Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 Resolutions

I am not usually the type of person that makes New Years Resolutions.  However, the Bruckner house will be taking on a couple this coming new year.

D and I were appalled to learn (after saving ALL our receipts for a month) that we spend MORE THAN HALF of our income a month on…..drum roll, please….groceries.  Now, I would totally understand this if we were eating filet mignon every night, but I assure you, that is not the case.   I do understand our food bill is also going to be higher than a normal family given the fact that I feed 10 daycare kids 2 meals and a snack everyday. But seriously!

So my resolutions are this:

Shop and plan meals more around the sales at the store. And also stock up on sale items if it’s something we will use.  (Already have 4 cans of spag sauce on our storage shelf  because they were on sale for $1.25. Go me.)

Cook more homemade.   Sounds easy, but I am the queen of box meals, because they are easy and I don’t really have to think about it.

Stop using paper plates/styro cups for daycare. This one is huge for me, because I *do not have a dishwasher*.   I’ve never ever had one. I wouldn’t even know how to turn one on, honestly.  But we spent THOUSANDS of dollars last year on paper products, according to our tax papers. (Which I get to deduct, but not the point!) Again, I am the queen of convenience.

Honestly, I’ve never thought about this all before. I go to the store, buy what I need to feed the troops, usually grab a couple of things we really DIDN’T need, and start the process all over the next day.  Obviously, it’s not working and we’ve been helping Venture Foods pay their light bill every month! ;-)

My other resolution I’ve made is to become healthier.  Not the “lose 200 lbs in a month” resolution I’ve made in the past. This one is easy.  Make better food choices, which might just fall effortlessly into place as I cut down the grocery bill and be more active, whether that means taking a walk or getting my butt kicked on the Wii.

Happy New Year, everyone! 

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

December Funny Farm News

There isn’t much going on as far as Funny Farm news during this BLAH winter time.

Out of the 25 baby chicks I ordered in September, there are *7* left. I’ve discovered that I am not a very good baby chick mama, and that baby chicks die…..easily.
Out of the 7 out there, there are 2 Red Stars, one of which is a rooster and will be sold, 1 Rhode Island Red, and 4 Easter Eggers, but at least one of them is a rooster and will not be kept. I will be asking our chicken buddy Shawn if he would like him though, because he is going to be GORGEOUS!!! He already is almost twice the size as the other babies out there the same age.

See his light green legs? That's an Easter Egger trait. See how pink his comb area already is? And the start of his tail? In the chicken world, he’s gonna be a hottie! ;-)

We are not breeding or showing any buns at the moment. I think there is a show in January, but we still are not sure we are going to get to it—it’s 3 hours away. We cut back for the winter, but are anxious for spring to get here to start breeding again. We plan on showing hard this summer! I have high hopes of getting the Hotots to finally breed! If not, the buck will be sold and replaced. I’ve never ever heard of a rabbit that didn’t want to breed, but of coarse, one had to land here. And yes…I am SURE he’s a he…he’s got the jelly beans to prove it.
The boys each have their individual plans to breed thier rabbits, so hopefully lots of baby buns will be at our house this spring!

Still have not gotten Kirby cut. I'm afraid D is going to have to bribe his buddies with cases of beer or rolls of chew to get them out there, because it's going to take several guys and not going to be easy.  He's looking "bullish" these days so he's got to be cut from his man hood soon. He's looking nice though, and I told him he had 2 nice looking roasts on his butt when he walked away from the me the other day. (I can NOT wait to have "homegrown" beef in the freezer!) That calf will eat out of D's hand, but when I am out there, he won't come anywhere near us. It's like I am "the wicked lady in the purple coat that haunts his dreams." Absolutely terrified of me.

Chewy is...well...Chewy. He won't be cut, he will be banded. Our vet recommended he be banded due to his rough start and small size. He's REALLY small, especially since he's out there with beef cattle. Jerseys are not large cattle at all anyway, and given he's been stunted a bit, well, I fully expect to have this conversation some day:
"Cute calf you have out there. How old is he?"
"Oh, that’s Chewy. He's 3."
"3 months?"
"No, 3 years."
Oh well. We love him. Still very much more dog than cow, but is getting better since having cattle companions.
Rosy is HUGE. She seriously looks like a dump truck with legs and a head. D is REALLY hoping she's pregnant, and not just fat. If she IS just fat, *I* don't feed, so he can't blame me! ;-) I'm thinking we'll have a calf this spring though. Knowing our luck, the day AFTER we leave for vacation!

We have started planning our garden. Talking about what worked, what didn’t, what we want to add. He wants to plant some garlic, so we will be looking into that. And I am going to add some jalapenos this year, as the ones we got from our friends Melanie and Sue ROCKED!!! My goal for this coming season is to have salsa TOTALLY made from our homegrown veggies!! (I still have enough leftover tomatoes in my freezer for at another batch of salsa. Not as good as Melanie who I am sure has red ripe tomatoes right now in her green house! ;-) )
Anyway, we’ve already been receiving gardening catalogs in the mail, and have been drooling and marking what we want.

Christmas is over now, so hurry up spring!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

My Life In A Photo

See that pretty bottle of Midnight Pomegranate? Thats me...surrounded in world of manlyness.

Welcome to my life.

BTW--the Bruckner pre-men are VERY worried about how they smell these days!  Could you tell?


We did have some drama on Christmas day when one of the dogs at the farm attacked Sugar, my sisters horse, that resulted in a HORRIBLE injury to her shoulder area. The type of injury I hope I never ever see again on ANYTHING.   I am still in shock that 1. a 50 lb dog would even attempt to take on a full grown horse, and 2. a dog of that size could inflict a wound that was like that.
The dog was put down that day, the horse the next.  We had hope, though admittedly only a small amount, that everything would turn out ok and she would heal, but the next morning she had gotten so much worse, and after a small family meeting, we knew it was time and that we could not be selfish.  We had to think about HER, not our breaking hearts.

Many tears were cried yesterday, by many people.  Though she was M's horse, she had become a part of the farm.  It seems strange out there without her there.

And those people who say its "just" an animal or that animals do not feel, have never watched a horse cry....really, seriously, honestly, cry, for her baby.  Sugar was not her real baby, but had been Whiskeys "baby" since she came to the farm.  I'll never ever forget the confused and crushed look there was in Whiskey's eyes yesterday.

So, run wild and free, pretty girl. We'll see you again someday.  Please watch over the farm and everyone on it.

Don't Cry For The Horses

Don't cry for the horses that life has set free.
A million white horses, forever to be.
 Don't cry for the horses now in God's hands.
As they dance and prance to a heavenly band.

 They were ours as a gift, but never to keep
As they close their eyes, forever to sleep.
Their spirits unbound, forever to fly.
A million white horses, against the blue sky.

Look up into Heaven. You will see them above.
The horse we lost, the horse we loved.
Manes and tails flying, they gallop through time.
They were never yours, they were never mine.

Don't cry for the horses, they will be back someday.
When our time has come, they will show us the way.
Do you hear that soft nicker close to your ear?
Don't cry for the horses, love the ones that are here

A Very Merry Christmas

What an amazing Christmas.  We were awoken at 3 am.   Dan and I laid in bed and talked till around midnight...Christmas magic makes adults even anxious and excited, so 3am came WAYYYY to early.  Anyway, we stumbled down the stairs and we saw what Santa had brought, open presents, ate some homemade doughnuts,  and then crawled back to bed for a couple of hours. My boys on the other hand, went full steam from 3am till 8:30pm when they crashed on the floor, with the Wii controllers not to far away.

Christmas Eve was amazing.  We had been hoping to get out to the candle light service at this wonderful little country church about 11 miles away or so.  I thought our plans were ruined when J gets up with a headache and just feeling icky, and then D comes downstairs with a headache and just feeling blah.  J perked up pretty fast, but D continued to feel rotten most the day. However, we did end up going.  It was so wonderful. A great service, wonderful music, beautiful candles.  I left with this wonderful sense of peace. 
After the service we raced home and got ready for company.  We always have Christmas Eve dinner with my family and it's always roast with veggies and cornbread.   It was a nice peaceful evening.  M brought her ps2 over.  My boys' system broke about 3 weeks ago and they've been withdrawing. M loves Guitar Hero so that's what they did a good part of the evening.

