My daughter said once that we have lots of grew New Leaf Nickie, the blog intended to capture most of our adventures. If you've landed here, welcome to life with New Leaf Nickie on Havoc Hill Farm.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Five Question Friday

Here's my Five Question Friday answers hosted by My Little Life.

1. Did you have a favorite blanket or toy as a kid? If so, do you still have it?
Not really a favorite, but I loved stuffed animals.  I do still have one -- Rocko the Raccoon.  He sits on a shelf of my dresser...although his nose was chewed off my one of my dogs...nothing is sacred.

2. Do you dream in color?
I think so...although no one ever has feet in my dreams.  It's like anything below the knee just doesn't exist.

3. How tall are you? Do you wish you were shorter or taller?
I'm 5'5".  I've never wished to be taller, but maybe a little shorter.  Although I think I'd have trouble with my weight if I were shorter.  I like the food.

4. If you could have anyone's (celeb or other) voice as the guide on your GPS, who would it be?
Keith Urban or Marcos Ambrose...I love the Aussies!
5. Do you return your shopping cart to the corral or leave it wherever in the parking lot?
I ALWAYS return it to the corral, sometimes even the store.  It's lazy and unhealthy to do anything less!


New Friend Fridays

New Friend Fridays is a fun blog hop where it's all about making new bloggy friends and offering meaningful comment support to other bloggers.

If you're visiting from NFF, welcome to my corner of the 'net!  Hope you'll stay a while!  I'll be sure to visit you back!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What I've Learned in the Last 11 Days (Or Was Reminded Of)

  1. No matter how hard you try, making a sinus infection tolerable AND remaining conscious just doesn't work .
  2. People worry even when you tell them not too.
  3. Rabbits can get a fungus on their heads...poor Tater Tot.
  4. July in Missouri is M.I.S.E.R.A.B.L.E. (My car temperature read 103 yesterday afternoon...and that's without the 98% humidity factored in.  Seriously, it's really hot. Steamy hot.)
  5. If you build it (a nesting box), they won't necessarily come to it...stupid chickens.
  6. How to tell if your radiator is cool enough to open AND how to add water to it.
  7. Cats meant as barn cats don't always stay in the barn.  Welcome to the family Olly and Rocky.
  8. Getting a barn and pasture ready for new mini pets is not pleasant (Refer to #4).
  9. When mowing the grass at 9:30 PM, make sure both headlights work...and be prepared for a before work touch up job.
  10. Ocular migraines SUCK.
  11. No matter how bad you want it to work, sometimes technology just gets the best of you.  (I'd rather poke my own eye out than deal with computers that won't do what I want them to do.)
  12. The state of Washington is TOO FAR from the state of Missouri. (Refer to #11 -- My techie is in WA.)
  13. Turning 38 without being able to say to my Mom, "Can you believe your baby is 38?!" isn't any easier today than it was turning 33 through 37.  I miss you everyday, Mom!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Five Question Friday

Five Question Friday by My Little Life:

1. What were your school colors?

Green and White.  Is there another color that a Dragon would be?  Oddly though, the lady teams at my high school were/are called Head Hunters...where did that come from?  How do you have the SGHS Dragons and Lady Head Hunters?  Usually it's the Pirates and Lady Pirates.  Leave it to Small Town, Missouri, to be as backward as possible.

2. What's the best compliment you ever received?

Gee, this is a tough one...Immediately I think of people telling me my children are "well mannered."  I almost want to snort a laugh when they say this because my kids can turn on the charm when necessary.  But I think the one compliment that stood out most to me has been, "your house feels lived in."  On the surface, this didn't make much sense to me, but once I started thinking about it, I realized what she meant by it.  My house isn't clutter-free, it isn't organized, and it isn't put together, rather it is frequently messy, always noisy, and full of excitement -- lived in.  And I love it!
3. Do you buy cheap or expensive toilet paper?

I buy the cheapest, expensive toilet paper I can find.  I hate the single ply Scott's stuff, but I just can't justify the Cottonelle 1/2 inch thick ply either (although I love it!).  So, I find the best TP that's on sale and I have a coupon for and that's what I go with.  I'm not brand loyal when it comes to TP.

