Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

Rather than report what is amusing to me today, I'm going to link to a couple of articles in our local paper that I find very amusing.
LaCrosse Tribune: Dog Shoots Iowa Hunter...
Pet Sitter Accused of abuse as pot bellied pig's wieght triples

For today, I rest my case. And ponder what is real news???

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Away they went...

There is something to be said about sitting on the stairs and having a conversation with a 20 month old [I correct my earlier post of 19 months!]. Grandpa and Dennis had a very long and intense conversation regarding...well I'm not exactly sure what it was regarding.
There was a lot of head shaking by grandpa and several big *Oh Yeah's???*
Dennis nodded and answered with some foreign language that only he can understand, but he emphasized each word with a shake and flutter of the hands.

Hmmm, is the kid Italian??

This morning, the gang was up, fed, and out the door for more great woods adventures by 8AM. The frost was still crunchy under our feet as we headed back to the meadow for a much awaited 'bouncy log' ride. We also picked leaves from red oak, white oak, and stuffed them in our shirts to carry back and show Grandpa who was very impressed.

I think I could like being a Grandma full time.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Fun Grandma

To be a totally FUN Grandma there are a few things you need to have. A bunch of logs to play on. You need a bucketful or two of toy cars for the kids to drive.
A hay feeder to use as a jungle gym...and a two wheel wheelbarrow to 'feed' the kids to the donkeys. A touch of patience, an ounce of creativity, and a whole lot of energy to keep up with a 4 yr old and a 19 month old monkey who has no fear.
You cannot care if crayons are spilled all over the floor, or be upset when you step on a 'frig' number magnet in bare feet. Don't worry about the little metal cars that are strewn about the living room. Isn't that why it is called the living room?
You can always find the remotes later, can't you?
Isn't it interesting to see if a Jack Russell will eat crayons?
See who is fastest in the race to the stairs...somehow the kid in diapers always seems faster.
Can you change a diaper and aid the 4 yr old on the potty at the same time?
[Sure you can, you are the Grandma!]

When Ariel dropped off to sleep, she murmured sweetly to this Grandma...
'You are the fun Grandma'.
Oh such sweet words.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Hooked on Harry Potter?

These two fine 'kids' are responsible for my new favorite readings. The Harry Potter books. I resisted all temptations to pick up these 'kid' books for the past few years. My youngest son urged me to read them, my oldest son and his wife made me take the first book home with me after my Kenosha visit! The dirty deed was done.
I picked up the book yesterday and just finished it tonight.
Darn it .. they were right. The book was a fun read and a good breather from my school studies!
I'm sure I'll be looking forward to my next adventure with Harry. I wonder if the movies were as good as the books?
That remains to be seen.

One of my new classes this session is 'Critical Thinking'. It seems curiously like a class on 'debate'. This ought to be fun too!

I really do wish I could fly on a broom like the characters in the book. It surely would save me fuel costs.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Grab life by the ears???

Yeah so don't laugh, that is an ugly self portrait, but hey, it celebrates the coming out of the 'Elmer Fudd' Hat. I'd really like a red and black checked one someday...but this does fine.
I got home from work and hubby needed a small rest. Lo and behold I ran out to the pasture with ideas of catching Badger for a little bareback jaunt through the woods we are cleaning up.
What surprised me to NO end. Was that Fred, the pony mule...the mule who believes it is not within his dignity to be 'caught' walked right up to me. I haltered him and took him instead.
Much to Badger's disappointment.

Fred is about 20 yrs old. He has always been sly about getting caught. Two years ago I began a campaign to make him a bit easier to catch. Oh the Big Time Clinicians tell you that you must use a round pen and spend endless mindless hours teaching the mule to come to you.
This mule knows that in a round pen he is caught. He does everything classically perfect. Turn him out in acreage and good luck...he knows you have NO power.
Yes I have a secret and it is bribery. But not the food kind. I won't share it because I don't think it will work for everyone. But I've converted two very hard to catch mules with my 'secret plan'.

Anyway. Fred is easy on and easy off while riding bareback. And so off we went to enjoy a little adventure.
What a GREAT time I had!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday Monday...

The oaks are brown now...Saturday morning they were this brilliant fiery red in the early morning sun. They've discolored to a dark brown and the colors are muted...that is what is left of the leaves on the trees.
This morning was gloomy and cloudy. Patchy rain, damp, and ugly. The sort of morning that makes you want to crawl back under the covers and wait for the sun to come peeking out and brighten things up.
Hmmm, well reality checks in and you get up and go to work. I know, very boring and uninteresting.
I finished my classes for this session so I guess I'm a bit bored. The pressure is off and I'm enjoying a bit of free time by reading.
My son and his wife insisted that I read the Harry Potter books. I'm going to start that tomorrow after I finish up the current novel I'm reading by Greg Isles.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Listen to Children

What does a child sense that an adult can't? Do they have some extra sense of things that we lose as we grow older?
Two weeks ago my grand daughter visited. We were walking past the little red shed down towards what used to be my 'shade' garden, when she piped up.
'Grandma, that tree is going to fall over, we shouldn't walk here.' She grabbed my hand and tried to lead me away from a honey locust that grew out at an angle over the yard. I just patted her hand and assured her that the tree 'grew' that way and everything was just fine.

