Friday, August 27, 2010


A good man died a week ago.  A man I knew because of my job.  I can't really call him a friend.  In fact, I'm not even sure he liked me.  I never really knew where I stood with him, unless he was disgusted with me, in which case he let it be known.  But the thing is, I can't fault him for that.  He had a job to do, and it was the most important thing in his life.  He was looking out for his daughter, because she's unable to look out for herself.  Plain an simple.  I tried using my humor and charm (ha) on him the first time I met him, and that went over like a lead balloon.  I was intimidated by this man, even though I tried my best not to be.  I think he liked that, not so much because he liked having power over me, but because he knew I would always think first about what was best for his daughter, thereby not having to face his wrath.  Can't fault him for that either.

When I learned of his illness almost two years ago, my heart hurt for him.  We all knew it was a death sentence.  I even spoke to him about his treatment and outlook a few times.  I expressed my sadness at the hand he'd been dealt.  After a year or so, he stopped coming by the office; his wife came instead.  I've enjoyed getting to know her.  Talk about polar opposites.  It's always hard to know what to say to someone going through a difficult time.  You can offer the usual; "you're in my thoughts" or I'm praying for you and your family" but somehow that doesn't always ring true for me.  His wife stopped coming by the office a few months ago, using the mail instead.  I considered sending a "thinking of you" card a time or two, but felt it might be unwelcome in his eyes.  I worried he would see it as an attempt to "suck up" for lack of a better term.  So I sent nothing. 

Yesterday, when I learned he had passed away, I felt an unexpectedly deep sense of sadness.  His obituary incuded a link to a Caring Bridge website his daughter started 4 months ago after he was moved to Hospice.  Her journal introduced me to a different man.  A husband, a father, a grandfather.  A man I regret not getting to know. 

If I learned anything from this experience, it is that when in doubt, say or do something.  Don't remain silent.  You may never get a 2nd chance.  Rest in Peace Art.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Are You Ready For Some FOOTBALL?!?!?!?!?!

I was searching for a new background for my blog when I  happened upon this little gem.  What could be more perfect, considering the Chiefs play their first preseason game one week from tonight!!!  Ahh football, I've missed you so.  That dang World Cup Soccer crap just don't cut it! 

In other news, Carterbug will be 18 months old on Sunday!  Can you believe it?  Where has the last year and a half gone!  I'm still watching him on Carterdays, and we're having all kinds of fun.  Well that is when he's with me.  Papa has begun kidnapping him for farm fun.  Hmp.  The other day they took the backhoe to go pick up a bale of hay.  Down the road.  Away from me.  Hmp.  He's also been showing him how to run the hoe.  And letting him do it himself.  Check out these videos!

Backhoe lessons start early

Getting the hang of things

Don't think Greg isn't loving this!!

As an early birthday present, my friend Amy took me to see one of my favorite bands, Hinder, in Kansas City this week.  We had an awesome time!  I love seeing bands play live, but concerts are usually so danged expensive.  Luckily this one was very affordable.  Thanks Amy!!!

One last picture of Carter before I quit.  This was from Wednesday morning, when he was supposed to be eating his Cheerios.  Only he fed them all to Hoss. 

What do you mean you burned my toast?????

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cutting edge! who? Me???

attempting my 1st blog post directly from the backflip. Since I have little faith in technology these days I think I'll make it short. It's been a busy summer full of Carterdays - just the way I like it! Looking forward to going to KC tomorrow night with BFF Amy and her girls to see Hinder. Hope it's awesome!

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Inside My Head

Something's been pulling me towards this blog for the last few days -- feeling like I HAVE to update. Tried to a couple of times, but ran out of time and/or patience with my computer at home.

Things on my mind today:

My BFF Sandy. She is having surgery this afternoon, and there is a chance the outcome could be bad news. But I have decided the outcome will NOT be bad news. She will be fine. I won't allow anything else. Hear that God??

