Farm Show Sunday

The WorldAgExpo starts on Tuesday but Media Monday is tomorrow. We start at 0500 for live remotes for the rest of the world and all timezones. It is incredible that there are so many people from Germany, Russia, China, the UK,Israel…and probably every state in the lower 48.
I work the media data base which is making sure I have current contact information, meal vouchers and parking, since it is not unheard of for some to come back and say they didn’t get one. (I lost my ticket to Stonehenge between the bus and the gate. One minute it was in my hand and the next minute gone.)

This is a vendor driven event—no animals.Just a lot of machinery and big gazillion dollar tractors. And 100k+ visitors. To say we are run off our feet this week is such an understatement.

I am not 100% on board with all of this volunteering. I only got involved because my SO was chairman and has been volunteering for 48 of the 50 years the farm show has been going on. It’s a big deal here in Tulare. Porterville, not so much. At all. Plus, I was teaching and teachers don’t up and rake a week off to volunteer anywhere.

I am much better behind a computer than I am with actual people. I CAN socialize. I just don’t like it. Unlike my SO. He is Mr. Say hi to everyone. I’m more like Queen Elizabeth.
I’ll do it because it’s on my list but I’d rather be with my fogs than people. Except for groceries, I could merrily never set foot outside for the rest of my life. I think maybe I’m just peopled out.

Speaking of my dogs, I’m down to one dog, Tank. 22 on Tuesday. He had a stroke on Friday and not only didn’t know me, he couldn’t walk. Left side involvement. Today he is much better all around but still has signifigant weakness in his legs. If he gets worse, I’ll take him in. Except for my children, Tank is my longest relationship. I’ve lost all my husbands. I never even lived this long anywhere. So he will leave a big empty hole in my life. Estephen us not a cat person and neither am I but I need some kind of pet. Probably next spring, I’ll get a Maltese, like Rocket. Not right now. I have too many otner things on my plate.

I have been AWOL and busy

Went to Brazil last year Fall 2015 and liked it so much I could have stayed. FOREVER. Came home.Translated security tapes.Knitted very little.


Easter 2016, we’re off to the Azores (9 miniscule islands 900 miles west of the mainland). Loved it. Families were close and the prevailing difference in culture was that maybe you can’t find the perfect job on the islands BUT you can look at  your job as an investment to finance your puro de vida in paradise.



NOW this is paradise! I drove ( not again. Entirely too much adulting to do if I have to drive). Some my cousins and Kylemoor Abby. Such a romantic love story.

Haven’t unpacked yet

The Farm Show is coming up in two weeks, the the pistashio convention in Palm Desert, an over night in San Marino so we can see the Huntington.

Then we’re going to UTAH! Stop in Vegas go see Susie Q, stop in Ceder to see Uncle Howie, Payson to see Pat, stop in Provo to show my school off to Estephen. Maybe see Joyce. Up to Heber, around to Park City and into Salt Lake. Stop to see old roommates and Temple square. Then across the Salt flats to Reno, Tahoe and then a day in Sacramento’s old town.

And then it’s time to farm again.

This year, I’ll spend MTW at my place, ThF in Waukena, with the weekends varying depending on farm stuff.

But this weekend I’m seriously unpacking, washing and hanging my stuff up. I have TWO boxes of hangers in the back of the car.

The end ;D


Grief is an odd and unfamiliar landscape

Michael has been gone now 3 years  2 months and 7 days .

I am just now turning his phone off because he is never going to call me again. I am lucky that I was such a hoarder because I have all manner of notes “Lumberyard. Back soon” that made up the little pieces of our lives. Sometimes I will run across a pack of Marleboros and just get furious because he promised me he quit smoking….and then I think of the sins of omission.

Organize365-Day 1

I cleaned out my car.
I live on the third story of an old saloon/whorehouse. It is a huge deal to drag up the marketing. I usually park in front and strategically unload everything that has to be refrigerated. The next unload is stuff I really need, like underpants.
After that I get worn out and end up taking a week to get everything up the stairs. The lit photo is just to the landing
The other one is from the landing and my front door. “Those stairs will keep you young!”she said.”It’ll be fun!’
So not only is my car cleaned out and scheduled for repair (because a guy slammed into my car and knocked me clear ACROSS the street), it’s even getting detailed, so I HAD to clean it out
I’m seriously going to vac and armour all it in the inside. The steering wheel is just icky…Like the floor in the prison.
I don’t mind having a messy car. I just don’t want people to know about it
So the car is reasonably clean and the stuff is upstairs on the rooms they belong in.
***I get a new door, new seat, new hood and something else.

Organize 100….a brief back story

I love getting all the supplies to organize. The colors! Cute clips! Darling magnets! And while I’m at Staples….look! A font program!

I live in an old hotel, built in 1890. Heck, it wasn’t a hotel. It was a whorehouse. It has four closets that originally were rooms for these working girls. I have a gift closet, with paper and bags and tissue paper. It is one of the few areas of my house that is totally on track. There’s a birthday/anniversary calendar, tape and scissors. I regularly buy these supplies and put the away and smile like a serial killer as I quietly shut the door.

