Friday, January 28, 2011


Friday for most people anyway!
I still have to work tomorrow... for what that's worth. I am usually finished in less than two hours on Saturdays. So most of the day is free.

The boys and I went on a shopping run this afternoon. We had two coupons good for $5 off a $25 purchase at the Dollar General Store. We have two of these stores near us. The boys were also looking for some specialized small pliers to work on chain maille. So we went by the ATM and got out some cash, checked O'Reilly's for the pliers. We were referred to a local import store, where the boys did find their pliers. I found some "cheater" glasses for Tom. I buy them cheap and he has them all over the place. They get broken, misplaced, left at work, in the car... so I am always on the lookout for these. (1.27 per pair!) I also found a "monthly planner" for 2011... for .49 cents.

Then we went to the two Dollar stores, spending roughly $30 at each store. I got items I would usually get at WalMart. Many items are less expensive than they are at WalMart for name brand items. Ocean Spray Craisins  $1.85 a bag, Liptons Onion Soup mix, $1.00) Check out your local Dollar General store for groceries and see how well they compare!

Next we filled up with gas ($30 for my little car!) and headed home. I have been letting the boys take turns driving the last mile or two home. Dan drove on the way out, Sam on the way home. (In Arkansas, you can get a learner's permit at 14 1/2 years of age. Scary, huh?) They aren't doing too bad at all.

Now I have laundry going. The sweat soaked sheets are in the washer right now... Mr C is on the mend. The boys potted up some treelets I have had rooting in water, into some small pots from the Dollar Store. Tommy has already requested one for his new place. He moves Tuesday into his and Ben's new place in Ballinger, Texas. I wish I could throw a housewarming party for them!

I am hoping Mr C is feeling well enough that we can go DO something tomorrow. The weather here hit the low 60's today, sunny and beautiful. If it is just as nice tomorrow, a hike would sure be nice. The boys have the windows open, and the house airing out after so many weeks of being closed up tight. Guess we will see what the morrow brings!

Have a blessed weekend!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


The boys and I have been working on this Snoopy puzzle all week. Just finished it today!
We are using ModPodge to glue it to a foam core board. The puzzle is a photo mosaic. Each piece is composed of small portions of cartoon frames. (see enlarged picture below.)
Meanwhile, I woke with a migraine yesterday. I seldom get them... this is only three times in the last 6 years... but they are sure an awful thing. I was barely over that when Mr C came home with the flu. He has run a fever of well over 100* (102-104*) even with fever reducers. So he is miserable. I have had a small nagging headache all day today- which I attribute to lack of sleep. Mr C was so sick last night he kept me awake.
Anyway, I have missed walking for the last few days- so I am getting behind on my goal. I have 8.7 miles to go before the end of the month. It is still do-able, so long as I can avoid the flu myself.
Have a blessed afternoon!
***PS*** on my cooking blog today, my grandson Connor guest hosts with his recipe for BBQ Chicken sandwiches. If you try his recipe, leave a comment for him to read. Thanks!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fast Month

January is 2/3 over with! I know this week has really flown by. Tomorrow is one week since we went and got Daniel and Sam in Duncan.

We had about four inches of snow here yesterday, and are due to get more on Sunday. The water was froze up again when I got home from work this morning. I just assumed that it was the same problem as when it froze up last week, so I didn't do any investigating. When Tom came home for lunch, he asked if we had turned on the heat in the well house. Nope... I assumed that he had left the heat on out there, as we have had single digit temperatures since yesterday. He went out and turned on the heater in the well house, and within an hour, the water was flowing again. As it had been working fine when I left this morning, I just didn't consider it would be iced up anywhere except at the shallowly buried dig spot, like last time.

Tomorrow is Connor's birthday party. Dan and Sam are looking forward to getting to bowl. They helped choose Connor's birthday present. Considering his party theme, I think he will like what they chose. (Skateboard theme... they chose a shirt with a skateboarder on it).

I cooked a roast yesterday, fully intending to make soup for supper tonight with the leftovers. I told the twins... but forgot to mention it to Mr C. I had a phone call about the time he walked in the door for lunch, so went to the back of the house where I could hear to carry on a conversation. When I came back out... the leftover roast was Tom's lunch. So I will be having to think of something else for supper tonight. Maybe "wings".

I have a turkey thawing in the fridge, it should be ready to cook by Sunday. No special occasion, I just had two turkeys in the freezer from holiday sales, and need to get them used up. I am glad I can cook turkey again, and like it! (My ex husband was (probably still IS) obsessive/ compulsive. He would get paid every other week, and stop by the grocery store on his way home. He would buy a turkey EVERY PAYDAY, because turkey was cheap and went a long way. Especially when it was four people... two of which were less than four years old. I became very proficient at cooking turkey. And so sick of it, it was years before I could do more than make one at Thanksgiving.)

