Thursday, December 29, 2011

Life Is Way Too Short

I just finished reading a book by Fanny Flagg (love her) called "I Still Dream About You".  I wasn't too sure if I was going to like it, it's very unlike most of her other books, but as it went on I came to love the story and, most of all, the characters.  I especially loved Maggie Fortenberry, the main character and former Miss Alabama who is now in her 60's. Maggie has lived most of her life with her past in the fore front of her mind, at least until the end of the book.  I won't tell you the ending, you may want to read it yourself and be delightfully surprised, as I was.  Oops, sorry, spoiler.
Anyway, what with reading the book and the coming of the new year I have come to the same conclusion that Maggie did; life is just too darn short to waste it.  I've made a mental list of things that life is too short to do or not to do, and I'm going to share them with you if you're interested.  I'd be willing to bet that you have a list of your own.
First of all, life is too short to hold a grudge, even against a sister who keeps doing the same dumb things time and time again.  I've decided that I can't help what she has done or what she will do in the future, I can only help how I react to her.  She's my sister and I will love her despite her actions. Although, I won't always love her actions.  I am not going to pass by Carlos' donut shop  when  I am dying for an apple fritter.  I'm going to stop in, say hi to Carlos, order my donut and sit and eat and relish it guilt free.  I am not going to feel personally offended when the mean checker at the grocery store doesn't even look at me and say thank you, I will simply understand that perhaps she's had a crappy day.  We all have those from time to time. Life is too short to not stop cleaning the kitchen and sit down with my grandchildren and play the new game they got for Christmas, Queen something or other.  I'm not going to covet that cute little green Fiat that I love that is parked in the lot by Jack in the Box and wonder how could someone who works at a fast food place afford that car.  I'm just going to be thankful that I don't have a car payment.  Life is absolutely too short to wear those cute red high heels that I bought, but make my feet feel like I've just walked 100 miles in combat boots across the Gobi Desert.  I am not going to feel guilty about my reality tv shows that bring me much amusement.  I am going to enjoy every single day of this new year and hopefully handle the bumps in the road with grace.  And...I am going to stop slouching and stand up straight.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Meta World Peace?  Give me a break.

I Can Do Stuff Now

Yes, indeed.  As my son-in-law said, I've have finally joined the 21st century.  It takes me awhile to transition from one century to the next, but I did it!
I got a new phone, a phone that does stuff.  All sorts of stuff, stuff I never even dreamed of doing before.  My new phone makes me feel like I have been carrying around one of those foot long, 5 pound phones from the....was it the 70's?  Anyway, I LOVE my new phone.
Only one problem, texting.  Now, I don't do a lot of texting, but people text me and I don't want them to think I am ignoring them so I like to text them back, it's only polite.  Texting on my old phone was easy, isn't it suppose to be even easier on these new fangled things?  I thought it was going to be a breeze.  I watch tv, I see Rizzoli get out her phone and do remarkable things in no time flat.  I want to do that.  But, for some reason I cannot seem to send a text.  What the heck is wrong with me? 
So, I do what I always do.  I call my daughter.  She comes over and takes my phone (she's a wiz with this kind of thing) and plays with it and plays with it and finally gives up,  She cannot figure it out either.  Surely we are not both stupid, are we?
Well, Steve and I are going into town to go to a movie so we may as well stop by the ATT store and see what they say.  There was a reason that I ordered my phone on the phone and not the ATT store, now I remember what it was....they are not any smarter then I am.  They cannot determine the problem, they don't know why I cannot send a text.  "I think you should just call and see what they can do for you" says the no brighter than I am girl.
So, I do.  It took them all of 10 seconds to figure out what the problem is.  When I ordered my phone the girl on the other end of the phone took my texting plan off of my phone plan.  Why did she do this, I ask.  Don't know, was the reply.
She put it back on my plan and now I am a happy texter again.  And I must say that I felt not nearly as dumb as I was just moments ago.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Perfect Tree

This Christmas season, with the circumstances of my dad's health and my mom's incredible strength, tons of childhood memories just keep flooding back to  me.  I was talking to my mom the other night and we were talking about how he was "before".  We were remembering all the Christmases that we all shared as a family and the time that my dad put the whole tree, yes the entire thing intact, into the fireplace.  We held our breath and watched as the fire blazed, one of us kids, I'm sure, with phone in hand  and finger on the last 1 of 911, praying that the fire department wasn't busy responding to another home where the dad had the same great idea as ours.
I remember going out to find the perfect Christmas tree with my dad.  Oh my goodness, what a chore it always turned out to be.  We drove from lot to lot looking for perfection.  Us kids would find one and point it out to our dad, "how about this one, it's beautiful" we would all plead.  "No, that's not quite it".  So our search would continue....and continue.
When we did find the perfect tree, we tied it to the top of the car and took it home in excited anticipation of decorating it.  That was a family affair.  However, Dad was there to direct our every movement with a critical eye. I   remember trying to toss tinsel on the tree a little haphazardly and was gently scolded and shown how to put it on very deliberately.
As an adult and as my children were growing up I saw so much of my dad's traits in me.  Christmas, at least the picking out the tree part of it, was miserable for my children.  I had to find the perfect tree, I knew it was out there somewhere.  Nothing less would do.  And. although, I always thought we found it, when we got it home it more often than not resembled Charlie Browns pathetic little tree.   Perhaps I should have listened when the children showed me their perfect trees, sorry kids!  I did try to be gentle and tolerant when decorating the tree and I'm hoping that they never saw me cringe when they placed two red ornaments too close together.  I bit my tongue and waited patiently until they all were tucked into bed and then I rearranged the offending ornaments. 
I find myself doing some of the same things my dad used to do.  BUT, you will never find the fire department at our home on the day after Christmas responding to a call of a tree burning in the fireplace.

