Thursday, December 17, 2009

Guess What?

My door won. We got 3 dozen donuts to share with the classes that helped. So my freshman classes are sugared up!


Monday, December 14, 2009

The Weather Outside is...

Well, to be honest it's really quite nice. Although there was a freak snowstorm that rolled through yesterday afternoon that deposited about 3 inches of snow on the ground. But since it was about 35 degrees out it was alright...except for the gale force winds. That sucked. I decided as tradition calls I must get Christmas cards in order (Thank you cards too, but those might have to wait). I spent a bit of time on Saturday getting pics of the barnyard (never mind that there is no barn). Basically all the pics were bloopers.
But first....a new pic of Smack! I think I forgot to mention his name is Smack because his full name is Skippers Smokin Chex and somehow Smack just fit the little bugger. He was sunning himself when I went out and refused to stand up so I just managed to get a pic of him laying on the ground with Momma. No, I haven't weaned yet. At first I decided to wait a little longer due to the leg and vitamin issues surrounding his growth - then I didn't have a place to separate them when I moved - and now with this sporadic weather I'm nervous to stress him out without any true shelters. I'm going to do it as soon as I can be around a little more (i.e. Christmas Break). As it is he's very independent and only nurses as a comfort every now and then.

Rumba wasn't having any of the reindeer antler thing, but Maggie sure wanted to see what was up. Smack's hair is about as long as my hand. He's like a little teddy bear and all he wants to do is cuddle too.

Then I decided Shirley and Ned needed to get in on the fun. All they really wanted to do was butt heads and try out their new supersized horns. First Ned sized up Shirley...

Then Shirley eyeballed Ned...headbutting did ensue...

Onto the dogs...I think you can see not one animal, perhaps excepting Maggie and Smack, were amused at anything I was doing with them. Dixie kept rolling her eyes at me (literally. She's the only dog I've ever known to roll eyes). And Maverick kept trying to crawl into my lap and hide his face. I think he was humiliated.

Wrigley wasn't having any of it. After eating one pair of antlers while my back was turned, he decided the Santa hat was 'the bomb' and tried to climb into it.

Notice he doesn't have hold of it, but it running away with it over his head since I was coming after him.

And....*drumroll* Christmas gift came early! A round pen! My very own for working horses! Yeah! I've been looking like crazy for a light-weight pen that I can haul around and use for training . I didn't need a heavy duty pen because if I have a horse that wants to go through it; I don't want that horse anyway. I found this used, but barely used and mostly just stored outside. It only want about a 40 foot diameter for working horses in, but it came with enough panels to make a 70 foot diameter pen. So now I have an extra pen along with my round pen, and in a pinch can break this down into three good size holding pens. Very versatile!!! I'm excited!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Compromise of the Christmas Tree

After much debate, I decided we were putting up a Christmas Tree. It's been crazy with everything, and we'll be in Michigan over much of the holidays, but I don't care. It's not Christmas without a tree. Nate didn't see the point (seriously, where IS his holiday spirit?) As it is we passed on outside lights.

I grew up with a live tree my whole life. We used to go out and cut our own. I wanted to do that, but as we are very busy, and since Nate is working weekends until Christmas, we really don't have time to go up to the mountains and cut one as a family. He also wanted a fake tree.

That is completely out of the question. I can give up on the outside lights. I can forgo the mountain excursion. But a fake tree? I think not.
So off to Wally-World we went last weekend and for $30 brought home this beauty. I'm not a big fan of firs as they are very dense and the branches are not very strong, but we had no choice. It's a very full tree and even though I can't really hang ornaments deep into the branches, I think I like it! Plus firs have very soft needles and my hands didn't get all raw and itchy from hanging ornaments.

The only downfall of the tree is the small stump (firs are notorious for this). I have an old fashioned stand and we couldn't get that sucker to do much more than balance there.

Not so good.
But after trying a variety of things for over an hour, the power tools came out.
Out came the stand screws and Nate literally screwed the tree into place with huge frame building screws.

He now thinks it's pretty.

So the compromise of the Christmas tree went well.

With a Flash: What's a western decor with out the Buffalo Skull hanging in the background? Luna was a bit of a worry when she tried to climb the tree, but after her second time and half a squirt bottle of water later, she's decided it's not worth messing with. Now she just lays in front of it and stares nostalgically.

