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Monday, June 30, 2008

The Best of St. Louis

So I've told you all the mishaps, or most of them, and the not so great things about our vacation. Let me tell you about the awesome parts of our vacation! On Saturday we slept late, ate a powdered doughnut breakfast with juice and bananas and headed to Grant's Farm. If you've never heard of it before here is the intro snippet from their website:

There are many exciting animal encounters possible at Grant's Farm, the 281-acre ancestral home of the Busch family, located just south of the city of St. Louis. The Farm is home to more than 1,000 animals representing more than 100 different species from six continents. Grant's Farm, operated by Anheuser-Busch, Inc., has been a St. Louis tradition for over five decades. More than 24 million guests have visited this popular family attraction during its history.

We've been here before, 2 years ago, and once again I was just awestruck by the beauty of this place. The landscapes, the health and happiness of the animals, the price (free admission, cheap food), and the activities for kids are hands down the best I have ever seen. Our first visit was too the Clydesdale's Stables. You know those commercials you see during the Superbowl with the Clydesdales pulling the wagons full of beer barrels? Yup, here is one of the places that they breed them...up to 15 foals a year. We saw several on our visit. Here is a cute picture of a baby and his mama. I was doing this exact same thing to my baby last time we were here:


Later the Mama and I had a fashion shoot, minus the fashion. She posed for me for several shots that turned out beautifully, this is my favorite:


Later, once inside the actual wildlife preserve we saw many animals, and the kids were very excited by all of them. An elephant named Mickey did a great little show for us, not the circus kind of show, she did it from the comfort of her own home. She played a harmonica and danced and showed off her logging skills. It was very cool! Then we went to feed the baby goats! Oh My! For $1 you can buy a bottle of milk to feed these rambunctious little farts! The attack you the minute you try to enter their pen because they are certainly no fools. They want that milk!!

And who can resist that adorable face? So of course I forked over $3 and got both boys a bottle and myself. But their vigorous pursuit of our snack freaked my kids out and we ended up feeding them through the gate instead! I had to literally pull about 5 goats away from River to get him out of the pen...he was unthrilled....but he thought this was hilarious:
At the end of your tour of Grant's Farm you get to sample two of Anheuser-Busch's products (adults only of course) and if you thought Bud Light and Busch were the limit to their endeavours you thought wrong!!! They make about a gazillion types of beer and other assorted drinks! I sampled their new Beach Bum beer, but decided it was a knock off of Corona, which I don't like either. All in all Grant's Farm was wonderful, just as it was the last time we went. I will take it over the Zoo any day!! It's smaller, but much more exciting. And we all ate lunch for $13!!! (I packed our own drinks) You can't do that at McDonald's!

Sunday we packed our bags and checked out of the motel and headed out in search of somewhere to eat breakfast. After a little tiff about navigating the city, I took the wheel and steered us towards the famous Uncle Bill's Pancake House on Kings Highway Blvd. If you ever in St. Louis I highly recommend it! They are open 24 hours (a hot spot for the after hours clubbers) and they serve up heaps of hot tasty and cheap food! Once we had our belly full we headed to the St. Louis Science Center. This is another gem hiding out in this beautiful city! This place was neeter than a skeeter's peeter and even Daddy and I had a blast checking out all the cool things they have to offer!! A special room for youngsters offers guests 45 minutes of special playtime with what can only be described as the ultimate in pre-school educational activities. The kids experimented with magnets, and gravity, role played in a life size teepee, a doctor/dentist office, entomologist lab, aquarium and water table. It was just awesome!!! We will definitely be back there!

Finally we headed home and the kids slept for 130 miles of the 150 mile trip!! Yay!!! It was a good vacation. Neither of them wanted to go home, but 2 days was long enough for Mommy and Daddy!

Someday I plan to take a grown up vacation to St. Louis!! Although I will have to leave my husband behind-he would hate my itinerary! LOL! They have so much to offer as far as art, culture, and music. The Opera House, The Fox Theatre, several small theatrical companies and dozens of museums!! Hubby and I are going back in 3 weeks for a Motley Crue concert, but that's not exactly the kind of culture I have in mind for my 'grown up' vacation! LMAO!!!




Happy Birthday Little Man!

So the reason for the season, or rather the vacation in this case...is because 4 years ago yesterday this little guy came into my life!


I rarely put my kids online, but who can deny this beautiful face? It's hard to believe it's been 4 years!!! He has gone from this adorable fat little Buddha Baby:


("Poster Child for Breast Milk!")


To a deep thinking, serious, sensitive, tractor loving farm boy! 4 years ago I went from a woman of independant mind and free spirit to woman bound by love and grounded by the trials of raising children. Oh how things change! And I wouldn't change it for the world!

Happy Birthday River!



And since I am already posting pics of one, here is the other guy little guy who just doubled the fun!
I love you too Gus!

More of the Best of the Worst

So a myriad of small disasters occurred on our vacation of course....no vacation would be complete without them right? There are no pictures of us at the St. Louis Zoo because I left the camera out in the car. Uggh! But I was not trekking all the way back through the zoo and the parking lot to get it. Although we almost did have to trek back to the car because I forgot diapers!! What kind of baby mama forgets the diapers??!!! (apparently ME!) LOL! My husband was fit to be tied and on the verge of his own little temper tantrum when I told him to just zip it, I can handle this! We were in the food court and I knew there would be some kind soul who would donate a diaper to my desperate cause. Sure enough the first person I asked had the exact size and was more than helpful. I offered to pay for her lunch but she refused. I am sure she had been in my shoes before!! So one crisis averted!

My gorgeous handmade corduroy purse, which was packed full of drinks, snacks, wipes, extra clothes and basically everything but the kitchen sink (and a camera...or diapers :0) BROKE! One strap broke, which made for an interesting study in logistics every time I tried to attach it to a stroller or carry it around.

There were no naps on Friday afternoon....which made for a rough evening. We were naive enough to think we could tempt fate and eat at Landry's Seafood House, which is awesome, expensive, and tasty....it was tasty....it only took me 1.5 minutes to wolf down a platter of finely broiled seafood with a screaming 2 year old in my lap....

Finally we get to bed...our first night in the hotel. It only took about an hour....yes an hour... to get the boys to sleep. Bed jumping, fart noises, songs, giggles, cries, thirst, potty trips etc....all preceded the eventual visit of the sandman. I slept with the 2 year old, which basically means I didn't sleep. He found his most comfortable position...which was positioned horizontally across all the pillows...leaving me curled in the fetal position at an awkward angle, desperately trying to catch some zzzzz's.

But by far the best of the worst is that my monthly visitor showed up!! Do you think it even crossed my mind to prepare for that??? Hell no! So a hotel staff member came to my rescue until I could get to a local drug store.....Oh the drama!!!

Meet Me in Saint Louie....part One

Well we are back from our vacation and I am happy to report we had a (mostly) FABULOUS time!!!! I couldn't have asked for a better weekend!!! And I just have to brag on the city of St. Louis for a moment! It is such a clean, tourist friendly, easy to navigate and hospitable city!!! It has always been my favorite city but after a 3 day vacation with two toddlers I will be singing it's praises forever! LOL!

So there are lots of good stories to tell, some good, some bad. I figure I will start with the bad just to get it out of the way...save the best for last ya know...I will probably have to lump these in seprate posts because you know how I like to jabber on and on. So as time permits today I will try to sum up my vacation in several posts.

We left the house Friday morning headed for the St. Louis Zoo. After about 2 1/2 hours of driving we finally hit the city. Construction detours turned us around and we ended up waaaaay off course. God bless truck drivers! I stopped at a 7/11 and asked a driver for help. He laughed at us, redneck white folk who can't navigate the city...."How da hell you end up down here?" I just laughed right along with him. We were on the far south side of the city! But thankfully it didn't take long to get back to where we needed to be, he gave us great directions! So I guess it wasn't all that bad, but I have to say part of me was thinking "If this is how the vacation is starting...Oh Boy!"

