Thursday, April 30, 2009


Aside from finding just the right card for my mom for Mother's day... I have finished my mother's day projects for the 3 Mom's in my life.

I asked Tom's Mom, Arlene, what she wanted for Mother's Day. She said she really didn't want anything, but knew I'd probably get her something anyway. She flippantly said, "I'd like some purple roses". LOL. I didn't find any roses that were actually called purple... but did find one with lavender flowers. So Mom Arlene is getting a rosebush and a clematis vine. I also found a great card for her.

For Kathie, I just couldn't think of a thing. I was on Shutterfly, working on my Mom Rose's photobook- which is her present- and browsed around what else I could do on that site. I discovered that photo calendars were on sale for half price- through yesterday. Work on the photo book for Rose came to an abrupt halt, while I put together a calendar for Kathie. I am pretty sure I got in all the grandkids', and most of the great grandkids', my brothers', Dad's siblings birthdates onto it. I got the anniversaries I knew on it. It was an all day project, but I got it done!

I harassed Becky and Seneca, bless them! and got them to upload some pictures for me yesterday. Today I spent the morning finishing Mom's book. It is now ordered! What a relief to finally have Mother's Day gifts taken care of.

In other news, I am about to rip my hair out with CONSTANT "Mom.Mom. Mom. Mommy.
Mommy. Mommommommommom." Taptaptap tap. "Mom. Mommy. Mom. Mom." from Matthew. He doesn't really want anything. Just to tell me what the boys are doing. Or that it is raining/ not raining. Or what toy he is playing with now. Or ayeIhavesomemoredoosepeese. "Mom.Mom. Mom. Mommy.Mommy. Mommommommommom." Yes, he knows I am not HIS mom. But that is what he calls me. He is one needy three year old lately. I am about to run away from home and change my name.

This afternoon, I am supposed to attend another "Home and Garden" party, this time at my friend Cindi's house. Not that I need nor even want any of the items offered at the party... I am going because Cindi is my friend. Maybe I can find an inexpensive item I can use- or save for a future gift.

Amanda is responding to her name. Opening her eyes on demand. She is also moving her lips and tongue, though not yet speaking. Please continue to pray for her!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Happy Birthday, Bill Joe

My second born son, Bill Joe, turns 28 today. Here is a link to his birth story.

Bill at 8 months, with his brother Christopher. Bill was slow to decided to talk. He used a few words to get by: Mama, Daddy, Cookie, ba-go (bottle). He really didn't talk much until he was well over 2 years old. Then, his very first sentence took me by surprise: "Mother, May I have a drink of agua, please?"

Bill at age 3, with one of his favorite toys at the time. Early on, Bill let us know he did not want to be called by "Billy Joe", the name his dad had given him. (I was the one who insisted on "William Joseph" on the birth certificate, in case he should decided to be a doctor or lawyer some day!) He would stomp his foot down and say "NOT BILLY. I ('m) BILL." Pretty much the only person who has ever called him Billy is his Grandpa Bill.

Bill, holding baby Tommy, with Christopher.

Bill holding his daughter Nickole, April 2009.

Bill never did become a doctor, or a lawyer. He has followed his own star. When he was born, we never imagined the technical world he has found his niche in.
Happy birthday, Bill!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Redneckus Gardenous

Redneckous Gardenous

The guys made it safely home yesterday. I used some leftovers and made up some chicken and dumplings, which turned out nicely. I had thought of cooking a roast in the slow cooker, but with no one here all day to keep an eye on it, I decided to save the roast for today.

This morning, Daniel went out and took a look at our garden for the first time. He came back in and told me the technical name for it was "Redneckous Gardenous".
You can see that the grass truly needs to be mowed. However, it rained hard last night and it is soggy out. Rain is forecast for the entire week. We may have to brush hog the place once the grass dries off.

"Something" keeps munching on my tomatoes, red bell pepper plants, and marigolds. Mr C suspects bunnies. Whatever it is, leaves the orange bell pepper plants alone, and cannot access the container that the jalapeno peppers are in.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GOOD NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The hospital just called Ruth. Amanda has had some responses! Ruth didn't take time to say just what the responses were, but began praising God and took off for Little Rock to see Amanda herself.

Things are getting back to 'normal' here. School is going, chores started.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

My Family

I love my family. And not just the little (or not so little) nuclear Me and hubby and kids part. My parents, grandparents, nieces and nephews and cousins.... even siblings are some really wonderful people.

Growing up, my Dad and Mom were always taking in "strays". Dad would come home one day with some person who needed a hand up, and for awhile, we would have a new person stay with us.
Right now, my Mom is at her cousin Ruth's house, managing Ruth's cake shop, so that Ruth can spend time with her grand daughter Amanda. (Please continue to pray for Amanda. She is still not conscious, and we have not heard the results of the tests indicating whether her life is just a technicality.)
Mom is always so thoughtful and caring of people, friends and family alike.

I was pretty close to some of my cousins, growing up. At Seneca's birthday party a few weeks ago, I realized that my kids never spent much, if any, time with my siblings children. Two of my nieces were at the party. Six of my seven kids were there, as well as my Mom. My kids and their cousins have spent more time together as adults than they got to as children. They decided that they will continue to get together as often as they can.

