Thursday, February 26, 2009


View Project at Shutterfly

She's here!

Bill Joe and Nickole
Here are the pictures of my newest grandbabies... Tyrel meeting Nickole.

CowGranny with Nickole

Nickole Lynn
February 25, 2009.
7 lbs., 2 oz 18 1/2 inches tall

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Change of Plans

I am headed to Ft Worth in the morning for a whirlwind visit... maybe a detour on the way home to see my newest grandbaby- provided the baby arrives before Thursday! (He/ She still isn't here!)

I won't be getting my 3 week break after all... Matt's parents excitedly went to pick up their new baby, and somewhere in the couple of days since it was born, the birth parents had a change of mind. They couldn't let their precious baby go. So Matt's folks have a room full of new baby gifts to return. They say they are OK with the decision of the birth parents... better to know before they grew attached to the baby than six months down the road. Since I had already made plans, Wanda will take the week off after all.

A couple of weeks ago, I was thinking of an old friend of mine, Debbie. I lost touch with her about 8 years ago or so. I did a white pages free search for her name in the town she was in last I knew... and found someone with her name. It was a few days until Debbie's birthday, so I sent a card to the address- figuring I was at most out the price of a stamp. If it wasn't her, the recipient could trash the card.

Last night I got a call from Debbie! The card reached her. We had a nice chat. Too much to catch up on 8+ years worth of life in one call. But now we have reconnected and can catch up at leisure.
Have a great week everyone. Since I will be out of town, I don't know if I will be blogging or not!

PS: Mom, we will leave "when we are up and around" in the morning. I have to stop and do a couple of errands, so I wouldn't look for us til late afternoon!

Friday, February 20, 2009

One Baby here....

Despite being due AFTER LR, my friend Wanda's baby arrived at 2:58 this morning. Cory Clifton, weighed in at 6 lbs. 8 oz. 18 inches long. Dark hair and blue eyes. The surprise baby shower set for Saturday has been postponed... since the surprizee won't BE there.

If LR gets busy, there is still time for both babies to share the birthday!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Maybe it is a good idea

To tell people your due date is several weeks beyond what the actual due date IS... so that if you 'go over', folks aren't calling umpteen times a day to ask! Give the baby a chance to arrive without anxious callers trying to hurry the process. I'm one of those callers! Still no word on LR getting into 'true labor'.
* restless pacing*

I worked on my Dad's photo book for several hours yesterday. Wished more than once for high speed internet, a good photo editing program, and Seneca's skills. Or just Seneca! Finally just decided that these are ever-so-old pictures with stains and bends, and that is how they will come out!

I wish I could get an early start on working on it today... but 'my' computer won't do anything on Shutterfly. I have to use Ben's computer, in his room. He is asleep.
I am still waiting on Matthew to arrive. He is either very late this morning, or not coming. No one has called to let me know which. If he is NOT coming, I wouldn't have had to shake myself awake quite as early. If he is going to be late... I could have used the time for taking a shower. Instead, I wait. And wait. At least Daniel is up now, so I can go get showered.

Well, that's where I am off to. If I get any news on the baby (ies), I will let you know!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

No Babies yet...

From either of the sets of parents to be. I haven't heard from Bill and Glynna this morning as to whether LR is "officially" in labor. Wanda called in sick this morning, so I don't have Matt today. An unexpected day off!! The baby they are expecting hasn't put in his appearance yet either. The waiting continues...!

I finally gave up on Mr C calling about the Eden Pure heater. I called them myself yesterday. Their instruction/ Warranty booklet clearly says NOT to plug the heater into a surge protector. Guess what? The warranty doesn't cover your heater getting fried with a power surge!

"But as a one time courtesy to you, we will exchange the unit."

So we are getting it replaced... which is good. I don't see how the company can exclude power surges from the warranty when it SPECIFICALLY STATES not to use a surge protector. It does NOT state that power surges void the warranty. I have the unit packed and ready to ship back.

