Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Zoom Zoom Zune

The best part of Christmas break is the ability to stay in my pajamas all day long. For me that would be a t-shirt and boxers or jogging pants. I was cleaning the same bedroom I have for 3 days (I’ve spent too much time on facebook instead of cleaned).
When I heard what sounded like a truck mud bogging and hitting another gear outisde. I tried to look out the window to see what was making such a commotion in my yard. But the only thing I could see was dust rising from the dry dirt lane…but no visible signs of anybody. So I poked my head out the front door to see who had driven up .When low and behold the UPS man was right there at the end of the sidewalk. It was nearly impossible to slam the door, run to the bedroom, search for a bra and return to the porch as though nothing had happened. No I had to face the not so ugly UPS man---braless.

I tried to make small talk, all the while hoping, that he doesn’t notice my embarrassment. He reaches out and hands me the small 1 pound package. Most special deliveries are Steven’s. But today the package was mine. So of course, I, like an idiot made a big deal about getting mail. The nice UPS man asked where the package was from. I stuttered around--- Ex-pleasure---some man named Mitch Lebnick….then I kind of started to think oh my …I’ve got dirty mail. Mr. UPS says “you might better open it before Steven comes home”. I laugh and wave good bye. Quiet surprised, like a little kid on Christmas, I immediately rushed in to open the package. The first thing I noticed was a slick black box.
I am really wondering what I had and if I should continue to open it in front of Charlee.

Then I notice the symbol from a promotion sponsored by FORD—Drive One 4 UR School.

Back in November, the high school was participating in a fundraiser sponsored by FORD, if you test drove a vehicle then they would donate some money to the high school. I debated on whether or not to do it, when I said what the heck. I had one of Katie’s best friends to join in on my adventure. We choose an expedition and a really cute salesman picked us. We jumped in the car and buckled up. I asked some questions to act as though, this Chevrolet Loving Girl might be interested. I tried to make connections with the young man by inventorying who I knew and who he knew. It just so happens that his sister is engaged to my cousin’s son. He directed me to follow the signs that mapped our course. I asked if we had to follow the path or could we go on our own escapade. He chuckled and said go where you want. We made the loop around millionaire square, when I inquired if the vehicle had the potential to go from 0 to 60 in 6. Once again he chuckled and said I don’t know, see. I thought he would croak when I slammed it to the floor. He laughed and wanted us to take another loop….needless to say he hated to see us leave. When we returned to the school parking lot, Mr. Wilbur was waiting his turn. I can only imagine that he did not provide as much as excitement as Danyal and me.

Back to the real story, I pealed open the paper to read the words….

Congratulations for your participation in the Drive One 4 UR School program, you have been selected as the winner of a Microsoft Zune portable music player. This Zune is an 8GB Black model ….holds up to 2,000 songs, 25,000 pictures or 25 hours of video.

Whoopee ….I never win anything. Pretty excited about the contents of my 1 pound box, I thought hot dog---Charlee now has her on mp3 player and she won’t mess up Katie’s. I knew the true value of my winnings due to Christmas shopping.

Just last week we looked at an ipod for Katie. She, of course, wanted the ipod Touch. Hoping we could find a cheaper similar thing...I noticed the Zune. So I had a pretty good understanding as to what I had actually won.

Not being able to afford the one she wanted we called around trying to find out who sold iPods the cheapest. During a conversation with Tyler he bargained with us to buy his ipod. It was a graduation gift and he wanted to upgrade to the 300 dollar one ---not sure why….but we snagged up his barely used iPod Touch for Katie.

Steven and I made several comments about this being one of the BEST Christmases she has had. On Christmas morning she opened her gifts—a pair of boots that did not fit, pajamas, jeans, and stocking goodies. She looked a little disappointed. After breakfast we headed across the yard for Christmas with the Hines. Once again she opened some not so “out of the ordinary” gifts. When around the corner Grandpa appeared strumming a guitar. Joy filled her soul. For years she has wanted a guitar.

Long story about the guitar –here’s the short version ---dude in the mountains is selling tools, G-pa notice guitar, inquires, man explains belonged to son, he OD-ed and died, guitar was given to him by grandmother, was her’s, special to him but since he is buying for granddaughter--sold. Tyler says it smells like weed--- great.
Katie is a little more invigorated by her gifts. The afternoon passes I realize I lost a gift…she goes to the trunk and finds her American Eagle bag….Ok things are looking up.

We go to mom and dad’s for Christmas. Tyler brings out the tiny wrapped gift and says here’s one of your gifts that was left in my bags…..Katie is thrilled and Charlee can not keep her hands off of it and wonders why she can’t have her own ipod touch???? She likes to hear the Gator game song—“I gotta a feeling…. tonight’s going to be a good, good night”

My plans are to see if Wal-mart or Sears will exchange it and upgrade for a newer iPod for Katie. Then Charlee and I would share the other one…

Friday, December 18, 2009

Jarred = SAFE

Praise the LORD!!!! My nephew Jarred is back at his home base and SAFE. He will have a short debriefing and will be home for Christmas in January. Words can not explain the joy that filled my soul when Kelley told me the news today.

