Friday, July 30, 2010


I found this while blog hopping today and thought it would be fun and let you get to know me a bit better.

A is for Age: 48....Dang! How did that happen?

B is for Book:An English teacher can never pick a favorite, but I love Barbara Kingsolver, Shakespeare, Micheal Shaara, and (GASP!) the whole Harry Potter series. Thank you J.K. Rowling for enticing children to read again!

C is for Career: "Retired" English teacher, Mommy, Creative Memories Consultant, part time livestock feeder, chuck wagon cook, volunteer, large machinery driver in training.

D is for Dad's name:Larry

E is for Essential items to bring to a party: My fav beverage of the moment, and whatever the hostess asks me to bring.

F is for Favorite song or music: I don't know if I have just one. 60's-Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress (LOVE that beat!) 70's-Eagles anything 80's- Prince (or whatever he is calling himself now?!?) 1999 90's- Country! 2000- Still Country!

G is for Goof off thing to do:Geez! I haven't goofed off in a while.....playing Wii with the girls

H is for Hometown:Lafayette, IN

I is for Instrument you play: Piano and I can sing.

J is for Jam or Jelly you like: Strawberry jam

K is for Kids: Tink 7 1/2 and Bear 5 1/2

L is for Living arrangement: Farm house my husband has lived in all his life. Pray for us because we are remodeling!

M is for Mom's name:Becky

N is for Name of best friend: Oh don't make me pick one! Beth, Jen, Carol, Susan, Kim......

O is for Overnight Stay in a Hospital:Birth of Tink, then Bear, then one night for a sleep study

P is for Phobias: loud noises and driving over bridges

Q is for Quote you like:"He chose poorly" from Indiana Jones' The Last Crusade

R is for Relationship that lasted longest:with my Tall Guy:six years of dating and nine years of marriage

S is for Siblings: 1 brother

T is for Texas, ever been?Yep, It's a long drive across (both N-S and E-W!), but the stop at San Antonio was awesome!

V is for vegetable you love: Broccoli, spinach, green beans, sweet corn, onions, peppers,

W is for Worst traits:Procrastinator, a bit of a self-doubter, stress eater Uhmm....Stress makes me eat; I don't eat stress!

X is for X-rays you've had:Do ultra sounds count? Head

Y is for Yummy food you make:Cheeseburger pie

Z is for Zodiac sign: Taurus

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Words for Thursday!

You should probably read my first post for today before going on with this one!

So I went for my 2 and a half mile walk... Have I mentioned we live on a proverbial road that goes up hill BOTH ways? Seriously! See? It doesn't look so bad until you actually walk it in the sun! Whew!

I cam back home ready to tackle the house, but first I yick-yacked with my dear builders and bounced off ideas, much more fun to do without Tall Guy scowling in the background. Then I caught sight of Tink and Bear running around outside. Guess what they wanted to do??? Go for a walk! So off we went down the windmill road. I wish I had my camera at that point, but here they are at the end of the walk so you can see just how cute and different these two girls are!

Yep, Bear wore a dress, and Tink had on her basketball shirt. Bear picked flowers for the tea-party she is planning, and Tink just rolled her eyes and gave me this pleading, "Do I have to play?" look. It all reminds me of a Mac Davis song,"Stop and Smell the Roses." I have so much to do, but taking a walk with my girls is priceless. Ok, NOW it's time to get out Mr. Clean and get serious! That and Tall Guy just came inside and gave me the "Are you still on your computer?!?!?" look. Dang! Tink and Tall Guy are so much alike with their "looks!" So off I go humming....... This is the third verse of "Stop and Smell the Roses."

"Did you ever take a walk through the forest (substitute FIELDS here)
Stop and dream a while among the trees (substitute the word CORN here)
Well you can look up through the leaves right straight to heaven
You can almost hear the voice of God In each any every breeze
You got to Stop and Smell the Roses
You've got to count your many blessings every day
You're gonna find your way to heaven is a rough and rocky road
If you don't Stop and Smell the Roses along the way"

Thanks to Mac for giving us so many great songs! Look him up and see for yourself!

Wordless Thursday?????

