Thursday, August 28, 2008

big ole' honkin' zit

I am 44 years old. And, today, I have a big ole' honkin zit on my face. And it is really bugging me. I can see it if I look under my glasses, or if I look down at something. It's Huge!

Now why, why do I have a big honkin' zit? Haven't I outgrown them by now?

I thought zits disappreared when you hit that magic age of 20.

But they didn't.

Then I thought they'd disappear by the time I hit 30.

No such luck.

40? Surely by 40, that's middle age for cryin' out loud! No more zits at 40.

I'm shootin for 45. Surely, surely by then, I'll be done with zits.

With my luck, I'll be the only old lady in the nursing home with zits. Probably big honkin' zits. Nurses will point me out to my family by stating, "She's having trouble with her acne today, the poor dear."

I wonder if I'll care by then.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The pond project part 1

The picture above is part of our "remodeling project" aka the ongoing pond project aka Kevin's folly aka how-much-money-will-this-cost aka the money pit.

Just kidding. But this has been Kev's summer project, and it has taken A.L.L. summer. Kev's putting in two ponds and landscaping the hill that's on the north side of our house. Our house has been here 10 years, and no one ever figured out what to do with this hill. Kev has a vision. I'm starting to see it, but it's still a work in progress...

See what he's done so far!

We wanted steps leading up to the front of the house instead of everyone thinking they have to go to the basement door. And, the doorbell is up on the deck, not at the basement door. So, Kev dug out the hill and put in these steps. We had to frame them, then we filled in the frames with some red dirt from the farm. Finally, the steps themselves are flagstone.
This is a closer view of what we did to fill in the space between the steps and the pond. The rock is moss rock. The big rock in front is the one I bought Kev. We were going to use it for the waterfall, but he didn't like it. instead, we moved it here, and have other moss rock stacked behind the big rock. Kev got this rock from the Ranch where Dad works. There's lots more when we need it... The cat is stalking a frog.
This view is from the chicken house looking up towards the front of the house. Here you see the wall that Kev built. It levels things out and is part of the pond wall. The rocks in front are probably going to be more strategically placed later...when and if we ever finish. Note, there's a shorter wall above to the right side. It is where we are putting the firepit and our bench.
Looking down from the deck at the big pond. The bucket to the right is the approximate site of the waterfall.
This one is the little pond and the stream. The water will run from this pond, down the stream, over the waterfall and into the big pond. The rocks lining the upper edge in this photo are cleache rocks that we got from Dad's farm. The river rock in the stream came from there too, and some came from walks down the road by our house.

This last photo is looking towards the little pond with our bench to the far left. Our bench will look over the big pond and we will be able to watch the water go over the waterfall. We've still got a lot of work to do...bury the hose, fill in the ponds with more river rock, get more rock for the outside edges, plant some plants next spring, get water plants and some fish. I'm not sure what else Kev has planned...this is his project, I'm just the underpaid laborer.

Actually, Kev's done most of the work on this project. I've helped set rock and I've helped pick up rock, but this is HIS project. It's his vision. I'll keep you posted...if it ever get's finished.

a glimpse

Last night was Open House at the school. The kids didn't feel that we needed to meet all their teachers, but we did need to go attend a football meeting and a volleyball meeting. So, we went.

Nothing too exciting or out of the ordinary at these sports meetings. But I do like the fact that the volleyball coach told the parents that some of her 8th graders would be sitting on the bench because they didn't seem to want to work, and had the belief that they'd be playing just because they were 8th graders. She said that wasn't her philosophy, and that she'd be substituting a lot so that those girls who were working got to play and so she could see who performed well in whichever spot.

I like that kind of attitude, that the kids who play are the kids who work hard. I hate going to sporting events where the kids who are playing are those with the "right" last name. Colby was really bad about that. Apparently, Bucklin isn't.

The best part of the evening was watching Andy interact with other parents, his teachers, his coaches and little kids. Since he was a lifeguard this summer, he got to know just about everyone in town. We saw Andy with a little 2 year old boy on his hip, talking to the little boy's mom. We saw Andy greet his former Basketball coach (who isn't coaching this year) with one of those fancy-schmancy hand shakes and a pat on the back.