Finally we arrived at the Zoo, and as far as Zoo's go, it is very nice, clean and entertaining. However I did find myself pitying these captive animals. Many of them look they would chew the wrong end of a shotgun off if they could....if animals can get depressed, that is what I saw. A majestic brown bear just paced back and forth for hours, panting and hanging his head. He looked as if he once was glorious to behold, and now patches of his fur were missing and he looked so sad I wanted to hug him...if he wouldn't have considered me a 4 course meal. So many of the animals just looked miserable and defeated. I felt a bit guilty standing there oggling them and trying to excite my kids about them as they stared back at us with blank looks and hopeless disregard. We spent a few hours there and then checked into our hotel and headed for the pool.

This is where the story gets bad...the single most memorable event of our vacation and it has nothing to do with my family or our many adventures. When we arrived at the hotel pool there were a few other families swimming and some adults in the whirlpool. I saw the most beautiful little baby boy with his Daddy sitting by the edge of the pool, he was maybe 4 months old. He had an older brother in the pool swimming (I am assuming he was brother, he was probably 12). Then I noticed this older lady over by the hot tub. She was in and out of the hot tub and she scowled much of the time. Her husband and son were frolicking in the pool having a great time along side us, but she just scowled. I remember feeling sorry for someone who could be that miserable with a hot tub sitting right beside them....

The daddy of the baby began to slowly pace around, bouncing his son and whispering sweet notions to him as he kissed and loved on him. It warmed my heart and made me miss having babies of my own. But I noticed he had a worried look on his face. He was watching his older son very closely and seemed to be willing him to get bored of the pool so they could leave. It took me a while to see the big picture of this scenario, but once I did I was just sick! Sick, sick, sick!!!

See what I saw was a loving father, spending quality time with his kids, perhaps letting mommy take a nap or a shower back in the room. I saw a doting dad who showered his kids with love and praise and laughter. What the scowly woman saw was a big scary black man, with big muscles, covered in tattoos. He had on very nice, designer swim trunks, as did his kids, so I am sure she assumed he was a drug dealer. His fancy blackberry phone must have been stolen or bought with dirty money and he probably had his 12 year old peddling crack on the grade school play ground!

See what I didn't notice for a while is that every time the 12 year old got in the hot tub....she got out! And she never once set foot in the pool with us. She also kept a close eye on the father...as if he was gonna whip out a 9mm pistol with an infant on his hip and rob her of her L.L. Bean flip flops and her Panama Jack straw hat. She never cracked a smile even as my children, who are damn near irresistible, flashed her smiles and waved at her......I started to get the big picture here and I was scrambling in my mind to find a way to make the father and his children feel comfortable. I talked to the little boy a bit, but finally Dad insisted that they leave....I could tell by the look on his face that he had had enough of the suspicious glares and the blatant disgust from this woman.

After they left......SHE GOT IN THE POOL, all smiles and sunshine...waving at my kids and giving us that approving look you give a happy family who is splashing and giggling. It took everything I had not to go over to her, hike up my leg and pee on her!! Must be the bitch in me, canine instincts!!! I bet she wouldn't want to be swimming with my white ass either if I used her for a fire hydrant. I was so disgusted.....I said something to my husband about it too....It might have been loud enough for her to hear...I might have felt bad about calling her an idiot...I might have hoped she hadn't heard me....I might have hoped that dirty look was aimed at my trashy tattoo and not my intelligent observation of her ignorance..........but then again....nah! The bitch deserved it!!!

I don't know that I have ever witnessed anything so blatantly prejudiced in all my life. Even my ignorant ass redneck relatives wouldn't have acted like that. I thought we gave up the fear of sharing swimming pools with 'colored folk' in 1960....maybe I am the ignorant one.

P.S. I am doing ok, thanks for the support ya'll! I'll keep you posted on my mental healthy....maybe I will find some kind of 'crazy meter' widget! LOL!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

What If What If What If

What if all the good 'crazy' (for lack of a better term) things about me disappear?? What if there is no more air guitar to Van Halen in the kitchen? What if there is no more shameless humiliation for the sake of the children's giggles. What if my ballsy attitude disappears? Will I still be able to talk the leg of a stranger I bump into at the store? Will I still be brave and fearless? Will people still see me as 'perky'? I like those things about me.

Rationally I understand that these things are part of who I am....I don't know why I worry about loosing them, but I do.

I made my appointment. The soonest they could see me is July 8th, unless my symptoms get scary. I've never really had scary feelings before....I'm just wacko @:0)~ If I could just turn my brain off for a little while it would be great.

Who knows maybe they will decide it's not what I think it is....maybe I am in early menopause...I know a few women who have lost their marbles over that!

Facing the Music

Well this post was intended to be all about the craziness of trying to pack a family 4 for a small vacation. But I find myself compelled to write about something far more serious. A confession of sorts. I have committed to being open and honest in this blog, perhaps as much for myself as for others. To portray who I really am and the struggles I really deal with. Lately my struggles have been up and down and all around and are a jumbled mess of thoughts, feelings, worries, happiness, shame and insecurity. A thought has been nagging at me for a long time, months, maybe even years....a thought I never wanted to address because I suppose it felt like some kind of admission of failure or defeat. I recently posted this blog about wondering if I had ADD http://ramblingruralrecollections.blogspot.com/2008/06/shes-superfreak.html

And it wasn't until The Flying Circus Mommy over at http://hmansell.blogspot.com/ commented that she suffered similar symptoms and is bi-polar, that I had to face some facts. See I have feared for several years that I may suffer from this. People who see me on a regular basis often comment on my energy, enthusiasm, talkativeness, and creativity.(I get called 'perky' a lot! LOL) What they don't see are the impulses that I struggle with, the racing thoughts, the over stimulation, the ideas that are constantly bombarding my head and the adrenaline that just won't go away. What they also rarely see are the lows....the times I can't get out of bed and won't speak to anyone. The times when I can't even bring myself to shower and I refuse to answer the phone. I have ridden this roller coaster for so long I have become accustomed to it...until recently. I don't know if it is age, hormones or my brain just finally waving the white flag, but I am reaching the end of my rope. It is clear that I am not well. I function well, hold down several jobs and have a tremendous passion for life. But I also deal with the nagging inner voice that is telling me something isn't right inside. The energy I can't get rid of, the times I can't muster a single bit of energy...the times I have to force myself with everything I have to pretend that I am feeling normal and put on the happy face.

Depression medication has helped tremendously with the lows. But the highs, the 'manic' symptoms that I have always had have been extremely exaggerated lately. I changed medications about 6 months ago. For a while I was thrilled to be so "UP" all the time...it was great. It's a fantastic feeling to feel "Wonderful" and "Able to conquer the world", I have been able to accomplish a million things at once and find myself obsessed with devouring knowledge constantly. (I know that doesn't sound like a bad thing, but it's odd...to not be a student and be obsessed with a topic and feel compelled to need to know every single detail about it before I am satisfied and move onto another new obsession.) I am all over the map...all the time. I am coming the realization that perhaps too much of a good thing is hurting me terribly. I won't discuss all of my symptoms here out of respect for my family, but I think it's time I realized that all the relationship problems in my life cannot all be blamed on other people. I am starting to look in the rear view mirror and see that everyone I love is having a hard time keeping up.

I haven't had this discussion with my husband yet. I think it already freaks him out to have a wife with depression and anxiety issues anyway. Mental illness is not something that is openly discussed in these rural areas. It's still the dirty little secret. But my mother suffered terribly from schizoaffective disorder, and I vowed when she died I was going to break that cycle with myself and my own children. I don't want to suffer in silence for fear of embarrassing my family or myself. I am not ashamed. I understand that somethings are beyond my control.

I have huge fears about talking to my doctor about this though. I dread the medication roller coaster of trying to find the "right fit." I've been through this with a friend who suffers from bipolar disorder. She has been instrumental today in helping me come to terms with the fact that this may be a possibility for me, I am glad I found it in me to confess my fears to her. I also dread having the actual "diagnosis" that will follow me forever and be listed on my health insurance etc....but I know I am just going to have stop worrying about those things if I want to get better.

We are leaving for vacation tomorrow so a Dr. visit is going to have to wait until next week, but I am making the appointment today. Now. Before I chicken out. I think I posted this blog to force me to be accountable for my actions and to hopefully serve as a first step in getting better. Maybe I helped somebody else out there who is reading this....I know I am helping myself.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Caught in the act!

