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Lots of Pictures!

September 29, 2013

I  appear to consistently about 4 weeks behind on my posts vs real life. So, in an attempt to catch up, here is a 28 picture summary of the last 4 weeks. Disclaimer: I started writing this post last weekend, so I’m now currently 5 weeks behind. The following post only refers to the first 4 of the last 5 weeks.  Be warned, most of them are baby pics. What can I say? We think she’s pretty awesome.


Bed head!

Isn’t she so squishable? I love her.

She’s such a happy baby.

She loves blowing bubbles. It’s her latest trick!

Yes, I know. The orange socks don’t match.

Dressing up just because.

Wearing her shoes decorated by Jake! He decorated them for her right after we found out that our new arrival would be a girl. See this post.  Wow, that’s a bit bossy, isn’t it? If you would like more information or other pictures on the shoes and Jake decorating them, please click on the link.

Sleeping little angel! I love the almost clasped hands.

She had her first cold and was pretty stuffed up. At the advice of the nurse, she slept in her carseat until it cleared up. Poor baby!

5 Month Giraffe Pictures! 5 months!!! How did that happen?!?


Gandalf likes it outside during the day. In fact, if I’m not home, he’ll generally refuse to come inside at all.  Unless it’s just a downpour, then he’ll consider it after he looks like a drowned rat.  Jake will open the door and call for him, but most of the time he’ll wag his tail and then go find a nice spot to lay down. Kind of like “Hey! Nice to see you! Nah, I don’t want to come inside. I’m good.”  But when I get home? I’ll open the door and he comes right in. What can I say? I’m his person.

Here he is in his favorite spot in the yard. When he’s in this spot, you cannot see him from the back door. He’s also going deaf. So you open the door and nada. Then you call him and still nothing. After then finding a pair of shoes and starting to frantically wonder if he found a way out of the little fenced in area, you walk into the backyard and find him out cold just like this. I swear, he’s taking years off my life by scaring me like that.

Piper, on the other hand, does not share Gandalf’s affinity for the backyard. And I’m not her person. She has definitely chosen Jake. Which is funny because she wasn’t sure of Jake when she met him. I’ll generally refer to Piper as Jake’s dog, even though they were both my dogs before him & I were together. However, I am responsible for giving Piper her nickname: Piper Pants.  Why Piper Pants?  I blame my dad. He’s good and giving people random nicknames. Her’s just came out one day and stuck. It has also evolved to “Miss Pants” and sometimes just plain “Pants”.

This picture makes me laugh because it’s classic Piper. When she wants something like a treat or to come inside, she’ll plant herself and stare at you or straight ahead at her goal. It’s like “Hey! I’m sitting! That means I get what I want!” The feet are not mine.


While at the job site, we came across the surveyor. We offered to help him with the staking because it really does get done much faster with a couple helpers. I thought they were being nice and gave me the easy job. All I had to do was write on the stakes. The surveyor did the math, told me the numbers and I wrote them on the stakes. Easy, right? Except here’s the thing. The surveyor was in one spot. The stakes were every 100 ft for just under a mile. We did not have any way of communicating over a distance and it’s rather loud on the side of the highway. So, I would wait by the surveyor for him to give me the number, then walk to the stake. Then walk back, get my new number, walk to the next stake and back. Later, rinse repeat. I easily walked the length of the job 4 or 5 times by the time we were done.  Sneaky coworkers!

I took my Commercial Driver’s License test the other day.  I was only required to get a Class B license (just the dump truck) but I let my trainer talk me into trying for a Class A (truck and trailer).   Anyway, someone was watching out for me, because I drew alley dock instead of one of the parallel parks. I didn’t quite register all the instructions and messed up my alley dock and got 10 pts knocked off. Oops! However, I did my straight backing & offset backing perfectly so I still passed. I passed!! I have a Class A driver’s license and could drive that orange truck and 53 ft trailer. Seriously. Who in the world thought THAT would be a good idea?!  For anyone who is keeping track, I can now legally drive regular cars/trucks, semi trucks (include dump trucks, snow plows, etc), semi trucks AND trailer (like the orange one above) and motorcycles. What’s next? Tanks? Airplanes? Side note:  Doesn’t my truck look so little compared to that orange one?! And it’s a big dump truck!


We got our more expensive sourdough starter in the mail and after a few days of pondering the best way to go about it, we jumped into activating it.

This may look like a simple cooler with a light in it and a towel propping the lid open, but it’s really a high tech proofing box.  Or maybe it’s a cooler with a light and a towel. Either way, it got the job done. By the way, that cooler says “Thomas” on top and so it’s always known as Thomas. We have another cooler named “Fred”. Have I told you this before? I think I have.

Inside the high tech proofing box we have a jar of starter, a heat source and a thermometer.  Funny story: Jake decided to set up the proofing box again last week so he could bring the starter up to a higher temperature in the hopes of achieving and even more sour sourdough. Well, when it’s warmer, the bacteria & yeast really go to town and did they ever. It completely busted open the lid and overflowed all over the jar and made a mess in Thomas. Ooops!

As the starter becomes active, the bacteria (lactobacillus sanfrancisco) and the wild yeast become active and start increasing in number. You are also feeding the starter regularly and between the two, you wind up with more and more starter. The instructions said to discard a portion of the starter everytime you feed it, but that seemed like such a waste! So instead, we opted to keep splitting the starter into new jars as needed.

After we had 6 full jars of starter, we decided that it was getting a bit much and started discarding some every time we fed the starters.  We kept two jars and gave away the other four.

Our first loaf! It was sour, but didn’t rise a whole lot.  Actually, we would have preferred more sour too, but it wasn’t bad. It was definitely sourdough bread, even if it wasn’t quite as sour as we would prefer. But the crust? it was perfectly crusty, even if it wasn’t all that attractive.

Other Food Stuff:

I also had my first experience at canning tomatoes (or anything else for that matter) and managed to make a mess of myself.  This shocks no one.

We also got a new crockpot!  Isn’t it pretty?!

Springfield has a store called the Brown Derby International Wine Center and Wow. It’s got a LOT of wine from everywhere.  I’m pretty used to BevMo and all they have to offer, but this puts BevMo to shame.  We went a few weeks ago and picked up a bottle of Kabinett.  Kabinett is a German wine that is by far, my favorite, The link will take you to the Wikipedia page that’ll tell you way more than you probably want to know.  We also found this bottle of wine on their clearance rack that even at half off, was more than I usually spend on a bottle. I decided to give it a shot anyway and wow. It was awesome but it had a TON of flavors going on. I’m anything but a wine expert, but even I could tell that there was a lot going on.

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