Sunday, October 23, 2011

I got home yesterday evening. I might be leaving sometime on Tuesday to head off to Timbuktu (figuratively, not literally).

If I do go, when I get back, I’ll be leaving again. Probably.

At least I’m staying pretty local. At the moment.

My life is even less predictable than usual lately:

I headed back to my home state from my grandmothers because of a jury summons, but though I was trying to think positively and decided it would be an interesting experience if I was chosen, really, the chances seemed pretty slim. Especially by the time there was only about three days left in the month. Not so.

While jury duty was still in limbo, I wasn’t sitting around, I applied for an office job.

I got the job.

And then something came up and I said, “uh, no, thank you.” I may sometimes be dumb, but I'm not stupid. Actually, in this case, just unwise.

Poof, the trap door job opened up and I started the caregiver job with Bessie.

Jury Duty

Two of Bessie’s daughters decided that they wanted to stay with her over the weekend and see if she needed more care. When I got that call, I had a feeling that door might be closed.

About a week later, on a Sunday evening, one of my brothers called and his wife had been put on partial bed rest for the rest of her pregnancy. Because I wasn’t currently gainfully employed, I was able to head into town the next morning and stay with them through Saturday.

Her mother and little sister are there through this coming Thursday and then I think the plan is for me to go back again .... And try not to frustrate Mrs. B.T. too much.

“Put the butter in the microwave and turn it like every 5 seconds.”

I looked at her and say, “the microwave?”

It’s true, I did things like that to her a few times. Sometimes I’m just in that kind of mood. But then, she’s married to my brother who has got to be a minimum of twenty times worse.Really. Believe me, I'm his older sister.

My nephew is not quite sure about this arrangement, and he occasionally looks at me like I’m a “most strange and unusual” aunt. Maybe he’s onto something.

Perhaps if I take him for enough walks and play with him in the yard enough, he’ll decide I’m not so bad after all.

I on the other hand, always find myself caught a little bit off guard when I realize he has a sin nature. How can a little feller with such adorable blue eyes and wavy blonde hair not be an angel?

“Oh, he’s not perfect.” And then it seems silly that I should be surprised.

Well, I’m not sure what’s around the corner, but I think this should be my new motto: “Having a positive attitude one catastrophe at a time.”

In everything give thanks.


P.S. I got myself a cup of hot cider! :)

Blue Castle Update

For Sale:

It's bittersweet, but we've decided to sell. Now, if only a buyer would come along...

We have our reasons:

First, we don't really have a house to live in this winter. Second, you can only beat your head against a brick wall so long. This isn't working for us.

That’s just two of them.

Mostly, it's just time to let go.

The mudslide did cause damamge to the building. It raised up a corner of the slab that is under the structure and pulled some of the walls up several inches above the concrete. Is the building ruined? Well, no, not exactly. We did consider having someone move it to a different location on the property, and that is still a viable option, just not for us.

We need to get a place to regroup, reassess, unpack our suitcases, and cook a meal.

It's going to take a miracle. That is just the long and the short of it.

Living the adventure of life,


Fall Walk

One of my sisters and I decided to take a walk up the mountain. We detoured to an apple tree that I thought was plums and it was a great disappointment. It would have been fine if the apples weren't tiny miserable orbs of lousy flavor. I wasn't in the mood to confront potential bears, so we didn't explore down the road where I know there are plums. This was not cowardice, this was wisdom, I assure you.

I love fall. I wish I had a cup of hot cider in my hands, sausage and crackers to nibble on, or perhapsjust a caramel apple. Or maybe something spicy and pumpkin. I need a good fall food fix. It's time.

Savour the seasons,


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Two Tone

I rarely, rarely, wear yellow gold jewelery, but I do have a few nice pieces, and some fun costume stuff that mixes well. Every rare once in a while, I pull it out and usually, since yellow gold is not me, I go dramatic with it. It's fall, and I was in the mood for a little variety, so I pulled my gold pieces out yesterday, but kept them more subdued. Today, I was still in the mood, but decided to kick it up a notch. Somehow though, the twisted yellow gold rope just wasn't striking a cord with me, so I was going to switch back to silver, when I thought, well, why not mix them? It is done occasionally. I did ask my sisters opinion since I just wasn't sure, but her feedback was positive, so I kept the look and headed off to tea.

Layered the bracelets as well to keep everything harmonized. I mean, if it's all wrong, it better at least be all wrong together.

My nephew thinks jewelry is for play. If we forget to wear any, he asks us in his young voice, "where's your earrings?" He decided this bracelet was better as an anklet, and with the color of those socks? It really was in the spirit of fall. My niece on the other hand, is a true girl. "Nope, I don't want that chain. Nope, not that one either. How about the one with the diamonds?" That'a girl.

