Saturday, May 31, 2008

Pushing Pandora

I mentioned Pandora on my AOL journal, and two different people had not heard of it. They thanked me profusely. So, although I know most Blogger folks are a little more "Internet-knowledgeable" than some of my AOL friends, perhaps there are one or two of my readers who don't know about this wonderful site.

Go to and set up a radio station. Start with your favorite singer or song, they'll add similar music to your station. With each song that plays, you can give a "thumbs-up" or "thumbs-down". If you hate the song, you never need listen to it again.

I have several stations at Pandora, one for any mood I might be in. I just created a fifties station, which I started by typing in "Pat Boone". I have a Gospel station, a folk station, and a country station.

There's no cost and no advertising. Trust me on this, you're going to love Pandora.

Pioneer Woman, eat your heart out

OK, I often visit The Pioneer Woman and have used many of her recipes. I'm inspired by her, and have decided I should share my very own favorite gourmet recipe: Grilled-cheese-with-hot-peppers sandwich.

You need: Vlasic sliced jalapeƱos; 2 1/2 to three slices of American cheese (cheddar would work just dandy too); soft butter; and two slices of bread.

Butter both slices of bread and cover one slice with cheese. One slice of cheese isn't big enough, so I patch in pieces of another slice.

Now cover the cheese with sliced jalapeƱos;

Put another layer of cheese over the peppers.

Butter the outside of the sandwich.

Put in a skillet with heat on medium-low.

Flip it when it looks like this. Oh my, I can't stand seeing that cute little pepper slice peeking out at me.

And the melted cheese. I think I've died and gone to heaven.

Don't hold back. I promise you can do this recipe.

Happy eating.

Sorry about that

Ummm.... that post I placed in BOTH my blogs about cell phones and the do-not-call list?

Snopes says it's false. I had one comment and one email making me aware of this. I guess it's a rumor that's circulated for some time in emails; I just wasn't familiar with it, and the source from which I got the information yesterday was one I trusted.

Anyhow, I deleted that post.

In moving from one house to another, I found a lot of things I've saved for years, some out of sentiment and some because, for one reason or another, they're unique.

During the flood of '93, my husband's brother, Phil, lived up the road in Lexington, Missouri, where drinking water was contaminated by floodwaters. Anheuser-Busch put wholesome drinking water in 12-ounce cans and distributed it to people in the area who needed it.

That was in 1993; this is 2008. For fifteen years I've kept two six-packs of water under an extra bed upstairs. Kids playing house up there have battered the cans somewhat; a couple are even split open. I think the cans are much thinner than those holding beer or soda pop.

I'll take a better quality picture for myself to keep, and those cans of water will go bye-bye.

Friday, May 30, 2008

You know you have an ant problem....

when the exterminator goes around looking at the ants, both alive and dead, saying, "Oh, my goodness!"


"I can't believe this!"


"I've never seen anything like this in my life!"

I guess it's a good thing I called them.

odds and ends

I've been moving all week long, and now have most of my earthly possessions here at the mobile home. It's been a week of ups and downs, and there is still much to do. Today Culligan will see that our water softening equipment is installed; and the central air conditioning will be hooked up and charged, just in time for a heat wave: I'll have A/C for the first time in my life.

Also, an exterminator will come by and treat beneath the trailer for ants. He was going to be in the area treating a local church anyway, so he gave me a deal. No guarantees, though: "If you live in Missouri, you will have ants," he told me. Thank goodness for
Terro, which has killed literally thousands of the little varmints in the past few days. Amazing stuff, and I read about it on somebody's blog. I may be the last civilized person to discover this stuff, because both my sister and my daughter were familiar with it.

Those are dead ants you're seeing. I love dead ants.

Although not everything is hung up or put away properly, the inside of this trailer house is feeling like home. As for the outside, that will probably take all summer. We will eventually have a driveway and a yard and some add-on porches and a deck; right now we're simply in a trailer house in the middle of the pasture, out behind the barn.