At gift giving time, I won’t be wrapping presents. I’ll buy a bunch of brown bags, tissuue papper and cram the present in the bottom. Once in a while I’ll find the perfect set of gifts ( totally not in the least big equal to how I do or do not feel about them.) I gave a couple who were just getting married and had purchased a Battlestair Gallactuca grill every grill thing I could think of, including a little Scentsey barbeque set. It just thrilled me to get the forks and tongs and different salts to no end. So I have the skills…I just don’t have the drive to organize.

My cleaning closet is the stuff of nightmares. A) because the door is both upside down and backwards. I have to walk in and  close the door so I can flip the switch.

I’m putting in a new big and hot water heater in (because I am tired of waiting 20 minutes for it to get up to me, my bubbles and candles). I’m putting up some of those narrow stainless steel rolling racks to put stuff ( probably holiday stuff). I’m coveting one of those broom handle hanger things. Parking places for my vac, floor mate and the swiffer mop thing. Individual baskets for the spare parts AND the paperwork that goes with each appliance.

Right now, I’m in love with my litte handheld shark steamer. It is AMAZING at how much gunk lurking on every wipeable surface. Hard water problems? Soak a rag in very cheap vinegar. Wrap the gooky stuff up tight with the vinegar soaked rags. You might need to “recharge” the vinegar during the day. Put vinegar in a plastic bag and tie it up around the showerhead. I also pour a half gallon of vinegar in the toilet tank. Then I pour the rest of the vinegar into the bowl (put some of it in a spray bottle). Add baking soda to the bowl and scrub like crazy. Everything looks so clean! For me, once a month works for me. (And it’s a good thing to do but I have no schedule and that is where the train falls into the snowy abyss)

I happened on Lisa Woodruff’s Organize 365 on FB, then got her book and bought my supplies from her etsy shop.  There are lots of us whobhave just let inertia take over. My house isn’t really dirty as much as it it just cluttered. I was not born with the “pick-it-up” gene in my DNA.

So if your’re interested, peek in on Organize 365 on FB.

I’m never going to get everything cleaned in one day, so I’m posting before and after pictures of specific areas.


I lost an entire day

Last week, I thought Thursday was Wednesday. Tonight I thought tomorrow would be Saturday. Ay yi yi!

Tomorrow Estephen has a CPA appointment in town. While he is doing that, I need to get some banking done, as in dump some money IN. This year, I’m plugging up the holes in my money dam.

*Cut out going for coffee—$25/week ($100/month)

*Changing my scripts to 90 day and using Phil to fill said scripts. i use I LOVE IT! No more driving down to the big box pharmicies and being told it’s not ready, would I like to wait inside? NO. NOOOOO! I don’t need more nail polish, trashy magazines or Australian licorace. takes care of

*Picking up dinner, since I’m in town. It wouldn’t kill me to make a salad. Or a grilled cheese sandwich. Or slice an apple. No lie, I probably spend $500/a month on eating out.

`                                                                                                                                   *I changed my medical plan to one that will save me $41,000 out of pocket. I think I can finagle maybe another $10,000 on top of that by changing my medication AND  putting in pretax money into a medical escrow. Just need to arrange my big ticket items, like dental and vision to not happen during the same month.

***I’ll be needing a new car soon. My Element is dandy and I’ll keep it but I’d like a red Ford Focus for my every day car. I’m looking at fleet cars from Enterprise, Alamo and Hertz. I’ve done that before and besides the low milage (around 15k miles), I’m not paying for that new car smell and all of the little bugs have been worked out. Fleet cars are serviced regularly, too. Plus they’ve been kept clean.

***And all my change goes into a jar every evening. I get a lot of change in the bottom of my handbag and I’ll  never go digging for a penny. It’s not a lot but in a year, I wonder how much of a financial difference it will make? Too soon to tell.



I took the lessons for about five years and met probably more than my share of Elders “So, do you have any questions?” “How did both of your have the same name? Because “Elder” isn’t a regular name for a boy”) I went to BYU and really loved the experience. I lived and worked in Utah for about ten years. That said, I sometimes wish my mouth had a 5 second delay from my brain. Because sometimes stuff just pops out. Once upon a time, I was at my (Morman) brother in law’s house. I was pregnant and watching the kids while my sister in law went to the market for tomatoes. Knock, knock, knocking knock knock. It was the missionaries. And they can’t come into the house with a woman by herself. Even if I was pregnant and had three or four children under the age of five. The man-boys were in the backyard, smoking dope. (Yep. A bunch of grown-a** Morman men. Obviously they weren’t much into following the precepts of the faith. They were free thinkers, as in “I think I’m a fixin’ to smoke some dope.) So did I say that to these 19-year-olds? No. I told them the men were in the backyard, sacrificing an unblemished GOAT and I couldn’t interefer or it would spoil the entire…. And they were gone! Just like that! And I’m sure there are a pair of 50-year-olds who tell this story about knocking on a door in a really nice neighborhood… So I’m sort of sorry-not sorry because holy moly! What a great story!