Without a doubt, I know it is the Lord who has protected him.

Thank you for all the prayers for him while he serves our country. I am not sure if he will have to return again before his discharge.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Thirty Nine and Holding

  1. In honor of the BIG 3-9 here’s is a list of the thirty nine quirkiest and unique things that you may and not know about me. One attribute I did not list was my inability to type, spell and correctly proofread. So here is my disclaimer for my lack of “good “writing skills.

    2.Born the youngest of 4 to Frank and Clara Nell –2 brothers Kelley, Zane and 1 sister Angela. With barely 5 years between us, we are very close, to the point that when we moved to the big house we all still slept together or very nearby. As teenager, 2-3- or all us were in the same parking lot. At high school dances my brother Kelley always sought me out to dance. Until I was really old, I slept on a cot beside Angela. Most nights, she held my hand till I went to sleep on the other night she made spooky noises.

    3.I have lived in 4 houses-the barn house, the BIG house, house I had built in Trenton and our Cracker house that is over 70 years old. The majority of my life, I have been on a family farm. I was raised on a fairly big farm. I have picked more than my share of watermelons, tobacco and vegetables than I care to reminisce about. Although the days of loading tobacco were filled with never ending excitement. The house we live in has shared occupiance with rodents that live, thrive and eventully die in my attic. I 'll be here till we build or a pecan tree falls on it.

    4.Although it may not look like it I am a mild perfectionist.

    5.I love to cook and bake ---not pies. Beau can testify that I will cook almost anything. I have cooked fresh water cooter, birds and rattlesnake just to name a few.

    6.I collect cookbooks.

    7.I am half way to retirement. Only 15 years left. After my dear friend Marsha retires, I hope to finish out my last 10 years as the librarian.

    8.I despise germs and shiver at the thought of them. Hotel beds creep me out more than words can say. The mire thought that someone slept in my bed the night before makes me want to gag and has been known to cause dry heaving over the findings revealed between the sheets.

    9.The older I get the more I look like my dad’s nieces.

    10.Nothing is more indulging to me than clean sheets. Pure Heaven.

    11.There was a time in my life that I thought I could tan my pasty white body. As a teenager, I would fry unto the point of misery in the sun while picking watermelons or laying on the deck at the lake(I also squirted lemon juice in my hair hoping to be blonder) . Nowadays the folks at the tan bedding chuckle when I say “2 minute is fine”. I cover myself in so much sunscreen I could take my lounge chair to the sun and still remain ---white.

    12.You will never find me alone at the mall, grocery store, pool, riding in a car, anywhere. Being the youngest of 4 I hate to be alone. Do you think this is a little OCD?

    13. Born procrastinator – no matter how hard I try I am always 10 minutes or more late. Have committed this problem to prayer…but am not diligently seeking guidance. I have however pin pointed the problem—I underestimate how long it takes to get out of the house.

    14. I hate to get out bed. I find the greatest of comfort and security in the depths of my bed. The snooze sounds off way longer that I am to wiling to admit publicly. From my humble understanding this is a problem many Quincey are diagnosis with. Gosh, I when our genes interfere.

    15.I collect quilts. My favorite story from ENC 1102 was Everyday Uses by Alice Walker. It is priceless.

    16My best friend Kathy, graduated summa cum laude. I on the other hand graduated Thank the Laud. I have a no AA, nor have I taken an algebra or foreign Language. My useless BA is in Psychology with all the requirements for a BA in Elementary ED minus the internships. Later, I received my masters is in reading. I have tried to talk my husband into letting me start my doctorate. He says there is really no place for advancement in GCSD to warrant the degree.

    17. I am a giver…if I see a need I will secretly try to do my best to help with the problem. I have been known to literally give the vest I was wearing to someone who complimented me on it. Nine out of ten times, I will move debris from the road so others want have a wreck dodging.

    18.My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving. I think it’s the colors’

    19.For the last 23 years I have slept with the same brown teddy bear named Whubby, prior to take it was a black and white panda. He has tagged along on most of my vacations, the birth of my 2 children, and he has been on 2 mission trips. What a companion.

    20. Scrapbooking has become my newest obsession. I just wish I was good at it.
    I don’t like to sit on other people’s furniture (or cars)because it has cooties or maybe a fallen out hair lurking somewhere. Now hair grosses me out more that any other body discharge.