Dan and Sam just requested we go do a short day hike. It is almost up to 29* out! So we are going to make the short drive over to the Eagle Walk. Tom and I drove past it the other day, and there are plenty of eagles around. It is just a few miles from our house. (We happen to live along an eagle migration route, and American Bald Eagles are a commonly sighted bird around here.)

Have a blessed afternoon!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ten Years Ago...

This young man was born.  MY first grandson, Connor.
My son called me about 10 pm the night before, pretty sure "This is it". I told him call me back when he was for SURE "this is it." He and his wife Jennifer lived in Claremore, some four hours away.

Sometime in the wee hours of morning, I got the call... Come on!
Mr C had insisted I take the twins with me. I had no idea what I was supposed to do with two four year olds, but he refused to watch them... so I had to take them with me. I also took my 15 year old daughter, Becky. She watched the twins at Chris' house.

I got as far as OK City on my trip, and HAD to stop for gas. That was when I discovered I had left my wallet at home. It absolutely was NOT in my purse. No bank card, very little money. Frustrated, I was about to cry. I would have to turn back, and miss my grandson's birth. For some reason, I opened the glove box. Inside was the checkbook. Tom NEVER left the checkbook in the car- yet there it was. I used what small amount of cash I had (and probably all of Becky's as well) to buy some gas, and gamely headed on towards Claremore. All I would have to do in Claremore would be to find someone to cash a check for me... with no ID. (My driver's license was in my billfold... at home!)

I got to Claremore... I still have no recollection of what I did to pay tolls along the way! I think we stopped first at the hospital to collect keys from Chris, then I took the kids to Chris and Jenn's house, and returned to the hospital.

I hadn't been there very long at all, when it was obvious Jenn was in transition. She was ready for this whole labor thing to be over... and asked just how much longer it was going to take. Her Mom told her it could still be hours. I looked at her and said it would be very soon. Jenn's Mom looked at me, and I whispered, "I think this is a great time to lie to her... she needs to know this is almost over, not going to drag on for hours!"

Really, It wasn't long.  It was 20 minutes before George W Bush was inaugurated when Connor came into the world. As Jenn pushed him out to meet the crowd, my son Chris wobbled. He was right next to me, and just fell right over into me. He recovered very quickly, and was soon greeting his new son. One of the first things he said to Connor was he was sorry Connor had to endure even the last 20 minutes of the Clinton presidency!

Connor was soon dressed up in a little "OU" outfit., be admired and cuddled by everyone. I brought Becky up to see him, and my son Bill accepted a check from me, went to the bank and cashed it, and provided me with money to get home on.

Happy Birthday Connor. We have all loved you form the very minute you were born!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The best laid plans...

Yesterday we did travel to get Daniel and Samuel, who have been visiting with their sister Becky in West Texas.
"Plan A" was to meet at my Dad's house in East Texas, about a 7 hour drive for both Becky, and DH and I. The reason for this selection of a place was because I don't often get to see my Dad, and Becky's husband Stephen had not been out to their place in a very long time, and wanted to visit.
We knew that Stephen's job often requires him to change plans at the last moment, working when he was supposed to get time off. (Things like that happen when you own your own business!)

So we had a "Plan B".  "Plan B" was for Tom and I to drive all the way to Becky's house and get the boys. (We didn't want Becky driving 7 hours home with two small children, alone.) This would require at least an overnight stay, and preferably a 2 night stay, as it is a solid 10 hour drive from here. (Becky's "Plan B" was to get a friend to ride with her, and still meeting us at my dad's house.)

I realized that one of the main reasons we were meeting at my Dad's house was because Stephen wanted to see Dad and Kathie.  Tom and I saw Dad just two weeks ago. So when it turned out Stephen had to work, and Becky had a friend willing to ride with her, I suggested that we meet in Duncan, OK. I have two sons currently living in Duncan, so if need be, we could all stay the night between their houses. Duncan is almost a five hour drive for Tom and I, and just about that for Becky. It cut out two hours for both of us. (This was termed  "Plan C".)

Tom and I didn't get out as early in the morning as we would have left to drive all the way to Becky's house.  We made good time going down, taking a scenic drive through the Eastern Oklahoma hills around Tahlequah. We found Ben at WalMart, with two hours left on his shift. he said Becky had already arrive. He gave her a call and asked her to meet us at Bill's house.

