Monday, March 31, 2008

It was so windy this morning that Cliff and I could hardly stand upright to go for our walk.  But we managed.

After Cliff left for work, I asked Sadie if she'd like to visit the cabin; except for walking around it each day on our walk, I haven't been there for months.  Sadie, in hyperactive dog talk, answered a resounding "yes!"

Mice had been there, but not as many as in other years.  There was still poison left, and the cabin didn't smell "mousy".  The floor was littered with Asian Lady Beetles, though.  Those bugs remind me of some horror movie.  I hate them more than you can imagine.  I swept them all outside and shook the rug.

The neighbor's horses got out again this evening; the parents weren't home, and the kids were trying to capture the horses alone.  It was impossible.  I tried to help for awhile, but I'm having a bad knee day and gave up.  Then our renter, Vicki, helped them out; they finally got them back in the pasture.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Motorcycle school

For three days or more, there's been rain in the forecast for today.  Cliff and I were hoping it didn't happen, because the Rolling Wheels motorcycle class for which we prepaid goes on, rain or shine.  It started at 9 A.M. 

When we left at 8 this morning, it was 45 degrees and cloudy, but no rain.  I put on many layers of clothing, and I didn't get too unbearably cold on the way to Kansas City.

Cliff was the only one taking the class with a rider aboard.  We paid $100 for Cliff and $30 for me.  Every time we got ready to learn a new maneuver, one of the teachers would demonstrate the course on his Gold Wing.  And since Cliff had a rider aboard, the teacher took a rider along to show us that it could be done with a rider.

The class would do a couple of things on the course, then we'd spend a half-hour or so in the classroom discussing things and listening to the teachers.

I found out there are things I can do, as a rider, to help Cliff.

Unlike lots of things we've done on the Gold Wing, I won't say this was fun.  It was work.  I was in school all day and I feel like it!  Cliff and a couple of other fellows agreed that it had been a "humbling experience".

Here are some things I learned:

The number one place motorcycle wrecks occur is at intersections.  These accidents usually involve other vehicles.

The number two place where motorcycle wrecks occur is on curves; these usually do not involve any other vehicle.  The person riding the motorcycle missed the curve.

46% of all motorcycle accidents involve alcohol.  So you can almost double your chances of avoiding an accident if you don't ride your bike under the influence of alcohol.  Well, that's one thing in mine and Cliff's favor.

You have to wonder what sort of idiot would get on a motorcycle under the influence, anyhow.

I feel so educated now.

In answer to my daughter's question:  Yes, we both agree it was worth the money.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

It's getting really interesting around here

A few days ago I blogged about the nice man who was going to give us a break with the price of our septic tank; also the cost of a perk test, but we found out we don't have to have that, since we own several acres.

The next day Tom, a former boss of Cliff's, shot him a bid for all the work that needs to be done:  all the necessary digging, the septic tank, water lines, and pouring the concrete.  It was a good price, and it put the nice fellow whose calf I saved out of the running.  I'd include the figures, but I think Cliff would once again say, "Too much information."

So today a close neighbor who does this sort of work came over and underbid Tom by six thousand dollars.  The housing slump must be affecting people badly, because it seems everyone wants this job.

Tom wouldn't cheat us in any way; Cliff practically helped raise him back when he worked for his dad.  But he does have a tendency to take his time.  The guy across the road is ready to do the job immediately, and we know he'd get right in and do it and then be gone.  He and I have no fondness for one another (he once threatened to shoot my horse), but hey... I guess it's his work that counts, and he does do quality work.  He's the one who poured the floor of Cliff's shop in 1999.

Meanwhile, I just wish we knew how much money we'll have, so I'd know what to plan for.

Somebody just shoot me!

a horse like Blue for sale!!! Or trade!!!!


While checking Craigslist this morning, I found a younger version of my horse, Blue, for sale.  They're asking too much for him in today's market, but I see they'll trade him for a running 4X4 truck.  Which we have. 

Don't worry, folks.  I'm not buying another horse.  The older I get, the more painful it is to ride, and truthfully, I already have one horse more than I "need".  But I had fun kidding around with Cliff about trading our old pickup for a horse.  He said, "How am I going to haul hay out of the field for the horses, without a pickup?"

Those of you who watched yesterday's video probably noticed, we have quite a bit of silliness around here.

Cliff does this same thing with Craigslist, only with him, it's tractors.  He has no need for another tractor, but he'll find a good buy and even go as far as calling the seller to ask questions about it.  He loves tractors, I love Foxtrotters.

So at least each of us knows where the other is coming from.

Friday, March 28, 2008

A celebration (of sorts)

Finally, our house-and-five-acres has been appraised.  I have no idea for how much, but anyhow the ball is rolling.  Sometime next week it will all be over.  At least, phase 1 will be over.  You know, the paperwork.

Cliff's younger sister, Charlene, and her hubby from St. Louis (they're mine and Cliff's motorcycle-riding buddies) are in the area for the weekend.

So Charlene and Pat, and my daughter's family, will be here tomorrow night for tacos.

We're celebrating the ball that is finally rolling.  We're also celebrating the fact that, since we have several acres, we don't have to pay for a stupid perk test for a septic tank.

Haaaa!

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Now playing: Keith Whitley - When You Say Nothing at All
via FoxyTunes   

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Another video of me

For Becky's meme, I decided to do the extra credit part and share it with my readers.  I noticed this morning that Leadbelly's version of "Irene Good Night" was one of the songs listed for 1944.

One advantage to being a mediocre singer and lousy guitar player is that I don't take myself too seriously.  So rather than record over and over looking for perfection, you folks get to view the first and only take.  And I get to have some worry-free fun.

If you wonder why I'm cracking up on the first chorus, it's because my cameraman (Cliff) was mooning me from behind the camera.  And other assorted ornery things we won't talk about.  He just wasn't taking his job seriously.  Hmph.

Just to show that I can take constructive criticism, I took Jerry's advice given after my last little music show and tried to dress up like a country singer for this video.

Click HERE.

And yet another meme

Found this one over at Average Jane's blog.

Here are the rules of the meme:

* Pick 15 of your favorite movies.
* Go to IMDB and find a quote from each movie.
* Post them on your blog for everyone to guess.
* Fill in the film title once it’s been guessed.

These are the rules, people!

* Leave guesses in the comments.
* No Googling or using IMDB search functions. Don’t cheat!
* Know-it-alls, limit your guesses to three movies. Save some for others!

1.  "At first sight of an Indian camp, what you think is, 'I see their dump. Where's their camp?'"  Nobody got this one.  It's from "Little Big Man".

