Friday, December 19, 2008

In the news today

Our leading headline:

I am a mother once again.

Today, I was delivered 25 Buff Orpington chicks. All girls. (I hope.) Of course I haven't seen the girls yet, Andy picked them up at the Post Office. They are currently in their pen in the garage. We're using a temporary brooder which is a plastic tote with sawdust in the bottom and a heat lamp hanging above. we don't have the electricity hooked up to the Chicken house, so can't put the babies out there yet. And with this cold spell, they will be better off in the garage where it doesn't get very cold.

I'm glad they arrived today, because while I still have to work today, the kids are out of school for their Christmas Break and are at home to watch over the babies. I just love babies...

In the entertainment world today

Kev and I are very lucky. We happen to be friends with "The Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie of the Mennonite world!" I know, isn't that exciting? My brush with fame! See, we carpool with "Brad". He works with Kev. (We went to his wedding reception last April.) Brad is a really nice guy and talks all.the.time on his cell phone as we drive back and forth to work. On Monday, he was visiting on the phone with a buddy and he's the one who christened himself and his wife as "Brad and Angelina." And, with their busy schedule and social life, I understand completely what he means, because someone is always inviting them somewhere.

As a part of his faith, Brad doesn't have a radio in his car. And sometimes, since we carpool, I have his car once we are in town. I have it today. While I don't miss the radio, I do miss him having a clock in the car. And, Brad's unreasonably tall, so I have to pull his seat forward in order to drive that darn car. Today, I'm returning some library books for Brad. Since I have the car and all, it's only fair that I do errands for him. You can just call me "Brad's personal assistant." (Be sure to tell all your friends that you actually know someone who works for "The Brad Pitt of the Mennonite World." That's my gift to you, a little brush of fame all your own.

In library news today

It's the last day of the semester. I will be off until January 5. I have lots of things I want to get accomplished on my days off. However, realistically, most of them won't get accomplished. Today is extremely quiet, as students finished up yesterday. Two days ago, I bought some new DVD titles for our collection. Right now, they are all at my house, waiting for me to "preview" them to make sure all work. (That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!) One title I bought was Mama Mia. Miss Kat and I will have to watch that some time when Kev isn't home. He's not really into Musicals, but Miss Kat and I enjoy them. (Well, we both love Grease and Chicago, but I don't really care for the High School Musical ones.) Maybe I can teach her to jam to Abba tunes. Wouldn't that be a riot!

In Christmas news today

I'm almost done. I need one more thing for Andy, and I have to pick up another gift today. While I bought stationary for a Christmas's still unopened. Maybe I can get that done this weekend.

In basketball news

We have a game tonight. Miss Kat's game last night was cancelled. Andy's doing really well and we're enjoying his last season of ball. I've gotten the proofs for his Senior Pictures too, and really need to get my butt in gear and get them ordered. He cleans up real well. And, he had some taken with his Shotgun and his bow. I really like a couple of those. (Does this make us rednecks?)

That's all of the news today folks. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Men stuff vs. Mom stuff

We are currently in a nasty cold spell right now.

Andy's pickup won't start, but "we" haven't found the stuff to thaw the gas line or whatever is wrong. Actually, "we" haven't looked at the pickup to see what's wrong.

So, yesterday and today, he's driven the diesel. Diesels don't like cold weather. They made it fine yesterday. Today, at 7:55 a.m. I get a phone call:

"Mom, we're here on the highway on the hill just outside of town. The pickup died. I got it off the road, but what do I do?"

"Call the school, see if someone can pick you up and call your father."

Me thinks that "we" should have put the stuff in the gas tank to keep the diesel from gelling.
Me thinks that "we" should have looked at the other pickup last night.
Me thinks that this is a man thing, and not a "Mom" thing.
Me wonders why they always call MOM when something goes wrong.

Wanna bet that tonight Kev looks at both vehicles?
Wanna bet that tonight, "we" put "stuff" in both vehicles?
Wanna bet that somehow "Mom" will get involved in this "man" stuff?

I don't take bets on a sure thing...

Friday, December 12, 2008

Christmas shopping

This is the first year ever that I've done most of my Christmas shopping online.

