Herding Cattle: What Not To Do

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This is post was one of the first on the blog, but since it’s one of my favorite accounts of Joey (and since I’m pretty sure only my mom and Mr. B ever read it), I’m re-posting it today for a link up with Jackie and Karly.

Jade and Oak

Back in the early days of spring, we took Joey to meet the cows for the first time. He’d been up to the cow pasture once before, but that time he decided to wait by the truck rather than follow Mr. B into the herd. This time, Mr. B and I coaxed him into the pasture with us. He wasn’t exactly stoked about it, but he did join us.

The cows were curious about Joey,




but he was not equally intrigued by them.


What the...?!?!

What the…?!?!

Please get away from me. Please?

Please get away from me. Please?


He tried hiding behind me



and behind Mr. B.




He also tried seeking refuge between my feet


Check those hot boots. Farming can be sooo sexy.

Check those hot boots. Farming can be sooo sexy.


and in Mr. B’s arms.




When none of this worked, he ran from them. It backfired – they chased him. Which is the opposite of what is supposed to happen when a dog herds cattle.






Hopefully, with a little bit of practice, he’ll figure out that he is supposed to be chasing them. Fingers crossed.


Weekend Shenanigans

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It was a busy weekend. The good kind of busy – the kind of busy that doesn’t feel busy when you are in the middle of it. I only realized I’d been busy when I looked back on it this morning, trying to figure out why I was still so tired.

Sami's Shenanigans

Saturday was the first day of archery season, so Mr. B got up before the sun and went to sit in the woods for a few hours. I don’t do the sit-still-and-be-quiet thing, so hunting isn’t for me. I slept a few more hours because I don’t believe in watching the sun rise on a Saturday morning, then stretched out on the couch and drank several cups of pumpkin coffee. It was glorious.

My cousin Tyler came to visit because he loves me wanted to go hunting with Mr. B. We worked on Mr. B’s tree stand for a bit, ate some lunch, and watched Ty try on Mr. B’s hand-me-down camo gear before the boys set out to do some more hunting. (Though, I’m tempted to believe – based on their stories and the photos they brought back – that they spent more time playing hide-and-seek with one another in the woods than actually stalking their prey.)


While they were gone, I decided to give into my pizza craving.  I made a crust from scratch, topped it with homemade sauce, pepperoni, spices and lots and lots of cheese. The boys returned from the woods and said pizza was gone in about 5 minutes. Then, because obviously the entire day had to revolve around deer, we went spotting. I thought it would be a great chance to work on using my camera in low light. I was wrong. It was too dark and it was more like drive-by spotting, as we never actually stopped to look at anything. So all I got was this blurry mess, and I ended up a little bit car sick for trying.

Spotting Deer

The next morning we all woke up at a decent hour and ventured outside for a nice little hike.


Later, we headed to the Apple Festival,


where this happened:

Yes, those are grown men participating in a tractor pull, using modified lawn mowers.

Yes, those are grown men participating in a tractor pull, using modified lawn mowers.

and then to my grandparents house, where we all had dinner together to celebrate my grandfather’s birthday.


It was the perfect way to spend a fall weekend.

What did you do this weekend?

P.S.- I’m making an appearance on Ashten’s blog today, come check it out!


In Which She Rants About The Internet

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This post contains a lot of bitching about things I can’t control. You were warned.

So, as I’ve already gushed, something super awesome happened on Wednesday night: Happy Hour Hangout. I’ve already said it about forty billion times, but I’ll say it again: It was awesome. The whole freaking experience rocked. Except for this one little thing…





See, we live in the sticks. Like, Amish-country sticks. So my internet options are very, very limited (and pretty dang crappy). Oh and because the universe loves to screw with me, living in the sticks means we need the internet even more, because we need it for not-normally-internet-dependent stuff.

Cable TV? Not an option for us, because there are literally no physical cables run to our corner of the world. Get a satellite service, or Netflix/Hulu, or don’t ever watch TV. We have Netflix and Hulu subscriptions so we need internet service if we want to watch TV.

Cell phone service? HA. Good luck with that, because there is zero cell service for at least 15 minutes in any direction from our house. Sometimes, if the stars align, you can get a text message out. Sometimes.  To combat this little problem, Mr. B and I have a network extender from our wireless carrier that provides cell phone service at our house. It’s a neat little device, but it plugs into the internet.

