Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Oldest City in U.S.

Up bright and early Tuesday for a road trip to St. Augustine oldest city in the U,S, We were going to meet my nephew James (Jamie to me) and his family to tour the fort there. It was built to protect Spanish held Fl. from British attack. Sure glad I didn't live back then. I wouldn't make a good pioneer. We were lucky to beat the crowd and visit on a day that they reenacted the firing of the cannon. That was impressive!

Of course I spent much of my time looking at the boats watching them come and go. I really perked up when I saw a Coast Guard vessel stop a shrimp boat and board it. Now that's my kind of action. Was it a drug bust? Illegal immigrants? Pollution issue? never did find out but it did make me want to work hard to get crew qualified so I can go "boating"!

After the tour we went to eat at a seafood restaurant called The Conch. Fried shrimp the 2nd time in less than a week. HEAVENLY. not just shrimp, but real, huge ,fresh, shrimp with hush puppies on the side. We even ate outside in little tiki huts. Had a laugh or two watching the silly birds chasing each other trying to take a fish away from the lucky one that made the catch.

Soft sand, sunny day and shrimp on the beach Oh yeah!

Monday, December 29, 2008


Florida Christmas

Hey from Orlando...Florida that is. 80 degrees that is.....sunny too. Ahhhhh, my kind of Christmas! We left my sister's house around 9:00am from jacksonville. My bro-in-law was driving and we women we backseatin' enjoying life. After an uneventful trip we FINALLY arrived at the Gaylord Palms Hotel. We girls were soooo excited. We were going to see the ice sculptures and go into 9 degree temps. Excited???? Stupid??? anyway it was all we thought it would be and more. The first thing was to get nice and warm. Coats are furnished the latest style of course. I just kept pretending that they were deloused before I put it on. Then into the cold we went. We all said "ohhhh" and "Ahhhh" at the same time. How did they do it? Chinese artists are brought over a couple of months before the show to create their magic in 2 million tons of the cold stuff. Bythe end of the tour those ugly blue coats weren't warm enough even for this hardened Iowan. But the red noses and frosty ears were worth it. An experience I will always treasure.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Winter Storm=Snow Day

A big* huge* winter *storm was in the forecast last night. 4-8" of snow* ice* sleet* high winds *white out conditions. YEAH* that means no school! Hurrah* I love snow days. They are not like other days off* for some reason they are just special* Of course that is from the perspective of an old woman without school kids cooped up in the house with me* Well, anyway, they are like a gift from God and I am not really required to do anything on those rare days* Like clean house on Sats. or do lesson plans on Sundays* Just get up late* fix a big warm you up bkfst* then?????? I gazed out the window for awhile watching the birds gathered under the feeders that I had filled last night in anticipation of the storm* Then I took extra long in the potty room****reading a new book my neighbor had given me* No rush, I had ALL day, a free day* What to do next?
I decided to paint my bdrm! I was getting tired of purple; it had been on the wall for oh, say 10yrs* It was time to retire the angels and get something new and refreshing* (The art teacher at school will like the angel border, it is in good shape since i only staple and not paste it on* My neighbor(same as the book neighbor) had given me a gal* of paint so hee haw! I was ready* I had a little bit left from painting the living room so I used it for a 1st coat. The new paint would match just right and I could have the room done in no time* Yeah, right! Good thing I planned to do a second coat in the first place because the free paint was a FEW shades darker than the left over* So, instead of just painting the top half of the room that was a lilac color, I proceeded to paint the whole room covering a VERY dark wine color that was on the botton 1/2 of the walls*
Now it would have been easy to do if I had had a roller, which I did have, but SOMEONE, who had promised to paint behind the ref. in April, had left the roller in the paint tray all that time* I had a new roller cover but.....the old cover was now stuck fast to the roller which was stuck to the tray* After several "veiled hints" that it sure would be easier to paint if I had a roller, SOMEONE got up out of his chair and proceeded, with many huffs, and grunts, to take the old one off* Suddenly, I heard some "Cotton pickers", and some "for crying out louds".*I just stayed in my room paintin' away* I ain't no dummmy* I knows when to stay out of a p.o.d man's way* I figured he had tipped over the paint left in the pan and it ran all over* Like down the washer and even into the washer basket. So...I just kep'a paintin' and a paintin'*
Well, about a long time later I heard"'Here, here's your roller." That's when I found out he had shoved the screw driver he was using to chip off the roller, deep into his hand!!!! It was bleeding and kept bleeding, and kept bleeding* Even after the sympathetic (not) woman that I am showed him how to elevate it and where to apply pressure* Of course that was wrong* He knew how to apply pressure, he does it all the time when he he gets hurt* That is why it was still bleeding even after.... Finally I wrapped it with sugical tape and a sterile pad* Did you know Hypo-allergenic tape is not really surgical tape? I didn't either* but as I told him I ain't no #&@* nurse so do it yourself if you can do better!
Did I tell you I LOVE snow days???? Now if only they had snow days without snowmen!!!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I get to dance again!!!! I started dancing when I was in 9th grade. I loved it and it quickly became my life. Finally a way to release all that was inside. I quickly moved from basic ballet and jazz to acrobats and tap. I felt like I was flying with my leaps and jumps. Backbends actually felt good. I could leap tall buildings with a single jete. I could even dive over 5 girls landing into a walkover!
Fast forward a FEW years and back to dancing....this time it was clogging. Wow! even more fun and getting to perform at lots of cool places. I got so good at costume changes that I could change a whole outfit, IN THE CAR while driving!
Never danced on/with a pole though. I don't like cold things touching my body!

