Mini Vacation


I am taking a little vacation out to where I grew up. We left on Friday and I think we’ll go home on Weds. I stopped at the library to get a book on CD. I have five hours with four kids, a CD book is necessary. I have a hard time picking one out, because what I feel okay reading may not be appropriate for my kids to listen to. I finally chose a Picoult. Of course it ended up being about infanticide. They get to watch a movie, so hopefully they won’t be too scarred. I also made sure to check out a couple of books, including a Gabaldon, one of her shorter books from her Lord John series. About 900 pages. I am not sure why I always bring a book home, Mom was a librarian, she always has something interesting lying around. This time it was a book called Couldn’t Keep it to Myself. It was written by women prisoners, and it was quite an eye-opener. Prior to committing their crimes, these eleven women were nearly all sexually abused, and many were physically abused as well. They didn’t do a good job overcoming what happened in their youth. They were quite open and frank, they didn’t have any poor me poor me, they had accepted their circumstances and were trying to heal.

My grandma is turning 90 on Weds. By the middle of August, all of my grandparents will be 90 on up. Grandma used to do word searches, so I googled and found a site where you could make your own. armoredpenguin I typed in all kinds of family names and things she liked to do, her pets, and places they liked to vacation. It was pretty cool. A good gift for someone who needs nothing, and really doesn’t want anything either. She kind of has a shuffle thing she does when she walks. She doesn’t lift her right leg anymore. It is kind of hard to watch, she gets around fine, just really slowly. Grandpa vacuums for her.

The site I found also makes crossword puzzles. I plan to make one for my step dad, he is a crossword bum. I plan to use his definitions of squallop and snurp as clues. I have mom in on this too, so it should be fun. They want you to give them a whole bunch of clues so they can use as many as possible. I will need help.

We went to Dad’s today. He didn’t tell us he was branding this weekend until we got here, so I didn’t pack any of my icky jeans, so I didn’t help wrestle calves. The kids enjoyed themselves. Leo especially. It was kind of weird, I only recognized three people there. This is the community I grew up in, but most everyone has moved away and sold to someone else. John, Bill, Randy, Art, Kent, Bill and the list goes on, I guess some of them died too. The new neighbors don’t neighbor I guess. One of the new neighbors is the Nature Conservancy. I have only seen Dad’s hired man a handful of times, but he had quite a crew of relatives and friends to help out. Here we do it the old fashioned way with a rope and a horse and wrestlers. I took a couple of shots. Those of you who looked at the Weekendamerica site will recognize my wrestling partner of 1994. This is the front of his head. He has moved on to younger wrestling partners I guess!

I guess I am the last one who needs to shower off the dirt, so I better hit the hay. The kids didn’t get much of a nap, so they should sleep well. I sure hope Paul sleeps too, he has been better, but last night he wanted company.

Ah, I didn’t bring my cables to connect the camera to the computer, I will ammend this later, and add photos.


Who was the teacher who made the most positive impact on you?

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Obviously it was my kindergarten/first grade teacher, Mrs. Barbara Jenny.  She taught me how to read.  I loved her dearly, and I still have both Christmas gifts she gave me, a Barbie dress and a pair of mittens, which she had knitted.  She taught in Nebraska and had a couple of kids, they would be in their fourties now.  If you know her, please point her my way.  I have had no luck trying to find her.

I just answered this Featured Question, you can answer it too!

Paper or plastic?


For Earth Day this week I bought, via internet, some string bags for my groceries. I have two canvas ones that I like quite well, but they are usually in the car when the time comes to answer that big question, “Paper or plastic?” I have actually left my kids with a bored looking clerk to go get the bags from the car. I am hoping my string bags will fit in my purse. Don’t laugh Mom, they are supposed to be pretty small. I hope so, my purse is pretty small.

Showing up with my canvas bags confuses the carryouts, so I usually just tell them what to put in them. I told one to use them for the cold stuff and the produce. Well, I only had enough to fill one bag, so that is all he did. He put the rest in paper, including an empty canvas bag.

I am a paper kind of girl, and we have been getting low on paper bags around here. They are quite useful, so I don’t plan to give them up entirely. I don’t often re-use plastic bags, but they do make good insulation for packages. I have huge masses of them. One would think that I could use them for garbage, but we have four kids here, and the amount of garbage we produce multiplied by the frequency I empty the garbage containers equals an ugly number. They are just too small.

Have you noticed that Walmart no longer uses the distinctive blue bag? My theory involves someone in management noticing how easy it is to spot what exactly is blowing around in a field if it is a distinctive color. I don’t have any blue Walmart bags, or of any other color for that matter. I have not spent money in Walmart since before 2004. I am not sure when exactly I quit, but I never shopped there much. I recall trying to find baby stuff to buy with gift cards from our first child in the filthy disarray they called the baby aisle. I guess when everyone thinks they are getting a bargain, they don’t mind the merchandise being on the floor rather than on the shelf.

