Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I went out and sat on a dirtpile in what will soon be my back yard.  I went at sunrise, then several times during the day; and finally, at sunset.

I discovered a wonderful thing:  I'm going to be able to watch the sun rise and set, sitting in my own back yard.

I can't wait.

Now playing: Eliza Gilkyson - Welcome Back
via FoxyTunes   

At least we'll be able to use the bathroom!

Although it isn't quite done (the guys needed to get another connection), it's getting there.

There's our septic tank.

We sure have lost some hay-ground and pasture in this process.  Oh well, at least we'll be able to flush... if our bathrooms ever arrive.

We're going to have to make a decision on our water supply.  We already paid $2,060 to the rural water folks; they didn't want to hook us up to the smaller line that runs along our dead-end road, so if we get on their lines, we have to hook on some 400 feet away.  To do that, we have to pay half the cost of bring water from there to here.  That's another $1,100.  If we decide against them, they'll refund our deposit.

I'm going to call Culligan and see what the cost would be to get a water softener and maintain it.  I have a feeling we'd be ahead using our ever-faithful well.  The only thing I'm a bit concerned about is Cliff's heart issues:  I've heard there is some salt in softened water.  I can call and talk to the nurse at his heart specialist's office; perhaps she can guide me.

We shall see.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Quite a day!

Cliff loves watching heavy equipment at work; he says things like, "Too cool" or "Did you see that?"

So our mobile home won't arrive tomorrow after all, but things are definitely happening:  Aquila has done their part in getting electricity back to our site.  The guy who's going to put in our septic tank arrived with his backhoe today.  Oh, and the water people said we'll hear from them in the next couple of days concerning what our cost will be to get water onto the property.

Never a dull moment.

Now playing: Lionel Richie - Truly
via FoxyTunes   

Monday, April 28, 2008

Internet connections

Well folks, that picture was taken in 2005.  Cliff and I were bigger (and I'm worried about my weight NOW?) and Natalie was smaller.  Cliff didn't know his ticker was going to cause him trouble.

I used to frequent a message board, the Almanac chat.  I don't have it in favs any more, but if you type those words in Google, you'll find it.

Every month or so I do just that:  type it in Google and go.

Because there are five or six people on that forum that I care about, and I like to check up on them.

So a couple weeks ago I checked in and saw Stuie's annual sweet corn seed offer.  He's been doing it for years, but I never took him up on it until this year.  Because sweet corn seed costs like, oh, I dunno... $10 a pound?

Got the seed today.  And once again I thought what a wonderful WWW we have here.  Stuie stopped by and ate tater tot casserole with us one Sunday in 2005.  We'll be planting his corn in our garden this year, 2008.

Kind of a never-ending circle, wouldn't you say?


Sunday, April 27, 2008

Cross your fingers

Cliff just talked to the guy who will move our mobile home:  If all goes well and we don't get any rain between now and then, he intends to do the big move Wednesday.  And there's no rain in the forecast.


Cliff's cousin, Edna, sent me this touching story in email.  I checked it out at to make sure it was true (it is), then looked it up on the Internet so I could share it.  I found the article HERE.


The Boys of Iwo Jima
(From the book: Heart Touchers "Life-Changing Stories of Faith, Love, and Laughter)

by Michael T. Powers

Each year my video production company is hired to go to Washington, D.C. with the eighth grade class from Clinton, Wisconsin where I grew up, to videotape their trip. I greatly enjoy visiting our nation's capitol, and each year I take some special memories back with me. This fall's trip was especially memorable.

On the last night of our trip, we stopped at the Iwo Jima memorial. This memorial is the largest bronze statue in the world and depicts one of the most famous photographs in history -- that of the six brave men raising the American flag at the top of Mount Surabachi on the Island of Iwo Jima, Japan during WW II. Over one hundred students and chaperones piled off the buses and headed towards the memorial. I noticed a solitary figure at the base of the statue, and as I got closer he asked, "What's your name and where are you guys from?

I told him that my name was Michael Powers and that we were from Clinton, Wisconsin.

"Hey, I'm a Cheesehead, too!  Come gather around Cheeseheads, and I will tell you a story." 

James Bradley just happened to be in Washington, D.C. to speak at the memorial the following day. He was there that night to say good-night to his dad, who had previously passed away, but whose image is part of the statue. He was just about to leave when he saw the buses pull up. I videotaped him as he spoke to us, and received his permission to share what he said from my videotape. It is one thing to tour the incredible monuments filled with history in Washington, D.C. but it is quite another to get the kind of insight we received that night. When all had gathered around he reverently began to speak. Here are his words from that night:

"My name is James Bradley and I'm from Antigo, Wisconsin. My dad is on that statue, and I just wrote a book called Flags of Our Fathers which is #5 on the New York Times Best Seller list right now. It is the story of the six boys you see behind me. Six boys raised the flag. The first guy putting the pole in the ground is Harlon Block. Harlon was an all-state football player. He enlisted in the Marine Corps with all the senior members of his football team. They were off to play another type of game, a game called "War."  But it didn't turn out to be a game. Harlon, at the age of twenty-one, died with his intestines in his hands. I don't say that to gross you out; I say that because there are generals who stand in front of this statue and talk about the glory of war. You guys need to know that most of the boys in Iwo Jima were seventeen, eighteen, and nineteen years old.

(He pointed to the statue)

You see this next guy?  That's Rene Gagnon from New Hampshire. If you took Rene's helmet off at the moment this photo was taken, and looked in the webbing of that helmet, you would find a photograph. A photograph of his girlfriend. Rene put that in there for protection, because he was scared. He was eighteen years old. Boys won the battle of Iwo Jima. Boys. Not old men.

