Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Amnesia again

Here it is 3:30 in the afternoon. I finally had a cup of tea and some toast. Mostly, I have slept.. and may go back to bed soon.

The ulcers are gone. I am off Carafate, but will be on Nexium for a year.

The doc discovered other things while he was in there: Gastritus, Diverticulosis, and a Hiatus Hernia.

Fun, Huh?


We had an adventure yesterday. Dan and I left plenty early for his 8:30 appointment. Unfortunately, the Doc was already running behind. It was close to 10 before we got out of there. With a prescription requiring a stop at the pharmacy. So I got lunch meat while we were in WalMart, and the kids made quick sandwiches while I got some chili on to cook in the slow cooker.

Then we headed to Berryville, to visit Laurie and Andrew and their family. We made it through Rogers... and the van began acting very strange... a transmission problem. We got off the road into a parking lot of a building that was for sale- well out of harm's way. There was transmission fluid all over the van- so much, in such a short time, I diagnosed we had probably blown a hose. Stephen and I soon found where the upper hose to the transmission cooler had come off at the hose clamp.

We called Tom, but meanwhile, Stephen and Tommy went to work with their handy-dandy pocket tools... Think Swiss army knife. They had to work THROUGH the grill- about a 1.25" gap. But the hose was reconnected before Tom arrived with transmission fluid and a funnel. Stephen and I had decided that the repair shop that fixed the deer damage had not secured the transmission fluid cooler properly when the van was repaired. It was dangling from the hose that had blown off. We had Tom pick up some zip ties, and secured the cooler to the grill.

It was a very late start, but we made it on over to Berryville. Our visit was fun, but necessarily cut short with the falling dusk. Ty'ger consented to sit right beside of me while we girls visited. Once he was tired of girl talk, he went to visit with his Daddy, and the guys.

Sam challenged a full grown turkey, who didn't like Sam's aggressive challenge. He threatened to whip Sam proper... which most of us found pretty funny. Laurie and Andrew's new house is really shaping up... for pictures, visit their blog by linking through "Laurie's place" on my sidebar.

We got home well after dark, and had some of the delicious venison chili for supper.

Ok, I'm headed back off to rest some more!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sometimes, you just listen

Sunday mornings are usually quiet at Oreilly Auto Parts. Yesterday, I had barely clocked in when the phone rang. I answered... an elderly lady was asking about several parts for her truck. She said she really needed to get it fixed, as her husband had wanted her to use it as a farm truck. Maybe I remembered her husband?

While I didn't remember her husband specifically, her son (or grandson?) had been in last weekend. Oreilly tracks customer warranties by phone number. When this young man gave me the phone number, two names came up. I asked which he was Doug, or Dan? His eyes filled with tears and he told me Dan had passed away a few days before. I did remember the name from that encounter.

The lady went on to tell me all about how her husband had passed away- very suddenly. She was sobbing softly as she spoke. It had only been two weeks yesterday since he died, and she just needed to talk. Sometimes it is easier to talk to strangers- and she told me the whole story.

I'm glad we were not busy, and I had time just to hear her out.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Blowing a Gasket

The turkey and dumplings was sooo good. I made it early, and we had it for lunch. I added more dumplings at supper, and it was even better the second time.

Mostly yesterday, we cleaned and I did laundry. LOTS of laundry. Seems all of the sheets and blankets I was finding for Becky's visit, were covered in dog hair. I washed load after load of blankets, sheets, and pillows. (For some reason, the boys have an aversion to pillow cases... which means the pillows themselves had to be washed. Grr.)

I must have washed eight or nine loads of blankets and pillows and comforters. As they came out of the dryer, the boys were commanded to put them away WHERE THE DOGS COULD NOT GET ON THEM. This morning, I went to borrow Ben's computer to check my email. Piled on the bottom bunk in Ben's room was all the laundered bedding. Covered in dog fur... a dog nested in the middle of them.

I had a meltdown. As Hank the Cowdog describes Sally Mae- A Thermonuclear Moment.

So, Becky, I TRIED to have things clean and dog-fur- free for you. I have to go to work now and won't be able to re-do it all again today.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Quiet Morning

Mr C was noisy this morning. For once, he slept soundly until the alarm went off. I was the one with the restless night. He got up... and I tried to go back to sleep. After the fourth... or fifth... time he came back into the bedroom, turned on the overhead light, and rummaged through the desk, I should have given up and got up. But I didn't. I tried to go back to sleep. The harder I tried, the more awake I became. I got up... woke Dan to take his every-8-hour antibiotic, and visited the blogs I read. Dan went back to bed, after telling me he got cold during the night last night.

I had asked the Doctor that saw his staph infection, whether dogs can spread it. We have cleaned, and cleaned and cleaned. I have heard that fleas can spread it... and despite frequent washings and all manner of chemicals, Drover and Jaffa both tend to cart around a flea or three. So Drover, who usually sleeps with Daniel, was banished from the bed. Doggies are warm critters!
We cooked a delicious meal last night: Turkey breast (hey, they really DO cook fast!) in the PC roaster, skillet stuffing (saute celery and onions in olive oil, add pan juices from the turkey plus a bit of canned chicken broth, a handful of dried craisins, and a box of Stovetop stuffing. Stick it in the oven the last 15- 20 minutes before supper), Green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and gravy.) Ben got off at 6:00 pm, when Wal Mart closed for the Christmas holiday, so he got to eat with us.

Ben said he wasn't really busy over in produce, but the store was packed all day. People were actually parking in the grass! I know the Dollar General store was packed. I made a town run to find french fried onions for the green bean casserole, plus pick up a few more little birthday items for Tom. (A couple more pair of reading glasses... the two pair I got him at Thanksgiving have BOTH already fallen apart, another sudoku book...)

I have seen five or six cars at a time in the Dollar General parking lot .... but there were probably 30 or more there yesterday. I really try to stay away from town between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This year, it just seems I have had to go to town way too much.

On today's agenda... Ben's room getting cleaned. The 'guest bed' inflatable mattress being located, and sufficient bedding being located for it. Air beds are NOT warm, so I will need extra padding between the mattress and sheets.

Maybe we will tackle re-doing the laundry/ storage room. All of the junk we have no room for is stacked in there. All the boxes still packed from the last time we were "just about to move". The kitty "box". We have partly solved Al's litter box problem. She was going in laundry baskets, and when we began putting those up out of range, I saw that the way she used her kitty box was faulty. One those front paws hit the litter... she "went". Except her business end was still out of the box. So we brought in a huge tub that cattle feed is sold in. It is a "half barrel" in size, a good 20" deep. She has to get inside of it, and nothing can hang over the sides. It has helped a lot, though is people leave baskets down, or dirty clothes on the floor... she still has accidents. The poor senile kitty is 17 years old.

I have been trying to think of what to make for supper tonight. I am leaning hard to turkey and dumplings. At some point in the next couple of days, I will either have to bake the Mississippi Mud cake for Tom's birthday, or assign one of the kids to do it. If I bake it early, he will be into it early. I simply won't have time to do it on his birthday Saturday. (Working 8-5).
Have a blessed day today!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mom radar...

I went to bed last night with Daniel's full assurance that he would take his last doses of antibiotics for the day before he went to bed.

At a few minutes before 2 am, I was having some interesting, complicated dream about who knows what... when I was brought instantly awake by a small call of "mom?".

I was completely awakened by the call. He had called softly, just once, from the hallway outside my bedroom door.

How many years has it been since I have had to have the "mom radar" on alert for calls in the night?

The twins were three or four when they began sleeping through the night consistently... in their own beds. They are 12 now.

Daniel had fallen asleep and forgotten to take his antibiotics. When he awoke at nearly 2, he wasn't sure what he should do. Strangely, he woke up at exactly the time that the 3X a day medication SHOULD have been taken, if I had been adhering to a strict every 8 hours schedule.

Not wanting to set an alarm and waken him during the night, I had just said for him to take both antibiotics when the 2X a day was due up, which was just about the time he normally heads for bed on a weekend. (During the week, Dan is usually in bed early, as I am. So I didn't think 10:30 was too late for him to be counted on to take his drugs without a reminder.)

His arm looks significantly better today.

The bathroom has been disassembled down to the fixtures and tile... scrubbed... and all the contents sprayed with Lysol before being returned.

In other rooms, the couches were sprayed, the doorknobs, light switches, video game controls, Mouses... (Why isn't the plural of a computer mouse "mice"?), keyboards, Dan's mattress. His bedding was washed again. (We have been washing it almost daily since this outbreak.)

This morning, Ben was already dressed for work when I came out. His hours as The Banana King were changed today... working 9 am to 6:00pm. Ben was looking for his toothbrush. I told him where the one tray of bathroom items was that had missed being replaced yesterday. His toothbrush wasn't there. Why wasn't it with the rest of the toothbrushes? Because Ben keeps his in the SHOWER on the hanging shampoo caddy. I had thought the toothbrush I found there was a scrubbing toothbrush... and had doused it with Lysol.

EEEEW! WHY would he keep his toothbrush in the shower?

(Fortunately, I keep a supply of new toothbrushes on hand)

Today we will repeat the cleaning of the twins' bedroom. Only with MOM's idea of 'finished' instead of Dad's. The shelves will be wiped down, their Lego creations and other collections sprayed with Lysol. I intend to conquer this stinking staph germ!

Have a great day, everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

And the doctor said...

No more monkeys jumping on the bed!