I will be watching the mail this week, looking for my pretty string bags.

This weekend was beautiful. We bought some flowers, and set them out. Just need to keep the cats out of them now. I accidentally noticed that my Lantana survived a winter in the garage with no water, well three of them did. My sister-in-law turned me on to Lantana when she lived in Vicksburg, MS. They are outdoor perennials down there. I put mine in a pot so I could keep them inside over the winter. I want to get some heliotrope and some herbs and some other odds and ends for my whiskey barrels. I found a beautiful butterfly plant of some kind last year for my perennial garden, but I don’t think it lived. I have better luck with the low maintenance kind of plants. I keep trying to build my perennial garden so I don’t have to continue buying stuff. All three roses are still alive, and of course the pervasive mint is too.

I have a spot in front of my house that I don’t like to deal with. It has some shrubs and usually fills in with wild violets. That sounds pretty, but it really isn’t. I moved a bunch of volunteer daisies out there today. I figure they can duke it out with the violets instead of me wasting my time. I call that my biological solution.

I am anxious to garden, but Leo is much too interested in things that involve getting dirty. I am going to try to give him part of the garden for his own farming purposes. He has been carrying around a three-wheeled tractor (*gasp* it’s red) my brother gave us several years ago, for the ladies. He had obviously used it, and now Leo sleeps with it if he remembers.

A friend stopped by with a TV he had found in a ditch, (we have that kind of friends). He said that it must have fallen from someone’s vehicle when they were moving. He claims they have been using it for a while, and were moving things around, and no longer have room for it. He left a remote as well. I can’t believe that fell off too… We have three TVs at our house, the big on in the living room (because we don’t a family room) the smaller one in the kitchen with the broken VCR thing and then the 20 year-old TV in the office. That one is actually more of a piece of furniture at this point. I am thinking we will be able to part with it when things go digital. So, do I replace the kitchen TV or the office antique? We don’t have on in the bedroom, but I don’t think we need one there either. Mae has mentioned that some of her friends have sets in their rooms… and we can still point out that we don’t, so they surely don’t need one.

Starbucks makes tea!


If you are one of the three other people who go to Starbuck’s for their iced tea, you will know that they make the best tea on the planet. I am a tea drinker. I grew up on instant, but have since refined my palate, and prefer brewed or sun tea. I accidentally found out that Starbuck’s uses Earl Grey. It has a spicy peppery zing to it, so now I buy Earl Grey to drink at home. I usually mix it with some Lipton to stretch things out a little, because I could go broke drinking iced tea. I can drink around a gallon a day. I pour myself a glass in the morning over ice and it gets progressively weaker as the day goes on. I just keep adding ice, water and some tea from time to time.

I don’t usually drink coffee on purpose. I can count on one hand the cups of coffee I had on the job, as a federal employee. If a person asked I would decline, but not everyone would ask. I worked with the nicest couple for several years. After we got done with business, Helen would plop down a cup in front of me. I had to choke it down because I didn’t want to be impolite. They never even had sugar or that bentonite stuff they pass off as creamer on the table. It would take me forever because it was too hot to drink, and so bitter. I would spend the rest of the day not blinking and trying to catch my breath because my heart was racing.

My morning starts off with a jolt of Coke classic, iced or just luke warm from the garage. I am having a hard time explaining to the kids why they can’t have Coke for breakfast as well. I prefer not to be a hypocrite, and I am tired of trying to keep Leo out of my pop each morning, so I am thinking of switching to coffee, laced liberally with sugar and cream. I bought some half and half. It is in the fridge challenging me to grow up and drink coffee like the rest of the planet. Oh, I can drink some of the foo foo stuff, latte, mocha and so on, but you can’t go around making that at home. Well you probably could, but I am not likely to. It isn’t grownup coffee.

Of course the simple solution would be to drink tea, but it just doesn’t pack the punch I need. I will save tea for the rest of the day.

Pros of drinking coffee.

People don’t look at my breakfast beverage in horror

Better for my bones, especially with all the cream in it

Don’t have to go out to the garage in my socks first thing in the morning

Grandpa Daddy will make extra for me

According to propaganda forwarded by Grandpa Daddy, Coke will eat a nail up in a week and you can use it to clean your car’s battery terminals (he is really thoughtful, has my best interests at heart)

Cons of drinking coffee.

Nothing will wake you like an ice cold slug of carbonated sugary caffeine hitting your tonsils right after tooth brushing. I can actually feel it pumping through my arteries

Coffee breath stinks, sorry, but it does

Probably won’t save me any calories because of the way I drink coffee

I won’t be able to clean my car’s battery terminals


Two days now, and not a single Coke!

