Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The cost of living

OK, so this morning I poured myself a cup of coffee

retail value: 5 bucks

I smoked a cigarette: retail value 2 bucks

I put on a cotton t-shirt: retail value 30 bucks

I filled out Loretta's school picture form :  retail value 50 bucks

I drank a glass of milk: retail value zero

something is wrong here

talk later,


Monday, September 27, 2010

afterschool activities

OK, so the kids have been bringing home tons of papers I am supposed to read.  I have been putting them in  huge pile and this morning got them out and went through them.

OK, so we have school picture forms to fill out, we are supposed to be selling stuff for fundraisers.  Stuff that you would never buy.  Candles that cost as much as an oil change.  Chocolate covered pretzels in a box the size of a stick of butter that cost half a days pay.

They are selling T-shirts with the school logo on them.  When I was in school we took a magic marker and wrote "Griffins" on an old white T-shirt.

Now mind you my kids are only in Elementary school.

Now you get to the pile of "afterschool activities".

First of all there must not be any afterschool bus anymore, this is not mentioned anywhere.  Of course my kids are like me and want to sign up for EVERYTHING.

Swimming lessons, 30 bucks a kid, afterschool workout classes 50 bucks a kid, painting classes, 15 bucks per kid.  You have to pick up child when he or she is done with these activities. 

Now, don't get me wrong, I am all about kids doing things but it sure is different from when I was in school.

They offer Bible study at our school here for "free" but you have to pick them up.

When I was a kid, we used to have "church school" on Wednesdays, the bus picked you up at public took you to the Catholic school, then it picked you up when you were done.  This is where I was introduced to the Sisters.  Very different from the school I was attending.  I had a hell of a time adjusting.  I still have nightmares.

If the kids sign up for all these activities I. will have to hire someone to pick them up.  I will also have to hire a secretary to tell the person picking up the kids when to pick up each kid and where to pick them up.

Gotta go and pick the "background" for the pictures Wednesday.  This could take all afternoon.

Talk later,


the price of cotton

Not to sound redundant, but right after the idiot on the news talks about the price of coffee going through the roof he talks about the price of cotton.

"Clothes will be higher this year with the bad cotton crop".

You have got to be kidding me.

I am sure this will include the price of cotton candy and not to mention cotton balls.

Has anyone looked at the clothes on the racks lately?

Everything is made out of polyester, has been for years.

OK, here is tomarrow's headline:

"We interrupt this program to tell you that all the polyester worms in Bangladesh have died this year.  The price of clothes will be much higher due to this unforeseen tradgedy."

Who the hell are they kidding.

I gotta go take an aspirin I am getting a headache.

Talk later,


The price of coffee or wtf?

OK, so I ran out of coffee and ran to Tops to get some.  I get instant for Tim's work and regular for the house.

The price on the can says $8.99.  Must be a misprint.

I put my dollar store readers on and take a closer look.  "Yep, that's the correct price", says this lady standing behind me.


OK, so tomarrow is picture day, I need to come up with 1 million dollars for those, I need a quarter of a million dollars for coffee for the week and I haven't even hit the snackie section yet.

Snackies will have to be fruit and home made crap this week.

I am looking on Craigslist in Columbia for a coffee slash tobacco slash snackie farm with a neighboring distillery slash cotton farm.


Talk later,


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Old Friends

I ran into an old friend at the gas station the other day.  I haven't seen him in something like 7 years.

I could see him getting out of his truck.  It wasn't the truck I remember. 

I got out of my van I am sure he was thinking the same thing.

I stopped dead in my tracks.

So did he.

"I think it's him", was my thought.

I am sure he thought the same.

He is a bit heavier.

I am sure he thought the same about me.

He took 3 steps.

I took 3 steps.

What if it's not him, this guy will think I am nuts.

We both slowly walked toward each other trying to look into the "eyes".  I have found out that if you  haven't seen someone in forever you can usually catch the "spark" in their eyes.

The truck he was driving really didn't look like something he would drive.

OK, I had an idea.

I got closer and called him a name we used to have for him.  You know, a nickname.  A name no one else would know except him and I.  The other ones that would know this nickname are probably dead.

