Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Was I supposed to name the book I used in the previous entry?  It's "Vital Signs", by Robin Cook.

a game I've seen around the journals

Here are the rules:

1.  Grab the nearest  book.
2.  Open to page 123.
3.  Find the fifth sentence.
4.  Post the text of the next four sentences along with these instructions.
5.  Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in the back of your closet! I know that is what you are thinking!
6.  Tag four or five people.

He tapped the woman ADA on the shoulder and spoke to her at length. 

Once he had finished, the woman began conferring with her two colleagues.

"We will set a pre-trial conference date for May 8, 1990," the clerk of the court said.

"If it please the court, Your Honor," the assistant district attorney said, once again approaching the bench, "there has been a development in this case.  Mr. Brian Pearson would like to address the court."

"And who is Mr. Brian Pearson?" Judge Burano demanded.

I won't tag anyone; if you want to have a go at it, do so.

Look at this!

DesLily fixed me up with this picture and made my dream come true!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Thank You, Lord


                                Jeff and Sheri Easter

While the world looks upon 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.

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, though the world may not see.
Thank you, Lord, for Your blessings on me.


Wasted trips and crazy dreams

Cliff agreed, some time back, to take me to Iowa City, Iowa, to see Iris Dement in person.  She's my current favorite folk/country singer.  Cliff really doesn't care for her, and he isn't crazy about six-hour road trips.  But for me, he agreed to bite the bullet and go.  I bought the tickets months ago.

Saturday I grabbed one of my garage-sale paperbacks for the road, since I always read aloud on our trips to make the time pass.  Sudden Prey turned out to be a real page-turner, and kept us on the edge of our seats; I stopped reading once in awhile to gaze at the lovely fall folliage, which is at its peak now.  We left home before 10 AM, only got lost once, early in the trip, and arrived in Iowa City around 5:00.  The first thing we did was locate the Englert theater.  Iris Dement's name was on the marquis, along with Saturday's date.  Good.  Then on to get ourselves a motel.

Iowa City is a college town, and when we got there, a big football game had just ended.  What a crowd!  Of course, because of the game, the motels had jacked their rates up to a ridiculous level.  So, we chose the crummy little Motel 6 and paid $72.  After all, we'd only be sleeping there after the show, and heading home early the next morning.

As always, I had packed a cooler with salad makings.  That took care of our supper, and then we headed to the theater for the show.

I couldn't believe my eyes:  There, under Iris' name on the marquis, was a huge "POSTPONED".  That wasn't there before.  I went inside to get my refund (I certainly wasn't going to make that long trip again in December) and was told Iris had laryngitis, and had called them just a couple of hours earlier.

I was more disappointed for  Cliff than for myself.  After all, he had only made this trip for my benefit. 

So there we were, stuck in a Motel 6  watching a 19-inch TV for the evening.

We were both awake by 5 AM, hit the road early, and were home by 10.  We got 2/3 of the way through "Sudden Prey" because I read almost non-stop on our trip home.  

We had a brief motorcycle ride and I gave some attention to my horses.  I'm being very careful not to mention Iris, and I won't be playing her music while Cliff is in the house.

I made spaghetti for dinner.  Cliff's favorite.

Last night, I dreamed Jay Leno flew his airplane right up to my door, got out with briefcase in hand, and started to visit with me.  He was laughing and joking as though we were old friends.  My granddaughter took pictures of us, standing side by side.

This dream, no doubt, was my subconscious way of dealing with not seeing Iris.  So, Iris didn't appear for her show?  That's OK, because my good friend Jay Leno came to my house just to talk to me.

I wish I could remember what we talked about.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Celeste left a comment on one of yesterday's entries that I might need to define "gelding", because someone had suggested that Libby and Blue might make babies together some day.

Well, Celeste, I did e-mail that person with an explanation.  But I'm sure I have more city readers than country ones, so I'll do an entry on this anyhow.

A gelding is a neutered male horse.  Stallions can be dangerous, for the average person.  So most male colts are gelded. 

Years ago, when I had my first horse, the word was that you didn't want to "geld" a horse until he had a little age on him, so he'd muscle up and be prettier.  That theory has gone by the way, and from what I'm told, most horse colts (male baby horses) are "fixed" early on.

One would think, then, that a gelding would show no interest in the opposite sex, and as a matter of fact, my horse, Blue, does not.

However, Tude, one of our boarded horses, thinks he's a stallion.  When Sassy (our other boarded horse) comes in season, Tude goes through all the motions, even though he's a gelding.  Only he can't make her pregnant.  Blue calmly grazes at a distance... wondering, I imagine, why on earth Tude is wasting so much energy.

Geldings who act like stallions are known as "proud-cut".  I used to think that meant something had gone wrong  with the operation when the animal was gelded; but from what I've recently read on the Internet, that isn't so.  Sometimes it just happens, for no apparent reason.

If my Libby shows signs of being in season, and Tude is interested, I'm going to separate them until she's over it.  Why should she get a backache just because a gelding thinks he's a stud?

And there you have it, folks, more than you ever wanted to know:  Geldings, 101.

Friday, October 27, 2006

It's all about perspective... and I learned it on Sesame Street

Some thirty-five years ago, my daughter loved Sesame Street.  That show was a guilt-free way to keep my toddler entertained, and I enjoyed it, too... which was a bonus.  Big Bird, Bert and Ernie (before anyone cared what their life-styles were), Cookie Monster (before he was forced to turn to veggies and fruits): 

What characters they were, and I loved them all.

My favorite memory from Sesame Street is a song.  The more years that go by, the more I realize this song holds one of the secrets of happiness. 

