Friday, November 30, 2007

I found a teacher for Libby!

After the entry I did yesterday telling how I had decided to pay for some training for Libby, I asked myself, "Where do I go to find a reputable trainer?"

I've seen trainers advertise on Craigslist, but none have been very close to home, and there's no way of knowing whether they're really as good as they say.

For some reason, I thought of a website where horses are advertised for sale, Horsetopia, and wondered if any trainers advertised there.  I could hardly believe my eyes when I found a trainer only ten miles from here!  Here's her ad: 

"I am looking to train your horse!!! come on out and see what i do, if you just want something started or finished. Even if you need me to keep it for 60 days. Bring your own food and i'll do the rest. Call and i'll schedule when you can bring them on out. I like to keep it one or two horses at a time so that everyone gets their money's worth. I will break reasonable studs to ride. Mares and geldings ALL DAY LONG! I also do lessons, we have plenty of horses out here and they are kid safe!!!"

I called and set up an appointment to meet her and look the place over.

Cliff was skeptical, but he lost all skepticism when we went and saw their facilities
this morning:  round pens, hot walkers, pastures and an indoor arena, all in perfect order, clean and neat as could be.

Sammie, the little lady who will be doing the work, is still in high school.  She exudes confidence.

She's just the one I need, and it will only cost $300 for the month... and we supply Libby's hay.

She showed us around the place and told us what she'd be doing with Libby.  See that big horse in the pen there?  He has blue eyes!


Anyhow, this just feels right.  As soon as we get our livestock trailer home (probably Sunday) we'll be taking Libby for her training.

Now playing: Chuck Brodsky - Restless Kid
via FoxyTunes   

poor Sadie

Cliff and I take a half-hour walk every morning.  That walk is the highlight of our dog, Sadie's, life.  She's as hyper as they come, and the only chance she has to run fast and feel free is during our walk.  Back in the pasture we're able to release her so she can chase squirrels and find sticks for us to throw for her.  She lives for that walk.

For the past week, I haven't been able to walk with them because of the knee pain.  And every day, it's been a little bit harder for Cliff to convince Sadie to go along.  This morning I had to snap the leash to her collar for him, because she wouldn't allow Cliff to do it.  Then when I handed him the leash, Sadie actually balked, going out the door.

He's been turning her loose and letting her play fetch, just like I always do.  But evidently Sadie doesn't feel right without me along.  As much as she loves the morning walk, she doesn't like leaving me behind.  He tells me that, once she's turned loose, she does fine.  It's just getting her outside that's a problem.

Who knows what's going on in her little doggie mind.

Now playing: Johnny Cash - Help Me
via FoxyTunes   

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Thursday, November 29, 2007


I've been doing lots of soul-searching lately, wondering what to do next with my filly, Libby.  Anyone who's followed this journal for the past year knows how much pleasure I've derived from training her.  She's affectionate, gentle, and has a strong desire to please.  She stands when I mount and dismount.  I've ridden her a few times, and she seems to be fine with that.

But (you knew there'd be a "but", didn't you?) I am not really fearless enough to do a good job of breaking a horse.  For instance, when something spooks Libby and she acts like she wants to run away, I don't have the courage to stay on her and ride it out.  I immediately dismount; that isn't how you go about breaking a  young horse.

I've mentioned several times to Cliff that perhaps I'd be better off selling Libby and buying another horse that's already broke to ride.  Horses are so cheap right now, you can get a sound, well-broke horse for under $400.  Sometimes even as little as $200.  Which means I wouldn't get much for Libby if I sold her, but then I don't have a lot invested in her, either.

On the other hand, Libby is so gentle and willing to learn, I'll bet that if I paid a trainer $400 for a month of work, that would get her to the point where I wouldn't be afraid to ride her.

What's really funny is that when I mention possibly selling her, Cliff objects every time.  He's no horse-person, but he can't help loving Libby; she's that sweet.

So I guess I'll start checking around for a reliable, trustworthy person to make my sweet little filly a dependable, safe ride.

Wish me luck!

Now playing: Jerry Lee Lewis - You Don't Have to Go
via FoxyTunes   

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My hard-working grandson

I have mentioned here in my blog about how my grandson's employer put the squeeze on him, working him as little as twenty hours per week, trying to force him to go "on salary" so he wouldn't have to be paid overtime no matter how many hours he worked.   They also gave him horrible hours, asking him to get to work at 4:30 AM, and sometimes sending him home after five or six hours the same day.

Well, with a little help from his mom and a friend, he got hired at a distribution center where I used to work, as a seasonal employee.  The seasonals were all let go yesterday, but it looks like the grandson is going to stay on permanently.  So now, what used to be his main job is only his "second" job, and they have absolutely no hold on him.  In fact, he's glad to work less than 40 hours a week, because he has that other job to go to.   The early hours are working in his favor, and he's in control of the situation now.  He's pretty darned happy about the whole situation, and so am I!

