Monday, November 30, 2009

A Little Ditty 'bout Jack & Diane

 Dead dog tired tonight. LONG day at work. Woof.

And running thru my mind..."oh yeahhh, life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone."

Thanks John, I think.


Tomorrow is another day.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Great speaker last Sunday. Major slap in the face tho.Was talking about Zion being where we are. Now. Not someplace we're going to eventually. Or somewhere we are going to arrive at and everyone will be perfect, and kind and loving. Looked at us and said, "You need to be more friendly. The people sitting right here with you are the guys who are going to be in heaven with you."

The look on people's faces was priceless. I can imagine mine was an absolute study and I'm glad there weren't any cameras because - Right. Directly. In. Front. Of. Me. was the queen of dragon ladies. Oh no, no, no, no. I ain't going anywhere with her. It strains my resources to be marginally polite. Eternity. Mono y mono? That let's me out.  I need to talk to the travel agent. What else is available?


You know, I'm not dumbI understand the concept of love thy neighbor...but people, if I have to learn to have a true Christ like love for this sister plus learn to really like her...

Man, I've got some serious work to do.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


She's spoiled. She's beautiful. She thinks she should be my one and only.

 She drools...


Monday, November 23, 2009

Button, Button. Who's Got the Button.

My hand mirror is gone again. Let me emphasize the MY part. I use it everyday. I'm not vain. I don't stare at my image for hours on end, just use it to put on my makeup and pluck errant chin hairs. (More information than you wanted right?) Life will go on. I can live without it, but....why should I have to???

Let me tell you the tale of two mirrors. One belonged to the princess and had been in her family for many, many years. It was a lovely mirror, with gold gilt and two sides. (One with a nifto keeno magnified side.) The other mirror was an estate cast off. Functional. A mirror. It ended up in the garage where the man of the house used it to get a better look at things when he was working on his vehicles. This should have been a "and they lived happily ever after each with their own mirrors" kind of story, but...

Have you ever noticed how handy that little word "but" is???

The man was covetous of the magnified mirror. The princess would open her cupboard only to find her lovely gold mirror gone. He needed it, he said. It worked better, he said. And finally after he had taken her lovely gold mirror out to the garage enough times that he had mucked it all up he proposed a trade. His mirror was much nicer now to look at and wouldn't the princess like it instead?

"Fine," she said. It wasn't her gold mirror but it worked and maybe this one would stay in her cupboard.

And now it too is gone. For the last several weeks it has come and gone and now finally it's just gone. He is using it and can't be bothered to put it back where he found it.

This does not surprise the princess.

The fact that he has apparently lost or broken her gold mirror (neccessitating the theft borrowing on a no return basis of the other mirror) does not surprise her either.

The princess does wonder though, where the good surprises in life went?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Breakfast is Served!

Orange Cream Cheese Strata with Cranberries and Walnuts

Something new. Being computer illiterate I wasn't sure if this will work, but had to try. And presto chango! A link to "Three Many Cooks"  Orange Cream Cheese Strata.  Just click above and it takes you to their site. Yum! Can substitute evap. milk for half-n-half.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Kid Wars

Anyone remember the "Daisy Kingdom" dresses that were so popular around 1990?

 I do.

The memories involve two young mothers, their daughters, and a "I can put more ruffles, bows, lace, cutsie buttons, fabric and anything else you can think of on a dress than you" competition. One little girl would show up on Sunday in a cute little dress. Everyone would ooh and ahhh over it while Mom modestly demurred..."oh, it was nothing, just sometime I whipped up last nite..."

The next Sunday the other mother would trot her daughter out with a slightly more elaborate outfit.

And the next Sunday....until eventually the ladies were glaring at each other, everyone else was laughing and the little girls staggered under the weight of their costumes or tripped over the frills. Their poor little legs poked out like sticks underneath the voluminous skirts.  Victims of their mother's ambition.

I have seen "Kid Wars" played out time and time again. Apparently "we" can feel better about ourselves if our kid is better looking, smarter, faster....(fill in the blank) than anyone elses. I try to avoid that particular game but occasionally you can just feel yourself getting sucked in...

So - without going into particulars, there is a couple we know who's oldest children have provided some parenting challenges that have lead to a series of embarrassments that leaves the "My kid is better than yours" scoreboard, to the mother's intense dismay, not balancing in her direction. Their youngest son has become the "shining hope" in their quest for social redemption. Unfortunately he too has developed a few glitches.