I ordered Kev's gifts (and had one shipped to my Mom.)
I ordered Miss Kat's gifts (and they are hidden in various places in the house. I hope I can find them all!)
I ordered one of Andy's and did get one in town (It's not hidden as well as Miss Kat's gift, cause he's not as snoopy.)
I ordered my Mom's gift.
I ordered my MIL's gift.
I ordered my FIL's gift.
I ordered Kim and Bob's kid's gifts. (We adults don't exchange gifts, but I might buy them a jar of's a family joke. I'll share it sometime.)
I ordered my Dad's gift.
I ordered my brother's gift.

I still need something for one niece and 2 nephews, but I think they will get either Walmart gift cards or maybe itunes cards.

I think I'll bring my kids to town tomorrow and have them get something for each other and I'll then get their stocking stuffers.

And then, I'll be done. Yee haw.

But, it's rather nice to order your Christmas presents--they come straight to you, and you don't have to find a place to park, brave crowds, or stand in line for hours.

My only problem with ordering has been my snoopy daughter. In fact, last night she called and said, "Mom, you'd better be glad that Dad grounded me from the computer, because I could log on to Amazon and see what you've ordered."

That made me quiver, because, crap, if she looked, then the surprise would be gone. But, as I thought about it a little more, I realized that she doesn't know the password, so I'm fine. whew! Saved by a password!

I still need to get Andy one more gift. Boy, has he proven to be hard to buy for this year. His list is short, and has on it; a car and a Letterman's jacket. Yeah, the car is not happening'! He'd really like a Letterman's jacket, but why buy a Letterman's jacket for a kid who will only be in High School 6 more months? hummm, just got an idea...maybe if I get him a letter jacket, he'll consent to being held back...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Stitching projects

I've been cross stitching frantically, trying to get a baby gift done. Hey, he'll be a year old in February, so I'm not that late... G, you will get this one too, unless you tell me differently... And maybe your child won't be almost a year old when you get it. Guess what it's titled...yep, Baby Feet.I put aside my project for myself in order to get this one finished. All my personal project needs is it's backstitching, which is pretty's a picture of it--it's titled, Frederick the literate.

All the titles of the books need to be back stitched, and some detail work to. It will go quickly, if I ever just sit down and do it!

I'd like to eventually have several "library" type of cross stitch pictures hanging in my office. This will be the second one. My first one is of a girl angel or fairy reading a book--in sepia tones. (I didn't save the pattern and can't find it anywhere anymore to give you the name of it, or to even find a picture on the web to post. Miss Kat has stolen the digital camera, so I can't even get a picture of it...yet.)

Anyway, I've been working on Fred on and off for the past year. The events of this past year haven't been conducive to me doing much stitching, but I keep hanging in there.

After I finish the baby one, then I'll go back and finish Fred. After that, I have 4 or 5 others that I've got waiting in the "office". And, I just ordered a bookmark of a Celtic design that I've loved for a long time. I might whip that up first, then again, I might not. Also in the office are some tea towels waiting to be embroidered for gifts. I'm hoping for a long winter, with snowy days and cold nights. Those will force me to stay home and stitch, and hopefully I can clean out my stash.

Problem is, is that I keep getting catalogs in the mail. In those catalogs are lots and lots of patterns that I'd love to do. I'd love to do a wolf picture for Jody. And I'd love to do something for my SIL's. And, every Christmas, I think that I need more Christmas ones up on the wall. And I'd love to do something wild, like a picture of fairy's or dragons in metallic floss. I like doing cut thread work. I'd like to do some red work, or blue work, or green work. I'd like to do some candlewicking. Heck, let's face it, I like doing needlework of just about any kind.

But right now, I need to concentrate on those feet. It's December 11. There's 14 days until it has to be finished. Wonder if my boss would mind if I worked on it at work...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I want that Wednesday

Today, let's talk about Christmas. More specifically, let's talk about what I want for Christmas.

This is an honest wish list.

