Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Our back yard will be full of little monsters tonight; I hope we can make it through without any trips to the emergency room. Wish us luck!

Happy Trick-or-Treating!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Jack Frost and Other Stuff

Jack came to visit us a couple of mornings this week. It was his first visit for this season but I'm sure it won't be his last cause he's a fairly frequent visitor in the wintertime around here. My poor, little, pitiful, flowering pear tree must be shivering down to her cute little roots cause this is her first visit from ol Jack. I hope she's not too traumatized to bloom come Spring.

Zach picked the tomatoes and I cut some of the sunflower blooms before Jack came to call too. They looked nice in the background when I snapped this picture of the peppers and pepper relish that I canned over the weekend.

I think the lack of blooming plants is what I dislike most about winter. That and being cold, I hate to be cold.

The closest little town near where I live has been in the news again lately. The last time was when the idiot mayor released the stray pups into the National Forrest, remember that? This time it appears we had a real, live, skinhead with possible terrorist traits living there. It's not bad enough to be one of the poorest areas in the U.S., we have to be known for breeding such trash as this.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dirty Politics

I don't know who's going to win this Presidential election, but I know who's been winning the mud slinging contest going on in my email.

It's those "publicans.

Man, if I was Obama, and I did win the Presidency, I'd be surrounding myself with several linebackers and defensive ends; forget the secret service! Those 'publicans are gettin' down right nasty right there in my Inbox. It's gotten so bad that I have my nice 'n clean Electronic Cleaning Wipes handy each time I log on so I can clean off the barf and BS.

And you know? There hasn't be a'one that was bashing McCain.

Does someone know something I don't?

Maybe I don't want to know.

Anyhow, the way I see it, they're wasting their time here. And mine. I'm equally disgusted with the the whole lot of them uppiddy politicans.

(did I spell that right?)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday Wake UP

I found out just how nippy it was outside just a few minutes ago. I had to go out and move my truck up a bit in the driveway to be sure the school bus would have room to pull in. There was a great song just starting on the radio so I left the truck running and stood beside it and danced while the kids laughed their hinnies off at the crazy, sleep deprived, Nanaw.

Before sunrise, in 39 degrees breeziness, wearing sleep shorts and a short robe, dancing to Pink Floyd; a great way to start a Monday.

Another plus for living in the country, neighbors would have been instantly blinded.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

School Girl and Halloween

Tomorrow is a big day, our Jilly Beans is going to start pre-K! They had an opening so they called Jerri about it, all the paperwork was completed so the Beans is a school girl now. Nanaw is sort of torn between being happy for her and being sad because she's our baby and everyone knows that going to school is the beginning of the end of babyhood.

We took the little monsters, and the Great American Parrot, below to the Boo Fest that the Heritage Trail State Park had for the children here in our county. They had a load of fun in the haunted house and on the haunted trail. I don't think it scared the Beans much at all, but Zach and Alexis got nervous once or twice. PopPop, Jerri, and Bubbie went along with them but Nanaw gave out after standing in line for almost an hour so I sat at a picnic table and waited for them.

I've been busy this afternoon making a list of things to gather up this week for a Halloween weenie roast for the kiddies on Friday night. Trick-or-treating has been making me more and more nervous. The nearest town of any size has been having such an increase in shootings and robberies over the past year that I just don't feel it's safe to take our kids in some of the neighborhoods after dark. Zach decided last year that he was too old to trick-or-treat and he and the other kids love to get together and have time to play, so we think a little party will make everyone happy.

PopPop and Zach went down to the barn and dragged home an old tractor hub for us to build a little bon-fire in, and they went somewhere and cut us a small stack of dry wood. Jerri is bringing some hot dog sticks that her father made when she was a kid. I think the menu will be hot dogs, chips and dip, and smores. I haven't decided for sure if I'll get apple cider and juice, or if I'll make a punch. I've put some flashlights on the list in case the fire doesn't put out enough light for them. I'll also make each of them a Halloween goodie bag. We'll have to set parimeters because there are acres and acres for them to roam out here, maybe we won't lose any of the children. :-)

I just looked at the weather forecast and they're saying we're in for a frost tomorrow night. Guess I'll be out in the garden tomorrow gathering those tomatoes!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Limping Thoughts

I've figured it out, I could buy 5000 pairs of comfortable pajamas for what Sarah Darlin' spent on clothes using public donation funds in a 6 week period.

If Obama becomes president, will his wife be the tallest First Lady to ever live in the White House?

What happens to left over campaign contributions? Will they share the wealth?

How many shopping days till Christmas?

