Monday, November 26, 2012

You Little Whippersnapper You!

I head for bed. Close the door, pull my covers up and snuggle in. I start to doze off.

Suddenly I snap back awake. Farm Boy and The Youngest have decided to have a loud and robust conversation in the hall, right outside the bedroom door.

Hunting, guns, ha ha ha, blah, blah, blah.


Raucous laughter.

"HEY!!!! Shut up out there!!!"

Farm Boy, "Oophs, your mother has issues." I hear his retreating footsteps.

The Youngest however, opens the door, laughing, and says, "You sound just like the old lady in the movies, yelling from the room upstairs!"

"Yessss, thank you. Now close the door."

"Goodnight GRANDMA." he says with a smirk.



Sunday, November 25, 2012

May I Say Who's Calling?

The phone rings.


"HI! This is Allison."

I'm just standing there...and I'm thinking, the secretary from school? Jillian's sister Allison?

"I'm returning your call?

???? Ummm.

I'm totally drawing a blank and then finally my brain returns from the short cruise it was on to the Bahama's...

"Oh! ALLYSON! Sorry, misplaced my mind for a moment. Yes! I called about...blah, blah, blah..."

Honestly sometimes...and yet I have to laugh about this name confusion game. I was talking to the Farm Boy and saying, "and then Shirley said..."


In exasperation, "No, Shirley L***!" What was he thinking? Could he even vaguely envision the other Shirley playing Tarzan from her deck? (I know... great story, but not mine to tell here!)

Or "Carrie called."

"Kerry? You mean, the Bishop?"

"NO! Carrie, the girl."

??? He's got that look, does he even know a female named Carrie?

"For heavens sakes guy, Carrie F*****!"


And so it goes.

But my favorite was talking about Wendy to Wendy. One Wendy is petite and lives in S. California. The other Wendy is tall and lives about a mile from me. I've know the one for 35 years the other about 25 years. But after visiting Los Angeles this summer, apparently I was doing the old, "Wendy this, Wendy that..." It was getting confusing. I started resorting to calling them Little Wendy and....

Of course you can follow the other's 'name' to it's logical conclusion to which SHE said,

"Ummm, no. Let's find a more flattering way to refer to me. I don't do BIG Wendy."


Whoops. ;)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Small Acts of Kindness

All body parts are functioning as normal, or pretty much as normal as they will ever be again. There are new limitations to live with, but it is what it is. Time to refocus on justifying my existence. So I'm looking for service opportunities.

Be careful what you ask for!

Large and small in the last two weeks all I have to do is stand still for a few moments and "things" present themselves. Which is good, but:

That quick craft project? Six hours later I had it done. Cute, but having bad thoughts about glue guns. Still it was one less thing my very busy friend had to worry about. Made me happy to know I'd lifted a small burden.

Teach what? Ohhh, so not my favorite. I flat said no. She thought I was kidding. Sigh. It won't kill me.

Dinner for how many? Got it covered.

You did what to that computer? And I'm supposed to fix it how? This is gonna take a while.

They are where? Who has them & why? Huh? Okay. Okay. I'll take care of it. Yes. I know. You're welcome.

Twilight? Again. Seriously? Ummm. You know I love you when I stay up until 1:30 in the morning for a girl's night out to see a show I loath, am not really interesting in.

Your teenager needs a place to camp for four days? Sure.

Do I look like your mother? Never mind. Where are you? I'll be right there.

But the best was my pregnant neighbor who was due last Sunday. She called because all her friends who said they'd watch her 3 year old son took off for the weekend and she needed someone to watch Ben until her mother could get here when she went into labor. (Mom lives ~ 100 miles away.) Sure!

I thought about it and called back. "Okay, so you have his favorite snacks/toys, schedule etc. written out /where I can find it to help ease the transition of having a "strange" person coming over to take care of him, yes?"

"Oh, I'll get that taken care of," she said.

The weekend passes. No baby. But last night her husband calls. "Can you take Ben for a while?"

"Oh, sure. What time do you want me over there?"

"How about I just drop him at your house until Grandma gets here?"

So in a little while Mr. Ben is handed in the door with one diaper and dad is gone.

Fortunately I realized that being dropped at the neighbor ladies' place, who he only sees occasionally waving at him from the front yard, might be a bit traumatic so I had Will put on an animated Disney show, we turned up all the lights so it was nice and bright, pulled out a furry, snugly blanket, spread the Lego's out on the floor and strategically placed Spiderman fruit snacks on the table right in front of the TV. When dad set him on the sofa & I placed an open pack of yummies in his hand he was sufficiently distracted so dad could slip out the door.

The kid was totally calm and sweet. Will built him little Lego cars. Ben was perfectly content. He had toys in one hand, snacks in the other and between making putt putt noises for the cars and neighs for the toy horse, he kept an eye on the TV and watched lively segments of the DVD. 

