Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thoughts on a snowy morning

I got a package delivered yesterday. But it didn't get to my house--instead, the FedEx guy delivered it to where I work. Only in small town America do they not only know where you live, but where you work!

Probably a good thing he didn't drive out. We had at least 1/2 an inch of ice on everything. The weather forcast said it would get worse. It didn't, but we all stayed home anyway. I filled the bathtub with water, filled the water jugs just in case the electricity went out. Kev brought up the generator so if the power did go out, we could plug in the pellet stove for heat. We were prepared. But the storm backed up and didn't get to us. It might hit today, it might not. But today, I chipped off ice from the car and drove in to work. Kev chipped ice of the diesel and drove his route.

Usually, when we all have a snow day, I spend the day baking, cleaning, puttering around the house. Not yesterday. I parked my butt on the couch and sat. I greatly enjoyed watching the Star Trek: Voyager marathon on SPIKE tv. I never got to watch this series when it was on UPN, because we didn't have UPN, so I really enjoyed being a couch potato. Every now and then, I'd think, "I need to make some cookies or Christmas Candy, or maybe some carmel corn." Or, "I think I need to whip up some more bath bombs for gifts." And, I'd just sit. So unlike me. I felt guilty for just doing nothing, and yet, I never got the gumption to get up and do something...

Sad part of having a day Kev has to work this weekend, so he won't be going to my folks' for Christmas this weekend. I'm very disappointed about that.

It's also sad that the kids are home today and I'm at work. It's sad that they've called me 3 times in the last 5 minutes--fighting. It's sad for them that I'm not answering the phone anymore this morning.

Have a Merry Christmas everyone, I'll be out until mid-January on Christmas break!

Friday, December 15, 2006

the lost is found

I found the band book that was lost. You know, the one that my daughter uses but-I'm-supposed-to-always-know-where-it-is. Yep that one. I found it in her closet. On the floor. Under her dirty clothes.

Yep, right where I left it.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

It's all my fault

It's all my fault. Really. Truely. It's my fault. I take the blame.

You see, Kat lost her band book. And, I learned this morning, that it's my responsibility to know where it is. I don't. So, now the band book being missing is my fault. Let's see. I saw it last week--in her book bag. And, I saw it last week in her room. But this week, well, I didn't know I was still supposed to know where the band book is. So, yes, it must be my fault that my daughter can't find her band book.

It's also my fault that Andy lost a library book. He lost "Left Behind" the first volume. But, I let him check it out, so it's my fault that it's gone now, and therefore, it's also my responsibiltiy to pay the replacement fee. After all, I work at the library, and I let him check it out...

I'm not sure what else will be my fault today. I'm sure something will come up. I'm ready to take the blame. After all, it must be my fault.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

I am the Queen

I realized this past sunday that I am the Queen doe of my goat "herd." My "herd" consists now of 2 goats. However, I am the Queen. Looking out the kitchen window sunday morning, I noticed that two of the stock panels were down. Luckily, neither goat was out of the pen. So, after lunch, I set out to fix the fence. My herd followed me out, and even followed me into the pasture, outside their fence. Not a problem, there's grass, they could graze while I fixed one panel and then I'd herd them back in. Except, they wouldn't stay out in the pasture unless I was out there with them. I couldn't fix the fence if I was out in the pasture. Every time I walked back to the fence, they'd "maaa" and bounce along behind me. So, I stopped fixing the fence and sat out in the grass watching my herd graze contentedly. They were content, I was content. The grass was soft and curly, the sun was warm, the goats were chomping and watching me, their Queen.

I am also the Queen chicken. Or maybe just the head "cook". Whenever I walk towards the pen, or even into the pen, I'm swarmed. Chickens underfoot, behind foot, beside foot, I can't take a step without stepping on a chicken. They know that I'm the person who makes sure the feeder is full, I"m the person who sometimes has treats like nasty lettace, or leftover anything. I'm also the one who gives them that tasty treat, scratch grains! Milo, cracked corn, wheat, black sunflower seeds all good for them, all quite tasty, all devoured almost as soon as it hits the ground. The two red girls, who stay inside all the time, swarm me when I open the feedbox. Yep, they want their share and hop up on the rim of the feedbox clucking and cooing, begging me for a treat. Once they are fed, I'm history. I'm of no further use and they practically ignore me. Fickle chickens.

You know, on those days when my Kids think I'm the mother from Hell, it's nice to have someone who loves me, even if it's goats and chickens!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Fill in the blank

1. My current favorite song is: You know, I really don't have one! Favorite Christmas song is The little drummer boy.

2. The last book I read was: Last one I finished was Born to Rule: 5 reigning consorts, granddaughter of Queen Victoria by Julia Gelardi. But I'm now reading a Nora Roberts one and Thirteen Moons by Charles Frazier.

3. The last book I bought was: Well, I don't buy many books for myself, after all I work in a library. But the last one I bought myself was Born in Death by JD Robb and I just ordered 2 books for my Dad for Christmas. (Some war stuff...)

4. The last CD I bought was: I must be the world's worst shopper. Last CD...umm...Gosh. No idea. Haven't bought one in ages!

5. Another CD I wanted but didn't buy is: This one I can answer! There was this telecommercial about songs of the 70's and another one about songs of the 80's and I wanted both. Some Time-Life CD's. But, I didn't buy them.

6. Right now, I'm wearing: Khaki pants and shirt and I still have my jacket on cause it's a little chilly.

7. The last gift I bought was: Well, I priced some arrows yesterday online for Andy, but didn't buy them cause I'm waiting of Kev to tell me the size. So the last gift I bought was still probably for Andy, cause Kev and I picked up a few things for him on Saturday--jeans?

8. The last time I laughed heartily and loudly: Last night while watching 2 1/2 men.

9. My favorite holiday ornament is: Sheesh, I can't narrow this down to ONE! I love all my Garfield ornaments on my tree.

10. My house smells like: Well, I really hope it doesn't smell.

11. The first thing on my to-do list tomorrow is: That's too far ahead. I have a meeting tomorrow, does that count?

12. If I could sit on Santa's lap and believe that he'd bring me whatever toy I wished for, I'd ask for: Crap, put me on the spot. I'd be so tongue tied that I probably couldn't think of a thing. Like right now, can't think of a thing. Do ya think that Santa could make it feasible for me to be a stay at home Mom?
13. If I could holiday shop in ONE store, all expenses paid, I'd shop at: Cabelas

14. If an angel alighted on my doorstep today and said, "I'm here to grant a Christmas wish," I'd wish for: Maybe the angel can make it feasible for me to stay at home full time...

15. When I see a bell ringer while out shopping, I: Smile and walk right by. Then I feel guilty, but I N.E.V.E.R. have any cash or change. I'm a mom--I have kids who know how to open my wallet!

Friday, December 08, 2006

My little girl

My little girl is growing up. Last night, I watched Kat perform in the 5th grade music program. She had a speaking part as "Student 6". She was so excited to have the part--a "valley girl" type character. She likes performing, in fact, she's had parts in 4 of the last 5 school programs, so she must be fairly good...or maybe it's because she's so darn cute.

But, anyway, watching her, on stage with her classmates, I realized that she's not a little girl anymore. She's a girl on the verge of puberty, and from there, it will be a short jump to adulthood. My baby is gone, and she'll never come back.

I'm glad she's growing up, I'm glad she's S.L.O.W.L.Y. maturing, and acting more grown up. But sometimes, I miss my little girl. And, I still see her, but her interests are changing. She still likes dolls, but she likes music. She likes talking on the phone to her friends. She's nagging me to get internet at home again so she can chat. She giggles about boys. In fact, she asked me if she can "go with" a boy. I know that in the 5th grade, "going with" a boy just means that you like each other. That's fine. But she's not "going" anywhere with a boy until she's much older!

We ate supper at Pizza Hut last night. Kat had a friend of hers with us, J. J is "going with" a boy, J. (Hum, J + J, might get confusing!) J, the boy, came in to eat with his dad and stepmom. Somehow, once he came in, the girls couldn't simply eat, they had to be...well, girls! Giggly girls, wiggly girls. Girls who watched J the boy, and Girls who whispered, giggled, primped, hid behind their hands. Girls, who normally would finish off 4 - 5 pieces of pizza, could only manage to eat 2. O my. What an experience! Giggly girls trying to not be obvious about liking the only boy in the restaurant. Subtlety was not their strong suit.

Kat has good friends, a lot of friends. She treats everyone in her class well (from what I can see!) ; she's liked by the teachers (even tho we all acknowledge that she's a little lazy when it comes to schoolwork.) She's a good kid. And, she's cute. She's got her dad's bone structure. I never noticed it before, but she definately has Kev's facial structure, that pointy chin, thin face, well balanced features. She's small and petite. Something I never was.

She has an individuality and a strength of character. She will never do something just because someone wants her to do it. If she doesn't want to do it, she won't. And I know this, because we go round and round about cleaning up her room, about practicing her flute, about doing chores, about the color of the sky. I swear, if I said it was blue, she'd argue that it's really purple! And, I've seen her tell her friends that she's doing this, and NOT that. Somehow, they fall into line with her, and not the other way around.

Her individuality shows up in her clothing. She knows what she likes and she can put together outfits that might not work for anyone, but somehow do for her. She dresses with confidence and isn't ever afraid to be an individual. She just doesn't care if someone thinks an outfit looks stupid, if she likes it, she's gonna wear it. And somehow, it always looks pretty good!

She's strong willed and has a great deal of self confidence. Both definately gifts from her father. And, sometimes, she's not so confident, when she's sobbing in my arms, she's my little girl, and I can make the world right again.

We have a nightly ritual. At bedtime, Kat comes over to me, we give each other two "european" kisses--you know, kiss the air by the right cheek then the left--then one on the lips, and I have to say, "Good night, love you, sweet dreams, see you in the morning." Then she's off to bed.

She's a girl on the verge of womanhood. I hope it holds off just a little longer.

Friday, December 01, 2006


Looking down below, I realized that I hadn't updated anyone about our missing cat, Chubs.

We found the little twerp the night I blogged. Well, Kevin found him--under an up-side-down trashcan. Kev said the trashcan was right in front of the door, but it wasn't that morning when I looked in the shop. Kev said he heard Chubs meowing from under the trashcan. But I didn't hear anything when I went looking for him.

Evidently, he'd been there a while, because there was poop under there too. But I swear that the can wasn't there in the morning before work. I know, because I walked into the shop. No matter. We're still not sure how he got trapped under there, but we're grateful that we found him.

