Wednesday, December 27, 2006


Did ya see Holly slap me upside the head in her last comment? That hurt! Geez-o-pete, you’da thunk I didn’t have anything better to do the last several days other than write for her amusement! Excuuuuuuuuuuuse me if I was busy cooking and cleaning and singing and playing guitar and eating and visiting and researching and and…..yeah! And I did SO cook, Lainy!

I am so abused, I think I need a vacation. Let’s see what the Goddess has to say when I don’t write for…for…for a lot of days!

Just wait. Even though I’ll be in her very own house, I bet she still thumps me!

I WAS going to tell you all about my power shopping trip, but I’m just too traumatized to think about it now. So if you all are needing some major appliances for your house, you’ll just have to wait. And you can blame it all on Holly.

Before I leave, I want to point you all to a new blogger buddy, Diamond Mair. Lovely lady with an interesting story that includes her time as a U.S. Marine, and a new business you can find a link to at her blog. Drop by, tell her Flo sent you, and pass the word along to your friends.

From her comments, you’d think I planned on spending the weekend at Holly’s inebriated. Let me assure you that I will come up for air—at least for an hour to go to Mass.

Have a happy, healthy, safe New Year’s celebration, and I’ll see you again in 2007!


Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!

Ahhhhhhhh. One party down, two to go. One is at my place, after I’ll have been gone most of the day preparing for and Christmas Eve Mass. This is one of my most favorite Masses, I love it when the church is packed to overflowing.

Anyway, I believe we have achieved at least the illusion of clean. As long as Lovi doesn’t bring her white glove, we should be ok. And if she does, I’ll just bring MY white glove to HER house Monday!

The house is STILL not done (not that I expected it would be), so we’ll be cramming 15 or 20 people into the cramped guest quarters. It will be all right, just a little cozy. A place to be warm and dry, plenty of food, and family gathered ‘round. What could be better?

My thoughts and prayers are with families unable to share Christmas with loved ones, especially the Ross and Van Schoelandt families. Remember our military members off in far lands, and their families back home.


Joy to the world, the Lord is come.
Let earth receive her King.

Merry Christmas, and may God bless each of you.


Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas Cookies

Did you see who was conspicuously absent from comments in the previous post? I believe we found the culprit: Cait did it!

Moving on, I figure a couple of batches of these will get me through the three family celebrations I have:

1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup (two sticks) butter
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 cups dried fruit (dried cranberries or raisins)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
2 cups all purpose flour
1 bottle Jose Cuervo Tequila (silver or gold, as desired)

First, sample the Cuervo to check quality. Take a large bowl. Check the Cuervo to be sure it is of the highest quality. Pour another 4 ounces in a measuring cup and drink. Turn on the electric mixer. Beat one cup of the butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon sugar. Beat again. At this point, it is best to make sure the Cuervo is still OK. Try another 4 ounces, just in case. Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break two leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit, picking the frigging fruit off the floor. Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers, just pry it loose with a screwdriver. Sample the Cuervo to check for tonsisticity. Next, sift 2 cups of salt or something. Check the Jose Cuervo. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Add one table. Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find. Greash the oven. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl through the window, finish the Cose Juervo and make sure to put the stove in the dishwasher.

Cherry Mistmas.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

No Christmas This Year?

Which one of "you" is responsible for this?????


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Gift Wrapping

By way of e-mail:

This is the time of year when we think back to the very first Christmas when the Three Wise Men: Gaspar, Balthazar and Herb went to see the Baby Jesus; and according to the Book of Matthew, "presented unto Him gifts; gold, frankincense, and myrrh."

These are simple words, but if we analyze them carefully, we discover an important, yet often overlooked, theological fact. There is no mention of wrapping paper.

If there had been wrapping paper, Matthew would have said so: "And lo, the gifts were inside 600 square cubits of paper. And the paper was festooned with pictures of Frosty the Snowman. And Joseph was going to throweth it away, but Mary saideth unto him, she saideth, 'Holdeth it! That is nice paper! Saveth it for next year!' And Joseph did rolleth his eyeballs. And the Baby Jesus was more interested in the paper than the frankincense."

But these words do not appear in the Bible, which means that the very first Christmas gifts were NOT wrapped. This is because the people giving those gifts had two important characteristics: 1. They were wise. 2. They were men.

Men are not big gift wrappers. Men do not understand the point of putting paper on a gift just so somebody else can tear it off. This is not just my opinion; this is a scientific fact based on a statistical survey of two guys I know.

One is Rob, who said the only time he ever wraps a gift is "if it's such a poor gift that I don't want to be there when the person opens it."

The other is Gene, who told me he does wrap gifts, but as a matter of principle never takes more than 15 seconds per gift. "No one ever had to wonder which presents daddy wrapped at Christmas," Gene said. "They were the ones that looked like enormous spitballs."

I also wrap gifts, but because of some defect in my motor skills, I can never completely wrap them. I can take a gift the size of a deck of cards and put it the exact center of a piece of wrapping paper the size of a regulation volleyball court, but when I am done folding and taping, you can still see a sector of the gift peeking out. (Sometimes I camouflage this sector with a marking pen.)

If I had been an ancient Egyptian in the field of mummies, the lower half of the Pharaoh's body would be covered only by Scotch Tape.

On the other hand, if you give my wife a 12-inch square of wrapping paper, she can wrap a C-130 cargo plane. My wife, like many women, actually likes wrapping things. If she gives you a gift that requires batteries, she wraps the batteries separately, which to me is very close to being a symptom of Mental Illness. If it were possible, my wife would wrap each individual volt.

My point is that gift-wrapping is one of those skills like having babies that come more naturally to women than to men. That is why today I am presenting:


* Whenever possible, buy gifts that are already wrapped. If, when the recipient opens the gift, neither one of you recognizes it, you can claim that it's myrrh.

* The editors of Woman's Day magazine recently ran an item on how to make your own wrapping paper by printing a design on it with an apple sliced in half horizontally and dipped in a mixture of food coloring and liquid starch. They must be smoking crack.

