Since we moved to Wester, not one, not two, but THREE hard drives have gone to their great electronic reward. First my Tivo, then my computer, then the drive I bought to fix the Tivo. All were plugged into serge protectors. Is my new house directly over a magnetic field line? Are there some serious power lines going through the back 40 that I somehow failed to notice? Did someone feed the Gremlins?

I am going into electronic withdrawal!

On the up side, bad things happen in threes, right? Besides, there aren't any more hard drives for the evil forces of Wester to consume at this house. You know, besides this


Not Dead

No, I am not dead. Exhausted? Yes. Dead? No. But my computer is. I still haven't been able to try the last couple of alternatives before I have to get a new hard drive, but that little moving thing has been totally cramping my style. Hopefully, I will soon unearth the box with my Vista disk in it and will be able to get my show back on the road. Until then, wish me luck!



When I got up (unnaturally early - 6:30) this morning, my computer was frozen. No big, I say to myself. I'll just reboot. Except the magic key stroke - control-alt-delete - did not do its thing. Disbelievingly, I hit it several more times to no effect. Finally I resorted to unplugging the whole shooting match.

When I plugged it back in and hit the power, I got a doom-y black screen and this message: no boot device available. Panic stricken, I reach for the phone to call my computer guru, Daddy. Then I realize that it isn't quite 7:00 and even if my dad did grow up on a farm that was too early to be calling.

So I cooled my jets until 8:02 and hit speed dial. He had nothing reassuring to say. But following his advice, I Googled my error message to see if the great internets could help me. They had a few low tech suggestions and a lot of high tech ones that I was afraid to try. Unfortunately, there was no easy fix.

The sad new is that my less-than-a-year-old hard drive is dead. There is still the possibility of the Vista repair utility, but I am not hopeful. Now I am faced with the dilemma of whether to try to salvage the drive and its contents with a disk fixer or to just give up and buy a new drive. Of course I haven't been backing up my system. I think the last time I did it was in January. Arg!

Luckily, I have been so frazzled that I haven't had time to download pictures from our cameras, so the loss there would be minimal. Even so, I am loath to just chuck all of my graphics work. This was not what I needed in the middle of moving!


Patriot's Day

My husband went to an elementary school today in celebration of Patriot's Day.  They gave him a framed copy of the Pledge of Allegiance.   It is a good reminder.

In other 9/11 news, one day after my boxes arrived from Small Town so did a house guest.  Yes, you heard me right.  My husband, in his hunting season euphoria, invited his uncle to stay with us ONE DAY AFTER THE MOVERS BROUGHT MY BOXES.  He is sleeping on a mattress on the floor in Z's room.  The sheets?  From four mismatched sets.  The blanket?  A crappy polyester comforter left over from college days.  Does it make me a bad hostess that I can't work up enough energy to care?

Perhaps a call to my shrink is in order.  Signs of my depression (read: anger) are breaking through my meds.  Or maybe my husband is the one who is crazy.



Moving is hard.  That is all.



Events transpired against me and my painting clock ran out of time. Rats. We leave tomorrow for Small Town to get our furniture (YAY!) and the rest of our junk (not so yay). My in-laws left this morning, so I thought I would get at least a good start on Q's room, but it was not to be.

First, I had to move Q and Z out of there and into Z's room. This would have been fine, but Z doesn't have light-blocking shades for nap time. Q has a hard enough time sleeping with his sister singing/banging toys/actively disturbing him without having to contend with light, too.

So off I went to Home Depot for a roller shade. Easy peasy, right? Well, it might have been if I hadn't managed to pick up the one shade on the entire shelf that was missing one of the end pieces. After a return trip to the store to exchange the shade, we were back to the house to install the blind.

I am a girl who has my own power tools, so I know my way around a drill. My dad and I remodeled a kitchen from the studs out. And yet somehow I was defeated by a dang roller shade. I installed the first bracket without a problem. Then I measured and marked for the second bracket. So far, so good.

