Thursday, December 13, 2012

Loaded Question in 5..4..3..2..1

So……. I have a question. I really hope you don’t find it too personal to answer. Maybe I shouldn’t even ask. No, I can’t help myself. I’m dying to know….

How do you eat your SKITTLES?

Come on now – you know what I mean. I mean, there are so many ways to do it! Do you sort them by color first? And do you eat your favorite flavor first or save it till last? Or *gasp* do you just eat them as they come out of the package? Please don’t tell me you eat them by the handful regardless of flavor mixture! Oh the humanity!

Since I’m asking you to divulge such personal information, let me be the first to share my own method of consuming the goodness that is skittles original bite size candies. When eating a small bag, I immediately dump the entire contents of the bag out, and sort them by color. Then I proceed to eat them in order of least to most favorite. My order of preference is:


My theory here is that I like to save the best for last. I suppose someday I could die in the middle of the bag and leave my favorites behind, thereby depriving myself of leaving this world with my favorite food in my mouth (who doesn’t dream of this?) However, I’m willing to take my chances. Oddly enough, if I purchase a large bag and only eat a few at a time, I tend to dig my favorite flavors out first. Maybe it’s because I’m afraid someone else will get to the bag and eat the orange and red ones first and I’ll be stuck with the dreaded green and yellow ones? Left purple out, didn’t I. Well that’s because purple sort of fall into a category of their own. Loved? Eh… but definitely liked. Well that cleared things up. Oh, and did I mention I only eat ONE at a time? Make them last as long as possible, I say. Sadly, I cannot do that with chocolate. But that’s a whole nother post for a different day.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Touchdown Kansas City!!!!

I just finished watching my favorite football movie of all time, Rudy.  It got me thinking about my love for football.  My earliest memories of watching football were as a child.  I watched the Dallas Cowboys with my my cousin Frances' husband Al.  Frances and Al were more like an aunt and uncle to me.  She was actually my mom's cousin, and she married a Texas rancher.  He loved watching his Cowboys, and I loved watching with him.  I also started watching the Chiefs at a very young age with my Uncle Herb.  He lived near Kansas City and got the games on television before we were able to on the Topeka stations, so when we went to his house on Sundays, we always watched together.  Once I was in Jr. High, football was a really big deal in Burlingame.  Both years I was in Jr. High our High School Team went to the state playoffs, and my 8th grade year, we won state.  Then in High School, I was a Twirler and in the Marching Band, so of course I went to all of the games.  I don't remember specifically learning the rules, guess I just picked them up as I went along.  In High School, we did play Powder Puff Football a couple of years, so I'm sure I learned some then.  When I was seriously considering going to college, I wanted to be a sportswriter.  I was even the Sports Editor for our high school newspaper!  And now I really hope none of you have any old copies of that paper laying around to go read my stories.  At the time I thought I was hot stuff, but now, eh.  Those old stories are pretty lame!   After high school I dated a football coach for a while, so naturally the games were a big part of my life.  For some reason, I was never a big Chiefs fan growing up.  My favorite team for years was the Washington Redskins.  I'm sure having Kansas John Riggins play for them didn't hurt, not to mention they were always in the Playoffs, and won a couple of Super Bowls.  It's always much easier to root for a winning team, as we all know.  Hmm, that brings me to the last few seasons as a Chiefs fan.  It's not easy people.  I'm sure many of you are Chiefs fans too and know just what I'm talking about.  As hard as it is to watch them play these days, I'll never forsake my team.  There's nothing worse than a fair weather fan.  If you can't support your team when they're down, you don't deserve to be there when they're winning.  Those guys need their fans more than ever these days.  One of the best things I did was pass my love for football on to my daughter.  I love watching games with her, and am so proud that she understands the game and has the same passion for it as I do.  Too bad her dad doesn't share our love for football.  Greg of course is not a sports fan in way, shape or form.  But he hates football more than anything.  I can't help but think it's partly because we love it so much.  If he has to, he'll sit and watch basketball or baseball on television.  In fact, at one time he was actually a fan of the Royals, and went to a few games with me.  But if there's football on TV, he leaves the house.  Poor guy just doesn't know what he's missing!  At this point in the season, about the only thing I'm looking forward to is getting a first round draft pick and signing an awesome quarterback.  If the Chiefs screw that up by winning a few games. oh well!  I'll just have to enjoy watching them win!  Oh who am I kidding?  LOVE YOU CHIEFS!!!!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Time Marches On

yeah yeah yeah, I know. it's been a while.  moving on.....