Happy child. Success!

When Grandma showed up, I went to answer the door. My little shadow followed. I said "hi" and turned to pick up Ben's coat. "Time to go, cutie!"


He marches quickly into the living room, climbs into the rocking chair, braces his feet, and YELLS, "No! NO! NO!"

New game plan.

I look at grandma. "So, why don't you have a seat, and we'll chat?" :)

We make casual conversation and after a couple of minutes I get up and get a couple more packages of fruit snacks and hand them off.

"Oh, look Ben. Grandma has more Spiderman treats for you!" He calmly looks at her. Then looks away. We chat a bit more, then I pick up the coat again. "Let me help you put on your coat guy!"

I get the look.

Then he holds out one arm, then the other...

He, Grandma & the fruit snacks disappear into the night.

It's good to be useful.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


Another month of this nonsense.

Political debates, elections... the parties clash. The issues polarize the populace. Taxes, women's rights, gay marriage...

There's a lot of my way or the highway going on.


I'm seeing things I don't like. HOWEVER, for every belief I hold dear there is someone on the other side. But we seem to be forgetting that our right to swing our fist ends at the other guy's nose. I may bitch about it here but I try to hold my tongue in public because 'they' have their agency. I don't get to tell them what to do. I will share my beliefs but sometimes we end up agreeing to disagree and I go to my corner while they...hmmm, well, unfortunately I've noticed they tend to try to sit on top of me.

That's when I start to get a little frisky.

Get off.

I can't make you accept my definition of marriage. But why do you get to change and define the standard  that has stood for thousands of years?

I can't stop you from having an abortion. But if a cell is dividing and growing, if it has a beating heart, it is by definition, a living thing. Except in the case of rape/ incest, you had the ability to keep that egg from being fertilized. THAT was your choice. Why do you get to take away the choice of an unborn child and kill him? His body - not yours.

I can't stop you from printing every form & notice in several languages. BUT, my grandparent's ALL learned English when they came to this country. A common, spoken language unifies people. Why are you "special?"

I can't...yes, the list goes on.

Mostly, I'd like to see people being responsible for themselves. Everyone could use a hand now and then but if you constantly expect hand outs I'm not sure that I got the memo that said I was responsible for providing them.

I feel like I'm standing here, just trying to hold on to my little patch of  grass. So we call a vote, but if I and like minded people vote and pass a rule or win an election we end up getting shoved up against the wall and threatened until they get what they want... it's never finished until the liberal/radical element prevails. This, of course, is the same liberal faction that fights the idea of presenting valid voter id. Washington State had a governor's race a few years back that a conservative a narrow margin, but he won. So, a recount was called for. He won a narrower margin. Soooooo, they recounted again until the liberal candidate won by the narrowest of margins. The results then stood. It seems a few dogs and dead people had to vote to get those results.       ????

Now, I'm not necessarily a Sarah Palin fan but when Obama first campaigned for President he was young and relatively inexperienced in the political arena. He became the Great Black Hope. Sarah Palin, too, was young and relatively inexperienced but running as theVice Presidential candidate she was virtually crucified for the same traits that Obama had.  ????

Next, (this one is old, but one of my personal favorites...) if you use the word niggardly in a sentence you are a racist.  ????

Also if you have several guys standing together, all with black hair, brown eyes and dark complexions and you identify one as "black," covering anyone of African descent, as opposed to the Oriental, Italian/Middle Eastern Type or Hispanic he's standing by, you are likely to be labeled racist. (Seriously, happened.) Sigh.

I'm not only wondering what happened to civility, but common sense, integrity, morality...

And it looks like I might have to keep wondering.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Speaking In Tongues

Read the book Mount Dragon by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. It's billed as a "genetic research thriller."

I've enjoyed their books - they move right along, and are interesting...The passage that caught my attention this time was between the "good" guy Charles Levine & the "bad" guy, ex-friend/power broker, Brent Scopes. They're about to die...

Scopes poses the question: "Do you believe in life after death?"

Levine shook his head, "In Judaism, we believe it's what we do in this life that matters. We achieve immortality through living a righteous life, and worshipping God. The children we leave behind are our immortality."

Scopes points out, "But you have no children, Charles"

"I had always hoped to. I've tried to do good in other ways, not always with success."

Scopes was silent. "I used to despise people who needed to believe in an afterlife," he went on at last. "I thought it was a weakness. Now that the moment of reckoning is here, I wish I had spent more time convincing myself." He looked down. "It would be nice to have some hope."

Hmmm, yes.

I'm totally on board with the idea my children are my "gift" to the world. I expect them to meet and exceed my contributions to society, but I'm pretty sure that my actual salvation/immortality (or place therein) is up to me. For better or worse I think I will be judged for my own actions and, well, I agree it is nice to have hope.

