Monday, May 30, 2011

Coming Soon...

On June 17th, my "babies" will be 15 years old! They have been telling me of birthday gift ideas for several weeks now. For the siblings and grandparents who might want ideas of what to get these two diverse younge men... they both agree that gift certificates to Think Geek would be awesome. I'm not 100% sure Think Geek has gift certificates... but they sure do have a lot of stuff the boys like! (I usually let them find what they like on Think Geek, then go and find it for less at Amazon! (And Amazon DOES have gift certificates!)

They have yet to describe for me what sort of birthday cakes (or pi!) they want this year.

In a few more days, grandkids Connor and Alana will be out of school for the summer. They are spending at least part of the summer with their Uncles. Uncle Becky will pick them up in Ft. Worth, and after they are bored with her, she takes them to Uncle Bill. At some point, they will come see CowGranny and Grumpaw. The fun of having Mom and Dad  both come from large families is that they can visit various family members all summer.

Well, that's all for today. Hope you have a blessed Memorial Day.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Becky and Stephen

Today is my daughter's and son-in-law's fifth anniversary. Congratulations, Becky and Stephen! They are still as happy and as in love as newlyweds.
Becky met Stephen online. It was all my fault, Mr C likes to say.
I was brand new to the internet, and had googled "twins". Researching the many thousands of interesting websites led me to iVillage, and their community boards. iVillage had more than boards on twins... they had "40-ish Parents", "Raising Kids in A Rural Area", and "Tons of Kids" boards. I made friends online... a remarkable thing for me. I have never been very good at making friends.

I got to know Nola from the Raising Kids in a Rural Area board. We would "talk" almost every day via instant messenger. More often than not, Nola and I had "parrots" on our shoulders. Becky standing behind me, and Stephen standing behind Nola. If Nola and I had to leave the computer, we encouraged Becky and Stephen to talk to one another... home schooled kids getting an opportunity to socialize.

One of Nola's lifelong friends moved to the area where I lived. Nola came to visit on a vacation, and we got to meet in person! Becky was gone the first time Nola came by, but the second time, Stephen and Becky finally got to meet in person. Soon, Stephen was making the five hour drive to visit us without his Mom!

They didn't rush things... they were friends for four or five years before they were old enough to even consider getting married.
Now, they have 2.3 children and are living a life blessed by God.
Happy Anniversary, Becky and Stephen!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Missed!

The storms hit last night, but the most violent parts missed us. I stayed up until 10:30 when it finally became apparent that the worst of it was going north and south of us. So I was sure not wanting to get up when the alarm went off at 5.

My Mom is in Russellville- actually on a mountain top north of there at night- but her husband is home in a suburb of Ft Worth. He had hail larger than golf balls last night, as tornadoes ripped through Tarrant County. My eldest son is in residence in an exclusive high rise in downtown Ft. Worth. I saw three storms tracking one right after the other showing "hook echoes" pass right through downtown Ft Worth, and I was really in a bit of a panic. Another son is a few miles south of Chickasha, Oklahoma, where a tornado touched down. Thankfully, all my family is safe.

I did get tickled at the Weather Channel fellow trying to pronounce some of the affected towns in Oklahoma. He has obviously never heard the song "Okie from Muskogee"... as he pronounced it Musk-oh-jee. (Mus-koe-gee, with a hard G sound). And Chickasha is Chick-uh-shay. Sam still has fits over Ouachita... "HOW do you get wash-it-awe from THAT?"

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Well, time to get hopping here. I had an allergy-pill-induced nap earlier. Slept right through Mr C being home for lunch. Now trying to shake off the sleepies and get with the program... I have a lot to do!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Weather or Not

We are 50 miles from Joplin, as the road meanders... somewhat less as the crow flies.
Our weather this afternoon is calling for a "perfect storm" condition. Hot moist gulf air will meet a cold front, just to our west, sometime after 6 this evening. The weather guessers are saying to batten down the hatches.

The boys are doing their library volunteering at the moment. I am just cruising the net and catching up.

I'm trying to decide what to fix for supper this evening... whatever I fix will have to go with the roasted veggies! Since I have to stop by the store for milk on the way home, I may pick up some brats or something.

I know I had something to blog about when I sat down here, but it all fled my mind the minute I pulled the blog page up!
Hope you have a blessed afternoon. Hug someone you love!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lavender Rose


I changed the blog header to a picture of my lavender rose. They are a bit beat up due to all the storms we have had. Still, for being marked down clearance plants... I am thrilled at their appearance just one year later.
The second picture here is of my miniature rose bush I have had for years. It has now been planted in the ground for a year. (Before, I kept it as a potted house plant.)
I just realized I don't have a picture of my big crimson red roses... the other discounted bush from last year. It is full of huge blooms.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday!