It is November 1, which I suppose means the Holiday Season has officially begun.  What that means for me, first and foremost, is it's time for my annual house cleaning to begin.  Yep, time to dust, vacuum and mop.  Oh, and wash curtains and rugs.  And make my bed. And if you think I'm kidding, well you don't know me very well.  I'm hosting the Granger/Crook Thanksgiving Dinner on the Sunday before Thanksgiving.  Nothing like getting it out of the way!  Wait, that sounds like I'm not looking forward to it, and that couldn't be further from the truth.  I love having everyone over for the day.  I don't even mind cooking.  Now if I could just hire someone to come in and get my house ready for it, life would be perfect!  These get-togethers remind me of my childhood.  We always spent Thanksgiving and Christmas with my mom's brother Herb and  his family.  All these years later, it's not quite the same with Uncle Herbie and my Dad both gone, but spending the day with my favorite cousins is something I never get tired of!  

Plans for the Bryson Thanksgiving are still up in the air.  This will be our 3rd Thanksgiving without Janette, and I'm afraid they will never be the same.  She loved having her family over for big holiday dinners.  She cooked for days in advance, always had her house decorated for the occasion, and dressed for the holiday! Family dinners at her house were the one constant in our lives.  We always knew what to expect and she never disappointed us.  A big turkey, ham too, mashed AND scalloped potatoes, a hot vegetable, plus green bean casserole, because she knew I didn't like very many vegetables, but I'd eat that one!  She always made this salad with lemon jello and cottage cheese.  I think it had green peppers and pimento in it.  It was a strange little dish I'd never heard of before, but it was yummy!  And then there were the pies.  and cakes.  and all the other desserts.  Then we'd spend the afternoon sitting around the table talking, having more dessert and coffee, until it was about 4:30 and it was time to start getting supper on the table.  No one was leaving her house without eating supper, no matter how full you were!  We'd have sandwiches with the left over meat, potato salad, coleslaw, green salad, and always always always cheese and crackers.  You were lucky if you did have to roll away from her table!  

I miss her most in the fall.  We always spent more time together during harvest, sitting around waiting for the guys to need us.  And I'm sure with November 7 looming in the near future, she's on my mind even more.  I look at Chloe and I'm just so sad that they never knew each other.  Carter brought so much joy to her life, and Chloe would have doubled that joy.  Especially last night.  She would have laughed at Carter in his cowboy getup, and oohed and awed over Chloe's butterfly costume.  I'm almost as sad for what she's missing as I am for those of us who loved her and miss her every day.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Carter and Chloe: The Live Show

I've been meaning to post these videos, but just finally got around to uploading them to YouTube.

This was taken about an hour after Chloe was born.  We learned two things in a hurry -- she has excellent lungs, and she doesn't enjoy bath time!

This was the day after Chloe was born.  Check out those counting skills!

Chloe at about 1 month old.  Isn't she just the sweetest!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Finding My Voice

I've been reminded twice this week that I haven't updated my blog recently.  Yeah yeah yeah, I know.  I don't even have any good excuses to throw out.  It's not exactly like the dog can eat a computer file, now is it?  And I could go on for hours bragging on my beautiful new granddaughter!  And considering I sit for at least an hour every evening with a laptop in my lap, yeah, no excuses there either.  So, we're moving on.....

I can unequivocally tell you, being the grandmother to two beautiful children is heaven on earth.  Carter never fails to amaze me with his intelligence, sense of humor, and imagination.  He's such a little man!  And boy oh boy, does he love his little sister!  Miss Chloe Janette is just the sweetest little baby.  She loves to cuddle and her smiles lights up a room.  Ok, enough bragging.

I've recently found a couple of new blogs that I'm enjoying very much.  One of them wrote suggestions for struggling bloggers.  One of her ideas was to write about what you know.  People, you will thank me NOT to do that.   Some of my areas of expertise are really depressing.  I don't think anyone wants to read that.  Whiny sad stories are not entertaining, right?  And isn't that why people read blogs?  To be entertained, that is? 

If you look at my email address, one would assume I might know alot about farming.  Well sure, I know alot more now than I did 30 years ago, and I could probably impress the hell out of some non-farmers, but believe me, I'm no expert.  Although I suppose I am an expert at living with a farmer.  First tip -- don't marry a farmer if you expect to come first in his life.  The farm will always come first.  If it doesn't, he's probably not a very successful farmer.  Not that that makes it any easier to take.

I'm a mother, so I could always talk about parenting.  Especially single parenting.  (see last paragraph)  But here's the thing -- I made so many mistakes as a mother, I continually look at my daugher and wonder how in the world she grew into the wonderful young woman she is today. 