I have been working on a photo book for my Dad for his birthday. (My Mom really loved hers.)
I called Mom about getting some baby pictures of my brothers and I for the book, and discovered that, sadly, she doesn't have baby pictures.
Dad had the pictures when the two of them separated. His second wife took them when they later separated. Having no use for pictures of her former step-children, she disposed of them. ( I learned this from making several phone calls to people who might have had the pictures, including my Dad and my former step sister.)
I have contacted two of my Aunts about pictures that they, or my Granny, may have saved over the years.
One Aunt is working on getting me her pictures. The other Aunt said I was welcome to come dig through her garage for pictures, but she wasn't able to do so herself. (She is almost 76.) I will try to do that next time I go to the DFW area. It may be too late for the book by then, but I would at least HAVE the pictures. (If there are any to have.)

I just spoke to Bill. He has a stomach bug... or ate bad food. Laura was examined last night at the birthing center. 80% effaced, dilated to 3.5. The wait goes on!


Monday, February 16, 2009

What a weekend...

Friday at O's was busy, as usual. The boss wasn't much more than headed home, Aaron was using the facilities, and I was trying to wait on a customer. The phone was ringing... and O's has a three ring policy... you WILL answer the phone by the third ring. So I excused myself to the customer in front of me to answer the phone. It was an obscene phone caller... who was calling me by name. (Easy enough, part of the phone call answering protocol is to identify yourself). I just hung up on him and went back to my customer. Thirty seconds later.... same caller, same results. He called a THIRD time, said Hey Tammy!... and I hung up before he could get another word out. I had called on the loudspeaker for Aaron, and for the boss... not realizing he had just left. I dealt with my customer and just let the phone ring and ring.

Aaron finished his facility tour, and I told him about the caller. I said I wasn't answering the phone for the next half hour. About then, a staggering drunk 'regular' customer comes in. He apologises to me for the phone calls! Aaron knew the guy by name... I left Aaron to talk to him. On Saturday, my boss Tim and I have the store for the earliest hours. A local policeman is in there most Saturday mornings. So I asked them what to do if such a case happens in the future.

Tim said he would have a talk with this guy, who was well known to both Tim and the policeman. Then the customer I had been trying to help when the calls happened came in to pick up the part I had ordered for her. Apparently, in my 'flustration', I HAD ordered the part, but from the wrong warehouse. Tim had to drive 40 miles to pick up the part. So he was really ready to talk to this guy. As I said, this guy is a 'regular'. He was in the store later Saturday. Tim and Aaron took him to the back room and had a talk with him... emphasizing that the police had been to the store and heard the report. (Technically true, but not in the manner that it was an official police report). The guy apologised to me again.

I arrived home Friday night, and Mr C told me I had to go see Becky's blog right away. He said Becky had posted the cutest picture of Ty'ger ever. I also knew that LR had been to the doctor for an appointment, and wanted to hear the results. So I called Bill while the slow dial-up computer loaded Becky's blog. (multi-tasking!) It loaded especially slowly due to the many pictures she had already posted. I learned that LR had not even been examined at the appointment, but had been sent to the hospital as 'possibly in labor'. The hospital put a belt monitor on her and soon sent her on home... still without an exam... as Not In Labor. Finally, I see the cutest picture of Ty:

If you want to leave Becky a comment on the cute picture, there is a link to her blog in the sidebar to the right.

Saturday was Valentines day. Last time I got Mr C something, he grumpily said "I suppose this means I have to get something for you!"
So I didn't bother to even get him a card this year. You know what that means... He got me a card, candy, wine, and a scratch off lottery ticket that actually WON $50. ( I used part of the $$ and picked up steak for supper... Happy Valentines back to him).

Sunday at O's was a bit quieter than it has been lately. I actually got the floor swept and the shelves re-stocked! When I got home, Daniel told me I needed to call Bill. He went on with a very good and accurate message: "Seneca is at Bill and Glynna's. LR was having contractions still and was dilated to 4. Whatever that means."
I called and talked to Bill and to Seneca. Seneca used to be a doula, and is currently a medical assistant. She was pretty certain that LR was indeed in early labor, and we may have a baby late last night or today. (I have said for several weeks I expected baby on Monday the 16th!) I haven't heard yet this morning whether or not the baby has arrived... I will be sure to post once he/ she arrives!

