DO YOU LOVE RESEARCHING? Or a visit to South Dakota?

I absolutely love researching!  I think it goes hand-in-hand with my passion for digging in the garden and trying new things.  When I research I have to watch myself closely.  I get side-tracked very easily.  I was cleaning up my email this morning and I get one from Mother Nature Network titled : Mount Rushmore’s Hidden Chamber.   SO COOL!!

If you have seen the National Treasure movies – specifically the 2nd one Book of Secrets, then you may find this interesting also.


The article goes on to say that there is actually a cave that was built into Mount Rushmore.  It was never completed, but the concept was pretty awesome.  They wanted the cave to house some of American history – including the creation of the Monument.


I know this has nothing to do with farming or gardening, but it does have to do with travel.  We have been researching places to take my grandson to this summer.  Those of you that have been following me know how much of a challenge this is.  He is A.D.H.D./Autistic – meaning – very VERY low attention span.

He has never flown and we are just not prepared for that fiasco yet – so staying on the ground is a must. I love to drive, always have, so this is not a problem.  (It is one of my let my mind wander times.)  The others in the car with me (usually my sister) may sleep part of the time, which leaves me to my own thoughts.  Most of them are about the farm and changes I would love to see accomplished.  So, I guess this is sort of in the relm of discussion – researching a possible trip to North Dakota.

Well, this article caught my eye because I have not been back to see that site since they started building the carving of Crazy Horse Memorial.  It is one thing to see the completed faces, totally better seeing one created.  It is amazing seeing them up close and personal!  Since my grandson loves rocks, fossils and digging; thought he might just like this too.  Now if we can see the cave that would make our visit worth the drive.

Days like this I wonder how we, as the human species, can create something as outstanding at this; but then turn around and belittle, degrade, and damage each other and our earth?

I would love to hear from any of you that live near, or have recently visited the site!  I may have to check into a train ride to it since he loves trains also.


(Yes, I know they do not look this way anymore, but it still would be fun to see the inside of one like this that has been refurbished!)

For now, I guess I will just have to stick with my researching.  Maybe I should switch topic to “how to tie your wild grandchild down in the car for a road trip?”  Before you all think I am an evil grandma from hell, I did purchase many “fidget” toys for him.  He also has his own tablet for reading and games (games mostly).  I do have things that SHOULD keep him occupied, however he gets bored with them so fast that none of them work.  Maybe I will just have to drive really, really fast.

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Does Your Mother Cook?

If she does, be glad!  My mother could not cook.  We loved her dearly but she would be the first to tell you that her cooking stinks!  This is not being mean, but rather being factual.  She hated cooking.  I think this was a major reason for her marrying our dad.  He loved to cook and was great at it!

To explain just how much our mother hated cooking I will need to share two stories with you.


Once upon a time there was a woman who really hated to cook.  To say she hated to cook is not completely accurate.  She was not very good at it which led to her hating it.  Early in the course of her life she met a man.  This man LOVED to cook, and he was very good at it.  The two fell in love, were married and proceeded to have three silly daughters.

One perfect summer day, the woman thought she would make something simple for her family to eat.  Noodles and tomatoes should be simple enough, or so she thought.   The woman was born and raised during the Great Depression, and this dish was one of her favorite family dishes.  In her time, growing and making your own was a normal way of life.  Noodles and tomatoes – all homemade/homegrown – perfect!

She had every good intention of putting together this wonderful, family favorite, easy dish for all to enjoy.  The woman did not take into consideration her numerous distraction on the farm where they now live.  She started out with a smile filling the metal pot with water.  A warm breeze was flowing through all of the open windows and doors.  She could hear her daughters playing joyfully outside.  She placed the pot of water on the gas stove, added about a tablespoon of salt (as you do with noodles), turned the flame to the appropriate height, and went about her chores.

This is where her distaste of cooking comes into play.  While she was going about her chores, cleaning, laundry, checking on the animals and kids;  the pot continued to boil.

