Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thoughts on Loss

Becky and I learned yesterday that a friend of ours miscarried her baby. This little one was a much looked for blessing. Becky and I talked about how much each little life means to a family. She said that before she had Ty, she really didn't understand the depth of grief a person goes through with a miscarriage.

We cannot fathom God's plans for our lives. Becky was my baby that came on the heels of a miscarriage. She has heard me speak of Phillip Andrew all her life. Yet, if he had been born- the baby that became Becky would not have ever been. We cannot know how the fabric of our lives would have been changed if things had not happened as they did. Would things be subtley different, or would the changes have been vast?

At the time I miscarried, I was afraid to tell Tom. He knew I had begun to spot and cramp, but told me if I had enough faith, the baby would be fine. He slept through the ordeal, and it was several days before he found out. Each time I tried to talk to him, he would shush me and tell me I had to only speak life and faith. The life was gone- I could not see how faith was going to restore THIS child to my womb. I finally went to the preacher who taught at the Bible Study we attended, and asked her to help me understand how faith was going to revoke what had already happened. She sat Tom down and made him listen to me.

Our faith rests in God to do what best suits his plans for our lives, as difficult as that is for us to bear at times.

Over the years, I have learned that God has His plans. He did restore life to me. Many times over. First with Becky, then with four more strong and perfect sons. None were the child I lost, but each was God's special gift.

My prayers are with my friend Laurie and her family. I pray that life soon be restored to her womb. I hold her in my prayers as she grieves this baby.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Who can see what a year may bring?

Last year at this time, Chris was considering a move to DFW to accept a new job. Becky had a new baby. I wasn't even seriously considering quitting Eagle. Tommy and Ben were starting their last year of high school.

Today, Chris and Seneca are coming up on a year in Ft Worth. Seneca has almost completed schooling to be a medical assistant.... something that wasn't even a thought last year. I have quit Eagle, stayed home six months, and now gone back to work for another company. Tommy has moved away.

I would have hoped that the past year would have seen us moved into our own home. That hasn't happened. Like a mule tied to a mill post, we have been walking around and around and around in the same old rut.

Will I ever let go of my "stuff" that has been packed in boxes for so long? I have all my placemats and cloth napkins and platters and such for Thanksgiving dinner and big family get togethers in those boxes. My knick knacks and collectibles are still packed away. Books and more books- so far down we can't get to them. My sewing and craft supplies- all packed away, save for the sewing machine, needles and thread. Pictures packed up and not on display. Life in limbo.

I can't just unpack the boxes. There is no place to put these things, except for the wall photos. I have hung them up twice since we have lived here- and had to take them down because we were "about to move". (Which has fallen through every time.)

Dan and Sam are 7th graders now. Junior high/ Middle school age. Dan 's hobby is deep cleaning the house... we have nothing for him to do outside befitting a male of his age. Sam plays endless video games.

I'm kicking against a brick wall, it seems. I know things can change quickly. I want GOOD changes. I want "enough" for my family- all of my family. I want to see their needs met. I want good health for them all. Food on their tables, rooves over their heads, and jobs they like. Help Meets to love. A place where they can enjoy the life God has given them.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

'Tis the Season

To be sneezy.
Ragweed season- the worst time of the year. I know that from now until the first hard frost- I will be chomping down antihistamines and snorting Rhinocort to be able to function at all. My throat is already sore and my eyes are crusty. I hate ragweed!

I took the picture at the top of the blog last week at the local fishing lake in Decatur. I didn't even notice the turtle until after I put the picture on the blog. It is such a big picture file- my subtitle doesn't show up. And the part you see is just the left half of the photo... which also has a nice cove over to the right. The picture really came out prettier than the lake is in person. I managed to keep the scum out of the photo... and you can't smell the overwhelming fishy stagnant water odor.

Matt isn't here today- his Mommy stayed home sick. And with this weekend being Labor day, his Dad isn't going back to DFW until Tuesday, so he won't be here this Sunday and Monday. Selfishly, I do hope they keep up his potty routine. He had a perfect score yesterday- not one accident all day. Of course, that was mostly because I didn't give him a chance to slip up. I took him every 10 minutes if he didn't "go", until he produced. Then I waited half an hour before we would try again. If he produced, it was another half hour to the next try. If not- it was back to taking him every 10 minutes. Lavish praise when he would produce... plus he got to turn the light off. (What a privilege!)

I have been having the strange uneasy feeling I sometimes get. It feels like something is 'wrong' in my universe... a "disruption in the force", for lack of a better discription. Maybe it is the newly re-started Claritin and Rhinocort... or maybe I will hear about a problem later. It really bothers me to feel like this! I feel sloggy from taking over the counter allergy pills all night- the kind that DO make a person sleepy.