Fudge Recipe on the Back of a Jar of Fluff, Easy!

I have never kidded myself into thinking that I can cook, I know that I can't and I'm okay with that.  However, I've always thought of myself as a pretty good baker and candy maker (with the exception of chocolate chip cookies).  My problem stems from the directions, it's not that I can't read them or understand them, honestly.  I learned to read in school and I'm pretty good at it and I can understand most things.  The problem with the directions is that I simply refuse to read them.  What can they tell me that I can't just figure out for myself?  Apparently quite a lot.
Once when I was a bit younger and not nearly as smart as I am now I wanted to make some tapioca pudding, I love that stuff.  So I add everything that I need, milk, sugar, egg yolk and the entire box of tapioca.  What, you say I don't need the entire box?  Well I found that out after the fact.  Needless to say, it didn't turn out the way I had envisioned.  Oh well, better luck next time, right?
So yesterday I was going to make fudge.  You know that fudge recipe on the back of the jar of marshmallow creme, easy as pie, right?  So I glance at the recipe, take notice of the ingredients and start pouring them into the pan.  I stir the sugar and butter and evaporated milk until it boils and let it boil for 5 minutes (the recipe said 4 minutes, but 5 is better, don't you think?).  I take it off of the stove and add the chocolate chips and stir til they melt, then I add the marshmallow creme and the vanilla.   I stir and stir and stir, but it's still a bit soupy.  But I pour it into the pan and tell my husband that we can probably use it on the vanilla ice cream that I bought that day.  It'll be good fudge sauce.  So all is not lost.
BUT, this morning I take it out of the refrigerator to take a look at it and it has gotten harder, not hard enough, but harder.
And then I have a flash of memory.  When I was a Brownie (for all of 2 weeks) it was  my turn to bring the treats.  I forgot to tell my working mother that I needed treats in 30 minutes.  She barely flinched.  She got out her pot and her utensils and all the ingredients for fudge.Not the easy on the back of the jar of marshmallow creme fudge, but the time consuming, get it to the soft ball stage kind of fudge.  Keep in mind that she only had 30 minutes.  The fudge didn't have time to set and I was probably whining and crying about it so she got out the powdered sugar, made balls from the fudge and rolled them in the powdered sugar.  My fellow Brownies thought they were great.
So, later this afternoon, after I put some of the fudge, and I use the term very loosely, away to put on ice cream, I will roll the rest in powdered sugar and silently thank my mom for her grace and ingenuity.

I Went Home Today

Thomas Wolfe said "you can never go home again".  Well, that's not true, I went home today, at least in my memories.
This has been a somewhat emotional Christmas season for me and my sisters and brother and most especially for  my mom.  So today I decided to go home, just for the afternoon.
When we were kids my mom used to make fruitcake at Christmas.  She started in maybe October?  She mixed together all of the ingredients, got out her bottle of peach brandy and poured it over her cake.  Then she wrapped in up in a white flour sack clothe and put it up on the highest shelf of the hall closet.  Guess she didn't want us kids getting intoxicated by the fumes from the brandy.
Once a week she would take that fruitcake down from the closet, unwrap it, and pour more brandy on it  then wrap it up and put it back.  She did this until Christmas when she deemed it ready to eat.  Who on earth did she think was going to eat this fruitcake with her?  We all hated fruitcake.  I think Dad shared it with her, but I'm not sure he enjoyed it.
However, the one thing that I did love was her date roll. It was a candy made, obviously, from dates.  It had nuts it in and, of course, lots of sugar.  I would watch her make this heavenly candy and wait with anticipation until it was ready to eat.  My mom is an old fashioned candy maker, no thermometer for her, she used that drop the tiny spoonful of syrup into cold water and see if it turns into a soft or hard ball.  And she did it perfectly every time.   When it reached that softball stage she would add the nuts and the vanilla and beat that syrup until it was thick and ready to roll.  She made it look so easy.
So, now I am all grown up and want to make that candy.  I started trying to make it several years ago, unsuccessfully.  I would do all the right things and still it would never turn out like hers. 
This year was going to be THE year of the date roll for me.  I get all of the ingredients out, I want to have them all ready so nothing can go wrong.  I set them all out in the order that I am going to need them and follow the recipe to perfection.
Because I can't tell the softball stage of a candy from a hardball stage, I use a candy thermometer.  The temperature reached 260 degrees so I take the pot off of the stove, call my 10 year old grandson over to help me ("are you making great grandma's candy" he hollers).  He holds the pot while I use every bit of strength to beat the heck out of that candy.  It's supposed to lose it's gloss and become thick.  After what seems like an hour I think we've reached that point, so I scoop the candy onto a large cutting board and start to roll it up.  I think my mom forgot to tell me that it takes awhile for the candy to cool down from 260 degrees, ouch.
I finally get it all rolled up and wrapped up in waxed paper ( I love waxed paper, it seems so old fashioned to me).  Well, I think I have done it exactly like I remember my mom do it and I have followed the recipe precisely.  It's wrapped up and I put it in the refrigerator to be taken out and tested in just a little while.
After a very long hour I get my sharpened knife and take the candy out of the fridge.  I unwrap it and place it on the cutting board.  And what do you know,  I guess this isn't my year.  It's so hard that it almost breaks my ginsu, super sharp, heavy duty knife. 
Well, I'll try again next year on my trip home down memory lane.  And besides, Tylor loves it no matter how hard it is.  I'm only afraid his mom will forbid him to eat it, fearing he may break his teeth.