 We've just been lounging the past couple of days. And playing Wii.  We got a WONDERFUL deal on a Wii a couple weeks ago so we grabbed it.  Didn't plan on buying it, but was too good of a deal to pass up and the entire family has been having a blast with it.  My boys FREAKED and were so surprised!   And I FINALLY beat D at bowling last life is complete now. I've discovered I play sports as well on the Wii as I do in real life....not well!!

Favorite gifts, besides the Wii....

T's is his iPod Santa brought him.  He's been wanting on for a while, and had enough money to buy one, but decided to "wait and ask Santa to bring it to him, so he wouldn't have to spend any of his OWN money."  Seriously, that kid is going to be wealthy someday. 

J's favorite is all his hunting gear he got. 

D swears he loves all his gifts and can't pick a favorite.  But I know it WASN'T the bottle of Red Raspberry Smokey Hills wine I got for us to try. HAHA  I, on the other hand, enjoyed his gift tremendously. (There's been a lot of wine talk lately, and I SWEAR neither me nor my husband have a problem. About once every couple of months or so we like to get a new bottle of wine to try out.  We both have very different tastes in wine, so it gets interesting!)
My favorite? Hmm...I am not sure I can pick a fav either.  I got a pressure canner that I've really been wanting.   My husband got me this AWESOME clock that I love love love.  M got me a beautiful "sisters" necklace. I had some guilt opening that one, as I had taken her gift, the second Twilight book, and wrapped it in a HUGE box with packing peanuts, Pull-ups and maxi pads.  Opps. =)
My brother and K also got me a  wall mounted jewelry armoire that hangs on my wall. It looks like a huge mirror, but opens up to put all my jewelry in.  Love it.

It was a great holiday!  Today we took most of our decorations down. I left some of my favorite snowmen up, as well as my Christmas cards, just because they make me smile.    I'm a little sad its all over, but its nice to get back to "normal":  normal foods, normal routine, normal house, normal school......normal is good too!

Hope everyone had a very Merry Chirstmas!!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Almost Ready!

The candy and goodies are made.

The presents are mostly done. I just have a couple more to get and wrap and then I am DONE!  (BTW--see that one that shaped like a bottle? One of my daycare mom and dads brought me that. Not their child--he brought me a more child-friendly gift. hehe)   I plan opening that one up a little early. =)

 The Christmas cards are all mailed out. I hung our cards we received this year from fishing line from garland that we wrap around the top of the wall for our stair way. It looks really neat and is the perfect height for the daycare kids to enjoy looking at them too!

It looks as though we might have a white Christmas this year. It will be nice, but hope if doesn't stay around long!  But it will be magical to have snow on Christmas!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Our Tree

Yesterday I read another blog and she blogged about her tree. Well, I decided our tree deserved a mention in my blog. Our tree is horrible. No, seriously! It really is, but that's ok!! It's this jumbled mix of homemade and kids ornaments, old ones and new ones. But they are so very dear to me!!  My favorites?

The trumpet ornament that was my dads when he was growing up.

There are also 2 on there from my Grandmother, and my paternal great grandmother. The one from my Great-Grandma is a knitted pair of ice skates. The "blades" are paper clips. The one my grandmother made hard to explain. It's almost like a stuffed quilt block, and she added some beads. Just seeing it makes me smile and its a reminder of her love I still get to feel every holiday season.

Danny's Baby's First Christmas

The  boys' First Christmas ornaments

J and T have each made various ones throughout their years in school. My favorite T has made is this really cute one made from a CD case. One side has a picture of him smiling really cute with a Santa hat one, and says NICE. You flip it over and he's frowning, looking real mad, and it says NAUGHTY!

My fav of J's is a Santa and a Snowman he made out of popsicle sticks. Isn't it amazing what all you can do with popsicle sticks? ;-)

Another favorite is one my boys look for each year. It's a wooden cut out of a bus from my bus driver from 1985. It must have taken her AGES because she made one for each kid on her bus and they are all hand painted with a neat little note on the back.

We used to have this pretty angel that sat on the top.  The second or third Christmas we had with Smokey, he got bored one night, somehow got the angel down, and ate off her wings.  My Aunt K made us a pretty bow to stick up on the top, and I like it so much I haven't replaced the angel yet.

I am like the Hallmark commercials. Every year I try to get my boys a new ornament, usually trying to represent something they did or accomplished that year.  My hope is someday they can take them with them when they start their own lives, but that thought also makes me very sad.

I dream of having a tree with matching ornaments, ribbon, and perfectly placed lights. But I'll have to get another tree and put up two, because this one makes me smile too much!!

Monday, December 7, 2009

December Update

WHEW!! We have our running shoes on here at the Bruckner house.   It seems someone always needs to go/be picked up from somewhere at the moment!!

We went to Meade Saturday to watch J play ball. They lost both games.  I am seeing improvements in J’s game, however. He’s got room for improvement, but I no longer cover my eyes when he gets the ball.   He’s become much more relaxed when he gets the ball. The first game or so he’d want the ball really bad, and then panic and get rid of it as soon as he got it.  He always got the ball stolen this way…the other teams figure out pretty fast what he’s going to do.   He’s taking more shots, even scoring in the last game he played.  I had asked him later if he heard me scream and yell when he did. He replied NO, but said he was more worried about trying to stay cool and not smile big and look like a dork.  I am seeing more of a teenager come through every day.  UGH. This past game day he comes out of his room 20 minutes before the bus leaves and says. “Did you not wash my uniform?”  Uhhhhh….I don’t know. Where is it?”  “In my BAG!!”  D looks at me and then at J and then back again with a look like Mt St Helen's is about to errupt in our living room and he must take cover immediately.  I try to stay calm.  “You’ll just have to wear dirty clothes then. I am not coming and looking for YOUR dirty clothes. If you need them washed, YOU put them in the basket.”  So, he goes to get them out and discovered his AXE shampoo has leaked….ALL over his clothes. So I wash his uniform out in the sink until it is no longer foaming, throw them in the dryer for 10 minutes, put them on a hanger, and throw him out the door, and hope they dry the rest on the way to Meade.  Lesson learned? I am not holding my breath.

T also learned a lesson this week about compressed air.  He had just got done taking a shower, and thought his foam soap was all gone, so he POPPED A HOLE in it with one of those punch can openers. (He “wanted to see what was inside of it.”)  There was foam all over my carpet, up the wall, ceiling, ceiling fan....words can not even describe the mess this made.  It was pretty easy to clean up.  However, I am still finding foam a week later.   And my house smelled of Cool Kiwi Berry from Bath and Body. I highly recommend it…though it’s better on your body than on your carpet, walls, ect.
This pic just does not tell the whole story.  You just had to be there to see and smell it all! 

T also had to go get some glue on one of his fingers this weekend. He had a buddy over to stay the night and they were looking at his pocket knife.  T reached over to take the knife as H flicked it up.  He cried right after it happened, but that is all.  Took him to the hospital, and they were looking at it, cleaning it out. I looked down and they were spreading it open, looking inside of it, and I suddenly felt very, very, VERY hot and started seeing little sparkles.  Next thing I knew I was sitting on a stool with my head between my legs with a cold washrag on my head.  T laughed and laughed, and told me it didn’t even hurt that bad.  He found it really amusing and has to make sure he slips that in his story when he shows people his finger.  That’s never happened to me before, and it was HUMILATING!! 

I don’t think I ever wrote about the 4-H Achievement Banquet.  This is where the county 4-Hers and their families meet for a potluck dinner and receive their year pins and their awards for their record books.   It’s a lot of fun.  J received his 3rd year pin, County Rabbit Champ, and County Aerospace Champ.  T got his membership pin, 1st year pin, County Hand Pet Champ, and a Poultry award.  T was pretty tickled because going over there he announced he didn’t think he’s win ANYTHING! ;-)  I always wait for a “Gee Mom, thanks for standing over of us and making us write in our books.” But so far, nothing.  HAHA

D and I are just trying to keep with the hustle and bustle of the season.  I do not think I am going to be able to get away to shop till the weekend BEFORE Christmas. Yeah, that will be a fun trip.   Hope to get some holiday baking in this weekend, as well as go see New Moon again—it’s playing here that the Chief this weekend.  Dragging D to it…if any of you get a “PLEASE HELP ME” text from him, just ignore it! ;-)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Memories

The HOLIDAYS ARE HERE!! This is my very favorite time!! I get just as excited about Christmas as the kids do. There is something just so magical about it.