Speaking of footwear, don't you think rubber boots were the best footwear accessory for so much bling and gold? Chunky black down vest, jeans tucked into rubber boots, why not?

Would you ever wear gold and silver together?

Loving fall,


Are You Sure About That Now?

This is, I think, what I try not to be. Crab-apple!

Think happy thoughts,


Friday, October 14, 2011

I'm Thinking About....

Marrying a chocolate.

I mean marrying a Swiss chocolate.

I mean marrying a Swiss like a chocolate.

Oh, whatever.

I make sense when I explain, no?

Probably no.

I sum up. Okay?

Because of a random picture I came across of two men, I decided that the Swiss aren't such a bad looking lot....


What if I could find a Swiss man like a chocolate? A Lindor truffle to be precise.

Hard on the outside, but in a good way. Firm....

Soft on the inside.....

Ah, and so sweet..... sigh.

I could make him melt....

And he'd be rich :)

That is where the similarities must end. I mean no offense, but round is not what I have in mind.

If he has an account in his homeland, will that mean I have a Swiss bank account?

Perhaps if we have a boy first we can call him Lindor. Hmmm, Lindor James? James Lindor? I don't have a last name, that puts such a crimper in naming a nonexistent child.

But if we have a girl first, she can be our little Swiss Miss. Of course that wouldn't be her real name, we'd actually call her something like Nutella.

Please raise your hand if you think I am suffering from chocolate deprivation.

Thank you.

You can now send the Marines with a large shipment of chocolate. Somebody needs a'saving and I think it's me.

Financial Friday

Doesn't that sound smart?

Well, what would have been smarter is if I had figured everything correctly in the first place so it could have been Thinancial Thursday. Actually, I did figure it correctly and then I forgot what I had done. But it has all come back to me. What I did. Not the money.


I went to the bank on Wednesday to cash my paycheck and I told the teller, "you better double check my math."

"One of those days?" He asked.

"No," I replied, "one of those years."

.....Let's change the subject.

"Did you have a good weekend?" Give him points for trying.

I knit my brows together, trying to think what in the world I had done over the weekend.

My reply was eventually something along the lines of, "I think so."

"Did you get a three day weekend?"

He shouldn't have asked that. My brain was running at about half speed and I was trying to be perfectly honest. "Yes. No. Maybe. Sort of."

"Well, at least you're decisive." (Hey, he has a sense of humor.)

I tried to explain, but my brain was still turning at half speed. "Well, I was going to work this weekend, and then I didn't, and the job I was doing ended, and so I've been helping my mother."

He said now it made sense. Which is more than it made to me. Perhaps he just didn't want me to try and explain further.

Living life, one slow brain cell at a time,


Bessie Stories

One day Erma Jean came out to the ranch, and she was one of those people that thought she knew everything, and she didn’t know a thing. So I was told.

Janet was making butter and Erma Jean wanted to do it. So fine, Janet went off and found something else to do. On a ranch, there are always plenty of things that need doing.

Erma Jean finished the butter and called out loudly, “now what do I do?”

Janet checked, and the butter was indeed done, so she told Erma Jean, “now you wash it.”

“Okay, fine. What kind of soap do I use?”

A panicked Janet said, “never mind! I’ll do it.”

To the good ol'days,


Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I've been spending the last couple days in the storage unit trying to sort, condense and get rid of my stuff. I already did this once a while back, but I'm doing it again.

Did I not get rid of enough the first time? Yes and no.

De-cluttering can be a process, and I've found that it is often multiple steps for me. Should I get rid of everything the first time? Maybe, but I'm usually not there yet on the first go round.

The first time through, I get rid of everything I don't want. When I do the whole process over again later, I'm ready to get rid of even more. Sometimes because I'm more desperate, sometimes because I'm more focused.

Do I want to get rid of more things?

Yes. But I'm not sure just what it is yet. There are a few things I want to get rid of RIGHT NOW, but unfortunately, with our unsettled living situation, I'm not quite sure it is a good idea. Those black wool pants that don't fit well, don't make me feel good and I've been wanting to pitch for a couple years? They are on top of the "get rid of" list. So why am I hanging onto them? Because last winter was very cold, and I was almost more concerned about being warm than looking good. Almost, some days were better than others. The pants and a very sad down jacket are staying in the "keep for emergency but I don't want you anymore" pile. Just till I can think of a better solution, because I'm not in the camp of wearing things that depress your spirits.

