Monday, March 31, 2008

News Flash: Contest Will End Today

I've decided to end the contest for the tea towels today. If you didn't see the picture of one of them, you can go to the post titled 'Wednesday Rants and Offerings'.

Sometime around 4:00 p.m. cst. today, I'll take the entries from today and put them with the rest, and do that random number generator thingee. Then one person will be the proud new owner of the two tea towels that I have embroidered.

This was a labor intensive project. There are over 11,000 stitches in each design, and about 15 thread changes. I put in about 2 hours on each one. But I think they turned out pretty well.

Spring is , well, Springing

This is the scene from my front. I took this picture yesterday morning about 7:00 AM. It had started raining and thundering about 5:30, and continued to rain off and on all day.

I planted this little redbud tree right in front of my house in an effort to have some shade. My house faces west, and the afternoon sun comes right in my front door and window. I have oak trees across the front of the property, but my drive makes a perfect place for the sun to peek through. The tree is a delight since it has such pretty blooms in the spring, and then has heart shaped leaves all summer. It's the same tree that I took pictures of my grandchildren in a few posts back.

If you look toward the bottom of the picture, you see something brown. This is what was left behind from the big rain we had last week. The green you see isn't grass, it's weeds. I meant to burn my yard off in February, thus keeping me from having to mow until sometime in May, but alas, I failed to do that, so before long, the mower will have to come out, and at least make an effort for the yard to look good.

I purposly didn't take pictures out toward the pine trees. There are pine cones and small limbs everywhere. These will have to be raked prior to mowing as well. Now I remember why I like Winter--no yard work!!!

What yard work are you dreading? I want to know.

Have a happy Monday. Do something silly. Make someone laugh.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Junk Food List

One of the comments I received the other day asked what junk food I feed my granddaughter when she comes to my house. My daughter has done a good job of watching what they eat and they have some very good eating habits.

For instance, she won't eat cookies, and doesn't want much in the way of baked sweets. She will, however, eat sweet tarts and gummy worms. I try not to keep much in the way of junk food, because if it's here, you guessed it, I will eat it. But when we go to the store, I usually allow her to pick something. You know what? She usually picks gum. Not me, I'd have picked the biggest candy bar on the shelf.

When she came home with me Thursday night, I was still eating Easter leftovers, and I knew she wouldn't care much for dressing and the like. But the one thing she will always eat are potato chips. The wavy plain ones are the ones I keep. She likes them with milk. So for supper, she had more than one helping of potato chips and milk. I made her some rice crispy treats, but she didn't touch them forcing me to eat the whole pan. That was really hard.

Next morning, however, she came in and ordered eggies for breakfast. It seems that a sitter(who was, by the way, wrapped tightly around her little finger) would make scrambled eggs for every morning. So now when she comes, I'm pressed into the service of making them for her. I am always told that the eggies should be cooked in butter, and to put a little milk in them. All this from a 4 year old. Can you imagine how bossy she's going to be when she 14?

Maybe I won't kill them or cause all their teeth to fall out prematurely, but I do have to agree with my oldest daughter, and I pretty much used this philosophy on her kids too. If you leave them with me, don't complain about what I feed them. After all, I'm doing you a favor.

When my children were little, I honestly don't remember monitoring what they ate. We didn't get candy and soft drinks often so I guess it just wasn't much of a problem.

What do you feed your grandchildren/children? Are you a better grandmother/mother than I am? I must know.

Have a happy Sunday. Do something silly. Make someone laugh.

Christ is risen.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

I Have a Crazy Wonderful Life

When I first started blogging, I thought I had absolutely nothing that would interest anyone. I looked at Pioneer Woman whose life is the stuff of which dream seem to be made. Then I began reading Chickens In The Road and knew right away that I could never compare to a published author who is doing amazing things Then there's Chocolatechic who is warm and always happy, and I felt her pain as she saw her Grams come to the end of her journey.

I read A Bug's Life and Wonderful World of Weiners where there struggles with health, and I love the food blogs. And the list of blogs I read continues to grow. There's Lisa J who spent several years enforcing laws and helping make a safer place for us to live.

So I said to myself, 'I have nothing to contribute, I live a very dull life. I just go to work--nothing special about my job--I go to church--I do help feed the college age kids on Wednesday night--I play with my grandchildren, sew and that's about it.' As you see, not very interesting. But being a glass half full type of gal, and a self proclaimed fly by the seat of my pants kind of gal, I manage to enjoy my time on this planet.

Fortunately, I have a lot of friends and family who help me through. I tell my daughters at every opportunity that God put me on this earth to have them and then to warp them. And, I might add, I take my work very seriously, and I feel I've done an excellent job. If you read their comments(and they make them!), you know they give me a hard time as often as possible too.

Who keeps you blogging? Who keeps you going? Who is special in your life. Remember that inquiring mind of mine--which the kids just call being nosey.

Have a happy Saturday. Do something silly. Make someone laugh.

Friday, March 28, 2008


I'm sorry I'm late getting something posted this morning, but after all, it's Friday. The brunette granddaughter, daughter #2's youngest spent the night with me last night. Her mother doesn't work on Friday's so in order for her to get to school, she spends most Thursday night's with me and I bring her to school on Friday.

By the time I got her fed(and I hope her mother doesn't ask what she ate, cause it was totally not what she needed) and her bath, and a book read, I was-well, I was pooped. Then I didn't get up early enough to do anything this morning except get the two of us ready, and we were still a few minutes late.

Please don't forget my little contest, and continue to leave comments. You can leave one each day so the total will go up and we can pick a winner.

Have a happy Friday. Do something silly. Make someone laugh.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

See What I Have to Put Up With!!

As you can see, both my daughters have not only found my blog, but now are arguing on it. You'd think I never did anything for either of them. Acutally, they just like to give me a hard time.

There are 10 years difference in these two girls, and ever since the youngest was born, the older one has claimed she was adopted. At some point, I'll post a picture or two and you will see that the oldest one cannot claim she doesn't belong to me. And even though there is a strong family resemblance between you youngest and me, she looks, is built and walks more like her father.