After a visit with Bill, Glynna, and Nickole, we headed over to Ben's place. It was VERY cozy, crowding ten people and two dogs into his travel trailer home. Just after 4:00, we headed back for Arkansas and left Becky at Ben's. They were going to try to take a better picture of Ben on top of Mt. Scott than the one that graced the top of my blog the last few days. They sure had a spectacular sunset for it, though I haven't seen Becky's pictures yet. (The current shot at the top of my blog is one Daniel took out the back window of the car as we drove home. It was an awesome sunset!)

We had no stops at all on the way home, clear traffic, and no delays on the turnpike. We trimmed nearly an hour off our regular travel time.

I have pictures taken during the day up on the MOOCREW site. Feel free to browse them!

So we got home, unloaded the car... and the first thing I see? The box of "left behind" items I had carried with us to give Becky from her stay here last month. I did remember at least to give the food items to Benjamin and to Bill that they had requested. (Chicken Fajita Alfredo for Ben, and Chili for Bill).

Well, May you each have a blessed day! Thank you for reading!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Contingency Plans

Mr C and I have been married for 26+ years now. We are of very different temperaments when it comes to planning things.
Mr C is a very "fly by the seat of your pants" type. I like things decided. Or should I say, DECIDED! I like to be able to let family know whether or not to expect us for an event, and WHEN they can expect us... even if it is an approximation for the hours.

Mr C waits until the car is pretty much loaded with the things I have planned to take, before he even packs a bag. Yep... the car may as well be warming up to (finally!) leave on a trip before he even starts to pack. I am getting better about not packing a week ahead of time.

I have learned to cope over the years. I hate to leave folks dangling about dates and times, so I let them know what is going on, promising to inform them of the (ahem) final decision. Most of the family has learned that, as Daniel puts it, "Dad's indecision is final." All plans are subject to change and revision. Endless. Revision.

This weekend's plans to retrieve The Twins has been carefully laid out, with back-up and contingency plans all in place. It looked like "Plan A" was a solid go... until just a short time ago. Now, It seems that "Plan B" may actually be the one we go with. (This time, it isn't Mr C who has been indecisive, it has been the whims and fates of my son in law's job.) While awaiting a call back from my daughter, to see if her "Plan B" allows us to go with our "Plan A", I am even yet developing a "Plan C".

I have learned to make contingency plans. At work, I took off tomorrow and Monday, so I am ready, no matter what!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

"Bright Idea!"

Doesn't that make you just see the light bulb over my head?

Anyway, I couldn't think of anything interesting to blog about today, so I thought I'd let you know that your local O'Reillys Auto Parts store is closing out 60 and 75 watt incandescent light bulbs. They are .59 cents per package. If your local store is sold out, they can order you some from the warehouse, while supplies last. I have stocked up!
Feel free to tell your family and friends about this... I have a very small readership, but OReilly's is now coast to coast!

Have a blessed afternoon and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


See the sleeping dog? His brother is wrapped up in the red blanket at the bottom of the picture. Both are snoring. Tearing the stuffing out of their bedding is tiring work.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

plodding along still...

Another week under way!
We go to Texas to get Dan and Sam this weekend. For the moment, we are planning to pick them up in East Texas, but if Stephen ends up having to work, we will just pick them up at Becky's in West Texas.

I am trying to cook less and cook lighter. So for supper tonight: Oven "Fried" Jalepeno Chicken , Fried cabbage (chop cabbage and onion while bacon frys. Remove and crumble bacon, leaving small about of bacon grease in skillet. Add chopped cabbage and onion. Cover. Stir frequently until cabbage is tender. Add the crumbled bacon if you didn't already eat it all.) and steamed cauliflower. (I may "mash" the cauliflower like potatoes, but not sure yet. I saw that on Rachael Ray!) Oh, and to perk up the color factor (and rachet up the flatulence even MORE) I will nuke the leftover sweet potato I baked a few nights ago.

Yeah, so not so light and fit, with the cabbage in bacon grease. I You could steam the cabbage along with the cauliflower, but then how would I you  disguise the overpowering smell of bacon from the bacon sandwich I you had earlier?

Tomorrow is going to be a heavy day at work, I have already been warned! Literally heavy, with a particular product weighing some 40 lbs. each being ordered... more than 30 last I heard. Tomorrow may be another day that a hot shower just won't cut it. I had to have a hot soaky bath with epsom salts today!

We only got about 2" of the big snow storm that has frosted the nation. the roads aren't too bad... completely dry in some place, a bit slick in others. Just north os us a couple of miles is s different story, they really got pounded.

Well, as I am late typing this today, Mr C has arrived home. I best fed him. have a blessed night!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Gonna have to talk to Mr C about chewing up sticks in bed...