Dang! I cannot come up with a worthy topic for today. I was always so good at helping my students eliminate the blank page syndrome, but this one keeps looking right back at me.... blankly...dang! Ok, let's see...back in my high school English teaching days, I would tell my kids (the term I usually called them; heck that's what they were!)... START A LIST

1. Need to get more serious about losing those last 25-30 pounds.
2. Have got to reconcile all the check books in my life. There are three floating around here, and some days that is three too many for this letters girl who is not so fond of numbers.
3. 30th high school reunion coming up in about two weeks..... what the heck am I going to wear to that?
4. Girls start school in about two weeks. Do I have all their "stuff" ready to go? Has Tink and/or Bear grown an inch this summer?
5. Going on a mini vacation soon....what food should I take? (It's a family gathering with Tall Guy's side, and everyone pitches in)
6. Wondering when I will get to use my new garage and sun room. Wonder when the two doors they need to cut will be done, and where the heck am I going to put all the stuff against those walls.

DANG! I see what is going on here. Sorry peeps, but I need to go for a walk and then stay off the computer today so I can get a ton of work done. It's all starting to pile up, and that is apparently why I can't be creative. Sometimes creativity has to yield to reality. I have a feeling that if I get on here to work in the Quicken program, I will probably check in. My will power really is non-existent at times.

Have a great day! Hopefully tomorrow will see some major addition on my "Done" list and lots of scratched off items on the "Do" list! I leave you with a picture of Pumpkin, our cat, whose life I envy on occasion!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Flowers Make Me Smile

My first attempt at this fun new way to show off pictures! Dang! This was fun and easy!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Walking with My Four-Legged "Furend"

My brain is still a bit sloggy from all the fair fun, and I am having one of those time periods where we 40-something women go without much sleep. The "M" word is such a fun experience.....NOT! I managed to grab some of Mcy D's Iced coffee yesterday, but did I mention that we don't have one of those in my county? Just ONE Subway! May have to go for the instant coffee!

What I really should do is go for a walk with my good "furend" Sadie. She loves me so much! Dang! Some mornings she even seems happier to see me than the girls and Tall Guy ;-) I just have to smile when she jumps in circles and wants to play. She was almost called Shade Tree. That's what Tink and Bear decided on when we brought her home about a year ago. I was sitting in the front seat of the van, thinking to myself, " Oh Lordy, I cannot have a dog named Shade Tree," so I tried redirecting their thinking as only mommies can do: "Shade Tree is a pretty long name... can we shorten it a bit?" The two put their long-haired heads together and came up with "Shady." Not bad, but I had already come up with Sadie, so I threw it out there, and they liked it. Her full name is Sadie Daisy Cloud. Perhaps she is of Indian dog descent? She also had some Blue Tick Healer and Border Collie in her, but mostly she is made up of love and energy.

Sadie is my dog. Oh, she loves the girls, and has even made nice with Tall Guy (she was abandoned and was none too fond of men for a long time). She went out with me every morning and night this winter when I fed the cows and the wood burning stove (just call me Laura Ingalls Wilder!), and she has walked every mile in my journey back to good health and fitness. We look much better than we did a year ago!

So maybe it is time for me to get my walking shoes on and hit the road with Sadie. I know she is just on the other side of the door waiting on me...... what a furend!

I had to throw in these last two pictures because the snow looks so nice and refreshing right now! Hope you have a furend like Sadie to make you smile and give that wonderful unconditional love we all need at times.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Walking...nope DANG! WAKING at night: barn owl screeches

Below is the best rendition of what woke me up in the middle of the night! Dang! Where is my gun?!? Sorry to those of you who love birds and hate guns. I actually like birds too, but this owl had better find another place to live or at least another place to serenade his/her significant other or ELSE! (Ok, Like I am really going to march out in my jammies in the wee hours with the 4-10 to aim and shoot!) It's just that I really need my sleep, and once I wake up, I have a very hard time getting back to sleep. A big :-P to Tall Guy for suggesting that we sleep with the windows open last night. Now my dear construction workers are here. Where is my coffee?

Happy Manic Monday to you all.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Walkin' and Fishin' at the Fair

Whew! Dang, I am one tired pup! Tall Guy is still at the fair doing Lord only knows whatever a fair board member does later at night. This fair board member called it a night, jumped in her van, jumped in the house, jumped in the shower, and am now trying to unwind.

