Saturday, March 29, 2008


Well I have officially fractured my finger. There is a triangular shaped chip visible on the x-ray that is consistent with a compression fracture according to the dr. The xray tech - on viewing the films before the doctor saw them says "yup" then came around the corner to ask if it was more comforting to know there was a reason or would I rather not? That made me laugh. It is now splinted with a different splint and buddy taped to the finger next to it. Pain has decreased immensely since that was done and I am relieved to know that there was a reason for it to hurt! Of course it makes every day life slightly more challenging having two fingers out of commission.
In other things - it's a beautiful sunny day - not too cold - spring-like. The chicken coop is cleaned with fresh litter, food and water. (The cleaning gets done every couple of months or and water is daily) Bits and pieces of the house are getting done and we will soon head to town for the rest of the day. B and Dipstick left early this morning for CO - Dipstick is on spring break. They will be back next weekend.

O.k...time is up for now. More another time.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

This morning on bus route we saw 5 blue herons - all in a group. To me it was amazing! I've never seen more than one at a time so this was an unusual treat. We also saw 4 deer and numerous geese. There are red-winged blackbirds around - spring is coming! The buds on trees are getting just slightly bigger daily.

The weekend turned out pretty good. My finger is not broken as best as I can tell - it is severely bruised and still sore especially if I use it too much - without the splint. I was absolutely amazed how much better it felt once I put an over the counter splint on it! The oven still works just fine - Stretch made a batch of cookies in it later on Saturday.

Saturday evening B and I had a date - he had called several of my friends as well as his parents, Jay and a couple of other people to meet us for supper at a newly remodeled cafe in town. He managed all of this without me knowing anything about it - I was much impressed. The food was delicious and I know I ate far too much! My closest friends and B and I closed the place down - we just sat and chatted after everyone else left.

Sunday after church we were invited to B's family Easter meal. Stretch and Squirrel were excited - they really really enjoy these get-togethers. Mostly the teens and kids played downstairs while the adults visited or fell asleep in front of the tv upstairs. Not everyone was able to make it but I at least had a lot of fun.

O.k....I gave myself 30 minutes this morning before I had to get moving and doing stuff around the house - it's rather a mess. My 30 minutes were up 5 minutes ago so it's time to get moving.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Well today is shaping up to be an interesting day at least...I jammed my left index finger to the point that it's swollen, painful especially to apply pressure to and does not bend well. I can type reasonably ok but that's about all I can do. I've had phone calls and emails with birthday wishes - that's been kind of fun. I am having a much more difficult time this year than normal - I suspect that it has something to do with the 5 year anniversary of Mike's death. 5 years ago today I was newly widowed (if 2 weeks counts as newly) and beginning to face life alone with my boys. We had just gone through 6+ years of dealing with cancer and now were having to come up with a new normal. Stretch was just finishing up 4th grade while Squirrel was in Transitional First. At that point every time the phone rang I wondered if it would be Mike calling to say he would be home soon or I would expect him to come walking through the front door even though it had been months since he'd been able to walk - or even gone anywhere alone. He had been sick for so long I did not expect the depth of grief - and the denial part of it to be so strong.

Since that time...much more has changed. I had carpet pulled and tile laid in our house in Oklahoma and we took a cross country mostly driving vacation. A year later we sold that house and made a major cross country move. Both boys were vehemently against moving and especially moving that far away. We have settled into our new home - the boys have adjusted to school and life here. Stretch, as a freshman in high school, is part of Gospel Choir at school, on the worship team at church, has a major part in the musical the high school is practicing for, is involved in the youth group at church and an accomplished runner. He's learning to manage his emotions and control his temper. He's got a strong growing relationship with Jesus and is beginning to look at colleges. Squirrel is a 5th grade student, is involved in TaeKwonDo, enjoys running and other sports. He also enjoys reading, music, Star Wars and Star Trek. He is strong willed and knows he has Jesus living in his heart.

I have had two different jobs since our move - both driving school bus. I love living in the country - having fruit trees to care for, room for a garden, chickens...the deer and other wildlife. I tend to think possums are some of the ugliest critters though. I am dating a very special man...I am told I look happy. There have been many many changes...I am not sorry for what I've experienced - both the good and the bad. I am very thankful for the upbringing I had - it gave me the foundation of faith that I needed to go through the cancer, moving and all of that.

I'm not really sure why I feel the need to put this down on "paper" except I think it's been percolating in the back of my mind for the last couple of weeks. I now am really beginning to look forward to the future - while I always knew that God had a good plan for my life I had a hard time articulating any dreams let alone looking ahead. I simply functioned day by day.