Meanwhile, I've had a couple of interesting conversations recently. That "God thing" kept popping up this summer. Seems there is a trend towards rejecting organized religion. These folks aren't saying they don't believe in God, they just don't want SOMEONE telling them what to believe about God.

Okay. I understand that. But whether you're a Christian, Jew, Muslim, or....just about everyone has a book of instructions. Who decides exactly what those instructions are saying? We go to our different churches & synagogues, mosques, to be taught what these books mean...(defense exhibit #1: Isaiah?  Or how about Leviticus?) I'm not dumb but I'm willing to listen to other's interpretations!

Keep in mind that the people I was talking to came from Christian backgrounds, but they were basically saying they were "rejecting" Christianity in favor of an all seeing God who encompassed all the earth. Well, to an extent, I could agree with that. I do believe there is one God. I just think people have developed different concepts of who He actually is.

I listened carefully as a person explained that she fell under no particular denomination or sect - while she described me as a hard core (?) Mormon, (and she had no problem with that, some of her best friends had been Mormon) she was simply "spiritual." She felt that we, as citizens of the world, had a duty to one another to help each other out. I agreed and said, "We call that...service." Then she said we should impart a portion of our worldly goods to help those less fortunate. "Umhmm...we call that...tithing/fast offering." Continuing on she explained that we have the power to communicate with God. "Yes, I said, we call that...prayer." Finally she spoke about being able to learn to understand the mind of God and receive inspiration from him. "Ah yes, we call that... revelation." I continued... "You know, this is kinda cool. We actually seem to have a lot of common ground!"

She changed the subject.

I thought we were speaking the same language...but, maybe not. Can always hope though, right?

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Orson Scott Card - Hypocrite

Interesting stuff by Orson Scott Card in his Alvin Maker series.

Part of conversation between Alvin's troublesome younger brother Calvin Miller, and a character called Taleswapper, a wandering story teller who teaches using tales (parables.) It starts with Calvin berating Taleswapper:

Calvin: "You're just a hypocrite... "

Taleswapper: "A hypocrite?"

Calvin: "Pretending to be what you're not. So other people will trust you , but they're trusting in a bunch of pretenses."

Taleswapper: "That's an interesting idea, there, Calvin. Where do you draw the line between a humble man who knows his own weaknesses but tries to act out virtues he hasn't quite mastered yet, and a proud man who pretends to have those virtues without the slightest intention of acquiring them?"

Taleswapper continued, "So, everyone is a hypocrite except Calvin Miller?  Well, now it sems to be unanimous,we're all prentending to be something that we're not."

Hmm, something to think about for a spell, eh?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Got A Visual On That!

The Youngest comes home, looks me straight in the eye and says, "Mom, I've just seen the world's ugliest woman."

He gets 'the look' and an immediate rebuke for being unkind.

"No, seriously, Mom. This was the female version of Brother -----."


(Let's understand that the man is somewhat robust, has a florid complexion, with unrefined features and ahhh, a lantern jaw.  Sweet soul, but not much to look at...)

"Yeah, with really long, scraggly, hair."

"Oh. Well, ummm...looks aren't everything boy."

"Mom, you're just not understanding. Brother ----- with makeup, long hair, and... breasts!"


And sometimes - well, sometimes you just have to give it up and save the teaching moments for later.

I look at his earnest face, he looks at me...

We can't stop laughing for quite a while.

Friday, August 10, 2012

RE: Make My Day...

'Scuse Me...gotta go find my gun. ;)

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Another Rant

So, the facebook post went:

I may be turning into a fussy old woman, but time you wear the REALLY short, short cutoff jeans to the grocery store, (even if you wear beige spankies or was that your boy cut panties?) please don't bend over like that. :(

And one of the comments went:

... fussy old lady would be the old lady who lays into her in public...and i would have paid to see that (you laying into her, not the scene you described)

My, tongue in cheek, response was:

Nate - I just don't understand how you think anyone as sweet as me would cause a public scene. ;)


I'm left thinking this situation is somewhat of a conundrum. We used to wear rather disreputable, cut off blue jeans to the swimming hole when I was a kid...mostly because we didn't have money for 'real' swimming suits, plus, the jeans were short because you don't want a lot of material dragging you down and drowning you while you're just trying to have a little fun and cool off, right? Now, even when girls wear their skimpy bikini's they're usually fairly snug and body parts are "contained." Plus, it is the beach/swimming pool and you're kind of ready for what may be lounging about.

Same thing with sports wear...umm, bicycle shorts? Not a lot left to the imagination but at least everything is tucked in. Wrestling singlets?  Bwahaha...

I don't even have a problem with nudist colonies. Everyone there, at the resort, is (I assume) on the same page, so, no surprises there.