He looked up at me with a huge grin.

"ANNIE, it IS you!!"

Whew, it was him.

We chatted small talk and exchanged phone numbers.

Sure was nice to see him again.

On the way out he hollers "Call me sometime".

"I will".

I paid for my gas and forgot to pump it in the van.  I drove off.  I turned around when Wheezer said "Mommy you didn't get the gas".

I pulled back in.

He was standing there.

"You will never change Annie".

"Yeah, somethings don't change, some things do".

"Good seein' ya kiddo".

Had a nice feeling all day. 

Lots of good times.  Lots of water under the bridge.

Good to see old friends.

Talk later,


Monday, September 20, 2010

a pickin' and a stackin'

Yesterday the kids and I were picking corn out of the cornfield.  After the big corn chopper goes through, it leaves corn in the field and we pick it up to feed chickens and pigs. 

It's really not very fun but it never bothered me.

My kids were complaining how much they hated it.

"Just make it be fun", I told them.

"Oh yeah Ma, real fun". was there answer.

I continuted to tell them how I make things that stink be fun.

"OK guys, I have been picking and stacking crap my whole life."

Picking corn, beans, pumpkins, apples tomatoes,weeds,rocks.  You name it, I have had to pick it.

I have been stacking crap my whole life.

Wood, hay, feed bags.

You gotta "zone out" guys.

They just looked at me like I was on crack.

"OK, just pretend you are someplace else that you think is fun".

Still looking at me like I am on crack.

"OK, when I was a kid we used to pick weeds and dig potatoes for hours, I would be playing dodgeball in my head or planning what
Gracie and I would be doing the next time we got together".
"Do ya get it now?"


"OK, when I got older and I had to stack hay and pick rocks out of the fields I would be planning where I could buy beer and what outfit I was going to wear to the squaredance".

"Do ya get it now?"

"Oh my God Mom you are so weird".

They grumbled on, I happily picked corn, planning my dinner menu in my head and looking forward to watching Ron White at 8.

I am never really where I am supposed to be.

Physically I am there, mentally I am somewhere in "The Twilight Zone".

When I worked at Fisher Price in the factory making parts for toys I would plan my menus, budget my paycheck, plan the next days routine all while packing plastic crap in boxes for 8 hours.  I loved it.  Never bothered me a bit.

Gotta go fold laundry now so I can plan the things I have to do.

Talk later,


Talk later,


Sunday, September 19, 2010

The bus driver and toad are not friends

Well the toad had to be let go at school.

Seems Susie was a hit at show and tell and the teacher loved it, but the bus driver wasn't up for toadie on the return trip.

He now is living out his retirement at the Elementary school in the bushes somewhere.

I am sure some stupid lady toad will feel sorry for him and take his sorry toad but in.

Talk later,


Friday, September 17, 2010

Frog and toad were friends

At the supper table my Susie says "tomarrow is show and tell and I want to take a toad".

"A toad?" was my reply.

"yeah ma, a toad".

She found a toad but it got away.

Just before bedtime I saw her crying.

"My toad got away, I really want to take a toad".

Being the super Mom that I am, I got a flashlight and went toad hunting.

I found a beauty, brought it in and made him a "toad house" from an ice cream pail with holes and grass.

I will keep checking the answering machine to see when the principal calls for me to pick up the toad.

talk later,


Annie for Mayor

OK, so I am canning like crazy this year.  I needed canning jars, found 6 boxes for free, went to get them and they are sitting in the middle of the kitchen.

Dryer crapped out.  Got one yesterday. It is sitting on the front steps waiting for someone to trip over the vent hose and hook it up.

I had to buy the washer with it.  Washer sits on the front porch.

I needed apples to can into applesauce.  5 bags of apples sit in the middle of the kitchen surrounded by 6 boxes of empty canning jars.

3 cabinets are sitting on the front porch  waiting patiently to come into the kitchen to house my baking supplies.  Big cabinets.  Real big cabinets.

10 bags of clothes are also patiently waiting to be sorted through that were given to me for school.

I still am trying to understand the concept of "bored".  I am still trying to figure out how in the hell the people in Buffalo have time to shoot each other.  I think they need some canning jars to sort and apples to peel.