Fast forward to Sunday. I get to dance again. This time a liturgical dance (worship) This is the first time they have had dancing at this church so.... but I am excited! I love to dance, move to music. Duh, go figure those with ADHD like to move. Oh yeah, only natural.

Got the music, "Sent By the Father" by Ray Bolz ,and the moves but one small problem. The dress. It's a black short sleeveless with full skirt. It was used by the high school jazz choir. Boy did we have fun trying on costumes in the drama department closet. We laughed so hard at some of the get -ups. Dresses that were so old, at least from the '80s! Gunny Sacs, prom dresses, turn of the century get-ups. Of course we had to model them for the rest of the class. On the way back to the closet I took a detour through the office to show off my apron and sombrero. WHOOPs!!!!! The state auditors were in there going over books. Do you know how much number crunchers DO NOT have a sense of humor? Oh yes, the dress. It has one shoulder strap and the other side no strap so I need a strapless bra. Thus the problem.....Gravity . Who would guess they don't make bras for...well the droopies?

I tried everything! Then I remembered ..... how could I have forgotten my best friend? The Duck
So I grabbed my roll, yanked off the bra.....Brrrrrrrr even old ones get a little perky in the cold. Then I wrapped and strapped and tugged and lifted, and cleave-ated. All with an image in my mind of how I should look. Well, it's a good thing my Lord has a sense of humor 'cause the tape didn't work! And I am sure HE was really laughing as he watched me g..e..n..t..l..y remove the tape from places it shouldn't have been it the first place. YEaouch that stuff sure sticks!

So, I will just wear the dress and hope the" girls" stay put. After all ,it isn't about how I look but what is in my heart. Let them praise his name with dancing... Psalms 149:3

Sent By the Father by Ray Bolz

One more time you've heard the story ,of our Savior's birth.
Heard how few beheld his glory, when he came to Earth.
Oh but soon every eye will see Him, angels by his side.
See Him now on a great white stallion, in the eastern sky.


Sent by the Father, Jesus go and call my children.
A trumpet sounds and the angels sing, like never before.
With shepherds and wisemen, we humbly bow.
And every tongue confess that He is Lord.

When He comes in all His glory, comes to claim His own.
We won't need a star to guide us, we'll be going home.
Once a baby in a manger, no room at the inn.
Now a King to reign forever, over death and sin.

