The Night Before Thanksgiving 2018

Tis the season! Tomorrow we celebrate Thanksgiving with my mom’s side of the family, an every other year occurance and an occasion always looked forward to. We’ll be missing our girl, but time with cousins is always cherished…especially the older we get. Thankfully the weather has turned over the past two days and we’ll be having some warmer temperatures to be out and about. Thanksgiving has been my most favorite holiday for a great many years now, less stress than Christmas, more time to sit and visit and just be with the ones we love.

Have been attempting to get back into writing, however I’m shot at the end of most days and the thought of getting out the computer seems like way too much work. Tomorrow begins four days off, planning on talking myself into sitting down and making plans for a routine to be able to get more accomplished at the end of the school day. Things are getting easier though, the weekdays don’t seem to feel as long although the weekends seem to feel shorter. It’s be days since I’ve come home and had a bit of a sip to top off a stressful day, has to be a plus!

Feeling as though my boys and I have been making progress lately. I have three boys whom are my main priority at school, aide to one and helper to the other two…have taken to calling them my boys. Of course I help all the teachers of whom I’m in class with and have really bonded with most of the kids. Had one boy with a broken heart today, he came to me and I was really touched…he wasn’t one of my boys. Have to say I smile most of each day. Have made some great friends with the other aides and some of the teachers. Living in such a small community and being in a small school district is really a blessing in so many ways.

Last week has a great break through with one of my boys. K really struggles with reading, the beginning of the year I’d have to tell him almost every word when we’d be reading together, last week he read an entire page in his lit circle book with only having to be helped with one word! He was so proud and I was so proud for him! This week C has been more willing to get to work when he doesn’t want to, actually putting in a bit more effort than usual. E and I still have our daily struggles, he likes to try and find a way to get a person’s goat…he’s a good kid though…just likes to be a stinker. All three are getting better at writing smaller and neater! Small steps, yes!?

Was really touched today…put together a small treat for each of the boys for Thanksgiving…nothing big, some small candy bars, gum and pencils…the smile on their faces just melted my heart. I’d had the opportunity to take the boys from study hall to a classroom with only a couple kids and an aide working on some late work, the boys dumped their little boxes out to dig through the handful of things, swapped with one another what they liked most and the cherry on top was when they bombarded me with hugs! Those boys! These boys aren’t the hugging kind either.

The absolute best part of the day…lining up with the little kids to dismiss at the end of the day. One of the boys gave me a note that his grandma was picking him and his little brother up at the dismissal gate…I recognized the last name and asked if R was their grandpa..yes, R is their grandpa and then the little kindergarten aged boy said…is Bart your dad? I stiffled a laugh and said no, he’s my brother, Terry is my dad…the older brother said, I know him! Absolutely made my day! Mom laughed and laughed, Brother Bear wasn’t quite as amussed and said he’d be giving their dad a hard time in return! Love small town life!

Hope all is well with all!



Saturday 20. October 2018

Finally feeling as though I’m getting enough of the hang of working outside the house that I may be able to get back to writing and reading some blogs again.  Still working on getting my inner clock changed around, guessing after over 20 years of being a night owl that it’s going to take more than a couple months to become not so much of a night owl. 

Have really taken to doing this whole teachers aide thing.  I work mainly with three sixth graders, but help out with the entire class as needed.  Also have lunch duty with sixth through eighth grades, study hall with about a dozen sixth graders and after school recess with preschool through fifth grade…thankfully there are three of us doing the after school recess, those littles are dolls but take a lot of energy. 

Learning a lot in the sixth grade, things that I either no longer remember learning or things that are new to me…guessing a little of both.  Social Studies and PE are pry my favorite at the moment, something I definitely wouldn’t have said in sixth grade.  In Social Studies we are learning about different cultures, next week the kids start a project where they learn about the cultures in which they came from…sounds fun but with my three boys, the thought makes my head start to throb…hard headed them and hard headed me…we have our moments where we butt heads so to speak.  The trobbing head comes from knowing the project has to be done on Google Slides and the last project I helped with having to use Google Slides, yeah….I can’t do Google Slides, give me a piece of paper or poster board! 