My feet are cold, Fall must have officially arrived here.

If you tape a bird's mouth shut, will he still be able to breath?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Hey Baby I'm a Country Man!

Christopher lives next door to Jami and the girls. He's such a cutie; we're all amazed with him cause he has a really deep voice for such a little fella. In the clip he's telling me his favorite song.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Fall Veggies and Blooms

I know it's officially Fall and it's even felt a little like it with our having temps in the 70's for the past several days. Our patch of greens even know it's Fall; they're not wilting from the heat and humidity this week.

James planted turnips, 7-tops, and some mustard greens that we've been eating pretty regularly for a few weeks now.

The peppers are turning red, so they know it's Fall. Aren't they pretty? I may go out and pick some tomorrow and try to pickle a few. We have cayenne, and jalapenos, and some round pepper that's hot as blazes.

Some of the summer sunflowers thought it was Spring again; they reseeded, grew, and bloomed again. The bees have really been happy about that.

We scattered some wild flowers back in the spring and this was one of the varieties that came up. They didn't start blooming until last month. There's this color and a dark purple one. Does anyone know what they are?

We're still getting a few tomatoes from the garden too and I intend to enjoy them for as long as I can. I am usually chomping at the bit for the taste of a tomato fresh from the garden during the winter months.

Soon it will be time for all the veggies and blooms to go to bed to wait through the winter. I'll be bundled up a'waitin' for Spring!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

ABCs of Homemaking

A ~Aprons--y/n If y, what does your fav. look like?
I don't own one, not even one. I had a couple of my grandmother's aprons before our house went up in flames several years ago. She always wore aprons.

B ~ Baking--Favorite thing to bake?
Cornbread and biscuits, that's it. I'm not good at baking anything else unless it comes from a box or mix and I've even screwed that up more than once. I once caused a cake explosion.

C ~ Clothes line?
I don't have one but I wish I did. I love the smell of laundry that's been dried outdoors. Hubby took my clothes lines down because he said they were a pain to mow around. Also, we have so much dust out here in the country that I had to pick and choose the days that I could hang laundry out to dry.

D ~ Donuts--Have you ever made them?
I have made them out of canned biscuits, not especially good ones though.

E ~ Everyday--One homemaking thing you do everyday?
DISHES! They breed in my sink. I know they do, I've almost caught them at it!

F ~ Freezer--Do you have a separate deep freeze?
Yes, I have an upright freezer. I used to have a huge chest freezer but when it decided to die and since I can most of our garden produce now, we didn't need a big one anymore.

G ~ Garbage Disposer?
No, we're lucky to have garbage pick-up out here these past 15 or so years. We pay dearly for it too. My grandson has to have something to do, right?

H ~ Handbook--What is your favorite homemaking resource?
I have none unless complete and total disorganization qualifies for this. I did learn to cook by watching my grandmothers and my father, when he was around.

I ~ Ironing--Love it or Hate it? Or hate it but love the results?
Hate it. Don't do it. Don't buy anything that needs it. Don't own an iron. Downy Ultra is my iron.

J ~ Junk Drawer--y/n? Where is it?
Yes. There's one in the kitchen, there's one in the bathroom, and my office pretty much looks like one right now.

K ~ Kitchen--color and decorating scheme.
Green/gold/leaves on white bg wallpaper, Green tile type backsplashes, white linoleum. No decorating scheme. A valance over the little window above the kitchen sink that's different colors; I like being able to look out.

L ~ Love--what is your favorite part of homemaking?
I can't think of any. I think a homey house would be if it were possible with these heathens that I live with, but apparently it's not.

M ~ Mop--y/n?
Yes I have a mop, a string mop like my mother and grandmother used.

N ~ Nylons, machine or hand wash?
Hand wash if I ever wore them.

O ~ Oven--do you use the window or open the oven to check?

P ~ Pizza--What do you put on yours?
Our pizzas are usually take out or frozen and I prefer every vegetable that you can get on one, with only a little meat. I don't like a lot of sauce.

Q ~ Quiet--What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment?
I read or log onto my computer.

R ~ Recipe Card Box--y/n? What does it look like?
I don't have one. I do have a couple of cookbooks. OH wait, I do have my mother's recipe box, it's a little basket thingy.

S ~ Style of house--What style is your house?
Manufactured, white vinyl siding, shingle roof, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, mostly open living/dining/kitchen area. Front porch, back deck.

T ~Tablecloths or Place mats?
Both. Even when I use a tablecloth I use placemats. With little ones around all the time, there are always spills.

