Monday, October 31, 2011


Often life takes unexpected turns as we go about our merry way.  And everybody handles what are often life changing events in different ways. 

When Jim and I are together on one of our many drives in the country, I will become lost in thought.  Usually Jim will say “a penny for your thoughts…” – and then he gets more than he bargained for - a whole jumbled bag of pennies.  Things like, “well I saw that bird, which made me think of this person, and that made me realize he said this, and that made me think of I forgot to do that…”  Thoughts work that way sometimes.
As we drove on Saturday, my thoughts kept straying to friends.  In this day and age, friends come from so many more places than they did years ago.  Not only do friends come into our lives from the usual places, like family, church, ex-coworkers, former classmates, acquaintances; but it is much more far reaching.  We have chats, blogs, social media…

So, here is a sample of my driving thoughts: 

“I’m hoping he is going to be ok and is able to recover at home without returning to the hospital.  It seems we  almost automatically say we will pray for people, but how many of us really do.  He is so patient with those kids and always doing things with them, and teaching them.  I think if I lost my job, I would be doing exactly what she is and re-evaluate what is really going to make me happy and fit my changing life.  It seems so unfair that an ex can take control like she does without giving any consideration to how it affects him and his family. He is already driving.  How is that possible? He treats me like I am his life.  Do I really deserve such devotion?  Everything is so pretty.  God is good.  I didn’t know she had a second stroke and she is so young.  Why God?  She never complains. Why can’t I be a better friend.  It seems I spend too much time doing things that make me happy and not thinking of others. She is always surrounded by kids and yet never complains.  I don’t know that I could do that… I’m pretty sure I couldn’t.  She hasn’t blogged in almost a year and nobody has heard from her.  What could have happened? He works so hard on the farm and travels and she just keeps going, taking care of things at home. She tells me she loves me every time she talks to me.  It means so much to me… “

Gravel road leading to Muddy Bottom Wild Life Preserve

So as we travel this road down to the Muddy Bottom Wild Life Preserve, how about a penny for your thoughts…

Concrete Marker of Civil ar Battle

We parked the car and walked towards the railroad tracks.  Imagine our surprise when we happened onto a Civil War Marker.  “The Battle of Boonville Began Here June 17, 1861  Gen Lyon Commander of the Union Forces”  This was 111 years to the day before Jim & I were wed.

”How many? How young? How many died? Were they local boys? Did his mama know immediately in her heart that her boy was gone?  How long before she was officially told?  How long did they lay on the battle field suffering?  Was there a Union hospital nearby in Boonville?  What were their dying thoughts and wishes...”  More thoughts.

Railroad tracks winding through the Missouri River Bluffs

What is it that makes railroad tracks and trains magnetic?  Those iron rails extend forever into the distance.  They always make my thoughts turn to life and directions and those who have come and gone.  And what lays ahead in the short life remaining.  No matter how old you are, life is short.  It just is.

Airplane getting ready to land

As we left the river bottoms, a plane flew overhead.  There must be a small airport in Boonville.  I’d like to be on an airplane on some new adventure right now – or soon.  Maybe next year.

Our destination was to drop off plans for a television stand to our Amish friend, Mose.  As we stood on his front porch talking to him, we got a peek of his world inside.  His wife was standing at the window, ironing starched white bonnets.  The untold number of children were peeking out at us.  A few of the younger boys ventured outside on the porch with us, but would barely talk.  One finally agreed he was nine, after Jim guessed his age up to eleven – and said he knew Greg and Allen. 

I have to wonder what Mose and  his son Jacob, who works with him, thinks of our fancy ideas of how furniture needs to be constructed in order to hold our many worldly toys.  I envy their simple life and yet strive to clutter mine more.  More to think about.

Deanna looking at Amish made baskets

We stopped for gas at a station right outside of Boonville.  See the gas sign?  $3.05.  It was actually $3.15.  We didn’t complain, considering that was still a lot cheaper  than we would have paid elsewhere.  We were left wondering if the price had just gone up to $3.15 or was going down to $3.05.  More to think about.
Mose’s neighbor, Jacob, and his little brother and sister, were selling baskets they had made.  I bought a couple to help organize my scrapbooking supplies.  Again, more thoughts about their simple life.  See the little shoes  on the concrete slab?  It was a cool 50 degrees and both children were running around barefoot.  They said their feet were not cold.  Do we protect our children too much?  Maybe we should give them the freedom to run barefoot more.  More to think about.

Jim blowing leaves off the driveway

Back home again, the leaves have taken over.  When dad was alive, he always struggled with knowing where to drive along our never ending driveway that circles in and out of trees.  So, even though dad is no longer with us, Jim blows the leaves off the drive… just in case. 

