January 29, 2010


I have the strangest dreams, or maybe it seems that way because Hubby doesn't seem to dream much.

The other night I dreamed I was being taken to the mortuary to be euthanized. I was a tall, thin, old man with gray hair and I was taken there by two or three shadowy people who were shorter than I was. But when we got there, I told them I didn't want to be euthanized because I felt good that day, and I ran around the room to prove it. But I was given the shot anyway. I refused to lie down though and concentrated on staying awake because I knew if I went to sleep, it was the big sleep. My eyes would droop and I'd force them open and I made myself keep walking around the room while the shadowy people watched. The last I remember of that dream is that I just couldn't keep my eyes open.

I don't know why I dreamed that except I haven't been feeling so terrific lately. The last thing Hubby and I had talked about before going to bed that night was about copperhead snakes hiding in thick vines growing on the ground. How one of those thoughts worked it's way into a euthanasia shot is beyond me. And why I dreamed I was an old man is even stranger. I usually dream I look like me, even a younger me.

Here's how another dream started. A while back (before our latest water disaster), I had been thinking that the kitchen needed some work done. The cabinets need to be refinished and there are a couple of structural changes I wanted to make.

Then one night, I dreamed I told Hubby we needed to remodel the kitchen. He put his arms around me, looked lovingly into my eyes and said “Darling, I think you’re right.”

Then I realized it wasn’t Hubby after all, it was a younger Robert Wagner. Actually it was Jonathan Hart. Then we turned and walked from our gorgeously landscaped yard into our gorgeous stone house where every gorgeous room was completely finished.

And then I realized it wasn’t me in his arms, but Stephanie Powers aka Jennifer Hart. Then I woke up, and there I was beside my stubborn husband who didn’t want to think about remodeling anything else now.

If you are old enough to remember the tv show Hart to Hart, you know who I’m talking about. Jonathan and Jennifer were always perfectly dressed, he always called her ‘darling’, and they always agreed with each other. When the show was on, my friends and I often lamented that our husbands weren’t like Jonathan Hart. When one of them belched, farted, or did something else that was rude or crude, we would look at each other and say “Jonathan would never do that.” Since it was really a chick show, our husbands never looked at each other after anything we did to say “Jennifer would never do that.” They were really annoyed by Jonathan and they didn’t even know who he was.

When I was a teenager I started reading Louis L'Amour books with my dad. Now if you have ever read a Louis L'Amour book, you know they are westerns and the story line doesn't vary much. Main character, usually a man, comes across someone in trouble, can't turn his back on them, becomes the humble hero, and wins the girl in the end. Most of the time his hero was strikingly handsome, but he also had a few heroes that were just nice looking. One of them was Tell Sackett, played by Sam Elliot in the movie The Sacketts.

Tell is described as a tall, lanky teenager who grew into a over tall, slightly stooped man with wide shoulders, muscled arms, and big hands who could move anything he put his hand to. He could build a house, shoot what he aimed at, and take care of his family and friends. He doesn't talk a lot, has a dry wit, and likes to think over a problem before giving his opinion. He is respected because he doesn't make rash decisions, is dependable, and gets the job done.

After seeing the movie, I checked the book out of the library to see what the movie changed or left out, and it was after reading it again that I realized I had married Tell Sackett. Louis L'Amour couldn't have described Hubby better if he had spent a year studying him every day.

Why did I tell you this? Because Tell, I mean Hubby, had been thinking over what I said about remodeling the kitchen, and finally agreed that a few things needed to be done, but he wanted to modify some of my more extreme ideas. He never said he was thinking about it, and really didn't even seem to be listening when I told him what I would like to do, but he had been thinking about it just the same.

The strong, silent type is a lot easier to live with in books, but I still wouldn't trade Hubby for a dozen Jonathan Harts.

Until next time, may you have blessings and storybook endings,

January 18, 2010

National Holidays

I have often wondered why there is a federally recognized Martin Luther King Day, or a Washington's Birthday (often called President's Day to include Lincoln and other presidents), or a Columbus Day, while other people equally as important in history are not recognized. Why Martin Luther King and not Dred Scott? Why Washington and not Paul Revere? Why is there no Elizabeth Cady Stanton Day - known for her part in women's suffrage? Certainly she changed the lives of millions of women.

I did a little research and found that federal holidays are designated by the U.S. Congress and those holidays allow the closure of federal institutions. National holidays are holidays that are declared by the President of the United States and they are in name only, no banks, schools, or federal institutions will be closed.

You've probably heard of Inauguration Day, but did you know it was a federal holiday that occurs every four years following the presidential election? I don't recall the post office being closed that day, but I guess it has been.