I was just marveling last night at how my 'immediate' family is pulling my own siblings back towards "my" family. Mostly thanks to my DIL Seneca, who goes about trying to save the world, one person at a time. Seneca is the person who reached out to niece LR during her pregnancy, offering encouragement and support. When LR decided on her own to put up her baby for adoption, Seneca called on family first. Now LR's baby is my #2 son Bill's daughter.

My niece TD is the oldest of my siblings' children. She is a nurturer. She visits Granny ( her great- granny) more often than anyone in our family, except my Aunt Jean. TD's apartment is across the street from the nursing home where Granny lives. TD has custody of her nephew, Cris. My niece TN has given birth twice, but not been responsible for either child afterwards. TD is attempting to adopt Cris, and would gladly take his sister back in if she could. TD is a frequent friend at Chris and Seneca's house. It was there that TD met a life-long friend of Chris and Bill, CL. It seems that some sparks were there... and now CL will be part of our family as well.

It is sort of like a net, our family. We are held together, many individual strands of twine. We spread out, but our strong knots hold us together. In places we are ragged, and in places we are mended. There is always room for another strand to be tied in and become an integral part of the net. It is a safety net- there to catch you if you fall. You may break away... but the ties are still there, waiting for you to come back and be part of the net again. Some of our strands may never meet... but if you follow the knots, we are still connected within our net. There are new strands woven through and knotted in. Some strands break away and leave gaping holes in our heart.

Oops. I had more to say- but time has gotten away from me. I should be out the door in less than ten minutes, and I'm sitting here in my pj's.
Have a blessed day!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Another week...

This is my "Monday". I work at O's on Friday, Saturday, and Sundays. Friday always seems like the longest day... working from noon to 7:00pm.

This evening, Mr C won't be here to keep me company. He is off to west Texas to pick up the twins and see a couple of grandbabies. He is stopping at Bill Joe's house on the way to Becky's, to drop off Bill's birthday present. So he will get to see Miss Nicky. He will be later than he hoped in getting to Becky's, as he slept in this morning- not getting up until after 7:00.

I usually don't get spring allergies... but I sure got hit yesterday afternoon. This morning I took a Claritin D, but my throat is still sore and my ears ache. Seems like I get sick every weekend. Probably psychological rebellion about going to work. Since I was sent home last weekend and the weekend before, my next check is going to really stink. At least I have my April birthdays out of the way. (Bill's is the 29th, but his gift is taken care of.) Yikes... Tom's sister Angie has a birthday May 3rd... I better get on finding a card for her, at least. It will be May before I know it.

Amanda Update: Amanda has not regained consciousness since the surgery on Monday. She is undergoing MRI and CAT scans today to determine if there is any brain activity. Please continue to pray.

Have a blessed day- give your loved ones an extra hug.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

As requested... Just in Time for Mothers day!

Mom's wish list:

In no particular order:
a garden gnome... except not a creepy one. It doesn't even have to be a big one- the little ones are great, my garden is little.

A gazing ball would be nice.

Or a miniature rose bush plant.

Or a photo book from Shutterfly.

How about a nice family picture?
A hanging basket of flowers.
A visit from you.
The whole house clean at the same time.
Pretty hummingbird feeder.
decorative planter(s)
a little "bistro" set

OK. That's all I can come up with right now. I may add to this later, LOL.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earthday, Tommy

Today, Tommy is 19 years old. Here is a link to Tommy's Birth Story.
A couple of months ago, Ben got a piece of mail from the GED office, offering a chance to participate in a graduation ceremony. A second piece of mail was addressed to "Stan C*****", from the same place. Tommy's given name is Stephen Thomas. How they got "Stan" from that is anyone's guess. But "Stan" has taken on a life of his own. When Tommy calls home, it is reported as a call from Stan. So, Happy Birthday to the both of them.

Late yesterday afternoon, I heard what I thought was a motorcycle buzzing by. The speed limit in front of the house is 55mph... despite the 90* corner .2 past the house. This vehicle was going much faster. I heard Drover, one of our Two Stupid Dogs barking and giving chase. Then I heard a weird thud, and a yiping dog headed this way. I didn't SEE the vehicle. It sounded like a motorcycle. (later, I heard the vehicle again... and this time saw a red sports car racing up the road. This car has buzzed our house all afternoon, so it may have been a car, not a motorcycle, that clipped Drover.)

The poor doggy is limping badly. He cannot jump up the steps now- though he did yesterday. We cannot find any obvious breaks, and aside from a small bloody spot- like a pin prick- he isn't skinned up or abraded. He is whimpering and pitiful... and, as Ben pointed out- now a perfect Hank the Cowdog Drover. Drover was named from the little dog from the John R Erickson series of books, "Hank The Cowdog". Drover is Hank's sidekick, always having problems with his "bad leg" every time there is work to be done. ("Which leg is your bad one, Drover?" "It varies.")

