Saturday, May 31, 2008

Ah, sweet air conditioning

There was central air with the mobile home when we bought it; a two-year-old unit, actually.  A/C was one of the reasons I wanted a different place to live.

The deal with the mobile home mover was, he'd move the trailer, and once it was on-site, he'd charge up the A/C for us; this is standard procedure for mobile home movers.

Cliff, being a trusting sort, had me pay him before the electricity was in.  In other words, I paid him before he had done the A/C part of his deal.

Guess what?  He's disappeared off the face of the earth.  He doesn't answer his home phone OR cell phone.

Now this would be quite distressing, except for this one point:  When I first contacted the guy and asked what it would cost to move our mobile home, he said $3,800 to $4,800.  So I budgeted $5,000 for that purpose, just in case.

My regular readers will remember all the rain delays we had; suffice it to say, considerable time passed before the home was delivered.

So when it was time to settle up (which we shouldn't have done till the A/C was in, but wait....) I got the checkbook and said, "What do I owe you?"

He sort of scratched his head and said, "Oh, let me see... did I quote you a price?"

"Yes," I said, "but you gave me a low price and a high one."

"I don't remember what I told you."

Cliff said he just knew I was going to blow it and tell him what price he quoted, but I am not that stupid.

"Well," I said, "You know what you're worth."

There was more hemming and hawing, but finally he came up with the grand sum of $2,400.  Yeah, half what I budgeted.

So it's OK.  I'm glad to see our local heating and cooling guy get some of the money, and it'll still come out cheaper than the amount I had budgeted.

I was surprised to see Rick show up with his helper today; I didn't know he worked on Saturday.

The A/C unit is right outside my computer room window.

One more story:  It was really getting hot by the time they got the A/C running this afternoon.  When that cool air started blowing through the registers, I shut the windows and did a happy dance. No more sweltering!

Three hours later, it was time to turn Blue out to graze; I almost looked forward to going out in the sweltering heat, just so I could truly appreciate my new A/C.  So imagine my surprise when I stepped out into a cold front that had slipped in at some time or other.  It was actually cooler outside than it was in the house!

I hate when that happens.

I've been had

Ummm.... that post I did in BOTH my blogs about cell phones and the do-not-call list?

Snopes says it's false.  I had one comment and one email making me aware of this.  I guess it's a rumor that's circulated for some time in emails; I just wasn't familiar with it, and the source from which I got the information yesterday was one I trusted.

Anyhow, I deleted that post.

I haven't pushed Pandora Internet radio for awhile.  I'm sitting at my computer drinking coffee made from freshly-ground Starbucks coffee beans (bought at Sam's Club) listening to music on a station fashioned by my choices and my likes and dislikes.

You type in a song or artist you like and Pandora will start playing music that has a similar style or flavor.  If a song comes on you don't like, you can give it a thumbs-down.  If there's one you love, give it a thumbs-up.  After awhile, the station is everything you ever wanted or needed.

Ah, Iris Dement just came on, singing one of my favorite songs.

Happy Saturday to all.


Friday, May 30, 2008

It's been a big day

I was expecting three visits today from different people.  One didn't happen, but I know Rick (of Rick's Heating and Cooling) is a busy man this time of year.  So, no air conditioning yet.  It may be Monday before I see him, but it'll be a happy day when he comes.

My first visitors of the day were two guys who came to exterminate my ants.  You can read about that HERE.  If need be, they can come once a month for $35 per visit, since they're already at the old German Church in town.  That's cheap, and if that's what I have to do to get rid of the ants, I'll do it.

My second set of visitors were the Culligan men.

They installed this monster, which takes up some of my precious closet space... but I have my priorities.  And I have other closets.

They also installed a reverse osmosis thingie, so Cliff and I don't get extra sodium in our system.

So all our water for ice, drinking, coffee, tea, and most cooking comes from that new faucet on the right.

I purchased a Bunn coffee maker some time back, but didn't use it because hard water plugs a Bunn up fast.  I've been through a couple of them.  But tomorrow morning, I'll have me some GREAT coffee!