Time to get with the program and buckle down to schoolwork!

Monday, August 25, 2008


I wrote "or else" Friday morning, after Mr C and I had hashed things over Thursday evening and Friday morning. At noon Friday, Mr C said maybe I ought to go ahead and accept Sundays, since we don't 'do' anything anyway, except hang around the house.

I told the boss OK, I will work Sundays. I stated my misgivings- it was mine and Tom's only day together- even with Matthew here, it isn't like working. The boss asked did I want to keep working Thursdays? After giving it some thought- I realized if I don't work Thursdays, I will have a whole day off. Of course, I would still have errands and homeschool and housework... but no outside commitments at all. So next time Boss man makes the schedule, I will be working Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

I worked all weekend. For once, O's wasn't busy. The days dragged. Fifteen minutes lasted an hour. I was really glad to get home back to the house. Mr C was all excited last night. The minute I walked in- he pulled up the latest greatest house in Ohio.

Go look at it while you are there...

Yep, just about 2 weeks until Tom goes up for the opening game. At least I THINK it is the opener. (Ohio State Football, in case you were wondering). The boys are going with him. I think. You know how plans change around here! He was concerned about the twins missing three days of school by going. I was concerned about them being alone here two days on the weekend while I work. Besides, Gramma Arlene hasn't seen them since January.

Gramma Arlene's antique kitty disappeared about three weeks ago. We are pretty sure something got her... so Gramma has been a bit lonely without MamaKitty. Uncle Buck's cat (the one I took him from Chris and Seneca) is going to have kittens. GMa is going to adopt a couple of those, so they will be company for one another. UB is still crabbing that he really wanted one of Becky's tailless kitties. Think I ought to get Becky to fix him up?

Petey the Goldfish has perfected his trick of playing dead. Almost every morning, we find him floating belly up, like an upside down "U". Watching him carefully, you can see his gills move from time to time. Sprinkle some food in the tank, and he struggles upright and grazes. He spends half the day trying to overcome buoyancy- desperately swimming downwards. Yet at other times, he seems just like the other fish. Petey is what?- six years old now- and he has been blind for several years. That's pretty old for a goldfish. I think he is the last of the original fish we had in Marlow. {We have Petey, Tassadar, Jimmy Raynar, and Finix}. I wonder how many goldfish have been flushed that were only playing dead?

LOL, I remember Chris and Bill once brought home a baby catfish about the size of my thumb. They had found it in a puddle after some minor flood. They rescued it and put it in our aquarium. A few days later, we noticed it was now the ONLY fish in the tank. Mr Catfish was returned to the wild!

Have a blessed day today!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Or Else....?

As I mentioned, the kid that was hired at the same time I was at O's has already quit. That put the boss in a bind- he asked me to work last Sunday. Now he wants me to work EVERY Sunday, and he is NOT hiring anyone else. He says there is a hiring freeze.

Sunday, I have Matt. Tom and Ben could watch him. But Sunday is also the only day off Tom and I have together. So I am going to go in today and decline accepting Sundays as a permanent assignment. The boss didn't say I would be 'let go' if I cannot work Sunday. It was just sort of implied.

Tom says I could look for a different job. Oh Joy. I just LOVE job hunting.


Here are recent photoes of Samuel and Dan:



Thursday, August 21, 2008


Here is a picture of Ben working metal on his home made forge. He read up on methods on the internet, then used the principles he learned to design and build his own set up.
He salvaged our old grill as the stand/container. He ran an exhaust tube (purchased at an auto parts store) from the side vent of the grill to the hole in the underside of a large clay flower pot (salvaged from my re-potting stuff). He stabilized the exhaust tube and flowerpot with dirt- which also insulates the grill from the intense heat. He builds a fire inside the flower pot, then attaches a shop vac (vacuum) to blow through the exhaust tube (making it an INTAKE tube, LOL). The forced air super heats the fire in the flower pot. Using tongs, he buries the chunk of iron he is working in the coals, and covers them over with more hot coals.
When the iron is red hot, he removes it from the coals to the "anvil"...

.....which is a salvaged coupler from a freight train. So far, Ben has had to purchase a heavy blacksmith hammer, and the exhaust tube. He is using old five gallon buckets that once held laundry detergent as his cooling water, to quench the iron as needed.
I thought the whole set-up was pretty ingenious. He is using almost all salvaged stuff, which has made his new hobby pretty low cost, so far. What is he making? He hopes it will be a throwing knife when he is done. For now- it is just experimenting.
Maybe one day he will be a true blacksmith!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Just two months until I will be on MomArlene's deck... on my birthday. I can hardly wait. Mr C gets to go up in September... and October.... AND November. He has worked hard all these years to get so much vacation time. Paid vacation time. Where my time off in October is going to cost us over $300 I won't be earning. Guess I better start stashing some $$ back somewhere. Still... I can hardly wait!

