Ugh…the flu

January 24, 2013 § 5 Comments

I didn’t post yesterday because I’ve been sick.  I came down with the flu.  Evidently that flu shot my doctor gave me early in the season faded over time.  Tuesday night, I started feeling achy and not quite right.  By Wednesday morning, I was really sick.  This morning, I’m a better but still feeling a little weak and wobbly.  

I stayed home from work yesterday and am only working half a day today.   Thankfully, our dogs were there to nurse me along. Otis sat next to the bed the entire time, and Doodle laid on the floor next to my feet.  Meanwhile, Addie just did what she does best, which is to completely ignore me unless I have food.  She wasn’t interested in tea or jello, so she left me alone.

GPP 01_24_2013

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Week in review: 12/28/2012

December 28, 2012 § 4 Comments

We are loving our new dishwasher (yay!). It’s nice to have water in the kitchen, too. we 12_28 1

After returning from Australia to find no dishwasher and no water (due to a leaky pipe), it is a big relief to get everything back to normal again.  The new dishwasher is a KitchenAide, and it works great.  I’ve done 3 washes so far, and find that I really like the 1-hour speed cycle.  I was able to do a quick load before Christmas dinner, and there was plenty of time to get everything washed and put away before our guests arrived.

I shot this nice picture of Dave having a conversation with Otis.  I’m not sure what they were discussing, but it looks very important.

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Dave and I continued building our new fence.  We started this long before I left for my almost 2-month trip to Australia, and Dave was going to finish it while I was gone.  However, life intervened, and when I returned to Texas, the fence was still unfinished.

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Otis has been helping us with the construction.  Usually, he just sits alongside as we screw in the planks.   I’m happy to say that with his help, we’ve been making terrific progress, and the fence is almost complete.

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On one of our trips to the barn to gather fence-building supplies, Dave encountered this baby owl:

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The picture quality isn’t good.  I was trying especially hard to take the picture without bothering the little fellow.

Meanwhile, I jumped into holiday baking and made pumpkin puree from a gigantic pumpkin we had in in our pantry.  From that, I made pumpkin pie, dog biscuits, and some pumpkin bread.  Recipe for the pumpkin bread will appear next week.

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Our cat Chief, continues his healing.  He was feeling well enough on Christmas evening to play with a discarded gift box.  Actually, he’s still playing with that box tonight, pouncing on it, tumbling into it, and pushing it across the floor.  Who knew a cardboard box could be so entertaining?

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Home again, home again jiggety jig

December 20, 2012 § 13 Comments

I just returned from Australia, and was greeted by poor sick Dave who met me at the airport.  He caught a cold last week, which turned into a chest infection.  He’s on antibiotics, and is feeling miserable.

Meanwhile, back at the farmhouse, I noted an enormous hole in the kitchen where our dishwasher used to be.  Dave had an idea to install a new dishwasher while I was out of town.  Unfortunately, the new dishwasher broke one day after being installed, and had to be returned.  Dave was too sick to go to the store to pick up a replacement dishwasher, thus the hole.  Meanwhile, the pipes under the kitchen sink are now leaking (probably as a result of all the tweaking Dave did while installing and then removing the new dishwasher), so we have to wash the dishes in the mudroom until we make the repairs.  In an unrelated event, I discovered that the kitchen pantry was full of water, which was isolated to a defective water jug that decided to burst open while Dave was picking me up at the airport.

Just as I finished cleaning up the spilled water in the pantry, our cat Chief appeared in the kitchen, presenting us with a huge gaping hole in his side.  Evidently, he escaped while I was in Australia, and managed to get into a fight with another cat.  At the time, Dave said Chief appeared to be fine, and he didn’t realize that there was a wound just below the skin.  This caused an abscess which burst upon my arrival, leading to an emergency trip to the vet.

Chief wounded

So, that’s what my first day back was like…all sorts of drama and excitement.  Oh, and also…?  Dave did the laundry while I was gone.  He then left it in laundry baskets throughout the house, which made it very easy for him to select what he wanted to wear…just imagine how convenient it is to have say, socks in the dining room, underwear in the bathroom, and shirts and pants in the hall.

After missing two connections because I was detained in Customs for bringing in two boxes of Anzac biscuits for my cousin Lars, I was in NO MOOD for laundry shenanigans, broken water pipes, dishwashers missing in action, and wounded cats.

Libby:  What happened here?  It looks like the house EXPLODED.

Dave:  I’m sick…I can’t deal with this now.

Libby:  You’re sick, so you had to leave laundry all over the house?

Dave:  Look, I vacuumed.  See how clean the floors are?

Libby:  I can’t SEE the floors.  They’re covered with baskets of laundry.  And water, from the broken pipe.

Dave:  I’m going to fix that.

Week in review: 11/30/2012

November 30, 2012 § Leave a comment

Dave tells me that our dog Doodle has once again saved the farmhouse from attack.  This time it was a huge killer turtle that was launching a hostile takeover of the driveway.  Thank goodness Doodle was on duty, and able to thwart the intruder.

killer turtle

I made this delicious tomato, green onion, and feta salad.  The tomatoes were from my uncle’s garden.  I just cubed them, then thinly sliced a green onion.  I put some pepper and slivers of feta on top, and then drizzled the whole thing with a little olive oil, then some balsamic vinegar.

tomato salad

Otis had fun hanging out with Dave in the yard.  Dave worked on the new fence, while Otis found sticks and chewed on them.