2.  "Do you know how long it takes a working man to save five thousand dollars? Just remember this, Mr. Potter, that this rabble you're talking about... they do most of the working and paying and living and dying in this community. Well, is it too much to have them work and pay and live and die in a couple of decent rooms and a bath?"  It's a Wonderful Life

3.  "Tell me, who was it you left me for? Was it Laszlo, or were there others in between?"  Casablanca

4.  "Say now, wait a minute. Let's get this straightened out right now. If you're nursing any silly notion that I'm interested in you, forget it. You're just a headline to me."  It Happened One Night

5.  "It's a way we had over here with living with ourselves. We cut 'em in half with a machine gun and give 'em a Band-Aid. It was a lie. And the more I saw them, the more I hated lies."  (I can't believe my son hasn't gotten this one.)  Nobody got this one:  Apocalypse Now

6.  "Your fans are church folk, Johnny. Christians. They don't wanna hear you singing to a bunch of murderers and rapists, tryin' to cheer 'em up."  Walk The Line

7.  "If you want to do something to make your mama proud, promise me. Promise me you won't let nobody turn you into no cripple, you won't become no charity case, and you'll stand on your own two feet."  Ray

8.  "The horse is too small, the jockey too big, the trainer too old, and I'm too dumb to know the difference."  Seabiscuit

9.  "Little pigs, little pigs, let me come in. Not by the hair of your chiny-chin-chin? Well then I'll huff and I'll puff, and I'll blow your house in."  The Shining

10.  "In the heat of battle my father wove a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan."  A Christmas Story

11.  "I was 12 going on 13 the first time I saw a dead human being. It happened in the summer of 1959 - a long time ago, but only if you measure in terms of years. I was living in a small town in Oregon called Castle Rock; there were only twelve hundred and eighty-one people, but to me it was the whole world."  Stand By Me

12.  "Arnie would have never bought that car if he'd known somebody died in it."  Christine

13.  "We killed a man, Drew. Shot him in the back. A mountain man. A cracker."  (hint:  think "dueling banjos.)  Deliverance 

14.  "You think you're telling me something? Like, what, boxing is dangerous, something like that? You don't think working triple shifts and at night on a scaffold isn't just as likely to get a man killed? What about all those guys who died last week living in cardboard shacks to save on rent money just to feed their family, 'cause guys like you have not quite figured out a way yet to make money off of watching that guy die? But in my profession - and it is my profession - I'm a little more fortunate."  Nobody got this one:  Cinderella Man.  And if you haven't seen it, I pity you. 

15.  "If I leave here without understanding you, the world will see you as a monster. Always. And I don't want that."  Nobody got this one:  Capote.  Excellent movie.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A meme

I found this meme over at "Where Life Takes Me'

"I am inspired by last night's episode of American Idol. Here's the scenario:

You are an amazing singer and have the opportunity to showcase your talent on TV. You must pick a song that was popular in the year you were born. What song do you pick and why?


OK. 1966...let's see. Going down the Top 100 list from that year, I pick: You Don't Have To Say You Love Me by Dusty Springfield

I like just about every song that was popular from the year I was born, so it wasn't an easy choice. I could just picture me singing that song and doing a pretty good job of it.

Your turn. You can blog it and leave a link here, or just respond in comments. Extra extra credit if you really SING the song and send me an MP3 or post yourself on YouTube."


That's what Becky said.  Hey, if I had her year, I could easily choose too.  It's the year I got married.

But I was born in 1944.  Good grief, do I know any of the hits of that year?  We were in the middle of World War II!

Well, I found a top 40 list HERE.

The only one I believe I know all the words to is "Mairzy Doats".

Oh, wait!  I know "Oh, What A Beautiful Morning".

And if I had the words in front of me, I could sing "Swinging On A Star".

Becky, if I decide to sing you one of those songs, I won't post it on my journal; because last time I did that, somebody told me I looked like Raggedy Ann.  However, I might think about sending you a link in Email.  We'll see how tomorrow goes.

yucky day

Clouds and drizzle.  That sums up this day pretty well.  Cliff and I went to Hub Cycle and bought ourselves rain suits in case we get caught in the rain on our motorcycle.  Actually, we're signed up for an experienced rider's course at Rolling Wheels.  This Sunday.  The forecast stinks (80% chance of rain), and they insist you have rain gear along.

Now, Cliff and I avoid riding the Gold Wing in the rain at all costs.  It just isn't fun.  Besides, we had a horrible experience, years ago, when we borrowed his brother's bike and rode to Versailles.  Coming home, it rained so hard that cars pulled over waiting for it to pass.  Lightening was all around us, we were soaked and freezing. 
The wind was horrific.  We were on a desolate stretch of 50 Highway where there were no stations or stores where we could seek refuge.   I never want to be in that sort of predicament again.

However, we've paid $130 for the two of us to take this class so we'll be safer, and it goes on, rain or shine.  We'll be better for it, I'm sure. 

From the Hub, we went on to Sam's Club, and from there, to Aldi's.  I had stopped going to Aldi's after my mom quit driving (I used to go with her, she loved that store) because, since I don't drive, I try to keep Cliff's grocery stops as few as possible.  But with this economy, it's time to pinch a penny wherever you can.

After Cliff went to work, I took Sadie and we walked in the pasture in spite of the drizzle.  I could have worked with Libby, but it's hard to get motivated on a gray day like this.

There you have it; my gray day in a nutshell.


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Now playing: Janis Joplin - Me and Bobby McGee
via FoxyTunes   

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Paybacks are sometimes good

Cliff and I have been making phone calls and asking around, finding out the costs of stuff like pouring concrete, running a new electric line, and other things for which we'll be shelling out money.  Today Cliff left a message with a local fellow asking the approximate costs of putting in a septic tank.

The man called back just after Cliff left for work, asking me if I lived on such-and-such road.  "Yes, that's the place," I answered.

"I know you," he said.  "You saved a calf for me one time."

Even after his telling me all the details, I can't remember this particular calf for the life of me.  He said it was a huge calf and he'd had to pull it, and it was weak.  He couldn't get it to nurse.  It was getting weaker and weaker, and another farmer told him about me, and how I'd saved a calf of his by tube-feeding it.  Back then it surprised me... actually, it still does... that real, full-time farmers were afraid to try this procedure that I, a housewife, did routinely on problem calves here at home.  I don't drive, so they'd come and pick me up, take me to get food into their sick calf, and bring me home. 

Anyway, this guy is still so thankful for my saving his calf back around 1990 that he promised he'd put in our septic tank as cheaply as possible.  Oh, and he does the "perk test" the county requires, and he said he'd give us a break on that, too.  Although it's hard to believe $250 for a perk test is cheap.  Good grief, things are expensive!

