Our bookstore is going out of business


I never buy books there, they are too expensive when I can buy them used and my gift recipients don’t much care if they are reading a pre-enjoyed book, but I still like the thought of a bookstore in the mall.  We do have another bookstore in town, but I don’t go there either, I go to the library.  Okay, I read 80 or more books a year and I buy maybe two or three new books each year (and this year they came from out of town).  I take the blame.  If I actually bought books they would still be open.

So I went to the sale today and bought $60 of books, don’t tell my husband.  I got Hard 8 because I think that is the one where Ranger gets together with Stephanie.  I hope it is.  I got a Hiaassen book for my mother which she will find ironic (I hope).  I haven’t been back home for Christmas yet, so I got her a bargain gift, and a new one at that.  I got myself a page-a-day calendar. I always want a Baby Blues calendar, but they are always sold out by the time I get myself one each year after Christmas because Santa forgot.  I settled for Rubes.  I also got Widow of the South because a friend recommended it and the Time Traveler’s Wife so the book trivia thing quits kicking my butt on that.  I have no plans to read Shakespeare or the Hobbit which would really help in the points area. I purposefully chose books I thought would recycle well on paperbackswap.com.

I took a deep breath and went over to the Romance Section to see if Sherry James’ book was there.  I last bought a romance book about four years ago, I had just read Evanovich’s Plum books, and thought maybe I should give her a try, since she was so funny. I never even made it to the good parts, it was just so suggestive in a gratuitous way I couldn’t read past the first chapter.  One of the few books I never finished.  Previous to that I think I had read one other romance book, many, many years ago.  Just not my style.  But I know this author personally, and I hate not being able to say, “Oh, I just read your new book.”  Especially since I read so much. 

As I browsed the Romance Section a shelf of huge books caught my eye. They were Gabaldon’s books.  In the Romance dept?  Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, General Fiction but Romance?  If you are picking up one of her 800 page books expecting it to be a romance novel you will be sorely disappointed.  Yeah, there is sex, some, but not enough to make me uncomfortable, so not much at all.  I went ahead and bought her latest as well.  Then I found Studs for Hire, Woman in Charge.  I peeked and it appears that these women have some sort of construction business aimed at women clients.  They specialize in handsome employees maybe.  I don’t know.  I am planning to finish 8 and A Year in Provence  and maybe even more before I tackle that.  I found a Sandra Dallas book on the library’s ipod download site and a Baldacci so I should be in good shape for the 5 hour drive tomorrow.  I read Harry Potter #1 to the ladies last month, so I got them the audio cds of #2 (from the library) to listen to on the way.  They won’t finish them, but then I won’t have to read the whole book aloud either.  I listened to about half of Dallas’ book today while I was running errands.  It was great, being able to “read” and run errands at the same time!



AMEN and again I say AMEN!  Three days early!

Wildflower’s take on controversy and the general state of Xanga.


I guess I will weigh in on the controversy surrounding mancouch and the impending demise of Xanga.


My Xanga experience is fairly insular.  I subscribe to people I like.  I rarely read blogs I don’t already subscribe to.  I don’t discuss religion with people I don’t know really well because my beliefs are mine and I am not worried about what your beliefs are, they aren’t likely to influence me.  If I have concerns about your faith, I will handle them by prayer, which I find to be much more effective than lambasting you.  Politics aren’t much different. 


Regardless of my feelings on the current Pope, tackling old men is not sporting.  Only someone with mental health issues would do that, and making fun of mentally ill people isn’t my style.  I don’t have a problem with the odd tongue-in-cheek joke, but a lot of that was just mean.


Most of Xanga’s front page is controversial because controversy and hot button issues attract attention.  These are the same reasons people watch Inside Edition and 20/20 and 60 Minutes, pure sensationalism or gossip.  These people are happy to let everyone know what they feel on a given topic, they are looking for an audience, no matter how inane their comments may be.  I found two great people on the front page, Old Hat and Magistra Mater.  I don’t expect to find any more.


Early on I subscribed to a popular “controversial/conversational” blog.  There was just too much arguing on it so I un-subbed.  About a year and a half later this individual friended me.  He had left footprints all over my site, so I sent him a message asking him what attracted him to my site.  He never answered so I didn’t return his friendship.  I guess he was just building numbers.  Probably I take this too seriously, but I keep track of who I am subbed to, I care about you, otherwise I wouldn’t waste my time. 


