Friday, April 30, 2010

Bleeding hearts and other parts

This year my bleeding hearts plant is HUGE!

It's never been more than about 2 feet in height and
this year it is 4 feet tall and about as wide.

My only guess as to why it is doing so well is that
we don't have kittens playing in the flower bed this year.

We had a some rain and thunder showers last night and
this morning it was freakishly warm and humid.

Forecasters are predicting more storms today
and some might even be severe.

Chyann and I took a drive down to the Mayo Clinic
in Rochester, MN yesterday.
(It was a beautiful 230 mile round trip drive)
She sees an Pediatric Ophthalmologist there because
she has Amblyopia.

Amblyopia is when the brain and eyes don't work together.
The brain will favor one eye and vision will be normal, but in the
eye that is ignored by the brain vision does not develop.
If this condition is not caught early and treated the
the "blind" eye is permanent.

Thanks to a wonderful doctor that treated her when she
was an infant, she was identified as having this condition
early and began treatment at the age of 3 years old.

Treatment consists of either patching the "good" eye or
putting vision blurring drops in the "good" eye to make
the "bad or lazy" eye see. And when
I say see I do mean see. The brain and eye have to
form completely new connections for vision to happen.

Chyann began wearing glasses and patching for up to
10 hours a day for the first year.
In subsequent years the amount of patching was
down to 2 hours a day with an end to patching
when she was 5.

It was HORRIBLE at first!
She was basically blind and would run into walls!
Talk about devastation when your baby would
cry and cry because they couldn't see.

BUT, very quickly she began developing vision
and then it wasn't soo bad after a while.
Lots of treats and special stuff were good
motivators for wearing the patch.

Good news from her doctor is that her vision
continues to improve (because she always
wears her glasses) and he believes that
by the time she is 15, glasses wont even
be necessary for her!!

Can you believe that?
I am soo thrilled for her!

To think that because I practically tortured the poor
kid to wear the patch her vision in her
"good" eye is 20/20 and the "bad or lazy" eye is 20/25!

A good day in parenting land for me!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Deep breath now...

That smell-o-vision doesn't appear to be working
just yet.

This is my little sour cherry tree and as you can see
it is loaded with blossoms. The sweet smell
almost knocks you over!

Got both gardens tilled and are ready for planting.
We are doing the taters this Saturday.

This is all the wild plum trees in bloom on the West
side of the backyard and WOW!
The smell!

Chyann and I have been doing some riding.
Ol' Scotch is still being an ASS, so I get kicked off
Gypsy so Chyann can ride.
And ride she does!

Heard back from Jenny's trainer and he says she is a
bit of a ding-bat, but definitely has potential.
That is good to hear.
Don't know yet when she'll be coming home.

And this folks is my dear Brother.
Today is his 41st Birthday!

Happy Birthday Jeff!

Yes, this pic was hijacked from your Facebook page.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

And so it goes...

Chyann's volleyball tournament went well yesterday.
She only played 2 of 7 games. They lost all 7 games, but
it was always close, within a few points.

I was amazed that we were charged admission to
watch the games.
$4bucks for 12 and up, $2bucks for 6-11years.
We ended up paying $14bucks to get in!
What is up with that?
Apparently all schools these days charge admission for
sporting events. I'm told the money goes to the
athletic dept as a sort of slush fund for traveling
and other events.

Also, it was kinda funny that Colton, who didn't want
to come, got roped into being a line judge by the coach
who was his PE teacher Freshman year.
That's what he gets for looking all too cool to be there!

Anyhow, Chyann had fun and that is all that mattered.

My eldest son, Colton and his prom date.

So, that is what a brown dress looks like, eh?
It was beautiful!

They had a great time.
Post prom was held at a local movie theater, they
had a lock-in thing. Two current movies were available
to watch, video games like rock band, karaoke,
fake tattoos, and free pizza, pop and popcorn to eat.

The kids got on the bus at the school and were
delivered back to school at 6am this morning.

Colton was totally pooped out when he got home.
Took a 6 hour nap and was up for the day.
I bet he sleeps good tonight!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mmmmm, good

Yesterday was pie day for me.

I made these beautifully delicious blubarb and rhubarb pies.

Nothing like that first pie of the season.