I’ve started my hunt for the perfect gifts. I have a problem with gift buying. I try to hard to find the “perfect gift” for that person, and will pretty much give my self an ulcer trying to find it.

My favorite Christmas?

One of the very top ones was the first one I spent with my new baby sister. She was 4 days old on Christmas and the best gift EVER. Lucky for my mom, she was smart enough to have our Christmas that year right before she went into the hospital, so watching us see what “Santa” brought was the only thing she really had to get up for on Christmas morning.

Another that sticks out is the very first Christmas D and I were married and our very pathetically decorated tree. We were broker than broke and always laugh about that time. “Well, it could always be worse…remember when…?”

Eric and I used to wake our parents up in the middle of the night to open presents. We had an unspoken pact, where if one of us woke up before the other, we’d wake the other up. We’d run in to see what Santa had brought us. After a while we just couldn’t stand it anymore so we’d wake our parents up. Many 3 O’clock Christmas mornings happened at my house. Even when I was too old to “believe” anymore, Eric and I still had that pact and we’d wake the other up.

I remember how Santa sometimes, if he had time, left a note for us. Thats a tradition that has been carried on. (Though Santa has had to get creative to find unrecognizable handwriting! Smart, those boys are!) He always left us an orange or an apple in the bottom of our stockings, and I always claimed it was the best orange/apple I had ever eaten. Christmas magic can even make fruit taste better.

Every Christmas Eve we would eat dinner with my Grandma Moreton. We’d feast, and then open our presents from her. Every year when we would leave her apartment I would always listen for sleigh bells. Some years I’d hear them, others not. And any airplane that was spotted in the sky was SURELY Rudolph. Now, the Christmas Eve tradition is held at my house, and it’s one I hold close to my heart and love doing.

I LOVED watching Santa’s Workshop. Does anyone remember that? With Toy Boy and they would ZOOOOOOMMMMM around the world? Anyway, I remember one time telling my dad to hurry home because I wanted to watch “Play Boy.” After Dad got done choking, he reminded me that his name was TOY BOY and to never ever say that in front of Grandma Katy. HAHA

We’ve had some sad ones too. My grandmother passed away right before Christmas when I was 9. I didn’t think my family was ever going to smile again. I also remember our beloved dog, Deputy, getting run over a day or two before Christmas when I was a 6th grader. The only reason I remember that it was at Christmas is because I can I remember sitting on my dad’s lap, crying, and he told Eric and I that he knew Santa was going to miss Deputy too, and that Santa was up at the North Pole, crying with us. (And I know that after the kids were settled in bed, “Santa” did go and have himself a good cry. He loved that dog as much as Eric and I did.)

So, it's December 1st, and my cards are all addressed and waiting to be dropped in the mail, the tree and decorations are up, and the shopping has begun. Bring it on! =)

I just love Christmas.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Thanksgiving and THE DAY AFTER


What a great Thanksgiving!! Everyone came to our house, with the exception of Mom, who worked at the office.
I wasn’t sure if there was going to be any pies, however, as when I was baking my crusts, one of my pie pans exploded in the oven. Wow—that’s never happened to me before, and I am thankful the oven door was not open when it blew. Luckily, the store had a few frozen crusts left, so Thanksgiving was saved.
After the meal, I fell into a turkey induced coma on the couch while my men, E, K and little sister played Uno Attack.

Friday was the day. THE day. The day my sister and I had been waiting for over a year now. Nope, no Black Friday shopping for us. We headed to Dodge to see….New Moon! I am not a big movie watcher, so it’s really strange for me to be obsessed about seeing a movie! Those of you that know me know what a HUGE deal it was for me to go to DODGE on BLACK FRIDAY where I might encounter...gasp... a crowd!! I don’t admit this to a lot of people, but I am OBSESSED with these books and have read the series probably at least 10 times. I loved Twilight, but was a bit disappointed they didn’t completely follow the book. However, New Moon had a new director, and it was A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. It was exactly like I had pictured it in my head. M and I laughed when we counted *5* men in the entire theater. 3 of those 5 looked like they had been drug there against their will and were being held hostage. I also couldn’t stop laughing when one of the main characters, Jacob, takes off his shirt-- you should have heard the GASP that these ladies produced. The ENTIRE theater gasped!!! Well, gasped and squealed….you should have been sitting by my sister. SOME OF US just go for the amazing and wonderful story line! ;-) So the next movie is due out in June. I believe it will be in theaters right after we get back from vacation! June is going to be such a WONDERFUL month!!!

To my sister: I found this, just for you. Thank you for an amazing day yesterday. It was so much fun. Please get a towel before you watch this… I’m not going to be responsible for buying Dad a new keyboard after you drool and ruin his. ;-) ilvu!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Show News

Saturday we got up BEFORE the crack of dawn and headed to Harper to a show.  After playing a scary game of Deer Dodging twice, and almost losing both times, I was happy we made it there in one piece.

We did well!!

Tristen getting one of the castors ready. (Doesn't he look SO serious?)  

 T’s Mini Rex Castors got 2nd and 3rd, and his Red Mini Rex  got 2nd. T has decided to really concentrate in the castors.  Castors are a beautiful deep burnt brown color.  Almost like the color of a beer bottle, as I’ve heard my husband say.   We came home from the show with a new castor doe.   New friends of ours knew he was really interested in them, and they were cutting back so they just loaded her up and offered her to him.   Therefore, he came home and made some decisions on who he needs to get rid of out back.  He’s being very mature about it, and making some great decisions!! He sold 2 of his mini rex’s (colors that he has decided not to work on) to a fellow 4-Her at a heck of a bargain so she could have a decent start with her rabbits.
It’s always nice to see your kids make good choices!

                                      Jacob working Tori's fur. This is the bun that got Best Opposite Sex.

J’s Californians did great again.  The rabbit that got runner up Best in Show and BOB at the state fair got BOB again, and he also had one that got Best Opposite Sex.  (They pick the best opposite sex to that of the best in breed.)  His other one he took placed 2nd.  While they were doing the Best of Show choice, Truman got looked at several times, which always gets you excited; because that means you have a chance, but no such luck.  We were happy with what we got though!!
On a side note, we sat by a line of coops that we watched being judged by a young lady who had no qualms about telling people exactly what was wrong with their rabbits. Very good and knowledgeable judge, just very blunt. Anyway, she was the judge that ended up judging J's Cals. She judged Truman and told J the goods/bads of him, was putting him back into his coop, and looked at J and told him "You have a very nice animal there. Very nice." I think she must have judged 150 rabbits while we were there, and I only heard her say that 4 times. Very exciting.

D and I are finding we REALLY enjoy showing.  We’ve started making friends, and it’s always nice when someone recognizes you and waves.  There is a lot of waiting at these shows and the kids ran around and socialized, and checked out girls, while D and I sat in our chairs and relaxed.  It was a great day!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Door To Door Freaks

The E-Z Choice Meat guy was making his rounds here the other day. Those of you that don’t know about this, its basically a guy that sells boxes of meat out of his truck. It’s pretty pricey…about $300 per box. Not something most people I know would just buy at the spur of the moment, but SOMEONE must buy it, as he comes around pretty regularly.

So I scream and run downstairs, because I HATE telling people NO and having them try to push me. I make poor D tend to the meat guy.

J comes down stairs a few minutes later, just rolling. I guess the conversation went something like this:

“You all interested in some beef?”

”Nope, we have our own cow. Thanks.”

”How about some chicken?”

”Nope, have some chickens out in the back yard.”

”What about some seafood? Don’t see any PIGS in the backyard..” (Ok-what the heck?? We didn’t get it either and I am REALLY hoping he was just being sarcastic and not really that stupid…)

“Nope, don’t need any seafood either. Not interested. Thanks anyway.”

”OK, well, have fun shopping at the grocery store!”

