Had a most pleasant surprise yesterday morning!  I walked outside to leave for work and the outside air didn’t make my face hurt!  Nice!  But when you come from a 35 below wind chill to 20 degrees with no felt like spring!

Two weeks ago we went to Menards…we spend alot of time at Menards it would seem…but in any case, Jeff’s lower back/hip was acting up.  We were near the furniture section and low and behold there was a massage chair.  Better yet, it was plugged in!  He sat in it for about 5 minutes and declared himself a new man.  That feeling lasted for TWO days.  So I figured we needed a massage chair. He said no…we don’t.  So I thought about for a few days and went on line last Thursday to order one.  The online version indicated that it had a 100 dollar rebate.  Cool!  But it would not give me an option to order it and ship to store.  It wanted to deliver to our house with a 150 freight charge.  So I picked up the phone and called.  I spoke to a helpful guy and he said to order on line.  Well their instore website is different than your’s or mine.  He said he had the option to ship to store…I said grab your smart phone and look.  Nope- no option there.  Finally I convinced him I was not a scammer and yes, I was in their system as a customer and he took my information and CC number.  It arrived at the store and Jeff and I went and got it last night.  Jeff loves it.  It squeezes me too tight…but I laughed at him while he was using it.  It has a foot massage.  It locks your legs in and massages your feet.  He about came out of the chair and sat and giggled because he has ticklish feet.  Too funny!

Time to embrace this day and give thanks for the warm weather…even if it means fog.

Cold weekend…

My Andiron impulse buy..Their eyes are supposed to glow green…they don’t, but they are still cool…

A photo can’t capture the snow drift that the little pine limb created…

I braved the negative degree weather to put out a couple coffee cans of bird seed and corn for the Juncos, turkeys, squirrels and rabbits…

The cold was unreal.  The turkeys came later in the day and ravenously ate all the corn while standing on one foot….they didn’t even fight.  They just gobbled up the corn as fast as they could.  It was bitter out.  After they left, I went out and put more food on the ground.  We had three cardinals last night at dusk.  They prefer ground eating too.

The commute will be interesting this morning- I am certain the scenery has changed dramatically with all the snow.


We actually got hit with this last snow event.  It started Friday morning and snowed steadily, at times an inch an hour.  The snow, in itself, was not a big deal.  However, the 30 mile an hour sustained winds with gusts into the 50’s seemed to make it  a big deal.  I worked until 11 am on Friday and headed home.  The 10 minute drive to Harrisburg took 30 minutes and the drive the rest the way home took just over 30.

They had spent the summer widening Highway 115 from Harrisburg to Sioux falls.  ok, they got almost 3 miles of it widened to 4 lanes most of the way and to 6 lanes at every intersection….When I drove it, only one of my 3 lanes was passable. The rest had 2′ drifts.  I picked up Kate and Cade in Harrisburg and headed to Hwy 11.  There was a Jeep in the ditch at CK stables.  I just focused on the road ahead.  Picking a spot straight ahead and driving to it.  I find that helps me stay on the road when you can’t see where it is…kind of snow blind.  The visibility was sketchy in places, but not horrible.

The snow is deceiving because the world looks white and you don’t see how big the drifts are.  I drove slow, the hard packed drifts would kind of throw you towards the ditch.  With windchills well below zero, I was NOT risking any speed in which to enter the ditch with two kids.  It was a relief when I put my blinker on to turn onto West Ave.  I was surprised – Jeff was home and had trusty rusty the 78 Blazer and snowplow going and had our driveway done.  Cade was asleep so I sat in the car for another 1/2 hour with them and let him sleep.  Jeff helped me get them into the house and then he headed to Tim and Michelle’s and then to Steph and Jesse’s.

Trusty Rusty will be getting an auxillary defroster and new wiper blades…when the snow comes up off the plow and hits the windshield, it just can’t keep up…so we will get an auxillary one and probably a power pack so he is ready for the next round.

He did them twice and did a path through the deep stuff on the east side of the hill from Jesse and Steph’s.