I even got two bags of rhubarb in the freezer.
I decided to start stock piling it now because
I never seem to have enough at season's end.

It's a nice rainy day here today.
Going to be a busy one though.
Chyann's first volleyball tournament in Chippewa,
grocery shopping and tonight
is the prom!
I may be more excited for it than Colton is.

Good thing he was talking to a friends mother and
she asked where he ordered the corsage from.
He had no idea what a corsage was, she explained it
and he promptly called me.
I guess having never been to one and all that it didn't
dawn on me that a corsage was needed.
I called the flower place and placed the order, they asked me
what color the dress was so the flowers could be matched.

The conversation then went something like this:
Me - "Well, let me call you back."
Me - "Colton, what color is your dates dress?"
Son - "I don't know, I'll text her"
Son - "Brown"
Me - "Brown, are we talking dark brown, light brown,
a shimmery tan or what?"
Son - "She just said brown"
Me - "Great"
Me talking to the flower lady - "He said the dress is brown"
Flower lady - "Your kidding"
Me - "No"
Flower lady - "No idea if its dark or light or maybe what
material the dress is made of?"
Me - "No"
Flower lady - "It's going to be difficult matching flowers to
a brown dress - could be orange or yellow would
look nice, but white would be too light."
Me - "How about this, you use your best judgment
about what flowers to use and we'll call it good.
Flower lady - "Are you sure?"
Me - "Absolutely"

The above conversation was edited for time and content.

What a pain in the arse!
Who knew the color of the corsage would be such
a big deal? Not me.

Let's hope the whole prom experience goes well.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Early blossoms

After working outside all day I snapped a few pictures
of the early apple and plum blossoms.

That's the lady apple tree behind the plum tree.
You can just see the haze of pink from the blossoms.

They smell incredible.
Too bad we don't have smell-o-vision!

Also, I've had a few email's regarding my previous post
about Nie Nie's blog. Yes, she is Mormon and No,
I'm not and nor do I plan to be.
I just like her.

New Stuff

You may have noticed that I've made some changes
to my blog.

In addition to the template, colors and new
arrangement I've added a link
to a blog I've recently discovered
called the Nie Nie Dialogues.

The author of this blog has been in the blogging
world since 2004.

Her blog is a journey of incredible Love,
Strength, and Character.

I have been moved deeply by her stories and
hope you'll stop by her blog and see what I mean.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cat wiskers and horse feathers

This is Chyann's cat Willow.
Looks like she is going to move to
Krissy's place and be a buddy for Harvey.

It's apparently too much stress for Trip to have another cat
in the house. He continually has an upset tummy
with diarrhea, sometimes bloody,
and hopefully with him being the one and only indoor cat
will help him not be so nervy.

We haven't heard from Jenny's trainer, so I hope that means
all is well with her.

Chyann is working ol' Scotch.
He sure can be a stubborn pest.
She can get him moving and things will go well until
he see's home. Then nothing she can do will get him from
wanting to GO home, NOW!

Moments after this picture was taken he tried to rub her
off on the lilac tree.
Good thing she saw it coming and jumped off.

Scotch is just barn sour.
With the trailer we can haul him and get past that
(I hope). Otherwise he is going to get sold this summer.
Which would be a bummer because he is the perfect
size for her to ride.
We'll see how that goes.

More beautiful weather here.
I got a few flower beds cleaned out and can't wait
to get some new plants. I for sure need a few more
perennials and some bright annuals.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mission Accomplished!

The wind was just howling and that sure didn't help,
but we finally got Jenny loaded up for her trip to
the trainers place.

The trainer lives in a gorgeous valley.
Jenny is checking out all the other horses he has there.

They also have a bunch of goats.
He said what kind they were, but I forgot.

They raise the babies up for meat sale in the fall.

Very cute little buggers.
Chyann really wants a goat now, says it can be Casper's
friend. I think not.

Our wild Plum trees are getting ready to bloom.

And check out this apple blossom.
Our trees usually bloom right around Mothers day.

The rhubarb sure is getting big, can't wait for that first pie!

The weather has been nice and sunny, but terribly windy.
Guess I shouldn't be complaining, as back home in AK
they just got a big dump of snow.

Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


We've almost got her in!!

I think we would have done it if it hadn't
started down pouring rain!


