Tuesday, July 31, 2007

changes

I have in the past week, for some reason , enjoyed my days excessively.

I've turned back into the "morning person" I used to be.  I've been in good spirits, looking forward to each day.

Yesterday morning I worked Libby in the round pen with Blue's saddle on; that went well, considering that saddle is so big it rides forward onto her neck.  She tried to figure out a way to ditch in a few times, but finally just gave up and circled the pen, going whichever way I directed her.  Then I handled her feet, something I need to get back in the habit of doing daily; because she's been awfully touchy about one back foot.   The summer heat has caused me to put her on the back shelf:  it's time to make up for that.

In the afternoon I rode Blue along the river bottoms, and I felt the most wonderful sense of freedom and peace.  So much so that I broke into "How Great Thou Art" at the top of my lungs.  Followed by "When He Was On The Cross (I Was On His Mind)".   I'm sure if anyone had seen or heard me, they'd have thought I was mad.  I came home and cooled my poor, sweaty horse off with the garden hose.

Finally, I enjoyed a pleasant evening with my grandson.

Lately an inner voice tells me that within two years, all the things that bother me now will have vanished from my life like a puff of smoke.  The concerns of today will be forgotten.

Cliff and I have talked about getting a mobile home or some sort of different house on this property in two years.  But that wouldn't change any of the irritants here, so I don't think that's what prompted these thoughts.

Something in my spirit simply says things will be different.  Let's face it, at my age there are lots of factors, dozens of things that could close one door and open another.  Or maybe it's just me that is going to change.

So now the person who always hated change... that would be me... is looking forward with anticipation to whatever sort of vicissitudes come my way.


                                        WAITING

                               by: John Burroughs (1837-1921)

      erene, I fold my hands and wait,
      Nor care for wind, nor tide, nor sea;
      I rave no more 'gainst time or fate,
      For, lo! my own shall come to me.
       
      I stay my haste, I make delays,
      For what avails this eager pace?
      I stand amid the eternal ways,
      And what is mine shall know my face.
       
      Asleep, awake, by night or day,
      The friends I seek are seeking me;
      No wind can drive my bark astray,
      Nor change the tide of destiny.
       
      What matter if I stand alone?
      I wait with joy the coming years;
      My heart shall reap where it hath sown,
      And garner up its fruit of tears.
       
      The waters know their own and draw
      The brook that springs in yonder height;
      So flows the good with equal law
      Unto the soul of pure delight.
       
      The stars come nightly to the sky;
      The tidal wave unto the sea;
      Nor time, nor space, nor deep, nor high,
      Can keep my own away from me.

Monday, July 30, 2007

persistence, personified

Iron is bringing quite a bit of money lately, so Cliff spent the morning dragging rusty metal out of the ditch.  I understand they want the tires taken off before you take junk to the junk yard.  Cliff had his work cut out for him here.  He's no quitter.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

You wondered how Libby is doing? (pictures AND video)


 




You knew it was bound to happen, didn't you?  My cute little filly, Libby, has to grow up and face adult tasks.  Being a devout coward myself, I asked grandson Arick to make himself useful and be the first to ride Libby.  You'll have the special treats of seeing her almost buck once (she didn't try any more), and of seeing her poop.

No creatures were hurt in the filming of the following video.


Libby grows up

Studying vacuum sweepers

I decided to see what sort of bargains I might come up with on Ebay and Craigslist (by the way, never mis-type Craigslist by leaving that first letter "s" out.  You'll get a porn site!  Forewarned is forearmed).

You can imagine my delight to find that Ebay has some wonderful tips on various brands of vacuums.  Click HERE to see info in Kirby sweepers, and HERE to read about Dyson.

When I was having so much fun with the Kirby salesmen the other day, I told them I was going to use them in a journal entry, and they joined in on the humor of it.  I had no idea at the time what I'd say about them or their visit, except that I'd give them a good review.

As I sat down to type my entry after they left, I mentioned some of the prices the guys had mentioned to me in that entry.  Jeremiah figured his bosses would be impressed with the good review I intended to give them and told them how to find my journal (go to Google, type in My Country Life).

When his overseers found the prices in my journal entry, both salesmen were in deep doo-doo, because the Kirby folks don't want people to know the price of their product until they've seen it perform. 

Hey salesman guys (I know you don't have Internet, but...) you have my sincere apology.  I do hope I didn't cost anyone his job.

And please, you supervisors and bosses at Kirby, I have to tell you this:  All it takes is a few trips to Google and you'll find your prices are all over the Internet, put there by well-meaning people just like me (type in the words "salesman price of a kirby").  I even found one article explaining all the techniques the salesmen use, and why.  Google will also make you realize that there are a lot of happy Kirby owners in the world.  If you simply read the comment section of my entry about the salesmen, you'll see some hard-core Kirby owners there, some who are now on their second one.  People  who say they definately ARE worth the money.

So if you Kirby people happen to be monitoring my journal, please tell me Jeremiah didn't lose his job on account of me.


A flock, or a herd? (And air fares)



Some of you have asked how Secret and Meatloaf are getting along; well, they're doing fine, and so is the rooster in the background, who accepted the new addition just fine, thank you.  I never had any doubts about the calves bonding.  Cattle don't struggle for supremacy the way horses do.  Oh, there's usually a leader in the group, but they always seem to get along just dandy.

I've been looking at airfare prices this morning.  I really, really want to visit my sister this year when she's at her winter home in Texas.  Now, I can fly round trip to Dallas out of Kansas City for $140.  Or Washington, D.C., same price.  I could do Chicago, round trip with three nights at a hotel, for $399.  But to fly to visit my sister near McAllen, Texas, the cost is $353!  Good grief, I could fly round trip to MAINE for $288. 

However, I believe this year I will make a visit to my sister's winter home a priority.  I'll see her a week from today, have her help me decide on the best time to visit, and go ahead and purchase my tickets early.  Before anything comes up to interfere with my plans.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I love the feel of Missouri in the morning



Fifteen minutes after I left home at 5:15, the sky was turning a lovely pink.



I watched the sun come up as I rode.  I love Missouri.



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to catch a bay horse in the dark

I awoke before 4 AM this morning, not an unusual time for me to get up.  I have no reason to be stirring so early; but my rebellious body insists I get moving if I lie in bed awake for over a half-hour.

I believe I'll go for a ride when day starts breaking.  I need to get my money's worth out of the $80 I gave the farrier yesterday.

I went out to a pitch-dark pasture to try and find a dark-bay horse in a group of other brown horses.  That would be a daunting task, except at this time of morning/night, the horses always seem to be lounging just on the other side of the second gate.

