Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Smart Cats and Antiperspirant

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s!
Well, if you've been around The Fold for a while, you'll remember we've had a few "cat incidences." Remember?
We've always joked around here that our house is a Cat Survival of the Fittest laboratory. Only the most advanced felines survive. These are the cats that know to stay away from the road. Evidently, this batch of 4 we currently have are pretty smart. They've been here since July with no unfortunate events.
Anyway, I was impressed this morning with my cats' tactics. It seems they had gotten tired of waiting to be fed early this morning, so dumped out the big bag of cat food. The "smart" part is that they dumped it into an empty plastic cooler. I didn't see one spilled bit of food. (ok, I *know* they probably ate any food that had spilled, just humor me. ;-) Later, the Lambies told me that the bag had earlier been sitting on the tricycle. I was even more impressed. No doubt the cats rolled the bag across the garage floor to that plastic cooler, then deftly emptied the bag into it. Don't you think?
I'm sure you're wondering about the "antiperspirant" part of my title. I'll begin that part by letting you know a keep-your-feet-warm trick I just heard about. Rumor has it that if you apply anti-perspirant to your feet before going out in the cold, it will keep your feet warmer by keeping them from sweating. I haven't tried it yet--let me know if it works for you...
Apparently, Tiny Tot was recently involved in a little anti-perspirant experiment of his own. I noticed a distinctly "peachy" smell right before he rounded the corner in the living room last night. Then, I noticed a distinctly strange expression on his face and a distinctly whitish, chalky substance around his mouth. At that point, my gaze fell to his hand, in which he was grasping a distinctly distinct bottle of (you guessed it) anti-perspirant. Well, at least his breath didn't, uh, *stink.* Now, I don't know if any of you have ever gotten anti-perspirant on you tongue, but *I* have. I don't know how, exactly, that it happened, but I can tell you that it leaves a very unusual sensation in your mouth. And, yes--your tongue is dry in that spot. Weird. (Please don't be alarmed--we really *don't* make a habit of slurping down inedible items. Purely just freak accidents. ;-)
Well, I need to go. The Ram has been working a new job that has us getting up at (yawn) 3:30 a.m. More on that later...
Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Monday, December 19, 2005

Greetings from The Fold

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s!
Well, we're enjoying the Christmas season here this year. Having The Ram home makes it even more special. He and I also had the joy of celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary last Thursday. The GrandRams drove all the way up here to give us the chance the go to our favorite restaurant all alone. We really appreciated it. It was a very nice meal and superb company. :-) I did let The Ram know that we had eaten at that restaurant on our anniversary last year, as well--though the "we" was the children and I. LOL
This Christmas looks very much different than last year's. Last year's, if you'll remember, the Lambs and I were snowed in. I believe we had "M.U.O.'s" (Meals of Unknown Origin) from the freezer, during Christmas week. It was certainly a Christmas to remember--The Ram was 7,000 miles away and we were under ice and snow here.
When The Ram got home last month, a dear gentleman from our church gave him a good slap on the back and "Welcome home!," and then reminded us not to forget the soldiers still Over There. It was good word. Truly, The Ram's deployment seems like a distant dream. I have to remind myself of what life was like here without him. Occasionally, something happens that highlights the fact that "Daddy's home." It will strike out of nowhere and I'll marvel at the blessing of his presence. Last Friday, I didn't even know the whereabouts of the trash dumpster--and it was ok!!! Amazingly, it was parked at the end of the driveway, waiting for the trash man. Ahhh...peace. :-)
And, "Peace to you!" this season. I pray Our Lord grants you a blessed Christmas, one in which the hub bub is subdued and the *true* blessings are treasured and prominent.
Well, gotta run...Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Monday, December 12, 2005


Hello, F.O.T.E.'s!
Well, I was chided yesterday for forgetting to update y'all about Musical's last "hurrah!" Indeed, it *was* just a "mechanical mishap" as it was a one-time deal. ;-) For the time being, all The Flock is hale and hearty.
Thanks for asking! :-)
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: (laughing) "Mama standing in muh shooey chair!!!" T.T. upon seeing me standing on a dining chair to reach something in a cabinet. :-)

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Not for the Faint of Heart (eh, er...)Stomach

