Friday, December 19, 2014


I've never done well with dealing with disappointment. At my age, you'd think I'd be a pro. Ben and Paula aren't going to get to come. Vehicle problems.
I know you don't take off across three states with a vehicle making bad sounds. (Unless you are Jack Wilson.. but that's another story!)
Meanwhile, Mr C and I fixed my Dyson! It really sucks now, almost as good as new! AND the problem was diagnosed, so it will CONTINUE to suck.

In other news... fibrocystic breast "disease" also sucks. Overnight, a golf ball sized lump. Nasty fluid, mostly expressed. Mr C took me to town and we found evening primrose oil, which even the online diagnosis places say is good. Taking internally as well as external applications.

While at work today, I was typing my company ID number into the system to start an order I was pulling. It crossed my mind, do you keep the same employee number "forever" at Dayspring, as at some companies? (You do at AMR, You don't at O'Reillys) I wondered if Bill still remembers his number, and figured I'd call and ask him this afternoon. Yeah... I forgot. Which is good. And bad.

Well hello there...

Looks like I've been missing awhile. My most recent excuse was finally getting sent back to work at Dayspring Cards.
Boy, have they been busy there. Since last week, I have been working 10 to 12 hours a day. It finally slacked up a bit... and since us temps were into overtime, we have been sent home early the last couple of days.
Just in time! Benjamin and Paula and the kids are supposed to be headed this way this weekend.
Tommy and the twins have had to cancel their planned winter hike through the Ouichitas. Dan couldn't find anyone to work for him on the couple of extra days they were going to need. Tommy had planned to stay in Dallas and work.
Best laid plans sometimes go awry. Last weekend, Tommy was on his way back to his dorm with a friend he had driven to church. The highways were rain slicked... and few people slow down.  As I understand it, someone hydroplaned in front of Tommy. He swerved to avoid a collision, spun out and hit the guardrail. Thus ended his truck. He and his friend were unhurt... but no vehicle means he had no way to get to work... so he is spending his winter break in San Angelo.
We don't yet know if the boys will try a shorter hike during the time they all have off. (The Wooden Spoon is closed between Christmas and New Year's day.)
Anyway, having a much shorter work day today means I have been getting ready for visitors. The floors are mopped in the kitchen. The weeks worth of clean laundry folded and put away, kitchen scrubbed down.
The mails this week brought goodies! My aunt Lennie sent me an apron with flamingoes on it! And a couple of new pot scrubbies, which she crochets from tulle netting. (My old ones were about worn out!) Dan and Sam have been marveling over some "antique" hiking books she sent them. Goodness, how equipment has changed since the late 70's! And Oh my! Inflation is evident. Used to be a very good sleeping bag for backpackers ran $25 to $100. Now, $100 doesn't touch even the moderate bags.

My next package in the mail was a fruitcake from my Mommy. Be very jealous.

Thank you to both of them.
Now my break is about over. Got more to do than I can shake sticks at.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Reasons to be Thankful

Some of my favorite shots from this past week...
 Althea Grey!

Loving Cousins

Favorite Uncles

Not Quite Normal Family

Gorgeous GG and Grace

What did I say about not quite normal?

Granny, Grace, and Althea

Stephen (Tommy) as Judas in "The Jewish Wedding. On campus at CFNI tomorrow.
My Mom, Me, five of my seven kids, eight of ten grandkids Thanksgiving 2014



Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Little Peach!

At the moment I have no way to get the pictures off either my camera or Becky's... so it will be a bit before photos are forthcoming.
(Oh, perhaps that sentence belonged later in this post)
Monday, Paula had an appointment with the midwife. I got to go along. It appeared little Peaches could either come soon... or keep us waiting into December. The Braxton-Hicks contractions were sporadic... but doing their job.
After supper, we left Ben and Paula to their evening, and headed out to Becky's where we have been sleeping in her in-laws camper. Meanwhile, Paula went to bed. She woke about midnight for a drink, and shortly after going back to bed, was awakened with WOW! contractions. They were strong and insistent... so she wasted no time in waking Ben and calling those who were to attend the birth.
Baby made its debut a few moments before 4 am!

Oh, keeping you waiting am I? OK... 6 lbs. 8 oz. 19.5 inches tall. Looks very much like the Schroeder clan. Light brown hair with red highlights.

Peaches is a girl!
She was named Althea Grey Coder. Althea means "healing"... very appropriate.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Off the Grid?...

Tomorrow afternoon, I pick up Connor and Alana. We head to Texas for an entire week, wherein we shall partake of at least TWO enormous Thanksgiving get togethers, back to back. Extended family and friends, lots of food. and hopefully, we will have a new baby by then.
So far, Peaches hasn't put in an appearance.
Dan and Sam have to work all week, so we get to leave Jaffa behind with them.
This dog is so funny. He loves to burrow, and just can't sleep without a blanket. Since the colder weather has set in, we have needed to be extra diligent in making sure all the clean laundry gets put away, or we find our clean garments have been borrowed. Or burrowed. Or both.
This morning when Mr C got up, Jaffa was in a pickle. He had burrowed into one of Sam's clean long sleeved dress shirts that had been left across the back of the couch. He had wriggled his head deep into the sleeve, and couldn't get backed out. He was wandering around looking like some bizarre mutated anteater, bumping into furniture as he tried to give Tom his morning greeting. He had to give up any appearances of innocence regarding his venture into the clean clothes.
Still no call backs from Staffmark. :(
I had big ideas about dragging out the sewing machine and catching up on some projects. I dragged out the machine. And three totes of fabric and craft supplies. And swept the corner where they were stored. Rearranged items stored in the area. Did laundry. Dug through the totes.... and put it all back without sewing a stitch. The laundry room does look better. :)
With all the guys gone to work, I decided on baking something. But then decided not to do that either. I settled for a big batch of caramel corn... I don't know where my motivation has gone lately.

Anyway, I don't know if I will get a chance to blog anything about little Peaches arrival until we return home. I am hoping to take the laptop and will update if I can!
 Be blessed!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Good Morning, all!

I am still not back to work after my Ohio adventure. And by the end of next week, we should be on the road to our Texas fall adventure. (Again, leaving the Individuals at home...)
So far Baby Peaches  hasn't arrived. It is still a few days until the actual due date, and Jasher went beyond his! Dakota turned THREE yesterday... so looks like she isn't sharing her birthday.

Everyone here is in good health.
This past weekend, I was surprised and blessed to hear from Tom's mom's cousin Joan! I mentioned her book in my post regarding our Ohio trip. She was so much fun to talk to, a completely amazing person. I learned a few things about modern publishing that I absolutely did not know. I always imagined that places like Amazon have big warehouses full of books just waiting to be purchased. They don't!
Like Shutterfly (You all know how much I  LOVE  Shutterfly!), books are stored on disks- or maybe even in computer memory- and then printed when you order it! Whoa! That's pretty awesome. (I am sure some of the big authors who write best sellers DO have their books printed and stocked and ready to go out... but for the small time writer- it's nice to know we still have a chance to be read.)
Dan and Sam are on a countdown to the Appalachian Trail hike. Meanwhile, their Ouchita (Wash it aw) Trail hike looms closer- they are working on menu plans for that. Since there is no viable resupply point along that trail- especially in the winter- they are faced with carrying ALL the food they will need for their 16 day journey.
Sam got a refurbished tablet that arrived yesterday. It has been fun playing with it today while he and Daniel are at work!

Today I have a pot of chili cooking in the crockpot. Yesterday, I cooked up a pot of pinto beans- they are in the chili now! A warm, welcome meal to the BRRRRRR weather we are having. When I was talking to Becky earlier, it was 22* here! (Becky got an 8 point buck last night! Remember back three years and a couple of days ago, she got a deer? Then had Dakota the next day.) Too bad I don't have any venison for the chili... but it should taste like summer- with jars of home canned tomatoes and jalapeños in it.

I suppose I'd best get back to working on the house- not sitting at the computer all day.
Be blessed!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The ChangingTapestry

About five years ago, I wrote about how our lives are like a tapestry. Along with those we love, our lives intertwine to make the design we leave behind us.  People are added and new designs are formed. Weddings, births, new friends... all add to the richness of our life tapestry.

Threads break- the loose ends left behind to be woven in to the picture to keep it complete. Holes may be formed in our life tapestry, as in one woven of real thread. The ones formed in cloth may be knotted off. The holes formed in our lives, they are eventually closed up as family and friends move closer to fill the void. I know sometimes the hole remains, it becomes part of the design.

In the time since I last wrote about my life tapestry, so much has happened. Chris going to prison seemed a discordant thread- a blotch, if you will. God has used his time there to change him in many ways. It is no longer a blotch, but is becoming in itself part of the masterpiece of our tapestry. His wife filed for divorce just a few weeks ago. She was ready to knot the threads that bound our tapestries to one another. I know it was hard for her- it was a decision five years in coming. Her pattern stays in our lives- to try to eradicate even a single thread from the woven pattern is futile.
Bill Joe passed on. Roger. Granny. My friend since grade school, Robin. Grandbaby Ellie. The past couple years would be such a painful part to look back on that I would think perhaps, after all, a section of the tapestry should just be removed... But I see that would take away the good parts as well.