The wind started hard from the south on Friday then switched to the NW late Friday night.  We had heavy drizzle that put 1/4 inch of ice on everything, which I think helped settle the snow and helped somewhat with visability.  We have a drift that starts at the SW corner of our grove and it is almost over the new fence that the neighbor to the south of us put in.  They pulled the county plows on Friday and they didn’t go back out until last night. There were cars stuck on all kinds of county highways…in the middle of the road.

Cade and Kate spent the night and we played and watched Jeff tool by with Trusty Rusty.  Lots of diapers changed and lots of cars played with!  Kate was up at 4:50 on Saturday and Cade woke up and joined us at 6.  He has roughly 35 cars scattered around the living room and he wanted one particular car.  It was by the cat…I told him to wait until I finished feeding Kate and I would get it for him.  I encouraged him to play with the others until I was done.  Nope…he wanted that car.  Hoosier was not having any of that..the whole child near me while I am minding my own business shit….So I heard her hiss and Cade screamed, she got two claws hooked on his sleeve and they were both freaking out…Kate started crying to sympathize with her brother and I had a good shit show on my hands while I untangled the cat from Cade’s sleeve and calmed two kids..I looked at his hand and arm and couldn’t see that she actually had got him…just his sleeve.  Again, in retrospect it was pretty funny.

Just ask Cade what a kitty says- he says “meow”, what does Hoosier say? he say SKKKKK.  Funny!

Hoosier paid me back for having kids in the house.  I had my warm, good winter coat hanging on the back of a dining room chair.  She got on the table, pulled the hood of the coat onto the table and peed in the hood….glad I put it on yesterday rather than Monday…I had a very unpleasant surprise.  Well played Hoosier…I got your point.  Devil cat…

They figured the windchill yesterday was at -35…the wind was so strong we didn’t light a fire in the fireplace. I wasn’t sure if the wind would force the smoke back into the house.  It was so crazy windy that it sounded like a dull roar inside the house.  The squirrels pick on our big pine trees (ponderosa pines) and they will chew the three fingered clumps off the ends.  One of those, about a foot long, is laying to the south of the house.  It created a pretty drift about 20 ‘ long and 2-3 ‘ deep.  Funny how that works….

Terri came out Friday afternoon and Saturday and played with the kids.  She ran to town and brought back color books for Cade to color in.  He likes to color and likes stickers.  He was very content coloring and then I said we had to eat, lunch was done.  He was not pleased about that….

Kate is just mellow and content, Cade is easily redirected and they are good kids.  Kelsey is such a good mom- encouraging and teaching them every step of the way.  Travis, like Jeff, is the silly one that makes them laugh.  it is a team effort for sure.

Time to embrace this day!

Big Black Cat…..

We have a new guest at our place.  It is a very large black, very fluffy, Cat.  It sprinted between the garages last night as I pulled into the driveway.  It reminded me of a very large lap dog.  I would put it at three times the size of Hoosier.  I like our outside cats.  They catch mice and run from us.  Those are the best kind of outside cats.  I remember at the farm, we used to have dozens on the step.  Don’t have to worry about that here!

I think I have hit the winter blues stage of winter.  I need to dose up on vitamin D to improve my outlook and attitude!  I am on the struggle bus at work.  I have a few that are talking about me behind my back and what they don’t realize is that yes, I know about it.  It bothers me when people think they can get a head by saying derogatory things about others rather than putting in the time to learn and to excel at their job.  I am good at my job, no matter what they say about me, it will take them years to exceed my knowledge and job abilities.

By then, I will be well retired 😉

Sometimes you just need to laugh and let it go.

I got my grey touched up last night and being I am at the winter white stage of skin color, I think it looks a tad harsh right now, it will settle down with a few washings….

I see yesterday that the airlines out of Sioux falls now has a direct flight to Nashville- not that we ever seem to go anywhere…but that would be fun.

Time to embrace this day and the cold weather it is bringing!  Tomorrow is going to be bone chilling with below zero temps and windchills well below that!  Ahh…South Dakota…

Full Moon….

The moon is still bright in the west sky, even as the sun is coming up.  When I went to bed last  night, it seemed as if there was a light on in the grove.  I love full moons in the winter…it makes the dark not quite so dark.

