Monday, August 30, 2010

It’s the right thing to do…

A family member has fallen on hard times. 

No, not one of my kids – they are doing great – thank you for asking.

I wish I could say the troubles were caused by the down- turn of the economy, or a natural disaster.  But they weren’t.  The troubles were self inflicted with bad decisions followed by more bad decisions, with the end result of a hole so deep that no matter how hard the eyes strain, the light of day cannot be seen.  It was time to step in and offer a hand of support.  That decision was not easy to come by.

Many conversations were had well into the night.  Conversations about tough love.  Conversations about protecting ourselves and what we have struggled and worked so hard to have – both physically emotionally.  The bond between husband and wife can’t be jeopardized in the process of helping someone else.

This move on our part is not charity, but rather an effort to guide someone we love and care about deeply, onto the path of  self-sufficiency and self-love.  Surely if those two things are in place, the right decisions will follow.  Personally, I believe the inclusion of God is key, but that is a very personal decision.  My beliefs in that regard will be seen by example. 

I’m not going to pretend that I don’t feel anger and resentment.  “I’m very pissed at you right now” were my exact words.  The feeling of resentment hasn’t been voiced.  Somehow that feels very un-Christian.

Pretending that this isn’t going to have a huge impact on us would be silly.  It is going to mean many trips driving someone who no longer has a driver’s license into town.  Trips for court dates, mandated classes, job hunting, welfare application, unemployment… on and on…  Our barn is no longer filled with hay, but rather someone else’s worldly possessions.  Our downstairs is no longer a playground for the grandchildren or a late night getaway for us.  It is a safe haven for someone who currently needs one. 

I am somewhat embarrassed to admit that I always said this is something I wouldn’t do – bail someone out of stupidity.  But now that the opportunity has presented itself, I realized… it’s the right thing to do.


I wrote this in the first person since this is my blog, but Jim and I are in this together. DSCN0403

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Laughter is the best medicine

As I go about my day to day activities, I often stop and wonder at the things I can no longer do.  You know, things like stand on my head, back bends, recite the alphabet backwards, remember the words to a Shakespeare play.  Wait.  I never could do those things!

Then of course there are things I really do sometimes have trouble with, like remembering where I parked my car, walking up three flights of stairs without pausing to catch my breath, doing the laundry and then forget I have clothes in the washer, forget to take the oven off preheat…  this list is endless.  Also endless, though, is the list of things I still do without badly messing up.  So I am good! 

And when I am no longer good, I plan on continuing to be no longer good with a good sprinkling of laughter inserted into my daily life.  And when I am no longer able to find laughter, it is my hope that someone will do their darndest to provide it for me.

This video of a Prayer on Getting Old is one of the best videos I have watched in a very long time.  I want to be HER when I grow up!  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Prayer about getting old

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Macho Man

  My daughter, Tessa, posted these pictures of grandson, James, on Facebook.  They are too priceless to not share.  Here is what she said:


I did not dress my kid this way. Should I be a bit concerned? I will admit - I did have him do the actions to YMCA. These are great blackmail someday

Apparently he thought  he was dressing like his daddy…




That’s our James!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A short getaway

Our most recent short vacation took us to the historic town of Galena, IL to meet our good friends, Dennis & Kris.  From the early to mid-1800s Galena was a mining, smelting and steam boating center.  It was one of the busiest ports on the Mississippi River.  Its future was bright, with talk of Galena even becoming the State Capital.  It only made sense since it rivaled the size of Chicago. 

Unfortunately, with the introduction of the railroad in 1854, the city began its descent into a quiet, backwater town.  Preservationists began restoring the many historic and grand buildings in the 1960's to the splendor of Galena today. 

The trip was a good get away.  We ate way too much.  Fortunately there are no laws against laughing too much, because we most certainly would have broken a few. 

I hope you enjoy the photo collages of some of the many pictures we took of Galena.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Mark Twain?

We just returned from a fun trip to Galena, Illinois.  There are many photos and stories to post.  Needing to catch up on so many things, I’m not sure when I will possibly get that post put together!

Galena’s biggest claim to fame is President Ulysses S. Grant lived there.  There second claim to fame is that they took a dying river town and breathed life back into it, saving the many beautiful historic homes from demolition.  It is a gem.

We spent one enjoyable evening, watching a one man show performed by Jim Post.  His show is inspired by the little-known fact that Mark Twain sang tenor and played banjo, guitar and piano, and loved to show off at parties.  Building on that knowledge, Post, who bears a remarkable resemblance to Twain, developed a one man show of song and monologue that had us tapping our feet, sometimes nodding with an understanding of the story, and other times laughing without reserve.  The guy is brilliant!