    21. I suffer form hormonal headaches- I have 2 killer headaches/ migraines a month. (I have one right now)

    22 I am the absolute worse for not staying in contact with people who mean the most to me.

    23. I have learned to tell people I love them.

    24. I cry every Sunday during the church worship services. My sweet honey has learned that I am okay. I am extremely stirred by the words in the hymns. My mind wonders a hundred miles an hour. I think about my Uncle Jack and Aunt Bernice and that she’ll find comfort. I pray for Jarred am his safety over seas. I pray for Devin and Annie. I think about how much Chris and Jean would love Christopher and Charlee. I wonder why God loves a sinner like me. I ponder why and what the composer was dealing with when they wrote the words. I just love the song service.

    25. Gosh nine more to go –what was I thinking. Undoubtedly I am a mom’s girl. Even as a 39 year old, when I am sick I want her near.

    26. Everyday I run off the road. It usually follows with the lecture never over correct or you’ll flip. The kids have gotten use to it.

    27. I love babies and for the most part all of them love me. My sister and I had a home daycare business in which we had 11 kids under 2. It was the best times.

    28. I love to entertain whether it is by a bond fire, swimming pool, or crammed in my house.

    29. Pure idiots seek me out, at Wal-mart. Then I am trapped talking and counseling weirdoes. I think they sense that I have a degree in Psychology and feel the vibes that I too am an idiot and will talk to anyone. I love to make small talk with perfect strangers. Three summers ago I had a conference in DC. On the subway, I talked with old ladies, business folks and freaks. Never ride an elevator with me, I will speak to everyone riding—that is unless they have a stray hair dangling waiting to fall. Seriously, at youth camp I invited some kid back to our room for supper with our youth —he brought the silverware.

    30. My brother Zane taught me how to water ski. I attempted to ski on a pair. After a few (like 2) attempts I said let’s try one. I got up and have never been able to ski on 2. The most ironic part of this story is I am deafly afraid of the water. It is understood before I jump in that, as soon as I fall, they immediately turn around to get me before the gators and grass does. As a matter of fact I keep a life jacket wrapped around my feet in the event that the boat should flip or I fly out.

    31. I am a hoarder of family heirlooms—butter churns , cow brands, water pumps, eye glass cases, old boots –but most of all my girls clothes. It seems as though every outfit as a fond memory I don’t want to forget. Heck, I always leave one of my husband’s shirts behind when I take the rest to the cleaners, just so I can pick it up and smell it.

    32. I hate to be a passenger in the car. I usually end up with a weasy stomach and whirling head.

    33. I only drink fresh made Sweet tea, Dr Pepper, Root Beer and Mr. Pibb. if I have to I’ll sip on a very cold coke.

    34. If I am sitting on the floor, I will make a small pile of trash, in which I have plucked from the carpet.

    35. I watch very little TV. My favorite shows include –Little People Big World, What You Get for the Money, before the break up Jon and Kate, Friends but my most favorite--SNAPPED.

    36. I have been on 3 mission trips – Washington DC, Erie PA, and New Orleans, LA. Each touched area in my heart.

    37. My girls are 12 years apart. Yeah some days I wonder what was I thinking but most days I am bless to have 2 complete different and unique girls. However I don’t think Steven and I will ever be ALONE.

    38. I was introduced to my honey love by a student in my class. However the love sory began way sooner. In the late eighties I was to attend ABAC, but due to a high school love decide to stay in Chiefland. If I had gone I would have meet Steven then. Many years later while attending the Wild Beast, I spotted the hottie in Wranglers, when my sister stated He dated ___ he’ll never date you. Months later I attended a Rick Coram Revival at Mount Pleasant some cutie when walking by then turned back to look—I had no idea who he was but my heart skipped a beat. A year or so later I attended another beast feast with date who engaged in a long conversation with this handsome cowboy. Along with persuasion of my aid Missy and student Brandon, I agreed to attend a church softball game. It was here that I finally meet the man I had had numerous chance encounters with. Since that day we have only been nearly inseparable. Occasionally everybody needs a little time away.

    39. Last but not least I am a sinner saved by God’s grace. My favorite Bible story is found in Luke 10:38-42. I see myself as both Mary and Martha. Sometime I am caught up in doing the preparation like Martha that I neglect spending time at hHs feet just as Mary did. Take time today to examine your life--- are you busy with the preparations of Christmas or are you spending time with the reason for the season –Jesus.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Come Join Us

Friday will be Katie's last home game. At 6:45 they will recognize the seniors who play football, the band and cheerleaders. Yes, I know it is hard to believe that Katie Baby is a SENIOR. The only reason I know is because of the endless need for money and all the college junk mail on my kitchen table.

The cheerleaders are undoubtedly the best part of the game.....and no I am not partial.... just ask my mom. I am still debating with Steven about having a tailgating party at 6....hopefully I will win out.