The bunnies were under the bird feeders this morning.  I am going through just over 40 lbs of bird seed a week.  The turkeys haven’t bunched up yet, we have several groups of 6-8 that come and eat.  There is a bunch of hens, a bunch of toms and a bunch of big old toms.  They are fun to watch.  The squirrels are working hard to defend the feeders that they deem as their own.  They will rush the turkeys and give them the “what for” and then run to safety after the turkeys don’t move…it is comical.

Friday was my 1/2 day off.  I went to a moving sale by Lake Alvin.  I had spotted a couple of kids book shelves with toy storage beneath them.  I thought maybe Kate and Cade needed them.  They were kind of expensive so I passed on them.  Terri called and said the Economy shop in Rock Valley had 85% off and did I want to go? YEP.  She had been there that morning and bought herself, Cade and Kate a ton of stuff.  The Economy shop is a thrift store with trendy, high end, good condition clothes.  They have the 85% off sale one day and the next they do a bag sale.  Terri had gone to the bag sale last year and it was too crazy even for her.

They take one section of the store and block off all the other sections and close the dressing rooms.  They fill the section that is open with items that have sat too long or are on the verge of not being cutting edge style and you shop that area.  I bought 31 items. My bill was just over $70. It figured out to be 2.39 per piece.  Out of those items, 3 tops were too big, the rest fit great.  Terri and I had a fashion show in my living room…we were tired after trying everything on!  She got some great pieces, I got some great pieces and Kate and Cade got nice things too!  You tend to get out of your normal wheel house when you know you are paying a buck or so for an item…Terri talked me into a Fast & Furious, Taretto’s garage shirt.  It was a long sleeve button up with shoulder cut outs.  It fit me like it was made for me.  That was my most expensive piece at $4.65.  I got new clothes and a fun day with Terri! Win Win!

We hit a cold snap…I had a new damper put on the fireplace, it is a springloaded cap.  It used to be on windy days, you could hear the wind in the Chimney…not with this new cap.  HOWEVER…I couldn’t remember for sure if you pull the chain down it is open or the opposite…so I told Jeff wrong, he lit a fire, it turns out the damper was iced shut…and we had a house full of smoke!  We opened the windows, put big fans in the windows and blew the smoke out of the house.  He got the fire out immediately..but what a shit show.  Yesterday, though cold, the sun was intense, so by the time we got back from Menards, the damper was popped up and we were ready to burn.  In was funny.

The basement is slowly but surely getting put back together.  I decided to tackle part of the storage room yesterday…I picked a corner, swept it and mopped and mopped it…moved a shelving unit over and started with Christmas stuff….I hunted and searched for all the Christmas stuff, took the Christmas stuff out of my car that I had decorated my office with…and put that away.  I took the ornaments that I had had on the tree and put them away. Then I started on Fall & halloween decorations.  Got them put away.  St. patricks day and then fourth of july stuff…so now I have two shelving units full of just holiday stuff.  I took another shelving unit and put all the floor fans and skimmer pumps on…I found the three floor squeegees and got them all in one place…Now to find a home for the shop vacs and dehumidifiers…and BIG fans.  It is darn near overwhelming…

I will sort through my sewing stuff.  Poor machines haven’t’ been used in forever…but I hope to start quilting again in the next year or so…I have some lovely fabric that is just begging to be put to use.  This whole flooding thing took a lot of fun out of our basement and basically put things into a chaotic state… I have become a person that has a place for everything and everything in its place……well, that went out the window with the water…but it will eventually get back in order. Time to hit it again!!

Saturday..All is calm

I hit a milestone Thursday night…I actually slept the night in bed.  I had been spending the nights over the last two weeks on the couch, or reclined.  So perhaps I am on the mend…finally.  I slept well last night too.  I actually had enough gumption last night to do dishes and bake a frozen pizza.

I am not sure if it the medication or what, but I have not been hungry at all…not that this is a bad thing considering how much weight I have put on these last couple of years!  I have ate just enough to take my medication.  Yesterday, I ate lunch, I had a milkshake.  It upset my stomach and I spent time in the bathroom…so maybe a milkshake wasn’t the thing to have for lunch…but it was good at the time.