I was going to clear out my collection of china pieces and only keep things that would fit into a tea set, but when I inventoried, I figured that it all could work, somehow, for a tea. Which really meant, I just didn't want to get rid of any of it. So I repacked it neatly, and all the china is staying. For now. But I have it all neatly organized into one box, so it will probably stay with me. I do however like to keep things pretty condensed and I only have one tea cup at the moment, so if I collect more tea cups and need to make more room, I'll have to reevaluate. The simple solution would be to add another box, but I try to just repack and condense so my storage doesn't mushroom.

I was pretty much down to one box of "treasures" but with the decision to keep all the china, I decided to officially expand to two storage boxes. It was actually a good decision in the overall scheme of things because I was starting to amass a collection of "smaller treasure boxes." Now, I pretty much just have two boxes that everything fits into neatly. For now. I'm either going to have to stop buying, refuse gifts, or re-work the system at some point, but it's pretty good at the moment. :)

Can you get rid of everything at once, or do you have to do it in stages?

Happy cleaning,


Monday, October 10, 2011


My newest niece's name is Anna. Bare that in mind.

I was telling my sister that Kate (Anna's older sister) was sick with the stomach flu and her immediate thought was to worry about the brand new baby.

But I reassured her, “Fogwood” had a sore throat the day before too, so she should pass along the antibodies.

I pronounced it a little bit funny anyway, and then it hit me: Ha, ha, “Anna-bodies.”

Get more sleep than I do,


Reporting on the Civic Duty

I was selected, selected again when they narrowed down the options, and then selected to serve.

Jolly interesting being a juror. Did you know that whenever the jurors entered or exited the courtroom everyone had to rise and face them out of respect? I think even the judge did. I will not lie, when I figured that out, I thought it was kind of nice, if you know what I mean.

I’d rather not go into the details of the trial even though I am at legal liberty to do so, those are rather mundane and a bit depressing, but I’ll tell you about some of the extra curricula incidents.

At one point during the course of events, all the jurors were waiting in the deliberation room and I knew we were going to be called soon, so I decided to nip into the ladies room real quick.

But when I got out, the female bailiff was standing at the door of the deserted room. The five male jurors had declined her offer to wait for me and had gone out. I stepped quickly and entered the courtroom, where everyone was standing and waiting for me.

Thanks a lot, men. I shall put no gentle before that, for you didn’t earn the title.
Perchance any men might read this, it would have been polite, and kind, to have waited a few moments. It would have been the conduct of a gentleman. I won’t be too hard on them, they probably were not taught any better. And it was a lesson to me not to procrastinate. :)

While we were sitting and waiting, and waiting, for them to finish the jury instructions, we were starting to worry about just how long we were going to be stuck there. There was an adequate supply of snacks, so I suggested we could dump out the coffee in the pot, fill it with water, chop up the vegetables that were available for snacking, and make ourselves some stew. One of the other guys suggested dumping in some of the tomato sun chips for flavoring.

We liked our idea. And then they called us back into the courtroom.

Life is like that,


Saturday, October 8, 2011

Good Times

I didn't sleep in this morning. I don't know what time I got up, but I'm pretty certain it wasn't late. Instead, I was up and cracking to go into town and walk along the river. With fall just turning the leaves, the air crisp, vibrate rose hips in reds and oranges, it was a beautiful morning full of the beauty of life. I was walking to support a charity my sister works for and it was neat to meet some of the people she knows from her job. Plus, it has been awhile since we had to clarify that no, we are not twins! Really! There is in fact a brother between us to prove it. :)

I love old people. My mother introduced me to one of the board members and then his wife came over, only she thought I was my sister, but we finally clarified that. But she is a hoot, really hilarious. She's met my dad, but she does have Alzheimer’s apparently and towards the end of the event was asking my mother, "is that your husband?"

"No, my husband is the one over there."

"Oh, well I have to figure out just who you are living with. The man right there, the one with the silver hair?"

My mother just simply said yes. My father's hair has long since qualified as grey, and is now more silver. I claim no responsibility for the gray or silver. My dad isn't very much older than my mom, but a couple minutes earlier this same lady had been part of a conversation and agreed that she looked like his daughter.

Cheryl squinted and looked across at my dad for a moment and then declared, "He's a good looking old coot."

You don't say. I have to believe her when she said her husband had to adjust to her sense of humor. But he chased her, so he'll just have to get over it.

Rather than heading back to the mountain and doing something dutiful, I decided to hang out with my sisters for the afternoon! Between work, being out of town, work, more work, our housing situation, and life, we don't really spend that much time just being in the same "zone" together anymore.