Let’s recap, shall we? I enjoy being connected to the world, plus I’m a blogger, so I like/need/want the internet to be available to me at all times. No internet means no TV. No internet means no cell phone. Also, this is not a problem I ever encountered before I moved to our little town, so such inconveniences can sometimes result in a major hissy fit.

We have DSL through the (only) local phone company. I hate it. I hate them. Let’s just say the service is unreliable and the customer service is…lacking. One time, Mr. B called to inquire about a seriously slow connection, and you know what they told him? It looks like there’s a lot of people in your area using the internet right now, so that slows it down. That’s just how it is. Excuse me? So you are telling me that your little internet-providing-setup can’t handle a normal Sunday evening’s traffic in a sparsely populated area? And I just have to deal with it? AWESOME GUYS. Keep up the good work.

Such a craptastic situation brings out the American consumer in me, so I shopped around for other internet providers. I mean, I’d rather give my money to someone else who can do a better job of providing me with the service I’m paying for. I Googled, asked around, and even picked up a phone book (remember those??) looking for options. Here’s what I learned: I can stick with the stellar service I’m getting with my normal provider or get internet through a satellite dish.

Since I’m all kinds of type-A, I made a pros and cons list for switching to satellite.

  • Cons: it’s slower, crazy expensive, and requires us to also have satellite TV, which is also stupid expensive.
  • Pros: it’s not the DSL from the useless wads at the phone company.

Faced with those facts, we decided to stick with our current internet provider because it’s the lesser of two evils and we need freaking internet because I’m all spoiled like that.

The thing is- we’ve had a pretty good stretch lately. It’s been a while since we’ve had a complete internet failure. It’s not perfect -we can’t use anything else internet when someone is talking on their phone because we live in a world where Hulu and Facebook kill cell service (the wireless service booster hogs a lot of internet, and as we learned earlier, it’s in limited supply ’round these parts)- but we work around it and haven’t had much trouble.

Until, of course, I sat down to video chat with some of the coolest kids in blogland. That’s when the internet told me to suck it. As soon as I pulled up the Google Hangout on my laptop, I got an error that my internet connection was failing. Then I got kicked out of the chat. I was able to rejoin, but it happened repeatedly for the whole first hour. I was able to catch most of the conversation, but this kept me from participating much. Plus, I felt so bad that the other ladies in the Hangout had to keep listening to the stupid ding every single time I disappeared and reemerged – they were all so cool about it, but it had to have been annoying. Sorry, everyone!  

Eventually, I switched to my phone, which wasn’t perfect (I did get booted one more time) but it was a huge improvement. I was even able to participate in the conversation!

Still, the internet situation around these parts really chaps my ass.

I love living in the country – I really do! – but it can be a huge pain in the butt. Especially when I’m trying to make some bloggy friends.


Achy Muscles Make Me Happy

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Sami's Shenanigans

I feel a little bit more like myself today.

The last few weekends have been wonderfully relaxing, but they’ve left me feeling a little blah and lazy. During the warm summer months, we spend almost all of our free time on the boat. I’m active on the boat; wakeboarding, tubing, swimming, and the normal work that goes into boating all keep me constantly moving. But boating season is over, so I haven’t been nearly as active. I haven’t been using my body as much as I normally do, and as a result I’ve felt…lazy.

Fortunately, I had a chance to be more active this weekend. After all the hiking, horseback riding, and ATV riding, I’m sore today. And I love it.



Don’t get me wrong – we are pretty active in general – we just did a little more this weekend. Usually we drive around the farm, this weekend we mostly walked. All summer I’ve been riding with a saddle, this weekend I rode bareback (which is much more of a workout). Usually Sunday evenings are spent relaxing on the couch, last night we ventured outside for an ATV ride before the sun went down. It wasn’t anything crazy, just a little more exercise than I’ve been getting lately – and I feel wonderful because of it.

Do you feel better about life when you are more active? Or is relaxation more rejuvenating for you?

PS- Today is the last day to enter to win a $50 Starbucks card, a Last Night A Blogger Saved My Life tee, and fall wax melts from Mrs. Laura Beth and friends!




