This guy is coming to town. Well, not our town, but close by. Today (this afternoon). I’d love to go see him, but have to work.

I am about as far from the political mainstream as the log floating in our creek… and as active. I have never been Republican or Democrat, voting instead by whichever candidate impresses me the most by agreeing with my point of view or pissing me off the least.

This whole controversy going on around about MJ’s political ad and whether or not he was drugged or not drugged or playing for sympathy… well, it just makes me mad. It’s blowing smoke at the point. Stem cell research is probably going to save a great number of lives – maybe even my own – and voting for the candidates that are supporting it may be one of the better things I’ve done in my life.

I Have Become What I Hate Pt I

I tried hard not to ever become the dreaded Mother-In-Law, but I fear it has now happened. It isn’t in reference to a current son-in-law, but rather to an ex, so don’t know if that makes it better or worse.

Youngest daughter and I went to a popular multi-product store last night. In the parking lot, she commented, “That looks like Nicholas”*… oh, wait, that IS Nicholas! He was there with his dad (eldest daughter’s ex) and the dad’s girlfriend.

By the time we got into the store, they weren’t in sight and we proceeded to do our shopping, keeping our eyes peeled for Nicholas. I happened to catch sight of Mark* (the ex) cutting through another part of the store and saying to someone out of sight “We’ll be right over here”.

We walked toward where he’d been and there was Nicholas, standing in the toy isle. By himself. (He’s in 3rd grade). We said hi to him and started chatting, the whole time keeping an eye out for Mark, who I was sure was going to come up any second.

I went over to where I’d last seen Mark, and looked around and saw no sign of him. Casually, my daughter and I looked up and down the isles near where Nicholas was absorbed in trying to decide which toy he thought was the best. No Mark. No girlfriend.

Finally, after chatting with Nicholas for at least 15 minutes, Mark and the girlfriend come strolling up. Startled to find us talking to Nicholas, back-peddling soon began. The first comment out of his mouth was something about leaving children alone. Flippant. Guilty. Throughout the next few minutes while we said goodbye to Nicholas, Mark mentioned it again. Yes, asshat, you were caught. All the joking and backpeddling in the world is not going to keep me from telling my daughter you left my grandson standing in the big store toy department by himself for at least 15 minutes while you were nowhere in sight, or earshot. (Daughter and I figured if he’d been within hearing distance, he’d have shown up much sooner and been less surprised.)

I hate this. I don’t like to be the bad guy. I don’t like to go tattling to my daughter about her ex’s bad behavior. I also don’t like the thought of my grandson being left alone like that. Sad as it is, that’s how little kids disappear.

I live in a fairly good sized town, but as I’ve told my kids while they were growing up… it’s really a small town. My husband has lived here his whole life and knows a lot of people. There are only so many places to shop. It’s inevitable that you will be caught. Someone you know or we know will see you. Someone you know will tell your parents. In this case, someone you know saw you and is going to tell HIS parent. Get your act together. What was so important you had to leave Nicholas alone for that amount of time in the store? You couldn’t hang out with him in the toy department and then go look at what you and the girlfriend wanted to look at? C’mon… put your brain in gear. This is your kid. I like to give my ex son-in-law’s the benefit of the doubt, but you’ve disappointed me once again.

*names have been changed to protect the innocent and non-so-innocent

Oh Boo Hoo

No, this is not a punkin we carved. I just thought it expressed my mood at the moment quite well. Eldest daughter is sick, so no punkin carving tonight. It sounds like she may have a bit of what I had. I promise I didn’t give it to her. I never even saw her while I was sick. Promise.

Maybe we’ll do it later this week. Hope so!

The snow didn’t happen either. It’s cold enough to do it, but it went north of us (sorry Livey).

I got back to work and luckily, the pile I was expecting wasn’t here. I had plenty to do, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not as backlogged as I was afraid I’d be. I figure it will all hit tomorrow.

One of these days I’ll get around to visiting all of you. Until then, just be satisfied to know I’m trying to post occasionally so you know I’m not dead. Yet.

Weekend Update

This isn’t here now, but it’s coming. They say it’s going to come this afternoon – maybe up to 2″!

