Monday, June 30, 2008

Full day yesterday

So, yesterday we had rice-and-raisins for breakfast and Pioneer Woman's chicken spaghetti for lunch, as well as green beans with kielbasa.  I'm sure putting my dishwasher to good use now!

This morning it was home-made cinnamon rolls for breakfast.

Cliff doesn't have much vacation time left, so he'll be going to work as usual for three days; he did take Thursday off, which will give him a four-day weekend.  He's here until 2:30 on work-days, so he still gets to spend time with our son and granddaughters.  The daughter's girls are going to be out here a lot also this week, so they can play with their cousin, Lyndsay.

I'm having trouble finding time and concentration enough to post in my journal, so just bear with me on that.

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Friday, June 27, 2008

The armless chair finished

This morning while Cliff was still in bed I decided to try and see if I could construct my chair without the rest of the instructions.  After all, I've had so much assembling practice lately.  And by the way, I did google for the assembly instructions.  No luck.

I realized I wasn't going to be able to do it, although it didn't look like a job for a rocket scientist.  I moved the pieces to a corner of the living room and waited for Cliff to wake up.

He came in the living room for his morning dose of news and coffee, and I bemoaned the fact that some of the assembly instructions for my chair were missing.  Cliff isn't one of those people who wants to be bothered with problems before he's had his coffee, so I didn't outright ask him if he thought he could do the job, although I was pretty sure he could.

Indeed, he got it put together with no problem, and I have my chair!

If you wonder why I got gray, the only other color choice I liked, and that would go with any color, was white.  And white shows dirt too easily to suit me!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

There's been a slight problem

I started assembling my chair, and got done with the first step, when I realized I did not have all the instructions.  I dug through the box and all the refuse.  That second page is not there.


Some assembly required

I've turned into quite an assembler lately.

Time was, Cliff got the pleasure of putting things together.  Sometimes he got rather noisy about it, but I was confident he could do it well.  I was equally confident that I could not do the assembly myself.

Then this moving thing started to consume so much of Cliff's time that I decided to try my hand at assembling my new glass-top computer desk.  Cliff was so busy trying to re-locate two households that I honestly felt guilty asking him to do anything. 

Toward the end of the desk-building task I faltered, but my daughter came to my rescue.  Still, I had managed to do a great deal of it alone, and Cliff could apply his valuable time doing other things.

That shelf for my bathroom was my next project.  I'd get frustrated and leave it for twenty-four hours, then come back and try again.  I managed this one with no help from Cliff.  Yes, it took me three days to finish.  Oh, and Cliff did help me put it in place when it was done.

Yesterday this is what I built.  Oh, let me take the cover off and show you:

It's my new fire pit!  Now I'll admit this one was incredibly easy:  All I had to do was screw the handle onto the cover and use two bolts and nuts on each of four legs to attach them.  As you can see, I had a little test fire last night, just to make sure it worked.

Today I may have received my biggest challenge:  I saw this armless chair online, and I thought how nifty it would be to be able to sit in a soft chair and play my guitar.  See, I usually have to sit either on the couch or in a hard kitchen chair; chair arms get in the way of the guitar.  Besides, we needed another chair for the living room.

That's it, in pieces, piled in and around my worn-out Lazy-boy (which I intend to replace one of these days).

Wish me luck.  I'm going in.

*A note to Cliff's younger sister:  If you don't see an entry here, check my blogger site.  I usually try to alternate entries. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The rooster story

Here's what I've decided to do.  If I know you, or if your screen name is familiar to me or you've commented in my journal before, and you would like to see the story about "the rooster I didn't kill", leave a comment or send me an email.  It's a rather interesting story, but I'm probably wiser to keep in out of the public eye. 

I'll send you the story in email.

You can read about the famous rooster HERE, HERE and HERE.


The rooster I did not kill

I wrote the whole story of why I got cussed out by a neighbor a couple of weeks ago.  AOL ate it.

An omen, do you suppose?


Monday, June 23, 2008

Life is getting back to normal

I'm back to riding Blue regularly again.  Last week I rode three times after Cliff left for work.  The trouble with that riding-time is that it's June, it's Missouri, and it's hot.

This morning Cliff had an early dentist's appointment, so I headed out at 7 A.M.  Much better!  I had a good hour-and-a-half ride, and Blue didn't even break a sweat.