ODE TO A DATE ROLL (by Emma's daughter, who cannot make a date roll to save her life)
The color's not right, it tastes like a shoe.
I honestly, truly, don't know what to do.
I went to the store, bought all the right stuff,
And yes, I'm pretty sure I bought quite enough.
I carted my groceries out of my car,
Into the house and onto the bar.
I got out the thermometer, the pot, and the spoon.
I knew that the grandsons would both be home soon.
And, oh, they would marvel.  They'd oooh and they'd aahh
At this wonderful creation as soon as they saw.
But what did they see when they walked in the door?
My pot and my spoon and myself on the floor.
I give up, I give up I said in a state
You can all go fishing and use it as bait.
So now I give up, I won't do it again,
At least til next year when, who knows, I might win!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Take a Mini Vacation

Steve and I love our mini vacations.  Most often we go to Las Vegas because it's close and there are a lot of things to do there (things that don't involve a lot of money).  This time, however, we went to Ventura.  Now, we have lived in California forever.  Me, most of my life and Steve was born in Los Angeles.  How come we have never, except for a quick trip 25 years ago to take the kids to a church meeting, been to Ventura?
You have never been there either, you say?  Well, you have to go.  I feel like I could be on the tourism bureau for that wonderful city.
Our son and his wife were going on a fishing trip for the day and asked if we would be interested in going along and watching the baby while they were on the boat.  Are you kidding?  A night in a beautiful hotel and then all day to play?  We were thrilled to do it.
So, off they went and then off we went.  We packed up Aiden and walked down the beach to the fairgrounds where they were having a flea market.  We spent the morning scouring the  market for bargains and we actually found a few great ones.  Then we ate breakfast tamales at a neat little food truck (they were yummy).
Back to the room to feed and change Aiden and then off we go again.  We took a fantastic drive all around the town and down HWY 101 to Ojai.  Ventura is one of the cleanest and prettiest towns I have ever seen, lots of history there too.
Then we ate at a cute little diner on the main street.  And then unfortunately the day was just about over.  They kids come back from their fishing trip after a total catch of 20 assorted fish, very successful!  And we are on our way home.
One the way home we get a call from our Idaho daughter asking if we had listened to the local news.   Apparently Mythbusters was doing some sort of experiment in Ventura that went awry.  Some sort of cannon ball been bonkers right through a block wall and someones house.  Yikes, well there goes one of those old historic homes down in history....again.

                                         This was the view from our room, beautiful, right?
So, go to Ventura if you ever get the chance.  You won't be sorry!

Friday, December 2, 2011


I have a small confession to make.  Nothing earth shattering or life changing, just a little thing about myself.  I have a bit of a lead foot.  Most people wouldn't know that because when someone is with me I drive no faster than the speed limit, I am a very safe driver, really.
The only time my lead foot makes an appearance is when I think I may be late, I hate to be late for anything (well, except if it's to something where I don't want to be anyway).  Oh yeah, and sometimes when I'm singing to the oldies on the radio and   I did leave the house a few minutes late to pick Tylor up from the bus stop and I was worried that I would get there late (in all truth, I have never once been late to the bus stop, possibly because of my lead foot).  Anyway, here I was driving down the road, maybe a little too fast, when a car comes towards me.  In the car is an older man, looking a teeny bit ugly grumpy.  But he holds up his hand and waves to me.  Please keep in mind that I am in my happy, happy holiday mode and I do what I always do, smile and wave back.
Then about a quarter of a mile down the road a thought strikes me.  Was he waving a friendly hello or was he holding up his hand yelling, "slow down you moron, you're going too fast".  So now I'm feeling just a little confused, but it doesn't last long, I just turn up Surfin' USA and go back to my happy place.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Shopping, Shopping, Shopping

Today I am going shopping.  Not just Christmas shopping, I'm going grocery shopping too.  And I will probably go to Michaels and Wal Mart and JoAnns.  It's the Christmas season and all the people I have run into on my trips around town are feeling that Christmas spirit.  They are nice and friendly, I talked to one strange ( not weird or psycho strange, just someone I didn't know) gentleman in the grocery store parking lot for 25 minutes the other morning and the grumpiest checker ever was nice!  People in our town are usually always nice and friendly but there is something different about Christmas season nice and friendly.  I LOVE it so I am going to out to Bakersfield and share some of my Christmas spirit!  So happy first day of December everyone, I hope that wonderful Christmas spirit hits you too.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Quote of the Day

"My life is difficult.  I need more money"
     The Expendibles (2010)
Not really about my life, but I do need more money.  I just thought this was funny.

I Used To Love Las Vegas

I used to love Las Vegas.  Well, actually I still do love it.  But I did had a very traumatic experience on this trip.  Steve and I went to Las Vegas for the weekend  for our anniversary, we always have a good time.  However, you need to know that our good time is probably not your good time.  We don't gamble, we rarely go to any shows, we don't drink.  What we do is go to the movies.  I  know that's along way to drive just to go to the movies, but that's not the only thing we do.   We also shop.  We don't shop at the shops at Ceasars Palace or even the Miracle Mile shops.  We go to Wal Mart, Big Lots, Deseret Industries, and all the fun funky little shops that we come across.  That's weird, you may be thinking.  What you need to know is that in our town we have K Mart.  Yup, that's it just K Mart,  And in the words of Dustin Hoffman, "K Mart sucks".  We also go for drives to places we didn't know existed in Las Vegas, we love to just drive.
Okay, well here is where my very terrible experience comes in.  We were in Wal Mart.  Steve was off looking at TVs and I was looking at house stuff (my favorite things to look at).  So, here I am minding my own business when a man, a very large man, strolls by with his son in the basket of his shopping cart. Now, I like people, I smile at everyone (even when I don't mean to it just happens) even those scary guys who look like they want to rob me.  So this man and his son, who was about 3 years old, walk past and the little boy says to me, "Hi old lady".  Honest, I am telling you the truth, and what to I do?  I smile at him.  On my face is a smile and in my mind I am thinking of retorts.  Nothing comes to mind, I am just flabbergasted.
Now for the rest of the trip I am thinking, did my daughters lie to me and is my gray hair really not attractive, does it make me look old?  I don't feel old....but I do avoid mirrors as much as possible so I'm not too sure what I look like.  I rely on my daughters to tell me.  Girls, have you not been telling me the truth?
Okay, first on my list of things to do tomorrow is go to the drugstore for hair coloring.  Hope it helps.

