The ladies, their father and I went to Bingo for books last night at the school.  We came home with 12 books, including several of Robert Munch’s.  He is my new favorite author. 

Then we saw Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs today at the free matinee, and I laughed and laughed. 

Sherlock Holmes is at the cheap theater tomorrow, I think I would like to go, wonder if I can find a sitter…

I am reading Mr. Popper’s Penguins to the ladies now.  It was first published in 1939, and it is timeless.

I bought a book for $3 at Big Lots because the title was interesting, something about loving or loathing your inner housewife.  It is causing me to think more than the average $3 book should.  I will be blogging about this book, I can’t tell yet whether I agree with the author or not, but she sure caused me to think.

Netflix sent me Season 3 of Big Love.  I confess, I love that show.

Paul and I have been potty training his teddy bear.  The bear is doing better than Paul.  Mostly I am trying to drum up involvement and build interest.

I better go clean up the kitchen, it doesn’t look like the maid is coming.

Oh my…


Tonight I had a new toddler experience.  Paul filled the potty with toilet paper and flushed.  FILLED the toilet.  He just started potty training, so I guess he thinks he knows what he is doing.  What I will be doing is cleaning the bathroom tonight after they go to bed.  This is what happens when you make a decent supper and let the kids play unsupervised.

That is what you get


I spent half an hour today cleaning my room.  Everybody but Paul was napping, he had napped earlier.  No, Paul stayed busy peeling keys off my laptop keyboard.  I have been missing the “-” for sometime now, it broke a while back and I haven’t had any luck keeping the key on.  It isn’t a huge problem.  However, the “m” “,” and ” ” keys (that last one would be the most oft used key on anyone’s computer, the space key) are AWOL.  I found the comma key, but still need Spacie and Emmie.  It could have been the kitten or maybe another kid, but nobody is fessing up as to where the keys are now, and I didn’t even yell at anyone.  Some wallpaper was also peeled, leading me to suspect a two-yearold culprit…Can you even get replacement keys? Please, oh please I need to find them!  Then I need to figure out how to make them stay on.

24 hour contest

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I ended up writing a practice story, but I didn’t finish it, and it was pretty choppy, so I didn’t post it.  I did however post my actual entry as protected.  If you aren’t on my list and want to see it, just let me know.  I just don’t feel like I want it out there for the whole world to see before the lady who will be judging reads it.

GD pointed out to me this morning that a magazine he subscribes to (a weekly farm publication which will print anything) is advertising for freelance writers.  I could probably pitch a column, if they have available space.  I used to write a wildflower column for them years ago, but I moved away from the wildflowers, literally.  They will likely be happy to re-print some of my blog posts too, they didn’t used to get excited about first rights or anything.  Whoo hoo!  I will be contacting them.


Against my better judgement


I found an online food site with a recipe for seaweed-flavored homemade poptarts. 

This caused me to do some serious considering.  I have grammar issues.  I realize that my grammar is not perfect by any means, but I have a pretty decent grasp of my native tongue.  I know the difference between they’re and their. I know that a family referred to by its last name will not contain an apostrophe.  My spell check seems to have a problem with this one, but that is why God invented the “ignore” button on our spellchecks.  I also know that “its” is a possessive pronoun like “his” and doesn’t need an apostrophe (have you ever seen “hi’s?”).  It surprises me how many don’t know this.  Most of you do, or else I would not subscribe to your blogs.  I am picky that way. 

How many of you know that a cookie rack is not spelled wrack?  All of you?  I am not surprised.  Wrack, according to dailywritingtips.com is something washed up from the sea, like seaweed.  So the blogger here (from another popular blog hosting site) explains that she puts the poptarts on seaweed to cool.  Yum.  I can understand maybe a slip here and there, but she used it three times and she writes a cooking blog!

I really like the premise of her wanting to duplicate, and quite possibly improve products you can buy, by making them at home.  But can I survive her grammar?  I thought about it for 24 hours before adding it to my reader .  She is on probation.  I definitely want to try the poptarts (even though my Dr. says no cinnamon poptarts).  By the way, that diet came courtesy of The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, it isn’t like Dr. T invented the “eat like you are three again diet.”

And I am off… to experiment with homemade poptarts minus the seaweed.  Seaweed is hard to find in our land lubber grocery store.

Country Mouse


Featured Grownups suggested we expound on whether we are city mice or country mice.


Anyone who has been reading my blog for over a week already knows I live in the country, and that I am happy here, so I made a list of benefits and costs to living in the country.  I am not sure what the official definition of rural is, but I do know towns of a certain size are still considered rural, maybe even my closest town of around 40,000, which I consider plenty big.  I only live ten miles away, so I can partake in culture, exotic foods (to a point) and most of the things I want to. If Itzak Perleman isn’t coming here, I can always drive a couple of hours to Omaha. 


