Thursday, July 31, 2008
Unfortunately, as I was getting ready to send our property insurance, I realized I needed to talk to our insurance man: After all, we are no longer living in our old house. We've insured the mobile home, but I figured we needed to let someone know that Cliff's sister is living in our old house.
Well, guess what? We get to pay $150 more a year, because it isn't US living there.
After discussing a few more issues that didn't set well with me, I ended up yelling at our insurance man on the phone. It didn't do a lot of good, but at least I got it off my chest. We've had the same insurance (Concordia Farmer's Mutual) for thirty years and only used it once, and I get treated like trash that can't be trusted.
Trouble is, there isn't a lot of choice, since most insurance companies won't touch old houses out in the country. Believe me, I've checked.
So I fumed and fussed for awhile and wondered if I needed to spend a night at the cabin. Then I thought about having no air conditioning or shower. And remembered my firepit and my porch right here at home.
Yeah. I kept my camp-out right here. Now I'm sitting on my porch, typing on my laptop, and thinking what a wonderful home I have.
The hot dogs were extra-good because they were Nathan's hot dogs.
Thanks, Joanna, for getting me addicted to hot dogs that cost over $4 a pound.
In spite of the cost of my insurance, I can still afford them.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
But another thing I noticed as I sat there was that we are overwhelmed by barn swallows! Up at the old house, we had to tear down a mud nest or two on the front porch every year; but I had no idea how many of the little critters really lived here.
We're "out behind the barn", which is where, I imagine, many of them live and where they were born and raised. So I did a Google search on them, thinking anything that prolific can't be a good thing.
Well, Dr. Google seems to think they can be either good or bad, usually a mix of both; sorta like us humans. So, as I told Cliff, I guess I'll just sit back and enjoy them.
Tags: barn swallows
The biggest drawback of using Dish TV is that heavy rain and storms tend to leave you without television. I've found out, however, that I can get two local channels quite nicely, with absolutely no antenna. I turn off the dish box and pick up good signals on local ABC and CBS. Which means I can keep informed on the weather situation.
I think it's time to take my desktop in for a checkup. It won't connect to the Internet this morning. I'd sort of like it to have those Microsoft updates that keep shutting it down, anyhow. Thank goodness for my laptop.
It's good to have a spare computer.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
I turned to look and the little creature was gone. Sadie was on her tie-out barking at whatever it is she barks at, and I had little hope of seeing him again. But before you know it, he was back. He left and came back several times, but finally he took his place on the tiny perch and drank freely from the feeder. It appears he lives in the nearest tree, because that's where he went each time he left the feeder.
Somebody pinch me; I think I've died and gone to heaven.
Our builder-guy gave us the bid on the enclosed porch and deck we're adding onto the back, and he's well under our budget. He'll start construction next week.
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Friday night he called me on the phone to inform me that he had managed to trap Meatloaf in the one makeshift pen on the place, and would meet us Saturday morning to help us get him in the trailer.
Everything went well, and Meatloaf is finally home.
Welcome home, you ugly little critter.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
This is the completed front porch. There will eventually be a sidewalk from the porch to the driveway.
To the right, you have the deck-box in which we'll keep boots, shoes, and all sorts of winter weather gear so it isn't strung all around inside the house. The box can be used as a seat, too.
On the left is a glider chair Rena gave me (spoils of the divorce war... ha!). I've been sitting there with my first cup of coffee in the morning (which I used to drink at the computer). I love my porch!
The man who built it is going to start our enclosed back porch and deck this coming Monday. And Cliff is ready to have the Mennonite builders come out and give an estimate on a metal, two-car garage. Things are happening fast!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
So we buy old, used farm equipment that has to be babied along when it's put to work. Equipment that a real farmer would haul off, probably, as junk. Stuff we buy for $500 or $1,000, bought new would cost more than our entire forty-plus acre place is worth.
