Sunday, December 26, 2004

This is Serious

Ok. This blizzard is not fun any more.
I'm now out of coffee creamer AND sugar.
I cannot live under these conditions.
We are now constructing snowshoes out of badminton racquets and duct tape.
Stay tuned...
The Ewe

Friday, December 24, 2004

Dashing Through the Snow...

...or not. :-) Actually, we're sitting here having a great "Little House" Christmas. Tiny Tot's First Christmas has been a very, very, snowy, icy one. Definitely one for the books. I managed to get the van out of the snow-pit that had formed around it, but when I tried to go around a tiny curve in our driveway, the van started slipping toward the ditch. I took that as a sign we're supposed to stay put at least another day. We were supposed to go to The Ram's parents' house on Wed, but we're still here, on Friday--Christmas Eve. I absolutely refuse to be disappointed. We're having hilarious meals, "living off the land" (i.e. from the freezer and pantry). We have a lot of leftovers frozen in single servings that the Ram took with him to work. Everyone is getting something different for Christmas Eve dinner. LOL We'll be going to the GrandRams as soon as possible and until then we're being jolly. The Ram has called everyday from the Sandbox. I'm pinching myself with delight that we've gotten to talk with him so much. We had a wonderful visit with him Thanksgiving week, after which he flew out to Points Beyond. He is now established in his home-away-from-home and we're getting pictures via email. What a different looking place than here! We miss him terribly, but we're staying extra busy. Though it's sad to be separated at Christmas, we've taken advantage of the busyness of the season to keep our minds occupied. You know, the discipline of the mind is the hardest thing for me. It takes real energy to force yourself to dwell on things that are "true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and of good repute." (take a peek at Philippians 4:8-9) The hardest part is at the end of the day, when things are winding down and my soul longs to connect to its mate. It has often been that that is when the phone would ring, and the Ram would be on the line. Our Lord is very kind.
I've had some times that I've said, "Lord, remember! Remember You said You'd take care of us!" Ah, His grace is sufficient. The first night of our winter storm, with ice literally falling from the sky, Musical began coughing that awful, seal bark cough. I prayed everso fervently. "Lord, You know we couldn't get to the hospital if we had to. Please calm her cough." He did. That hasn't been the only instance where God has been my husband lately. There was also, "Lord, YOU know how to make this heater work. Please show me what to do." He did. It worked. I'm realizing how I take my husband for granted. I had to figure out how to change the light bulb in our overhead lights! LOL It wasn't the actual light bulb part, but rather the part where you take the glass cover off. Oh, and the dollhouse--we bought the girls a nice wooden dollhouse for Christmas. Assembly required. Sigh. Well, Carnival had that thing together in no time. What a gal.
Ah, I could go on, but Tiny Tot is needing his mama. Y'all keep your wool dry--and warm!
Have a Blessed Birthday Party for Jesus!
The Ewe
Quote of the Day: "I'm dusting its tentacles!" Musical's response when I found her swatting at the ceiling fan with a feather duster.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Hi and Bye (for a few days)

Hey, F.O.T.E.s! I know I've been AWOL for a bit--sorry I haven't updated. Just wanted to let you know The Flock will be going to see The Ram for Thanksgiving, so we'll be absent awhile. Also, Dear Friends, my email is being testy, so if you email and I don't email back--that's probably why. Or, if you email and get told I rejected it--that's also why. If you leave me a comment here, I'll try to email you from Points Unknown.
Have a wonderful, blessed Thanksgiving--and remember...we're thanking GOD, not the native Americans. ;-) (Who are wonderful people, they're just not God!)
Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Gonna-Go-See-My-Honey Ewe

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Veterans' Day

Blessings, F.O.T.E.s!
I apologize for not posting in a while. There have again been complaints. :-) We're doing well and staying very busy.
I woke up this morning thinking about it being Veterans' Day and, as I have every Veterans' Day, thinking of my dad. He was on a battleship during the Korean War...(oops, I mean "Korean Conflict." No, it wasn't a war...even though Daddy was shot at and many troops killed. Sorry, sounds like war to me, no matter what the official title is.) Anyway, this year my mind also brought up the picture of my dear Ram. We have been soooo blessed so far to get to hear from him nearly every day he's been gone. We're only beginning to get a taste of what this separation means. I definitely have a more acute appreciation of the sacrifices made by military families from the beginning of our history as a nation. Our generation now ("Kids these days!!" LOL) really knows little of what it means to sacrifice. Generally, we're pretty bloated on the easy life. Food's plentiful and easy credit makes it "possible" for us to have the things our parents and grandparents had to work decades for. The "American Dream" is not so much a dream anymore, but something young families feel entitled to. Let's think hard about what our nation's founders went through to leave us this legacy we now enjoy. Just because it came easy to us, doesn't mean it was a "cheap gift." Let's take this day to reflect on the legacy our Veterans have made possible for us. Hey, and offer up a prayer for my friend, Mrs. K whose husband made the ultimate sacrifice almost exactly a year ago. This one year anniversary is tough on her. Regardless of your politics, realize that there are folks out there watching your back. Keeping you "covered." Who have "your six." You know...when I went to the market yesterday, I didn't worry about a car bomb detonating in the parking lot. Our troops are giving their all to see that I don't *have* to worry about that. Could it happen? You betcha. It happened 3 years ago in NYC. Am I more aware today of what goes on around me when I'm out and about? Surely. I'm a vigilant mama. BUT, I am thankful for the relative calm our country is blessed to enjoy. I know this is rather disjunct...look in my profile... it says "ra-ra-ramblings." :-) I will end this with a quote that I came across yesterday:
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral
and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who
has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own
personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made so and
kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

Y'all keep your wool dry and HUG A VETERAN today!!!
The Red-White-and Blue Ewe

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Bush vs. Kerry/Musical vs. Marsupial

