Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Playing Nice

At water therapy class yesterday...

Made sure I got there on time so I could get a "good spot."

Water ranges from 3 to 5 feet deep. Workout is most efficient with water at chest level. If it is too deep, you just kind of float away. Too shallow, you don't get the necessary resistance. Everyone tries to find their best depth on a first come, first served basis.

Except the two latecomers...

They wade in, after class has started. Pick up their equipment and casually push themselves into the middle of the group, carving out space for themselves, assuming that if they do it with smiles on their faces no one will notice object.

So I move one step over, two steps over. Ten feet later, yup, it's official, I'm a "floater."


After class we head for the showers. No one is leaving before they wash the salt & chlorine off. Four showers. The line forms to the rear. A little chilly standing there with wet suits on but shouldn't have to wait too long...all the ladies are quickly hopping in and out again, except...

Is someone drying off and dressing in the first shower?

Note: There are towels, benches in front of the lockers, and individual changing rooms for the modest. Signs encourage club members to refrain from using the toilet stalls for changing. Most people assume that applies to the showers also.

The curtain is finally pulled back and who should emerge? Yes, one of our "late comers." Again with the big smile and a, "Ohhh, look at the line!" As she walks blithely past the wet, shivering women still waiting to shower.

At least she's consistent.

Friday, November 11, 2011


Random Internet photo. Apparently their folks snapped the camera at just the "right" time and the look on his face is priceless. Some wag added the caption later. Still laughing.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


Oh the season of apples.

Farmers here are scrambling to get their last apples off the trees. Frost hits in the mornings and they have to wait until it warms up to pick. You can almost hear the ulcers growing.

Meanwhile, the rest of us, wait anxiously for those yummy fruits. We're waiting to bake them, dry them, or fry them.

Some of us are just waiting to munch them.

Especially "horse people." A certain blond waits at the barn door every afternoon, a froth of wild mane flipping in the air as she waits impatiently for her treat.

There is a price to be paid tho - I purse my lips, make a kissing sound and a velvet nose swings up to my face for a smooch which is quickly exchanged for a nice, juicy apple.

And, if I'm real quick I can get out of the way before she wipes her apple slobber all over me.

Retribution, I think, for apple blackmail.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Parental Delusions

A good friend of mine was really, really frustrated recently. A local Burbank kid had made the newspapers...but not in a good way.
"Why don't people just tell their kids NO!?" She asked.

She has a point. "No" doesn't seem to be a popular concept in current parenting handbooks.

Later, I was skimming a local gal's blog. We all have our niches. Some are mommy blogs, some political, some humor, some art....

So this was a mommy blog, grown up.

It was well put together. Had a nice visual presentation. She focused on the positives in her life and her current passion. But it was rather entertaining in a sense that she probably hadn't intended.

I know her. She is a decent enough woman but her kids are a bit of a handful. The pictures on the blog are of the kids I know...

The descriptions are...well, the kind of descriptions that only a mother, blind to the faults of those children, could provide. She is one of those mothers that, the moment one of her progeny gets into trouble, immediately starts her rebuttal sentence with, "Not my kid!"

Quite frankly, to the rest of us, the boy is looking like a future reform school candidate and the oldest girls seem to be vying for roles on the next remake of "Mean Girls."

But I don't want to mess with her illusions.

I just hope she gets it all worked out before they leave home and inflict themselves on the rest of us.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

Woofin' It Down

Stopped at Taco Bell for lunch today. The deep, dark recesses of my soul just said...Mexican!!!!

Was in the drive thru right behind a SUV with darkened windows. As it pulled up to the pick up window, something started to wave frantically in the back window.


A kid waving at me?


Very. Large. Dog.

Tail wagging - vigorously, shaking the whole rig.

Apparently, he liked Mexican too.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Thought To Keep In Mind

I believe is was Walter Scott who said, "Oh, what tangled webs we weave, when first we practice to deceive."

Ya know...I'm reminded of how much easier it is to tell the truth. That way you don't have to try and remember what you said or to whom.

And trying to massage a situation so it becomes a convenient truth?

Oh, tsk, tsk, tsk.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Charcoal, Anyone?

Pancakes were on the menu for breakfast.

As I was waiting for one to develop enuf bubbles to flip, Farm Boy leaned over my shoulder and whispered..."watched pancakes never cook."


Well, I don't know about that, but I do know UNwatched pancakes certainly can and will burn.

Ya know, I'm getting the distinct feeling that Farm Boy's cooking days are thru - or at least his grilling days. He used to delight in a perfectly cooked, juicy top sirloin. Now, be it chicken, steak or even zucchini. It ain't done until the fat lady sings, or errrr...until at least one side is blackened into inedibility.

Might have something to do with his ability to throw the food on the BBQ and then retreat to his chair and become glued to the TV until someone starts screaming... FIRE!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Thought for the Day

It's been ... awhile.

More about that later.

Meanwhile I've been reading Gerald's Lund's The Work and The Glory. I love how the fictional characters are interwoven thru actual history. It almost gives me a "you were there feeling".  In book 4, Thy Gold to Refine scriptures from the D&C are referenced  that say:

"Let your hearts be comforted, for all things shall work together for good to them that walk uprightly, and to the sanctification of the church; for I will raise up unto myself a pure people, that will serve me in righteousness... And all that call on the name of the Lord and keep his commandments, shall be saved; even so. Amen."

Bro. Lund makes the point that there is much work to be done and righteous people are needed to accomplish that work but when the Lord says we will be saved, he may not mean saving us from sorrow and heartache here.

Miracles happen. I know that.