A few days ago the kiddos had to run the mile in PE.  Want to confuse sixth graders?  Call PE, Phys Ed…they will argue until you explain it’s short for physical education and thus PE…  Watching these kids stress for days about the upcoming mile run reminded me of the same stress knowing that damn run was coming up.  These kids had it easy though, Mr. S let them walk a bit as needed, we weren’t allowed to stop jogging or we started over.  Times have changed.  Also Mr. S ran with them, Mr. C never ran with us.  That had to have been a good feeling for the kids to have the teacher join them.  I walked a half mile during their run and tried to help encourage them to keep it up.

Lunch may be my favorite time of day…have made some great friends amongst the teachers and aides and enjoy 30 minutes of laughter and swapping stories with other adults.  It’s still kind of odd to be working with people who went to school with our oldest, two graduated with and a few only in the few years before she graduated.  Some days it makes me feel a bit old but the kids have assured me that I am somewhere between the age of 1 and 99…so guessing I can be whatever age I choose. 

The house has taken a toll since I’ve begun working at the school.  Spent most of the day today cleaning and washing bedding and dishes…swear the dishes are never done.  Starting to feel like some progress is being made.  Bubba and I went out a few days ago to finish picking all the gourds and pumpkins, today Old Boy took the tractor and mower and knocked everything down.  Had hoped to get the flower garden done this weekend but we’ve been hit by a cold front accompanied by an ugly wind…hopefully we’ll be able to get it done before winter hits.  We’ve already had snow…the earliest I’ve ever seen, so who knows when winter will hit. 

Anyhow…hoping to finally be back to it.  Hope all is well with all! 


Thursday 20. October 2016

My redneck child, we nicknamed him Bubba when he was just a little guy, he has definitely grown into that name.  He has been a challenge, there are many days I can only shake my head and say that I just don’t get how boys think.  

About a year ago we bought an old ’94 Ford pickup and had it fixed up so when he hits 15 and gets drivers ed under his belt he can get a school permit.  We live outside of the school district and drive him to school each morning, he takes the bus to my folks’ farm after school.  

In May Kirk’s Uncle Jamie passed away from cancer, he was only 51.  A week or two before he passed he bought this red pickup.  One of his brother’s bought it and has kept it in his garage..he couldn’t let it go.  Yesterday Kirk went to his Uncle Steve’s for something or other and they got onto the subject of the Ford and how we thought Bubba should have a smaller vehicle for when he starts driving to school next year…the school parking lot is a bitch.  Uncle Steve asked if Leo would be interested in Uncle Jamie’s pickup.

Later in the day we drove back to Uncle Steve’s with Leo’s Ford F150.  We bought the Dodge and Uncle Steve bought the Ford.  Aunt Kathy had been after Steve to retire his old work pickup because it hasn’t been road safe for some time, so he has a new work pickup now.

Leo is so tickled.  He knows how excited Uncle Jamie was to have gotten this pickup and that it was his last big buy.  Leo adored his uncle and we all know he will take really good care of it.  

Boys and their toys!

I’ve recently come to the realization the major difference between Kaet and Leo at the age Bubba is at now. It’s something I’m actually rather amazed about.  

Kaet always had her group of friends from elementary school.  The girls were always going and doing, we had girls at our house on a regular basis.  Kaet wouldn’t stay with anyone though.  I can think of maybe three times she ever stayed with anyone other than family.  Whenever the girls wanted to do the overnight thing she would always talk the girls into coming here.  It was never a bother, we rather enjoyed the craziness and all that giggling.

Kaet’s friends were always pretty much cookie cutter when it came to interests, lifestyles, way of dressing, ect. All farm kids, 4H, FFA, tomboys.  