As far as the picture above goes - I had wanted to post a picture of me as a little girl but don't have the know-how to get a slide to where I can post it. The sunset picture was taken one evening while I was "playing" with my camera.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tractor Show and other fun

It's already Tuesday and I'm just now getting to update here. I had basically no internet access over the weekend - no matter what I tried I could not seem to connect. Sunday afternoon I finally called repair and got it working. Turned out something was jammed between the router and the modem and nothing was talking. Frustration to say the least.

Friday night I covered a run for Suz - she had intended on doing it until her daughter was up sick with croup Thursday night and they had to make an ER run. Miss Jess is doing ok now though she is still at risk for another episode for the next week or so.
Anyway that had me out fairly late Friday night.

Saturday morning B and Dipstick picked us up about 8:30 am - we went to breakfast then headed north to a antique tractor show. It was smaller than I had expected it to be - not sure why - except that it was indoor - nice since the day was cold and gray anyway. I had a lot of fun wandering the aisles. I still don't have much understanding of tractors - am beginning to learn that each name (i.e. John Deere, Allys Chalmers, etc) has a corresponding color - green, orange, red, etc. So one can recognize the type of tractor by the color. There was also a "craft" section - nothing too spectacular or unusual. There were a lot of machine embroidered towels, shirts, etc for sale - mostly all relating to tractors. What was interesting was that one couple had their machines there - actually doing the embroidery. One was completely computer controlled - all you had to do was set it up and let it go. It was an industrial type machine. The other was smaller and required a little more attention. Squirrel especially was fascinated - he says I need to get a machine that will do that. We will see - some things would be fun but sewing is definitely NOT my strong point. And I prefer to wander with B at this point in time.

From there we had lunch then went to another museum that actually had 5 museums in it. There was a WWII museum with an amazing amount of stuff in a rather small space; a Corvette museum that we think we missed, a TV and radio museum that we skipped, another one that had things like the Batmobile, Knight Rider's car Kit, the A-Team's van, the General Lee...that was fun and one other that I think we missed. There was also a race car show that day in the main lobby. To watch the boys wander and look at all that stuff was wow!
By that time we were all tired but headed back west to a local Home and Garden Show. The boys grumbled a bit about going there but I'm glad we went. It was fun to be able to see and handle some of the different options to put in a house. The Garden part really wasn't much at all - that was a bit disappointing. And I would have liked to find a scrapbooking table at one of these events. We ended the day by supper at B's followed by a trip to the supercenter for milk and stuff followed by a movie at my house. Everyone except me fell asleep during the movie so no one has really seen the entire thing.

Sunday was spent recuperating (at least for me) after church. Emotionally I had a tough day - talked about foot washing in Sunday School class - the discussion brought back memories of high school followed by memories of Mike and the churches we attended in OK. Then B and I walked into service to "Because He Lives" being sung. That song is one that my dad has always thought of as "my song" because it's one I've loved for years - and I requested that it be done at Mike's memorial service as a testimony of how and why I could continue on after having gone through so much with his illness. There is no way that without God I could have handled all that. Being emotionally worn and physically exhausted I struggled with the house being a major mess that afternoon. Was able to get a nap and get some stuff done but I'm still way behind on house work.

Last night I "clipped" a deer - first one I've ever hit. I was rushing to get to B's house to ride along with him to pick up Dipstick from Boy Scouts - had just thought "I hoped no deer came out in front of me" when I crested a rise to 4 deer crossing the road. I thought sure I was really going to hit the deer hard but thankfully mostly missed it. The only damage to the car is the right front fog lamp needs replaced. No idea what happened to the deer. (I don't normally go to B's during the week - but needed a signature from him on some paperwork and knew he needed to be able to work in his shop so figured it would be better if I went there).

Guess I've rambled enough - not going to get a whole lot done around here today - have to leave early to go clean out my bus a bit - it's in the shop getting a window replaced. However I will probably be getting a different bus back.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Squirrel and Dipstick helped clean out the gutters on the roof last fall - I truly didn't expect to have to do it again until mid-summer or later.

The snow is melting and it's a beautiful sunny day today. It is still cold out though it is supposed to warm up later. I think though that they are expecting another storm later this week - not sure if it will be snow or rain. Monday night I had intended to get out with the camera and go for a walk to see what sort of pictures I could take. Instead I ended up spending the evening clearing out ice blockages from the gutters - our porch roof was dripping as was the inside of the front door. :( I did most of the work - just from the stepladder. Stretch helped finish when he got backfrom his run. Squirrel helped steady the ladder - he was the one that drew my attention to the problem in the first place.

Last night - Tuesday was TaeKwonDo for Squirrel. It's been almost a month since he's been in class so he really needed to be there. I did not get to watch much of class as I went and did the grocery shopping - we were about out of milk. Squirrel felt like he still had the energy to play catch after class but by the time we got the groceries unloaded and put away, supper fixed and eaten and chickens cared for it was time to do homework and get to bed. Daylight savings time tends to make it much harder for me to get him to bed.

