Tuesday, January 31, 2006

I spent a day in limbo

I'm not as thankful as I should be for my health.  So when I get a little 24-hour bug that knocks me for a loop, it awakens me to the fact that I seldom get really sick.

I spent yesterday in bed, the result of either some intestinal flu or food poisoning (we ate at a fund-raiser at school Sunday).  I'm so glad to be feeling better this morning, albeit a little weak, and sore.

One of the notes that came with Sadie's instructions was that she needed some leash work.  Well, after a couple of walks around the pasture, she responds well to the leash.  But I absolutely could not get her to potty while on a leash; nope, she had to be turned loose before she could find the right spot.

Yesterday I knew there was no way I could chase her down if she ran off; so with coveralls and stocking hat on (it wasn't that cold, but I had chills and a fever), I persisted in walking her around until finally, she peed.  After just one success, she has had no more problem "going" while on the end of a leash.  We walk to the spot, she does her business, and we come in.  This little lady is a fast learner. 

She hasn't really been here long enough to know where the boundaries are, so she does tend to run away, and doesn't always come when I call; she's still learning her new name, after all.  Buddy is a major problem when he's here, because he tags her and runs off, expecting her to follow him to the woods like Mandy did .  So, a leash is in order.

Sadie seems to have kennel cough, so we may have to take her to the vet today for some antibiotics.  Other than that, she is settling in and doing well.   


Monday, January 30, 2006

One of my J-land friends is grieving

Please go over to Tendernoggle's journal and give her your words of encouragement and condolences.  Click HERE.

It is, indeed, time to move on

Yes, I still cry every morning and every night.  But the public grieving here in my journal is done; those receiving my daily poem may still see it, since writing poems is my therapy.  But in this particular realm, it is time to look to this day, and beyond.  Besides, Cliff refuses to read my journal as long as it makes him teary-eyed; time for a change of subject.

For years, we've not allowed any house dogs  to go into the two carpeted rooms... the living room and our bedroom.  That way, if they have an accident or an upset tummy, there's no stain to worry about.  Also, back when we established the "no-dogs-on-the-carpet" rule, Cliff would sometimes stretch out in the floor to watch TV.  He said he didn't want to worry about whether he was wallowing in dog hair.

Dogs learn to follow this rule very quickly.  As a tiny puppy, Mandy knew within twenty-four hours of living here.  We just say a sharp "No!" and pick the dog up and put it back in the kitchen.  Sadie already understands, after about three reprimands.

But last night when I got up to go to the bathroom, Sadie was on the throw rug beside my bed, sleeping.  When my feet hit the floor, her tail started wagging enthusiastically.

"What's it going to hurt," I asked myself, "to have her sleeping near me?"

I couldn't think of one reason she shouldn't be there.

As you can see in the first picture, she is as close to me as she can get right now.  I can reach down and pet her easily.

I think she knows her job around here.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

I'll Be Seeing You


    Sammy Fain / Irving Kahal

I'll be seeing you in all the old familiar places
That this heart of mine embraces all day through
In that small café, the park across the way
The children's carousel, the chestnut trees, the wishing well

I'll be seeing you in every lovely summer's day
In everything that's light and gay
I'll always think of you that way.
I'll find you in the mornin' sun
And when the night is new
I'll be looking at the moon
But I'll be seeing you

------ instrumental break ------

I'll find you in the mornin' sun
And when the night is new
I'll be looking at the moon
But I'll be seeing you



Sadie meets the cat

Our latest-acquired barn cat, although only half grown, has real guts.  Even Cliff, who is not an admirer of cats in general, likes this one (at a distance, of course).  It was fun to see Sadie getting acquainted with him.

I'd like to feature the place from which we adopted Sadie, Wayside Waifs

I was so impressed with the genuine love shown by the staff to their charges.

The lady who took Sadie out of her cage and then watched us petting her, and how she responded to our attention, actually got teary-eyed.  It was very touching.

The lady who interviewed us was the same sort:  she almost got emotional talking about the animals that pass through their doors.  She said she has twelve cats at home, and told us how hard it is to see the reality at Wayside Waifs:  some 7,000 cats pass through each year, and only a small percentage of them get adopted.  Cats, she told us, don't do as well in confinement there, while waiting for someone to adopt them.

She said they don't have a "kill date" like some shelters and pounds; if the animal seems to be adoptable at all, they give it as long as it takes. 

"Of course," she said, "we don't have many people who come in asking for a fourteen-year-old dog with liver cancer; in cases like that, the kindest thing to do is euthanize the animal."

Anyway, I'm giving them a plug:  if some of my readers love animals and want to donate to a good cause, I couldn't possibly recommend a better one.  Again, here's their website:  WAYSIDE WAIFS.

Thank you, my caring readers

I'm amazed and touched at all the comments that have been left in sympathy at Mandy's passing, and the e-mails I've received.  Thank you all for caring.

I had a good cry again this morning, thinking of the cabin without Mandy, the pasture without Mandy, and so forth.  But I had Sadie right beside me, and somehow it was very comforting to have her there.

It's obvious Sadie has been a town dog:  When I went out at 6 AM to feed the horses, she went with me.  Every time Marvin's rooster crowed, she barked, obviously worried about such a strange noise coming out of the darkness.  That's a time when I need some comic relief, because I always turned Mandy out of her pen for the day when I fed the horses.

I took her on a brief walk in the pasture (very hard to do this knowing Mandy wouldn't be there with me any more), and Sadie moved around at an unbelievable speed, taking in all the new sights and sounds, sniffing every cowpile.

On the way back to the house, I tossed a bale of hay out for the cows, and that poor little thing was terrified when she saw those huge animals coming toward us.  She barked and barked, looking at me as if to say, "Aren't we going to run away before those things kill us?"

It appears that she's going to be mostly a house dog, although I'll make use of Mandy's old pen at times.  And once I am assured she won't run away, she'll have more freedom outside than she does now.

Oh, another thanks to my J-land friends who have bought my poem-book; you've been added to my daily poem-list.

What a wonderful community this is.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Sadie's first night here

This is Sadie.  That old bed belonged to a rat terrier I used to have, and Cliff thought Sadie would like it.  She does, but obviously it's too small for her.  More pictures to come later.

Sadie met Monica and Natalie tonight, and I believe it was love at first sight for all concerned.  We did the right thing getting Sadie.

No, I haven't quit crying yet

But since I couldn't stand the void left when Mandy departed this life, and Cliff was insisting we go to the pound and look over the dogs....

Yes, I know it's too soon, but I need a companion here when Cliff's at work.

We were looking for a puppy.  There were several of them there, including some really sweet border collie pups.  Any of them would have made a fine, lovely pet.

But there was this one (mostly) Manchester Terrier, one year old, that acted like she wanted to come home with me.  I'd look at the puppies, then I'd go back to her.  One of the volunteers took her out of her cage, and we went to a "quiet room" to see what she was like.

She didn't jump on us.  She responded to our petting by leaning against our legs.  She acted totally like a lady.  The folks at Wayside Waifs said she came to them as a stray, but this little lady has been in a house before; you can just tell by her actions.  The only thing I'm going to have to teach her is to respond to a leash, and she's already coming along with that.  She handled the long ride from Grandview to my town like a pro.