News Flash: Back to my first effort for a contest. I've decided that 50 is a pretty high number, so I'm dropping it to 30, and I forgot to tell you that you can enter each day.

As much fun as it is reading comments on other blogs, it is just so special to have them on my own.

I love both my daughters. They like to give me grief. But they are both good girls. I can't mention them unless I give equal time to my son. He is my favorite son, but then he is the only one. He is my middle child, and had all the middle child things going on in his life, but he is a very good son. He gave me enough grief as a child, so he doesn't do that any more. I love him as well. He is a very good son.

The absolute best thing about these three children is they have shared their children with me unconditionally. I have always been able to have them with me any time I wanted them. I have been allowed to spoil them and love them and for 10 years, I had only one. His mother, daughter #1, let me drag that child anywhere I wanted to. I'll tell you about some of our excursions sometime.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Wednesday Ramblings and Offerings

Well, did I predict the losers or what? I actually had two men and two women who could have been kicked to the curb. But Penn and Monica were my top two.

Oh Well, we'll see what happens next week.

I am in the process of embroidering two tea towels. I know they aren't big gift certificates, or worth a lot, but I think they are pretty. I have one finished. It took two hours and lots of thread changes, but here is a picture. This is an Explorations softwear design and I stitched it on my Babylock Ellageo. I got the towels from TJMax. I believe in giving credit where credit is due.

If you would like a chance to win these two tea towels, leave a comment on my blog. When I have at least 50 comments, I will put all the names in a hat or something equally technical and pick a winner. Don't you just love getting something in the mail? I am a bit sad that I didn't win the cookbook that was offered on both Tartelette and Baking and Books, but I won't hold a grudge. I'm like that. Easy to get along with. Fun to be with, and I don't need any smart remarks from either daughter.

Relatives may not participate. That means daughter #1 and daughter #2.

I'd also like to report that since I have started taking my medicine as prescribed, I'm feeling much, much better. I really should pay more attention to what I'm being told. And no more mental notes.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Medicine Mania and Maddness Part Duex

Well, you guessed it, I had done exactly what I thought I had. I discontinued the wrong bp med. How smart is that? I never claimed to be super intelligent, but who'd a thunk, I couldn't even keep two meds straight.

I called the dr's office after lunch. The conversation was much better than I anticipated. Nurse Jennifer was on hold with an insurance company, so Pam had her call me back. When I told her what I thought I had done, she looked up my chart and sure enough, I was taking two meds of the same kind.

I have now remedied that situation, and we'll see how things progress. I have also made myself some written notes and am no longer relying on mental ones, since we've just seen how that works out.

Now on to more important stuff. Who do you think will be eliminated tonight on DWTS? For the woman, I can't decide if it will be Marisa the bubbly short gal from Broadway or the Monica Celas. She doesn't seem to have much rythmn. But you can bet the farm it will be one of them.

I also think the men's will be between Penn and Carolla, maybe they should do an act, has a bit of ring to it, but then you'd never know what was going on, because they both talk all the time. Steve Gutenberg is giving his best, but I don't think he will get the votes or has the fan base to keep him on for long. Of course, look how long Wayne Newton stayed last season.

I have to say that Jason Taylor and the hip-hop guy are making a good showing, and Christian, the latin guy is really hunky and talented also.

As for the gals, Kristi Yamaguchi is really going to be hard to beat, and if she has the fan base to vote, I think she could easily go all the way. You can't help but want to give Marlee Matlin a standing ovation. If she could hear, can you imagine how good she'd be. She has style and grace and I applaude her. Priscella Presley was a very pleasant surprise also. I'm proud that a 60 year old grandmother is doing so well. Shannon Elizabeth, with the legs up to her earlobes is really good as well. She definitely has dancer's legs.

But then, even if I were ever asked to do such a thing, you can bet it would be a total disaster. I could do the Twist as a teenager(dating myself here), and even took a ball room dance class in college, but to get in front of millions of people and attempt to do what these people are doing. There's no way. So those who can't--judge. So from my recliner, where I will be every time the show comes on, I will make my decisions for what they are worth, and we'll see what happens.

Opinions people!! Voice them here. I know you have them.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Medicine Mania and Madness

It's been a rough week and a half for me. My dr changed one of my bp meds because I had started having terrible swelling in my legs and feet. She told me that one of my meds had been changed. We have now tried me on a new one with two different dosages. I don't think I'm going to be able to take either of them. They lower my bp too much, and I feel like I want to jump out of my skin.

I've been taking Lotrel and Toprol for about 6 years. I had a pheochromocytoma(fee-oh for short) that had to be removed, and one of the lasting effects of that little jewel is that you are doomed to a life of taking bp meds. In order to get mine balanced, we had to use two. Now the drug company has decided to remove an ingredient from one of them and the dr said other folks had been in with the same problem. So we changed to another one. My delima right now is that I have confused myself about which one I'm replacing with the new one. What a dingbat I've become!

Of the two I'd taken all this time, one is a calcium channel blocker, and the other is a beta blocker. The one I thought she told me to stop taking was the beta blocker, but when I looked up the new one online, it seems it is a calcium channel blocker. All this seems totally confusing, don't you agree? I knew you would.

So, I now have to call the dr's office and my conversation will go something like this: Pam: 'Dr's office, may I help you? Me: Hi Pam, this is Shirley SXXXX, you know week before last when I was in and doc gave me the med to replace one of the two I was taking? Pam: Uhh, I remember you were in, but you probably need to talk to nurse Jennifer. Jennifer: What is your dob? Me 01/03/49. Jennifer: And what is your question? Me: I repeat the question above. Jennifer: I'd better check with the dr when she comes in, and I'll call you back. Me: Thanks.'

Now I'll tell you what she probably said to the dr. 'You know that dumb woman that was in a few days ago(my name inserted). Well, after changing her med a second time, now she isn't sure if she is taking it in the place of the right one.' Dr: 'I know, she's a real dingbat. Maybe I should call daughter #1 or daughter #2 and tell them she really does need a keeper, but in the meantime, I'll look at her chart and you can call her back.'