There are a slew of national holidays, apparently more than any one website can list, and many holidays are on the same day. Did you know that this week we have had National Nothing Day, Kid Inventor's Day, and today is Winnie The Pooh Day?

And if you didn't already know it, August 26 is Women's Equality Day, which is the day Harry Burn cast the deciding vote on the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote. Way to go Harry Burn!

Until next time, may you have blessings and a great Martin Luther King Day,

January 14, 2010

Mad Stone Trivia

I was doing some research at the library today and found this statement in the local newspaper, dated March 2, 1883:
Mr. Bob Crouch of (nearby city), passed through here a few days ago on his way to Dallas, in search of a mad stone for his little son who had been bitten by a rabid dog.

Never having heard of a mad stone, I had to research that too and this is what I found out.

A mad stone was a hairball-like object found in the stomach of a deer and the rarer the deer, the better the mad stone. A mad stone from a white deer with pink eyes was the best. When someone has been bitten by a mad dog, they have to go to the person with a mad stone - if the person with the mad stone goes to them, it won't work. A mad stone can't be bought or sold, it's shape can't be changed, and the person owning it can't charge anyone for using it, or it won't work.

Here's how it works. The mad stone is boiled in sweet milk and placed on the bleeding bite. If it sticks, the wound has rabies. When the stone falls off, it is boiled in milk again to remove the rabies from the stone until the milk turns green, and then reapplied to the wound. If it sticks again, there is still rabies in the wound. This is done over and over until the stone doesn't stick at which point there is no more rabies.

Since Hubby is a deer hunter, I figured he had seen these deer mad stones before but when I shared this hairball trivia with him, he said he has never seen one or even heard of them. I have a feeling he will be looking for one now though. Never know when a hunter is going to be stranded far from a hospital after being attacked by a pack of rabid animals. Oh yes, and with a gallon of milk in his bag.

Until next time, may you have blessings and access to modern medicine,

p.s. I also did a search for Bob Crouch in the area and didn't find anything. I wonder what happened to his little son but I hope he wasn't really bit by a rabid dog.

Frugality is Hard on Friendships

I’ve been feeling pensive lately and have reached the conclusion that frugality is hard on friendships.

When Hubby and I were newly married, we were in college and poor as church mice. Yet, we had a wide circle of friends, most of whom were also in college, newly married, and living below the poverty line. After both Hubby and I graduated and both had decent incomes, our lifestyle moved up a few notches until we actually became spendthrifts. We had moved away from our college town and college friends and made new friends at work and with our hobbies. Most of our new friends were also spendthrifts and we maintained that lifestyle and those friendships long after we had children and our double income was reduced to a single income.

We always knew children came with responsibility, but we also found that children are also expensive, and the older they get, the more expensive they get. By the time our savings were tapped out and our credit maxed out, we knew we had to drastically change our lifestyle to make ends meet. I’ve heard that the number one cause of divorce is because of financial stress, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s also the number one cause of lost friendships. When we started cutting out all the extras like eating out, movies, and other entertainment, our friends started dropping out of our lives. When they called to ask us to go out to eat or to the ballgame, we would suggest something that was free, but they always wanted to do things that were out of our price range – that price being $0. When we invited them over for dinner and games, we seldom got takers. Soon it was just our little family spending time together every weekend. But that was ok, because it took a lot of stress out of our lives when we didn’t have to keep explaining why we were choosing not to spend money.

As time went by, we met people who were also trying to get control of their finances, but either because of both of our busy family schedules or the distance between us, we never really developed friendships with other couples. Hubby had friends at work that he went hunting and fishing with, but those friendships never became our friendships. Even after we got out of debt and began enjoying the fruits of our struggle, it has been hard to find like-minded friends. We don’t have to eat every meal and every weekend at home now, but we do prefer a relaxed evening over a more formal event. The friends we had before becoming tightwads are still here, and we still talk to them, but have found we have very little in common anymore.

At this point in our lives, I wonder if it is hard to make new friendships because of our financial choices or if other people our age just don’t want to break in new friends. Has anyone else lost or gained friends because of frugality?

Until next time, may you have blessings and friendship,

January 13, 2010

I Know I Didn't Update

I got so busy trying to get ready for Christmas and then afterward that I really didn't have time or energy to update the blog. I want to apologize to everyone who emailed me and thank you for your concern about my health. So here's an update.

If you have ever had a colonoscopy, you know that you have to start prepping the day before by drinking a liquid laxative that tastes a bit like a lemon lime soda and then about a gallon of another kind of laxative over the course of a couple of hours. Laxative is such a misnomer. That sounds so easy and painless. I am convinced it was created by some diabolical scientist for the purpose of chemical warfare to bring enemy armies to their knees, or their seats, in gut-wrenching agony. Why our own doctors are using it against their patients is something I will never understand, and I will also never repeat the process.

