Monday, January 31, 2005

The magic of Ebay

From 1962 until some time in 1965, I lived alone in an upstairs apartment in Kansas City, on Eleventh Street.  Since I didn't drive, I took the bus to work at National Bellas Hess, a mail order company in North Kansas City.  I had to transfer downtown, and sometimes I had a few minutes to wait.  So I'd window-shop.  I couldn't do a lot of actual shopping, since I worked for minimum wage, which was barely over $1 an hour then.  Once in a while I'd see something I just had to have, and save for a month or two to splurge.

There was some little shop off Main Street selling artsy-looking things, and as I passed it one day I noticed the cutest bookends:  A Chinese boy standing and looking over at a little Chinese girl who was sitting with a book open... but you could see by her expression and the tilt of her head, she knew the little boy was there admiring her.  At the time I was reading a lot of books about Eastern religions and culture, and that may have had something to do with why those Chinese kids grabbed me.  All I know is, I just HAD to have those bookends.  I don't recall the price, but I'm pretty sure it was at least half of a week's wages.  Somehow I managed to get them before long.

But in some hectic moving and uprooting later on, they were lost.  I got married and started having babies around that time, and didn't even miss them for years, although sometimes it would cross my mind to wonder what happened to them.

About three years ago, as I sat at my desk browsing Ebay, I thought about those bookends and how much I had loved them, sacrificing to buy them.  So I typed "Chinese bookends" into the Ebay search function.  The first effort brought some similar items, but none exactly like the ones I'd had.  However, within two or three weeks, I found my treasures!  As it turned out, nobody else bid on them, so I got them for less than I paid in 1964.  On the bottom of the little boy bookend, it says, "Universal Statuary Corp.  (c) 1964".  For all I know, this is the same set I once owned.

The interesting thing is, I've looked ever since, just out of curiousity, and never again found the exact set of bookends.  It's as though I was meant to have them back... a gift from God to remind me of my youth.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

It'll soon be my turn

Cliff and I have a visitation to attend at a funeral home a hundred miles north of here.  My cousin's husband, nicknamed "Fat", passed away a couple of days ago.  When we went to my dad's family's reunions, Fat and my husband, Cliff, were the ones wearing overalls, sitting with their heads together, discussing tractors.  One time we went camping on his farm and my grandson, Arick, fished in his well-stocked pond.  He seemed to have a special bond with Arick, although his tendency to tease children unmercifully made my granddaughter, Amber, shy away from him.  Fat whittled constantly, and made some really cute things that he passed around to family members.

The two of us were discussing this morning how we've buried grandparents at their time, and then our parents in their season.  It's our generation's turn now to start "shuffling off this mortal coil".  It somehow seems like the most natural thing in the world.  But it also makes you enjoy life to the fullest, realizing how short a time you have left.  Even with the aches and pains of older age upon us, each day is precious, and I, for one, am thankful for every one.

I wish I'd written that

Thanks to Flylady, I've gotten my CD collection dusted and in order, and I'm re-discovering the huge collection of Gospel and worship music I own.  This morning I heard this song I had completely forgotten about, and typed off the lyrics so I can sing it myself.  

John Hemphill
(Sung by the Cathedrals)

I’m not even worthy of all of the blessings
That I’ve had while living below.
When I think of Heaven and all of its splendor,
I know I’m not worthy to go.
Lately I’ve tried to do what You wanted
And be what You’d have me to be,
But when you make up your jewels and call in your own,
Jesus have mercy on me.
Jesus have mercy on one of Your children
Who’s failed and been far from the best.
Jesus have mercy on one who’s unworthy
And already overly blessed.
I’ve heard of the glory that awaits all the saints,
But that’s too high to hope to be.
But when You look in the book and You’re calling the roll,
Jesus have mercy on me.

Lord I’m down here where You used to be,
But I’ve failed all the tests that You passed.
I’m sure I won’t be first in the race,
But “run it” was all that You asked.
When I stand before You on that final day
I’m sure that You’ll plainly see
It’s not justice I’m needing, but mercy, oh Lord.
Jesus, have mercy on me.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

Patrick's Saturday Six

1. Who is the first celebrity you recall having a crush on?  Elvis, of course.  Almost anyone my age will say the same.
2. What was your favorite amusement park ride when you were young?  No doubt the Tilt-a-whirl at Fairyland Park in Kansas City.  I was a real coward when it came to rides.
3. If you could change your name (first or middle but the name you go by), would you, and if so, what would you change it to?  At this point, no.  I'm used to my names.  I used to hate my middle name and still am not really fond of it, but middle names don't matter much.  You don't have to use them.
4. Go to and take the "First Name Analysis" test.  Do you agree with what the site comes up with?  I'd say the analysis is about 80% right.

"Although the name Donna creates an interest in the deeper aspects of life, we emphasize that it frustrates you through a scattered and emotional nature. This name, when combined with the last name, can frustrate happiness, contentment, and success, as well as cause health weaknesses in the heart, lungs, bronchial area, liver, and bloodstream.

Your first name of Donna has made you happiest when you are expressing in some creative, artistic way, and not conforming to strict routine. In a large group of comparative strangers, you are quiet and rather shy, unable to express yourself, not really wanting to become involved in conversation. On the other hand, among friends with whom you feel at ease, you are expressive, witty, and quite charming. These contrasting natures make it difficult for people to understand you and can lead to friction in your personal life. You are deep, philosophical, and refined, but your extremely sensitive nature causes you to become depressed and self-pitying over any real or imagined slight."

5. Other than Johnny Carson, which former talk show host's tape archives would you most like to visit, and why?  Jack Parr

Jessie:   If you were in good health, would you donate a kidney to a friend who's dying regardless of what your family's opinion are and if yes or no, why or why not?

Yes.  My mom lived with one kidney from 1962 until she died in 2004.  No problems.  And she was diabetic!

Why I need a cabin in the woods

I thought I'd explain why someone who lives on 43 acres in the country would be seeking solitude in a cabin in the woods (click here).  I took these pictures from inside my house this morning.  As you can tell, there is no window or door out of which I am can look and actually see the countryside.  We do not live in town, but we might as well!  I'm not complaining, really.  We get along fine with all our neighbors, even the one who occasionally dabbles with meth, and steals my morel mushrooms.  Cliff's shop is like a "kid magnet" where six to eight adolescent boys sometimes gather; he enjoys that.  The kids all realize I'm quite a loner, and stay out of my space unless invited into it.  If I head north, beyond Cliff's shop, I can find solitude in our pasture and woods.

There's one very unique thing about the people on our dead-end country road:  with the exception of our renters, everyone in all these houses pictured were raised on this road, some in the same house where they now raise their own kids, some next door or across the road.  I find that amazing, in a world where people travel so far, and uproot their families with such ease.

baby pictures

A lot of people around J-land lately are posting baby pictures of themselves.  Since I was the only baby my mother raised, there are plenty of pictures of me around at various ages.  Two I recently found, though, are interesting:  I don't drive.  I've never had a driver's license.  (Spare me the sermons please, I've made it sixty years without driving).  But I must have had an interest in driving at some point in my life.  Case in point:

I look pretty darned young there, don't I?  That's my dad's bare feet you see.  Look at me go!

