Monday, August 30, 2010

auction entry

I reposted an entry that I wrote a while back when we sold our cows.

I wanted to show folks what it is like having to sell your herd of cows that you have worked so hard to put together.

We are doing great.

I do miss the cows but not the stress of it all.

Talk later,

My Hands

Well tomarrow is our auction. After 12 years on our own, we have decided to sell the cows. It has not been all bad, I guess I have learned alot. Yesterday an old farmer stopped by to look at one of our tractors. "Missy, your hands show alot of work, looks like you have put your heart and soul into this place".

These are the hands that signed the papers for loans to purchase cattle, machinery, seed, fertilizer. These are the hands that have signed 7 birth certificates. These are the hands that have signed one marriage license and one divorce decree.

These hands have milked hundreds of cows, washed hundreds of dishes and wiped hundreds of tears away from crying children.

These are the hands that have worked very hard.

These hands are the hands that had to sign the papers to have one of her best friends taken off life support.

These hands have been through some tough times and some good times.

Two weeks ago these hands signed the auction agreement with an auctioneer to sell the cows.

I am sitting here watching the sale tents go up, the auction will be tomarrow. These hands will milk the cows tonight for the last time.

Talk later,


Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Little Help from my Friends

Yesterday I went on a road trip with one of my friends.  These trips are always fun because you get to talk for hours.  Catch up, get honest opinions, and just plain get away for a day.

When I was a kid I thought I had a million friends. 

One day my girlfriend's dad was sitting at the kitchen table "you think you are so smart, you think you have so many friends, I want you to count the fingers on one hand and subtract 2 of them.  This is probably how  many true friends you will have.

I am still friends with that girlfriend.  Her father was right.

When I need someone to talk to, someone to help me with opinions, I only have a couple of friends I call. 

When I have a secret that I don't want the whole world to know about I only have a couple of friends I can tell.

Take care of those friends.

They are worth their weight in gold,  make sure you take the time for friends when they need you.

Talk later,


Monday, August 23, 2010

dead computer

ok, so I move, set up my computer and never renew my subscription for my antivirus.  I know there are free programs, but of course I forget to download one, so my computer has issues.

I bought a laptop a while ago and it has been in the dresser drawer ever since it arrived.

Karen is in Florida but I call her anyway.

"Karen, how do I turn on the new computer?"

"I am in Florida Ma".

"I know, I need you to tell me how to use the new computer".

"Ma, I am in Florida".

"I heard you the first time, how do I turn this thing on ?"

"Press the little button in the middle of the computer Ma".

"Where is it?"

"Listen Ma, I am in Florida, back away from the computer I will be home in two days".

"Love you".


I worked all day yesterday poking and pecking around this laptop.  I plugged crap in, unplugged crap out, smoked a bunch of cigarettes, and finally got this baby "up and running".

I will show that little smarty pants.

I hope she gets home early, I need her to run the food processor so I can continue to can tomatoes.

Talk later,


Friday, August 20, 2010

Yes, you can "can"

OK, we have the world's biggest garden.  When you have the world's biggest garden, you can sell some of it, but most of it you have to find a way to preserve it.  I do a lot of freezing and canning.  Freezing is easy, canning takes a bit of work.

Here is how I do it.

I get up in the morning and fill the canner, it takes a lot of water and takes a while to start boiling.  I throw the jars in the dishwasher to get them hot.  This week I am working on tomatos.  I pick them the night before so they are ready to go.

I get out the food processor that I bought for 5 bucks.  I wash the tomatoes, process them skin and all and fill the hot jars.  Seal those babies and boil in the canner for 45 minutes. I think it holds 8 jars.  Then I throw a bunch more in freezer bags, skin and all.  Remember most of the vitamins are in the skins.  No, you won't die from tomato skins.

If you are only going to do one batch, you can turn off the canner and go do something else (like go drink beer in the creek), and when you return the canner water is cold and you can take the jars out.  If you do it a little at a time, it's not overwhelming.  I have a ton of them done up.

Later this winter I make the tomatoes into spaghetti sauce.  I make it in the crockpot.  Easy as pie.

I grab the canning jars at yardsales and if you ask people to look for them, you can find them for just about nothing.

It's really not as bad as people think.  If I can do it, anyone can "can".

Here is the spaghetti sauce recipe.  It has been tested in my house and it has been "kid" approved.crockpot spaghetti sauce.

Talk later,


Thursday, August 19, 2010

More on School stuff

My sister in law showed up with some school supplies in a bag.  She got a screaming deal on some stuff.  I traded her a really nice back pack for her daughter.  I told her what sneakers I needed and she went home, looked through her box of stuff and found a pair in the right size for my Roberta.