Paula became part of our family. Jasher, Grace, and any day now, "Peaches" will join us. In the glaringly painful endings, there were the beautiful beginnings as well.

Yesterday, Bill Joe's wife remarried. I am glad she is happy. I hope that she and the husband will prove to be good parents for granddaughter Nickole.
I am grateful that Jennifer continues to stay interwoven into our family, making sure we have opportunities to see and visit our grandkids.

Thank you for reading.

Friday, October 31, 2014


About  a year and a half ago- perhaps slightly longer... I broke a molar. Eating a grilled cheese sandwich. Once my mouth got used to the new shape and sharp edge of the broken tooth, it really didn't bother me for quite awhile. Occasionally, I would get a twinge of pain, but nothing serious. This fall, once 'allergy season' hit, I started having toothaches. (Would it be teethaches when referring to multiple teeth?) They would hit suddenly- usually in the evening of days I forgot to take allergy medication- and involve the top and bottom teeth on the right side. I figured it had to be sinus related... how can you get six+ teeth hurting all at the same time?
A week or so before we went to Ohio, I was getting an ache in the broken tooth. Noticed it when I'd eat hot or cold foods, sugary food, or brush my teeth. I relentlessly scrubbed the tooth any time it would happen... and with aid of ibuprofen, the pain would eventually subside. One occasion, mere days before our trip... I was in severe pain. Swished with peroxide, took a generous helping of ibuprofen, and slept it off.
The same things happened in Ohio- the night before we left I was in dire pain. So, upon our return, I made the dreaded dental appointment.
The dentist got me in quickly. I expected to have the molar pulled. The dentist was persuasive about saving it if at all possible. I agreed.
So she got in, had a look, routed out the old filling and bits of cracked tooth... and said that an extraction was the only answer. The next hour and 20 minutes were intense. I had to have numbing stuff injected three times. Saws, pliers, drills, and mallets... My tooth had been with me 54 years and wasn't giving up without a fight.
It had also been infected. So, I am on antibiotics and painkillers. As of yesterday, I can add yet another painkiller to my list of allergies. Codeine and hydrocodone we knew about. Now, Percocet/ oxycodone is on the list. They all make me ITCH terribly. A prescription for non-narcotic Tramadol was given today. And even that has knocked me on my hiney. I am trying to be careful and not dislodge the clot, which would result in "dry socket"... very painful!

Tomorrow we have friends coming for dinner.
Yes! I invited people over, and Mr C didn't object. Back when I invited them, I felt much better than I do now. But the boys did a decent job on cleaning house while we were in Ohio, so a good family effort tomorrow ought to make us presentable enough for guests. Planning on a cookout: stuffed burgers, hot dogs, tater salad, veggie tray. Appetizer of jalapeño jelly over cream cheese. We may also do stuffed jalapeños, as a hard freeze is expected tonight, and all our peppers will need picked this evening. Iced tea and lemonade to drink. Dan is making a berry trifle. (Abbots Special Abbey Trifle  from the Redwall Cookbook) . The potato salad is made and chilling in the fridge.
Today is my turn on the kitchen, so I need to get enough oomph to go get it done. My face hurts and I just want to sleep!
Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Why yes, This has been a busy month....

Tom and I just returned from our first ever vacation without kids. We spent 9 days in Ohio... or 7 days plus travel. We drove up the usual I44 to I70 route, averaging 68 mph despite stops. We ate lunch in Eureka, MO, at a really good BBQ spot. Apparently it is somewhat famous. The food was good. (Super Smokers BBQ). We arrived early- apparently they had JUST opened the doors- perhaps for a delivery truck we walked around? We got our meal to go... I was surprised Mr C wanted to "go", as he had just ordered a BBQ sandwich with sides of slaw and baked beans. Not exactly easy to eat while driving... through St. Louis! He managed nicely.
I asked to stop at the Warm Glow Candle store, which we did. It has been re-arranged in the years since I was last there, opening a section with micro brewed beers and local wines for sale. I was quick- chose a birthday gift for Tom's sister, grabbed ONE package of votives, a bottle of Peach Chardonnay... and we were on the road again. The Peach Chardonnay was excellent!

We arrived at well after 9:00pm-  Mom Arlene had soup waiting us. She makes fantastic soup! Tom's brother Bob, and one of their sisters, Joyce were camping out back by the woods. I visited outside and in for a short time, then slept inside! Tom and the others camped outside... in the rain.

During the week, Tom and I did quite a bit of hiking through the Hocking Hills. It was very pretty- though overcast/ rainy most of the time we were there. I got a lot of ragging about the number of pictures I take- so tried not to do too many of people this year. I will post some of the shots to the family site . (You are welcome to look- just don't repost peopled pics to public sites.)

I got to read/ borrow a book of Memoirs of Joan Cook, who is my MIL's first cousin. I was surprised to learn that another of Arlene's cousins, one of Joan's sisters, lived many years in Jay, OK. We are close enough to Jay that I have worked with people at the airport here (XNA) who live in Jay. (The book is "COOKIE 7th from the top, 4th from the bottom").

On the drive home, we went south out of Ohio, and stopped to see Serpent's Mound . I have been interested in visiting the site since I first heard of it in school so many years ago. I did have to wonder how much they present as "fact" is instead supposition. What if this was really some ancient guy building a nice flower berm for his Mrs.?

Crossing into Kentucky, we drove mostly on the Parkways. When on the lesser highways, we did see some awesome horse farms and just beautiful country. Most of the daylight was in Kentucky, though we did get across the small part of Tennessee and cross the Mississippi as darkness fell. This was our shortest travel ever across Missouri- just into the 'foot' of the SE bit of the state, and onto HWY 412.
This was the route we traveled the rest of the way home, in the dark. We did stop and sleep in a roadside rest area several hours... and arrived home at almost 5:30 in the morning. I saw several very interesting towns that would be so fun to explore... all closed up for the night. Maybe another trip someday?

Have a blessed day! hope to see as many of my friends and family as possible when we travel to Texas next month. New baby "Peaches" Coder should be arriving before we do. ("Peaches" is the name until gender is known, then s/he will get a real name!)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October 1th

Goodness, already October.
We had a nice family reunion with my Mom's Taylor side on Saturday. There were about 30-35 people there. Afterwards, the twins and I went on down and stayed overnight at my Dad's and Kathie's house. We got to see them, as well as Robbie and Ruby. We had to leave fairly early the next morning, so it was a very brief visit.
Everyone is doing well.
Mom started going to the gym back at the start of the year. Kathie and Dad started a few months ago, and all are really getting into shape. As for me... round is a shape!
Tom began a low carb diet a couple of months ago, and has lost a goodly amount of weight. I am cooking with less carbs, but myself, I am not saying I am on a low carb diet. I still eat tortillas and such when I have them available! I did switch to green tea instead of coffee on a daily basis, and have dropped at least 8 lbs. (Some days the scales say it is 12 lbs., but the 8 is solid for sure gone.)

Monday's mail brought an invitation to Tom's dad's side of the family, Coder Reunion. It is this coming Sunday. In Ohio. No, I really don't think we will be attending that one. Less than a week's notice? I am wondering if perhaps they really didn't WANT us to come, but felt it was wrong to NOT invite us. Sam says I am reading more into the belated invitation than was probably intended. I suppose benefit of the doubt is just that the organizer of the reunion let the date sneak up on her.

Daniel has been working hard to persuade Sam to accompany him on the AT hike. They are also discussing plans on what they will do when they return... and leaning heavily towards following in Ben's footsteps and going into firefighting. Sam is looking at backpacking supplies. I would feel much better about them going together than Dan alone.

I got to work a day, last Friday. I was sent to a local greeting card manufacturer/distributor. I got to work on an assembly line. It was fun, but at times I felt like Lucille Ball in the Candy Factory episode. The team leader said she hears that a lot from the temps! And I just this very minute got another call from the temp agency. Apparently, I impressed the employer. I have been requested by name to come test for another position! Whoo hoo. I'll head that way as soon as I finish here.

Monday afternoon, Mr. C helped me clean out my front flower beds. We pulled out the dead rose bushes, and I put Stella d'Oro lilies (corms) in their place. (Aunt Lennie will be proud of me- as I spoke on the phone to one of the kids the other day, I was pulling weeds from the back of the house, where she and I pulled them last year!)
Both indoors and out are beginning to look so much better.

Mom got me an ENGRAVED bottle of adult beverage for my birthday, as well as a copy of the book  I posted on here a week or two back. Mom's birthday is the 4th, Ben's is the 7th, and Kimber and I share the 20th, if anyone wants to mark their calendars! Tom's sister Joyce ends the birthday month on the 31st.

Have a blessed day, I am off to take a placement test for the staffing agency!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Happy Autumn!

The downside of this season, full bore allergy attacks! Despite the chemical & natural counter attacks, my head is soup, my dose (That's how Nose sounds when you're under attack!) is dripping like a leaky faucet.

