Monday, January 30, 2006


As I read the story about the "Marlboro Man" on World Net Daily, it reminded me of a Viet Nam vet that I knew some years ago. It was during the time I was a paramedic in Alaska. His name was Kyle. He was a "regular", we were called to pick him up for a trip to the ER, usually to have his stomach pumped and be put on more medication.

I was one of the very few that could talk to him while he was in a state of having drank too much and taken most of his medication. The senario was usually the same, he would be hunkered down on his porch, his mind consumed by what he had experienced in the war and just about everyone looked like the enemy.

Everytime he would have a loaded gun, no matter how many the police took away from him, he was always able to get another. He was defending his position and desperately trying to get his buddies medical help. He trusted no one, for in his mind he was surrounded by the enemy.

We finally figured out that it was my red hair that to him, made me look different from everyone else. Usually when this would happen he had been awake for days, his mind clouded with alcohol and meds, and replaying his experiences from his time in Viet Nam. He would usually awaken his neighbors with screams of "Medic, I need a medic over here, my buddy is dyin"!"

None of the cops could get anywhere near him. But I could. I have lost count of how many times that this scenario was replayed. It never got any better for him. But at least I could get close to him and defuse the situation. He trusted me, and I did my best to never let him down. Even when I was not on duty, the police would come and get me, to go and help Kyle.

I could take his gun away from him, after having him aim it at me. It was always loaded and he was always ready to shoot. But like I said he trusted me. He knew, somewhere inside, that I would come and take care of his buddy and get him out of there.

Then I would stay with him in the ER, while he had his stomach pumped. He would hang onto my hand and cry because he wasn't able to save his friend. He would thank me for doing all I could to try and save his friend and to get him to safety.

I saw a picture of him once, of the person that used to be before he went overseas. A proud and handsome young man, with life and light in his eyes. What I saw in the reality of the time was very different. A worn out and gaunt old man who looked like he was 100 years old. The light had gone out of his eyes and was replaced with a saddness that went straight through to his soul. At the time he was in his 40's.

I vividly remember the last time I saw Kyle. As usual he was on his porch fighting off the enemy and trying to save his friend. With everyone else out of sight and me walking towards him, he became very calm. He stood up, which was highly unusual, and stated "I can't save my buddy, I promised him I would, but I can't. I am so tired and I can't do this anymore. Forgive me."

Before I could get to him, he raised the gun to his temple and pulled the trigger.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

The Domino Effect

We are still unpacking and rearranging stuff. So, this morning I had an idea to rearrange some of the things on my kitchen counter, to get more useable counter space. I wanted to move the coffeepot over to a different spot. The place was much more user friendly, and did'nt take up workable counter space.
One problem, there was no electrical outlet where I wanted to move it. So, I asked my hubby if would be possible to put in an outlet. There was already a switch there for the outside porch light. He looked at it briefly and said, "Shouldn't be a problem, I'll just have to run to Lowes and get some supplies."
When he returned, he looked at the wiring for the exsisting switch, and noticed that there was no ground wire in the switch box. So he went outside to look at how the light was wired, and to determine just what had been done with the ground wire. Then we had to shut off the power to the switch. That was a case of flipping breakers to find which one supplied the power. Now being that it was a switch located in the kitchen and suppling the outside light, you would expect to find the power supply for said switch on one of the kitchen breakers.
For what ever reason, it was on the same circuit as the hallway lights. Go figure. Plus he could not pull the ground wire from the outside back through to the switch that it should have been in, in the first place.
So with some creative rewiring, he was able to get the ground wire that he needed from the hot water heater (located just below the switch) and was able to put in the outlet that we needed to plug in the coffeepot.
He had to remove the cover for the breaker box to see where the ground wires for the house were. All of the wiring looked to me as if it had been put in by crazed monkeys on a wild acid trip. How he could figure out what was what is still amazing to me.
During this whole process he asked me how I would feel about rewiring the whole house, because a lot of the wiring is really screwed up and makes no sense.
I must have had a really strange look on my face because he added really fast, that it would not be that bad to do.
Thank goodness that he knows what he is doing when it comes to this stuff.
Ah, such are the joys of having an older fixer upper house. I just wonder what other surprises we are in for. But we are making progress. Uncovering the walled over window in the bathroom was a major plus. Not to mention getting rid of the twilight zone decor in a long narrow hallway.

I really love this place, but some of the messes we have found I could do with out. But it is just all part of the experience of renovation.
I am lucky to have married such a handy guy.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

What were you thinkin'!

Why would anyone agree to get a tattoo from a door to door salesman? Especially when seeing the "equipment" he was going to use?
They must have truly desperate to have a tattoo.