Turkey eggs and horse feathers

The play "Curtains" was a success.
I loved every moment of it!

I'm glad it's over though and the kid will be home more.

Our turkeys, which were supposed to be Thanksgiving and
Christmas dinner, have both started laying an egg a day.
I don't suppose now that we'll cook them up at all.

The turkeys have quite large, tan colored speckled eggs.
The hubby says they don't taste any different than a
chicken egg.

We have recently acquired an old blue 2 horse trailer.
Of course the Hubby had to fix it up and make it road
worthy, so it is sound (just looks like crap).

Now we have lived here for almost 8 years and have
only taken Scotch and Casper anywhere via a
friends trailer. We know they will trailer, Cowboy will too,
but I didn't get any pic of him.

Surprised that porky boy can get in aren't you?

(Yes, that appears to be a bullet hole in the door)

Chyann very happy he'll just walk in.

Now, Casper was a little skeptical about getting in.
Chyann had to bribe him with a carrot and he was really
straining to get it.

But, he did get in.

Good boy Casper!

Now Casper is watching the fun as we try to persuade
our girl Jennifer Rain to get in the trailer.
She has been trailered 8 times by her former trainer.
That gal only had a problem getting her in the first time
and it wasn't really a problem as Jenny had never even
seen a trailer at the time so after a little training
she walked right in. I know you don't want
to force them in, that it needs to be their idea and all that,
but the brat wont get in and I know she knows how!
And yes, this trailer is different than the one she was
previously trailered in, does that make a huge difference?
Apparently to her it does, BUT maybe I'm just not being
FIRM enough?!

This was so entertaining that Scotch
came to watch too. Since I have no experience with
reluctant trailering horses a friend is coming over to
help on Friday. Then on Saturday Jenny is going to visit
a different trainer for a week or so as she needs
a bit more green knocked off her if she is going to be
Chyann's main riding horse.

Lovely smelling lilacs are almost here!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Another week gone

Check out that rhubarb!

Doesn't it look wonderful?!
I can't wait for rhubarb pie, jam, scones, bars, cake and the like.

Another week has somehow managed to fly right by me.

I had this idea, as I was digging through a box in my closet
and came across a slew of old letters from my grandmother, that
I would do some posts about my relatives in Kansas, but I'm
stuck! Unable to scan in my old pictures. Guess that will
have to wait till my computer kid is done with the play and
home more often than just to sleep.

Speaking of the school play, tonight is opening night!

Chyann and Caden got to see it yesterday in school and
loved it! EXCEPT for the part when Colton's character
gets shot and dies! That was a shocker!
I can't wait to see it! Colton even sings solo!!

Anyhow, all parents of kids in the play have to bring snacks
for intermission, so I spent most of yesterday baking.

7 layer bars, scotcheroo bars, kitchen sink bars (oatmeal, raisin,
nuts, coconut), chocolate chip cookies and not pictured
are snicker-doodle cookies.

After the play all the kids go to Menomonie and eat at Perkins
restaurant. Guess who is elected to drive? Yep, Colton is.
When he told me last night my stomach clenched!
Him driving a car full of kids on Highway 94
scares me to pieces!
I asked if he wanted me to drive them, he said nope.
Now I'll have to worry, but not till after the play!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

No Joke

It really was 82* at our house on April 1st!

Eau Claire even had an all time high temp of 84*.

Yes, this warm weather is unusual for WI, but I love it!

We are in need of some rain and finally got some yesterday
afternoon, in the form a strong thunderstorm.
Never heard how much rain we got, but it sure came down in
buckets for a while there.

The lightning and thunder were phenomenal too!
The kids and I were coming home from Chippewa Falls
when the storm hit. I had to slow to about 10mph and was
about to just pull over because I couldn't see due to the
rain driven wind.

Signs of spring are every where you look now.
These are the buds on the big Maple tree in our front yard.

The Willow tree

This is looking up into the Elm tree in front of the house.
Neat bird nest too.

The Arbor Day Foundation has a good web site
filled with helpful info on trees and since we are going to be
replanting a lot of small trees that sprung up
last year and probably get a few more fruit trees, it's
been a good resource.

I've really enjoyed spending time with the kids this
spring break. We've done a lot and even had some visitors
that I'll post about next week.