Thursday, January 29, 2009

I'm Getting the Bug...

I've always loved antiques. They're built well, full of history, and add so much to a home. They just make me happy. Before cancer, I had a job where I made enough money that I could buy some things every month so I used to be able to spend some time (ok, LOTS of time) on ebay - oh how I love ebay!

My sister Linda and I used to hit all the second hand stores and auctions. We found some of the most wonderful things and when we had enough, we'd set up at a couple of antique shows throughout the year and sell enough to go buy some more. Those were some of the best years of my life.

After things began to change, I was able to slowly wean myself from buying. But for some reason, the bug is back and I'm really wishing I could get back into buying and selling again. Is there such a job as "personal antique shopper"?

Maybe someday!

Someone I Know...

is going to be doing a paternity test. His wife called a few places that send the tests out to find out costs. She found a place where the price was reasonable and began asking questions to find out how the tests are performed.

D - "So what do they have to do?"

Nice lady at the company - "We send a kit to each person and they swab their cheeks, put the swab in the return envelope, and send it back to us."

D - "So they just swab their butt cheeks and send it to you?"

Nice lady at the company - "What?"

D - "They swab their butt cheeks and send it back."

Nice lady at the company - "Um, no. They swab the cheeks in their mouths."

Somehow, I bet that nice lady at the company couldn't get off the phone fast enough to tell everyone about that.

Monday, January 26, 2009


They've just come out with an Obama Chia! We all need to buy one, plant different stuff on his head, and take weekly pictures of what he looks like!

You can order yours here. I think I may plant mine with miniature violets...

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Lecture...

Ok, after all of you told me how I'd brought my domestic problems with Elmer Fudd and Jr. on myself, I decided you were right and that it was time for a Family Meeting. First, I carefully crafted a list so that I wouldn't forget ANYTHING they do that pisses me off. Then, under the influence of drugs (I have a very bad head cold) I decided to sit them down for a talk.

I called the meeting to order and started out...

"Now that I'm working again, I've decided that I don't have the time for, or the interest in, being a maid any longer. It's time we stop living like pigs so here's what we're going to do."

Jr. is snickering...

"From now on, if you use the last of the toilet paper, I want you to put a new roll on. That doesn't mean set a roll on the old roll. That means, take off the old roll and put the new one on with the paper coming over the top."

Jr. - NO WAY! That means I'd have to touch the paper! (if you missed it, you must read Life's Oddities to understand why this is a problem).

"I'm sorry son, you see, I'm not giving you a choice. If I find an empty toilet paper roll still on the holder, all of the toilet paper will be removed from the house. Now I just really don't think you're going to like that. Next, when you take your socks off, please make sure they're not in a ball so that they can be washed properly. Otherwise, you'll receive them the same way and they won't be dry."

Jr. is snickering again... Elmer finally chimes in "You better quit laughing, your mother is serious"

I ignore him and go on "I'm going to buy another laundry hamper. Anything I find on the bedroom or bathroom floor will go into a garbage bag and will be donated once a week to a worthy cause."

Jr. - "NO WAY! We pay good money for our stuff. You can't just give it away!"

"Like hell I can't. I don't care if it's clothes, your IPOD, or your best friend. If it's on the floor for more than 24 hours, it's going away."

Elmer hasn't said anything other than the few words he said to Jr.

"And, from now on, since dad cooks dinner, I'll continue to put the dinner dishes in the dishwasher. But if you go get a drink, or fix something to eat, or dirty a fork, put your own dishes in the dishwasher."

Jr. - "Well what if we forget?"

"If you forget, the dirty item will go into the bag to be donated and pretty soon, we won't have any dishes or silverware left."

Jr. - "Mom, what's going on with you? Home come you're acting like this?"

"Because son, it's time you learned that your mother is not your maid and you need to become a productive member of this family." (that was a good thing to say wasn't it!)

"So, that's it. See those clothes on the fireplace hearth? You have until 12:14 tomorrow to remove them and put them away - where they belong."

Jr. - "What if I forget?"

"Well, I suppose by the time you're down to one shirt, a pair of socks and pants, and if you're lucky, a pair of underwear, then you'll probably remember."

So, we all went our separate ways. Later in the afternoon, I walked into the garage and Elmer was standing there.

