We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature--trees, flowers, grass--grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence...We need silence to be able to touch souls. --Mother Teresa

Monday, August 31, 2009

Funny Because It Didn't Happen to Me

So I am standing frantically trying to make copies in the office this morning and in slides a teacher. With this amazing deer in headlights look. You know the one.

And she announces that she has a cat in her room.

A cat? Really?

Uh uh.

A real live cat?

Uh uh.

In a book bag? Really?

Uh uh.

In a cubby? Really?

Yes. A cat in a book bag in a cubby.

Try to guess how it got to school?

Yep. ON THE BUS. No lie. Rode the bus in a book bag to school. And was in a cubby.

And it was a full grown cat.


Don't ask any questions.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

This is Why

Go here......read this.
A person doesn't have to be old to be wise.
Just sayin'.

Missing In Action.....

Sorry. But I have been missing in action....and I know. I know. I usually tell you before I am going to be gone for awhile. I had no idea I was going to be gone.

Of course, there was no emergency. NONE.

School started.

It does every year at this time. Duh. And as my brother and my brother in law pointed out.....WWWAAAHHHHH. They both can stick it in their ears.

I am tired. Dead tired.

And I couldn't think of anything to post that wasn't whineysissybabystuff. So rather than say something not nice, I simply didn't say anything at all.

My class is wonderful.

I have walked with my good friend, WB, each morning at 5:30. We have made it 3 weeks and are starting our 4th week. One day it began or really, probably continued to lightening so we were cut short and another it was flat out raining--so I was forced to stay in bed. Not really, I did laundry. I haven't been able to do FamFit on a regular basis but I hope to get back to it this week. Coach has had to work out by himself.

We have had dinner at the table almost every night--and that has been great. We have been able to eat outside most nights. The flies are thick and driving me crazy--but that is not unusual. I believe there is a purpose for everything, but I cannot see the purpose of flies.

Frick and Coach have handled dinner most nights. That has been fun....You can see(in the sidebar) that we just came up with a list of things we can fix with what we have at home and somebody just picks and starts cooking. It's working so far.

College Girl is doing fine. She had a minor meltdown over a $227 math book. And the fact that her wireless internet isn't exactly wireless...but that is another post.

Frick and Frack are doing wonderfully. School is good. Old dress code rule is now being enforced--THANK YOU GOD-so that has been a topic of conversation for us. Frack has no legal school shorts. Oh well, it's too cold in the building for shorts and she has worn jeans. It's too bad the rule isn't for everyone--again, that's a whole other post. (and it might fall under the category of whineysissybabystuff!!)

Have I mentioned my class is wonderful?

And Coach? Well. He's OK. Kind of rough for football to start without him, but he's OK. This too shall pass.

And since Coach had some time last weekend, he put up this......
My fence! I have wanted this fence for the edge of our patio space for the entire time we have lived in this wonderful house....and this summer I was able to purchase the 2 panels. It has always been a great outdoor living space and now it is a great private outdoor living space. Several people have commented about the addition of the fence and how they can't see us! Exactly.

And since Coach had some time this weekend, he began to clean out his garage/gym space. It is a project that will take longer than a weekend to finish....but I am guessing he will get it done.

I always think I have to have pictures when I post....so this week I am going to try posting without pictures. Just post some daily updates and my regular Wednesday and Friday stuff.

Have I mentioned my class is wonderful? Just sayin'.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Food on Friday

Week one of school is in the books.

Week one of school has kicked my butt.

Food on Friday?

Your expectations seem a little high.....but a girl my size has gotta eat...so....we had food on Friday. Somebody else cooked it, we ate it on paper plates in front of the TV and life is all about good.

Just sayin'.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Way Back Wednesday

This photo is 40 years old. My grandparents had been married 25 years...which now would be 65 years....

My mom had super cool hair...for 1969. And Gram had rockin' glasses....for 1969. Nice moustache, Uncle Tom. And Uncle Butchy, well, I got nothing. I don't remember my grandparents ever looking like this. Oh my mom still looks like this...my uncles, not so much.

Do we still have family pictures taken for events like this?

We should.

Pictures are what spark memories....sometimes good and sometimes not so good. Can I tell you that this picture of my grandparents sparks great memories?

Probably not. Maybe so. This wasn't the easiest 25 years my grandmother ever spent...but she stuck in it and we were able to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in 1994. But not their 51st.....

