Saturday, January 31, 2009

Think Before You Leap

I am not saying the following has ever happened to me, but I am not saying it could never happen to me. I have called the newspaper office a few times about my late paper.

For all of us who are seniors - for all of you who know seniors - and for all of you who will be seniors.
It pays to be able to laugh about it when you are! And, speaking of senior moments:
'WHERE is my SUNDAY paper?'
The irate customer calling the newspaper office loudly demanded, wanting to know where her Sunday edition was. 'Ma'am,' said the newspaper employee, 'today is Saturday. The Sunday paper is not delivered until tomorrow, on Sunday .' There was quite a long pause on the other end of the phone, followed by a ray of recognition. as she was heard to mutter, 'Well, crap... so that's why no one was at church today.'

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Day We Bought the Separator

The Day We Bought the Separator
Who ever heard of a separator? It was an apparatus that was invented in the early days to separate the cream from the milk. I heard my parents discussing the plans to buy a separator. "What’s a separator", I asked. Mom said, "It’s a machine that lets the milk come out one spigot and the cream come out another one". I asked, "How does the cream know which spigot to get in?" My smart brother, who knew everything, said, "Its because it keeps to the right, and the milk keeps to the left, anybody should know that, Dummy". This was a big event, it would compare to buying a big flat screen TV today. The store that we bought it from delivered it to our house. It was an exciting day. We had to decide where to set it up. We decided on the screened-in back porch. I say "we", but I don’t recall that my opinion counted for much.
Most farmhouses in that era had a screened-in back porch. The back porch is where we kept the wood and kindling box, the wash tubs, scrub board, ironing board, and an extra table, a shoe rack for muddy shoes and a couple chairs plus a lot of things I have no doubt forgotten about.
It finally came and was set up on the porch. Now we need to figure out how it works. It has the big bowl that sets on top and the brains of the operation was several pieces that had to be cleaned after each use and than reassembled. We called this action, putting the separator together. Ray and I wanted the honor of having the job. I finally won out because, as I pointed out, I was the girl. Mom’s job was cleaning the whole operation each day and I soon heard a few grumbles about how much she disliked the job. Daddy had the job of pouring the milk into the bowl and cranking the handle until all the milk was separated. The honor of, putting the separator together, soon grew extremely boring so I decided I would allow my brother, Ray, to have the honor of the job. When I approached him that I had a change of heart, and I would let him have the pleasure of putting the separator together, you would have thought I suggested he should get a sex change operation. He let me know in, no uncertain terms that, putting the separator together, was a girl job. I asked Bennie, my next brother in the lineage, if he would like the job of putting the separator together. He asked, "Do I look like a girl to you?"
Guess who put the separator together until we moved to the city. The only girl in the family at that time.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Blood Draw

The Dreaded Blood Draw

It’s time for the dreaded blood test. It’s just a routine thing. Forget breakfast and take a drive down to the lab. That would be quite a normal thing for a normal person, but I am not normal. My body only has one vein and it is located in the back of my left hand.
Today was no different than any other blood draw that I have had in the past. The attempt is first made to search for a vein in the arm. It’s still not there. I am not a wimp. I recently received a shot in the knee with a three foot needle and didn’t feel any pain whatsoever. The level of pain in a blood draw on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the most severe, mine would be in the 100000000000000000. It’s not that they don’t know what they are doing. They do it all day and get much practice so I know it’s not their fault that my vein won’t cooperate. At least it seems that way. I'm not absolutely sure.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Hollis


If my memory serves me correctly, this was taken in about 1948 at Theda pond in Stillwater, Okla. It was a small Pond on the College Campus. The boys are my little brothers, Gene and Hollis. Hollis is the older one and today, Jan 26th, is his 71st birthday. I'm not sure it was legal for them to be fishing in that pond. Gene in now in law enforcement so maybe he needs to arrest himself.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


One Summer Day They grew up !
Deena wasn't there that day so I cloned her picture in.
Laura and Katie are sisters and Emily, Molly and Cora are sisters.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

