Wednesday, September 30, 2020

A song I wrote about our lives on our 20 acres at Oak Grove

 For better or worse, I decided to share one of my favorites of the songs I've written.  In 1967, we bought 20 acres with a four-room house for, I believe, $14,500.  The seller was a very sweet elderly man who had plenty of money and wanted to see two young idiots folks succeed.  Those who know anything about Oak Grove these days can only imagine what the place is worth now, but we sold it and moved, and then moved again.  

The lyrics of the song song are mostly accurate, but sometimes for the sake of meter and rhyme, I use poetic license.  So I will point out the statements that are not true:

1. We never found mushrooms there; at that time, neither of us knew how to find them.  We had to move here for me to start finding mushrooms.  But we did have an apple tree.

2. "We" weren't busy making money... just Cliff.  And we barely made ends meet, and we were lucky to have two bucks left in our checking account once we paid the bills.  So bank accounts, pretty clothes, diamonds, lace curtains were nowhere in sight.  There was, however, a carpet on the floor... that part is true.  We were living in a bigger house, but it was about 90 years old and nothing fancy.  Better cars?  Nope.  

3.  I never noticed birds of any kind back then, so I'm sure there were bluebirds to be seen on our 20 acres.  But I never actually started seeing any until we moved to Wellington.  

4.  Nobody has built a mansion on our old home place.  From the road, the house almost looks the same as when we lived there, although I understand someone added some rooms to it at some point.  You can't tell it, looking from the road.  Yes, we still drive by it sometimes, remembering.

5.  The metal pole barn Cliff built so I'd have a place to milk my cow when it was raining is still there.  And all the feelings and memories are still with me today.  I sat on the front porch swing at our old house here as I thought of the words for the song.

The spirit and feelings in the song are as true as true can be.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Donna and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

OK, I ripped off the title for this entry:  It's from a children's book I've never read, but I guess I must have seen the title a few times; all I did was substitute my name for Alexander's.  It seems to describe my day yesterday.

"But Donna, you seemed to be so happy making pumpkin pie filling.  What happened?"

Yes.  Yes, I was happy and feeling like a character out of "Little House on the Prairie" making my own pumpkin pie filling from scratch.  I didn't mind that the crustless pie I baked was a little watery; I just knuckled down and learned how to reduce the liquid in the next batch of puree.  Well, I only got about four cups of puree made before my food processor breathed its last breath.  Not to worry, the instructions on processing pumpkin from it's natural state included the fact that you can also use a blender to get the fibrous strands broken down.  I don't have a blender, but I thought my daughter did.  I put the baked pumpkin flesh in a measuring cup and set it in the refrigerator, planning to borrow her blender when she was home from work.

Cliff's brother was here so so the two of them could work on their progress getting the loader to work with Phil's tractor, so I decided to make mashed potatoes and meat loaf and macaroni-and-tomatoes and corn (too much starch, but who's counting?  I know what those guys like.)  

Somewhere in the preparation of that meal, I stabbed my thumb with my granny knife.  Notice that sharp little stabbing tip.

I take a baby aspirin every day (doctor's orders), so when I cut myself, I bleed like crazy.  At the time it really didn't hurt that much, still doesn't when I can keep it wrapped, but I was busy and didn't realize I'd cut myself that badly.  By the time I realized it, there was blood on the counter and blood on the floor (Gabe, wanting to help, cleaned it off the floor for me).  There was even blood on the handle of one of the pans I was using.  I had to change the bandaid three times before it stopped pouring out of the bandaid.

So:  I was dealing with a bloodbath right after witnessing the demise of my twenty-year-old food processor.  I decided it was a bad day.  My spirit heard what I was thinking and said, "from your mouth to my ears" and decided to take it from there.  Don't ever do what I did here; I've seen it time after time:  you decide one bad incident has ruined your day, then you let yourself get in a mood that causes the rest of your day to go downhill.  So yes, everything that went wrong (after the blood-letting) was caused by my attitude.  I won't even tell you what the other "bad things" were, because they really weren't that bad... it just seemed like it to my gloomy self.  My inner "Little Donna" (oh yes, the spoiled little girl still lives) didn't get to play with the pumpkin exactly when and how she wanted to.  

