Friday, April 28, 2006


Looking pitiful because she wants a walk and I haven't taken her yet. (that's what I was going to do while Ben was gone studying . . .)
All Rights Reserved

This is Becky (and Ben's study couch in the back with all his books for finals)
All Rights Reserved

Mocha picks the oddest places to sleep
All Rights Reserved

Emskers pulled herself up on the couch and wsa very proud of herself
All Rights Reserved

she was headed towards the dog dish and I just told her no and spoiled her fun.
All Rights Reserved

Telling me how pretty it is
All Rights Reserved

This is how she crawls a lot now - Mowgli style on her hands and feet instead of her hands and knees. It's rather adorable. Here she had just discovered sleeping Tia's identification tag and had a huge smile on her face (you can see her chubby cheeks are pushed up from smiling)
All Rights Reserved

"You're going to pick me up aren't you?"
All Rights Reserved

She can easily pull herself into a stand now and was hanging onto my chair wanting to be picked up
All Rights Reserved

As soon as she knew I was paying attention she came over to be picked up.
All Rights Reserved

Caught her smiling and saying hello to the reflection of herself in the oven door. (she was helping me sweep up papers. . .)
All Rights Reserved

Here's little Emskers gingerly crawling around the floor - she has knees as sensitive as her parents :)
All Rights Reserved

Monday, April 24, 2006

long lapse

Wow, 11 days since I posted last. It doesn't seem like it was that long. I'm waiting for Benski's 2 inch thick steak to finish cooking so we can return some library stuff and then get the rest of my irrigation supplies. Then I can work in the dark again til it is working and I squint with a flashlight to see if water is coming out the holes . .
Oh, Benski just told me that if I wanted to make him very happy I would fry his eggs for him (steak and eggs). It seems there is a theory among the men in our family that women are the only people that can fry good eggs (although after eating some of their eggs I might agree ;) So I shall go make him happy - awfully easy to do!
Actually, Ben makes very delicious tex mex scrambled eggs.
The last few days I've been busy planting the front and side gardens and then a few pots for the porch. In order to be able to leave for a month and not come back to dead plants, I decided to make a low cost irrigation system. It utilizes my alfalfa sprouter timer to water every couple days and then just 1/2 inch pipe with 1/4 inch tubes to the plants. Sure works dandy - well did til the plumber used the hose to wash his plumbing snake and turned my irrigation upside down. But I'd rather have a working toilet than watered plants.
Speaking of toilets. . . for a few days now, I have been complaining about a horrible smell in the house. Like the smell you get from an open pipe under your sink etc. Sewer. Ben never seemed to smell it until yesterday when he was sitting on the swing listening to his wind chimes. He opened the trailer skirting and came in looking ill. There was a good 4 inches of septic overflow waste under the trailer and the pipe coming from the toilet was broken off at the elbow and under another 8 inches of muck. We stressed, looked at it again, backed off, faint from the fumes and went into the trailer to decide what to do. I don't know why I was surprised. Being a Nasby I should have known that at some point I would be diving into a sewer or well (I'll leave that for another day). We decided that we would hold off phoning somebody til the next day to avoid weekend calls, and then picked up a shop vac to suck up some of the liquid to see if we could repair it ourselves. I sucked all the fluid I could up, as I can stomach things like that more easily (Ben is the blood and guts man and I'm the . . .).
Oh, Ben and Emily say the steaks are ready. They both set the table and the food is getting cold, so I'll have to finish later
Heather

Does it get any cuter than this??!?!?
All Rights Reserved

busy crawling with a smile on her face
All Rights Reserved

learning to pull herself up into a standing position (to reach papers. . .)
All Rights Reserved

being cute playing with her floor mat
All Rights Reserved

enjoying some scrambled eggs
All Rights Reserved

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I never want to live in Kansas. . .