Work went by pretty quickly this morning. I was home before 10, and started right in on my treadmilling. I was dragging before the first mile was up... so at 1.1 miles, I turned off the machine and headed to my bedroom, where the bed attacked and forced me to lay down. About an hour later, I was awakened by a thunderclap that sounded like it was right outside my window.

I got up and brought my shoes out to the front room, and was putting them on when Mr C got home for his lunch. I had a bite of lunch, then got back on the treadmill. I just can't seem to get with the program today... I am still yawning.

I had Sam cart my weeds outside to the front steps and yard, where they are getting nicely watered by the rain. The boys both remarked at how naked the house looks with all my plants outside. I figure I will leave them out until tomorrow sometime. We will clean once I am home from work tomorrow. Barring unforeseen amounts of freight, I have to really stretch out my work to get in two hours on a Saturday.

This morning, wouldn't you know... there were THREE police cars in the parking lot out front. Where were they yesterday when I thought I needed them? Before the new McDonald's opened up cat-a-corner from us, there were usually two cops chatting in the parking lot in front of the store several times a week. Since Mickey D's has opened, I seldom see them any more. Not that they spend all their time at McDonald's... just stating what I have observed.

I hope Mom gets a chance to come back up this weekend. If not, oh well. We sure had a nice visit last time she was here.
Have a blessed day, Thanks for reading.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The response time to the "Panic Button" at work is about three to five minutes...

You might wonder how I know this.
I tried it out this morning!
That's how I know.

As you may be aware, I get to work pretty early. I had been there for about an hour this morning, and was already to the point of stocking the shelves out front with new freight, when I thought I heard someone walking across the roof of the store.

A few seconds later, I was SURE I heard another someone walking across the roof of the store. They were doing something to the air conditioning vents! Since it was a quarter to seven in the morning, I really wondered if these men on the roof had a legitimate purpose in being up there messing with our AC units. (I had heard on the radio just yesterday about the increased amount of thefts of commercial sized units going on in Tulsa and surrounding areas.)

I thought I ought to call the police and have them look into just why these guys were on the rooftop. If they were legitimate- hey, my bad! But if they were up there swiping our AC units, and I just assumed they had a legitimate purpose up there... now that would be pretty unexcusable.

I didn't rush right over and push the "panic button". First off, I thought I would try the local police station. Since it wasn't an emergency, I just looked up and dialed their regular phone number. I got a busy signal. So I tried again after a few seconds. Still busy! After a third time of reaching a busy signal, I walked to the front of the store and pushed our silent alarm panic button. Then, I tried the police again. Still busy!
Next I dialed my boss's cell phone. He didn't answer either... but he happened to be just arriving in the parking lot about then.

I told him about calling the police and pushing the alarm... and about that moment the alarm company called us back. Boss talked to them and explained why I had called, and that it was OK... it was just the roofers there to fix the leaky roof!

I'm going to be teased about this forever.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Time's fun when you're having flies...

Or something like that. I can't say that the annual fly invasion is all that much fun. Just try getting into or out of the house without a few of these pests inviting themselves in. Mr C spends 15 minutes or so every morning and evening killing them. When the outdoor temperature drops, the flies land on the ceiling inside, and that's when he gets them.

The allergies haven't flared up so bad today. (Thank you Lord!) Mr C is out getting some garden plants. Here it is past the middle of May, and we are still dipping into the 30's at night. BRRR! This morning was our weekly grocery run. Charcoal and Boy Scout Juice have become staples on the list. We cook out pretty much all year around, but more so in the summer. Tonight, I plan to make Tacos. (I had planned to plan on cooking out burgers on the grill, but forgot wht I planned until I thawed the burger for Tacos. No, I can't just use it for burgers, we have pre-formed frozen burgers to use up for that, and the big clump of hamburger meat isn't enough for burgers.) (Maybe I ought to write my menu plans down so I don't forget them, huh?)

Tacos are NOT one of Mr C's favorites... but he is the minority. He objects to the "greasy corn tortillas"... so I usually warm him up a flour tortilla for his. Tomorrow night I will use up the extra grilled chicken from last night and the extra corn tortillas from tonight to make a chicken casserole.

Thanks for reading. Hope you are having a very blessed day! Hug someone you love!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ahhhhh-choooo!

The sun was shining bright this morning, reflecting into my bedroom as if the lights were on in the boys rooms. I eventually decided I wasn't getting back to sleep, so I got up. It was 6:35.
This really was sleeping in, by more than an hour and a half. The boys trailed out of their rooms before my tea was even made.

I got my tread milling done. The boys played some video games, as they knew I planned for today to be a house cleaning day. We got started. Cleaning up "hot spots" where clutter collects. Putting things back where they belong. Vacuuming, dusting, sweeping.... stirring up dust. Tom moved the stove and the fridge, and cleaned beneath and behind both. Then he took the stove apart and really cleaned it well.

