Thursday, July 23, 2009

Small Successes - 27

1) I have taken the kids to the zoo three times in the past few weeks. We hadn't been there since sometime last summer, well really the last time was when we still lived at the old house, so it's been about a year. Each time we went with a different set of friends and we had a blast every time! Have I blogged about it yet? Nope. Been too busy.

2) I saw a snake close to the sidewalk in the front of the house and my heart didn't even start racing. Granted, it was only a garter snake, but still, I'm not exactly a fan of seeing snakes in the yard!

3) I made my first batch of salsa for this year. All the peppers and tomatoes were from the garden. The onions would have been too, but I forgot to put them in! Oops. That's okay though, it was still good. We ate some with chips, and we put some on our fajitas, which contained strips of sauteed squash and zucchini (also from the garden), along with the meat and cheese. Yum! Soon, I need to do a post about all the great produce we've been getting from the garden.

Go to Faith and Family Live to read more Small Successes!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


This past weekend Dan finished all of his skunkproofing so hopefully nothing can get into that den under the front porch. All along one side of the sidewalk, Dan pounded in rebar. They go 18 inches down and are placed about one every inch.

Then on the other side of the sidewalk, Dan dug a little trench and braced it for some cement. Nothing is planted too close to the edge of the walk so he could do that on this side. While digging he pulled out the wire fencing that had been placed there by a previous owner. All rusted out with lots of holes, so it was obviously no longer effective.

After he mixed the cement, he poured it into the trench...

...and then smoothed it out.
The kids come over to inspect his work:

Catherine watches while Dan pounds some rebar in to reinforce the cement.
After it was all dried, Dan put dirt over the cement and sloped it appropriately and now you can't even tell.

And here is the other side:
Cost of mothballs: $5
Cost of rebar: $180
Cost of cement: $10
Knowing that those skunks(or other critters) can't get back in there: Priceless!
Hopefully this is the last skunk post ever!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Conversations With Dominic

Dominic (rushing into my bedroom): "I'm the King!"

Mommy: "Oh, okay."

Dominic: "We're playing King!"

Mommy: "Who's the Queen?"

Long pause.

Dominic: "Anne's the Bad Queen!"

Mommy: "Why is Anne the Bad Queen?"

Dominic: "Because she was spitting at me!"

Better Late Than Never

Yeah, I know it is almost 2 weeks since the Fourth of July, but hey, it's been busy around here! I haven't had time to blog lately. :)

So here's the set-up in the backyard on July 3rd:
Dominic and Catherine had fun with sparklers. Anne and Joseph were too scared to hold them. That's probably a good thing, though. And I know, it's not dark out, but oh well, they are still little. They loved it anyway!

Here's how you light "snakes" out in the country: all at once and with a blowtorch!
Actually it was a bit windy, so this was the only way Dan could get them to light. Aren't all guys pyros at heart?

Now here we are on the 4th, starting off our celebration with some good ole Bomb Pops:

Bomb Pops leave quite a stain on the face!

Anne in her festive sundress:

On the 4th, the kids got to stay up until it got dark and Dan made them a row of sparklers:
Since this was our first year out in the country for the 4th of July, we weren't sure what to expect. Wow, did the people all around us celebrate! In every direction you looked from our house you could see several different firework displays going off. It was neat. One of our neighbors gave us a good scare the night of July 5th. A short while after we put the kids to bed, we heard an extremely loud KABOOM!!! Dan jumped out of his chair and went out on the deck, and said, "Come here, you've got to see this!" I went out and they were shooting off a few of the biggest fireworks you've ever seen at a city fireworks display. The noise was deafening. We could hear them yelling in triumph: "Wooooooooo!! That was the big mama!" It was crazy. I am still surprised the kids didn't wake up. It is definitely different from living in the city.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Lesson For The Day

If you go to the zoo and stop to observe the elephant...

...and he proceeds to, uhhhh, make room for dinner,...

...make sure you are not standing downwind!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Skunk Update

Well, well, well. What do you think has happened? The skunks have abandoned their den under our front porch and steps! The only logical explanation is that the mothballs indeed drove them away. Have I told you how much I love the smell of mothballs? Okay, not really, but if that will keep the skunks away from the front of our house, I can handle catching a whiff of mothballs every time I go out of the front door.

But I am still paranoid about going outside when it is dark/getting dark. One of those little black and white creatures could be sneaking up on us!

So Dan has been busy making sure that no skunks or any other little critters can use that den under the porch. Imagine if a family of snakes took up residence? I'd take skunks over snakes any day! Dan spent a whole afternoon the other day pounding in rebar (metal rods used to reinforce concrete - these are 1/2 inch in diameter and 18 inches long) every inch or so all along the sidewalk. When those baby skunks come back next year they won't be getting in!

I checked out some kiddie books from the library about skunks and we learned a few things. Did you know that they destroy more insects than all other mammals combined? Supposedly most farmers like having skunks around because they eat up so many insects and mice. I'll have to ask my Uncle Cletus about that one. They also eat birds, chipmunks, rabbits, frogs, snakes, fruit, grains and any kind of eggs (Dan found several nests of turtle eggs that the skunks had dug up and eaten). They can run as fast as 9mph for a short time, hmm, hope I can run faster than that. They have only enough spray for about 5 or 6 sprays a week. So they warn you first, one book says. If you see a skunk and it lowers its head, hisses and growls, stamps it front feet and rakes the ground like a bull, then waves its tail, get out of there fast!