My fingernails. (hey, I didn't say they were all important things) My nails grow pretty well, but they're brittle and they crack and break easily. And polish will not stay on them for more than a day, if that. I polished them this morning, decided I didn't like the color, removed the polish and started over. I put on a "length and strength" coat first -- hoping that helps. Then applied a coat of color, followed by a top coat and "sealing and shine" coat. All's well for now.

My Mom. She had surgery last week to remove her gall bladder, and it went amazingly well. She was able to go home the same day, and is getting along pretty well. But when I stopped by for a few minutes yesterday her house was so hot you could grow tomatoes in it. She keeps her AC on Energy Save (also known as the"I WAS RAISED IN THE DEPRESSION SO I WORRY ABOUT WASTING MONEY ON SILLY THINGS LIKE AIR CONDITIONING" setting. It does run some, but not nearly enough. Put that together with not even running the ceiling fan, and you're living in a pressure cooker. I don't know how she stands it, but she told me she felt fine. Does your internal temp go all haywire when you hit 85? Seems like they keep nursing homes pretty warm, so maybe there's something to that. Other than that, she just seems to be running out of steam. She's in pain all the time, and is just worn out.

My niece. Her grandma Nancy is dying from cancer, and likely will not be here for her wedding in July. I know Nancy was trying to hold on till then, since this is her first grandchild to be married, but it just doesn't look like she's going to. I wish the family didn't have to go though this sad time, but I guess this is life. Sometimes life sucks.

Work. As in I better get back to it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Time to Take A Long Hard Look in the Mirror

Did ya ever feel like your life is in a slump? Or worse, like it's spinning out of control and there's nothing you can do to right it? That's the general feeling I have these days.

At home, where all I manage to do is minimal laundry most weekends, vacuuming once a week, cooking occasionally, mostly on the weekends, and uhh, well that's about it. The cooking business I attribute to my work hours and the fact that my husband doesn't want to eat supper at 8:00 pm every night. He voluntarily cooks supper most week nights, which is great for me! Not so great for him tho, but he doesn't usually complain. AND when he cooks, he does his own dishes. Wait a minute. Why am I complaining??? Anyway, the only thing that keeps me motivated to do anything at all is Carterday. Thank God for that. and him :)

At work, it seems like I struggle every day to get anything accomplished. Some days I look at what I've done and realize I've managed to stretch a couple of hours worth of working into 10 hours. I can't keep that up forever, obviously.

Worst of all, I'm really neglecting myself. The 37.4 pounds I managed to lose in 20 weeks or so has now magically turned into something closer to 30 pounds. Don't know exactly, because I haven't been to a WW meeting in a month. I've stopped my food journal, stopped counting points, and started buying candy. It's like a switch went off in my head that said "ENOUGH! Give me what I want when I want it!!! NOW!!!" And being an obedient soul, I did just that. It's the same old story -- I always sabotage myself when I start seeing results, or more importantly, when others start noticing. Someone today was describing a mental illness called Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Now I know that I don't have that, or anything that even remotely resembles that. I'm the exact opposite of defiant. Or am I? Greg would probably argue that, but no one else would. Anyway, one of the traits someone with ODD has is every time they start to see success in themselves, they quickly turn it around to failure, because the pressure to keep up the success or the fear of letting everyone around them down, is too great, and they tell themselves they can't do it anymore, so they might as well give up now. Hmm, that sounds a little familiar. Maybe I should read up on that a little.

I also need to work on taking my daily medications better. Some mornings I remember, some I forget, and others I don't care. And when my little weekly pill caddy is empty, God forbid I devote 5 minutes out of my busy TV-watching, nap-taking schedule to refill it. I've been known to go almost an entire week without meds just because I haven't refilled it. There really is no excuse for this behavior. I know I feel better when I'm on my meds. In fact, I've increased my Zoloft, thinking.. hoping.. that might help in the other areas. Time will tell.