  1. I want my pellet stove hooked up. It's not saving us any money sitting in the garage, and if it's in the garage, then Andy can't park the pickup in there.
  2. I want legs put on my Hoosier cabinet. (Which will mean that I will have to disassemble it and empty it again, but dang it, it needs legs.) I ordered legs a few weeks ago, but when I turned it over to get the legs put on...well, it isn't a standard kind of Hoosier, so the standard legs aren't the right legs. I'm not sure if it ever had legs or just large casters. And, I also ordered a latch because the latch that Grandad evidently replaced doesn't always latch. But the latch I ordered isn't the correct latch either, it's holes for screws won't line up with my screw holes. I think I have an off brand of a Hoosier cabinet, or I have one of the very early ones, because there never was a spot for a flour bin.
  3. I want my plumbing fixed. There were a few plumbing issues in our house when we moved in last year. But, we wanted to get in it ASAP and said we'd fix them ourselves rather than wait on the plumber. Big mistake. One year later, they still aren't fixed. We bought new faucets, but they are sitting in boxes waiting for us to hook them up.
  4. I want the garage doors fixed. Over the past 2 weeks, the garage doors have decided to strike and work when they want to. I want them fixed. (Kev does too...he's just not sure what to do.)
  5. I want all the rest of the boxes emptied and put away...somewhere.
  6. I want that "office" room cleaned up and looking like an "office."
  7. I want the garage cleaned out. The stuff we had in Colby that we don't need here and we don't know what to do with...I want it gone.

My list is a rather strange list, I know, but when I try to think about things I want for Christmas, well, this is what keeps coming up in my mind. I could use some sweaters for work, but I'd rather just have "stuff" done. And that's what I want this week.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

A pointless observation

It's a cold and snowy day. And, if you were out and about today, you'd see me outside with my coat unfastened and no hood on my head.

That's just one of the weird things about me. I never fasten my coat. Never have. Ok, seldom. When it's 20 below or so, I'll fasten my coat and I might even put up my hood. But while I might put on gloves, I just don't like my coat fastened.

It's too...confining.

I know it drives my mother nuts, and it drives my friends nuts, but I really just don't like fastening my coat. I'll put my hands in my pockets and pull the coat closed, but I won't zip or button it up.

And, when it rains, I don't use an umbrella and if I'm wearing a coat then, again, it won't be fastened and the hood will probably be down too.

There's no point to this confession, I just wanted to share a part of my "weirdness" today...

Monday, December 08, 2008

A sunday stroll

Kev and I went out hunting yesterday. I didn't go to "The Hill" because there are some rifle hunters there, and I didn't want to be in their way. So, instead, Kev took me out to the ranch where he got his deer.

The Ranch belongs to the D family. They are a big land owner in Clark County, with farming and ranching operations. Daddy is in charge of the ranching end, cause he don't do farmin'. He's a cowboy through and through.

Anyway, they have several Mule deer who stay on their property, so we thought we'd try it. Kev and I sat for a while in a little hole down in a draw near the wheat and Milo fields. We scared out 2 does when we walked in and that was all the deer we saw.

Around 8:30 a.m., we decided to go check out some canyons. Mule deer like canyons. They can bed down on the side of a canyon and be out of the wind. On cold days, they like to bed down on the north side so that the sun can warm them all day as they sleep. Plus, the wind usually blows from the north, so they get the added bonus of being out of the wind.

Kev drove me over to the east side of the Ranch to some canyons he's been watching and it's an area he thinks is pretty as well. As we drove in, we saw a couple of antelope does. Can't shoot them, but it was nice to see them.

Then, we got to the canyons. Kev wasn't kidding; it's beautiful country. Made me wish that I had a camera along. Folks, if you think Kansas is flat, then you need to get off the Interstate and drive to our area. Canyon after canyon after canyon as far as the eye can see. Not little canyons either, but deep canyons. Some are deeper than 100 feet and are rather...vertical.

We parked the pickup near an autogate [insert lustful sigh] and walked about 1/4 mile over to one canyon. We didn't see any deer, but decided to follow the canyon around to the east and then circle with the canyons to the south and then we would walk back west to the pickup.

So, we angled down some, and around and walked and walked and walked and walked. I had my hunting gear on; my coveralls and my coat and was carrying my bow. It was a fun and beautiful walk. We not only looked for deer, but we enjoyed the beauty of the rocks and the canyons and the creek running through the bottom.

After about an hour of going up and down and around, we came to the Southeast corner. Somehow, even though we weren't at the bottom of any canyon, we were now closer to the bottom than we were to the top. And it was great, it was fun. I was enjoying myself until we turned the corner and saw the way out. To get back to the pickup, we had to walk back up hill, all the way. And it was a rocky and steep trip. We had to climb up several hills and sides of canyons, and it was pretty steep, and, and...