* If you're giving a hard-to-wrap gift, skip the wrapping paper! Just put it inside a bag and stick one of those little adhesive bows on it. This creates a festive visual effect that is sure to delight the lucky recipient on Christmas morning:

YOUR WIFE: Why is there a Hefty trash bag under the tree?
YOU: It's a gift! See? It has a bow!
YOUR WIFE (peering into the trash bag): It's a leaf blower.
YOU: Gas-powered! Five horsepower!
YOUR WIFE: I want a divorce.
YOU: I also got you some myrrh.

In conclusion, remember that the important thing is not what you give or how you wrap it. The important thing, during this very special time of year, is that you save the receipt.

~(c) by Dave Barry~

Don't forget to laugh during this Christmas season, and to my knowledge one of the wise men was not named Herb.

There you go. Some sage advice for you or your loved one. No thanks necessary.


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Mr. Unique

That describes My Favorite Son. He has to do everything differently. He’d probably be very upset if I told him that his current “I don’t think I want to do what I’ve been planning on doing, and now I don’t know what I want to do” stage is not uncommon.

He likes to wear t-shirts that say things like: “Everybody needs to believe in something….I believe I’ll have another,” “I’m not a hunter, I’m a wildlife population control specialist,” “It’s time for some jolly, by golly,” or “Hard work never killed anyone, but why take a chance?”

Once I saw a button hanging loosely from his pants. I grabbed hold and was going to cut it off when he said: “NO, I like it that way!”

Last May was a big month for him—high school graduation and he turned 18. Naturally, cakes were part of the celebration. I asked him to cut the graduation cake. Not an unusual request, very straightforward, don’t you think? “Here’s the knife, please cut the cake.”

Like a good child, he cut the cake. However, instead of nice, straight, even lines, he cut crooked and curved lines. On purpose. Nobody got a normal looking piece of cake.

The Awards Banquet for the track team happened to fall on his 18th birthday, so we brought a cake along. He wasn’t allowed to get near the knife that time. Instead, he blew out the candles. One………at…………a………time.

[sigh] What’s a mom to do?


Monday, December 11, 2006

A Mother's Pride

My Favorite Daughter and I play the guitar and sing with an ensemble at Mass twice a month. There is a cantor assigned the other two or three weekends a month. A cantor leads the congregation in singing most of the songs of the Mass and it involves some solo parts. The cantor also reads the Prayers of the Faithful and the announcements before the end of the Mass.

MFD has been a cantor for a couple of years. I don’t like to sing by myself, and she doesn’t like to read, so we’re a team the weekends she is assigned to cantor. On ensemble weekends, we all take turns doing what we’re comfortable with.

We used to have several youth that sang with the ensemble. They enjoyed singing the Psalm, which involves singing the verses solo. It can be intimidating to sing in front of several hundred people, so the adults generally encouraged any of the youth that were willing to do that.

One weekend, before she became a cantor, MFD asked to sing the Psalm. One of the choir members arrived a little late, so when assignments were made and he offered to sing the Psalm, he was informed MFD was singing it. He made a comment at that time about her being the “Singing Goddess.”

Our Director was there that weekend and picked up on that, and it has become somewhat of a joke. Last weekend, when MFD wasn’t there for ensemble practice, he asked where “Her Highness” was.

This weekend MFD was the cantor. Our regular accompanist wasn’t there, but the nun who had been until a couple of years ago was the substitute. MFD hadn’t been an official cantor back then, and Sister just raved about how much MFD had improved since she was last there. After Mass, the Deacon came up and told her how beautiful her voice was and how much he enjoyed listening to her. Several others also commented how they loved it when she sang.

Of course, I’m standing there, about to bust with pride.

She got it all from me.


Saturday, December 09, 2006

Sweet Potatoes

For some reason, I am the one tasked with making the sweet potatoes for our family holiday gatherings. It’s one that has been handed down from my maternal grandmother, and it is my very favorite of all sweet potato recipes. Of all the offerings on the table, the two things I definitely go back for are green beans (that also have to be prepared properly) and sweet potatoes.

So here is my famous recipe:

Take five or six large sweet potatoes, peel and cut into chunks. Boil until tender, drain, and mash. Add ½ to 1 stick of butter, depending on desired consistency. Add some cinnamon, and a bunch of sugar until it tastes good. Mix well, pour into 9x13” pan. If you have to use the top rack of the oven, just put a single layer of marshmallows over the sweet potatoes, otherwise they’ll swell into a big sticky mess. If you have room, and if you like a few sweet potatoes with your marshmallows, uses two or three bags. Place in the oven, preferably with other dishes so as to conserve time and space. Bake until marshmallows are golden brown. Serve.

There you go. Hope they turn out as well as mine. Let me know how you do. The real trick is to get the sweet potatoes done properly so they taste good without marshmallows. That would be because about three-fourths of the way though the dish, the marshmallows are gone.


Chef Flo

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Play Nice

There are impressionable young minds wandering around out here and I don’t want to be responsible for corrupting them.

You see, once upon a time, I was an impressionable young mind, teacher’s pet, my parent’s favorite, Miss Goody Two-Shoes. Really and truly! I was quiet and shy and studied hard and made excellent grades and trusted everyone and never smoked or drank or cussed.

Then I joined the National Guard and went to Boot Camp. Ok, maybe it took a little bit longer. Hm. It could have been flight school that did it. Oh, no. I bet it was Living Under the Influence of all those twisted Warrant Officers.

I’ll bet that’s when all my personalities started developing. I started out as a Private (E-1), sort of worked my way up to Staff Sergeant, then became an Officer. Being a Noncom at heart (the Backbone of the Army) because both of my parents were (Dad retired as a 1SG and Mom as a MSG), but wanting to be an Aviator, my true calling was to be a Warrant Officer. However, wanting to be a responsible person, I took the route of Officer Candidate School. Which is where I met Hubby, if I haven’t already mentioned it.

