From The Mud Puddle

Friday, February 29, 2008

What Bayley, the dog, does while Christopher, my son, is away for the afternoon...

Dear Christopher,
Bayley is having the time of his life this afternoon. He wanted to see what it was like to be you for a few hours.
Bayley informed me that first of all he pulled your favorite green tattered sweatshirt out of the closet.
Bayley then says that he hopped up on your bed (with the help of mom and some sweetheart candy) He laid down on the sweatshirt. He snuggled in good. Bayley saw a game of football already in progress on the Nintendo DS, so he just finished it for you, OK, Christopher? (oh btw, you lost) Bayley then moved on to playing with your puppy game...Buddy, the golden retriever wanted a walk.
Bayley then decided to catch up on some of your back issues of Dog Fancy you had laying around. He especially liked the puppy edition. He wondered why his picture wasnt included. He wants to talk to you about that when you get home Christopher. Bayley also seems to have found your sharpie pens. Sorry about says he can explain everything to you when you get home. We just hope it washes out!
(oh yeah, the pens are permanent...too bad!)

Then Bayley decided to listen to some "tunes". He wanted to know why "adventure dog" isnt in your playlist.

Feeling right at home, he put on your ball cap. He felt you wouldnt mind him wearing it. It was a little big though, so he figured you wouldnt mind if he turned it upside down to make it a food bowl. You dont do you?

Bayley also wanted to wear your watch. He seems to take time seriously. Just look at those eyes! I think he was telling me it was time for another sweetheart treat. Um, coming right up Bayley!

Lastly, Bayley pulled out your football and basketball. He thought it might be fun to play ball with the other neighborhood dogs later in the day, if he can find time. Right now he is preoccupied with all the other activities that he is not sure he'll have time to fit it in. (plus he knows it would be a stretch for him to get the basketball into the basket in the driveway without your help)

Bayley told me to let you know Christopher that all is well. He misses you, but is having the time of his life in your absense. He has your cell phone and might just give you a call --later, much later as he is busy ...very very busy.
Love Mom

What I made here from a photo of my dog.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A few weeks ago, I was over at BooMama's blog and saw her post about a giveaway being hosted by Robyn of I love Giveaways for a JJ and JJjr . I followed the instructions on how to enter and forgot about it. Soon thereafter, I got an email from Robyn informing me that I had won a JJjr. I was very excited about it. The one that I picked out and received is this small polka dotted one you see pictured.

My JJjr arrived today. Let me just say, this thing is very sturdy. The materials used are very good quality and it seems it will stand up to my tossing it around for years to come. I love the inside construction for storing earrings . I especially love the removable pocket that is lined in some sort of silky material where you could store a bracelet or two as you travel. I plan to use mine in my purse as the JJjr is small enough to tuck away for everyday use. Thank you Janie for the new little jewelry tote, and thank you Robyn for hosting the giveaway!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Character Count

My word processor will count words, but not characters. Twice today, while filling out online forms, I needed to have under a certain amount of characters. I found this web page in the process and am posting it here for me and anyone else that might be interested in it.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Adventures in planting our Ball Root Tree(s), past and present.

We took our Christmas Tree down today. Oh please don’t go look at the calendar! I already know that it is two months past Christmas, and one month until Easter. We did at least take the ornaments off of the tree six weeks ago.

Four years ago, we were getting ready to buy our Christmas tree and I was hit by a moment of conscience. I felt wasteful about buying a tree that we would decorate, use only for a couple of weeks, and then toss to the curb after the holidays were over. My husband had recently been laid off from his job and we were counting every penny. To spend money on a tree, I really felt it should do more for us than just entertain us for one month.

We could have easily solved this problem by buying an artificial tree, but we didn’t really want an artificial tree that year. (They were also a bit more expensive than our budget would have allowed that particular year) We wanted a live tree. We have had both, artificial and live trees and just seemed to prefer the live ones in look, smell and feel.

To solve my dilemma, I found the perfect solution; the Ball Root Christmas Tree.

A Ball Root Christmas Tree is one that is not cut down, but is dug up, roots and all. It is bound by burlap and strong wire to keep the root confined so that you can bring it inside. After bringing it home, we went shopping to find a wash tub. I thought it would be so charming to have this cute Christmas Tree sitting in a wash tub in our living room. I was right! I loved that first ball root tree we had that year. It was a perfect solution for us that year.