Take time today to spark a memory. Just sayin'.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Food on Friday

Well. Have I mentioned that I have a younger brother? 28 months younger. That means he was 40 in June.
And I think he might have accidentally become a grown up. Well as grown up as anyone in my gene pool will ever be.

We are like night and day. I am light and he is dark. I am well behaved and he was....naughty. Really. I ate everything and he ate nothing. Everyone liked me best and well, everyone liked him best. He could ride my bike and I couldn't. I loved school and he hated it. I loved reading books and he felt tortured if he had to read a book. My eyes are brilliant blue and his are blazing hazel. He loves beer and I love fries. He was as small as I was tall.

He once told my mom that he was "gonna live with her until he was five hunert years old"....imagine her panic. I would never have said that. Man, he loves his mom. Wait, I love her, too. But she likes me best. Promise.

He drove me absolutely crazy when we were little--well, younger because I was never little. He never sat still ever. Ever. Ever. He was constant motion. If he was in the house, he had to have a tennis ball or those blue rubber balls that people used to play racquetball in hands. And he would throw it against the wall and catch it a million times. Without looking. If he was outside, he was playing some sort of game, usually winning, or riding his bike and jumping the homemade bike ramp the neighborhood kids had made at the edge of the neighbors driveway. And jumping the highestfarthestfastest.

We called him Scotty. My dad still slips and calls him that. One time he found snakes in Grandma Hillbilly's yard. She gave him a butter tub to keep them. Later, we're having supper when Gram looks up and notices that the lid is ajar on the butter tub. "Scotty, why is the lid off of the snake tub?" To which he calmly replies, "Gram, they have to have air to breathe." She promptly jumped onto her chair while Grandpa checked the tub. And you guessed....no snakes. Screaming and screeching begins and snakes are quickly found and banished outside. I don't think Gram ever quite got over that little incident. New rule...no snakes in the house.

WARNING....I have a bejillion of these shots. DO NOT leave your camera lay anywhere near him. In the olden days, I would develop a roll of film and find shots like these THAT I HAD PAID MONEY FOR. Now I just delete them.

Last weekend, he and Grandma Cindy met us at CG's apartment with a load of stuff. He had some wisdom for CG....not all of it appropriate or shareable with my lovely audience. But he also had something for us. A Christmas present.

A Christmas present? For real. He usually shops with my mom one afternoon near Christmas. Well that might be a lie. She shops, hands him a bill and he pays her. But this time he surprised her almost as much as me.

He bought The Hays Crew this:
No lie.
A Traeger Grill.
Just like this one. All by himself. No help from my mom.
I was very excited. It almost topped the Christmas I got my Kitchen Aid mixer. Almost.
He gave his brother-in-law and his nephew the thrill of their life. Frick can't wait to get it put together so he can grill something.

Thanks, Scotty.

Food on Friday? Yep. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


This is the day.
And this picture is how I feel.

These kids were in my life last year. I will miss them soooooo much. They were a great class.....we did ok considering I was the teacher...and right now I have no idea who my new kids will be.....I am excited to meet them but at the same time I am a nervous wreck. Again, Fuzzybuthappy.

Here are 3 of my favorite people in the world. This is how I see them in my mind's eye. I lovelovelove this picture because it is so them. I bet this picture is 12 years old. Take my mom advice...date your pics as soon as you get them. Time goes too fast.....again....Fuzzybuthappy.

Today is my nephew's 21st birthday. I can remember waiting for the call to come that he was here..but he was so stubborn even then that he made us all wait. I wasn't married to his uncle yet but what a feeling it was to be a part of that day. He was the most handsome guy and you have never seen prouder people than on that day when the first Hays Grandson was born. I am very proud of our Jayhawker....and lucky to be his Aunt...and he likes me best. Again...Fuzzybuthappy.

Lake of the Ozarks, 2009. This is quite possibly the greatest picture ever of 5 of my favorite people. I love these people--especially that short one. She's the Hays Family glue....even though she's a retired person who just sits around. Gotta love those retired people. Really. Fuzzybuthappy.


It's a good feeling. Just sayin'.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Food on Friday

And I know it is Saturday. Yesterday was wild. One minute it was 6:30 a.m. and then it was dark. So there you have it.

We brought peaches home with us from vacation. Not unusual. We are usually in Missouri at the height of peach season so we eat them while we are there and then we bring a bushel home. This years crop was wonderful meltinyourmouth good. But they didn't hold as well as they usually do. So I was forced to think of some way to use them up--and quick.