So I had a nice conversation with a fellow who seemed to consider me a long-lost friend.  Just one of those surprise things that can make my day.

crazy dreams

I usually turn in for the night at 9 or 10 P.M.  Since Cliff works nights, I have the bedroom to myself for the first part of the night.  I like to think I go to sleep better if the television is on, so I turn it on and set the timer for it to turn off in an hour.  I'm seldom awake for more than five minutes, so don't ask me why I don't just set the timer for 1/2 hour.

For the first two or three hours of the night, dynamite wouldn't awaken me. When Cliff gets home from work at 1 A.M. and crawls in bed, I am usually completely unaware of his arrival.

From two o'clock on, however, I sleep fitfully and lightly.  I force myself to stay in bed until at least four, and sometimes I doze, off and on.  This morning, I dreamed.

It seems I was at a family reunion.  There were several children there.  In the dream I seemed to know them, but upon waking, none of them seemed familiar.  I only recognized one person there:  My mom.  She was seated, and two blond toddlers were hugging her as they were leaving.

I was at this reunion, and I was trying to take pictures for my journal.  Yep, even in my dreams I was thinking about my AOL journal.  How messed up is that?  Trouble is, nobody would stand still for me to take a picture.  As I'd start to snap a picture, they'd turn their heads or totally turn their backs to me.  So now you know we can't take photographs in our dreams.  I've tried.

Somehow in the dream the oldest grandson moved back into my house, too.  And put a television in my tiny bathroom, and had his stuff all over my house until I could hardly get through.

Anybody want to psychoanalyze me or interpret my dreams?  Have at it!

Personally, I think the dreams are simply caused by the stress of Pioneer Woman's blog being down for two days.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Today

This morning as soon as we had taken our daily walk, Cliff and I went out to plant our Lombardy Poplars.  Now experts will tell you to never plant this species:  it's a weed!

However, they grow fast.  They may only last for fifteen years, but I think in fifteen years Cliff and I won't be worried about the trees dying.  Besides, we may plant a row of spruce behind them.
  As advised, we planted them 150 feet away from our future home and septic tank.

We're still waiting for the stupid appraisers to do their job.  We can't make a move until then.

Worst case scenario, we've lost nothing and keep living as we have been.  Best case, we get our new home.  Either way, we'll survive.

Oh, I rode Libby awhile again today.  That was a positive experience.
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Now playing: Ramblin' Jack Elliott - Ridin' Down the Canyon
via FoxyTunes   

Monday, March 24, 2008

My sister, the winter Texan, is coming home soon



That's my sister, Maxine, with her late (wonderful) husband.

I got a call from Maxine this evening, and she's picked all the grapefruits off her trees and stuffed them into her car (many of them have MY name on them).

I have such wonderful memories of my sister.  She always had the most orderly life of anyone I've known.  You could count on things at her house to go according to routine.

I was telling Cliff this morning how Maxine and Russell never turned on their TV during the daylight hours.  Oh no, not until the six o'clock evening news.

In fact, on September 11, 2001, Maxine tells me, she and Russell didn't know about the World Trade Center disaster until they turned on the six o'clock news that evening.

"They did it like a discipline?" Cliff asked.

No, that isn't how they did it.  I'm sure Maxine and Russell never sat down and said, "We'll make a vow to not turn on the television until after six."

It wasn't like a rule.  When I spent my week there each summer, my nephew Larry and I watched TV during daytime if we chose to, and nobody objected.

It wasn't just the television routine that was so orderly, either.  At Maxine's house, you always knew supper would be a 6 P.M.  Always.  Supper would consist of meat, potatoes, and a veggie or two, followed by dessert.  Breakfast was usually cereal (lots of choices on the brands because Larry got to choose kinds he liked), and lunch was usually soup and a sandwich. 

At home with my parents, I snacked at will.  We seldom all sat down to a meal together.  That isn't a bad thing, it's just how we did it.  Mother worked days, Daddy worked nights.  We all scrounged for ourselves.  I liked that just fine.

But the schedule at my sister's house was something dependable, something I could count on that never changed.

Just like my sister.



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Now playing: Kasey Chambers - Last Hard Bible
via FoxyTunes   



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Ouch

I worked with Libby yesterday.  She gets more cooperative about letting me work on her feet with every session.  However, when I first pick up her left hind foot, she still gets nervous and pulls it away at first.  She doesn't kick, just takes the foot away from me.  Yesterday when she did this, her hoof landed on my left foot, the little toe to be exact.  This is why I always put on my cowboy boots before I work with horses. 

I don't make a big deal of having an animal step on my feet; it's been happening all my life.  In fact, when the podiatrist was fitting me for inserts, he looked at the x-ray and asked, "When did you break your toe?"

"Could have been lots of times," I told him. 

So yesterday I went right ahead working with Libby, even saddled her up and rode awhile.  It was when I got inside the house that I realized my toe hurt more than it usually does after being stepped on by a horse.  When I took off my boot, I saw it was bleeding.  Skinned it up a little, she did.

I'm not sure I'll be walking with Cliff this morning; it depends on whether a new band-aid makes a difference in the feeling.

Maybe I should buy some steel-toed cowboy boots.

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Now playing: Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs w - Jimmy Brown the Newsboy
via FoxyTunes   

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

in a slump

Cliff and I are in sort of a "spring slump".  Cliff blames the weather.  We get one or two really spring-like days, then it's back to cold, windy, wintry weather.  Of course, it doesn't help that we're waiting for things to happen so we can move forward on our home purchase.  Right now, everything is in limbo.  We should know something this week.

Magran asked if we will use our well water in the mobile home.  No, I've had it with coffee pots and fixtures being ruined and floors being stained blue by hard water.  We'll pay the $2,060 to have a meter put in, plus the cost of running a line from the meter to the home.  Then we'll have a monthly water bill.  It's a costly move, but I've lived with hard water and everything it involves for most of my married life, and it's one of the things I'd like to change.  That is, if we have enough funds.  That's the problem right now, we don't know how much money we'll have to work with.

About this old house:  Cliff's sister is excited that she'll have a place to stay while she looks for employment; once she finds a job and knows she's going to stay with it, she'll shop for a home in that area.  She knows about most of the flaws of this house; since she'll only be here temporarily, I imagine she can put up with it.  We won't necessarily make her pay rent.  It'll just be nice to have somebody here while we figure out what we're going to do next with the place, as long as she takes care of the electricity and propane.

For those who think there might be a problem with letting a relative live here, put it from your mind.  Rena is self-sufficient and a hard worker; she isn't going to lay around and sponge off us.  She'd be bored silly not working.  She'll probably have this place cleaner than it's been in years.  Seriously! 

Personally, I'd like it if our present renters moved here eventually.  Then we could tear down the unsightly trailer house where they're living now and they'd have more room.  That's a thought we might pursue once Rena moves on.