4. Have you ever had a surprise party thrown for you? Or have you had one for someone else?

Yes, to both.  My wedding shower (for my first marriage) was a surprise and I. HATED. IT. WITH. A. PASSION.  I'm not a surprise party kind of gal.  I've thrown a surprise party for my boyfriend's 40th birthday.  He is a surprise party kind of guy, so it was good for him. 
5. What is one material possession that you "can't live without"?

This is the easiest question EVER.  Without a doubt, the one material possession I cannot live without is my iPhone.  How I survived without one is beyond me.  Blackberry shmackberry.  Give me my iPhone or give me death!

Follow Me Friday

Hey there!  Welcome visitors!  Hope you stick around for a little while and enjoy a post or two.  It's a little slim this week....I've been sick ALL WEEK!!!  Yuck!

New Friend Fridays

Hosted by The Girl Creative and The Trendy Treehouse

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bucket List Beware!!

This is what I've felt like for the past three days...just add a vice.

On Monday, after a very scary episode which ended up with me at the hospital getting an MRI on my brain, I was diagnosed with ocular migraines.  For someone who's only had a total of about 5 migraines in my life, this was a shock to me, but also a relief considering what it could have been. 

That period of 24 hours when I didn't know what was wrong was a very scary time.  Lots of things went through my head.  The most pressing thing was, "What have I done?" as in what's my legacy?  Sure, I've got a bucket list, but what's been crossed off?  Not enough!  There's so much more that I need to do.  So, when this funk moves on, look out!  Let the adventures begin, and bucket list beware!

Until then, please bear with me as I climb my way out and back to normalcy...well NewLeafNickie normal anyway. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010

DIY Dog Toy

So, I've mentioned that I try to be frugal right? Well, in my quest for cheap and durable dog toys that require some level of time and attention (on the part of the dog, not me), I came up empty handed.

It's very frustrating to have dogs that destroy a toy within a matter of minutes.  So, they say that necessity is the mother of invention (or something like that anyway), I made these:

A Do-It-Yourself dog toy.  You simply drop some kibble in the holes, maybe smear some peanut butter in, and Voila! your pup is entertained for a little while.  And uses her brain in the process!!

Here's your instructions:
1.  Head to your local hardware store (my favorite is Lowe's of course--it's designed with us ladies in mind), and pick out various sizes (depending on the size of your dog) of PVC and different types of end pieces.  If you're not PVC savvy, no worries, it all makes sense when you get there.
2.  Cut the PVC to desired length.  These were made from one piece of pipe and are about 10 inches long.  I used a Sawzall (no idea if I spelled that right), but you can use a manual saw as well.
3.  Put the end pieces on.
4.  Drill some holes in various places through out the pipe and ends.  (Make sure your holes are big enough for your kibble.  I made that mistake at first.  Small dog bits are the best.)

The two pieces on the right have big openings on the ends so it doesn't matter how big the kibble is.  I usually put peanut butter in these two to keep the kibble from just falling right out.  Plus it takes longer for the pup to lick all the peanut butter out.

This project cost me about $15-20 total, so around $5-7 each.  I've had these for several months, which is longer than I've had ANY dog toy, labeled "virtually indestructible" or not.  In my mind, well worth the price!

Here's my pups enjoying their toys. 
Jersey figured out pretty quickly that she just had to push on it with her nose to roll it and the kibble just falls right out.  That is until she gets down to just a few pieces.  She'll work for an hour to get that final piece out.
Stains sticks in tongue in the opening and the kibble sticks to it.

Here is another of my PVC projects:

I use this for to give my boy rabbit some grass time and keep him away from the girls.  I also used it for the chickens when they outgrew their smaller cage but before they could go into the barn.  It's just one inch PVC pipe, three way connectors, chicken wire, and zip ties.  I've used this thing so much and it was way cheaper than buying one of those plastic wire pens. 

Stay tuned to see what else this "can do" girl will build with PVC.  It's my new favorite craft!