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Another cousin has passed away

Early this month, we rode the motorcycle to Sedalia and stopped by Cliff's cousin's place.  We knew his time was short, but I really didn't think it was this short.

That's his prize grandson with him.  I'm sure glad we went while we could.

I was standing by my window,
On one cold and cloudy day
When I saw that hearse come rolling
For to carry my mother away

Will the circle be unbroken
By and by, lord, by and by
There’s a better home a-waiting
In the sky, lord, in the sky

I said to that undertaker
Undertaker please drive slow
For this lady you are carrying
Lord, I hate to see here go

Will the circle be unbroken
By and by, lord, by and by
There’s a better home a-waiting
In the sky, lord, in the sky

Oh, I followed close behind her
Tried to hold up and be brave
But I could not hide my sorrow
When they laid her in the grave

Will the circle be unbroken
By and by, lord, by and by
There’s a better home a-waiting
In the sky, lord, in the sky

I went back home, my home was lonesome
Missed my mother, she was gone
All of my brothers, sisters crying
What a home so sad and lone

Will the circle be unbroken
By and by, lord, by and by
There’s a better home a-waiting
In the sky, lord, in the sky

We sang the songs of childhood
Hymns of faith that made us strong
Ones that mother maybelle taught us
Hear the angels sing along

Will the circle be unbroken
By and by, lord, by and by
There’s a better home a-waiting
In the sky, lord, in the sky

Will the circle be unbroken
By and by, lord, by and by
There’s a better home a-waiting
In the sky, lord, in the sky

Rest in peace, Kenneth.


a childhood memory

When I was a child, we often had popcorn as an evening snack.  Sometimes a few of the kernels didn't pop, and they'd be at the bottom of the bowl.  My parents called those un-popped kernels "old maids".

Anybody else ever hear of this?

my new cell phone

The phone was free, right?  So I figured I'd take advantage of the offer.  It has an MP3 player, so I can put my favorite songs on it and listen when I'm bored.  How could I go wrong?

OK, first of all, it's a Myfaves phone, and I don't have Myfaves.  That's probably not a problem.   It's Bluetooth, and I have no need for that either.  But it was FREE!

The trouble is, I never did figure out all the bells and whistles on my old cell phone, and now I have one that's even more complicated.

Since I'm pretty much bound to my chair by pain (it doesn't hurt much when I'm not walking) as I await the outpatient surgery for my meniscus tear, maybe I'll play around with it and figure a few things out.  Or maybe not.  What I need is guidance from the grandson, but at the moment he's working two jobs; the only time I see him is at 4 A.M. in the morning when he's leaving. 

Maybe this weekend I'll see our daughter, and she can guide me through some of the stuff I need to know.  Right, Rachel?

Monday, November 26, 2007

The day after Thanksgiving in Georgia

Friday in Columbus, Georgia, was sunny and cold.  We mostly just hung out, eating leftovers and snacks whenever we got hungry.


Ouch. May I whine?

I'm scheduled to have arthroscopic surgery on my right knee in ten days, and believe me, I'm counting those days.

I made it very well on our trip to and from Georgia.  Cliff says that trip is probably what finished me off; I don't know if that's true, but I do know I'm having the most incredible pain I've ever had in my life.  Every step makes me groan.  Thank goodness it doesn't hurt when I lie in bed, because at least I can get some sleep.

I have some Darvocet tablets, but they only take the edge off a little, and I refuse to take more than four of them a day.

I won't be taking a walk this morning, or any other morning until this thing is fixed. 

Sorry about the whining.  Sometimes it just feels better to vent about something.  Thank God I have surgery scheduled; I only wish my doctor hadn't been going out of town for two weeks!

I keep repeating to myself:  Pain purifies.  Pain purifies.

Somebody is paying me for rain?

OK, so I joked around about sending me money VIA Paypal for bringing rain to Georgia.  It was a JOKE, people!

This morning I opened my email to find that somebody had sent me $10 through Paypal.  The only reason I could think of is my recent bantering about charging folks for the Georgia rain.

The name was unfamiliar to me, but whoever you are, take your money and give it to a worthwhile charity.  If I had the ability to make it rain, we wouldn't have been in a drought all summer here in Missouri.

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Sunday, November 25, 2007

sentimental value

I have a way of placing a sentimental value on certain items.  This means I own a few things that are irreplaceable.

There's a tooled leather checkbook cover that Cliff's boss's son, Tom, made for me in 1969.  I'd cry if anything happened to that.  I don't know why it means so much, except that it was a gift out of the blue, entirely unexpected.

There's my "lucky hat", a warm, knit stocking-cap that originally belonged to Cliff's sister's second husband.  Don't ever try taking that thing; I can't find another like it; I've tried.

The same with the hooded sweatshirt my son got in basic training twenty-two years ago, the one that says, "Pain purifies".  It has my son's last name on the back, in big letters (mine too, of course).  When I'm cremated, I want to be wearing that sweatshirt.  At my age, I realize that pain had darned well better purify, because I'm going to be dealt plenty of it.