I have nothing against tattoos, I have two myself. I got them in a shop, after I had checked out the conditions. Sterile technique, sterile packaged needles, one use ink, and no complaints due to infections, or finished tattoo.

Maybe I am just hard hearted, but these women got just what they paid for. I wonder what else they would have agreed to with type of set up. What if the guy would have been peddling door to door stomach stapling? I am sure they would have freely laid across their kitchen tables and let him have a go at it, after all it is easier than just putting down your fork.

Friday, January 27, 2006

In the kitchen

I think I have stated here before that I love to cook and bake. I just love spending time in the kitchen. It is my sanctuary.
I love to put things together that result in a good meal, dessert or what have you. I can lose all track of time reading through cookbooks. The kitchen is my favorite part of the house.
When we were looking at houses to buy, one of the first rooms I would look at was the kitchen. For me, it is the very heart and soul of my home. It is a place of magic. A place where things are made, or preserved. Yes, I like canning too.

I grew up in a large extended family, and there were always lots of people to cook for. I began helping in the kitchen when I was four or five. I made my first batch of bread, entirely on my own, when I was seven. I have been hooked ever since.

It is a good thing that I also like gardening and the like, or I would probably weigh, well too much. Having all those fresh vegetables and herbs to weave my magic with makes me impatient for spring to get here so I can start my garden. The seed catalogs have started to arrive and planning has begun.

So I am going to grab another cup of coffee, sit back and do some more planning for the garden.
Coffee anyone?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Sandwich Generation

The phrase sounds like you are a cut of deli meat. This is hardly anything new, the concept I mean.
It used to be, not all that long ago, that the multi-generational household was the norm. Having mom and dad living with you was not out of the ordinary, you probably lived with them when you were first married.
So now this arrangement is enough to have web sites and a week long on going news report! Is it really such a hardship to care for the people who cared for you? It seems that "family" has become a term that either implies people that you see only once or twice a year, or an undue hardship.

Undue hardship is what I am getting out of most of the reports. What is up with that? I guess that the parents are supposed to "live their own lives" and stay out of yours. Everyone doing their own thing.

I can just hear the cries of some people already, "My parents were horrible, they treated me bad, blah, blah, blah." Well, mine weren't the greatest either. I don't have all the answers, if I did I'd run for the position of God. It is just my feeling that family should be just that, family. Have we gotten so far away from that concept? From what I have observed, so many people have. Family is something to keep at arms length. You stay in your space and not in mine.

There are some benefits to having a multi-generational household. No, I am not talking money here. Even though most of the infromation seems to be centered around that. In todays world, for the most part, it is all about getting "stuff" and new cars and a better house and designer clothes and on and on. Is this really what life is all about? I guess that it is for most people. Lessons and wisdom from the past is not worthwhile, they have no place in our lives today. The world is electronically enhanced, mired in debt and utterly lost in the mad scramble of having the newest, the latest before anyone else.

Maybe I am just waxing philisophically from behind rose colored glasses. Maybe I am just crazy. Maybe I have an insane longing for things long passed. Maybe I am lost in a Walton-est dream world ( I thought I would bring that up before someone else did).

I do see the value of the families caring for each other, leaning on each other and learning from each other. That in essence is what helps keep the older ones young and matures the younger ones. It is the catalyst for passing on lessons learned, for seeing new points of view and for pulling together for a common goal. It used to be what helped make us who we are. In the world we have today, we need all the help we can get.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Sleepless Nights

I had one of those last night.
You are tired, you go to bed. Then your brain starts going a hundred miles an hour. Or a piece of a song repeats in your head. You toss and turn. Then toss and turn some more. Finally you conceed that it is useless to just lie there.
Late night TV sucks. I didn't even bother. I just went and played card games on my computer. And listened to my dogs snore. And listened to my husband snore.

Finally along about 2 am, I felt that I could go back to sleep, so I wandered back to bed.
I woke myself up at 6am with the hick-ups. This is not a good way to wake up, especially after having only 4 hours of sleep.

So I wander out to the kitchen and start the coffeepot.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Beware the Caffine Nazis

Just in case there were not enough things to worry about, there is a bunchof people out there wanting to take your caffine.
There is a mayor in Ohio declaring a "Caffine Awareness Month", that addresses the issues of caffine intoxication and dependency.

There is also website called Caffine Awareness that propounds "Waking you up to the real truth about caffine".

What is up with these people? They want, not only your coffee, but tea, chocolate and anything else that contains caffine.

