Saturday, September 28, 2019

It rained on our parade

Yep.  It began gently raining around 4:30 today.  It's been a slow, boring day, and I was really hoping we'd be able to participate in the Wellington Fair parade, which was to start at 6:30.  Cliff had been reading, watching TV, and napping his way through the day while I was getting restless.  Our daughter always has a party during the fair, and they have a delicious meal; then suppertime drew nearer.  Cliff and the grandson were sitting around making small talk.  I told them it was probably about time to eat at Rachel's, but they didn't seem to hear me.  Finally I decided to get some action going.

"I think we should just get on the tractor.  It's barely raining at all, and who knows, it might stop by parade time.  We could go to Rachel's house and eat and see what the weather does."  Cliff obviously thought I was crazy, but once in awhile he'll give in to something just to make me let me look like a fool so he can laugh at me later.  I put Gabe in the kennel and we went to the garage where the tractor and the "Donna-carrier" were waiting to go.  Cliff dug out the rain suits we bought when we had the motorcycle.

When we arrived at Rachel's, people were eating already, so we helped ourselves too.  I had her take a picture of me in the people-carrier wearing my rain suit, but it wasn't on my phone when I got home, so something went wrong.  No biggie.  While we were eating, it began thundering pretty close to us and raining harder.  That's when we decided to return home. 

Still, the ride in the rain got me out of my funk.  Sometimes people need to do something silly, outrageous even.  I was singing and laughing all the way home in the rain!

It reminded me of when my parents and I lived in the Harlem section of Kansas City and both parents worked.  One day the rain was pouring down while I was home alone... I would have been 12 or 13... so I found an umbrella and went walking barefoot in the downpour.  There was a popular song at the time that I sang as I splashed along.  That memory is as clear to me as though it happened yesterday.

This morning Cliff and I went to the car show in town. 

Earlier this week when I went for my walk, there was one day the spider webs were everywhere, even on the ground!

This is sort of a random entry, so don't mind the subject change.

How about pictures of my favorite car in the car show?  

Leave it to me to take four pictures of my favorite car without ever getting a shot of the entire car.  The reason it's my favorite is that when Cliff and I were in our early 20's, we went car shopping.  We had a toddler, and I was pregnant with my daughter.  The salesman at the Plymouth dealer obviously didn't think we were old enough, and didn't look prosperous enough, to consider buying a new car.  He made us feel like second-class people, so we ended up going elsewhere and buying a Ford pickup instead.  But I've always remembered how badly we wanted that Road Runner.  Cliff has said many times it was probably for the best; when he was that young, he had a pretty heavy foot, and was ready to drag-race anyone at the drop of a hat.  One time we had groceries in the back seat and some guy decided to race with us right there in Independence, I think on 24 highway.  A cop noticed and turned around, so Cliff did a quick turn onto a side street and headed home.  Yep, my husband was quite the outlaw in those days.  

It's still raining.  I saw on Facebook that the parade did go on, so I almost wish we'd stayed, but as Cliff said, we'd have been riding the tractor two miles home in the dark, as well as in the rain.  

We'll try to stay alive another year and hope for no rain on fair day.


Friday, September 27, 2019

I attended the tractor club meeting

When Cliff first joined the two of us up with the tractor club, I didn't go to meetings with him.  I figured he was retired, and this would be something he could enjoy with other guys.  After the first time he attended the meeting, he told me a little about the meeting, and said it was going to be hard to get to know all the people, because most of them were strangers to him.  And he said, "I missed my sidekick."  That'd be me, if you don't know.  So for a time, I went with him.  We both got to know some of the people, and this summer I've been staying home; Cliff doesn't mind going alone now; he's met some people.  

The club doesn't have meetings in November and December because people are busy with the holidays, although we always have a Christmas dinner with them in December.  I decided since next month will be the last time to get together for awhile, I'd attend and let folks know I'm still among the living.

There's a guy, Larry, who runs a local peach orchard that I used to work for, back when he also had apples there.  This was a period of time when I was writing songs and poems every once in awhile, and I'd share some of those with co-workers, my boss, and his wife.   I'm going someplace with this, so be patient.

