Friday, February 29, 2008

Ah yes, a beautiful day indeed



I went for a long, long ride.



Secret and Meatloaf lazed in the sunlight, chewing their cuds.



The chickens were happily scratching in the barn until I spooked them by getting little closer than they like.

The highlight of my day was seeing an eagle, who soared above me and Blue for the longest time!



I had to crop to get the picture where you could tell it's an eagle.  My camera doesn't do distance shots so well.

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Now playing: Mac Wiseman - House Of The Rising Sun
via FoxyTunes   

Pictures from this morning's walk



Blue says, "The sun's shining; why aren't you riding me?"



Libby says, "You're taking pictures?  Here I come!"



"Here, let me pose for you.  How cute is this?"



Sadie says, "Quit messing with the camera and see if you can take this stick away from me; I dare you!"



Remember my neighbor, Marvin, whose house burned over two years ago?  This is the back of his new house; he's still working on it, obviously.  But the family is living in it now.

Pay-it-forward challenge

You have an opportunity to receive something from me, over at my Blogger site.   There are still two openings.

No, I don't know what it will be yet.

Pinky Lee

Do any others of you "mature" folks remember watching Pinky Lee?  I recall watching his show with my nephew when I'd visit at my sister's house.  I didn't watch this whole video, by the way.  I just wanted to hear Pinky sing his theme song one more time.

"
Yoo-hoo, it's me
My name is Pinky Lee
I skip and run with lots of fun
For every he and she.
It's plain to see
That you can tell it's me
With my checkered hat and my checkered coat
The funny giggle in my throat
My funny laugh like a billy goat.
That's it's whooooo
PINKY!"



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Thursday, February 28, 2008

A blog worth considering

I've seen so many wonderful blogging friends die, I hesitate to give the link to yet another breast cancer sufferer, lest she, too, should leave us.

And yet I have to admire the fighting spirit of these wonderful ladies.

So I give you Toddler Planet.

Please notice the last words in the top entry:  "We only have a few days on this Earth.  Let us enjoy them with each other."

Cliff and I say these words so much to one another, it's almost like a mantra.

I intend to call and schedule a mammogram tomorrow.  I'm two years behind.  I suggest all you ladies over the age of forty do the same, if you haven't done so recently.

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Now playing: Ramblin' Jack Elliott - 1913 Massacre
via FoxyTunes   

things may be looking up

The temperature is supposed to climb up around 50 degrees tomorrow.  No, I can't make the little degree symbol; for some reason it takes me to another page when I try it tonight; I've started this entry over about six times, and I'm tired of starting over

The mud situation is improving, now that there's been sufficient thawing to allow the water to sink deep into the soil.

I think I feel a horseback ride coming on tomorrow.

Saturday the temperature is supposed to get up around 60 degrees, which portends a motorcycle ride, according to Cliff.

Let's not discuss what the forecast looks like beyond those days.  One day at a time, sweet Jesus.  Or two, at the most.

By the way, for those of you who don't normally check my Blogger blog, I discussed my heifer, Secret, there today.  And tried my best to explain cattle breeding and artificial insemination.  Not for the faint of heart, I assure you.

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Now playing: Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Freight Train Blues
via FoxyTunes   
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Like coffee?

I was over at Average Jane's blog (she's a KC blogger) and read about this offer from Joffrey's Coffee and Tea Company.  You get a sample of one of their flavored coffees and they'll link to your blog on their site. 

Oh yeah, I love FREE!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

There's been an accident....

My AOL and J-Land buddy, Ora, accidentally hit the wrong button as she was making a new entry and deleted her entire blog!  I know some of my readers are also her readers, so I'm posting the link to her new blog here. 

Ora's Odd Oddessey- part 2


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About that tax rebate

From what I can find out, the rebate ought to arrive from May through July.  At least that's what it says on the IRS website.  There's a February 22 briefing you can download and listen to, and it's still saying May through July.

I'll leave that other entry alone, though.  We shall see.

The sooner the better, I say.  That's going to be part of our vacation fund.



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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

In 1907 (received in email)

My dad was born in 1907.  In this picture, he's the kid on the left.



 
                One hundred years ago. What a difference a century makes!
                Here are some statistics for the Year 1907 :
                ************************************
                The average life expectancy was 47years.

                Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.

                Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.

                There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 milesOf paved roads.

                The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
                The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel  Tower!

                The average wage in 1907 was 22 cents per hour.
                The average worker made between $200 and $400 per year .

                A competent accountant could expect to earn $2000 per year,
                A dentist $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.

                More than 95 percent of all births took place at HOME .

                Ninety percent of all doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!
                Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which
                Were condemned in the press AND the government as "substandard."

                Sugar cost four cents a pound.

                Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.

                Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.

                Most women only washed their hair once a month, and used
                Borax or egg yolks for shampoo.

                Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from
                Entering into their country for any reason.

                Five leading causes of death were:
                1. Pneumonia and influenza
                2. Tuberculosis
                3. Diarrhea
                4. Heart disease
                5. Stroke

                The American flag had 45 stars.
                The population of  Las Vegas, Nevada, was only 30!!!!

                Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and ice tea
                Hadn't been invented yet.

                There was no Mother's Day or Father's Day.

                Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write.
                Only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
                Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at the local corner drugstores. Back then pharmacists said," Heroin clears the complexion, gives buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach and bowels, and is, in fact, a perfect guardian of health."( Shocking? DUH! )

                Eighteen percent of households had at least
                One full-time servant or domestic help.
                There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE !  U.S.A. !

                Now I forwarded this from someone else without typing
                It myself, and sent it to you and others all over theUnited States, &  Canada
                Possibly the world, in a matter of seconds!

                Try to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years.
                IT STAGGERS THE MIND, EH ?



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Now playing: Kasey Chambers - Last Hard Bible
via FoxyTunes   

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When will you receive your tax rebate?

OK, now don't get excited about this, since I was unable to confirm it online.  I received this in email, and am just waiting to see if it's right.  I checked Snopes and the IRS website, and googled extensively in vain.  Everything I heard before seemed to say the rebates would be sent out from May through July, not July through September.  Having said that, I'll share the information with you anyway.  Just because.



If you're waiting for your income tax refund (I know, I know... smart people don't try to get a refund; but there are a lot of stupid people like me who love to get money back) you can find out if it's been received, whether it's being processed, or if it's on its way to you by going HERE.

Found on a message board

Someone took photos of a morning glory at ten-minute intervals so you can see it searching for the support poles.  Fascinating!


Monday, February 25, 2008

Signs of recession?

I notice that, so far, the most popular answer to the survey in the post below is "catch up on bills".  In other words, there are lots of people behind on their bills, which is probably due in large part to inflation and the almost-recession (or recession, however you look at it).

I'm so thankful that I no longer have to play "catch-up".  If a bill comes in the mail today, it is sent out tomorrow.  This is new to us, so I'm still getting used to it; but I sure don't miss having a pile of bills to go through, wondering how I'll manage to rob Peter to pay Paul.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

Food for thought

I read a thread on my Country Living forum this morning that got me thinking.  Click HERE to see the whole topic.  If you'd rather not click on the link, here's the question:  "If you were given $5,000 that you had to spend (it cannot be put in savings or invested) what would you do with it?"

That question made me realize that Cliff and I have finally gotten every material thing we want OR need.  There was a time when I'd have used it for some remodeling, but we've both come to the conclusion that our time here is so short, and our house in so much need of repair, that we're not going to worry about it.  That decision has brought about a remarkable sense of satisfaction and peace of mind on my part, because once we got that out of the way, I have everything I need and want.  And when we're so infirm we can't do upkeep on this place, we'll have a house that needs no remodeling.

Amazing.  And all this time I thought I'd only achieve this sort of contentment if we won the lottery.

Oh, I'm "Donna from Mo" on that board, so you can see what Cliff and I chose to do with the money.



Saturday, February 23, 2008



That's Cliff's Aunt Gertrude; we attended a birthday party in her honor today.  We were celebrating her 81st birthday. 



Cliff enjoyed seeing sisters, a brother, aunts and an uncle, and many cousins.  In the above picture, he's shaking hands with his Uncle Phineas. 



There was food a-plenty.



See the guy talking to Cliff, the one holding the Styrofoam cup?  That's Cliff's cousin Ricky, Aunt Gertrude's youngest.  One of the funniest people I've had the opportunity of meeting.

The food was finally ready to eat, and Rick was asked to say the blessing before the meal. 

He thanked the Lord that we were all able to gather together, thanked Him for his mom's continued health, and so forth.  Then he said, "Lord, we praise You...."

And his brother's cell phone rang....

And without missing a beat, Rick said, ".... for Darryl's cell phone; and please bless this meal.  Amen"

I have a feeling God was laughing right along with us.  And trust me, we were laughing.

Friday, February 22, 2008

rambling

It's funny how you can feel such close connection to people with whom you are acquainted only on the Internet.

You peek into their lives by way of journals or chat rooms or message boards and begin to feel a common thread.

Perhaps some of you don't expect to ever meet your J-land friends face to face.  I know I never expected to meet any of my Internet buddies, back in 1998.  Oh, they'd talk about having meetups and reunions, but Cliff and I were crawling out of a huge financial hole back then.  I envied those who could afford to travel to a central location and meet all their pals.  It made me sad to think I'd never get to join in on this.

We did make a trip to Dallas to one of the gatherings, although Cliff couldn't understand for the life of him why I'd want to meet and talk to people with whom I "chatted" on a daily basis; what could we possibly have left to talk about? 


He climbed the ladder of success little by little, and then I got a job. 
And, hallelujah, I could finally afford to buy my first ever airplane ticket, to the far end of Tennessee.  I met people that I already knew and loved, but it was just so special hearing their voices and seeing them live, in person.  And even strumming my guitar and singing with them!  At least two, and probably three, of these have since passed away.

I'll be going to Texas in April to meet with long-time Internet buddies.  There will be some there that I've chatted with online but never met in person.  It will, as always, be a great experience.