Has there really been any instances of caffine crazed people out on a robbing and murder spree that I haven't heard about?

Are there back alley caffine pushers making millions selling the stuff?

What's next, a nationwide version of AA for "caffine addicts"? Maybe they will call it CA......

Caffine Awareness even has a quiz on their website so you can determine the extent of your caffine addiction! WTF?
They also have "Tips for life without caffine".............. And you can take an introductory course on " The DANGERS of caffine". They even have tips on how to be an activist!

When I first heard about this I thought it was a joke. These wackos are serious!
They can try and come for my coffee and they will recieve a lead enema.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Oh Brother

Via Banes blog, I rated my blog on the good/evil rating.

It came up 52% Evil, 48% Good.

How do I rate such a score?
I have no links to pictures of nude people. Maybe that is where I went wrong. Who knows?

Maybe I rated evil because I have been writing about home improvement, everyone knows how evil that is, right?

Maybe it was the post about my grandsons' birthday.

Or maybe it was my sarcastic post about the drug commercials, with references to the government.
Sissies, I guess they can't take anyone giving them a hard time.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Happy Birthday

Today is my grandsons' second birthday! In some ways it seems like just yesterday that he was born. I was fortunate enough to be there for his birth. I was the one who gave him his first bath.

What a personality he has! He makes me smile even when he gets into trouble. He has a smile that just lights up his whole face. His eyes just twinkle with mischeviousness......

When he was staying with us in December, we had such a good time with him. If he would be in another room, and I would wonder just what he was up to now, I would call his name and and he would answer with a loud and clear "YA??" It would just crack me up.

I really miss that little guy.

Happy Birthday, Hunter!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


I'll step out of my blather about home remodeling for a bit, since no one gives a shit anyway....

I was watching some TV last night, normally I don't pay much attention to commercials, but for some reason I did.
There was an 8 commercial string, 6 of them were for drugs, and 2 of them were for either insurance or medicare to help you pay for the drugs. What is up with this?

Do you really need all of these drugs? Maybe I should say pharmacuticals, sounds better, eh? Because if you say drugs, most people think of the illegal kind. Anymore, who needs those? Just a short visit to a doctor, armed with a list of pharmacuticals advertised on TV and you are all set.
Most doctors probably get kick backs from the pharmacutical companies anyway, and if people come in with a list, it shortens the whole process.

Just go in to your doctor with a list of complaints and they will load you up. Tell them you can't pee, or pee when you shouldn't, and that makes you depressed, raises your blood pressure, which gives you headaches, body aches and then you can't sleep. Well, that's good for at least 5 different drugs right there. Add that just can't concentrate and you are irritable because your significant other can't perform sexually to your satisfaction, and not only will you be rewarded with a few more drugs...err....pharmacuticals, the doctor wants to see your partner so they can get them on board with a few prescriptions of their own.

Man that advertising really pays off! People running to the doctor because you can't get the drugs without one, to get the stuff they saw on TV. The doctor makes out, the pharmacutical companies make out and the drug stores make out.

Ever notice the commercials about the pharmacist being your new best friend? I especially like the ones where the pharmacist gets all teary eyed and says it's not about the money, she just cares about you so much. Or the one where the pharmacist spent his day off going to someones house to help them get all their recently prescribed drugs in order. Then there is the one talking about how the pharmacy is open all night and she is there for you, if you have any questions or just need anything at all. Maybe she gives over the counter blow jobs, you know so you can check out the new drug for erectile dysfunction, just to make sure it's workin' for ya. Customer satisfaction and all that. Besides she knows that your wife just got a new sleeping pill and will be dead to the world for 8 hours.

Can you remember a time, not really all that long ago, when people lived their lives without benefit of so many pills that if you shook them they would sound like a bubble gum machine? Never fear, there is a commercial that addresses that issue as well. It is taken from the old I Love Lucy show. This is pushing the new medicare plan. The good ole days really were not the good ole days because you weren't on drugs with the friendly government there to help you pay for them. Oh, my god! Just how did people survive back then? Well, worry no more because the government is here to help you, now take your drugs and shut up.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


The twilight zone hallway is no more! Taking down the chair rail, baseboards and the wallpaper covered paneling was a breeze. It was an enjoyable experience as I attacked that mess armed with a wrecking bar and a hammer.
The damn wallpaper boarder took a little more time to remove. If I could find the sadistic person who went wild with wallpaper in this house I would cheerfully wrap them in the stuff. hose them down and sit them in the sun to dry.
Now to fill in nail holes and minor dimples, prime, paint and replace the baseboards! It will look so much better, well it already does.
My hubby did a wonderful job of framing, waterproofing and painting the uncovered window in the bathroom! It really looks good.