End analysis? I don't like being flashed in public. While it's embarrassing to mention to someone that "your fly is down," I view it as a kindness if someone squeaks up. But, for all the plunging necklines that leave little to the imagination, exposed midriffs that are threatening to disclose pubic hair, and pants that just no way, no how, cover the subject...

Seriously. What do you say? They know what they looked like when they left the house. They dressed that way expressly to attract attention. If some "old lady" kicks up a fuss about it, it's just a no win situation. Because if you try to discretely mention that they are, ahem, exposed, they will be offended and insinuate that you're a pervert for looking. Delicately raise an eyebrow in their direction and you'll hear a muttered, "bitch." If you publicly take them to task for inappropriate wear... Hey! you've just validated their need for attention & they're on top of the world - still probably won't keep them from dropping the f bomb and causing a scene but....

And last week? At the convenience store, a 13/14? year old boy hopped out of the back seat of his car. Stood right by the front door (between my vehicle and his) with his father inside the car.  Yes folks, dad was right there. Raised his shirt and adjusted his jeans, which were at least 3 sizes too big, DOWNWARD. The waist band curved under his buttocks, and the front, rested on top of (how to express this delicately)...his little mound? He vigorously cinched his belt, tightening it to hold the whole show in place.

Oh my.

Doesn't that HURT??

I got out. Walked into the store.

I. Did. Not. Say. A. Word.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Do Your Daily Exercise

In spite of my weight - I do like to exercise.


Stop laughing.

I love to swim. Don't mind doing water aerobics, working out on weights. Am about ready to get back on a bike. Knee is flexible enough again so just need more power/strength. And one of these days I'll have lost enough weight and have the balance necessary to ride a horse again. And if gardening counts, well, count me in!

But hiking? Eh...if it's to something interesting (like a sale), a scenic vista, or better yet!!! A hot springs!!!! I'm all over it. Walking to be walking? Ummm, not so much.

There in lies a dilemma. Went for a vacation. Lovely!!! First time in years I've done/gone somewhere just for myself. Visiting friends & relatives, chatting, eating, shopping & just hanging out. No schedule, no pressure, no service projects, just play.

Big smile!

However, I've worked so hard to get my knee/leg back in shape that I do try to get my daily exercise, but not a pool in sight. So, bless my sister's soul, she includes me on her daily walks. Okay. I can be a good sport. After all there's good company and this is Alaska. It's so green and beautiful. But I'm a master at going for a little bit then stopping to check out the scenery, view a flower up close, take a picture of a duck...

The sister is no dummy.

It only takes a day or two of this and she catches on. Second nite I hear her on the phone..."Oh, we'd be delighted to babysit your dog!"


Who's this "we" she's talking about. Got a frog in your pocket girl?

The next morning, the grand puppy, McGyver, or whatever her name is, rushes down the stairs into my room and leaps into my arms.

Great. (We're talking about the ultimate cat lady, remember?)

Sweet dog. Really.  All 50, wiggly pounds of her.

Time to explore.

So we load her up, get our morning chai, make a few stops and then it's time for a walk.

I get her leash and we're off. The sun is shining, there is a fresh breeze blowing and it's a beautiful 65 degree day. We leave the parking lot at a brisk pace...and accelerate.

Umm, McGyver?

"She doesn't heel, does she?"

"No, she's just a pup."

"Oh.  Rather enthusiastic, eh?"

The sister smiles, "Um hmm!"


It doesn't take long for me to realize that this is Alaska! So of course I'd end up being attached to an animal that was part moose sled dog. For the love! I valiantly hang on. pant, pant, pant  And I wonder, does it have another sped?

Other than run?

McGyver, happy little thing (with the foot long tongue), finally went home.

Not to worry tho. Millie took her place the next day.

I mean, who goes on vacation and loses weight?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


The Youngest bounces into the kitchen this morning.

A young, 17 year old man of rare and frequent enthusiasms.

He's got it ALL FIGURED OUT!

He's taking the money he makes from working in the hay fields this summer and for $3000 he's going to get his pilot's license, and next summer?

He's going to be a....(wait for it)

Crop Duster!!!!!!

I know I rolled my eyes...because he started earnestly explaining his theory.

I object. One word. "Danger."

"Phfft!" He exclaims.


"Oh no....blah, blah, blah" he runs on.


But he was off and running. He had a plan....again.

Oh me. I'm getting too old for this. And I hate to "stomp" on his dreams. But most of them are designed to give Mom a heart attack. Can he just grow up, make it to 21 without any more breaks, explosions, burns, surgeries, near death drops from silo's, sled rides into sewer systems and? (We don't even want to talk about out houses & rocks...)

But just in case, I've already found my reality check.

I know - killjoy.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Me Thinks Thou Dost Protest Too Much

Some things just are....

