Sunday, August 19, 2007

We Are Going Here....

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Doesn't it look so peaceful? I'm sure our days will be filled with splashing around the creek, cooking s'mores at the fire pit, watching the neighbor's horses, combing thrift and art shops in Burnsville and Asheville among other things. Mark is running in an off-road/trail 10K the day after we get there. I will try to post an update but most likely will wait til we come home and I can put some pictures up. I may not be blogging at all for about 2 weeks. Not sure yet if the dial-up at my parents house will allow it.

Thankfully this trip there will be none of this...

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(snow on our trip in January)

This depression...
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Has become this room(now completed)...
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(new master suite built by my dad)

The kids want to feed these...
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(neighbor's ducks)

And we all want to hear trail stories from this man...
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(my little brother)

And spend some time splashing here...
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(Carolina Hemlock National Forest, Toe River)

And hiking to here...
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(Roaring Falls, afternoon hike)

Ignore the dates on the pics, I'm really bad about keeping the dates current.

Friday, August 17, 2007

And Life Goes On....

As saddened as we are by the departing of our much loved pet, life does go on for the Sonier family.

Here are some random pics of homelife. Starting with Sarah's new EARRINGS!!! She's been bugging us for a few months about this so we finally buckled.

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Next, are Amy's new River Shoes, in, ahem, *my* size!

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Some cute piggie butts, Basil and Moonshine.

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And some kitty pics.
Muffin in deep snooze.
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Rosie in deep snooze.
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And last but not least, some stuff from our "Cabinet of Curiosities".
Rocks and China.
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Cat Collection.
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Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Big Chest...

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That was one of our nicknames for Chester. We also called him Checher-pie, Chesteroli, Chetchoo among others. He came to us in July of 1994, when we were living in an apartment in the college town of Nacogdoches, Texas. I found him in the pool area trying to catch birds. He was about half-grown and had been turned out when some students left for the summer. He quickly adapted to family life and was a companion for our two kitties, Junior and Pipper. A few months later we brought home a part Cairn-part Daschund, Puppy-Girl, and they would run and play chase all the time. She would try to sit on him and he'd groom her head and ears. About a year after that we came into two more kitties, Muffin and Soshie. They were bitty babies and took up with Chester immediately, as their surrogate mom, nursing on him all the time. Muffin was his special cuddle partner, they were ALWAYS together.

Last fall Chester became very ill. He lost weight very quickly(from 16 pounds to about 10 pounds) and almost died from fatty liver disease. but I hand-fed him back to sort of normal but it was obvious he was sickly. We think he had diabetes, given his obesity and age. He existed along, not well but not horribly sick either. I took care of his needs and gave him lots of extra cuddles and attention. This past Sunday, he stopped eating and quit using the litterbox(or anything for that matter). We knew he was shutting down, his breathing had become labored, he hunched up and couldn't get comfortable. So, today, we sent him to the Rainbow Bridge. He was such a good cat and we love him very much. We will miss him.

Muffin and Chester, earlier this month. You can tell in this photo just how bad he was feeling. His face says it all.
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Monday, August 13, 2007

Meme, Meme, Meme!

This is the first time I've done one of these but I came across a blanket invite/tag at On a Rainy Night so I decided to play! If you have a blog and read this, consider yourself TAGGED!!!


Dark Chocolate
Being with my children(homeschooling keeps them home with me daily)
Crocheting and sometimes knitting

Adjusting to motherhood of two
Being medicated for post partum anxiety
Contemplating homeschooling my children, but not seriously(yet)
Taking care of a household while my hubby worked 40-hour weeks and went to college fulltime
Just learning to quilt(I've come a long way with all of these things!)

Frigo Light String Cheese
Chips and Albert's Hot Sauce(or cheese sauce, whichever we have)
Sweet Rewards Ice Cream Bar(chocolate or raspberry)

What's Your Mama's Name by Tanya Tucker
Would You Lay With Me by David Allan Coe
Stay All Night by Willie Nelson
If I Had a Boat by Misty River
The Peacemaker Is Born by Joanne Shenandoah(sung in Iroquois) and pretty much that whole CD, I sang it to my 3rd child when she was a bitty baby.