I had forgotten how much joy and laughter a housecat can bring. We have another one, Cutie, but she's a crabby old thing, and she absolutely hates Chubby. Chubs is still a kitten, and he just brings us so much joy. Most of the time. He didn't bring me much joy when he drug a pound of hamburger out of the sink and ate most of it in Kat's bedroom. And, he doesn't bring me much joy when he subtly tells me to clean the litter box--by leaving a pile in the middle of the laundry room floor. And he's rather annoying as he lays in the middle of the kitchen floor, right under foot. But he does bring me joy when he's playing with the ring off a milk jug and when he attacks toes that move under the blanket and when he carries his toy mouse around the house. And he even brings me some amount of joy when he goes with me to feed the chickens and the goats. I swear, he thinks he's a dog and that's his job, to escort me during chores.

So, Chubs is safe and sound at home. He's outside today, terrorizing the rest of the cats, but I'm confident that he'll be sitting by the front door when I get home, ready to come in and share the rest of his day with us, his family.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Letting them go.

The hardest part of being a parent is letting your kids grow up and go out on their own. Andy is 15. He has his drivers permit, he's gone to a couple of dances, he's hunting on his own, and now, he has a job.

I'm struggling. I want him to be safe, I want him to be a responsible person, but letting him strike out on his own, without me there to back him up is really difficult. Letting him drive to school isn't hard, but letting him drive in to town to work has proven to be more difficult. On school nights, he can only work until 7. But, when 7:30 rolls around and he's still not home, I worry.

Then there are those school dances. He went with a girl to the last dance a couple of weeks ago. The dance was over at 11. And I waited up...He was home by 11:15, but waiting for him to get safely home was hard. What am I going to do when he stays out past midnight?

Yes, he has a phone, but I don't want to be one of those parents who is always calling, checking in with their kids. I realize that sometimes, you don't get off work right away, that you don't get out the door right away, that you have to get gas, let the pickup warm up, etc. I realize that sometimes you need to drive slower home because it's foggy or snowy. But I can't help worrying! So many kids get killed in accidents. So many temptations are out there for kids to stumble into. There are deer that jump in front of vehicles. How does he know which decisions are the right ones? How does he know what to do when there are deer in the road, or if you skid on the ice. I can't protect him anymore and that's the hard to admit.

How do we parents DO this? I thought it was hard when they were babies, and we were up all night. I thought it was hard sending them to school, but letting them go, letting them be independent...that's the hardest part of parenting. And, I'm struggling.

Monday, November 27, 2006

My plans for Thanksgiving break...

I had the whole week off for Thanksgiving. That was so nice and I needed a break from work. So, being me, I planned activities to fill my time at home. Monday, I would clean the kitchen, pay bills, then sew some fabric bowls. Tuesday, I'd finish sewing, maybe cut out some doll clothes for Kat for Christmas, and spend a little time cleaning. Wednesday, the kids would be home, so together, we'd clean. Thursday, my folks and brother's family would be up, the Herron's would also be over for Thanksgiving. Friday, Mom and I would run to my Aunt Sandy's to see her kids and new grandbabies. We also make some popcorn balls and maybe some bath bombs. Saturday, they'd go home, I'd rest.

Would someone please remind me NOT to plan?

Monday started off well, I paid bills and cleaned the kitchen. Then Lynn called and asked me to help him take Lacey to the vets to put her to sleep. He's needed to do this, but wasn't emotionally ready to put his companion of 15 years to sleep. It was time. I went by to take them. Lynn put an afghan in the back of the pickup, laid Lacey down, and she died. Right then and there. So, I helped this big, strong, tough man bury his dog. He was pretty broken up. That took most of the afternoon, and then I spent the rest of the day running errends. So much for my plans.

Kat was supposed to have dance that night, but decided to throw up instead. So, the rest of the night, all night, I spent with her, patting her back, laying in bed with her, washing her bedding. Not at all on my list of plans to do. Can someone tell me why kids get sick when it's the weekend or vacation? I'd rather get a day off work to care for a sick kid rather than give up a "me" day. And yet, it was nice to snuggle with her on the couch. It made her feel better. It also made tuesday a very non-productive day. So much for my Tuesday plans.

She was back to normal by Wednesday, so we all dug in a cleaned. We even rearranged the basement. Somehow, I managed to con Kevin into helping with that chore! That is one day that went according to plan.

Thursday morning, as I was making my first ever butterscotch pie (using my great grandmother's recipie), I got a phone call. "This is R, Cody and Austin's stepdad. They might not make it, because Cody fell of the horse and broke his arm."

My brother's kids seem to have a deathwish on holidays. 2 years ago, Austin had to have stitches in his leg after gouging out a huge hole. Now, it was Cody's turn. So, it was my job to break the news to Mom and Dad when they arrived. But, Steve and the boys did show up about 5:30. Cody insisted they come, but it was obvious he didn't feel very well. He just wanted to be with us.

We ate without them. Lunch turned out really well too. Ham, Turkey, the works. 4 pies. Yum. Good times with family and friends. Except for Cody's accident, this day also went fairly well according to plan.

Friday's plans were shot though. We went to Sandy's early, becasue their day was full. So we visited with them about 2 hours, got to hold the babies, then drove our hour drive back home to discover more guests. Lynn's daughter and grandson were there to visit too! So, Mom and I never sewed, never made bath bombs, never made the popcorn balls.

Saturday, we got everyone ready to go home. And had more guests! Kev's brother and sister-in-law, stopped by. It was great to see them, but I was still in my morning sweats and tee-shirt. Hair not combed, etc. But, they didn't care. We sat and visited. Everyone was gone by 3 p.m. I sat and rested, until the Herrons came by, so we ate supper together (leftovers!) and watched tv till midnight. Well, they watched tv, I fell asleep. I think I had something planned for saturday, but I can't remember just what it was...

Now, it's back to normal. Back to work. Back to routine. But I haven't done any Christmas shopping, so I need to work on that plan...

Monday, November 13, 2006

No more 4:30 a.m. wake up calls!

Ok, I have to get this off my chest.

I'm worried about our kitten, Chubs. He didn't come in last night. He didn't come in this morning. He didn't answer us when we called and called. So, I'm afraid something has happened to the little twerp.

Chubby was born in May--and was orphaned before he was 3 weeks old. He and his sibling were so small when I started bottle feeding them, that I had to wipe their bottoms and rub their tummies to make them poop. The sibling died, but Chubs thrived. When he was 2 months old, he tried to play horsehoes with the menfolk. He caught a shoe as it was flying through the air, but broke his leg. So, we spent over $100 casting his leg and kept him in the house full time (as much as we could.) You see, Chubs discovered a small hole in the window screen, so he made it larger. We kept finding him outside, and kept telling the kids to quit letting him outside. Then, I caught him in the act, 1/2 in, 1/2 out of the window screen.

Since he's healed, Chubs has taken to sleeping with Kev and I. He curls up behind my knees, and just sings. He also watches me bathe, sitting right there, singing.

Yesterday, he was outside with us while we were cutting up deer. Haven't seen him since. I hope he's holed up out in the shop somewhere stuffed to the gills with deer meat. I hope so. But, I'm afraid he's gone. Stupid twerp.


Part 2--deer.

Saturday, we got up at the ungodly hour of 4:25 a.m. to go hunting. I decided to sit in the new treestand that I insisted we put up. No one's sat in it, and I felt that I'd better since I was the one who insisted that it was a good spot. It was an easy walk into it, along the old railroad tracks, the moon was up and it was bright. I was in the stand well before light.

Since it was a new stand, it didn't have a bow holder which was a pain. And, it is a platform stand, so it was not what I'm used to using, so it seemed like it took me forever to get settled. I never did get my safety belt wrapped around that dang cottonwood tree, so tied off to the ladder. If the platform fell, I would still be hanging there 15 feet off the ground, but, I'd be safe. I finally settled down in the comfy chair, to wait for daylight.

Just before shooting light, I saw a doe walking down the railroad tracks. She came toward me, from the east. She was kind to stop and give me a nice broadside view of her, but it was too dark still to shoot. So, I watched her, heard her, and listened to her leave. She headed south.

Shortly after daylight, I had a buck come by. He was out of my shooting range, but he just trotted from south to north. A little while later, I saw a doe come from the south, she was 50 yards out. She also just moseyed on by, also going north. Gene, one of our hunting buddies was sitting to the north east of me, and I hoped some of these guys would go by him.

Then I saw a doe coming hard--running. About 15 yards behind her was a nice 4 x 4 buck. Running after her, hard. She was not remotely interested in him. They went right on by. Gene rattled, but he was to intent on his girl to stop for competition. It was so cool to see this rut behavior! Way cool. (Last weekend, Gene rattled a deer in, he walked by me, I shot, but missed. But it was cool watching that deer look around to see just who was over there making that noise!)

I'd been standing, but decided to sit awhile. I was relaxed, watching the general direction all these deer had come from, when I heard some leaves rustle. Directly south of me, not 15 yards away was a nice 4 x 4. He was nice. On the railroad tracks. Looking straight at me. Dang. I'm really in the open, because if the deer is on the tracks, he's almost eye level with me. Probably foot level, but he defiantly will see me if I move. He turns to look away, I stood up, but he spooked and took off.

Gene rattled for him too, but he didn't stop.

I decided to stay standing up for a while. I looked back south and saw another buck in the trees. He was just wandering around, and I kept watching him. He finally cut way to the west and then walked straight north to me. He was smaller than the last one, but I was determined to get a shot off. He jumped the fence, walked up on the tracks. I pulled back. I was watching him, but not through my peep sight. Had to tell myself to watch through that peep sight. He turned to the east, I finally watched through the peep sight. Told myself which sight pin to use, (the first one), then I remember telling myself "now." I heard the arrow hit, thought to myself to watch where he went. But he didn't run off. Instead, he fell down the embankment and laid there.

"Ok, that's cool, we won't spend 3 hours tracking this guy." I said to myself. Saw the arrow, it was to high, and in his neck. But, he wasn't getting up. I'd severed his spine. His back legs were paralyzed. He tried to get up, but couldn't. I thought I heard him rattle in his lungs, but I didn't think my arrow looked like it was deep enough to hit a lung. So, I let him lay there --10 yards from my tree--for over an hour. I watched him, thinking he'd die. He didn't. Gene came over at 9. I got down and put another arrow through him, but we decided to slit his throat.