Chorus repeat.

Please pray for us as we lead the church in a new form of worship and also for the 2 girls that are dancing with me. They don't know Jesus so this is an opportunity for me to witness to them in a LEGAL way at school.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bloggin' Girls

Well now, you all have created another addict to this thing called bloggin'. And with all good things I had to share the fun I have several of my students (girls) starting their blog too. They love it and it gives them a place to VENT. I got the idea after I "found" one of the student's notebook. WOW""""" the language and the feelings and whoo....the stuff dem gals hab dun Oh MY! Anyway, I helped them set up their sites so they can vent and have a place to hide them. We is learnin' together how to adjust who reads what etc. But to see the joy and excitement as they compose their thoughts is so fulfilling. I even taught them to cuss using ***** so still rated PG. I justify blogging as English/tech. apps. WEll, they are larnin' new words, and skills so...Anyway thanks for all your inspiration gals keep blogging..I got new panties so when I pee one pair from laughin' I'll have some new ones to wear.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

An Historic Night

Saturday was a moment in Des Moines history. A new flotilla for the US Coast Guard Auxillary received its charter. I didn't realize how special it was until I saw all the "brass" from the 8th District. Only 1 other flotilla has been chartered in the past 10yrs. so no wonder all the Big Guys were there. We are a special unit since we branched off of another flotilla. We also are the only one that has chartered with so many experienced members.

Like this one guy,Vic, who has been in for 40 years and a gal ,Francis, who has been in for 31yrs. Several of the members have already held the position of commander for the flotilla and one guy has also been Commadore. All this experience gives us a head start over the ones that charter with all newbies.

For the chartering ceremony we were presented with a new Ensign and a USCGAux flag.

Each of us was also given a certificate for being a founding member of the new flotilla along with a certificate showing that we are "Plank Owners". This is an honor given to each person who serves on the initial voyage of a new vessel/flotilla. Wow! The certificates are really sweet!

Of course this all happened after the 2009 Flotilla Commander and Vice Flotilla Commander (me) were given the oath of office.

How sweet is that! All that fun and good stuff, lots of neat friends, free training, and I get to hang out at the boat ramps with the other cool people that like to play in/on the water. Ahhhhh !!!!!Life is sure good!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday Cleanin'

I tried to call my little sister this morning and she wouldn't answer her phone. What was up with that? When she called later she told me she was taking her organ lesson and I interrupted her! What a change from when we were kids. Nothing came before the cleaning of the house and I mean NOTHING!
"Hey, get up up there and get Fat Ass up too." That is how my Saturdays started every week when I was a kid. I sure didn't look forward to Saturdays like most kids did. No sleeping in late or spending the mornings watching cartoons. It was up at 8:00 sharp, shovel some cereal in and get started. Not piddley little chores like take the garbage out or feed the cat/dog. Oh dad was a strong German and when he said clean that's exactly what he meant CLEAN!
From the top to the bottom. Ceiling ,walls, floors and everything in between. The only good part was that he and mom were gone most of the day and we could clean alone the way we wanted to. Let's see....the control up with a plan to divide the chores equally. One week I did the kitchen, the next week Wende did it. If I didn't do the kitchen I had the bathroom to do. Sounds pretty easy huh? WRONG! Clean the kitchen meant defrosting the ref. by hand, hauling out the ice from it, along with all the left overs. I hated having that nasty cold water run up my sleeves ending in my armpits! All the veggie drawers had to be cleaned too. As we got smarter we learned to use the hair dryer to melt the ice faster.
While cleaning the kit. we also had to wash the clothes. Not throw them into the washer and then into the dryer but,...1st we had to drag the rinse tub over to the faucet and fill it with cold water. Then while full, drag it out of the way so we could fill the Maytag with hot water. That was moved so that the wringer would drop the clothes into the rinse water and not on the floor. Whites of course went in first since they needed the hottest water. They would wash 20 minutes or so(depending when we remembered to change the load). Each piece was run through the wringer and into the rinse tub. Everything was swished around in the freezing cold water, the wringer was swung around again so the rinsed load could be wrung out, and dropped out into the basket. That task was delicate, a miscalculation and the clothes would hit the floor. Another load was put in and 20 minutes or so the routine was repeated. Of course laundry didn't stop just there. They basket had to be hauled upstairs and taken outside where everything was hung onto the line to dry. In winter they got hung up down in the basement.
After the kitchen came the living room. A dust mop was used to clean all the ceilings; corners especially. No cobwebs had better be left or else...this went for the walls too. All books came off shelves and were dusted as was every piece of furniture. Don't forget the legs! One time my sister missed dusting 1 pedal on the organ and... well let's say it was not pretty. Every key, knob and button got dusted as well as the window sills. Vacuuming was the last thing done.
Finally it was up to the bedrooms. Wende did mom's/dad's and I did ours. (A control thing again). Three twin beds and dressers needed cleaned and the linoleum floor swept. Imagine if you can this girls' room. Green and brown tile floor. Pink bedspreads, and pirate curtains!!!!! A far cry from the coordinated bdrms of girls now days huh?
By the time we finally finished cleaning it would be around 4 or 5 o'clock at night. So......when my sister said she was at organ lessons I knew she felt the same way I did about Saturday cleanings.. Screw that!!!!!

