Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cousins...



That's Nancy Jo on the left, and me on the right. She's a whole eight months older than I am. Our daddies were brothers.

One of my very early memories is of an unsupervised moment of climbing and sitting on the kitchen table when we were toddlers. We were sticking our fingers in the butter, and then into the sugar bowl, and then into our mouths. We were discovered by her daddy who, when told that we were hungry, offered to fix us a ketchup sandwich. I think this sticks in my mind, because I'd never heard of a ketchup sandwich.

I'm so lucky. Lucky that our parents were friends, and that they remained close even after her daddy died so young. We visited on holidays. And summers. We took long summer trips together to visit our mutual Nebraska family...trips filled with fresh apple cider from roadside stands, and tornado warnings, and lightning bug safaris, and ALL those Nebraska cousins!

Happy Birthday, Cousin. I love you.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Saturday...


I was so excited to catch this photo yesterday at the beach.
Perfect for a Saturday post, no?
Wasn't I just posting about our snowfall a couple of days ago?

Ran across Saturday Nine a few minutes ago, and thought I'd play along...

1. Have you ever been on a date and you had to tell the person to just go away?
Well, I wanted to...but since he was threatening me with a pistol at the time...discretion is the better part of valor. And NO, I never went out with him again.

2. Do you wish you were someplace else right now? If yes, where?
Nope. I had a glorious day at the beach yesterday, so today I am blissfully content to be at home nursing my slight sunburn.

3. Do you have any pet peeves?
Many, but the one that popped into my mind upon reading the question is people who spit on a public walkway. Gross!

4. Tell us about a guilty pleasure of yours.
There is an awesome car wash in town where you just drive up and pay, then stay in your car while the staff sprays your car and uses mild brushes to loosen all the dirt, then you drive through the automated wash tunnel. So quick and easy to run through on my lunch hour.

5. If you could change places and become a celebrity, who would you like to be?
The key phrase for me in this question is 'change places.' Hand over the heart tugs, the laughter, the sweet loved voices on the phone, the hugs and kisses, the hand to hold, the occassional argument and make-up to someone else? I don't think so.

6. What do you consider your biggest talent?
The creativity that comes out in my Jill-of-all-trades sort of way.

7. Do you have a favorite actor/actress that is not a big star, yet they are your favorite?
Right now Skeet Ulrich

8. Name your 5 favorite rock bands of all time.
The Eagles, BTO, ZZ Top, B52s, and I'll leave the last slot open for all the others that I can't pick from.

9. If you were to start a new relationship (for whatever reason), how much of your sexual history would you share? Would you resort to lying?
A clean bill of health is all I would want to know, so that's all I would share. :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Photo my phobia...


This is where I start getting nervous...



This is where that tingling feeling starts at the base of my neck...



This is where I am in full-blown hyperventilation.

I'm always afraid I'll get to the top and freeze...not able to move forward or back. Thank goodness Jared was driving today.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'm leaving it all up to you...



I've already fessed up about being a procrastinator deluxe, right? Well, what you see above is a stack of my Christmas letters...still unmailed. I printed the photo page before Christmas. I was running so late, that I printed the letter with the greeting "Happy New Year" instead of "Merry Christmas." But they never got addressed and mailed.

So here's my question for you. Is it too late? I'm going with a majority vote here...you say 'no' and they go in the recycle bin...you say 'yes' and they go in the mailbox. Please comment on this. Only you can save me from looking like a big loser or can help me look like a free spirit. I'm leaning toward the big loser side. :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What is this stuff?...


"What is this stuff?" I ask in a huff,
as I look through the insular glass.



I step outside and eyes go wide
at the giant white flakes falling fast.



From heavy skies the white stuff flies
landing on brush, lane, and grass.



It rested on trees...


and SUVs..
waiting for more to amass.



But this is the south, and shut my mouth
if the weather does not quickly pass.



So this photo of barn, and my rhyming yarn
will lay proof, since it surely won't last.

Monday, February 22, 2010

In memory of my old purse...


February 2004 - February 2010

I'm not a purse person. Or maybe I'm just a really particular purse person. I start with one that suits my organizational style and is sturdy. One that is not a fad, and that will look decent for as long as possible. And then I carry it until I just can't take any more abuse from my purse-snob friends or until it falls apart...usually those are fairly simultaneous.


I do not change purses with the season, or the occassion. I like to have a place for everything and everything in its place (in my purse at least). And I've never figured out how to neatly store multiple purses in limited closet space.


I don't actually think my dear old purse that I've been carrying for the last six years looks too bad. But alas, when I say it was hanging on by a thread, here's the proof:




So before it completely gave out, I decided to retire it. Actually I've been looking for its successor for quite some time.

And today I found it.



I love its three interior compartments (large enough to tuck a magazine or book into), the simplicity of the style, and the long rolled handles. It was incredibly inexpensive at $20. Obviously faux leather at that price, but I didn't find a leather one that suited me.

So does everyone in the world but me own multiple purses and switch them out?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Once a mom, always a mom...