Yesterday Matt did well on his potty training. He only had one incident all day. We are getting somewhere- I hope. Little Boys tend to be a bit more difficult than little girls at catching on to this potty stuff. Ben was the easiest kid- EVER. Shortly after Tommy was born, Ben began taking himself to the bathroom. He trained himself in short order- at about 19 or 20 months. (I always said it was his way of getting attention- he was no longer the baby (center of attention).) Next easiest was Becky. She was about 16 months old when we visited the undies section of Kmart. I showed her a pair of little white rumba panties with red ruffles, and promised to get her some as soon as she was going potty on the toilet. In no time at all, we were back there getting them for her. It is amazing how much little ones grasp about what you tell them.

I can remember my Mom leaving me and my brother Ricky at a nursery on a couple of occasions. I was somewhere between 18 to 22 months old. (Judging because Ricky was a little bitty baby). Mom dropped us off and left us playing. I looked around, and she was gone. I felt abandoned, and cried til I fell asleep. I remembered it so clearly, I decided that a baby is never too small to have things explained to him. So I would tell my kids I was leaving them someplace, but I would be back to get them. They may not have LIKED staying there, but it was less traumatic than thinking your Mommy had lost you.

Check out Becky's blog from yesterday. Tyrel demonstrated he understands a lot more than one would expect from a one year old. And from Becky's blog- she has a link to her friend Kyla's blog... and Kyla has a CUTE picture of Tyrel hamming it up at Cabela's in Ft Worth.

Hmmm, maybe I will just go swipe that picture!

Cute, isn't he?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Good Sport Model

Here is my granddaughter Amber's freshly created birthday present: A Chef's hat, an apron, and a good thick potholder. The mysterious model is quite a bit larger than Amber- who will be eight on Saturday. The chef's hat may need Seneca to pin it for Amber, if it is too big.

Daniel and Sam chose the fabric. Our model has taken the crudely wrapped box of birthday goodies off to be posted. Even Grumpa (Mr C) thought the apron was really cute. He didn't get to see the hat, since I didn't get started on it until after he went back to work from his lunch break.

Running out of Month

Yesterday, Matt made the potty five times! Unfortunately- one of the times he didn't was an adult sized bm... horridly gross. But he is getting better about telling me when he needs to go.

After Matt went home, the boys and I went to Lowes and then to WalMart. I got a new lampshade for my ugly old brass lamp. The twins have been having way too much fun with the old, broken shade. Of course, they stopped as soon as I got out the camera. It was a headdress, a "no scratch" collar, a 'drunk at a party' prop, and more.

I got supplies to make Amber an apron and a chef's hat for her birthday. I got her a muffin pan, some spoons, a measuring cup, and will send her some various sprinkles to go on the cupcakes she can bake. (Mom and Dad can let her choose the cake mix and frosting). I need to get these made and IN THE MAIL today. I opted for making her the items when I went looking for them online. They were poorly made, yet expensive. Or better quality and astronomically priced. I looked at real metal child sized cookware- but it was a severe burn waiting to happen. It was meant to be used in pretending to cook- not real cooking. So she is getting 'the real McCoy' muffin pan.
My goodness- my little boys are so cute. OK- so they aren't all that little anymore. But when they start talking to me about something that really excites them- their cuteness just turns me to a marshmallow! Daniel was just telling about his 'perfect kitchen'. All black appliances, and granite countertops. I just wanted to squeeze him.... which of course, I can't. He is twelve and one simply does NOT hug a twelve year old boy.
I went to a Home Interiors party and BBQ on Saturday afternoon after work. Dan and Sam went with me. There were two girls there that were 12 and 13- and another 13 year old boy. The little girls came in squealing and giggling a short while after the twins went out in the yard. They ran to their Mom, who happened to be standing next to me. Oh the cute twins! Oh they are our age. Oh! Squeal squeal squeal. OhMom OH squeal!
Their Mom turned them to face me, and said, yes- here is their Mom. The girls went scarlet. It was pretty funny. Dan and Sam were fairly oblivious- or have mastered the 'staying cool in the presence of squealing females' face. Thank You, Lord, for letting us homeschool. My kids have been able to stay KIDS and not be exposed to these things at too young an age.

As far as the Home Interiors party went- I was late getting there due to the job. The lady was packing up as I arrived. I got a catalog- and am trying to find SOMETHING to order. Mostly, I *choke gasp* at the prices. I really like one little flower pot. It is even on sale. But I don't like it enough to work three hours to pay for it.
Yep- it would cost me what I earn in three hours working for OReilly's, for a six inch flower pot. I just can't bring myself to do it. I do still have the catalog, and got some decorating ideas from it... but I guarantee you I can put together something as pretty for far less money.