The Plan: The Ewe and The Flock munch popcorn and watch t.v. on Election Night and discuss government, politics and social studies.
The Reality: The Ewe herds The Flock to the emergency room, squirting Germ-X every few minutes to ward off influenza and discussing how antibiotics work, what a "gurney" is what the term "nocturnal" means.
The Background: I, The Ewe, was cranking up the computer and television, readying The Flock for a night of election-return watching and education in the workings of government. The girls told me they were going out to feed Georgette. Next thing I know, there is fierce screaming coming from the front door. I growled, thinking the girls were providing the neighbors with a knock-down-drag-out bit of entertainment. I got my game face on and marched smartly into the front room, ready to "be angry to them." I found that they were not screeching at each other, rather at some Monster on the front porch. Lovable ran up to me, screaming, "Musical got bitten!! A 'possum bit Musical's toe!!!" I thought surely I was misunderstanding something. I joined the girls in their display of sheer panic. "WHAT?! How do you know it was a 'possum?!! Where is it?! What happened?!" ACKKK!!!! Carnival and Lovable began spilling out details, while Musical stood bleeding on the white linoleum, wailing. The rest of us were much too busy panicking to comfort her. (Poor thing. Eventually, while I was calling the e.r., Carnival loved on her.) Seems that Musical had stuck her foot into the Taj Mahal--a house the girls made of cardboard boxes for Georgette. Musical was playing with the cat and the cat (Georgette) bit her toe. Carnival whisked off the top of the Taj Mahal to administer some much-deserved corporal punishment to the cat, but discovered, "EGADS!" it was *not* Georgette, but a Georgette-sized opossum. In fact, at about that time, Georgette came padding around the corner to see what the hubbub was about. The story goes that the girls and the 'possum all wore the same shocked expression when the truth was suddenly learned. After the initial shrieking, Carnival and Lovable ran into the house, leaving the wounded Musical on the front porch to fend for her dazed and bleeding self. (Whatever happened to "never leave a man behind?") Finally, she got her wits about her enough to come inside. My understanding is that the 'possum was, at that point, still in the box, hissing at the confused cat. Anyway, the doctor on the phone said we should come in for antibiotics, at least. I'm embarrassed to admit that we didn't even clean the wound before we left. I try to be a well-prepared mother, periodically rehearsing what to do in case of choking, or bleeding or head injuries, but I had never rehearsed wild marsupial bites. You just can't anticipate everything, I guess.
Finally, we'd calmed down enough to begin movement toward the van. Problem was, it was parked in the back and the outside flood light had burned out. So, we had to find the flashlight, which was not in its assigned placed. It had been moved during a thunderstorm last week. Finally, I found it. Armed with both the flashlight and a broom to fend off the swarming throng of crazed opossums which was sure to be circling out there, we went forward in a moving huddle toward the van. I wished, at that time, that I'd listened closer to The Ram's descriptions of the proper way to move troops. Even without the proper technical knowledge, we made it to the van and began the drive to the hospital.
A few hundred yards down the road, I ran over a 'possum.
When we got to the hospital, I had to retell the story. I could tell the emergency room personnel were trying not to enjoy it too much, what with an injured tot standing right there and all. Two hours later, we left, with a prescription for an antibiotic in hand. Part of what took so long was that the doctor had to get in contact with "The Experts" regarding the chance of rabies in opossums in our county. Thank goodness, the consensus was that rabies in an opossum here was highly unlikely. As we left, a gentleman we had waited alongside in the e.r. waiting room advised Musical to look first before she stuck her foot in any more boxes. She agreed that that was a good idea.
By the time we got home, the election was done with, except for Ohio, which is still not official. I waited up until 1 a.m. for the word from the Buckeye State, then gave up and went to bed. Definitely not the election night I'd envisioned, but exciting, nonetheless.
Well, must run. Y'all keep your wool dry...and watch out where you stick your feet.
The Ewe

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Catchin' Up and G.I. Who?

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s! My, my, but it's been a while since I had the chance to post! Let me tell you the nutshell version:
After our "Wunnerful, wunnerful" dinner out with The Ram, he actually got to come home for a night, to gather his gear for mobilization. (He had been at "pre-mobilization" up to that point...I know, it's confusing...:-) After one night here, The Flock and I (sounds like a musical, eh?) took him up to Town Four-Hours-Away for his Mobilization Ceremony and the actual getting-on-the-bus. The first "night" in the hotel started at 2 a.m. when we arrived. We had wanted to leave here that night at 6 p.m. to arrive there at 10. BUT, we kept finding things that had to go, so The Ram would have to partially unpack, repack, reposition, etc. You know, packing those Army things is scientifically formulated, and, No, you can't just throw stuff in there any old way. If you leave Item X out, you've got to unpack down to where Item X's home is in the duffel. LOL So, anyway, we left much later than we meant to. We did make good time, though, as little bladders were sleeping. :-)
The next day, Carnival organized our hotel room, completely unpacking our suitcase and giving everything a home. I was so impressed. I don't generally use those drawers in hotel rooms--I imagine all sorts of unsavory things that could have been in there. But Carnival pointed out that I had brought the Lysol spray (ok, I know you're laughing at me) and that we could spray the drawers well before she put the clothes there. I had no reasonable argument against that AND I want to strongly encourage any little sprout of Organization that pops up, so I let her. You know what? It was soooo nice to have everyone's clothing separated out. Really helped in getting ready in the mornings...much better than digging through a suitcase full of 5 people's clothing. (You're still laughing.)
We enjoyed the evenings with The Ram there at Town Four-Hours-Away. We didn't expect to get to see him much, but we did have the nights with him. It was great. The Flock and I ate breakfast and lunch in the hotel room, then we all went out for dinner each night. Extravagant, yes, but well worth it.
The Ram's Mobilization Ceremony and the bus departure were emotional, but meaningful. Most of the tears had already been shed and it was very buoying to be surrounded with so many well-wishers. The Ram's parents had come to see him off, and it was great to be with them.
We returned home in the middle of the week and are attempting to re-organize life into some sort of routine. We were running errands yesterday, and when 3 p.m. rolled around, I panicked for a minute, thinking, "We've got to get home and get supper started!" Then I remembered The Ram wouldn't be coming at 4:30 and there was no need to rush home. Felt strange.
Now for "G.I. Who?"...During The Ram's packing, he came across a stack of B.D.U's ( some would call them "fatigues" or "cammies"). He carefully packed in each one until...HUH? There was one with someone else's name tape on it. I had just picked them all up from the cleaners and obviously a mistake had been made. We imagined Soldier X coming across a jacket with The Ram's name on it and his doing the same double take we did. So, we set the B.D.U. aside for me to return to the cleaners when we got home. So, I took it back yesterday. The clerk (who'd been somewhat rude with me when I dropped the uniforms off last week) was very apologetic and quick to "make things right." The Ram borrowed a line from Winnie the Pooh and said she was a "more humble Tigger." Soldier X was happy to get his jacket back, I'm sure. :-)
Well, I must close for now. Many, many things are screaming for attention. Keep us in your prayers and I'll pray for you, too.
Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Wunnerful, Wunnerful