Driveway almost clear

So with a little determination, a lot of repetition, and belief that he will succeed, the leaves are all blown away.  Even though he knows the winds will blow more leaves his way, and he will have to do it all over again in a week or so, he perseveres.

That’s life…

Sunday, October 30, 2011

For your Halloween!

A man was walking home alone late one foggy night,
when behind him he hears:

  BUMP... BUMP...
Walking faster, he looks back and through the fog he makes out the image of an upright casket banging its way down the middle of the street toward hi

BUMP... BUMP... Terrified, the man begins to run toward his home, the casket bouncing quickly behind him... FASTER... FASTER...
He runs up to his door, fumbles with his keys, opens the door, rushes in, slams and locks the door behind him.
However, the casket crashes through his door, with the lid of the casket clapping...

clappity-BUMP... clappity-BUMP...
on his heels, the terrified man runs.

Rushing upstairs to the bathroom, the man locks himself in. His heart is pounding; his head is reeling; his breath is coming in sobbing gasps.

With a loud CRASH the casket breaks down the door.
Bumping and clapping toward him.

The man screams and reaches for something, anything, but all he can find is a bottle of cough syrup!

Desperate, he throws the cough syrup at the casket...

and...  of course...
The coffin stops!
Happy Halloween - Hope those ghosts and goblins and COFFINS don't get you!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Do you ever get so tickled at something someone says or does that you can't stop giggling?

I'm talking about tears stream down your face type laughing -  Double over tummy hurt type laughing -  Laughing where the sound is something like TeeHee TeeHee TeeHee over and over.

I do.  My family calls it "getting the TeeHee's"

License Plate TeeHee

I hope everyone has a TeeHee kind of weekend!  I know I plan to!

Monday, October 17, 2011

My favorite month

I asked Jim to complete this sentence for me:  Life has been busier than: 

He replied:

A house painter with a two inch brush
Than sh#*
A one legged man in a butt-kickin' contest
A yearling ram in a field of 40  breeding ewes...

That about says it all I guess.

The skies were beautiful yesterday.  The winding road leading home is canopied by multicolored tree limbs.  It is so pretty this time of year.

We watched Allen and Reagan Saturday while Greg and Alicia did more wine hopping.  The ol' soaks!  We had a wonderful day with them.  No pictures, though.  Sometimes the camera needs to be retired and fun just needs to happen.

Sunday we "hit" Les Bourgeois winery in Rocheport.  Some of you have asked about the wines.  We have some definite favorite Missouri wines.  Les Bourgeois has an inexpensive wine that we serve often, River Boat Red.  It is a good all around semi-sweet wine.  However, Jim and I lean more towards the dry wines.  Our favorite Missouri wines are Norton and Chambourcin.  Norton is the driest and most expensive, but amazing!  If you are ever in Missouri - do yourself a favor and go to Missouri wineries.  I've been to Napa Valley and let me tell you, I will pit our wines against theirs any day.

After a glass of wine we stopped at Greg and Alicia's to check out the tree house Greg and Allen are building.  Did I say tree house?  From the looks of it, if Jim ever kicks me out (or the other way around), I will have a place to run to. 

Allen's Tree House.  If I understood correctly, he and Greg are standing in what will be a room. 
They are looking through where there  will be window. 

We then headed on down the road to visit Tessa and Bill and the kids.  Julie and her boys had just left there, so we missed them.  But we did have a really nice visit with Tessa's family. 
Monday morning found me trying to complete my selections for my StampIn Up starter kit.  Since I've begun scrapbooking again, I've found that my supplies were sorely wanting.  The easiest way to fix that is to become a StampIn Up Demonstrator.  This has been a very time consuming process (decisions, decisions, decisions!) and I don't believe I would have seen it through if it had not been for my mentor, Jeannie.  She has taken many hours of her time putting together spread sheets, explaining the products, and making recommendations.  She is truly amazing.  Thank you Jeannie!

So what was Jim doing while I was drooling over scrapping choices?
He was slaving over turnips.  We both love slightly salted raw turnips.  But a person can eat only so many of those before they go bad.  Turnips are amazing in vegetable soup.  So when our neighbor gifted us with a batch of turnips, Jim took to the task of peeling and cubing them for freezing.  Don't ask me what his old dump truck is doing in the picture.  He discovered it while cleaning the garage.  I do believe it will find a home on the  shelf in the pool room.
Since the kids didn't have school yesterday (teachers meetings I think), I finally took Dakota birthday shopping yesterday.  His birthday was in September, but I always say, "better late than never".  He settled on Tech Skateboards and a cool track.  Apparently these little boards can be manipulated with a flip of the finger.  According to Julie, he spent the rest of the afternoon watching Youtube videos about different ways to use the track and boards.  I figured they are better than another video game!