You can see what I have to deal with can't you. Thing is, I've known my dr since she was about two years old, and she won't really ask my daughters to get me a keeper-- at least not behind my back.

On top of that, I think I'm trying to take a cold. My son's family was sick when they were here last week, and I took care of the baby quite a bit. I think she left me with something. And I also think I need a hip replacement, but I'll discuss that with all of you at a later time. I may go to the the chiropracter in the meantime.

So on this wonderful Monday, may I say thank you for listening to my complaints. What are yours? I'm willing to listen to yours since you've been so patient with me. And remember, I have that inquiring mind thing going on.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Late on Sunday

I'm getting a late start today. First, I overslept, so I didn't get the eggs deviled or the potatoes peeled until I got home from church. Nuff said!

The answer to the question about the celestial body that determines Easter is--drum roll please--Easter falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the Spring Equinox.

Lizaj got the equinox part. The full moon is the celestial body.

We have had good weather for Easter. A little cool, but what I consider sweater weather. The sun was out and it was a beautiful day. I was reading another blogger's site the other day, and she ended her writing with 'Christ is Risen' and another blogger, said in her comment, Christ is Risen Indeed'. I didn't take much notice, but at the beginning of our sermon this morning, our minister talked about how that was a greeting among early Christians. The first being the greeting, and the second the response. He even tried it out on us. Usually, we don't interact with the sermon, we mainly listen, and occassionaly hear an AMEN, but it's unusual for us to respond verbally to the sermon.

Talk to you tomorrow. Christ is Risen.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

What are you cooking for Easter?

LATE BREAKING NEWS FLASH-- In case you are just joining us, or are checking back, I'm making Chickens in the Road's grandmother bread. I'll let you know how it turns out.

Do you have your family in on Easter Sunday? Do you have Easter Brunch, or Easter Lunch? If so, do you make all the food or do you get to carry a dish somewhere else?

For some reason, we always seem to have ham and deviled eggs as part of our lunch. We have other dishes with that, but those seem to be the main stays.

This year, our family is scattered. My son and his family were here last week, so they won't be back. My daughter #2 and her family are going to her MIL's for lunch, and my 10 year old grandson is going to Mississippi. My oldest grandson is working.

That leaves daughter #2 and myself. We are trying to decide whether to just go out and eat or what. I'm leaning twoard a crockpot of dressing, deviled eggs, and carrot cake. I'm sure there'll also be some rolls and maybe a salad of some kind.

But it will be lonely since there will be no sounds of squealing children wanting to hurry and eat so they can hunt eggs.

Tell me about your traditions. Remember, I have that inquiring mind thing going on.

Trivia question: What celectial body determines what Sunday Easter falls on?

Note to my #1 daughter--It's not John Wayne!

Friday, March 21, 2008

What's Growing Under Your Birdfeeder?

I stayed home yesterday in an effort to get adjusted to my new blood pressure medicine. When sitting in my recliner, I can see out to the driveway which is made of packed chat. I began to notice a big fat robin, and as I watched it, I realized that it was eating a worm. My eyesight isn't great but I could tell it was a big fat worm. The poor worm was wiggling and squirming around all while the robin pecked at it.

I've seen birds with what I thought might be a worm in their beaks, but this robin wasn't holding it. It was on the driveway and couldn't manage to get back into the ground. So robin was pecking away.

I grew up on a farm and saw all manner of animals doing all maner of things, but I don't remember paying much attention to the birds. We had a lot of crows and blackbirds, but mainly we wanted to be rid of them, and I can remember my mother saying she had a mockingbird that sat on the tv antenna and sang, but I just didn't pay much attention to any of them.

Now, since I don't have access to other animals(I have not pets), I enjoy watching the birds. And it's always interesting to see what kinds of birds come to the feeder, and what they do while they are there. In the process of eating, seeds fall to the ground. Some birds will eat from there, while others never seem to notice what has fallen. As a result of seeds falling, I've had some unusual plants spring forth under there. I've had grass, caster beans and other assorted things that come up. What grows under the bird feeder?

Trivia question: Put on your Gunsmoke hat. We all know Marshall Matt Dillon was played by James Arness. The question for today is who recommeded he be the choice to play this role?

Hope the rain is receding or the snow is melting from your surroundings. After all, yesterday was the first day of spring.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tater Plantin Day

We always had a big garden when I was a child. We lived on a farm where we grew our chickens that laid eggs and we ate both. We raised pork, had a milk cow and grew cotton, soybeans, corn and a honkin big garden. My mother canned everything she could.

In the spring, we would buy a hundred lbs of seed potatoes and mother would cut the eyes out of them and we would get them ready to plant. Daddy would take his tractor, with a small disk and get the soil ready, and we would plant the potatoes.

His thinking was that if you didn't get them in the ground by March 20th, you wouldn't have a crop. The ground was often cold and pretty wet, but plant those potatoes, we did.

I think this was almost a rite of spring. There may have been a few buds on the trees, and there may have been a few other things turning a bit green, but he fully expected that as the leaves unfolded on the trees, there would be potatoes coming through the ground.

By the way, that was his last part of the garden. From there on it was my mother's garden, and he didn't set foot in it.

Neither of my parents are still living - my mother died in an automobile accident in June of 1969, and my father died of cancer in October, 1993. He never got the soil ready for potatoes after my mother died. There were a lot of things he never did after he lost her. He did, however, remarry, and had a good life for another 24 years. He and I became very close especially in his later years. He mellowed, and I matured. It was a sort of coming together.

I miss him, yet, I see him in my children and grandchildren, and since they remember him so well, we speak of him often.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Don't Know Why There's no Sun up in the Sky, Stormy Weather

This was my yard about 7:30AM this morning. There's no place for it to go, and there is seep water coming from the river nearby. The levee would have to break before my house is in any danger, but I'm thinking about getting a fishing pole.