My driving didn't stop there.  Here I am, around age two, I imagine:

Maybe I just burned out on driving, from starting so young.  By the way, I remember that pedal car, although for some reason I'd remembered it as a fire engine, and I see it's a station wagon.  It really didn't get much use because we had only grass or gravel for me to drive it on, and it was very difficult to pedal the thing on such surfaces.  I recall my parents finally selling it to a traveling carnival, to use on one of those kiddie rides where the cars go around in a circle.  I was thrilled at the idea of my car joining the carnival.

Friday, January 28, 2005

finding old pictures

There's a bonus in all this de-cluttering I'm doing since I met the Fly-lady.  I'm finding old photos and keepsakes I thought I'd lost, pitched in dresser drawers amid underwear and years-old canceled checks.  One picure was of Gerald, the cousin whose mom thought he was dying in 1938 (click here for the entry).  He was less than two years old here, so this was probably about what he looked like at that time.

Below is another treasured picture, wrinkled and in poor shape.  But it's the only photo Cliff has of the motorcycle he owned when he was eighteen or nineteen.  I'm hoping my daughter, who works in a photo lab, will make a couple copies of this (catch the hint, Rachel?).  Cliff carried it in his billfold for years, his only reminder of that beloved Harley; it was repossessed when his parents took bankruptcy.  The little boy is his cousin, Ricky.


Thursday, January 27, 2005

clean purses and runaway dogs

When I get home from work I usually bring Mandy in and give her lots of petting.  I did that today, as always.  Then I turned her loose; she's been pretty good about staying in either our yard or the immediate neighbors' yards, usually at the side of her friend, Buddy.  Today, though, I looked out to check on her after a half-hour or so just in time to see her heading across the highway in hot pursuit of an ugly dog that lives over there.  Mandy has selective hearing, so when she's headed someplace with that kind of purpose, it's useless to holler.  I prayed hard, as she disappeared behind a house at top speed.  She was gone until almost dark, and I was on the verge of tears by the time she finally showed.  I'll be more careful about turning her loose.

Now, about the purses.  I have a regular purse I carry to Church, shopping, and so forth; and a clear plastic one for work.  They insist that if we're going to keep a purse with us in the DC, it has to be clear.  That way they can see through it in case we're trying to steal something. 

I do not clean purses.  Once in awhile I'll grab a handful of junk and toss it, but as far as emptying it and doing it right... I just don't.  (I've been trying to tell you I'm a slob!)

When I made out my Flylady journal, she told me to choose one night a week to clean out my purse, preferably just before I go shopping.  So, I chose Thursday night, since we usually shop on Friday or Saturday.

My regular purse wasn't too bad, but that plastic work purse was atrocious!  Would you believe there were seven pens buried in there?  I emptied it and then washed it out with soapy water.  It's clean!  I know, it still looks pretty junky:  I always carry a Reader's Digest, in case I get stranded someplace with nothing to do.  And I keep Arthritis Strength Tylenol, hand cream and bandaids in there... necessities, where I work.  And my box knife and marker, stuff I use on the job.  And of course my badge, when I'm not wearing it.  But it's all clean and neat, and I only left two pens in there.  The Flylady strikes again! 

I spent the required fifteen minutes in my zone (the bedroom) too.  AND made sure my sink was shining.  Eventually I'll get over the shock of how well this is working for me, but for now, you'll all just have to bear with me.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

FlyLady, I'm tired

I didn't work today, since we were offered Voluntary time off at the end of the day yesterday.  I didn't work at my job, that is.  I did plenty of hard labor in my zone today, which is the bedroom.  Flylady doesn't want me doing so much in one day, but I knew I'd probably be working the next two days, so I broke the rules. 

In the process of uncluttering my junk room upstairs, I found out the roof still leaks around an unused chimney; it had been patched years ago, but I don't think it ever quit leaking.  Cliff and I had a couple of disagreeable words about the subject, but he finally agreed to get someone to make a bid and see how much a new roof would cost.  I talked to the banker where we have our mortgage and he OK'd it.  This housecleaning may get rather costly for poor Cliff.  I'm giving him a lot of "honey-do's" now, too, little things that need patching up that didn't bother me before.

The two horses are doing great together.  I halter each of them once a day and lead them seperately to grass or grain, so they'll both have pleasant associations with the halter.  It appears to me that Brat is already filling out a little, but it seems awfully soon for that; it might be wishful thinking.

I am officially a part-time worker now.  Next week I'll work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  Any time I have a choice, those will be my days to work.  However, the supervisor can choose which days I show up.  I have to work at least two days a week.  I can surely do that!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Hey Flylady, look at me!

That is my miraculously clean sink; Flylady insists I have my sink shining before going to bed.  For years, there was a dish-drainer to the left of the sink.  It was a permanent fixture.  No more!  The dishes are dried and the drainer is in the cabinet under the sink.  I'm so proud.  (This is no doubt boring to you folks in J-land, but hey... just look at it this way:  I'm living proof that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Monday, January 24, 2005

a fullfilling day

I went to work this morning, but when we got there, the conveyor lines were not running, and obviously wouldn't be for some time.  So they gave the processors (that includes me) the option of coming back home.  Most of us did, since we'd probably have swept floors all day if we'd stayed.  It's OK, since Monday is the day I've chosen to "bless my house" as the Flylady calls it.  That's just a general vacuuming, dusting, washing rugs, etc. of the whole house so it "hugs" you when you walk in.  Cliff is very impressed.  I'm still working on uncluttering the upstairs, but I jumped into the zone for today... the bedroom.  I may not get to everything, if I work the rest of the week; but at least I've started "flying"! 

The two horses are best of buddies, with no fighting at all.  If I take one out of the pen, the other goes nuts wanting to be with him.  These boys were meant to be together, I believe... just like my dog Mandy and her hound-dog friend from next door, Buddy.  I've tried to take pictures of the two dogs playing, but they move so fast it's impossible.  Below is about the best I've been able to do:  The kids who own Buddy leave toys outside, and he brings them over here so he and Mandy can tear them up all over our yard.  Here they have a doll Buddy stole from his owners.

An old letter written to my mother

Here's the content of a letter to my mom from her sister, my Aunt Ruby, written in December, 1938. It just tore my heart out the first time I read it. This was before antibiotics, and you can read between the lines and see that she thought her baby (about age 2 I think) was dying. For the most part, I used her (mis-)spelling. See if you feel what I felt, reading this. By the way, my cousin Gerald is still alive and kicking. Before he was born, Aunt Ruby had lost an infant daughter to pnuemonia, which probably is the reason for a lot of her concern here.

Rippey, Ia.

Tuesday nite

Dear sister Lola:

I was sure glad to get your letter today, Lola. You don't know how much good it done me. It's so dreadful lonesome so far from everyone I know and my dear baby so sick. He has pnuemonia. We have had the doctor twice. He is coming back.

Well now it's Wednesday morning. That's as far as I got when Gerald took suddenly worse. We worked with him till 10:30 then called the doctor back again. He has had convulsions and was out of his head, talked so crazy. He had pluercy and Lola he is still awful sick. The Dr. is coming back again today. Can you every realize how awful it's been. We never got stritened up even and in a neighborhood and don't know a soul. Even had to get a strange doctor. He's from Rippey & he sure seems nice. He has been so good every time he cam but what I want is my baby to get well. The Dr. says he is doing alrite but that it takes time. I wish I was close to some one I knew. Mrs. Hank has been up the last two nites & stayed with us but she has 2 little kids and can't stay away. Poor little Gerald is so sick I haven't wrote Mom yet. We are a mile from the mail box and I can't get away u no. But I thought maybe L (her husband, Lloyd) could go at noon and mail them.

