Monday, August 31, 2009

Do- Overs....

I decided this morning that the twins and I are going to re-start our school year. While we did get started earlier this month, I have been away from home so much that all they were getting done was Math and Reading. Most of the local schools have just started in the last week, and a few schools start after Labor Day... so I declared our school year to be re-starting.
(Instead of going back through my schooling log and trying to reconstruct what was done and when, we will just pick up the log anew.)

Mr C took a load of stuff to the storage unit over the weekend. I sent books I have been refusing to allow in storage... just hoping I am proved wrong about them getting mildewed. I sent decorative items that I would love to hang up, but there just isn't room here. Mr C saw that I was sending items I really didn't WANT to send, so he gave in and sent stuff he didn't want to send... like his decrepit weight bench that has blighted the front porch for the last 4 years. As far as I can recall, he may have used it twice in all that time.

The cleaning off of the front porch felt great... my oversized rocker is now out there. I am trying to make room for my tree and plants to come back inside. (Hey Laurie, are you guys ready to give a tree a home? We'd love to have you come visit some time!). It was in the 50's this morning... and it isn't even officially September yet. The weather has felt very October-ish for the last week or so.

I put in a FULL weekend at work. Friday was the regular catch-up of each week. Saturday, we 'cleared the floors' of everything that wasn't a permanent fixture for the annual stripping and re-waxing of the floor. This required moving some 150 cases of oil, dozens of 5 gallon buckets of tractor fluids, fifty or so 50 lb. bags of oil dry (kitty litter), fifty+ cases of antifreeze, generators, jacks, air compressors, and 'portable' fixtures like the antifreeze and windshield wash racks.
On Sunday, we got to move everything back to their nice shiny locations. Today, I go back and set up the new sale that starts Wednesday. (I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon that I scheduled, not realizing it was New Sales Eve. Boss is allowing me to set the sale up a day early!)

The house has suffered through without me, Tom and the boys doing a more or less good job of staying on top of the major things.

As I showered for work yesterday, I heard Tom suddenly start yelling at one of the dogs. As I dripped from the bathroom into the bedroom... he pointed out that sneaky Jaffa had crawled up onto our bed- which is strictly forbidden!... and covered himself up with my quilt. Tom hadn't noticed him there, and had sat beside the dog. He only realized Jaffa was hidden beneath the covers of my yet-to-be-made bed when he put his hand on the dog. Tom later discovered that out bedsheet has a huge triangular rip in it... apparently Jaffa had tried to use the sheet to pull over himself before burrowing under the quilt.

This is the funniest dog I have ever seen about wanting to be under the covers to sleep. If he doesn't have something to cover up with, he will go searching until he finds a throw, a coat, or even a full sized blanket. He drags it to his nesting spot of the moment, and tucks himself in completely, sealing the cover all around himself. A very cold-natured dog! (Still, he better stay OFF of my bed!)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Trying to find a new Normal...

My BP and heart rate did settle down yesterday, and stayed fine the rest of the day.
I woke again this morning in full panic mode, but didn't rush to take BP. I sat and visited awhile with my Mom and Ralph, who brought up a table and some chairs I acquired last week in Ft Worth. When I did take my BP, it was excellent, and my heart rate was 84... not bad for me at all. (I usually run in the mid to high 90's).

Our house runneth over in furnishings. I had intended to put the table and chairs right into storage, but Mr C has to re-organize the storage cubby we rent. Mom made a couple of arrangement suggestions, and we might just decide to live with the table and chairs here, after all.
(Who knows when we will find a bigger place. We are just about two weeks from marking four years in this house.) That translates to $33,600. we could have been paying towards owning a place of our own. (PLUS $1,200 thus far to store basic JUNK.)


The whole family is looking for a new "normal". Events of the last couple of weeks have shaken us up, and brought about a fresh reliance on God. Many aspects of the future are unpredictable... and I really like routine. I know the future is never a "given", it just seems so much more changeable, all of the sudden.