Eighteenth -- Cardinal Baseball

St. Louis.
Just rained.
Hot as Hades.
Baking skin.
Sweaty seats.
Cold beer (and it's free)!
Cardinal Baseball.
Is there anything better?
I think I could live at the ball park.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sixteenth -- Despicable Me

So, tonight the kids and I saw Despicable Me.  I'm getting to a point where I rue going to a kids' movie, so I went in with lower expectations.

Although it's a typical movie with the requisite bad guy and happy ending, it was alright.  Believe me, I've sat through worse...lots worse.  But the minions, the minions are FANTASTIC.  I want one.  I realize that it's not going to happen, but I did find this...

You can make your own Minion!!!  Check it out here!

Five Question Friday

Decided to join Five Question Friday hosted by My Little Life.  So here goes!

1. Do you collect anything?

I do.  I collect dust on the shelves in my bedroom.

2. Name 3 celebrities that you find good looking.

1. McDreamy from Grey's Anatomy (Patrick Dempsey)
2. Matthew McConaughey (especially when he's eating crablegs in How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days -- Holy Cannoli that man is sexy when he eats!)
3. Agent Derek Morgan from Criminal Minds (Shemar Moore)

3. Do you have any scars? If so, what's the story behind it (them?)?

I have a line going across the tip of my middle finger.  When I was a kid I was holding on to the top of a metal trash of those steel drum-types...while going a round in a circle.  Yea, that was dumb.  I so needed stitches, but was having none of it.

4. What is a food that you like to eat, but others might think it's gross or weird?

Tofu.  Since becoming a vegetarian, I've learned to really like the flavor and texture.

5. Have you ever seen a tornado in real life?
I so wish I could say yes, but unfortunately (or fortunately by some standards) I have not.  I'm certain I'll be a storm chaser in another life.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fifteenth -- Frugal Girl Scores at Lowe's!!

So, it's been awhile since I've been able to snag a super great deal, but today, oh yes, today Frugal Girl made an appearance at Lowe's!

I stopped by Lowe's to pick up a single ceramic tile for one of bunnies (If you aren't up to speed on my bunnies, you really should read about my love affair.  Yeah, they're a little spoiled...).  Well, I went through the tile aisle (I love saying that outloud...go ahead try it...tile aisle), looking only at prices.  While my bunnies are loved, they'll be just fine pooping on cheapo tile.  Anyway, I came across a price tag of 32 cents (what happened to the cents sign?  anyone ever wonder that?) 

Holy cow!  I can handle 32 cents. 

Then...i looked at the color.  Wow!  I really like it!  It even has the wavy edges that I like.  Awesome, it's about as neutral as you can get, just a basic tan with a darker brown highlighting. many of these do they have?  205?

Did I mention that we're in the process of remodeling the ENTIRE house?  the only thing that's been complete is the second bathroom, so, I will need tile...lots of tile because I hate carpet.  With. A. Passion.

Well, a few minutes later (actually more like an hour) I walked out of Lowe's with this:

205 square feet of tile for only $71 with tax!  Yippee!  I'd say that this was a banner day in Frugal Land!

I'll have to supplement with some full priced tile from a neighboring Lowe's, but overall, it will be a wonderful savings for tile that I would have picked out anyway, but would have never paid $1.78 per tile (after all, I am a Frugalista!)  What I found out is that my local Lowe's is discontinuing this style, but no other neighboring Lowe's are, that's why the seriously low price at this one, but full price at all others.


Monday, July 12, 2010


The coolest thing I've seen this month. This guy was about three inches across. No idea what type of moth it is, but it sure was beautiful.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Eleventh -- Ten Things I Learned this Weekend

  1. No Meat Athlete is a VERY informative blog for budding vegetarian runners (like me!).
  2. It is NOT okay to give away baby animals as prizes at carnival-type games!
  3. Putting in a fence is really hard work...especially on your wrists when you're the one hammering!
  4. The country sky is beautiful.
  5. Chickens LOVE raisins out of your hand!  Oh, and it's really hard to get a good picture of a chicken eating a raisin out of your hand.
  6. The Demolition Derby really isn't that least not as much fun as I remember it being as a kid; HOWEVER...
  7. The Greased Pig Chasing contest is every bit as fun for my kids as it was for me when I was a kid!
  8. Miniature Peach trees grow yummy peaches!
  9. Blackberries are so worth the thorns.
  10. The next three months are going to be very difficult as Joe will be working in
    Washington State.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tenth - embracing my inner country girl

Yea...I'm completely immersed living the country life! Crash 'em up, baby!


