Monday, December 23, 2013

Time with the Grands...

We have Connor and Alana here for a few days. Looking for ways to entertain them, Jennifer suggested Alana was wanting to make a Gingerbread house.
I thought, we can do this- some graham crackers, frosting, gumdrops, right?
My mommy and Mr C were horrified!
So we made real gingerbread houses, from scratch. First we had to make the gingerbread. Alana complained it was too tiring, as mixing the batter got stiffer and stiffer and she has these little arms! But we got it made. Sam drew out the patterns, which I cut out and we baked.
Then Connor (reluctantly... this was NOT his idea!) and Alana decorated the components with candies and royal icing. The components then had to 'set'. It was after supper, almost bedtime, when I assembled their houses. (Interest had been lost by both kids by then, and holding the pieces together  by hand as the frosting set was an act of more patience than they possess!)

Alana says when she grows up she is NOT going to be a baker, it is too much work. She will make her kids gingerbread houses from KITS!

Monday, December 9, 2013

almost 10:00 pm...

I know I should be in bed sleeping. But a nap overtook me at about 3:30 this afternoon, and I slept almost until 5:00.

In the morning, I get to go back to work after my long weekend. (I had Saturday off due to weather, and only put in two hours Friday before bugging out to home in heavy snow.)

So I have been warm and snug since mid-morning Friday.

I finally made two picture frames for my beach pictures, which I had been planning to make for over a year and a half.

I wrote a very short essay about grief, which my grieving friends took as poetry.

But mostly I have done nothing. Read some, baked some, scanned Pinterest. I found a better birthday gift for Becky, got that sent.

Re Ordered some jammie pants for Connor... the store had two categories- boys 4 to 7, and boys 8 to 20. I needed a 14, so chose the second category. Then they broke down the available sizes in the category, " XS S M L " . I figured XS must be about an 8-10, S a 12-14, L a 16-18. Needing the 14, I ordered an "S". The pants arrived- clearly marked "size 8". Sheesh. If they had the numerical size, why not let me ORDER a numerical size?
No online exchanges... I have to drive to Fayetteville to exchange, or give them to someone else. Since they were ordered in a pattern that CONNOR likes, none of the kids they would fit are interested.
Maybe I will add them to Gavin's stuff, he can match his big brother. (I reordered the next larger size... maybe I should of gone up TWO sizes?) Trouble is, I haven't heard from Gavin's custodial parental unit since his birthday gift arrived back in September. Not sure if the address is even the same. :(

Making plans to have Connor and Alana here, the 21st to 24th. Trying to think of fun things to do with them. Becky, Paula, and kids are going to try to come before the end of the month. I  am trying to make menu plan generalizations, as we have some specific dietary "don'ts"  among the guests.

I am sort of leaning towards chicken and dumplings for the 23rd- or perhaps gumbo. (Something that can be kept simmering for later arrivals, doesn't contain pork, isn't spicy...) I've got a turkey in the freezer to cook sometime while I have guests. I can't have enchiladas with Connor and Alana, they find them too spicy. I would need to modify the recipe to have them with Becky and Paula, as my regular recipe contains pork.... Guess I need to think things over so I can have groceries laid in before we get folks here!

I made a terrific goulash tonight... Sam tasted the sauce and said it was good- but didn't taste like 'home cooking'. Tom said it was great, and didn't think it 'needed' anything. Dan agreed it didn't taste like my usual kitchen fare.  (Cooked ground beef with onions, celery, and bell pepper, Portobello mushrooms, and one chopped, de-seeded jalapeno. Seasoned with salt, smoked paprika, Hungarian paprika, a dash of cumin and a grind of black pepper. Added a jar of summer canned tomatoes from our garden, and a can of tomato paste from the store. Didn't have 'elbows', so the pasta was farfalle (bow ties).  Cooked sauce and pasta separately, then combined. There wasn't a smell left of it.
Thanks for reading. I will try to stay on top of things here!

Sunday, December 1, 2013


Ricky (Eric)

Rick, Dad, Robbie

Rick, Dad, Robbie

Rick, Dad, Robbie

Ricky, Dad, Tammy, Robbie

Ricky, Dad, Tammy, Robbie

Ricky, Dad, Tammy, Robbie

Ricky, Mom, Tammy, Robbie

Ricky, Mom, Tammy, Robbie

Rick and Jackie

Rick and Jackie

Ruby and Robbie



"The Four* of us"

Rose and Ralph

Rose and Ralph

Monday, November 18, 2013


It's my blog, so pardon me if I have myself a rant here...

Guns are always loaded.
That is the first rule of Gun.

Guns are always loaded... never, never, never NEVER assume a gun is not loaded.
Even if someone you trust tells you a gun is not loaded.
GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED until you safely verify for yourself that the gun you have in hand is in fact not loaded. And when you hand that gun to another person... the gun is treated as if it is loaded. Because GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED!

Headline on the internet radio station Mr C streams: 15 year old accidentally shoots and kills his friend.
He thought the gun was unloaded.

I am a staunch believer that gun safety is every bit as important as swimming lessons are to children.
You may be one of those people who don't allow your child near a gun. Maybe you think your child will never come into contact with a firearm because you don't have one in your home.
Maybe you screen your children's friends for guns in their homes.... you think your child doesn't need to know about guns.

Let me tell you- you do your child a huge disservice by not teaching them the basics of gun safety.

The first rule... say it with me: GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED!
Treat every gun as if you know it is loaded. Always.
The following rules are what my Dad taught me, growing up.

