he doesn't seem satisfied with their useful state, so he chews them into lots of tiny pieces. Never did find my shoe - I suppose it is in the uncut field grass behind the house on the way to the barn. I may never find it there! I did go out and buy a new pair today, as I think my body needs to be exercising, and the fewer excuses I give for not doing it the better.
And here is the true sign that it is spring time: dirt all over the house as mud gets tracked in on shoes.
Yes, there is a reason why spring in Montana is known to the locals as "Mud Season." As the snow melts you know what happens to the dirt. It then migrates into the house on dog paws and people shoes. We try to take our shoes off before coming into the house, but then they are in the garage and you now know who takes them from there to some mysterious place in the giant yard we have. And, realistically we don't always take them off to come into the house - you know how it goes when you are just running in to grab that thing you forgot to load in the car already and untying and re-tying seems like a lot of time and effort when you are in a hurry to get going. I sometimes wish for a paved driveway, but that might alter the rural feeling of our property.

So, as the photo, shows I sweep and sweep and sweep. Probably a minimum of two or three times a day, plus the daily requirement of mopping at least the kitchen floor sometimes more than once. It is one of the reasons I ripped all the carpet out of the first floor of our house and much of the second floor - can you imagine if all that dirt was just sifting down through the carpet - Yuck! I'd rather see it and get it swept up than have it trapped under an ever graying carpet. I'm not generally stuck on cleanliness, as many who know me can attest, but this is one of those things that just gets me.

Anyway, the sweeping and mopping and looking for shoes are my current excuses for not getting anything else done. So, what's your excuse?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Penguins in Yellowstone!

Today we went into Yellowstone National Park on a wonderful family outing. The only roads open this time of year are up in the Northern part of the park, so we went in at Gardner (the Northwest Corner) and went to Cooke City (the North East Corner) and back. I'd never been to the North East corner, and I think it is my favorite part of the park - more mountains, rivers and wild life, less steam, stink and geo-thermal activity.

We saw lots of wild life, so I'm providing a few photos, with just a bit of commentary - because you know I cannot resist saying something!

So, first we have the obligatory bison in the road:

Then for the cow elk at the visitors center in Mammoth:

This next one is not a wolf - didn't see one of those this trip. It is a healthy coyote.
These are big horn sheep running away from the road:

And here are a couple of bull elk, eating what is growing along the creek bed:

And this is a new feature at the park, the Jansse Penguin!

He loves sliding down the stairs and walk ways on his belly at the Mammoth Hot Springs area. It made for good entertainment.

A miracle happened, and there are actually two photos from this trip that I am willing to share here that include me. First, this one with the Jansse Penguin:

And then there is this one at a water fall - not great, but not so horribly embarrassing that I can't share it.

Then there is this photo of my wonderful and very handsome Husband:

A very good day, indeed! And what a way to start spring break for Jansse!