  • It boiled till it was a rolling boil.
    • It boiled until there was no water left in the pot.
      • It boiled until it melted all over the stove.

She and the girls all saw the smoke billowing out of the kitchen.  She told them to stay put as she ran in to find the disaster.  To this day, this beautiful, warm, touching family moment is shared amongst siblings during any moment of childhood recollections and laughter abounds.


(This picture gives you an idea – sort of – it did not flame, it just melted, caused a ton of smoke, and a huge mess.  We, unfortunately, do not have any pictures of that ordeal – this is the closest I could come to it.)


This second story is a bit of a history lesson.  During my high school years (mid to late 1970’s), we moved around a bit.  It was also the time that the “microwave oven” came out and was all the rage.  It can cook anything – ya, sure!  The reason I remember this historical fact is due to my mother and her cooking inabilities.

The only thing she really could do well was boil water (unless she got distracted).  This just happens to be the main necessity for noodles.  Thus, noodles were her specialty of meals.  Stoves were another thing of distrust.  Then came the microwave cooker!  Now, don’t let the name fool you as it did her.  She only caught the “cooker” part and began assuming (there is that darn “ass” word again-grr) that this new wonder of the world would be her savior.  This miracle of science would not turn her into some type of Julia Childs.  Ahh, such is the thing that dreams are made of!

Dad happily purchased one of the miracle workers for mom during our 2nd (maybe 3rd) move.  We were very strapped for cash, so a purchase of this kind had to be especially special.  Excited as mom was she could not wait to try her beloved noodles – so sad.

She read all the instructions so carefully, just as a normal female does (jab jab male species).  Took her time.  Obtained the appropriate container (this alone was a shocker).  Put in the correct amount of water and salt.  Added her noodles and put the wonder to work.  Approximately 20 minutes later we had a marvelous bowl filled with mush!

My amazing mother, the eternal optimist, tried again – and again – and again.  When she final got discouraged, Dad made supper and all was satisfied.  After this fiasco, she came to the conclusion that a microwave cooker was not for cooking any more than the stove was.  That moment on she swore to only use it to re-heat food, and thus it went.

She got so good at the re-heating part, that one year for Christmas my younger sister bought her a book called “101 Things to do with Ramen NoodlesRAPTURE!  She was now going to be able to cook, and had a goal of making every single recipe in the book (which she did with great flare!).

         ramen-noodle-book     micrwave   ˭


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Is Yours the Mother of All Fights?

Mom was creative, outgoing, and seemed to find the fun in everything.  Her sense-of-humor was beyond reproach!  My little sister (yes, the same one I share the farm with now) and I fought like cats and dogs constantly!  One day, Mom stepped into one of our blow-outs and handed each of us a butter knife.

butter-knife Now, for those of you that do not know your way around a kitchen, a butter knife is just that – a blade no sharper than to cut butter.  WE FREAKED OUT – mom just handed each of us a knife!  What were we supposed to do with it?

When she put them in our hands she yelled:

“Now try to kill each other!”

In a very firm voice, I must say!  We just stood there looking at the knives and looking at her, then back at each other.  She started mumbling something under her breath, turned and walked out of the room.  We were still standing there mortified!

Mom gave us each a knife – MOM GAVE US EACH A KNIFE – WHAT??  After what felt like an eternity, we sat down right where we were standing.  Knives still in hand we glanced at them and then to each other.  This whole shocking situation must have gone on for at least an hour.

Then, as we sisters always did, we scooted closer to one another.  We began questioning what was wrong with mom, and just what were we supposed to do with these knives?  We were, in fact, only about 5 and 7 years old at the time – what were we going to do with any kind of knife?

Well, Mom, the smartie that she was, knew that we never really wanted to kill each other, but she was fed up with our fighting.  Pulling out a real possibility of damage caused the two sisters to band together (she was so smart) to solve our dilemma.

