Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Poked and prodded

Last spring, about six days after I shaved my head, I cut off the tip of my finger pounding fence posts. I started growing my hair back in late September as winter was coming along. Last Friday I got sort of bored and decided I wanted to shave my head again, so I did. This afternoon I was cutting a piece of hose and as I made the first cut the utility knife came flying out of the hose and stuck in my leg. I finished cutting the hose as my boot filled up with blood. I now have a five foot section of hose and a ¾” long cut in my leg that is about ½” deep. It bled something awful, but after a few minutes of direct pressure I got the bleeding stopped enough to go into the house and get some bandaging done. The suture bandages would not attach, but the leg had stopped bleeding, so I was willing to just sit and wait on a scab.

Melissa was not willing to follow this course of action. Perhaps ‘course of inaction’ would be a more appropriate description. We went on a date to the doctor’s office. After waiting around with a bunch of sick people we were called and the doctor tended to me. Remember how I gotten the bleeding to stop? At the doctor’s office it began to trickle, not much, just a bit of blood. I had gotten it to stop again by the time the nurse cleaned off the area around the wound.

The doctor decided to assess the extent of the damage by shoving a Q-tip into the puncture wound. It was a startling act from my perspective, but it did not hurt. They put a band-aid on sent me on my way.

Did I mention that BEFORE I went to the doctor’s office I had stopped the bleeding? That was about four hours ago now and my leg is still bleeding. Four hours ago I had a dry wound. I now have an oozing wound. At one point – when I got up to go get the cow out of the stanchion – it over-flowed the band-aid and messed up another sock.

So, now I wait for it to dry up again. Once it does it will look like it did four or hours ago. It is a neat looking wound. If it weren’t mine I might be tempted to stick a Q-tip in to see how far it goes.


Friday, November 24, 2006

Another milestone for Gloria

I hope you aren't getting tired of this little beauty. I've always tried not to bore everyone with all the new things my babies do, but I'm tired of keeping it all to myself. God has blessed me with nine incredible children and I'm going to start bragging about them now. And if you think this is bad, just wait until I get to be a grandma!!

Gloria will be six months old on Sunday. In a way I can't believe it's been that long. But in other ways, I can't believe she's only been in my life for such a short time. She started crawling two weeks ago. She says dada frequently now. For several months Stephen and I have been certain that she is saying I love you. She occasionally says bubba. Still no mama, but she sure gets a mischievous look on her face when I ask her to say mama and she smiles and says "DADA" really loud. I think the girl already has a sense of humor (obviously she gets that from her dad). Today I asked her if she was hungry and she said, "hundee." Now, I am not sure she really understands, but she has incredibly good mimicking abilities. As a matter of fact, she'd been trying to figure out crawling, but just couldn't get it. Then a couple weeks ago, Grace was crawling around on the floor. Gloria watched her very intently, then started wiggling and squirming and making a lot of noise like she was mad. It seemed like she was trying to get down on the floor. So I put her down. Of course, I hadn't connected all this with Grace crawling until Gloria started crawling just like Grace just had! It was like she saw it and it clicked that THAT was what she needed to do with her arms.

You know, all babies learn stuff. It's just been so extra fun to watch Gloria learn it because you can SEE her learning. I can tell when that lightbulb goes on and she "gets it." I'm so glad we homeschool and I'll be able to watch that for years to come.

Anyway, here's a picture of glorious Gloria standing up. She got into a crawling position, grabbed the bars of the crib and pulled herself up. She's done this before, but this was the first time she stayed up long enough to get the camera, turn it on, and actually take the picture before she fell. And this wasn't even the first shot.

Okay, I'm done bragging for now.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Turkey, pie and exploding eggs

Our plans changed this week. We were going to Granbury for the feast with Melissa’s folks and family and my dad was going to be there. Instead we are eating here as my father-in-law, Fred Widmann, is in the middle of chemo and it is kicking his tail. Last time we never heard of it being this bad. This time it seems the chemo is more obnoxious. If you have a moment, say a prayer for Fred. Please, don’t give him your thoughts, do something real and say a prayer.

Anyway, my dad is coming out tomorrow morning and will spend the night with us. Clark is very excited. A couple of weeks ago Clark and I took a trip to Dallas and spent the night with dad at his retirement village/senior living center/cruise ship on land for a home. Clark loved the wine and cheese reception as he was the featured entertainer. When we went to breakfast Saturday morning there were some women residents who could not wait to drop gifts on him, he got an Oscar-Meyer Weinermobile whistle and a light up rubber frog. Ten more minutes in the breakfast room and I am betting he’d have gotten cash.