Oh wait, this wasn't about the monkeys jumping on the bed. It was about Daniel. He has, as we suspected, a severe staph infection. He is now on TWO antibiotics for 15 days each. Next week we go back, and he may then be prescribed a soap that kills the bacteria. Apparently, this soap is so strong, it is not recommended for people under 14, and downright forbidden for ages below 10. The doctor says he will research its age constraints before next week.

I got another spray can of Lysol, and more disinfecting cleaners. We will be back to spraying down every surface after a thorough scrubbing. Early spring cleaning?

Alright, best get on with our lessons. They have fallen by the wayside the last week.

To the Doc

Dan has had another flare up of the skin infection we battled all summer. This time he has had it about a week- and it is worse. He said his arm was hurting yesterday, above the infection. This morning when I woke up, Tom said Dan's arm looked swollen last night. So I will be calling the doctors office as soon as it opens.

Dr. Benjamin's office has a group of doctors... they try to accomodate everyone who calls at some point on the same day. So this shouldn't be postponed until Friday or something. I know they had a sign on the door when I was there last week, about hours and closings this week... but I really didn't pay a lot of attention to it. Who knew I would need them this week?
The ice and freezing rain that was predicted for yesterday didn't happen. In fact, it is warmer today than it has been since Saturday afternoon when the front blew in. Temperatures actually rose overnight. (From 10* to 30*!) So I don't have to fret about driving on ice.
I ordered a boxed movie set for Mr C's birthday. I hope it arrives in time, since I was so last minute in my ordering. I won't say what it is here, since he has read by blog once or twice... I know he always reads Tommy's and Becky's blogs. He often sees pictures of Ty'ger before I do!
All righty then. Guess I better go get showered and such while the boys are still sleeping.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Their Secret is Safe With Me!

Saturday, two of my young male co-workers and two young male customers were examining a replacement part for a vehicle. The part was somewhat different than the old part, and our computer system simply said that the old style part was obsolete and unavailable.

These four guys are poring over this part, trying to figure out how it attached to the vehicle. They had been at it for 15 minutes or so.

I inquired, "Don't the instructions tell you how to connect it?" The instructions had been laying there the whole time, I assumed they had looked at them.

One guy remarked he didn't read very well. Another snapped "Real Men don't read instructions, they figure it out the hard way."

The one who said he didn't read well at least opened the instruction flyer... and it was illustrated! He can read illustrations!
The "Oh- I see!" "Yeah that's how it works!" "Simple!" were immediate.

I walked off shaking my head.
One of the guys yelled after me, "You can't let this get out! We have reputations to uphold!".


Friday, December 19, 2008


I realized last night that both batches of peanut brittle I made yesterday I used TWO cups of sugar- not one. It still turned out just fine.

I was planning to take some to work today anyway, so made up a batch with ONE cup of sugar, as the recipe calls for. But this time I used Demarara sugar instead of white sugar. It gave the peanut brittle a much nicer color. Yummy!
If I don't watch out, I will be gaining back the weight I have lost in the last couple of months!

I meant to mention about the trees on our way to Russellville Wednesday. While the roads were clear of ice, the trees on the mountains were covered in ice. It looked so pretty. The "ice line" came down 2/3 of the way to the highway. Thankfully, the ice was not affecting my drive! Dan and I were going to get pictures of the fog shrouded, ice covered trees... but wouldn't you know... on the first attempt, the camera beeped and informed us that its batteries were exhausted.

I have to be at work in an hour. Friday just seems like the LONGEST day. Mr C let me sleep in this morning. When I finally opened an eye and saw the fuzzy numbers on the alarm clock... it said it was 6:58. But it was way too light for 6:56. I have to get much closer to the clock to see that I slept until almost 9:00 am! The digital readout said 8:58. I get off this evening at 7:00pm, then work 8-5 Saturdays and Sundays.

I suppose I better be getting some household chores accomplished this morning before I have to leave. May you all have a wonderful day!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Wednesday,Thursday happy days

On Wednesday, Daniel and I travelled down to Russellville to visit with my Mom for a little while. She has been working at her cousin Ruth's cake shop during the Christmas cookie rush. They had had worse ice than we had here, and had missed working the day before, so were a full day behind on their cookie making.

Dan and I got to help. Dan bagged large individual sugar cookies, and cut lengths of ribbon while I used the ribbon to tie the bags closed. Mom and I enjoyed getting to visit, even though our hands were busy while we talked.

(Sam and Ben stayed home.)

Ruth gave us a lot of cookie cutters, and some candy flavorings that we had planned to buy.

On our way home, we stopped in at A-Z Gifts. I really didn't find a lot that I couldn't live without, but did get a few things. I was close to buying myself yet another cast iron skillet... this one was a good 6 " deep. But I resisted. After all, I do have a good 50 lbs of cast iron cookware already.
It was dark-thirty when we got home... Mr C arriving almost half an hour before we did. Benny had made some of his favorite stir-fry, and "very-yucky" (Teriyaki) noodles. (One of the kids misunderstood "teriyaki" noodles when they were younger, and their term stuck). I sure miss Ben being here to cook, LOL.

This morning, I was up at a quarter to light, and out the door for the fasting blood work at the doctors office. My appointment for Friday was rescheduled to today at 11:15. So I just hung around in town, killing some time at WalMart, Dollar Tree, and Atwoods.
I got ingredients to put everyone I know into sugar comas.
I found some home school helper charts at Dollar Tree. (The twins were thrilled. THRILLED I tell you!)

The Doc said that my liver enzymes are still elevated, but not as high as they were. I have lost another lb. ! He gave me the option of a referral to a liver specialist, or keeping an eye on the enzymes by going back in 3 month. (I chose the latter). He said if my endoscopy on the 30th goes well, he won't need to see me until after I have the liver enzyme tests repeated.

So once I got home, I started in on the sugar boiling frenzy. I have made two batches of microwave peanut brittle. I have a start on the chocolate cream cheese cookie balls. I want to get some pralines done, maybe another attempt at divinity. Or maybe not. (Ruth did give me a candy thermometer!)

Here are the easy-peasy recipes for Microwave peanut brittle (the kind that doesn't stick to your teeth!) and the waaaay to rich for every-day cookie balls.

Microwave Peanut Brittle
1 cup sugar
1 cup raw peanuts
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
Combine ingredients in a microwave safe glass bowl. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Stir initially to due to consistency and stickiness.
Remove from microwave, stir thoroughly, and cook another 3 minutes.
ADD: 1 tablespoon butter (or margarine) and microwave another 2 minutes.
Remove and add 1 tsp of vanilla and1 tsp of baking soda.
Whip quickly into a light and airy mixture and pour immediately onto a greased pan. Spread out into a thin layer. Allow to cool. Break into pieces.
Place the glass bowl immediately into hot water, and allow to sit, and the clean-up will be a breeze.
Rich Cookie Balls
2/3 regular sized package of Oreo Cookies
1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese, softened
1 (12 oz) package of dark chocolate chips
1/2" square of (gulf wax) paraffin
Put the Oreo cookies and softened cream cheese into the food processor and combine into a sticky glop. Form into approx. 1" balls. Place on a freezer safe plate or pan. Place the formed balls into the freezer for 20-30 minutes to firm.
Melt the paraffin and the dark chocolate chips together. Using a toothpick, dip the firmed balls into the melted chocolate .
Store in the refrigerator in a sealed container.
These are VERY rich, and excellent party fare!
Try them with the mint Oreos and melted Andes chips!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


For lunch today, I was looking for something warm. About 11, I decided to cook some red lentils. I sauteed some bacon and onions, and added them to the lentils. Tom came in at 11:25 as I was getting cornbread into the oven. The lentils were almost done! The red ones seem to cook really fast! (I seasoned them with onion, a bay leaf, garlic, salt and pepper). There were no leftovers! (Except cornbread, but I did just cook a small pan of it).

For supper tonight, I have to use up some half and half... so I will be making some alfredo sauce to serve over Amish style noodles. I will "oven fry" some of the breaded chicken breasts that mom brought us from Russellville last time she was here. I'm thinking I will steam some "broccoli normandy" as the vegetable... unless we still have salad to use up. I better go check on that!

Daniel and Sam and I are watching an old movie "Gremlins". I had never seen it before, and was surprised it was listed as a comedy instead of the 'horror' film I had always supposed it to be. We have been practically rolling in the floor laughing.

Happy Birthday....

Friday was my eldest son's birthday. Chris turned 29. This is the link to his birth story. http://cowmomba.blogspot.com/2008/03/firstborn-of-many-bretheren.html I had such a busy weekend, I never got around to making him his very own birthday post.

Today is Becky's birthday. She is 23. For the last several years, Becky has adopted the most annoying endearing tradition of saying "on my birthday" following everything she says on her birthday. "How are you today?...on my birthday". "Stephen and Tommy got a deer yesterday... on my birthday. Well, they didn't get the deer on my birthday, they got the deer the day before my birthday.... on my birthday".

Just try carrying on a conversation with her on her birthday.

Here is the link to Becky's birth story: http://cowmomba.blogspot.com/2008/03/little-grill.html

Happy Birthday Becky!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Happy Monday, Y'all

It is cold! the front hit yesterday evening just moments after I got off work. The roads are frozen with an ice/snow mix... but the yards are mostly just naked.

With the blizzard across most of the western plains pushing its way east, towns everywhere breaking records for cold and snow... it is hard to believe in global warming, isn't it? The twins said that we no longer have global warming, because Barack Obama was elected. He isn't even in office yet... and already global warming is a thing of the past.