Lola, Lloyd wanted me to tell you to be sure and not mention him not being well when you rite post cards because our mail is rite with theirs and they bring it when they get theirs so don't mention it ever on a card. I think he is improving but we can't think of anything now only our baby.

If little Gerald gets well that's all the Xmas L & I ask for. It is costing a heap but what's money. If you can't have your Lovin little babies so our Xmas won't be what it might. but just so Gerald gets well. I sure did wish for Dr Gunn. It just made me sick to call a strange Dr. but we couldn't wait to get one so far.

I'll be so glad to see you kids come up.

I will stop and send this to the box by Mrs Hunt. The Dr. came again while ago & Gerald is an awful sick boy yet. The Dr will be back again. I'll let u know when I can but u write and come.

Your blue sis


That's my aunt and my mother; my mom's the baby, and she was born in 1912.  So it's an old picture!

Sunday, January 23, 2005

Blue has a friend

Well, things are looking good with Rachel's new horse, Brat.  Blue seems glad to have a friend.  Rachel's friend Kim, the owner of Brat, is giving us time to make sure the horse will work out, before Rachel pays for him.  And the price is right!  If my daughter wasn't buying him, I'd be scraping up some money somewhere.

partying with my mom

Watching My Sister Disappear” is the most touching journal I visit.  Mary Louise simply jots down her feelings from day to day as Alzheimer’s steals her sister from her.  In a recent entry, she told about a conversation with Peggy that jogged my memory: In April, 2003, my mom’s diabetes had affected her leg so badly that it was going to have to be removed.  It had turned black up to the knee, and was causing her great pain.  She was 90 years old at the time, and had not been truly happy since my dad died in 1987.  She had chosen the nursing home in which she lived, and was fairly content there until her vision failed so that she could no longer play cards and dominoes.  At that point, she lost any glimmer of joy she ever had.  My sister and I felt we should take turns being with Mother until she had her surgery and recovered.  I was working, so Maxine stayed during the daytime.  The hospital was right across the road from where Cliff works, in Liberty; so I stayed at the hospital while Cliff worked his second-shift eight hours.  Here’s the account as I wrote it that day:    

Today my sister spent the first shift with my mom, and I took the second. I arrived around 2:30 to find my mother as high as a kite on morphine. But at least she wasn't yelling with the pain in her leg.

"Hi Mother, I'm here," I said as I walked up to her bed.

"He did what?" Mother answered.

I soon realized she was not going to make any sense at all, but at least she was happy. A nurse told me morphine usually makes people mean and aggressive. Not my mom! She pointed out all the trucks driving around her room and on her ceiling, while threading an imaginary needle and sewing like crazy. When she handed me a piece of her invisible handiwork, I said, "Thanks Mother, I always wanted one of those!" She laughed as though she understood the joke. So did the two church ladies who had come to visit, andwho, after an hour's intrusion, I heartily wished would leave. Nice ladies, but I've finally found my mom, at age ninety,in a partying mood; and I want to party with her!

Seeing that they intended to stay for the duration, I decided to ignore them, and see how Mother would react to a song she used to love to hear me sing... "God On The Mountain". She stopped sewing and babbling, turned her head toward me, and listened intently.

"Mother, would you like to sing a song with me?" I asked when I'd finished.
She laughed.

So, I began singing: "Are you weary, are you heavy-hearted, tell it to Jesus, tell it to Jesus..."

And Mother started singing along. And knew every word of all three verses.
We sang Showers of Blessing. She remembered it all.

"Mother," I then asked, "Isn't there something you'd like to sing?"

She began singing:

"Oh Mrs. Bliss went out to pick
Some flowers
And in the grass she wet her an-
kles in the dew.
And in the yard, she let a far-
mer pass her by
And in the coop, she let a poor
Old chicken die"

This is a song a younger cousin of mine taught our whole family when I was small. When you sing it, it sounds like you are going to say slightly naughty things, rather than what you end up saying. Of all the songs for my mom to suggest, this is the one she led off on. What could I do but join in, with our Church-lady audience almost rolling in the floor.

Three or four times, Mother would start the same song over again, and each time I joined in on the praises of Mrs. Bliss.

Finally, since I was tiring of it anyhow, I said, "Mother, isn't there something else you'd like to sing?"

Thank goodness, she had another selection, and off she went, to the tune of "Old Rugged Cross":

"On a hill far away
Stood an old Chevrolet
It's tires were flat as a board.
It's gas tank was low
And the motor won't go
I'll exchange it some day for a Ford."

This was another song learned years ago from the same frisky little cousin, and it really seemed to be to Mother's liking, because she kept repeating it, too! After at least five or six repetitions, seeking to distract her, I asked if she remembered "One Day At a Time." She listened as I sang it, but it wasn't an old enough song for her to remember. Then she said, quite seriously, "I want to sing the words to a Branson song."

My parents had vacationed in Branson for years, and even lived there at one time after they retired.  Mother loved all the music shows, especially the comedians.  Maybe she'd choose some good old country song.

Wow, a breakthrough! "Let's hear it," I said.

"On a hill far away
Stood an old Chevrolet
It's tires were flat as a board..."

Now, she never heard that at Branson unless she was the one doing the singing.  She was just stuck on this song, and couldn’t move on to another.
The Church ladies, once again, lost it. And so did I.

It took fifty-nine years, but I can finally say I have partied with my mother. And believe me, she was the life of the party!    

Saturday, January 22, 2005

I wish I'd written that

  When He Was On The Cross

 I'm not on an ego trip...
I'm nothing on my own
I make mistakes and often slip;
I'm common flesh and bone.

But I'll prove some day just why I say,
I'm of a special kind!
For when He was on the cross, I was on His mind.

He knew me, yet He loved me...
He whose glory makes the heavens shine! 
I'm so unworthy of such mercy:
When He was on the cross, I was on His mind

A look of love was on His face
And thorns were on His head
His blood ran down that scarlet robe
And stained it crimson red.
Though His eyes were on the crowd that day,
He looked ahead in time.
For when He was on the cross, I was on His mind

He knew me, yet He loved me...
He whose glory make the heavens shine
I'm  unworthy of such mercy.
When He was on the cross, I was on His mind.

For when He was on the cross, I was on His mind .

Written by Ronnie Hinson
Copyright �2002 Lumber River Quartet,
M.S.Productions. All Rights Reserved.

Patrick's Saturday Six

1. Which of the following is your favorite store and why?
A) Wal-Mart
B) Target
C) K Mart
D) Sears

Must be Wal-Mart, since I’m there almost every week. I never shop at Target. All our Kmarts have closed. And I only go to Sears with Cliff when he’s buying tools.

2. How far does your closest friend who's not in the same town as you live, and when was the last time you saw them in person?

To be honest, I don’t have "close" friends in the usual sense, except for my husband. I have good friends, but I’m not the type to spend a lot of time with someone, or talk on the phone. I’m pretty weird, and don’t have much in common with most people. Joanna gets about as near to that description as anyone: I invited myself to spend a week with her and tour Washington, DC, and she seemed happy to oblige.