Well Mama has had about all the fussin' fighting she could take this morning with all the kids! Fights over toys, computer time, books, imaginary play scenarios etc....it seems like if they don't have something to fight about today they go looking for it!!! I had just about enough this morning and did something I have never done before.....

I strapped on my iPod, cranked it up and started cleaning house. Everytime the kids came running to me tugging away at a toy that they were fighting over, I just smiled, giving them that teenage "I can't hear you..." look as I pointed to my headphones and rocked out to the sounds of Joan Jett and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. I pretty much gave instructions that Miss J had heard enough of the fussin' and if they were going to kill each other there was only one request...no blood on the carpet...they were going to have to figure out a non-messy way of slaughtering one another...yes I jest, don't get your kinckers in a wad!

Eventually they stopped coming to me, realizing that I was going to ignore them at all costs. Finally after about 5 minutes I noticed that I had not been bothered in a while. I hit the pause button to hear only quiet. I checked around and one child was on the computer, and 4 were playing house and one watching TV...just as happy as you please!!! So I turned my tunes back on and finished the dishes. I was about 2 verses into Van Halen's Hot for Teacher, and shakin' my booty all over the place when I took a pause to do a quick flamboyant spin with my air guitar when I saw them.....all of them...lined up in the kitchen, giggling as they watched me rock out at the sink.

Of course I just kept rocking the air guitar and started singing at the top of my lungs, cause I am cool like that! :^)~

Monday, June 23, 2008

Bible Character Tag

Sorry I just got around to this!!! I intended to write a ton more about this but it's been sitting in my unpublished posts for over a week now, I figured I might as well just publish it...God knows I can talk more about it later

Here are the rules:

1. Choose a person in the Bible who most represents who you are.

2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration, scripture or bible story if you like

3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere.

4 .Tag five more blogs with links.

5. And don’t forget to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

p.s. If you are not a religious person, please feel free to use classic literature instead.



I haven't seen this one before, I love it!!



The first Bible character that popped in my mind was Bathsheba. She is a fascinating study in sin and forgiveness. I feel as if the life I have led, the decisions I have made, and even the person I am today is still extremely flawed. But I believe in the power of love and forgiveness. Bathsheba is one of those women who is most famous for her sins, but she gave birth to the wisest man on Earth, King Solomon. What a legacy to leave behind for a woman who carried such a scandalous past. God gave her a great blessing as a mother. I feel very blessed to be the mother of two beautiful sons. They feel like a reward and redemption for all the hard times in my life, forgiveness for my sins....blessings from God.

Ok I am not sure about the tags because not all of my linked bloggers are Christian, or Jewish, or believers in my particular holy book of choice...so I am just gonna say if you are reading this and have a blog.....YOU ARE IT! Leave me a comment and tell me about a religious figure or literary figure you most identify with!

National Lampoons Hickerbilly Vacation!!

Look out St. Louis! The Hicks' are Headed your way!!

Side Note: See around here the term Hillbilly seems very inappropriate for those of us living on flat land, or even mildly rolling hills. True Hillbillies live in the Blue Ridge of Kentucky, the Smoky Mountains and Appalachia. We can only aspire to be as truly redneck as a genuine Hillbilly....but we are definitely Hicks. It seems over the years we have adopted the term Hickerbilly...I suppose to somehow give us our own distinction, God forbid our brand of redneck be confused for somebody else's. LMAO!

The family is packing up this weekend and headed to the city for a two night vacation! This will be our first real vacation since the baby was a newborn...back then all he needed was a bag of diapers and a boob....but he's 2 now, I'm thinking there might be a little more planning required. I have no idea where to begin! We will be going to the Zoo and Grant's Farm and then maybe the Science Center or Magic House. I know we will also try to go to Union Station too, we will just see how much the kids are into the whole sight seeing thing and how much they want to do. This vacation is all about them, so I would say we will let them dictate the adventures.

I dread this in some ways because my husband, God love him, gets very anxious and crabby when he is out of his comfort zone. City life is not the life for him and he doesn't even enjoy a visit. And travelling with the kids is not his cup of tea either. He worries too much. We can be sitting in McDonald's and if the kids start to get ketchup on the table he gets jumpy and overreacts about the difficulties of going anywhere with kids. I on the other hand am much more laid back about such things. My take on those issues is....they are kids.....what do you expect? Grab a napkin and deal with it. I always pack an arsenal of preparedness in my bag, extra clothes, baby wipes, Kleenex, hand sanitizer and mini hand held shower. Ok joking on the last one, but you get the idea. I am prepared for everything! So I don't let much bother me.....hubby on the other hand is a worry wart. This should be fun. I hope it is for the kids' sake anyway. I am determined to keep my mouth shut about any issues irritating me, and try to make this a pleasant adventure for them. Considering how this weekend went, in the comfort of our own home, I think Momma's gonna need to take a booze cruise to Alaska for a few weeks if she survives this little vacation.

Any tips on what to pack for the kids?! I am tempted to just pack a suitcase of clothes and a suitcase of books and toys....but how much could we really need?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Whining Moon

Well after visiting with some girlfriends and checking a few of my favorite blogs, it seems my hubby ain't the only one in the doghouse this weekend!! Around here when things in nature take on a familiar pattern of behavior most old timers will tell you the cause must be the sign of the moon. I think the same goes for men! I really do. (ok maybe for women too....) Our cows tend to calve during certain times of the moon, and if the decisions are left up to Great-Grandpa all crops are planted around the moon signs as well. He is a firm believer in such things. Hunting, fishing, even haircuts are often timed by the moon signs by many of the old timers. There are supposedly certain times you should never try to preserve your garden bounty or butcher your meat.... Perhaps there is something about the waning moon that makes men turn into crab asses....I think I will change the name to the Whining Moon!

Or us girls could band together and enjoy a few bottles of Verde and call it the 'Wining Moon'

We could avoid this whole problem if they could come up with some kind of Midol for men. We could call it Moondol; For that time of the month when you feel bloated, bitchy and belligerent! Or all of us girls could just hit the road for a few days! It looks like we all might need to take the weekend off July 18-20....anybody want to meet up in Jamaica?? Ok, who am I kidding, I could maybe scrounge up enough money for a campsite on Kentucky Lake, but I'd be game! Hey with enough wine, a beach is a beach is a beach.....right?

Untitled Blues

A poem poured out of me this evening that I felt like sharing. Mostly because I know there are partners all across the world feeling these same feelings tonight. This poem probably make things sound bleak...but sometimes that is how it feels. The road to hell is paved with good intentions....and while it's not always hell, somedays it is. I will stay. I will work it out. I will find a way to keep life together, but sometimes the sweat that pours off your brow from the labor of love that is "till death do us part", runs into your eyes and burns. It blurs your vision and causes tears. It hurts.

This poem currently has no title...any ideas?

Warning: Construction Ahead
Reduce speed to avoid damage to self and spirit

The road you are traveling on,
The destination you are intending,
The journey you expected
Is ending.

The map is wrong,
The compass has broken
The engine is stalling
The toll charge is a painful token.

I will travel on.
I will not give up.
Eyes straight ahead….
Ignore the Off Ramp.

Can we write our own map?
Will a star lead us North?
Can we jump start it again?
Am I destined to idle.

Cold and rusted
Along side the road.
Strapped inside, refusing to admit,
Refusing to go.

The passengers inside
Didn’t ask for this ride.
We must journey on.

© J. Stark

Beauty Secrets from a Farm Girl

I have chronically dry skin! Remember my hooker knees? Yeah...well I have hooker feet now too. This always happens in the summer. I wear flip flops or I am barefoot nearly 24/7 and my feet get very rough. I guess it's just a part of aging because I used to have beautiful feet! I have a very long, narrow, size 11 foot with perfectly slanted toes and nicely shaped toenails. These days those feet look like some kind of weird cross blend of an alligator and chicken foot! Uggh!! And my big toes get so hard around the nail that they crack. Deep cracks that cause enough pain to feel like there are nails sticking in them. Not the kind of nails that you use to hang your pictures on the wall in the house....barn nails! Big fat barn nails! If I don't keep them slathered up really good with something they sometimes bleed.