                          "THAT'S ABOUT THE SIZE OF IT"

Oh everything comes in its own special size
I guess it can be measured by where you put your eyes
It looks big when you're close
And it looks smaller back a bit
That's about the size of it.

Oh the big becomes the little
When you see it back a bit
The huge becomes the dinky
Which is just the opposite
Of the larger that gets smaller
It never seems to fit
That's about the size of it.

That's about the size
It's where you put your eyes
That's about the size of it

Because, you know, the problems that seem so enormous today shrink with the passage of time, and diminish, until eventually you wonder why you were so concerned about them back then.

That's about the size of it.

It's still gloomy, but....

It's quit raining now, so I put on my chore boots and sloshed through mud to go mess with the horses.

Adam and Jessica took the two horses they board with us on a weekend trip, so it's just Blue and Libby for a couple of days.  I figured this was the perfect time to introduce my filly to the wider world of our 43 acres.

If she's gotten shocked yet on the electric fence, I haven't seen it.  She and Blue went for a run when I first turned her out, but she seemed to have avoided the wire.

I don't think she'd founder on that tall grass at this time of year, but I'm trying to introduce her to things slowly.  Horses' stomachs can be pretty touchy. 

I imagine we'll start feeding some hay the first of November; there'll still be grass, but I don't know how many nutrients are in it in winter.

The grandson took a few bales of our alfalfa to the sale barn a couple of weeks ago, and it brought $4.30 per bale.  Amazing!  I hope our horses know they're getting some prime food.  We have some big round bales of orchard grass and clover we'll feed, and perhaps just supplement with the alfalfa.  I wonder how much it will be worth in January?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

a gloomy autumn day

The way I used to beat the blues, on days like these, was to bake cookies.  Those lovely smells wafting through the house took me back to my childhood and memories of Mama.  Comfort food, for sure. 

However, I don't need that sort of temptation around, as much as the granddaughters would have enjoyed the home-made cookies. 

Cliff and I did our weekly shopping this morning, so that made use of part of the rainy day.  The granddaughters got home from school an hour early, having gone with their classes to the circus.  Cliff headed off to work, and I gave some attention to my filly, Libby; but it was pretty wet out, and I cut the session short.  I hate it when I can't be outside.

My cousin Pauline, the one working on family geneology, was here with her husband Sunday, returning some old letters I'd loaned her.  They always come bearing gifts from their Iowa farm:  this time they brought three varieties of apples, and three dozen eggs.

Some of the apples, I forget the name of them, were huge and red, and Pauline said they were cooking apples.  Since, as a result of our weight-control efforts, apple pie is a rare and mostly-forbidden thing here, I opted for applesauce.  Those big apples made a quart and a half of sauce, at least.  The granddaughters would have eaten it all the first day, but I saved plenty for Cliff, who likes applesauce on toast for breakfast.  He finished off the last of it this morning.

My cousin also brought me a LOT of Golden Delicious apples, and I decided today to make more applesauce.  I don't add sugar, just a little sweet-and-low if it's too tart.  So it's very low-calorie. 

Once that was simmering, I used some of the marked-down bananas I found at the grocery store and made banana bread, two loaves.  I won't say it's diet food, but I only used the whites of the eggs and gave the yolks to Sadie; and I substituted whole wheat flour for half the flour.  No cholesterol, no trans-fats, no hydrogenated anything.  We'll just have to slice it thin and try not to eat too much.  I'll probably freeze one loaf.

I satisfied my need to cook and bake, and there's not one cookie in the house to tempt me! 

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

, and scratching my head and wondering....

If you use AOL mail, you probably know that it's possible to check and see what has happened to mail you've sent to other AOL members.  You can see whether the mail was deleted without being read, or, if it was read, you can see at what time. 

What would you think if someone sent you three e-mails in a row.  When you opened the mail, you skimmed over it and saw it was only jokes; and then the person let you know they were disappointed in you because you read all three e-mails in one minute.

Any thoughts on this?

I should probably add that at the time this happened, I had just bought a filly, and was anxious to get outside and get acquainted with her.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Just horsin' around

After hearing the forecast for the next two days (rain), I knew I'd better grab a horseback ride.  Cliff and I took our walk, I played with Libby awhile, and then off I went.  I'm afraid I wasn't very stylish in my Carhart coveralls and black stocking cap, but I was warm. 

At one point I had to seek out a wooded area for a "pit stop"... no easy matter when a lady is wearing coveralls over her jeans.  As we approached the spot I'd chosen, I said, "Blue, time for a pee."

I had just assumed the position when Blue decided he'd pee too!  I guess you'd have had to be there, but it was so funny to me, as though he'd understood what I said.

I've spent over an hour with Libby today, all told, and she isn't nearly as touchy as she was yesterday.  I got to thinking about her trip here:  we don't have a horse trailor; we brought her home in a livestock trailor, which allows quite a bit of bumping and bruising, even if the animal is tied up.  I'm betting she has some sore spots, and that's why she was touchy yesterday.  She allowed me to handle a lot bigger area of her body today.  I sing to her while I pet and brush her, because supposedly it's good for a horse to hear your voice.  And I run out of conversation if I try to keep talking.  Singing works out just fine.  I believe Libby especially liked "Amazing Grace".  (Just kidding, of course.)  I led her around later and let her graze quite a bit.

The problem we had with Tude chasing her is a thing of the past.  The horses got acquainted through the fence yesterday and last night, and when I let the big horses in the lot this morning, there was only a very little jostling for pecking order.  Once we teach Libby about electric fences, she'll be able to run with the big guys.

Days don't come much better than this.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Our first day with Libby

After Libby's spending last night in the pen alone with Blue, we decided to introduce her to the two horses that are boarded here, this morning.  Sassy did just fine with her.  Tude's behaviour, however, was terrible.