The thing about the two of us that disturbed mom is how we could be so mean to each other, but should an outside source attack one or the other, we immediately bonded together against the foe!  She and her siblings were never like that, so she just could not fathom why we could not play nice with each other.  We remained this way until…oh wait, we still do it on occasion!?

However, no matter how many times we fought, bit, punched, or ran off on one another; mom managed to flip it into a her vs. us situation.  She had this fantastic way of defusing any issue.  To this day, whenever my sister and I have any issues we cannot resolve; one or the other of us will hold up our fisted hand like we still have that butter knife in it and wave it at the other.  Within seconds neither of us can stop laughing.  This small memory of our mother still calms any of our tense circumstances.

We have also created a new stress-relief moment….75¢… that is all either of us needs to say, at any given bad moment, to result in instant smiling relief (want to know why, read my past blog: ).

Mom embedded many outstanding mom-isms into us as we grew.  A great many times we had no clue, at the time, what was happening.  Now, as we are old enough to understand all the true meanings of her methods, I am in awe of her!  How did she manage to stay sane with all of us wack-jobs around her?  How did she manage to not only keep her humorous nature but somehow instill it into her children?  What an amazing woman she was!  Thank you mom!!


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You can look till you are blue in the face and you will not find it – you have to choose to make it!
I can say this because this is what I do, I choose to be happy. I will gladly share with you examples of this work of attitude adjustment.

skeleton-parts(PARTS IS PARTS)

I had to have half my left index finger amputated just one month after our house fire took everything (including my 4-year old grandson, but that’s for another time.). I will admit when the Doctor first announced this I was shocked. Started crying hysterically. Thank goodness my younger sister was with me so she could get me back to reality.
I was expecting him to tell me I would need pins or something, but I never thought of lopping it off. Well, after the initial shock subsided, I planted my feet firmly on the ground and started to think about the things that I would have to change to accommodate this circumstance. I am a yarnie and crafter by nature. If you know anything about knitting and crochet, you know your fingers hold the yarn. As I am a right hander, and as I was taught to carry the yarn in my left hand – the major player was now going to be absent forever. Now, this was my first thought.
My sister, on the other hand, looked me straight in the eye and said:
“How are you going to pick your nose now?”
That poor Doctor! He left the room with a woman shocked and hysterical over the news he had just delivered. Now he walked into a room with a couple of dizzy broads laughing so hard; humor leakage was all over the place. Then my sister states:
“Where’s the bathroom, I have to pee?” and bolted out.
There are some times in life that you just do not think to take a picture at the moment. This was one of them. This poor young Doctor was beside himself, and it was obvious that he had no clue what to say.
The amputation was done in June 2014 and went off without a hitch. It took several weeks to get through recovery and therapy. During the process of this, the Doctor noticed I was having difficulty raising my right arm. He ordered x-rays and found that there was no ball left in my socket (let me know when you stop laughing. It’s ok because I still get teased by family and friends on this one – no ball in my socket- ha ha!).
He proceeded to order more x-rays and tests which told us all that I have osteoarthritis (arthritis in my joints – oh lucky me!). To lighten this up a bit, I went on to have six major surgeries within 12 months. I was also handling all of the fire cleanup, remodeling, insurance, investigators, etc., etc., etc.

8-4-14-right-shoulder-replacement-001(my new right shoulder – full reverse replacement)