Friday, November 25, 2011


Thanksgiving.....I love it.  I love everything about it, from being with family, to eating wonderful food and.....hearing the stories from my Idaho daughter who could not be here for Thanksgiving.  She hosted her husbands family this year;  hence, the stories.  I hope she posts some because her family drama is  the stuff of legends.  It's never anything  horrible, it's just funny.  Well, funny to me.  Not so much to her!   I would tell you about my Thanksgiving day and all the zilllions of things I am thankfu for but I'm afraid I have no time.  Steve and I are off to Las Vegas (it's our 40th wedding anniversary) so we are going to go "play".  Not play like gamble, play like have no responsibilities, yea!!!  So, I hope everyone has fun on their Black Friday shopping day .
Judy, I hope you are still in bed enjoying the peace and quiet that comes when everyone else is fighting for bargins and you are just cozy and warm in the saftey of your own bed.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Internet Withdrawl

Hallelujah!  We're back online. Our internet has been down for awhile.  It seemed like months but in actuality it was only about a week.  Really?  Only a week?
This is our third wireless device.  Our first two seemed to stop working and the kind and patient people at Verizon could not seem to get it back up, so they sent us our third one.  Now, I am starting to wonder.  Is it really the device or is it because of us?  We are not very computer literate.   Do you think that simply by virtue of us, Steve and me, trying to make it work we made it not work?  I'm pretty sure that's the case.  I am wondering how many of these things Verizon will send us before they get wise to us and our inability to  work a computer.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Where did you park the invisible car?"
     -Megamind (2010)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hobbits, Hobbits Everywhere

Tolkien Hobbit  I was telling my Idaho grandson last month that I had bought the book The Hobbit months ago and haven't yet read it.  He encouraged me to read it, telling me that it was a great book and I would love it.....Well, I had the book.  I may as well read it.  After all, I love the Lord of the Ring movies!  So, I read it.  And I LOVED it.
Bilbo Baggins is now one of my very favorite characters.  You have to read it, you, too, will love it.
There's only one problem.  Since I read the book I see hobbits everywhere and not only hobbits but dwarfs too.
I cannot go into town to run errands without seeing a funny little hobbit with huge, hairy feet.  I was at church today, in my classroom with the door open.  I was waiting for my primary students and as I was looking out the door what do you think I saw?  YES, a hobbit.  Now, I realize that this hobbit was not really a hobbit at all.  He was just a slightly funny looking little 3 or 4 year old boy, but honestly he looked like a hobbit to me.  However, I knew that he wasn't really a hobbit, he had shoes on.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Quote of the Day

Pie, pie, pie.
-Michael (1996)

The Survivor Sleep Method

I heard once, or perhaps I read that the older you get the less sleep you need.  That's not to say that I am old.  But I have come to believe that it may be true.  I seem to have gotten into the habit of waking up at the crack of dawn no matter what time I go to bed.  I like getting up early but sometimes I would rather not be up and about when it is still dark outside and the moon is still shining brightly in the night sky.
So....I have developed a method to help me get to back to sleep.  Counting sheep has never worked for me, I need something a little more active.    So, here it is.  I call it "Survivor, Get Yourself Back To Sleep".
This is what I do.  I play out the scenario in my head.  Sometimes I get so tired winning all the challenges and making nice that I fall asleep right in the middle of tribal council. I imagine myself as a player in the game  of Survivor.  I am the player that everyone loves, you know the one, right?  I am super survivor (without the cocky attitude).
I get up and start the fire in the morning, I go and hunt for food, and I can even catch fish (eat your heart out Ozzie).  I am the go-to gal when someone needs to vent or when they need to tell someone  a secret.  They know I am a good secret keeper.  My tribe mates know that I am a good listener and I will always give sage advise.
Oh, and I am on Coach's team (at least this season).  I like Coach, don't ever call him Benjamin (he'll knock your teeth out--he said so).  He really is a nice guy despite his weirdo outward persona.  I think he's just lonely and misunderstood. 
I am the ultimate survivor, the one who leads her tribe to victory after victory in every challenge.  They need me and they know it.  But, oh no, there is talk about the MERGE.  We think it might be today, everyone is on edge.
We go to the challenge and, through no fault of mine! we lose.  One of us is going to have to go to Redemption Island.  I'm not especially worried, after all, my tribe needs me, like I said.  We plod on back to camp, a little down hearted and as far as I can see no one is huddling together to strategize.
Oh no, time to go to tribal council.  We gather our torches and start off for tribal council.  Jeff is sitting, waiting for us.  He begins to ask all of his provocative questions that he is so famous for, trying to get us to turn on each other.  I'm still feeling pretty good.
Jeff calls for the vote.  One by one we go up to cast our vote.  Once we are all sitting again Jeff takes the lid off of the little ballot thingy and starts counting the votes.  Sherry, Sherry, Shari (who the heck is she?), Sherry.  The Eight person voted off.  No way,   I've been blindsided.  I can't believe it, but at least I leave knowing that I don't have two immunity idols in my pocket.  I get up and take up my torch and Jeff snuffs it out.  My life is over.  Well, my tribal life is over because, after all, fire is life.
As I leave I turn and smile sweetly at my former tribe mates.  I tell them no hard feelings. All the while I am plotting my revenge.  I leave them with that look that says I understand ( you rotten little backstabbers).  I tell them good luck and hopefully I will see you again.
Now I leave and start my long, lonely walk to Redemption Island.  Man, it's scary out there.  It's dark and there are a lot of creepy noises and I want to run but I know the cameraman is right behind me so I walk confidently away.
I find my way to Redemption Island and who should I see?  Ozzie.  Oh crap.  That's okay, I'm Super Survivor.  I can beat him.  He probably hasn't eaten in five days and is weak. 
This is where my screen goes dark.  I'm saving the rest of the story for the next time I wake up too early. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Jury Duty

