Saturday, August 30, 2008


The hummingbirds never fail to make me smile; they're very cheap entertainment.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The garage is DONE (except for the concrete)

When the crew arrived this morning, this is how the garage looked.

All it needs now is a concrete floor and a pad out front; our neighbor will do that job before long.


So, I have a feline fan

My longtime Internet buddy, Ora, sent me this picture in email.  It's her cat, "reading" my AOL journal.


Our garage

Our garage would have been finished already, but the some of the sheet metal the builders received was the wrong length.  I wouldn't be surprised to see it done today.  Next week, good Lord willing, we'll have the concrete floor in it.  Cliff intends to have a concrete pad in front of it where he can wash vehicles, since the water is softened back here.

Someone commented that our garage looks like a barn:  well, it is a pole-barn type building.  Cliff had it made extra tall so that if he needed to pull some of his farm equipment in there in a pinch, it would fit... although he only plans to park our car and the motorcycle there.  He also decided to place it with the widest part facing the front, which leaves quite a bit of storage space on the right-hand side.  That is going to be MY storage space, where I'll store things like Christmas decorations.  Cliff has plenty of storage for all his goodies, and he's decided I need some of my own.  I think that's a pretty good idea.

The added-on back room is 8X10, and I'll be storing some seldom-used household items on shelving in there.  But it'll be nice to have another spot where I can put outdoor-type stuff, as well.

I simply must use some restraint, though, and not turn all my spaces into another "junk room" full of stuff I never use like I had over at the old house.


Thursday, August 28, 2008


That skinny guy you see going around back of my house is a real, live ELECTRICIAN!

See?  There's his truck.  If you live near me and want to get an electrician who will actually return your call and then show up when he is supposed to, call these guys.

He said they do lots of hot tubs; the last two he hooked up were used ones:  One leaked like crazy when the folks put water in it, and the other one only worked for two days.  And to think I was originally watching Craigslist for a bargain hot tub.

Oh, he said they'd get to it early next week.  He actually said Monday, but I'm sure he forgot about Monday being Labor Day.

Oh, and it isn't going to cost nearly as much as I was afraid it would.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Stand by

Hopefully, tomorrow I'll have a picture to share of a real, live electrician on these premises.  I called the guy tonight to tell him we're still expecting him, and he said he or one of his workers will be here.

I've been painting.  I hate to paint, but hey... it's the first coat.  How much damage could I do, right?

I'd love to fill you in some neighborhood goings-on, but I think I'd better keep all that to myself.  Nobody wants a lawsuit.

Oh yeah, I got a haircut today.

I was looking back into my archives from four years ago, and realized I used to keep a much more interesting journal.  Yeah, I've pretty much gone to the dogs.  Sorry about that.

We have plans for the holiday weekend.  I'm sure it'll be fun, but as I told my daughter, I like it here.  I'd rather stay home.  Dear Lord, is this really me?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


After calling every electrician in the yellow pages, I believe we finally have someone who will get my hot tub working, sometime next week.

The first man we called to do the job is retired, and does a bit of wiring in his spare time; he's the one who put the box on the pole so we'd have electricity to the mobile home.  He didn't return our call, and I assume he is enjoying his retirement; seems like he could have called back, though.

The second man is someone we've known for years, a local fellow named Russell.  Cliff tried to get him several times and finally got a call back.  The man has been gone all summer, camping, and recently bought a motorcycle.  He told us he'd be here to look things over last Wednesday and didn't show (must have taken off on the motorcycle).  He didn't return our phone calls afterward, either.  See, my problem here is that they don't call!

One of the electricians I picked out of the phone book was going to be here sometime yesterday.  He didn't show, and didn't call.

This morning we got a return call from a man who sounded like he meant business; he'll be here Thursday evening to give us some idea of the cost, and what will be involved.

There is one local man, Bruce, who we've used many times over the years.  Cliff really didn't want me to call him (I won't talk about why... he's a good electrician), but we were getting desperate and I knew Bruce would return our call.

Tonight he did call.  He said they're weeks behind, so they wouldn't be able to do the job for quite a while.  I told him I thought we'd found someone anyhow, but I thanked him profusely for returning the call, and explained to him the problem we've had with getting an electrician.

Somehow I think the guy we've chosen will show up on Thursday.  If he doesn't, my son-in-law knows someone we might try.

In other news, the carpenter is done.  I have a bit of painting to do in the new room, but I've already put some stuff in there out of my way, and I love it.

Life goes on.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Busy place

There's been a slight delay in the garage-building; the guys didn't receive all the proper metal sheets, so they'll be back Thursday and be finished by Friday.  They're doing a fine job, and have been moving right along.