She is absolutely nothing like Mandy except for her coloring.  Different body type, different size (exactly half Mandy's weight), and different personality.  That's a good thing, I believe.  She may end up being more of a house dog than Mandy was, since she seems perfectly content to lay on a rug in the kitchen.

My heart is still heavy, and will be for awhile.  Sadie is not another Mandy, but I do believe she was meant to be ours.

There'll be pictures tomorrow, probably.  I took some today, but because of her coloring, the pictures made her look more like Mandy than she really does.

Oh, and Buddy and she appear to approve of one another.

Friday, January 27, 2006

I'll be back

When I can quit crying.

We'll Meet Again

                                                             To Mandy

                                                 We'll Meet Again 

                                           as sung by Johnny Cash            
                                  Written by Ross Parker and Hughie Charles

We'll meet again
Don't know where
Don't know when
But I know
We'll meet again
Some sunny day

Keep smilin' thru
Just like you
Always do
'Til the blue skies drive
The dark clouds
Far away

And will you please say hello
to the folks that i know
Tell'em that I won't be long
And they'll be happy to know
That when you saw me go
I was singing this song

We'll meet again
Don't know where
Don't know when
But I know
We'll meet again
Some sunny day

Yeah we'll meet again
I don't know where
And I don't know when
But I do know
That we'll meet again
Some sunny day

So Honey
Keep on smilin' thru
Just like you always do
'Til the blue skies
Drive the dark clouds
Far away

And would you please say hello
To all the folks that I know
And tell'em I won't be long
They'll be happy to know
That when you saw me go
I was singing this song

[With Choir:]
We'll meet again
Don't know where
Don't know when
But I know
We'll meet again
Some sunny day

Just what the doctor ordered

My oldest granddaughter came to spend the night, and brought along my new grand-dog.  Isn't she cute?  Sheesh, I need a haircut, and you can tell I've been crying.  Anyway, it's nice to have a puppy to pet tonight.

It was hard to tell the granddaughters about Mandy, but I told them as soon as they got here from school, and we all cried together.  Then we went and got my horse, Blue, and brushed him... all three of us at once.  That was good for our souls, and Blue enjoyed it. 

It's sad to watch Buddy.  He just looks and looks for Mandy.

Rest in peace, Mandy

This is the last picture taken of Mandy, yesterday evening. The highway she so frequently crossed got her today. I always knew it could happen, but she had a wonderfully happy life, short though it was. And she enriched my life in myriad ways.

Thank You God, for letting me know this dog for awhile.

Robin's Friday 5er

If you want to play all you do is cut and paste these questions into your journal. (there is no deadline as to when you can do "The 5'er) When you have answered them go and leave a link in Robin's comment section.  On the following Friday she will have a new set of questions! Have fun!


This weeks theme is...CONDIMENTS!  Why? Um...I have no idea..sounded fun.  lol




1.  Do you snag extra condiments to take home when you eat at a fast food joint?

very seldom; if we're taking a road trip, I'll sometimes snag some coffee creamer, just in case I need it on the trip; coffee without creamer, I'd rather do without.


2.  What is the one condiment you could not live without?

Miracle Whip or Mayo.


3. Miracle Whip or Mayonaise? 

I prefer Mayo, but Cliff likes Miracle Whip best.  So, because I'm willing to give a little on this issue and he is not, we keep Miracle Whip in the refrigerater.

4.  What is your idea of the perfect hot dog?

Nathan's!  When I visited my friend Joanna, near Washington, DC, she introduced me to Nathan's, and it was love at first bite.  The perfect Nathan's would be cooked on my George Foreman grill and wrapped in a slice of plain, fresh bead.  I'm not big on ketchup or mustard, especially on my hot dogs.

5. Take a picture of some "stolen" condiments in your house and post it.  (If you can't take a pic...take inventrory of what you have and tell me about it.) I know sometimes they aren't actually "stolen" they just give you a lot and maybe you save them in your fridge for another time.

Don't have any.

(I changed Robin's colors for this quiz because hers were too hard to read.)

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Weekend assignment

Weekend Assignment #96: "For ladies: Name an incident when you thought: '"OMG I AM my mother! For guys: Same with your father!"


A single incident?  Impossible.  How can I count the ways I'm like my mother?

Every time I say something to Cliff about how my children could do better at spending their money or raising their children, I AM my mother.  (Yes, my children read this journal, and are probably smirking right now.)  That used to be one of the things that irked me most about Mother.  Don't worry, Cliff reminds me who I sound like.  And I smile sheepishly and shut up.

 Extra credit: What did you parents do when you told them about it?

I didn't.  This is the sort of thing my mother would never have understood.  Perhaps Daddy would have. 

If you'd like to do the weekend assignment, be sure to leave a link to the entry at John Scalzi's blog.

OK, so my journal is going to the dogs!

This is often the sight that greets me when I step out my back door:  two lazy dogs. 

Some of you have asked, in my comment section, how Buddy's doing since a fire destroyed his family's home.

Often, Buddy goes to his family's temporary home for the night, or even a day or two.  But he's here more than he's there.  I told my neighbors there's always food here for him, so he's fine.  He and Mandy were puppies together, and they're practically inseparable.  I do wish he wouldn't insist on peeing on everything, but that's a male dog for you.  Cliff often reminds me that we chose Mandy because she was female and wouldn't be forever marking her territory; then the neighbors acquired Buddy.

Oh, and about the earlier picture of Mandy on the big bale of hay:  No, I didn't help her down.  I had to clip the center out of a shot taken from quite a way off and enlarge it, because as I drew near, she jumped down and ran to greet me at a considerable distance.

I wasn't really tagged, but...

I saw this in a journal called "Still Randomly Rambling", and thought it looked like fun. 

15 years ago Cliff was working at a job he hated, and money was tight.  My son was in Iraq for Dessert Storm.  My (ex) daughter-in-law and their two kids lived with us for several months while my son was overseas.  My concerns were for my son, of course, and for my daughter, whose first marriage was ending.  (Because I kept a written diary at the time, I could write a book about that year if I had to.)

10 years ago Cliff had been at his present job for three years, and, as he had been since he started that job, he was also working part-time for a construction company owned by a friend of ours.  Money was still tight.  My daughter had met Kevin, her present husband, and married him that year.  People I knew were buying computers, but I swore nobody would ever catch me on the Internet.  I was always reading in the newspaper how dangerous it was. 

5 years ago I'd been working at Kohls' Distribution center since July of the previous year, and things were great!  It was an active job, and I loved the fact that I was on my feet walking and moving all day.  It was especially nice to have the money:  I flew to several "chat room reunions" (I'd never flown before) and I got to meet lots of Internet friends.  (Oh yeah, I had long-since forgotten my vow to stay off the Internet, and was on my third computer.

1 year ago I had gone part-time at work because my knees gave out.  All that walking I had loved so much caught up with me.  It wasn't long before I finally quit my job completely.

Yesterday Cliff and I drove to the Social Security office at Warrensburg to clear up a matter, and drove around for about two hours, unable to find the office.  To make up for it, we stopped at Subway and had ourselves a meatball sub.  Subway, thank the good Lord, is diet-friendly.