Friday, June 20, 2008

My sneaky little visitor

Ever since Cliff's sister, Rena, moved to our old house, we have a frequent visitor.  Any time she takes her dog, Angel, outside and turns her back for a second, Angel runs away to my house.

It reminds me of a child running away to Grandma's house.

Once inside, Angel samples Sadie's dog food and water, demands some loving from both me and Cliff, and in general, makes herself at home.

Rena is somewhat frustrated.  Cliff and I enjoy the surprise visits from Angel, although I have quit letting her inside unless she's with Rena; after all, I don't want her to think it's OK to run away from home.

For a new report on my filly, Libby, click HERE.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

I should have taken pictures

What you see in this picture, taken yesterday, is Cliff's first swath going through
the alfalfa and cutting it for the second time this year; ideally alfalfa should be cut at 1/4 bloom.  This had already reached the half-bloom stage.

The problem is, it rains every third day, making it impossible to get your hay cured, raked, baled, and in the barn.  We threw away most of our clover/grass hay last week because it got rained on and ruined.

Yesterday they gave a 40% chance of thundershowers for today, and Cliff simply stuck his neck out and mowed the alfalfa.  Last night the silly weather-guessers said they'd decided it really wasn't likely to rain.  Cool beans!

This morning we awakened to hear the same silly weather-guessers saying there was a 60% chance of severe thunderstorms this afternoon.

Normally alfalfa isn't ready to rake the next day after cutting, but Cliff checked and decided it might be OK.  So he raked it and waited about three hours.  Clouds started gathering.

When he headed to the pasture with the baler, neighbor boys gathered like vultures, anxious to show off their muscles... and play with Rena's four-wheeler.  See, Cliff lets them put up hay with the four-wheeler and a tiny little trailer because they have fun that way.

Unfortunately, that tiny trailer only holds ten bales, and it was taking a long time to get one load from the field to the barn.  It began sprinkling.

Cliff had been in a tizzy about not being able to find a hitch-ball that would fit the bigger trailer hitch so he could go out and pick up substantial quantities of hay bales, but I decided to risk life and limb and go ask him if there was anything I could do.

"I used to have a &*^+%% hitch-ball for every tractor around here; I don't know what the %$&* happened to all of them!"

"Can't you use the pickup to pull a trailer?"  I suggested.

"Yeah, I guess .... hey, there's a hitch-ball on the car!"

He removed said hitchball from the car, put it on a tractor, hooked onto the trailer, and we headed to the hay-field.

Just ask Cliff who brings in the most hay before the rain hits:  half-a-dozen punks with a four-wheeler, or two old fogies (one a non-driver, driving the tractor) who started an hour after the punks had begun.  (Picture me flexing my muscles here.)

The hay was barely in the barn before a torrential downpour began, and it still hasn't let up.  I'd bet we've had at least two inches of rain.  I'll edit this later to verify the amount, once it quits raining.  If it ever does.

Four inches, and still raining at 6:50 P.M.
Now playing: Kasey Chambers - Last Hard Bible
via FoxyTunes   

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Turn up your sound...

Can you see the little bird atop that utility pole?  That pole is right beside our barn, and it's amazing how much time that mockingbird spends in that exact spot, singing his little heart out for me.  (I like to think he's doing it just for me.)

In case you don't have your own resident mockingbird, just click on the video below and listen to mine:

Mending fences (Secret, continued)

Cliff and I did some fencing today; The back fence in Secret's pen is sadly in need of replacing, but until we have time to get that done, we did some temporary patching-up that should work.

Secret made a total nuisance of herself the whole time, following us everywhere, trying to eat parts off Cliff's tractor, and swatting flies so nearby that I had to dodge her horns when she swung her head.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The saga of Secret

Someone asked if Secret was pregnant.  I answered that question in a journal entry some time back.

The fence in the lot nearby... where Secret and Meatloaf were staying until they decided to be runaways... is in sad need of repair.  Secret has learned to crawl through the weak places, further weakening the fence.  We never got Meatloaf home, but the farmer with whose herd he is roaming is not concerned about it.  He said he's causing no problem, and there's plenty for everybody to eat there.