We are on our way to making this little old house more comfortable and less of an eye sore.

I awoke today to rain, a good thing, we need the water to fill the cistern. I have loved using the water from the cistern, it is naturally soft and leaves everything cleaner and softer than city/county water that has been treated with god only knows what all.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Some Minor Demolition

We opened up the wall in the bathroom yesterday to uncover the window. What a difference it made to that cave of a room! Just some daylight coming through the window and it lost a lot of its' cold institutional feel. It also makes the room appear a little bigger, with the view of the trees and the pasture.
The lower pane is frosted so it was not like anybody could see in. Although even if it wasn't, it is unlikely that anybody would be in a position to peek in.
I am still at a loss as to why anybody would put a wall over a window...............

It was intresting (and messy) to cut through the tile, but we managed to get the biggest piece off intact. That sure made the clean up much easier.
Today we will be off to the home improvement store to get what we need to to frame in the window and water proof it.
We will still have a lot of work to do to that room, but this has made such a difference that I think I can wait for the warmer weather to tear the rest of the stuff out and replace it. It is in major need of an update.
When my hubby is installing the framing, I think I am going to be taking the chair rail, base boards, and that paneling/wallpaper out of the hallway. Then just some application of some spackle to cover the nail holes, and it will be about ready to paint. I just then have to soak the wallpaper trim off that was applied above the chair rail. It shouldn't be too dificult as I have been able to just peel some of it off.
To me those are some the worst elements that we have to deal with, at least inside. The exterior windows are a mess, mostly dirt though and some minor repair and they will be in good shape.
Since I love to have open windows, I am looking forward to this. With all the windows open in the summer, and the way the breeze funnels through this valley, I believe that the house will be quite comfortable in the summer months.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Oh dear......

I just read that fellow blogger, Bane, is down with the creepin' crud yet again.
This is sure to effect the number of his posts for a few days, while he wanders around in a Nyquil induced haze. That really sucks. I hope that he feels better soon.

Not much happening in my little corner of the world, just keepin' on, keepin' on. Waiting for warmer weather and seed catalogs.
I have quite a few projects that I want to get to working on, but they all require springtime to start, so now I am just in the planning phase of what to do first.

I love the place that we have bought, out here in the rough and tumble. An older house, with lots of character and possiblities. And hardwood floors. I really love those floors, so much better than carpeting. They were made from something alive and still lend their wonderful soul to this house.

Someone who owned this house before us reallt went crazy with some of the most god awful wall paper, just about everywhere. I thought I was going to have to spend a lot of time removing it, but on further inspection, it was placed over equally god awful cheap paneling. So now all I have to do is remove the paneling and I will have a nice clean wall! I want to get to ripping all that junk off the walls. Especially down the hallway, which has a horrible green and white striped wall paper. Walking down that hallway is like stepping into the twilight zone.
The kitchen has dark paneling in the dining section, even on a bright sunny day it is dark. So that will have to go as well.
Needless to say, I will be investing in paint when all that paneling goes away.

Would you believe that someone walled over the window in the bathroom? Why would anybody do that? We will be opening that up as soon as possible. That will help it to look a whole lot less like a cave.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Chocolate Mayo Cake

Now before any of you cretins go ewwww........make the damn thing and try a slice.
You can vary the intensity of the chocolate flavor by adding as little as 1/4 cup of cocoa or as much as 2/3 cup of cocoa without screwing the integrity of the cake.

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon soda
1 cup mayo (no substitutes)
1 cup cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9x9x2 inch pan. Set aside.
Stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and soda.
In a seperate bowl stir together mayo, water and vanilla.
Add mayo mixture to flour mixture, beat until blended, about 2 minutes.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes.
Cool abd frost with your favorite frosting.
This is also good with strawberries or raspberries, fresh or frozen.
I usually use part of the berries to make a sauce, not too sweet, and the rest of the berries as a garnish.
Take a slice of cake, split it half, place some of the berry sauce on bottom half, replace top half, add more sauce and some whole or slices of the berries. Drizzle with chocolate syrup and a spoonful of whipped cream. Heaven.