We've locked them out of the lot nearest the barn, because they insist on standing at the
gate all day, pooping.  If they should get into a scuffle and bump that gate, causing it to swing open, they'd be free in the neighborhood.  So Cliff forces them to stand further away at a second gate.  Where they stand, pooping, about three quarters of the time, in full sunlight, even on 95-degree days.  At least I don't have to worry about Blue foundering on grass; they have turned their standing area into a dust bowl, and only go grazing when they're really hungry.

Anyway, I generally forget to take a flashlight along when I go get Blue at this time of day.  When I got to that second gate I peered through the darkness:  Were they there as usual?  Or were they at the back of the place, grazing?  As my eyes adjusted, I saw their ghostly bodies about fifteen feet away and started my two-syllable call:  Blu-uuuue, Blu-uuuue.  I could see Tude's head go up, looking at me with ears perked up, but Blue wasn't even visible at first.  Then his big frame emerged out of the shadows.  I opened the gate just wide enough for him to enter, and closed it quickly to keep Sassy from slipping in with him; she always tries.

So Blue is eating weeds (that's all that's growing in the lot; you'd think it was the finest alfalfa the way those horses eat them) while I wait for a hint of color to show on the eastern horizon. 

I believe Cliff has a motorcycle ride planned for this day, also.  We'll see how it goes.

Don't forget I'm giving away a hand-held digital camcorder after August 7; if you're interested, leave a comment on The contest entry and get your name in the hat.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

There is, indeed, a God! (Of course I already knew that)

*note:  this post has been altered to take out any prices I might have originally mentioned for Kirby products. 

You saw my tirade about the dog hair and the mopping.  And my pitiful vacuum sweeper. 

So God sent some unlikely angels to my door to help with the housecleaning.

This stranger came to my door and offered to come in and clean my carpet, free.  He said he was with Kirby.

"Do I have to listen to a sales pitch?"

"Not if you don't want to," he answered.

"Come on in, and if you do a good job in the living room, I'll let you do my bedroom," I told him.



So, Jeremiah assembled the Kirby; as he did so, I explained to him that my husband wasn't even willing to pay $500 for a Dyson.

"Oh, you don't want a Dyson," he said.  "They're junk."



There's just something beautiful about watching a man vacuum your rug, you know?  Notice no sweeper bag is attached.  Instead, he put these little filters on, so he could show me my dirt.



And now the whole world can see all my dirt!  Remember, you were THERE!

Jeremiah asked if I was ashamed to see so much dirt come out of my carpet.

"Are you kidding?  Tickles me to death to see it out of my carpet; look, I'm 20 feet from a gravel road and the windows are wide open because we don't have air conditioning.  I have dust and dirt (and dog hair).



Then Jeremiah's buddy came in to check on him.  I forget his name, but he told me he's a farm boy, so that's what we'll call him.  And he agreed that Jeremiah's assessment of Dyson sweepers was correct:  Junk.



A closeup of one of the filters.  Looks like Sadie's been here.



Just for your information, here's what the box says.

Now I have to tell you, there was more done than just vacuuming.  Jeremiah also put on an attachment that shampooed the rug, and quite honestly, he did an outstanding job... as good a job as the people we used to pay to come and do it. 

There was a stain in the bedroom carpet where Sadie got sick and puked up pork bones a year ago; nothing would get it out.  It's gone now.

Did I buy a Kirby?  No.  A new one costs too much for someone in my income bracket.  The guys also offered to sell me their demonstrator, with a lifetime guarantee, for much less.    As I told them, if I had that amount laying around, I might.  Cliff and I aren't spring chickens, and we don't need any new payments.

Will I buy a Kirby?   I could get a reconditioned one that's in my budget; I've had a reconditioned Kirby before, and was less than impressed.  But hey, my rugs look great just now.  Maybe I should give an old Kirby a fighting chance.

Want to win a prize?



Remember when I won a prize from UnCut Video?  A Pure Digital Point & Shoot digital camcorder with 1.4" Color Display?  Click HERE to refresh your memory.  And HERE.  To see information about Pure Digital's Point-and-Shoot Camcorder, click HERE.

It really was a nice little prize, but folks, here's the problem:  I don't have a single use for it.  Except for the one time I took it outside and tried it out, it's still unused.  See, my digital camera takes fine movies, and I'm used to it.

I regret that I threw away the packaging the camcorder came in, but take my word that it's like new.  I have the instruction sheet, slightly chewed on because Sadie got hold of it.  Still quite legible, though.

I want to give all my readers a present.  Unfortunately, I only have one of these to give.  So here's what I'm going to do:  If you think you'd like this little gem, say so in my comment section.  I'll put all the screen names in a hat and Cliff or my grandson will draw.  It's that simple.

Although I hate to do it, I'd better rule out relatives.  It would look pretty rigged if a family member won, right?  Friends and acquaintances, however, are welcome to put their names in the hat.

Winner will, of course, have to send me name and address so I can get the prize to them.

Let's make the deadline August 7.

If nobody wants it, then I guess I'll give it to charity.

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mopping

I've been more neglectful than usual of my household duties this summer.  I don't have the energy I once did, and when I start the day with a two-hour horseback ride followed by a walk with my husband and dog, I'm tired.  Then there's all the time I've been spending at the cabin.  Playing has taken precedence over work... more so than usual.  Factor in a large portion of pure laziness and you get the idea.

So this morning I decided to mop the kitchen,  hallway and bathroom for the first time in... oh, I don't know... a month?

Sounds simple, doesn't it?  And it would be, except for the hair-sheddingest short-haired dog you'll ever meet.  And most of what she sheds, I've learned, is undercoat, which is as fine as cat-hair.  Here's how it goes when I'm ready to mop:

1.  Pick up all throw rugs, take them out and shake them, and get them into the Kenmore for a wash job.

2.  Start sweeping all the areas you intend to mop.  Notice the little piles of hair you are accumulating, congratulate self. 

3.  Go chasing after hairballs when a slight breeze blows them out of your swept-up pile and all around the room.

4.  Realize that the source of the whole hair situation is the dog; perhaps it would be wise to start with her.

5.  Take dog outside and brush her awhile; congratulate self on how much hair the brush is removing, and bring her back inside.

6. 
Start bathwater running for dog.

6.  Drag dog from behind the bed where she's hiding because she heard the bathtub being filled.

7.  Spend ten minutes bathing the dog, then put her on her tie-out to dry.  Notice the many clumps of wet dog hair going down the drain and congratulate self.

8.  Spend five minutes trying to rinse all the stray dog hairs that are stuck to the edges and sides of the tub down the drain.

