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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Perfect Post for Whippersnapper

A Perfect Post – February 2007

I've nominated Whippersnapper Snapping Snapped for a Perfect Post Award for her February post Family Time.

Whippersnapper definitely shows signs of snapping. However, I'm delighted she hung on long enough to write this excruciating yet funny family breakfast saga. Apologies to her Mr. IQ for bringing it all to your attention.


To see other nominee's for perfection please at : www.suburbanturmoil.blogspot.com and www.petroville.com



Tuesday, February 27, 2007

GOOEY on Cracker




















My mom made cookies, cakes, and pies when I was growing up. It was usually for a special occasion.

Once in awhile we would beg for something sweet after lunch. Baking was time consuming, so she would grab a bag of powdered sugar, add some rich cream and butter (from our Guernsey), and add some real vanilla.

She named it GOOEY on cracker. That was its name. We named things when I was a kid.

When I treated my own children to GOOEY on cracker, I didn't always make my own GOOEY. I would cheat and buy a can of frosting from the grocery store.

I had some leftover frosting today - and I couldn't help myself. I even took a bite before I took the picture.

All you need is graham crackers and frosting.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

My Blogging Environment - Fun Monday




This is my little corner of the family room.
I have a computer, a printer, cupboard space that is
filled with the hubby's computer books and
everything else I needed to hide to clean up.






My Hummingbird calendar is at my left
with my bird book and bird diary.
My book of days (a daily devotional)
and the submarine clock which I
always forget to wind. I have a heart shaped
shell that hangs above my workspace and
I don't even remember why.




Just to my left is a bookcase that also holds
grandchildren's come to visit toys.
The hubby's aquarium.
I painted some little fishy's and they hang
right above the live ones.






My art table is hiding behind the
love seat. The three pastels are of
my three beautiful daughters, done
by someone long before I took
up a brush.

The rest are family photographs.








Keep going clockwise left and you
will see our fireplace, coffee table,
couch and other miscellaneous
wall hangings. Look carefully
and see the hubby's retirement
hatchet and badges.





Keep Circling (Alamand Left) and
you can exit out the patio door.
The Snow is gone, but it hailed
tonight just to keep us on our toes.








The Big TV where I DID NOT watch the Oscars
tonight. My New Years Resolution
was to give Hollywood the cold
shoulder this year.
On it is a picture of my dog (I miss my dog).
Two of my paintings hang behind it and
there is room for a few more.









Simon Says turn left.
Kitchen entrance! The calendar that I made
for my extended family for Christmas is visible
on the pantry edge. If I visit relatives
and that calendar isn't hanging in sight
there is B.I.G. trouble.









We have now turned in a complete circle
and find the Contessa playing with her
favorite mouse.
The only mouse she has actually caught.








The hubby knows where every wire connects.
Looking at this you would never
believe we have a WIRELESS NETWORK.

The hubby works on his computer back in the
bedroom converted into
a den. Plus, he can room hop with his
lap top. (That rhymes!)

He teaches Excel, Word, Access, and
more.








I was having a bad hair day.


Rush on over to Willowtree (A Dingo Got My Barbie) for his post and the list of all
the other bloggers sharing today.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

"SO THERE!" says mother nature

Saturday we said Hello to Spring and 70 degrees.
This is today:

Grams story, Part 1

It was Kansas in the late 1800’s and there
were corn fields to tend, laundry tubs to empty,
pigs to butcher, and a baby in the chute. Always babies.


John Dodd, a stubborn Welshman, was determined to head west. Oregon? Washington? – he wasn’t sure. He just knew that the Northwest was his destiny.



As the wagon rolled across the prairie, his beautiful wife Alice, three daughters and two sons waved until their friends and extended family disappeared in the distance.


The years rolled, too, -- the twentieth century arrived.

In August 1902, another girl was born.
She weighed 7 ¼ lbs on an old farm scale in a tent in Milton, Oregon.


Her
mother
chose
the
name

Jennie,

after her great grandmother.




It was not long after that the family began to homestead on what would become the family wheat ranch in Touchet, WA.

The small house their dad built sat on the south side of a hill that sloped down to an old rambling dirt road. It lead to the bustling little town of Touchet (pronounced Two She) where the Dodd’s shopped, socialized, and sent their kids to school.




Jennie said she “didn’t really like school.”
Staying home wasn’t any easier, though.
She had her share of work to do and she always “did as I was told.”


Her father taught her to value the rights of others,
to tell the truth, and never to talk back.


She would later remember how her mother made her dresses and how much she loved her little ones.