Kev, Lynn, and Andy showed up, we loaded him up and then had to go get Kev's deer. We'd both gotten one. Both bucks. Both 4 x 4's. But Kev's was a little bigger than mine. And, Kev had a better shot--a perfect shot. I'm disappointed by my shot, I'm disappointed in myself for not making a better kill. The guys all assure me that they've had bad shots too, but told me that any deer brought down with a bow is good. Maybe they are trying to make me feel better, maybe I'm too hard on myself. I'm proud that I got one, that I hit him, but sure wish I'd made a cleaner kill. He didn't suffer and hurt, because he was paralyzed, but I sure wish he'd died sooner. But, he's in the freezer now. We'll have fresh venison. That means more jerky, chili, fajitas, etc. And it means we can share our bounty with friend and family.

We all decided that since I saw 6-7 deer that morning, that this was a good spot for the treestand, but I told the guys we needed to move back a tree and up a tree. They agreed. I think we'll keep a stand over here, but move it to give the shooter more cover. And since the deer cut in front of me about 30 yards out, by moving up a "row," we'd have better and more shots, and would be farther away from the railroad tracks, making it harder to be seen. But, me, I'm done for the year. I might go back out with a camera, especially next weekend, because it's rut. And next weekend, we should be able to see LOTS of rutting behavior.

And hey, it also means, no more 4:30 a.m. wake-up calls! Unless I go camera hunting. Dang. Sleep or deer. Sleep, or deer. Sleep. No, deer. No, sleep. No...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The art of making plans

I'm a planner. I like to know what I'm doing and when I'm doing it. I don't limit myself to a certain time, but I like knowing what's going on when. For example, I have supper planned; we're going to have leftover stew tonight. Tomorrow, we'll have something else, I'll plan that tonight. Today, after work, I plan on swimming. I plan on swimming 3 days a week. That's been my plan since school started. I average 2 times a week. Why? Because the cosmic forces are against planning.

Case in point:

We planned two weeks ago for me to take this Friday off, deliver Kev's car to the dealer in Colo Springs for repair, and come home Saturday. The kids were out of school, and I have some days at work that I could take off. Perfect--but every one else at work planned on being gone. And, their plans were probably more important than mine. I guess an angioplasty and a tonsilectomy are more important than me taking a car to get worked on. I think so, but I had it all planned, and now I had to adjust my plans.

So we went to plan B. We planned to make a flying trip out Thursday night. I'd drive the car to work. Kev would be working in Burlington, when I got off work, I'd drive out with Miss Kat, we'd meet up with him, we'd then drive on to Limon to meet the family who would then take the car to the dealer for us, pick it up, and then we'd either meet them again over the weekend in Limon, or we'd just drive on and pick it up ourselves. Nice plan B. Not as simple, but do-able. That plan lasted until Wednesday morning.

The weather forecast for Colo Springs called for a blizzard on Thursday. Oops. So, Plan C came into effect. I had the car, I would leave at 4, meet Kev at Goodland, we'd go on from there. O, but wait--what about Kat? She was so looking forward to seeing her cousins. Do we want to live with her temper and disappointment? Quick decision, we'll just pull her out of school for one day. So, I call the school, get her packed, picked up, and we're off into the sunset. We get the car and the girl delivered in good time. We can see the storm clouds building. All made it home safely.

Our plan C part 2 is that on Saturday, we'll go hunting in the morning, then drive to Colo Springs that afternoon. We'll stop at Lowe's and Home Depot, do a little shopping there, price big screen TV's (maybe buy one), then head home on Sunday.


This morning Andy informed me that the beef sale he wants to go to to buy a 4-H steer is Saturday. And, his youth bowling team bowls Saturday. So, we have to decide if we are amending plan C part 2 and make it plan C parts 2 and 3. Do we leave Andy at home alone? Do we make him cancel his bowling plans? If he goes to the sale, he'll have to cancel bowling anyway. Do I trust him not to spend too much money on a steer? Heck, do I trust him to get it home ok--alone? Do I let him miss an opportunity to see his family? Do I trust a teenager at home--alone--on a weekend? Could I enjoy myself in Colo Springs, knowing my teenager is home--alone--on a weekend, with his checkbook--alone?

Maybe I should send Kev out alone. That could be plan D--Kev go alone. I'll stay with the teenager. That will work. Or maybe Plan E--the teenager will just have to go with us.

Or plan F... I give more planning... really.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Andy's day to shine

For the past few years, I've had one prayer for my son, "Lord, please let him find something where he can shine."

The final results aren't posted yet, but Saturday was Andy's day to shine.

He competed with 4 other 4-H friends at the State Trap Shoot competition in Newton. Andy broke 93 out of 100 rock. He missed 7 rock. That's phenomonal!

We got there around 10, got our team signed in, got our shells from the officials and waited until 12, when it was our kid's turn to shoot. 50 rock from the 16 yard line, 50 from the 20 yard line. That's a lot of rock without any kind of break.

B, our token girl only broke a total of 12 rock for the day, wwwwaaaaayyyy worse than she's ever done. Our hearts broke for her. She was so upset with herself, felt she let the team down, but she didn't. We were all proud of her for trying, for sticking it out, and just flat out being there. She had a few tears when all was over, which is to be expected. She did her best shooting on station 1, when she and Andy had both rotated over. They'd visit and she'd relax, but when the next person rotated around, she'd tense up. The person following B was another girl, from another county who was an excellent shot, but she wasn't shooting well either and was rather angry. She bothered B, and she bothered J, our 17 year old shooter, who didn't like having a super-competitive-girl who shot better than he did next to him. But, it was a great learning experience. And, after the match was over, Andy took time out of being proud of himself to make time for B and comfort her. They are such good friends, and it made me proud to see Andy take time to make his friend feel better.

AFter the kids finished shooting, we had to hang out 3 more hours, until all teams were done, to see if Andy was in the shoot-off. He missed it by one rock. There were some super shooters at this match. And there were also some kids with really expensive guns. But we didn't care. It was Andy's day to shine, and shine he did.

My heart just wanted to bust.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Equal time for the cats and chickens...

Last night, I did the chores. I got home at a decent time, Andy was at a volleyball game, Kat at a birthday party. My dream was for some quiet time, but that didn't happen.

The cat's had dumped 10 lbs of cat food all over the kitchen, so after cleaning that, I decided I might as well do chores.

I like feeding, but sometimes it feels like running that gauntlet. I stepped outside the back door, with catfood bucket in hand for the outside cats. All 17 of them were weaving between my feet while I navigated the course to the shed. Seeing that the cats were getting fed, 20 or so chickens joined the parade. Cats were trying to trip me, chickens were headed in from all directions for the kill. If I went down, all would be lost. I'd be eaten alive by hungry cats and chickens. My family would find my bones laying there in the grass...

I fed the cats successfully, and decided to gather the eggs, check the chicken feeders and waterers. Before entering the chicken pen, I picked up the baseball bat. The alumnium baseball bat. It's for protection from the rooster. He has been known to attack--without warning. He's left me alone since early summer when I booted his little hiney across the pen, but I don't trust the little bugger. Spurs hurt. And, to be honest, I don't think he's as threatened by my now that his harem has increased, and he has the young whippersnapper roosters to be more concerned about.

Chickens weaving around your feet is just about as bad as having cats weave around your feet. They know that I'm going to toss out some scratch grains, so they stick close to me. Walking in the pen is an adventure; watching where I step to avoid poop, to avoid stepping on a hen, while keeping one eye on the rooster.

They flood into the henhouse behind me, eager for their treat. Then, they rush back outside as I fling cups of scratch grain around the pen. Four cupfuls, and I'm guarenteed enough time to gather eggs, fill feeders, check the water and make sure all is well inside.

I've got two hens who never go outside. They are my lonely two Americana hens, my hope for blue and green eggs. Being "different," they remain inside to avoid the attentions of the randy roosters and the pecking of the hens. These two girls get special attention, a little grain set up on the nesting boxes where they can eat in peace. They coo at me, and let me fill the feeders and then gather the eggs.

Since the days are getting shorter, I've been getting fewer eggs. Where early in the fall, I would get 22-25 daily, now I'm getting 15-20 daily. Yesterday, I counted 12. Twelve is unacceptable. So, as I leave the henhouse, I stop and lecture my 30 hens. "Now girls, there are 12 eggs here. 12. That's unacceptable. There are 30 of you, this means less than half of you are doing your job. I know the days are shorter, but I want more eggs. I expect to see more tomorrow. If you can't fulfill your quota, there's always the stewpot." They don't listen. They all cluck contentedly as they munch on their evening grain.

I carried my eggs into the house to put them away. Got out a carton and told Andy about there only being 12 eggs. He came to watch, as I filled up the carton...and found 5 extra eggs in my basket. We both laughed, because instead of 12, there were 18. I obviously can't count. I spent 5 minutes lecturing my hens, and I can't count. We'll see if my lecture did any good.

When it got dark, I ran out to shut the chickens up for the night. All now roost inside, as it's warmer there. I take a quick peek inside, hearing the coos and clucks as they jockey for spots on the roosts. I tell them good night, and that I'm sorry I lied about there only being 12 eggs. With that, I shut the door. "Goodnight girls. I still want 20 eggs tomorrow."


Just to let everyone know, I love my goats. I love having animals. I especially love having a son to do the daily chores so I don't have to. And, not doing the daily chores means I can love the goats more, concentrate on the positive more. O yeah, that's not my job, my job is to do the messy stuff that Andy doesn't feel confident enough to do. O well. I still love my goats.

I love having them greet me when I pull in at night. And, their greeting is hard to miss! Nubian's are some of the noisiest goats around. And, at this time of year, my does are in heat. They need a man. And they remind me of this constantly. By this time, I thought we'd have a man, but we don't yet. But, we've got to get one before the moaning and groaning wears me out!

I like goats when I walk out to the pen. I love the not so subtle demands for food. Heads shoving around me, trying to make me drop the feed bucket. Heads that magically get into the feed bucket that I'm trying to dump. Bodies swirling around me, frantic to be the first to get the feed.