I have decided to share my beauty secret with the world! Great for hooker knees, chicken feet, alligator elbows and cracked heifer nipples:

Yes that picture in the middle is exactly what you think it is.

Directions: For use on cows, thoroughly wash treated teats and udder with separate towels before each milking. To avoid contamination after each milking, bathe the udder with plenty of hot water, strip milk out and dry skin. Apply Bag Balm freely and massage gently with this proven ointment twice daily.

Bag Balm has been the premiere choice of cattle and dairy farmers since 1899, and I am here to tell you it is a family staple in this house....Especially for this heifer!! God knows I can sympathize with the cracked nipples, been there done that a few times! (but don't use Bag Balm on human nipples, it's not sterile...I recommend Lansinoh for nursing mommies) Bag Balm works great on all my dry spots and transforms me from bar trash to heavenly hash! It works great on fresh tattoos too ;0)

For all you city dwellers who can't just run to the farm supply store and get your very own vintage tin of bag balm....just buy lanolin. It's the same thing. Did you know lanolin is made from sheep sweat? Yummy!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

My Life In Music

The house is quiet, hubby is out, the kids are asleep and I have been adding songs to my Playlist for my blog....it has put me in mellow mood, as always seems to happen when I have time to listen to meaningful music. Much like reading an emotionally powerful novel it takes my mind to a place that reflects on the past, the present, the future and all the events in my life related to or described by the lyrics and rhythms in the songs. My family is full of musicians, my father, brothers, uncles, nephews and cousins...guitar pickers, bluegrass lovers, rock and rollers and amazing songwriters are all in the mix. No family gathering ever occurs without guitars and a foot stomping celebration of our roots.

I had the urge tonight to post snippets of song lyrics that are the timeline of my life, but this blog would be 5 pages long. Then it occurred to me to just post the song titles. They are all on my playlist, anyone interested could just find the song and listen. However, this blog is really just for me. I don't expect anyone to be all that interested. I just have the need to purge this....there are no words of my own flowing from my brain tonight. No poetry. Nothing new...only things that have already been said. Only the words of these songs, stolen from others and applied to the realities of my life. Songs so significant in my life that many of them stop me in my tracks.

The first being Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd, which describes the descent of my mother's sanity and the feelings I have surrounding her loss. The song was written for Syd Barrett, the bands original singer and songwriter. His friends and bandmates watch him slip into the depths of mental illness at the beginning of their success....they have captured the feeling of loss so wonderfully. I want this song played at my funeral someday. "We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year" Those words seem to sum up my mother daughter experience. Even now that she is gone, I still feel that....year after year.

The second is For You by Stained. I hope that when I my sons are teenagers I have the sense to listen to this song and remember my own childhood. This song just embodies everything I felt as a teenager of a broken home, a victim of abuse, a lost child trying desperately to find a way out of the darkness that was my reality at the time.

The third is Not a Pretty Girl by Ani Difranco. This woman is such an amazing songwriter, every word she puts to paper touches me on some level, but this song is who I am. Once I found myself, became comfortable in my own skin, and decided to forge my own path in life, this is who I became. From the moment I first heard this song I felt like Ani had somehow reached into my soul and pulled out my inner feelings about who I am. Yes I am pretty, or pretty enough...but I don't care about being a "pretty" girl. I want to be the girl you remember because she said or wrote something that affected you in some way...not because she is attractive.

My feelings on politics, government and human rights? Blowing in the Wind by Bob Dylan. 40 years later this song still holds a powerful message that I wish every human on Earth could take to heart.

My family, my roots, my heritage - Leave This Long Haired Country Boy Alone by Charlie Daniels. These are my father's people. Hillbillies. Country Trash. River Rats. Guitar Pickers and Whiskey Drinkers. I love them fiercely.

The soundtrack of those family gatherings often included songs like The Ballad of Curtis Lowe by Lynyrd Skynyrd, Copperhead Road by Steve Earl and dozens of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Merle Haggard, George Jones and Willie Nelson songs.

My experience with aging - Outlaw Women by Hank Jr. These are my girls. One of a kind. Loud, rowdy, strong, independent and opinionated. Take it or leave it. We have gone from being girls to women, girlfriends to wives, and kids to mothers. There are a handful of us who are still a tight knit group and Hank says it all about who we are.

The memories of being young and free as a teenager...ok don't laugh....Good Ole Boys by Waylon Jennings. Yes it is the theme song to the Dukes of Hazard, but more than that to me, it describes life for the youth of my generation growing up in rural small town America. We got our kicks taking risks and evading the law. We never meant any harm, never created any violence or vandalism, we were just kids with nothing better to do but drink beer, race cars, get crazy and be young. Another song that is an accurate description for my generation of country boys and girls is Fortunate Son by CCR, once again a song that was written for our parents generation seems to hold true, even for my own children.

My life today Small Town by John Mellencamp. He says it all.....

All of these songs....feelings captured in the words written by phenomenal artists. Writers I could only dream of being comparable to. They speak to me in ways that Wordsworth and Lord Byron will never be able to do.

Kiss My Grits!

This is a public service announcement from your friendly (usually) middle of nowhere tavern waitress (and cook).

A few dining tips:

When you know that the kitchen is the size of a broom closet, have a little patience. Unless you want bloody chicken and raw catfish, please understand that it takes time to cook your food properly. If you want fast food, haul your butt to town and go to McDonald's.

If you order an appetizer, eat it all, then order more...don't cancel the order just as the cook is putting it on a plate. It's not our fault you've drank enough beer to keep a sailor drunk for a week and now your tummy is full....EAT IT! Or at least pay for it.

If you are sitting with a party of 12 people and your orders come out 4 and 5 at a time, try to consider that the counter space the cooks are working with is only a 5' x 3' space...we are doing the best we can.

Don't hassle the waitress for your 6th beer of the night while she is writing down someone else's order at another table.

Don't order your burger like this: "Double cheeseburger, drag it through the garden, but skip the pickle and onion". You think you're being cute, but all you have done is cause me to write down "loaded" then have to scratch that out...Just say Lettuce and Tomato and save us all a lot of grief.

If the waitress (me) is drinking at 6 p.m. leave her a good tip, she's had a hard night already.

If the waitress (me) is not drinking and it's 9 p.m. leave her a good tip, she's been too busy to even open a beer.

If your food comes out wrong, say something! Don't punish the waitress by tipping badly. Chances are the cook (often me) screwed it up...she is human. Give her the opportunity to correct the problem, that is her job.

If your food comes out wrong, don't leave a crappy tip for your waitress (me), it's not her fault the cook is a dumbass.

I just got off work at the tavern...can you tell? LOL! I cook most Saturday nights, but I waitress a lot too...the above is my advice from the people working on the other side of the bar. If I could I would lay down the same rules there as I do for my daycare:

Be Nice
Use Good Manners
Wait Your Turn

But I have learned, especially since I have been doing this job, that service work...is shit work! Sometimes people that I wait on at the bank, and are regular customers there, treat me like crap at the tavern. Sometimes I wonder if they even realize I am the same person. You would be surprised how many customers don't really even look you in the eye. So here's what I have to say to those people, in the words of Alice:

Kiss My Grits!!!

Cherry Picking Disaster

I had a frightening adventure on Thursday! I took my children and my daycare children to the park for a while in the morning and on the way home I decided to stop at my neighbors, the one with all the rhubarb. I knew that more rhubarb would be ready by now and he had told me that one of his cherry trees was ripe for the picking. Fresh cherry pie sounded fantastic and his farm is lots of fun for the kids so we stopped in. They have kittens and a cute rat terrier puppy the kids like to play with. So I got to work while they frolicked in the yard.