Treat every gun as if it were loaded.
Never point a gun at anything you do not intend to kill.
Never kill anything you do not intend to eat.

(Of course, this precludes target practice and having to dispatch varmints, as far as the eating goes. But goofing off shooting at road signs... nope. I can imagine my dad requiring the eating of any sign we should be as idiotic as to shoot!)

Children need to know that guns are NOT toys. They need to know that guns are tools to be wielded properly. Children need to know that if they should happen upon a gun, they are to get an adult to secure the firearm. Not pick it up, not play with or examine. If they only memorize one rule... GUNS ARE ALWAYS LOADED.... maybe it will save their life.

Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11

Today is two years since my sweet little granddaughter Dakota Rose was born! Happy Birthday to her!

Two years ago, I was living in Ohio and working 60+ hours a week.
I didn't get to meet my Dakota until the end of December.

The past week has been a very busy one at O'Reilly's. Inventory is TODAY at my store, and we have done a lot to make sure it goes smoothly.

We finally had our first hard freeze of the year... and then rebounded into the pleasant mid-sixties. This evening, our first big winter cold front it supposed to come through, driving temperatures into the tees. Depending on whose forecast you hear, we might (or not) have snow and/or ice. But then the rest of the week, the temperatures go back to well above freezing.

Yesterday, I was looking for something to do with the remainder of our green tomatoes. There were way too many to rely on using them up as fried green tomatoes, and I have no place to keep them spread out to slowly ripen. Tom suggested maybe some sort of tomato/pepper relish. All the recipes I have seen were fro sweet relishes, and the guys just do NOT like sweet relish. So I Googled tomato pepper relish, and the very first one I found said "No Sugar" right in the headline. I gave it a try. It was great! (I took the time to read through comments, hints, and updates and modified the recipe a bit, according to suggestions made.
Personally, I do NOT like the flavor of green tomatoes one little bit- and I like cilantro even less. The guys sampled the salsa for me, and seemed quite pleased with the taste. I tried some.
The rest of the green tomatoes went into a second batch!  For my own touches, I used very little red bell pepper, substituting the called for weight in bell peppers for jalapeño peppers. I added most of the  jalapeño at the beginning cook time of the recipe, but reserved about 1/2 cup to add at the end, when  the cilantro is added. I also used 1/2 cup apple cider and 1/2 cup cider vinegar, rather than the 1 cup of cider vinegar. I added 1/2 tsp. of cumin, and 1/2 tsp. of smoked paprika to the original recipe. I used the food processor at the end, instead of the blender, as I don't have a hand blender stick, and my blender carafe was broken. I pressure canned my jars, 10 minutes @ 10 lbs. for the 1/2 pint jars. (I am thinking I will repost the recipe with my modifications to my cooking blog. We really love this stuff!)
Today, I have fresh sage in the dehydrator... I bought a sprig of fresh sage at the grocery store, because dried sage was outrageous- over $4 for a small jar. I decided fresh would dry just fine for me, as I don't need much! (I don't need it YET, but like to have it when I need it, hence, drying it.)
I also am TRYING drying some sliced  jalapeño peppers- once they finish, I will grind them to pepper sprinkles.
Mr. C was commenting on how busy I have been staying at the preserving of our garden- I told him, I hate to see any good food go to waste simply because I was too lazy to deal with it. He worked hard all summer to grow the garden. We have been very blessed by the bounty from it.
That's about all from here! Have a blessed day, Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 4, 2013


Yesterday, Daniel accidentally mentioned that our neighbor, who is out of town, had told he and Sam that we are welcome to pick apples from his small (4 tree) orchard. I'm sure he didn't MEAN to tell me, because I sent their happy little faces right over to pick apples today.
They brought back a bag of incredibly UGLY apples- but oh so tasty! I made 4 pints of applesauce- and it is SO good! They also got a sack of apples that had already fallen to the ground, and scattered them out in the field, hoping we can attract deer.
MMMM. Bambi.
Our poor neighbor is in for a terrible surprise/shock when he gets home. We forewarned him by phone that he has new neighbors immediately next door. He said he expected someone to move in, as he had seen them looking at the house. I'm sure he didn't expect to share a driveway with a car lot. Not a REAL car lot... but these folks have hauled in trailer after trailer of dead vehicles, including a 2.5 ton Army truck. I'm thinking these folks don't know they have encroached on the neighbors property, considerably. We counted at least 10 vehicles parked along the fence behind the new folks place... however, that strip of land belongs to our vacationing neighbor. We will see how this plays out when the neighbor returns later this week.
Mr C and the boys built a lean-to against the well house, using the porch left behind when another neighbor sold his trailer and moved away. The new owner blessed us with the materials of the old porch. So now some of our yard care things are more protected than with just a tarp. Not bad looking for being made of scrap/recycled junk.
That's about all for now.
(I dislike the time changes! My body is so confused!)

Sunday, November 3, 2013


The weather has cooled off enough that we have started to shut the windows most of the way at night. It has reached the mid 30's. Here are a few pictures taken this past week.
Looking Southwest!

 To the East of our front porch. Tall grass marks the neighbor's land... though we have encroached.
This one is continuing from East towards South. You can see where I have the same green tree (in the foreground) of the above picture as well as in the picture to the right. 

This one is looking west, from behind the house. The shadow in the left corner is the mower, parked near the garden.
Below, you can glimpse the leaves raining from the trees across the garden. We are STILL getting peppers from the garden.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Oh my, Time slipped by!