It just so happens that Halloween fell in the midst of all these surgeries. I consider myself extremely lucky to have had some fantastic doctors with great funny bones. My first (they guy that took ½ my finger) also did my shoulders. Those of you that have been lucky enough not to have it done, you end up with your arm in a sling for about three months. This sling provided a perfect hiding spot!
I had to purchase all new things for our home – this included holiday decorations. The first were to be for Halloween. Then it hit me – skeletons. I also purchased a package of those rubber tips you put on the end of your fingers to help turn pages of paper. My sister had to help me from here. She cut a small slit in the tip of one of the rubber tips. Then cut off the little finger from the skeleton. Shoved the fake bone through the slit and glued it to keep it in place. Then she painted the rubber a skin tone which left the white bone sticking out of it. It fit perfectly onto my new Ms. Stubly.
We’re off to see my doctor, the wonderful doctor of osteo…(yes, you have to sing this to the tune of the Wonderful Wizard of Oz). As with any doctor office, the nurse assisted us into the room first. She had not seen our Halloween surprise because it was hiding in my sling. My doctor came in, set my file on the counter as he was asking so naively: “How are things going?”
“Fine,” I said, “But I have a few concerns about my finger, should it look like this?” “It does make it easier for me to knit now.”
It took all my sister, and I had to stop giggling until he turned around and saw my Ms. Stubly with the fake bone sticking out from the end. He burst out laughing at us – now that’s a doctor! Then he went out and told the nurse, who told a couple of others, and before long we had several people in the room. It was all great fun.
When things calmed a bit, we then noticed his attire for the day – plaids and stripes? My sister very nicely asked him if his wife knew he left the house looking like this today? Once again, we could not stop laughing. I swear, from that visit on he made sure his wife helped him pick out his clothes – at least on the days he knew he would see me.
This is part of how I teach myself to create my own happiness. I have many more stories to share, so I hope you will tag along and have some fun!

finger-before         finger-after         half-finger-hand

(Yes, that is a bone sticking out – but not the fake skeleton one we used-LOL!)

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I grew up on a farm, moved to the big city of Denver for 20 years, then choose to move back to farm life in 2000. City life is (and was) great fun – however – just not for me. I found I was always looking for more.
I do not hate big city life; there is much to be had there. It is still a lot of fun to go back and see all the unique things it offers – museums – zoos – specialty shows (Stock Show just came through) – and all the little out-of-the-way spots I know. The problem, the thrill is gone.
Don’t get me wrong; I loved living in Denver when I was young and unattached. My gal pals and I used to go out every weekend. Dancing and shooting pool were my most favorite activities back then. I was pretty good at both (ok, maybe not so much on the dancing side – but I did win a lot of trophies for shooting pool.) The stories I could tell of those younger days, but then I don’t want to keep you up at night.


My thrill now is the farm and all the wonders it shows me. I was watering in the greenhouse yesterday and found a baby Praying Mantis – WOW! Here I thought it was too early for my cuties to be out and about? She was very tiny – but alive and well. We do not heat the whole greenhouse in the winter, just a part of the herbs and our ever-bearing strawberries. She was playing in with the strawberries (smart girl!).

The latest newbie came in an email I received from Farmers Almanac is regarding today – Groundhogs day. There is a special section that states this day was originally called Candlemas Day – this is something new to me:

For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day,
So far the snow will swirl until May;
For as the snow blows on Candlemas Day,
So far will the sun shine before May.

I do not know where this little quote came from (folklore they say) but I just fell in love with it. This is part of the fun of living on a small farm. I get to take a moment and enjoy these little oddities. I took a moment to do some digging and found that this is a traditional Christian festival that commemorated the ritual purification of Mary forty days after Jesus’ birth. I am a Christian, and I never knew this. Without the internet and the wonderful people at Farmers Almanac, I might never have known this!
The farm has so much to offer, and there is something new at least once a week (sometimes once a day). This date – February 2nd – will now hold a stronger meaning for me. When my January’s get to overloaded (like this last one has been), I will make it a point to place the phrase “Candlemas” on my calendars. This will be my hint to myself to seek out something out-of-the-norm new. So here are some more bits of obscure facts I found for this day:
• It is also called the Festival Day of the Candles, from the past when there was no electric for lighting. A year’s supply of candles was blessed on this day for the church.
• Candles, symbolic for Christians, are to remind us of Jesus – The light of the world.
• Midpoint of winter – half way between the spring and winter equinoxes.
• Folklore again, stated the Christmas season lasted 40-days – until February 2nd.
• Another lovely old saying: “The Snowdrop (we have these on the farm), in the purest white array, First rears her head on Candlemas Day.”