Check your cornflakes before you put milk on them

A couple of ladies discovered a corn flake shaped like the state of Illinois and sold it on Ebay for $1,350.

Read about it HERE.

I think someone is flakier than the corn flakes.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Waiting

Cliff and I talk often about the manufactured home we're (hopefully) getting.  Today we even went to Shawnee, Kansas, and bought a bedroom suite with mattress and box springs for the guest bedroom in the trailer.   We found it on Craigslist.

(Note to the son and his family:  with any luck you'll have a decent bed AND air conditioning when you visit in July.)

It strikes me as funny that the thing Cliff and I both anticipate most is closets.  Three of them.  BIG ones.  Because we've only had one tiny one here, since 1975.  One closet for two people.



We're tired of our entire hallway looking like this all winter because there's no place to put all the coats.



Oh, and we're tired of that five-gallon water-jug sitting on the clothes dryer.  Our well-water is so hard it ruins coffee-pots (and lots of other things), so we drive two miles to the daughter's house and get town-water from her faucets with which to make coffee.

Our motorcycle leathers hang out in the shop because there's no room for them in the house.

Yes, having two bathrooms will be a treat.  A dishwasher will be lovely, as will a garbage disposal.  Air conditioning will be heaven. 

But Cliff and I look forward to the closets most of all.

We've been asked why we don't take all the money we'll have to spend on the mobile-home site and put it into this old house.

Well, the basement walls are cracked.  The well water is hard.  We need a new septic tank here.  The living room is too small.  There's no place to put another closet.  And there's an upstairs we don't even use where the plaster is falling from the ceiling.  If we fixed all the cosmetic flaws, we still wouldn't have a closet, and our living room still wouldn't be big enough.

I want closets. 

Friday, March 21, 2008

Because this Sunday is Easter Sunday


Great weather

Cliff and I rode the Gold Wing yesterday; we chose, as our destination, the mobile home park where our future home is located.  Cliff wanted to take some measurements underneath the house to find out where the "drops" are:  the sewer, electric, and so forth.  Because he has to know all that in order to be able to pour the concrete pad where the house will be situated. 

The house itself was locked up; we are still waiting for our money, so it isn't really ours.  But Cliff removed skirting and crawled underneath to measure everything.  We left everything as we had found it.  We took our usual "on-the-road" picnic of sardines, crackers, and fruit, along with a thermos of coffee, and ate on the steps of what will hopefully be our next home.

As far as the money thing, we're rather up-in-the-air with it.  It's a home equity loan we're getting.  We know we'll get some money, we just don't know how much.  They did a drive-by appraisal and we haven't heard how that turned out yet.  They can only appraise it as "a house and five acres", even though we own 42 acres.  The good part of this is that it will leave tract 2 of our property paid for, free and clear.  That's where our new (to us) home will be.

I edited this section:  Cliff said "too much information".

Then there are several things we'd like to do if we have the money:  build a small mud porch on the back; install a bigger (perhaps picture) window in the living room; add a deck.  We can live without these things, though. 

Prayers are, as always, appreciated. 

The son-in-law had asked me a few days ago if Natalie could come here on a day when school let out early and Monica had some activity planned.  "Sure," I said.  And promptly forgot about it.

Until we got home from our ride yesterday, walked in the house, and found the television on some cartoon channel.  With nobody here.

Since Cliff and I were out riding when Nattie arrived, she wisely called her dad and he contacted Rachel.  Rachel came and got her.  She wasn't alone here very long.

I imagine Kevin would have reminded me the previous day, had it not been for our adventure with trying to find the girls in the woods.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Just a quick answer

I've had several people ask whether the recent Missouri flooding is affecting us:  Thank the good Lord, the answer is a resounding "no"!  Cliff's brother in Independence, Kansas, and his sister in St. Louis, are about to wash away.  But that excessive rain went south and east of Kansas City, so we're fine.

When it does flood locally, our house is high on a river bluff overlooking the Missouri River.  In order to flood our home, there'd have to be a flood of biblical proportions, as in the days of Noah.  The worst thing that can happen to us is that we might get caught out in the car and all access to home is blocked by water over the roads.  This happened once, during the flood of '93.

If you weren't a reader last May, go back HERE and HERE to see flooding a couple of miles from us, and read other entries from around that time.

I'm really hoping we don't have too much wet weather here, since our mobile home can't be moved until things are dry.  But I realize it isn't "all about me"; farmers need rain.

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I feel a motorcycle ride coming on

Since I didn't wake up when Cliff got home from work at 1 A.M., I don't know if he's still following through on taking a vacation day; yesterday as he was leaving for work, he mentioned he might do that

See, the trouble with motorcycle riding on work days this time of year is that it really doesn't warm up suitably until about noon.  And Cliff has to leave for work at 2:30.  So in order to get much of a ride in, he has to take a day off work.  I see the high is forecast to be around sixty, which is pushing the limits of comfort just a little; trust me, if we ride, I'll be wearing many layers of clothing.

I've hesitated to mention this, since I'm afraid I'll jinx the two of us:  But this is the first winter in my memory when neither Cliff or I had a single cold.  Not so much as a sniffle.


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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

whew



Those specks between the two calves are Kevin and his daughters.


There, I cropped the picture.  Now you can see them.

The granddaughters have been coming here after school this week; they don't do that often these days, so it's really nice to have them around.

Today our weather turned absolutely perfect, so Monica and Natalie went out to play with Marvin's kids.  I've always told them, "Stay on my property; I want to be able to see you, or at least have you in hollering distance, when I step outside."

Well, I went outside and there they were almost out of sight over at Marvin's.  I called them home and reminded them of the rules:  "Stay on my property."

A half-hour or so later, their dad knocked on the door.

"Aren't the girls out there?" I asked.  "They were playing with Marvin's kids a while ago."

"No," Kevin said.  "I didn't see them."

Now keep in mind that my granddaughters are not exactly quiet when they're playing.  They inherited their grandmother's loud mouth.  But we heard no voices.

The renter heard us calling for the girls and said last time she saw them, they were headed toward Marvin's.  I couldn't believe they'd disobey me twice in one day... especially Monica, who is usually very trustworthy.

Kevin couldn't raise anybody at Marvin's house.  I told him the girls had gone back in the pasture earlier; maybe they went there again.  I'd heard something said about catching tadpoles, and our little pond is filling up with water after the recent rains.

Only if they'd been at the pond, I would have heard them.  And I heard nothing.

I did notice the electric fence was unplugged; I had told Monica earlier if she wanted to go through the electric wire, just unplug it.

I went all the way to the cabin.  Nothing.  Then I heard, far away, a voice.  And another.

The girls, along with Marvin's two youngest kids, were in the deepest ditch on the place, at the very back of our forty-two acres.