The next guy here, the third guy in this tableau, was Sergeant Mike Strank. Mike is my hero. He was the hero of all these guys. They called him the "old man" because he was so old. He was already twenty-four. When Mike would motivate his boys in training camp, he didn't say, "Let's go kill the enemy" or "Let's die for our country."  He knew he was talking to little boys. Instead he would say, "You do what I say, and I'll get you home to your mothers."

The last guy on this side of the statue is Ira Hayes, a Pima Indian from Arizona. Ira Hayes walked off Iwo Jima. He went into the White House with my dad. President Truman told him, "You're a hero."  He told reporters, "How can I feel like a hero when 250 of my buddies hit the island with me and only twenty-seven of us walked off alive?"

So you take your class at school. 250 of you spending a year together having fun, doing everything together. Then all 250 of you hit the beach, but only twenty-seven of your classmates walk off alive. That was Ira Hayes. He had images of horror in his mind. Ira Hayes died dead drunk, face down at the age of thirty-two, ten years after this picture was taken.

The next guy, going around the statue, is Franklin Sousley from Hilltop, Kentucky, a fun-lovin' hillbilly boy. His best friend, who is now 70, told me, "Yeah, you know, we took two cows up on the porch of the Hilltop General Store. Then we strung wire across the stairs so the cows couldn't get down. Then we fed them Epson salts. Those cows crapped all night."

Yes, he was a fun-lovin' hillbilly boy. Franklin died on Iwo Jima at the age of nineteen. When the telegram came to tell his mother that he was dead, it went to the Hilltop General Store. A barefoot boy ran that telegram up to his mother's farm. The neighbors could hear her scream all night and into the morning. The neighbors lived a quarter of a mile away.

The next guy, as we continue to go around the statue, is my dad, John Bradley from Antigo, Wisconsin, where I was raised. My dad lived until 1994, but he would never give interviews. When Walter Kronkite's producers, or the New York Times would call, we were trained as little kids to say, "No, I'm sorry sir, my dad's not here. He is in Canada fishing. No, there is no phone there, sir. No, we don't know when he is coming back."

My dad never fished or even went to Canada. Usually he was sitting right there at the table eating his Campbell's soup, but we had to tell the press that he was out fishing. He didn't want to talk to the press. You see, my dad didn't see himself as a hero. Everyone thinks these guys are heroes, 'cause they are in a photo and a monument. My dad knew better. He was a medic. John Bradley from Wisconsin was a caregiver. In Iwo Jima he probably held over 200 boys as they died, and when boys died in Iwo Jima, they writhed and screamed in pain.

When I was a little boy, my third grade teacher told me that my dad was a hero. When I went home and told my dad that, he looked at me and said, "I want you always to remember that the heroes of Iwo Jima are the guys who did not come back. DID NOT come back."

So that's the story about six nice young boys. Three died on Iwo Jima, and three came back as national heroes. Overall, 7000 boys died on Iwo Jima in the worst battle in the history of the Marine Corps. My voiceis giving out, so I will end here. Thank you for your time."

Suddenly the monument wasn't just a big old piece of metal with a flag sticking out of the top. It came to life before our eyes with the heartfelt words of a son who did indeed have a father who was a hero. Maybe not a hero in his own eyes, but a hero nonetheless.

Michael T. Powers

Copyright © 2000 by Michael T. Powers


Saturday, April 26, 2008

Reading blogs

So I was reading some of the blogs to which I subscribe, this evening, and got into this really difficult-to-understand entry (to me) explaining what's wrong with the Southern Baptist Convention.  My curiosity was aroused; I'm not a Baptist, so I was out of the loop.

Then I remembered my good friend in Texas, Frankye, who recently hosted a gathering of Internet friends (which I attended).  So I sent her the link to the blog entry.  She explained, in a nutshell, what was going on... from her viewpoint, of course.

And I thought how fortunate I am to know people with so many different viewpoints.  Each one ready to answer any question I might have.

Just one more little perk of being on the World Wide Web.


Here's our sign

We ordered our sign some time ago.  But since we had to ride the motorcycle ten miles to get it, and we've been under the weather, it's been there waiting for us. 

Now Cliff decided he wants our names on the sides of the trunk:  Cliff on one side, Donna on the other; so that's been ordered too.

Oh, and the letters are reflective at night, for what it's worth.  Since we don't ride at night, I'm not sure what's the point.  But if we're parked someplace and lights shine on it, it might impress somebody.

I told Jeannie I was going to take pictures for my blog; she did a quick double-take and said, "WHAT???"

Turns out she thought I said I was taking pictures for my dog.  Haaaaaaaaaaaa!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Today's hunt for morels

The thirty Spruce trees I had ordered arrived yesterday, so we had our work cut out for us, once I got back from my futile mushroom hunt.

There was a thirty per cent chance of rain, said the weather-guessers.  We forged ahead, marking the planting site and measuring distance between holes.  Light sprinkles began to fall on our heads, but we weren't fazed.  Until the sprinkles became bigger drops and the temperature fell by about ten degrees.  That's quite a drop if you're wet.  We ducked in the shop a time or two until it let up, but finally Cliff said, "Let's just clean up and get our running done."

So we headed to Walmart.  It was almost noon when we left home, so we were starving.  So we ate Chinese.  Cliff opted to take a vacation day from work.

Somehow we managed to spend $90 on groceries, and we didn't even buy any meat!  Dear Lord, what's to become of us all?

Once home, we went back to the tree-planting, and finished at 6 P.M.  Oh, my aching knees.

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I spent four hours at the cabin yesterday evening and nosed around for more morel mushrooms.  I found three tiny gray morels, hardly worth picking... but I saved them just in case I find more in the next day or two.  I also found a couple of false morels as well as some half-frees, which I left in place because, to me, there isn't enough to them to be worth the effort of soaking and cooking them.  Besides, I'm pretty leery of eating any mushroom except the wonderful morel.  I don't need to be poisoned.  I check the Missouri Morel message board daily to see what other "shroomers" are finding.