My daughter brought her blender over yesterday evening.  I used it this morning.  I had to add extra water to get the blender to get the job done, but I'm reducing liquid in the stuff anyhow; another hour of cooking won't matter much.

Cliff wanted to take me to Oak Grove Walmart to buy a new food processor after Phil when home, but I'm on a crusade to stop making thirty-mile round trips to buy one item.  I will buy a food processor when I get find one for a reasonable price.  A lady in Blue Springs has one on Facebook marketplace that's never been used; she wants $25 for it.  I have a dentist appointment in Blue Springs next Tuesday, and if it's still on Marketplace, I'll offer her $20 since it's already been there for a week.  I don't use a food processor often, but I do need one around for those times when I need it.  And I still have two more pumpkins in the garage.  

On a different note, I've been letting my three chickens out every evening to enjoy freedom awhile.  Tuesday evening, only two hens came home.  They don't always stay in my yard, so it's hard to know what happened:  Somebody's dog?  A red-tail hawk?  Probably not a wild predator, not in broad daylight so close around people's homes.  She was one of my two tame chickens, so somebody may have just wanted to own a friendly, tame chicken.  And they had all just started laying eggs.  I've shed no tears about this like I would if it were Gabe or Blue or Mama Kitty, but it makes me a little sad.  She may have even heard the neighbors rooster crowing and wanted a love life!  If she is living elsewhere now, I'd love to know it.  I wouldn't even ask for her back; she was just so sweet and loving, I'd like to know she's OK.

That's your report for the day.  Watch your attitudes, dear Readers, and don't let one bad incident ruin your whole day.


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Adventures in eating

 We acquired some pumpkins recently.  So far I haven't found anyone who wants them for their kids, so I decided to make a pumpkin pie out of one of the white ones.  Years ago I baked a pumpkin and used it for pies; it seemed like the pumpkin had too much water in it, so it was far more watery than canned pumpkin.    I wasn't doing much of anything today except fixing our dinner and washing dishes, so today's the day.  I figured it it's too "wet", it'll just be pumpkin pudding.  I did not make a crust.  I have a recipe for crustless pumpkin pie I used to use all the time, but the one I found online was somewhat different.  My original recipe called for some flour to be mixed into the filling so it would thicken up.  I wish I had used my old recipe.

I baked the pumpkin in the oven for about 50 minutes, then easily spooned it off the skin after it cooled.  Next, I put it through the food processor, which gets those rid of those little fibery strands and makes the puree smooth.  Here's what it looked like afterward:

Looks like applesauce, doesn't it?

And then, I went ahead and made the crustless pie, knowing it wouldn't be quite right, but also knowing Cliff and I will eat it.

Those holes had water perking up through the top while it was cooking.  As you can see, I got a spoon and tasted it:  Yep, pumpkin pudding.  But it's very good!  I did a search on the pumpkin being water-y and found you can add an extra egg to firm it up, or you can reduce the liquid by cooking it on the stove till it's the proper consistency.  I may try the latter, but if I do, I'll use either a double boiler or my heat diffuser so it doesn't stick.  Notice the little what-not above the pie... my mother-in-law, who died years ago, once went to Nashville with her two daughters, and she brought me that for a keepsake.   It says "from Loretta Lynn's kitchen", and came from a restaurant by that name.  I spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and I do use that souvenir to hold my messy spoons when I'm cooking; it makes me think of my mother-in-law.

I just went to take another bite; I'm telling you, it's delicious!  I might whip a little cream to put atop our pudding.  And yes, I'm going to try to reduce the moisture in the rest of the puree.  If that works, I may do one of those big orange pumpkins to put in the freezer.

Cliff had a doctor's appointment to take his annual physical this morning.  He's rather uncomfortable going to the doctor with Covid-19 going around; the numbers are really climbing in our county now.  I predict after this weekend it'll be above 500 cases since the beginning of the outbreak.  One kid in the Oak Grove school district was positive for Covid, but none in our small school so far, that I've heard.  I googled and found that so far, not one person has gotten Covid at a doctor's or dentist's office, although that was part of an article from August.  Cliff got his flu shot at the doctor's, then we went across the road to Walmart.  He stayed in the car reading his current book on his cell phone (Public Enemies, by Bryan Burrough).  He highly recommends it.  As I walked inside Walmart, there were two ladies giving flu shots, so now we've both had our flu shots.

