Week in review: 03/01/2013

March 2, 2013 § 1 Comment

Ack…where has the time gone?  How is it possible that it is already MARCH?  Anyway, it’s not as if we have been busy or anything.

I worked on a proposal for the office.  I suspect I am going to get very good at writing proposals, since one of our customers has started to send us a new request for proposal every week.   This week I spent a lot of hours working from home, hunkered down in front of the computer.   Meanwhile, Dave defrosted frozen meals from the refrigerator, and we also ate out one night (a big deal for us, since I pretty much hate eating out except for breakfast).  Sometimes, while I was working on my proposal, Dave comes in to do some work at his computer.  When we’re both in the office, the dogs come in as well, and they always have some sort of advice to give us.


It has been in the 30’s (fahrenheit) at night this week, which means that Addie is cold.  I’ve been wrapping her in a blanket or a t-shirt, which she gratefully accepts.


The other dogs don’t mind the cold.  Addie has also been caught sleeping on the guest bed.  I came home early one day, and discovered this.


That’s her blanket, by the way.  She somehow managed to get that onto the bed with her.  Someday, she may even figure out how to wrap it around herself.  Meanwhile, Otis and Doodle have been enjoying their fenced yard, and they wrestle out there every day.  At first we worried that Otis, being twice Doodle’s size, would overwhelm and hurt Doodle.  This hasn’t happened once.  Otis is very careful, and although there is lots of growling and leaping about, no one gets hurt.


They have so much fun out there and Dave and I are very glad that we decided to put in the fence.



Week in review: 02/22/2013

February 22, 2013 § 3 Comments

Doodle got to eat jello for the first time, and he has decided that he likes it.  He’s also looking very fluffy lately, and as soon as the weather warms up, we’ll be giving him a haircut.

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This dog has really changed his perspective from when he first came to live with us, and he would only eat canned dog food with grated cheese on top.

The fence and gate project  is complete at last (mostly, notwithstanding some minor tasks).  I’ll try to post a final report later next week.

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Now that the dogs can relax unmolested by coyotes, Otis and Doodle are out there all the time.  Addie could care less about the fenced yard.  She’d much rather be inside where it’s warm, and she can wrap up in her blanket.

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We’ve had a lot of rain this week, which has filled the duck pond to overflowing.

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Lastly, I know this is a blog about green living, eating healthily, and living on a farm, but that’s not really all that Dave and I are about.  In fact, it’s just a small part of who we are.  When we’re not blogging, we’re actually a couple of engineer/scientists.  I’ve been a space contractor for ages, and now I run a company doing work for a multitude of customers, including NASA.  And Dave’s a space contractor, too, doing some work that he’s not allowed to talk about.

One of my many duty assignments was in Russia, where I lived and worked for a few years, while the International Space Station was being built and launched.  In Russia, I was stationed with a great team, one of whom was Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield:


Hadfield  is now residing on the International Space Station, and in less than a month, he will become the first Canadian Commander of the ISS.  Here he is, on the ISS, collaborating with the Barenaked Ladies on the song “I.S.S.: Is Somebody Singing.”

I hope you enjoy this song as much as we do (thanks Olga, for sending us this link)…have a great weekend and take some time on Saturday and Sunday to think about those astronauts in space who are orbiting 230 miles overhead.

Week in review: 02/15/2013

February 15, 2013 § 4 Comments

I took a walk with some friends at sunrise on Saturday morning.  We walked around a 40-acre lake a few miles away from the farmhouse.  Ages ago, I used to live in this community.

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I saw some pelicans sunning themselves on a dock.

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Dave has been using the back bedroom at the farmhouse as a sort of storeroom.  All of the boxes stacked everywhere, along with whatever else he occasionally felt like throwing in there, was driving me crazy.  So, one night while he was in class, I started clearing it out.  I intentionally waited to do this while he was out of the house, because he starts getting nervous when he sees me organizing his stuff.

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I was three hours into the task when he came home.  He was amazingly unfazed by the giant trash bags, and the general havoc, and even expressed gratitude that I was tackling something that he’d evidently been wanting to start for awhile.  I’m not finished yet, but feels so good to almost have a room.  When it is clear, I think I’m going to turn it into an office.  Meanwhile, the morning after starting the project, I woke up to this:

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I couldn’t figure out why my legs ached so much, and discovered I’d bruised them up pretty badly when I was moving boxes, television sets, and computers out of the room.  There’s more bruising to come, because we still have to load up the car, and haul all of the stuff off to Goodwill.

Dave and I finished welding the frame for the gate and did the installation.  Otis supervised.

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Now we can put boards onto the frame, and the fence and gate project will be complete.

