Monday, July 24, 2006


She was climbing over Tia and kind of fell over.
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She learned how to use her sippy cup and is looking adorable out the corner
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Emily is a ham when there is a camera - I can't take pictures unless I'm fast as she crawls to me as soon as she sees the camera is out
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Emily finishing a cookie and losing her pants
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Emily talking to Tia.
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Here is a picture of us travelling - Mocha was trying to convince Emily to let her sleep in the car seat with her.
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Here was the living room/dining room of the place we stayed at
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Here is the waterfall when they let the water out
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Here is the waterfall before they let the water out of the pool up above
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Here we are coming up to the hotsprings.
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Here is a picture of our trip to British Columbia. This was the path we took up to the hot springs we soaked in. I believe Ben is looking down the path.
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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Busy day

I couldn't get the blog to down load yesterday, thus the post written yesterday was sent today. It took an hour to load the blog today so I am going to write two posts while it is loaded. :)
Last night Benski got home around 10:30, all happy and chipper. I don't know where he got his energy as he was going going going all day long - they saw 27 patients and he was on ER from 5-10 which meant he answered phones and decided if the people should come in, admitted, checked patients, administered stuff, called for backup veterinarians and so on. He regaled me with hilarious stories of trying to get prescriptions from a locked in pharmacy where he only had 10 minutes before the alarm system would go off and call in all the police in Iowa (or public health police or whatever). He would then be given a warning beep or two and have to rush over to the door lock and punch in the code for another 10 minutes. He had to type up prescription labels (something new he hasn't done before) and did not realize that whenever the typewriter got to the end of the page and he would start a new line, it would beep just like the lock. So after a minute he had a beep and flew over to the door to punch in the code, shaking his head at how quickly the 10 minutes went. Sweating to find the three prescription eye drops and type things up quickly, he typed another line and in what seemed like 30 seconds, heard another warning beep and raced back to punch in the code thinking he would never get out of there without setting the alarm off. Eventually he realized the typewriter was beeping and not the alarm . . . :)
Today Ben had until 10AM so he woke up a little later and I put together the apple strudel muffins that he only ended uphaving about 5 minutes to eat. Emily thoroughly enjoyed her muffin while I packed Ben a large lunch with tons of snacks (I'm sure he'll bring half of it back:), and then Emily and I headed out to get the lawn mower and mow. I gave her heart failure when I started up the lawn mower to test it and she wasn't prepared for the noise, but she recovered and watched me from the stroller. It sure looks nice to have the lawn mowed and when that was done I dragged out our large tarp that got all muddy in ND and sprayed at it with the hose til it was clean. Emily was scared of the noise and hung onto my leg when I thought she would play in the water. I brought our area rug out and soaked it with water (on the tarp) and then Emily helped me spread laundry soap all over and work it in. The area rug is so dirty and muddy as we send the dogs to it when they are dirty and the dogs sleep there most of the time. After getting tired of Emily being covered in dog hair from crawling on the rug, I decided to haul it out and try washing it as I am not going to replace it after just one year. So we scrubbed and then went in the house as it was getting a little warm. Mom was online so I got her stew recipe and started to work on the stew when I realized I didn't have cabbage, onion or a few other things I needed. So when it neared 1PM, I loaded Emily into the van to deliver a parcel to Fed Ex and to shop. After driving down every right hand road on Lincoln Way, I realized I had wasted 1/2 hour driving and decided to stop at the local Dollar Store to ask directions. She told me to go further to Daxton, through lights and past the cable and if I couldn't find it, come back and she'd help me with a phone book. Not that much help, but I told her I'd try. No Daxton, no cable store, so I stopped at a lawn mowing repair place and the young gentleman there told me where to go, tried to find me a map online and then when he couldn't find it, hand wrote a map. Ended up I just hadn't gone quite far enough and the turn was 2 roads further. So feeling sheepish because I've gone with Ben there 4 times and should have known where it was (who pays attention in the passenger seat??), I found it and got the shopping done and was home by 3. I worked on the stew and started some buns - EMily loved helping me put things in the bread machine. I fed her a very late lunch and then she fell asleep for a short nap. When she woke up 1/2 hour later, I noticed the area rug was drying in the sun, so we headed out to spray the soap off it. Emily was getting into it now and was soaking wet from head to toe from crawling through the ice cold water spray. It was and still is filthy, and I ended up having to pull it off the tarp as it was sitting and soaking up the dirty water. So then we sprayed it a little longer before soaping it up again and leaving it to sit for another while. We ran in to put the buns in the oven (they just rose in the breadmachine), and then headed back outside to weed the front flower bed which is looking rather pitiful and not very flowery. I tried to work on the tomatoes, but ended up snapping the main stem so that it won't continue to produce and will just ripen what was there. Emily proceeded to crawl up the steps so I jumped over the flower bed fence and helped her play for a little while. (she learned how to crawl up stairs on our vacation in BC). It was getting hot again (though nothing compared to yesterday!), so we went back in for a bit of a break and some supper. It is 8PM now and I need to go back out to rinse the carpet once more and roll up the tarp as it is supposed to thunderstorm tonight. I am going to try some fried green tomatoes from the main stem I accidentally snapped off and use some old ribbon to tie up the other three tomatoes that are flopping everywhere. The house quickly turned into a mess after the apple muffins, granola bars, buns and stew and the floor needs a quick sweep and wipe as Emily ate a messy apple and a few chocolate chips on it.
I'd best run before it gets dark.
Signing off
Heather for the crew