jury duty cartoons, jury duty cartoon, jury duty picture, jury duty pictures, jury duty image, jury duty images, jury duty illustration, jury duty illustrations Well, Steve wasn't able to avoid jury duty so I sure hope they aren't not using any big words!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Quote of the Day

Be thankful we're not getting all the government we're paying for"
-Will Rogers

Help, I Need Somebody....not just anybody

Holy Cow, I really am a blogging virgin. It's never so clear to me as when I'm trying to change my background. When I need help who do I call? My daughter. Honestly, she is as patient as I am impatient. But it dawned on me tonight why she is so willing to tell me the same things over and over again. It's because I am fodder for her crazy mother stories. But that's okay because I think she finally gets tired of telling me the same thing a millions times and then she does my work for me. I don't really plan it that way, but I do always hope it will turn out that way. So thank you, Erin, I hope you never get tired of me and my insipid questions.

Ode to a Date Roll

Christmas is in the air. The minute the weather turns cold I feel the Christmas spirit and part of the spirit to me is baking yummy goodies and making delicious candies. I don't make as much as I used to, but I still have my favorites. One of my favorites, at least to eat, is the ever elusive Date Roll that my mom used to make every year.

Now, the reason I call this candy elusive is because the ability to make it has eluded me for years.

When my mom made candy she was not the candy thermometer kind of candymaker, she was the drop a little bit of the boiled candy in a cup and see if it was at a soft or hard ball stage.

When I make boiled candies I need all the modern helpers that I can get, mostly I need someone to made them for me. But, alas, the trying to make them is most of the fun. Or so I always used to think. This one candy may have changed my attitude toward that idea.

I must say, however, that I love this candy so much that it's worth the trouble. So here is my salute to the Date Roll:

Ode to a Date Roll

by Emma's daughter (who cannot make a date roll to save her life)

The color's not right, it tastes like a shoe.

I honestly, truly, don't know what to do.

I went to the store, bought all the right stuff,

And yes, I'm pretty sure I bought quite enough.

I carted my groceries out of my car,

Into the house and onto the bar.

I got out the thermometer, the pot, and the spoon.

I know that the grandsons would both be home soon.

And, oh, they would marvel. They'd oooh and they'd aahhh

At this wonderful creation as soon as they saw.

But what did they see when they walked through the door?

My pot and my spoon and myself on the floor.

I give up, I give up I said in a state.

You can all go fishing and use it at bait.

So now I give up, I won't do it again,

At least til next year when, who knows, I might win.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Do It Yourself or, as it is known in our house, Are You Crazy?

"The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits"

Albert Einstein

Have I mentioned before that I am a diy-er? I love working with my hands and I love doing projects around the house. I tell myself that it's in my blood. My dad is a "builder", he can build anything. When there is something that needs to be done around the house I like to do it myself, partly because I want it done right now, I'm rather impatient.

But, alas, my memory is short. I tend to forget about the last project and the one before that one that went awry.

So, to my present project. Earlier this year our "handyman guy" built us some floor to ceiling bookshelves (I'm pretty sure I could have done it myself). I have since decided that I need more storage space, I always need more storage space, where I could hide things away. So on goes the lightbulb in my head and I figure that I could put doors on the bottom part of the bookshelf. It would look pretty and give me my much needed storage space. Easy, right? Anyone could do it, right? I can do that, right?

Okay, so out comes my measuring tape, I really don't know why I bother with that thing, it never works right.

I measure and mark and have Steve set up the table saw. Oh my, sorry, I just broke out in a cold sweat. Just saying Steve and table saw in the same breath sends shivers down my spine.

You really have to know Steve, he can do a lot of things. Carpentry is not one of them. He's a shortcut kind of guy whose mantra is "good enough". Sorry honey, using warped wood that you rescued from the dump is not "good enough".

However, I let him use the warped dump wood because I know that his cuts are not going to be quite what they should be and I will have to go to Home Depot and buy real wood anyway. And what the heck, the practice wouldn't hurt, would it?

Where was I? Oh yes, he set up the saw, on the ground. On the ground we have lots of gravel. Steve is wearing sandals, and I should mention that he has his 6'4" frame bent over the saw. He is, very carefully, pushing the wood through the blade, when his foot slips.

This is the scenario that plays out in my head in a span of seconds:

Steve slips, his head makes contact with the blade. It's like a scene out of a slasher movie except for the fact that we don't have a villain. He's screaming and I am standing unable to move for several seconds. I finally rip off my shirt, not to worry, I dressed in layers today, and press it to his head.