9.  Start vacuuming again; run wand around the edge of the rooms and under computer desk, and use it to pick up stray hair-piles seen blowing around, because any hair left when the floor is mopped simply sticks to the mop and relocates elsewhere. 

10.  Mentally curse the &%@#& vacuum, which never was worth a hoot, and stinks when it's running because, years ago, itwas used to pick up a bunch of Asian Lady beetles 
that had invaded the upstairs and they left a permanent foul odor in the sweeper that gets worse over time.

11.  Go to computer and see if Kohls has any Dyson vacuums on sale.  Nope.

12.  Lay kitchen chairs down in order to get any embedded hair off their feet; otherwise, when they are brought back into the kitchen and placed on a damp floor, the hair that's stuck on them will soak off and deposit itself on the clean floor.  Begin to carry chairs to the living room, out of the way.

13.  Realize there's probably plenty of hair on the carpet that will be tracked back in the kitchen; run the &%@#& stinking vacuum in the living room.

14.  Prepare mop and water.  Spend five minutes mopping.  Finished.

15.  Make mental note:  next time a dog is adopted, make sure the parentage is known and get one that has no undercoat.

I think I know now why I procrastinate when it comes to this job.



Thursday, July 26, 2007

the tune to "Texas Plains"

Believe it or not, I found somebody singing "Texas Plains" on Youtube.  I won't say I'm crazy about the version, but at least those of you who wondered can hear the tune.  Click HERE.  You'll even hear the yodeling.

Let me say to the two who commented on my calling our newest tractor a "Jap-Deere", I meant no disrespect.  If you knew how much Cliff loves his tractors, you'd know we wouldn't call his main work-horse by any name we felt was derogatory.  Anyway, I apologize for using a word I had no idea was politically incorrect.

Darned-near perfect day!

Although we're dry as a desert lately, it seems as though most of my recent horseback rides were happening when the sky was cloudy.  Any ride is great, and there's something to be said for the cooling effect of clouds.  But somehow, rides are just more pleasant on sunny days.

Yesterday morning when I left at 6 A.M., there were no clouds.  I got to see the sun coming up, a huge, bright-red orb on the horizon.  As I rode along the Missouri River, birds chirped their wakeup noises and I felt all was right with the world.  My knees didn't even hurt much, as they usually do when I ride.

I canned those four quarts of tomatoes and froze the corn.  One of the nifty things about doing those old-timey things is that it puts me in touch with my roots, with Mother and Grandma.  My mom is the one who first gave me my instructions for canning and freezing, back in the early years of my marriage.  Later on I bought the Ball Blue Book and other manuals.  Mother was truly disappointed when I started pressure-canning my green beans, because she had always cold-packed them for three or four hours.  Hey, that's supposed to be unsafe!  Never mind that my mom lived more than ninety years, and none of Grandma's family died of botulism.  To be honest, I still wouldn't be scared to cold-pack green beans.  It just takes so long!

So anyhow, I had a nice time hearing my mom's voice in my head while I did the tomatoes and the corn, telling me how to do it.  Cliff and I had a nice salad for lunch, I fixed his lunch for work and washed dishes, and Sadie and I went to the cabin at 2:30 as he left for work.  I took the guitar, which requires a separate trip, but sometimes it's worth it.

So I was leafing through my song-lyrics, singing whatever suited me, and I found the perfect cabin-song... or horse-back riding song, if only I could learn the words; can you picture me riding Blue and holding up lyrics for a song I'm singing? 

I had such a great time with this song that I repeated it three or four times!


                                                 TEXAS PLAINS

Down in my dreams somehow it seems that I'm back where I belong,
Just an old country hick way back in the sticks back where I was born;
Cause the city lights and the city ways are drivin' me insane.
I wanna be alone I wanna be back home out on the Texas plains

CHORUS
I wanna drink my java from an old tin can while the moon comes shinin' high.
I wanna hear the call of a whippoorwill I wanna hear a coyote whine.
I wanna feel my saddle horse between my legs just riding him out on the range
Just to kick him in the sides let him show his step and pride out on the Texas plains.

I wanna hear the thunder as it goes and rolls I wanna feel the rain in my face,
Just a thousand miles from the city lights living the cowboy ways.
I wanna sleep at night beneath the stars above with that whole moon shinin' down.
I wanna cook my grabbel with catfish skulls fifty miles from town.

CHORUS

Sometime soon I'm goin' back back where the skies are blue
In a little house just built for two back where my dreams come true.
Well I'm tired of subways and the forty-story shacks
I'll trade 'em for the wide open range.
I wanna go back please take me back out on the Texas plains

CHORUS

Now I confess, there's a yodeling part to this song that I have to skip.  I did it once, since nobody was within hearing distance, and was quickly reminded why I don't attempt to yodel.  By the way, what's grabbel?  Maybe I should re-write that line, since I'm not too crazy about the idea of eating catfish heads.

Sadie and I played a little Frisbee, had ourselves a nice campfire, and went to bed for a good night's sleep. 

Yes, it was a darned-near perfect day!


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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

canning veggies

We have an abundance of tomatoes right now; since I have dozens of canning jars and plenty of experience canning, I set out to make use of our bounty.  I checked the cabinets and discovered that I did, indeed, have enough canning flats and rings to do the job.

Next, I went upstairs to the closet of my "junk room" where I have boxes and boxes full of Ball jars.  I wasn't of a mind to do any large-scale canning, so I only selected five small-mouth quart jars.

I had to wash the jars, and since I'd be needing both sides of the sink clear, I washed the breakfast dishes while I had soapy water.  All the while I'm racking my brain trying to recall how long I needed to cold-pack tomatoes.  Finally I checked online:  forty-five minutes, once the water reaches a boil.

First, though, the tomatoes must be submerged in boiling water for thirty seconds so they'll peel easily.  OK, while that water was heating, I went to the garden and got a few ears of corn; may as well freeze some corn at some point today.

So I'm at the point of taking a break, right now.  There are four quarts of tomatoes halfway through their boiling water bath, and the ears of corn are heating up in their own water.  Once that comes to a boil, they get four minutes... I think.  I'd better check that, too.  Then I pour off the hot water, plunge the ears into cold water, and as soon as I can handle it, I cut the kernels off the cob.  There might be two quarts of corn when I get done.

So it hit me awhile ago:  Four quarts of tomatoes equals eight 14 1/2-ounce cans of store-bought tomatoes.  Walmart now has their own brand of unsalted, canned tomatoes for fifty cents a can.  So when I'm done, if all the jars seal, I have $4 worth of tomatoes.

Seems like a lot of work just for $4.  Not to mention the mess.

I think you can buy frozen corn pretty darned cheap, too.

