Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Marley Goes Camping

The kids & I took Marley camping this weekend--his first ever camping trip! He did great..he seemed to understand that the camper was just like the house in that you potty outside, and sleep indoors. He loved going for walks, smelling the smells, playing with Sadie, and just being 2" next to me the entire time. (We're still working on that velcro-attachment syndrome thing..I hope to be peeing w/o his assistance by next month.)

Our neighbors were sitting around their campfire Saturday night, and one of the guys hollered at me and asked what kind of a dog he was. I said labradoodle, in that way that only labradoodle owners can SAY labradoodle, and one of the girls exclaimed, "I KNEW IT!! Can we see him??" Then the guy said, "He's an awesome-looking dog." AWWWW, Marley had his own little camping fan club!! Go Marley! They loved Sadie up for good measure, too, and then we went in for the night.

Here are pics from Marley's first trip..enjoy!

Are you ready to go camping, Marley?

Come get in the van, Marley!! We're going camping, boy!

On top of sleeping people is the best place to chew bones in the whole camper!

Sadie gets in on the waking-up action:

Aww, a boy & his dog:

Wake up, that a giant wet doggy paw print there beside you? Nice..

This must be the guilty, paw-print leaving party..trying to look all innocent. Notice the trees & campfire outside the window, and picture the cool, crisp early-fall air..Sigh..LOVE it!

Kid 2 is worried about his bed-head hair...he's temporarily forgotten that we're in the middle of nowhere surrounded by trees?

Sadie tries to ONLY lay at the end of the bed...until they're asleep, then she plots her power takeover of the entire bed....BWAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

XM Satellite Radio...No more Boonies Radio

I've fallen victim once again to the wonderful world of electronical gadgets...For whatever reason, our local radio station refused to work or tune in about every other week for most of the summer. This left us with a few Christian talk stations, a country station, and an oldies station. That's it...The cd changer in our van is stuck, so we've listened to the same 6 cd's for 8 months. It was becoming a dire situation. Furthermore, in the house or at the lake, we're only able to pick up the oldies station as it overpowers everything else. Eventually the kids start to whine that their arms are tired from holding the tip of the antenna anyway, so I knew something had to be done. (I'm kidding..really.)

So..after some thought & consideration, I decided to take the XM Radio plunge. This arrived in the mail last Saturday:

The little XM thingie slides into the boombox, so we can listen to XM satellite radio in the house, and the camper. And for the car, it just sits in the docking station and plugs into the cigarette lighter.

What do we think of it so far? Well, we all agree that the overabundance of sports channels is a bit overkill. I guess if I ever get a hankering for flipping through unlimited baseball/football/hockey/golf/tennis/softball/bowling games, at least I take some comfort in knowing I can do this in the house, camper AND car. The kids love the Disney channel, which plays ample amounts of the Jonas Brothers & Miley Cyrus. I like the Oprah talk channels, and the comedy channel, and of course the 80's, 70's, and MIX & Hits stations. I was pleased to see you could still listen to Rick Dee's Top 20, too.

It's a whopping $12.95/month for XM, and it's too early for me to say with definite certainty that we'll be keeping it, but I think we'll enjoy it for a while at least. The boombox option is really sweet, and was super-easy..we just opened the box, set the antenna in the window, plugged everything in, slid the radio into the boombox, and we were on & going in 20 minutes or less. (After signing up..took 20 min to get all the stations loaded from the satellite.) The dogs kept knocking the antenna off the windowsill in the camper but I think I'll hang a small shelf for it.

Possibly the BEST thing about it so far, aside from having radio at the lake, is that with our $12.95/month membership, we get unlimited online listening, sweet is that? I also like the remote control...heaven forbid I have to put down the ATG gun to switch channels.

Keep on rockin', small-town girls!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Laptops & Laptop Nerds

So my birthday was this month, and I bought myself a little gift. I'm a nerd. It's no secret amongst my friends & family--I'm a nerd. I like gadgets..I like mp3 players, computers, photo software, digital cameras and camcorders, etc. I chat online, make web pages, blog, do almost ALL of my shopping online, pay bills online, etc. I have an mp3 player on my cell phone, and I've had it for 3 years. I'm obsessed with these things. I could easily become a hermit if the dogs didn't insist on taking walks. I don't like complications though..if it doesn't work, I have zero interest or patience in fixing it..that's where GG comes in handy! She can help me fix my gadgets, and I can teach her to blog. So it only seems natural that I would buy myself something that I would use, that I've wanted for a long time, and that would help me achieve the highest in nerdy standards. I bought a laptop. I have wanted a laptop forever, mostly so I can get Design Studio for Cricut and have it portable, and so I can follow along with recipes on Pioneer Woman & AllRecipes & not have to print them. haha Yesterday I made a delicious apple crisp with some fresh apples from my Aunt Lorna, and I just used the laptop to copy the recipe and listen to Launch. Sweet, right?