I've met so many friends like this that I now know it's possible to meet up with any of you.  I figure most of you will eventually travel through the midwest, and a meeting is not out of the question.  When Cliff and I visited our son in Georgia on Thanksgiving, we managed to have a short meet-up with a journal friend, Celeste.

Hopefully, we'll be heading to Colorado this summer.  I have blogging buddies in Kansas and Colorado, and would love to stage a face-to-face meeting with any of them.

My boundaries have certainly been extended by this Internet.

And that's a good thing.

Don't think it couldn't happen to you.

OK, just a few more old pictures



My sweet, handsome little boy Jimmy.



Our family in 1984 or 85


Looks like I wasn't happy with the Christmas gift I was unwrapping, but I was a pouty-looking, moody sort back then.  Teenage angst and all.

Just to keep things fair, I'll throw in a picture that was in Cliff's mother's old keepsakes.


Yep, that's baby Cliffie.

A couple more pictures

OK, here's a picture from the 1920's that has faded badly, and I'd love to have it fixed.  I'm thinking perhaps my daughter knows someone who could repair it, since she works at a photo lab. 



That's my dad's father.  Neat photo, eh?



This is the first brand new car my parents ever owned, a '58 Chevy.



That's me and Cliff.  I'm editing this entry because I'm pretty sure I had the wrong date on it.  It must have been taken after both kids were grown and gone from home, which would put in in the late 1980's.

By the way, there are more of my scanned pictures and old post cards over at my blogger site.

On a different note, there's something in Kansas City that I really want to see.  It would be something fun to do on one of these bitterly cold days.  Cliff has expressed mild interest when I mentioned it, so I think if I do my nagging, begging and pleading just right, he might be persuaded to take me.  In one way the idea rather creeps me out, but I still want to see Bodies Revealed at Union Station.  The exhibit will be there till Sepember 1, but I'm pretty sure I'd stand a better chance of getting Cliff to go on a nasty, dreary winter day.

On to better old picture subjects

I found this endearing old school picture of my daughter, Rachel.  Can you tell she had a mother who had no clue how to fix a little girl's hair?  Or how to choose a wardrobe, for that matter.



Now for the biggie.  Drumroll, please!

I only had one boyfriend besides Cliff.  My mother had this picture of me and David tucked away in one of her many albums.  He was very talented and could play guitar exactly like Chet Atkins; those were his good points.  He was also a cheapskate, and extremely cross eyed.  See, nobody's perfect.  With no further ado, I give you a picture of me and my first boyfriend.



Notice David has his guitar upside down.  He was left-handed, so he played it this way.

I'm still scanning

Oh yes, I have some real treats for you today.  ::evil grin::

I got a Kodak Brownie camera for Christmas in 1957, I believe.  If we'd had digital cameras back then, Lord only knows how many pictures I'd have today. 

I took pictures of my most prized possessions, all arranged in my bedroom:



Does anyone else remember Fabian?  He could barely carry a tune, but wow, he was cute!  I see a Pat Boone album sticking out from under the Fabian one.

Then there was my cat, Patches, who slept with me most nights.  And once had a litter of kittens atop a basket of clean clothes in my mom's closet.





Lacking any better subjects to photograph, I took pictures of the stuffed animals that were usually on my bed.



Me and my mom, 1961 (I hope these pictures show when I click "save", because half of them aren't showing at the moment).




Thursday, February 21, 2008

I've been scanning

I've scanned thirty of my dad's old post cards.  I'm sure they were all made before 1924, because that's the year his mother died, and some of them are signed by her.

It's a real shame that so many people back then wrote letters and notes with lead pencils, because the writing fades so badly you can't make out a lot of it.

I'm having a problem with AOL pictures when I try to make an album; that's why I stopped with four post cards.  Sometimes I'll think it's uploading just fine, then I'll get a message that says, "No pictures were uploaded".

random blather

I've been asked why I never blog about the horses any more.  Or the calves.

Well folks, we're having the most bone-chilling winter in many years.  There just haven't been many days when I want to even venture out of the house.  Cliff does the daily feeding, bless his heart.

Most years, it takes a rainstorm to keep us from taking our daily walk.  This year it feels like we miss about every other day, on average.

Most years, we're able to sneak a motorcycle ride in at least a couple of times a month in winter.  Not this year.

I have to tell you, it's making me grumpy.  All it does to Cliff is cause him to lay in bed longer in the mornings, sipping his coffee, but it makes me a nag.

Me:  "I just got the Quiktrip bill AND the Conoco bill; do you know how much gasoline we charged last month?"

Cliff:  "Well, we seem to run the roads every day; maybe we should cut back on gasoline use by staying home more."

Me:  (Thinking how boring this long, cold winter will be if we have to stay house-bound)  "No, that's not the solution; it's OK, we have the money to pay the bills in full.  But it's our vacation money."  That last statement really isn't true, but I thought it sounded good.  So obviously the bad weather is making me a liar, too.

It goes on, but it only turns uglier.  And I wouldn't want you folks to think I'm anything less than Mary Poppins.

Oh, someone asked, referring to the jokes and videos I post here, "Where do you get all this stuff?"