At the back of our place in the woods was this dead tree with wood chips laying on the ground around it.  I couldn't help but wonder if some animal (deer?) butted against the trunk to make the chips, or did the tree simply shed little pieces of wood?  Termites maybe?  There are so many mysteries in the woods.

The mobile-home mover called yesterday.  He's going to go ahead and remove the skirting from our home and get it all ready to travel, so if it ever stops raining long enough, all he has to do it hook onto it and bring it.

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Thursday, April 24, 2008

Oh, this is so true

Click HERE.


No fever this morning!  To celebrate the occasion, I made a batch of low-cal, low-fat brownies.  105 calories apiece; one of these babies is great with 1/3 cup of vanilla ice cream, which of course is more calories, but hey... sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

I also made some red Jello with fruit cocktail.  Cliff never seems to tire of sugar-free Jello.  He's funny that way; if he likes something, he doesn't mind having it every single day!  Sometimes he gets frustrated at me trying to liven his lunch up with a little change of some sort.

Cliff must be feeling better too; this is the latest he's slept in a week.  I'm starving, waiting on him to wake up!  I plan to dice the three morels I found yesterday and mix them in with some scrambled eggs.

Now playing: James Taylor - Steamroller
via FoxyTunes   

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I think I'll live

Aspirin has been my best friend today.  As long as I take a couple of them every five hours, my temperature stays at normal (that would be under 97 degrees) and I don't feel too awful.  Now you would think I'd take advantage of the fact I'm feeling better to do some things around this filthy house, but no.  Instead, I use my energy for hunting morel mushrooms.  It's been interesting.  I've only found three morels, but I've found ticks galore and met a couple of interesting snakes.  Click HERE to read about that.

Rain is in the forecast, which means it'll be that much longer until we get to move our mobile home onto our property.  I've learned, though, to never curse the rain.

Now playing: Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Talkin' Fishin'
via FoxyTunes   

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Yeah, we're still sick

Cliff went to work, simply because he said he didn't want to spend another evening sitting around watching TV.  We both have fevers.  I'll wait until Friday; if I'm not better by then, I'll go see the doctor.

We heard from the rural water company.  They won't put us on the closest two-inch line because it's already tapped out.  However, there's a five-inch line less than four hundred feet from here.  Only trouble is, we'll have to pay half the expense to get the line run up here.

We'll see what the cost is, and if it's too much, we'll simply hook onto our well and get a water-softener.  Wish us luck. 

I've found myself rooting for Hillary this evening, which surprises me.

Just shows you, until you're backed into a corner you don't know WHO you'll root for.

But then, I'm sick.

night-time thunderstorm

I woke up sometime in the wee hours of the morning to quite a racket.  Yes, thunder and rain... but something I don't usually hear.  It was hail hitting the house!  Sadie was scared to death by the racket, and I thought about how terrified the horses probably were, out in the open with half-inch hail hitting them.  I'll bet they ran like crazy.

Cliff and I have decided this is more than a cold that we're suffering from.  We're both running fevers, and have terrible coughing and chest congestion.  Must be flu.  He got a flu shot last fall, I did not.   He says he feels considerably better this morning, but he hasn't gotten out of bed yet.  I gave in and took a couple of Tylenols a while ago; I know fever serves a useful purpose, but I'm tired of feeling lousy.  Besides, my morning coffee doesn't taste good when I have a fever. 

I had intended to get up and watch some old "Without a Trace" episodes early this morning, but I just didn't have the energy to get out of bed.

So, that's my daily whine.  Hopefully I'll get on the mend soon... spring has finally arrived, and I don't like feeling lousy when I could be out taking pictures of trespassers picking my morel mushrooms.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Smokey and the Bandit

Saturday night, the daughter and her family were here, as were Cliff's sister and her hubby.  Someone mentioned "Smokey and the Bandit", and Rachel told us they have the DVD at home.  "Anybody want to watch it?"  She asked.

Not me, said I.  It was almost 10 PM, and I turn into a pumpkin after ten.  Charlene and Pat headed home, but Cliff and the daughter's family stayed up to watch Smokey and the Bandit.

So this morning I asked Cliff, "Did you enjoy Smokey and the Bandit"?

"Well, there weren't any captions, so I didn't understand most of it."

"That doesn't seem right, let me check."

Daughter left the DVD here.  I saw that indeed, there were closed captions.

Nothing, absolutely NOTHING, was on TV tonight.  So Cliff and I watched Smokey and the Bandit.  We're both running low-grade fevers and coughing; he's chilling, I'm sweating.  We watched and laughed (coughing all the while) at the silliness in that movie. 

Rachel, we'll be keeping your DVD here.  If you want to watch it, you know where it is.

*cough cough cough*

That is, if we're still alive.

We miss our conversations

Cliff and I have been used to carrying on a conversation while riding the motorcycle; There are microphones and speakers in our helmets, and all we've had to do was plug in when we get on the bike and unplug when we dismount.

Cliff doesn't hear well, even with his hearing aid in his one ear that sorta-kinda works.  But with the helmets on and the speakers working, we could chat like normal folks do... even better than we can in the quiet of our living room.  Until recently, I didn't realize how much I enjoyed our motorcycle conversations. 

We don't appreciate something until we have to do without it for awhile.

Cliff bought himself a new full-face helmet, removed the sound system from his old helmet, and added it to the new.  He's done this in the past with other helmets, with no problem.  This time, something went haywire.  He has no sound in his helmet. 

Cliff is so hard of hearing that, with a full-face helmet and no sound, I may as well talk to my hand as try to make myself heard when we're riding.  Even if I yell at the top of my lungs.