The other day my husband made a comment that the honey locust by the shed must have suffered some storm damage as he saw a slight crack in it at the 'V'. He commented that to be safe he'd cut it down some time this week, because if it fell, it would hit and damage the horse trailer.

Last night as a storm brewed up, black clouds whirled, and the rain started coming down,...I walked down to look at The Tree.
The 'crack' was huge, I could stick my fist into it [if I was tall enough]. You could see evidence of the fibers of wood shredding.

Before the last round of wind and rain hit, we moved the horse trailer.

Now, why did Ariel tell me that? Did she really know?
Listen to the Children.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Water Ain't Good For A Man...

Today I drove home in a downpour of rain. I'd walked from the office to the car not far away and had gotten quite wet. I thought, 'Nope a little water won't hurt me any.'

That took me down memory lane.
Grandpa Lind.
Crusty old fella, wirey, small. He always wore wool pants. Even in the summer time. I can recall that he wasn't much on bathing. He thought washing up in rain water once in a while was pretty good enough.
When he was put in a nursing home for dementia amongst other health issues, I went to visit him. I was a young adult and had my own car.
I met Grandpa in the hallway. Things were different then. Grandpa was tied with strips of cotton to his wheel chair.
He recognized me and asked if I had my car. I said yes, in fact I did.
He grinned without any teeth [he'd been given false teeth, but didn't wear them]. 'Good,' he said, 'let's get out of here! They're trying to kill me!'

'Oh how Grandpa,' I replied. I knew he was tied because of the many escape attempts he'd done. He was pretty good at it too.
He leaned against his restraints and said.
I looked confused, I guess because he went on to explain.
'You know, a man ain't made for all that washing. Too much of it will take the strength from a fellow. A bath should be done in the spring and in the fall.'
I shrugged, his aversion to baths wasn't new to me.
'Listen up,' he said, 'they are bathing me every day in here. I can feel it, they are gonna kill me with baths, I'm gettin' weaker all the time.'

That was the last conversation I had with Grandpa. In fact I think he only lived 3 more weeks there. I'm sure he died of a logical medical malaise that I didn't really know about. But part of me remembers with a slight smile on my face.
'Bathing too often wasn't good for a man.'
'It done took all his strength.'

Memories. Funny how they just happen.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

When I come back...

If anything ever happens to me, I'm coming back as a dog. A dog that is loved and well cared for. A dog that is allowed to sleep on the master's bed. A dog that can ride in cars, on tractors, skid steers, and mules.
I envy my dog, can you tell? He has the life. His only time of unhappiness is when we are leaving and he has to spend time in his crate.
He notifies me when he thinks I've slept too late.
He notifies me when he thinks I've missed his feeding time.
He notifies me of impending 'danger' by standing behind me and growling. [brave, brave Morris].
So if I have a choice in the matter and I can have a second life...I'm coming back as my dog.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Just thinking...

Some days are just like that. I didn't have much to do today as the work computer was having some very serious issues. I think it needs to have its hard drive wiped clean and the program Windows 2000 re-installed. But that is a mere blip in the scheme of things.
This week the wind and the rain blew away our beautiful fall foliage. The trees are beginning to look barren and cold.
Last night I wore coveralls to do chores!
It was downright chilly and we had to turn our heat on in the house.

I interviewed for another job yet again this week. I suppose since I don't really think I'd like this particular job, they'll call me? Isn't that the way things work?

Yesterday was interesting. Ever have a cortisone shot in your elbow? I agreed to it since I've been putting up with elbow pain [related to the shoulder issue] for about 6 months. Dr. L. said he'd be happy to help me out, but it involved needles!
[He knows how much I really don't like needles, so he likes to give me a bit of grief over it]
Yeah, it hurt enough that I allowed him to 'shoot' me.

There was a portion of the time while he did the procedure that I didn't breath. Then I recalled a nurse telling me one time...hon, you need to fainting! I sat up very straight and looked at the wall of posters showing leg bones. In short? It sucked.
Afterwards Dr. L. patted me on the shoulder and said 'Good job, you are tough!' I think he likes to challenge me.
I pointed to the poster and asked him, 'Is a plateau tibia fracture at the proximal end of the tibia?'
'Yes, why.'
Not looking at him, I shrugged, and said, 'I have to code that in my case studies this week.'

