Thursday, May 31, 2007

ANOTHER Tweety Tag!

1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? My middle name is after my mother's sister. She was also my godmother
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? I think it was sometime in February.
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? I'm fine with it. Everybody else ridicules it.
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEAT? Sirloin beef steak.
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Of course! I'm a very faithful friend.
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Not in this lifetime!!
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Frosted Flakes...they're gggrrreat!
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? I must be, because EVERYBODY expects me to hold things together.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? That's a hard question. They keep coming up with fantastic new flavors. At the moment it's turtle tracks.
15. RED OR PINK? Neither. I'm a boring, earth-tones person.
18. WHAT'S THE LAST THING YOU BOUGHT? Dog tie-out cable for my parents.
20. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? A slice of Z's pizza.
23. FAVORITE SMELLS? Leather, new cars, lumber, BBQ smoke, Emeraude, babies
27. EYE COLOR? Green
29. FAVORITE FOOD? Partridge(Ruffed Grouse)
32. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? I can't remember(Shut up, SME!)
33. WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? White, with blue printing.
34. SUMMER OR WINTER? Definitely winter!!
35. HUGS OR KISSES? Kisses from Scrunch, hugs from everybody else.
36. FAVORITE DESSERT? Cheesecake
37. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
39. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO WATCH TONIGHT? Dunno. It depends on if I can find something that I haven't seen before. It's rerun season, you know.
40. FAVORITE SOUND? Baby belly laughs
41. DOG OR CAT? Dog
45. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Living comfortably on very little money.

Monday, May 28, 2007

THIS Face.....

.....was worth driving 300 miles to see!!
This is our great-niece Sydney. This is the first time we saw her, and she'll be 3 next month!

In this picture, she has a firm grip on her favorite slave's jeans. "Come push me on the swing Uncle L!"

We had a FANTASTIC trip. This little munchkin made the whole trip worthwhile! More pictures and stories to come. I'm too tired tonight. ;)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

For Cherie

Cherie and I have been discussing our kitchen flooring. Both of our floors are in desperate need of repair. Our flooring project always gets put on the back burner.

Two years ago, we planned on re-flooring the kitchen, refinishing the kitchen cupboards, and painting the walls. We changed our plans when the hot water heater and our bedroom subfloor both needed replacing. Last year we built a garage, and the kitchen was, once again, put on hold. This summer we need to insulate and sheet the inside of our garage. Maybe, by fall, we'll be able to spruce up the kitchen.

What do you think, Cherie? Do I win the holey floor contest?

Sunday, May 20, 2007


We all survived the Boss' week of vacation....barely!

We were horrendously busy on Friday and Saturday. Normally this is an event to rejoice. Operating on a skeleton crew made these days a nightmare! The dishwasher that we're trying to train as a waitress is not working out AT ALL. The only 3 work applications we've received have been from a child-molester, a druggie, and someone who is currently awaiting the results of 2 Workmen's Comp lawsuits. Thank you for applying....NEXT!

Last summer, Z worked my Saturdays with me: clearing tables, pouring coffee, and go-ferring for Boss and I. Z wanted to start working again yesterday. I wasn't sure that we'd need him. I am SO GLAD that he insisted on working!! He saved my work weary butt! I'm so proud of the way he dived right in, without having to retrain him! Last summer Z suffered from anxiety related nausea on the Saturdays he worked with me. He always required a couple of Rolaids and a can of 7up to calm his stomach. Yesterday? No problem! Z is making great strides in controlling his OCD related anxieties! The only problem he had was sleeping Friday night. Anxiety kept him from sleeping more than 2 hours all night. Hopefully, this too shall pass.

The stress and extended hours of the past week took its toll on us yesterday afternoon. We ALL fell asleep late in the afternoon. We all woke around 8p.m. and wandered around in a fog, wondering where the day had gone. We scrounged the fridge for leftovers and were back in bed by 11p.m.