Not long after Jennie’s ninth birthday her mother gave birth to child number nine. Mother lived only a few days and the baby boy went to live with a family in a distant town.

“I can’t remember too much,” Jennie wrote about losing her mother. “Except that I missed her terribly.”

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Fun Mondays Treasure


We bought three "Grandmother Remembers" books for Christmas 1983. One for my mother, one for the hubby's Gram, and one for his mother.

Eighty-one year old Gram spent the next year working tirelessly filling every page. She even wrote and pasted pictures in the table of contents.

In the excitement of wrapping it for the hubby and placing it under the next years Christmas Tree, she could barely contain herself. When he opened it and began to leaf through her memories, she wiggled, giggled, smiled, and cried until all her wrinkles were filled with tears.

She passed away in 1997 at the age of 95. I'll be writing about her soon.

My mom died in 1993. We found the partially completed remembrance in a book shelf in her house. She worked on it slowly and thoughtfully. I guess I'm a lot like her in that I set things aside with the intention to get back to it soon. Although I look at the empty pages with some regret, the ones she completed are real to me. On them I sense her loving thoughts, the fragrance of her hand lotion, and the wear on each corner made by her work-roughened hands.

The third book is a sad story. I didn't take a picture because it is empty. The hubby's mom refused the opportunity to write her story. Perhaps someday we can come to terms with an empty book that signified an empty life that ended in 2003. My husband is a wonderful man, and for that reason alone I never dishonored her. Unfortunately, the unmarked pages do not deny the marks that were left on the minds and souls of her two children.

So todays treasure is in fact the love of two amazing women who filled our lives with blessings.

Head over to Karmyn's for all the Fun Monday participants

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Distracted


Distracted. In the best possible way. A 70 degree afternoon in February.

We chased our shadows, visited the slide at the park, and let mommy go visit her friends.

Macaroni and Cheese.

Grandma and Curly Mop.

Kisses and hugs.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

What's a Little Rain

I heard it begin tapping on the sky window last night.

However, you won't hear me complaining. Especially after reading about 12 feet of snow in that little town in New York.

This morning ABC news showed a video at least 10 times of a semi-truck smashing several cars into a state patrol car. It was recorded on the patrol cars front camera. Other video's featured sliding cars and pedestrians, snow removal from the roofs as well as streets, and other snow related misadventure.

GMA interviewed passengers who sat inside jets on tarmacs for up to 10 hours. Their Valentines Day trips to tropical islands became a day in hell. (This is not the first time I've heard about an airline holding hostages for that long. There should be a law)

I'm thankful for the gentle rain, the little bits of mud that spatter the backs of my pants as I run down the street with my umbrella. I 'm thankful for the sound of the tires as they swish past me on the street.

I know there are places today where the sun is shining on the palm trees. Lucky you.

I'm still happy.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Happy Valentines Day




















We are so romantic.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Why I Love Where I Live (Fun Monday #4)

Our town fathers were visionary. They planted trees and designed streets to showcase original architecture. Current civic leaders are committed to revitalizing the old and carrying on the tradition of creating beauty and substance. (click on the photo for a better view)


There are 18 public parks (and facilities).
That is a lot for a town of under 35,000 people.












This year all of our snow fell in Colorado or New York.
The trees are naked, but not ashamed.









There were trees on every corner.
Wind, age, and disease take their toll.
Most property owners replace those lost.










More.










On a rainy day I see their reflection.


They have spread their branches
over many changing seasons.









An old evergreen provides color in stark
contrast to the gnarled ancient deciduous.
But, their glory will come with summer.







Pretend that is a moat around
a castle. It rained much last night.











A house and tree from
my non existent passenger's view.












One of the six elementary schools.
The structure on the far right was built in 1898.
A few years ago the school district restored
the original and built the replica to its left
to accommodate the growing population.

The high school has a beautiful creek
that meanders through a 48 acre open campus.
(sorry I forgot to take a picture)





There are three institutions of higher learning. The
clock tower at the 4-year liberal arts college keeps
track of the times only a few blocks from downtown.






These ducks are graduates of the
"Use The Cross-Walk" course.

I obliged them.








Stone churches with stained glass windows.
Lots of churches.














Downtown is friendly and inviting.
In 2001 the city was a recipient of
The Great American Main Street award.
Coffee shops and wine tasting
are popular.








In 2002 Sunset Magazine named it as one of
The Best in The West.











In 2006 Money Magazine named my town
one of the countries "Best Places To Retire."

A Main Street merchant knows exactly
what all that publicity is worth.