After picking what amounted to another gallon of rhubarb, I headed to the cherry trees and the kids followed. "Johnny" my special needs child was carrying the little puppy and was just in hog heaven! He and that puppy had become fast friends and I was enjoying watching them as I was picking. I had probably picked about 1/2 gallon of cherries when I noticed Johnny carry the puppy over to this big white wooden box sitting in the yard. I am oblivious to the danger of this, not even realizing what the box contains as I am picking and munching on cherries. Johnny sets the puppy on top of the box and is petting him and playing when all of the sudden I hear the puppy start yelping as he jumps off the box and starts running through the yard. Honestly my first instinct is to think Johnny unintentionally hurt the puppy, he can be rough without realizing it sometimes. But when I look over I see Johnny walking towards me. He has a strange look on his face.....normally his face is fixed with a great big smile that rarely leaves....but there is something showing on his face in addition to his permanent smile....fear...pain and then I saw the tears! I've never seen Johnny cry before. Ever! I wasn't even sure he was capable. He has a very high pain tolerance and is rarely upset about anything. But these were clearly tears. My heart was pounding as I dropped the cherries and I ran to him and then I could hear it.....

BUZZZZZZZZZZZ.............He had placed the puppy on the lid of a bee hive!! There were bees trapped in his shirt! I ripped his shirt off and immediately ordered all the kids to run to the van! Johnny is allergic to bees...not anaphalactic type allergic, but he gets very sick. There were multiple stings on him and I was terrified what this might do to him. I almost ran into my neighbor's house and called 911, but knew his house was in such a remote location we'd have a better chance of getting ambulance to my house, which was only 1 mile away and located on a blacktop road. (ambulances have been known to take over an hour out here) I wasn't sure how serious his reaction might be to the stings and I was nearly crying myself as we flew home. Once at my house I decided not to call an ambulance, he had very little swelling and no difficulty breathing, but I called his mom right away to see what she thought I should do. Benadryl took care of him for a while, it was only about an hour before he was up and playing and his happy usual self....but for a while I was just heartsick for this poor boy. The kids all chipped in and loved on him and hugged on him and kissed him on the head. My 4 year old told him as he kissed his head "Don't worry Johnny your Mommy will be here soon and make you good and new..."

Johnny didn't make it to my house on Friday, his mom said he vomited in his bed overnight and she found more stings on his legs. I felt so terrible! He's a farm boy just like my kids are, and fortunately his parents are understanding about pitfalls that come with rural living...but my heart still ached for him. Once he fell and knocked out 7 teeth and didn't cry (not at my house), so that tells you what kind of pain tolerance he has. For him to by crying for so long and so hard had to indicate how painful all his stings were. We still don't have a total count of the stings but I would imagine there were 8-12. Poor Baby!!!!!!!!

Note to self: Stay away from the white box!!!!

P.S. My neighbor felt really bad too for never telling me about the hive, it never occurred to him. I called to check on the puppy later that night, it had been stung so bad I was afraid it might die. For a split second it crossed my mind to toss him in the van too, but I figured Johnny's survival was of the utmost importance.....for the record, the puppy is fine now, but he had a rough day.

Friday, June 20, 2008

The New Look

So what do you think? It is certainly more fitting for me than the black....I threw out my Goth look back in high school...although I used to rock the black fingernails and the combat boots once upon a time. Who'd a thunk I'd be knee deep in wheat fields and cannin' jam when I got all growed up :0)~

Sorry so short...it's been a crazy week. I promise a nice long nonsensical blog sometime this weekend!

Blog Operas

Some people have TV shows that they look forward to every week, or even every day. They follow the lives of their favorite characters and hope to see certain story lines develop in one direction or another. Since I have small children it's damn near impossible for me to watch TV. I miss it sometimes, but other times I am so busy it doesn't really matter. I have a hard time sitting for an entire 30 minute program anyway. But thanks to the DVR I intentionally pause a show, go do something else for about 15 minutes and then come back to it...this way I can fast forward through all the commercials. (Yeah I definately have ADD ~ LOL!) Before the days of DVR I was a chronic channel flipper. The buttons on my remote were always worn bare. I can not sit and watch a commercial. The downside to be a channel flipper is I would almost always forget what I was originally watching and then miss out on the end of something....ok another ADD sign ya think :0)~

My point is, now that I never have access to the TV anyway, BLOGS have become my drama of choice. I find myself looking forward to new posts everyday and wondering what my favorite characters are up to. I will be laying in bed thinking:

"I wonder if Shannon has come back from her Dad's yet and I wonder if her husband did any laundry?"

"I wonder how the new baby is doing on the Distelfink Farm?"

"What is a piecake anyway? I wonder if Dee and ES will post the recipe?"

"I wonder if 3rd Lady wants to have children?"

"How in the heck do the Bouffard's raise 9 kids and still have any sanity when I am crazy just raising 2?"

"Wouldn't it be awesome to live on an island like Liz in Michigan, and did I win any tulips?"

"Mum-me does such a great job remembering all those funny conversations she has with her kids...I need to write more stuff down!"

"Who is Mr. X anyway and who is his publisher?"

On on and on it goes. Ya'll are my entertainment and inspiration these days! And everyday as soon as I have a free moment I tune in to see the latest developments! Who would have thought 15 years ago when I couldn't miss an episode of Beverly Hills 90210 that today my sole form of entertainment would be real people, no scripts, no plots, just real people living real lives....I love it!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

She's a Superfreak!

I've been hearing a lot about Adult ADD lately. I have long suspected that I have problems with this. So I looked up the disorder and took a quiz....Good Lord Almighty!! I am a classic case.

How often do you have trouble wrapping up the final details of a project, once the challenging parts have been done?

How often do you have difficulty getting things in order when you have to do a task that requires organization?

How often do you have problems remembering appointments or obligations?

How often do you fidget or squirm with your hands or your feet when you have to sit down for a long time?

How often do you feel overly active and compelled to do things, like you were driven by a motor?


I had to answer OFTEN and VERY OFTEN to every single one of these questions.....Holy Shit! It's official, I am a basket case!

The site went on to be sure and inform your doctor about other symptoms you may need treatment for such as anxiety and insomnia....well I already take drugs for all that!

I am often beating myself up for forgetting things, and I often get lost in conversations if there are long pauses. My husband is notorious for taking an hour to tell a story. He pauses in between sentences, like most good ole country boys....well 2 seconds of silence and I have already forgotten what we are talking about. I always attributed that to all the weed I smoked in college....:0)

On the other side of that coin, I often talk so fast sometimes I can literally see peoples wheels spinning inside their head trying to keep up with me. I often find myself apologizing for "blabbing on and on..." The fact that I don't talk to very many grown ups in a 24 hour period doesn't help that much either!

Oh and I am so disorganized it's not even funny. It drives my MIL nuts! When she came over to help with the babies after they were born, she would help with laundry...she would go through all of our dressers and organize the clothes. I never fold underwear...what's the point...I mean are a few wrinkles in your knickers really a cause for concern? I just toss them in the drawer. Well she would go through and fold all of our drawers of underwear...cracked me up! Anyway, all my paid bills are just tossed in a box, my tupperwear stuff is just thrown in a big drawer, my pots and pans are just tossed in the cabinet and there are piles of things here and there of things that need to be sorted out, like magazines and newspapers. I am just a scatterbrain. Maybe ADD is the reason after all. Either that or they have finally created an excuse for all of us dipshits to use to explain our erratic behavior. I think all I have accomplished is confirming that perhaps there this is a specific reason I am such a dingbat! :0)

I found this too:
Those with ADD also may have trouble with impulsiveness, self-monitoring (knowing when behavior is inappropriate), distractibility, sleeping too much or too little, and a short attention span. However, when interested in something they can stay highly, almost obsessively, focused, according to the ADDA.

Oh that is Me to a T! If I am interested in something, for instance all the FDLS hub-bub, which then led me to a fascination with polygamy, which has then led me to a fascination with survivalists etc....I just get stuck on something until something else interesting and exciting takes over. And I am a chronic underachiever. I made average grades in high school, but scored with the Valedictorian on ACT tests....my teachers always wrote this on my report cards "If Jada would stop talking and pay attention in class she would be much more successful in her studies..." LMAO!

I have always blamed my disorganization and oddness to being artistic...

But I think once again I have found a quiz that confirms it...I'm a freak

She's freaky and I like It!
Justin Timberlake

Personality Test for a Total Flake!....