Well, Secret went missing again Thursday, the day before we were to leave for Branson; I retrieved her from the woodlot, but rather than have her escape through the fence again and not be able to return (cows are that stupid... they can't figure out how to re-enter the same way they left) we opened a gate to give her access to the east part of our property where she's been going anyway.  The part that borders the land where Meatloaf has taken up residence.  Because in case she couldn't get across to the farmer's herd, at least she would be able to re-enter the pen where her water is, by way of the open gate.

Upon arriving home yesterday, Secret was gone.  Rena, Cliff's sister, hadn't seen her since Friday.  First we repaired the fence; then we went looking for the cows next door and, hopefully, our cows; but it's a huge property, and we could not locate a single cow.

I called the kind farmer and told him the circumstances.  I told him Secret was probably there with Meatloaf and his herd.

This evening he came to my door and told me he had called his cows up for mineral, and Secret wasn't there.

Since Blue was nearby, I saddled him up figuring to ride our place along the fence-line.  I led him through the first gate into Secret's pen, preparing to mount; I looked up, and there was Secret, grazing as though she'd been here all the time.

I called and left a message for the farmer, to let him know my wandering heifer had appeared.  And I told him if he finds a good opportunity for us to catch Meatloaf, we're ready to bring him home now.

I may call the A.I. man one more time for Secret, but if she doesn't settle then, we'll take her to visit Cliff's brother's whiteface bull.  A bull has all the time, patience and semen it takes to impregnate a heifer.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Bucket List

Critics hated "The Bucket List".

People like me loved it.

Cliff and I loved it, even though it left us both misty-eyed by the end.

What do critics know?

*note to my daughter:  This is the last Netflix movie we'll have for awhile; feel free to watch it this week before I return it.

Back from Branson

Long before we headed to Branson, I bought a loaded GoCard, which gives you go-cart rides, miniature golf, bumper-boats, arcade games and other stuff kids like for less than half the price you'd pay on-site.  I paid ahead for lots of points, hoping the oldest granddaughter, Amber, would be able to go too; she loves go-carts.  By the way, to anyone going to Branson with kids, I recommend the GoCard.

Alas, Amber had to work this weekend, so we didn't manage to use quite all the points on our card.  It's good for all year, though, so I've kept it just in case.

I made a list of the things we did and asked both girls to rate them.

On the way down I happened to see a Lambert's sign (home of throwed rolls) and whispered to Cliff that perhaps Monica and Natalie would enjoy catching rolls thrown at them as they ate.  This was totally unplanned, but both girls rated it their second favorite activity.  (Monica thought the boy was cute, too.)

Their top favorite activity?  Presley's music show.  Again, if you are going to Branson with children, do not miss this show.  They have a family rate of $59 that covers two adults and as many as five kids under 18 years old.  Now that's a deal you won't find anywhere else in town.  And you and the kids will laugh until your sides hurt.  Monica had me take her picture with one of the performers.

Monica's third on the list was shopping at the Outlet Mall.  I let them purchase some cheap trinkets at Claire's ($18 total).  This was Natalie's fourth-place activity.

Natalie's third favorite thing was the go-carts; Monica put that in fourth place.

Cliff and  I  were both pleasantly surprised at the poll results, and especially thankful that we made the stop at Lambert's.

Almost back home, here's how the sky looked:

We drove through rain so heavy you could barely make out the road.  However, here at our house we only got 1/2 inch.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Keep this J-lander in your thoughts and prayers

Helen's husband, Ken, will be having surgery on Monday (Cliff's birthday).  Helen is one of those faithful readers who have been most supportive in my tough times, and I'd love for my readers (probably most of you are already HER readers too) to go leave a comment of support on her journal.

Nobody likes to think there's a possibility of that "C" word interfering with his or her life.  Let's pray that it isn't so for Helen and Ken.

You'll find her HERE.

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Questions you've asked about the previous entry

From my good buddy Joanna:  "It's gorgeous.  Can't wait to come occupy the guest b'room."
You bet, Joanna!  We'll plan on a visit from you, perhaps next year?

