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!