Big Five Test Results
Extroversion (90%) very high which suggests you are overly talkative, outgoing, sociable and interacting at the expense too often of developing your own individual interests and internally based identity.
Accommodation (60%) moderately high which suggests you are, at times, overly kind natured, trusting, and helpful at the expense of your own individual development (martyr complex).
Orderliness (36%) moderately low which suggests you are, at times, overly flexible, random, scattered, and fun seeking at the expense of structure, reliability, work ethic, and long term accomplishment.
Emotional Stability (76%) high which suggests you are very relaxed, calm, secure, and optimistic.
Inquisitiveness (66%) moderately high which suggests you are intellectual, curious, imaginative but possibly not very practical.
Take Free Big Five Personality Test
personality tests by similarminds.com



Hmm I would say just about all of this is absolutely true. I don't feel that my work ethic is affected by my overall flakiness, as I have never been without at least 1 job since the day I was old enough to work and I have never been fired.

But it pretty much sums up Happy Go Lucky Little Me...with a bit of a scatterbrain streak...which would explain why I just mistook my Ambien pill for my morning Cymbalta pill....Aaaauuugggh!!! Not sure what to do. I have 7 kids here and I am feeling like I am starting to see double already! This is going to be an inerstn=ing day. I have tried and tried to vomit the pill up but I can't, and now I fear it's too late because I am already having that lounging at the barstool slanted over 'somebody give me ride home' kind of feeling. Trouble is I am home with a housefull of kids. Oh this shall be interesting! The babysitter is enebriated..... I have to stop writing now because it looks there are 3 of ya...and if I keep going this way I'm liabel to think you are starting to look pretty cute...forget I am married and invite you all over for swingers party! LOL! I hope I survive today!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Kids say the darndest things....

So Vacation Bible School has rolled around once again and the nearly 100 youngsters in our Parish are having a blast. I love teaching VBS! I love teaching period, someday I will finish my Bachelor's degree and get my teaching certificate. It is what I was born to do...after being a mother of course.

I teach the 6 year old class and I have heard some of the funniest things this week. Some were not so funny...more like shocking...One comment came about while I was going around the room asking the kids the way their parents showed them that they loved them (hugs, treats, storybooks, special trips etc....) one girl says very matter of factly "My mom's a drunk, but she still cares!!" Auuughhh! What was I supposed to say??? I know her parents, who are divorced and she lives with her dad and wonderful step-mom. I just said "Yes she cares VERY much!"...Good Lord I was not prepared for that one.

Another one that was just hilarious...to me anyway...at the end of the night we were going to say goodnight to our newly made "Puppies" (made from socks I stuffed with rice and sewed shut, then glued on eyes and furry ears etc...the were wrapped in old baby blankets, the kids were in LOVE!) and I asked them what their Mom's and Dad's said to them each night before they went to bed? Of course I am expecting, "I love you," "Sleep tight," "Sweet Dreams" etc....the first thing I hear is someone yelling out "BE QUIET!!!"....I just died laughing! Yes I suppose most of us do have to say that on a nightly basis huh?

But the best one came from my own son, who is almost 4. He informed me that "Jesus is Uncle Frank!"....who is far from Jesus let me tell you...I died laughing thinking 'why would he think such a thing?' and then I remembered that all the images my son sees of Christ are of a man with long hair, and a beard, much like Uncle Frank! LMAO!!! Hubby and I just laughed and laughed!!! Someday the boy and I will have to sit down and I will inform him that the modern day versions of Christ are probably far from his accurate appearance anyway...but I guess that is a discussion that can wait a few years!

Monday, June 16, 2008

More Pictures of Illinois Flooding

I just can't help but post more pics as they are coming in of the flooding nearby. These are some arial shots that have been psoted on http://www.stevehardesty.com/ today. Pardon the red marks, those are typed descriptions, but Blogger reduces the pics so much you can't see it.

You aren't hearing about this on your evening news tonight, but the people here will never forget the Flood of 08








Forgotten Flood Victims

There has been a slight falling out in the family....something I am not comfortable discussing publicly yet, but one that I suppose you can file under "Why can't I ever just keep my big mouth shut!" Somebody said something hurtful to me, I told my husband, my husband defended me in a fierce and rather disrespectful manner (ok it's his mom....) and so now they are not speaking. It made for a potentially awkward Father's Day....but it actually turned out wonderfully for us. He woke up yesterday and decided we were going to spend the day just US...the 4 of us. He wanted to got to Evansville IN, about a 2 hour drive, and take the boys to Chuck E. Cheese. We had an awesome time, just by ourselves! And hubby and I talked and talked and felt closer than we had in a long time. I told him not many guys would have done what he did for me, even if I don't necessarily agree how he went about it. Anyhoo hope you all had a fabulous Father's Day!

For those not familiar with Chuck E. Cheese, it is a Pizza place for kids full of games and little rides and activities for kids (and adults :0) The boys had so much fun!

On our way home we decided to take a different route to see the flood waters in Lawrence County IL. You keep hearing about Iowa on your morning news, but nobody is telling you about this little piece of the Earth that has been ravaged. A main water line has broken somewhere underneath this floodwater, and 4 towns are without water....FOUR TOWNS! Our local dairy truckers are hauling truckload after truckload of water instead of milk to try and keep these people sanitary and hydrated. So if you price of milk suddenly goes up, maybe the local news should take a look at the crisis here....


I did not have my camera with me, but what we saw was just amazing and horrifying. Houses underwater and farmland just disappeared into lakes. Dozens of levees have broken along the Wabash and Embarrass River's to create this disaster. There were cars lined up for miles pulled over on the highway gawking at the sight. There were speed boats and jet skis in the flood waters that used to be fertile farm fields, helping victims retrieve items from their homes and surveying the damage. Road signs peeked out just above the water line, indicating that this water was at least 8-10 feet deep. I have found some pictures online that show the flooding my neighbors are enduring. They continue to need your prayers. I think perhaps because this is not a densely populated region, it is not getting media coverage, but these flooded fields are going to affect everyone's pocket book very soon. Much of this corn is grown for ethanol, and often our soy beans are used for bio-diesel as well. More pain at the pump.










Photos are property of Steve Hardesty, please see this site for more photos he has taken of this disaster http://www.stevehardesty.com/

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Nosepicking Nonsense

I was filling out one of those MySpace surveys they other day, you know the ones that let you be completely narcissistic and juvenile for 10 minutes and reveal all the silly unimportant aspects about your life....This one wasn't too bad, I would venture to guess that it was written by a grown up and not an 8th grader. One of the questions was:

If someone were to produce a Broadway Musical based on your life, what would it be called? My answer - Nosepicking Nonsense.

It was an answer that just popped into my head, but certainly seemed to be appropriate, especially now with this crappy cold I have. Have you ever had a scab in your nose that you couldn't leave alone? Yeah...you know that kind that pull at the skin of your nose every time you move your mouth. The kind that brings tears to your eyes if you bump your nose the wrong way. The kind that compels you to dig your fingernail into the membranes of you nasal passage in order to rip it off, causing that horrible painful sensation that ultimately results in 10 minutes of relief and a few seconds of bleeding until the scab reforms and once again you are walking around with your finger in your nose....

This is what I look like today.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Hari Krishna in the Shaggin' Wagon

Well whether it's right or wrong I am going to blog about something extremely personal. Partly because I am just mad as hell and need to vent and also perhaps there is a man out there who can give some insight as to WTF is going on with my husband! LOL! They say women are complicated....give me a break! If there is something wrong with me it will usually coming pouring out of my mouth within 15 minutes...I am like Old Faithful in that aspect...and I can't ever keep my damn mouth shut, my husband on the other hand is like a bottle of cheap champagne...once you finally get the damn cork off you are gonna be sorry cause it's fast, furious and it doesn't even taste good! So here's the scoop.

Hubby and I have been fussin' and grouchy with each other for weeks. Of course I am of the opinion that it's him being the butthole, but I know when you throw in some PMS, a nasty cold, and insomnia, I ain't no picnic either! But we sat down several weeks ago and tried to have an adult conversation about it and clear the air. He states that the biggest problem with him is always worrying about money. We do live very modestly, and I try my best to pinch a penny where ever we can. He hates living this way. Part of the reason we are on such a tight budget is because we both made the decision for me to be a stay at home mom. He was adamant about it, and I was grateful to have a husband who supported my desire to do so. However, as most of you SAHM's can attest..it's hell on the wallet. So I hold down several different money making ventures that still allow me to be home all but a few hours a week.

