Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Perfect 10

Wow, the end of 2009! Another year has come and gone and I ask myself what have I done?

Let me list the things that make this year a good one for me.

1. I am still breathing which means I am healthy.

2. I am still happily married- I can't speak for Hubbs but since he is

still here I would say he is too.

3. We added to our family this year in with a daughter in law, a

grandson and a son-in-law (wedding is June 2010).

4. We will have a new grandchild added in the new year, so our family

continues to grow.

5. I am still gainfully employed (at least for now) but if they catch me

blogging instead of working I might be looking for work soon.

6. Shared many great moments with our families

in Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska.

7. I have made new friendships that I am enjoying.

8. I love my old friends and am so blessed to have them in my life every day.

9. I have wonderful children and grand children that I love and who love me. What more could I ask for?

So there you are. 2009 was a great year for me and I am looking forward to 2010 as it can only get better!

Happy New Year everyone!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Just a Feeling I Have

Christmas is only 8 days away people! Just in case you've been living in outer space and haven't realized it yourself. Are you one of those last minute types? Don't have a thing bought yet, wait til Christmas Eve to do your shopping and hope for good sales? Or are you like me?

I have had my tree up and decorated since Thanksgiving weekend. I actually had 2/3 of my presents bought by the first weekend in November. They were all wrapped and under the tree by the first week of December and all my Christmas cards were mailed out the first weekend of December as well. I baked cookies with friends this past weekend so that's all done and out of the way. Now I just sit back and wait for it all to be over with. The only thing I am missing...... that Christmas Spirit.

This year I have no Christmas spirit! I could care less about the holiday. I am ready and have everything done but I am not excited and don't care if it comes or goes. What is wrong with me?? Usually I am so excited to buy presents for the grand kids and can't wait to show Hubbs what I've bought! This year it was a chore more than a pleasure. This year I just wanted to get finished before I even got started. Those who know me, know I am a die hard shopper and live for this so for me to not want to shop is serious business! We might want to think about intervention!!!!

Maybe sometime between now and next week I will get a visit from the Christmas Fairy and suddenly I will feel the spirit again. I hope so because for me that's what it's all about. That laughter, joy and happiness of the family being together to celebrate.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year

Friday, November 27, 2009

And the Point Is???

On the drive to work today, I was almost run down by idiots trying to get to those all important "BLACK FRIDAY SALES!" They were turning in front of me to get into a parking lot that was already so full it was spilling into the lot beside it or pulling out in front of me from one parking lot trying to get to the next one so they didn't miss out on another DEAL! Are you freaking Crazy people?

Once they get where they are going they have stand in line for God knows how long only to finally make it to the prize and find out they are SOLD OUT! You push and shove your way thru a ton of people all trying to get what you think is a bargain. There are people running over each other with carts, old ladies knocking down people who get in their way and mothers with children who are screaming because they are tired and want to go home. Ask yourself this question. Is it really worth it? Did you really save that much money? Did you get what you were after or did you settle for something else just because you were there and it was all that was left?

I did this once and only once and I will never do it again as long as I live! I have learned that most of this stuff remains at the same sale price they list it at for Black Friday long after this insane early morning madness until close to Christmas. I just sit back and bide my time. I will eventually get it for less than you paid for it today and I don't have to get out of bed at the butt crack of dawn, stand in line for hours, and fight crazy people to do it.

Gotta love Christmas shopping!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I'm Melting!!!!

Last weekend was the BIG shopping trip with my sisters, nieces and daughters. We do this every year, the first weekend in November. We pile into our vehicles and head for Minnesota where no one knows us and literally shop, eat and drink til we drop! It is 3 1/2 days of non stop wild women fun. We stop short of getting arrested but otherwise nothing is off limits!
This is what my credit cards looks like after shopping for the last 3 1/2 days ! They are also still smoking!
I have been named the Shopping Whore! I came away from the weekend with more stash than anyone and am proud of it! Of course I have 10 grandchildren to buy for as well as my children. Then again, I can't forget myself. What's that saying? If momma ain't happy, no one is happy! and one thing that makes Momma happy is shopping. After this weekend Momma was extremely happy! I could wear a different outfit every day for the next 2 weeks and not repeat! Sweet!!!
Beyond the clothes was the bonding and fun with family. We laughed and teased and had such a great time all weekend long. There is nothing better. I came away refreshed and ready to face whatever they throw at me. This is what it's all about.
We have already set the date for next year and I have it marked on my calendar. I wouldn't miss it for the world!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Pepe Le Pew!!!

We have had trouble all spring and summer with those rascally rabbits, so Hubbs bought a trap. It is a catch and release trap- they go in, get trapped and we take them far, far away and release them. We caught quite a few rabbits and saved our garden in the process.

Now that harvesting is done, there is no need to use the trap anymore so Hubbs cleaned it up, and got it ready to put away. He set it at the end of the deck which is a bout 15 feet away from the back door of our house, with the intention of putting it in the garage "one of these days". You all know how that goes?

About a week ago he goes out to put feed in the bird house and lo and behold look what he caught in the Rabbit trap!!!

That's right a little Pepe Le Pew!! The trap really wasn't set and there was no bait in there. This little creature just must have been curious, wandered in and then BAM the doors closed and he couldn't get out again. DAMN, why did that have to happen so close to the house.