For today, I've made one decision. I'm going to throw away the candy bars in my desk drawer and because it's too late for tonight's WW meeting and tomorrow's are during the work day, I'm going to the 9:00 meeting on Saturday morning. One of my favorite WW people, Janna, is the leader. I'm going to walk in and confess to her: "Hi, my name is Barb, and I've fallen off the wagon. Help me, please!"

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Princess Erin

Anyone who knows me knows I would do anything for my wonderful daughter, but it's not often that I get a chance to surprise her with something. Mostly because I can't keep my mouth shut long enough, but also because we're together so much and we know what the other person is doing most of the time. So when she told me George Strait and Reba McIntire were coming to the Sprint Center, I thought maybe the opportunity had presented itself. She first mentioned something last fall, jokingly hinting to me on facebook that tickets would make a great Christmas gift. One problem - they weren't on sale yet. Then SOMEHOW her friend and cubemate Howard comes back to work after Christmas with tickets to the concert. Thanks alot Howard. Way to put the pressure on!!! I started checking the Sprint Center website weekly, checking for the sale date, and with the concert steadily approaching, nothing had been announced. Including ticket prices. I had no idea if I was even going to be able to afford 2 tickets at this point. I'd been hearing that tickets had been selling out in less than an hour at other sites, so I joined the loyal listeners clubs for all the country radio stations in Kansas City, and signed up for emails from the Sprint Center in hopes of getting in on a presale. Long story short, I got an email from the Sprint Center 2 days before the official sale date with a code word to order a day early. Score! I got on the computer early that day and made sure all of my information in Ticketmaster was up to date so when the time came, there wouldn't be any hiccups. At 10:00 on the dot I clicked on the "order tickets" button, and 30 seconds later, I was the proud owner of 2 excellent seats for the concert of the year!!!

Now the hard part -- not telling Erin about it until I had the actual tickets in my hand. I had to listen to her talk about trying to win tickets on the radio stations everyday, which I guess wouldn't have been that big of a deal - she could always find someone else to give them too, but it would have taken away from the excitement I expected when she found out I bought them.

I bought the tickets on Feb. 25, and they didn't arrive in my mail box until March 13. That's 16 days for those of you who can't count. 16 days that I had to keep my mouth shut. I couldn't even tell Brent cuz he never would have been able to keep it to himself! In the mean time, about a week before they came in the mail, we got a new substitute mail carrier who can't tell the difference between Bryson, Stromgren and White. I just knew he'd deliver them to one of the neighbors, and when they saw what they were, they'd keep them. So yeah, I was freaking out just a little until they finally arrived in my mail box last Saturday. I couldn't wait any longer - I had to give them to her that day.

She was genuinely surprised when she found the tickets taped to an article about George and Reba in a country music magazine. Seeing the excitement in her face, and receiving the biggest hug I think I've ever gotten made all the planning and worrying worth it! Nothing makes me happier than seeing my little girl happy. Does that make her spoiled, like some people think? Maybe, but if it does, then I guess I'm a little spoiled too! Love you sweetie!!!!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


The time has come for Barb to join the 21st Century, in regards to cell phones, that is. I only recently started texting, and have tried to keep it to a minimum since our family plan (which Greg pays for) doesn't have a texting package. Every month he complains about having to pay a little extra for my texts, but it's usually less than $5. I've suggested adding a plan, which would save him money, but instead, he insists that I stop texting. This has gone on now for months, and I'm tired of it. In reality, this is just his way of controlling me, and I really tired of that.

So today, Erin and I are going to Best Buy, she's adding another line to her family plan, and I'm getting a Motorola Backflip! I've never had a smart phone, so this should be interesting. I've been going back and forth between the Backflip and the Karma, which is what Erin and Brent have. It's not a smart phone, but it does have a keyboard which makes texting easier, and you can access the internet on it. I was inclined to go that way at first, but this morning one of my coworkers showed me his new Droid phone (which is what the Backflip is) and it sealed the deal. These phones are awesome! Once Steve told me you can watch television on it -- there was no going back!!! So by 4:00 this afternoon, I'll be texting, facebooking and twittering my little heart out, and there's nothing GB can do about it. Take that mr smarty pants!!!!!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Catfish anyone?