What you see is what you get...

Familiar sayings. But still, feel free to discuss stuff. It seldom hurts to kick the tires, turn things around and look at them from another angle. That old thing about "an unexamined life..." y'know? You have my permission. I know you were waiting for that!

HOWEVER, sometimes a pile of sheet is still a pile of sheet. Doesn't matter if you send it to a lab for analysis, it is what it is. Disclaimer: I know people can compost it ... as a matter of fact Farm Boy works on a process to turn it into methane. (But a rather involved, messy & expensive procedure that your average person doesn't have access to.)

So - while I don't want to intrude on your reality, and if you want to vent, please, be my guest...and sometimes it helps to just laugh about the things/people we can not change, but the saccharin massage? The "if I deny reality long enuf,"  maybe it will go away? Spare me. Please.

I wholly encourage the power of positive thinking, but it's easier to change your life if you step out of fairy tale land. Mayhaps the following advise:


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I'm Bad


Subject: Your Sallie Mae statement is ready to view


The #1 Daughter has been in South Africa for two months. She's just finished her training for the Peace Corps and now has moved to her permanent village in Zulu land where she will utilize her college degree in Public Health and it's emphasis on Epidemiology (study of infectious diseases.)

She will be there for the next two years and I'm left in charge of her banking account and making sure $$$ are transferred to take care of her concerns here in the States. One of which was paying off her student loan. I did so. Sent them a cashier check from her account which she has put me on as a co-signer. I called Sallie Mae @ the start of March, got the payoff and requested information on interest for the few days the check would be in transit. Thought we had it covered. The Daughter gets an email today w/her new statement. She owes 82 cents.  ????

I call them.  When all is said and done here's the email I just sent her:

Dear Daughter:

Okay, gotta love bureaucrats...not. Sent cashiers check in March, specifically asked for payoff w/grace from postal stamp date or additional interest for mail time whichever they preferred, just tell me what I need to send ... some companies use the posted date as their cutoff, but no. Not Sallie Mae. And the amount I sent ended up not being correct. Anyway instead of paying off 2 of the 3 loans completely they left a little principal on each loan for the few days lag time between when I sent it and when they posted it. Total was about .82. ???? Seriously? So I call and tell my main man Jeremy, I'm going to use my visa cash card to pay it. Today. Instead he wanted to bill me? Huh? "No, let's just do it now, save you postage and me trying to guess how much interest I'm going to have to pay this time and still not get the thing totally paid off." "Well... okay," he says. Doesn't seem to want to do it. He tells me he'll have to charge a minimum of $1 to the card so I'll end up overpaying .18.


I cheerfully answer, "That's fine. It's a check card which means it's going to cost Sallie Mae .85 cents to process it, you (Sallie Mae) will get .15. So, in the ultimate nod to stupidity, when we're done with all this nonsence we will have wasted your time and I'll have had the satisfaction of doing it. So at this point I'm thinking win-win!"

"Ahhh," he says. Pause. "Is there anything else we can do for you today?"  Me, "No, I'm good."

Anyway a statement is supposed to show up within 30 days in the mail showing that the loan is paid - free & clear and you should be getting an email. Oh, by the way, to save confusion I used your name. He thinks you're a bitch.

Love you.  Bye

Monday, April 2, 2012

Why Would I Lie?

Love the English language. Just wish I had a better command of it...

Last month there was an article from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch talking about a guy who had claimed he was a decorated war hero.

Never happened. So they were trying to pass a law making it illegal to claim you had received awards from the armed services when you actually had not. I understand the concept but that First Amendment is kind of a sticky little thing. You can get into trouble for liable - knowingly saying untrue things about others and defaming their character but lies? I guess everyone has their own perspective, a better question might be what is truth? Following is an excerpt from the article:

The most pathetic lies are protected by the First Amendment.  The First Amendment to the constitution reads, in part, "Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech."

The notion that anyone falsely would claim to have been decorated is despicable, contemptible, infuriating, outrageous and other adjectives precluded by space and taste.

Okay, I just don't want to deal w/the guy who's lying about being a decorated war hero.
What I want to talk about is that last sentence.

Is that not a great piece of writing? And I love the... other adjectives precluded by space and taste.

How often have you listened to people or read things that absolutely precluded any pretensions to taste, or even demonstrated the ability to utilize the English language proficiently?  (Disclaimer: Can I stomp around in the mosh pit with the best of them?  Well...unfortunately yes.) But I also have a great appreciation for being able to prove oneself semi-literate or at least pretend you have access to a dictionary. Go read some of Winston Churchill's stuff. Especially some of his one line retorts.  My personal favorite is one fired at Lady Astor, (neither of whom apparently cared for the other) She: "Sir, if you were my husband, I would poison your tea!" To which Winston Churchill replied, "Madame, if you were my wife, I would drink it."

