Thursday, May 29, 2008

Farm Happenings

I think where I left off last was that the plants were growing in the greenhouses, and the fields were getting plowed. Here's what's happening now.

These are the plants in the greenhouse that are ready to be planted. I think these are tomatoes.

I think these are eggplants, also ready to be planted in the fields.
Here they are laying the plastic in the fields before they plant. The plastic helps keep the weeds out and allows them to water the plants by drip irrigation and add fertilizer to the soil as needed. (in my not so professional opinion)

Watch this video to see how the plastic is layed. They can now do three rows at a time with the new tractor part they just bought last year. They used to only do one row at a time.

After the plastic is down, they have to pull back the white part (which will be the tunnel), put wire rims up (to make the tunnels) and poke holes in the plastic where the plants will go. Actually I think they poke the holes first.

They load the plants onto trailers to move them to the field for planting.Here they are planting cucumbers in the field below our house.Now that the plants are in they will pull the white plastic up over the wire rings and hold it in place with the clothes pins. The tunnels creat a greenhouse effect, since it is still cold here in Michigan they can plant much earlier in the summer than without the tunnels. They protect the plants and it gets much warmer inside the tunnel than outside which helps them grow, and the end result is produce much earlier. They don't do the whole farm it tunnels because it is too expensive and requires more labor. They do about 100 acres of tunnels. The rest of the plants get planted after it is warm enough to not have to worry about frost. I was surprised to find out that they use the farmers almanac to determine when they can start planting outside.
This picture was taken from my porch. This is a field of Tomato plants. I am super excited to have tomatoes planted by our house this year. Last year they planted pickles which are only grown for a short time in the summer and then they are done. We will have vine ripe tomatoes here from mid July to end of September. And I wont have to go far to get them.
I took this picture this morning. I can't believe how big the plants are now. Here's a view from inside the tunnel.As it gets warmer and the plants get bigger they will start to open the tunnels up more.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I think I can, I think I can (break the curse that is)

The curse is that ever since I have started driving I seem to get into an accident every 5 years. I've only been driving for 15 years but it started the first year I was driving at 16. I rear ended a car. And it wasn't even my car I was driving. The person who's car I was driving just happened to be pulling into the jiffy lube to get his other cars oil changed, which was where I was waiting for the police to come and investigate the accident and ultimately find me at fault and write me a ticket. Talk about bad luck, I hadn't even had time to come up with a good excuse, luckily he went easy on me (the owner of the car, not the cop). So it was definitely my fault, but I can sort of blame the kids (of the owner of the car) in the back seat, because they were yelling inappropriate things out the window at pedestrians and I was trying to make them stop, and that's when I lost my concentration and hit the car in front of me.

Then 5 years later when I was 21, driving my new 1998 Honda Civic (my first new car) that I'd only had for 4 months, I was making a left hand turn and managed to get hit by 2 cars, one on each side. Again technically my fault, but not really because a car had waived me on, so I thought it was clear to go.

Then when I was 26 and moving out to Michigan from Seattle. A 3 day driving trip, and on the last day, my sister and I separated from my parents who were driving the U Haul. They didn't want to drive through Chicago during rush hour traffic, so they went a different route. I decided that being the experienced driver that I was, after living in Seattle for 7 years, one of the worst traffic cities in America, that I could drive through Chicago just fine. So we went our separate ways. Meanwhile, my sister Natalie and I stopped at a gas station in Wisconsin to fill up and walk Brewster, we saw a family playing at the picnic area with the cutest little puppy. We went to see it and they said it was a pure bred miniature American Eskimo puppy and we could have it for only $50 if we wanted it. I wanted it really bad, but knew I couldn't keep it, so I called my sister Rachael who is as much a sucker for a puppy as I am, and she agreed to keep the dog. So back in the car and on the road again with 2 dogs soon became an issue because they didn't like each other. Natalie had Brewster on her lap, and I had (now named) Lola on my lap. (We wanted to name her Brie after a cheese, since she was from Wisconsin, but my sister Rachael picked Lola instead.) Anyway, while we were stuck in stop and go traffic in Chicago during rush hour, I was hand feeding Lola some dog food and looked down for 2 seconds and in that 2 seconds the car in front of me hit the brakes and I did not. I hit her full force without even hitting the brakes. Luckily we weren't going very fast at all, but Brewster almost flew out the window, thankfully Natalie was paying better attention than I was and was able to hold on to him. Long story short, my parents had to turn around and come back into Chicago to get us, since my car was no longer drivable, and the $50 puppy ended up costing me a whole lot more. So it was Lola's fault we got into an accident.
This is Lola. She now lives with my mom (the one who thought it was a stupid idea to get her in the first place) in New York. Rachael decided she couldn't handle 3 dogs.