Hello F.O.T.E.s!
Had to tell you about a wonderful surprise we had last night. The dear Ram called about suppertime and invited us to come kidnap him for a while. So, we did! We went to eat at a local pizza place. It was sooo nice to get to have a meal with him. Everyone was all wags and licks. So much so that when I went to pay, the manager asked if he and I had just gotten married! She said we acted like newlyweds. (I wondered where she thought the 4 children all piled on him had come from. LOL ) Anyway, I had taken a few pictures of The Ram and Flock at the table, but when I explained to the manager that we had been apart for training and he was about to deploy, she insisted on having a little photo shoot there in the restaurant. A waitress took pictures of all of us so that I would get to be in the shot.
It's funny--that's the second time in a month that someone said we acted like newlyweds. The Ram pointed out that one doesn't get 4 children by being disagreeable. :-)
We had a giggle at dinner last night, provided by a rare source: The Ram. I had been concerned about a spot in Tiny Tot's mouth, near where his new upper teeth are trying to come in. The Ram looked in T.T.'s mouth and announced, "That's just where his teeth are exploding." !!!!!!
When I realized he'd meant "erupting," *I* exploded...with laughter. What a raucous bunch we were last night...and *all* without alcohol! LOL
Each moment with The Ram is so precious to us. All of you need to hug your honey today, alright? And if your honey's not there, find someone who *needs a hug* to give one.
Well, gotta run. Lambies are getting restless...
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


Right now at Fort Ewe:
Tiny Tot is half asleep on my shirt on...He can nearly crawl these days...
Carnival is watching a show on PBS
Lovable is watching a show on PBS
Musical is watching a show on PBS
Yes, they're all watching a show on PBS...Even though the d.v.d. player upstairs is repeating the music of a disc they put on but didn't watch an hour ago.
Georgina continues to look it kittens or extra fur for winter?
The Ewe is tired out from errand running. We visited some thrift shops today in search of larger, warmer clothes for the Lambies. Stopped to take a picture of a favorite view on the way home. I plan to get a pic from that spot every season The Ram is gone, to share with him.
Have received a couple text messages from The Ram on my cell phone.
I'm looking forward to bed tonight...

Quote of the Day: Women shouldn't have children after 35. Thirty-five children should be enough for anyone.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Chit Chat

Hello, Friends of The Ewe!
I've received several kind emails, wondering how The Flock is doing without The Ram here now. I can report that spirits are high and things are going great. We speak with The Ram frequently and have even gotten to see him a time or two. Email is working, as well.
We spent this past weekend going up to the Family Readiness Group meeting. It was great to have faces to put with the names I've been seeing on paper for the past few months. The Ram's parents went also, providing much-appreciated logistic support. :-) They ran herd so that I could attend the meeting. Tiny Tot has decided that he's definitely a "man's man" and spent most of his time with Grandpa. Grandma attended the briefings with me, which I also supremely appreciated.
We did return to a most unwelcome sight. Our poor kitty (Carnival's) was over by a car. We're left only with one cat now--Georgina, whom you may have read about in a previous issue of The Ewe's Gnus. There are hushed rumors abounding about the possibilities of some "Georgettes" on the way. With our loss of two cats in (what?) two months, we'd actually welcome some little felines around here. (What am I saying?! LOL) We'll know soon, I'm sure.
I wanted to tell you about a funny our Lovable provided a few weeks ago...Are you familiar with the credit card commercial on t.v. these days? The one where someone lacking social skills blurts out a really boneheaded comment, then the other person begins to get upset, then Person 1 diffuses all ill feelings with one phrase? Well...
The Ram and I were having quite a time getting the Lambies to settle in for bed. So, we decided the "divide and conquer" route might work. I took Lovable into the Girls' room and tried to begin praying with her. She was soooo wiggly. "Be still, Lovable." "OK" (wiggle, wiggle) REPEAT She could tell The Ewe was about to "have enough." My brows knitted and I opened my mouth to "be angry to her" (as Musical calls fussing at someone)...when Lovable blurted out loudly, "THANK YOU?" LOL Somehow, I managed to suppress my howling laughter long enough to pray with her, tuck her in and walk into my bedroom, where The Ram and I enjoyed a good belly laugh. Sigh. Cheap entertainment, eh?
Well, The Ewe must run. It's time to feed the Lambs. Hope all you F.O.T.E.s out there have a wonderful evening.
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "A merry heart does good, like a medicine."