So now we return the favor. We have a line-up of great activities for dad. We have an old wire spool in a hole and we’re going to burn that along with some trash. We have two dozen spoiled eggs and we’re going to tape firecrackers to these and see what happens. We also have a bunch of food. I think there are four pies and a cake for dad’s birthday. We would’ve had more, but we ate the pumpkin cheesecake this evening.

We tried to get going on potty training Sam this morning, but it was a washout. He wasn’t really interested and we were too busy with smoking a turkey, baking and other junk to really give it a good go. We will reschedule. I just heard Sam shout out to Stephen he wanted his picture taken going potty. He is sort of ready, just not all the way ready.

I gotta go and check on the turkey.


Saturday, November 18, 2006

Fencing and Bees

Today we did some fencing. Almost. Except that the Africanized bees decided to get in the way. As I sat at my computer, Dad walked in and announced that we would be working on the fence along the road. So Stephen and I followed him blindly, like the good little sons that we are.

On the way out to the place we would begin at, Dad mentioned the bees. I had forgotten them until that point, but he assured us that there were no bees still in their old hive. He claimed that he’d banged on it with a stick a few times, but there were no witnesses. It’s fully possible that no stick banged on that vent at all. Regardless, we believed him that there were no bees remaining—for the time being, anyway.

So there we were, standing around the vent thing with a loop of goat-fence leaning on it. Dad reached out and lifted it up from the top. I’m not sure if he actually saw the hive or not, that will require further research. Stephen and I, however, had a perfect view of it. The hive itself stayed on the ground, because it was not actually attached to the vent.

“Wow, that’s big,” Stephen said.

Something didn’t look quite right about it to me. All the little tannish black sort of things on it were moving, for example. And then it started buzzing. Do beehives do that normally? I wasn’t really sure, because I’ve never even mentioned a bee in my book. But Stephen decided that it wasn’t right, and he spoke up again.

“Holy crap! there are still bees in there!”

Following that vehemently uttered phrase, nothing much happened but running. I thanked God two or three times that I had gloves on, because crushing bees would be considerably harder with bare hands. We were smacking bees for quite some time, but only one sting occurred. Dad got stung on the top of his head, but other than that there are no known injuries. I think God was punishing him for not being more careful around bees.

Stephen’s glasses were knocked off in the scramble. Ha ha! This time it was someone else who lost their glasses! See, there is a reason I stay at my desk all day. If I didn’t, more pain might come to me. So there I sit all day long, while Stephen and Dad can face the evil Killer Bees.


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Joy's 4th birthday

I used to do birthday parties for my kids every birthday every year. We haven't done much with parties over the last couple years and now I remember why. The kids get presents and don't want to share and NO ONE is happy by the end of the day. But I'd forgotten all that. Joy had never had a party and I enjoy planning them. The party went well, we just had a lot of fighting afterward.

Our kids do not eat anything with artificial colors in it. (It causes hyperactivity and aggressiveness in the younger kids and depression and other mood disorders in older children and adults. Don't believe me? Try removing all artificial colors from your diet for two weeks, then re-introduce them and see how you feel.) This can be quite a cake decorating challenge. In addition, I am very sensitive to caffeine which means no chocolate ever. So far the kids seem to share my sensitivity although we haven't tested them intentionally. (Are you kidding? Intentionally give children something that gives them MORE energy?!) So we don't get color from chocolate either.So in case there are others like me who want to have colorful cakes, but skip the nasty chemicals, I thought I'd share how this one worked out. Plus I'm proud of it.

Joy was having a bug theme for her party and wanted a butterfly cake. It came out really cute. I cut a sort of cigar shape from the middle of a round cake for the body, then moved each of the side pieces to the opposite side to make the wings. I made a batch of butter cream frosting and frosted the whole cake white. Then I used the butter cream recipe, but substituted frozen grape juice concentrate for the milk for a pretty purple color. I then went for pink by making more frosting with cranberry juice concentrate. It was beautiful, but not much different than the purple. For the antennae we cut strips of pink construction paper and curled the ends.
Joy and cake

cake close up

It tasted great too! Just a hint of fruitiness in a creamy frosting. Mmmm good.

Joy told me today that her party was too short. I think that means she had a great time.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Stickin' It To The Man

I went to the metroplex this past weekend to spend some time with my Dad. He is doing fine, thank you for asking. Friday night he needed to go to Sam’s to pick up a chair and we went down one of the high priced streets in North Dallas. This is a street that was built to be a collector (a traffic planning term for “a busy street”). It has been a collector and residential street for at least the last 50 years. About 10 years ago the City of Dallas installed speed bumps on Park. Since my days as a City Manager speed bumps have always bothered me. Streets are not made to be playgrounds for kids; they are made for cars to drive on. If your kid plays in the street YOU need to get them out of the street. The City is not your stinking babysitter and it is not going to do the parenting for you. So, if you buy a house on a busy street, expect traffic and keep your kids out of the street.

