My arms and shoulders are very sore from only half an hour of smoothing out the mud in front of the barn yesterday. Sigh This year has been exceptionally wet and the horses managed to dig a trench in front of the barn door in their coming and going. grimace

The barn seriously needs to be cleaned and I can't do anything with the amount of mud that is there (it's a good 6 inches deep at the moment, spans the width of the door, and extends almost 6 feet! shock ).

Bob and I have gone over several possible temporary "fixes" and we've decided to lay down rubber stall mats and add a little sand in the area since neither we, nor the owner, has the time, equipment, or money to put in gutters and a drainage system. The second option was to build a platform, but the mats are a cheaper solution and can be used elsewhere if they don't work out. smile

3 delicious chocolate chip cookies late I realize that I'm wolfing them down like they are the only food in the house! I've already had my protein shake and some stuff that's supposed to reduce hunger. Ugh! I don't know what I'm going to do with myself. annoyed

Thankfully, there is only one more cookie in the house... but, there's fresh chocolate cake... wink

My brilliant plan to put down rubber mats in front of the barn for the horses did not work as well as planned. It DID help. Instead of sinking a foot, it was only three inches. But, those three inches was also sinking the mats. crying (Bob had voiced concern about it and basically said "I told you so" tongue out ) Bob helped me pull the mats back out of the mud and we put down a layer of hay to absorb some of the moisture, putting the mats aside until the mud dries again. The landlord is going to see if a gravel truck can fit through the gate. I REALLY hope so! He's also going to have someone check for a broken water line as this is the worst it has ever been. I'm glad that he's ready to work on the problem. I can't clean the barn until this issue is resolved and the muck is not good for the horses. The good news is that Bob and the landlord think the mats will help a lot after the gravel is in place, so I don't feel like a complete idiot. smile

Just watched a TV commercial for a Meningitis B vaccine. They say it is highly unlikely to get the disease, but should get the vaccine just in case. It will make you feel miserable (side effects list) and may not help. So very reassuring! tongue out

Scrolling through facebook posts, eating Ghirardelli Double Chocolate Brownie with Blue Bonnet Mint Chocolate Chip and Hershey's chocolate syrup (a new favorite combo! wide eyed ) thinking life is good... then, the cat uses the litter box and pops my serenity bubble. Just couldn't wait, could you kitty? annoyed

I am so proud of my husband! The regional supervisor took him and his co-worker to lunch and let them know that the two of them consistently get more accomplished, despite having extra travel time between jobs, in a week than anyone else in the region. They are considered the "experts" in their region and receive calls from other areas when people who have been in the field far longer (including the boss wink ) are stumped about a problem. The company owners have taken notice and appreciate their hard work. big heart

I roasted my first turkey yesterday! I really should have taken a picture... it was a lovely golden brown. smile But, it was done far later than it should have been and I was so done with the project tongue out I really wasn't planning on doing a turkey, but Bob was disappointed that there wouldn't be one this year. So... I tackled the job after reading a dozen or so articles on how to do it and lots of encouragement from our families.

I bought the smallest bird that I could find (9 lbs) on Monday. I read that it takes 24hrs per 5 lbs to thaw in the refrigerator, so I was planning Wednesday afternoon.... Wrong! I pulled it out and it was still quite frozen! wide eyed Ok, no problem... thaw in cold water for 4 hours.... while it was thawing, I came up with questions... why change the cold water every half hour when the water is plenty cold when it is changed? how do I know when it's thawed??? I'm not certain it was completely thawed when I pulled it out.

Butter and seasoning went on fairly easily, slide into the turkey bag with slits, and into the oven it went. 3 hours later the thermometer only read 150. Obviously, the bird was still icy when I put it in. annoyed Bob had me move the thermometer from the outer thigh to the breast and back into the oven it went for another hour. The reading showed 170 and Bob declared it was done.

I told Bob that I cooked the thing, so he had to carve it. It was discovered that he had never tackled that task before, so we both enjoyed a first experience! smile About half way through, Bob said that he enjoys turkey FAR better when someone else carves it! laugh

Watching him, I was having trouble keeping my supper and was reminded yet again why I will always be a vegetarian! wink Seeing the look on Bob's face, I think it wouldn't take much to sway him to be vegetarian if only he liked vegetables laugh

The breast was indeed done, but the rest of the meat was a bit pink yet. Since Bob is the only one eating it and has no desire to gnaw on the boney areas, we ended up have a lot of waste. annoyed Bob hasn't tasted the turkey yet as we're taking it to my oldest to enjoy.

Good or bad, it has been quite the experience: however, I'm fairly certain it was not only my first turkey, but also my last. If I cook turkey again, I'll be searching for boneless turkey breast (the grocery store didn't have that). wink

Bob brought home a gift from a happy customer. It looked like fudge, but ended up being frosted brownies... now, of course, I'm craving fudge! lol Anyone have a favorite fudge recipe you'd like to share?

It is fun to review memories from time-to-time. In fact, Adora asked for me to scan all the old pictures that I had taken before digital and to get her a copy of the home videos we had. I was reluctant to take on the project because I didn't want to deal with all of the memories that I knew would assail me and I told her to ask her Dad to do it - especially the videos because I had recorded the VHS tapes and burned them to DVD a long time ago and it would be way easier just getting a copy of the DVDs instead of recording the VHS tapes again. He became VERY offended because he didn't have the DVDs and thought we had them and has been very upset about not having a copy for himself (being upset about it is not surprising, but he never mentioned it). We all looked through our collections and NO ONE has the DVDs. So, it became very important for me to do this project. The biggest hurdle was getting a computer that would handle the editing. We had gotten a VHS player earlier in the year and an adapter to get the videos to play on the TV, but none of our computers could handle the editing. Our son-in-law has been thinning his electronic collection and gave us a steeply discounted price on one that would do the job. It needed a few extra parts that Bob already had or was easily able to get. Then, Bob set it all up for me so that all I had to do was move my files from my laptop. Such generosity from them all! Since then, I have been busily recording the videos and scanning the prints. Surprisingly, the project has not been nearly as difficult as I imagined it would be. I have needed to take a step back a couple of times and do something else. However, I've not had a single anxiety attack or tearful break down. It is obvious that I am growing and healing and I am so thankful for that!!! big heart

The horse barn doesn't have electricity. We started off with using flashlights, but moved to using head lamps last winter (which was AWESOME!). I recently bought a bigger, brighter head lamp, which helps me immensely... except when I forget how much bigger it is... like yesterday, when I was pulling a bale of hay down from a stack that loomed over my head... the bale hit the head lamp, which hit my nose, and about knocked me senseless (well, actually, there obviously wasn't much "sense" to knock out tongue out ). Thankfully, nothing is broken, but still rather sore...