Thursday, October 14, 2004

G.O.M. and The Nice Tan Van

There once was a Nice Tan Van. It belonged to a Nice Family with four Lovely Children, who would never have spilled soda or water or juice in the floor and certainly never have drawn a picture of a little girl on the back of the seat in front of them. The Lovely Children never complained about sitting in the very back and they definitely would never argue with the others while riding in the Nice Tan Van. The four children were dearly, dearly loved.
One day, the Nice Tan Van caught a bug. It coughed and sputtered, but never quit running, such a loyal van it was. The Nice Family took the van to a mechanic. Several days later, the mechanic called the Daddy to pick up the van. When Daddy drove the van, it still coughed and sputtered. Mommy made a mad face. This had happened many times. Daddy tried to take the Nice Van to another mechanic, but the mechanic never showed up at his garage. What happened to that nice mechanic?
Finally, Daddy asked a Friendly Man at work to recommend a mechanic. The Friendly Man told Daddy where to take the Nice Van, but he told Daddy that the mechanic didn't have a phone. He also told Daddy that the mechanic only worked Monday through Wednesday. And only between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Daddy tried and tried to take the Nice Van to the mechanic, but he kept missing him. Each time Daddy would drive to the garage, the man wasn't there. Finally, Daddy went to the garage and the mechanic was there.
Daddy noticed that the garage was very, very clean--no oil stains anywhere. He also noticed that there were no other automobiles at the garage. (Mommy had noticed before then that the garage was in a rather deserted, dark, rough-looking part of town, but Mommy didn't say anything--she didn't want to be negative.) When Daddy went into the Very Tidy Garage, he found a very old mechanic. The mechanic seemed annoyed that Daddy had brought him a van to look at. Daddy noticed that the Grumpy Old Mechanic had very clean fingernails. Daddy felt a bit nervous. G.O.M. told Daddy that he went home at 3:30 each day. He told Daddy that he'd have the nice tan van ready at 3:00. When Daddy said, "Goodbye!" the G.O.M. just said, "Hmph." Daddy said the mechanic didn't seem very happy.
When Daddy returned to the garage that afternoon, the G.O.M. told him that the nice tan van wasn't ready. He told Daddy to come back the next day. So, the next day, at 3:25 p.m., Daddy went back to the Very Tidy Garage. The G.O.M. was not there!! The doors were locked, and the Nice Tan Van was locked behind a chainlink, barbed wire fence. Daddy made a mad face.
The next day, Daddy went back to the Very Tidy Garage. The G.O.M. was there. Daddy paid him for fixing the Nice Tan Van and told him, "Goodbye!" The Grumpy Old Mechanic just said, "Hmph."
Daddy took the Nice Tan Van back to Mommy and when she drove it, she smiled. The Nice Tan Van no longer coughed or sputtered! Hurray! It was fixed.
Mommy and Daddy decided that they would use the Grumpy Old Mechanic again.
The Moral of the Story: In the Land of Poor Service, the Grumpy Old Mechanic is King.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

The Departure

Well, Friends,The Ram has left. He slipped out in the middle of the night, kissing us all as we lay in bed. The tears were pretty much all gone by that point--it was the day before that we cried buckets. We spent his last day with us for a while running errands. My, did we run! A neat thing happened on the way home...It had been raining/drizzling all day, but on the way home the sun burst through, shining bright amidst all the clouds and misting rain. I looked all around, knowing there had to be a rainbow. I finally found it--a double rainbow--the brightest I've seen. We "oohed and ahhhed" and the Ram stopped the van for me to take a picture. You may think it's corny, but I kinda took that as a nod my way from God, a reminder of His presence and promise. A few nights before, on our way home from visiting relatives I was the only one awake (yes, *I* was driving ;-). I was just talking to God, pouring out my concerns and He whispered back, "Do you trust Me to be your husband for a while?" Whoa. "Yes, Lord." Though awfully sad to be away from my wonderful husband (The Ram), I'm excited to see how the Lord takes care of us. This will be quite an adventure, an OFG--Opportunity For Growth. Pray for us.Anyway, once we got home from all our running, The Ram made us all omelets. YUM! He had planned to make them for breakfast, but we just didn't have time. After our dinner of omelets, he began packing his bags. Carnival rolled shirts for him and we scouted out all his gear. The whole thing was very surreal. It reminded me of the night before our wedding--that "I'm sure this isn't *really* happening" feeling. But, it happened. We woke up as usual, the Lambies and I, and went on with our routine. The Ram called a couple times--a luxury that will not be possible in about a month. I got an email a while ago. The weather matches our mood around here today--damp and cloudy, but not overly unpleasant. I'm taking comfort in the goes on. The trees are still getting more vivid each day. Fall is my favorite season.Carnival has lunch ready, so The Ewe's going to sign off for now...I have so much to share from the last week, just no time right now to do it. Remind me to tell you about the G.O.M. (Grumpy Old Mechanic) sometime...Y'all keep your wool dry,The Ewe

Thursday, October 07, 2004

I'm Tired, are Ewe?

Hi, Friends of the Ewe,
My wool's dragging this morning. Two of the four Lambies woke up sick last night--one after the other. First, Musical barked me awake with a frighteningly realistic impression of a seal. We finally got her settled back to sleep and me in my bed, when Lovable came padding into my room saying her ear hurt. I felt her, and she had fever. Got her settled in, and me back to bed--almost asleep...then... SPLATTERY--we all know what *that* was. Yup. Lovable threw up (emphasis on the "ewww"). So, at 3 a.m., the Ewe was mopping up the path to the bathroom, trying not to gag. You'd think after 4 children, the gag reflex and jumpy tummy would have left. Nope. Still have to fight it. At 5:30 (my usual wake up time) the sweet Ram came in and said to stay in bed and get some sleep. He's so sweet. He had to go to work, even though he'd been up with me tending the Lambs. So, 4 hours of sleep is going to have to be enough this time. :-) You know, even with all that, I feel so blessed to be here. I think I've got the most rewarding career in the world.
Well, I need to go. It's 9 a.m. and no one's had breakfast yet...gotta get busy
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Hornets, Lizards and Food, Oh My!!