U ~ Under the kitchen sink--organized or toxic wasteland?
Toxic wasteland. Open with caution.

V ~ Vacuum--How many times per week?
I wish I only needed to vacuum once or twice a week, I have dreams about this.

W ~ Wash--How many loads of laundry do you do per week?
Does 15 sound like too many? Probably more like 20 sometimes.

X's--Do you keep a daily list of things to do that you cross off?
I make lists and I lose lists, and I'm good at it.

Y ~ Yard--y/n? Who does what?
Occasionally I'll mow the yard but only on rare occasions. A Zach and a husband live here, they can do something, can't they?

ZZZ's ~ what is your last homemaking task for the day before going to bed?
I cover my bird.

I borrowed this from Dian who graciously allowed her readers to give it a go. Thank you Dian!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Brenda Photo Challenge: OLD

And old Mason canning jar and an old cream bottle from back when the town folks bought their cream from a dairy. We always had fresh from the cow milk and cream when I was a little bitty girl. My grandpa had a cow for milking and my grandma would milk her every morning and evening. If I think real hard, I can almost remember how good a bowl of hot, crumbled cornbread covered with cold, home churned buttermilk tasted back then.

James's Aunt gave him this old clock that used to belong to his Uncle.

James's collection of old crocks, jugs, and churns. The gray jug was found when they were excavating the site of an old liquor store over in Helena back a few years ago. They found dozens of the old jugs, some still had liquor in them. Jerri found and gave James the brown jug. It looks to have been handmade many, many years ago.

The old Schubach barn that I see on my way to town.

Various old things that James has dragged home over the past year. Old bottles, an old flat iron, even some old rocks used as tools by the Indians that used to live in this area many, many, moons ago.

Thanks for choosing our topic this time Miz Donna! Ya'll can go over to the photo challenge blog to have a look at lots of other challenge photos. I always have so much fun taking photos for these challenges and I'm so happy that others do too!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Photo Challenge Tomorrow!

Miz Donna's our hostess with the mostess this time and she's chosen "OLD" as our topic for this photo challenge. Heck, a picture of myself will qualify for this un, :-)

Come join us by going HERE to follow Miz Donna's directions, then post your pics to your blog and we'll find them.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Huge Sigh!

Ok, I watched this Presidential debate all the way through. I didn't get so angry and frustrated during the first 5 minutes, as I did in the 2 other debates, that I turned the TV to the Vagina channel (for new readers, that's the LifeTime channel in other households). I gritted my teeth and hung in there to the end.

So, I've almost decided who I'm going to cast my vote for in the Presidential elections. But it's not firm, written in permanent markers, or cast in cement. I could still change my mind (and probably will at least a dozen times).

Alrighty then, that's done for now.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


I found this tiny little tea set at a yard sale on Sunday. Jerri's mother, Banny, called to tell me they had a tripod that I might be interested in so Zach and I went over to have a look. The tripod was adjustable up to 60 inches and still in the box. I paid $7 for it; can't beat that with a stick!

Jerri and the Beans came in with this "prize" for me last week that they had found at a yard sale. Isn't she just the cutest?

I think this is the best bee photo I've ever captured, not for lack of trying! I reckon he had just gotten out of bed and was having breakfast cause I didn't even have to chase him.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Forever Young

I picked up the Young@Heart movie (documentary) on Saturday at movie rental place. I remember seeing a video clip of this wonderful Chorus several months back on Cindra's blog. As I sat watching these delightful seniors I smiled often, laughed many times, and sobbed my heart out more than once. It is, without a doubt, the most inspiring movie I've ever seen.

Maybe I was led by some force to chose this movie on Saturday because I certainly needed something to pull me out of this mood I've been in.

I promise you, no matter how bad your mood, you'll be smiling from ear to ear after you see this movie.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


The bird woke me up before 8 a.m.

We went out for dinner last night, so why is the sink full of dirty dishes?

Every flat surface has papers, crayons, pencils, dust, or something laying on it.

I have to expend more energy asking/telling/threatening Zach about cleaning up his messy trails than it would take to just follow him around picking up after him.

I want to be rich so I can spend the winter with a view like this.

I have not been in a good mood this weekend, and I don't see it getting better any time soon.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

PhotoStory Friday

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Full of Beans

Jerri and Jillian (a.k.a. Jilly Beans) came over this afternoon. Beans was having a little reviving nap in her momma's arms when they first got there, but soon she was busy dragging out this toy, those crayons, that book, etc... She got tired of coloring pretty quick but didn't want to pick up the colors that were strewn everywhere, so to get her to do it, we had a race to see who could pick up the fastest. That worked. That time.

Later on she'd taken out the Mouse-Trap game and had left it in the middle of the floor so Jerri told her, "Jillian, you need to pick up this game and put it away." Jillian ignored her. Jerri said, "Jillian, you either pick up this game or I'm going to spank you." Jillian is all comfortable and laid back in her PopPop's recliner and says,

"Don't whip me too hard Momma."

That child is gonna go somewhere,,, far.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

All Done

We finished up the mouse houses. One is the hippy mouse house, the second is the teenager mouse house.

There's not an empty shoe box to be had in this house now.

Zach has informed me that he has a poster and report due for Science on the 17th that he needs help with. A Nanaw' s work is never done.

I think I'll trade him 10 trash carry-outs for my help. :-)

Monday, October 06, 2008

Yep, It's Monday

Abby gave Zach one of her fish because he's been eating all of the other fish in her fish tank. Sooo, now we have a carnivorous, molly fish named Charley. My bird, Odie, has been giving Charley the eye, like he's thinking, "I'd sure like to have a bite of you,,,maybe,,,if you weren't almost bigger than me."

He's that big because he's been dining on all the tiny, delicate fish in his previous fish tank condo. I don't think Odie would stand a chance in a food fight with ol fat Charley. Sorry Odie.

The photo above is not a good one of Charley, I'll try to do a better one later, maybe when he's asleep or something. Do fish sleep?

This is a mouse house. MeriKate had to make a mouse house for a reading project so Jerri and I gathered up the stuff to help her to decorate her critter's shoebox abode. It's almost done, just have to put a little paint on a few more pieces of furniture and paint the mouse occupant.

That's the mouse in the upper center part of the photo. She hasn't been painted yet but we'll get to that tomorrow. We've decided to call her a hippy mouse because of the bright and colorful interior decoration theme. We considered giving her a bong but decided that might not go over too well in the second grade.

We have to finish this mouse house tomorrow because Abby also has the same assignment and we'll have to help with hers too. We're still thinking on the next one, and not sure what sort of house she'll have, but between the 3 of us, we'll think of something.

We sure are having fun.

I hope they don't have to do too many projects this year.

It's time to have some supper and afterwards, get Zach herded towards his bath and back to cleaning his room. He got half of it cleaned last night so I only took half of his stuff today.

This Nanaw made it through the day with 3 1/2 hrs of sleep last night and no nap. I think I'm gonna crash soon.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Mostly Quiet Weekend

Zach decided to go home with his Mom after school on Friday because they were going to a weenie roast. This was fine with me, but he left his room in it's usual mess and I told him it had to be cleaned when he got home. He got home about 3 this afternoon.

He's still in his room.

His room is still not clean.

We've been fighting already since 3:00 pm, I've screamed, he's screamed.

If his room isn't cleaned tonight by bed time, I'm going in there tomorrow and taking out his TV, his play station, his game cube, and taking away his laptop.

Things are going to have to improve around here if I'm going to retain even a smidgen of my sanity.

My very soul is tired dammit.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Photo Challenge: Yellow

Photo Challenge day! Y'all be sure to stop by and say thank you to Tabitha for being our hostess and go to the comments at our Brenda Photo Challenge blog to visit all the other participants. And if you didn't sign up to play this time, please grab your camera and start snapping for the next one. We love to see everyone's interpretations of each challenge topic, and heck, it's just plain fun!

The yellow center of a wildflower. I just love these little dainty blooms.

The tiny pastel yellow tea cup from my tea set.

My Maximillion Sunflowers started blooming this past week. I love these. They come up from a root and grow tall all spring and summer, then bloom the last week in September. The start of this plant was given to me by my grandmother over 25 years ago. We've moved twice during that time and I always bring a bit of it along. She brought them with her every time she moved too.

I love, love, love, this big yellow bus when it comes in the mornings. I'm not so happy with it in the afternoons though.

Now, don't forget to go see what the other's have come up with for this challenge.

Keep snapping!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Don't Forget!

Tomorrow's the day for revealing our next Photo Challenge pictures. Tabatha is our hostess this time and she chose YELLOW to be our challenge topic. Hop over to the Challenge Blog that Miz Donna fixed up for us and let us know in your comments that you wanna play so we can come see your creations.

Grab your cameras and go out and shoot!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

SkyWatch #12

Arkansas sunset through the cypress tree leaves.

It's time for another SkyWatch. Please go over to see all the SkyWatch skies from around the world over here. I hope I can get over to see more of the entries this week, last week was so hectic I didn't get a lot of time to visit very many.