Today, in addition to the usual, I made a meat loaf for Cliff's sister and her husband, Pat.  He got angry at a bull that kept getting out of his pasture, and shot it, then took it to the butcher shop.  The meat had absolutely NO fat in it.  The butcher shop had added some suet, but not nearly enough.  Charlene said the hamburgers she tried making from it were inedible, and asked what to do.  I told her wait for a sale and buy 70/30 ground beef, and mix half and half with the meat from their skinny bull.  Or, sausage.  Rather than try it, she brought me a couple packages of the meat, saying, "See if you can do anything with this". 

Sure enough.  Mixed in equal parts with fatty ground meat (I used pork), it's delicious.  So I made them a meat loaf and told them to come and get it for their supper.

Tomorrow we'll probably do our grocery shopping.

I won't tag anyone, but hey... it's kind of fun to realize what you were doing back then.  Go ahead, try it!  And come back and leave me a link, so I can check it out.

Something perching on a big bale of hay

Cliff went out ahead of me when it was time for our walk, then stuck his head in the door and said, "Where's the camera?  Come and look where your dog is!"

I guess she figures there's a better view of the neighborhood from there.

a hectic morning

This morning I got this in e-mail from my daughter:

"OK, wonder mom has screwed up again!  I need help.  Natalie wanted to take cookies or something to school for the 100th day of school
(tomorrow).  I forgot.  Yeah, I'm a bonehead.  Anyway, I started
scouring the cabinets and cookbook for anything that I could make.  I
found ingredients for a cake...no cookies....I'm out of baking soda. 
ANYWAY, I bamboozled....errr, I mean, convinced Brett to bake a cake,
and helped him do so.  Now, how do we tie it in to the 100th day?

I have marshmallows and candles, which could probably be fashioned into
the number 100...but I have no frosting ingredients...NONE!  What a
loser you raised.

Do you have what it takes to make some frosting?  Chocolate would be
perfect.  I have cocoa, but no powdered sugar.  I have 2/3 of the
ingredients to EVERYTHING!  If you can make some frosting, we can do
something cute.

Otherwise, the kid is taking plain cake.  I'm OK with that, frankly...I
work.  LOL"

I was working on a solution and had sent her a couple of replies, when she sent another e-mail:

"I don't know what Brett did, but the cake is thin and almost hard!  I
can't send it with her.  Crapped out again."

OK, I had all the ingredients to make brownies, except for the fact that it requires 3 eggs, and I only had two.  I called my daughter and asked her to bring an egg.  Which she did.

Obviously, the culprit here is Natalie.  She volunteered, yesterday, to bring something today.  I gave her a lecture about doing this; her mom is gone from home 12 hours a day, and needs plenty of advance notice for this type of thing; so does Grandma, for that matter, even though I'm home all day.

Probably the right thing to do would have been to let her go empty-handed; she'd learn a lesson that way.  Oh well, I'm a soft touch.  And it certainly jump-started my day.

The brownies may be a little over-done; every time I use those dark pans, although I set the oven temperature 25 degrees lower than the recipe says, things seem to burn easily.  Anyone else have that problem?


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Wednesday diet report

I lost 2 1/2 pounds this past week, and Cliff lost four.  When I began this thing, I didn't divulge my starting weight because I was ashamed of it, but I will now admit that I weighed 188 pounds in mid-December.  This morning I weigh 172.  Cliff was 277 pounds when he started; he now weighs 257. 

We're still walking in the pasture, and our route there takes us up some pretty steep inclines.  We're using parts of our lungs we hadn't used in years, because by the time we top those hills, we're breathing as deeply as is possible.  When we started, we had to stop and catch our breath.  Now we huff and puff our way to the top, but no stopping to rest... and even very little slowing down. 

Cliff's blood pressure:  127/72.  Amazing!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The most controversial post I've ever made

I support our troops.  My son was in the Army for several years, and I'm proud of his service to our country.  I believe in America.

But we need to get out of this war in Iraq.

I hadn't really made up my mind until I watched this DVD, "DEAR AMERICA... Letters Home From Vietman", for the first time in many years; I was touched by it several years ago when it was shown on PBS.

So I recently bought the DVD at half.com.

Folks, I do not cry easily, but these scenes had me on the verge of tears all the time I was watching.

Buy it, rent it... whatever you have to do.  But see this old PBS special that shows footage from the Vietnam conflict, with actors reading letters that real soldiers wrote home to their loved ones.  Look at the faces.  Listen to their words.

Your life will be changed.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Monday Photo Shoot

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Monochromatic

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Share some of your favorite black and white photos. Older pictures are good, but what you also might think about is seeing how some of your favorite color pictures look in black and white -- most computer photo editors will let you make a photo black and white (or sepia-toned -- that's monochromatic, too). This is an opportunity to look at some of your best photos in a new way.

It was hard for me to choose which ones to share, because I have so many favorite old pictures.  But I decided on this one of Mother and Daddy because it's so natural.  I can almost smell the coffee and biscuits.  I'm guessing there's home-canned jam or jelly in those jars.

I like this one because my Grandma's house is in the background, and because this is the only picture I have of Grandma's original Tippy-dog.  She named all her dogs Tippy because it was easier than learning a new name for a new dog.  That's my cousin Betty, me, and my cousin Royce.

My parents are in this shot, and uncles and aunts, and Grandma, of course.  But the thing that I wonder about is this:  What am I doing to cousin Betty????  Why do I have her in a bear hug?  Something tells me I got a scolding for not posing properly for this picture.

Come on, play along, and leave the link to your entry at John Scalzi's blog.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Saturday Six

Here are this week's "Saturday Six" questions. Either answer the questions in a comment at Patrick's Weekender, or put the answers in an entry on your journal...but either way, leave a link to your journal so that everyone else can visit! To be counted as "first to play," you must be the first player to either answer the questions in a comment or to provide a complete link to the specific entry in your journal in which you answer the questions. A link to your journal in general cannot count. Enjoy!

1. Do any of your friends, family or co-workers know about your blogs? For those that do, did you tell them or have they stumbled upon it by themselves?  

Many of my former co-workers know about my journal, although I don't think any of them visit it.  Some relatives visit my blog, many on-line friends, and even a few online acquaintances that don't care for me (which leads me to wonder why they'd waste their time here).  I've often told people to just google "My country life", and they'd find my journal.

2. How did you come up with the title of your blogs?

I knew when I started this journal that I'd be writing about country things, since I live in the boonies.  Hence, "My Country Life".  I started my AIM journal just in case I decided to leave AOL (hence the title, "My Country Life Part 2), but I've ended up using it as a journal for memories of my childhood.

3. Do you prefer to have many projects going on at once or do you prefer multitasking?  

 Oh, I'm always multi-tasking:  sitting in a chat room while reading journals, downloading something while surfing, chatting in IM while writing a poem... I'm a mess.

Oh, do you mean in real life?  One at a time is enough to handle.

4. Take
this quiz (if you haven't already!): What high school stereotype are you?

I'm not so sure I'm happy with that, after watching a movie on Showtime called "Saved" last night.  On the other hand, yes I am.  There are worse things.

5. What was the hardest thing to master when you were learning to drive?   Everything; that's why I never tried to get my driver's license.