Otis stick

Here’s a sunset I caught earlier this week here in Australia.

sunset canal

Skyping with an Irish Wolfhound

November 29, 2012 § 2 Comments

Today I prepped for a big conference tomorrow in Brisbane.  It was the usual stuff, preparing my speaker’s notes, putting my talk onto a thumbdrive, and figuring out what time I need to leave the house to get to the conference in time.

While I put together my talk,, I was pleased to accept a skype call from my favorite dog, Otis:

We have three dogs, but only Otis will actually participate in a skype call.  The other two dogs could care less.  But Otis comes in and hangs around.

Other news around here…my uncle got out of the hospital night before last.  After more than two weeks in there, he’s exhausted.  It was very disappointing for him to learn that he has to go back in on Monday for some tests (but only for a few hours), and then he has to go back in again in two weeks for surgery.  By the time I leave here, he’ll be back on his feet, and feeling much stronger.

Week in review: 10/26/2012

October 26, 2012 § 5 Comments

We watched our neighbors’ cat while they were out of town.

The East pasture is full of wildflowers.  This is the first we’ve seen of these little yellow daisies, and so I suspect that they are the result of the seeds I tossed around earlier in the year.

Our dog Doodle and I went out to investigate.  Several flowers came home later, via Dave, who clipped a branch for the kitchen.

With the days getting shorter, our evening walks are usually conducted during the sunset.  Here’s Dave, walking with me around one of the small lakes in the community just east of our farm.  While we were walking, one jogger lapped us 4 times.  Given the beautiful sunset, I was content to enjoy a more leisurily pace.

One morning this past week, there was a beautiful fog rising up from the back pasture just after sunrise.  I’m always standing around outside at sunrise, but am usually not carrying a phone or camera with me.  I was fortunate this time to have the phone with me.

Have a good weekend!

Week in review: 10/5/2012

October 5, 2012 § 2 Comments

We made shrimp wontons.  Since I had that terrible reaction to shellfish, my doctor decided that I can’t eat shrimp anymore.  So, David got to eat all of the shrimp wontons.

Fortunately I also made a few without the shrimp, and they were very good.  To make wontons, just take 12 premade eggroll or wonton wrappers, and place them in a greased muffin pan.  Fill with a mixture of 8-ounces cream cheese, 1/2 cup chopped cooked shrimp, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1/2 teaspoon Herbs de Provence, and 3 chopped green onions (I just mixed all of this up with a fork, and then stuffed it into the wonton shells).  Spray the shells with a little olive oil, or brush with melted butter.  Then bake in a preheated 325-degrees fahrenheit oven, until the wontons are slightly brown around the edges, about 15 minutes.  Remove, cool, and eat.  Makes 12 wontons.

We made an apple cake.  I’ll be sharing the recipe for that with you a little later, but here’s a preview:

The top of this cake was slightly crunchy with a streusel brown sugar topping.

And of course, you know all about the shenanigans with the broken water line while we were digging the holes for our new fence.

Meanwhile, we have 11 more holes to dig.  We still haven’t finished the project because it rained, and we also had full schedules at work.  We’re hoping to finish the digging by the end of the upcoming weekend.  Dave has already ordered the wood for constructing the fence.  The dogs are not pleased, since we are not allowing them to play in the area where the construction is taking place.

When we’re done building our yard fence, then we have the fence to build in front of the property (yay, the work on our street is just about finished, after a long year of construction).  And, we also have fences for the side pasture, and a couple of gates to construct.  Looks like we’re going to be very busy for a long time.

Dave lost his eyeglasses.  As usual, I was the first person who came to mind when he was trying to figure out where he left them, as evidenced by the following phonecall:

Dave:  I can’t find my glasses.

Libby:  Hmmm…did you look on the table?

Dave:  They are not on the table.  You’ve put them somewhere.

Libby:  No.  I did not put them somewhere.  Did you leave them in the TV room?

Dave:  They are not in the TV room.  You put them somewhere when you were in an organizing frenzy.

Libby:  No, I did not put them anywhere.  Did you perhaps put them into the shopping bag with your new shirts you just bought?

Dave:  They are not in the shopping bag.  Please, think about where you put them.  I really need my glasses.

Libby:  In the bedroom?  Bathroom?  Living room?  Buffet?

Dave:  No. No. No. No. They are gone.  You’ve put them somewhere.

Libby:  Well, keep looking.  I haven’t seen them, and I didn’t put them anywhere.

Dave:  Sigh.

Another phonecall 10 minutes later:

Dave:  I found my glasses.

Libby:  Where were they?

Dave:  In the shopping bag with my new shirts.

Libby:  See!?  I didn’t do anything with them.  You’re sorry for accusing me, right?

Dave:  Bye.

So, that’s how it always goes.

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