At first we were just going to leave it hoping it would die of natural causes and then we could dispose of the body. Unfortunately he was a tough little sucker and wouldn't give up the fight. So yesterday, Hubbs decided he would take him down to the creek behind our house and drown him. He had gotten all kinds of advice on how to do this. First he had to cover him up so he wouldn't get sprayed. Easier said than done people. The minute he tossed the blanket toward Pepe, the sprayer went off and the neighborhood smelled sweet!!! Thank God Hubbs was far enough away and in the opposite direction! So the next step was to get out the 22 and shoot him. There is Hubbs kneeling down in the middle of the backyard, shot gun braced against his shoulder, grandson 10 yards behind him watching and me safely behind closed doors in the house watching. Then crack and it's all over except for the smell!

Man the minute the bullet hit Pepe, he hit us with STINK! The yard and the house both smelled for a couple hours. Hope the neighbors don't hate us too bad. You see yesterday was one of those rare fall days when it was so nice people were outside and some people had their windows open and they got the full effect of Pepe.
Hope Pepe didn't have a brother who wants revenge!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Company I Keep

This is my favorite time of year!

I start to think about Halloween and buying candy for the little ones who will come knocking on my door begging for a handful.

I think about deer hunting and how my big strong hubbs will go up north to the shack and bag us a "big" one for the freezer for food the winter. Just kidding, if he brings one home I have to help clean it and there's nothing nastier than that!!

I also think about Thanksgiving and turkey dinner with all the trimmings. Pumpkin pie for dessert and everyone taking a nap later after they have stuffed themselves silly.

But the biggest reason this is my all time FAVORITE time of the year? It is MOA time!!!

Every year at this time, my sisters and our daughters get together for a 4 day girl's weekend at the Mall of America in Minnesota and we literally shop, eat, drink and laugh til we drop all 4 days! It is such a great time! There is not a male or a child in sight and because we are out of town and no one knows us we can act however we want (as long as it doesn't get us arrested) and it's OK.
I count the days all year and look forward to the next weekend the minute this one is over. It is marked on my calendar and I always make sure I save vacation days for this trip.

I believe this is year 10 or it could be 11, it really doesn't matter. We have had baby showers, celebrated the end of marriages and the beginnings of relationships and just celebrated because we were all together. Sometimes we have gone to Broadway shows and other times we just sit in our jammies and watch movies. That's the point- it doesn't matter what we do- we have fun doing it because we're together.

Poor Hubbs has gotten used to the damage I do to the credit cards after all this time and doesn't say much. I do come home with a lot of my Christmas shopping done for the grand kids so it isn't a total bust. I also come home refreshed, renewed and ready to face whatever challenges life throws at me. Oh and I start marking the days off til the next trip. Can't start planning too soon.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Take a moment sometime during the month of October to think of someone you know who has Breast Cancer. Maybe it's a sister, an aunt, your mother, a friend or maybe it's yourself.
Now say a prayer for that person and then ask yourself what you can do to help them and their family during this time.
Perhaps if this person had known about and done self breast exams every month they may have discovered that lump before it had spread so far and become cancerous. Maybe if they had insurance and could have afforded the mammogram they would have seen the lump and had it removed before they had to have their whole breast removed instead.

Tell a friend, a co-worker, your neighbor or your sister about self breast exams and mammograms. Offer to do the buddy system and go with them if they are afraid to go to the doctor alone. Do whatever it takes to make sure every female you know takes care of "THE GIRLS"
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month- Please wear Pink to show you care.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mad About It

I have found a new Love!

Sorry Hubbs but that's the way it is and there is nothing you can say or do that will change it.

About a month ago I was channel surfing (yes even I do this) between commercials on a Sunday night at 10:00 pm and I stumbled across this show that once I started watching I just couldn't stop. I have become addicted to it and now every Sunday night at 10:00, there I am, glued to AMC watching this show!

It is called MAD MEN and is set in the 1960's. It is about a bunch of advertising executives (mostly men and 1 woman) who sit around and smoke and drink all day and then sleep around the rest of the time. It is fascinating to see them come to work and the first thing they do is light up a cigarette and then they pour a drink. Who drinks alcohol at 9:00 in the morning???

They have these perfect little secretaries that are attuned to their every need- which is laughable nowadays. They greet the bosses with, Good Morning Mr Draper, can I get you some coffee? as she is taking his briefcase and hat. Give me a break!!!!

Of course the good little wives are home taking care of the kids and having Junior League meetings (or so the husbands think). They are really sneaking around having affairs or wishing they were but not quite sure how to go about it.

Everyone is sleeping around with someone and back stabbing the person they are working with to get ahead. All the while smoking a cigarette! I have never seen so much smoking in one show as I have in this one!

I do not know what the pull is of this show but week after week I find myself tuning in to watch. To see what is happening in the world of advertising and if Don is still cheating on Betty or if she finally decided to sleep with Henry?

Tune in some Sunday night and see if you don't find it just as fascinating as I do.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Hacked to Pieces

My computer got hacked this week and I feel totally violated!
I am not really sure how the hacker got into my emails because I really watch what I allow in there and since they completely wiped everything out- I can't go back and check.

I remember a couple things-one from Verizon and one from Loft asking me to take a survey. I wonder if that is how they got certain information about me such as my email address and date of birth, etc. Whatever it was, once they got in, they took my entire contact email address list and sent everyone a nice little email telling them I was stranded in London without my passport and needed $2345 to get home. Could they please lend it to me and I would pay them back as soon as I got back home? Most of the people in my contact list know me well enough that they laughed at this because they knew #1. I would never ask them for money this way and #2. I wouldn't be stupid enough to use such bad grammar if I did.