Sorry, Aunt Lennie! (She frets if I don't post here regularly).

One day last week, I hit the mail jackpot! I got a package from my Aunt Lennie... Thank you Auntie! (She sent pot scrubbies she had made, pictures, and a gift card.) I got two real letters, a magazine, and a catalog. Over the next few days, the mail kept coming. Birthday greetings, and more letters.

Mr C went to Ohio, intending to help his brother refinish their Mom's deck. Weather didn't co-operate. So the deck refinishing is postponed to the better weather of spring. He did have a nice visit.

The Individuals and I stayed home and attended our respective jobs. I had a birthday. Sam said he "can see why nobody comes to my parties..." as we were deep cleaning on the house for several days. (meaning the "party" was the act of cleaning house.)

The boys and I drove down to the town of Lincoln, Arkansas. They have an Apple Festival there- which had happened the weekend of the reunion, but we still found plenty of apples for sale. I bought 3/4 bushel of combined Yellow Delicious and Jonathan. We peeled apples and made applesauce as well as apple butter. I have my second batch of apple butter cooking right now, using the last of those apples.
Yesterday, a neighbor stopped by and gave me a walmart bag of green beans. Seems another neighbor grew a field of beans for Allen Canning Co. . The field of beans developed 'rust' on some of the plants, so the entire field was rejected. The farmer said anyone who wanted beans was free to pick them and spread the word. However, we are expecting a hard freeze tonight, down into the lower 20*'s. So IF I get any more beans, it has to be today. Yesterday's bag yielded four quarts.
Earlier in the week, while Mr C was gone, I made some chowchow from a recipe my Mom said sounded like what her Mom used to make.
I learned a lesson.
"7 1/2 pints" is NOT seven half pints. Gotta read more carefully! I only planned to make six or seven half pints, until I know whether we LIKE this chowchow or not. I used thirteen half pint jars (all I had!) and two or three pint jars. Aunt Lennie's gift card for jars came at such a gracious time!
(And we all know ME! I cannot simply follow a recipe. I don't really like bell peppers, and this recipe used several. I didn't use as many as it called for. It did NOT call for jalapeño peppers, but I tossed a couple in for good measure.)
I just got the notion to take a picture of this years canning so far. Bear in mind I have given away at least three or four CASES of stuff, and we have been using it to eat as well.  And this doesn't count what is cooking right now.

The boxes you see... and the ones you can't see... are all FULL. All the height rises are jars full stacked upon full jars. What a bountiful blessing we have had!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Day Off!

Today is the start of my weekend... Hooray for Days Off!
I got to sleep in until 7:15!
Then the smell of food cooking awakened me. Mr C had done some whole grain pancakes- "grinding" Teff, Amaranth, and flax seed meal (which he added to a store bought baking mix). He had coffee made.
 I have to be up for awhile before I eat, though he did offer to cook me a pancake. (Tried one later, they were very good!)

Going over my list of things I need to accomplish this weekend, I realized I had not started (closed the lid on the washer) a load of white clothes I had put on to soak yesterday. So, got more clothes added and actually started the load.

Cleared off countertops... demanding the rotisserie oven be put back into the 'laundry room'. It takes up a lot of real estate, but cooks chicken wings better than any other method we have tried, with less effort. Put up all the little things that don't live on the countertop, but don't always get put away. Started the dishwasher- also forgotten last night!

Went to the garden and picked jalapeño  peppers for the jelly. Demanded the individuals perform such tasks as get out my big stainless steel pots- filling one with water for the jelly's hot water bath. Emptying the compost bucket before I started on the peppers. Getting out the slow cooker.

I got a roast beast on to cook.

Washed my canning jars, and then all the cast iron pots and accumulation of too-big-for- the- dishwasher items that have been begging to be taken care of since I cleaned the kitchen Thursday. (We take turns- the Individuals and I- as we all three work part time.)

Made the jelly.
Got clothes from washer on to dry.
And then it was 10:30.
Quite an auspicious beginning for the weekend.

Now Mr C and I are headed to Sleepy Hollow, we are out of a few products found most easily there.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Reunion...

This past weekend was the annual Taylor Family Reunion in Broken Bow. I seized the opportunity to give my Mom a party.  Mom was one kid, five grandkids, and six great grands  short of all the progeny showing up. (Or that is MY count, I may of missed some!)

My brother Robbie and I were there. Four of my kids. Seven of my grands were there.

Kimber, Dakota, Alana, and Nickole

Connor, Tyrel, Kimber, Alana, Rose, Jasher, Dakota, Nickole

We had a really good time. I made all the little girls skirts, and the vests that Jasher and Tyrel are wearing. And if you can see them, I made little bead necklaces for the girls, and a stone necklace for Connor. Tyrel got a beaded key chain.
One funny thing- a family was having a birthday party in an adjacent park. Their guests didn't show up... and Nickole went right up and joined them. When called back, the adults throwing the party invited all the reunion kids to come!
Jennifer brought Connor and Alana down from Claremore. Glynna and her parents brought Nickole from Comanche. Laura Rose drove over from Duncan. Ben and Paula, Stephen and Becky, and their offspring all drove up from West Texas. Even my Dad, Kathie, Robbie and Ruby came up from East Texas. Ricky had planned to come, but ended up sick in bed.  (Jennifer took these pictures. I hope that others will soon have their photos shared!)
After the reunion, we went down and stayed the night at Dad and Kathie's house. We sure need to be getting down there more, and staying more than overnight, so we can help him get the house done. He has SOME stuff that could be done with supplies on hand.
Well, until next time, Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