Upside- gorgeous weather here. The windows flung wide, temperature just perfect. So far, I still haven't been assigned a job by the temp agency. I continue my quest to clean and de-clutter the house. For my efforts... the house is looking cleaner. I have a few items in the box for the Taylor reunion auction coming this weekend. You'd think I could easily come up with more, wouldn't you?

I had intended to work on the hood for Sam and Dan's guitar case this afternoon, but I am so miserable I don't feel like doing anything. I also had a brainiac idea to use my microfiber damp-mop (It has removable/ washable pads) to make a dust mop pad from micro-fleece. Easier to dust mop than to sweep, with the doggy fur all over the floor every day.

I have plans for an apple pie for supper. Oh, I meant dessert... the supper will be fajitas. (Neither one low carb... oops.)
But for now... I need to see if I can figure out how to stop sneezing!
Have a blessed day!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

New Job, Day 4

Day four has gone pretty much like days 2 & 3... and only differing from Day 1 in that, on Day 1 I spoke to an actual human when I called in to confirm my availability. Since then, I have spoken to a recording... and not been on an actual paying job at all. If this keeps up much longer, I will be back to looking for work.

The pattern for Sam's hood just hasn't fit correctly. We went back to WalMart and purchased six more yards of $1 a yard fabric to experiment on. I now have quite a stack of hoods to fit narrow shouldered people. I will try again- only altering the measurements and reshaping the back of the hood. We still aren't ready to cut into expensive fabric!
My sewing scissor disappeared. Sam had grown frustrated at trying to cut even the light muslin with the dull, dull, dull scissors I otherwise have around. He even purchased a pair of intermediate 'school' scissors.. which were better than the dull pair! While buying the practice fabric, he also purchased a pair of actual razor sharp Fisker sewing scissors. Once home and using them for the first time- Sam tells me he can now understand WHY I have always stressed that my sewing scissor was for FABRIC and nothing else! What a difference in effort sharp scissors make.

We are having cool, rainy weather at the moment, after a hot and humid day for most of yesterday. Today IS supposed to get up into the mid 80's- and with the rain this morning, this will give us a sauna this afternoon. I've got on long sleeves now- I may be in a tank top this afternoon! The weather has been fluctuating between the low sixties and upper eighties during the day, and from 43* to 64* at night the past week or so.
TAYLOR REUNION is coming up... the 27th in Broken Bow, Same place as last year! I hope everyone is planning to come.
Welcome to Bailey Ranae Beard! Born to my nephew Tony and his wife Cami last evening, Bailey was born at 7:44 pm September 17th, weighing 6.8 lbs., and is 20 inches tall. Bailey and Cami are doing well. (Tony is the son of my brother Robbie.)
Guess I best get on with my cleaning and reorganizing of the house- my self appointed task for the days I'm "not working."
Thanks for reading, have a blessed day!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


This morning, I went with Sam to Hancock Fabrics so he could get some fabric to make a winter hood. He had found a pattern online, which we had to reproduce with measurements to fit him. As we produced our pattern, he was asking me questions about how I learned to sew.

I remembered my first solo sewing attempt. I was seven or eight years old. Mom had bought some calico printed material to make me a jumper, or perhaps some shorts. I don't remember the purpose for which she intended the fabric. Like many of us, Mom got the fabric home, and it sat for awhile. She was busy... you know- four kids, husband, toddlers, laundry, feeding people and cleaning up after them...the usual stuff that sidetracks people from doing their sewing projects.
I grew impatient, as Mom had promised she would teach me to make some doll clothes. One day, I took Mom's fabric stash back to my bedroom, and laid a piece out. I traced carefully around my doll's waist and legs... and cut out a pair of doll pants. Belatedly realizing I needed a front and a back for pants, I traced the doll outline a second time. I hacked the outlines from the fabric. 
Mom was busy, but she absently knotted the thread on the hand needle for me when I asked... never questioning why.
I sewed up the little pants... not putting right sides together so my stitches showed, or the print was INSIDE the pants.

I didn't think to try them on the doll, but went back to hacking the fabric into raggedy pant shaped bits. Mom even tied another knot in the thread for me, as I recall. (Still too distracted to ask what I was doing with this threaded needle!)

I eventually got the pants sewn together. Of course, they were about 1/3 the size I needed them to be to fit my doll. So I tried again to cut them out larger- still following your basic doll sprawled outline.

I don't know how long I persisted before I finally asked Mom what I was doing wrong.
I'm not sure if she laughed... or cried. I had butchered several yards of fabric- what wasn't cut entirely to bits was mangled enough she would never be able to make a human sized garment from it. She did sit right down and show me where my pattern had gone wrong, and draw me up a pattern for a real pair of pants, in doll sizing. Mom showed me how to fit the pieces together, and let me sew them right up. She showed me how to make the casing for the elastic waist, and how to hem. And... I got to keep all the butchered fabric to practice on, but was warned to NEVER EVER get into the sewing stuff without permission.

Sam and I are about to try the pattern we made out on a cheap bit of muslin before cutting into his expensive wool fabric. I also picked up an application to Hancocks while I was there.
Thanks for reading!
And Thanks for teaching me to sew, Mom!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Busy anyway

I neglected to take into consideration that Monday was my 'regular' day off. Also Tom's day off. We had plenty to do. While I superficially browsed some job listings, I didn't put in any applications.
 Tuesday, I got up and got online, even before a breakfast. I put in an application for Staffmark, which is an agency people call when they need someone to fill in for a few days or weeks. I would like a job that is flexible enough to be able to take off work when Paula has Peaches, and at Thanksgiving. To be able to take vacations with Tom, when he wants to go to Ohio and see his family. Most jobs aren't offering that sort of flexibility. I also need a job where I am not straining my body... it's got to last another 50 years!

Once I got that application done, I started where I left off yesterday in the kitchen. I am re-organizing my cabinets, giving everything I use a HOME... as opposed to my usual "stick it there for now" method. My bowl/ plastic ware cabinet looks great! All bowls that have lids have them matched with them. My cups are all neat, and every stinking water bottle/ thermos/ sippy cup that HAS a matching lid is together WITH its lid, neatly STANDING upright. About 10,000,000 lids with no container to fit have been pitched, with the exception of a very few Tupperware lids.

Today I worked on the food storage upper cabinet. The cabinet is made from really cheap fiberboard for the shelves, with very little support beneath them. In the 10 years we have lived here, they have really begun to sag. While the cupboard was empty, Daniel went to town and got some angle iron with pre-drilled holes. He gave the shelves a nice bit or reinforcement/ support.

After wiping off the shelves, I categorized the items going back in, and repackaged much of it. There was a literal pile of various baggies of dried items Dan has been preparing for use on his AT hike. Some of this I sealed up into vacuum bags. Some I put into glass jars. I have two lower cupboards of pans and the spice cabinet to go, as well as the small units over the refrigerator and stove. I suppose I should also see to the underneath of the sink as well. From there, it will be on to the laundry room.

However, I will start each day with at least one job application! These are tedious to do- but at least most are online and I am not wasting gas driving hither and yon.

My last day at work was also my co-worker John's last day. He retired- and he well deserves a great retirement!  John brought me breakfast, coffee and a sausage biscuit! I got as much of the work that was piling up done as I could, then called a day.
Sam made it safely to San Angelo, and that was the last we heard from him until today! He is having a good time- but most nearly visited out, I think.

Sunday, Tom and Daniel picked two+ more bushels of apples. With their help, I made 7 more pints of applesauce and 14 more half pints of apple butter. Then, almost all the rest went into more apple cider. By Monday, the beautiful plums were calling out to us... but Tom and I ignored their cries and didn't stop to pick more. (If I pick more, I have to buy more jars. But I really want to pick more.. since a friend told me of an upcoming craft sale where I could get a booth.) I need to decide in the next day or two, while there are still plums to be had.

(Who has time for a job?)
Please pray I will find the best way to earn income!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Officially Unemployed

I am home from my last day at O'Reilly's.
 I am proud of me... I didn't shirk, I worked hard all week... even my last day. Yes, there were things left undone. Things are continually flowing and piling at most jobs... I did as much as I could, which was more than many would. This is the season of change throughout the company, as summer gives way to fall. Displays change, new products come out. The hunting accessories start to arrive, the AC items give way to the cold weather gear.
I did love most aspects of my job. However, it was becoming too much for me, physically.
So now the hunt for a job I CAN do begins.