So now that I'm 31, I can't help but think about the curse and hopefully break it. I have to drive super careful for the next year. Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

What's for dinner?

The new high chair was delivered yesterday. We tried it out during dinner tonight for the first time and it works great. His mess is now confined to only his upper body, and the chair is a lot easier to wipe up than the bouncer seat was.

Last night for dinner I tried giving him asparagus and he hated it. Every bite I gave him he sloshed around in his mouth and then spit it back out at me. So tonight he just had cereal with bananas (not real bananas, flavored cereal).

Any suggestions for what foods to give him first? Obviously he doesn't like asparagus. I thought you were supposed to start with green veggies first, then orange veggies, then fruit, otherwise they wont ever eat the bland green veggies if you give them sweet stuff first. But since he wont eat them anyway, I think I will start with some applesauce next.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

So much to love about 5 months almost 6

This 5th month of Tony's life has been full of new experiences and it is so fun to watch and be a part of. He is learning how to eat, which is a very messing learning experience for him. So far he has had rice cereal and rice cereal with banana's. He love the cereal with banana's and I doubt will ever go back to the plain again. Tonight I'm going to try asparagus. I have ordered a high chair and can't wait for it to arrive. Our current eating arrangements are that he sits in his bouncy seat, but he wiggles all over in it and he touches everything and gets food everywhere. By everywhere I mean, hands, face, neck, hair, socks, pants, shirt and the bouncer seat. Although after he sneezed with a mouthful of cereal I should change my definition of everywhere to include me and the floor. I'm getting smarter though, today I stripped him down to just his onesies before feeding him.
The problem with him being such a messy eater, is that now I have to give him a bath everyday, and bathing has become more difficult lately. He has outgrown the hammock in his tub, but not quite big enough to sit on his own in the little mini tub. So he flops around and I can't seem to hold him up with one hand and wash him with the other while he is wiggling all over the place. He usually ends up getting water in his face or soap in his eyes, or falling onto his back and getting all mad at me. Once he can sit on his own I think bath time will be a much more pleasant experience for both of us. He's getting close to sitting up on his own, he can almost do it, but he is almost folded in half so I don't think it really counts as sitting up and definitely not good for in the tub.
He has mastered rolling onto his back, and is so close to rolling from his back to his tummy.
He is full of personality, smiles and laughs like crazy, and is very easily entertained. If you wrap his arms around your neck he will hold on tight and give you a big wet slobbery open mouth kiss on the cheek as he pulls your hair. Just yesterday for the first time he reached out for me when I went to pick him up. That definitely made my day.

As much as Tony loves his little doggy bouncer seat, he really is getting too big for it, it almost sags to the floor when he's in it. So we decided he needed a new form of entertainment, and we bought him a jumparoo. We're hoping it helps strengthen his legs, he doesn't seem to want to put any weight on them, if I try to hold him up and help him stand, his legs just collapse underneath him. So far he really likes it. I just hope it is as big a hit for the long term as the bouncer seat was.
Now that the weather is getting nicer, we go for walks/jogs outside with the stroller. He did great the first few times, but the last 2 times, he has gotten fussy halfway through and I end up carrying him the rest of the way. I usually have a few others walking with me (I've rounded up a few neighbor friends/family to walk with me, which comes in handy when Tony wants to be carried and I have the stroller to push too).

He is still taking 3 naps a day, but I think he is trying to give up the last one. Which actually a good thing, because then maybe I can start putting him to bed earlier at night. By the time he goes to bed at 9:30 I am ready for bed myself, but it would be nice to have some quiet me time after he goes to bed without having to stay up till 11pm. Oh and in case your wondering, he still isn't sleeping through the night yet. He goes down around 9:30 and sleeps till either 2, 3, 4 or 5 (whichever he decides) before he wakes up to eat, then goes back to sleep for the rest of the night till 7:30 or 8. Yes it would be nice to sleep the whole night through, but if waking up to eat helps him sleep longer in the morning it is fine with me.

I just wanted to write all this down so I don't forget what the 5th month was like. Definitely the easiest month so far. I wonder what next month will be like.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tagged for quirks about me

I've been tagged by CM to tell 6 quirks about myself. This should be easy because I'm sure I have more than 6, deciding which ones I want to tell about is the tricky part. Here goes.