Even Cliff has learned to love that expensive little coffee mill I recently purchased.  Isn't it cute?

Another item LOST

Because we've been moving and Cliff has been tromping through dirt a lot, he's been wearing either his old sneakers or his leather work shoes for the past week.  He was heading off to his sister's this morning and said, "Do you know where my new sneakers are?"

"Aren't they in the shoe rack in the closet?"

"Nope; I looked there."

Now I distinctly remember seeing his good sneakers in the closet at the old house, and picking them up.  That closet was practically empty, and I said to myself, "Oh my goodness; I'd better get Cliff's good shoes!"

Now, a pair of Cliff's shoes isn't something that should be hard to find.  Nobody in this family has tiny feet, myself included.

I have looked in every available place and opened every door.  Cannot find them.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

Another lost item: FOUND

I still haven't found our cell phone chargers, but at least I found this, which couldn't have been replaced.  I feel much better.

finding and losing stuff

I've spent the past week moving.  Just when I think I have everything out of the old house, I open a cabinet door or a drawer and find something I've missed.  And each "find" seems more like a bunch of junk than the one before.  I've thrown lots of stuff away.  Some of it is usable, good stuff; but I don't want to deal with taking it to the proper place to dispose of it, so in the trash it goes.

I've misplaced a few things and then found them.  There are a couple of items (a German beer stein stuffed full of pocket knives, two cell phone chargers) that I absolutely cannot locate, although I know I moved them. 

Tuesday we received our Economic Stimulus Payment.  I laid it right on the kitchen table for Cliff to see, and mentioned it to him yesterday morning when he got up.

This morning when he got home from work at 1 A.M., I couldn't go back to sleep, what with one petty worry and another demanding attention in my overloaded brain.  Somewhere in the wee hours of the morning, this thought occurred:  "What did I do with that government check?"

I told myself not to be concerned, that I'd locate it after I got up in the morning.

Somewhere around five, with very little sleep under my belt since 1 A.M., I made my coffee and commenced my search.  I looked in all the places I would have normally put it:  The checkbook, my billfold, the bill holder. 

I sneaked into the bedroom and checked Cliff's billfold in case he'd picked it up and put it away.  No dice.

So my next move, unpleasant as it was in the pre-dawn hours, was to go through the contents of my trash can, piece by piece.  Twice.  No check.

Almost in tears, I recalled Cliff saying he was taking some things to the car that need to go in the safe deposit box at the local bank.  It was a long shot, but I thought to myself, "Perhaps he took the check to the car, too."

Sure enough.  There it was, in all its glory.

I would have just woke him up and asked him, but he has been overburdened lately and needs all the sleep he can get.

This sort of scenario is played out daily since we've moved, but so far nothing else has involved $1,200.  Whew.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sadie is adjusting to our new quarters

Sadie had visited the mobile home with me several times before we moved, but she had no idea we'd ever be staying here.  She's confused, to say the least.

At the old house, dogs and kids constantly trek through the yard or up and down the road near the living room window, and Sadie loved to stand on her hind feet, look out the window, and bark at them.  At this house, the windows are much nearer the floor, so she can stand on all fours and look out easily; but there are few dogs to bark at.  This has taken away some of the most exciting moments of her day (I personally don't miss the traffic across the yard at all, and I surely don't miss Buddy peeing on all four corners of my house).

Sadie has never been allowed on furniture.  She sheds almost as badly as a cat, and we don't want hair on our clothes.  She's always been fine with this rule.  The one exception has been that when she and I spend a night back at the cabin, she gets to sleep on my bunk with me.

Imagine Cliff's surprise, then, when he stepped in the front door Saturday and found Sadie on the couch, looking at him as though all were well.  He yelled at her, but she simply thought he was trying to get her to bark at dogs outside (it's a game we play with her).  Later on, I caught her on the couch again; and she found out we weren't playing games.

Monday, once more, Cliff walked in to find her on the couch and took after her with the broom.

