Sunday, August 31, 2008

Not Pennies AGAIN!

Why is it that there is ALWAYS someone in front of you in the Speedy Checkout Lane at Wal-Mart who has chosen to pay for 20 items in PENNIES?

It's Official...TIME IS RUNNING OUT for my Old Lame Horse

DH hit a milestone today. We went to Wal-Mart and he had to use one of the motorized carts. Aside from the obvious hilarity value of this event (he's only 44), the Wal-Mart Greeter DID NOT BELIEVE him when he told him he was having knee surgery on Wednesday. He quizzed him on which doctor, where was the surgery, etc. The kids and I laughed our heads off. This probably did not help his case.

However, he DID get to ride the motorized cart. Of course, he was already riding it when he asked. And he is at least 6' tall and well over 200 pounds, so perhaps the greeter did not choose to try to remove him from it. :)

He had fun, if the beeping sounds were any indication. Apparently, it is more fun to drive those things BACKWARD so that they make lots of annoying noise.

And he did make himself useful by going after one item on our list. That is right. He had ONE tiny item in the cart on his vehicle. NO WONDER they did not believe him that he needed it!

So, I am thinking that PASTURE land I have picked out for this OLD LAME HORSE of mine is looking pretty good. :) I think the Wal-Mart greeter will agree, that is, if it will keep DH OFF of the MOTORIZED CARTS! :)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Because I Am a MEAN MEAN MEAN Wife :)

DH is lame. Like a horse. An OLD horse. So, I told him I was going to arrange to have him shot.

Oh, he knows I am kidding. :) We laughed. After he got over being SHOCKED. :) He's usually the one to come up with the jokes around here.

But, I keep mentioning it and now I think he is wondering if he should be worried! ha!

Actually, even limping around on a bad knee, he is proving to be useful, so he's not going to be put out to pasture just yet. :)

And yes, I am enjoying this a little tooooo much.

He has knee surgery next week and a friend offered him a LARGE BELL with which to SUMMON ME when he needs me. Right.

Rob laughed. As he should. He knows me. He told his friend that the bell was more likely to summon our DOGS than his WIFE.

I'm really just trying to keep DH cheerful by joking around through this. He's in a lot of pain. I feel quite terrible for him. But, in this situation, some laughter eases the pain, I hope. And I WILL be at his beck and call after the surgery...just not to the tune of a LARGE BELL! :)

The Clothes Fairy Has Been Here!

Everyone needs a Clothes Fairy. She beats the Tooth Fairy hands down!

Our Clothes Fairy delivers bags of clothes to our porch a couple of times a year. GREAT, high-end clothes that her son has outgrown.

We are not proud. We LOVE hand-me-downs. Especially INCREDIBLE hand-me-downs that come in NORDSTROM and Saks Fifth Avenue bags. :) Stores I only DREAM about visiting. Not that I would trade these t-shirts and jeans days for any store on earth.

I am just posting this because some days an act of kindness like the one from the CLOTHES FAIRY just really makes my day.

Today's Quote



Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Haymaker's Picnic

A Haymaker's Picnic at a local farmstead called "Everbreeze" that dates back to the 1700's...who wouldn't want to attend? Any doubt? Then just think of the FOOD! YUM! Cheesy potatoes, brownies, baked beans, ham, brownies, rolls, freshly made lemonade, and did I mention BROWNIES?

They practically had to ROLL ME AWAY!

All this abundance just because we helped pick up some hay bales in their field. Which the KIDS loved doing because it was rather like a glorified hay ride.

So, I may not eat again for a few days. :) Unless it's chocolate. :)

Here is a picture of the actual "haymaking."

Monday, August 25, 2008


Today was SUCH a long day. But, everything happened that needed to happen, so it was also a good day.

The collies I mentioned in an earlier post were rescued. Lots of people pitched in to help to make sure the boy collie got to Columbus tonight. He has some serious mobility issues. He was also scared to death of a collar and it took me 20 minutes to get him in the SUV.

It didn't help that I had to half carry him all the way down the hill to the road where I had left the SUV. I did ask the owner if she thought the makeshift bridge would hold the Toyota, and she said, "It might." MIGHT? Okay. The vehicle stayed put.

The saddest part of the whole day was that the owner didn't even pat her dogs goodbye. No leash or toy went with them. Of course, they were completely filthy and smelly, and maybe that was the reason for the lack of a goodbye, but I had my arms completely around the one collie and the girl kept coming over and kissing me.

Trust me on this. Trying to catch your breath as you coax a terrified dog down a lengthy hill AND a collie tongue anywhere near your mouth is NOT a good thing.

Here's a picture of the boy that was so scared. He calmed down quite a bit after we had him in our yard for awhile.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Watch out or you'll end up on my BLOG! hehe

So, my mom thinks she is being funny and decides to heckle me about my post yesterday.

Here is her oh-so-amusing comment. Thanks, Mom!


Enjoyed the Collie rescue story. I am concerned about one thing
Do you think you have been living in West Virginia tooooo long?