Oh well, I guess I wasn't doing anything else. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Judith Heartsong's Artsy-Essay contest

Anne asked me to submit an entry to Judith's contest.  I'm neither artsy nor competitive, but for Anne, I'll submit this.

What is your favorite and most inspiring possession? Tell us about it, and if you want an extra creative challenge... tell us about it without naming it until the very last sentence of your essay:):):)


Favorite and inspiring possessions.  Wow,  I’ve had so many.  Have so many even now, really.

But the one that first comes to mind is a thing that takes me away from everything that taunts me and messes up my peace of mind, from all the stuff that gets under my skin.

Cliff and I supposedly live in the country.  We had a rural route address until the telephone 911 law came through, when all country folk were given a town-sounding address with a street name and number.

But it isn't country like you imagine: On one side, I see an un-kept house and yard with a garbage bin always overflowing into the street by our driveway, raided by dogs who string dirty diapers everywhere, while the wind blows plastic bags and paper trash into our yard. 

On the other side, I see junk lined up against our property line.  A new house is being constructed there which can be seen from almost all vantage points on our forty-plus acres.  That means they can see most of our property, so it's hard to find any private place these days.

Looking ahead, to the south, I see more houses.

Children cross through our yard, looking in the windows as they pass.  They climb through a hole they created in our fence to play in the pen with my Jersey calf.  In the spring, adults climb over fences further back to hunt for mushrooms here, and laugh at me if I catch them in the act and protest.  Police show up in the neighborhood sometimes, answering drug-related and domestic disturbance calls.   

Motorcycles and four-wheelers buzz past at odd hours, and a steady flow of traffic passes on the gravel road less than thirty feet from my open living room window, sending clouds of dust inside that settle on everything.  

One possession has helped me keep my sanity.  It lets me forget the crowded, noisy world in which I dwell.  

I was afraid to ask my husband for it, because I figured he’d either laugh or get mad about it; besides, I was pretty sure it would cost more than we could afford.  But he figured out how to give me what I most needed at this time of my life.  Perhaps he laughed inwardly; I know he still doesn't really understand my need to be alone at times, but he gave me the one possession I had to have.

This one thing gave me a ticket away from the crowds, the trespassers, the noises that were slowly driving me out of my mind: the inquiring minds, the people who consider me to be nothing more than a crazy old lady, those who have no respect for anyone else's property.

And Cliff didn't break our budget doing it.

My husband took the skeleton of an old shed and turned it into a cabin for me, a cabin in the woods.  Then he dragged it far enough to the back of our place, and down a hill a way, so that when I am there, I can forget about the crowds.  When I’m at my cabin, nothing exists except the sounds of the woods and passing trains.  The only signs of humanity are miles away, across the river.  I answer to no one there except God.

Thank you Cliff.  And thank You, God, for my cabin in the woods.



(I could have written the same essay about my horse, Blue... he's my other ticket to sanity.)


A Tale of Three Deeres

Cliff and I have gotten rid of a lot of our tractor collection.  Three of the remaining ones are John Deere tractors, and two of those are the most-used on the place.

So Cliff will say something like this:  "I'm going to mow with the John Deere."

"Which John Deere?" I'll ask.

And he'll specify.

It happened again this morning, and I said, "Cliff, we have to find names for each tractor so we always know which one we're talking about."

Here's what we came up with:



Recently acquired classic lawn tractor, "Little Johnny".



The old primered-but-unpainted 520.  We'll probably just call her "The 520".  Cliff is raking hay with this one as I type.

And the current work-horse of the farm...



"The Jap-Deere", because these modern John Deeres are made in Japan... at least in part.  I stole this name from the Tractor Tales message board, by the way.  There are many other terms I've learned on that forum, some of which I would hesitate to use, most found in the Taler Dictionary.

That picture is over a year old; it makes me rather sad to look at it because, in order to move in with us recently, Arick had to get rid of that pit bull.  I know that was hard for him.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Interesting trip today (LOTS of pictures)

I think the pictures tell the story.  Enjoy!

Ready for a video of Secret and her buddy?


Secret meets Meatloaf


What you'll see here is still going on, sporadically.  The calves are figuring out who's going to be the boss.  No calves were hurt during this filming.

Thanks, Rachel!

The daughter came over and got my wireless Internet up and running, so I'm a happy camper.  I've figured out one reason she's so much better at doing stuff like this than I am:  Patience!  During the installation process, something would stall out and Rachel would sit there and wait as long as it takes.  It did take longer than I expected.

My laptop can be used in the house and yard again now; I still have AOL on it, so I might make an occasional visit to the old chat room in the morning... all things AOL have been taken off this one, my main computer.

In less that an hour we'll head east to get Meat Loaf.  I hope we make the trip with no problems; it's about a two-hour drive one-way.  I wish there were a way to haul a calf behind a motorcycle!

Anybody want tomatoes?  I have them by the bushel right now!

Myspace update

Well now, I've gone from sixteen MySpace "friends" to twenty-seven!  Some of you folks read about my dearth of friends and added me.  I feel SO much better now.  I've noticed something; the more contacts I add, the more time I spend on MySpace.  No, no... I don't live there like so many younger folks seem to do.  But I visit, at least once a day; and check on some of my friends.  This morning I had a friend request from Mechelle, who was raised right here, next door, and used to play with my daughter thirty years ago.  What fun!  Computers are great for keeping in touch, aren't they?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

a joke received from a Texas friend

Thanks for the laugh, Frankye!

HOW TO CLEAN THE HOUSE




1. Open a new file in your PC

2. Name it "Housework."
3. Send it to the RECYCLE BIN.
4. Empty the RECYCLE BIN.
5. Your PC will ask you, "Are you sure you want  to delete Housework permanently ?"
6. Calmly answer, "Yes," and press mouse button firmly .
7. Feel better?


     Works for me!




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I think I'm about "cabined" out

Last night, again, I slept at the cabin.  Third time this week.  As usual, the solitude was great, the campfire lively (I'm almost out of wood, but Cliff has more, cut and stacked).  Don't ask about the corn bread in the pie iron.  I don't care for black corn bread, but Sadie ate the black parts and I ate the inside part with my fingers, like some starving hobo. 

I slept well, and awoke at 4:30 this morning to the realization that I didn't want cabin coffee.  I wanted easy kitchen-coffee, sipped while surfing the web.  So I waited until there was some daylight, and Sadie and I returned to civilization.  That's an advantage of camping out within walking distance of your house.  Tired of camping?  Walk home!

