Thursday, February 23, 2006


Finally a smile for Papa who was playing Peek A boo around the corner of the shed
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our new kitty - who still doesn't have a name (BEN??)
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The three get along fairly well, although Frank's nose is quite out of joint. He refuses to sleep on the bed if she is there (she likes to spend the night curled up under my chin) and she doesn't help when she either ignores him or growls at him when he tries to eat with her.
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Did I mention that she's very affectionate and has a very loud and happy purr?
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Our evening laundry folding time where I take the laundry off the lines in the spare room and she sits in her playpen/crib and watches me. What a cutie. :)
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Elmer Fudd
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predicted storms had us outside working on the toolshed in the freezing weather. We brought Emily out and she had a wonderful time
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She sat up without us to support her on her 6 month birthday.
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Piteeeeful
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here is a picture of my sprouter
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sprouts inside
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enjoying her jolly jumper
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in her pretty dress - we were trying to hard to get a smile, and all she did was stare at the cat and dog
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trying to convince me to pick her up
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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Me again

For some reason the normal benjaminstegman.blogspot.com website is not posting the updates I'm writing. So those of you who have both, you need to just keep checking the www.benjaminstegman.blogspot.com and make sure you have the www in front of the old blog address. For some reason those www's are is important and the blog is only updated at the www site, and we know how important it is for all of you to keep reading my posts! (no comments please)
THanks
Heather

Sprouting merrily

Oh, I forgot. After making a royal mess of the trailer again (me and my never ending cleaning and decluttering), I got things organized and the sprouter up and running. Initially it was glad throw away leftover containers inside a tupperware container, but the seeds kept getting washed from the middle to the edge and then floating into the holes for drainage along the edge. So I got out the glue gun and glued raised edges for rows to hopefully keep the seeds where they are supposed to be. I sure hope hot glue isn't toxic. . .
The machine cutely comes on 3 times a day for a minute and the mister sprays the 6 glad containers. Sounds easy, but it took me two weeks to find the parts and 3 nights with Ben's help to get all the hoses connected and leak free. Every time we would attach another hose it would leak in another part. We used an entire roll of teflon tape and three y valves (kept leaking). The one night I just dropped the whole mess in disgust and said I'd had enough of the project. And then Ben suggested it was the fuse and so we ran to Radio shack before it closed and bought more fuses and that motivated me to keep trying. It is now leak free (had to replace another leaky y valve this morning) and I'm rather pleased with it. The leaky y valve was actually spraying everywhere this morning and I had to call for Ben to come from his studying with a classmate in the living room to rescue me. I was holding a towel over the spray and couldn't quite get the cold water valve shut off so it would stop spraying. I sure hope it sprouts nicely - I can never sprout in the jars the way other people do. I forget to water, let them rot, leave them in the water etc. This seemed like an ingenious idea to raise sprouts rather effortlessly.
I really need to go now.
Heather

