Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Almost August

Mr C and I have our 32nd anniversary coming up soon. (August 3rd) That is a week from today. In the past 32 years, we have reared 7 children to adulthood. We have gone from our instant family of 2 children, back down to 2 still at home.
    The great House Hunt has begun. We figure with hunting, closing times, etc... we ought to get going, in order to be out of here when the lease is up.
We looked at a couple of places yesterday. One was really high up the list of potentials on the market right now. We went to see it about the time a torrential rainfall hit. Pouring rain is SERIOUSLY a great time to look at houses. Because when the rainwater is running down the chimney inside of the house, to puddle on the floor, you can pretty much cross that house off your list. Unless you are willing to tackle the major repairs necessary. The house was very small, but we had hoped to convert a shop building into a small apartment. However, we wouldn't have funds to do that, if we had to repair the roof and water damages to the house itself.
   The other place we looked at was a mobile home, about as close as one can come to being in Missouri while remaining in Arkansas. It poses a longer drive for everyone getting to work- and a full hour commute for Sam on school nights. It doesn't have any outside storage. (It remains on the "potential" list.)
   The twins and I donated blood last night, at the Mennonite school blood drive. First time I have donated in years and years. I am sure there will be more times to come, as an O- , universal donor gets called to give any time supplies run short.
   I have been making some awesome meals from the garden. After returning from the blood drive, I did up a really fast meal using julienned squash, & bell pepper strips . Sauteed them together in a really hot skillet. (Later thought, I should of added mushrooms and onion!) I used the sauteed squash as a base for a shrimp alfredo. Tossed the shrimp into a very hot skillet with butter and olive oil. Drained off excess juices, added minced garlic, salt, pepper, then heavy cream and parmesan. It was fast, easy, and well received.
   Yesterday, Grandson Tyrel turned 9 years old. Time sure flies. We had a great visit with him over the last month. Yesterday would also of been Tom's Dad's birthday. He would of been 83, I think.
Tomorrow is my extra mom, Kathie's birthday. As well as my nephew Tony's. We have a LOT of double birthdays in the family. Me and Kimber, Luke Landoll and Connor, Kathie and Tony, Robbie and Gavin, My grandpa and Bill Joe. Alana and my Dad are only one day difference in birthdays. Little "Basketball" Jones has the potential to be born on Nola's birthday! Oh, guess in double birthdays, I failed to mention Dan and Sam! and Layney and Layla- who are also on mine and Tom's anniversary. That  pretty much brings this post full circle, so I am off of here to go do our Aldi run. Have a blessed day.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Ping Pong cleaning...

I might do better with some focus added.
I have wandered from task to task all morning. I need to make salsa... but first, unload/ reload the dishwasher.
I need to pick the garden before it gets hot... but first, walk the dog. Then water the plants out front. Then re-coil the hose. (Ten zillion squash bugs have suddenly found our squash plants)
I need to sweep up the grass tracked in on damp shoes. And vacuum. And mop.
And make my bed.... but first, strip the bed and wash the sheets.
I need to clean the bathroom.... but first, empty the trash bin. But first, take out the kitchen trash. But first, go get the big can from the street. The can is by the mailbox.
What is the date? OH good grief, I never did order Tyrel's birthday gift. (Hello, Amazon Prime!)
Food. I need food! But first, take my *swill* and vitamins. Oh yeah, never got the kitchen trash out.
Hey, there is my tea I made while cleaning one of the baskets (from the bathroom) in the kitchen sink.
So... where am I? Tea. I got my re-warmed tea from the microwave. The birthday gift has been dispatched.
Sheets are in the washing machine, trash is out in the bin. More grass tracked in. I still haven't swept, mopped, or vacuumed. Bathroom is neater, but by no means cleaned. The salsa has yet to be started. What brought me out of the bathroom? Oh yeah, a liner for the small can, and the basket (for my brush and such) that just got washed. Then, I saw my tea and sat down here to drink it. :)
I hope the marvels of caffeine kick in soon, or I may be found sacked out on the naked bed.... possibly with bits of dried grass clinging to my ankles.

Results from yesterday: The Honda's airbags have been 'fixed'. Supper was less than amazing. It marked one of the handful of times since Tom and I have been married, that he declared supper to 'not be his favorite' way of preparing something. (The BBQ chicken legs in the crockpot). Tonight's venture: fajitas with fresh salsa.
The tea is drank! (Hooray, I finished something!)
Back to the ping-pong method of cleaning.

*swill* = powdered gelatin, collagen, hemp protein powder, probiotic powder, and Emergen-C powder dissolved in water. I use it to was down a handful of supplements. (Blackseed oil capsules, garlic capsules, CoQ10, magnesium+potassium capsules, VitaSprout capsules)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016


This is my second day of "home alone". You would think I could accomplish more. So far, of the things I've done, nothing "shows".
I got several stacking shelves from Aldi. They are made to interlock and stack with one another. However, I have been using them as free standing shelves on my existing pantry shelves. I can see I need at least three or four more!
Beans really ARE a staple at our house. There are no fewer than ten varieties of beans in here!

I usually don't have as many chips and such on hand. Back when the kids were here, I bought up quite a few, figuring on road trip and outing snacks. I didn't realize the day glo orange coloring would affect Tyrel as bad as it did. So instead of feeding them to grands, I individually bagged them for the guys to take for lunches. Another bad move... they all went stale before they could be carried for lunch. So today, I re-crisped up the various snacks and bagged them in better quality bags. (Maybe I should of just tossed them as an expensive "lesson learned"!)
 In about an hour, I have to go trade cars with Mr C and take his car in to have its recalled airbag fixed.
Meanwhile, I have the dog's bed disassembled. Its fabric has been washed, and I need to get a replacement joint for one corner whilst I am out- then we are going to glue that sucker together.