I'm an uneducated accountant.  Raise your hand if you want to hear about Medicaid billing.  Yeah, that's that I thought.  I've spent the last 13 years working for companies who assist some of the most awesome people you will ever meet.  Why just the other day, one of our clients came to the office to ask me.... WHOA!  HIPPA VIOLATION ABOUT TO OCCUR.  Nevermind.  I really do wish there was a way to share some of my stories from work.  Some of my friends are such a hoot.  And some of my co-workers are a real piece of work.  But since they may or may not read this blog, and since I like my job, and want to continue to work in harmony, that's all I've got to say about that.

I know right now, my friend Jill is reading this and saying to herself, but Barbie!  You love reality tv!You can talk for hours about it!  I don't know -- I do watch alot of television.  And reality tv is definitely a favorite of mine.  Let's see, I could blog on Wednesdays about The Voice, and my new boyfriend Blake Shelton.  I like Dancing with the Stars, but it's kinda hard to watch 2 things at the same time.  DO NOT even bring up TIVO.  Obviously there are ways to get around that, so I must not like it THAT much.  Then on Thursday, I could do a Survivor wrap up.  Lets see, what's left?  I'm only slightly interesting in Donald "The Hair" and his Apprentices, enough to always check in and see who's going home.  Oh I almost forgot American Idol.  I'm just kinda watching that hit and miss too.  See, I even suck at my favorite things!  Truth be told, I'd probably watch them more, but Greg hates reality tv so much, it's just not worth the struggle when he's in the room watching tv with me.  Bleh.

Well look at me -- I just wrote a big ole blog about nothing!  Yay Me!!!  Now I just need to throw in some pictures of my favorite people in the whole wide world and get this thing posted for your entertainment.  See ya sometime!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Unanswered Questions

It is 11:30 at the end of a long, joyous day for our family.  It is also 11:30 at night for another family whose day started out with the exact same expectations as ours, but ended with a completely different outcome. 

Why the difference?  Well, I'm afraid none of us will know that answer until we meet our maker ourselves.  I know the first thing I'd like to ask him is why?  I'm so thankful that it wasn't us, but really, why them and not us?  Is there a lottery up there in heaven?  What good can come from letting a mother carry a precious baby daughter for 9 months and then claiming her for your own on her day of birth?  My faith reminds me that there is indeed a greater purpose for us all, but to tell you the truth, I'm having a hard time relying on that faith today. 

I cannot even bring myself to imagine the pain my friends are in.  In fact it would be much easier to just put it out of my mind completely and celebrate our good fortune.  What I don't want is to ever take for granted this wonderful gift God has chosen to share with us today.  Obviously, we need to be thankful for every second we are given with our loved ones, because you never know when that time will end. 

Rest in Peace little Aubrey Jane, I'll think of you often.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

For What It's Worth

This whole Whitney Houston drama has me thinking, so I guess I'll share.

Yes, she was a pop icon with a wonderful gift.  Yes, she entertained millions in the 80s and 90s and was loved by many.  Does all of that make her worthy of being honored by flying flags at half-staff?    Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought the flag rules mainly applied to heroes and those who have served their country.  I don't think entertaining the masses can be considered serving your country.   And I guess it is her family's prerogative to allow television cameras at her funeral, but I won't be watching.  And I hope the networks have the good sense not to carry it, but I'd doubt that will happen. 

And while I think her drug problem is tragic, I don't think it negates her accomplishments prior to the drug use.  Addiction is a disease, and we are all susceptible.  I wonder, what if she hadn't met and fallen in love with Bobby Brown?  Would she have fallen victim to the pressures of the music business and her personal problems?  Drugs are everywhere.  Anyone could have introduced her to them.  I think he's probably shouldering much more blame than he deserves.  I wish she could have been cured of her disease and gone on to live a long and happy life.  Unfortunately, not everyone gets their happy ending.

RIP Whitney, your troubles are all behind you.

And now I'm going to get busy cooking!  Frozen Crock Pot Meals, get ready -- I'm headed your way!

Happy Saturday faithful readers!

Thursday, February 16, 2012


I’m back to share this week’s Carterday with everyone. The morning started off by going to feed cattle with PaPa, as usual. He told me he made the tires spin – wheee! He also told me he had a snowball fight with PaPa. We didn’t have much snow left, but there were a few patches – enough to make him happy!

When they got back he played in the house for a bit, but then started asking to go back outside. I helped him get his boots and coat on, and he headed out while I finished getting my own self ready. When I went back out, he had wandered across the yard, and this is what I saw.

Ahh, the joys of potty training. The funniest part was when I got out there he was shivering so, he was unable to do anything. Next up was more snowballs. He may need to practice making them a little, but he’s got the right idea!