The first thing I did was call the credit card companies and the banks and alert them to possible fraud. This was so much fun because, while most of them will just watch the accounts, some of them made us close the accounts and issue new cards. Pain in the Ass!

Next up, call Verizon and see if they can retrieve any of my information. No such luck.You see not only did these guys take my email addresses, they took every thing else I had stored in folders in there too. I had pictures people had emailed me, information about my daughter's upcoming wedding, school websites I use frequently, order confirmations from online shopping.
The assholes took it all! And you know all they will do with it is throw it away, so why take it? I had to settle for getting my email to function again.

We called the police and reported this and he will LOOK into it but he says there isn't much they can do about it because they didn't ask for $2400! Yup that's the magic number people. As long as someone commits Internet theft and asks you for money, it isn't a crime if they keep the amount under $2400!! What kind of bullshit is that!

So now I am paranoid as hell every time I send or receive an email at home. I am constantly checking my bank accounts to make sure there is no activity happening there. I change the password on my accounts every 24 hours and if someone sends me something that looks the least bit suspicious- it goes to SPAM! It ain't fun to be hacked.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Barter Up!

To Heck with the Government Programs! My sister in law Sally has come up with one that is Soooo..... much better that if word gets out everyone will want to participate!
Every year we plant a HUGE garden and there is always more produce than Hubbs and I can ever use or eat. Even freezing and canning we have excess, so we have offered our garden up to my mother in law and to my sister in law. Telling them to come down and help them selves.

This week we told Sally to come down and take whatever was left of our green beans after we had taken our fill. She picked what she wanted (hopefully everything that was left- I haven't looked yet) and took them home. Later she emailed me on Facebook- yes I do that too- and informed me she was starting her own barter program. Veggies for Bread.

Sally makes the best homemade breads! All different kinds, shapes and sizes and varieties and I love homemade bread. The problem is working full time I never make it. I once laughing told Sally I should hire her to be my baker. Now we are exchanging services. I give her the vegetables she doesn't have the garden space to grow and she provides the bread I don't have the time to bake.

How cool is that? We should do more of this more often. No money involved or needed. Simply an even exchange of goods and services.

The good old fashioned Barter System. Hmmm... I think they used to do this back in the old days and then we had something they called PROGRESS??????

Let me see... people are losing their homes, gas prices are up, we can't afford squat, and unemployment is running wild... Yeah I'd say that's progress. I vote we go back to doing things the old fashioned way.

Monday, August 17, 2009

To My Daughter Carrin

Today is my first born's birthday. 36 years ago today- I gave birth to one of the most beautiful baby girls I had ever seen. It was love at first sight- On my part any way- I have no idea what she thought of me.
In a way it's a little bittersweet because as she gets older, so do I.
I love all my children equally and in their own way. They are all individuals and as different as can be. It sometimes amazes me that I could have carried, born and raised 3 children in the same house, that turned out so different. Then I realize that is what makes them who they are.

Your first born is always the experiment. They don't come with directions and you really aren't prepared for them. Considering I was an 18 year old, single mother trying to raise Carrin on my own I really wasn't prepared for her. We sort of grew up together. I remember one time I took a nap when Carrin did but she woke up first. When I finally woke up she was decorated from one end of her body to the other with my make up! Good thing it was only my make up! Sometimes I am amazed that she made it at all but then again I realize that she took care of me those first two and a half years as much as I took care of her.

After I married the man who became her father, we really became over protective of her. She wasn't allowed to walk across the street without me standing at the corner watching her til I couldn't see her anymore, she could only ride her bike on the sidewalk in front of our house because we were afraid she would hurt herself (so of course when she had a bike accident and had to have stitches, she lied) and when she went to school which was only a block away, I had her so scared of strangers, she wouldn't accept a ride from a classmates mother in a snow storm because she didn't know who they were! Naturally, she wasn't allowed to shave her legs, pluck her eyebrows or date until she was 16! This lead to sneaking around and lying and a couple of car accidents cuz she was in the wrong place at the wrong time! Of course she thought her father and I were too dumb to know what was really going on!!!!

Eventually, she grew up, had some kids of her own and once in a while I even hear some of me coming out of her mouth when she talks to her kids. So I know she listened to me and retained some things I said when she was younger. I am proud of her and what she has accomplished with her life. She has 3 wonderful children and is helping to raise her fiance's son. They all know they are loved fiercely and are strong independent individuals because that is how she was raised. She is a daughter any mother would be proud to call their own but only I get that honor.

Carrin- Happy Birthday baby girl! May you have many more and may they all be wonderful!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

And the Beat Goes On

This is my family.

My Mom and Dad, who started it all 60 years ago.

This is my brother Mick, sisters Natalie, Lisa, Paula and me along with our parents.

There are some grand children and great grand children missing from this picture so you can imagine what it's like when they are all in attendance!

These are the women that carry the Schuler name and legacy.
We are proud, independent, strong women and let our men know who's in charge every chance we get. You don't want to mess with us! We are Woman hear us Roar!

A little paddle boating and inner tubing was done through out the weekend.

There was some sun bathing by people and non people (don't tell Buddy he isn't people though cuz he thinks he is)

Before the Compound weekend there was some
farm chores that had to be done by the City Slickers! Morgan milked her first cow with an assist from Sydney Jo.