If you can not make it this week we play PK in G'ville next week. Maybe we'll see you before graduation.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

No Cows Needed

The NJAA National Show was undoubtedly one of the highlights of our summer for all of us. Next year’s show is in Denver, needless to say, we are already inquiring about plane tickets and hotel accommodations. I tried desperately to get Steven to go instead of me because I am not as knowledgeable as Steven is about the cattle industry. I thought I would be a fish out of water. Little did I realize that this was more my cup of tea. If you are short on time, scroll on down to Wednesday for the most adventurous day of the week.

I had to beg my mom to go with me. We left Sunday after church and headed to Perry Georgia, a 4 hour trip that took closer to 7 due to all the extra stops. I just can’t help but stop at the outlet at Lake Park. The next morning we had to be at the Georgia Fair Grounds to meet with the other Junior Angus Queens from across the country to attend a Queens Luncheon. I left my mother, Charlee, Dillon and Presley in good hands. Steven’s college friend Doug and his wife accepted us as family that week.

The luncheon was definitely a southern affair.

We had a Chicken Strip salad with roasted pecans and for dessert, none other than pecan pie. After all, we were in Georgia, the world’s pecan capital. The keynote speaker did a phenomenal job. She gave suggestion on how to be a true Southern Belle.
Dress appropriate the less revealing the better
Wear the essential makeup items mascara and lipstick
Remove makeup at night and faithfully use moisturizer
ALWAYS write thank you cards

I excused myself to go to the bathroom---upon entering the bathroom, I thought of my friend, Carrie. I had to go back to the dining room get my camera and take a picture of this… antique silverware for the handles on the bathroom stalls…..priceless.

We returned to the cow barns to find my family totally excited and ready for the next adventure. Ms. Tammy had shown them the hospitality room. The Georgia Auxiliary had a kiddy corral with tons of activities, movies, treats and older kids to entertain them. For the adults, they offered tables to mingle with others. If I must say, the folks from Georgia know how to entertain. They served homemade cookies and pound cake, seven layers cookies, fresh Georgia peaches, blueberries, fresh watermelon, peanuts, chips, sweet tea, lemonade and ice cold water. Swings and rocking chairs were set up for the guest as well. The tables covered with white and green tablecloths were decorated with magnolias, peaches and lilies. Truly beautiful and to think it was a COW SHOW.

We hurried to eat supper so they kids could have their picture taken with the other members. Oh did I forget to mention, that most of our meals were provided free of cost. I love that Georgia hospitality. We ate Monday night with the Johnsons.
That night was the open ceremonies. It reminds me of the Olympics. Each team assembles together and walks in with their states flag. The MC announced the officers, royalties and significant contribution the club has been involved in. Katie is also the Vice President.
For the entertainment, John Berry put on a concert. All the kids danced and hopped around the showing, while the adults reminisced about the songs he was singing. After the concert he signed autographs and talked with everybody.

The final event for the first night was ice cream sundaes provided by the Nebraska Cattlemen. I loved their aprons…

Tuesday wasn’t as adventurous but definitely as busy. We started the morning off with a pancake breakfast. This machine squirts out 4 pancakes in a row and moves along dropping more down the griddle. The chef immediately begins flipping pancakes. As hungry breakfast goers come up to the table, they are handed a plate. That’s when the fun begins. The Chief pancake flipper starts flinging pancakes at them. If it lands on the floor he quickly comments “I’ll give that one to your mother-in-law.” For the kids, he would make pancake artistry. It was a highlight of the week we’ll never forget.

After breakfast the young cattlemen attended a seminar on grooming and caring for your animals. I wrote out flash cards for Dillon and Katie to study for the quiz bowl. Mom read a book and the girls ran around. Nothing special, that was until after lunch. This was my most favorite part of the week—the Certified Angus Beef (CAB) Cook off. I know what could possibly fun about a cook off. It wasn’t the cook off that was fun but the skits that followed. Each group of cattlemen cooked their CAB meal. Then they perform a skit promoting CAB, after the skit the judges are asked to sample the product of the cook off. Each state’s group “sets” a table. The judges’ politely chews and savors the meat while asking questions and holding conversation with the youth. Notice the moss used to decorate the table. A new idea for Cindy Jo....The best performance was by a brother and sister that sang “Anything you can grill, I can grill better….no you can’t ….yes, I can.” We sang the song all week long. Unsurprisingly, they won first place. That evening supper was not provide so we went to Cracker Barrel. After wards on our way back to the motel, I noticed a dude painting the parking lot. Being dedicated to my blogging and the need to seek adventure, I had to stop the car and assist the dude with his job. It wasn’t long before Katie barreled out of the car to take her turn. Although the rest of the car wanted to, they remained in the car dying laughing.

