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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Anicam

Ok, probably not the best name, but I haven't given it much thought. Hubby got a wildlife camera for his birthday and put it out by our little wildlife pond before taking it out to the lease.

Dove, one or three, it's hard to tell.






Neighbor's dog who gets in our yard all the time.



Hmmm, think Hubby needs to set the date on the camera. I think that should read August instead of September.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Too Predictable?

Hubby just called. He's on his way home from the hunting lease. I'm bummed, I thought I would have the entire weekend to have completely to myself, no cooking, no cleaning, no laundry, you get the picture. Yesterday I did absolutely nothing, but I did rearrange the furniture today. So when Hubby asked what I did this weekend, and I said nothing, he asked in surprised if I didn't rearrange any furniture. Am I really that predictable? Well, he would have protested if I did it when he was around.

Until next time, may you have blessings and unpredictability,
Marti

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The In-Laws Made Some Friends Today!

I'm as proud as a mama who put together a successful play date for a few four year olds. But I had nothing to do with this meeting, except that we took Mama and Papa Bear to church with us Sunday. They filled out the visitor form and put it in the offering plate because, unlike us, they forgot that when you do that in a Baptist Church, you will have a couple of Baptists on your doorstep on Tuesday evening even if you are obviously busy.

But since Mama and Papa Bear have nothing to do on Tuesday evening, or any evening for that matter, they welcomed their visitor and talked to him until he was the one glancing at his watch and searching for a reason to leave. He did tell them of another couple in the church who had lived in a town near Mama and Papa Bear. Today, that couple called Mama and Papa and then came to visit. Turns out they had friends in common, were about the same age, and liked to play Forty-Two.

Until next time, may you have blessings and good friends,
Marti

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Hits Just Keep on Coming

I don't mean top 50, I mean below the belt.

Today I was working outside, coming in every so often to get a drink of water, and finally finished outside about noon. When I came in the back door that last time, I heard a loud roaring motor coming from the utility room. I kicked off my shoes and hurried in to see what was going on. The sound was coming from the upright freezer. When I stepped up to it to open the door, I felt the wetness seep into my sock and hoped it was from an ice cube that had dropped on the floor. No such luck, the water stretched across the front of the freezer.

I opened the door and checked the ice tray, which was full of water instead of ice cubes. I reached behind the freezer and pulled the plug, and went to the bathroom for towels. Coming back from the bathroom, I noticed the wood floor in both hall and living room had wavy ridges, swelled from the water seeping under the wall.

Yes, it could be worse, and yes, we have insurance, but the adjuster hasn't been here yet, and we don't know if they will pay to replace the whole floor of if they will only pay for the damaged section. The floor store we used last December is now out of business, and the odds of matching the color is pretty slim.

Not only is the floor ruined, all my summer produce is now compost, and two garbage bags are loaded with meals I had cooked and saved in food saver bags. Surprisingly, the elk meat in the bottom of the freezer was still frozen.

A trip to Target and I am supplied with Dark Milky Ways and Pepsi. Let the pity party begin.

Until next time, may you have blessings and dark chocolates,
Marti

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Why Didn't I Know That?

Have you ever wondered how you could have lived so long without knowing something that other people have known all their lives?

I was reading a book today and came across a sentence about foils and epees. Even a month ago I wouldn't have really known what it was talking about, other than having something to do with fencing. But after meeting someone who actually fenced and used an epee, I now have a passing knowledge of it. There are other things I managed to live most of my life without knowing anything about.

Part of the reason I never experienced some things was from growing up in a small town with very little diversity. A town smack dab in the middle of the Bible Belt where most people went to a Christian church on Sunday. Those who didn't go to church just stayed inside until after noon so as to keep that fact from being circulated around town. There were folks who went to church to keep up appearances or to further their political career, but that's another story. There were no lawns being mowed on Sunday morning, no jogging in the park or sidewalks, and no shopping. Well, no shopping because of the Blue Laws, and there were no convenience stores in town when I was young though they did come before I left. There were neighborhood grocery stores along with the one big chain store, but none of those were open on Sunday. Gas stations weren't open on Sunday either.

We had television, but back then, it was tightly regulated, at least the three channels we got. We had radio, but most could only pick up our local AM station and maybe a few others from local towns. So most of our national exposure came from movies and magazines. At the movie theater, there was always a newsreel before the cartoon, which was before the movie. None of this commercial stuff they have now. The newsreel was usually about some event happening in the world.

Growing up in a quiet, little town was nice and safe, but it wasn't Mayberry. When I entered junior high, there were no organized sports for girls, and only basketball and football for boys. In high school, boys added track and field, tennis, golf, swim, and baseball to their options, and girls had tennis, swim, and volleyball. When I was a senior, Title IX came along and girls were offered track and field and basketball. Because it was a small town, filling those teams took every available player and every spare cent, and there were no extras for sports such as soccer, lacrosse, fencing, softball, or hockey. Years later, when Hubby and I moved to the city, we saw children playing this new sport, soccer, only to find out that there were many people our age who played it as a child too.

