Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bill's Birthday

Oil day at O'Reilly's! An extra 2 pallets of merchandise to sling about. Somewhere along the way, during the 16 bags of Oil dry being first slung off the pallet onto the cart, then off the cart and onto the sales floor, my back decided it had had enough. Being more sensible than usual... I told the boss I was done lifting for the day. I scanned in the rest of the freight and left it for the nice strong young guys to deal with. Here I am back at home after a mere 4 hours on the job.

One of my brothers has great news. He is back to work today! He was forced to give up his job as a truck driver when he had to be hospitalized. They couldn't stabilize his blood sugar, and he was cited as insulin dependent. His diabetic doctor checked him carefully, and found infection in his teeth. Once the infection was cleared up, brother Robert's blood sugar stabilized and he was officially declared to not be insulin dependent. His old boss was happy to give him a truck, and he begins driving this afternoon! This is a major praise report!

Another of my brothers, Rick, is in need of major prayers. (Or a swift kick in the pants.) He is out of work and not looking for a job, waiting for a disability certification to come in. Meanwhile, he has lost everything. He is homeless, living in the back of his truck. I'm sure this is stressful for him and his wife, who is also unemployed and not looking for work. Other than prayers for them to get their lives straightened out, there is nothing we can DO for them. Hand-ups are rejected in favor of hand outs. This has my Mom in tears. I hate it when anyone makes my Mom cry!

Today is DS#2's birthday. Bill Joe is 29! Happy Birthday Bill! Here is a link to Bill's Birth Story.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Saturday afternoon, I was forced to cook. That happens almost every day around here. People think they need to eat.
I 'invented' this casserole. It must have been good, because Mr C asked me to remember the recipe. Since there really wasn't a recipe, I figured I better write it down before I forget!

Cook 1 lb. ground beef with 1/2 C. chopped onion and 1/4 C. chopped bell pepper. Add 1 tsp minced garlic. Drain the liquid from the beef mixture once it has cooked. Add 1 can condensed tomato soup, and one regular sized (10 oz) can of enchilada sauce.

grease (spray oil) a 9x13 casserole dish

Add just enough of the meat mixture to barely skim the bottom of the casserole dish. I wasn't aiming so much for a layer here, as to keep the tortilla's from sticking.

Cover the bottom of the casserole dish (on top of the thin layer of sauce) with torn corn tortillas.
Layer in 1/2 the remaining meat mixture, spreading evenly.

Next, mix together in a bowl: 1 (15 oz) can of black beans, rinsed and drained; 1 to 1 1/2 cups of frozen corn (or 1 can of well drained corn); 1 C of sour cream; and 1 C. Picante Sauce. Stir together and layer it all over the meat mixture. Top with cheese shreds.

Add another layer of torn up corn tortillas. Then the rest of the meat mixture. Top with cheese and bake until hot and bubbling.

None of my family will eat sour cream, so I don't tell them when I add it to a meal. They loved this.

The past week

This past week, I could only hint that my "at home" boys were going to be busy. What they DID was head to West Texas for their brother Tommy's surprise birthday party! They headed out on Wednesday morning, stopping at their brother Bill's house in Duncan for a visit there. They got to see their niece Nickole!
After an overnight at Bill's, they went on to Becky's house, and the birthday party at Double Dave's Pizza in Snanjlo (San Angelo).
The boys headed for home on Saturday, detouring through Ft. Worth to see brother Chris. Getting out of Ft. Worth was FUN! Ben ended up heading SOUTH on I35, instead of North. He got far enough South before discovering his mistake, to get to where I35 rejoins itself. (It splits in to East and West up near Denton, with the East branch going through Dallas and the West branch going through Ft Worth. They ended up on the East branch, headed North, and went through downtown Dallas. After consulting the map, they took the new best route, up 75 into Oklahoma and home via 69.

A grand adventure.

I will go upload the pictures of their road trip to Shutterfly. Zesch's, I hope you don't mind... if you do, send me a note and I will remove your pictures!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Earthday Birthday

Tomorrow is my #4 son Tommy's 20th birthday. Which means, 20 years ago tonight, Tom and I were cleaning up after a raging stomach virus hit the family. Here is a link to Tommy's Birth Story

He has been moved away for almost two years now, living in West Texas and learning a trade. He may decide to go to college soon, or join the Air Force. He is still praying for God to bring forth his wife... He has been praying diligently to meet her (whoever she may be) for a number of years now.

