Monday, November 7, 2022

Big Shoes To Fill

 As has been the case over the last several years, us baby boomers have taken on the role of caretaker for our parents.  I'd like to think I did a good job of making my own mom's life a little easier over her last years.  And I assisted my mom in taking care of my dad as his health declined as well.  We lost Greg's mom at an early age, long before she needed ANYONE to take care of her.  I'm not sure if she lived to be 100, she would have needed help.  She was a very strong, independent woman!  Now that Greg's dad is aging, he certainly is slowing down,  And I'm sure he misses having Janette there to take care of him.  He doesn't ask for much from Greg or Diana.  However, yesterday, he had one little request of Greg, that in my opinion, shoots him straight to the top of the World's Best list of parental caretakers.  

He told Greg he couldn't find his dentures.  And for some crazy reason, he thought he had flushed them down the toilet.  So what did my heroic husband do?  He got the fishing boat out, launched it in the lagoon, donned full arm's length gloves, and he went fishing. I'm sorry, I mean, sure, I cleaned up alot of poop, but this?  I'm afraid I would have been ordering  new teeth.  Unfortunately, the fishing expedition failed to turn up said dentures.  A few hours later, he looked under his recliner, and oh looky there!  One pair of semi used dentures, NOT in the mouth of some lucky fish.

The whole time, I'm thinking Erin better step up her game.  He just set the bar pretty dang high.  

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Introducing the Next Social Media Star... Greg Bryson!

 Now that Social Media Influencers are a thing, let's take a moment to talk about that subject.  I believe if you look it up in the dictionary, there will be a picture of me as an example of the ultimate target for influencers.  Let's face it.  I've never had an original thought of my own.  Prime example? My Blog.  When did I start blogging?  After I started reading blogs back in 2006.  My regulars were Bitchypoo, Dysfunction Junction, Plain Jane, A Small Town Girl, and Too Disgusting to Contemplate, Too Disgusting to Ignore.  I thought well if they can do it, so can I!  And I did.  Consistently,  For seven months.  And then, like all things I attempt, I quit.  Well sort of.  Obviously, I'm still blogging, but only occasionally.   Anyhoo.  These days, my course of action after being so heavily influenced is reflected on my bank statement.  Let's see, there's Montana Moonlight, who very convincingly moved me to purchase and use Pomifera Face Products and Seint Makeup, which btw, are all wonderful products that I continue to use daily.  Then there's Nicole Huntsman.  Boy, where do I start?  I've ordered Younique products from her, and I've used her oh so special code to purchase everything from a new wedding set to my Toddy XL from Brumate, (which I highly recommend!) and tons of other expensive things in between.  

All of this to tell you Greg Bryson has convinced me to try making TikTok videos, and now I'm wondering if I can be an influencer** too!  I suspect the type of products we would be endorsing would fall somewhere between farm must-haves and booze.  But hey, ya gotta start somewhere!

So, if you haven't heard the news already, our TikTok Page is


Our timing, however couldn't be worse.  The idea was born on what was most likely our last trip to the lake for this year.  We don't want to just abandon the page until next spring, so we've been throwing around some ideas for winter time entertainment.  Expect to see heavy equipment, cattle, liquor recommendations and much more fun stuff.  Greg is the star of this page, but you might see my face once in a while.  

If you have any suggestions or requests, please throw them this way!!

**tongue firmly planted in cheek

Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Your Jokes

Dear Mom 

Six months. Does 6 months in heaven feel as long as it does here?  I’m trying hard to think of the positives that come from your passing. Obviously you are in heaven with our Lord, and nothing can top that!  And I believe you’ve been reunited with all your loved ones who passed before you.  And how wonderful it must be to be pain free and healed of your ailments!  That part sounds pretty good about right now!  (we'll save that story for another time)  

I wonder, do you miss me as much as I miss you?  Do you see what’s going on in my life?  Do you hear me talking to you?  I really need to believe you do.  As much as I miss my mom, I miss my best friend even more.  Yes, I still have great friends who I love dearly. And believe me, I have leaned on them a lot in the last 6 months. But it’ll never be the same.