• This is also the day for you procrastinators to put away your Christmas ornaments.

The next one’s to look forward to will be Valentine’s day (yes, I do know about this one) and Kissing Friday (see, here’s another I know nothing of – gasp!), alas, this one ended in the 1940’s boo hoo!


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Hi, Ho All!  And a very Merry Christmas to you.

So, what’s on your agenda for Christmas?  We are traveling to Aurora (for those of you not of this area – it is a suburb of Denver – bigger than Denver now I think?) to spend a night with our other sister and her husband.  This night of Christmas Eve will be the first time we have ALL gotten together for Christmas, on Christmas, in about ten years.  It seems there was always someone working or something messing up the plans.  Since it falls on Saturday and Sunday this year – wooo hooo!

The festivities will include:

  • Drinking beer and setting up stuff.
  • Eating food created by all the families and friends.
  • Drinking beer and sharing the funnies from 2016.
  • Laughing, LAUGHing, and then more LAUGHING (it is a MUST every Christmas!)
  • Drinking beer and yelling at the kids to settle down (ya, like that’s gonna happen?!)
  • Trying to keep the kiddos busy until it is time to open presents (yes, we do it on Christmas Eve – however, also on Christmas day …the ones that Santa brings are on Christmas day).
  • Drinking beer – always before calling relatives, it’s a must!
  • Calling out-of-state relatives and sharing fun memories of winters and Christmas past.
  • Drinking beer while eating.
  • Torture the kids by telling them we will open presents when the 15 minutes is up (note: we started the 15-minute countdown about 60 minutes ago – hee hee)
  • Drinking beer and moving to a fun present opening spot (preferably one good for pics too for me)
  • Open presents. Now this part REALLY drives the kids nuts.  We do name exchange with the adults, and they must wait until the said adult has opened the present, I have gotten a picture, and then they get to open something. (ok, more giggling here is required!)
  • Drinking beer – to steady the camera of course!
  • All presents to family and friends are opened, now it’s time for the kids to play and adults to laugh and talk more. Sometimes we do games.  Usually dice games (we love Yahtzee!!).
  • Drinking more beer while eating more food – gather strength to say bye to friends and family for the night. It maybe another year before we get to see them all again – boo hoo hoo!
  • The food starts to disappear into to-go containers as the crowd starts to dwindle. Eventually, we will all drift off to sleep on a piece of furniture (or maybe the floor since her downstairs level has a heated floor – niiice!!!).
  • The next morning consists of Coffee, a homemade special breakfast, packing up the goodies and heading home.

Once home, chores must be accomplished first (at which point the animals all make it a moment to let us know that they know we were gone!  Pecking, squawking, biting…the norm.), then into the house to see what Santa has delivered.

My grandson has not been at his best this year, especially in the last month.  I have warned him that Santa does not like this, to which he replied: “I’m not sure I believe in Santa anymore?!”  To which I responded with – “Oh, really?  So I can send him a letter that you do not need anything or maybe just some coal for the outdoor cooker this year since you don’t believe?”  He immediately reneged on his previous statement…hmmmm?!?  So, I may have to find or make some small boxes and put a chunk of coal in each one.  Then lovingly place them under the tree – hee hee, yes, this warms my heart!


(My Christmas cacti are bloomin fools this year!)


What is the first thing you do when you get into your vehicle to go somewhere. My habit is to turn on the radio.  Two reasons for this: 1) It sets my pace for the day – good music = great day. 2) To check who is singing and the name of the song, in case I want to buy it. See, I have this fun new car with fun new features. One of them is this great “info” dash reader. Here is a pic from this morning:


So, here’s how the fun techno works.  The bottom is the name of the song – OK.  The middle is the singer or group – OK.  Above that is the radio station (KOSI plays 24/7 Christmas music starting about Thanksgiving) – OK.  Now the top line is where I need to “not” look.

