We have had lots of struggles and challenges in our lives, but we've had even more blessings!

Friday, May 28, 2010

from Brian -

copied to here from Brian's Facebook page:

    Yesterday I lost all self-control,
         but I found it today.
       It was under the couch.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

an unusual message

    Last Saturday morning, I was able to attend the memorial service of the father/father-in-law of our dear friends John and Jewels, via my sweet friend Elizabeth B. chauffeuring me. (Thanks Elizabeth!!). I had known the father/father-in-law for y-e-a-r-s. He and his wife had been active in camp back when my family first started attending. And then they had been coming to our church for the last couple of years, via their children. But the main reason I wanted to attend, was to give smiling support to my friends.
    Originally both Brian and I were going to go, but then for the first time in over two years, his work scheduled a 'mandatory Saturday'. Figures. I'm glad I went anyways.
    One of the speakers was Dr. Rich McCarrell. He spoke on Romans chapter 16, verses 3 through 16. Like he said, it is not the usual type of message you hear at funerals or memorial services. But I liked it! And I was encouraged by it.
    In those verses, the apostle Paul is sending personal greetings to various people in the local body of believers in Rome. By personal greetings, I mean that he mentions different people by name. None of the names he mentions, are names that we automatically associate with the early church in Rome, or anywhere for that matter. We are all familiar with the name Paul, or Timothy, or Matthew, or Mark, or Titus, as well as others. But some of the names he is sending greetings to here are, Priscilla, Aquila, Junia and Tryphosa. As well as others.
    Dr. McCarrell said that all of these people, were people whom were the 'behind the scenes' type of people in the local churches. They were the ones whom did what needed to be done, so that the more well known names could do the teaching. Paul held all of them in high esteem because they were using their own God given talents for the benefit of the spreading of the gospel, as well as the encouraging and building up of the saints.
    Dr. McCarrell said that Paul knew just how important their 'behind the scenes' efforts were in the overall scheme of things. He said that it was likely the now deceased would have been one of the people Paul would have been sending greetings to.
    He wanted to use that passage so that he could encourage all of us still here, to continue on in what we do, whether we be 'out front', or one of the just as vital but 'behind the scenes' type of people.
    I wanted to share this with all of you to hopefully spread the encouragement. Sometimes being a 'behind the scenes' type of worker/person can seem discouraging and totally unappreciated. We must remember who it is we are called to serve. While we are told to serve one another, it is God himself that we are actually to be serving. What ever 'behind the scenes' task that we are doing, mentally know that it is God we are doing it for.
    May you too be encouraged by Paul's message in Romans 16: 3 - 16.

Monday, May 24, 2010

backing up a trailer

      Brent is planning on buying a pop up trailer. Yes, he's going into the Navy, but it could be awhile before he actually leaves. Brian is planning on letting him store it here for use-age fees ;-p
     The other day we were talking about camping in our old pop up, and the story about me backing it up 'that one time' came up. Seeings how on Monday's I usually try to post some type of 'hopefully useful tip', I decided to share that story since it does contain information some of you might find ever so useful ;-}
     Then I remembered that I had told the story one time to Heidi from the blog 'The Milkman's Wife', so I went there and copied it, then posted it here (time efficient <-- bonus tip for ya all right there o;-p).
     "Hey Heidi - your comments about "backing up" reminded me of something I thought I'd share -
     We had a 3/4 ton, full block engine, suburban {insert the 'Tim the Tool Man' noise here ;-p} Which I absolutely loved, and a full sized, hard sided, crank up camper. The camper was the same length as the suburban.
     Sometimes "the boys" and I would head out to a relatively nearby campground on Friday, and Brian would join us there when he got done catering on Sat. {we only did this when he wasn't scheduled for a late evening Sat. job}.
      The memory that came to mind was about one of those camping trips. I had pulled into the campground and registered, then drove around their campground to spot exactly which site was to be ours for the weekend. But then I drove the loop again, thinking over exactly where I wanted to park our camper, etc..
      As I again approached our site, I stopped and let my four and a nephew get out, with instructions they were to "go sit on the picnic table - and STAY THERE!!". Sometimes I needed full concentration to back that up, and their added in-put / advice seldom helps start the weekend on a good note (if ya get what I mean).
     I pulled all the way forward, stopped, and with my eyes closed, was talking myself through what I needed to do. "Okay, if you want the trailer to turn left, you need to turn the truck right ..." When I felt confident, I opened my eyes and about jumped out of my skin!! There was a man standing next to my open window, grinning broadly at me. Yikes!! He said, "I came over to help. I saw you drive on through and then back again, saw you make all the boys get out, thought maybe you needed help, but sounds like you'll do just fine. If you do need help, I'll be on the picnic table like a good boy!"
     Oh my gosh. I was so-o embarrassed. He patted me on the shoulder and said, "You're doing great mom!" and strolled away - to the picnic table.
      I backed the trailer in and only had to adjust it once :-} See, I wasn't just backing it straight into the spot. The first time through I had noticed that this particular spot actually had a beach to it, so I had decided to park the trailer parallel with the road, with the front facing the lake - that way, with five young boys, it didn't matter if the door was closed right when they were getting dressed, a-n-d I would be able to sit under the awning while watching them play in the water. :-D
     After I had gotten it parked and climbed out of "the truck", I learned that I had really been being watched. Five other guys had also come over meaning to help, but had stood back by a different trailer when unbeknowest to me, the guy at my window had waved them back with his hand.
    When Brian got there (in his tux serving outfit - while all of us looked totally frumpy by that point {but man did he look "hot" wink, wink}), ALL of those men wandered over to congratulate him on having such a cape-able wife. chuckle, chuckle."

    - - yes, like I've shared before, I often do leave long comments. And no, the blog owners don't mind. In-fact, some of them have commented back about really enjoying them. 0:-)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I 'plan' on linking this particular posting up to:

~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).

Friday, May 21, 2010

Silly girl ;-p

     I told both Elizabeth B. and Amie M. this tale on the phone today, and they both found it very endearing. So I thought I should share it with the rest of you too.
    At least once a week when Byron or I call each other, I talk to Analyse for a bit. Sometimes she will jabber back, other times she just waves frantically. The idea has been to keep her familiar with my voice, even though I can't currently go there to visit her. It seems to be working. :-)
    Benson is headed home tonight, but the other day he had called me. At the time, he was sitting out on the patio with Cyndi's mom (Connie) and Analyse. At first they had tried to get her to say 'hi' to me. She had made a small sound, then just kept waving. chuckle. At one point Connie had told her to sing to me. In an attempt to encourage her, I had started singing the scales, " o/~ La, La, La, La, ... o/~" Suddenly Benson had cracked up laughing. Hummm ??? I stopped singing. He started laughing even harder and I could hear Connie doing the same. ???!
    He explained. When I had started singing, Analyse had started dancing. But then I had stopped. Analyse had stopped dancing and leaned towards the phone with a look of eager anticipation on her face. Both Benson and Connie were stating how comical it was. So I started singing scales again. Their combined laughter told me that Analyse was again dancing. Silly girl. ;-p