Sam and Dan are working on finishing up yesterday's science lesson. I ordered the curriculum from the same publisher I used last year. Last year's teacher's manual had a copy of the student text- this year it does not. So I have to sit next to one of the boys and read over his shoulder- referring back to my book- read more over the shoulder. I am NOT happy with that. Oh well. Our lesson was late getting started yesterday, as Mr C was home for lunch. He turns the radio on- loud. The boys had finished their lunch before he got home, but we couldn't get back to work until Tom left. They did some as homework last night- but have several definitions to finish today.

Have a great day! Thanks for reading.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Here I am

Just when you thought I had finally shut up and gone away!
I have had a very busy time since I last posted. My counterpart at O's quit, and I have put in extra hours since Wednesday. And in addition to the extra hours, the store was extra busy!
We have still had school, errands, Matthew- all the usual stuff. It all added up to being too tired to get on the computer.

Mr C found a modem for the dinosaur. He and Ben spent an entire afternoon getting it installed and the computer revamped. Not that it runs any better- but it should get a faster connection speed. All the way up to a 44bps! Once Ben and Tom were done, Daniel and Sam got on and have tied up the computer playing Sim City. I have been too tired to demand they let ME have a turn.

This morning, the boys are working on lessons. Matthew is putting together a run from the wooden train set. In between whisking Matt off to the potty, answering questions and demonstrating lessons, I am trying to write.

We are still in review mode- but I am excited about the new books we have been getting. Spelling review has the words which they most frequently ask me to spell for them. These words will stay on the list until they GET them! I also added the boys' middle names to the spelling list. Sam assured me he could already spell Robert... R-o-b-t-r-e. Daniel said no one has ever asked him to spell Josiah. So both names will be learned by both boys.

After I got home and had supper last night, we drove down to the little local lake, and the boys and Tom all fished. They didn't get so much as a nibble- but it was nice to get out together and DO something. At least the GUYS did something. I sat in the van- too wiped out to hike around the water. I did take a couple of pictures of the sky and cliffs reflecting off the lake.

The weather here has been so great the last week. Cooler, a bit rainy. We haven't had to turn the air on all week! I have heard a lot of 'old timer' local farmers commenting about it. They all seem to think this will be a harsh winter coming this year. Tom and I have been reading about how solar flares affect the weather. The solar flares run in cycles.. and even the cycles have cycles. The fewer solar flares observed, the harsher the winter. We are entering the portion of the cycle where there have been few solar flares- thus the expectation of a hard winter ahead... maybe even several hard winters. The charts we saw were very interesting.

Well this post is taking half the morning- I guess I will just publish and save anything else for another time. Have a wonderful day!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

really long day

Yesterday. Up to bring Matthew in at 5:30am. We did regular lessons for school (not just reading and journaling.) Matt was 50/50 in the potty department- but went through ALL of undies I had here for him. (I spent at least an hour total standing in the bathroom -waiting.) I wasn't feeling great. When Wanda (Matt's Mom) came to pick him up, the boys and I planned to go to the library.

Before Wanda left- I got a call from O's. Could I PLEASE pleasepleasepleaseplease come in to work? Turned out that my counterpart who was hired along with me, was a no-call no-show. So I went to work. The boss thanked me for coming in- so I asked him about taking time off in October. (Get them while he was grateful!) He negotiated- would I be willing to work this Sunday? I decided Ben and Mr C could watch Matthew one day.... and agreed to work Sunday. What days in October did I want off?

Mr C had finally decided on our plan of action. He would head up on the 17th. I have to work the 16, 17, and 18. On the 19th I fly up. So Wanda is getting coverage for Matthew on the 19-26th. O's is scheduling me off for the 23-25th, and we will drive back the 26th. Once again, I will be in Ohio on my birthday.

For the last several years, it seems I have been travelling on my birthday. Last year, Becky and I were on the road from her house to mine on my birthday. We stopped in to see my Aunt Jean- and had an impromptu party. Chris was already moved to DFW with his new job. Bill and Glynna *happened to be* in the area to go to Six Flags. My neice Tammy *happened to* call Chris, and decided to come over. My Mom and brother came to see Becky and I and Tyrel. My grandkids Connor and Alana were visiting Chris while their Mom and SF got moved to DFW.

All in all- I had thirteen or fourteen people converge on my Aunt's house on my birthday. My Aunt knew Becky and I were coming. She knew my Mom was going to stop by to see Becky and I while we were there. Everyone else just showed up! My Mom brought me a birthday pie. We ordered pizza's. I kept apologising to my Aunt for the sudden appearance of an entire crowd. She called it a "divine appointment". We all had a great time.