This is how we do things in our family.

I do buy new socks and underwear, but that's about it.  

Last year I was lucky enough to have a dear friend of mine buy the kids new back packs and sneakers.  We are using the back packs again this year as they are still in great shape.  We are still wearing the sneakers from last year as this years "summer sneakers".

Right now I have the back packs packed and ready to go, the sneakers on the shelves and the clothes on hangers.  I never wait til the last minute.  This way I can search for what I need.  

The first week of school there is always stuff we need to pick up, but it's usually minimal.

I really don't understand the parents who are screaming about the cost of school.  YOU decide how  much you want to spend.  Yeah, you get a basic list, fill it, and YOU decide on how much you spend on sneakers, back packs, clothes, etc.

I have a friend who refurbishes lap tops.  I bought one for myself.  He gave me a screaming deal on it.  Even got a warranty.  

Karen needed a digital camera.  I found 2.  One at my second hand shop and one on Craigslist.  One cost ten bucks and the other 20.  I just had to find chargers for them.  I grabbed them off ebay for 5 bucks a piece.

YOU decide how much you want to spend on crap.

NOT your neighbor, NOT your girlfriends, NOT Hannah Montana.


Talk later,


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

this is how i fold clothes or "I love you, I love you , I love you"

OK, I have a lot of laundry.  Tons.  Major Tons.

Fact: doing laundry sucks.

Fiction: putting laundry away if fun.

I hate folding it and putting it away.

This is the best way I have found to get it put away.

First I find some fun music, then I have one kid be the "DJ".

She gets to play the music off the You tube.  Then we all stand in the living room and dance and I pull things out of the laundry basket fold them and hand them to the dancing girls.  They take them to their destination.  I yell out the kids name and that is who's clothes tote they are to put the clothes in.

The "I love you I love you I love you" song is perfect.

Try it.

Maybe you can get your husband to take out the garbage.

"I love you, I love you , I love you"

"Please take out the garbage"

Let me know how it goes.

It works even better if you pour yourself a Rum and Koolaid. 

Maybe banging on the garbage can lid while singing would work.

Talk later,


I think I will marry "Uncle Kracker"

I love you i love you i love you

School Clothes

OK, we are eating supper last night and Tim looks up from the newspaper.  

"Hey, there's an article about people who swap school clothes". "When did they interview you?"

He turns the page with a smile.

I love these articles.  I have been "swapping" clothes since the dawn of time.  I learned the art of "swapping" from my Mom.

Now they have a name for it so its "O.K."

I've been swappin' kids stuff through 7 kids for goodness sake.

Come on, it's just giving people your stuff that your kids have outgrown and getting some of theirs that they have outgrown.  When did this become a "new" concept?"

Maybe because people are actually realizing how much they waste?

I have not purchased any new clothes for my 4 kids this year for school and I have a closet full of beautiful things.  A few I picked up from yard sales and a ton were graciously given to me.

OK I will let you all in on a huge secret.

1.  Your kids will not die if all of their school stuff is not new.

2.  The clothes police will not arrest you if your kids don't have brand new back packs or the latest sneakers.

3.  Who in the hell would know if most of the stuff is new or not anyway?  After you wash something once, it becomes "used".  Does it matter who got to wash it the first time.

I have to go to the bank now and apply for my loan to get school supplies, that is a whole other topic.

Talk later,


Oh yeah click on this link to see the official swapper article. swappers

Oh crap, I forgot to throw this link in here. Threadup I am going to join the Threadup thing.  Looks like fun. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Music to Swing By

Bye Bye Miss American Pie

OK, so when I was a kid we used to sing these crazy songs while swinging on the swingset. Click here Apple Pie.

See if this bring back any memories to ya.  Back then we had no idea what in the heck this song was about.  We didn't care less.

If you have no idea what the song is, then you are too young, or you are so old you have forgotten it.

I heard this song this  morning and it sucked me back to my "swingin' days.

Talk later,


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Just how much is a "shitload"?

OK, so I call this ad that says "steers for sale cheap".

I get the guy on the phone.

"Hi, my name is Anne, how many steers do you have for sale?"

"A shitload", was the answer.


"OK, how many is a shitload?"

"I don't know".

"Do I have the right number? are you selling steers?"

"yes maam"

"OK, let's try another question", "how much are they?"


"OK,  how cheap?"

"Real cheap".

I couldn't help but laugh.

"OK, let's try another question", "Where is your farm?"

"Up North".

"Like the North pole up North?", I asked.