I went outside last night at the risk of life and limb to make pictures of the scary looking clouds. I did this while the tornado sirens were blaring, and the weatherman on tv was saying, 'go to your safe place'.

I got one picture, but it wasn't light enough to tell anything about it. If I had a fancy, smancy copy of photoshop--no, even if I did, I couldn't make it viewable.

Speaking about that safe place. Unfortunately, I am just a bit claustrophobic -- well, that and the fact that I was dragged to a storm shelter made of cross ties and dirt as a child. I hated the smell, and had a terrible fear that I would be buried alive. I can remember promising myself that when I was old enough to decide for myself whether or not to go into a storm house, I would adamantly refuse, and have done so for about 40 years.

We had a lot of storm warnings last night. It was just beginning to hit as I left work at 5:00. That passed, and then about 10:20, it started again.

I don't like storms, I'd be crazy to say otherwise. But I'm fascinated with the lightening. I'm absolutely mesmerized by it. I think about how quickly it flashes and then is gone. I expect the next coming of Christ to be similar.

We had storm damage to the north of us. Up in the hills, there has been flooding. With all the rain, trees were uprooted, and anytime trees are uprooted, power lines come down. My oldest daughter who lives north of here, was without power for a while, but it was back on by about 7:30PM.

What do you do when bad weather comes? Do you stay in your house and hope you make it through-kinda like me? Do you have a storm shelter or basement? What about when you were a kid?

Our bad weather ritual when I was a kid was that my mother(who was deathly afraid of storms) would walk the floor from one window to another. She would finally convince my dad that we should take shelter. Shelter was that storm house I described above which was about 3 miles away. Oh, and did I mention that to get to it, we had to drive on a road that was atop a levee. We were taken from our beds, herded into a pickup truck to make the trip. What kept us from being blown off that levee was nothing short of a miracle.

We arrived at the house where the storm shelter was, and were allowed inside with my aunt, uncle and three cousins. Now from the time I can remember, the first thing I needed to do when I first woke up was to go to the bathroom. And I know you are thinking, 'A storm shelter with a bathroom?' Not hardly! So there I was, already wet from getting into and out of the truck, and needing to go to the bathroom. I would whisper this into my mother's ear, which my dad always heard, and promptly would berate me for being a problem. Everyone would be nice and let me get into the area that was already wet, so I could tinkle. Those are awful memories, so you can see why I choose to let it rain and try my best to ignore it.

Hopefully, not everyone who reads this will have had such a bad exprience. But tell me about your bad weather experiences anyway. You know how nosey I am. So please, fess up. Make me feel better about mine.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Late Start

I'm getting a late start this morning. But it's been busy around my place. My son and his family were here over the weekend-- three of them being congested and coughing. My ten year old grandson came in with bright red cheeks with a rash. The dr changed my blood pressure medicine on Thursday, and I found a tick on the back of my left sholder this morning.

Needless to say, the blood pressure medicine is too strong. After monitoring it for a few days, I called the doc this morning and she is sending me out something different.

So now, I'm trying to decide if I will have tick fever from my tick bite. You see, one thing you don't know about me is I'm a closet hypochondriac. I am always thinking I have some dread terminal illness or something. I try not to share that with too many people though, because if I'm really sick, I want people to sit up and take notice. I want other people to say, 'she must be really sick, she never complains'.

I'm more concerned that my grandchildren may also be tick infested. So being the wonderful grandmother that I am, I sent off an email to their respective mothers to check all the kids for ticks.

My ten year old grandson got up Sunday morning having his rash widespread. My daughter took him to the dr(he's never sick). He has Fifth's disease. A childhood disease that is spread while they have fever(he didn't know he'd had any), and once you break out, you are no longer contagious. His mother sent him on to school. It may take up to 14 days for it to run it's course.

So what crazy things are happening in your life today? I want to know. I have an inquiring mind.

I hope everyone had a good St. Patty's day yesterday.

Monday, March 17, 2008

My Four Year Old Grandchildren

Here are a couple of pics of my four year old grandchildren. Boy was four in January and Girl was four in February. They are cousins, and right now they don't get to see each other often, but that's about to change.
Boy belongs to my Beloved Son, and Girl belongs to my youngest daughter. My beloved son and his family have lived 5 hours west of me for seven years, but that is changing. My beautiful DIL has taken a job in the bigger city west of me, and they were here looking at houses and property this weekend.

DIL has to be at work the middle of April, and she and the kiddos will possibly be here with me for a while. Then my Beloved Son will follow when he gets things wrapped up where they now live.
Soon, I'll be able to see my son's children every day if I want to. I'll be able to help get them to school and home again, when they need me to. I'm so excited that they will soon be home again.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Most Embarrassing Moment # 3,027

Yes, there's been a lot of them. I have said for some time that no one can say or do anything to embarrass me and make me turn red with one exception. That would be me. I've never been one to blush, and am seldom at a loss for words. But occassionally, I manage to do or say something that turns me a crimson red.

I have a friend that turns red at the drop of a hat. Doesn't have to be anything out of the ordinary, it just happens.

Let me begin. Several years ago a dear friend of mine lost her husband to a brazen hussey. I don't think I've ever spelled 'hussey', so I'm not sure if it's acutally hussey, or if it should be hussy. You do, however, get my drift.

Needless to say, my friend was depressed and despondent. It was bad--ok? Another friend and I decided it was time to get her out of town and her mind off her troubles. We decided to take her to spend the day shopping in Memphis. We decided to get all dressed up and act, well, act like we had a bit of class. So we did. We made silk purses our of three sow's ears, and off we went. I wore a two piece dress with a gored skirt made of a light silky fabric along with hose and heels. Do you possibly know where I'm going with this?

I don't even remember where all we went, but for lunch we went to Houston's. At the time, one of the most sought after eating places in town. We put our names on the list, and waited for a table.