Our meetings are very informal.  In fact, mostly everybody just sits around visiting.  Oh, they go over the events they've been to since the last meeting, and talk about events coming up.  But there just isn't a lot of "business" to handle.  Afterward, everybody eats snacks, because some of the wives bring goodies for everybody.  Cliff loves this, but I am not one to eat at 8 PM, so when I go, I sit and visit with him and others while he eats.

So last night we were at the meeting.  We'd been at it for maybe fifteen minutes when Larry came in late, and got up in front to let everyone know when we should line up for the parade in our little town tomorrow, and to discuss the wiener roast we always have in October at his place.  So he's telling all this stuff, suddenly sees me, quits talking, and says, "Hey, Donna Wood!  You need to bring your guitar and do a program at the Christmas dinner."  Yeah, in the middle of the meeting.

"Oh no," I said.  "Oh, no way."  

I don't know these people that well, most of them, and I am NOT a performer.  

"OK," he said, then how about getting up a little program (program???  I'm no entertainer!) here at a club meeting?"

"No, I'm not doing that either."

So he starts telling everybody about the poems and songs I've written, and about that "thing you've got on the Internet", and how great I sing (he's tone-deaf, so I'm not sure how he knows).  I looked around at the crowd and said, "He's talking about my blog.  If any of you are interested, I can tell you how to find it on the Internet.  

I told Larry I was not going to sing at a tractor club meeting or at the Christmas dinner (bigger crowd than I need).  

He dropped it until after the meeting was over, but as we were heading for the door, he said, "You won't do a program for Christmas, huh?"  Nope, I would not.  "What about at the wienie roast then?"

"Well," I said, "that would be a more appropriate place."

"So you'll do it?"

"I'll think about it."

I probably will, although I think he's expecting a full-blown program.  I am NOT a public speaker.  I might sing three songs, and I might read a couple or three poems for them.  I've made the mistake of being asked to do a "program", doing it, and when I'm almost done, realizing I've outstayed my welcome.  Pretty embarrassing.  That old Vaudeville saying "always leave 'em wanting more" is always good advice.  

Two people... one gentleman, the other a lady... asked how to find my blog.  I assured them it wasn't at all as interesting as Larry thinks it is, but I told them to type "just me donna" in a search engine and that should get them here.  If my two new readers found this blog, welcome.  I'll leave a few interesting links for you, because lately I'm not so sure I've written anything of great interest.

My mother decided to write her story, years before she died.  I've read and heard my mom's stories from her youth many times, so there wasn't much in the story I didn't know.  However, going through a period of "writer's gap", I dug her story out, serialized it, and turned it in to eight blog entries.  I had more readers of those entries than I've ever had at any other time.  So, if you'll click HERE, it gives you clickable links to the entries in the order they should be.

Here's an item of interest to my tractor club people, and one I'm rather proud of.  It's my entry about the Kinnzenbaw tractor collection.  The thing I'm so proud of is that somehow the folks at Kinze Manufacturing found the entry and added the link to their company blog.  That entry, from 2014, still gets from seven to fourteen visitors each week, over five years after I wrote it.  Click HERE to see the Kinzenbaw tractors.

Another series of entries is about Jim Perrine, a man who began life three or four miles from where I live.  He tells about his childhood living on the Missouri River Bottom, about going to school in Wellington, and later on, becoming a coach and principal in Higginsville, Missouri.  His niece found it interesting, brought it to me, and I got permission to serialize it in my blog.  Because he was from the area, his story was of interest to a lot of local people.  So I shared the links on Facebook and, once again, had a very popular group of entries.  You will find the first entry in his story HERE.  At the end of each entry, there is a link to the next part of the story.  

Boy, it got hot again!  It's been so nice this week, I thought somebody had messed with the thermostat when the air conditioner wouldn't quit running.  I asked Alexa the temperature and found it it was over 90 degrees.  

But every morning feels more like autumn than the day before.  