And what’s better than snow? Why, mud puddles of course! Good thing he was wearing his rubber boots!

Moving on – he wanted to go into the shop and see what PaPa was doing. When he saw the old orange truck torn down he was very worried about it. “PaPa! What HAPPENED to your truck?” Of course Greg goes into detail telling him how the head was cracked and he had to replace a piston, blah blah blah. He even got the old piston out to show Carter the crack. Not sure he was too impressed with that. He did, however, enjoy Greg’s magnet stick thingy (whatever, I’m not an expert on tools people) you use to pick up nuts and bolts and STUFF off the floor. Or maybe you use it to retrieve that stuff when if falls in your motor? IDK. Carter didn’t care what it was for, he just liked carrying it around!

but what is it???

ohhh - it's a drum stick?

Lucy's VERY worried about the situation....

Back outside for more snow and puddle fun. Maggie has been at the farm now for a couple of weeks, so they had fun playing with each other. Her favorite thing lately is barking at all the birds in the trees. Doesn’t take much to entertain her!

After lunch, we watched Home Alone 3 again……. Funny note here – when Carter spent the night last weekend, he kept telling me he wanted to watch “ERIC” or at least that’s what I thought he was saying. I quizzed him about it, and still couldn’t figure out what he was talking about. We even called Mommy and Daddy to see if they could understand him, but it sounded like ERIC to them too. Finally, he told me there was a MOM and a DAD in the movie, and I remembered when we watched Home Alone 3, the little boy’s name in the movie is ALEX. When I said “oh – you mean ALEX?” his face lit up and he said YEAH! ERIC!

When we left to go home, we barely got out of the driveway before he was sound asleep. He really fights taking a nap in the afternoon now, so that was the result. He’s a stinker, but he’s OUR stinker, and we love him to pieces! Never a dull moment, that’s for sure!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

She's baaaaack!

I spent last night at Mom’s house, and here’s what she told me this morning:

“I can’t even describe how good it feels to get up, get dressed, make my bed, and start a load of laundry without having to sit down and rest.” This from a woman who just a week ago couldn’t even get dressed without having to lay down and rest. I think it’s safe to say she’s back to her old self.  See – I told you she’s not down for the count just yet!

I still went ahead and spent the day with her -- just cause I could.  Erin and Carter stopped by for a visit, no better medicine in the world than a hug and a kiss from that little boy!  He even helped her open her mail today.

Carter came home with me later.  Mommy and Daddy were headed to Topeka to get groceries, and I know how much smoother that goes without "extra help" so he was more than happy to come to the farm.  Especially since it meant getting to see Maggie, who's been here since we started baby-watch 2012.  Speaking of which, doesn't seem like there's much to report in that area.  Poor Erin is miserable, while apparently, baby girl is in no hurry to meet the rest of us!  Carter even whispered to mommy's belly today "come out and play with me".  Maybe she'll listen to big brother!
WOW, just heard on the news that Whitney Houston died.  Wish I could say I'm surprised.  She started down that road a long time ago.  Such a waste of talent.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Big Three

Tonight's blog is coming to you live from 115 E. Jackson Street, Burlingame.  Last week Mom reported to us that she'd been having severe pain down her leg on one side, and in her neck and arm on the other side.  What that means, simply put, is she is unable to lay in bed and sleep, since no matter which side she lays on, it hurts.  No sleep for several nights is starting to take its toll, and she's become very weak.  Add to that stomach problems that make it hard to eat much at one time, and you've got someone having a hard time taking care of herself.  We took her to the Dr. and he prescribed something for sciatica, but is unable to determine why she's having near blackouts.  Since then, Jan's been staying with Mom at night and staying close during the day too.  I was busy last weekend helping Erin with Carter's birthday party, so I'm thankful Jan could be here.  Now we're trying to split the time, with me staying the nights when I don't have to get up and go to work the next day.  No telling how long this spell will last, but I do think it will pass.  Mom's said several times she's no where near ready to move out of her house, and honestly, moving to the Sr. Apartments here in town doesn't really benefit her any.  I'm pretty sure, when she's ready (or when she has no choice) Assisted Living will probably be her next stop.  For now, I'm just going to enjoy spending time with her!  Seems like whenever I stop by I'm always in a hurry to get somewhere, so it's nice to have time to just chill. 

So I mentioned Carter's Birthday --  that would be tomorrow!  His party was Sunday, and he thoroughly enjoyed everything about it.  He asked for a bulldozer cake, and his talented Mommy came through like always.  Not only did it look awesome, but it tasted every bit as good as it looked!

Blowing out the candle!

Bring on the presents!

ooh!  FUN! 