There's this huge, stainless steel pan I use when I'm making spaghetti for company, or cooking a double batch of noodles.  Cliff's sister gave me this thing years ago so I'd be able to "feed the masses", back when I cooked for the family all the time.

No other pan could signify the love my sister-in-law put into that gift.  If anything happened to make it unusable, I'd turn it into a flower pot before I'd toss it in the trash.

I value things like that, things that remind me that "somebody cared".  It wasn't Christmas.  It wasn't my birthday.  Somebody just wanted to give me a gift for the heck of it. 

It's a big, harsh, uncaring world out there.  We'd better cherish every gift of love we're given.

Like, for instance, the gift God gave us when Jesus came into the world.

Christyn's baby

Here's a picture of the DIL's newest grandbaby, the one I forgot to take pictures of.  I stole this off the Christyn's Myspace.


things seen Thanksgiving Day in Georgia

I'm just sharing a few pictures of our Thanksgiving Day in Georgia.  And reminding you Georgia folks that I brought you some rain!

(I can't believe I didn't get a picture of the DIL's brand new granddaughter!)

We're HOME!

Any time we get together with our son, we have a list of things for him to help us with.  Cliff needed some help working out some things on the motorcycle, and Jim helped him find solutions to his problems.  Here you see them fixing some minor problem Cliff couldn't figure out.  Don't ask me what.  Just enjoy the pictures. 

Friday, November 23, 2007

Yes, we brought rain to Georgia

So all of you Georgia folks, just send your Paypal donations to, otherwise known as "the rainmaker"!

It was nice to be lazy and let somebody else do all the cooking on Thanksgiving, I must say.  The food was delicious; Debbie outdid herself.

Cliff and Jim did make some adjustments to the Gold Wing, so it wasn't a total waste of time, bringing it along.  And we hope to get a ride in today, in spite of the fact that the high temps will only be in the fifties.  We brought our leathers and plenty of clothes to layer.

We've enjoyed watching the antics of our granddaughter, Lyndsay, and her two nieces, aged two and four.  I've had a refresher course in singing "I Knew An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly" and "My Little Rooster"; not to mention "This Little Light Of Mine", "Old Stewball" and "Go On Blue, I'm Coming Too".  Hey, it's nice to have an audience that, no matter what you sing, demands, "Sing it again!" 

Lyndsay also has a brand new baby niece that Cliff and I enjoyed holding.   There's no shortage of little girls around this house.  I do have pictures, but at this instant I don't have the means to load them. 

I see it's even colder in Missouri than it is here, so we'd better try and get a motorcycle ride in today; it may be our last for awhile!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

from Georgia

Here's what's happening in the south.

That's our seven-year-old granddaughter trying our Gold Wing for size.  Her niece is going along for the ride.

When you live near an Army post, you never know what you'll see flying overhead.

Of course Cliff and I are getting re-acquainted with our youngest grandchild.  Lyndsay is a sweet, well-mannered girl who converses like an adult.  She spent last night between us on the air mattress, sleeping.

More later.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

From somewhere the far side of Nashville

We dropped Sadie off at the kennel this morning and proceeded to drive and drive and drive.  Thanks to the Magellen GPS thingie we borrowed from Cliff's brother, we made it through St. Louis just fine.  Our only trouble was after dark, passing through Nashville.  You wouldn't believe how these people drive!  And they're swarming like bees in a hive. 

We'd see a motel advertised at such-and-such an exit, but when we'd get there, the exit was blocked off by orange barrels.

Finally we found a place to get off the road in Murfreesboro, and jumped at the chance.  We were tired and hungry and grumpy, and we made a supper of crackers and cheese, crackers and peanut butter, and the last of our hamburger stew... in our motel room.  Because we knew that if we went hunting for someplace to eat out, we'd spend another hour away from a BED!

I think we're at least 2/3 of the way to our destination.  Wish us luck.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Nice day

Since Cliff's on vacation this week and the temperature today was in the seventies by 11 A.M., we agreed that a motorcycle ride was in order.  I heated up some leftover hamburger stew and put it in our wide-mouth Thermos, threw a couple of Diet Cokes in the insulated lunch box, and away we went.  We had three things to do in Oak Grove, so that's where we started.

First, we wanted to sign Sadie up for her boarding this week; we asked to inspect the facility, and I was quite pleased.  There was no odor at all; the dogs have a nice, roomy pen to stay in; and they get turned out to play with other dogs their own size as long as the weather is fit.  It's only $15 a night, plus the price of a vaccination for kennel cough, which is $18.  I feel quite good about leaving Sadie there.  I intend to take her bed so she won't feel so homesick.  I'm hoping the grandson will be able to pick her up before noon Saturday, because that will save us the cost of two days' board. 

Second, we had to insure our latest Gold Wing, so we talked to our State Farm Agent and took care of that.

Third, we had to pick up one of Cliff's prescriptions.