One Leg of the Journey

Down and out, out of a house to live in and down on our luck. We were returning to our old Oklahoma farm house after our wild goose chase to Colorado. I think we had lived in Colorado about two and a half years. When our Daddy was finally able to scrape enough money together to move on, we made it to the border of Oklahoma. The name of the town was Hollis. It was late fall and there was a cotton picking job. We found the most pathetic shack to live it, from the man that owned the cotton field. Part of the roof was missing and sand had blown in. Much effort was spent by Daddy, Ray and Cecil to shovel out as much sand as possible. It was the aftermath of the great sand storms that hit that area in the mid 1930’s. I think we shared the house with much of the sand, but we had beds and a table and stove. It was the fall of 1937. It was unseasonably warm because we were going bare foot on Christmas day. It started getting too cold after Christmas to live in a house without window panes and part of the roof missing, so we found another house. We moved into a very nice house across the street from the school, but that was short lived. We couldn't afford the rent so we moved into a one room cabin. It had a small wood cooking range which also provided what heat we had. There was room for two beds and a table. I think we had a couple orange crates to sit on. Our Mama was expecting a baby, not that it was discussed with us kids, but we were smart enough to know the big belly meant a baby was on board. People were just out and out weird in those days, to utter the word pregnancy was like a dirty word, and you never heard anybody say the word. The common words you heard were expecting or heavy with child. I like that one, it sort of tells it like it is. We had no clue when the big event would happen, so we just waited until it did. It finally did, on January 26, 1938, when we arrived home from school, we were greeted by a baby brother, already named Hollis Harmon, the name of the town and the county we were living in.

We, the kids, thought that was about the dumbest name we had ever heard of so we immediately began calling him Sonny. That was what he was stuck with until he was old enough to go to school and the teachers got creative and renamed him Hollis again. I think we have all grown accustom to his name; however it has come up over the years as to how he acquired his name, after the city and county he was born in. I remember one time, as an adult, he was looking at an Oklahoma map and said, “Do you realize that if the folks had gone down the road another 25 miles, my name would be Altus Jackson. Daddy was getting a big hearty laugh out of that idea, when Mom said, "Too bad, we didn’t make it to Stillwater, we could have named you Stillwater Payne." The rest of us had a big hearty laugh at the thought of that title.

Hollis and Dar

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

TV Disservice

Does anybody have TV Direct? They think they own the planet. Their word is gospel and if you cancel the service, they will be taking the payment out of your credit card or automatic bank withdrawal, if you have your account set up with them that way. This is the Gospel, according to James, who is employed by TV Direct. I don’t have mine set up that way, thank God. It’s back to the Bundle deal. Quest, TV Direct and DSL internet provider have a package deal. I called and ordered the service a year ago through Quest. Quest does the billing for all three services. It’ such a garbled up sloppy bill, it would take a Philadelphia lawyer to untangle it. There about eight pages to the bill with both sides being filled up with fees for this and fees for that. Here a fee, there a fee everywhere a fee fee. I was promised a 15 dollar discount per month, the day I signed up. I have never received the discount, even though I called month after month and each month I was told it was being corrected and would show the credit as well as the correct charges on my next bill. They finally decided to shut me up by telling me it was a rebate and I was supposed to do something on line and submit it and since I didn’t do that it was no longer available and it is just too bad. I don't know if anybody is intelligent enough to figure out how to make the correction of if they need the money that bad. I decided to go with another service, which is Charter Cable. Now we’re back to another bundle, if you take all three services, they will not charge an installation fee. I agreed to take all three and stick with one company that owns all three services. After they came and they installed everything, I called TV Direct to cancel my service, and was told that I had an agreement; it was a two year obligation. I never signed anything to that affect. I ordered the service over the phone and all I signed for was the work order when the men came out and installed everything, I have read every word on the work order and there is not one word about it being a two year contract. When I asked about the so called contract, he told me it was included in my first bill. I already had the service installed by the time I received the first bill, so when did I agree to a two year contract. Now I am told they can cancel the service, but there is a early cancellation fee of $240.00. Of course if you refuse to pay it, they can ruin your credit. I would never have signed a two year deal on a utility service. I was 79 when I ordered the service, and I could very well be residing in a nursing home next week or residing in a Memorial Park before the two year contract is up. He finally gave me an address I can write to, to dispute it. Have you ever heard of anything so ridiculous? I think they need to be sent to Boot Camp.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Pain in the Knee