There are also few guarantees that we won't be called home at any given time or that our parade is not going to be raining upon. Heavenly Father is not a butler of whom we can demand blessings, favors or services and sometimes stuff just...happens. And that old favorite saying about us "not being given anymore than we can bear?" Well, I know people thought they were like Job and assumed they could bear anything but dying. But we all have to die sometimes and "now" when you have cancer or....(fill in the blank) tends to be just as good a time as any...

Not trying to be pessimistic or a wet blanket but the big picture is that if we are faithful we can return to our Heavenly Father's presence. From an eternal perspective I'm told that our time here on earth is "but a moment." If bad things happen, eternity should be able to provide a cushion that will take the sting from our daily trials here.

So - never doubt that comfort is available. Miracles do happen. However, sometimes things just aren't going to go they way you'd like.

I'm told patience is a virtue....

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Delicate Gesture

The Youngest is official. He now has his driver's license.

It's only been a couple of weeks. He's doing fairly well. I do periodic checkups, just like I did with the other two. A ride along to make sure they're not developing bad habits. In their view, a nag session. But hey, whatever works. I'm trying to make sure my children do NOT predecease me!

I've mentioned that I kinda like The Youngest, right? He has a nice sense of humor, is generally helpful, doesn't complain about "service opportunities." And he is not arrogant. The self-entitlement thing that some folks have going on is not well developed in him. He doesn't mind stepping out of the way, waiting is born with patience...Which is why my tail is in a kink.


Seems the kid was at a stop light. It was a busy intersection. The light turned green, he moved into the intersection only to be forced to a halt as the traffic in front of him slowed. Apparently a mail truck was involved in an accident and was blocking the lane ahead.

What's to do?

I wasn't there. Could he have switched lanes, pulled to the shoulder, turned right and found another way around?


And while stuck in the middle of the intersection the light turned. The cars in the intersection were obstructing the flow of traffic in the opposite direction.

"Things" sorted themselves out and he was able to proceed, but NOT before the driver of a vehicle trying to cross the intersection in the opposite direction took the opportunity to roll down her window and yell,

"Hey kid in the little white car..."

He looked, only to be presented with a stiff middle finger.

So to the elderly woman who thought her gesture was an appropriate way to express her ire?

Yes, thank you.

So much.

That whole thing about aging with grace, setting a good example for the younger generation etc. etc.


Concept seems to have escaped you, eh?


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut - Sometimes You Don't!

Or make that - sometimes you feel like writing, sometimes you don't...Just taking a little month's hiatus. But I look @ the stats and folks are still checking out the blog. What's up w/ that? Not getting any more hits on the profile so you're apparently repeat customers. Ya big sillies - got to get your "daily" dose of attitude, eh?

Anyway I got to laughing the other day. (Again!)

Several weeks ago a friend started remodeling her kitchen. And ohhhhh, it's going to be nice. She was telling me about her plans: tear down this wall, move this here, put an island there. I thought it sounded great and when she talked about opening up the hallway and using a spare bedroom for the dining area I was totally impressed and while looking at the layout I mentioned that it would look nice if she removed a portion of another wall which would really open up the space.

She gave a little shriek, threatened to punch me and said "Not you too!" Her husband and contractor had both mentioned the possibility but it seemed she was adamantly opposed to the idea. So while I repeated that I thought it would look nice with a half wall, I also told her it was her kitchen, so whatever!!!!

Yesterday I visited to see how it was going. About halfway done. But I'm getting a visual - I'm likin' it!!! As we turned to discuss the placement of the china hutch I did a double take. The WALL was missing.

I looked at it. Looked at her. Raised an eyebrow...

"Well," she says, "I'm still not sure, but I talked to Mike and told him what you said and it ended up being a...Carly says....so here we are."

Seriously people???????

Well hell.

I want to try that again, only THIS TIME - I want a horse in that race!!!!!!!

Feels just like a replay of the old TV ad that goes, "When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen!"

Snort. And you know, if she ends up hating it, who's fault it will be, right?


Monday, March 21, 2011


I've spent some quality time at the local Department of Licensing.

Oh, are you already saying "this can't be good...."


I could write one very long post about their antics, or several point specific posts and still have left over material. Still one major irritation I have is: that for a state that seems to hand out driver's licenses, willy nilly, to illegal aliens who then turn around and utilize that identification to obtain other benefits/rights usually reserved for citizens (natural born or legal ones) of a nation they sure get fussy with the rest of us and frankly I don't get it.

The Youngest got his driver's permit last summer. I had to bring a lot of paperwork/identification to get the permit. They verified it and typed it into their system.

We go back to sign up for his driving test to get his driver's license.

They require all the same information that we brought in six months ago to be re-presented. (You know, all the information that was already verified and entered into their system - yes, I'm repeating my self...so were they.) PLUS they also want his SS#. You know the number that is specifically not supposed to be required by law for the purpose of identification?????

And then we start on the fact that my identification lists me under my maiden name, which of course makes The Youngest's last name different than mine...

Well, what a stroke of luck!!! We have his birth certificate with us.


It states that this child was born to a woman who happens to have the same name as me. What a coincidence!

But they want to see a marriage license because they need to make sure that I'm the/a custodial parent.


A marriage license proves that?  What if, in these "enlightened" days, Farm Boy & I had never formally tied the knot?? Would that make The Youngest any less my child? (Remember I've got his certified birth certificate in my hands) OR if Farm Boy had accompanied The Youngest to the DOL, just because they had the same last name, does that mean he's the custodial parent? What if we were divorced? How about if he was actually his uncle?