    Here is a recent picture of my little sweetheart. I knew you'd want to see it o;-)

Thursday, May 20, 2010

from Brian -

copied to here from Brian's Facebook page:

"A person who thinks logically provides a nice contrast to the real world."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

our get away

    Way back in Feb., I had sent an email to our friends inquiring if it might be possible to again 'borrow' their cottage. This time, for our upcoming 30th anniversary. They had replied 'most likely', but to please ask again closer to the date.
    Back when I asked the first time, I had NO idea that I would still be battling Vertigo!!! Good thing I hadn't known!!!
    Also, back then Brian had been working nights. He had talked about switching shifts, I wasn't sure if he would or not. He did.
    In April I asked them again and they replied yes, but that the extended weekend I had inquired about, was a weekend they were using it themselves. However, we were more than welcome to use it the weekend before.
    The new proposed weekend was also when the yearly spring work day at church had been scheduled for. And Brian, as church janitor, is required to be there. And usually that means he is there from about 7 a.m. till 8 or so in the evening, by the time he re-sits up for church after all of the work day activities.
    The original plan was for an extended weekend - take Thursday night off of work, and leave town Thursday afternoon. Take Sunday and Monday nights off of work and return to town early Tues. afternoon. Then Brian changed shifts, and which weekend it was got changed, and he needed to be at the church workday. "Life" and 'plans' don't always flow together, do they?
    Brian decided that we were still going to go for awhile anyways. He took that Monday off of work and left the church work day much earlier than normal. A big part of his wanting to go, had to do with seeing how I handled traveling. Our grand daughter's birthday party is coming up soon and he wanted to see what all it might take to actually get me there.

    We pulled out of our driveway about 4 in the afternoon that Sat. and headed over to eat an early dinner out. Afterwords I chose 'the back route' up to the cottage. It's still a major road way, but not the highway. I thought I might fare better on it, and you know me, I definitely prefer the scenic routes!! While we were going through one section where we know there are a bunch of Amish farms, we were figuring out which farms were and weren't Amish. The one with the Amish clad family walking down off their front porch, was easy to determine. ;-p So was the one with the massive fifth wheel in the front yard. Brian said that he couldn't imagine an Amish farmer mean enough to make his team of horses try and pull that thing. ;-p!
    Seeings how I had brought along food for breakfast the next morning, I opted out of hitting the grocery store en-route up, but we did stop at the Family Video store. My goodness. Going down rows of shelves, attempting to scan read titles, really did a number on me! Whew!!! Brian escorted a weaving dizzy wife back out to the van!
    En-route to the cottage, between 'the big town' and the cottage, there is a stretch of road referred to as the 'S' curves. A rather tightly / sharply formed 'S'! On one side of the road is a good sized pond, the other side has a couple of houses on it back from the road a bit and a big drive way turn around down near the street, which we've always figured they had put there to aid people whom hadn't slowed down enough for the curves.
    This time as we started into the 'S', we spotted a pontoon boat decked on one side of the pond. We started chuckling. "Where do they pontoon to?!" Then as we got into the middle of the 'S', I noticed that there was a second pontoon boat anchored on the opposite side of the pond. Unbelievable!!! But yet it really was there. We took pictures of it en-route into 'the big town' on Sunday, when we went in to get groceries. See how not that large the pond is? See how there are pontoon boats on either side of it? Comical!!

    There is something which always catches my eyes and makes me smile right after I walk in the side door of the cottage. Right inside the door, straight ahead is the basement stairway, or you turn into the kitchen. Straight ahead in the kitchen, is the sink. And sitting next to the sink is this little container of kitchen spoons, one of which is always smiling at you. Isn't it just the cutest thing?!! One of these days I am going to stumble across one someplace that I can nab for myself!!!!
    We got to watch and enjoyed two of the movies we had rented. While Brian enjoyed looking out the front of the cottage at all of the big waves the wind was creating on the lake, looking at them made me queasy. I did however thourally enjoy the view out the side window in the living room. Sitting on one of the couches watching a movie, I occasionally looked out the window at the wind blowing the tree branches, and the bright green grass in the sunshine and even though they don't show up good in my pictures (I took one while sitting on the couch, and then the same view, but took the picture out side) there were lots of pretty dandelions (I thought of you Reva :-) )

    While we didn't get to go away for as long as I had originally hoped to, nor stay as long once we actually went as we were going to (due to Rascal's then impending death) we never the less did enjoy our time away together. :->

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Mother's Day this year -

     I was out of town with only my husband this year on Mother's Day. It fell during our anniversary get away, which I will be telling you about yet this week (or at least that's the 'plan').

    Before we left town, Brent had given me a card. I had smirked and given him this quizzical look before opening it. His are always good, but sassy. That's Brent.
    The card itself was purples, yellow, soft green, and teal blue colored.
    The front of the card read, "A wonderful mother (the word 'mother' was surrounded by small shiny hearts) should have understanding. You (the word 'you' is on a big red heart with shiny points all around it) have understanding."
    The inside of the front of the card read, "A wonderful mother should have patience. You (the word 'you' was on top of a red heart. And the letters of the word 'you' were sparkly white.) have patience."
    A flap folded over the inside of the card read, "A wonderful mother should (the word 'should' was on a white circle with shiny points all around it) get an expensive Mother's Day present..." and there was a wrapped gift pictured at the bottom of the flap.
    Fold the flap open and it read, "... Lucky for me (the word 'me' is 3-d looking and colored with red shiny sparklies), you've got patience And (the word 'and' was also 3-D looking and sitting on a big red heart) understanding. Happy Mother's Day
    Brent has signed it, "I Love you Mom! Brent :)"
    Chuckle, chuckle!!!!

    We had gone into the nearby big town on Sunday and I had talked to Byron on the phone. :-}

    While we were at the emergency pet place on Monday, Benson had given me a huge hug, wished me a 'Happy Mother's Day', and between sobs told me that he had been working on making me a card on the computer ... more tears - from all of us!

     Later on Monday, Brandon had given me a card. On the envelope, after the word 'To:' which was printed on there, he had written, "the Best mommy ever". ( ;-) )
    The outside of the card showed a picture of somebody sitting on a padded bench - you could see from the wist down. So the bare arms from the elbows down were showing, and a white skirt sort of wrapped tight around bare legs which ended in pink untied high top tennis shoes. The bottom of the front of the card read, "There's more to being a mom than laughing and relaxing and having fun."
    You open the card and music starts playing. The inside of the card read, "Except today! Enjoy your Mother's Day." The music playing was "o/~ girls just wanna have fun o/~" (preformed by Cyndi Lauper)
    Brandon had signed it, "Love Ox".
    Chuckle, chuckle!!!

