Birthday cake


B day-5  

Cool huh?  I used yellow frosting to stick a pound cake and a bunch of junk food together.  (Not an original idea)  Leo was very excited to eat the loader attachment.

Snips and Snails


I didn’t realize I was going to enjoy having boys so much. Of course I am a girl, and I am familiar with the equipment and have personal insight to the peccadilloes of the feminine mind. I had prejudices.

  • Little girl clothes were cute with flowers
  • Little girls pee sitting down
  • Little boy clothes had men wearing tight costumes and capes
  • Little boys pee outside whenever possible

I wanted my first to be a girl and she was, then I thought my second was a boy but we got Jane instead. A treasure, but a girl. By this time I was pretty good at diapering a girl, and we already had the wardrobe. I was good with the girl thing.

Two and a half years later along came Leo, and he will be two tomorrow. Leo has taught me much about boys. Not all boy clothes have men in tight costumes on them, and lots of them are really cute too but in a manly way, you know dinosaurs and construction equipment, Lightning McQueen. While the ladies are interested in typical boy toys, they always end up playing dress up and dolls. Leo will play house (he likes to push his tractor around in the stroller) with the ladies, but he prefers his tractors and trucks and trains. His new word this week is Farmer, as in “bye bye farmer.” Since it is cultivating and fertilizing season, we hear that a lot these days. When he sees construction equipment he gets so excited he cannot contain himself. He literally jumps up and down in his carseat when we go past a loader or a scraper. We stopped to watch some workers pour concrete on the highway through town, and he was literally hopping with glee. Then one of the guys came over and it was Daddy’s friend! Oh joy!  See Larry standing by the cement truck?


He makes these cute little “ppppbbbbb” noises with most anything that has wheels and lots of things that he pretends have wheels, like blocks or fish sticks. According to my grandma my Dad’s vehicles went “plow, plow, plow” My Stepdad remembers his going “book’em book’em.” (That is what those old tractors sounded like.) I am loving this ride, the Legos all over the place, having a kid who sleeps with a tractor. It will be fun to do it all over again with Paul.

Happy birthday little guy. You came out sunny side up, and you still spread cheer everywhere you go.

In other news:

Our neighbor Clair was drinking coffee at a convenience store last winter when a woman drove her car through the window and on into the building. Had he been sitting at the other side of the table he would have died. As is was he was injured and spent a couple weeks recovering. Now my neighbor’s wife says the woman’s insurance refuses to pay Clair’s medical bills. The neighbors asked for the cost of treatment and a couple thousand extra for medicine and the inconvenience of being driven over, and it was inconvenient because he was in the middle of building a shed and his injuries slowed him down.

The driver is upset that her insurance won’t step up and pay. I can’t see how they could justify not paying, I mean seriously she drove her car over the table where he was sitting. My neighbors are disgusted at having to sue the insurance company because they don’t really want to spend the time to go to court and get a lawyer but they have to, or eat the medical bills. She said they took pictures of Clair’s injuries so they have some evidence. I suppose the insurance company is hoping that they will not follow through with a lawsuit. Do you think the insurance company has any grounds here?


This is in response to  Punk_Rock_Mommy/need-a-laugh. She posted a photo blast from the past.  I was shocked to see how much alike we looked.  Maybe everyone looked alike back then.  This is my brother, my cousin and me on one of my most remembered vacations of my childhood.  I bet it ranks up there for my grandparents too!  They took the three of us to the Black Hills in 1984.


I found this book in the library.  We are systematically going through the non-fiction section, concentrating on various things. This week it is cattle.  (I am excited to read the book called Stockyards next.)  Cow is written quite well, it reads like a fun speaker giving a talk to a group of children.  As most cow books do, it leans towards the dairy side of cattle, otherwise the only thing that is missing is explaining to the reader which end of the cow gets up first. 

Sunday afternoon with the Wildflowers


I am sitting here wondering what normal families do on Sunday afternoon. I am parked under a mulberry tree in a pickup with three of my children. The AC is on because the feedlot across the road is teeming with flies. Leo has turned on the wipers and the left turn signal, and has adjusted the rear view mirror so I can use it to see out the passenger side window. This is exciting for him because while he likes to adjust knobs and levers, usually the vehicle is not running and nothing happens. I kind of wish he would wash the windshield.

Grandpa Daddy is off on the four wheeler with one of the ladies trying to find a sick calf. We have five sick calves in this pasture, and we have been doctoring them today. Some of them have pneumonia, and the others have what my BIL calls a navel infection, which has something to do with their leg joints. He said the prognosis is not good. I will call the vet tomorrow for a second opinion.  Cow pills are big, really big. Put your first two fingers together, and you have the size and shape of a cow pill pretty well, except the pill is probably bigger. These little guys are getting a broken up sulfa pill and two shots of penicillin.  We have had lousy luck this year with the cattle.