3. Have you ever gone on a date with someone you met online? Would you?

I’ve been married since long before I got online. I’m not sure if I would date someone I met online or not... I’ve sure made some genuine friends online, so who knows?

4. What is your favorite novel and what makes it stand out for you?

Right now, I’d say "Seabiscuit", because after I read it, I just had to have a horse. That led me to buying my Blue, and he’s been one of the best things that ever happened to me.

5. You get snowed in at your home for three days. You have power and telephone service, but no way to leave the house. How will you amuse yourself?

I have electricity? So what’s the problem, anyhow? Since I don’t drive, spending three days at home is nothing new for me. I have the computer; what more could I ask?

6. A fellow journaler you consider a friend disappears from J-land. Visitors leave comments in the journal but they get no response. You send the journaler an E-mail to make sure everything is okay, and despite the fact that you see that it has been read, you get no reply. What do you do?

Obviously he/she wants to be left alone. I’ll oblige. Maybe this is why I don’t have "close" friends.

I'm a flybaby... and I'm almost ready to fly!

I’ve had a problem with my cable connection ever since our recent ice storm and power outage. I don’t know if it’s a loose cable connection outside, or if perhaps the electricity going off and on so much damaged the cable modem; it’ll work fine for a while, then suddenly my connection gets so slow it’s unreal, or I’ll get completely cut off. I’ve lost a couple of entries that way. Someone is supposed to come and check it out Tuesday. Early this morning I made a lengthy addition to my journal, proofread it all, added a couple of links... and when I hit "enter", I got this message: "AOL journals is not available; please try again later." I couldn’t believe it! My cable was working, but AOL wasn’t. From now on, I’ll type my entries on WordPerfect, then copy and paste to my journal. In fact, I did that after this morning's misplaced entry, went back to my journal to add it, and my connection failed. It’s a good thing I don’t cuss.

I’m still working with Flylady (click here) on decluttering and getting my house in order. I’m not really in step with her zone-work and such, but by george, my sink is clean, and there’s no dishdrainer full of clean dishes on the counter. I’ve started my control journal, although I’m not really following it yet. Cliff loves this. I keep reminding him that I’ve often gotten on the housecleaning bandwagon, only to get bored and hop off after a week or a month. But we’ve agreed, if the only thing accomplished by this is a clean counter and sink, we can’t complain.

Those of you who are, or have been, related to me, (my daughter and her husband, my son and his wife, my ex-daughter-in-law) know what a slob I am . And I’m sure you all have as many doubts as I do about this thing working. So, it’ll be an interesting test. All my readers get to watch and see whether this lasts, or if it’s just another phase. I promise to be totally honest with you folks about this brave experiment.

I’m not a filthy person. I do wash my dishes, and I consider myself a clean cook. But I let little piles of things accumulate, and I don’t dust or mop nearly as often as I should (shall we say hardly ever?). Any improvement is a step in the right direction. I have some home-canned stuff that’s been around so long, I’m ashamedto tell you the year I put it up. That food is going to the pigs, a few jars every day. Yes, it’s work and money wasted. But if I haven’t used it by now, it’s only getting older, and I sure won’t want to use it in another several years.

By the way, guess what I had for breakfast? WAFFLES! My new wafflemaker arrived via UPS yesterday. I made extras so the granddaughters can have waffles heated in the toaster tomorrow, if they like.

Check out my hit-counter: I’m going to pass 10,000 this weekend. I started this blog in June, thinking it was a good way to keep friends and family informed on the happenings around here. I was never really concerned with trying to attract new readers, although I’ve certainly enjoyed the folks I’ve "met" here. And hey, I’m learning so many things. I’ve taken some of the comments to heart (like Faye’s suggestion that I check out Flylady). I try to remember my favorite Shakespeare quote: "This above all, to thine own self be true; and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man." Hopefully, when you read my journal, what you see is what you get.

Friday, January 21, 2005

my retreat, closer to reality

There's my dream cabin, the one I want back on "the point" in our pasture, overlooking the Missouri River bottom.  Unfortunately, it costs more than I want to invest in a camping spot ($6,000).  Every time I head out toward the barn, my eyes have been drawn to a shed that used to be my mom's.  When she passed away, Cliff moved it near his shop, and now uses it for storing all sorts of things that might clutter up his shop. 

There it is, next to our old garage.  (That roof in the background belongs to the mobile home where my mom used to live, and where our renters now live... some day I'll do an entry about them.)  Those strings are hanging in the doorway because Cliff kept bumping his head on the doorway, and they serve to remind him to duck.  This little shed is 11X14... the perfect size for my getaway place!  Cliff and I have discussed what it would take to get it "just right":  a window on each side, a stove pipe for a small wood stove; and perferably a smaller door.  Cliff is thinking perhaps he'd leave the existing door, plan on leaving it closed, and just put a walk-in door with screen in the other end.  Thanks to our son-in-law, we have some sheets of metal that could be put on the outside of the building to spruce it up somewhat.

You see, I love camping out.  Cliff enjoys staying at home.  As I draw closer to retirement, I'm more aware of the costs of traveling.  I doubt that many people can see the fun in spending a night in a converted storage shed with no electricity.  But it sounds like great fun to me!  All I'd need is a good book, my guitar and my dog, and I'd be communing with nature right in my own back yard.  Cliff and I are discussing the possibility of an outhouse:  not for myself, because I do fine without one; but in case my granddaughters wanted to spend time there with me, they haven't been raised as "hillbilly" as their grandma was.  Cliff mentioned that we could set the camper up back there for a family campout, sometimes.

I'm so glad I never grew up!  And I realize how blessed I am to have a husband who caters to my wild ideas.  We've both seen so many of our wishes come to pass, it's really hard to believe.   Cliff and I have told one another often, over the years, "If it all ended today, it's been a great life."  But thus far, it keeps going on, each day as wonderful as the one before.  I think we need a sign for our place that reads, "Woodhaven Acres, Where Dreams Come True".  Except Cliff hates to mow around signs, so I guess I'll just post the sign in my mind... or perhaps frame the words and hang them on my cabin wall!

Thursday, January 20, 2005

How to handle hormonal women


The Hormone Hostage knows that there are days in the month when all a man  has to do is open his mouth and he takes his life in his own hands!   This is a handy guide that should be as common as a driver's license in the wallet of every husband, boyfriend, or significant other!


  DANGEROUS: What's for dinner?

  SAFER: Can I help you with dinner?

  SAFEST: Where would you like to go for dinner?

  ULTRA SAFE: Have some chocolate


  DANGEROUS: Are you wearing that?

  SAFER: Wow, you look good in brown.

  SAFEST: WOW! Look at you!

  ULTRA SAFE: Have some chocolate


  DANGEROUS: What are you so worked up about?

  SAFER: Could we be overreacting?

  SAFEST: Here's my paycheck.

  ULTRA SAFE: Have some chocolate


  DANGEROUS: Should you be eating that?

  SAFER: You know, there are a lot of apples left.

  SAFEST: Can I get you a glass of wine with that?

  ULTRA SAFE: Have some chocolate


  DANGEROUS: What did you do all day?

  SAFER: I hope you didn't over-do it today.

  SAFEST: I've always loved you in that robe!

  ULTRA SAFE: Have some more chocolate.