Our Drover is working on healing up, resting on a pillow in Ben's floor. I wonder if this will cure him from chasing vehicles? He has caught one now, and I'm sure it wasn't as much fun as he expected it to be.
I keep hearing pitiful whining... but it is coming from the able bodied Jaffa, who wants to go out and roll on something dead and smelly.
He was let out earlier to do his business, and not allowed to wander off. Now he is whining and scratching at the door- still testing the doorknob to see if he can get it open... and mean old Mom isn't letting him out.
He can't quite turn the front doorknob, but he has the bedroom door knobs figured out. I crabbed at Ben because we have been trying to keep the dogs out of the twins room while they are gone, after Tom discovered they had 'watered' a comforter they dragged to the floor. Ben told me he hadn't opened the twins room at all. I found the dogs in there several times after I KNOW I closed the door, and I was here alone.
Mr C is supposed to go get Dan and Sam this weekend. He will be stopping by Bill's with some stuff- either going or coming back. He really hates the long drives... and the trip down he will be by himself.
I got another bit of curriculum for the twins. I ordered an art course in Drawing from Alpha Omega. It has Thomas Kincaid on DVD instructing the course. I bet Sam, and probably even Ben, will like it. I don't see Daniel sketching and doodling as much as Ben or Sam, but maybe he will enjoy this as well.
Have a blessed day!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cue the Can Can music

elNot for any particular reason. Matt just went home, and Ben and Tommy always played the Can Can music when he left after they kept him.

Really, he slept until 11:00 am this morning. I fed him lunch instead of breakfast when he woke up. I did the vacuuming yesterday, when he was home with a sick parent. While doing the vacuuming... with my new vacuum... my EXPENSIVE. New. Vacuum.... I discovered that is was barley "sucking" at all. Kept re-routing the suction system to a bypass valve. The downside of this vacuum is it has NO instructions. It came with a basic pictograph card showing how to empty the dust bucket, how to carry it, and how NOT to unplug it. I searched around on the machine and found a little "coinslot" screw that had a picture of a lock, and arrow, and a picture of an open lock. So I got a penny out and 'unlocked' it. The part fell off in my hand. Inside...


Inside I found a clog. A very dog hairy clog. And causing that clog was...

a five inch long pencil AND a three and a half inch long metal bolt.

The vacuum had been working perfectly when the twins left. I have not vacuumed up any pencils. Tom swore he had not vacuumed up any pencils... and who would risk an EXPENSIVE!!!! vacuum on a pencil and a bolt instead of picking them up?

Certainly not the person who shelled out the big bucks for the vacuum. This narrowed my list of suspects to Al E. Cat, Jaffa, Drover, or Ben. Since Jaffa and Drover run in terror at the sight of the vacuum, I felt safe in eliminating them. Hmmm. That left Ben or Al. Al hasn't been seen cleaning anything other than herself lately. And Ben DID clean his room.

I had A Talk with Ben about what is and is NOT proper vacuum fodder.
In Other News:
Tomorrow is Tommy "Stan"'s birthday. He will be 19. *sniffle* I won't get to see him or bake him an alligator shaped cake.

Yesterday, I called Becky and others, and posted on some web sites I frequent, about my "cousin" Amanda. (I'm not sure how exactly ones cousins are counted and seconded and removed... but Amanda is the grand daughter of my Mom's first cousin.) Yesterday we were told Amanda was in surgery from complications of a bedsore (which was a complication of paralysis, which was a result of surviving a drunk driving accident). We were told she was not expected to live. Thanks to all who have prayed and continue to pray for her full recovery. She survived surgery (wound debridation and not removal of her leg, as was feared when we heard of the surgery) and is in STABLE condition in ICU. My Mom is now in Arkansas, taking over her cousin Ruth's cake shop so that Ruth can stay by Amanda's side. Amanda is in her early 20's, she has been paralyzed since she was 14.

I suppose I better be finding out how to fix my intended supper: Beef and Broccoli. From scratch.. no mixes for seasoning. Have a great afternoon.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A second look...

I pulled up the place on the web, and discovered that it does, indeed, have two bathrooms listed. (There should be a clickable link above to see the place. And the map is not accurate, as far as where the house is located. The house is actually where the map says "May" in the upper right corner) Ben and I drove back out there this morning- and Ben was suitably impressed with the property. The funny looking outbuilding that we saw, but didn't approach yesterday, is a professional set up for raising small animals such as rabbits.
Ben and I even looked at the 'haunted' house. We stepped VERY carefully, as the floor is absolutely rotting through in places. That whole building would do well as a practice burn for some fire department training. However, if anything could be salvaged from it- the 'living room' had narrow board hardwood floors. They look like they may have been cherry. Anyway, the floor had the cherry wood coloring. The boards are about an inch wide.
Ben hiked up the hill. I was too lazy wasn't that energetic. He really liked the woods. He visualized epic paint ball battles being fought there.

Anyway, despite the obvious work that needs doing, this place will have us doing a walk through with an agent one day soon. Mr C will either have to take off some afternoon this week when I am home, or it will be after he goes and gets the twins this weekend.

Is this one "it"?

This weekend, I was sent home on both Saturday and Sunday by noon. Just no customers on rainy weekends. Mr C and I set out to find a house he had seen online near Goodman, Missouri. That will be a VERY long commute if he decides for this house. We did, eventually, find the place. It is a 3 bedroom 1 bath on 33 acres. Should I list pluses and negatives separately, or just let you draw your own conclusions?

There are several outbuildings... one happens to be an old house- one step from collapse. The outside is cute, fairly well maintained. It shares a driveway with a church. Really. To get to either the house, or the church, you pull off the highway into this driveway. On the opposite side of the church is another house. Directly across the highway is a creek... a wonderful creek! The creek crosses the highway under a bridge just past the other house and bends back towards the church.