I missed sending Grandaughter Amber a birthday gift, and have grandson Gavin approaching his 3rd birthday in just a couple of weeks. I have no idea of what to do for him. At the moment, I can barely think of what to fix for the next meal, much less what to do about an upcoming birthday.

Have a blessed day.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Attack of the Panic

I woke up from bad dreams this morning, shaking. Can't begin to remember what they were about- probably something stupid. (A few days ago I dreamed that I was telling someone that I just don't understand the tattoo phenomena... the WHY of getting a tattoo. The person in my dream asked why *I* had gotten a tattoo. I told them I don't have one... and the pointed to my left bicep, where, by golly, I did have a tattoo. It was so strange, I didn't remember getting one... yet there it was. I went and put on my green O'reilly's work shirt... and sure enough, a bit of the design of the tattoo was visible below the sleeve.... very strange! I woke up... and double-checked my arm- the dream had seemed so real!)

Anyway, whatever it was I was nightmaring about this morning, I woke in a sweat and shaking. My heart racing- I feel like I am having a major panic attack... which I haven't had to this degree in many years. I got up and sat still on the couch for awhile trying to calm myself. After 15 minutes, I was still shaking, and felt like my heart was racing. I got up and took my blood pressure- 185/98. Pulse 105. That's high for me. I sat and rested some more, and came down to 169/91, pulse 101. I sat awhile longer, then decided to take a shower before the day hits full swing. After the shower, I was at 145 over 89... which is slightly high, but much better. My pulse was back up to 104.

I have a feeling I just can't seem to shake off of something really bad happening this morning- yet as far as I know, everything is as well as I could hope in my little bit of the world. With my heart racing so much, I am almost afraid to even have my tea, lest caffeine aggravate the heart rate further.

Chill, Tammy.

Monday, August 24, 2009

School of experience

I have heard hundreds of sermons in my life. Christians are told: You love the sinner, you hate the sin. Many Christians have problems in this area. They "rate" sin... it is OK to befriend a person who does 'little' sins. But if they suddenly discover a 'friend' is involved with a "big" sin... it is time to gather up the stones. God doesn't rate sin. He hates a haughty spirit as much as He does murder.

Like a light switch, Off or On. God sees that something is either a sin, or it is not. There is no "little bit" On. One should not shun a person based on a "sin scale". The sinner should be reminded of God's love and forgiveness, based on repentance. Save shunning for the unrepentant.

Put down the stones.

The last couple of weeks have been exhausting. I haven't been to bed before 1 in the morning until last night. Then I was back up by shortly after six every morning. One of my boys has been in ICU, from Tuesday until Saturday. He is now out of the hospital and recovering.
The family has spent a lot of time in the waiting room.

One of my grandsons was with us, as we had no sitter to leave him with. He is very observant... he saw people coming through the doors of the ICU crying, and other people would hug and comfort them. He got back to the house after a couple of days of this, and put on his saddest face, his fakest cry, and ran to hug his Mommy. He hugged and patted her for a minute, then ran off "all cheered up".

I have to praise the staff of the ICU at the hospital. Not only did they take great care of my son, but they went out of their way to make the family comfortable. Above and beyond their duties.

Dan and Sam limped through their lessons last week as best they could. This week we are getting back on track- or trying to. We need a trip to the library, possibly the grocery store, and I think I am going to get me a new supply of Adult Beverage. (It has been a tough week!)
Where did August go? We are eight days until September!

Our family has really pulled together this week, supporting one another. It is what families are SUPPOSED to do. My kids are really close-knit, and all of this has been hard on them. They nearly lost a brother. The ones who could come to the hospital came... and those who couldn't come didn't whine that they were being neglected. I think they realized that my attention was focused on the one who needed me most at the moment, and that if they ever need me as much, I will be there for them as well.

Monday, August 17, 2009


I drove with DS#1 down to Ft Worth Thursday. Mom took me to see my Granny Friday afternoon. We also visited my Aunt Jean. It is hard to cram so much into a one day visit.
Friday, DS#2 came to see me while I was there, followed by my DD and DS#4, and of course, DD's little Tyrel. They didn't get in until after midnight, so technically, it was Saturday morning. We were up way too late, as I had to come home Saturday. We had the 'sleepy sillies', and laughed a lot. Saturday morning, Ty was up at 6:15... even though he was awake into the wee hours with the rest of us. So we got a little more visiting in.