High cut bathing suit
Anything with mesh fabric
Underwire bras!
Vans(or Converse)
Acid washed jeans

Buy the house we are living in and get new carpet(among other touch ups)
Pay off parents home and buy one for my brother
Get a safe car to haul my kids in
Donate to our local no-kill animal shelter
Buy some land near my parents and build a home

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Busy Weekend So Far....

Ryan's church youth group was supposed to have a pool party Friday night... somewhere else. The pool ended up being too green to host the party so we offered ours up again. This time there were 17 youth plus our 4! It was crazy!!

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Today was a little more calm. Two of Ryan's friends spent the night after the party goers went home. We took one home this afternoon but one is staying another night. He's mostly a good kid, both of them are actually, so I don't mind. We all went this afternoon to get river shoes for the kids to wear on vacation. Amy's are CUTE, I'll post a pic tomorrow(and one of Ryan's snake). We had to stop at WalMart for some chlorine and chips. I did chicken fajitas tonight on the grill. It is way too freakin' hot to be grilling, 98 was our high today! But it was VERY much worth it, they were sooooo good. Even Ryan ate one with peppers and onions, sour cream, salsa, and cheese on it, actually IN A TORTILLA! Probably because his friend is here, usually he just eats the chicken. Plain.

Unfortunately, all this activity has my left foot killing me. I've got plantar fascitis in both feet and scar tissue with a ganglion cyst on the outside of my left foot. The pain is now traveling up my inner foot to my ankle. Mark could even tell it was swollen and it just gets a shooting, throbbing pain every second or so. I probably should take it easy for the next few days, hahahahaha! He is threatening to take me to Dr. Sharp, the local podiatrist. Would you want to see a foot doctor with the last name of Sharp(especially one known for his injections)??? I believe I'll hobble and complain a bit longer thanks.

Here's what I did this morning. My aunt, Dowser, asked if I'd made the recipe she'd sent, my Grandmother's Lemon Bundt Cake. I have not, because I keep forgetting to get cake mix at the store. Thank you for sending the recipe though, it was a nice suprise, and I will get around to making it very soon, apparently the bundt cake is popular here. My first one was a Banana Walnut version. This time around, however, I made one using this recipe:

Blueberry Lemon Bundt Cake(recipe by Molly)

Butter a bundt pan and sprinkle with about 3 tablespoons granulated sugar. Heat oven to 325.

3 cups flour(measured lightly by spoon into the cup and smoothed off with a knife)
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Combine these three using a wire whisk or fork.

1/4 cup Promise Light spread
1.5 cups sugar
Cream these together with an electric hand mixer.

3 eggs and 1 egg white
Add these one at a time and mix well.

1 16 ounce container fat free sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp lemon extract
Add these to the egg/sugar/promise mixture, beat til just blended.

Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, mixing well. Add 2 cups blueberries and mix gently.

Here's what is left, I took it out of the oven at 12:30. Very well received!
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Here's what I worked on this afternoon while the kids swam. It will be a rectangular ripple shawl out of Patons Katrina in treble stitch ripples instead of doubles. In real life it is not so blue or so bright, more of a lilac than periwinkle(I just was lazy and didn't edit very well). It will go with a light pink, peach, very pale seafoam green and a slightly darker seafoam. I may put satin ribbons for the fringe with the yarn, or something else different.
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And here is my other ripple! I'm almost finished, maybe a foot left to do, or whenever I get tired of it. This picture makes it look much smaller than it really is. It might be as long as 55 inches or so by now. Yeah, she'll tear you up! Don't even think about moving her, she has teeth like needles!
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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

How We Roll...(and a clutter update).

In the summertime. When it is nice and hot. This is how we roll.

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Kids on the floaties.

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Dogs in the water!

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Relaxation on the table.

In Other News...