I started sneezing in there somewhere. By the time we were working on the stove, my nose was dripping like a faucet. Kleenex wasn't helping- I was using a paper towel every 10 minutes. Eventually, I took one allergy pill. In an hour, I decided to use the heavy duty dope- Advil sinus. By the time it began having any effect at all, I had a sinus headache and my eyes are packed for vacation... heavy bags! The sinus dope knocked me out for an hour or so.

I could sure tell when it wore off... the nose faucet began again. I switched from paper towels to wash cloths. I took more dope. I can tell when its four hours has expired for sure. I am thinking this may be pollen as well as dust. Miserable!
Well, that's all my complaining for now. I hope you have a great and wonderful day!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Oh boy!

My last child to call me on mother's day was my #5 child, Tommy. It was after 10 at night, so we didn't talk long. Tommy mentioned he had been up for well over 24 hours, but it was his night off. He also mentioned his boss had tried to call him.
The next morning, I got another call from Tommy. His boss had asked Tommy to come in to work. So, instead of telling the boss no... Tommy headed the 40 miles in to work.
He made it 39.5 miles. Fell asleep at the wheel. Did a barrel roll in his truck. Tommy says barrel rolls are not all they are cracked up to be in the video games.
He is OK. His truck is not.
Blogger is not allowing me to upload pictures right now, but you can see the truck on Becky's blog.
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It has been a fairly quiet week on the home front. More rain, grass growing.
The roses I got last year on clearance at WalMart are going to beat the band. The red ones are just gorgeous. The second bush, which we thought last year might be white or light pink, has actually turned out to be a very pale lavender. 
The Tree has been out on the porch a couple of weeks now... I set it out too soon! Who knew May 1st was too early? We had a hard frost on the 3rd, so Tree is rather sad looking. I know it will recover... this is Tree! Tree survived the twins as toddlers. (They once plucked every last leaf off it.) I need to get Tree transported to my friend Laurie, who has a house with double height ceilings. Or else cut Tree waaaay back. It is getting too tall even for the porch, which has a good foot over our ceilings.
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Have a blessed day. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mother's Day, 2011

The card envelope from Dan and Sam

Flowers from Bill

Flowers from Dan and Sam

Drawings of my kids as anthropomorphics, by Sam. his caption says, "Well its mothers day and this is your mothers day gift... here you go" He is currently coloring it for me.
My Mom also came up and spent Mother's day with me. She is working with her cousin Ruth at The Sugar Shack in Russellville. All of my kids who were able to gave me a call on Mother's Day. (A couple were kind of late, but hey, at least I did hear from them!)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Laundry soap and rambling

I got lazy for awhile, and bought laundry detergent. With the boys cleaning their rooms this week, and me slacking on laundry, I saw the end of my latest purchased bottle looming soon. I had the ingredients on hand to make my detergent, and it really doesn't take much time at all. So I sloughed off some lazy and made the soap.
I used:
 1 cup grated Fell's Naptha Soap , which I purchased online at Amazon.
 1 cup Borax (Which can be purchased at Amazon, or most grocery stores)
 1 cup washing soda (a.k.a soda ash) also available at Amazon, or pool supply houses) (NOT baking soda)
 1/2 cup DAWN liquid dish washing soap
 5 gallon bucket or several empty laundry detergent bottles

Put the grated soap into a deep pot. Add 6 to 8 cups of hot water. Heat, stirring frequently, until the grated soap is all melted. Stir in the borax, and the soda ash. Stir until the powders are dissolved. Remove from heat. ***If this stuff starts to boil, turn down/off the heat. It will boil over in a heartbeat and clean your stovetop within and inch of its enamel!*** Set your 5 gallon bucket into the sink
Stir in the DAWN dishwashing liquid. Pour the soap mixture into the five gallon bucket, and begin adding warm water, stirring as you add, until the bucket is nearly full.
Put the lid on and let set overnight.
This will "gel" slightly, to something between egg drop soup consistency, to a much firmer gelled mass. (If the mass floats on a liquidy base, shake or stir before using. Use about 1 cup per load. Cost about 1.5 cents per load.
*******
I got several Mother's Day gifts a bit early. One son sent a pencil drawing of all the grandkids. Another sent me roses! I have received several cards... and it is still two more days til the "big day". The twins are cooking something up.... I have been informed I have to wait til Sunday to find out just what!

Tonight for supper, I am trying a recipe for Rosemary Chicken. I have never cooked with rosemary before, so we will see how it goes over. If it is good, I will post the recipe over at the cooking blog.