And this is Noah on his Lipstick. I mean his Ripstick that he got for his birthday. He got pretty good at riding it after a weekend of practice.

My newest grandson, Jackson caught his first fish and Grandpa George helped him take it off the line. He fit right in with all the rest of us and was so good the whole weekend considering he was so far away from his parents.

This is Bob and Ashley (the newest couple in the family).
See the big grin on her face? He managed to survive the weekend and took her back home with him so guess we didn't drive him away with all our insanity.

The Summer of Love weekend at the Chrouser Compound is over and from my point of view it was a rousing success. There was tons of garbage and recyclables (beer bottles and cans) so everyone must have had a good time, right? I think this should be an annual event. OOPS, don't tell hubbs I said that.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

4 to 1

This is not a Baseball score, nor any other sports score.

It is not the ratio of females to males in my family.

It is not the score of arguments won and lost between Hubs and I. (That is much higher on my part and zero on his).

What pray tell you ask then is 4 to 1?

Well, last night Hubs and I were out with our brother in law and his wife and some friends. We went to a local bar for a quick burger and a couple beers before going to hear a band that was playing at the street dance for Hub City Days. (The band is Boogie and the Yo Yo'z and they are awesome.) Anyway, after drinking a couple beers, I had to use the little girls room.

There was a line (go figure) and while standing in this line waiting my turn to get inside the room which had one stall in it, I observed not 1, not 2, but 3 men go into their restroom.

AT THE SAME DAMN TIME! They had 3 urinals and a sit down toilet in there! Of course I checked it out, I was pissed (no pun intended) and wanted to know why so many could go in there while we had a line. It was sort of like the clown car- one little room and they just kept stuffing people in it. I had to see what it was like.

How the HELL is that fair! Hell I would stand up and pee over a urinal if they would put 3 in the women's restroom just so more of us could use the room at the same time! I am so tired of having to stand in a line, doing the pee dance while some woman is in the restroom fixing her makeup or talking on her cell phone while men can go in 3-4 at a time just because they can stand up to pee.

Something is definitely wrong here. A Man must have had a hand in designing and building these bathrooms cuz you know if it been a woman there would have been LOTS more!

I vote that there should never be a bar with less than 3 woman toilets in it no matter what the size of the bar.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bigger and Better

My family just keeps getting BIGGER and BETTER !

Over the past couple years I went from having 2 daughters and a son with 3 grandchildren all living in Iowa and Nebraska. To suddenly acquiring a future son in law (Todd) and an almost 13 year old grandson (TJ). They will marry into my daughter Carrin's family next June but already feel just like family.

Megan and Noah and Morgan are my daughters children.

Then a couple weeks ago my son surprised us all and announced he was getting married and becoming a father to his new wife, Krissy's, 4 year old son, Jackson. I got to meet them both this past weekend when we went to Nebraska for a visit. I really like Krissy. Besides being very pretty, she seems like a very nice woman (can't call her a girl) and they seem very happy together. Jackson is adorable and I can't wait to spend more time with him. Unfortunately I live almost 500 miles away from all of my IA and NE grandchildren so don't get to spoil them too much.

I loved being a mother and now I love being a grandmother! I have grandchildren surrounding me here in WI and grandchildren that I have to love by long distance in IA and NE. It doesn't matter where you are, all that matters is how you love them.

I can only hope my family continues to grow and get bigger and better year after year. I just wish they were all closer so I could see them more often. For now, I'll just have to be content w with pictures, facebook, blogs and telephones.

Of course I have already passed on the curse to my son now that he has a child. I have told him I hope that Jackson is just as naughty as he was and gives him just as much if not more grief as he gave me when he was a child

Tara adopted a beer drinking, smoking dog named Buddy a little over a year ago and he is her baby and my Grand dog. He goes where she does, tries to do what she does and thinks he is human. He is truly one of the family!

A partial group shot showing just some of the family. Would need one of those panaramic camera shots to fit them all into the picture and then probably couldn't get them all on this blog page.
SO there you have my Iowa and Nebraska family.

Big, Bigger,Biggest.

I love them all!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Summertime-when the livin is easy

I love summer!

Especially if the temperature is above the 80 degree mark and the sun is shining!

I am a warm weather person and can not stand the cold! If I had my choice of places to live it would be somewhere like Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Where I could wear a bikini all day long (not that I look that good in a bikini) just that it's warm enough that I could wear one all day long and not have to cover up.
This weekend was perfect! the temperature on the thermometer hovered somewhere around 82 degrees and the sun was shining form the time I opened my eyes til it went down around 8:30 at night. If I knew I wouldn't have offended my neighbors or scarred any of the little children in the neighborhood, I would have put that bikini on and worn it all day long- it was that nice out. Alas (yes, I said Alas) I had places to go and people to see so I could not wear just a bikini even if I wanted to and had to settle for shorts and a tank top which covered the essentials yet kept me cool.

We had the kids and grand kids over for a cookout on Saturday afternoon and the grand kids ran through the sprinkler to cool off. Tempted as I was, I did not get out the bikini and join them.I sat on our deck and had cocktails with the adults which was just as enjoyable. I did take some pictures of them having a good time in the water and will share them with all of you.

Sunday we did some yard work that we had to do even though we really didn't want to and then sat on the deck and enjoyed the rest of the afternoon with a glass of wine.