October the Twoth and the weather is nice, if a tiny bit warm. Still comfortable enough we aren't running the AC.
So far, our 40% chance of rain for the day has failed to put out.
My Auntie asked for an update... Yes, I am better. The "day off" was just that one day.
Last night though... seems I never learn. I had a frozen fruit bar after supper. In minutes, I was paying dearly. I suspect it has to be related to the hiatal hernia- but for whatever reason, there are foods that sometimes   often leave me feeling as if the food is lodged on my throat. Ice cream is one of those foods. Cottage cheese, orange juice, occasionally bread.
So I laid down early- by 7:00pm. Not sure when Tom came in, but he woke me... I was still in pain, so got up and had a drink of water. I was up for 10 minutes, maybe. Went back in and fell right back into an uneasy sleep. I don't know WHAT time it was, but Tom didn't know I had come back to bed, and whacked me with his arm in feeling around to see if I was there... That woke me up good, and I struggled to fall asleep... eventually getting up for another short while... but feeling much better.

I was 'done' with the shipping and receiving before 9:30 this morning. Wednesdays are usually blessedly light! Not that I got to go home. The long postponed planogram removing the AC supplies and putting out the warm gloves, ice melt, and car heaters had to be done. I was well under way when the boss-child remembered that ALL of the AC supplies had to have a new label attached to them. Each thumbnail sized sticker has to be precisely placed on every. single. can. bottle. jug. jar. instrument of the R134 variety, disclaiming the product is not for use in the Hybrid AC systems coming soon to a vehicle near you.
I used about 280 or so of the stickers, I estimate.
So... I didn't get clocked out until almost 2:00pm.
Got home and got started on my "Angry Birds" game for taking to the reunion for the kids to play.
I am recycling the cardboard tubes that my shipping labels, and my shrink wrap come on. Spraying them green. Sam will draw the eyes and such for me. Have to decide on beanbags or balls as the "birds".
I've been having a whole lot of fun preparing for this years Taylor reunion.

Went and bought a new skirt and blouse to wear to it yesterday. Sigh. when will I learn that I cannot CANNOT wear a medium sized shirt...?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Pass the Imodium

Really, I don't feel bad. But I didn't make it 15 minutes at work before it was necessary that I return home for a change of clothes, a shower, and Imodium.... not necessarily in that order. Rumbles in the gut tell me it is best I not return to work today, to avoid a repeat performance! (Thankfully I was the ONLY person in the building!)

My brother Ricky (Eric) is currently in the hospital with diverticulitis. If he isn't much better today, the Doc has mentioned surgery. Prayers appreciated!

Hmmm, sounds like the entire family is full of manure. (I am less full of it at the moment thankyouverymuch).

I want to remind family members that the Taylor Family Reunion (Grandma Rose's Family) is October 5th at the "old" Senior Citizen Center in Broken Bow, OK.
 I am presuming it will start by about 10, and be done by 5 pm or so.
The family is providing meats, and the rest of the meal is pot luck.
The White Elephant Auction will be held, as always! (Bring something you no longer want or need. Proceeds pay for next year's reunion costs.)
Everyone enjoys seeing your family albums if you wish to bring one to pass around.
 Toys or games for the youngsters might be a good idea.

well, guess I am going to go lay back down now.

Thursday, September 12, 2013


I have been released by the ENT doctor, and also by my regular doctor in regards to not having a voice. The ENT  (Different doctor, same office) stuck a camera up my snoot and down my throat and had another look he saw no damages and knows of no reason why I don't have a voice (or much of one/ odd sounding one). He did say he could send me to speech therapy, and suggests I "learn to speak in a higher register". I laughed, I really did. The Monty Python skit I wish to report a burglary came immediately to my mind. I have tried to speak in a higher register, but I just cannot manage it without a very bad phony English accent. Makes me laugh even thinking about it. The ENT says my voice might, or might not ever come back.
My regular Doctor, Doc Benjamin, is hopeful that it will. While releasing me from care on the accident, he did say if the case needs to be revisited, he will do it. Meanwhile, we both felt that perhaps the voice isn't healing due to gagging gallons of sinus drainage... it is ragweed season! He put me on an inhaled allergy medicine, and two different OTC allergy meds- one for morning and one for evening. While both are SUPPOSED to be 24 hour products, neither actually helps for 24 hours. Because they work in different ways, they CAN be taken the same day.
I hope they do start working soon!

Today was oil day. I went to the library in Gentry afterwards... less than 1/2 mile away from O'Reilly's and by the time I parked, I could barely get out of the car. Stiffness set in so fast! I got my books, got home, and had to hoist myself up the steps with the porch railing. I was moving so stiffly, Mr C got me some Advil and water. Looks like a nap may be necessary! But first, get my work jeans on to wash so I will have clothes for the rest of the week, and then stand in a hot shower! (Hmm, maybe stand in the hot shower in my work jeans and kill two stones with the same bird!)

Speaking of hot water, Tuesday I got home from work needing a shower before going to my appointment with Doc Ben, and learned Dan had discovered a spewing pipe leaving the hot water heater. Calls had been placed, water to the tank turned off, and no shower was to be had.

The plumber showed up and fixed the leak while I was gone to Doc Ben's.