My baby girl is sick...my 32-year-old baby girl. I hate that she is feeling so bad with fever and coughing, coughing, coughing. But I love that she still needs her mom when she doesn't feel good. I took them a meal, and went to the pharmacy for her, and I soaked in the love from both the adults and the little ones. I hope that the antibiotic kicks in quickly.

It reminded me of a couple of years ago when my phone rang, and a little-boy voice said, "Grandma, Mama's sick and needs you to come over." I panicked thinking that she was unconscious or something for him to call, so I asked him if she was able to talk on the phone. He says yes, and takes the phone to her, and I pretty rapidly figure out that she's sick, but not THAT sick. She hadn't even known he called. We had a good laugh when we figure out that he took her literally when she was lying on the couch and moaned, "Oh, I don't feel good. I need my Mama."


Home~~I cleaned all the trash out of my car
Health~~I asked a lot of questions at my follow-up dr appt
Finances~~checked online to verify a payment had been credited

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

This and that...


This was our stock tank (pond) last spring or so. The scrubby trees in the foreground are at the rim, so you can see how low the water level was at that point...just that little bit on the very righthand side of the photo. It finally went completely dry in the summer.

Here it is today:


This is not a great photo...my apologies. But the tank is almost full again! I am so thankful for the rain that we have had. And if you look close, you can see our winter visitors...wild ducks! I can never get close enough to get a good photo without spooking them into taking flight. I couldn't catch a photo of that, but it is a thing of great beauty.

Today being Ash Wednesday, I've been working through my first day of my spiritual focus for Lent. I've decided to give up slothfulness for the next six weeks. Okay, I hope that I'm not truly slothful, but I definitely 'procrastinate' when I should be taking action. So I've decided to devote at least some energy each day to three things: my health, my home, and my finances (above and beyond the norm). These may be very small actions or large...depends on the day...but they will be done with intention and with gratitude for the grace I've received. And so you may notice a little list of three things at the end of posts, (or they may be the only thing I post sometimes). You will find today's below.

New subject. I've absolutely loved all the photos of bunting that people have been crafting recently. I've wanted to decorate and celebrate something with bunting, but again, it is one of those things I have procrastinated on. Today I found out that a co-worker got a promotion. She wasn't there today, so I left a little surprise on her desk for her to find in the morning...

Well, that's about it. I've kept you long enough.

Health~~I put my pedometer back on today
Home~~I eliminated ten items from my closet
Finances~~I brought my check register current

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wait just one minute...



Listening to the radio the other day, they were interviewing a researcher who was studying why time seems to go faster as we get older.

They said the research shows that there are actual physiological reasons for that phenomenon. That when you are young everything is a new experience, and your brain spends so much time learning so many things that time actually does seem to move slower, because it is so full. But as we get older, we have fewer unique experiences...we don't have to use our brain as much as we go about our daily routines on auto pilot. We are not present in every moment, so they are gone before we know it.

They even had an on-the-street study with twenty-some-odds and older-some-odds...they asked them to estimate the length of a minute. The twenty-some-odds had pretty accurate estimates within five or so seconds more or less. The older-some-odds were over by many more seconds...I want to say maybe twenty or thirty?

Anyway, this article was fresh in my as I was spending last weekend around the house. As I was baking cookies, I was setting the timer on my oven. My timer has a one-minute warning. On two separate batches the warning went off while I was busy in the other room, and I managed to continue what I was doing and still made my way to the kitchen in time to turn off the timer on the first beep of its final alarm. My estimate equaled exactly one minute.

Aaahhh. That felt good.

It doesn't take much to amuse me...

...or apparently to validate me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

One World~One Heart results...

My One World~One Heart drawing has been completed. Results can be seen here .

Thanks everybody who visited and entered my giveaway with such great comments!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day...

This is the 34th Valentine's day that Carey and I have spent together. (Why yes, we were betrothed as children.) We know what will bring a smile to the other's heart.

This is what I'm doing today (Carey's favorite)...


This is what Carey is doing today (my favorite)...


Bliss.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Market day...



Have I mentioned recently how much I hate going to the grocery store? Yes, I'm sure I have.

Today I psyched myself up and overcame my dread of meal planning and the big looming grocery store. I went back to my two-week menu, shopping list, and grocery shop method. I have my master grocery shopping list on the computer (photo above) in checklist form, with sections of the list corresponding to the departments of my grocery store, so I can get in and out as quickly as possible, and with minimal backtracking across the store.

I start by printing out a list. Then I turn it over and on the back of the shopping list (blank side) I write out the menu, keeping in mind what I think I have on hand. Then I go to the cupboard and fridge to see what needs to be purchased to complete the meals on the menu, and mark them on the checklist side of the page. Then after the shopping trip, I post the menu on the fridge door so I remember what I'm supposed to be cooking.

I'm pretty good about sticking to the list, but I'm flexible if I come across a good special. The nearest grocery is almost fifteen miles away. So I don't want to make unnecessary trips for forgotten items. I keep the pantry full of staples.