We spent last weekend up at the cottage with family and that was so much fun that we can't wait to do it again. In August my family will spend a weekend up at the cottage celebrating my parents 60Th wedding anniversary. I am so looking forward to this as it will be the first time this many of my family has been at the cottage together. It will kind of be a last hurrah for the summer also before all the kids go back to school and those going to college head out on a new adventure.

This is why I love Summer- it may be the end of some things- but it is also the beginning of so many other things.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rite of Passage

Today my baby boy got married!

I wasn't there.

They got married in Iowa and I live in Wisconsin. They only told me last week Wednesday that they were getting married today so not enough time for me to get there.

NO they didn't have to get married- they wanted to get married. Like mother like son- I only knew their father 26 days before we got married!

I haven't met my new daughter - in - law yet (I have seen pictures of her and she's very pretty) but I did send my dad to check her out and report back to me. She passed the Grandpa test.

Both my daughters have met her and they were at the wedding so family was represented.

Today my son promised to protect, provide for and support another.

He promised to love, honor and respect. (I'm sure the word obey never crossed his lips)!

He pledged his life to another and promised to be true to her for the rest of his life.

Today my son became a husband!

Today I cried!

Congratulations Whitney and Krissy! May you always be as happy as you are today and may your love only grow stronger with each day you are together!

Friday, June 19, 2009

To Dads Everywhere

Thought I would share a few things I found and thought were interesting regarding Fathers.


"The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother."~~Author Unknown

"To her the name of father was another name for love."~~By Fanny Fern.~~

"They didn't believe their father had ever been young; surely even in the cradle he had been a very, very small man in a gray suit, with a little dark mustache and flat, incurious eyes."~~By Richard Shattuck.~~

"Fathers, like mothers, are not born.Men grow into fathers-and fathering isa very important stage in their development."~~By David M. Gottesman.~~

"It is a wise father that knows his own child."~~By William Shakespeare (1564-1616)~~

"It doesn't matter who my father was;it matters who I remember he was."~~By Anne Sexton (1928-1974) U.S. poet.~~

"I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection."~~By Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)~~

"A Man's children and his garden both reflect the amount of weeding done during the growing season."~~Author Unknown.~~

"The greatest gift I ever had Came from God, and I call him Dad!"~~Author Unknown.
Wishing a "HAPPY FATHER'S DAY" to all the fathers out there. Hope you have a wonderful day-you deserve it.
Make sure you give your dad a hug on Sunday if you can and if oyu can't at least think about him and smile.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Udderly Delicious

I am proud to say I hail from the great Dairy State (no I don't live in California you morons).

I live in Wisconsin and we have Happy Cows too. They're cold but happy.

June is Dairy month and we celebrate in a big way. We have a big parade and a weekend celebration of music, craft fairs, talent shows, dancing, and beer drinking. Something for everyone right?

We also have Dairy Breakfasts every weekend starting the first of June and running through out the entire month. If you miss one, don't worry just go a couple miles down the road and some one else is sponsoring one. FFA, The Mayor, Fire Department, Boy Scouts, a farmer. You name it, chances are they are having a breakfast.

The sad part is these breakfasts are so good you want to go to all of them too. They serve great buttermilk pancakes as big as your plate with real butter from those happy cows. Real maple syrup processed from our own trees, sausage patties, applesauce, string cheese, milk (both white and chocolate).

Cheese curds (which if you have never had deep fried fresh cheese curds you do not know what true bliss is). A fresh cheese curd actually squeaks when you bite into it. When it is deep fried and you bite into it and you start to pull it out of your mouth and that thin little string of cheese follows, you just go mmmmmm......
They keep coming around with extras to fill up your plates so you don't go hungry. Then once you've filled up on all that, they bring you ice cream!!! Who doesn't like this dairy product? What a great breakfast!
And if all this isn't enough, they have door prizes they give away all the while you are eating your breakfast so you are a winner all the way around.
So my cows were happy to do all this so I could have a great breakfast and in return, I am Happy to recognize what a great contribution they make to our state. California, you can't have our cows- find your own!!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mending Fences

I recently had the opportunity to spend some time visiting my children in Nebraska and decided that while I was there I would try and reach out to my son who lives in Iowa and that I haven't seen or talked to since last July.

Out of the blue, he sent me a text at Easter saying " damn you're good! I've looked everywhere and still haven't found my Easter basket!" This was the first communication I had received in almost a year and since I was reading it while driving, I damn near ran my car off the road! Of course, I responded and this opened the lines of text communication between us.

I let him know I would be coming down there in May and asked if he would be available so I could see him? I got an email back that he was now the bar manager of the country club and also in charge of the tournaments and his schedule was pretty busy so he didn't know if he would be able to get any time off. Said he usually works 7 days a week- so in other words- if I wanted to see him I would need to go where he was.

So that is how one fine morning while down there, we found ourselves packed into my daughters van headed out to see him. Of course we didn't know we would run into not one but two bridges out for repair and no detour directions. Thank God this is small town USA. We did manage to find our way to the country club and at first things were a little strained but by the time we left my son was laughing and joking and I did get a hug from him.

Did we get everything resolved? No. Will we? Hopefully sometime in the future. For now, I am just glad I had the chance to see him, talk to him and hug him. Baby steps for now. At least we are talking again.

What a truly great trip I had! All three of my children together and my grandchildren. Doesn't get any better than that! Wish I could do this more often!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009



Around our house all you need is a little imagination and just look at what you can be!! The leader of your own planet.

