Tuesday, November 30, 2010

To be a kid again

Christmas really isn't much fun these days.  I know, lots of people absolutely live for Christmas.  Not me.  
My favorite thing about this season is the memories, and the magic that Christmas used to be.  
I want to be five years old again.  
Santa Claus was real.  He didn't always bring me every single thing I wanted, but I could count on him to deliver most of it.  The only time he really let me down was when he failed to deliver that pony, but of course he probably couldn't fit it in his sleigh.  
When he came bursting through the door at the back of the one-room schoolhouse at the end of our Christmas program, ringing a bell and saying "Ho ho ho", I had no doubt he was the real deal.  I never even noticed the bell he was ringing was the same one the teacher rang every day to signal the end of recess.  
I didn't know about calories.  I could eat all the brown sugar candy and nuts and fruit cake I desired without any guilt, and my mother provided plenty of goodies for my consumption.  Not only that, she let me eat all of it I wanted, at any time.  
Oh, I wish you could have seen the Christmas trees we had.  Artificial trees hadn't been invented yet, and the piney fragrance of our real Christmas trees affected me in the same way that catnip affects a cat.  I still demand a real Christmas tree, mainly for the memories.  The smell only seems to last a few days, but it's good while it lasts.  We don't have huge piles of presents like the old days, but we do have the tree.
I remember magazines people gave my mom for Christmas called "Christmas Ideals".  I could look at the pictures and stories in those magazines for hours.  A few years ago I got on Ebay and ordered a couple of the issues I remembered from my childhood.  For the memories.  
There was a special magic about the simple Christmas programs in country churches, so that when little kids wearing their mom's bathrobes walked down the aisle toward the front, I saw them as real shepherds and wise men.  And that doll in the manger?  I almost expected him to cry. 
I wish I could be five years old again, young enough to sit on my momma's lap and enjoy it, back before I developed that attitude that drove a wedge between the two of us for most of the rest of our lives.
I want to wake up Christmas morning and see my stocking stuffed with all kinds of fun stuff, an orange bulging in its toe.  
When you're five years old there are no worries, because you're perfectly taken care of.  You don't know about politics or wars or "these tough economic times".  
Momma and Daddy will take care of all that.  
And what they don't provide, Santa will.

I ordered my Nook ereader

I wanted to wait awhile longer, but here's what was happening.  
Nook introduced the Nook Color edition, which costs $100 more than the basic Nook.  
I thought how wonderful it would be to read magazines on this reader and be able to see the pictures in color.  I wanted it, but when I'd mention it, I didn't get any go-ahead signals from Cliff.   
The more I looked at the Nook Color model, the more it reminded me of an Ipad, except that the Ipad does more things.  A lot more things.  
So I went to the Apple website and drooled over the Ipad.  Wow, it's just like a computer, only shaped differently.  The cheapest one is $499.  You actually could buy a laptop for that price.  
I don't need an Ipad, but I really, really started wanting one.  I didn't even bother to run this option past Cliff, because it made no sense.
Dave Ramsey tapped me on the shoulder a few times and told me I didn't need any of these toys.  He accused me of having "stuffitis".    
All I originally wanted was an ereader.  
This morning, with Cliff in bed sound asleep, I went to the Barnes and Noble site and ordered a Nook, the basic one.  Not 3G, not color.  The reader I wanted in the first place.  You see, if I fooled around any longer looking at all these deluxe toys, I'd be liable to end up with something I don't need, and that we really don't have money set aside for.  
I had my friend Astaryth giving me tips through this journey:  
"Donna... unless you want to read magazines, the basic Nook is just fine. Be aware that the color one uses the LED screen instead of e-ink. E-ink is easier on your eyes and easier to read outside... although the LED screen has the advantage of being able to be read in the dark. I have the 3G version because I don't always have access to wi-fi and I don't read magazines on mine.  
Be aware that the I-pad does NOT allow library checkouts. Also, B&N has as many if not more free books as Amazon and you don't have the keyboard at the bottom."   

The only reason I chose Nook over Kindle was the fact that my library can lend books to me by way of the Nook; Kindle is not compatible with the library.  Library books are free.  Free is good (right, Dave Ramsey?).  
Now, here's hoping I can figure out how to use my Nook when it arrives.

Monday, November 29, 2010

When I was a kid

We lived in Guss, Iowa; I was six years old.  My parents were the switchboard operators.  
Guss isn't even an incorporated town; back then it consisted of our telephone office, a blacksmith shop across the road, and Hampell's store, just up the road.  Our address was Villisca, not Guss.
The people across the road were the Mitchells.  Alvin was the blacksmith and his wife's name was Lois.  She didn't like to do laundry much:  her wringer washing machine was in the smokehouse, and she'd pile all the dirty clothes out there on the concrete floor until there was a huge mountain of clothes.  Sometimes she'd go shopping and buy new clothes for her kids rather than do the washing, which drove my mom crazy.  
My dad would go over and visit with Alvin and other local men at the blacksmith shop.  I remember the pop machine there, and the taste of Tyler grape soda.  I recall the naughty calendar hanging on the wall with women in suggestive poses.
We'd go across the road to the Mitchell's house at night sometimes, and the adults played cards.  Me and the Mitchell boys would amuse ourselves in whatever way we could.  Sometimes we'd draw pictures, but it was pretty boring because the boys only wanted to draw pictures of cars.    
Gary Mitchell was a year or so older than me; Lloyd was perhaps a year younger.  That's what it seemed like, but after consulting zabasearch.com, they may have both been older than I.  
I remember Alvin telling my mom once that he was going to pick her up and carry her through the house; she told him he couldn't lift her, and he proceeded to pick her up and carry her through the house.  
For some reason, I wasn't too happy with that.
One summer day I went across the road to play with the boys as usual, and the older one decided we should play the "you-show-me-yours-and-I'll-show-you-mine" game.  In fact, he was going to force the issue and make SURE he saw mine.  I certainly did not want to see his!  
I hit him as hard as I could and went home and told my mom.  
I was scared to go over there again, so that was the last time I ever played with them.  
I really missed those boys.  They were the only kids around.  
Please don't think I was traumatized by this; no damage was done.  The main thing I remember is how lonely I was after this incident, having nobody to play with.  My mom didn't tell me not to go over there again, but I didn't want to play with them any more.  It was just too uncomfortable.


So, how do you like the picture on my header?