Watching him, we caught a glimpse of the man he's becoming. We saw people enjoy visiting with him, laughing with him. We saw people seek him out, just to say "hi".

And, that was my thought...he's becoming a man, and he's going to be a good man. It was one of those heart-swelling moments, cause he's almost there. Kev and I are almost done with our part...he's going to be a good man. That's been our goal, to raise him to be a good man.

Now, we just have to survive his sister's puberty. sigh.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Larry's baby

I had a really odd dream last night. It was one of those that was so vivid you think it's really happening. And, yet, it wasn't.

Last night, I dreamed that I was pregnant, but thought that the baby belonged to...

Larry the Cable guy.

Oh, and, I was married to Kevin. Evidently I'd had an affair, except I kept saying to my dream..."I don't remember sleeping with Larry." "Why don't I remember sleeping with Larry?" "Why would I sleep with Larry?"

And, Larry was excited about me having his baby. He bought "us" a nice big family car. He talked about this baby all the me and to Kevin.

Kev was sad that I was having a baby with Larry, but he didn't get mad. He was very supportive.

Finally, in the dream, we somehow went for a sonogram...and the tech said "It is due on April 10." Then, Kev and I started hugging and crying together, cause it was HIS baby, not Larry's.

Poor Larry was brokenhearted. But, even then, at the end of the dream, I thought ..."I really don't remember ever sleeping with Larry."

Weird isn't it.

When I woke up this morning, I hugged Kev and said, "I'm so glad the baby is yours."

Gave him quite a start! And then I told him about my dream.

Monday, August 18, 2008

cleaning up memories

This past weekend was the second weekend in our "Clean-up from hell."

I think it will take one more weekend.

One more weekend, and one more dumpster. Construction sized dumpster. Industrial sized dumpster.

My Mom, my Aunt, and I (with our not 100% willing spouses) have been cleaning up Grandma and Grandpa's place. They lived at that house in town since 1975. They brought to town a 1950 something trailer house which they parked behind the house. They'd had the trailer since 1967 or 1968...somewhere in there.

The trailer, while it was in the country, was used as bedrooms for Grandma, Grandpa and Sandy. It was also bought to give the family indoor plumbing--the first they had ever had. (I have vague memories of going "potty" in the outhouse, so I know they got it after I was born.) Anyway, when they moved to town, the trailer came with them because Grandma was going to use it for her Ceramic Shop. And, she did. It's a 55 x 10 trailer. Pink. The appliances were all pink. The ceramic shop was in the former kitchen/living room area. One bedroom, a teeny-tiny room, was Grandma's sewing room. One room was where the greenware was kept, and the Master bedroom was used for storage.

Our accomplishment this weekend was cleaning out the trailer. It still had 40 years worth of ceramics and paint and brushes and magazines and greenware, and bisque and molds. We've tried to find homes for the greenware and molds, but we couldn't find any takers. We want to be done with the cleaning and the sorting and the throwing away. So, we decided to break the molds and greenware and dispose of it all.

And, actually, it was kinda fun, purposely breaking stuff. There's a wicked sort of satisfaction in being allowed to break something.

We just didn't allow ourselves to think of how much money had been spent on some of those molds. And, with many of those molds, we remembered having those items in our homes. But, we couldn't find the molds a new home, so, out they went.

But, we weeded that trailer down to 4 boxes of stuff. And believe me, that was quiet an accomplishment. It was dirty, nasty work too...well, except for breaking stuff. Well, ok, it was dirty was mud and clay after all.

The trailer, while a good one in it's day, has lived it's life. The roof leaks, in fact, it had leaked on some of the greenware, which was a mass of miss-shapen unidentifiable things...think Swamp Thing. All the windows have leaked, the floor was rotten in 2 rooms. (Wayne almost went through the floor in the bathroom.) It's in awful shape. At one time, we thought it could be pulled out of there, but not any more. If anyone tried to haul it out, it would come apart.

