Tuesday, March 31, 2009


A mother throwing a birthday party for her fourteen-year-old daughter got the teenage guests drunk.

Click HERE to read the whole stinking story.

This happened near Kansas City.

Have you ever received this information in email?

Does your car have remote keyless entry? This may come in handy someday. Good reason to own a cell phone: If you lock your keys in the car and the spare keys are at home, call someone at home on their mobile phone from your mobile phone. Hold your cell phone about a foot from your car door and have the person at your home press the unlock button, holding it near the mobile phone on their end. Your car will unlock. Saves someone from having to drive your keys to you. Distance is no object. You could be hundreds of miles away, and if you can reach someone who has the other 'remote' for
your car, you can unlock the doors (or the trunk).

Editor's Note: It works fine!
We tried it out and it unlocked our
car over a mobile phone!'

No way. Snopes says this is false. This is one a person could try out for himself, though. Go ahead!

Hidden Battery Power
Imagine your mobile battery is very low. To activate, press the keys *3370# Your mobile will restart with this reserve and the instrument will show a 50% increase in battery. This reserve will get charged when you charge your mobile next time.

How to disable a STOLEN mobile phone:
To check your Mobile phone's serial number, key in the following digits on your phone: * # 0 6 #. A 15 digit code will appear on the screen. This number is unique to
your handset. Write it down and keep it somewhere safe. When your phone gets stolen, you can phone your service provider and give them this code. They will then be able to block your handset so even if the thief changes the SIM card, your phone will be totally useless. You probably won't get your phone back, but at least you know that whoever stole it can't use/sell it either. If everybody does this, there would be no point in people stealing mobile phones. This one is partially true.

ATM - PIN Number Reversal - Good to Know If you should ever be forced by a robber to withdraw money from an ATM machine, you can notify the police by entering your PIN # in reverse. For example, if your pin number is 1234, then you would put in 4321. The ATM system recognizes that your PIN number is backwards
from the ATM card you placed in the machine. The machine will still give you the money you requested, but unknown to the robber, the police will be immediately dispatched to the location. This information was recently broadcast on CTV by Crime
Stoppers; however it is seldom used because people just don't know about it. Please
pass this along to everyone.

That one is false also. To check the whole list of rumors about what cell phones can (or cannot) do, click HERE.

Snopes.com is there, just waiting to tell you the truth about those forwarded emails.

A little good news

Spring will not be denied, in spite of unexpected snowstorms like the one we had Saturday. Actually, out here in the boonies, it was a snow/sleet/rainstorm. I wondered since some of the tulips were so close to blooming, if this would mess up my plans for seeing colorful flowers soon.

Obviously not. I'm really just learning about tulips.

I have been anxious to see if the bushes I put out last July would live through the winter.

There's the healthy lilac bush....

and the burning bush is leafing out nicely.

Now, I know pansies are very hardy, and I didn't expect to lose the little plants. I did, however, expect the hard freeze and ice to destroy the existing blooms.

Not so!

Judging by all these, I'd guess that the local peach orchard wasn't harmed by the cold, either.

In the garden, everything that was up and growing is still as good as ever. I notice the few peas I planted came up rather sparsely, so I may decide to either replant them or just forget about them and plant something else. We'll see.

It was a wonderful hot-tub morning. This winter has taught me to get out there on the chilly, or even very cold, mornings. Once it's above 60, all it does is overheat me! I expect to turn the temperature down quite a bit, come summer.

The sky is clear and blue, and it isn't so windy today.

It's a great day to be alive.

Monday, March 30, 2009

So, if the worst happened....

If times get so bad you have to start giving up a few things, have you talked about what you'd give up?

Cliff and I discuss it often.

We'd take a lot of items off our real estate property insurance and let the chips fall where they may.

We'd get rid of DishTV as soon as possible and put up an antenna.

I'd go back to dial-up Internet. Yes, I'd hate it. But I'd do it. I won't totally give up Internet, though, unless we're homeless and starving. I'm selfish like that.

We'd stop eating out. We only do that once or twice a week, but every little bit helps.

These are only the tip of the iceberg. But we're preparing.

Dear CBS

To CBS and KCTV Channel Five:

Cold Case is one of my top favorite shows. I love the way the cameras show flashes of the characters as they used to be when a crime was committed, then flash back to the present. I can't get enough!

I'm now the happy owner of a Dish DVR, so I record what I want to watch. This way I don't have to worry about missing out on something if I'm gone, or if (more likely) I nod off to sleep during those long commercial breaks (which I don't have to watch if the show is recorded on DVR).

