Thursday, July 3, 2008

The best $10 I've spent this summer

When we got home from my parents' house after they remodeled our bathroom back in May, my dad said to me, " Jen, you've gotta get a hummingbird feeder! You've got so many hummingbirds around here and if you had a feeder, I think you'd have even more." A few weeks later, I actually remembered to buy the feeder and nectar on our weekly shopping trip. I didn't have that thing hanging up for more than ten minutes and the hummingbirds were already buzzing around! It was amazing, to say the least.

The kids and I have had so much fun sitting quietly on the porch watching the hummingbirds feed. We've been able to identify four different birds, which appear to be two male/female couples. One of the males is the most beautiful shade of green with a bright red throat. His feathers are gorgeous and have this amazing iridescent sheen to them. We've enjoyed watching the birds fight in mid-air as they swoop in for a quick feed. They don't seem to want to drink at the same time. They make little tweeting sounds as they drink. They dart in, look around to make sure the coast is clear, then take a dainty sip or two and buzz away to perch on the telephone line. A few minutes later, and they're back for more. They never seem to stop!

It's been really cool to watch my kids' interest in these tiny birds grow. Even Norah, at just 2-1/2, has become fascinated by them. She will sit quietly on my lap in the morning as we wait for Sammy's bus to pick him up, watching intently for the hummingbirds. When she sees them, she gets so excited! But she knows that if she's not quiet and still they will fly away. To watch her overcome her natural instinct to wiggle and shout has been so rewarding to me. It's like she's maturing before my very eyes.

I've been trying to snap some photos of the hummingbirds since we got the feeder, but they are so quick and nervous that it's been really tough. However, I was able to finally get a few shots one morning as I sat on the cold, wet ground, still as a statue, for over a half hour.

A rare moment where two of them were feeding at the same time. The colors aren't great on the photo because it was early and the light wasn't very good, but you can sort of see his pretty green feathers.

If there are hummingbirds in your area and you've got $10 to spare (it's about $5 for a feeder and $5 for a jug of nectar at Wal-Mart), then do yourself a favor and get a hummingbird feeder! You won't be sorry, and these sweet little birds will keep you occupied all summer!

And they call it puppy love...

On Tuesday, we adopted two Papillons from a local rescue group. When we got to the rescue worker's house, we took one look at these two adorable girls and fell instantly in love!

First moments:

Taz, the black and white one, is now known as Jazzy. Dazzy, the brown and white one, is now Daisy. Jazzy took an instant shine to Jake and decided he was her human.

But that doesn't mean they didn't like the rest of us:

Here, Norah gets some "puppy love" from the girls.

We've been home for about two days now and so far, so good. We had a few small accidents, but I don't blame them. Sam literally scared the pee out of Daisy by falling off a stack of chairs about 20 minutes after we got home. Poor girl nearly jumped out of her skin! Daisy is definitely the shy one of the pair. Jazzy is the dominant one, the leader. It's neat to watch Daisy become bolder when Jazzy acts boldly first.

Here they are snuggled with "Daddy" on the couch. They have taken a shine to Todd, too!

The only one they're not sure about is Peanut, the cat. He weighs more than both of them combined and is being VERY intimidating. I give him credit though, because he's restrained himself more than I thought possible. He's been giving them looks, and at one point puffed himself up and made the hair on his back stick straight up, and once yesterday he took a swipe at Jazzy, but he missed her face and ended up scaring her and not hurting her. I've got my fingers crossed that if they can't be friends then they can at least coexist peacefully. I guess we'll see!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

I rocked eBay tonight!

I love eBay. It's just such a cool place to shop. I love the thrill of the bidding war. I love when the auction goes right down to the wire. I love winning.

I don't love losing.

We've been on a losing streak. Hubby has been looking for a transmission for his father's lawn tractor for some time now. We've bid on three different auctions and were in the lead until the very (and I mean VERY) last seconds and lost. It really fries my bacon when someone comes in with 2 seconds left and outbids me by $.01. I know, I know: that's how auctions work. It doesn't mean I can't be frustrated by losing, does it? This afternoon, hubby was browsing and found three different transmissions to bid on. We waited until the one had about an hour left and placed our bid. Long story short, we ended up winning the transmission for $300. It turns out it's the exact same seller selling the exact same transmission that went for $365.50 last week. Our bid on that auction was $365.00. How is that for awesome? To make the story even better, tonight I was checking my email and found an old email from eBay with a coupon code for 10% off a single item purchase before June 4. We ended up getting $30 off the cost of the transmission! So it ended up costing us $95 less than it would have if we'd have won last week! I love winning AND saving lots and lots of money!

I also scored on some Stampin' Up! stamp sets. I got one set for $1.04, one set for $2.50, and one set for $4.50. Altogether, with shipping, it all came to $17.94. The original cost of one of the sets I bought was $19.95, so I consider my shopping tonight to be very, very successful. I got 16 stamps combined, which averages out to a little more than a dollar a stamp. You can't find decent stamps in craft stores for less than about $5 each. Do the math on that one!!!

Oh yeah, winning feels so good!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

I hate rain

Boy, the showers we should have had in April have hit us hard in May. ("April showers bring May flowers"..yeah right!) It seems like we've had nothing but rain in May. I'm getting sick of it. The rainy weather HAS brought lots and lots of lovely flowers, but it also brings mud (my yard is horrible!) and headaches. I don't know if it's my sinuses or just my brain, but these rainy days leave me feeling so under the weather (pun intended). I woke up this morning feeling anything but refreshed. I have 102 things I want to accomplish but my head hurts so badly that I don't know if I'll get any of them done. The Excedrin I took has not kicked in yet, and I can hear my bed and the heating pad calling my name. Luckily, Todd is home today and I think he's going to get custody of the anklebiters for a few hours while I go in and try to kick this headache in the butt.

I'll return later (hopefully!) with a pain-free head and something happy to blog about!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Neglected and abandoned

Once again, I realize that I've been neglecting my blog. Bad blogger!!! I will try to pay more attention to this sad little corner of the blogging world. There may suddenly be an influx of blogs posted (most of which will probably be copied and pasted from my CafeMom page). So much to write, so little time to spread it all over the internet!