Next step is to find someone to tear it down. (that's Daddy's job.)

While we girls were working on the trailer, with occasional help from the men-folk. The men-folk were finishing up with the garage. Between the two groups, we filled up another dumpster.

Then, we went back into the house. sigh.


The trailer was bad enough, but the house...sigh.

It takes a lot of time to sort through 66 years of memories. And, to top it off, we had to deal with not only Grandma and Grandpa's stuff, but Aunt Flo's stuff too.

Aunt Flo, wasn't really an aunt, but a family friend. Grandma and Grandpa bought her house when she died from her heirs. They left 2 bedroom sets, a dining room set, and most of her kitchen stuff. They left pictures on the walls, books, you name it, they left it.

Which left us with also cleaning up Aunt Flo's stuff.

But, Mom and Sandy have decided to leave the dining set, and some shelves. We're leaving the washer and dryer, the deep freezer, the refrigerator and...heck, I can't remember what all we are leaving.

But, none of us have room. The other grandkids don't have room. There's not enough for a sale. And, to be honest, we don't care about making money.

We just want to be done. We want June and Olen (cousins) to have the house. And, we want to be done. But we aren't.

We've got one more weekend. sigh.

Friday, August 15, 2008

we're bad people part 2

Another reason why we are bad people...

we don't watch the 10 o'clock news.

Instead, we go to bed.

Heck, we don't even watch the 6 o'clock news.

We might watch the 6:30 a.m. news...well, Kev does, I don't.

We get most of our news on the radio. I do listen to it every morning at 6 a.m.

So, since we don't watch the news, we also don't watch Letterman, or Leno, or anything like that. Sorry, we don't.

Just another reason why we are bad people.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

We're bad people

I'm a bad person. My family are also bad...

I'm sure many of you will gasp in shock and surprise.

See...we haven't watched any of the olympics.

That's really bad, isn't it. I think we're probably the only people in America who haven't watched one thing. Not one.

Well...I did catch a glimpse of the archery competition the other day when I went to pick Kev up, but he was ready to go, so all I caught was a glimpse, so it really doesn't count.

In our defense...we just haven't been watching TV.

Over the weekend, Miss Kat and I went shopping with Mom. No TV.

On Monday, I put up Peaches. No TV.

Tuesday night, I helped Kev do something outside. I think we messed with his ongoing pond project. No TV.

Last night, I did laundry, and looked for some paperwork that I need. (short version, haven't made a tractor payment in 2 months, cause we haven't gotten a monthly statement. I called the loan company, Kev called, and they can't find us in the system. Me, I lost the account number. But, they still can't find us. So what does that mean??? I'm trying to pay them, but they don't seem to want my money. So, I spent 3 hours going through every pile of paperwork we have, I found paperwork for vehicles we no longer own, paperwork on two houses we don't own, I found everything...but nothing on the tractor.)

So, anyway, no TV.

Call the cops, have us hauled away, cause we have to be Bad Americans simply because we aren't watching the Olympics.

Monday, August 11, 2008


Today was the first day of school for my kids.

Today was Andy's first day of his Senior Year.

Today, like every other first day of school, I had the kids pose in front of the front door.

Today was the first time that Andy willingly posed.

Today was the last time that Andy will pose for his first day of school.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Old Maid

For some reason, I've been thinking about being an "Old Maid" lately. In our family, I was an "Old Maid." Seriously, I was. I was 31 when I got married. In my family, and in the culture of my teeny tiny town, I was an old maid. A well educated Old Maid, but, still, an Old Maid.

My mother was 19 when she got married. Her mother was 19 when she got married. Her mother was 18 or 19 when she got married. I haven't checked farther back recently, no need to. And, to top it off, my Aunt Sandy, Mom's baby sister, was...yep, 19 when she got married.

On Dad's side...his oldest sister was 21 when she got married. The next brides were 18 and 19 (they married my Dad's brothers). Then 18, and 18 and then the last boy before Daddy got married. His bride was all of 16. My Grandma was 19 when she married Grandad. Her mother was also under 20 when she married.

