Friday, January 31, 2014

January last!

What a month it has been. The weather here has been bi-polar. From sub-zero, to warm enough to open the doors and windows, back to sub-arctic, back to sunshine.
On one of the warmer days, the guys went over to the shop belonging to a friend of our neighbor. The truck was put onto a lift, and they got the clutch and clutch slave actuator bearing changed.

Tonight is the third time Sam has driven the truck to work.
He is doing fairly well with the standard shift these days. Daniel is also improving.

I got to talk to Chris yesterday. It is always so good to hear his voice! I haven't been able to go see him in over a year- closer to  a year and a half.  He was doing OK.
I also got to talk to Tommy, who really seems to be enjoying college. Between classes, and TWO new jobs, Tommy may be harder to keep up with!

Tis the season around here, for winter restlessness to set in. If we are going to find a place to move to before fall, now is the time to do it, so we can get the garden growing! Tom and I both have time off scheduled for the first week of June, to travel to Texas and meet the new Baby Jones. Then Mr. C doesn't have ANY time off until Thanksgiving... and I *never* have any actual vacation time coming, with the changes in infrastructure causing part-timers to lose benefits. My Bosschild has been good about letting me take an occasional day off, even if it is without pay.

Looks like there will be no 30th anniversary shindig. Not that I actually expected there would be. But, no time off- so I can't plan anything anyway.  :( (And I did suggest taking some vacation time about then, back when Mr C had to bid vacation... but he wasn't interested in any time off in August.)

I'm trying to decide how to torment a bit of hamburger for our supper for two, tonight. Maybe I will brown it up and add it to some scalloped taters. Sounds good to me!

That's about all for now. Thanks for reading!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Look, I didn't take so long for the next post!

I haven't been keeping up too well on my "make something every day". That's Ok, though. I've been trying to just 'keep up'. Sometimes I feel like I'm juggling too many balls. Then I remember I don't know HOW to juggle. Silly me!

This is Friday- the evening Mr C and I have at home, allllll alone. When home for lunch, Tom wasn't feeling well. He may be catching one of the bugs that has been going around.
I am reminded that in less than six months, ALL of our children will be "officially" grown up.  I don't believe the twins will be running right out the door the day they turn 18. By the time Dan leaves for his Appalachian trail hike, he will be closer to 19. Sam hasn't expressed any ideas on moving out yet.
I am thinking maybe we ought to be looking for smaller places. (With big guest quarters!)

Originally, I had planned on chicken thighs, and sautéed mixed greens for supper. But with just the two of us... that will be tomorrows plan! I got out the wee slow cooker and tossed a small package of boneless ribs into it. I added some flat ginger ale to get the simmer going- and let them cook a few hours. Didn't take long til they were falling apart. So I drained off the liquid, ran the 'ribs' through the food processor, and added BBQ sauce. Back into the slow cooker... and it is BBQ sammiches for supper.

Daniel and Sam listen to a lot of music on YouTube. They have run across some very interesting people. One fellow was stumbled upon as Sam searched for Ocarina music. Dan was playing one of this fellows many tunes- the talented guy is David Erick Ramos- (he plays guitar and ukulele as well!) and I found myself humming along. It was what (D.E.R.) described as his favorite jazz song. He was alternating between ocarina and ukulele. I recognized it as a tune that has always hit my heart core- but up until yesterday had no idea! it also had words. Ranks right up there with Puff the Magic Dragon, and Greensleeves, in making me nostalgic (and weepy!)
In my obsession with this song since yesterday, I learned it is called Heart and Soul . Dean Martin sang it. Before him, a Hoagy Carmichael. Then, I found Ella Fitzgerald.
I have never heard her sing anything- she being before my time, and I never sought out any Jazz singer on purpose. Oh my gosh. She has one of the most awesome voices I have ever heard!
The song goes back as far as the late 1920's- and while Dean Martin, and David Erick Ramos may of sang it- it is a song from an old fashioned woman's point of view. Both boys have been either playing it, or humming it for two days now.
So, anyway... that's all for today.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Jan 22nd

It's two days past Connor's 13th birthday! The kid who made me a CowGranny, from the son who made me a mother. Happy birthday to my first born teenage grandson. Grumpaw and I sent him a card with a few dollars in it- while Uncles Daniel and Sam knew the perfect gift: Connor's very own Minecraft subscription.
 As we do tend to have many double birthdates in our family, Connor shares his with cousin Luke Landoll, who is now a great big TWO years old. Happy birthday, Luke!

Tomorrow is my favorite brother in law's birthday. Bob "Buck" (Bucky Bobby Beaver) catches up with me in age. (SHHHH... you don't HAVE to say he is my ONLY brother in law!)

