Thursday, July 21, 2016

Ping Pong cleaning...

I might do better with some focus added.
I have wandered from task to task all morning. I need to make salsa... but first, unload/ reload the dishwasher.
I need to pick the garden before it gets hot... but first, walk the dog. Then water the plants out front. Then re-coil the hose. (Ten zillion squash bugs have suddenly found our squash plants)
I need to sweep up the grass tracked in on damp shoes. And vacuum. And mop.
And make my bed.... but first, strip the bed and wash the sheets.
I need to clean the bathroom.... but first, empty the trash bin. But first, take out the kitchen trash. But first, go get the big can from the street. The can is by the mailbox.
What is the date? OH good grief, I never did order Tyrel's birthday gift. (Hello, Amazon Prime!)
Food. I need food! But first, take my *swill* and vitamins. Oh yeah, never got the kitchen trash out.
Hey, there is my tea I made while cleaning one of the baskets (from the bathroom) in the kitchen sink.
So... where am I? Tea. I got my re-warmed tea from the microwave. The birthday gift has been dispatched.
Sheets are in the washing machine, trash is out in the bin. More grass tracked in. I still haven't swept, mopped, or vacuumed. Bathroom is neater, but by no means cleaned. The salsa has yet to be started. What brought me out of the bathroom? Oh yeah, a liner for the small can, and the basket (for my brush and such) that just got washed. Then, I saw my tea and sat down here to drink it. :)
I hope the marvels of caffeine kick in soon, or I may be found sacked out on the naked bed.... possibly with bits of dried grass clinging to my ankles.

Results from yesterday: The Honda's airbags have been 'fixed'. Supper was less than amazing. It marked one of the handful of times since Tom and I have been married, that he declared supper to 'not be his favorite' way of preparing something. (The BBQ chicken legs in the crockpot). Tonight's venture: fajitas with fresh salsa.
The tea is drank! (Hooray, I finished something!)
Back to the ping-pong method of cleaning.

*swill* = powdered gelatin, collagen, hemp protein powder, probiotic powder, and Emergen-C powder dissolved in water. I use it to was down a handful of supplements. (Blackseed oil capsules, garlic capsules, CoQ10, magnesium+potassium capsules, VitaSprout capsules)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


This is my second day of "home alone". You would think I could accomplish more. So far, of the things I've done, nothing "shows".
I got several stacking shelves from Aldi. They are made to interlock and stack with one another. However, I have been using them as free standing shelves on my existing pantry shelves. I can see I need at least three or four more!
Beans really ARE a staple at our house. There are no fewer than ten varieties of beans in here!

I usually don't have as many chips and such on hand. Back when the kids were here, I bought up quite a few, figuring on road trip and outing snacks. I didn't realize the day glo orange coloring would affect Tyrel as bad as it did. So instead of feeding them to grands, I individually bagged them for the guys to take for lunches. Another bad move... they all went stale before they could be carried for lunch. So today, I re-crisped up the various snacks and bagged them in better quality bags. (Maybe I should of just tossed them as an expensive "lesson learned"!)
 In about an hour, I have to go trade cars with Mr C and take his car in to have its recalled airbag fixed.
Meanwhile, I have the dog's bed disassembled. Its fabric has been washed, and I need to get a replacement joint for one corner whilst I am out- then we are going to glue that sucker together.

Supper is in the slow cooker- BBQ chicken legs. A salad is made... and we have plenty of juicy, garden fresh tomatoes to go with that!
I do miss the grands. We stayed on the go, or "doing" things here at the house. I got their "Camp CowGranny" memory books designed. It has been a great summer.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Middle of July? It can't be!