My Xanga experience does not include doom and gloom.  I sincerely hope Xanga is not going to go the way of the Polaroid camera.  If doom and gloom is on the horizon I am very concerned.  Xanga is important to me.  I need to be in contact with adult people throughout the day, and this site has allowed me to find people who think like me, or at least in ways I can relate to.  I can’t imagine having to pick up and move to a different site.


It would be nice if the front page blogs were thoughtful and well written, rather than chosen for their shock factor.  Mostly I ignore them, I can only blame myself for choosing to read something that I know ahead of time will be junk.

Snow Pictures


It is a good thing Santa flies because he couldn’t have driven here.


The duchess baked a cake (and the duke apparently visited B#tch*ng Bob’s Tatoo Parlor).  Actually those turned into cinnamon rolls, a pan of which is in the fridge waiting to be baked today.  



This is what the water tank looked like two weeks ago.


But at least I can fill it in a matter of seconds (it amounts to about a 10 inch faucet).

We are officially snowed in, GD can’t get the tractor down the road, but he keeps coming up with excuses to go outside.  He is currently playing with the four-wheeler.


The trees around our house provide great protection most of the year, but they are a great snow catcher too.




Today same pickup.


Topped with CoolWhip.


The deck.


The deck from the inside.

I haven’t left the house since Wednesday, and that was just a run to the babysitter so I could wrap presents.

Maybe by Monday or Tuesday.


The children on their best behavior.  Leo wore his suit to the baby sitter last week.  That and his Lightning McQueen Crocs.  At least he took off the Darth Vader costume.

Weekend Update


I wore my Wyoming Cowboys sweatshirt Saturday.  By accident.  Friday night GD and I filled out a pool picking teams in the upcoming bowl games.  We didn’t have to pay any money, I am not sure what the prize is, maybe just the honor of the best picks.  Of course I picked my alma mater.  Mom said she chose Fresno St (because she had been watching them play) but was going to cheer for the Pokes.  The Cowboys won after two overtimes!  Mom said I was probably the only one in the pool who picked Wyoming.  I am nothing if not a loyal fan.  I also picked Idaho, where my nephew is the quarterback (his brother is running the pool, so I am probably in good company there).  They play right before Nebraska, in Boise of all places. 

We filled out this pool after coming home from the winery.  Oh, my, I haven’t had a buzz like that for years.  We had an excellent prime rib and the best bread ever.  A friend ordered a piece of pumpkin cheesecake and two spoons for dessert.  I told the waitress I would take a loaf of bread and two knives.  They are supposed to send me the recipe.  I really hope they do, but they would be smart not to send it. If that were my recipe I would keep a copy of it in a fireproof box at least 50 feet from my other lesser recipes.

This morning I noticed that the freezer was lukewarm, as in completely thawed.  Fortunately I keep the leftovers and opened packages of food in there, so the only stuff that was unopened was a package of hashbrowns and a pkg of ravioli.  The chickens and dog are going to be eating like kings.  I cleaned that out and vacuumed the back off (and cleaned the floor under it).  I found a treasure trove of things under there.

K, L, T, E, Z, J, and N as well as a golf ball, a clove of garlic, a princess magnet, a truck and trailer, 2 beads, a bouncy ball, a mirror, a clothes pin, Ariel’s head, half a duck and half a sheep, three gear magnets and a pencil sharpener.  Excellent items for a scavenger hunt.  Then, as I was getting ready to make soup with the thawed hamburger and vegetables, I noticed the fridge was warm as well.  It was not warm this morning.  I put everything in the garage fridge.  The repair guy is scheduled for 1-5 tomorrow.  I am so glad this happened now and not, say Thursday.

It is a good thing I am not pregnant, I craved icewater all four times, and I regret not insisting that GD install an icemaker in our bathroom in 2002.

I better go be a parent.  Who knows what havoc the children have wreaked as I typed this.




This month’s    featured grownups      topic is “friendship.”  Write about a friend who has meant something in your life.  It could be about your first friend, or your best friend, or that special someone who has always been there for you.  It could be about that friend who went through tough times with you, or the friend that ditched you when times got tough.  It can be happy or sad, serious or light-hearted.  The only requirement is to have fun!