And now for your reading pleasure, a restaurant review. We recently spent the day in Kansas City. After walking miles and miles at the Western Farm Show, we made our way to the famous Bass Pro Shop. After walking miles and miles more, we moved on to our final and most anticipated destination of the day; JUMPIN’ CATFISH. Neither Greg or I had eaten anything all day long, so when we finished up at Bass Pro around 4:00, we were both more than ready to eat.

Jumpin’ Catfish is located in a newer strip mall just east of I-35 in Olathe. We pulled up, and not surprisingly, (due to the time) we scored a parking place right in front. Off to a good start in my book – did I mention we walked a lot that day? I was pleasantly surprised when we walked in the door. The restaurant was quite large, decorated much like a lodge. We were given the choice of a table or booth, and we chose a booth. Excellent decision; the booths are large enough for 6, which gave us plenty of room. Before we’d even had to chance to start looking at the menu, our waitress appeared with a bowl of creamy coleslaw, followed immediately by a bowl of ham and beans and basket of home made hushpuppies. The featured item on the menu, not surprisingly, is deep fried catfish. Options include 2 piece, 3 piece, or 4 piece dinners with mashed potatoes and gravy or french fries, but the best deal for the money is the all-you-can-eat meal. Not being a big fish fan, I was interested in their other options. The fried chicken dinner looked good; as did the chicken strip meal and the chicken fried steak and chicken fried chicken choices. Sensing a pattern here? Fried everything? There were 2 options for grilled chicken that were described as “light”, but neither of them sounded particularly good to me. There were also several seafood items, as well as a few wild game dishes. It just seemed wrong to come to a catfish joint and not eat catfish, and since I had read good reviews of this fish, most noticeably their claim that their catfish didn’t have a fishy taste, I decided to ask for a small sample. The waitress was more than happy to oblige me, and quickly brought a basket with 3 pieces of their fish nuggets, along with tarter sauce. The nuggets tasted good, and the decision was made. Even though I knew I would most likely not eat more than 2 pieces of fish, Greg pushed me to order the all-you-can-eat dinner, as he did. Rather than argue (or maybe to prove a point) I went ahead and ordered the more-than-I-could-ever-eat meal. He seemed pleased. I think he was just afraid I’d finish eating too soon; he was planning to, as he put it, “keep it coming”.

With our orders placed, we were now able to concentrate on the food before us. Greg dug right in to one of his favorite foods; the ham and beans. And although I really don’t like beans, thanks to a friend’s recommendation, I tried them. They weren’t too bad. If that was all I had to eat, I’d have been just fine. But with coleslaw and hushpuppies in front of me, I quickly pushed the beans back over to Greg, which made him very happy. Their coleslaw was made with a sweet creamy dressing, which is the way I prefer my coleslaw. It was actually very similar to the coleslaw at Long John Silvers. The hushpuppies were huge, and fried to a nice crispy finish. Both were delicious. After eating a serving of slaw and 2 hushpuppies (and 2 fish nuggets) I soon realized an all-you-can-eat dinner was a very very bad idea. Next thing you know, our waitress arrived with a platter with mashed potatoes and 5 fillets for each of us. After just a few bites, I knew I’d made a mistake ordering the fish. Don’t ask me how the nuggets could taste so much different than the fillets, but they did. I thought the tarter sauce would help, but unfortunately, their tarter sauce tasted awful. All I could taste was onion and dill pickle. I’ve always made tarter sauce with sweet pickle relish, and while I like onion, this was a little over the top. I decided to try using the slaw as a sauce, and it was a definite improvement. I was able to eat nearly 2 fillets, along with some of the mashed potatoes. I expected the potatoes would be “real”, but they had an instant taste to them. Over on the other side of the table, Greg was thoroughly enjoying everything, but he soon realized he would not be asking them to keep anything coming! While the menu states clearly that no doggy bags are allowed on all-you-can-eat meals, when the waitress saw my plate, she told me they did allow you to take anything left on your first plate. They also let us take home the beans, slaw and puppies that were still on the table. We delivered our leftovers to our friend Dave on the way home. He’s been telling Greg about Jumpin’ Catfish for some time now, so we knew he’d appreciate them.