I loved the picture that was there for so long, of Cliff on the tractor; but I wanted a change.  I wanted something that would portray the bleakness of this time of year.  I stuck a picture of Bonnie and her son on for awhile, but it didn't really fit.  
This morning when Cliff and I headed out for our walk, I slipped the camera in my pocket.  
"I need to find a wintery picture for my header," I told him.  
I got three that were satisfactory; the one you see up above, and two where you can see our house in the distance.  I'll probably use those later on.  Iris is in all of them.  I planned it that way because she softens the bleakness a little.  
When you look at the picture above, you can see the river bottoms where I used to ride Blue so often.  The hills in the far distance are on the other side of the Missouri River.  
Cliff and I walk past that scene every day; it's fun to see how the seasons change the view.

Use that leftover turkey


1 T olive oil
1 large yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced
½ small green pepper, chopped
1 med. stalk celery
2 T flour
1 1-lb can tomatoes with juice
1 c chicken broth
1/4 tsp red hot pepper sauce
2 cups okra, fresh or frozen
1 ½ cups cooked cubed turkey
½ tsp lemon juice

Heat olive oil and add next 4 ingredients. Cook till veggies are soft. Blend in flour, cook 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, broth and hot sauce. Cook, stirring constantly, till mixture thickens and comes to boil, 3 - 5 minutes. Add okra, bring to boil, and cook 6 to 8 minutes. Add chicken and heat through, about 4 minutes. Stir in lemon juice.

1/4 recipe, 207 calories


1/3 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green sweet pepper
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 14 ½ ounce can of chopped tomatoes
1 ½ cups chicken broth
2/3 cup long grain rice
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 to ½ bottled hot pepper sauce, or ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
2 cups cubed, cooked turkey

1. In a large skillet cook celery, onion and sweet pepper in oil till vegetables are tender but not brown.
2. Stir in undrained tomatoes, chicken broth, uncooked rice, basil, garlic powder, pepper, hot pepper sauce, and bay leaf. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes or till rice is tender. Stir in chicken or turkey; heat through. Discard bay leaf. Makes 4 servings.

354 calories, 12 grams total fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 68 mg chol., 610 sodium, 32 grams carbs, 2 grams fiber, 27 grams protein. 15% vitamin A, 37% vitamin C, 22% iron. 

I put leftover turkey in freezer bags in the portions needed for these two recipes.  

After Thanksgiving

The son-in-law showed up yesterday to retrieve their crock pot, utensils, and other stuff they'd brought over to help with the Thanksgiving feast.  I sent the last of the casseroles home with him, since they were fattening stuff that Cliff and I don't need once Thanksgiving is over.  I individually wrapped the pumpkin squares, froze them, and then put them in a freezer bag for manageable portions for the two of us.  Dessert is taken care of for a long, long time.  
I'll be freezing the turkey today.  For dinner, we're having ox-tail soup I made Friday; I'll send Cliff the last of the chili, also made Friday, in his lunch this evening.  I had made the soups ahead for us and our company so I wouldn't have to worry about cooking anything while I prepared Thanksgiving dinner, held on Saturday.
There are two one-gallon freezer bags filled with turkey broth and tidbits of turkey picked off the bones I boiled.  That means I'll be able to make turkey frame soup not just once, but twice!  I imagine I'll be preparing it tomorrow, as a matter of fact.    
Looks like the meals around here are pretty well taken care of for awhile.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

This Dave Ramsey envelope system

Now that we're using this envelope system, we have to figure out from whence the money will come for any purchase.  There's the pet (aka dog) envelope, the grocery envelope, the medical expense envelope, the clothing envelope, and the "fun" envelope.  
When I mention buying something, Cliff loves to ask, "Do we have an envelope for that?"   
So when I informed him we'll probably go get a Christmas tree next weekend, I didn't wait for his smart-aleck reply.  
"Cliff," I said, "We'll go get our Christmas tree next weekend.  The dog is paying for it."  

You knew what I was when you picked me up

I first read this in Guideposts; it was attributed to American Indians.  Then it appeared in Reader's Digest.  I've found several variations on the Internet.  I've seen the truth in this story so many times that it gives me goosebumps every time I read it.  

It reminds me to watch my back, to wait for the other shoe to drop.  

But You Promised!
As Told By Iron Eyes Cody
Many years ago Indian braves would go away in solitude to prepare for manhood. One hiked into a beautiful valley, green with trees and bright with flowers. There as he looked up at the surrounding mountains, he noticed a rugged peak capped with dazzling snow.
"I will test myself against that mountain," he thought. He put on his buffalo hide shirt, threw his blanket over his shoulders, and set off to climb the pinnacle. When he reached the top, he stood on the rim of the world. He could see forever, and his heart swelled with pride.
Then he heard a rustle at his feet. Looking down, he saw a snake. Before he could move, the snake spoke. "I am about to die," said the snake. "It is too cold up here and there is no food. Put me under your coat and take me down to the valley."
"No," said the youth. "I know your kind. You are a rattle snake. If I pick you up, you will bite me, and your bite will kill me."
"Not so," said the snake. "I will treat you differently. If you do this for me, I will not harm you."
The youth resisted awhile, but this was a very persuasive snake. At last the youth tucked the snake under his coat and carried it down to the valley. There he laid it down gently. Suddenly the snake coiled, rattled, leaped, and bit him on the leg.
"But you promised," cried the youth!
"You knew what I was when you picked me up," said the snake as it slithered away.

By the way, Iron Eyes Cody wasn't a native American; nope, he was a cajun.  He happened to be somebody like me who wished he was an Indian.  Just forget that part and remember that if you were the one who invited a snake into your house, you can't blame somebody else if you are bitten.

Patrick's Sunday Seven

Name seven foods that were part of your Thanksgiving menu.
Either answer the question in a comment at Patrick's Place or answer it in your journal and include the link in a comment there. (To be considered “first to play,” a link must be to the specific entry in which you answered the question.) You may include this link in the URL space when leaving your comment, or in the comment itself. As long as it’s there in one spot or the other.  
1.  turkey , dressing, and giblet gravy (of course)
7.  Oreo delight 

Click on any of the dishes except for #1 and you can see a recipe for it.  
Folks, I'm trying to find a better header than the one that's on my blog right now; I know this one is not satisfactory.  I loved the previous header but it was time for a change.  

What day is it?

I think it's Sunday.  Cliff's been off work for over a week, we had our Thanksgiving yesterday instead of Thursday, and I've lost all track of time.  Cliff has decided he's going to love retirement.  For seven more months, though, he'll have to hit the old time clock.  
I had a close call with our turkey.  It took an hour longer than I expected to get done, and I was really sweating it, what with all those hungry faces out in the shop.  Yes, we had Thanksgiving dinner in Cliff's shop!  