You Really Never Know What You Might Find In There…

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Did you see Sarah’s post over on Venus Trapped In Mars earlier this week about what she’s got going on in her purse?  She cracks me up, but I found it so intriguing! There’s something about seeing what’s in someone’s bag that I find to be so insightful. (Is that odd?) Naturally, my first thought was ohhh I want to do this!, followed quickly by hmm…better see how gross it is first.

Lucky for you (and much to my surprise) it wasn’t as filled with trash as I initially expected. What’dya know.

I’m a bit of an open book. Maybe my life is just a bit too boring, but aside from some seriously unfortunately school pictures from junior high, I don’t have much that I care about keeping hidden. So from the time we started dating, I’d invite Mr. B to grab whatever he needed from my purse. Except, here’s how it would actually play out:

Mr. B: Do you have any gum?

Me: In my purse, outside pocket.

Mr. B: [Brings me my purse. Usually holding it with out-stretched arms like it’s a bomb that may explode at any moment.]

Me: [Retrieves gum and hands it to Mr. B] You know, you could just get it yourself. That’s why I told you exactly where to find it; I really don’t care if you go in my purse.

Mr. B: Oh, Ok. I just didn’t want to go through your purse. [Still holding purse like it might sting him because I’m so amused by his discomfort that I continue to let him hold it.]

Me: No biggie, now you know.

…Until the next time he needs something that happens to be in my purse, when this exact scene replays itself again.

At first, I thought it was adorable. Oh, how sweet! He respects my privacy! Not even a little bit necessary but awww love him! But after a few years together, I’m starting to think he’d just rather not deal with the hot mess that is my handbag. It’s legit. You really never know what you are going to find in there. Here’s what’s going on with my purse today:



1// The bag. I adore Michael Kors, but I’m also kinda poor. I scored this on clearance at Macy’s. Oh, and I had a gift card. So let’s not pretend I’m all fancy with my designer goods. Also, it’s the size of a small carry-on so I love it even more because I can unnecessarily tote my entire life around.

2// Joey’s new harness because he was too chubby for his old one (and he can magically slip the collar off of his head when he doesn’t feel like being on a leash anymore.) He’s now officially a medium-sized dog. *Tear* our little baby is growing up.

3// My MK wallet/wristlet. When I don’t feel like carrying luggage around this puppy can also fit my cell phone (sans-cover) and a lip gloss. Again, don’t be impressed; I scored it on sale at Zappos.

4// A squished pack of gum with one and a half sticks of gum left. Yes, sometimes a whole piece is too much for me so I chew half pieces. Feel free to judge me.

5// A selection of lip glosses that I always have on hand but rarely use – including Smurfett Mood lip gloss (yep like a mood ring). I know, I’m an adult. Whatev, I love it.

6// Burt’s Bees lip balms. I have these stashed everywhere – I love them.

7// Day Planner. I’ve tried SO MANY TIMES to switch to my phone calendar but I just can’t. I’m old-school like that.

8// Notebook. For notes and such. Usually used for grocery lists, to-do lists and blog ideas, but it’s pretty universal.

9// Earrings.  No idea why they were in my purse, but I had been looking for them for a while so I was pretty pleased to find them.

10//  9 hair bands (in assorted colors, because duh I need options), 3 bobby pins, 2 jumbo bobby pins and 1 mini hair claw. I have a lot of hair, and I never know when it will annoy me. Also, I have this theory that every time I have zero hair ties I end up needing one, but if I have, oh say, a dozen or so I won’t ever need to use any of them. Obviously there is no middle ground, so I can’t just carry one or two.

11// A sample chewy…something(?) from the checkout counter at GNC.

12// The business card of a rodeo event coordinator. Because we live in the country and play with horses and cows.

13// Fingernail clippers and gold nail polish. I have no idea. I guess at some point I thought I’d give myself a mani on the run??

14// Lotion. It annoys the crap our of me when my skin feels dry.

15// Allegra. I puff. And itch. Especially when the leaves fall.

16// Car keys. And house keys. And the only bottle openers we can ever find. (Look close, there are two bottle openers. One looks like a regular key.)

17// Wadded up receipts and gum wrappers. Usually there are many, many more and they are accompanied by crumpled, expired coupons.

18// A Tick Twister for removing ticks because I’m a fur mama. (See also: I live in the woods.)

19// Keys for the farm buggy/the vehicle that gets me out of the driveway in the winter.