See? Lots of reasons to develop a split personality or two.

In any case, if she hasn’t already, My Favorite Son’s Girlfriend may be visiting. That’s the reason you have to be nice. She thinks I’m nuts, but we all adore her, partly because she puts up with MFS. She’s also very bright and an absolute hoot. She and MFS, as honor students, were in almost every class together for four years, but they didn’t start dating until after graduation. I still can’t figure that out.

Anyway, I really like MFSG’s mom and don’t want her to get mad at me. Besides, MFSG promised she’d click on my ads, so I have to keep her happy.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

"Lady" Flo

Hubby was invited to speak to a group of Shriners and their spouses the other evening. As “distinguished” guests, we were seated at the head table. When the table was introduced, we were “Hubby and Lady Flo.” Of course, they used another name, because I didn’t want to correct them, and then confuse them. I confuse myself enough.

Hubby talked to them for a while about some of the things he did and observed while he was overseas during his deployments, and a little description of the overall mission. He was asked a few questions when he finished, and one that I was interested in was from a woman who wanted to know what gave the U.S. the right to force democracy on everyone.

Hubby explained that was just U.S. policy—if not to promote democracy, then at least to contain communism.

It got me to thinking, though. For those of us that proclaim to be Christians, it is our duty to spread our belief of salvation through God’s son, Jesus. Is what the U.S. is doing any different than spreading our belief?

Hubby, ever the diplomat, told me: “It is, and it isn’t.”

Thanks for the clarification, Dear.


Sunday, December 03, 2006

Three Things MeMe

Seems Her Hollyness is getting a tad impatient for me to complete a little survey she “tagged” me with a few days back.


Three things that scare me:
Heights (yes, I KNOW I was a pilot!)
The thought of losing my husband or children
Being yelled at

Three people who make me laugh:
ALL my sisters
My children
The Fruitcake Lady

Three things I love:
My family/friends
My animals

Three things I hate:
Liver and onions
Poor winners

Three things I don’t understand:
Financial planning

Three things on my desk:
“You’re an angel” stuffed bear
Metal crucifix that used to sit on the dash of my parent’s car
A hummingbird desktop wind chime

Three things I’m doing right now:
Cursing Hollyb
Listening to Christmas music
Making chili

Three things I want to do before I die:
Go to Rome
Go on a real vacation with the family
Get out of debt

Three things I can do:
Install a light fixture without electrocuting myself
Fly a helicopter
Start an IV

Three things I can’t do:
Turn anything into gold
Turn back the clock
Communicate with the dead

Three things you should listen to:
Your mother
Your conscience
The sounds of silence

Three things you should never listen to:
Bad advice
Loud noise without ear protection

Three things I’d like to learn:
To crochet better
To dance
To pick the winning Powerball numbers

Three favorite foods:
Crème brulee
Crab legs
Grandma’s homemade bread

Three beverages I drink regularly:
A&W Root Beer

Three TV shows/books I watched/read as a kid:
Johnny Quest
The Cherry Ames series

Three Blogger friends I’m going to tag:


Friday, December 01, 2006

Modern Marvels

Hubby’s favorite show is “Modern Marvels” on the History Channel. I’m not quite sure why, because he is so not into modern marvels. Unless it’s something technical and complicated—and costs lots of money. Ask him about our ICF constructed house and geothermal system.

However, if he has absolutely zero interest in the subject, he has no patience for it. What he can tell you about the workings of a computer is where the on/off button is. If it doesn’t work, he gets on the phone. That’s why they hire people that work with computers—to fix his when it’s messed up.

So when I tell him what I did yesterday, he’ll probably say I’m lying.

I deposited a check into my bank account from home.

I have never been to the bank we use. It’s located in San Antonio, and since we don’t even live in Texas anymore, we’re not even close. It’s a bank for military members and their families, and we’ve been using them for our checking account for ten or fifteen years, but I’ve been a member for twenty years. We also have our credit cards and insurance through them.

They’re a pretty progressive company. I think they were one of the very first to come out with what is now called debit cards. Of course they have Direct Deposit, and you can pay your bills on-line, however, checks you receive other than Direct Deposit had to be mailed.

Until recently.

I’m not supposed to tell you this, but I’m one of their preferred customers, so this new deposit-from-home service is available to me.

So while it was sleeting and snowing yesterday, I logged into my bank website, scanned the front of a check I had, scanned the back, and TA DA! I have more money in my account.

Ok, so it took a few minutes longer than it sounds, but it was easy and so cool! Ain’t modern technology grand?

Try not to be too jealous.


Thursday, November 30, 2006


It’s a balmy 20 degrees here this morning, everything is covered in ice, with the promise of a goodly amount of snow arriving throughout the day. One of these days I’ll have a fireplace (or two or three) to curl up in front of, with a good book and cup of hot cocoa. For now, I just have to pretend.

I’ve gotten caught up in a few things lately and forgot to mention, in case you haven’t noticed, Lovi is a copycat and got her own blog. So if you want more of a Google ad selection, you can go visit her and click on her ads. I can guarantee that hers won’t be near as interesting as mine, though. She’s too chicken to mention things like puking or blood and guts or artificial insemination of cows. That kind of stuff gets the good ads, as my readers know.

I’ve picked up a few readers from Lovi’s and Holly’s links and want to welcome them. Somebody was here from France a few days ago, and someone from Brazil has checked in a few times. Hello hello hello! Feel free to leave a comment and tell us a little about yourselves, and don’t forget to click on the Google ads! We’ve been through ads for pet meds, sleep disorders, nausea and vomiting, cow ring tones, and now we’re into clothing.

Where else are you going to find that kind of selection?

Yep, I aim to please!


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

My Mother-in-Law

I have the best mother-in-law. She’s fascinating, interesting, unusual, and as nice as can be.

For those of you that know Hubby, imagine six more of him, all in the same room. Quite the picture, hm? I’ve always said his mother is a saint. If they had had the term back in the days she was raising these seven kids, they all would have been diagnosed with ADHD. Sometimes Hubby alone is more than I can handle. With seven—I would have owned stock in valium.