What a fabulous come back! Today you seldom hear an outrageous compliment or an extraordinary put down. Most of the time someones displeasure is just expressed with a "f*** you."

Really?  That's it? Guess one doesn't have to worry about a continuing dialog or discussion to resolve any issues. Everyone just walks away with the f-bomb hanging in the air.

So to the guy lying about his war medals. Shame on you. Further discussion of your integrity is indeed prohibited by space and taste. There's a whole movie about "Why would I lie?" It's kinda of funny on an entertainment real life, no.

We have freedom of speech in this country. We have and enjoy many more freedoms that people across the world can only dream about. I wish we all appreciated that fact more.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Boys Are Gross!


The Youngest gets off the Transit Bus, crosses the parking lot and hops in our rig.

"Wow," he says. "Couldn't wait to get out of there. I've had the worse case of gas and have been holding it all the way from Richland."


"Those chicken sandwiches they serve in the cafeteria at school are toxic!"

I look at him in alarm.

Too late.

The fumes almost make my eyes water. I hurriedly roll down the window.

HE just sits there and grins. He thinks he's funny.

And they wonder why people abuse their children....

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Private Club

The Youngest has been a naughty boy and has been grounded for the last two weeks. This means, in part, that his driving privileges have been temporarily revoked.

Win, win situation for me. I have to go to Richland to work out anyway, so I can run him to school, he gets his dose of discipline as his buddies see him dropped off by his mommy and then I head for the club. This gets me to a water aerobics class that is just one hour earlier than the one I usually attend. Only difference is that the ladies in class all range in the late 60's to 70's + years old, instead of the 40-50 range in the later class. So, nice women, but most are my mother's age.

One sweet woman, named Leah, belongs to the same church as I, just attends a different ward. She goes out of her way to include me and the past two weeks have been fun getting to know her.

Today, Joan shows up.

Everyone else knows her but it's the first time I've seen her. Been on vacation, maybe? Leah & I are talking, she sees Joan and motions her into our "circle." Leah leans forward conspiratorially and whispers to Joan, "She's one of us."

I look at the rest of the octogenarians. I'm a little concerned. How old does she think I am?????


She means I'm LDS.


That I can live with. Welcome to the club!!!!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Senior Citizen Discounts

When you are in your late 40's, AARP starts a letter campaign offering you membership and regular mailings/magazines.  Most of us aren't feeling it and file the paper trail in the garbage.

With the official retirement age at 65 and threatening to go higher "we" have a hard time dealing with/thinking about aging issues.

Boomers look in the mirror, apply our potions & lotions and blithely go on our way.

Sometimes we get a little reality check.

Like today.

I went into a store and at the check out counter a perky, young clerk informed me that there was a 10% senior citizens discount.

I hemmed & hawed, until she continued by telling me their discount started at age 55.


I just turned 55. And allowing myself a private delusion, I was sure I didn't look it.

The $1.34 I saved was not adequate compensation for my deflated ego.

I trudged back to my van w/my bags and as I settled in the cell phone rang. It was Farm Boy. We chatted and I related the incident to him.

I was kinda laughing.

He immediately and cheerfully states, "For what it's worth, I've never been offered a discount."


Ha, Ha. It is to laugh. Funny guy.

You know there's an old Arabic curse that goes something like....

May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your (ahem - edit) armpits.

I know, cranky.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hows About I Just Buy Some Support Hose Instead

Stuff happens.

I know that.

Tonight for instance.

I was asked to do a fireside with another person. I was prepared, but...

We got started a little late. There were a few technical difficulties. Then had an uncomfortable moment when a young person who couldn't read very well struggled through a story. When we switched speakers we kinda lost control of the crowd.


The best part?

At the start The Youngest walked in, followed by Farm Boy. I wasn't quite sure why Farm Boy was there. It was a youth fireside, in a smallish room. Seating was going to be at a premium. I gently mentioned that to him. "I'm here to support you," he staunchly announced, and parked himself.

Umm.  Okay.

Anyway, kids pretty much end up hanging from the ceiling. Second speaker does a slow wrap up. Dessert lady is impatiently demanding to know when we'll be finished.

Well, when all is said and done...better luck next time, eh?

I get home.

Farm Boy informs me that he left at 10 minutes after eight. "You know," he says, "you only have about 45 minutes, then you're thru, you lose their attention."


He continues, "It was pretty bland...they liked the fan charts tho, but you...blah blah, blah blah, blah, blah and on he goes."

Yes. I know.

It was easier to just get up and leave the room.

I mentioned there were SEVERAL things out of my control? I was well aware what they were as they were happening and in the end, one excuse (or explanation) is just about as good as the other. BUT I'm so glad he stayed to offer his support and provide his constructive critique. One wouldn't want any mushy sympathy or understanding, or...better yet...tactful silence.