After yesterday's cruise we both agreed that it's boring to ride when we can't converse.  By hook or by crook, our sound system has to be repaired.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Riding motorcycles again

Cliff's sister and her husband rode their motorcycle all the way across the state from St. Louis, yesterday; they came over last night to visit, and then today after Church, we rode part-way home with them.

Cliff and I went to Biker's Sunday at a nearby church this morning.  It was totally awesome!  I'll probably blog more about that on my Blogger site.

Here's a clip from after church, though, when we'd all been fed and people started to leave.  This is only a tiny, tiny fraction of the bikes that were there.

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

1. You’re ordering a hot fudge sundae. Do you order it with nuts or without?  With

2. You’re buying a jar of peanut butter: which brand do you buy most often? Creamy or crunchy?  Crunchy

3. What was the last kind of nut you remember eating?  Almonds. I have a few almonds every night.

4. Take the quiz: What nut are you?

You Are a Brazil Nut
To most people, you seem exotic, unusual, and even a bit scary.
But you're really quite normal. You're just hard to get to know.
If people leave you alone and let you do your thing, you really shine.
But you tend to get lost in a crowd, especially if it's filled with big personalities.
5. This one will do a lot to indicate where you’re from: when you hear someone refer to “boiled peanuts,” are you intrigued or grossed out?  I was intrigued until I tried some; then I was grossed out.  There are very few foods I dislike, but boiled peanuts is one.

6. What is your favorite synonym for the other kind of nut, as in “a lunatic?”  Psycho

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Two years ago

Indeed, my mood is "happy" when I think how close Cliff came to having a heart attack.  After all, he was having angina every single day when we went for our walk, and we were calling it heartburn.  The doctors wouldn't even let him go home, once they realized what bad shape he was in.  And they wouldn't let him drive from the hospital where tests were done to the hospital where his surgery took place; no, he had to go by ambulance.  The surgery was performed on April 19, 2006.

Once Cliff left the hospital, we never saw the surgeon again; his office nurse did the last checkup and release.  I did write him a thank-you letter at some point, and I think I'll write him another one soon, just to let him know we're enjoying life two years later.

You can never say "thank you" too many times.  Which reminds me:  Joanna, thank YOU for nudging me to get Cliff to the doctor when you visited.

I still limit salt; I hardly ever add it to any recipe, and if I do, I measure a very small amount of it.  I buy no-salt canned tomatoes at Walmart and use lots of frozen veggies because they aren't salted.  We limit cholesterol, keep our meat servings to five ounces, and so forth.  We've become somewhat lax about our eating-out rules... that isn't a good thing, I know, but at least we do the right things here at home for the most part.  We both gained some weight this past winter, I'm sorry to say.  It's so easy to do.

We're still taking our daily walk, although the walk that used to take thirty minutes now takes forty, thanks to my knees.  Cliff still goes to the exercise room at work, on his lunch break.

If you haven't ever seen the entry from two years ago with all the pictures of Cliff in the hospital, click HERE.

If someone you know complains of any sort of chest pain when they exercise, even if it seems like indigestion, insist that they see a doctor.  It very well might be heart trouble.

Now this is something I might use

I stumbled across this on another blog (Journey to my Father's House) and discovered that there's a way to make your own book, right from your computer.  It would be cost-prohibitive if you were making several books (to sell, for instance), but if you only wanted one for a keepsake, I'd call it reasonable.  I'm thinking of putting together a selection of some of my favorite journal and blog entries in book form, just for myself.

As I understand it, you download the software, put your book together, and then order it; you can get hardback or softback.

Books like this would make good Christmas gifts for family, too.

Check it out at


Friday, April 18, 2008

bad economy, hard times

I’ve been trying to figure out, this evening, why I’ve felt grumpy all day.  Of course the waiting for our mobile home is hard: we got an inch-and-a-half of rain yesterday, which can only delay things; and there are plenty of chances for rain next week.

However, I knew that was no reason for me to be in the dumps.

A couple of hours ago I finally remembered the conversation Cliff and I had this morning.

There was a meeting at his place of employment, he said.  

There have been many changes recently where he works.  They’ve shut down unprofitable segments of the company in other states, leaving lots of people without jobs.  However, their local operation has produced profits consistently.

But with the loss of so many employees nationwide, health insurance is going to go up.  Geesh, it just went up in January; here we go again.

Oh, and some company in China is going to start making the product that Cliff’s employer makes, very soon.

I must have put all this at the back of my mind this morning, because it took me the whole day to figure out why I was grumpy.  Of course it didn’t help that we were almost out of propane.  I called our propane supplier.  The cost was $238 for two hundred gallons of propane.

I don’t believe in borrowing trouble.  Today things are fine, and I’m good with that.

Am I worried?  No.  Cliff and I have been through this sort of thing before and survived.  In fact, we thrived, back when R.B. Rice closed down with no notice.

As I told Cliff this morning, our car, our motorcycle, and the John Deere tractor are all paid for.  He can take his retirement and we’ll go riding every day.  That’ll be fine with me.

It’s just that I hate change.

Yes folks, the cloud hanging over this nation’s economy has finally settled in over our heads, too.

We will survive.  We’re the surviving-est folks you’ll ever meet.

When times get tough, tough people get going.

Now where did I put all those Norman Vincent Peale books, anyhow?
Now playing: Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Buffalo Skinners
via FoxyTunes   

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I got up around 4 A.M.  Once I had a cup of coffee in hand, I sat down at the kitchen table with my checkbook and proceeded to pay a couple of bills.  Suddenly I got the strangest feeling... like my house was moving!  Yes, the house was definitely moving.

"What's wrong with me," I wondered.  "Why do I feel like the floor is shaking?"

Funny how when something like that happens, the first thing I think is that something's wrong with me.  Seriously, I was afraid to get out of my chair for fear I was having some sort of dizzy spell or something.  Cliff slept right through it.  So did Sadie.