Short but . . . short

Well, as the title said this will just be short. Tia is pacing because after taking her for a walk once - ONCE - yesterday at 3:30, she has now decided it is a habit and is wanting to go again. How animals do it I will never know.
Franklet, Franklet, Franklet, Franklet. Last night Ben was in bed, and I was on my way. I stood in the door way of the bedroom and saw that Frank was sitting only a couple of feet away in the doorway of the bathroom. I called him and called him and finally closed the door and started to bed, muttering about him. "He never comes when I call, but as soon as the door is closed and I am just sitting on the bed he'll push it open just to drive me crazy."
Three seconds later I was sitting down and pop, the door was open. Ben laughed and said that Frank feels claustrophobic without the door open and that no matter where he was, he would push or pull it open. I realized that I had never timed it or paid too much attention, but knew it would happen. A minute later he was up on the bed patting my face with his soft little paws, trying to get me to lift the covers so he could curl up on my arm.
We usually leave the door pulled against the door frame but not completely shut, so that we can hear if Emily wakes up. Frank knows how to push it open from the hall, or pull it open if he gets locked in the bedroom. It drives me crazy because when the door is open, the kitchen nightlight slightly lights up the bedroom, and I think that's why Frank does it.
So, I finally got tired of the light and got up and closed the door again. I laid back down and a few seconds later, scratch, pull and pop, the door was open and Frank turned around and came back to bed. He also does it when I lay Emily down for her afternoon nap. I try to get him out before I put her down, but he is so comfortable on his little cushion, that he never wants to come. But a few seconds after I close the door behind me, I see little white paws reaching under the door to grab the opposite side of the door and pull it open. He may or may not come out, but it often has the result of waking Emily up as she is not a very sound napper. I became so annoyed at this that I got Ben's pocket knife and made a hole in the door frame for the door knob thingie to stick into so that when we close it, it stays closed like normal doors (sorry, but I can't think of the correct terminology). Now it stays closed, but the cat scratches and I'd rather have a little light than a cat scratching. *sigh*
He also has the most annoying habit of wanting to look out every blind that is closed. And if it is closed he pulls back the edge and bends it over and sticks his head through. We have gone through 2 sets of blinds on the front windows already and I see he has bent the new ones. I guess it is only $3, so that isn't horrible, but it drives me crazy. Veiner used to chew on the blinds, so we could control that with vile flavoured things brushed on, but I can't stop Frank from just bending and looking through. OH, it's annoying! I don't like to open the east blinds because it seems more private to keep them closed (opens right onto the road and looking into another trailer's living room), so I just open the south ones. But I guess the east ones have the interesting view for him, and he perches on the back of the couch and continues to bend the blinds.
Emily is still sound asleep and I laid her down at 1PM. I guess she must be a bit under the weather as she never sleeps for 3 hours at a time. She has got to be the happiest waker upper. When you hear her squawk you just go in and say hello and up pops her head and she smiles and then thumps her head back down and closes her eyes because she is not completely awake. My favorite thing in the day is to go get her and have her smile at me.
Signing off
Heather, Ben, Tia, and Frank the wonder cat

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Enjoying her jolly jumper and the baby spoon we keep tied to it for her to play with.
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Emily taking advantage of the opportunity to stick her feet in her mouth while I was trying one of the new diapers Grandma Nasby made on her.
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She succumbed to our silliness and gave us a smile.
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One night Benski made the most delicious souvlaki and Tklikla (whatever!) sauce to go with it. It had sour cream, dill, onions, garlic, salt and pepper and Emily was thoroughly enjoying it and wondering why we were taking her picture.
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Flowers of a sort