I had thought of going to the library today... but being President's Day, I am betting it is closed. That is a good enough excuse for me to procrastinate! I need a day or two to recover from my weekend at work, LOL.

Have a blessed day, and pray for LR an easy and safe delivery!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I'm ready for a vacation...

Some sort of change, somewhere.
This is my "Friday" for keeping Matthew, Tomorrow is "Monday" for O'Reilly's.
I figured I'd get pretty tired of the 7 day a week thing eventually, and eventually has arrived. For awhile, Matt had a different sitter on Thursdays, and I had a "day off". I'm not quite sure what happened there. I was having him on an occasional Thursday, which melted into every Thursday. For the most part, he is a pretty good kid. Lately he has been "trying" himself... doing things he was just told NOT to do the minute I'm not looking, shoving people, throwing things. Pretty typical three year old stuff. Maybe he is feeling a bit stressed over all the talk of the soon-to-arrive baby brother.
Normally, Matt goes back to sleep for an hour or more after his Dad drops him off at 7:00. This morning is not the normal morning. He stayed up when his Dad dropped him off. I got him some milk when he got up looking for his sippy cup. (Yes, he is 3.5 and still has a sippy cup). He slurped it down, banged the cup in front of me, and tried the "more" routine. I looked at him. He crossed his arms and glared at me.. and said, "Get me more... NOW!" This is SO not going to cut it.

I am looking forward to the 'break' I will have when the baby is born. Matt's Mom is taking several weeks off to babymoon. I am hoping to get to go visit my parents, kids, and grandkids during that time. (It will be quick visits, since I still have my O job Friday- Sunday.)

Mr C and I have an appointment to go see a house tomorrow at 8:30 am. It now has two strikes against it before we even see it... only one bathroom, and it is down a gravel road. Mr C is going to see it to humor me.

Guess I better get busy here! Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I love my kids...

Ben asked me yesterday morning if he could bring a friend from work here to the house. That is fine. He said he would need to go pick him up. That was also fine. I assumed this kid had no access to a vehicle.

On arriving home, Ben introduces his friend, Chris.
Chris may never drive. He was a polite young man, reminding me of Andre the Giant in The Princess Bride. His social skills were perfect, but his speech and demeanor were akin to a six or seven year old child. He got along famously with Daniel and Sam... whose biting sarcasm was curbed. He doesn't appear to have Down's Syndrome, I'm not sure what the handicap would be called.

The laughter among the boys came all afternoon as they played video games. When the storms were bearing down hard on us, I told Ben and Chris that they needed to decide when Chris was needing to go home, since I didn't want Ben out driving in the storms. Chris said if there were bad storms coming, he needed to get home, so his parents wouldn't worry. He thanked us for having him, and asked if he would be able to come back some time, as he had been having such a good time.

Not typical late teen/ twenty something behaviour. Ben never mentioned the friend being handicapped. The twins accepted him without their typical rudeness.
I enjoyed seeing their lack of prejudice, and the unexpected manners they all showed.

They Fit!

Once Matt was picked up yesterday, Daniel asked if we could possibly go to look for some pants that fit him and Sam. I waffled for a good 10 minutes, but finally decided it would be better to go, try pants on, and have the pants than to order online, wait, and then possibly have to return them.

So we loaded up and went to the Pinnacle Hills Mall. It looks like a little town, with each store facing the streets- as opposed to a huge building where the stores face interior hallways. I wasn't sure where to start, but found a JC Penney's before I saw a Sears. It took some searching to discover that a size 16 boys is in the childrens' department, not Men's. The 16 slims looked awfully big. So I armed myself with a couple of sizes, and we headed to the fitting room. Which is in the BABY department!
The 16 slims were a wee bit long, but a perfect fit at the waist. And at the rate these two are growing, they won't be too long for too long. (hee hee).

Did I mention that the fitting rooms were in the BABY department?!!!
Where they had the cutest little clothes... and I am, after all, expecting two new little babies in my life this month!
I got one outfit for Matt's baby brother. It says "Dad and I both agree- MOM is the BOSS!" Those of you knowing Matt's family will know how perfect this outfit is!
Since I'm not SURE what gender the new grandbaby will be, I got her/him two outfits in a sunny yellow color. Very cute.