We have had a great fair, with a couple crazy moments along the way like every other fair I am sure. It has also been VERY hot. Today, though, Tall Guy took off his fair board shirt and wore his SWCD shirt for our newest event at the county fair: a fishing derby! How fun!?!? We had fifty little fisherpeople out with their parents. I hid out there too, and we had a family moment with my folks joining on the fun and then whisking the girls away to spend a couple nights with them. Tomorrow is our big meal, a fish fry, so it is best that Tink and Bear are safely away from all the chaos that goes on behind the scenes of a county fair meal! No, none of the fish caught tonight will make it in to the frying pan for tomorrow's meal. They all went back into the pond to be caught another day....uhm.... that is unless the snapping turtles get to them first! Here are some pics from the fishing event.

The girls also caught real fish, bluegills, but they were little ones, about 5 inches long. The winners were 6 & 7 inches long. Not big by any means but a great time was had by all, and isn't that what county fairs are all about?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Itchy Walk!

This one is short and sweet. HELP! I have so many mosquito bites! I don't wear perfume, I spray with Off. What am I doing wrong? How do you stop these things from itching? I have always been very allergic to these bites, so that means they turn in to huge red welts that burn, ache, and ITCH! DANG! I'm currently using hydro-cortisone cream and topical Benedryl.

Off to the fair! (this is where I am currently being attacked!) Taking the kids to Tall Guy's mom's. Heat index is to be over 100, and I just don't think they need to be out there until evening.

Hopefully I can hop around next Friday. Have fun everyone!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Walking Away a Winner

You know, my dad asked me tonight, "Why did you put her in it?" "Her" refers to Tink, and "It" refers to our County Fair's Little Mr. & Miss pageant. Hmmmmmmm! Dang! I hate it when he asks the tough questions! Tink has always been shy, but she really has made big strides since going to school. When she was just 7 months old, she won "Prettiest Eyes" at the town's 4th of July baby contest, and I think she and Bear both have the most beautiful eyes.

So why enter her in a contest where the odds of wining are crazy (NEVER sign up to judge one of these things! How could you ever choose?) I guess I want her to be confident in herself. She had a great walk, spoke clearly and was able to be heard, and she had a thoughtful answer to her question. She is a Princess in our hearts, and for the day she got to be a princess. Hair done and all that fu-fu stuff. I guess it's just another way to go about learning life. Tall Guy and I told her beforehand that we were so proud of her for entering and following through with this.

With tomorrow's heat index predicted to be like 107, DANG!, I guess I am glad she will not have to hang out with the goats and cows tomorrow.

Here's to the girl with the prettiest blue eyes I have ever seen: Love you Baby Girl!
P.S. Bear's eyes are a totally different blue and just as striking!

The grandparents were there to give hugs and kisses too
Made from the new Disney Digital Pre-designed pages from Creative Memories
Nighty-night y'all!

Walking with the Band and Dreaded Mosquitoes

Well, I don't have any pictures from last night, but the Chris Cagle concert was a great one! The opening band was good too. The singer kind of cracked me up when he referred to the cornfield directly behind him as being beautiful. It's ours and had the heck beat out of it about a month ago when a storm carrying softball-sized hail made its way through the area. Our field just saw the beginning of said storm, so we had more green snap and small sized hail damage making it look kind of raggedy. Here is a link to what the crops down the road looked like! We were glad ours was still standing!....any who.... I digress. Dang!

My fun job was to drive some of Chris' band members up the road to a hotel where they could shower and get read for the show. Chatty Cathy here told them everything they did and probably didn't want to know about the county and windmills. I dropped them off, ran over to Mc-y D's for an iced mocha because I was already a bit tired, and then went back to the hotel to wait on the boys.

I told them to hustle or they would miss supper, in a joking, Mom-like tone, but as I sat out listening to my Cubbies sink their own ship in the top of the 12th (DANG!), I realized that in all the information I spouted on the way up, I forgot one very important detail. In crossing the county line north of us, we had left EST and gone into CST and gained a hour. DANG! They were supposed to be back by 6:00; it WAS 6:00, but the clocks in the room would be telling them they had another hour! Dang! For anyone who loved the show West Wing, there was a whole episode dedicated to this time mix up!