Cold Case is scheduled to begin at 8 PM Sunday evening. For at least the last two weeks, although the DVR starts recording as scheduled and goes from 8 to 9 PM, an idiotic reality show called "Amazing Race" has lasted until 8:30. This means I get the last half-hour of Amazing Race (gag) and only the first half-hour of Cold Case.

I realize in these tough economic times (hello, daughter-of-mine), that this is a minor issue. In the vast scheme of things, it doesn't even register as a drop in the bucket.

But please, please get your stuff in order. Surely I'm not the only one whose miffed.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A voice from the past

Cliff's open heart surgery was performed almost three years ago. When he entered the hospital, one of the first people he met was a fellow who was almost ready to graduate from his respiratory therapy classes. Or whatever. The guy's name was Mike. He explained to Cliff how to use the incentive spirometer.

Cliff's heart surgeon, Dr. Gallion, asked Mike if he'd like to watch Cliff's surgery, and Mike gladly took him up on the offer.

Speaking of Dr. Gallion, we have yet to find any doctor, nurse or patient of his who has anything but good to say about him. Cliff has decided the man must walk on water. But I digress.

I think we only dealt with Mike for a couple of days, but he and I exchanged email addresses. Every once in awhile, he'd email me and ask, "How's Cliff doing?"

Because after all, he had actually seen Cliff's heart exposed. Something even I, Cliff's wife of many, many years, have never seen. Even though I OWN his heart.

Then came Facebook: somehow I met up with Mike there, and "friended" him.

Today he and I had a twenty-minute-or-so IM on Facebook. He has plans of going on to becoming an ER nurse. More power to him. We discussed his smoking (he still does... a respiratory theripist!), his recent marriage, and the state of everybody's health: Cliff and I are doing fine; Mike had a kidney stone, pnuemonia, and the flu this past winter.

I'm only telling all this to once again bring your attention to the wonders of the Internet. One of the few people in the world who actually saw Cliff's heart beating, live and in person, can still contact me and ask, "How's Cliff doing?"

And that's another thing I love about the Internet.

I copied and printed my whole conversation with Mike, so Cliff could read it.

And I now, once again, thank God, my friend Joanna (who suggested Cliff's indigestion might be heart trouble), the nurse-practitioner who caught his heart problem, and the almost divine Dr. Gallion. And even a respiratory theripist who smokes, for caring how Cliff is doing.

Friday, March 27, 2009

My day

Cliff currently doesn't work Fridays. That could change before long, but while it lasts he's enjoying three-day weekends.

His sister next door also has Fridays off. So the three of us went grocery shopping this morning.

We came home and ate some delicious barbecued ribs Rena had cooking in the crock pot, then left again to go to Kleinschmidts. Cliff needed jeans. I needed some fat jeans (yeah, I've gained weight; wanna make something of it?). Rena didn't need jeans, but she found some at a bargain price and bought a pair. Hers weren't fat jeans.

Then we went to Orscheln's, and happily discovered it was peanut days! We ate peanuts as we shopped, letting the shells fall on the floor because that's what you do during peanut days. I bought a twenty-five pound bag of apple treats for Blue. That's probably a five-year supply. I longingly looked at the baby chickens, ducks and turkeys; but I knew it wouldn't make sense to buy any.

Rena is house-shopping now. The grandson wants the old house if/when Rena moves, and he's welcome to it. I have to admit, though, that we sleep quite well at night knowing Rena takes excellent care of our old house. It won't be the same after she leaves. Plus we'll miss our four days a week babysitting Angel, her dog.

I can't blame her, though, for wanting central air and a built-in dishwasher and all the things I wished for when we lived in that house. Those of you who pray, please pray she'll find just the right home at a reasonable price and in God's own time.

I'm still watching for the huge storm that's been forecast. I'll believe it when I see it. The weather-guessers are having a ball with this.

Can you believe that although I had the camera with me all day, I didn't take a single picture? I think this return of Old Man Winter has me somewhat depressed.

Not much happening around here

Cliff's youngest sister called me last night and asked what happened to my blogging: She likes to see a new entry every morning.

Well, the truth is there's not much going on to blog about. We'll be getting the roof done soon. Winter is back with a vengeance (stay tuned for pictures of snow tomorrow). I'm getting rich in Facebook's Farm Town. Blah blah blah.

So since this well is dry, I suggest you go read Toni's latest entry, which made me laugh out loud more than once. She has a few "truth-is-stranger-than-fiction" airline stories to share.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dear Googlers

I see from my Sitemeter that many of you are worrying about your tulips freezing.

Here's the scoop:

If the tulips aren't blooming, you don't have to worry. I watched mine freeze solid a few days ago.