Wednesday, September 25, 2019


I finally decided to update our Garmin Nuvi, after two years of faithful service.  As I was sitting at the computer impatiently waiting for all the maps to update (or whatever else the update entails), I said to myself... well, wait, let me back up and say that Bill Burr's voice in my head is gone, but after watching Jeff Dunham today, I'm hoping he'll be the next voice doing my "thinking" for me.  He, or one of his puppets.  

Now.  I was sitting here idly waiting for our Garmin to update and said to myself (since no comedians are speaking for me), "Self, you owe all three of your readers a blog entry.  Surely you can come up with something, anything.”

As it turns out, this was a good thought, because I got the notice it will be three hours until my GPS is done.  From past experience, if it says three hours, it'll probably be more like six, with our 5.8 out-in-the-boonies Internet speed.  Or maybe more, because CenturyLink has people cutting brush off the lines at present; it may be unrelated, but I've noticed a lot of people complaining about their phone lines going dead.  Today we've been going back and forth from no Internet to the usual speed in a matter of minutes; it's happened at least five or six times.  I'm picturing limbs landing on phone lines, causing problems with telephones and Internet, and the people getting it off the lines so it will start working again.  This is probably all wrong, but let me have my little fantasy, OK?  

Cliff and I made a big discovery the other day.  When we were at my sister's a while back, I told her we never used to go into a Dollar General Store, it was just easier to get everything at Walmart.  However, we found some things that are especially low-priced.  Also, it's handy if we need milk, and nothing else, to get it at Dollar General; or when I let the cats run out of food.  The best bargain of all is found in the greeting card section.  You can get really nice cards for a dollar or two.  Maxine said she likes Dollar Tree, too, saying Cool-Whip is always a dollar there.  Well, I had been in a few Dollar Tree stores, and all I noticed was a lot of cheap knick-knacks (I call them dust-gatherers).  I just couldn't stop thinking, "What would you want that costs only a dollar?  How good could this stuff be?"

Well, the two of us went into Dollar Tree and found several things to buy; Cliff even bought some pool noodles that were on clearance for fifty cents.  I went back to the freezer to see if they had Cool-Whip, and there it was, just like Maxine said.  I shouldn't have looked, though, because I saw a food item in that freezer section that is an achilles heel to both of us.  Why are we so food motivated?  I don't know, but we saw some of those delicious Snickers ice cream bars that cost twice as much in Quicktrip stores... and yes, they were a buck each!  We bought two and ate them as soon as we got to the car.

So, Monday I told Cliff I wanted to eat at PT's in Oak Grove; I wanted us to split one of their huge tenderloin sandwiches and a half-order of onion rings, because even splitting it, it's almost too much for us.  As we drove past the brand new Dollar Tree in Oak Grove, I said, "And there's our dessert!  A Snickers ice cream bar!  I assume all Dollar Trees have them, right?"
"I'd think so," Cliff said.

Not so.  Brand new store, but the freezers quit working.  Really?  Oh well, we went to Quicktrip and paid twice as much, so we got our ice cream anyway.  

The updates are 14% loaded now, and there are still three hours and ten minutes to go.  


Friday, September 20, 2019

Various topics: Bill Burr, the morning walk, and weeds

I'm like a teenager when it comes to comedians, or actually, anyone on TV I really, really like:  I get crushes on them; yeah, I even get girl crushes on a few woman.  Dolly Parton has been on my "girl crush" list for many, many years (surely you realize I'm not talking sexual attraction).  Perhaps the reason why Cliff and I have been married so long is that we both have a sense of humor, and we even enjoy the same comedians.  Anyway, my latest comedian-crush is Bill Burr.
Just look at that babyface
This morning, imagine my surprise when I realized the voice in my head (when I'm talking to myself but my lips aren't moving) is the voice of Bill Burr.  Hey, I like the guy, so I enjoy that voice.  Maybe he'll eventually start telling jokes as I take my walk.  I won't leave a video here for you, since he sprinkles the F word liberally throughout his routine.  But Cliff and I go into a flurry of anticipation when we hear that guy is coming out with a new video on Netflix.  By the way, his voice in my brain never says a curse word.  When I'm alone in the house, I have fun with Bill's voice in my head.  I may be cooking and suddenly wonder if I put the vanilla in the batter; I will ponder awhile, then say, "Bill?  What do you think?  Did I or not?"