And yet, here we are.
First off, Daniel and Sam had a great trip to the shore of Lake Erie, for the wedding of their friend and former co-worker, Sarah. My young clothes horses bought very nice shirts, vests, ties, slacks and shoes for the occasion. Sam felt adding a jacket would be over dressing. As it turned out, he was right. Wearing your nice duds to a beach wedding is over dressing... even if you leave off the jacket.
They had driven up, and arrived Saturday afternoon. Dan said, "If you ever want to be stared at, walk in formal clothes along a beach. With your twin." An overheard remark: "Is GQ doing a photo shoot here today?"
They arrived back in Ohio in the early morning Sunday. Tom and I had arrived Saturday evening, with the kids and dog. After a nap, and a brief visit, the boys headed back to Arkansas. Jaffa went back with them.
Sunday was the planned 4th of July bash at Tom's brother Bob's house. (He is known to all the family as "Buck") It was overcast and damp most of the day, settling in for what would be a long, soaking Ohio rain by late afternoon. It slowed to a mist for awhile, and brats, burgers, and hot dogs were cooked. Someone fixed the kids plates while I was busy... and gave Tyrel a Mountain Dew "Voltage" as his drink with dinner. It has 55mg of caffeine, as well as red and blue dyes. (and 46 gm sugar!)
The kids had been munching cookies all day, and had had an ice cream cone. The soda was like rocket fuel. Yeah, real funny Grandpa and Uncle Buck. (I was told to "lighten up, it's vacation!")
We had a nice fireworks display by the small lake on Long Run Road.
The rest of the week was filled with hiking, eating, camping, sugar and soda pop. We went to a playground in Logan. The 10 acre woods were explored, the deck climbed on and over, campfires built and poked. Marshmallows were roasted, hot dogs and s'mores eaten with abandon. Tents were erected and slept in. "Bigfoot" knocked over an arched tree not far from camp, and left his footprint in the leaf mulch. (Cousin Luke admitted to the adults  accidentally knocking down the bowed over tree, and the "bigfoot" footprint was only slightly larger than mine... so there we go. But the kids are sure Bigfoot was out there in the woods!)
As we packed to go, the swimsuits and lifejacket unused in the suitcase, Nickole remarked about "What a waste it was to pack a swimsuit!"
The idea to pay the kids for chores, and then charge a quarter every time they asked "Are we there yet?" worked VERY well. Nickole lost a total of  fifty cents... once quarter at the 48 mile of 786 miles mark, and another at the 774 mile mark.  Umpaw said it was MEAN of me to take the money. However, no one lost a single cent on the ride home! I feel justified!
I took along various magnetic toys, and got each kid a steel baking pan. They were actually grilling pans, with the round holes perforating the bottom, because they were cheaper than the steel baking sheets. The holes were great to keep the steel "marbles", as well as crayons and coloring pencils, from rolling around. The pans made excellent trays for holding snacks, a solid building surface. A clipboard held paper firm and covered the holes when the kids drew pictures. On our return trip, they played for a good eight or nine hours with the magnets. I do wish I had brought alphabet magnets, and maybe a few other items to add to the play. I had most of the loose items corralled in zipper bags (with slide zippers, because the other kind are too hard for kids!) inside of a couple of totes.
Now, we have Mt. Washmore to contend with. Groceries to be purchased. I have a few coupons for FUN to be administered in the next couple of days... and then we hit the road (kids and I) for their return to their homes by the weekend.Lightening bugs (FIREFLIES! we were often corrected) were caught and jarred. The hole in the lid of the jar was as big as my thumb, so no bugs actually died from their capture, save those inadvertently squashed with enthusiasm of the capture. Kids were released into "nature" with a camera and got interesting shots from their own perspectives.
Tyre, Nickole, Great Granny Arlene, and Leigha Mae

Why yes, it does have an extra letter. "O-H-I-I-O" (or OHIHO)
But you don't tell a pretty little three year old she doesn't NEED to be in a picture!

Early Camp, before Uncle Buck arrived with his tent and tiki torches

A hat full of waterfall!


Go Fish!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Best laid plans!