You can't believe how much quieter it is, five hundred feet further back than the old house. I haven't seen a single dog crapping near this house. Sadie used to spend half her days barking at the numerous mongrels roaming through our yard; now the only dog she occasionally sees is the retarded boxer she hates with a passion.

I can barely hear motorcycles going past on the gravel road, or on the highway.

I'm throwing away clothes I don't wear and items I don't use (except for the silly old things I love, and in this house, I can keep those in reach and revel in the memories they evoke). I sold my Kitchen-Aid mixer for $75 on Craigslist, because at this point in my life all I need is a hand mixer. I don't bake like I did a dozen years ago when I bought the thing.

I am thoroughly enjoying having a second bathroom, another first for me. No more waiting for Cliff to hurry up and get ready for work so I can "go". Ah yes, an addition to my list of life's simple pleasures.
I rode my horse twice this past week. One of those days, I was surprised to see a young lady park her car and take a walk on the river bottoms; it's so secluded down there, I'd hate to be on foot all alone.
This is a rambling bit of nonsense, I know. I usually try not to cover numerous subjects in one entry, but since I already have, I'll share a couple of pictures of Cinch, the pup belonging to the couple who board their horses here. There he is with his proud owner, Adam.
He's a difficult dog to photograph because he's so seldom still.
Here he is practicing his herding techniques on Secret, who is neither impressed nor intimidated.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Blue, rolling in the dust

I think I've shared videos before of Blue rolling after being ridden, but I never get tired of watching him do this. I think it feels good to him to have the sweaty saddle off, and rolling is a way to scratch his back. Most horses I've seen do this after the saddle is removed and they're turned loose. Old-timers used to say that for every roll the horse takes in succession, he's worth $100. Which means most horses aren't worth a lot, Blue included.

Blue is currently on a diet. He's fatter than he's ever been. So I'm keeping him in the stall and turning him out to pasture a couple times a day for two to three hours. I'm going to try very hard to see that he gets at least a little bit of daily exercise, too. He's been somewhat neglected during our move.

Blue rolling again

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

They're still calling for ole Darryl

I've blogged frequently about the previous owner of my cell phone number, ole Darryl. If you're a newer reader, you can catch up on all that here, here, and here.

It's been almost two years since I got my first cell phone and was given the same number that the infamous Darryl had used. I still get calls at least once a month. Just when I think it's over, here comes another one.

Today Cliff and I were on the last leg of our daily walk in the pasture and my cell phone started singing. I removed it from my fanny-pack and noticed the call wasn't from any number with which I'm familiar.


"Yes, may I speak to Darryl?" queried a man with a strong Wisconsin accent.

"Darryl hasn't had this number for two years," I told him. "I think he's in jail. I've received calls from drug dealers, hookers, and the Cass County sheriff's office, all looking for him."

"Is this his grandma?"

Hmph. Do I sound that old?

"No," I told him, grumpily, "I don't know him at all. I'm just the unfortunate person who got stuck with his phone number."

"Oh. I'm sorry."


Funny thing is, it always makes my day when I get to talk to friends of Darryl and tell them he's in jail. I hope they never stop calling.

The pendulum swings!

It was a cheap, battery-operated clock I purchased at Kohls several years ago. It has one battery to keep the clock going and another for the pendulum. However, with the uneven walls on our old two-story house, the pendulum never worked for any length of time. Oh, Cliff tried making a shim for it, but nothing kept it going long. The clock kept time just fine, and we soon quit thinking about the unmoving pendulum.

So last week I brought the clock here, to the mobile home, hung it on the wall and thought no more about it. Cliff was the one to notice, several hours later, that the pendulum was moving.

"It must be a trailer-house clock," he said.

Here now, for your viewing pleasure, is the clock, which shall henceforth be known as Lazarus.