My clock (says 8:15) is off.  I hate daylight savings time changes, and I always have to drag out my instruction manual to figure out how to make the stupid 1-hour changes twice a year…so I just don’t!  The time this morning was actually 7:15 a.m.

The top middle is how many miles I can drive before I run out of gas – I really like this one!  The cute little gas tank (every newer car has this one) tells me which side of the car my cap is on.  This is a good thing because our vehicles are different, and yes, sometimes I forget what I am driving.

The helpful yellow “I” tells me to check my “engine info.”  All I have to do is click a switch, and it tells me things like “low on washer fluid” which just so happens to be what it is trying to tell me now, but I am ignoring it.

Then we come to the culprit of my “don’t look” title – TEMPERATURE!  Yep, it says negative 12 degrees.  OOOUUUCCCHHH!!!  Now I love snow, so fun to play in and we can always use the moisture.  However, cold and I are no longer friends.  I expect that beastie to show up around February, but not in December.  Not here in the northeastern Colorado plains in December.  Our norm is around 35-65 depending on Mother Nature. Today I think Jack Frost has hog-tied Mom Nature just to remind me I have several fake joints (JERK!).

So, as of this morning, I am trying to train this “old dog” to do a new trick – Don’t Look, don’t look, don’t look at the dash in the morning.  Maybe I will make that in the winter?

I enjoy cooler weather much more than hotter weather; however, I draw the line at minus numbers. A crisp fall air, a couple of feet of snow – no big deal. But the negatives are just as bad as the over 80’s in the summer to me. Can only put so much extra on, or take so much off to help my body adjust. When it gets to these types of temps, I’m screwed all day.

I even thought I just stick a small piece of electrical or duct tape over that tiny area just to fool myself into believing it is not what it is. Maybe that will work?


(then they froze – LMAO!)


  1. 1. MY HEALTH: Who am I kidding – it sucks! My sister has started with the nick-name of Bionic Woman – ha ha ha – not funny! Almost all of my major joints (shoulders, knees) have been replaced with metal, plastic, and pins. My grandson gets a huge kick out of the knees when they pop out of joint (yes it hurts). You can see and feel it, and it goes “thunk” when it pops back in. He gets a great giggle out of it.
  2. MY FAMILY: They are all still here – THAT’S A GOOD THING MARTHA!! I am glad for that – I think? I have not been picked on for a while, makes me worry. One of our biggest family motto’s is: If we don’t pick on you, we don’t like you. It’s true. We grew up with very humorous, sarcastic parents and it rubbed off on all of us. Every year for Christmas, someone gets something that is a slam.
  3. MY FRIENDS: Actually, I feel sorry for them. We treat most of them AS family, so they get the same bashing – woo hoo! I hope they all know that we are always there the minute they need anything! They have been there for us during our darkest hours, and I would not trade them for anything in the world (oh man, got sappy when I was not going to do it – grr hee hee)
  4. MY FINANCES: hahahahahahahahahahahaha…AND THAT’S ALL I HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THAT!
  5. OUR LIFE ON THE FARM: Where do I start? Oh yes – here goes:
    a. The break in one of our hydrant lines that has apparently been leaking for over a year now. At least we did figure out when one it was and that it was happening:
    b. The coyotes that just absconded with 3 of our chickens (so I guess they get Thanksgiving Dinner too – jerks!).
    c. The chickens that are molting. Down to about two eggs a day from, what was, about a dozen a day. Hey, at least we are still getting them!
    d. The freezer full of meat. This was due to the generosity of Sida. Side-a-beef that is. He was the property of the guy that leases our big field. He had come of age (and size) that it was time to provide for those that provided for him. Grass and grain fed. All natural. Yummy!
    e. The mild weather – NOT! This just is not right. Eighty degrees yesterday?? This is not my wonderful fall! This is also making everything really dry – double grr! By this time of year, we should have had at least a couple of rain or snow falls. Our rain barrels are empty.

Well, that about covers it for this Thanksgiving. Can’t wait to see what the new year will bring – OH JOY!