Wednesday, the cow shows began. Unfortunately, we left our animals at home. For once we had time to enjoy the show from the other side of the fence. Katie and Dillon along with the Johnson crew had to get up early to serve breakfast to their fellow cattlemen. Mom, Presley, Charlee, Maddelyn and myself sleep in and later explored Hobby Lobby. We watched some of the team sales events to cheer on the Turnpike Creek kids. Lunch was the most delicious ribs…yes I gnawed the mess out of those things. I usually do not eat messy food in public nor do I chew on bones. We headed back to our favorite spot—the hospitality room. We gathered around the table and did some last minute cramming for the quiz bowl that Dillon and Katie were to participate in. Dillon was on a mixed team with kids from Kansas, South Dakota, and Virginia.

His team made it to the Elite Eight.

One of Katie’s fellow team mates decided at the last minute she didn’t want to do it so, Katie completed the quiz for experience.

We had supper on our own at Cheddar’s. We were totally impressed and filled to capacity after the appetizer. After dinner, we took the kids back to the hotel to swim while Katie and I went looking for an outfit. Katie realized after she observed the other queen’s that she need to dress more formal than boots, jeans and sparkly shirt. In other words, we needed to buy some fancy clothes for her to work in the arena passing out ribbons and awards. We ransacked the racks at Kohl’s (I never find anything at that store) with only 15 minutes before the mall closed we hurried through Belk’s. I found a few things but nothing that overly impressed Katie. We decided we should try Target as our last result. Due to all of our hurry, we had not stopped all evening to go to the bathroom. With a little extra time to spare, I thought we could stop. This was my first mistake of the evening. I walked in the bathroom to find some women sprawled over the toilet hanging on for dear life. Let me set the stage-- This lady’s hair is draped over the sides of the toilet, her face can’t be seen, beside her is her purse, shoes flung around the stall, her backside is hanging out, several cups encircled her and she is almost non responsive. Now that I think about it, it may have been the echo of the commode that made her hard to understand.

Being a Good Samaritan, I asked if she was okay. To no avail, she gurgled sometime that only demons can translate. Let me give you a little insight – I do not take care of my own children when they are sick, bleeding or throwing up. I realized I need additional help because Katie had abandoned me. I step outside to see if I could alert management of the lady’s condition. I did not want my fingerprints on nothing if this was a crime scene. The young inexperienced boy in the red shirt was no help. He sent the manager in, not really, he called me outside because he couldn’t come in the bathroom with me. He said they had called her husband to come get her 30 -40 minutes earlier. I wonder how long the woman had laid there with her head bobbing up and down in the toilet. I returned to the bathroom to check on my new friend. Once again, I noticed Katie had left me alone with the woman. I went outside, snapped my finger and motioned to her to come here, when this gentleman starts heading my way. I already had enough trouble without some man thinking I was making moves on him in the Target foyer.
Quickly I said “I am trying to get my daughter’s attention” and he replied “I thought you worked here”.
Note…. I was wearing a blue Hines Cattle Co Shirt and khaki shorts….that would be a negative.
He then added “someone called me, my wife is sick.”
“Oh” I responded, “I know right where she is”.
He followed me in the bathroom. Soon the stall was over following with spectators. The husband was straddling his wife and the toilet, when he realized he could get back out. The manager tries to disassemble the doors to the stall, which requires special tools. He’s fumbling around stepping over the woman. I am offering advice and suggestions as to why she was sick. The husband, well, he is clueless. He commented he had never seen his wife throw up and he didn’t know what to do. When he up and decides that the toilet needs to be flushed. Remember if you will that the woman is non responsive. I have yet to see her face nor has she moved from the tight embrace she has held on the toilet. When the husband says in the sweetest voice “Honey, we…we… need to flush this…then bam with giving her time to move or pick her head up from the deep valley….he flushes. If you know what I know about toilets---- stuff splashes…that is all I am going to say. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, this woman must have been near heaven’s gates to have not jump up and kill her husband right there. Then the manger finally loosens the stall door providing ample room for all. After about 30 minutes, the unmerciful daughter walks in and demands that mom GET UP. Mom still does move only moans and gurgles. Once again I offer the suggestion of call the EMTs to come a least give her an IV. Then the non news watching man says “we don’t have insurance”. OH…..that explains it all. I quickly made my exit to allow the family time to plan what to do. I commented Obama was trying to help and left. Through all the commotion Katie had once again left my side for the hunt to find queenly attire. She finds a black dress on sale for 15 dollars S-O-L-D. WE scrounge around for some bling. I return to the bathroom to find the manger re-hanging the stall door. The woman, her loving husband and over compassionate daughter had left the building. The manager granted them 10 minutes or he was calling 911. They gathered up the woman and left. After I thought about it I wondered if the woman had a heartache or stroke. I’ll never know. But one thing I do know is I can’t believe I didn’t take pictures for the purpose of the blog.

We made it back to the hotel with our bags full of loot. We finished our meal from Cheddars and headed to bed. I had had way to much adventure for one day.