I sent DD and Ty over to the donut shop on the next block to get us an unhealthy sugar, fat, and white flour laced breakfast. She put my change in Ty's pocket to give to me. When he offered me the money, I told him he could keep it. Later, he offered it to me again, and I told him, "I gave you that dollar".
I have DS#2 as a witness... Ty told me "It's FIVE".
How many freshly turned two year olds know the difference in a one dollar bill and a five dollar bill? I was impressed!

I missed Friday and Saturday at work... so Sunday seemed really short. Not having been there for 2 days, I had plenty to keep me busy... and most of it was physical. When you go into an O'Reilly store, you may not think about those aisles that have cases and cases of oil stacked on the floor. But the store planners think about them. They want those stacks to be of the best selling oils for that particular store... and best sellers change from year to year. A few months ago, they swapped the ends of the oil aisle, so that the synthetic oils were at the head of the aisle, instead of the end.
At that time, I didn't swap the stacks of cases on the floor from one end of the aisle to the other. I did that yesterday. I hauled 14 five gallon buckets of hydraulic fluid out for a display in addition to moving some 80+ cases of oil.

Our family is in need of prayers. We would appreciate yours.

Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Star gazing

I have been out watching for ' falling stars' in the annual meteor shower. I saw several, and may go back out in awhile. Sitting out under the canopy of stars, you cannot help but realize how small we are in God's plan. And knowing he HAS a plan is a good thing when you feel helpless and small and out of control.

My world was given a major jolt today- one of those days that changes everything. But God is still in control. He spread out the heavens, and established the earth. The 'falling stars' I have been watching were set in their paths when He created the world, and their glory I see tonight was set in motion at the beginning.

The stars go on, whether we choose to see them at night, or choose to stay indoors and watch TV. They are there in the brightness of day, though we cannot see them because of the brighter light. They are there when the storm clouds block our view. Stars always remind me of God.

Tonight, I need reminding.

Surprise! Good and Not so great...

The not so great: Seneca and the kids didn't get to come up here this week.
The Good: Chris drove up a day early. He arrived in the wee hours of morning, after a couple of mis-turns en route. One was mistakenly taking Arkansas Hwy 59 off of 40... at night. Yikes!

Arkansas 59 is a beautiful, scenic route, one I heartily recommend to a leisure driver wanting to see beautiful autumn leaves. It wends and winds through hills and curves and valleys. Deer abound. I shudder to think of a tired driver trying to make his way up it at night.

My turkey is in the oven- I am cooking it early so that we can have the house cooled down by the time the evening heat hits. I never did get banana bread done yesterday. But we did make 6 mini-loaves of pumpkin-date bread with cinnamon cream cheese filling. And two layers of chocolate cake. I hope the breakfast/ bake sale goes well today.

It is nearly lunch time. Chris and Ben have been trying to get Jennifer all morning. She promised the kids could come over to visit/ spend the night. Finally, they gave up calling and drove on over to her house.
I will be needing to fix some lunch for Matthew here in a few minutes. He poked around and left his breakfast, and snacks have not been forthcoming. (If you weren't hungry enough for breakfast, you don't need a snack spoiling your lunch.) He keeps saying "meTammy, meTammy: yi eeoh a geenow" "meTammy, meTammy I ee summy eat"
Other than ""Tammy", I can understand "eat". I have mentioned to his Mom I think he needs to be going to a speech therapist. He is four years old and pretty much can't make himself understood. She didn't seem to think it is a big deal.

I was counting something this morning, and happened to get to 17. Matthew clearly said "eighteen". I was really impressed, both with him knowing 18 was next, and how clearly he said it.
MMM, the turkey smells good! Guess I will go find something to make for lunch. Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Cooking is an art, baking is SCIENCE

Dan had a miserable failure at bananananananananana (gosh it is hard to stop those nanananananans when you get going) bread. He accidentally added two cups of brown sugar instead of one. He got gooey lumps of bananananana flavored chewy stuff. Not saleable, for sure. We made a quick trip to town, and got stuff for another try... plus some pumpkin for pumpkin bread, and a chocolate cake mix for some cupcakes.