Usually they are sent to me in my e-mail.  If it makes me smile, I figure it'll do the same for you.  I don't know about where you live, but we in Missouri need every smile we can get this winter.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

You folks have to see this!

Robin has a birthday coming.  All she asked of her readers was a video of them singing Happy Birthday.  I complied, and it was great fun; but I tell you, there's a lot of good stuff there, including a singing dog.  Go check it out at Robin's journal.  There will be multiple entries, so you might want to check in again later to see the latest ones.

I can't wait to see the ones she'll add, as time goes on.

Don't hesitate to do your own video for Robin.  She'll love it.

Haaaaaaaaa!!! I know the feeling

Click HERE.

About the metal box and cards

My son said he would like the actual metal box I blogged about HERE.  Daughter said she would like at least some of the cards.  There are plenty of the old cards to be had, so if my sister's son and grandsons want some, they'll be welcome to them.  In fact, I may just put the remainder of them in her box.

I checked on Ebay thinking post cards that old must be worth something.  They're not.  Evidently there were plenty of them made back then, and a lot of them must have been saved.

Hmm, I just remembered while writing this that my friend Boo collects post cards old and new.  I'll just slip a couple in an envelope this very day and send them on their way.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

funny thing happened to the grandson today

The Grandson got home from work about 6 A.M. this morning, ate some cereal, watched a half-hour of TV, and went to bed, telling me as he ascended the stairs, "Wake me up at two."

So, around one o'clock PM, Cliff and I were half-dozing, half watching Law and Order reruns, when Sadie barked and headed toward the back door.  Not hearing any doorbell or knocks, we decided Sadie was nuts.

And then this chick just wandered on in.

"Where's Arick," she asked.

"He's asleep; he told me to wake him at two."

"Well, wake him up."

Now bear in mind that the Grandson usually spends his days off hanging out with friends.  Cliff and I have no idea what company he keeps.  But this little lady seemed to think she had some sort of connection, and who am I to argue with that?

So I hollered up the stairs, "Arick?  Someone is here who wants you to get up."

"Who is it?"  he says, voice all fuzzy with sleep.

"Who are you," I asked the girl.

I forget the name now; it was something like Jessica or Jennifer or Tiffany... yeah, I think it was Tiffany.  Whatever.

So the grandson got up, came downstairs, went outside with her and had a smoke.  He came back inside and headed upstairs with her at his heels.

Time passed, and I hollered up the stairs, "Hey!  When do you have to be at work?"

"Three o'clock," he answered.

That wasn't so far away, and before long he and Miss Precious came downstairs, went outside, and said their farewells.

The boy came back inside and said, "Grandma, if she ever comes back, tell her I'm not here; tell her I'm sick; just tell her anything.  She annoys me."

Well dang, that's what I do best.  Thanks, Grandson.

Turns out he didn't have to be at work until 5:30.  He just wanted rid of her.

It seems he hadn't seen this little lady in a month or so, and didn't have a clue why she appeared at our doorstep today.

(Yes folks, I realize he might be fabricating; I wasn't born yesterday.)

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Now playing: Mickey Gilley - That's All That Matters
via FoxyTunes   

up for grabs

Amongst the things my mom left behind is a rusty metal box; I believe it says "Union Leaf Cut Plug" on the box.



Inside it are pieces of my father's childhood, like...



My daddy's report card from 1917.  And...



Greeting cards Daddy received when he was a school-boy.

Wow.  I'm so glad my mother was a packrat.

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Now playing: Iris Dement - When My Morning Comes Around
via FoxyTunes   

We ate lunch with Congressman Ike Skelton!

Cliff and I headed out this morning in the car.  We needed to license the new trailer we bought to pull behind the motorcycle, and we like the license office at Richmond much better than the one in Lexington.  Cliff and I crossed the Missouri River by way of the Ike Skelton Bridge

As we drew near Lexington on our way home, Cliff says to me, "Do you need to stop in Lexington for anything?"

"Nope," I replied.

"Are you positive? (Then he glanced at his watch.)  "It's almost noon.  You don't need to stop at the Chinese place, or Pizza Hut?"

"Oh, I get it; you figure by putting that thought in my head I'll want to eat Chinese and you can blame me for our transgressions."

"Exactly," he said enthusiastically.

We filled our plates at the buffet (bad bad us) and as we sat down, Cliff said, "There's Ike Skelton!"

Indeed it was.  Congressman Skelton and another guy, perhaps an aide or driver, were in the mood for Chinese food too.

I'm thinking the guy was probably an aidd of some sort, since the congressman's arms are pretty much useless as a result of a childhood bout of polio.

I had my camera in my pocket, and never even thought to sneak a picture of Mr. Skelton at the buffet, telling the guy what to put on his plate.  I would have been subtle about it, honest!

More goodies in Mother's keepsakes




For some reason, my mom saved this crocheted thingie; is it a bib?  If so, there's no button to hold it onto a baby's neck.  My grandma crocheted; I wonder if this is something she made.

I found, among other papers, my maternal grandmother's birth certificate.  Not the original, but one made in 1952. 