People said everything was good.  I wouldn't know:  I had three servings of twenty-four-hour salad and three servings of cranberry salad.  No turkey, no dressing.  Not even any noodles.  I decided to focus on two dishes I absolutely love, but very seldom make.  I didn't make pumpkin pie, nor any other kind of pie, this year.  I made Oreo Delight, pumpkin squares (squash squares, actually, with pureed squash from the freezer), and a peach cobbler (with peaches from the freezer).  I went over budget, but will make it up next week, I'm sure.  
Noodles are not optional at our Thanksgiving dinner.  They are required.  In fact, we'd ban turkey before we'd get rid of the noodles.  When I was growing up, no big family meal was served at my grandma's house without noodles, so it's a nostalgia thing for me.  My oldest granddaughter never eats anything except noodles and mashed potatoes for Thanksgiving, and I usually send most of the leftover noodles home with her.  
We opted out of going to Cliff's brother's on Thanksgiving Day in order to avoid temptation for Cliff.  
Yesterday, though, it was no holds barred.  I looked the other way and let Cliff have at it; it's one day a year, after all.  I'll probably turn a blind eye on his partaking of a few of the leftovers today, too.
It was an enjoyable day, all told.  The oldest grandson and his girl friend stayed around and visited for quite a while, along with Cliff's sister and her husband.  We had lots of laughs.  

Have any of my readers ever bought a fresh turkey, as opposed to frozen?  Every year it seems more water has been pumped into my bird, and I get tired of paying 69 cents a pound for water!  I wonder if fresh turkeys have all that liquid added to them.  
I realize many people have no problem paying a big price for water:  I watch folks everywhere paying $8 per gallon for bottled water (that's what it comes to if you buy it in plastic bottles which, by the way, aren't very good for you or the environment).   Yes, I used to do it too, but the Oregon guy converted me; Guy won't be converting me to his atheistic beliefs, but he got me on this one.  Ha!

I received a wonderful surprise in my mailbox Saturday:  Vicki, the lady who once gave me an egg beater that she no longer used, wrote a letter to tell me a little about herself.  My blog, she wrote, was the first one she ever read.  She discovered it around the time that my dog, Mandy, was killed by a car, and has gone on to read other blogs I've recommended.  Mine, she says, is still her favorite.  
Vicki is my age, got married around the same time I did, and has children in the same age range as mine.  She lost her husband in 1991; a month after that she was diagnosed with breast cancer.  In 1995 she had three heart attacks.  Her neighbors "fixed her up" with a man, and in 1998 she remarried.  
As I sit here and toss words into this thing we call cyberspace, I often wonder about the people who read my blog.  Of course some of my readers have blogs of their own, so I feel I know something about them.  It's the others I'm always curious about, the "anonymous" ones:  What leads them here?  Why do they find this drivel interesting?  
Thanks, Vicki, for introducing yourself to me, for letting me know about some of your trials and triumphs.  Thanks also for reminding me how good it feels to go to the mailbox and find written words put down on paper.  I had forgotten how much more satisfying that is than email.
By the way, I used your mother's egg beater about twenty times in the last three days.    

Wow, this turned into quite a ramble, didn't it?  I'm heading to the fridge to get myself some cranberry salad for breakfast.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Now I can say it...

Cliff passed his stress test with flying colors.

Black Friday

I awoke shortly after 4 A.M. and, of course, came to the computer as soon as my coffee was ready.  Good grief, people were already tweeting and Facebooking all over the place from their spots in line at various stores.  
I've only done Black Friday once, several years ago with my daughter; because it was a first for me, I enjoyed it; if you like people-watching, that's a time to do it.  These days, you couldn't pay me to get out there; it makes my feet and knees hurt just thinking about it.  
Honestly, I've noticed that people no longer confine their pushing, shoving, and rudeness to Black Friday.  It goes on the year around, except that the crowd isn't as large, so there's less likelihood of being trampled.  Unless you're at Blue Springs Walmart, where danger lurks twenty-four hours a day, 364 days a year.   
There is one item I wish I could have gotten somehow at the Black Friday price: that Barnes and Noble Nook reader I've been wanting.  It's normally $149, but Walmart featured it as a doorbuster for $99.  Barnes and Noble had it online for $99 also, but they were sold out at that price by the time I got there.  Oh well.  If you snooze, you lose.
Barnes and Noble has plenty of $99 refurbished Nooks on Ebay, but Cliff thinks I should spend the money and get a brand new one.  Since he's the one making the money, I suppose I'll listen to him.  

I'll be watching and waiting for all the horror stories (and success stories) from the Black Friday shoppers.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Obstacles to health

I mentioned here before how our family doctor yelled at us because of Cliff's weight gain.  It wasn't pretty.  One thing he mentioned was that Cliff's sugars have been elevated twice in the last several months.  "If you don't lose that twenty-five pounds," he told Cliff, "You're going to end up diabetic.  Do you want to have to start giving yourself shots?"
Cliff has actually lost four pounds since then.  But of course, a Thanksgiving meal lies ahead on Saturday, for us.
Yesterday his older brother called and invited us to their house for dinner today.
"Cliff," I said, "you simply can't have two Thanksgiving dinners.  One is bad enough."
So he told Phil we'd come over after dinner and see everybody.
Oh yeah, like that's gonna work.  Food will still be on the table and counters.  You think Mr. Will Power is going to pass it all by?
While Cliff's been on vacation these past few days, we've been experimenting with what will probably be our eating schedule when he retires.  Our big meal will be at noon (that's always been normal for us) and supper will be very light, maybe a bowl of cereal or a salad.  It's been working well.  
On the days he's working, we can't put this plan in operation; if I send him too light a lunch, he'll get hungry and hit the machines.  He has no will power when he's at work.  He seems to have a sign on his forehead that reads "feed me", because women are always bringing treats to him, and he says it's rude to refuse them.  
"Cliff, you think it's rude to tell people your doctor told you to lose weight because you could end up diabetic?"
"Well, there's always the fact that their cookies might taste good."
Obviously his co-workers don't care whether he lives or dies, as long as he'll eat their stuff.  I'm beginning to think he doesn't care, either.
Of course, I'm not losing weight either.  I'm not even trying to.  The doctor didn't yell at me now, did he?  
Yes, there is diabetes in my family; my mother died with only one leg intact:  Do you want to make something of it?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Watch and enjoy as I did.

My sentiments exactly

I'd like to see somebody like Barbara Bush run for president!

