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"Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful."
- Unknown

"That which does not kill you, makes you stronger."
- Handed down through the ages.

"Life's tough. It's even tougher when you're stupid."
- John Wayne

Clean Snow Again

Good morning!

We finally got a dusting (maybe an inch) of snow last night to cover up the ugliness that old snow becomes. Now it's pretty outside again. :)

One of my mantras has become "ONE of these days I'll (followed by whatever it is that I want to accomplish)." And, I know many believe that "one of these days" evolves only into "NONE of these days", but I have to believe in the former in order to keep moving forward . . . trying to slog through all that needs to be accomplished. Otherwise, there is no hope! It struck me yesterday, while I was taking one of those required "breaks" in the upstairs bathroom, that there is NOWHERE that I can look in our house (or outside here at Swamp River Ridge, really) where I don't see something that has to be done. I'm already planning (stressing about) the new garden in my head . . . thinking about the fencing that needs to be ordered (and paid for!) to enclose it from the moose and rabbits and whatnot . . . thinking about getting it plowed up . . . thinking about plotting it out and what I want to plant . . . thinking about how big a garden I can manage . . . thinking about the other things that will fall to the wayside due to the time the garden will require . . . thinking that I'm still out of vacuum cleaner bags, and the rugs DESPERATELY need to be vacuumed . . . . Aaaaaghhhh! Calgon, take me away!!!!!!!!!

We are currently searching for a new (used) vehicle. Tom's Subaru Outback is dead. Anyone want it? Of course, this death occurred right AFTER (within days!) we'd sunk $1,500 into it to keep it running in tip-top shape. We would have been much better served to have hit a deer with it, gotten it declared totaled, and collected the insurance money! Too bad life never quite works that way. Anyway, my zippy little Soccer Mom Subaru Forester (minus the kids and soccer balls) will become his car, and I'll get the larger (but still economically practical) vehicle I've wanted: a . . . I know, I know . . . minivan! Ideally, I wanted a Suburban, but I can fit a LOT into a minivan while still maintaining fairly normal mileage (per gallon). We're pretty well settled on a Toyota Sienna. Stay tuned.

[I'm sure a few of you are wondering, "But WHY does she NEED a bigger vehicle?" Well, by hook or by crook, I end up with a STUFFED car every time I go to town - whether it's with the Forester or the pickup! First, there are the two dogs which always have to be with me when Tom's at work during the day. They take up an entire "compartment". Then, when I only get to town 1x a week (at most), there are oodles of stops to make including the usual 3-4 bags of groceries. Add to that the cooler for raw milk at the local farm. Then, there is sometimes the wood shavings that I buy from the lumber yard for the chicken's litter. And, on the way home, I'll often stop at our massage therapist's to pick up the 2 or 3 heaping baskets full of laundry . . . or deliver clean sheets to her. Finally, don't forget the large mail tub from the post office! Since we get down to pick up our mail so seldom, they just accumulate it in a big tub since it won't fit into our mailbox after a day or two! It all adds up!]

We were going to have a get-together out here at Swamp River Ridge on Sunday with my folks and another couple, but we've had to postpone a week. My folks' dog, Zoey, was horribly attacked by their neighbor's dog. Unfortunately, it wasn't the first time, but it WAS the worst. Very, very bad. And, AFTER the first time, the owner had promised to not let his dog roam . . . but so much for that. Poor Zoey had to get around 36 stitches in her belly as well as treatment for the 4-5 puncture wounds on a rear leg. I wish she'd gotten at least one solid bite into her attacker, but I don't think she did. She's been so miserable, particularly at night, that neither she nor my folks have gotten much sleep since it happened. But, yesterday, she did lay down on her tummy for the first time, so that's progress. Poor girl. :(

A bit of administration I've been forgetting to mention for ages: we have an actual homepage up with links to our different websites! It's at www.swampriverridge.com. You'll see many links there to my passion: our family history. I've gotten some neat pictures up, too - with more to come! One amazing discovery that the family tree work has produced (and proves, more than ever, that it's a small, small world!): Tom's side of the family is related to one of the larger families that lives on the local reservation - where he works! They all had the same surname (Tom's) a couple of generations ago, and then one of the men shortened/changed it upon immigrating to America from Canada! Cool, huh?!

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