He chased Libby around and around the pen, trying his best to bite her as they ran.  When we were finally able to get him near the gate, we got him away from her.  So the three big horses grazed in the pasture, and Libby was in the pen alone most of the day.  They'll all come to an agreement eventually, but I'm going to take it slow.

I've found out some of Libby's adolescent quirks now:  She is easily caught, but very touchy about certain areas of her body.  I could brush or pet her head, her chest and neck, and her shoulders just fine; but her attitude is very hands-off about her legs, belly, and butt.  If you touch an area she doesn't want touched, she'll squeal and threaten to kick.  Don't worry, folks, this old lady isn't going to push her luck.

I have all the time in the world, so I simply intend to daily groom the areas she doesn't mind having touched; hopefully over weeks and months, I can work down and back to other areas.

Long-time readers of this blog are already aware that I know when to cut my losses.

I put her in the box stall for a couple hours and let her munch alfalfa hay, and gave her a little grain.  I was cautious about approaching her in the stall, but there wasn't any problem with that.

Right now, I've put Sassy and Blue in the pen with Libby, leaving Tude outside to watch over the fence.  Later I'll take Libby to the box stall for another hay-eating session, turn the three big guys out for the night, and tell all of the critters good night.

As I said before, I am not a horse trainer; and if this doesn't work out, I don't think it will be a problem to find a home for this very bright filly.  I'll do all I can not to ruin her for somebody else.

Comments to be answered:  from: hestiahomeschool
"Oh, she is a little beauty, and has such a sweet smart expression. Does she foxtrot?"  Yes, Arick was making her go in a circle yesterday, and she does foxtrot.

From Asteryth: 
"She is beautiful...you are going to have so much fun. Just one thing to remember though... If you've always had geldings, mares can be a bit of a challenge on some days. With geldings you don't have any hormones to deal with, even with studs you have a pretty even keel.. But mares cycle and some of them (not all thank goodness<g>) can be a -little-cranky during certain parts of their cycles! But, if you realize what is going on it isn't usually much different."  Yep, my first horse was a mare, and Sassy, the one boarded here also.  Believe me, I know about their silliness.  I truly prefer geldings for that reason.  Keep an eye on me, lady, and tell me if I am doing the wrong thing!

From csandhollow: 

Has she had any training yet? She must lead and load, you got her home. Has she had any ground work other than that? We had Brook on Belle at that age. "  She leads great, and doesn't walk or run away when you go out to get her.  She was cautious about stepping into the trailor, but really didn't fight it once her former owner stepped up inside and encouraged her.  Since she's so touchy about her back, I won't be putting anybody on her very soon.  My grandson Arick will probably be the first to get on her, but that's six months away.  I may try working her with a lunge line later, but right now I'm just getting her used to her new home and her new owners.
Okie-dokie, time to go out and re-arrange thehorses!  

Just one more horse picture

This picture of Blue and Libby calmly eating together gives you an idea of her size.  Blue is over 16 hands.  Libby, at the age of 18 months, is still growing.  The people from whom I bought her think she's going to be a big horse.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

About my new filly

The people who wouldn't take my $150 bid on their filly Thursday called today and said they'd take it.  So I called my grandson, and he and I went to pick her up.

She really seems like a sweetie. 

I had to get the two horses that are boarded here away from her, since they seemed intent on killing her.  They'll all get along fine eventually, but I didn't want her to be scarred up her first day here.

I left her to spend the night with Blue, who wouldn't hurt a fly and loves babies.

Meet Libby

Here she is!!!!!

Saturday, October 21, 2006

So, why haven't I posted an entry?

It's been a dreary, rainy day.  It has rained so constantly today that Cliff and I never did get to take our half-hour walk; we did our twenty minutes of calisthenics and weights, though.  We've received more than an inch of rain, slow and steady.  Anyhow, the weather has me in a funk; and I have very little to blog about.

Yesterday, Cliff and I drove thirty miles to look at a yearling Foxtrotter filly.  She was gentle, and broke to lead, the same color as Blue (bay).  If they'd have come off the price just $25, she'd be mine.  I had promised myself I wouldn't pay more than $150.  Besides, there wasn't really any proof that she was 100% Foxtrotter.  Cliff was proud of me; he figured if we went and looked, I'd want her.

You see, I don't want to pay a lot for a young horse, because I'm no horse-trainer; and if a colt didn't work out, I wouldn't want to lose a lot of money when I sold it.

There's a bill going to Congress to end horse slaughter (that link, by the way, is for the bill; I am against it).  If this happens, people are going to be giving horses away; they're already at rock-bottom prices.  Personally, I see no difference in slaughtering horses as compared to cows or pigs.  They're all animals, and the same methods are used to slaughter them (remember this next time you eat a hamburger).  This doesn't mean I'd allow Blue to go to slaughter, mind you.  But horses are better off being slaughtered than to be starved and neglected by people who don't care about them, as many will be if this bill passes.

So there you have it, my entry-done-in-a-rainy-day-funk.

I'm sure I'll be back to myself tomorrow.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

a cold ride

It was cloudy and cool when Cliff and I returned from our morning walk, and I decided a horseback ride was just the thing to get me out of my cloudy-day doldrums.  At forty degrees, I knew it would be a chilly ride, but I put on a stocking cap and got some gloves from Cliff.

By the time I was done grooming and saddling Blue, though, I forgot about the gloves I'd taken off and placed atop a post,  and didn't miss them until I was a mile down the road.  So I tried pulling my coat sleeve down over my left hand, which was holding the reins, and sticking my right hand in my pocket.

Farmer Steve drove up as I was riding on the lane leading to his fields, and said, "You sure picked a cold day to ride!"