I ate lunch today at the Sale Barn, and we sat at a table with 3 lovely women from your generation. Our waitress was the same age. And oh did she remind me of you!  So ornery and quick witted!  Giving the other ladies a hard time, but all in fun. The ladies at our table reminded me of some of your friends as well. The sweet but quiet woman who drives them around (although she didn’t drive a green van 😉). The leader, who was the most talkative, and who proudly shared that she was 90 years old! And then there was the complainer. I’m sure you know who that reminded me of!!!  She mentioned that the son of a friend had recently had his tongue clipped, and he was much easier to understand now. Well you know I had to tell her my story about tongue clipping!  When I said the Dr. clipped it too much they all looked at me in disbelief. Until I explained that perhaps I talk TOO much as opposed to struggling to talk before it was clipped. They all laughed, and when I told them y’all said I was vaccinated with a phonograph needle, I thought they were going to lose it!  So thanks for telling me stories that I can share and use to bring a little laughter to others. I laughed too. If felt good to think of you and laugh. I suspect it wasn’t a coincidence that there wasn’t anywhere else to sit today 😉😉

Well what do you know.  I’m actually feeling a little better after sharing this with you. I think I might do this again. Please don’t ever forget how much I love you and miss you.

Love Barb

Friday, November 27, 2020

Family Traditions

Our family has a tradition that, although funny, I’m not really crazy about. Especially today. Here’s the back story. 

Several years ago Erin baked rolls for Thanksgiving dinner. They were beautiful rolls and she was very proud of them. Until I heated them up, and some of the bottoms got a little too brown for Erin.  She deemed them burnt, and because we had backup rolls she threw them out. Now if you aren’t familiar with our place, there is a field just east of our drive way, and Greg keeps a wide ditch in between them for drainage. The ditch is where we dispose of food for the dogs. Naturally Erin threw the “burned” rolls in the ditch. While waiting for dinner, the “menfolk” wait outside. Out of the way and out of helping range you might say.  Well they were hungry, and they didn't see anything wrong with those rolls, so they just brushed the dirt off of them and ate them.  And the term Ditch Rolls was born.  

Since then, on any occasion when food is ruined, usually because it was dropped, the name Ditch is added to it.  There were Chloe's Ditch Nachos, after a ballgame that landed in the grass and papa deemed still edible.  Last year at Christmas, there were the Ditch Baked Beans that I spilled all over while taking them from the oven.  Hint: never use foil pans unless they are on a cookie sheet.  Thankfully, Erin managed to salvage some of them.  

Just yesterday, the evil foil pan struck again.  Ditch Sweet Potatoes.  Greg grabbed a spatula and shoved them all back in the pan before Kenda knew what was happening!  She has the cleanest floors I've ever seen, so eating off her floors, so to speak, is not even questioned.  Plus, Greg and Pat were the only ones that ate sweet potatoes, so it didn't really matter to us.  

Just when I thought we were in the clear, I made a cherry cheesecake today.  When I put it in the fridge to chill I noticed it was rather heavy and a little unsteady.  But you know, whatever.  Whatever my foot.  I just took it out of the refrigerator, and now.... 

ditch cheesecake.  FML

Happy Thanksgiving Lucy!

Monday, July 20, 2020

The Unicorn


This is a Unicorn in my household. Homemade, completely from scratch, Apple Pie. I can count the pies I’ve baked over the last 39 years with just my hands. 

Why you ask?  Well let’s see. The fact that it took me almost an entire day is a good place to start. How the heck do you pie bakers do it???  

And then there’s my sister Jan. She is a master pie baker, and I always rely on her to bring them to all family dinners. Not to mention my Super Pastry Chef niece Rosalie. 

On the Bryson side, between Janette and Grandma Ruby, we had more pie than we could ever eat.  And now Diana and Erin do a great job at keeping us full!

Growing up, Mom baked lots of pies thanks to all of the fruit trees and raspberries and rhubarb dad grew and they froze. After he retired, Dad kinda took over the baking and was famous for his cakes and pies. Just ask any Mason in Burlingame! 

I’m not sure what happened to me today, other than an over abundance of apples sitting in my kitchen. I can tell you I have a very happy husband at the moment!!

Friday, October 25, 2019

How the Worst Day of my Life Turned Into the Best Day of my Life

I realize I never did follow through on my promise to explain my sudden "retirement", so maybe now is as good a time as any.