From Mutualaide:  "I love your quilts and wonder did you quilt them?"
I can barely sew on a button.  The quilt on my unmade bed is a "sampler" lap quilt made by my wonderful, giving friend Dona Smith.  I regret the way I took her for granted for so many years.  She also painted the picture hanging over the bed in the guest room.  The quilt hanging over the head of my bed was quilted by my mom.  She bought the pieces already cut out at a garage sale, and sewed them together while my dad was taking cancer treatments.  I sat with her and watched her work on that quilt so many times in the waiting room that I finally asked her if I could have it.  It will likely go to one of my sister's grandsons when I'm gone.  Dona's quilt and the picture she painted need to go to her children after my death, since they had a fire that destroyed everything in their home several years ago and probably don't have too many things like that.

"Really pretty! Can you tell me is it a double wide or single?"
It's a single-wide (16 feet), and once we get our porch and deck added on, it's all the room we'll ever need.

"Who's reflection is in the pink shorts?"
Monica, my granddaughter.

If there are more questions, I'll edit them in and add them on this entry later.

Why would the quilt go to one of your sister's grandsons instead of to your daughter?  If my daughter or son wanted it, they could have it.  They're neither one pack-rats like I am.  Also, I believe they both have quilts my mom made.  I ask them from time to time if there's anything of mine they want.  This one probably isn't special to anyone else but me.

I love the table beside your bed.  That's the library table my maternal grandfather made for my mom before she was married.  There is something just left of that table thatI can't make out what it is.  LOL.  That's a shadow-box that is supposed to hang on the wall.  It's obviously on the floor, just leaning against the wall, where it's been ever since we moved.  I've almost decided to put it away for awhile and give it a rest.

Our lazy-boys, especially mine, are getting pretty threadbare.  We plan to replace them and also buy an occasional chair or two.  We also need a couple of end-tables.  We just haven't had time to shop.  There are rods for curtains at all the windows; again, no time to shop.  Also, I don't want to block out any light, since that's one thing I really love about the house.

pictures for a certain Michigan farmer

I've been meaning to share pictures of my new digs, honest I have.  But we've been so busy moving two households, I haven't even gotten to hang my goodies on the walls.  If you see something in these pictures that's hanging on a wall, it's because there was already a nail there.  We've decided the bachelor who originally owned the place was very tall, because most of his nails are much too high.

I did put up my wall  hanging, but it's even crooked.  It's been so hectic around here, I feel a bit crooked myself.

Now, most women would make the bed or clear off the couch before taking pictures.  But you see, we're taking the granddaughters on a road trip to celebrate our anniversary.  So there are groceries we're taking along on the table, and suitcases and such on the couch.  Believe it or not, I almost always make my bed.  Not today.

Oh, and I'd already taken most of the pictures before I realized I had the camera on "nighttime" setting.

Oh well.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A day of surprises

Ever since we moved back behind the barn, and since Cliff's sister moved into our house, I've spent hours waiting for men to come and see me.

Embarq men.  Dish men.  Mailmen.  UPS men (or ladies); Culligan men.  Since sister-in-law is going to school in the mornings, I waited for her men, as well as my own.

Today it was dry enough for the Embarq contractor to come and run a phone line to our place.  Our very own line.  I was so excited.  No more line strung across the yard.

Also, Sears was coming with my new electric dryer and my dishwasher.  A long time back I said in the blog that the trailer had a dishwasher, but I was wrong.  I guess it was another one we looked at the same day that was so equipped.  However, that had me in the mood for a dishwasher, so we bought a portable one.

I saved all todays dishes so I could use my new dishwasher immediately, as soon as it arrived.

As the Embarq man was running the trencher past the renter's place, a bad thing happened.  He cut through the water line that runs to that trailer.  Since the turnoff no longer works on that part of the line, Cliff turned off the water at the well, which put three households without water.

In the middle of this mess, the truck came with my dryer and dishwasher.  They couldn't get up our driveway because the trencher was in the way.  There I was with a double sink full of dirty dishes, and no water.

That part of the water line is old-style, hard black pipe that is no longer available.  Very few places even carry the fittings, and in order for Cliff to repair it, we had to have fittings.

Cliff decided to make a little lemonade out of the lemons we were being handed and said, "Get ready; we'll go on the motorcycle to look for fittings."

So we had the first motorcycle ride we've taken in at least two weeks.  A short one, but it was a ride.