Several times I have heard the story of how Ma would wake up in the morning and pray for patience to deal with my hubby. Sometimes I wish I had heard the story before we got married.

Ma’s love of learning must have come from her mom. Her mom was an avid reader and writer, and her parents published a newspaper. Ma loves to read, and not New York Times bestsellers. She reads to learn.

I think she’s open to any idea to learn. She is currently a student at a university in her area, taking an art class. She’s done many kinds of paintings and sculpture. She has read magazines and books to learn techniques and improve her skills.

She has lived in New Mexico, Colorado, and Missouri. She’s kept the books for a construction business her husband owned, worked at a bank, as a realtor, and as an aide in a nursing home. Those are just the things I can think of, and she has all kinds of stories—mostly about the things she learned while living in different areas and working in the various professions.

I enjoy listening to her—she is so enthusiastic. She is the best grandma, and they adore her. She is interested in everyone and everything about them. Her favorite line is: “Tell me a story.”

I love her uniqueness and independence. She enjoys her solitude and life on her farm, although she just rents the land out now. She likes to take little trips, but it’s not unusual for her to leave for home a day or two earlier than anticipated. And you best tell her good-bye before you go to bed, because when she’s ready to go, she’s gone long before dawn.

I married into an extremely “hespis” family, but I think I got a pretty good deal, especially when it comes to my mother-in-law.


Sunday, November 26, 2006

P. S.

Lainy pointed out that I forgot to mention something.

It was a beautiful day, so Lainy and I were outside keeping the occasional smoker and my dog (not the one that got lost) company.

My son came outside with a “bridegroom’s shirt” (very nice) that he was going to put in the car. Turns out that eldest brother-in-law had gone to Mexico for business. He had brought back all kinds of goodies, so he laid them out on the table for everyone and my son had chosen the shirt. He told us to go in and pick something.

Lainy decided she would stay outside with the dog, so I told her I’d choose something for her. (Yes, I know, I’m just thoughtful that way. I wasn’t going to tell this story, being the Modest Maude that I am, but she insisted.)

BiL had gotten some really neat things: hats, t-shirts, ceramic hand painted iguana, Christmas bear with a sombrero, and mask, and some laser art etched cubes. I chose a t-shirt.

Lainy got a whip, but she’ll have to wait until Christmas for the chains.

Now see, aren’t I the best sister-in-law?


Saturday, November 25, 2006

My Holiday

I enjoy Thanksgiving. Five of the seven brothers and sisters live out of town/state, so Thanksgiving is usually a reunion for Hubby’s family. We all meet at his sister’s house for dinner Thanksgiving Day.

With Ma, all the brothers and sisters, and their spouses and kids, there are about twenty (give or take) that descend upon the unsuspecting small town. It makes for quite an interesting day. One of my favorite parts is that I don’t have to cook or clean a house before or after the assault.

This year, twenty-two of us sat down at the table to eat a magnificent feast my sister-in-law had prepared. There was the usual catching up to be done, as this is the only time most of us see each other. There was the traditional “I am thankful for…” statement from everyone. There was money to be made and lost by those that played Texas Hold ‘Em. There were dogs to be lost and found. There were children left behind at the park.

Yes, while my son was chasing down an errant tennis ball, everyone else loaded up and left. They thought he was in the other vehicle, so when they got to the house, Hubby had to go back and get him. Poor kid. Good thing he doesn’t have self-esteem issues!

It was a beautiful day to share with family and I’m glad I have such a fun group of in-laws.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving

“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good.” (Psalm 107:1)

Enjoy the holiday and time spent with family and friends. For those traveling, have a safe journey.


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Beta Blogger

Holly had asked about BetaBlogger the other day. I’m not sure how she could tell I had switched to it, but I did. I logged on to post a new blog one day and it gave me the option of upgrading, so I did.

New bloggers to this blogsite are now automatically enrolled under the Beta version. Eventually, all blogspot bloggers will have to convert, and they’re starting the process. Maybe since my blog is fairly new and will be quicker or easier to switch they picked me out fairly early. I don’t know how they’re doing it.

Once you get your template set up the way you like, Blogger is fairly easy to use. No need really for knowledge about html, css, or whatever all that jargon is. The Beta version has its good points and bad points. Actually, the bad points are probably good points I just haven’t figured out yet. (Ok, I finally have, but it took a while. So if you have problems, maybe I can help)

Getting a Google account, which is required to switch to Beta, is easy. You will use your e-mail address and a password to sign in. I didn’t really notice any other changes until I decided to update my template. Once you click on that particular button, well, I hope you have a backup copy.

Making changes to your template should be easier for those of us that are web page challenged. Except for a few things that have taken me days to fix.

SiteMeter went away, but it can be added back in, and didn’t change the numbers. However, when you go to reinstall it, you will have to go back to SiteMeter and get the correct code for the Beta version. Then, don’t use the “Add a page element” at the bottom of your layout page, otherwise the logo will be on the left side of the page. To center it nicely at the bottom of your page, go to the “Edit HTML” and paste the code in to the bottom. I’d have to double check it to say exactly where.

I haven’t tried this, but you might also think about putting it in your sidebar, underneath all your other goodies. I’m just not sure if it will center in the sidebar, or stay to the left. And I don’t think it’s really necessary to put it in the sidebar unless you’re using the version that shows the number of hits and want it to be more visible.

AdSense had changed locations and I had to put it back. It was also a different size, and when I went in for the easy edit, it worked fine, except it doesn’t have the option I used to have. So I had to go back to AdSense and get the code for that.

For your convenience, I have also added a web search bar, and if you’re interested in Firefox, click on the link in my sidebar. I’m rather pleased with it, it has some nice features.

For a nominal fee, I will be glad to answer other questions.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Appropriate Church Attire

I’m having an internal debate with my selves, and I guess I’m getting a bit frustrated.