Of all my cousins--who were older than I. All the girls were 18-21 when they got married. ALL of them. (and there's like...20 of them?) I had one cousin, my age, who also chose to get married one week after she turned 16. (and no, she wan't pregnant, they waited 10 years to have kids. She's still happily married to the same man today.)

So, I really was an Old Maid.

It was hard being 18, 19, 20, and not even having any prospects for marriage. Don't get me wrong, I was happy with my life. I wanted to get my education and make a good life for me. I didn't have to have a man to make me happy, but it was somewhat uncomfortable knowing that everyone was asking, and wondering if I'd ever get married. And, to be honest, I was too.

I got tired of the casual question, "So, is there someone special yet Shelly Jo?" And, I got tired of saying "Nope, not yet."

It was hard watching my cousins and friends find mates and start families. Some, I could see were happy. Other's, well, others shouldn't have gotten married, and most of them have divorced.

I fortunately, didn't feel that I had to be married to be "fulfilled." Don't get me wrong, I wanted to be married, I wanted to have someone think that I was special, I just wasn't finding it. My parents never never pushed me into finding someone just to get married. I'm sure, if I had felt that I just had to be married, I would have found someone. Lots of people do. But, I just didn't meet anyone who really interested me. I liked some guys, felt very attracted to a couple, took one home to meet the parents (who really disliked him) and felt lots of frustration trying to figure out this relationship stuff. But, I just didn't find someone who made me think they were worth marrying or even getting serious about, or trying to make "it" work.

Till Kev anyway. And believe me, I worked damn hard to keep him in my life! And, there were times I wondered if he was worth the effort.

But, back then...I remember wondering if I'd ever meet "Mr. Right." And I remember thinking there must be something wrong with me. Surely there must be someone who wanted me.

Hindsight is 20/20. And, looking back, I can see that the boys/men I dated just weren't right for me. And, instinctively, I must have felt that, just as instinctively I felt that Kev was right for me...even if he did take some convincing. (Ok, it wasn't necessarily convincing he needed, just re-assurance that he wouldn't get hurt again, and he needed to let go of his fears.)

So. I was an Old Maid. But, I learned how to take care of myself. I learned -- I really learned what I wanted in a man and what I didn't want. I learned how to be happy with myself, and that no man could make me be happy if I wasn't already happy. I learned that I didn't want a man who wanted me to change. He needed to like me--faults and strengths. I learned that I didn't want to change him. I watched married couples. I saw what made their relationships work, and what killed relationships. I learned that children didn't necessarily make you happier, and that they didn't keep a marriage together. And, I think that all I did and saw and experienced was good for me. And, I'm an OK person too...even if I was an Old Maid.

Monday, August 04, 2008

brushes with the Rodeo

We went to the rodeo again last night. It was the final night, so we saw who the winners were for all the events.

One highlight for me was seeing Miss Rodeo America, Amy Wilson. Amy is from Colby. She was a fellow 4-Her and she went to College at CCC and frequented the library where I worked. In fact, I helped her get a lot of her contest applications filled out--for both the Miss Kansas Rodeo and Miss Rodeo America. Yep, she won both of those contests all due to me helping her get her applications printed and returned in a timely fashion. She owes her fame to me!

Seriously, Amy is a beautiful young woman. She's one of 6 kids. One handsome brother and 4 sisters (who are all drop dead gorgeous. And, one is Andy's age. But would he "go" for her??? The kid has got to start letting his mother pick out his women!) Homeschooled. Devout Christian. Nice person. Pretty. Skinny. And, she's a super nice person too. Yeah, I hate her too.

The final event is the bull riding of course. Its most people's favorite event. Not mine, cause I've watched too many guys that I know get hurt. But, one of the riders was the son of one of my classmates. Holy cow. I almost have a brush with a famous person! Man, she has to be older than me, cause my son isn't old enough to ride bulls professionally. She and I started kindergarten together and went to school together for 12 years, but she must have been held back or something, cause I'm not old enough to have a kid in the PRCA, so for her to have a kid in the PRCA, she has to be older, right??? Yeah. I think so too. She's way older than I am...