"I feel so crappy, I just realized I haven't even combed my hair today."

Elmer - "It's okay, it was very effective for the lecture..."

Friday, January 23, 2009

Maybe I'm A Little Late With This...

but I have a goal for 2009. While living with Elmer and Elmer Jr. is definitely entertaining, it can also be a tad bit frustrating. Today is the last day of goose hunting (boo hoo!) so other than the occasional trip to check traps, Elmer will be spending weekends at home for the first time since August.

After 22 years of marriage, I've decided that in order to keep my sanity, I'm going to have to take Elmer and Jr. on a tour of the house and teach them a few things.

First, they're both going to learn how to put a new roll of toilet paper on when they've used the last of it. Yes, for 22 years, this is what I find when I go into the bathroom...

Really, HOW hard can it be to replace a roll of toilet paper???

Next, it's time to learn how to take their socks off. This is what they look like when I get them...

A few months ago, I started actually washing them this way and putting them into their drawers the same way I found them. Do you know, not either one of them have noticed. I don't check, but I think they're both wearing their socks inside out every day - how freakin' sad is that...

THIS is NOT Jr's closet. I do the laundry and fold the clothes so that Jr. can take them upstairs - not so that he can conveniently come downstairs every morning and choose what he's wearing off the fireplace hearth. This pile has been here for well over a week.

Do you think that posting a picture of his undershorts for all the world to see will have any impact?

It's time for Elmer and Jr. to learn where the laundry room is. I'm sure they've wondered what that little room off the kitchen is used for. Elmer used to come home, take his socks off, and leave them on the floor next to his chair. Well, the new puppy taught him a thing or two and chewed them all up. So, he learned his lesson and doesn't leave them on the floor anymore. Nope, now they've moved up to the little table next to his chair. I keep threatening that someday I'm going to start leaving them and see how big the pile of dirty socks gets.

Now before you all go feeling sorry for Elmer 'cause I'm always posting about his antics, I'll let you know that someday, I'll let him do a guest post on this blog and he will be free to post anything nice about me he wants to...

Remaking America...

We talked a few days ago about a weekly post where you can post your thoughts, ideas, or ways you were able to make a difference during the past week. We only had two days this week, but if you had the opportunity to do something kind for someone, let us know here!

It won't be considered bragging, rather, giving those of us who read this blog, ideas that maybe we haven't thought of. My sister Kate found this wonderful website where you can help a soldier who's recovering from injury. Way to go Kate! Our friend Sheri hopped right on and found someone right in her area to help. I'm hoping she'll post what happened today!

If you didn't find an opportunity this week, we're not judging you! This isn't "Go big or go home" but if you did find some way to help someone, let us know what you did! Or, if you've come up with some ideas, please post them!

Here's a few I thought of:
Pick up litter when you see it
Know someone who really needs help? Let us know! If we all send $5 maybe we can make a difference
Take food to someone sick
Send a card to someone who may need a kind word "just because"
Know a single mom? Offer to take their child/children for a few hours while they run errands
Plant a garden and share with the neighbors
Drop flowers off at the doorstep of someone you think is wonderful
When you go to the store, call a friend/neighbor and see if they need anything (save them a trip)
Tell a child you think they're special
Teach a kid something you know how to do
Give the books your kids have outgrown to a school librarian and ask her to give them to kids who can't afford books
Know someone going through a tough time? Ask them what you can do to help.

Hope you all had a great week!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Why I'm Excited...

It WAS an exciting day yesterday. I agree with much of what was said; It's great to see a black President when not too long ago, they couldn't even use the same bathroom as a white person. But by far, the thing that excites me the most is seeing and hearing the next generation so inspired and seemingly ready and willing to get involved in our country.

No matter what channel I watched yesterday, I saw ad after ad, all day long, from many companies about getting involved and volunteering. Helping out our fellow humans - obviously inspired by our new President. While we can hope for change, and some people will "expect" it, it absolutely can't and won't happen until EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. of us is willing to make it happen. We can't sit back and wait for the President to make our lives better.

If every individual who has an extra dollar would give that dollar to someone you know or a complete stranger who needs it, we can start making a difference. We can't let people go hungry - get that food out of your pantry that you know you won't eat and take it to the food bank.