 If those guys are such good shots with a gun maybe they should be in the military.

Think I might run for Mayor this year.

Guys in the holding center are just sitting there with nothing to do.  Bet they would just love to have the opportunity to get some fresh air, mow my lawn, pick  my 1 million pumpkins and help me sort through clothes.

Gotta go, Mayor Brown is on the phone.  Mr. Paladino is on hold.

Life is good,

Talk later,


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

school pictures

OK, so the kids get off the bus yesterday waving that famous paper.

You know the paper.

School pictures.

I went to the phone and called the bank.

"I need another loan, I just got the school picture form".

"Anne, we just remortgaged your house for school supplies, you are not eligible for another loan until next year."

I hung up the phone.

Maybe they will take pumpkins in trade for pictures?

Don't get me wrong.  I love those school pictures.  I just think that 57 dollars is a bit steep.

I hardly think my mother paid 57 dollars.

I can remember as a kid getting those pictures and cutting them apart and sharing them with all my friends and mailing them to my Grandpa in Arizona. 

When my gramps passed away I saw one of those pictures in his stuff.

I still have some of those pictures from elementary school.

I am just sitting here drinking my coffee trying to imagine my mother paying 57 dollars for school pictures.  We had four kids.

I now totally understand why my Dad wasn't always as excited as we were about some things.

I am sitting here with that same look on my face my Dad had on his 30 years ago.

The only difference is I don't have sideburns.

Talk later,


ok Annie, why is someone is Missouri asking about Wheezer's lost beaver?

At our morning coffee this morning my brother in law asks me "OK, why in the hell is someone in Missouri asking about Wheezer's lost beaver?", and how in the hell did they know Izzy missed the bus?"

I sat there for a minute.

"I am going to be famous someday", was my reply.


"Oh, I am writing stories about what goes on around here and people read it.  I am going to have it published and retire early".

Silence in the kitchen

"Oh yeah?"


No reply

"Annie we are out of coffee, can you please make another pot?"

"Yeah, whatever".

Erma Bombeck wrote a ton of books, Bill Cosby had some funny crap to read. For God's sake even Loretta Lynn has written a few books.

I will show them.

Gotta go.

Walmart is having a sale on printer ink.  I will need alot of it.

Talk later,


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The great pumpkin patch

So I have like a million little pumpkins in the garden.  It would take like a million years to pick them all.

I was attempting to pick some yesterday and all I could think about was Linus and his Pumpkin Patch scene. 

When I was a kid The Peanuts was a huge deal in our house.  My sister and I still talk in "tongues".

She will call up and leave a message like this:

"I got a rock".

And hang up.

When you are having an off day a message like that will make you stop and laugh.

No one else in the whole world would understand it but me.

Charles Schultz was a genious.

So is my sister.

Talk later,


Monday, September 13, 2010

sounds a bit fishy to me

OK, so Tim and his Dad go fishing yesterday.  When they got home I was in the garden. When I finally got in the house I was so tired I forgot to ask him about his fishing adventure.

This morning after the kids got on the bus I went into the bathroom.  The blue shower curtain was closed so I opened it up to see what the kids were hiding in the tub.

The tub was about three quarters full of water and floating in the bath water were two fish.  Not live fish, but really dead fish.

I asked Louise where they came from. 

She is watching Fineas and Ferb and does not want to be bothered.

"Mom, Izzy put the fishies in the tub so they will come back to life today".

I have no answer.

Talk later,


think outside the shelf

My kids have way too many shoes. Some of them are really nice so I hate to get rid of them.  Problem is they are all over the farm. In the grain, in the sandbox, in the car, and they are never in pairs.

I got this white upright cabinet given to me a couple years ago.  It stands upright with shelves to put your crap on.  In the move the little thingys that hold the small pieces of wood to make shelves have gotten lost.  I looked around the house for something to stick in the holes but couldn't find a darn thing.  Then my brother in law simply says "use it the other way".

I sat there for a minute. Oh my Gosh, that's it.  I  measured the inside of the closet and above the clothes is the perfect space to hang the shoe catcher.

All I have to do is get my friend with the power tools to think it's a great idea too.