I grew up with working horses, GD grew up with pet horses and working four-wheelers. Every time he needs to catch a critter out in the pasture he cusses the folks that put the throttle of a four-wheeler on the right hand, or roping, side of the rig. Obviously 4X4s weren’t built with roping in mind, else they would have something better than the gas cap to dally, or wrap the rope around, when you catch your critter. Since he doesn’t rope anything big he doesn’t dally, he just climbs off the 4X4 and gets drug around until the calf stops. Where I come from they would derisively call that “farmer style.” He rides around fishing for the calves with the rope in his left hand. This works best when they are asleep. His signature move involves kind of a steer wrestling tackle from the moving 4X4. Too bad I forgot the camera. GD claims his 4X4 is superior to working cattle horseback. I think he must have had some lousy horses over the years, because what he does looks like a lot more work than what I grew up doing. I can’t rope at all, so I don’t say much.

I am disgusted with myself for forgetting the camera, The flowers are out, I have seen upright prairieconeflower and some slimflower scurf peas I could have snapped photos of. Tomorrow I need to go to the local prairie and see what is blooming. I could surely find a better time of day for taking photos than 2:00 pm. I am also a little disgusted for not thinking about what I was wearing when I agreed to do this. Shorts and sandals are not appropriate attire for hiking in the pasture.

The excursion took about five hours starting with a trip to the shop to fix a tractor tire, then purchasing penicillin and gummy worms (at the same store no less). All in all, three kids got naps and GD found all the sick babies and doctored them.

What do normal families do on Sunday afternoons?

My Xangaversary


Time for reflection. I happened upon Xanga, through the suggestion of a friend, June 21 last year. It is exactly what I needed. I can write, read, and make friends without all the silliness. Not that silly is bad, but Xanga is a little more mature than say, Facebook, where in my very limited experience you can get virtual treats to feed someone’s virtual dog. Since I am running on circa 1995 technology, fewer graphics and moving ads are a huge bonus.

I am kind of isolated, and so I find myself relying more and more on my Xangamates, as I mentally call y’all. I tell my real life friends things that I have heard from you, and then I wonder if I should get a real life myself! I would probably feel less weird to just refer to you as friends and not feel I have to explain myself, but then to do so by the name I know you by would be a little weird too.

I have been thinking about what I know of my Xangamates, and you are an interesting mix. I would like to throw a party and invite you, we could sit shivering in the dark watching fireflies, drinking wine and eating cheese. I did just that tonight, and it was really nice.

I have 20 subscribers and 16 subscriptions, a small but distinguished group. Several of my subscribers aren’t active Xanga users. Of my 16 subscriptions, 13 subscribe to me as well. Of the other thee, one is a very philosophical blog, from a woman who has interests far different from mine, but she writes about them in a charming manner. Another is a woman who is very different from me in some ways, but with whom I have a lot in common in other ways. The third one is brand new, but I know I like her already, she posted wildflower pictures on her blog, and she knew what they were!

I don’t want to get so many Xangamates that I can’t keep them straight. That would go against my reason for liking Xanga in the first place. I am not in the running for highest number of friends.

This information is from my memory, it may not be right, but I like to do things the hard way, and besides who has cheat sheets on their friends?


  • Texas = 1
  • Northwest or west coast = 5
  • Between Rockies and Mississippi River (I hate the word ‘Midwest’) 8 This includes my cousin who lives on the western slope in CO.
  • South East = 2

Religion: – seems to be a big thing on Xanga, most everyone has spoken of it from time to time, so I will include it.

  • Probably Baptist = 1 (as opposed to say, Southern Baptist)
  • Mormon = 2
  • Lutheran = 1
  • Mennonite = 1 I think
  • Mentioned God = 5

Know personally:

  • 3 (including my mother)


  • Male = 2
  • Female = 14


  • All of you (except newest one)
  • Two grandparents

Number of kids:

  • Four = 4
  • Three = 1
  • Two = 5
  • One = 1
  • Not sure = 4

Have been pregnant since I met you: 4


  • stay at home
  • work part time
  • lawyer
  • teacher
  • USDA or USDI
  • retired
  • three appear to be gainfully employed, but at what I know not


  • Two, maybe three

Overtly political:

  • One, and not even my politics

Blog style:

  • Philosophy = 4
  • Daily life = 10
  • Mixture = 2

Rant occasionally: 8

Additional thoughts:

  • I enjoy knowing you.
  • If you have asked for prayers, you can bet you have gotten them, maybe even when you haven’t asked.
  • I like to read you blowing off steam. Everyone needs to do that from time to time.  S’okay.
  • I have two tubs full of beer and pop and wine iced down right now sitting on the deck. I have some homemade ice cream in the freezer next to some awesome brisket. Stop by sometime and I will break it all out for you! Just don’t comment on the state of my kitchen floor. (but a friend wouldn’t)

Father’s Day


DSC00523 DSC00518

We feasted on mulberries and walked by the crick (which covered the entire pasture two weeks ago).  Did you know it is much easier to get a natural shot of the ladies when you tell them to turn their back to you?  Look for more of those in the future, and don’t tell anyone I let Leo out in just his diaper and his Tony Lamas!  He has “Off” on too, you just can’t see it.

I wanted to return some of the hospitality we have been offered over the past few years, so I planned a party for June 28.  I invited a couple of friends and they couldn’t come, but they had a suggestion, have it Friday, as in this Friday.  So I am having a party to celebrate the fact that I sprayed our lawn for mosquitoes.  I hated to do it because I will kill all the lightning bugs too, the spraying will kill them not the party.  I have invited a boatload of people, we’ll saddle Prairie horse and give rides, we’ll clean the playhouse (again), we’ll play horseshoes, croquet and that new game which involves PVC pipe and two balls with a string.  I will make a beef brisket, iced tea and maybe ice cream.  Everyone else can bring something and it will be fun.  Feel free to come if you are in the neighborhood, but don’t expect to hear from me in the next few days.

Wildflower at a bar?


This weekend, two of my nieces, Ann and Lynn, and my SIL Annette invited me out on the town. I jumped at the chance, since our fair city has recently gone smoke free. Annette smokes, and I love her dearly, but it was a wonderful bar experience for me. Back in the day I was a fairly common sight at the bar, but those days are long past. I suspect that the last time I was in two bars in the same night was circa 1995. I remember wanting to wear my yuckiest clothing so I could just toss it after I got home. For some reason, bars accumulate extra smoke, it compounds exponentially, and is eerily attracted to non smoker‘s clothing. This time I didn’t feel like I had to strip down in the garage before entering the house then wash my hair four times in the shower before going to bed. Sorry folks, I am liking non smoking bars. But I digress.

The stated premise for the excursion was pool, not boys, although nobody told that to the boys who were hanging around Lynn. We started at a place that offered really lousy karaoke and three pool tables. It was not a happening place, inhabited mostly by old men who were leering at us. I played maybe the single worst game of pool in my life. It was so bad, after 6 shots (pool shots not alcohol!) I casually rolled the 14 in by hand as I sauntered back to my beverage so I would have one ball down. Niece Lynn wanted to sing karaoke and when she heard the announcer say that she was on deck I saw something I had never seen in all my days. She whipped out a stick of Suave powder scent deodorant and then applied it. Right there by the pool tables. In front of leering old men.

We then traveled across town to the bar we should have been in to start with. It had really good karaoke, two pool tables and the clientele was closer to our own demographic. For some crazy reason, there was even a woman in a wedding dress. You spend all this money on a dress, then only wear it once. Ann and I sat at the bar watching Lynn play pool and the karaoke singers doing their thing. Then this guy came up and sang a song that made me laugh so hard I cried. I found the lyrics on the internet, but you have to hear it to appreciate it. Having said that, it was absolutely the raunchiest song I have ever heard. The first line about Kunta Kinte and Merle Haggard caught my attention. Then with disbelief I couldn’t stop listening, it was like listening to a car wreck, and I couldn’t take my ears off of it however bad I wanted to. It wasn’t the singing, it was the lyrics. I won’t go into any further detail, this is a PG blog you know. The song was about a lap dance and a stripper crying. If you want to check it out, I am sure you could google it, but don’t blame me if your sensibilities are offended.   I won’t be putting it on my currently.  If you wanna hear it, you have to work for it.

I got home about 2:00. It was lots of fun. I can’t wait to do it again. Mebe I’ll take Grandpa Daddy next time.

Time for a reality check


Every once in a while my kids give me a reality check. I stay at home with my them and since my husband is gone often in the evenings as well as all day, I have a huge influence on how my kids will turn out. That is a lot of responsibility for little old me. We don’t watch TV much, so they have unstructured play most of the day. Actually, Mae structures the play, but that is another blog.