Do you have old coats, blankets, gloves? Pack them up and get them in the car and head to the mission or to a local park where you know the homeless people stay during the day.

If you have extra, share it. If you have knowledge, put it to good use. It's so easy for us to "plan" on making a difference but also so easy to put it off or decide to let someone else do the work.

The economy is terrible now, the winter is cold, it seems to make us all depressed. But the best way out of depression, is to help someone. It's amazing how good it makes you feel to make a difference for even just one person.

So, I have a challenge for my readers. Once a week, all of those with blogs (if you have one I don't know about, send it to me!) should post about AT LEAST one thing we did during the week to make a difference. If you don't have a blog, you can comment on mine and let us know what you did. I'll post every Friday through the rest of the year and we can all post under Obama's words yesterday "Remaking America". Don't consider these posts as "bragging", they'll be used to give the rest of us ideas on what everyone is doing and an exchange of ideas on what we can do to make a difference, or help you brainstorm to accomplish lending a hand in some bigger way.

So, whether you pay the change for the person ahead of you in the grocery store, buy a pack of diapers for a mother you know can't afford them, volunteer for a week at a kids camp, take a kid to the movie that you know can't afford to go, or even share a kind word with someonve who obviously needs it - no matter how big or small, let's share what we're doing to help get the country we love back to where it should be.

Don't let them be just words from a new President. Let's make them OUR words and give them meaning, "YES WE CAN!"

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Blue Skies, Ski Bunnies, Home Again...

The inversion in Boise has been terrible. Overcast/fog every day for the last two weeks. So Linda and I decided to head up north to Garden Valley where we grew up and try cross country skiing for the first time. They have a wonderful course set up on the golf course at Terrace Lakes and they loan you the equipment so it doesn't cost anything. The snow was basically solid ice - so bad in fact, the groomer can't even groom it. They said the snow was terrible for beginners, like landing on concrete when you fall (and I can attest to that as the truth!), but the weather was wonderful and we skied for an hour and had a great time. Definitely something I want to do again.

Linda in the "tuck" position. I made her do that, just 'cause I think that's something real skiers do...

Linda just looks like a ski bunny...

I, however, look like a hillbilly...

One of the three times I bit it. Of course, I went MUCH faster than Linda did, so of course, I fell more often...

Then we drove out the South Fork of the Payette to the Ranger Station to look at deer...

Home... Oh how I miss this house. Such wonderful memories. What I would have given to have been able to have raised my kids in the place I grew up. I was so fortunate - it's something I'll never take for granted...

We had four elk run across the road in front of us as we headed up Alder Creek to our old home. They were too far up and in the trees to get pictures but it was an awesome day...

Once we got back on the hill toward home, we hit the inversion/fog and frostline. I had to take a picture of frost on the weeds...

I Swear, I Did NOT Dig That Hole...

I didn't do it...

Nope, wasn't me...


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ten Things I Learned From Mom...

Use proper English

Never use the word "FART"

Moms will always eat the burned pancake

The person who makes the telephone call, should always be the one to end the call

If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all

The words to "Mairzy Doats and Dozy Doats"

No matter how bad you feel, NEVER complain

That "You Are My Sunshine" is the best song in the world to sing to your kids

No matter how old you are, you're never too old to have fun

No matter what, mom will always love you

It's good to occasionally remind ourselves what roles important people have played in our lives. So what are 10 things you learned from YOUR mom?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

When Life Gives You Lemons, THROW A HILLBILLY PARTY!

The news is nothing but sad. People are jobless, some are without insurance, and we all live from paycheck to paycheck. I'm a nurturer so it's really hard for me to not spend EVERY. WAKING. MOMENT. thinking about how I can fix things - at least for the people I know and love. But I can't and it's time for me to realize that before I end up committed.

SO, we're going to throw a party. We haven't decided when yet, - probably March or April, but we'll rent the barn, and have a "The economy stinks but I can still get drunk" hillbilly party. For one day/night we'll all have the opportunity to laugh, play some really dumb-ass games, dance to stupid songs from the 60s and 70s, tell some stories and eat some really good food. If we all bring something to eat and a few dollars, it will cover the cost of the barn. I've got some great hillbilly games planned that I'm sure none of you have ever played!