Our "nest" is emptying out. At the moment, Benjamin and the twins are the only children we have left at home, and Ben is actively planning to move out. Tom and I always wish we could have done MORE with our kids; given them more, done more things with them, offered them more fun and exciting things growing up.

At the Library Volunteer Reception last night, I stayed in the car, unaware I was welcome to have attended. Dan and Sam went in. They met a 16 or 17 year old boy and chatted with him. Also at their table was a recent transplant from Boston. This woman questioned Dan and Sam about college, after learning they are home schooled. Dan said he had never given college much thought, but would probably really lean towards a Culinary school (My 13 year old son kid said CULINARY SCHOOL!). Sam said he would prefer to learn a trade, such as Mechanics, than go to college.

I guess I should have prepared them for such questions. The woman looked askance at home schooling... they could have told her that many Ivy League schools actively seek out home schoolers! I think they did just fine, comporting themselves as gentlemen in a crowd of mostly adults. Making their way in an adult world.

I still haven't started sewing. That had been my plan for this week.. I am just so wiped out. Eight+ hours on a concrete floor just saps my energy. This week, I did clean up the laundry pit room. I can now access the craft box and the big box of sewing materials that has been in the bottom of the closet in there. So I AM a step closer.

I got Tommy's birthday card and gift sent off today, as well as Bill's. Tommy's will take a bit longer arriving than if I had mailed it a few days ago... but Bill's will arrive a whole week early.

That's about all for now. I either need to take a nap or clean the kitchen... and nap looks like it is winning!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Me and my big mouth....

I got to work this morning right on time. The computer was acting buggy and I had to manually check in my special order freight, as I couldn't get the reports to generate. Once I had the Special Orders received, I tried again on the reports. No Luck.

Then I discovered the computer system wasn't going to let me check in ANY of my freight. At that point, I called Boss Man. Yep, at 6:00 am. He said he would be along soon. He didn't show up til his regular time, about 7:15. So, instead of cooling my heels doing nothing, I put up hoses in the back room. I had been falsely accused of dumping the hoses in the floor, and not putting away belts and hoses... leaving them for others to deal with. I know the culprit isn't me... but lacking anything to do, I put them all away. Then I filled the oil racks and antifreeze, and the window washes.

Boss finally arrived. He called corporate headquarters, and learned our whole system was down. No one could check in freight. Boss asked if I could stay "all day" if necessary. I said sure.

So he set me to work on a major planogram reset. After doing a section, (the second of six, the first section having been completed already) the computer was back up. I received in my freight and got started putting it away. By the time I had put up half the freight, it was "lunch time". Lunch comes early when you clock in at 5:30 in the morning. After lunch, I finished putting away freight and got the shipping done.

Boss told me my co-worker Vanessa is on vacation this week, and asked if I could work all day, all this week. I agreed to it! I figure the extra income will come in handy as we prepare for the camping trip in June.

I'm home, worn to a frazzle, and still have a big evening ahead. Tonight, Daniel and Sam have been invited to be honored as Library Volunteers. They will get an award and refreshments.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Monday again

Daniel and Sam are volunteering at the library this morning. Tomorrow, they will be back in the evening for a Library Volunteer Reception. Then, other plans will have them fairly busy the rest of the week.

My step Mom, Kathie, has sent me several patterns for making clothes for the grandkids. When I spoke to her last night, she told me she is sending even more patterns! I guess I ought to get busy sewing. Yesterday, I was in Atwoods farm and ranch store. That is about the only place one can find jeans to fit my boys, who are long legged and skinny. While there, I was sucked into the vortex of adorable baby clothes. I told the twins I was totally stealing the idea of one of the little outfits. It was a baby girl diaper cover (like little bloomers) made of denim! It had a ruffle sewn across the rump, made of the red paisley scarf material... and a little faux pocket painted on. I was not about to pay $19.95 for a scrap of denim smaller than my purse.

Another totally (squee!) idea I saw... the little baby crawler suits (like footy pajamas) had the feet part as cloth cowboy boots. The top was designed to look like a western shirt. (and $40!, sorry, grandbabies, I don't even spend that much on MY clothes!) next time, I will have to be sure and take my camera along.