If they are in bloom, cover them up, or you'll lose the blooms.

And that's all I have to say about that.

Dear Lord, don't tell me Forest Gump said that, because I HATE that movie.

Can it be true?

Cliff heard somewhere that a rich Texan bought the Grand Ole Opry, and is moving it to Fort Worth, Texas.

It seems to me that if it's true, it'll be the death of Nashville AND of the Grand Ole Opry. Nashville is centrally located; Fort Worth may as well be Mexico, if you live in Missouri. (Frankye, nothing against you or Texas, I swear!)

I've Googled my heart out on this subject and have only found a link to a message board that discusses it.

Anybody know anything about this?

How on earth can anyone think about moving the "Mother Church of Country Music"?

A visit from the oldest grandson

That's the oldest grandson; those of you who have followed my blog for awhile remember how he lived with us for almost a year. He still comes by once in awhile: I've decided he has some sort of radar that tells him when I've cooked enough to make the trip out here worth his while.

This morning I made about a gallon of hamburger stew. At the time I thought, "Cliff and I may get tired of this before it's gone."

I needn't have worried. Arick arrived and had a couple big bowls of it for breakfast, then a couple more bowls for dinner. And managed to drink half a gallon of tea. I had forgotten how that boy eats! I guess since he's twenty-three years old, I should quit calling him a boy, shouldn't I?

I'm not complaining about his food consumption, mind you. It's always good to see him.

At least there was enough stew left for Cliff to take some to work this evening.

Oh, in that picture? He was laughing because of me taking his picture. In case you wondered, that's my purse. Arick doesn't carry one.

I see he still likes to keep both the remote and his cell phone close at hand.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Thursday Thirteen: Edition "L"

1. Lucky: I prefer the term "blessed", but yes, I consider myself lucky. If I were to die tonight, I feel life doesn't owe me a thing. It's been a great ride.

2. Libby: One of the most positive experiences I've had with horses was with a filly named Libby. I didn't succeed in breaking her to ride, but she left me a much better person for knowing her. That little lady had heart. I was blessed to have spent time with her.

3. Lemon pie: My sister's recipe is the best. You'll find that recipe HERE.

4. Liberty, Missouri: My husband works there.

5. Liver: We had beef liver this week (another of the things my husband shouldn't be eating). The liver came from a steer we recently butchered whose name was Meatloaf. The liver-and-onions were delicious.

6. Lexington, Missouri: A nearby city that's jam-packed with history. A Civil War battlefield, the Anderson House museum, and lots of antebellum homes.

7. Lionel Richie: I discovered him late in life, but one of his songs is part of a favorite memory: my daughter, driving, took me to Georgia to see my son graduate boot camp; on the way home she was fighting sleep, and a certain song came on the radio: "Come on, Mom," she said. "Sing it with me." Here's the song:

8. Life: "I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose LIFE in order that you may live, you and your descendants..." Deuteronomy 30:19

9. lettuce: The lettuce I planted in my garden in February is up and growing.

10. loner: That's me.

11. Luke: My favorite of the four Gospels.

12. love: "But now we still have faith, hope, love, these three; and the greatest of these is love." I Corinthians 13:13

13. Lyndsay: My youngest grandchild. My little Georgia peach. Here's a picture of her riding my big horse, Blue, last July:

A Blogger Meet-and-Greet is scheduled!

I've seen this announced on several blogs, and I figured it wouldn't hurt to mention it on my own. Somewhere I saw mentioned the people to contact, but right now I don't recall where. It's over a year away, so there's plenty of time to publicize it.

"April 17th 2010
It's a date you're going to remember!

We've all been friends for so long! We've laughed we've cried, we've been there for one another during hard times, holidays, birthdays, life moments and life changes.

We've come from AOL to Blogger and now we are going to Louisville Kentucky in 2010!

We've picked a location that we feel can be reached by many to hold a Blogger Meet 'N Greet on Saturday April 17th, 2010!

It's a year away so SAVE THE DATE!!"

That is copied and pasted from J-Land Central.

We got some straw today

My astilbe roots arrived by mail, so I planted those. This is my first experience with this lovely flower, which I'd never heard of until this past winter. I'm going to have to stop opening any and all mail I get from Breck's; every time I look at their flowers and bulbs, I'm tempted to buy something else. And I've never really been that much on growing flowers!