The fellow (Contractor) who was SUPPOSED to show up to measure the back door for a brand new door (promised/ planned by the landlord over 18 months ago) didn't arrive until 8:30 PM last night. (He was scheduled for between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm on TUESDAY!) After taking his measurements, he kept telling Mr C about all the options and needs and so forth, and Tom told him repeatedly- IT IS NOT UP TO US! He says he will be back in a week or two to actually install a new back door. The whole new door thing has been the landlords idea for quite some time. There are a number of OTHER things this house needs that would be far more practical  to spend money on than a pretty new door. But, it isn't up to us.

Meanwhile, you know how I like to add pictures to my blog. This is my favorite that Becky has taken in awhile!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Cluttered thinking...

I have been looking around me and not liking what I am seeing. I have too much stuff. And so much of it is sentimental 'collections' of  various types. I have trouble letting go of things that remind me of others.
I have my Granny's little ceramic bear collection. And her ceramic chickens.  How many of my relatives even remember granny collected salt and pepper shakers and chickens before the bears?

I have a few ceramic items that I grew up with, that were my Mom's Mom's.  Old books, and candles, and toys that belonged to the kids. My cookie jar collection. a zillion cow collectibles. (Please, do NOT give me a cow, or a cookie jar, or a cow cookie jar. I am trying to curb this hoarding!)
My Mom has elephants of all shapes and sizes. And teapots. Mom Kathie has basset collectibles, as well as hand painted porcelain from her Aunt, and a salt and pepper shaker collection I really admire.
 Someday, when I pass on, someone has to go through all this STUFF. Will it matter to them that this little set of bears belonged to a great great great grandma they never even met?

As much as I would like to, I can't hold on to everything. I need to let things go. And I don't know that I CAN yet.

I was thinking today that holding on to stuff, binding myself to the past, keeps me from moving forward. What has God got for me in the future, when I am ready to let go of the past?

The present- the gift of today!- how much of the gift of each day is spent- or needs to be spent- caring for the past? Dusting little knick knacks and remembering the people they belonged to. Maybe I should chose ONE thing from each person, and pass the rest to those who want them. And then sell what is leftover.

The very thought of it hurts my heart.
But I know I cannot keep EVERYTHING. I am a hoarder waiting to happen.

I get attached to ROCKS, for- crying- in- the- sink.

So, family, if there is anything of granny's/ great granny's that you would like for yourself, or your kids, please let me know. If you are interested, I can send pictures.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September Starts

I began the month with a quick trip.... er... slip! We had a stray rain shower find its way to our house on Sunday afternoon. It was a very warm day and I was going to grill wings and some baked beans, so the house didn't heat up. There had been no sign of rain until I was ready to cook. It wasn't raining hard, but the back steps were slick. I had the beans in their foil pan balanced on top of the raw wings, and headed out the door. Ducking down a bit to shelter the food with my torso, I slipped right off the top step onto my sitty downer. I hit the edge of the second step with my pelvic bones and the bottom step bruised my tailbone! Happily, I didn't hit hard enough to break anything... and I didn't drop the food! Sam had opened to door for me and showed the good grace to be alarmed and caring, rather than falling over laughing.

Last week, Dan had been cruising YouTube for videos of people demonstrating how to play some songs he wanted to learn on his guitar. He and Sam drove over to Bentonville and picked up lesson forms to apply to take guitar (Sam was thinking Viola/violin) lessons.
I'm sure it was one of the 'cookies' that the ad-ware monitoring our computer use supplied that caused an advertisement for a homeschool guitar course on DVD to appear on my facebook page. I clicked on the advertisement to see what was being offered.

After checking out the course online and looking at various buying options, Daniel decided it was far more practical to buy this course than to take four half- hour lessons per month... and the course was about the same cost as two months worth of lessons... and that wasn't even counting gas to get to the lessons!

The Gibson Guitar Course arrived today. Dan started at the beginning- lesson one, though he is already familiar with the bare bones the first lesson covered. He didn't want to miss anything! I am not sure, but he has done at least two lessons since lunchtime, perhaps three. He is delighted.

Mr C told me a couple of days ago, Dan is becoming a better player than he is... and Mr C has been playing for 30ish years. Dan has been at it about a year, completely self taught, other than the basics Mr C taught him.

My nephew Tony and his wife Cami welcomed their second daughter on Friday- naming her Paisley Grace. I THINK it brings my parents count of great grands up to 14. I may of missed someone.

Tomorrow will be back to work for me, after my long weekend. (The warehouse folks and truck drivers for OReilly got Monday off, so no freight today, so I got to be off!) I will surely be paying for it the rest of the week! I imagine I will be doing pretty close to eight hours a day between now and my next days off.

I cooked up a batch of beans yesterday. Tonight, the leftovers shall be transformed into either enchiladas or burritos... I have yet to decide. I am thinking enchiladas with corn tortillas- which I haven't made in years.

Guess that's all the news I can use! Be blessed and thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Another Thursday tucked away...

Today wasn't bad as "oil day" goes. Just one pallet of oil products, mostly in the form of 5 gallon buckets of 303 Tractor Fluid.
I got extra tasks heaped on me today. :(   frowny face!
No one is sure who the culprit is, but quite a bit of freight is being put where it does NOT belong. Not only out of numeric sequence, but just randomly left 'elsewhere'. The boss' new solution? ALL the items ANYONE takes off the shelf, or gets returned from a customer, comes back to ME to put away.
"It should only take you an extra 20 or 30 minutes a day!"