Now I won’t cover up the fact that a Ball Root Christmas Tree is a piece of cake to get home, or into your home, or into the wash tub. There was a lot of grunting and groaning going on by my husband as he worked to get that tree out of the car and into the house. He did it because he loves me and it is what I really wanted. I love that man!

I remember that first year as Christmas was over, we did take the ornaments off the tree in a timely manner, but we did wait to take the tree outside. I know it was still sitting here in March of that year, right in my living room. I have always wondered what the plumber thought that had to come to our house in March when he saw that Christmas Tree still sitting there when he came in to do some work. It was humorous really. I told my husband, “I think it is time we try to get that tree back outside”. He agreed and laughed to himself as well. He at least was laughing until he had to struggle to get that thing out of the house again!

Once again, with a lot of groaning and gritting of teeth, my husband got the tree down the front steps and to the part of the yard I had picked out to put it. My husband dug a hole big enough for it and we left it outside. It was sort of sad leaving it outside. We had become attached to that tree. It held some special meaning to us as it was our Christmas Tree after all. I was thankful that I didn’t have to put it out at the road to be taken away by the city workers.

That first Ball Root Christmas Tree survived the first year and I was able to put a string of white lights on it. We went to buy another one and repeated the process again. Sometime in late January or early February, that tree was planted by the first one we had bought the year before. We now had two root ball Christmas Trees planted in our yard. Life was good.

By summer, rains quit falling, and both trees died. Both were dug up and put out by the road.

The next Christmas, we went to buy yet another Root Ball Christmas Tree. We felt we were now old hands at this business. We walked up confidently and picked out our tree. We knew what we were doing by now, so we thought.

The root wouldn’t fit in the trunk of our car. That really should have been our first clue that this tree would be so different from the other two. My husband had to go home to get our van. He returned to get the tree and get it home.

Simply put, we really thought we’d never get that tree into the house. We honestly thought we might have to just plant our Christmas Tree on in the yard that year because it was too heavy to get up the front steps and into the house. Once again, my husband struggled, groaned and moaned as he worked that tree up one step at a time, across our porch and over the threshold of our front door. We were very happy it was finally inside, until we saw that this same root that wouldn’t fit into our trunk of our car also was not going to go into my sweet little metal wash tub we had used for a couple of years before now. Oh what were we going to do?

We went to Tractor Supply and bought a feed trough, that is what we did.

We bought this nice black round feed trough that you might use on a farm to feed animals. The root ball fit perfectly in it. We sat there looking at this huge tree sitting in this feed trough (that really didn’t look like anything more than a huge heavy plastic container), and also looked at our front door wondering how in the world we would get it back outside and down the steps into the yard again once Christmas was over. We figured we’d cross that road when we got to January or February.

I just hoped in the meantime that our floor didn’t give way because of the weight of the thing. “Merry Christmas” doesn't have quite the ring to it if you have a big hole in your living room floor during the holidays!

After Christmas, we did indeed get it planted in the yard. All I know is that gravity was our friend and this thing flew down those front steps a whole lot easier than it went up them.

As hard and difficult as last year’s tree was, this past Christmas renewed my resolve that having a Ball Root Christmas Tree is worth it. We were able to fit that one into the car trunk easily. My teenage son was able to whip it out of the car and into the house and into the wash tub (not the feed trough) with one swift move. My husband came home and saw the tree already standing there. I know he breathed a sigh of relief that he didn’t have to struggle with a tree that year.

After Christmas, we undecorated it and just left the lights on in case we wanted to enjoy just the white lights. We kept talking about how we needed to get this tree outside and planted, but we did joke that we might as well leave it inside so that we could enjoy it this coming year. Why not just keep the thing inside and watered so that we could save on buying a tree next Christmas?

In the end, reason won out and my husband gathered some gloves and the shovel so he could remove the other dead tree from last year (that was still standing in the ground where it died in the summer). He made quick work of removing the dead tree and getting the other tree in the ground. We hope for the best for this most recent Ball Root Christmas Tree, but we also know that we remain in a drought and it’s chances are slim.

Only nine more months and we get to do it again!

My husband and son work to get the Christmas Tree into the ground after it has spent the last three months in our house. My husband had to cut the ropes off to remove the wires that surround the burlap.
My son watches his dad work on the ropes below.