But, because we've played this game before - I do indeed have the marriage certificate with me. I hand it over with a raised eyebrow.

When we're finished w/the boy, after almost 3 decades of wedded bliss I plunk down my money and (due to the increase of identity theft and heightened scrutiny of ID in general) request a formal name change on my license.

Make it so #1.

It is done.

While I'm at it I figure I should probably get the "enhanced" version so I can wander back & forth across the Canadian & Mexican borders if the mood strikes me.

Stop Engines.

The notarized marriage certificate that was good enough to get my name officially changed will not work. Apparently I need to go to the court house to get one that has "all the numbers" on it.



Oh yes, we're done here...

So I go to the court house. Pay more money for an EXACT COPY of the certificate I had handed the darling DOL employee.

Same #'s on certificate - just notarized by a different person.

Someone is just not too smart.

AND it's probably me - cause I still JUST DON'T GET IT!

Let's not talk about why illegal aliens don't have to show ID to get their voter registration because it's racial discrimination/profiling.

We don't want to go there today.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Let Me Tell You About Wendy

I met Wendy what? 30+ years ago.

She is lovely.

She is petite, has gorgeous black hair, beautiful sparkling eyes, a flawless complexion and a smile that lights the night. Truly a classic beauty.

More importantly she is kind, gracious & humble. One of those people who looks for, and finds, the positives in life.   Someone who you could almost learn to dislike because she, she's so...perfect! But that's impossible to do because she also comes with this little grin that flirts with the corners of her lips when we're all getting TOO serious about ourselves.

I am always amazed by my friends. I know some awesome people. Their biggest flaw seems to be that they like me, in spite of myself!

What's up with that???

Don't get me wrong...I'm grateful. Truly. But still....

So the other day Wendy & I are instant messaging. Basically making noise, no earth shattering news being passed back & forth. I'm making my usual scathing, in your face remarks - trying to be funny. I reread something I've written and figure it's time to repent. "Sorry," I write, "was trying to be humorous - sometimes I think I'm funny." :(

Without missing a beat she writes back - "You are."


Okay, she may have one fault. Apparently she lies.

But I love her for it!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Silly Horthy

A new horseshoer was recommended to me and Padwon got her hooves trimmed today.

Turns out it wasn't a horseshoer, they are a team.  Older guy, Steve & his apprentice. Both good hands w/ a horse.

But two new people in her barn? My little blond just stressed about it.

Overall she did fairly well, and I had to laugh when I led her out so that Steve could watch how she was traveling. We were done and as we were talking, in the middle of the pasture, I undid her halter. As soon as she was free she went from patiently standing to an immediate explosion of action - the head went up, the tail went up and she thundered off at a dead run, throwing dirt clods in the air as she fled across the pasture. She reached the far fence, turned and glared balefully at us.

Just had to let us know that she thoroughly disapproved of two strange men crowding her.

But she's a girl who's got her priorities straight...

I got a handful of grainful of grain, whistled, and said..."if you want this you'd best come arunning!"


Her head jerks, she sees that the guys are out of the corral so she immediately makes a bee line to me and the grain.

I guess being (and remaining) indignant is just not all that it's cracked up to be!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

It's Been One of Those Weeks

I need to turn to more light hearted posts. Find something funny, clever, witty to talk about, but first...

Without going into details I need to confess that I was asked, the other day, to do something.

"And?" You say...

Well, yes, at first blush I know it appears I am being a crank again.

I don't mind helping people. I do mind enabling people, especially those who are younger, fitter, and more able than I. And when they want me to pay their way, do their jobs, take care of their tasks, or personal chores that they are just flat TOO LAZY or cheap to do?

Fortunately she surprised me so badly that I was struck momentarily speechless, therefore by the time I was ready to ask her what her last slave had died of - the moment had passed...

On the polar end of the spectrum I am regularly dismayed, by the amount of people who can truly use assistance. There are many who have not had the physical, spiritual or financial blessings that some of the rest of us have. This morning a sweet woman, who has battled a series of health crisis's, was overwhelmed. This lovely lady needed, at the very least, a friend, a confidante.

This week I've run into people who have no respect for other's property, time or feelings.  On the other hand I've seen humble people who are lonely and discouraged who could truly use some help. I have little patience for the first. Almost limitless sympathy for the last.

The sad thing is that the entitlement babies are a yawning, mass of self centered neurosis's. You literally can't do enough for them.

More heartbreaking are those truly in need. They ask so little. They expect even less. And because of that they so often go unnoticed, especially when they're surrounded by the "ME" menagerie.

I weary of the madding crowd. Sometimes it seems a fine irony that we're commanded to esteem our brother even as our selves because some of those selfish souls use all the available oxygen leaving the frail ones to faint.

And that just doesn't seem fair.


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Enuf With The Dogs Already!

We live in a semi-rural area, BUT there is a county leash law...like if you own a dog it should be on your property and stay there. Whatever it takes. Obedience training, electronic monitoring, fencing or alas - a chain.
You know where this is going, yes?

Last nite, as I came home and started to drive into the garage I saw a tell tell streak of water slurred all the way across the driveway.

Someones dog, (you know, the dog that WE do not own. The dog that is supposed to be in its own yard?) has been in our pond. Killing the fish & trampling the landscaping.



Then when I tried to let the cat out later he started out the door & did a wild 180 as he rushed back into the house just slightly ahead of another neighbors mutt.

So today while I'm working I pull up to a mailbox. An older woman is walking her chocolate lab. (We are not in front of her house.) As I pull to the mail box, she looks confused. The ground is nicely leveled both in front of and behind the mailbox. There is even layer of gravel all around it and ample room to pass behind said box.