I'll leave you with a photo of Blue the cat, who apparently intends to sail the high seas in his boat.  A friend of Arick's needed a place to store his boat, so it's out in the barn near where I feed the cats their dry food, and Blue has taken it over.  He naps there, but he woke up when I went to take a picture.  I'm sure a little cat hair will delight Arick's friend.
It's hilarious how cats think they can take over any territory they like.

Blue will lose his "jewels" next Tuesday.  I thought I could wait until he was eight months old to get that done, but Google tells me a male cat can be capable of impregnating a female cat at the age of four months!!!  If you don't neuter a tomcat, he'll end up dead meat in the middle of the road while searching for his next love interest.  Not to mention that stinking habit they have of spraying everything around them.

So long for now.  It's been a good day so far.  I hope you're having a good one also.


Friday, September 18, 2020

I have a few hours alone

 Cliff and his brother are on their way to Craig, Missouri, to (probably) buy a loader for Phil's tractor.  Cliff is going to have to do some things to make the loader fit on Phil's tractor, which should keep him busy for awhile, perhaps, on another day.  People used to tell me I'd be seeing more of Cliff than I really wanted to after he retired, and I argued with them, telling them how busy he stayed in the shop.  The truth is I never felt the four walls closing in on me until the Virus arrived.  That shouldn't have made a difference, since he does a lot of couch-sitting anyhow, and he's earned the right to sit.  All I know is that I definitely feel like I need more alone time these days.  Bless his heart, some afternoons he'll go to the shop to just sit and listen to his country music so I'll have an hour alone, which makes me feel guilty even though I didn't suggest he go out there.  

I don't want anybody thinking I'm putting my husband down:  This is his house as much as mine, considering he paid for it; he shouldn't be required to leave at the whims of his wife.  I'm not saying that just because he reads my blog.  People who are married to introverts have a rough way to go in life, and Cliff copes the best he can.  Ideally I'd have an outbuilding behind the house close enough to get Internet, with a comfy chair and a milk house heater to warm it in winter when I needed some space.  Then I'd be the one to leave the house for awhile instead of him.  

I have trouble reading a book or doing a blog entry when Cliff's in the house, simply because he and I converse often, a conversation that never really ends, but simply takes long pauses, then begins again later in the day.  We look at our computers and sometimes tell one another what we just found online.  The other day I went out to the swing to compose my blog entry, and he realized I was looking for some hard-to-find quiet space and went to the shop, although I hadn't told him my reason for going out.  It just seems that when I'm in the house, I'll get the thoughts flowing and then Cliff starts telling me something and next thing you know, I've lost my traction on the blog entry.  It's the same with reading a book; I just can't tune out the TV or radio or conversation.  I can only concentrate when there's no distraction.

On another note:  I have a friends in Kentucky; I first "met" the lady in the AOL Christian chat room where I made so many good friends I later met in person.  Cliff took me to Texas for my first "chat room reunion" and I met Ora and her husband.  Cliff didn't want to go.  A lady in Arkansas had told me I could ride to Texas with her.  However, I had not met Lona "in real life", and Cliff was convinced she was actually a man trying to trick me into meeting him so he could.... well, you fill in the blanks.  My husband couldn't believe he drove clear to Texas to protect me from an innocent bunch of Christians over fifty.  There may have been a strange person or two in the group (I recall a lady who wore a chicken hat most of the time she visited with us at the Texas reunion), but for the most part, they were cream-of-the-crop people.  

Ora and her husband live next door to their daughter and her family.  The daughter caught Covid-19 a few months ago (not really sure of when), was in the hospital a long time, and is home, but still not back to normal.  Here's a strange thing:  Both Ora and her husband tested positive for the virus but have never had so much as a sniffle or sneeze.  No symptoms at all, and they are at an age to be high-risk.  

Yesterday her daughter, who I would guess is middle-aged, was on my mind, so I asked about her.  Here's what she messaged back:  "Amy is doing well. She has her good days, then other days she hides from the world in her bedroom. She is on steroids and lung meds. She has a hard time socializing, she is afraid. She has bad dreams at times about dying. But we have assured her she is fine, that just having the virus is not the full story. It is for the rest of her life. She got slammed big time."