  13 Things PMS Stands For


  1. Pass My Shotgun

  2. Psychotic Mood Shift

  3. Perpetual Munching Spree

  4. Puffy Mid-Section

  5. People Make me Sick

  6. Provide Me with Sweets

  7. Pardon My Sobbing

  8. Pimples May Surface

  9. Pass My Sweatpants

  10. Pissy Mood Syndrome

  11. Plainly; Men Suck

  12. Pack My Stuff


  And my favorite one...

  13. Potential Murder Suspect



Wednesday, January 19, 2005

untidy grandchildren and happy hogs

Most grandparents know it's a fact of life that once grandchildren get a driver's license, you don't see them often.  It's rather boring hanging around old folks who are always offering free (unwanted) advice, and let's face it... there are young folks of the opposite sex out there that one needs to be chasing after.  So Cliff and I aren't surprised that our oldest grandson, Arick, doesn't come around much... and we're really not offended that, when he does show up, he wants something:  usually the use of Cliff's shop and tools.

Now, you must realize that Cliff's shop is a dream come true for him.  He and I are both from poor families, and the first few years of our marriage, we barely scraped by.  Buying the simplest tool for his collection was a huge accomplishment, back then.  We still talk about the time we needed an extension cord, and it took every penny we had to buy it at "Wild Woody's".  Another thing you need to know is that Cliff, unlike me, likes things neat:  each tool has its place, and the floor of his shop is always swept.  It's his haven.  He spends most of his waking hours there, when he isn't at work or outside.  He has a heater that he uses in the coldest times, and there's always a project under way.

This week, Arick has been coming out each evening, doing body work on his girl friend's car.  Today, Cliff left me a message on the answering machine:  I was to tell Arick not to do any more work until Cliff is here to supervise.  Why?  "He left me a mess out there it took half a day to clean up," Cliff said.

Gee, I hate to be the one to lay down the law.  So I did what any self-respecting grandmother would do:  I e-mailed Arick's mom and told her to relay the message to him.  Now, on to the animals:

In winter, it's difficult to keep water to all the animals.  We have a tank heater for the horse, and also for the cows.  But any time we've had chickens or hogs through the years, we've watered them well, twice a day, and that seems to suffice.  If their water is frozen, we take buckets of hot water from the house and pour it in until they have all they can drink.

I'm the person who gives the pigs their evening drink.  We had a handy concrete waterer, very heavy, that they couldn't tip over... but the recent bitter cold weather caused it to freeze and crack.  So we're reduced to giving them their water in a round, flat rubber pan about two feet across.  So what's the problem with that?  Well, when they've had all they want to drink, one or the other will tip it over, dumping out any excess water.  So there's a big mud-hole in the spot where I climb into their pen; yuck.  That's not the only problem, though.  After I'm gone, they pick up the empty water pan and take it inside their house.  This means I have to crouch down, crawl in a pig-house, and retrieve the container, next time I'm out there.  At age sixty, I do not "crouch" gracefully.  And as I exit their house all bent over, they're both waiting with snoots in my face, grunting and acting like I'm nuts, and refusing to get out of the way.  There's never a dull minute with hogs around! 


I sat here and made quite a nice entry when I got home from work.  Unfortunately, for whatever reason, it disappeared into cyberspace. 

First, the reason I haven't posted in a couple of days:  My morning routine has changed somewhat.  I'm doing my daily Bible reading, and taking time to ponder and pray a bit.  Also, I'm trying to unclutter my life, with the help of Flylady.  If you're interested, click here.  One of my readers pointed me toward Flylady some time back, but I just recently checked it out.  I'm taking baby steps, like the boss says, but I've made an improvement or two.  At least my kitchen sink is clean and shiny!  I do have a problem with her telling me I have to have shoes on before I do any housework:  I don't normally wear shoes unless I leave our 43 acres.  And I'd like to explain to her what hard water deposit does to porcelain and other kitchen and bathroom fixtures, and see what she says.  I haven't been following her instructions to the letter every day, but I hope to get more in the groove of this during the next four days, since I won't be going to work.

Next week I'm scheduled to work forty hours.  Now, I haven't worked more than three days in a week since returning to work from my medical leave, so I'm really hoping they offer a voluntary-time-off one or two of those days.  Their fiscal year starts February 1, and at that time I intend to go part-time.  It won't affect my hourly wage or benefits, since I don't carry their insurance.  I'll still be able to contribute to my 401K as usual.  I'm very thankful I have this option.

Hopefully there's a waffle iron in my future; I ordered one at  It would be fantastic if it would arrive tomorrow, so I could have waffles Saturday morning!

We have another horse coming to live here this weekend, if all works out.  I'll have the story about that, with pictures, once he arrives.

Monday, January 17, 2005

You might be from Missouri if....

Even if you did not grow up it Missouri this is a HOOT. 
Growing Up in Missouri..

 1. You've never met any celebrities.

 2. Everyone you know has been on a "Float Trip".

 3. "Vacation" means driving to Silver Dollar City, Worlds of Fun or Six Flags.

 4. You've seen all the biggest bands ten years AFTER they were popular.

 5. You measure distance in minutes rather than miles. For example, "Well, Webb City's only 20 minutes away."

 6. Down south to you means Arkansas.

 7. The phrase "I'm going to the Lake this weekend" only means one thing.

 8. You know several people who have hit a deer.

 9. You think Missouri is spelled with an "ah" at the end.

10. Your school classes were canceled because of cold.

11. You know what "Party Cove" is.

12. Your school classes were canceled because of heat.

13. You instinctively ask someone you've just met, "What High School did you go to?"

14. You've had to switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day.

15. You think ethanol makes your truck "run a lot better."

16. You know what's knee-high by the Fourth of July.

17. You see people wear bib overalls at funerals.

18. You see a car running in the parking lot at the store with no one in it, no matter what time of the year.

19. You know in your heart that Mizzou can beat Nebraska in football.

20. You end your sentences with an unnecessary preposition.  Example: "Where's my coat at?"

21. All the festivals across the state are named after a fruit, vegetable, or grain.

22. You install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked.

23. You think of the major four food groups as beef, pork, beer,  and Jell-O salad with marshmallows.

24. You carry jumper cables in your car and know that everyone else should.

25. You went to skating parties as a kid.

26. You only own three spices: salt, pepper, and ketchup.

27. You! design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit.

28. You think sexy lingerie is tube socks and a flannel nightie.

 29. The local paper covers national and international headlines on  one page, but requires six pages for sports.

 30. You think I-44 is spelled and pronounced "farty-far." (St.Louis only.)

 31. You'll pay for your kids to go to college unless they want to go to KU.

 32. You think that "deer season" is a National Holiday.

33. You know that Concordia is halfway between Kansas City and Columbia, and Columbia is halfway between St. Louis and Kansas City, and the Warrenton Outlet Mall is halfway between Columbia and St. Louis.

34. You can't think of anything better than sitting on the porch in the middle of the summer during a thunderstorm.

35. You know which leaves make good toilet paper.

36. You've said, "It's not the heat, it's the humidity."

37. You know all four seasons: Almost Summer, Summer, Still Summer and Football.

38. You know if another Missourian is from the Boot-heel, Ozarks, Eastern, Middle or Western Missouri soon as they open their mouth.

39. You know that Harry S. Truman, Walt Disney and Mark Twain are all from Missouri.

40. You failed World Geography in school because you thought Cuba, Versailles, California, Nevada, Houston, Cabool, Louisiana, Springfield,and Mexico were cities in Missouri. (And they are!)