We first checked with the local plumbing and electrical guy down the road, Bruce.  No luck, but we found out what size we needed, anyhow.  Went to a plumbing place in Odessa.  Nope, that stuff is too outdated.  Last try, Feldman's, a farm-and-garden type store.  Glory be, they had it.  My dishwasher is on its christening run as I type.

It wasn't easy, but Cliff did the repair.  So far, no leaks.

OK, as for the positive things:  I love my soft water, you can't even believe  how much.  Showers are a luxury.  Best $44 a month I could possibly spend.  Dishes practically clean themselves.  Two drops of shampoo is enough to lather up my curly head of hair.

I love, love, LOVE how quiet it is back here.  (Except when a neighbor is standing on my steps cussing me out for killing a rooster I didn't kill, but oh well.)

Two bathrooms.  You can't imagine how great that is when you've always had just one.

An abundance of electrical outlets.  If I want to plug something in, by george, I can do  it.  And usually have a choice of where.

My air conditioning.  No words can say how good it is to come in from mowing the lawn and feel that cool air.

Rooms that are light and bright.  The old house just does not allow enough light in.

I'm sure there's more, but I'll stop now.  Toward the end of what has been a trying day, I wanted to count my blessings.

I feel much better now.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I thought it was just me

I found this video on Joyful Days (one of the local blogs I read) and boy, can I relate to this.

a question for my daughter

Hey Rachel, your dad wants to know if you could still do this?  (If you could find a tall enough doorway, that is.)

Gotta love that Tennille haircut.

That's Cliff, holding our daughter in a headlock.  But all I can think when I see this picture is, "I wish my butt was still that size!"

Monday, June 9, 2008

My printer/scanner is working

Thanks to the readers who told me how to get my printer working again.  What would I do without you folks? 

It's working now.

God  bless you every one.

junk from the junk-room

Little by little, I'm weeding out the last vestiges of stuff from the old house.  All that's left to empty is the junk-room, about which I've blogged many times before.  The day of reckoning has come, and I hauled quite a few boxes over in my little red wagon this morning.

I moved most of my diaries over here almost as soon as the mobile home arrived, but I keep finding more. 

I haven't always kept journals and diaries, but I do have many years' worth.  Cliff enjoyed reading my 1992 diary in its entirety last night.  He says it surely makes him thankful for his job; '92 wasn't our best year, financially. 

Most of the junkroom stuff really isn't junk, I suppose.  It's pictures and mementos, mainly.  I found the ex-daughter-in-law's yearbook from the year she graduated, and she'll take that.  I found a few things my daughter might want.

There are some things I'd like to scan and share in my journal, but for some reason, my printer/scanner acts as though it has no power.  Yes, it's plugged in.  But when I push the power button, nothing happens.  And I just used it three days ago.

Anyway, I'm about to get the things I intend to keep in containers.  The real job would be to sort 10,000 pictures by the year they were taken... or even the era.

There are Christmas decorations in one corner of the junk-room at the old house, but Cliff is going to put those in the attic of the garage for me.  I'm just waiting for a dryer day, so I won't be tracking up my sister-in-law's house.

Cliff has his shop back! (mostly)

Yes, the shop does look pretty crowded in the above picture, which I took this morning.  But 95% of what you see there is actually Cliff's stuff.  Cliff's younger sister and her husband spent their whole weekend making sure Rena's things were taken into the house so Cliff could have room to move around in his favorite place.

It did look like this, only lots worse; because I didn't bother taking any pictures when it was at its fullest.

There are a couple of deep freezes in the corner, ours and Rena's; ours will be moved out when we add a back porch onto our home.

Thanks Charlene and Pat!  As Cliff says, we owe you BIG TIME!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

a cheap giveaway of sorts

I checked Ebay; these old 1984 Rock magazines aren't worth that much; but they're in such good condition that I hate to toss them if somebody would love to have them.

They belonged to my son; none of my family that I've asked wants them.

So, if you are a reader and would like to have them just for a trip down memory lane, I'll send them to you.  I'll pay the postage.

Perhaps nobody's interested.  But just in case more than one of you wants these relics, tell me why you'd like to have them; the person with the best reason for wanting them gets them.  If you're unable to leave a comment, send me an email at

I'll put this on Blogger also, where you can click on the picture and make it larger, for more detail.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Belmont Stakes

Am I the only person wondering whether the Belmont Stakes race was rigged?