Finally our name was called and we were seated in a booth that was one step higher than the main floor. And did I mention, the seats were a type of plastic. We ordered our drinks and an appetizer, and while we waited, we all went to the restroom--way in the back of the restaurant. I was last.

We ate our lunch, chatted and felt we had made progress with our friend's disposition. The check came, and as I slid out and stood up, my back was facing the open dining area. At that nano-second, I felt a breeze. It seems I had prespired a bit, and the air was quite cool on my shining behind. I had shown my hiney to the entire group of people congregated there.

I managed not to scream, but made enough noise that my friends immediately looked to see what was going on. Then they died laughing--along with everyone else in the room. Fortunately, they did so as they helped me get my dresstail out of my panty hose. In retrospect, I can't understand why I didn't hear applause. I'm sure it was very entertaining. I'm not sure that the people who had seen me come out of the restroom, hadn't, in fact, stayed to see the end of my performance.

Fortunately, when I embarrass myself, I also manage to see the humor in it as well. We took our check to the cashier on the way out, and she was one of those who had been laughing uncontrollably. I suggested that since I was the floor show, I should have gotten my meal free.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

What is Conasta, you ask?

Conasta is a card game. And just about everyone plays it differently.

In our group, you have four players at a table with the person directly across from you being your partner. Conastas are seven cards of the same suit. A red is all seven being the same, while a black can have up to three wild cards.

We play for points. Two decks of cards are used, but I'm hearing there are games that use three or five decks. Each player gets 13 cards. Red threes are bonus points. Each being worth 100 points. If you get all four, the points double. The black threes are simply wild cards that freezes play for the next person. Two's and Jokers freeze the deck differently. The person to the left of the one who threw the wild card can't pick up. But once a two or joker has been thrown(you turn them sideways so they are easy to see), you have to have two of what has been discarded by your neighbor to pick up the discard pile.

Two's and jokers are also wild. And when counting points, or melding, the twos are worth 20 points and the jokers are worth 50.

You can't pick up the discard pile unless you have melded. To do this, you must lay down cards that total at least 50 points. You can use wild cards in your meld, but you must always have one less wild card than regular cards.

Play moves to the left of the dealer. If a card is thrown, and there have been no twos or jokers thrown, you can pick up the discard pile with one like the discard and a wild card(two or joker) or two just like the discard . If there has been a wild card thrown, you must have two of the discard.
Have I totally confused you yet? If not, read on.

Red conastas are worth 500 points, black are worth 300. If you had a perfect deal, that's worth 200 as is going out. To get your total, add up your conastas, perfect deal, going out(playing all the cards in your hand and having at least one red and one black conasta), and any red threes you may have. This gives you your base total.

Then you count all the cards you had laid down. Jokers, 50, Twos and Aces 20, Kings to eights, 10 and seven down are worth only 5.

We play a hand, then switch tables. You can buy cards that are also used for bridge, that tells you which table and who will be your partner next hand. This card is given to you by the hostess at the beginning. She puts the names and assigns a number before the game begins.

I'm sure this is much more than you wanted to know about Conasta. In all probability, once you read that it is a card game, you were finished. Or even if you read a little more, you probably became totally bored about mid way through and quit. I wouldn't blame you for that.

Tomorrow, I think I'll tell you about my most(or at least one of my most)embarassing moments.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I Won! I Won! I Won!

Ok, so it wasn't the lottery, but I did win at conasta last night. The prize is a whopping $25. I don't win very often, so it was exciting for me.

I mentioned in yesterday's post that I had been playing for about 23 years with a group of ladies. Let me tell you about our group. When we started, we were all young women with school age children. Our group lost a few who either got tired of playing, moved or had husbands who didn't want to be saddled with kids on their own one night a month. We invited new people to goin our group. We took this opportunity to catch up on everything going on in our small town world. We played 3 hands, eating between each and afterward. It was always 11 or so before we went home.

But for us who could get out, it was a night of fun, laughter good food and fellowship. When we first started, it was a type of potluck. The hostess furnished the main dish, and we brought everything else from appetizers, veggies, desserts to the paper plates and napkins. The hostess also supplied the prizes. We had a high and second high prize. You can imagine how hard it was to come up with something original all those years.

Then as we got a bit older and a bit smarter, we decided to continue to have the meal, but the hostess furnished everything, once a year, rather than carrying something every time. We felt like a burden had been lifted. It was so much more fun to just show up, have a good time, eat, play, eat, play, eat, (didn't I mention that already), clean up the kitchen and go home. All diets flew out the window once a month. And I might add, we would usually be home by 10.

This went on for several years, and all was well in the conasta world. By now we had grown children and a few of us were grandmothers. We helped each other with wedding showers, decorated for weddings and helped furnish and serve the food for receptions, gave baby showers, and continued to play cards each month.

Then someone mentioned that since we were all getting older, and since a big meal wasn't the smartest thing at night for most of us, maybe we should start having finger foods and dessert. Oh, and probably a salad should be in the mix. That sounded like a good idea. Not as much work for the hostess, and we could graze on this type of stuff and not feel so guilty--right? So this is the course we have taken. It was also about this time that we got smart about the prizes. There would now be one prize--$25 bucks. Cash! No time spent out buying gifts, no time wondering what in the world can I get within the specified price range that would be used and appreciated.(We'd had a sub who bragged one time that she was going to have to have a yard sale to get rid of all the stuff she'd won. Which she no longer had to worry about since she no longer got called to sub. We showed her--hmfp. The very idea. A yard sale to sell all the beautiful, wonderful items we'd spent so much time choosing.)

So that is the avenue we took. Finger foods made and served by the hostess, a $25 prize, and now we all manage to be home by 9. And did I mention that we ate, played, ate, played and ate some more. We also had somehow managed to go from three hands to two. And now we seem to be fortunate to have three tables full. We usually play two and if we have more than eight in attendance, the hostess usually sits out and sometimes others do as well.

We are all getting a bit long in the tooth and where we used to talk about birthing babies and the struggles of young motherhood, now we spend our time talking about our ailments(and we have one gal who has had a tummy tuck recently), and how beautiful our grandbabies are.