Iguess they figured when I told them to stay on my property, that meant ALL my property.

I know Kevin was frantic with worry.  I somehow knew they were fine, but I was getting pretty angry by the time we finally found them.

All's well that ends well. 

A trip to Union Station



Cliff and I went to Kansas City today to see the Bodies Revealed exhibit.  Fascinating, by the way.  And there was quite a crowd, especially for a Thursday.  Cameras aren't allowed inside the exhibit, probably because they want to make money selling the book with pictures for $20.

I remembered that I want to see the Liberty Memorial, across the way.  And I wouldn't mind going back to Union Station and browsing through all the memorabilia to be found there.  But I doubt if we'll be taking many sight-seeing trips this spring; I think we're going to be pretty busy.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

thoughts on moving

So far, it looks like all this was meant to be.  The oldest of Cliff’s two sisters lives in Wisconsin; she’s getting a divorce and wants to move back to this area.  She’d like to rent a place until she can find a job and find a home to buy.

When Cliff and I move out back to our mobile home, we need somebody living in our old house.

It looks like that will work out for everyone.  Once Rena moves on and buys a place, we’ll probably rent the house out.  The grandson might even be interested, once his current one-year lease is done.

I have desired for so long to live away from this dusty gravel road, someplace where I have a view of something other than all the neighbors’ junk.

My dream might be about to come true.

I need air conditioning in my older age.  It appears that may happen.  Cliff would like to have a shop just like the one we had custom-made for him nine years ago.        

Sometimes the answer to a person’s prayers lies right under her nose.  We shall see.    

I have an idea that my cabin won’t get much use once we’re in our new home in the middle of the pasture, because most of the things I was seeking  back there in the woods will be mine every day, right at home.

With one exception: My dog won’t be able to sleep with me.  So maybe I WILL need my cabin once a month or so.

Before all this came about, we were thinking of selling this place and buying another property with a better house but fewer acres.

Only I insisted that I had to keep my horse, Blue.

And we agreed that we needed to stay in this school district, because we still have two granddaughters who need us sometimes.

Do you know how few places exist that are like that?

So hopefully, this adventure we’re undertaking will meet the needs of many people.  Please God, let it be.

And I'll finally have my air conditioning and my softer water and an adequate electrical system.  And a view.  And two bathrooms and two extra bedrooms.  Could it really be true?

WHEN MY MORNIN' COMES AROUND (Iris DeMent)
(c) 1996 Songs of Iris ASCAP

When my mornin' comes around, no one else will be there
so I won't have to worry about what I'm supposed to say
and I alone will know that I climbed that great big mountain
and that's all that will matter when my mornin' comes around

When my mornin' comes around, I will look back on this valley
at these sidewalks and alleys where I lingered for so long
and this place where I now live will burn to ash and cinder
like some ghost I won't remember
When my mornin' comes around

When my mornin' comes around, from a new cup I'll be drinking
and for once I won't be thinking that there's something wrong with me
and I'll wake up and find that my faults have been forgiven
and that's when I'll start living
When my mornin' comes around




----------------
Now playing: Iris DeMent - Quality Time
via FoxyTunes   

YES!!!!

The man who will move the trailer said he'll be able to get the home in here and place it where we want it.  Yippee!!!!

I'm sure I'll find something else to worry about along the line, but for today I'm worry-free.

The REAL rebate schedule

Some of you may remember an entry I made in which I erroneously shared some wrong dates for our government rebates.  Well, this one is the real deal:  it comes from the IRS website.

Click HERE.

Direct Deposit Payments

If the last two digits of your Social Security number are:

Your economic stimulus payment deposit should be sent to your bank account by:

00 – 20

May 2

21 – 75

May 9

76 – 99

May 16

Paper Check

If the last two digits of your Social Security number are:

Your check should be in the mail by:

00 – 09

May 16

10 – 18

May 23

19 – 25

May 30

26 – 38

June 6

39 – 51

June 13

52 – 63

June 20

64 – 75

June 27

76 – 87

July 4

88 – 99

July 11



Now I wish we'd received our income tax refund via direct deposit; if we had, we'd get our rebate sooner.


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Monday, March 17, 2008

Guilty pleasures nobody understands

Cliff and I love a lot of the same music:  Johnny Cash; Waylon Jennings; Merle Haggard... you know, all those old country favorites.

But I have this wild side when it comes to music, a genre that Cliff doesn't understand.

So when he's not here, I listen to these:

Iris Dement

Woody Guthrie


John Prine


Ramblin' Jack Elliot

The Carter Family
(OK, Cliff might listen to them sometimes)

Floyd Westerman


Leadbelly

Trish Monaco.

And if Cliff comes in and catches me listening to any of these, he just shakes his head and says something about "caterwauling".  *shrugs*

Enough is enough!

 Bad news

 Just wanted to let you know that the new U.S. Homeland Security Bill
 has passed.  Things will be different now, and Internet surfing will
 be tracked by what the FBI calls a "non-intrusive method." The FBI
 says you will not notice anything different.
 For a demonstration, click on the link below...

RIGHT HERE


----------------
Now playing: John Prine - Come Back to Us Barbara Lewis Hare Krishna Beauregard
via FoxyTunes   

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I'm too old for this!

Cliff talked for about an hour this morning to the man who will move our home.  I'm not ready for all this stuff.  I hate the unknown.

The home we're buying (hopefully) measures 16' by 76'.  That's pretty darned big to be hauling around. There's a very tight turn when you pull off the highway and onto the road leading to our house.  The guy is going to come out and see if he thinks he can make the turn.  If he can't, we'll just be out of luck.   I hope he doesn't wait too long!



That's the turn that will have to be made.  By the way, it's rained here all day, and is still coming down.  We were without electricity for over two hours this morning.

Speaking of rain, that's another thing:  The moving man is backed up with homes to move because of the rain we've been getting.  You can't move mobile homes to the country unless the ground is dry and solid because they weigh tons, obviously.  They get stuck.  So even if everything works out all right, it could be awhile before the home arrives. 

I can live with that, though, if I find out we can actually get it in here.  After all, we have a house to live in.  Oh, it might complicate things somewhat, because we'd be paying rent on the place where it's sitting now.  Which can be anywhere from $300 to $500 a month... WOW! 

Our sources who told us what the moving costs would be were correct.  It'll be $4,800 for that.  And the moving man said the concrete pad needs to be six inches thick.  If we pay to have the work done, that's $2,600, he says.  If Cliff and a friend do the work, it's $1,500.

Ah, the man from Aquila, our electric company, just called.  He'll be out tomorrow to tell us how much it'll cost to get the electricity put back there.

Anybody got any nerve pills?

$$$$$



That's our entire place as seen by Google Earth, from the road that goes in front of the house to the railroad track in back.  The biggest red roof is Cliff's shop.  The metal-colored roof is our barn, and our mobile home will be behind that.