We missed out on the bulk of the snow during the three day event we had last weekend.  We had maybe an inch or so.  Lots of rain, but very little snow.  The snow that we did get ended up in drifts in the grove.  You can see the ground everywhere else.  Sadly, for some reason, I was hoping for an old fashioned blizzard.  Probably because Jeff and I were off from Saturday until Thursday.  It is easier to get excited about such an event if you don’t have to go anywhere!!  I had extra wood carried in.  Jeff had the generator ready to go in the bucket of the skidloader should the power go out…we were prepared.  all for naught.

We had Christmas with the kids on New years.  Cade was hilarious.  He opened his first present and was done.  We asked if he wanted to open another…no.  He was happy with his first present.  He did finally get convinced to open the rest.  We bought more clothes for him than toys.  Kate got clothes too.  Kelsey had a pair of Minnetonka slippers on her list.  I ordered them and they arrived well before Christmas.  I was going to wrap them the week prior and opened the box.  The description on the box was exactly what I ordered…I opened them and the pair that was in there was a black moccasin with feather details…not at all what I ordered.  I called Minnetonka and they expidited another pair right out.  I will sent the others back next week.  Thank goodness for them being in the midwest!!

Cody and Terri came out for the day, it was nice to see them.  Terri had sent a snapchat a few weeks ago that was hilarious.  She had fallen in the snow and she showed the outline of someone had fallen..and she said I hope they are ok..and put the camera on herself- her glasses were full of snow.  I about choked I laughed so hard.  She had uploaded it to tiktok and has had 2.9 million views as of yesterday.

I should get my butt in gear and accomplish something this morning….laundry would be an easy place to start….

Welcome to 2020

Today is the first day of the new decade.

We will celebrate our family’s Christmas today.  Kate was in the hospital on the 22nd when we had originally planned it.  She is doing well and made it home Christmas Eve night.  I was very worried about that little girl.  Santa came to visit her at the hospital and she received some wonderful gifts.

My cold is still hanging on.  I rallied for Christmas eve and thought I was on the mend.  I wasn’t.  I went to the dr. on Monday and was prescribed some antibiotics.  I had taken the 30th and 31st off to get stuff done, I didn’t get much done, spent a lot of time on the couch and did some little projects.  But each project was exhausting.

I have to switch dr. this new year.  I have been with Sanford forever, now my insurance will only cover Avera.  So I need to find a new Dr., a new OB Gyn and what have you.  Not relishing that endeavor.

Our Basement on the bar side is almost completely back together, minus some furniture.  We will slowly get that all back in, but it looks great.  We bought a couple of area rugs at Menards and now just have to figure out the furniture placement in the room.

We hosted the Kroger Christmas eve.  We had just shy of 30 people come.  It was nice to see everyone.  I made potato soup, broccoli cheese soup and ham and bean soup.  We had sandwiches to go with it.  Barb made a really tasty ice cream punch. Everyone brought goodies and munchies.  There was a plethora of food and we all had fun.

Today, I will have a pasta dish for the lunch along with loaves of bread that I put out to raise last night.  Simple, but hearty.

I cleaned the hall closet on Monday….I store table linens and placemats and bath products in there.  I had gone to Walmart the day after Christmas and stocked up on their gift sets of body washes, hand soaps etc.  They have all the Christmas gift sets at 50% off.  They are all full size bottles of stuff.  I bought a lot of shaving ones too.  They have razors and shave cream.  Well, with the price of razors, the gift packs are a steal.  So we are stocked up for another year.  I also bought 5 or 6 plastic, with flannel back table cloths. a buck a piece.  You can’t buy disposable ones for that price.

I went through the table linens and placemats.  I have a stack.  I have “everyday” placemats, two sets of fall placemats, two sets of Christmas placemats…plus a lot of table cloths.  Our plastic tables that we set up for our various gatherings are tough looking and a table cloth is a must.  let me just say that yes, I have them all covered for about any occasion!  I think it is a weakness I have.  Table linens? get out of my way, I am all in.

Here is to a great 2020!  We have 365 days to make it the greatest year yet!