We are also forgetful and a little confused. Someone mentioned that if we continue to be so absent-minded, that our daughters will have to come with us just to make sure we get to the right table to play. I'm hoping that the aids will wheel us into the dining room at the home and let us play if our arthritic hands will hold the cards.

Needless to say, our group had come a long way with six of us being charter members(not that we have a charter), but we've hung together through thick and thin. Some of us don't see each other except for that one time a month. We get aggravated at each other some times, but more than anything else, we share a bond. We've all lost parents during this process. A couple of us have lost husbands to divorce, and one to death, fortunately no children or grandchildren. When these times come along, we are there for each other to help any way we can. And we always remember the many times we've been together laughing and having a good time.

Are you fortunate enough to have this type of friends? If you are, share them with me. I'd love to hear about them.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

One Down, Two to Go

I promised that when I finished my youngest granddaughter's Easter dress, I'd post a picture. Well, here is it.

That's a good thing. Unfortunately, I have two more to do. I'm supposed to smock one, and my daughter(the girl's mother) is smocking the other one. Then I have to have them sewn together and ready for next Sunday.

The youngest is a tiny little thing. Her dress is lavendar. The older girls have the same dress. The Blonde's dress is sky blue, and the Brunette's is spring green. They are all going to be made the same. Did I say that already? We hope to get pictures of them together.

Our Gospel meeting came to an end last night. It was a wonderful meeting. We had many responses, and the preaching was wonderful. My body is tired and cranky this morning, but my spirit is refreshed.
I play cards tonight with my conasta club, and my son and his family will be here Friday to look at daycare and some houses. They are moving home soon. My DIL has a new job that she will begin mid April, and my son has some loose ends to tie up, and he'll be here as well. I'm very excited that they are moving back. They've been gone for 7 years, and now with two children, they want to be closer to home and family. I'm truly blessed.
I'm having a full week. I need rest. I guess that'll come in a few years. I've too much to do this week.
Are you having a busy week? If so, tell me about yours.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Have you been baptized or goodtized?

My son-in-law had been attending worship with us ever since he and my daughter married, but had never become a member of our church.

My daughter and I discussed the fact that we would love for him to be baptized from time to time, and one day were doing so as we were driving with her two young daughters in the back seat. You don't expect the little ones to be paying attention to what you are discussing, since they have videos to watch while you drive.

The youngest(three at the time) began boohooing loudly. Naturally, we asked what was wrong. Through her tears she managed to say, 'I don't want my daddy to be badtized, I want him to be goodtized.' We looked at each other other and tried not to burst out laughing, which was almost impossible. How do you explain to a child that being badtized was really a good thing.

I am happy to report that he has now been goodtized.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

A Four Year Old and her Tic-A-Fit

I am asked ocassionally to pick up my four year old granddaughter, The Brunette, after work and either take her home with me or deliver her to one of her parents. This I gladly do, since she is one of the great joys in my life.

Yesterday was one of those days. Dad didn't get off work until 6, mom had to go home and pick up the Blonde after school. I went to her 'school', gathered up her paraphernalia while she chattered like a little magpie. I was getting the things from her cubby and one of them was a laminated piece of paper that told she was student of the week last week. It had her name prined in large letters and a bright orange lion decorated the upper left corner.

We discussed what it was with Ms. Whitney, the afternoon worker, and she told Brunette just how proud of her she was. Being student of the week is quite a feat for this little bundle of energy since she has a hard time being still and is almost never quiet unless she's asleep.

We got into the car and began to talk about the letter she is studying this week and some words that begin with an 'S'. Then she began talking about a 'tic-a-fit'. I let her talk and basically agreed with her, not having a clue what she was talking about--dangerous, huh? Then very casually she asked for her 'tic-a-fit'. I asked her 'what are you talking about?' and she repeated it.

I finally had to tell her I didn't know what she was saying. She said, 'you know memaw, that thing with the lion on it'. Then it dawned on me, she was wanting her certificate. Now as most of you know, you can't just burst out laughing, even though you think it is so funny, and I certainly found the humor in this little phrase, but I handed it to her and she rattled on. So very proud of her accomplishments and her 'tic-a-fit'.

After I took her to meet her daddy, I didn't feel so bad. He didn't have a clue what she was saying either. And he's a smart daddy too. He didn't laugh out loud either.

All children have some words or phrases that come out crooked. Tell me about yours.

We are having a gospel meeting this week. Last night's topic was 'Revive us through Prayer'. Scripture was based on James 5:13-20. If we feel the need for prayer, we are to ask others to pray for us. Please pray for me. My prayer life needs strengthening.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Monday Morningitis

I have a severe case of Monday Morningitis. Don't know what that is? It is an extreme desire to stay home and stay in bed. You've had it. Maybe on Monday, maybe yours was a case of Tuesday Morningitis or even Friday Morningitis. We all have this ailment on occasion.

And I could give you a million reasons why I have it this morning, but I'm blaming it primarily on the time change. I usually wake up about 5:00AM and lie in bed like a lazy person until the alarm goes off about 5:10. But my body hasn't changed just because I ran all 12 clocks and watches up one hour. There's no button or knob for your internal clock. So as I write this it's actually about 4:30AM--according to my body clock that is.

We had a busy day yesterday. I didn't get my Sunday afternoon nap. We had pot luck at church, then the two granddaughter sisters took their nap at my house, then we went back to church last night. The service was a bit longer than usual, which was fine, but then we took the granddaughter sisters to get a bite to eat, and then the 25 minute drive home.

I was bushed when I finally went to bed, but that didn't keep the alarm from going off this morning. This is one of those days I'd like to have used a baseball bat on it. But it's time to get myself into the shower, hope there's something clean I can wear today(see how unorganzed I am) and take myself off to the office and try to stay awake. I sure hope there are no early morning meetings. I don't do caffeine any more, and that's usually what is served, so I'm up a creek without a paddle.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Sunday Potluck and Crockpot Dressing

My mother could make the best dressing I ever ate. Unfortunately, she died before I was able to learn her secrets. Then a friend, who was also a wonderful cook, taught me to make it the way she did, and I made that for years.