    Monday evening Brian had given me a card with an apology, "sorry things didn't go like we planned ...". tear, s-i-g-h ...
    At the top of the outside of the card it read, "to my wife - ". Under that there was a picture of a guy with a comical almost pig shaped head, standing in front of a window with green grass and the sun showing through it. Under the picture it read, "For Mother's Day, I thought I'd surprise you with a clean house."
    The inside of the front of the card and the inside of the card combined into a big picture. In the upper part of one side was the same scene which had been at the top of the front of the card. But then it was like the camera had zoomed out and you could see the rest of the room. A kid (with the same type of head as the dad) was sitting on a chair with something in it's hands and the words "text, text, test" were written next to it. Another kid (with the same type of head) was laying on the floor in front of a checker board. Also spread about on the floor were a couple of socks, shoes, video cases, a boom box, books, video games, a tennis ball, etc.. On one side of the room was a huge TV. Off to one side was a coffee table with a open pop can on it, and a wallet with some loose change, and a open magazine. In the bottom corner, under the guy in front of the window, there was a dog obviously chasing somebody and barking, but all you could see of the somebody was one whole leg, the foot of the other leg, and part of the bottom of their shirt (they were running off of the page).
    Between the dad in front of the window and the dog chasing somebody, the card read, "But my house key only fits this one. (the word 'this' was underlined) Happy Mother's Day"
    It was signed "B"
    Chuckle, chuckle!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

~ our anniversary ~

          [picture taken by 'Bill plus Jean Photography']
                   (I designed our wedding cake)

    Thirty years ago today, we became Mr. & Mrs. Brian B. :-) Thirty (30) years ago!!! WOW!!! And yes, like our profile states, we do still both like and love each other! Somebody recently asked me what our "secret" is. Basically, that love is a decision! I posted about that back on Feb. 11th, 2006.
    Another v-e-r-y important "secret" has to do with how you treat one another. I did a post about that back on September 6th, 2007.
    Stick together through 'thick and thin'. I posted about this on April 9th, 2008.

    Most of you know how much the two of us and humor go hand and hand. On our 29th anniversary, I shared a funny incident from our honeymoon ;-p May 17th, 2009 .

    The posting on May 17th, 2006 started with, " "Dad" (Brian) tells people we've now been married for 26 years - 15 of them were good ones .... "  Kenny Rogers had a song titled "Through The Years". In it, it says, "through the years, can't think of anything we've missed ....". Now true there are many things I can think of that we have experienced second hand (via friends) rather than first hand; but there sure have been a LOT of first hand things ...." and then there was a list, followed by, "And yes, that's a l-o-n-g posting. But a LOT has happened in 26 years! "
To see the list, go to: May 17th, 2006

     Back on September 10th, 2005, I had done a posting about "remembering". In it I was 'Remembering' events from our life.

    During our marriage, in amongst all of the "stuff" that has happened, we have also been blessed by NUMEROUS 'miracles'.  We're fully aware that according to the way some people perceive 'miracles', these do not qualify as such. To us however, they are miracles / acts of God. Plain and simple. And we thank him for them!!!
    Here then is a list and links to the 'miracles' we have posted about in the past. (To clarify - no, these are not the dates of when the events happened. Rather, all of the stories come from over the years in our married life. The dates are just when I posted the stories.)

 - June 26th, 2006 - Accident while Brandon was driving
 - August 11th, 2006 - the part of the posting about Brandon - he had fallen seventeen feet off of scaffolding, on to the bed of a pick up truck. Click here to see a picture of him shortly after he arrived home from the E.R..
 - Feb. 13th, 2007 - God miraculously provided our NEED for food
 - Feb. 16th, 2007 - protection from the drive by shooting
 - Feb. 19th, 2007 - He protected me from an attacker in our house!
 - Feb. 22nd, 2007 - He provided a car
 - Feb. 25th, 2007 - it easily could have been a house fire
 - March 2nd, 2007 - protection from trapped hissing raccoons
 - March 8th, 2007 - two boys almost drowned, while sleeping on the top bunk!
 - April 5th, 2007 - God has miraculously provided our NEED of housing
 - March 24th, 2008 - Brent was hit by a car

    Yes, I realize that this posting is full of a whole lot of 'link ups', and that most of you won't link to even one of them. That's okay. The looking them all up brought many smiles to my face, and many songs of praise to my heart. We have been so-o blessed!!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).

~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).

Saturday, May 15, 2010

from Brian -

This weeks quote copied off of Brian's Facebook page is:

   " I do not believe in miracles... I rely on them."

We have experienced a lot of them during our marriage!! Thank-you Lord!

We will be linking you to postings about a bunch of them on our anniversary. :-)

Friday, May 14, 2010

"W - h - a - t - ? ! !"

    You know how sometimes you see something, and as your reading it, your brain shouts "WHAT?!!!!" at your eyes? I've posted instances of this happening to me before. Well, it happened again. This time, in multiples. Seriously!
     I am currently working on the HUGE project of clearing out my email in-box. How can that be a HUGE project you ask? I've already started on the posting to tell you all about it. You'll get what I mean when you read it!
     Saturday morning I had gotten up relatively early for me now a days, and went right back to working on my project! I was scanning down page after page of email titles (hey, I told you it's a HUGE project o;-p) checking for a particular type of emails. As I was scanning one particular page, four (Yes, 4 !) different times my brain shouted "WHAT?!!" to my eyes!!! Four times in a list of twenty five emails! Ridiculous!!!
     So what were those titles, and what did I 'think' I had read? So glad you asked! o;-p

     First one - What the email titles actually said were,
     "Chinese Feng Shui h..." and the line below that read,
     "Seasoned Citizen Fu ..." but what I thought I had read was,
     "Chinese Feng Shui Seasoned Citizen Fu -- wait, shouldn't that be 'seasoned chicken'?!!" You know, like I was reading the title of some oriental recipe. ;-p

     Second one - What the email titles actually said were,
     "Rice Fields of Jap..." and the line below that read,
     "Bananas & Mrlhd ..." but what I thought I had read was,
     "Rice, Bananas and Milkduds ..." and my brain had questioned if it was some kind of a vegan/chocoholic recipe? ;-p

     Third one - What the email titles actually said were,
     "Bella Italia!!!" and the line below that read,
     "Cabala's Specials" and my brain forgot that Cabala's is a sporting goods store, NOT some wonderfully authentic Italian restaurant, which was currently running a special on a dish titled "Bella Italia", named after the Italian owners great aunt. ;-p

      Fourth one - What the email titles actually said were,
      "Back at 9" and the line below that read,
      "New Clock!" and my brain thought perhaps they were announcing that they had a new clock, so this time they really would be back at 9. o;-p

       HONEST, I am not making any of those up!!! They were all clumped together half way down one page/list of email titles in my in-box, with only one or two other emails between each set. I myself could hardly believe it. Then I noticed that it wasn't even 7:30 a.m. yet. Oh boy, it was going to be a doozy of a day!!! ;-p

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Rascal - Oct.1994 - May 10th, 2010