So we had a science fair demo... what happens when you don't add exactly the right amount of the right ingredients when baking. I hope we don't have any more tasty failures!

National Tighten Your Ceiling Fan Blades Day

Ok, so NTYCFB day is totally bogus. But it is still a good idea to periodically tighten those screws that hold the blades into your ceiling fans. I just did mine. All you need is a step ladder, a phillips head screw driver, and a dust cloth. Because once you are up on the step ladder, you will notice how much dust accumulates on those blades. You may as well dust them while you are up there.

Oh, you will find it a good idea to dust the length of the blade AWAY from the bed you are standing on to reach your bedroom fan. Or else you will be rewashing the bedding.

I am going in to O's this afternoon to set up the new sale, which goes into effect tomorrow. I happen to LIKE the process of tearing down the old displays and setting up new ones. I think I am the only one at our store who enjoys it. So I may as well get a few hours in, to help make up for coming home early every weekend. The sale set-up happens about every three weeks.

Tomorrow, there is a pancake breakfast/ bake sale/ book sale going on up at the hangar where Mr C works. (Where I used to work!) I will have Matthew early... really early. The sale is a fundraiser for one of the mechanics who has been hospitalized for weeks... maybe even months now. He was riding his motorcycle, when a deer came running across the road and leaped BETWEEN Richard and his motorcycle. Basically, it tackled him off his bike and he fell down into a ravine. There were witnesses to the accident. The motorcycle continued to travel without Richard for a short distance. He broke lots of bones... and he was a big old boy to begin with, over 400lbs. I donated several jars of home made jelly to the sale, and a bag of books. Guess we ought to do some baking for the cause.
Dale asked me this morning to start keeping Matt on Thursdays again, for awhile. My Thursday off was really short lived, wasn't it? Oh well, extra income!
OK, Y'all... get busy on those ceiling fans. I don't want anyone bonked with dropping blades.
Have a blessed day!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Already a third through August!

This morning, Daniel and I took Matthew and went to town. We had to go to Atwoods, where Dan and Sam got new belts. ("Real belts... not the plastic toy kind from WalMart".) Atwoods also had their planters and patio stuff on sale for half price. I wish I had a place to use some of the great stuff they had! I got 3 planters to re-pot some of my weeds.

From Atwoods, we went to Save A Lot grocery. Stocked up on some canned goods, such as Ranchies, diced tomatoes, and fruit. We also went by the bank to deposit my check. I had intended to stop on the way home and pay my Oreilly's bill, stock up on meat at Marvin's Grocery, and put some $$ in my ebay account (which is at another bank). I decided against the stops in Gentry and headed on home.

Matt got up from eating his lunch, and ran to the bathroom to "frow up". He didn't lose stomach contents... just the lunch he didn't want to eat. He crammed it in his mouth and ran and spit it in the toilet. Since he is "sick"... he gets to lay on the couch and have a nap. No toys, no TV, no going outside. I wonder how well the "frow up" game worked with his Gramma?

Chris and Seneca and the kids are coming later this week. I have a turkey thawing for supper one night while they are here. We haven't had the kids all here since before they moved to Texas.

I looked for a birthday present for Amber while I was at Atwoods, but didn't find anything along the lines her Mommy suggested. I'd like to find her something before they get here, so I won't have to mail it.

Time for Mr C to get home for his lunch, so I will say bye for now! Have a blessed day!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Our "Field trip"

Thursday, we decided to 'do something' in the afternoon. Ben is busy on a mission of mercy: one of his (male) co-workers (25) was kicked out by hi wife. Ben has been offering moral support (Wednesday) and helping the guy move to a new apartment (Thursday) ... so Dan and Samdidn't get to challenge Ben to whatever video game duel they had hoped Thursday afternoon.

