Wednesday, July 27, 2016


I only planted 5 things this year: squash, peas, green beans, tomatoes, and peppers. My pepper plants and peas have not produced. The chickens demolished one of my squash plants and a 2nd dried up. The third is producing, but not a whole lot. My green beans, which my husband tolerates, is doing quite well (for the small amount of plants we have). And tomatoes are just so-so this year...

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Why do I even bother?

The mat in our garage has desperately needed to find its new home in the garbage can.  So I finally broke down and bought a new one. Around 9pm I swept out the garage and put the new welcome mat in its place. Around 8am the next morning, this is what Bobby found:

What? Us? You think WE did that?

By day 2 the rug was in big chunks, missing half of the word, so now all but the little pieces are in the garbage can. We are going rugless for the time being. They are now in the process of destroying the mats on the front porch, so they'll be the next to be discarded. I hope there will come a time when we can have rugs again, but the foreseeable future has no welcome mats in store.

Monday, July 25, 2016

the "greatest" generation

When I was in college I had the opportunity to work for a lady from my hometown. She grew up during the Great Depression. For months, I thought the woman was crazy. Then on a trip home I was telling my Dad (who knew the woman) about her and some of the things she did. He laughed, and then started sharing stories about relatives the same age as her who did some of the same exact things (recycle coffee grounds - as in you use the same grounds for five days in a row and only add half a pinch of new days 2-4 and on day 5 drink it with milk, etc)

This month I've been assisting Bobby's aunt, who is almost 91, in cleaning out her house as she moves this week. As we packed up the kitchen, I removed the towel from the dish drainer and found this:

Yep. She had washed her Styrofoam and plastic pieces. My grandmother used to do that, too. I simply can't imagine what life was like during their formative years that they absolutely waste NOTHING. Every time I wash dishes, I can hear my Granny scolding me for using too much water. When I see things such as this, I'm reminded of the irony of the younger generations talking about being "environmentalists".  They really don't have a clue.

But I'm thankful for the small dent they've made in my life. I like to think that should things every become so bad as what they experienced that I will survive with the dignity and grace they did.

Friday, July 22, 2016

engagement party (a catch-up post)

The weekend before Father's Day we had the privilege of going to Washington, NC for my niece's engagement party. We had a good time.

Instead of a placemat, each place setting had a small card with a pen. Each person was to fill out the quiz, and then after the meal and all the sentimental, parental comments, they went over the answers. I don't know her fiance Kevin very well, so I had to guess at the answers based on what little I know of grown-up Ellen.

One of the funniest things was when Kevin stood up to do his part of the "thank you for coming" speech. Ellen had commented to Kevin early in the evening (as the crowd became bigger than expected), "Oh, look Kevin. All these people came just because they care about us so much." Kevin's response was, "Oh, no. They only came for the free chicken."

Regardless of why people came, it was wonderful to share in their "official" announcement. Sometime between now and November I need to figure out exactly how many sausage balls come from one recipe. For some strange reason I never wrote that down on my recipe card, and that's my contribution to their wedding reception in December. I guess Bobby will be having that for breakfast sometime soon so I can begin to plan ahead. Congratulations Ellen Marie!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

one bite

How do you eat an elephant?

One bite at a time.

I love the above African proverb. The first time I heard it was in middle school. I thought it was dumb, along the lines of a first grade knock-knock joke. You know the kind, where the kid comes up and the joke makes no sense whatsoever (Knock-knock. Who's There? Orange. Orange who? Pineapple.) but the kid doubles over in laughter and then says "Isn't that the best joke EVER?"  But then I reached adulthood. And now I get it. 

So today I'm just going to share one bite of life. Not quite two weeks ago Bobby went to get the oil changed in his van. The young man decided to squat and drive with the hand controls (as opposed to using the folding chair I keep in the back so I can drive with the foot pedals when people block us in). Bear in mind this vehicle has zero resistance steering (meaning the slightest touch makes the wheels turn) and one hand control manages BOTH the brake and the gas. While Bobby is watching, he hears the van VROOM  (it's much funnier to hear him make the noise, unless he's talking about me driving his van), and then plunge off the edge of the mechanic's lift and into the wall. The mechanic was okay. Bobby's van, not so much. The funny thing is he's been able to drive it the first week while we waited on all the parts to come in before taking it Monday morning and no one has noticed there was anything wrong, despite several thousands worth of damage. We're in a rental van until the repairs are all done, which means I've been driver. And today was Rules Review Commission day.

Thankfully it was a short meeting, and while I found it very interesting and educational, I found myself wanting to verbally comment on a few situations that happened. Yes, I am Marie Guyton's granddaughter. But I refrained, and peppered Bobby with questions on the way home. (And for those who will ask, a state agency had a delay in following all the required steps for submitting rules, and there was a disagreement about allowing an extension for a subset of their rules or not. It's more detailed than that, but that's a very simplified summary.)

So we're now back home, and hoping the van will be ready tomorrow. I've really enjoyed driving a new van with new features, but I've also really missed Bobby driving. We laugh sometimes because I forget he can't open the doors on this van and I've stood there a minute or two waiting for him to open the lift and get in. The tie downs in the new van are SO much easier to use than when I have to drive our van. I'm seriously tempted to call and see just how much a set of the new ones cost or if they'd do a trade-in between the levers we have and the new kind. But hopefully he will continually to do well and there won't be a need for me to drive his van again for quite some time.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

when things go awry

So far I'm batting 3 for 3, as in not getting things right. Yesterday I was taking a meal to a friend from church. Sometimes when that's on my schedule, I'll make extra and we'll eat the same thing. When we sat down to eat, 2 of the 4 things I prepared did not taste all that great to me. My husband, who is bluntly honest about things, said it tasted okay to him. I'm hoping my tastebuds are just off, but I've spent today pondering whether or not they liked the meal. It's the first time I've ever prepared food for this family, so that made me want it to be extra special.

And tonight I was supposed to call the courthouse to find out about my assigned arrival time for jury duty tomorrow. It's been 2.5 hours since I was supposed to check in, and I STILL cannot get through. All I get is the recording operator, and when I finally make it out of the loop, it either hangs up or I get a busy signal. This is crazy!!!  Several years ago when I had duty, I called, entered a number, and it told me everything I needed to know. So basically, tomorrow morning I'll now have to drive downtown, find a place to park, and hope that I'm supposed to be there in the morning instead of the afternoon. Wake County clearly needs a better system.

Last week, while cutting grass, I began breaking out in a strange rash. And for the three remaining days after that, I'd have new places pop up. It was weird. On day four I called and made an appointment with the dr. Long story short, she wants me to try OTC allergy medicine any time I'm going to be working outside, and I have a prescription back-up just in case it happens again. I often will develop whelps or small swollen spots with mosquito bites, so that I expect to see. But this is unlike anything I've ever had before. Thankfully after I called the dr it quit spreading, though not all of them have gone away.

It has been a busy, although good, summer. Saturday was the first morning since mid-June that we've not woke up to an alarm clock (and that's only because I incorrectly set it the night before and we overslept) and I'm really looking forward to a day when we can simply wake up.

At some point pics will come...just not this week.

9:57pm update...finally got through to the jury duty tomorrow. Yard work instead.