I hung out with my un-twin sister, hit a couple garage sales with her and Mrs. B.T. and Little Nephew Blue Eyes, picked up another sister to run her to get lunch, hit an estate/garage sale, dropped by my sister's house even though she was gone and had a cuppa with Mrs. B.T., picked up one of my sisters from work and headed to a field to play Ultimate Frisbee with some friends, and then some of us headed to the Dollar theater to watch Cars 2!

They were sold out, but if we wanted to stand in the back and watch, okay.

So we bought tickets. And we didn't even ask for a discount!

We went into the dark theater. There was a row of empty chairs in the back, but of course they were sandwiched between people, so we decided to just climb over the back of the seats so we didn't disturb anyone.

I climbed over. I don't recommend it, it was uncomfortable. One of my other sisters climbed over. We were settling in when the people on the end finally noticed us and told us that there were some little kids coming and those were THEIR chairs. Sorry. We climbed back over.

My sister handed me my wallet. Apparently I had dropped it and a friend had tripped over it twice and then looked down and picked it up and it had made its way back to me. Praise the Lord that I didn't lose it. I forgot to check if the money was still there. JK :) I trust him.

We sat in the very back of the theater on the floor and watched Cars 2 and passed a bag of popcorn down the line, and then back.

It was so hot when we got back to the wellhouse ( & our current bedroom). So we changed our mind and decided to go ahead and have ice cream after all!

Savor the good times,


Wednesday, October 5, 2011


“I’m going to go have a smoke, because I’m mad.”

So finally, I tell you about Bessie. Becoming a live-in caregiver, or companion, was not the career move I had in mind, but it’s the door that opened. The door being of the trap variety, it opened, and I just sort of fell through. Life is like that.

Bessie is 95 and has lived through a great deal of change in her lifetime. No electricity, unpaved roads, riding a horse out to the field to take lunch to her father with a gallon of boiling hot coffee, churning butter, riding a horse to school in the snow and her feet getting so cold they hurt. Now she lives in a modest house in town, has electricity, a microwave, running water, a furnace that turns on automatically, pizza can be brought in from the pizzeria, and coffee percolates by simply plugging in the pot (though I admit the coffee pot is still old fashioned by most standards.) It is incredibly amazing and really just makes history come alive and seem not so very far in the past.

I’m off for a couple days, but she was sleeping a lot better before I left and I hope that is a trend that continues when I return. Getting up three or four times during the night is a lot. I signed up to be a caregiver, not a mother. :)

So far I have found Bessie to be very sweet, at times hilarious (to me), but I have seen a feisty side to her too. I wasn’t there, but I hear tell she threw a cookie at one of her daughters recently. I was there when she was complaining about her awful doctor that had prescribed nausea medication, which she didn’t need because her stomach was fine and if it was upset, it was all his fault because “he’d make a maggot puke.”

On Monday before I left, her oldest daughter was over visiting and helping in the garden, or trying to help as the case might be. Bessie was becoming more and more convinced she didn’t have a clue what she was doing.“Poor girl,” she said sadly of her seventy year old daughter.

While Bessie and I ate lunch, Janet, who had declined a meal took one of the Jam Thumbprints I had baked the day before and which Bessie had informed her earlier weren’t very good, “so we had to eat them all.” And she said it with a straight face too. But Janet ate one of the two remaining cookies and told me they were very good and said to her mother, “no wonder you ate them all.”

Her mother looked at her and asked, “Do you want another one?”

“No, this one’s fine.”

“Then shut up.”

I think the whole gardening situation had made Bessie less patient.

So far I haven’t got into trouble with Bessie, and I’m hoping it remains that way. It was a little hard on Bessie in the beginning not being used to people in her house, but now I think she’s adjusted to us and likes the company and security that our presence brings. (One of my sisters is trading off with me.)

One time late at night, or early in the morning, Bessie told me I was an angel. And the other day when I was helping her to her “smoking bench” she told me that my little hands were such a comfort to her. I’m pretty certain that she said little, which considering I’m not exactly a petite person, would have been figurative.

Sunday afternoon she did tell me not to bother her, but she didn’t mean it. She was feeling blue and she was trying to tell me not to be bothered if she was crying. I knew what she meant, even before she corrected herself. That’s okay, I told a lobbyist the same thing once. I had meant to say, “don’t mind us,” but it just didn’t quite come out right.

I have noticed Bessie and I are a lot alike in many ways. I haven’t thrown a cookie at anybody yet, but when I’m ninety-five, I might take the liberty. Consider yourselves sufficiently warned.

Pleasant lives to you,


Baby News

Three nephews, four nieces!

Anna: My newest niece that is adorable,beautiful,and born early this morning!

Baby is healthy, mama is healthy. God has blessed.