This morning I sat down and started calling every electrician in the local phone book.  Finally I got a real person, and he said either he or one of his men would be here sometime today to look our situation over.  Now it's 3:30 and I haven't seen anybody yet, but that's the best promise I've had so far.  We shall see.

If he doesn't show, perhaps tonight I'll get some return calls from all the messages I left in voice mail for electrical contractors this morning.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The hot tub dilemma

My hot tub is here; it's full of water, and the water has been tested so we'll know what brew of chemicals to use.  I'm not IN my hot tub, though.

We can't seem to get an electrician to come out and wire it up.  Oh, we've called two guys we know personally.  One doesn't return our calls, and the other said he'd be here to check it out Wednesday.  LAST Wednesday.  No show.

So I guess our next step is to draw an electrician out of the hat:  in other words, consult our yellow pages and local ads.  That's how we found both the garage-builder AND the carpenter who's doing all our deck work, and so far they've worked out fine.

Wish us luck.

I can't help but wonder, though, why people won't return calls.  After all, it's their bread and butter.  If they're just too busy, I'd accept it.  I'd simply like to know what's going on.

I sure would like to soak in my hot tub.

Friday, August 22, 2008


Rena and I survived the divorce; this picture was taken yesterday evening, after the divorce was final.

We also survived twelve hours on the road Wednesday and another twelve on the road today.  And we're still speaking to one another.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

small world

I just realized that on the day I'm in court in Antigo, Wisconsin, with my sister-in-law, I'll be sixteen miles from one of my readers.  Seems a shame not to meet her.

About the hot tub:  I've always loved them, and when we stay in a motel that has one, that's where I hang out, unless there are kids playing in it.  One of the high spots of a vacation to Colorado was sitting on the roof of a condo in a hot tub, watching the sun come up over a mountain.

However, I would never have splurged for such a luxury.  It's just plain stupid.

I'm wondering if we'll have trouble adjusting the chemicals.  I know the cost of upkeep for them is high... for instance, if something must be repaired after the warranty is through, it isn't going to be cheap.

An unexpected problem is this:  You shouldn't use soft water in them because it damages certain parts in the tub; but water as hard as ours can be damaging also.  What we're going to try is using half and half.

As I was saying, I was not going to get a hot tub.  But Cliff wanted me to have it; he reminded me of all the toys and unnecessary things I've insisted he buy because I knew he'd be so happy to have them.

Cliff wanted me to have a hot tub.  He wanted to see me enjoying something that I never thought, in my wildest imaginings, that I'd have.

He insisted.

What's a woman to do?


Progress :-D

Exciting things are happening:

Looking east (notice there's a window now), and....

looking west.  As you can see, there isn't much deck left now that the hot tub is here.  That's OK.  I wasn't going to entertain out there, anyhow.

The hot tub still has to be wired; the electrician is coming tomorrow to see what must be done.

Oh, and the guy who's going to erect our garage came today.  It won't be long until that project is started. 

Looks like I'm missing a lot of excitement, being gone just now.  Of course, I may be seeing a lot more excitement in Wisconsin that I'd see here!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Disappearing doggie

Cliff, his sister, and I, along with the dogs, Sadie and Angel, go for a walk every morning.  Both Cliff and Rena work until midnight, but they're up by 7:30; they linger over their coffee and chat, and by 8:30, we're usually heading toward the woods.

Longtime readers may remember how I used to mention Sadie disappearing in the woods when Cliff and I walked.  Sadie has gotten much better about that now, but I still remember how distraught I was when she'd run away and be gone for the better part of an hour.  I was afraid she'd get run over, like Mandy.

Rena's dog, Angel, weighs seven pounds, and her legs are about one inch long, but she not only keeps up with us (and Sadie), but she goes on side trips into the woods from time to time.  She never comes when Rena calls her, because she's as spoiled as she is cute.   She pretty much does as she pleases.

Yesterday we saw her run into the brush on a downhill slope and kept walking.  Cliff was sure that, once Angel saw we were out of sight, she'd catch up.

That wasn't the case, and Rena finally went back to the spot where we'd last seen her, calling and calling.

No response.

I began to hear panic in Rena's voice; and to be honest, I started feeling a bit worried myself.  Cliff and I headed back to the house, still hearing Rena's plaintive "Angel, COME!  Angel, COME!"

After perhaps twenty minutes, Rena came back and got on the four-wheeler and rode it back to the pasture, because Angel loves to ride and will come running when that engine starts up.