I bought some black oil sunflower seeds the other day. For the goats and the chickens. I've got to be careful feeding them to the goats, because they'll eat so many so quickly that they can get stuck in their throats and choke. But I love feeding them a handful at a time. Winter gets the first handful, becasue she is our Queen. She's pretty patient too, she'll eat and nuzzle, and let me nuzzle her. Seeing what a good momma she's become makes it hard for me to remember how much trouble she used to cause when she was a kid. She was the one who figured out how to get on top of the chicken house. Yep, looked out the window one day and she was up on the roof, just happy as can be. I didn't know if I should laugh or make her get down! It became her favorite place to lay. I was so afraid that she'd be stupid and jump down from the peak--10 feet or more up. She never did, but we removed the goats from that pen. And, like all onery little girls, Winter grew to be a good momma.

I looked at my lilac bushes and my roses last night. My poor lilacs may never get big, and my roses have looked pitiful all summer. Why? because certain goats learned the electric fence was out, so they walked right through the fence and made a beeline to their favorite foods, lilacs and roses. I'm not sure my roses will ever recover. I think the lilacs will. My cherry tree is bare 1/2 way up, cherry leaves are tasty, as are raspberry bushes, blueberry bushes and grape vines. Goats are the hardest animals to keep fenced in, and it's extremely annoying when they get out, but, you've got to laugh--cause they just look so innocent while pulling that last bit of rosebush into their mouths. I swear, they'll lick their lips while doing it too.

I even like the doctoring parts, becasue it's all new to me. I never had to take care of any livestock growing up, and cattle really don't have the personality that goats do. I like knowing how to keep my herd healthy and well. So, even though it's always a challenge, and things do go wrong, I still like doing it. Of course, sometimes, hair being eaten by a goat is painful, sometimes horns can hurt, sometimes hooves on toes hurt, shots are never fun, but we're learning. The girls are patient with me and I with them.

Yep, I love my goats and can't wait to get my girls a man, one to take care of their needs. Then, in 5 months, we'll have babies again. Little babies running around, jumping, climbing the walls, hiding in the wire spools, playing king of the mountain, eating my hair...

Yep, gotta get more goats.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Books and the deserted island

I've been challenged to list 3 books that I'd want on a deserted island. But there is a problem.

Which 3 books? Why only 3? I can list 3 books, but which 3 should I list? Should I list the 3 that are stacked up, waiting for me to read them? Should I list 3 favorites? Can I list 3 series, and not just 3 individual titles? 3 favorite authors? Should I list 3 of those on my growing I-need-to-read-this list? Should I list 3 classics that I've never taken time to read. I'm just going to play it safe and list them all.

3 books I've got stacked up, waiting to be read.

1. Queen of Swords by Sara Donati.
2. Meeting at Corvallis by S.M. Stirling.
3. Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick.

3 favorite books.

1. Oklahoma Run. Can't remember the author, but it's an old novel written in the '50's. I loved it, and still re-read it every once in a while.
2. Valley of the Horses by Jean Auel.
3. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon.

3 series of books

1. Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon.
2. Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling
3. Earth's Children series by Jean Auel
4. Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. (Yeah, I know it says 3, I'm not good at rules...)

3 favorite authors

1. Diana Gabaldon
2. Anne McCaffrey
3. Nora Roberts

3 Classics I've never read

1. Catcher in the Rye.
2. Of Mice and Men.
3. War and Peace.

3 titles in my need-to-read-soon list (From lists and book reviews I've got clipped and laying all over my desk.)

1. The scroll of Seduction by Belli Gioconda
2. The Stand by Stephen King
3. The Testerone Files by Max Wolf Valerio

Now, IF I were on a deserted island, what books would I really want to have? I'd want a survival manual. Cause, I'm a person who buys how-to books about my animals, so I'd need a survival manual. I'd want some book that I could read over and over and over, and being a voracious reader, I'd need a thick one, so would probably take ALL of Diana Gabaldon's books. And, I guess I'd want another how-to book--how to build a boat, so I could leave. After I re-read all of Diana's books.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Who's tired?

I didn't sleep well last night. My bed was rather full, and I had some wild dreams. My bed was full of people and animals, but my hubby wasn't one of them.

You see, we've been trying to get to my folks' house, we've got a whole beef to pick up, and Andy found some Boar goats he wanted to buy. So yesterday, my boys took off for Englewood. Kev had been slow all week, in fact, he stayed home Tuesday because he didn't have any patients to see. The kids got out of school at 1:30 yesterday because of Parent-Teacher Conferences, and don't have school today. Perfect, Kev's slow, the kids are out of school. We planned.

Guess what, Wednesday night, Kev picked up 6 patients. S.I.X. In one day. But, he thought he could squeeze them in yesterday. Nope. He still has to see six people today, but we had planned this trip, we'd called, we committed ourselves. So this trip is a flying trip. The boys left town last night at 6. That put them at Mom and Dad's at 9:30. The newly revised plan is to get up early there, load up the 2 or 3 goats, get to Minneola early, get the beef and get their hineys home. Then Kev will rush around and go see his six people.

Last night, I called my Dad, gave him the revised plans. He then had to rush around, catch the goat owner, and figure out how to get the goats loaded early.

So what does all this have to do with my sleeping?

Well, since Kev was gone, Miss Kat took the opportunity to sleep with me. Fine, not a problem. But since Andy was gone, that meant that Emily, the Labrador, had to sleep with me. And since Kat was sleeping with me, that meant her Labrador, Midnight, had to sleep with me. The cats, Cutie and Chubs also chose to sleep with me. So, in our King sized bed, there was 1. Me. 2. Kat. 3. Emily. 4. Midnight. 5. Cutie. 6. Chubs.

Who did everyone have to touch? Me.

Who couldn't move, not even roll over? Me.

Who woke up 50 million times last night? Me.

Who got up at 5:30 when Cutie hissed and jumped Chubs, and woke up the dogs who then decided it was time to go outside? Me.

Who's tired? Probably everybody except Kat.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

It's going to be a lovely day...

I can already tell.

You see, everything was going well until I got to work. Went to get my keys out--my keys to the library. They weren't in my purse. Great. Called Kev, hoping he'd still be at the house. Called the house, no answer, called his cell, no answer, called the house, no answer, called the cell, no answer.

I went to the main office and called maintenance to come let me in. I've worked here 19 years, this has happened twice in 19 years. Humiliating, especially knowing they will N.E.V.E.R. let me live this down.

Kev called, his phone battery was already dead, at 8 a.m., after being plugged in all night. Guess what, his car beeped at him, said "NO COOLANT, SHUT OFF MOTOR." He did. He's driving the diesel today.

Yep, looks like a good day already.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Why do I have goats?

Can someone please tell me why I have goats?

Last night, I got vaccine and penicillin for Winter. She was due for a vaccination, and since she tried to rip off her ear, I thought a dose of penicillin would probably be best. I had visited with the vet, who is NOT a goat person, but she KNOWS a goat vet, so we are doing the best we can.

I ran by the vet clinic for 3 doses of vaccine, one for each of the 3 goats. Then I ran to Orschlen's for some Koppertox and syringes and wormer, then home. I wrangled my assistants, because I knew I'd need them. Andy and Kev were both wrangled to help.

The vaccination went well. We caught Winter, Kev and Andy held her against the fence. I gave the shot. Sub cue. No problem. I didn't go in and out the skin this time, the med's got where they needed to be, and she didn't fight too much. Next on the list, penicillin. I had loaded the syringe, warned my assistants that she'd jump because penicillin burns. (Just ask anyone who's had a shot of penicillin in the hiney...)

She jumped. Bent my needle. She threw a fit, reared up on hind legs and all. We wrestled her down, I tried again. She jumped and knocked the needle from my hand. Third try, same result. Ok, we'll, move on. I'll get someone more comfortable giving shots to help me with this one. (Kim...)

The Koppertox (I'm misspelling it, cause I didn't read the label that closely), is for her hooves. You see, I trimmed her hoof to short and she's been walking on her knees. Splayed toe is the condition, if the inside of the hoof is too short, the goat will spread her toes when walking putting stress on the upper foot and the "crack" between the toes. The vet recommended the Koppertox to toughen up the hoof and hopefully help her get over this a little quicker. Worth a try. Koppertox is a liquid. It's blue/green--the blue/green of copper, and it stinks, a definate metallic scent. Once spilled, it can only be removed with paint thinner. Great. Needless to say, I had a blue/green hand, no paint thinner, and my hand stunk all night. But I did get it squirted on Winter's hoof--the correct hoof, first try.

Round 4 was for the wormer. The wormer I got is really for horses, but it's ok for goats, you just give a lot less. Yeah right. Insert nozzle into goats mouth, not too bad, except when said goat is really tired of you messing with her. But, I got a dose in her, she actually came sniffing for more, but this is a one shot deal, I'm DONE.

Now for the kid-goats, they just got vaccine and wormer. They were much easier to hold and they also wanted more wormer. And their hooves need a trim. But I'd had enough. Someone, please remind me that I don't have to do everything at once. I can space things out next time.

And the sad thought? Well, we're getting 2 or 3 new goats this weekend. I'll have to vaccinate and worm them too. Since they will be new to us, I have no idea what to expect. And since 1, maybe 2 of them will be bucks--in rut, it will probably be a joyful experience. I'll probably smell like something other than Koppertox...

Now, why do I have goats?

Monday, October 02, 2006

Wanted: a three day weekend

There are 48 hours in a weekend. If you count Friday night, there are 55 hours. Kev and I packed about 100 hours worth of work and activity into those 55 hours.

We've got to have another day in our weekend.

Friday night, I had "my ladies" over for a scrapbooking night." They were at the house from 7 until 11. Not bad, but I rushed home at 4 to get ready for their arrival at 7. So, early Friday evening was spent in a frenzy of picking up the basement, sweeping the stairs, the basement floor, cleaning Andy's bathroom, setting up for the ladies, and eat supper. I can't tell you what we had for supper, but I can tell you that Andy vacuumed the basement with a bag that was past full. Kat was busy herself, she had a friend sleep over.

While I was doing this, my much-loved husband was preparing to make venison jerkey. We borrowed a dehydrator--commercial sized, and he'd gotten out 20 to 30 lbs of venison, both burger and steak. Another friend, C, was bringing over his dehydrator and some venison and they were going to mix this up together. So, I had my project, and Kev had his. My ladies left between 10 and 11. C didn't leave until 11:30. The girls didn't go to bed until Midnight. We followed shortly thereafter.