So anyway- I got to do all three of my 'jobs'. Homeschool teacher, babysitter, and parts clerk at O's. While battling a UTI. Since we postponed the library yesterday- I am headed there this morning. (After I hit publish... and shower... and get a load of clothes on to wash.) We also have a package to mail to Tommy. Then I work 3-7 at O's.

At least the antibiotic seems to be working!

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Swiping ideas

Jenni from "One Thing" (one of my favorite bloggers) has a SWEET letter that her eldest daughter has written posted on her blog.

And Jenni has also posted this week about their battle with chicken pox running amok in her house. Since I don't have a grandbaby in the works (that I am aware of) I thought I would tell about some of our chicken pox incidents.

The first round of chicken pox hit us when Chris was about four- maybe five years old. He very seriously told his Grandma Rose he didn't see HOW he could have chicken pox... he had never even petted a chicken! I think Bill caught a mild case about the same time.

The second time chicken pox hit us, Bill Joe was about ten years old. He had stayed overnight with a boy from the church we were attending. Several days later, I got a call from the boy's mom... both boys had apparently been exposed to chicken pox. She had taken her son to the doctor, and confirmed that the kid's EIGHT SPOTS were chicken pox. I sent Chris in to check on why Bill wasn't out of bed yet... and heard a SCREAM! There was a monster in Bill's bed.

Poor Bill. When he catches something, he goes all out. He was so covered- everywhere- that he couldn't even close his mouth. He was scary looking- and miserable. (And his friend got EIGHT spots!) Chris had already had the chicken pox. I can't remember if Becky or Ben caught them from Bill or not. I know Tommy didn't. (He was not quite two at the time.)

Our last bout of "chicken spots" came during the last few weeks of public school. I know Tommy caught them, and shared. Daniel and Sam were 11 months old. They were not immune- despite breastfeeding. They had spots all over them in their first birthday pictures. And Bill caught them... again. Another really severe case- not quite as bad as when he was 10. He has proven that you CAN get the chicken pox more than once. (I don't recall which round Ben and Becky caught them- but I'm pretty sure they did.)


Becky is getting to go to her friend's wedding! Seneca (My DIL) is the professional photographer for the occasion. Becky and Stephen will travel to Seneca's, and ride with her. Yay! I hadn't realized Seneca was the photographer until she mentioned it yesterday. Seneca suggested the whole plan, and she and Becky worked out the details.

I am feeling better- still 'uncomfortable', but MUCH better. Sam came in while I was talking on the phone to Becky yesterday. He said he was not feeling well- and said I had given him what I had. I said what I had was not contagious... and Becky told me to go ahead and explain what I had and why it was not contagious. I mentioned Becky's suggestion to Sam- he said he would take my word for it- he didn't want it explained... PLEASE! (Funny how some kids cringe know when something will involve more information than they wanted to know!)

OK... its beyond time for lessons to start.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

ow! Oh! OW! OH! to see the doc I go

After an uncomfortable evening and a miserable night, I called the doc. I am now started on an antibiotic. Hopefully, this will clear it up.

Today's potty training score : Couch/floor 1; potty 1.

(He was in a diaper while I went to the doc, so Ben didn't have to cart him to the potty every 15 minutes.)

I assigned 'journal' as schoolwork today, I just wasn't up to lessons. Funny, when I said for them to "write in your journals"- Matt got REALLY excited and grabbed a pencil and paper. He did "school" yesterday too. I have his impressive scribbles on the fridge.

Well, Matt was just picked up. I have to lay down. Hope you have a grand day!

Monday, August 11, 2008

mama said there'd be days like this...

The final score today for Matt's potty training: Tammy's floors 2, Potty 0.

I have been feeling progressively sure over the last 3 days I have a developing UTI. So I sent Ben to WalMart for cranberry capsules and cranberry juice... ensuring the cranberry capsules I have on hand will turn up in the next day or two. I have been adding colloidal silver to my water. (and feeling more and more miserable.)

I did get several items ordered for school. We got a start on reviewing 'old' material. I will spend a week, maybe two, on review. I noticed a great improvement in the boys' spelling. I found a lighted, handheld "field microscope" for $13.00; which is better than NO microscope, and ought to be good enough for our purposes. It is in my Amazon 'cart' waiting for next payday. I got free shipping from the homeschool catalog that I had planned on buying from. "It just happened" that they offered free shipping with a very minimum ($29) purchase this week. Hooray!

You know that all of the "it just happened" things in our lives are God controlled, don't you?