We’re trying to stick to mostly low carb meals this week, although sometimes Dave slips up and eats cookies.  Here’s some chili we had for dinner on Wednesday:

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Chili always tastes better with some grated cheddar cheese and sour cream on top.

A trip to the hardware store had us purchasing some seeds for this year’s garden.

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Week in review: 2/8/2013

February 8, 2013 § 7 Comments

We replaced the hardware on our front door.


This turned out to be a bigger project than we estimated.  Dave figured that this would take approximately 15 minutes.  In the end it took 4 hours…mostly because the farmhouse is old, and very little was built according to a standard.  So the new hardware we purchased didn’t fit the door, and we had to make modifications to our door to allow the hardware to fit.

While Dave and I were working on the door, we had to lock Chief, the DIY cat up in the back part of the house so he wouldn’t escape.  Deprived of his litterbox for 4 hours, he pooped on the floor, and then Otis ate it.  Yes, disgusting.


I made a new pillow, and the cat loved it.  The new pillow was so comfy and soft, and it looked terrific on the couch.


The pillow lasted exactly one day before Addie ate it.


I made another batch of bacon and egg pies for breakfast.   

So, that was our week.  How was yours?






Week in review: 01/18/2013

January 18, 2013 § 7 Comments

This week, our neighbors brought over their little cocker spaniel puppy, Murphy, to meet Otis.


Murphy is only ten weeks old, and he’s very smart.  He showed us how he can sit and lie down.  Later, he was a little scared when Otis smelled him a little too energetically.

It has been too cold and rainy to do much work on the fence.  We still lack a few hours of work before we will be complete.  Meanwhile, the dogs are able to use the mostly-fenced area to go potty in the morning.


Doodle escaped yesterday morning, running through one of the open areas where we still need to attach the fence boards.  He made it into the back pasture before Dave urged him back to the yard with an offer to “go on a walk.”

A few wild green parrots visited us one morning this week.  I saw them high up in one of the dead trees on our property.  They hung around for a while, and then flew away.


I went to a networking event.  It involved painting and wine.  Who knew that a networking event could be so much fun?  There were about 50 of us there, and we were all tasked with painting the exact same picture.


At first it felt a little like the paint-by-number kits that my parents used to buy for me when I was in middle school.  After a few minutes though, the fun kicked in, and I had a blast.  No one’s painting was like anyone else’s, even though we were being guided through each step in the creation process.  My painting was impressionistic in style, while the woman at the easel next to mine used more of a realistic approach.

We had a beautiful sunrise on Thursday morning.


These days, I arise at about 5:15 am, and while the dogs are outside doing their business, I drink a cup of coffee and enjoy the morning.  It’s nice sitting outside, watching the ducks swim on the pond.

Have a good weekend.

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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Week in review: 12/21/2012

December 21, 2012 § 4 Comments

The best news is that my uncle got out of the hospital, and is doing well.  I also flew back from Australia…long flight (as usual), and the usual hassles (was detained in Customs because of two boxes of cookies).  In all though, my travels back were fine.

The second best news this week is that I received word that I passed my comprehensive assessment for my doctoral program.  I’d been sweating this, wondering if I would pass.  Now that it is finished, I can continue to move forward with the rest of my dissertation.

Here are a couple of shots from the week:

1) Reflections of the jacuzzi pool.  That pool has saved us from the heat.  Back in Australia, my aunt and I spent an hour in this pool every night, laughing so hard sometimes our bellies hurt.  My uncle usually just sits in a chair next to the pool, and shakes his head at us (I suspect he secretly enjoys our shenanigans).  Back in Texas, I certainly miss my aunt and uncle, and this pool.


2) This little pug visited us.  His name, aptly, is Pugsley, and he gave my uncle great pleasure on a day when he was feeling very poorly.


3)  Meanwhile, back in Texas, a new dishwasher arrived.

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And Dave and I installed it.  I was the assistant, handing over tools as needed.

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We also repaired the leak that mysteriously appeared when Dave removed the old dishwasher, so now we’re back to the status quo, except now we have two different finishes in our kitchen:  a white refrigerator, white stove, and a stainless steel dishwasher.  Eventually, as we remodel the kitchen, everything will be switched out to stainless.

4)  Chief was wounded.  So what else is new?  This cat gets wounded every week.

Chief wounded

The vet loves us.  I told Dave that from now on Chief is NOT ALLOWED to go outside at all.  Of course I said that, and then Chief ran outside when the appliance delivery man was bringing in our new dishwasher.  I had to run outside and pull the cat out of the rosebushes, and then haul him inside, scratching and clawing.

5)  I made chicken enchiladas for dinner tonight.  Yes, they were delicious.

Chicken enchiladas

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