My husband Jay, who is also my hero, adjusts the tree properly in the hole and then shovels dirt back around the root.

Here my husband stands proud and true with his shovel and hammer knowing he has worked hard to preserve our Christmas tradition of a Ball Root Tree planted in the yard long after Christmas is over.

Christmas Tree of '07-Full of life, for now!

Christmas Tree of '06 , you are dead to me!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A few quotes from my husband this year:

"I dont do crazy"
I told him this should be his new tag line. He said this at work to a couple of co workers as they started in on some workplace "drama".

"The novelty of sitting here on the table in my underwear has worn off"
He said this while at a doctor's appointment Tuesday. I just burst out laughing. He is always saying things like this that make me laugh hard.

Life is fun, laugh often. Others will want to join you. Says Muddy ;)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I made a video of a few of the pictures my kids and I took tonight in the snow.

You may recall the story of our dead christmas tree from a few weeks ago. It sure looks a lot prettier with a fresh coat of new snow on top of it. You cannot see the dead branches under all that white fluff! We got a surprise snowstorm tonight that left three inches in our yard. Happy Valentine's Day indeed!

Yes, as you can see, we did indeed end up making some fudge tonight...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


This is where I'll post a collection of columns that "Muddy" has written. Occassionally, some of the articles may be similar to posts from this blog. Generally the posts on this blog will have photos (if there are any), while the links to the newspaper column online will not. I am in the process of figuring out the best way to display my work here like this, but thought this might be a good start.

Cleanliness Is Next To Torture for Canine

It's Winter, So Let It Snow!

Drawn To An Artist's Life

Memories of a Beloved Neighbor

Sweet Treats Along With Sweet Memories

It's Time To Get Outdoors

Living To Tell About Driver's Education

Back Home By Design

Bayley Celebrates 9 Years

Rising Up To Call Her Blessed

Savoring Fresh Strawberries

Internet: The World At Your Fingertips

Play a community effort

Mission Accomplished: Graduation a Time of Pride For Homeschooler's Mom

Package Assembly's Still Worthy Knowledge

Chocolate Sheets Provide Sweet Dreams

The 80's, what was old is new

Birthday Prank

Woman Vs Machine

Old Story-New Theater

Memories of a place in the country

Who's The Mole? Can't Wait To Find Out!
Trading Places A Dog's Life
Crafty Crafters Create Surprises

Girlfriend Trip to Biltmore A Success
Grammar Police Can't Stand Up To Mom
Splish Splash with Rover
Church Honors Parents
Encounter with Deer is Unsettling
Webkinz: The allure grows with collection
Tiny Bibles Play Part In Growth of Children
With Dread I turn to the Chore of Decluttering
Well Worn Items Make a House Into a Home
Polling The Neighbors? Not Going To Happen
Contests Exchange Trash For Treasure
Area Once Bucolic Now a Thriving Crossroad
Three Churches-One Space
Consider Making It A Tradition To Be Thankful
Warm Christmas Spirit on a Cold Night
Delivering Directories Created Fun Memories
At Age 90, he's Still Tops At Toys For Tots
Ornament Brings Back Wonderful Memories
It's Time To Flip The Calendar Again
Wii: Skiing-Without the Cold, Bumps and Bruises
Marley Brings Back Memories of First Dog
Where is That Loyalty Card When I Need It?
Old Family Photos Get New Look
My Own Shaggy Dog Story

Stay Tuned for More...

Last year I went to the Dollar Tree when I needed to get my loved ones something for Valentine's day. I was happy to find them each a mylar balloon and some candy-Cheap.

This year, I figured I'd do the same thing. So, I drove to the Dollar Tree with one thing in mind, to buy ONE balloon for each of my loved ones (minus the dog because honestly, he really doesn't care for these balloons-if nothing else it is just something else to bark at for him.) I also figured I'd find some kind of candy box for my kids and husband and that would be it. I was thinking I probably would get out of there for less than 10 bucks. I mean, I really do love my family...but I know I dont have to spend a lot of SHOW it this one day. (plus I plan to make a pan of fudge before the day is over today...and that counts for more I think) I had ten minutes to spare before having to go pick up my daughter from work.

I was a woman on a mission.