Without a flash. I really don't like that star. It changes color and just seems so...retro. Like I should have little disco balls, and blinking lights on the tree. I'd love to find a pretty angel, but I can't find anything around here and I'm probably going to be anal about it when I do. I need some craft shows or something...

Since I was in the mood after all this, I decided to enter my school's annual door decorating contest. It's 3D. As my students say, "I'm in it to win".

Nice that I teach in a PUBLIC school that still allows the word 'CHRISTMAS' to be uttered. And that decorations are allowed:

Thursday, December 03, 2009

I Like Winter Weddings

I almost called off the wedding. Seriously. There was a bit of a discrepancy that occurred shortly after arriving in Michigan that I didn't know about. I kept my mouth shut and managed to stay relatively calm about it for close to 30 hours, (I wanted to make sure I wasn't over-reacting) before throwing my fit. The fit happened. Unfortunately it happened on Thanksgiving and I ended up skipping dinner at my brother's in-laws to drive to Chelsea (near Ann Arbor) to get some things for the wedding (which was another sore point in my books). So I missed the Turkey.

However, the drive was good for me and by the time I made it back to my parent's house I had thought things through and a truce had been made via text messaging (amazing how that works isn't it?).

Getting married is stressful. I hate to imagine what would have happened if we'd had more than 5 months to plan for the wedding. It didn't help that the stress was compounded by the fact that my mom wished we'd had more time...that made me feel I was somehow doing things wrong.

Oh well.

By the time I was standing in the church waiting to walk down the aisle, wondering if Nate was going to faint (he looked a little pale), nothing mattered anymore because I was laughing too hard. Surprisingly I was totally calm about everything (the Mimosa that morning may have helped).

The wedding was beautiful and our Priest did a great job with everything. I loved our piano player, the harpist at the reception rocked, and the food was awesome! We held the reception at Bistro Bourdeau in Auburn Hills. I highly recommend them for not just parties, but for an elegant, affordable, delicious night out as well.

We stopped at only one spot for pictures, and in hindsite I wish I'd pushed for another. I was feeling a little rushed because the reception followed immediately after the ceremony and my mom had made a few comments about the time spent on pictures at the church, and then my brother kept commenting on time when we stopped (probably under orders from mom). I did put my foot down and say that this was our wedding and we were only stopping in one place so I was going to take my time there...but I really am a bit disappointed they couldn't have left me alone concerning it all. It wasn't like anyone was waiting for us to eat - food was served before we arrived. That attitude sort of went along with the whole theme that I rushed things so now we didn't have time for anything extra - which was Bull. I just wish a few people could have been a bit more excited about my marriage. They love Nate, so it's not like that even became an issue, and it's not like I'm some youngster running headlong into God knows what.

On the note of unhappy people: Nate's parent's were supposed to be in town Friday for dinner at my parent's. They said they'd be there, but made excuses. They were at the wedding and didn't look happy. I, of course, gave them big grins and hugs. My family talked their ears off. They stayed the whole time at the reception and went to my parent's afterwards and then met them for breakfast the following morning.

My MIL took me aside and told me I had the nicest family she'd ever met. Well duh. They're Italian and will either talk your ear off, feed you, or somehow manage to combine the two to where you don't know what hit you. I've always been friendly and gracious and usually the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. My avoiding her has to do with anxiety and fear from her past behavior, but never have I been anything but polite. I'm glad they were there and saw what I come from. She also hopes we can put the past behind us. I'd like nothing more, but her very volatile behavior in the past does have me wary. I'll just keep being polite. So all in all, well received.

I created our wedding album (the photographer was my neighbor growing up. It was her first wedding and she was all nervous! She did a beautiful job! However, she's scared of the computer so editing and albums were up to me). I usually use Snapfish, but I got to 'lookin' and found this: Smilebooks. It has an awesome free downloadable template for book building. It is now my new favorite album maker.

On Monday we met up with Matt and Erica who stood for us, and their son Gavin who was our ring-bearer, to explore the Detroit Zoo (all decorated for Christmas). I haven't been there in about 10 years and a lot has changed! We couldn't cover the whole zoo with two youngsters, but we saw all the exciting things that involved indoor buildings (it was a bit chilly). I was bummed we didn't get to see the Polar Bears swimming, but the seals were out!

The Sloth was awake and trying to figure out what the heck we were.