Well, The Ewe has received a couple of complaints because I've haven't blogged in over a week...Well deserved rebukes! My apologies to you if you've been gracious enough to surf over here and there was nothing new. Suffice it to say that "Life on the farm [hasn't been] kinda laid back...Ain't much an ole country boy like me can't hack..." OK, so who knows that reference? C'mon...leave a comment--I know someone knows that song.
Anyway, I thought I'd tell you about our hornet saga. A few weeks ago (or was it months now?) the girls came running in, saying, "Mom! There's a bees' nest in the front bush!" After calling a couple wise ladies, we determined it was actually a hornets' nest. Ever wonder why so many athletic teams call themselves The Hornets? Well, I think it's because they're diligent and aggressive. :-) We were advised to stay clear of the nest until winter, when all the critters would be gone from it. Then, we could carefully cut it out of the bush and rid ourselves of it. So, we have gotten good at steering clear. There was a fright a couple of days ago, though, when the girls accidentally threw their basketball into *that* bush. You should have heard the thundering hooves as the girls came barrelling through the back door--pale faced with eyes wide. Evidently, the hornets were in no mood to play basketball. No one was hurt, but it was a good reminder to stay away. Then today, our poor Lawn Mower Man rang the bell and (also wide-eyed) said, "DID YOU KNOW YOU HAVE A HORNETS' NEST IN THIS BUSH?!?!" We had figured he knew about it, as he is more attentive to the goings-on in our yard than we are, but he hadn't noticed it until one of them *flew across the yard* and stung him on his punkin head. Poor guy. He had goose bumps like you get when you get stung (You get those, right?) I was afraid he might be allergic, but he assured me he wasn't. He was fine, but he said you'll definitely know it if you get stung by one. What alarmed me was that L.M.M. (Lawn Mower Man) wasn't even around the bush when it happened. I would have "shooed" him away if he'd gotten close. So, I'm on Hornet Watch now, directing the girls to the *back* yard. We're hoping the cats don't get curious. Ick.
Speaking of cats...I came upon Georgina the other day. She was acting strange, so I moved closer. She slunk farther. I moved closer. She slunk farther. Finally, I saw what had her so defensive. She was eating a lizard. It was still alive and whipping its tail around as it (the tail) stuck out of her mouth. Goodness! It hadn't been *that* long since we fed her! ;-) Anyway, down it went, still fighting back. What a cat.
We nearly (temporarily) invited Georgina into The Ram's bathroom the other day. I was in the living room with the girls when DH motioned me into the kitchen. He had that "I've-got-to-tell-you-something-you-don't-want-to-hear" look on his face. I hate that. He whispered into my ear, "There's a lizard in my bathroom, but it's very small and its tail is already missing." As if its size and amputation would make its presence less offensive. EEEEEKKKKK!!!!!!!!! It was difficult to not screech, but I did well. I kept my mouth shut. I climbed on top of the step stool. I made preparations to evacuate to the upstairs. The Ram cleaned his bathrooom, picking up the laundry, etc., but no lizard. We figured he got out the same way he'd come in. Later, when I needed something out of that bathroom, I gave in to my cowardly, deceiving tempation and asked Lovable to go get it. I stood on my stool and waited for the blood curdling scream. It never came, and Lovable appeared a few minutes later with the requested item. Shameless, I know, but I was nearly sure the lizard would *not* be there and since Lovable didn't know he'd *ever* been there, she would have no fear...And, moreover, the lizard wouldn't have hurt her anyway...and even MOREover, she *likes* lizards. How's that for rationalization? But read that last line again... SHE LIKES LIZARDS!!! See, no harm would have befallen her! I just don't like lizards! Ok...another topic...
One Friend of The Ewe asked for this recipe. It's from the First Family Fixin's cookbook from First Baptist Church, Martin, TN.

Mexican Skillet Spaghetti

1 lb ground beef 1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
4 3/4 cups water 2 1/4 oz pkg. taco seasoning mix
2 T instant minced onion 1/2 t. salt
8 oz uncooked spaghetti shredded cheese

In 12-in skillet, brown ground beef and drain. Add tomato sauce, taco mix, water, instant minced onion and salt. Bring to boil. Add spaghetti. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, until the spaghetti is tender, stirring frequently, 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle w/ cheese.

Well, I must run. Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Ya take a *bad* boy, make him dig holes in the hot sun all day, and ya turn him into a *good* boy..."

