Monday, December 28, 2009

Stolen Kodak Moments

When you snap a picture you usually know what you are going to get...Usually!

I just cherish those Kodak moments!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas at Ben and Anna's Home

What a great spite of nearly 20 inches of new snow! More of the family planned to attend, but the hazardous road conditions caused a change of plans.

Our son Ben, besides being a whiz at computers (that is how he makes a very good living) is an accomplished amature chef. He treated us to his famous lasagna with all the fixings and three different types of Italian wines.

In attendance at the food orgy....Sue, Ben, Anna, Molly, Harv, Sue's brother Chris,his wife Joyce and their kids Maddie and Jack.

The day was complete when our youngest son Andy called from Seattle. He and his partner Sarah were hosting Christmas dinner at their home. We miss you guys!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Presents For The "Girls"

Christmas was very good to our girls.....My perfect dog Lucy and Sue's pride and joy, Betty.
Grandma Molly and Grandpa Harv made sure that all the grandkids had presents...even their great grandkids...or grand dogs Lucy and Betty.

The girls loved their presents....Snuggies!

Gotta love those grandparents!

We had a great time at our son and daughter-in law's home Christmas Day. The food was superb and the company...outstanding. Stay tuned for pictures!

Preview.....Sue and daughter-in-law Anna:

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Gifts That Work All Year

I read this on another blog that I follow and wanted to share it with you.

50. Make a mixed CD of songs they’ll enjoy.

49. Create a hand-made card and leave a thoughtful note.

48. Randomly, without any prompting, look them in the eye and say, “I really appreciate you—just for being you.”

47. Compliment them on something people may not often acknowledge—like their work ethic, or consideration for other people.

46. Give them something from nature that reminds you of them—like a unique shell, or a smooth but sturdy rock.

44. Send them a funny video from YouTube, and write, “You make me laugh more than this video. Thank you!”

43. Draw a map of your apartment with them in it and write, “I’d be lost without you.”

42. Give them something of yours that reminds you of them.

41. Give them a book you’ve already read, and inscribe it with a meaningful message.

40. Ask them if you can take care of their responsibilities; for example, you could offer to pick your friend’s children up from school.

39. Tell them they were so right about something and let them know how that information impacted your life.

38. Look for something on Craigslist you know they need—a job or a piece of affordable furniture, for example—and forward them the ad.

37. Squeeze their hand and say, “thank you.”

36. Ask, “How are you—really?” Then do nothing but listen and respond to what you hear for as long as they’d like to talk.

35. Ask, “What can I do to help you today?”

34. Notice how they affect other people—not you—and comment on it.

33. Cook dinner for them.

32. Make a simple sacrifice to spend time with them; for example, TiVo that show you always catch, and stop by with a 6-pack.

31. See their potential, and encourage them to pursue their dreams.

30. Ask them to retell their favorite story.

29. Let them pick the plans and find a way to really enjoy it—go line dancing, and see the experience through their eyes.

28. Offer them your skill for free. For example, my friend Cori who’s a graphic designer designed something for me last year as an early birthday gift.

27. Tell them which qualities of theirs you admire.

26. Introduce them to someone you love as, “My dear friend who taught me…”

25. Introduce them to something new that you think would enrich their lives.

24. Let them be right, even if you think they’re not, if it’s not that big of a deal.

23. Ask their advice on something important, and tell them their opinion means the world to you.

22. Send them a text that reads, “Thought of you today, and it made me smile.”

21. Notice when they do something that might have been challenging, and applaud their efforts.

20. Tell them the block in your planner that includes their name is the most important on a busy day.

19. Tell them you understand their struggle—whatever that may be—and say you’re always a call away to help.

18. Say thank you for something they don’t realize they gave you, like inspiration to seize the day, or the courage to leave an unhealthy relationship.

17. Let them know how they helped you think about something differently. For example, tell your friend she helped you see losing your job as a gift (if she did).

16. Surprise them in some way with something you know they’ll enjoy.

15. Send them a picture of you two together, and remind them why that day was amazing.

14. Ask how their big day went—whatever that big day may have been.

13. Share their pain when they have it. Hold their hand, wipe their tears, and be their shoulder to lean on.

12. Give them an uncomfortably long hug, like the Do Happy tip suggests.

11. Share a childlike experience with them. Go on the swings, get some ice cream, and let go of your stresses together.

10. Sing a song at karaoke and dedicate it to them. It doesn’t have to be a mushy one. Dedicate Ice, Ice Baby—it’s the thought that counts!

9. Encourage them to be completely themselves around you. Tell your female friend she’s beautiful even without makeup; or tell your guy friend you like his corny jokes because they’re his.