I got tired. Really tired. Tired enough that I stopped several times to rest and I was tired enough to really resent my coveralls. And my coat, my sweatshirt, and my bow, and especially my husband. Who at one point said to me, "You are really out of shape." Of course, he wasn't wearing coveralls. And his coat was lighter, he wasn't wearing a sweatshirt, and he wasn't carrying a bow either. And...and...well, maybe I am out of shape. But he didn't have to rub it in. I think this was about the time when I suggested that he go get Dad and a horse. And then I mentioned if he fell and broke something, I was just going to have to leave him to die, cause there was not way I could get him out of there. Of course he wondered why I'd warrant a horse, but he'd be left to die.

Even when we got out of the canyons, we still had an uphill trek back to the pickup. And I was tired. And besides being tired, my hands hurt from carrying my bow, and I was very sweaty. My t-shirt was rather damp next to my skin under the sweatshirt and coveralls and coat.

I talked to my Dad later on the phone and told him what we'd done and where we were. When I mentioned how steep it was coming out and how tired I got, he laughed and said "You can drive down there to the bottom on the far southeast side, but when you come back up, if you've got anything in the back of the pickup, it's going to slide out." Usually, he just goes horseback down there, it's easier. I know why, but I'm not sure exactly where you'd drive down.

But, I loved every minute of the walk. It was beautiful. It was refreshing. It made me thankful that I can see and appreciate the beauty of this area--even when I'd tired. So, if you think Kansas is flat, stop by and we'll just go hiking to the bottom of a canyon. Just leave your coat and coveralls and bow at home. You'll thank me later.

Friday, December 05, 2008

"almost" a teenage girl

I do not understand girls who are "almost" teenagers. Well, I do not understand the one who lives with me!

Wednesday night, Miss Kat got her hair cut. Not drastically, but she got 2 inches cut off and had some layers put in. Her hair does look nice, it really does. She also talked to the hair dresser about getting some low lights and such put in. We'll do that over Christmas Break.

But, Miss Kat was/is so excited about her hair cut. She's been flipping it around, she's been running her fingers through it, and most importantly, she's been running a comb through it. She's so excited and happy with it. And, I think, "Wow! She's really growing up!"

But then there's this underwear situation...

See, on SUNDAY night, she put on a clean pair of undies. I know, because I had her come up and get her clean laundry. She saw this pair of undies in the basket, and immediately put them on.

Yesterday morning, she was being crabby, so since I'm a nice and loving mom, I yanked her sleep pants down. (She and I were alone in my bedroom, and she was being crabby. This usually makes her laugh and snaps that bad mood away.) But, this time, it put me in a bad mood. I discovered, that she was wearing the same pair of underwear that she had put on Sunday night.


So, I told her it was past time to change those undies. I mean, it was Thursday morning. She'd had them on long enough.

Today, this very morning, when she came upstairs, I asked if she'd changed her undies. She didn't answer.

So, I asked again. Still no answer. So, I looked. The same pair.

This time, she said, and I quote: "I don't have any other underwear."


Yeah, boggled my mind too. And, I happen to know that she does too have more than one pair of undies. She's been ordered to change them today. And I will check tonight. can she do that? Seriously, how does this happen? Where have I failed her? Where? Will she ever grow up? Will she ever recognize proper hygiene? What would happen if she was in an accident? What would those EMT guys think, seeing my "almost" teenager wearing a dirty pair of underwear? They'll think that this poor young lady has a rotten mother, one who only buys one pair of underwear for her daughter. They'll think I'm a bad mother because I don't allow my daughter to change her undergarments daily. I don't know if I can stand the shame.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


You'd think, knowing that I'm a librarian, that I'd have a library in my home.

You'd be wrong.

If you haven't figured this out by now, well, then you need to stop reading my blog. Because the word normal does not apply to anything about me.

I love to read, I adore reading. Reading is one of my most favorite activities. I'd rather read than cook. I'd rather read than watch TV. I'd rather read than clean. I'd rather read than work. I'd rather read than perform my "wifely" duties. (Not really, but I had to throw something else in there! But, maybe you shouldn't ask Kev his opinion on that.)