As I mentioned in a previous post, my son Tommy has started Christ For The Nations, International (CFNI). He also started a blog about his new journey into Life. "World Changer" which you are invited to read. (Just click on the words World Changer in the previous sentence.)

How is learning to drive the standard truck going for the Individuals?
It isn't. At least not yet. The truck has a pretty significant problem, which will require repair before they can even begin to learn to drive it. The "slave cylinder" has a significant leak. While relatively inexpensive for the part itself, the drive shaft AND transmission have to be removed to access it. So, Mr C and the boys will be trying to do that this coming weekend. (Mechanic estimated cost was $450-$800. Sam says "No. (He) has to learn to work on vehicles eventually, may as well start!") Mr C or myself have been able to drive the truck with very little difficulty- but it does indeed need an experienced Standard driver to operate it safely.

Today, I am cooking TWO POUNDS of beans. This is my very first time to ever "soak overnight". I usually so an hour long "power soak". And I usually do not cook a full two pounds for the four of us!  It is Becky's and Paula's fault! They made some amazing refried beans (from scratch) while I was there. But if I am going to have refried beans, I want the good old beans and cornbread first... so I cooked more than usual. Daniel is preparing for his Appalachian Trail hike in 2015... and wants to dehydrate some of the cooked beans to practice re-hydration and cooking times, as well as meal variations... so I cooked the entire bag.

Dan purchased a VERY nice dehydrator at one of the big Christmas Saturday sales. We haven't put it to huge use just yet, but with garden season soon upon us... THE garden season prior to his big Hike!, we plan to make a lot of use of it this year.
We figure that if Dan starts testing recipes now, he will be well prepared for the 6 month Appalachian Trail hike. Prepackaged meals are VERY expensive, and may not be the best tasting things you can eat. But we hope to have him a nice variety of recipes and dehydrated foods to keep him going. (Who knows, if we make better stuff than what is on the market now, maybe we can have a business!)

Speaking of having a business, the last few days I have been thinking that maybe I ought to SELL my Jalapeno Jelly. People certainly seem to love it! At the moment, I certainly *think* I would enjoy making endless batches of jelly during the season, than working part time elsewhere, year round. Maybe I ought to crunch numbers on it?

Right now, everyone seems to be feeling better. Work has been light, though once again, my daily duties have been added to! I stocked the oil aisle yesterday, as I used to do daily when I first started, years ago. (I was full time, and an "opener"- one who is on hand for early customers. We tend to not be so busy early, and I would stock shelves to keep myself busy.) Boss "patted my back" today... said oil aisle looks so great... he is adding it to my daily duties before I can go home. I told him "*thanks*  I will be full time before its over!"
Seriously, there is something wrong when a 53 year old woman an old lady works circles around trim and fit 20something year old males. Really? I put up three cases of oil yesterday while one of the young punks meditated/ counted/ looked confused over a six pack of oil. I made THREE TRIPS past him, stocking the aisle, while he stood looking at the contents of the SAME box.

(Mr C said he won't get fired because not only can he count the contents of the six pack... he can do it in SPANISH!) Yes, I am thrilled we finally hired someone who can speak Spanish. I just wish he worked a bit more... enthusiastically.
Thanks for reading! Now go visit Tommy's blog!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming

Or plugging along as best as you can.
That would be me.
The twins and I went to Texas over the past weekend and collected Ben's old truck- which is now Sam's new truck!
I am sorry if I missed seeing you! (Whitney, Nola, Julie, Glynna and Nickole, etc..)
Sam, Daniel, and Tommy at Mooyah!

Jean (My Aunt!)

My Granny and I, a few days past her 99th birthday

Dakota and Kimber

Benjamin and his Jasher

The Jasher

Tyrel and Kimber

Dakota Rose

Dakota and Bucky

How often do you see a guy pushing a stroller while riding a unicycle? (Sam)

Our own parade: Paula carrying Jasher, Kimber, *child P. sits*, Dan on Powerizers;
back: Becky, Sam

Ben dressed in his fire department uniform

Monday, January 6, 2014

Jan 6th...

I finished Mrs. Wanda's birthday frame. Got it to her house on her birthday. (the 4th).
Today I mod-podged  a picture to a canvas... I had intended to frame the photo, but sheesh, 16x20 frames are PRICEY! And I had a canvas on hand.
Yeah, I'm frugal.
The canvas had been given to me. I treated it in an all over light coat of acrylic paint, but then the photo took up the whole canvas anyway, so it was sort of wasted effort.
(The 16x20 was a 'freebie' from Shutterfly awhile back!... pay postage!) The photo covered the canvas completely. I thought of doing a lace edging, but that would keep the recipient from framing it, if desired.