To read more Fun Monday posts please click here and visit this Fun Monday Host Marnie at I didn't say it...!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Don't blame it on age, necessarily

On Wednesday, I returned home from work and took off my earrings. That is when I noticed they were not a matching pair.

No one mentioned it to me. The next day when I chided one of the younger women about not speaking up she said, "Honestly, I didn't notice it."

This comes on top of my disappointment at the ocean. We were preparing for a walk up the beach, so I opened my suitcase and removed the plastic bag carrying my heavier shoes. One shoe went on my left foot before I realized the second shoe was from a different pair. I would have shrugged that off and worn it, except it was also for my left foot. Trish and I sat on the floor and laughed tears.

I would blame it on my age, but I did things like this when I was younger.

In my mid thirties and my youngest was still playing dress up, I gave her my older high heels for fun. She must have left them out one evening and the hubby picked them up and threw them back in my closet. The next day I ran an errand during my lunch hour that included a stop for something in one of the swankier shops.

"Ma'am," the pretty young clerk asked, "Why are you wearing different shoes?"

I looked down at one much scuffed black, open toe, stacked heel versus one sling back, solid toe, blue narrow spike heel. That moment ranks right up with the "losing my swimsuit top" at the water slides for most embarrassing moment.

Granted, I had grabbed them in a dark room so as not to wake the hubby who was attempting sleep after fighting fire all night. That doesn't excuse the complete distraction from my appearance the rest of the morning. It was a head shaker.

Do you ever find yourself picking up other people's mugs and taking a sip, or putting their keys in your purse, or grabbing a pair of glasses and wondering why your eyes are so blurry?

Occasionally the hubby tries to put on a pair of my jeans. Wish I could wear his.

I believe my brain is too busy for the mundane things like making sure I put make-up on both eyes.

That is my story and I'm sticking to it.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

WOLFDEN BAR & GRILL, part 8

Wolfden Bar & Grill is a Soap Opera with each episode being written weekly by a different blogger. The story line has been all over the map, both in plot and place. The first seven episodes can be read at the following links.

Part one by wolfbaby
Part two by cathy
Part three by SmallTown RN
Part four by Willow Tree
Part five by DR. Rob
Part six by JIP
Part seven by Patient Anonymous

If you haven't been following the story, you should probably go back and read the previous episodes or you may think that I have lost my ever lovin' mind. Oh never mind, I probably have lost it. I can't believe I wrote this.
Apologies to those who have not been privy to the names and references that follow. Here is the long awaited Episode Part Eight (Hysterical Amnesia and Gas)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


I have a prescription pad,” Dr Rob groaned and turned his head slowly while his fingers massaged the back of his neck.

Patient Anonymous had not expected a response to the question she had posed sarcastically.

She was even more surprised as he began frantically looking at all the faces around the bar.

“Who are you, where am I, who am I, why do I have a prescription pad,” the frantic Dr. Rob’s questions were punctuated by his lashes blinking away the painful reflection of the neon beer sign in his eyes.

The tavern fell silent except for the Flat screen in the corner. Damaged by the spinning episode, the DVD continuously repeated the scene in Crocodile Dundee where the sexy journalist wears a thong in the Bush. She didn’t know that down under they wear them on their feet. Jip’s worm hole diversion to Australia had taken it s toll on the fixtures, as well as the people in the bar.

Willowtree rolled his eyes, which drew attention to the fresh red scar where the bullet had grazed a new furrow in his brow.

“Shut that #*!* thing off,” he commanded in French. The guy could speak 16 languages and read 23.

Still in her ballet shoes, Difficult Patient pirouetted across the table and reached for the off button. She was conflicted about pulling the plug. Mysti, who was stronger than ever before, laid her hand over Difficult Patients trembling one and disconnected the power.

“It will play again, “ Mysti promised.

All faces turned once more to the bar where Dr. A and the conjoined twins (Small TownNurse and Qualicum Nurse) helped Dr. Rob to the floor. There, in the peanut shells and shredded paper made from kangaroo poop, they planned a thorough examination.

Cathy, whose jacket barely covered her blossoming pregnancy, waddled around the tables and fell to her knees. She grabbed Dr. Rob’s hand.

“You know ME, don’t you?!” she was on the edge of hysterics. “You love me, you wouldn't forget who I am!”

Dr. Rob squinted up at her, then turned to Dr. A and said, "Oh, by the way..."

A thermometer was stuffed quickly and efficiently under his tongue by the Qualicum Nurse half of the twins as she told him that the erectile dysfunction episode was last week.