While I was puttering in the flowerbed, I noticed one of the neighbors' horses was loose, and thought how glad I was that we put electric fence around our garden, because ever time he's gotten out he invariably walks over the garden; I do have a lot of things up and growing now. While that thought was still being formed, the horse came trotting briskly onto our property till he was between Cliff's shop and the electric fence, a space perhaps eight feet in width. I could see him gathering energy to bound across the garden, but just in time, he saw the wire. He knew what it was because we also have to put electric fence along the top of our barbed wire fence between us and the neighbors, or their horses tear the fence down trying to get some grass (because there's precious little on their side). It's up to us to do all this maintenance for their horses, because Lord knows, they aren't going to lift a finger. Anyhow, he saw the wire, jumped back almost against Cliff's shop, suddenly decided it was a trap, and turned and went running home at racehorse speed.

It made my day. Our efforts have been rewarded.

We never seem to be able to get enough straw at an affordable price. Seems like small square bales run $4 each these days. Cliff has watched an ad on Craigslist for some big straw bales for quite a while. The guy first asked $30 a bale; then $25, and finally $20. Cliff decided that sounded good. In case you've never see big bales like this, I took a quick video of the farmer loading them onto the trailer. We brought home five bales I'll be able to mulch my tomatoes this year! We'll use it for bedding in the horse stall, too.

It's a new day (odds and ends)

We only received a half-inch of rain yesterday morning, but that should be enough to get our grass seed germinating.

Judging by comments my readers left about our roof situation, sounds like it's a good thing we have emergency funds. Truth be told, we have planned to roof this mobile home ever since we first purchased it. It would have been nice to get some help with it, but that isn't essential.

Cliff plans to go buy some big bales of straw after he gets up and around, which probably means he won't be taking a walk today; Sadie and I may go ahead and walk while he's asleep.

It's winter again! Thirty-four degrees when I went to feed the livestock, and there's a possibility of snow this weekend.

Cliff went for his quarterly checkup Monday, and got word yesterday that his blood work looks excellent: "Keep doing whatever it is you're doing," the nurse told him.

I asked him, "Does that mean we get to eat pizza and have breakfast at Denny's and eat fried catfish?" Because we've done all that in the past week.

After our prescription screw-up with the young doctor three months ago, we scheduled Cliff with the nurse-practitioner this trip. She's actually the one who originally suspected Cliff's "indigestion" might be heart trouble. Good catch, Elaine!

Speaking of that, it will be three years next month since Cliff's open heart surgery. Since that time, we look at each day as a gift. We've had a lot of good motorcycle rides together, and hope for many more.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Thank you, Anne!

My good Kansas/Arizona blogging buddy, Anne (who doesn't blog enough, by the way), read my post "Bury me like a Jew" and sent me an interesting link which aroused my curiosity concerning a PBS show about home burial.

Now, I don't think I would care for a home burial. After all, property changes hands often these days, and I can just see the neighbor who once told me she hoped I'd "die and rot in hell" coming over to spit on my grave every few days. Or dance on it, or smoke pot on it. Whatever.

But I'm very interested in this subject. So much so that I re-joined Netflix in order to watch "Point Of View: A Family Undertaking".

I can quit Netflix again, once I've watched it.

stormy morning, sunny afternoon

Cliff and the dogs on our walk today

We had intense winds last night, and this morning the roof was missing several shingles. Cliff called the insurance man, so we'll see what can be done. Whether they help or not, we'll need to re-shingle. Thank goodness for our various emergency funds!

Cliff got out of his chair this morning and his sister's dog, Angel, immediately jumped up into it, as is her habit. He came back about ten minutes later and, not seeing Angel, sat on her. She yelped and he jumped up really fast, scared he'd killed her. As it turns out, all he did was hurt her pride, and she refused to have anything to do with him for about three hours. When he began eating dinner, though, she decided it would be wise to forgive him, since he tosses her a crumb from time to time. You can see in the above picture that she was right at his heels on our walk this afternoon.

Speaking of dinner: The neighbor across the highway brought us a nice mess of catfish this morning, so that's what we had. I opened a can of Popeye spinach (because I like to think that balances out the unhealthily-fried catfish). As I was eating mine, I encountered a foreign object, spat it out and examined it, and figured out it was a piece of wood about an inch long. No big deal, really. Except I'm a bargain biddy and I know, by past experience, that if you let manufacturers know about things like this they are liable to give you some coupons. So I went to allens.com and told them all about it. I've already received notice in email that I'll be getting some coupons.

In the garden, both the yellow and red onions are up. Radishes and cabbage also. And of course lettuce and peas planted on February 10 are doing well. I get a kick out of hearing people in my vicinity say, "Oh, I could never plant those things that early; they'd freeze!"