In December of 2000, I got my Rural Arkansas magazine that was sent to anyone who was on a rural electric system. It always had a couple of pages of recipes. In this particular issue there was a recipe for Crockpot Dressing. I love trying new recipes and decided to try this one just to see how it would turn out. It is the closest thing to my mother's and my friend's dressing I have ever found, and is the easiert to make. It is the same time after time, and is always requested for pot luck. I now use those liners in my crockpot, and our minister calls it dressing in a bag.

I thought I'd share it with you today. I think what I like about it is the fact that I don't have to boil a chicken, pick the meat off the bones and hope my broth is rich enough to have a good taste. Here it is.

1 - 8 inch pan of cornbread
8 slices day old bread
1 medium onion chopped
2 cans chicken broth
1 can cream of celery soup
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 1/2 Tablespoons sage
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 eggs
2 Tablespoons butter

Heat the two cans of broth, and pour over the crumbled breads. This helps them soften. Add the onion, the soups and the seasonings. Then stir in the eggs. Mix well. Pour into crockpot and dot with margarine. Cook on high 3 hours or on low 3 to 4 housr. Stir half way through.

You can also add boiled chicken to this if you like to have your chicken in your dressing.

Hope everyone attends worship this morning. And I hope you remembered to set your clocks ahead 1 hour, unless you live in Arizona or Hawaii.

PS Our snow all melted yesterday. It was beautiful while it lasted.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Breaking News - We Have Snow!!!!

You remember that snow I complained about not getting yesterday morning? By the time I got half way to work, it began a light dusting type of snow. This continued most of the morning as I watched it out my window.
By noon, it was beginning to come down pretty hard, but the streets weren't slick. I know this because we went out for lunch. Just couldn't stay in. About 2:30, we were informed that the university would close at 3:00. My supervisor came by and suggested that I start on home since I had the longest drive of those who were there.
I didn't wait to be told twice, I shut down my pc and headed home. I made it without incident, and made a pot of Pioneer Woman's Sherried Tomato Soup - minus the Sherry, and fixed some bread like her thyme bread - minus the thyme.

According to the weather, we have 6 inches of snow(it's the funniest thing, every time I try to type the word snow, I accidentally type snot).
Everyone at work was grumpy in a nice way. We all thought we'd get up and be snowed in. So we grumped and complained. But we did get to come home a little early.

We haven't had snow this winter. A little freezing rain, some sleet, but not a good snow. When we didn't have any yesterday morning, we figured we'd missed our last opportunity. We got a nice surprise when the snow didn't turn to freezing rain like we had been told, but instead continued to fall as pretty swirling feathers floating down in the breeze. When I see snow like this, I always think about Frost's Poem -

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.

Whose woods these are I think I know,
His house is in the village though.
He will not see me stopping here,
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer,
To stop without a farmhouse near,
Between the woods and frozen lake,
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake,
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep,
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
-- Robert Frost
Maybe he won't mind that I added it to this post. It is my second favorite poem of all time. Hope you enjoy it

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Winner of The John Wayne Trivia Quiz.

Yesterday's trivia question was 'who played the brother-in-law to John Wayne's character in The Quiet Man', and what was another movie they were in together.

Victor McLaglen/McLaughlin was the actor who was in 120 movies between 1920 and 1958. I thought it was strange that his name was spelled differently at times. I don't know if it was done on purpose or accidentally. There were four movies in which he shared the screen with The Duke. Fort Apache-1948, She Wore A Yellow Ribbon-1949, Rio Grande-1950, and The Quiet Man-1952. With the exception of The Quiet Man, all others were westerns--military westerns.

Aren't you a better person for 'the knowin of it' as they would say in Inishfree. And Amy, you answered most of the question. Won't your hubby be so proud of you. I'm always thrilled to find anyone who loves The Duke and his movies.

On another day, I'll take some pics of my room. I'm very proud of it since I did everything myself.

Thanks everyone for the comments. I'm having such fun with my blog, and truly enjoying everyone elses.

We were promised snow last night. Where did it go? The weather station promised. When I make a promise to my family or friends, I'm expected to honor that promise. What a disappointment!!

I was planning a day at home with an opportunity to work on my Easter sewing.

Yes, folks I have successfully mentioned John Wayne and sewing in the same post. How on earth did that happen?

It's time to get ready for work and go out in the blizzard--oh wait, there is no blizzard--else I'd get to stay home.

If You Love John Wayne say 'Pilgrim'!

First let me say, I love John Wayne. I love his movies. I love his voice. I love his walk. I love the humor in all of his movies. I love that he included his family members in his movies. I love that he was an American Hero. I love that he was always proud to be an American.

Ok, Ok, enough hero worship, but I'm one of his biggest fans. I even have a room in my home that my family calls the John Wayne room. How did this come about, you ask?
It all started with a $5. picture. Not my fascination for him, but the room thing. I was in a home decor store and they had all the pictures on sale. There was one of The Duke. It was a 20x24 and I couldn't stand to see it there for that rediculous price. So I bought it, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Then I was given my father's bedroom set, and the fact that he reminded me of John Wayne, gave me the idea to decorate that bedroom in a western theme. I painted the walls to look like a sunset that any hero would ride off into. I made denim stagecoach curtains for the window, and a denim spread for the bed. Friends began to give me John Wayne stuff. I have a big tin picture of him. I have a roll of John Wayne toilet paper. I have one of those collectible plates with his picture on it. I have a lightswitch with his picture on it. I even have a 12 pack of John Wayne beer.

I have recorded or bought probably 80% of his movies. I'd like to think 100%, but I know that can't be true. I even have the army ones that I'm not that fond of. I prefer westerns. The Comancheros, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Stagecoach, McClintock. But don't forget The Quiet Man, I would have loved to trade places with Maureen O'Hara. And I love the B movies he did. One of my favorites is The Big Trail. He looked like he was about 19, curly hair, thin, but he already had that voice. I could go on and on and on and on. You get my drift.

