Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The new year is on its way...

I have been informed that we have preparations to make. The kids need a bag of marshmallows for their annual see in the new year campfire. They stay up/ out all night, drinking Cowboy Coffee, making S'mores, and roasting hotdogs. Sometimes they even charcoal potatoes. (The intent is actually to bake the potatoes in the coals, but they usually end up with smoldering lumps of charcoal wrapped in foil.)
I also need want to get some more of the cheese curls I discovered at Save-A-Lot last week. They are Herr's brand Honey Cheese Curls. Sweet, and savory. I was addicted instantly... and none of the guys like them at all. So a bag will be ALL MINE.

I must confess I have gained a day somewhere. I was sure today was Thursday... yet the computer says it is only Wednesday. I have sure enjoyed spending time with the grandkids. Connor and Alana came out and spent the night Friday, then Becky  and Stephen arrived with their three on Sunday afternoon. We had a great time visiting with Laurie and Andrew Wilhelm and their children yesterday. They narrowly missed meeting Mr. C (on his birthday!), due to missing a turnoff on their way over, and chores at home drawing them away before he arrived home after work.

I made the gumbo yesterday. It turned out quite well. Not exactly Seneca's gumbo, but still quite tasty. The lasagna was accomplished a couple of days ago in the crock pot. It was OK. Talk about a DEEP dish lasagna... this certainly was!

Not having an oven means I didn't get to bake Tom his carrot cake for his birthday. We went with a WalMart deli cheesecake instead. I got him some flannel Blue Jacket's Hockey sleep pants, as well as a Blue Jackets long sleeved T shirt. I also called a new coffee maker a birthday present... but we put that to use just before Becky and Stephen arrived.

I know not all of my kids read my blog... shame on them! So some may be pretty surprised when they get "birthday" presents this year... Since we show no signs of moving ANYWHERE, much less to Ohio... I have decided that I am gong to disburse my cookie jar collection among my kids/ grandkids. Then, for gift giving occasions, I will send them cookies!
So, for those of my kids who DO read the blog... better send in your "dibs" on which jar you want. PS, you cannot have Ferdinand

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Becky and Stephen and the kids are on their way to visit. I will get to see Dakota for the first time, and see how much Tyrel and Kimber have grown.
I had lots of good eats planned for the visit... and I am having to revise drastically... NO OVEN!
 The oven on the "new" stove does work, but puts out so much soot you would think the house is burning down. And it smells awful. The parts to fix it are on order... but seriously, hopes of getting it fixed during the week between Christmas and New Years are not great.
I have stew in the slow cooker right now. I will attempt lasagne in it later this week. I have a few ingredients to get this week, and one of the revised meals will be Gumbo.
I haven't yet spoken to my old boss at O'Reilly's about getting on as a rehire. Maybe I ought to pursue a better paying job... I don't know.
Fiona, as it turned out, was already broken. ("fixed"). (If something is "fixed", doesn't that imply that it works?... and when you spay/ neuter an animal, it prevents them from procreating. Since bringing forth young is the normal function... then if that is prevented... the animal is BROKEN... not "FIXED")
Anyways, she has become friendlier by the day. She and Jaffa have had no major confrontations. While she has awakened us crying a few times during the night, I warned the guys about responding. Respond once to a cat, and they will continue to do whatever got your attention, forever. So do NOT respond to her during the night!
That's all for now. Have a blessed day. Hug someone you love and call someone who doesn't expect it!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Digging out

I've been back in NW Arkansas since the wee hours of Wednesday morning. After three and a half hours of sleep Wednesday morning, the boys and I started cleaning at the house. Cleaning "at", because it is so bad and we didn't get too far. Lack of sleep on all our parts, not knowing where to start, general malaise. We didn't get very far.
I did get Fiona taken to the vet. We discovered that she has already been spayed, has no microchips to enable a return to her former owner, and has at some point been shot... she has a BB embedded beneath the skin of her side, healed over. (So far, she and Jaffa are getting along, but at a distance. They WILL eat near one another, but it has to be at least 2 1/2 feet of separation.) She was pronounced in good health.
Yesterday, we began cleaning in earnest. We started with re-arranging several elements of the front rooms.
We were soon up to our armpits in alligators chaos. Jimmy Raynar, the goldfish was relocated. His tank was coated in so much slime I was about to gag. Like the fish in the Finding Nemo dentists office. EEEEWWW!
By the time Mr C got home, we had most things re-arranged and situated. This morning, we made it all look nice... in the front room. Kitchen, passable, but not great.
On tap for the afternoon... the bedrooms. Dan's room is where Becky and family will sleep. Sam's room is where the packed boxes have been stored for several months now. My room... it is the breeding ground for a species of giant mutant, killer dust bunnies. I'm afraid to get started in there. And my bathroom... you would think that fear of germs that keeps a man from eating in a restaurant would also drive him to clean his home bathroom at least ONCE in the three and a half months since I have been gone.
I have slept well the last two nights, so my fogged brain is beginning to work again.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Introducing: Fiona