I turned on the TV, and they just confirmed what I suspected:  We had an earthquake.  In Missouri!  I only remember feeling an earthquake once before, back when my son was a baby.

Actually, I guess the actual earthquake was in Illinois... we just got some tremors from it.

We've received over an inch of rain.  Although it could possibly delay the delivery of our mobile home, I'm not going to complain about rainfall; not after the drought we experienced last year.

Because I hate to do an entry without any photo, I include this shot of the old Waterloo Store.  When we moved here in 1975, the store was still open for business, sort of a quaint convenience store. 

Thursday, April 17, 2008

cartoons that made me smile this morning

On this note:  Did you ever notice that the people with the most weight-loss tips are always people who are overweight?  And that folks with the most health advice are the ones with the most health problems?

Where Cliff works, they're having some sort of "biggest loser" challenge; people have split up into teams, and the winning team will be the one that loses the most collective weight.

One woman on his team has started using the workout room for perhaps twenty minutes each night at work.  So far she has gained weight every time they've had their Monday weigh-in.  Her excuse?  "I guess it's because I'm making muscle; muscle weighs more than fat, you know."

While that last is true, working out five times a week for twenty minutes isn't going to make you gain weight if you are watching your food intake.

Here's another one Cliff and I have heard several times from different people.  "I'm gaining weight because I'm not eating enough."

Huh?  We've never figured this one out, but yesterday we were able to think of four people who have used this excuse, over the years.

Cliff and I both gained weight over the past winter.  I wish I had a good excuse.  I could say that it's been a rough winter, which is has, and we've missed a lot of walks.  But listen, that half-hour walk only burns about 150 calories, tops.   I could skip the 1/4 cup of almonds I eat every evening and more than make up for that.  I just don't want to.

The truth is, the only way to lose weight is to deny yourself a bit.  You can't eat pizza or potato chips or candy every time you get a craving, and still lose weight.

Oh, and you're getting this advice from someone who is twenty pounds overweight. 

I told you!  We have all the tips!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Everybody wants to know when

OK folks, I'll tell you one more time: I don't know when our mobile home will arrive.

It's paid for; it's ours.

I do know it cannot arrive until after next Monday, because the concrete we poured won't be sufficiently cured until then.

If it rains between now and then, that will delay our home's arrival.  Because the mover can't bring it out here when the ground is soft.

I promise I'll tell you when I know something for sure.  Until then, please believe me... I wish I knew, but I don't.  Only God knows.  So go ask Him.  Meanwhile I'm trying not to dwell on it.  Please help me with that.

1.	Be not dismayed whate'er betide, 
God will take care of you;
beneath his wings of love abide,
God will take care of you.

God will take care of you,
through every day, o'er all the way;
he will take care of you,
God will take care of you.

2. Through days of toil when heart doth fail,
God will take care of you;
when dangers fierce your path assail,
God will take care of you.

3. All you may need he will provide,
God will take care of you;
nothing you ask will be denied,
God will take care of you.

4. No matter what may be the test,
God will take care of you;
lean, weary one, upon his breast,
God will take care of you.

Now playing: Kasey Chambers - These Pines
via FoxyTunes   

We ate in our mobile home

No, it isn't here yet.  But there was a nice big dog pen behind the mobile home that the former owner didn't want, so we went to get it.  Cliff wanted to take some more measurements, too.  I made a thermos of coffee and packed a lunch, and we sat down at our future kitchen table and ate.

Cliff was outside, crawling underneath the place, and I was walking around inside, figuring out where I'd put my bed and dresser.  As I exited the bedroom, for some reason I decided to make sure the door shut and latched properly. 

Indeed it did, but it was locked when I closed it.  Here we haven't even slept in the place, and I've locked us out of the bedroom.  Cliff had to find a wire to jimmy the lock.

It was terribly windy, but we saw lots of motorcycles on the road.  We saw two, at different times, with sidecars; not something we see often.  We had to take the car because we were pulling a trailer to get the dog pen.

There's the dog pen, after we got it home.
  It's 5' X 15'.  I put Sadie in it, but she hates it; her tie-out gives her lots more room.  All she would do was bark at me, as if to say, "Let me out of jail!" 

However, this would make a nice pen for a couple of chickens.  Or perhaps Cliff's sister will use it sometimes for her little miniature Dachshund, when she's here.

Motorcycles cause trouble in 1908

Do you suppose this was the beginning of Hell's Angels?

Someone has taken one-hundred-year-old news items from a long-defunct newspaper, "The Kansas City Journal" and made a weblog of it.  It's interesting to see what was going on in the area back then; I've noticed, in reading the blog, that people really haven't changed so much over the years.

For some reason, it just cracks me up that motorcyclists were  being sued for causing trouble so long ago.  It surprises me that motorcycles even existed in 1908!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Just waiting

My day?  I awoke at my usual 4 A.M., and decided to make pork bone soup.  There was a bag of bones from the last hog we butchered taking up a lot of room in the freezer, so I used it as meat and seasoning for a nice stew.

Next, a visit to the gynecologist (groinacologist,  as Archie Bunker used to say) because I hadn't seen one in ages.  Enough said about that.  Except that I wish she'd stop trying to force me to get a colonoscopy.  Sheesh, leave me alone already.  If I can't have my coffee with creamer for 24 hours, it ain't worth doing.

Once again I worked Libby (ground work, which means I wasn't riding, only directing) in the round pen with the saddle on her; today she didn't buck.  She's getting much better with letting me pick up her feet and work on them, too.

Cliff's sister called to ask why I'm not blogging about what's going on with our mobile home.  Well, that's because nothing is happening.  The concrete will be cured sufficiently on Monday; then we'll be seeing about getting our home moved onto our property.