Tomorrow... back to work. A full week. But Saturday (after work!), I head to Texas to see family. Dan and Sam are buying their brother Ben's truck. We can hopefully take care of paperwork next Monday, and head back here Tuesday.

DS Tommy got registered and moved into his dorm at Christ For The Nations International today.
He never imagined living in the city... especially not the city of Dallas!
Praying for him to find a suitable job soon, and grateful to those who helped him get to CFNI.

Guess it IS bedtime. Have a blessed night!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Arretta Beard (aka Granny)

Today my Granny is 99 years old! Happy Birthday to her.
Growing up, Granny was a huge influence on my life.
She loves Jesus, and was always singing. She wrote several songs that have been sung around the world now.
I lived with Granny a few times during my life. She was never judgmental or preachy.
She was willing to listen to me, and interested in whatever music I was playing.

I used to sit for hours and listen to her stories about growing up. She never glossed over the times she was bad, or got into trouble, or was a flat out brat! But even those times had lessons in them.

Granny collected chickens, and salt shakers when she was younger. Later on, bears, and then Taco Bell Chihuahuas.

We had a big shindig for Granny's 90th birthday. She was so happy, so radiant. Granny said it was her 'going away' party. She was ready to "go Home".

Granny is still with us, residing in a caring nursing center. I visit her every opportunity I get to go to Texas. I happened to arrive one day just as she was being got up from her nap. The caregiver,  a young man, didn't see me outside the doorway. He finished combing her hair, very gently, and told her how pretty she looked.

It is how you SHOULD treat people when no one is watching.

Granny cannot communicate as well as she used to. He songs are no longer sung by her. Her eyes are clouded, and she doesn't see well. But she still will give you a kiss, and a hug.

One of the last times I saw her, a year ago this week, I was hugging her goodbye. I asked her to please give a big hug to my son Bill and my brother Roger when she does get to go Home. Granny grabbed me, and hugged me hard.
She's still in there.

I love you, Gran. When the time came for me to think of what my grandkids would call me, there was no doubt I wanted to be "Granny".
Happy Birthday. If you decided Heaven has waited long enough, you don't have to stay to that big 100 mark, but it would be awesome if you do.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Jan. 2, 2014

It has been cold here all day- finally making it all the way up to 28*. I woke to a light snowfall, which was unexpected. So thankful to have today off.
For my 'create something' today, I went to Hobby Lobby and got items to make my friend Wanda a birthday gift. Wanda never fails to remember every possible occasion with at least a card, and frequently a gift as well.

This is a jar of candy, a bag of Gummi Bears and Hershey's Hugs. I wrote "Bear Hugs" on the top.
I am still working on an embellished photo frame. Wanda is a big OU fan. I will have it painted in OU colors (crimson and cream) and have some cutouts of her son Matthew (dressed in OU gear!) added to it. She can choose what picture she wants to display in it.
Tomorrow is my Granny's 99th birthday! I am thinking I will try to do a special tribute post to her.
Be blessed, Thank you for reading!
PS... I'm not doing so great at 'reading less'. Started a new David Baldacci last night- and I'm more than half through, even without picking it up today (yet).

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

January 1, 2014

When I had thought of resolutions, all the common ones came to mind right away: lose weight, eat healthier foods, exercise. Lacking real motivation, I figured I may as well not commit to things that I am really not greatly interested in following up on.
In lieu of resolutions, I thought I'd make myself a "Bucket List" of some ideas I'd like to accomplish this year.

Create something "every day". (Even God rested after creating for 6 days, so I'll be happy with 6:7!)
Things I could include:
Home made soap
Salves with essential oils
embellished picture frames
photo collages
letters of encouragement to friends
writing a book
put together a cookbook
'bedfast' helper (organizer to keep essential items nearby, but out of the way)
bulletin /message display board
flower garden/ cut flowers
new items in veggie garden
baby items
surprise boxes for family members (everyone loves surprise presents!)
stepping stones
'garden' path
yard sculptures
tree faces
gnome abode
drying food
wire sculptures

let go of so much "stuff" that I have treasured! (take pictures and let the objects GO!) (Some of them, anyway!)
Go through my clothes and purge. If I can't wear it, give it away.
Try to not read so much. (This will be a hard one!)
Aim for making my home a peaceful and relaxing abode
think of 30th anniversary celebration

Be blessed! and may this year be heavy on blessings and joy, light on sorrows and disappointments! Thank you for reading.