That done, we took a very scenic road to Lake Jacomo and rode all around there; lots of people were fishing from the banks.  On the way there, we saw some genuine mansions with tall fences surrounding them, and locked gates.  Cliff figured they must belong to some of the Kansas City Chiefs.

We ended up in Blue Springs, a bustling suburb of Kansas City where we often go shopping. 

"Where do you want to go now?" Cliff asked.

"What's that store we both like to browse in sometimes, the one where Sears Surplus used to be?"

"Oh, I know the one you're talking about."

By the time we got done with that conversation we were looking at the place in question... Big Lots.  Cliff isn't much for shopping, but he does like that store, especially one boring aisle that has tools and grinders and such.   He goes his way there, and I go mine.

Then we headed to McDonald's for that free latte they're featuring on Mondays.  It's good, but we agreed does leave a nasty aftertaste.

So now we're packing and getting ready for our trip to Georgia.  We have decided to go ahead and haul the motorcycle, in spite of the forecast.  Surely it won't rain the whole time we're there.  If it does, I will expect you Georgia folks to pay us for breaking your drought!

I'm taking my laptop, so I will have computer access and will likely make some journal entries.

I'm hoping we can connect with Csandhollow, Celeste, either going or coming back.

See you later!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

A conversation

So Cliff, the grandson, and I were sitting around after lunch today.  Cliff and I were playfully mouthing off at one another as we are wont to do.  When I made some wise crack to Cliff,  he turned to the Grandson and said, "When she dies, that dog and the computers are the first things to go."

The grandson, without missing a beat, said, "I'll take the laptop."

I feel so abused!

Tonight I'm thankful for all the little "inside jokes" that every family has.  The ones nobody else would understand, but that keep us all chuckling at the same old stale stories all our lives, right up to the time we're on our deathbeds.


A trip to visit my cousin

Although it was only forty-five degrees when we left the house, we put on layers of clothing plus our leathers and went for a motorcycle ride.  I tossed sardines, crackers, an apple, and some 100-calorie snacks (along with some animal crackers, which Cliff loves) in a lunch container; I put boiling water into the smaller of our two new Thermos-brand vacuum bottles, the one with a wide mouth, and two individual packets of sugar-free Swiss Miss cocoa mix.  We were set!

So why didn't I take the bigger Thermos, which is reputed to keep liquids hot almost forever?  Because at 4 P.M. Friday night, I had filled it up with boiling water to see how long it would stay hot, and I wanted to continue my experiment.  I already knew that after twelve hours, the water was so hot that it almost burned the finger of the stupid person who put her finger into the small stream she was pouring from it (that would be me).  But just how long could that Thermos really keep coffee drinkable?

Anyhow:  We went by way of back roads to Cameron, Missouri, where a cousin of mine lives.  His hobby is restoring old cars, making them look like new; and Cliff wanted to see how he was coming along on his current projects.  (To read about his creation, the Mercharo, click HERE.)

Before we got to my cousin's place, we stopped at Wallace State Park and had lunch.  The hot chocolate really hit the spot.  We'll be hauling Thermos bottles with us more often, especially on cooler days.  Gerald always tries to tell us Cliff is too old to be messing around with motorcycles.  Cliff listened to him once.  Not any more, though. 

Oh, about the big Thermos?  After twenty-four hours, it was hot enough that it was still uncomfortable to hold a finger under the stream of water as it was being poured.

We've found our vacuum bottle!  In case you need a good Thermos, THIS is the one to buy.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

It's that time of year

Georgia on my mind

Cliff and I plan to visit our son and his family in Georgia next week.  We've been planning to haul our motorcycle behind the car so we can ride with Jim while we're there. 

So would you believe that the state of Georgia, which has been in a severe drought all this year, has rain in the forecast for the days we'll be there? 

Unless that forecast changes, I guess we'll leave the Honda at home.  Because our car gets only fourteen MPG when it's hauling the motorcycle as opposed to twenty-four, normally; and it's a long way to Columbus.  Why spend all that extra money on gasoline for nothing?

Oh well, Georgia does need the rain, so I guess I'd better not be complaining about that.


Friday, November 16, 2007


I'm thankful for Craigslist!  Yes I am.  It's the best thing since sliced bread. 

You post a for-sale ad online, directed to people in your locale.  It's free.  People buy your stuff and pay cash.  It's a win-win situation.

Or you read other people's ads and find bargains.  Tonight somebody on my local Craigslist has five piggies for $5 each.  That's like free, folks.  Cliff's at work, so I guess somebody else will be the lucky buyer.   We won't even talk about all the $300 horses.

And then, there's THIS.  It's a professional meat grinder just like the one in the butcher shop where Cliff used to work.  For a fraction of the original cost.  We need it because of another thankful:  the grandson knows someone with three hogs, ready to butcher.  They will give us one, if Cliff will butcher all three in his shop.  And they'll come and wrap their own meat. 

I'm very thankful, even though I'm sure the meat grinder is already gone.

Craigslist is worth its weight in gold in entertainment value, if nothing else.  I can dream, can't I?