When something happens, I'll let you folks know.  We can't do anything about the water lines until the rural water people install a meter, because we don't know where the meter will be.  One thing that is NOT a problem is the electricity; it seems they're ready to move any time we give them the go-ahead.

This is Adam, who boards his two horses here, with his recently acquired pup... some sort of cattle dog, I believe.  He's a little sweetheart and growing like a weed.  Adam wants him to get used to being around horses, so he brings him out every time he comes to work with his gelding.
Now playing: Kasey Chambers - The Hard Way
via FoxyTunes   

Monday, April 14, 2008

Nice day

I worked in the round pen with Libby this morning.  For the first time, I put the saddle on her before doing our ground work.  She bucked like crazy!  Obviously she doesn't like the stirrups flopping against her sides.  I'm thinking this might really be good for her.

Then I worked with Secret, my heifer.  To see what I did with her, click HERE.

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The horses managed to get over into an area where the calves graze; also the area where our mobile home will be.  Blue and Libby stuck their heads right in the halters when I walked up to them; Sassy acted... well... sassy.  She wouldn't be caught.  But when I walked off with the others, she followed and we got them back where they belong.  Then they all lined up at the fence and tried to look innocent, as you can see.  From left to right, that's Blue, Sassy, Libby, and Tude.

Two years ago today, Cliff was scheduled for a nuclear stress test.  Both of us were confident that he'd pass with flying colors.  Boy, were we ever wrong!  It's hard to believe it's been that long.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

This lady has plenty of readers already, but...

There's this blog I often read called "Toddled Dredge".

An entry written by this Presbyterian mom of young children gave me plenty of food for thought.  One of her statements sums the whole thing up.  "
Being part of a congregation is tough business."


It reminds me of a quote from Plato: 
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."

When you think about it, it's true; everybody is going through something.

I hope I'll be kinder tomorrow.

Patrick's Sunday Seven

With Spring just around the corner, a good, traditional Spring cleaning can’t be too far behind. But before you go to the grocery store to load up on sprays, gels and pastes to make your home look as good as new, you might save yourself some money by taking a quick inventory of what’s already in your cleaning arsenal.

That’s the topic of this week’s question.

Name seven already-open cleaning products you already have on hand in your home right now.

1.  Spic and Span

2.  Great Value All Purpose Cleaner (Walmart brand of bleach-based cleaner).

3.  Clorox Disinfecting Wipes

4.  Windex

5.  Spot Shot

6.  Easy-off Oven Cleaner

7.  Comet

Either answer the question in a comment at Patrick's Place or answer it in your journal and include the link in a comment at Patrick's Place.
. (To be considered “first to play,” a link must be to the specific entry in which you answered the question.) You may include this link in the URL space when leaving your comment, or in the comment itself. As long as it’s there in one spot or the other.

Now playing: Kasey Chambers; Paul Kelly & the Stormwater Boys - I Still Pray
via FoxyTunes   

Hard freeze tonight

Last year about this time, the trees were all leafed out; the grass was growing; our alfalfa was almost tall enough to mow for hay.  Then an April hard freeze came along, defoliating all the trees, and killing about half our alfalfa plants.

We were pleasantly surprised, this year, to see that some of the alfalfa crop had actually survived.  I've been so thankful that the weather has stayed cold, so the trees didn't do the early-bloom, early-leaf thing like last year.  There was virtually no local apple crop last fall because most of the blooms were wiped out in that hard freeze.  That won't happen this time, since no blooms have appeared.   However, there is a hard freeze predicted for tonight.


This means our poor alfalfa crop may get another blow, which will kill even more plants.

I don't mind the snow-showers we've been having for the past 24 hours.  But I surely do hate to see another hard freeze.

Good old Missouri weather.  You learn to not count on anything.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Cliff and I did some shopping today (seems like the higher the gas prices, the more we run the roads) and when we arrived home, I saw a different sort of woodpecker on a tree near where we parked (in our daughter's special parking spot).  He looked like this:

I googled until I found him; a red-bellied woodpecker.  Now why would you call a bird with a white belly "red-bellied"?

Anyway, I don't recall seeing one before, and according to a map, we are pretty far west for him.

I received a package today; to see what was in it, click HERE.

Now playing: Johnny Cash - Drive On
via FoxyTunes   

What does my name say about me?

Your first name of Donna has made you happiest when you are expressing in some creative, artistic way, and not conforming to strict routine. In a large group of comparative strangers, you are quiet and rather shy, unable to express yourself, not really wanting to become involved in conversation. On the other hand, among friends with whom you feel at ease, you are expressive, witty, and quite charming. These contrasting natures make it difficult for people to understand you and can lead to friction in your personal life. You are deep, philosophical, and refined, but your extremely sensitive nature causes you to become depressed and self-pitying over any real or imagined slight. If you are not careful, people take advantage of your generous nature. You find the beauties of nature, fine music, art, and literature--all the deeper things of life--inspiring. The reserved, sensitive side of your nature brings aloneness and friction into your life, although you crave affection and understanding. You must guard against emotional excesses, which could result in depletion of energy, creating a desire for quick-energy foods. You could suffer through skin irritations, blood conditions, back trouble, and later, through arthritis. Heart, lung, or bronchial weaknesses could also result.

Actually, there's a lot of truth here.  I'd say it's about 2/3 right.

See what your name says about you HERE.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

plans don't always become reality

Here was part of the meme I did this morning:


1. Take a muddy walk in the pasture with Cliff.

2.  Get a load of clothes washed.

3.  Work with Libby.

4.  Fix dinner (that's the noon meal, around here).

5.  possibly ride Blue

Only number one was accomplished; we did take our usual walk, and it wasn't as muddy as expected, considering we got almost three inches of rain yesterday.

Then we checked the weather forecast and noticed that today it would be near 60 for a high; after that, down goes the temperature and here comes the rain, wind and hail... and possibly snow.