When I was in sixth grade, a friend and I were selling something door to door, and a lady came to the door in an altered state of mind. Looking back on it, she was probably tipping the bottle, but neither of us had ever seen anyone inebriated before. We ran to my friend's mother's car right after and my friend announced to her mother that the woman was on LSD. It was my first time to hear of LSD, and not wanting my ignorance to show, I didn't ask what it was, and then forgot to ask my mother later. It was years later before I finally found out what it was. My friend had brothers who were ten to fifteen years older than she, so she was more worldly than I. Our little town probably had bars though I had never seen one. They were probably in some part of town that my parents took care to never drive through with me. I had also never seen a pawn shop until I went to college. I'd seen them on tv and was quite disappointed to see that it looked quite normal and not the haven for thieves depicted on tv.

A few years ago I came across a symbol on a headstone I didn't recognize, and when I asked about it, I was told - with some derision - that I should know it was the Star of David. Growing up in my small town, and the small towns afterward, I never saw the Star of David, or if I did, it wasn't displayed significantly enough for me to wonder about. Our little town had no churches other than Christian Churches, and where some of those were a little extreme for my parents, they were still Christian churches. Most of my friends were Baptist, Methodist, Church of Christ, or Catholic, and except for the Methodists and Catholics, most were from fairly straight-laced families. (The Methodists had dances AT THE CHURCH!) I wasn't allowed to wear shorts in public, except to play tennis, but a friend wasn't even allowed to wear shorts in her own front yard. When I was a senior in high school, my parents became preoccupied with my brother and loosened their grip on my leash, and believe me, I took advantage. But that's another story too.

Growing up, I never thought I was missing out on anything except fun, but finally moving to a large city, I could see how much more other people my age experienced. A lot of that exposure wasn't good though. It made them more sophisticated than me, but it also made them jaded and cynical at an early age. At least I was middle aged before becoming so cynical.

Until next time, may you have blessings and enlightenment,
M

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Battlefield That is in Me

Remember the cortisone shot I got? It isn't playing well with my candida which it appears has gone on full-scale warfare against me. From the freefromcandida website:
Steroid treatments like cortisone, predisone, etc., will result in medical complications. Steroid-type drugs break down the effectiveness of the immune system which in turn reduces its ability to fight Candida overgrowth and also creates an environment conducive for many other medical complications to arise.

My fault. When I filled out the paperwork at the orthopedic dr, there wasn't anywhere to put any underlying medical conditions such as candida, and it didn't even occur to me to mention it. After all, I was just there for my elbow pain.

That doctor also gave me a prescription for Methylprednisolone, but this sentence in the information sheet kept me from taking it: "Do NOT use this medicine if: .... you have a systemic fungal infection." I called the doctor's office and that is when I told him I have candida, and he agreed I shouldn't take the methylprednisolone. He didn't mention that the shot could cause my candida to turn into a raging monster.

I've had extreme fatigue, blood clots in my arms and neck (those were scary), numbness, leg cramps, and an extended visit from Aunt Flo. Besides the orthopedic dr, who had never heard of candida, I've been to a family doctor and gynecologist, had blood tests, sonograms, and biopsy, and besides being on blood thinners for the duration of the cortisone, there is nothing else wrong. My gynecologist said "cortisone can do weird things to people." That's why he gets the big bucks.

Until next time, may you have blessings and vitality,
Marti

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Quote of the Day

Financial self-discipline, however, does not necessarily mean self-denial. Instead, it is the putting off of small, often insignificant pleasures now to experience greater, more important ones in the future.

Barbara O-Neill, CFP from Saving on a Shoestring - How to Cut Expenses, Reduce Debt, Stash More Cash

How true. Years ago, when we finally faced the fact that the only way to get out of debt was to cut out cable, eating out, vacations, and a list of other things, we knew it was not forever, just long enough to get out of debt and turn our finances around.

The funny thing was that after doing away with so many luxuries, we found that we really didn't care that much about them and continued to live without them, even cutting a few more luxuries so we could build an emergency fund, buy a car without a loan, save for college, go on vacations, and pay off the mortgage. Talk about experiencing greater rewards later!

I love this quote too:

Above all, begin to nurture a positive attitude about your finances. Reject thoughts of failure and turn obstacles into challenges. Try to envision yourself enjoying the achievement of all your financial goals. When you think positively and take positive action, you'll achieve the best for yourself and your family.

Barbara O'Neill, CFP, also from Saving on a Shoestring

Until next time, may you have blessings and financial freedom,
Marti