If this is what it is like to live in Tornado Alley, I never want to live in kansas. I'm getting oh so tired of tornado warnings, thunderstorms, high winds - I thought Saskatchewan was windy, but this is ridiculous. At least once a week we've had severe thunderstorms, downpour and high winds for the past month. Last time was just 3 nights ago and it blew over my greenhouse and demolished it. I decided not to rebuild it, and then in the heat yesterday rebuild it quickly LOL. I haven't finished putting braces up, just fixed the plastic and rescrewed uprights back together, and looked ahead to the forcast for the weekend to see they are warning high winds and thunderstorms. THen a few minutes ago I got another severe weather warning with tornado watch til midnight tonight. Ben and I bought rope and bolts to bolt the greenhouse to the railroad ties, and I said we'd have to do it before the weekend, but it looks like we'll be doing that tonight.
On another positive note, we are having record highs in and out of the trailer. 88F this afternoon and supposed to stay like this over the weekend - perfect tornado weather. Yesterday I was reminded of the wonderful heat trap this trailer becomes in hot weather - it is always 10-15 degrees warmer inside the trailer than outside in the summer. So when it is 80 outside it is 95 inside. Always cooler to sit under a tree outside and hope for a breeze than sit in the trailer where the cross winds don't seem to cool the interior down. I decided I was going to die this summer if I didn't do something, so last night I opened all the windows to cool it down overnight. About 8AM when it was still 60 outside, I shut the windows and hung heavy quilts up on the south and east windows. The extra door and south window in the trailer I had already put foam board on and caulked around, so I am not too worried about that. Then I kept the front door closed and if I went out I raced in and out quickly. I was tickled pink to see that it stayed the same temperature inside the trailer as it was outside. 78 outside, 78 inside. How wonderful - til it reached 88 and it felt like we were in an 88 degree cave (windows covered LOL). So I hung another blanket at the entryway of the hall, turned the air conditioner and fan on and we finally have it around 79 in the living room/kitchen while it is still 88 outside. Our air conditioner isn't the most efficient, so I considered putting the one we have stored for the bedroom in the living room also, but when I walked to the bedroom and found it was 100 degrees in the area we have blocked off, I realized we either need an air conditioner down there to sleep or else we need to sleep in the living room. I am certainly amenable to sleeping in the living room, but need to put Emily where it is cool so will have to figure out what I can do about that.
I also decided we are not going to cook this summer. We had a lovely light tomato, cucumber, cheese, pepper, feta and lettuce salad with a piece of grilled kielbasa on the side for lunch but for supper I made the mistake of making crustless pizza which raised the temperature of the house 2 degrees. I've only had the oven on for about 20 minutes, so can't imagine what would happen if I was roasting something in the oven. I dug the crock pot out yesterday to use and found it heated the kitchen as much as the oven would, so it's going outside to cook food. I also want to get one of those countertop element thingies (think I saw one I might be able to borrow in our loft in ND)so I can fry, crock pot, or grill all our food outside. Then with the trailer pool available to Emily and I, we should be set.
Speaking of Feta, I splurged and bought a gallon of unhomogenized whole milk from the local creamery (still pasturized, just not homogenized) and made us some feta. Knowing how horrible it was the last time I made it (I made it rather laxidaisically without timing or such), I was hesitant to do it again, but Ben talked me into trying it. So I weighed, temperature tested, stirred for the right amount, hung it up and put it in the fridge and Ben has already been nibbling on it and said it is Delicious. I tasted it myself and yes, it is good. :) We sure couldn't afford to buy Feta, so this home made stuff is a fraction of the price and much better anyway LOL.
With all the beds ready to be planted, I decided we needed to look for some tomato plants. After a long glorious drive in the country (we got lost .) we found our greenhouse and I purchased 4 heirloom tomatoes I've never grown before and one hybrid that boasted excellent production. We'll see how they do with me gone so much this summer and not around to water them. .
I am going to run so Ben can do his necropsy report and we can head to the country before a tornado hits us ;).
Signing off
Heather, Ben, Emily, Tia, Franklet, Mocha and Becky

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Ben was looking at the blog and said that the last picture I posted looks like he is sound asleep. No, he is not sound asleep, but studying radiology and actually highlighting his notes - look at his hand with the pen. Just to clarify LOL. :)
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, April 05, 2006


And last but not least, my messy yard while I cleaned up, laundry hanging on the line (and above Ben as I ran out of line), a sick dog walking out of the picture and a little girl playing in the shade
All Rights Reserved

The backyard/greenhouse/flower beds still under construction
All Rights Reserved

Being such a helper and playing with the clothes that should be going on the line.
All Rights Reserved

Hmmmm, that didn't taste very good. (definitely not a blondie but got some red in her hair!)
All Rights Reserved

looking adorable while she crawls towards the dirt (a piece of dirt on her chin - NOT a bug!)
All Rights Reserved