You see, I only know of one person in or near my Lafayette County circle who had the disease, so it's a shock to read about the serious and fatal cases across the country, especially if it's someone you know. It reminds me that Cliff and I do take some risks when we socialize with our families, although I don't intend to stop doing it. The grandson lives right next door and goes to work five days a week at a place that probably has two- or three-hundred employees with only one possible case of the virus. They wear masks all day. My son-in-law works at the same place. My daughter is back to working away from home, so she's a risk too, as is Cora when she visits. We haven't quarantined properly since the first month of this mess. Yes, we are at risk and will continue to be. We don't go where there are big crowds, we wear masks in stores even if they aren't mandated. That's about the extent of our quarantine. If we get this virus, you could almost say we asked for it.  

We live in a rural county where it seems at least half the cases of Covid take place in nursing homes and jails. We've stopped going to the city to Costco because they are out of a lot of the stuff I want to buy these days. I really wanted to give some business to the two closest stores to us during this time, but neither of them have good produce; they let it get old and tired, so you pay the price and come home with soft grapes and wilted lettuce; they also don't have much variety, although that alone wouldn't stop me from shopping there. I won't buy ice cream at the store in Lexington because two different times I've come home with frostbit ice cream. I guess Oak Grove Walmart will be my store in the future, and it's fifteen miles one way to get there.

We are now almost to the point of buying all our meat, after so many years of plenty, but the prices are getting down where they should be, at least occasionally. Ground beef is what we use most, and I will soon be buying some.

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


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

From the hammock swing

 I don't like to blog when Cliff is in the house with me.  If he says anything, my train of thought is interrupted.  I like being alone when I do a blog entry so I can get into sort of a zone where anything can happen:  Then I often end up telling a totally different story than what I started out with, and often better; not saying that's going to happen today, though, because it's a random thing.  But I went to the hammock carrying my computer, where the only living creatures around me are Gabe the dog and Blue, the cat... who is definitely NOT an inside cat!  I let him in the house briefly for his evening meal of canned food, and every once in awhile I let him in so he and Gabe can play; but he will go to the door wanting outside if I keep him in too long.  He loves being a barn cat!

He still makes us laugh:  I wish I could get a video of him chasing my three chickens.  All he does is run toward them, but they half-run, half-fly away cackling, while Blue, who thinks he's a cheetah, stalks them.  He jumps out from hiding and bounds toward them fast as he can, then walks confidently back to the nearest tree and sharpens his claws on the bark as though he's a mighty conqueror   He wouldn't know what to do with a chicken if he caught it, the poor deluded thing, and they're bigger than he is.  But he considers himself a mighty hunter.

Cliff decided to mow in spite of the wet pasture so I'm back inside; I made Pioneer Woman's chicken spaghetti for dinner.  It's one of our favorite dishes that had fallen to the back of my memory so far that I forgot it existed.  It's probably been two years at least since I made it, but I don't intend to wait that long again!  

We were gifted with a two-pound bag of carrots yesterday right after I'd bought two pounds of them.  We eat cooked carrots in various ways, so I always have some, but I didn't think I could use four pounds before they started getting moldy or limp (or both), so I spent some time this morning making glazed carrots and freezing them in four freezer bags.  That'll be handy to have as a side when I need one more item on the menu.

I've been forcing myself to use more of the food we have on hand rather than go to the store and buy things I wouldn't have to.  I have a tendency to wake up thinking of cooking something I'm craving only to find there is one ingredient I'm out of; then I tell my sorry story to Cliff and he offers to run to Lexington or Buckner and get it.  That's eight miles one way, and it's ridiculous, when I could switch recipes and make whatever I'm craving on a later date after we've been to the store.  I'm done with that, which is why we had chicken spaghetti today:  I got the chicken and frozen broth out of the freezer yesterday, then realized we were out of spaghetti.  Rather than let Cliff go make a purchase, I fixed something else.  We planned to go to Buckner yesterday afternoon, so I bought the spaghetti for today at that time.  

If anybody gives me food in good condition, I make an effort to see that it is used.  I may freeze it if possible, or try some new-but-rather-strange recipe, but my mom instilled in me the notion that it's a sin to waste food; if she's looking down, she's probably thinking, "So what happened to those other virtues I tried to instill in you?  There were some great things I tried to get into you, and you chose this?  I wanted you to be a preacher's wife."

