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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

A Good Day

I anticipate today to be a good day! You?

I took care of the peanut yesterday. We stopped at my folks' for a quick visit & to drop some things off before meeting friends for lunch (The Pregnant One and her hubby).

Here's Papa R helping the peanut into her warm clothes for heading back out into the below-zero weather.

For The Pregnant One's hubby and the peanut, it was love at first sight! Normally shy around strangers (and who isn't?!) the peanut let J take off her mittens, etc. when we got into the restaurant and then, after lunch, said that she wanted him to read to her! So, over she went and crawled right up into his lap for not one, but TWO books! As we walked out, J, walking in front of us, suddenly exclaimed, "Man, I fell head over heels in LOVE today!" (Just wait until that baby girl of his pops out - THEN he'll know what head-over-heels in love REALLY is!)

These same dear friends, after taking the peanut and me out to lunch (!), insisted that Tom and I stop by their house for dinner last night. No rainchecks would be accepted: dinner was already all planned, and we were to "come hungry!"

I tell ya, you have to be careful around these two: they have ears like . . . I dunno, what animal has terrific hearing? Anyway, we must have mentioned, once, that tacos were one of my favorite foods and that it was the same for Tom & BLTs. So, there was a SPREAD of everything you could possibly want for tacos plus everything you could possibly need for BLTs including the hugest pile of bacon I have ever seen prepared for just 4 people! (And, groan, it was pretty much ALL gone when we left. As The Pregnant One said, "Well, I know Tom likes to nibble.") ;)

So, nope, no baby news yet. Other than the fact that mama is finally starting to look uncomfortable! She spent most of the evening on her feet last night which was hard for us all to watch, but I think she gets miserable quite quickly when she sits. Matter of fact, the examination aspect of her weekly visits are getting a little tricky since she begins to pass out whenever she lays on her back: Baby is pressing on . . . something (!) . . . causing the oxygen to her brain to be cut off. Anyway, we're all on Stand-By: ready to move at a moment's notice. She'll be at 41 weeks on Monday. I can't WAIT to hold that precious little bundle! My only hope is that I don't drown her in my tears which are sure to be falling! :)

I finally finished the set of 5 grandbaby / cousins hats (depending on which generation you are in the family), and Tom delivered them yesterday. I can't wait to hear how they were received! I asked for a copy of the image of the eventual family photo that these are for, and I'll be sure to post it when it arrives.

Pinecone, our young porcupine, is still with us. With the mercury scheduled to drop below zero the other night (which it did), I was concerned about him/her having something a little more protective than the open corner of the woodshed for a home. So, after tossing various ideas around in my head, I finally settled on a small galvanized barrel turned on its side and filled with fresh pine shavings. (The Mammals of Minnesota book told me that they normally hole up in hollow logs, so I thought the barrel-on-its-side might be a decent replica.)

Pinecone IS in his/her "house" in this picture.
If you look closely, you can see the very ends of his/her quills.

I wondered how long it would take for him to feel comfortable enough (IF s/he ever did!) to use it, but s/he was in it that night! Last night, when Tom and I returned home, s/he was out and about, so I had the opportunity to take a peek inside to see what kind of burrow had been made in the pine shavings. Wellllll, wouldn't you know: nearly all the shavings had been kicked out, and there was just a shallow layer on the bottom / side of the can?! Hmph. Oh, well, Pinecone has the right to decorate his house however he wishes. ;)

And, to answer your questions, yep, the porcupine and the dogs (and Annie Blue) have been getting along just fine! Dunno if that's due to Pinecone's obvious youth or if he just knows we aren't going to hurt him? Tucker still tries to be his friend and play when they meet outside (Pinecone's corner of the woodshed is blocked off to the dogs now), and he's had more than one occasion of coming to Tom or me with a snoot full of quills . . . but until we notice something "strange" about his face, Tucker never seems to mind! (Dumb dog.) Anyway, it's a very fun thing to be experiencing!

Speaking of wild critters, Tom asked me yesterday, "Which way did you drive out this morning?" When I told him that I'd gone via the JL road (the more scenic route), he said, "Ohhh, you should gone the other way!" I asked, "Why?! WHAT did you see?" Just a mile or so down the road from Swamp River Ridge, he came upon 2 bull moose standing together in the road! He thought they were about 3 years old, so not huge . . . but they had nice racks, all the same. In a month or so, it will be time to go "back-tracking" (as the Daddy To Be calls it): following moose tracks (in the direction from which they came so as not to come upon them & startle them) when we see them in search of sheds!

We'll get the Christmas tree today. Ideally, I like to get it the weekend after Thanksgiving, but that was the weekend of the community center Christmas sale this year, and then last weekend was the local arts festival . . . so here we are: much closer to Christmas than I'd like to be, but what are ya gonna do? So, that's on the schedule plus Christmas decorating and hopefully some bread making. I'll letcha know how it goes. ;)


  1. What a nice post! Kinda surprised to hear that Pinecone is still very much a resident of Swamp River Ridge. How many porcupines do you know that live in somebody's woodshed . . . with two curious dogs and a cat right there in his face? You both emit something that attracts animals, wild and otherwise. Have you noticed? (Come to think of it, that applies to your attracting small children, too!) I think it's all good.

  2. The hats are beautiful! That is incredible about the porcupine, I didn't realize he had a name :) ! Love hearing about the vagrant living in the shed, lol!

  3. Mom, yeah, unusual animal things do seem to happen around us both. I wonder "what's up with that"?!

    Erin, thanks! (And, thanks for commenting - that's always so huge for me: to see comments.)

    I just named Pinecone the other day, #1 because he's been around so long that it felt impersonal to keep saying "the porcupine" and #2 because I keep forgetting what these critters are CALLED! And, I always start with, "Pine . . . pine . . . I know it's something 'pine'!" Hence, Pine . . . ummm, sure, how 'bout 'Cone'!

  4. Moose! You have moose?! I am so jealous-that's my heart's desire to see one. We actually spent two weeks in northern Michigan last summer with the express purpose of seeing even just one. We went home disappointed! Glad you have that blessing in your own back yard.

  5. OH my pinecone the porcuine. What next... Maybe one of the moose The hat are very nice.

    Glad that your interenet is working

  6. I love that you named the porcupine - and that he's still there! Reminds me of the band of skunks that used to follow my grandfather around.

    And those hats are adorable! Makes me wish I knew how to crochet / knit.

  7. Becky, yup, we have moose! Unfortunately, we don't have nearly as many as we used to. The warming temperatures and outbreak of brain worm is REALLY reducing their numbers & pushing them farther north. So, we're appreciating them while we can! I wish there was something we could do to ensure that they stay around us, but we can't. :(

    We have friends from Minneapolis (now Sedona) who are determined to spot one each time they're up . . . and have yet to do so. Murphy's Law, of course! :)

    Jean, I still don't have a single good picture of a moose. That will be a real coup if I ever get one!

    And, Erin & Jenyfer, thanks for the compliments on the hats. I can't wait to see how they fit & look on the wee ones!

  8. So, couldn't resist addressing the medical ? mark in your blog. When preggo lies on her back, the weight of the baby, uterus, etc cut off blood return from the lower body to the heart (through the inferior vena cava). This makes the heart fill less, so the blood pressure drops and that is why your friend feels faint!

  9. Love the name Pinecone - perfect! My dogs would never be accepting of him/her.

    Just a FYI - The color of the comments (showing up when I am logged in) is hard to read.


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