Friends left suddenly on Tuesday afternoon. They were going to stay longer, but one of them had some trouble with their heating system at home and he was worried about his family, so they left early. This caused untold troubles with the in-laws. Ours. My BIL (also known as Mr. Weeny-Whiney-Woo-Woo) had a shit fit and fell in it when company left without visiting them. Oh, boo-hoo. I’d done the “good” wife thing and invited BIL’s whole family and MIL over for supper Tuesday night so they could see the visitors. After kicking myself profoundly, I was let off the hook when the guys decided to go home and my BIL’s family decided not to come. MIL still came, but she was diluted by my daughter and younger son with his girlfriend. Nonetheless, my BIL pouted and ranted at Hubs for letting them go. WTF? It wasn’t our responsibility to make sure the visitors went to visit them! Good grief. Grow up.

Of course, the day after they left, I got sick. I’m on the upswing now, but two days of ringing, aching ears, pounding headache, and tumbling tummy made for a not-so-happy person. I really don’t have the time to take off right now to lay about. At least with all the rain and wind we’ve had, harvest has been slower than normal so my workload has been busy but still managable. I dread seeing what my desk is going to look like Monday, though. If you don’t hear from me for a few days, don’t panic. I’m just hiding under my desk.

I think Monday night younger daughter and I are going to eldest daughter’s house to carve pumpkins with my grandson. Should be fun! Haven’t done that for years …

I’m not thinking the snow will be around long, and I’m sure it’s not suitable for it to stick on the roadways yet. Still… it is coming. I know winter is just around the corner. I’m smiling on the inside…


Slap me.

I need to wake up.

Friends came in yesterday from the deep south to stay for an indeterminate time. (Is it rude to ask someone when they show up how long they are staying for?) They went straight to the field and one rode in the combine with Hubs, the other one chiseled ground. They all straggled in at 10 o’clock last night, then proceeded to shower and have some “cold adult beverages”. Dinner did not get consumed until 11 o’clock. That’s too friggin’ late for this old broad. Truly.

I was rude and went straight to bed after supper. I think I peeked at the clock and it was about 1 when Hubs came to bed (talking to me, no less). I lay in bed wondering why the lights were still on in the other room, figuring maybe Hubs left them on for our guests. I tossed and turned for another 30 minutes before the quiet convinced me no one was there, then went in search of the darkness.

I found Hubs had left on the downstairs outside lights (right under our room) when he was giving the guys “the house tour”… as well as leaving some light on in the livingroom. No wonder it was so bright around there!

5 o’clock came awfully early. Hubs was up by 6:30 as I was leaving – that surprised me! It’s raining today and I don’t think much harvesting will be done. I suspect a great deal of “cold adult beverages” may be consumed.

I just want to crawl back in bed.

Friday the 13th

Sooo… anyone superstitous?

I’m not. Surprisingly enough, with all the ‘weird’ things that seem to happen around me, you think I would be.

So, now… an early Halloween treat for you. A ghost story. This is a true story told to me by someone I trust did not make it up.

When this girl was young she lived in a haunted house. Her bedroom, in particular, was haunted by a ghost of an old man dressed in clothing of an earlier time. He called himself “Fred” and although she didn’t see him inside of her room, she would see him pass by just outside the window. Inside her room, she would see evidence of him when her stereo knobs would turn on their own, or her doorknob would turn when no one was there. He was not a ‘good’ spirit. She said he told her he “liked little girls” and one night she even had her covers lifted from the foot of her bed, right in front of her eyes, off of her body. She was afraid to sleep in her own room until she was older and “Fred” went away.

Her mother was in town one day and happened upon the woman who had grown up in the house with the family before this one. In conversation, the woman asked which bedroom the little girl had… in finding out, she asked “has she met Fred?”. Yes, she, too, had been haunted by the ghost that liked “little girls”. When the girls got to a certain age, Fred was never seen again. Her family still lives in the house.

How about you? Any true ghost stories?

Confessions of a (Former) Townie

I admit it. I was a town kid. Oh, I lived in a small town or two when I was young, but always in the town limits and didn’t have any exposure to farm country. Well, except that one memorable summer I went to stay with my cousins for two weeks on their farm. That’s a whole other post.

In my junior high and high school years (or should that now be “middle school”…am I dating myself?) we lived in the state capital. My school had one boy who could be even remotely considered a farm kid and he was so quiet that we pretty much forgot he even was there.

Although my parents were big into camping, and my father actually worked on his uncle’s farm when he was a kid, I was kept sheltered from the world of agriculture. I’ve found in later years that there are lots of kids that are. Kids that drink milk, eat meat, vegetables and fruit, and have no clue where they come from before they get to the isles of the nearest grocery store.