We put a roast beast into the slow cooker this morning, before I got to feeling so bad. So supper is dealt with.
My "controversial" roast recipe : dredge a roast through seasoned flour. Heat a few tablespoons of cooking oil in a (cast iron) skillet and put the floured roast in to brown on a high heat. After browning the roast, transfer it to a slow cooker (crock pot). Add leftover unsweetened coffee or tea. (Helps tenderize the beef). Add an envelope or two of powdered onion soup mix. (For the smart @$$ among my children- use the CONTENTS of the envelope and NOT the envelope itself). I add some garlic, some water if I didn't have much coffee. (This is your gravy base later). I also add some "better than bullion" beef soup base concentrate. Allow to cook a couple of hours. Add potatoes, scraped and trimmed carrots, and a few whole, trimmed onions. Cook until everything is done. Remove the 'juice' from the slow cooker and place in a skillet on the stovetop. Mix cold water with cornstarch, add to hot juices. Stir over medium-high heat until as thick as you like your gravy.

Why did I call it a controversial recipe? My DS#1 once told his (now ex) wife she was cooking the roast "Wrong". He actually called ME and wanted me to tell her she was wrong. Just because she had never heard of adding coffee or tea to a roast. I explained to DS#1 that just because his wife did things differently, it didn't mean she was WRONG. She never would eat a roast that either DS#1 or I cooked after that. Oh well. My kids all like the way I fix a roast. (In the winter I may even actually ROAST it, instead of using the slow cooker.)

Well, I'm going to go lay down until Ben gets back. I hope the cranberry+ silver knocks this out. I don't have TIME to go to the doctor.

A cozy Log Cabin

This is the cabin I mentioned.... the asking price so much more than it was four years ago. Back then, the owners had a second bath laid out and plumbed... it was apparently not built.
Tom and I flew up to look at the place, and loved it. There was already an accepted offer in on it. A funny thing: We were at Tom's brother's house waiting for the 'open house' at the log cabin to start. In reading the newspaper, we saw Tom's horoscope said : "Today would be a great day for looking at real estate with family members". Probably the best horoscope I ever saw... one that had it 'nailed' with what we were already DOING before we read it.

Monday Morning Rambling

The last few days have been more of the same old same old. Mr C had his unhappy weekend- nothing to do. He surfed the net and looked at houses (in Ohio). Still has NOT decided when he wants to coincide a vacation with Wanda, so I can ask O's for time off. When Mr C was not online, the boys were- so I have NOT been writing here.
One of the houses he found online was the log cabin we fell in love with about four years ago. Back on the market! (And $43,000 MORE than it was 4 years ago. *choke*) It sits on 40 acres about 5 miles from Tom's Mom.

Yesterday, Matt began using the potty here, as opposed to wearing diapers. His Granny had worked with him "some" over the summer. He kept one pair dry all day!
He doesn't quite grasp the concept that HE is responsible for going. (I took him frequently all day... I've always said toddlers will tell you "NO" every time you ask them.) He expected ME to take down his undies, set him on the toilet, (wait) put his legs back in his undies (telling him to pick up his feet!), then pull up his undies for him. He is very passive, doesn't try to assist at all. Then we wash his hands... he can DO that part! I have been making HIM take down the undies, and at least TRY pulling them back up.
I think he is the least assertive three year old I have ever met.

We have had WONDERFUL cool, rainy weather the last several days. Hard to believe it is almost the middle of August. I hope the brunt of summer heat is behind us.

I will be starting the twins back to school today- easing into it, since we haven't received all the curriculum yet. (I still have a couple of subjects I haven't even ordered... I will try to get that done today, if I can.) I made lists yesterday of what we need to cover this year, and what extras I need. A microscope is high on the list, but I don't see that happening. It would be on my 'want' list, somewhere below NEW COMPUTER!

Back to school makes me sound so busy... added to potty training a toddler and working a 'real' job. (I don't think I am terribly busy. Most of the things I do just overlap into one another pretty well.)

All women know that taking care of children, homeschooling, and trying to keep up with the house- even by delegation- isn't a REAL job. Oh no... you have to have an actual corporate paycheck to say that you have a REAL job. Otherwise you are just sitting on your duff eating bon bons all day while your poor unappreciated husband slaves away to support your bon bon habit.

Um. Yeah.

Guess I got a wee bit testy there, didn't I?

Mr C got me a clay pot for the plant he gave me for our anniversary. I decided I am going to paint it before I put the plant in it. Make it bright red with the Ohio State University logo "O". I think that would be pretty.

OK... I'm off to feed Matthew and get school lessons going.

Friday, August 8, 2008


I just love numbers like that.

I hate having to deal with disappointment. Even worse is when my kids or other family members have to deal with disappointments.

My DD is facing one. Her best friend is getting married next weekend, and it looks like Becky will miss the wedding. A temporary financial setback has caused her to reassess being able to attend.

I hate that I cannot help.

Becky and her friend were so close growing up, they may as well have had their hair braided together. Thie friend had to move away when the girls were in sixth grade or so, but they stayed close. So I have been praying for a financial windfall to come Becky's way. If it doesn't, I am sure she can and will deal with her disappointment.