Matt's Mom asked me if he could stay until 7 or so tonight, and then she is taking off the rest of the week. She doesn't drive on this stuff. Ben will get his first experience this afternoon... but I am more worried about his drive home tonight.

At work, it is Oreilly's annual inventory count at my store. We have been "pre-counting" and setting things in order. I have been dreaming I was counting things all night long... for two nights now! Nothing like dreaming you are working to make you wake up tired.

We made breakfast burritos this morning... using up the rest of a stick of Blue and Gold sausage, and a dozen eggs. The remaining filling is made into burritos and put into the freezer, ready for a quick breakfast later on. Daniel has made Banana Bread twice this week, using up soft bananas. We will need to bake something today to help keep the house warm. Since I planned to make soup from leftovers of roasted veggies, maybe we will make some of Grandma Ruby's dinner rolls. We halved the recipe last time, and it was the perfect amount.

Guess I ought to get dressed and get things rolling here.
Keep warm!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Food and Frugality

Last night, I roasted a chicken for supper. I used the Pampered Chef stoneware roaster. I rinsed the chicken, and put it into the roaster. I added 1 cup of orange juice, and sprinkled the inside of the bird's cavity with some dried orange zest that Daniel and I have been saving when we eat an orange. I sprinkled some Bell's Salt Free tomato-Basil seasoning over the bird,sprayed it all over lightly with some olive oil spray. The lid went on and into the oven it went. When it came out, it was golden brown, juicy, and very flavorful. We had salad, mashed potatoes, and garlic bread from the leftover hoagie rolls from the day before.

There was a small bit of breast leftover, and a wing. So for lunch today, I took the leftover garlic bread (I know... amazing I had leftover garlic bread!) and put pizza sauce on it. (Pizza sauce made from 1 can of tomato sauce, with 1 tsp each of basil and italian seasoning stirred in). I put mozzarella cheese over the sauce, and tore the leftover chicken into bits, and topped the cheese with these. On a few, I put more of the sliced portabello mushrooms. I spritzed the portabellos with olive oil spray. These warmed up in no time to a hearty lunch, with leftover salad on the side.

Tonight, I am trying something a bit different for us. I mixed up some dried cornbread stuffing/dressing left from Ben and Tommy's Thanksgiving dinner. I added sauteed onions, celery, and a handful of dried cranberry craisins. I put the mixture into an oven pan, and topped it with pork chops. The pork chops are sprinkled with a bit of "soul" seasoning.

We are making roasted veggies in the PC roaster to accompany this. (chunked potatoes, onions, and carrots tossed in olive oil... portabello mushrooms to be added the last 20 minutes of cooking. Sprinkled with garlic granules and sea salt.)

I haven't ever tried baking naked pork chops over stuffing before, so we will see how this turns out. Since I bought salad makings at Sam's- we are having a garden salad as well. (Yeah, the portabello's were a Sam's buy... so we want to eat them up instead of wasting them.)
I know that Becky and Nola have been making their own laundry soap for awhile now. I have been apalled at the cost of the liquid laundry soaps I have been purchasing lately... and looking everywhere for the washing soda so that I can try my hand at making some laundry soap for myself. Today, I went ahead and purchased a "kit" that has the essential ingredients in it. I will be able to make 2 1/2 gallons of liquid laundry soap for $4.50 (plus shipping... but to make shipping worthwhile, I bought two kits and two extra bars of the laundry soap itself, in anticipation of finding the washing soda.)
While I was at the site, I also ordered some wonderful hand made goats milk soap for ME. I had ordered some of this soap in the past, as part of mother's day gift baskets for my moms and MIL. It smelled so good- I wanted some for ME! I love giving unique gifts to others. Today I treated myself.
Here is the site I ordered the soaps from: http://crystalscountrystore.com/

Since I have purchased from this place before, I will add that I was just the tiniest bit disappointed in the size of the bars of goats milk soap. But that was my only disappointment. They shipped quickly, and the product is GREAT!
I have been trying to be more frugal... not letting things go to waste. Or making the best use of our finances in small stuff like laundry detergent, and stretching the dishsoap. It seems some days I am a dismal failure at not wasting things. Food gets tossed, my 'saved' items are tossed away by someone who thought it was garbage left out. (Orange zest drying in a dish). I look forward to having our own place, with a garden.
I want to plant lavender, roses, and herbs. Grow blueberries and blackberries and plums. Make my very OWN soap and not just buy the 'kits'. Have chickens and critters everywhere. (mr C isn't too big on critters everywhere, but didn't seem to mind the chickens). Go back to canning and freezing stuff we grow ourselves, and just TRY to buy as little as possible.

God knows my heart!

Less than Divine

Yesterday's attempt at divinity wasn't completely successful. It had a good flavor, but was refusing to lose its gloss and set up, despite over an hour of beating. We eventually poured it into a greased casserole dish and called it spoon divinity. THEN it set up somewhat.

Oh well. Guess I better re-invest in a candy thermometer. I don't know if my old one is packed in a box that hasn't been opened in almost five years, or if it got broken.
In our attempts to rearrange our storage of stock-up items yesterday I did open some of the long packed boxes. Now in 'every day' service as a fruit bowl is the fancy glass bowl I bought shortly after we moved to Oklahoma. I have kept it packed away, using it at Thanksgiving and other special occasions for nearly 20 years. It has been so long since this beautiful bowl has been out of its box, the twins didn't remember ever seeing it before.

We did make some major inroads into re-arranging the foodstuffs. Daniel has beautifully organised the lower cupboard where most of the canned goods reside. Sam was assigned to clean up and re-organise one of the bookcases in the living room, where some of my cookie jars will be moved to. He almost got one shelf done yesterday. I had to keep dragging him back to task from playing video games in Ben's room. Guess who will have double-duty today?

When we get our own place, I will get my grandmother's china that my mom has passed on to me. It has a forestly green pattern of pine or fir branches on it. I'd like to have a dining room that I could 'theme' around the china. Mom has a corner unit china hutch that my grandfather built, which she has been waiting to give to me when we get our own place. I will also inherit my great grandmother's 'pie safe'/ china cupboard someday from my Dad. I try to imagine where these items would be placed whenever we do look at houses.

Notice how positively I said when?

On today's agenda: More cleaning and re-arranging. I intend to tackle my bedroom- refolding my clothes that were once-upon-a-time all neatly arranged on various shelves that served as my dresser. They are currently heaped haphazardly all on the top shelf. Clear out the dust bunny collection, try to stay with making the bed every day.

I hope your day is blessed today, Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Something to look forward to

On the schedule: the repeat of the endoscopy is scheduled for Tuesday the 30th of December. I am hoping Becky will be able to be here for that... otherwise Mr C is going to have to take the morning off. Or maybe my Mom can come up.

Becky and Stephen already had plans to come up towards the end of the month- which I thought I had mentioned to Mr C. He was really excited to find it out last night. He is hoping Tommy is planning to come as well.
I was getting ready for my main errand yesterday- going to the post office to mail Chris' birthday card... (and an O'Reilly's calendar!) when Ben volunteered to go do it for me. I also had a package going overseas, to an internet friend in Athens, Greece. Ben did the errand, along with one of his own. (Have I mentioned lately how great it is to have older kids with driver's licenses? Thanks, Benny!)
Once Matthew went home, the boys and I made the trek over to Sam's in Rogers. I seldom seem to make it to Sam's. I think I did pretty well, sticking to basic necessities.

I get Dawn dishwashing liquid there, then pour a small amount into the Dawn Direct Foam bottle. I dilute it down tremendously- and the Sam's size bottle lasts about a year. Tom says that the diluted dish soap is not as effective as the actual Direct Foam refill... but since everyone would still use the same number of squirts, regardless of effect- this works just fine for us. I have been using the same Direct Foam bottle for over a year. The boys all believe that the Electrasol Powerball Dishwasher detergent tablets work the best of all the brands of dishwasher detergents we have tried... so we got a big carton of those.

We got out of Sam's at 5:30. That is a VERY BAD time to be in the Bentonville/ Rogers area. Even on a clear evening... which yesterday was NOT... there is literally bumper to bumper traffic. We walked out of Sam's to find a freezing mist falling. The trunk of the car was frozen shut. By the time we had the groceries loaded, we were icicles. Then into the fray. The first two miles took more than fifteen minutes. The next two miles took slightly longer, as the five lane road funneled to two lanes. The closer we got to home, the more the mist was turning to snow... and not a gentle snow, but one borne on 30 mph winds. It blew right on through without sticking, so we have no accumulation at all.

Once we got the groceries situated... we made roast beast 'french dip' sammiches. Just as the onions were almost perfectly caramelized, we added sliced portabello mushrooms and sauteed them until they were tender. MM MMM MM! (Take deli sliced roast beef, put it on to heat in some onion soup broth {We use cheap powdered onion soup mix and water}. In a heavy skillet, caramelize sliced onions in a small amount of olive oil. You can add the portabello mushrooms, or not!. Grill some split hoagie rolls in another skillet {or under your broiler, or toaster them}. Top the toasted bread with the roast beef, onions, and some sliced swiss cheese. Serve with the onion soup for dipping.)

Today's chore will be trying to re-arrange the cupboards and freezer so that we can store all of our groceries more effectively. Mr C is tired of having to rummage through everything to find what he is looking for. I also hope to get my "round tuits" on making some divinity and some pecan pralines.

Time to get on with the day!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Scratch that one off the list...

I mentioned I was sick over the weekend. I called in sick to work, and wouldn't of gone to see the house, had we not been two miles away and the lady was already on her way. I pretty much came home and went to bed. I didn't check emails all weekend.