I walk into the Dollar tree and saw lots and lots of marvelous balloons. I began to make my way through them all and saw that very few were being sold as singles. The plain ordinary ones were being sold as singles, but if you wanted something special, then you had to buy the set of five (which also came with a nice little weight) All of this was six dollars. It would give me five balloons. That would be enough to divide out among my husband, son and daughter. Then I noticed in some sets a cute little froggie balloon. My first thought was to say that one would be Bayley's-but as Ive already noted, Bayley really doesn't care about balloons, so I tossed that idea. I then saw where some of the sets had TWO froggie balloons. Perfect! I could get a set with two froggie balloons. I also liked the sets that had a flower balloon in them. So I looked through all the sets they had until I found a set that had two froggie balloons and one flower happy valentine balloons. (I was also totally loosing track of time too) That left two other happy valentine balloons in the set. I decided to find a single one that said I love you to add to my husband's set. That way, all three of them would receive two mylar balloons. All three of them would have one each that said happy valentine's day and one that said I love you. (the froggie balloon said I love you)

In the meantime, I also had found the ONLY kind of valentine boxed candy they had left. It was a pooh bear box with heart shaped peanut butter chocolate candies in it. My daughter really loves the valentine boxes of candy. She doesn't need much-she'll take something simple-but this has always been her thing. She also likes lemon heads, so I bought her some of those too. I found my husband a bag of smarties and my son a bag of razzles (because we saw a movie that talked about those a year or so ago and my kids have wondered what they are like). They also each got a box of sweet hearts. (and by each-I am also including the dog on this-because they came in a package of 4 and because he loves them very much)

I also found a couple of other assorted items as I was looking around...nothing much you's ONLY the Dollar Tree. uh huh...I'll keep telling myself that.

When I checked out, I found that my bill was 20 dollars

How could my simple quick trip into the dollar tree become 20 dollars?

Let's not process that question.
Moving on..

As I was walking out of the store, I was passed by a cute little girl and her mom. The little girl started waving at me, at least I think she was waving at me. Probably more accurately she was waving at the balloons. She started pointing at them. I told her they were for my children. Her mom said, "oh that's sweet", but I'm sure that she also was thinking, "I'll never make it out of the dollar tree without a balloon now"

You're welcome mom of cute little girl!

I stuffed the packages and balloons into the car being careful to not pop any of them. I drove to pick up my daughter. She called me as I was pulling into the parking lot. I was late. I answered and said, "I'm here, I'm here".
I told her not to peak in the back seat and whatever she did she shouldn't look at the balloons back there. She said, "right".

We drove to the post office to mail some eBay items I had sold lately and then on to home.

When I pulled the balloons out of the car, I saw one of them was deflated. Of course it was one of the froggie balloons. It was slashed across the neck. Poor froggie balloon. It went into the trash can. Now all my careful planning and thinking spent in the Dollar Tree was now in ruins. OK , perhaps it wasnt that tragic, but I was still sad about it. Now I'd have to decide which of my kids got the froggie balloon. My daughter made the suggestion that I just go back and buy one more. I told her that I couldn't without buying a
My son on the other hand just told me to give it to his sister.
My plans were deflated, so rather than wait until tomorrow...I went ahead and divided out the goods.
My son ended up with the froggie balloon and one that said Happy Valentine's day.
My daughter got the flower balloon.
(I liked that my son suggested giving it to his sister, so I gave it to him since her suggestion was to GO BACK AND GET ANOTHER ONE) LOL

and my husband will see his two when he gets home.

I had another errand to do this afternoon and found my daughter a consolation prize for not getting the froggie balloon. It was a cute little frog that vibrated as you pulled this string with a heart out of it's mouth.
She loved it.

Yes I already gave it to her, you cannot buy anything at Especially Yours at the Stoney Creek Shopping Center without the fragrance of the store giving it away.

Things still feel uneven between them...and I so like things to be fair...
This was suppose to be a simple valentines day trip for under 10 bucks.

It's now gone haywire.
Do I still have to make the fudge?
And this doesn't count the fact I haven't made their cards yet either...

Oh Dear!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Daughter: "After I brush my teeth, I'll be ready to go to the orthodontist."

Me: "OK, well you know we dont have to leave until 4:30"

Daughter: "I thought we had to be there by 4"

Me: "I thought we had to be there by 5"

Son: "I thought her appointment was at 3:40"

::quickly ran to the calendar to confirm::

Son was right...