Now I'm wondering if she's been on the couch before; at the old house, we only used the back door, which leads into a hall going to the kitchen.  Sadie would have heard us and come to meet us before we ever suspected she had been on the couch. 

My daughter thinks that Sadie just considers this another cabin, figuring it's OK to sleep on furniture here.

This morning I went from the computer room to the living room and there she was on the couch AGAIN!  This time, though, she instantly jumped down and acted guilty.

So at least now she understands that she isn't supposed to be there.  I guess that's progress.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008


For those who don't know what founder (lamanitis) is, click HERE.

Blue's too fat

What with all the rain we've had lately plus the big move, Blue hasn't had much exercise other than what he gets in the pasture.  And he isn't the type of horse to run and cavort on his own; what he loves to do is eat (in other words, he fits right in around here).

This evening, finally, I went for a ride.  Looking Blue over from atop him, I could see fat wrinkles in front of the saddle.  His big old "cresty" neck is fatter than usual.  He could founder easily at any time.  I can't let that happen; I went through it once and do NOT want to do it again.  Even a novice can see he's overweight.

At the present time we're without a dry lot, which gives me no option but to keep Blue in the stall most of the time and let him out for perhaps two or three hours a day.  At least until this prime grass-growing season is over.

I wish there were some way I could explain to him why I'm doing this.  He'll just have to trust me.  But I sure do feel guilty.

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AOL is losing the race

Well folks, AOL wouldn't let me load pictures last night OR this morning.  So if you want to see picture entries, you'll have to see them on my Blogger site.  It was issues like this that persuaded me to start blogging elsewhere, and it won't take much to get me to make the move permanent. 

Monday, May 26, 2008

Thanks AOL

I was going to do an entry here with a couple of pictures.  Unfortunately, AOL won't let me load pictures, either singly or in album format.  So I used my Blogger site, which cooperated nicely.

I was too busy to take pictures

Good grief, this has been the most tiring, stressful time I've had in ages.  No wonder I haven't moved too often in my life! 

Perhaps it's age-related, but with all different cabinets and cabinet arrangements, I spend a great deal of time looking for ingredients I need to cook a meal.  "Now where did I put that?"  It's a question I ask myself constantly, and not only in the kitchen.

There are things I distinctly remember bringing from the other house, but I can't find them now.  Our cell phone chargers, for instance.  And one crisper drawer to my refrigerator.  How do you lose something like that?  Cliff finally found it on the wagon where we're putting stuff we're throwing away.  Huh?

For about twenty minutes, I couldn't find Cliff's meds.  It was time to fill his week-long pill-holder thingies, and for the life of me I didn't know where I put them.  That could have gotten scary, but I found them in the first place I'd looked.  I had simply missed seeing them.

The trailer house (that is my preferred term for my home) will eventually have a driveway and sidewalks and a porch and a deck.  But right now, we have pasture and mud; it rains every day.  So we really have no choice but to take our shoes off every time we come inside.

This is the first time I have had a chance to really sit down and make a blog entry, and it's just a drive-by.  I hope everyone is having a lovely Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

I'm back online

Tired.  My mood is tired.  But we're mostly moved.    I'll report more tomorrow.  Thanks, Rachel, for uncrossing the wires I crossed so I have DSL.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

You gotta love Embarq

I first called Embarq last week, telling them we had a mobile home here.  I explained there was no line running to it, that it's out in a pasture.  The man to whom I was talking said, "Oh, I can change you to the new address right now."

"Noooo," I said, exasperated.  "There's no line back there yet, and I'm not living there; I need someone to come out and run the line."

When do you think you'll be moving there?"

"Probably in a couple of weeks."

"Then I'll make out a work order for two weeks from today."

"OK," I said, although I thought to myself, "Why can't they go ahead and be running the line to the trailer now?"

Monday I decided to call and tell them to go ahead and re-schedule the work for this week, Wednesday (today).  The lady was agreeable, and said, "Our technician will be there between 10 A.M. and noon."