I went in to the hotel, tried to call their room, woke up the driver and decided to share my info with him, which he was glad to know, but my three band members were already on their phones, so up I tromped to knock on their doors. Nathan, later to be also known as the fiddle player, answered by peaking around the door. I told him the time dilemma, it registered, and I went down to let them scoot their boots. 40 minutes later, down they came (too funny I thought).

After the concert, came the dreaded picking up of cans/cups/trash (WHY CAN'T PEOPLE THROW THEIR OWN TRASH AWAY?????) and the folding, carrying, and stacking of about 1000 chairs, or that's how many it seemed! That's when the mosquitoes joined the party, and I found my usual spot on their top five list of yummy foods to bite! I would show you my wounds, but they are too icky for public viewing. There is this thing on Facebook going around about wishing these pests would suck out fat instead of blood! Would that were true!

So here I am, unable to sleep from last night's fun craziness and many bites, and a full day of fair ahead of me. Tink is having her hair braided at 12:30, and then we will probably head to the fairgrounds soon after so I can check on my peeps at the Commercial Tent and start my announcing gig until it is time to be Mommy of a Little Miss Benton County Fair Contestant. You all have a great day out there today!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Just playing and trying to de-stress after this crazy day.  Construction, fair, shop truck on the fritz, Little Miss Benton County practice, setting up the Commercial tent, and now trying to get Bear and Tink to go to bed.  Concert tomorrow with Chris Cagel.  Dang!  Calgon take me away!  Wish the sun room was done and the hot tub was up and running..... All in due time!

BTW, if you haven't tried Dancing on Broadway, Wii's newest dance game, it is a total blast for kids of all ages.  

This page was created with CM's Storybook 3.0.  I used the Totally Fun pages and the font is Annoying Kettle

Monday, July 19, 2010

Monday Meanderings

What have I learned in this past week?

1.  I can come up with pretty good ideas when I am walking or mowing.

2.  I love my kids, and by kids, I mean my former students.  It was so great to spend time with TLHS Class of '90 at their reunion.  They have grown into the wonderful adults I knew they would be.  I am so proud of them!  I think I will start going to these 20 year reunions for a while.  It's so good to see the end result! ( I also love my two girls beyond measure!)  Speaking of.......

3.  Bear will NOT eat pasta, no matter what you call it.  Tink will eat it, but she likes hers plain for the most part.

4.  Both girls eat so slowly, then they are hungry about a half hour after they finish a meal.

5.  I am surrounded by clutter, and it is time to declare WAR on it all.

6.  The fair starts in two days!  HELP!  (Tall Guy and I are both on the fair board, Farm Bureau board, and he is also a member of our county SWCD (Soil and Water Conservation District), and I am not sure how we are going to be all the places we need to be at the appropriate times!)  DANG!

7.  Construction projects do not go as quickly as they do on Extreme Home Makeovers, but I will be patient, and we ARE making progress.

8. The movie 2012 really creeped me out!

9.  When you have two accounts with one credit card company, it is easy to pay a bill to the wrong card. DANG!

10.  I like LOVE to blog!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Walking with the Hollyhock Lady

Hollyhocks remind me of my Grandma Phyllis.  I am sure I will tell you more stories about her as time goes on, but I cannot walk by a hollyhock without thinking of her and her ladies.  She would always make me a hollyhock lady, several with different colored flowing skirts and headdresses.  And now..... I am passing this memory on to my girls.  Bear brought two flowers in to me to make a doll.  Here's to you Grandma...........I know you are smiling down at me the girls you would have loved to know!

 First, pick two flowers, one not yet in full bloom and one opened. Try, on the opened flower, to have a longer stem than the one Bear gave me to work with! ;-)
Next, you need to remover the stem from the partial closed flower and hollow out an opening with a paring knife.
Push the "head" on to the "body," and Ta Da!

And here she is in her very own spotlight dance.

Miss you Grandma!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Walking the Long Plank for Rum Cake!

ARGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (think squinty-eyed, honked-off pirate chick!)  I have to make a dessert to take to a family reunion tomorrow, and I wanted to make Kathy's Rum Cake.  I grabbed all the ingredients off the shelf, and it hit me that I should try to blog this.  I had all my main ingredients together, and went to go find my best friend, The Captain, for his picture, and HE WAS GONE!  JUMPED SHIP!  NOT ON BOARD!  DANG!  No ransom note, no note to say he was off to find buried treasure!?!  ARGGG!!!!!!!!!

It's just not rum cake without The Captain, so off to the local watering hole I went to find him.  Outside said establishment, I went to fish my wallet out of my purse, and it wasn't there!  Dang!  Ok, I will go to my in-laws and borrow the money...Dang!  I don't have my ID, a required thing as of July 1 even though I have been 21 a very long time. DANG!  Back home I go, grumbling in the house to get the essentials, drive back to the WH, and the kind man there says he has a replacement for my friend.  I'm game, so I jumped ship myself and left with a new friend, RonDiaz, and came home to bake the cake.

Tink and Bear helped a bit, it's in the oven, and I think I might just have to have some raspberry lemonade made by my other good friend, Hard Mike, while the darned thing is baking.  ARGGGG!!!!!

P.S.  This new rum is yummy and less expensive than my former friend!  As my GOODEfriend would tell you,  just sayin'......

 I didn't flour the bowl, just sprayed it with Pam because it is a Pampered Chef bowl.  I LOVE cooking with them because they let go of their stuff when it's done!!

 Notice the pattern in the egg box?  Tall Guy thinks I am nuts, but I always space out the eggs as I take them from the box.  I know it has OCD screaming at you, BUT I once dropped a partially full carton of eggs because I grabbed the empty end!
 I'm too lazy to do the research, but I added all the liquid ingredients together EXCEPT for the rum.  I mixed it up with the dry ingredients, THEN added the rum.  It's something about raw eggs and the's not good to mix them together.

 I couldn't get a picture of this, but I took a knife and pulled the cake away from the pan so the liquid could more easily go down the sides.
Watching the cake get drunk!
Happy Kathy's Rum Cake below! 

Here is the recipe:
Kathy's Rum Cake
1      C. chopped pecans or walnuts
1      3 3/4 oz. box instant vanilla pudding
1/2   C. cold water
1/4   C. rum, regular or spiced.  If  you add more rum, add less water. (wink, wink)
1      box yellow cake mix
4      Eggs
1/4   C. oil

1.  Grease and flour a 10 inch tube pan or 12 cup bundt pan.
2.  Sprinkle nuts over the bottom.
3.  Mix all cake ingredients together, and pour batter over nuts.
4.  Bake at 325 for one hour.
5.  Glaze needs to be poured over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven and BEFORE inverting it on to a serving plate.


1    Stick butter                                                      1/4 C.  Rum (I used 1/3 C.)
3/4 C.     sugar                                                       1/4 C.  Water (I filled the rest of the 1/2 C with water)

1.  Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan, and bring to a boil for two minutes.
2.  Pour over cake slowly,, allowing all the boiling glaze to completely absorb into cake.
3.  Let cake cool for 30 minutes, then invert on to a serving plate.

A New Way to Walk into Our House Coming Soon!

I absolutely love Miranda Lambert's latest song "House that Built Me" It is just so beautifully written, and although I do not see myself as broken, the lines
"Up those stairs in that little back bedroom,
Is where I did my homework and I learned to play guitar,
I bet you didn't know under that live oak,
My favorite dog is buried in the yard."
bring a tear to my eye every time.

Tall Guy loves the song too, but I don't think he truly understands it because we live in the house that built him, from day one to day whatever 45 years, six months and four days equals out to be (I'm an ENGLISH teacher not math!). Not only has he lived here all his life, but his parents have lived in this house and both sets of grandparents at one time (but not the same time) set up house here too. Lots of Tall Guy history lives between these walls. And now a few walls are about to change.

Someone scratched the above initials and year in our closet. So we know the house was built at least by 1920.

This aerial shot was taken in the mid 1960's from the south looking north.
This areal shot was taken from the north looking south in the late 1970's or right around 1980.
This shot is the most current, around 2001

This was the back of the the house in February. The door up the steps has always been the way I come in. The door off the cement opens into the basement and is the one Tall Guy and his family have used "for ever." It is no longer there. YIKES!
We dug down the the bottom of the west wall of our basement to seal it with a foam sealant. Lots of dirt and rocks moved for this part of the fun. The remaining shrubs are gone too.