Delayed Thanksgiving

Cliff's youngest sister and her husband, Charlene and Pat, are coming in from St. Louis this evening; they'll spend tomorrow, Thanksgiving, with his parents.  
I asked my daughter if she wanted me to "do" Thanksgiving, and if so, would Saturday be all right; she said that would be the best day, for her; so Saturday it is.  Charlene was delighted that she'll be participating in our family dinner, as well as Pat's.  
I got a huge turkey:  I probably shouldn't have, because by Saturday everybody except for me and Cliff will have had all the turkey they want.  That's no problem for me, because that means I get lots of leftovers to put in the freezer for casseroles, jambalaya, salads, and other good things.  
There was a time when I'd cook both turkey and ham.  This year I couldn't bring myself to spend all that money on ham, when it isn't very good for us older folks.  Believe it or not, by dividing my holiday grocery purchases between this week and last, I still stayed under my $70 per week budget.  I even have $19 to spare, although with my track record there will be several last-minute purchases of items I've forgotten.  I already realized I'll be needing more eggs than I bought; one forgets how many eggs it takes to make a double batch of noodles.  the whole family knows I forget stuff when I cook a big meal, so anyone who is near a grocery store calls to see what they can pick up for me.  
Rachel and Kevin are taking care of the broccoli-and-rice casserole and the sweet potato casserole.  I'll resurrect my favorite cranberry salad, my mom's recipe.  I don't make it often, even on holidays, because I love it so much I end up eating most of it myself.  I've never seen this dish made by anyone outside our family.  Here's the recipe in my mother's words, the way she wrote it on a card for me:

For large batch

Grind one pkg cranberries. Stir in 2 cups sugar and 2 cups miniature marshmallows. Set back in refrigerator overnight or for two or three hours. In morning, add 1 can crushed pineapple (drained well), 4 diced bananas, cup chopped nuts, and fold all into 1 pint cream, whipped. It fluffs up and stays good for a couple days.

I use Cool Whip instead of whipped cream, these days. I have a cow, and I have the cream; but real whipped cream separates in a few hours.   
Of course I'll be making Mother's noodles; granddaughter Amber would cry if I didn't.  And I always make my tried-and-true yeast rolls, the recipe I learned from my first Better Homes and Gardens cookbook.  I simply have to make Oreo Delight, because the oldest grandson would cry if I didn't.  By the way, one of the most frequent searches bringing people to this blog is Oreo delight.  
The son-in-law said his mom would make a dessert of some sort.  
I used to have a simple apple salad recipe with grapes and nuts in it, and whipped cream (or Cool Whip).  I've lost the recipe, and all the ones I google have mayonaise in them.  I've made that version too, but I prefer the one without mayo.  Maybe I should just use that recipe as a guide and then leave out the mayo.  
Anyhow, the menu is planned.  Tomorrow, actual Thanksgiving Day, will be a nice, quiet day for me and Cliff.  He'll likely spend hours in the shop like he's done during all these vacation days of his.  
Oh, remember how I mentioned that Cliff passed his stress test with flying colors?  I'm assuming that's still true, but the other day we talked to a neighbor who's had that kind of stress test, and he said the doctor's office calls a few days afterward with the results.  So if that's the case, we really don't know for sure how Cliff did.  See, the first nuclear stress test he had cause his heart to short out, and he never got to finish it.  So I just figured if he made it through, he passed.  Ha!   
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I hate to let Anonymous stay at the top of the page for too long, so I'll tell you about how we're spending our money.  This time it isn't about envelopes, much.  
Our Grand Marquis is rear-wheel drive, meaning it's useless in snow or on icy roads.  Last winter we had to use our ancient Ford four-wheel-drive pickup for a solid month because of bad road conditions.  
This year, Cliff said, we're getting snow tires.  Thanks to budgeting, there's actually going to be money in checking this week to get the snow tires, studded, even.  So today's the day.  I'll lay odds it will be the mildest winter in history, making snow tires unnecessary, because that seems to be the way things happen.  However, it's a comfort knowing we'll be able to get around in our car if there's a blizzard or, more likely in this neck of the woods, an ice storm.  
I'm still watching prices on the Nook ereader:  Best Buy will have them on Black Friday as a door buster for $99.  However, Barnes and Noble has been selling reconditioned ones on Ebay for that price for quite awhile, and the 3G one is only $119.  I have my $99 set aside, waiting for the right opportunity.   
Amazon has a Garmin for $99 now, so I'm thinking this is the time to get another one, one that's current with new roads.  There's nothing wrong with the one we have except that sometimes it thinks we're out in the middle of a field instead of on the road; when that happens, the lady in the Garmin gets upset and yells at us to turn around.
Taxes are due by January 1, and I have that mostly squirreled away in the bank.  I intend to pay with a credit card, though, because of the rewards we get for using it.  As soon as the bill comes in January, I'll pay it in full.  
Did you know there's an extra payday in December?  That is perfect timing!  If ever humanity needed an extra payday, December would be the time.   
Alrighty then, Anonymous has lost his place of prominence.  

Obviously, somebody had something to say

Every once in awhile I check my comments and find some unwanted little gems, like links to Asian porn.  It doesn't happen often since I added the "word verification" option to my comments; that prevents the "bots", computer programs that aren't human, from spamming me.  Still, once in a blue moon, somebody comes around peddling something.
So when I saw a mile-long rant left as a comment, my first urge was to delete it; the person didn't leave a name, which is a good enough reason for deletion.  Also, the comment had nothing to do with the post where it was left.
As I glanced over the words, I realized this person needed to spill his/her guts, and I've decided to place the rant right here.  Maybe he/she will feel vindicated, knowing my one hundred or so followers are reading this.  (For some reason, I think a male left the comment.)
Keep in mind that these are not my words, and that I'm not even sure what the person is talking about half the time.  But since I'm uninspired this time of year, I'll give this post to "Anonymous".

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "High School football"
e-Book readers. Could be a huge boon for students.
But they won't enjoy the benefit of electronic products. Still will pay OUTRAGEOUS prices for books for their courses.
Using evil to prey upon evil.
I realize the horrific days of people planning monsterous acts like the Holocaust are behind us. But that doesn't mean there still are not scams in the economy, besides The Skim, wnich the gods view as necessary for positioning's sake.
Just as clone hosting selected disfavored whom the gods wanted ot ensure had no chance to ascend before The End, so did being invited into the 21st century real estate scam ensure as of yet undetermined punishment elements.
They instructed people whom they wanted ot condition into faith in their relationship that since the stock market would top out they should shift their asset base into real estate instead.
And they told them when to sell before they tanked the real estate market as well, timing all based on the level of confidence they wanted each to understand.
The victims may cry "Why would this happen to me." but their behavior in a prior life would answer this:::It didin't happen to anyone who didn't deserve it.
Both the public and the private sector host $400k overpaid employees. The difference?
The public sector preyed upon the disfavored rejects from motherlands, people too disfavored to stay reproducing with their own blood and enjoying their own culture. Corporate preyed upon the more favored purebloods from their motherland through sourcing. Yet another great example of the god's "reverse positioning".
They point the finger at me and claim I participate by shopping at WalMart.
Now this is something I have yet to understand, for they ALL engage in this sourcing due to cheap Asian labor. And Walmart has a very straightforward business model, although not as clear as Costco's "14%", rest assured I pay a margin on each and every product I purchase at Walmart independantly, including my $3 box of American made Cherios and my 68 cent can of Campbell's tomato soup.
INCIDENTALLY, it seems to me we pay THE SAME PRICE FOR SH** THAT WE DID BEFORE SOURCING BEGAN. The difference is being poicketed by corporate and the $400k employees who are recruited into playing a part in this evil.
The gods intentionally set this up to ensure the onus falls upon the preditory capitalist and not the ignorant public.
Trash at the top just as there is trash in the ghetto.