41. You think a traffic jam is ten cars waiting to pass a tractor.

42. You know what "HOME OF THE THROWED ROLL" means.

43. You actually get this and forward it to all your Missouri friends.

Sunday, January 16, 2005



 THANK YOU LORD FOR YOUR BLESSINGS ON ME  (I wish I knew the author's name)

1. The world looks around me as I struggle along
They say I have nothing, but they are so wrong.
In my heart I'm rejoicing, how I wish they could see
Thank You, Lord, for Your blessings on me.


There's a roof up above me, I've a good place to sleep.
There's food on my table, and shoes on my feet.
You gave me Your love, Lord, and a fine family.
Thank you, Lord, for Your blessings on me.

2. I know I'm not wealthy and these clothes are not new,
I don't have much money, but Lord, I have You,
And to me You're all that matters tho' the world may not see.
Thank you, Lord, for Your blessings on me.


Saturday, January 15, 2005

Patrick's Saturday Six

Since I'm not getting AOL alerts lately, I almost missed Patrick's Saturday Six.  I happened to remember what day it was and went to see... sure enough, there it was.

1. You achieve a high level of fame in your chosen career.  Calls begin coming in for interviews...if you could only appear on one of the following shows, which would you select?
A) Today
B) Live! with Regis and Kelly
C) The Daily Show
D) Oprah
E) David Letterman
F) Jay Leno
G) Jerry Springer

     A. Today  
2. You have the opportunity to briefly become another person in another body, then spend 48 hours alone with the real you.  Would you do it?  Sure, for 48 hours I think I can stand myself; I'll bet I'd become a better person afterwards, though.

3. You have the opportunity to briefly become another person in another body and live a normal life for 48 hours.  Would you dare to spend two days as a member of the opposite gender?  Yes; as I said in the previous entry, I can stand about anything for 48 hours.
4. Compared to previous years, did you spend more or less money on Christmas gifts?  How soon do you think you'll have all of the bills for Christmas paid off?  Less, and the bills are paid off.
5. What is the first toy you remember playing with?  a pedal-car fire engine I had.
6. Have you ever downloaded a song or theme song for your cell phone?  If so, which one amuses you most?  If you haven't, but had to pick one, what would it be?  I don't have a cell phone.  I must say, my friend Tracy had one that amused me:  Cold Hard Bitch, by Jet.  You'd have to know Tracy, though, and hear why she used the song, to be amused.

The reason for creating my blog

I was perusing the article from the Star that I posted here yesterday, and realized I'm doing something wrong; I quote: 

"• Identify a reason for creating a blog. The reason should be something beyond simply recording the daily events of your life, unless you have a particularly interesting life, or expressing your thoughts and opinions, unless you have particularly interesting thoughts and opinions or a particularly interesting way of expressing your thoughts and opinions."

I don't know why I created my blog.  I enjoy writing, and I like to think somebody in the world knows I'm alive.  Those are the only reasons I can think of for this effort.  I've kept several diaries and journals in the past... the old-fashioned kind, where you use pen and paper.  In fact, recently on Christmas day, several of us had fun going back over some journals I kept in the late 80's and early 90's.  The diaries from that time period are particularly interesting because I added photos to them, to go with the entries, as well as some news articles.

I'm not competitive, so I don't really worry about how much traffic comes my way here, although I'm thankful for the J-land friends I've "met".  If this kept me in touch with a few relatives, that would be sufficient.  Cliff said the last time he called our son, Jim, in Georgia, he couldn't come up with any news of our household that Jim hadn't already heard from his wife Debbie, who reads this blog.

I enjoy sharing photos taken around our house and the countryside.  Honestly, I don't care for a lot of the fancy graphics that so many people use... the angels, unicorns, etc.  I'm pretty much a plain vanilla type person.  I've never cared for cutesy things like those "Precious Moments" characters (I've passed up chances to tour the Precious Moments chapel at Carthage, Missouri), or the flowery "art" by Thomas Kincaide.  So sue me. 

But you know, different kinds of people with varied interests make the world interesting.  Do what you like with your journal, and I'll do the same with mine.

Write on!


Friday, January 14, 2005

Blogging article from the KC Star

The following article was in the Kansas City Star today.  I didn't link to it because you'd have gotten a site asking you to sign in, get a username, etc.  Here's the link to the KC Star, though:  I like to give credit where credit is due. 


Internet sites effective in spreading news and connecting people

The Kansas City Star

Blog. The word itself is ugly in a funny sort of way — like a pug dog. But blogging is one of the more important cultural developments of the last decade. Blogs are Web sites typically created and maintained by single individuals, though sometimes by organizations.

Generally, the purpose of a blog is to express opinion or showcase one's art, or to engage readers in an ongoing dialogue or interaction on topics of mutual interest. Most bloggers update their sites daily or at least weekly. Posting photos, videos and links to other blogs and Web sites is also common on most blogs.

There are blogs about politics, travel, food, movies, music, quilting, cabinetmaking, poetry, sex, religion and death, among the hundreds and hundreds of other human interests and activities.

The word “blog” comes from the two-word phrase “Web log,” first used to describe the online journals that began to appear in the mid-to-late-1990s. The phrase morphed into a single word “weblog,” and then was abbreviated to “blog.”

Blogs have emerged as a social and political force to be reckoned with. Blogs by journalists working outside of the mainstream media have broken many important news stories in the last several years.

After the tsunami, bloggers quickly posted video footage of the waves and their destruction, bringing the disaster immediately and intimately into the homes of Web watchers worldwide.

And last summer, within minutesof CBS reporting that it had uncovereddocuments casting doubt on President Bush's National Guard record, bloggers doing their own research and fact-checking on the Internet raised questions about the authenticity of the documents, which were later proven to be fraudulent.

There are tens of thousands of blogs. Which makes finding a blog or two or three that you might actually enjoy reading regularly a fairly daunting task. Directories such as Blogwise (, Blogarama ( and Blog Universe ( can help in this search.


Don't be a bump on a blog

If you'd like to create your own blog there are free blog services that make online publishing a snap. Blogger, a service owned by Google, is the most popular of these. There are also reasonably priced services that offer a wider range of publishing options. TypePad is one of the better known of these subscription-based services.

• Identify a reason for creating a blog. The reason should be something beyond simply recording the daily events of your life, unless you have a particularly interesting life, or expressing your thoughts and opinions, unless you have particularly interesting thoughts and opinions or a particularly interesting way of expressing your thoughts and opinions.

• Give your blog a good name. This will help draw attention to your blog and provide potential readers with a sense of what the blog is all about.

• Post frequently. Unless you're willing and able to update your blog daily or at least weekly there's probably little reason to initiate a blog at all. The point of a blog is to engage others with similar interests in an ongoing online discussion. If you don't hold up your end of the conversation, people will lose interest quickly.

• Visit, read and comment on other blogs. Your mother was right: “The best way to make a friend is to be a friend.” The more frequently you interact with other bloggers, the more traffic will flow to your blog.

• Be patient. It'll take some time to learn blogging basics, and it'll take even longer for folks to discover your blog and spread the word about it.

assignment #43, extra credit (with a little help from my friends)

I now have two versions of my flag.  My daughter sent this one.