Mr. C and I have been looking at routes to Cumberland Falls in Kentucky. The northern route takes 12 hours and 13 minutes, and takes us through St. Louis, MO., before heading down through KY. The southern route takes us down through Little Rock, AR., before cutting north through Tennessee. It takes 12 hours and 11 minutes. Then there is the more "direct" route, taking us 'straight' across southern Missouri and into KY. It is some 60 miles less in distance than the other routes, but a good 13 hours and 25 minutes. It goes through every little town and up and down the scenic hills and byways. I think we have decided on the southern route, through Little Rock. It just seems counter-intuitive to drive 4 hours south to reach a destination that is almost due east as the crow flies. But such is the joy of driving the Interstate.

I have also begun my endless lists of things to do, things to pack, things to remember. Any time I leave a list up on the computer... I come back and find added to it, "... and two hard boiled eggs", which is from one of Marx Brothers' movies. I think Mr C has decided we will take the van, just because it is more comfortable to travel in than two small cars, especially if we end up having to take the TSD. I am hoping I can pay a friend to look after them while we are gone, if Ben is already moved away by then.

Well, I suppose that is all the news fit to print here. I hope you have a very blessed day.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Above is my tree. Or Laurie's tree. Do you want it, Laurie? If not, I think I will try trimming it back.

I woke up this morning with Mr C soundly snoozing beside me. He is always up WAY early, most mornings before 4 am. I looked at the clock... and it was 5:11.
Holy smokes, Batman!
I have to be AT WORK at 5:30.
I jumped into my jeans, brushed my teeth, brushed my hair, ran thru the house in my brazil looking for my work shirt... grabbed the cup of hot tea that Tom nuked for me, and ran out the front door.
To discover that Ben is parked directly behind me, and I am directly behind the van. No wiggle room. Tom tossed me his keys, but it took a couple minutes finagling to get all my needed keys off my key ring. I was two minutes late.
Thankfully, it was a light day.
I come home to all the boys battling one another on the computers. School work is not even started, and the twins are arguing about a game strategy. The game has been over for half an hour and they are still yelling at one another. I assume they lost to Ben.
I set out some round steaks for supper. I am assuming they are the "tenderized" type, and I can make chicken fried steaks. (Mashed taters and gravy, green beans ... mmmmm). I haven't decided which cleaning project to tackle today. So much to choose from!
Mr C did get the time off in June! Yay. He still isn't thrilled about going to the reunion. I need to see if I can get the time off now.
Not much 'new' going on. I got my little 'miniature' rose bush planted outside. I have had it indoors for a number of years, during the winters, and on the porch the rest of the year. I decided it could join the two regular rose bushes I got on clearance a couple of weeks ago. Did I mention that we got some petunias a few days ago, and the boys put them into my hanging baskets and planters? This planter has already been dumped over once. Looks like the flowers will survive!

And I got my hummingbird feeder filled, and have already seen several hummingbirds.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A little every day...

So much dirt and clutter just seems to creep up on me. I get busy running errands, tire out by early afternoon. If I am not on a task before 2:00, chances are I am not going to do it today.

So today I had Sam clean out one fridge, while Dan scrubbed the upholstery of the couches. Between the pre-school boy I was keeping, the two stupid dogs, and the teen boys around here, the furniture was looking grubby. Ben purchase a can of upholstery cleaner for his truck awhile back. I requisitioned the rest of the can for the furniture, since the sudsy water just wasn't doing an adequate job. I got my bathroom sanitized.

I have the inside of the buffet to clear out... probably a section at a time! It has school work tools stored in it, some from when we first moved into this house! I doubt Becky will want to hang on to the workbooks and such until Ty is in 3rd or 4th grade, so if anyone knows someone who needs some home school workbooks and such, let me know! The regular bookshelf is a catch all. It has our current school work, extra paper for the printer, the DVD collection, books, photo's, my cookie jar collection... It needs pared down!

The boys clothes need to be gone through. Find out what they have and what they need. I suspect all the menfolk are in need of new unmentionables. Daniel and Sam continue to grow up faster than we can buy pants that fit them. At least their feet seem to have slowed down a bit.

Today I did a fairly quick job at work, for the glitches I ran into. I was off in just under 5 hours. Looks like my average time is about 4.75 hours a day. Tomorrow "should" be a light day. Tuesdays are always heavy, as I have all the freight come in ordered Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Thursdays are heavy due to the oil coming in. The other three days are usually not too bad.

Guess I am either going to have to go have a cup of tea, or a nap! Yawn! The 2:30's have hit me!
Have a blessed day!

Monday, April 12, 2010


Today, Dan and Sam are here at the library volunteering. This is Monday, early in the day. Their normal volunteer time is Thursday afternoon, as that was a time I did not have Matt and after I was off work at O'Reilly's. I am off on Mondays. Totally. No Matt, no O'Reilly's. Kind of feels funny.