Does she think I wish to speak w/her?

Ummm, let's see...vehicle w/sole occupant sitting on the "wrong" side of the vehicle, a sign that says US Mail, a person wearing a USPS badge and a hand held out with letters aiming for the mail box.

Maybe it's the mail lady????

Or maybe it's just taking her a little time to process what's going on and she'll assume it's safe for her to continue walking her dog by GOING BEHIND THE MAIL BOX.

Silly me.

Instead she stops, is standing there (holding her leashed dog) staring as it jumps up on the side of the van with it's very large, untrimmed toe nails.

I can hear the screech of it's nails on the paint.

I know I've got "the look" on my face.

Our little lady looks puzzled. At no time does she reprimand the animal or attempt to get it off of my vehicle, or apologize. She can't seem to understand why I would be annoyed. "She's very friendly," she assures me.

Really? Who would have guessed?

I'd like to assure her that she can now pay for the damage to my vehicle her flippin' friendly animal caused.

She finally pulls the dog off of the van and continues her walk.

I wonder, uncharitably, if I can follow her home and put a huge scratch in her vehicle. She wouldn't have a problem with that, right?

You know - I actually like dogs.

But I'd rather their owner's would enjoy them on their own time and their own property.

Novel idea, eh?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Very BIG Needles

I sooo would have not made a good junkie.

Hate needles.

Always have since I was a little girl and my parents, for some reason, decided to take all 4 of us kids to the doctors office for shots.

Mom left.

The four of us were hanging out in one of the rooms. I was about four????

The nurse comes in with this hypo. Looks around and grabs Ron. Jabs him - he squeals and makes all kind of noise. Then Allen. He didn't look a lot happier. After that Jo and by the time she got to me, well I wasn't sure exactly WHAT was going on, but my little brain had processed that it was. not. a. good. thing.

I remember making a dash for freedom. I jumped over a chair, tried to climb over the bed...I was terrified. I think I was going to try to jump out of the barred windows. Tears were streaming down my face. The woman must have been a bulldogger in a former life because she grabbed me as I ran past, sat on me and you know, I was so hysterical that I can't even remember getting the shot now.

Still don't know what it was for.

I asked Mom. She doesn't remember.

Needless to say I've cast a jaundiced eye at anyone bearing a needle since.

I've had 3 c-sections and being Rh neg. and somewhat accident prone I've had multiple opportunities to glare at needle bearing, nurses, technicians, phlebotomists & doctors.

And you know what?

They don't care.

In order to try to preserve some vestige of dignity I long ago decided to simply ignore the blood suckers. I go to my happy place: ride my gelding, Sabyr, along the South Touchet River; listen to the breeze rustle thru the leaves; and feel the warmth of the sun on my back. It also helps to look any place but where they're setting up their mid-evil weapons of torture...

So today, I had to go get cortisone shots in both knees. It's been seven months since the last one and that was just in the left knee. The doctor used his little freeze spray stuff, the nurse handed him the needle below the table and other than feeling a short period of pressure, it was done.

Oh, you rock Doc!

Today however, the Orthopedic Office was a little busy. Sandra, the nurse, filled the syringes, laid out all the supplies and left. I read a magazine, contemplated the ceiling, laid down & pretended to take a short nap, but you know when you and the needles are just sitting there for 45 minutes...

Holy kraut! Look at those puppies. I've used smaller needles on my horses!!! Now I know the cortisone is probably viscuous and needs a larger hole and bigger needle to be delivered, but these babies were a good 3 inches long.

I stare in fascination.

Then I start figuring how much longer I could deal with the pain before it would drive me back to the office...Just as I finally decided that there is no time like now to revert to my 4 year old self, and make an escape, Dr. Perry walks in.

He grabs the syringe  and waves it around. He has forgotten that I have a needle phobia. I grit my teeth and focus on the door knob.

First one, some pressure but pretty good. I let out the breath I'm holding.

Second one...yes, I know to hold VERY STILL. But I have chubby knees. That makes it more difficult to hit the correct spot and well, "we" didn't make it. The needle hits a nerve and the knee bounces in an automatic reflex.

"Eek," I squeak, "sorry, sorry, sorry."

"DO NOT MOVE." He says through gritted teeth.

"I know, I know, I know..."

We both take a collective breath.

"Okay, I have this in but I need to re-angle it. Stay still."

As I nod, he goes again & I let out an involuntary squeal and I find I'm trying to suck my leg backwards into the table. He stops momentarily. We look at each other. Then he "jams" it home & injects the fluid in one quick motion...

"Ummm," I say, "that was - fun."

He looks at me sympathetically and says, "Ice it when you get home."

Sandra finally shows up. As I go to the front desk she walks with me. "You okay?
You're not going to collapse are you?"

"No, no." I say. "It just feels a little weird, but it'll work itself out. Besides, seriously, if I fall what are YOU going to do about it?"

"Well," my 115 pound nurse says, "I can catch you...or if all else fails, throw myself on the floor first so you have some cushioning to land on!"

I've got a visual on this and I just start LMAO! I grope for the wall so I literally don't fall down laughing.

I wipe a tear from my eye and say, "If that happens, do us both a favor and get the heck out of the way!!!!"

Silly girl.

You know, I've been doggin' the diet for a while. Lost 55 pounds and then just got lazy...but not anymore.

Needles, very BIG needles = incentive. Lots & lots of incentive.