Here's my second flag, sent to me by Glopsblink.

Thanks for the help!

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Weekend Assignment #43: Your Own Flag

Weekend Assignment #43: Congratulations, you've become your own soverign state! Design a flag for the United States of You, using no more than three colors and one symbol (the symbol can be of any color). Explain your design choices.  Don't worry about actually making the flag -- you can just tell us about it.

My flag would be three colors:  Blue on top for the Missouri sky, white in the middle, which represents nothing at all, but since the bottom color is green for our pastures, and blue and green next to one another aren't too pleasing, there you are.  And in the middle of my flag is a tractor with a horse on one side of it (representing mine and Cliff's interests) and a coyote howling (representing the wildlife in our woods) on the other.  There you are:  the flag that flies over Mosieland!

 Extra credit: make a picture of the flag. Because, let's face it, that's time-intensive.  Well, that's out, since I don't have a clue how to make such a flag on my computer.  If my granddaughters were here, I'd have them draw and color a picture for me, and then scan it.  Oh well.

remembering dates

My sister Maxine, a winter Texan, called last night and reminded me that a year ago yesterday, our mom passed away.  I had realized she died in January, because it happened about the time my daughter and I had planned to fly to visit Maxine in her winter home.  Instead, she came up here and we buried our mom.  But I hadn't given a thought to the exact date.

I'm awful about dates.  I can't tell you a single grandchild's birthdate:  I know what months they were born in, and I always remember that my oldest grandchild, Arick, was born on either the 5th, 6th, or 7th, because he was one day away from my dad's birthday.  But the only birth dates I really know are my parents', my husband's, and my two kids.  Of course, my parents are both deceased; so I'm sure those dates will soon fade from memory.

I don't make a big deal of birthdays, not even my own... except that the year I turned fifty, I asked for a surprise party.  My poor husband couldn't think of anyone to invite, so that was pretty much a failure; but he did try.  I asked him, "What about all my old aunts and uncles?"

My mom, who lived on our property in a mobile home at the time, took the cue and had a second surprise party, and that time it was a surprise!  There were aunts and uncles, (all dead now) and a couple of cousins.  It was great, and just what I had in mind.

When Cliff turned fifty the next year, I held a surprise party for him that was very successful, with over fifty in attendence.  People he'd worked with at various jobs were there, and a few of his relatives.  He still talks about it; it was the only real birthday party he ever had in his life.

We threw a birthday party for my mom when she turned ninety, at the nursing home.  There wasn't a huge turnout, but it was touching how far some people came to give her their regards.  Our son and his family came for that occasion, from Georgia.  This shot of Jim and my mom was taken at that time:

Mother hadn't seen Jim for a few years, so it was a happy event for her; she got to meet Jim's wife and his youngest child for the first time.  She really went downhill shortly after that, so I'm glad we had the party when we did.  The nursing home she stayed in was far better than average, but I do hope I'm spared having to be in such a place if I get to the point I can't wait on myself; because there just isn't enough staff on hand to take care of people who are immobile.  Most of the employees there did their best... but the patients are so needy.


Wednesday, January 12, 2005



We finally got a DVD player this past Christmas, and as I think of movies I'd like to own, and then find them on, I add to our collection.  Believe it or not, I had never seen the movie, "Deliverance".  I've heard plenty of jokes about it, and of course I'm familiar with the theme song.  I had an idea it must be a brutal film.  But this evening, I decided to watch it... alone.  Well, except for Mandy, and I ended up sitting on the floor in the kitchen doorway next to her, so I'd have some sort of comfort from the suspense and violence!  Mandy isn't allowed into the living room, but tonight she ended up with 3/4 of her body in there, just so I wouldn't be alone.

Remind me not to watch that sort of movie again while my husband's at work.  I still have "Southern Comfort" and "Apocalypse Now" to view... movies I haven't seen since the 80's, I suppose.  If I watched them without Cliff here, Mandy would end up on the couch with me, I'm sure of it!

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

I'll soon be "part-time"

I talked to the lady in HR today, and I've decided I'm going to be a part-time associate after February 1.  I found out I'll still get two weeks vacation this year, and I'll still have the same amount of FMLA coming:  both of these are based on how many hours I worked last year.  This resolved any misgivings I might have had about switching to part time.

I'll be required to work at least sixteen hours a week, and when there's a reasonable amount of work, I'll be able to do as many as forty hours.  So it's very flexible.  I'll have to let my supervisor know each week what days I'm going to work the following week; no problem there.

There may be some weeks when part-time employees don't get to work at all, but this has only happened once in the last year; so that's not a common occurance. 

I figure I can surely hobble into work two days a week (I'll do three when I can) for a year and a half, at which time I'll be sixty-two.  I'll be adding to my puny little 401K, too. 

I'm concentrating very hard on taking short steps, and walking lightly.  I've always been a hard stepper and a fast walker, and I recently realized this is not good for bad knees.  When I walk carefully, I have much less pain at the end of the day.

I'm thankful I have this option. 

Monday, January 10, 2005

gingerbread recipe

OK, here's the recipe for my friend Shirley, and anyone else who'd interested.                                   

                                    DE LUXE GINGERBREAD  

(from Betty Crocker's   1960's picture cook book)    

Mix together thoroughly: 1/2 cup shortening 1/2 cup sugar 1 egg   Blend in: 3/4 cup dark molasses 1 cup sour milk (you can sour milk by adding a tablespoon or two of vinegar to fresh milk)  

Sift together and stir in: 2 1/4 cups sifted flour 1 teaspoon soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon ginger 1 teaspoon cinnamon  

mix well; pour in greased and floured 9" square pan,  bake at 325 for 45 to 50 minutes.


Cliff's sister saves their garbage for our pigs; she keeps it in a bag in the freezer, and when they come to visit (which is most every weekend) the pigs have a treat.  A couple weeks ago, along with her frozen stuff, she brought a bottle of blackstrap molasses for the hogs, too.  It was a full bottle, and I really hated to see the pigs get something I could put to a better use.

I've always loved gingerbread warm from the oven, topped with whipped cream or Cool Whip.  But after years of making it fairly often, Cliff broke the news to me a long time ago that he really didn't care that much for it, and I stopped making it.

However, with the granddaughters here Sunday, I figured it was as good a time as any to get creative and use the molasses, so I made a nine-serving panful.  I had a piece, warm, with Cool Whip, and it was as good as I remembered.  Cliff even ate some, with Jello AND Cool Whip, and pronounced it "pretty good".  Natalie, my granddaughter, took a piece home with her (I don't think her sister was so crazy about it).  This morning when I went to work, there was one piece of gingerbread left, in a Rubbermaid container.  Cliff doesn't like it, right?  So all day, at work, I thought about that last piece of gingerbread awaiting my return home.

Well, I've looked the kitchen over with a fine-tooth comb, and that gingerbread is nowhere to be found.  Obviously, my husband (the gingerbread-hater) has eaten MY treat!

As I type this, there's another pan of gingerbread in the oven, making the kitchen smell divine.  And should this panful disappear (the next-door twin boys often eat lunch with Cliff), I think there's just enough blackstrap molasses for one more batch.

Oh, and here's an update:  there may be a waffle maker on my horizon:  Someone who shall remain nameless knows of one that has never been used, and if she can sneak it away from her grandma, it's mine!