Mr. C and I made a quick trip to Jane, MO., yesterday. I was out of AB and wanted some weed killer and mulch for around my rose bushes. We got the AB and the weed killer. But getting the mulch required stepping outside the garden center... so it got postponed. Oh well, that will give the weed killer a chance to work before I bury them in mulch.

Yesterday and today have both been beautiful days. Mid 70*'s, sunny, and slightly breezy. We did another "Spring cleaning" of the front room. this time, all the plants got to go out to the front porch. We discovered that the big tree had split the container beneath it, which was there to catch the water. Water had been puddling beneath the container... very bad for the floor! (The tree was behind the TV, and was a chore to even get the water into the pot.) Tree is now out on the porch, where it usually sits from Spring until first frost. I am either going to have to trim Tree back severely, or borrow Ben's truck and drive it over to Laurie... provided she and Andrew still want to give it a home. It is taller than our ceiling, and has been getting its branches scrunched. I have one of it's babies growing well in another pot.

It is also time for me to repot and/or divide a couple of other plants. They are just too full for their pots. They are the same type of green leafy plant... both were sent to us by the same family friend after funerals. One I have had for almost 12 years, the other for three or four.

Gosh. Just another 10 days until my #4 son turns 20 years old. I have no idea what he needs, or even wants, for his birthday. Clue me in Tommy/Stan.

Hope everyone has a blessed day! Happy Spring!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Yesterday, with my usual procrastination speed, I finally got busy on Tom's Mom Arlene's birthday gift. I had PLANNED it awhile back, got the items I didn't have on hand at Hobby Lobby. So, with less than 2 weeks before the gift should arrive in Ohio, I got busy "crafting" it.

First, download a number of pictures I had stored on Shutterfly. Then put as many of them as I can, by size, into a collage to print onto the transfer paper.
Oh wait. I have no idea how to use THIS (It was Paint Shop Pro) program on the computer.
So, wait until Ben has time to help me. This takes a couple of days.

Then, take two hours looking for the iron on transfer paper that I knew I had on hand somewhere.

I finally found it! Yay! Three packages... two opened, one unopened. One "Kodak", one "Avery", One "June Taylor Quick Fuse". Decide to use the open packages first, Avery and Kodak.

Next, load fresh ink cartridges into the printer. Align the cartridges.
Struggle with getting the printer settings adjusted. Waste two pages of colored ink, one sheet of transfer paper (Avery) getting things done just "so".

Test one of the cut out pictures... Success!

Iron on all of the pictures.

Discover only the AVERY transfers are peeling off.

Try warming the reluctant Kodak transfer. Some peel off, taking faces and body parts with the backing. Others refuse to peel off at all.

Decide MAYBE the backing can be soaked off the remaining transfers. Place the bag gently into the washing machine.

The backing DOES eventually soak off. But so do more of the faces, giving my family zombie like appearances.

Like they aren't quite "all there."

(OK, so maybe they already aren't all there!)

I also discovered, that despite the gentle washing, a hole developed in the seam of the tote bag. While I had decided the canvas tote looked quite sturdy, it obviously was NOT.

So, with no time left to traipse all the way back to Hobby Lobby (in another city...), I called my Dear Brother In Law. With a bit of persuasion, I talked him into taking his Mom out for her birthday, as she seldom goes out to eat anymore.

A couple of times while we have talked, she has mentioned that she hasn't been out for Chinese since Jack passed away. So that was my suggestion to the BIL. But MIL gets the final choice of where they will go.

It has turned off cold again. There was a thin layer of ice on my windshield this morning. Reports from co-workers claim it is supposed to be even colder tonight and tomorrow. But then Spring will bounce back again. Time For Spring, I say!

Monday, April 5, 2010

What does it mean if you dream repeatedly of cars?

Last night my sleep was full of bizarre dreams, many involving cars. In one, Tom and I were needing to go somewhere. It was pouring rain, and water had puddled some 10" deep around the porch. So Tom tossed the car keys to Sam and he was going to back the car up, and then we would leap over the puddle and get in the car. (Riiiight)

Sam runs for the driver's door, Dan leaps into the passenger seat of our cobalt blue Mustang. (looked just like Wanda's!) Sam started trying to back up, but the mud wasn't giving him enough traction. He gunned the engine, the traction caught... and he and Dan went racing backwards down the driveway, across the road, and plowed so severely into our mailbox that the car was literally split into two halves lengthwise. The halves fell over in opposite directions.. and I woke up in my struggles to run to the car and check on the boys.

