Friday, October 26, 2007

Our Anniversary Tree

Matt and I had our first real date on October 10, 1998. We spent one incredible day talking non-stop and falling in love with each other. To commemorate that date, we purchased a Northern Red Oak tree with some wedding money and planted it October 10, 1999. We now have a tradition of getting our photo taken by that tree each year. Here are some examples:

1999, with Barron, our German Shepherd

2004, with Bailey, our Chocolate Lab

This year:

It is so fun to look back in our albums to compare not only the size of our tree, but the growth in our family and the changes to the front yard!

Autumn Means

Rubber Boots

Brilliant Leaves

The end of the Summer Garden

Pumpkins on the Porch

Grapes on the Arbor

Stormy Weather

A Crackling Fire to Warm the House


Thursday, October 25, 2007

the "D" word

Now, I am not one who is given to swearing. Rather, I strongly feel that it takes a much higher level of intelligence to use appropriately descriptive words to voice frustration instead of just spitting out some apparently naughty word that may or may not fit the occasion.

Having said this, I want to introduce you to the new "D" word in my vocabulary, a word that comes to my mind as being most vile and descriptive of bad feelings. That word is... "dial-up".

Living just 8 miles from town, you would think that technology would have reached us by now. But, in fact, we don't even have access to cable TV, which has been around for a few decades now. I have been questioned enough by well-meaning people, that I routinely check to see what is available at my address in the way of internet service. To date, I can either go with my phone line, or I can pay an outlandish monthly sum for satellite. Neither option is appealing, so we stick with what our budget can handle. Dial up.

So, as technology advances, and high speed internet connections become the normal in our country, web sites are apparently upgrading, adding all kinds of great features which, in turn, make them almost impossible to open. And lately, it has become painfully more noticeable. Dial up!

I, therefore, have been on a mission for the past week or so to do whatever I can to speed up this "ancient" 4 year old computer of ours by dumping any excess programs, running a defrag program, and making sure that our anti-virus program is up to date. All to no avail, so far as speeding things up. And I have been muttering my new bad word over and over in my head until it no longer sounds like a word at all.

Finally, as a last resort, last evening I committed our phone line to a lengthy 4 hour download process in order to get our Internet Explorer completely up to speed (sorry anyone who may have been trying to call lately!). It seems to have improved our speed quite nicely- to a bearable rate, anyway- it would still seem painfully slow to all of you in the land of DSL. So I can once again sign on to my blogger account and navigate with success through the necessary sites for me to feel connected to the real world.

For all of you who have forgotten so soon what it was like to be confined to a phone line for your internet connection, please let this be a reminder to you, and QUIT SENDING ME RIDICULOUSLY LARGE EMAILS! Or you might have to read through another tirade about the lack of high speed technology in the boondocks.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Freddy Mercury to the Rescue

Our normally happy kid was being quite grumpy a few evenings ago as I was trying to make dinner. I am sure that he was hungry and just being impatient, but regardless, I was getting frustrated with his whining, and just wanted to be able to finish my task without a toddler hanging onto my leg.

About the time I was reaching the boiling point, my CD mix in the stereo came to the Bohemian Rhapsody. As Freddy sang, "I'm just a little silhouette of a man..." Said grumpy toddler suddenly became happy and danced away the next 4 minutes of the song.

Thank you, Freddy, wherever you are- your music has provided relief to this tired Mama.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Note to Self...

and all others who may happen to visit, Please check all "questionable" language at the door!

My baby brother and his wife were visiting this weekend. As our Boy and his Uncle were playing with Legos on the living room floor, my Brother was struggling with a portion of his creation. "Oh Boogers!" he stated a few consecutive times. Our kid, thinking this was a very interesting new word suddenly exclaimed, "BOODERS!" as loudly as he could.

Amidst our laughter, I realized just how advanced his language skills are becoming, and that I had better examine my vocabulary to make sure there are no potentially embarrassing words that he might imitate at an inopportune moment.

Autumn Leaves

Beautiful native Vine Maple leaves...

Saturday, October 06, 2007


Being a boy of few words, our Boy still communicates in a much more primitive manner than many of his peers.

Case in point: yesterday, he came to me as I was walking through the house, hugged my legs, then proceeded through pushing on my legs and pulling on my hand, to steer me into the kitchen.

Once there, he turned me to face a specific counter/cupboard unit (this is new- he had never taken me to this particular place before). When I looked down at him and asked what he wanted, he took my hand and pushed it as far up in the air as he could. Still a little puzzled, I dropped my hand and asked again.

When he repeated the action, I took a look around me, and, using my genious Mom deduction, asked, "Are you thirsty? Do you want a drink?" He smiled, stated, "Num, num" and proceeded to shadow me as I took down one of his sippy cups and filled it at the sink. He was obviously thirsty, as he greedily gulped at it for a few seconds then went off to once again play with his toys.

He obviously knows where his cups are stored.

Funny kid.

This Mama will be very glad when real words are a regular part of life at Hillside Farm.

Clever Mom Trick #1

Problem= picky eater toddler won't eat a sandwich, no matter what is in between the bread slices.

Solution= create an hors d’ oeuvres plate, complete with toothpicks, and the sandwich will disappear in record time!

Friday, October 05, 2007

The Island of Sodor has arrived in Sandy

This Mama, tired of constantly trying to re-direct a toddler that has quickly outgrown his baby toys, finally broke down and bought the first installment of a Take-Along Thomas collection.

I think his Daddy enjoys it just as much as he does!


As first time parents, we have been thoroughly enjoying the advancement of our Boy's language and vocabulary skills. He enjoys letters and numbers immensely, pointing them out whenever he sees them, and spouting off what he believes are the correct sounds for each figure. He has yet to begin saying his alphabet in the correct order, but does successfully count up to seven with increasingly clear diction.

As far as words go, he finally (as of just a few weeks ago) has a word for Mama; he has been saying "DaDa" for many long months in reference to his Daddy, but only referred to me in gestures and looks. But now, I am thrilled each time he calls me by name, even though he calls me "BaBa". :) He has also advanced to a stage of trying most new words on demand, and calls out "Wee o' DoDu!" each night as Wheel of Fortune comes on during his warm milk drinking and wind-down-for-bed time.

As is quite common, I believe, he does not call animals by name, but rather by sound, and has correct sounds for most of the critters in our neck of the woods, and several exotics as well (wish I could attach a link to his sounds here- they are so cute!). Here are a few pictoral samples of his animal sounds:

Bee =