Friday, 26 November 2010


John 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.

Well folks, I'm not saying this is the end of the blog, but I'm not seeing a whole lot of blogging in my future.

Good night and God bless.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

interesting times

The other night when we were coming home from Springdale, I saw a rustling in the bushes at the house end of the driveway. I kept looking, and had just decided there was nothing there and was looking away when suddenly a cow head appeared just a few feet from my window! (It was quite dark, and the cows are solid black.) Turns out that when the children were playing outside earlier, Riah opened the gate from the yard into the pasture, and the cows took advantage of the new grass. (Did I mention before that a relative was keeping cows on Grandma's pasture?) So anyway, Bob went in the house for a flashlight and a stick. He chased the cows around the house (as soon as they saw the light, they started running), and I stood guard at the corner so they all trotted back through the gate and out to pasture. As we locked the gate the cows huddled in the farthest corner, plotting revenge.

Sunday night Bob's ex called him at 11pm, in hysterics about some "emergency" regarding stepson. Turns out he'd quit his job and she was mad at him. Truth is probably somewhere in the middle, but in my humble opinion (after 15 years of dealing with her) she sees us making life changes and figured it was a good time to reassert her influences. And it worked. Bob talked to her for 30 minutes, calming her down and promising to take care of things for her. Gah! I'm torn between self-expression and not airing dirty laundry. I guess I'll stop there and leave it to you guys to imagine how you'd feel if you were in my place. (Keeping in mind that Bob had long told me that we wouldn't have to deal with her once stepson turned 16 - 4 years ago.)

Yesterday we were awakened to William wailing. He was sick on both ends. Riah, Cedwryck, and Taryn were also sick. There was an excess of dirty laundry made, showers given, and rags used. Enough said.
Bob and I cleaned out the back room (since it is obvious the other family isn't interested in getting it done), finding a few gems among the Christmas decorations that are now "mine" (sorry, inside joke). After the shelves were cleared, we took them down. These were quality redneck shelves - cinder blocks and boards. Bob took the boards somewhere and I used the cinder blocks to start marking out my garden beds. Gardening makes me happy.
Bob got a call back from the trash people, and they agreed to come today to get the trash pile from the carport. It looks much better now (smells better, too!). So things are finally getting done.

This morning I got online to check my mail and Facebook, only to find my Facebook account was disabled for being a fake name! What??? Now I have to send them a picture of my driver's license to get it reinstated. So I got my camera out (Bob's memory card doesn't fit in my computer), but the battery was dead. And the spare battery was dead. And I can't get Bob's battery out because his camera was dropped once and it's a little bent there. So I can't do anything about that until he wakes up. sigh.

At least things aren't getting boring now that we've "settled down." :-D

Monday, 15 November 2010


LOL, Elijah is watching VeggieTales with Bob, and he's really into it.


Where did I leave off? We DID buy a van at the auction, though it isn't as nice as we thought at first (we only got a 2 minute inspection).

The day after we got back home we got a call from the shipping people that our "Unaccompanied baggage" was ready to be delivered. The next day. To Mom and Dad's house. So we got up at 5 am and drove down there to meet the delivery van at 10. We stayed to visit a while and left there about 1pm to drive back home. We did have to open the 6 large shipping boxes and put everything loose into the van... This shipment was the bare necessities intended to get us through until our furniture arrives: winter clothes, towels, dishes and spices, etc.

That afternoon, before we even got home, we got a call from Mom that Bob's VA benefits package had arrived in the mail. He has dr appointments on 5 different days, back in Oklahoma, and about 40 pages of questions to fill out. We asked Mom to forward it to us.

We unloaded all our stuff into the living room, along with the pile of things we'd bought at Lowe's the day before (a new toilet, sandpaper, gloves, a rosemary bush, you know - the basic home improvement stuff), and the goodies we'd brought home the day before that from our storage building at Mom and Dad's (Christmas ornaments, StepSon's stuffed animal collection, the capice lamp...). And then we went out to eat.

The following day - Friday - we got busy putting stuff away, believing that "people" were coming over Saturday to clean up more of Grandma's stuff.

Saturday morning we called MIL to find that she wasn't coming, and somewhere we learned that next-door-uncle wasn't coming either, so we puttered around a while and then went to town to check prices at Sam's club (warehouse store). Sam's is interesting, but we didn't buy a membership right away.

Sunday (today) we went to church down the road (Riah wanted to go there). They were very glad to see us there (Bob knew one lady who used to work at Grandma's favorite restaurant) and the preaching was fair. The music part is lacking, as they sing one congregational song and then everybody sits there while 1/2 the room takes turns singing "specials." We had lunch at Subway, and then met MIL and FIL at the house where they took home a truck load of their stuff. (Yay!) We puttered a bit more, and then went back to town to check a local grocery and get things for a few meals.

Sorry I've not been writing much. We're still working out a bedtime routine for Elijah, and I never get much time online in the day.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

true enough

To quote the brilliant songwriter Amy Grant,

"We believe in God
And we all need Jesus
'Cause life is hard
And it might not get easier"

Ain't that the truth!

Thursday, 4 November 2010

catch up

Wow! What a trip. My apologies to my vast audience, who have been waiting with bated breath to hear of my latest adventures. (yeah, I know.)

Just to give a backdrop, we’ve been virtually house-hunting for several months. Three times we found a house that we were ready to purchase, and each time it was already sold or our offer was not accepted. We have joked that a sure way for a house to sell was for my MIL to express interest in it. She should offer her services to local realtors.

Anyway, we arrived Stateside with high hopes of finding a van and a house, in that order. We had some trouble finding a van, but ended up with a 94 Suburban that doesn’t quite fit all of us. Then up to Arkansas to visit Bob’s family and house-hunt some more. We couldn’t help noticing that the scenery is more “pretty” up here. Though I also notice that the Oklahoma landscape has a greater effect on me; I feel wild and free and happily lonesome there. Can’t describe it very well… Back to the story. The day after we got to Bob’s mom’s house, we were awakened to the phone ringing. Bob’s Grandma had a stroke and was in the hospital. The next week was a bit different from our expectations. Bob spent most of his time at the hospital, while I drove the family back and forth from MIL’s house. MIL has 3 Golden Retrievers and at least one of them lives in the house. I’ve never had a problem with house dogs before, but having been without one for 3 years, and going into that… it will be a LONG time before I have a dog in the house.
Grandma died on Sunday and we stuck around until the funeral on Wednesday. There was a bit of a ruckus about cleaning out her house/dividing the stuff, but that eventually cleared out. Bob’s ex-wife came to the funeral, and sat in the family section of the parlor, even though Bob had requested that she not do that. MIL apologized to Bob for her being there, but then told her that she was glad she came. So I’m having a hard time with that appearance of duplicity. I’m sure MIL was “just being polite” but I don’t know to whom. When all was said and done, there were 3 flowers that no one else wanted to keep, so we got them. Does your family do this? It surprised me at Bob’s grandpa’s funeral, that the flowers sent by any one person’s friend or relative “belong” to that person rather than to the service itself, or the nearest survivor.

We went back to Oklahoma at some point (sorry I’m losing track of the days) so Bob could go see the VA rep at Tinker AFB, and I could have a nice birthday at home. Saturday we went to a home auction; a nice-size but run down house on 16 acres that went for $30k. As the auctioneer begged for a better price, Bob admitted that if it was in Arkansas he would probably pay that much. So from that point we stopped looking for houses in Oklahoma, knowing it was a lost cause. Monday he went to the VA, only to find out it isn’t a “one stop shop” like it is in Germany. The man basically went over Bob’s records, pulling out various ailments that he can file for (like I had done 3 months ago). He will get a package in the mail in 2 weeks or so, with doctors’ appointments (plural). You bet we are excited about that. Tuesday was the 3-3 birthday. Mom made stuffed fried wontons for me (like nothing you’ll ever get at a Chinese takeaway) as well as chocolate cake and various fillers. I went to bed happy that night!

Thursday we came back to Arkansas. We stayed 2 nights with MIL, and then came over to Grandma’s. In that time we talked to MIL about buying Grandma’s house (it was left to MIL in the will). She had planned to sell it, but liked to idea of keeping it in the family and we agreed to work things out. So, it was settled – we would buy Grandma’s house, and live in the place Bob has always considered “home.”
Saturday we came out to the house to help the family with the sorting. Most of the family was there, and people talked about what items they wanted, came to agreement quickly, and started packing things up. Some had to go home, but some came back on Sunday afternoon to clean out more. Monday we were on our own. We went into town and got the utilities switched over to our name, and ordered internet. They don’t have wireless routers, so for now we are on one at a time, but it is plenty fast for most uses. We went on into the city to take 7 large garbage bags of Grandma’s clothes to Goodwill, and then shopped a little. I’m looking for a new washer and dryer (my birthday present). Bob bought a chainsaw, and we looked at toilets. Grandma’s toilets are short and small, and it is hard to get the business done properly.

Tuesday we finished cleaning out the house. There is a carport stall full of trash, a garage full of stuff to sell, and the furniture is still in the house! This, after everyone took home what things they wanted! An Aunt reported that all the loose change found in the house added up to over $200. There were photos in every drawer, shelf, and cabinet… I also washed all the curtains, and Bob, Taryn, and I vacuumed all the carpets, walls, ceilings, and furniture. The cleaning dirtied my bed, so we washed the sheets and blankets, too. Things had gotten a bit dusty and cobweb-y, and I was so stuffed up yesterday that I couldn’t swallow.
Today (Wednesday), we finished up the vacuuming, cleaned out the deep freeze (beef from 1987! Grandpa’s dentures! Things so dried out we couldn’t identify!), made a compost heap, and dug a trench around one side of the house to keep water out of the garage. We also checked on filing for compensation for the Mini being damaged, and how to get our stuff from storage from Texas. (We need a scanner and a helpful mechanic). MIL came over after work to talk about payments on the house, and stayed to have dinner with us (tacos). I was breathing a lot better today, with everything finally clean. The house looks pretty nice with all the clutter gone.
Tomorrow we go back to Oklahoma, because Friday there is an auto auction with several vans listed. Sunday is Elijah’s birthday, and we have some more business at Tinker.

So now we are all caught up, however poorly. :-)