I shook his hand and thanked him. Then told him that I hope we didn't have to see each other offense.
None taken.
Follow up in 6 weeks if I'm still having issues.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

'Sweat Like a Log'

Grandkids, they are pretty darned special. Give them an old Tonka Truck with no instructions and they know EXACTLY what to do with it.

brother is not take it fast and drive it away. If brother does have it, you distract him with something else and ...take it fast and drive it away.
The Tonka Truck has many uses.
It hauls gravel from Grandma's yard and dumps it in the yard. [of course grandma makes you pick it up again]
It hauls dirt from the VERY big dirt pile. This seems to be okay to dump in Grandma's yard and add to her plants.
When all that work is done.
You can take the Tonka Truck and roll it down the hill and watch it crash...and both brother and sister can laugh and squeal with delight. This can be done a multitude of times until your legs are tired of running it back up the hill.

Then there is the heat for this October day, it was sweltering. Enough to make you sweat.
You tell Grandma that 'I sweat like a log!' [grandma, tries not to laugh hysterically at the saying because she is thinking...Sweat Like a HOG]

Don't forget that wonderful icky sticky muddy place that grandpa has. A great place to walk down into where the clay-like mud comes up to the ankles of your chore boots. Then with great flair one must see how far they can bend over and stick their wee hands into the muck. Only to discover that yes, indeed it is sticky, gooey, and well kinda icky. When Grandma asks if it is cold, the hands go back in to check temperature and texture.
Hmmm. Not cold, but, it is stuck on the hands!
And oh no, the boots, with feet inside of them are stuck hard in the icky sticky muddy place.

Grandma laughs and laughs, offering no help, but saying she wished she had her camera. Finally THE Momma comes and helps out.

Gosh, and she 'sweated like a log' through the whole ordeal.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Morris The Brave

If you need proof that Morris is the Brave dog he pretends to be watch this. As long as the turkeys are flying away...he is brave. We had a great hike in the woods. We jumped up turkey and deer. Morris even did some 'log' walking which I took a short clip of also.

Of course the part you don't see is the part where I was walking on a downed tree and ... where I jumped...
and fell...
and jammed my fingers which are swelled quite nicely today. But I landed in oozing icky mud so I didn't hurt the rest of me, just my pride.
I looked around and it was just me...and Morris.

Rich keeps telling me that he's going to ground me for doing stunts like that. I say you only live once and might as well have all the fun you can get out of it.
My walk was quite pleasant otherwise. It was rather hot for October, but I can live with that, soon enough my walks will include snowshoes and my 'elmer fudd' hat.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Mysterious Cindy

I took this in my son's garden. They have such a pretty garden, but I think I already mentioned that.

So this morning at work I tried to leave a message for the 'unknown' person named Cindy at GLHP and got another run around! So frustrating!
I left my work phone number thinking what the heck, what is going to happen? He already knows I've been on an interview!

So the phone rings, and HE is sitting right there.
It is the mysterious Cindy who had called last Thursday! Human Resources finally called her and said that I was calling them?
Okay, well we got all that straightened out and I go meet with the people in the oncology clinic for a position.
I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

When I hung up...HE asked what I was going for now? I shrugged and said I had to go to the breast and cancer center in LaCrosse tomorrow. I've been a patient there ... I said no more and he made the assumption it is a doctor's appointment.

I'm ready for some good out in the woods time. The leaves are changing and I am getting desperate that I will miss something!

Monday, October 01, 2007

There and back again

I made the trip ... yes I finished up my midterm exam before I left. I hit K-town with tons of traffic which fascinated Morris. In fact at a stop light people pulled up alongside and were waving to him! Okay so I guess Kenosha is like that?
I put all of Friday's everything has gone wrong...behind me and prepared to enjoy a weekend away from schoolwork, cutting trees, storm damage clean up ... and just enjoy.

Which is exactly what I did. The photo of me on the bench with Morris and my son's dog Teslin was taken in my son's and his wife's backyard. They have done a beautiful job on making their backyard into a very restful place to be. I spent most of Saturday there just looking at flowers and enjoying myself.
We went for a long hike later on in the afternoon and all of us were exhausted afterwards. We ate pie and ice cream for a late nite snack [we'd had a mexican meal-picnic before our hike]. We sat on the couch while Tes and Morris crowded for space and nestled in for a late movie.

Yeah, it was a piece of heaven.
I was totally relaxed and wanted to stay. 2PM on Sunday came waaaaayyyy to quickly and sadly I left to drive home. Even Morris acted bummed out.
Even after all the problems I had Friday, the trip went without a hitch...except for a squeaky strut which seemed to sort of resolve itself.

I miss the 'kids'.
Oh yeah, I met a neighbor lady from across the street. I think we would have a blast hanging out together. If you read this son, please tell her hello from me and that I wished we had more time to visit!