Instead, we went back to Borders book store, and took advantage of a 40% off coupon, and got one of the "Warriors" series of books that Daniel has been reading. Actually, we got TWO of the series, finally giving up on one Dan has had on reserve at the library for over a month, and buying the book. (It was actually cheaper than I found it at Overstock, as a Club O member!). I picked up a little 'bonus' birthday gift for Amber... but didn't find a main gift for her. I found a cute book for my mom... and a book on airplanes for either Matthew or Gavin... I haven't yet decided which. (Leaning towards Gavin).

We tried to get the boys paintball air tanks refilled, but the filler tank at WalMart was out for repairs. While there, I let the boys choose new comforters for their beds- something I have been meaning to do for quite awhile. Their camo ones we got four years ago have worn out pretty much.

We went to the library, where Dan and Sam played on the one of the chess boards they donated. Both are set up in nice locations, and are reported to have been seeing a LOT of use. I checked out some books for myself.

While at the mall, I dashed into Bath and Body works... they are having the pump hand soap sale! and got several bottles of hand soap. We stopped at the post office and finally got Gma Kathies birthday gift mailed off... an antique glazed porcelain necklace we found a few weeks ago at a rock shop. I also got Bill's pictures mailed off- Chris' went yesterday. He will have to copy the yearbook page if Becky or Bill wants a copy of it.

We stopped off and got a Papa Murphy's (Take and Bake) pizza for dinner... having just discovered the Papa Murphy's in Bentonville. (We tried PM Pizza at mom's house earlier this year... it is sooo gooooooood!)

So we mostly just did errands that Dan and Sam wanted to do... but it got us out of the house for awhile.

Friday, I work Noon to 7:00pm.

Oh, I heard from Chris: Please be praying! Their Emergency custody hearing is the 13th, to determine where Connor and Alana will start to school. it isn't the final hearing, just one to determine where they will go to school this year. All prayers appreciated!

Bill and Glynna report that Nickole is over 15 lbs! and doing well. Three teeth (or was it four?), Rolling everywhere, sitting alone, and freshly shot with all the nasty germs docs say babies need to have. A really big little girl.


Thursday, August 6, 2009


I just discovered yesterday that I probably will NOT have Matthew on Thursdays for awhile. This could develop into me having to work O's on Thursdays... boss has mentioned taking me off Sundays. Sunday off would give us some family time.

But today, it is a day off. The boys and I are thinking up something to do, and getting the schoolwork and housework out of the way. We are thinking of going to the bookstore. I got an e-coupon, and there is a book Dan really wants. They also have 20% off all children's books and games... and Amber has a birthday coming up in a couple of weeks.

I noticed this morning, yesterday's post was my #400 post. Thank you all for listening to me through the ups and downs and ramblings!

I dreamed of my Granny, and of PawPaw last night. (Actually, it was early this morning.) I was aware in the dream that I was dreaming, but still had a long talk with PawPaw. He had come to get Granny. We talked about my kids, and how much I wished he had gotten to know them. He only ever met Chris and Bill of my brood. I had told him things I wanted him to tell other people when he got back... but after I woke I couldn't remember what I wanted said, or to whom. It was a comforting, if somewhat bizarre dream. In it, Granny was already with him. It wasn't until after I woke up that I realized she hasn't passed away... at least not physically.

Have a great day today!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Nothing is ever Simple

I was justifiably unexcited about that house. A matter of self preservation, I expect.

After talking to the bank, Mr C discovered that THIS house requires a 25% down payment. It is missing its "data plate". I went online and did some research. The home owner has been looking for a small metal plate with the serial number on it, which he feared was 'bricked' under when the stone skirting was put up. Actually, the data plate is made of paper.

Yeah. Paper!

It is supposed to be 'permanently affixed in an easily accessible location, typically near the main electrical panel'. "Permanently affixed paper" means it was glued to the wall somewhere. The internet search also said the data plate could be on the inside door of a cupboard or closet.

As I said, that house was spotlessly clean. I would just bet that sometime over the last 30 years they have been in this place, the lady removed the data plate and tossed it into the trash. If it weren't printed on acid free paper, it would probably be yellowed and the ink beyond reading.

