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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

I Miss Weekends

The way I've structured my work weeks, I'm supposed to have two consecutive days off as my weekend.  They're not the typical two days, but they're there.  Although not lately.  I'm not complaining - I gave up one of my last weekend days to nannying - but I do miss them!

As opposed to 99.9% of her contemporaries, Baby Girl hates to have anything (food) on her face, so she is always eager for the warm, wet cloth I give her at the end of her meals.  Notice, "cleaning up" is not limited to the face!  ;)
Better get that belly clean!
And don't forget those toesies!
Also of note, she's usually not one to squabble about diaper changes, but when I set her down to change her diaper on Sunday, she walked out her bedroom door and down the hall, head held high, and clearly exclaimed, "No way, Bopee!  Bye bye!  See you!"  It was ALL I could do to not burst out laughing!  While her words are not always understandable, she obviously has a full comprehension of grammar!  :)

Murphy's Law was smiling on me yesterday when I went outside to tackle the snow.  The truck started right off, no run-down battery.  Then, when I slogged down to clear off the solar panels (a particularly disliked job, just 'cause it's physically awkward to do), Mother Nature had already completed the task!  Whoo-hoo!!

The Internet satellite dish & solar panels, Sunday night.
(I'd had to go down and clear off the satellite dish Sunday night so I could access the Internet.)
And yesterday morning!
I probably spent 2 hours getting the car into the yard, but I didn't mind.  I had a plan, and the plan worked!  After I packed a trail from the car to the driveway a few times with the truck, I parked it there by the car and then drove the car.  
The car, when I left it, Sunday night.  Yes, there's a car somewhere in the dark!
There's the car!  (Yesterday morning.)
Packing the trail from car to driveway.
It took 3 tries to get up the last little slippery hill to the bottom of the driveway, but I did it.  I lost count, however, when it came to getting the car up the only hill of the driveway . . . right where it intersects with the road.  Finally, I decided that I would have to tow it up with the truck.

Attempting the last hill before the driveway.
Action shot of Maisy as I walked back down to retrieve the truck.
Progress:  now the car's at the bottom of the driveway.
One of the last failed attempts at driving the car up the hill of the driveway.  SO close!

I got out to tow rope and got underneath the front of the Yaris to hook it up, but . . . there is NOWHERE to hook a tow rope to on the front of that car!  NO.  WHERE.  So, I jockeyed the car around and put the two vehicles back-to-back.  The two holes in the frame of the rear of the car are relatively small, and I couldn't get the tow rope through them nor a heavy steel hook.  So, I pulled out a strong canoe tie-down and used that to connect the car to the truck.  Then I loaded the dogs into the car so they wouldn't be in the way of the operation and gently eased the truck into gear.

First attempt at towing car up driveway.
We were about halfway up the hill of the driveway, and things were going smoothly when I felt the slightest . . . tug.  Just a tiny one.  I looked in the rear-view mirror and saw Tucker's head, looking out the back of the Yaris, an expression of wonder on his face as the Yaris slowly . . . then gradually picking up speed . . . rolled down the hill, away from the truck!

The picture Tucker painted was so funny that I started laughing . . . until I saw that the heavy snow across from the bottom of the driveway wasn't going to stop the car.  Nope, it was barreling along, right into the woods!

FORTUNATELY, I can look at these things as being pretty darn funny!  (Especially since there was no damage to the car.)  That's a big difference between me and the ex.  While my proverbial glass is always half full, his was always half empty . . . with a hole in the bottom . . . and acid leaking out.  (I don't think he'll argue that point with me, either.  The lifestyle that Swamp River Ridge engenders was just not for him!)  So, with no one upset and me giggling about "Ahhh, the Simple Life!", I went to Plan B.  (The canoe tie-down had obviously broken.)

With the back door of the Yaris open, I had access to a heavy, steel ring, and I attached the tow rope to that, via, the aforementioned heavy steel hook.  Then, dogs in the truck now, since the back door of the Yaris was open, we made Attempt B . . . which worked flawlessly, I'm happy to say!  I only had to get out of the truck and jog back to the Yaris to turn the steering wheel 2 or 12 times.  I must admit that I commented to the dogs, more than once, "I wish you could steer!"  ;)
Now, to get car from Point A (at the right) to Point B (at the left)!
Time to rearrange the parking area in the garage.
It was mid-afternoon by the time I had the snow in front of the garage cleared and the contents of the parking area moved so that I could fit the Yaris in.  I was stuck in the icy snow of the yard, rocking the car back and forth in order to try to avoid having to shovel any more of the cement-like weight when I looked up to see a four-wheel-drive Jeep zip into the yard!  The ex jumped out saying, "Am I just in time?"  We both laughed, and I argued, "Heyyyy, I'm getting it!"

He and his construction boss have been working up on the Rez, and he'd stopped on his way home to deliver the big amount of molding and trim he'd salvaged for me from the job.  It will be perfect kindling!  So, never a girl to look a gift horse in the mouth (or a strong, willing back to shovel incredibly heavy snow), after we unloaded the wood, Tom pushed and shoveled and pushed and shoveled some more . . . and we eventually got the car into the garage.  Then, with a big thanks from me, he was off to his night job.

I left the car in the garage overnight so the majority of the snow would melt . . . leaving me a much nicer atmosphere for changing the tires today.  That's my first task of the day, after I finish this post.