"I know," I answered, "but it's only going to get colder in a couple days.  The bad thing is, I forgot my gloves."

Nothing would do but that I take the gloves he was wearing.  They were those cloth, woven kind that Cliff calls glove-liners, exactly like the ones I'd forgotten at home.  Except they were black with grease.

"Just throw them away when you get home," he said, and patted Blue on the nose.

I have to say I was glad to have the gloves, grease and all.

And you could say I stole another ride.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


OK folks, I LOVE good preaching.  I really do.  I've been know to record sermons from Trinity Broadcasting, even though I don't care for the couple that run the station.  I enjoy positive-thinking preachers.

You want to know what turns me off, as far as religion goes?

Preachers asking for money.

I was willing to give Jim Bakker another chance, after reading his book, "I Was Wrong".

Until, on my recent visit to Branson, I caught him on TV selling pieces of rock from the actual place where Jesus' cross was placed.

Spare me.  Geesh.  Do you think I was born yesterday?

I have read the Bible through many times, but I've never seen, anywhere, that Jesus or His apostles begged for money in any way, shape, or form.  Nor did they try to sell pieces of the Holy Land.

OK, so Paul said to set aside an offering on the First Day of the Week.  But He wasn't selling rocks in a fancy box. 

God forgive me if I'm wrong. 

Received in e-mail

My friend Sue sent me this poem that I think readers in my age group will enjoy.  You younger folks won't know what it's talking about, so you may skip this entry.  I googled up the author; otherwise I would not have shared the poem.  His name is Leland Waldrip.

Long ago and far away,
In a land that time forgot,
Before the days of Dylan
Or the dawn of Camelot.
There lived a race of innocents,
And they were you and me,
Long ago and far away
In the Land of Sandra Dee.

 Oh, there was truth and goodness
In that land where we were born,
Where navels were for oranges,
And Peyton Place was porn.
For Ike was in the White House,
And Hoss was on TV,
And God was in his heaven
In the Land of Sandra Dee.

 We learned to gut a muffler,
We washed our hair at dawn,
We spread our crinolines to dry
In circles on the lawn.
They all could hear us coming
All the way to Tennessee,
All starched and sprayed and rustlling
in the Land of Sandra Dee.

We longed for love and romance,
And waited for the prince,
Then Eddie Fisher married Liz,
And no one's seen him since.
We danced to "Little Darlin'",
And Sang to "Stagger Lee"
We cried for Buddy Holly
In the Land of Sandra Dee.

Only girls wore earrings then,
And three was one too many,
When only guys wore flat-top cuts,
Except for Jean McKinney.
And only in our wildest dreams
Did we expect to see
A boy named George with Lipstick
In the Land of Sandra Dee.

We fell for Frankie Avalon
Annette as oh, so nice,
And when they made a movie,
They never made it twice.
We didn't have a Star Trek Five,
Or Psycho Two and Three,
Or Rocky-Rambo Twenty
In the Land of Sandra Dee.

Miss Kitty had a heart of gold,
And Chester had a limp,
And Reagan was a Democrat
Whose co-star was a chimp.
We had a Mr Wizard,
But not a Mr T,
And Oprah couldn't talk yet
In the Land of Sandra Dee.

We had our share of heroes,
We never thought they'd go,
At least not Bobby Darin,
Or Marilyn Monroe.
For youth was still eternal,
Our life was yet to be,
And Elvis was forever,
In the Land of Sandra Dee.

 We'd never seen the rock band
That was Grateful to be Dead,
And Airplanes weren't named Jefferson,
And Zeppelins weren't Led.
Beatles lived in gardens then,
And Monkees in a tree,
And Madonna was a virgin
In the Land of Sandra Dee.

 We'd never heard of Microwaves,
Or telephones in cars,
And babies might be bottle-fed,
But they sure weren't "grown" in jars.
Pumping iron got wrinkles out,
And "gay" meant fancy-free,
But dorms were never coed
In the Land of Sandra Dee.

We hadn't seen enough of jets
To talk about the lag,
And microchips were what was left
At the bottom of the bag.
Hardware was a box of nails,
And bytes came from a flea,
And our rocket ships were fiction
In the Land of Sandra Dee.

Buicks came with porthole,
And side show came with freaks,
And bathing suits came big enough
To cover both your cheeks.
Coke came just in bottles,
And skirts came to the knee,
As Castro came to power
In the Land of Sandra Dee.

 We had no Crest with Fluoride,
We had no Hill Street Blues,
We all wore superstructure bras
Designed by Howard Hughes.
We had no patterned pantyhose
Or Lipton herbal tea
Or prime-time ads for condoms
In the Land of Sandra Dee.

There were no golden arches,
No Perriers to chill,
Our fish were not called Wanda,
And cats were not called Bill.
Middle-age was thirty-five
And old was forty-three,
And ancient were our parents
In the Land of Sandra Dee.

But all things have a season,
Or so we've heard them say,
And now instead of Maybelline
We swear by Retin-A.
And they send us invitations
To join AARP,
We've come a long way, baby,
From the Land of Sandra Dee.

So now we face a brave new world
In "slightly" larger jeans,
And we wonder why they're using
Smaller print in magazines.
We tell our children's children
of the way it used to be,
Long ago and far away...... 

                     In the land of Sandra Dee.                                


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Dear Santa....

Things I would love to have in my stocking:

The DVD set of the first season of "The Closer".

The DVD sets, season 1 and 2, of "Grey's Anatomy".

The DVD sets, season 1 and 2, of "NCIS".

My husband, otherwise known as Santa, reads this journal.  My daughter, otherwise known as Santa's helper, has one job:  to remind my husband of my wish list for Christmas.

I've tried hinting before.  It doesn't work.  This year, I'm being very blunt.