So, while I probably wouldn’t have ever bought meat from a hick looking guy with no teeth driving a pickup truck, now I KNOW we won’t be.

And while I am on the subject, what is the deal with these door to door people and being rude. When I say NO or sorry, I am busy, please just say thanks anyway and walk back down the driveway. I must be on the list, because it seems as though anyone who has anything to sell or a religion to push, they come see me.

A daycare mom and I hid from my weekly Jehovah witnesses yesterday. We sat with the door locked and hid like they were monsters in a horror movie. Later we realized she had left her car in the driveway…running. How’s that for obvious! HAHA

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

I’m sitting in here this Veteran’s Day feeling very lucky. Lucky to live in this great country, lucky that I, as a woman, have the same rights as a man, and very lucky to have my husband home with me, as many spouses of military will not have this luxury today.

D was born with the military coursing through his veins. It’s just a natural part of his life. It’s part of who he is.

I never gave his Navy background very much thought, except laughing at some of his crazy stories he shared sometimes. It was over and done and part of his past. I thought.

Add September 11th to the picture and our lives changed. D and I watched the news together for weeks during lunch hour and in the evenings. I could feel it--something-- building up.

“I’m thinking of going active.”

When those words come out of your husband’s mouth, they can make your heart literally stop. I tried to breathe as I calmly set toddler T down, before I dropped him.

With in 2 weeks, there was a big guy in a uniform sitting in my living room asking for our social security cards. Another 2 weeks, he was in Wichita for his very first drill weekend.

We got into a nice routine with him only gone one weekend a month to drills and the extra money really was nice. Then one weekend he calls home and says “In 2 months I am heading to the base in Bahrain for a month.”

T was 2, J was 4 the first time he left. He kissed away my tears at the airport and turned around, smiled and waved at me before he went into the terminal. I let the boys sleep in my bed during this time, and J and I cried ourselves to sleep many nights, missing “daddy.” D was gone the first time J wrote his name all by himself. I remember scanning it and sending a copy of it to him in the email.
It also never failed that some sort of problem would arise with the house EVERY time he was gone. It was usually plumbing. Or a dead mouse. I learned though I DO NOT like dead mice, I CAN take care of them if I have to.

He ended up being gone for over 5 months, back and forth, a month at a time. It seemed just as we were getting used to having him home, he'd leave again. The very worst time he was gone was when he left the week before Thanksgiving and came home right before Christmas. I remember eating with my family, coming home and putting my boys down for a nap, and sitting on the couch with a box of Kleenex and watched the military greetings that were on TV. Pathetic, huh? It was really hard that year to get all the decorations up without him. Though I knew he was coming home it didn’t feel like Christmas time without him here. That was the year I got him a really nice leather jacket for Christmas, and T blurted out "We got you a new coat for your present, Daddy" one of the times he called home. T never has been good with secrets.

The highlight of my days were first thing in the morning when I had an email from him, and then again at lunchtime when he would be getting off work and would write. The days I didn’t hear from him were spent with a pit in my stomach. I can not imagine the days of war where families would go months before receiving a letter in the mail from thier loved ones.
I watched the news and the internet all the time. One morning I got up and went to Yahoo and there was a story about how a dumpster had exploded outside the base at Bahrain. D played it off when he called home to check in, (After they found out it had made the news, they all knew it was time to put a call in to home.) but turned out to be more to the story. A lot more. And I am just thankful I didn't know about all of it till he was safely home. After that, every time he played something off, I always wondered if he was telling the truth or not.
He was over there when they caught Saddam Hussein. He thought that warranted a call to me in the middle of the night, and woke me up just to tell me that. I was just happy to hear his voice.
The stories he can tell are amazing. Stories from a land where its normal to see rats running down hallways amongst the people or swimming in toilets. the base. I am fascinated by the customs over there. No shoes in houses. Woman, totally covered up, are always to walk a step behind the men. Only shaking with the left hand, not with the right, as the right is the one you "wipe" with and it is considered an insult if you offer this hand. (Or is it the other way around? Regardless, one hand is off limits and an insult.)

Things I learned during all this?

Though it wasn't pleasant being separated during this time, I did learn a lot about myself. I am a lot stronger than I ever thought possible and I can pump my own gas if I really need too. ;) What he does and what he loves, make him who is. Do I ever want to go through it again? Nope, not really. Would I totally support him if he felt he needed to do it again? Absolutely. He makes me proud. I am a very lucky girl.

Other things I learned?

My husband looks hot in a uniform. That being said, when those guys put on that uniform, they are just a tad bit cockier than they were 15 seconds before they put it on.

Military base phones are monitored. Someone else can hear your conversation. Your husband will find this amusing when you,unknowingly, talk about things someone else probably shouldn’t hear. And he won’t tell you till after you've already said them and he's laughing so hard he can hardly tell you to shut up. I am just thankful these people don't know what I look like or where I live.

Most people are so supportive of our military. D and his buddy's got many thank you’s and free drinks, but then again have also gotten yelled at and obscenities thrown at them. They were one time even called “baby killers” at a buffet restaurant in Wichita one drill weekend. It's expected on a base in a "hot zone" but on your own home turf it is a bit more upsetting.

Be sure to thank a vet today...or any day. Because you will never ever know what they have given up and left behind at home to serve our country, so you can be free today.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Funny T Story

T has been on D and I to have another baby so he can have a sister. Having two of the worlds cutest baby girls come to daycare, Cami and Elizabeth, hasn’t helped any. About once a week or so he’ll bring it up. We have repeatedly told him that, no, we are done and even if we were that dumb…err…blessed, to have another baby, it wouldn’t be a sister…we’d bring him home another brother. Genetically, pink doesn’t come to our house.

So anyway, while waiting for J’s bus to get back from basketball practice, he brought it up again. D and I told him, yet again, that we are not having any more babies.

“Mom, can you take me to the bank tomorrow?”

“Why, T?”

”Well, if you won’t have another baby, I am going to take all my money out of my account and you can go get me a sister from China.”

Interestingly enough he’s become obsessed with the idea of adopting a baby from China.

I wonder if someday I will have a beautiful almond eyed grand-daughter?

Retarded Teeth and A Sad Goodbye

Thursday we took off for Wichita for the boys dental appointments. Our dentist is a short little Korean man, probably in his 60’s, who, while very very good with the kids, can be a bit hard to understand at times. Every time he comes in he always greets Tristen- “My man, Tittan.” Tristen always laughs, because he says this EVERY TIME we see him. Something else I always hear? “Bad…berry berry bad.” My boys both have a congenital defect where they are missing teeth. Under their baby teeth, some of their adult teeth are missing. Gone. Never formed. I blame this on freaky Bruckner genes, as my husband has the very same thing. T and D are only missing one tooth, which coincidentally, turned out to be the exact same tooth. J, on the other hand, is missing 4!! Every time we go there, we always here a different story to what J needs to have done. Last time, Dr just told Jacob: “You need go get REALLY good job when you older, you pay for own teeth!!” hehe J’s teeth do not seem to be a priority right now, even though he has so many missing. He has a BIG mouth, with beautiful spacing and lots of room, therefore none of the baby teeth are in danger of being pushed out at the moment. It’s T’s they seem most concerned about. He has a smaller mouth, with teeth already cramming up, and that baby tooth with no adult tooth is about to the kicked out of there with the adult teeth coming up on both sides. They would like to see him go to the Orthodontist, and have that baby tooth pulled and the tooth behind it brought up in it’s place, or just have it pulled and have an implant put in there.

Having children is just grand.

BTW--the dentist was doing something fun to get the kids to get rid of their Halloween candy. He was paying any patient of his $5 for every pound they bring in.

"Tittan--you have candy?" "Yeah, lots!" "You bring-uh-me candy, I give-uh-u money. You bring-uh-me 1 pound, I give-uh-you 5 dolla. You bring-uh-me 2lbs, I give-uh-you $10 dolla.
The dental hygienist told me that while it was a great idea, he had thrown it all in a giant box in the back and all the nurses have been eating it!