Saturday, we were all up by 8. The girls had to be taken to town to a bake sale, Kev started forming his jerkey strips and getting them into the dehydrators. Andy needed to come to town with me to get some leaves for a biology project. (Hey, we don't have any trees other than cedar trees at our house!) Off to town we go. I drop the girls and the baked goods off, Andy and I run to the college to get leaves, and then to Sonic. There we ordered a Large Dr Pepper, a Large Poweraid Slush and a job application.

Kev calls, "Kim's here ready to make pickles."

"Ok, we'll be right there."

I'd been given 2 bushels of cucumbers. We decided--Kim and I that we'd make pickles. She's never done it, I have, so she wanted to help. We spent the day in the kitchen making Bread and Butter pickles, Sweet Relish, Dill pickles, Hot relish, and we even pickled some eggs for our menfolk. I ran out of quart jars and we ran out of pickles while we were making the dill pickles. But we had the canner going from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

While we were in the kitchen canning, Kev was also in the kitchen making jerkey. My kitchen is nice sized, but not big enough for 4-sometimes 5 people to all be working on different projects. Kim and I and B and Andy on the pickle project, and Kev and sometimes Andy and sometimes Bob working on the jerkey. We were in each other's way all day. It was 85 degrees outside, my kitchen was close to 100 degrees.

Did our work end at 7, when the pickles were done? No. We still had to get all our hunting gear together. Sunday was opening day for the archery deer season. We had to go, it was opening day! The temperature forecast was 80 degrees. Sunday morning, the alarm went off at 5. I wasn't ready to get up, but, since it's allergy season, I was awake, sniffling. Up we got, three of us. Kat spent the night at Kim's. Into the pickup, off to town to get Lynn, gas, then on to our hunting spots. As we're tooling down the highway, Kevin tells Lynn not to shoot a deer today. We can't let it hang and would have to process it. Ugh. After smelling raw venison straight for two days, the thought of smelling it again was nauseating. Lynn agreed, because he's helping with corn harvest and would be in the field in the afternoon. My thought, while this was being decided, was "Why the heck are we going hunting if we can't shoot anything?"

We sit in our trees until 9:30. Fine, no big deal. Except my allergies kicked in. I'm in this tree, sneezing. No-deer-gonna-come-my-way, no sir-ree. Kev could have shot a nice buck, Andy shot at a doe (turkey, this is his first day! EVER!) and Lynn could have shot a doe. Me, all I saw was birds and leaves and my Kleenex.

Back to town to drop Lynn off, then off to the store for more ingredients for the summer sausage that still was waiting at home. We picked up Kat, mixed the summer sausage up, I started laundry, Kev got shotguns ready for 4-H that afternoon. Grabbed lunch, sent the "men-folk" off to shoot, did more laundry, cleaned a little, used about 40 Kleenex, baked the summer sausage and jerkey sticks, and then it was time for supper.

We ate out.

After supper, Andy and I went to work on goat hooves. Discovered Winter had tried to rip off her ear and I trimmed a hoof to short. Blood everywhere. I'm holding a wiggly goat--one with horns. Trying to keep my finger on her hoof to stop the blood, yelling at my kids to hurry and get the book, get some water, bring the flour out and to help me hold this goat. After stopping the blood, peroxiding the ear wound and getting the pigs back into their pen (They just wanted to see what was going on!) and washing, Kev and I then had to package his 40 lbs of jerkey and C's 50 lbs of jerkey. We finished around 9.

We were in bed by 9:30, exhausted. We need at least another 24 hours in a weekend.

Friday, September 22, 2006


I think I've had my share of death in the past week. First, J's Mother died, age 60. Sudden illness. Then B killed himself. His mom worked with me for 10 years. He was 19. I'm tired of funerals.

No one enjoys funerals, and we all have our own ideas about how funerals should be conducted. The casket is open or closed, there's the parade by the casket, or there's not. There's always music, there's always the little program forms. There's always lots of kleenx. But there are things that happen at funerals that shouldn't and sometimes these are done by the pastor.

I hate it when the pastor can't pronounce the names of family members, or even someone's maiden name. For crying out loud, you've visited with this family at least once, make sure you know how to say the names.

I hate funerals where the minister has to call unbelievers forward. Come on. It's a funeral. Let them come forward later. This time should be about the deceased, about the grieving family and friends. Don't make it a crusade to convert more folks. If they feel the need, let them come to you later. Don't spend the entire service talking about how death is too late to find Jesus.

Don't preach. I hate funerals where I feel like it was a church service and not about the person being remembered. Or, the pastor might mention the deceased person once or twice--as an afterthought, because, after all...this IS a funeral.

If you have a time for friends and family to come forward and talk about the deceased person, make sure someone is coming up to speak. If no one feels like they could get through a speech, then allow them the opportunity to write something down and have the preacher read it. But sitting at a funeral hoping someone will come to the open mike is tacky. Awful. Embarrassing.

My favorite funerals are those personal services, where there is laughter and memories, good and bad shared. I like the celebration of life. Some have been conducted by preachers and priests, some by lay folk. But I like the services where the focus is on the deceased. Where healing can begin. Where folks can mourn and laugh and realize that life goes on and where we realize that our loved ones, who might now be gone, will live in our hearts and memories. That is how all funerals should be. That's how I hope my funeral will be.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I'm annoyed

I have spent most of this day annoyed.

The day started off fine, I was in a good mood until I tried to get Kat to take her allergy medicine. She hates taking medicine and was already whining about how she didn't feel good, how her tummy was upset, how she was dizzy.

All from sinus drainage from her allergies. Solution? Take the medicine, and take it daily, not just when you are feeling awful. Dad finally got the medicine down her.

Around 10 a.m., I got a phone call from the school. Kat was at the nurses office complaining of...Upset tummy, stuffy nose, and she was dizzy. Well, heck. Do I be the BAD mother and tell the Nurse to just send her little butt back to class? Do I tell the Nurse that it's just allergies? Or do I give in, go pick up my not really sick child? But, then, what will happen when she throws up from all the mucus in her stomach? Then, I will be a BAD mother for real.

So, being very much annoyed, I go to the school and pick up my allergy child. But, we don't go home, because I have two presentations to give at work and a meeting to chair in the afternoon. We go back to work, where she can lay down in the back room and watch TV. So I'm annoyed at my daughter, and annoyed that I can't take her home and annoyed that I'm annoyed.

I gave a GOOD presentation to a class consisting of 10 souls who evidently know more about libraries and research skills than I do, because they were bored out of their minds and rather rude at the same time. I'm used to it, but today...I'm not in the mood--I'm annoyed.

Lunch times arrives, we run to Walmart to pick up more and stronger allergy meds--some with pseudo...stuff (the real stuff, I'm not going to spell it out, cause I can't without looking it up.) Now, remember, we good, law abiding citizens can't just buy it over the counter any more. Nope, we have to sign our lives away and swear that we aren't making Meth. Of course, this is punishment for the majority of the population, cause those meth heads have figured out how to get their supplies and don't sign 'nuthin.' This really annoys me.

So, the law abiding citizen that I am, I only sigh once as I pull out my drivers license to hand over and happen to look at its expiration date...January 2006. Hum. This isn't good as I think to myself, it's now September 2006. Holy crap. I've been driving illegally for 9 months. I've been teaching my 14/15 year old how to drive when I've been doing it illegally for 9 months. I've been lecturing same child on being legal, and doing things right, when I've been breaking the law FOR. NINE. MONTHS. Now I'm annoyed with myself.

Walmart at least didn't care, and gave me the medicine anyway. I can have the medicine legally, I just can't drive legally...

I'm driving anyway, even though I now expect every Cop in Colby to come swooping down on me, lights on, sirens blaring.

Off we go to get some lunch, and then home. Except, wait! The driver's license office is open today. Off we go to get my license situation fixed. Only. Crap. It is 12:50. They are closed until 1:00. Do I wait with a child who is now feverish and just a wee bit crabby? Or do I make her wait with me to settle this dilemma. We wait. Now Kat's annoyed. And because she whines, I'm annoyed.

While waiting for the doors to open, I question myself. Did I not see the renewal notice in the mail? Gosh, did it not come? Is it just like that credit card company that I've spent a good part of the week arguing with? (They say we are delinquent with payment. I have been watching for statements in the mail, they haven't come. I can't pay online because we are "delinquent", but I can't get anybody to tell me what's going on and why I'm not getting statements in the mail, or even what I do need to send to whom a to where.) Crap. Maybe the notice came and I didn't see it. Maybe the credit card company really does send statements and I just throw them away too. Am I that dumb? Could this be all MY fault?

1:00, the door opens. Thankfully we are the only ones here, so no one else will know of my humiliation. The lady takes my old license and the little piece of paper which I filled out 4 years ago with our current/new address on it. But, when she pulled me up online, the old address was listed. IT WASN'T MY FAULT! Someone never entered the updated information into the computer! I'm not a dork. I'm not irresponsible. What a relief. I took the test, got my picture taken, and off we went. I am once again legal to drive.

We went home. My slightly feverish child took more medicine, and went to bed to rest. I got on the phone to contact that *()#$&*^%$ credit card company. Was on hold for 20 minutes. I hung up. I'm annoyed. I've had enough stress today. Think I'll deal with them tomorrow...

Monday, September 11, 2006


10 things to do before I die
1. See my children become adults
2. Get out of debt 100%
3. Go to Scotland
4. Get a trophy buck with my bow
5. See Whiskey Park during the winter
6. Travel to the Eastern United States
7. See an ocean, not just the Gulf (IS there a difference?)
8. Go on a cruise with Kev to Alaska
9. Love a grandchild
10. Reach the age of 100

9 places I last spent Money
1. Walmart--Andy's camo
2. Dillions--groceries
3. Walmart--Kev's new camo and other stuff
4. China Buffet
5. Hershberger's --Kat's flute
6. Bass Pro--New ladder for tree stand
7. Dillions Fuel--Diesel
8. Nelnet--Next to last studnet loan payment!
9. The Stitchery--a cross stitch kit

8 sounds I routinely hear at home
1. Rooster crowing
2. Goats bleating
3. Dogs scratching at door wanting either in or out
4. Kat's TV--whether she's there or not
5. Cat's meowing
6. One of the kids singing off key with their CD players or IPOD.
7. Phone ringing

7 real restaurants where I last ate out
1. China Buffet with Kev and Lynn
2. China Buffet with Sharon
3. China Buffet with Kev and Lynn
4. China Buffet with Sharon
5. China Buffet with Kev and Lynn (See a pattern?)
6. Montana Mikes with Kev and kids (this was a couple of MONTHS ago)
7. Prairie Skillet at the Ramada Inn with Kev, Lynn and the kids (in June?)
Can you tell we live in a small town?