The house sits at the foot of a hill. Wait a minute- I think hill is too mild of a word. If my kids will recall the "hill" across the street from us in Medicine Park (Pablo's Poot A Lot of Mooney house) ... this hill is bigger. The road follows the hillside as you approach the house- with the hillside blasted away to make way for the road- leaving small "cliffs" along the road on one side, and the creek on the other.

What we know of the inside is from internet pictures and peeking through windows. The front room has carpet. Poorly laid, piecemeal carpet.... very obvious even through the windows. The kitchen has to have new counter tops. HAS. To. HAVE. The old ones are the very early formica type- the kind with metal rims around the edges, where any remaining rims were located. What was left was peeling up, warped, crumbled, and stained. This is through the kind light of window peeking.
There is one bathroom. Mr C is usually pretty adamant that he will not even consider a place with just one bathroom. This bathroom was also in need of work. We could see that several rooms had real hardwood floors.

Mr C wants to go see the place with an agent. 45 miles from here means I would have to find a different place to work. Ben would probably have to transfer to Neosho or someplace. It is actually closer to Seneca than to Neosho, right on the Newton/McDonald county line. If you have a map, it is near a blip of a town called "May". (I think the church in the yard is the "town".)

Any garden planted would pretty much have to be in front of the house, near the hiway... as 32.75 of the 33 acres is a tree covered mountain. It is certainly out in the country. With a church on one side and a haunted house on the other, we shouldn't have neighbor troubles. The TSD could mark tires to their bladders' content on Sundays, and have free run of the countryside. We would never see Dan and Sam. They would have hideouts and trails through the woods over all 33 acres and probably onto whoever else's property the mountain encompasses.

The place needs a lot of work. A. LOT. of. WORK. And it will be a very, very long drive for Mr. C every day. (well, 4 days a week.) (About the same distance as from Westville to work.)
It is in a beautiful location. The drive over had us oohing and ahhing over the dogwoods in bloom. (And feeling sorry for folks like JoAnne/Truth who live in the Denver area. 52" of snow this week! I'm only 62" tall! And the snowfall wasn't even counting drifts!)

I'm really not holding my breath this time. Maybe when I'm up to my armpits in alligators repairs and packing, I will hold my breath. For now, I'm still wait and see.

Have a great day!


Thursday, April 16, 2009


Yesterday Ben and I took Matt and went to the WM garden center. They didn't have the 4x8 lattice panels I wanted, but I did get an "above ground" garden. The soil here is so stony that even the Troy-bilt isn't able to get far. Till three feet, rake out rocks. Till three feet rake out rocks. By the time the rocks are raked out.... there isn't enough soil to plant a seed.
Yesterday, I had a brainstorm. A very small one- but hey, with my brain, I get to count anything. I saw the little rigid plastic wading pools in the garden center.... and they are waaay cheaper than landscape timbers. 40 lb. bags of soil were .84 cents. So we came home with a wading pool- which I could of smacked some of the sweet old ladies with.

They see the pool, and see Matt walking along beside me. They just HAVE TO come over and talk to Matt. "Oh, you got a new swimming pool! Oh you will have so much fun swimming in it!".

Um, No.

Ben tried tilling a hole to bury the pool in... see above for success. We did at least manage to get it more or less level. I had bought 10 bags of soil and 2 of composted manure. It was more than enough for the little pool. We also filled the 'half barrel' cow feed bucket, the planter my tree was transplanted out of, and three hanging baskets. (I planted petunias in the hanging baskets). We have four varieties of tomatoes... 2 "Mr. Stripey", 3 Roma, 1 Arkansas Traveller, and one other open pollinated heirloom variety that came in a six pack. I still have three of those to find homes for. We planted two red bell pepper plants, and one orange bell pepper. Two jalapenos for the guys. There are a few marigolds inter planted with the vegetables... and several more marigolds to find homes for. I still have my little "window boxes" from Marlow I can plant the flowers in.

Matt had a great time helping "Sam" (Ben) open the bags of soil and spread them into the pool. (After a minor hissy fit that we were putting dirt and not water into 'his' pool.) One of the neighborhood dogs came over to supervise us... the huge white great Pyrenees that lives a ways up the road. He and Matt loved all over one another. When Wanda arrived to get Matt, he led the big dog by the collar to her car and tried to shove it into the back seat. It wouldn't fit, and kept backing up. Matt was behind it, shoving, and alternating in front trying to pull it into the car. Wanda finally got him to let go of the dog, telling him that they would ask his daddy if he could get a big dog.

Mr C was not thrilled with the garden. He says he is going to stop house hunting now, since we have a garden to keep us here.
"Why would you plant a garden when we are fixing to move?"
"Because every spring you say we are fixing to move, and I don't plant a garden. Then we don't move and I missed having one for no reason."
It seems that while renting, we have moved away from several gardens.

We have now been in this rented house longer than any other house we ever rented. Most of our rental stays were just over two years, or six or less months. Nine houses in 10 years. Then we bought our home and were there ten years. We have now been renting for five, 18 months in Westville and here since then.