I am looking forward to an extra long weekend! Once I am done on Saturday, I don't have to be back until Wednesday. And I have no plans made to do anything. (Translation: I need to clean house.)

Mr C planted a small fall garden. Beets, spinach, lettuce. Hoping the tomatoes will make a comeback. But we really need rain. He has had to be out watering all week long. There is no rain even on the horizon in the 10 day forecast. While we have had an awesomely pleasant August- Saturday it may be close to 100 here! Summer going out with a bang.

Let me take a moment to remind my children... and they can remind their non-blog reading siblings: The Taylor Family Reunion! Saturday October 5th, 2013. Afterwards, perhaps we can either plan to camp- if the weather is nice, or descend en masse upon Grandpa Bill's house for Saturday night.

That's about all for now!

Sunday, August 25, 2013


This was the vest I planned for Gavin's birthday. However, I am afraid it is going to be way too small. I am waiting to hear from S. as to his measurements. I may need to try again, and save this one for Jasher in a few years....

Then, a simple little purse for one of the grandgirls.  Still need some sew on velcro to close it with.
I haven't begun Alana's skirt yet, though the material is laid out and ready to start.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


It has been a week full of busy-ness. Tuesday was a 'heavy' day at work, with a LOT of freight- I did almost 7 hours. Then "got to" go back at 8:00 PM for a store meeting... which I was dismissed from at 10 PM for starting to doze in my chair. (hey, it was past my bedtime!)

Wednesday saw me get in "new" freight- not just a resupply of what we normally stock. I had to "work in"  over an 65 inches of new freight into shelves that were already jammed so tightly I had to have some products stacked on top of others. I couldn't just "work in" the new stuff... I had to actually relocate one line of products to another section, then "shift" three other product lines over to the newly vacated shelves. THEN work the new products into the stock! A classic case of "but first..."

I ended up adding three new shelves into the brake hose products, and five new shelves into the oil seal products. So I was there for over six hours yesterday! Today, I caught a break- light freight, light oil (Thursday is oil day!) and very little shipping. I was out by 10:30. Instead of coming right home, I ran all the way over to Hobby Lobby to get some piping to use on Gavin's vest. Since I was over that way, I also stopped by Oops! and by Big Lots. Retail therapy on the cheap. $8 at hobby Lobby, $5 at Oops!, and  $11 at Big Lots.

By then, it was well past my lunch time. I stopped at the Taco Bueno drive through. The girl told me I owed $5.48. I handed her six dollars. She counts and says I gave her a dollar too much. I apologized, and she says,  "That's OK, we all have days like that."
I said, "I really thought I had handed you six dollars."
"You did give me six dollars... but you only owed $5.48............ uh.... sorry." (That's OK, we all have days like that!)

My current projects that I need to get busy on: Tomatoes that MUST be dealt with today. A skirt for Alana. A vest for Gavin's birthday. Ordering Gavin a birthday gift. I got some "bling" fabric to make some little girl purses.

But first things first... I best go deal with tomatoes!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Tie Dyed

I have no idea what brings some analogies to my mind, but here is what I have been thinking on the last few days.
Babies are born with no marks on their minds/ spirits. Think of a plain, white T-shirt.
As we get older, we become twisted, knotted, and bent into odd shapes. We are tightly bound in some places. We are colored by things we experience. We are steeped in ways of thinking that color our outcome.

When, at the last we are unbound, and set free- all that we have been through is still there, leaving patterns and marks upon us.
No two of us are the same- yet amazingly, we are all beautiful.

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Middle of August....

And it is a blazing 72* here today. The sun is sunning and the breeze is gently breezing- a few puffy clouds meander across the sky. The weather is PERFECT- just so nice out. We have had the doors and windows opened for the last couple of days... and boy does a blanket feel good at night!

My voice is still up and down the scale. Yesterday I was thrilled to sound just almost normal. Today I am high and squeaky again. Day before, it was low and a bit on the sultry side. But as I was told, it can be up to a year before it is completely healed... and it has 'only' been five weeks.

I tried some of the squash relish today, mixed into my tuna sandwich. Oh my... it is so totally awesome. I may wish I had made more! Yesterday I was using up the jars I had on hand- and canned four pint-and-a-half jars, and one quart jar of plain tomatoes. I added a load of jalapeño peppers to the end of the batch and did two pint jars of tomatoes with peppers.

I have put up two batches of spaghetti sauce, made loads of salsa that has been eaten fresh, and currently have 20+ tomatoes finishing ripening on the window sill. This has been a most productive garden. What a blessing!

Today, work was insane. I arrived to "only" two pallets- one of bulky items and the other of totes. Standing on the top of the step ladder, I still had to reach over my head to get the totes down. I was amazed they could get the pallet in through the door!

Dan and Sam have been gone almost a week now- their first long solo drive from here to San Angelo. From Snanjlo, they rode with friends to the Pecos Wilderness area in New Mexico, where they have been hiking and camping out. We have had a few 'location updates' transmitted to us from the satellite phone one of their group took along. They should be home Monday or Tuesday.

That's about all for now. Have a blessed day!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Wonderful visit

We had a wonderful visit with my Aunt and Uncle from California over the weekend.They arrived Friday before the boys had to go to work, then waited up late for them to get off. The boys headed out for West Texas to go to Trek with the Z Church Family.

  After a nice visit, they have headed on to Texas to visit more of the family.
 While they were here, Grandkids Connor and Alana squeezed in one last summer visit, for lunch on Sunday.