1. I am easily annoyed by noises made by the mouth. See 2 and 3.
2. It drives me crazy to hear people smack when they eat or chew gum. It just isn’t something anyone else should have to hear you doing. I especially hate it when they fold the gum in half inside their mouth to make little bubbles and then pop them. If I am around someone who is doing this I have to either ask them to stop or leave. I can’t ignore or tune it out no matter how hard I try. My mom and my sister Shannon are the worst gum chewers I know, Francie isn't far behind. I have to use the 3 warning rule with my mom, if I have to remind her 3 times to stop chewing her gum loudly she has to spit it out. If I have gum and she wants a piece, I don’t give it to her, I loan it to her, that way I can take it back at any time and throw it away.
3. I don’t like humming or whistling, especially whistling. I know it’s a happy thing to do, but seriously don’t do it around me or I will quickly find a reason to be somewhere else. There is a secretary at my work who is always whistling the same tune (I think it’s her cell phone ring) over and over again and it’s a really high pitched sound that hurts my ears. I’ve asked her to stop and she does for a little while, but then she forgets. I finally gave up asking her to stop, and now whenever she starts whistling I start talking to her so she can’t whistle.

Okay, this isn’t supposed to be 6 things that annoy me so I’m moving on.

4. My favorite condiment is salt. I salt almost everything I eat and usually without tasting it first. Just a couple shakes, not super salty. I think I do it more out of habit than anything else. I even put salt on my pizza and pancakes. The only thing I don’t salt is fruit. I put salt in my oatmeal, several good shakes. When I was 16 I worked in a nursing home as a nurses aid and when I would set up the breakfast trays for all the old people I would fix their oatmeal with salt, butter and sugar. I couldn’t figure out why they never seemed to like it, I thought everyone salted their oatmeal until one day the nurse saw me doing it and informed me that people don’t eat oatmeal that way.
5. I have the worst sense of direction. If you give me directions please don’t tell me to go to the light and turn west. Just say left or right or I will go the wrong way. If I am driving somewhere and I have to guess which way to go, I will always guess wrong. I’ve even tried the reverse psychology thing on myself and go the way I think is wrong hoping that it will actually be the right way and I’m still wrong. I have a navigation system in my car so I don’t get lost nearly as often as I used to, but it isn't fail proof.
6. I’m a vegetarian. Born and raised that way with no intention of changing. The thought of eating an animal grosses me out, but if you come to my house I will cook it for you. I have mastered shake and bake chicken and steak on the grill. If Todd ever gets sick of either of those I am in trouble, or I should say he's in trouble.
I did eat a muscle one time (I should say swallowed, because I didn’t chew it, it just slid right down my throat) to impress a boy and in exchange he had to eat a spoonful of Tabasco sauce. Then there was the time Todd paid me $20 to eat one bite of coconut chicken. It actually wasn’t that bad, I offered to eat another bite for another $20.

Okay, now it's my turn to tag other people to confess quirks of their own.

Mandy Lou
Princess Green

Here are the rules:
Link back to the person who tagged you
Mention the rules in your blog post
List six of your quirks
Tag six bloggers and link to them
Leave a comment on each tagged persons blog letting them know they've been tagged!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Happy Mothers Day to me

My mom always writes really sweet birthday posts over at her blog for all her kids and kidS in law and grandkids. Since Todd recently had a birthday she just wrote one for him. You can check it out here.

Just so I don't forget this I'm writing it down. Whenever Todd says something and wants to make a point about it he follows it with "and you can write that in your journal". Well I don't have a journal, but I have a blog, so I'm writing this one down for my benefit.

My husband is not a fan of what he calls "hallmark holidays" so I wasn't expecting much if anything for my first mothers day. So before we went to bed on Saturday I told him for mothers day I wanted him to get up with Anthony in the morning so I could sleep in late. (One of the things I love about Todd is his funny, sarcastic, off the tip of his tongue one liners, unless of course they are directed towards me.) His response to my request was, "why would you want to celebrate being a mother by not being a mother?" So he got me there, but lucky for me, mothers day comes before fathers day, so when Father's day rolls around next month, I'll be sure Todd gets to fully embrace being a dad.

He did clean the kitchen and dining room and living room for me though, including unloading and loading the dishwasher which is huge for him. He then of course gave me a tour of his handiwork pointing out everything he cleaned. He did such a good job I think I'll just let him do it all the time. Ha ha.