Well, I woke up this morning to no Internet and no phone.  I called Embarq on my cell to report the problem and she explained that I had already been switched to my new address.  *sigh*

At two o'clock this afternoon, the guy had not appeared as yet.  I called Embarq (thank goodness for my cell phone) and she assured me he was at the site as we spoke, working on the order.

"I beg to differ," I said.  "I live at the site, and there is nobody here."

Then I told her to just switch my phone back to my old address and forget it.  "I can use cable for my Internet when we move, and in my new house my cell gets great reception.  I really don't need Embarq anyway."

This got some action: I was transferred to a lady who assured me the guy was on his way and would be here "momentarily".

So an hour later, he finally showed up.  And at long last, somebody finally realized there was no line going back there!

OK, I'll shorten it here.  He tried to tell me I'd have to pay $75 for each jack he ran a wire to.

"Never mind," I said.  "I don't need Embarq that badly."

He then miraculously came up with a way to sort of "sneak in" a couple of lines so I wouldn't have to pay the $75 per jack.

Because there will have to be buried lines brought from across the road, it will be a week or so before we get our permanent service.  However, this man strung fifty feet of wire on the ground from this house to the trailerhouse as a temporary fix.  Until they get the other stuff done, I have phone and DSL at both locations.

Oh, he said the DSL might not work, what with all his rigging.  Good grief man, don't you know what's important?

DSL is working just dandy, thank  you very much.  All I have to do is make sure nobody runs a mower over the wire.

Sometimes it pays to throw a temper tantrum.



Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Just a quick note

We almost got electricity in today, but Aquila didn't like a couple of things about the way the electrician did the job; he'll be back in the morning to rectify the situation and make them happy. 

We have water to the mobile home (but not the softener) and the propane folks were just here with a tank.  The furnace and gas range had to be modified for propane, and they did that.  So we can drink and cook and flush. 

The grandson was here today, so he, Cliff, and Tyler from next door moved our terribly heavy sofa-sleeper.  Cliff and I can handle all the rest of our belongings... until we move the deep freeze, anyhow.  Since the mobile home kitchen is equipped with fridge and stove, we're not moving the refrigerator and stove from here; and I've moved a lot of smaller items myself.

I'm speed-reading most of your journals and not commenting, but once we get moved, I'll be back full force.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mighty peculiar

A couple of days ago, our Aquila-supplied electricity "blinked" off for about two seconds.  This was enough to send our Dish TV receiver searching for signals, and to make my computer reboot itself in a highly unhealthy manner.  No harm done there, though.

But the electric LED clock/timer on my gas range stayed dark.  Cliff tried unplugging it and plugging it back in.  Nothing.  "Must have spiked and burnt it up," was his assessment.

I don't leave my printer on all the time.  So when I turned it on yesterday to use it, lo and behold, it wasn't getting any juice either.  Dead as a mackerel.

So I figured that little "spike" got the printer, too.

I awoke at 2 A.M. to see the clock beside my bed blinking.  Way to go, Aquila.  Now what have you done?

As I sleepily headed through the kitchen to the bathroom (a trek I will no longer have to make once we're moved because there's a bathroom WITH the bedroom), I noticed the timer/clock light on my stove was blinking.  HUH?  I thought it was dead!

When I got up this morning I set the clock and it worked just fine.  Out of curiosity, I walked over and turned on the printer.  It lit up and growled at me, ready to print.

Just one of those things that make you go hmmmm.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

busy, busy, busy

Cliff needed a couple more fittings in order to get water hooked up to our trailer, so we left around 7 this morning, did our Wal Mart run, (the store I've been protesting since before Christmas, but you do what you must) and then went next door to Home Depot to get what was needed there.

After we were back home and Cliff was finishing up with the water, I said, "How do you suppose our hay's doing?"

See, Cliff mowed our alfalfa hay two days ago, and I knew it should be ready to rake and bale.

"Oh, ****", he exclaimed.  "I forgot about it!"