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Ghastly Dental Revelations

Hi, Friends,
I can't believe it's been so long since my last entry! Time doesn't "march on," it "double-times it" on...Let's see...since my last entry...hmmm....
Sat. I took the Lambs to the park, thinking it would be covered over with families. It was a beautiful day--warm in the sun, but cool in the shade. I was so surprised to find that there was only one other family there! We had brought a "delightful" lunch from the haute cuisine place in know the one...with the golden arches? Yeah, that one...Anyway, we got there and found the park virtually deserted. It was nice for us, but I was a little sad for the children who didn't get to be there. :-) Our town has just installed new play structures, so the slides were still reaaally slick. The girls loved that.
Sat. night I received news that a lady from church had just had a baby. Yes, they were expecting it. ;-) What a blessing.
Sunday morning, many folks at the church were either missing or very droopy-eyed from being at the birth the night before.
Mon. the Lambs and I went into town to buy a few groceries. I've discovered that once I enter The Place (i.e. Walmart) I have about 1.5 hours until I totally panic and have to leave. :-) So, whatever I have in the cart at that point, I just pay for and go home. When the Ram watches the children for me, I can usually get my whole list before the hour and a half...when I have the Lambs with me (as yesterday), I generally can only get a fraction of my list completed. Still, I had bought the critical items.
Last night after dinner our Musical (4yo) made an observation..."Our teeth are tables to the bugs." (She was referring to the bacteria in our mouth that can cause cavities.) I was impressed..."Yes! That's right!" I went on to explain the way the bugs do the damage--that they don't actually eat the teeth, but the food on the teeth. Then, the "by-products" eat through the enamel. DH, seeing that the term "by-products" wasn't connecting with the Littles, rephrased it...."It's 'Bug Poop.'" Two girls, Musical and Lovable were eating cookies at the time. Their eyes suddenly widened, and from the looks on their faces I was afraid they were going to eject the half chewed dessert into the floor. Lovable, wild eyed, was able to swallow, then rampaged up the stairs to the bathroom to scrub her teeth with her toothbrush. Musical burst into tears, cookie mush dribbling from her mouth, "aaayee eddd III yaf ugggg oop in iiiiii owf!!" (Translated: "Daddy said I have bug poop in my mouth.") We spent the next few minutes trying to calm her down, saying, "No, it's not Bug Poop, it's 'by-products...'" Evidently, the change in semantics worked, and she quieted. But she still went up and brushed her teeth. Right away. You know, the Bible tells us that the power of life and death is in the tongue. Last night, we learned that the power to compel children to brush their teeth is there, too.
Must run...Y'all keep your wool dry...
The Ewe

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Yum, yum!

We just enjoyed a yummy dinner and good fellowship w/ some friends. I made an old fashioned meatloaf with homemade wheat rolls, mixed veggies and a potato crockpot dish. How tasty! After we all ate, the two men went out and fixed the Ram's van--it needed new brakes. We had planned to have no bake cookies and vanilla ice cream for dessert, but we ladies got involved in looking at dress patterns on the internet--much more comfy than those high stools at the store with the huge pattern catalogs that nearly rip your arm off when you flip them open...(was that a run-on sentence? ;-) Anyway, I thought I'd share the potato dish with you...

Cheesy Crockpot Potatoes
6 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced (just pretty much fill up your crock w/ sliced taters)
can of Cheddar cheese soup (mine was
3 T butter (I actually used coconut oil, but that's a topic for another day--leave a comment if you want more info)
seasonings to taste (I used salt, pepper, and a dash of garlic powder)

So, you just slice up those potatoes and stick them in the ol' CP (crockpot ;-). Mix up the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and pour over the taters. I like to give it a stir then, to be sure that no tater's left behind. That's it. Oh, yeah, I cooked mine for 4 hours on low, but that particular cooker I used cooks fast for a crockpot. YMMV (your mileage may vary) according to your particular CP. The lambies thought it was great. Cheese and potatoes...what else could you ask for? LOL

Must run...Lambies are dropping like flies (from sleepiness). Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

The Blue Ewe

Hi, Friends,
The Ewe is feeling blue today. The reality of Hubby's upcoming deployment is setting in. It's hard to enjoy the days left, knowing that time is short. He'll be missing Tiny Tot's first two birthdays. And, of course, multiple other milestones. Pray that we'll "redeem the time" left and not waste it.
Ivan the Terrible Hurricane is in Alabama now. We have family and friends down there--so far everyone is fine--just wind and rain, but no major damage. Of course, he just made landfall in the wee morning today, so there probably won't be good damage reports until the sun is up. This makes the third hurricane in the last month, with the fourth (Jeanne) cranking up down at Puerto Rico.
Must run...I've got 5 lbs of ground beef in the fridge that's not getting any younger. :-)
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Incon-theivable!!"

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Just Checkin' In and Sept. 11

Hello, all you F.O.T.E.'s (Friend of The Ewe),
I want to encourage you first-timers to start at the bottom of the page of posts and work up--otherwise you'll miss some background...

Well, this is the first chance I've had to get on here since last Friday, Sept. 10. The Ewe had a great weekend visiting with her dear parents-in-love, who stayed with us Sat. and Sun. nights. It's always a joy to have them here. I must tell you about Sat., Sept. 11. I got up early, before the Lambs, and went into Walmart (sometimes we call it The Bad Place, but most folks think of somewhere else when I say that ;-). I generally detest going to Walmart, just because of the extreme drain on emotional, physical and financial resources it causes. Anyway, I went and to my delight, it was practically deserted. Even with the sparse crowd, though, the noise was rattling. As I was standing in the diaper aisle, weighing my options, an announcement was made, pointing out that at "exactly this time" three years ago, our Nation was victim to the worst terrorist attack in history. The announcer went on to ask that there be a moment of silence in remembrance of the people who lost their lives, their families and all the heroes of that day. Friends, it was amazing. In Walmart you could have heard a pin drop. Never have I experienced that, there. Very sobering. I was reminded that had that event not happened, my Dear Ram would not now be getting ready to leave us. He's my hero. A man of honor and courage, as are the overwhelming majority of our soldiers, sailors and airmen. God bless 'em.
Sunday, Sept 12, we went to church and had a fine day. Our church eats together every Sun. lunch except the first one of each month. It's a very relaxed time for the children to play, the ladies to chat and the men to visit.
Yesterday, Mon. Sept. 13, I spent some time organizing one of my kitchen cabinets. I will admit, I did this because we couldn't fit the cookie sheet in there without a major remodelling. I was amazed to find out that I own 4 9X13 pans. I discovered this after I had complained to a friend on the phone that I didn't have one. Ah, the treasures we find right under our own noses. My wish for you today is that you uncover something you forgot you had. :-) ( And I'm not referring to any festering mystery meal that got shoved to the back of the fridge.)
Well, I must run. Gotta go rouse the Flock. Big doins' on today...Y'all keep your wool dry...
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "I know! We'll go somewhere where there's CHEESE!!!"

Friday, September 10, 2004

Don't Just Drop the Cookie!