Talking with some friends the other day, we got on the topic of what to wear to church. I said I always figured God didn’t care what I was wearing, He was just glad I was there. Then one of the other gals mentioned that it said in the bible that we are supposed to dress in our best attire.

Ms. Missouri reared up and said: “Show Me.”

So I’ve been searching in spare moments for that passage and can’t find it. I’d be appreciative if someone can point it out for me.

In the meantime, there’s quite a bit of discussion about what to wear to church going on out there in cyberspace. It ranges from ‘be comfortable” to “ dress as if you were attending dinner with a king.” “Modesty” was mentioned quite frequently.

Apparently, you’re not being respectful of God if you aren’t wearing your “Sunday best.” Apparently, you’re a slut if any cleavage shows. Apparently, some people judge you on what you wear to church. Apparently, others judge only themselves.

Obviously, I have only confused myself. There are pros and cons to both sides. However, I find that the “dress in your best” side makes me feel guilty, and that irritates me.

Mind you, I dress nicely for church. However, my idea of nice and other’s idea is probably vastly different. A few pounds ago, I wore dresses or skirts or slacks, but I had plenty of them, and not many occasions other than church to wear them. Now, jeans and a shirt, or even a nice pair of shorts, work for me.

Shorts seem to be one of the most controversial—a big no-no. We go to another church when we are out of town visiting family. A very long time ago, someone said as we were leaving for Mass that shorts were not appropriate for church. I was wearing shorts, but it was dismissed because they were culotte-like.

I never thought anything about it again until we were there this past summer. Being an extremely hot weekend, I was wearing shorts. I really don’t pay attention to what others are wearing in order to judge them, but if your eyes are open, of course you are going to notice things. “I wonder how she got her hair to do that?” “I really like that blouse, I wonder where she got it?”

As people were going to communion, after a while, I got to thinking that I hadn’t seen anyone in shorts. Naturally, I focused on that and checked out everyone else that went by. No shorts, not even on kids. So I started feeling uncomfortably self-conscious.

I’m disgusted with myself for being bothered by what other people might have thought of me. I shouldn’t care. However, now I’m probably going to wonder any time I’m there again during the summer: if I wear shorts, is it because I’m ok with it, or would it be in protest, to say “I don’t care what you think about me?”

I think I’m sticking with the “be comfortable” side. If you’re at church and not trying to turn on the cute next-door neighbor with your clothing, you’re good to go. I know Mass is a celebration and is deserving of my best efforts. But I have to think that if I’m having a bad day and don’t feel like messing with my hair and don’t have anything other than jeans and a t-shirt that’s clean, God would much rather I showed up to church dressed like that, than to not go at all.

I wonder if the people that are upset about what people wear to church still wear a chapel veil, like we were required to do back in the good old days?


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Lovi's Log

Good grief!! No sooner do I get off the phone from Lovi chewing me out, than Holly calls. At least she started off with something nice: “They’ve finally got new ads.” But they’re both on my case because I haven’t put up a new post in over two days. Shame on me! Lovi said it’s bad enough if I don’t have a new one every day, it’s even worse if Holly doesn’t have a new one, either (and I won’t even mention the SNSS, who, again, hasn’t posted in ages). I told Lovi that Holly had TWO new blogs today, so I should be off the hook. Oh no, not good enough.


You’d think I did this for a living. It’s a good thing I get paid to put up with this harassment.

Speaking of getting paid. Hubby and I were on our way home from dinner to celebrate our 20th anniversary when I mentioned to him I was getting a check from the ads on my blog. “What, three cents?” he said. “Actually,” I said, “I’ve made at least $50.” “No way,” he said. “Yuh huh,” I said. “You get paid to write a blog?” “Yep.” So he shakes his head and rolls his eyes, like “what’s the world coming to?”

I was telling Lovi about that conversation and she said “$50???” “Yep,” I said, “at this rate, I’ll have most of my plane ticket to New York paid for in a couple of years.”

I think I heard her falling out of her chair. She was still back on the $50. “You have got to be kidding me,” she said. “No.” “Fifty bucks?” “Yep.” “I can’t believe it. Where do I sign up?”

Greedy Monster.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Conversation With Mary

Lovi sent this to me in an e-mail. Someone had written: “Wouldn’t you love to know what her conversation is about?” I wrote Lovi back and told her she’s saying: “Parents—can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em……what’s a kid to do?”

I suppose she could have been saying: “Did you see what that brat across the street did? I told him he would be in big trouble. Boys just never listen!”

How about: “Can we talk about my bedtime? If I clean my plate, can I stay up an extra hour and watch ‘Desperate Housewives’?”

“I think it’s time for a baby brother. Talk to the folks, would you?”

“I need to have a word with you about my allowance.”

“If I can’t have a brother, how about a puppy for Christmas?”

“While we’re on the subject, will it be a white Christmas?”

“A cat?”

“What do you think about this election crap?”

“C’mon, a hamster? Please?”

“Helloooooooo, anybody in there?”

My teenage age daughter was literally lying on the floor laughing when I came up with some of these. What do you think little Anna is saying?


Sunday, November 12, 2006

Thank You, Dear Readers

I received an e-mail from Google the other day, notifying me that my ads had generated enough revenue to send me a check! I am so excited!

Special thanks to my sister-in-law, Lainy, who reads and clicks every day. And to Rabbit, who clicked on sleeping and weight loss ads, even though he has no problems in either area. If you all read his comments at Holly’s or LawDog’s blogs, you’ll see he always signs off with “Regards, Rabbit,” the same as he did here. I just think that is the neatest thing. He said he was taught well by his grandmother, and I hope we have lots of grandmas just like her out there.

Thanks to Gbro and mattg and phlegmfatale, who came by way of Holly, and sister Lovi, and of course, my sisters-of-the-heart Az, Cait, and Holly. And just in case she’s waiting for someone to notice and comment, Cait has lately been signing off her comments with “Cheers.”