I got things to do and places to go. Thank God!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Drama and Music

Oh the drama at a high school! By the time I left Wednesday I had a headache as big as marion Co. All females, all about boyfriends(ex) and not even a full moon. God, thank you for only giving me 1 daughter. I would rather have 100 boys than 2 girls. And no way 3 girls. That just doesn't work anytime or anywhere. "He looked at me and laughed." He called me psycho." "I quit going to church because he said I coulcn't go to that one anymore." and on and on and on. I don't ever remember that drama stuff when I was a kid. It's like they don't have any coping skills. I think because they have always been allowed to succeed and never experience failure they aren't able to accept this stuff now. This is the generation that was allowed to make the team even if they weren't the best, All team members get awards no matter how good/terrible they are. Any little thing that doesn't please them and bam, they run to the phone to call mama/dad. God help those employers that get them in 4 years. Don't you dare scold them or offer corrections. They will have to rush home to have a melt down! I think those kids that have had to go without are better prepared for the real world than their spoiled peers. If they have to go without and scrabble for what they do get they seem to appreciate what they have a lot more. The other kids are in the gimme, gimme, gimme mode all the time. Good thing I have outlets to release the tension. I sit down to play a few songs and the next thing I know an hour has flown by. I love my little organ! I used to play everyday as a kid.I couldn't play the left hand very well. If I had practiced I could have but I was too impatient to mess with it. I would play hymns, show tunes and my favorite..old songs from my parents era. Now with my little Lowry it's one push of a button on the left and that takes care of the chords. Then I can whiz thru the melody. Add the extra background beats-waltz, big band, march, country and WOW do I have fun! The focus of the organ hobbyist program is on retirees....those that have the time and the disposable income. I am one of the younger students. The oldest at my lesson place is 97 years young.There arehusband and wife teamsplaying, lots of old guys and not sissy guys either. There is just something relaxing in making music. That's how God and I communicate best. I would hate to lose my hearing and miss all the beautiful, beautiful songs. Some of my friends that feel the same way I do as the receive their Star Student award. Thank you God for music.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The New Babies