(By the way, that "****" probably isn't as bad a word as you're imagining.)

So his next move was to go rake the hay.  And right now he's out there baling it with the big round baler, which isn't wanting to cooperate.

This was a big day for my heifer, Secret.  To read all about it, go HERE.

OK, so I'm a little behind

If you really want to enjoy this machine, I took a short video; click HERE.  My posts are fewer and shorter right now because I'm very busy hanging around and being Cliff's gopher, loading up junk to throw away, etc.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Happy birthday to Blue

Yes, Blue turned fourteen yesterday.  I'm afraid I've been neglecting him lately while I was all wrapped up in the excitement of my new home.  Today, though, he took me down by the Missouri River.

We viewed a lovely green field of winter wheat.

It was a pretty-cloud day.

Thank you Blue, for allowing me to see such sights between your ears for these past four years or so.

I love you.

Let me tell you about myself

It's hard for me to be two-faced.  Oh, I can leave things unsaid, and often do in this journal... for my benefit and for others'.

But when you ask me a straight-out question, don't be surprised if I give you a straight answer.  I don't play games well.

Don't act like you're my best friend if you've taught your children to trespass on my property and steal from me.

If you ask me if I'm mad at you, I'm probably going to tell you.  You shouldn't have asked.

Have a nice day.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My special wall hanging

I found a spot in my mobile home for the wall hanging I purchased from a blogger friend in Maine.

It makes me smile every time I look at it.


My son has the funniest redneck political Youtube video I've seen lately.  But there are some bad words in it, so I won't link to it.  However, you can find "my Georgia son's journal" over on the list of other journals.  I wouldn't tell you to go there.  Honest.

Branson time

Next month the daughter and her husband want to go to a meet-up with some of their Internet friends, and they'll be leaving the girls with us.  Cliff and I decided we'd take the opportunity to spend a weekend in Branson with them.

We really enjoyed the condo we shared last fall, but wow, the prices!  Even the cheapest ones, by the time you add the cleaning fee and tax, would end up costing $150 a night.  So this year we're opting for a motel, for less than half the price.  That will put us in Branson near all the activities, which will be nice.  The downside of motels is that it's difficult to relax... no comfy easy chairs to lounge in.  But I think we'll deal with it just fine.  I'll take the portable lounge chair from my cabin for Cliff.

If you go to Branson, you simply have to see a music show.  Again, the prices floored me, until I checked out the Presley's, one of the most popular shows there.  They have a family rate:  Two adults and two children under 17  for $59.  Now there's a deal.

I already bought a card that is going to give me, Cliff, and the two girls all the bumper-boats and go-cart racing and miniature golf and even laser tag
we can stand.

It's going to be great fun!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I'm still kicking

I realize as I move things to our new home that some things have to go.  I'm weeding out my book collection drastically.  I'm keeping those I love, the ones I know for certain I'll read again.  There are others I've kept, intending to re-read: Now I realize I'll never get around to them again.

I may have some sort of giveaway before it's all finished, so stay tuned, you bookworms.

Books I'll keep:

All my Mark Rashid books... even if I no longer have a horse.

"An Hour Before Daylight" by Jimmy Carter

The book my friend Virginia Farless wrote (she's Chonda Pierces' mom).

A dozen or so diaries and journals I kept back when I used pen and paper and photos and newspaper clippings to chronicle events, rather than blabbing about my insignificant life on the Internet.

A book about the history of my little town, starting back before Civil War times.

"Peace Like a River"

Egermeier's Bible Story Book:  as a ten-year-old, I'd stay awake reading it in my bedroom, soaking ginger snaps in a cup of milk as I read.  My mom would check on me, see the light on, and remove a fuse from the fusebox so I'd go to sleep.

And so many more.

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Monday, May 12, 2008

The eagle has landed!

Yep, our mobile home is here.  It didn't go without incident; I'm sure we'll be the talk of the neighborhood for a couple of weeks.  After all, our home blocked the highway for at least forty-five minutes.