And for those that are wondering, I have only lived in West Virginia for 5 years. I guess she figures that is long enough to catch whatever it is you catch here! ;) Personally, I LOVE West Virginia. :)

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Collie Rescue Story

Well, we got back around noon from our Collie Rescue Expedition.

It was quite an adventure.

It started out simply enough. We loaded up the kids and took both vehicles, just in case the collies needed to travel separately from kids. You never know.

Then we drove across town and into ... THE BOONDOCKS OF WEST VIRGINIA.

We left the world of road signs behind. We traveled up hills and through hollows. We passed rusty trailers and shells of rusty cars. LOTS of them.

For miles the only life we saw was a pair of critters in the middle of the road...oddly, a groundhog and a squirrel, who scampered off in opposite directions as our cars approached. That is a conversation I would have liked to have been party to!

"Hey, Squirrel! Whad's up?"
"Back atcha, Groundhog. Just here to shoot the breeze witcha."
"Younz guyz avoidin' da traffic of late?"
"Kinda, the missus is missin'."
"Too bad. Maybe now you can marry that first cuzin of yourn. The one wit da cute tail."

And on...

Thomas was SURE the groundhog was actually a BEAVER, and that required much debate for a few miles. That was good because Sarah was feelin' carsick from all the twists and turns and bumps in the road and needed the distraction. Obviously, the carsickness had NOTHING to do with me bein' a wild driver!

Anyway, we finally got to the house with the collies. If you could call it a house. More like a shack. I have never picked up a collie and felt WORSE for the people neglecting the collie than I did the dog. This time I did. It was SO SAD. Crumbling foundation. No heat. You get the picture.

We didn't even drive up to the house because you had to cross a bridge going over the creek. It was not a standard bridge. It looked rather like wooden pallets thrown across some two-by-fours. We carefully traipsed across and left the vehicles on the grassy berm off of the road.

Cue in banjo music. Dueling banjos.

Ba ba bom bom - bom bom - bom bom - bom (Think "Deliverance.")

In some trepidation we crept up the long drive to the "house." We could SEE the collies, so we had to go.

Turned out the people were really nice, just on really really hard times. I had actually suspected as much. We all felt terrible about their circumstances. Thomas just couldn't believe people have to live like that. He was just sure the house had to be nicer inside. I think he learned something today.

The collies were in bad shape. You could smell them 20 feet away like you were sitting with your nose in their fur. HORRIBLE. And the FLEAS. Plus, the male was having trouble moving about. We think he has a tick causing him problems.

So, because they were in such bad shape, we couldn't bring them home. I can't let my dogs be exposed to anything those dogs have. BUT, they are seeing the vet on Monday. And we are grooming them. That will be a chore! But, they are nice dogs, so I think they will be good for it. It's going to take a minimum of 3 hours per dog.

The female is going to stay with us for fostering. Her name is Frisky. I know, I know. She is not a CAT! We might have to change that. Her name, not her standing as a canine. The male, Bandit, has to go to Columbus so he will have access to medical care with the rescue.

So, what a day! But, this is what rescue is all about.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Just so I don't forget...

Last evening someone paid me the nicest compliment. I am recording it here so that I don't forget... and so that on a day that isn't going so well...I can come back and revel in it. :)

It was all due to a name I've detested my whole life. Christine. I am ALWAYS being called Christine. So, even though it is a perfectly good name, I don't like it at all. MY NAME IS NOT CHRISTINE.

The minister who MARRIED Rob and me even called me Christine. Repeatedly. During the CEREMONY. I almost stomped out. :) Even worse, it was Rob's minister uncle doing the ceremony and he had known me for YEARS. If you can't pronounce my name, please at least just call me Chris. I TRY to make it easy.

I was telling my friend the story of how I was married with the wrong name and he said that it didn't matter because the name was beautiful and ME. Well, how NICE WAS THAT?

Mind you, I know he was full of it (and not wearing his glasses AND possibly looking at someone else). But, I'll take it anyway. :) When you get (way) past 40, you don't hear that kind of thing every day! :)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Dangerous News

Well, it must be a REAL SLOW news day. Our local broadcast is reviewing a story about DANGEROUS WILD CHICKENS in Weirton.

Yes, you read that right.

Dangerous. Wild. CHICKENS.

Whew! It's a real fear of mine, living in such a HIGH CRIME area that now we have to worry about the CHICKENS!

Evidently, their LOUD CLUCKING is a real hazard. It is WAKING FOLKS UP at 4 AM! Can you imagine a worse crime? Those bad bad chickens!

And, to compound the problem, they are ROAMING the streets at NIGHT! Roaming. The. Streets. Those chickens are SUCH A BAD INFLUENCE!

What will be next? Dangerous wild hamsters? AAAAAAAH! Help! Save us from the hamsters! :)

Might I suggest a simple solution? Chicken Salad with Pecans

(Don't believe me? Here you go... WTOV9 News Story).

Facts Quiz

I'm not really into these, but I found it on a site having a contest and got "tagged" before I realized what was happening!

So, here goes (try not to fall asleep!):

A.) attached or single?
Married for 19 years in November.
Feels like 40. :)

(B.) best friend? DH, of course.