I dreamed last night that I was painting this house, over crabbing from Mr C.
He was telling me I should not be painting, we were going to move. I said the place needs painted and I may as well enjoy the nice paint until we do move. LOL. Even my dreams at night have decided to make the NOW better, instead of packing and waiting for the big move in the future. (Up until last night, I still spend half my dreams packing to move to my own house.)

Have a great day today. Give all your kids an extra hug!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Back in Business

Dinner was nearly ready when Mr C got in last evening. I told him about the washing machine... and he started to work on it immediately. Ben had gone to the hardware store where we found the part last time, and bought a new coupling. When he got home, he printed out the step by step directions from the internet. I had unplugged the machine, detached the hoses from the water supply, and drained the machine.

In half an hour or less, the washing machine went for a test spin. Problem solved for just over $20. At least if it was going to be broken- it chose a good time to do it. The twins are still having fun at Becky's house, so Mt. Washmore hasn't been all that bad this week.

I did notice that much of the heavy soap build-up that was present in the outer tank last year is gone. I think my home made laundry detergent (or is it soap?) has helped rid the tank of build up. I had just poured the last half gallon of laundry detergent from the bucket I make and store it in, to the jug I dispense it from, when the machine went out. So I will be due to cook up a new batch soon.

Looks like today may be a beautiful day in the neighborhood. The sun is out and (so far) the sky is cloudless. Maybe Ben and I can get some containers and vegetable plants, and start us up a container garden. Tomatoes and peppers... and perhaps some flowers? I would like to get a lattice screen and attach it across the north end of the porch.... plant some sort of climbing flowers beneath it. The front porch looks really... bad. Not having a garage- it is a catch-all for outdoor storage. The weight bench and weights are slowly rusting away there. The gas cans for the lawnmowers, Ben's greensand making supplies, boxes of old car parts mingled with my outdoor plants and park bench. The lattice screen would at least hide a lot of the eyesore from the road.

Mr C plans to leave Daniel and Sam at Becky's this week and next, heading to get them on his days off on the 24th-26th. Unless they become too insufferably homesick. Then I may have to make a dash down on Ben's days off- leaving him with Mattman.

Matt asks, first thing every morning, "Boys here? Where Sam?"
Sam is his generic name for Daniel, Ben, or Sam. And any baby he sees is "Tywell". In the last month, Matt's speaking skills have really developed. I can actually understand quite a bit of his attempts at communication. The first clearly spoken sentence took me by surprise... he calls me "mom" and Tom "dad" when he is here, but uses our given names when speaking of us to his real Mom and Dad.
One day Tom was leaving to go back to work after being home at lunch. Matt called out clearly, "Goodbye, Mr. T_____!" (He still hasn't got the hard "C"_____ of our name down. ) When Ben leaves for work, Matt is always sure to say "Goodbye, Sam!"

My grandson Gavin can still talk circles around Matt, but Matt IS getting better with speech.

I hope you have a wonderfully blessed day today. Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ten Days Short

Guess what happened today? The coupling on my washing machine went out.


I knew it had been less than a year since we took the machine apart and replaced it... and I whined that I was able to fix the machine instead of getting my long wanted front loader.

So I looked back through my blog archives... and it was indeed less than a year ago- April 24, 2008. Ben has gone to town to buy a new coupling. I tried calling Mr C- hoping he would say I could just go get a new machine. But he is actually working today- a lightening struck plane in the hangar. He turned his phone off.

I was going to go with Ben... but! my Bulkfoods shipment is due to be delivered this afternoon. I opted to wait here for that instead of venturing out. Guess I could be cleaning the kitchen up in preparation for opening and storing all the goodies. Instead- here I am.

Guess I will get busy doing something. Yawn... like a nap?

Monday, April 13, 2009


Isn't it strange that at Easter, so many people traditionally serve ham? Like turkey at Thanksgiving- it is ham at Easter. Strange, since Jesus was a Jew- and Jews do not eat pork. (My mind takes off on strange ponderings from time to time.)

We had heavy rains much of yesterday. With the rains expected, and it being Easter Sunday, the boss anticipated that the store would be slow. So he gave me yesterday off. Two Sundays in a row! What was really funny was that I had got a call from the boss on Monday or Tuesday, asking if I was "Still with us". I took it to mean, had I died from being sick... since I went home early on Friday last week. I assured him I was better, and would be in as scheduled on Friday.

On Friday, I was telling another co-worker about the crawfish boil and Seneca's party... and I noticed the boss giving me the strangest look. All the sudden, he gets this look of horror that passed quickly to red faced sputterings and laughter. He had totally forgotten he had given me last weekend off- and thought my failure to show up at work was a no-call no show quitting. (His call about was I "still with us"= "Have you quit Oreilly's?")
So when he told me Saturday to take yesterday off... I gave him an hour or two, then reminded him he ought to write that down. LOL

Mr C and I spent the morning cleaning yesterday. I vacuumed the couch and scrubbed it down with a damp wash cloth. Several hours later, I had to repeat the scrubbing. The spills/ stains had reappeared once the cushions were dry. Mr C vacuumed the recliner unit and corner unit, and the floors of the house. I did our bathroom and the kitchen, and Ben did the boys bathroom before he went to work. Then we (Mr C and I) watched Ben Hur. That is a LONG movie. I made a home style chicken pie for supper. Mr C stayed in his lounge pants all day- we never ventured out at all. At bedtime, my arms were sure shrieking... the muscles in them hurt to be touched.