    We moved into this house Labor Day weekend of the year that our youngest son, Brent, started kindergarten. While we were still renting, this time we were renting a whole house, not an apartment, which was either on the main floor or the upstairs of a big old house. We had done this once before, but it was a very small little house, and thankfully we had only continued to live there about six months after son number two was born. And while our 'one floor of a big old house apartments' were nice, this house was w-a-y bigger, and better, for oh so many reasons, one of which was that now we could get a non-caged pet. We had had a couple of gerbils, and fish, and we had a genie pig, who thought he was a very small dog or something!!! He loved to be let free to play on the porch while Benson was building with all of our over sized blocks, or wander from person to person in our living room, etc.. But now, seeings how we were in a big old house, we could get a cat or a dog.
     While both Brian and I had stories in our past of peoples cats that made us shudder, which had made both of us think we weren't really 'cat people', the decision was made to get a cat over a dog never the less. Why? Because of our life at the time. It was ever more practical and feasible to leave a cat at home alone for a long weekend, then it would be to get somebody to keep letting a dog out, etc..
     The farmhouse apartment we had lived in before moving here, had a big barn next door, which was owned by some people whom lived down around the lake. We called them to see if they happen to know of anybody whom had free kittens. They told us that that was much more a spring occurrence, but they would check around for us. Later they called back stating that some friends of theirs had just found kittens in their own barn and would be glad to let us have one. The arrangements were made for the kitten to get from it's owners, to our connection and then through other people, to us.
     We had not told the boys that we definitely were getting one. One night in November we just loaded everybody up in our suburban and headed back up to where we had just moved out of. The boys were told to wait in the truck while we (Brian and I) went inside for a minute. Inside we found the kitten inside of a cat travel case, with the home owners Labrador scaring the heck out of it. (Perhaps those memories is what kept Rascal from ever fully accepting Boo). We left the house with the kitten tucked securely inside my coat, hoping to keep it hidden there till we arrived home.
     It wasn't to be!!! Oh could that teeny little thing meow loudly!!!! Goodness!!! And oh could he climb!!! For awhile I bore the proof that he had all of his little claws. Mercy!!!
    Were the boys ever surprised, and thrilled!!! The kitten got ever so thourally inspected and loved almost to pieces (explaining how tightly you could and could not hug/hold a kitten took a bit of reminding for awhile ;-p) that first night. And the next day. And the next. And when they arrived home from school on Monday, they had to verify that we still had him...
     While numerous different names were suggested, we decided to wait a couple of weeks and see if any particular name really fit him. It had been about two weeks when one evening as I was sitting in the rocking chair watching the boys play with him, I laughingly told the kitten "You're a little rascal!!!". At once the boys started declaring, "That's it Mom!" "That's a perfect name for him mom", etc.. And thus he was named. He lived up to his name to the very end!
     We have heard that 50% of an animals personality is the animal itself, and the other 50% is due to the animals environment. We believe there is a lot of truth in that statistic!
     You hear how cats won't come when they are called. As a kitten, Rascal would almost go head over tail in his hurry to come to you. True, sometimes in his latter years he'd just stare at you, but then again, so does Boo sometimes, let alone "the boys". ;-p. But other times, even in his late adulthood, Rascal would come when called.
     In many ways Rascal perceived himself to be much more dog than cat like. For many years he loved to play fetch with the rings off of milk jugs. His humans would tire of it long before he usually did. He liked to hide underneath the dining room bench closest to our walk through path and totally without warning, jump out and grab ahold of whom ever was passing by. Sometimes he scared you oh so good! Then he'd just peer up at you while cocking his head sideways and meow ever so cutely. He was a rascal!!!
     Sometimes I'd hear this noise and not be able to figure out what exactly he was doing. He liked playing under the white dining room bench. He'd jump between the top of the bench and the full length support beam underneath it. And back and forth and then take off running through the house. And could he ever get up steam (let alone noise) while running! Often during the day, you'd hear him "THUMP" down off of a bed upstairs and then run full hilt through the upstairs, or down the staircase. His name was Rascal. His nick-name was 'Thunder Cat'. And yet other times he went into some type of stealth mode and appeared in a silent fast blur out of no where.

