Thursday, November 29, 2007
I hate having to send a note to the school for every cotton pickin' thing, but I know that notes from parents regarding their children's after school plans are important. I am the child who caused the "needing of notes."
One day, when I was in First Grade, I rode the bus from school in Ashland to Grandma and Grandpa B's house, in Big E. I thought that Mom had told me to go there. She'd evidently had me do it before, as I knew which bus to ride and I knew the bus driver, Fritz.
On this day, I remember marching out and getting on the bus; so grown up, so big, so confident and sure of myself. Fritz looked at me and said, "Why are you riding the bus today?" I replied confidently, "I'm going to Grandmas." He just shrugged his shoulders and I sat down, midway back by my friends.
We then traveled on to the High School, where my Aunt Sandy got on. She saw me and asked "Why are you here?" I replied just as confidently as before, "I'm going home with you."
When we got to Big E, the country kids got off the big bus and on to the little bus to go home. Grandpa drove the little bus. I too, got on the Country bus.
"What are you doing here?" He asked.
I remember being really tired of this question by now. After all, just what did they think I was doing? "I'm supposed to go to your house." By now, my confidence was slightly less, and I was beginning to wonder if I'd messed up, again.
So, he took me home, where we discovered I wasn't supposed to be there. Mom had already called Grandma and I was in trouble.
I don't remember a spanking, I don't remember the scolding that I probably, most definitely got from every single adult available, I don't remember any of that. I do remember feeling bad about making Mom drive all the way over to pick me up. But, I honestly felt like I was supposed to go to Grandma's.
I never did it again. But I'm pretty sure that I'm the reason all schools all over the country now require notes from parents for bus passes.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
- A subscription to Mother Earth News. I usually buy a copy at the grocery store and that's silly. So, I'd like a subscription.
- Crocs. Size 10. Some for winter, either Mammoth or just even some without holes in them. Color? Black, Tan, Navy, or Chocolate Brown.
- Sweaters. I love cable knit sweaters (v-neck, no turtlenecks please, I don't have a neck long enough for them not to choke me.) The last one I had wore out years ago. None in purple folks, it appears that most of my winter wardrobe consists of purple shirts.
- A subscription to Hobby Farms Home, or even just some issues, because I'm not sure you can subscribe to it yet. I've bought a few issues online, but that gets really expensive.
- A new chicken house. Since the property we bought doesn't have one, I don't get to bring my chickens with me. I'm going to miss fresh eggs, so I need a new chicken house.
- A Kitchen Aid Mixer. One on a stand that can handle bread dough. I've never had a really nice mixer and I've never had one with a stand, so I'd love a really good one.
- Lilac bushes. Our new property doesn't have any lilacs. I've got to have lilacs.
- Someone to help me unpack. We'll be in our new house by Christmas, and I'd really like to have it organized, and I'd like to be settled.
- Someone to help me pack. I had 4 days at home over Thanksgiving. We packed...not one single box. Not one.
- A new refrigerator. The new house doesn't have a fridge, so I need one. I've got it all picked out already, I just need someone to pay for it so I don't have to!
- New furniture for a living room. Kev and I bought some used furniture for our basement. It was a steal, but we hate the furniture. We've talked about some new for the new house. So, if someone would love to buy us new furniture, we'd be so very grateful, just let us pick it out!
I guess that's enough to help any of my family members. Now, if you want ideas for Kev or for the kids, well...
Kev would like, and will need, a chainsaw. I have no idea what one costs, but we will have a wood burning fireplace in the new house, so he'll need a chainsaw to cut wood for our fireplace. In the past, when he's needed one, he's borrowed one from Lynn or Bob, but since we can't convince either one to move with us, well, he needs his very own. Kev could also use some new work pants in Black and Navy. Call if you want to get those, I'll give the brand and the size. He'd also like that new furniture and the refrigerator...
Andy keeps telling me he wants a down payment on a car. Yeah, that's exactly what we said too. He could use shirts for school, Men's size large. The kid's shoulders are ridiculously wide. He listens to rock music now, but I have no idea who he likes, so can't help with CD's and such.
Miss Kat is the hardest person to buy for. She likes jewelry, art supplies, stuffed animals, books, etc. But, she's at that awkward age, she's not a teenager, but she's not a child either. She likes country music and would probably love any CD's of any female artist. She also likes Hanna Montana.
