Welcome to my little ol' blog. I'll be upfront about it: I don't blog very often any more. If you found your way here because you read my book "Trailer Life," have a gander! But it's easier to keep up with me on Instagram or on my Facebook page. I have this long, drawn out theory on why I'm a terrible blogger, but that is a story for another day. Enjoy the ramblings of my life from the last 8 years or so.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween, and other stuff

Is it sad that I had another picture all sized right for the ol' blog, but forgot to save it and now I'm too lazy to go open up the program and do it all over again? Ya, I don't think it's too sad either. In case you were wondering, it was a still of the jack-o-lanterns. I like this one because it looks kinda creepy.

Where are my kids in costume? Where-oh-where? Well, our church had our Halloween carnival and trick or treating (in the hallways) last Wednesday. The kids had a blast, and I had a blast because my kids have grown up enough that I am now confident that they will stay in the building and not be in the street playing. Yea me! I might make the kids dress up again tomorrow so I can take a picture, but since the kids wear Walmart costumes, I don't feel like it's a big deal. They loved them, and I loved the ease of it. But it's not really anything to write home about, you know?

Some randomness:

Yesterday cousin Jimmy was asking Jessie different questions to get her to talk to him. (She was being particulary sassy for him, eye rolling and all.) He asked about her Halloween costume, and then about her favorite colors... and then: "Hey Jessie, what's your favorite fruit?" She replied, "Jello." Ha! Too much fruity jello at grandma's house on Sundays? Maybe, maybe not. 

Had parent teacher conferences last week. So, when you walk in the cafeteria for three kids' teachers, do you start with the good one, or save that kid for last? I started with the sure fire kid, and it turns out she got the worst report! Kacy, my kid who loves school and remembers everything, has test anxiety like her dad, and need for perfection from her mom. This translates to mean that if she misses ONE problem, it ruins her day. Which also means she has started to stress out about missing one and now will do really poorly on her tests because she is so worried about it. Will is doing awesome in second grade. Like, he's on grade level for everything, gets along well with others, and doesn't write all over his desk and his tests anymore. His handwriting is not only legible, but his teacher said he's got the best handwriting of all the boys. This is a huge turn around from the last two years. I noticed his spelling and handwriting earlier in the year, and it's like it's not even the same kid as last year. Crazy. I'm so happy. He still thinks school is totally boring and only tolerates going. He got the comment on his report card that was something like "if he applied himself he would do even better." Classic. Ed has had a complete transformation at school. He loves it, he practically bursts at the seams to please his teacher and "be good"... he is doing really well. I walked out of that cafeteria with a big sigh of relief.

Our primary had their annual program last Sunday. I played the piano for it again this year, but at least this year I had warning. I still had sweaty palms and made all kinds of mistakes. I have lost skills. Anyway, the kids did a great job, of course. Don't they always? That was my fourth program as a leader, and now I've been released and without a job in church. I loved working with the kids for the last three and a half years. I will miss that part of it, and working with my friends. I will not miss other parts of it.

Karen had her baby last Sunday. A 9 pounder that had to be vacuumed out because he was sunny-side up and she's only 5'2". He is doing great, although she had to be hospitalized for a few days because of preclampsia problems. His name is Paxton Louis. The kids call him Baby Louie. 

Jocelyn introduced me to Pinterest. I was skeptical at first, having just quit Facebook and all, and thinking I don't surf the net anymore. But Pinterest is so cool because it's like people are surfing the net FOR ME. I have collected a few "crafty" things that even I could pull off that make our trailer and life a little more homey. Because, one of the things I want to work on is my homemaking skills. I want a pretty table to sit at, cool photos on my walls all arranged nicely, fun fattening cakes and snacks that the kids will think are awesome... it's fun. Can't wait to have a house to make into a home.