    We had had him de-clawed in the front, seeings how he was going to be an indoors cat anyways. But his whole life he seemed to think that he had front paws which needed sharpened. And could he ever make noise doing so! He loved using the side of one of the rails under a dining room bench, or any and every cardboard box, and the ribbing along the edge of the brown couch, and any other place which could produce noise while he sharpened non existent claws.
    Every single time that we were gone for a weekend, he would come bellowing down from upstairs as soon as we entered the house, giving us all kinds of heck for having left him home alone for so long! Occasionally, he'd even be waiting for us right inside the door. As if to prove he didn't want us to leave again, he would attach himself to one of us by wrapping all four legs around one of our legs and holding on for dear life. Most often, it was Benson or I that he picked. While everybody else emptied the vehicle, his chosen captive would try to comfort the poor love deprived kitty.
     I clearly remember about mid August of one year. I had been working in the kitchen up at camp for nine weeks straight. Brian had come up every weekend. The boys had spent some weeks up there, and then some time elsewhere. That evening after I had gotten home, I was again sitting in the rocking chair. Rascal had jumped up into my lap. I greeted him, expecting him to settle down on my lap and demand petting forever. But instead, he had kept climbing. He'd put one paw on either shoulder and literally rubbed my nose with his. It was ever so comical, and yet heart warming at the same time.
    When we first got him, he had been a short haired cat that didn't shed. Round about the time he turned two, his hair changed. He became a long haired cat whom most defiantly shed! Mercy! The older he got, the more he seemed to shed, and the more my allergies to him worsened. For years he would let me brush him down. At first I could do so on my own. Then I had to start wearing a mask over my mouth and nose to do so, which he wasn't always thrilled with. But then it got to the point that when I tried brushing him, my eyes would start stinging, and swelling, and stay swollen for a day or so, so I ended up giving it up. I kept a container of wet ones on my night stand so that if he jumped up on the bed with me and I forgot and petted him, I could wash my hands before I fell asleep and got my hands near my eyes.
     Rascal was a talker! The whole family will attest to him walking through the house calling something which most definitly sounded like "Mom?!?" He also said something, which, while it did not sound like 'Benson', it most definitly was whom he was inquiring about!!! Sometimes I would tell him that Benson was in the basement, and he would turn, head out of the room, and straight to Benson in the basement. If Benson got home later than what Rascal deemed an acceptable time, Rascal would give him quite the talking to!!!! And how he abused the word hello!!! Oh man. Sometimes in the middle of the night, he would stand at the bottom of the stairs and call out "Hell-wo-o-o?", and keep repeating it, gradually growing louder, until somebody whom he had awakened would holler "we're all up here Rascal!" or, "Come here Rascal!" or some such. Just yelling for him to be quiet didn't work. We had tried, but it didn't!.
     Once Brent and Boo had moved back home again, we always had the gate at the top of the staircase closed due to how Rascal and Boo usually wouldn't get along. In the evenings, when Rascal could hear a bunch of us gathered in the living room, he'd stand at that gate calling, then yelling, then bellowing his "hell-wo-o-o-o?!?!?!?!" getting so loud sometimes that we would either turn up what we were watching, or give in and try to have the two co-existing in the same room. He WANTED to be where we were!
     Over time, perhaps because of my reduced interaction with him due to my asthma, or perhaps due to my frustration with a couple of the things he had started 'pulling', Rascal grew less attached to me, and more and more attached to Brian. It wasn't that he had never cared for Brain, not at all. Use to be that Brian was getting home from work about the time the boys and I were trying to leave the house in the morning. Via the kitchen window, Brian would watch us load up in the truck and pull out. While he's not sure how it started, the minute we walked out, Rascal would be sitting by his feet waiting for a treat, which we kept in the drawer next to that window. In-fact, it got to the point where Rascal would be trying to climb Brian's leg wanting (demanding) his treat while we were still in the house and Brian would be pointing out to him that we hadn't left yet! Comical!!
     Rascal would sleep with Brian during the day and Benson at night. Brian tried to teach him that it was okay if I crawled into bed during the day too, due to headaches, or vertigo, or whatever. I had my side of the bed, and Rascal was suppose to stay on Brian's other side. Usually however, Rascal preferred to climb down between the two of us and then over time spread out, thus leaving both of us clinging to our sides of the bed. How a twenty two pound, very long cat, could take up so-o much of a bed, and make himself unmovable (as though he weighed twenty two tons instead of twenty two pounds) we never did figure out.
     Rascal wasn't thrilled with Brian changing shifts. Once Brain did go to bed in the evening, Rascal would jump up on the bed and give him quite the talking to over the whole situation. One night, just last week, Brian was already in bed, I was getting ready for bed, and Rascal was somehow sitting in the middle of the bed, with Brian petting him and consoling him. As I started to get in bed, I sort of lost my balance and put my hand down. Goodness! Rascal quickly informed me in a no un-certain tone, that my hand was on their side of 'the line'!!! A definite rascal!!!!
     Like I said, he almost always slept with Benson at night. Pretty much the only exception to that was the summer's Benson spent at camp. The summer that all of us lived up there, Brain and Benson had ended up fetching Rascal up there too. That summer he liked being let out of our camper on a leash and loved to lay in the shade underneath it. We tried letting him out on a leash here at home, and he wanted nothing to do with it what so ever! However, if Benson was sitting on a chair on the porch reading a book, he often gave in to Rascal's pleading and took him out there with him, wrapped safely in a blanket.
     For awhile Benson had had a bunk bed in his room, who's top bunk was occupied by all of his stuffed animals, and often Rascal. Benson could walk into his room not even thinking about the fact that Rascal might be up there, only to be jumped at, or attached by out stretched paws. Rascal enjoyed that game a bit to much at times! Smirk, smirk.
     I had just sat up onto the edge of my bed trying to figure out what the noise had been and what I was smelling the night of our house fire, when Rascal jumped up onto the bed beside me. Suddenly the lights of my electric alarm clock went out and I knew that that was my 'sign' if you will, that I had to get the boys up and we had to get out of there, and now! I should have scooped Rascal up when I jumped up, but I didn't. And to this day I regret that I didn't. He followed me to the doors of the boys rooms to wake them up, he followed us to the top of the staircase, but he didn't finish following us down the steps. Had he already seen the flames in the basement? Had the smoke filling the bathroom and the kitchen scared him up to me? Probably.
     We escaped out the front door only to hear him bellowing for one of us from the top of the stairs. Benson was pleading with me to let him go get Rascal. Part of me wanted to let him. Part of me wanted to do it myself. But as I had stepped off of the porch I kept remembering stories of people whom had quickly run back into to nab a pet and been killed because right then the building had exploded, or collapsed, or some other horror. I didn't want to lose Rascal, but there was no way I was chancing one of us. As I had left the porch I had looked towards the back yard, there was huge black clouds like filling it. I followed them up... our chimney was billowing black smoke as though our house was an old coal train engine. I could not see through our back yard to see the garage. This was way to serious, way to scary.
     Thankfully the firemen were able to find Rascal. He had hidden himself up in the bottom side of our bed frame. That is also where we found him later at the hotel, after having searched every where outside thinking he had escaped out of the door during all of the commotion of people coming and going. That first week, the insurance company had us staying in this hotel like suite with full kitchen, two full baths, etc.. That same night after he had been found after being in hiding, I looked up to see he had jumped up to the partical wall of our bedroom and was walking the wall. The thing was, it was over a sixteen foot drop down to the main floor, but he never wavered, just called 'hi' down to me. Crazy cat!
     From that week until the time we were able to again live in our own home was a six month period. During that time we moved in with my then bachelor brother Craig. Thing is, he is HIGHLY allergic to cats. So poor Rascal was confined to the basement bedroom. It took us awhile to figure out that the reason our borrowed air mattress bed wouldn't stay filled, was due to tiny cat nail holes.
     He hated being confined to that room. After a while we barraced the small section right out side of the room so he had a bit more of wandering space. That cat found ways to climb and escape upon numerous occasions!!! We just couldn't seem to keep him in there. So finally I brought home a solid sided shipping skid from work and stood it lengthwise in the door way. We even sat odd stuff on top of it. That worked, for about three weeks. Then one night in the wee morning hours, I was awaken to Rascal's voice calling "Hell-wo-oo?!?" And then "Mom---" My fuzzy brain could not figure it out, seeings how I was in an upstairs bedroom that week, and he was trapped in the basement .... but then I head the bedroom door squeak further open and Rascal bounded onto the bed, his "Hell-ow-o" full of pride, as though "Look mom, I found you!!!". Oh how I had wished Craig wasn't so darn allergic! But we knew that being the personable cat that he was, Rascal would hate being stored at some shelter type of place. He was one thrilled kitty when we moved back home!!!!!