I'm sure my cousin Pauline, the family genealogy person, has told me this already, but if so I had forgotten:  My grandma's parents were both born in Pennsylvania.  Hey, that puts me a little closer to jolly old England, does it not?  Am I a descendant of British ancestors?  Perhaps royalty? 

Cliff's comment, when I mentioned Pennsylvania, was, "So you're Dutch?"

Anyhow, Grandma was the second child born to her parents; her daddy was twenty-four years old when she was born, and her mother was twenty-two. 

I realize all of this means nothing to my readers.  I'm just meandering like I always do when I've been digging through Mother's keepsakes.

Here's a picture for you:


On the back of this, my mom's Aunt Ada wrote a note saying that this is her half-sister.  Wow, that would have been a lot of hair to try and keep clean back in the days of no running water.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Don't you LOVE the Irish?

Into  a Belfast  pub comes Paddy Murphy,
looking like he'd just been run over by  a train.
His arm is in a sling, his nose is broken,
his face is cut and bruised and he's walking with a limp.
'
What happened to you?' asks Sean, the bartender.
'  Jamie  O'Conner and me had a fight,' says Paddy.
'
That little shit, O'Conner,' says Sean,
'He couldn't do that to you,
he must have had something in his hand.'
'
That he did,' says Paddy, 'a shovel is what he had,
and a terrible lickin' he gave me with it.'
'
Well,' says Sean, 'you should have defended yourself,
didn't you have something in your hand?'
'That I did,' said Paddy. 'Mrs. O'Conner's breast,
and a thing of beauty it was, but useless in a fight.'


*************************************************************
An  Irishman who had a little too much to drink
is driving home from the city one night and,
of course, his car's weaving violently all over the road.
A cop pulls him over.
'
So,' says the cop to the driver, where have ya been?'
'
Why, I've been to the pub of course,' slurs the drunk.
'
Well,'  says the cop, 'it looks like you've had
quite a few to drink this evening.'
'
I did all right,' the drunk says with a  smile.
'
Did you know,' says the cop, standing straight
and folding his arms across his chest,
'that a few intersections back, your wife fell out of your car?'
 
'Oh, thank heavens,' sighs the drunk.
'For a minute there, I thought I'd gone deaf.'


************************************************************

Brenda O'Malley is home making dinner, as usual,
when Tim Finnegan arrives at her door.
'Brenda, may I come in?' he asks 'I've  somethin' to tell ya'.
'
Of course you can come in, you're always welcome, Tim.
But where's my husband?'
'
That's  what I'm here to be telling ya, Brenda.
There was an accident down at the Guinness brewery...'
'
Oh, God no!' cries Brenda. 'Please don't tell me.'  
'  I must, Brenda. Your husband Shamus is dead. I'm sorry.
Finally, she looked up at Tim.
'How did it happen, Tim?'  
'
It was terrible, Brenda.
He fell into a vat of Guinness Stout and drowned.'

'
Oh dear Jesus! But you must tell me truth, 
Did he at least go quickly?'
'Well, Brenda... no. In fact, he got out three times to pee.'

*************************************************************
Mary Clancy goes up to Father O'Grady
after his Sunday morning service, and she's in tears.
He says, 'So what's bothering you, Mary my dear?'
She says, 'Oh, Father, I've got terrible news.
My husband passed away last night.'
The priest says, 'Oh, Mary, that's terrible.
Tell me, Mary, did he have any last requests?'
She says, 'That he did, Father.'

The priest says, 'What did he ask, Mary? '
She says, 'He said, 'Please Mary, put down that damn gun...' '


*********************************************************************************************************  

AND
 THE  BEST  FOR  LAST  
A
drunk staggers into a Catholic Church,
enters a confessional booth, sits down, but says nothing.
The  Priest coughs a few times
to get his attention but the drunk continues to sit there.
Finally, the Priest pounds three times on the wall.
The  drunk mumbles,
'ain't no use knockin, there's no paper on this side either!


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Now playing: Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Pretty Boy Floyd
via FoxyTunes   

difficult decisions

I've been going through old letters my mom saved... some of them seventy years old... trying to decide what to do with them.

There was a letter Grandma Stevens wrote to Mother in which she mentioned how loving my cousin Betty was (Betty would have been three years old at the time).  I decided perhaps my cousin Betty would enjoy this letter, so I've written a note and sent it along to her.

There's a letter from my daddy's brother's wife telling how cute the new niece, Alice, is.  She has lots of dark hair, wrote Aunt Helen.

I've written a note and sent that one on to Alice, along with a picture I found of her daddy with his first grandbaby.

I hope these folks get a lift from these letters from the past.

Lord knows I have.

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Now playing: Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Soldier's Last Letter
via FoxyTunes   

Bring a cat into my house?

For those of you well-meaning folks who suggest I have a cat in the house to take care of the mouse problem:  I like my husband.  If a cat comes to live in this house, my husband leaves.  Makes for an easy choice from where I sit.

Sadie does enough shedding to keep us well supplied with flying hair all over the place.  But she doesn't hold a candle to the way cats shed.

Litter boxes stink.

And cats jump on the table, and on counters, and curl up on my clothes.

Given the choice, I'll take the mice climbing over my food; they don't eat as much.