I got a good start on housework today. All the clean clothes folded and put away, even the socks matched! I got the dishwasher unloaded, and the big stuff on the drain rack all dried and put up. I must be getting ready for Spring or something, because I decided I really need to re-organize my clothes shelf. (My clothes are stored on an open shelf unit in my room, rather than in a dresser.)
Before I could get the clothes started, I figured I would make the bed up... it was rumpled terribly. So started by stripping it down to the sheets.
The same sheets which were washed something like three times over the past week, due to dogs snuggling under the covers and licking wet spots all over them.

What did I find on top of the bottom sheet?
 A stick chewed to bits. And dog hair. Quite a bit of dog hair. Something told me that Mr C had failed to close the bedroom door when he headed off to work this morning. Or else he has developed a liking for chewing sticks into splinters.

Now, I have to wait for the sheets to come out of the dryer before I can make the bed up. However, I went ahead and dealt with sorting and stacking my clothes. One less thing left on my list!

I even have supper planned for tonight... "Saucey Little Meat Loaves" (My cousin Jeanie's recipe... already in my "published" cookbook, but I figure I can transfer it to the Cooking with the Cow Crew blog tomorrow... with pictures!) We will also have simple baked sweet potatoes, and green beans.

Ahh... tomorrow is Saturday! Saturdays are typically "easy" days at work, seeing me home by 8:00 a.m. most weeks. Then, Sunday I have to report to Springdale for an inventory there before finally getting a "real" day off. (I have asked for Saturday the 15th off, so Mr C and I can get an early start on going to get the boys.)

Guess I better go work some more on making the bedroom a clean and relaxing place!
Thanks for reading.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

So far... Ok!

The new year is pretty close to a week old now. I did get on the treadmill and start back to walking. I set a goal of 50 miles a month. So far I have racked up 11.7 miles. MAKING myself get on the treadmill is the hard part.

I am trying to cook lower fat foods, and in smaller portions. Cooking for two has been a real challenge to me. While I can make 1/2 lb. hamburger into a meal for nine... The same amount of chicken doesn't look like "enough" for two people. Especially when my methods of "stretching" the burger added a lot of starch and fats.

I am really missing the kids. it is very quiet and... boring! without them. (You know, boring is a good thing when the kids ARE around.)

I'm getting better at keeping up the day to day stuff around here... but having been sick, things have really slid. I spent much of today trying to catch things up somewhat.

May you have a blessed day!

PS The new blog header is of my #3 son atop Mount Scott. The picture was (probably) taken by his sister Becky, unless she allowed one of the twins to handle the camera for that shot.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

From Jaffa's viewpoint

Hi. It's me again... Jaffa the Bad Dog. Along with my partner here, Drover.

Our boys have been gone visiting their sister for a couple of weeks now. She brought her pups kids to our house, then went and took our boys back to Texas with her.
We sure do miss 'em.
One of our boys always let us bed down in his room.
Since they been gone, mean old Mom has kept their doors closed. This mean old Mom, she has even washed OUR beds... and blankets too! (She said the house was smelling like "dog".  She said it like it was a bad thing! Honest, we don't mind smelling like dogs. )
But the beds, and blankets.... Phew-wee! They smell like some flowery- stinky stuff now.

Would you believe she even washed Dad's blankets and stuff too? Poor Dad. He sure is hooked up to one mean woman.
Me and Drover, though, we thought we'd help Dad out. While Mom was busy in the front of the house, on that computer box she's always tapping away on, we climbed up on Dad's bed and got under the covers. It was really  smelly. I fluffed the blankets back, and Drover hopped up and helped me. We licked Dad's spot all clean of that flowery smell. Then we curled up so his bed would be all warm for him when he got home.

We hadn't been there but a couple of hours when Mom came down the hall. She was headed to do some business in the sitting room. I was afraid she was headed in to there so she could give me and Drover a bath... They hose us down something awful in them sitting rooms some times.

Well, she musta forgot what she was headed back there for, 'cause when she seen us warming up Dad's spot, she went to screeching and screaming something awful. We  leaped down from there and high tailed it up the hall and behind the couch. She come running after us, but we was too fast for her.

Then, you wouldn't believe what she did next!
She stripped all the covers off Dad's bed and went and stuffed them in that rumbling water box... and a few hours later... they was all stinked up again with that flowery smell. She put them on the bed like that!