Emily out in the yard this afternoon. I caught her just after she had pulled the blankets back far enough to grab a handful of dirt to eat.
All Rights Reserved

I turned around and saw my two hunskies looking adorable so snapped a picture.
All Rights Reserved

Last Sunday we spent the afternoon driving hither and yon and drove past this huge pile of . . . something beside a field. An American flag was on a post on top of the pile and it was quite an interesting picture. I was glad I had taken the camera along.
All Rights Reserved

Random tired thoughts

I don't think this will be much of a post as I had a long day out in the yard. I've been industriously working on cleaning up the yard, wood, shed, porch and flower beds and spending 4-5 hours in the afternoon on it while Emily plays on a blanket and Ben studies his radiology. Yesterday I cleaned all the wood chips off the front bed and hauled them via an old tablecloth (piled the chips on and dragged the tablecloth) to the back to build up behind the greenhouse. Then I dug up the flower bed in the front, cut myself an insert for the trailer hitch so that I can fill it with dirt and grow some flowers in it like the neighbor does, wandered along the old railroad track path behind our house to find four railroad ties the right length to finish framing in a flower bed and ended up cutting them with the saw because they weren't quite the right length. The saw blade isn't deep enough so I had to cut as much as I could on all 4 sides and then drop the railroad tie against another railroad tie so it would snap. Then it left a hunk of wood in the middle that had to be bashed off - I don't have much for tools, so used a hammer and shovel. I also cleared most of the wood chips out of the greenhouse - I had a 4 foot bed, then 4 foot path then 4 foot bed originally and put a greenhouse over the 4 foot bed and the 4 foot path, so had to pull the chips off the 4 foot path so I can turn it into a flower bed also (flower being the operative word as I am not supposed to grow vegetables). I dug up some sod to make it more square and for the railroad ties to sit in more evenly, and then sat down and listened to Ben talk about veterinary associate contracts for a while. Emily has just started to crawl so we teased her with toys to get her to wander around the little blanket. A classmate was jogging by and stopped to say hi to us and visit with Emily and then I took the clothes off the line, hung up some more clothes and started some supper. I left the yard in a mess and headed to bed early as Emily was tired and I was was too.
Today I hung up another load of laundry on the line before emptying the shed to get at something (can't even remember what, but it was a mess in there as one night we had a tornado warning and we'd thrown everything from the deck and yard into there so we wouldn't lose anything). I dug up another small bed on the south of the trailer and hauled some wood chips BACK to the front to see if I could make something decorative to join the front bed and the side bed so I wouldn't have to mow a little strip of grass. It doesn't look right and Ben suggested we dig up the sod and make it an L shaped bed, so I guess I'll haul the wood chips back to the shed tomorrow as I'm trying to get some mulch in front of the shed to stop it from being so muddy when it rains. I started to clean under the deck and realized the previous owner had stashed quite a bit of wood and odds and ends under there that could be scavenged and hauled to the dump, so got side tracked cleaning and getting excited over treasures in the form of wood to finish framing in the trailer hitch and scraps to finish bracing my greenhouse with. I hauled them hither and yon and then put the bicycles behind the shed and out of sight. Ben was home by now and made himself some deviled eggs for a snack while he studied on the swing in the back. He started some sun tea which he spilled all over the kitchen :). So we started another batch which is still on the porch and should be brought in as it was looking pretty strong. It is quite an American thing to have "sun tea" as we Canadians don't drink unsweetened tea cold unless it is "iced tea". The rest of the time our tea is served hot with cream and sugar.
Anyway, I put Emily out on a blanket to play with a container and a hose sprayer and she immediately tried to crawl to it, kneeled on a hard tree root and cried. But she got over it quickly and played on her blanket for what seemed like an eternity while I continued to putter around, moving things here and there, and moving them back and sweeping the porch, hauling deck chairs out, marinating chicken wings and . . . then I went in the house and realized there was a reason Tia had been panting and barking to be let out. I thought it was just her and Becky's way of driving me crazy when they want to go outside, but she wasn't feeling well and I came inside to find a trail of diarrhea all down the hall - such fun to clean up. I put it off and put it off (thankful that we have hardwood floors), and took Tia outside to finish her business. Eventually I cleaned it up, washed the bathroom rugs and then washed the bathroom and hall floor. I hung up another load of laundry, very thankful that it wasn't