I have known Jennifer since Kindergarten.  She always had an idea for something fun to do, from checking out her newly dead horse, Shasta “a la” Red Sky at Morning to attempting to hypnotize our school bus driver (her mother). Jennifer spent the night with me once when we were about 11.  The next morning we took my brother hiking in the canyons behind my house.  Eleven is a very adventurous age, and Lewis and Clark and Sacajawea were our adventurers. Jennifer-1


In the early spring the canyons were covered with a carpet of the freshest green. The sunlight filtered through the cottonwood leaves, making the ground dappled. The creek bottom smelled like the beginning of life, raw, damp, fresh, pungent.  A trickle of a stream wandered indolently among the trees, pausing here and there to form a pond. Joint grass and reeds grew in the murky shallows of the pools.  Tiny water-skiers spirited themselves across the ponds in search of food.  Grapevines crawled across the cliffs, reaching to embrace the scraggly Ponderosa Pines.


We ventured into unexplored canyons and found ancient initials, dating back to the 1930s, carved into the sandstone.  Exploring is hard work, and by mid- afternoon we were sweaty and tired.  We located a frog pond in which to sink our sodas and waded in the edges of the pond.  The water was actually snow melt and was freezing.  Shivering we giggled as the supersaturated mud sucked at our feet.  We waded over to inspect a minuscule waterfall and experimented dropping leaves at the top to watch them travel to the bottom. 


“Hey, Sher! Watch me!”  I looked over to see Jennifer standing on a one foot by one foot peninsula, arms up pretending to dive.  She bounced on the diving board and it collapsed under her, sending her screaming into the water, butt first.  When she came up she grabbed a frog and launched it at me starting an amphibious assault which lasted just until the frogs caught on.


In 1990, one year after high school graduation, we met at Cheyenne Frontier Days to see Alabama.  We had two free rodeo tickets and standing room to the concert.  Jennifer was being a good sport, because she does not listen to country music.  We tried to get to our cheap rodeo seats, at the far end of the oval arena from all the action, but they wouldn’t let us in at the obvious gate, so we tried another gate.  For some unknown reason our freebie tickets had granted us entrance to the $15 dollar seats under the grandstand.  It was a new experience to see this particular rodeo with the aristocracy!  Now $15 seems like a bargain, but those seats would have been just behind the box seats at the edge of the arena.  We spent about that much on the Alabama tickets.  The seats were in the cool shade and they weren’t sticky from previous beer spills, but we were out of our league.  The ladies behind us were animal rights activists, until the bull riding started, then they became human rights activists.


At the concert we ran into a 26 year-old Air Force Lieutenant who procured beer and cigarettes for those of us in need of such.  Thus anesthetized Jennifer was able to enjoy the concert.  She joined the Navy that fall and now drives a forklift at the local elevator and lives in her home town. 


We have seen ourselves through our parents’ divorces and all the other problems associated with growing up.  We keep in touch a few times a year, with an assist from Facebook.  Unfortunately we just don’t get together like we used to, however much I would like to flirt with a 26 year-old Air Force Lieutenant it just isn’t appropriate anymore. 

Incredible Waste of Time


I was telling my mother about the never-ending book quiz on goodreads.com.  It is hard to stop once you start playing.  I am running about 70% after answering around 300 questions.  It would be much higher if I had read the Time Traveler’s Wife.   There are entirely too many questions on that book.  The fact that my brother read and discussed in my hearing Douglas Adams’es books has help greatly.  “It is mostly about books, everything from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to the The Phantom Tollbooth to the Bronte sisters,” I told her.  “I wish I could remember all the books I have read,” sighed Mom (who literally read an entire library’s books).  Then in a whisper, I am assuming so my step-dad wouldn’t hear, “What’s the site? I might want to check it out…”  Here it is Mom   

goodreads.com never-ending book quiz  Find me and “friend” me.

clean garage, messy house


I feel like I should write something philosophical instead of just discussing my mundane life.  Oh, here it comes! I do have something philosophical (and mundane).

It has been cold here and snowy.  The kids missed school two days last week.  My husband is busy taking care of cows; thank God nobody plans to have calves any time soon.  Last week he said something about cleaning up the shop so he could get his pickup in so it would start so he could go do the things he needs to do.  Lows have been close to -20 a couple of times.  It is -5 and dropping as I write this.  I told him I would clean out the garage.  He said something that amounted to “yeah right.”  I got three kids out there and we cleaned up the side we don’t park in.  It was ready for the pickup when he came back, and he was pretty surprised. So my garage is clean.  My bedroom is almost too messy to walk through.  I have Mt Laundry on the couch again and the kitchen is a never-ending process.  The living room floor is relatively clean, and the furniture even got dusted this month.  The coat room and laundry room and even the office are pretty darn clean too.  I feel like I am shifting my mess around.  I didn’t put anything from the garage or coat room in my bedroom, but somehow the mess seems to migrate.  Some part of the house always has to be the catch-all.  As you can see I was unable to put that in a neat little package like OBL does with her parables.  Sorry.