Now that you know I not only hear voices but also answer them, I'll probably lose the few readers I have... but wait!  Everybody wants to watch a train wreck, so I might get more readers!  Yeah, that's the ticket, you get to watch and see if Cliff puts me away.  

The furthest two trees on either side of the path Cliff mowed are walnut trees.  When my cabin was back there under those trees, I called the one on the right the Old Chief (it's the one that leans to the left from a wild grapevine making it bend some) and the one on the left Brave Warrior.  I loved laying in the cabin on a windy day because of the sound in those two treetops.  Gabe and I felt pretty special that Cliff mowed our path yesterday in the awful heat.  

I saw many of these spiders (above center) on our walk today, big old fat boys (or girls).  I wanted to get one of them in the middle of her beautiful web, but when I got the camera too close, they did the same as this one and started climbing a long strand back into the treetop.  Gabe happened to notice a terrapin in the weeds near the path and showed it to me, sniffing it from one end to the other.  I took a picture, but apparently didn't shove the button hard enough, because there is NO picture of a box turtle in the last group I downloaded.  According to the Missouri Conservation department, there are no true terrapins in Missouri, but I had mistakingly learned to call them that.  The proper term is box turtles.

Last year I read that Monarch butterflies are endangered because the only thing they eat is milkweed leaves, and farmers have taken up a lot of the land where weeds used to grow by planting crops.  They suggested we should go to a nursery and buy some milkweed plants; I bought one, and was thrilled to see a Monarch caterpillar (larvae) on it, although I never saw it make a chrysalis.  I'll never know what happened to it... maybe one of the birds I feed had it for dinner.  

Anyway, many of my flowers are done blooming for this year, so I was pulling weeds and cutting down some flowers.  There is a vine that insists on invading my flower bed every year.  As I was jerking about 20 years of vine out that had wound around the tops of some flowers, I noticed there were pods on it and, on inspecting them, realized they were milkweed pods.  

So I'm the fool who went and bought a milkweed plant when I had plenty of milkweed plants at home.  They are different varieties of milkweed, since the one I bought is not a vine; but Monarchs like all of the varieties of milkweed.  I'm going to watch for someplace near a sunny fencerow where I can plant the seeds in the pods.  I'll make this place a Monarch Butterfly hotel!

That's it folks!

Yours truly, 

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Hello friends and neighbors!

I don't have anything blog-worthy, but here I sit anyhow.  It's hot today, has been all this week; but before you know it, we'll be watching for snow.  It's been a lot cooler this summer than last, though, as I'm reminded when I look at our electric bill.  They compare the last 12 months to the previous year, and most of them have averaged cooler temperatures, and our bill has been less both those months.  I also keep the thermostat higher lately so the A/C doesn't run so much.  We never had whole-house A/C until we got this trailer house, so I don't even know how hot or cool most people keep their homes.  For five years or so, I'd set it anywhere from 74 to 76.  For the past couple months, I've been easing it up to 78 or even 80, and doing fine for the most part.  It isn't as though I'm doing hard labor in here:  More often than not, I'm reading as I sit almost directly under the ceiling fan.  I stay plenty cool.

Since I got the Instant Pot, I don't know when I've used a slow cooker, except for carrying food to group dinners so it will stay warm.  I decided to re-familiarize myself with using a slow cooker.  We need to go to the store, but not until tomorrow; I looked at recipes until I found one I had all the ingredients for, cheesy chicken and rice.  It was supposed to have a box of prepared Zatarain Rice added at the end, but I only had ordinary white rice.  I did have three chicken breasts and the cream of chicken soup called for.  It got nicely done, but both Cliff and I thought it was somewhat lacking in taste; perhaps if I'd had the proper rice, it would have tasted better.  It wasn't bad, just boring.  