6. How well did you do with that one thing on your very first driver's exam?   Never took it.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Update on my neighbors whose house burned

My neighbors got their insurance money, so they are excited and ready to start rebuilding soon.  They came out to mess with the horses and turn the kids loose in the country for awhile; it was good to talk to them.

If you didn't read my entry about their fire, read it HERE.

Friday, January 20, 2006


I see my hit counter has once again reset itself.  I would take it off, but it's fun to see how many hits I get in twenty-four hours.  Yep, it seems to re-set itself every 24 hours.

One of the sweetest voices in the world

I just got a phone call from my kindergarten-aged granddaughter in Georgia.  What a sweet voice that child has.  She informed me that school will be out in eighty days; and when it's out, she is coming to see me.  She said she's excited.

I'm excited too!

In case you wondered, I do have a book

In many past years, I've set a goal for myself to write a poem every day.  Some of those years, I've come very close to doing that.  In my old chat room, there were folks who were interested in seeing what I came up with each day, so I sent out my daily poem to interested people.

Someone was always saying, "You should have a book."

So, since I was working and could afford it, I self-published a book of some of my favorite poems.  More than half of them are of a religious nature, some even based on sermons I've heard.

Thanks to my many on-line friends, I sold enough of those books to pay for the cost of having them printed.  I've since restricted my "poem list" to people who have bought my book and then asked to be on "the list", and to those who can stand to see the bad side of me once in awhile.  Because my poems are my personal form of therapy.  Having a few readers keeps me honest, and committed to my goal.

I'd say at least 95% of my daily poems are mediocre, or even awful.  Sometimes I cop out by writing a poem consisting of only four lines.  But every once in awhile, I write something of which I'm proud, and it's all because I've committed to writing a poem every day.

Since one of my readers e-mailed me saying, "You should have a book," I thought I'd share the fact that I do, indeed, have one.


The 5'er

This weeks theme is...Games! I love playing games.




The Game of LIFE

1.  Have you ever played Truth or Dare? Either as an adult or a child?

Not that I recall


2. What is your all time favorite game? 



3.  Hormones were rampant as a teenager. Did you ever play spin the bottle? Can you tell us about it? 

Don't forget, this is the woman who didn't even DATE until she was twenty.  If someone had suggested "spin the bottle", I'd have run away as fast as possible.

4.  When was the last time you played a game? Who were you with? Where did you play it and what game was it? 

Wow, I think it was last winter at my sister's.  Those playing were: my sister, myself, my daughter, and my daughter's three kids.  I liked the game so well, I bought one for myself, and then never played it.  I loaned it to my daughter and haven't seen it since.  I can't even remember the name of it!  My husband really hates playing cards or games, so we don't do much of it around here.  When we went camping, he and I would play Scrabble every evening in the camper.

5. If "Life" really was a game where would you be on the board?  In Jail? Do not pass go? Bankrupt? Buying out property? Having babies? Boardwalk?

Do not pass go

If you'd like to play, go to Robin's journal and leave your link.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Weekend assignment

Weekend Assignment #95: The Best Money You Ever Spent

Welcome to the first of five Journaler-suggested Weekend Assignments, leading up to the 100th Weekend Assignment a few weeks from now. This week's special Weekend Assignment was suggested by Teeisme57:

"My ex-husband always said the best 10 bucks he ever spent was buying his dog, Ace, from the local animal shelter. What's the best money you've ever spent? Whether it's something you love, something you use all the time or something that doesn't owe you a nickel, what is it?"

I'd have to say it's my horse, Blue.  He's given me so much pleasure.  A morning ride on Blue can turn a bad day into a good one.  He'll take me on a two-hour adventure through the countryside; then, he'll patiently plod around the yard with a grandchild on his back, slow and steady... and go another round with a different child, until every kid has had her turn.

The best $1,000 I ever spent was on Blue. 

"Extra Credit: Aside from food, what's the next purchase you plan to make?"

This time of year we don't plan to make any unnecessary purchases; money is just too tight since I've quit work.  I plan to accompany Cliff's sister and her husband to Barnes and Noble tomorrow night, and if I find a super-bargain on the right book (I love their bargain books) I might buy something there.

If you want to participate in the weekend assignment, leave a link to your journal entry with the assignment at John Scalzi's journal in the comment section.

I rode the horse today

The forecast this morning was for a high of 60 today; indeed, when Cliff and I took our walk in the pasture, it was already 48.  Nice day for a horseback ride.  This picture looks toward my little town, and my daughter's house is practically underneath the water tower in the center.

Blue isn't shod right now, so I can't ride him much on pavement or gravel; but just up and across the road is a huge patch of farm ground that makes for a nice ride in the winter, and it's at least a change from our 43 acres.  43 acres might sound like a big plot, but it doesn't take long to cover it on horseback.

Blue was quite energetic, and somewhat jumpy.  Horses are silly on windy days:  they see leaves or trash moving in the wind, and they think something is after them.

The hit counter has been hit again!

Hey, AOL!!!  Quit messing with my hit counter.  I know there's a way to put numbers back on it, but it's way too complicated for me.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


My granddaughters kissed me goodbye and headed for the door this morning, going out to wait for the bus.  I heard the door open and close, and both girls saying, "Bye, Grandma".

Then, as is often my custom after the kids leave, I propositioned Cliff.  In rather bawdy terms.  (Hey, we're married, so get over it.)

Walking into the kitchen and looking down the hall, I saw my seven-year-old granddaughter was waiting for the bus inside; she was cold, she informed me.

I'm hoping she didn't know what I meant; maybe she thinks her grandparents have a home improvement project to do today.

Otherwise, she's at school thinking, "My grandma and grandpa do THAT?"

Wednesday diet report

I lost my usual one pound in the past week, for a total of thirteen pounds lost since I began dieting in mid-December.  Cliff, as usual, out-did me by losing two pounds.  I've dug out lots of my favorite old low-fat recipes.  Today we're having spicy lentil stew, which is a sort of vegetarian chili.

The two most recent versions of the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook have lots of low-fat dishes in them, and I use them more than the Weight-Watchers and other specialty low-calorie cookbooks.  We concentrate on portion control.  Cliff does fine at home, with me handing him his plate already filled; but left to his own devices, he'll take a second helping every single time (this is an improvement on his past history of returning for a third time).  I try not to say anything at the time, but I told him yesterday I believe the secret to keeping his weight off, once he's lost it, will be to get in the habit of not taking second helpings.

My weak spot is nibbling in the evenings.  That's how I put on most of the excess pounds I'm struggling to rid myself of:  Cliff is at work in the evening, and I like to sit at the computer and munch.  For hours.  It's a rough habit to break.

When we take our walk, Cliff walks a little behind me usually, and he commented that my tush (he used a different word) is looking much smaller.  And he has lost a noticeable amount of his Santa-type belly.  So, we are making progress!

Note:  AOL's spell-check doesn't think "snacking", "dieting" and "tush" are real words.  Oh well.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

sharing the poem I wrote today

One of my New Years' goals was to get back to writing a poem every day.  So far, so good:  I wrote my seventeenth poem of the year today.  To show you how silly I can get, I decided to share this one.                                                      

                                                       INCOME TAX TIME
                                           (the poor man's wintertime victory song)
                                                       © January 17, 2006
                                                            Donna Wood

Things get rough in January;
Gasoline's high, and propane too.
Really, it almost gets scary,
When so many bills are due.