Which tells me they've never tried, or they'd know better. :-D

Monday, March 23, 2009

Scenes from yesterday

It was a pleasant Sunday.

Sassy, Adam's mare, is a bit of a witch (that sounds a lot like what I usually call her). It's typical of horses to fight over their hay and chase cattle away from it, but as long as the hay is spread out in several piles, they'll usually settle down and let everybody eat in peace. Not Sassy, at least not when it comes to Secret.

Yesterday Adam took his two horses on a jaunt, leaving only Blue and Secret in the pasture.

I wasn't surprised at all to see them eating together peacefully, because Blue is like that. Secret has learned to steer clear of Sassy, knowing she's liable to get kicked, bitten, or chased if she hangs too close to her.

Cliff cleared junk off some more fences, while his main tractor-driver, Natalie, waited patiently.
With a full belly, Secret laid down not far from her best friend, the tub. Which I now call "Tubby".
Natalie finds some of the strangest places to ride on the tractor.

Here's a closeup of Secret. Notice her too-short ears, which were frozen shortly after she was born, causing her to lose the ends of them. Most of her tail-switch froze off, too. She doesn't mind. After all, she has Tubby to love her. And me, of course.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

morning ride

I did manage to be on my horse, Blue, at 8 A.M. and rode for over an hour. As you can see, the river bottom looks pretty desolate and forsaken. Can you make out the purple shading on those weeds? That's henbit, and it will be bright purple before long.

A couple of balloons from somebody's party are hooked up in a tree ahead. Click to see them better.
What's that sign doing on this shack on Farmer Steve's property?
Ha ha. Who's the joker? When Blue and I got back to the barn, Adam was loading up his two horses and taking them to Blue-Gray park to ride. He said he rides one for awhile, then the other. I wish him good luck with Sassy; she was being totally crazy, even for her.

Great morning for a ride, and we got back before all the Harleys hit the highway; Blue handles most vehicles quite well, but when we are passed by a large group of motorcycles (especially Harleys), he gets a little panicky. One or two is just fine. Several, not so much. I think he feels he's under attack.

My tomato and pepper experiment

The instructions say that once the seedlings have developed their first "true leaves", I should put them outside during the day to harden them off. All the tomatoes are ready for this move, but not all the peppers. In fact, some of the peppers are just now starting to germinate. I may start putting them outside for awhile anyhow.

So far, all the little plants seem to be doing well. They look a bit leggy, but that's to be expected.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Today's motorcycle ride

This morning I asked Cliff whether he had an agenda for this day: When the weather's like it was today, I need to know if he's planning on a motorcycle ride, so I can plan around it.

He said he figured he'd take the chain saw and walk our fence on the east side, clearing off any trees or limbs that had fallen onto it.

"OK," I told him. "I'm going to change water in my hot tub, and then I think I'll ride Blue."

Two to four times a year, the hot tub needs to be drained and refilled. I clean the walls of any accumulated scum, clean the filters, put fresh water in and add chemicals. It's a fairly time-consuming process, and one I can't just turn my back on, because at my age, I am easily distracted.

I had just started refilling the tub when Cliff came back to the house.

"Well," says he, "it's so nice, I think we ought to take a little ride."


My poor old horse is so neglected lately.

Once the hot tub was full, we were ready to leave. I suggested we take some back roads to Kurzweil's, near Garden City, and split a tenderloin sandwich, since we hadn't had lunch. (May God forgive me for trying to clog my husband's arteries.)

Once we'd eaten (great tenderloin, by the way), we headed home a different way than we'd come; I hate going through Harrisonville on the motorcycle anyhow. There was a blacktop road going north, with a sign that said "Gunn City".

"I've never heard of Gunn City," I told Cliff.

He hadn't either, so we turned there.

Small town indeed. Population eighty-something.

Next town we came to was Strasburg:

Now, we are familiar with Strasburg: I bought my very first Jersey cow from a trader who lived about two miles outside of this town. We called her "Ole Jerz". She died of milk fever a couple of years later.

Someone seems to be remodeling a building in downtown Strasburg.

And there's a pleasant-looking little country store just outside of town.

Now to the "sentimental journey" part of our trip: My parents lived in this double-wide mobile home for several years. After they moved to Branson, we lived there for two and a half years, from perhaps 1979 to 1982. Cliff hated it there, so when the renters moved away from the property where we now live, we came back home. Mother and Daddy came back to live there, because Daddy had just learned he had lung cancer.

This is "our twenty acres", the first property we owned, bought in 1967 when our son was four months old. We lived there for seven years.