There's a certain sense of adventure each time Cliff gets ready to mow a hay crop. You can bet that the mower or the rake or the baler is going to need some sort of repair before the job is finished. At the very least there'll be a sheared pin. Don't ask me what that is, because I don't have a clue; I do know Cliff keeps extras around, and they don't cost much.
The big round baler often has a problem tying the bales properly, and Cliff will get off the tractor, climb up onto a step he added to the baler, and help with the tying process. Hey, it beats picking up a hundred-fifty small square bales in ninety-five-degree heat, putting them on a wagon, hauling them to the barn, and lifting them off the wagon! Cliff can move the big round bales with a tractor equipped with a bale spike, so the tractor does most of the work. All I had to do was open the gate for him as he was coming and going.
Monday, July 21, 2008
That post in the middle is just for support while the man is working on it.
In this hot weather, it's going to be great to have the front door in the shade.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
If you came to my house…
You would see: Our front porch that is under construction; it's going to get its roof starting Monday.
I’d probably feed you: either low-fat tasty stuff or fattening tasty stuff; name your poison. My family is pretty partial to my noodles.
And offer you this to drink: We usually have tea and Diet Coke on hand. But let me know ahead of time and I'll have whatever you prefer.
I’d undoubtedly ask if you’d read: Any of Mark Rashid's books. You don't have to own a horse to enjoy his writing.
I’d want to play this music for you: Iris Dement and Johnny Cash. Maybe a little Merle Haggard and George Jones thrown in for good measure. Unless you want me to play my guitar and sing for you: In that case, I'd sing a couple of songs I wrote ("The Million Dollar Car" or "The Old German Church" or something I wrote about my daughter or my son or a grandson.
I’d want to tell you about: My horse Blue; my cabin; and how much Jesus has brought me through.
I’d probably suggest a game of: find the lost steer and bring him home (I may be changing this one from time to time)
I would definitely show off: My horse, my cabin, and Cliff's tractors. Oh, and you HAVE to see Sadie catch the Frisbee.
I might get on the computer and show you: Pictures and websites
If it was a long enough visit: we might watch the sun go down, back of my cabin. And I'd have Cliff drive us down to the Missouri River bottoms so you could see where I ride my horse.
I am adding this one since Kelly said Paula mentioned it!
I would share: my book of poems; take one home, and take some for your friends. I sold enough early on to cover the cost of publishing, and I'm feeling generous.
Some tires may have been sitting on that rack for twelve years before somebody buys them, which creates a dangerous situation.
There's a way to tell when a tire was made.
Thanks, Gene, for sending this to me.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Well, I'm not really crushed, I suppose. I expected this to be the last season for the show anyway, so I was prepared to lose my favorite heart-throb.
But still, parting is such sweet sorrow.
The man doing it is truly a craftsman, which is a relief since we more or less drew his name out of a hat. He isn't in good health: I'd say he has emphysema, just guessing; maybe something more serious, since he was telling us he's lost a bunch of weight in the last year. He hasn't volunteered anything, and I'm not going to ask. He usually leaves around noon because of the heat, and today he's leaving at eleven because he has a doctor's appointment.
We're happy with his work. And people at work who should know tell Cliff that $700 (labor only) is very reasonable. Our son-in-law is getting the lumber for us, using his discount where he works.
Funny thing is, I considered this porch a necessity, so people won't be walking directly into the living room from outside. But now I'm very enthusiastic about the idea of sitting there and watching the horses. I'm anxious to see what it's going to look like when the roof is added.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Nobody could stand up to that kind of scrutiny.
1Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye."
I only hope nobody expects that much perfection from me.
Let the teens (or pre-teens) have their idols without so much fault-finding... would you please? Or they might end up thinking the world expects that much perfection from them, too.
What will they do when they find you can't please everybody? (or anybody)
Now playing: Kris Kristofferson - In the News
Monday, July 14, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Cliff, Rena (his sister) and I went to the Church I attended for many years this morning, and Rena seems to have found her church home. She loved it!
After we got home and had a salad, Cliff and I went out and worked on the skirting for our home. We spent several hours at this yesterday, too. Tomorrow should see it finished. Then Cliff has some dirt work to do with the tractor.