The Gravette Library Summer Reading program has had all sorts of fun kid activities. The kids have participated in quite a number of them. Today 9:00 am... a much looked forward to Tae Kwon Do class.
Yet, here we are. At home.
Last night, the kitchen faucet broke. The plumber was called by the landlord... and supposed to be here between 8:00 and 8:30.
 Finally showed at 9:00.
If he makes quick work, we may be able to show up *late*.
But, it IS July 4th weekend. We have plans, I work tonight. There isn't a *better* time this could be done for more than two weeks.
So... here we are.
I have most of the *do ahead* things done, and just a few last minute things to accomplish before heading off to work.
Dan and Sam are on their way to Pennsylvania for the wedding of a friend. They drove up, and stayed last night with family in Ohio.
My *babies* are off adventuring.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Reminders of the importance of GOOD food....

We have eaten quite a bit of boxed mac and cheese lately. Not alone, of course- but with tuna added sometimes, and always some fruit and other sides. Snacks have often been cheese... or the occasional cheesy corn puffs. These aren't normally a staple of Tyrel's diet... or mine!
Today Tyrel had a genuine meltdown. Becky reminded me how Daniel used to do the same, within hours of consuming brightly colored orange (or green) artificially colored foods. These dayglo- orange cheeses really are not "natural" color! So we are back to taking a lot more care about what we are eating. yes, Nickole IS eating lots more vegetables and fruits.... but we haven't really eliminated some of the things we should.
On the FUN side... we have picked blackberries a couple of times in the past week. This morning, we finally had enough to make JELLY! It seems to have turned out PERFECTLY, already starting to jell. The kids got plenty of (not so good for you) sugar in gobbling up the last few scrapes of the pan.
 Yesterday, Mr C and I took the kids hiking at the Tanyard Creek Wildlife Area over in Bella Vista. It was the kids my second time there, Tom's first. We were pretty appalled at heading up the trail, the kids dashing ahead... to come upon a grown man  urinating right there on the trail! Had Nickole been a bit faster, she would of been 'exposed' to his exposure. We called the kids back in time, and went another route.
Tanyard Creek has been here, all the time we have... but we only just learned of it! It is a great hike along a broad, shallow creek. Wading is allowed. There is a suspension bridge, and a recently fallen sycamore tree spanning the creek. There are benches... and SHADE. I did mention the shade, right?
VERY nice when the day is 94* and hiking is about the last thing you want to think about.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Fun at CowGranny's continues...

We picked Tyrel up from his cousins' house Saturday evening, after Jennifer was so kind as to get him from Becky when she picked up Connor and Alana.
Do you know what you get when you mix an only child with an eldest child?

We missed Frisby golf at the park this morning, in favor of accompanying Umpaw on the grocery shopping. Once we get lunch cleaned up, we are probably going swimming. If Umpaw wants to go along, it will be at the creek. If not, I will take the kids to the local pool. We have done a couple of the parks with Tyrel. It has just been so hot, the kids have been indoors quite a bit. Even Jaffa has been eager to get his walks over with, and get back out of the heat.

We did another demonstration today of the proper use of a handy little device known as a "light switch".  I may of gotten an eye roll from Tyrel. Keeping the two of them on track without too much bickering has been fun. I have now imposed a forbidden phrase. "Not Fair" is not to be uttered to me, or even within my hearing.

Well, so much for swimming.... Tyrel forgot his suit. The pool doesn't allow cut offs, and Umpaw doesn't feel like going. (He has been sick for several days.)

I got started on this post yesterday. We made a quick trip to the local Dollar General, and got the last swim suit anywhere near Tyrel's size.  He changed in the pool dressing room. I was at the point of going in and checking on him, when he finally appeared. (I had cracked open the door and called out to him.) We spent about 45 minutes swimming. I "time" our outings by keeping a close eye on Nickole. When she starts to look a tiny bit pink, we call it a day. She has such a fair complexion that it would be too easy to burn her to a crisp. As it is, she is freckling up nicely.