We have to put the home at least 50 feet north of the property line.  Two fences will have to be torn down, at least temporarily, to get the home to that location where it says "Home sweet home".  Eventually we'll tear the barn down and build a pole barn elsewhere.

EXPENSIVE THINGS WE’LL HAVE TO DO

1.  Hook up to rural water ($2,000) and run the water lines (more expense)
2.  Put in a septic tank
3.  Have electricity installed at the new site
4.  Pour a concrete pad on which to put the house
5.  Obtain a building permit

All these together will probably end up costing more than the home itself will.  We have to put the mobile home north of the property line because that's where tract 2 starts.  We're not allowed to put anything on tract 1 unless we tear the house down.  Since the house and "tract 1" is what we're using for equity, it can't be torn down:  it belongs to the bank.  Tract 2 will be ours, free and clear.  Because it's vacant, we can build whatever we want there.  In one entry I said we could build a hog-house there and live in it if we so desired, and someone left a comment saying, "What's a hog-house?"

A hog-house is where pigs live.  It was my feeble attempt at humor.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

We found our home!

This home was on Craigslist.  The lady only lived here with her children for four months, separated from her husband.  She was the second owner. They got back together.  She was going to come back in and paint some walls.  We told her not to bother, so she took $1,500 off the price.  The only fault we could find with this place at all was that the living room window isn't big enough.  And that can be fixed easily!  It has new Berber carpet.  And a dishwasher!!!!  I've never had a dishwasher.

She'll remove all the kiddie decals from the walls and refrigerator. 

This house has everything we were looking for, and none of the stuff we didn't want.  Of course, no money has changed hands.  But she is taking it off Craigslist.  I offered to give her $100 to hold it, but she refused.  She's just happy she doesn't have to paint it.

Now I'm REALLY excited!

Tomorrow's job will be finding a mover; I've heard it cost $5,000 to move one of these babies.

house-hunting

We've only been looking at manufactured housing for a week, but one thing we've decided:  They all pretty much look alike.  Especially the single-wide homes, which one salesman told us are not being built very much, these days.

All of them (the single-wides) have the master bedroom on one end, the two smaller bedrooms in the other.  Most of the master baths have that stupid "garden tub", which is useless to people who usually take showers.   It's just a bigger-than-usual tub.

There are differences in the amount of cabinet space and how the kitchens are arranged.  And there's a difference in quality.  You have pretty-cheaply-made homes, and extremely-cheaply-made homes.  Oh, better quality can be found, but it's in a much higher price range.

None of this comes as a shock to us since, as I said before, we've lived in manufactured housing, as did my parents.

Yesterday was a drizzly, depressing day, so we decided to travel a hundred miles to Columbia, Missouri, and see if there was any difference in prices there.  There really isn't, not that I could tell.

We saw one repo that had just arrived on Friday.  I should have taken a picture of it.  Not because we were interested, but because I had never seen anything quite like it.  You could tell, from the outside, that it had two levels:  One end was actually lower than the other.  A split-level mobile home!  Turns out there was a huge bathroom in the lowered end with a garden tub in the center of the room and mirrors everywhere.   Indeed, it looked like it was intended for people who would throw a party and invite guests... in their bathroom!  Cliff and I had to laugh at the design.

This place reeked of smoke, and was pretty much trashed.  Doors were torn off hinges; one door was destroyed (it wouldn't take much to destroy a door in the cheaper mobile homes).  One room was littered with junk.  I mentioned to the salesman, "Somebody wasn't too kind to this house."

"Oh, that's one of the better ones," he said.  "Usually we can't even walk around inside the repos.  These people don't realize they are going to have to pay the difference between the amount they owe and the price we sell the home for."

So far, the nearest we've come to finding what we want is in Kansas  City.  There are a couple of homes on Craigslist, being sold by the owners, that we intend to investigate.

Things may fall into place nicely for all concerned.  Cliff's Wisconsin sister, who is in the process of getting a divorce, is going to move to this area.  She intends to buy a house, but she first needs to find a job and figure out in exactly what part of the Kansas City area she'll need to live.  She could stay in this house at no cost (except for utilities) until she finds out in which direction her life is going to go; she's excited by this possibility.  It would take a lot of heat off her, not having to rush into buying a home.

Oh, a friend of Cliff's who works in construction said he'll come out and help with the concrete pad we'll set the home on, and also help run the water lines to our new, peaceful location in the pasture.  We're thinking we might hook onto rural water, to get rid of our hard-water problem.  A lot depends on how much money we will have available, and we won't know that until the bank guy does a drive-by appraisal.  It may be two weeks yet.  (Of course I'll keep the money information to myself; there are a few details I don't share with my readers.  Hehe.)

And that's your manufactured housing report for today.

Friday, March 14, 2008

One more explanation

We do not plan to sell any part of our property, since the portion with the old house on it is what we're using to give us funds to buy our "manufactured housing".  We'll likely rent out the old decrepit house.  Grandson would love to have it after his year's lease in the rental place is done.  Until then, Cliff's almost-divorced sister might be interested.

Nobody is selling ANYTHING around here.

Isn't that nice?

explanation

On Memorial Day of 1975, Cliff and I moved to this very house with our two children.  With the house came six and one-half acres.  I won't go into detail about why and how we sold our original twenty acres.  But we came here with five or six Jersey cows; there was only pasture enough for one or two, so one by one, we sold most of my pets.

This is an old, two-story house.  Cliff and I occupied the downstairs bedroom.  We had one closet between us, a very narrow one (we still do).  Our children each had a bedroom upstairs.  They had one closet between them.

Those kids grew up sleeping in the upstairs bedrooms:  unheated in winter (daughter took a glass of water up with her one night and when she awoke, there was ice on top of it) and hotter than hades in summer.

I was proud that we were so tough that we didn't need air conditioning.  After all, we spent most of our time outside.  My mother told me, "Wait until you're older; you'll have to have air conditioning."

Well, my grandma never had it, and I was sure I'd survive just fine.

Somewhere in the intervening years, we bought thirty-seven adjoining acres.  Now we had room for several cows and horses.

The kids grew up and moved on.  We purchased more and more electrical things:  Fancier televisions, a microwave, a computer.   Meanwhile, the hard water from our well clogged up pipes and coffeepots.  There was no way an ice-maker would work longer than a week around here.  Forget even trying a dishwasher.

The wiring in this house, probably installed in the 1930's, wasn't up to all our new-fangled gadgets, and I soon learned not to operate certain appliances at the same time.

Summers seemed to grow hotter, and Cliff and I finally bought a small air conditioning unit for the bedroom.