I think that’s most of you from my daily average of 11 visitors according to SiteMeter, but I don’t know who the others are. Although, I think I’m getting as addicted to SiteMeter as Holly is. It’s amazing to see some of the cities and countries visitors come from.

I really am having a lot of fun writing this and I especially look forward to the comments. Holly, I have to warn you, though, I may have to go back to the word verification one of these days. I’ve already had one spam comment, obviously someone that didn’t have a grandma like Rabbit’s.

Thanks again for reading and clicking those ads. New York, here I come!


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Thank You, Veterans

I received an e-mail with the picture and short story about the Air Force sergeant that comforted a small Iraqi girl whose family members had been executed. This is one of the things of which our soldiers are proud, what makes leaving family and friends behind a little more bearable.

Like so many of you, I have family and friends that have served, are serving, and will serve overseas. I am so proud of them.

The last few years, my focus has been that of a family member with a deployed soldier. But I am also a veteran, and very proud of those that have come before and after me. It is an honor to have served with many of them.

God Bless America and God bless our vets. Amen.


Friday, November 10, 2006


I have been threatened.

Holly sent an e-mail, challenging the four sisters-of-the-heart, the next time we are together, to eat a “teensy, tiny, eensy, ittsy, bittsy” bite of a calf fry. Should we refuse, she will out us in her blog and call us names.

I know calf fries by the name of mountain oysters; Az called them Rocky Mountain Oysters. Holly’s Dearly Beloved described them as a little grainy, kind of like liver (which ends the discussion right there for me), and a light meat—but not as light as chicken or rabbit. Az said they reminded her of chicken gizzards (which again ends the discussion as far as I’m concerned). Cait said she thought they tasted like chicken fried steak.

You know what that means, don’t you? I’m the only one that hasn’t/won’t eat them.

I told Holly if I had to eat them I would puke on her. She said fine, as long as I don’t puke in her nice, pretty car. (It’s a convertible, it’s not like she can’t air it out!) She said I could try it with some wine. I told her I’d puke fries and wine on her. Then she suggested that I could get drunk. I told her then I’d puke all kinds of stuff on her.

She’s laughing at me the whole time.

I don’t butcher the cows, so I don’t have a problem eating hamburger or steak. However, I know where those calf fries come from and have helped harvest them. Uh-uh, no way, I am NOT gonna eat them.

I don’t do puke, either, even my own kids’. You know, when you work in the ER, you just have to deal with stuff. I don’t work in the ER anymore, so I don’t have to deal with stuff anymore. To this day, I have a clear picture of myself, pregnant, standing next to Bed 6, everyone else is on break, and a drunk is puking all over my hand.

Nope, I don’t do puke. Or calf fries/mountain oysters.

So, she’s going to call me a Weiner and a Wanker. Now you don’t have to bother going to her blog today.


Thursday, November 09, 2006


I had to learn all kinds of things when we moved back up here to a farm and got cattle. Such as, they really were smarter than Hubby gave them credit for.

I remember the first time a cow lost a calf during birth. She walked all around, calling for her baby. It was very sad. (I always said I should have been a vet instead of a nurse because I had a lot more sympathy for most animals than some of the people I cared for.)

They are also very protective. One time a deer jumped over a fence into the pasture, which caused a bit of a stir. The mama cows were grazing, and before they could get back to the herd, the older calves had surrounded the babies.

I learned things like this because we were using artificial insemination and that meant we (which usually meant me) had to go out twice a day to watch for signs of heat. But that’s another story.

Anyway, I learned there were certain factors involved with what a cow was called. In fact, a cow was actually not a cow until she had her first calf. Until then, she was a heifer. A bull calf became a steer when he was castrated (ohhhh, another story!).

And a steer brought up to the pen to be fed out with grain was called…………T-Bone.


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Connect the Dots

Lovi called this morning to make sure I had voted. “Straight ticket Democrat, right?” she asked. “Yeah, right,” I said (we don’t have a straight ticket option anymore), “I pushed my little pen for straight ticket.” “You had to press something?” she asked, “Wow, you all are high tech. We got to connect the dots.”

I had to slip my ballot inside a box. There were holes in the box next to each choice, and I had to take a stylus and press down inside the hole of my choice. This stamped a black mark on my ballot. Seemed simple enough and fairly chad proof, until I removed the ballot from the box to slide it into the counting machine. I saw that some of my black marks were smaller than others, not completely round or filling the circle. I sure hope they counted those. But at least if they have to hand count, it’s not difficult to tell the difference between a black mark and a blank spot.

Lovi, on the other hand, had two dots next to each choice, and she had to draw a line between the two dots of her choice. Sounds pretty foolproof, unless you get someone that’s really nervous and shaking, that can’t draw a straight line. Who gets the vote if it waivers between the Damnocrat and Republican?

I’m hoping for the next election that we’ll get to paint by numbers.


Monday, November 06, 2006

Poor Google

I really think they don’t quite know what to do with me. My understanding is that they try to get a feel for your blog to determine what kinds of ads to use.

First, there’s some lag time before the “appropriate” type of ad shows up. Cait was getting a little tired of learning about tumors in cats and dogs, or where to get the best deals for pet meds, before they finally found new material.

Second, it seems they’re evidently only using key words, or some other system besides actually reading the blog. Holly pointed out there was an ad for the Red Cross the other day. And that was after I wrote not one, but two blogs, lambasting the Red Cross—two weeks ago. I guess they figured I didn’t want to volunteer for the Red Cross, maybe I’d want to work for them instead.

I think they’re getting a little more variety now. We’ve moved past the pet info to law enforcement training, flight lessons, nursing schools and degrees, weight loss, and even choir fund raising.

The only thing is, they choose ads based on the content of my blogs, but I’m not allowed to click on those ads. So I can’t find out more about the things I’m interested in!

Although I guess I can see where it would be a problem with clicking on one’s own ads to make money.

Darn it. But just wait until I throw them my next curve ball.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

I've Created a Monster

You may recall Holly’s comment about being disappointed if she comes here and sees the same old thing posted.