Since I have given so many choices, there is still the element of surprise.

Enough said.

stealing a ride

We've had a few days of drizzle and clouds, and managed to receive about an inch of much-needed rain over a span of four days.  It hasn't been good weather for riding motorcycles or horses.

Saturday, though, was beautiful.  My sister was here; I always like to have her out before she leaves for her winter stay in Texas.  While she and my daughter and I were having an after-dinner chat, my Internet friend Boo stopped by with her husband, her sister, and her sister's husband.  They'd been east of here, buying apples. 

After  everyone had gone home, I went for a ride on Blue, knowing that the next few days had lots of rain in the forecast.  What is it about autumn that puts an extra spring in the step of a horse?

It rained Sunday and Monday.  Today dawned cloudy, but the weather guessers promised the sun would peep through before the day was over.  Then, back to rain tomorrow, they said.

While we were taking our walk, I commented on how warm it was, in spite of the clouds.

"Yep," Cliff replied.  "I think this would be a good time to take a little motorcycle ride."

The sun really hasn't showed itself much today, as it turned out; but we managed to have pleasant ride around the countryside on back roads, before Cliff had to come home and get ready for work.

"We stole another one," I told him.

Because you know, this time of year you're never certain when it will be a fit day for riding again.  So we grab every chance, and feel we stole one more, one to which we really weren't entitled.  It's the same with riding my horse. 

Deep into December and January, there is even more of that sense of "stealing" a day or a few hours, if it's fit weather to ride.

It occurred to me that, at our age, every moment of pleasure is stolen, in a sense.

My knees protest if I ride too long, or take too long a walk; but they still work.  The day will come, if I live long enough, when I won't be able to ride a horse; and Cliff won't always have enough strength to handle an 800-pound motorcycle.  We're sixty-one and sixty-two.  I have known people my age to have strokes that stopped them in their tracks.  And some younger than I who have died of sudden heart attacks.

So I feel, in the autumn of our lives, that every ride, every vacation, every walk in the pasture, is stolen.  It's one more memory tucked away, one we didn't let slip by... one we sneaked in.

May I suggest to my readers that you steal a day, or at least an hour or two, first chance you get?  Think of something you'd normally not do in fall or winter:  a picnic, perhaps, or a fishing trip, or camping out (if you like that sort of thing). 

Maybe I should just ask you to do something "out-of-season".  Like my friend Tooey (nickname for Shirley) who always celebrates Christmas in July.  She sent me a card this year.  In July.

And having done so, pat yourself on the back.  This is one case where stealing is a good thing.


Monday, October 16, 2006

My Arkansas friend is home from the hospital

I got a wonderful surprise phone call today from my friend Lona, the first on-line person I ever trusted and, I believe, the first I ever met face to face:  If you remember, I asked my readers to pray for her three weeks ago.  It has truly been touch and go, but she's home.  She's very weak, and I could hear pain in her voice... but how great to hear her again!

She can still use all the positive thoughts and prayers she can get and, as I wrote before, she deserves every one. 

Sunday, October 15, 2006

MINE!!! It's all MINE!

Last year I did an entry about my lucky sweatshirt (hoodie, as they're now called)  Click HERE to see the entry.  My son came home from basic training wearing the shirt, and I fell in love with it... and have loved it ever since.  I've looked on E-bay for one with the same saying, but with no luck.  Besides, this one has my last name on it.  That's part of what makes it special.

So, we were heading out for a walk Friday morning.  The temperatures were near freezing, so I grabbed my coat.  Cliff took my red sweatshirt off the hook and said, "You aren't going to wear this, are you?"

"Well, no... but I just bought you a hooded sweatshirt at Walmart."

"I know, but I'm going to be working in the shop, and I don't want to get that one greasy." 

Huh?  So you're going to get MY lucky shirt greasy?

I let it pass; but, yesterday, he put the shirt on again.  And wore it all day long. 

Come on, folks, the shirt is over twenty years old.  If it falls apart from age, I want to be the one wearing it at the time.

We had some fun fighting over it, along with granddaughter Amber.

And when the dogs are begging food, they don't care what anybody's wearing.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

my memory journal

Some of you may have thought I'd forgotten my other journal, the one with my memories.  Nope, I was just waiting for the weather to get a certain chill in the air; that's when my memories are always stirred the best.

Here's the latest entry.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Weekend Assignment #133: Heroes of Free Speech

Weekend Assignment #133: Share with us a person or persons who you think is a model for free speech in the United States. It can be one of the Founding Fathers, another historical personage, or someone who is living right now. Yes, this is slightly more work than the usual Weekend Assignment, but, you know. Free speech is worth it. For those of you in the UK or Canada, you can nominate someone who represent free speech in your own country, or pick someone from the US.

Extra Credit: A favorite controversial book (it doesn't have to be from an American).

Well folks, my knowledge of history is limited.  But as I pondered this assignment, I realized that folks singers down through the ages are perfect models of free speech.  Woody Guthrie; Bob Dylan; Joan Baez; Pete Seeger; Loudon Wainwright III; Iris Dement (of course); and scores of others.  I choose though, as an example, John Prine... who still goes on saying what he thinks, the heck with everybody.  Even though his ideas often don't jive with mine, he's the perfect picture of free speech. 


Here's a sample of his work, the lyrics of one of his older songs:

Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anymore
© John Prine

While digesting Reader's Digest
In the back of a dirty book store,
A plastic flag, with gum on the back,
Fell out on the floor.
Well, I picked it up and I ran outside
Slapped it on my window shield,
And if I could see old Betsy Ross
I'd tell her how good I feel.

But your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more.
They're already overcrowded
From your dirty little war.
Now Jesus don't like killin'
No matter what the reason's for,
And your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more.