I'm sorry, Mother.  You did try very hard, but I always felt sorry for preacher's wives because people expect them to be perfect and have perfect kids and be a perfect homemaker.  Perfect never did fit me very well.

Keep positive, my Internet friends and family.  Nothing lasts forever.  Time and change enters into every facet of our lives, and this pandemic thing will, at some point, be only a memory, just something old folks will tell stories about to their grandchildren in 30 years.



Friday, September 11, 2020

Mama Kitty, transformed

We got the mobile home and moved behind the barn in 2008; that's twelve years ago.  It wasn't long after that Mama Kitty showed up, carrying her new kittens to our barn one by one.  She had belonged to a little girl who moved away, and I was certain the cat would be climbing on screens trying to get in the house, as I'd seen other cats do.  However, she stayed in the wing of the barn living on, and under, a lumber pile and not bothering me at all.  She'd been eating whatever she could catch, or find in our burn barrel, and didn't approach me at all.  I warmed up to her and began feeding her.  She never committed any of the offenses cats sometimes are guilty of.  She won my heart, in fact, and my admiration.  

So she's at least twelve years old, living all her life as an outside cat.  She had one more litter her second year living here, after which we had her spayed (oh, how it bothers me when someone types that as "spaded").  I never tried to get her super-friendly, but she got to the point that I could pet her and and even pick her up, if I did it slowly and gently, although when I put her down, my shirt or coat would be covered in white hair.  For the most part, she minded her business and I minded mine.  Other cats have come and gone; she remains.  For the past year or two, I've occasionally seen her puking up her dry cat food, which I noticed was still whole.  I assumed, and still believe, that she has problems with her teeth and can't chew.  I know that is common in old cats.  Unfortunately, it is prohibitively expensive to have a cat's (or dog's) teeth removed.  I cannot justify the expense.  At twelve years of age, she's lived a long life, and I've wondered if I should just have her put down.  Normally I'd have Cliff do that job, and he'd do it, too... but the first bullet doesn't always kill a cat, and I want her to leave this earth without even knowing what happened.  If only she could talk, I'd ask her if she is in pain... but she can't.

I've been feeding my other cat, Blue, a little canned cat food in the evenings.  A couple of days ago he left about half of it in the dish.  Rather than cover it and put it in the refrigerator, I decided to let Mama Kitty have it; I called her to the porch.  She went to the bowl, looked around in every direction to see if there was any threat visible, and then devoured it.  Right then and there, it occurred to me that perhaps she could keep wet food down, since it requires very little chewing.  

Over the next 24 hours, Mama Kitty spent a lot of time on the front porch as though waiting for some more food; if I walked out there, she'd meow a "hello".  That evening I fed her the wet food again.  She has been transformed!  She now plays with Blue; they are the only two cats here, since Buttons ran away to the cat lady's house where apparently conditions are better.  Jake, Mama Kitty's son from her last litter 10 years ago, also moved over there not long ago.  Now, all of a sudden, Mama Kitty is accepting Blue with all his pouncing and stalking and carrying on, when he was making her angry before.  She spends a lot of time on the front porch, but I'm sure she'll eventually figure out that I only give her the "good stuff" at night; the dry food is always served in the barn. 

I still wonder if she is in pain, but it's bound to be less painful to eat soft food... and at least I know she's much happier.  She almost acts like an energetic kitten now.  It's like a miracle, and at least I don't feel so guilty about her teeth; I think she's worth the 25 cents a day it will cost for her canned cat food.

To see Mama Kitty teaching her last litter to hunt in 2003, click HERE.

When she was younger, she never failed to accompany us on our daily walk in the pasture.

If cats go to heaven, Mama Kitty surely will make it.

I hope all my readers have a great day.

Wednesday, September 09, 2020

I've had it with this year. 2020, go away and don't come back.