Speaking of that... It's coming along slowly! Of course. We've got plans. BIG plans. Once it's finished, we are going to put up a fence and some gates, get a few horses, chickens, and goats, and call it good for awhile. No more building for a few years. We do want a shop/big barn... but that can wait while we recover and take time for ourselves to just be. I'd like to make cookies, and some cake, and heck, serve a meal at a table and have side dishes. And not have to pre-cut my meat. And not have to balance my cup on the sofa. I've gotten really good at it... but I appreciate those time when I don't have to do that.

It's fall. That means really cold nights and mornings, and fairly warm days. I do not love the cold. So I'm soaking up the last of the warmth before winter kicks in. I do love the fall colors, though. And candy corn.

Monday, October 17, 2011


Today while reading some sight words with Ed, the word "mom" came up. I said, this is your favorite person. He looked at me and says, "Benjamin doesn't start with an M!"

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Finished Fireplace

Compliments of my iPhone- our finished fireplace! Way to go Ryan- I love it.


Ah, the post full of random thoughts. Good luck!
  • Remember when Ed got in trouble for giving a kid a wedgie? Ms. O. told me the next morning (when Ed was not around) that before she called me the day before (when he was in the office getting busted) he asked her, "Can we just forget about this one?" She said it was a hoot.
  • Last Saturday we went to Krissy's house in the evening. There was a girl there who is new to town, and I told Kacy about it so she would be sensitive to the situation and include her. Before we went I made all the kids shower, and on the way Will says, "I'm glad we are showering now. I want to smell good for my new lady." Heaven help me.
  • My grandma's funeral service was cool. It rained through the service, clearing up when the pall bearers carried her up the hill. There was a large awning that we all stood under, so we were dry. It was good to see so many family members. I wish we could have visited more. The pastor read our memories, and he read my blog post about my grandma...and people were cracking up. I was so embarrassed. If I knew it was going to be read aloud, I might had edited it just a bit. Oh well. Afterwards, the community had a very nice luncheon prepared. Country folks now how to cook. It was delicious, and there was lots of it. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
  • Kacy and Ryan had a daddy-daughter activity that night at church. They danced, they decorated a cake, and they had a knowledge contest, similar to the old Newlywed game. One question that nearly killed me was "If your dad had one day off from work, what would he want to do?" She answered "Work on the house." She got it right!
  • I took a picture of our completed fireplace...see above. We hung my great-great grandpa's branding iron on the side- it's the Diamond T. (Note to self: branding iron from William Tweedy Wright. Wait a minute. That's my great-great-great grandpa. Hmmm... will double check with grandma.)
  • Put another coat of paint on two rooms today. Let's get this house done already!
  • I am on a diet. For me, that means counting my calories, and trying to exercise a couple time a week. That is, until I get back in shape. I went running with Couch to 5K on Monday, and MY ABS ARE SORE. How is that possible? Weird. I'm hungry. And I don't eat enough veggies. I expect to lose 10 pounds by Christmas. I am doing for a few reasons: I really, really don't love my new love handles, I'm tired of being tired, and Kendra looks awesome and says she has tons of energy. I don't know how much weight she's lost, but she looks great, and I want my energy back! Oh, and once the house is done, I will be unpacking some clothes I haven't seen since two pregnancies and 6 years ago. I hate shopping, so it's totally natural for me to want to wear what I already have. (And, since I'm not trendy, my clothes are still in style! Hahahahaha!)
  • I bought the kids Halloween costumes. That's right- no denying the fact that any attempt at a homemade costume was lame on my part, and costs more than Walmart! Everyone is thrilled with their cheesy store bought costumes (notice I buy into the crafty world of crafty homemakers with more talent in their pinky toe than I have in my entire body...I'm not jealous anymore. I have my own talents, dang-it! Craftiness isn't one of them, that's all). No stress for last minute scrambling for costumes! Whew! Kacy is a vampiress, Will is an army guy (probably the cheesiest!), Ed is Spiderman, and Jessie is Tinkerbell. And, I have to say, Kacy looks beautiful, and Jessie looks adorable all dressed up. They didn't get that from me.
  • I am still Facebook free, and enjoying it. I've had a few comments about the lack of Ed updates and what not, but I personally have made more phone calls to talk to people instead of reading about them. More phone calls means about three. That's up from zero.
  • A music recommendation: Adrian, Boots and Pearls. Dave Stamey, Buckaroo Man, Tonopah... any of his albums really. We don't get radio where we live, and in our area (when I do leave) there are two stations that I don't like: one is country and one is "classic hits." I think I like lots of different music, as long as it's clean, and I tend toward pop and classic rock. Adrian's first two albums sound like she's trying too hard and it bugs me. But I really like her "Boots and Pearls" album. Dave Stamey... can't really go wrong with him. He sings about cowboy stuff. Not country music, mind you. I don't really care for "country" music, at least the kind on CMT or the radio stations. 
  • Is it summer vacation yet?