Are you familiar with the saying, "His [God's] ways are not our ways?" As I read Bible passages, say for example the part about Gideon charging the city with a pot on his arm...or Jesus picking out a bunch of sailor/fishermen to be His disciples...(you know how they talk!) ...I think, "Wow, God, I wouldn't have done it that way." But, His way is perfect! We just can't see the wisdom of it sometimes (so what is it about "the last shall be first" anyway? Does that make sense? ) Yes, indeed, sometimes His ways are very mysterious to us. This came to my mind this morning while I was working in the kitchen with Musical. We were clearing the counter of remnants of last night's cookie making. (Don't you love those chocolate no bake cookies?) She found a half-eaten cookie then mentioned that she'd like to give it to the cats. I told her that was fine (Do cats even *like* chocolate cookies?)...anyway, then she said, "First I have to drop it on the floor..." which she did as she said it. I was aggravated. "Musical! Why did you do that?" I fussed. She was not to be discouraged; as she bent to pick up the cookie, she said, "Mommy, you always say we can only give the cats food that's been dropped on the floor!" She happily ran out to indulge the cats. I had to grin. She had me. I had no idea that she misunderstood the *reason* we give the cats only *dropped* people food. It made me think about our running around, doing good "for God." Does He really *need* our help? I believe He *allows* us to be part of His work. I believe He *wants* us to serve our brothers and sisters...but He doesn't *need* us. We also need to remember that when we serve others in His name, He doesn't love us any more than when we, say, sit around eating chocolate cookies. :-) It is *good* for us to serve. It's not particularly *good* for us to eat chocolate cookies . But, His love for us isn't dependent on our performance. (Of course, He disciplines us, but that's a topic for another day...) That doesn't really make sense to us--on the job, if you perform better, the boss likes you better, right? You get paid more, right? But our Lord loves us because we're His. No matter what we do. We can't earn His love. It might not make sense to us, but His ways are mysterious. Like our rule of "cats get only dropped food." What a mysterious rule! Let's remember: We're not dropping the cookie so that the cats will like it better and we're not serving the Lord so that He will like us better. :-)
Gotta go...y'all keep your wool dry.
The Ewe

Quote of the day: "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming....what do we do? We swim, swim..."

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Feline Moments in the Flock

Well, there have been developments on the Feline Front for The Ewe's family. Musical came in a bit ago and said, "Mama, where's Little Kitty? I miss her so much..." I took a deep breath, took Musical into my arms and said, "Honey, Little Kitty was run over by a car." Musical frowned, looked sad, dropped her head...and then suddenly jerking up her head, said in one breath, "Can I get a new cat?" And that was it. Ok...The Ewe responded more emotionally than Musical did. LOL The dreaded moment was over and without a tear shed. I guess I'm just a softy.
Shortly after that, Lovable came running in...
"MOM! George [her kitty] is A GIRL!!!" I thought surely my daughters were mistaken. I snatched up Tiny Tot and went outside to find my 3 DDs holding George on his back, feeling his belly.
"Mom, George is a girl--see, he has nipples," said Carnival.
"Carnival, even boy kitties have nipples." I replied, all knowing. :-) (By the way, is that true? Someone let me know. I never really investigated it that closely.) I went on, "You have to look between their back le......IT *IS* A GIRL!!!!" We enjoyed a good laugh and Lovable changed George to "Georgina." As long as s/he doesn't have any "Georgettes." (MommyX3, my attorney will be contacting you regarding false advertising...LOL)
Well, must chase the Lambs. Y'all keep your wool dry...
The Ewe

Quote for the day: "It all comes from liking hunny too much..."

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

A Sad Dilemma for The Ewe

Oh, Friends. I have just found the missing, dead cat of our Musical (4yo daughter). (MommyX3--you knew it would happen...) Little Kitty is still wearing the red collar Musical saved her chore money to buy. Oh, it hurts to know how sad she'll be. I'm torn between wanting to pretend I don't know where Little Kitty is, hoping Musical will somehow "forget," and just doing the hard thing and gently, tenderly letting her know a hard fact of life. As we pulled out of the driveway this morning, Musical gayly called out, "Goodbye Little Kitty, wherever you are!" I had just spotted the furry, little lifeless body. When Musical sang out her farewell, I nearly burst into tears. Our Lord grows us through things like this, but it sure does hurt. As our Loving Father stretches us, so we must let our little ones stretch. I wonder if His heart hurts the way ours do? Blessings. The Ewe


I thought I'd introduce you to Lovable, our 6 year old middle daughter. Each of our children has a symbol/nickname. Lovable's symbol is a heart. She wants everyone to be happy. She doesn't like conflict, unless it's between her and Musical, our 4 year old dear daughter. Actually, Lovable doesn't *like* it then, she just engages in it at the moment, then feels guilty. Her mother's daughter. When Lovable was learning to talk, she substituted the "l" sound for the "r" sound...for instance, we'd put the milk in the "flidge" and Lovable would hug her best "flind." Last night, The Ewe put her hair up (I have very long, straight hair) without using a mirror--my back was hot and I just wanted it out of the way. Well, when I walked upstairs Carnival (10yo) burst out laughing. I was offended. I thought, "My hair can't possibly look *that* bad." Besides, no one else commented on my hair. Carvinal was just being rude, right? Well, I walked into the bathroom and--EGADS!!! Carnival was right--I *did* look like CindyLou Who. (think Grinch that Stole Christmas) Lovable was standing beside me and I said to her, "Lovable, thank you for not laughing at my hair. It really *is* funny!" Lovable replied, "Yes. It's funny, but I didn't want to hurt your feelings." Having been given the "go ahead," she enjoyed a good belly laugh about the hilarious hair style I'd just given myself. I then went in to tell Carnival "sorry" for being offended and humorless. I was touched, though, by Lovable's self-restraint and respect. I do need to work on not taking myself so seriously.
Well, The Ewe must go. The Lambs need attention. I will return.
Quote of the day: "It's a geographical oddity! Two weeks from ever'where!"