I realize some of my family and friends here do not participate in Facebook.
I need to update you on some happenings the past week or so.
Last Saturday, Daniel and Sam went to Lewis and Clark Outfitters, where Daniel has purchased a great deal of the gear to use on his Appalachian trail adventure. The boys has heard that there was to be a big 'gear swap' for anyone interested in purchasing used equipment or had any to sell. They had not double checked... the gear swap is in October! But since they were there, they took time to talk to the very friendly folks who work there, and look at bicycles. Sam has been talking about getting a bicycle for MONTHS. And there was a bike sale going on.
Sam put a bike on layaway, not having had cash on him to outright buy one.
The boys had no sooner arrived home than the phone rang. It was the OWNER of Lewis and Clark Outfitters! He happened to have been one of the people who had chatted with Daniel and Sam at the store. He asked Daniel if they could get together and talk about Lewis and Clark Outfitters sponsoring a portion of Daniel's Appalachian Trail hike- something like supplying his footwear?
The details have yet to be ironed out, but I thought this was pretty amazing! Daniel hadn't mentioned a sponsorship, the thought never occurred to any of us!
Tuesday, Sam was champing at the bit to go to the bank and get money to redeem his bike from its layaway. As there was no freight Tuesday, due to the Labor Day holiday, I was off. So we went to Lewis and Clark and Sam bought his bike. The bike bug had bitten Daniel over the weekend... so Daniel also purchased a new bike. Folks, these are not your $80 WalMart bikes... these are NICE bicycles, which were expensive, even on sale. No where near top of the line, but lower end scale QUALITY bikes.
While Dan worked for our neighbor Tuesday afternoon, Sam explored routes to work that didn't involve riding their bikes on the highway.
Wednesday morning, Daniel rode the 8 miles to work... well, 8 miles is incorrect. 8 miles as the car drives is closer to 12 miles as the back roads meander! It was gloaming dark at the time Dan left for work. I fretted. (Moms do that!) When I got home, I said I would of felt better if Dan had let me know he arrived safely at work. Sam popped off the remark that I would of heard if he HADN'T made it safely!
Thursday morning, as Sam is preparing to ride to work, I state that it is getting light LATER every day. Sam tells me that he and Daniel have already taken this into consideration.
At work, the phone starts ringing by a few minutes past 7:00 am. This is NOT unusual. I always check to see which line is ringing. Most family calls come in on line 3. Line 1, the general public line, was ringing. The Mind Link said answer. I argued with myself... I didn't answer. Mind Link says "Call home!" I argued... "so they can laugh at me for being concerned over nothing?" I didn't answer the phone.
The phone rang pretty much incessantly until the store opened at 7:30. First call, acting manager calls out to me, "Tammy, LINE ONE!"
Sam was on the phone. "I am relatively OK. Doesn't anyone answer the phones up there?... and, how does one bandage a deepish irregular wound?"
I said I would come home and evaluate. Sam was saying he didn't think it was necessary.
I insisted. I know my boys understated concern!
I got home to a blood drenched Sam laying on the couch, with paper towels pressed to his elbow. He removed the paper towel to reveal a dime sized hole in his arm. Hole is the best term I can come up  with... he was literally missing a chunk of flesh. He has called paramedic in training Ben, who had told him that such wounds usually cannot be stitched, and to clean it and fill with antibiotic ointment.
I said, "Get in the car. This needs to be evaluated by a doctor. You NEED stitches."
Sam attempted to argue. I told him Ben may well be right, but you are still going to see what a doctor has to say.
We drove to the local doctors office. They were full up and overbooked, but once Sam showed his wound, he was a priority walk in. He had at least five internal stitches (Doc lost count) and four external stitches. A gap was left so fluids could drain. A scar was guaranteed. Sam was put off work for at least 10 days. Not only can he not stretch the stitches, but he has deep oozing abrasions surrounding it, as well as deep abrasions in his palms. One CANNOT wash dishes with open wounds.  And he must keep them dry to heal.
By Friday afternoon, Sam was already stir crazy. His bruised and swollen knee had him sleeping on the couch, rather than in this Captain's bed upper bunk. He is faithfully setting his alarm to take his antibiotics. Paula suggested that, since he couldn't work anyway, he come visit her and Ben. Sam took her up on it. He just landed in Snanjlo...

At work today, it occurred to me, Sam could well decide to MOVE to San Angelo. He is a dishwasher. And his binding tie... Daniel... is going away in March. If Sam has an opportunity while on this visit... He may never  come back to the nest.

Dan is already considering moving to San Angelo after the AT trip. He is interested in what Ben is doing with the Fire Department.
Empty nesting... sigh.
Around here, the company Mr C works for is AGAIN downsizing, after a name change earlier this year. The CRJ700's he has been working on are going away in favor of some other aircraft. How hard is God going to have to shake this up to get a move on?
Thanks for reading. Prayers are SO appreciated. Job hunt starts Monday.

Friday, August 29, 2014


My busyness continues. I agreed to work one extra week at O's, as the management change doesn't actually happen until the 8th. I have already put in more than 40 hours this week- tomorrow ending the work week- and tomorrow will be as long as I can stand. I discovered in trying to complete the tool aisle planogram... it involved TWO sections more than I realized. I haven't even FINISHED the ones I knew about, which were due today. Freight has been crazy heavy all week. Small mistakes in ordering fixtures cost time here and there. (A 3' bar was ordered when a 4' was needed. Ran out of 15" deep shelves...)
So, while I agreed to work next week, it is also to my benefit, as I am grandfathered into holiday pay as a part-timer. (New part timers do not get 1.5 holiday pay.) There is no freight scheduled for Tuesday, as the drivers have Monday off. If I am not caught up tomorrow... and there is no realistic way I can be, I can CHOOSE a day to come in and just work planograms. If I choose Monday... guess what? It is time and a half scale! I already have prior approval of both the exiting manager and the acting manager to work any of those days I chose. The new manager coming in.. (Tim) was there today. He didn't veto my working the holiday. :)

Here at home... the local apple trees have been dispersing their fruits. Two days ago (or was it three) I had noticed plum trees with ripening fruits along my drive home. I asked Sam (who was off until 1:00 the next day) if he would mind picking me enough plums for one batch of plum jelly. These plums are different than the ones we had in Marlow. Those plums ripened in late May to early June, these plums are just NOW coming ripe. In the 10 years we have lived here, I have never noticed them before!
So... Coming home from work, I saw the plum trees were just as laden as they had been the day before. I figured Sam had been called in to work, or else forgotten my request. So I stopped and picked enough for a batch of wild plum jelly.

Dan passed me picking plums on his way home from the Wooden Spoon. We waved. I got home and started my plum jelly. The phone rang. It was Sam, asking that Daniel bring their backpacks and come get apples, which had been a canning goal of ours for weeks. Dan picked up one backpack, to learn it was FULL of wild plums. Sam had not forgotten at all. My first batch of wild plum jelly yielded 10, half pints.
The boys brought in apples. And more apples. AND MORE APPLES. They stopped at just over 2 bushels that day. So after the plum jelly, I got a pot of applesauce going, as well as a slow cooker batch of apple butter.
The next day, I had to can the apple butter. Tasting it, it was sour! I added some blackstrap molasses. Sam was leery... he said blackstrap has such a strong taste I probably ruined my batch of apple butter. Tasting it, his eyes lit up. He says it tastes like liquid gingerbread!
While he was at work, he mentioned the abundance of apples... and managed to borrow an antique (over 100 years old) cider press! So last night, I did another batch of applesauce, another batch of apple butter, a double batch of wild plum jelly... and the boys have thus far done about 5 gallons of hand pressed apple cider. (I have 30 jars of wild plum jelly (half pint), twelve pints of applesauce, two pints and six half pints of apple butter... and nearly a bushel of already harvested apples to go.)
I declared tonight a night of rest... NOT dealing with fruits.
Of course, it is now suppertime. I'm so tired, I have NO CLUE what I am making for supper... but the kitchen is cleaned, the sticky apple residue washed from the floors, and laundry and the dishwasher running.
Have a blessed night!
Keep praying about a good job for me!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Staying BUSY

This is my last week at O'Reilly. I have been working extra hours, and even extra DAYS to try to complete this major planogram due by the 29th. I have two full sections to go; though today I had time to set the basic structure of one of those. Tuesdays continue to be major freight days by simple fact we don't have trucks on Sunday and Monday.
I ended today with 17 hours under my belt for this new pay period... normally I would have about five at this point in my week.

I am NOT getting hired at the local restaurant where the twins work. They filled their three openings with church members and friends... which is totally OK by me. I was a bit concerned about them having three of us working there, as it would make taking family time off very difficult. But it does mean I need to dust off my resume and hit the virtual streets, putting in applications. Pretty much ALL  jobs these days require online applications. I am thinking: local staffing agencies, Lowes, hotels in their maid/ laundry sections (even desk clerk), and perhaps the local casino.
There are chicken hatcheries that I saw *now hiring* signs outside, and there is McKee (Little Debbie).

Meanwhile, with frugality and the extra hours I've been getting, we should be fine for several weeks.
(Thought of setting up a booth at a local Farmer's market. Spaces are quite inexpensive. I can sell jellies and such.)

We had such a great visit with Paula and Becky and the kids! Jasher took a few independent steps, but wasn't ready to be declared "walking". Miss Grace decided she can roll over, and was QUITE pleased with herself. We went to War Eagle Mill, and the kids played in the mill stream. ALL of them had a great time, from Grace on up to Tyrel!
We went to the local Wild Wilderness Safari Park... our first time ever. It was much "more" than I expected. And about the same price as going to Tulsa Zoo, but 100 miles closer! I highly recommend going again whenever we have visitors!