In the 60’s he wrote the hit song “Reach Out of the Darkness”.  He and his wife recorded the song as Friend and Lover. He told us the story of how it was a sleeper type song going nowhere, and then a DJ in San Francisco picked it up during the demonstrations of the 60’s, and it just slowly got picked up by one radio station after another until it became a hit.  A bit of what I researched on the internet suggests that some of the song’s original lyrics were LSD induced.  That wouldn’t surprise me a bit, since that was the case with much of the music of my generation.

There were only 18 of us at his performance Friday night.  Apparently the Galena season is slow in the summer but goes great guns in the Fall.  Post visited with us before, during, and after the show.  I got a huge hug from him when I guessed this 71 year old to be 62.  Jim and I visited with him for a bit during intermission and he told his that his new venture is a show about Sam Houston, with original songs and dialogue.  He then proceeded to softly sing us one of the songs he had already written for the show.  Beautiful.

Here is a bit of Jim Post:

More on Galena tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Cool Green!

As I look around me, I see Green everywhere! We've had just enough rain to lower the temperatures and give back a touch of color to the stressed grass. Knowing this is only a short reprieve, I've made sure to take advantage of every second of it. The temperatures will soar towards the 100's again sooner than one would think possible. And then when we least expect it, the cooler tempertures and beautiful oranges and reds of Fall will show their face.
School days are here again. It is hard for me to believe that every one of my grandkids, with the exception of sweet little Reagan, are now in school. Three are in Jr. High! It seems like only yesterday that my own children were heading off to their first day of school. Sometimes the quickness of the passing of time makes my head swim.
Saturday was Anna's birthday. Happy 8th Birthday to 8 Anna. Our little Bug is what we call her because she is cute as a bug. She had a wonderful birthday party on Sunday. I'd post pictures but, well, they are still in the camera. Later, huh.
Remember the pigs the girls showed at the County Fairs? They both were sold at the Moniteau County Fair and both girls got over $500 for their hard work. That money will go towards next year's pigs and feed. They are learning such a valuable lesson about the benefits of hard work and saving and managing money. I'm very proud of them.
Emily has started babysitting and is apparently in great demand. If I had young kids, I would certanly hire her. But, I tried to get her to loan me some money and she just smiled and shook her head no. What? Do I look like a bad credit risk? I need to have a long talk with that young lady!
Work - both at Church and my embroidery business - has been busy. I marvel at what a hectic pace I am able to keep when I head into work at church. Since I am only part time, I find myself working more efficiently than I ever would have thought possible. I love the work - and often wonder when the time will come that they figure out they really need a full time office manager. That decision would put me out on my patootie, because one of the reasons I love this job is that it is part time and the hour are amazingly flexible.
I know, I'm rambling - I guess I'm in a rambling mood. Laundry is calling - so is supper.
Will post again soon. Hope everyone has a wonderful week.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

What a wonderful life

 Quilt spread out on the grass


A drink in hand, and an old quilt under one arm, into the orchard they headed – the only place with a clear view of the sky.     The scene above was brilliant with twinkling stars.  Gazillions of them! 

Spreading the blanket out, they laid down, gazing at the brightness and waited expectantly…   “There are so many stars out tonight, I can hardly pick out the constellations, like the big dipper,” he said.  Pointing, she said, “I think that is the North star”.  He agreed.

And then she saw it – a meteor streaking across the sky.  So fast!  Then they laid side by side, occasionally sitting up to sip on their drink.  Lazily talking.  Pointing out an occasional jet high in the sky, commenting on how slowly it seemed to be moving.  Then he saw it – another bright light zipping across the sky.  Then they started seeing them at the same time.  “There’s another one!”


We watched the meteor showers Thursday evening, and what a show it was!  We finally headed back into the house around Midnight, thrilled with God’s display of beauty.  The next night the skies were overcast and rain thundered down.  We sat on the porch and watched that beautiful display also.  What a wonderful life!

Our feet

Friday, August 13, 2010

Apples to Apples

.apples to apples

Apples to Apples is a great family fun game.

This is the official description:  

Apples to Apples is the wild, award-winning card and party game that provides instant fun for 4-10 players! It's as easy as comparing apples to apples. Just open the box, deal the cards, and you're ready to play! Select the card from your hand that you think is best described by a card played by the judge. If the judge picks your card, you win that round. And everyone gets a chance to be the judge! This sturdy party box edition contains the entire collection of cards from the original Apples to Apples Core Game plus Expansion Sets 1 and 2.