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

A Little Joke on the Ewe

Have you ever read _Cheaper by the Dozen_ by Frank Gilbreth? You should. You'll bust a gut...In one part, a tot plays a joke on Dad and nervously laughs, saying "Th-th-that was a good joke on you, Dad?" Well, The Ewe opened herself up for ridicule this past Saturday.
It all happened like this...
The Ewe, Hubby and Carnival (eldest daughter, 10 yo) were watching the television, where a reporter was standing outside in Florida, with Hurricane Frances swirling about. Under the reporter was typed "INDIA LANTIC." I burst out laughing, pointing--"Look! Her name's 'India Lantic!!!' And she's "in the Atlantic!!" Get it?! Isn't that hilarious?!?!" Hubby laughed a minute, then said, "Ewe, that's the name of the TOWN!" Sigh. Well, the font was really hard to read....the spacing was very close. And, my goodness, it was written *right under her!* It could have happened to anyone.
"This is Indy Middleofdacountry, signing off."

Origins of the Ewe's Gnus

Have you noticed how many folks are these days researching their family histories? I think it's fabulous to do that. I still know very little about mine, except that somewhere way back, someone in my ancestry happened to be Anne do you spell that, anyway? Well, no matter, Henry VIII cut her head off because she wouldn't bear him any sons. After our third daughter, a lovely little sprite, I might add...I worried that that same fate might befall me. Graciously, though, Hubby decided that he'd give me another chance, and "Viola!" A man child. (Please understand...that was a joke! Hubby loves our girls and once told me he would take a dozen children, and didn't mind if every last one was a girl. What a guy.)
So, in the spirit of helping out future Hall Family Genealogy, Hubby and I decided this was such an exciting time in our life that we should document it. So, we set out to "BLOG." He wrote the "description," then we began to think about a name for our blog. Tiny Tot was gooing and gurgling and gnawing on everything, sitting here by the computer desk. Hubby said, "So, Dear, what do you want to name this?" Tiny Tot replied, "GOO!" We laughed and Hubby said, "So, you wanna call it 'Goo?'" I said, "How 'bout 'The Goo Chronicles?'" So, we decided on that. In the process of typing it in, we began playing with words until I burst out with "The Ewe's Gnus!!" referring to my being the mother ewe of this flock and using the pun "gnus" for "news." Hubby and I rolled around, laughing for a long time, and I felt very satisified with my play on words. So, The Ewe's Gnus it was. Note that blogspot won't allow an apostrophe, so in the URL, you have to pretend it doesn't need one. You'll do that for me, won't you? Using poor punctuation really bothers me. I'm a bit sensitive about it. Be kind.
Well, thank you for reading this small explanation of the Origins of The Ewe's Gnus. If you think of it, be sure to record the URL in some easily findable place, so that a hundred years from now, our descendants will come across it, read up on history, learn how we used the World Wide Web and maybe find a functioning computer in an antique store and somehow, through time travel, learn what was happening in The Ewe's family waaaay back in 2004.
Quote for the day: "It's somebody from sumpin, sumpin..."

Friday, September 03, 2004

The Ewes Gnus--Sept. 3

The Ewes Gnus
Today my eldest daughter and I spent most of the day playing with my new toy--a sewing machine. I have two old ones of my mother's, but neither has an owner's manual. I'm the sort that has to have The Instructions. I actually read them. I'm paralyzed without them. Anyway, I bought a new sewing machine this week. It's wonderful. It has an automatic needle threader. It has a one-step buttonholer. It has a "quick set bobbin." It has The Instructions. So, we are constructing a freehand, go-with-the-flow, "rules? What rules?" quilt top. At least I think that's what it is. We'll see what it turns into when we run out of fabric.
We also baked bread--using my other new toy, the grain mill. Yes, I now grind my own grain. You always new I was a nut case, didn't you? There's something very satisfying about baking bread. I know the Atkins folks would run like the wind, Bulleye at all the grain in this house, but I love bread. Didn't Jesus call Himself the "bread of life?" Seems to me that that would be at least an implied endorsement of the stuff.
I'm watching the approach of Hurricane Frances off the FL coast. I have many e-friends down that way--I'm praying for God's protection over them. DH also has relatives in a nearby state; not sure how they will be affected.
Well, it's Friday night. That's "t.v. night" here. We try to keep the set off on the nights Dad is home, with the exception of Friday. We watch Joan of Arcadia, then JAG. JAG's my favorite. Must sign off for now. Stand by for more of The Ewe's (that's my) Gnus (like "news"...get it?)

The Saga

Well, let's see...I'm not a "geek." (Is that the right term?) I don't know much about technology (sounds like an old song, eh?) But I do know that I love you...oops, I got carried away. I do love my husband, though. He's a great guy. He just spent about an hour putting this together for me to have a forum for putting down my thoughts. My thoughts are usually somewhat disjunct. One day, I was carrying on 3 conversations at once. (Hmmm...I have 3 daughters...3 conversations--are you picking up a connection there? ) Anyway, it went something like, "No, we can't go to the park right now...Yes, that's a very nice picture; I like the colors...No, that is *not* goats' milk." My daughters are convinced that all cheese served in Mexican restaurants are really goat cheese. I think I told them that, after a friend told me. That's probably how urban legends get started. I imagine it would take a mother or at least a person who is accomplished at multitasking to follow my least right now. Today, I don't really have a point except to put words on are these words on? Whatever they're they are. I once wrote that I had read "a writer writes, always." Then I wrote that I was always writing--at least in my head. So, if you'll bear with me, there will eventually be a point. Just not today. And, no, that's *not* goat milk.
Quote for the day: "Ma name's BRUCE!"