I'm telling you, if one more person I care about comes up with cancer or any other serious illness, I'm going to crawl under a rock and hide until New Year's Day.  I have an in-law who's gone through radiation AND chemo this year and is still having trouble.  Cora, the little girl who comes to visit often, has a grandma and a grandpa who both have cancer at the same time.  They are the ones who watch Cora while her dad works.  My daughters husband went to the emergency room feeling terrible and it turns out he was losing blood.  He also has an infection of some kind.  They don't know where it's coming from, but he's on antibiotics.  They did surgery to repair the ulcer damage at the top of his small intestine.  He finally got out of ICU today.  On the home front at Woodhaven Acres, the grandson and his wife divorced a couple months ago; they were in agreement about who got what, so it was as quick and easy as a divorce can be, but it's always sad when a marriage doesn't work.  So yeah, I'm getting punchy from 2020 hitting me over the head with concern about my people.

My garden turned out weedy toward the end, but I sure got lots of good things from it.  There are still green beans coming on, and okra.  It's cold today; I haven't turned on the furnace, but with the temperature at 67, I am sitting here with an afghan over me and the dog beside me for warmth.  Cora is here today; I taught her to play Old Maid, but Cliff's sister came to visit, and they were talking; so it was just the two of us playing, which isn't the best situation because if you don't have the old maid in your hand, you know your opponent does. It was probably a good way to teach her the game, though.  I'm wondering if she's old enough for Crazy Eight... our daughter played that when she was six; Cora is seven.  I might try that next time.

Gabe ate too much watermelon the other day and ended up wetting the bed that night.  Yep.  Any time he has an accident, whether it's pee or poop, he makes sure I see it and clean it up, although he seldom has an accident.  I let him out of the cage that morning and took him out; when we came back in, he kept taking me to the cage and touching his nose to a corner of the fleece pad that covers the bottom of the kennel.  It was dark, but even with a flashlight I couldn't see anything in there that shouldn't be.  An hour later he was still pestering me.  This time I lifted the pad up and saw a wet spot; it didn't show up at all on the fleecey top, but was soaking wet and obvious on the bottom.  So I did his laundry, which included some toys that were in there as well as an old housecoat I put in there to give him something to dig around and when he's making himself comfortable.  He finally let me alone.

Every once in awhile, I have to toss a Frisbee around for my dog.

I think I'll stop right here and bid you all good day.  


Friday, September 04, 2020

I've figured out what I want on my tombstone

I've been trying to figure out what sort of message I want on my headstone for a long time.  I've thought about having a picture of a Jersey cow on it, since they are one of my favorite things.  Or maybe a picture of my Gibson Dove guitar, my most prized possession... even though my guitar-playing skills are minimal.  And then I think of quotes that might remind folks of me:  "Beware of any enterprise which requires new clothes" was one I thought about, since I lived most of my life in jeans, T-shirts, and sweat pants... but my wardrobe is slightly better now, sometimes.  I can't recall many of the ideas I had, but there were a lot of them.  

This morning I was telling Cliff I got locked out of my online banking and had to call the bank for help; I had tried logging in with the wrong password too many times.  We hashed it over, my husband and I.  You'd think, since Apple makes long, complicated, safe passwords and even remembers them for me, that I'd have no trouble.  A password you've made on one Apple product is understood by other Apple products, so I get my new password and it works on both the MacBook and the iPad.  Usually; although there are times when "user error" can't even manage that!  However, my Samsung cell phone doesn't get the message.  I can't just copy down the crazy-long password Apple gives me and type it in as my Samsung password... because it doesn't allow passwords that long!  Don't tell me I need to get an iPhone; I hate that I even have to HAVE a cell phone.  I paid $250 for the Samsung, and as phones go, I like it OK... but I seldom use it unless I have to call somebody... usually some necessary call:  the bank, a doctor, my hairdresser... and once in awhile I talk to my sister (sure wish it was safe to go visit people).  I do most of my "talking" in Instant Messenger, because I'd rather type than talk.  By the way, let me make up a password right now to show you what sort of mess it is to try and write down:  


They are all that same length.  If I have to try and type it in on a non-apple product, I must be VERY careful to write it all down properly to the last dash on a piece of paper.  Then I have to be careful typing it in the other device, so I do that with my index finger, choosing the keys carefully and watching the keyboard.  As I said before, Samsung won't accept passwords that long anyway, so any app owned by Google is useless because my password is too long, and if I change it on the phone, I have to go back and change it on the iPhone and MacBook.  Who needs email on the road anyhow?  I'm at home most of the time with my trusty iPad and the MacBook

So, back to my original thought about what I'll put on my headstone:

"I forgot my password."