Monday, November 22, 2010

High School football

Cliff and I went to the local high school to watch some football; it turned out to be the last game of the season, because the boys were finally defeated.  They had an outstanding season, though:  until this game, they had only lost once.  
I enjoy high school football because you don't have all those pesky commercials that stretch a game out and make it last three-and-a-half hours, like on television.  

Balloons in the school colors, black and gold, were released into the sky.  We're the Tigers, don't you know.  When Cliff and I are traveling to Versailles to visit his relatives, we pass through a town whose school mascot is the bluebird.  Seriously?  You're going to send a football team called the Bluebirds to play against tigers and hornets and panthers?  Somehow it strikes us both as hilarious, and we crack jokes about it.  I'd love to tell you some of the things we say, but somebody might be offended.  That's what's so wonderful about having a spouse:  You can say any little ole thing your heart desires and you don't have to worry about being politically correct, or being judged.    

I always love it when the local players come running onto the field with the marching band making a joyful noise.  I got so excited making this teeny tiny video that I was aiming at the ground during part of it.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

You gotta love Kansas City

A great Thanksgiving movie that brought tears to my eyes

Eight bluebirds

That's how many bluebirds were in my yard together at one time.  Six in the birdbath, two on the fence watching.  Of course, they saw movement when I got close to the window with my camera and flew away.  Only two brave souls returned.  You'll just have to take my word that there were eight.  You can click on the picture and see it larger if you need to.

Ding ding ding ding!

Meesha managed to find the 1957 version of "I Double Dare You" that I reminisced about in the previous entry.  Now I realize why the guy never became famous; he's a lousy singer.  
Hey, I was listening to Fabian back then; compared to him, anybody sounded good.  But he sure had a pretty face.  

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I double dare you

That's a song, one from my past that I absolutely loved.  Some teenage guy sang it as rock and roll when I was about fifteen years old, but evidently nobody else loved it, because it never went far.  
It's a catchy tune with fun lyrics, and once in a while it gets stuck in my head, like it did yesterday.  
I decided to try and find out who the kid was who recorded it in the fifties, and maybe find a Youtube video of him.  Whoever he was.  
I found out the song was a big-band favorite and was written in 1938.  
I found out it played in the background during a scene in the movie "Radio Days".  Oh, and there were some words to the song I'd never heard before.  
Check out these old guys mixin' it up.  This video has only had seventy-seven views, so pass the link around and make their day.  They're pretty darned good.
I found no mention of anybody recording the song in the fifties, and yet I remember all the lyrics yet today, because I loved the song.    
It must have been one of those out-of-body experiences people talk about.

I double dare you to come over here
I double dare you to lend me your ear
Take off your high hat and let's get friendly
Don't be a scaredy cat, 
hey whaddaya care, 
can'tcha take a dare?
I double dare you to kiss me and then
I double dare you to kiss me again
And if that look in your eye means what I'm thinkin' of
I double dare you to fall in love with me
I double dare you!  


When I started watching for birds around here, I seldom saw bluebirds.  I started reading about them and asking at the wild bird stores, and found out they don't eat seeds; they eat berries and mealworms, and they love birdbaths.  My daughter happened to have an extra birdbath, so I was in business.  I just can't force myself to buy mealworms.  I've had enough times in my life when those little pests got into my cupboard and ruined everything, from popcorn to oatmeal.  Yuck.  They're hard to get rid of, once they get a foothold.  
Year before last I saw an occasional lonely bluebird at the birdbath.  Last spring, I bought a bluebird house and had Cliff put it atop a fence post for me.  
We kept killing baby sparrows that hatched in it, but toward the end of summer, bluebirds finally took possession and hatched out some babies.  I was ecstatic!  
Bluebirds are supposed to migrate, although they sometimes don't leave until November; they start returning in February, which makes me wonder why they bother to leave at all.  
Anyway, it seems that the family of bluebirds that hatched in the bird house is still hanging around.  If I see one or two bluebirds in the bath, I have only to look around nearby and I'll see the rest of them.  There are five altogether, and they're always within sight of one another.  They spend a lot of time bathing, and also hanging out at the bird house, perching atop it or nearby on the fence.  
I mentioned on Facebook that my bluebirds ought to be going south soon, and one of my Tractor Tales buddies told me he has a pair of bluebirds that stay there year 'round.  
Oh, I can only hope!  
Of course, this makes me wonder what they eat this time of year, since I was told they only eat insects and worms.  One website says they eat berries and fruits.  
I'll bet when they get desperate enough, they eat seeds.    
So, I now have bluebirds that call this place home; maybe one day I'll even find a bluebird on my windowsill.  

Friday, November 19, 2010


Cliff got up before dawn today; he's practicing for retirement.  
He asked me if I could find a website for Dr. Gallion, the man who did his CABG surgery four-and-a-half years ago.  
I did find a website HERE (scroll down to see the doctor's picture) but it wasn't very impressive, considering Dr. Gallion walks on water.  He went to school at Baylor, in Texas.  If you go to his office, you'll see classy ladies in high heels, dressed to the nines.  Funny stuff, really.  Cliff still smiles when he thinks about the ladies who work for the man who walks on water.  

This is how I remember the good doctor:  he was telling us that Cliff's surgery was successful.  
Keep in mind that Cliff went to see a nurse-practitioner on Tuesday with what he though was indigestion; was referred to a cardiologist, Dr. Nager, the next day; and was scheduled for surgery on Thursday, with doctors who usually require an appointment months in advance.  
But they squeezed Cliff in.  
Oh, Dr. Nager's group is on a website too.  You'll find him HERE.  