Today brings Matt back. He and I and Ben for the morning, then Ben goes off to work. I need to go put my check(s) in the bank. When I went home sick on the Friday before Seneca's party- I forgot to pick up my check. This week is payday again... and I still have the last check in my purse. I just haven't been getting out. I can't think of any other errands I need to do- so banking may be put off yet again.

I am expecting a shipment from to come in today or tomorrow. I haven't put in an order with them in such a long time, this one is pretty big.

Mr C has been out looking at houses, and finally decided that he is either going to have to raise his price range and buy a house that is in good condition to begin with- or "pay the price" in labor for a house that is in the lower price ranges. I didn't even have to say "I told you so"... he said it " for " me. I'm fine with a fixxer upper, but Mr C, not so much.

That's what's up around the Cow Paddy these days.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Pics from the Party

Gavin checking out the crawfish pot
Seneca and I, saying Cheese!

My try at learning to ride a Unicycle.

And contrary to what may may think... there was no alcohol involved. I actually didn't drink any adult beverages at all that day!

My Mom (Rose) and I snuggling Nickole

This is Mr. C., actually getting a tune from a 3 string plastic guitar!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Town Day today

Today I have to work up enough gumption to get to town. We are OUT of fresh veggies.

I so much wanted to take advantage of Sonic's 1/2 price burger Tuesdays yesterday. But I know how Mr C despises eating out... or eating fast food at home. So I scrounged around and decided on italian chicken. The oh-so-easy version: bottled itailian salad dressing over naked chicken- baked until done. For a side, I thin sliced potatoes and layered them in a casserole dish with campbells nacho cheese soup (mixed with milk and sour cream). I also opened a can of green beans. Can't get much easier than that.

I know if I don't get going this morning- I will probably not get the running done at all today. I just seem to run out of steam by afternoon. I'm having trouble lighting the fire getting the steam going at all this morning... I keep trying to doze back off.

I didn't get through to Tom's Mom this weekend. I usually try to call her every weekend. I had spoken to her Wednesday or Thursday. She mentioned she needed to get up to Marysville (about 85 miles away) and see her brother Don. Don had been moved from a retirement home to an assisted living/hospital care type home the week before and he was very upset about it. I knew she had been up there only a few weeks ago.
Anyway, I called Arlene yesterday. She said she had just been about to call me.
Another brother of hers, Glenn, was there visiting, and they had gone up to see Don. He was sleeping when they arrived, and after waiting a couple of hours for him to awaken, they went to get lunch.
When they returned- Don was gone. He had passed away in his sleep. I only met him once- perhaps twice- in all my years as part of the family. But I know he was one of Tom's favorite uncles. I don't know if Tom will be going up for the funeral or not. He has been planning to go to Ohio to visit soon anyway.

Mom Arlene will be 76 next week.

I suppose I better crank up the steam if I am going to get out of here this morning. Matt needs to get dressed- as do I. I need a shower first though. Have a blessed day. Lift up Tom's family in prayer if you think of it.





So much for Town this morning! One essential of taking a toddler to town is having a car seat. My car seat is in the other vehicle- at work with Mr C. So I will have to wait for lunch for him to bring it home. I did get showered and dressed though. I'm sure I can do some clutter-busting to keep me occupied this morning.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Too Quiet Around Here

Even with Matt here, it is really quiet. I have cleaned the kitchen already this morning and got the laundry all washed yesterday, so just need to fold it and put it away today.

At the moment, I am coaxing my dinosaur computer to edit a shipping address at Amazon so that Tommy's birthday present might arrive in a timely manner. He will be 19 on the 22nd. Amazon believes that Becky's address is invalid... I guess they have never heard of "Private Road(s)". Funny, not only do Becky and Tommy have "private road" addresses, so does my Dad- halfway across the state of Texas. Arrrgh! For the 8th time, my computer "cannot find server". GRRRR!

Ben is off and about today, making a trip to Best Buy. He didn't say what he was going after... either a component to fix his laptop or else a new computer. Or maybe something else I am not even aware he wants. I've got a grocery list going that he offered to get, but I'm thinking I need to get it filled out a bit more. There isn't anything pressing we need today.

I can't decide what to make for supper. Last night, I threw a couple of frozen 'chuck steaks' into my Pampered Chef covered baker. I started with a drizzle of olive oil in the bottom, and sliced half an onion and a clove of garlic into that. Then added a steak. I repeated the onion and garlic, added a second steak, and finished off with more onion and garlic. I baked it almost two hours, carefully swapping the top and bottom steaks around after about 45 minutes. They were still slightly tough- owing to the cut of meat, I'm sure- but very tasty. As long as the oven was going, I wrapped each of us a potato in foil- again with a drizzle of olive oil and a peeled clove of garlic- and baked them. About 45 minutes before Tom was due home, I wrapped some fresh asparagus in foil with a small chunk of butter, and tossed it in next to the potatoes.

I'm still trying to catch on to cooking for just a few people.