So anyhoo we talk about this, I once again offer to go back to work (we have this same 'conversation' about once every 3 months), which he refuses to even hear. He always says he's not meaning to make me feel like I need to go back to work when he worries about money. Well a week ago a friend of ours mentioned to me about a job opening at the local Ameren station. This is a high paying, cushy benefits job. He told me to pass the info on to my hubby, which I did, knowing full well my husband will never leave his current job because he is terrified of change....terrified!!

So all week last week he has been an ass....and I have been sick, so I have very little patience for it ya know? Arrrggghhhh!! Finally it comes to boil last night and I just let him have it about being an asshole all week and he spits out that he has been upset all week because I want him to change jobs. All I did was pass on the info....honestly once I mentioned it, it was out of my mind and I forgot all about it. I knew he would never take that job! So he's going on and on about me bringing up this job change when "you should know I can't (won't) do that"....so I tell him the only reason I even brought up the subject was because he told me not two weeks ago that all of his stress and worry and bitchiness comes from money concerns. This job would almost double his income.....it was worth a mention right? I don't give a shit where he works as long as we can feed our kids. I am not one of those gals who has a need for nice things...I could care less. I'll drive my 1999 mini-van until 2020 if she'll keep chugging along! Hell I might even get a tye dye paint job and make her into a shaggin' wagon :0) And I am of the opinion that he should know me better by now.....All I have ever wanted is for him to be happy. If he decided to toss out his mechanics tools and throw on some burlap sacks and sing "Hari Krishna" at the airport I'd be right there beside him, barefoot and grinnin'.

So I say to him, I feel like I can't win for loosing. You worry about money, I offered a solution. You take the solution and turn it into something I am demanding of you, and then you obsess about it for a week and treat me like mud for it...when it was an idea you created in your head. I never once said that I wanted him to change jobs. All I said was "Oh so and so said to tell you there is a job opening at Ameren if you were interested..." Then it was far from my mind after that......but he assumed that I was thinking about 24/7 and just waiting for him to go grab and application.....and he's mad at me for 7 days for an assumption. He admitted that I was right and he did apologize...but I am still mad...

I don't understand men.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Survival of the Smartest

So I am sick as a dog and really should be in bed, but instead here I am talking to you...whoever you are....

I have come across a blog that I find fascinating! It started with my fascination about polygamy and reading several blogs of Americans who are living this lifestyle. I stumbled across a website that combines the poly lifestyle with something else that fascinates me, Survivalists. Not the doomsday type survivalists, but the realists, the people that realize our economy may not hold out forever and disasters like Katrina and 911 may put us in the position to be self sufficient at some point in time, especially those of us isolated from any metropolitan area. They are the "Bama Girls" and they call their blog The Self Sustaining Kitchen It is filled with ideas about how to recycle items, can, dehydrate and store food, as well as general country living things. Here is the link....I will add it to my blogroll too http://www.bamagalskitchen.blogspot.com/

This site got me thinking about something I made a mental note about years ago. After 911 happened, I remember thinking that I should really try to be prepared in the event of a disaster like this. I look now at the flooding going on in our neighboring counties and realize the cost of food and supplies is going to increase dramatically because of this. In fact much of the farmland that is flooded right now is used to grow corn for ethanol production....so once again that is going to impact fuel prices, which affects us all across the nation. On the flip side of that, in the last decade wheat production has gone down because so many farmers here began to grow more corn, due to the demand for ethanol....this is why your bread costs so much more lately, especially healthy whole grain bread. When you consider my family of 4, who generally lives paycheck to paycheck, or damn close to it, that is a scary prospect. Higher food costs and fuel costs could sink us in a hurry. We already have a lot of trouble with people robbing fuel from the farm tanks and even vehicles parked in the driveways, most of us have guns handy to ward of varmits like skunks, coons and possum...but they are handy for theives too! There may come a point in time when we are forced to protect ourselves from theft of food and other supplies as well if things continue this way.

Anyhoo, it just got me thinking. It is a subject I am sure I will write about more, I just had to share this little gem that I found. It is funny and informative. Just 2 wives and their hubby living the country life, much like me, minus the other wife.

For now I need to get to bed, even my fingers ache. I hate being sick. It makes me whiny....and I hate it when people whine!

Damn It all to Heck!

Didn't my last post say I was sick and tired....yeah...well now I am literally sick and tired. What started out as a mild allergy attack has rapidly evolved into a summer cold, complete with hacking cough, aching body and throbbing head!!! A visit to the Strawberry Patch resulted in 24 pints of jam and an allergy attack!! I hate it when this happens. I am rarely ever sick, and frankly I don' t have time to be!! Ever! But especially this weekend. I was supposed to waitress tomorrow night, but have found a replacement (thanks A!), work at the Bank Saturday morning, cook at the tavern Saturday night and then Sunday will be spent preparing for Vacation Bible School, which is one of my favorite summertime activities! I always teach the Kindergarten class...they are my favorite. That is just the perfect age! Old enough to understand, still innocent enough to be amazed. Everything I do is great to them! I just love it. Now I fear I will be hacking all over them and too miserable to enjoy it!!! Oh and I have a church meeting tonight too regarding a different activitiy I am involved in. I am too busy to be sick damn it!! Lord I am such a foul mouthed church lady.....:0)

Ignorance Always Prevails - Warning Foul Language!!

Ok, can I just say I am sick and tired, and I mean sick and f'n tired of getting the e-mails about Barak Obama that are nothing more than racist tirades masked as concern for the welfare of America. One of my Aunts is by far the worst at passing these along. I have probably pissed her off this morning because I sent her an e-mail and told her to check her facts, along with a link to http://www.snopes.com/ I never was one who could keep my mouth shut :0)

I can honestly say this has nothing to do with my political beliefs, but everything to do with the integrity in journalism and the political process. Today's e-mail (they seem to be coming daily) states the following "facts"

Obama is an illegitimate child because his father was not divorced from his first wife before he married Obabma's mother

Despite Obama's claims that his father was an atheist, he was in fact Muslim

The e-mail goes on to show many many pictures of Obama visiting with family members in Kenya along with captions that seem to show nothing other than him enjoying his visit and supporting his culture. The e-mail ends with the following:

SINCE CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN, AND THE NEW YORK TIMES WILL NOT SHOW THESE PICTURES, AND WE WONDER WHY NOT, WILL YOU FORWARD THESE TO THE (APPROXIMATE NUMBER) 200 MILLION AMERICANS WHO HAVE INTERNET ACCESS? THANK YOU.

Give me a fuckin' break!! Those pictures did nothing but show this man on a family visit. How is his pride in his culture any different than our "German Beer Fests" "Mardi Gras" "St. Patrick's Day" "Valentines Day".....These are all celebrations of white culture I suppose they don't count. White people supporting their heritage isn't dangerous...but God forbid an African American support his culture and family history!! If I go to Germany and trace the steps of my ancestors and meet with distant relatives, does that make me a racist pig who believes whites are superior. Fuck no it doesn't. This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. And it pisses me off! Have we stooped to such a low that an intelligent, free thinking American citizen cannot display pride in his roots and aspire to become the President of the United States? Are we not the melting pot of the world? Wasn't this country founded on the principle that any man, from any land could come here and live in freedom?

Oh and let's just address the facts listed in this e-mail and compare....

He might be an illegitimate child. SFW??? In this day and age, how many people also fall under this category? I mean are we stooping that low? The fact that this detail of his life could in any way sway someones determination of his ability to be a leader just makes me cringe in shame at the ignorance of some of my fellow Americans

His dad is Muslim...maybe Good God people, has the Bush Administration scared ya'll stupid?? Do you think that every Muslim individual on this Earth is a terrorist? Get a life! And get an education while you are at it! It's one thing to have an educated opinion on something, but if you were educated on this matter you would see how ridiculous and contradicting this whole idea is.