Just this weekend my seven-year-old daughter compared Lincoln, NE (pop 200,000) to New York City (pop 7,300,000 or so).  Clearly we need to get out more.


I have lived in an area which is about as rural as it comes, so I will use that for a touch stone on rural living, rather than my current circumstances which are much more citified from where they were a few years ago.



An hour and a half from WalMart

One grocery store

No clothing or decor stores

No exotic foods available

Most everywhere is a long distance call

Limited cell service

No 24 hour pizza delivery (or pizza delivery at all for that matter)

No museums

Everyone knows you, and they aren’t always respectful about that

No chic loft apartments available



An hour and a half from WalMart

A grocery carry-out who takes your bags out and puts them in your car while you pay the clerk, without even asking what you drive

No temptation to buy clothes and junk I really don’t need or want

Being on a first name basis with most of my meat and vegetables

Having a four digit phone number

Limited cell service

Being able to see all of the stars at night

Meadowlarks and horses

I can send my kids out to play all day with minimal supervision

Affordable housing


Unfortunately I think it is easy to lose touch with nature while living in a concrete jungle, and nature is very important to me.  I definitely like to visit the lights and action in the city; I wish I could do it more often, but I love coming home to the stars and the quiet of the country.




I finally finished my SIL’s Christmas gift.  I made her a quilt, the largest one I have ever made, but still not a Twin quilt.  She loves green.  I think she might actually like the back better than the front….but that’s okay.  Maybe that’s her way of keeping cat hair off of it.


Guess who got a make up set for Christmas?  No, not the gentlemen, they are the clients.  I didn’t get a shot of Paul with tons of black stuff on his eyes, he looked like Cleopatra.

DSC02789 DSC02785

The little guy in the diaper there got to make a potty call this week, yes, you get two phone calls when you use the potty as well as stickers and praise (for him) from five people.  Of course at the end you get the coveted Potty Tractor.  We called Daddy and Grandma this time.

And our sledding pictures.  We had some eight foot drifts in our corral, which made for some good sledding and some nervous heifers.  The slopes were plenty steep, and just long enough that you didn’t mind climbing  back up.  It looks like it will be in the 40s here for a week or so, making a huge mud mess.  The snow was melting about a foot a day.


GD says as much as he would like to exaggerate, the drifts are eight feet tall.  That little pocket there is where the heifers spent the storm.  You couldn’t see the pocket until you were right on it, so it looked like they had been suffocated, which of course they hadn’t.


Mae don’t need no stinkin’ sled!  Those posts are the tops of eight foot posts.  And I wish the house in the background was ours, it is really pretty from the outside, but the location is lousy, right by the train tracks.


The gentlemen braving a trip down the hill


Earlier this snow season, Leo asked me why Paul had pink snow pants.  I said, “do you want pink snow pants?” and he said no.  I said. “then don’t tease him.  he can’t help it he’s the youngest.” We did get new snow clothes for everyone, black and navy now.  Pay no ‘tention to those pink snow boots now. 

If I were…


    When I write for Featured Grownup I always write mine before I read everyone else’s. Except for my subscriptions.  I like not knowing what someone else had to say on the topic before I weigh in.  I didn’t really have a choice with this, because I got three subscriptions full of it today, but it sounded like fun.


            If I were a month, I would be April

If I were a day of the week, I would be Saturday

If I were a time of the day, 1:00 pm (nap time)

If I were a planet, I would be Mother Earth

If I were a sea animal, I would be a mermaid

If I were a direction, I would be up

If I were a piece of furniture, I would be a big, comfy reading chair

If I were a liquid, I would be a tall glass of iced tea with a lemon slice

If I were a gemstone, I would be an opal

If I were a tree, I would be a Ponderosa Pine

If I were a tool, I would be a spatula

If I were a flower, I would be scarlet globemallow

If I were a kind of weather, I would be a fresh spring day

If I were a musical instrument, I would be an AM radio

If I were a color, I would be icy blue

If I were an emotion, I would be… is exhaustion an emotion?