I'm glad Cliff's brother was here; he thrives on this sort of thing.

All's well that ends well.

Now to get electricity hooked up, water piped out there, and the Culligan man on the scene.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


That's Cliff and his brother, talking to the guy who will bring our mobile home out here; they're outside visiting as I type this. 

That guy is a real individual, very independent.  OK, he's what I'd call a typical truck driver; so Cliff's brother, Don, is swapping trucker-tales with him.

He plans to try and bring our home out tomorrow.  Since we've been disappointed before, I'm not holding my breath... but I'm also remembering that I need to trust God's timing.

P.S.  Missouri is a big state.  There were no storms around us last night.  Thanks to everyone for your concern.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Cliff's brother is visiting

Cliff's brother, Don, does mechanic work for a living.  He's also rather hyper, and doesn't "sit around" well.  So when he visits, Cliff lines up several tasks that they can do together.  They can chat while they're working, Don can smoke because they're in the shop, and life is good.

Cliff had never changed spark plugs in our Mercury Grand Marquis, so that was task number one for Don.  In the old days, changing spark plugs was a simple task.  Not so any more. 

Don also changed the air filter, fuel filter, and transmission oil and filter.  These are things Cliff wasn't confident about doing, although he says, "I could do it now, after watching him."

Now Don is a Chevy man, and is always badmouthing Fords.  When I told him we planned to keep this car as long as it would run because we like it, he said, "Not if I don't work on it for a whole day."

"Why is that?" I asked.

"It's got a Tritan motor, and it'll need the timing chain replaced soon."



Oh, by the way:  Happy, happy birthday to my only baby boy, Jimbo!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Cliff and I were discussing parenting today, as we traveled here and there.

“You know,” I said, “it really isn’t necessary to spank kids to get them to behave.”

“I know,” he said.

We’ve both regretted spanking our two children when they were growing up.

Oh, don’t get me wrong: Kids need discipline.

But I’ve learned that discipline doesn’t necessarily mean physical punishment.

You see, I’ve done some babysitting in my time.

Because those weren’t my children, I didn’t feel I should spank them or hit them.  And I found out you can manage a child just fine, without hurting them physically.

I only wish I had known this forty years ago.

I apologize to both my kids for ever hurting them.  It wasn’t necessary.  I regret that I ever spanked them.

In my defense, it was what I knew; it was how I was raised.  

Do I fault my mother for spankings I received?

No way!

Because that’s what she knew.  That was how things were done back then.

Cliff grew up receiving even harsher punishments than what I received.        

Just like me... it was all he knew.

But we both agree there are better ways to deal with a child.

Happy Mother’s Day. 

Please, people... learn from our mistakes.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Cliff's garden (ha!)

After a couple of garden-free years around here, mostly due to annual droughts and tomato blight that discouraged me, Cliff took over the gardening last year.

For some reason, cucumber beetles did not kill his vines; tomato blight, although it did appear, didn't manage to wipe out his plants entirely. 

This year once again, Cliff decided to garden.  But somehow I've become involved.  Running the rototiller hurts my knees, but I've done it several times.  I planted corn.  I set out the tomato and pepper plants.  I hilled the taters.  Cliff did the initial tilling (which is the hardest part) and planted the early crops.

So I think I'll stop calling it Cliff's garden.  Look what I brought in from OUR garden today!

A handful of radishes.

Let's see if my claiming half the garden jinxes it.


Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I hit the jackpot!

I went back to the same steep bank where I found several morels yesterday, and I really scored!  I love it when you find six, eight, or ten mushrooms in one spot.  It only took me about twenty minutes to find all these.

Thirty-two of them altogether.  We ate dozens of them for lunch today; now we'll have more tomorrow.

Here are two tiny snails I noticed while mushroom-hunting.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

In answer to comments

"Hummm do you think the kids eat them? Most kids are so picky but I think I would really like them."