I woke up shortly after 4 o'clock this morning and decided to get up and ride Blue while it was cool. We weren't going to leave for church until 9:30, so I had plenty of time.
Trouble is, the horses were nowhere in sight. They're always standing at the gate when the sun comes up, but not today, and they still hadn't shown up when we left to go to church. This evening I put Blue up in a nearby pen; if I'm of a mind to ride in the morning, my horse will be nearby.
Rena has always taken her hopelessly spoiled miniature dachshund for a ride when she mows the yard. So I wasn't surprised today when I saw Cliff heading toward me on the John Deere and realized he had Angel on his lap. Trust me, I will get a picture of this the next time. He's going to try and rig up some sort of little box on the tractor for Angel next time she wants to ride.
We're enjoying having Cliff's sister as a neighbor. Once Cliff is up in the morning, we call her and tell her the coffee is on; she and Angel are here in a jiffy. I enjoy watching Cliff and his sister strengthening their family ties; I believe it's good for both of them. And the old house I moved from is, as I figured it would be, cleaner than it's been in forty years.
Rena and I will be making a trip to Wisconsin to finalize her divorce early next month. It'll be the closest I've ever been to a divorce, and I'll try to blog about it... with discretion, of course. Rena didn't want to make the twelve-hour trip alone, and I'm not doing anything to prevent me from going along. Cliff is going to babysit dogs for the couple of days we'll be gone.
And there you have it: a scattered and confusing update with no pictures.
All I can say is, it's been a good day.
Friday, July 11, 2008
However, in the last five or six years, my numbers have been creeping up. Oh, not enough to worry my doctor, but often the top number was over 140; sometimes near 150. I know this happens as we age, so I wasn't really concerned. I'd just keep checking once a week or so, when Cliff checked his. I figured if it got too high, I'd have to go on pills of some kind.
(On a side note, Cliff's meds keep his blood pressure steady as a rock; it's always around 125/70.)
Here's the funny thing: Since we've moved, my top number has been consistently around 125. I'm wondering if this is just a fluke, or if I'm that much more satisfied and relaxed, living back here with a view of the pasture. I'll let you know if those numbers change.
Tags: blood pressure
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Now, here's a Kansas City news item from 100 years ago that I want to share:
Minnie Palmer, who was better known to the residents of the North end as "Cocaine Mary," died at the general hospital at 5:30 o'clock last night from concussion of the brain, received by falling from a second story window to the pavement twenty feet below, shortly after 1 o'clock Sunday morning. She was seen about 1 o'clock sitting on the window ledge, and told a woman who lived in the house that she was trying to get a little fresh air before going to bed. It is thought she went to sleep and lost her her balance.
The woman was found at 5 o'clock Sunday morning by Philip J. Welch, night jailer at police headquarters. He called an ambulance and had her taken to the emergency hospital. Later she was removed to the general hospital, where an operation was performed in an effort to relieve the pressure of bone against the brain. Minnie Palmer lived at the rooming house on the southwest corner of Third and Main street.
I really enjoy these old news stories. You'll find them HERE, if you're interested. I've learned that the more things change, the more they stay the same.
And now I can't help but recall a song Johnny Cash sang:
Early one mornin' while makin' the rounds
I took a shot of cocaine and I shot my woman down
I went right home and I went to bed;
I stuck that lovin' 44 beneath my head.
Got up next mornin' and I grabbed that gun
Took a shot of cocaine and away I run
Made a good run but I run too slow
They overtook me down in Juarez Mexico.
Late in the hot joints takin' the pills
In walked the sheriff from Jericho Hill;
He said Willy Lee your name is not Jack Brown
You're the dirty hack that shot your woman down.
Said yes oh yes my name is Willy Lee
If you've got the warrant just aread it to me;
Shot her down because she made me slow
I thought I was her daddy but she had five more.
When I was arrested I was dressed in black
They put me on a train and they took me back:
Had no friend for to go my bail
They slapped my dried up carcass in that country jail.