Okay, I'm going back to that happy place where none of these things happened, happy thoughts, happy thoughts!

After my little "mind movie", DIY as taken on a new meaning for me.

The only thing I am going to do myself now, when it comes to power tools, is call someone whose expectations of themselves do not exceed their abilities. Well, at least until the next project comes along that I KNOW I can do.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Mmmmm, Waffles anyone?

Yep, it's fall in this house. I know it's fall when I bring out all of my pumpkin recipes, and this morning I brought out my pumpkin waffle recipe. You know those foods that with every bite you express your delight? Well, this is one of those foods.

I'm never sure if those I feed are quite as enamoured with the food as I am. But this is what it sounded like in my house at breakfast time this morning. "Oh my, this is wonderful", take another bite. "Oh my goodness, is this great, or what?"....another bite. "Mmmmm, I've never tasted anything so delicious before"........"Hey, are you going to finish that waffle?"

That was a somewhat one way dialog, but that's okay, everyone around here is pretty used to me talking to myself. I rarely expect people to answer or comment anymore. But believe when I tell you, you have to have these waffles, oh my, they truly are the best!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Now, I don't ordinarily brag about my birthday because, quite frankly, I'd just as soon forget I was having one. But.....this is so an exception. Let me tell you why. It's because I am the luckiest person in the world.

My day started out just like any other day except on this day I was a little peeved with my husband. No, he didn't forget my birthday. We don't usually make a big deal about each others birthdays,but I must have been feeling an exception to the rule today.

My present you ask, was a 99 cent candy bar and a very cute card. I'm not greedy, really, but I can buy my own candy bar. That was enough to set me off for the morning. I didn't scream and yell or anything, but believe when I tell you HE knows when I'm not happy. Well, we had a good morning running errands, going to the apple orchard and buying apple cider (to drown my sorrows with) and going to our granddaughters soccer game (that was fun!).

This is where me being the luckiest person in the world comes in. On our way home from town we run into our second oldest grandson. We stop the car to say hi and I get a big ole hug and a Happy Birthday and he says he is coming to my birthday party. Huh? Then we get home and I get a call from my Idaho daughter, whom I miss so much, and get another happy birthday wish. Then my oldest grandson calls, he's 15 years old, and wishes me a happy birthday. Maybe his mom called him and told him to call me, I don't know, but I don't care. The fact is, he called. Then ALL of my Tehachapi children and grandchildren come to our house with bbq and cake in tow and we have the best birthday party ever. AND the boys do all the cleaning up (and I mean the "little" boys).

After everyone leaves I check out Facebook, which I rarely do these days, and had so many wonderful friends have wished me a happy birthday. Oh, I almost forgot, the icing on the birthday cake. My Idaho son-in-lw, whom I love like my own sons, called and wished me a happy birthday.

To all of my children and grandchildren, I love you more than words could ever express

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Autumn, Myth or Reality?

I love fall, but after a long winter and a hot summer I have forgotten what fall is suppose to be like. Now, I know that the first day of fall started this week; at least that's what they tell me.

Today I even went out to the market and bought pumpkins because I know that if I have pumpkins on my hearth, fall will come. I am going to will fall to be here. Tomorrow I'm getting out all of my fall decorations and I'm going to make pumpkin cinnamon rolls. Now if that doesn't bring fall, what will? As soon as the temperature gets under 85 degrees I am even going to make hot cocoa and top it off with a mile high serving of whipped cream. Then after I finish eating my pumpkin cinnamon rolls and drinking my hot cocoa I'm going for a walk on this street under all these beautiful orange trees......could someone please tell me where I can find these trees, please?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"You First"

I don't know if anyone else feels this way but this is absolutely one of my biggest driving pet peeves. I'm going to preface this by saying that as of Sunday I'm trying not to think terrible thoughts about the people who do this anymore. And believe me, my thoughts were not nice. Okay, this is it. My pet peeve is those people who, when you get to a four way or even two way stop they wave you on. Now you could get there first or you could get there last and they still wave you on.Who the heck made them the "you go first" police? If I got there first there is no need to wave me on, because believe me I am going to take my proper turn, which is before you. If you got there first then, doggonit, just go and take your turn. I don't want you to think you can tell me when my turn is. I haven't had a traffic ticket since I was 17 years old and I am considerably older than that now. I have always passed my driving tests, I know the rules! It's kind of like this; you get in line at the grocery store and someone gets in line behind you. They tap you on the shoulder and tell you " you can go ahead and go before me". Well, no kidding. Since I was here first I had every intention of going before you. But if you are there first, I'm not going to shove you aside and get in front of you, I don't care if you do wave me on. My thoughts go to someplace mean when people do that to me at a stop sign. I really want to just sit there and see what happens. Will they just sit there waving me on and not go until I do? Will they just sit there scratching their head because they don't know what to do? Well, I'm not going to do that and I'm doing my best to not think those mean things anymore. At church on Sunday we had a wonderful talk about looking at the positive and not saying unkind things or thinking unkind thoughts, so I am reforming, really I am. And if I meet you at a four way stop and you wave me on I am simply going to go and wave to you and smile as we pass each other.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Life Is Good, Honest It Is

"Life is what we make it, always has, always will be"

Grandma Moses

"Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we should dance"


Honestly, it really is; life is good.

That is not to say that my family is perfect and everything in my life is perfect. Far from it.

The thing is, and I figure this out often, but just as often I seem to forget, we don't have to have a perfect life to have a really good life; one that is perfect for us.

These are some of the things that make my life perfect for me.

1. family, as weird as we all are I love them and they love me. What else do you need?

