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Archive for the ‘Home Again in Indiana’ Category

Every time something bad would happen, when I was a girl and mostly in school, I would come home and complain to mom and she would tell me, “The Lord works in mysterious ways.” 

Frankly, it did not make me feel one whit better.  Not one.  And, I mumbled all evening about a God who has nothing better to do than to screw up my life.  Couldn’t he feed one of those starving children that I was so diligently cleaning my plate for, to make sure they got enough to eat?

There was another premise that did not make a lot of sense to me.  It went right along with how much protection I thought I got hiding under my wooden desk from an atomic bomb attack. 

While attending Casper College, in Casper, Wyoming, I studied under and with Lynn Munns.  Lynn became a great friend and fantastic mentor and, excuse me if you have heard this before.  I used to just not “get” modern art but something made it all snap into place for me and Lynn made the statement about this phenomena, that you may see or hear something a thousand times but you need to be in just the right place for it to snap into place.  He was so right.

Which was just a huge, no humongous build up to a very small story.  I was reminded of it by scratches on a scrap of paper but I read Crazy Aunt Purl = via Crazy Aunt Purl,  titled: You Got My Attention with your Big Orange Sticker and finally remembered to blog the story.  Check it out.

The poor State of Indiana got my attention, but it was with a small paper orange sticker, stuck ceremoniously on top of a sign warning travelers, going probably 50 mph, of upcoming road construction.  Some states have huge bright lights that shine in your eyes.  Others flashing, spinning orange ones.  Indiana had taken three post-it notes and mounted them on a wire above the sign.  The orange notes spun around the wire and made a truly impressive warning sign.  NOT!

Guess, God and construction workers work in mysterious ways, or I just was not in the right place to see the brilliance of it all.

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  • Three year old JCountry eating the Christmas tree bulbs.  Not so funny at the time but we now laugh a lot about all the things he ate back then: 1/2 tray of brownies while sitting on top of the refrigerator; dog food out of the bin, at the store and the bag, at home; and, light  bulbs.  For a while, we followed him around with white bread (poison control said that was all we could do).
  • While we are on food, the joy of throwing up on Christmas even because  I ate the whole package of chocolate covered wafer cookies, while everyone else decorated the tree.  Hey, I was a kid and it beats me eating so much liver sausage at grandma’s house that I threw up in the car, on the way home.
  • Last year, at Teacher daughter’s, watching her new shelter dog lick everything in sight.  Mia especially liked the new grandchild, whose mother so patiently bit her tongue at dog spit on her child for days.  We love you Francis!!!  Okay, maybe that was last summer, but it was still fun.
  • Mia also entertained us with her immitation of a short range missle tracking a lazer point on the floor.  When said lazer pointer was turned off, Mia spent the next hour/s trying to find the missing red dot.  ‘Sniff, Sniff, Oh, it’s not between the chair and the cabinet, it must be under the rug.   Dig, dig, dig, nope, not there either.  Where’s the dot?  Where’s the dot?’
  •  There was the Christmas that we had to turn back from visiting my sister’s house as the snow was too bad so we joined my aunt at her house instead.  Her turkey ended up on the floor, but she had a great story about her husband’s temper.  Seems he got really mad about the floor not being clean and waxed , so on the way to work, he went to get his lunch out and yanked the refrigerator door really hard and pulled the whole thing over on himself.  (he wasn’t hurt and that’s not the funny part), he was late and only had time to change his pants and not his underwear.  When he got to work, and went to change into work clothes, he realized the beets had done quite a spill on his boxers and his fellow employees ribbed him for months about it.  But, the floor was clean enough we could eat the turkey.

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After informing everyone on Facebook and Twitter that the Geminids meteor shower was at its peak yesterday, I went to bed and forgot all about it.  Senior moment or Alzheimer’s?  Of course we had not seen anything in the sky, but grey and snow for days, so I did not hold out a lot of hope to see them.

When we lived in Wyoming, we had seen everything in the sky.  I remember getting out of the car every night and watching Haley’s comet.  Every rainy season there were double and even triple rainbows in the sky.   Yes, I know, Wyoming does not have rainy seasons.  But, it does have triple rainbows.  One night, I sat curled in a blanket on the front porch, and watched a lunar eclipse.  Another night, all of us went in the back yard, with lawnchairs and sleeping bags, and watched a fantastic comet show.  They sky’s in Wyoming always seemed to have a show.  It was just when that show became fire and smoke that it was not fun.  Three years of having our area burn around us and it just seemed like we were playing Russian Roulette

Last night, at 2:30 am, the dog decided she had to go out.  I slipped on my boots and grabbed a sweater and stood waiting for her.  She has had a problem with her back leg recently and it seems to be cramped up and frozen when she comes in.  She is twelve years old this month and has had bone problems for years.  I keep an eye on her for that and the fact that we have had a coyote walk down our driveway and a fox den in our meadow.  She would make a tasty morsel for a coyote.  Then, I remembered the Geminid meteor showers.

I began looking for them and soon short streaks were random in the sky.  It was two hours after they were to be at their peak, darn!  I think I made it all of fifteen minutes outside and then came in and watched from the window.  I saw a streak every five minutes probably but it was enough to wake me up to all the things that we can still enjoy, sans money.

Sometimes, with all the neat technology upgrading almost daily, I can feel left behind.  We have very basic cell phones and a cheap computer, but the really important things in life are still here for all of us.  Where I live it includes seeing triplet fawns in our yard all summer, and coyotes and fox and blue herron in the pond.

And, to the readership of this blog, who has still checked in, even when I seemed to abandon you and even though I still do not use punctuation properly.  Thanks to all.

Check out the stars tonight and smile.

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Snow is here. I woke up to about an inch and a half which is now up to about three inches. Since no one had to go out today, it was a good day to read the paper.

We live in a small county with a weekly paper. It isn’t very large; two to three sections with maybe a total of seven pages.

As I learned today, our town has won $2,500 to do a survey of trees located in town right-of-way “last winter” and the survey is almost complete. Our town is three to five blocks long; depending on how you could classify the property that has a liquor store, pharmacy and Subway. Which may be the single most important section in town. You can have dinner, get drunk and get aspirin for your hangover in one stop shopping. So, when they told me that they were just now finishing up, I was a bit amused, to say the least.

Okay, they aren’t just counting them, they are noting locations, species, ages, conditions and other pertinent information; and all in an effort to prioritize aged and dying trees for removal. Since this is a tourist town, I suppose it is cheaper than a tree falling on a tourist. THAT is definitely not good for business. But, that’s only an aside (and perhaps the longest one on record).

The fun part of our paper is called THE FINE PRINT: It’s the Sheriff’s log.

When my grandson went in the Army, I tried to write him once a week and always included items from the Sheriff’s log. Now, grandson/son is in the Army, in Germany. When he was in basic, I sent him items from the Sheriff’s log too and he read them to his fellow soldiers. But, it seems that with the economy the way it is, the crazies have gone underground (looking for work?) and the crime rate has gone up. This is just not near as funny as it was, until today.

This one could have had serious consequences, so I don’t mean to laugh, BUT – What the **** was the woman thinking?

911 caller on * Road advises she fell down three flights of stairs under a refrigerator a few hours ago. Subject advises she did lose consciousness a couple of times then and has been throwing up since. She wants to know how long before ambulance arrives.

Why, in the world, would anyone, man or woman, try to move a refrigerator up three flights of stairs alone?

The other one that caught my eye was a 5 p.m call:

Caller advises a man is selling her son marijuana and he doesn’t need to do that.

You tell him, mama!

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Hope you all had a tremendous food fest, that is called Thanksgiving, here in the U.S. 

TV is on and I just HAVE to say this.  Just how sick is Bridalplasty.  The whole idea makes me sick.  What a sad state this country is getting itself in.  Enough digression.

My fond memories of Thanksgiving are from my childhood, when we traveled to my grandmother/aunt’s house and I spent the day being hugged and kissed by comfy aunts and spent time with my sister (she lived with my grandmother). 

My grandmother was a quiet woman.  I really wish I could remember her voice, but I don’t.  I do remember her whispery reading (something my dad did also) and her piano playing.  I also remember that, if she knew you had a favorite dish that was just a bit different from norm, say the lemon filling in lemon cream pie but without crust (Now who in the world would want to do without homemade pie crust?).  I’m just saying, that if that was what you liked, Grandma had it there waiting for you.

Grandma’s house was full of people and conversation and laughter; especially when the ladies went out to do the dishes while the men slept on the couch.  They were mostly laughing about the men, I think, but they were sure having a good time.

Then, came the time when dinner was at mom’s house and I was one of them helping  with cleanup (when mom would allow anyone to help) and laughing.  It was always extra good when unexpected relatives arrived to crowd the table.

This year, Thanksgiving was particularly quiet.  It was just five of us and we catered it from Cracker Barrel.  After two weeks on my Vegan heart diet, I decided to join in and eat just regular food.  The best was the pizza and chips we had for lunch.  But, they weren’t quite as good as I remembered.  Everyone enjoys Cracker Barrel’s cooking, but I was actually wishing I was still eating Vegan.

Surprised me!  Something about this diet makes me feel lighter inside and like all my insides are working properly.  I know that isn’t a very scientific way to put it, but I’m glad to be back on my diet. 

STATS:  By Wednesday (that’s actually a week and a half) I have now lost five pounds.  Thursday’s meal put it to four.  Since I cannot see inside my arteries, I cannot tell you but I imagine little blocks of them floating downstream.    I made a great three bean soup and adjusted the War Cake recipe (follows).  It is one of the most moist cakes you can make.  It is from World War I and has no eggs, milk, nor butter in it.

This recipe is from a Dear Heloise column, when someone asked for the “eggless, milkless, butterless cake her mother made around 1918.  It is dark and heavy but ohhhh so good.