If I were a fruit, I would be a peach

If I were a sound, I would be a child’s laughter

If I were an element, I would be wind

If I were a car, I would be a Ford F150 pre 1995

If I were a food, I would be guacamole

If I were a place, I would be Mud Lake (far prettier than it sounds)

If I were a material, I would be a quilt

If I were a taste, I would be vanilla bean

If I were a scent, I would be lilac

If I were an animal, I would be a cat lazing in a sunbeam

If I were an object, I would be a big fat book

If I were a body part, I would be an ear

If I were a facial expression, I would be a raised eyebrow

If I were a pair of shoes, I would be my Sketchers bike sandals

Kidney stone update


I called my doctor about my kidney stone the other day.  He started by thanking me for gift wrapping it then said that he had sent me a list of foods to avoid.  He stressed that I should be drinking lots and lots of water, as in between 64-94 oz a day.  That adds up to more than two of those huge drinking vats they give you to take home from the hospital when you have a baby.  The information came in the mail today, and I learned kidney stones usually affect people between ages 20-40.  Here is an edited version of the diet recommendations. 


“Avoid these high-oxalate foods.”

  • black tea
  • chocolate
  • soy products
  • nut butters
  • high fiber cereal
  • grits
  • whole wheat products
  • taro
  • blackberries
  • currents
  • dewberries
  • rhubarb
  • beans of all kinds
  • beets
  • carrots
  • celery
  • eggplant
  • escarole
  • kale
  • okra
  • olives
  • peppers
  • potatoes
  • rutabaga
  • spinach
  • squash
  • sweet potato
  • swiss chard
  • zucchini

I can live without most of this, I really don’t care for whole wheat anyway, so that will come naturally, but a few things will be hard to give up.  How does one not eat potatoes?  I have 15 pounds of them in the house right now.  And beans.  How do you live without beans?  Not to get personal, but I craved refried beans when I was pregnant with Leo.  As in I ate about three cans a week.  The La Preferida brand are the best you can get outside of a joint with the word “Hacienda” in the name.  I didn’t get kidney stones then.  I don’t eat tons of beans anymore, but refried beans…green beans…kidney beans in taco salad…chili…and carrots and rhubarb and squash and zucchini?  Sweet potatoes?  The garden part of this looks ugly.  I turned to the next page to find this…


“Limit these moderate-oxalate foods”

  • beer
  • coffee
  • orange juice
  • apples
  • mandarin oranges
  • pineapple
  • prunes
  • liver
  • sardines
  • corn tortillas
  • plain ravioli
  • spaghetti in red sauce
  • cinnamon poptarts
  • white bread
  • asparagus
  • broccoli
  • fennel
  • lima beans
  • lettuce
  • onions
  • potato chips


I can limit myself on most all of this, I have managed to limit myself to one bite of liver in nearly 40 years, I am only a little behind that on lima beans, I drink one cup of coffee a day, not a problem, but corn tortillas?  I like broccoli and asparagus, and I can eat fresh pineapple until I have sores in my mouth.  Fortunately it isn’t on sale often enough for this to happen on a regular basis.


“Eat as much of these low-oxalate foods as you like.”

  • apple juice
  • cola
  • wine
  • cheese
  • milk
  • butter
  • mayonnaise
  • bacon
  • all other meats except liver and sardines
  • Cheerios
  • graham crackers
  • macaroni
  • white rice
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • cucumbers
  • kohlrabi
  • mushrooms
  • peas
  • corn syrup
  • honey
  • sugar
  • jello


Too bad I am not three years old. 


So I can throw out everything I learned about nutrition and I no longer have to wonder if I am eating enough whole grains and vegetables, but I will have to tell my kids to eat all these vegetables that I can’t.  I am completely out of luck as far as tea and chocolate are concerned, but I can drink as much Coke as I like.  And I need to limit my intake of cinnamon poptarts.  Eggs didn’t make the list one way or the other.


I think I need to talk to the good doctor about this a little, from a practical standpoint.  I am afraid my tea, which I think of as brown, is probably black and I am gonna need a firm definition of “avoid.” 


He did stress water intake.  I am hoping that is the key.  What is the calculated risk here? It has been about 10 years since I had my last kidney stone, I am only one year away from 40 and I have about 100 of those oxycondon pills left…


Hello? Hello?


I don’t focus very well these days.  I flit from one project to another, leaving most everything half done. Maybe I have some sort of “AD” thing, I don’t know.  I went grocery shopping yesterday and meant to take a couple of checks to the bank.  I forgot the checks but I saw that the health dept had flu vaccine again, so I decided to pick the ladies up after school and run everyone to the health dept and then go to the bank.  On my way home from this task, GD asked me to pick him up at the house and run him to the farm so he could drive our tractor back to the house.  I got to the house early and was waiting in the car for GD to come home when the phone rang.  Not my cell phone, the home phone.  I had taken the handheld phone to town in the car as well as my cell phone.  I am so important I have to have two phones! 

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