I also took Travis to get his driving permit.  Unfortunately, we forgot to bring his Birth Certificate.  I suggested they let him take the test and then give the permit to his mother when she brought in his birth certificate and signed the form.  They wouldn't even consider it!  In Missouri a parent or legal guardian has to be with the child for them to get their permit.  They can take the test without the parent, but the child has to be with the parent when she signs for the permit.  This definitely makes things difficult since Julie can't leave her day care and Travis is in school and then goes directly to foot ball practice after school. They resolved the problem by Julie's friend taking Travis (with his birth certificate!) to take the test this morning.  He passed with flying colors.  Congratulations Travis!  The Department of Revenue is open one Saturday a month, so Julie and Travis will then go pick up the permit on that Saturday.  Can things get any more complicated?  I'm sure they can, but what an ordeal!

We got rain yesterday!  The temperatures are supposed to dip to almost freezin every evening this week and climb to the 50's during the day.  Have you turned your furnace on yet?  Or built a fire?  We haven't, but I do believe that is going to change REAL soon!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Vanilla or Not Vanilla...

Last weekend was wonderful.  Along with son, Greg, daughter-in-law, Alicia, and their two sweeties, Reagan and Allen, we headed East to Augusta, Dutzow, and Defiance, MO to visit the many wineries there.

The weather was about as good as it can get, with the sun shining and the temperatures hovering around 80 degrees.  The kids were better than the weather.  You would think taking kids to wineries would be a tedious affair, but not with these two.  They were in and out of those car seats enough times to make your head spin, and yet they did not complain a single time.  It truly was a magical day.

I spent more time than I care to think about putting together a slide show of the memories, but for some reason youtube does not like it - even though I used the same program (Windows Live Photo Gallery) that I always do.  So then last night I decided to just load a few of my favorite photos of the weekend.  Blogger didn't like them.  This morning after spinning all night, the pictures had still not loaded.  Grrrrrr.

So here I am, saying life is good.  Time is short.  Fall is busy.  Technology is frustrating.  Family is priceless. The colors of Fall are breathtaking.  And I am still around and will catch up with all of my bloggy friends soon!

Now I am going to try one more time to load a picture or two.  If it doesn't happen almost immediately, then too darn bad.  This will be a vanilla blog.  I like vanilla, don't you?

Brotherly love.  Allen watches over Reagan - except, of course, when he is tormenting her.  So often I want to call him little Greg... he is so much like his daddy!

Mother and daughter - words of wisdom

Nobelis Winery Vinyard

Nobelis winery in Augusta had these huge balls for the kids to play on.  They spent forever rolling down the long hills and bopping each other back an forth. 

If I could only read her miind right now

Reagan and Allen on the way to the last winery - what troopers!

Rolling Missouri hills hinting of fall colors

Allen and Greg - love the people, love the scenery!

According to Wiki.answers, 'In vino veritas' is Latin for 'in wine, the truth'. It refers to the fact that, owing to their inhibitions being lowered, people are more honest after they have been drinking alcohol, and often say things they wouldn't say if sober.  I do believe that about sums it all up!

Vinyard mural painted on the side of a metal building
  Well how about it!  This post isn't vanilla after all.  Now I am going to try linking to one of my youtube videos that did load and leave you with the sounds of children playing.

Like I said, I'll be around the blogs soon.  I promise!!!!! (thanks Iggy for getting a good link for me. you're the bestest!)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

This man of mine just doesn't get it. 

As we were looking at clothes yesterday, he pointed out a manequin dressed in a beautiful red turtle neck sweater, topped with a white, wooly, sweater vest.  "That would look good on you," he says.   "Are you crazy!?!" says I.

I have been plagued with hot flashes and night sweats for over 20 years.  One Dr. told me that it would only last a short time.  *insert loud buzzer here*  WRONG!  I've long ago given up on the hope that they will eventually go away.  I no longer call it menopause (or is that mentalpause).  It is a way of life.  Along with things like weight gain, facial hair, sleep disorders, and mood swings. 
I blame my breast cancer on the harmones that I took for 6 months - and they didn't even help.  My advice is don't take harmones to ease the nasty ol' effects of hot flashes.  It isn't worth it.

I've also tried to ease things with:

Black Cohosh
Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E.  I kid you not.  An alphabet worth of vitamins.
Some sort of ....wart I believe (remember this has been going on for a year or two, or 10 or 20)

There are a ton of other things I've tried.  N.O.T.H.I.N.G works.