I have nothing to say. I'm just waiting for spring. I guess I could talk about my knee. It began hurting about a month ago and I ignored it as long as I could. It finally won the battle and I gave in and went to my Doctor. Today he injected a shot of something into the knee and it's already beginning to feel better. Amazing!! Why did I wait so long? The shot was totally painless. The moral of the story is, if you get a pain in the knee go to the doctor immediately. Don't do as I do, do as I say.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Car Warranty

Warranty Expiring Soon

I got a phone call from an unknown caller. It was a recording. The voice informed me that they had tried to contact me several times and she was letting me know the Warranty on my car was about to expire. My car is 15 years old. I guess one size fits all. I suppose most people still have warranties on their cars.
This is all that happened today.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Truth is Stranger than Fiction

I know somebody that is on SSI and medical expenses are paid with medical coupons. She has an infected tooth that never grew out of the gum. Teeth around it have been removed and now this one is lying on its side and needs to be removed because it is infected, and the game goes like this.
Go to the clinic for people with medical coupons.
Get sent home because it is not an emergency.
It gets bad and swollen and extremely painful so goes back to the clinic because it must now be an emergency.
It is an emergency, but they cannot pull a tooth that is full of infection. Gets sent home again.
Now it is determined that the tooth is in such bad shape. It has nerves around it and if they pull it they could cut one of the nerves and cause her face to be permanently numb, at least for a few months, so now it will take a special oral surgeon. There is not one in this town that will take medical coupons, is told to call one in another city several miles away.
This Dentist is called, and is told they can evaluate the tooth and it will be almost another week before the appointment.
The appointment day finally arrives and she drives the 60 miles, and is told she will need to be hospitalized for the procedure and it will take at least another 2 to 4 weeks before they can do it. Then she drives the 60 miles back home.
In the meantime her blood pressure is sky high because of all the infection, pain and frustration.
This sounds like something I made up, but it is the truth.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I have been tagged by Cora from Little Miss Whats her Name.
Here are the rules:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open to page 56.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 2 to 5 sentences, along with these rules.
5. Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual book.
Pick the nearest book!
6. Tag five other people to do the same

The following is from “Stillwater, Where Oklahoma Began” by Robert E Cunningham
I have had the book in my possession since 1969 and just got it out yesterday to read again.
Page 56 Line 5
I cut up old readers, pasting simple words on cardboard, each word on a strip, piled at random in a box. Each child was handed a small pile of these stripes, then I printed a word on a crude blackboard and they were to find that word on their strips. In this way they were taught both reading and spelling.

Lucky People I have chosen to tag.


Robyn's Randoms

Jens Jingle

The View from my Broom

My Journey through Life

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Piggy Banker

Friday I received an E-bill from one of my Visa cards. I noticed it said my next payment would be $45.00. That is ridiculous because it has been about $17 a month.
So that was a red flag that I decided to look into. I called the Card Company and was told my payment was received 8 days late. I couldn't argue very efficiently because I didn’t have my records in front of me. They had charged me $39.00 for a late payment.
While I was talking about it to him he said as a courtesy he would reduce the charge to $19.00. So I hung up and was upset with myself because I must have overlooked a payment. When I dug out my records, I had not neglected a payment. They keep changing their payment due day. Sometimes it’s the end of the month and sometimes it is after the first of the next month. I had forgotten that I made my payment early so it would be sure to be there in case they wanted to change the due date again. By now it is too late to call back and straighten them out so I had to stew and fret about it all weekend. I am the queen of "stew and fret" if there is something to stew and fret about. I called the first thing this morning. I talked to a different person this time and I told him that payment was not 8 days late, it was for the next month. He said the payment came in before the statement had been generated, and therefore it was applied to the last month’s account.
I still wonder why the man I talked to Friday only reduced the charge to $19.00. He was looking at the record and must have known what really happened. He just let me think I had paid 8 days late. Cheats me out of $19.00 and makes me think he is doing me a favor.
If they had real people instead of automated machines doing everything, it probably would have been applied to the next month’s account. He is crediting my account the $39.00. I told him I would like to charge the bank $39.00 because they made a mistake on my account. If they can charge us $39.00 for making a mistake, why can’t we charge them for making a mistake. He informed me that the bank did not make a mistake. It was not applied properly so I call that a mistake. Well, I gave in and decided I would not charge them. hehehe
I had a former job that required me to deal with irate customers, so I just love being on the other end of it for a change. The first thing Monday morning, how perfect was that?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Flood Control