"No, not that far".

I had to hang up.

I couldn't stop laughing.

I have no idea where these steers are, how many there are or how much they are.

At this point I really don't care.

It was worth the laugh.

Talk later,


From Prom Dress to Bikini

I am picking tomatoes yesterday when Karen shows up.  I was happy to see her, good excuse to stop pickin".

"Hey Ma, I need you to sew something".

"What?" I answered,

"Oh, I am going to make my prom dress into a bathing suit."


I walked up to the house.

She already had everything cut out.

I was impressed.

In about an hour we had a really cool bikini and a tube top to match it made out of the camo fabric we used to make her prom gown.

I hope she doesn't plan on hunting in this thing.

The little ones used the scraps to make bikinis for their Barbies. 

I was once again impressed.

I guess I am proud of my little "redneck" children.

Click here for some redneck fun Redneck

Talk later,


Friday, August 13, 2010

My Gramp's grave site!!;

OK, click on the link above.  You will see my Grandfather's Grave site.  You can find just about anyone if you put in their name and city.  I am amazed at the information on the internet sometimes.

Hat's off to the wonderful folks who took the time to document this awesome stuff!!

Try it!!

Talk later,


Thursday, August 12, 2010

Where's My Beaver?

OK, so the other day I am shopping at one of my favorite second hand stores.  It is just the greatest place on earth.  It is run by a bunch of little old ladies who volunteer and fold clothes that are donated.

Everything is super cheap.  My kids are allowed to get two things when they go.

My youngest daughter picked out a stuffed animal out of the toy bin.  I really didn't pay much attention to it, I was looking for sneakers for my wide footed daughter.

A while later I could hear her saying something.  I couldn't hear what she was trying to say to I got closer.  "Mom, where's my beaver?"


I looked around to see if anyone else in the room could hear her.  All the little old ladies were looking at me.


"What in the world are you talking about?" I answered trying to talk softly.  I have never talked softly in my life.

"Mom, I got a beaver out of the box".


All eyes were on us.  The little old ladies were starting to giggle.

I walked around, and found this little creature laying on a chair.

"Honey, I think it's a woodchuck."


"O.K. dear then it's a beaver".

One of the ladies walked over and showed me it's tail.

"Yes, Anne it's a beaver".  She had tears running down her face she was laughing so hard.

I thought I put the little creature in my bag.

I bought our things and scooted the kids to the car.

Half way home it started again.

"Mom, where's my beaver?"

"It's in one of the bags, wait til we get home".

After I stopped at the post office we went home.

I picked up Tim at work and started supper.

"Mom, where's my beaver?"

Tim looked at me with one of his "What in the Hell is my daughter talking about?" looks.

I looked in the bags for that crazy little guy he was no where to be seen.  She started to cry.

"I will call on Thursday and have them look for your beaver dear".

She went in to watch Hanna Montana. 

About a  half an hour later my Father-In-Law stops in for coffee.

"Grandpa, have you seen my beaver?"

"What in the hell is that kid talking about?" was the response.

I let the other kids explain.

At that point I had enough of the "beaver".

Don't ever lay your beaver down. Always keep an eye on it or you will have a lot of explaining to do.

Talk later,


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The worst garage sale ever

O.K., I totally forgot about the worst garage sale I went to this last week.

All week there was this little cardboard sign someone made on out corner.  "Moving Sale Friday".

They put it out on Monday so I was geared up for it all week.

Friday came and I ran down after lunch.

It was on this street in our neighborhood where all the houses have swimming pools and Hummers.

This ought to be awesome I thought to myself.  My kids were gone for the week so going to a garage sale by myself is a real treat.

There was a women walking ahead of me.  I watched her looking at things lined up the paved driveway.  

It only took her about 2 minutes to high tail it back to her car.

"Great", I thought to myself, she left all the bargains for me.

Boy was I wrong.

I thought maybe I was in Walmart for a minute.  The prices at Walmart are actually cheaper than what he had.

For example.

1 blanket : ten bucks

1 used towel  5 bucks

used books 2 bucks

The man sat in his chair.  Never got up, never said hello.

I started to head down the driveway and I couldn't resist talking to this guy.

"Hey", I asked, "have you sold ANYTHING today"?


"I don't mean to be rude Sir, but a person could go shopping at a store and get this stuff cheaper".

"I paid good money for this stuff".

"yeah, 20 years ago."

I just kept walking to my car trying not to laugh myself to death.

That poor guy will have to drag all his crap to  his new house.

I am sure he paid alot for it.

Talk later,


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The best garage sale in the world

OK, so Saturday I am coming home from town and I see a garage sale sign.  I had a few extra minutes so I pulled in.