I don't believe in regrets, but I think if we had it to do over, we would never have sold that place. We drive by there about once a year, and today is the first time we've seen drastic changes to the house. They've added on, big time. I'd love to see what it looks like inside. To the left of center, behind the trees, is the first pole barn Cliff ever built. Still standing after all these years.

When you see this sign, you know we're almost home.

No, this is NOT our renters' trailer, although there is some resemblance. Every time we pass this place, Cliff says, "It ain't much, but we call it home."

It was a good day and a good ride. Now don't ANYBODY try and stop me from riding my horse tomorrow. Okay?

Remember the rocking horse I won?

I took this picture last weekend and forgot to share it with my readers. Kameron seems less than thrilled, doesn't she?

Off the horse, however, my great-granddaughter is starting to be lots of fun, laughing and cooing when we talk to her. I had forgotten how fast babies grow.

Friday, March 20, 2009

It's officially spring!

Thanks to Sugar for the tag.

I don't know when I've been so giddy about spring arriving. I get up in the morning and can hardly wait until the sun comes up so I can go stroll around the yard and garden, checking for buds and blooms and emerging seedlings. Sadie goes out with me and I toss her Frisbee until she's worn out. She's been staying at my side very well lately, coming when I call. I do keep a close watch for neighbor dogs, because I know she'd still run off if she saw another dog.

I just wish I could talk to the plants and buds and tell them to HURRY! At least tulips have emerged from their bed, so I watch them for blooms. The tiny lilac bush has rapidly swelling buds, and I see signs of life in the burning bush and the Chanticleer Pear tree.

What I'm watching very closely is the tiny trees I got from The Arbor Day Foundation. I've never had much luck with teeny-tiny seedling trees, and I'm quite anxious to see some signs of life from them, as well as the Chinquapin Oak I transplanted from the woods near the cabin.

I have one bit of bad news on the vegetation front: Several of my Norway Spruce trees seem to be dying. They did so well for nine months; I watered them during the dry spells and became quite attached to them. I was not expecting them to give me any problem.

Oh well, I'll take the bad with the good. I'm going back outside.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

So, Cliff has this co-worker

The guy is a perfect physical specimen, according to Cliff. He goes to the exercise room when Cliff does and RUNS on the treadmill for thirty minutes. Runs FAST.

There's going to be some kayak race on the Missouri River... in July, I think. When I google it, I get other years, but nothing for 2009.

Anyhow, the guy wants some practice before the big event, and he doesn't really like the one place in Kansas City that gives access to the Missouri River; we won't talk about why. That's his business.

So Cliff told him to come on out this weekend.

Oh dear Lord, you've answered a blogger's prayer! I shall be there with camera in hand, whether the guy puts his craft in at Napoleon or Lexington or Sibley.

Stay tuned.

Secret's "friend"?

Cliff and I went to the trouble of buying a steer for Secret when she was small, so she'd have another cow as a friend. Honestly, she never got that attached to him, although he was quite attached to her. She hardly seems to miss him, now that he's in the deep freeze.

I've been noticing, though, that she has developed an attachment to an empty black rubber tub that's in her pen.

I first realized this when I started turning her out to eat grass; when she'd come back up to let me know she wanted in her pen, I'd open the gate for her. She didn't go directly to her hay, as I thought she would: she'd go straight to a tub that used to hold cattle mineral. We've never bought such mineral, so I don't know where the thing came from or who gave it to us. We were using it as a water container, but Secret kept turning it over and spilling the water, so we gave up on that.

Today I took a video of her going into her pen after grazing all day long. Forgive the shaky footage; it's hard to make a movie at the same time you're opening and closing a gate. This is Secret's best friend; she even makes little lowing noises like the sounds a cow makes to her new calf.

It wasn't enough that I'm stuck with a dog that's nutty as a fruitcake. Now I have a cow that's attached to an inanimate object.

I can't believe it!

The article says it all. Click HERE.

I found this link on Tractor Tales message board... where else?

Quotes seen today

I regularly start my day with a blog that always gives me a lift. "On The Bright Side" made the move from AOL with so many others of us, when AOL closed down journals. Sometimes I read every word, other times I just skim over it quickly, which is what I was doing today when some quotes near the top caught my eye.

"It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade." Charles Dickens

So often in the spring I'm putting on my coat, then taking it off, then getting chilled and putting it on again... over and over.

"Hoe while it is spring, and enjoy the best anticipations.

It is not much matter if things do not turn out well." Charles Dudley Warner

I can relate to that one; many is the time I've started out planting early and eagerly; but when the heat of summer comes along or I'm discouraged by drought or blight, the garden takes a back seat, sometimes growing up in weeds... at which time Cliff mows the whole thing because he can't stand weeds. If that happens this year, it will be doubly embarrassing, with all my blog-readers watching. But I read these words and realize my spring efforts are never wasted. Look at the fun I'm having right now!