Moof and Pamela took this as their cue to grab Cathy and remove her to a booth before she made a fool of herself over a younger man.

“Cathy, you aren’t really pregnant,” Moof repeated firmly, but gently. “You are just hysterical. In fact, you have a hysterical pregnancy. Pamela and I figured that out quickly. See! Our bellies are back to their normal middle age spread."

Still miffed about having been given a square arse, Pamela sat in the corner and nodded her affirmation.

They’d been able to determine that the Aussies artificial insemination internet scheme to buoy the lagging birth rate had only generated bloating and gas. Although thwarted, Willowtree’s evil plot proved his theory that some people's kids are just little farts.

“Does he have Amnesia, too?” Wolfbaby sighed. (Not only was she physically spent from all the cleaning up the bar required after it's magical mystery tour, she was also mentally exhausted from her 3-year old daughter's birthday bash.)

She looked towards Heather and Beth to see if they were as concerned about Dr. Rob as she.

Beth poured another shot, began weaving across the room, and slurred, “Sssssometimes there are thingsssss you juz don't wannna remember.”

"I don’t even remember episode one," Heather complained, “but I swear on my Bible I’m clicking back to read them before next week.

Meanwhile, Susan and Karmyn were on the floor with their computers, attempting to find a novel approach to reach The Laundress, whose amnesia was held over from the three episodes previous.

“Why don’t you bang her on the head,” suggested Pearls and Dreams, “Sometimes in the movies that will kick start the memory process. ”

“I’m not willing to sacrifice my laptop for an unproven theory,” Karmyn replied in a crank.

“How about shock treatment?” Susan inquired. “Everyone can yell, BRAZILIAN WAX!”

The threat had no effect. The Laundress maintained her blank stare.

Jungle Tart, squatting close by, watched her like a wild animal ready to spring.

“Show her the mustard stain on her pants from the exploding hamburger,” she suggested, knowing The Laundresses obsession with spot removal.

“I hope,” she added “her product isn't tested on cats.”

Unnoticed by everyone else, Fallen Angel stepped out the back door to take a few deep breaths. She, too, was feeling slightly confused by the previous two episodes of (no Australian pun intended) Wizard of Oz style spinning. Perhaps the cool air would cure her wooziness.

In her distracted state, she didn’t hear the foot fall behind her in the alley. Nor was she aware of the dark shadow attached to the figure in the black cape and hat.

A sudden screech jolted Dr. Rob from his reverie. He jumped from the floor and raced for the back door.


Dr. A gave a fake laugh and vlogged, "this part may be a little whiney." Then he scurried out of the room after Dr. Rob, as though being chased by a pharmaceutical salesperson.


The conjoined twins began pulling each other in opposite directions, which spun them into a spontaneous break dancing exhibition.


There was no applause however, as all eyes had turned towards The Laundress, whose silence was suddenly broken when she burst out yodeling "The Lonely Goat Herd."

Stay tuned.



…………….. Will The Laundress remember the words? Has the terrifying figure in black returned? Is Dr. Rob running out on his co-conspirators in the hostile take over attempt of the Wolfden Bar and Grill? Will Cathy choose Lamaze or Maalox, and. . . . are mustard stains removable from white Capris?


Episode 9 will be brought to you next week by Heather at La Chaim. (May the farce be with her.)

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Sweets Nostalgia

Was it really that long ago?

The last time I tasted HOREHOUND CANDY DROPS was when Lyndon B. Johnson was the U.S. President.


I didn't like Lyndon Johnson because I saw him pull his Beagles up by the ears and make them cry.


I liked Horehounds.


Another occasional candy treat that my daddy brought home on payday was CHICKEN BONES. Can you believe those odd confection names?


Now I am a Hershey's girl. A rich, dark chocolate bar with nuts is about as good as it gets.


Nevertheless, this little taste of yesterday ended a less than satisfactory day on a sweet nostalgic note.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Fun Monday #3

Today I'm participating in Memorable Post Selection in the Third edition of what is now dubbed Fun Monday.

The posts chosen are important to me because each was my first impression of someone that I now consider a friend. A year ago, I was hardly aware of the blogging world, so having friends that I've never met in person is a new and intriguing experience.

Babe in The Mud was my introduction to the menagerie over at Another Chance Ranch. The near loss of her prize Percheron is documented in pictures and vivid descriptions. Julie has a wonderful perspective on people and life. Kind, considerate, warm and knowledgeable are adjectives I would use to describe her. I have to warn you, however, never to mistake her prize draft horses for mules.