Anyway, I love being a mother, and I love my little boy to pieces. (who is grunting and getting all red in the face right now) I think 5 months is the best age so far, he is so happy all the time, it doesn't take much to make him smile, and he is so easy going. Oh and don't forget the naps, he naps great! 3 a day. Now if I can just get him to sleep through the night:) Just having him is gift enough for me. But maybe I should go get myself a gift anyway, you know for all my hard work. I'm thinking about one of these.

Okay, I better go investigate what all that grunting was about.

A sad day

Grandpa Alvin with his only Great Grandchild.

Yesterday, on mothers day, Grandpa Alvin passed away. He was 88 years old. He was living at home with his Brother in law, Babe, fairly independent up until a week ago Sat. Actually the day of Anthony's dedication was the day he nearly fell at home and went into the hospital. The following Monday they did an ERCP and took a biopsy of a tumor they recently discovered near his pancreas. The pathology report confirmed that it was cancerous and in an advanced stage. Surgery was not an option. He was in the hospital for 7 days and then discharged home with hospice care on Friday. He died peacefully and pain free at home Sunday afternoon, just 5 days after being diagnosed. He never even knew he had cancer. We will all miss him very much.

He was such a kind man, always happy to have you stop by and say hello even if only for a few minutes. Whenever I would stop by he would always ask me to stay for dinner. His caregiver pre-made plates of food and left them in the fridge and he would always insist there was an extra one in there that I could have. I always had to remind him that I was a vegetarian and he'd say "oh yeah, that's right. I always forget."

Alvin lived just down the road from us but you know how life gets busy and you don't always make the time you should to spend with family. Well that is sort of the case here. We tried to stop by and visit and take him out to eat once in a while, but now looking back I wish we would have done it more often. I'm thankful that just a week before he went into the hospital Todd and I stopped over for a visit with Anthony. I made Todd install his window A/C unit because the house was so hot. We sat around the kitchen table and visited for a while and he got to hold Anthony while I helped Todd. We invited him over to our house the following Saturday for the baby dedication, he was really looking forward to it, I wish he could have been able to come over and visit with all the family just one last time while he was feeling good.

I used to take Brewster over there and drop him off to visit him and keep him company. They became fast friends and Brewster loved going over there, the two of them would sit in the recliner and nap all day. One time I was over at the farm and Brewster was running around and I wasn't paying attention. Before I knew it he was lost and we put out a search for him. Everyone stopped working to look for Brewster. After about 20 minutes of searching we decided to go down the street to Grandpa Alvins place and there was Brewster, sitting on the front porch on Alvins lap. He had found his way there all by himself. Whenever I would go to pick up Brewster and take him home I literally had to carry him out because he would not leave willingly. I don't know who was more attached to the other. Saturday night before he passed away I took Brewster over to see him and put him up on the bed with him. Alvin reached out to pet him and Brewster curled up next to him and layed down for for their last nap together.

4 Generations: Todd and his mom Janice and Grandpa Alvin with baby Anthony

Grandpa Alvin and Great Uncle Babe with Anthony and Brewster.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Catch all

I have so many blog posts I wanted to write this week and just haven't found the time. Strange too, because in the past 8 days I think I've only worked one shift. So I thought I'd have tons of time to blog, but today is my last day before I start working again and then I'll really never get to all these blog posts. So I have decided to combine and shorten all of them into one post. Since I am combining several posts into one, I will let you get away with only leaving one comment too. (haha) So here goes, I'm going to try and whip this out quick before Tony wakes up from his nap.

I caught the "cheer" (stomach virus) that my nieces and nephews shared with so many over the weekend. Unfortunately I caught it on Tuesday, which also happened to be Todd's birthday. Thankfully it only lasted a day and by Wednesday I was feeling better again. It's a real bummer to be sick when you have a baby, they don't seem to care that you are sick, they still got needs. Luckily Todd's mom was able to help me out for part of the day and watch him so I could rest.

May 6 was Todd's 29th birthday. Unfortunately for him his birthday is in May during farm season, so unless it rains, he still has to work all day. There was no rain this year, so he worked all day, and since I was sick, he didn't really want to come home either. We really didn't see much of him, he stayed away till after Anthony and I had gone to bed. I guess he didn't really want to catch what I had. Since I am such a procrastinator, I had planned on gift shopping for him while he was at work on his birthday. Getting sick ruined those plans, so his birthday was kind of a bummer, no gift, no cake, no card. Hopefully we can celebrate this weekend. Here is a picture of Todd playing with Tony on his lunch break (before I got REALLY sick and made him not want to be home). Hopefully next year is a better birthday!