We lost one of our buns Wednesday night. We had had Noel for 7 years. She was one of the buns that started the love of rabbits here at my house. I had suspected she was sick, as while I was holding her about a month ago, I felt a rather large “bump” in her lower belly. Rabbits have a high rate of uterine cancer if they are not spayed and I believe this is what happened with her. I had actually discussed with D just taking her over and having her put to sleep. I’m glad she didn’t make us make that choice. She never looked or acted sick, until Wednesday afternoon, when T discovered she hasn't eaten or drank from the day before. She died about 2 hours later. T is really upset. She was taken care of everyday by him. I told him that rabbits don’t usually live to be 7, and that he took really good care of her for her to be that old. It’s never easy.
She was a wonderful, prissy, big ol’ fat lop eared rabbit with round big brown eyes that looked like marbles. She was a bunny version of a cat. If you held her and petted her, she would immediately have to groom herself where ever you had touched her. Then she’d glare at you, as if to say “Gross, dirty, humans.” Noel survived a month living in Bud Louthan's garden one summer after she escaped from her cage. We thought she was long gone till we happen to hear a rumor that Bud had a “pretty” rabbit he’d been trying to catch in his garden. She was very, very, fat when he caught her, and was not at all happy with being caged and living on a diet of bland pellets after that. She was also the bun that had the UH-OH litter of babies about 4 years ago. One of the “girl” rabbits my mother brought home to the boys, turned out not to be a girl.
Most of our rabbits we have are thought of more as livestock, and though we care about the well being of each of them, there are just a few out there who worm their way into our hearts for whatever reason and they become special pets. We are going miss that ol’ lady.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fall Wonderfulness

It was a wonderful, fun filled, relaxing weekend here at the Bruckner household..
Saturday, T and I totally rearranged and organized his bedroom. We ended up taking out 5 black trash bags of junk.(5!!) A lot of that was broken toys and clothes that had holes, but still….5 bags!! He has now gotten rid of 99% of his toys now, leaving only things such as art supplies, books, and sports supplies. My boys are growing up!!

J is full swing into basketball. These practices everyday are taking a lot of getting used to. And they have a pre season tournament already Friday. He seems to like it, but has already informed me he does not think he wants to go out for track. Thursday we have to take the boys to the dentist and plan on getting his basketball shoes. I am usually on the ball with that sort of thing, but it seriously snuck up on me this year.

We had a wonderful time Trick or Treating Halloween night. This was J’s last year dressing up. Next year he wants to have a buddy over, and pass out candy while T, D, and I trick or treat. Anyway, it was just a wonderful night with beautiful weather, and D and I talked about how many years now we have trudged though mounds of leaves and snow, and tried to remember all the different costumes our boys had dressed up as. We did notice there were quite a few “regulars” that didn’t have their porch light on. I know our neighbor has the flu. I wonder if that had anything to do with it.

Friday I made popcorn balls. My grandmother used to make them every year for it just isn’t fall time without them. I am a popcorn ball snob. I hate popcorn balls that are hard. I like mine soft and sticky. My boys gobbled them up, so I am thinking I need to make more of them…you know…for them.

Saturday we finally got Kirby back in with his mom so ALL of our little cow herd it together. My brother and Kim helped us get him in….I manned the gate. I didn’t freak out once, but wasn’t being chased by Crazy Cow either. Car or not, there is just something scary about being chased by an animal, with horns, that out weighs you by 800+ lbs. It was a lot of fun. I can’t believe how much I enjoy being around cows again. We are banding the calves next weekend. Should be fun. HAHA D and I have had this on going debate about which is better: Banding, which cuts off the circulation, and about 2 weeks later the “sack” just falls off, or cutting, which involves splitting the sack open, popping those babies out, and sending on thier way to heal, and dealing with possible infection and flies.

I won. =-)*

I need to post pics of D’s baby buns. They are the cutest, fluffiest, balls of cuteness EVER. They look like they could be on the cover of an Easter card. They are so fat they have little fat rolls that hang over their legs. I think they could make even the grouchiest of people smile.

Have a HAPPY WEEK!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Real Cowgirls Drive Ford Tauruses

Kirby 2 Bruckners 0

We have a cow/calf pair in the corral that we have been having a hard time keeping in. They don’t seem to realize why we keep putting them back in there, when all they have to do is jump, or break, the fence and be quickly reunited with their old herd. We have Rosie back in, but have yet to convince Kirby to go through the gate and stay with his mom.

Saturday we decided to see if we could just chase Kirby over to our side, and see if we could trick him through.

D askes: “You wanna go out and see if you can get him up here while I stay by the gate?”

”Sure….in the car?”

”Why not?”


Now, a little history. These are not OUR cows, but a friend of ours who have the cattle on my parents pasture. They probably are really sweet cows, and are a lot of fun…when you are dealing with them through a fence. There is this one cow out there who gives me the creeps. She is black, has eyes that seem to follow you wherever you are at, and has horns that must be some sort of record. Personally I believe she is some sort of evil mutated longhorn. She scares me. A lot. I'll refer to her "Killer Cow."

So T and I head out in my car. We could have taken the jeep, but the jeep and I do not have a good relationship. The top is not on it right now, which would not be good when dealing with Killer Cow, and the last time I drove it I went straight through a wooden gate.

So there we are, out in the pasture, where I am sure truckers are having a good chuckle seeing this little car out herding…er…make that attempting to herd…these cows. All we were really doing was going around and around their grass bale. They didn’t really seem to concerned about me and defiantly not enough to leave their bale full of wonderfulness.

I drive off about 40 feet and stop to think what my next plan of action would be. About this time, T rolls his window down and starts to shake his Tic-Tac container.

“T, do you think if I just start honking they will follow?


“Well, I wonder if I go at them from the other side if they will run this way?”


“Hang on T, I am thinking.”

”GO MOM!! GO!!!!!”

T is still shaking his Tic-Tac container, and I look in the side mirror. You know where it says “objects in mirror may be closer than they appear? Well, Killer Cow was in my mirror and I could see in it was her nose and eyes..and she was RUNNING! I take off in the car, and call D, trying really hard not to be all girly and scream and stuff, all while these cows think T has a container of cow cake..and they want it…BAD!!

D’s griping, because all he wants me to bring was Kirby, and all I can think about is getting the main gate open and getting out so I don’t get ran over. D got me through the gate and got it closed just as Killer Cow rounds the corner.

I’m safe.

The cows are pissed they have been fooled.

And Kirby never did get close enough for us to round up.

We REALLY need to buy a pickup.

I felt sorry for them and threw some cake out for them anyway.

D, very lovingly, made some sort of comment about me operating the gate next time, while he gets some “guys” to help him.

Sounds ok to me.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dreaming Of The Beach!!!

Just as I tell myself that our lives can not get any crazier, it just does. I remember thinking, when my boys were very little, that life would get so much easier as they got older. HAHA I mean, they can now wipe their own bottoms and noses and can whip up something to eat if they are hungry, but along with age has come more activities-sports, school work, rabbit shows, 4-H, youth group.... I’d much rather have children who are involved than children who are not, but sometimes it would be nice to just have a break from everything. I'm starting to think I must have told myself it would be easier when they got older just to get me through the sleepless nights and the days I walked around with doo-doo on my shirt without even knowing it. Now my new thought is: It will get easier when they CAN DRIVE THEMSELVES to their OWN activities! HAHA I'll stop whining now, but the boys seriously have something planned EVERY DAY this week, except for Monday, when football practice was canceled due to illness. Not every week is as bad as this one...thank goodness...but I hate that feeling when all of us are running in 4 different directions.

I think I have mentioned this before but we are taking a vacation to South Carolina this summer. The thought of this trip and sitting on the beach for a week consumes most of my thoughts these days. I am not sure how I am going to survive this very long winter. I got even more excited when F found a townhouse for all of us to rent that week a block from the beach with a hotel with a pool and lazy river a block the other way that we have full rights to. I literally jumped up and down while talking with my friend, seriously feeling like I was 5 years old ago for a few seconds.
I am having a hard time imagining what life will be like for week with nothing to do but sit in the sand and sun, with no where to be or go if we don’t want to. I think the weeks leading up to our trip are going to be crazy, as we have told our boys that their fair projects WILL be done BEFORE we leave.