Weekend assignment #191: Change

Things change. People change. Hairstyles change. Can you guess what this week's Weekend Assignment might be about?

Weekend Assignment #191: Show us, or tell us a story about, change. A before and after picture of the street where you grew up, a story about meeting an old friend after many years, two pictures of yourself separated by a number of years, a tale about changing your life, or showing or tell us about something in the process of changing itself. Any of these is good. And doesn't have to be a negative, because sometimes change is a good thing.

Cliff and I have been having a few problems keeping our weight where it ought to be lately due to too much eating out, holiday fare popping up everywhere, you name it.  This is always a rough time of year for us that way.  However, we're still many pounds lighter than we were four years ago, as evidenced by these before and after pictures:

(Can you believe I cut President and Ros Carter out of the picture for this entry?)

Extra credit: Do you feel that you are changing in some way right now?

Yeah, I've gained six pounds lately! 

If you want to play along, be sure to leave the link to your entry about change over at John Scalzi's blog.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I'm thankful for all the comforts of home:  a roof over my head, a bed in which to sleep, a working furnace and propane in the tank, food in the refrigerator and cabinets, and a computer and a television for my entertainment.

A huge portion of the world's population has none of these.

I am truly grateful.  I deserve none of these blessings.


Here's Cliff, after he read the last entry

So what's Cliff been up to lately?

The previous two motorcycles in our lives have had trailer hitches when we bought them.  We've never owned a cargo trailer to pull behind us, but Cliff fashioned a nifty thing to fasten onto the hitch that carries a cooler; we miss that.

The cheapest trailer-hitch we've found costs around $150.  If you want to pay somebody to install it, that's over $200 more.  That's why Cliff is experimenting with fashioning one himself, and putting it on.

Now, about the peach-fuzz manly whiskers:  Since Cliff lost seventy pounds a couple of years back, he has hated the way his neck sags
.  His theory is that if he can grow enough of a beard, it will cover up his problem.

No comment.

Now let's hear it for Cliff's being such a good sport and post this entry in my blog.

Now playing: Fred Eaglesmith - white rose.m
via FoxyTunes   


I forgot to do this last night, but better late than never.  Right?

I'm thankful that, as of this week, my husband has FOUR WEEKS of paid vacation per year.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

back from the orthopedist

Three years ago, I was having terrible, sharp pain in my left knee that got me to the orthopedist.  We tried a few remedies that didn't work; then I had arthroscopic surgery in which the meniscus (a tendon) was trimmed, and that relieved my pain.  Mind you, my knees always hurt, and have for some time, since they are bone-on-bone with arthritis; but the surgery got rid of the sharp pain that wouldn't let me bend my leg or straighten it without wincing.

For the past month, my right knee has been giving me the same kind of fits, especially while riding the horse or the motorcycle; so last week, I visited Dr. Strong again.  An MRI was done of the knee, and today my suspicions were confirmed:  my right knee needs the same sort of trimming that my left one had; the meniscus is torn.

The doctor reminded me, again, that there's no guarantee this will help; but she agreed that if she were in my shoes, she'd give it a try before doing something more drastic.

The surgery was simple before, and recovery was virtually pain-free.  I didn't even use the crutches that had been provided.  The worst part of the whole episode is that I was grounded from riding Blue for awhile.

I sure hope things go as well this time as last.  I'll bet they will.

This seems appropriate for Thanksgiving


Click HERE.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Today I thank God that Cliff has a terrific job with great benefits, one that isn't physically hard; so, as he says, he'll probably never retire.  I also am thankful that he works second shift, so that on nice days we can go for motorcycle rides and picnics before time for him to leave.


Vote for Ron Paul!

I had decided not to vote in the upcoming elections.  Seriously, not one person showed me anything to make me want to vote for him (or her).

Then I watched this video over at Jeff's blog

That took me to Ron Paul's website, and I knew I had found my man!

Of course, he has no chance of winning.  I realize that voting for him will be like throwing away my vote.  But at least I'll be voting for what I believe instead of "the lesser of two evils".

I don't normally discuss politics in my journal, but since I'm planning on supporting such a futile effort, I thought I'd let you all watch me making a fool of myself. 


A poem to describe the month

I first discovered this poem in the pages of "The Book Of Knowledge" as a child, and was amazed even then at how well it described my feelings about November.