This is how I remember Dr. Nager, explaining to Cliff the results of his angiogram.  He didn't make a big impression on us, our first meeting.  But it took him to get us to that man who walks on water.  So I've learned to love him.  He's the one Cliff sees when he needs to check in with a cardiologist.    
Cliff thinks I should write a letter to Dr. Gallion to express our appreciation, and to let him know about the wonderful results of yesterdays stress test.  I did write him a letter of appreciation shortly after Cliff's surgery, and I probably will do so again.  Do you suppose doctors read such letters?    
Here's where it all starts to sound like that old story, "The house that Jack built".  
Cliff would never have seen Dr. Nager had he not gone to our regular clinic to see a nurse practitioner about what he thought was indigestion.  I don't have any pictures of that nurse-practitioner.  
I wouldn't have set up an appointment with that nurse-practitioner if my friend from the outskirts of Washington, DC, had not visited.  I do have pictures of Joanna.

It was cold when she was here, and Cliff didn't really take her for a ride.  They just posed, and I took the picture.  
See, I mentioned to Joanna that Cliff was having indigestion; she said we should have that checked out, because her brother-in-law went to a doctor for "indigestion", and was sent directly to the hospital for heart surgery.  
Which is exactly what happened to Cliff.   
And that's the house that Joanna built.  
So perhaps I need to write four letters.  


Cliff was up bright and early at 5 A.M. today.  We got our daily walk in by 8 AM, and decided to box up all the Dish TV equipment and get it back to them.  The instructions mentioned that there might be a switch on the outside of the house to return; not all systems have a switch.  
Cliff confidently stated that he knew where it was and headed outside.  I sat down at the computer and was farming away on Farmville when I suddenly lost connection.  
I knew Cliff had something to do with it, and I went out to check.  
Yep.  What he thought was a Dish switch was our telephone and DSL connection.  He'd cut the wires.  I checked the phone just to make sure; it was dead as a doornail.  (Where did that expression come from, anyhow?)   
Cliff was so angry at himself he could hardly see straight.  
"Well," he sighed, "I'll try to patch it up."  
"Nooooo," I shouted.  He looked at me like I was crazy.  
"Cliff, an Internet connection out here is shaky at best; please don't try to fix it."
So I called the CenturyLink number for repairs; after being put on hold for about ten minutes, a polite lady with an Oklahoma (or Texas) accent came on the line.  I told her we needed someone to come out and repair our line outside the house.  
"Exactly what is the problem?"
When I explained to her what had happened, she started laughing, and she hardly stopped laughing throughout the rest of our conversation.  
I made her day.    
She was actually a sweetheart... when she wasn't laughing.  She told me somebody would be here to fix our problem by 7 PM.  Ouch.  
However, a repairman showed up by 9 o'clock, got everything back in working order, and I'm back in business.  
That was a close call.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cliff passed his stress test with flying colors.

We ate bologna sandwiches (poor choice for heart health, but it's what I had) and coffee.  And lemon cake.  And on the way home, an apple.  I ran in Sam's Club to get one more container of those barbecue nuts I'm addicted to, and showed Cliff the wonders of World Market. 
It's a good day, Tater.


I'm not worried about the fact that Cliff is going for a nuclear stress test today.  He's not had any issues with his heart; he sees our doctor or nurse-practitioners regularly.  We walk almost every day.  We're working on getting the extra poundage off him, although that's going to be difficult with Thanksgiving ahead.  
We'll be at the cardiologist's office for four hours.  Cliff's sister and his brother both have breathing issues, so they don't actually have to get on the treadmill; they get the medication that stresses the heart, instead.  Cliff will do the treadmill.  
He hasn't had issues with his heart, so I'm not concerned, unless I let myself dwell his previous such test.  
Just like this time, Cliff went off caffeine at 8 A.M. the day prior to the test, and he had his last food and water the evening before.  We planned to go to Olive Garden when we got out of the doctor's office because we knew he'd be starved, and we'd stop by a McDonald's first so he could have some coffee.
The testing that was supposed to take four hours was cut short when Cliff's heart short-circuited while he was on the treadmill.   
He ended up in the hospital that very day, and in surgery two days later.   
I get flashbacks.  
We only went because he'd been having indigestion every time we took our walk and the nurse-practitioner thought he should be tested, just to make sure it really was indigestion.  
This time, he's had no symptoms of heart problems.  He's only doing this because the doctor said it's been almost five years since the bypass surgery and it's time to make sure everything is going well.   
I think today I'll make sandwiches to take along, and a thermos of coffee, rather than make plans to eat out. 
Maybe that's what jinxed us last time.   

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Silly cows

Bonnie is so spoiled after being served bread every morning that she comes up bawling for it.  The bread is almost gone, so she's going to be making all that racket for nothing in a day or two.  

Cliff put a bale of hay in the small lot for them a couple of weeks ago, but they've only started eating it in the last couple of days.  There's still a lot of grazing out there, and they still spend plenty of time in the pasture.  We haven't give the horses access to hay yet; they're still fat and sassy, and once we put hay out for them they'll just stand in place and eat.  In fact, we'll likely just tear hay off the big bale and ration it out.  
Why must horses be such pigs?
Yesterday when Cliff and I went walking, Clyde was feeling playful.  He followed behind us, bucking and running and even letting out a staccato moo every once in awhile; we got a good laugh out of that, although it worried his mother.  I would loved to have gotten a video of his shenanigans, but, as happens with all youngsters, by the time I got the camera out he was done performing.  

We've been having decent weather.  Cliff and I even worked in a motorcycle ride Monday; he had to pick up some plowshares he'd ordered in a town about thirty miles away.  Temperatures were in the fifties, which makes for a cool ride, but it was nice to get out there on the bike.  Weathermen are talking a wintry mix for tonight, followed by a warmup this weekend.  

Cliff goes for a nuclear stress test at the cardiologist's office tomorrow at 8:45.  He's not to have any caffeine in the twenty-four hours before that, so he's asked me to wake him up at 7:30 this morning so he can have coffee.  That will give him an hour to enjoy his caffeine.  He'll need it, because he will only have had four and a half hours of sleep at that time.  He's off work now until the Monday after Thanksgiving, so he can take a nap today if he needs it.   
I'm loving our level-payments on propane and electricity.  The payments are the same year around, no surprises.  It's so much easier to budget.  

How's that for a random and uninspired entry?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Forgotten deer stands

Cliff and I take the same route on our daily walks.  When an activity becomes routine, I seldom note the surroundings.  We do check regularly on the tree Cliff sawed through that refused to fall to the ground, but instead fell against another tree.  It's still there, leaning, just as it was the day he cut it.  We can actually see this tree from the house, so if it ever goes down, we'll know it.  

We've allowed people to deer hunt on our property ever since we bought it.  Whoever asks first gets the privilege.  This year a neighbor kid, Ryan, is our hunter.  He got a deer here a couple of years ago.  
Our walk takes us past several spots where people have had deer stands in the past.  You may have to click on the pictures enlarge them and make them big enough to see what I'm talking about.    