The boys play their last football games of the season this weekend, and this will J’s last pee-wee game EVER—next year he can play JR HIGH ball. They play a tournament Sunday, and the 5th/6th graders get to play at the Red Demon college stadium. It’s really awesome for them because they turn the music on through the system between plays and quarters…just like the big dogs! ;-)
Last weekend, D was in Pratt for the day, so the boys and I loaded up and went to the football field and took some pictures in their football gear. We had a lot of fun, and I tinkered around with some of the pictures on Photo Shop. I was so excited when I figured out how to pop the color on the photos. Its something I’ve always loved and wanted to do, but could never figure it out.

Danny’s Flemish Giant, Yeti, had 3 babies this morning! She was the one we were SURE probably wasn’t pregnant due to the buck having not seemed to have things figured out. I guess he did after all. Anyway, she was a couple of days overdue, and given that and the fact that she only had 3, these are some BIG babies!! I tend to humanize animals with thoughts and feelings, and felt really bad her for this morning frantically running around pulling out fur, not really sure what was happening. She had 2 white ones, and a dark (black?) one. Not sure if the black one is true black or if will be gray.
J’s Cal is due in a day or two and we are pretty sure she IS pregnant. We also bred the Hotot’s but never did see any “action” so I seriously doubt there will be babies from her.

In chicken news, 16 of the 19 babies are out in the coop with the big ladies. This is a scary new world for them. They run away if any of the big girls come into the coop, and you will find them sometimes with their beaks facing the corners and their eyes shut, as if hoping everything scary will somehow all go away. They do not venture out of the coop yet, but considering they’ve spent the past 5 weeks of their life in a brooder box, the coop probably feels like an entire planet all of their own. It won’t be long, I am sure, before we see them out scratching along side the ladies. I have noticed they are all very plump and full in the evening time, so they are enjoying the scratch we throw out as well as the crickets that live in there.
I still have 3 inside the brooder. Two haven’t fully gotten all of their feathers, one has something wrong with his hips or joints, as he walks like an 80 year old man, but gets along just fine. He’s just a bit slower and behind the others so I’ll give him a bit more time. Any other person probably would have culled this guy, but the “mama’ in me wanted to see what he would do. I call him Tiny Tim, but I think he’s is actually a hen…we will see. I hope he does ok when he gets out to the coop. I should take pictures soon, but they are honestly really ugly at this stage!! They are all each different, with the Easter Eggs all being different colors. Very fun!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Red Leaves and Pumpkins

Fall is here in full force, I believe. I’ve dug out my warm pj’s and we’ve turned our heater on. I didn’t want to do it, but it barely got over 65 degrees in the house yesterday. T was thrilled and took his blanket, laid over the top of the vent and says “It feels just like Christmas!”

J has been super busy. He has had something going on every night this week. He finally got over that weird bug he had, but continued to run a fever at least once a day for 4 days.

T visited a pumpkin patch in Turon yesterday with his class. He got off the bus and ran to tell me he had bought me a Halloween present. I thought he had probably bought one of those warty gourds, because we had just been talking about them that morning, when he pulled out a candle. He spent most of his money to bring his mom home a candle!! My eyes filled up a little bit and I had to give him a big squeeze!! He was very proud of himself, and I think I am going to start having T help his Dad out when it come to shopping for gifts for me. T just knew I would love this candle because it’s homemade and smelled like cinnamon.

We’ve expanded our little wanna be cow herd. We bought a cow/calf from a friend of ours. The cow is named Rosie, and her calf we named Kirby…get it? in Kirby Meat? He will be being shipped off probably right after we get back from our vacation in the summer. Rosie has been with a bull for a couple of months and we are hoping she will give us a calf in the springtime. She is an escape artist and doesn’t seem to realize what exactly those fences are for, so this weekend we will be re-doing fence. Chewy doesn’t seem to know what to think about these big animals we’ve thrown in with him. We are not sure what it is he thinks he is, but it’s defiantly not a cow. (I think he really thinks he is a four legged human. He rubs D and I like the calves do their mamas) He ran through the fence and got out the first day we had them in there because they scared him so bad. He’s slowly got a bit more tolerant of them, but they can’t come anywhere near him or he bolts.
I added a picture of the newbie cows...and Chewy in the background doing what he does the best...eating!!

We have 3 does that are due to have babies with in 2 weeks. Two of the three we are not holding our breath on. But we are hoping all of them took. Fall is an “iffy” time to breed because if the rabbits do not get enough light during the day they will not breed. (This is a trait from the wild…they do not want to have babies when it is cold.) This is D’s second attempt to breed his flemish giants, and if his buck didn’t “score” this time, I believe this is his last strike and he will try to find him a new home. (This poor buck seems to understand the game, he just can’t “slid home”” to put it nicely.) Time will tell, I guess. This will be our last attempt for babies until spring.

It’s supposed to really get cold this weekend, so I am going to go pick all my green tomatoes and see what I can get done with them. And I was informed we are running low on Cherry Jam so I need to get some more of that made.

Sunday my family drug me to the city wide last chance sale. I hate going to those as it seems my family always seem to have the need to bring home more junk into our house that I find 6 months later and toss in the dumpster. However, I was happy I went this year. I found an awesome basket, a case and a half of canning jars, as well as 2 really cute antique canning jars that just look fabulous on my kitchen shelf. I also learned something at this sale…there are a bunch of freaks in our county. I saw a lady with 2 trash bags and a toilet paper box full of junk heading to her car.

I do, however, love to garage sale. Nothing thrills me more than finding a bargain. I like to do this alone, or with a friend…never EVER with the husband or children. ;-) We were at a football game in Dodge this year and I didn’t get to go to any of them.

Enjoy this beautiful, colorful, fall! Soon it will all be gone!

Friday, October 2, 2009


Since we started feeding bucket calves this summer we’ve seen a “pack” of wild turkeys out at the farm just about every day. They like to hang out by an old tree that is out by the lot the calf is in, and when we first started watching them, there where just a handful, with about 8 to 10 cute little fuzzy babies that would follow their mama, all in a row, when they ran away. Yesterday evening when we were out there, they were all on top of Chewy’s bale, eating seeds, and perched on the water tank. I bet there were 30 turkeys! It was an awesome sight when they all flew/ran away when they saw us coming. Dan keeps joking about Thanksgiving dinner……!!

Week before last I was starting to do dishes when my daycare kids were sleeping, when I looked out my window and got a shock. Maybe spending my days with 2 and 3 year olds is starting to take its toll, because for about 10 seconds I couldn’t figure out what the heck OSTRICHES were doing in my backyard. Oh….those are TURKEYS!!! (I don’t know why I thought they were ostriches. They just looked HUGE when I first saw them. Yes, I felt REALLY smart that day!) We have a small group on this side of town that has been around for years, but I’ve never seen them in my back yard. They were digging through the rabbit poop, eating bugs and leftover pellets. Our poor chickens were all lined up at the fence, staring at these monster birds, not making ANY sound. Mike McMoran told me one time they come and eat at an apple tree he has in his back yard, and we see them alot crossing the road over by Bud Louthan's.

It's really neat to see them and they seem to be everywhere at moment!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


After the past couple of weeks we’ve had, it’s been really nice to just sit and just be. The only thing we “had” to do this weekend was football in Dodge. T got a fumble recovery and almost got an interception, but he dropped the ball.(In the pictures, J is #30, T is #9) J had a good game too. However, he had a horrible case of stomach flu the day before and I wasn’t even sure he would be able to play. He felt much better, just tired. Not only was he weak from being sick, he threw up so much he pulled something in his chest and it made running really painful. Coach let him play but made him sit out more. He didn’t mind so I KNOW he wasn’t back to full speed yet. He did get a punt return, but only made it a yard before he got hammered. I think he was happy when that game was over.

Last week we sent the 3 roosters to a farm. It was getting much too noisy and I like most my neighbors and didn’t want to drive them crazy. It’s very quiet in the back yard now, and the ladies out in the coop didn’t really seem to know what to do without them being there. It took them a good day to come out side and act normal again. I don’t think I wrote about it before but 2 weeks ago our baby chicks came. We had 25 but are down to 19. We are first time chick owners and it took us a bit to get the temperature just right and lost a few in the process. I’m ready for them to be grown up, out in the coop, and laying blue eggs!