Today we MUST accomplish SOMETHING!! We're going to the Twin Cities next weekend, so we only have this week to catch up on our chores.

Our lawn desperately needs mowing, but it's SNOWING this morning! Our poor hummingbirds are dive-bombing the huge flakes. This is both comical and sad. I hope they're able to survive this cold spell. I hope all the nesting birds will be able to keep their babies from freezing!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Interview Meme

Want to play? Here's how it works:
Leave me a comment requesting an interview.
I will email you five questions. I get to pick the questions. BWAHAHAHAHA.
You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
You will include this explanation (or a reasonable variation) and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Sonja, over at (, threw these questions my way:

1. What would be a deal breaker to you in a marriage and/or in a friendship?
L and I have discussed this a LOT over the years. It always comes down to 2 things: infidelity and abuse(physical or mental). I always told L that I would forgive him ONCE, for just about anything. IF he got help with his problem. The second time....OUT THE DOOR!
With friendships, lying and backstabbing are the deal breakers. Be honest with me or get the hell out of my life!
2. What's the number one item on your to-do list right now?
Finishing the reorganization of Z's room. Then we can get busy on all the outside jobs we need to do.
3. I'm coming over for dinner. What are you serving for dessert?
Sorry, but we rarely have dessert. We usually have ice cream or pudding in the fridge, and I bake when I have the time.
If you came to dinner, Sonja, it would be a special occasion, so I'd probably make a Snicker Cake.
4. What do you miss about living in a big city?
My first instinct is to say: "Not a damned thing!"
I used to miss the shopping, but now that we have internet shopping, we rarely go out of town.
We'd probably have a network of TS parents and doctors in a big city, but who knows if that would get us any further than we are now?
Overall, we're quite content with our lifestyle! ;)
5. If you had unlimited resources (money, connections etc.), what would you do to change the world?
Since I'm overly cautious and research everything to death, I doubt if I'd live long enough to decide the best way to change the world. I'd be afraid of messing it up worse than it already is!
L and I have always said that IF we were rich, we'd keep just enough money to stay comfortable. We don't want to change our lifestyle! The rest of the money would be carefully distributed to those who need it the most.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day Memories

The similarities of these two pictures has always amazed me.

The picture on the bottom is SME at age 4. It was a Sunday afternoon, in the fall. We had just come out, to where our trucks were parked, from my parents' cabin. We were having lunch and a bonfire, before we headed back to town. SME found an out of the way log to sit and enjoy her favorite pop.

2-year-old Z is on the top. It was a beautiful June afternoon. L and I were setting up our pop-up camper, while SME kept an eye on her brother. Z didn't think we'd EVER get done setting up camp, so he could play in the sand with his trucks. He therefore decided he'd rather live in the woods.

Mother's Day always finds me remembering all the wonderful times we've had with our kids. I'm so grateful to have been blessed with 2 beautiful, intelligent children! Seeing the world through their perspective is a lifelong miracle!

I LOVE YOU GUYS!! Thanks for making motherhood such a fulfilling experience!!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

For My Love!

In honor of our 30th anniversary, I've compiled a list of 100 things I love about my husband.
I wrote these as they came to mind. They're not in order of importance, except the first two.