The kids might eat them, or they might not.  Their father has taught them that it's OK to trespass on their neighbor's property and steal mushrooms, so they don't know any better.  I've even known him to send them here to gather mushrooms while he stays at home doing whatever it is he does.  And the oldest kid is only fourteen.  Anyhow, morels sell for $35 per pound and up, so who cares if they like them? 

"Can you compare them in taste to any other common food?" 

Well, I'd guess shitake mushrooms come closest in taste.  But morels are better.

"I wonder where you can actually buy morels?"

I don't know where you are, but in my area you can purchase them at the Kansas City Market... only in season, which would be April and the early part of May.  Or you'll find them on Kansas City Craigslist.

"I see you are soaking them. Tell me how you prepare them please."

I soak them in salt water to get rid of the bugs and tiny snails that are in the crevices of the morels.  If I only have a few, I braise them in butter with some diced onions and sweet pepper and then scramble eggs with them.  When I have plenty, I have a couple of ways of preparing them:  The simplest is to roll them in flour and fry them.  The other way I fix them is to dip them in an egg wash and then roll them in a mix of half flour, half Hi-Ho cracker crumbs. 

Oh, and don't be surprised if I delete this entry at sometime tomorrow.  One never knows which neighbors are reading this... although I'd say if the shoe fits, wear it.  I'll feel much better for venting.

Now playing: creedence clearwater revival - rollin on a river
via FoxyTunes   

Tomorrow we eat morels

After mushroom-hunting several times yesterday and today, I finally have enough for a real FEAST for me and Cliff tomorrow... probably over a half-gallon.  The ones I found this afternoon were fairly close together, all on one hillside.  I love it when that happens.

I can almost taste them now.

Oh, I found my neighbor's kid's coat carefully hung on a branch in one of the better mushroom spots on my place.  Some things never change.  But then I think of all the problems that neighbor has and I realize I wouldn't trade places with him for all the mushrooms in Missouri.
Karma is a mighty force.


A night at the cabin, 2008

I went to the cabin yesterday as soon as Cliff left for work at 2:30, figuring to spend a couple of hours there.  I took a good book along.

The temperature was perfect, there was a gentle breeze... and I realized I didn't want to go back to the house.  However, I hadn't taken anything along to eat.  So Sadie and I came to the house, brought in the mail, got five hot dogs out of the freezer, and returned to the cabin.

I'd relax in my lounge chair reading for awhile, then I'd go look for mushrooms.  Sometimes I sat in silence, enjoying the chirping of the birds.  Other times I listened to my cabin music:  Iris Dement, Red Crow Westerman, and other folk singers.

When I turned in around ten o'clock, I went to sleep to the music of barred owls hooting "who-cooks-for-you" in the distance, with Sadie snuggled beside me as close as she could possibly get.  (If you click on that link, you can actually listen to the sound of a barred owl.)

I believe I'll keep my cabin.

Oh, and in spite of a certain trespasser I sighted yesterday, I found these:

Just the right amount to dice and cook with some scrambled eggs, which has become our favorite way to eat morels. 

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Sunday, May 4, 2008

What a wonderful day!

Yesterday I found myself getting depressed over the long wait for our mobile home to arrive.  So this morning I suggested to Cliff that we take a road trip on the Gold Wing and get away from it all.

We decided to go to Versailles to visit Aunt Gertrude.  We took lots of detours and were actually lost for a half-hour or so, but it was great fun; and the timing was perfect.  We arrived at Aunt Gert's as she was setting her usual feast on the table.  She always has family members present for Sunday dinner, and we had a good visit.  I helped her with dishes and we found a different route home.

It was a perfect day for a ride, with temperatures in the 60's, very little wind, and spring-green everywhere.

Just the tonic I needed.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

A sad Kentucky Derby

I love the Kentucky Derby; I thrill at seeing some horse in the backfield overtake the rest of the contenders, one by one, and win by five lengths; this is what usually happens.

I always pick out a favorite to root for.  This year, since there was a filly in the running (a rare event), I chose Eight Belles.  Wow, seventeen hands:  That's one tall girl. 