He's good like that.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Walk the Line

A while ago I started a somewhat sarcastic post along the lines of "how I spent" my summer.  Tried to keep it short but...

Awwww f'getaboutit!

So since May I've had 3 surgeries. During the first one I had a doctor induced infection leading to a ruined knee, 2 additional surgeries including a complete knee replacement. Finally 9 months later, they tell me it's about as good as it's going to get. Still not great but certainly better than being in a wheelchair.
Somewhere along the line I also managed to injure my shoulders. More about that later.

Meanwhile, It's the middle of Feb. and I need some hay for my horse. Finding hay in late winter is not always easy. I usually try not to put myself in the position of doing it but this year...well, all things considered...

So I call a guy, make an appointment, make sure The Youngest is available to help load, 'cause remember - shoulders? I can't. But our intrepid farmer finds himself in Walla Walla when we're supposed to be at his place in Hermiston. He wants me to come out at another time more convenient for him, unfortunately then I'd have no help to load and would soon be out of hay. As I try to explain why that would be difficult for me the guy starts making noise, gets all snitty and just pulled my plug!  He's not where he's supposed to be, when he's supposed to be and he gives ME static??????

But I was good.

I didn't yell, or anything, I just calmly told him that I guessed we were done then, and discontinued the call.

He thought about it for a minute and called back. I may have pushed the "reject call" button. But it went to voice mail and he left a short apology.

Fine. Whatever.

Two days later he calls again. I didn't look at the number before I answered my cell phone and before I  know it, my favorite jackass farmer was on the line. He doesn't want to lose business and offers some explanations plus tells me about the unfortunate incident a few weeks ago when a few bales fell on his he hurts too. But he does have a loader and wouldn't be doing it by hand anyway soooo...the point of his story about his owies was????

It didn't really matter. I'd already found another hay source and politely told him that. BUT he wanted me to know that I'd just caught him at a awkward moment, he really wasn't a bad guy and would like me to keep him in mind if I needed any hay in the future.


Okay. But like, only if I'm totally desperate, yes?

Meanwhile, I wish him well. I hope his injuries heal. Bye-bye.

As for me, well....those shoulders???  After a couple of MRI's, physical therapy and... Gosh, no one (doctors at least) seem to know what happened, however the cartilage in the right shoulder is all torn up. They'll be happy to shoot cortisone in it for as long as I want, and when I simply can't stand the pain anymore - then they'll be happy to do a total shoulder joint replacement. My family doctor tells me shoulder surgery is one of those operations you absolutely want to avoid if at all possible.


I know somethings just "are." That's life, you play the cards you're dealt and deal with it.

But, this voice inside me, still wants to ask: It wasn't that way, at all, last May, before you started to mess with my life. And I'd like to know about the perfect, fingerprint bruises on my right arm after the one surgery, and exactly what you did to my arm.

Ah, but no one's talking, are they? And little things, like reaching behind me, picking up anything heavier than 15 lbs. much less lifting a light, grass hay bale? Probably never going to happen again. It shouldn't be. But...

In the words of someone famous....prove it.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Large and In Charge

Some friends and I had lunch together. One older woman, complimented her daughter by saying how intelligent, capable, and industrious she was. She also marvelled at how courageous her daughter and other young women were for demanding equality in their marriages in these modern days.

She had been conditioned by 50 years of marriage to serve her man. My heart broke as she quietly spoke of the terms of her marriage and that what she went through before her divorce was NOT uncommon. Being married, even to a good Christian, had little, if anything to do with being equal partners. She emphatically stated that things we take for granted now were just not done 50 years ago.

While there are and certainly have been good marriages throughout the ages, I also
realize that, too often, her point of view is valid. I grew up watching my dad beat my mom. Dinner not on time? BAM! Kid crying? WHAM! He didn't have a good day? Slam! All my mom's fault. Every time. Without fail.

Even though I was the "favorite" child I came in for my fair share of abuse. One time, when I was about four years old, "someone" didn't flush the toilet. I don't know who it was...I only knew it wasn't me and the other three kids, weren't about to fess up. So we all got to stand in a line outside the bathroom while Dad took off his belt and beat each of us individually, then had us go flush the toilet. Being the youngest, I was at the end of the line. I remember being terrified. I was crying and standing there in wet pants because I was so scared. There was no way to escape punishment that I did not deserve. Mom was too afraid to intervene. She never did.

When this occurs repeatedly, to me it seems there are one of two things which happens..."they" can either break you or make you.

I couldn't do a lot about it when I was little. As I grew I realized there would always be people bigger or stronger than me and they might catch me by surprise the first time but I vowed, there would never be a second time. Me, my children or those I was tasked to protect would not be victims. At least not on my watch.