Talk later,


Sunday, September 12, 2010

how Annie buys appliances

OK so my dryer crapped out last week.  I could run out and buy a new one.


look on Craigslist every morning until I find one close to home and buy it for cheap.

I have been doing this for a long time.

This is my thinking on this.

People move every day.

People die every day.

People get divorced every day.

People buy new crap every day.


You just wait until you find the thing they have that you need.  You have to be patient and sometimes it's not easy.  But, it's totally worth it.

By the way, I found a washer and dryer very close to home.  I will pick up the set and resell the washer for the cost of both pieces.

Gotta go barter for a truck.

Talk later,


barter barter barter

OK, so I am the bartering Queen.  Have been since Kindergarten when I would trade Gracie my graham cracker for her milk.  Worked great.

Today a friend of mine shows up at the door with 10 boxes of cereal for the kids.  The boxes were a little smashed on the side, cereal was fine.  Don't know where they came from, don't care.  I traded him two pails of tomatoes for them.  He then proceeds to pull out a cooler full of little frozen soups.  He works part time for a summer camp and at the end of the camp weeks, they toss out all the soups for the week.  He takes them home and I wind up with a bunch of them.  I have been eating them all summer and I have not died yet.

Earlier this summer I helped a friend remove drywall from a basement that had flooded. I got paid some cash plus I got to take home all the two by fours we yanked out and some awesome wooden coatracks for the girls room. I am deathly afraid of power tools, so last week I gave 3 jars of tomato jam to a friend who has a drillgun thingy. He hung the coatracks and a mirror in a matter of about 5 minutes.

Last week I found a nice piece of tan carpeting in the trash on my way home from taking Tim to work.  My sister is law spied it on the porch.  Karen reminded me earlier that day that tan carpeting was about the dumbest idea for my house, so I happily traded it for two cans of Coors beer.

This goes on all the time here.  I just got done hanging up a nice pair of snowpants that showed up at the door in Loretta's size and I am still sorting through the things that the other Mom's gave me right before school started.  I am pulling out dresses with the tags still on them.

Who's the dumby?  Not me that's for sure.

OK here is my take on the whole thing.

I heard this in church once and it's one of the only things that really stuck with me in church.  I was balancing my checkbook inside the hymnal one day when the preacher says "you have to have your hand open to receive".

Sounded pretty common sense to me.

I looked up.

"You have to be giving to receive things".

"If your hand is opened up from giving, then it will be opened up to receive".

This is sort of a rule I live by.

I didn't even finish balancing my checkbook that day. 

Talk later,


Saturday, September 11, 2010

the book covers

So I get this note and it says "Loretta needs to purchase 3 book covers by friday".

I read it and toss it out.

You have got to be kidding me.

I go to school on Thursday night to meet the teacher. 

"I don't mean to sound like an idiot, but when did the kids start buying book covers?" I ask trying not to look like an idiot, but really not caring.

"Oh, they have these great fabric book covers you can purchase them anywhere."

"Whatever happened to brown paper bags?"

"Oh, I suppose you can do that like we used to when we were in school."

I look at the teacher, she is about the age of my oldest daughter.

"When I was in school was probably a bit before the years you were there."  I answer still trying not to look like an idiot but really not caring if I did.

"I can make some covers out of fabric how does that sound?"

"Oh my goodness isn't that an awful lot of work?"

"You must be one of those "supermoms."

"Yeah that's me "Supermom".

I sat there thinking it would probably take about 10 minutes to whip up fabric book covers.

"Oh yes it will be alot of work, but my little Loretta is SO worth it".

Talk later,


my version of kindergarten

Back in 1970 when I entered Kindergarten we needed a book bag which was usually something my mom made or one of those plastic bags with plastic handles. Sort of see-thru.  Real simple.

  We needed sneakers.

The school provided the rest.

We had milk and graham crackers every day for a snack.

They supplied the scissors.

And the big old pencils.

And the big old crayons.

Everyone had canvas sneakers.
Cheap sneakers.

We had art smocks provided by our Dad's.  They were known as "Dad's old work shirts".