Monday, February 28, 2011

It's All About Me - Revisited

Boy I hate it when I have to come back and severely edit a post. Ohhhhhh. Wow.

Anyway I started by saying that...

Farm Boy got a phone call the other night. Someone had issues. Thought they'd been left out of the loop. Felt there was information they should have been privy to, and when they didn't get the full scoop they considered it vote of 'lack of confidence'. They were ready to fold their tent and get the heck out of Dodge.

Farm Boy wasn't quite sure what to do and hands the phone off to me, telling our caller that I can fill him in on the situation better than he can.


Let's be clear...this was not a teenager. It was a mature person who had been given a calling. It was a delicate situation but his main duty was just to be there, act normal and help with whatever, whenever it was requested...

As I tried to explain the condensed story he just wasn't feeling it.

The core of my comments were a call to compassion, understanding and service. A gently held carrot coaxing a recalcitrant horse through the gate. An extension of all my feminine wiles to placate a man's wounded vanity. It's the same story/scenario which has been repeated between the sexes since the dawn of time. A diplomatic masterpiece that would have been much more satisfying welded as a baseball bat. However there were other people to consider so diplomacy was the weapon of choice.

I ended the conversation by reminding this man how much I valued his friendship and how much I cared for him.

You know what he said?

"Yes, I know you do. But it isn't enough."

And then he hung up.


You know, there are a lot of people who need help and fellowship. We've been told to lengthen our stride and we should, but, the fact is that we're not going to be able to be everything for everyone.

Sometimes I find I've over scheduled myself...and unfortunately that means that I'm probably not doing any one thing REALLY well, but I keep stumbling on anyway, doing the best I can at the moment.

You know, I used to watch my father beat the crap out of my mother. I definitely grew up with a bad attitude about the "Me Tarzan, You Jane," I've got to be in charge at all cost, types.

As for  "our friend," you know, the "it's all about me" guy...

Oh, Deep, Cleansing. Breaths.

Don't know what to say. Except, thanks for hanging up. An age old frustration burns and I'm left with the final assessment of:

Ego...thy name is MAN.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Make A Plan & Work It

I have a co-worker. Sweet woman, seriously, but...

She has a tendency to meet us at the door on days that the work load is heavy and greet us with a 'doom and gloom' thing. Going on six years now and she's just now finally realizing that I'd rather not be met with the equivalent of "Welcome to your piece of crap day!!!!"

I don't know anyone who likes to be dumped on, but it happens, yes? So when I walk to my station/case it usually only takes seconds to size up the situation, and...




"oh heck, what the ???"

It is what it is.

Then I set to, and try to get 'er done.

I'd like to say that I handle all challenges with great dignity and aplomb. But...no. I have my moments. I've been surprised on occasion, badly a time or two. But I've never given up, yet.

Okay, there are a couple of issues that I just haven't dealt with...and yes, when that happens, I pretty much opened up a closet, chuck IT inside, slam the door and lock it, and having no brilliant ideas on what else to do about it...leave. For the rest of it, my mantra is pretty much..."Suck it up, buttercup." Then the shoulder gets thrown to the wheel and on I go.

There are some people I know, however, who grind to a stop on a regular basis. The road blocks life throws in their way bring them to a complete halt.

I was reading the book Rhineland Inheritance by T. Davis Bunn. While not heavy, philosophical reading I found it interesting because it described the destruction of German cities following WWII. (Especially interesting for those of us searching for German genealogy records.) My great grandfather and most of his family were in Germany during the war. Times were hard. His daughter, my grandmother, sent packages with supplies and food as often as she could from America. The book tells of the aftermath of the war and the roving bands of homeless children who were orphaned or abandoned because there was no way for the parents to care for them. The army staff tasked to deal with the situation were often stressed because no matter what they did to assist it was never enough. The author noted that when dealing with death and destruction there is sorrow everywhere. He suggested, through the character of the Army Chaplin, that there are three basic choices we have when dealing with it.

1) You can let it overwhelm you, and if you do it can drive you around the bend.

2) You can lock yourself away. This is what a majority of people choose to do. Sometimes they simply refuse to deal with life, they are imprisoned within themselves. Others only allow themselves to tend to their own hunger. Still others see nothing but their own pain or hate. Because they are blinded by their own will, they view their own pain and anger as justification for other's suffering.

3) The last choice is to learn to take each day as it comes, and to do what you can with what you have. This means learning that you cannot avoid seeing the suffering of others, which is hard. I would imagine that it would be impossible to do this without the strength of God in your heart. At least a believer can respond to this suffering with prayer. But the key is to learn to do with what you have. Do not see yourself as a failure because you can't touch all who suffer. Recognize that universal healing can only come through Jesus Christ, and accept your assigned task. Then do all you can with everything you've been given.

Life has its moments of unsurpassed beauty. It also has it moments of soul crushing pain. Our job is to go onward. Some of my favorite lines of poetry come from Robert Frost's Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening:

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
It's okay to stop and catch your breath, or admire the view. But whether the end of the day or the end of our years here on earth, we all have miles to go, good works to do, people who need our help. IT is not about "me".
Best get going, eh?

Friday, January 21, 2011

T-Shirt Time!

Seriously? Some one made a t-shirt just for me? Ahhh...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

On The Road Again

Don't want the kid on the bus, getting his arm jostled, so I'm off, to go pick him up.

Headed down the highway. I've set the cruise control at 61/62 mph. Just as I go under the Lewis Street overpass I see an unmarked State Patrol car sitting on the side of the road.

Five cars ahead of me suddenly get religion & hit the brakes. The group collectively slows to 55.