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
Well, I'm sitting here a little dazed. My body is exhausted. My mind has been turned to mush. I've yielded to fits of laughter, tears... Never in my life have I seen such a display. Yes, Friends...we're wrapping up Vomit Week here at The Fold. The Discovery Channel once had a series called "Shark Week," but they never had Vomit Week. (Thank goodness--you wouldn't want to see it.) Beginning last Wed., some horrific gastrointestinal microbe wreaked havoc on The Flock. It began with LionessLamb(formerly Carnival ;-). Three a.m. she padded into our bedroom and said, "Mom. I don't feel good." I asked sleepily, "Do you think you're going to vomit?" A sleepy reply, "No." I said, dismissively, "Ok, well, go back to bed then and get some rest." She padded back to bed and I began to relax again. Then, in the darkness...that sound mothers dread and even have nightmares about....
BLECH! (kersplatty)

I was immediately wide awake. I rushed to the bathroom to find L.L. (LionessLamb) bent over the toilet. "Whew," I thought. "Glad she made it to the bathroom." ROTFLOL--I just hadn't seen the bedroom yet. EEK! At that point, no matter how concerned I was or how much compassion I felt...I gagged. I called for The Ram and grabbed my nose and covered my mouth. I left the bathroom and sat on the couch, waiting for the nausea to subside. Strangely, it only got worse. I told The Ram, "I need to go into the other room--this is making me sick." So, while my saintly husband wiped and scrubbed the bathroom, bedroom and hallway, I went back to bed. Eventually, he made it back in there, too. L.L. was safely tucked back into bed. Everyone drifted back to sleep, thinking mean thoughts about the fast food restaurant we'd eaten at that night (assuming their food handling had made L.L. sick.) A while later, L.L. was back in the bathroom, making another deposit. All through the night, this went on--cleaning up L.L., lying back down...drifting off to sleep...then BLECH!!! Finally, about 5 a.m., Musical came into the room. "Mommy. I can't sleep in my bed." I opened one eye..."Why not, Musical?" Exactly what I *didn't* want to hear, "I threw up in it." NO!!! No, no, no!!!!! Not fair!!! I thought, "Does this microbe have no mercy???" Sigh...The Ram and I got up, mopped up Musical as best we could, and made her a pallet in the living room, so we could hear her better if she got sick again. As we were tucking her in...
BLECH!!!! This came from (horror of horrors) MY bedroom, where Tater Tot had (I thought) been sleeping peacefully. The Ram and I rushed into our room and found li'l' T.T. expelling his undigested bedtime snack onto the sheet...directly beneath my pillow. I again felt nauseated.
We cleaned up. We lay down. The next several hours are missing in action. I do remember lying down later in the morning, then yelling for The Ram to bring the Puke Bucket...QUICKLY. I remember him dashing in, like a knight on a white horse, sliding that pan under my head just in time. I don't remember how many times that little scene played out, because by that time, the fever had set in and I was in and out of sleep for the next day. Similarly, L.L., T.T. and Musical were alternately vomiting and sleeping, moaning and groaning for the next full day. The Ram and Lovable were the most selfless, incredible nurses. They lovingly cared for us all with much compassion.
By Friday, L.L., T.T., Musical and I were suffering only lingering effects of the stomach bug. It looked like it was about over with...then...
Lovable states, "Mom. I don't feel very good."
Yup. We all cared for Lovable as she threw up, moaned and groaned like we had.
I thought it was curious that The Ram had been able to avoid the Terrible Illness. Not to worry, though, that Bug was not through with The Flock yet!!! "But wait, there's more!!!"
Saturday night (or was it later Friday night???) I woke up to find The Ram missing. Hmmm....He came inching into the bedroom later, carrying a Puke Bucket. He was the last to succumb, but succumb he did. At least by that time, most of us were feeling much better, so we could dote on him. Poor fellow--gone a year in service to his country, then BLECH!!!! Welcome home, Honey!! :-)
EPILOGUE: It's now Tues. night, nearly a week since the first volley was fired. Just today did I finish the mountain of Throw Up laundry that accumulated with 6 people emptying their guts for days. Mere moments ago, I snuggled down into bed, looking forward to a long night's sleep, when L.L. called out, "Musical's throwing up!!!!" Fear gripped me. I thought, "No, she must be wrong. It can't be..." I scurried into the girls' bedroom and found....NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Musical covered in supper remains. I had immediate flashbacks from the last week. My blood ran cold. Then, L.L. said, "She was just coughing and coughing, then she threw up..." Whew. Ok. I think that was just the effect of the gag reflex, triggered by a coughing fit, brought on by her sleeping on her back and saliva running into her throat. Right? RIGHT???
Sigh. I'll let you know tomorrow...
The (very tired) Ewe