Xanga mini challenge


I cheated, but I thought most of them fit pretty well.  All of the answers are minis.

saintvi writing-challenge

1.Where is your cell phone? Huh??
2.Where is your significant other? Vacation
3.Your hair? I have many layers
4.Your mother? Best friends forever

5. Your father? Cool dude

6.Your favorite things? Sing a long
7.Your dream last night? Awesome!
8.Your favorite drink? Cheers!
9.Your dream/goal? When I dream…
10.The room you’re in? In a pickle
11.Your hobby? Bulls eye (archery)
12.You fear spiders? Thumbs down
13.Where do you want to be in 6 years? And they lived happily ever after
14.Where were you last night? Party time
15.What you’re not? Feeling half empty
16.Muffins? Mmmmmmm Cupcakes
18.Where you grew up? Hop on over
19. The last thing you did? Something sweet
20.What are you wearing? I’m Pirate-y today

21. Your TV? Ninja attack
22. Your pets? I’m a lone wolf
23.Your computer? Like a moth to a flame
24. Your life? Thumbs up
25.Your mood? Gloomy
26.Missing someone? Where’ve you been?

27.Your car? What you ridin?
28.Something you’re not wearing? The key to my heart

29. Favorite store? Hood footwear
30.Your summer? I hate camping
31. Like someone? We go together like…

32. Your favorite color? Scribble outside the lines
33. When is the last time you laughed? You’re funny
34.Last time you cried? Super sad =(
35.Who will resend this? Your turn!

My spring story


They have it up.  weekendamerica

Have you ever been the victim of a bad haircut? Are you willing to share a photo?


I don’t have pictures, but the first one was crooked.  I went back the next day to have it fixed, and they said they were too busy.  I told them I would have my husband fix it, so they found a person who was not busy (because she was also lousy).  She was a retired truck driver, and she cut my hair so I looked like one too!  I now am very picky about my hairdresser, but they gave me two free cuts.

Once my husband made me cut his hair against my better judgement, and the next day someone said, “I hope you didn’t pay for that haircut!”  He hasn’t asked since. 


My story will air tomorrow


TOMORROW!!  If you can’t get it, check out       I sent her some photos to use on the website too.

How to get the best fuel economy you can!


My husband just learned how to forward me email. Now I have the latest on fuel economy, and how I can lower fuel prices by not buying fuel on Friday. Let me know if you need any of this information, or if you need Conservative or male chauvinist propaganda. I had trained my friends not to forward these things, and now they are coming from my husband. AAARRRRGGGH!

I guess the good part of this is I have a great way to communicate with him. I replied to the analogy of the husband taking the wife shopping then not letting her buy anything (so he could make a point about their love life) to tell him about a pair of shoes I found this weekend. They were not on sale. My feet grew after kid number two, and almost none of my church shoes fit. These were awesome shoes, black pumps, with a classic toe and two inch heel. I am tall enough without buying shoes that make me four inches taller and wobble when I walk. I need these shoes. Seriously, I have no other black pumps, it is not like I want a pair of red and white polka dot pumps I will wear only with one outfit.



My mother was raised in Texas, where they have better manners than in Nebraska, at least they did before 1970. Mom was a teacher before I came along, and she was used to the respect of those younger than her. She always cringed when my friends called her “Carol.” She would have greatly preferred “Mrs. P***,” but none of my grade school friends called her by that name. We all called each other’s mothers by their given names, even Jennifer’s mom, the school bus driver was Kay. I remember addressing the school cooks by Mrs. … except for one, and I knew her outside of school.

When my first baby came along, I made a decision that we would address adults with respect, by adding a title to their names. We call our main babysitter Miss Cindy. It was a good compromise between the official Mrs. M*** name that nobody else’s kids would call her, and yet it set her above all the other Cindys. One of Mae’s early words was “Mih’ Ninny.” Another regular babysitter answers to Miss Kris, and the dance instructor asks to be called Miss Audra. Unfortunately we have let this practice go by the wayside, for those who are not in authority. I am not even sure we could resurrect it.

I don’t suppose my children will refer to my friends as Miss Lois or Miss Coryn, I am not sure my friends would like that. But for myself, it sure makes addressing an older person easier; I would feel more comfortable calling someone Miss Lillian than just plain old Lillian. I guess I don’t often come upon an occasion to call an older man by his first name, but Mister Larry sounds ok. Thinking back on it, we had a minister from the south for a while, and she also called her older parishioners by Miss and Mister. You know it just sounds nice.

As I got older my mother began teaching again in the same high school that I ultimately attended, and all my new friends called her Mrs. P***, making her happy.

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