So I made JAM!!

I used my red and white checked cookbook recipe and TA DA!! Jam!

It isn't real thick, but it tastes wonderful. The first batch made a dozen 1/2 pint jars--which I water bathed to seal-- and I doubled the second batch (11 cups of sugar) and it made 17 1/2 pint jars. I sort of peeled the peaches using the hot water dip then ice water dip and I dropped the peaches into my food mill to puree. Got some peel in the first batch, but did better the second batch.

Mr. Wonderful thinks that we should add it to homemade ice cream to make peach ice cream. Get started making ice cream was my response.

Most of us have had our peach jam fix daily on toast. MMMMMM....so good.

Then I got wild. At book club, my favorite retired school nurse mentioned that she had some beets. Oh, I love beets. So she dropped some beets at my house. And then guess what? I made pickled beets!

The recipe called for 10 pounds of beets but I only had 5. The recipe also called for quart jars but I knew that would be way too many beets in one jar so I used 1/2 pint jars. Perfect! It made a dozen jars. The recipe also called for cloves, but my good friend Becky Homecky suggested that I skip the cloves unless I really loved cloves. Eh, not so much. Did you know that if you have your wisdom teeth out and you get dry socket they pack your sockets with clove oil gauze? Lets just say I no longer love cloves.

And these pickled beets rock. I ate a whole jar the first day. Mr. Wonderful and I are the only ones who will eat them and he really only likes a few.

Aren't they pretty?

And then....I made pickles! I had some pretty good help on this little adventure. My other favorite not retired school nurse helped me out a WHOLE bunch. I called to pick her brain about pickle making and she supplied me with everything I would need to make pickles....cukes, lime and seasonings plus expert tips! She was done with pickle season because she had put up 50 quarts of pickles and felt like that would get them through the year. 5o? Oh my.

This was a 3 day process. I ended up with 3 quart jars of pickles and 6 pint jars of pickles. I probably could have packed them tighter but I had enough brine so it was fine.

The recipe was very easy to follow and with my expert tips.....I have some fairly decent sweet pickles. Not as good as my other favorite not retired school nurse...but pretty darn good. They look lovely. I am darn proud of my self.

I had a very good time canning. If it weren't for the lack of electricity and indoor plumbing, I would have made a real good pioneer woman.

Eh...or not.

And we still have zucchini. Just sayin'.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


....want some zucchini? We have some. And I think we are going to have more......some years we have a ton and some years none.

How do these things get so huge? One day they are on the smallish side and the next they are jumbo.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Way Back Wednesday

We looked like this 6 years ago.....Happy 6th Anniversary, Mrs. Ohlde.

17 years ago I saw you for the first time when you showed up for 7th grade. Who knew that we would be where we are now?

Remember your hair.....oh, the bangs! And the leather bomber jacket? You looked good.

I was scared to death. I had never done anything with middle school kids. I mean NEVER. I drank Maalox out of my desk drawer for 3 weeks and ran for the bathroom every 53 minutes.

But you made it all worth it.

I suppose you were scared to death, too. I was mean. Really. That's what they tell me. But I had cool clothes and reallyreallyreally cool hair.

And we bonded.

When CG started going to your mom's, you started riding to school with me. And we had to take your brother. Remember we made him ride in the backseat of the 2-door honda? He hated it.

He turned out alright.

And then the twins were born and you were the first visitor they had (they were an hour old the first time they saw you)...and you brought 3 very special people with you and oh, yeah, your mom. Remember how you searched for an outfit that wasn't pink for Frack because you hated pink?

Remember that CG wouldn't ride with you because you drove too slow?

Remember how I volunteered you to go with the twins on a field trip the day after your high school graduation? Yeah, maybe you don't remember that so much.

Then you were College Girl.

And then you were teacher girl. The twins still remember the one time they got to go to your classroom when you were a student teacher and wait for you to finish after school. Then you took them to Sonic. That really elevated you to Goddess in their eyes. And it never went away.

And then you were Married Girl.

And now....you are a wonderfulwonderfulwonderful Mom.

And now I am so very proud to say...my friend. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

CG's Apartment

Yesterday was moving day One. We moved our first load of CG's stuff to Apartment One. Her dad is praying this is the only place she lives for the rest of college. Wishful thinking on his part.

As these things go....it wasn't too bad. No real issues...a few things that were kind of odd but since I had the Dad with us....and I sent him to handle it....it got done.