So..when I go camping, I have a laptop and I can install Design Studio for Cricut and be able to weld words, etc...I also take the laptop upstairs to the loft where my scrapbooking/sewing room is...I can chat on IM, listen to Launch, watch a DVD, etc..while I craft/sew.

GG did the wireless router for me, so now we have 3 working computers in the house and a wireless network. I feel like I've been behind the ages forever! haha We keep the 2 desktops on an 8-foot table in the living room...they both have flat-panel LCD monitors, so it's just easier to share the printer, etc at one location. What cracks me up though is that Jordan & I will sit here and IM each other..we're 3 feet away from each other on separate computers. HAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

I'm very excited to get Design Studio now..which means I can even take the laptop & software to scrapbooking crops. OH BE STILL MY NERDY BEATING HEART.

Shasta Sistas Travel to MO from TX

This blog post is way late, but I was waiting on my friends to send pics that they took during their visit. They never got around to it, and now they're sitting around without power, so I'm going to talk about them and post MY pics while they can't stop me. BWAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! (Love ya, Lisa & GG!)

A few weeks ago, Lisa & GG from the Shasta Sistas came from Houston to visit the kids & I. They arrived about 12:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, and stayed until the following Saturday morning. They stayed in the Prowler so that they had their own space, beds, coffee maker and potty/sinks. I haven't had guests in so long that I was nervous, and I was probably the worst hostess anyone could have imagined...but I think they had a nice time. Lots of things happened outside of my control..I had a horrible ear & bladder infection, as well as a persistent outbreak of poison ivy or sumac, the kids had a dentist appt that they wouldn't let me cancel, and then Madison became very ill and had to go to the ER, where we found out she had bronchitis and strep throat. We'd also had some 75mph winds and storms the days before, leaving our yard trashed, our tree fell on our swingset, and some orphaned baby squirrels to deal with. (How did I miss posting about THAT?) Poor Lisa & GG!

So..back to the story--we hit ALL of the resale and consignment & thrift stores, and GG bought me a sewing machine and taught me how to sew. GASP. I have to say that I am LOVING IT, and I'm making grocery bags as my first project. hehe They seemed to really enjoy our cooler MO weather, and I made them pose at the hitching post at our Walmart store for kicks & giggles.

They also stayed for my birthday, and boy did they spoil of my fave gifts was the vintage train case they picked up for me. I cannot WAIT to get that thing altered...YAY! Gadget Girl introduced me to the wonderful world of wireless internet and laptops, and fixed about everything in the house that needed fixed. (When ya comin' back, GG??) She fixed our upstairs shower so no one has to shower in the basement shower anymore..which was always a contest to see if you could get showered and out of there before a run-in with a brown recluse spider. Lisa introduced me to the wonderful world of some very delicious spices...I've been using them on everything--steak, burgers, chicken. YUM!

They tried out one of our MO Mexican restaurants and said it was "pretty good & they were impressed," so I guess it passed their Tex-Mex tastebud test.

Here is Lisa trying to get our cat, Oliver, intoxicated..Shame on you, Lisa (okay, not really..but that's what it looked like..haha)!!

Actually I'm not sure what is up with that..Oliver doesn't like ANYONE, and he hisses more than any cat I've ever met in my life. Keep in mind that this is the sweet little baby kitten that we bottlefed and spend hundreds of dollars on for iv's, etc to save his life. He adored Lisa for some reason...of course trying to remove him from her lap would result in a loud HISS and scowl, but if you didn't know better, you'd think they were bonding:

And here's a picture that they took with my camera on my birthday..that is a bottle of Ralph that the kids gave me..Sadie had to get in on the action:

And here are Lisa & GG & all of us, minus Marley, Oliver & Mia, and the hamster:

And here are Lisa & GG leaving us...*sniff, sniff* Come back soon, TX girlies!! We love you & miss you, Shasta Sistas!

Rain, Rain..Go Away

I swear it has rained here since...I can't remember when it wasn't raining. It's rained here and flooded more since June than I can ever remember during my entire 35+ years.