Apparently this is a great year for watermelon:  A neighbor across the road has given us several, and the two bigger ones must have weighed 30 pounds or more.  A lady at the Baptist Church said her garden has gone crazy with watermelons too.  I'm still attending two churches every Sunday and actually, loving every minute of my association with both.  It's sad to see so many of these small-town churches shrinking like they are, but people just don't feel the need to go to church any more.  It's a busy world these days, though, with both the husband and wife usually working all week; I can see why they need to spend time at home when they're not working.  And so many are unbelievers these days; I surely wouldn't expect someone who's an atheist to attend church.  

Things just aren't as cut and dried as they once were.  Nothing is simple any more.  Maybe it never was; maybe it just seems simple to us when we're children.

I'm reading "The Liar's Club" currently.  It's a non-fiction work written by Mary Karr about being raised in a dysfunctional family.  In the introduction, she writes, "... I chose to write 'The Liar's Club' as memoir instead of fiction:  When Fortune hands you such characters, why bother to make stuff up?"  Oh yes, it's very interesting.  For our trip to visit my sister, we listened to an audiobook, "Explosive Eighteen" by Janet Evanovich.  I don't recall if I've read anything of hers before; it's pretty light reading.  I didn't care for the way it ended... she just sort of tied everything up in the last couple of pages. all at once.  There are lots of chuckles though, and the lady reading the book is great!  She does the voices for everybody, and sounds convincing, even when she's talking for the male characters.  Many times if a woman is reading the book we listen to, Cliff can't make her out very well and we have to give up on it after a few paragraphs.  

We are really enjoying Ken Burns' documentary on PBS this week, "Country Music".  

We have a parade to take part at Higginsville this Saturday, and the next Saturday is our little town's parade.  That will probably be it for this year.  I can almost feel autumn breathing down my neck!

This is a diffuser.  You set it on a burner on the stove, and whatever is in the pan you set on it won't stick.  It's amazing.  The handle of this one used to be brown, but you see, I store it in the oven with the skillets.  One day it sort of slipped over to the side of the oven and I didn't see it when I took out the skillets.  I don't recall what I was baking, but Cliff and I kept thinking something smelled hot.  I said, "It sort of smells like someone is burning wood chips, like when you barbecue or smoke meat."  Yeah, I was smelling the wooden handle.  I used this today when I was making rice pudding, which ALWAYS sticks without a diffuser.  

I do hope all my readers are doing well.  I'll leave a chuckle for you:

Yours truly,

Friday, September 13, 2019

Visiting my sister in her new home

Jonathan apples have been picked at the local orchard.  My sister, her son's wife, and a grandson's wife wanted some Jonathan apples and couldn't find any for sale in Oklahoma City, so I volunteered to take some to them.  Honestly, I just wanted a good excuse to visit my sister and see how she was doing after her latest move.  When I got their apples from the orchard, the lady there said they hardly sell any Jonathans; she said if they took them to Arkansas they could sell them, because they still cook down there.  The owner of Rasa Orchard told us a couple of years ago that they would eventually take the Jonathan trees out; he said Walmart won't even buy them from him.  I would think they would at least keep half a dozen Jonathan trees for the few people who want them.  

We had no problems at all with traffic, either going or coming home.  It was a smooth trip all the way around, and we had a lovely visit.  Maxine's son, Larry, with his wife, ate lunch with us.  They thought it would be the only time we could visit with no interruptions, since they were in charge of their three grandchildren while their daughter-in-law is away on a job-related trip.  Two of them are in school, and the youngest is in preschool for four hours or so.  There's another child (a girl) on the way.  These three are a lively bunch, and it was a hoot trying to get a good picture of them together.  I do have pictures, so without any more delay I'll introduce you to William, age 2, who decided I am the devil and refused to even look at me; Benjamin, age five; and Caroline, I believe age 7.  You will see by these shots that my nephew and his wife have their work cut out for them.  They brought the children by to see us after picking them up from their schools, and I just wanted a picture of the kids.  Benjamin is missing in the first picture, having gone on a search for an M and M’s.