The twins were quick at trying on the jeans, so I wasn't able to look at the baby stuff too long. (Oh the biting sarcasm and eye rolling of 12 year olds!) We were actually all the way back home in about an hour and 20 minutes from the time we set out. That was with traffic, shopping, and more traffic! (We live about 20 miles from the Mall).
I even had supper cooked and ready by the time Mr C got home... baked chicken breast, steamed brocolli and cauliflower, and Zatarains cajun cornbread stuffing... with a handful of craisins tossed in. MMM MM! (While I was out, I was kicking myself for not having started supper before I left... or getting something 'to go'. I already had the chicken thawed for supper, and a pork roast thawing in the fridge to make pulled pork sandwiches for today, so take-out wasn't a good idea. It all worked out, supper wasn't even late.

Oh, and I 'discovered' a way to get to/from the mall without having to get out on the freeway! So it was not too bad of a run.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Another Rainy Monday

Matt is having his lunch, Daniel and Sam are on schoolwork. Ben was commanded to clean the boys' bathroom before he gets ready to go to work. I have made a second batch of laundry detergent, this time doubling the soap, as Mr C wasn't sure this cleaned the clothes... since it doesn't suds. I wonder how people ever came to associate suds with clean? We will see how this turns out... the first load of laundry is on its final rinse.

It is supposed to be rainy here all week. Yesterday it was warm enough that Tom had the windows open when I got home. It helped let out some of the stale feeling in the house.
Today is the day LR is due, but I am pretty sure the baby isn't going to put in an appearance today. That is, if she has shown any true labor signs, no one has bothered to let me know!

Work was soooo busy all weekend. Friday I saw my largest personal sales deposit since I started. That was with three other people working as well. Saturday we didn't slow down for a moment... and yesterday with just one guy and myself, we were just $100 under the company mandated "goal" for a Sunday. (The goal applies to even the larger stores with more people working!) Needless to say, the weekend passed quickly.

Mr C had goulash ready when I got home from work last night. *sigh* Yep, we will be having leftover goulash for the next several meals. Matt just 'accidentally' dumped his bowl of it over onto the floor. He has been sitting there picking at it for 40 minutes. At least Mr C is trying to be sure we have dinner on the nights I work.

I need to get to the library and turn in my books. Maybe Ben can do that for me on his way to work today. Or maybe I will go tomorrow.

The washer and dryer have both stopped, so I may as well get busy. Hope you have a blessed day today!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ben Forges On

Benjamin has been working for months to cast a belt buckle of his own design. He first melts candle wax and pours it on a plate to harden. Then he overlays the wax with a cutout of his buckle logo. (He made "Starfox" from a video game.)

Next he imposes the image into 'greensand', which he also mixed for himself from a recipe online. (See photo on left.) He bakes the greensand until the wax image melts away, leaving him with half his casting mold.

Next, he bakes the other half of his casting mold, with channels to pour in his melted metal. This is the top of the mold.

Next, he builds a hot fire in his forge, and melts the aluminum ingots he previously cast from melting down aluminum cans, collected from the trash where he works.

Then he carefully pours the molten aluminum into his mold. Once poured, he waited impatiently for it to cool!
Once the casting was freed from the mold, the excess aluminum had to be trimmed and ground away. He saves the scraps to be endlessly recycled!

The almost finished belt buckle:

Now all he lacks is attaching the hardware to fasten the buckle to his pants!
He has been amazingly patient as he has been teaching himself by trial and error and internet searches first to build a forge, and then to create 'art' using it!

Another week gone by...

Tomorrow is back to the weekend whirlwind at O'Reilly's. This week seems to have flown by. Maybe because I was out of the house for two days? (Laundry on Monday, errands on Tuesday).

I never did make it to the mall yesterday for jeans for the twins. Ben works this afternoon, so I would have to go this morning.... or take the van! I can't really go this morning, with Matthew not feeling well. He was unusually whiny yesterday afternoon- to the point I made him lay down for a nap. His Dad said he still seems to feel bad this morning... we are thinking it is a bug going around, or possibly he is cutting molars. Whatever it is, I won't be taking him out.