As usual, we had to have some silly shots! 

 But then we got a fairly good brother/sister shot! It was so great to see everyone. I am so blessed that Jennifer realizes the importance of  family in the kids lives!

Jaffa loved Aunt and Uncle!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Good, the bad, and the petty

The good news from my ENT visit yesterday: No permanent damages to the vocal cords. The bad news: It may take months for my voice to recover. The petty: He says my voice loss is from acid reflux.
Huh? My voice disappeared instantly after inhaling battery acid fumes and hasn't returned. And he says it is acid reflux. I mean, he spent so much time with me... nearly eight entire minutes, including the camera up my nose and down my throat to look at the vocal cords.

God gives us stomach acid for a reason. Suppressing it with twice the recommended dose of Prilosec OTC isn't a keen idea, if you ask me. And he couldn't explain WHY I have a stronger voice after lemonade, which is acidic. He just said, "Hmmm, I would of never expected to hear that."

I will elevate my head and shoulders to sleep. I will begin to avoid the foods he says I must avoid. But I will not take the drugs unless absolutely necessary.
More good news: My Uncle Doug and Aunt Lennie have begun their trip from California to points east. I am one of those points! I don't yet know when they are arriving, but they hoped to be here before the Individuals leave for Trek on Saturday morning. So tomorrow or the next day.

The bad news: I was intending to go to east Texas while they are here/there, and see my dad and other family members. Unfortunately, Mr C says we aren't financially fixed for travel this month. (At least Aunt and Uncle are coming by here!)

More petty:  I got supper on to cook in plenty of time-  Baked BBQ chicken. Went in to turn it over and add more sauce, and discovered the oven did another of its "barely warm" stunts. Yes it was on- turned to 400*. After 30 minutes, I could still lay my hands on the racks. I messed around with it and got it to fire off, but now supper is running late. I had used the oven instead of the grill because it was faster!

Good news: trying to de-clutter. Two years ago I promised I was giving each of the 7 kids one of my nine cookie jars.  With the tumult of the months following, it never happened. I now have two of the cookie jars chosen by kids- waiting to hear from Glynna on if she wants one for Nickole, and will let Connor and Alana choose one each if they like- as Tommy doesn't want one at this point in his life. (I told the kids not to feel pressured into taking one.)

More good news: Connor and Alana, their mom Jennifer and step Dad James are coming for the afternoon Sunday! It will be good to see them. So I best get myself in gear and make Alana's skirt.

Tom and I had our 29th anniversary Saturday. Extremely low key. We cooked some steaks on the grill and called it good. No gifts or cards were exchanged.
That's all from here. Hope you have a blessed day.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Pity Party...

Today, an older gent came into the Store. I croaked out a greeting and helped him find what he was looking for.
He sounded exactly like I do.
I joked about it a little bit. He assumed that I simply have laryngitis.

"You will get better", he says. "But I won't. I am always going to sound like this, this is as good as my voice ever gets. My vocal cords are damaged. I breathed caustic battery acid fumes!"

So I told him, that's what's wrong with my voice, battery acid fumes. He asked how long, and when I said today makes three weeks, he shook his head and said that it doesn't look good.

Of course, he isn't a doctor. Just a random old fellow who just happened to walk into the store and happened to sound exactly like I do... for the same reason I do.

What if this IS the best my voice ever gets?
I don't even know how to think about that. Or if I even need to think about it.
Is it borrowing trouble to think about a future of almost no voice?

Most people cannot hear me unless I "shout".  I can barely be understood on the telephone. If the voice is 'better', I can carry on a soft conversation for a few minutes, but the voice gets "used up" really quickly.

Do I/ Should I think of suing the company? What is a voice worth?

I still have no appointment with an ENT, though I called the patient advocate and croaked out a reminder. I don't want this going on indefinitely.

Edited: ENT specialist apt is Tuesday afternoon.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Waiting for a call

My "Patient advocate" with Workman's comp let me know she is now managing my care, and will make an ENT appointment for me... let me know where it is, and when -and send me as letter to remind me....
 Ummm... I was told by my Doc that this is really sort of urgent. Not sure I need to be having an appointment so far ahead that I need a REMINDER LETTER . Do they think I'm going to forget that I have no voice?

So as I was typing the above, my referral appointment from my Doc called. But I can't schedule with them because it isn't who WC SAYS I can use. Guess laws here are slightly different when its WC related.


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Where was I?....

Oh yeah. Doc appointment. Never mind I arrived at 3:15 for my 3:30 appointment. I was not called back until almost 4:30 pm, and the Doc didn't see me until 10 past 5. He was hasty... for him. He recommended an immediate as possible visit to an ENT (Ear nose Throat) specialist for a look at the vocal cords.
 Myself, I have become worried. I don't want to sound like this the rest of my life! What if's: This is how my grandkids remember my voice sounding? I can't talk to my Mom/ Dad/ kids? (Dad can barely understand me if I talk LOUDLY in a clear voice, before this) I can't talk to friends and family... because I simply have zero voice to use? I can't sing along with my favorite songs....
 I fret.

 My Mom's cousin June passed away Monday. She lived near Tulsa. We are headed to her funeral in the morning. (Mom and Ralph are here.) I knew June from the Taylor reunions... one of my favorite relatives there... the second we have lost on Mom's side of the family this month. :(

My voice is NO better. Thursday will be 3 weeks since I breathed in the acid fumes. Two rounds of steroids, faithfully taken... plus an added inhaled steroid. I have had to use the 'rescue' inhaler a few times in the last couple of weeks. Coughing up thick nasty stuff. The dry AC air seems to help a whole lot more than the moist/ humid air. I have tiny bit of "voice" after a few hours out of humidity. Weird, as humidity is supposed to 'help'.