Early next mornin' bout a half past nine
I spied the sheriff coming down the line
Talked and he coughed as he cleared his throat
He said come on you dirty hack into that district court
Into the courtroom my trial began
Where I was handled by twelve honest men.
Just before the jury started out,
I saw the little judge commence to look about.
In about five minutes in walked the man
Holding the verdict in his right hand:
The verdict read in the first degree...
I hollered Lordy Lordy have a mercy on me
The judge he smiled as he picked up his pin
99 years in the Folsom pen
99 years underneath that ground.
I can't forget the day I shot that bad witch down.
Come on you've gotta listen unto me:
Lay off that whiskey and let that cocaine be!
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Oh no; when everything was said and done this morning, I couldn't access the Internet.
I called Embarq. The very friendly tech lady had me do a "system restore", going back to settings from Monday. This worked just dandy, and I had my Internet back. It also removed my update.
Trouble is, every time I turn my computer off now, those silly Windows updates install themselves automatically. And then, of course, I can't access the Internet and I have to do a system restore again.
Does anyone know if there's a way I can turn off the Windows updates? Or maybe I need to call Embarq again and tell them what's happening.
I'm not turning my computer off tonight, that's for sure. I'm tired of doing "system restore".
Cliff's sister, Rena, has started going on walks with us; so has her tiny dog, Angel. But first, Angel checks out Sadie's Science Diet dog food and eats as though she's starved. Then Sadie intervenes and starts hogging down her dog food as though there won't be any more, ever. Dogs make me laugh; thank God for dogs.
As Cliff left for work, I saddled up my faithful horse and went for a ride. It was hot and muggy, and I didn't work Blue too hard. As always, a ride along the country roads relaxed me.
Oh, this? It's a close-up shot of the stuff my Dyson vacuum sweeper picks up around here. Notice the abundance of dog hair.
I love my Dyson.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
We last saw Ellen in February when we attended a birthday party for the much-beloved Aunt Gertrude.
Not long before that, in January, we attended Ellen's mom's funeral.
Ellen was diabetic. She needed heart surgery, but her blood sugar was too high; so the doctors sent her home to try and get her blood sugar down. That's where she died.
I called Cliff at work to tell him. "We just saw her at Aunt Gertrude's birthday party," I told him.
"That's how we're all going to go, Babe," Cliff said.
"Well, I suppose so; you tried to go two years ago, but the doctors prevented that."
He chuckled, and we said our goodbyes.
And that's what I hate about being this age; cousins start dying like flies.
A person can be the worst spoiled brat in the world and have very few "people skills", but her cousins accept her, because they have to. Friends scatter and disappear, but cousins reappear in your life over and over. Even if only at funerals. Even if they perhaps remind you that you used to scratch their arms with your long fingernails when you scuffled with them back in 1955.
Except for one special-needs cousin on Mother's side and one on my dad's side (Cecil Wayne), I still have most of my cousins; and I don't want to lose more, any time soon. But it's started.
OK, I'm depressed. There's no need to make everybody else feel sad; I'll be back tomorrow with something more upbeat.
Monday, July 7, 2008
Yeah, it's been a whole month, but a busy one. Now I'm at the point where I might actually be able to get to the post office and send these little relics. I've emailed the winner, and hope to get the magazines to her this week.
Also, for the three of you who joined up with my "pay-it-forward" thing: I have not forgotten you ladies either, so don't give up on me.
And now, a little story from today.
Daughter always works long hours, and this week her hubby works EXTRA-long hours. So they left their dog, Hawkeye, here at our place. He's never any trouble and doesn't wander away. He took a walk with me and Cliff this morning. Later on the temperatures climbed; no problem for long-haired Hawkeye. We haven't put all the skirting on our home yet, so he just crawls under our mobile home.
Cliff was taking a shower before going to work and he heard Hawkeye howling under the trailer. Since Hawkeye howls at any sort of strange noise, we figured it was no big deal. Still, as I wondered what on earth might have made him howl, I began to worry.