It goes from arctic weather to Hawaiian weather overnight. First it’s freezing temperatures and then the snow comes and keeps coming. Suddenly it turns to rain and warm temperatures and melts all the snow in a few hours. The weather station is now the most exciting channel on TV. My brother lives in Snoqualmie Washington. I talked to him today and they just barely escaped having their house flooded. It came within 8 inches of getting into their house. When he had the house built several years ago he said they were just ready to start building when the Inspector of such things did their inspection and told him it didn’t meet with the flood control specs. He would be required to put enough fill dirt in to raise it another two feet. He was pretty upset about that news at the time because of the extra expense and delay. They have had about five or six floods over the years and this last one is the worse one yet, but it didn’t get into their house. He told me, and these are his words, not mine. “You know, if I ever run into that old boy that made me haul all that fill dirt in here, I’ll be tempted to kiss his ass, if it doesn't draw too big of a crowd.” I guess that is true gratitude.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Snow Snow Snow

We are only in the beginning of January and already have enough snow to last until next January. The sun is shining today, but don’t let that fool you. It waits until we go to bed and then sneaks up on us. I like watching it fall out of the sky, and than it can go away. It’s already on the ground by the time I get up. We can’t even enjoy watching it snow. I guess it isn’t so bad here, Spokane is getting most of it. I’m glad I don’t live there. What I hate the most is the slipping and sliding when I go to the mailbox. I put my boots on and tramp through foot deep snow to avoid the skating ring, commonly known as the driveway. One day I drove my car to the mailbox. I must have looked like a goofball. I felt like one so I haven’t done it since, but I tell everyone in the world. How smart is that. That wasn’t a real question so you do not need to answer it.
I’m just rambling here, hence the name of my blog.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Land of Plenty

I have to write about things in my past because nothing much is happening in my present life. I’m hibernating until the spring thaw.

Life wasn’t easy, living in Oklahoma during the 30’s and early 40’s. Between the sandstorms and droughts, if you were living on a farm, you better prepare yourself to starve to death or get out of Dodge. So we did, we sold it all, and went to the land of Plenty. We moved to Colorado. But we soon hightailed it back to Oklahoma. The fortune we were seeking couldn’t be found in Colorado either. We had come this far so we tried to make the best of it. We ended up setting up camp on the bank of the Rio Grand River in the San Louie valley. It was a nice place to set up housekeeping or I guess the term should be tent-keeping. We had hauled some belongings around with us in a small four-wheeled trailer that followed us everywhere. We fished from the river and ate fried trout, fried spuds (we called them potatoes in Oklahoma, but in Colorado they were called spuds) and pork and beans. We saved the cans from the Pork and Beans to drink our Kool-Aid from. There was an Ice-house near by and we could pick up all the discarded ice we wanted. So we had our, Kool-Aid over ice, out of a tin can. We were living pretty high on the hog. Rent free, and the world was our playground. One day I heard the head of the Tenthold make an announcement. He said, "We need to find a house to live in, so we can get these children in school". Daddy always referred to us as children. I once heard somebody ask him why he called us children instead of kids. His answer was, "Because my children are not goats, a kid is a goat". I thought that was funny so I started calling my brothers, the goats. That didn’t go over too big with the goats, so I had to stop.
We moved into a white two-story house, which was haunted by a ghost. The ghost never really hurt anybody, but he sure scared the bejeebers out of us. He lived upstairs and we lived downstairs. I respected his space and never went upstairs all the time we lived there. He made strange noise at night. Everybody respected his space, nobody went up there after that first day.
Life goes on forever and this is just a small segment of it. I was seven years old during the tent living episode and this is the way I remember it.

Weekends Suck

I am glad the weekend is almost over. I hate weekends. Don't throw your shoes at me, I can't help it. I started to say I was born this way, but that isn't true. I am recalling in yon distant pass, when I worked, I loved weekends. I don't have much to talk about because it's the weekend. I have nothing to talk about on the weekends. However I had some wonderful visitors yesterday. Jim and Cora came to see me.
Tomorrow I get to call a bank and yell at them. That's why I can't wait unil Monday.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Laura
Laura is my number six granddaughter. She is one of those completely organized people, so much so, that she was even born on the first day of the year before daybreak. She starts at the beginning. Here she is on her way to school. No longer a student, but as a teacher. Laura, I am very proud of you and I wish you a very happy birthday.