Benjamin is absent here because he went to get an M and M out of the M and M machine in the guest bedroom.

 Benjamin came and got his sister.  I guess he figured she'd like an M&M too.
William is still avoiding looking at me

Things went from bad to worse
Grandma Debra stepped in to try and restore order

William tried to make a break from the hostage situation

William wasn't happy, but I was fast on the trigger and got one picture... with one kid smiling and two who would rather be anywhere else.  The lovely Caroline is a sweetheart; she read a book to me, and read it perfectly!  I was going to cut Debra out of the picture because she's blurred, but look at her!  She is posed to grab William in case he runs away.  Grandparents need to have nerves of steel, hearts of gold, and speed.

They are good, smart kids, but little William is two, and you never know what a two-year-old is going to say or do.  We've all been there!  

Maxine and I, just outside her front door

Us from a distance.

Here's something I thought was interesting:  A baby shoe worn by Maxine's father-in-law, who was born in 1886.

We enjoyed the visit.  Next spring or summer, we intend to go back, stay at least one more day, and visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, among other things.  I  hope by then the new baby is born, and maybe William will realize by then I'm a little ornery, but I'm really NOT the devil!


Monday, September 09, 2019

It was a busy few days

Cliff and I had planned a sort of impromptu vacation for this time period:  We were going to go to Colorado with the grandson and his wife.  I love Colorado, but for some reason I had a nagging feeling the time wasn't right for us to go.  Examining these feelings, I considered our cash flow:  We can only manage one good road trip a month, for the simple reason we don't charge anything we can't pay off in full each month.  We went to Omaha last month, then the big Illinois tractor show.  I wasn't so sure we could cover five days in Colorado after paying those two trips off (yes, we have savings, but not for frivolous use).  So, the money being tight was part of my "uneasy feelings".  Another thing was that in the back of my mind, I recalled the grandson working considerable overtime in the past month, and mentioning he was saving back the extra money to give the old barn here on the property a facelift.  I had a feeling all his saved money would end up being spent in Colorado.  I explained this to Cliff, and he told Arick to go ahead and take that week off, but rather than going to Colorado, the two of them would work on the barn.  

Now, this isn't a sturdy old 100-year-old barn with huge timbers in it for strength.  It started life as a garage, somewhere in Grandview, Missouri, I believe.  Cliff used the roof rafters from an old two-car garage for the roof of the main, middle part of this barn.  At the time I had the bright idea that we should just put the roof on the poles of the future barn, and as we got money, we could buy the tin for the roof and add the sides.  After about three years of that roof on poles standing out there, useless (although we did get the metal roof on it), we used a credit card and finished the rest of the walls; bad move on our part.  The side "lean-to's" were added later on, at different times.  

The grandson could probably have built a new pole barn almost as cheaply as he fixed up this one, but he wanted it to remain like Cliff built it.  Believe me, his work was cut out for him.  Nobody else would have wanted to fix that old thing, but he wanted it to always be Grandpa's barn.  He was in for some unpleasant surprises.  Once they took off the boards on the front, they found a lot of the wood behind those front panels were also rotten and had to be replaced.  More work!  

So, Thursday and Friday, August 30 and 31, Cliff and Arick tore the boards off the front of the barn.  

Arick's brother-in-law, Aaron, knows a lot about carpenter work and promised to bring a friend with him on Saturday and Sunday who works as a carpenter for a living.  Those two saved the day, because neither he nor Arick is good at the measuring that needed to be done.  Without Aaron and James giving up two days of a precious three-day weekend for us, I don't know how it would have gone.  And all they got for their efforts was a meal I cooked for them each of those days.

Cliff had an easy job that day:  He mostly just sat on the tractor and lifted them or lowered them as needed.  None of his work over those ten days was hard, but I know he was on his feet more during the ten days he and Arick worked on this project that he had been in years.  