    The last few months Rascal seemed to be striving even harder to live up to his name. To the point Brian had questioned if the cat was getting senile, because he kept doing the type of stunts he had done as a kitten. Things like practically climbing into the fridge and meowing "Milk" (SERIOUSLY!) while tapping the jug with a paw. We gave him milk again. (We always did at the beginning of every winter, and he would scarf it down. But other than that, it was hit or miss whether he would want some or not.) Things like begging for treats again, which we did have a package of in the drawer, even though he had turned his nose up at them for a long time. We gave him treats. Etc.
    The last couple of months we had seen lots of evidence that Rascal's time with us was soon to be ending. Some times we thought it was ever so eminent, but then he would rally and be ever so sprighty and full of life, that we joked about how "he'd probably out live all of us". If only he had. If only.
    Not only had he again been doing things like he had when he was young, he had also been seeking out the other members of the family for attention again. I've mentioned how close he was to Benson, Brian and I, but he had always also done lots of inter acting with the other family members as well. He was not a cat to be left out of things! In-fact, once he had almost tipped over the lit jack-o-lanterns while trying to investigate them, let alone the time he had climbed the Christmas tree.
    Speaking of Christmas tree. Chuckle, chuckle. For years we always went and cut down our own tree. We learned that the tree sap infused water under the tree, was it's own k ind of cat nip (which we never bought) for Rascal!!! Man did he love that stuff!!! I had the hardest time keeping water in the tree holder, had to refill it daily!
    The Christmas after our house fire, we used a friends fake Christmas tree, and for asthmatic reasons have never had a live tree again. Rascal was insulted, to put it mildly. He approached that first tree with caution, sniffing the air and then looking back over his shoulder at us as though to say, "somethings not right here!". He went under the tree. He exited with disdain clearly written all over his face and gave us quite the talking to!!!! It was highly comical from our perspective, but not from his. We took pity on him and cut a branch from one of the small trees in our yard and set it under the tree in a bowl of water. He actually thanked us. So-o-o rascally!!!
    Like I shared, he had also been seeking out the other members of the family for attention again. One morning while Byron was here two weeks ago, Boo and I had been up for about two hours when Byron got up and wandered into the den where I was. Seeings how I hadn't spotted Rascal in any of his usual haunts when I had gotten up, I had figured he was up under my bed. Nope. As Byron was standing there talking to me and Boo was in on a couch, Rascal came wandering in proud as punch talking up at Byron and then rubbing his leg. A surprised Byron leaned down and picked him up saying "Well hello there .....". Rascal had purred and talked and snuggled for a good twenty minutes. Was he saying his "goodbye, thanks for loving me, I love you too." ? And he had done similar stunts with Brandon and Brent.
     Brian and I had pulled out around 4:00 on Sat.. We were escaping to a friend's cottage for a couple of days, next week is our 30th anniversary. We had slept in on Monday morning, but when we entered the kitchen around nine, Brian's cell phone was beeping due to missed messages. The only way we get service up there is by having the cell phone sitting open on top of Brian's wallet, on one spot on top of the dishwasher in front of the bay window overlooking the lake, and by pushing the buttons gently, then changing it to speaker phone. There was a message from Byron about Benson. And there were several messages from Benson. He was beside himself with grief.
    At about two a.m. that morning, Rascal had went to the basement to find him, walking totally stiff legged, and hardly breathing. He had gone to find Benson to say goodbye. Benson tried to help him. He desperately wanted to cure him. All he could do was demonstrate his love for his beloved cat to Rascal's very end.
     Once we got Benson's messages we jumped right into action. We packed up, cleaned up our dishes, and were out of there! About fifteen minutes later Benson called again, Keaton (one of our "part time" kids) was driving him to the Emergency Pet Place up on such and such a street... maybe they could do something. Not long later he called again, Rascal had a heart murmur, his liver was a solid rock, and the Dr. didn't know if he'd make it another five minutes on his own. Benson was bawling, the tears were streaming down Brian's face, and I was striving ever so hard not to join them. I had a long bumpy car ride ahead of me and I knew my head would be challenged enough with that, let alone if I added crying to it.
     The Dr. later commented on how he couldn't believe what a fighter Rascal was, and that we definitely had done something right with him. See, Rascal hung on till we got there, and his body responded as Brian talked to him and stroked him. Oh did the tears stream. I think he responded to me too, or maybe it's just hopeful thinking. He barely breathed, had a heart beat for about another five minutes, and then the Dr. said he was gone. It took awhile for the tears to slow enough for us to head home.
    That evening Brent, with a small amount of assistance from Brian, constructed a casket. Of his own accord, Brent had removed his hat when we lowered Rascal into the casket. Brian and Benson dug a deep hole (Brandon is an assistant soccer coach and they had an evening away game), and through our tears, Rascal was lowered into the ground.
     Brian summed it up perfectly - "Losing a family pet is just as painful as losing a human member of your family. Thankfully, it usually takes less time to start healing from the pain, but initially, there's just as much pain, grief, sorrow, the whole lot of it."
    We literally thanked / thank the Lord for Rascal having been a part of our life's! He added a lot of joy, and laughter and LOVE!!!

(I got started on the kitchen yesterday, but the fresh turned soil in the back corner of the yard kept drawing my eyes and heart ...   Benson had slept on the couch Monday night, and during the night when I'd come down to use the bathroom, there was no white and gray ball laying between his legs ...     Benson is currently on a train headed for Byron and Cyndi's, per Cyndi's insistence and generosity.)

     Yes, I fully realize that this is a very long posting. Rascal wasn't just a cat. He was very much a part of our lives! There are many other things I could have shared with you, and I just might some time. After all, we are printing postings off and keeping them in a book as a life record so to speak.

Friday, May 7, 2010

"Cooking and Baking" Directory '09

This is a directory listing of sorts of "Cooking and Baking" postings from 2009.

Sept. 28 th, 2009 - "Use Your Oven As A Warming Oven"

Oct. 5 th, 2009 - "reuseable "free" pails (NOT ice cream buckets!)" - helpful in the kitchen too

Nov. 11 th, 2009 - " (-: Brownies :-) " - adding a secret ingredient that just WOWS them

Nov. 23 rd, 2009 - "What To Do With Bread" - extra dinner rolls, heels of loafs, etc.

Dec. 7 th, 2009 - "Multi Use Spray" - Cooking spray, not just for baking pans!

Dec. 18 th, 2009 - "Improvised Recipe" - I took chicken and ...

Dec. 28 th, 2009 - "Useable On More Than Just Dough" - Pastry blendors

PLEASE come back here after you read any and leave your comments about them on this blog. Thanks! [and yes, you are welcome (even encouraged) to read each and every one, and leave a comment about it each and every time]

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I 'plan' on linking this particular posting to:

~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
~ "Tuesday is Food Day", hosted by Byron, at 'A Lord, A Lady, and a cute little Princess' (http://byroncyndi.blogspot.com/) .
~ "Tempt My Tummy Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Lisa, at 'Blessed with Grace' (http://blessedwithgrace.blogspot.com).
~ "Tuesdays at the Table", are hosted by Cole, at 'All The Small Stuff' (http://allthesmallstuff-cole.blogspot.com/).
~ "Kitchen Tip Tuesday('s)", are hosted by Tammy, at 'Tammy's Recipes' (http://www.tammysrecipes.com/).

Thursday, May 6, 2010

a compliment :-)

     Brian had stopped at Meijer's on his way home from work yesterday and as he walked into the kitchen with bags in his hands, he looked around and smiled (there was actually room to set the bags on the counter!) and said, "I see you were feeling better today" :-)
     I replied, " 'Were' being the key word there. I worked myself into quite a state of dizziness again."

     Brent has been sick since Sunday night. The stay on one couch, use a bucket occasionally, "can you get my towel cold and wet again?", "can't we use the meat thermometer to take my temp.?" type of sick.
     Those of you that know Brent, knew immediately after reading the "stay on one couch" part that he must REALLY be sick. That is not like Brent at all!!!
     And for the record, yes, the meat thermometer stuck into his mouth (NOT into his cheek or tongue ;-p) surprisingly did work. Or at least it registered 101 while in there. And yes, it has now been thourally sterilized again!!!!!
     So I had been up most of Tues. night with him. I headed up to bed as Brian came down to get ready for work Wed. morning.
     Sun., Mon., and Tues. I had also been battling severe cramps, most likely hormonal based ....

      I had gotten back up early yesterday afternoon to use the bathroom, and just could not handle the condition of the kitchen a minute longer. So I attached!!! But emptying the sinks, loading the dishwasher, emptying counters, rinsing and stacking non dishwasher items, replacing the trash bag, etc., involves LOTS of turning and turning and bending and pretty soon I was dizzy again!!! The good news was/is, it took that long to get to that level this time :-) I am progressing in the right direction!!! :-D

     But I had done all of that AND he had noticed! YES!!!!!