Cliff and I still have a ball
And yes, we always count our blessings.
 But robbing Peter to pay Paul
Can sometimes be a bit depressing.
Wait, I see a small light shining
Through the tunnel, dark and long!
Soon there will be no  more whining;
Soon, you’ll hear me sing a song.

W-2's are being given;
Then our taxes will be filed.
Money woes will all be driven
Somewhere out into the wild.

We’ll make up for overspending
We’ll eat out, and buy some clothes.   
Tax refunds: the happy ending
To a poor man’s winter woes.


Monday, January 16, 2006

another walk on the rails

I had hoped today would be nice enough that the girls and I could have a picnic at the cabin, and start a campfire.  Alas, it's gotten cooler all day.  Even so, we were gone two hours walking along the railroad track.  And not a single train came along while we were there.

We walked a mile or so, to the place where a road crosses the tracks; this is where the train wreck happened, last April.  By the state of the deteriorating railroad ties, I wouldn't be surprised to hear of another train wreck along this area.

We pretty much avoided looking at the big dead dog that we knew was laying along the tracks from last time, and I warned the girls when I saw a dead fox (or is it a coyote?  I didn't think coyotes had bushy tails like that?) up ahead, in case they wanted to avoid him.  He obviously hadn't been there long, and their curiosity got the best of them; they took a good, long look, and expressed their sympathy for him.  I assured them that he probably never knew what hit him. 

It amazes me that any animal would stand there and be hit by a train; you hear and see them coming for so long, and it seems any creature would run away.  That's what Mandy does:  she wants nothing to do with trains!  For some reason, though, the track is strewn with carcasses and bones.

In picture 10, behind the girls is the area of the river bottom where the cornfield fire occurred, and where we eventually got enough free corn to feed two hogs to butchering weight.

On a different topic, Cliff finally tore into my dryer:  It was taking longer and longer to dry a load of clothes, and we knew there had to be lint stopping up the works.  I am not exaggerating when I say we got at least a half-bushel of lint out of the innards of the dryer.  I wish I'd taken a picture!  It had  been a  problem  for some time, but Cliff doesn't enjoy tearing dryers apart the way  he does tractors, so he kept forgetting to do it.

Final edit:  I do believe my reader is correct; that's no fox, it's a coyote.  Which make me happy, because I like foxes better than coyotes, although I'm a big admirer of both (in other words, if one or the other has to die, let it be a coyote).

Monday Photo Shoot

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Whoops!

Not every picture is perfect... and sometimes that can be interesting. Thus, this week's Photo Shoot:

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Show us a picture that didn't quite come out the way you wanted -- but is still interesting.

I took this picture of my dog, Mandy, and my grand-dog, Dixie, wrestling.  It blurred, but I like it anyhow; it rather looks like ghost dogs.

If you want to play along, just post an entry in your journal with your "imperfect" picture and leave the link to that entry at John Scalzi's journal.


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Wow, what a day!

After getting home from early Church, I saddled Blue up and rode in the pasture.  His feet, which had refused to grow for so long, seem to be in need of a trim, finally.  For some reason he is shedding early this year;  when I curried him, handfuls of hair were coming out, as though it were spring.

At 11:30, Cliff and I got on our other "Blue", the Honda Gold Wing, and headed to his sister's house.  After eating corn bread and beans there, we all headed out for a ride, with temperatures heading toward sixty.

We made a stop at Powell Gardens, since the admission fee is very low this time of year.  I can see how it would be breathtakingly beautiful when flowers are blooming, but, as Cliff said, "It's a place where city people can get a taste of the country."

He's right.  And there's no need for folks like us to pursue such places, since we have our own nature gardens at home.

We didn't spend a lot of time there, because we were all anxious to be on the road again.

Cliff and I put another 100 plus miles on the motorcycle.

After coming home, I made potato soup, and the troops all came for supper... troops meaning my daughter's family and Pat and Charlene, who went home and got their car before rejoining us. 

Finally, with everyone gone home, I wrote my daily poem and sang my daily song... plus another one.

Another good day.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

too-many-pictures alert!

Here you have it folks, a pictorial journal entry of my day with my husband, the slave-driver.

Friday, January 13, 2006

The Friday 5'er

This weeks theme is...Birthdays!

1.  How many candles will be on your next birthday cake?

Sixty-two, and I earned every one.

2. If you get a birthday cake do you prefer butter cream frosting or the whipped?

I'd just be glad to get a cake.  But if I'm not down to my desired weight by July, forget the cake.

3. What was the best birthday present you ever got?

One year I told Cliff I wanted a boar hog to breed the two sows I had.  And that's what he got me.  I was pretty darned happy with that gift. 

4.  Has anyone ever thrown a surprise birthday party for you?  If so did you know about it or were you really surprised. If not, would you like for someone to throw you one?

It's a rather strange story:  The year I turned 50, I told Cliff I wanted a surprise party.  He made a pitiful attempt, but he didn't even think to invite most of my friends.  At that party, which was NOT a surprise since I'd requested it, I mentioned that I'd have liked for him to invite my old aunts and uncles and some cousins.  The next weekend, Cliff took me out to breakfast.  When we returned home, my yard was full of the relatives I most cared about.  Of course it was a total surprise because I'd already had my (pathetic) "surprise" party.  My mother, bless her heart, had arranged for the second party. 

5. If you could be any age on your next birthday and have that age stick how old would you want to be?

I would be ten years old forever.

If you'd like to play, just copy and paste the questions to your journal, answer them, and leave a link to your entry in the comment section at Robin's journal.

My hit counter got tired?

My hit counter decided to start all over again at 1.  Oh well, at least a third of those hits were probably mine, from going back and editing my entries where I'd left out words, or misspelled them.

One of my earliest poems

Most of my young life was spent in small towns, where Mother and Daddy were the telephone operators.  In Iowa, daddy also worked as a hired hand helping an old codger named Ted Davis milk his cows twice a day.  I loved to go along and see the milking done.  It was a primitive operation: they actually milked the cows out in an open lot, by hand.  I'm not sure how they got them to stand still; maybe they gave them some grain.

We moved to another small town, in Missouri this time.  We were close enough to Grandma and Uncle Leo so that I got a taste of farm life quite often.

When the modern telephone system came to our town and put Mother and Daddy out of work, Daddy became a full-time hired hand outside town; included in the job was a farmhouse we could live in.  Finally we were living on a real farm!  Mother went to work in town at a grocery and dry goods store to help make ends meet, which left me pretty much free to roam the fields and pastures.  I learned where blackberries grew, and found wild strawberries along the road in season.  Daddy was always around somewhere, if I needed him.  But nobody bothered me in my meanderings.  That was one of the best summers of my life.

I didn't have a clue that we were "going under" financially.

So my heart broke when we had to move to Kansas City.  We had to put my old dog, Cookie, down.  She had a huge tumor on her belly that dragged the ground, and there was no place for her in an apartment anyway.  I was allowed to take one of my barn cats when we moved, to console me. 