No sun--no moon!
No morn--no noon!
No dawn--no dusk--no proper time of day--
No sky--no earthly view--
No distance looking blue--
No road--no street--no "t'other side this way"--
No end to any Row--
No indications where the Crescents go--
No top to any steeple--
No recognitions of familiar people--
No courtesies for showing 'em--
No knowing 'em!
No traveling at all--no locomotion--
No inkling of the way--no notion--
"No go" by land or ocean--
No mail--no post--
No news from any foreign coast--
No Park, no Ring, no afternoon gentility--
No company--no nobility--
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member--
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds--

Monday, November 12, 2007

Prison and work... compared

 I got this in email; I recall seeing it before, but maybe some of you have not.                                                   

                     Prison vs Work
Just in case you ever get these two environments mixed up, this should make things a little bit clearer.
You spend the majority of your time in a 10X10 cell
you spend the majority of your time
In an 6X6 cubicle /office

You get three meals a day fully paid for
   you get a break for one meal and
You have to pay for it

 @ WORK 
You get time off for good behavior
you get more work for
Good behavior
The guard locks and unlocks all the doors for you
 @ WORK 
You must often carry a security card
And open all the doors for yourself

You can watch TV and play games
you could get fired for watching
TV and playing games
You get your own toilet
you have to share the toilet with
Some people who pee on the seat
@ WORK  
They allow your family and friends to visit
you aren't even supposed to speak
To your family
@ WORK  
All expenses are paid by the taxpayers with no work required
you get to pay all your expenses to go
To work, and they deduct taxes from
Your salary to pay for prisoners

You spend most of your life inside bars wanting to get out
you spend most of your time wanting
To get out and go inside bars
You must deal with sadistic wardens
They are called managers

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Remembering our veterans:

That's my son, Jim, at the tender age of 18.  Thanks, Son, for defending our country.

This is my mom's brother, my Uncle Paul, who was still serving in WW II at the time I was born.  He's no longer with us.

That's a picture from my sister's honeymoon with her husband, Russell:  He served in WW II also; I just haven't scanned any pictures of him in uniform.  He's gone on to his reward.

God bless our veterans one and all.


I'm thankful, this evening, for November days like today, the ones when the sun shines brightly and the temperatures are in the seventies.  It's as though we stole a day to ride the motorcycle at a time of year when you expect to be wearing coats and turning up the furnace.

It's a gift for which I am very thankful. 


A tour of the Bothwell Mansion

A couple of months ago, Cliff and I rode the motorcycle to Sedalia and drove up to the Bothwell lodge; you can read about that trip HERE.  It's part of the Missouri State Park system .  That day we were too late to take the tour.  Today we arrived there just in time for the first tour of the day. 

This castle-looking mansion was built by a Sedalia lawyer and state legislator, John Homer Bothwell.  There's surprisingly little information about the Bothwell Lodge to be found on the Internet.

"Bothwell was married to Miss Hattie E. Jaynes in 1884. She died in 1887, and he never remarried. Instead, he poured his energies into public service, the practice of law, and his home and farm.

Bothwell bought this acreage, 7 miles north of Sedalia, to protect a portion of the wooded ridge from lumbering. He named it Stonyridge Farm. The house was constructed in several stages from 1890 to 1929.

The property also includes several outbuildings, the quarries from which the rock for the house was mined, and nature paths that wander down the hillside.

John Homer Bothwell died in 1929. He willed the property to a group of friends and relatives who owned it until the State of Missouri assumed ownership in 1974. Bothwell Lodge, Hotel Bothwell, and the Missouri State Fair are three of his achievements that can still be seen in the community of Sedalia."

It was so dark in some parts of the house that I had to use flash, which makes for less-than-desirable pictures.  Here are some shots of the kitchen.

There are three faucets:  Hot, cold, and rainwater.  That's because the well water was high in sulfur content, and not good to drink.

Most of the mansion has original furnishings.  The kitchen, however, was modernized as the years went by.  The lady who was their cook helped the state park system restore things to their original look.  I asked our guide if Bothwell had servants, and he said none except for a cook and a housekeeper.

I'll be sharing more pictures in different entries here and on my Blogger site.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

I'm thankful

Today I'm thankful for good doctors everywhere, and all sorts of prescriptions that help people live longer and healthier lives; Lipitor and Niacin, for instance, which help my husband stay healthy. 

Conditions that had to be accepted and endured 100 years ago can be helped or cured now; I've often wondered how people with common bladder infection, back in the old days, managed to cope. 

Thank God for modern medicine.

Donate rice

I've donated 230 grains of rice so far to help world hunger through United Nations.  If you want to donate and like to define words, click HERE.

annoying sounds

I don't use the AOL software to access my AOL content, and haven't for ages.  I simply go to by way of my Firefox browser, sign in, and read my mail.  Unless I close my browser, I stay signed in all day.

One of the most irritating things about AOL, way back when I used their software, was that annoying "You've got mail!"  Cliff has impaired hearing, but that AOL man's voice must be right in his best range, because he could hear it three rooms away.  I've even known it to wake him up.  As for myself, I simply got tired of it.  So one advantage of using Firefox was that I didn't have to hear "You've got mail".

But AOL decided I missed it, I guess.  Because recently, every time I clicked to read my email, there that guy was shouting at me again.  Finally this morning I figured out how to shut him up.

I recently downloaded AIM, and I had the same problem:  annoying sounds!  See, I'm often listening to music at my computer.  There's nothing more frustrating that to be listening to my favorite artist and hear a lion's roar or a car horn or a dog barking, or some other totally foreign sound butting in.  Then I realized that my current buddy sound, a cow mooing, was probably the worst offender of all!   