winter and I had nice spring breezes to dry my laundry out. (between sun tea and sick dogs I had to do another load today) Emily was squawking so I put her in her jolly jumper with a cut up boiled egg which she thoroughly enjoyed. I sat down to enjoy some late afternoon rays with Ben while he studied radiology and I looked through a farm catalogue. Eventually the chicken wings were burning on the grill and Ben rescued them while I finished hauling stuff to the dumpster. Emily sat in her little chair on the deck and ate bits of BBQed wings (she is a meat eater!) We ate supper on the deck and then took the dogs to the country for a walk in the dusk. I am usually the brisk walker and Ben the meanderer, but tonight I felt tired and was looking forward to Ben's meandering. Much to my surprise, he stepped onto the road and took off at a very fast pace and I thought I dare not complain as I usually want to speed things up. His pace soon left me huffing and he turned and said very sweetly, "How's the pace? Fast enough?" I sheepishly admittedly I was a little tired and it was plenty fast. We walked that speed till about 1/8th mile from the van and agreed to meander the rest of the way. Emily fell fast asleep and is still rather tired as she didn't have her normal 2 naps. She is very cute though, sitting in my lap resting her head back and trying to pull my nose off while I type. The dogs are both spent as Ben got up early and took them for a lovely long walk and then they got another nice walk this evening.
Emily's latest is learning how to crawl. She can move forward very well if she is on carpet, although she hasn't learned how to get places really fast. But she looks awfully cute while doing it. She has learned some new sounds and likes to make them by the hours. She loves to eat the bugs and dirt and play in the sun.
I am busy trying to get everything ready to plant this spring. Flower beds, ornamental corn, greenhouse, and then a list a mile long of things we want to do this summer in preparation for selling the trailer next spring. (see how very positive we are about Ben's passing his boards!!!)
Tia is not enjoying this lovely heat and spring weather and wanders around panting.
Sorry I forgot to answer your question Lynn - Becky is a dog I had on the farm in SK. Because she is high energy and loves to live on the farm, we left her there, thinking we would just bring her down when Ben graduates and we move back to ND. Tia wasn't doing so well this spring and we though she would perk up with some companionship, plus we knew Becky would have to move into town soon when Mom and Dad sell the farm, so figured now was a good time to bring her. She is a sweet dog, but definitely likes the farm a lot more than living inside in a trailer. She drives us crazy all day long whining and scratching at the door to be let outside, but I have learned to either put her in the bedroom or tie her on the porch while I work so she and I both get a break from each other. She is some type of terrier/collie/coyote cross with longer hair and when we take her for walks in the country it looks like we have a coyote following us everywhere. We have to watch that she doesn't get shot at because of how she looks - a farmer told us he almost shot her thinking it was a coyote in the field!
Mocha and Frank have settled down again (it always takes at least a week for them to get back to normal after a trip away from home) and are their usual moochy selves. They both come to watch Little House on the Prairie before bed and then Mocha either curles up on my head or sleeps in the hall while Frank kneads us to death in his constant search for the best place to sleep. He usually ends up on my head or behind my head in Ben's face. We don't have the heart to kick him out as he is purring loudly and every pore of his bodies is screaming, "I love this!" so we just pet him and put up with it. Interestingly enough as we drove out to the country this evening, we saw a gal sitting on her trailer steps playing with a cat that looks identical to our runaway cat. While we were not missing him (not the nicest cat in the world) and had had enough of his mad dashes for freedom every time we opened a door or window, it is nice to see he has been taken care of and somebody is enjoying him.
Ben is vigilant as ever with his studies and is preparing for a radiology exam and a food animal take home exam. He is busily entertaining Emily and I with the guitar tonight.
I am wiped out - oh wait. I did come up with a way of making a little extra money. Yesterday while working outside I counted a good 50 people that jogged up and down the path behind our house. I figure I can charge .25c per person and make over $12 per day if approximately that many go jogging every day. Then I could set up a lemonade stand or some other forms of refreshment, maybe a little tea shop with nice crustless cucumber sandwhiches and scones and make a tidy profit while working in the yard. It's a nice shaded area and a few deck chairs and an overhead canvas tent or two would spruce the place up quite a bit.
I'd better get going as I need to get the clothes off the line before it storms tonight.
Signing off
Heather, Ben, Emily, Tia, Becky, Frank, and Mocha (phew, no more animals!)