8. Be honest even if it’s uncomfortable for you.

7. Invite them out with friends of yours they don’t know. Nothing says “I value you” like inclusion.

6. Forgive something they did that hurt you without needing to hear the words, “I’m sorry.”

5. Look out for someone they love.

4. Remember something they said that they thought you didn’t hear.

3. Help them reconnect with someone important in their life.

2. If you blog, write something they inspired, and dedicate it to them.

1. Simply say, “I really care about you, and I wanted you to know.”

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas in Des Moines

Last weekend we spent some time with my family in Des Moines,Iowa. I am glad we did it then as opposed to the real Christmas weekend. The forecast here is for 21 inches of blowing snow over the next three days. As it was, we drove back to Minnesota last Sunday on some very slippery roads.

We had a fabulous time with my folks and my brother's family.

Of course, Sue took some pictures for all of us to enjoy!

Looks like we caught Dad sleeping!
As you can see, our niece, Halie, is a real doll. She and her mom, Emily made Christmas cookies for us. They were delicious and "custom" decorated by Halie.

Others pictured include my mom with Halie, my brother's wife Margaret. My nephew Alex with his girlfriend, my brother Paul and Emily's husband David. Sorry, no picture of Sue as she was the designated photographer that night.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

My Experience at Wal*Mart

OK, those of you who know me are well aware of the fact that I HATE shopping...unless I am shopping for something I really want.

We made the Christmas shopping trip to Walmart and to break up the bordom, I decided to be myself and have a good time, like I try to do everytime I visit the store.

I guess, being me was not appreciated by store management as evidensed by the following letter:

Dear Mrs. Meyer,

Over the past six months, your husband has been causing quite a
commotion in our store. We cannot tolerate this behavior and may
forced to ban both of you from the store. Our complaints against
Mr.Meyer are listed below and are documented by our video

>> 1. June 15: Took 24 boxes of condoms and randomly put them in
>> people's
>> carts when they weren't looking.
>> 2. July 2: Set all the alarm clocks in Housewares to go off at
>> 5-minute
>> intervals.
>> 3. July 7: Made a trail of tomato juice on the floor leading to
>> the
>> women's restroom.
>> 4. July 19: Walked up to an employee and told her in an official
>> voice,"Code 3 in House wares Get on it right away."
>> 5. August 4: Went to the Service Desk and tried to put a bag of
>> M&M's on
>> layaway.
>> 6. September 14: Moved a "CAUTION - WET FLOOR" sign to a
>> carpeted area.
>> 7. September 15: Set up a tent in the camping department and
>> told
>> other shoppers he'd invite them in if they would bring pillows
>> and
>> Blankets from the bedding department.
>> 8. September 23: When a clerk asked if they could help him he
>> began
>> crying and screamed, "Why can't you people just leave me alone?"
>> 9. October 4: Looked right into the security camera and used it
>> as a
>> mirror while he picked his nose.
>> 10. November 10: While handling guns in the hunting department,
>> he
>> Asked the clerk where the antidepressants were.
>> 11. December 3: Darted around the store suspiciously while
>> loudly
>> Humming the "Mission Impossible" theme.
>> 12. December 6: In the auto department, he practiced his
>> "Madonna look"
>> by using different sizes of funnels.
>> 13. December 18: Hid in a clothing rack and when people browsed
>> through,yelled "PICK ME! PICK ME!"
>> 14. December 21: When an announcement came over the loud
>> speaker,
>> He assumed a fetal position and screamed "OH NO! IT'S THOSE
>> AGAIN!"
>> And last, but not least ....
>> 15. December 12: Went into a fitting room, shut the door, waited
>> awhile,
>> then yelled very loudly, "Hey! There's no toilet paper in here!"
>> Yours very truly,
>> Management of Wal-Mart

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Honoring The Coyote

These are such beautiful animals. Out of respect for them, and the abundance of them here on our property, we named our homestead in their honor.
Sue's brother, Bob, sent this amazing story.

This one is pretty hard to believe, but the pictures pretty much say it all.

Meet the wiliest of all coyotes: Hit by a car at 75mph, embedded in the fender,road for 600 miles - and SURVIVED!
When a brother and sister struck a coyote at 75mph they assumed they had killed the animal and drove on.
They didn't realize this was the toughest creature ever to survive a hit-and-run.
Eight hours, two fuel stops, and 600 miles later they found the wild animal embedded in their front fender - and very much alive.
Daniel and Tevyn East were driving at night along Interstate 80 near the Nevada-Utah border when they noticed a pack of coyotes near the roadside on October 12.
When one of the animals ran in front of the car, the impact sounded fatal so the siblings thought there no point in stopping.
'Right off the bat, we knew it was bad,' Daniel explained. 'We thought the story was over.'