I was hoping Becky could visit this weekend- it was a plan dashed by the setback. But her visit to me isn't like the (hopefully) once in a lifetime occasion of her friend getting married. We can reschedule our visit.

My BIL also had a recent financial setback. Very upsetting- and may take a quite awhile to recover from. I noticed I am praying for other folks finances more than my own.

Myself- The first check from the new job has come. Hooray! We may make the ends meet this month.
Speaking of the new job... time for me to get ready to go!
Hope you have a blessed day!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Graduating to Bella Vista Moments

Bella Vista is a local town that had its beginning as a planned retirement community. So "Senior Moments" are locally known as "Bella Vista Moments". (I think that would be a great title for their village newsletter!)

But the town of Bella Vista really has nothing to do with me losing my mind. (Or DOES it? All those winding streets with similar names. Is it any wonder I get lost? I can't remember.)

What was I talking about? Oh yeah. My increasing frequency of ... of... of...
Is it just me or is "of" a strange looking word?

Never mind.

I was just going to say my mind seems to have begun failing me lately. I poured myself a glass of Adult Beverage yesterday afternoon, and went to make a phone call. Had I actually CONSUMED any Adult Beverage, what happened would seem more reasonable. Cell phone in one hand, wineglass in the other, I went back to my bedroom in search of a quieter place to make my call. I pushed the button on the cell phone to start the call, looked at the cell to be sure the call was dialing....

....and put the wineglass to my ear.

Drenching my shirt and shrieking just as the call went through, I decided I wasn't going to admit that little incident to Mr C.
I told Becky about it. She says ahhh- a drinking problem... like on Airplane!

I had been going to make the phone call because Daniel had just cracked me up (again) with his quick wit. He had gone out to the grill to arrange the charcoal before lighting it. He came in with his hands covered in charcoal dust. I told him to chop up some bell pepper, reminding him to "wash (his) hands- they are black!"
Dan said, "Mom called me black!.... but I'm really just a guilty white boy."

After Matt left yesterday, the twinkles and I went to the local grocery store to find something for supper. We settled on pork chops for last night, and some catfish for tonight. Daniel composed a marinade for the pork chops... with very little input from me. They were GREAT! We also made some 'fiesta' corn. Minced red and green bell peppers, onions, and bacon sauteed together. Added frozen corn and cooked until it was hot. Rounded out the meal with some okra.

I'm sure I had something else to say. I just can't think of what it is right now.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What to fix for supper?

That is more of a challenge in the summer. I try not to turn the stove on any more than I have to. Yesterday, I made a pretty fair rendition of my Aunt Jeans Chicken and Rice Bake.

But I did it (mostly) in the microwave.

Her recipe calls for chicken thighs, white rice, cream of mushroom soup, water, orange juice, and powdered onion soup mix. You mix the rice and water (white rice uses twice as much water as you have rice). Add 1/4 cup of regular orange juice (as opposed to concentrate) to each cup of rice used. Use 1 can of cream of (whatever you have on hand) soup PER CUP of UNCOOKED rice. Mix the soup and OJ right along with the rice and water. Place in a greased!!! casserole dish. Top with skinless chicken (I usually use breasts because Tom and the boys prefer those) and sprinkle lightly with the dry onion soup mix. Seal with foil and bake 45 minutes at 375*.

It is waaay too hot to bake anything. So I precooked the rice (and used brown rice instead of white) in the required amount of water. I put some good sized semi-frozen chicken breasts into my handy dandy Pampered Chef Stoneware Roasting Pan. I nuked the chicken til it was about half way cooked. I tossed in two sliced vidalia (any sweet) onions. Added half a sliced red, and half a sliced green bell pepper. I poured in the cream of (I had mushroom) soup. Stirred in the cooked rice and some OJ. Then returned it to the microwave to finish cooking. *I* thought it was VERY tasty. We had a platter of raw veggies on the side. I didn't add the powdered onion soup mix. The cream of * soup was salty enough I didn't add any extra salt or other seasonings. The leftovers were even better today.

That was yesterday. I'm trying to decide what to fix today. Too late to start anything in the slow cooker. We may just have the old standby: burritos.

Monday, August 4, 2008


Lest you find yourself overtaken by stupidity.

Like my mousetrap moment... only grosser.

Yesterday, I awoke with the itchy tingle that is a precursor to a fever blister (a.k.a. cold sore). I began taking L-lysine immediately, and kept an ice cube on my upper lip much of the day. As I went back into the cupboard for another dose of L-lysine, I saw a tube of Anbesol and decided my lip would feel better numb. So I applied a dab of the Anbesol. It didn't seem to help much right away. I figured it was because of the lysine ointment I already had on my lips. Later, my whole lip did get to feeling very strange.