Ignorance is Alive and Well in Arkansas

The measure, known as Act One on our Arkansas ballot, would make it unlawful for cohabitating couples to adopt or serve as foster parents. Two groups are now going head to head against each other for our vote.

The group called Arkansas Families First held a news conference at the State Capitol Wednesday morning announcing their campaign against the measure. Doctor Eddie Ochoa, a pediatrician, spoke on their behalf.

Ochoa says, "We don't think an arbitrary policy that would disqualify people is a good thing for Arkansas children because we need homes to place them especially for children with complicated physical and mental health needs."

The group has requested a hearing that will take place Thursday morning at the DHS offices in downtown Little Rock. Group members plan to testify against a policy that keeps cohabitating unmarried adults from being foster parents.

The DHS policy currently says cohabitating adults that are not related cannot be foster parents. They do allow homosexuals to be foster parents, but they must be single. According to department spokesperson Julie Munsell, having an unrelated adult in the home, like a roommate or domestic partner, could pose safety issues because only the foster parent has met the state requirements.

Understanding that it's already DHS policy to not let unmarried couples be foster parents or adopt, the family council wants it put into state law. Family Council President Jerry Cox attended the press conference. Cox says, "It's an unnecessary distraction because the Department of Human Services is trying to protect children, these groups have stepped in they have an agenda and now they're complicating the process."

At at the hearing Thursday, Arkansas Families First will be asking the state to suspend its policy banning unmarried couples from fostering children.

Protect the children from what Mr. Cox,,, from being in a loving home? It seems to me, by making this practice into a law, it's supports sending more of them to orphanages and group homes where they're not very likely to have any protection. The nuclear family only consists of about a third of the family groups in the U.S. and, in my humble opinion, the numbers are not likely to grow, so it's time to get out of the pulpit/off the high horse and out of the bedrooms of Americans.

The DHS should be more diligent at doing background checks and gathering character references before placing a child; why can't they do this as easily with unmarried couples as they can with married ones? They place children in single parent households, are these people not allowed to date or have relationships while fostering?

It would be perfect if a safe loving home, made up of a loving, married, couple could be found for every child, but it isn't going to happen. I think the focus should be on just the safety and the loving home and piece of paper doesn't make either of those things so.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Oh Yeah!

The Birkenmeier Plan

Hi Pals,

I'm against the $85,000,000, 000.00 bailout of AIG.

Instead, I'm in favor of giving $85,000,000, 000 to
America in a We Deserve It Dividend.

To make the math simple, let's assume there are
200,000,000 bonafide U.S. Citizens 18+.

Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting
every man, woman and child. So 200,000,000 might
be a fair stab at adults 18 and up..

So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billion
that equals $425,000.00.

My plan is to give $425,000 to every person 18+
as a We Deserve It Dividend.

Of course, it would NOT be tax free.

So let's assume a tax rate of 30%.

Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes.

That sends $25,500,000, 000 right back to Uncle Sam.

But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00
in their pocket.

A husband and wife has $595,000.00.

What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00
in your family?

Pay off your mortgage - housing crisis solved.

Repay college loans - what a great boost to new grads

Put away money for college - it'll be there

Save in a bank - create money to loan to entrepreneurs.

Buy a new car - create jobs

Invest in the market - capital drives growth

Pay for your parent's medical insurance - health care

Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean - or else

Remember this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+
including the folks who lost their jobs at Lehman
Brothers and every other company that is cutting
back. And of course, for those serving in our
Armed Forces.

If we're going to re-distribute wealth let's really do it...
instead of trickling out a puny $1000.00 ( 'vote buy' )
economic incentive that is being proposed
by one of our candidates for President.

If we're going to do an $85 billion bailout, let's bail
out every adult U S Citizen 18+!

As for AIG - liquidate it.

Sell off its parts.

Let American General go back to being American General.

Sell off the real estate.

Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.

Here's my rationale. We deserve it and AIG doesn't.

Sure it's a crazy idea that can 'never work.'

But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party!

How do you spell Economic Boom?

I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how
to use the $85 Billion

We Deserve It Dividend more than I do the geniuses
at AIG or in Washington DC .

And remember, The Birk plan only really costs $59.5
Billion because $25.5 Billion is returned instantly in taxes
to Uncle Sam.

Ahhh...I feel so much better getting that off my chest.

Kindest personal regards,


T. J. Birkenmeier, A Creative Guy & Citizen of the Republic

PS: Feel free to pass this along to your pals as it's either good
for a laugh or a tear or a very sobering thought on how to
best use $85 Billion!!