Boy, did I hit the mother load.

I have three girls going to school this year so that means school clothes for three little fashion Divas.

This woman had these tables full of clothes in the sizes of my girls all for a quarter a piece!  They were the nicest clothes I have ever seen at a yard sale.  The little girl who owned these clothes was the only girl in the family and the Mom obviously loved to dress her.

Thank God.

I could feel myself hyperventilating.  I got Daisy Kingdom dresses that were hand made by a seamstress.

"My sister has these hand made".

I tried not to faint.

I paid a quarter a piece for 5 of them.

I thought for sure I would have a heart attack.  I tried to stay composed.

She had one table of all Mary Kate and Ashley.  I bought half the table.

I grabbed a pair of red cowboy boots for my Izzy.

Fifteen dollars later I had a van full of school clothes.

Holy crap.

I ran home, hung everything on hangers and said a silent prayer to St Francis of the Garage Sale.

Have a great day.

Talk later,


Sunday, August 8, 2010


I have lived in trailers 3 times.  I could easily do it again.

Trailers are not horrible places to live like people think.

1. You can clean your whole house in 1 hour

2.  Your house is always warm in the winter

3.  If you live in a trailer park, there are always people around to help you.  Example: babysit your kids, drink your beer, and help jumpstart your car.

4.  You do not have to plow your self out of a huge driveway, you can always get out in the winter.

5.  Your lawn is manageable.

I have been trailer trash 3 times.  All 3 times I liked it.  

I have lived in big houses.  Some I have hated some I liked.  

You have to make the best of your situation.  The house you live in does not make you the person you are.

Once my sister in law stayed with us for a while.  We had a total of 9 people in a 2 bedroom trailer.  We were very organized and scheduled.  The kids went to school.  The adults went to work at different times, so it was never crowded.  It was probably one of the best times I have ever had in my life.  When Karen would come visit, we would have 11.

Make the best of what you have.  

Enjoy life.

Don't mock those trailers, someday you might just be living in one.  (preferable somewhere in Florida.)

Talk later,


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Tom T Hall

I am so happy to be home it's not even funny.  This morning I was listening to one of my favorite radio stations WXRL.  They play the Country Oldies.

This morning Tom T Hall comes on.

"Hey, Annie that guy is just like you, he always has to tell stories except he sings them".


Maybe I could call myself "Annie Hall"?

Talk later,


that darn third comment

Faithful has left a new comment on your post "The Great Depression":

My Mom grew up during the depression, and during these hard times we're havin' now..she'll tell us stories about what she remembers going thru. She also grew up on a farm so they found enough to eat but she says extended family like stray Uncles, cousins and Aunts came to live in their small house and everyone that could grow a garden did so. She worries that about this generation now being ready for what might be in store for them. I love listening to her talk of the old times and her grandparents, too!

Comments or " I can't read because I am blind"

For the second time in my blogger life I actually got three people to leave comments.  I was so excited, I carefully read them all and because I am as blind as Mr Magoo, I accidentally deleted one of them.

Crap. Don't ever read first thing in the morning.  I can't see during the day let alone first thing in the morning.

So, I go to the help desk and now I have to figure out how to retrieve this deleted comment.

And, I will.  Sometimes it takes me a whole day, but I can usually figure crap out by searching, searching, searching.

I don't give up easily.

Gotta go now and find my Dollar Store readers so I can "undelete" that darn comment.

Talk later,


Friday, August 6, 2010

One of Grandpa's Stories

I remember driving with my Grandpa somewhere when I was a little kid and it was raining like crazy.

"How would you like to be driving in this weather with no windshield wipers Annie?"

"Oh Grandpa, that would never happen".

As we drove he told the story.  I sat in the front seat listening to every word.

"When I worked in Buffalo at Buffalo Forge, we used to drive to work every day in our jalopies.  We had no windshield wipers.  Now remember we had to drive in the winter too."

"Oh yeah Grandpa, then how did you see?"

"Oh, we just hung our heads out the window".

I sat there trying to picture this man driving all the way to Buffalo with his head hanging out the window.

"If you were lucky, you would have a rider to help you get there.  One would drive and the other would help watch for the ditches."

"We always dressed warm too.  No heat either."

"Oh Grandpa".

"Annie, I am not kidding, you were darn glad to get to work in those days, it was warm once you got into the plant".

I would try to picture freezing to death driving an hour to work while sticking my head out the window.

He wouldn't say any more all the way home.  He was a pretty quiet guy except for those stories that would pop up every now and then unexpectedly.  I was always ready to listen.  It was one of the very few times in my life that I would actually be quiet.