(C.) cake or pie? Chocolate Sheet CAKE (OR apple pie IF it is GOOD apple pie! NO STOREBOUGHT or canned apples!).

(D.) day of choice? Friday because I feel FREE!

(E.) essential item? A book.

(F. ) favorite color? It has to be PINK!

(G. ) gummy bears or worms? Neither. But, I'll eat gummi bears if the kids want me to join them.

(H.) hometown? St. Clairsville, Ohio

(I.) favorite indulgence? A free afternoon with an excellent book.

(J. ) January or July? January because of the wonderful SNOW! I LOVE SNOW! I LOVE COLD TEMPS and snowball fights!

(K. ) kids? Three (Sarah 11, Thomas 10, Matthew 6)

(L.) life isn't complete without? Family

M.) marriage date? Nov. 4, 1989

(N.) number of brothers & sisters? One younger brother, Scott.

(O.) oranges or apples? Apples.

(P.) phobias? Jellyfish. Worms.

(Q.) quotes? Home is where one starts from. - T. S. Eliot

(R.) reasons to smile? It makes people happy.

(S.) season of choice? Fall

(T.) tag seven peeps! Sorry! But if you are reading this, I TAG YOU! :)

(U.) unknown fact about me? I'm allergic to cats but I have them anyway.

(V.) vegetable? Yes, especially spinach.

(W.) worst habits? I am a worrywart. I overdo. I procrastinate. The list goes on.

(X.) x-ray or ultrasound? Both.

(Y.) your favorite food? anything with chocolate...cookies, ice cream, etc.

(Z.) zodiac sign? Libra.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Mac & Cheese Recipe

I realize there are enormous debates over the correct way to make Macaroni & Cheese. I am not going to get into that! This is just the way I make it (a la my Betty Crocker cookbook from 1986 with variations).

I take a double recipe of this to every church potluck and there is never any left to bring back home. As a matter of fact, I have actually seen people giving each other the "evil eye" over the last couple of spoonfuls! But in a good it is a church function, after all! :)

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

1 1/2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni

3 Tablespoons margarine

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 cups skim milk

8 ounces Velveeta

Cook macaroni as directed on package. Be sure that it is soft, but not mushy. If it is not done enough, it will soak up too much of the sauce and the end product will not be creamy.

Melt margarine on stovetop in large skillet (nonstick is best). Add onion powder, salt, and pepper.

Mix flour into the 2 cups of milk. Make sure flour is completely incorporated. I put it in a tall glass and whisk it with a fork. Then add it to the warm margarine mixture on the stovetop.

Cook over medium heat, STIRRING CONSTANTLY, until the mixture is smooth and bubbly. Keep stirring until it boils and then stir for one minute. Remove from heat.

Stir in Velveeta until melted. It's easiest to do this over a very low heat, especially if you have had the cheese in the frig.

Once cheese is melted, add the macaroni. I find it easiest to mix everything together in the skillet and then pour it all in the pan to bake. Use a 1 1/2 quart casserole.

Bake uncovered in 375' oven for 30 minutes. I keep an eye on it and generally take it out early. We don't like it too brown on top. Plus, it is creamier if it bakes for less time. So, mine is usually a double recipe and it bakes for 25 minutes.


If reheating leftovers, be sure to add some extra milk. Otherwise, it gets too dry.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hamster Hunting

We had a hamster tragedy the other night. So, today we went hamster hunting.

With GREAT relief we found the ONE hamster left at Petco (at 20% off, no less!) was the EXACT hamster we needed. Right color, right age, and we can only hope...not pregnant. Whew!

With great pleasure, my 3 munchkins welcome Chubbster to our family! :) Isn't she cute?

Best Toy Ever...Because YOU NEVER KNOW!

Yesterday I stopped at Target. I am a Target addict. I sometimes think I could live at Target! :) Well, not really, but it sure is a fun place to be!

I was doing my usual scrounging for 75% off clearance deals when I spotted 2 Totes umbrellas in cool BOY colors for only $4.48 each. I LOVE umbrellas for 75% off...and Matt and Thomas both needed a new one for walking home from school.

So, I gave the boys their new umbrellas. Matt (being 6) was ENTHRALLED. He was so cute. He couldn't get over how you could push a button and release the umbrella...then push it AGAIN and have it close back up! OH MY! Amazing! We had to test it repeatedly. Good thing we were in a stationary vehicle because we tested it out the window. :)

Fortunately, the new super cool umbrella came with a string on the end of the high quality BAMBOO handle that can be attached to a belt. :) OH THE JOY! And even is made of 70% recycled materials! It just got better and better!

Now the umbrella can go on hikes with us. Because, you never know when you will be caught in the rain! So, it went on yesterday's evening hike. Matt carried it for 2 miles because (again) YOU NEVER KNOW.

Today it went to our church picnic with us....because it rained on us last year....and you never know! :)

Right now Matt is sitting on a recliner and watching TV...and holding his umbrella...because this is an old house with weak ceilings....and YOU NEVER KNOW! :)

I just love how he always makes me smile. :)