I'd almost forgotten the desolation in my twelve-year-old heart for our first few months in the city until, going through old photos today, I found this poem Mother had saved.  I wrote it in 1956.  By the way, my penmanship hasn't improved much since then.

While I did not go back to that particularfarm, I realize today how much of my life has been spent making that dream come true.  I've had almost any farm animal you can think of, at one time or another, thanks to the cooperation of my husband.

And when I roam our woods and fields, whether alone or with dogs or grandchildren, I am twelve years old again.

Dreams do come true.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

So, if you google Dr. Martin Luther King.....

If you Google Martin Luther King, Jr., some of the things that come up are not so nice.  And perhaps they are true, I really don't know.

In this day and age, we know too much, sometimes, about public figures.

I choose to salute the good things Martin did, and the positive changes he made.  That's what I'll pass on to my grandchildren.

The same goes for Richard Nixon.

And John F. Kennedy.

And my favorite Christian politician, Jimmy Carter.

And even Abraham Lincoln.  (yes folks, if you Google far enough on Lincoln, you'll find some skeletons in his closet.)

The Bible says, "By their fruits ye shall know them."  Matthew 7:20

I choose to take that route.

Thank You, Jesus.

I've been scanning for hours

I decided to go through some of my mom's old picture albums, scan interesting photos, and throw away any pictures in which I didn't recognize the people, or in which the quality was so poor they were worthless.

I'm really sorry that Mother, in her later years, wrote on the pictures like she did.  And yet, I guess it makes them unique; it puts her signature on them.

If I were writing stories about the pictures, I'd have put this in my other journal, but I simply wanted to share some of my favorite old shots.

Going through albums this way, it's disappointing to find some of the pictures faded until they're hardly there at all.  And some get stuck in the album until you can't remove them without tearing them.  That's why I figured it'd be best to scan my favorites, so they don't deteriorate even more.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Martin Luther King, Jr.



My granddaughter, Monica, is studying Missouri history.  Her lesson today included some things about slavery in America (and Missouri), and she and her sister both heard facts today about Martin Luther King, Jr., since his day is coming up soon, and they'll have the day off school.

Because it was on their minds, I told them what a great speaker the man was.  I love good preaching, and MLK was a great preacher.  He knew how to stir people's hearts.

Then I went to this web site, where you can download Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech, and I started listening to it.  Monica was doing her homework at the kitchen table, and Natalie was in my bedroom playing a game on the Playstation.  But as Martin reached the crescendo of his speech, both girls were drawn to the computer like metal to a magnet, listening.  Natalie was disappointed when she saw it wasn't a video.

My granddaughters really will never know how bad it was:  how African-Americans had to use inferior bathroom facilities because they weren't allowed to use the same sanitary rest rooms as white people.  How they couldn't sit at the counter of a restaurant with white people.  How they had to enter some places through the back door.  And how they had to sit at the back of the bus.

Let's thank God that things are better now.  It isn't perfect, but at least we've come further than we were in 1963.  And much of that is due to Martin Luther King, Jr.

And I'm thankful to my friend Joanna that, just one time, I was able to  stand on those steps where Martin Luther King Jr. made that speech.  It was one of the high spots of my life.

Mandy has a new doctor

We got a postcard from the animal hospital a couple of months ago telling us that Mandy was due for her booster shots.  Tony, across the road, can give all the doggie shots except rabies.  That one has to be obtained at a veterinarian's office.

The last time Mandy was there for her shots, we were rather miffed that we were charged $20 for a "check-up".  That consisted of the vet listening to her heart with a stethoscope.

So Cliff asked me to call the same vet today, and find out how much it would cost to get Mandy's shots.  I was told that would be $44, all totaled. 

"How much is the rabies shot alone?"  I asked.  "Mandy is healthy and doesn't need the checkup."

"Oh, the checkup is required," the lady replied.  "And it's $20."

So I called another vet in a more rural area.  We can walk in there, get Mandy's shot, and leave.  $14.

Yes, Mandy has a new doc.

Wednesday weight loss report

I've lost one pound this week; Cliff lost two.  In all, I've lost eleven pounds since mid-December, and Cliff has lost fourteen; of course, he has lots more to lose than I do.  A nurse took our blood pressure yesterday:  his was 130/82.  Mine was 130/68.  His total cholesterol is 177; mine is 213.  Oops.  Ruth, the nurse, said they like it to be under 180.   

I was a little disappointed at another one-pound loss, until I realized that if I keep up at that rate, I'll be at my goal by my birthday in July.  That isn't so bad.

We are still walking, but instead of the little track at the local park, we're walking for a half-hour in our pasture.  It's hard on our heels (bone spurs), but we get lots better exercise.  We go up and down some huge hills that way; the track at the park is level, and really not a challenge.  The hills have done wonders for my lung capacity, and the scenery is much better.  Not to mention that the dog (or dogs) can accompany us.  Because the ground is snow-covered today, though, we'll do the track.

I'm back in the jeans I "outgrew" last fall, and that's a good feeling.  Cliff's back into some clothes that "the dryer had shrunk" (his excuse) too.  So, we are making progress!

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A couple of New Year's goals I failed to mention

Back in this entry, I more or less said I was doing OK with my New Year's goals, the ones I listed here.  I failed to mention three of my "goals".

1.  The Flylady thing.  Well, at least my sink is clean at night.  And my bathroom gets swished and swiped every morning.  Otherwise, I'm limping along, a rather crippled, pathetic flybaby.

2.  Enjoy every day.  I'm certainly enjoying life every day, but I believe I could do better.

3.  Write a poem a day.  So far, I've written a poem for every day of this year.  Some are pretty lame.  Some are short.  Here's today's poem, as an example.

                                                 © January 10, 2005
                                                        Donna Wood

The snow is falling gently down.
My house is a cocoon.
The earth is white instead of brown
This peaceful afternoon.

Folk music settles on my ears
And makes my soul serene.
And calms, for now, my doubts and fears,
Sweet respite from routine.

Thanks, Sue!

Cliff and I both agree this egg beater should last longer than my last two; it's much heavier and better made.

The souvenir I bought with you in mind in Mexico, two years ago, is on it's way.  Finally.

(See that wound on the finger of my right hand?  I developed two blisters New Year's Eve, cutting confetti.  Just about the time it's healed, I bump it again.)

about my toenails

Toonguy asked in a comment how a person goes about having her toenails permanently removed.

Let me begin this by saying I never had pretty, feminine feet.  I went barefoot all my life when possible, until this recent "heel spur" problem came up.

Some women like to paint their toenails and wear sandals to show off their cute little tootsies.  I never wanted to do anything to attract attention to my size-ten, calloused feet; they drew enough attention on their own.

I remember exactly when the ugly toenail fungus made its appearance, because I know where I lived at the time; it was around 1979.  Shortly after I started walking three miles a day for exercise, there seemed to be some sort of build-up under some of my toenails.  Ewwww.  It didn't cause any pain, so I lived with it for years.  Until 2002, I believe.

The condition got worse, and because the job I had required me to walk rather briskly for eight hours a day, excluding breaks, my big toes began to rub on the tops of my shoes.  Discomfort set in.