2. My grandson who calls me on my cell phone while I am in town running errands simply to tell me that "The Walking Dead" actually is coming back on tv in October. And he's so excited about it, and I'm so excited about it; we love zombies.

3. A husband who knows when I NEED chocolate and brings me home some just because.

4. I have the most fantastic view from my deck at home. Sometimes it actually takes my breath away.

5. Most of my grandchildren live nearby and those who don't, like to talk to me on the phone, how great is that?

6. My granddaughter, Maggie, promised that she would be my caregiver (remember Nurse Rachett?) when I am old and feeble. That scares me a little bit, but who else would promise you that? And she's a promise keeper!

7. Tylor will tell me "love you" just right out of the blue. And you know what? He really does.

8. My daughter and son-in-law just got a much needed new car to replace their "ghetto car" (their words, not mine). Life is good.

9. My Son-in-law got a teaching position, one that he really, really deserves.

10. Our new kitten, Millie.

11. Our dog learned to open the front door all by himself (okay, that's not real convenient for us, but you must admit it's pretty interesting).

12. All the housewives, NY, NJ, and Beverly Hills. I don't care how crappy my live may seem sometimes, I know I've got it better than they do (well, minus the money maybe).

13. Ghosthunters

14. Billy the Exterminator

15. Mantracker

16. Reality TV in general.....I love it.

17. Daylight Savings Time

18.......everything else

Now, I didn't mean for this to seem all Pollyannaish, but I am truly grateful for all of my blessings, of which I have many.

So now, I'm going to try every single day to remember the things in my life that make it perfect for me.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Me And My Ill-Controlled Brain

"Worry is evidence of an ill-controlled brain; it is merely a stupid waste of time in unpleasantness"
Arnold Bennett

"It ain't no use putting up your umbrella till it rains"
Alice Caldwell Rice

Worry. I do it all of the time. I worry about my children, I worry about my grandchildren. There are just so many things to worry about.

I have a "little" brother, who is now about 43 years old. When he was a little boy he used to worry about everything. He would worry the minute my parents stepped out of the house; they could get run over by a bus, lightening could strike them, a hole might open up in the middle of the street and swallow them.

He worried about globle warming before it was in vogue. He worried about the rain forests. He worried that his dog might become ill from eating her own poop. My brother worried that the car might run out of gas on the freeway, he worried that an earthquake would hit while he was in school and then he worried about how he would find our parents if it did.

Now, I don't worry about those kinds of things, I just worry about the others things that I have almost no control over. I like to think I can control the things and mostly the people around me, but I know that I can't, nor would I want to. Well, I really would like to but I know I'm suppose to not want to.

When I was talking to my second daughter on the phone last night I was thanking her for being the one child that I almost never worry about. It's not that there is never anything in her life or her families lives to worry about. It's just that she does all the worrying without worrying me. How thoughtful is that? There are plenty of challenges in her life but she handles them the way I wish I could handle mine. She doesn't whine and cry about her setbacks, she simply takes care of them.

I know my other children and grandchildren have little or no idea of how much I worry about them, but I do and I probably always will.

Now, I know that there is probably nothing I can do about the things that worry me, so why do I worry? Well, knowing my brother and even my dad, I think, I come by the worry thing genetically.

But, this afternoon when one of my grandchildren gave me the tiniest thing to worry about I came to a conclusion. I am not going to be a worrier anymore. I am going to save my worrying for the important stuff like the holes that could open up in the middle of the street and swallow us up while we are driving to Taco Bell.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

This is the awful beginning of fire season and unfortunately Old West Ranch got hit again with a pretty large fire. They aren't the only ones to be affected by this fire, however, and this community has really come to the aid of those whose homes and lives were and still are in danger. Here in Kern County we have a great fire department that really does such a wonderful job and I for one really appreciate the work they do. Thank you to firefighters all over the country, especially those in Texas who are almost battling large fires.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Get a Little, Give a Little

Well, life gives you some nice surprises and then life gives you the little bumps in the road.
I had a very happy accident happen to me this morning and a not so happy one this afternoon.
I just found out that it is going to cost a bundle of money to fix our car. And, you know, it's not even running badly. It just makes a putt-putt sound from what we assumed was a simple little exhaust leak. But I insisted that we take the car in and have a real mechanic look at it. Why is it that "real" mechanics cost so much.
Oh well, you get a little and then apparently you have to give some of that back. Life seems to even itself out, doesn't it? My mantra is It could be worse!!


I LOVE happy accidents, it's like something that was meant to be.
I've been missing my family a lot lately, my parents, my sisters, and my only brother. You know how sometimes you start thinking about all the times you got to spend together? The holidays that you shared and the good times that you enjoyed. Well, I miss that.
But this morning, at around 7:30am my cell phone rang. It was in my purse, which usually it's not, so I had a hard time finding it. By the time I found it the phone had stopped ringing. So when I look to see who called, it was my brother.
Now, when certain members of my family call I start to worry that there is something wrong because only certain ones call. So when I saw my brothers name I called back right away.
He was on his way to class, he's a teacher, when he accidentaly pocket dialed me. I love when that happens, at least you know that they have your phone number in there cell phone addresses. But we got to talk for just a couple of minutes and connect back with each other.
I felt like that was serendipity, just a happy accident. I love when that happens!

Friday, August 19, 2011

My Own Private Bathroom

A while back I read the book, The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It was a wonderful book. Last week my daughter and I went and saw the movie and while it was good it wasn't as good as the book. But that seems to be the case most often.