I REALLY need a nap before supper, which my Sam is cooking... home made pizza!

Have a blessed night! I ask your prayers that God open the perfect job for me!

Thursday, August 14, 2014


I was complaining to Mr C yesterday morning, about my job. I was once again passed over for the driver's job- the boss admitting I would NEVER get to be the delivery diver because I am GREAT at my current job as Merchandiser. During the time I had quit O's and gone to work in Ohio, they went through four (or five?) people as Merchandisers. The store was chaos when I returned some 18 months ago. And if I am switched to delivery driver, then either the manager or the shop specialist has to do freight... until they hire a new Merchandiser, and they aren't going to do it. So, due to my habit of doing a good job- I am penalized.
The position has really become too much for me. I ache all the time and sport bruises daily.

I got to work yesterday, and my boss, Chris, greeted me, "It's been good working with you!"
I asked if I am fired, or was he leaving? He found a job making as much to start as he can ever top out as for O's. And he can clock out, go home, and have zero responsibilities that go with being manager. I am truly happy for him.
What I was NOT happy with was that his replacement will be the old boss, Tim. I am not going to work for Tim.
With that little shove, I gave notice at O's. I applied at the restaurant where the twins are working. Not sure of a job there, but I will find something.
I spoke to the remaining driver we had at the store (The open driver slot is still not filled)... John is an older fellow, and was planning to retire in November. He suffered worse abuse from Tim than I did... and he has also put in his notice of intention to retire... our little O's store is down by half its staff in two weeks. They will need three drivers and a merchandiser, having already decided on a new manager. Most the remaining folks are great friends with Tim, willing to overlook his lack of people skills. John and I were not.

Before my two weeks are up, I will be logging pretty much full time hours. I have three or four planograms, two of which are MAJOR. So I will be exiting with one of my larger paychecks from this company. That should help the transition to the new job... whatever that job may be.

Oh, and right at this very minute... Becky and Paula are on their way up to visit, bringing GRANDBABIES! I need to find a day/ way to get them together with their more local cousins (90 miles away) at least for a day.

Have a great day, be blessed, and Thank You for praying for us!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Nothing New...

The canning has become more sporadic... only a couple of times a week as we come to the end of the tomatoes. I made my best batch of spaghetti sauce yet yesterday. Yield was 3 quarts.

The boys are ready for Trek. Their gear is assembled and sitting in the living room, in anticipation of an early start on Saturday.

Jasher has taken his first independent steps, I am told... but he doesn't WANT to walk. He is the BABY and wants to be carried! Such a cutie.

Grace has discovered she can suck her fingers and soothe herself when Mommy can't feed her THIS VERY INSTANT!
Becky and Stephen blame Cowgranny for this!

The Taylor Family reunion is coming up on the last Saturday in September, in Broken Bow. Same location as last year. I hope as much of the family that can be there will plan on attending! Lunch is at noon, meat provided, bring a dish to share and something for the auction!

Today is a gorgeous day in NW Arkansas. Sunny and mild, only 78* today. Tonight is the Perseids Meteor Shower .
I love to sit out and watch the night skies. Just wish I didn't have to be at work quite so early.

Have a blessed day, thanks for reading. Happy Stargazing tonight!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July has certainly slipped away on me!

Our garden has started to wind down, for the most part. Aside from the roughly 80 Quadrillion peppers that are going gangbusters on the 13 plants. (4 jalapeno, 4 bell, 2 banana, 2 chili, and 1 ghost), we have a few tomatoes still straggling along, despite the blight. We are discussing doing a small fall garden; perhaps spinach, lettuce, and some different varieties of squash.
I made 5 pint-and-and-a-half jars of spaghetti sauce this past week. Froze the last of the fresh squash into a casserole.
 I have bell peppers and tomatoes I have to do something with this afternoon- likely freezing the peppers in portions for fajitas. The tomatoes, possibly some more fresh salsa or just plain canned tomatoes for chili this winter.

Tom and I have our 30th anniversary this weekend. Every idea for any sort of doing anything at all has been shot down. (Oh well, why should 30 years be any different than the previous years?)

Daniel and Sam are preparing for going on Trek with the Zesch Home Church group next month. They are already weighing packs and planning meals.
Tommy prepares to head back to Christ for The Nations International in another week.
Benjamin has started the paramedic training portion of his firefighter training.
Paula is doing so very well on the Gluten Free diet- her kidney issues appear to be under control.
Tyrel just had his 7th! birthday.
Kimber, Dakota, Jasher, and Grace are all growing like weeds.
I am assuming Nickole and Gavin are preparing to head back to school. Nickole will be in Kindergarten; Gavin will be in 2nd grade, I think.
Connor and Alana have had a busy summer. I am hoping they will get to stay a few days before school starts back, but here it is the tail end of Summer before school starts again, so I don't know if we have time.

This past weekend, I got the living room re-arranged and deep cleaned. (Well, except I missed dusting the ceiling fans and washing the light sconces on said fans.) The re-do on the living room involved swiping a bookshelf from my bedroom, which led to minor re-arrangements in there. Plus, I finally hung the twinkle lights up to 'frame' a headboard. It is really pretty. I still would like to find a sheer fabric to drape over the lights.

I can't figure out how to turn the photo!
Guess that's all for today. Have a blessed day!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Still in full bore summer mode...

First of all, Tom's Mom's surgery was a success. Arlene came home from the hospital this afternoon.
Thank you for your prayers!
Next, Today is Ralph's 80th birthday... Happy Birthday to him!
It is also my Favorite Son in Law, Stephen's birthday. Happy Birthday, Sven!
The twins made their static line jump this past Saturday, July 5th. Here is my post to a group of friends regarding it.
As I mentioned, my 'babies' turned 18 a couple of weeks ago. They used their birthday money and windfall from an unexpectedly well paying job to go to 'ground school' in preparation for a static line jump from an aircraft. Static line is the one where you jump- no instructor with you, and a line deploys your chute on exit of the plane. This fun little venture involves climbing out of a plane and hanging from the wing struts before dropping from 4,500 feet in the sky. Even with my glasses on, that is too high to see even the CHUTE for several minutes.

The diver is equipped with a two way radio, by which an instructor on the ground gives steering instructions and advice. In event of a radio failure, the diver is to look for "the ground arrow" and follow the directions given by the instructor communicated through this gigantic (about 12 foot long) arrow mounted on a pivot. The diver is to signal he realizes his radio is malfunctioning through a specific series of maneuvers with his chute.

So, Sam, my last born... exited the plane first. The pilot had dropped him much too far to the north of the landing zone, but the ground instructor was able to relay through the radio what Sam was to do. Sam had been apprehensive about the jump, to the point that Mr C told me he was concerned about Sam jumping at all.

The instructor allowed us a special *treat*... we were allowed onto the landing zone, not far from the "ground arrow" to watch the boys descents. Mr C and I, my former DIL Jennifer- mother of my eldest two grandkids, and said grands, Connor and Alana. (Jennifer has known the twins from birth and babysat them long before my DS#1 married her.)

So Sam's chute appears, bright orange and yellow in the partly cloudy blue sky. He follows the instructions and does a PERFECT feather light landing on his feet. We had been told that every diver is instructed to roll on landing... but if he doesn't NEED to roll, he will know it. The instructor helped Sam gather his chute, and he comes over to stand with us while we wait Daniel's jump. Sam said it was fun, but he isn't sure he EVER wants to do it again.

Look, up in the sky! Not one diver, but TWO. The air instructor had also jumped just after Daniel, but had done a freefall, so she was well below him.
Daniel was not responding to radio instructions from the ground instructor.
The jump school personnel all began to gather out on the field. The ground guy starts spinning the ground arrow, Dan's signal to respond with the specific "I see and understand" chute actions.
Dan is not responding.
I can sense the growing apprehension among the school personnel. They are scattering across the landing zone.
Dan's chute is a cloud white and hazy sky blue... it is difficult to see the chute against the sky and clouds.

Dan never gave the "see and understand" signal, but the ground instructor began using the ground arrow to send directional signals. Our family was huddled in our designated area, hands clasped in prayer. I was praying aloud and had tears running down my face. Sam stood with his chute clutched, in tense anticipation, telling Dan what to do... though of course Dan couldn't hear him other than the psychic connection!

Dan gets low enough for the ground crew to all begin to converge, shouting at him. He was still a good 50' feet off the ground, and thought they were telling him to "flare" his chute- which collapses it. (They were shouting at him to bring his legs together into proper landing form.) So he flared his chute WAAAYYY too high. (Sam says it is VERY hard to gauge how high up you still are.)

Dan landed hard but went into the perfect roll.

He had not given the "see and understand" signal because he was too low when he realized his radio was malfunctioning. He couldn't FIND the ground arrow for a long time, and had relied solely on his training and instructions prior to boarding the aircraft, to get to the landing zone, where he did, finally see and respond to the ground arrow.

He had a grand old time. He can't wait to do it again.Eek!