Meet Sadie Lou Woo from Wooville. She dropped in for a visit last weekend to let us know that her people are friendly and wish only to learn from us humans not to harm us. Everyone on Wooville are small like her and wear rose colored glasses because the world looks so much better when looked at through them. They love chocolate, strawberry milk and cookies for breakfast.

Meet the Diva Darlings!!

They just outran the paparazzi again. It's a tough job but someone has to do it. They are loved by America but especially Grandparetns in Wisconsin and can't go anywhere without being followed by cameras. Paris Hilton and Nicole Richie have nothing on these 3. Britany Spears look out cuz one of these days every one will be shouting their names and you will be forgotten. They love music and will dance til they get dizzy and fall down. They also talk non stop and NEVER run out of energy!

MR. COOL......

Tegan is now 9 and thinks he is way too cool to play with his cousins but you can see that he really wants to. He isn't sure he wants me to be taking his picture and definitely isn't going to be smiling for it. He's now into Nintendo DS, Ipods and soccer but still likes playing Webkinz with his Grandma.


How often do you have this much trouble all in one place?

The littlest one is scoping the place out trying to figure out where she can head out to as soon as I get done taking the picture (notice she's looking off to the side?)


Looks like they really love each other doesn't it? For the most part you'd be right, but they're sisters and sisters fight, just ask mine. They love each other and they get along most of the time but once in a while they can go at it like cats and dogs. And it isn't always the oldest or the biggest that comes out on top! But five minutes later, they are sharing a piece of candy, hugging each other, or laying next to each other watching a movie. They are so incredible!

So there you have it, a little of this, that, and the other thing.

A Sad Farewell- Brandy

This week my sister and her family lost a very important part of their family. Their beloved dog Brandy passed away after being with them for many years.

She was a black lab and when they got her she decided she would become Wally's dog. Didn't matter what anyone else thought, she had made the decision and that's all there was to it. She tolerated the rest of the family but it was Wally she really lusted after. She slept with Lisa and Wally most of the time. Except when there was a storm and then you could find her either under the bed or in the closet. She was a big sacredy cat when it came to storms. She watched both my nieces grow up and maybe kept their boyfriends in line just a little. She never once tried to eat Pepper (the rabbit) when Allison brought her home although she may have chased her around the house a few times (the rabbit not Allison). Brandy recently acquired a new sister, Chloe (another dog, I think she is a yellow lab). This seemed to be OK with Brandy. Maybe she knew she was getting old and the family needed someone younger to run around with but whatever the reason, they got along. She shared her family, her bed and her love with her new sister, making sure she felt like she belonged. Brandy didn't move as fast as she used to lately but she still loved her family as much as always. It was a sad day in that house when she was laid to rest and she will be missed by all, including Pepper and Chloe.

My niece has a dog Hammie, my daughter has 2 dogs Lucy and Toby and a cat Charlie, my other daughter a dog Buddy. My sister has a cat and a dog Cooper. My point here is that animals are precious and beautiful and love us unconditionally. They only ask that we feed them and pet them and give them a little loving in return and maybe let them outside to go potty once in awhile.
Where else can we get so much love just by walking in the door? Who else is that happy to see us at the end of the day, everyday? As long as you pet them or scratch their tummies they are in heaven and think you are the next best thing since sliced bread! You can't beat that, right?

They become so much a part of the family that when we lose a pet we feel like we have lost a family member and in a way we have. We miss them and think about them and remember them.

So Brandy this post is for you. All of you out there with animals- go out and pet and hug them in remembrance of Brandy.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

To Moms Everywhere

Kids answers to some hard questions

Why did God make mothers?
1.-She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2.-Think about it, it was the best way to get more people.
3.-Mostly to clean the house.
4.-To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?
1.- He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2.- Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3.- God made my mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?
1.- We're related.
2.- God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me

What ingredients are mothers made of?
1- God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2.-They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string. I think.

What kind of little girl was your mom?
1.- My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2.- I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3.- They say she used to be nice.

How did your mom meet your dad?
1.- Mom was working in a store and dad was shoplifting.

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?
1.- His last name.
2.- She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer? Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores.

Why did your mom marry your dad?
1.- My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mom eats a lot.
2.- She got too old to do anything else with him.
3.- My grandma says that mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

What makes a real woman?
1.- It means you have to be really bossy without looking bossy.

Who's the boss at your house?
1.- Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dads such a goofball.
2.- Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3.- I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What's the difference between moms and dads?
1.- Moms work at work and work at home, and dads just got to work at work.
2.- Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3.- Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you gotta ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.

What does your mom do in her spare time?
1.- Mothers don't do spare time.
2.-To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What's the difference between moms and grandmas?
1.- About 30 years.
2.- You can always count on grandmothers for candy. Sometimes moms don't even have bread on them!

Describe the world's greatest mom?
1.- She would make broccoli taste like ice cream!
2.- The greatest mom in the world wouldn't make me kiss my fat aunts!
3.- She'd always be smiling and keep her opinions to herself.

Is anything about your mom perfect?
1.- Her teeth are perfect, but she bought them from the dentist.
2.- Her casserole recipes. But we hate them.
3.- Just her children

What would it take to make your mom perfect?
1.- On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2.- Diet. You know, her hair. I'd dye-it, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?
1.- She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2.- I'd make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.