So when I did check the email yesterday, I saw one from the real estate agent dated Friday. She said the homeowners had received an offer on the doublewide... did we also wish to make an offer?

Except that it should have been made Friday or Saturday. By the time we saw the email, it was a done deal. Unless the deal falls through... and it shouldn't, with making the buyers get pre-qualified, the house we saw Friday is off the list. Yeah, so it was the only one we have actually SEEN lately... if it were meant to be, then things would have fallen into place.
A storm raged through here last night. Thunder, lightening, wind... the whole house was shaking. I don't think we had any damages, but it isn't light enough to go out and see yet. Looking at the radar, it was huge and fast... and is now pounding St. Louis.
Duh, me. I have been planning to get Chris' birthday card in the mail, but didn't want to mail it too soon. I was thinking his birthday fell on Sunday. I actually looked at the calendar at work yesterday... and it falls on FRIDAY! Yikes! Better get that card out TODAY!
Next year, Chris will be 30.... I remember when my friends and I thought 30 was so OLD.

I never did run my errands yesterday- some days I just can't seem to make myself get out of the house. So I have to do those today... one of the errands being going to the post office with oversized letters to mail.
I really do like internet shopping, vs. going out to the stores, when I actually have to buy a gift for someone. I sometimes get stressed out in big crowds, and start feeling panicky and closed in. Not often, but sometimes.
Once I get out of the house and on the road, I am fine with running errands. Just something about getting started that is hard for me.

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Good Morning

The house we looked at Friday is still on the list- actually, it IS the list. Tom did some more drive-by looking at other places while I was at work Sunday. Some of those, we really want to see. The main drawback of the doublewide we saw Friday is how much the bank wants down in order to finance. We did learn, it has 38 acres available- not just the one acre.

So we have expanded our search, looking at a few 'conventional' homes, before we make any decision. Yeah- pretty much what you figured, right?

I was really sick on Friday- my stomach was stabbing holes in me. I called in sick to work, and spent most of the day in bed. (Didn't even feel like looking at that house, but since it was a bit too late to cancel the appointment, we went). I was somewhat relieved when one of the twinks came down with stomach cramps later in the day.... not that I would wish that on anyone- but at least I could figure it wasn't the ulcers perforating my stomach. It seemed to be a 24-36 hour bug. I felt better Saturday, and back to normal on Sunday.

I have errands to run this morning, then have to work this evening from 3 to close (7pm). We got the van back on Friday. I took it to work yesterday. I swear, it is a deer magnet. Last time I drove it- on the way to have it estimated for repair from the deer accident- a herd of deer jumped the fence ahead of me. I stopped and waited until they moved on. So yesterday, I topped one of the hills on the way to work... and a deer scurried out of the road ahead of me. When I see ONE deer- I look closely. They almost never travel alone. Sure enough, a second deer is bunched to leap the fence. I stopped. The deer didn't jump. She ran back the way she had come.... looked confused, and headed to the fence again. She bunched again... turned again, and ran far into the woods the way she came. So no deer accidents for me.

Oh, I got a phone call from Bill Joe. The eye specialist diagnosed him with "Keratoconus", a progressive disease of the eyes. It is in its earliest stages. There are treatments to slow the progress, but no cure. (I may not have spelled it correctly.)

We are expecting "weather" by tomorrow. Not sure how bad.

Guess that is all for now!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

First hoop jumped through

We are now prequalified for the house we are supposed to go see tomorrow. There were some surprises along the way, including the amount the bank requires for a downpayment. So this may end up being a hinderance to us. Or it may direct us to buying a "real" house... less than half the amount on down payment, plus we would qualify for VA as well as "First Time Homebuyers".

We shall see what we shall see!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

New Word of the Day

"Dramastically"... Daniel used this word to refer to the tax rate drop in his Sim City town. "I dropped the tax rate dramastically!"
It seems to combine drastically with dramatically and/or fantastically.

I love the new words these guys come up with.

And Becky's birthday gift has already arrived at the Site to Store pick-up! Whoo hoo. That is FAST!

Since she now already knows what it is, I can tell you... I still got her a sewing machine, just not the el-cheapest one.

Jade also called to report the arrival of her birthday gift- drawing materials; including pads, pencils and a 'how to' book. She was pleased.

Guess I better get my other items mailed off to Chris and to Uncle Buck. I found UB (and myself) some salt free lemon pepper seasoning, as well as some tomato basil SF seasoning. Last night, I made some veggie dip with fat free sour cream, a dab of miracle whip, and some of the tomato basil seasoning (Bell's). It was great! Tonight, I have lemon pepper chicken in the crock-pot. Owing to a slow start, I am cooking the rice on the stove top, and will add it to the chicken once it is done.

Have a great evening!

Get Ready for another ride on the rollercoaster...

We have an actual appointment to see a house on Friday morning. At the moment, Mr C seems ready to take the place, even though we have not seen the innards. Unless the inside is totally trashed- we may be homeowners again within the next couple of months.

We did look very seriously for a house back about 18 months ago. I had a notebook full of places we had seen, with the plus and minuses of each noted. The last place we looked at was a few days before Tyrel was born. He is 16 months now.

I would like to be in a place where we can garden this spring.

The place we will be seeing is close enough to where we now live, I will be able to keep watching Matthew. So nothing much would change for us except the address- and probably the phone company. (Hey Becky and/or Seneca... there is another place on the same road, another 4/2 on an acre- if you want to consider moving back up here!)

Stay tuned for further developments....

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


One thing I like about colder weather is getting to bake. We try not to turn the oven on in the warm weather to avoid heating the house. In cold weather, I'm not sure which is better... the warm from the oven or the goodies that come out of it.

Yesterday, I made a stew. It was in the cast iron dutch oven, and boiled so furiously on the stove top on the lowest heat, I thought it was cooking too fast. I put it into the oven at 200*. It had beef from a small steak I found on markdown. I cubed that up, rolled the cubes in seasoned flour, and browned them in olive oil. Then added beef broth, celery, onions, carrots, potatoes, and barley. I had to add some water and beef soup base, as I didn't have much broth.

Dan asked to make banana bread. It was excellent! (Used Chris's recipe from my Food For Fellowship cookbook). Then I had Sam do the math and divide the recipe for Grandma Ruby's Hot Rolls in half. He did great making those, and we baked them in the new Pampered Chef stoneware muffin pan. During the baking of the breads, I took the stew from the oven and let it just sit on the stovetop... cast iron is great at retaining heat! I put it back in between times, and for the last 20 minutes before supper when the rolls baked.

It was soooo good! Hard to quit after just one bowl of soup and one roll.

Maybe Becky should think of doing some baking Wednesday... the high where she lives is supposed to drop from the upper 70*'s into the mid 30*'s. Mr C frets and worries about whether she has the heat hooked up for the winter yet. (I think Dad's may fret more than Mom's do about some things).

I need to go to the library... but I don't know if I can muster up the energy to do it this morning. With three of us working and two cars, we have small windows of opportunity to get errands done. The van is SUPPOSED to be done today. I don't have a lot of confidence in it actually being ready. Mr C will have to inspect it. The same repair shop did the car last year, and after it was 'ready', took another week to fix the things Tom pointed out they missed. Maybe I will make the library, and maybe I will procrastinate!

I checked the cell phone minutes yesterday to be sure we weren't running over time. I have 35 minutes left for the 'month', with the 3rd being the last day of the month. So we cut it pretty close. (feel free to call on Thursday or after, LOL).

I'm thinking I ought to do a "family newsletter"... as I missed doing one last year. I don't have a way to add pictures this year. The last two color ink cartridges I have bought... from totally different sources, have printed three color pages each before running 'empty'. So I think it is the printer. I can't afford to print pictures at that cost! (And I need new grandkid pictures anyway... *hint hint*). Perhaps writing a short family newsletter 'article' would be a good assignment for school today!

Speaking of writing... I know it has been awhile since Daniel has written on his blog. He did write a blog yesterday... and my exciting news from that is: He asked me, "Do you spell (a word) like _______?" and he spelled the word to me correctly! He did that several times!
This is big news because Dan has had so much trouble catching on to spelling. (dyslexia). I did see he had some 'spaces' in words (in stead and to day)... but that is rather minor when I consider the big leap he has made.


Have a great day!

Monday, December 1, 2008


and things I forgot to mention....

Tommy made it all the way home to Snanjlo this morning.

It has been snowing since yesterday... with less accumulation than it takes to cover the ground. I ran my errands... in the snow... and it began to sleet on me on the way home. Then it went back to snow, but added enough moisture that the 'dry' snow is now good for making miniature snowmen. (Which Dan and Sam are out trying to do during their lunch break.)

We DID stop at the Runestone State Park in Heavener, Oklahoma on our way to Dad's last week. It was pretty cool. The runes have been translated... discovered to be a property marker. (Glom's Valley.... or something like that.) The paths down to the rune stone are beautiful... native stone. They even used the stone to make walls with "railings" of stone along the paths. We didn't go inside the gift shop... but hey, I finally got to stop along the way for a scenic detour!

Once back from errands, I did order Becky a birthday presnt... but not the one I mentioned to her yesterday. I had my eye on a cute little sewing machine. Like the doggy nail trimmer, I decided to read some customer reviews about it on Amazon. Of 40 reviews, there were only two positive reviews, and four mediocre reviews. The rest were all bad reviews... and I suspect that if the reviewers could have given it less than a 1/2 star rating, it would have been in negative stars. So I chose something else. (Guess one should not expect much from a $35 machine). (Sorry Becky!)