When we transfered Bubba to my old school last year Kirk was concerned that he wouldn’t fit in.  WC is a rural school, pry not quite 200 kids in the entire high school when I was in school…but we were also close to the city and even though a large number of the kids were farm kids, it was a very preppy and snobbish school.  I knew he needed a change from where he started school and where Kaet graduated and it was worth a shot for one school year.

At the end of last year we talked to him about whether he wanted to stay at WC or go back to AO and why.  He said WC, he felt like he belonged more than he did at WC.  His grades were definitely better and the teachers stayed on his case with his not loking to do school work, he was held accountable and teachers texted me if his grades started to slip or he started slacking on turning in homework, something that was allowed to just be at AO.  We’d never had these problems with SisterBear.

Anyway, this year this child has really come into his own.  Almost every weekend he’s staying with someone or one or two boys are staying here.  They are going and doing constantly, so different than the girls.  Never thought I’d ever get into the groove of being able to handle boys but I have to say that they are growing on me. One even calls me mom, all Kaet’s friends called me Mama Mel, something I’d missed.  

This group of boys are so different.  Town boys and farm boys, a couple who even where overalls to school.  So unlike Kaet and her friends.  I have to laugh at the complete opposites these boys are.  Some of these kids’ parents I went to school with and we ran in completely different circles.

Tomorrow after school is Just A Friend Lindsey is coming home to ride horses after school.  Dad doesn’t feel comfortable with it and said he would have said no.  Guess I’ve spent enough time with kids over the years that I don’t have a problem with it.  Her folks don’t have a problem with it either.  I went to school with her mom and uncle, my mom went to school with her grandfather.  She’ll go home when it gets dark, we’ll run her into town where she lives.  No biggie.  

Absolutely loving the change I am seeing in this kid!  He still makes me shake my head, guessing I’ll never understand how boys think think.


Monday Morning 22nd of August

Pretty proud of this group!  Long time family friend Brooklyn and nephews Colt and Tyler rocked big time at the Iowa State Fair!  This was the first year this group did this fitting thing, so that makes it even more amazing and awesome that they placed first!  We didn’t do 4H or show cattle, so only have a vague idea of what fitting consists of…So proud of these kiddos!

Leo, Kaet and Dallas at Crazy Horse Monument….a beautiful place to visit, very peaceful….well, not with the group of yahoos we visited with…had to keep it moving, moving, moving.  When we went with the kids a few years ago we went in February/March-ish…we took the time to walk through the museum and just take it all in.  Breathtaking to say the least…I find the Native American culture fascinating, absolutely love learning anything about the people and this place has it all.  BUT, with the crew of 11 this time through we had to keep it moving, moving, moving…

Now we are back to the real world, my brain is going in circles…school starts tomorrow and this ol girl is not ready.  We made it home from our trip on Friday night and I was knocked down with a head/chest cold, Saturday I was 100% down…yesterday I was well enough to get some running done.  Now it’s pry about time to get groceries, we are running on bare bones in our kitchen.  With school starting again it’s time to get back to the real world, start accomplishing things again.  


Friday 4. September 2015


Happy Friday!  Patriot was enjoying munching on some grass on this beautiful afternoon!  Dad has the fly mask on, so all the better!


Edward was enjoying some pasture time as well. 

This old lady had her weekly doctor appointment for the majorly infected cartilage ear piercing I’ve been fighting for MONTHS…could have done the happy dance, Doc agreed that we are finally on the right medications!  Starting to see that light in the tunnel!  Now if I just would have stopped my ass at the chiropractor on my way home, have had about enough of my neck being out of wack and giving me this horrendous headache I’ve been fighting for a couple days.  Didn’t want to take the time, so going to be in hell until Tuesday.  My own damned fault.  


Checked out my sunflowers this afternoon, absolutely LOVE it when they start getting crazy huge!  My husband calls them weeds, but I enjoy them too much to not grow them.  He just grumbles from time to time and says he hopes they don’t start growing in the neighbors corn and soybeans.  


My mother-in-law called two days ago to give updates on my sister-in-law and her health.  In-laws are retired to Florida, the rest of us live around here.  We aren’t the best at checking in with one another or getting together, everyone living their own lives and doing completely different things.  It really is sad when I think about it because Kirk and his sister were the best of friends growing up and have grown apart over the years.