But, being a librarian, folks just expect me to own lots of books. It always amazes me that they expect me to own books when I can borrow them for free! Hello! I work in a library, surrounded by books. I can borrow them--free. I can get my grubby hands on them before anyone else does! When something new comes out that I want to read, but don't think it would be popular at my library, I can use Interlibrary Loan! It's FREE. Why spend my money when I can borrow it for FREE, and before anyone else can get it! And, guess what, quite frequently, I don't even check them out. I just...take them. Sure, it drives my staff nuts, but I'm the boss, rules don't apply to me!

I do buy some books. I have books about raising Chickens and Pigs and Goats. I have a few homesteading type books. Oh, and a dictionary, I have one of those. I've got a couple of Bibles and a book of Bible stories. I have all of Diana Gabaldon's books. She's a great writer, but isn't very prolific...dang her. But, Diana's books, I keep. I re-read them all the time. Most other books I own are also those I can read over and over and over again. And, interestingly, most of them are Young Adult Harry Potter and the Little House books.

I buy books for my kids. I love buying books for my kids. And other kids. I buy them books through the Scholastic School program. Like me, both of my kids read fast and have high reading levels.

But, even so, my kids don't have a lot of books. As they've out-grown them, we've donated them to libraries or to friends. They've kept some that they enjoy re-reading and, until now, Andy has done more re-reading than Kat. Miss Kat discovered the Twilight series. Those we initially got from the library, but she now wants her very own set--so she can re-read them. (Yep, she's getting them for Christmas.)

Note who at my house isn't a reader? Yep. It's ironic too. Kev grew up in a home of readers, and he married a reader, and his kids are readers....but he's not. I don't think I've ever--in the 20 years we've been together--seen him read a book. It's most certainly a "mixed marriage."

So, don't come to my house expecting to see a room full of books. You're going to be very disappointed. Oh, and if I'm reading, well, talk to Kev. I'll catch up after I finish reading this page...

Monday, December 01, 2008


I've never liked seeing dead people. I avoid "Viewings." I hate funerals that force you to look at the body, either before or after and especially during the service.

When I was 13, my Great Grandfather died. His casket was in the church, open for viewings while we the family was at the dinner before the service. We kids were being kids, running in and out of the church. Some of the boy cousins dared each other to touch Grandad. I was just dared to be in there with him--alone. But, his lips were blue, and he didn't look like I thought he should look. And, it bothered me.

After that, I learned that most of my Woodruff relatives don't do viewings. My Grandad W. told me he simply preferred remembering people as they were when they were alive and healthy and not as they usually were upon dying. Made sense to me! So, I stopped going to viewings. And I got pretty good at avoiding them.

I did not view Grandad W when he died.

I did not view Grandma W when she died.

And, then, Grandpa B died. And, dummy me...well, I somehow was drug along by Mom and Sandy as they planned his service. And, when Mike, the funeral director said, "Now, someone will need to come in tomorrow to make sure everything is ok..." I volunteered to come with Mom because Sandy couldn't be there. I thought we would be checking the programs and such.

But, instead, we were making sure Grandpa's body looked like we wanted him to look.

Oh, that was hard. But, I did it. For my Mom.

And, I survived it.

And, Grandpa looked pretty good. He hadn't been sick long enough to not look like himself.

And then, last Tuesday, when Grandma died,

Mom called me--10 minutes after she'd died, right after Mom got the call. Mom asked me...well, she didn't have to ask, but I agreed to meet her and Dad at the Nursing Home.

But Daddy didn't get there as quickly as Mom and I did.

So, I went into Grandma's room with Mom so she could say "Good-bye." If Daddy had been there, I would have waited outside. Cause I just didn't know how I was going to react.

And, of course, I saw her. It didn't bother me as much as I thought it would. I can't say she looked good but she looked like she was asleep...with her mouth open, like usual. So, she looked like Grandma.

Or like Grandma has looked for the past several months.

And, it didn't really bother me.

So, either I'm growing up and am able to deal with death and bodies, or I've finally realized that death is a part of life and it's simply another natural step.

I mentioned to my Dad that it just didn't bother me like I expected it too. And, wise man that he is, he said: "I've come to realize that the body really is a shell and that the person I knew--who used to live in that body--is long gone. We're just dealing with what's left; and it's not so hard when you realize that."

And, he's right.

It's not something I want to do all the time, but now, I won't avoid viewings. I won't go out of my way to go, but when I have to go, it will be ok.


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