Moving right along

Well, almost three weeks ago we had Secret, my Jersey heifer, artificially inseminated.  Cows cycle every three weeks (minus two days, in Secret's case).

During all our moving hassle, Secret and her buddy, Meat Loaf, escaped through a widened spot in the fence left by mushroom-hunting neighbor boys.  We got Secret home, but Meat Loaf has been gone since May 27; he isn't tame, and we haven't figured out a way to get him.

Yesterday Secret started bawling constantly, and we knew the breeding hadn't settled her (see definition number 8 of "settle").  Without Meat Loaf to climb on, and to climb on her, to distract her, Secret somehow found her way out of the pen she was enclosed in, even though it isn't directly adjacent to the pasture containing the neighbor's cows and bull.

I imagine by now she is very well impregnated by the Angus bull, and truthfully, that's fine with me.  Cliff has to mow hay today, but I think I'll make our second priority to call the farmer who owns that herd and see what we can do to get our two wanderers home.  He's been very patient, but enough is enough.

Priorities are a big thing around here lately, with so many dozens of things that need doing.  Cliff ordered the skirting for our home, so that will get some things started.  Rena would like a clothesline so she won't always have to use the dryer; that might get done this weekend too.  Maybe.

Oh, by the way.  I did that entry yesterday about how well Sadie and Angel get along: well, that was at my house.  I took Sadie over there to visit with Rena, and Angel turned into a devil, seriously.  Can you believe that Sadie was terrified of her?

Turns out Angel has never had a dog visit her in her own home.

I'm not sure if I mentioned it already, but Cliff found his shoes.  I thought I remembered getting them from our old closet and carrying them here, but that must have been my own sneakers (there's surprisingly little difference in the sizes, I'm ashamed to say).  Cliff found his own lost shoes in the motorcycle trailer where he'd put them before an extended trip in case his biker boots became uncomfortable.  Now the only items I've failed to find are our phone chargers, and that isn't a real problem now.  They'll probably show up in the next few months.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The dog next door

Rena comes over for coffee before she heads to school each morning, and her spoiled little Angel comes along.

Sadie isn't one to take kindly to other dogs, but for some reason she's decided she likes Angel.  I think it's because Angel is submissive and rolls over on her back when Sadie first approaches her.

The only thing Sadie worries about is her dog food.  When Angel first arrives, Sadie goes to her dish and eats like crazy, as though she's afraid Angel will eat all her food.  After that, they're fine; Sadie even lets Angel have some food without getting upset.

To see a video of the girls playing, go HERE.

I seem to be fine this morning

I no longer feel like the leaning tower of Pisa.  Whoopee!

I have so few health problems of any kind (except for arthritis) that it throws me for a loop when something weird like that happens.

Anyhow.  All's well that ends well.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I feel strange

When I woke up this morning, sat up, put my feet on the floor and headed toward the bathroom, I felt myself listing toward the left.  Sort of a dizzy feeling, but things weren't whirling; I just had to watch out or I'd fall over to my left.  I figured it would pass, that perhaps I got up too fast.

Unfortunately, it did not.  My coffee didn't set well with me, and I wasn't hungry; although at 10 A.M. I finally ate some cereal because once in awhile when you feel a little ill, eating makes it better.

Inner ear, perhaps.  I took my temperature and blood pressure.  Nothing unusual.

Although I've adjusted, I'm still listing to the left and not feeling as perky as I should; I really notice the dizziness if I bend over and then straighten back up.

Very peculiar.  If this feeling doesn't go away by Monday, I'll be seeing a doctor to find out what in Sam Hill's going on.

But I'll bet I'll be fine when I wake up tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Rain, rain, every day

Cliff needs to mow hay, but you can't mow hay when it rains every day.  The orchard grass is already past its prime and going to seed.  The clover is in full bloom and will soon be going over-the-hill too.   This kind of thing drives Cliff nuts, and makes me thankful we don't make our living farming.  Farmers are slaves to the elements.