Thursday was yet another day of excitement. Dillon made it to the Elite Eight on the Quiz bowl. Once again we began cramming for the test. I can no longer say that I do not know about the cattle industry. I learned about the reproductive systems and difficulties with ….with …. you know bull problems. Apparently bulls need Viagra too. We know all the prominent members and officers, the background behind the Angus foundation, feeding and watering intakes, you name it, we learned about it. Dillon’s team went up against the team from Kansas which won first place plus on of the members is the son of Gardiner Angus, BIG producers.

Mom insisted that we eat at the Yoder's. It was okay....don't waste your unless your all about "enviroment"

It was a great experience for all of us. Friday we hung out then left to come home after lunch. We are already booking our trip out west for next year's show...get your plane ticket and join us. No cows needed..

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Peas Please.....

IF the week before last wasn’t bad enough, I had to endure yet another week of ….I am not really sure what you would call it. At school, we along with the other 67 plus school districts, kindergarten through 12 grade, started FAIR testing. If you don’t know what that stands for let me explain ….sheer chaos, butt chewings, hate email mixed with electronic progress monitoring that throws you off the Internet each time you log on. This however, happens to be mandated by the state!!! I am beginning to wondering why I choose to leave the class room to assume the position of Reading Coach. Needless to say the last few days at work have been anything less that invigorating.

Last Thursday night, I came home completely exhausted mentally, physically and emotionally, due to “the sister’s” soon arrival. My feet felt as though elephants had trampled on them. I have no one to blame for my feet except me. I like a total idiot wore heels, you know, the uncomfortable kind to run the FAIR Marathon in. The six teachers that tested that day were literally located at the three furthermost points on the campus. I had to run back and forth to assist teachers and combat Internet demons that only Jesus could call out. After school, I had stopped by the store to pick up a few needed items to make tacos.
Any way, by the time I had arrived home I could barely trot as my mother would say. I went to the wash machine to rewash the clothes that had already been rewashed 2 other times, when I noticed a peculiar stench. Not the normal aroma of our cow pen after a heavy rain, more ….well…. a sickening, a foul smell. I took a quick look around my laundry porch, when I noticed the unbelievable. There dripping from my freezer’s door was my Blue Bell’s Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream, mixed with blood from all sorts of meats and stank ice from the freezer. I can’t believe as a kid, I loved to scrap it from the top of my Grandma and Grandpa Q’s freezer and make icy drinks. We were too poor to get them from the Jiffy so we thought that was the BEST. My first thought was “Oh no, surely the rest of my peas aren’t gone!!!!! IF you don’t know what I am talking about, check out my last post. We had close to a 100 bags of peas stolen. I could have laid down in my puddle of yuck and cried. But, I did what any southern girl would do I called mom, not mine she lives too far away. I called my sweet blessed, precious, priceless, irreplaceable, loyal, fantastic, kindhearted, dear sweet mother-in-law. She immediately walked the 50 steps over to my house and began helping me rescue my remaining peas, Steven’s deer meat and a couple of packages of corn from 2006. I called the best brother-in law, I never had and his quick thinking, wonderful wife to come and help us eat the Feast of the Defrosted Freezer. I use the words never had, because my honey is an only child, Kelley P. is the closest thing to a sibling he knows. He loves and treats her like a little sister.

Our adventure began. We worked and chiseled.
We used the blow dryer.
We banged and busted. We gouged and poked. My mother –in law and I looked like gold miners digging for treasure in the Alaskan snow. As matter of fact, she even called me a “gold digger”. It embarrassed her so, she couldn’t stop apologizing. I just laughed. I knew what she meant.
We called Pete, a man who use to work on the farm to come get the remaining thawed meat. He was thrilled to death to leave our house with 3 coolers of choice beef, buffalo burger meat, venison, smoked turkey and a whole bunch of other stuff. I believe that the Lord will provide you with opportunities to bless others even when you feel as though you do not have an offering.
Before long we had the freezer empty and it was time to cook all the un-selected thawed remnants from the freezer. We grilled Omaha steaks, pork chops, and turkey breast. I made hash brown casserole. I made a big pot of peas and delicious cream corn.
While we labored on the freezer and prepared the meal, Katie, Dillon and the men worked with the show heifers.
I think this year we are hauling the most we have ever carried to shows. Katie has 6 heifers she is breaking, 2 bulls and 1 Braham, not to forget the ones from last year….I do not know how the child does all that she does. But that’s a whole other post.

At supper, our table looked as though it was set for a King. That was until the peasant smelling (and looking) partakers sat down. We enjoyed the feast of the defrosted freezer. Everybody had a plenty. It’s amazing how my meal went from simple tacos to a full blown dinner on the grounds.