Our motorcycle is at Hub Cycle shop having new tires put on it, and should be done by 11.  Cliff is going to mow our alfalfa, which is more weeds than alfalfa, thanks to our late hard freeze.  And then he's going to go help his brother, Phil, work on a tractor, which will probably take him past our favorite Pizza Hut around noon.  So, Sadie and I will probably go along, since she loves to go to "Unkie Phil's", where it's so isolated that she can run free.   She's knows the routine, and remains quiet in her carrier while we eat.  She knows she'll get a couple of bites of pizza crust when we're done.

Tomorrow we still plan to go pick up the new bovine addition, Meat Loaf.  I'll make a video when we unload him, so you can see Secret's reaction to the first cow she's seen in months. 

I wonder if we can squeeze a motorcycle ride in there anyplace?  Doesn't sound too promising.

Oh, I have a new wireless router.  So many of you were happy with Linksys, I bought that brand this time.  I am not even going to touch it; I'm letting the daughter have first try at setting it up.  Directions on the box look fool-proof, but I remember the experience with my last router.  No thanks.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

more of my favorite "cabin music"

I grew up in the Church of Christ.  I cut my teeth on a cappella hymnbooks and shaped-note singing.  We used to have "first Sunday singings with dinner on the grounds".  Sometimes we'd have a singing school, where a fellow came to church and spent a week of evenings teaching us how to read shaped notes.  I learned to sing alto in the car, harmonizing with Mother and Daddy.

It was only in the last two or three years that I began to miss the old hymns, sung without instruments.  The songs churches don't seem to sing any more.  It took a lot of searching and Googling to finally find THIS SITE.

Almost every one of my favorite childhood hymns was on one or another of their CD's, and I purchased three.  If you go to that website, you'll hear them singing.  HERE are two of the CD's I purchased.

I imagine it's just part of growing old, missing songs and styles and people that are no longer around.

Darn, I wish I hadn't decided to do this entry.  I think I found another of their CD's I want!  That'll cost me $14, plus shipping.

Anyhow, the pure voices with no instruments cluttering things up sound just right, out in the woods.  Trust me on that.

Pie irons and cabin stuff


I spent another night at the cabin, heading to the woods shortly after Cliff left for work.  In a recent entry I mentioned my buddy-pie-maker, and a reader commented that it's actually called a pie iron.  Well, typing that into Google got me lots of information and several recipes at... are you ready for this?... Pieiron.com.

I had my usual grilled cheese made in the pie iron yesterday evening; this morning I experimented with French toast.  I think next time I'll try the corn bread.  I could get fat, playing with this thing.  In ten days the granddaughters will be back, and I won't be able to head to the cabin until six or after.  So I'm simply enjoying it to the fullest while I can.

I was amazed that I slept through the night until 4 A.M., because I'm usually up two or three times a night.  Sadie and I were awakened by the barred owls calling to one another (click that link and you can hear how they sound); one was very close to us.  I laid there awhile, listening to the insects, owls, and a passing train that set the coyotes howling.  (That link will let you hear coyotes yipping).



Certain things belong at the cabin:  here you see a CD set of Mother Angelica and the nuns saying the Rosary, and yes, that's a rosary there, made in Italy, given to me by my friend Joanna (neither of us is Catholic).  I don't have a clue how it is used, but I get it out of my cabin bag when I'm spending the night and put it where I can see it.  I like listening to the rosary sometimes as I'm going to sleep; it's very calming.  Oh, the book you see is a hand-made journal-book given to me by my nephew's son (great-nephew?).  I use it to write down my thoughts when I'm at the cabin.



That's a $3 souvenir I bought at a T-shirt shop last weekend at the lake.  It's right at home back there.



On the same wall, above my air  mattress, is a picture of Mandy.  She's the dog for whom my cabin was built.  She loved it there so much that, if I wasn't careful, I'd go off and lock her in.  I'd go back to find her curled up in her special spot under the bed.



On a different wall is this picture of Mandy, looking off into the woods in winter from my cabin porch.  So you see, she is still very much with me in my heart.



This is the other three-dollar souvenir from last weekend.  I can't resist a bargain!



And Sadie, as always, lay in her favorite spot behind the cabin yesterday with her beloved Frisbee; no chance of locking her inside... she only goes in when I tell her it's time to go to bed.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Our exercise program

Cliff and I were taking daily walks long before his CABG surgery; in fact, our walk was what caused his chest pains in 2005, which led to our getting him to the doctor... in a round-about way, and with a little shove from a friend.

We've been walkers on and off for years, but this round of diet/exercise began almost three years ago; we'd go to the little park less than a mile away and make use of the track there.  It circles a little-league baseball field.  If we walked a half-hour, that was six turns around the track, and it added up to a mile-and-a-half.  Can you say "boring"?

So one day I headed out to the pasture with watch in hand and figured out a half-hour walk there, a walk that incorporated hills, something we were lacking at the track.  And pleasant scenery.

So that's been our routine ever since, except during Cliff's recuperation from heart surgery.  There are disadvantages, by the way, the main one being that we get wet feet when there's a heavy dew... which is almost every day.  Or when it has rained, which results in muddy places where the horses lounge.

Cliff's Wisconsin sister and her husband visited recently, and they wanted to go along on our daily walk.  Both Cliff's sisters have invested heavily in exercise equipment, and this particular sister uses her Nordic-track religiously, every day.  Not to mention the various workout tapes she uses.

So imagine my surprise when both she and her husband gave out after our first hill, puffing and panting and begging for mercy.  From that point on, they waited for us at the top of each hill.

Now I'll grant you, Rena has been a heavy smoker all her life (she quit three months ago) and has permanent damage from a lung that collapsed when she had a wreck several years ago.

But I'm just glad to know our half-hour walk is so difficult for someone used to working out on an expensive Nordic-track and using exercise videos.

We must be getting plenty of cardiovascular exercise.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

our latest road trip to Lake of the Ozarks

Some of the best motorcycle roads in Missouri are in the Lake-of-the-Ozarks area; this is the part of the country where Cliff's mom and dad were born and raised, so he has relatives throughout the area.  On the way down yesterday we stopped by Aunt Gertrude's and took pictures of a white Honda Gold Wing her son, Cliff's cousin, wants to sell; I'm going to put it on Craigslist for him and see what happens.

We spent a tourist-y afternoon and evening in Osage Beach, Missouri.  I got myself a couple of marked-down bargain souvenirs at a T-Shirt shop near where we were staying, and I managed to talk Cliff into joining me in the motel swimming pool, since nobody else was using it.

Heading back toward home this morning, we arrived at his cousin's house at 7:30 AM; Juanita was up, but Wayne was still in bed.  They seemed to be glad to see us, in spite of our arriving so early.