After the incident around 1am, they continued their 600 mile drive to North San Juan - even stopping for fuel at least twice.
But it was only when they finally reached their destination at 9am did they take time to examine what damage they may have sustained.
At first it looked as though it was going to be quite gruesome.
'[Daniel] saw fur and the body inside the grill,' Tevyn East said. 'I was trying to keep some distance. Our assumption was it was part of the coyote - it didn't register it was the whole animal.'
Daniel East got a broom to try and pry the remains out of the bumper and got the shock of his life.
'It flinched,' Tevyn East said. 'It was a huge surprise - he got a little freaked out.'

'We knew it was bad': Tevyn East, who was in the car when it hit the coyote, bends down to take a look at the fur poking through the fender

Fur Pete's sake: What Mr. East spotted as he bent down to inspect the damage to his car - the body of the coyote poking out through the radiator

Wily coyote: The animal's head can be seen as rescuers took apart the front fender to save it after it was struck by the car at 75mph

Miracle escape: As the animal struggled, wildlife protection officials put a loop around its neck to prevent it from further injuring itself

The front of the car is completely taken apart as the coyote begins to wriggle free

And voila! Tricky the toughest coyote ever rests in a cage after its ordeal - which it survived with just some scrapes to its paw


Friday, December 11, 2009

Cookies....Need I Say More?

This has been a very, very cold week here at Coyote Ridge. The Minnesota winter got a jump on the official start of winter (December 21st) and decided to test our ability to survive.
With the help of fresh home baked cookies (thanks Sue) we made it through the cold spell!

FYI....the cookies are oatmeal raisin...about eight dozen of them. Nothing better that fresh cookies, fireplace roaring and beautiful snow blanketing the woods. I am not telling how many cookies are left!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Blow is Over...Kind of

Yesterday, last night and this morning gave us nine inches of new snow. The bad part was the wind and drifting. We had a few five foot drifts that needed our attention after the 35 mph winds re-arranged the snow for us. The winds have died down to about 20mph and with the temperatures in the single digits, we have wind chills of minus 20 to 30.
For now I have all the snow blowing done. Of course, that wasn't without incident. Each Fall I put up reflectors that stand about four feet tall that line our one-third mile lane. This year I forgot all about them so while on the tractor I had to guess where the lane was. With the big drifts and blowing snow I had to guess where I thought the lane was. Needless to say, I ran the tractor off the lane and buried it. We hooked up the logging chain to the four wheel drive pickup and Sue pulled me out.
I wish I would have gone to work today as it would have been a whole lot easier!
The pictures really don't show the drifts, but at least you will experience a bit of winter at Coyote Ridge.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Let it Blow

Winter is officially here at Coyote Ridge. The weather prognosticators are calling for a blizzard warning through Wednesday night.

Blizzard Warning in effect until midnight CST Wednesday night...
Colder...windy...snow. Areas of blowing and drifting snow. Snow may be heavy at times. Snow accumulation of 4 to 6 inches. Lows around 5 above. North winds 15 to 25 mph increasing to 25 to 30 mph after midnight.
Windy. Snow in the morning...then a slight chance of snow in the afternoon. Areas of blowing and drifting snow through the day. Snow accumulation up to 1 inch. Storm total snow accumulation of 8 to 10 inches. Highs 5 to 10. Northwest winds 25 to 30 mph. Wind chill readings 15 below to 25 below zero.
» ZIP Code Detail
Wednesday Night
Colder...breezy. Partly cloudy. Patchy blowing and drifting snow in the evening. Lows around 10 below. Northwest winds 15 to 25 mph shifting to the west 10 to 15 mph after midnight. Wind chill readings 17 below to 27 below zero.

We are hunkered in with the fireplace roaring and plenty of provisions to get us through the blizzard.

Eight to ten inches of snow is fairly easy to deal with...but...when you add winds of 30-35 mph, that is a different story. We will be drifted in for sure as I can blow out our country lane and it will be drifted in again within an hour.
I speak from experience, wait till the winds calm down, then hit the drifts with the tractor-blower combination.
Aahh....a day off in the middle of the week.

Stay tuned for pictures!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bathroom Update

One of this winter's projects is to remodel our upstairs bathroom. The tongue and groove knotty pine ceiling is almost up. That will be completed this weekend after we stain and varnish it.

The only outside labor we hire out is plumbing. We leave that task to the experts so that the job is done right.

Our trusty plumber, Craig, the owner of ACE Plumbing was out today and fixed us up with new shower/tub and sink hardware.

Of course, the access panel for the tub was not large enough, so I got out my trusty keyhole saw and started hacking away.

I will have to make an access panel so the big hole in the wall is covered.

Craig also installed shut off valves under the sink and a new faucet.

No runs, leaks or errors....Great job Craig!