Lately the ladies have been playing a dress-up game that involves taking every blanket, towel and pillow they can find to the living room, then laying waste to the rest of the house behind them. I will be off in another part of the house sorting laundry (I wash about nine loads a week, and fold about six… make that four). I will go check on them, to find they are trying on their Sunday dresses (yet another thing to pick up) and I will tell them they need to start putting things away before lunch. After several checks, and some supervision I will find myself yelling at them quit playing and to pick things up. That is where Leo comes in with the reality check. He can’t talk much yet, but he has mastered my tone and volume. He’ll come in their room, flapping his arms and making screechy “Yah yah yah” noises, then he will look at me with a smile waiting for approval. This is not something I am proud to have taught my son. Why couldn’t I have taught him ‘high five’?

I admit, I don’t do a good job having them pick up every day, although these last few weeks have been better, up until a couple of days ago. I don’t have strict standards, but it is dismaying to watch a manageable mess become insurmountable in a small amount of time. I absolutely refuse to pick it all up myself, they are old enough to clean up their messes, although I do help some. I use the Love and Logic choice thing and I hear “none” from Jane. I instigate races, I tell them to work on colors, I make up songs, I tell them we will do something fun when they are done cleaning, I make a pile of the stuff in the middle of a room, I send different kids to different rooms. Nothing works very well, and all of it is exhausting. If I have them do it themselves, they will start, then will not know what to pick up next, or they will flat out get sidetracked as Mae makes some sort of game for Jane to follow and off they go. If I take things away, we are talking blankets and pillows here. If I take away Jane’s pillow she will scream for two hours, and I can’t take that. Mom was not good at creative manipulation (don’t take it personally Mom), and neither am I. Maybe this is something you have to learn a the knee of a master. Is there something I am missing? How do you get your kids to pick up after themselves?

Factoid about me. I have actually gone into the living room, lost it on the kids about the state of the room then turned around, marched into the kitchen and popped my Wellbutrin. Not an extra one mind you, but I have realized mid-tirade that I forgot my happy chemicals for the day. In other news, I wonder if I need to adjust things. I cried at Clifford’s Puppy Days today, it was the one about the latkes, and it wasn’t the first time I had seen it.

More flood photos


 Okay, I know lots of people have worse problems with water than we do right now, nobody’s house is washing away, people aren’t drowning.  However, the infrastructure of a town, population 40, near our church, is completely shot, the streets and sewers are gone.  The Red Cross came with porta potties for residents to use.  The people who had their corral so full of water the cattle were belly deep have actually moved.  They don’t plan to return.  Some friends’ house is high and dry, but the roads are flooded out in all directions, so they are staying with neighbobrs.  The flooding is occurring maybe10 miles from the nearest river with year round water.  This is not a river flooding, it is actually rain water draining from a big town 30 miles away.  The town has installed flood projects to keep their tax payers dry by shunting their water out of town.  (This is a little tongue in cheek, as residents are also having problems, but not on this scale.) I hope our downstream county plans to charge them for bridge repair.  As a matter of fact, every time I cross a bridge, I say a prayer “Please, God let this one be safe”.    Mom asked me if our place was still flooded, and the answer is no.  Water floods our yard, then drains off within a few hours into a slough.  Then the slough floods other people’s yards.  Sorry folks.  I decided we did choose the lowest place in the lawn to install the swingset, and it has been muddy for three weeks now.

June 5-24I think if this farmer had the time, he could teach surfing to rats.

June 5-25  They sand bagged our church Saturday, and a good thing too.  This is not really what one would call running water, it is mostly just a lake, the water has nowhere to go.  They did cut out the road to the north so water would drain a little.  The water was supposed to crest about the time the photo was taken, but severe storms are predicted for tonight.  My only hope is that the carpet is ruined, so we can replace it with something that is not solid Navy blue and shows every sneeze.  Elegant but not practical for a public building.

How would you confront a friend with an eating disorder?

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My cleaning lady has a Master’s and also councils kids.  She suggested that one of her young clients would be a great nanny for my children. Marcie has all kinds of stuff going on in her family, so I don’t have any idea why she is seeing a counselor, but she is great with my kids.  Marcie works Tuesday evenings, and I feed her supper.  I had managed to serve a string of lousy meals on Tuesdays and I noticed she wasn’t an enthusiastic eater, but I couldn’t fault her.  One week I made an excellent barbecue beef sandwich and I was dismayed to see that she had taken a nibble and then pushed her beans around on her plate.  I thought about it for a few days, then called her counselor and my cleaning lady.  The counselor said she had had some concerns about Marcie and was glad to have another opinion on the matter.  We left it at that, but I have noticed she eats more when she is here.  Having a healthy body image and a healthy relationship with food is very important.


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