I stumbled into the bathroom with my eyes barely open because I had spent another night taking out and bringing in the senior citizens of the dog world. First they have to potty, then they need a drink, then they need a snack, then.......So anyway I wasn't seeing clearly when I glanced into the tub to look at the 2 guinea pigs residing there. They don't actually live there there but their cages rest there so they don't become snacks for the other 4 legged inhabitants at the freindly farm. I was a little confused when I saw a flash of fuzz in one of the crates. I'm not a great duster but I didn't think my dust bunnies had gotten that big. You need to know I didn't have my glasses on yet so everything was fuzzy looking but this was more fuzzy than usual! Upon closer inspection I got a delightful suprise! My "boy" pig had just delivered 4 babies. Wow was I suprized. I thought they would be naked helpless things. All skin and closed eyes wobbling around looking for mama. Boy those things can move!!!!And only a couple of hours old. All furry and alert with their eyes open and mewing so sweetly. What do you think?How can I get rid of them? I want to keep everyone. Of course that is how I got into trouble in the first place and thus the name The Friendly Farm. A very persistent sweet grandchild talked Granny into taking just one kitten because her friend had to get rid of them. I promise it is a boy......Anybody want a free cat, or two, or three, or ten?
Or a rooster that is the boss of the farm? How about some ducks? Really cute when the waddle and only eat a little bit of cat food each day.Anyhow, what's 4 more mouths added to the managerie? Oh, by the way, did I mention I have some cats to GIVE away?????

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Visiting Grandma

Well it was an exciting weekend. The grandbabies were coming and that can cause so much pressure for an old lady. I mean there are so many ideals that grandmas are supposed to live up to. For heaven sakes. If were we all like the story grannies, we'd have trouble walking down the street because of out HUGE halos! Lets see....grandmas are:
supposed to be kind, loving, cooky baking, story telling, gift bearing, kissing......blah, blah, blah! What pressure! I'm defeated before I even get started! But, there is a little girl that wanted to spend the night with her berry best phriend. So I must be doing something right...or is it just that she loves to pet Bart's ears and uncurl his tail?????? Hummm.
Well the weekend started with Granny meeting the Omaha bunch at Uncle Rowdy's house. That's where the commotion all started. You see, Uncle Rowdy has a new puppy! That in itself is enough to cause the crazies.
Then we went to get Pizza, after taking an hour to decide what kind everyone wanted. Yes, it would have been easier to make them but it was Friday and Granny was tired. Now we can't just go and get the pizza and come home to relax. No, we have to wait in line FOREVER because the place has all the orders screwed up. The deliveries were left and the pick-ups were people who were not home because they were picking up their pizzas! Finally a good 1/2hr later the pizzas are nicely laid out and Wham!!!!Someone let in a horde of famished two legged mouths. All the pizza was gone in 10 minutes tops! Sorry Uncle Cody, better luck next time. We girls snuck out of the house while the guys were playing games and headed to Wal Mart to do some girl shopping. We were going to make new bags. Yeah!!!!! How come a purse is just right when I first get it, but shrinks so quickly afterwards? We wandered around the fabric department for ahemmmmm a little while finding something cuter around each new corner. I finally found the perfect material and after a short chat with niece Angela, headed back to Rowdy's house. 11:30pm is not the time to start a project! Especially when we're also trying to look up houses and schools in Little Rock. (But the result is fabulous!) Well, it was too late to go home so Granny slithered her way to that nice, huge, comfortable bed in the spare room where my verry bestest friend lie asleep waiting for me to" 'pend the night wif her". Out like a light in 2 minutes because......someone wakes up VERY early in the morning.