(Written February 4, 2006)
Punky is the word we've used to describe how we feel today, but gling glong is another good term. I believe it was off "That's My Boy" with Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis where Jerry is asked how he feels and he says, "Gling Glong".
At least Emily seemed to be spared from the cold and only coughed a couple of times now and then. I didn't cough but was just good and plugged and now am blowing lots. Ben is teetering on the edge of it, and we are hoping enough Echinacea, vitamin c, selenium, vitamin e and vitamin b will keep it away. I have sure noticed the difference when we take them when we are exposed or think a cold is on its way. I haven't had a cold since we got married and this was the first time: 2 days is nothing to complain about though. Seems like my family is always sick and if I were them, I would start up a petition to get Aaron to stop his job at the hospital or at least stop bringing bugs home. :)
Emily is loud and squawky tonight and probably needs to go to bed. She didn't sleep long enough today and is in a “whaaaa ha ha ha ha” mood (starts with a wail and if you look at her she ends with a laugh). She is into pulling her cute little socks off and sticking her adorable toes in her mouth. Oh for her flexibility! (She definitely did not get it from her parents) She sure loves her jolly jumper and lounges in it constantly. She's figured out how to get it swinging and bounces forward and then lifts her feet up and lets it swing back or vice versa. I did get a couple pictures of her and if I haven't already posted them I'll post them today (that shows you how debilitated I am - I can't even remember what pictures I've posted ;)
And I remembered something I had forgotten. Abigail asked what a Happy Light is. A Happy Light is what Dave's store in Cavalier sells. Although he didn't know he sold them until we phoned up and asked if he had any "Happy Lights". It seems that his wife had suffered a bit of winter depression and several people recommended he try putting up full spectrum lighting where she worked. He put them up in the office etc and it made quite a difference - or so they both feel. So all the Stegmans (us included) were suffering the "holidays are over" blues and they decided to try some of these lights, coining the phrase “Happy Light”. They seem to help them so we picked up some full spectrum bulbs for down here, and while I am going to try using them to start my seeds and sprouts, I'll see if walking by or being in the room with them makes a difference. So far all I noticed was that the florescent bulbs were giving me a doozy of a headache . . .
Well, I guess I'd better quit as my mind is blank, my right ear is itchy, and my feet are cold.
Oh, I remembered something. This past Thursday I finally got everything from the spare room out onto the deck or into our tool shed. I had the floor clean, counters wiped, and was just tickled pink with the tidy place. It just so happened to be the day that Ben was supposed to take his S.O.A.P review from last year's course "intro to clinics" and go over it with the professor in charge of the class. Well, Thursday 1PM rolls around and Ben realizes he can't find his SOAP (acronym for subjective, objective, assessment, and plan - a way of keeping track of all the information that you deal with for a specific problem). So we tore apart the trailer looking for the 4 pages we both had seen the week before. Books were on the floor, binders pulled out of everywhere, couches pulled out but to no avail, as we did not find the SOAP in time. He found a penciled outline to take to the meeting and we all prayed the professor would accept it for correcting as he had yet to receive a grade for that class. She had already looked at the original, marked it and given it back to be reviewed and then brought back to her for discussion. I sat there and prayed and cried and finally when Emily went down for a nap I took myself outside to work on the greenhouse because the sad state in the trailer was depressing me. Ben came back with the joyful news that the professor had accepted it and been impressed with him having a penciled copy. So he did past last semester and we can move on - hopefully never to find that SOAP!
Benski tried making black pepper chicken like the King Buffet serves, but I think the outcome was properly described in his words, "I've given up on making Chinese food." It was good, but tasted like the fajitas I had made for lunch. And then he marinated it in soy sauce, and it was VERY strong soy flavour. I guess we'll just have to consider black pepper chicken a treat for when we can afford an occasional treat.
Franklet has decided it is time to try the occasional dash for freedom - the warm weather is not helping us convince him the trailer is the best place for him to live. He has made it out 3 times now and after calling for him in the dark the first night, I decided to dash after him when he makes it outside. I've learned to head for the path behind the trailer right away, as I can't ever catch him if he makes it there ahead of me. If he gets there first, he darts across the path and sits in the bushes where I can't reach him. How infuriating to have him sit only 5 feet out of my reach! So when he takes off, I run to the path and then parallel his movements so when he comes up to the path I reach down and snatch him. I'm sure he'll figure it out some day (maybe he'll get up more speed than a slow walk and beat me to the path), but for now I lock him in the spare room when the door is open letting in the spring sunshine.
Tia also has spring fever and wants to go play and walking during the day. Every time we get up from a chair she springs up like, "Are we going?" and we have to tell her to lie down again. It is rather annoying as she follows us around, begs constantly and stands with her nose down by the bottom of the door trying to get out. It's even worse when the cat sits at the door with her, both of their noses glued to the bottom of the door.
Now, don't get me wrong when you read the following. I have done my share of gardening - although my Mom was definitely the flower professional as attested to by her beautiful flower beds. But I DO know how to grow things and such. I have simply decided that I am going to find some lovely fake flowers for some of my planters. There, I've said it. Fake flowers. I don't eat them anyway, so why does it matter? Except that my pride rears up its ugly head and says that half the fun is watching the seedling grow into a gorgeous plant you’ve nurtured. And then common sense steps in and tells me that if I could actually watch the seedling grow into a gorgeous plant it might be more worth it. Instead it grows into a stunted plant that never flowers properly and looks pitiful besides the neighbor's lovely yard. I water it, tend it and even resorted to miracle grow last year and still didn't end up with anything similar to the picture on the little plastic card that comes with the plants. What's even worse is that the neighbor never fertilizes or anything and hers are beautiful. It must be in how she plants - her golden/green hands. I should ask to help her plant and see if all the plants I plant in her yard die. . . Well, now my feet are even colder and I finished all the popcorn I had made for our Saturday evening movie marathon. Maybe I'll give up on the movie and have a hot foot bath. ;)
Signing off Heather, Ben, Emily, Tia and Frank