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Yesterday morning we went on our first Geocache adventure. It was so much fun- this is definitely a new family hobby. The kids had a blast hunting for the cache, and we got to climb around on granite boulders. The view was spectacular. I'm glad Ryan was able to go with us- we would have never found it and I would have had a nervous break down trying to help Jessie climb while Kacy kept reminding me about the dangers and the boys hopped from boulder to boulder, standing on ledges and climbing through little caves.

We used my phone as a GPS- I used the free app AccuTracker. It worked pretty well. (It works without cell reception- yay!) The app would work awesome for general hiking. It's a little hard to see the screen on my phone in bright sunlight, but all in all, it was a great app. And if you go Geocaching, a GPS is a must.

We will be doing this again!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

This is my grandma S. She passed away early yesterday morning. She "died" Friday evening, but they resuscitated her, sort of. She passed away several hours later.

My grandma had a knee replacement surgery a few weeks ago. September 12, I think. She was high risk, and took the risk anyway. I suppose she thought taking the risk of having a better knee and better mobility was more appealing than slowly losing your mobility one day at a time. I can't say I blame her. She got sick after her surgery, and ended up in the hospital. She was in ICU for a bit, and had improved enough to be in a normal room. But, she was just too weak to do anything. They ended up putting in a feeding tube again, because she was too weak to eat. On the plus side, my grandpa passed away 22 years ago, and now she can be with him again.

Things I will always remember about my grandma: she taught me how make zucchini bread out the "Woody's Goodies" cookbook. She let me drive the three wheelers around where ever I wanted. She always had play doh and a shoebox full of tools to play with: she taught me how to make an Easter basket with little play doh eggs. For the entire time I was growing up, she lived on a little ranch in Woody, California. I would spend a week or two at a time with her, usually with a sister (Kendra) or a cousin (April). We had many good times there.

Her nick name was "Dead Eye Dorothy," because she was a great shot with a .22 rifle. She would keep one by her door and shot any rattlesnakes that came too close.

She enjoyed cooking and trying new recipes. She made caramel sauce for vanilla ice milk, and would pop popcorn over the stove. She had a huge round table that we would sit around and eat. After every meal the kids would get under the table and tickle the grown-ups feet while they talked about politics. I think we will always remember melting butter to put on the garlic bread and then sprinkling paprika on top to make it pretty.

She loved to swim laps and for years wore a retro swimsuit with a rubber swim cap, complete with plastic flowers. She loved to take walks. She used to pay me $10 to clean all her sliding glass doors. I thought it was great, and since it was in the shade, not bad work!

She went to a non denominational Christian church, and they had a wonderful old lady (Mae Delaney) who ROCKED the piano. ROCKED. When she passed away, my grandma started taking piano lessons so she could help her congregation sing. She was in her 60's when she started. She always had the attitude that you can do anything you set your mind to.

She was a good example to me and taught me a lot of things when I was younger. It is largely due to her that I love living in the country. She loved her ranch and it was this kid's dream come true to hang out there. I want some of that for my kids, and will pass some of that legacy on.