Well, I went to the bank this morning
And the cashier he said to me,
"If you join the Christmas club
We'll give you ten of them flags for free."
Well,I didn't mess around a bit
I took him up on what he said.
And I stuck them stickers all over my car
And one on my wife's forehead.

Repeat Chorus:

Well, I got my window shield so filled
With flags I couldn't see.
So, I ran the car upsidea curb
And right into a tree.
By the time they got a doctor down
I was already dead.
And I'll never understand why the man
Standing in the Pearly Gates said...

"But your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more.
We're already overcrowded
From your dirty little war.
Now Jesus don't like killin'
No matter what the reason's for,
And your flag decal won't get you
Into Heaven any more."

Folk singers.  You gotta love 'em.

Oh yeah, as for the extra credit question, my answer is.....

The Bible.

If you want to join in on the weekend assignment, be sure to leave a link to your entry at By The Way.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Some of the ways my husband spoils me

Cliff was still recuperating from his quadruple bypass surgery when I found out my current favorite folk singer, Iris Dement, had a concert scheduled in Iowa City, Iowa.  That's about six hours from here, but it seems to be as close as she'll ever be.  I wanted so badly to see her live and in person, and I told Cliff about this golden opportunity.

Now, Cliff could care less about Iris Dement.  Neither her singing nor her politics are in line with his way of thinking.  He'll gladly tell you, "I wouldn't walk across the street to see Willie Nelson or George Jones." 

But he saw how badly I wanted to go to this thing, and he told me to go ahead and buy the tickets; and I did.

So the last Saturday of this month, God willing, we'll be sitting there watching Iris.  Cliff will be saying, "Here's another one of your hair-brained schemes."  I'll be smiling.

My regular readers will recall how much enjoyment I was getting out of our neighbor's filly colt, until David took her south, along with her mother.

I miss her.

Lately, my grandson, Arick, has been buying, selling, and breaking horses.  Horses are at an all-time low, as far as prices are concerned.  When Arick was here the other night, I asked him how much I'd have to pay for a young horse.

Cliff hit the ceiling.  His sister Charlene and her husband were here, and I think Charlene thought we were going to be name-calling before she left; she kept trying to change the subject.  Obviously she doesn't know her brother very well.  He rants loudly and well, but his heart is made of putty.

So once everyone was gone, I said to Cliff:  "Remember when I insisted you build that shop, even though we hadto refinance the house to do it?  You were hesitant, but I insisted.  Because I've seen so many men die while waiting to see their dream come  true."


"... and remember when we went and bought a brand new John Deere tractor on my birthday, because I wanted you to have it?"

"Tell Arick to get you a colt," he said.  And there was no anger or resentment in his voice... only love.

That's my husband. 

Of course, when there's an unruly adolescent horse outside in the pen, he'll be saying, "Here's another one of your hair-brained schemes."

I never claimed to be high-tech

Lately, I've been tortured by an alarm clock-radio.

The tale of woe starts with the fact that, since I quit work, I've forgotten how to use the settings on my alarm clock.

For some reason, I recently set it to wake me up at 4:30 AM, although I can't imagine what was that important (memory is the third thing to go).

I'm often awake by that time anyhow; but something was evidently of such significance that I didn't feel I should trust my internal clock.  I really wish I knew what it was.

Surely the clock woke me on time that day; I'd remember missing a really important appointment or event, wouldn't I?  I imagine I slapped the thing off before the "beeps" got too loud.

But I've forgotten how to get rid of the alarm setting.  So for days on end, the clock started beeping at 4:30.  I punched every button on it.  I hunted for the instructions that came with the radio, to no avail.  Finally, in desperation, I changed the wakeup time to 6:30, figuring at least I'd be wide awake and could slap the thing off before it woke Cliff.

Yeah, right. 

When I get up in the morning, I gently close the bedroom door so I won't disturb Cliff, who usually sleeps until 8 or so (he's a second-shift worker).  Which means I'd be at the computer surfing away when I'd hear my poor husband moaning and groaning as he struggled to reach for the evil alarm clock.  Please don't ask me why I hadn't just set the alarm for 8.  I don't have a clue.

All I could think to do to stop the problem was unplug the clock; that way I'd have to re-set the time when I plugged it back in, but the alarm would no longer be set.  I pulled the plug and went to sleep content that night, confident that I had solved the problem.

I forgot about the backup battery.

Although the clock-radio was dark, no numbers lighting its face, it was waiting to get us; and at 6:30 I heard that faint "beep-beep-beep" getting gradually louder.  By the time I ran in to shut it off, Cliff was awake.

It's OK now.  I removed the battery, set the clock for the proper time, and put it back in its spot beside the bed.  I just hope I never need to set an alarm for anything again:  I can't take the stress!


Monday, October 9, 2006

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Foliage 2006

From John Scalzi:

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Leaves are changing color all over the US -- show us the foliage in your neck of the woods. Normally I say that pictures from your archives are fine and dandy, but for this assignment try to get fresh photos of the change of the season. Remember also that even though this is called the Monday Photo Shoot, you can still submit pictures on Tuesday, Wednesday or even Thursday morning -- so you have some time to find that perfect fall photo.

Our trees aren't nearly as colorful as those in John's picture, and they may not get that bright this year; we've had drought conditions so much this summer, the fall foliage may be affected.

Anyhow, I went out awhile ago and took a few shots for the photo shoot.

Feel free to join in, and be sure to leave a link to your entry at John Scalzi's blog.

How many of you are there?

I got this site from John Scalzi.  Check it out and see how many people in the US have the same first and last name as you.


There are 857 of me, but if I use my maiden name, there are 1,740.

Hmmm, this link worked fine this morning, but now it won't.  Hopefully it will get back in business soon.