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I have been digging around, and this is all I found:

1. Food, Glorious Food from the movie Oliver (yes – they consider this a TG song??)
2. Count Your Blessing Instead of Sheep – from the movie White Christmas (Christmas – Hello!?)
3. Funny Thanksgiving Song “Thanksgiving Overture” (done to William Tell Overture – it is funny!)
4. Thanksgiving Prayer by Johnny Cash (this one is a REAL TG song – yeah!!)
5. Thanksgiving Song by Mary Chapin Carpenter (love this one – beautiful!!)
6. My Favorite Things – by Julie Andres from the Sound of Music movie (sort of counts?)
7. Over the River and Through the Woods. Some try to say this is a TG song, sorry but I really think this one is more of a Christmas (especially since they use the words “Merry Christmas” in the song – DUH!)
8. This is a true Thanksgiving song and happens to be one of my favorites: Thanksgiving Song by Adam Sandler.
9. What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. This is also one of my favs, but I use it in many, many more circumstances than just Thanksgiving.

Well, you can only listen to these few songs so many times before you crack! So I am turning to old-fashioned Christmas songs to go with it. These together make me smile and bring back some really wonderful memories.


(Wild Turkey that visited us earlier this year – hope you can see him on the fence?  He is kind of like Where’s Waldo in this pic – hee hee.)


(This is our fat bird “Whiskey,” and no he will not be on the menu. He follows me everywhere, and I named him – idiot me!)

I remember helping dad with so many great yummies. Peeling grapes (I hated it), then cutting them in half to go into the fruit salad. We had to open them up back then because there was no such thing as a “seedless grape” – CRAZY I KNOW, BUT TRUE!!?? The fruit salad was always my favorite because I would sample the fruit as it was being cut into tiny pieces. Dad would shoot me a glare every now-and-then, but it would turn into a smile with a “Cut that out” attached to it.
We always had a variety of food, and there were always the potluck’s that came from other family and friends. See, this was also a HUGE football day back then so all the family and closest friends came over. I think it was mainly because of 3 things:

1. All the men fit into our huge living room.
2. All the women fit into our huge kitchen.
3. All the kids had the farm, barns, animals to mess with and kept them away from the parents.

Worked out perfect for all involved!


SO BRING IT ON THANKSGIVING!! I have a lot to be thankful for this year!


(Side thought: Has anyone else ever read Stephen King’s The Dead Zone?  What are your thoughts on it?)

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“It all trickles down from the top.”   “All Politicians are self-centered liars.”

“The bigger the company is, the less it cares about its employees.”

Sound familiar?  All too familiar for me.  I used to say all of that and more.  There was always someone or something else to blame for things that were happening to me.

Then, when I was about 30 years old, I realized something.  Something that really happened in my life which proved that all of this was wrong.

The man that caused me to lose my job, right after my disable daughter was born, got fired – and I was nowhere near him when it happened.  The truth gets even better:

My daughter was born with spina bifida and two clubfeet – they were both turned into her ankle and up toward her knees.


I worked as the Accounts Receivable Clerk for an automotive firm – great owner, rotten Office Manager.  The owner happened to be gone when I came back to work after giving birth.  I had made the following arrangements with a specialist to begin work on my daughter.

  • Every Tuesday morning, I would get up early, soak and remove her little casts (I used a steak knife to cut them off. I used to stick my finger between the cast and her leg to get it cut open – usually ran out of bandaids – ha ha).
  • The Doctor then agreed to take us in at 7:30 a.m. (not regular office hours) and edge/twist the feet down a bit more and recast.
  • This whole process meant that I was going to be about 30 minutes late for work every Tuesday.
  • I calculated that I could compensate for this by not taking a lunch break on those days.

The Office Manager (taking advantage of the fact that the owner was on vacation) told me “This is unacceptable, either you need to have someone else take care of your daughter, or we will have to replace your position.”  He knew I was a single mom and this was my only source of income. (I WILL NEVER FORGET THOSE WORDS!)