So on Monday, Labor Day, it was back to Arick and his grandpa, by themselves.  And they were the crew for the duration.  They've done more painting than anything else.  Cliff had boards on the barn that made white stripes, as you can see on the top picture.  Arick decided it looked fine without those; as Cliff said, it will be easier to paint it when the time comes, without all those white boards on there.  Arick saved the letter "W", though.  Our friend Tom Dent made that for the original barn and he was the one that put it up at the peak.

By the way, there will be a door on the middle part of the barn, an actual garage door; I imagine that will improve the look.  The guys are going to fix sort of a half-door over that opening to the right of the main barn, to cover up from view the precious collection of scrap metal that they use in various projects.  That is where Blue's stall used to be, but Cliff took that out quite some time ago. The section on the very right with the white door is where I milked my cows.

I continued fixing meals for Cliff and Arick through this Saturday.  Now Arick is back to work so maybe he can get some rest from his "vacation".

We had a nice relaxing Sunday; Rachel's family came over, including some grandkids, and we had a nice visit and watched the kids being toted around on the bucket of Cliff's tractor and learning how to drive the side-by-side.  

Good times!

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Getting down to the nitty GRITSy. Among other random thoughts.

Sorry about the yellow highlighted letters.  It's highlighting the search words I used to find it.
After reading the book "The Best Cook in the World", I was left wanting to try all the recipes listed in it, especially the one for grits.  The only experience I've ever  had with grits was when my kids were small:  my mom had an Avon customer whose husband was a trucker, and he mysteriously brought home all sorts of sugary cereals and other such prepared foods that were "left over".  I thought nothing of it at the time, then lately as I think about it I realize he may have actually been stealing it from work.  But that's none of my business, whoever the guy was.  "Be sure your sin will find you out".  That's Numbers 32:23 in the Bible.  Now, back to my introduction to grits:

Among the other food items (ill-gotten gain) Mother passed on to me from the trucker's wife was instant grits.  I had no idea what one does with grits, but it looked a lot like Cream of Wheat, so that's how I fed it to my kids, after tasting it to see how it was.  After that, I had no interest in grits.  Cream of Wheat was available in stores, so why buy an imitation?  

But this book made me long for the actual experience of eating old-fashioned grits like it was fixed by the poor mountain folks in the Appalachians.  My first problem?  I couldn't find anything at Walmart but quick grits.  Also, the recipe I was following called for yellow grits, and I haven't found those anywhere for a reasonable price.  I did find some old-fashioned white grits on Amazon, and settled for those.  This morning I halved the author's mother's recipe because I already had breakfast.  This was my first mistake; I should have cooked the grits according to the box they came in, since the grits I cooked were so dry as soon as I mixed them in, I knew something wasn't working.  I kept adding water, as little as possible each time, to be able to even stir it.  However, after all that effort and thinning, when I added the small amount of cayenne, some black pepper, and a hunk of butter to the finished product, Cliff and I agreed that we both like it.  We were quite surprised.  

Remember a while back when I said I was going to take a break from Words with Friends for a few days?  Well, I did that, but it didn't cure me by any means.  I am still addicted to the game.  Now I will tell you, if you aren't familiar with how the game works, that some of the words they let you use are ridiculous, words like "QI" or "hae".  But if you just make up a word that isn't a word, the computer won't let you use it.  You eventually learn to roll with the flow; it they count it as a word, I'm going to use it.  You gradually memorize all these "non-words" that aren't really words, so you can use them in a pinch.  There have been two people who have complained about the type words I use.  There is a rather primitive message system that lets players chat as they play; I'd rather it weren't there, since it's often used by spammy folks acting like they are army majors looking for a poor old woman to take to the cleaners.  I found if I take my own picture off my profile and either put my dog or a picture of my husband and me together, nobody tries to romance me.  But here's the message that went on between me and some person I'm playing today:

That's the last I've heard from the person.  Below is the game she/he and I are/were playing.  
By the way, that individual wasn't as rude as the other guy (below) who complained using cuss words.  He accused me of not using words at all, although the game was accepting them as words.  I assume he meant to type "this guy" instead of "this gay", but who knows?  Since he seems to be a word expert, he could be anything. 

Oh yes, you run into all types playing Words with Friends.  

Have a great day.