Claudine and the Deer

While we live out in the sticks we rarely see deer.  In the 8 years I’ve been here I’ve only seen them near our place one other time.

A couple of days ago we saw one out by the Horses near the burn pile.  We watched it for a while until it finally meandered into the woods.

This morning it was back.

It certainly wasn’t very big. 

Claudine wondered how close she could get.  So with camera in hand she set out towards it.  Using her Monty Roberts “Horse Whisperer” techniques, she slowly approached and retreated.   It didn’t take long and the little deer was watching her and curious.  It was clear she wasn’t a threat and it eventually walked up to her.  It was alone, and probably looking for someone to hang with.

Eventually she got to pet it (more like rub up against it).

There are more photos in the Deer Gallery.  It was one of those once in a lifetime things.

We kind of hope it sticks around, at least until the garden is planted, then it’s game on if it starts eating the garden.

Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium and Cici’s Pizza

Last night on a whim we decided to take the girls out to dinner and a movie. Kind of a last minute thing because Michael was gone for the evening.

Because we were being spontaneous we were kind of hosed by the movie times. We had to leave ‘now’ and find somewhere we could eat ‘fast’ to get to the 7:20pm movie.

We didn’t really want fast food, but we also didn’t want to take a chance on going somewhere we’d have to wait, or potentially get bad service which would make us miss the 7:20 showing.

After a little discussion we chose:


Now I had never been there, the kids had and so had Claudine. She warned me that it wasn’t any good, but it was food. It’s pizza for crying out loud. I thought of the saying: “There’s good pizza and great pizza, but never bad pizza. And, never, never, bad free pizza.”

Well, that was proven untrue last night. It was cheap enough, $27 for two adults and 3 kids, but not worth that. The place is a gold mine though, any time you can suck $7 out of people for food who’s ingredients cost about $2.00 or less regardless of how much they eat is a great business model.

I think that was my biggest problem with the pizza. For the most part it was basically cheese and a spattering of one ‘other’ ingredient, maybe two. But none of them really any good. Eatable? yes, but not good. The only good thing was the ‘Cheesy Garlic Bread’ but you can only eat so much of that.

We did end up taking too much time so we had to defer to the 9:40 showing. Which meant after dinner we wandered around Cincinnati Mills for a bit. Maria got to sit and talk with Santa so that was good. For a Saturday night Cincinnati Mills was hurting. There wasn’t anyone there.

The Movie:

We took the kids to see: Mr. Magoriums Wonder Emporium

A clean ‘G’ rated flick that wasn’t animated.

It was clean, and keeping in mind the intended audience it was probably pretty good.

The ending seemed like they ran out of budget and just decided that they were at a good place to stop. For a rated G flick it was probably OK. B+ at best, more like a B- but the kids thought it was OK.

The tally for tonight’s extravaganza:

$28 at Cici’s Pizza, cheap, but you could taste it was cheap with every bit.
$7 for candy at Jungle Jims in an effort to save money at the concession stand at the movies.
$35 for tickets, two adults, 3 kids
$30 at the concession stand for 2 large popcorns, and 5 drinks. $3.50 for bottle water is absurd but it is what it is.

Total: $100 for dinner an a movie.

Ding! Attic’s done. (almost)

Well it didn’t quite take a year, but it seems like it.

We started finishing the attic a while ago. The roof is now completely enclosed, and we cleaned, and cleaned, and painted this weekend. It’s almost ready to move in. This past weekend Claudine too Maria to Vermont to visit relatives. Maggie, Molly, Michael and I attacked the attic ‘trading-spaces’ style.

This was the perfect opportunity. On that show you turn over a room someone who you trust (hopefully). While they are totally changing your room, you have no say in what stays or goes, what they toss, or how things are done. That was the logic behind last weekend. With Claudine out of town, she wouldn’t have any say on what we tossed during the clean out phase or what we painted either.

The photos below don’t do it justice. I didn’t take good photos of all the crap we has stored up there. While we all like the ‘natural’ wood look, the attic isn’t as bright as we wanted, and since we’ll be moving two girls up there, it wasn’t very ‘girly’ either. It turned out really well.

Now we need to tackle the air-conditioning or lack-there-of problem. We’re looking at installing a stand alone PACT unit up there.

More on that later.


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Indiana Ride


Saturday C and I took our first all day ride on the FJR. A little late in the season but there was an organized ride over in Indiana to “Beat the Gawkers” on a great route through Brown County. The plan was to enjoy the day riding and check out the beautiful scenery before the leaves turned fully and the roads were clogged up with old folks gawking at the trees.

The biggest issue was the temperature. It was a lovely 37 degrees when we left at 6 am. The day before I tried to prepare Claudine for just how cold that was going to be and gave her an out but she wouldn’t take it. It was supposed to be a couple’s ride, but a number of the wives opted out because of the temperatures. The cold doesn’t bother me because I have heated gear.

She said she would just layer up. OK.

I lost count of how many shirts and layers she put on but she did have two jackets. One of the biggest issues was gloves. But we worked it out.

The other excitement was installing a new intercom on the motorcycle which would allow us to be able to have conversations as well as allow us to listen to music. This didn’t work out as well as planned as we didn’t have enough time for testing and tuning.

We met a friend at 6:30am about 10 minutes down the road at McDonalds. At that point Claudine said it’s not that cold. I told her you haven’t spend 15 minutes at 65 or 70 miles an hour yet, hang tight.

We left there to meet up with other folks in Columbus Indiana. It took us about an hour and a half to get there. We hit some fog, which only made it chillier. But it was pretty sweet riding through the sunrise with a full moon in sight.

We hooked up at the Columbus, IN Denny’s and had to thaw out. Neither Claudine nor Kyle had heated gear and with a low of 37 on the way, perhaps lower at times, that’s down right cold.


At Denny’s we met up with others from the FJR Forum including the ride organizers and had breakfast.

From there we took some pretty tasty roads around Brown County and ended up in Nashville, Indiana where we had Pizza and some stuffed breadsticks at a pretty decent Italian restaurant.

After lunch we all split up and wandered our way home. 12 hours and 350 miles later we were whipped. 350 miles isn’t very many for only 12 hours but we ran a nice pace and enjoyed the surroundings. It was a long day but well worth it.

Well we’ve finally done it.

We have 2 horses now.

Photos are located above in the Google/Picasa Photo Album

We picked up Blaze who’s name will change though, today in Indiana. He’s a 15ish year old Missouri Fox Trotter just like Cisco.

He’s sound and healthy. We brought him home and turned him loose. Cisco was very happy to have a pal to share his new digs with. They did what horses do and felt each other out. It looks like Cisco will remain the top dog or horse for now but Blaze is a very nosey, curious horse.

We had to make a few modifications to the barn. we put up additional railing and a 6 foot gate so that both can come and go as they please in and out of the their stalls and into the dry lot.

Day one went very well. He seems eager to learn and already got a little upset when I took Cisco away from him for a short ride when Claudine was working with him.

Things will be a little more exciting with him around.