If you're reading this, consider yourself invited. Jaci, you and Don can drive over. Kate and Sheri, get yourselves plane tickets. Tallulah and boisecommaidaho, I expect to see you there. Bonnie, it's time for you to come and see mom again. Sue, even though you only live a few miles away, I'll come and pick you up if Cliff is out of town - I know you can only make right turns and I don't want you to end up going in circles. It'll be a great way to meet new friends and have some fun!

If you've got some ideas and would like to help with planning, let me know!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Rare 'dinky' bird migrates to U.S. for first time

CHOKE CANYON, Texas - Birders with binoculars and cameras are flocking to a remote state park in search of a small yellow-chested bird that apparently crossed the U.S. border for the first time from its high-mountain habitat to the south.

At 5 inches with beige and yellow markings, the pine flycatcher doesn't look like much, but its unprecedented migration from Mexico and Guatemala is exciting birders all over the country.

The bird, which appears to be alone, was first spotted last month and as recently as Friday. The sightings have been confirmed by photographs and recordings of its chirping.

This story reminds me of a time when I was working at Fish and Game back in the late 80s when my father-in-law called me.

"I have a bird in a tree in my backyard that I've never seen before. I tried looking it up but all I could find is a picture of a bird that they say is extinct! Should I kill it and bring it in?"

You may have a bird that was thought to be EXTINCT - and now we may have ONE speciman - that has survived and it's right here in IDAHO - IN YOUR VERY OWN BACKYARD?????

"Yes, kill it and bring it in."

We Have Three Dogs...

Don't ask me why.

Most people are content with one dog, maybe two.

Daisy is a Goldendoodle. I did a lot of research before we bought her, she had to be good with the grandkids. She moves with the speed of a sloth and is one of the sweetest and most mellow dogs I've ever owned. Zooey is a Bichon/King Charles Spaniel cross. Even at just 8 months old, she's a wonderful dog. She too is mellow, loves the grandkids, and a wonderful addition to our family.

This is Buddy. One night, Elmer went to a Pheasants Forever Banquet and came home with a sweet Golden Retriever puppy. I love Golden Retrievers, he's our third. He has such a sweet face. But don't let looks deceive you - he is the devil in disguise. As a puppy, he was a turd bugler - now THAT'S disgusting. He's also like a freakin' elephant, knocking things over in the house every time he comes in.

A few days ago, Grace was over and wanted to have Zooey come in and play with her. I kind of bent down and opened the door just enough for Zooey to squeeze in when BAM! I knew I was in trouble but there was nothing I could do about it. The door flew open and the big, red, devil-in-disguise bounded through as if I wasn't there, knocking me on my arse. I remember thinking "Oh shit", knowing I was going down. It was almost as if it happened in slow motion. I ended up laying on my back with the devil dog bounding merrily all around me as if to say "Thanks for letting me in!"

As it happens, my youngest son Adam was standing there as well and when he realized what had happened yelled "Mom, are you ok?" When I replied I was, all I heard, while still laying on my back on the hard floor, was "Bwaahaahhaaaahaaa!" Yes, he was roaring with laughter.

We have three kids...

Don't ask me why. Most people are content with one child, maybe two.

He has such a sweet face. But don't let looks deceive you - he is the devil in disguise...

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Belonging to a Minority...

My daughter-in-law Heather and my sister Kate have posted some interesting thoughts about religion and evolution on their blogs. My sister commented on how, being an atheist, she may feel more comfortable raising her daughter in a more liberal city than Spokane. Actually, I know better, she loves debating on religion, politics, or anything else worth talking about.

But her comment made me think about minorities and how they must feel when they are looked at simply by the color of their skin or some other thing that makes them "different". In some way, I think we all fit in to some kind of minority whether it be by skin color, our beliefs, our income, whatever.

You know I hate blogging without visual aides, but I just couldn't bring myself to Google a picture of "skinny" and see all those starving children in Africa. So this post will be without one.

I have always belonged to a minority but never really realized it until I started thinking about Kate's post. I am, and always have been "thin". That's a real nice way of saying "skinny". Now before you all say, "Oh how lucky you are", let me tell you how this has affected me.