J and D have a big rabbit convention coming up in October. T and I are going to stay home since he will have football. We thought they were going to have to miss it, but it just happens to fall on J’s bi-week in football so he doesn’t have a game. It’s a 2 day event, with one day dedicated just to the youth with all kinds of contests and things for them to do. As long as he doesn’t come home with more rabbits than he left with this time, it will be great. J’s defiantly got show fever!!
We just got him a new show coat, and it was sent to Cindy to have his name put on it. He found a really cool Californian rabbit pin to put on there, as well as a cool 4-H patch. Some of these kids really spice their coats up so it’s really cool to see how creative they can get!

I FINALLY got a new camera! One day a couple of weeks ago, I turned ours on, and it literally gave a death scream and wouldn’t turn on again. It was dead dead dead!! That thing survived a lot, including getting a whole glass of milk spilt on it. Since then, the batteries would only old a charge for half the time, so we would have to take 2, sometimes, 3 sets of batteries, to make sure we didn’t miss anything. Anyway, we packed up and went to Pratt, where I fell in love with one. Well, they didn’t have it in stock, but they gave me the display model with 10% off!!! YIPPEE!! I am thrilled with my new camera and even more thrilled I got money off for it! =)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Lucky Lucky!

It would seem the Bruckner boys had a huge dose of Felix Felicis this past week. (Felix Felicis is a potion in Harry Potter that is refered to in the books as liquid luck)

Jacob was on a winning streak this weekend and I should have had him buy me a lottery ticket or pick out the Power Ball numbers or SOMETHING.

Jacob’s Californian rabbit got Best of Breed out of 22 other Cals that were at the State Fair 4-H show. So then he went on to compete with all the other Best of Breed rabbits for the Best of Show. He competed against 34 other rabbits for this and he got 1st runner up!! This won J a trophy and he also got a medal for the best of breed when we checked him out. (BTW-the above picture is of Jacob and Truman and the judge that judged for the Best of Show. Danny was so excited he didn't get her entire face! And it's a crappy picture because they had left the bag with all the show supplies AND THE CAMERA at home so it's a cell phone pic.) Keep in mind this was the rabbit I had blogged about before that I was CONVINCED would be laughed off the show table. It just shows I have no clue what I am doing when it comes to these guys. ;-)

Saturday at the show they were having a raffle giving away all sorts of rabbit related things for all the 4-H kids. There were sacks of feeds, stuffed rabbits, REAL rabbits, brushes..things like that. Can you guess what my son won? Yep..the real rabbits. He brought home 2 champion Havana rabbits…a breeding pair. Just what we needed. I would have been thrilled with the feed. Oh well. He’s super happy. Me? I guess I’ll get over it.

Sunday morning Jacob did his rabbit showmanship. They didn’t let the parents in to watch as they have had major problems with the parents interrupting the kids and coaching, so they took them into a conference room. J received a blue ribbon for this too!! I was so proud of him!!
(Rabbit showmanship is where the kids are judged on their knowledge of their rabbit. The rabbit is not judged, the KIDS are judged from everything from appearance (they have to wear show coats) to miscellaneous knowledge. They start at the ears and work all through the rabbit telling about and checking for illness, disqualifications, etc, and then the judge will ask them a series of questions at the end. They get scored for each section and the person with highest points wins. It takes a lot of guts to get up in front of an adult rabbit judge you don’t know and do this!! )

They had all kinds of contests for the 4-H rabbit kids. J participated in a rabbit judging contest and a breed identification contest.
We had left at 5:45 am so we could be there around 8ish. Jacob was done with everything by 10, but we couldn’t check out the buns until 6. Needless to say we were tired, grouchy, sick of the fair and ready to come home when 6 rolled around.

It was an AWESOME experience for all of us, and I now understand why you go into the animal barns and see people sleeping in the strangest places or positions….it’s exhausting!

All in all I was THRILLED with the results both boys got. Being as we were at the State Fair and that it was our first rabbit show EVER, I think they can be proud of their results!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Rabbit Shows and FOOTBALL!

We had a very busy weekend!!
Saturday T and D took off to the open rabbits show at the state fair. Unfortunately, they came home before they got to watch T’s rabbit, PC, be judged. There were lots and lots and lots of rabbits to get to before the mini rexes, and they didn’t want to do or look at too much at the fair since we are all going up Thursday, so they just came home.(T’s a bit like his mom, and doesn’t like crowds. Not to mention he has NO patience at all.) They got see J’s Californian, Truman, be judged though. He got 2nd out of the youth Cals. Sam called us and kept us updated though and PC got 3rd out of the Black Jr Doe Mini Rexes.
His Dwarf Hotot, Julia, wasn’t judged till Sunday, so we didn’t go back up there for that one either. But Sam called us and told us she got Best of Breed!!!
Not bad for our very first show EVER as well as being at the State Fair! We were very pleased with the 2nd and 3rd so the BOB was AWESOME! I was afraid we were going to DQ out!

J and I headed to Dodge Saturday while they were in Hutch. This was the first game of the season. It was cold, windy, and misting…perfect football weather. However, I had my sister’s car, with no blankets or umbrella in the trunk!! Thankfully, Maria took pity on my and loaned me a blanket. I believe I would have died of hypothermia. I was so cold.
The boys played an AWESOME game, tying with a DC team 6 to 6. It’s been awesome to see these boys learn how to play the game. They are really coming together and you can see that things are “clicking” a lot more now.

Above are pictures of T grooming his buns getting them ready for the show. He thought he was the man getting to go a real rabbit show.
I’ve come to realized the best people to talk to about rabbits or understand what really goes into these guys are…..other rabbit people. I try not to talk a lot about our buns because you can almost see peoples eyes start to cross as you ramble on and on about them. =-)

J had a food entry in the State Fair also. He made Cherry Vanilla Chip Cookies and received a red ribbon. We had a huge fight that night, because he was trying to hurry though it, uncaring, and all he wanted to do was go play with his friends while he was making them, so I believe he’s lucky he got that.

Next weekend we go back to Hutch both days. J’s rabbit will be back in the 4-H show on Saturday, and then he will do Showmanship on Sunday. Wish him luck!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

River Flows In You

Those of you that really know me know how important music in my life. I love all music. I have everything from Ozzy to Pachelbel's Canon in D on my MP3 player. I have songs that remind me of each step or certain people in my life, songs that I listen to when I'm angry, when I'm sad, when I am cleaning the toilet, you get the idea...
I was sitting at the variety show last year with my family and heard one of the foreign exchange students play River Flows In You on the piano. I had goosebumps and tears in my eyes.
I listen to this song a lot and it still has the power to bring tears to my eyes. When this song plays I see everything happy that is going on, and I can see everything sad. Its the most beautiful piano music I have ever heard. I love to just sit, close my eyes, let the music flow through my head and let my tears fall if they need to.

Just wanted to share this beautiful song with you.

Fall is COMING!!

Ahhh..can you feel that? Fall is defiantly coming. The mornings are crisp and the days are just about perfect! Spring is my favorite season, but fall is a close second! I love the smells of fall time, the colors, pumpkins, apple cider, football games, the annual Dunn Halloween party….Fall just is just awesome!

Something new we are doing this fall is attending more rabbit shows. We are not real sure how J’s rabbit, Truman, is going to do at the State Fair. He’s not the best bun we have, (the others he has he just got, and are out of condition) and was told at the county fair that his bones were too tiny, but in order for J to do Showmanship with him he has to be in the show. J and Truman have become buds and he doesn’t want to do it with any other rabbit since Truman is already accustomed to the routine they go through and pretty much just lays there and takes it now. We’ll see.

Next week we will have our new arrivals here at the Funny Farm. The day old baby chicks will be arriving sometime after the 8th. We got 25 (That was the minimum number you could order!)-- 10 Easter eggers (Americanas) that lay colored eggs, 10 Red Stars,(they lay HUGE eggs) and 5 Rhode Island Reds. The Red Stars and RIRs are new 4-H projects for the boys for the coming year. We are also going to hatch some out later this fall. That will be fun!

This weekend I made more cherry jam, and tried a new recipe for blueberry jam. In all there are 12 jars in my cabinet, making me smile. The blueberry turned out a bit thin, so I am not sure if I cooked it TOO long or not enough. Need to figure that one out. It’s still ok, just not as thick as I would like it to be. I’d have a recipe for pumpkin butter and also found an apple butter one I’d like to try soon.