So I finally figured out how to turn all those noises off.  Hopefully, nothing will interrupt my music again.

I must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed, eh?  This entry sounds grumpy.  OK, I'll counteract the rant with this:  I'm thankful there's a way to turn off those annoying sounds!

Now playing: Jerry Lee Lewis - That Kind of Fool
via FoxyTunes   

Oops, my daily "thankful" for Friday

I forgot it yesterday, so here goes:  I'm thankful for our leathers, and other warm clothes that make it possible for Cliff and me to take the motorcycle, ride forty or fifty miles, and have a picnic, even in November with the temperature in the fifties!  Life is good.

Pictures from our ride destination today are in my other blog; click HERE.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Deer season has begun

The grandson is heading south to deer-hunt with some friends.  He bought a roll of hot summer sausage at work today for the trip, and here at the house he grabbed a half-roll of Ritz crackers.  I suggested he take a whole roll.

"There's some bologna in the freezer," I offered. 

I had bought it for that weekend we took the granddaughters to Branson, in case we ran out of real food.  Fat chance of that happening.  Anyhow, we don't eat bologna around here.  So he took it.  Then I offered cheese, which he also accepted.

"If you're taking bologna and cheese, you need bread and Miracle Whip," I told him.  So we found a container for that stuff, and some plastic knives for spreading.

The grandson headed out with both hands full of food, bidding me goodbye.

"Drive carefully, and shoot safely," I said.

"Oh, crap!" he exclaimed, setting down the foodstuff.  "I almost forgot my gun; I'm sure glad you said 'shoot safely'."

*deep sigh, accompanied by a shrug and rolling of the eyes*

a livestock picture, and a Thermos update

I've blogged before about the neighborhood rooster who hangs out with my calves.  Yesterday I happened to see Rooster almost huddled up with the Secret and Meatloaf, and I couldn't resist taking a picture.

OK, after yesterday's entry, I did extensive research on vacuum bottles.  From what I've found, wide-mouth bottles just don't keep things hot or cold as long as regular ones, and the one I'm complaining about is wide-mouth.  It needs to be, in order to put chili or vegetable stew inside it.

I found these reviews on, which convinced me to buy Thermos brand.  Target online had the best prices; since we were out and about yesterday, I went into the Target store.  Alas, no wide-mouth containers did they have.  So this morning I went to the Target website and found what I wanted.

The  Thermos Work Series 1.25 quart bottle, which is supposed to keep temperatures decently hot or cold for twenty-four hours!  This will do for our beverage bottle.

For soup, I bought the Thermos Work Series 16-ounce food bottle.  It supposedly keeps food hot for seven hours, cold for nine.  See the difference?  I've been expecting a food bottle to work as efficiently as a beverage bottle, and obviously that doesn't happen.

By the way, I've never been a big Target shopper, but their prices were far better than everyone else's.

Thanks, everyone, for your input.

Now playing: Jerry Lee Lewis - Travelin' Band
via FoxyTunes   

Thursday, November 8, 2007

My daily "thankful"

Did you ever think about the wonders of e-mail?  Yes, I know:  we all get those forwards and warnings we've seen a hundred times, and delete them without opening.  But the jokes!  Cliff's cousin Edna sent two really funny jokes via email  that I finally remembered to show Cliff today.

In this crazy world, I thank God for every chuckle I get; even if it's only from an email.

Vote for Antique Mommy

I'm not much on blog awards and contests, but by george, Antique Mommy has such a talent that I'm gathering votes for her.  To read her most thoughtful and excellent blog, click HERE; you won't be sorry.

To vote for hers as the best parenting blog, click HERE.

She's running in third place, but catching up fast.

Come on, come on; just vote once for my sake, if nothing else.

A rant

I bought this this Stanley thermos some four years ago.  It still looks like brand new, because it doesn't work!  Within two hours, the contents are lukewarm, whether they started out hot or cold.

Cliff and I love to take a picnic lunch along when we ride the motorcycle.  Chili or vegetable soup would be the ideal food on these Indian summer days.  But the stupid thermos doesn't work.

If any of you know of a brand that will work, please enlighten me.  It'll make our picnics SO much nicer.

In answer to Helen's comment:  Yes, I always put hot water in first to heat it up.


Our Sunday motorcycle ride

I took a lot more pictures than this during our Sunday ride, but half of them didn't turn out: when we ride with Pat and Charlene, we run about 70 miles per hour, which makes for some blurry pictures.  When Cliff and I are on our own on a scenic stretch of roadway, we go about fifty, as long as we aren't holding any traffic up behind us; even then, Cliff will often pull off the road and let people pass (or motion for them to pass us), so he can enjoy the view along with me.

I'm told the locals around St. Louis call this "the Alton Run".  It was one of the most memorable motorcycle rides we've had yet; you can bet we'll be doing it again sometime.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

While sitting in the orthepedist's office...