So at 10 A.M. we set out on a motorcycle ride.  We made lots of stops.  The first place, we talked to a lady who makes decals and signs to put on vehicles.  We found her busily working on several that will be going on a race car.

We looked at different fonts, decided on one, and ordered the decal we'll put on the back of our white motorcycle, on the trunk:  "White Lightnin'".  Of course I'll take a picture to show you, when Cliff gets it done.  Shouldn't every motorcycle have a name?  (I picked it!)

By the time we'd traveled the countryside for an hour and came back through Higginsville, it was lunch time and we were passing our favorite Pizza Hut. 

We went to our new bank and opened a savings  account.  We stopped in at Walmart, but they didn't have what Cliff was looking for.  We came home to use the facilities and drink coffee, Cliff called work to take a paid day off, and then we set out to another Walmart where Cliff found what he wanted (a license-plate holder for his motorcycle). 

So... I did not cook a noon meal, I did not work with Libby or ride Blue.  We sure had fun, though. 

I think I'll go wash that load of clothes right now, just so I can say I accomplished two of my goals.

A meme from Carlene


Still trying to figure out how to operate my very first computer  (Windows 98).  It was always telling me I was doing an illegal operation.


1. Take a muddy walk in the pasture with Cliff.

2.  Get a load of clothes washed.

3.  Work with Libby.

4.  Fix dinner (that's the noon meal, around here).

5.  possibly ride Blue

               SNACKS I ENJOY:

almonds, crackers and cheese, celery and peanut butter


Pay off all our debts and those of our kids.  Let's see, as a billionaire, I'd have enough to pay off debts for a friend or two, also.  Build a house in the pasture to replace the trailer house we're getting... not a big one, though.  I don't want a big house.

              5  BAD HABITS

1.  I'm lazy

2.  I'm too plain-spoken at times

3.   I spend too much time on the computer

4.    I'm self-centered (after all, I'm an only child... isn't it all about me?)

5.    I have a tendency to borrow trouble (you know,"what if?")




1. Villisca, Iowa

2.  Kansas City, Missouri

3.  Eagleville, Missouri

4.  Coffey, Missouri

5.  Oak Grove, Missouri

                     5 JOBS I'VE HAD

1.  sales clerk at Woolworths

2.  order filler at National Bellas Hess (a catalog)

3.  grading and packing apples at an orchard

4.  assembly line worker making automobile wiring at Whitaker Cable

5.  Kohl's distribution center.  Hmmm, I've forgotten the title of my job there.  How quickly we forget.  It was like an order filler, though.  (Added later, thanks to my former DIL and co-worker... I was a processor.  Thanks, Kat.)

I hate to tag people; if this looks like fun to you, do it.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008


I just found out I traveled the worst-rated airline possible.  And didn't have a speck of trouble!  Perhaps part of the reason is that I only take carry-on luggage because I don't like messing with that merry-go-round thing where you pick up your baggage.

Anyhow, check it out HERE.
Now playing: Janis Joplin & The Full Tilt Boogie Band - Cry Baby
via FoxyTunes   

Peanut days!

Although we've had our white Honda Gold Wing since last December, we had never gone to the license bureau and had it transferred to our names, and gotten a license.  We were driving it around with Cliff's cousin's tags.  Of course, with the bitter winter we've had, our rides have been few and far between.

Cliff got it inspected Saturday while I was in Dallas, and today we went to pay the taxes and get a legal license plate.  Since we'd been in Kansas City, North, paying for our mobile home (yes, it's ours, even though it won't be here for awhile) we came home by way of Richmond.  There's a license bureau in the Orschlen store over there.  Orscheln's is a place where you can buy cattle feed, garden seeds, horse tack, baby chicks... in other words, all things country.

I was happy to see we had walked in during Peanut Days.  You help yourself to peanuts and let the shells fall on the floor.  There's something delightful about being able to do that.

Help yourself, they're free!  When our kids were small, we loaded up our pockets during Peanut Days.  I know, how tacky.  It's just that I go crazy at the word "free".

Peanut shells all over the floor.  It makes me feel like a true free spirit!
Now playing: Kitty Wells & Red Foley - Just Call Me Lonesome
via FoxyTunes   

It's raining

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The day is cold, and dark, and dreary
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
The vine still clings to the mouldering wall,
But at every gust the dead leaves fall,
And the day is dark and dreary.

My life is cold, and dark, and dreary;
It rains, and the wind is never weary;
My thoughts still cling to the mouldering Past,
But the hopes of youth fall thick in the blast,
And the days are dark and dreary.

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall,
Some days must be dark and dreary.


Monday, April 7, 2008

a gift from Ora

I'm sorry about all these entries, but I was gone for three days and I must catch up on my blogging.

I know several of you used to read Ora's blog, back before she accidentally deleted it.  I did ask her, while we were together, to try and blog for us again.

I know her readers will be shocked at this, but while in Dallas, Ora found a huge Walmart in which to shop while the rest of us were lost.  And bless her heart, she found a nice little appropriate housewarming gift for me, having read my entry about closets.  It's a refrigerator magnet.

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So, how did Cliff do without me?

Some of you were wondering about poor ole Cliff.

Worry no more.

He doesn't particularly like having to get out of bed to make his own coffee, but he managed.  He says the thing he hated most was having to get up and take the dog out, first thing.  Cliff is not a morning person.  He's used to lying in bed while he drinks his first couple of cups of coffee (carried to him by yours truly), waking up slowly.

Like this (taken this morning).

He had the audacity to go for a motorcycle ride without me.  He tore out some fence, getting ready for the appearance of our "new" home.

He tells me he ate too much while I was away.  I can't say anything; so did I.

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Sunday, April 6, 2008


Oh, the things I've done and the lessons I've learned in the last three days!  Even this very day I learned some things.  For instance, I successfully got myself to the airport by way of the Super-shuttle.  Yay, me!