I've read that there is a newer method of taking some pills the evening before and not drinking a gallon of foul tasting stuff. My doctor didn't prescribe those pills. I have a feeling in the next twenty to thirty years, there will be a new method of examining the colon and our children will look at us in disbelief when we tell them the procedure we had to go through. Something like Bones used in Star Trek when he examined patients by waving a device over them. It could happen, look at the cell phone that looks just like their communication device.

After it was over, the doctor told me he found one polyp in my colon and something called an inlet patch in my esopagus. He took a few biopsies which all turned out to be benign, so that's a good thing. Evidently an inlet patch is common and most people who have it never even know it's there. The doctor thinks the Fosamax caused mine to enlarge and cause the discomfort. He told me to take Prilosec and I have been but can't tell it's making much difference. Evidently feeling like I have a thumb pressed against my throat is my new normal. I left the endoscopy center with a collection of pictures much like in the link here. I'm not sure why they thought I would want those pictures, it's not like I want to show them to anyone like an expectant parent showing a sonogram picture. But I've got them if anyone wants to see how well I prepped for this thing.

This doctor is the one who thinks doctors who diagnose candida are quacks, but he didn't find anything in my colon to explain my constant digestive problems. I'm not saying that older doctors aren't very open minded, but there does seem to be a pattern.

So, the conclusion seems to be that I have a digestive problem with no known cause or cure and a throat problem with no known cause or cure. And I went through twelve hours of torture for that?

Until next time, may you have blessings and no need for chemical warfare,

P.S. I forgot to mention anything about my diet. I was down twelve pounds before Christmas and gained two back. I'm okay with that since I didn't gain it all back, and I am now down to the weight and size I was last June. I keep thinking Hubby will join me on the diet; it sure would make it easier to have the support.

January 10, 2010

When It Rains, It Pours

And sometimes even when it doesn't rain.

Such was the case here. Hubby left to go look at a sale about 60 miles away, and I stayed home to do laundry and clean house. I was in the den looking up crockpot recipes when I heard loud water running. I thought it was the washer filling so didn't think too much about it for a few minutes, but then it didn't stop so I went to check it out. Water was pouring out of the vent in the kitchen ceiling. It looked like a waterfall and would have been pretty, except it was coming from the kitchen ceiling!

So I freaked out and ran through it to get to the cut off under the kitchen sink shoving the trash can under the water along the way. I turned as hard as I could but the flow didn't stop. So then I ran to the shed to get the cut off thingy for the water meter. Side note: It's kind of amazing that below freezing temperature doesn't feel any different than above freezing temperatures when running through the yard in a panic. The cut off tool wouldn't work on the meter because the cut off was put in sideways. Thanks water company guy who must be related to Moe, Larry, or Curly. I ran back to the house, only to find that I was locked out because the stupid new door knob lock doesn't unlock when you turn the knob from the inside like most normal locks. I considered breaking a window but then I remembered the keys to the shed had a key to the front door so I ran back to the shed and then to the front door. Tried the cut off under the sink again and this time got it turned off. By then there was about an inch of water on the floor.

Another run to the shed for the wet/dry vac and I had just about all the water sucked up when the electricity went off. By the time Hubby got home, I had soaked up the remaining water and dried the floors with all the dry towels in the house, but there was still water seeping out from under the baseboard when I pressed against it. If I could turn on the dehumidifier, I could probably keep the wood from buckling, but it didn't come on for five hours and in that time, water wicked into the wood floors surrounding the wall.

We spent the afternoon watching texture peel off the ceiling.

The cause was the copper tubing to the ice maker which had been run through the attic. We had it moved at the end of 2008 and evidently the guy didn't put it under the insulation and it froze enough to break apart at the valve.

This is today. Hubby thought he would tear it off and replace the insulation and sheetrock while he had a friend who could help, but the ceiling joists are wet and he wants them to dry out more. So the dehumidifier is running in the kitchen and of course the heat is off since we'd only be heating the attic. Thank heavens we have a gas fireplace in the den.

The good news, if you can call it that, is that the water spewed toward the kitchen and not toward the living room where the ceiling would be much harder to repair.

Until next time, may you have blessings and only outdoor waterfalls,

I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

In the 30 years we have lived in this area, we have never had a white Christmas. Until now. It started snowing on Christmas Eve and we woke up to this. That drift against the slope back there stayed for a couple of days.

We had an enjoyable Christmas. My mom and both girls drove down and Lil stayed for a couple of weeks. It was nice to have someone to talk to again. Girl talk I mean. It was a lot of work having company and a bit of a relief when they all went back home. Then I started missing them and wished they would come back. Crazy, I know.

Until next time, may you have blessings and a pleasant change of weather,