Supper is in the slow cooker- BBQ chicken legs. A salad is made... and we have plenty of juicy, garden fresh tomatoes to go with that!
I do miss the grands. We stayed on the go, or "doing" things here at the house. I got their "Camp CowGranny" memory books designed. It has been a great summer.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Middle of July? It can't be!

And yet, here we are.
First off, Daniel and Sam had a great trip to the shore of Lake Erie, for the wedding of their friend and former co-worker, Sarah. My young clothes horses bought very nice shirts, vests, ties, slacks and shoes for the occasion. Sam felt adding a jacket would be over dressing. As it turned out, he was right. Wearing your nice duds to a beach wedding is over dressing... even if you leave off the jacket.
They had driven up, and arrived Saturday afternoon. Dan said, "If you ever want to be stared at, walk in formal clothes along a beach. With your twin." An overheard remark: "Is GQ doing a photo shoot here today?"
They arrived back in Ohio in the early morning Sunday. Tom and I had arrived Saturday evening, with the kids and dog. After a nap, and a brief visit, the boys headed back to Arkansas. Jaffa went back with them.
Sunday was the planned 4th of July bash at Tom's brother Bob's house. (He is known to all the family as "Buck") It was overcast and damp most of the day, settling in for what would be a long, soaking Ohio rain by late afternoon. It slowed to a mist for awhile, and brats, burgers, and hot dogs were cooked. Someone fixed the kids plates while I was busy... and gave Tyrel a Mountain Dew "Voltage" as his drink with dinner. It has 55mg of caffeine, as well as red and blue dyes. (and 46 gm sugar!)
The kids had been munching cookies all day, and had had an ice cream cone. The soda was like rocket fuel. Yeah, real funny Grandpa and Uncle Buck. (I was told to "lighten up, it's vacation!")
We had a nice fireworks display by the small lake on Long Run Road.
The rest of the week was filled with hiking, eating, camping, sugar and soda pop. We went to a playground in Logan. The 10 acre woods were explored, the deck climbed on and over, campfires built and poked. Marshmallows were roasted, hot dogs and s'mores eaten with abandon. Tents were erected and slept in. "Bigfoot" knocked over an arched tree not far from camp, and left his footprint in the leaf mulch. (Cousin Luke admitted to the adults  accidentally knocking down the bowed over tree, and the "bigfoot" footprint was only slightly larger than mine... so there we go. But the kids are sure Bigfoot was out there in the woods!)
As we packed to go, the swimsuits and lifejacket unused in the suitcase, Nickole remarked about "What a waste it was to pack a swimsuit!"
The idea to pay the kids for chores, and then charge a quarter every time they asked "Are we there yet?" worked VERY well. Nickole lost a total of  fifty cents... once quarter at the 48 mile of 786 miles mark, and another at the 774 mile mark.  Umpaw said it was MEAN of me to take the money. However, no one lost a single cent on the ride home! I feel justified!
I took along various magnetic toys, and got each kid a steel baking pan. They were actually grilling pans, with the round holes perforating the bottom, because they were cheaper than the steel baking sheets. The holes were great to keep the steel "marbles", as well as crayons and coloring pencils, from rolling around. The pans made excellent trays for holding snacks, a solid building surface. A clipboard held paper firm and covered the holes when the kids drew pictures. On our return trip, they played for a good eight or nine hours with the magnets. I do wish I had brought alphabet magnets, and maybe a few other items to add to the play. I had most of the loose items corralled in zipper bags (with slide zippers, because the other kind are too hard for kids!) inside of a couple of totes.
Now, we have Mt. Washmore to contend with. Groceries to be purchased. I have a few coupons for FUN to be administered in the next couple of days... and then we hit the road (kids and I) for their return to their homes by the weekend.Lightening bugs (FIREFLIES! we were often corrected) were caught and jarred. The hole in the lid of the jar was as big as my thumb, so no bugs actually died from their capture, save those inadvertently squashed with enthusiasm of the capture. Kids were released into "nature" with a camera and got interesting shots from their own perspectives.
Tyre, Nickole, Great Granny Arlene, and Leigha Mae

Why yes, it does have an extra letter. "O-H-I-I-O" (or OHIHO)
But you don't tell a pretty little three year old she doesn't NEED to be in a picture!

Early Camp, before Uncle Buck arrived with his tent and tiki torches

A hat full of waterfall!


Go Fish!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Best laid plans!

The Gravette Library Summer Reading program has had all sorts of fun kid activities. The kids have participated in quite a number of them. Today 9:00 am... a much looked forward to Tae Kwon Do class.
Yet, here we are. At home.
Last night, the kitchen faucet broke. The plumber was called by the landlord... and supposed to be here between 8:00 and 8:30.
 Finally showed at 9:00.
If he makes quick work, we may be able to show up *late*.
But, it IS July 4th weekend. We have plans, I work tonight. There isn't a *better* time this could be done for more than two weeks.
So... here we are.
I have most of the *do ahead* things done, and just a few last minute things to accomplish before heading off to work.
Dan and Sam are on their way to Pennsylvania for the wedding of a friend. They drove up, and stayed last night with family in Ohio.
My *babies* are off adventuring.