I was talking to my “blood” sister, Lovi, the other day, and she was giving me a hard time about not having a new post every single day. It seems she’s grown accustomed to making blog rounds with her morning pot of coffee.

Great. You know, she used to go to the newspaper’s website.

So I told her that really wasn’t fair. Holly doesn’t always post every day. Neither does Holly's Snot-Nosed Stepson. I told Lovi I was about ready to complain to him once because he hadn’t posted in almost TWO weeks! The only one that posts almost every day (and thank goodness for that!) is LawDog.

“So?” she said.

I should have told her to start her own blog.


Saturday, November 04, 2006

To ID or Not To ID?

Near as I can figure, the Democrats swear that requiring ID to vote is a sinister Republican plot to keep Democrats from voting. Heck, if it’ll keep “Jon Carry” from being elected, I’m all for it.

Can somebody please explain to me exactly what the problem is with requiring ID? You have to prove who you are to get a driver’s license or passport. You have to show your ID to buy cigarettes or liquor. Some places require ID if you use your credit card. Some doctor’s offices are starting to ask for it. I went for a physical therapy evaluation yesterday, and even THAT office wanted my driver’s license.

So why is it “discrimination” to require ID to vote? Is there anybody that doesn’t drive, travel out of the country, buy cigarettes or liquor, use a credit card, or go to the doctor—that wants to vote?

I really don’t understand what the fuss is all about. I think you should have to prove you are who you say you are and that you meet the requirements to vote. Maybe not every single time, although I still don’t see what the big deal is. You have to show them something, it would be a lot easier for me to show them my driver’s license than to try to remember where I keep that stupid little piece of paper they send. Add a little box to the driver’s license for a Y or N that says you’re eligible to vote or not.

If it’s still an issue, at least require the documentation to register to vote. And do away with registering by mail, just to keep everybody honest.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Men Are From Mars

Listening to the (so far) non-Christmas radio station on the way back from dropping the girls off at school, the hosts were discussing a study that some anthropologists had conducted. Seems our sleeping habits can be traced back to caveman days. Seventy percent of men prefer to sleep on the side of the bed closest to the door, due to their protective nature. (How noble.) If the man is not home, the woman prefers to sleep on the man’s side or to cuddle his pillow. (How sweet.) However, when the woman is away, the man spreads out over the whole bed. (He waits until she’s gone??????)

Well, I’m one of the 30% that says I don’t care which side of the bed is closest to the door, my side of the bed is my side of the bed; so keep your behind (and head and shoulders and legs and feet) on your side of the bed.

And sleep on his side of the bed? Are you nuts? When Hubby is gone, I wash the sheets so I have a nice clean bed that I can spread out all over. It’s not just my side of the bed anymore, it’s my bed.

(However, I do have to admit that while he was in Iraq, I liked to keep his leather jacket close.)

So, I don’t think I’m from Mars or Venus. More likely Pluto. Yeah, the planet that was declared a non-planet. Hm, I wonder if they play non-Christmas music eleven out of twelve months of the year?


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Bah Humbug

We have at least two radio stations that play continuous Christmas music. When it started out several years ago, the music began playing on Thanksgiving Day.

Sure, ok, that’s fine.

The next year, somebody like the idea so much and evidently couldn’t stand the wait, so the music started maybe a week before Thanksgiving. Since then, it’s started earlier and earlier.

I’m taking my daughter and the neighbor girl to school this morning, turn up the radio to listen for the traffic report, and I hear a Christmas song.

“Maybe it’s just the one song, to start getting us in the mood,” I thought.

Next song: Christmas. People are calling in, requesting their favorite Christmas song and saying they’re so happy the station is playing Christmas music. The station ads are about “your Christmas music station.”


I switched stations.

Now, I enjoy Christmas music. Truly. At Christmas time. And 1 November, the day after Halloween, is NOT Christmas time.

Please, give me a break. People complained about how commercialized Christmas was becoming, with stores putting out Christmas displays earlier and earlier. Have we become immune to this immersion?

I can do a month of Christmas music. Not two. I’m sick of Christmas songs before we even get to the Christmas season. Actually, it’s not really the songs I’m sick of, it’s the idea of spending 1/6th of the year listening to it. You can’t wait for it? Play ONE song every now and then. Not non-stop for two months.

Next thing you know, they’re going to start having the After Thanksgiving Sales in June, before Christmas in July.


Monday, October 30, 2006

Lady and the Tramp?

In one of her comments, Holly referred to me first as a lady, and then a few sentences later called me Floozie, so that’s what brought to mind that particular Disney movie. Or I suppose I could say the Lady and the Lamp because many years ago, the first time I met her, in fact, Holly also introduced me to the music of Allen Damron, who had a song about Florence Nightingale and her lamp.

Anyway, I guess it’s time to explain about my different “personalities,” since Holly has once again referred to me in the plural (from the DST comments: “…wishing I had something new to read from the fertile fields of your minds…”).

She’s going to think this post is all about her, because she is also the one that first called me St. Flo, the MPD Saint. The saint reference came about because when she, Cait, Azrael, and I used to get together for Internet “chats,” I rarely cussed. So the Catholic Little Miss Goody Two Shoes became the saint.

The MPD (multiple personality disorder) came from all the nicknames I had already accumulated, depending on what mood I was in (hence, “Our Lady of Perpetual Mood Swings”).

A friend of ours was having some health issues and was not doing what the doctor ordered, so I wrote and told her I was going to send Nurse Ratchet her way. I think I really scared her, because she wrote back and she’s the one that dubbed me Floozie. Thanks, Gypsy.

I tend to have memory problems, therefore Dorie (from “Finding Nemo”), Our Lady of Perpetual Memory Loss, Sergeant “I Know NOTHING” Schultz, and Anyone Else I Have Forgotten.

I am Chieftainess of the Clan MacMurphy on days when everything that can go wrong, does.