One day I read some comments on another blog by Willowtree. I began lurking, so to speak, and reading some archives to see if he was as gnarly as his comments portrayed him to be. He was. Yippee, I can have a shower! convinced me that I should get to know this contrary Aussie - and since it was online, I wouldn't even have to hold my nose. The hubby likes to read him, too. PS. Willowtree, aka Peter, has a marshmallow filling.

Rosemary of Rosemary's Pentecostal Songs is someone from the greatest generation and has posted sparingly since I became a reader. I was hooked and reeled in when she wrote Mother and I Go To Town. She grew up in a different time and place. I hope she finds it in herself to bring more history to life for her family. . . . and for me.

I'm an animal lover, so when introduced to Marnie I empathized with her dog story. She was going through some difficult and expensive times with that pooch. She told of the misery he had endured and the ensuing treatment Simply Because I Love Him. Since then I have learned to love her humor, intelligence, and shared insanity. She writes about many things, even though her dog still strives to be the star of her show.

During the Superbowl this afternoon, I thought about a post that Robin had written at the beginning of the football season. It's A Whole New Ball Game allowed me into the head of a mother who had mixed feelings about her son turning out for the brutal sport. Today I wondered how many mothers of Bears and Colts had spent hours alternately grimacing and cheering. Robin keeps me laughing, crying, looking inside of myself for better, and looking at others with less criticism. Robins son will Quarterback the Titans someday.

Making choices was most difficult for me. To pick a memorable post out of all the blogs I read was like finding the best rock on an agate beach. Memorable posts drew me to every blog I read. In addition, the bloggers just keep churning them out.

I had to throw them in a hat, close my eyes, and draw.

Pop on over to Anecdotes, Antitodes, and Anodes to read the list of all participants in Fun Monday #3.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Scenes from the Beach




A reflective Gull












Beach Bum in my sights











Clipper the sea dog.








Forgotten Foam







Eye see shells









The Artful Dodger









and his friends






Mandatory Mermaids









..............................................

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Birds and Bioluminescence

Late Friday night I stood at the window that faced the ocean and saw something more than the incoming tide claiming the beach.

I grabbed my binoculars and then my bird book.

In the moonlight and the lights from the motel, I could clearly see over 100 little Sanderlings running in the surf. They were doing exactly what my National Audubon Field Guide described. "As a wave comes roaring in, the birds run up on the beach just ahead of the breaker, then sprint after the retreating water to feed on the tiny crustaceans and mollusks left exposed."

We turned off the lights in our room and we sat our chairs by the window to watch the little shorebirds antics. For well over an hour past our bedtime. They looked like ice-skaters because we couldn't see their legs moving. Back and forth they glided, always right below our window in the foamy breakers that at high tide were within five feet of the retaining wall. We walked down the outside stairs for a few minutes and could hear the"babies", as Sandra nicknamed them, chattering as though in conversation while they feasted.

"Here's some gooey stuff. Mmmmm, a crab. Quick, over hear. Run this way. No, that way. Glad the Seagulls are asleep. Here's a chewy one, yum? I got it first; get out of my way. Run Quick! Oh dear, that wave got my toes wet. Move fatty. Stop being a glutton and save one for me, will ya? "Oh don't you have pretty eyes. Let's get together when we head north, whaddaya say?"

When we were awakened at 3:00 from the discomfort of our self-inflicted sauna, the opened windows revealed the little guys huddled in a perfect circle as though they were resting and sharing each other’s warmth.

Another performance that we know was provided special just for us involved a life form much smaller than the naked eye could see individually. Possibly phytoplankton.

Something was sparkling in the curl of the wave just before it broke. It distracted us from the birds and we were mesmerized. Streaks of electric blue lights flashed and highlighted the breaking waves as they roared towards shore.

Each of us was seeing for the first time little lightening bolts created by a growth of plant-like phosphorescent organisms flashing horizontally through the waves. The lights move rapidly as if agitated by the sudden rise and then disappear as the wave curled. An occasional spark would flash when the water swooshed over some of the rocks and shells as it flattened out on the sand. Apparently, stimulation of the cells creates the flashes to scare away predators.

Yes, we ooooohed and aaaaahed, just like we would have in the thrill of an afternoon thunderstorm.

So, there we sat in the dark, in our pajama's, mesmerized by the life in and above the ocean.
What an amazing creation.










“Who kept the sea inside its boundaries
as it burst from the womb,
and as I clothed it with clouds
and wrapped it in thick darkness?
For I locked it behind barred gates,
limiting its shores.
I said, ‘This far and no farther will you come.
Here your proud waves must stop!’
Job 38