So, for the first time in YEARS, I am going to buy a pair of galoshes. Yes, rainboots. And not just some practical, boring rainboots..Oh, no..that will never, ever do. I want pretty, unique, whimsical boots.

So the other day at the Chinese restaurant, I saw a college girl sporting these:

She said she got them at Target, which figures...(remember how I mention at LEAST every month how all we have is, Walmart?? Sigh. The nearest Target is at LEAST an hour & a half away..bummer, dudes.)So I looked all over a desperate attempt to find something equally cutesy and in my giant size 9, and found nothing...Sometimes living in the middle of nowhere is not fun! I did come across these at our local Tractor Supply Company store though:

Unfortunately they didn't carry them in a size 9, so I'm going back this week to see if they get more in. (The girl in the shoe dept thought they were...YAY ME)

So do you know what this means??? I will no longer have to stand outside in the flooding yard, waiting on dogs to piddle, with wet shoes. I will no longer have to wade through water soaking my shoes on the flood streets of town during our daily dog walks. I can take the trash out w/o getting my feet soaked.

Oh how the simple things in life thrill me!

Marley Updates

Marley has been here a full week, and he is doing wonderfully well in his new home. (He can't speak, obviously, so this is my observation.) *smirk*

Marley has had no accidents in the house, and none in his crate, either. The first few days he took his sweet time going potty, and I spent a LOT of time outside in the rain. (Nice that it decided to rain solidly for a week after we get a new puppy...Mother Nature is a real pill sometimes..)On about Day 3 he started to understand what GO POTTY meant, and he did his business and bounded back in the house, muddy feet and all. Alpo Snaps are a WONDERFUL training tool! No, they're not the most nutritionally-sound doggy treat, but it's for training purposes. He's still not digging the van or car rides, so I'm keeping some real dried meat doggy treats from Western's Meat Market in the van for him..he gets one every time we get in the van. He hasn't been sold on that 100% yet, but I think it's working.

He & Sadie seem to be getting along as well as could be expected at this point. There are some squabbles over toys & bones, but they break it up the minute I yelp at them. He likes Lego's, my old nasty mowing shoes, my new shoes, and Mizzou baseball caps...those are on the "list of things I've removed from the new puppy's mouth the first week." He seems to like his food, and we're learning that we do NOT put our paws on the kitchen table or counter.

Marley & Sadie both went to the vet last Friday..Marley got all of his puppy shots, wormer, flea preventative, and heartworm preventative. He goes back in 3 weeks for boosters and to schedule his neuter. (Poor Marley!) Sadie went for the raging yeast infection she has from her neverending allergy issues..(Poor Sadie!)

Marley goes to the nursing home tomorrow for pet today he gets a bath. I can't believe I gave him such a horrible hair trim on his face...but maybe by the end of next month it won't be noticeable? I can dream, right?

He's also learned "sit" in his first week, so we'll keep working on that for another week or so before we move on to "stay." He's also learned to walk well on a leash, and follows me with his eyes constantly. What a good boy--he needs to teach big sis Sadie because she requires a LOT more effort on walks.

And look what's going on when I'm not looking:

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The newest addition to the family!!

My birthday was last Friday, and I had some guests from Texas staying with us. (They stayed in the Prowler, nonetheless!) Anyway, Robert wanted to know what I wanted from him, and I mentioned a labradoodle. (I've been looking for one for over 2 years, and we had one for a while that was just psycho...)

Well, believe it or not, Sunday we went to pick up my new labradoodle. He is a 2nd generation labradoodle, and he is 6 months old. We have named him Marley (DoodleBob Marley, 'cause he has dreadlocks...haha)Mama was a black labradoodle, and daddy was a white/cream labrador retriever. When we picked him up, he could barely see due to the fur on his face, so after I bathed him, I gave him a little trim. I got a *little* carried away, but it's only hair, right? It will grow back, right??

So far he's the sweetest little boy you could ever hope for...He was totally an outside dog, so we have a lot of learning to do-housebreaking, manners, crate training, obedience commands, walking on a leash, etc. His crate has been dry/clean every morning, and so far he hasn't had one single accident in the house. He's almost entirely ignored the cats, and he & Sadie are starting to get along a bit better. He hates being left alone, so we're working on his separation anxiety.

The other day I took him to the nursing home to meet my dad, and the nursing home employees and residents ADORED HIM. Some said he was their first real-life labradoodle meeting, and some wanted to know where THEY could get one. lol He was such a sweetie that they asked us to come back next week for pet therapy. YAY Marley!

Meet Marley:


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