Anyway, we went to Sam’s and traveled on a road with speed bumps. As I may have already revealed to you, I despise speed bumps. I honked as I drove over each speed bump. By the time we were over the fifth or sixth speed bump my Dad, Clark and I were howling with glee as each inconvenient little bump brought the sound of a blaring horn to an otherwise quiet neighborhood. We went back the same way we came, honking all the way. My Dad spent 38 years in city government and I spent 19 years. Honking while you go over a speed bump isn’t a big deal. It was just a release for the two of us, a little act of subversion and silliness.


Monday, November 06, 2006

Love, Peace and SOUL!

Dawn asked in yesterday’s comments section about the 867-5309 title for the September 22 post. The number is a part of a song from the early 80’s by a band that I did not name in the post but saw in concert when I was a senior in high school. The song? 867-5309/Jenny. The band? Why, it was Tommy Tutone, of course. If you are interested in catching a bit of the greatness of TT, he has a web page – www.tutone.com. In the music section you will find 867-5309 on the second album “Tommy Tutone 2”. Numbering albums was big then as we were still in the age of Chicago.

As part of our extra special service here at “You’re Doing What?” we offer up the lyrics for 867-5309 so that it can REALLY get stuck in your head –

Jenny, Jenny, who can I turn to?
You give me something I can hold on to.
I know you think I'm like the others before
Who saw your name and number on the wall

Jenny, I got your number,
I need to make you mine.
Jenny, don't change your number,
8-6-7-5-3-0-9 (8-6-7-5-3-0-9)
8-6-7-5-3-0-9 (8-6-7-5-3-0-9)

Jenny, Jenny, you're the girl for me.
You don't know me but you make me so happy.
I tried to call you before but I lost my nerve.
I tried my imagination, but I was disturbed.

Jenny, I got your number,
I need to make you mine.
Jenny, don't change your number,
8-6-7-5-3-0-9 (8-6-7-5-3-0-9)
8-6-7-5-3-0-9 (8-6-7-5-3-0-9)

I got it, I got it!
I got your number on the wall!
I got it, I got it!
For a good time, for a good time call....

Jenny, don't change your number.
I need to make you mine.
Jenny. I'll call your number,
8-6-7-5-3-0-9 (8-6-7-5-3-0-9)
8-6-7-5-3-0-9 (8-6-7-5-3-0-9)

Jenny, Jenny who can I turn to? (8-6-7-5-3-0-9)
For the price of a dime I can always turn to you.
8-6-7-5-3-0-9 (8-6-7-5-3-0-9)
8-6-7-5-3-0-9 (8-6-7-5-3-0-9)
5-3-0-9 (//fade out//)

If you go to the web page, check out Angel Say No and Cheap Date off the first album, “Tommy Tutone”. In my opinion, they were better than 867-5309. You see, I was a Tommy Tutone fan before their big hit. I also lay claim to having the first Cars album a full year before they got air time in the Dallas area. The same is true for Rickie Lee Jones – I got the first three albums – “Rickie Lee Jones”, “Pirates” and “Girl at Her Volcano”. The third album was crap and I never bought another album from her. Her big first hit was Chuck E’s in Love, butCoolsville and Weasel and the White Boy’s Cool were the songs to listen to off her first album.

And for those that remember it, the title for today’s post was Don Cornelius’ sign off from SoulTrain.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

Abraham Update

Faith kissing Abraham
My mom came to visit today. Being a horse lover, she wanted to see Abraham. She brought him some sugar cubes to try to "buy" his love. It didn't work. He wanted nothing to do with it. Faith stuck it in his mouth and he spit it out! But after a few tries he finally ate it. Poor thing. He's been trying to eat right and be healthy, but we forced it on him.

Scout, on the other hand, tasted the sugar and wouldn't leave my mother alone. She has a new best friend.

Scout wanting more sugar

I don't get out to see the horse very often, but since Faith brought him to the front yard I went out to see him. Wow! He is looking so much better.

Getting better!

After forcefeeding him a sugar cube, Faith started braiding his mane. After several braids were done, I watched his eyes start to close. I guess he enjoyed getting his mane braided because he was falling asleep!


Other news: Gloria got her first two teeth. Mitchell has a contract with a literary agent (pray they find a publisher soon--he's already finished another book!) We're all healthy in spite of a rough allergy season.

We'll try to post more regularly, but we just seem to be busy. I sure loved that extra hour last week!