Today is housekeeping and errands. Sam asked me to put his check into the bank for him today. I told him to leave me a "sticky note" on the computer. (It is the handiest "ap"- minor notes to one another in a place everyone is sure to see!)
I heard much laughter this morning, and Sam calls out to me, "That sticky note is NOT the one I left you! SOMEONE has been messing with it!" (He glared at Daniel. Though he was trying not to laugh, so it wasn't a baleful glare.) Here is the note:
Mom could you, if you could, deposit my check in the bank, in my Bank account, split between my checking and savings account, at the bank, if you could please?
~ your favorite goat, Sam

Yesterday's grocery list was supposed to contain things we are out of. One item stood out: "Teenagers".
Yes, we are fresh out of teenagers.  Friday marked the end of the teens in our home. Guess we will only have visits from teens from now on. Umpaw suggested we persuade Alana to come stay, so that we DO have a teen in the house. 
We didn't have a party. I was at work at the Wooden Spoon. Tom was pretty sick, and didn't feel like going out. Dan and Sam did come in to the Spoon to have supper. Their birthday gifts failed to arrive on time... I am quite disappointed that Amazon Prime has failed us on such a regular basis lately. 
   Our next birthday coming up is Jasher's.
Our little Jasher Adonijah Coder... the firstborn CODER grandchild! Will be three years old on Friday. His birthday gift had plenty of time to arrive... and Amazon Prime got it there in record speed. Jasher is very happy with his Fireman Sam firehouse. (Uncle Buck disputes Tom's claim to firstborn CODER grandchild. He says that is Leigha Mae.) (Both have valid points regarding the title!)

Both the kids are up now...  Tyrel having been long arisen and is dressed and breakfasted. Nickole was roused and is consuming her breakfast, so that we may get Jaffa walked before the heat of the day sets in. Hope YOUR day is blessed!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Why am I so tired? Low key stress maybe...

Thankfully, not EVERY meal is an ordeal. Tuesday, I mistakenly believed that a bologna sandwich was the same as a hot dog. Hot dogs are readily consumed, so a bologna sandwich should be eagerly eaten by a hungry child, right?
Not So Much.
There was less struggle than usual to get her to TASTE the sandwich... then she readily consumed the bologna. Her verdict, "Your bologna is way better than my Poppys!" But it was served on multi-grain bread. 11 whole grains, which made occasional appearances as actual grain. CowGranny was NOT HAPPY to find the bread torn to bits and thrown all over the kitchen floor. The dog had not been in to find it, which had apparently been the intention.
Nickole cried like I was beating her when I made her clean it up. I only spoke sternly to her that it had better not EVER happen again, and I had no delusions that it was "an accident".

We have been feeding her for three weeks now, and she hasn't died of eating poisonous vegetables.
We have been exercising more than Nickole is accustomed to...  walking the dog daily- sometimes as far as three miles. Swimming, playing on the playground. *I* am getting a tan, having been spending so much more time out of doors, and actually NOT wearing jeans. Except during the hottest weather, I normally do NOT wear shorts. This summer has been quite different.
Tuesday we had "tennis lessons" in the park. There was a tennis pro from Bella Vista who came and instructed the kids. Monday was swimming at the pool. Wednesday is upon me, and I have nothing planned. This is house keeping day, but after that?
Nickole says she has never seen anyone clean house. (It is likely done while she is away at school.) She is learning that floors have to be picked up and swept and mopped, or vacuumed. Today I scrubbed both bathrooms, having to explain WHAT I was doing, and WHY. (As I recall, I was about 8 when I started washing dishes, and about 9 when I was shown how to clean a bathroom. I thought it was tremendous fun. My attempt at cleaning it on my own, to *help* was how I ended up with the skin scalded off both my feet when I was 8.)
All the kids have been given minor chores while they visit.  Nickole puts away the silverware and makes her bed. She folds her own clothes VERY NEATLY and organizes them and puts them away. I didn't show her how to fold clothes, except for socks. She was puzzled at how to make them 'stick together' in pairs.
Nickole told me she loves to organize things, and likes things all neat and clean around her. She asked me why I thought she might like things all sorted and organized. I gave her my opinion. She has very few things around her that she has complete control over. She CAN control her clothes and toys, in the way they are put together and stored. So she enjoys making things look nice. That's MY opinion.
May you have a blessed day. Thanks for reading!