"Cliff," I said, "Do you suppose he got shocked, or maybe a bee stung him down there?"
"He didn't sound like he was in distress," Cliff said. "He was just howling like he does when he hears a siren."
When I'm in charge of someone else's pride-and-joy dog, my worst fear is that something might happen to him; so I looked out the window in hopes of seeing my daughter's dog.
There was Hawkeye in the full sun, on a 90-plus degree day, laid out on his side not moving.
"Cliff," I yelled. "I think Hawkeye died! Otherwise, why would he be laying out there like that?"
Cliff looked out the window and said, "Oh, s***!"
We both ran to the front door, knowing in our hearts that poor dog was dead.
But as soon as I opened the door, Hawkeye got up, stretched, and came bounding to me.
Whew. Crazy dog.
Hey, he HAS been sick lately. You'd have thought the same thing!
I've never made that much gravy at once, and there was barely enough... but we managed. Charlene and Pat are always saying my biscuits and gravy are the best, and since Cliff and I will soon be back to our regular healthful meals, I decided to end my week-long cooking marathon with breakfast for all who wanted to come, just so Cliff's sister could have my biscuits and gravy.
Anyway, we had a lovely ride with our favorite bikers. Charlene and Pat had told me they were going to buy our dinner in Columbia, as a birthday gift to me (since I've been cooking all week); but you could have knocked me over with a feather when they pulled over at Outback! I believe this was only the third time I've eaten there. It was a real treat, and Cliff and I did NOT split a meal between us. Today the starving begins.
So, although my birthday is today, I feel yesterday was the day of celebration: a motorcycle ride and Outback. Also, as I told Cliff, I'm still enjoying my air conditioning and the dishwasher so much, every day seems like my birthday.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Bobby Bare said it best:
Softly close the door behind you
How it hurts me to see you go
Gently break the tie that binds you
And this heart that loves you so.
If you're sure you won't be staying
Then just walk on out of my life
There's just two words left for saying
And the Lord knows how I hate goodbyes.
And nothing's born to live forever
But oh, how it hurts to see it die
First it's always then it's never
And the Lord knows how I hate goodbyes.
--- Instrumental ---
Nothing's born to live forever
But oh, how it hurts to see it die
First it's always then it's never
And the Lord knows how I hate goodbyes...
Thanks, Debbie, for sending Jim and Lyndsay here to spend a week. You'll never know how we appreciate it. Your baby girl is an angel, a perfect little southern belle: Good manners, undemanding, and loving. You've done a good job.
Saturday, July 5, 2008
We had, as always, a fun-filled Independence Day here, thanks to Son-in-law Kevin who grills pounds and pounds of meat, Scotty for supplying fun things to ride, and every single person who attended: Our son and his three kids, Cliff's siblings and some nephews, Kevin's mom and his oldest son, some stranger (and his daughter) who works with Kevin, a few assorted friends of Arick's (the grandson) who helped make sure we had the loudest fourth of July ever (they blew up an old clothes dryer in the pasture), and our surprise guests, Cliff's cousin Edna and her two daughters and granddaughter.
Hmm, notice my son's youngest daughter's toy bear sipping on his Diet Mountain Dew in the above picture.
Hawkeye, Rachel's dog, was unimpressed by the fireworks and four-wheelers.
Cliff's brother Don relaxed in my lounge chair, the one that I normally keep at the cabin.
Hawkeye stretched and changed position occasionally.
Many rides were taken out to the pasture.
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Now, with no further ado, I give you Lyndsay riding Blue:
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Meanwhile, we're enjoying daily visits from the oldest grandson, who crashed at our house for a few months not so long ago. He's enjoying being with his baby sister. Like the fake smiles?
OK, they look more natural in this picture.
The son just now took the granddaughter on a four-wheeler ride; she loves this. (Deb, that's why he isn't answering his cell phone.)
The horses... not so much.
This was a very familiar sight when the grandson was staying with us. Nice to see our couch still suits him just fine.