I just signed for the second mortgage on the house so I could get all the supplies for the kids.  Got a real great interest rate too. I should have it paid off in time for them to get married.

I don't remember having to bring our whole house to Kindergarten.  I certainly don't remember bringing in two boxes of Kleenex and a water bottle

My mother didn't buy Kleenex for the house let alone school.

The mom's brought in cookies and cakes on holidays, not prewrapped crap.  Do they honestly think that one of the mom's is going to bake marijuana into those brownies?  It would cost too much, use your head.

Gotta love it.


real life on the farm

OK so everyone thinks it's so cute to live on the farm.

Here is an example of what I did yesterday.

Got up to loose goats in my flowers.  They tripped over the plug to my freezer in the barn so all my tomatoes are now rotten.  Then they smashed a box of canning jars and ate all the coffee cakes I had saved for church.

OK so I went to feed Dad's heifers and they were all in the cornfield. 

So I go to hang out laundry because my dryer has crapped out and the coon dog has pulled down my blankets off the line.  Must have been cold outside last night.

I can hear a hissing noise in the basement and go to look.  Turns out the holding tank in the basement has blown a huge hole and we now have a mote for a basement. 

Dad switches to the other well,  I am not sure but I thought I saw a large mouth bass come out of the faucet when I made coffee this morning.

So I went to mow lawn until the mower belt slipped off and now it's just a lawn tractor and not a lawn "mower".

So I go to get some coffee and realize there is none left. I go to the cupboard remembering seeing a coffee can only to open it and find nuts and bolts Dad has saved for what I have no idea.

I lost my cigarettes somewhere between the house and the barn and I will have to rob a bank to get another pack.

Hee Haw  Yee Haw


I love it when the kids go back to school.  It also brings on a new kind of stress to a mom's life.

O.K.  Loretta needed something like a million folders in every color under the sun and I cannot find a red one anywhere. 

You have got to be kidding me.

The second day into school she had open house.

You have got to be kidding me.

I actually bought brand new sneakers this year and they were "unacceptable".  They were slip ons with no laces.

You have got to be kidding me.

Izzy's teacher wants me to have 6 different colors of crayons bundled in little bundles of 6 tied in rubber bands.

You have got to be kidding me.

The same teacher tells me her back pack is no good cause it has wheels.  Is this a joke?

They all have to take snack and drink every day.  I have 3 in school.  This will cost me about 3 thousand dollars a week.  Roberta came home yesterday and said the drink I sent was "unacceptable" it left the smell of cherry on her breath.

You have got to be kidding me.

Izzy is the only kid in the room who can cut on the line.  She is also the only kid who can button AND zip up her coat by herself.

You have got to be kidding me.

I had to take Izzy to a kindergarten roundup last week.  Of course I showed up at the wrong session.  It was creek day and we certainly were not going to miss drinking beer in the creek for that.  I walked her to the front of the school and made her walk alone to her class.  She was supposed to also ride the bus.  She has been riding the bus for a whole year.  In our old school it was so small the whole school rode on one bus including the high school.

She could probably drive the bus for God's sake.

The first day of school 2 kids arrived home and Izzy was no where to be found.  I called the bus garage and they set out to find my little lost kindergartener who I thought for sure was somewhere showing kids how to cut paper while zipping their jackets.

Well, it seems we have two houses on our road with the same address. We are South and the one closest to town is North.  They stopped at the wrong house and told her to get out of the bus.  "This is NOT my dang house", was the answer the bus driver got.  Just then she must have gotten the call from the bus garage.  "You can let me out here and I can walk to my Aunt Lynn's house", my Mom drinks beer there".

The bus pulled in 45 minutes late.  Izzy waving her hands as she got off the yellow submarine.  The bus driver was laughing so hard she had to sit for a  minute to compose herself.

I am setting out this morning to find a red folder and get Izzy her own car so she can drive to school.

Talk later,


No, I'm not dead

I got a bunch of emails asking if I was dead.  I havent posted on here in a while.


Not dead.

Just busy.

Here's why.

Large garden, way to big.

Kids going back to school.

Trying to unpack and sort through crap I should have donated to Salvation Army.

Trying to drink as much beer as I can before snow hits.

Talk later,