I like cats, in their place.  Around here, their place is in the barn.

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The perils of living in the country

I have bugs on my floor.  Sounds creepy, doesn't it?  And it is!  Oh, I vaccum almost daily to get rid of them, but next day there are always more.  It's those pesky Asian lady beetles.  Our government imported them to help control some sort of aphids on soybean crops.  As long as there are soybean plants around, we don't see many of the beetles.



I realize this little guy bears a strong resemblance to the gentle ladybugs we all know and love (ladybug, ladybug, fly away home), but this is a different creature.  This one can bite.  And if you squash him, he stinks.

Because we have an old house, there are lots of cracks and crevices where these little pests can hide for the winter after the soybean crops have been harvested.  When they feel the warmth of our propane heat, they come out of hiding, fly around awhile, and fall to the floor.  Or into my bowl of cereal.  Whatever. 

Trouble is, there's no way to get rid of them.  If you live in farm country, and especially if you have an old house, your stuck with them.

Now to my other country problem:  mice.

Yesterday morning bright and early I went into the bathroom to get one of my crockpots.  Yes, I keep a crockpot in the bathroom.  I had some unused space there, and not enough space in my kitchen.

When I opened the door to get the crockpot, there were chunks of Sadie's dog food scattered around the thing.  My first thought was "mice", since I've seen them hide dog food before, back in my cabin.  Funny thing is, though, there wasn't any mouse doo-doo around, and they always leave that in abundance. 

OK, so I removed the crockpot and saw more chunks of Science Diet behind it.  Still no mouse-poop in sight, so I felt pretty secure in reaching back to get the dog food out of there. 

Mistake.

Because when I stretched back into the far recesses of that cabinet, I scared up the mouse, and he came straight at me, making his escape.  I'm not sure who was more scared, Mousey or me.

He ran toward the kitchen, and who knows where he ended up.

I put a little tub of mouse poison in that cabinet and left the door ajar a bit, hoping the wandering mouse might find his way back. 

This morning I heard little tell-tale noises coming from that bathroom cabinet, so I know for sure that either Mousy found his way back, or his family has joined him.  I decided to add a mousetrap to the arsenal, since poison works rather slowly.  I baited it up with peanut butter (mice like PB much better than cheese) and put it inside with the poison.

So far, I haven't heard that satisfying "snap" that would mean a dead mouse.  But this is war, and I intend to win.  I may not be able to get rid of the Asian lady beetles, but I do know how to rid the house of mice.

It's a battle I've won before.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Beverly Hillbillies (and other TV) memories

Cliff and I were watching some old Beverly Hillbillies episodes during and after lunch (pork roast, mashed potatoes, and liver and onions... don't ask).

Cliff saw the name "Paul Henning" at the beginning of an episode and wondered who he was; I recalled his being from Missouri.  The story was that he had tried to peddle his hillbilly story for years before it finally sold.  The rest is history.

Then Cliff wondered about the lady playing Pearl Bodine; "She was in some other show," he said.

Indeed she was.  Her name was Bea Benaderet, and the show that first came to my mind was the old "Bob Cummings Show", which I absolutely loved as a kid.  But she was in many, many others.

Bob Cummings was also from Missouri:  Joplin, to be exact.  His godfather, Orville Wright, taught him to fly. 

Obviously, I spent a lot of time on Google this afternoon.

Still watching Beverly Hillbillies, Cliff asked if all those actors were dead.

Welll, Ellie May is still kicking, and so is Max Baer (Jethro).  The older ones are deceased, although many of them lived to their 90's.  Bea Benaderet died of lung cancer at age 62.

All that reminiscing then reminded me of the old Topper show, and Cliff and I discussed that for awhile.  But I'll stop at that, or this post will never end.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

My weather station

When I visited my sister last weekend, she had a sort of "death in the family"; yes, friends; her weather station quit working.

Up until that time, I had never heard of a weather station for the home.  And probably I wouldn't have thought anything of it, except that Maxine was so concerned about hers not working.

So I asked her what the thing did, and she explained that it was capable of giving her the outside and inside temperatures, without her having to leave her easy chair.  She went on to tell me that there are better ones than the simple model she had.  And that she did, in fact, buy her son one of those better models.  He, in turn, bought one for his son (I think I have this story right).

So Maxine and I went to Circuit City looking for a replacement for her dead soldier; I figured I'd just pick one up too; I was sure Cliff would like this little gadget.  Unfortunately, it seems these are a seasonal item.  So there wasn't much selection.

I got home and checked Ebay, and found THIS.  Wow, $29.99, with no shipping charge.

The mailman delivered the product today.  I put the required batteries in and then panicked, growing tired of waiting for the silly thing to set its own time.  So I set the time myself.  But now it's working great.



I know, that picture is rather dark.  But just squint, and you can see inside temperature (upper right-hand) and outside temperature (lower right-hand); and looking at the little man standing in the middle, you can tell it's raining, because he's holding an umbrella.  The weather station also tells me the phase of the moon, time for sunrise and sunset, and other pertinent information.

Oh yes, we're going to enjoy this little guy.  Do any of you, my readers, have one of these handy-dandy devices?  If you do, don't you love it?