Shell hadn’t been feeling well for some time and after quite a bit of testing she has found that her kidneys are functioning at 18%.  This gal has always been very healthy except for a bad back.  Turns out one of the medications she once took for her back pain is the cause of this kidney problem, they have 75% scar tissue.  Won’t even try to pretend I can explain all the way and why fors, but it isn’t a good thing.  


Went into town to visit with her today.  Thankfully, she has a wonderful mindset about it all.  Can’t say as I’d be able to be so positive.  Told her that all she has to do is call or text me, if she needs anything, if even just to talk…she can call and text her brother all she wants but if she wants a response, she needs to holler at me too.  Being a cattle buyer he is on the phone day and night, seven days a week, he gets so busy that it’s easy for him to forget to make return calls when it isn’t work related.


Then she laid on the big news that just knocked the wind out of me, my mother-in-law’s baby brother, just turned 50 a couple months ago, was just diagnosed yesterday with cancer of the esophagus.  Won’t know the stage until this coming Wednesday, but apparently by the time signs begin to show themselves, it’s fairly well along.  I pray that isn’t the situation with Uncle Jay.  Love that man to pieces!


When I left the small town library that my sister-in-law works, Uncle Jamie was sitting out on his front porch, just across the street, so I walked over to chat with him.  He was in wonderful spirits!  We visited about the kids and their school.  Told him to holler at us for anything, just to have us stop in for a visit, we are less than a 20 minute drive away.

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Sometimes when it rains, it pours.  Wouldn’t it be great if everyone could all live happy, healthy lives with enough that’s needed to live!


Now, if we could just get the boy focused on school!  He says he really likes his new school!  Says he likes it way better than where he’s always gone.  Talk about a happy mama!  HOWEVER…one week into school and I’m getting daily e-mails on papers being turned in with below 80% scores.  It’s so frustrating when he is so book smart…he just rushes to get the work done so he can do what he wants.  We are constantly at him to bring his work home every night, bring all the books home every night.  It’s happened only once this week.  I love to read, read at least an hour a day, I can sit at the table and read of do bills while he is doing is work, that way I can help him when he needs it and I can look at his work to tell him if he needs to go back, slow down and do it again.  UGH!


Hoping it doesn’t take too long to get this routine into his head, or it’s going to be a really long year.  


With that, gonna call it a night…the icy hot seems to have kicked in and the pain is all gone!  Going to enjoy it!


28. August 2015

We have made it through the first week of school, both junior high and college!  The week has actually been fairly blah…I always like to take the first week back to school for myself…I do what needs to be done and just take in the peace and quiet! It’s been a good week to do it, unseasonably cool weather has made it so we were able to have the air off and windows open more than half the week.  Always nice to have the fresh air flowing through the house, freshening up the place!

Went to the doctor get have my infected and grown shut ear piercing looked at…again.  Doc was able to get yuck from it to culture and gave me some different antibiotics and pain meds, today the nurse called with a change in antibiotics.  The meds she gave me Monday were enough to start some major healing, by Wednesday I no longer needed the pain meds and by the end of the day yesterday the swelling had gone down enough that the ear looks normal again!  

I am done with ear piercings!  I’d said that before, being that I’m in my early 40’s, it’s pry about time to be done anyway, this just reinforced that decision.

Yesterday was such a gorgeous day that I decided it was time to get Emmet out for a ride.  It had been awhile.  Kirk was home so I let him saddle the boy, I tend to not do it right (his right and my right are not the same right) and he winds up undoing the cinch and redoing it correctly.  

Crazy, been saddling horses since I was in junior high, always thought I was doing it right since the saddle never fell off while riding…huh?!  Hell, the kids won’t even saddle when he is around because they know he is going to correct them and it stresses them out.  Men!