Sunday, October 8, 2006

A tag from Mel:

I AM: a loner
I WANT: to be debt free
I HAVE: the most wonderful grandchildren.
I WISH: I had been a better mother.
I HATE: politics.
I MISS: my Jersey cows
I HEAR: folk songs that say what I feel.
I WONDER: why children have to suffer. 

I REGRET:  nothing, because I know each decision you make leads you to where you are now
I AM NOT: very good interacting with people.
I DANCE: Only at my cabin.
I SING: often.
I CRY: seldom, but I have never cried as hard as I did when my dog, Mandy, died.
I AM NOT ALWAYS: as heartless as I may seem.
I MAKE WITH MY HANDS: meals for those I love.
I WRITE: my feelings, whether in blog or rhyme.
I CONFUSE: almost everybody
I NEED: to know somebody knows I am here.
I SHOULD: be a much better Christian than I am.
I START: reading the Bible through, every year.
I FINISH: cooking meals that I’ve started, and very little else.

If you want to do this tag, do it. 


Look who got off the tractor and on my horse.  I've had Blue almost three years, and this is the second time Cliff's been on him.   He did say, however, that it was fun.

We went to Church this morning and saw some angels from our past, Emmet and Myrnell.  Back when Cliff had lost his good-paying job at RB Rice, Emmet had Cliff help out on his dairy farm, and he'd paid him in baby Holstein calves.  I raised those calves on bottles with milk from my family milk cows, and we'd sell them when they were a few months old (one year I raised almost fifty calves).  I don't know how we'd have made it financially without those people.

After Church we rode the motorcycle for a couple hours.  Then Cliff worked in the barn, making room for the hay he just baled; and I rode Blue.  What a perfect day... again.  How many perfect days is one person allowed?

Saturday, October 7, 2006

sleeping arrangements at the cabin

Siennastar asked in a comment what I sleep on at the cabin; well, here you have it.  I guess I was anticipating her question last night.  I don't leave the air mattress inflated because last year a mouse decided to hide her goodies underneath my mattress.  Now I inflate it when I need it, with that pump thingie; and when I'm done, I fold it and put it in a mouse-proof box.  Anything a mouse might like to use as home sweet home gets locked up like Fort Knox.

Sadie at the cabin

My friends and long-time readers might recall that the cabin was originally built for me and Mandy, my previous dog.  She loved it back there, and was a wonderful companion.  Mainly she just kept me company; she was much too dignified for silly games with people.

Mandy's brief life ended when she was struck by a car on the highway, and then Sadie entered the picture.  She loves the cabin as much, or more than, Mandy did.  Last night she heard the rattle of my cabin-bag and started whining at me to hurry up.   

One reason she enjoys it so much is that unless we have the misfortune of the neighbor's dog accompanying us back there, she gets to be unleashed for the duration of our stay.  She finds her own stick and brings it for me to throw.  As you can see by the pictures, the one she found last night was more of a tree-limb instead of a stick.  She didn't care, but I had a time throwing it!  She digs at the wood pile for hours; Cliff said he once saw a ground squirrel there, so I assume Sadie gets wind of him.  Anyhow, she is a busy bee trying to dig him out of hiding.

I can't imagine my cabin without a dog at my side.


Did you see a sunrise this morning?

I had the most incredible stay at the cabin last night; while the granddaughters were still here, I got things together in the little red wagon so I could get there as soon as possible.  And by 6 PM, the girls had gone home and I was cabin-bound.

In spring, the woods is alive with bird-sounds.  In autumn, the only sounds you hear are crickets and treefrogs; oh, and early this morning I heard an owl.  Once it was daylight, numerous crows called to one another.  Of course, since the cabin is on a knoll just above the railroad track, there are always the frequent passing trains.  I love hearing the train whistle.

It's too dry for a campfire, but I threw caution to the wind and had one anyway.  As darkness enclosed me, the heat from the fire was welcome, and the flickering light from it was pleasant.

I love this place.  I wandered the woods with Sadie in the light of the moon around 9 last night (a new experience, by the way), and asked God, "What did I ever do to deserve this?"

Friday, October 6, 2006

I want this T-shirt!

Read your labels, folks.  Toss the trans fats.  They're cutting your children's lives short and hurting your own hearts and arteries.

Good news!  Crisco has a trans-fat-free shortening.

The Reduced Fat Oreo has zero trans fats.

We're getting there!


Thursday, October 5, 2006

The last "road trip" entry

Cliff and I did have a great time last weekend; there were funny moments I'd share, but it's the "you'd have to be there" kind of thing.

Case in point:  There are microphones in our helmets, which makes conversation easy as we go.  On the way down, we chatted a lot.  If there was a lull in the conversation, I'd sing, and Cliff would say things like, "That's pretty, Babe."

Until I decided to sing "Away Out On The Mountain", an old Jimmy Rogers song; it has a yodeling part in it, and I went right into it... only I don't yodel well.  And of course it was right in poor Cliff's ear.  He laughed so hard, I'm surprised he was able to stay on the road.

Coming home, we were a lot quieter.  Remember, we're both past sixty, and our bones were starting to protest four to five hours of motorcycle-riding a day, for three days straight. 

I thank God for keeping us safe on the road and allowing us to see the beauty of the Ozarks together, one more time.

Wednesday, October 4, 2006

more of our road trip

More of our Sunday adventures.  As to the expenses of the weekend, the final tally was $229.00.  Gasoline came to $33; groceries, cheese and ice cream cones were $32, total; lodging was $100; Cliff spent $6 for motorcycle wax; we ate out twice, for a total of $33.00; and we went to Imax Theater, which set us back $20.

Not bad, for a weekend getaway.