I'm next!



Cliff says this feels great.  We're going to reap some benefits from our oldest granddaughter's higher education!

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Do you REALLY want lemon with your drink?

I received a link to a youtube video in an email from Rollinghillsides which confirms something my husband has said for a long time:  The lemon slices we order with our drinks are filthy.  Yes, 77% of them have some sort of organism on them that could make us sick.  Many of them even have (pardon me while I gag) fecal material on them.  If the lemons are that dirty, what about utensils, plates, and other food?


Found: something we've been searching for!

Cliff and I have wanted a cargo trailer to pull behind our motorcycle for a long, long time.  We've watched Ebay and searched the Internet.  We had more or less decided to wait until Uncle Sam handed us our tax rebates and buy a new Aluma, since they're well-made, and cheaper than many of the fiberglass cargo trailers.



We found a dealer that sells these trailers for around $1,500.

See, we like to go grocery-shopping on the Honda; while it does have quite a bit of trunk space, it can get pretty crowded if we buy much.  Also, in cool weather when we start out with leather chaps and jackets and gradually shed our clothes as the temperature rises, we filled up the available space pretty quickly.  Then there are the road trips to Branson, which require taking a few changes of clothing, picnic stuff, etc.

Soon, we're planning on buying more expensive (safer) helmets.  It would be nice to be able to lock them away out of sight, instead of hanging them on the bike where anyone could grab them.

Yesterday I decided to check Craigslist and found, not one, but two used cargo trailers!





We'll be going to look at the bottom one today.  The fellow doesn't have a title for it, so we'll be calling the license bureau before we go to see what that involves.  If we don't buy that one, we'll go look at the other one Saturday.

The prices on both of those are in our range.  Wish us luck!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Help! I've overdosed on chocolate and sugar!

Yeah, Cliff bought me a huge, heart-shaped box of Russell Stover chocolates.  It was cute how he surprised me; when I got out of bed this morning and pulled the chair out at my computer, there was the big red box.  I asked Cliff when he had a chance to buy chocolates, and he said, "While you were gone last weekend."

  I can never stop eating chocolates until every single one is gone.

*burp*

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Is this post number four today?

The grandson has a new job with great promise for advancement.  He's working lots of overtime. 

His buddy, Lee, needs to find a place to live, so they're looking at places where the two of them can share the rent.

The grandson has lived here for eight months, and the ultimate goal has been to get him out on his own, self-sufficient.

He's twenty-two.  He needs to be on his own, without people sticking their noses in his business.

So why do I suddenly feel abandoned when I think of him leaving?

If he moves out, I have no control!  I can't force him to save money!

Oh yeah.  I'm not supposed to have all that control, am I?

Funny how we women can get caught up in trying to control someone.

God bless Arick, my first grandchild.  I guess I'll let him have his wings.  If he ever needs to come back, he's welcome.  But I'm sure he'll be fine.  He's been through the school of hard knocks and is much wiser than he was a year ago.
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Now playing: Iris Dement - Wasteland of the Free
via FoxyTunes   

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Happy Valentine's Day

I watched this clip on CBS Sunday morning with my sister.  I believe there's a message for all of us.  You can bet I bought my widowed sister a nice Valentine card this week.

Click HERE, and think about it.  (You'll have to watch a commercial first.)

"It is later than any of us dare think."


Cute video

Cliff's cousin Edna sent me this video as an attachment in my email.  It's so cute, I went to Youtube and hunted it up there so my readers could enjoy watching this talented little girl.


"Here's your sign."

Every since my daughter, Rachel, turned sixteen and started driving, she has considered a certain area to be "my parking spot".  It's been a family joke forever:  Rachel pulls up in the driveway and sees the grandson's truck parked there, or her Aunt Charlene's car, and she comes stomping in fake-griping, "You're in MY parking spot; everybody knows that's MY spot!"

So when I was shopping at a flea market in Texas with my sister and saw that sign, I knew I had to have it.

One must keep these family traditions strong.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

You folks have convinced me!

Forty people voted in my poll, and guess what?  You guys influenced me!  Not so much by the voting you did as by comments left in my journal:

"Take the shuttle. You can reserve it ahead of time. It's so easy. They'll tell you exactly where to catch it and take you right to your door.
Good luck."

"You should go and take the shuttle.  I live in the Dallas area.  And I know that the shuttle runs all of the time.  I'm not sure how expensive it is but my sister takes it all of the time so it can't be too expensive."

"I voted for option 3, but you don't have to ask anyone at the airport. Call the hotel in Dallas and they will tell you EXACTLY where to go to catch the shuttle."

"I think you should go and use the shuttle. I've done that before and it's so easy and nobody is inconvenienced. You can even reserve it ahead of time. Find out which shuttle service is in Dallas and go from there.
Good luck!
Pam"

These comments have convinced me, as well as the one my daughter left:

"Good LORD, mother!  Think about it.  You can miss a flight and ENTIRELY screw up your travel plans, yet still come out smelling like a rose.  I'm pretty sure you can (go to the nearest courtesy phone and call for the above mentioned hotel) find a way to make the shuttle work for you.  LOL  Was that hint too obvious?"