Guys? Speed limit is 60? Could you, would you? As I start to sail into the pack...

Ahhh, never mind. I hit the decel button and, I too, slow to 55 to avoid rear ended the paranoid schizoid in front of me.

The trooper has to be having fun watching everyone freak.

Gotta love the herd mentality.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Let's Tear Off All Our Clothes And Run Screaming, Naked Down The Street

"I didn't say that." He declares staunchly.

Ummmm. Okay. Listen to this.

"Yah. It's okay!"

Then try this.

"Yahhhh. It's - okay...."

The first would be taken to mean: It is fine.

The second could denote a variety of things, but the reluctance is obvious. The correct words are there but the tone implies that while it may be tolerable, you're not guaranteeing you won't puke on someones shoes afterwards...


A world of difference. So please stop making excuses. Okay, I'll concede. That may be what you said...but it is NOT what you meant!

No, no, really - no more excuses. You may stop talking now.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bumper Snicker

My Attorneys are Smith and Wesson...

We always settle out of court.

Monday, January 17, 2011

NOT On The List of Helpful Things To Do

The Youngest broke his arm.

Jan 1.


Helllllooo 2011.

Had surgery on Jan. 10, put a plate in/on it. Now he gets matching scars, one on the left arm, one on the right arm.


Sent him back to school Thurs. It was a bit much so he stayed home on Fri. At least he got his homework. And so we try to play catch up. He's off the pain pills and has some clarity about him.

He's done a lot better this year and this last quarter had all A's & B's ...except for Spanish. I don't know. Maybe his schedule was just too tight. He has 7 classes plus release time seminary. He was on the swim team and spent quite a bit of time after school with his sports broadcasting class which filmed a lot of the home football, volleyball & basketball games. So maybe it was just too much.

Anyway, Spanish sucks.

Big time.

So we're looking at what he has to make up. There is an interactive lesson site on the Internet. He has a microphone to do the practice speaking sessions and he just doesn't get it. He is too far behind.

Enter Farm Boy. There is no school today because of Martin Luther King Day but Farm Boy has to go to work. No holiday for him. However, before he leaves this morning he is VERY DEFINITE...If The Youngest has not finished his Spanish homework, he announces, he will not take him to school tomorrow. He will not allow him to go back until it is all completed. End of discussion.


Wow. Large & in charge.

Gotta love it when dumb meets dumber.

Let's review.

The kid has missed a total of 9 days of school. Semester finals are this week on Thurs. & Fri. Said kid, has just had major surgery. While he has tried to do the work we've brought home for him he has been in pain & medicated. He needs help catching up and will have to cram as many reviews as possible on Tues & Wed. in order to have a snowball's chance on the finals.

Spanish is a wash. The class will have to be dropped and he'll just have to try again next year.  Farm Boy & I have discussed this.

But this morning...

Ah yes, the ultimate solution. He's behind, so let's hold him out of school so he can get further behind.


Okay, seriously not happening. He will go to school.

But...just because I had to listen to that noise...can somebody, anybody?

Explain the thought process behind that?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Computers: Male or Female

Found in the "Tidbits" newsletter:

A Spanish teacher was explaining to her class that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine.

House for instance, is feminine: la casa.

Pencil, however, is masculine: el lapiz.

A student asked, "What gender is 'computer'?

Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, male and female, and asked them to decided for themselves whether 'computer' should be a masculine or a feminine noun.

The men's group decided that 'computer; should definitely be of the feminine gender (la computadora) because:
1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic.
2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is impossible to understand for everyone else.
3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long-term memory for possible later retrieval.
4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.

The women's group concluded that computers should be masculine (el computador) because:
1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on.
2. They have a lot of data but still can't think for themselves.
3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they are the problem.


4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer you could have gotten a better model.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

New Hope

"Things work out best for those who make the best of how things work out."
             Coach John Wooden

Thursday, January 13, 2011

On The Road To The Land of Oz

Oh, man.

Thrown under the bus - again.

It would probably be easiest to lay on the pavement and wait until the semi that's coming down the road gets here and finishes the job. However, if one can move but chooses not to - do we still have to explain to Da Man upstairs why we opted for the "easy" way out???

Well crap, who wants to have that conversation.

So one crawls, slowly, painfully to the side of the road. Like one of those bad B movies where they use an assault rifle on the swamp monster but it. keeps. coming. back...

One of my cheery little friend's mantra is..."NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER GIVE UP!"

Lawsy, lawsy, ain't 'self talk' a wonderful thing!

Well, just prop me up in the corner over there. Brush me off and we'll fake it for another go round.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Sexting & Other Assorted Evils

A high school teacher in Churchville, Virginia recently noted in the paper that students at her school attended a program on Internet and online safety. Many of the kids were surprised to learn that cell phone calls don't just go from one phone to another. All text messages and calls are transmitted through cell phone towers, which route the calls or texts to the company's servers. All sent messages and photos are stored on the provider's server. This means pictures deleted from a phone never really are deleted, and text messages and photos never go away. They still exist in the virtual world.

Should those pictures become the center of a court case, the information is subject to "discovery." With the right equipment, law enforcement can retrieve deleted photos from ANYONE'S cell phone.

When photos of underage students are passed around people need to clearly understand that they might be prosecuted for producing, distributing and possessing child pornography. SEXTING is a criminal offense in almost every state in the US. Whoever receives and distributes those photos could be convicted of a felony, serve prison time AND live the rest of their lives as a registered sex offender.