 We had almost 3" of rain last night... in a VERY short amount of time! I am so thankful for the rain, we truly needed it! The weather has been 'cooler' so the AC hasn't been on... so I have got to breathe a lot of humid air... and can fairly state the humid air does NOT help me breathe. The humidity was so high today, we HAD to have the AC on, even with a high barely over 83*.

My most outstanding prayer requests are not for myself... what is a voice, after all? But for the Parker family  as Joshua enters  his last days. the doc's do not say he has 'months', but possibly weeks. His sister Bethany may well be in her final days, as the struggle to balance juvenile arthritis and heart disease wage war with one another. (Treating one exacerbates the other, so you have five year old in constant pain... )
and my friend Krista Malone- Bill's former boss. She has had to resign from her job due to health issues and complications from yet another vehicle accident. (She was hit- in no way to blame.) She needs financial stability.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Update on the Voice...

Originally, the ER Doc told me that if my voice wasn't 'improved' by Saturday, to go see my regular Doc.
By Saturday my voice was improved. Practically anything is an improvement over NO voice AT ALL.
So I didn't go see my regular Doctor. I expected my voice would continue to improve. It has not. At the urging of family and friends... and my boss.... I went for a follow up visit yesterday.
My doc put me right back on the same steroids I had completed a run of immediately after the incident. He also added an inhaled steroid. Asked if I had been running a fever. My answer was, "Not to my knowledge."
After listening to my chest, and turning his hearing aid all the way up and leaning in really closely to hear my answers to his questions... I was told I have laryngitis. (Duh, you think?)
So I was dismissed, and given a printout of my visit... including all the vitals they took... I was 100.1* ! That's a low grade fever- but for me, I can't ever get the thermometer to register normal. MY normal is in the low 97's.
I was ordered to NOT TALK. I may whisper if I absolutely MUST say something important.
Secondary follow-up will be Tuesday, and if I am still hoarse, I will be sent to an ENT for a look at the vocal cords.
That's all from me. You can call me, but I can only listen... so if you need me, text or send me an email or instant message.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

OK, OK... I'm GOING already.

Just because I can't talk doesn't mean I can't hear you.

After a couple days of prodding, my boss got hold of the powers in charge of medical issues at work. I jumped through all of the hoops like a trained bear... and go back to see my own Doctor tomorrow afternoon at 4:00.
 Knowing MY doc, that probably means I will get in to see him by about 6:00pm.
He is very good at giving each patient however much time they need- which annoys the heck out of the clinic staff. But the patients love him.

So anyway, he will listen to my voice, stick a stethoscope on my chest to hear the lungs, advise me that breathing battery fumes is bad for me. I'd really like to know WHY I am still not able to talk.
Again this week with the "Oh I bet your husband/ family is THRILLED!" comments.
Seriously, do women really talk that much?

Sometimes my voice is just a tiny bit 'off', but most of the time it is seriously off key. I've been told I sound like a teenage boy hitting puberty. I can go from deep and raspy to high and squeaky in one sentence.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Summer just keeps steaming along...

We are just few days from Grandson Tyrel's SIXTH birthday! I made him a little cowhide print vest- aiming for the Toy Story Woody look.
I looked up vest patterns online- then took a brown paper sack and made up my own. The first attempt, I was trying for reversible.  I couldn't quite manage it. And Mr C and the boys said it looked WAY TOO SMALL for a six year old.

So I tried again. The second one came out well. My worst moments were attempting to make a sturdy felt star. I couldn't get a template to download or re-size to what I needed. I tried free handing. I tried folding squares and cutting a bit larger than the small template. I tried five pointed stars, I tried six pointed stars. I butchered my entire supply of gold felt. I had purchased some yellow star shaped plastic buttons and resolved to just use one of those.
Sam spoke up and said that when he was a kid, if he got 'clothes' for his birthday, he was always disappointed... but if it was something like a vest that was REALLY wanted, and it had a lame plastic button or felt star for the sheriff's badge, it would of been pretty disappointing.
We had found a metal Concho star at Hobby Lobby. It attached with a thick screw- and I was concerned about it being held on with a nut, so I didn't buy it.
 I was running out of time to get it done and mailed off. I had to be in Siloam to take care of some business, and went on to see what Atwoods might have. There I found a string bolo tie with a sheriff-ish metal slide. I debated on that, or driving the 40 miles in the opposite direction for the Concho.  Being right there- the bolo tie won. It is simply pinned to the vest.

As long as the sewing machine was out, and I already had created two vests- I thought I would try my hand at some little tutu skirts.
Those are going OK, I have made two and have two left to do for grand daughters.
I am thinking maybe two more vests are in order- for Gavin and for Jasher. Alana is at the age where she would still (I hope) enjoy a tutu skirt. Gavin, I feel fairly sure will still like a vest. However- the older grandkids.... what can I do for them? Nothing they would like! I'm sure they would find Cowgranny sewing them something pretty lame. Maybe, just maybe- purses for the girls... but what about Connor?


I have now finished three of the skirts.... Jennifer, I need Alana's waist size before I can start hers.
Meanwhile I have another special project, which When it is finished, I INTEND for it to be used and not just 'admired'!
Have a blessed day!