Remember I talked about my dog's eyes and the really expensive medicine I bought for him? Well it's working! They say give it 2 months for the full effect, but after just a few weeks I can already tell a huge difference. By now he would normally have tons of crusty goop in his eyes. So it was money well spent.

I started giving him rice cereal this past weekend and the first time he did really well. He seemed to like it, couldn't get it fast enough. He wasn't really sure what to do with it once he got it in his mouth though. Most of it got sloshed around and spit back out and probably less than half actually got into his tummy. I wonder how long it takes to master eating, because almost a week later, he's still only getting about half in.

But I will say that for all of you who suggested feeding him cereal would help him sleep through the night, you were wrong. The first night after eating he woke up 4 times. Then the second night he slept through the whole night for the very first time, 9:30pm until 7:30am. Unfortunately that turned out to be a one time deal. He is back to his usual wake ups at 1am and 5am. He also gets juice once in a while. He was having problems with constipation a few weeks ago so I started giving him 1-2 ounces of juice a day when he needed it, and it worked well. Yesterday I gave him 2 ounces of pear juice and he sucked it down really fast and seemed to want more, so I gave him another 2 ounces. Well lets just say I've changed a lot of dirty diapers ever since. So from now on, 2 ounces is all he gets!

ISN'T MY BABY CUTE (sorry I have to brag, he's just the cutest thing I've ever seen)

Monday, May 5, 2008

Anthony's Dedication

A weekend in pictures...

My parents came into town for the weekend so that we could have Tony dedicated* to Jesus. We had several family members (33 to be exact) over Saturday evening for the occasion and had a wonderful spaghetti dinner before the dedication. Todd's dad made the sauce which was a big hit with everyone. A couple of my relatives asked me for a spoon so they could just eat the sauce by itself it was so good. He made a marinara sauce with eggplant for the vegetarians and marinara sauce with meatballs for everyone else. It was my first big thing at my house and surprisingly we managed to find space for all 33 people inside. Our original plan was to eat outside, but the weather didn't cooperate so we brought the tables and chairs inside and rearranged furniture a bit to make it all fit. My step dad Bob is a pastor, and therefore gets the privilege to do all the spiritual ceremonies for the family. My mom's cousin Mickey and my niece Kristen brought their guitars and we sang some songs too. It was all very nice and very sweet, Todd and I were very happy with how the evening went.
Since my mom and Bob were planning on leaving Sunday morning for the trip back home to NY, I decided to let Rachael's 3 oldest kids spend the night so they could spend more time with their grandma and grandpa. I had them all get their jammies on and get situated on the couches for the night and then put 101 Dalmations on for them to watch. The movie was just getting started at 10pm, so I figured they'd all fall asleep before it was over, but to my surprise Kristen and Katya stayed up for the whole thing. Everyone else in the house went to bed.
When I got up in the morning, Katya informed me that she had gotten sick during the night and threw up twice. But no worries, she and Kristen cleaned it up and she was feeling much better. She even asked me not to tell anyone because she didn't want to have to stay home in case they did anything fun later that day. Well I'm glad she wasn't worried, but I was. I just had 33 people over yesterday and now one of them is sick. Jack had been sick earlier in the week, but he had to stay home away from everyone until he was feeling 100% better and showed no more signs of sickness. Apparently he had already given it to Katya. Then a little bit later in the morning Kristen starting feeling bad and wanted to go home. I called Rachael to come and get her sick kids, but she was at the hospital finishing up rounds, and Derrick was home with Ben, who also got sick during the night. So all 3 of her other kids got the bug from Jack. Then we started to wonder who else may have gotten sick. So far I've only heard that Francie's boyfriend got it. If anyone else gets sick please let me know, were keeping track of the casualties. I promise we had no idea they were sick when we let them come over to the house Saturday evening. If you didn't have close contact with the kids your probably fine, and just in case your wondering, we didn't let them help fix the food.
Sunday morning while Bob was digging up trees down by the river behind the house to take home and one for me which he even planted in my front yard (thanks Bob) and loading the car; Mom, Francie, Natalie and I painted a little pottery. It is so great that Natalie has her own pottery kiln, we all look forward to the weekends when she comes to visit because she always brings new pottery pieces for us to paint. Then she takes them home and fires them and brings them back the next time she's in town. I painted a really cute cereal bowl for Tony, I can't wait to get it back. Oh by the way he started cereal for the first time. He really seems to like it. I think more of it goes on the bib, towel and his face than in his tummy, but he tries, he opens his mouth and grabs at my hand to help me feed him. I'll be glad when he gets a little better at it. Right now it is just a big messy learning experience for him.
Mom and Bob finally got the car all loaded up and on the road by about noon Sunday.
After everyone was gone, I put Tony down for a nap and then started to work on this blog post when Francie called and said that she would come and help me put my house back in order, so I put the blogging on hold and got my house all cleaned and back to normal.