The living room here only has room for six people to sit, tops.  There's a huge crack in the wall of the basement.  Plaster started falling from the ceilings upstairs.  If you tried to fix everything wrong with the house, you'd spend more than the cost of building a new home.  And the living room would still be too small, and there's no place to put another closet.

I grew discontent, and we figured we'd buy a mobile home and bring it here.

Planning and zoning said no.  We already had a trailer house, put here for my parents, on the property.  It was "grandfathered in" before zoning became stringent.  We would be allowed to put a mobile home here if we agreed to tear down our house within a certain time limit.

Unfortunately, we'd refinanced twice:  Once to buy the adjoining land, and then to build Cliff's shop and put siding on the house.  So the bank owned this old house and we weren't allowed to tear down "their" house.

Last week we told Cliff's brother, who is in real estate, to come and put our house on the market.  We figured we'd buy a place across the road... an acre and a-half with a very well-kept, fifteen-year-old double-wide mobile home.  We'd hope to get $200,000 for our place.  We'd hopefully get their place for not too much over $100,000.  We'd be out of debt.

Cliff would lose his nice shop, although there's a big shop over there.  It's just not as well-equipped as ours.  I'd get rid of all animals except Blue.  We'd buy hay year around in order to keep him.

Cliff's brother came out to take pictures.  Then he asked if I had the legal description for this place.  I did, and produced it.

That's when we realized our property is in two tracts:  The original six-and-one-half acres, and the thirty-five or so we bought twenty years ago.

Two tracts?  Hmmm.

I called planning-and-zoning and found out that we could put any sort of structure we wanted to on the second tract, since there are no buildings there.  We could live in a hog-house there if we so desired.

Cliff's brother told us which banks to contact; we obtained a home equity loan (at lower interest than we were paying).  Our place didn't go on the market.  And we started shopping for manufactured housing.

And that's the rest of the story.

I'll keep you informed as we continue this adventure.

Interesting day

Cliff and I both picked up our new glasses this morning; I was long overdue for new ones.  Superglue was holding my old ones together.  Oh, and I can see much better now!  It had been at least five years since I got my others.

After leaving Gerry Optical, we headed toward Kansas City to look at more "manufactured housing".  I don't care what they call them, I call them mobile homes.

This time we hit pay dirt:  We found a nice, single-wide, very clean used one we both loved, for about half the price of a new one.  No, we didn't put money down on it.  But we're both excited that we aren't going to have to go as deeply in debt as we feared.  This was the first place we've found that has decent, not-too-old used mobile... er, uh, I mean manufactured housing.

Why would I be so excited about living in a trailer house?  Hey, I could use my microwave and make coffee at the same time without the electricity going off.  I'd have air conditioning.  Everything would be on one level.  I'll be the happiest "trailer trash" woman you've ever seen.  Oh, and I have lived in manufactured housing before.  Twice.

I'm mad at myself that I didn't take pictures, but I'll learn, before this search is over.

This was supposed to be a horrible day weatherwise.  It reminds me of a time when my grandson was three years old and visiting here.  I looked out the window and said, "Hey, it wasn't supposed to rain today."  And Arick said, "I guess God shanged His mind."

Speaking of Arick, he officially moved out today.  I'm very thankful for the past months he spent with us.  I think he learned some things that will last him throughout his life.  I believe we all made pleasant memories, too.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

package from Florida



Back when fellow J-lander Robin had a birthday, she asked her readers to do a video of themselves singing "Happy Birthday".  She'd send a surprise to her favorite.  So I made a video for her (click here if you missed it... and if you feel really brave).  She chose mine as one of her favorites.

Today my package came.  Gee, gator poop.  Haaaaaaaaaaaaaa!  (By the way, the stuff looks, smells and tastes suspiciously like malted milk balls.)

Now that's a unique gift.  Thanks for the smile, Robin.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Just a couple of things

Well, Cliff played hooky from work and we went on a motorcycle ride.  Since it's more fun to have a destination or two, we went and looked at "manufactured housing".  That's trailer houses, for you rednecks.  And modular homes.



We stopped at Quiktrip to gas up and noticed a familiar-looking car.



It was our daughter!



We figured we'd follow her home, but she left us to eat her dust.  I didn't know her little car would reach speeds of 200 MPH.  Good grief!

Say, my baby girl has a birthday tomorrow.  So if you've a mind to, head over to her journal and wish her a happy birthday!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

befuddled

There are so many things going on here, I don't even know what to do with myself.  Nothing bad, mind you.  Simply decisions to be made, possible changes in the future; and I HATE making decisions AND I hate change.

Our income tax refund arrived yesterday.  That's a good thing.

I went for a fantastic horseback ride this afternoon; I took my camera with intentions of taking a picture of what a car looks like after it's run into a black cow on the road at night.  Trouble is, I left my memory card at home in the card reader.  Drat!  Tomorrow is supposed to be nice, maybe I'll ride in that direction again.

When Cliff and I figure out what we're going to do about certain things, I'll let you know.  (No, we are not getting a divorce, although he half-threatened me today when I jumped down his throat for forgetting something.)

On my Sunday horseback ride, I ventured into my little town.  They have some ordinance on the books about no horse-poop in town; if your horse poops, you clean it up.  How would that have been possible?  I had no shovel with me.  Blue pooped right in front of the funeral parlor, just the other side of those motorcycles, more or less beside/behind that car.



We made our break really fast, hoping that they'd blame the road-apples on the local Walking-Horse man.  So far nobody has shown up at my door with handcuffs.  Whew.

I lectured Blue, but he really didn't seem to be concerned.  "When you gotta go, you gotta go."  That was his attitude.

Monday, March 10, 2008

questions from a reader

A longtime friend, Jo, emailed me some questions about this entry.  Since some of my other readers may have the same questions, I'm answering them here.

"I thought you said it was cold out.  I saw no sleeves on the dress in one of the pictures."
That was granddaughter Monica in the sleeveless dress.  The high temperature yesterday was 54 degrees.  Children and adolescents do not always dress sensibly when left to their own devices.  Also, it's always colder on horseback, for some reason, that it is just strolling around on your own two feet.
 
"Do you not ride Libby?"  I rode Libby in the round pen yesterday after I was done with Blue.

"I thought you paid someone to train her."
Indeed I did pay someone.  It isn't the first time I've wasted money on a horse.  Libby actually came home worse than she left, but I have her back to normal now.  Her main flaw has always been that she doesn't pay close enough attention to me; she is always looking around for spooks.  If I rode her outside the round pen and someone at a distance fired a gun, or if someone drove a motorcycle up our driveway, she would be liable to panic and run away with me.  She is fine with being saddled, and she stands nicely for me to mount and dismount.  She tends to half-buck with her rear end if a rider asks her to go faster than a walk.  My plan now is simply to ride her often in the round pen and see if she eventually improves.