There, Christmas ideas for all of us, in writing, someplace that's relatively easy to locate...if you are online.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I boiled some noodles and then dumped some shrimp scampi over those freshly cooked noodles. Of course, the scampi was nuked, but not the noodles! I'm just so stinkin' proud of myself. Everyone, give me a round of applause and a pat on the back. Cause, I deserve it. I cooked.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
We made an offer on the house in Bucklin. Kevin and I cussed and discussed at length about it and about another house we looked at that was a possibility. We went over all the pros and cons of each, we went over each of my reservations on the Bucklin house. I had some on the other house, I just didn't get as emotional about it, because to me, it wasn't a real contender. So, we agreed on a price to offer.
I called the realtor and told her what we wanted to offer...and I told her it was low, but I wanted to test the waters. Then, I got a shock, she wanted to put the offer in writing. What! Ok, this is a new one for me...anytime we've made an offer on a house, and any time an offers been made on our houses, we do lots of negotiating verbally and then, and only then do we issue contracts. So, on our house in Colby, we went back and forth 3 times before anything was ever put in writing! Here, all offers are in writing. Holy cow, what a waste of paper!
So, our realtor decided to call the sellers realtor and ask if this offer was even worth putting on paper. He said yes, so I had to do paperwork yesterday and, I had to come up with earnest money. Oh, we have the money, that wasn't an issue, but...well...you see, I'm here without a checkbook. I've been using our debit card for all my purchases. And, the amount of earnest money I needed was over my daily limit.
Fortunately, I got my first paycheck from the new job yesterday, so I thought I could just use it to open a local account and write a check for the earnest money. But, the bank I went to said they wouldn't have checks for me till today. And they wouldn't cash my check and just sell me a money order. So, I had to go to the bank where the college banks. They'd cash the check, but wouldn't sell me a money order. Yeah, didn't make sense to me either. So, I cashed the check, felt nervous about carrying around that much cash, and ran to Wally world to get a money order. Then back to the Realtors office.
We went over the contract, I signed it, got a copy for Kev to sign and then we'll fax it in to the sellers realtor tomorrow, or Friday, probably Friday. And, I'm sure they'll counter, and we'll probably counter again. But all will require more signatures and more paper. Sheesh. What a nightmare and waste.
We've been pre-approved for a considerable amount of money. I filled out two online loan applications, one for approximately the price of this house, and one for much more, trying to see what our price range was (since no one would tell me....) Anyway, once the bank saw the higher amount that was "pre-approved" by the system, their whole demeanor changed. I find that rather interesting, when we were applying for a modest loan, we were treated one way, but when we applied for a significantly higher amount, and then approved, well, we were treated with much more respect. Interesting. Very Interesting.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
He said, "sure," and handed me a check he'd received that day. It was his final settlement check from a local CoOp that had gone out of business. They finally made their final payment to the shareholders. Daddy's share was a whopping 16 cents.
Isn't he a wonderful dad, he just handed over that entire check. Wow, that will do so much for me. Now I can buy a piece of bubblegum. Maybe a sucker. I can call and make a bid on that house today!
I guess I should appreciate his willingness to share his cash cow with me, his only daughter. And, since it's a gift NOW, I won't have to split it with my brother. I'm sure he'd be heartbroken not to get his 8 cents. But after all, I'm Dad's favorite...daughter.
Aren't Daddys great?
Monday, November 19, 2007
While dream shopping, we set up certain criteria....
- The master bedroom and master bath would be on the main floor. (so we could live here well into our twilight years and not have to go up and down stairs.)
- The children's rooms would be at the opposite end of the house. (mainly to give us parents privacy.)
- The floor plan would be open, meaning, while I was cooking in the kitchen, I could see the family, talk to the family, order family members around, etc, all in one open area.
Well, the house we looked at in Bucklin was much appreciated by Kevin, Andy, Kat...but not me. Oh, it's a nice house and all, and it has a large shower and master bath (with jacuzzi tub), it has a wood burning fireplace, nice sized rooms, finished basement, 2 car garage, but...
Those three criteria listed above? None of them were applied to this house. The kitchen opens to the dining room, but no other room. The Living room is small. The bedrooms are smaller than our bedrooms. The house is sitting on the edge of a hill and they built a walkout basement, and use that basement entrance as the main entrance of the house. To go upstairs, the main floor, you HAVE to go "up...stairs." All bedrooms are at the same end of the house. The garage is in the basement. This is a house where you have to live on both levels. And, a huge concern for me is...the house is entirely electric.