20// An assortment of cheap sunglasses. My sunglasses theory is similar to my hair band theory except with this addition: the cheaper the sunglasses, the less likely I am to lose them.

21// My cell phone. We have a love/hate relationship but I really couldn’t live with out it.

22// Not pictured: mystery crumbs. I rarely put food in my purse, and when I do, it’s a granola bar still in the wrapper. I have no idea where the crumbs come from, but they kind of gross me out.

Honorable mentions (not in the purse right now, but they can usually be found there):


23// Makeup bag. Often accompanies me everywhere I go, but rarely gets opened once I leave the house, despite containing additional hair ties which I clearly need.

24// My camera. The good blogger in me has intentions of taking pictures of everything I do/see/eat, but the bad blogger in me drinks wine and forgets. Or drinks wine and takes blurry “action shots”. Whoops.

So, yeah, there’s a lot going on in there. I get why Mr. B is afraid to blindly stick his hand in my purse. You really never knows what you might find in there.

What’s lurking in your handbag?


Let’s Take a Moment to Talk About My Dog’s Tongue

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Tall Tails Link Up

It was early evening when I finally got a chance to sit down and write today’s blog post. Naturally, I couldn’t come up with a thing to write about, so I decided to take the dogs for a little hike. I took my camera with me, figuring the beautiful light would give me a chance to practice playing with my fancy pants camera.

Welllll, 293 pictures later (not an exaggeration, I actually took 293 pictures on our walk) I still had no blog post ideas but I did have some lovely photos of the country in the fall.


Obviously, I also took a couple hundred photos of the dogs. Daisie took in the view,


while Joey went for a dip in a puddle.


But as I perused the pictures, I noticed a trend: Joey’s tongue is all over the place.


I mean, we’ve noticed that his tongue is pretty long, but I never noticed how much time it spends out of his mouth.


It’s everywhere.


Most of the time he looks so handsome (says the not-at-all biased dog-mom)…



…but the tongue thing…well, it makes him look like such a little dope.



Oh, well, at least he’s got a cute butt.



It’s Just…Different. And We Love It.

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Sami's Shenanigans

My family has a “camp” in the country, which also happens to be not far from where I live now. Growing up, we spent every summer weekend there. We call it “the farm” (because it used to be one, before my family bought it) and it was – and still is – my favorite place in the world.

Now that I live closer, it’s easier to decide to head to the farm on a whim, which is exactly what Mr. B and I did on Saturday. We were going to pick up the tractor, and ended up staying there for a few hours to mow grass and do a little bit of work. It was wonderful.



While we were up there, I noticed something strange: the dogs lose their minds the moment we arrive, and continue to act like little crackheads until we leave. The farm is a place for the extended family to get together, so we usually aren’t there alone. I just assumed that the dogs’ excitement was a result of being around other people and dogs, but after this weekend, I’m not so sure.



As soon as we pulled up to the gate they started bouncing around the car. They bolted out of the car as soon as we opened the door and ran and played for hours.







I understand their excitement over the fresh air, open spaces, all that nature to explore and revel in, but…we have that at home. I mean, we live on a farm. There is a hay field right next to our house. There is a creek in the woods behind our house. Yet, when I open the door and let them outside with the same amount of freedom that they have at the farm, they aren’t nearly as thrilled about it. They do play in the yard and occasionally explore the woods and field, but not with the omg-life-is-GREAT enthusiasm that they reserve for the farm. It’s odd, but adorable.

Honestly, I can’t really blame them, the farm is a magical place. It’s enough to make anyone so filled with joy that they go all batshit crazy and run around like a maniac. Well, it has that effect on me, at least.



Weekend Shenanigans, Farm Style

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It was a good weekend.

(Why do great weekends make Monday mornings extra sucky?)

I can’t even remember what I did on Friday. I think I just fiddled with some blog stuff and relaxed with some wine and my guy, but I really don’t recall. Clearly it was uneventful.

I do remember Saturday though, because it was awesome. My mom came to visit and we played on the farm. We visited the horses, enjoyed lunch and wine on the back deck, and then helped Mr. B and the farmers make hay.



While the menfolk were gathering up the bales of hay, Mom and I admired the awesome old farm equipment.