Tonight is Math Bowl for Squirrel - it was supposed to occur March 4th but was postponed until the 5th due to the weather. We ended up canceling school that day and missed it. As a result Squirrel's elementary school has set up another competition - they will be hosting it tonight. Two other schools who missed last week's competition will be there tonight. Stretch really really wanted to attend Wednesday night youth group tonight - that caused some conflict between the boys. I ended up phoning our new youth pastor (who had offered Stretch a ride) and expressing my concerns - Squirrel really wanted Stretch to be there to support him - he's attended many many of Stretch's events and has had very few himself. The youth pastor's position was that Stretch needs to be there to support his brother - church is important but in this case family is more important and it's more "spiritual" for him to attend the Math Bowl. I am so thankful for a supportive youth pastor who understands that family comes before church events and after one's relationship with God. He is going to call Stretch this afternoon to talk to him.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Busy Weekend

It was a busy crazy weekend with very late nights. I'm tired this morning though of course the fact that we went to Daylight Savings Time in addition to late nights has not helped at all. Friday night Stretch, Squirrel and I went toWinterJam . It's a music tour that comes only one night a year - usually has one or two "headliner" groups and several other "newer" groups that are not as well known. Tickets are not available ahead of time - it's a "first-come, first served" deal. This time the line wound around outside the building and through the parking lot. There were probably 10,000 people in attendance. We ended up sitting behind the stage - made for a very interesting perspective. Most groups did not travel to the back of the stage to relate to those seated behind them - a few did. It would have been nice if more had. Overall the music was very very loud and the screaming fans made it more challenging for both me and Squirrel to enjoy the evening. Stretch loved it! Probably during the first half of the evening the most fun part for me was to see the stage crew dealing with a fire that started on stage. One of the groups (a very hard rock group) had flames that shot up occasionally - along with fireworks mixed in. Apparently sparks from one of the fireworks got into an amp which then started on fire. I saw a stage hand go over to the amp, bend whatever was in front of it down and look at it a couple of times - rather like he couldn't believe what he was actually seeing. He left, came back...along with 2 others. Then a fire extinguisher showed up and was used. They pulled the amp out, set it down at the back of the stage then laid it down - I could see it was completely ruined - with a burnt hole all the way through it. They replaced the amp and then a stage hand stayed at the back of the stage watching throughout the rest of that group's time on stage. It was handled very professionally and I think that very few people actually noticed what was going on - especially since Skillet - the rock band - kept playing without missing a beat! I'm not at all sure that any members except the drummer who was right beside the area even knew something was going on. The mess from the fire extinguisher was not cleaned up until intermission when the entire stage was pretty much rearranged. The final group was "Mercy Me" - that was one of the main reasons that I wanted to go - they finished the evening doing several worship songs.
Squirrel and I spent quite a bit of time walking the corridors just to give our ears a break from the volume - he was ready to go home before intermission. One nice thing was that because we were in the closest in parking lot - it cost more - we were able to get out of the lot in 5 minutes once the evening ended.

Saturday night B and I took Dipstick and Squirrel on our "date" with us. We went to dinner at a favorite location for the boys and then went to a movie. We had wanted to see "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" but did not finish dinner in time. Instead we ended up watching "10,000 B.C." which actually was quite good. Stretch did not come with us because he had a youth group meeting - he only beat us home by a little bit.

On a different note...I picked up my glasses on the way to the Friday night concert. I think they are cute looking - B says I look cute wearing them. No one else has really commented. The only place I have trouble wearing them is while I'm at the computer - they seem to make it more difficult to see the screen then not wearing them. One other thing I accomplished this weekend was taking my tripod to the camera store to figure out why I couldn't make it rotate in all the angles I want it able to rotate. Turns out it is doable - I just need practice. I will save my pennies to get amono-pod but am glad the tripod does not need to be replaced. O.K. enough rambling for to scoot to get ready for my K shuttle and then Idesperately need a nap!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Snow and Sunshine!

We woke up to a beautiful sunny morning with several inches of snow on the ground. Again we went from nothing but what the snow the plows had left in piles to everything being covered. Currently the outside temperature is 14' so going out to shovel will be COLD. However it is good exercise so I am looking forward to that. And school is canceled again - yeah! I know it means we will have to go in June but still not as late as some of the other school districts in the area.

B dropped Dipstick off this morning - it's way out of his way to work but Dipstick's school was closed already and it makes a change for Dipstick. Also he is a great help when it comes to shoveling or other outside work. Right now the boys are all in the family room while I'm finishing up my coffee.

The bird feeders are busy this morning - I hope to get some good pictures today. And maybe find my tripods so I can figure out which works best with my camera and start using it.