Everyone should be an expert at something.  I'm an expert at layering clothing.  First a tank, then short sleeve tee, followed by a long sleeve shirt or blouse, and then a jacket.  Yes, I said a jacket - even  in summer.  The is mandatory when eating out.  Invariably the restaurant is cool to the temperature of a meat locker.  Initially the jacket feels good.  Then as the walls close in, the flashes start, and clothing starts flying.  This is followed by chills as the cold and clammy skin connects.  Where's my jacket?!?

Night times are always interesting.  These cool nights are perfect for crawling under a nice, warm, quilt.  Then a flash hits.  Jim hangs on to his side of the bed covers as I start wildly kicking.  Then it passes and I am shivering in my damp jammies, with my head on a hot pillow.  Double yuck.

When I worked full time, all of my co-workers knew if I quickly disappeared from a meeting, it had nothing to do with anything other than I was ready to explode from the inside out. 

After I slugged Jim for being insensitive by suggesting clothing I couldn't possibly wear, we purchased a sensibly cool top and blouse and headed out, laughing at visions of me coming out of that sweater and vest at the most inappropriate of times.  He reminded me of the day my mother was standing in her driveway telling us goodby and a bumble bee flew down the front of her top.  She came out of that shirt faster than Whiskey being chased by Bailey.  Like mother like daughter...  On second thought, maybe he does get it

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

That's a good question

Jim and I were talking about our President while on a recent road trip.

Eight year old Grandson, Allen, was in the back seat listening.  If you think kids don't listen, you are sadly mistaken.  They may not always respond when you want them to, or do what you tell them to.  But they do hear you.  I'm certain of that.

Our conversation went something like this:

Allen:  How did he get there?

Me:  People voted for him.

Allen:  I voted for him.

Me:  You mean you voted for him in school?

Allen.  I just voted for someone because they told me I had to.  I didn't know who he was...

Do any of us really know who we are voting for?  As I listen to the GOP jockeying for position, slamming each other, making promises they can't keep, I feel like Allen.  At some point I am going to be told it is time to vote for someone.  And I  won't know who he or she is...

Even though I worked in State Government for over 30 years, half of them in the offices of elected officials, I don't consider myself political.  I witnessed the inside operations of politics first hand.  Decisions were often made for the right reasons.  But, unfortunately, they were also quite often made for the wrong reasons - special interest groups promising to do something, or maybe the elected official wanted a pet project backed.  Everything you've heard goes on, does.

Whoever becomes our leader after the next election is going to be faced with tough decisions.  I am hoping someone emerges who is strong enough in faith and character to face those tough decisions head on and do what is right.  We need someone who will get us back on the right track.  Personally I believe the first step is to bring God and respect back in the schools.  But it doesn't matter what I think.  What matters is that everyone knows who they are voting for.  But how are we going to gain that knowledge?  Obviously we have to listen to what they say.  More importantly, we have to pay attention to what they have done. 

In every day life we are told, if the deal sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.  The same goes with politics.  If the promises sound too good to be true, then they probably are.  All I know is that it is time to be watching and learning about our candidates NOW.  It is time to get our great country back on the right track.  Past time.

*hops down off my soap box*

We have been having beautiful weather here in Missouri.  God is smiling down on us for sure.  It would be nice if He would send a little rain this way, though.  Darn it, there I go complaining again.  Never satisfied. 

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!

Or maybe this post should be entitled "Look Out Below!"
Or "Duck!"
Or "Fore!
Or "Hard Hat Area"
Or.... "Living Amongst Large Oak Trees Can Be Dangerous"


The forest is raining acorns.  They sound like gun shots as they ricochet off the rooftops.

 Possibly I  should post a "Danger" sign

The deer, squirrels, coons, possums and all the other critters should be quite content with their supply of food.

You really don't want to step off that porch Bailey, it's a war zone out there.

This is our Church Fall Festival weekend.
Over the past few weeks I've made three aprons and eight burpies to donate to our country store.
Friday afternoon I stood with 14 others, carving turkeys.  We then pulled up a chair and chopped celery for stuffing
Saturday I baked 4 loaves of bread, 2 pecan pies, 2 apple pies, 2 pineapple upside down cakes  

Then we headed out of town to Arrow Rock.
We paid $3.09 for gas.  $3.09!  It has been over a year since I've seen gas priced that low.

Greg (son) and his family were camping in Arrow Rock and invited us to join them for the evening.

Greg BBQ'd pork steaks to perfection.  Alicia served scalloped potatoes, corn, and a chocolate cake that screamed calories.  It was delicious.  Her mom brought a great lettuce salad.  And we brought wine.

Sitting around the campfire, watching the flames dance while the kids roasted marshmallows, was the perfect ending to a very hectic week.

Now to survive the Fall Festival today!