Until I got pregnant for the first time, I weighed 96 lbs, and I'm 5'6" tall. Fortunately, I now weigh 110. I've had friends tell me, "When I first met you, I thought you were anorexic". Thanks for the kind words.

When I was younger, I'd walk down the sidewalk and hear people whisper as I walked by "Oh my God! Did you see how skinny she was!" and then their companion would turn around and look at me.

I can't tell you how many times I had TOTAL STRANGERS walk up to me in a store, or stop me on a street and say "Oh my God you're so SKINNY!" WTF???? I always thought to myself that no one would dream of walking up to a total stranger and say "Oh my God you're so FAT!" or "Oh my God, you're so BLACK!" I'd never stop someone and say "Oh my God, you're so UGLY!"

But yes, for some reason, it was always acceptable for people I didn't even know (and believe it or not it still happens occasionally) to comment on my weight. Thankfully, I've never taken it personally and realize that people just don't seem to understand their ignorance. Maybe this will help my family understand why I'm so "hard" (which is a kind way of saying "mean"), which I prefer to call "strong". It took me many, many years to get that way, but I guess it's how I've learned to cope and survive. I know that this is why I've never been prejudiced, why I've tried to be kinder to people with disabilites or differences, and why, above all else, I taught my kids when they were young, that no matter what, I would never tolerate them teasing or bullying other kids and that I cared more about their kindness, tolerance, and compassion for others over grades in school.

I feel like I've learned SO MUCH from my simple existence on this earth...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I Find Our World Absolutely Fascinating...

I know, you all truly think I'm very strange, and I don't know what it is about my brain, but I've been like this for as long as I can remember from childhood. I just have this fascination with mysteries, oddities, true life crimes, and Armageddon. Lucky for me, this week is Armageddon Week on the History Channel. So far I've watched 2 two-hour specials. The first was Nostradamus: 2012 and the second one was Seven Signs of the Apocalypse.

Do I really think the world will come to a cataclysmic end on December 21, 2012? No. If I did, I'd probably be scared. But I sure find it fascinating watching what some people think about it. Maybe on December 20th, 2012 I'll just be like this gal and find a wonderful rock to sit on in the middle of nowhere - and just wait to see what happens...

More Snow...

This morning, I stepped out on the front porch about 6am to see if it was snowing. It was. My neighbor pulled into his driveway, got out of his car and his cell phone rang. Under cover of darkeness, back in my Private Investigation mode, I listened.

"Hey, I took a corner a bit too fast and went up on the curb. Thankfully, I went between a tree and the lamp post, but I scraped the tree."

"Yea, my front fender is pretty torn up and my left front tire is flat but I got it home"

"I don't think I have too much going on today so I don't know if I'll come in."

OK, yes, I chuckled a little bit - after all, it was me a week ago. Damn snow.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

28 Years Ago...

"If there is a future for wild things, then it is the burden of those who have reached farther than me, to save them for the rest of us. It will be done by those whose convictions were forged in campfires,


Dad wrote this on the picture above which he gave to his good friend Jerry Thiessen a few years before he died. I've often wondered what it really means. It's so profound and I just wonder what dad was thinking when he wrote it. Maybe someday it will come to me. Maybe I'm trying to hard to decipher it.

I know dad had some premonitions. As it turned out, I think dad had a much bigger impact on the wildlife and our nation's natural resources than he ever dreamed he would.

Tomorrow we will get together as we always do on January 5th and remember dad and Conley. We'll take a minute to give them both a toast. I know he'll be there with us.

You were a great Game Warden...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Thank You Heather and Jacki!

Thanks to you both for fixing my screw ups on my blog. By about 9:00 yesterday morning, I was SO frustrated at trying to make a simple change to my blog that I had given up. Jacki came up with the new header and color scheme and Heather fixed the side column which I had somehow gotten to the bottom of my blog and couldn't get it back where it belonged. I love you both!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

If My Blog is All Messed Up...

It's because I'm trying to use a new layout. I've been messing with it all morning and hopefully I can get it figured out. I found the most awesome template with a toad on it! So, hopefully by the end of the day I'll have something done without deleting my blog. It seems I've already accidently deleted the "blogs I love" and a few other things.