After another twenty minutes or so, Cliff and I decided to go back and help search for the runaway.  We were concerned, because honestly I don't know how Rena would handle it right now if something happened to her dog.  And the little doxie is so small, who knows what creature might consider her to be their lunch.

We could hear the four-wheeler in the distance, and Rena desperately calling.  As we neared the wooded areas, I heard a familiar "Yap, yap, yap," in the distance.  Rena, of course, wouldn't hear it because of the four-wheeler running.

"Cliff," I exclaimed, "I hear Angel barking!"

Cliff heard nothing; after all, he's terribly hard of hearing.

"I know that's her," I  told him. "I'd know that yapping anywhere."

We went to the location where we'd last seen Angel, flagging down Rena as she went by on the four-wheeler to let her know Angel was alive and barking.

We all stood at the edge of the woods calling, and occasionally Angel would bark an answer; she didn't sound all that far away.  Her barks began to have a bit of whine in them, and we agreed she must have gotten down in one of our deep ravines and was unable to find her way out.

Our wooded areas are full of stinging nettle (itch weed) in the summer, and all of us had shorts on.  So I decided to stay and keep talking to Angel while the two of them hopped on the four-wheeler and went back to the house to get long pants on.

Angel would bark, I'd talk to her.  She'd whine, I'd encourage her.

Finally I saw that little black "hot dog" body coming up the bank, back and forth through the itch weed.  She was panting like crazy, and so glad to see me.

I saw Cliff and Rena coming back; once they were in sight I put Angel down and she went running to the four-wheeler.  A very teary-eyed Rena hugged her dog so hard, it's a wonder she could breath.

And we all lived happily ever after.

The end.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Todays progress

Yeah, it's a real ROOM now.  With a ROOF!  Next thing you know it'll have shingles and a door and window. 

That was formerly our back door; now it'll be the door leading onto our porch.

That's our new back door, what there is of it.

I had not intended to make such a big room; I simply wanted a place for our freezer, and some shelves where I could store big stuff like my pressure canner and my roaster-oven.  Oh, and a place to hang our many coats and coveralls.  Cliff insisted on making it 8 X 10, and it seems huge to me.  But I'll bet I can find a use for every square foot.

In other news, at this time next week, Lord willing, Rena's divorce will be over and she and I will be heading home from Wisconsin.  She has had her plate full since she moved here with her GED school (she took her test Wednesday, but won't know how she did for about a month) and the divorce hanging over her head.  It's the not knowing that bothers a person, and she says she'll just be glad to have it over. 

I have a rather simple prayer request for those of you who pray:  Rena says she doesn't want to break down crying in court, in front of her soon-to-be ex and his girl friend.  Once it's over, she said, she doesn't care how many tears she sheds.  So, those of you who pray, if you'd just join me in asking God to hold back her tears until it's done, we'll appreciate it. 

This will be as closeup and personal as I've ever been with divorce, and I hope it's the last time.  Who knows, I might get a journal entry or two out of it.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Progress on the back porch and deck

Now I can see just how large an 8 X 10 room is.  That ought to be all the storage space I need!  This shot looks toward the west.

This picture looks toward the east.   We finally found someone to erect a two-car garage soon; once that's done, we'll have the propane tank moved somewhere not so "in-your-face".

We're looking at  hot tubs, but I'm not sure just yet if I want to spend that kind of money on something I'd use, at most, fifteen minutes a day.  A hot tub sure does make my knees feel better, though.  The carpenter made the open end of the deck extra strong, just in case.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A message to Carrie (breakaway) and Nerves05

Back in June, I had two old rock magazines to get rid of, and staged a giveaway.  I was going to give both of them to the first person who commented that wanted them, which would have been Carrie (Breakaway1968).  However, after I contacted her, she felt Nerves05 ought to have them because she said her son would love to have them.

I've decided to send one magazine to each of them.

Carrie, I have your snail mail address.  Nerves05, please email me with yours.  I finally remembered to purchase manila envelopes in which to send them.

And to the first three folks who responded to my pay-it-forward entry, I'm starting to get some good ideas on what to send you, so hang in there.  I have not forgotten; I'm just a procrastinator. 

My back porch and deck are now under construction!

This was taken yesterday, looking west toward Marvin's place.  That back door will lead into an enclosed porch.  The nearest window is the living room; the other one, the kitchen.

This shot looks east.  The farthest window is my computer room; next is the living room window, and then the kitchen. 

I took this shot as we went for our walk this morning.  I'll be so glad when we can get the propane tank moved, but that can't happen until we get a garage built.

Monday, August 11, 2008

I love old barns

These lovely old structures are a dying species. 