These stories would be repeated many times over and over.  I would always act like it was the first time I heard them to show respect.  I was like a little sponge, soaking in every word.

I miss that old guy with those stories.

I took a few minutes this morning to find info on Buffalo Forge.  I found a cool site with info about the history of the plant. If you like history, click here Buffalo Forge  If you don't give a crap, just forget it.

Talk later,


Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Great Depression

I stumbled across this last night.  It was so hot I couldn't sleep so I wasted time on the computer.  This is a really awesome collection of photographs from the Great Depression.

I just love the clothes they wore then.  You can just see the hardship on their faces.

I don't think people today have a clue as to what those folks endured.

As a kid I would listen to my Grandpa tell stories.  Most of the kids would wander off after about 10 minutes of a story, but I would sit there and listen carefully, trying to remember every word. Some stories would be repeated to me over and over.  I would always sit and listen.

My Gramps is gone now.  I wish I would have written down some of those stories. 

Click here Great Depression, to see these beautiful photos.

Talk later,


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Lady at Amvets

Yesterday I ran into my favorite  second hand store.  


It's the greatest second hand shop in the world.  I love it because it is so big you can usually find what you are looking for.  I wanted some yoga pants and came out with a cart full of great crap.

I got to the check out and a woman walked by me.  She was smiling and talking to one of her co-workers.

I just had to stop her.

"Oh my God, you are still working here?"

She looked at me.

"Oh my God, it's you!, where have you been".

"Oh, I moved away for a while, you will see me in here again".

"Great to see you!"

"Hey, I have to ask you, how the heck long have you been working here?"

"30 years this year".

You could here a pin drop.  The other customers were staring at me.  Probably because they couldn't give a crap how long she had been there and maybe because NO ONE works at the same place for 30 years.

She ran off waving her arm.

This woman is incredible.  She told me she was 61 years old.  When I was a kid my Dad would take me to this store and we would poke around in there.  I would buy clothes, he would buy "Dad stuff".

That lady was always on the register, laughing and smiling.

When I went to college at Bryant and Stratton, I would stop in there to get clothes for school and suits for interviews.

I always looked for that lady.

When my older kids got old enough for school, I would pick up a lot of things for them for school.

Same cashier.

Now 30 some odd years later this woman is still there.  Still smiling with her dangling earrings, still chatting with the customers.

I think this is amazing.  I wish there were more people in the world who could find happiness in their work like she does.  When you look around there are so many miserable people, crabby and cranky, when you meet someone like her, you don't forget her.

I gotta go and unpack my bags of goodies.

Talk later,


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Monday, August 2, 2010

Those stories

Yesterday I got a call.

"Annie can you help unload a few loads of hay?"

"Sure", I answered.  I sort of miss it anyway.

I helped unload a few loads of hay.  We piled it in a pole barn with no unloader.  Just man and woman power.  The kids chased after kittens as I tossed hay bales.  It's like riding a bike, it all comes back to you.

My eyes started to sting as the sweat was pouring down my face and the guys must have noticed I was on the verge of a heart attack so they decided to take a quick break.

No time to run Annie to the hospital for heat stroke.

While we were chugging down some water, somehow we got talking about teeth, or the lack of them.  

You get the best stories on days like this.  I love stories, especially ones about things that happened before I was around.

Yesterdays story went something like this, told by an old time farmer who has all his teeth.

"When I was a kid my Dad had a cousin who used to drink alot.  He had bad teeth.  One day he decided to pull out his bad tooth so he drank a bunch of home made whiskey".

"He went to the barn, got the proper pliers and pulled out the tooth".  "After he sobered up, he realized he had pulled out the wrong tooth".


"So, the next day he drank some more and pulled out the right tooth."

We proceeded to finish the hay.

Sometimes you wonder how true these stories are.  All these folks are long gone.

Their stories live on.
Thanks to things like "throwing hay".

Talk later,


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Havin' Company

Today I am having company, I am so excited it's not funny.  Now if I was an organized person, I would have had some blog post written ahead of time so when I actually have things going on I could just post something that I wrote ahead of time.

Oh yeah, sure.

Maybe someday I will actually do something like that.  You know, act organized, act like I have my crap together.

If I was organized I would have new pictures from my camera that I was supposed to send into get fixed.  It sits on the counter, begging to be mailed.

I will let you know when I do.

It will probably take a while so don't sit around waiting for anything that even resembles an "organized Annie".

Can't be too phoney.

Gotta go now and pretend I clean my house every day.

Talk later,