Throughout our meal, our waitress was very attentive, refilling our drinks as needed, as well as keeping the side dishes filled. The owner also stopped by our table to check on things. The atmosphere was very relaxed and homey. The wait staff wore fishing jackets, and the owner was dressed in jeans, a flannel shirt, and a cap. I would imagine the lack of customers (there were 5 other diners while we were there) greatly contributed to the personal attention we received. Greg is already planning his next trip there, and I’d be happy to eat there again, only next time, I’m going with the chicken!

On a side note, for those of you reading this who know I am dieting, and are wondering how many pounds I gained after this meal..... this is not a restaurant for dieters. Since I hadn't eaten anything all day, I probably stayed within my points for the day. And when we go again, I'll most likely do the same.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Good Times!

What a great weekend I had! Didn't really see all that much of Greg, but NO that's not what made it great.

Saturday morning, Erin and I went to Topeka. First stop Mommy & Me - to get some "farm clothes" for Carter. Thinking overalls? Nope. Just some inexpensive pants and shirts, so it won't matter when they get all dirty and grimmy from oh, I don't know, maybe rubbing on PaPas dirty grimmy coveralls... When summer gets here he'll probably just run around in a diaper and we'll just throw him in the tub before he goes home!

We also hit Sams, Hyperhell, and HyVee in search of the perfect birthday cake for our sweet birthday boy! And of course, Hobby Lobby for everything we need to decorate his own personal smash cake. Hmm, Erin's got a busy week ahead, between making the party favors for the kids and the smash cake.

Lets see, next I took Mom to the grocery store and dollar store - her 2 favorite places I think! Once I got her home and all her groceries put away, I went back to Erin and Brent's to watch the rest of the KU-KSU game. Wow, that was some game. Well at least the last 10 minutes and overtime were, which is all I saw. Not sure I could have taken any more of it anyway. I always have to laugh when I think about Mom watching those close games. She gets so nervous, she can't watch, but then of course she can't NOT watch! Sorry she was probably disappointed with the outcome, but the rest of us loved it!

Sunday, Erin and Carter came out so she could file their income taxes on line. Here's the part that was great for me, but I don't really think Erin would see it that way. Thanks to my slower than molasses (sweet sassy molassy, right Erin?) internet connection (or lost connection as the case was over and over and over again, but I digress...) it took her about 8 hours to file the taxes. Frustrating for Erin? You could say, but that just meant more Carter time for meema and pa pa!!!!! Great G-ma Bryson even got in on the fun. Brent didn't get out here till later in the afternoon, thanks to the other thing that was not so great for the Gibbys -- backed up sewer water in their basement. Yuck. He spent most of the day unplugging the sewer line and then cleaning up the mess. Good job Brentski!

So to sum it up, spending most of the weekend with my favorite daughter and the C-man? It just doesn't get much better!!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hen Party

Wow! I'm really looking forward to tomorrow, and not just cuz it's Carterday! My two BFFs Jill and Sandy are coming over after work for supper and a much needed gossip session! The three of us try and get together for each other's birthdays every year, and unfortunately, we missed Sandy's last fall, so we haven't been together since August. That is far too long! They're both coming early enough to see Carter before he goes home, and I'm having Erin pick up take and bake pizzas on her way home, so I don't really have to cook. The last couple of times we went out, we got kicked out of the restaurants we were at. Not because we were misbehaving -- haven't done that for years -- but because it was closing time. And since we have no quitting sense when it comes to visiting, this will work out great. At least I don't anticipate Greg kicking them out. He'll probably hide out in the basement reloading shotgun shells or else stay out in the shop all evening. Hmm, maybe I should just tell them to bring their pillows and spend the night! They sure won't need blankets - not at Casa Bryson. where it's a nice and balmy 80 degrees all year round!