In the Swing

December already. I was talking to my MIL a couple of days ago, and she was saying how time just seems to pass so quickly these days. I agreed... it is reeling by like the toilet paper at the end of the roll.

I am "at 'em" a bit earlier than usual this morning, as I wanted to visit with Tommy a few minutes before Mr C took him to the airport. (Though the flight filled up to the 'red zone' since we checked last night. Mr C is freaking out that Tommy may not get out of here today... like that would be a BAD thing!) (I just checked- he has a seat assigned, so he is on his way!)

December is a "Birthday Month" for us. I have a card ready to mail for Tom's youngest sister . I have ordered a present for Jade, my granddaughter. I took care of Christopher's gift a week or so ago. I have two birthday cards ready for folks having birthday's on the 8th... oops- missed my Uncle on the 7th. The next birthday I have to actually "do something" about is Becky's, on the 16th. And even though I have all month to decide what to do, I best be thinking about Mr C's birthday, instead of letting it sneak up on me.

We have school work to do today. And errands, which I have to be back from before noon, since Ben needs the car to go to work. Matt is back from his 'time off'. I DON'T have to go in to OReilly's after all, at least not the extra days this week.

Mr C has been busy looking at houses again. More seriously than he has looked in awhile... with all of the estimated budgeting and calculating that goes with it. He seems to enjoy 'number crunching'. He showed me one place online yesterday- I loved it! Then he dashed my hopes and said it was too far to even consider. (So why show it to me? Just to see me get excited enough to yank out the rug?)
Right now, the place at the top of the consideration list is local- probably 2 miles as the crow flies, from this house. It is about 5 miles by gravel road... and since Mr C doesn't do dirt/gravel roads, the distance expands in order to stay on pavement. If we moved there, I would still be able to keep Matt. It would be closer, or about the same for Mr C getting to work, but slightly longer for me to get to Oreilly's- travelling on paved roads. It is a double wide. We'll see. You know how things can change on a dime around here.

I suppose I ought to get to checking on the Cyber-Monday deals. Maybe I will find something cool for Becky, instead of the item I mentioned to her yesterday.

Friday, November 28, 2008


We are back from east Texas, after our Thanksgiving trip. All had a nice visit. It IS good to be home. I missed my own bed. The meal was splendid. Mr C thought that the table looked like it was set for a State dinner with the President. Actually, we just set what used to be a typical meal setting- with a cloth napkin, knife, fork, and spoon.

I got to see Bill Joe- it has been a full year. He has lost "almost" 100 lbs. since last year.

I'm back to work- fun fun joy joy.

Tommy is here- great to see him- though we have only evenings together. He has to return to west Texas Monday. (Not Munday, west Texas... that is a short ways north of him).

My Mom's cousin's granddaughter... what is she, my second cousin twice removed?... is in the hospital, facing the removal of her LEG. Amanda was in a drunken driver car wreck when she was 14... about 8 years ago. She is paraplegic... just almost a quad. She can barely move her hands... not her arms much. Anyway... Amanda's Mom was letting Amanda's boyfriend take care of her. (He was an Army vet- wounded in the head with shrapnel and not quite "right".) He wasn't really trained on HOW to take care of her... and she got infected 'bedsores'. Amanda's mom and the BF are in jail facing charges of neglect. Amanda has been made a ward of the state... and wonders why Mom and BF have not been to see her. She is unaware of the charges against them. Please be praying she recovers without losing her leg. Her Mom and BF face criminal charges... though they didn't INTEND harm... , harm resulted.

So that is about all for today. Have a blessed day!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving...

In the morning, probably before I have time to blog... I will be off to Dad's house in East Texas. Along drive, I hope we can make a 2 mile detour to see the Runestone State Park in Oklahoma... but I am not holding my breath on that. Mr C is not known for accommodating scenic detours.

Tommy is here, safe and sound, to keep Benny company for Thanksgiving. I got 2 Cornish game hens for them to cook for the occasion. Plus a frozen apple pie, green bean casserole fixings, stuffing, and pretty much regular turkey day fare.

I will be gone all week, not expecting much, if any computer time. So, May you all have the best of Thanksgivings, and count every blessing.
Happy trails to you, until we meet again!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

dreaming again

I was on my drive home from work, and it was raining. But the closer I got to the house, the worse things looked. Coming down Vaughn Road , I saw that the road was washed out at the sides, narrowing it to a single lane, and there was a lot of traffic. People were fleeing... something. I got home, and discovered a huge flood river was flowing along beside of the house. It was still raining, with an overcast darkness. The house was full of family.
As dreams often do, part of it continued, but the location changed. While I was driving home to THIS house, this was not the house where I found myself, safe with my family, as the dream went on. From the windows I could see so much stuff floating by... furniture, debris, people in makeshift boats and real boats, struggling down the flood river in the rain. It was cold and the wind was blowing. I looked out and saw a girl struggling, trying to swim- but exhausted by the cold water and weakening.

I ran to the edge of the flood river, and held out a fish-landing net. (It was a blue net on the end of an aluminum pole.) I hauled the girl in, and my family helped me get her inside. We got her dry, and discovered she knew Becky from some events in a town far to the east of the house. I felt compelled to go back to the flood river. The family objected... it was cold and raining, and when I stood by the window to see out, the wet wind blew in. So I went on outside to the edge of the deck. The water was sweeping along directly under my feet, yet I had no fear. I knew my house was safe and secure even in the midst of the flood. I began to fish other things out of the water with the net. To my horror, I snagged a body.

I pulled it in anyway, and commanded the man to breathe. I commanded in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ Who created you, breathe! The man began to breathe, and then recover. My family came out and helped him inside, to get dry and warm.

I saw a woman drift by in a very small boat, trying to protect a tiny baby from the rain and cold. It was impossible to do, on the water, in the cold and windy downpour. I thought to myself :"This is what God meant in the Bible when he said for us to pray that our flight comes not in the winter, and woe to her her who has a small child."
Then, in the flood river, what was that? An arm? I ran along the shore a bit, then grabbed hold of a fence post and waded out a bit. I extended the net, and a hand grabbed feebly. It was a boy, about 10 years old. I had to keep him from leaping back into the water as he revived. "My brothers, My brothers! Dad is going to kill me if I don't find my brothers!". He was surprised that I knew his name was Richard. (I was surprised, too!) I tried to tell him that his Dad would be so thankful to know that HE survived, and we would try to find his brothers later.
Richard cried out as I saw a small boy float by face down. I held on to the post again, and hauled in the little body. Without hesitation, I again commanded, in the Name of Jesus, for him to live. Breathe! He began at once to breathe. I was dipping the net into the water blindly, when I fished out the baby brother. He, too, began to breathe upon command in the name of Jesus.

About this time, Tom called for me to wake up, it was time to get up. I'm dreaming! All of this was a dream! I should have known... I pulled four bodies from a flood, and commanded them to live, and they ALL lived. I could never do that in reality.
Then, as often happens when God is trying to make a point to me through a dream, the Holy Spirit spoke to me. He said "It is not because the power of God is not available to you to do this, 100% of the time. It is because you lack the faith to operate in it. I am showing you these things to prepare you to operate in God's power 100% of the time."

At that moment, I woke up completely.
Definitely an attention getting dream. I thought about it for awhile, then posted it here. I am interested in what it may mean. So many dreams fade instantly when I wake up, but this one lingered in my mind. I wonder why my family stayed in the house, instead of coming out to the river? Why did I feel I needed to be out in the cold rain? Why, in so many of my dreams, do I feel compelled to command the dead to life? Comments?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Eagles, Errands, and Gingerbread men

Daniel and Sam mixed up a batch of gingerbread cookie dough this morning. While it chilled, we ran errands. First of all, to Petco; where we wanted to buy one of those nail grinders for dog toenails... "as seen on TV". I know the ones on TV run about $20... and the least expensive one at Petco was $54.xx. I didn't get one of the grinders, deciding to check at WalMart first.

From Petco, we went to the Library. That was a fairly quick visit. Matt was with us, and behaved admirably. He thought about pitching a fit when I said it was time to leave the toys in the children's' area, but decided it was better not to antagonize Miss Tammy. The library has a huge salt water aquarium, where Nemo, Dori, and friends swim. That was pretty cool. Still, we were pressed for time because I HAD to go by WalMart for groceries and get back in time for Ben to leave for work at 12:30.

At WalMart, they didn't have pet nail grinders. I got milk, bread, eggs, cooking oil... all the basic stuff we have run out of since Tom went on Saturday. I needed printer paper, as I copy a LOT of schoolwork out for the boys, probably 20 pages per day or so. I remembered to get some whop biscuit dough, so we can make beirocks for supper tonight. Not exactly the recipe that "Truth" uses at Piece of the Puzzle's Recipes4Me, but she is the one who reminded me of these.
I haven't made them for years. I cooked up a pork roast yesterday, and used half for BBQ sandwiches last night. Tonight, I will chop cabbage and onions and saute them. Chop/shred the leftover (not BBQ) pork roast and add it to the cooked cabbage and onion. Flatten out whop biscuits, add the cabbage/pork mixture, top with another flattened whop biscuit, seal. Place on baking stone, cook until the biscuits are done.

We raced home from Wal Mart,and on the last corner before we arrived, Daniel sighted our first bald eagle of the year. (Tom saw one last week). It is pretty cool to live right in their migration route.