In another dream, we had pulled into a very crowded mall parking lot. Dan and Sam saw their friend Grant Imehara (the guy from Mythbusters... he was their friend in the dream). They offered to go wash and detail his vehicle, and gas it up. Grant tossed them the keys. (riiiight!) I was apprehensive, knowing the guys didn't even have driver's licenses. They were having to drive in a crowded mall parking lot. The instant Sam had backed out of the spot, before he could even put the car into Drive, two other cars tried cutting around him from opposite directions to snag Grant's parking spot. The two cars crashed into one another, and as the women got out to scream at one another, someone else in a tiny hybrid went around both of them and snagged the space.

In yet another dream, I was driving a brand new big Dodge Ram truck that belonged to my DIL Glynna's folks. I had both Glenn and Lynn, as well as Glynna and Nickole in the truck. The roads were slick and foggy. I had taken them on an errand someplace, and started up the road again, when Glynna tells me of another errand in the opposite direction. So I did a left turn to make a triangular intersection. I creased the side of an old sedan that had been restored and painted beautifully. (Like someone with a car like that is going to park it on the street!) I just kept going. Glenn said the truck would be fine, as it was the oversized deer guard that had scraped down the side of the car.

Next, I was in California, where I was cast in a commercial with my cousin Dan. He had gotten me the job because they needed a fat woman to talk about some store's back to school supplies. I sat through one run of the commercial and told the director it was stupid and inane and was no way to sell pencils. Dan was freaking out, as apparently one should NOT talk to a director in that manner and he had gotten me the job.

Is it any wonder I wake up tired instead of refreshed? Between the weird dreams and the hot flashes short, private tropical vacations, I am awake half a dozen times a night. I am not taking any medications that I can blame the dreams on, nothing at all. I have had bizarre dreams with NO wine, with white wine, and with red wine drinking. Doesn't seem to make a difference.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Maybe we will... maybe we won't

Mr C had firmly decided he was NOT going to the family reunion on his Mom's side of the family. (The Michael reunion, June 13-16th, Cumberland Falls state Park in Kentucky.)
Neither his Mom nor his brother could persuade him to attend.

I mentioned to Becky that the answer was a final, resounding "NO!".
She expressed disappointment, as she was hoping to go with us so her Grandma could meet Kimber Ann.

Mr C heard me telling her... and decided that just maybe he could TRY to get off work. June is a popular vacation month, and since he didn't bid the time off, he may not be able to get it. So as soon as he finds out if HE can get off, I can see about ME getting off.... and making reservations and stuff like that.

DS#2, Bill, and his wife are discussing the possibility of them attending as well. I know not to be getting all excited about going... as the probability of NOT going far outweighs the possibility of attending at this point.

The place has rafting trips, horseback riding, hiking trails, and a waterfall called the Little Niagra. The waterfall has a "moonbow" that can be seen on full moon nights, which does NOT occur while we are there. The Park Info.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

April's fool

as I headed out the door this morning, Mr C told me beware of prankers. I am working myself to a frazzle when the boss comes in. With a look of total surprise, he asks me what I am doing there?
I WORK here, remember?
But you are supposed to be at a class this morning... didn't you check the schedule?
"Uh, no. MY schedule is Tues- Sat., 5:30 til I'm finished. WHY would I check the schedule? What sort of a class is it and where is it being held?"

"Oh, you don't have to go. it's too late now. April's fool!"

He got several of my co-workers with the same joke.

I got a couple of them. Thursdays are oil delivery days. We get in an extra two pallets full of oil. After I got the regular freight put away, I am slaving away at checking the oil in. The older guy who works with us, John (the driver) arrived. He asked how I was doing. I said, "Fine, but I really think all this lifting is too much for an old pregnant lady!"

Jeff says, "WHAT!!!... Oh, it's April fools". So he and John had a chuckle over it. Tim comes back and says "oh, so you are pregnant? whose baby is it?"
I said, "DUH ! It's MINE!"

So we had a little laugh over that. Then Vanessa came in. I repeated the pregnancy bit.

She was so excited for me! she went out and told the guys... who already knew I was joking. She came back a few minutes later and says, "oh you got me! you got me. it's April fools. I was so excited about that for a few minutes there."

But I've used that little joke too many times, and the entire family knows my oven has been removed... so I suppose I better think of something else to "get them" with.