I came home with a sick headache... too much sun and stress. I've had nightmares for two nights now, waking from hot flashes/ cold sweats and feeling pukish.

I hadn't even thought about Jennifer having kept the boys as babies while this was going on. She said yesterday she was a wreck! "

 The garden grows on. Yesterday and today, Sam helped me pick beans. We put up five QUARTS yesterday. Today, we set aside a big batch for supper, and put up another five pints. I got five or six squash from our five squash plants yesterday, and almost as many today. I failed to "deal with" the squash yesterday. This afternoon, I was putting together a squash casserole. I use disposable foil pans, as I generally cook these casseroles out on the grill. I was talking to Sam, and asked whether he thought the pan was about rightly sized for our meals. He agreed it was, but then asked me why I don't just make more than one at a time? I do have all this squash to work with. And I have the pans, as well as other ingredients.
It was an AH HA! moment. Much of the squash already frozen is destined for casseroles. As long as I am making one... how much more trouble is it to make two? (DOH!) Saves clean up later on, deals with the squash all at once.
I sure have smart kids.
And, if I failed to mention it lately, I believe I have KIND kids. THOUGHTFUL kids.
When in town, if one twin stops and buys himself a treat, he buys TWO, so that his brother may partake.
Outside of just the twins, I was thinking of Benjamin and Tommy "translating" thoughtless remarks. "I didn't like what you made for dinner".
Let me (Ben) translate that: "I appreciate you making dinner for us! It was a nice thing to do.  Next time you might try ______ (suggested improvements)." to a budding cook.

Becky and Stephen have been hard at work making improvements to their home. They came down to a choice: Buy a new GOOD vacuum to replace their latest broken 'disposable' (unfixable cheap) vacuum, or rip out the 1970's carpet and put down hard flooring. I didn't ask the price of the flooring, but I know a GOOD vacuum runs almost $350.  They went with the flooring! It is beautiful!

It has been a bit less than a week since the boys skydive, and I am still having nightmares. Maybe a wee bit of PTSD? I've been told I have PTSD from Bill's death, maybe this exacerbated it?

On my "pennies from Heaven"... the last two days I am finding dimes in the oddest places. I told "Bill", If you can drop dimes, maybe you should try leaving me $100 bills to find!!

That's all, thanks for reading!


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Few minutes for an update...

The garden is still taking  much of my time outside of work. Today, after picking green beans, I decided I had enough to can a couple of jars, as we are about green beaned out on eating fresh cooked ones, and the fresh have surpassed more than we can eat at a time.
My "couple of jars" ended up being SIX pints, which are currently in the pressure canner.
The pea vines were pulled up last night, and the remainder of the peas, Sam shucked while I worked on the beans. I added one half-pint of peas into the lot of canned stuff. I have yet to deal with the squash from today and yesterday. I didn't pick any more blackberries today... I am just worn out, for some reason.
Hopefully I will have nice berry picking weather for my 'long weekend'! I need to freeze some more to make blackberry cobblers and such!
Yesterday, I dealt with the cucumbers a co-worker gave me, and made a batch of bread and butter pickles.  I have been either canning or freezing foods here on a daily basis for the last several weeks.

One day this last week, while I was the ONLY person at work, I was preparing to get started receiving merchandise. I heard a distinct "tink" and looked down to find a penny at my feet. Like it appeared from out of the sky! My first thought, "Penny from Heaven!" and either Bill or my brother, Roger. Then I realized I had stuck my box knife in my pocket, and the penny may of come from being wedged in its clasp.
Nevertheless, I took it as a sign my family was saying "Hello". I mentioned this to my boss today... He mentioned how he sees a cardinal bird as a Hello from his deceased family. He had never heard of Pennies from Heaven. It was a VERY short time later... I found another penny on the floor. Someplace no one was EVER likely to LOSE a penny. I said, "Hi, Bill!"

I don't have to work Saturday. HOORAY!
(At least, not on the paying job.)
I am quite sure garden produce will have me hopping!
Dan and Sam did their ground school for a static line jump from an aircraft last weekend, but conditions prevented their jumping. Not sure if that will happen this weekend or not.
And there is my timer on the beans. Have a blessed day/ weekend! Thanks for reading. PS prayers appreciated for 1) MIL having a surgery for a vein stent on Monday, non heart related. Also, a special request concerning something I have desired for YEARS, which must remain unspoken at the moment.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fruit flies like a banana...

Jasher, 11 months
Perhaps it was said before Groucho Marx... "Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana". Time has certainly flown. Today our little Jasher is ONE year old!
Benjamin, one year

He looks very much like Ben did at this age, but also looks like Paula.
A "weezie" of Jasher and I.
This was Ben's first birthday cake. Loved his expression!
Our garden is really going to town on squash, peas, and onions. I have also been taking advantage of the bounty God has blessed us with, harvesting wild chamomile for chamomile tea, and some to possibly be used as soap.  Tom has helped me harvest wild blackberries, and as I recently learned from Becky's friend Sarah, wild raspberries. The raspberries are not ripe, for the most part, but we have picked enough blackberries for two batches of jelly.
Daniel and Sam have both been working- FOUR part time jobs. (One is temporary, another is occasional.) Busy boys. Dan really wants to go hiking, but simply hasn't taken the time off to do so.
My job has kept me busy as well, along with the garden and trying to do more around the house- inside as well as out.
Here is one of my favorite pictures of the week.
Grace and Dakota

Monday, June 16, 2014


I have been at a loss on what to do for the boys' 18th birthday, which is TOMORROW!
So far, I have posted an open invitation on Facebook for people to call, text, or send cards to the boys.
Mr C and I went to Atwoods yesterday and bought three mixed six packs of a variety of sodas, including their favorite Ale-8-1. We discovered Ale-8-1 a few years back as we traveled through Kentucky after a family reunion. It is a "local" soda, almost unknown outside the borders of the state of Kentucky.
Next door to Atwoods is Family Dollar, where we got them each a helium balloon, as well as a birthday banner, and some paper plates and cups. All these things are currently residing in my bathroom, which is one of the least likely places for them to be discovered.
Mr C is thinking of shopping for them today- maybe this afternoon. At the moment he is out on the weekly grocery shopping trip.
I also ordered the boys each a polo shirt from Think Geek- "Aperture Science Laboratories"- the fictional laboratory of their current favorite computer game Portal. The shirts should arrive today or tomorrow.
The boys both wanted to do a skydive ASAP.

Both boys are working three to four jobs, part time, in addition to doing  their school work. They work for The Wooden Spoon, primarily. Then for our handicapped neighbor, Anthony. Recently, they have begun working for a chicken farmer who needs some hard labor at updating his (currently birdless) facility. And they work for my co-worker John when he needs them. They are industrious young men. (Contrast to one of my co-workers sons, who is about ten months older. This fellow is Army reserve... one weekend a month. And part- time at McDonalds... when he feels like going.)

So tomorrow, ALL of my kids are legally grown up. Pardon me while I go cry for awhile. It isn't like we didn't know this was coming. And both boys are still living at home- Dan at least until he heads off to the Appalachian Trail in March, and who knows what the next few months will bring with Sam?
Today, Dan asked me how one goes about becoming a pilot, short of joining the military. He cited Roy and Julie Zesch as examples of private pilots he knows. I know Tom always wanted to get a private pilots license, yet never has done so.

Our garden is growing well. We had our first fruits of onions, and squash this weekend. This year we are growing pole beans instead of bush beans... and they are way taller than I am right now. The peas are in full bloom, tomatoes are setting, and have several bell peppers that will be eatin' size in a few days. Oh, and the wild blackberries are ripening. I just remembered that I saw some yesterday. I need to get jeans and sleeves on and get out picking before the heat and humidity of the day are too much!
Be blessed!
Call or text (479) 212 1798 tomorrow to wish the boys a happy birthday. (Be sure you leave a name with your text so they know who it is from!)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Don't be sad because it is over, smile because it happened...

and other things to keep oneself going after vacation!
I had a wonderful time visiting in Texas, although I did miss seeing several friends while there. As the family joke goes, it always rains when we visit. And it did.
The year's accumulated rainfall was at .75" before I arrived. In two days, they got 7.75 more inches.
This resulted in some flooding, but I don't think there were too many complaints about that!

I got to meet Miss Grace Remington Jones. What a sweet little girl. She weighed 9 lbs. 14 oz at her 4 week appointment.
I also got to go with Pya (Paula) to her midwife appointment. Her gluten free diet has dropped her protein spillage tremendously! Hooray for figuring out the natural way to fix an ailment!

Little Jasher is cruising... not quite ready to let go and actually walk... and not about to let anyone help him! Offer him your hand to help him walk, he turns to jelly legs.

Dakota Rose adores her new baby sister. Pretty much every waking moment is spent by Grace's side. She shares her toys and talks to Grace.

Kimber Ann enjoyed the company of cousin Alana. 
Alana was good with helping with her younger cousins. She helped fix hair, and played house. She helped Tyrel "build a fence" around the playhouse. Becky and I sat cringing in the house while Tyrel hammered a board Alana was holding into the ground. She never even flinched.