Road Kill Cafe

It has long been a desire of mine to open a cafe. Not just your run of the mill cafe either. And definately not with haut cuisine. Real food. Home style real food.
I have even gone as far in my dreaming to work on menus and the like. I know I would never win any prizes with my food of choice, but if I had a clientel that was loyal, who cares about awards? Just seeing hungry people eat, be satisfied and come back again would be all the awards that I would need.
The menu would vary due to the seasons, call me crazy, (my hubby does) that certain things are more appriopriate to either cold or warm weather.
The Fall and Winter menu would feature things like Ham and Beans, Beef Stew, Chicken and dumplings, Sauerkraut and Sausages, Ribs in a hearty and slightly spicy/smokey sauce, Roasted whole chickens. Hearty, warm and fill your stomach and soul kinds of foods.
The Spring and Summer menu would have things like Fried Chicken and potato salad, various green salads and cole slaw. Grilled items like steak, seafoods and the like.
Always there would be homemade breads, pies and cakes. There would also be comfortable places to sit and drink coffee, or tea or whatever and visit with your friends. No time limit for how long you could sit at your table.
It would be a place where you could feel comfortable in your jeans and flannel shirt, the only dress code would be to keep your pants on........
The produce would be fresh and local, along with the butter, milk, eggs and cheese. I would also have an old fashioned soda fountain, remember those? The memories that brings back.

It would be a lot of hard work, but it would be so satisfying. I like nothing better than a reason to fire up my kitchen and cook and bake.

Ah, to dream...............

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Enough already!!!!

Just what is wrong with real food?
I have been watching the food network, and various other things.........and all they can talk about is basterdizing food. "Use sugar substitute, salt substitute, egg substitute" and on and on to literal ad nauseum.
Just where does the category of "substitute" fall in the realm of food?
Can you grow it in your garden?
Can you buy a substitute cow to give you substitue milk?
Where are the chickens who lay substitute eggs?

Do you really know what you are consuming when you eat these substitute so called foods?
Chemicals engineered to fool you into thinking you are doing something good for your body.
You might as well sit down and eat plastic or sawdust.

The products labeled as "Free" just drive me nuts. They are free alright, free from flavor and nutrients.

My kitchen is a nutritionists nightmare. For them just to look at what is there would have them run screaming into the streets and be seeking therapy for the rest of their lives.
Whole milk.
In other words real food. Not chemically engineered, genetically enhanced, flavorless crap. There is probably more flavor and nutrient value in the packaging than in the so called "food" itself.


I generally do not spend a lot of time commenting on things in the news here, I leave that to other sources. If political/social commentary is what you are after, go look up Vox, various news sites, or some of Banes posts.

I just go on about what is happening in my own little corner, or maybe just some irreverant basic thoughts on what is going on in the world.
I do not care what your politics are, after all this is the MYOB Gulch. For those of you who don't know what MYOB means, Mind Your Own Business. I think if more people did that, and looked to their own first, this would be a better place, you know don't throw stones when you have glass windows yourself. My opinions are my own and I use this place as a repository. I am always glad that you stop by.

I am still celebrating my new coffeepot, sitting here right now with a big steaming mug of the stuff. Anyway, now that my brain has been kick started........

I was rather busy at the end of last year with moving in to a new (to me) place and having to go and rescue....err pick up my grandson, rather quickly. But all is settled down again in my world, and it is time to move along.

We had some glorious thunderstorms yesterday afternoon. I love storms. I love feeling the power that is contained with in them. The thunder echos here in our little valley. Although January is an odd time here for storms, we had unusually warm weather yesterday and with a cold front moving in behind it, it was the perfect recipe for thunderstorms.

Enough of rambling..........

Monday, January 02, 2006

The New Year and more crap

Happy New Year!
Would somebody tell me just what is so happy about turning to a new page on a calendar?
Maybe it's because New Years eve is a sanctioned holiday to drink yourself insensible. Maybe it's because you will spend most of the coming year regretting what you did New Years eve. Maybe it's because in 9 months you will be in labor and secretly asking yourself if you really know who the father is?
To hell with all the crazy "celebrations", I went to bed at 10. I could care less about the whole "drink yourself stupid" theme of the holiday.

And while I'm talking about stupid.........what is the deal with coffee pots? Most of them don't last worth the damn. I have bought more coffee pots in the last few years than I can remember.
I don't want to be without a coffee pot, and you don't want to see me in the morning without a big mug of the stuff in my hand. Horror movies do no justice to the bitch without coffee.
Back to the coffee pots......I have tried most of the brands available on the market, and none stood up to the test of time. Hell even three months............
So I went and bought myself a Bunn. I about passed out looking at the price tag, but figured that I had spent way more than that on other coffee pots combined, just in the last 2 years.
This coffee pot is a thing of beauty...........always keeps a pots worth of water hot and on stand-by........just put coffee in the brew basket, add another pot of water, close the lid and you have a fresh pot of coffee in less than 3 minutes!
Now that is peace on earth, or at least my own little corner of it.