*A dedication service is to thank God for the child and to bless and dedicate them to God, and for the parents and family to commit themselves to raise the child to love Jesus. Then when the child is old enough to make his own decision he can choose to be baptized.

The Biggest Loser in the Family

This past weekend my mom and step-dad were in town for Anthony's baby dedication (another post about that coming soon). We all (meaning my mom and sisters) ate more than usual, because our family get togethers are usually centered around food. Lots of really good homemade food. So all this eating got everyone grumbling about their weight. With summer almost here and everyone feeling just a little fatter than they'd like, my mom has come up with what she thinks is a brilliant way to get motivated.

So once again I've entered into a little family weight loss competition between my mom and sisters. Only this time there is a $100 buy in price. There are 5 of us in so there's $500 on the line here. These are the rules.
1. diet starts 5/5/08
2. diet ends 7/4/08
3. the person with the greatest % of weight loss gets half of the money ($250)
4. on 9/4/08 if the winner has maintained all of their wight loss they get the other half of the money. If not, the other half goes to the next person who has lost the most % of weight since the beginning.

We started today. Nobody wanted to make their weight public knowledge so we are on the honor system here, but we are supposed to email ourselves our own weight so that we have it in a place that wont get lost with the date on it.

So to kick start my diet, I got up early and ran 5 miles. Then came back and had a healthy breafast of oatmeal and fruit.

Ha, ha, just kidding you guys. I really had biscuits with gravy, and I didn't get up and run, but I had you stressing for a minute I bet. I'm actually not off to the best start, since all the meals were at my house over the weekend, I have a fridge full of leftovers that I refuse to let go to waste. So instead they will probably go to my waist.
We all have at one time or another had a really successful dieting experience, but that's not the norm for our family. The norm is to start a diet and mess up, and start again and so on and so on. If I want to win, I have to be the exception to the norm and everyone else do the norm for our family. I can't wait to see who wins the money in the end. Happy dieting and exercising to all. May the biggest loser win.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

If dogs could talk

This is what mine would say,

Dear Xena*,
I haven't seen you in a few days, I wonder where you are. I think something must be wrong, your always at the farm when I go over there to visit you. Everyone seemed really sad the other day, especially your mommy, I heard your name but I didn't know what they were saying. I think I've figured it out though.

I remember when I first met you, you were so intimidating, big, black and scary looking. You could have torn me to shreds if you wanted to, and everyone knows you probably wanted to a time or two, but you were always so kind to me. Even when I would bark in your face and jump at you to get your attention when you weren't interested in me, you were never mean to me. I used to be so jealous that you got to go to the farm everyday with your mom and I had to stay home alone all day. Then every now and then I'd get to come to the farm for the day too, and before long I was coming almost every day just like you. I looked forward to spending my days hanging out with you in the house or on the porch. I loved playing chase with you around the pool table, I'm sorry you broke your knee chasing me a few years ago. I felt really bad about that. After that we weren't allowed to play chase anymore, but every now and then, when the people weren't around you'd give me a few laps around the table for old times sake. Remember the time I wanted to get into the trash and you helped me get it out, and then we both got in trouble and it was my fault. I loved to keep you informed on who was coming and going from the house, I know you didn't care much, but I would get so excited and come and run and get you. You'd get up and come and say hi before going back to your nap.
Things will never be the same around here without you, you were my best friend and I will never forget you. I'll miss you every day.

Xena was my sister in laws Rottweiler dog. She was a true princess warrior, big and strong and yet the kindest most gentle dog I've ever met. I never worried that she would hurt my sometimes annoying yappy little dog or Tony. She just didn't have a mean bone in her body. The other day she got sick and when they took her to the vet, it was determined that she was bleeding internally and despite all the heroic efforts possible her chances of survival were slim, so they put her to sleep. We are all very sad around here, she was loved by all and will be missed very much.