You've probably seen the ads on TV for a prescription you can take by mouth for nail fungus.  While I was at the doctor for some reason or other, I showed her my toes and asked about remedies for toenail fungus.  She was totally honest with me... I like that in a doctor.  Here were my options:

1.  There's a prescription stuff you can paint on your toenails, and it might help.  But when you stop using it, the fungus will likely return.  Oh, and it takes months for it to work, even if it does work.

2.  The oral medication can work; again, it takes months, simply because toenails take a long time growing in.  But the drug can be dangerous to your liver, so the doctor has to keep checking liver function periodically.  And the fungus will likely return eventually.

3.  Have your toenails permanently removed.  If you want to read about the procedure, click HERE.  But beware, there are some ugly pictures of toenail fungus.  I'd advise you not to click on it too early in the morning, or too soon after a meal.  And by the way,my toenails weren't that bad.

(Yes, I've heard all about the home remedies; and yes, I've tried most of them.  Vicks, vinegar... nothing worked for me.  If it worked for you, that's wonderful.)

If you only have one or two toenails removed, the podiatrist will do it in his office.  I had all ten at once done, so I went to a surgicenter.  There was some pain, as there is with any precedure like that; if I hadn't tried to return to work too soon, though, I wouldn't have had a major problem, because I wouldn't have had shoes on.  My toes could have been open to the air and everything would have been dandy. 

The doctor destroys the root of the nail with acid, and the nail will never grow back.  It's possible to remove the nails and let them grow back, but my very honest doctor told me the fungus would likely return with the nails.

And there you have it.  I'd advise toenail removal to anyone having problems with fungus.  Naked toes may be ugly, but not half as ugly as the fungus.

Monday, January 9, 2006

Monday Photo Shoot

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Photograph a body part. Tell us something interesting about that body part. "Body part" for these purposes can also include scars and such. Also, although I know I don't have to remind you all about this: This is AOL. When shooting body parts, remember the Terms of Service, please.

John, you didn't say it had to be MY body part.  And since Mandy was asleep on the floor, I chose Mandy's nose as my favorite body part.  Something interesting about it?  Well, if I lay down beside Mandy, her nose will touch my face in sort of a kiss.  I like Mandy's nose.  Please don't remind me where it's been lately, like Cliff is inclined to do. 

In all honesty, I was going to show you a toe.  My big toe.  With no toenail, since I had my toenails permanently removed (fungus).  But I looked at the picture and almost gagged at the sight of the world's ugliest feet.   

Be thankful that Mandy was nearby.  Be VERY thankful.

Anybody else want to participate in this photoshoot?  If so, leave the link at John's blog.

Sunday, January 8, 2006

Patrick's Saturday Six

1. What is your most successful "home remedy" and how did you first hear about or discover it?  Do zinc lozenges count?  I swear, if you start sucking on those things at the beginning of a cold, they will stop that cold in its tracks.  I kept reading about it online, in the newspaper, and Reader's Digest.

2. Do you ever use substitutes for food ingredients, like sugar or salt substitutes? Yes  If so, which do you use?  We use Sweet 'N Low in our tea and on cereal.

3. How often do you go to a mall or shopping center just to window shop, with no intention of actually buying anything?  Since I don't drive, and my husband hates to shop, very seldom.  Sometimes if he's going to Tractor Supply, I'll have him drop me off at Walmart. 

4. How often in those trips do you actually end up buying something anyway?  Every single time

5. Take this quiz (if you haven't already!): What is your biggest social dysfunction? 

Your Social Dysfunction:
You are excessively sensitive to potential rejection, humiliation or shame. You tend to be socially withdrawn, in spite of desire for acceptance from others.

6. What possession would you most like to have by the end of 2006 that you did without in 2005?  Geesh, haven't we been through this before?  A  new house!

Join in the fun:  Answer the questions in your journal, then leave the link to that specific entry at Patrick's Saturday Six!

A nice Sunday

I started the day peeling potatoes; that way I had one thing done toward dinner before I went to Church.  The roast in the crockpot required no attention.  We went to early service, like always.  That gets us home shortly after 9, and gives me plenty of time to make rolls and get all the other stuff cooked.  Dessert was a pineapple upside-down cake I made yesterday evening.

The usual guests assembled:  My daughter's family, minus Brett, but with a friend of Monica's here to fill in for him; and our motorcycle buddies... Cliff's sister and her husband.

Monica's little friend is reputed to be a picky eater, but she made three rounds at the glazed carrots and green beans in my buffet server.

How do you like my new roaster?  It's my Christmas gift from Cliff.  I wanted it so I'd be able to cook a turkey or ham in there, which would leave my oven free for other things, when I'm cooking for a crowd.  The buffet server is a bonus, and I like it!  It keeps your food warm for you, just like buffets in restaurants.  This was the first time I used it.

How am I doing on my New Year's resolutions on the eighth day of January? 

1.  So far I'm losing weight... slowly

2.  I've kept up with my daily Bible reading

3.  I've played my guitar and sung at least one song every day except yesterday; I simply forgot to do it!

4.  I've ridden my horse twice this year; my goal was to ride him at least once a week, even in winter.  So far, so good.

Now I'm off to sing my song.

Saturday, January 7, 2006

pimping some message board buddies

I go to a couple of message boards, but the main one I use is Country Living.  For the most part it's a pleasant group of folks, although every once in awhile a personality clash might rear its ugly head.

On message boards, as in chat rooms, it is easy to be misunderstood:  Something you hear in your head as spoken, somehow doesn't come out the same in type; and that can get you in trouble.

Once in a while a person will be accused of "hogging" the board, so I got leery of typing too much on any subject.  But I had things to say.  LOTS of things.

That's when I discovered journals.  I can expound all I want to on subjects that people might not want to read about on message boards.  If I bore them, they need not read it.  They don't even have to return to my journal, ever.

I've recommended journaling to some of my message board friends who are great story-tellers.  I've added them to my "favorite journals" on the left, but I'll pimp their journals in this entry, simply because I want to get them off to a good start.

The first one to join me in J-Land was Fernan,  with Fernan's Farm Report.  He's a farmer, and has plenty of tales about "his girls".  (His shorthorn cows.)  He's sort of an ornery old coot, but he grows on you.

Then came Kelly from Georgia, who felt her chicken stories weren't always welcome on the message board.  She's made a good start at blogging. 

And today, we have a new addition from the message board.  Meet Mel.  You're going to love her stories over at Mel's Chronicles.

Friday, January 6, 2006

a sad, yet hopeful, letter

Probably most of you have seen the letter left by one of the dying miners for his family.  It haunts me.  What faith this man had, and how great a love for his family.  He was thinking of them during his last, dying breaths.

"This letter released by the Toler family on Thursday Jan. 5, 2006 in Flatwoods, W. Va was written by Martin Toler Jr., who died with 11 other miners in the Sago mine. The note was given to Martin's brother, Tom Toler, by the coroner. It reads 'Tell all I see them on the other side JR I love you It wasn't bad just went to sleep' (AP Photo/Courtesy of the Toler Family, HO)"

About the egg beater

I got an instant message awhile ago from one of my Virginia friends, Sue.  She had read my entry about the egg beater.

She informed me she had just bought a brand new one exactly like the one pictured in my journal.  At a thrift store.  For twenty-five cents.