When I drilled the holes in the wall, the screws missed the stud and were just spinning. No problem, I'll just insert a wall anchor. I have never ever had a wall anchor spin. Until today. I guess the walls had been repaired with toothpaste or something, but it would not hold an anchor. The second anchor was holding, so I figured I was okay.

Until I tried to hang the shade. I somehow managed to install one of the brackets backwards/upside down. That shouldn't matter, should it? Well apparently it does. Those little flimsy pieces of tin bent all to pieces when I tried to hang the actual shade. I managed to get it hung up after working myself up into a full-body sweat and teaching the kids a few new vocabulary words.

So now I can put the kids down for their naps... except that they are wired for sound from all the installation excitement. The only way I can get them to lie down is to lie down with them. There goes my painting time.

And to top it all off? When I tried to open the blind? It fell on my head. If T loves me he will re-hang it while I am gone and we will never speak of it again. Unfortunately, that isn't how things work around here. He will re-hang it, but then he will tease me about it until I am dead. I can hardly wait.



So yesterday was the opening day of dove season. For those of you just joining the party, my husband is a rabid hunter and we whatever he shoots: dove, ducks, deer, turkey, hogs are the usual suspects, but he has shot and eaten more exotic stuff, too. Luckily, that was before my time. Shudder.

He and his dad had the most successful hunt they have had in years. T is wildly excited about his bird lease - and I'm wild about it being 10 minutes away. I can put off the hunting-season-widowhood until November and the start of deer season. Yay! Anyhoo, between them they managed to get 17 doves. Enough to make a decent meal for four adults.

So that means we had to eat them. Blech. I have managed to escape eating them for the last four years because the hunting has been so crappy. Except for a tiny little muscle the size of a pencil eraser under the breast, doves taste like organ meat. And in Rae Ann world, organ meat = barf.

The hubs has a secret sauce that he swears by and every time he makes dove, he swears that this time I will like them. Perfectly cooked, dove is a really dry - dessicated even! - tiny little bird as tender as jerky? Tasty? Um, no.

And he burned them.

The sight of 17 tiny charred carcasses on a serving plate was really pitiful. The outer layer of the breast had actually formed an almost impenetrable crust of carbon-y badness. We had to scrape meat off the inside of this shell like we were eating shellfish. Mmmmm. Dove-y.

Luckily, the incinerated outer layer protected the minuscule morsel of white meat. After eating four doves I probably had a total of two ounces of meat. We decided that if we had to live off of doves that we would be really thin. Luckily, we were saved from a low calorie meal by my mom-in-law's pecan pie. At least that part of the meal tasted good!


My Life According to R.E.M.

My friend from way back in elementary school tagged me for this on Facebook. I thought I'd give it a shot... with lots of help from Google. Who knew R.E.M. was so prolific? I found multiple answers for almost every question!

Using only SONG names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. You can’t use the band I used. Try not to repeat a song title. It’s a lot harder than you think! Repost as “my life according to (band name)”

Pick your Artist:

Are you a male or female?
Just a Girl

Describe yourself
Perfect Circle (I need to get to WW!), Pale Blue Eyes, Femme Fatale (ha!)

How do you feel?
Shiny Happy People (or possibly Crazy, if you listen to my shrink!)

Describe where you currently live
Near Wild Heaven (followed closely by West of the Fields)

If you could go anywhere where would you go?
I Remember California

Your favorite form of transportation
Airportman (but High Speed Train and Catapult would have been good answers, too)

Your best friend is
Half a World Away, Laughing, and possibly Oddfellows Local 151 (just kidding, Chica!)

What’s the weather like?
Burning Hell or Lightnin' Hopkins, very little in between

Favorite time of day
I Don't Sleep, I Dream, Nightswimming, Gardening at Night (are you seeing a theme?)

If your life was a TV show, it would be called?
Welcome to the Occupation, The Worst Joke Ever, Final Straw

What is life to you?
Bittersweet Me, Dangerous Times (4-year-old on a rampage anyone?)

Your fear
Bad Day, Everybody Hurts, It's the End of the World as We Know It

What is the best advice you have to give
Begin the Begin, I Believe

My motto
Living Well's the Best Revenge, Why Not Smile