Friday, March 7, 2008


Look at that title. It warns you. Now, let me tell you that if you don't agree that doesn't mean I don't like you. Hopefully it also means that you won't stop liking me just because we don't agree. I know there are many out there who will be just as concerned as I am and who will agree with me wholeheartedly, and who may even wish I was more radicalized than I am about this issue. So, what is this issue? HOME SCHOOLING. Not just home schooling itself, but rather the right of parents to elect to home school. I am 100% wholeheartedly in support of parents' right to choose to home school their children. I do not think anybody should be forced to home school, but man do I think every parent has a right to make that choice without the interference of the government. What brings me to air my views about this sometimes controversial subject now? A ruling earlier this week from a California Court of Appeal that says only parents with a California teaching certificate have the right in California to home school their children. I heard about it here: a Focus on the Family broadcast. I agree with what I heard! For those of you who do not know, I do not home school my child. My husband and I have determined that government schools are not desirable and we do use a Christian private school that teaches a Christ Centered Classical model of education, and we are very very very (I can't stress it enough) very happy with this option. If you are curious, here is a link to the school's web site: We elected not to home school for three basic reasons - one, I would make a terrible elementary school teacher because I am flawed in that I do not have the patience; two, in order to run my husband's law practice in a manner that allows him to work with indigent people we needed to keep costs down, so I pretty much need to be available to be his secretary, receptionist, para-legal and all around encourager, cheerleader leaving insufficient time for me to over come my flaws and be an adequate teacher to our child; and three, we have an only child and live in a place that is relatively isolated, so socializing was a concern to our unique situation. However, I know many families, in Montana, in California, and in other states, who do home school, and I am very impressed with what happens in that model of education. I will stand for their right to continue electing to home school. Now, for those of you - some of whom are relatives and dear friends - who are very supportive of government schools, I don't have any problem with your right to make that choice for your children. I don't dislike you because of your choice. I may reach different conclusions or focus on different issues when making my choice regarding education of my child, but I in no way desire to force anyone to make a particular choice. And for those who it is just not possible, practicable, or feasible to use either home schooling or private schools to meet your children's needs, I am very thankful that free government schools are available to you and that your children have access to some form of formal education. Why then, do I open this can of worms on a BLOG that until now has been very apolitical? Because it means something to me. Because I went to law school in a country that was founded at least in part because of a desire for religious freedom, and I believe this issue goes to that core in a profound way. You see, when Andy and I elected to avoid use of government schools we did so because we honestly believe (and believe more so today) that the manner of teaching and the values taught at government schools were in many ways antithetical to our deeply held faith. We do not believe there is such a thing as values neutral anything. Our faith permeates everything we do, and impacts all of our thinking, analysis and processing of issues. We hold to a world view that does not allow for the separation of God from the physical, emotional, intellectual or any other realm of experience. This is fundamental to our very existence as who we are and to our free expression of our faith. Government schools, on the other hand, are based in large part on the premise that God can be separated from the rest of life and set aside and reserved for elective use on Sundays. My faith tells me two things about that point of view: 1. God will not force anyone to have faith in Him and does not give us the authority to impose our faith on them - that wouldn't be faith, that would be coercion; and 2. Nobody but me, in active relationship with God, can define what my faith is and how it should be lived out. The implications of those two things is that for deeply held faith reasons, I do not have to buy into the "values neutral" propaganda of government schools and its supporters, and the election to avoid government schools is an exercise of fundamental religious freedom that is granted to me by the Constitution of this nation. I believe these are rights and freedoms for all people in this country, and so I believe the government has no right to tell me or anybody else whether or not I can home school. For those of you who will say that the government has the right to regulate the quality of schools, I say sure in the schools they run. But they do not have the right to regulate my faith, and regulating the "quality" of schooling I provide to my child is a regulation of my faith. If I elect into the government school system, then I make the choice to subject myself to government regulation on education issues. If I elect to educate differently outside of government schools, then, frankly, any attempt by the government to regulate the quality of education, including the qualifications of the teachers, is an encroachment on my basic fundamental right to religious freedom. The end. Well, not quite. For those of you who are so inclined, there is a petition being circulated by the Home School Legal Defense Association that will ask the California Supreme Court to order that the appellate court ruling be de-published, thereby effectively limiting the application of that ruling to the particular family involved - the case involved a family characterized by abuse and neglect as I understand it, so the Appeals court was over broad in their application of the ruling to all home school families. If you wish to sign this petition you can go here: Thank you for reading with an open mind. Remember, I don't require you to agree with me on every point to be someone I like or love. However, I do expect to be treated with respect regarding my views, so keep that in mind with any comments you might add. Just for a clarification, someone once told me that by sending my child to a private Christian school I would turn him into "a homophobic bigot." That is not only untrue, it is not respectful, so please don't leave comments like that. Now, THE END, for real.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

LEO GOES FOR A RIDE - and other stuff!

He's loving it! He thinks going along for a ride is the best thing that can happen to a dog. And he's usually pretty well behaved in doing so. I probably should take him more often. But, it means leaving Bo behind, because Bo is pretty certain that being in the car is the absolute worst torture available to dogs. As Leo continues to age (he's 4 1/2 now) I'll probably take him more often. Just not when I have a passenger for the front seat, because Leo knows that is his spot, and he's not really willing to compromise on that issue.

Jansse is home from school sick for the second day in a row. It is so discouraging! It seems that he has been ill frequently this year. And, I don't know what to do to prevent it. I hear that illnesses abound all over the place this year, so I guess we are just getting our share. Still, it is discouraging.

Going into a pretty busy weekend. Danielle will be with us while her parents celebrate their wedding anniversary. Jansse has his third snow boarding lesson. Andy and I have an evening out on Friday And as a family we are going to the Lemar Valley in Yellowstone - assuming the weather is good enough on Sunday. Should be some fun.

I'm trying my hand at a little bit of digital scrapbooking. Once I learned how to open a blank document and put things into it, I took right to it, but that first step was a BIG ONE! I actually had to look at three online resources to figure that out. Since I always open documents by opening a particular photo, I just wasn't sure what or how to do a blank one. Silly me! So, last night I learned something!