1) He's put up with ME for 30 years!
2) He's a TERRIFIC Dad!
3) We work well together on home improvement projects.
4) His sense of humor!
5) That he's smart enough to let ME handle the money.
6) He overcame his fear of large dogs for me.
7) He's a reader!
8) He cried when SME moved to Edmonton.
9) He loves camping.
10) He tolerates my parents.
11) He can calm a crying baby when nobody else can.
12) He can walk in the woods for hours.
13) We have the same tastes in home decor.
14) He isn't ANYTHING like his family!
15) He can argue both sides of any issue.
16) Home and family are EVERYTHING to him!
17) He can't stand professional sports!
18) He would get mad when people would see him with the kids and ask him if he was "babysitting".
19) He'll always stop to enjoy the beauty of a sunset. In fact, he usually has to take a picture too.
20) He has NEVER forgotten a birthday or anniversary.
21) He has always loved my cooking.
22) I turned him into a Christmas freak!
23) He'd give his life for me or the kids.
24) He brags about my talents.
25) He filled in the skunk's den.
26) He's proud of my pyromania.
27) He's WAY more overprotective of the kids than I am.
28) He likes to shop!
29) He ALWAYS kisses me goodbye.
30) He sticks to our rule that the last one out of bed(him), makes the bed.
31) We've NEVER argued about money!
32) He has a very strong work ethic.
33) SME will ALWAYS be "Daddy's little girl" to him!
34) He loves to BBQ.
35) He had no problem with his daughter playing with trucks and legos, and his son playing with dolls.
36) I love the way we complement each other; his strengths are my weaknesses and vice versa.
37) His favorite part of camping is sitting by the fire with me at the end of the day. If there's a fire ban, he doesn't want to go camping.
38) He taught me that the most important family we have is the 2 of us and our kids.
39) He shares my love of candles.
40) He would NEVER be unfaithful.
41) He's honest.
42) He proved to his family that he can love a son as much as a daughter!
43) Practically everything he knows, he taught himself.
44) He's worked a LOT of shit jobs to keep a roof over our heads.
45) He has filmed hours of squirrel and chipmunk videos.
46) He views our vehicles as transportation, rather than an extension of his dick.
47) He started the truck and scraped the windshield for me at 5:30 a.m. for 24 winters.
48) He doesn't do anything for show. He's the real deal!
49) When we were going together, he drove me home when I was too drunk to drive, and WALKED 10 miles back home.
50) He loves museums and zoos.
51) While on an out of town singing gig, when we were dating, he called me at 2 a.m. to tell me he turned down the advances of a girl who followed him to his motel room.
52) He appreciates that I don't waste money on beauty treatments and "cute" shoes.
53) He enjoys romantic comedies.
54) He knows me better than ANYONE!
55) He changes diapers!
56) He's a whiz at fixing toilets and doorknobs!
57) He's grateful that I eloped with him and didn't care about a fancy wedding.
58) He doesn't understand men who MUST go "out with the guys", or couples who take separate vacations.
59) He read, and enjoyed, my Diana Gabaldon books.
60) He taught me to say "NO" to the demands of others.
61) He'll carry my purse when my hands are full...not for long though.
62) He won't tolerate misogyny.
63) He always makes sure that the birdfeeder is full, so we can enjoy watching the birds from our kitchen window.
64) He'll stay outside, watching other people's kids when their parents are too stupid to watch them.
65) He stayed with Boo, when she was put to sleep, when I couldn't handle it.
66) He defers to me in decorating projects. He can't visualize how something will turn out. He's often questioned my sanity when planning a project, but he always loves the end result.
67) He agreed to our green couch, even though he hates green.
68) We share all the toys we own. Now THAT'S compatibility!
69) He will buy tampons for me.
70) He doesn't complain about me watching TV to fall asleep.
71) He loves photography as much as I do.
72) He doesn't want to kill nuisance mice, even though I DO!
73) He brings me a blanket when I'm watching TV in my chair.
74) He's BRILLIANT with computers!
75) The first thing he'd do, when he got home from work when the kids were small, is pick them up for a hug.
76) He has a strong belief in our legal system, even when it's wrong.
77) He's so laid back that he doesn't even get shook in an emergency.
78) He's extremely patient with Z, when teaching him computer stuff. He never says "I told you so", even when Z's smartassed teenaged attitude overrides his brain.
79) He'll clean up the mouse corpses that I kill, even though he doesn't agree with killing them.
80) He built in our portable dishwasher in our old house while I was at work. I didn't want to sacrifice the cupboard space. I loved it, and he's never let me hear the end of it.
81) When we were dating, he wanted to go to the drive-in to watch the movies...even the dusk to dawn features. He's a big fan of cheesy B movies. I think we were the only people at the drive-in who were actually watching the movies.
82) He NEVER holds a grudge.
83) He'll always admit when I'm right.
84) He loves it when I'm wrong....although this rarely happens. ;)
85) He never blames his problems on his terrible childhood.
86) He's rarely yelled at the kids.
87) He developed gastritis when SME's marriage fell apart. His stomach problems didn't go away until he saw SME in person, and knew that she was in a new, safe relationship.
88) He loves to rub our relationship in his ex-wife's face.
89) He's always been more comfortable talking to women than men.
90) He judges people's homes by how many books they have.
91) He doesn't have a cruel bone in his body.
92) Kids and animals love him.
93) He attended my mother's family reunion....ONCE. He and Z refuse to EVER do that again!
94) My Grandma adored him!
95) He hasn't touched my houseplants since the great plant disaster of '79.
96) He calls my spider plant "sir" scares him.
97) He knows I love appliances, tools, and gadgets as gifts.
98) He loves high-quality animated movies. He's a kid at heart.
99) He appreciates our simple lifestyle.
100) He still manages to surprise me, even though we've been married forever.