Sunday, January 9, 2005

I Wish I'd Written That

If there was ever a song that spells "fun", this one's it.  And I recall my son (my only baby boy, and the most handsome child that ever drew a breath) singing this with some of his friends, when he was perhaps in the fifth grade.                                

                         DELLA AND THE DEALER  

It was Della and a dealer and a dog named Jake,
And a cat named Kalamazoo,
Left the city in a pick-up truck.
Gonna make some dreams come true.
Yeah, they rolled out west where the wild sun sets,
And the coyote bays at the moon.
Della and a dealer and a dog named Jake,
And a cat named Kalamazoo.

If that cat could talk, what tales he'd tell,
About Della and the Dealer and the dog as well.
But the cat was cool,
And he never said a mumblin' word.

Down Tucson way there's a small cafe,
Where they play a little cowboy tune.
And the guitar picker was a friend of mine,
By the name of Randy Boone.

Yeah, Randy played her a sweet love song,
And Della got a fire in her eye.
The Dealer had a knife and the dog had a gun,
And the cat had a shot of rye.

If that cat could talk, what tales he'd tell,
About Della and the Dealer and the dog as well.
But the cat was cool,
And he never said a mumblin' word.

Yeah, the Dealer was a killer; he was evil and mean,
And he was jealous of the fire in her eyes.
He snorted his coke through a century note,
And he swore that Boone would die.

And the stage was set when the lights went out,
There was death in Tucson town.
Two shadows ran for the bar back door,
But one stayed on the ground.

If that cat could talk, what tales he'd tell,
About Della and the Dealer and the dog as well.
But the cat was cool,
And he never said a mumblin' word.

If that cat could talk, what tales he'd tell,
About Della and the Dealer and the dog as well.
But the cat was cool,
And he never said a mumblin' word.

Two shadows ran from the bar that night,
And a dog and a cat ran too.
And the tires got hot on the pickup truck,
As down the road they flew.

It was Della and her lover and a dog named Jake,
And a cat named Kalamazoo.
Left Tucson in a pickup truck.
Gonna make some dreams come true.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

If that cat could talk, what tales he'd tell,
About Della and the Dealer and the dog as well.
But the cat was cool,
And he never said a mumblin' word.

OK, the glasses were awful; but can't you see how proud I was?  That's me with my firstborn, Jimmy.

Cinnamon flat

I got up at four AM, wishing I had time to make cinnamon rolls for the girls and Cliff, but knowing there wasn't time, before early church.  The girls had left one of my cookbooks on the table, and I picked it up and looked at coffeecake recipes.  I found a simple one with nuts and raisins, and mixed it up.  This took me back to the time when I first met Cliff's family; his mom was a "hillbilly" from the Lake of the Ozarks area, and sometimes for breakfast she'd make "cinnamon flat".  It was really just a simple coffeecake.  Since then, any home-made coffeecake I make is dubbed a cinnamon flat. 

I've been feeding Cliff breakfast in bed for years now, when I'm not at work.  I don't see how he can eat laying down like that, but he has no problem at all.  I'd get heartburn!  Not to mention the coffee running out the corners of my mouth.  He was very pleased with my cinnamon flat idea.  That's his second piece.

Saturday, January 8, 2005

Patrick's Saturday Six

1. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #38:  If you could live in a foreign country(or city) for one year, which would you choose and why?

England.  There's so much history there; I'd love to see the places all those famous poets and writers spoke of, and I've always wanted to visit the Yorkshire Dales ever since reading, "All Creatures Great And Small".

2. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #39:  Did you have a security blanket, stuffed animal or toy that you were attached to as a child?  Do you still have it?

I don't remember anything like that as a child.

3. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #40:  Favorite alcoholic beverage?

white wine, most especially sauvingnon Blanc. 

4. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #41:  What was your favorite cartoon as a child? 

Dagwood; I thought his huge sandwiches were so funny, and I loved the way he always missed the bus for work.

5. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #42:  Is there a chore you enjoy doing? 

Anything involving animals.  I loved milking my cows for twenty-five years; now I enjoy grooming my horse.

6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #43:  A time machine will let you travel 10 years into either the past of future.  Which would you choose and why? 

No doubt about it, I'd go back.  I'm sixty, and have enough aches and pains without rushing to seventy.  Besides, fifty was a great age for me.

something received in e-mail


                My sister, my mom and me, Mother's Day, 2002

1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.
"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."

My mother taught me RELIGION.
"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL.
"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

My mother taught me LOGIC.
" Because I said so, that's why."

My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.
"If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."

My mother taught me FORESIGHT.
"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."

My mother taught me IRONY.
"Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."

My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.
"Shut your mouth and eat your supper."

My mother taught me about CONTORTIONIST.
"Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"

My mother taught me about STAMINA.
"You'll sit there until all those peas are gone."

My mother taught me about WEATHER.
"This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."

My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
"If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"

My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.
"Stop acting like your father!"

My mother taught me about ENVY.
"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."

My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait until we get home."

My mother taught me about RECEIVING.
"You are going to get it when you get home!"

My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way."

My mother taught me ESP.
"Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"

My mother taught me HUMOR.
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.
"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

My mother taught me GENETICS.
"You're just like your father."

My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"

My mother taught me WISDOM.
"When you get to be my age, you'll understand"

25. And my favorite: -
My mother taught me about JUSTICE.
"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!"

old hillbilly music

From my travels around J-Land, I gather a majority of our bloggers prefer some form of rock music.  Please accept my disclaimer for this entry:  Today's topic won't interest you.

One of the reasons I love the Internet is that you can find virtually ANYTHING!  I mentioned that song, "The Blizzard", in a recent entry, and decided I simply must hear it.  Within five minutes, Jim Reeves was singing it on my computer, with the wind blowing in the background as he slowly froze to death.

Since my bout of strumming and singing the other day when we were without power (I have blisters on my fingertips from that, by the way), I've been thinking about my old friend, Leona, now deceased.  She introduced me to several of the songs I most enjoy singing.  I stopped in the middle of singing, The Root Of All Evil Is A Man to tell Cliff, "I first heard that from Leona."

As I recall, Lee had an uncle in prison, and he had left behind a spiral notebook of country song lyrics he'd collected, from which she sang often.  Many of the songs were old, obscure country numbers I'd never heard of, so of course when I think of those, I hear Leona singing them in my mind.

Yesterday I got thinking about a song whose title I didn't even know.  It was one Leona sang, and there's a line in it that says, "I wanna drink my java from an old tin can...".  I Googled that line and found out the title of the song is "Texas Plains".  Then I went to the best site ever, for a sixty-year-old who sometimes longs to hear songs she heard on the radio as a child:  The Record Lady.

My daughter, and others in her age group, won't find this site useful.  Just my hillbilly senior citizen readers... which may only be a couple of people!

Keep in mind that the Record Lady is a listener-supported website.  I occasionally leave a paypal donation, because I don't know any other place to find these old songs and actually hear the original artist singing them. 

While on that subject:  sometimes I'm strumming my guitar and want to sing a particular musty old country song, but don't know the lyrics.  When that happens, I go to Cowpie Song Corral, print the words off, and sing my heart out.

Have a great weekend, folks!  I look forward to watching a half-hour of Green Day on FUSE tonight with my granddaughter, Monica.  See?  I listen to a wide variety of music!  I'm still hoping Green Day comes to Kansas City this year.