Data plates became a federal requirement on June 15, 1976. If these folks bought the place from someone else- it is entirely possible that it was manufactured BEFORE data plates were required. One would think that the bank could send out an inspector of some sort to LOOK at the place and see that it is not going anywhere. They could see that it is in better shape than many 30 year old 'stick built' homes. But no. Without the data plate, they won't make a loan on the place unless the buyers pay 25% down.

The modular homes are considered "portable". We might just haul it away somewhere and where would that leave the bank? LOL.

Scratch this house. This time Mr C is the one upset.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

How many times have I asked .."Is this one "it"?

Yesterday evening, we went to see a house in Missouri. (We live in the NW corner of Arkansas, so crossing the state lines of Missouri and Oklahoma are pretty frequent happenings.) This place is about 10 miles east of Jane, MO., where we do most of our WalMart shopping.

After having seen the house online, and doing two 'drive-bys' on it, we were stunned to learn it is a modular home. They have rocks that go from the ground up to meet the wood siding. (My 'dream house' would have rock and cedar exteriors!) It has a 2-car garage attached to the house via a covered passage mud room/ small solarium. The house, internally, has light beige carpets throughout, and white countertops. The place sparkled. My house would be ashamed to be seen there on its cleanest day. We didn't see any flaws in the house... and we usually look really close. I think we were overwhelmed by the showroom clean of the place.

The yard is so heavily tree covered, we would have to search for a spot to garden. There is a small wooden deck on the back. In the yard are two storage sheds, and a pole barn. Leaving the garage in the opposite direction from the house is a huge workshop, which is not only heated and air conditioned, but has two smaller rooms built into it that could be put to use as a bedroom if needed. The house, garage, and shop are all rain-guttered. Concrete sidewalks connect the garage, shop, and house.

The house belongs to an elderly couple, who retired there over 20 years ago. You can tell they really love this place. We spoke to the owner as we were leaving- he and his wife both have had recent surgeries and just can't keep up with the place anymore, he said. Tom is supposed to talk to the bank today and perhaps make them an offer this afternoon.

It was almost 8 before we got home. We went ahead and had the steaks for supper. At that time of evening, I didn't drag out the good china, or make the twice baked potatoes I had intended to serve. I don't have energy left to hand wash dishes at nine o'clock at night. So we had our anniversary supper on TV trays watching a silent movie on TV. (1928, "The Patsy").

Oh, I failed to mention Matthew. He was remarkably good, for his first day back. He arrived with a gallon of neon green Hawaiian punch, an assortment of kid cereals, and a box of pop-tarts. I was going to pour out whatever was in his sippy cup (yep, four years old and still sucking from a sippy) and make sure he only drank real juice or water. He happened to have real juice in the cup... so that was his juice for the day. When he was thirsty, he got water, and at lunch he got milk.

I removed the lid from the sippy and made him use it like a regular glass. It wasn't until he was ready to leave for home that he was given the neon green poison in the sippy, with the lid on. (I have asked several times that he not bring this stuff, but every week he shows up with a gallon of it. So I wait until time for him to leave to give it to him... Mom and dad can deal with the side effects all evening.)

He has quit calling me "Mom", and settled on Tammytammytammytammytammytammytammytammytammy (while tapping me on the arm). His overall speech has improved enough that Daniel and Sam could understand several things he said. (I would say he is speaking almost as well as an early two year old now.)

If we get the house, I won't be able to keep him any more... it would be way too much of a drive for the parents every morning.

Well, that's about all for now. I hope you have a blessed day!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Today, Mr C and I have been married for 25 years. I am hoping his gift arrives today. I didn't say anything to him this morning about this being our anniversary. I think I may do a nice dinner with my Grandmother's china. (If I am not too frazzled with Matthew, who will be here any minute.) I did wake with a headache- so not an auspicious beginning to the day. Add some queasiness too ... If I didn't know better, I'd wonder about that!

I'm sure I should have more to blog about later- but for now, I need to close my eyes.