Since I enjoyed the above lines so much, I went on a search for more springtime quotes and found these:

Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!" ~Robin Williams

I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden. ~Ruth Stout

Spring shows what God can do with a drab and dirty world. ~Virgil A. Kraft

Every spring is the only spring - a perpetual astonishment. ~Ellis Peters

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bury me like a Jew

Cliff and I are in our sixties now, and we sometimes talk about our funerals and what our preferences are.

I always tell Cliff that if it were up to me, I'd be cremated. But if he outlives me and that makes him uncomfortable, he can do whatever he wants with this worn-out body that will only be a shell that used to house my soul.

I have to say that the older I get, the more I enjoy funerals. I know that sounds sick, but hey... it's a family reunion! You get to see people you never see under other circumstances. And yet....

Not so long ago, I read an entry by the Kansas City Russian that really hit home.

Can you really do that, Meesha? People tell me you have to buy the vault, that it's the law. A simple box would do me just fine, but folks tell me it isn't possible.

You're right, the makeup and embalming is creepy.

When I'm dead it won't matter to me, so the family can do whatever they're comfortable with. But if it were my choice, I'd be either cremated, or buried like a Jew.

Just remember, I DO want a headstone someplace.

Thursday thirteen: Edition "K"

1. Kitchen: My favorite room in any house.

2. Kris Kringle: Who doesn’t love old St. Nick?

3. kite: I remember trying to fly a kite by myself when I was about five years old. It would almost fly, but not quite. I was so disappointed, and finally gave up.

4. Kruschev: The leader of the Soviet Union who took his shoe off at the U.N. in 1960 and either (a) pounded on a desk with it, or (b) waved it in the air.

5. klutz: I am one

6. Keith Whitley: What a great singer, and what a shame he died so young of alcohol poisoning.

7. Kansas: Cliff finds Kansas flat and boring; I find it lovely in its own special way.

8, Kansas City: Despite many reports of its demise by Kansas City bloggers, I love Kansas City. Growing up, it was the only big city I knew, and it was so exciting to look across the Missouri River from our humble Harlem apartment and watch the lights atop the Power-and-Light building changing colors. I loved the big Folgers light, too.

9. Kennedy: I was working at National Bellas Hess when I heard President Kennedy had been shot.

10. Kurzweils country meats: Neat place with good tenderloins. I've blogged about them before.

11. Kevin: My son-in-law, who is the trivia champ of our family. Trying to think of the name of some old rock group? Wondering who starred in some particular movie? Ask Kevin. How he remembers all that stuff is anybody's guess. (He's a sucker for little girls, by the way.)

12. knife: I seldom have a sharp enough one around.

13. Kraut: I'm not real crazy about it by itself, but with hot dogs cooked in it, it isn't bad.

If you'd like to play along on this continuing meme, be sure to leave your link at Izzy 'N Emmy so everyone can get to know you better. I'm really dreading the letters "Q" and "X".

I feel so used

How did I end up being a dog-bed?

(As you can see by my red face, I've been outside a lot lately.)

Just one more reason to stay away from the Blue Springs Walmart

A Friday-night flasher lurks there.

We always try to avoid the Blue Springs Walmart.

Got this tidbit from Tony's Kansas City; I never link to him, but I will give him credit for sending lots of interesting news items my way.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Just when I was enjoying my day...

It's official. I'm old, really old. I received my Medicare card today.

I think I need another motorcycle ride.


OK, I'm ready for a nap.

I've been taking my herbs out every day, even leaving them out at night when there's no chance of frost. What I'd like to do is transplant them to my flower bed, but I don't know how hardy they are. If anyone has knowledge about basil, thyme, cilantro, parsley and other herbs, please let me know in a comment whether they are as cold-resistant as, say, lettuce and radishes.

The last job Cliff and I did outside today was to put electric fence around our garden spot. We have neighbors who are too sorry to build a proper fence for their livestock, and their horses have already been traipsing across the garden spot a couple of times in the past month (same neighbors who like to trespass and steal morels; big surprise, right? Same ones whose trash blows across our pasture so that Walmart bags bloom like flowers in our treetops and meadow.)

Anyway, I'm worn out and I think Cliff is too; and he still has ten hours to put in at work! Maybe I can get enough rest for both of us.

spring things

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, I planted some Irish potatoes.