I know there was something specific I meant to post about here, but can't bring it to mind at the moment. Maybe this will be a two-post day!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Weekend Review

When you last heard from our intrepid blogger (that's me!), she was feeling a bit under the weather, but planned to work Friday anyway. As planned, (switching back to first person here- third person is confusing me) I took some Emergen-C Friday morning. I felt really bad. I took Dayquil, and that helped. I took some Airborne about half an hour before I needed to leave for work. Both Emergen-c and Airborne have a LOT of vitamin C in them. Vitamin C is NOT stored in ones body. You can only take it to "bowel tolerance". As I was kissing Mr C goodbye on my way out the door... I suddenly discovered that I had exceeded my tolerance level. (At least it wasn't AFTER I left the house.

So a quick clean up and change of clothes, and I was out the door to work. I could tell when I hit the 4 hour mark after taking the Dayquil. Instead of just feeling miserable- I felt awful. Or possibly worse. I took a second dose. The boss asked if I wanted to take my lunch break- and I asked if I could just go on home. He agreed. So I spent the rest of Friday vegetating on the couch. Ben made me home made chicken noodle soup for supper!

Tom told the boys if I was still sick Saturday, we were not going. I can remember being SO disappointed as a kid when unexpected things ruined my plans. I haven't seen Dan and Sam so excited about going on a trip in ages. I really didn't want to disappoint them. I Nyquiled up and went to bed.

Saturday morning- I wasn't hoarse anymore. I felt about halfway better. Took my Dayquil and declared myself fit to go. Every time the Dayquil wore off- I'd dose up again. Chris had quite a few people at the party. Seneca had a few of her close friends. And then we had plenty of family there. Not feeling the best, I did eat a few of the boiled bugs, and a couple of bowls of gumbo. That gumbo could rank right up there with comfort foods when you don't feel well.

I kept my hands off of Nickole for most of the day... but finally washed up really well and held her awhile. She was a bit fussy. For some reason, most babies stop fussing and squirming and drop right off to sleep when I hold them. No one had yet showed Bill the "magic spot" that works on drowsy babies. So Becky demonstrated. Laura was there, and hadn't seen anyone use the "magic spot" before. Both were really impressed. (When a baby or toddler is just almost asleep, but fighting to keep their eyes open, a gentle touch just above the dip of the nose, right between the eyes/eyebrows will make most little ones close their eyes and fall instantly asleep.)

Bill and Glynna went to my niece Tammy's apartment to spend the night. Seneca had volunteered to keep Nickole overnight. They had been gone quite awhile when Daniel noticed Nickole still sleeping in her carrier. He wondered aloud if Bill and Glynna realized yet that they had left the baby behind! It was after 10 when we left Chris' for my Mom's house. I was ready to hit the bed the minute we walked in- but then had trouble falling asleep due to the lingering aches of the flu/bug.

Sunday morning, Mom made her wonderful biscuits and sausage gravy. All the travelling kids were gathered before we left- Becky and Tommy had the twins to go to west Texas. Bill and Glynna collected Nickole and were going to take Laura to visit her parents before heading back to Oklahoma. (My brother Eric and his wife Jackie). They had Nickie all dressed up in a little "Easter dress". Tom and I headed back to Arkansas. It was a really quiet ride home.

This morning, Matt is here and appears to be sleeping in. It is just Ben and I (and Matthew) - Mr C has already gone to work. It will be way too quiet without the twins here. No school work to do, no arguing with Matthew over the TV being on. Once Ben is gone to work and Matt goes home, I will have several hours here all by myself. Every day all week. I'm sure I can think of something to do, LOL.

It just seems so strange to think of the future, the not-so-distant time when I won't have kids at home. All these years of very little time spent alone will turn into very little time spent among throngs of family. Well... that's enough thinking on that!

It was a good weekend. We were disappointed that Ben's boss didn't give him the time off after all. She didn't let him know for sure until Friday. So we had a quick revision of travelling arrangements, and took the car instead of the van. The TSD stayed behind with Ben. Grandkids Connor and Alana were not there. They had gone with their Mom to ( wanna guess where?) ARKANSAS for a wedding. Isn't that ironic?

So I got to see Becky and Tyrel, Tommy ("Stan"), Chris, Seneca, Jade, Amber, and Gavin. Bill Joe and Glynna and Nickole. Nieces Laura Rose and Tammy, and grandnephew Cristopher (Tammy has custody of her sister Tanya's baby). I got to see my mom, and Ralph, and my brother Roger. Both of my nieces made similar remarks- wondering why the cousins hadn't spent much more time together when they were younger. They both agreed that it was nice to get together NOW as part of the family. (I didn't go see Granny or Aunt Jean. They really didn't need my germs!)

Tyrel discovered something temporarily better than Mommy. He discovered cousins! (And a passel of other similar sized kids). He actually let Becky out of his sight- she could even go inside while he was out, or out while he was in... and he didn't cry! Sunday before we left my Mom's house, I asked him if he wanted to go home with me. He nodded yes, and held out his arms for me to take him! WOW! The first time he has voluntarily come to Cowgranny! (Of course, he didn't really get to come home with me, but he was willing- if only for that few minutes!)

Guess this has become more of an epic post than the weekend really was. I will say bye- Thanks for reading, and have a blessed day!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

semi-productive day

I got a lot of running done today. We were out the door just after 9:00am... and back very shortly. Dan forgot his library books! (At least we were less than a mile from home.)