Oh, my AOL journal is accepting pictures again; if you want to get updates on how the dog and the horse are faring from our move, click HERE.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

This entry would have been on AOL....

AOL isn't allowing pictures to be posted on journals. It was for just such misbehavior on their part that I started this blog, and at this rate I'll eventually be doing all my blogging here.

We have a wonderful nephew who lives in Peculiar, Mo. He came visiting Saturday for the specific reason of helping us. He'd called Cliff a few days earlier and told him he and Trevor, his son, would be here. Above, he's helping Cliff put a new shelf in my laundry room.

However, when we woke up Saturday morning to pouring-down rain, Cliff said, "Scotty won't be coming in weather like this." So around 11 A.M., we headed to Bates City Barbecue for lunch. As we were finishing our meal, we got a call and found out Scotty and Trevor were at the house waiting for us. Darn it! We should have checked in with him before we left; we would have loved to have bought their dinner.

A side note: The reason for Bates City Barbecue was that every local TV station was featuring Memorial Day barbecue marathons. That planted a seed in our minds and appetites. We're that way, easily influenced by the power of suggestion.

This is Scotty's Rhino. It became our limo for the day, and saved Cliff at least 50,000 steps. Trevor acted as our cabbie, running us from the trailer to the old house.

In between trips, Trevor entertained himself with some sort of video game. This boy is such a gentleman, and so grown-up to visit with. He is a chip off the old block, and we love him. Sadie relaxed at his feet.

It wasn't all work: The three guys took the Rhino up and down our steep banks, just to see what it could do. Cliff was very impressed. Oh, they also found out our two calves had crossed the fence to visit a neighbor's herd. Local mushroom hunters (not the usual suspects... most likely boys we know who should have known better) had tied up the barbed wire fence to access our property more easily and left it tied up so that all the cattle had to do was stroll through.

It was easy to get Secret home, since she's halter-broke. However, her buddy, Meatloaf, isn't that tame. He's still with the neighbors cows. I suppose I'll eventually call them, but we have so many things going on, we're inclined to let him stay. No great loss. And Secret really doesn't seem to miss him that much.

Anyway. Scotty and Trevor spent the whole day here, and all they got was peanut butter for lunch and cheeseburgers and hot dogs for supper. I'll make it up to them one of these days.

Monday, May 26, 2008

There's always time for a diversion or two

Cliff's sister's husband has no real use for his Mahindra tractor while he's living in St. Louis, and he hated to think about her sitting unused, alone.

So Cliff is babysitting "Ma" until Pat's ready to use her again. Nothing is a better tension-reliever for my husband than to have a different tractor around; he likes to figure out how each one works, what makes it unique, and its strengths and weaknesses.

I've already blogged about the baby crib that Cliff's youngest sister slept in as an infant, and also was used by both my babies. Today Cliff's sister gave me three dolls that were hers as a small child; they now inhabit a special place in the crib. They're in excellent shape because, as she tells me, she never cared to play with dolls. I think they're a great addition.

Poor Cliff

We are officially moved, but Cliff's work has only just started. The poor man deserves a medal for all he's done. For instance: The trailer house came equipped with a refrigerator and range. However, the refrigerator was too small to suit me, and the range didn't have a timer. I can't cook without a timer... I go off doing something else and burn everything. Also, it was old enough that it used pilot lights. With the current price of propane, I wasn't fond of having three small open flames burning expensive fuel twenty-four hours a day.

So Cliff and I switched these appliances from one house to the other. That in itself wasn't an easy task, getting them through doors that were barely big enough to squeeze through. Then the kitchen range fittings on the two stoves were different, even though they're both propane stoves. Cliff had an awful time making the stove I already had work here.

I still have piles of stuff here and there, and I seem to spend half my time looking for stuff. I'll go in a room to get something, see something that needs doing, start on that, and totally forget what I was originally doing.

Cliff's job has only begun. There's skirting, and dirt-work, and so much more.