This past week, as I prepared to depart from Ohio, my MIL had another kitty come to her house. She tried to ignore the kitty. No petting, no feeding. But plenty of fretting. She called neighbors, asked around, checked the lost and found boards in town. All she found were several "FOUND" kitty ads... apparently some samaritan was blessing random homes with cats.
 She has three cats, which she takes VERY good care of. She didn't need another cat. She suggested I bring the kitty back to Arkansas with me. I suggested taking the kitty to town and seeing if it could find a loving home there. Then Mr C said I could keep the kitty. Sam and Daniel decided that Fiona was a nice name for a cat.
Sam and I started out with Fiona in a carrier. She was not pleased with this arrangement. Eventually, we let her out in the confines of the car. She checked out the surroundings, then slept most of the way home.

Fiona looks exactly like our old cat Al E Cat... which we had for almost 19 years.

Fiona and Jaffa are still deciding if they want to be friends.


Here I am back in Arkansas.
Mr C's transfer request didn't come through in a timely manner, and I had overstayed the comforts of my MIL's guest apartment. None of her other children felt comfortable coming with me there. So after my 90 days... in lieu of the promotion that was in the works, I offered resignation.
Sam had stayed in Ohio last week after Tom came up to get most of my belongings I had transported up since July. He and I drove back yesterday.
We took a very scenic route. Nothing like missing a turn onto an expressway and taking literal backroads... in rain, fog, night and mountains. Not that the expressways were all that fast once we reached them. traffic on I-40 was at a standstill. Not slow... but NOT MOVING. we finally began creeping forward, merged, and then made between 5 and 20 miles an hour for the next 45 minutes.
Did I mention I had been trying to make good time, and also had consumed several highly caffeinated drinks to stay awake... planning to make a pit stop soon. The stopped traffic led to my decision to exit the quagmire of stalled traffic, despairing of ever re-entering the pack, at a rest area... because I reallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreally REALLY had to go.
The rest area was closed. At less than 5 MPH, the next six miles to the nearest exit took an abominably long amount of time.
I was sorely afraid I wasn't going to make it.
I made it... but barely. My apologies to anyone who may of been lurking near the convenience store rest room waiting for it to be free. You weren't in line at the door when it opened. Had you been there... it would of been too late for me. (When I came out there WAS a line!)
Oh, we also gained a kitty our last day in Ohio. She/it (can't tell by the plumbing, I assume it is a girl.) showed up at my MIL's house about a week ago. MIL has three cats and was fretting over what to do about this one. It was well fed, and looks exactly like our old Al E cat. Al passed away about 2 years ago. We had had her for nearly 19 years.
Our scenic drive back was accompanied by Fiona. She traveled well, despite a couple of indiscretions. After my close call, I can totally understand. There was no litter box. We were in the car for 21 hours. She is now making friends with Jaffa. (I hope.)
The house looks like a bachelor pad. With Becky and crew coming Sunday... and all the stuff we packed back in July, (in order to move to Ohio) still in boxes, I have a lot to do this week. I just don't know where to begin.
Yeah. I'm back.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Updates from the Ohioan

Today is one of my rare trips to the library... Work has slowed just enough that Sundays are now voluntary... and I am not volunteering! I am still working 6 days a week, 10 hour days M-F, and 8 on Saturdays.
It has left little (read NO) time for house hunting. Mr C is supposed to be looking online for me, finding places I can say either "yes, we want to see this place", or "cross it off the list". I can't stay in my MIL's basement much longer, she has other family members who want to visit, but feel as if I am displacing them in my residential use of her guest room.
Time for something to happen!
So, I ask prayers of all my family and friends... Tom's transfer to happen, or time for me to give notice... throw in the towel, and head back to Arkansas.

It is December already, a fact that pretty much everyone is already aware. It has really crept up on me. I have almost a dozen birthdays to think of this month... and have in fact only dealt with four of them as of today. Becky's birthday is the next one I really have to THINK about. I was limited in options for Chris', so he was relatively easy to shop for.
I really like my job... and would hate to give it up. I am at the threshold of it becoming a career step. I am the unofficial trainer for my department. And word was given at a meeting last week that the company is looking among the rank and file for new lead people and managers, as our growth has already far outstripped even their most generous initial estimates of manpower. (Over 200 people have been hired in the last couple of weeks.)
That said, if things don't fall into place in the next week... I will be giving up this job and back in the job market of NW AR. That's just how things happen sometimes. I gave it a shot, and can say "I live in OHIO!"... or, "I lived in Ohio!" . Cross one thing off the old "Bucket List".
So, May each of you be blessed today. Hug someone you love, and pass some encouragement on to a person who needs it.
Thanks for reading!