Once out on 102, Dan asked if we could stop at a specific pawn shop near Bentonville. I quickly vetoed the idea, as 102 is under construction near B'ville. As we discussed how important his mission was- and how much I did NOT want to turn left across construction traffic three times or more... I MISSED the first and only left turn I HAD to make... the one to pay rent. The closest turnaround happened to be in the lot of the pawn shop Dan wanted to visit. So the boys went in, and I stayed in the car with Matt. He found a paint ball gun- which was why he wanted to stop there in the first place. He got a great price on it.

The turn back towards the property management office wasn't too bad. Apparently, 9:30 am is relatively traffic free! We took the suburbia route on to the library.

At the library, I discovered an easier way to upload the photo's than I used last time... and had 165 pictures on Shutterfly in less than 6 minutes. Whoo hoo! I forgot Ben needed to talk to Yessica (his boss) to confirm his weekend off, and headed directly towards Cavenders. Ben and Sam went in and found his belt, while Matthew, Dan and I toured Big Lots. I found a planter the same size and style as one I have put into (and removed) from my WM basket on my last three shopping trips. At WM, WITH Ben's discount, the planter was $18. It was $9 at Big Lots. So my tree now has room to stretch its roots.

From Big Lots, we went to Oops!. I mostly just got candles there, though I did get myself a candle warmer for $1.10, and a few candle jar toppers for gifts. I have a box of candles set aside to give folks at Seneca's party. From Oops!, it was on to WM in Siloam Springs. Got new collars and tie outs for the TSD's. Plus some lunch meat and snacks for the trip, and some planter dirt.

We got home just a short while before Matt's Mom picked him up. The rain hit between Oops! and WM. It rained and rained. Matt was mostly well behaved. We ate lunch as soon as we got home... he was one hungry little boy. (We did have some snacks on the road.) Supper was our "famous" roast beast sandwiches with caramelized onions. Then Dan and I made Tom's Mom's Potato Salad, so we can take a big bowl of it to the party. (It is so much better a day or two after making it!)

I have MOST of what I planned to take with me gathered. Some is already in the van... some is still sitting behind the couch, in our "staging" area. Packed... no.

Sam is running a fever and has a sore throat, which Ben just got over. I am feeling puny myself- with a sore throat edging in. I will dose up on the Emergen-C tomorrow, and Nyquil tonight. (Emergen-C is supposed to pep you up. I don't want pep before bed!) I dread going to work... Friday's seem so long! But at least it is just one day. I can do ONE DAY!

What didn't get done today... cleaning out the fridges. Sweeping and mopping the kitchen. That can be done tomorrow. Also for tomorrow... washing the TSD.

Things to do today....

As much as I like planning things out- I am also a great procrastinator. I have to work tomorrow, being Friday. And we (plan to) leave EARLY Saturday morning. That leaves me Thursday to get ready to go. Tra La la lala.

Thursday to get ready.

TODAY is Thursday.

I have Matt.
We need to go to the library.
Ben wants to go to Crutchers or Sheplers or whichever the heck the western wear store is over at 412 and 540.
I want to go to Oops... which is in the same neighborhood.
And you know how I mentioned this being a fresh new month and all? There are certain financial requirements to be met each month... and for the second month in a row... we forgot to pay the rent by the 1st. So stopping by the real estate/ property management office is also on the list.

I have been mentally gathering all the stuff we need to take with us all week. Since my extrasensory powers do not happen to include telekinesis, I still need to actually get all this stuff together.
And pack. (Packing is nominal- we will only be gone overnight!)

I said I have Matt.
Really, I should say, "I am supposed to have Matt." Because right now he is more than half an hour later than he usually arrives. And it looks stormy out. Won't I have a really fun day, schlepping an uncooperative preschooler all over NW Arkansas in the rain? At least I ought to be able to use "my" car instead of the van. (Ben is supposed to be off today- unless his boss changed his schedule due to him wanting the weekend off).

Ben has succeeded in casting his belt buckle! He still needs to "finish" it- grinding off the excess aluminum and polishing it all up- and adding a belt to it. (Hence the trip to the western store.) He intends to wear it at the party this weekend- so be sure to admire it. He has been working on it for MONTHS.

OK, I said I have a lot to do, so I best get to doing what I can get done.
Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Fresh New Month

Can you believe it is already April?

I have been back at work on my picture books. I spent a couple of hours yesterday scanning old pictures from albums into the computer. From the computer, they will go to disk, and then on to Shutterfly. Each picture gets scanned... then I have to shift up three computer levels to the correct folder. Next I have to change the save format to jpg, and name the picture. I wish this program had a default setting, where it would go automatically to the last folder and last format until you change it, instead of having to change it every. single. time.

I finally got so worn out, I put the album away for the evening. It has been fun looking over the old pictures. Some of them even have dates on the backs. I find that very helpful these days.

Today, Tom's Mom's album should arrive. I hope she likes it. We spoke on the phone yesterday, and she said she just doesn't feel like digging through all her old pictures and organizing them. Maybe if she likes the book, I can do the rest of them into a nice one for her. (Yours too, Mommy!)

I have found a ton of pictures I am sure Seneca will want copies of. It is amazing how much Connor and Gavin look like Chris. (Seneca, once they are on shutterfly, I will link you up to them).

I haven't thought of any April's Fool pranks. Flipping the calander to the new month... I have plenty of "goings on" listed.

OK. Time to get things rolling around here! Have a great day!