Yikes! It was 3:20 and we had exactly 20 minutes to get to the orthodontist. It takes 25 minutes in good traffic, we made it two or three minutes late. I dont know where I got it in my head that her appointment was at 5, except that I have been making a lot of different appointments lately for physicals and dentists and eye check ups. Now we have one more to add. She goes back in six months for her final visit.

Monday, February 11, 2008

There are several bloggers that will be blogging live this week as they take a trip to Uganda for Compassion. I have added a banner to my sidebar that will take you to their blogs so you can keep up with what they hear and see and think as they take this trip. Click on "Read" to get a list of individual blogs that are participating.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Before this blog goes totally to the dog, I have to announce the
Demise of Froggie...

Froggie was Bayley's faithful friend, since Christmas anyways. Bayley liked to greet us, especially my husband Jay at the door with Froggie in his mouth.
But now, Bayley's Froggie is just a shadow of who he once was and is probably headed to the trash can within the next few days.
So long Froggie!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Bayley getting a snack before bed. Two videos, double the fun.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

A fluffy paw

This was before the haircut from this past sunday.
I made the comment that it sort of reminded me of a chocolate chip cookie.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

As seen on a sign at our local Sonic:

"Now Hiring Attractive and Smart People"

Ouch! Guess I wont be applying there any time soon. ;)

Very surprised they were bold enough to put that up on the sign. My guess is they meant it as an attention getter. It worked.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Last night I had a dream. I woke up and to my relief it was just a dream. Whew!

I dreamed that I walked into the living room to find my daughter ready for work wearing one of those tube top things with tattoos all over her chest. She even had some precious moment tattoos on her. Some of the tattoos were verses of scripture. In my dream I was horrified. I was so distraught that my daughter would have that many tattoos(well any permanent tattoos at that!) and that she had on this bright blue tube top to go to work. I remember telling her in the dream that God said to write His word on her heart, NOT ALL OVER HER BODY SKIN!!!

In the dream, she also informed me she had spent $500.00 on her tattoos! No words, even in my dream, I was speechless.

So in the dream, to help calm mama down, we all went on a trip to a hotel. This hotel had bacon. I also lost my airwalk crocs. I woke up at this moment after spending time searching high and low for my shoes.

When I first saw my daughter this morning I had to tell her my dream. I believe she was just as horrified. As I told my husband, he just started laughing. (I had started laughing too at the absurdity of it all). He wanted to know when my daughter's workplace had changed uniforms from the burgundy polo shirts to bright blue tube tops...LOL. We also laughed at the fact that some of the tattoos were precious moment tattoos.

Now if for some reason you came to my blog because you did a search (as I did this morning for kicks) looking seriously for a precious moment tattoo, or you have a tattoo, or you have scripture tattoos, dont hate me. It is just that my daughter is so very modest and conservative in her dress and would not ever entertain the idea of getting a tattoo. (at least not in this part of her life) This would be very unlike her, or her parents as we too are pretty conservative. She certainly wouldn't have them ALL OVER HER CHEST! Tattoos may be great for other folks, just not for everyone and certainly not something we would expect here, on our daughter.

So we had our good laugh this morning over this and then over finding real life pictures of precious moment tattoos, and then again in the car as we ran errands. We did wonder what would have prompted me to dream such an absurd dream like I did. We really couldn't pin point it very well. The only thing that MIGHT come to mind is that perhaps I am starting to process her turning 18 later this year and that she will indeed make choices at some point in her life (as I did) that wont always line up with what I might would make for her. She will have her own life to live and things she will need to do as she grows.

It's either that or those quesadillas are still speaking to me here two days later!

Sunday afternoon, I opened up my "barber shop" by pulling down an old sheet and pulling out the clippers. I really dont know what I am doing, but how can you really go wrong with a set of sheers? (Don't answer that, I may not really want to know) I remember when we bought this pair of sheers we have now that we have used for many years. They came with a VHS tape about how to cut hair. I never watched much of it, but it provided a half hour enjoyment for my kids on how to cut hair with the sheers. They especially enjoyed the segment about how to give a "mushroom cut". I dont know that it is a good idea to let your five and seven year old watch this kind of video as it might plant ideas into their minds for later, but we never had an incident because of this stored up information. I knew to keep the sheers on very high shelf in my kitchen.