Electric furnace, electric water heater, electric stove. How on earth am I supposed to can, to preserve our garden if I can't use a pressure cooker? (Yes, I know someone is saying "I can on my electric stove, what's the deal?" Well, the deal is the stove has a flat, ceramic top. Those don't sustain the high temperatures and the weight. And, I've done the research, if your water bath pot is not flat on the bottom, well, it won't work either.)
So, I have reservations. No one else does, but I do. My poor husband, he doesn't know what to do with me. He's trying to be understanding and supportive, but doesn't understand my reservations. This is the best one we looked at, and I'm the one with the big reservations. He doesn't have any, he's being so adaptable and is looking at what he could do with this place, and thinking and planning. But, I'm dragging my feet and stalling. And...and...and, sigh, we'll probably buy the darn house and I'll just have to adapt. But it's hard, being the odd man out. It's hard because we are usually in accord, we usually agree and have the same concerns, the same ideas, the same vision. And this time, we don't. It is my fault that we are looking at a new house, and moving anyway. So, I'll probably give on this, not willingly, but I probably will give.
Friday, November 16, 2007
We will be driving to Bucklin, Dodge, and Cimarron. It will take most of the day. Which means that I won't have to go to the Berends Thanksgiving. I have mixed feelings about that...
Right now, all I can think about is finding someplace to live. I have all these pro's and con's of different locations, schools, etc. rolling through my head. It's enough to drive me mad.
I looked at the house in Bucklin online...it looks like US. But, do I want to live in Bucklin? It's an hour away from my folks, an hour away from where we'd like to hunt, but it's a small town, good schools, etc.
I looked at a house in Cimarron online. We aren't looking at this one tomorrow simply because it's about, oh, $100,000 above our price limit. But, it's drop dead gorgeous. It says "Shell, you need to live in me, look at my hickory cabinets, my rough paneling, my rustic feel...I love you Shell, come live with me..." I, on the other hand, keep drooling at the pictures and lusting after the gourmet kitchen with it's granite countertops and hickory cabinets and its fireplace, and I fight off the temptation of this house saying, "no, no, beautiful dream house, you are much to expensive. If I buy you, I'll have to pawn off at least one of my children, and maybe have to sell my body to...to...well, maybe I'd better rob a bank, but I can't afford you beautiful house, leave me alone. I'm not even going to ask to look at you!" But I really want to. If we looked at this house, I'd have to ask for an advance on my inheritance, but since my folks and Kev's folks are spending it, well, I don't think either would come up with the money to help us buy this house.
Two houses we're looking at were just listed this week. One North of Dodge, one South (I think, mapquest can't find it's address.) So, maybe, out of these 6-7 houses we can find one that will be ours. Maybe one of these houses will make me lusty, just like that expensive place in Cimarron. Maybe...
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Your dominant hues are green and blue. You're smart and you know it, and want to use your power to help people and relate to others. Even though you tend to battle with yourself, you solve other people's conflicts well.
Your saturation level is very low - you have better things to do than jump headfirst into every little project. You make sure your actions are going to really accomplish something before you start because you hate wasting energy making everyone else think you're working.
Your outlook on life is very bright. You are sunny and optimistic about life and others find it very encouraging, but remember to tone it down if you sense irritation.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
It was right at 6 p.m., almost dark. Those stupid deer were being typical deer, and were playing Chicken across the highway. Several crossed the road in front of me, but one didn't make it across. She stood there waiting for me to get closer. I, however, had figured her little strategy out. I slowed down, so when she tried to play chicken with me, and ran out in front of me, well, it wasn't much of a contest, because I didn't even come close to hitting her. I'll bet she lost points for that one. She ran across to all the other deer, and then, right behind me, they went back across the highway; probably waiting for the next driver behind me. Stupid deer.
About a mile down the road, there were more Muleys, but they crossed sedately and calmly and headed out to the field for supper. These must have been the adults, much too sophisticated and too mature to play a silly game like Chicken. Of course, this group included a nice big daddy buck, so maybe all the girls were toeing the line and behaving themselves, not wanting to get in trouble. Maybe. I was grateful. While I've hit deer with a car before, it's not a pleasant experience and one I'm hoping to avoid as long as possible.
But, I'll admit, I enjoy spotting them during my drives.