Me and Drover, we couldn't let Dad sleep on that awful smell.
We heard him complaining about the house smelling bad... he ought to see Mom spraying that stinky stuff around. She keeps some in a can, and sprays it around when he isn't looking.
If he caught her, he'd sure make her stop.
But anyways, we hopped back up on that bed first chance we got, and went to licking that smell off Dad's place.
This time Dad himself came in!
We just knew he'd be grateful. We didn't expect he'd show his gratitude like Mom did... a bellowing and hollering at us. Dad even threw a shoe at us!
He must of been really mad at Mom for stinking his covers up with that flowery stuff.

At his "lunch time" today, Dad came in talking about how tired he was. I'm sure it was because he can't even sleep on them stinky sheets! He took the cushions off the couch and made it out to a bed, and  layed down there for a nap.

I guess mom will be sorry NOW that she stinked Dad's bed up. He won't even sleep in it.

I waited my chance, once Dad went back to work today.
I was determined to help him. I sneaked back in to Dad's room... not even bothering to wake Drover for his help... and I had just got my two front paws into Dad's bed when .....

Out of nowhere Mom shows up!
She started hollering and screeching again, and chased me clean out of Dad's room.
How's a dog supposed to help his master when the Mean old Mom won't even let him into Dad's room?

I just don't know. But I'm waiting my chance.

(With apologies to John R. Erickson, author of the Hank the Cowdog book series.

My youngest five kids all loved Hank the Cowdog. Daniel and Sam named one of our dogs "Drover", after Hank's assistant.
The above blogged story is my own original work, modeled after a Hank The Cowdog story, told from Jaffa's point of view.
Thanks for reading!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

January 2nd...

Tomorrow is my Granny's 96th birthday. I dreamed of her and my PawPaw last night, asking Tom if  I could stay and visit them just a little longer, because this was probably the last time... (PawPaw has been gone for about 27 years now).

Today, Tom and I went for a drive. We took in three states- Arkansas, to Missouri, to Oklahoma, and back into Arkansas. Arrived home to discover Jaffa seems to think he can snuggle into our BED any time he pleases (I chased both dogs from my bed yesterday!). He had licked a large wet spot onto Tom's side of the bed... and since I washed the sheets yesterday ....eeeewwww! Looks like they get washed again today.
(Uh, no. I do not like dogs much... and even LESS on my bed. Why do you ask?)

Tomorrow, I also work inventory over in Rogers, from 1:00pm until finished. Won't that be fun? Maybe it will make up some time since I finished in less than two hours on three days this past week. The next best thing to not having a job... except I have to show up five or six days a week. Next weekend, I work inventory at our hub store from 8 or 9 am until we finish.
Sometime tomorrow, I have to come up with a gift for my good friend, who never misses an occasion to lavish upon me. I am at a loss. She has no room for more collectibles or trinkets, as she has recently had her family added to by two (teen) children. Her birthday is Monday. I just have no idea what to do for her birthday, though I really have been thinking about it for weeks.

Tonight, we will have leftovers. we have plenty: Pork roast and 'kraut, or black-eyed peas, or shrimp, or rice, and mashed potatoes... cooking for two is hard for me. ( I napped yesterday and Mr C made the mashed potatoes. All I had were HUGE baking sized potatoes... and after seeing the tremendous amount of mashed potatoes, asked him how many he had cooked. "Only four or five"
Seriously, these potatoes were so big, one would have been enough, and two would have given us fewer leftovers...  at least I am not the only one having trouble cooking for two.)

Well, tomorrow is yet another day. I have been praying for "something to change". I picked up the Bible today and randomly opened it. I opened to 2nd Kings Ch 7:1 By this time tomorrow... (Things will have drastically changed.) I pray our changes are good!
Have a blessed day!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

I cooked the blackeyed peas yesterday, as well as some cabbage sauteed in bacon grease. The peas weren't done in time for supper, but the cabbage was delicious.
(Don't make me eat it Mommy... you said it was delicious! When Becky was three or four years old, she had decided she did NOT like some dish that everyone else had said was "delicious" So she decided that if it was delicious, she was NOT going to eat it... whatever it was,)

Anyway, I really do not eat breakfast. So about 10:00 this morning, having done my walking, started a load of clothes, and cleaned the kitchen back up from last night, and got the pork roast and sauerkraut on to cook... I warmed up the black eyed peas and had them for "brunch". Very tasty.

I got to wondering how black eyed peas and other "traditional foods", became traditional foods.   Did the husband come in and ask the wife: "Did you get a pork roast and sauerkraut fro celebrating the new year?"
 And the wife says, "Pork roast and sauerkraut? Are you kidding? You will be lucky if you get black eyed peas and cabbage!"

The kids heard the exchange and decided that it must make you lucky to eat black-eyed peas and cabbage, but pork roast and sauerkraut was good if you could afford it.

Well, that was my theory anyway.

May you have a wonderfully blessed 2011!