I am sort of getting ahead of myself though in this story. I really should start at the very beginning because as Julie Andrew sings in the Sound of Music, It's a very good place to start. ;)

My husband and I had been married one month. This also coincided with my parent's 30th wedding anniversary. We went out to eat with my parents and then came back to our house to share the top part of our wedding cake. We had heard from various people that the cake really isnt good if you wait a year to eat your top part, and so throwing tradition out the window in favor of our own, we thought it would be a perfect way to celebrate our first month as well as my parent's 30 years. It was a nice evening.

After my parents went home, Jay and I were just talking and not doing a lot of anything. Jay needed a haircut, but really hated going to get it cut. No one would really cut it the way he wanted it cut (off, sheered totally-very short). They always told him that it would stick out if he cut it too short. (forgetting the fact that right now with it getting so long it wasnt exactly bouncing and behaving the way he would like it to do either. I offered to cut it. I didn't know what I was really doing, or the commitment I was making by showing that I was willing. We didn't have sheers (yet), but a nice pair of scissors. I started snipping here and there and it really didn't look that bad. My husband has what I call affectionately "straw hair". It is very dry and wavy. I was able to cut it and it would blend in so well, hiding any imperfections that were sure to be happening as I cut. He was happy. Not only was I now his wife, I was now apparently his barber.

Important (though you might wonder how), but it snowed that night, several inches. We didn't go anywhere for a day or two as North Carolina dug out from it's wonderful fluffy snow.

Throughout those first years of marriage, I really can only remember Jay going somewhere to get his hair cut just a time or two. He really wanted me to do it. He would beg and plead for me to cut his hair. I would eventually give in and do it. I was really scared to sheer him though. What if he hated it and then that was it? Marriage over, love gone. Sniff. But no, He loved it. He loved that I would cut his hair. I would get covered by his hair and it was a big clean up ordeal, but it made him happy and saved us a few dollars here and there. Our marriage was stronger than a couple of weird wife done haircuts apparently.

Eventually somewhere along the line I borrowed my mom's sheers and began using them. Jay loved it even more.

Then we got a dog. His name was Scotty. I started cutting his fur as it would grow out. He was pretty compliant in the process. So I would cut Jay's hair and then Scotty's fur. It was messy, but needed.

Somewhere in there, We had a daughter. I tried cutting her hair. After a bad experience right before Christmas when she was two, I gave up doing more for her than bangs. She and I would just have to pay for our haircuts. I also had a son born about this time. When he needed his first haircut beyond bangs, I tried. He didn't like it. I tried taking him to the mall. The woman refused to cut his hair because he was crying so hard. I really just wanted him to have a cut. I took him to Jimmy. Jimmy cut hair on Main St. Jimmy somehow found a way to cut this little boy's hair the rest of the way. In Hannah's third birthday party video, you can see the haircut, mess ups and all. He would have to wait a while to let his hair grow out those three attempts. This was the one and only time Christopher ever cried over a haircut. He loved the attention from this point on, and really liked going to see Jimmy. (I even let Jimmy cut my hair a few times here and there. He did a great job)

Eventually we got back on track with home haircuts. I bought a new set of sheers. You know, the set mentioned at the start of this post that came with the video. I started cutting both Christopher's and Jay's hair regularly. It was messy, but somehow became a bonding time. For a while I would just sheer shave Jay's hair and cut Christopher's hair around the edges, just shaving the back of the neck part. It was somewhat a hip hairstyle at the time for the toddler crowd. Eventually even he wanted to be shaved, "like daddy". Ever since, all I need is a good ten minutes spent on both of them and they are good to go for a month or so.

A few years later, we got Bayley. I started cutting Bayley's fur as soon as he needed a trim. He was compliant for about two years. After that, it became a challenge. Bayley would fight, wiggle, run away thinking we might give up and just let it all go. Sometime in there, he started growling at us and snapping at us as we tried to give him a haircut. I also remember him getting away from us midway through a cut and instantly going over to the other side of the room and pooping on my floor. It was not an accident. This dog is meticulous about making sure he makes it outside and not messing in the floor. He was mad and insulting us for even thinking we could cut his hair.

Funny side note: We fell into a pattern where I would take the sheers and the old sheet and would cut my husband's hair, my son's hair and then Bayley's. It would take about two hours start to finish. Then, we started noticing that often after one of these hair cut days in the winter, it would snow, a lot. We thought it was funny and the joke became..."Maybe if we would just shave Jay, Christopher and Bayley, we'll for sure get snow". Somehow about the time we became aware of the coincidence, it stopped snowing when we would shave them.