Monday, November 12, 2007
Mom and Daddy drove me out to a potential place last night. It has potential, but needs a tremendous amount of work and no basement. It's a manufactured home, which is a drawback, but it's cheap, cheap, cheap. It's farther from the highway than I'd like, but it's cheap, cheap, cheap. It has an old barn that might be salvageable and an old house on it too which needs to be torn down. It has a view of pasture and not just fields. There are neighbors within 2 miles, but it's real isolated. Kev and I need to look at it. Of course, it's in foreclosure and we can't see the interior yet, so will have to wait a couple of weeks.
I've also got a call into a realtor today. His speciality is rural properties. Hope he has one for us.
I drove home this weekend. Seems like weekends go quickly. I got home around 8 p.m. Friday night and got up before 5 a.m. on Saturday to go hunting with Kev and "the boys", meaning Lynn and Gene. I can't hunt, as I didn't get a permit this year, but I took my camera, hoping to see some action. It is rut, so I wanted to see something!
At 5 till 8, I watched Kev shoot a nice buck. A nice big bodied buck, who happened to be following a doe and her fawn. I saw Kev shoot, I saw the buck fall, less than 30 yards away from where he was shot. The "girls" weren't concerned or frightened off and came across the river and down in front of me. I hope I got some great shots, lighting might have been an issue, but they messed around a long time before running off. Heck, Kev and I even talked across the river while they were there! If I had been able to hunt, we'd have had two deer in the freezer.
After helping Kev start to gut his buck, I drove back to pick up Lynn and Gene. I walked in to meet Lynn and scared up a covey of quail. They were right at my feet. Scared me half to death! In fact, they scared me so badly, I had to check to see if I'd wet my pants. Then, I scared up a bunch of pheasant. Lynn and I figured that the covey of quail probably had 30 birds in it and we guessed that we scared up that many pheasant. I know I counted over 7 cock pheasants.... at least they didn't scare me as badly as those stinkin' quail!
Miss Kat went to a friends birthday party, Andy had to work, so Kev and I had lots of alone time. We even went out to supper alone, just the two of us! Went home, for some snuggle time on the couch, and I was asleep by 8:30. Some date I am! I slept until after 7 the next morning. That is so unlike me!
Sunday, I did laundry, we cooked lunch, I helped Miss Kat with her rabbits, then we signed papers and I drove back down.
Every activity was quick, and over all to soon.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
In Colby, we weren't related to anyone. No cousins, in-laws, no nothin'. It was just us.
But here, it's going to be different, we are close to MY family and we will be related to people in the various communities surrounding Dodge.
I got a glimmer of what might be in store when Kev had his interview, and his potential boss pointed to a picture on the wall at the hospital and asked Kev if she was a relative. "She" happens to be one of my cousins, who is a Dr. in town. "She" is also the one cousin who looks the most like me, except she's probably 50 lbs lighter, and 8 years younger...but, we both have the Woodruff red hair (even IF mine comes from a bottle now...)and we both resemble Grandma W the most, but I don't think we look THAT much alike, that someone would know we were related!
It started sinking in more last week, on day 2 of my new job...I got a call from a friend, who used to live in Colby. She invited me to lunch and then said, "Your cousin is so excited that you're here, so do you care if she comes to lunch."
My initial reaction was astonishment and some confusion. Astonishment at my thoughts, which were "Holy cow, I have family here." Then confusion, as I tried to figure out which cousin she was talking about...Tonya? who else? Then she cleared it up by saying "I work with Stacy."
Oh, THAT cousin! I mean, i have over 20 first cousins and oodles and oodles of others, at least this narrowed that one down.
Then today, day 5 on the job, I met one of the ladies in the Business Office, who asked: "So are you the one who's related to Woody?"
Gulp! "Yes, he's my Dad." Her husband is friends with my Dad. Scary! Weird! I'm-gonna-have-to-watch-my-step!
Now, In Colby, I got used to asking friends, who were natives, just who was related to whom and tried to keep that all straight, now, I'm one of those who's related to several people and families in the area...it's gonna take some getting used to.
Kev and Lynn and Andy have been going out. Kev's shot a couple of deer, but not good shots, so he hasn't recovered either deer. He's not happy with himself, because he IS a better shot than that, so he's promised to practice and check out to see if his bow was knocked out of alignment.
Andy wants to shoot with his recurve bow this year, but he can't find it. "Dad" (Kev) borrowed his bowcase for the big Elk trip, so Andy had to empty it, and now, he can't find his bow. He accused me of giving it to Gregg, my co-instructor for 4-H archery, when I gave him all the 4-H stuff. My feeling is Andy needs to look, and if he thinks Gregg might have it, then he can call Gregg and ask! I don't think it was in that group of bows, but what do I know?
