Tuesday, September 30, 2008


This is getting to be quite embarrassing. I am not the kind of person who's life revolves around their dogs and cats. But lately, our dogs dominate. I think if I was the sole owner of them they would have new homes by now. But then I am just mean, and everyone knows it.
Oh yes, aren't they just so cute! How could I be mad at them?
You guessed it, they got out again today. But this time they weren't gone long. I went out looking for them, and I just turned out the driveway and saw them headed for home on the road. I got them loaded in the truck and noticed they were very dirty - a bit stinky, but not terrible. I thought they had rolled in horse poop and had hay on them. After I tried to brush the hay off of Leo I realized it wasn't hay, but quills. The got quilled by a porcupine!
You can see the stubs of them in Bo's face, and no problem guessing where they are on Leo.
My first thought: SERVES YOU RIGHT!
My third thought: I'm not taking you to the vet, you can suffer.
See what a meanie I am.
Then Andy arrived home from court, and guess what. We took the stinkers to the vet.
$360 later, and after being sedated and put on antibiotics, they got to come home later in the day. They are lucky I even let them back on the property at all.
Just to prove that my life doesn't revolve around dogs, let me give you a quick run down of the last couple of days.
Monday I was the substitute teacher in J's class. It is a long day being in that class room with those fourteen third graders! It does help me to see how J is doing in comparison to other kids - not bad in some areas, leading the pack in others, and a couple areas where he needs to work on things. I am back in the class room tomorrow. His teacher had a death in her family and is out all week.
Every year we wait for the combine to come and harvest the fields surrounding our house. Wouldn't you know it, that happened while J and I were at school on Monday. But Andy was wise and ran out and captured with the chewed up camera (I'll try not to get started on that!), which was nice. We're having a warmer than usual few days here, but these pictures prove that it is fall!

No more amber waves of grain going on all around us, just a golden stubble that is quickly fading to brown, and will be well into grey before Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, I've got a couple of pages done for a class at Keepsakes by Design's fall retreat. I did them last night and tonight. I don't usually do holiday pages, and really struggle with Christmas ones, but I'm pretty happy with these. Hopefully I'll get them photographed soon and can post them.

Eleven Years

By the time this post is up for you to read it will be September 30, but it is a post about September 29. You see, September 29 is the anniversary of my mom's death. It's been eleven years. I made this layout to commemorate:

The journaling reads: Eleven years later I miss most what I never had. I miss her being a grandma to my son. I miss him being a grandson to my mom. but they missed each other by three years, and that relationship never happened. I wonder about what it would have been like. Would he have adored her as I adored my grandma? Would she have a special spot in her heart for him? Would they have so much joy being together? I think she would love his spunk and humor. I think she would laugh at the funny things he does and says. I think they would have been pals. He would always be so excited to see her. He would talk to her about God. She would teach him that Jesus loves him. They would be a team when they got together. But it didn't happen. I miss what never got to be for them. They will never know each other and I miss that.

I do miss her. Not that raw kind of painful missing that came in the first weeks and months, but the dull ache of a void that is always there in the background. It's okay now in so many ways, but it's always not okay at the same time.

If you still have your mom, enjoy it. Somehow, today, do something to remember that it is a good thing to still have your mom around.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Trauma! and recovery

The dogs are still escaping! We are still trying like crazy to prevent that. So, on Friday I left Bo in the house when I went to get J from school - he can't escape from the house, and Leo won't leave the yard without him. I was so sure this was such a great plan.
Until I got home. That blankity blank dog literally ate my SLR digital camera! It had been set on the table, in a "safe place," and I never thought of him eating it. The rubber body cover on the right side, where I hold the camera - completely torn off. The flash, mangled! The door where the SD card goes - very damaged! I was devastated. I don't have another camera - not even a cheap point and shoot. And I certainly don't have the money to replace a camera at this point.
After praying that I wouldn't make an idol of this camera and that I would remember it was just a thing, not a life, I sat down and figured out what was salvageable. Fortunately, everything but the flash. And, the place where an external flash can be attached is safe and sound. It is an ugly camera now, and the door for the card has to be handled with care, but it still takes photos. I even sewed the strap back together.
This, as some of you can imagine, was a very traumatic event for me. Really, knocked the wind out of me emotionally, when I was already pretty unsteady. But, recovery was made. I won't be doing any indoor photos for awhile, but I don't do much of that anyway. I figure I need to teach some classes and work at the LSS and use the money to buy the external flash before Christmas, because that is the next time I'd be likely to really want to take indoor flash pictures anyway.
Friday night I did a photo shoot with that all chewed up and ugly camera of mine. It was a shoot of of three really super cute kids - friends! Unfortunately, none of the group photos turned out fantastic - hard with a little one. But, got some wonderful individual shots. I think I am so much better at individuals. It's good practice, and I so enjoy it!
Then, the sky looked like this after they left:
Yesterday was spent all day at the Focus on the Family Truth Project launch training. I'm all trained up, have the DVDs and ready to lead a group. Such great material on Christian World View. Amazing how important this stuff is!
The, spent the evening trying to train dogs to stay inside the fence. Not sure I had any success. But I did take my camera with me as I hung out in the neighbor's field for an hour waiting for them to try to come over the fence. Here's a peek.
Today, go to church, clean a little, finish my Bar Exam application, and hopefully, scrapbook. Always "hopefully scrapbook!"
Also, super excited about the Studio Calico October kit, and the Alice add-on. Wish it were going to arrive at my home today, but have to wait a week or ten days! Oh well, it's good for me, right?
Tomorrow I'm teaching (substituting) at J's school, which is a crazy thing because I'm so terrible at teaching children. But there was a need. Then, I go to the LSS and pick up some of the Tinkering Ink Christmas paper and embellies to make pages for a class at the retreat in late October. That is a good reward, don't you think?
Have a good Sunday!

Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm thinking...

and suffering from some anxiety. Trying to figure this out. I'm not used to being an anxious person, so its a bit confusing to me.
Things are busier than I expected. Leaving little time to come up with photos and something entertaining for blog posts. Hoping to be through this time soon, and back to blogging soon.
Until then, I hope you are all well.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Come Walk with Me

Yesterday's hike up to Lava Lake was an adventure in photography and I'd like to share a bit of it. Here in the Rockies we don't get so much color in the trees as we do in the under brush. You'll see what I mean.
I'll start with some big picture shots, giving you an idea of the general view as I hiked this six plus miles. (By the way, just to make you feel safe along the way, I was carrying bear spray, but never needed to even think about getting it out.)
So, that is the hike. Here are the details:

All photography brought to you by me, your silly little tour guide - I needed a self portrait for a project, so I took this shot along the way.

Have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Something New and Different

I got this from my sister Michelle, who makes it all sound so romantic, and which points out to me that my life is so far from romantic right now. Oh well. Michelle appears to be doing this weekly. We'll see if I do. For this week, here you go:
Thoughts for this day:
Outside my Window...Two stinky dogs getting a bath after rolling in something dead again.
I am thinking... of all the things I need to do to get my application to take the Bar Exam finished.
I am thankful for...J got a 90% on a Latin test, a good autumn hike and picture taking adventure this morning (pictures tomorrow) and that it is Andy washing those stinking dogs, not me.
From the kitchen... elk meat given to us by a friend will be the main ingredient in a stew tonight and banana bread made last night.
I am wearing...Sweats and a long sleeve t'shirt because I went on a big hike this morning.
I am reading... Sacred Marriage—Gary Thomas still, but I still really like it. Probably finish this week and scrapbooking magazines (Sommerset Studio this week).
I am hoping...for more opportunities to go hiking this fall and to get my hands on the new Basic Grey Christmas line as soon as possible!
I am hearing... J tap his feet as he does his spelling homework.
Around the house...there are lots of little messes, but nothing too embarrassing and a few autumn decorations I put out on Sunday.
Around the garden... things are dying and it looks beautiful anyway and I need to harvest the apples.
One of my favorite things...clean fresh sheets to crawl under on a cold night in Montana.
A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week... Prepare to teach Bible Study, pick apples, make apple sauce, drive for a field trip with J's class, contact California Bar to get records sent to Montana Bar, do a photo shoot with the Palmer Family, and attend the Focus on the Family Truth Project Training.
Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Well now. . .

This has been one heck of a weekend!
Originally we were supposed to go camping in Grand Teton this weekend. Didn't happen. I was sad, but I know it was the wise decision.
Instead, we stayed home, went to football (see previous post) and chased our dogs all over the neighborhood yesterday. They have found a way to escape our fenced five acres, and this is not good. Yesterday they got out twice, the second time they were gone for six hours, and we assumed they were dead or picked up by animal control. They came home well after dark, wet from rain, and smelling like something dead. Andy, my hero, was out giving them baths at 9 p.m.. It was not a good dog owner day! Now we have to keep them in the locked garage while we are gone, and only let Bo out supervised, because he is the one leading the escape efforts. Dumb dog!
Today we slept in - emotionally drained from all the worry about the dogs yesterday. So, we played hooky from church, and then Daniel and Stacy came over. It was a busy day.
There was swinging from the tree swings:
There was chain sawing.
There was oil changing.
There was shrub trimming.
There was shrub removal and tractor riding.
There was sleeping on the couch.
There was bar-b-quing.
There was ice cream eating.
There was first tooth losing.
And lucky for me, there was scrapbooking.
All in all, quite a weekend. I'm tired. Think I'll head to bed early.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

First Game - Into the Win Column!

This morning was the first football game. J's team, the Dolphins, won - 28 to 7. But more importantly, it was fun.
J has found himself more comfortable with these boys. They chat it up with him, and he with them.
The coach is gone this weekend and next, so Andy is doing the coaching.
They play 8 man, and there were 8 guys from J's team who showed up today, so he played ever single play. That suited him just fine.

This is progressing well from the first practice. I am pleased.

With the rest of this day I'm going to do a quick sweep of this house to straighten it some, and then I'm going to bury myself in some scrapbooking. These are often my plans and I never get past the quick sweep, which really isn't so quick. We'll see how today goes.