All that's left here is part of the ladder Charlie Williams used to climb the tree many years ago.  Charlie now has his own land on which to hunt.  He is the person who told me some tricks about hunting morel mushrooms; until then, I could never find them.  
"If you find one," he said, "squat down right then and there and look all around; there are usually more."  
"Look under the dead elms," he told me.  
"I don't know a dead elm from any other tree," I responded.  
"OK, then look under all the dead trees."  

This one's harder to see, but about middle-way up the trunk is a plastic chair of sorts where a different hunter waited for his buck to show up; I don't recall his name, or whether he was successful.  I doubt whether you could get the chair down; Cliff said the trunk has grown and incorporated the chair with the tree.  
Nature claims her territory if left alone for long, until a time comes when you can't even tell man was ever there.

Found on Craigslist

Here's somebody who shares my feelings of love and admiration (NOT) for raccoons and opossums.  I had a link to the ad here, but the ad's been taken down. 

Free Raccoons / Heart Patient Needs Help (Parkville, MO 64152)

Date: 2010-11-16, 12:39AM CST
Reply to: sale-muktu-2062855038@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

Raccoons / Opossums / FREE / FREE / FREE / FREE / FREE / FREE / FREE / (Parkville, Missouri 64152)

I trap them. You relocate them.

Over the last four years I have live-trapped and relocated over 80+ raccoons. I average about 20 of these furry bundles of joy a year.

These raccoons just keep coming and coming and coming. They enjoy tearing the shingles off of our houses, ripping up the neighborhood dogs, terrorizing the neighborhood cats, and eating the animal food.

I am a retired senior citizen and am recovering from a heart attack and subsequent open-heart surgery. I am no longer able to drive these pesky raccoons 20 miles away & releasing them.

Therefore, if you can use them, you can have them. You can have all that I live-trap.

These critters really do belong on your farm or game preserve.

The Missouri Raccoon Trapping Season is November 15, 2010 to January 31, 2011.

Can you use some opossums? I get plenty of those too! Opossums can have up to 32 babies at one time!!! However, only about 18 can survive. 

    Monday, November 15, 2010

    In a slump

    It happens every year, sometime in November.  A fog descends on my soul and I feel my way through it for several weeks.  
    I hate that this happens to me, because at my age there aren't that many more days allotted to me; it's a shame to spend any of them in a fog.  
    I'm sure I've suffered from S.A.D. all my life, although as a small child the prospect of Christmas gifts, candy, fruitcake, Christmas lights and assorted nuts kept it at bay.  After all, it was all about me and what I was going to receive.   
    Later on, Christmas revived my spirits because we had two children who brightened up the season.  Then it came to the point where Christmas actually added to the depression because we were spending money we didn't have to buy things for people that they didn't need or even want.  We checked out of that, and now we've given up gift-giving altogether.   
    I know there are special lights for people with seasonal depression to sit under, and that those are supposed to help; but because this is such a temporary thing, I muddle through.  I make a point of getting outside every day.  Sunshine does wonders.  The hot tub helps, too.   I normally don't try to call attention to my plight, and I don't talk much about it, even to Cliff, because it really does no good.  I know it will pass.  I'm not clinically depressed or suicidal.  
    Farmville (on Facebook) diverts my attention.  I became bored with it last June and totally gave it up, but I'm once again a master farmer.  Right now I've started a co-op where people join me in raising rice and cranberries for sweet sake in my winery, and we're racing the clock going for the gold; I'm also seeking vehicle parts for a wonderful machine that will allow me to harvest my crops, plow the soil, and plant new crops in one click.  
    I know.  I should get a life.  And I will, in a couple of months:  I'll be looking through seed catalogues and planning the garden; I'll be out with my camera, checking all the trees for buds.    
    I'm taking this time to let my readers know that if my entries seem uninspired there is a reason.  I don't intend to mention S.A.D. here again, at least not until next year.   
    My mood will start improving on New Year's Day: I love beginnings.     

    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    In the garden....

    These late beets would have made it to the table by now if we'd had any rain.  This was an experiment anyhow, and it continues.  Will the beets grow after the rain we just got, even though we've had two hard freezes?  

    The lettuce is just fine, still tasty.  Lettuce is not afraid of cold weather.  The late-planted carrots, on the left, also seem undaunted by the cold.  I pulled one, washed it off, and ate it; it was small, but good.  We'll see if the carrots go dormant for winter and then start growing in spring.  

    This cabbage plant is actually making a head.  Notice the holes in the leaves?  What sort of bug or worm would be alive in this cold weather?  

    The pasture Cliff seeded behind the house is green again.  Amazing, with so little rain.  When it was first planted we got gully-washers, so there are a lot of ditches washed in it.  

    Cliff's sand-blasting stuff he intends to paint, later on.  Outside my window, sparrows and bluebirds avail themselves of the birdbath.  I love seeing the bluebirds; last year it was rare to see even one.  Now I sometimes see five at once bathing.  I think it must be the ones that used the bluebird house this summer.  
    I'd think they'd freeze to death getting wet when the temperature is in the 30's.  

    Living out of envelopes

    In the first month or so of using the envelope system of budgeting, I enjoyed seeing the cash mount up, and decided to put a limit of $300 in any one envelope because, after all, who wants to be carrying all that money around.  
    Then reality hit.  I now realize none of them will ever have $300 in them, not even close.  
    The pet envelope was filling up nicely until Iris ran out of dog food, heart worm preventative, and flea-and-tick stuff all at the same time.  Maybe it really does cost $20 a week to keep a dog.  OK, my cow expenses come from that envelope too, but Bonnie doesn't require much.  We don't have to board her when we leave; I only give her sweet feed when I milk her, which is maybe twice a week.  Grass is free, and so far, so is the hay.  She just gives and gives, and asks little in return.  
    The "Doctors and meds" envelope gets more money than any other one, $35 a week.  Yes, we have insurance, but there are those pesky co-pays.  Lipitor is expensive, and there's no generic.  It's the same with Niaspan.  There's little chance of extra money accumulating in that envelope for long.  
    Next week, by the way, Cliff will go for a nuclear stress test.  Not because he's having a problem, but because it will soon be five years since his heart surgery and the cardiologist wants to make sure everything is working as it should.  That's a $35 copay.     
    This envelope thing gets a little tricky when I'm shopping at Walmart.  Last Friday I needed dog food (pets), some socks (clothes and haircuts) and of course, groceries.  As it happened, there was correct change in all the envelopes for me to take cash out of two envelopes and put it in my grocery envelope, sparing me the embarrassment of asking the cashier to ring all these things separately.  
    There's a different kind of problem with my grocery allotment, which is $70 per week.  
    It's more, so far, than I ever spend.  Two weeks out of three, I spend less than $40.  
    So if I get $100 or so ahead, I buy stuff I really don't need, or we eat out.  We should never eat out, because everything is so over-salted at restaurants that it isn't healthy for anyone, especially someone who's had a heart problem.  Besides, when I'm living out of envelopes, I can't help thinking about how many groceries that $25 we spent at Olive Garden would have bought.
    What I need to do is allow less cash for groceries, say $50 weekly.
    I imagine I will do that, once Cliff retires.   
    With his retirement looming, we're both more aware of the price of fuel.  We don't jump in the car and go buy something the minute we run out of it.  If we need anything from a farm store we'll wait until shopping day and drive twenty-five miles to Richmond because there's an Orscheln's and a Walmart there; we make one trip serve two purposes.  If we only need a few groceries, we sometimes shop in Lexington, eight miles away.  If I have several non-grocery items, we go fifteen miles to the nearest Walmart, even though it's a small one and doesn't always have the biggest selection.  
    The only time we make unnecessary trips is when we're joy-riding on the motorcycle.  It's what we do for fun, and we'll continue that as long as possible.   
    All this penny-pinching isn't necessary right now; we could live high on the hog while we have the chance.  But I'm actually enjoying it, and this way it won't be so much of a shock to me when I actually have to do it.  
    Prepare as I might, I'm sure we'll be in for some surprises, especially if the government starts messing with Social Security and Medicare.  
    We'll take it one day at a time, just like we always have.