We ran to Pratt last night to get some chick feed and a heat lamp for the new babies and I saw some BEAUTIFUL fall colored mums out. I didn’t get any, but am kicking myself now. I might just go back sometime this week and pick me up some! ;-)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Happy 31th Mom And Dad!

My Mom and Dad will celebrate their 31th wedding anniversary on the 31st of this month. To celebrate, the family is coming to the house on Monday evening, for waffles. Yes, waffles. They wanted homemade waffles, so that’s what they are getting! =-)

My parents married young. My mother was only 17 when they tied the knot. Their marriage has been one that's seen its share of many ups, and many downs. They’ve survived the death of their parents, the blessed birth of 2 children, the OH SHIT birth of another, job changes, a 3 year old that required 2 operations, a sheriff election, rebellious teenagers, 2 weddings, personal struggles, the birth of 2 grandsons, and major illnesses.

They have defiantly taken the “For better or for worse, in sickness and in health” part of their wedding vows seriously.

As a daughter, I got to see my parents become "new parents" with the arrival of my baby sister. This event was after seeing my mom cry for months over her unexpected pregnancy. However, I will never ever forget to look on my dads face when he came and told my brother and I that we had a new baby sister. I remember thinking, in my 14 year old mind, how retarded he was acting. Now that I am a mom, I know now what he was feeling. I'll never forget sitting in my moms hospital room, watching my parents stare at the little cheese covered alien in the pink blanket, while smiling at each other in between. Though it made me gag then, now it is an honor to me to have been able to be old enough to always treasure these memories of the love shared between the two of them while celebrating the birth of alien girl...err...Michelle.

Happy 31th, Mom and Dad!! We love you guys!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Week Reflections

Well, Chewy is back out in the lot! He is about 95% back to normal! He is DEFINATLY seeing, however, I don’t think it’s quite what it was before. But he sees enough to get around just like he did before all this happened. I’ve decided that there must be guardian angels for animals, too, because everyone is shocked he made it! We are happy, and the boys have their little buddy back. We’ve pretty much concluded he did indeed clench his chompers down on the electric fence.
I’ve been a canning mad woman. I’ve made more salsa, and Melanie had brought me some jalapenos to use, and I didn’t use all of them, so of coarse I had to make another batch so they would not go to waste!! ;-) I’m finally getting room back in my freezer but still have at least a couple more zip lock baggies full of tomatoes. I have this weird OCD thing….it is THRILLING me to no end to see those pretty sealed jars all lined up in my cupboard!! Hopefully I’ll be able to let go of them and use them! hehe
My husband ordered me 10 lbs (!!) of bing cherries at the grocery store so I’ll have to experiment with some different cherry recipes! The store has had them on sale the past few weeks, with the weeks being the best a 2lbs for $3, but every time I went in there to buy some they were sold out. So, D went down to get me raincheck, so that even though the sale is over, I can still get them at that price. I wasn’t, however, prepared for him ordering me 10 lbs worth, but that’s ok! That means more in the freezer!
New school year is off to a great start. I’ve said it before, but I really love having the boys home on Fridays! They’ve gotten a bit slower now with getting up, so the new is wearing off. It almost takes a bomb to get J out of bed in the mornings, and he waits till I am almost yelling at him before he gets up.
We are getting geared up for the State Fair. This weekend we have to separate some of the buns, as we have 2 of the does together. Well, we have one that is eating the majority of the food that’s to be for BOTH of them, and she’s getting a bit too plumb. She’s at the weight right now she needs to be at, and we still have 2 weeks till the fair. So we’ll move her, and put her on a bit of a bunny diet.
We looked at the fair schedule and it looks as though we are going to be going to the fair *5* times before it’s all said and done. Well, I say that, but I think D will be doing most of it. I think I only have to go 3 times. Hehe Next year, if they decided to show again, it should be lot easier because T will be old enough to show in the 4-H show with J. The open youth show and the 4-H show are on different weekends.
J also gets to take his cherry cookies he made for the county fair! He’s excited about that!
We’ve got some projects planned for this weekend, so the plan is to try to get as much of my housework and laundry done so I can play outside with the men!
Have a great weekend!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Nasty Weekend

What a weekend! Not one that I care to repeat anytime soon.

It started off great. Got my porch all cleaned off and rearranged. Flower beds got weeded and I got even more cherry jam made and canned.

The guy that is putting cattle in the south pasture at the farm was out putting up an electric fence and was about to release the cows out. He told us that we could put Chewy out there with the “big boys” if we wanted to. We thought it would be good for him to eat better grass out there, as well as to learn how to be a cow, instead of dog, or whatever it is he thinks he is. D sent him out, Chewy was acting normal, and mooing excitedly, and we thought all was well. About an hour and ½ later we went out to see how he was getting along, and he was down by the gate, barely alive. I immediately thought bloat, because D and I have been noticing he’s been...round..lately. Dr. Deewall, our vet, just happened to be eating pizza at Dave's, and was able to talk us through what we needed to do. Basically you either stick a needle into the stomach and release the pressure or you stick a tube down into his stomach and release it that way. We had a crew of 6 people out there helping us, and I finally came home around 2am. D never went to bed. He actually went and clocked in at work and rotated between working and going out and checking on him. We later found out some of our family was doing the same thing, so it seems he was never left alone for too long.
Kelly, the vet, called the next morning and told us she was in the area. She wanted to check on him, tube him and pull out what was in his stomach and give him some antibiotics. He started doing this really weird “cude chewing” motion that we blew off. However, when she was checking him, she realized that he was blind, and the weird “cude chewing” was actually a neurological “tick” meaning something was wrong with his brain. =( He was walking in circles, stumbling, having weird ticks, not responding to us and acting like he had no idea what was going on.

“I am concerned this little guy may have rabies.”

With those words my blood started to turn cold, and I suddenly saw in my mind all the times my boys played with him, letting him suck on their fingers, wiping slobber all over each other. All four of us, as well as all those people who were helping us, had been exposed and would need a series of shots.

She told us if there was no improvement she would come back over the next morning, put him to sleep, and send his brain off for testing.
We kept checking on him..from a FAR distance...throughout the day, because if he died before the next day, Kelly was going to come over so she could get the “sample” she needed. We went out about 5:30 and...there he was, standing, walking normal, and as we poked our heads in, he LOOKED STRAIGHT at us!! The “ticks” were gone, he was walking, not stumbling, he was responding to our voices and perked up when I “baby talked” him. I ran and got some water for him and he took a couple of sips of water. D went back out there at dusk and gave him a big pile of hay and a bucket of water, and this morning, most of the hay was gone.
He is still blind, though the vet thinks he’s at least seeing shadows, since he looks at us when we come into the barn, and since he’s eating and drinking, and IMPROVING, it’s not rabies! I feel as though we have been blessed with a mini miracle. We were so scared and I lost count of the number of times I prayed to God for the strength to get us through this.

What happened?? Well, either the dumb ass chomped down on the newly installed electric fence and got the crap shocked out of him,(he chews and bites on EVERYTHING) or he ate something very nasty out in the pasture.
He’s on Penicillin and Thiamin for 3 days, and Dr. Deewall thinks some of his vision may come back, but it’s hard to tell. He’s locked up in a small part of the barn and he has learned really fast where things are at. It’s sad though when he “over shoots’ something and runs into the wall. We’re keeping him in the barn for a while to see how much comes back, with hopes that sometime soon he can go back out into the lot. If not, we’ll figure it out as we go, I guess.

Things I have learned through all this:

Rabies is still alive and well, and very much still a threat and cattle have surpassed cats and dogs with being victims. Most often it will come from a bat, skunk or raccoon bite, and you may never see the bite mark. And the rabies virus can take a long time to show up.

Family and friends and people you hardly even know will come together and help you out when it comes to livestock.(I'm still not sure what it is about the words "down calf" that makes people come running, but we are very thankful they did!" We had people volunteering to help and give us whatever we needed.

Our vet ROCKS!!

We need to have kit together and ready to grab for things like this, just in case, instead of having to make do with whatever we can find.

God does answer prayers.