His sister, Charlene, and her husband were in the area yesterday; they brought pizza for supper, which was much appreciated. We all had a great, relaxing visit.

I know this is a lot of rambling, but that's about all I can muster at this point.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

We're moving, little by little

We have electricity at the trailer house. Please forgive me for my terminology, but it's my mobile home/manufactured housing, and I prefer to call it a trailer.

Anyway. Now that we have water and electricity and propane, we will move. Not that there's all that much left to move. You see, I have a pioneer spirit, and I've been moving ever since our house arrived.

With this; it's the closest thing I have to a covered wagon. Actually, using it was Cliff's idea. He got tired of watching me carrying arm-loads of stuff to the trailer and said, "Why don't you use the little red wagon?"

We bought that wagon twenty years ago as a Christmas gift for my oldest grandson, Arick. Who knew it would end up serving as a moving van?

It's amazing what I can get on there. Here's my latest load.

Here I am, arrived at my new home. Those steps are temporary; we'll have some sort of porch there before you know it.

There are so many things to do, but now we can do them a little at a time. Tomorrow the Culligan man comes to see where we'll put our water softener.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

There has to be a story behind this

You'll want to click on the picture to make it larger.

Cliff and I were marking the spots for our next twenty-five Norway Spruce trees, and I couldn't resist taking a picture of this strange scenario across the fence. I don't know if you can see it, but there's a tow strap from the lawn mower back to the pickup. These vehicles have set there like this for several days.

Surely nobody expected to pull the truck that's missing a tire and wheel with a measly little riding lawn mower. Did they?

File under "Things that make you scratch your head and ask, "What were they smoking?"

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Just imagine....

Picture yourself with a small child or two that you plan to see to adulthood. Now imagine that you suddenly find out you have an illness that could very well be terminal.... such as inflammatory breast cancer.

I'm reading two blogs written by women in that exact position.

"Just Enjoy Him: Ramblings of a Mid-Life Mom"


"Toddler Planet".

May God allow them to live to see their grandchildren. When I read their blogs, my petty little problems fade into nothing.

Now playing: Johnny Cash - Tear Stained Letter
via FoxyTunes

Monday, May 19, 2008

grow, little trees

Cliff and I planted twenty-five Norway Spruce trees last month. It was a hard job, since most of the holes had to be dug at least two feet deep. Poor Cliff. Thank goodness we'd had a lot of rain, so the ground wasn't rock-hard.

Up until four days ago, I honestly thought all the trees had died. Then I saw little green buds on a couple of the trees.

Can you see them?

In a couple more days, a few of the trees looked like this. So I figured we had at least half-a-dozen out of twenty-five that would survive.

But today I'm seeing green buds here and there on other apparently dead trees. I have hope!

We have another twenty-five trees on their way... and it hasn't been raining so much lately. Wish poor Cliff luck; I can help him with a lot of the task, but I'm no good at digging. I have no knee power to push down on the spade.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Secret may be pregnant

My Jersey Heifer, Secret, started coming into heat regularly before she was six months old. Ideally, you want a cow to have her first calf at about two years of age. Cattle, like humans, carry their babies in utero for nine months. Since Secret was born in February, the time had come to get the deed done.

Trouble is, she's been very sneaky about her heat periods in the past two months; we've been unable to catch her in action. So Cliff gave her a shot Thursday that causes a cow to come in heat within three days. It worked like a charm, and today she was in the mood for romance.

We don't own a bull. We have always used artificial insemination for any Jersey cows we've owned. I had to call a couple of local veterinarians to locate a breeder, but I found success. He came today.

What do you suppose Secret is thinking? Something like, "I asked for a bull, I get this man with the big hand?"

Hopefully she "took" on the first try. Usually, they do.

That's the tiny "straw" that contained the little swimmers. Would you like to see the bull who contributed said swimmers?