Everyone can have fun with that as they pass by my grave, saying things like "password to where?".  Always leave 'em laughing, right?



PS:  I'm sure I'll think of something better than that eventually.  I may not even have a headstone, since I'm going to be cremated.

Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Can we talk?

It's been a day around here.  Cliff has decided to see if he can sell his 1855 Oliver, which means he needs my help putting pictures on various sites and writing ads about the tractor.  I always do this for him, since the only thing he knows how to do on a computer is surf and scroll down Facebook.  This time, though, he also wanted me to put the ad on a Facebook group.  That means in order for me to do it on my computer, I'd have to join the group and wait until they approved me.  It doesn't usually take long, but some groups take longer than others.  So I decided to put the tractor for sale using Cliff's  computer; I'd just post it in his group as though I were Cliff.  

Boy, was I wrong.  I use a Mac, he has a PC.  I have used Apple products for years now, and I've forgotten a lot about PCs.  The biggest problem is that everything looks different and works differently than it did when I used a PC (not to mention that Cliff recently went to the new, updated Facebook).  I put the card containing the Oliver pictures in the slot in his computer.  Nothing popped up to let me know I had done that, which seemed weird.  On the MacBook, as soon as I insert the card, my photos come up, and I work from there.  I did a search on my own computer asking how to download pictures from a card to a PC, got the directions, and failed again because I was apparently doing something wrong and it wasn't working for me.  Folks, if you want to get me in a bad mood, all you have to do is put me in the situation of fighting with a computer; it will ruin my whole day.  At least I got the tractor placed on Facebook Marketplace, but I left the letter "L" off the end of "model", and I can't figure out how to add the letter in.  When I click "edit", it only lets me edit the pictures, not the words.  And all this mess went on for over two hours, my frustration growing with every failed attempt.

Finally Cliff said, "Where could I go to get somebody to do this if I paid them?"  

Don't even ask me how I felt about that, but I gave him his answer very nicely.  "That would be your daughter, but I doubt if she'd take your money."  Rachel uses PC's, and she uses one all day at work.  I never ask her for help any more, but she's a daddy's girl.  She can put up with his ignorance better than she can with mine.  

Part of the reason I was getting so frustrated at the time spent on a failed project is that when I got up this morning, I had plans.  Last night I took a 10-pound bag of chicken legs and thighs out of the freezer to thaw.  This morning I planned to boil, debone, and dice the meat into two-cup portions to put in the freezer for various recipes I like; I also freeze the broth in two-cup portions.  It's a messy business, but well worth the effort.  The chicken was done cooking before Cliff got up, and then it had to cool down so I could handle it.  Also before Cliff got up, I put a load of clothes in the washer that I was going to hang on the line, it being a lovely, sunny day.  I had intended to get it hung out early, because there were two more loads to do.  All this went by the wayside while I struggled with a computer.  Oh, it all got done... well, I do have one more load of clothes to hang out, but I got the chicken worked up, made low-fat chicken gumbo with some of it, and heated up the green beans, new potatoes, and kielbasa left over from yesterday.  Get this:  By the time I cleaned up all the chicken mess and other dishes and pans, I had taken two hours to eat my meal.  I just kept stopping to take a bite, then went back to my work.  And yet?  I sure feel like I accomplished a lot today, so I'll focus on that.

As far as I know, there is nothing else today that I have to do.

Honestly, it's been a great day.  If I've been mad at anyone, it's myself, for not being able to figure out something that 8-year-olds know how to do these days.  In the Old Testament portion of my one-year Bible reading this morning I finished reading the book of Job; now THERE was a guy who knew what trouble was:  His kids were all dead, he was too sick to eat, his wife was telling him "curse God and die", and then all his friends came to visit and made him feel even worse with their drivel.  

Have a wonderful day.  I feel much better now.  

I should tell you that the only reason Cliff is trying to sell his favorite classic tractor is this:  If he gets his price for the Oliver, he wants to sell his little John Deere, the only tractor around here that is used almost every day, and get another John Deere like it except he wants the next size bigger; he thinks if he sold both, he's have enough money for what he wants.  If he didn't want that pretty badly, he'd never sell the 1855.  We are both pretty sentimental about it.

If you made it through reading this complaining mess, thanks for your patience.

Yours truly,