We ladies have to stick together, right?

She did well, placing second.  Then fell to the ground with both front ankles broken.  She had to be put down.

It was a great race, but it was marred by Belle's death.

If you missed the race, you can watch it HERE.

Friday, May 2, 2008

My dog has bulimia

Yes friends, my dog Sadie binges and purges.  She is bulimic. 

She's perfectly house-broken and can go more than fourteen hours without going out to potty.  But she's a nervous eater.

If she thinks Cliff and I are getting ready to go for our walk, she eats... and eats and eats.  To the point that she'll upchuck.

Oh, it's easy to clean up; it doesn't stink.  In fact, the upchucked dog food is still pretty much dry.  And thank God, it doesn't happen often.

So when we're getting ready to go for our walk, you'll hear me yelling, "Sadie, quit eating!"

She'll get out of her bed and eat frantically when Cliff comes home from work at 1 A.M.  When the grandson was staying here, she'd binge when he came in.

Do you suppose she was starved at some point in her life?

Crazy dog.

Now playing: The 300 Member Dallas Christian Adult Concert Choir - True Hearted, Whole Hearted
via FoxyTunes   



We had horrible storms in the area last night, with tornado warnings and possible tornadoes touching down.  Some of them were near where my sister lives, so I called her bright and early this morning to see if she had blown away.  She was fine, but had been without electricity for hours.

When I went to bed last night, tornado warnings were preempting shows I normally watch.  I guess the worst of the winds came at 2 A.M., but by then Cliff was home and we were both sound asleep.

Somehow a pasture gate was open this morning... probably due to the high winds during the night... and my two calves escaped.  After the big roundup, I was wide awake; so I "mudded in" the tomato and pepper plants I bought yesterday at Walmart.  I say I mudded them in because we got between one to two inches of rain overnight.

After that, I mulched about half of our twenty-five Norway Spruce trees with old, soggy hay from the barn where Secret and Meatloaf used to stay.

Because it rained again, I suppose the home-coming of our mobile home has been delayed once again.  It's in the area hardest-hit by the storms, so I'm just hoping it didn't blow away!

And that's my report for today.  I'll leave you with Waylon and Jesse, who remind me that "Storms Never Last".

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Water problem: solved

We already paid $2,060 to the rural water association; this would have paid for the meter, and anything from the meter to our mobile home would be at our own expense.  We were prepared for that.  But when they informed us we'd have to hook onto a bigger line down by the highway, it was going to cost $1,139 IN ADDITION to what we'd already paid them. After all that, we'd have a monthly water bill of $35.  (We've never had a water bill in our lives.)

Now this is getting pricey, fast.  We started thinking about another option:  use our well and get a water softener.

So I said, "Hey, Culligan man!"

Price of a water softener?  $2,000.  However, for $23 a month, we can rent one, with no commitment to stay with them for any extended period of time; and we can choose to buy the unit at any time.   There is a one-time installation fee of $150.

There was the question of salt in our drinking water; Cliff, you know, has heart issues.

For another $18.50 per month, some sort of reverse osmosis thing will be put on our kitchen faucet, and that removes the sodium from the water.  The salesman was very much up on this subject because he has problems with high blood pressure, and he can't drink ordinary softened water.

So here's how it stands:  We get our $2,000 back from the rural water place and use it for something else.  Then there's the $1,139 we were going to have to pay them in addition.  We save that too.  Instead of $35 monthly for rural water, we'll pay Culligan $47 a month (including tax) and spend under $8 for salt, which they will deliver.  And it will cost far less to run a line from our well to the home than it would have to run a line from where they were going to put the meter.

Higher monthly bill, but we save thousands up front.

I'm happy.

By the way, the man was shocked at how hard our water really is:  41 grains.   That means very little to me, but maybe some of my readers will know how bad that is.  He said the highest he's had in the last six months was 26 grains; 41 is unusually high.  It isn't a health issue, but hard water can cause psoriasis (which Cliff has); and white clothes turn sort of yellow over time.