Regarding plowing:  after I saw the shape of the road in the light of day, coupled with the consistency of the snow . . . and adding in the week's temperatures, I've decided that I'm NOT going to plow this first big snowfall.  Why?  Well, until there's a good base, it's inevitable that a good inch or so of the road comes away with the first plowing of the season.  And, since the temperatures are still warm and the snow is easily packable, I'm going to do just that on each of my drives in and out . . . trying for that snow base for plowing.  Besides, I'm still waiting to get the truck in for a pre-plowing tune-up, and I haven't been able to do that yet because of the lack of money . . . AND, the mechanic can't get the truck into his garage with the 9' plow blade on.  So, assuming I can squeak by until the next big snowfall, that's my plan.

Even though I didn't get done what I'd wanted to yesterday (exchange the Halloween decorations for the Thanksgiving ones - I may need to go straight to Christmas), I did get a few more things done once I was inside last night.  Thanks to some Greek Lentil Soup in the freezer from Mama Pea, I coupled that with some fresh-from-the-oven popovers for a good dinner.  Got a batch of dishes done while finishing up my latest audio book.  Did some needed vacuuming since the generator was running, AND got a (also much-needed since I used up the last of my detergent last week) full batch of laundry soap made.  So, it was a limited weekend . . . but a profitable one!

Popovers, before.
Popovers, after!
And so, with that, it's off to change some tires I go!


  1. Your dad just came downstairs from his office as I finished reading this post. I said to him, "Go read our daughter's post she just got up." He said, "I just finished reading it and I'm exhausted." Ditto.

    You've either got to adopt a 15-year old boy, or teach one of the dogs how to drive.

    And, hey! That's my cast iron popover pan you're using!

  2. Hey, don't go trying to steal my popover pan like you did the large colander!

    A couple of the girls I got to know this summer through that management job have suggested my adoption of a 16 or 17-year old son . . . but for different reasons, altogether. ;)

  3. Like a friend with benefits????? I am humbled by your day. I imagine that you would HAVE to have a sense of humor in order to put up with that amount of *inconvenience*. I often look at the dogs and say, "if you don't learn to walk-feed-drive yourself, there goes your allowance." To no avail, I might add. And popovers! What a great idea. I love them and never think of making them.

  4. This was just an AWESOME post! Girl Power! I saw one of the squadron wives today and she saw my cart full of oil, filter, winter bug juice, etc and said "What are you going to do with THAT?" My lovely Finnegan said "Mommy's going to change the oil this weekend"... all I got was a blank stare from this woman, she looked mortified! I have to email this post to one of my brothers down in St Paul, they have a Yaris, he'll get a kick out of it! Love and hugs, you are a true inspiration!

  5. Oh my gosh! How could you NOT laugh at the dog 'steering' the car as it just goes bye-bye!? Sorry, but I really did laugh and I am soooo glad you get the humor in that! Life is easier that way!

    You sure have been busy!

  6. P.S. A younger man does the trick! Trust me! I vote that you get one that is at least legal though! Then whatever you do is girls business!

  7. I thought I had a busy day, but you win!!!How great that you and Tom still get along and he's willing to lend a hand on occasion-that's not usually the case. Hope you get some rest and enjoy at least a few minutes of down time.

  8. Oh my goodness!!! I think I would have sh*t if I saw my car take off without me. My dog won't help with chores either!

    I'm tired just reading your post even if I (& friend) worked to get the chicken pen fence and pavers moved ... no matter what - I'm tired, and I hurt sooo bad. I still need to clean up the old pen area - about 6-8 inches of straw and chicken poop! and move straw bales. and rinse tarps. and move old wood to the burn pile. Now I'm really tired.
    Hugs to you

  9. There is nothing simple about living out in the country---but it does have its benefits, as you thankfully know. You're one tough cookie and give voice to all the independant women out there.

  10. Chicken Mama, I just loved this post!! :) I wonder if you were a bit sore the next day? What a fiasco! Those pop overs look so delicious, so now I think I'm going to have to go and make some - except I'm out of butter (and have been so sorry about that all day). I'm a bit of a butter addict!

  11. Susan, the only "benefits" I want from this hypothetical friend are a strong back and an insatiable desire to do physical labor (for no money, of course)! ;)

    Erin, Miss Pot Calling The Kettle Black: Grrrl Power! Right back atcha!

    Ms. Apple Pie: "A younger man does the trick! Trust me!" Ohhhh, really now??? Care to share?! ;)

    Becky, no winning between us all - I think we're ALL incredible, strong women here! :)

    Yvette, maybe that's what's "wrong" with me: that I DIDN'T panic! I probably SHOULD have! Ha! And, GOOD JOB on the chicken pen! Winter's here to stay, and I STILL haven't done the fall cleaning of the chicken house. (What a hateful job . . . at least the end result is SOOOOO satisfying!!)

    Sue, you could NOT have given me a more encouraging, complimentary comment with "you . . . give voice to all the independent women out there"! Thank you, thank you, I will treasure that one. xo

    And, Patty, YES, I was a bit sore . . . but I'm not admitting that to anyone. ;) And, yeah, popovers are SO easy, AND they have such a good "Oooooh, Aaaah" visual impact when they come out of the oven!


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