Like they didn't have key ready for CG. Hhhhmmm?? Knew we were arriving yesterday and no key? Bonus for us because we got to see them actually change the locks and hand the key to us. So that worked out.

The Dad demonstrating how to close the curtains. He makes an excellent model for curtain closing. I think.

Why? What? Who knows....CG and her dad aren't real well behaved at any given time....and after 2 hours of traveling and then carrying stuff up 3 flights....well, they weren't as funny as they thought they were. I have a lot of pictures of my backside. My people think it's hilarious to take pics of my backside. Love them. Lots.

And I was on the phone (twice) with Westar because CG was given the wrong address for her apartment...TWICE....and so her electricity was on but not in her name. Oh my.

The bathroom. According to an unnamedpersonwhohassharedabathroomwithCG all summer.....this is the only time the BR will be clean.

A closet.

The kitchen. Pretty self explanatory.

Lucky number 13. This made it all ok. (Find out why here) And as apartments in college towns go, this one isn't too bad. She did ok. But I think I know how my mom felt 23 years ago when she dropped me at this same apartment complex.

Just sayin'.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Riding My Bike

Can you remember your first bike? I can. Christmas 1972. I was 5. It was blue with a white banana seat. It was the most wonderful bike in the whole wide world.

Only I couldn't ride it. I just couldn't get it. I sucked.

My 3 year old brother learned to ride that bike before me. And when I say before me....I mean like the day after Christmas the little turd rolled that bigobike up to the porch so he could even get on it and HE RODE AWAY. And he never stopped. He didn't fall. He didn't crash. He just kept riding. My Christmas present. Turd butt.

Oh. I was one pissed off 5 year old.

And it took me awhile to master the biking skill. Much to my dismay. But my brother never fails to rub it in. 37 years later.

In my defense, I was a big girl. Not overweight. Just way too tall and way too uncoordinated. Emphasis on the uncoordinated. Still. Really. I was the tallest person in my grade until 4th grade when a boy caught and passed me. I was always the tallest girl in my grade.

I did finally learn and I loved riding my bike. Unless I crashed. Which I did. Often. I bear some scars from some accidents.

I still love riding bikes. 2 years ago I bought a bike at a garage sale for 10 bucks. It is an awesome bike. Purple with pink accents.

It was at this point I began riding my bike to run errands around town. I get lots of comments.

My husband has 2 requirements for my bike riding adventures.....one, I must wear a helmet.

I am not all that whippy at bike riding. He worries that I will crash and the police will call him to come and pick up the pieces.

I am very careful.

Really no wheelies.

His second requirement is that BOTH of my hands must remain on the handle bars AT ALL TIMES. I'm really not very steady. I have gotten better this summer, but I still must keep my hands on the bike at all times. So if you see me and I don't wave, I'm not ignoring you or trying to be rude, I'm simply following the rules. Miracles do happen.

School starts in 2 weeks. Oh my. Oh my. Oh my. Anyway, I am going to try riding my bike to school this year. I think I can do it. I have practiced and it takes me about 10 minutes to get to school. Piece of cake.

But I won't wave at you. Cause I am following the rules. Just sayin'.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


I didn't take any of these pictures.

Why? Well....I don't really do boat rides. I have gone and survived but its a long story.

So on the boat ride my family took while at Lake of the Ozarks, I stayed on land and surprise of all surprises....read my book.

Ah, the peace and quiet. The memory keeps me going even now......

Anyway. My kids are always in awe of the houses at the lake. And I have to agree there are some pretty amazing homes.

This first picture is of a house that we can see from Granny's. Sometimes Granny gets her binoculars out to watch what is going on over there. In the beginning when the house was being built her claim was that she was watching them build it. Now? Not so sure. But it does have a pool and it looks awesome. She does have great binoculars....But who the heck cleans that bigass house?

This is the next door neighbor to the house above. And then there is one more on the other side of this one.
Very cool. Very.

And then we have some just random houses that my kids really liked......

I think this one is more like a condo....

And maybe this one is, too.....

My kids think we need a boat. One kid in college and 2 more on the way on the same day.....we're going to be lucky to have groceries. No boat. Really.

I could soooooooo live here. For a long time. Really. But whose gonna clean this bigass house?

Guess I can't live here. I don't clean house very well. Just sayin'.

Your own soul is nourished when you are kind, but you destroy yourself when you are cruel. -Proverbs 11: 17