I had three pounds of Kennebec potatoes cut, healed, and ready. The bucket is for me to sit on as I plant, since bending, stooping or kneeling hurts my knees really bad. Notice the black tape around the hoe-handle; I use that to mark the distance between rows.

I try to leave two eyes on each chunk of potato.

I plant my potatoes deep. If they should come up and freeze, they'll be fine. The tops will die down to the ground, but they'll keep growing and making new tops.

You probably couldn't tell it, but this is the first pea to emerge from the ground, obviously in celebration of St. Paddy's Day.

Another cause to celebrate: the back yard dried out enough for Cliff to till it! Maybe I'll have actual grass in my yard before long. No more mud!

I asked the lady at Colonial Nursery if it was too soon to set the pansies out: She said no, they're very hardy, but told me to "harden them off" first. Done and done.

Springtime is so exciting; I'm wearing out my exclamation mark!

Did you miss my usual half-dozen daily posts yesterday?

We knew there was a wonderful day in the making before it even started. Oh, and it started early: Cliff had to take his partial back to the dentist and see if the lab could get it right, this time around. His appointment was at 7:30 A.M., which for a night worker is early indeed. We decided when he got home that we'd get on the Gold Wing, head north across the river, find some blacktop county roads we'd never been on before, and ride through the countryside.

Trouble is, we were hungry, and we didn't want oatmeal. We remembered eating at Denny's a few weeks ago, and how good it was. Denny's was in the opposite direction from where we planned to ride, but never mind: We went, we ate, we conquered. Cliff's getting pretty good at eating without his two front teeth. Then we backtracked, going past home to let two dogs relieve themselves and availing ourselves of the facilities, as well.

As a side note, that breakfast lasted us until we got home yesterday evening. We had our usual picnic along, but we weren't hungry!

We went through Richmond on highway 13, found a blacktop going east (K) and zigzagged around on various roads until we got to 65 highway, a couple of hours later.

We had never heard of Tinny Grove before.

Cliff always wonders why they leave these old barns to decay; why not burn them, or tear them down?

We left home with a full tank. With only a quarter-tank left, we had not seen a gas station in hours. None of the decaying little towns we'd passed through had a gas station. We saw very few vehicles on the back roads, which works out great because Cliff can gawk around without having to worry about holding up traffic.

We went back to Highway 13, filled up the tank ($1.75 per gallon), and went on to Cameron to visit with my cousin, Gerald, and his wife. We had a full day of riding, getting back home around 6 PM (Cliff called in a paid personal day, so no work for him). Here's a two-minute video I took of the ride, with Arlo Guthrie singing our theme song.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Potatoes and posies

Cliff and I did some shopping this morning. We needed grass seed and something to kill grubs, too, and we got those at Walmart.

I bought three pounds of Kennebec seed potatoes a couple of weeks ago, and cut them up so they'd be ready to plant on St. Patrick's Day. Then later, I happened to read something about Yukon Gold potatoes, and I wanted to try those, just out of curiousity. As far as I know, I've never even tasted Yukon Gold potatoes. So we went to Colonial Nursery, knowing they'd have them because they have anything you'd need in the gardening line. There aren't a lot of plants out for sale anywhere, this early; but I saw some cute little pansy faces in the greenhouse and got a few. Plus more radish seeds and some beet seeds. Cliff went ahead and got his peaches-and-cream corn seeds while we were there, although it won't be planted for weeks.

The radishes already up in the garden are just fine, still alive and well.

I'll plant the Yukon Gold potatoes on Good Friday, weather permitting; that's April 10. Daddy always planted potatoes either on St. Patrick's Day or Good Friday, but he preferred the latter, saying the moon sign is always right then.

Personally, I don't worry about such things, but if it's convenient I'll do it that way, just because it's tradition.

We broke out the firepit

I took these picture in between hot dogs and marshmallows.

Notice Sadie in the background, looking wishful. She's on her tie-out.

Yesterday, taking my walk with Sadie, I came upon Cliff using the chain saw and took a very brief video:

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Crazy Sadie

Can spring be far behind?

Cliff asked what I thought about tilling up the yard and planting grass.

I suggested he do half of the front yard, and we could do the rest this fall. The grass in the east part is adequate, at least for now. That way the whole yard won't be mud at once.

I put my herbs on the front porch for the day.

Tulips which were frozen hard three days ago seem no worse for the wear today.

Cliff picked up a hitchhiker, granddaughter Natalie.

The peonies I transplanted from our old yard are alive and peeking through!

So are the iris. Actually, there's dirt on top of most of the iris I planted. I was just being mischievous (and proving a point) when I tossed these down on top of the grass. You can't kill these things!