Thursday, January 29, 2009

Sasha's Happy Birthday

Sasha Lynn is now officially 14 years old! She was born on January 28th, 1995. She was origionally purchased for Melissa by her dad, Steve, but she has lived with me since Melissa left home after high school. Sasha's son is Jeremiah (short for "Jeremiah was a Small Dogg!" - his registered name) and he will soon be 12 years old. Yes, my little doggies are getting old, now. But they are still in very good health, and I attribute that to my intensely paranoid care, premium quality dog food, and good veterinary care, including: teeth cleaning, yearly vaccinations, and visits to the vet when the doggies don't feel very good. And, keeping the HERSHY'S CHOCOLATE BARS up out of reach!

Here is a Happy Birthday of Sasha and her 14th Birthday Cake - a homemade baking powder biscuit with sausage gravy - YUM!


Meanwhile, the puppies keep getting bigger and bigger. And I love them to pieces! I could just kiss on them all day long!


As you can see, they were terribly difficult to weigh!!!


Yes, my life has really gone to the dogs. But that is ok...I like it that way!


Friday, January 23, 2009

"What's That Again?"

Don is bi-polar. For those of you who already have had the experience, ‘nuff said. For those of you who don’t know what that is, you’ve been blessed beyond measure.

For example: At 4:30 this morning, I started to roll over while still sleeping, and while half-way done with my turn, Don said, in a loud, clear, wide-awake voice “How would you like for me to read to you a few chapters about rare and unusual trees?” I halted in mid-turn, opened my eyes, and demanded “WHAT????” And Don repeated himself, word for word. So I completed my turn onto my other side before replying, “Donald, I think NOT. I am STILL SLEEPING.”

This is not a rare occurrence. This happens about once every week, before I have even become ambulatory. But yet another thing that disturbs me about the bi-polar thing in the morning is that once I have finally dragged myself out of the bed, staggered into the livingroom, and propped myself into an upright position against the back of a chair, Don presses a steaming cup of coffee into my hands and begins an immediate tirade of lists of chores that he is thinking about doing that particular day. While I am still staring at the cup of coffee in my hands trying to figure out what to do with it. I mean, I have trouble struggling to the surface enough just to remember that I must: 1. Place the cup to my lips, and; 2. Swallow. I’m serious. I have had, for most of my life, great difficulty shaking the cobwebs out of my head when I wake up in the morning. And most of the time Don gets upset with me when I stare at him with that blank look on my face for the longest time before finally asking him what it is that he has been rambling on and on about for the past half an hour. I do this by pulling my gaze away from the coffee cup just long enough to utter "Whaa-aaaaa...?"

While it is true that Don is on medication for this hereditary ailment, there seems to not be one single pill for “Not Being Able To Wake Up Immediately” syndrome. However, I remember the Easter Morning Service at the Lutheran Church in Jordan, and how, if you were not aware of what was going to happen next, you would be sure to wake up REAL QUICK-like.

We would have live piano music being played while folks filed in, smiling and nodding to one another as they found places to sit. It was usually jam-packed on Easter Sunday morning, with extra chairs even sitting out in the entryway. And as people were shifting around in their seats making room for a few others, pulling out their hymn books, pulling off their coats and in general not paying attention, a lady would stride purposfully towards the front of the church, holding a pair of cymbals, turn and face the congregation, pause for the signal, and C-R-A-S-H those cymbals together with a sound that would wake the dead! I mean, it was nearly enough to make you jump clean out of your skin if you weren’t prepared for it. Which I was not. And at that very same instant, the black silk shroud that draped the giant cross suspended above the alter would fall to the ground as if by magic! I’m not kidding you! And there weren't any strings or wires atached, either!!! And then the whole congregation would rise and begin singing "Christ our Lord has risen to-da-ay..." It was real dramatic, and heart stopping, besides.

Sometimes in the morning, I still wake up confused just as I did that first Easter Sunday morning when Marilyn nearly gave me a heart attack right in the Hope Lutheran Church in Jordan Minnesota. Only these days, it is Don and his loud wide-awake morning ramblings instead of cymbals.

But it still has the same effect, on me.


Chicken Man: "He's everywhere! He's everywhere!"

Monday, January 12, 2009

It's Another Blizzard!

And not the Dairy Queen kind, either! At 9:30 this morning, the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Weather Alert Siren went off on our little radio that sets on top of the television in the living room. It said that we would have a Blizzard Warning until 9:00 tonight, after that we would have a Winter Weather Advisory. And, it stressed, NO TRAVEL IS ADVISED!!! We need to have a radio like this, because we live (and I quote my mom) “in that GOD-FORSAKEN part of the world where the tornadoes rip through!” Only this morning it was notifying us of a blizzard. This makes the third blizzard that we are having down here this year. We live on the prairie in the southwestern part of the state of Minnesota. It's not the end of the world; you just need to make sure that you always have plenty of food and water on hand, you stay in your house and don’t drive anywhere, and you keep warm with the wood stove and either watch TV, sleep, read, play card games, or sit down in a cozy chair and knit. Which is what I plan on doing right after I post this blog. This afternoon I baked peanut butter cookies and made marinated chicken breasts on the George Foreman grill, and baked some home-made French bread.

Well, here is a little glimpse of the world outside right at 3:00 CST. You are looking at the same view as the picture on the top of this page, only…there isn’t much to see!!!


Life is very breezy down here on the prairie. I simply cannot imagine how Ma and Pa Ingalls, and Laura, Mary, Carrie, and Grace survived the winters in those days so long ago. Those pioneers were cut from a different cloth than most of us are, these days. They were tough! They HAD to be, in order to survive the untamed wilds of North America. I have been to the remains of the actual sod shanty that the Ingalls family lived in back in the 1800’s in nearby Walnut Grove. The remains of their ‘Soddy’ rests near the banks of Plum Creek. The TV series “Little House On The Prairie sort of ‘jazzed things up a bit’ and made the TV show about the Ingalls’s when they lived in Walnut Grove, when in reality, when they actually DID lived in Walnut Grove, they were On The Banks Of Plum Creek! The actual “Little House On The Prairie” was in DeSmitt, SD.

The view from the malbox. Under NORMAL circumstances, you would be able to see our little Amo Lutheran Church in this photo.


If you want to see an actual video of the blizzard, get on ASH LANE FARM's blog (see my blog list of friends) and watch. So, that’s it. Keep warm, till the next blog…