phew

Phew, what a very long day. Benski was gone by 7:20 AM and though I waited for him to come home for lunch, he never did appear. I had the veggies grilled on the grill (oh boy are they good!) and the chicken is marinading waiting to go on also, but it is 9:30 and I guess he will not make an appearance til after 10. I feel so sorry for him – he told me not to pack a lunch because he was sure they would give him time off. He didn’t have breakfast, and they work them hard in ICU so I’m sure he will be starved and tired as can be. It was a very lonely day for me as I looked at the clock constantly, wondering what he was doing and if he was having a good day.
But I did get a lot accomplished. The dishes are done, countertop clean (as I am allergic to dish soap, I only wash when dishes accumulate), freezer top clean (it tends to accumulate things), table clean (it always accumulates things) floors were swept and mopped, and if he doesn’t come home soon I shall attack the bathroom. I got caught up on the laundry, though I still need to bring in a load off the line and hang this afternoon’s laundry up. When it rains I get behind very quickly as I rely on the line outside to dry all of our clothes. He’s going to need the entire weekend to recuperate from 12-16 hour days this week. Then next week he is on the 7PM to 7AM shift which will be hard and he has to go 7 days straight – in a 14 day period he only has 2 days off and the rest are at least 12 hour days. I was going to whip up a batch of apple strudel muffins so he could have some for breakfast and a snack at work, but with temperatures over 105F I decided not to do any baking (thus the grilled veggies). It took until almost 3PM to get the temperature of the house down below 84 and now I just have fans running to keep it at 79. The temperature is supposed to drop to the 70’s tonight and then tomorrow not get above 100, and slowly get better over the week. I checked the weatherbug and found out that Pierre reached a horrible 117F today – I had no idea South Dakota could get that hot. It has been the hot spot the past 3 days for the midwest. Even North Dakota has been hit with high 80’s weather and I’m sure Ben’s family is feeling the heat also.
It has been so long since I wrote that I don’t even know what to write about. Our internet connection is so poor that I can’t usually sign onto the website to write anything. I have learned the patience of dealing with a connection that is as slow as dial up, and while waiting for things to load, get cleaning and cooking jobs done.
Emily is just as sweet and adorable as ever, wandering around in a diaper most of the time as she gets heat rash so easily when it is in the 80’s. She cruises everywhere she wants to and even attempts a few steps on her own now and then. The rest of the time she hangs onto my legs and we walk together everywhere – she has learned how to walk very well beside me while hanging onto one of my pant legs. Tonight she was playing when I distracted her by spreading suds all over her face from the dishwater and she got all happy and excited, realizing I was doing dishes. So she had to join me and get all wet while dipping her feet in the water. She seems to connect things these days: yesterday I caught her ‘brushing her hair’ with my brush – very adorable – and today when she made a mess by trying to eat a stick of butter, when I dropped a dishrag on the floor to clean it, she swiped at the mess with the rag. Up until now she hasn’t connected a lot of things and just plays while I do it and tell her what a helper she is. She has 5 teeth now: two very big bottom ones and 3 on the top that are just through the gums. She is begging for supper now as I just kept giving her snacks in the hopes that we could all have supper together, but maybe tomorrow I should feed her earlier so she doesn’t get so hungry. She helped me clean all the veggies and even chewed on a piece of butternut squash for a long time, although she didn’t like the texture of it cooked and far preferred it to be raw.
The grass is growing like crazy and needs to be mown desperately and tomatoes need to be staked, but I get lightheaded and chills/shakes when I go out in the heat, so I’m waiting til the end of the week to work outside. I even noticed little dill sized pickles all over the cucumbers, so I need to check and see how many are ready to be pickled. There are jalapenos and green peppers ready and tomatoes are just turning red, so hopefully I can get a batch of salsa made as there is nothing as good as homemade salsa!! I’m going to advertise in freecycler for canning stuff as I have the jars and lids, but nothing to process the product in.
Well, it is 9:41 and I think I will go start the grill in preparation for Ben being home soon. It would be hard to have him work a lot of 12 hour days, and I will certainly know how it feels as he will be doing it for the next 4 weeks!
Signing off
Hungry Heather (I forgot to eat lunch!), Starving Emily, Well fed Tia and Becky, and Begging kitties (they can smell the chicken)