And lets just lay out some of my own dirty laundry here to compare and contrast. If we are going to be judged by the sins of our fathers here's where I fit it in:

My Dad has been married 5 times
He has 3 children by 2 different women
He was in and out of my life during my childhood
He never paid child support
He is an alcoholic
He has been in prison twice
He drives a lawn mower to the bar because he no longer has a driver's license
He is a mess

So what is your opinion of me now? If you have been reading my blog and now have learned these facts about my father, has your opinion of me changed? Does the fact that I still love my father despite his shortcomings make you think that I am in some way a dangerous person, or derelict in my responsibilities as he tends to be? If so you can kiss off ;0) But I would venture to bet any intelligent person reading this, especially those who have been reading my blog for quite some time, do not hold me accountable for the sins of my father. So why is Barak Obama's father's possible religious beliefs of any relevance to his campaign??

Oh but my FAVORITE Obama FACT is that when he gets in office he is going to send all of our money to his Mother Country .....good one....nice....scare the shit out of every little old lady in the country....First off, in my opinion, Africa could use a little more support, from the world in general!!! But do you really think our government would stand for someone just pumping all our tax dollars into another country? What happened to democracy? Is Obama immune from impeachment...NO! Why is it so easy to scare the citizens of our country, especially my small town country folk, family and neighbors??? Why do people just believe all the lies that are spoon fed to them from ignorant people who talk straight out of their ass rather than actually researching FACTS? Is it so much easier to believe a lie than put forth the energy it would require to form your own opinion by spending 10 minutes looking up the truth for yourself?

For the record I would be just as pissed if these type of lies kept hitting my e-mail about John McCain. I don't care who you are voting for as long as you exercise your right to do so...but at least vote based on facts!

For the record...the man I described, my father, is a my Aunt's oldest brother. I guess she ain't runnin' for President anytime soon either! LMAO!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Neighborly Neighborhood

Well the rains have subsided, for now. Forecasters are telling us more rain is on the way tomorrow...but for now sunny days are here again. People in the county just east of us are still struggling with flooding today as many more levees broke on the Wabash River yesterday. My prayers are with them.

I intended to blog about this subject several days ago but the flooding was occupying more of my thoughts. The subject of neighbors. It's one of my favorite things about living in the country. Out here you don't have neighbors in your view every time you step outside. In fact to see my nearest neighbor you have to scan the horizon over a 60 acre field, and peer through a patch of trees to even see the house. On the other hand my neighbors are always quick to lend a hand when needed. If your tractor is stuck in the mud, your truck won't start or well has run dry, your neighbors are the people you can count on to help you. We also enjoy sharing the bounty this time of year. One of my neighbors heard me mention recently that I love rhubarb but have never gotten around to planting any of my own. He told me to come over and get as much as I wanted from his rhubarb patch. I took him up on his offer and came home with what equaled to be 2 gallons once it was chopped. I returned the favor by making a rhubarb pie for him and his wife. He then shared with me several bunches of sage, oregano and mint from his garden that I have hanging in my garage to dry. This favor was returned with a batch of my fresh strawberry jam. I enjoy this give and take so much. It's that human connection that it sometimes lacking in today's society. He and I don't know each other all that well, but as we swap more and more items from each other's garden and kitchen we have formed a neighborly bond that has grown into a family affair. His wife is going to teach me how to quilt, and my children have fallen in love with their dog. I am hoping to learn to make home made wine from him, and he has promised another batch of rhubarb will be ready by weeks end. I haven't yet thought of what to bring him in exchange. I hate showing up empty handed. Perhaps a loaf of home made bread ~ to go with the jam from the last visit.

Another neighbor has offered to give me some butterfly bushes. She has told me to come dig them up anytime I wanted. I might do that this week. I will have to send some jam to her as well. She has sent home made pasta sauce and fresh vegetables and fruit in summer's past. They are good to us.

I buy my eggs from another neighbor, for $1 a dozen, and they have even been kind enough to hand deliver! There have been times when they know I am stuck at home with several kids....rather than trouble me to load everyone up, they probably spend every bit of my 'egg money' on gasoline just to deliver them. But I watch their daughter often and they are grateful for my service to them, just as I am grateful for their neighborly gestures.

I have wonderful neighbors.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

24 Pints of Sweet and 3 Inches of Sour

Since we were rained out (or should I say rained in) I put up 24 pints of strawberry jam and 5 quarts of rhubarb, made 2 rhubarb pies and a strawberry cake...with a house full of kids. Let's just say this did nothing for the 'diet'!!!

We got another 3 inches + of rain last night. The road just east of us (about 1/4 mile) is completely washed out by the creek that runs along our property. I heard on the news this morning the the county just east of us, Lawrence County, is being evacuated. The levees broke last night along the Wabash River. So now not only is much of Jasper County under water but now Lawrence County is being rapidly flooded. All residents are being asked to evacuate immediately. I cannot imagine such a nightmare. How would you pick and choose what to take with you, knowing you might loose everything. I suppose my photos would be the most important things.....

I live in a tri-county triangle, I can literally walk on foot to Jasper County to the North and Clay County to the West, I live in Richland County. We have been very fortunate here so far. Although it's hard to say yet how this is going to affect the harvest this fall. My family had not yet put any beans out, so that is a good thing, although it's getting late in the season. Corn may not fare so well this year. I have a feeling 2008 is going to be one of those years that become legend amongst the small rural communities around here. Last year we had a drought so badly that we actually ended up buying hay from Texas to feed the cattle....farming is such a gamble. Last year we were begging for rain....now we just want it to stop!! It looks like we will now get a break from the rains, at least until the weekend comes.

Thank you for all the prayers. The people in my neighboring counties still need them....if the Wabash River gets loose, as it seems to have done in Lawrence County, it will be horrifying.

Monday, June 9, 2008

How High's the Water Mama?

Ten feet high and risin'
Johnny Cash

Well add insult to injury today, it is now raining and we are expected to get 2-3 inches this afternoon. The ground is so saturated that there is no way it can soak in and the river is going to once again burst at the seams, expanding even further than it already has. As I am writing this I can hear the rain pounding my windows. My weather radio is sounding alarm after alarm regarding severe thunderstorms and flash flooding. Fortunately for us we live in a higher elevation, but we have been flooded in here before, there is a creek running along our property that has swollen and trapped us on our hill. More worrisome is the cattle, which sometimes do not seem to have the good sense to get to higher ground or refuse to leave their babies behind who might be trapped. Retrieving them after the waters have subsided is a gruesome task.

My concern is with the families to the North of us. They have been hit so hard, this is going to hurt them badly. Very badly.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Flood of 2008

The storms I wrote about in my last entry ended up producing 9 inches of rain about 15 miles north of us, causing an entire county to close all roads and homes to be sandbagged. Fields of freshly planted corn and beans now stand as lakes with waters as deep as 10 feet near the Embarras River. It is a frightening sight, one that has never been seen at this magnitude in history. The national news made a minor mention of the flooding in Indiana this morning, but not a word was spoken about Jasper County Illinois. Here is what we saw from the highway:

This family's home (above pics) is sandbagged, we saw them hauling much of their belongings out on car trailers last night, I didn't have my camera with me at the time. It was sad. Hopefully the waters won't rise any higher, or they may loose their home.

If you look closely in the pic above you can see a stop sign on the left. Follow the high line wires across the picture...this is a road, completely submerged in several feet of water. We estimated that out in the middle of the 'lake' we were only seeing the top half of high line poles...

I have blogged before about our favorite spot down by the river at the local park. Here it is. We normally play along the treeline beyond that pole lamp. It is more than halfway underwater. We were standing in the access road we use to walk there. In the top picture my boys and two of their friends are throwing rocks in the water....can you see the top of the blue trash can peeking out in the center right of the picture? My children were amazed that our special spot was now a lake!

Sadly this is not the worst of the flooding. These were areas that are accessible. There are hundreds of people completely shut off from any available roads, and there is a small town in Jasper County, Ste. Marie, that is completely cut off. There is no way to get into or out of there today. This is the worst recorded flooding on the history books. We are a farming community....this is completely devastating. These people need your prayers.