6 things scratched off my "to do" list
1. Got Andy new archery "stuff" so he's ready for bow season
2. Got the tree stands up (and 2 new ones!)
3. Made Jelly
4. Canned green beans
5. Started new cross stitch project
6. Contacted guy about beef and about new goats

5 People I don't know but would like to hang out with
1. Diana Gabaldon --author
2. Harvey Lewis Woodruff -- my great grandfather who saved EVERYTHING and did just about Everything too.
3. Melissa N. from Homesteading Today Forum
4. Queen Elizabeth I -- Was she really a virgin?
5. Adaline Law Woodruf -- mother of Harvey. Who are your parents? Where were you raised? Lots of questions for her

4 Songs that make me happy
1. Keeper of the Stars--its "our" song
2. Any old country song that I can sing to my son and embarass him
3. Any Ray Steven's song --cause they are so corney
4. The Oscar Meyer song

3 Things I hate to do
1. Get up early
2. Complaining to a store or business when something goes wrong
3. Watch Kevin reconcile the checkbook

2 Things I'm really good at
1. Embroidery & fancy work
2. Wheedling information out of my grandmother

1 Bad habit

Friday, September 08, 2006

Andy needs a job

Andy wants a job. He wants one desperately. He's applied at three businesses in town. One closed. One can only hire 16 year olds. The third requires an online "test" and if you fail, they won't even look at your application. He thought he passed the test, but has been by the store twice asking about it and was told that they haven't looked at the applications and promised that he'd get a call. Two weeks later, no call.

He's pretty discouraged. We are quickly running out of options as there aren't many places that will hire a 15 year old. He may have to resort to fast food, but that can be such a negative experience and aren't sure he's "fast food" material.

So, we'll re-take the "test" and hope that something goes right. Either that, or we'll ask around to see if any farmers are needing a teenagers help.

I really don't think a 15 year old NEEDS a job, but this is his choice. My heart won't be broken if he doesn't get a job. I want him to be available to go with us to visit the family...cause we go so often... (Right Mom and Dad?)

I don't want to have to work our family trips and vacations around his schedule. So, I don't mind him not having a job. And, in my mind, a big motivator for him is the simple fact that if he had a job, we'd let him drive himself to school and he wouldn't suffer the humiliation of having his mom drop him off at school.

Yep, Andy needs a job. His manhood depends on it.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Fruits of Labor Day

For many, Labor Day is a day of celebration, a day of BBQ's and picnics, or maybe the last trip to the lake. For me, it was a productive day. I actually labored! We had spent the weekend with my folks, taking care of necessary chores that needed doing. And I even managed to can 8 pints of green beans while at Moms. We ate fresh beans for dinner as well. Grandpa said, while eating his second helping, "These are a dang sight better than anything you dump from a can." Amen! Before we left on Sunday, I discovered, in my mother's freezer, 3 bags of sandhill plums. She's had them for a couple of years, she's been going to make jelly, but hadn't gotten around to it yet. So, I brought them home and yesterday, I made jelly.

My first time making jelly. I made 3 batches. I was in the kitchen from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. It was great! Only downside is I have to share 1/2 of my 22 jars with my mother. I guess that's fair, since the fruit was hers. But I really like sandhill plum jelly and...I don't like to share, but I will.

There's nothing I love more than doing something "homey"; something that my Mother does/did, something my grandmothers did. I like canning food, and I enjoyed making jelly. I like knowing that my family will eat food that is healthy, doesn't have any dangerous additives or chemicals, and to be frank, home canned food simply tastes better than anything you can bring home from the store. Our favorite meals are those that came entirely from our home. We did pretty well last night--venison Swiss steak, new potatoes and frozen corn--from our corn! Good, healthy food.

So, I'd rate yesterday as one of my favorite days. I spent the day in the kitchen making something that my family will enjoy during the months to come. I have visible evidence of how I spent my labor day, and that's great!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Remarkably ordinary

This past weekend was one of those perfect weekends. The weather--perfect. Cool, temperatures in the 70's and 80's, cloudy all day, both days. No rain, but you could smell the ozone all day long. I picked beans on Saturday. My bean plants haven't done well this summer, but Kevin and I picked and then I drove to a neighbors and picked hers. (She's finished for the summer after canning 47 quarts, so now, they are mine.) Kim went with me, as she wants to learn how to can. Imagine, me teaching someone how to can...I taught myself from a book!

We picked all the beans before 9 and then gathered all 5 kids to help snap beans. We all sat on the floor in the living room, snapping beans and visiting. A couple of us watched TV as much as snapping beans, but all were snapped within half an hour. Then, Kim and I canned them, we canned 9 quarts of beans. At noon, we sent Kev to town for pizza and all had lunch together. After the H family went home, Kev and I were lazy, and just relaxed for a while, then ran to town to look at a patio set that Walmart had marked down to 1/2 price. Andy found 5 more eggs in the feed shed, but not knowing how old they were, we tossed them to the cats. We gathered 18 eggs today. Small in size, but large in numbers!

Supper was BLT's, with homemade tomatoes. We still aren't getting many, but have eaten enough to make us want more.

Spent a lazy evening, enjoying each other's company and an early night to bed.

Night time is my favorite time. We are both snugglers, so we snuggle down to sleep, sometimes visiting, sharing our day, our thoughts and dreams for our home and our kids, but we have to be touching each other before drifting off to sleep. I'm almost always the last one to sleep, which annoys the heck out of me, but...Then again, I like listening to Kev breath beside me. There's a security and comfort in having him there.

Sunday was just as ordinary, but wonderful. The weather was still perfect. We put together the patio set and put it on the porch. Looks good there too! Then Kev decided to tackle the leaky outside faucet while I decided to tackle the kid's laundry. Somehow, I wound up spending as much time outside with Kev as I did inside! I mopped the kitchen (much needed!) and did 3 loads of laundry. He spent quite a bit of time digging out that faucet. After lunch--leftovers, Kat and I ran to town to get her school supplies while our men went to shoot trap. Supper consisted of grilled deer steak, grilled potatoes and onions with roasting ears. The pullets gave us 20 eggs today! Oh, and Kev got the new outside faucet installed--nothing broke and it all went back together beautifully. Only shortcoming...well, when he measured the old one, he said it was 5'8", so he got a new one of 5'. However, the length is actually the buried length, so we should have gotten a 4' faucet. But, we decided that we just won't have to bend over as far to turn on the water! Good planning--right!

I managed to do a little cross stitching, and paid the bills before calling it a night. But, as I snuggled in bed, next to my best friend, I felt that it was just a perfect weekend. No demands other than those we wanted to make for ourselves, perfect weather, good company. A perfectly ordinary weekend. Perfect.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Just to keep things even...

I scrolled down through my blog to see if anyone has left any comments. While scrolling, I ran across the entry where I share finding lost checks in my daughter's school trapper...Well, just to keep things interesting, here's one for her big brother.

Fair week is hectic. Hectic really isn't a strong enough word for what fair week is, but hectic comes close.

Friday of the fair was the day for the Round Robin Showmanship competition in the morning and the Livestock sale in the afternoon. After the Round Robin and between the sale, we ran home for a few restful, cool, hours at home. Andy competited in the Round Robin, so he had his dress clothes as well as his "I can get these dirty" clothes. Of course, right after the competition, he changed into his grungies, and threw his good clothes into the back seat of the pickup. He then had to drive us home, because he has his license now and since then, I've forgotten how to drive.

Once home, I grabbed his clothing with his cell phone and carried all into the house. He then carried them down to his bedroom. Later that day, we couldn't find his phone. Exhaustion had kicked in, but I knew I brought his phone in.

"Did you look downstairs, in your room?"


"Did you look in your clothes?"


Not having time to look closely, we left it for another day. The next day, Saturday, I called his phone, thinking we'd hear it ring, but it went straight to voice mail. The battery was dead. But I knew it was in his room.

This went on for two weeks. I'd ask, "Andy, have you looked everywhere in your room?" He'd always reply "Yes MOTHER, I looked."

"Did you move everything?"

"Yes Mom, I did."

This went on, until the day he asked if we could go file a police report and then use the insurance to get a new phone.

I took matters into my own hands. Marching down to his room, I started moving stuff. I cleared off the dresser, the bedside table, the bookcase, the TV stand, and then I looked under the bed. Now, while I'm doing this, my 5'10" 15 year old son stood beside me and said "Mom, I told you I looked. You just don't trust me. You should trust me. I swear I looked everywhere and moved everything."

At this point, my head pops up from looking under the bed and I simply toss the phone on the bed, in front of my son, who I don't trust.

"Oh." That's all he said.

"What did you just say about me trusting you?"

"Nothing" he replied as he sheepishly picked up his phone, grinned at me, gave me a kiss, and walked out of his room.

I'm relaying this story--just to keep things even.

Living with a teenager in love

It's interesting to watch teens in love. I like Andy's girlfriend, but she sure has complicated our lives.

Phone calls. They are on the phone constantly. It's worse now that she's moved across the state. She has unlimited long distance. So we get lots and lots of calls. Andy's been informed to only call her on his cell phone, and preferably after 9:00 p.m., when it's free, or weekends, when again, it's free. Of course we told him this AFTER he'd called her on our phone and spent over an hour having an intelligent conversation. Part of which went like this-- "I miss you." "I miss you more." "No, I do." "No, me."

This went on for 5 minutes. How do I know? I was sitting on the couch, listening.

Watching their behavior when they were together was interesting as well. Lots of fingers brushing other fingers, arms on shoulders, bodies accidently bumping into each other as they walked beside each other.

It amuses me, and makes me remember how nice it is to be in love. It's nice to see my son discover these new and exciting feelings. There's a tenderness and an innocence that I want him to remember his whole life. (And I'm positive it is innocent. They've been well supervised.) I don't want him to lose this.

And yet, it also saddens me. I'm no longer the most important female in his life, and I'm learning. He's pushing to grow up and it annoys me. I wasn't mentally prepared. In three short years, he'll be gone. There will be other women who will take my place as the most important woman in his life. I'm also seeing a different side of my husband, who is more annoyed by his son's love life than he is understanding. Kev is annoyed if she calls. He's annoyed if they talk on the phone very long. He'd be annoyed when she was at the house. He's annoyed because Andy wants to buy her a present. He's annoyed by the whole thing.