Tell me if you are a John Wayne fan. And tell me what your favorite John Wayne movies are.

And I'll ask a trivia question here. Remember the brother-in-law he fought with in The Quiet Man--What was his name, and can you name another movie he played in with The Duke. One of the things I've noticed is that the same people show up in many of his movies. And oh, by the way, you won't win anything if you get it right. You'll just have the satisfaction of being a kindred spirit.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Mid Week or Hump Day?

Whatever you may call Wednesday, it's the middle of the work week. At lunch, the week is officially on the down hill slide.

I know we shouldn't wish our lives away, but, come on, don't we all live for the weekend? At lease those of us who work those Monday through Friday weeks. There have even been songs written about it.

Then I get to thinking about how fortunate I am, that since I have to work, I'm not in a profession that requires weekend work. My SIL manages a retail business. He works weekends, he opens, he closes. His schedule changes from one week to the next. Then you have all those folks who work in hospitals and nursing homes.

I used to work in a factory. I worked 3rd shift, and Sunday was one of my work days. That meant going to work at 11 on Saturday night. It was hard to stay awake in church on Sunday morning. That's a whole different world.

So rather than wanting the weekend to come, I should just be thankful that I have a 'regular' job and know what my 'regular' work hours are. I've got to stop complaining. That means it's time to get in the shower, get my lunch ready and make that 20 minute drive.

How about you? Do you have to get out in the cold cruel world, or do you get to stay in your nice warm house? Do you work a 'regular' job, or one of those with wild and crazy hours? Tell me about it. I will listen.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

We all want to be Queen

I watched with interest last night the Barbara Walter's Special on Queen Elizabeth. I actually missed the first part and came in about where she was planning to come to the US for an official state visit and a trip to the Kentucky Derby.

She is a grand lady and seems to be quite down to earth(if a royal can be down to earth). She is over 80 and still goes at a full pace and is quite in charge of everything. Prince Phillip just follows in her wake. I wonder if he's ever had to make a decision or if she gets to make them all.

Do you think she gets tired of all the pomp and ceremony? Do you think she'd like just once to go out to get the paper in her curlers and bathrobe? Maybe go out to McDonalds for a breakfast burrito? Or just be able to sit with people in the park and carry on a meaningless conversation just to pass the time.

It's such a 'glam' life and she always does it with such grace that we never think about the down side to it. But I think we got a real glimpse of the other side of this life through Diana and Fergy. It must be a lonely life to sit at the top and have everything you do examined under a microscope.

I can't imagine what it would be like not to be able to pick up the phone and visit with my friends, go out to eat at any restaurant of our choosing, go to the movies on bargain night. Sneak a drink into the movie and get one big bucket of popcorn and share among 5 people and go back and get refills.

If Queen Elizabeth did any of these things, it would be splashed all over the news. They'd say she'd lost her mind.

And what about those crowns she has access to. How do you pick which one you wanted to wear, or is there some order? Oh yes, I have to wear this crown on Thursday week for the fox hunt. And I have to wear that one on Sunday afternoons for my nap.

I think I'm better off not being a queen. Because I probably would go outside in my curlers and robe, and a breakfast burrito sounds pretty good right now.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Oh Spring where art thou?

I have two Jonquils blooming. I thought this was a sure sign of Spring. It's also been in the mid to high 60's the last few days. But that isn't going to last long. It's been thundering in the distance, and I have noticed that I can now see some lightening not far away also.

The low last night was 67, and the high today is supposed to be 64. But after raining all day, it's supposed to be 39 by the time I start home this afternoon. There may be some sleet or snow. Now none of it will stick, since not only is the ground not frozen, but 39 is too warm for it to do anything other than fall.

This is going to make for a nice dreary Monday. I'd call in this morning, but don't want to use any of the time I have built up. I'd rather use it for something I really want to do as opposed to staying in and being like an old bear.

I heard on the news last night about a man that wanted to miss work badly enough to have his friends shoot him in the sholder. Now that's desperate! He must really hate his job. Or he knew he was going to be in some sort of trouble when he got in. I don't think anything at work would cause me to ask someone to shoot me just so I couel stay home.

What's the weather like in your corner of the world? I know lots of folks still have more snow than they know what to do with. What happens to all that snow when it begins to melt? Do the rivers rise? Does it cause flooding?

Hope everyone has a great day, and that the sun shines on all of my blogger friends.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

What are the things you love?

It's Sunday and time to count my blessings, which I try to do at least once a day, but I thought today might be a good time to list the things I love.

1. I love my Lord and all He's done for me.

2. Of course I love my family, my children and grandchildren.

3. I love the place I go to worship and all the wonderful people there.

4. I love my friends, and I have a lot of very good friends.

5. I love antiques, I have a few, some are family, some aren't.

6. I love crystal, I have some that I've collected over the years.

7. I love cheesecake. I made one this week, and it's all gone.

8. I love anything Cherry Vanilla from Bath and Body Works.

9. I love to smock clothing for my grandchildren.

10. I love to sew, it soothes me when I'm tired, upset or generally in a bad mood.

11. I love to travel, don't get to travel much, but I love it when I can.

You thought I was going to wax philosopical or something didn't you? I have very basic loves. Doesn't take much to please me.

If you read this post, tell me some of the things you love.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Would anyone clean the bird poo off my statue?

I was working a small jigsaw puzzle on line this morning and it happened to be a picture of a statue of royalty. I got to thinking about the status of Dolly Parton in Pigeon Forge. She said when it was dedicated that her father made the comment that it was just a place for pigeons to poop. And that he goes on a regular basis and scrubs said poop off of it.

I took a trip to Savannah a few years ago. This city is full of parks and each has at least one statue in them. I don't remember noticing much poo on them. Maybe there is a city maintenance crew that regularly cleans them.

So, my burning question is, Would anyone clean the bird poo off your statue?
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