Maybe for Father's Day I'll write a list of the 200 things he does that drive me nuts

Monday, May 07, 2007

Seasonal Changes

We're finally getting some spring weather here!
As a homeowner, the changing seasons always bring a huge pile of seasonal chores. We've been busy switching snow shovels for gardening tools. The snowblower is now replaced by 2 mowers and the rototiller. The vegetable peelings in the compost can, that we keep by our back porch all winter, have been rotated into our compost pile.

Spring raking, in northern MN, can be tricky; timing is EVERYTHING! The time between the ground being dry enough to rake and the time when the new grass is 6 inches high, and must be mowed, can be as short as 2 days. Last weekend our window of opportunity arrived.

We have a HUGE yard, and have never been able to hand rake the entire lawn before mowing season overtakes us....until 2 years ago. We bought a high-wheeled, rear bagging mower. Then we bought a power rake blade for our old mower, and lowered the wheels. Now, I run the power rake mower, which rakes and chops the leaves and dead grass. L follows with the bagger mower and sucks up all the debris. We raked our whole yard in 3 1/2 hours!

We finished in the nick of time. The following day, we had 30 mph winds, followed by a couple of days of sprinkly rain. We didn't get enough rain to alleviate our drought conditions, but we got enough to green things up. I live in fear that some idiot will throw a lit cigarette out their car window, or burn their yard waste, and burn us all out in a matter of minutes! Our trees are just starting to bud. Soon we'll have a canopy of green which will obliterate our neighbor's junky yard for the summer.

I also did a quick inspection tour of our home's exterior. There was only one spot where the caulk had pulled away during the winter. I managed to get a new coat of caulk applied before the rain started. None of our fresh paint peeled!! Whooohoooo!! It looks like the new primer did the trick!

Spring also brings a host of indoor chores as well.
I've been busy washing our winter jackets, packing them away for the summer, and unpacking the summer outerwear. I've packed away our sweaters, replacing them with shorts, T-shirts, and tank tops.

I've also been thoroughly drying our winter boots, before packing them away. The Peet boot dryer, pictured above, has been my best friend for the past 10 years! If you have kids that love to wade through the snow, this item is a blessing! Our doorside rug is now sporting tennis shoes and sandals, instead of klunky boots.

Hairry has successfully completed his annual trip to the vet for heartworm meds. 20 years ago, heartworm was only a threat in southern MN. In 2 short years, our county has gone from 2 reported cases of heartworm to 72 cases! If you're a dog owner, PLEASE check with your vet about the existence of this horrible disease in your area!

Now that we've completed the imperative spring chores, we can move on to our list of summer projects. This list is so long that it will require a post of its own. If I'm AWOL from blogging, you'll know where I am....slaving away in the yard or garage.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Tweety Strikes Again.