And then there’s the name I share with Cait. I live quite a ways from Cait, who at the time lived relatively close to Holly. Cait made plans for one of Holly’s birthdays and during chat we would talk about the different activities and how much fun the day would be. We just neglected to tell Holly during these conversations that I was driving down to join in the celebration, too. So when Holly arrived at Cait’s house and I was the one that opened the door, she called us Lyin’ Bitches. Can you believe that? I was appalled. I did NOT lie—my mama said you’d go to hell for lyin’, and we surely don’t want a saint going to hell.

I know there are many more flitting around in the great expanse that is my mind, they just haven’t revealed their names yet. However, if there is Anyone Else I Have Forgotten, just wait, I’m sure my friends will rush in to remind me.


Sunday, October 29, 2006

Daylight Savings Time

I don’t know about you, but that extra hour of sleep last night didn’t do me a whole lot of good. I think we should either totally get rid of DST or permanently stay on it.

I thought maybe all the switching would be ok if I was still a kid and my body clock didn’t care what time it was. Then I remembered having to go to bed as a kid when it was still light outside. That was just wrong. But parents only care about their body clock and you have to listen to it, whether you want to or not. Of course, I always thought that was wrong, too, until I had kids of my own. Now I know it’s just payback for all their sleepless nights. Yeah, tell me parents don’t hold the record for longest grudge.

Then I thought maybe the time changes wouldn’t be so bad if it was still just me, myself, and I that was responsible only for me, myself, and I. Nope, because then I remembered the twelve-hour shifts I used to work. It didn’t make any difference that it was only an eleven-hour shift in the fall. In the spring, it was a thirteen-hour shift, and that cancelled out every eleven-hour shift and then some. Especially if the thirteen-hour shift was in the Emergency Department on a Friday night with a full moon. I don’t know where the people that wrote up the statistics got their information showing all that full moon talk was an old wife’s tale. Ask any employee that works the night shift in a hospital, for an ambulance service, fire or police department, and they’ll tell you a full moon on a Friday night means a nightmare of a shift and I hope you aren’t needing a smoke break or else heaven help your prisoner. I mean patient.

BTW, speaking of paying jobs, I haven’t received a paycheck from Google yet. Y’all are still clicking an ad every time you visit, right? I guess I should have mentioned that direct cash donations are also accepted. Just make your checks out to “Flo’s Financial Fantasy.” Surely it would be tax deductible, wouldn’t you think?


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

You Want HOW Much???

For AIR???

Remember back before cell phones, when your mother used to tell you to make sure you always had a quarter in case you needed to make a phone call?

Now you almost have to take out a loan if you have a low tire and need air.

I was out and about one night, running some errands before I had to pick my daughter up from school. Noticed a tire was low, stopped at a gas station, they wanted 75 cents to air up the tire. Yes, 75 cents!

“Forget that,” I said, and went on down the road to another station. Same thing. “Well,” I thought, “I think it will make it until I head back the other way and can hit Quik Trip for FREE air.” So I went about my business.

I came out from Wal-Mart, saw the tire, and thought “oh dear.” (Ok, I WOULD have thought that if I weren’t so irritated.) I didn’t think I should be driving across the street, let alone all the way to Quik Trip. So I hit one of those red things, I think it was Conoco, but it might have been Philips 66, on the corner.

That’ll be 75 cents—and the darn machine didn’t even say “please.” In go my three quarters. Nothing. I was getting more irritated by the minute and hubby wasn’t around, so I hit the machine. Still nothing. It ended up costing a full dollar to get air.

It’s highway robbery, I tell you!!

But thanks, Quik Trip, for having free air available, I hope you keep it that way.


Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Power Trick-or-Treating

Halloween at my sister Lovi’s house has been a tradition for a number of years. It starts with something handed down from our own childhood days, taco salad. Then Lovi and I gather the kids up for Round 1 of trick-or-treating in the car. After a short break back at the house, it’s time for Round 2, which involves walking the neighborhood.

After years of doing this, we have finally mastered the art of Power Trick-or-Treating in Round 1.

Listen closely, kids.

First, you have to set the ground rules: Everybody exits and enters the vehicle in an orderly fashion from the passenger side of the vehicle. Everybody stays together. Go up the street, carefully cross over, come back down the street, and then load back up into the vehicle. We move to the next LZ and repeat the process.

Here comes the “power” part: You get a 17-year-old kid. When the vehicle comes to a complete stop, he slams open the side of the van, hops out, and yells “GO GO GO!!!!!!!!” (Think of a chopper landing, the door opening, and soldiers pouring out.) The 17-year-old runs up to the first house, the others following him. They go from house to house at a run, careful not to run over other trick-or-treaters, stopping long enough to say “trick-or-treat” and “thank you.”

After the third or fourth street, the 17-year-old is holding the hand of the 7-year-old, practically dragging him along. Not long after that, the 17-year-old is carrying the 7-year-old. The girls are on their own, trying to keep up.

Last year we set a record—a full bag of GOOD candy for each kid, in 45 minutes.

Unfortunately, the 17-year-old is now 18 and at college, so he won’t be joining us this year. Anybody out there interested in the job?


Monday, October 23, 2006

Help Support the Fine Arts

…by clicking on a Google ad at the top of the page.

Ok, so if there’s truly any money in this, it really goes into my bank account to be used for a trip to New York. However, the purpose of the trip is for my daughter and me to sing Schubert’s Mass in G at Carnegie Hall as part of a choir. That’s supporting the fine arts, right?

When we get to New York, we’ll be meeting up with choirs from all over the United States. In the meantime, I am having a wonderful time (although the alto section is a little rowdy) with our local choir, made up of members from various churches in the area. We are fortunate to have two outstanding directors. They’re both passionate about their work, wonderful teachers, and also quite entertaining.

One is also a member of the Kansas City Chorale. Look, another way you can support the arts! They have a new CD that should be available in the U. S. in November, called “Eternal Rest.” Click here for a sample clip. If you or family or friends enjoy choir music, I hear the CD makes a great gift.