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Ginger is now semi-famous!! Check her out at Mosaic Cats where Laura's beautiful kitties have taken the challenge to befriend someone of a different species! It is worth it to also check out her stunning mosaics Here

We have finally decided to stop living in a storage room(or house) and do something about our clutter in a MAJOR WAY! It has been bothering Mark and I for a long time now but we really didn't know that the other felt the same way. For example, Mark bought a beautiful banker's desk about 2 years ago. It is HUGE but fits in our large living room. We also have a smaller desk for the kids' laptop, located behind our loveseat. This room also has a large entertainment center, a hutch cabinet, 2 bookshelves, a china cabinet, couch, loveseat, glider rocker, 2 end tables, an octagonal coffee/game table and two guinea pig cages. Several of the pieces were made by my dad and we won't part with them. Anyway, back to the desk. It is a monstrous piece, holds a TON of our junk within its deep drawers. But, we don't like it any more. None of our furniture has the same color stain but this piece stands out the most because of its size. I was hesitant to bring it up because I know Mark was so proud of finding it and he loves its classic look. It was nice to hear him say that he was tired of it. We have agreed to part with it and the smaller desk, and replace them with a hutch-desk-hutch system that was built for my brother's room when he was a kid. My dad is an EXCELLENT carpenter/furniture maker/artist so every piece he has done is just outstanding. Anyway, we plan to put the kids' school stuff and computer on it in the living room and convert the rarely used dining area to a home office/study.

Reading Laurie's(Crazy Aunt Purl) August 1st epiphany, especially where she says that what she has is "right here, in this house, right now" got me thinking that it is time to get serious about it again. Getting caught up in vacation plans, kids and their friends and activities, dinner plans, diets, pets, and so forth, can really distract from a task. It is such a huge undertaking, not one I can do alone, but one worth doing. I have already started with the kitchen by culling the crap in our catch-all cabinet beside the stove. We had anything from glue and kids craft stuff to our tea bags, batteries, old craft paints and a sea monkey kit in there. It is now 75% empty with just the things we need in it(sea monkey kit included of course). Today I plan to attack the drawers, many of which are full of pure junk, nothing we need AT ALL. Will let ya know about our progress.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Why Dark Oak Woman?

A few days ago my mom finally visited my blog even though my link has been in all my emails to her for the past several months. I guess she didn't realize what it was for. Anyway, she asked how I had chosen the name Dark Oak Woman. Here's the scoop!!

A year or so ago I began selling my crocheted and knitted scarves at an annual seasonal home party. I felt that I needed a name for my "business" and I wanted one that reflected my home and where I was as I made my creations. Most of my work is done at night in the shadow of a huge oak tree outside our bedroom window, or in the shade of the same tree as I supervise my kids in the pool. My business's name is Oak Moon Crafts but I don't have a website or anything, probably won't for a while. In the mean time, my mollymomm email address was spammed to death. Perfect time to choose a new identity that would go with the business name and better suit my personality, not that I'm not still a Molly or a mom!

When I was a little girl I wanted so bad to be an Indian and had lots of daydreams about riding bareback across the prairies of Oklahoma with my arm hooked in a braided mane, shooting a bow from under the horse's neck(not that I imagined what I was shooting, just that I was horsewoman enough to do it). I even majored in Native American Studies in college! Now, 20 years later, I still love the idea of having an "Indian Name". Dark is when I work best on my projects. Oak, because I love trees and the one in our backyard is special because I've known it since I was 10, Woman is obvious. So there you have it, how Dark Oak Woman came to be named. Not nearly as mysterious as it sounds!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Found another one, and kids today....

You Belong in 1962

You are a free spirit with a huge heart. Love, peace, and happiness rule - oh, and drugs too.

Tom, our elderly neighbor cat, napping on the coffee table.
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Amy and Sarah playing dress up.
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Ryan rockin' out!
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Head Bangers, Willie, Chris, Daniel and Ryan.
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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Guinea Pigtures!!... and a link

Gingerbread modeling a lovely floral hat. Yes, she has head tilt, probably from an untreated ear infection before she became ours. It is permanent but doesn't seem to bother her too much.
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Group snooze on Amy's bed. From top to bottom, Rainbow, Ginger, Magic Panda and Shimmer. See that big floral print in the quilt? Next to the orange next to Ginger, I had JAMS made out of that! My grandmother made them, and also the quilt much later for Amy.
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Basil, who is Moonshine and Rainbow's dad. Aren't those widdle piggie wips adorable? The green stain is from eating spinach a few minutes before his photo shoot.
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This is Muffin and Chester, looking like they're up to something. I mean, they already knocked over a glass.
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And go here for a truly inspiring post. Crazy Aunt Purl If you are coming to this late, check for August 1st's post. She is an amazing writer, I cannot WAIT til her book comes out this fall!