Tada!!! Meet Sunset Canyon Maximus, the daddy of my next calf.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Happy birthday, Blue!

My horse, Blue, turned fourteen years old yesterday. I helped him celebrate today by allowing him to carry me down along the Missouri River. I took a couple of videos so my readers could share the experience.

First, a ride through a wheat field. You'll notice his head goes down once in a while; this is when he's stealing a bite of green wheat. The clouds were beautiful.

Next, be amazed along with me at how casual Blue is near a passing train. In fact, he likes moving trains so much that he'd gladly go closer if I'd let him. It's just that I'm not comfortable any closer. Good grief, the ground is shaking already!

We saw farmers planting something. These days, there's no plowing or cultivating: They simply stick the seed in the ground and use a herbicide to kill the weeds. I wondered what they were planting.

Then I rode past this pickup and saw the empty seed-corn sacks.

Happy birthday, my noble steed (and babysitter). I don't know what I'd do without you.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I'm moving, a little at a time

There's a great advantage to moving within walking distance of my present home. Anytime I think of something I won't be using within the next two weeks, I can simply carry it over there.

The smallest bedroom of three is going to be my computer room, but so far it's my memory room. I've stuffed it so full of memories, I'm not sure where I'll put the computer desk when I need it.

That baby crib (considered unsafe these days) served as a bed for both my babies. Before that, Cliff's sister Charlene slept in it; and it was given to the family for her use after a fire destroyed everything they owned, so who knows how many babies used it before. My son's first tooth-prints are on both the head and the foot. I simply can't get rid of it, and now I have a place for it. The rocking chair is one my mom used daily in the nursing home where she died; it's pretty scarred up, but very sturdy. How can I get rid of my mom's last piece of furniture?

I purchased that rocking horse at a garage sale for fifty cents shortly after my first grandson was born (he's twenty-two now). It's seen hours of use by dozens of kids since then. I blogged about the library table my grandfather made, already.

See the cabbage patch kid in the left-hand corner of the crib? My ex-daughter-in-law bought that for the oldest grandson's first Christmas. He never cared for it, but his sister and all my other grandkids have played with it. His birth certificate is long-since gone, but it had him named "Luther", which is my late father-in-law's name, as it happens. I can't possibly get rid of that. The throw pillow is made from a vintage hanky from my mom's collection. The doll in pink is a replica of the doll my daughter played with when she was two, the Drowsy Doll. The kneeling white Teddy bear used to say the "now I lay me down to sleep" prayer when you squeezed his tummy. That's something else my mom had in the nursing home, and she thought it was so very cute. Just behind him and Drowsy is a made-in-Germany bear my ex-daughter-in-law bought for her son or daughter when they were stationed there.

Oh, that's just Sadie, wondering why we're spending so much time in this strange and different dwelling.

These are some drinking glasses I used as a very young child; I have no idea how old they are. Do any of my readers know anything about this type of glass? Do you think it's some sort of carnival glass?

Here's what the bottoms look like.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I'm moving stuff!

Originally we were going to tear down the old barn. Now we've decided we'll simply take off the wing on the left.

I figure I may as well move stuff I don't use much... books, winter clothes I've stored away, and so forth.

Cliff backed a trailer up to the door and I loaded it up with stuff I won't be needing for a couple of weeks.

I moved my Better Homes and Gardens cookbook collection today; then I realized I should have kept the one I use the most here, since I use recipes from it a couple of times a week. My son made that book-case for me when he was in high school, so I love it.

I found the perfect spot for all my pretty little horses.

I can't wait.

Gene, the guy who moved our mobile home, came out today and fixed the tie-downs so our home won't blow away easily. He only has one more thing to do: come and get our air conditioning in place and charged up, once we have electricity. We went ahead and paid him... about half the cost for which we had budgeted. Cliff's old pal Tom told him Gene wouldn't cheat us, that he was cheap.


Picture me doing a happy dance.