Tyrel is getting so big... and smart. And, funny as always. He told someone he was "Jones on the outside, but Coder on the inside."

We had Nickole for this past weekend, picking her up on our way back from Texas. I hope she had a good time. She was sick Saturday, and it rained virtually her entire visit, so we never ventured out. She was good at entertaining herself.
At one point she demanded to play "checkers". We don't have checkers, but she indicated the chess set. So Sam started trying to teach her to play "Chest". He explained the ways each piece could move, their purpose, and names.
Then he told her she could make the opening move. She opened with a CLASSIC defensive move... just the way every family member I know would of opened the game.
Sam's jaw pretty much dropped. he took a step back and says, "I am impressed. I MUST say, I AM IMPRESSED!"
I could hear Bill Joe laughing.

Nickole and I looked at old pictures. She was amazed I knew her daddy, and told me again and again he had died. (I know, sweetie, I know.) She was astonished to see him as a little boy. Funny how we tend to not ever think of our parents as ever being children. I showed her a few of Laura... one she thought was a picture of herself! She told me Laura is her other Mommy, her birth mother.

Today was back to work. I was told repeatedly how glad everyone is that I am back. (Not glad enough to lift 35 batteries for me, though!) None of the planograms were done while I was gone, so today was long... and so will tomorrow be. Today is longer, by a meeting I am required to attend at 8 pm tonight. That's close to my bedtime! Boss assures me it will be brief, but I am required to attend because we have some "shipping and receiving issues to go over." :(

I took a nap as soon as I got home. Had a shower later... but when I laid down to talk on the phone, I stiffened up and almost needed help to get up. MUST look for a less strenuous job... though Mr C seems in favor of me staying where I am.

I was delighted to get to see Chris, after almost 2 years. There are positive things happening in his life there. And things I am hoping he can overcome once he is out.

Tommy was back from Brasil. He had an AMAZING missions trip, and is hoping to go next month to an orphanage in Haiti. Then back to school in August. So far, a 4.0 GPA!

Dan and Sam are one week from 18 years old. Where has the time gone. We haven't made any big birthday plans. Is it too late for a surprise party?

Well, it is time for me to get ready to go back to work for the meeting. Have a blessed night and thank you for reading.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

ALLLLLmost vacation!

I get to pick up my Alana Saturday! She and I will drive to Texas... staying Saturday night with my Mom. I learned my brother Robbie may also be there. And on Sunday, we continue down to see Becky and the family. AND as Ben informs me... once again, the timing of our visit is to bring much needed rain to parched Western Texas.
I don't know if we have ever visited when it hasn't rained. And considering it is almost June, and they have just  under .75 inches of recorded rainfall this YEAR... it's high time we brought some rain down.
After my time in Texas.. I get to pick up Miss Nickole for the weekend. This will be her first time to stay with us without her parental units. (Unit?) Last time we saw her for more than a few minutes was with Bill Joe.
Daniel finally got his long awaited backpack. He ordered it some five months ago... and it has been on back order that long. He is so excited and ready to do some shorter hikes before the AP Trail comes up.
Work has had up days, and down days. Mostly, all is caught up. The last few days, regular freight has kept me at least half an hour over every day. I am SOOOOOOO looking forward to being off.
 I talked to a person today about a job... I am supposed to come and see the current person in action before I decide to apply. Then there is that pesky 'give notice' and such. IF I think I can handle the high pressure of Spongebob Squarepants job. Person who hires tells me that others have watched the current person and declined the job.
Tonight, the Individuals dressed as much like twins as they could... to attend a school function at the local Mennonite School that many of their co-workers are affiliated with. (The group that threw them a birthday bash last year!) (MY BABIES are going to be 18 in less than a MONTH!)
Their plan is to not associate with one another all night, and feign surprise if anyone mentions their resemblance. This is a full school function, not just their co-workers!
I love my kids. Quirky, funny, surprisingly individual people... ALL of them. And I get to be their Mom.

Tommy is in Brasil. Continue prayers for him. He is seeing miracles, but facing spiritual warfare as well. I believe he is in his element. This makes me happy... and sad. Sad because Brasil is so far away. Happy because he is doing what he loves, what he is called to do.

Thank you for reading.

Friday, May 16, 2014

We know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love him

and are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Yeah, so what was it, a couple of weeks ago that I was raging about my boss arbitrarily cancelling my vacation, so that HE could go away for the weekend?

For some reason, I was thinking that THIS weekend was Memorial Day Weekend. I went to check with the boss child about whether the distribution centers and drivers were working on Monday, because if they are not, then I don't work Tuesday. (No freight.)
Bad news and good news on that.
 Bad news- this is NOT Memorial Weekend, as I am sure you realized about the time you read that sentence. Good news, it is next weekend, AND the distribution center and drivers do not, in fact work. Boss noticed that the 28th was the ONLY day I was having to work that week. And he had previously offered to let me have it off- not realizing it followed hard on Memorial Day. But he went ahead and approved me being off Wednesday. So once I am off work next Saturday, the 24th... I don't have to be back until June 7th. (The day I work a few hours, then get to be off until the following Tuesday, the 11th.)
 I am almost ready to forgive the boss and revoke my mean hopes that his wife would be having her Auntie visit on their anniversary weekend. (Yes, I admit that I was really feeling justified in that wish against him. This is why God has plenty to do in correcting my thinking.)

The plan is now that I can go on ahead early- whether flying or driving- and spend a few more days with the kids. Get to meet Grace Remington a few days earlier. If I get to drive early, I can pick up Alana and we can spend some time together- though I am sure she would have a very grand time being the center of her Grumpaw's attention if he insists that he would rather I fly and he drive. (We need to get that figured out so I can let Jennifer know!)

Meanwhile, I am pretty excited.
The last TWO days have been remarkably light on freight. It was a VERY good thing on Thursday, as I could barely move. I took ibuprofen before work, during my workday, and could tell exactly when that four hour dose wore off every time. Mr C rubbed my back and shoulders with Theragesic.
Most everyone knows how I hate to be rubbed or massaged at all... yet actually asked him to put the stuff on me, on three occasions! Today, I am back to just being normally sore from being 'older' and out of condition. (Notice I didn't say, "out of shape". Round IS a shape.)

Have a blessed evening. Please pray for Tommy and his mission group in Brazil.

Bone Update: No word back from the sheriff's office on the status of the bones I dropped off. But after torrential rains, another, intact, bone washed up. A number of pictures of it are on the Moocrew3 site.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mental preparation

Half the battle of the hard days at work, is going in mentally prepared. I give myself a pep talk every Thursday morning. Not so much on Wednesdays. Most Wednesdays are quite light on freight. Tuesdays have a lot, restocking and special orders from the weekends, and a LOT of outgoing (battery) cores. Thursdays, oil. Fridays a lot of stock to brace up for the weekend. Saturdays, almost no freight in or out. Wednesdays usually have half a pallet of freight, half a pallet of larger items.
 Today... half a pallet of freight... plus a heaped up pallet of  brake rotors. Almost all of which were new stock to our store.  Also, a co-worker "cleared the special order shelves". He did this by heaping everything pell mell into a giant grocery cart  for someone else to put away. Guess who that someone else is?
This made today a "but first" day.
The rotors had to be worked into the numerical order of our existing stock. There is NO ROOM to simply work it in. So it was decided to move a section of tie-rod ends over one aisle, wrapping that stock onto the next aisle.  That freed up one section for the rotors to expand. But first... I had to move three sections of brakes over. Then the tie rod ends, then get started on the rotors.
Rotors weigh roughly 12 to 40 lbs. each. I worked two 32 ft. aisles. My muscles are screaming at me this afternoon! Tom and Dan sometimes lift weights to muscle exhaustion. Once that hit me, I still had to keep going. I had asked the boss if I could get some help... he said yeah, I was gonna have to have some. But then he didn't send anyone to help, and the ONLY time I got help was when I was unable to lift two of the largest size rotors from a bottom shelf to a top shelf. Even with the ladder.