     Later, while I was trying to put an empty pop bottle in the garbage bag hanging from the door jam to the pantry, the bag came loose. Falling bag, empty bottles shooting out of the bag every which way, me instinctively trying to catch all of it at once ..... my 'dizziness' went to "OH NO!!" I weaved my way out of there and to a secure corner as fast as I could. Poor Brian voluntarily cleaned up after me.
     This morning I am quite a bit better, but not yet to the point I was around noon yesterday. Aw well. I think I'm going to go lay down for a bit more before I attempt tackling that checkbook and bills! Yikes!

     After reading all of this, perhaps you understand why upon a couple of occasions before Brian had changed shifts, he had slid into bed beside me in the morning and asked, "So, how's my beautiful dizzy brunette this morning?" ;-p

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

from Brian -

this weeks quote copied from Brian's facebook page is:

        "Having amnesia and déjà vu at the same time.
          I think I've forgotten this before." :-0

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Nostalgia -

    We all know that nostalgia sells. That is part of the reasoning behind the remaking of so many old movies. It was behind Ford's reasoning's to start producing Mustangs again. It is the reason that casino's book performers whom in their prime were topping the charts. And I could go on and on with the examples. In-fact, I am quite positive that some examples have just come to your own mind. Tell me about them!
    All of us smile and know that winter is really over, when we start hearing the tunes of the ice cream truck as it drives slowly through our neighborhood. While part of the reason we smile is because we are ready to be done with winter, part of the reason also has to do with nostalgia. The memories of our own child hood connected with goodies from an ice cream truck.
    For a long time we had been successful in convincing our "boys" that it was just plain and simply a 'music truck'. That the nice man drove his truck around playing music to encourage people to smile, and that it was always songs the older people knew and would start singing along to and thus teach to their children. Any time that we were outside when the truck was driving around, we would wave and wish him a 'good day'. He in turn always did likewise. Like I said, it worked, for a l-o-n-g time! :-) No, we were not trying to deprive our children. The reality was that we simply could not afford to purchase anything from the truck, but we had found our own way to get enjoyment from it never the less.
    But our 'delusion' came to a screeching halt one day, all due to the kids that lived five doors down from us. That particular house full of boys caused us many a problem in many a way... but I'll spare you the majority of them. Well, at least for now.
    But the one day as our "boys" went out onto the porch to better wave at the nice man, the boys from five houses down came running and hollering up the street, waving their money up in the air. The nice man had no choice but to stop, those boys were making such a racket, and the younger one had left the sidewalk and was now running in the street in his attempt to catch the drivers attention, and he was only about three years old! The driver had to stop.
    But he stopped right between our house and the next neighbors, and thus our sons watched in total disbelief as the nice man came to the door of his truck, talked to the boys from five doors down, and then after taking their money, returned from the insides of his truck and handed each of them an ice cream treat. Our "boys" wanted answers, now! Like I stated, we had been successful with our tale for a long time. Our eldest was about ten years old when this fiasco happened. While he didn't actually use the word 'duped', he found other ways of expressing that was what he felt we had done to him. And how!!!
    Once Brian arrived home, he agreed that from his next paycheck we would take a five dollar bill and set it up on the shelf under the picture in the living room, so that the next time the truck came through, our boys could buy something too. For me, that turned out to be a ever so disappointing experience.
    My parents had some very dear close friends named Ken and Marian L.. If we were at one or the others house during the warm weather months and we heard the tunes of an approaching ice cream truck, the chances of us being able to get something from said truck were very good indeed! Both my dad and Ken really enjoyed doing so, and their wife's had a much harder time talking them out of it when they were together. Us kids were all the more happy then to get together o;-p
    The ice cream trucks from my youth were taller trucks, with windows on one side that slid open so that the people riding in the truck could take your order and hand your ice cream to you through them. And they carried soft serve ice cream. You could get it plain in cones, or cups, or as sundaes.
    At least that's the way I remember it. Seeings how my dad and sister both read my postings, I'm sure they will set the record straight if I'm wrong. ;-p Then again, I find great enjoyment from these memories, so they don't necessarily have to .... o:-) {Craig, I know that you read them too, it's just that you were oh so young back then, I'm not sure you have memories of them.}
    Brian's memories of the ice cream truck in his town, are that the truck carried the ice cream or sundaes in the cups with cardboard lids and little wooden paddles to eat the ice cream with. But actually being allowed to buy them from the truck, was a BIG event! :-D
    The five dollar bill was set upon the living room shelf so that all of our "boys" could clearly see it. Trust me, they checked frequently to verify it really was there, and that it was still there. And their ears were ever on the alert for the sound of the music truck, turned ice cream truck.
    Over a week passed before we again heard it approaching, and oh the excitement that broke free when we did. Actually, chaos might be a more appropriate description! ;-p I had to part the sea of young bodies, some of whom were standing on the couch reaching for the money themselves, to retrieve the five dollar bill and lead them in a less that orderly fashion, out the front door and to the curb.
    Once the truck stopped, we found that it wasn't the nice man driving it that day, but rather his son, whom had seldom bothered to wave back at us, seldom smiled, and my sons had voiced that maybe he needed to sing the songs more often. Aw the wisdom and insight of youth. o;-p
    While our boys were thrilled with the 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle' sort of ice cream treats on a stick they got, I was greatly disappointed! That was the only type of ice cream treats the truck carried, and they only had like five different then current TV characters to choose from. Then, to top that, it took almost the whole five dollar bill to purchase four of them. Not only wasn't there anything I would want for myself, I wouldn't have been able to pay for it anyways. Disappointing! But even more so when I realized that it would be extremely infrequently that we would be able to allow our boys this little pleasure as well.
    Our sons, being the good little boys at least at heart that they were, all offered me some of their treasured treat. So I took one lick of each ones, and then let them enjoy the rest. They enjoyed them so thourally that they ended up wearing that mutant green color 'from ass to appetite' as the old saying goes. ;-p
    This year, the first time I heard the tunes of the truck, I smiled and glanced out the window. It seems that the current treats being carried are Sponge Bob and Dora in nature. Sad.
    Seeings how there is so much proff that nostalgia sells, I wish some body would start a business of ice cream trucks that actually sell ice cream, whether it be soft or hard serve. I bet it wouldn't take long at all for them to start doing all kinds of record breaking business!!! Because then, it wouldn't just be the young kids wanting something from the truck. It would be their nostalgic parents grabbing up the kids and running after the truck with all of their might! :-D

Monday, May 3, 2010

a new home for my earrings :-)

