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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

Friday Already?

Okay, it's official now:  I'm starting to stress about Christmas.  A couple of weeks ago, I thought of the plan to close the office for a week in December so that I could have that chunk of time here at home to prep for the holidays.  But now and seemingly suddenly, there's only one solid week BETWEEN today and Christmas!  How did THAT happen?!!!  So, I think I'm gonna close up for next week, save Saturday, the 18th, when I'll put out the sandwich board and see if I can grab any holiday shoppers.

On Monday, I need to go to the eye doctor - my first trip as an adult.  When I was small, I was diagnosed with a weak left eye (everyone on my dad's side of the family seemed to get it) and began a very short regime of progressive eye exercises.  Whether they did any good or not (I don't think I followed the program long enough), I haven't needed any glasses . . . until these last several weeks when up-close reading has been difficult (compounded, I'm sure, by the increase of intense computer work).  Then, when I was at NAPA a month or two ago to pick out a new headlight bulb for the truck, I COULD NOT read the teeny-tiny print on the boxes.  That experience really pointed out the necessity to me.  A week or so ago, I went through some of the ex's old glasses and found a pair that works well for reading at night.  So, those now live on my bedside table and allowed me to easily read the article on Marina Abramović last night in bed that My Girl had clipped and saved for me.  (She fascinates me, this self-described "grandmother of performance art".)  Anyway, I'm interested to hear what the optometrist has to say.

I had The Peanut for an overnight on Wednesday.  Her mama is expecting Baby #2, a boy baby (yayyyyy!), AND her birthday was on Monday, so, to celebrate, Mommy and Daddy headed down to the big city for an overnight, a movie, and some shopping.  The Peanut and I had been invited to Mama & Papa Pea's for dinner, and I've been a little concerned about the fact that the last couple of times we've stopped there, The Peanut has moaned, "But, I don't WANT to!"  Actually, it was beginning to freak me out a bit.  She's always LOVED spending time there and, often, it's been hard to drag her away.  Needing to pick the dogs up at the groomer's very shortly, we weren't at the Pea Household (hee hee) very long, but The Peanut was being a bit of a pill . . . refusing to come to the table for dinner and just, basically, not minding me and being impolite.  Finally, I took her into another room and we had A Talk.  And, not that it excused her behavior, but I finally understood:  our time together is so limited and she's at an age where she takes thing VERY LITERALLY . . . that she "thought it was going to be like this" (when we were in the other room together).  I.e., JUST the two of us.  When we're at Mama & Papa Pea's (which is, not coincidentally, most often when we're on our way to Swamp River Ridge), she has to share me with them.  And, that's where the unhappiness comes in.

So, after a conversation about that but also with a reminder about manners and following direction, she grudgingly came to the table and ate a little of the food in front of her.  Then, we were off to pick up the dogs, finish up our errands, and head home.  It's all a learning process, and I'm glad she was able to help me understand how she felt.  In the future, I think our visits to Grandma J and Papa R will come at the END of our time together, and I'll bet that will make the experience 100% better.  (And, heck, I totally get it:  that's precisely why I ASK for overnights with her because, otherwise, I, too, am "sharing" her with everyone else at family functions, birthday parties, etc.!)

The temperature rising from the single digits (it was 1 when we got home Wednesday night) to around 20 degrees (the ideal temperature for snow accumulation) yesterday, it snowed and blew, blew, blew all day.  I transferred all our gear, car seat, etc. to the truck last night for the drive into town, and we had to plow the 4 1/2 miles out to the main road.  I was surprised that The Peanut had never accompanied her dad or papa (paternal grandpa) plowing, and so I was explaining all the aspects of it to her, including the flashing yellow light revolving on top of the cab.  I told her that I needed it because I was plowing a road that is, technically, a public one.  And, the flashing light was to warn other drivers (not likely) and snowmobilers (very likely) of my approach and to use caution around such a large vehicle.  She was quiet for a few beats, processing that information, and then said, very matter of factly, "Good planning!"  Ha!!!  She hasn't even been three years old for a month yet, and she came out with that!  And that's one of the reasons I love her so.  :)

When I was out doing chores yesterday, I was brought back to one of the conversations I've had with Mom about her leaving me, as a 2-year old, alone in the house when she went out to do chores.  Mom would oftentimes get me settled with a bunch of books for me to "read", and off she'd go to tend to the livestock or haul in wood.  I remember chiding her, exclaiming, "You left a TWO YEAR OLD ALONE IN THE HOUSE?!!!"  And that was with wood stoves burning hot, etc.!  Mom said, "Of course!  You knew the rules."  (And, of course, think of homesteaders of yore - children were taught, so much earlier than now, the hazards of their surroundings and what was acceptable and what was not.)  So, it struck me as I was outside, hauling wood to the outside furnace and transferring everything from one vehicle to another in the short-lived blizzard that, suddenly, I was doing exactly the same thing.  And had I thought twice about it?  Of course not.  The Peanut is (conveniently) raised in an off-grid home, too, that heats with wood.  She knows to stay away from the hot stoves, she knows what behavior is important.  She knows to come to the door and holler for me if something's wrong.

Here she is, dotted by a few smudges of ink from our stencils and ink stamping project yesterday morning:

I took the above picture from the front entrance this morning.  Probably got between 5-7" yesterday, but it was hard to tell with the blowing winds and drifting.  Notice how I haven't shoveled the front path ONCE yet this winter?  That's on the To Do Before Christmas list.  Certainly need to re-open the path to the side door, too!

And, looking to the southeast and Tucker running in with his newly shorn coat.  He looks like an itty-bitty Chihuahua in this picture, but, believe me . . . he's NOT!

Wish I could stay home with my heating pad today.  Don't feel well at all.  Old "phantom pains" from the days pre-hysterectomy.  The pituitary gland still sends the message to the gut to "cramp, cramp, cramp, SHOVE that egg out!" . . . even when there's nothing to cramp nor any eggs to shoot through non-existent tubes!  (Any of you post-hysto gals struggle with this?)  Owwwwieeee.


  1. Glad you got some Peanut time! I wouldn't worry much about the going to your parent's thing, it's the age. I have found that the term "terrible twos" is kind of a misnomer, for myself and several of my friends, it hit at age 3. They are struggling with wanting more independence and (rightly so) having it denied LOL! They will assert themselves at whatever situation arises. Even if you take them somewhere fun like ice cream or hot chocolate, no doubt their taste "preference" has changed or they start counting the sprinkles and it's unsatisfactory LOL! You did a great job having a talk, that goes a long way... removing them from their audience and having a chat, well done! Unfortunately, I think this phase lasts until they leave home.... ha ha ha! I sympathize with you on the pains, the past 2 months I get the knife stabbing pains, followed by the 3 day migraine, now the hot flashes... again! Although this time the menopause is real and on Mother Nature's schedule instead of courtesy of a pharmaceutical company. Hey you might want to be open when the ski-trip Twin Cities types get in to town for Christmas vacation, they might make some impulse buys! Are you near a restaurant or pub? If so, hang some blinking lights on your sandwich board and grab their attention!

  2. The Peanut is starting to use her thought process. She just doesn't know when it's appropriate yet. You "did good" with taking her aside and having a talk, and most importantly, listening to her.

    I hope you find relief from the cramps. I had cramps until they took out the ovaries too. Nine years between operations, but the relief was sooo great. I still get hot flashes and mood swings, but nothing else.


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