Whatever it is, looks like someone better get it for Hallie for HER birthday!

Hands down his favorite gift of the day!

Anybody remember the Christmas Video I posted?  Carter's favorite part was when "Papa rode the guitar like a horse" and he couldn't wait to show us his version of it! 

Birthday parties are exhausting!

The one thing no one got a picture of and I wish we had, was when his best friend Hallie arrived.  She came running in the door and they ran to each other and hugged like they hadn't seen each other in years!  It was the sweetest thing! 

Plans for tomorrow include lunch with Carter and Erin, probably pizza, since that's his favorite (well that and mac and cheese)  Where we have lunch will depend on how Erin's feeling, and more importantly, on how well baby girl is behaving.  Some days we think we're on the verge of running to the hospital, and other days maybe not.  Who knows what tomorrow will bring!  Carter may be getting the best birthday present ever; his baby sister! 

Stay tuned.......

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Thanks For The Memories!

Well another Carterday has come to a close.  I believe it may be one he will remember.  It started with the usual, helping Papa feed cattle, followed by a quick trip to the bank and to my old workplace, TLEC to pick up some paperwork.  Throughout all of this, all Carter could think about was getting home.  You see, Papa told him this morning that he was going to run the motor grader this afternoon, and Carter could help.  Hmm, do you think Carter wants to drive the motorgrader?  Oh, just a little.  After lunch, we drove to the worksite, and as we were driving down the terrace towards the grader, he couldn't see it from his carseat.  He spied the bulldozer and Papa's truck, but no grader.  Then suddenly I hear "THERE IT IS!  I FOUND THE MOTOR GRADER!  AND I'M GOING TO DRIVE THE MOTOR GRADER! AND I'M GOING TO PUSH DIRT WITH IT! AND PAPA'S GOING TO LET ME DRIVE IT!" followed by hysterical laughing.  My oh my does this little boy like his big yellow toys or what?  I videotaped part of it for posterity.  Now watching a motor grader drive down the field is obviously not exactly heart pumping excitement for most people, but the only thing Carter likes more than driving equipment is watching himself drive equipment.  Or really watching himself do anything.  If you look at my youtube page, you'll find several videos that are about as exciting as paint drying.  But that's not why they're there.  I posted them so Carter can watch himself anytime he wants to.  I'm sharing a couple of the videos on here today, so you all can share in his joy!

Thanks to the wonders of technology, there's no way he'll ever forget today!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

January 21, 2012 8:53 PM

in the bathtub last night -- Carter starts quoting Dennis the Menace to me. Hope it's not an omen :)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sleep - It's Highly Overrated

Here's a riddle for you:

After being sick with the flu for 2 days, what is the one thing your body still needs but cannot give itself?

anyone.... anyone???? bueller????

Well considering it's 12:34 in the AM and I have to be up for work in something like 4 hours, the answer must be sleep.  I've done nothing but for the last 48 hours, and I don't wanna do it anymore!

This flu, by the way, sucks.  Well what flu doesn't you must be asking me.  Uh, any flu that I don't get, that's what!  Ok, that's not true.  I did feel awful for all my friends and family when they started getting sick a week ago.  Just not as bad as I felt when I got it!  Ok, that's not true either.  I do have a heart.  And knowing my loved ones are suffering, well it doesn't feel so good either.  Hopefully we're all over this crap.  I'm the last one to get it (as far as I know) and we all stayed away from Mom, so if she gets sick, don't look at us!  

Speaking of Mom, I've got the bad daughter guilts again.  2 weeks ago she asked me to "be on the lookout" for a couple of items.  She mentioned that she didn't need them anytime soon, just whenever I had the chance.  MOTHER!  Have you met me?  Do you not know after 52 (I just typed 53 -- I've got SORAS*!) years if you want me to do something you must give me a deadline?  And it must be earlier than the ACTUAL deadline?   So one of the last things I thought about before I got sick was that I need to get that stuff for mom.  And then I didn't.  She called me yesterday to see if I had her stuff yet.  FAIL.  So first thing tomorrow after work, I shall trudge my way to Walmart and buy anything and everything she needs and/or might need for the next month, so I can put the guilts away for a while.

While I'm there I guess I should start looking around for birthday gift ideas for a 3 year old!  Can you believe my sweet little angel baby is going to be 3 in 3 short weeks?  Where has the time gone? 

and in just 6 weeks, we'll be debuting a new little gibby girl for all to see!  Flu-schmoo.  I've got too much to do to let that slow me down.  However,  this meema probably does need her sleep!  Nighty night!

*SORAS for those of you who did not grow up watching soaps with their grannys:  Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome