Sunday, 22 December 2013

Gearing up for Christmas

Gotta gripe - Blogger no longer lets me log in and write from my own page - I have to go to my "home" page on blogger first. But anyway...

We are getting things in motion (I hope) for the holidays. Tomorrow is church, including a musical program and lunch, and Monday we go to my parents (if the ice melts!), getting home just in time for Christmas, when we will go next door for a family dinner. So today we did a LOT of baking. :)
Pancakes for breakfast, two bar cookies, two candies, snickerdoodles, dinner (including the best roast potatoes), dressing... And I'm proud to say the kitchen is less messy than when we started this morning. I'd done sweet potato casserole, a cookie, sausage balls, and bread roll dough previously. My fridge and freezer are both bursting at the seams. :) I am nearly, but I've been trying to control myself, and have officially lowered my own maximum weight by 10 pounds. (Thanks, Wil, for the inspiration. Eventually I'll do better.)

Occasionally I'd sneak out of the kitchen and wrap presents. We aren't going overboard this year (I think), partly because we couldn't think of much that we needed, and partly because we'd spent already on the home improvement sector. My phone is my present, and I suppose the air compressor is Bob's. The children are all getting new socks, and a couple other items that we'll talk about later.

It rained last night and all day today, flooding the garage - well, that's a strong word, but it did require a little work from Bob this morning. Oklahoma got ice, but we were rain, staying just above freezing all day.

Gina the dog has been doing well. We walk her, but not a boy alone because they get impatient, and then let her loose to play. She loves to run! She will run out into the pasture, but won't stay very long, and is always happy to come running back. She's learning a few commands, and *I think* the boys are learning to be patient and kind with her (she's very submissive and needs lots of encouragement).

Work on the living room is going along slowly, as Bob has been working for other people. Also, we've been having some trouble with the van. As mentioned on Facebook, Bob had to replace the fuel regulator thing that first went out a couple of years ago, leaving us stranded at Lowe's. We've learned to recognize the signs, and change it about once per year. But it is still sluggish going uphill, and doesn't like to shift from 2nd to 3rd. Also, the driver's side headlight  - the whole assembly - goes dim when the lights are brightened. So there is that.

I'm playing with my phone a lot, and really like it. I plan to do a full review when I feel like I know enough about it to do so.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

addendum

more dog info:

They were back the next morning, and two of our chicken tractors had been broken into and 8 hens were dead and mostly eaten. We decided to take Duke back to the shelter, where they all loved him and said they'd take him back.

This morning Naysha walked Gina, and when she went to put her back in the pen there was a misunderstanding with Bob, and both dogs got out again.

We tried to keep our ears open, but the first thing we heard was Gina barking at the rabbit. When Bob went out to catch her he saw Duke eating more chickens.  All of one tractor (3 good layers and our only rooster) are gone. Bob restrained hisself and put Duke back in the pen.

(Yes, I said hiSself. It makes grammatical sense. Think about it: her shelf, his shelf; her self, his self.)

Come Monday, Duke will be taking a ride in the van.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Happy Holidays

Yes, it's been a week since our most American of holidays - Black Friday - but I'm finally getting to it. ;)

It all started the Thursday before Thanksgiving, when the Lighthouse of Faith Mennonite Church had their annual community Thanksgiving dinner and choir performance. We planned to go, so I had the boys start out early to walk the dogs. A little sooner than we expected them back, Cedwryck came back alone, with some out-of-breath story about the dogs getting away. So I took off and met Riah where he was trying to go into the woods. Turns out Ced needed to  pee, so he asked Riah to hold his dog (Gina, a black and tan girl) while he went into the bushes. Riah proceeded to tie his dog (Duke, a big tan boy) to an electric pole so he could hold Gina. Well, he noticed Duke managed to get free of his tie, and in the excitement and trying to catch Duke he let go of Gina, and both were away into the woods. The worry here was that Gina was wearing a leash attached to a choke collar. Duke had his halter and leash.

Well, we called and spoke to the man at the nearest house, and went on to the dinner. Over the next few days we put up flyers, contacted the shelter, went door-to-door, and walked in the woods looking and calling. We also prepared to go to Bob's cousin's house in Branson for the family get-together.

On Thanksgiving day we went to Branson and spent a nice day with Bob's family. Everybody was together for the first time in 3 years. The cousin has a nice, HUGE house (3x the size of ours) and everybody was in a good mood. The food was good and plentiful, and the TV didn't stay on too long. After supper we made our exit and checked into a hotel. Because of a misunderstanding, we ended up with two rooms and split boys and girls+Daniel. We drove around the main drag, checked out some folks standing in line for store openings, and got fresh doughnuts at Krispy Kreme, then went back to hotel for baths. Daniel didn't want to go to sleep, but finally settled down in my bed about 11:30.

Friday morning we had breakfast in the hotel, featuring toaster waffles and the worst coffee ever made, during which a family with a show there in town came in, sang a song, and handed out flyers for their show. Then we went out for more sightseeing. The lakeside walks and fountains were accessed from Bass Pro Shop's parking lot, but with the shoppers out there was a line just to get in the parking lot. So we passed on that. We did go to one shopping center where I hit a Corelle/Pyrex/corningware outlet and Bob checked out a tool store. I got some mixing bowls and a storage set.

Then we headed home, where, when I opened my door to step out, there stood Duke! I didn't see him until I opened the door. He seemed very glad to see us and wanted lots of petting, then went to bed and slept the rest of the day. He still had his harness and leash, though the handle of the leash had been cut off. He had not lost weight. The boys assumed it was over for Gina and so were very sad.

After looking over Duke and unpacking the car, we went to Springdale. Bob got a DeWalt drill set at Lowe's, we looked at air compressors and cell phones in 3 stores, got a new leash, a sheet set, and granola bars. Then back to Lowe's for the air compressor.

The next couple of days are kind of a blur. Oh, I remember! I spent 2 or 3 days online, looking up cell phones and price plans. Finally decided on one and they wouldn't sell to my address. So tried again with MIL's address, and the third time it went through. :) But by then the phone was backordered and I'm supposed to get it Monday, but with this weather it'll probably be delayed. I got a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, with a pre-paid plan from T-Mobile. I'll let you know how it goes.

Yesterday we got a call from a family that had Gina. Bob went to their house, over 2 miles away, and Gina came to him when he called. They had picked her up off the highway, still wearing her choke collar and leash, and were feeding her. She was dirty but fat, and SOOO glad to see Duke. We were in shock that both dogs made it home - besides the leashes, it is deer season and the folks tend to shoot first and ask questions later.

Today Bob and Ced walked the dogs while Riah and I fed them and the chickens and it began to sleet. A few minutes after they got back, Riah decided to go into the dog pen to pet them, and they got out. Haven't seen or heard from them since. I'm trying to not care too much. I love dogs, and have always had one, and have always done my best for them, but these guys just don't want to be here, I guess. Maybe we need to let go a bit and view them more as barn cats.

Blackberry the cat has noticed a shift and has been coming in the house more lately than she did all year.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

giveaway

A blog that I follow http://inashoe.com/2013/11/giveaway-new-double-album-by-nathan-clark-george/#comment-113949 is hosting a giveaway of Nathan Clark George's new CD. You can listen to lots of his music on his website, http://www.nathanclarkgeorge.com/.

We first heard and met NCG at Family Camp in New Mexico, WAAAAY back when Cedwryck was the baby (that'd be 8 1/2 years ago). He sang a song about brushing off his children and getting grumpy, instead of being patient and available, and it made me cry. So I bought both the albums he had available at the time.

Then he sang another song that made me laugh, but I don't think it's on an album. It went something like this:

A chicken hawk and a vulture were sitting on a fence near a chicken farm, and the chicken hawk was worried that they would never find anything to eat, but the vulture said that the Lord would provide. The hawk saw a rabbit, but didn't catch it in time; the vulture just said, "the Lord will provide." Finally the hawk could stand it no more, and he attacked the chickens. The farmer came out and shot the chicken hawk! The vulture happily flew over, saying to himself, "I knew the Lord would provide."

So go take a look, and put in for the drawing if you want, but if you win I get to borrow your CD for a few days.

Monday, 4 November 2013

catch up again

I see that people still visit me occasionally. Old habits die hard, I guess. Anyway, a brief recap of the last two months.

Bob has been working with a friend, paid by the hour as a self-employed or independent contractor. They do construction, mostly; repairs and remodels as well as new work. The friend also has lawn mowing equipment, but he does those jobs by himself. We are using that money to make improvements on our own house.

... We are enclosing the carport (3 bay) to make a living room. The 1 car garage will be a library, but that will come later. Meanwhile, we knocked the rock siding off of the house/garage wall inside the carport and emptied the garage into the metal building. Then, since Bob's tools and photo equipment are now in the building, it became imperative to get electricity down there. The electric company has been called, and we bought the wires and boxes to fix that up. Bob also put in some insulation and hung pegboard in the first available corner.

In the carport We are going to pour concrete to raise the floor and keep it dry, build a couple of walls with a bay window and a new entry door, put insulation in the ceiling and walls and finish them on the inside; wire for plugs, lights, and fans, put siding on the outside... It will be a lot of work. But as our current living area is 9 1/2 by 19 feet (and 5 + of that 19 is entry/walkway), we need the space. We may also include a closet for our bedroom as well as an entry/coat closet.

We had a yard sale at the house a few weeks ago, and did o.k. on Friday, but nothing on Saturday. Then this weekend we took our stuff to Anna Mary's Cakes parking lot sale along with 4 other families and their warehouse sale. Friday we did well, and Saturday was slow but still sold some. We didn't keep track of our sales, but spent what we earned on other people's stuff and had some left over. What was left was packed up and donated to two charities.

I had a really nice birthday, where Bob conspired with my friend to have a surprise party. SSon even called to say Happy Birthday. I had two cakes and got some new clothes as well as a new canner, kitchen timer, coupon for babysitting, and chocolate.

We've had a couple of interesting dining experiences, such as the time at our Huntsville Sonic, where we ordered a cheeseburger with mustard, they rang up a hamburger (which isn't even on the menu), and when it arrived it had bacon on it, but the Jr burger which we requested plain, with bacon (it rang up correctly) came with only ketchup. Then another time we ate at Colton's Steak House in Fayetteville for the first time. They had a big banner up that "kids eat free". We asked and were told it was 2 kid's meals for each adult. As Taryn is an adult, we would get 6 free, and come out just right. Bob and I shared a combo plate and appetizer, and the waitress said she'd have to charge full price on the appetizer (it was on sale) so it could count as a meal to get the free kid's meals. We thought that was o.k. But when the ticket came, she only took off the price of 4 kid's meals. ugh. If she'd said from the beginning it was 2 meals for every entree, we would have found another entree to order, but we asked first and were told... Anyway, they were the best ribs I've had in a LONG time, and the cheese fries were good, too.

Daniel got his first molar a couple of days ago, and has been randomly screaming throughout the day. He also persists in learning new things, and exploring with all his might. He can open the child safety lock on the kitchen cabinet, and easily climbs into any chair and on the table and piano. He is interested in the fire, but so far has not burned himself. He likes to hand me a stick to put into the fire. He can say several of our names, including his own, but always at full volume. He really just likes to yell, and yelled joyfully, without stopping, for a whole trip through Lowes while we priced flooring, lights, and siding. He's starting to get predictable in his bowel movements, so I put him on the toilet a couple of times. He grunted away when I told him to go potty, but nothing happened. He does still like to play in the toilet water (or whatever else might be in there, thanks to older siblings who don't always flush). We moved his bed into the boys' room this week, and he slept all night last night.

O.K. Enough for now. :)

Sunday, 6 October 2013

for fun

tabs currently open on my browser:

http://thecommonroomblog.com/2013/10/shutdown-open-air-scenery-the-ocean-cancer-treatment.html

http://hotair.com/archives/2013/10/04/senior-admin-official-admits-were-winning-so-it-doesnt-matter-to-us-when-the-shutdown-ends/

http://washingtonexaminer.com/morning-examiner-meanwhile-in-other-news-federal-bureaucrats-still-gone-wild/article/2536817

http://judithcurry.com/2013/10/03/did-the-ar5-take-the-dangerous-out-of-agw/

https://www.google.com/search?q=pecuniary&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

earlier today I read about the content of 2 random chicken nuggets, some recipes, some games, my brother's blog, and various other news and editorial articles.

sorry they aren't links, if you're interested; highlight the addy, right click, and select "open in new tab."

Friday, 4 October 2013

the big blur

The last couple of weeks have been a little hectic.

We were disorganized and had to run into Huntsville at least once a day last week.

Riah had a birthday, at which we realised we have a birthday or major holiday every 2 weeks from Mid September through the end of January. He got a bow, but not the one he wanted, so he gave that to Naysha and bought another, which Cedwryck likes, so he got one, too. They've been shooting every spare minute.

Taryn finally got her eyes checked, and needs glasses. We shopped around some and finally ordered a pair at Walmart. While checking the mall stores (minnimum $300 at LensCrfters) we popped into J C Penny. I gave up shopping there years ago, as the one in Abilene never had any of the advertised specials, and the one here didn't have a "women's" section. But they'd remodeled recently, and it was close to LensCrafters. Right as we walked in there was a rack labeled $1.98. Found a shirt for each boy, and 2 pair of pants; cheaper than Goodwill! Then found the large ladies area, and pulled out 2 tops that fit me, both on sale.Went to check out and saw coupons on the counter for $10 off a $25 purchase, so picked one up. The lady rang up a couple things and mentioned that one of my tops was $30 (still a discount, but not what I'd thought). I was going to leave it, but she suggested I ring it up seperately from the other thingfs and use another coupon. Smart! So we left there feeling happy.

Saturday we stopped at our friends' house for a minute to pick up some milk, and while we were chatting they got a call from another friend who was on the way over and was having car trouble. Bob put on his mechanic hat and offered to take a look. Long story short, we stayed at their house for 9 hours while Bob replaced the brake line which was worn completely in two. I'm glad we all get along so well. It was a long day for an introvert, but it was mostly enjoyable.

Cedwryck was baptized on Riah's birthday, and the next Sunday we went to see our friends' middle two baptized at their Mennonite church. Two very different services, but both beautiful and meaningful.

We brought in, sorted, and washed all the winter clothes. I sorted through another 3 bookshelves. Bob began the great remodel. We are adding on to our living room (9x19 just ain't enough) by enclosing some or all of the carport. First he cleared the area, and then he knocked the rock siding off. Then he bought some insulation for 1/2 price. Then we atarted talking about all vs part. hmmm.

I made another 2 batches of pickles and some relish.

Haven't got any sewing done.

Friday, 20 September 2013

Some sayings of the little boys



This week:
Elijah, while I was giving him a shower: Don't do this to me!  It's a dumb idea!!
Daniel, while playing on the lawn mower, stuck the key in the ignition and said," brmmmm."
Daniel rushes into the boys' room after they were in bed and yells "roar!"

Recently:
Elijah: there's nothing to DO in bed.
Bob: Yeah, sleep!
Elijah: That's BORing!!

July 15:
In which Elijah confesses his utter dependence on talking:

Bob says: Be quiet!
Elijah: If I'm quiet I can't breathe, and that's the problem.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

been thinkin



I might oughtta blog now and then.

Daniel is such a hoot! His hair might look blond sometimes, but he definitely has a red-head personality. He is very smart and creative - a real problem-solver. He likes to play with Bob's computer mouse (wireless), so he'll get a book and take it to Bob as if he wants to read. Bob will take the book and open it up, and Daniel will use that moment of distraction to grab the mouse and run away.

He likes to stick his hands into holes. He will figure out steps to take to accomplish his goals. He's learned two ways to open things - pulling off a cap, like for a marker or chapstick, and using his teeth to open flip caps, like my tube of lotion, which he likes to lick.

He's starting to talk, and will say "hi" out of the blue. When I say "I love you" he gives me a hug. In fact, he hugs me a lot, because I'm his favorite person ever, and he's been super clingy ever since the teacher training I went to in July, and will push others away from me. He's also learned to punch, and to shoot with a pretend gun (complete with sound effects). :( He points and says "look!" or gasps as if in astonishment, especially at lights. He stacked 2 blocks a week or so ago. He will deliberately make a mess so I will clean it up and he has a chance to get into something else. But he has learned what "no" means (and protests its usage).


Friday, 26 July 2013

Happy birthday.



Today Daniel turned 1. He likes chocolate! I plan to actually write something soon, but we are working hard lately.

Sunday, 21 July 2013

busy

I'm officially not blogging right now, as it's bedtime.
Daniel's almost 1 and still needs a haircut.
We got 2 dogs.
I went to Christian Light Education's teacher certification course and triple certified with a 96% average grade.
SSon had a crises and is receiveing medical help; Bob goes to visit as much as possible.
It finally rained again.
Taryn is fixing to take her driver's permit test (they only test once per week here).
It's bedtime.
:)

Friday, 28 June 2013

Review- Grubs Uptown

One day when we were in town without the girls we decided to try someplace new. We had noticed Grubs Uptown going in near the highway, and it seemed to have a steady crowd, so we checked it out.

We were promptly and cheerily greeted and accommodated. The dining room had several large tvs, each on a different sports channel. We were informed that kid's meals were free with a drink purchase ($2.50). We were not told (and it was not on the children's menu, but was on the children's section of the adult's menu) that the fruit cup option for a side dish was $1.00 extra.
When it was time to order, Riah was the first child next to us. The waitress asked him if he wanted fries, chips, or fruit. I commented that the fruit was extra, so he took chips. The next child was offered fries or chips, but as the waitress traveled out of earshot she again offered fruit. My children like fruit. We took the price difference out of her tip - you don't "upsell" to children.

While we waited we made trips to the bathroom, which was beautifully done in multicolored slate. I don't remember if there was a changing table.

Bob was offered a refill and I asked for one, too, but didn't get it. The next trip I got a refill, but the children's empty cups (lids off and raised to be taken) were ignored. Once, Riah even spoke to her, but stumbled a split second in his wording, so I filled in "drink" - but he still got nothing.

Our waitress was decently dressed, but at least one other seemed to think she was working at Hooters.

Oh, the food.  I ordered a bacon cheeseburger, because the Hawaiian burger cost the same and didn't even come with cheese. The menu boasts the burgers are 1/2 lb, and they are large. The flavor, however, was quite small. There was no seasoning on the meat at all  - I liberally sprinkled mine with salt and pepper (twice), and added ketchup, and it was almost palatable. The slab of meat was garnished with a single leaf of lettuce and 2 strips of bacon (in a big X across the burger, sticking out the sides - pretty that way, but inedible - I took them off, tore them in half, and put them back on, thus messing up the cheese). About halfway through the meal our buns disassociated themselves from the greasy, bland beef and left us to eat the rest without their aid.

The fries weren't terrible, and the dipping sauce provided was interesting if not yummy.

We left full but in no way satisfied.

Good points - it was cheap, and the bathrooms were pretty.
Bad points - the food, the service, the force-feeding of soda to children, the atmosphere.

Urban spoon has a blog linky thing, so here:

 Grub's Uptown on Urbanspoon

they seem to have a more favorable opinion of the place than I do. :/

the agenda

I recently had a little disagreement with my brother about what was the "agenda" of gay-rights folks. I wasn't really looking for this, but saw it in an article I was reading about the recent Supreme Court decision and thought I should share it here rather than go back to his blog and go on about it there, as I don't think it's very polite to go into somebody else's house and stir up trouble.
Anyway, Wil, here's an example.

gay rights activist Masha Gessen recently declared to shouts of acclamation at a GLBT event that the goal of those seeking the right to “gay marriage” is actually to destroy the family altogether:
I agree it’s a no-brainer that we should have the right to marry, but I also think equally that it’s a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist. . . . That causes my brain some trouble, and part of it why it causes me trouble is because fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we’re going to do with marriage when we get there, you know, because we lie that the institution of marriage is not going to change, and that is a lie. The institution of marriage is going to change and it should change. And again I don’t think it should exist.6

article here  http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2013/06/27/defining-marriage-supreme-court-sovereign-god#fnList_1_6

Anyway, I'm not trying to start a "thing" - I'm too tired for that - but it's easier to put the quote here than to try to find it later if I *do* want to start something.

ah, the speech was in May 2012.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

short week

So, just to get this "out there" - my best friend thinks that divorce doesn't end a marriage ("in God's eyes") and I am, therefore, an adulterer. Well. She loves me anyway, which says a great deal about her character, I think. For the record, I think marriage is sacred and should be neither begun nor ended lightly. I agree with the stance that 'as a rule' divorcee's should not remarry. However, I believe that God provided exceptions in the Bible, and Bob's experience meets ALL of the exceptions. I studied on this before he even asked me out, and have confirmed it with my parents and several ministers.

Anywho...

We were visiting yesterday and I mentioned that I was running low on clothes, and she took me to her fabric store. I restrained myself and only took two pieces (though Taryn wants to go back and get one for herself). Today I got my sewing machine out. I finished Cedwryck's cape (the one that I promised him 2 years ago). I repaired my skirt (again) that I'd made last year, one of Naysha's dresses, and a pair of pants for William. THEN I made a skirt from the new fabric, but it was slightly transparent, so THEN I made a slip from the unbleached muslin that I'd bout a long while ago. I feel very accomplished!

I've not been sleeping much this week, so there isn't a lot else to report. We did go ahead and pull some onions - some from last year that have doubled and bloomed, and some from this year that are already full-grown. I soon realized that my knives needed sharpening, so I did that, too.  Got two gallon-size freezer bags full of sliced onions, plus a quart of green onion from the tops.

So, that's all I got tonight. I've drifted off a few times but haven't thought of anything else to report.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

milk

You may have wondered about my reference to washing milk jugs yesterday...

Now it's legal, so I can freely say that we drink raw milk.

We know a guy who has some milk cows (Holsteins, unfortunately) and every week we go to his farm and buy $20 worth of whole, fresh, raw, milk. We have bought several gallon and half gallon glass jars to store the milk in, as plastic is so bad for us.

Ideally, we would get milk from a pastured Jersey or Guernsey, but so far I haven't located any of that.

Why?

I've heard that cows are supposed to live outside and eat grass (sounds strange, doesn't it?).  I've also been told that dirty food should be cleaned, not cooked, and that it's best to not contaminate the food in the first place. Also, given the history of scandal and dirty money and conflicted interests, I decided I'd rather trust God (or even "nature", if you will) than the FDA and USDA.

Anyway, we like it, we like the farmer/friend, and we really like the free cup of cream that comes with each gallon of milk. :-)

Thanks to the Arkansas legislature that decided this session that we can buy, sell, and consume this ancient and natural product if we so choose. America, the home of the free (unless you want to choose what to eat!). ;-) (that little winky face is so everybody knows I'm just joking and there is nothing unpatriotic in this post. I do love America and I pray for our president and legislatures and judges quite regularly.)

kenmore 13922

About 2-3 months ago we bought a new dishwasher. It's a Kenmore Elite, model 13922, as seen here: http://dishwashers.findthebest.com/l/372/Kenmore-Elite-13922

Previous to this we had a Frigidaire something or other. Both models are discontinued so there is little information to be found, and less need for it. But I did want to do a little write-up on the Kenmore, and it is convenient in many ways to do so by comparing it to the Frigidaire.

So, things I like about the Kenmore Elite:
It hasn't broken yet.
The bottom rack slides easily in and out on its track - no lifting or wrestling to get it in place.
The silverware basket is generous and well-designed.
It holds a lot - this morning I ran 9 dinner plates, 12 salad plates, 8 bowls, a 9x13" baking pan with baked on cheese, and silverware downstairs, and a whole mess of glasses, serving plates, measuring cups upstairs. Two large dinner plates can sit side by side.
It gets things clean, with the rare exception.
It gets things dry, which is a bigger deal than you'd think, because reviews on similar models (H.E.) say it it hard to get the dishes dry, and the manual that came with this one said it was designed to work with a rinse agent, and you'd best run the heated dry option.  Well, I use Finish tablets with the Jet Dry power ball (or whatever they call it), so don't add liquid rinse agent. Also, I've always used the "air dry" option to save energy - after all, isn't that the point of an energy efficient machine? Anyway, I crack the machine open at the end of the cycle, and by the time it's cooled off, it's dry.
It's very quiet.

Things I don't like (or liked better on the other):
I miss the cup rack upstairs - I used that almost every day.
The silverware basket is all one piece - the Frigidaire split into 3, so if I had bulky stuff and not many spoons that could be accommodated.  We kept the old basket(s) so we have lots of options now.
The bottom rack does not have adjustable tines. There is one corner that will fit our 1 gallon milk jugs, so we can only wash one at at time.
There is no rinse/drain cycle. This is important in a house with many hands, because when a cycle gets interrupted and everything *looks* clean, I like to be sure the soap is all rinsed off.
 The soap dispenser is a little low, so you have to be careful about what you put in front of it.

Overall, I'm pleased. Mostly, because it hasn't broken yet. :-)

Sunday, 9 June 2013

it's like an obsession

I drew another house. 3D Home Architect, made in '93, is the only reason I really hate to say my final farewell to my laptop. Everything else (almost) works on the desktop, but it is unique to my laptop among our 5 working computers.

Anyway... here is Mansion.  Some details are hard to get in the program - I hope it's obvious that there are round towers on the two front corners, and they go up all 3 floors. What is not immediately clear is that the center of the house has only 2 floors, each with 14 foot ceilings, so that there are short stairs up (or down) to the wings from the gallery.
I was not precise in some things (like the stairs, fireplaces, and furniture).
Notes made on the plans fill in some details, but you have to use your imagination for others.
I was disappointed in the size of the bedrooms, but over all I think it's interesting.





Saturday, 8 June 2013

computers, ears, and Daniel

Bob's computer has been failing for a month or so. It would be going along fine, and then just turn off. Then when turned back on, it would try to run a registry repair which would lock up. Bob would have to turn it off, and the next time it would start normally or not at all. He took it to a repair service who scanned it and said the hardware was all fine. They removed a virus and sent it back home. The next day it happened again, so Bob took it back (they had a 30 day guarantee). They did a complete sweep, restoring factory defaults on the hard drive. We got Office and CS5 back on, and then it locked up again. Sigh. Long story shorter, we went shopping. First online, at Tiger Direct and Amazon. Then in town, at Best Buy, Office Depot, and Sam's. No great deals in store, but comparable to that online; no shipping fees, but taxes; Windows 8 at the store; 7 still available online. He decided to get one at Best Buy. It is sure different to have Win8, but he's starting to learn his way around.
We had trouble getting online with our home wi-fi network (had to call tech support), but once he got on, all the other computers couldn't get on. Then he thought of something, but that bumped him off, too. THEN finally we all got back online.

Meanwhile he had a photo customer today, besides the work from his class (portraits this time).

Also wanted to mention Daniel is really growing. He's 10 months now, and walking has replaced crawling. He still crawls some, but walks more. He's learned to make the mmmm sound (he used to say "mama" by patting his hand against his mouth), and will say "mmmmm mamamama." He's also started making the hard g sound and a few others. He said "uh-oh" when he dropped something. He doesn't eat a lot of table food, but it's getting more, and he does expect to sit at the table with us 3 times a day now.  He loves to pull on ceiling fan strings (and touch light fixtures), and has got back into the kissing/biting habit. His hair continues to curl.

I've been teasing Bob lately about his hearing, so when we were at Sam's yesterday he got a hearing test. There is a frequency where his hearing just drops off the chart. The tech said it was what makes it possible to distinguish human speech - he can tell people are talking, but if he's not paying attention he can't make it out. She recommends hearing aids for both ears. I really thought he was just ignoring me, so now we all a little flabbergasted at the thought that he's really that bad. I don't know if he'll make an appointment with the VA or just wait for next year's annual.

Friday, 24 May 2013


I drew another house plan. I turned on the dryer as we were leaving the other day and thought, "what if the house burned down?" and this plan came to me.
 
That's a 36" pro stove, and double full size built-in fridges, plus a freezer. Yeah, I'm dreaming. Each small bedroom has a walk-in closet plus a small closet; there is a porch across the length of the front of the house, with an entry door into kitchen or main entry way. There is an arched doorway between the entry and the living room. I also thought of making the kitchen cabinets with roll-top covers so we can eat without seeing the dirty dishes. :)

Sunday, 19 May 2013

something old

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/okay?s=t

You know on Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood they have a saying: "You learn something old every day."

So who here knows where "Okay" came from?

I, in my vast experience and knowledge, always just assumed "okay" was the word, and lazy people wrote ok for short. hahaha. I read about it in my local newspaper, and finally looked it up to verify, at the link above.

O.K. is shorthand for "oll korrect" - a sort of joke amongst the newspaper people. "Okay" is simply the wordifying of those initials (I made that word up just now!) - it's called initialism.

I can't believe I was wrong about that, too.

(Yes, there's more.)

I have "always" written "til" in my recipes as a short for "until" - just leaving off the ' at the beginning. Spell check would tell me to write "till," but I happily ignored it, because I knew what it didn't - that I wasn't talking about tilling the earth. But then one day I looked it up. Till is its own word, with its own history, that means the same thing as "until." There is no reason to say 'til; just say till.

At least I'm learning, right?

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Saturday?

Bob woke up this morning thinking it was Saturday and we would be in a dead run all day.  Once we convinced him it was Friday things calmed down. :)

I wish I could find time to write during the day. I do get computer time when Daniel's nursing, but it's hard to type a long entry with one hand. And when he goes to sleep at night I'm pretty worn out and can't think well (like now).

I want to do a proper review of the new dishwasher, among other things. For now I will say that we like some things better than the old one, and some things less. The main thing we like is that so far it still runs.

Bob's computer fritzed again, so he took it to Fayetteville again today. They did give a 30 day warranty, so should be no charge.

I've planted some flowers...

We organized all our movies and CDs. THe last time we did a thorough CD organize was when were in Iceland. Um, that's 13 years ago. (Still have a lot of the same albums.) We've since acquired a whole new genre - Gospel/bluegrass. Bought 2 new CD album/organizer/cases and got rid of 4 paper grocery sacks full of media we didn't want and plastic cases we don't need. Took a shelf out of the living room.  Will rearrange everything else before too long, I'm sure.

Bob actually got an 'A' on his photo history class. I didn't think we'd pull it off because of the research and writing required; it was a full-time job, but we made it and I'm glad. It wasn't anything that will help Bob with his pictures, but I learned some interesting things. One photographer we studied was Lewis Carroll, and it made me want to read some of his stuff (Don't know if I've read Alice or not, but there's other things I know I've not read).

Trying to find flowers on Mother's Day made me miss England, with their flower stands everywhere. I'm trying to figure WHY they buy and sell more flowers than we do, but that aside, it's a lovely custom. There, every gas station has a rack of bouquets; every grocery store; every highway! Here, I've seen the following sold from a van on the side of the road, but never flowers: produce, tacos, shoes, blankets, flags, rocks, puppies, honey and jam, furniture, tools...

NWA isn't too far off (from England) on the scenery, especially this year with all the steady rain, and lots of wildflowers and green everywhere, but there are other things like chiggers and stickers and Tesco home delivery... sigh...

Sunday, 12 May 2013

convenience

So I was wondering, Mom, if it would be too hard for you if I turned on the secret word thingy for the comments. Wil has a login, and no one else comments anyway, so it's really up to you. I get at least a spam a day, and sometimes the filter catches it and sometimes I have to go delete it. It's not a big deal, only takes a few seconds, so just let me know if you need me to keep it like it is.
Thanks.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Last week

I thought last week was kinda interesting, so wanted to blog about it.

Monday we went into town. We dropped the tile saw at MIL's for their project, then took a load to Goodwill. Next we went to Metro Appliance to look at dishwashers. In my research I'd heard good things about Maytag and Whirlpool (and Bosch, but their tines are so close together that I don't think my dishes would fit), so we focused on them. Our examinations led us to see that Maytag and Whirlpool are made by the same company (this was confirmed). We picked out a Maytag that would suit us, but as they didn't have it in stock we went on to Sears to compare. On the way there one of the children asked why we were going there and I said "Maybe they will have the perfect dishwasher with extra features that is on clearance for 1/2 price." So they had the same Maytag as Metro, but at a higher price, and a Whirlpool slightly less that looked good enough, so we were about to buy it even though the top rack wasn't adjustable. Then I turned around and saw a Kenmore on clearance for 1/2 the original price. Turns out it is manufactured by Maytag as well (has the same wheel assembly and top sprayer), though it had a Kenmore-exclusive bottom sprayer. It lacked one wash cycle of the Maytag, but did have an adjustable top rack, and was cheaper, and we could take it home today. So we did. :)
While we were at Sears, we looked at shoes (since all the children need new ones again). After much looking and trying on, Riah, Ced, Ella, and William each had a pair picked out. Ced liked Riah's shoe, too, but really liked the style he picked out. It was marked $5 more than Riah's, but he insisted he liked it more than he would like the others plus $5. Then when we checked out, it rang up at just over 1/3 the marked price, so it was actually cheaper than the other we'd tried to talk him into. (They should really work on their signage! Last time we bought something at Sears, it was a jacket for Naysha that rang up much cheaper than it was marked. If people knew things were that cheap, they'd buy more stuff.)
Then we went to Sams club for groceries, then to a fabric store so I could get material for Cedwryck's tabard and cape to match the ones I made for Riah and William 2 years ago.
If we went anywhere else I didn't write it in my notes, so that was Monday.

Tuesday Bob went to install the dishwasher, and had to go to town for a part. Finally found it, came home, and broke the part trying to attach it. So we all went to town (Huntsville) and he bought it again, and we did some other stuff (dinner, maybe?), then came home and I "helped" him install it by hanging out on the dirty floor. Every time I'd lay my head on the floor, whatever he was hung up on would suddenly work out. :)

Wednesday we got up early and went to Little Rock, to have Riah's heart checked at the Children's Hospital. His apt was at 1pm, and we were there until 4:30. For some reason they didn't schedule an MRI this time, only the EKO, but the Dr. wanted an MRI. So he said they schedule one for the first of June, but so far we haven't received notice of an appointment. Anyway, there was 1mm of change in the valve. They are basically watching and trying to decide when to act. Every time we go they say come back soon and we'll decide what to do. This time they also prescribed some medicine to lower his blood pressure, even though it's already low, to reduce stress on the valve.
On the drive I was enchanted by the masses of red clover that has been planted along the highway - there's been some in LR area for at least 15 years, but we've never had any up here before, and it's nice. I also had time to reflect on how grateful I am for having the opportunity to drive in England. There is such a difference in attitude, and with the greater density of traffic there, that's a good thing. Here, we are taught "defensive driving" - always check your mirrors, try to anticipate what the other drivers are going to do, etc. This (combined with learning to drive in San Antonio, where gang violence is a real possibility) led me to drive worried. Don't make the other guy mad, don't let them tailgate, keep up with traffic flow, always know exactly where you are going... In England I learned to relax while driving. There the attitude seems to be each driver is responsible for doing what's right, and everybody else can deal with it. With the added practice of "keep moving and get out of the way." I didn't worry about getting lost there, and I learned to not drive in my rear-view mirror. If I want to go slow, the person behind me can slow down or go around; it's not my problem. Viola! I enjoy driving now.
We made it home 14 hours later and went to bed.

Thursday Bob and I worked on his school all day.

Friday we went to town again, taking Bob's crashed computer to the repair guy, to Goodwill again, to a Hastings that is closing, stopped to visit with SSon at a gaming store, and for DIY frozen yogurt at 3 Crazy Berries - we had great sundaes from a myriad of choices, for just a little more than it would be for hot fudge at McDonald's.

Saturday I think we all just kept trying to do something and it didn't work out.

Sunday was church, then out for lunch where we bumped into an acquaintance who paid for our dinner.  By Sunday PM our colds had strengthened to the point that I stayed home with Elijah. (I think we're on the mend now.)

Monday, 6 May 2013

it gets odder

My mother tells me that she does, in fact, not have a grandpa Arthur, though I was sure she did.

Taryn says maybe we got confused because I have a Grandpa Theodore, and Bob's step-grandpa also had that name. It doesn't seem likely, but anyway, there's another thing we actually have in common. By the way, both of those names have been handed down to our boys as middle names.


Sunday, 5 May 2013

oddments

First and probably oddest, we got snow yesterday!
This is my front flower bed - you can almost see the dianthus blooms peeking through the snow.
Arkansas has never had snow in May before (since we've kept records).  My tomatoes made it through and still look okay - the newspaper said that if they are still just sitting there after 2 weeks then I should replace them anyway.

We had some time to talk in the car Wednesday (more on that later, maybe), and reminded ourselves that:
Bob and I both have a dad named Bill; both of them worked on airplanes; both of them have a brother Jerry.
We both have an Uncle David and an Aunt Linda
Both of our maternal great-grandfathers are named Arthur
He has an uncle with the same name as my last boyfriend; I have an aunt with the same name as his last girlfriend (before we met each other)

My eyes... I have always called them brown, though at times they look rather green, and at times even golden. But, this week, while trying to get dirt out of my eye, I realized that they seem to be turning blue around the edges. Taryn just took this pic.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Oh, dear

I can't believe it's been so long!

Daniel has a few new teeth, and he took his first certified step today (seen by both Bob and I). As best I can figure it, he'll be 9 months old in a week.

Yes, I'm having to try to figure it! Last night I slept from 12-2, 2:30-5, and 7-9:30. I've been averaging 6 hours per night, as Daniel doesn't like to sleep, or as the shared photo on Facebook put it, he resists a rest.

 I had pain in my left shoulder for a few weeks, and finally looked up some physical therapy moves to try. That made it worse for a few days, and then suddenly it quit! But this afternoon it suddenly came back! ouch.

Bob started tiling the shower today!  Lots of exclamation points here !!!! :)

Spring is going on; it got over 80* this week, but then a cool front and thunderstorms came through last night and now we have a fire in the wood stove again.

And now some cuteness.




Friday, 29 March 2013

yummy and funny.

Today I made real, French pastry chef, croissants. Do you see those flaky layers? Pure awesomeness!

And a feeble attempt at a funny (I had the wording all planned out last night, but almost forgot the incident until something else happened today, which I did forget). Taryn has taken to making comic strip drawings of my conversations with Elijah.

Yesterday we were driving, and the children began chattering about an episode of Andy Griffith where Barney tried to sing "You get a line and I'll get a pole, let's go down to the crawdad hole," except someone thought it was a catfish hole. And the arguments flew thick and fast. The children were now correcting each other's pronunciation of "crawdad": frawdad, frog's dad, grawdad... So I said, "It's CRawdad, because it's so nasty it will stick in your craw." This stirred up a new buzz of arguments - it was like playing "telephone." Finally everyone was thoroughly confused, so I helpfully suggested that they call it a crayfish, since that is the same animal and that way there won't be such confusion.  Cedwryck promptly passed this information to those in the back seat who couldn't hear me: "She said it's a GREY FISH!"

Thursday, 21 March 2013

catching up

If you thought I was behind on blogging because I haven't written up the trip to Texas yet, well... I just finished (I hope) washing the clothes that we wore on the trip.

So time has passed and the details are gone...

We drove down, meeting my younger brother for supper in Dallas; stayed 3 nights in a two bedroom cottage at BLORA. Bob and I slept on the sofa bed! It was terrible, but interesting. Saw my older brother and his family; they treated us well and were very accommodating, even providing most meals. I got to shop in HEB a few times; we went to LBJ state and national parks; it was cold and windy. Visited the local mall, Army base, and playground. Made it home in one piece without too much trouble.

I do wish I had time and brain cells to write it up properly, but anyway Wil did a decent job on his blog so I guess that will have to cover it for me, too. :)

Today I spring-cleaned our bedroom, and it's so nice and big now!  And the floor feels good on my feet again. happy sigh.

Elijah wasn't feeling too well today, so I stayed home with him and Daniel while the rest went to church. It was very quiet for 90 minutes.

Ced went to the doctor yesterday for headaches and backaches. He got a spinal x-ray, which showed no curvature, so he'll do some physical therapy exercises at home to strengthen his core muscles. She also said his sinuses were quite swollen, so prescribed Flonase to help with that and maybe the headaches.

Lost one baby chick so far; the rest are doing fine.

Got new tires on the van. $$$$

See you later.

This is what I had written 2 weeks ago:

Most of you already know that we recently took a little trip.
I've been wanting to go back to Yellowstone ever since we left there. Thought 10 years might be a nice goal, but I was busy having Ella that year.  Maybe 15? Well, we were busy settling into retirement. This year!  We camped in Florida; we can camp and it won't be too expensive. But it snows there. Any time of year. (never mind the bears) Can't afford a 2-3week trip with two hotel rooms every night, plus meals and gas. So we decided to take a few short trips instead.

Timing and weather being what they are, we went to Texas this week. Drove down Monday; left home at 10am; took I-540 to I-40 to US-69 (turn off at Checotah, OK, where we stopped for lunch). Just past the border it changed to US-75, which we took into Dallas. We met my younger brother and his lady friend in Dallas at a Fuzzy Taco eatery at 4:50pm. We had a leisurely dinner and then continued south on I-35E. Once in Belton we headed over to Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area (an annex of Fort Hood), where we had reserved a cabin. It was about 9:15pm when we arrived.

At check-in Bob was told that the screen door had snapped off in the wind and was placed "inside." Okay, then. We found our house and got out of the van, but the door wouldn't open. So back to the front office, where they suggested we try the "other door." So back to the house where Bob felt his way through the dark to find and open a second entry door. We unpacked and got ready for bed.

The next day we went out to my big brother's house for some visiting.

Friday, 15 March 2013

checkups

Which Elijah was calling "ketchup" but learned the correct pronunciation before it was time to go. :-)
Anyway, we took Daniel and Elijah to the doctor for a visit. Both are fine: she commented that Daniel was very advanced and that Elijah is "articulate."  Both were showing off terribly - Daniel got into everything, smiled and talked until the doctor looked at him and then yelled bloody murder until she quit, and Elijah talked nonesense (couldn't remember the cat's name, said all 4 boys slept in the same bed, and his favorite food was broccoli) and sang the ABC song.
Daniel is 7 1/2 months old; he weighs 18lbs and 11ozs, which the CDC tells me is 50th% for his age. He is 27" long, which is also at the 50th percentile.  This is surprising to find, as he is a total roly-poly.
Elijah is 3 yrs and 4 months. He weighs 39lbs, about the 95th percentile, and 39 inches tall, the 90th %.
Riah went with to help distract the one not being examined.
After the doc, we had lunch at Golden Corral, and then to Walmart for a few things.

Does anyone know where to get After Eight mints? I've been craving them and haven't seen them anywhere. 

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Monday

It was definitely a Monday around here.

My time wasn't bad, but Bob had a day of it. He had an assignment due, so had to take pictures, format, and prepare for posting at school. Only afterwards to find that he was supposed to include information that he hadn't recorded.
Then he posted a comment in the wrong place. Twice. No edit or delete.
The light in the living room is flickering, so Taryn went to plug in a lamp so we could turn off the overhead light, but she unplugged the computer as he was working.
The new fan timer for the bathroom exhaust fan trips the breaker every time it's turned on (the old one started turning itself on in the middle of the night).
We finally got the children to bed, then Ella came in saying she thought she was sick. Daniel was just going to sleep on my lap, so I sent her to Bob. Before he could properly question her she threw up on him.
I put Daniel to bed and cleaned up the chair and floor while he took a shower.
Then Daniel woke up and William came in feeling sick. At least he made it to the toilet.

I've got a vacation post in the works, but thought you'd like to share in today's trials first.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

bragging

I feel very accomplished, domestically, this week.

I made a skirt for myself and another for Naysha, then supervised Taryn while she made one.

Then, I helped Bob "do" the boys' room.
This started with Bob feeling destructive. I suggested he tear out the wall in the closet, which is one of the initial home improvement projects we planned. See, it used to look like this:
Bob tore out the wall on the closet side, thus making all the space useable. But with this move came organization that left the boys without a private space of their own. So we decided to put up a shelf or two in their room. But first, we paint.

2 coats on the ceiling. Primer on the walls. Tape around fixtures. Two coats on the walls. Tape around edging. Two  coats on door and window frames and crown molding while pulling carpet. See why:
Then tape around floor, then two coats on the baseboards.

I did most of the painting; Bob did most of the taping and heavy lifting.

End result (before hanging shelves, new curtains, or light fixture):
A few notes: the room is about 10x12 and has 2 sets of bunk beds that we didn't take down. It's hard to paint while touching the wall you're working on. Placing sliced onion around the room really helps with the paint odor, but it also makes you hungry. We'll get new switch and outlet covers next time we're in town.