You know there are some pretty outrageous things that can be done with our electronic toys. From cell phones to the Internet, a wealth of information is available. Some of what we see edifies but a vast amount, whether on your phone, email, facebook etc. is just plain shocking.

Texting on a cell phone is convenient but to avoid running afoul of the law The Youngest's phone is simply set up to not accept any texts or pictures. To protect him from any dorky friends who may think that pictures taken in the girl's locker room would be a hoot, the texting feature on his phone is disallowed.

I've chastised my children, especially for things they've posted on facebook. Social networking is right. there. for. everyone. to. see. And before you say, "don't care," stop and think about what an employer might say about your facebook site. Are you mildly ribbing your friends & relatives or are they hurt & offended? Are you striving to be viewed as humorous or are you coming across as a jerk? Me thinks facebook would best be handled with care. A great way to keep in touch with friends and acquaintances. A dangerous place to let it all hang out.

Then there are the blogs. Boy, they come in every flavor imaginable. And for whatever reason you are blogging I'm REALLY sure that you should be able to figure that you're willing to own every word you've written. If your best friend gets a hold of it, are you good? Your boss? The in-laws? The neighbors who irritate the tar out of you? Oh, and how about the Bishop?


There's an old saying that reminds us to think before we talk/write. We're cautioned to ask ourselves... 1) Is it true? 2) Is it kind? 3) Is it necessary? 

I'm totally not saying everything in this blog falls under that criteria!

'Cause yes, I'm going to claim it's all true.

Kind...oh, not always.

Necessary...bwahaha. Guess we'll have to figure out if I would have gotten over myself in time or if I was really thinking I was gonna have to walk up to someone and SMACK 'em and venting here prevented that!

Of course, there are the times that I think my pithy (no pun intended) remarks on human nature are funny. Sorry if it offends but that is just the way I roll...

Ultimately if the Bishop copied this off and was waving a sheaf of papers in front of my nose I'd... well, there might be some interesting conversations with a few people but, what the hey, it would certainly be a place to start that conversation, eh?


Over all I see too many people being way too careless, too casual. We're surrounded by music, TV programs, movies, text messages, Internet postings, pop-ups & emails that are vulgar, rude and destructive.

And I'm pretty sure that's not who we want to be.

We used to warn our children about the dangers of the world before we buttoned their coats and tied their shoes and sent them out the door.

Now they don't even have to get out of their jammies to get into trouble...

Be careful out there, will ya?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dear Abby

The Farm Boy cringes when I read Dear Abby. It makes me laugh.  Great exercise in: When pointing fingers make sure you take a looksee at who is pointing back...

So this gem was about in-law problems.

BITING MY TONGUE in St. Paul, Minn. says: How does one live peacefully and get along with one's in-laws...While I try to respect one another's differences how does one eat at the same table with people who eat with their faces an inch from their plates and chew with their mouths open? How does one tolerate their complaining about everything & everyone? How does one coexist with people who think they're perfect and the rest of the world is flawed. I thought about giving them an etiquette book as a gift, but my spouse told me not to waste the money.

ABBY replies: An etiquette book would help only those who recognize they needed to consult one. The way to deal with your in-laws is, first, to remember they did one thing right: They produced your husband. Because their table manners offend you, visit them after mealtime whenever possible. When they complain, respond with something positive or tactfully redirect the conversation to another subject. When they present themselves as perfect, never disagree - and see them as infrequently as possible.

Ah, yes, tried & true advise.



How long has it been since I've seen the kids?


Monday, January 10, 2011

Playin' Barbies

40 some odd years ago, I used to go over to Susan Hicks house and we'd play Barbies. She had a bunch o' dolls - various Barbies, a Skipper, Midge & two Kens. We'd dress them up & down, have short, imaginary conversations between them and then change clothes...again.

It was like washing your hair. Lather, rinse, repeat.
Fast forward. Now everyday, morning & night, I go to feed Padwon. While I'm there I do the routine check that any responsible horse owner would do...look for cuts, lameness or just the dull eye that indicates trouble.

Also I do a quick groom job. Especially if her coat is matted. Hard for a winter coat to provide extra insulation if it's all mucked up. Sometimes tho, I fall prey to my brushes and combs and turn into a 10 year old again. Her flaxen mane is combed until it flows, the golden hair is fluffed and even the leg feathers are puffed. I don't stop until my little blond beauty shines.

The other day I had one of 'my moments' and the girl friend was looking good when I was finished with her. I was thinking "That's one sweet looking little horse."


I came back out in the evening.


She was a mess. Caked mud all over the place. Let's keep in mind that it did not rain/snow and that she has access to a dry spot to lay in under the shed, also the pasture wasn't actually soggy and she could have picked several spots to lie on or roll in that would not have soaked her to the bone in the freezing temps, but noooo....


You know, as you get older the irony and futility of housework strikes home on a regular basis. In a traditional home the man goes out the door every day and...builds a barn, makes a fence etc. When he's done he moves on to another project. His body of work stands as a monument to his life. A woman spends a great portion of her day baking bread, preparing meals, washing dishes, fixing the bed, wiping noses, doing the laundry & folding the clothes. All consumable activities that as soon as she finishes them, start all over again.

It wears on the soul.

And so dear horse what's to do with you?

Lather, rinse & repeat?

Thursday, January 6, 2011


I'm trying to work on my genealogy. I've opened the computer room at Church, gotten Ancestry.com up. Carrie drops in and sets up an appointment for her Laurels to use the computers. There is a little time to kill before mutual starts so she sits a spell.

She leaves and Betty has some questions. So we chat and talk about some solutions.