My description is:  There are two sets of cards.  One with adjectives (descriptive words) and the other set nouns and pronouns (things, places, and people).  Each card has one word on it with an explanation of what that word means.

Everyone gets 7 nouns cards.  Players take turns pulling a card from the adjectives deck.  They share that word with everyone.  Then each player passes a card they think that person will choose as the best match for the card they drew.  Cards are passed face down and then mixed up so that they don’t know who chose what word.  The first person to get their card chosen 5 times, wins!

The thing that makes this game so much fun is you have to make your choice of which card to pass to the person choosing answers based on how they would think.  Lost?  Me too!  But I’m going to keep trying to describe this game.  This isn’t easy!

An example of a round would be Cara pulls the word “Tricky”.  Everyone looks at the words on their seven cards.  Emily might lay down “card game”, Anna might lay down “magic”, Jim might lay down “Richard Nixon”.  All are good answers, but it all comes down to what would Cara choose…  Clear as mud now?  Thought so.

We had two adults (some would question that…), and a 8, 10, and 12 year old playing.  Apples to Apples is best played ages 12 up.  Miss 10 year old Cara, though, is pretty darn smart and held her own.  Anna (8) and I played as a team.  Emily (12) was in her element and won the game.

And that, my friends, is Apples to Apples.  It sneaks a bit of learning into a fun game.

P.S.  They also make Apples to Apples for younger children.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Look in the mirror

I could definitely see hubby and me have this conversation:


Cartoon of man and woman sitting at restaurant counter.

Man:  Judy, do you see that elderly couple down at the other end of the counter?

Woman:  Yea, what about them?

Man:  I was just thinking… that’s probably what you and I will look like in about ten years of so.

Woman:  You do realize that’s a mirror at the end of the counter, don’t you?

are we there yet

Ha!  We had a similar conversation the other day after running into an “old” classmate in the grocery store.

Jim:  It was nice seeing Joe.  It is amazing how much older he looks than us.

Me:  Have you looked in the mirror lately?

Ha!  I guess we see what we want to, huh.

Still amazingly hot and humid here.  It sucks all breath out of me. 

Emily, Cara, and Anna are spending the day with us.  We did a little shopping yesterday afternoon, then they went to work with me.  Last night we played Apples to Apples.  That is an amazingly fun family game.  This morning we made doughnuts by deep frying biscuits (yum!) and plan on spending the day being lazy.  It is too hot to do anything but be lazy.

Hope everyone has a wonderful day. 

Friday, August 6, 2010




I said “NO WAY”

Hubby said “YES WAY”

Deanna holding sunflowersIggy is at it again, bringing sunshine into lives, and smiles on the faces of everyone around him – near and far.

This time he put a smile on the face of this little lady, who for some reason cannot grow sunflowers!  Thank you so much for the flowers Iggy!  They are truly beautiful.

sf on porcelain table

I’ve been moving them all over the  house.  I can’t seem to help myself.  The vivid yellow looks mighty pretty against the white blinds and porcelain table that we treasure from Jim’s Grandpa.

sunflowers with oil lamp

I also like how their sunny little faces peek through the oil lamp that was passed down to me from my Grandma.  It is sitting on a doily crocheted by Jim’s Great Aunt Marthy.

large head sunflowers looking onto the porch

Or maybe they look best where I can see them from the inside or the outside.

They are the traveling sunflowers.  They might just go to work with me today. 

This world of blog is amazing.  It has bound people in friendships that otherwise would never have been possible.  Iggy is a perfect example of those friendships.  He and I actually met quite a few years ago in the other magical world of a small chat site we both wandered into.  Chat went by the wayside, but friendships developed there have endured into the world of blog and messaging and Facebook.

spider web with a spider in the center

My little friend here reminds me of the world of the web, linking us together through the wonderful thing known as technology. 

web by day

Morning came and my friend was gone.  Something rather good size invaded his beautiful sanctuary.  The empty hole left behind reminded me that I have lost many of my web friends.  Some have died, causing me to shed tears.  Some just disappeared with no warning, leaving me to forever wonder what happened to them.  Some have become bitter with feelings hurt over insults, whether real or imagined.  Others have gotten bored and wandered out of the life of blog, to other things, most likely things still on the web.

One thing that I’m certain of is that our friend, Iggy, will never just wander out of our life.  The other thing I know for certain is that I treasure every one of my blog friends and hope to never lose a single one of you. 