I'm amused, he's annoyed. What's with that? Makes me wonder if he remembers being a teenager in love. I'm thinking it's easier living with a teenager in love than it is living with the father of a teenager in love...

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Long time no see or the summer in a nutshell

My last post was May 15. Holy cow, seems a life time ago! You see, I don't work during the summer, and I refuse to pay for s.l.o.w. dial up internet at home. So, I blog during my lunch hour, or on break time at work. But, since I've been at home all summer, no blogging. I've missed it. I've thought of hundreds of things to write about. I just have been to busy to come in and blog.

Today? Today is a Sunday. My wonderful hubby had to use the internet to do some annual training via the internet, so we had to come to town. It's hot here. The AC is off. Hot and stuffy. But, it's hot outside too.

Kev is online. Kat is online. I'm online. Andy is off helping his girlfriend load her truck and move. My little boy has a girlfriend. It's made for an interesting summer, as they have had the idea that they have to spend every single hour together and that he needs to be in town or she needs to be at our house.

I'm pleased that someone has discovered how wonderful he is, and has discovered that he is a cutie-pootie. But this means that I now have to share him. But, his girlfriend's family is relocating and they leave today. He's crushed. She's crushed. We adults, are slightly relieved, and yet we ache for our love-lorn children.

We've spent much of the summer getting ready for the fair. Those of you who aren't 4-H parents have no idea how time consuming it is. Animals have to be fed, monitored and trained to lead. Crafts have to be constructed and completed. Sewing projects created. Everything has to be delivered and presented in the best of light. Every year, I swear that we won't wait till the last minute. Every year, we have something that isn't done till the last minute.

This year, it was crafts and sewing.

Kat likes both, and is good, but boy is she stubborn and difficult and ...Well, she's stubborn and difficult. I, however am not.

Sewing. She's sewed 2 years. Made 3 or 4 items. So, of course, with her 2 years of experience, Kat knows more about sewing than I. To keep me from killing her, Kim offered to come over and sew with the girls (her's and mine) if I'd do arts and crafts with the boys. Done deal.

Kat sewed really well for Kim. Kim isn't as stupid as I am evidently. Kat made a beautiful sun dress. Zipper wasn't perfect, but it turned out beautifully. Purple ribbon quality. Two days before judging, she insisted we make a white blouse. The day before we had to have it judged, we sewed it. She and I. Lots of yelling, lots of "I don't care if that seam isn't straight, I'm not ripping it out." And she didn't. I had to let it go.

I really did let it go! I promise!

But, the shirt got finished. The dress earned reserve champion. It was well deserved. The shirt, well, we don't know yet what it got, we'll have to wait. I'm betting on a red. But, we survived.

All Andy has is animals. But, his love life has taken front seat to training animals. I'm not sure what will happen at the fair, but he's 15 and I'm not going to nag. Right???

Let's see, what else have we been doing??? In a nutshell

1. Bought and installed a new front door. A beautiful door. I stained and poly'd it. Now we need to paint the house.

2. Took a much needed vacation in the Mt's of Colorado. One week away from the world. 3 days of it in atypical continuous rain. My first hike down the snake river. The bald spots on my feet are almost healed now.

3. Drove the kids to the pool many many days. Drove kids to band lessons. Drove kid to drivers ed. Drove kid home from drivers ed. (Why couldn't the kid drive himself home???)

4. Stayed in the house out of the 100+ degree days.

5. Paid $120 for a stupid cat. Said stupid cat is a bottle baby that we saved after his momma died (carried off by coyotes or owls). Said stupid cat tried to play horse-shoes with the menfolk. Cat broke leg trying to catch horse-shoe. Cat is now is a cast from shoulder to paw, requiring him to be in the house full time and using a +*&()^%#$@ litterbox.

6. Discovering that of my 33 new "pullets," 5 of them are roosters. And 4 of those 5 are from my 8 Americana "pullets". I'm not going to get any colored eggs out of them. And, these 5 roosters are extremely randy. I feel sorry for the hens.

7. Sorrow. Miss Monkey, our bottle goat died while having her horns removed. It's my fault, and we've had lots and lots of tears about it.

8. Get ready for the fair. Which is next week. And one week after that, it's back to work.

Monday, May 15, 2006

We had a celebration this weekend. Kim, our dear friend and neighbor graduated from college with her teaching degree. And, she got a job last Thursday night! We are so happy for her and her family and excited for them as well.

They've all had a rough road, with mom going to school, working 2 jobs and trying to keep up with her family obligations. Kev and I have helped out as much as we could, watching the kids (while Bob worked nights, and Kim had classes). We've traded kids, vehicles, etc.

Kim wanted to celebrate by having a BBQ and bonfire. So Saturday night, we got together, relaxed around their fire pit, enjoying food, drinks and good company. Until Kim fell asleep--at 10:00. Yep, 3 hours into the celebration, the hostess, and honoree fell asleep.

Two years of stress, worry, and hard work were over, so she crashed. But, it was OK. I certainly understood and the kids were still having fun and Kev and I visited with Bob and watched the fire burn till 1 a.m. And Kim slept through the whole thing.

They've proven to be among our closest friends. We were all raised similarly, have the same values and ideas for our children. My mom commented that it was a rare friendship when I could discipline my neighbors kids just as I did my own, and vice versa. And, thinking about it, she's right. I have several friends who's kids I never discipline or correct. Their parents would come uncorked.

But Kim and Bob, nope, they just say "OK, then, thanks." and we move on. Of course they can do the same with OUR kids too. I like every member of their family. I like spending time with them, just chatting or doing some activity with them. They're more than friends, they are family.

Congratulations Teacher Kim. You've worked hard. You'll be an excellent teacher. We're very proud of you and are glad you and your family are a part of our lives.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Stupid Pigs

Yesterday was Weigh-In day. We had to weigh our 4-H pigs and goats to get a starting weight. In August, we will get a final weight at fair time. But, before you can weigh the pigs, you have to get them to the scales.

Not an easy task.

I had it planned. Kev had nicely pulled the trailer up to their pen. Short trip to the trailer from the pen. The kids (my 2 and the neighbor 3), would be blockers and form a wall. The pigs would be herded by me into the trailer. We'd use a simple bribe of some grain. Simple, well thought out, easily executed plan. Except I forgot to add the pigs to the equation.

Pigs don't herd well. Pigs can run. Pigs are fast. Pigs can get through small holes between children's legs. Pigs can move in tight circles and leave me in the dust. Pigs can also poop while running. Pigs can place poop in strategic spots where I step and slide. Pigs poop a lot. Pigs do not cooperate.

Phases 2 and 3 and 4 involved moving the trailer closer, getting old shower doors from Chicken pen to form walls to block in loading area, and stock panels from top of dog pen to form moveable walls to block potential escape routes.

I needed 10 more people. Two of my helpers would rather jump on the trampoline than help. They kept disappearing between phases. One of my helpers is becomming a young lady who doesn't want to get dirty. That left me with a 15 year old and a 10 year old. Both boys were troopers, but we couldn't do it alone. My neighbor and savior arrived after an hour of unsuccessful pig wrangling.

Together, with all the kids, we finally got those pigs loaded. One pig, we drug into the trailerby its hind legs. 100 lb pigs can kick and wiggle. Each of us had a leg. I'm sure it was quite comical to see two women struggling to drag a pig into the trailer. Pig was of course, squeeling and wiggling. We felt like we were wearing one of those old vibrating exercise belts. It was quite the workout. The other three must have been scared, because they herded better (this time) and we finally got them loaded. Only took another 20 minutes!

The goats were a breeze. We simply walked into their pen, picked up 3, shoved them into the dog kennel in the back of the pickup, and we were off to town.

Now the 4-H scales are made for large animals--cattle, sheep, pigs. Not goats. So we had a challenge keeping the goats in the scale--they could crawl out between the bars. But, they got weighed, tagged, and put back into their kennel. The pigs cooperated. They unloaded, got weighed, and loaded again. After all, they are professionals now. No big deal.

Unloading at home was just as simple. Kevin backed the trailer up for me, we again used the shower door walls, and the stupid pigs simply walked into their pen. Stupid pigs.

And if anyone is curious--

Goats: Monkey, female, (the bottle baby) weighs 26 lbs. Fireheart, male, weighs 24 lbs. Chaps, male, weighs 36 lbs.

Pigs: Not named, but weights range from 100 lbs to 106 lbs. When we got them 6 weeks ago, they all weighed 50 lbs. (and I could pick them all up and carry them too!)

Stupid pigs.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


I went into the grocery store to get a few items. Walked down the beverage aisle to get some soda and noticed a young man, probably 16-18 wearing shorts and an oversized hoodie sweatshirt. He had just picked up two single bottles of Mt. Dew and turned away holding one in each hand. I thought that was a little odd, but shrugged it off because at times, I've carried bottles like that. He walked back towards the back of the store.

My next stop was the chip aisle. As I walked down it, and saw the same young man walking toward me only this time, the Mt Dew was not visible. I smiled at him, started to make conversation, but he wouldn't make eye contact. He picked up his pace and walked quickly right out the door.

It was then I wondered where the MT. Dew was.

From his body language, I'm certain they were in his pockets. And I stood ther wondering what I should do. Confront him? Contact management? I wasn't sure.

I know that the law says it isn't shoplifting until you are out of the store. But, as a private citizen, do I have the right to stop this other private citizen and accuse him of theft?

I thought about going to management, but by then, he'd have been long gone.

I truly was stunned and wasn't sure what to do. Asked a friend of mine who is in law enforcement. He said that concealing is considered shoplifting, and that since no member of management was near by (they weren't) then I really couldn't do anything. He did say I could have called it in, but chances of catching this kid would have been slim to none.

So, I guess I did the appropriate thing. But was it the RIGHT thing? Should I have stopped the kid, should I have told management? I felt so helpless, so uncertain. I don't like feeling that way. But I also don't like knowing that I saw someone steal and didn't do a thing.

Monday, May 08, 2006

My daughter is why I have gray hair. She's why I feel so stressed and inadequate as a parent. It's a gift she has. A talent. If she had been our first born, she'd have been our last. I swear!

Case in point:

She needed white tennis shoes for her dance recital. I picked some up Friday night before I came home from work. I got cheap Hanes sneakers. Thin soled, light weight, perfect for dancing and jumping in. And, if she never wore them again, not out much money.