She says I can have it.

This reminded me that I have a souvenir from my visit to Mexico two years ago that I intended for her.  I never did send it.  Yes, I'm a procrastinator.  That, and I kept thinking I'd see her, and give it to her personally.

Funny how life works, isn't it?

Robin's Friday Five

Robin is at it again.  If you want to play, copy and paste the questions to your journal and answer them for yourself.  Then leave the link to that entry at Robin's blog.

This weeks theme is...potatoes. I don't know why...I am just thinking about them.


1.  When was the last time you had mashed potatoes?  Were they regular mashed potatoes or some kind of fancy version?

I fixed mashed potatoes for our Christmas dinner, regular mashed potatoes with lots of cream or half-and-half, and butter.  And I'll be mashing potatoes this weekend to go with the roast I'm planning to cook.  Mashed potatoes is one of my husband's favorite dishes, so if we have a big dinner, we have mashed potatoes; otherwise he'd probably cry.


2.  Do you grow your own veggies? Have a garden? If so are potatoes one of the things you grow?

I've had many a garden, and lots of those gardens did include potatoes.  Potatoes are fun to harvest because you get such a huge amount for your efforts.  My garden days are behind me, except for a few tomatoes.


3. French fried potatoes...do you like natural cut fries, with skin still on or the McDonald's kind? 

I'm not as big on French fries as most people, but I'd say my favorite are Burger King fries; they're similar to McDonalds.


4.  How about potato salad?  Do you like it? Have a family recipe you have used for  years?

I make potato salad when we barbecue.  I like it just fine.  It's one food for which I don't use a recipe.  I just add a little more of this and that until it tastes right to me.

5.  Did you have a Mr. Potato head as a kid?  Ever purchased one for someone else's kid? 

Yes, I had one; but I broke the little spike things off trying to use a real potato.  Never bought one for anyone else.


Bonus question just cause I think potatoes are cool...did you ever put a potato in a glass jar with water and watch the roots grow in school. Like a science experiment?  No; but I recall doing an experiment where you put drops of iodine on a cut potato, and the potato turns colors.   And does anyone know what the purpose of that experiment is?  Don't know the purpose of Robin's OR mine.

Oh, and a note about my previous entry:  Yes, I realize I can find egg  beaters on Ebay.  It's just hard for me to imagine paying $15 or more (including shipping) for an egg beater.  (Remember, I don't have a job now; that makes a difference.)  However, I may end up doing it, if I don't find one elsewhere.

I want an egg-beater!


Yeah, like that.  I can't find them at Walmart.  I think I bought my last one at Price-chopper, a grocery store, hanging in an aisle with other such kitchen tools.

What happened to that one?  They just don't make them like they used to, and I get about two years' use out of an egg beater before it wears out... and that's pushing it, using it long after it needs to be tossed.

Most people ask why I'd want one, when I have a perfectly good KitchenAid mixer.


Here's the thing:  If I want to beat a couple of eggs and then mix them with milk for my home-made rolls, for instance, who wants to dirty up a beater and a big ole bowl like that?  I can use my egg beater and mix them in the measuring cup that's already been used to measure the milk.  (Have I mentioned I don't have a dishwasher?)

The other question I'm often asked is this:  Why don't you just use a whisk?


Whisks are fine to mix up scrambled eggs, or get lumps out of something you're cooking on top of the stove.  But when a recipe calls for "well-beaten eggs", you aren't going to get the job done with a whisk.

Anybody know where I can find an egg beater?

just checking something

Found this on a message board:  No matter who looks at it, it'll give them information about their own system.  Like looking in a mirror.

Thursday, January 5, 2006

One happy dog

Mandy can sleep well tonight, knowing her best friend, Buddy, is back... in fact, I'm sure he is out at the barn, waiting for me to put her to bed for the night.  Resting up for their romp in the morning.  (I'm really glad I got Mandy spayed.)

this was going to be a sad story...

Yesterday morning when I went to turn Mandy loose, the neighbor's dog, Buddy, wasn't there to greet me.  Usually he hears me, comes stretching and yawning out of the barn, and waits for Mandy to be freed from her pen.  Then the two "kids" run and romp together, celebrating Mandy's freedom.  I didn't think much about his absence until I realized, after noon, that I still hadn't seen Buddy.  His owners must have taken him to their temporary home, in town.

And Mandy got depressed.  She really didn't want in the house; she preferred to lie in the littered area of my yard where she and Buddy wreak destruction on various kids' toys, baskets, bones and styrofoam pieces.  I guess she was waiting for her friend.

The only time I saw her act happy yesterday was when I went for a walk in the pasture, and she accompanied me.  With birds and squirrels to chase, she was her old self.

This morning, again, she was alert and animated on our walk... especially when she saw a fox to pursue!  When she returned to the house after her chase, though, she was sad again.

I hunted up the old frisby I bought when she was a puppy; I'd hoped she'd learn to do tricks with it.  She never took a lot of interest in it, so I put it away months ago.  But today I got it out, thinking my dog needed some playtime.

She did go get it a few times, and appeared to be enjoying herself.  Then she picked up an old chewie, laid down and started to work it over.  If Buddy is around, he keeps after Mandy until he manages to take her chewie away, and she loves that game.  So I played Buddy's part, taking it away from her and tossing it.  Then we did the same with an old bone.  I was trying my best to take Buddy's place.

In the middle of snapping pictures of my unhappy dog, I saw Buddy's owner's pickup go past; they have to come out twice a day to feed the horses.  I waved, and went on with the games... when suddenly a streak of white came running around the house.  It was Buddy!  They brought him back. 

Mandy's happy again, and so am I.  Roxanna said she was going to leave Buddy out here; he'd get in trouble in town.

Life is back to normal.

A reminder of how quickly a person is forgotten

Because it's the area where my mother was born, and some of my uncles and aunts lived out all, or parts, of their lives, I sometimes go to the website of a small Missouri town:  Eagleville.com.  I attended school there for around three years, and sometimes I'll see a familiar name mentioned.

The lady who maintains the website asks for old pictures from her readers, which she posts on the website and challenges folks to figure out who the picture is.  I enjoy seeing the photos, and once in awhile I'll see someone I used to know as a child.  For instance, Eagleville had two grocery and dry-goods stores, and I saw a picture of the two proprietors of both, together, in their younger days.

I recently submitted a school picture of second-and-third grade kids that included me; someone my age quickly answered that quiz and named every single kid in the picture!  I only knew first names of three or four of them.

Then I decided to send a picture of my grandma, taken before 1960.

Grandma was well-known by everyone, back then.  She quilted constantly, and charged a ridiculously small sum for the quilts she sold... so of course she sold many.  I remember how many people greeted her, and stopped to chat, on the sidewalks and in the stores of Eagleville. 

When she died, the attendence at her funeral was huge!

But now, some forty years after her death, nobody remembers her.  Some people even printed off the picture and took it to meetings with them, trying to figure it out.

Finally, after a hint that included her Church affiliation and her youngest son's first name, someone guessed her last name.

How quickly we are forgotten.  It reminds me of a Bible verse I recently read:

"All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass.  The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away."  I Peter 1:24

Followed by this statement, in verse 25:

"But the word of the Lord endureth forever."