Out of the mouths of children come the most honest of answers.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Joys of Parenthood- Round 2

Carla had to go out of town for work and asked us to watch Tegan while she was gone. This is nothing new for us or him. However this time it meant he had to stay over night on a school night. Interesting!

Normally Tegan comes over and spends a few hours with us, maybe eats supper, plays ball with Grandpa, watches TV and then goes home with his mom. Occasionally we will babysit (what an oxymoron as he is definitely not a baby to be sat with-he's 9 years old) him and he will spend the night but this is usually on a weekend and there are no rules.

Now it's been a long time since I've had to worry about making sure homework gets done, baths are taken, teeth are brushed and kids are in bed at a decent hour so they can get up in time for school and not be cranky butts. I had a hair appointment after work so when I got home I asked Grandpa what they had for supper? Here's what he fed the child- chips, jelly sandwich and strawberry milk. Not the most nutritious supper but it was OK I guess. Made sure he had his homework done before he watched anymore TV and then asked him to take a shower.

I came out of the den about 8:45 pm and he and Grandpa are still watching TV!! "Grandpa, why isn't this child in bed, he has school tomorrow?" Grandpa says, "He's going right after this is over."

Next morning Grandpa goes to work and I get up and get ready for work. About 6:20 I start to wake Tegan up. This is where I remember what being a mom is all about. "Tegan, time to get up buddy."

Tegan: "MMMMmmmmm" as he rolls over and burrows further under the covers.

Me: " Come on, you have to get up, Grandma has to go to work."

Teagn: "Yeah" and continues to lay there.

Me: " Tegan, don't make me drag you out of that bed and dress you myself! Get up and get your clothes on." Then I went back to getting ready for work, hoping he was getting out of bed.

The next thing I know Tegan is in the living room turning on the TV,watching cartoons (typical kid) and asking me for breakfast. SHIT! I don't think we have any cereal he will eat. We have adult stuff like Raisin Bran which I know he won't touch but I ask anyway. He turns up his nose and rejects it. I ask about toasts and jelly and he says sure so I open up the fridge to get the bread and find they ate the last of that the night before- no toast for Tegan. I get on the phone and call grandpa at work and inform him that when he comes home (when I leave for work he is trading off with me) he needs to bring something for Tegan for breakfast. OK no problem he says.

All goes well after that (at least I think it does) and I come home that night to find Tegan and Grandpa flying a kite in the backyard. Carla is home already and Tegan is happy to see her. I asked Grandpa what he brought for breakfast and he tells me cookies. COOKIES! What kind of breakfast is that? Grandpa said he gave him milk with them so he had the food groups and it didn't hurt him so No harm, No fail.

We sent Tegan home with his mom who is much better equipped to parent him. After all its been many years since our last child has been school age and in need of that kind of parenting. I guess we did all right though in the parenting department for one day- we managed to feed, bathe, clothe and get him to school on time without major mishap. I am much better suited to handling my BIG kid and making sure he has everything he needs. Grand parenting is for seeing the kids for a few hours and sending them back home with their parents.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Deer Friends

I love animals and nature and all that goes with it as much as anyone. I have several bird
feeders in my backyard and love to watch the Goldfinch come in and eat. When we are up north it is fun to sit outside and watch the loons swimming around the lake and calling out to each other and I have been known to stop dead in my tracks to pet a cute puppy.

I also love flowers and shrubs and have spent a lot of time and energy making sure my yard blooms with color each spring. Carla (my daughter that works in a greenhouse) brings me a lot of plants that otherwise would be thrown out because they are old. I bring them back to life (sometimes), plant them. nurture them and watch them grow into the most beautiful plants. I also have started flowers from bulbs and seeds over the years and now have a really nice yard that usually is quite pretty when spring is here.

This year I have a problem!
You see this year, Bambi, (you all remember Bambi don't you?) decided she wanted to eat my beautiful flowers for her evening snack! She crept out of the woods while we slept and the little B****! ate them right off at the ground just as they were beginning to open! Yum! Yum! She said that was sooo good! Than off she scampered back into the woods, leaving her hoof prints behind as evidence.

Now if this wasn't bad enough, she actually had the gall to come back after the plants had recovered enough to start growing back and do it all over again!!!!! So definitely not going to have anything that looks like this this year thanks to good ole Bambi. I am so pissed it isn't even funny!!!!

If any of you remember the movie Bambi, she had a friend named Flower who was a skunk. Now I wouldn't be opposed to her eating her friend Flower because this would be no loss to anyone, Right? Who wants to smell this Flower???

But if that doesn't work guess the next step is to get out good old Betsy and sit out on the deck every night just waiting for Bambi to come for her midnight snack of tulips and then "Bam!" I'll be eating Bambi for a snack.

Disclaimer: No animals were harmed in the writing of this post and I actually don't know how to shoot a gun and wouldn't kill Bambi even if I did so don't worry. But I am mad as hell at her!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

I've Got A Secret

I actually have a third child! I know you're all surprised right? I haven't talked about her
before so how could you know she existed?

I've posted about the daughter who is engaged and getting married.
(That's my first born by the way) and I've done a couple of posts about
my son who I am currently estranged from (that's my baby by the way). The child I have never devoted an entire post to is my middle child, Bear, so you didn't know she existed. Until now that is........