So this morning, I have a huge nasty fever blister on my upper lip. It eventually drained- but has still been really uncomfortable. I decided to use the Anbesol again. Except I discovered we don't have any Anbesol.

Oh yeah, the tube of ointment I used yesterday was there all right.

A .





And I discover this just hours after blogging about my smart kids NOT THINKING.

On a brighter note... the blister is MUCH better... maybe I have a new cure. (NOT RECOMMENDED)


Daniel was listening to Rush Limbaugh with Tom while he was home for lunch today. The topic of discussion was Obama and gas prices.

Daniel observed that gas prices affect everyone.
He said, "Gas prices especially affect the Stock Market. Stephen (Becky's husband) and his brother James in their business, need a lot of people to have extra money so they can invest in stock".

I puzzled over how in the world people investing in the stock market would have any effect on Stephen and James. Finally, I figured out where Daniel had come to his conclusion.

Stephen and James are directly affected by how much STOCK is sold for them to haul. Their business is transporting livestock!

Allrighty then. I get it!

My kids have 'mart 'marts

At least they are reputedly VERY smart. ('mart 'marts came about when they were little, discussing how smart they were- one of them said they had smart-smarts, but didn't pronounce the "S's"... 'mart-'marts stuck.)

You know I am going to mention a less than stellar moment of smarts, don't you?

Chris called Benjamin on Saturday, wanting him to come visit for a few days. It was decided that Ben would go down to DFW Monday and return on Wednesday. I am sure the two of them will emerge into the light on Wednesday evening, blinking against the sun, after three days of non-stop internet game competitions.

Anyway, it fell to me to take Benny to the airport this morning. Before we left the house, I questioned him. He had his driver's license for ID, his pass code to fly, 'something to do' while waiting for the flight....

I pulled up to the passenger drop off, confirming that Ben had at least my cell number in case he needed to call me. Nope. He didn't have that, nor have it memorized. So he wrote down the number. Would have helped if I had had my cell on me, to give him Chris' numbers... (which I don't have memorized either.)

Ben writes down the numbers. I asked him if he had enough money.

"Money? No..... " He looks very puzzled.

(I am not speaking a foreign language!)

"What do I need MONEY for? I am just going to Chris' for a few days."

Hmmm. My almost 20 year old is about to hop on an airplane and fly to one of the busiest airports in the country. He now has MY phone number- but not his brother's... and not a dime on his person. Not that he could make a phone call on a dime.

What if he got bumped off the flight? (We only have standby privileges). What if the landing gate changed- and Chris needed to know where to pick him up? DFW Airport is its own city. No joke- it has its own zip code and everything. An actual, incorporated city. It will be well over 100 today at DFW... what if Ben needs water while waiting? (Ok, he could probably find a fountain). But GEE! to ASSUME he will not need ANY money... I think he forgot to pack his 'mart marts. (Was it a line from The Glass Menagerie... 'I have learned to rely on the kindness of strangers'...?)

I gave him what cash I had... it is at least enough for a phone call!

I suppose my mandatory fretting will have to be divided between Ben flying to DFW today, and Tommy being on the road to Colorado. His is participating in the annual Trek that the men and boys of his new church make each year. It will be trip of many firsts for Tommy. He hasn't ever been away from family, except for three days at Falls Creek Youth camp one summer several years back. He hasn't been 'out west' any farther than west Texas. He has never seen 'real' mountains. So this will be a big expedition for him. New worlds opening up. Thankfully, the men on this Trek are the kind of folks one WANTS influencing their youth. I know Tommy will be blessed on this trip.

May you have a wonderful, blessed day yourself.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

24 years

This picture is from a couple of years ago- probably our most recent "couple" shot. (DS Bill's wedding)
Today, Tom and I have been married for 24 years. I got him 24 beers, a pair of sunglasses/safety goggles, and a compass for his car. Oh yeah, and a funny card. We will have steaks for supper, and some roasted veggies.
****EDITED TO ADD: Mr C went to town earlier as I was writing this. He got me a cute! Piggy garden statue, a plant dolly for my big tree, and a plant. Hope to show pictures soon!****

Pretty low key celebrating- but that is us.


Matthew is here for his first day back from his summer vacation. He says a few more words. He has been as good as gold- I was really expecting him to be a bit more spoiled from his time at his grandparents. He wasn't upset at being left here this morning- just slipped right back into our usual routine.


In sad news- I got a call from my friend of longest standing. Robin and I have known one another since second grade. That is like- FORTY YEARS AGO. (Makes the 24th anniversary pale in comparison, huh?)

Anyway- Robin's Dear Mother passed away this morning after a long battle with cancer. Please keep Robin in your prayers as she adjusts to her loss.