Daddy asked my opinion on letting the Virginia hunter hunt the farm and The Hill. He offered to pay Daddy $750, if he got a big buck on either property. Nice to be asked, but it also made me sad to think that I'm not hunting!
We've hunted at the farm, but never on The Hill. I think The Hill would be a great spot, cause we've found lots of rubs and tracks there, so I know it would be a great spot to hunt, and I want to hunt it. We plan on putting in some food plots since we will be hunting here in the future. I hope to spend more time out there, scouting and cleaning up both areas some. We'll see, cause I know how life sometimes gets in the way of what we "want" to do!
the farm= my Granddad Woodruff's place in rural Meade County. It's a beautiful spot on a creek with lots of hills and trees and it's remote and is very special to me. My Great-grandfather, Harvey Woodruff settled there in 1890, survived some fencing disputes and feuds. I'll blog about it sometime. Grandma and Grandad moved in the house in the 1930's and lived there till 1973, when a tornado struck. Daddy inherited that quarter section, so we call it "the farm". (It's really not a farm, cause it's all pasture.)
The Hill= My Grandpa Berend's place in rural Clark County. Locals call it "Starvation Hill;" we've always just called it "the Hill." Cause it's on a high point in that area. Looks over pasture ground and you can see Oklahoma from there (not really a big deal, cause it's only a mile from the border!) I don't remember them living on the Hill, but I remember my Great Uncle living there. The house needs to come down, but it's a great hunting spot, with the tree rows for shelter and the gullys and valleys surrounding it.
But that morning drive is actually nice--not sure how it will be in nasty weather, but for now, it's rather nice.
I really dislike the evening drive home tho. I'm tired and just want to get home and relax, but I have to fill the pickup up with gas every evening and then, by the time I get home, it's dark. But I'm not enjoying that evening drive at all. As I drive, I think that I need to be looking for some property, maybe drive by one or two that Mom and Dad have mentioned, but it's getting dark, and I'm tired. I'm more lonely then too. So, that's when I call home to talk to my family. It's still not long enough, and we don't have really good conversations, but that's when we can talk.
So, other than the cost of fuel, the drive isn't too bad.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Now, I can blog about living away from my family, about looking for a new home, about getting up at the ungodly hour of 6 a.m. and leaving for work at 7 a.m. to be there by 8 a.m. And, i can blog about "living" in my grandparents almost-empty house without TV and good radio reception with a neurotic cat. And, i can blog about missing my family. Cause I do miss them.
The worst part of this new job/new home is being away from my family. I don't have a phone--other than my cell phone, and it doesn't work in the big town of Englewood, so when I'm "at home," I can't talk to anyone on the phone. And there are at least 2 dead spots between Dodge and "Big E", so talking then is disappointing. So, Mom has offered my her cell phone if I want to call home in the evenings, since, as she put it, Kev and I are "attached at the hip" and have to talk to each other daily. I have yet taken her up on her offer. Ha! So there Mom!
The second worst part is, I'm lonely. Yeah, my folks are 1.5 blocks away, but I get up in the dark and get home in the dark, and so far, I've been tired, so haven't felt like barging in on them at night, and then there's the cat...my cat, who is adjusting at this new house, but isn't necessarily enjoying all her alone time either, so I go home to her and silence. But, this weekend, I brought back a TV and stereo and some DVD's and CD's. The stereo doesn't get any radio reception and I wonder how long I'll be happy with watching or listening to DVD's at night. I keep telling myself that I'll clean the house, cause it NEEDS cleaning, but haven't done any of that yet...
The third worst part is about Grandma's house. It's old and it stinks. The grandparent's hadn't been good about keeping on top of cleaning. I washed out one cabinet in the kitchen and cleaned off the counters, but there is lots and lots of mouse poop in that kitchen. I need to empty everything, wash all the dishes they left behind and scrub cabinets. I need to do that in every room. It's not a big house, but it's not a small house. I'm not real comfortable going over everything that's still there. And, I don't feel like I can make it "my" home, even if it is for a short term.
The absolute worst part is, I miss my family. I miss seeing them, talking to them, even yelling at them :) I miss them terribly. And, I keep telling myself that other folks do this separation thing all the time, we will get through this! But I still miss them.