Arkansas has no helmet law, so while we were poking around the streets of Eureka Springs, we both had the experience of riding without helmets.  Once we hit the highway, though, we put them back on.

What're YOU looking at?

Cliff and I found this trio watching us when we took our morning walk.  I'm learning to keep my camera with me when we get our exercise!

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Sunday in Arkansas

The Crescent Hotel was built in 1886, and you can still stay there for one night or several.  Old as it is, it still feels quite luxurious.

Click HERE to read about St. Elizabeth Catholic Church.  That's the most information I could find online.

More to come; we didn't even skim the surface of things to see in Eureka Springs.

Monday Photo Shoot: Bobble Heads!

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Somewhere in your house you probably have one (or more) bobble-head figurines. Immortalize them in photo. For this, any bobbly toy will do -- bobbly hula girls, toy animals with bobbly tails, it's all good. They just have to be bobbly somewhere along the line.

First let me say that I can't STAND Bobble-heads.  Which is why John's challenge sent me to the messiest area of my house, the by-now infamous JUNK ROOM (insert shudders here).

Lee jeans used to be my denim of choice for one very simple reason:  When I'm wearing a size 14 in most other brands, I can wear size 12 in Lee jeans, the loose-cut ones.

Some time back, probably six years or more, Kohls had Lee jeans on sale, and I bought myself two pairs.  At the checkout, the clerk gave me two white boxes, telling me that I got one for each pair of Lees... some free promotional thing, for a limited time only.  Yeah, for each pair of Lee Jeans bought, the customer received a bobble-head Buddy Lee. 

I brought them home, examined one, and stuck them in a far corner of the "junk room".

Someone I worked with later told me that her daughter collected bobble-heads, so I gave her the one I had un-boxed, and promptly forgot about the one remaining.

Until John Scalzi gave us this assignment.

One reason Fly-Lady gets peeved at me is that I will toss something I personally hate in that upstairs room just because... hmmm, I don't know.  Maybe it will be worth a fortune someday?  Maybe some grandchild or great-grandchild might want it in the future? 

It took me some fifteen minutes to locate the silly thing.  Notice he even still has the packing around his neck.

Here's what I googled about this item, but keep in mind there's one on Ebay for a starting price of $4.99.

So what will I do with him now?  Neither Cliff nor I  can manage to get Buddy back into his styrofoam well enough for him to fit in the box, but no matter.  He'll go back to the place from whence he came.

Want to share your bobbles with the rest of us?  Just be sure and leave a link to your entry at By The Way.

P.S.  I did manage to get Buddy back in his packing after this writing.

Our motorcycle trip to the Ozarks

Cliff and I had discussed taking a road trip to the Branson area, but it all depended on getting the hay in... and of course, on the weather. 

The hay was put up by Friday evening (Cliff had spoken for a vacation day Friday, and another one for Monday).  So Saturday morning we took Sadie to the veteranarian's office for boarding, came back home, and left on the motorcycle.

Osceola is almost half-way to Branson, and we were ready for lunch.  So we stopped at the cheese place, ate our fill of samples, and bought a couple packages of tasty, albeit over-priced, cheese.  Cliff chose sharp cheddar; my pick was a delightful smoky habanero, which set me  back $3.69 for less than a half-pound.  Oh, but it's SO good.  And hot.  I sat on the curb to eat my lunch.  Cliff stood because after all, he said, he'd been sitting for two hours.  Then we went back inside the cheese place for small ice cream cones.

We didn't stay in Branson proper this time, since we didn't plan to do any of the music shows or other tourist traps on the "76 Strip".  We went to Kimberling City, where there's a wide choice of lakeside resorts; all of them offer their off-season rates now.

The first one, Edgewater Villa, really impressed me, and if we'd had others with us or had planned to go fishing, that's where we would have stayed.  With tax, it would have been $62 a night.  The cabins were light and bright, with spotless kitchens.  I took one of their cards, because under the right circumstances, it will be the place of choice.

Then I asked the lady there how to find Cedarwood Resort, which I'd discovered on the Internet, and knew to be cheaper.  She was kind enough to draw us a map, and we drove right to it.

When the owner there showed us a cabin, we could immediately see why this place was cheaper.  It must be at least fifty years old, and the rooms were rather dark because of the paneling.  However, it was as clean as the other place, and it did save us $24 over the course of two nights.  (Can you tell this trip was done on a budget?)  We've decided we much prefer resorts to motels, when given the choice.  We like preparing our own meals most of the time, even though that often consists nothing more than a salad.  Dishes, utensils, pots and pans were all provided.

We hope to take some grandchildren down sometime, perhaps rent a pontoon boat, and do some fishing and swimming.  Ideally we'd go with both our children and all our grandchildren, but with my son in far away in Georgia and everybody so tied-up to their jobs, I don't see that happening. 

Monday, October 2, 2006

If this doesn't make you laugh out loud, nothing will

Check out my son's latest entry HERE and watch the video.  I dare you not to smile or laugh while you watch it.

Is it just me?

I can't access most of AOL's journals.  When I try to open the links to them, the page appears to be loading, then says "done", but all I have is a white, blank page.  I've been gone for three days, I need a journals fix NOW!

Road trip!

Well, we're back.  Saturday morning we took off on a motorcycle trip to Branson.  The hay was in the barn and the weather forecast sounded perfect.

I had done some searching online and found several resorts that were as cheap as motels; since we prefer to fix most of our own meals, the idea of a small kitchen sounded great to me, and I believe this will be our choice from now on.

I took pictures, of course, and will share some later.  I'm just reporting in.

I'll leave you with one shot taken this past weekend.

That's me and Cliff in front of "The Christ Of The Ozarks" statue, at Eureka Springs, Arkansas.