I had tucked in some goodies to snack on, during this trip, in case of emergency:  a couple of 90-calorie granola bars, some prunes, and some dried apricots; so this morning I elected to use them rather than buy an expensive breakfast.

::note to self::  never eat prunes for breakfast on a day when you are going to be traveling.

Another thing I learned today is that if you arrive at the airport quite a bit ahead of time and an earlier flight has empty seats, you can go ahead and hop aboard.  That's a handy thing to know.

Anyhow, I had a great time in Dallas.  I went to a rodeo for the first time in years.  And I ate a lot.  Now back to the basics of moving into my mobile home.

Oh, one more thing:  You know the guy I always bicker with, the one who thinks I should wear a dress when I make a video?  The one who always argues with me?

We didn't kill one another.  As you can see by this picture:

Yep, that's me and Jerry, with Sprkl (Shirlie) looking on.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Headed to Dallas

This morning my daughter, my son-in-law, and I head to Dallas.  Oh no, not together.  I'm flying.  If I were going with them, I wouldn't arrive until this evening, and I'd miss out on a lot of the fun at the gathering of Internet friends I'm attending.  Besides, my daughter and her hubby deserve a road trip with just the two of them along, don't you think?

I did think it rather funny that we're all going to be in the same vicinity on the same weekend, considering they don't do a lot of road trips.  None of us knew about the other's plans when we plotted our agendas.

I haven't yet decided whether I'm taking my laptop.  It would give me something to do in my room when I wake up at 4 A.M. (which I always do).  But do I want another thing to juggle, getting on and off the plane?  Will they let me on with a laptop, a purse AND a carry-on bag?

This will be my first time ever staying in a motel room alone.  Any other time I've gone to one of these things, I roomed with some other lady for economy's sake.  Or with Cliff, if he happened to go.

Poor Cliff.  He gets in bed at 1 A.M., and I'm going to have to start waking him up at 5 this morning so he can take me to the airport.  I've promised him this will be the last time this year I fly anywhere.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Warning for cat owners

Stacey, one of my blogger buddies, has a very sick cat. Check it out HERE. It seems she had some lily plants in her house that are extremely toxic to cats.

a yard sale? HAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!

Thanks to the commenter who suggested a yard sale.  I'm still laughing.  I'd have to pay someone to take this stuff.

I know, for most people it would be a great idea; but my dusty treasures aren't special to anybody but me.  Anything I have that might bring a couple of bucks, I'm keeping.

Nobody would want the crib, which is so far my biggest dilemma.  It was a super-cheap one new, and time hasn't been kind to it.  Also, I think it's considered unsafe now; slats are supposed to be close enough together that a soda can cannot pass through the space between them.

I do have a retro wooden high chair I'll put on Craigslist.  But most of the junk up there is totally worthless.

Things I can't give up

This morning it occurred to me that I'd be wise to start sorting through the stuff upstairs before we move.  The upstairs has become a catch-all for whatever I'm not sure about throwing away; we won't have that much dead space in the new house, and it's time to toss some things. 

I was doing great with my sorting, for about five minutes.

Then I saw the rocking horse.  It's very cheap, made of hard plastic; but every one of my grandchildren has rocked on it, plus some kids I babysat.  It won't take up too much room.  I'm keeping it.  I may live to see some great-grandchildren enjoy it as much as the grands did.  It's been here twenty-two years, after all.

The baby crib:  There's a Skelly Pegasus decal that Cliff put there as a young teen when his baby sister slept there.  There are chew-marks on the rail that my son put there with his first teeth, standing up in bed.  This is a hard decision, and I don't know yet what I'll do.  It's like asking a toddler to give up her blankie.  But it does take up considerable room.

I'll be able to toss the heart pillow that Cliff had to clutch in the hospital after surgery, every time he coughed.  The signatures are almost unreadable anyhow.

The painting was leaning against a wall in the junk room, facing away.  When I turned it around, I didn't even remember it.  OK, that can go, I told myself.  Until I looked at the signature of the artist:  "Dona Lee, '86".

Oh my word!  That's my friend who had a stroke ten years ago and is now in a nursing home.  Not only that, but her home burned down several years ago, and there aren't that many of her keepsakes left.  

I intend to use the smallest of the three bedrooms in the mobile home as a computer room, and that's where I'll keep some mementos such as these.   If there's room for the crib there, it'll stay.  If not, it has to go... somewhere. 


Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Looks like a whirlwind the next few days

Tomorrow we'll sign papers at the bank.  Then we'll see the planning-and-zoning office for our county.  After that, we'll go sign up for rural water. 

I'm sure there'll be numerous things we can do while we're waiting three days (five, with the weekend) until the loan actually goes through:  There's a law that says you have to be allowed three days after signing, to give you time to change your mind.  Thursday will likely be very busy in those hours before Cliff goes to work; we have so many things to do, now that we have the go-ahead.

Friday I hop aboard an American Airlines plane at 8 A.M. and head to Dallas, to the last chat room reunion I will ever attend.  I'll get back home Sunday evening.  If staying home would speed anything up, I'd stay home in a heartbeat, even though I already bought my ticket.  However, because of the three-day waiting period, I'll probably be better off getting out of here for awhile.  It'll be something to occupy my mind.

The only thing I hate is that it looks like Saturday will be a decent motorcycle-riding day, and Cliff will be here without me.  Of course, who knows about the forecast; the weather-guessers have been known to be wrong.  I see the forecast looks good for Dallas:  sunshine and mid-seventies.  Maybe I'll even get a glimpse of some bluebonnets.


The bank called.  Our appraisal was higher than expected, so we have plenty of funds with which to work (hopefully, although I notice unexpected things keep popping up).  We sign tomorrow, and can start spending our money on Monday.