Enter the Youngest. Mine that is...the kid has that Ferdinand the Bull thing going on. Y'know just happy to hang with whoever is happy to be with him. Likes sitting there in the sunshine, in the meadow smelling the flowers. He's just part of the "get along gang." Gets decent grades, B student (could be an A student but not overly motivated.) Understands it's a good thing to render service, doesn't complain much, never whines. (Big no no in our house and while we're at it, let's be perfectly clear. I. do. not. whine. I BITCH. Thank you very much, now back to our regular programming...) Becoming proficient in karate and piano. Not really a jock but growing into a tall, good looking kid.

Cue up the Star Kid Wars sound track.  Seems there isn't enuf room for both kids. Over the last couple of years some truly stupid stuff has gone on including having a brand new tent that we'd bought destroyed. Nasty rumors and innuendo spread about, and a classic incident occurred when the Youngest had cracked his arm during sports. Doctor put a heavy duty brace on it and 1st period of the school day "Psycho Boy" decided that the Youngest was faking the injury to get attention. (Guess he should have brought the x-ray with him.) So Psycho Boy walked up to him, took his fist and slammed it down on the brace as hard as he could. Pain just about dropped the Youngest and Psycho Boy took off. They don't see each other again until right before lunch. Psycho Boy was surprised that the Youngest hadn't taken off the brace and quit faking so to prove a point he charged up again and took another swing...

Oh dear.

I'm conflicted.

My fingers are starting to clench as I type. 

Now there are a lot of things that could be done. But there are eternal consequences. And while I grit my teeth, that old WWJD thing keeps coming back. These are people who have issues. The ward tries to support and encourage them and rightly so. No one should tear someone else down. (Unless they're blogging to try and defuse their intense irritation.) Meanwhile I know the Youngest can take care of himself. He has enough self defense technique under his belt to lay Psycho Boy out but we're not trying to start WWIII here. So what's to do? Obviously they are not going to be great, good friends. Conversely we'd be pretty small people to return what they've been dishing out so we're left with...counselling him to be polite? If he can't actively fellowship the boy, then at least stay away from him, allow him his little patch of earth, find something else to do, hang out with other kids, lots of them that The Youngest gets along with. Basically the old "they cause themselves enuf misery, we don't need to add to it."

Which works.


So last week:

And I may (or may not have) expressed my strong displeasure about the following situation to Farm Boy....

The guys were in the gym playing a game. About 12 boys, not a girl in sight. The Youngest had put on a clean pair of pants before going but was a bit rushed and didn't get his belt on. When he bends over the top of his shorts show. Apparently there is a "Your shorts are showing" song. Psycho Dad starts singing it. The Youngest gets a piece of twine and ties his britches up. Still a small portion of the band of the shorts can  be seen if he bends over. Psycho Dad continues to sing his song, harasses him about his attire and informs him that his shirt is too short. (Not.) Plus Psycho Dad also decides to revisit (for the third time) a scouting issue that has previously been resolved and informs the Youngest that he needs to take care of it and not his "mommy".


Here, let's do that again.


Ummm, I'm not even going to get into the scouting thing.

Meanwhile, The Youngest does the best he can, is trying to be polite, doesn't talk back (which probably translates into withdrawing.) Time to go. I pick him up. Kid is quite and tense. "What's up?" He relates his story.

What do I tell him? I mean, really. He has backed up, gone around...what is this? Seven times seven??? I guess. So...

"Well", I finally say, "what was your initial problem tonight?"

He's ticked, no response. So I help..."Belt, right?" "You know not to leave the house without it. Bet you don't forget next time, huh?"

"But Mom, he just went on and on with his stupid song and wouldn't quit. He's an adult but he acts as bad as his kid!"

I start laughing. I couldn't help it.

"Son, you've heard the old story about the acorn not falling far from the tree? With Psycho Boy and his dad as examples you now know what not to do. Eh?"

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

God Rocks!

Sometimes the youth of today get a rap for not being humble enough, polite enough...and their language. Oh my. But then again, sometimes their slang nails it right on the head.