Don't expect to read all about our visit, what's said at the hen party stays at the hen party. First rule of hen party: don't ask about the hen party. Or something like that. Good times!!!!!!!!!

Friday, January 22, 2010


Time for a quick blurb before I head home for the weekend. Actually, I'm headed to Babys are Us first, to pick up some cute baby boy clothes for my friend's daughter. She's expecting her first baby in about 5 weeks, and I'm going to a shower for her on Sunday. It will seem strange looking a newborn clothes again! If all goes well, I might even get to take Carter to the shower. It will be fun to show him off to my friends. Not that I'm a proud meema or anything...

His latest favorite thing is Patty-Cake. As soon as you start singing it, he starts clapping and laughing. He even knows how to find it and play it in his little electronic nursery rhyme book. And I do mean play it. Over and over and over and over and over some more!

My latest favorite thing is singing P@NT$ 0N THE GR0UND to him when I'm changing his diaper. Not sure he appreciates the humor in that. But he does love it when I sing and act silly, so that's all that counts.

OK - gotta run so I'm not too late getting home tonight. Hope ya'll have a great weekend!!! Enjoy this week's Carterday pictures!

Yep - you guessed it -- patty-cake!

look at that sweet little smile --
how could anyone resist that???

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


It’s my favorite day of the week – Carterday. What’s that? Your calendar doesn’t have a Carterday? It’s the day between Tuesday and Thursday. At least in my house it is. He’s taking his afternoon nap, which means I’ve got a few minutes to write something.

No question, watching Carter is the highlight of my week. We have so much fun! He’s got lots of toys to play with, but of course, sometimes he’d rather play with cabinet doors, TV remotes, and anything else he can get his hands on. He’s also obsessed with Hossy. Problem is, if he gets too close, Hossy growls at him, and I’m sure would bite him if he had the chance. That means I have to really be on my toes. Luckily Hossy spends a lot of his time on the back of the couch where Carter can’t get to him.

I can’t believe Carter will be a year old in less than a month. Where has this past year gone? I can’t even remember life before him!

2 hrs later…. nap over, bottle, and half a tub of fruit, and Great Grandma Bryson came to visit. He played peek-a-boo with her, using the sheet on the couch to cover his head. He also showed her how well he can shoot his basketball. Ok, maybe not shoot, but he puts it in the hoop and scores points! He was sure happy to see Momma when she got here.

And now he’s gone home, and the house is terribly quiet. Can’t wait till next Carterday!!!

Here's a couple of pictures from today. I have more, but between my slow internet connection and blogger, it's taking too long to load them.

Mega Blocks = Mega Yum!
What? Can't you see I'm busy!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Fresh Start

I’ve never been much for resolutions; New Year’s or otherwise. In fact, I’ve never been good at following through with anything. Unless you count my marriage I guess. Not so easy to just quit that. So maybe my New Year’s Resolution this year should be to refrain from setting a New Year’s Resolution. Nah – can’t even do that. I have a few things I’d like to accomplish this year, and if I put them in writing, maybe I won’t be able to abandon them so easily.

Improve my health. I’m currently taking 7 different medicines everyday, and I hate it. I went back to Weight Watchers in September, and although December was a bit rough, I’ve lost 26 lbs, and I’m not stopping now! If I can continue losing weight, I might be able to go off the blood pressure medicine, and maybe even the diabetes meds.

Spend less time on my butt and more time moving. It won’t take much to make an improvement here.

Write more. This is the 1st blog entry since March, which is when I decided to take up blogging again. I wasn’t very successful at that time. I’d like to try and write a little something every day, but that’s just setting myself up to fail, so for now, I’m just saying more. More than nothing should be a piece of cake!

So I guess that’s enough for now. Hopefully these are realistic goals. Stay tuned…..