After dinner Kelley, so sweetly she immediately started cleaning the kitchen and the younger men head off to tackle the remaining mess on the laundry porch.
They scrubbed and bleached everything.
Notice Steven's mud boots
The girls and I headed to bed. It seemed just as my eyes would close, my honey would give a holler, I would jump out of bed wondering what the commotion was only to find him seeking my approval—I know your husbands never do that. Finally they had conquered the beast. They placed my precious remaining packages of peas, corn and venison back in the freezer. Steven and Tom must have prayed over the freezer, to date my freezer continues to freeze and no one else has snagged anymore of my peas.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Victims of the Hard Economy

This past summer, my husband labored intensely the week we were at youth camp to pack our freezer with peas from the garden. He picked, shelled, cooked and then sealed the delicious peas in Ziplocs. Needless say our freezer was packed to the brim. We had well over 120 bags. I had also put up close to 30 bags myself earlier in the summer.

This past week, we had a beef butchered because of the unfortunate death of a cow in the cow pens. My mother-in-law went to the market to pick the meat up and then headed home. When she arrived home, she immediately went to the chest freezer to put the meat away. When she noticed the unthinkable more like unforgivable…… Most of our peas were GONE ….Yes, I said GONE. Someone had stolen all but about 30 bags of our peas. Thank the Lord, my cream corn is still at mom and dad.:~) Being quite alarmed and puzzled, Steven calls me at school to question the missing peas…as though I had, in 2 months, cooked 100 bags of peas. I know we have a lot of dinner on the grounds at church but definitely not that many.
We have yet to solve our mystery, but I am praying not that the person that stole my peas not choke on them, but that they may survive these hard economic times. If any of you know anything about me (and my dad), you know that we would give the shirt off our back to anybody that has a need. I am not an economist, but I undoubtedly know that money, jobs and security are and going to be a thing of the past. I have told myself over and over, that the day would come when we would be burglarized….only I thought it would be our home not our freezer and they would take something of great value, not steal the efforts of my (our) hard labor and food.

I have already informed my dad to plant a few extra rows of fall peas for me. This is just another “good excuse” to spend time at mom and dad’s. As with any canning season, I am sure an adventure awaits….and hopefully no more PEA Thieves will invade our freezers.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Summary of Summer

I am not exactly sure where I need to start. I am so far behind with my post that I have a million stories to tell and little time to write. As most of you know, I am never on time, but recently I have been convicted about my lack of time consciousness. With that being said, I am going to do picture post to tell about my fast and furious end of school and wild summer. I debated on whether or not to publicize my crazy side, but most of you have seen crazier. I ask, that no one make comments recollecting those times. Here’s a quickly from May to Mid July minus 2 or 3 really good stories that I will give special attention later. It seems that every second of our summer vacation has had some sort of adventure. I hope you enjoy the summary of my summer….

Katie will soon inherit my car. She complains often; excuse me…. she complains daily about the car. She wants a truck. I have tried to explain that not many seniors can drive a car such as ours that not only hits 80 in seconds but also rips the hide off un-expecting rattle snakes.

Unfortunately, much of our late spring and summer has involved slaying snakes. This particular snake lost his life on the side of the highway due to the inability to get off the road fast enough. The first victim of the year was at Ashley’s during a girl’s night out, I noticed the pregnant momma kitty throwing something in the air and then flinging it. I, being too curious for my own good, went outside to see what she was doing. Our youth minster wife, who has a doctorate degree in wildlife, varied that it was a corral snake after reviewing a book on native snakes. We had trouble reciting the cute little snake rhyme “red on yellow kill a fellow, red on black friend of Jack”. Ashley being brave and noble beheaded the snake with a small…very small machete. Beside the rattle snake and corral snake, the other night on the way to church, I slammed on breaks, throw the car in reverse then frankly jammed in the car back in drive and continued with such spastic moves until a poor little corn snake lay dead on the nature trial that leads to my house. Katie’s lifetime friend Danyal, thought I had lost my mind as she was thrown about in the backseat until she saw the evidence of my madness—a dead 12 inch snake. Have I mentioned I HATE snakes?

Towards the end of the school year, my dear friend and librarian Marsha hosted a book fair. The not so intelligent me, thought it would be cute to dress up as Clifford to encourage students to visit the book fair on Family night. Remember if you will, our springs are unbearable hot, but even more so inside a BIG RED DOG costume. I commented that if I should ever, feel the desire to dress up again …I was wearing my bathing suit underneath it. That was until I thought about all the cootie that resides inside….yew yuck. One little boy told his mother that he knew that was a man in the Clifford costume because he had hairy arms. If you haven’t seen arms, let me elaborate…. I barely have peach fuzz on my arms. In the past, I have been known to ride a midsize child’s bike into 40 classrooms hooping and hollering to encourage our kids to attend an event at school. Other than the severe soreness in my legs for days, the bike ride was the easiest and least exhausting. Can you believe that some people had the nerve to ask me if, in near 90 degree temperatures if I would stand in the drop off area and wave to the families. I think, I send this individual a Christmas Card. I’m making a note to cross them off the list.