Tenth - II

So, last night at the County Fair, someone was GIVING away baby bunnies, kittens, and puppies. There were all these kids walking around with little critters, some of which I'm certain were not even of weaning age. But, regardless, I was upset to say the least, being the animal lover/rescuer that I am. Well, as we were walking to our car, I spotted what I thought was a bunny walking around in the parking lot. Turns out it was this:

Friday, July 9, 2010

Thursday, July 8, 2010



It's 7 am.

The Bobcat rental place isn't open yet.

I told her we'd have to wait.


This gas station breakfast is surprisingly good.  Ryan Newman was right.

[burp] Ugh, I'm going to regret this later.


I could should still be sleeping.

Why?  Why do I let her talk me into things like this? 

This isn't vacation...this is labor abuse.


Monday, July 5, 2010

Fifth -- Honestly...I got nothing!

Today may have been the most boring day of the summer!  Although it was chock-full of activity and not a bit of laziness, it was boring!  Of course, you must stay tuned though because the one pretty cool thing we did this week, I will share with you all very soon!  We're adding on around here and I'm sure they'll be lots more adventures to come! 

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Word is out...

So, this morning (very early...too early this morning) I was woken by the incessant barking of our little dog, Bosco.  Seeing very clearly that I wasn't going to get to go back to sleep until I investigated, I got out of bed to find this in the yard:

I think word is out.  The animal underground has heard of Havoc Hill.  I imagine it goes something like this:

Stray, hungry dog mosies up to a chubby raccoon, "Hey, know any place I can crash tonight?"  Raccoon responds, "Yea, those nice people with all the critters down the road will help you out.  They have this great chow made out of fish and sweet potatoes.  I heard it costs $50 a bag!  Something about one of their dogs has a sensitive stomach....anyway, that chow is good stuff!  They'll feed you and give you a nice place to stay."  (At least that's how the conversation went in my head!)

So this morning, I had to make a decision.  What was I going to do with this stray dog?  Unfortunately, we really can't keep everything that wanders to our house.  I really wish we could, but we just can't.  This morning, we had to take this sweet dog to the county animal control.  The good news is my county animal control has an AMAZING return to owner/adoption rate of 98%!  The national average is less than 25%, so there's nearly a gaurantee this guy will find his way back home or find a better one than what he had.

So, for any of you local readers who may be looking for a new pet..there's a good dog available that really likes dog food made out of fish and sweet potatoes! :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Because I can't come up with my own creative ideas...rather I don't have time to create my own lavish plans...I'm copying an idea from Chris over at Notes from the Trenches

Everyday, (yes, I know what you're thinking...everyday Nickie?  Really?  Entire moons came and went with nary a post from you.)...uh hum...Everyday, for the month of July (which also happens to be my birth month...yea, when did birthdays become birth months?  I don't know, but I like it. So there.) I'm going to post a picture with a caption. 

That may be the only thing posted for that day, but I promise I'll try to uphold my vow.  (I'm really not so good with vows, but I'll give this one a whirl.)

The fine print...I'm just figuring out how to post via SMS or MMS (I really don't even know what those acronyms really mean) from my iPhone, so until I get that nailed down, don't go holding your breath waiting for the daily post.  I won't be responsible for any dizziness or headaches that result if said advice is not heeded.

So here's the FIRST one (get it, it's July FIRST...again, copying from Chris):

A moment in time that I wish I could hold forever.  Sunkissed cheeks, sheer joy at just being a kid, blue raspberry snowcones, childhood happiness twinkling in their eyes.  A moment they actually weren't trying to maim one another.