This one, near Coffey, Missouri, is somewhat unusual.  Looks like someone has put a roof on it recently.  Maybe they'll paint it soon.

Somebody loves this one, too.

Cliff and I had not intended to go to any family reunions this year; his weekend "relaxing" times are precious, and we planned to stay home and chill out.

However, when this past weekend brought us temperatures with lows in the 60's and highs in the low 80's, we knew it was time to ride the motorcycle.  What better destination than the town, one hundred miles away, where my mom's family reunion is held?

I'll be posting more pictures of our actual ride in other entries either here or on my Blogger site.

I'm so thankful for the weather we're having; this is unheard of in Missouri, in August!


Friday, August 8, 2008

We're rockin' around here

Our old Ford pickup gets about twelve miles per gallon, so it's a rare occasion when we use it.  We decided not to buy expensive landscape rock to put around our trailer.  We went across the river where they sell river sand and bought the simple rocks they sell, instead.  They aren't as colorful, but hey... it'll do, at only $30 a ton. 

Speaking of our pickup, the next license we buy for her will be the last.  She'll officially be a classic, and as long as we don't drive her too many miles, we won't have to renew the license.  (Who could afford to drive her far?)

Here's what we're doing with the rocks; before long there will be edging and shrubs.

The carpenter came today and drilled holes for our back porch and deck.  Monday he'll start the actual construction.

Evidently our monsoon season is over; I'm now watering the Norway Spruce trees daily.  The Lombardy Poplars are pretty much like weeds, so I don't worry about watering them.

Notice Sadie running around loose?  She's getting better at staying with me, and coming when I call.  Oh, she occasionally runs away and worries me, but those times are getting fewer and farther between.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

lyrics of a song I once wrote for my daughter

My daughter, in a journal entry, asked me to post the lyrics to a certain song.

She was about eight years old, and I was in the song-writing phase of my life, when she asked the question, "Mom, do wishing wells really work?"

I normally don't post lyrics to songs I've written over the years because people tend to see them as poems, not songs.  But I'll make an exception this time.  (Since I did actually have a publisher back then, this one is copyrighted.)


My little girl came to me;

She smiled at me and then
Said, "Mom, does a wishing well really work
When you throw a penny in?"
I started to say, "No, my dear,
These things are just pretend.
You get only what you work for;
That's what matters, in the end."

And then I looked around me
At the things that I hold dear.
I counted all my blessings
As I held back a tear,
For I never worked for all the things
That mean the world to me.
I just hoped and dreamed and wished on stars,
That's how it all came to be.

Yes, I wished for your daddy, girl,
Before we'd ever met.
I wished on stars and rainbows,
And I cannot forget
How I wished for you when you were just
A gleam in your daddy's eye...
Yes, Darling, wishes do come true,
Keep wishing till you die.

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Sunday, August 3, 2008

A meme

I swiped this from one of my Blogger buddies, Grams.

The rules: All you have to do is Google your first name with the word needs behind it and post the first 10 results. Don't forget to tag people (if you are the tagging sort)!

Here we go:

1.  Donna needs a donut.  (You bet I do!)
2.  Donna needs a BFF (a best friend forever?  I have one; his name is Cliff)
3.  Donna needs two hands to keep things steady.  (It might take more.)
4.  Donna needs Bloggers' help. (Sure, do any of you have suggestions?)
5.  Donna needs the doctor.  (Duh.  I'm sixty-four.  Of course I need a doctor.)
6.  Donna needs companionship of other female Asian elephants.  (Other?  What are you insinuating?)
7.  Donna needs 12 1/8 of ribbon to make 5 bows.  (Shrugging here.)
8.  Donna needs you.  (Well sure, otherwise I wouldn't have any readers!)
9.  Donna needs to let Owen go.  (Is that one of the barn cats?  Be free, Owen!)
10.  Donna needs a baby pool.  (Not until I get a great-grandbaby.)

I'm not a "tagging" person.  Do it if you want to.

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Friday, August 1, 2008

I'm back on my desktop

As I mentioned earlier this week, my desktop computer wouldn't access the Internet, even though the laptop was connecting. 

I was going to take my computer tower for a checkup and fix; we just hadn't gotten around to it.  And since I do have a spare computer, I wasn't in a huge hurry.

Today I remembered that when my printer wasn't working and I asked readers for help, several suggested that I unplug it and then plug it back in and reboot.  That worked great.

Sometimes the unplugging and plugging back in works for televisions, too.

So I figured it wouldn't hurt to try it with my computer.

My old motto was, "If all else fails, reboot."

My new motto is, "If rebooting doesn't work, try unplugging it for awhile.

I love it when it's that easy a fix.