I really didn't expect Matthew today. While it IS a regularly scheduled day to keep him, the birth mother of his new baby brother was in labor yesterday. She isn't due until MARCH 9th. She was dilated to "7", and having contractions. I figured that she was past the point of no return. But the doctors gave her some drugs that eventually stopped the labor, and she is now back to a "3". They are trying to stave off labor as long as possible. Maybe Matthew will get his new baby brother on the same day I get to be "Great Aunt Grandma".

I am checking online at Sears before I drive all the way over to the Mall. So far, Toughskins don't seem to go as large as I had heard they do. I suppose I better get things going in a higher gear if I am going to get everything done that needs doing today!
May you have a great day!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Another exciting day off to a galloping start here in NW Arkansas.
Well, maybe not exactly a galloping start... more of a slow-to-peek-my-head-out- of-the-blankets- crawl. The boys are still asleep... they all stayed up late playing video games in Ben's room. Matt is here, laying quietly on the couch. He may or may not go on back to sleep. My guess would be NOT.

I guess I ought to be getting them up and busy. Maybe I will do something interesting today... like unpack some boxes. Yeah, I say that several times a year. And I do usually unpack quite a few... only to be told we ARE, in fact, moving. It always takes me awhile to really believe that THIS time, we really are moving. So once I am "sure" that this is it, I pack. And stay packed. Six months, a year... I think it has been about 15 months this time. I have some boxes in the storage closet that haven't been unpacked since Marlow... five years ago. I know what is in them... just don't have a place to put them away here.

I can hang my pictures up on the walls. That always seems to get the "we are just about to move" ball rolling again. It has been at least 14 months since anyone even looked at this house... maybe it is off the market and the realtor just left the sign in the yard?
I feel like Charlie Brown with Lucy holding the football. Maybe THIS TIME she won't yank it away.

Well, Matt is officially "up". So I better get the boys up, feed them all breakfast and get school going.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


We nailed down some housework this morning, read the preface and a portion of the first chapter in A Patriot's History of the United States .
Tommy will love this book, I can already tell. I am thinking maybe we should be reading it after Mr. C gets home, rather than in the mornings. (Hey, then we won't have Matthew trying to compete. The minute I start reading aloud, he turns up his volumes in play, or tugs at my shirt demanding various things that distract me from reading.)

We got out the door about 20 til 11:00. First stop was the post office... where AFTER I had given the guy all four of my packages, he had rung the total... he remembered that their credit card/debit machine is broken and I need to pay in cash. I made a quick run out to the car and borrowed every bit of cash that the kids had between them. Combining everyone's money, I was able to go back in and pay the clerk.
Depleted of ready cash and not sure whether the employee store took debit cards, we stopped at WalMart, intending to use the bank there. The line at the bank was halfway out the door... so we decided to get our shopping done and get 'cash back'. That took us about an hour.

The employee store was... interesting. They had Valentines and Easter stuff out, as well as Christmas clearance. Dan wanted some "Holiday Minty Hooks" as my kids termed candy canes... but I didn't get any. We did get TWO bags of grapefruit, at 1.50 a bag! We found a stool, very well made, for $17. (Similar to the stool that Tom and I were given, old and well used 25 years ago... which is still holding strong.) As we were heading towards the door with our 'finds', I saw a rack of jeans. One pair was marked "16" on one label, Husky on another label, 12 on another label... and inside the sewn in tag was 14 regular. Which is the size the twins are rapidly growing out of... but hey, for $4, they will have an extra pair to grow through. We also found a second pair buried in the rack... so both now have a pair of new jeans.

Matt was not up to going to the mall.
No way, Jose!
We went from the employee store to the library... Where don't you just KNOW they had to update my picture for their files! Probably the worst "bad hair day" I have had in five years, and they need my picture. (If I say it was a bad hair day for me... you know it was BAD! My hair seldom looks good. Mostly it is passable. But NOT today!!)

From the library, we headed right home.

We decided on eggrolls and fried rice for supper tonite. Oh No! I forgot the ground unseasoned pork for the eggrolls. Oh well. Maybe we will try some leftover fried chicken in them.
(We got WM fried chicken for lunch.)