Meanwhile... Mt. Washmore beckons me back to its slopes. With no good excuse to NOT do the laundry, I best heed its call.
Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May the Fourth Be With You

I love that one!
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An issue at work Saturday left me shaking my head. I HOPE the kid was kidding, but I fear he is not.
At 18 years old, and graduated from high school... he was supposed to mop the bathroom at work. He set up the wet floor cones. He got the mop and bucket... whether he used clean water or not is debatable.
And he mopped slopped water all over the bathroom floor. Despite used tissue and paper towels and other debris on the floor.

When the Assistant manager asked him, "Why didn't you SWEEP before you mopped?"
"You didn't TELL me to sweep first."
"DUDE! You always sweep before you mop... it's PART of mopping!"

The kid passed it off as a joke. But as we all kidded him about it later... he still lives at home and his MOM cleans his room.
I have left notes in the break room suggesting that when the younger employees spill food and soda, they should clean it up right away... Momma does NOT work here.

My kids, by 18, may of had me clean their room a couple of times... but they were NOT happy about it. Because if *I* cleaned their room, they were in trouble and stood to "lose" much of their "treasure". (Mom cleaned with trash bags.)

The other young people I work with had "tougher" lives. They had to clean their own rooms. It shows in they do know how to clean things now. They can sweep and mop without step by step instructions. They can one and all cook a meal. And operate simple household appliances, such as washing machines and vaccuums. (Sadly, Sam hasn't mastered the "dryer" and "dishwasher" yet. He can get the clothes INTO the dryer... but fails to remember to turn it on. Sam  also forgets to turn on the dishwasher.) But, there is hope, he is just 14... so before he is old enough to be on his own, he ought to have mastered these appliances.

These life skills DO have to be taught. A friend has gained two step children, when their custodial parent passed away. At 16 and 18, these two kids have no clue how to do the most basic of chores. Their custodial parent didn't learn the skills to pass on to these kids. So it is an uphill battle in remedial life skills just for them to learn that you tuck a shower curtain inside the bathtub before showering. You do not pile wet, dirty clothes onto the floor of your carpeted closet. Girls do not leave menstrual messes all over the bathroom.

It is sad that kids are growing up so coddled they cannot look after themselves.
That many lack common courtesy and respect for their fellow citizens.
OK, ranting is over.

Once more Happy May 4th.
 May the fourth be with you!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tuesday...

Today is Tom's sister Angie's birthday.
It is also Volunteer Appreciation day at the library. The boys arrived a bit later than normal for their volunteering today, as the "appreciation" is from 4-6pm. No sense in making two trips to town. We arrived around 3, and they will get their gifts and such, and we will head for the house some time around 5 or so. (We decided on Sonic's half-price hamburgers for supper, and they start that at 5:00pm.)

The new fish seem to be adapting OK to life in a fish tank. I laughed yesterday when I noticed one of the newbies is already following me around when I go near the tank. he has figured out that a person near the tank usually means FOOD!

I don't recall what I was dreaming about last night, but I do remember I dreamed I was hiding in a very small space. I woke up curled into a tight ball and aching all over. I stretched out and slept a few more minutes before the alarm went off, but I can sure tell I slept tensed up.

Well, I don't have too much going on today... same stuff, different day. (My cleaner version of SSDD). Work has been VERY busy. With so many new stores opening across the nation, they have asked for a lot of items back that we normally stock several of... resulting in me having pages and pages of shipping each day, rather than just a few items per category. After the endless days of rain, the sun coming out has spiked sales, so I had a bountiful amount of incoming freight today. I didn't get off until NOON!

And here it is... time to relinquish the computer, my hour on it is up. Have a blessed day!

Monday, May 2, 2011

May... already

Today is the second of May. Wow. You'd never know by the weather... it is in the low 50's today... if it actually gets THAT warm. It continues to rain.

I have kept on goal of walking 50 miles per month this year, to eventually total 600 for the year. I barely made the 200 mile mark for April. So far, I haven't learned to love walking on the treadmill, but I persevere.

I got Mother's Day cards for mine and Tom's Mom's... but it doesn't look like I will be able to send them any type of gift this year.

So far, we haven't made any type of plans to vacation this year. Mr C still has four weeks he has to use up... probably in the fall. I told him we need to save some of that for the new grandbaby's arrival towards the first of November. He said that "going to see a new baby is driving in the wrong direction... Becky KNOWS Ohio State Football is every weekend in the fall! If she wanted us there for the baby's birth, she should of planned it for a different time of year!"

Yep. That's Mr C!

Though if it came to a choice between the two, I'm sure the grandbaby would win. (Well, unless it was the weekend of the Ohio State Vs. Michigan game). Then, He'd go see the baby as soon as the game was over.

I'm going to try a new recipe on the guys tonight: Swiss Chicken Casserole. It sounded good to me when I read about it on the Tons of Kids board. I'm already thinking of my own "tweaks" to the recipe.

It should make it over to the recipe blog!

Have a blessed day. Thanks for reading!