Once the rotors were worked in, I had the regular freight to put up. I thought it seemed we had quite a few brake pads. I didn't realize until I was putting them up, we also got a large number of new-to-our-store brake pads that ALSO had to be worked in. I saved the grocery cart of freight cleared from the shelves until last, AFTER the shipping and Every Wednesday Price Label Changes. (I have been in charge of them since the last guy was found to have just been throwing them away, discovered when the store failed an audit.)
I took a half hour lunch, and had taken one sit down and wait for ibuprofen to work, break. Put in just a few minutes under a full 8 hours today.
I really need to find a less physical job!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Interesting week

This past week has been "interesting". The biggest news of the week is that Becky had a baby girl on May 7th- two days ago.
Shall we chalk down (or even write in ink!) that our God faithfully answers prayers?
Baby girl Jones was in a VERY good birth position, and Becky's labor went smoothly, quickly, and safely. She had sent a text, time marked at 7:03 Wednesday morning... "Earlyish labor. Kinda picking up though. Should be having a baby today. :)"
At (time stamped) 8:15 am, Stephen called to say, "It's a girl!"
I had been praying on my way to work, all the things mentioned above. (6:15)
Baby girl was 7 lbs., 6 oz. Becky had decided to sit in the bathtub while laboring, as the water seems to help contractions not be so difficult. They had rented a birth pool- a deeper, larger place to contain water- and Stephen was filling it. Becky called out to him, she was feeling a strong urge to push, could he call the midwife to see how long until her arrival?
The urge became undeniable. Two pushes- one for baby's head, the second for delivery!
When Sam called me at work to let me know of baby's arrival, I was shocked. He told me all he knew was it was a girl, no details... and "Mom... the details are still going to be the same when you get home, no need to stress out!" (Midwife missed the birth!) (Very similar to Beckys birth story!)
The first thing that came to mind was "Grace". God's grace at granting such a swift delivery and easy labor. (Apparently, I was the third+ person to say maybe "Grace" should enter the name considerations.)
So, Little Grace Undecided Jones was born 5/7/14. (They still have a middle name under consideration.)
DIL Glynna was telling DGD (dear grand daughter) Nickole that Uncle Becky had a baby girl. Nickole has a new girl cousin. Nickole asked her name. Glynna told her, it was still undecided. Nickole thought the baby's name was "Undecided"! (I have chuckled over that for two days!)
The contenders for a middle name are at the moment: Remington or Sterling. (Becky also likes Daisy, but Grace Daisy doesn't flow well).
Mr C helped me put in a flower bed across the front of the house. Last night's torrential rains mostly washed out the plantings. But, as we prepared the bed, we found some strange stuff.
A bone... looking very much like a human femur. and another (later) that looks like a chunk of shinbone. After mentioning this to friends, it was suggested I report it to authorities. I asked a policeman who came in to work, he suggested the same, while declaring he was thankful it was NOT his jurisdiction. So the bones and ball peen, towel wrapped hammer are with the local police.
An online friend forwarded the photos to her daughter, a forensic anthropologist.
Of course, I am hoping they are animal bones. As I said, finding human remains buried in your yard is something from books and TV... not real life!
I certainly hope I can fly down to see Becky and the other kids this weekend. Tommy leaves Monday for Brazil. (Natives say Brasil!) Tommy ws HEALED of his stomach ailment over the weekend! I am so grateful!
Prayers for my friends, the Knight Family. God knows all their woes. He can heal, and comfort, and protect... they need all.
Have a blessed weekend and week. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Not a week has passed!

(Aren't you proud of me?)
And I stayed off yesterday when I was furious.
I was angry... make that ANGRY... because my boss called me to the office to INFORM me- not ask- that I was not getting a previously scheduled vacation day. I was not getting it because he suddenly discovered his fifth anniversary was the same weekend I had requested off.
Mr C has to request vacation time in November for ALL of the coming year. Once it is awarded, it is set in stone.

Who knows what is happening next year? Weddings? new babies?

Knowing HIS vacation was unchangeable, I made sure to ask for this time off MONTHS ago, as June tends to get sucked up fast at my job. Vacations are scheduled by writing your name on the calendar for the days you need/ want off.
So I was highly ticked off at being told I was REQUIRED to work the second Saturday of my vacation... meaning I had to travel back on Friday instead of Monday... to work for five hours. Five hours being my SCHEDULED time. I can never stretch the low volume of receiving/ shipping on a Saturday to much more than 3 hours. And that is STRETCHING it. So I have to be back on a Saturday to do three
The boss failed to see why I was upset.
After all, it is his FIFTH anniversary.
So I got home, expecting Mr C to be as upset as I was.. or at least commiserate.
Instead, he can see how important a fifth anniversary is to some people.
Some people not including him, but he can see Boss's desire to make it a special occasion for his wife.
This from the man who refused to even schedule any time off in his vacation planning last November, when reminded that our 30TH anniversary is in August. No big deal. He doesn't want to take time off for that. But oh, yeah, I should rush right back here to work three hours so the boss can be off for his 5th.

 I tried telling my boss I had made plans to see my son whom I have not seen in almost 2 years, that can only have weekend visitors, on the day he wanted me back. He countered that I had the WHOLE previous weekend to take care of that! So I need to travel from NW AR to the coast of Texas on Saturday, and get to see son on Sunday. That's a long drive.
I was in tears. I hate to cry from disappointment, but it happens.
Boss conceded he could let me off a few days earlier... for all the good that did for our plans. Mr C still couldn't leave before the 31st.

After raging for quite some time, I contacted my kids. They said IF I can get a flight down, they can pick me up. And Ben will drive me to see Chris on the 31st. (Flying standby is never a sure thing.)
 Meanwhile, Mr. C will pick up Alana on the 31st and head to Texas.
This leaves Grand daughter Nickole up the creek. She was supposed to get to come see us at the end of May. We have never spent the time with her that she deserves. Our original plans had been made even before we knew she might get to visit. But the new plans totally disrupt even that.

If he had not so totally ruined MY plans, I would be more happy for my boss-child. He is making the effort in his marriage to keep things special with his wife. I wrote him an apology in the wee hours this morning, when I couldn't sleep due to my upset. I DO applaud his efforts. I AM happy for them. And yes, I WILL be there (grumble, grumble grumble) three days earlier than my original plans
to cover those THREE HOURS! (Yes, I admit, I AM still keenly upset).
So few young people these days make the effort to stay together. I put the written apology on his desk this morning... though he won't see it until Monday.

So: Prayer requests: 1) I can get a flight out on the 28th. Standby is always fickle.
 2) God provide abundant finances so that I may leave this job and be able to go see my family at any time they need me.
(3) Baby Jones settle into the optimum birth position, and Becky have a fast labor, easy delivery, and both Mom and Baby do well.
 (4) Paula's health continue to be excellent, in prepping for Baby Coder due in November. - Baby Peaches, as I dreamed!
 (5) My friends who have just learned they are expecting to have a blessed, trouble-free  pregnancy, and healthy full term baby. When They say OK, I can mention names.
(6) I get opportunity to spend quality time with grands that I seldom see- that finances, time off, and  opportunity all converge so these kids know how much we DO love them. ( many of above can be done with God blessing our finances!)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Week Review

This has been some sort of week! Monday, Mr C and I went shopping for a birthday present for his sister, who will be 60 on the 3rd. He thought it would be nice to send her a classy wine assortment. So we went to a wine store, and the clerk helped pick out several bottles. We mentioned they needed shipped to another state.
Got home, and very carefully packed the wine to the bottles wouldn't clink together, so they could withstand rough shipping. I checked the USPS website, and learned wine cannot be shipped through the mail. We carted the box to the nearest FedEx station... and learned from the clerk there, one cannot ship wine. PERIOD. Only authorized wine merchants may ship wine. So I find myself with a number of bottles of some nice varieties of wine. (Hey, my wine usually comes in a box!) We ended up ordering his sister's gift online. Just can't believe the wine clerk failed to mention to us about the shipping regulations! (He must of seen his opportunity for a good commission.)

Then, Tuesday. I was holding up OK at work, refusing to let myself fall apart. Then the boss arrived, and turned on the radio. Just in time for the day's Celebrity Birthday list. He mentioned it was "Uma Thurman's birthday... famous for her roles in the Kill Bill movies".
That did me in.
I eventually got a grip, and finished up at work. I kept trying to think of something to do in memorial. Letting a helium balloon go crossed my mind. I know several people who do that. To me, it just seemed like a waste of money. I know Bill wouldn't really get the balloon(s), and if it were the thought that counts, he would already know. What I did instead was to use money I would of spent on a gift for Bill, and got a few treats for Chris and put a few dollars to his account. It seemed like something Bill would have approved.
Later in the afternoon, Chris called me. We had a good chat. It isn't often he calls, as it does cost a bit. That day it was something both of us needed.
I had some of the fine Adult Beverage that Tom's sister was not getting.

I went to bed early, and got up all ready to take on "Oil Day" at work. (I psyche myself up for the several extra pallets of freight we get on Oil Day.) Walked in the door... to see one measly little pallet of freight... and no oil! What the heck? Did they change Oil delivery Day on us and forget to tell me?
Um, no.
Oil Day is every Thursday. It was only Wednesday. Duh!

Today was actually Oil Day. And it was very light... so I was done well before my scheduled hours were up. I used the time to organize one of the worst areas of  back room freight. I am so glad to have that done!
Oh, another fun thing happened on Monday. While Tom and I were out and about, I asked if I could start a flower garden somewhere in the yard. Tom agreed. He did veto my choice of areas, but I am fine where he wants it. He even sprayed grass/ weed killer to start getting the area ready. A few hours later, UPS showed up. I got a box of plant bulbs as an early Mother's day gift from Becky. I had no idea I was getting something that needed planting- I hadn't decided what I wanted in my flower bed, just knew I wanted one!
The bulbs are patiently waiting the ground to be prepped. I have to wait 7 days from the day the killer stuff was sprayed.
Thank you to my friend JoAnne. I received a card from her today, and it really blessed me.