"How are you going to be able to ride 2 horses?"
 
Well, I didn't plan to ride them both at the same time; I can alternate horses.  Actually, I have granddaughters who like to ride, and I believe Cliff would ride Blue sometimes if I ever got Libby really safe.   In fact, he keeps offering to ride Blue alongside me so Libby can get some experience, but I'm too old to risk being on a runaway horse if a deer or wild turkey should jump out of the woods and scare Libby. 


John Scalzi

I'm sure most of you J-landers remember John Scalzi.  He was so helpful with any journal problems we might have been having.  Perhaps some of you read his non-AOL blog; but if not, I'd like to suggest that you read the entry he made today.  Perhaps I enjoyed it so because it reminded me of some hard times Cliff and I went through twenty years ago.

Click HERE.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Maybe it's just me

I read so many great blogs and journals.  I read blogs written by atheists, left-wingers, right-wingers, Christian home-schoolers, wicca-homeschoolers (hi Amy), gays and lesbians.  There's a better sense of humor amongst this varied crew than you'll ever find on the comedy channel on TV.

One of my favorite Christian blogs is called Letters from Kamp Krusty.  But don't expect this guy to be preachy or run-of-the-mill.

Today his entry cracked me up.  I literally laughed out loud.

I love when that happens.

A ride! A ride! A WONDERFUL RIDE!!

It was cool enough that I wore my stocking cap and coveralls to ride.  For some reason it's colder on horseback than it is just walking around on the ground.  It was a great ride, and when I got home I gave Libby some attention and rode her in the round pen.  By the time I went inside, I had been outdoors for over three hours.  It was glorious!

This would be a memorable meal

I'm not particularly scared of heights, but I think I'd pass on this pie-in-the-sky.  I got these pictures in email from Cliff's cousin, Edna.








For more pictures and information, go HERE

Where's my refund

In the old days before the Internet kept us so aware, our income tax refund dropped right out of the sky, a wonderful surprise.  That's when we usually went out and bought jeans and overalls that would keep us clothed for the next year.  For some reason, that check always seemed to show up in our mailbox on a Saturday and made it a weekend of rejoicing.

In some recent years I've filed online, and then we received our refund in the form of a direct deposit.

This year, though, we went to the old tax man.  The good news was that we were getting a sizable federal refund.  The bad news was that we had to pay about a third of it to the state.  Still, that left us plenty of extra funds to use for our vacation.

Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I went to this site and learned that our check was sent last Wednesday.  Wooo hooo!!!!  Even though we had no plans to spend any of it just now, other than to pay the state of Missouri what we owe them, it's always exciting to get money.

But this is Sunday, and we haven't gotten it yet.  How many days does it take mail to get from Kansas City (I think that's where our check comes from) to our house?

This is where ignorance would be bliss.  Because if I hadn't known when the check was mailed, I wouldn't be concerned.

No, I'm not losing sleep over this.  I expect the check is bouncing around somewhere in the system, or perhaps caught in some conveyor belt at the post office.  If it should happen not to show up, I can report it after April 2.

I simply wish I had not known when the check was mailed.  That's all.

And this post should let you know how few things of interest are going on to blog about.  Well, except for the grandson getting ready to move out.

Oh, that rebate schedule I shared in this blog recently?  It was wrong.  I had a feeling at the time it was.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Interesting morning

I went outside to take Sadie to potty and noticed people around my barn.  At 6 A.M.  Then I saw the neighbor lady leading a horse away from my barn toward her house.  Ah, Marvin's horses are out again.

That wouldn't be such a big deal, except that those three horses are uncatchable.  (Hey, that must be a real word; spell-check didn't stop it.)  And the neighbor lady only had a rope in her hand.  No halter.  Well now, I have to give her credit for this: she did have a can of feed with which she was trying to lure them.  My can.  My feed.  Cause I'm generous like that.  Especially when I don't know it's going on.  I jest, because of course I'd have told her to go ahead and use my can and my feed, had I been out there.  The horses weren't interested, no matter whose feed it was.

I got one of my halters and went out in the pen to try and help.  It was obviously a waste of time, because these horses were not going to be caught; but as we chatted, in the course of conversation I found out these horses get no hay at all, only a couple cans of feed a day. 

"Let me get a flake of alfalfa hay and see what happens," I told her.

Well, that turned the big horse, Macon, into a pussycat; and the remaining horse simply followed them home.

Remind me to give Blue and Libby an extra treat today.  I can always
catch my horses. 

(edited to add:  the neighbor's horses do not appear underfed.  Evidently they are fed enough grain and get enough dried pasture-grass to sustain them.)

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

For lack of anything better

You can watch the horses eat.  The two bay horses (the darker ones) are mine.  Blue is the alpha horse, and he arrives first.  You may notice that Tude, one of the boarders and the last to arrive, has a pretty pronounced limp.  He suffers from arthritis in a back leg, caused by an injury when he was young; he gets supplements (glucosamine) for that.  Often, after a few minutes of activity, the limp will disappear. 

Also notice there's only one of them hamming it up and posing for the camera:  that would be Libby.  The others are too interested in eating to look my way, but nothing stops my little ham from putting those ears up and looking pretty.



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I don't usually post the same thing on both of my blogs, but things are dull around here and I found something I thought many of you would enjoy.  So here goes.

As you probably surmised by my last few entries, there's nothing of interest going on around here.  So today I'd like to share a touching entry on one of my favorite blogs, "In The Midst Of This Season".  Toni and her husband will soon officially adopt their fourth child, and if you go to
THIS POST and then follow the links she added there, you'll be amazed, as I was, at the way things have fallen into place for them.  You may even get teary-eyed.

Don't miss the link that takes you HERE; click on the picture of the sleeping dad and baby so you can see it better, and look at the resemblance.

Wow.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

not much going on

Cliff and I are getting routine things done as winter drags on:  you know, things like my mammogram (done) and going to get new glasses (this Friday).  We take our daily walk, but honestly the weather right now isn't conducive to anything fun outside.

I get two Netflix movies each month; the first one for March came today, and I didn't recall ordering it. 

"Is this a movie somebody at work told you about?" I asked Cliff.

"I don't think so."

So I figure I must have read something about it and put it at the top of my lineup of movies.  Whatever.  Lacking motivation to do anything useful after Cliff left for work, I settled in to watch it.

I must say, Waitress is one of the most memorable movies I've seen lately.   It's PG-13, so there's nothing too raw.  Don't watch it hungry, though; you'll be wanting pie from the moment it starts.

There are very few movies that both Cliff and I like, but I'm pretty sure he'll share my opinion of this one.
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Now playing: Pat Boone- April Love
via FoxyTunes   

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