I at least thought I knew these things until I met my farmer-husband and found out how clueless I truly was. For the first time I am revealing some of my “misconceptions” about the country a.k.a. all that space outside of the city limits. In some ways it really is a foreign country.

* Most of the corn that is growing in the fields, at least here in the Midwest, is not the sweet corn that people eat. It is field corn. It is used for animal feed and corn oil and ethanol. Trust me, you do not want to eat it.

* The “beans” that are growing in the fields in the Midwest are not “green”, “pinto”, “lima” or variations thereof. They are soybeans. They are edible and have been sold roasted and salted as pumpkins seeds or sunflower seeds are, but the majority of it is used again for animal feeds, fuels, and cooking oils and additives.

* Country roads are laid out by miles, not blocks. One city block does not equal one country ‘block’.

* They ARE roads, not streets.

* They used to all be numbered with weird county names like R38 or E26. Unless you get 911 service in your area. Then they come and give your house a real address number (not just a “rural route” number) and your street a real name. However, unless you are talking to another townie or townie transplant? You will probably still be referred to the R number or E number or how many miles past some local landmark.

* In town, we are given directions by “turn left” or “turn right” or “go straight”. In the country, you learn damn quick (even if you have to get out your sundial) north, south, east and west… ‘cause that is the only way you will be given directions.

* The driveway to your city home is considered to be a country lane leading to your house.

* Lunch in town is the noon meal. Lunch in the country is a snack. Dinner in town is served at night. Dinner in the country is served at noon. Supper in town is served – if at all – as an early evening meal. Supper in the country is served at night, usually whenever the farmer gets out of the field, so can be anytime from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Are you confused? Boy, I sure was…

In my own defense, I would now like to point out a couple of my pet peeves. These are things that as what I now consider myself to be – a farm person – I cannot tolerate in the townies. Just so you know, these are not things I have done.

* In town, you do not step off the sidewalk for any reason, unless you are in a public park (or it is your own yard). Fences have been erected for small infractions of children ‘cutting through’ on lot lines to go to school. Newer communities have constructed bicycle and walking paths that weave in and among the houses, making the chance meeting of grass and feet rare. In the country, everything is community property. NOT. Do not ever make that assumption. That is a huge townie mistake. I have seen more dumb townies since moving to the country than I had my whole life up to that point. Townies think once you step outside the city limits it is all free land with no boundaries, limits, or rules. They think nothing of pulling up to a ditch, any ditch, and dumping their old Christmas tree, tires, refrigerator, or ten boxes of junk from Aunt Sara’s house that they don’t want to haul to the public junkyard because they’ll charge them $10 to dump it. Once the guy was dumb enough to dump his trash and he left mail in it. The cops tracked him down, made him clean it up, and gave him a hefty fine. That was only once out of a zillion times this has happened, however.

* My front yard is not the local country park. Do not picnic. Even if the German Shepherd is not barking at you this day.

* My barn is not your refuge in the storm. Unless you ask. You may actually be invited into the house at that point. If you just help yourself to my property without asking, you may be looking down the barrel of a shotgun. You’ve been warned.

* My fuel barrel is not the local gas station, and my water hose is not the local hydrant.

* Just because I live in the country does not mean I need to get the tractor and/or pickup truck out to pull your sorry drunk ass out of the ditch at 2:30 a.m. when you can’t make it home from the bar in one piece and you don’t want to call the cops and/or the tow truck. You’re lucky if I’ve let you use the phone…. and restrained the German Shepherd.

* Any rocks, flowers, trees or other items you find in my front yard are not free for the taking. Whether or not they are outside my home… or on the edge of my farm field. Just because you can’t see a building right there, it is not public property, but is property that I either own or rent and it is not yours.

* Last, but far from least, going out into the country is not a guarantee of privacy. Country roads were not put there for you to park and get naked. Within three miles of my house my husband and I have caught people in broad daylight ‘getting it on’. Many more have been spotted going down the country road in the middle of the night, slowing down, and the lights go out. Uh huh. We be stupid. People? Get a room. Or at least, get some common sense. Country people go up and down those gravel roads all the time and we’re usually in a pickup, semi-truck or suv that I guarantee will be able to look down into your little Toyota to see your lily-white butt doin’ the nasty. Oh? … and when you go by the field later and see us? Sheepish waving does not make it all better.

All I’ve got for today. Welcome to the Country. Be sure you have your passport ready.