I got home and checked online for the pet nail grinders. I like to comparison shop when I can... and read objective customer reviews, not just praise testimonials. I ended up at Amazon... where almost every customer gave the 'as seen on TV' brands a mediocre to poor rating. MANY went on to recommend the Dremmel pet nail trimmer. It was a couple of $ more than the TV varieties, but negligible. So I ordered it from Amazon. Soon, we may not hear the clicketyclacketyclickkyclickclicketyclackclicketyclacketyclickkyclickclicketyclackclicketyclacketyclickkyclickclicketyclackclicketyclacketyclickkyclickclicketyclack
of 32 toenails scrittering down the hall at all hours.

And NO, I did NOT order a "Ped Egg" for myself. *gross!*


Time for the boys first batch of cookies to come out!

Oops. On the cookie check, Sam touched the oven door, spun away muttering words under his breath... pseudo-swearing, like his Mom. He said, "FLAMING! "

Evenings with the Cow Crew

Evenings here can be interesting. We fall into discussions of such things as tachyon beams and betanaphthol. The dictionary is dragged out. After looking up various words to settle arguments... we get to chasing down other 'rabbit trails' of other words we came across while looking up the first words.

I can see the 'wheels turning' in Mr C and the twins' brains, looking ahead at possible ways to work new words into casual conversations.

I cannot say what led to last nights bunny trail... but Tom found the thesaurus before we found the dictionary (under a pile of clean laundry on Ben's desk). He began to use (apply, employ, exercise, exert) the list of synonyms for the word for which we were seeking (pursuing, questing, searching) the dictionary. Soon we were all sputtering with laughter.

Mr C told Sam that he didn't believe that Sam knew how to use a dictionary. Sam demonstrated his ability.

Hmmm, I'm thinking it is time to drag Scrabble out again.
One thing about having homeschooled so many kids, one after the other, over the last 23 years, is that I think we have covered all the bases with each kid- only to find I have NOT. This usually comes out glaringly over a simple matter that "everyone" knows. I assume I have covered an area more recently than I have.

I found out while we were in Ohio that Daniel and Sam did not know all the months of the year, nor the order in which they fall. I endured the lecture (I really ought to number the repetitive lectures for ease of reference) about how I am not doing a good job of teaching the boys if they don't even know (the months of the year) when they are (12) years old!

You know, some things you just assume people already know. I know we have gone over the months of the year in the past. I thought I had done this with the twins. And state capitals... they don't know all of the state capitals, and the states to which each capital is associated. Now I KNOW we have done the States and Capitals. But it was at least three years ago, possibly four. So we are doing some 'remedial' work.

Sam asked why they have to learn the capitals of the 'stupid little states that are too small to even write the state name ON the state. The ones like Rhode Island and Delaware... where the name just floats in the ocean'. (I am sure the people who live in those states feel that their state is every bit as worthy of learning as Texas and Montana.) I'm not exactly sure what benefit being able to recite States and Capitals will have later in life, but we are learning them.

(Perhaps the benefit of not not thinking that, "Oklahoma is that state over by West Carolina, isn't it?", which my nephew Luke's high school girlfriend asked us during a visit last year.)

The book that has come to our rescue, as containing a US Map with the capitals "dotted" and listing every State and Capital (and the added virtue of us already owning the book)... is The Dangerous Book For Boys. I hope that Jade is enjoying and getting as much use from her copy of the Daring Book For Girls as the twins are this book.
Well, it IS time we were schooling. Have a blessed day!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Term of endearment

Mr C is not known for his 'loving' terms of endearment towards anyone, and me in particular. "You Old Large Thang" is often shortened to "Thang!".

So yesterday as I was getting ready to leave for work, Matthew was eating his breakfast, and Mr C began his recitation of terms of endearment.

He started out shouting, "Thang you, Large Thang You!"
(I know all of my kids can hear him exactly!)

Matthew repeated him, word for word, same inflections.

Of course, this was the funniest thing Mr C had heard in a long time... possibly since our own kids did it. He laughed out loud. Matt laughed out loud... then began the whole chant again, since Mr C found it so funny.

I'm just sure Wanda (Matt's mom) is going to find it equally amusing when Matt refers to her as "You Old Large Thang", or "Large Woman".

Looks like we will spend next week in East Texas. We may go down Monday, abandoning poor Ben again. He is actually OFF on Thanksgiving Day... but since he doesn't get off until 10 pm Wednesday night, and we head for home early Thursday afternoon, he will just be stuck at home alone. Grammy Kathie has already promised him a care package of Thanksgiving food to be sent home with us. I offered to buy him a frozen TV dinner of turkey and dressing. He said he would rather cook something for himself. He does have to work Black Friday, starting at 9:00 am instead of 1 pm.
Speaking of TV dinners- I took one to work yesterday. It was a Boston Market Homestyle Meatloaf. (I don't get an actual lunch break on Sundays... it is grab a bite if you have time.) As I sat eating it, I read the label... this being purchased before we went to Ohio and started trying to eat lower in salt and lower in fat. This meal had more than 56% of the sodium intake allowed a heart patient per day. In one meal! It was also loaded in fat and cholesterol. The calorie count wasn't too bad... but the nutritional value for those calories really stunk.

I came home to Ben cooking supper on his day off. He made a big salad, topped with a small amount of real bacon. He cooked chicken breasts in a small amount of olive oil... to be eaten along with, or topped upon the salad. It was really good!
Yesterday, we started out fairly slow at work. But about noon, things picked up. There are just two of us working on Sunday... and we were both five customers deep at times... with people on hold on the phones as well. For a rural store on a Sunday, breaking $2000 is considered a major deal. Aaron and I did right at $2500. Much of our regular 'chores' went undone- there was just no way to get to them. I had eaten my TV dinner before the rush hit. Aaron didn't get a break to potty, much less run to Sonic, until after 4 pm. We get off at 5. It was crazy.
The boys and I need to go to the library soon. It is more difficult to manage with 2 vehicles and 3 people working. I don't know whether to wait til Thursday to go, or take Mr C to work when he comes home for lunch, and go this afternoon. Guess we can decide that later.
Have a great day!

Friday, November 14, 2008


That was what was determined by the UGE. One healing- a couple of "severe", as noted to me when the nurse read me the doctors comments from the chart as she wheeled me to the car. Mr C had gone ahead to pull the car to the front. Mostly I have slept since then. My throat is slightly achey, and I sound like I have laryngitis, but I'm not in pain. Just sleepy. He prescribed Prilosec, which we did not get filled today.
I work my regular 8-5 tomorrow, so will try to call folks in the afternoon.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Goodbye, Petey

Petey the Goldfish was with us for at least 7 years. Lately, he has been showing his age in various ways... first by floating upside down in his favorite corner of the tank. (He nearly got flushed the first couple of times he did that!) Once we grew accustomed to seeing him floating upside down, we just accepted it as his "trick". Then he would be found curled into a "C"- nose and tail touching the gravel... very lifeless. But wait... a sprinkle of food, and he would give a few mighty fish gasps and be up there eating goldfish flakes with Tassadar, Finnix, and Jimmy Raynar.

Day before yesterday, Petey began hiding behind a decorative stone in the aquarium. Daniel "freed" him once, and Tom another time... before realizing he was getting there on purpose. He didn't eat yesterday... and his gasps came less and less frequently. Today, he was curled into the "C", laying on the gravel. I was sure he was gone- but he gave a feeble gasp. Mr C and I had talked yesterday, wondering why we were having such trouble in just removing this obviously dying fish from the tank. When I talked to Becky yesterday, even she thought we should just go ahead and take him out of the tank. (We did the Monty Python scene 'Bring out your dead!' Wait, I'm Not dead yet...)

So a short while ago, Daniel got the net and fished Petey from the aquarium. Petey didn't struggle. He didn't even fight in the net or flop about when he was removed from the water. Dan buried Petey in the yard. Then, Sam and Dan gave him a two-BB-gun salute. They sprinkled fish food ceremoniously on his grave, in lieu of flowers.

Petey was a good fish. He came to us as a prize from the Central High school carnival. He survived a fishy disease that rotted off his fins and tail. He moved with us from Central High, Oklahoma- an arduous journey for a fish- some six hours sloshing in a jar in the floorboard of a car. He shared his tank with numerous other fish type creatures over the years... minnows and plecostomi, and various other tropical fish. None lived as long as Petey.

Now he is gone. We will probably talk about him for years to come.

Or Not.
He was a goldfish. They die. They get flushed... or buried. They are missed briefly or not at all.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Dear Family and the Few Friends we possess...
You may not actually be hearing from us for awhile. We just got our cell phone bill from last month.
Did you know ATT charges .45 per minute of phone use over your plan? And our plan was already over $90 a month, basic no frills.
If you surmise that we went over our minutes, ate up all the rollovers, and then continued to make and receive phone calls without due consideration of FORTY-FIVE CENTS A MINUTE, you would be right. The phone bill was closer to $500 than to $400.


So if you call during the week, and we don't answer... try the house phone. Or we might call you back when the rates drop at 9:00pm- though I seldom call anyone that late. Mostly, we will be talking to you on the FREE WEEKEND minutes.

We are not out of minutes for this month... but have burned over half of our allotment- and it is not 1/3 through the month yet. So if we DO answer your call- talk fast!

Meanwhile, I guess I ought to grind up some blood pressure medication and slip it into Mr C's supper. He is NOT happy.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Caramel Corn

Pop some 'old fashioned' popcorn... the kind you do on the stovetop... in a small amount of olive oil. Spray a large casserole dish with spray oil. Transfer the popped corn into the casserole dish- picking out any unpopped kernels.