We're at the tail end of our conversation and I am just starting to reach across the keyboard to load a census when Turk shows up.

He needs to get into the clerk's office. No, I don't have a key. Well, the Bishop said he'd be here in 15-20 minutes, meanwhile he needs to be entertained.


"Can you get Elder Davis' blog up on that computer?" He asks.

Sure. So we read Elder Davis' latest entries. Then we chat about Turk's family.

Lovely, lovely man, but I'm not getting a lot done.

Going on 30 minutes.

He launches into an internet joke he received. Starts with, "There's this Catholic Priest"...I roll my eyes. He grins and and continues by telling me that the guy was transferred to a new parish in Washington D.C. and when he opening his bedroom curtains the first day he was there, he looked out and saw a dead jackass on the lawn.


What was he to do? So he started calling around but no one was at all helpful on solutions to remove the donkey. He was starting to get a bit irate and decided to 'go to the top". He gets back on the phone and calls Nancy Pelosi. Tells her the situation. She is VERY busy and just explodes. "I'm an important person, I have tons of work to do. Why are you calling and bothering me about this jackass? You're a priest. Take care of it. What do you usually do when there is a death?"

"Well," he replies. "I do just what I'm doing now. I immediately notify the nearest living relative."

Okay, still laughing.

Turk. Bless his soul.

He decides to go look for the Bishop.

It's getting a little late but there's time to lookkkk...

"Hey!" "Whatcha guys doing?"

"Umm, genealogy?"

Pat sits herself down to chat. The talk centers generally around genealogy & extracting but it appears that's she fairly comfortable that the bulk of her work has been done. Still she asks random questions. I answer & we have a nice little conversation.  My other compatriot looks up from her computer occasionally but she's hot on the hunt and goes back to work.

8:30 pm. It's time to leave. I've been here two hours, but genealogy?

Well...not so much.

Pat looks around as we prepare to shut down. She says her daughter should be getting back to the church anytime now, right? We close the door and all amble off together as she goes to look for the kid.

You know some things HAVE to be done. But many things in life have a certain amount of flex to them and I just hope when there is a choice to be made that Turk and my other friends know that they're important. And I hope that I remember to make them feel that way.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Gotta Love People... Kinda, Sorta

The boss gets on the computer first thing this morning at work....

And finds a man has lodged an official complaint.

It seems the tracking system showed that a parcel was delivered to this man's house Friday but he says it never happened. He was outside taking down Christmas lights and saw the rural route driver stop at his mail box but - no package.

So he files a complaint.

Our boss calls him to get details.

Then the boss calls the driver.

Driver says, "Uh, yeh, the guy was outside just like he said. And while he watched a small parcel was scanned and placed in his mail box along with the rest of his mail."

The boss now calls the complainer back. Says the parcel was indeed delivered.

"Nope," the guy responds.

"Yes," the boss says.

Apparently they agreed to disagree and the call was terminated. A very short while later the phone rings. A somewhat chagrined customer explains that the parcel was found....

Wait for it! 


Right where it was left three days ago. He says he thought the wife went and got the mail, and she thought he went and got the mail...

I was left shaking my head in disbelief.  They sat in front of their computer, saw that the tracking system said the parcel had been delivered and BOTH of them were too lazy to walk their backsides, 30 feet, out to the mail box to look. 


Saturday, January 1, 2011

To Be or Not To Be

My mother is a huge fan of Dooney Bourke. They make shoes, purses, luggage. Don't really know that much about them but if it's Dooney Bourke, Ma goes gaga over it.

I love shopping at Nordstrom's basement. 50 - 70% off? Count me in!! I'm also a huge fan of thrift shops. That old saying about one person's trash being another's treasure? So true! I'm not into junk but many items at Goodwill or DI can be cleaned, repaired, refinished etc. and be as good as new.

So when I found a little, leather, Dooney Bourke purse at our local Goodwill for $7.99 I snatched it up, and when it was cleaned & polished it looked brand new. I gave it to Ma and she was thrilled!!!!! She knew approximately how much it would retail for but before she could get all excited I told her where I found it, and that, while I got it for a really good price, when I saw it, I thought of her and hoped that she could use it and would like it...

She looked a bit taken a back for a moment and inspected it again. Then apparently decided it met muster. Now, every time we take her out she "rushes" to get her little purse. Same thing with the Dooney Bourke shoes I found for her on eBay...

So, like I said, I love thrift shops. Don't have a problem when someone shares something with me that is not "new" (I like to think of it as vintage) or maybe even is a regifted item...as long as it appears that they CARE.

Therein lies a problem.

How do you say you care? Does it involve copious amounts of money? Fancy wrapping? Or is it filling a specific need? Knowing that she likes milk chocolate not dark chocolate? Taking a little extra time out of your schedule to help?...

We all do it in different ways.

The other day I was about something. It was going to make me a little late and when I called Farm Boy to let him know I wouldn't be home on time, it offended his sense of justice. He got in a bit of a snit and remarked..."They wouldn't do the same for you!" I had to point out that he, undoubtedly, was right. But I was trying to be nice.

Oh I know there are days when I look like I'm vying for membership in "The Bitchin' Wives Club." But I match those with days where it looks like I'm actually trying to get a leg up on that Charity thing.

You may not notice, but I do have my moments ... Someday I may accidentally turn into a good person.

I'll let 'cha know how I'm doing - later.

(Insert a smirk here) 

Meanwhile, that last regifted item I received?  The one that spoke volumes about how much she valued my friendship? The (unwrapped) token of her esteem that was thrown in my lap?

Ah, well. Let's just say I found a realllly special place for it.