Coffee is done so I'd better get moving. Soon I will, I hope, have a roaring fire going in the front room and be heading outside to shovel. Later there is cookies to bake, bills to pay and laundry to do.

Not the best picture but it gives one a very slight idea of the hill that is my driveway. This was taken about a third of the way down and shows some of what we had managed to shovel. As you can see once it was shoveled it melted off fairly fast.

Edited to add: 7:15 pm There was between 7 - 71/2 inches this morning. We - Stretch, Dipstick and I took turns shoveling and got close to half done by lunchtime. I went out again to work on the bottom of the hill - instead one of the men from our church who is also the father of one of my kids on the bus - pulled in and pretty much finished it up for me. I put salt down on the hill and the remainder melted off by supper time.

We also found that one of the tires on the car was completely flat. B helped us get it off then Stretch and Dipstick put the spare on while B and I took the tire to get repaired. I will have to pick it up tomorrow evening. I found two of my 3 tripods but haven't got them working with the camera yet. Guess that will come with time - at least I know where they are at the moment. I'm going to go stitch for awhile this evening.

This last picture is Sally-dog. She is a mutt - purebred German
Shepherd mother and unknown father. She has the shepherd coloring and great big feet combined with short little legs. She is standing in the path I shoveled to the back door - as you can see the snow comes up to her belly basically.
Well it's been snowing now since about 2:45 pm - not sure if it's just snow or if sleet is still mixed in. It started out sleeting heavily - interesting to listen to when one is on the bus. The ground is pretty much covered again with an inch or so. I went ahead and fed the chickens early and closed their coop up for the night. That way I don't have to go out again tonight. Radio is talking about how slippery the roads are tonight and many many places are canceling evening activities. Squirrel's Math Bowl was canceled for tonight - to my great relief. I really didn't want to have to be out late in this. It is currently rescheduled for tomorrow night but that assumes that we will have school. Personally I am rather hoping for another cancellation - I have several students that have been challenging my authority lately. A couple of days break will be a good thing. This afternoon did go much much better than yesterday and was even quiet at the RR tracks. Of course some of my students did not ride this afternoon which helped.

Other than that, not too much is happening. I got 5 eggs today. I spent some time watching the chickens before closing the coop for the night. It was really rather fun. (O.K...I admit it...I really am a country girl at heart!) I had given them some regular bird feed and some black oil sunflower seeds - they were very happy birds - busy scratching and pecking at the floor!

Monday, March 3, 2008

A Picture Perfect Morning

An overflowing pond. Vivid emerald evergreens. Deep blue storm clouds. A weathered red barn against the barren trees. Scattered patches of melting snow. Occasional deer. All gilded by the golden rays of the morning sun.

This was the picture this morning as I was driving my morning bus route. By the time route ended the storm clouds had snuffed out the sunshine and it was raining lightly. We saw about 15 deer throughout route time - my students are starting to call out when they see them. That makes deer spotting much more enjoyable to me. The temperature is supposed to drop fairly dramatically during the day today - we are to have scattered thunderstorms today followed by sleet and freezing rain overnight continuing into tomorrow along with 2-3 inches of snow possible.

The weekend was a good weekend overall. Squirrel missed school again Friday - doctor confirmed that he is fighting the flu and says it could continue for another couple of weeks. He is at school today as he's not been running fever for the last 24 hours. I drove my morning route Friday and then took the rest of the day off - including my trip I was signed up for immediately after my kindergarten shuttle. I had planned to take just the midday stuff off and drive my afternoon route. However due to the fact that I fell on some ice on our driveway in the morning I figured I would go ahead and take the extra time. As it turned out...I would have had to take the afternoon off anyway due to the fact that the only time I was able to get an appointment at the doctor's was during afternoon route time.

Saturday afternoon B called and asked if I could please bring Stretch to help with cutting wood as he knew they were running out of daylight. I took Stretch up after he ran 1.5 miles and helped myself. We were probably outside 2 1/2 hours and loaded 2 pick-up trucks with split wood. Some of the time I was pitching logs and some of the time I got to run the log splitter. I also was able to take a few pictures - I figured that since I knew we were going to be outside I would take the camera along - got a beautiful sunset.

Sunday was a quiet day relatively. I missed class due to just not feeling well - actually I would have missed class anyway as I was scheduled to be in nursery. However I felt that whatever was going on I didn't need to be exposing babies to it. B and Dipstick came down for supper - that's becoming a normal Sunday event. It makes certain that except for cooking - which isn't particularly restful for me - I do rest otherwise.

Now I'd better get moving on my chores for today - have a LOT of laundry to fold and dishes to do. Also need to make a grocery list as we are almost out of milk and I want to get that before the weather turns really bad.