Meanwhile, because of Bayley's increasing bad behavior during bath and haircut, (and prior to our Cesar Millan awareness) we finally gave in and decided to take Bayley for a good grooming at the vet. They were to wash him and shave him and only if needed, sedate him. Yes, if needed they would sedate our dog so that they could give him a good bath and shave. Amazing. Yes, in the end, he had to be sedated. How sad. When talking to the vet about this, he said it was very common to need to sedate the dog and really shouldn't cause any alarm since it was better than the dog becoming as stressed out as Bayley was becoming. A hundred dollars later, Bayley was shaved, clean and a bit sleepy. It also snowed.

I finally had enough. I bought a muzzle. It took a few tries to find the perfect one. The next time Bayley needed a haircut, I was going to do it. He fought the idea at first. There were a few times when he would get loose from our grasp and get the muzzle off before we were done. We learned what it took to keep him there with us so I could work.

Then we learned about Cesar Millan. That also helped with both the bath and haircutting duties. Somewhere in there too, Bayley mellowed. He seems to be resigned to having a haircut on MY terms. He still will give a small fight, but mostly we just hear him complain about the injustices of his life and world. He comes to me when I call him over to the sheet knowing (sort of like with his bath) what is to come. His head drops, his tail tucks under as he marches slowly over to the fluffy overgrown paw after another. It is quite comical to watch. You really would think the world is coming to an end the way he acts. He is all about the drama! He wears his heart on his sleeve and wants everyone to know of his terrible misfortune that has come upon him in way of "the haircut".

Today, as I said, was haircut day. Both my husband and son have shaved heads and Bayley sports a nice shave as well. I didn't shave his head though, so he still has his teddy bear face. I doubt it will snow today though as the high is suppose to reach the upper 60's. So as I put away my barber gear for another day, I find myself thankful. Thankful that it will be another month or two before I have to


Saturday, February 02, 2008

This past week, I was looking through some recipes at The Pioneer Woman Cooks and ran across an interesting recipe for making quesadillas. I love to EAT quesadillas, but I have never made them myself. The whole idea was beyond me. The recipe at the pioneer woman cooks site, however, had PICTURES and enough instructions that I felt brave enough to try it.

Last night, I took my two kids to buy steak meat (we just buy the cheapo small little steaks; enough for each of us to get a taste of steak without the high price) We also bought onion, zucchini, a green pepper, some roma tomatoes, the tortillas (of course) and some cheese. I put it all in the fridge until this afternoon. I was excited about playing with this food and see if we would come out with anything edible.

After picking my daughter up from work, My husband and I went to work on making this meal. He is my steak cooker and so he got the broiler going while I chopped veggies. I then also started the cooking process. I cooked the peppers, the onions, and the zucchini. I also started "cooking" the tortillas too. (as she says to-I didnt just make that part of "how to" up y'all) Everything was getting really hot. By now the steaks were done and my husband pulled them out of the oven. He sloshed the steak sauce/steak juices over the edge of the broiler pan. (you would think we never have cooked before the way this was going) This liquid came flying at me and the pan I was cooking in. The top of the stove was covered. Things started sizzling, steam started rising. We both stepped back and said, "Whoa!" Then the smoke detector went off. Down the hall, like she has done it all her life, my daughter ran for her pillow to fan the smoke detector so it would quit. Now that I think of it, she has done it her whole life, at least for as long as she could swing a pillow. My son decided it might be a good time to take Bayley out for a potty break as Bayley thinks the whole house is going to fall down around us when the smoke detector goes off. (He very might be on to something there!) I cut the hood fan on and eventually everything went back to the calm roar of before as we finished cooking up the food. Lastly we had to put the tortillas into the oven. We had cooked WAY too much stuff for these four tortillas to hold. I am sure we probably were either suppose to spread out the food into more tortillas or we should have just set some of the veggies aside for another meal. (my husband will gladly eat leftover anything) We waited for them to get done and then added some tomatoes and sour cream. We all took a nice big bite out of the ones we customized for ourselves. They were very good. We might have to play around with this whole idea another time or two to perfect it to our liking, but it was fun and we didn't burn the house down. Once again, we are thankful for another meal and shelter that remains(at least for now) over our heads.