I looked him straight in the eyes, said “screw you” and walked out!

You can pull whatever you want with me, but NEVER USE MY CHILD to try to get at me.  The owner came back, called me in and asked me to come back.  We discussed many things (he was, by-the-way, an excellent family man), but I boiled it down to this: “Can you guarantee that the first time I have to call in sick to work because my child is sick, he will not try to pull this again?” He said no.  We both cried (yep – a real boss that cared about his employees!), and I left.

Postpartum kicked in, and I felt sorry for myself for about a week.  Then I found another job.  Through my mother got connected with Shriners for Children (what a Godsend they are!) to work with my daughter’s condition (I had no insurance, no money – all I had was great family support – sometimes that is all a person needs!), and got on with my life.

I had several very close friends that I left at that business, but they stayed in touch.  One was the Shop Manager.  One day, out of the blue, I received a call from him: “Want a job?”

He went on to tell me they finally found that the Office Manager had been embezzling from the company.  (I did leave a hint with him and the owner that it was unusual for an Office Manager not to have books up to date – this guy was ALWAYS 3-6 months behind…now there’s a hint!?!)  He was jailed, found guilty, lost his CPA license, had HUGE fines and reimbursements to pay, and last heard – was driving a cement truck.


The lesson that I learned that day was “EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON, ” and I live by this every day.  I did not cause the Jerk’s downfall; he did it to himself.  I was just lucky enough to hear about it from much loved friends.  Karma is a bitch!

Why am I telling you all of this?  Because of our wonderful 2016 election here in the USA.

I do not discuss politics or religion with family or friends because I love them.  Everyone is allowed their own opinions and just because I do not see eye-to-eye with you, should never mean that I do not like you!  This election is the worst I can ever remember regarding divisions.

I am on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest and have seen some awful mud-slinging going on in those social sites.  This, to me, is wrong!  I understand the following things:

  • We The People do not speak up enough on our level. We expect our elected local officials to carry our voices to Washington DC, yet somewhere along the way it gets lost.  Lobbyists, big corporations, or their own personal agendas override our voice.
  • ALL Politicians are in it for the money. Their golden parachute.  Do you know that they get to retire with the same income that they resign from the office with?  I did not know that great little factoid until I became a government worker – now that’s sad! (Note: I had a lower pee-on type government job so no parachute for me, not even a cloth one boo hoo!)
  • Few to no Politicians build their platforms on the good that they have done, and the good that they will do for we the people. Instead, they find all the faults in their opponents or feed you what you want to hear.  No intention of actually doing it.
  • The biggest reality – this all starts with “me!”

So this year I chose to be happy, to bring more joy into my life and the lives of those around me.  I chose to find more humor in everything that I can.  I did not remember this was an election year when I made this choice, but I’m glad I am trying.  This is my plan:

  1. Don’t believe any Politician ever again!
  2. Don’t simply sit back and let them bully me/us/we the people to get what “they” want.
  3. Take a stand every chance I get (right now it is the pipeline through the Indian Land in North Dakota ) Maybe “I” alone cannot do much, but bunches of “I’s” can do something together!
  4. Start at my local level to create change! We have issues with fracking waste water that they are trying to dump in our county – not on my watch!
  5. Push even harder to bring joy and laughter into every day.


So, what do you think of my 5-step plan? Are you laughing with/at me yet?  Sorry, I got a bit long in this one my wonderful Readers, but today is the day for “we” or at least “me” to start making changes. Stop blaming everyone and everything else and start taking the steps toward something better.

I think one of my long-term goals will be to find an honest attorney (ya, I know – is there such a creature?) that is willing to try to push a bill to get the “golden parachutes” stopped.  It will require the politicians to get a real job after they leave the government one, and retire the same way the rest of the nation has to – the same rate of income, same ups-and-downs connected to the stock market, and same medical insurance. (Now there’s the kicker!)  Wish me luck – or at least happy times while doing it!

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