Farm Boy was working on the pickup this morning. Had it all torn apart. Reassembling it has been....interesting. He needed help but the Youngest was at school. So he asked me to help hold the stand he was using.  I could do that. Unfortunately it wasn't helping that much, more like moral support. He was frustrated and said if the Youngest were here the boy could climb under the pickup and....

Sigh. Okay. I could do that.

No, he says.

Yeah I say. Just get me a piece of cardboard to lay on.

So I'm under the pickup.

Farm Boy is valiantly trying to piece everything back together, but it's awkward, at the wrong angle, just not  fitting. It's hard on him to try to reach, his breathing is labored. Time passes. I know his muscles are protesting. (I'm with him! My back has seized up a while ago, they'll need a crane to get me out from under here.) Sweat is dripping off his face. He takes a break. Tries again. No bueno. Gets his breath. (Insert Jeopardy watch ticking music score here.)  Oh dear...

A silent prayer. "God - a little help??"  Seconds later a truimphant "Got it!"

YES! This is sooooo awesome!

Now the next one. Fiddle, twink....

Start that clock running again.

Farm Boy, (tired and just wanting it to be over) "Okay, I'm going to put a wrench on it."

"Now, now. Take your time. It's okay. We've got all day. Remember you said we don't want to cross thread it."

Farm Boy, "I'll know when I start it if it's going to go..."


"Please, please, please. Steady his hand and clear his mind..."

Farm Boy, "Alright!"


Okay, if you insist.

But I'll tell you what I do know.  I am no one. Really. In the grand scheme of things - nothing special. But I do know that He listens to us. He is mindful of each and every one of us. He answers our prayers. Big or small. So you go ahead and stick with the stuff happens thing, however, after one hundred plus "coincidences" I'm just going to go with...

God - You ROCK!


Was showing Farm Boy where I'd saved a file for him on the computer...As he walked away I noted the date and told him..."Nov. 17 - it's Ren's birthday." (Ren, poor boy, holds the title of Family Screw Up).

"Hmmm, another year older." I say.


"And hopefully.....another year wiser."

Farm Boy..."I was wondering how you were going to handle that."

"Brought to you by the new, kinder me..."

Farm Boy..."ahh, yaaaa."

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tucannon Ridge Runners

Went to bed. Rolled over looked at the clock. 9:57pm. Closed my eyes. Then 10:23pm. 10:45pm. 11:17.

Oh yeah. We've all been there. Wide awake. The hamsters were running their legs off in their little wire exercise cages. Too cold to go for a walk. Watching TV or riding exercise bike would wake everyone else up. Go for a drive? Where? And do what?

So I lay there. The breeze wafting in the window. Listening to the sounds of the night. Then totally random thought. Hank and Zora Snow. Friends of my parents who lived up the Tucannon River Valley from us. They had two kids - Ginger & Hank Jr. I remembered going over to their place. My sister Jo & I used to play w/Hank Jr. Ginger was quite a bit older and I never remember her being around much, although there was some whispered talk about her, a jockey passing thru town and pregnancy. But you know how adults always dummy up when they think the kids are listening... Hard to get the low down on the good stuff when they won't squeak up! At some point in time I became infatuated with Hank Jr. He was almost three years older than me, same age as Jo, and while she thought he was a dweeb I thought he was marrrrr...velous. I remember horses, sunshine, the lazy river rolling by, playing hide and seek in the cattle pens and an occasional dirt clod fight.

The folks got divorced. Ma and us kids left the ranch. Years passed. I was down at the BBT w/some buddies. Playing pool and dining on their famous fried chicken. Good looking kid comes in and we start talking. He's from Dayton. Yeah? I'm from Dayton...Hank? 


We reminisced. When it was time to go he walked me to my car. It had been really nice spending the evening with him. He opened the door for me and waved farewell, but as I started to back out of the parking lot he pounded on the window. I was startled but opened it, then he grinned and launched himself through the opening to kiss me.

Romantic? A dream come true?  Ummm, no.

Now's probably the time to mention that Hank had had just a "bit" too much to drink and as charming as he'd been we were nowhere near being on the same page about getting a little closer. Apparently the evening was ending too early for him tho. It was one of those "Oh, I don't think so Tim." kind of moments. I kinda laughed and pushed him out of the car.

Thirty years ago. Last time I ever saw him.