Today GrandpaDaddy chopped ice in the water tank out at the cornfield, I chopped it at noon and tonight it was solid again.  He rigged up some tank heater/generator thing and plans to use it for a hot tub by morning, maybe.  I will send him with a rubber duckie just in case.  It would sure cause people to slow down and stare.  Anyway, he has been busy taking care of critters.  A person should think of that when they grocery shop, someone out there in -2 or even colder weather making sure your future food has water and feed.

I plugged the lights in to see which one was the string we could use on the tree and four strings of lights were only half lit.  (If only it were me…)  Clearly I need to toss some things.  Even the pretty blue lights I got LAST WEEK for the kids’ tree only half lit up.  I haven’t given up on that one, but it is discouraging. So I bought new lights.  I hate living in a world where I am expected to annually dispose of things that should last for a long time.  They all say “Industrial Grade,” like they are supposed to be sturdy.  So what qualifies as industrial?  I would say four little kids and a kamakazi kitten would come close.

In other news, I wrote a Christmas letter for my grandmother.  She always sends cards out, and she won’t be able to this year.  I wrote it, printed it off, and put them in addressed envelopes.  I then put them in a box to mail to Dad so he can return address them and stamp them.  As I was doing this I realized that I still hadn’t made it to the Dr’s office.  He wanted my kidney stone so he could test it.  I think I am going to wrap it up pretty and mail it to him, because I don’t have time to drive it up there to him.  He has a good sense of humor, I hope.  Anyway I am kinda bummed I don’t get to keep it.  So here is a photo.

 DSC02671 (You can tell I used to work for the NRCS because I put a pencil in for scale.  That is what we do, it makes up for it being out of focus.)

So, clean garage, messy house.  Cold, ice, lights don’t work, ouch.  No real theme, but that pretty much covers it.

Customer service


Maybe I am the only person who has this problem, but I learned something yesterday. 

After taking a now black aluminum pan out of my dishwasher, I called the number on the Cascade bottle.  My pans used to be shiny, maybe even six months ago, now they are turning black.  At first she tried to give me some song-and-dance about using a dishwasher, but I pointed out I had been washing them in the dishwasher for 20 years and this started six months ago.  The only thing that could have changed was the detergent.  The nice lady explained that Cascade was removing phosphates from their products.  I am all about that.  Apparently whatever replaces phosphates does this to aluminum.  I guess I see some polish and handwashing in my future.  Or ugly pans.

Now I seriously need to work on my Christmas letter.


…And Counting


1 Crib for sale!  Installed in 2002, it is finally being taken down.

2 Little boys chasing the Christmas train in circles

3 Inches of snow

4 Christmas cards in the mailbox

5 Hours on the internet

6 Times of fixing the Christmas train before I said, “Next time it falls over we turn it off.”

7 Hours of Gregor by Collins

8 Loads of laundry

9 Degrees above zero this morning

10 The real number of times before I quit fixing the train.


In other news I read in the paper this Saturday that you can check out ebooks from the library.  Like for your iphone or maybe Kindle.  I am completely psyched! 

Last time I went home, I downloaded a book about Joan of Arc and then an abridged edition of The Jungle Book from the Apple site.  It cost me upwards of $8.  Which isn’t too bad, I chose cheap books on purpose.  But I will never listen to these books again.  Well, I might let the kids listen to Jungle Book some time in the future, but it isn’t like I can put them on PBS or anything.  I now own a digital book I won’t be using again. 

But the library, (who plans to charge me, ME who pays them untold amounts in fines each year, an annual fee to use their fine institution because I live out of town) is providing ebooks I can download at home.  They belong to some state-wide thing and you get a week to listen to your book. 

I spent most of today learning how to use my ipod.  I have the phone figgured out, but not the ipod part.  I don’t find itunes as intuitive as other Apple stuff.  Hopefully I can get it under control tonight and listen to Gregor.  

I guess I can resolve myself to belonging to a subscription library, although this is not what Andrew Carnegie had in mind when he gave them the money to build their library.

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