Son-in-law Kevin was barbecuing today, and we got back in plenty of time to enjoy his superb skills.  Rachel did well with the marinades and side dishes, too.  And her mother-in-law made Ree's recipe for bacon-wrapped jalapeƱo thingies.   I can't tell you how great those were, and my stomach is still much too full because of them.  It's Rachel's fault:  I ate the last two as a favor to her because she wanted to wash the platter.  It's the sort of supreme sacrifice a mother makes for her baby girl.

Now Cliff is contentedly playing... er, uh, working on a lawn mower in his shop. 

Life is good.

Friday, July 13, 2007

just one more clarification

The friend we are purchasing for Secret is not her future mate.  I had considered that option, but Cliff wants Secret to have a pure Jersey calf.  The lady who sold Secret to us offered us use of her bull, when the time comes.

Jersey heifers often start coming into heat by the age of six months.  They shouldn't be bred before the age of fifteen months.  Therefore, if we didn't castrate the bull calf, we'd have to keep the two of them separate to prevent a too-early pregnancy.  And let's face it, that would defeat the purpose of getting Secret a friend.  We'd have two lonely bovines around.

I certainly hope this answers all questions.  Any further queries will be answered in email.

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Ah-HEM!!!! Just for Amy (and other city slickers)

Yes, Secret's new buddy will be a male.  Please notice that I said we will make him a steer.  That means he will be neutered.  And we really will turn him into hamburger, meat loaf, and other good stuff at some time after Secret has a baby.  Secret won't mind at that point.  She'll have her baby for company. 

No, we won't have a problem eating an animal we've raised.  We've done it many times.

Just call me Hard-hearted Mosie.

big news for all... and pictures for my son

Cliff wanted our son Jim to see his new toy... er, uh... finish mower.  And I included a picture of the house our neighbor, Marvin, is building.  He's going high with that thing; he can see all the way back to the point.  My cabin is still out of sight, though!  And we're going to plant some trees in strategic locations this fall to obscure our property somewhat.






Oh, the big news:  I have a friend secured for Secret, a male calf which we'll castrate.  He'll be older and a bigger than her, but she won't care.  We'll probably go pick him up a week from this Sunday.  His name?

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Meat Loaf

So you think you'd like to spend a night at my cabin?

I have to laugh when some of you say you want a cabin like mine.  I'm sure you would like to have a cabin, but I doubt you'd want one like mine.

1.  Cliff made me an outhouse there, using somebody's old hunting cover turned on its side.  If I get up in the night, though, I don't go back there.  I stay very close to the cabin door and squat... because who knows what's out there in the dark.  Would you do that?

2.  I enjoy sleeping on my air mattress, even though it leaves me a bit stiff and sore when I awake in the mornings.  I have to let the air out when I leave because of the mouse situation; once I had a mouse living underneath my old mattress.  Besides, it gets dusty back there, so I keep all my bedding in closed containers... safely away from rodents!

3.  If you need food kept cool, you'll be carrying an 8-pound milk jug full of ice to the cooler when you go.  That's at the same time you're carrying the cabin-bag, an insulated jug of fresh water (I leave water at the cabin in large containers, but I want my drinking and coffee water fresh).  Oh, and don't forget Sadie pulling excitedly on her leash because she's anxious to get to the cabin where she can be turned loose.

4.  Mice nibble on your books, so be sure and keep any precious ones put away somewhere.  The mice poop on every surface as they walk, too.  And be sure and keep Sadie's dog food locked up.  Mice love dog food.  Did you know they can climb straight up a wall?

5.  Because the water must be carried back there, I'm pretty stingy with it.  Thank God for Wet Ones.

6.  If Sadie is at the cabin with you, prepare to wear yourself out throwing Frisbees and sticks for her.  She'll stand at your side and stare you down until you could scream.

7.  Spiders and other bugs.  If you don't believe there are lots of bugs, just look at the sticky-trap.  And that's a fairly new one.  I keep bug spray back there, and also...

8.  Apply plenty of Off, for the ticks and mosquitoes.

9.  Actually, I can't complain about my daughter's camp stove; the only problem I have with it is screwing on the little bottle of propane.

10.  While we're at it, that isn't really a cabin; it's an old storage shed someone had used for a poolside dressing-room, and Cliff practically had to rebuild it from scratch.

I bought that buddy-pie maker on mine and Cliff's first trip to Branson on the motorcycle.  We stopped in Springfield at Bass Pro Shop, and there is was.  I had read (on a message board I no longer frequent) about buddy pies.  Yesterday evening was the first time I remembered to use it! Does anybody have any buddy-pie recipes?  I need some!  I also tossed a potato in the coals of my fire.  When I pulled it out it appeared to be burned to a crisp; but when I halved it, I found I could easily eat the potato out with a spoon.  It was as though the 1/4 inch burned-solid shell was a bowl.  Yummy.

So, there you have it.  Are you positive you'd like my cabin?  Perhaps you'd need a few refinements.  I don't think I know any ladies who would enjoy it back there... and very few gentlemen.

I love it.  It's the most sacred, private, peaceful place I know.  Many mice have died, and will continue to die, so that I can have my special vacation spot.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Why yes, I do have a MySpace page

I originally set up a simple MySpace page so I could browse others' sites there, look for local people and so forth; let's face it, it's mostly a "kids" thing. 

That's still my main reason for being there; you can tell I don't spend much time on MySpace by the fact that I only have sixteen friends listed.

If you have a MySpace page and want to be my "friend", you'll find the link on the upper left under My Favorite Sites.  Let's face it, sixteen friends looks pretty pathetic, especially since two of them are my children, one is a step-daughter, one is a former neighbor, and one is a kid I used to babysit thirty years ago. 


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Colorado plans, revisited once again

Cliff sold the Farmall Cub, and we agreed that gave us plenty of money to go to Colorado, with some left over for Cliff to spend on tractor stuff... or motorcycle stuff, whatever.  My regular readers, of course, know Cliff would rather stay home; but he likes Colorado and was willing to go because, in the give-and-take of marriage, he figured it was his turn to give... once again.

He's been looking for a 7-foot, rear-discharge finish mower for a long time.  I won't explain the reasons he wanted one, but they were valid.  Anyhow, the day after selling the Cub, he happened to talk to a friend who had exactly the heavy-duty mower he'd been looking for all this time... for $850.  That's probably half the new price.  Besides, that still left us enough money enough to go to Colorado.



But wait: I personally think, in all my vast knowledge of things vehicular, that the motorcycle needs new tires.  Cliff says they're good for a long time yet, but I don't want any blowouts.  OK, there goes another $300-plus.