Haven’t had this boy very long, but he is pretty special.  He has a dog like personality.  Very mellow.  Still trying to get used to his style, he does this little thing that feels like a crow hop when slowly galloping him.  It’s been so many years since I’ve ridden on a regular basis that I have a bit of a fear of hitting the ground, not so young anymore.  We’re starting to figure each other out though, making progress!


Even made it down to check out the pumpkin patch this week.  Love watching the pumpkins and gourds grow.  It’s always a surprise to see all that comes about once we get down and into the vines in the middle of the patch once they start getting too crazy to want to walk through for fear of stepping on and breaking any vines.


Didn’t get everything planted this year that I wanted to, ran out of space and the old boy wasn’t cooperating at making me another section to plant, might be a section he may want to set the horses out to eat.


Shouldn’t complain, there are many people out there who would love to have a garden of any size.  There are just so many different types, colors, shapes and textures of pumpkins and gourds that it’s hard to choose.

Now it’s onto working with Bubba to get his mind focused on school and getting him to realize how important it is to put 100% into his work and not just do the work to get it done.  This boy of ours is so hard headed, he gets in trouble and gets upset but doesn’t want to do the work to improve what it is he gets in trouble for.  Seems to be a never ending circle.  Kaet was so easy, Bubba is proving that no two kids are alike.  This one is going to turn me grey before my time.  Just keep swimming!

It’s about that time…should start thinking about winding down for the night.  The evening is so beautiful that it can be hard to talk myself into calling it quits for the day.


27. August 2015

We have the first four days of school down!  One yet to go, and we are so ready for the weekend!  As usual, takes time to get the old body used to the change in routine.  

Of course, this year we are driving Bubba to school each morning since we are open enrolling to a neighboring school.  We actually only live maybe three miles from the end of the bus route, so when we actually get used to the morning run, thinking I’ll talk to the school and our neighbor about maybe Bubba catching the bus there.  Afternoon is no issue, he takes the bus to my folks place.

Bub actually seems to be doing really well with this change.  Seems to be making friends and liking the difference of this school.  Can’t get him to agree to joining the football team.  He keeps bouncing back and forth between yes and no, seems to be leaning more towards no.  He seems to want to play, but it seems as though there’s something holding him back.  Can’t get it out of him.

Tonight I told Kirk that I think we should just make the boy play this year.  Kirk grumbled.  Told him that made I Kaet try several activities that she didn’t want to.  How do you know if you are going to like something if you don’t give it a try, and if you can’t decide on yes or no, just go and do it, you may regret not giving it a shot one day.  Step out of that ol’ comfort zone.

UGH!  Sometimes being a parent can be so difficult.  When to make and when to not make a child do something can sometimes be a really tough decision. 

The girl is doing really well at college!  Kirk and I wish we would have known about this ag college when we studied agriculture in college.  Agriculture is all that’s studied where she is, Veterinary, Horticulture, Livestock Management and Ag Business are the only courses at this school.  It’s an amazing place!

Last year Kaet had a longtime boyfriend when she went off to college and all she did was go to class, study and sleep.  She didn’t go outside of her bubble, didn’t do things with friends unless it was running to the city for groceries or supplies, not wanting to endanger her relationship.  This year she is single and willing to get out and live a little.  These girls have been out to a lake and fished and have done the rope tied to a tree and swinging and jumping into the lake, they’ve even been out doing the slip n slide thing.  Obviously, school is number one, but getting out and socializing and living is also a part of being young and living.

It’s so hard to look at Kaet and realize that I’d been married a number of months by the time I was Kaet’s age.  It’s crazy to think that Kirk and my folks didn’t throw a shit fit about our marrying so young, I mean, Kaet is so young!  Then again, my mom and Kirk’s mom were 19 and 16 when they married, our dads were a titch older.  Craziness!

Watching me some Celebrity Wife Swap…Holy Crap!  This Old Lady so could not swap families for an experiment!  I can see the temper tantrums I’d be having when I had to step out of my routine.  The show really shows just how different all people and all couples and families really are.  What things are important and what things are not important to various people.  I like my life the way it is…