I'm enjoying my soft water like you wouldn't believe.  I love taking a shower and rinsing off "squeaky-clean".  The Bunn coffee maker has my coffee brewed in three minutes, and I don't have to worry about hard water stopping it up.   Even with the reverse-osmosis faucet that supplies sodium-free water for drinking, I go to the outside hydrant when it's convenient and collect a gallon-jugful of our hard water to keep in the fridge for drinking.  It's much tastier than softened water.  Even the Culligan guy agreed it contains healthful minerals that the softener removes (calcium, for one).

I'm also enjoying my air conditioning now that temperatures are rising above 90.  Sadie likes it too.

Cliff's sister is settling in at our old house, getting things moved in little by little.  I'd love to have taken pictures of Cliff and the grandson and others moving her incredibly heavy tanning bed up the stairs, but I didn't have the nerve to watch, let alone take pictures. 

Cliff and I have always slept in a regular, full-sized bed.  Rena's king-sized sleep-number bed barely fit in our old bedroom.  Would you call that a wall-to-wall bed?

Rena has always wanted to get her GED, but has put it off for one reason and another.  As luck would have it, a class started up yesterday not far away, and she signed up; it'll be Monday through Friday for three hours a day; it's a nice diversion for her, and she'll be a graduate before you know it.  She's still working on the pre-test, which simply lets the teacher know what she needs to work on.

I went with her to buy an air conditioner yesterday, a large window unit; she's used to cool Wisconsin weather, which is totally different from what we're having here.  Cliff is going to run 220 wiring from the pole to the house so it doesn't overload the puny wiring there.

We have so many things to do.  Little by little, they will get done.

I'm still keeping Blue in the stall and letting him out to graze twice a day.  I no longer feel guilty about that, because he doesn't seem to mind at all.  I give him a treat when I go out to bring him back, and a tiny bit of grain in his stall; and he now comes running when I call.  I don't even have to go get him!  Yeah, he's doing just fine.  I sure wish I could sneak in a ride, but it seems I'm either tied to the house waiting for something to be delivered or attended to, or else it's raining.

Oh, we found Cliff's missing shoes.  I didn't move them at all; they were in the motorcycle trailer from our last trip.  He'd taken them along in case the biker boots started hurting his feet.  So as of now, the only missing items from the move are the phone chargers, which is not a biggie:  We had an extra one that worked for my own cell phone, and we found one for Cliff's cell in the bargain aisle at Wal Mart for $10.

That's my report for the day.

Monday, June 2, 2008

moving Cliff's sister

Cliff and his brothers left for Wisconsin Friday morning around 8 A.M. They arrived at their destination twelve hours later, loaded up all Rena's stuff, and headed right home with no sleep.  It was not an uneventful trip home, but the story of the road trip will be better told by Cliff, if I can pin him down long enough to tell it.  Let's just say things did not go smoothly.

Rena, of course, is not only physically, but emotionally exhausted.  She has fine furniture, and she left behind a nice house.  Our old two-story house is not so nice.  Her huge bed takes up most of the bedroom Cliff and I shared for over thirty years.  There's really no place for her exercise equipment and tanning bed.

However, it's a port in a storm.  It's a place for her to camp out while she gets her GED and looks for a job.  Once the divorce is final, she'll have funds to go house-hunting if she so desires... and she most likely will so desire. 

Oh, if you wonder why we didn't just take the furniture into the house instead of piling it in the shop, it's because Cliff's brother Don still had four hours to drive, and that was the quickest way of getting stuff unloaded so he could leave.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

So, where's Cliff this weekend?

I've mentioned in this blog that Cliff's Wisconsin sister, the one who's getting a divorce, will be staying in our old house until she can figure out what to do next.

Cliff left Friday morning with his two brothers (three old guys with heart issues, go figure), to get her and her stuff (tons of stuff) loaded in the truck she rented, and transported here.

Cliff just called.  They've had a couple of breakdowns, but they're in Des Moines, Iowa, which is about four hours away.   The only sleep they've gotten is the few catnaps they can catch in the vehicles.  I certainly hope they only did that when they were not driving.

Bless his heart.  Cliff spent the past two weeks moving us.  Now he's moving his sister.  I think he could use a few prayers and good wishes.  Let's face it, moving is not on anybody's list of favorite things to do.

Oh, and his brother Don has four more hours to drive after he arrives here:  it's his anniversary, and his wife wants him home.  No comment on that.

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