Gasoline went up to $3.15 a gallon.  Well, we can charge the gasoline; I might take three months paying it off, but it would get paid.

Then I spent an afternoon and night at the cabin, relaxing and reading and playing Frisbee with Sadie.



I came back to the house renewed the next morning, and I thought, "Do I really want to spend all that money going to the mountains when I can relax at the cabin and ride my horse right here at home?"

(Yes, we've had this conversation before.)

Yesterday Cliff called me outside, saying that Secret had turned her water-container over, just playing with it.  I decided it was time to give her a bigger container, since she was drinking the old one dry every four days. 



We also decided to pursue finding her a buddy so she won't have to use inanimate objects for companionship.  At one time I had someone who'd sell me a Dexter bull calf (we'd make him a steer) for $200.  It's been awhile, so I don't know if that animal is still available.  I tried emailing and  phoning the people; they must be on vacation.  If I can arrange it, we'd go get the calf this weekend.

Cliff agrees we'll go on some weekend trips.  He also wants to invest in some sort of push-cart he's seen that I can take to the cabin when I go:  I often wish I had my guitar back there, but that means another trip to the house.   With this cart, I could take the kitchen sink with me if I wanted to (which I don't; that's one thing I'm escaping, back there).

So for the second time this year, I've decided against Colorado.  I'm quite happy with the decision.  Cliff is doubly happy.

But watch out:  next year I'm holding out for Wyoming!

And I'm already stashing money into a savings account toward that goal.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I'm in the mood for many entries today

Once I found out the grandson wasn't on cocaine, Sadie and I went to the cabin for the night.



I set up my lounge chair and read a few chapters of a Harlan Coben book (my new favorite author).  Sadie kept insisting I play Frisbee, so I finally forced her on the lounge with me.  She seemed relaxed, but still got down as soon as I allowed it.  Notice her paw is on the Frisbee so I can't grab it from her.



The cabin isn't a good place to view the sunset; too many trees blocking the view.  Sadie and I even went back on the point to no avail.



That's OK, we can always see a pretty sunset from our yard. 

Today, I'm freezing some corn from the garden.  Cliff did three different plantings so it wouldn't all be ready at once, but it's still far more than the two of us can eat.  The tomatoes are coming on, too.  But the vines are getting blight at the bottom, and some of the tomatoes have spots on them.  They taste good, so we'll enjoy them while they last.




Oh my goodness

I've mentioned before that the oldest grandson, Arick, is living here temporarily.  I had hoped he'd save some money, staying here almost rent-free.  That hasn't happened.

However, he really hasn't upset my life-style, either.  And Cliff absolutely loves having him here. 

Yesterday, though, we had a little bump in the road. 

Cliff was sitting in his easy chair reading a catalog; he reached over to lay it on the arm of the couch, and exclaimed, "What the hell is this?"

It was a white, powdery substance wrapped in something like saran wrap, laying right there on the couch-arm.



I unwrapped it and looked at it closely; I thought about sniffing or tasting it, but I was afraid to.

We fumed and fretted.  Cliff said, "You find out what he has to say for himself when he gets home tonight; if he admits it's some kind of drugs and it's his, I want him out of here before I get home from work!"

So Cliff headed off to work, leaving me to deal with my grandson.  It was a couple hours later that Arick came through the door, looking weary from a hard day's work.  I decided to confront him quickly and get it over.  I made sure I had my internal B.S. meter running wide open.  I picked up the item, held it toward Arick, and said, "Do you know what this is?"

"Yeah, it's BC Headache powder; it's the only thing that helps my toothaches."  And he went upstairs and got the box to show me.





Oh.  I cranked up my B.S. meter for nothing.  I hate when that happens.

(Arick's recently got dental insurance from his employer, so we spent the next few minutes hunting up a dentist for him.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Secret has a cowbell!


Secret's cowbell


Cliff found one of our old cowbells somewhere.  It was lacking a clanger, but he fixed that.  Now we can find Secret by the noise she makes.  Watch toward the end of this video as she decides to get playful.

Jon has done it again...

Jon, the guy who finds adventure every time he goes to Walmart, has made me laugh with this entry.  Check it out if you want to smile.  (Nope, this one isn't about Walmart.)

We're selling stuff on Craigslist

We only discovered Craigslist a couple of months ago, but it's doing a good job of selling stuff for us, the most recent being the Farmall Cub.  

Cliff never wanted the Cub tractor in the first place; friends of ours had owned it, and it had a story behind it.  So I begged until he agreed to buy the thing.  We paid our friends for it $100 at a time.  Then Cliff spent lots of bucks restoring and painting it... all for me.

We've had up to eight or nine tractors at one time around here.  On 42 acres.  That's totally ridiculous, but we like tractors and tractor shows, and Cliff does a great job of painting and restoring them.

Cliff finally convinced me of the foolishness of keeping tractors around that we don't use at all.  We recently sold the old WC Allis to a cousin's son, grandson of the uncle who gave it to us.  So it's still in the family and I feel good about selling it.  That tractor and the Cub were "my" tractors, although I never drove them.  Cliff, left to his own devices, would never have gotten them.

We recently called off our Colorado vacation because we needed a lawn tractor, and we didn't want a plastic cheapie disposable one.  I've felt bummed about that, but I was the one who suggested we change our plans.

Since then, Cliff started selling stuff.  I put them on Craigslist, people come and buy stuff.  I even sold two of his brother's tractors that way.

I have two weeks without the granddaughters to babysit, and we're trying to figure out if we can make the trip to Colorado after all... without using every cent of the money from Cliff's sales on Craigslist, because he likes having a little "pocket change".

Wish us luck, and pray we'll have the good sense to make the right decision.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

In case you were wondering...

The grandson did get his cell phone; he's back from his big weekend, sunburned like crazy. The phone had been run over in a parking lot, but it still works.  BOY does it work.  Can you believe he text-messages while he's driving?  ACK!

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My birthday surprise

When I came back from the cabin yesterday morning, Cliff had some surprise plans for my birthday:  Load up the motorcycle with tent, air mattress, and a lunch for on the road, and head up to Pershing State Park.  Once camped, he said, we'd hunt up a steak dinner twenty miles away in Chillicothe, the original home of sliced bread.

We no more than got our tent set up until Cliff's sister called his cell:  She and hubby were out cruising on their Harley, and they decided to join us for supper.  They arrived less than an hour after calling.

Anyone who has ever camped in Missouri State parks knows that raccoons will raid coolers and tents looking for food.  So we kept all food in Cliff's motorcycle, in the upper storage compartment.  Wouldn't you know the blasted varmints went climbing all over our Honda?  Footprints were EVERYWHERE.