This is where the cement slab was on the back side of the house. It is now up about 3 feet and has the radiant heating units set up so the floor will be nice and toasty.
This is the ATTACHED garage ( I have had one just 2 out of my 48 years on this earth and am greatly looking forward to this new luxury!)

I peeked out the old entrance Thursday morning to see what was going on. The cement truck was here early, and the guys were doing their thing.

Even Tall Guy had to get in there and help! I made like I was going to walk out, and I thought the guys were going to have a heart attack. Silly men!

This was yesterday's cement project after our total of TWO inches of rain the night before. See the tracks in my yard or the place I used to call a yard. Don't see Sadie? Well she is in the cattle trailer so she won't walk over the floor until it's dry! She was none too happy about the situation, but she is out and about now.
Dang! These next few pics are out of order, but I am not sure how to move them so just bare with me. This truck with a boom, of over 105 feet showed up to pour the footers because we has just had FOUR inches of rain.

Pumpkin is supervising from the inside looking out.
Off of my kitchen and new sliding glass door, they start to pour the footers.

Barring any nasty weather, we might start to see wood by the end of next week! That, of course is also our fair week, so there is never a dull moment at our house. The tie in to walking? Well now everyone has to walk to the front of the house and come in through the very little used front door. It is an old habit that the older ones are finding hard to break. Stay tune for more updates as we start to fill in the walls of the house that will build Tink and Bear.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Speaking of Those Question Thingies.....

 This post links to the 20 question link back contest with Laura at Under the Sheets-shh
Join the party! 

1) Dressing up or casual? 
Casual, most definitely!

2) Most original Halloween costume?
Oh this is going to sound bad, but I do not like Halloween, so I don't usually dress-up, but I was a cowgirl once.
3) What would your talent be if you were participating in a beauty pageant?

4) What do the words retro boutique design mean to you?
Something that we do not see a lot of in Benton County, Indiana????  Makes me think of Paris!
5) What do you see as your greatest achievement?
Our girls and our family farm.

6) What household chore pacifies you?
Mowing the yard.

7) Favorite type of weather?
Any day that is sunny, with a 10 mph nw wind and about 71 degrees..

8) Do you sleep with the sheets tucked in or out?
I like the sheets tucked out on the sides.

9) Do you have freckles?
I have some in the summer.

10) Favorite kind of sandwich? 
Rib eye steak with onions and mushrooms.

11) Can you hold your breath without holding your nose?
It's easier to do underwater.  ;-)

12) What’s your name spelt backwards?
Ok, no comments, but it's anal!  A message from God???  Maybe.....

13) What message is on your voicemail machine?
You have reached the home of ____ and ____, Creative Memories Consultant. Please leave....yada yada yada

14) What was the name of your first pet? 

15) Do you believe in karma?
Yes, I do in all its many forms and names

16) Do you believe in luck?
That is a tough one.  I usually say "You make your own luck,"  but sometimes life does give you a big break.

1a7) Do you have a nickname? 

18) Are you a shopping addict? 

19) Favorite superhero?
Toss up between Underdog and Mighty Mouse

20) Chocolate or vanilla?

Have a great Weekend.....Hmmmmmmm

Is there really such a thing as a weekend on the farm?  I tell everyone "Have a great weekend!" as my ending tag on a Friday Facebook chat and now Blog post, but here at our house, one day just seems to blend into another.  

Have you ever answered one of those question thingies that asks "What is your favorite day?"  I just sit in front of the computer and stare off as my brain tries to figure out this newest puzzle.  Back in the day, I would have said Friday and Saturday in a heart beat, and Sunday was a mixed bag of nuts because I usually had laundry and essays starring at me.  The nice part about those Sundays was I would usually head out to my mom and dad's to do laundry, help with the Sunday meal, clip coupons with Mom (and split a beer while doing it), and then get ready to watch the Bears or Cubbies.  Those were fun times unless the essay pile was terribly high or our teams were not playing well!