We’ve celebrated Mother’s Day with muffins for moms. Then our family had a late lunch at our favorite buffet restaurant. The big adventure of the day was driving by the river to see how high it had risen. It was just another day in paradise. lol

Our youth host a spaghetti supper and Mount Pleasant Idol to raise money for youth camp. Steven was asked to serve as Randy. I personally think he is more like Simon.

We had all sorts of talent--- pig calling, cat imitations, and lots singing. The church had the great opportunity to hear my nephew Quin and Maddielyn sing a duet. After the performance, Jamie, the youth minister and MC for the night asked Quin who was his favorite singer and song. With out hesitation he said “Toby Keith, Beer for My Horses and Whiskey for My Men”. The crowd went wild. Did I tell y’all I ate Toby Keith restaurant in Oklahoma City, excellent place to eat and even awesomer atmosphere. I had lamb fries. They weren’t bad.

Katie had cheerleading try outs. At the time, she thought this was great…now …. not so much. Their coach was a college cheerleader and performed competitive so needless to say they train like “athletes”. No comment at this time----

The FFA won the Plates for Plates contest. The club sold the most FFA license plates. This entitled the club to have Commissioner of Agriculture Charles Bronson teach Ag for a day.

At lunch, his personal chef cooked a meal for the members. The food was incredibly different from anything most of our rural rooted kids have ever seen, much less tasted.

I personally along with my table mate Carrie thought it was excitingly different. The chef has a blog, but I have not been successful in finding the site.

We attended the Ranch Rodeo in which my crazy brother-in-law served as the entertainment for the evening as the Rodeo Clown. Although the weather was awful, we had a great time. If you have not attended the event in the past, I encourage you to go this year. It is always held Memorial Day weekend at the Horsemen’s’ Arena in Williston . It is unlike any thing you have ever seen. The best part to me is the buddy pick up. Nah, my favorite is the wild cow milking. Um I changed my mind it is the wild bronco saddling. Okay, I really think my favorite is the event in which they unlaod the horse then quickly saddle him, race to the other end, come back unsaddle the horse and load him on the trailer again. Yeah that's my favorite.

We ended school with a BIG bang and celebration. The kids enjoyed every minute of the day not to mention Charlee crashed the party.
I wonder where the summer went. It seems like just yesterday, that we bid farewell to the students and celebrated the last day of school. A tradition at our school, the teachers create a line and sing……Nah Nah, Nah Hey, hey good bye. Embarrassingly enough, I was get choked up and can’t sing. I usually blame the tears on the sun or allergies.

After 3 years at Kid’s World, we closed that special chapter in Charlee’s life. They have tenderly cared for and loved my baby as their own.

Summer started off with a bang, the first week out Katie headed to the FFA convention in which she won the Beef Proficiency. We recently found out that she did not place nationally but received a Silver medal honor …I thought we entered a FFA contest not an Olympic. My lovely husband went with mom and me to the convention even though he complained about my driving he didn’t show his butt……

Well maybe he did a little. We had trouble with the seats in mom’s vehicle. I think before it was over, we all had to ask for forgiveness for using language only sailors use.

As I had mentioned in an earlier post, for the first time in years, and I do mean years, I attended youth camp. I had a blast. However next year, I want to chaperone the boys. Every night they stayed in our room and entertained us. Ashley served as head “cook” and I assisted and cooked breakfast. We meet the group Unhindered.

They were precious. I invited them back to eat with our youth group, but they had previous an engagement (yeah right). I had a personally hair dress and enjoyed shopping with the girls and Tyler.

Every chance I got, I spent some time at mom and dad’s. It is undoubtedly my most favorite place on earth. I also had the opportunity to cream field corn and sweet corn.

Maybe soon I’ll update the recipe blog and include some of my summer recipes as well as my recipe for canning the most scrumptious corn. We had tons juicy watermelons, yummy eggplants, lots of pots of peas and loads of pods of okra. I love summer vegetables.

Most the summer, I spent as much time as possible soaking up the sun. On this trip to the pool, the Johnsons did some “deep pool dove” to harvest water logged earth worms.

They were more excited about their finds than swimming. We enjoy our pool (and porch), it serves as a wonderful mission field for us to minister to some kids in our youth group and neighborhood. My question to you is ----What do you have that could be used as a vehicle to help others come to know Christ or build a strong relationship with Him?

This has been the most memorable spring and summer that I have had in a long time. It is obvious that I have been busy and have traveled all about because my house is a disaster zone and looks as though we have been robbed. Maybe since school has started back, I will develop a routine that allows for organization and outrageous adventures as we embark on Katie’s senior year and Charlee’s kindergarten year.