We took my daughter's propane camp stove along, so we had good coffee this morning, and were able to heat water for instant oatmeal.

And we were home by 10 AM today.

Cliff would much rather have been home, so he made the supreme sacrifice by taking me on a motorcycle ride/camping trip.  Thanks for the happy birthday, Cliff!

There are three more pictures I took this morning as we left the park on my Blogger site, and I will also have a Wordless Wednesday entry there from our travels. when the time comes.

(Luckiest day ever or not, the lottery thing didn't pay off.  LOL.)

Saturday, July 7, 2007

message to family members

My grandson is at the lake, attending a bachelor party weekend.  I got a call this morning that he's left his phone at a convenience store down there.  I've tried calling his mom (not in service), his sister (not in service) and the bachelor's mom, who is gone.  If any of you who so frequently change phone numbers happens to read this, please call Adam and tell him where Arick's phone is; they are holding it for him.

A lovely night at the cabin

Since the granddaughters aren't here this month, I was able to head to the cabin as soon as Cliff left for work at 2:30 PM.  It was hot back there, but I still made a fire; it just doesn't seem right without a campfire going.

I didn't take pictures for my journal because I've pretty much taken every picture that can be taken, even to the point of  making a video of my campfire.  Sadie still looks the same with a Frisbee in her mouth; the trees haven't changed much, nor have the dwarfs that grace my cabin porch.

I took the Harlan Coben book I'm currently reading.  And of course, a bottle of Off to protect me from mosquitoes and ticks.  My supper?  Almonds, cheese, and a few Simply Naked chips.  Needless to say, I'm starving now.

I listened to some CDs:  Iris Dement, of course; Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman; some old-timey country stuff; and some old, old blues.  I had the guitar with me, and I sat on the edge of the porch and sang a few tunes last night, and more this morning.

The last time I spent a night there, I started to make coffee when I woke up and found out the little propane bottle on the campstove was empty.  Fueled by caffeine addiction, I came back to the house before dawn.

With a new bottle of fuel screwed into place, I was set, this time.  I awoke around 4:30 AM (but of course, I'd gone to bed at dark).  Sadie and I stayed in bed awhile listening to the birds wake up, and then I made the coffee.  And it was good, strong stuff.  What a wonderful way to wake up on my birthday.  Speaking of which, I want to thank you all for the birthday wishes you've sent my way, especially the original creation by Russ.  What an honor, to have a special, unique, individual greeting made by an actual employee of Hallmark! 

The several hours at my cabin left me wondering why I haven't "camped out" much, this year.  You can bet your boots I'll be there more, now that I've been reminded how peaceful and restorative the time spent at my cabin can be.

As for the rest of my day?  I do plan to buy a lottery ticket, just because it's the luckiest birthday ever (07/07/07).  I might even purchase a couple of scratch-offs!

There are two moviesI'd like to see, and I think I ought to get at least one more meal out in honor of my turning 63.  Nothing expensive.  Maybe a visit to my favorite Pizza Hut is in order.

Friday, July 6, 2007

I'm a few entries behind

Cliff's sister and her hubby spent two nights here.  Cliff took a vacation day Monday, and we headed southeast to visit relatives in Versailles.  Rena and Al rode with Cliff's older brother, Phil, in his car.  Cliff and I took the motorcycle.



We made a stop on the way, and Al kept close tabs on Rena's doggy, Angel.



We pulled up in front of Aunt Gertrude's house around 10:30.



She was busily preparing enough food for an army.



Cliff, his cousin Rick, and his brother Phil caught up on all the latest BS... er, uh... news.



Then his cousin Dale took Rick's place.



Rena took pictures while some of the guys looked at our motorcycle.



Dinnertime!!!!  There wasn't room on the table for all the food.



After the dishes were washed, we all enjoyed Aunt Gert's front porch.  These are Cliff's mom's sisters:  The oldest is in the middle, then Lois (on the left), then Gert.  Oh, the child she's holding isn't a relative.  She babysits him.  Cliff's late mother strongly resembled Aunt Gertrude.

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Thursday, July 5, 2007

computer back from its physical and other short subjects

My computer suffers quite a bit of abuse, much of it at my own hands.  I download things without thinking first about what I'm doing, or whether I need the download at all.

For some time now, my desktop had been slow to boot up, although once it was up and running, it was fast as lightning.   So I took it to the shop for a little tune-up.

There were three anti-virus programs running, probably all fighting one another.  Now I have only AVG.  I had all traces of AOL removed from the computer.  I can access my journal and my AOL email from Firefox, so the only thing I've lost is chat; and I chat very little these days.  I'll leave AOL on my laptop so that, once I've acquired another router, I can chat on that if I wish to.

The laptop is a wonderful thing to have, because it's my spare when this one is down.  But getting the desktop back after a few days of using the "spare" is like a gift, like receiving a brand new computer!  All my music is on here, and my pictures.  The monitor seems HUGE after using the laptop, and I enjoy using a mouse again.

I did have one minor scare after hooking everything up:  My sound was barely there at all, even turned up all the way.  But it turns out I had plugged a wire into the wrong hole on the back of the tower.  Everything's fine now.

A cousin of Cliff's passed away, and we were thinking of combining a trip to her funeral in Columbia, Missouri, with a motorcycle trip-campout.  However, the funeral is at 10 AM tomorrow, and it was simply going to be too much of a rush.  So we're skipping the whole thing, funeral and all.  Cliff says we'll plan a trip somewhere with the camper in the next couple of weeks.

My daughter is taking some vacation time, and she and I went grocery shopping today.  While we were out, she treated me to lunch at Olive Garden; I'm not sure, but I think that was my fourth birthday dinner this year.  I have two more days to see if I can con anybody else out of a meal.  It had better not be Cliff, though.  He's put on a couple of pounds celebrating with me, this past week.

Enough rambling!  It just feels so good to have my computer back, I had to blog about it.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

We went for a motorcycle ride today

It's been a quiet 4th around here.  We went to visit a favorite nephew in rural Peculiar, Missouri.  He's usually here with the rest of the crowd on Independence Day, but since our plans fizzled, we decided to ride the Honda out to see the house he's built.  He's still working on some of the rooms.

That's the back of his house.  His first roofer decided the roof was too steep and quit, but Scotty finally found someone to do it.


That's Scotty and his very pregnant wife.  Their daughter will be born in August, if she sticks to schedule.



This is Trevor, who was disappointed that we weren't having our usual gathering today, but was looking forward to fireworks at home tonight.

This is one of the most laid-back, cool families you'll ever meet.

Scotty, if you found this journal per my instructions... I TOLD you I'd have you plastered all over the Internet!