First a little background.  I worked at Sheltered Living, (SLI) for over 11 years.  I LOVED my job.  Every single thing about it.  It truly was the first time in my career I found myself not dreading going to work everyday.  I shared an office with 2 co-workers who I dearly love.  Amy, Jen and I just clicked.  Which is good, because those half walls dividing our work spaces didn't hide much.  We worked well together, and had a little fun along the way.  So about 4 years ago Amy decided she needed to leave SLI.  It wasn't easy to adjust to life without our missing partner, but Jen and I managed.  It was several months before her replacement was hired.  As in the past, job descriptions were changed (typical anytime there was a change in personnel)  But this time, the change was unprecedented.. Out new 3rd "co-worker" turned out to be our new direct supervisor.  The minute I heard that, my stomach dropped.  I knew this was never going to work.  Well for me, it wasn't.  Having my boss right next to me. watching my every move, literally standing over my shoulder, was my worst nightmare.  See, I'm the kind of person who doesn't need to be micro-managed.  And up to this point, our boss never did that.  She gave us the freedom to do our jobs our own way.  And that's what we did.  The work got done.  

A little more info to consider.  Over the past 5 years I went though a few health crises.  The  big one, of course keeping me completely off work for 3 months, and part time for another 3 months.  After that there were multiple surgeries, physical therapy, and many many Dr. Appointments.  This obviously led to more time off work.  Couple that with my age, and I believe I became a target.  I think my employer was afraid the health problems would continue.  My boss was the only other person who could do my job,  so she may have decided she wanted someone who could work full time, without restrictions, and without frequent absences.  Now, I always had a problem with getting to work on time.  If you know me, you're saying DUH to yourself right now.  But part of my medical condition had a direct effect on my inability to get up and moving every morning.  

So, take one annoying supervisor, times my existing time management problem, add a hostile environment which effected my desire to go to work, as well as my job performance, all totaled up equals "I'm sorry but we are terminating your employment",  And, let me just add that I had seen this sort of thing happen many times during my 11 years there, I clearly saw it coming, and still I couldn't stop that steamroller from running right over me.  I was devastated.  I was embarrassed.  I was walked to my office to pack up my things and escorted to my car, without an opportunity to even say goodbye to anyone.  I was told I was not welcome at any SLI property, and instructed to have no contact with SLI clients or guardians.  These people were my world for 11 years, and suddenly, they were cut from my life.  It was almost like a death had occurred.  

I went home and told Greg what happened, expecting the worst.  But.  My husband told me all the things I needed to hear.  They don't deserve you.  They didn't appreciate you.  You're better off without them.  We will be fine without your income.  You can stay home and help me out on the farm.  It's going to be ok.  

It wasn't long before I realized just what a blessing being fired was.  The relief was immediate.  I still miss my co-workers and the clients, but they eased up a little and didn't say anything when I attended a memorial at their office for one of the clients, and I was even invited to a retirement party for one of my favorite co-workers. (Sorry I couldn't make it JoAnn!)

A year after all of this took place, I became eligible for my full KPERS retirement, and we decided it was the right time to take advantage of that.  

It's been 15 months since that ugly day, and I'm happier than I've ever been.  I'm able to take care of my mom, which takes up a good chunk of my time.  Equally importantly, I'm available to help Erin with my wonderful grandkids at a moment's notice.  Well unless it's harvest time.  Or cattle gathering time.  Or planting time.  Yes, Greg and the farm are my priority, but it's not exactly a full time job.  I believe the best thing to come from all of this is the quality time that my husband and I get to spend together and it's strengthened our marriage.

Thanks SLI.  You know you miss me!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Short (But Bright) Thoughts

As all of my FB friends already know, the Farm Show came to town earlier this week.  Greg and I went on Tuesday so we could spend our time where we wanted to, and took the grandkids Wednesday when they could dictate how our time was spent.  This works much better than just making one trip.  Greg was drawn in to a booth featuring LED lighting.  He was mainly interested in buying LED bulbs to replace the fluorescent bulbs in the shop.  They also had some LED lamps which are basically a light bulb for the house..  The smallest one was supposed to put out more light than two 100 watt bulbs.  Well Greg was wanting something for the dining room, which is where he does most of his reading.  Now I totally understand the importance of light when it comes to reading papers and magazines, so I had no problem with getting something brighter.  Greg was afraid the small bulb might not be enough, so we decided to go up a step to the next size bulb.  All of the bulbs were delivered Friday, and when I got home that evening and walked into the kitchen, I looked up at Greg and I was LITERALLY BLINDED BY THE LIGHT.  Now I just have to get a basket of sunglasses to leave at the back door and post a sign


I mean seriously!  That's enough wattage to light up the freaking Expo Center.  I should have know, since the guys directly across from the the LED Booth looked less than thrilled.

NASA called - the International Space Station is concerned our house has been invaded by light seeking aliens.

Erin and the kids are coming out this afternoon.  Greg's got the sled AND an old truck hood all ready for them.  Hopefully I won't be checking in later from the hospital!!