I was a child of the 50's and 60's and I'm ashamed to say that I was not as aware as I should have been about the civil rights movement. This book and movie started me thinking again about things that I think about often. Why do we, as human beings, treat each other the way we do? I don't think I have ever been prejudiced against anybody regardless of race, religion, weight, appearance or anything else. That's the way I was raised and I'm grateful for that everyday of my life.

But...the bathroom scene in the book and the movie where a white woman campaigns for every household to have their own separate bathroom for their "help". That got me thinking.

I HATE public restrooms, I can't tell you how much I hate them. I do not even like bathrooms in other peoples homes, no matter how clean they appear. I refuse to sit on any toilet seat that someones else's bum has touched (except my husband, even then.....).

The other day we had someone here doing some work for us, he marched right in and used the guest bathroom. I admit, even , to locking the door so he wouldn't use it, I was going to say that I was cleaning the floor and it was still wet. But somehow he seemed to know where the key was. I know, that is awful, but it seems that I just can't help myself.

Well that was two days ago and I hadn't cleaned it before now because this worker was going to come back and do some more work. And you know, he'd probably have to use the bathroom again, yuck. So, of course, I haven't used that bathroom either. If anyone else wants to use it that's completely up to them, they may not have the same phobia that I do.

So I cleaned the guest bathroom this morning, lysoled it, bleached it and scrubbed everywhere. I feel like I can use it now without being grossed out.

You don't have to tell me that this phobia is a terrible thing to have. And it's not that I don't like these people who feel they must use my bathroom. It's just that I don't like the thought of their bare bums sitting on something that I put my bare bum on. Totally gross!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Nick, The Painter?

This is way to good to keep to myself. Every time I think about this I laugh out loud, I even shared it with my 10 year old grandson; however he didn't really get the humor in the story. Hope you will!

I have to preface the funny part with a little soap opera history. When I was a young stay at home mom I watched a couple of different soap operas but my very favorite was All My Children. It was totally different than I imagine it is today. Erica was a young, newly married woman. Now the story is about who her first husband was, Nick. If I remember correctly (and I wouldn't place any bets) Nick and Erica were high school sweethearts. Sometime after graduation Nick became a police officer. I can't remember what happened to him but like all of Erica's other husbands, she divorced Nick.

Nick must have been totally devastated because he ended up here in Tehachapi. Now he obviously didn't retire on his earnings from the soaps because here in real land he is a house painter. Don't get me wrong, I love house painters. My husband is a house painter (the best ever, I might add).

We would see Nick The Painter (that was the name I gave him when he first came to town and I saw and recognized him) around town, mostly at Home For Less, our local discount paint and hardware store. Well, I was in Home For Less doing a errand for my Husband The Painter.
Nick was in the store buying a very small artists brush. When the clerk asked him what he needed it for, because we all know it would take a little long to paint a house with that, he showed a mixture of embarrassment and pride. He replied that he had just finished painting a woman's house and she wanted him to autograph it for her. Funny, right? That's not even the story that I'm getting to, although I do think that is pretty hilarious.

So here's the story. I'm at home today cleaning floors and doing all that fun house stuff when the phone rings. It is Steve. I'm not surprised because he calls me several times throughout the day, sometimes just to tell me how his day is going, sometimes to complain about a couple of certain workers who are fodder for a whole other blog and sometimes just to say hi. This time he is laughing as I pick up the phone so I know this is going to be good.

He tells me that there are a lot of guys around who are wearing shirts that say Nick the Painter on them. Now that is a little odd because Nick works alone. Here's where it gets good, maybe only to me because I feel like I am the reality TV it!! Nick is doing a reality TV show. Guess what it's called. Yup, Nick the Painter. Is that great or what?

I told Steve that I think I'm going to call Nick and ask for an estimate on painting our house so I can be on TV. So watch for me next season, I'm guessing, on Spike TV maybe. Who knows.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

No More Facebook For Me

Yup, that's what I said. NO MORE FACEBOOK FOR ME! It's not that I think that facebook is bad, at least maybe not for other people. But I have come to the conclusions that my life is unexciting enough without reading about what someone is doing every second of their day. No offense to anyone on Facebook, but I really don't care that you are sitting in your car at the stop light on the corner of Green St. and Maple Ave. I can go out and do that all day long and it still fails to excite me, sorry.

It seems that all of my old high school friends who were once on Facebook have come to the same conclusion that I have; we have better things to do with our time than to live vicariously through your lives, astounding as they may be. Maybe we are just getting to that stage in life where we are realizing that our time is limited and maybe we should go and do instead of sit and look through the windows of your facebook postings.

The other thing is, and my grown children will attest to this, the computer is not my friend. We are merely acquaintances with a love-hate relationship. I do love my email even though most of it comes in the form of offers for weight loss pills or offers to share a newly acquired fortune if I would just send them $1,ooo.00. All of these emails I simply delete because it's much easier than figuring out how to block it. I told

Shopping is another thing I did really well on the computer. But in recent years my pocketbook dictated a change in my spending habits, I've had to curb my enthusiasm for internet shopping. It's too bad too because the UPS guy, Phil, and I had become good friends. Now he doesn't call, he doesn't write, he doesn't even stop by anymore; all because he has no packages for me. Talk about fair weather friends, huh?

Oh yeah, back to Facebook. Like I said, you won't find me there anymore. I am trying to get a revival going of letter writing. So far no one has written me back, oh well. So, if you have need to get a hold of me, yes, you can write me a letter, or you can email me (I promise not to delete you). And, you will love this one, there is the coolest little thing that you can hold in your hand, and if you punch in the correct sequence of numbers you will hear me say "hello", that is if caller ID tells me that it's someone I want to talk to.