     I have this thing about losing ear rings. Yes, sometimes I'll lose one while wearing them. That is because the hole in one ear is larger than it's suppose to be, due to wrong instructions given to us by the store employee whom pierced my ears, so the earrings often work themselves lose or free.
    But I also have problems with losing my ear rings, here at home, right in my bed room. Yes, I had designated one little drawer in the stand up jewelry box I had picked up for earrings. But sometimes I would be searching for one particular pair in a hurry, and in the process of trying to find the two matching ones, lay ones whom weren't part of that pair out on top of my dresser. And it was from there they would vaporize. Yes, vaporize.
    Sometimes I would gather them all up and dump them right back in their little drawer. But other times I was out of time and would just leave them there, figuring I could tuck them away later. Sometimes 'later' happened when I returned to my room. Other times a lot of time had passed till 'later' actually happened. And by then, this or that earring would come up missing. Not MIA, because what action do earrings have while sitting on your dresser?! They are just laying there doormet, right? I'm not so sure.
    Let me interrupt myself right here and state that NO, I DO NOT THINK MY "BOYS" WERE WEARING THEM! True, Byron does have one ear pierced, but it's high on his lobe, and while he has at times lost his and asked to borrow my tiny hoop one, he would never wear one of my dangling pink ones!!! Nor my pearls. Nor any of my other ones for that matter.
    At times I have seriously questioned Rascal about messing with stuff in my room, but he just gives me these "I can't believe your saying such a thing human" looks. 
    Sometimes I have found the missing one lying on the floor, or under the dresser or bed like they had gotten kicked there (or Rascal had dropped them there after playing with them?), or down in a basket of laundry sitting in front of the dresser. But other times, like I said, it's like they have totally vaporized!
    I know that part of the problem comes with how full the top of my dresser is. My small TV is on there, and the stand up jewelery box, and our alarm clock (didn't work having it next to the bed). So it's a full surface, and things can be bumped around unknowingly. But having earrings totally disappear really bothers me.
    Rather recently Brent's girlfriend Kayla had brought over some older magazines she thought I might enjoy. It took me a while to be able to, but I am now enjoying them.
    One of them was the January 2009 issue of Family Circle. Starting on page 23, they had a feature article titled "55 Ways To Clear The Clutter". Seeings how such articles always intrigue me, and these were all suggestions/ideas sent in by readers, I slowly started reading through them. I got as far as number forty one (41) and got all excited!!! I was inspired by the idea that 'Alicia Rockmore, founder of Buttoned Up, Inc.' had submitted. Her idea read, "Turn clean cardboard egg cartons into drawer organizers for jewelry and other small things that tend to get misplaced." The editors must have really liked this idea too, because they included a quarter page picture of the idea in use.
    Due to our recycle bin not having been put out in awhile, I was able to retrieve a couple of institutional sized cardboard egg trays (they hold two and a half (2 1/2) dozen eggs). Armed with those and a box opener, I headed up to my room to put the idea to use. I had decided that since what I stored in one of the small upper drawers of my dresser was easily stored elsewhere, I would try converting it into a ear ring drawer.
   There really wasn't much in the drawer, but Kate, you know that CD you made me back when, which I had looked for and could not find? Yeah, it was in there. Yes, I had looked in there. Again, I blame Rascal o;-p.
    Turned out, I didn't have to do any cutting what-so-ever :-). It was like the egg tray had been specifically designed for that drawer. As the Colonel would say, "I love it when a plan comes together!"

     While I don't wear larger sized hoop earrings, I did use one of the pairs out of the dress up stuff to show you how the trays would easily work for that style too.

     I know that most of you do not have the perfect size drawer to implement this idea in. I'm sorry! However, I bet you could find a way to use the idea anyways. Perhaps just sitting in a larger drawer with other stuff beside it. or perhaps on a shelf in your closet or bathroom. Or... ... Think!!! I know you'll be able to come up with something!!!!

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I 'plan' on linking this particular posting up to:
~ "Making Your Home Sing Monday('s)", are hosted by Nan, at 'Mom's the Word (I love to hear)' (http://momstheword--livingforhim.blogspot.com/).
~ "Homemaker Mondays ... Yours, Mine & Ours", are hosted by Jen, at '11th Heaven's Homemaking Haven' (http://rtheyallyours.blogspot.com/).
~ "Monday Mommy Tip('s)", are hosted by Marie, at "Mommy Community' (http://mommycommunity.com/category/Monday-mommy-tip/).
~ "Make-Do Mondays", are hosted by Shari, at 'My Practically Perfect Life' (www.practically-perfect-life.blogspot.com).

Saturday, May 1, 2010

3 Good News items :-)

# 1 - When Byron had brought me home from their house back on New Years Eve, it had taken us over an hour and a half longer than it normally does, due to car problems. Sometimes his car would shift and run fine, other times it totally would not! Frustrating!!! Yes, we were on the highway where usually you don't have to shift gears that often, but the way it was running, we had no other choice. Drive along for awhile not doing too bad, then suddenly, of it's own accord, the car would lag and you'd be going along with the flashers on, praying the semi quickly approaching behind you would be able to get around you and not hate you forever. It was bad.
     The guys tried some different things, but ended up sending Byron back home via the train. His car has been here ever since. The guys have tried this, and that, and put about $200 into it and had it tested on four different car checking machines; and our guys have talked to at least nine different mechanic type guys ... But it looked like we were going to be listing it on "Craig's list" (both my brother's, as well as the 'on line' one ;-p) 'as is'.
    From the get go, Brian had told "the boys" that one of his mechanic connections had said it was the catalytic converter, and what to do to verify it. But EVERYbody else had asked, "does it do this .... then it's not the catalytic converter!"
    Byron was here part of this past week. He commented how he wished he could drive his car home. Brian again brought up the catalytic converter thing. Out of being tired of hearing about it, and the only other option besides selling the car, being lots of other peoples opinion that it needed a valve job, which our guys do not feel qualified to tackle, which would then greatly add to the cost of the parts for such a task, Brent decided "FINE, we'll try the catalytic converter thing!"
    A while later he came back in, mumbling how "I hate my father! Why does he have to be so darn right all the time! grumble, grumble!!!" For the record, he was wearing a sassy face smirk, and he repeated the same words to his dad when he got home, followed by chuckling while swatting at his dad whom had started roaring with laughter. :-D This time, instead of it being Brent dishing out all of the ribbing, he's the one getting it. Quite comical.
    Later they took it to the shop where Brent's girlfriend's dad works, put it up on the lift, and 'did stuff'.
    So after calling the insurance company and having them re-add the car to their insurance and email him proff of insurance, which he then used our printer to print off - Byron happily drove off towards home in his own car. He later reported in that it made it the whole way with no problems. Good News!!! :-)

# 2 - Byron called back again later Friday afternoon to report he DID get the job at the 7-Eleven, and was to start his training early this morning. Good News!! :-)

# 3 - As of yesterday, I am now done with going to physical therapy for my vertigo. I will do a much more detailed update on this soon. For now - after retesting me on 'the machine' (torture thing!!) and having all of the bars not only show up this time, but also having all of them be green instead of several being red; and after questioning me, and doing other checking - I now score as though I am at least 60% healed. (Good News!! :-) )Therefore, for at least the next month, I no longer have physical therapy sessions. I just have to keep doing all of the various tortuous tasks (they refer to them as 'eyes and balance exercises' - my label is far more appropriate!!!), slowely pushing myself on a few areas, and slowely venturing out for more 'outings'. If at the end of the month I have not progressed the rest of the way, or if (oh please no!!!!!!!!) I totally relapse, then I am to call my doctor and get authorization to return to them.
    Analyse's first birthday party is also in a month. Is that incentive from God or what?!!!