Saturday, after what seemed like only minutes, Granny was up and toddling. Gotta brush the teeth first thing or the rest of the day is craps. I don't like Uncle Cody's toothpaste but do love Zoe's firefly toothbrush. Donut time! A granny tradition....The girls make the bellybuttons with bottlecaps while Granny referees so each gets to make the same amount. Already to drop those yummy suckers in the oil and what's this? No powdered vanilla? Oh dear!!!!! Can't have Granny's donuts naked. Improvised and the results weren't too bad. Don't ask Zach/CJ they lie. Somehow the were able to choke down 3 dozen donuts and bellybuttons, along with 1/2 gallon of O.J and 1# of bacon. The rest of the day flew by and after a short visit to my church gym night we finally headed to Granny's. Yeah!!!!! I had lots of help feeding the "dinny pids" guinea pigs, dogs and cats. Do you know how many cats can run indoors at one time when one 4 year old goes outside to feed them? I must have thrown at least 100 out several times. We went to bed EARLY after reading 2 stories. No we won't read it again because you forgot the Teddy Bear's boy's name!
Sunday up again with the "chitten" (who is the boss of the farm because he tells everyone to get up in the morning). Out the door to help Grandpa feed the aminals, in comes 3 cats, back inside for gloves because her fingers are cold, in comes 3 cats, back out with Grandpa after 10 minutes of him trying to put her gloves on. (You have too many fingers girl. How did they all get in one hole?) Back out, cats in back in, more cats in. "
"The horses almost ate my hand off when i dived them the apples". Off to church where she was an angel. Granny was smart and brought the new colors and book with us. Just a little nervous as offering plate passes." I put bof the quarters in?" in a LOUD whisper. More nervous when communion comes by. G:"Take a tiny pinch of bread"
Z: "What are those things?" she asks as she touches several communion wafers.
G: "Take a little glass of juice. OK, that's enough. Put it back now. PUT IT BACK."
Z: " I'm still firsty, Grandma !!!!
More excitement after church when the Cedar Rapids grands come to Uncle R's.
None of the Omaha grands had seen their new baby cousin (Landon) and 2nd newest cousin(Hudson) has never seen the puppy. Holy Crap a nola!!!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Firsts' 1st, Frst, First, First

Yeah!!! Lots of Firsts for granny.
1st yorkie puppy( a girl Coco) in the family... Rowdy's,
1st piercing for Chenoa as an adult (her nose), Way to go girl! Tattoo next?
1st time gas below $1.75 since????? Hurrah! Can it go lower?
1st medal for organ player... O.K. I didn't play at the concert but I work hard in practice.
1st organ of my own A Lowery. It is used but so relaxing and easy to play. The dogs "sing" while I play. I Love It
1st new laptop that is a pretty blue and lots easier to play with than the big one.
1st time I haven't worn pants/slacks to school for 9 weeks in a row! That's a lot of leg shaving!
1st time for poison ivy on the girls....don't ask!
1st time my bestest friend 'pended the night= Zoe and granny and 3 dogs in
1 tiny bed.
1st time the cave, spare bdrm, is filled with garden's bounty. Squash and potatoes, and tomatoes EVERYWHERE.
Even and old woman can still experience lots of 1st, whether her own or shared with family and friends....fuzzy and human.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day

Went to a neat ceremony at school today for Veterans Day. All the vets from the community were invited to the high school. They marched into the gym in single file while all the audience stood up to show them respect.All the kids of the district were in the gym. The band played the Star Spangled Banner while everyone saluted the flag. Then a group of 5th graders lead us all in the Pledge. Each vet was introduced, his branch told and the years they served. Next, a vet from the local post explained the tradition of the "extra empty chair" to honor the MIA/POW. As he explained each part another vet placed the object in it's proper place. A MIA/POW flag draped over the chair back, tablecloth placed on the table, 1 place setting, a glass turned upside down to show the missing wasn't there to toast with the others, a vase, red rose, and a lighted candle. Everyone watched very attentively. I was impressed that kdg. kids could sit so quietly. Next, another vet told the story of Taps which was played afterwards. That always makes me tear up and especially after hearing the story of how the tradition of playing taps at all military funerals was started. Afterwards, our principal was given a MIA/POW flag for the school. Last, the vets marched out of the gym to a standing ovation! They were proud and felt honored that the community would do that to remember them. I think there were about 30 veterans there that had served in all decades from 1940-2008. One of the gentlemen later came to my classroom to talk further to the kids. He brought his Purple Heart, dogtags, money from other countries, "cover", and letters from his time in WWII. Jack also was there and they compared their duties and weapons they used. The boys sure perked up listening to those stories. After about an hour our honored guest left our room and left a part of himself inside of all of us.
Thanks Vets!!!!!