I suppose I better get busy around here again... my bathroom needs attention, and my sheets for making the bed will be out of the dryer in a few minutes.

Hope YOUR day has gone better than mine!

Today... more Places to go and Things to do...

Matt's mom called last night- asked if he can stay later today as she and the DH have an important appointment. Not a problem. Matt was already included in my morning plans anyway.

Besides schoolwork, we need to go to the library today. And in the vicinity of the library is the WalMart Employee store. Ben has really been wanting to go. I went once, on my last day as a WM employee, before I started at Eagle. They usually have some fantastic bargains.

I really need to find some pants that fit Dan and Sam. Their 14's are highwaters on them. The 12's are not only too short, but too tight. It is so hard to find jeans that fit them. Forget Walmart... they don't carry this size. At. all.
The lady I chatted with at the laundromat yesterday recommended I try Sears or Penney's. I had seen some jeans online at Penney's that would fit, by measurements. Unfortunately, they only had the jeans with the faded through rubbed look, which both Dan and Sam hate. Like me, if they get new clothes, they want them to LOOK like new clothes. Depending on Matt's temperament, we may drive the extra five miles over to The Mall and see if we can find some skinny jeans with long legs.

Our new books did arrive late yesterday evening, after Tom had arrived home. One was a surprising three inches thick.. and Dan asked if we can start that one today! Since the power has been out, we haven't been doing our copied school work, just stuck to reading and the books where they had to copy out their answers longhand anyway.

My shower yesterday was delayed until later in the evening. This resulted in me going to bed with damp hair (I don't have a blow dryer). This morning, my hair has that 70's look... all fluffed out and flyaway. It refuses to lay down. If only Farrah was still fashionable...
Oh today is starting out just great... Dan came out of his bedroom with Drover at his heels. Drover walks over towards the door and starts horking up dog food. Dan says he already did that on Dan's bed. I tossed the dog out the back door. Guess Dan's bedding will be first into the washing machine! ARRRRGH!

All the yelling and 'excitement' over the dog has Matt up and ready to get into things, a full hour and a half earlier than he normally awakens.
Let the day begin!

Monday, February 2, 2009

One Hundred and One hours... and five minutes

The Ice Storm was over. The sun was shining... it was headed to 60* outside on Thursday morning. The power flickered once... and was gone. We had just mentally congratulated ourselves on making it all the way through the ice storm without losing power!

It was out from 9:35 am Thursday morning until just a short while ago... 2:40 pm Monday. We did all right keeping warm. We even had TV when we turned off the heater and plugged it into the generator. Reports estimated we could be out for up to 3 more weeks. The guys were all out of clean clothes. Sam put on a filthy pair of jeans this morning... he said they were his 'least dirty'! So he and I loaded up the car with Mt. Washmore, and headed to the laundromat. Two hours later, we had it all done. So now I don't even have to hop right into the laundry mode!

We kept the kitchen as cleaned up as we could, washing things as soon as my big bowl would get full of dirty dishes. Several times a day. Actually, Mr C was the one who stayed most in the kitchen... I went off to work all weekend.
Saturday night, my hair had reached beyond my level of tolerance, and I went up to the hangar and had a shower. Ahhh! Hot water... in abundance!
I have met dozens, probably closer to a hundred, people over the weekend who had been without power from Tuesday... during the thick of the storm. Many had no way of heating their homes. So we have been quite blessed, over all.

Daniel and Sam helped me get our electrical necessities plugged back into the walls, and the ten miles or so of electrical extension cords all rolled and stowed. Then they went out biking, and I hopped right on to the internet.

It is amazing how quickly we take things like electricity and running water for granted. As Sam was going out to get on his bike, he ran back to his room for a jacket. He flicked on the light switch as we have absently done for the last four days... and cheered aloud when the light came on! I am waiting for the water in the hot water heater tank to get warm... then I plan on a really nice shower.
Oh, the expected new babies did not arrive during my absence from the internet. Neither did my package of new curricula. I am OUT of fresh reading materials, and really hoping to see UPS pull into the driveway this afternoon!