And when we were putting the hay away in the barn, we found this pretty girl:


She had four teeny little babies, who were so small their eyes weren’t even open yet. They were so precious! But, every time I would get near them, Mr. B and my mother would act like I was approaching (or holding or talking to or trying to kidnap) a ticking bomb. Ok, so maybe I’m liiiittle bit allergic to cats, but that wasn’t going to keep me away from four itty-bitty kitties.

After stacking almost 400 bales of hay in the barn, we came back to the house for a steak dinner and wine and cigars. (I really love when Mom visits, she spoils us.) We stayed up way past our bedtimes, but it was a blast.

Yesterday morning, my mom headed back home and Mr. B finished up some yard work. I spent the day getting ready for the week ahead and catching up on my blog reading. Later that afternoon, while I was lost in blogland, the dogs started losing their freaking minds and scared the living shit out of me. Turns out, Mr. B and Annie were standing in our front yard and the pooches didn’t like it one bit.

Mr. B brought Annie to the house to see if I had any cream for her sun-burned nose. (Because, obviously, it’s easier to bring the horse to the cream than it is to take the cream to the horse.) I slathered a little shea butter on her sniffer, and then Joey practiced his herding skills. In hindsight, we are re-evaluating the choice to let him herd a horse with a person on it (in the front yard, no less), but at the time we were just so thrilled that he wanted to herd something other than the Chihuahua.



Last night Mr. B and I snuggled up with the pups for popcorn and a movie, which was a great way to round out a great weekend.


Sami's Shenanigans

What did you guys get into this weekend? I hope it was fabulous!


A Simple, Cheap Way To Clean Tarnished Copper

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When I created my 17 in 17 list, one of the things I wanted to tackle was a cute little copper tea kettle that my grandmother gave me a while back (thanks, Nan!). It sits on display on my stove, but it’s very tarnished. I’ve polished it once before, but I couldn’t remember how I did it, so I set out to learn how to clean it once and for all.



My mom suggested I try soaking it in white vinegar and salt “until it’s clean”. That seemed too easy, but it was worth a try. I already had what I needed in the pantry, it wasn’t going to take much effort, and if it didn’t work I was out a whopping $2.

I grabbed the salt and white vinegar and found a pot big enough to fit the kettle.



I dumped roughly 1/3 cup salt a little more than half of the gallon of vinegar and into the pot with the tea kettle, so that the kettle was completely submerged.



I let it soak for about 4 hours because it was so tarnished. But to see what kind of difference it made, I submerged half of the lid as a little experiment. This was what it looked like after a half hour:


After the soak I scrubbed a few details (where the handle attaches, the spout, the lip around the bottom) with a small soft brush to remove any gunk in the crevices. I rinsed it with the vinegar solution and wiped it down with a clean rag. There are still a lot of imperfections, but the tea kettle is about 40 years old, so it’s going to have lots of quirks and character that will never wipe away.


So, I crossed off an item on my 17 in 17 checklist, and the whole process was much easier (and cheaper!) than I expected! Added bonus: now that I wrote a blog post about it, I won’t have to worry about forgetting how I did it!


Spring Cleaning…In the Fall

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My house is dirty.

I mean, we aren’t living in squalor or anything like that. Most days it’s tidy enough and every now and then I do actually clean. Lately though, cleaning has been just the basics; I just haven’t given it a good deep cleaning in a while. We’ve been on the go all summer long, and now that summer is technically over, I’m starting to notice.

It’s just time to do some spring cleaning. (I know it’s fall. You know what I mean.) Organize closets, wipe down cabinets, wash the windows…you know, the crap that gets avoided by saying “I’m in a rush/ it’s good enough for now/ I’ll get it later”. Except, I think it’s starting to get to me that these things haven’t been done in a while.

Case in point: it’s late afternoon and I haven’t posted yet today because I started polishing my tarnished tea kettle and ended up deep-cleaning the entire kitchen. Like, washed the garbage can, scrubbed the toaster oven and cleaned under the stove kind of deep-cleaning. So yeah, apparently it’s bothering me that I’ve let this stuff slide.


Anyway, I want to know: how often do you give your house a good, thorough cleaning? Do you do the whole “spring cleaning” thing? Or are you good at keeping it deep-cleaned all the time? Or do you just not care what is lurking under the refrigerator?

Do you have method for your scrub-down? Any tips/tricks to share? I think I’m going to keep going the way I started and tackle one room at a time. At least, that’s the plan. Wish me luck!