It isn't that I forgot I have another child, I think about her almost everyday and I email her at least 2-3 times a week. And up until this past week, we talked on the phone at least a couple times a week. What happened this past week you ask? Well, to add to the feelings that I have forgotten her, all of a sudden her phone calls (yes just hers and no one elses) would not ring through on my cell phone. Sounds like a conspiracy to me what do you think? I am happy to report this problem has now been fixed and her calls are now ringing through.

You can see how much George and I love her - we didn't even try to break the headlock she had us in when this picture was taken. Just kidding. Bear (this is my pet name for her and has been for as long as I can remember), is a middle child and as such often gets overshadowed by older and younger siblings. I know because I too am a middle child. Sometimes we have to make a little noise to remind people we're around.

What she doesn't realize is how special a middle child is and what they teach a parent. Bear, you had to learn patience at an early age because your older sister demanded my attention at times and you had to wait. You wore hand me downs quite often ( but not always because I sewed and made new things for you)and never complained. You never got to do anything FIRST (that was always your sister's right) but you did get to do things at an earlier age because we learned from your sister. You taught us it was OK to cross the street by yourself before you graduated from high school and that nothing would happen. You helped me understand the world wouldn't collapse if I let you go to bed with a dirty face and hands. You made me realize that if a dog would lick your face you wouldn't get sick. I learned to take one day at a time with you my middle child and realized that being a parent could be fun.

Bear has grown into a strong, independent, beautiful young woman. (I like to think I had a little something to do with that). She still calls her Mommy when she needs advice or comfort though. She has a heart as big as Texas and would do anything for anyone in need. She loves children, especially her nieces and nephews and can often be found doing things with them or taking them for a weekend just to spend time with them. To all the little kids in our family she is known as Tah Tah. If you ask them about her using her real name they do not know who you are talking about, but use the name Tah Tah and you will hear shouts of joy from any child in our family.

Bear recently became a dog owner (or he became her owner- not quite sure on this one yet) to Buddy. He has made a big difference in her life these past few months. He does have an alcohol problem that we are trying to address before it gets worse. Seems he likes his beer and whenever Bear takes him somewhere there is beer, he expects to have some. He has been known to overindulge once in a while. Other than that, he is a great companion for her.

Last summer Bear caught her first BIG fish while up at the cottage. She was ecstatic and after naming him, capturing him on film and blogging about him, she ate him! She has now been bitten by the fishing bug and I can't wait to get her back up there this year to have her try again!

So Bear, even if I don't say it often, or don't devote a whole blog to you (or more than one), and you think I have forgotten you, just remember- without you, our family would not be complete. There has to be a Beginning a Middle and an End. So you are vitally important to our family being what it is.

My secret is out now and you all know I have not 1, not 2, but 3 children so I can never forget to talk about them all again.
From now on, No More Secrets.

Friday, April 24, 2009

I'm Responsible For What???

So my daughter is getting Married in 14 months and she is worried cause she hasn't done anything but plunk some money down to reserve the venue for her wedding/reception. She wonders if she has done enough or should she be doing more at this point in time.

I decided that as Mother of the Bride I should look to see what my duties (other than crying on the day she gets married) were. It seems my daughter has nothing to be concerned about because according to everything I read, I am responsible for most of the shit that needs to be done for this wedding. What the Hell??? I'm not the one getting married, she is. Why should I be doing all the work?

Here is what they say I as Mother of the bride should be doing.

Confer with the mother of the groom on all mother of the bride dress or gown choices. I figured I would save time and just pick out dresses for both of us.

So this is Todd's moms dress. I like the fringes on the bottom and the hat's a
nice touch,

And this is my dress. See it too has a little fringe at the bottom so they coordinate. And it also has a hat.

The mother of the bride will assist the bride with the selection of her wedding dress . OK here goes with my pick for what I think Carrin should wear. Second wedding, middle of June, hot as hell. I think it's a good choice. Just be sure to tan Carrin cause there's a lot of skin showing!

The mother of the bride helps the bride and the groom in gathering the names of wedding guests and narrowing down the guest list. From now until the invitations go out you all better be real nice to me cause I control the guest list. Piss me off an your name gets scratched off the list!

The mother of the bride aids in selecting the wedding invitations and the writing out the invitation copy. As long as I don't have to address them and lick all the damn envelopes I can pick them out

The mother of the bride is the assistant or is solely responsible for the other wedding details like photography/videography, wedding cake, bridal accessories, bridal shower arrangements, wedding bouquet and flowers, food catering, wedding favors, pastor/minister/church, banquet room, reception, lodging for out-of-town guests, etc. Damn, what does the bride do? Write out the checks after I plan everything I guess. Guess it's a good thing I;m getting all those vendor ads in the mail huh Carrin? They'll come in handy when I have to start planning the wedding.

The mother of the bride leaves the wedding ceremony area after the bride and groom and before the guests. What the hell? I don't get to go to the party? I have to leave after all the planning I put into this thing! That doesn't sound fair to me.

The mother of the bride dances with the father of the bride during the first formal dance. Yeah, like that's gonna happen. Not in this lifetime.

The mother of the bride ensures that all the guests are happy and having a great time and most importantly, that she, the bride, and groom, are having fun as well despite all the stress and the "hoopla". Thank God after all that planning I was worried I didn't get to have any fun. Just make sure there's a little alcohol involved to help me deal with that stress and we'll be just fine.

So Carrin, Guess for the next 14 months, you can sit back and relax cause it looks like most of the work and stress falls to me. The Frazzled Mother of the Bride.