So here's the damage. I didn't feel great about the total. But I felt a lot better about it after I divided it out per person per week. Notes From the Frugal Trenches sets a great example with her £20 per week shop, so I had that in the back of my mind. After a little division, I figure that my bill equals barely over $28 per person per week...I felt even better after consulting a currency converter and found that my shop equaled just under £18 per adult per week. Woohoo!

I may need a few items of fresh produce and maybe some milk before the two weeks is up. But after the actual shopping, and unloading, and putting away, and washing some of the produce and packaging it for longer freshness, and even cooking some of the meat before putting in the freezer ready to use in soups and casseroles...well I am feeling pretty footloose and fancy free for the immediate future.

Now, if you're still reading ( I know this is a pretty boring post) kindly do me a favor. I'm wondering if anybody else hates grocery shopping as much as I do, and if so, why do you think that is? I'm just curious.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Winsome...



This is a really old photo of Jared and Carey...about ten years old. My friend Drew e-mailed it to me recently...she came across it while going through her old photo files.

I'm not absolutely sure what was going on when the photo was taken...I don't even recognize where it was taken...but it's such a typical look for both of them. Carey has that he-got-me-again grin, because he probably just got zinged by Jared who keeps a straight face. Such a dry wit that one has.

One of our family favorites was the time he zapped his sister at the dinner table. She was about twelve at the time; he was six or so. We had the television set on Jeopardy! in the background, and Kasey announces to the family, "Someday I'm going to be an answer on Jeopardy!" And without missing a beat Jared adds with an almost bored undertone, "And the question is, 'Who is the famous Jared S____y's sister.'"

It loses the zing in the translation, because with Jared the delivery is key. He was born with comedic timing, and we've been a willing audience ever since.

Tonight he joined his father and I for dinner. Carey didn't have his glasses on, so he was squinting at something. I asked him what he was doing, and he said, "I'm trying to read this word." And Jared lends an encouraging, "It's okay, Dad, just sound it out."

Then, when you realize he's got you, and you erupt with laughter edged with just the tiniest bit of wounded vanity, he unleashes this on you...



Man I missed that while he was away.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Getting ready for Valentine's Day...



I was going through my little stash of vintage valentines, and this one made me stop cold and say, 'What were they thinking?' Those facial expressions. That body language. And is it just me, or does that puppy look a little...um...constipated?

Hope this doesn't offend anyone, but here's my naughty altered version...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Seven random thoughts on the 7th...





1. Did anybody watch the Hallmark special last week The Magic of Ordinary Days? I DVR'ed it and have since watched it four times. Then yesterday I went to the library and got the book. The author is Ann Howard Creel. I finished it this afternoon.

Usually I find a book so much better than its movie adaptation. This book was very good. A lot of the movie dialog was taken straight from the novel. But the subplots differ some, and I found myself empathizing more with the movie characters than the novel's.

Anyway, I give the book a thumbs up, and the movie a BIG thumbs up. Of course, I have a serious soft spot for romantic stories about Midwest pioneers, farmers, and WWII vets, and this story has all of the above. :)

2. I heard all of thirty seconds of a song I'd never heard before by Toby Keith on the radio today, Cryin' for Me. That's all it took for me to start cryin' for me. It's getting to be about that time of the year, when I need to leave the radio dial on all talk stations for awhile.

3. I'm thinking I should have saved the photo from the previous post for a future post entitled 'Open mouth and insert foot...' That could come in very handy...and often.

4. I used to be so good at making up a two week menu and shopping list. I even have most of it on the computer. I have to get back in the habit. I just hate to go in the grocery store. HATE. IT. Why?

5. As I write this I'm being distracted by watching Undercover Boss. President and COO of Waste Management covering entry level trash pick up. Love it!
I once had a major player from home office pop into our office while he was in town on vacation. I didn't have a clue who he was. I'm glad I'm nice to everyone. :)

6. I actually worked 40 hours last week. Hadn't done that since...when...last summer? This week...time off!

7. What's on tap for tomorrow? LAUNDRY!

Monday, February 1, 2010

So I was writing...

...a very thoughtful post, and I thought of an old photo that would be great to include. So I put the laptop aside, and headed for the boxes of photos. I was sure that I knew just where to find what I was looking for. Well. I only had to go through four or five photo boxes.

I did find the picture, but by the time I found it, I was no longer in the mood to finish my previous post. I'll save it for later.

I was just so apalled by the sheer number of really bad photos that I've been holding on to for decades. I'm talking about photos that are so dark that you can only make out vague shapes, no faces. And photos I took at one of those drive-thru wild animal parks. Uh, did I get a picture of a kid with an animal. No just animals out the car window. Not even good pictures of the animals. Really, really boring stuff.

I did come across some photos that I had stashed to pull out sometime in the future to maybe make a funny birthday card for someone. And one of me that Carey took as a joke, that I used to fear anyone seeing.

But here's the crazy thing. I don't think it's all that embarrassing now. I mean, I'm not thrilled that there is a photo of me biting my nails, mind you. Uh...toenails that is. I think I did it on a dare. But good grief! Was I ever that limber? Why, yes I was. And thirty years later, I still have photographic proof.
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