Mix 2 cups brown sugar
2 cups hot water
 and 2 teaspoons shortening (I used 2 teaspoons of apple sauce) in medium saucepan.

Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup raisins (I used chopped up dates). 

Add 1 teaspoon each of salt, cinnamon and cloves.  I RARELY add salt and did not for this cake.

Boil the above for five minutes after it first bubbles.  Remove from the stove and let it cool.  Let it cool completely.

After it is cool, add 3 cups of flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat but was then out of whole wheat so had to use 2 cups of white.  I would normally at least do 50/50 on that but am now going heavier on the whole wheat.

And, add 1 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in 2 teaspoons of hot water.

Mix well

Pour into greased bundt pan

Bake 1 hour at 350 to 375

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Apparently, after going on the internet on my daughter’s luxurious high speed, at Christmas, my new Dell computer, with Windows 7, came home and went on strike and said,

“No Way. You can cry. You can stomp your feet. You can install and uninstall aol a billion times but I am NOT going online dialup with AOL.”

The computer has spoken. I took it to the library to gently cajole it into AOL on high speed. NOPE! Well, on high speed it was okay but it was not fooling around.   Even after I downloaded AOL 9.5, I brought it home and it resides in a loop.

It says, “AOL will now install. ….”

Then, it says, “You need to restart your computer.”

Then, it says, “AOL will now install….”

Then, it says, “You need to restart. . . etc, etc, etc, over and over and over.

Anyway, even my desktop wasn’t working for about four days. I think it was too cold in the house. Maybe that’s why everyone was complaining, “IT’s TOO COLD IN THE HOUSE.”  Despite which I have a $400 heating bill.

So, that is where I have been, that and at doctors and hospitals, as husband continues his month long battle with pneumonia.  

Next post, the joys of letting a doctor dig in your eyeball.  Not for the squeamish.

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I have never made a New Year’s Resolutions.  I figure, if I cannot get myself to do “whatever it is” during the year, then I am not going to follow through just because it is January 1st.  I have not even gone to a New Years Eve party in many years and I rather miss doing so. 

One of my grand nephews posted his New Year’s resolutions the other day and it made me wonder about New Year’s traditions.  Like most research, you never learn just one thing, when you start digging. 

Did you know?:

That, Auld Lang Syne is actually a Scottish song and is totally unreadable in English for me.  I really like Hamish Macbeth and Bagpipes and the landscape of Scotland and the lilt in their speech.  I just cannot always understand it.  Thanks to poet, Robert Burns, who wrote it, and Guy Lombardo, who first played it in 1929, we have a tradition that makes us feel, on January 1st, like we are part of something greater, as people all over  (okay, in your time zone anyway) sing the same song, at the same time, just with the wrong lyrics.  Sort of like our National Anthem, eh?  Check the link at the bottom of this post to view the proper lyrics.

That, Scotland is also the birthplace of Hogmanay (hog-mah-NAY).  This is a “rousing” Scottish tradition of “first-footing.”  Okay, when did the Scottish ever do anything that was n0t rousing?  That is why I love them so.  “First-footing” is when neighbors visit each other for New Year’s wishes.  They bring a gift of coal for the fire (which would be really welcome this year) and shortbread (which, I have had honest-to-goodness Scottish Shortbread and it is good).  It is sort of like our bottle of booze and cookies, which would be equally welcome.  The part I like is that it is considered especially lucky if a tall, dark and handsome man is the first person to enter your house after the New Year is rung.  Hmmmm, Viggo Mortensen, I will be waiting.  (HAH!  Betcha thought I could not figure a way to get him in for New Years?)

 On to Japan: As a symbol of renewal, New Years is a very important holidame to bid farewell to the problems of the past and prepare for a new beginning, and houses are scrubbed, with this in mind.  For several years now, I have said to myself “Whew! That year is done.  It’s gotta get better, next year.”  Now, I know where my problem lies.  This New Year’s day will find me elbow deep in soapy water.  I am working on a good new year.

Then, in Spain, they eat twelve grapes at midnight.  This secures twelve happy months.  So, I will be scrubbing with grapes in my mouth. 

In my Ancestral homeland of the Netherlands, at least the Dutch part, they burn their Christmas trees and shoots off fireworks to purge the old and welcome the new.  Since husband is allergic to what they put on fir trees, I have a plastic one.  Oh, the shame and totally non-burnable, so can I just burn the wood that is down from the tornado?  I am hedging all bets here.

So, this year, as the New Year ball drops in Times square and millions of people in fancy clothing gather to swill their favorite drink , eat cookies, and sing Auld Lang Syne , I shall be down on my knees scrubbing the house and eating grapes and blacked eyed peas.  This is a traditional southern dish and ensures I will have plenty of everything the rest of the new year.

And, what about my New Year’s Resolutions?  Those items the Babylonians are believed to have first made and broken? 

If we just work at:

  • treating each other with respect
  • treating our world with respect
  • and treating ourselves with respect

How can we lose?

It’s the first time I have used infoplease New Year’s Traditions  check it out.

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