That's the Kansas City skyline as seen from my doctor's office.  Cliff and I sat there for forty-five minutes waiting for the specialist to show.  (Yes, we accompany one another to our doctor's appointments these days.)

So I was reading an outdated magazine with a title like "Arthritis Today", and Cliff was reading some magazine like Newsweek.  There was an interesting article about how Merle Haggard, a former Republican, is supporting Hillary.  He's even written her a song.  SERIOUSLY!

Hey Merle, I love you, man.  It's a good thing I don't worry about the politics of my favorite singers.  You vote your way and I'll vote mine.

If you want to read about Merle's ideas, and even get a chance to hear a clip of the song for Hillary, click HERE.  The lyrics are there, too.  Not Merle's best work, in my humble opinion.

Hey, I'm still loyal to Jerry Lee Lewis. What an ego THAT man has, and the morals of a pig.

Now THAT'S redneck!

Notice all the decals stuck on the rear window?  And the statement on the tailgate?

Oh yeah, and the rebel flag sticker.  And the dents and dings along the side of this little pickup.

Tonight I'm thankful for the chuckles Cliff and I get as we travel along the Missouri highways and byways.

One of my heroes, Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman, has been in ill health lately.  Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.

Now playing: Floyd Red Crow Westerman - World Without Tomorrow
via FoxyTunes   

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


I'll confess to being grumpy this evening; cold temperatures are affecting my mood.  Horseback rides don't sound so inviting, and motorcycle rides are out of the question.

However, I'm thankful for TVLand, which shows lots of the old shows from my younger days:  "I Love Lucy", "Andy Griffith", "Leave it to Beaver", and others.  I'd recommend these for anyone in my age group who's in a funk due to the weather.

New Town

We saw many interesting sights in St. Charles, Missouri, a historic old town which butts up against the city of St. Louis.  On our brief cruise Saturday (the ride we took without a working battery on the motorcycle), we cruised through a planned city near St. Charles called New Town; I didn't have my camera with me, so I took no pictures.  Thank goodness I was able to swipe some photos off the Internet.

The houses and buildings had a nineteenth-century look about them, except they were brand new; some even reminded me of places in the French Quarter of New Orleans.  To see some street views, click HERE.  Charlene said she and Pat actually considered living in New Town for about twenty-four hours, so she had some information about the place garnered from the lady who showed them around.   There's more information HERE.

Googling my way around the Internet, Wikipedia informed me that there are many such developments around the world, but this was my first experience seeing such a thing.  

Next time, I'll have my camera.  I'd better hurry, though, because Charlene tells me it will eventually be a gated community.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Thanksgiving thankfuls

Since I was out of town for a couple of nights, I missed my daily "thankfuls".  Let me catch up:

1.  I am thankful that Cliff and I are totally in agreement on the motorcycle transaction, and that he's ready to take me on many picnics and road trips.

2.  I'm thankful that my grandson is trying to make something of himself and correct past mistakes, in spite of the fact that certain people who ought to be trying to help him are trying to bleed him dry, taking his hard-earned money and telling him he owes it to them.  His grandpa fully understands, having been there himself.

3.  I'm thankful to live in the best county (Lafayette) in the greatest state in the Union (Missouri) in the wonderful United States of Ameri
ca.  God knew where to plant me when He formed me in my mother's womb.

Now playing: Bruce Springsteen; Jerry Lee Lewis - Pink Cadillac
via FoxyTunes   


Meet me in St. Louis (Louie)

We had time for a brief ride when we arrived in St. Louis at Cliff's sister's house, but there was a slight problem; our new Gold Wing needed a battery.  Cliff was so anxious to ride it, though, that he and Pat jump-started it and we went for a brief ride around St. Louis.  I was hoping and praying that Cliff didn't kill it in that horrible traffic, because if he had, it would have sat there, dead in the water.  Once we got our ride in, we all went to Wal Mart and got a battery.  By morning it was charged up and ready to go.  We've had to buy a battery for all three of the Gold Wings we've owned now.

We love Charlene's house and the neighborhood it's in.  It's quieter than any country home; you can't hear sounds of traffic at all, and you seldom see any neighbors moving around. 

Charlene loves living in St. Louis.  She says everything they need is within fifteen minutes.  She enjoys the crowded malls for shopping and the vast selection of places to dine.  Honestly, you'd think she had died and gone to heaven, and was driving on streets of gold and living in her heavenly mansion.  We are happy for her and Pat.

For folks like me and Cliff, shopping has no appeal at all.  And we certainly don't need any more temptation to eat out that we already have; we've each gained six pounds lately, right here in the boonies; probably seven or eight, after this weekend. 

Nor can I imagine having to drive somewhere to walk with my dog.  So we won't be looking for a home in St. Louis in the near future.

I will tell you, though, that St. Louis is a wonderful place to visit, and there are some historic places that I'm dying to dive into!  I'm glad we have free lodging when we go there.

I'll be telling about some of the things we saw in other entries.