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

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!