In a saucepan, melt 1 stick of Smart Balance 50/50 Butter Blend. Add 2 cups of Demerara sugar crystals ("Florida Crystals), and 3/4 cup of Karo Corn syrup. (I used dark today). Stir over medium heat until the mixture comes to a hard boil. Once the hard boil is reached, set a timer for 5 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200*. Measure 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla and keep nearby as the mixture boils. When the timer sounds, turn off the burner beneath the saucepan. Quickly stir in the baking soda, and then the vanilla, using either a silicone spatula or a wooden spoon. Stir well, and pour the hot syrup over the popped corn in the casserole dish. Stir together, then place the casserole dish in the oven. Bake 40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to distribute the caramel evenly. Pour out onto a large surface covered with wax paper, trying to break up clumps. Allow to cool.

This is a no- salt added, lower saturated fat version of my favorite caramel corn recipe, and it turned out deliciously. I added 1/2 cup of raw slivered almonds to the popped corn before pouring over the syrup.

I am also trying "peanut butter popcorn"... Adding 1/2 package of peanut butter "chips" to popped corn, and putting it into the oven, stirring often, until the PB chips are melted and the corn feels "dry". So far- not so thrilled with the results... but I'm not big on PB anyway.

Well that went... OK

I'm back from the pre-admittance of the hospital. The look-see down my throat is actually called an UGE "Upper Gastric Endoscopy".

They poke the end of the scopey down my throat and look around, fixing any minor problems they may encounter along the route. This is scheduled for 11:00 am Friday.

Yaaawn. I got up early this morning to drive Tom to work, but he decided to take the poor old van. We still haven't taken it for repair, so it is very limited in distance we can drive it, and time of day... as the one headlight points off in a strange direction.

I ought to know to keep my mouth shut on some things. When I rearranged the freezer yesterday, I could just see the flour canister breaking. I handled it very carefully, as I know how brittle plastic can be when frozen. This morning, I sent Sam to get the flour canister. He dropped it, and it shattered. On the plus side- the shatter was contained on one side of the canister- and it was large slivers of hard plastic... so the most of the flour was salvageable. Not like broken glass. So after the pre-admit, I stopped by WM and found another large plastic container to store the flour. Sam remarked that he could not remember us ever using anything except the old canister. I know it is seven or eight years old... possibly more.
Tonight, I plan for a FFY supper night. That is Fend For Yourself. We have leftover roast, leftover chicken noodles, salad, and several other containers of Stuff That Needs To Be Eaten.
For the creative portion of our day, Dan and I are going to attempt a low fat version of the carmel corn recipe I have. And maybe even try Carmel Chex Snack Mix. (Making up the cereal mixture and pouring the candy syrup over it, as if it were popcorn). If I don't opt out of creativity and go straight for the nap portion of the day! (Yawn again)


Tater! It's Mr Potato Head meets the Millenium. He is the absomolutely cuterest taterhead ever!
I found this one at Amazon.com

Monday, November 10, 2008

And what did I learn today?

I learned today that it is a good thing to re-check one's scheduled appointments one has written down. In advance. And it is also a good thing to be able to read one's own handwriting.

My pre-admittance is TUESDAY, not Wednesday. First glance at my handwriting, it does appear to say Wednesday... but actually reading it, rather than glancing... it is most certainly TUESDAY. Which is tomorrow, not the day after.

What else did I learn today?

My children are bordering tired of chicken. I stopped by the local grocery store to get another couple of cases of canned goods and other sale items. When I got home, I decided to organise the freezer before adding more items to it. We have LOTS of chicken. (Some from my Mom's cousin Ruth, most from various sales over the last month or so.)

For lunch today, we made a big salad. I put some frozen boneless chicken breasts into my Pampered Chef stoneware roaster, sprinkled them ever so slightly (about 1/4 teaspoon or less over 3 breast halves) of Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning and began cooking them in the microwave. After 5 minutes, I took them out, turned them and rearranged them, and added about 1/4 cup of orange juice, right from the carton. Daniel suggested adding some lime and some orange zests, so we did. Returned them to the microwave and cooked them another 5 minutes. (They were done at this point- may take more or less time in other microwaves.) I let them set in the juice for several minutes, then cubed them up. They were added to the salad, along with some slivered almonds and dried cranberry "craisins". Served with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing... delicious! (I saved the pan juice to add to rice next time I make some.)

Anyway, the family is spared from chicken for supper tonight. I have a nice roast beast in the slow cooker. Sam added the potatoes, carrots, and onions just a short while ago.

I learned today that Ben has a "new cat". He shared his lunch with a "parking lot cat" at WalMart last week, and it has become very friendly to Ben. Thankfully, it still lives in the WalMart parking lot. But he did pack up some moist cat food in his lunch today, some that Al will not eat. (Al doesn't like moist food). He said it was kind of weird, packing cat food in his lunch. So we made a few jokes about being too poor to afford to eat anything but cat food. I said yeah, he has to take the cat food in his lunch... and the reason it was already open is that he has to share with his brother. Ben is the lucky one, he gets to carry his half in the plastic 'can'. His brother just had to carry his half of the cat food in his pocket. Without a bag. (we got sillier and sillier.)

Oh, the parking lot cat just reminded me of Chris's incident at the airport several years ago.

Chris was working as a baggage mangler on the swing shift. His car had a broken "wing window" from having to break in to the car at an earlier date. Chris hurried to the car one cold wet night, quickly unlocked the door and jumped in. Just as the car started, there was a movement in the back seat.. then something came over the seat at him. Chris said he was sure he was being attacked by a carjacker... until he realized it was just a stray cat that had found a warm dry place to sleep. It landed in his lap and bounded out the broken window... leaving him shaking in his shoes!


Juggling Jobs

Ben has been working for a week now. We still have only 2 vehicles, due to the deer accident.
It looks like we are scraping into our first scheduling conflict this week. It isn't really a conflict- just cutting close. I am supposed to be at the Siloam Springs hospital Wednesday at 10:30am (16 miles SW of here) for pre-admittance. Tom works that day, 7-5:30. Ben is supposed to be at work in Bentonville at 1:00pm. (15 miles NE of here). If the hospital is prompt and quick, there is no problem.... I can be back here in plenty of time for Ben to be on time to work.

I have to be pre-admitted Wednesday for the look-see of my esophagus on Friday. They have to 'sedate' me for the procedure, so it is done at the hospital instead of the dr. office. I will be working Thursday at OReilly's, since I have to be off on Friday.

Ben was assigned Sunday and Thursdays as his 'regular' days off. That works out with him having Matthew on Sundays... two jobs for Ben and for me!

The guy I work with had his Dad take a look at the van yesterday- and recommended a couple of places we can take the van to for repairs. The Dad said he was not licensed, and he can see that there is much more to the repairs than the superficial damage that meets the eye. So we have that yet to do. We are at least trying to get the ball rolling.

I will be working more hours at OReilly's during December- time for their inventory count. I will JUST be working inventory those hours- no answering the phone or cashiering. Matt will be spending more time with his Mom as she uses her vacation time. Since I don't get paid for NOT watching Matt- the extra time at O's is good. (And pays a whole lot more).

Matt seems to be catching on, at last, to the grown-up world of going to the bathroom by himself. His parents have posted a "score chart" for him on his bathroom door at home. It has Chuck E Cheese on it. When he has a perfect score month- his reward is a trip to have pizza with a giant rat. FUN!

Oh My. Just remembered... Glynna has a birthday this week. I haven't mailed her a card yet! I was just thinking that we don't have any birthdays all this month... and I remembered hers.

Now next month, we have several birthdays. Tom's sister Teeny, GD Jade, my sister Lalani, Becky's MIL Nola and SIL "T", Christopher, Becky, and DH Tom. That doesn't count half a dozen friends I send birthday cards to during December. Hot on the heels of December is January- and we have at least 3 family birthdays in January.

It is time to get school underway here, so That's all for right now. I will try not to neglect the blog too much this week!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Dan on Fire

I got home from work this evening and saw that Dan had posted a new blog on the Arctic Circle. He mentioned catching himself on fire. No explanation.

Yesterday, Daniel and Sam built a 'fort' in the yard. A rickety wooden packing crate balanced atop of some cinder blocks and stones. Think giant cartoon rabbit trap. Early this morning, the two boys went out to play. they took candles, and various items to cover and insulate their 'fort'. Sam came inside for something... snacks I think. Dan came in a short while later with his shirt smoldering. His NEW camo flannel shirt... less than a week old. He leaned over a candle inside the fort and caught his shirt on fire. He was wearing his NEW long sleeved T shirt beneath his flannel shirt, and scorched a good sized spot on it... but managed to put himself out before he was burned.

He thought it was tremendously funny.

Me, not so much.

The twins have decided I am a "worst case scenario" type person. I could see him in my mind... on fire. Knocking down the precariously perched wooden packing crate onto himself as he trys to put out his burning shirt. The crate or cinder blocks breaking his arm as the crate falls... leaving enough air space that he is burning beneath the wooden crate as it catches fire...

And he finds it funny.

Never mind he has ruined $10 in shirts that are less than a week old.


just.... boys.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Leftovers/ plans

We are having to learn to cook all over again.
It seems like no matter what we make for supper, we have food left over. Leftovers are not BAD... but after the third or fourth day straight of trying to eat Tom's goulash, we begin to wish that he had not made quite so much in the first place.
I grew up in a family with 6 kids. Our house was where all the kids came to play... and usually stayed to dinner. When I had 5 to 7 kids at home, our house was the same. My kids thought "leftovers" were some awesome creation that they could only get at their friends houses. (Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end...)