    Saturday, November 13, 2010

    When I was a kid

    I used to think Cheerios meant cereal in general, so I was likely to point at a box of Wheaties and say, "I want some Cheerios."
    The only kinds of cereal I remember having in our house were Cheerios, Wheaties (breakfast of champions), Nabisco shredded wheat, and corn flakes; Wheaties was my least favorite.  The shredded wheat biscuits were layered in the box with cardboard separating the layers, and at one time they had Lone Ranger and Tonto information on them.  I would pull the cardboard out from between all the layers before I even ate any of the shredded wheat.  
    At the movies I liked Judy Canova, Martin and Lewis, Ma and Pa Kettle, Roy Rogers, and Abbot and Costello.  
    I saw my first television around 1950 at somebody's house in Iowa; a little boy about my age told me that Red Skeleton (that's how he pronounced it, with three syllables) was going to be on soon, but we left before the show started.  The television screen was tiny and round.
    It seemed like every time we went on a trip very far from home, we'd have a flat tire.
    My mother, who did all the driving for our family, always told the gas station attendant to put in a dollar's worth of gas.
    Coca-Cola tasted a lot better than it does today.  If you want to know what it used to taste like, get a Coke in Mexico.
    We got wonderful cherry Cokes at the drug store across the road.  
    I only knew of one person who was divorced, and people whispered about her.
    I didn't know many people who had indoor bathrooms.  Even the churches had outhouses.
    My mom slapped me for using the word "crap" in place of "stuff".  Daddy said it all the time, and I honestly didn't know it was a bad word.  
    My mom slapped me for saying, "When I grow up I don't want to get married, but I want babies."  
    I was seven years old, and nobody had told me anything about how babies got here.  I thought it happened like a miracle in the Bible:  one minute there's nothing, then magically a baby appears out of nowhere.  Poof.  
    I was twelve when I got my first idea about how babies got here; I was in the barn playing with my cat and she started having kittens.  I still had no idea how they got inside her, though.  
    Later, after we moved to the city, a school nurse got the sixth-grade girls together and told us some stuff.  None of it made any sense to me.  
    I wanted a pony more than anything.  
    I used to talk gibberish to myself and pretend I was speaking the Indian (native American) language.  
    I really wanted to be an Indian.  
    I hated how the Indians always lost the battles in the movies. 
    Daddy listened to boxing matches on the radio and threw punches in the air right along with Joe Lewis.    
    I asked my mother if I was pretty and she said, "No, you look too much like me to be pretty."  
    I asked my mother if we were rich.  She laughed and laughed, and then laughed some more.   
    During the Christmas season, Mother had home-made candy in dishes around the house.  I would go to every dish and eat all the brown sugar candy out of every bowl.  Mother didn't care.  She always liked to see people eat.     
    I loved fruitcake.  I still do.  
    Halloween was simple, innocent fun; nobody was worried that it was witchcraft, and a boy could dress up as a girl without anybody thinking something was wrong with him.  In fact, it was the funniest costume ever.  Lots of the Halloween treats were home-made goodies like cookies or popcorn balls.     
    Since I'm stymied for anything to put on my blog today, I'm giving you these random memories.  

    Friday, November 12, 2010


    Early last summer while we were at Orscheln's, I bought a dwarf Golden Delicious apple tree that was marked down to $12.  It was rather late to be planting a tree, but as it happened, we got lots of rain throughout the summer, and the tree made itself at home.  
    Since it seemed to have done so well, I thought perhaps I should get some more dwarf trees so it wouldn't look so lonely.  A couple of months ago I ordered two more trees:  One Fuji and one Gala.  My favorites!  Fujis are late and Galas are early, so I thought it might give us a steady supply of apples each fall.  
    From what I understand, a dwarf apple tree only yields about two bushels when it's mature.  We'll see.  
    When I ordered these last two trees, I was told they'd arrive in November.  I also ordered three Heritage raspberry plants that I planned to put in the garden area, but later found out they can't be near certain garden plants.  
    Yesterday the UPS truck came by with my trees and vines.  Instructions told me to soak the raspberry plants' roots in water for at least an hour and the apple trees' roots for at least six, but no more that twenty-four, hours.  
    I soaked the berry vines and dug holes for them in the back yard near the fence.  It was rough going, because we haven't had rain in over a month.  But I got the job done.  In order for the apple trees to have their roots in water as long as required, I either had to plant them in the dark or wait until this morning.  I chose the latter option.
    I awoke to the pitter-patter of rain, a welcome sound indeed.  Running out to the rain gauge, I saw we already had over a half-inch of rain; it was coming down slowly, just the way I like it.   It showed no sign of letting up.  
    Finally I put on my coveralls and a sock hate and slipped into Cliff's Muck boots (because it hurt my ankle trying to get into mine) and went out to plant trees.  I figured I could get the job done before Cliff woke up; that way he wouldn't feel forced to plant the trees for me.  It wasn't, after all, his bright idea to buy more trees.  
    The coveralls and stocking hat were soaked through by the time I finished, but I got the job done.  At least it had rained enough to make my digging easier.  Now all I have to do is wait for spring and watch for buds that will tell me the trees lived through the winter.  

    There's my little apple orchard.