More in a few days!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Fresh food

I have always loved fresh food - and it shows on my body that sometimes I love it too much! It is so fun to pull together fresh veggies and go to town in the kitchen. Tonight was no exception. It was snowing outside, and a grey day, but we had home made pesto with sundried tomatoes, roasted red peppers and grilled chicken strips. I prepared it all.

This is the cilantro waiting to be whirled in the food processor:

I use cilantro instead of basil in my pesto during the winter because it is so much less expensive, and it is nicer/fresher and keeps longer.

Here are is my pepper roasting away - something I learned to do from Sammy, a man we knew in Truckee. It is so easy - I never imagined!
And I can't believe what a difference it makes in flavor to roast my garlic before I put it in! Yummy!

Load it in the food processor with some jarred sundried tomatoes (okay, those aren't so fresh, but it is hard to grow tomatoes in this cool climate with a short growing season, so I make the compromise), some nice walnuts that my dad sends me, and a bit of olive oil and we have a delicious pesto!

You may have noticed that there is no cheese in this pesto. I realize that. We started that years ago - more than a decade - when I was on a diet to control endometriosis that included cutting out all cow dairy (and wheat and red meat - boy was that a tough 18 months). It really tastes great without the cheese so we never went back to adding it in. As mentioned above, I tossed the pesto sauce with some pasta, grilled chicken breast and roasted red peppers. It was delicious. Also made a bit of home made garlic bread, and we had a feast! After two nights in a row where we didn't get to eat together as a family, this was a nice treat. And really so simple to make.
Sorry all the photos were a bit blurry. I'm just not the greatest indoor photographer, and the lighting was funky because my kitchen only gets defused light, and I didn't want to use the flash because then you wouldn't see the yummy colors. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. That's all for today!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Bits and Pieces

So, we have had more ground coverage of snow this winter than any other winter we've been here. Usually there are days when we lose all the snow in January and February. Not this year. Here is what it looked like yesterday morning - March 1st. For this date, that is still a lot of snow around here. And to think that in three weeks not only will it be spring, but we are expecting the Sand Hill Cranes to return. They always return between the 21st and the 26th of March, and it is a big deal for us, as they make a lot of noise, are large, impressive creatures, and really, are the first sign of spring. We are a bit worried that they may be uncomfortable with the landscape that greets them. Particularly because the above photo was taken at 9 a.m. on March 1st, and the below one was taken at about noon the same day:
So, we are back to full coverage of snow. It was big wet flakes, not the typical microscopic powdery stuff. By the evening, everything was covered in about four or five new inches of snow.In some ways, we are grateful for the cold weather. You see, a mouse determined that our car was a good warm place to stay, so it crawled in between the firewall and the engine compartment of the Tahoe, made a next, and then died. The smell is . . . . well, you can imagine what the stench is like. We now call the Tahoe "The Stink Mobile." It is been such since Tuesday. Andy has attempted to remove the stench by vacuuming the area from which it is coming, which involved taking apart the back of the glove compartment and pulling the nest up from the infested area with a coat hanger. Not exactly lawyers work, but he has had some success. The stench has reduced about 50%. We are so happy that it is not July with temps close to 100 degrees - then we would be a one car family, and abandon the vehicle all together. Here, you can see Andy doing this really awful chore:
Bo smelled and was curious, but then dogs like to roll around in dead things, so he probably has a different idea about what to do in this situation than Andy does. Andy says he got about two cups worth of nesting material out with the vacuum, but to his knowledge, no corpse. So, probably going to have to live with the stink a while longer. Anybody know how long until a dead mouse stops smelling? Hopefully we are talking days or weeks not months.

I did a little scrapbooking yesterday, and produced two pages for the page of the March page of the month kit at and at the Keepsakes by Design store here in town too. These kits are ordered in March, and delivered in early April. I'm pretty pleased with how these turned out as they are not my usual color schemes. The first page was made, and then I made the second page with the left overs, plus a little stickles glue and some Prima flowers. Kind of fun. Definitely more "girly" than I usually make, and that was fun for me. So, here they are:

Bent the corner of the second one, which is a bummer because it shows in the photo. Hopefully these will be of interest to people and sell like hotcakes. If you are interested, go here: to see more details about how to order them - but wait a couple of days until we can get them to the store and available and priced. I don't know how much the kit will cost yet.