On the farm, every day comes with chores, especially if you raise livestock.  Before Tall Guy and I got married, I made him promise me he would take me away from Indiana for at least one week, and that didn't count all the trips to Illinois for parts!  He has made good on that promise every spring, and then we spoiled each other by adding another get away right after the fair and before school to Hilton Head, SC.  We have visited that lovely island for the last three years, but this year we are not going, and I think it is starting to make me sad.  We do have a ton of things going on right now.  Besides the general farm stuff, our fair starts next week, school starts the 13th, and our sun room and garage are starting to take shape.  These two rooms will be a great addition to our home, and I will post more on that soon.  I think I am just missing our Great Escape from home to a place where Tink, Bear, and I can have Tall Guy all to ourselves.  There is our mini-vacation to Raccoon Lake coming up, and that will be fun with all of Tall Guy's family there, so we will go splash in the water there and pretend the waves come from the moon and earth's pull on each other instead of the guy with the big Evinrude motor. 

So get out there and have a great weekend!  We will try to make ours a memorable one too after picking up all the "stuff" Mother Nature decided to blow around us after yesterday's storms.  Tink and Bear may be on Pick Up duty as soon as breakfast is over!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad... Thanks for always being beside me as I walk through life!

 Gifts come in many different shapes and sizes; sometimes God gives us many gifts wrapped up into one package.  Today I get to wish my daddy a very happy birthday.  It is my gift from God that Dad and I have shared many walks together over the past 48 years.  I remember walks down the lane to go fishing and walks in the woods in search of the elusive and completely scrumptious Morel mushrooms.

There were walks down bean rows to pull weeds and through gardens to pick vegetables.  We have had the pleasure of walking down paths in many states; Minnesota, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Montana to name a few.  We have walked through graveyards in search of ancestors in Kansas and Ohio, through our nation's capitol, Mount Vernon, Monticello (Jefferson's home and Dad's favorite president.  Did I mention he is a retired history teacher who loves to fish?), Williamsburg, Jamestown, Gettysburg, and many other historical paths.  I was so excited when he and Mom were able to travel to England and France with me and walk the steps where druids, kings, queens, and great men walked before us.  It really touched me to walk on stone steps worn away with millions of foot steps before mine, ours.  Maybe our best walks have come in the last decade, starting with that wonderful walk down the aisle, and then walking with first Tink and then Bear in between us.  Sometimes we talk, and sometimes we are quite, but it is always a great thrill to take a walk with Dad and add another memory.

I will share just one because I am tearing up, and this will make me, and hopefully you, laugh.  I believe we were in the mountains of New Mexico, hiking back to an old mine site with a suspension bridge.  Mom and Grandma didn't go, so Dad and I set out with a container of water and a hop in our step to see what we could see.  If my memory serves me right, we saw a bird that likes to swim under water and build its nest on the steep side of the cliffs.  It was all very Audubon-esque......until Dad decided he was tired of carrying the full water bottle.  I was ahead of him a few yards when he decided to dump the water we had left.  I didn't know what he was doing, he didn't tell me, and the spot where the water hit had some sticks and rocks around it.  Anywho.... to innocent me, that water hitting the ground sounded pretty darned like all the rattlesnakes I had ever heard on any Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom or other animal show, and I screamed! And it was LOUD!  We were in a canyon of sorts, and my scream echoed.  Mind you, I seriously cannot scream if you begged me to; this was a primal cry of fear.  When this echo died away, a new sound replaced it.....yep...Dad was doubled over, laughing so hard he was crying.  Apparently there is a primal dance that one does when one is making a primal sound, and I was inspiring.  After I calmed down, was assured no fifteen foot reptile was going to eat me, and had seriously reprimanded my father for trying to scare his only daughter to death, I laughed too, and we were still giggling when we came off the trail.  We love to tell that story; it makes us smile.  Happy Birthday Daddy!  Love, Your Little Girl!

P.S.  I hope you have a friend, two legged or four legged to walk with you.  I was very inspired by a story I read on a new friend's blog.  Four Leaf Clover Tales reuniting with her horse is a must read!  With that, I leave you to take your own walk today, be it physical or spiritual.  Open your ears, eyes, and heart to all that comes your way.