So yes, I will fly into Dallas on my preferred day and take the shuttle, because you have all convinced me that it's no big deal!

Without all the advice, I'd either have cancelled plans for Dallas altogether, or gone a day earlier than I really wanted to.

Now about going on a road trip with Cliff:  If I had to make a choice between the road trip and Dallas, you can bet your sweet bippy I'd choose the trip.  However, this is a case where I can have my cake and eat it too.  We're planning several road trips this summer.

This is the last ever Internet reunion in Dallas, so I really don't want to miss it.  I'll never see most of them again face to face... perhaps none of them.

Oh, and thank you all very much for not voting for me to shoot myself. 

The poll so far

Wow, I'm surprised at some of the poll results:

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What shall I do about the Dallas reunion?


stay home and use the bucks for a motorcycle road trip (9 Votes)

25%


go to the reunion and make Frankye leave her guests and pick me up at the airport (4 Votes)

11%


go to the reunion and ask somebody at the airport how to use the shuttle (18 Votes)

51%


Go to Dallas on Thursday and spend more time away from home than I really want to (4 Votes)

11%


Just shoot myself (0 Votes)

0%


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Obviously, the option of my using the shuttle is the clear winner; I agree it's the most sensible, and after all, if I have a problem with it, I have Frankye's phone number so she could bail me out.

I was surprised at the number of folks who think I should use the money I'll spend going to Dallas for a road trip with Cliff on the motorcycle.  One thing I want to make clear is that Cliff and I will be taking road trips no matter what happens; we're even thinking of riding the Honda to Colorado this year.  However, we might take an extra one with the money I'd spend in Dallas (probably around $400 to $450, with the hotel room and meals).

I'm a bit surprised that nobody chose the option of me shooting myself (thanks!).

If you haven't voted, please go HERE and do so; of course I'll do what I want to, in the end.  But it's fun to see your input, and it might be swaying me just a teeny bit.

Ah, Texas

Texas is not what I'd call a beautiful state, especially in the area where my sister spends her winters.  The temperature is great, the cacti planted in yards are impressive, the palm trees are a novelty.  But as a whole, the area isn't what I'd consider "scenic".  The main roads are always teeming with traffic, too.






Most of the individual parks where senior citizens live , however, are very well-kept, quiet, and indeed, gorgeous.



I saw some roses blooming as we walked to the salon for my haircut; they were a real treat to me:  roses in February!  There's not only a "yellow rose in Texas", there's also a lovely pinkish one.  This may be a Peace rose; it seems to me they are this color.



I'll leave you with a video taken at the jam session we attended on Friday.  The man acting as master of ceremonies kept promising us a treat, and it certainly was a treat to listen to this Canadian fellow playing patriotic American songs.



Monday, February 11, 2008

Our favorite banker

Recently, as I mentioned in this journal, our kind-hearted banker with a sense of humor passed away.  Although we didn't really move in the same social circles, Larry would have gladly welcomed us into his circle, I'm sure.  That's how he was.

He was the banker who would give anyone a chance, as long as they seemed sincere about wanting to get ahead.

His children were in the same grades as my children.  In fact, I think perhaps his daughter was my son's first girl friend... in the fifth grade.

You can't imagine how much Cliff and I respected and loved this man.  He bailed us out at a very crucial time in our lives.

By the way, if any of my readers want to pay homage to the man for my sake, go the the Shriner's hospital website and leave a donation in memory of Larry Wims.  Don't mention me there, please.  This isn't about me.

You can't imagine how honored I was to receive a note from Larry's widow when I returned home from my trip to Texas:  she wanted me to know that a poem I wrote years ago was read at Larry's funeral. 

Humbly I share that poem with you, a poem written at a difficult time when my husband had lost his job and we had nowhere else to turn except to our banker.


                               THE MANY FACES OF SANTA
                                       (c) December 4, 1993
                                               Donna Wood

Christmas was a wondrous thing, back when I was a child ---
Pretty lights and tinsel; "Gentle Jesus, meek and mild"---
And each succeeding Yuletide seemed the best there ever was,
Made brighter by a spirited  old elf named Santa Claus.

Santa changed a little, as I traveled through my youth,
For, up in elementary school, I somehow learned the truth;
It didn't spoil the many happy Christmases I had,
But now, it seemed like Santa looked a lot like dear old Dad!

Then I grew up and married. Dreams are bigger, when you're grown,
And I longed for a Gibson Dove guitar to call my own.
When it appeared beneath the tree, you betcha, I felt good!
And that year, old Saint Nickolas looked just like Clifford Wood!

By and by, along came Jim, my bouncing baby boy,
And after that came Rachel; every Christmas, they'd get toys.
It didn't take a lot to fill their little hearts with glee:
About that time, I realized that Santa looked like me!

With Cliff's new job, this Christmas season looked a little bleak;
It takes all we can do to make it through from week to week
But once more, I've found Santa, and I even spoke with him:
He bears a strong resemblance to our banker, Larry Wims!


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Now playing: Iris Dement - When I was yours and you were mine
via FoxyTunes