I still remember the sadness I felt that night. My childhood - you know, the Father Knows Best, TV show kind was short. It was tied up in a six year span of time when I was grandpa's "Little Sunshiner," and daddy's favorite child. When our family was still together and the five year old mud pie maven had more horses noses to kiss than she could ever hope for. It was an age of innocence when a little girl loved a boy named Hank.

Reality is a lot harsher. I realize that that particular fairy tale existed mostly in my mind but I kinda of liked the picture I held of a young Hank sitting on the corral fence with his shirt tail hanging out of his jeans, boots hooked over a rail, and a big ol' grin on his face.

 Never did care for the one of the drunken cowboy that replaced it.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Talking To Myself

A while back (Sept.?) there was a little dust up between Atlanta TSA (airport security) and a mommy blogger. The metal detector went off when she and her son went through and after that we have two different stories. TSA posted video tapes to back their side of the story, mommy blogger claims they're 1) incomplete or 2) edited and don't show that her young son was taken from her. Her blog was very emotional and created quite a stir. But in the end it appeared mommy may have fudged a few facts for journalistic impact. She's standing by her blog entry tho. Creative license she says. Doing the old "that's my story and I'm stickin' to it."

Many were outraged. "Why would you lie?" they asked. Why indeed. Someone else printed off the hits on her site. The site which has advertising. The site which had a minimal amount of traffic. The site which then zoomed to over 200,000 hits in one day.


Call me a cynic. But money talks. Always has. Always will.

Fast forward. This morning. Farm Boy was sitting in his easy chair, reading the newspaper while the TV was on. I was listening to the news/morning show and they were talking about waiting in store lines, traffic jams, airport security lines...TSA.

Ahh, good ol' TSA.

So, just as he was finishing with his paper and started to lay it aside I began to recount the story above. But the poor man... for the life of him he could not focus on me for more than one second.

 Did I mention the TV was on?

So, no newspaper, but now his eyes darted from me to the TV. Back to me. Back to the TV...

TV just isn't that fascinating.

Is it?

But then obviously neither was I. So I quit talking. It took him a few moments to notice. Then he impatiently said, "yeh, and...TSA and something..." I just shook my head. "No", I said, "I'm through." He got this really annoyed look on his face and got all snitty. Apparently I was being difficult.

"Really, it wasn't that important." I said.

But thanks for making sure I understood that.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Well Trained Man

A little quip from the morning newspaper:

A man writes, "My wife and I have a system for settling arguments. We discuss the matter objectively and at length until she's right."

Monday, November 2, 2009

Should Be Dusting

I have to ration my time at the local library. If I go there too often, I pick out a lot of books and if you have books you have to read them, right???? If one spends too much time reading, other things go by the wayside and my family for some reason thinks they need clean socks in their drawers, food on the table. That's my job, I work part time out of the house but my full time job is riding herd on the...herd.

So back to the books. Reading a western. Mind candy. I seldom tackle the kind of books that involve getting out a dictionary to figure out what the heck that big word means or ones where I have to read a page at a time and then take the rest of the day off to digest it and figure out what the author is trying to tell me. Sorry, just not a War & Peace fan. (Unless, of course, I can't get to sleep.)

I like the simple, hit you in the face, type of stuff. Today, for instance, our young hero, Hardy, has had a difficult and trying experience. He recounts the story to a friend, trying to understand "why me?" His friend, Sgt. Stebbins, answers:

"Look here...I've seen some strange things, heard of more, too. Probably was fate...Maybe it was like the Last Supper. Whatever it was, you won't forget it, I'll tell you this. Things like that never go away."

Hardy knew all about that. He was already toting a burdensome pack of memories, some good, some bad, and for certain, they never went away. Lately, the load seemed to be getting heavier. Well, he felt a little better after telling his story to Sgt. Stebbins. A man just couldn't go on mumbling to himself all of the time.

But then again, he knew a man had to give trouble a good kick in the ass and get on with his life - grab life by the throat and shake the heck out of it. That was the gumption Grandfather was always talking about.

Maybe I like the "mind candy" because it so often mirrors my simplistic view of life. Give it a good kick in the ass and get on with it. Occasionally you're going to get bogged down with the detritus of life and it helps to have someone who will listen to you vent, or a journal so you can line your thoughts out or...

blog, anyone???