Now, my fridge always seems to have the ghosts of prior meals haunting it. We haven't yet mastered the art of cooking just enough. I have been banning making something up fresh some days- demanding the leftovers be eaten instead. Still, how many times can one stomach yet another plate of goulash?

Goulash is Tom's fall back dish- if nothing leaps out of the freezer at him and demands to be cooked- he makes goulash. And he makes a LOT. I usually buy pasta elbows in a two pound box... and he will use the entire box. We are down to five people here... we don't even need a full pound of pasta to feed everyone. And he will use extra-hot rotel tomatoes, then add hot pepper sprinkles to the chili powder. (I suppose it is really more chili-mac than goulash). It is so hot I can barely stand to eat a bowl of it- and forget a second bowl. Too hot to feed to Matthew for lunch.

Yesterday I mentioned that I was cooking a big pot of beans. Knowing that I always cook too many beans- I cut waaaay back. Still, I have leftovers. But with beans I can use the leftovers. They can become chili.... or refried beans, or burritos. (Or another delicious bowl of beans and cornbread for breakfast today...)

I almost never salt the food I am cooking- maybe add a sprinkle right at the end of the cooking. And I look for the 'no salt added' varieties of canned vegetables when I can. We switched to sea salt several months back. We began using olive oil for most of the 'cooking fat' in our meals several years ago, unless we are deep frying something. We don't deep fry very often.

Still, I have to remind myself about salt and fat as I try to eat more 'heart healthy'. Even if I don't have heart problems, isn't it better to try and keep it that way? My downfall in snacking is salt. I can leave most sweets alone, but I love salty snacks. (Sweet'n'salty is GREAT!) I tried the fat free whipped topping on my birthday pie while I was in Ohio. It was actually VERY GOOD. Yesterday, I got a container of fat free sour cream... but have yet to try it. I also got ingredients to bake whole grain breads.

Thanksgiving plans have just been made. The Family Get-together will be at Grandpa Bill and Grammy Kathie's house once again. Ben has to work, so won't be able to come. I work Friday, so will have to head home in the early afternoon. Be sure you call Grandma and let her know whether you will be coming or not. We know this is sort of late notice, so if you already have other plans, that is understandable.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Take a deep breath

Screaming doesn't do much good, so I guess I won't scream.

Updates here again: I may be right back OFF of BP medicine. I am on half of the lowest dose of the mildest medication- and my BP runs almost TOO LOW. The Doc said that it is such a low dose, a homeopathic approach would probably be better. I am supposed to be scheduled for some test where they look at the innards of my esophagus with a camera.... but that has yet to be arranged.
Oh, and I have lost either 6 or 8 lbs., depending on where you count from! (which may also be a contributing factor to the lower BP) yay me!

Ben started his very first 'real' job... one that is not working for friends or family. He is working at the Bentonville WalMart, as a produce guy. Benefits, and insurance and everything! (At least until WM has to lay off a boatload of people when Obama starts his socialist programs.) With Ben working, we will be having to restructure the chores again.

Yesterday was Al E Cat's 17th birthday. She has spent most of the last week curled up in a basket of yarn. She gets up to potty and eat. She continues to yowl in the wee hours- Ben says she likes to hear her own voice. But we probably won't have her around much longer.

Petey the Goldfish is still with us as well- and just as barely. Or maybe he is teaching himself a new trick. In addition to floating belly up in a corner of the tank, he now floats perpendicularly about in the center of the tank, tail up, as if he is too buoyant and tired of struggling to stay submerged. He moved with us from the house in Marlow... where we had him at least two years before we moved. We have been gone from there for four and a half years.... so he must be fairly old for a goldfish.

Grandma Arlene found her missing kitten. She adopted two kittens from Bob's cat Millie, who was adopted from Chris and Seneca's cat (Nimbus?). Grandma Arlene named her kittens Little Lulu and Little Lottie. Lottie escaped out the door and into the woods the day after Grandma brought her home. She was missing a day or two before turning up again at the edge of the woods. For once, the slightly anti-social Lottie was glad to see people!

One thing I was NEEDING to do today was pick up some Necessary Paper while I was in town. However, it slipped my beany brain... until I needed to potty.
Ben offered to bring some home from work- but he wouldn't be back until 10:30 tonight. I'm really pretty sure someone will need Necessary Paper before then.
So I left Matt with Ben and Sam while Daniel and I made of of the quickest trips possible to town. It was 2 hours until Ben would need the car- and I could have gone to the grocery store nearest the house... but once I mentioned going... I had a whole list in nothing flat. So we went all the way to the WM in Jane, filled the list, and got back with half an hour to spare! (the nearest store is just over 7 miles... nearest WM is 14, and we went to one that is 19 miles away. I figured if I had to go to the store anyway, I might as well go to a place I could get some Adult Beverage).

We are now cooking up a pot of beans for supper. Being a southerner, this means I am fixing pinto beans. Until recently, I had no clue that Pinto Beans were NOT always what someone meant when they said they were cooking up a pot of beans! Some people actually might be referring to 'white beans', or 'navy beans', or even 'kidney beans'. Just depends on what part of the country the person cooking is in. My family seems to like just about any bean... except canned pork'n'beans or baked beans. We will have cornbread, chow chow, and jalapenos as well. I may even show the boys what Grandma Rose and I were telling them about: Mexican Cornbread, with the corn and peppers, chili powder and cheese in it.

My mom and I had a very nice visit Monday and Tuesday. I was sad to see her head for the house... and POO! I forgot to send Seneca's picture frame! Too late now, she is closer to home than she is to here! Guess I "ought" to get that mailed... it has been boxed and ready for a month or better. Procrastination is sure one of my strong suits.

I found some wet clay for Ben... and then learned he doesn't need it any more. But we are going to have some fun with it anyway... maybe he can even fire it for us in his refractory.

The leaves are falling from the trees by the bushel today... soon the trees will be naked. Since the ragweed passed, I LOVE the fall best of all. SO pretty here.

I suppose I better get the clothes in the dryer folded... and since I can't fold and type, I will say bye for now.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Medical update... such as it is....

Yay! My cholesterol level was acceptable!

My "liver enzymes are elevated". Jeanie (the nurse) quickly explained that Dr. Benjamin believes that it may be my gall bladder giving me problems. This explains both high liver enzymes and chest pain!

One fatal flaw to that diagnosis is that I haven't had a gall bladder for more than 3 years.

So Jeanie and Dr. Benjamin are back to the drawing board to decide just what the next course of action should be.


Today marks the beginning of getting back on the old routine. While I was back to my schedule pretty much as soon as we walked in the door last week, Tom was off until this morning.

Between Oreilly's, the time change, and Tom being off, I haven't had much chance to post. So far, the BP medication seems to be working well. Towards the end of the dose (just before the next dose is due) I have had my BP spike up 'for no apparent reason'. I have to call the Dr.'s office when it opens today and find out what Jeanie the nurse tried to call me about on Friday.

My mom was in Arkansas this weekend for a seminar she attends with her cousin every year. Today she will detour by here and stay the night before heading on back to Texas. Depending on when Ben is to start at WM, she may stay and look after Matthew for me on Wednesday morning when I go in for the follow-up with the Doctor. Ben goes for the drug test today. Since I don't think he takes so much as an ibuprofen unless I force it on him, he will undoubtedly pass the screening.

While I did prepare and take schoolwork to Ohio for the twins, we didn't do any of it. I had planned to have them work on it at the first sign of boredom, or if they sat in the basement playing too many video games. They entertained themselves out of doors. They built a shelter in the woods of fallen trees. They invaded Grandpa Jack's shop and created bows and arrows, and practiced shooting off of Grandma's deck. Several evenings, they built a fire in the firepit on the deck, and roasted marshmallows. Grandma took them to the library, where they borrowed Hank the cowdog on audio tape. She took them to the ice cream stand in Laurelville that has 28 flavors of soft serve ice cream... which they read for themselves and each chose an interesting flavor. (We have a funny story in that!).

When Becky was five or six years old- not quite reading well- she went for a summer visit to Ohio. Chris and Bill were also with her on that trip. Grandma Arlene and Grandpa Jack took them to an ice cream stand near Circleville, famous for its wide variety of flavors. Grandma offered to read the list to Becky, some 59 flavors or more. Becky listened and stood for awhile, as if making up her mind. She asked Grandma to read the list a second time.. and Grandma did. Finally, Becky made her decision and was ready to order. "I'll have vanilla.", she told Grandma.

So here we are back to routine. Tomorrow, Al E Cat will be 17 years old. Ben will have to remember to get her some sardines or tuna today when he goes in to town... that is tradition for her birthday. Matthew is already up- early for him, even considering the time change. Someone is in the shower... I didn't see who went in. Jaffa is whining at the door, trying to turn the knob with his paws... he can almost get it! He hears the neighbor kids out and wants to chase the school bus. We need to go to the library, but that probably won't happen today. I have to decide what to fix for supper, and get it out to thaw. The usual schoolwork, laundry, house cleaning... all goes back on track today. It really fell by the wayside last week after we got home... hard to maintain a routine with Mr C here.

It's hard to believe it is already November.
I will be off for Thanksgiving! Hooray.
Not that I can GO anywhere... but I can cook a meal here. (Let me know if you plan to be here.) Mr C told me I need not get too large of a turkey, with just the five of us here. Bill Joe has said he may try to come.

Well, I have wandered away from here several times- so I guess I better post and have done with it! Have a great day!