Boy am I stupid.

She went ballistic. "These are U.G.L.Y. I'm NOT wearing them."

I tried reasoning, reminding her that she was going to wear them once. ONCE. I reminded her that she never wears tennis shoes. She gripes all winter long about tennis shoes. I mush have been hearing things, because I was informed that she LIKES tennis shoes, that I never buy her any cool or nice ones.


So, Saturday morning, before practice, we ran to Walmart, returned the shoes, and she picked out her own pair. Chunky, clunky, boys tennis shoes. For a dance recital.

Whatever. She wore them, was happy, and managed to dance reasonably well in them.

This morning, I wrote out the last lunch check for the school year. $78.00. For Kat's lunches.

I was a "little" hot about owing so much money. Monthly lunches are $35.00. Why do I owe $78.00? Because little miss "responsible" had lost her April lunch check.

"Is it in your trapper?"

"No. I swear Mom, I turned it in. I swear."

"let me see your trapper."

"You never believe me. I turned it in. It's NOT in my trapper."

"Let me see your trapper."

"NO. It's not there. I TURNED IT IN."

"Give me the trapper."

Looking in the trapper, I find the check. Wadded up, shriveled up in the bottom of her trapper, April's lunch check. "Kat, what's this?"

"Oh. I don't know how it got there, I swear I turned it in."

Of course she did.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

growing old

I've had a lot stewing in my mind the last couple of weeks. You see, I spent 2 days at home with my folks helping my Mother who is overwhelmed with caring for others right now.

She's got my Dad with a broken, non-weight bearing leg. She's got my grandparents. One with dementia the other who is physically ailing.

Grandpa had to go see the eye dr. about getting a cataract removed. Grandma, who has dementia, was to stay home, but can't stay at home. And Dad--wouldn't be able to pick her up if she fell, and she's always driven him nuts. So I was the designated babysitter. Mom of course, had to take Grandpa to the Dr.

It's an odd feeling knowing you are babysitting the person who babysat you 30 years ago. It's strange to have to finally admit that Grandma has dementia. It's really hard for me to admit and accept that my grandparents are at the end of their lives. In my mind, they were always going to be there. No doubt about it because, well, they always have been there.

I spent a lot of time with my grandparents. With all 4 grandparents, but more often with these two. They lived 5 miles away while Dad's folks were 20. When Mom worked in Ashland or at the Englewood post office, I went to Grandmas. We had a routine. Mornings were spent feeding the chickens, I played outside with the kittens. We worked in the garden (which I HATED.) We fixed lunch. After lunch, they both took naps in their recliners. I never napped, but HAD to be quiet. So, I usually read a book. Afternoons were filled with different chores, depended on the day. Then Mom would arrive, and we'd go home.
Tuesday afternoons were ceramics day. Several friends of Grandma's came out to work on their ceramics. Those ladies were mostly older than grandma. Most of her friends were older than she. I thought they were ancient. Most were probably in their 60's and 70's.

Fridays were egg delivery day--in the mornings. And after delivering eggs, Grandma would get her hair done at Mary's Cut 'N Curl. I liked and hated delivering eggs. At some houses, we'd stop and visit for a while. All OLD people. I can remember the smell of Mrs. Osborns house. Mothballs and something else. Never have placed that smell. Effie's house smelled warm and sunny. Mrs. Butts house was always dark. Ming's house was always messy. We always visited with the Osborns. Sometimes Mr Osborn would give me home made bread and butter. And he always gave me a piece of doublemint gum. We would stay there forever. At times, we'd visit with other ladies, but always the Osborns.

Monday's were often Dr day. Grandma has always been "sick". Always. I hated Dr day. We had to drive 30 miles to Laverne OK. to see Dr Lenz. Your appointment might be at9, but you might see him by noon. Of course, I had to sit and be quiet. I hated going to the Dr. And, of course, we'd always see someone who was related to us or who was from home. So lots of visiting.

But even then, I knew the routine, I knew my grandparents would always be there. They just would. Other people died, but not MY grandparents.

And, now they are dying. Slowly. And I know I need to come to terms with it. Grandma really isn't healthy anymore. Grandpa, once so big, and powerful, is now smaller than I am. It's not supposed to be that way. They aren't supposed to ever leave me.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Money woes

I'm going to turn into one of those old people who worry constantly about running out of money while having $40,000 or so in the checkbook.

I'm not there yet, but in another 30-40 years, I'll be there.

We spend our earnings pretty well right now, but every time I buy something, I worry about it costing too much, if I really need it, can I make it unti next payday, etc.

Here's an example. Miss Kat needed new shoes. So I bought some. And then, I worried about if she R.E.A.L.L.Y. needed them. I mean, duct tape can hold her old ones together, right? And, the Chinese figured it out centuries ago--just bind those feet and they'll stop growing. She could get by--I might need that money. Pay day is 3 days away. We've only got $400 in the account. What if I need that $15 that I spent on her shoes!

It's a sickness.

Payday was yesterday. I paid bills last night. We will go 2 more weeks till another pay day. And, I'm worried. All the bills are paid. But I might need to spend some money on an upcoming emergency. I don't want to go to the store and buy food. We might need to buy something more important. What the heck's more important than food???

Can't express my fear to Kev--he'll just rooollll his eyes and tell me to stop worrying. After all, we've got money in savings. If we have to, we'll pull some out temporarily. Logical? Yes. Calming? sorta. Shuts me up? Every time. Until next pay day.

Oh, yeah, Kel? You were right. I should have bought myself those crocs. I'm kicking myself now. But....what if I had needed that money? Then where would I be???

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Today was Job Shadowing day. Miss Kat came to work with me today. I wasn't sure what I'd do with her. It's not unusual for her to come to work. She comes here frequently after school. Granted, 4 p.m. is a very quiet time at a college library. Classes are primarily finished for the day, students are often working, or are relaxing. They do not generally come to the library at 4 p.m.

So, this morning, no studnets until after 10 a.m. Usually, I have several in between 8 and 10. Not today. But, I found plenty to keep her busy and maybe showed her how much work we usually do accomplish.

Kat got to open--turn on lights, computers, copiers, etc. I taught Kat how to cover new books. She covered a couple herself. Then she got to check in a couple of books and even reshelve. She realized how important that call number is, and she realized that she's too short to shelve books on our top shelf! She counted circulated items, and re-shelved magazines. She learned what microfiche is and what syllabbi are. She then got a short tour of the Math/Science building. It's the only one she wasn't familiar with. We were lucky--Pic was in the Chemistry lab and he showed her how to turn water into wine. That was probably the highlight of her morning.

I think Kat learned a lot. I know that I have a greater appreciation of the work I do every day and take for granted. I know I'm tired, from thinking of all the things to show her. It's habit, and takes a lot of energy to explain it all to a 10 year old. I think it was good for both of us. I'm glad it's over.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


I found this on Cowtown Stacy's blog. She's split evenly on the issues. I guessed that I wouldn't be...and I was right. The only problem with these quizzes is that they are so black and white and never really fit me completely. Like the question on owning guns--no hunting options given. So, it didn't really fit. Here's me--Politically in a nutshell.

Your Political Profile

Overall: 30% Conservative, 70% Liberal
Social Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Personal Responsibility: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal
Fiscal Issues: 25% Conservative, 75% Liberal
Ethics: 0% Conservative, 100% Liberal
Defense and Crime: 50% Conservative, 50% Liberal

How Liberal / Conservative Are You?

Morning chores

There's something special and fulfilling about doing chores. I fed the animals this morning, as Kev is off watching turkey and Andy didn't have school. Andy usually does the morning chores, as he is quicker about getting ready for school than his mother. I often do chores on the weekend, and share in the evening chores. I find I'm rather picky in how my young chicks are cared for, and just feel better when doing it myself.

But, this morning, I did all the chores. I got up earlier than normal, let the dogs out, then got myself ready for the day.

The first critters who get fed are the pesky cats. The outside cats. They have an instinctive knowledge of when you will exit the house, and all gather for breakfast. They all gather at the door and send a chorus of "meows" that isn't quite melodic or soothing. As I step outside the door, they twine their supple bodies around my feet, practically tripping me. That is probably their true intent--to trip me, causing me to spill their food, and in doing so, fill their hungry bellies. I perform my Pied Piper impression, shaking the feed can, enticing them all to follow me to the shop where I disperse their meal. While walking towards the shop, they continue twining themselves around my feet. It's a constant obstacle course.

Once the cats are cared for, it's off to the goats. Winter is a true Nubian. She is loud and can be annoying as she announces her hunger. Grabbing her grain, I quickly enter the pen. She rubs against me, encouraging me to hurry up and deposit her meal into the trough. She weighs around 130 lbs, and it's not necessarily easy to get around her to the trough. Once accomplished, I have another goat who now demands my attention by butting my legs. Miss Monkey quickly grabs her bottle and finishes it rapidly, while her siblings sniff me, nibble on my clothes, check out the bottle, etc. Then they decide to investigate what Mom is eating and maybe sneak in a drink while she's distracted.

The pigs are next on the list. Walking toward their pen, I scare up a pheasant who takes off to the west. No sign of the pigs as I enter the pen. They are snuggled up together inside the shed, sleeping in late this morning. But once they hear my voice, they come to investigate. No need to feed them, as they have a self feeder. I just check feed levels and water then exit the pen. Of course while checking, the pigs bless me by pressing their noses against my pant legs. Four pigs, pressing around one human. It's a very similar feeling to that of walking amidst the cats.

The only remaining animals are the chickens. Upon opening the door to the coop, I'm greeted by the 5 adult critters who dash into the clear morning sun. The chicks are cheeping in their brooder. It always surprises me to witness their panic every time I remove the "lid" on the brooder. I do it twice a day. In my mind, they should expect it. After all, I bring fresh water and food which they attack with ravish attention. I note that they are outgrowing their home and wonder when I can introduce them to the adult population. Today, I turn off the heat lamp for the first time. The temperature is forecasted to be 88. They are big enough, that a day without the heat lamp will do them good. And, soon, they will have to learn how to deal with the dark. As I leave the coop, I toss the adults some grain and take a few indulgent seconds to watch them scratch.

On the way back to the house, I take time to look around. The grass is greening up, weeds are popping out of the ground. The dew is heavy on the grass. There's wisps of fog sliding down the valleys of our gentle hills. The lilacs are budding. It looks, smells and sounds like spring. It's peaceful. It's beautiful. It's home.