Here we go!

I read this on the internet tonight and to resonated with me. I felt like one of those brass Tibetan singing bowls.
Here We Go

About 13 years ago my husband and I made the fateful decision to drive up Highway I-5 with the kids directly after Christmas, through the Siskiyou Mountains all the way to Bellingham WA to see my mother. We bundled my two girls, then 11 and 15, in the back seat and took off for a memorable family road trip.

It was a lot of fun, at first. We watched the terrain change from valley to mountains, saw Lassen and Shasta in the distance, sang songs and talked about dreams for the coming year as we climbed gradually to higher elevations. When we had to stop to put on chains as fat snowflakes began accumulating on the highway, it still seemed like a lark. It was not until we forged into the mountainous terrain of Oregon that we began to realize this snow fall was actually a blizzard. The car grew quiet and tense as my husband strained harder to see the inevitable I-5 semis and the road ahead. We began to speculate whether we should pull over, but we were about 75 miles from the next town, lying ahead at the bottom of the mountains. The radio said they were closing the highway, but there was nowhere to get off, no way out but to forge ahead and try to make the descent to the valley, and restaurants and shelter. I concentrated on the road, trying to help my husband “see” as everything on the highway slowed to a crawl.

Consequently I was paying close attention as we slowly crested the hill, and instantly saw all of the cars and trucks on the suspension bridge at the bottom, sprawled together as the vehicles descending the hill spun and skidded down toward them. The hill was covered with black ice and we had no time to stop without being rear-ended. There was nowhere to pull over and evade the pileup.

I said to my kids, “Girls, we are about to skid out and slide down this hill onto the bridge. Brace yourselves against the back of our seats with your heads in your arms.” They instantly obeyed. A second later I felt the ice take the wheels. My girls’ sharpest memory in that moment was how I calmly stated the obvious: “Here we go,” I said.

There was nothing we could do. It seemed to take ages as our car lost all connection to our ability to control it and gracefully glided onto the bridge. I looked over the guardrail into a chasm of several hundred feet. I saw how beautiful were the thick, fluffy snowflakes all over the huge, stately pines. I wondered if the guardrail would hold if we hit it at the same time as one of the trucks that spun next to us. I wondered what it would be like to plunge into the abyss, knowing we all would be gone. I had time to feel grateful that, if my kids had to die in this moment, that I would die too and would not have to miss them. I had time to be thankful for my new husband and my new life.

Miraculously (and obviously), we made it through without plunging over the side of the bridge. We didn’t sustain even a scratch. Slowly the vehicles involved spun to a stop and, one by one, carefully disentangled themselves and inched on their way. We made it to the valley just as darkness descended, got a motel, and counted our blessings. My kids even were able to laugh about how I so absurdly had said, “Here we go.”

But it could have been so much worse. I don’t know how many near misses we get to just glide past like that in our lifetimes. As the clouds gather over our nation’s capital and every day brings more evidence of treachery and mental illness in this absurdity of a president-elect, the incident on the icy bridge replays itself in my mind, over and over. All we can do, facing the day when the unthinkable becomes reality and we have to inaugurate this laughable, hateful incompetent, is to brace ourselves as best we can, be glad we are together, and give thanks for what good things we know are true.

And so, loved ones, friends and family far and near, this year I don’t really have a “Happy New Year” in me. I think the best I can muster is, “Here we go.”

I hope to see you on the other side of the bridge.

Oh, the things you’ll find!

I’m not by nature very tidy. I don’t get a lot of joy doing repetitive chores, like dusting. Dust today and nobody will notice by tomorrow. Dust every two years and it doesn’t look signifigantly different in 24 hours.

And don’t even get me started on the 21 meals and accompanying dishes, cups, silverware that has to be washed, dried, put away, tracked down and matched up. Altogether too much pickety pick pick picking for me. ( I love the way a pretty table looks. I just need a staff to tend to the details.)

My floors are where I’m starting. I live in an old whorehouse, built in 1890. I had six (SIX) dogs up here and ….well, you can guess what my floors looked like! I know I should start high and do the floors last but I thought that I could get immediate gratification 😄
I used a straw broom, then a whisk broom, then a great big dust mop to start off. I used the lid of one of those not-Rubbermaid storage tubs. I put it on the top stair and just swept everything onto it. Immediate gratification! Dust pans get so dusty and grimy plus there’s always that little line of dust that needs a wet paper towel to get got.
I have one of those flat head Swiffer spray things. All those ratty socks that multiply like rabbits? I slip those on the head because I end up with 4 clean surfaces. This first go-round, I used watered down mop’n’ orage glow. I did a quick and dirty go round and holy moley! The socks were filty, so I have no illusion that the floors are really clean but they already look so much better!
Before and after. On Thursday, I tackle the stairs, beadboard and spindles. I have this delicious orange oil that I got in Brazil. It is sort of little oranges/lime/ Myer lemon smelling. And not slippery either. Just breath-taking.