So to some, it appears I have a bit of a "chip" on my shoulder...And through my life I've really come to appreciate the fact that if a man is somewhat aggressive people tend to label him as assertive. But if a woman is assertive, well, okay, she's just a bitch doncha know?

That was brought home to me several years ago. I was assigned a new sister to visit.  She's married to a man who has, let's say, taken her for granted for a good many years. Being a humble woman she has strived diligently to be a good wife and mother, but has sacrificed much to do so.

It was almost priceless when, during our first visit he happened to come inside. He walked in, saw me, and stopped dead in his tracks.

The only thing he said? "You're not going to teach my wife any bad habits are you?"


To myself - snort, maybe!!  Then I searched my mind for a politically correct answer.

I managed to muster a suitably sincere/innocent expression...

"Why no, of course not." We stared looked at each other for a moment.

I may have batted my eyes a time or two.

He grumbled something under his breath and left the room.

His sweet wife raised her eyebrow but didn't say anything else.

You know...

I look around and see my friends husbands and other supposedly good men doing some really interesting things. The question begs to be answered. Have things really changed?

Or have those nice, Christian men, who need to be large and in charge just gotten sneakier with the crap they pull?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Steamin' Dreams

Grey, dark days of February are bringing me down.


So, DIL wrote about a trip she & the Commander made to a hot springs in the snow recently. Brought back fond memories. I love hot springs. Clear, bubbling, warm waters gushing out of nowhere in the middle of God's glorious earth. How cool is that??????

Anyway, long ago and far away friends Shari, Paula & I had occasion to be traveling over the Lolo Mountain pass. Saw a forest service sign that said Hot Springs.


We veered over to the side of the road, locked the pickup, loped across the river on a rickety wooden foot bridge and headed into the mountains.

Following a fast running stream we hiked about 2 miles in and came upon a beautiful mountain meadow, dotted with numerous, steaming, bathing holes.

And I swear, lots & lots of nekked people.

Where the heck they all came from I will never know.

We looked at each other and silently turned around the way we'd came.

On the trail back, the stream dropped away from the path and there, just at the bend we saw delicate tendrils of steam wafting thru the air...and NO people! We wasted no time tumbling down the little cow track that led to the water, ditching our clothes and settling into our secluded hot tub among the rocks, at the edge of the stream.

We soaked, talked and played but finally Paula decided she'd had enough, climbed out and started to dress.

Paula was just buttoning her shirt when an attractive young man appeared overhead on the trail. He, like us on our way up, would not have noticed the hot spring had Paula not been sitting out in the open. He waved and she called, "Hey, the water is great, come on down!!!!" Only then did he turn far enough to see Shari & I still in the pool.

The minute Paula had opened her mouth, Shari & I looked at each other in alarm.

This couldn't be good.

I don't believe I've ever seen a guy move faster in my life. He didn't wait for a second invitation and scrambled down the same slope we'd taken an hour before. His backpack, shoes & shirt were flying off as he came.

However, timing being everything, there wasn't much we could do except try to exit the pool as gracefully, and calmly as possible. We pulled on articles of clothing as quickly as his flew off.

Paula sat there relishing the scene.

I still remember the grin on his face and the obvious sincerity of his: "Oh, you don't have to leave just because I'm here!"

I also remember the tight little smiles on our faces as we said thru gritted teeth, "No, no, we were just leaving anyway."

It's hard to be "cool" when you're struggling to get a bra on over wet skin.

But it's not hard to be sincere when you quietly tell your miscreant friend she's gonna soon as you catch her.

Paula got a good head start, bolting up the hill, into the sunlight of a late summer afternoon.

After we flew down the trail, tackled her and all collapsed in a breathless heap...we had to admit it was kinda funny.

Thirty years ago, when we were young...

Making memories to store up against grey, winter days.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

He's Heavy & He Ain't My Brother

I attended a small, rural high school. There were 24 kids in my graduating class. Traditionally we elected a senior as ASB president, but in our class there weren't a lot of people interested in the job. The one guy who ran had a campaign manager who decided Randy's slogan would be... "He ain't much, but he's all we got."

It was kinda funny - then.

I keep telling my kids that the world is their oyster. And that now, in their youth, is the time to educate themselves, explore and expand their horizons. As time marches on people make decisions that can refine or limit their options. Education or lack thereof, marriage, children, career choices, buying a home/real estate can all limit our mobility and affect our ability to take advantage of new opportunities. Not that growing up & becoming responsible is a bad thing but the weight of our life can either lend us stability or drag us down.

Still, we do have options. Exercising them can have consequences. We, of course, want to look at all angles. But no matter what your age, 18 or 58, it still seems a sad commentary when your choice ends up being...."He ain't much, but he's all we/I got."

I'm left hoping, with all my heart, that will be enough.