Hammer's 500 meme

1. What is the stupidest mistake you have ever made with money?
Me? You're kidding, right?
I've always had to work hard for my money, therefore I've always been VERY careful how I spend it. My rule of thumb has always been: If it isn't on sale, don't buy it! My guys constantly tease me about this, but they admit that I get a LOT for our money.
I guess the biggest mistake I've made is passing up a $99/person flight to Las Vegas around 22 years ago. We had friends, who managed the Stardust Camperland. We could have stayed for free with them. We found out later that they could've got front row FREE tickets for all the shows at the Stardust. L doesn't like to fly, so we passed up the offer. I'm still giving him shit about it.

2. Do you think taxes are unfair or do you think it's your civic duty?
L has always said:"Don't bitch about taxes if you use our highways, libraries, parks, zoos, museums, police and fire protection!" I agree that our taxes do go for a LOT of good. I also think the whole system needs revamping. We need to hold our public figures more accountable for how they spend our money.
We also need a more equitable tax system. I've always thought that a 10% flat tax for everybody, with no deductions would be the fair way to collect taxes.

3. Do you take risks and possibly turn your life upside down for new opportunity?

Not since we had SME...almost 30 years ago. Having a roof over our heads and food on the table has always been more important, to me, than excitement.

4. Are you the alpha in your household? (Include pets)
Unfortunately, yes. L doesn't want the job, as his organizational skills SUCK!
Our pets have always been well trained. It's impossible to effectively train an animal if they don't acknowledge your superiority, so I guess that answers that question too.

5. Do you compromise with your significant other or does someone always get their way?
In my opinion, we compromise. L might tell a different story.

6. What curse word do you use most often?

7. Do you easily change your mind or are you dead set on most issues?
It depends on the issue. I have a few basic rules, or morals, that I live by. The rest is open to debate. I've always been able to debate both sides of any issue.

8. What famous person would you like to trade places with for one week?
I like ME! I enjoy my life, most of the time. We've made huge sacrifices to live the lifestyle we are comfortable with. WHY would I want to live in someone else's messed up life?

9. If you could go back in time and tell one person off, who would it be and what would you say?
Our ex-son-in-law, and his parents. We took a LOT of shit from them, just to keep peace in the family and make life easier for our daughter.
What would I say? "I can't stand a LIAR! Get over yourselves and tell the TRUTH for a change, you pathetic pieces of shit!"

10. Were you a good student or did you do just enough to get by?
I graduated in the top ten people, in a class of 302.
The only thing I got bad grades in was deportment; I talked too much, at inappropriate times. I also got a C in sewing; the dumb teacher wouldn't do it the right(my) way!

11. If you could give one piece of advice to someone just starting out on their own, what would you tell them?
Learn how to COOK; it's becoming a dying art! You'll save a fortune, be healthier, and have a happier family life.
Make a budget, and stick to it! Live within your means. Overwhelming debt is a disease that is almost impossible to shake.

12. Are people basically good and honest or are most people opportunistic and predatory?
Despite the headlines, I believe that the majority of people are good and honest. It's always the few who make life miserable for the majority.

13. Is there somebody you wish you could go back and apologize to?
My maternal grandmother. She died when I was 5, and I was always scared of her. She would just sit in a chair, smiling at me. Every time I'd get close to her, she'd try to grab me and hug me. She creeped me out.
Now I know that she had given up on life after her kids left home. She couldn't handle the prospect of living the rest of her life with my abusive asshole of a grandfather.
Grandma sat down and waited for death. It only took her 10 years. I didn't realize that I was the joy of her life. I would give ANYTHING to go back, sit on her lap, give her a hug, and tell her I loved her! I didn't know. I was just a little kid. I pray that she knows how sorry I am for avoiding her. I'll tell her all of this....someday.

Now I'm supposed to tag 3 people.
I think everybody I know has done this one, or been tagged.

If you haven't done it; TAG, YOU'RE IT!