Thanks Iggy!  We are still smiling in the woods of Missouri over yesterday’s surprise!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Take a deep breath….

Last night wasn’t so great.

He man was scheduled to get rid of our last sheep at 6:00.  He had sold it to a neighbor who planned on butchering it himself.

I’ve been trying to cook healthy and had concocted a dish of a spaghetti sauce with zucchini, onions, and green peppers in it (rather than hamburger).  This would be eaten of spaghetti squash (rather than carb intensive noodles).  I’ve fixed this before and it is truly yummy and one of our favorite dishes. 

Being the smart lady I am, I scheduled supper for 7:00, figuring an hour was more than enough time to sell a sheep. 

7:00  came, no man.  7:30… no man.  8:00… no man.  By now the supper is squishy mush.  And I am pissed.

HE finally comes in a little after 8:00…. “Hun, are you busy?  I need your help”.  My blood pressure wasn’t doing so good at this point.  “You need my WHAT!  Where have you been!  Supper is ruined.  I am pissed!”

Apparently he had felt compelled to help butcher the sheep, drink a little whiskey with said neighbor, and then offer to get rid of the carcass for said neighbor.  In the process the 4-wheeler had decided to die.  On the other end of our property.  MY help was needed to take the other 4-wheeler to tow the other one back to the barn.

By this point I was in true hissy fit mode.  The coldness of my shoulder would equal the coldness of any vampire (can you tell I’ve been reading the vampire books?  I’m on Eclipse right now).  We got the 4-wheeler back to the barn, I stomped back into the house and retired to the downstairs.  He wisely did not follow me. 

Eventually I ate a can of ravioli, depriving myself of what could have been salvaged of the meal (why do I do these things to myself).  When I saw that he hadn’t even  bothered to fix the spaghetti squash (it is so damn easy – 5 or so minutes in the microwave), but had just eaten the sauce, I ramped up my hissy fit.

Let’s just say slammed doors, a bit of throwing of things, and a VERY long bath was involved.  Oh and a little yelling thrown in for good measure.  Not my proudest moment. 

I envision that when I die and my children tearfully (I hope) eulogize me, they will do a lot of “remember when she…. kicked her shoe (oh yea, I did that last night too), slammed the door so hard the shelf fell off the wall, threw the glass, stomped out… the list is embarrasingly long….

Why do I do these things!  It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I lose all control.   HE was wrong and said he was sorry.  I was wrong too.  I over reacted.  And I have yet to say I’m sorry.  Will eat crow later on today.

Anyway, this is a side of me that fortunately doesn’t show up very often.  I wish it never did. 

Do you ever over react like I did?  Breathe deep and stop and think… I wish I would have last night.  But what is done is done.  Next time I’m going to try to remove myself from the situation and think hard about what is important in my life.  If I can make myself do that, I’ll bet my reaction will be much different!  I’m a lucky lady and I’m sorry! 

But he still owes me one big time.  I wonder where we are going to for supper tonight.

Stay cool peeps and have a wonderful rest of the day.  I know I’m going to.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


No matter the heat, the show must go on.  Granddaughters Emily and Cara were showing their pigs at the Moniteau County Fair.  I was glad it was them in the ring, sweating in their boots.  At only 10:00 am, the temperature had already climbed to 95 degrees.

Emily showing her pig

Emily was focused and all business.  I know she hates it when I say this, but when did she grow up….

Anna watching and smiling

Anna was happy to be watching on the sidelines.  She and James spent the night with us last night.  They got us to the fair on time.

Cara showing her pig

Cara’s pig was over 300 lbs.  I’m not sure I would have been willing to walk around with seven or so 300 lb pigs roaming around.  She did a great job with hers though.

James watching the pig show

I think James’ eyes are browner than usual due to the chocolate doughnuts he ate for breakfast.

Emily walking her pig

Around and around we go.  Tell me again how those judges decide which pig is better than the others…. They all look the same to me.

Emily holding her ribbon, smiling

Emily proudly displays her placing ribbon.  Very proud of you Em!

Cara walking her pig

I swear Cara was playing up to the judge.  Every time she walked past him, she flashed him a killer smile.          

Cara displaying her ribbons

This is the killer smile she kept flashing.  I’d be smiling too if I was displaying a first place ribbon from the Cole  County Fair and a second place ribbon from today.

Way to go girls!  You make a grandma proud!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Sunday morning

This is the scene that greeted me early Sunday morning. 

Rays of sun shining through the trees 

God is good and so is life.