Friday, November 18, 2005


Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
Well, my Beloved is home. We brought him home on Veterans' Day. I will admit, I've never been prouder to be married to this man. Button-popping proud, I'd call it. Our reunion as a family has been seamless so far. We were told to expect difficulties in coming back together as a family, but it hasn't happened. Of course, The Ram is still greeted by the "Welcome Wagon" every time he emerges from the bathroom. LOL He is seldom out of our sight. Everywhere he goes, he has an entourage of little folks, still just soaking up being with Daddy. :-) He's been making us omelets--his specialty. We call him The Omelet King around here. YUM!
Today, he's planning on taking his daughters "geocaching." Have you heard of it? It's kind of like a high-tech scavenger hunt. Email me, if you'd like more info. It's a fun family hobby of ours.
We were reminded at church Sunday that, though The Ram is home, safe and sound, many soldiers are still deployed. We must continue to be faithful in praying for them. We saw many soldiers getting ready to leave at The Ram's demobilization station. My heart went out to them and their families.
There was something funny that happened the last time I drove on post to pick up The Ram. Every time you enter a military installation, you are greeted by a security guard. Some carefully inspect your military/dependant i.d., some barely glance at it, some are friendly and some are "all business." Each of them seems to ask you different questions..."Here to pick up someone?" "Do you know where you're going?" "Everyone buckled up?" Even the friendly ones are pretty "to the point." That last time I drove on post, the guard asked, "Picking someone up?" I replied, "Yes, my husband." He had a new question for me, "Does he have leave?" I answered, "Nope--he's DONE." Never before has a guard responded the way this one did--He let out an earsplitting WHOOOP!! and yelled, "GOING HOME!!!! YEAHHHH!!!" Hooah! :-) I couldn't help myself, so I hollered back, "YEAHHH!!!!" I couldn't stop smiling.
Well, I need to go...I'm wondering where The Ram is...haven't seen him in the past 15 minutes...hmmmm....
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "GOING HOME!!! YEAHH!!!!" --unknown security guard at Camp Atterbury, IN

Friday, November 04, 2005

Well, This is It...

Hi, Friends,
This is my last edition of The Ewe's Gnus as the wife of a deployed soldier. (The "deployed" part being what's about to change. ;-) We leave in a few hours to go stand watch over the demobilization station. I'm going up there to chain myself to a tree and chant, "Where's my hus-band?! Where's my hus-band?!" Not really, LOL. But we do expect his unit's return within a few days...don't know exactly when, but soon. (for security reasons, exact details are not shared)
The mood here is festive and nervous. The kids are festive and I'm nervous. LOL Not really...See, I'm in a joking mood. :-)
Actually, I'm feeling much like I did right before our wedding...except this is better--I'm not wondering, "Should I go through with this?" LOL Yes, I'm already married to a wonderful man, so any nervousness is not of the "bad" variety, just "Can't-wait-to-see-my-hubby" variety.
As you can probably tell, my thoughts are quite scattered. Do please keep The Ram in your prayers--he's going to be enduring a loooooong plane ride in the next few days.
Well, Friends...here goes...I'll let you know when the "Eagle has landed." :-)
Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: Musical--"Did that melt your heart, Mommy?" Her question regarding the unusual leaking around my eye area during a show we were watching. :-)

Friday, October 28, 2005

Single Digit Midgets

That's us! And I don't mean that we all cut off 9 fingers, LOL. The Ram gave us a "window" of dates when we can expect to pick him up. (He can't give exact times/dates--for security reasons.) So, though we don't know *exactly* when he'll be back, we do know it's soon!! The GrandRams came up last week and helped us clean out part of the garage and the "warehouse." (It's a big barn-ish outbuilding we use for storage.) Didn't get completely finished with it, but definitely got enough done to be an encouragement...and to make it seem "do-able."
We found some treasures that had been missing for years. We also found some "treasures" that made me wonder, "Why did we keep this????" LOL I realized I have enough clothes that are not being used that we could open a small Salvation Army. We are planning an indoor yard sale (the warehouse is BIG) in a few weeks. Fifteen years of clutter...sigh...
Well, I'm not sure how often I'll blog before we go to get the Ram. (Why are you laughing, L.A.?) We'll be spending several days away while the Ram does the necessary paperwork to get to come home.
We are all very excited about Daddy coming home. I think everyone has her list of Things to Do with Dad. :-)
Gotta run...got a V.I.P. coming soon... ;-)
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Update to Breaking Gnus

Uhh...for those who know me well...very well (hi, Honey!) I wanted to assure you that The Ewe's use of the word "snot" in the previous post in no way indicates a general change of policy at The Fold. It is still a four letter word, however, in this case, The Ewe judged the phrase "double barrel *mucus* gun" to not have quite the same ring to it...
Carry on...

Breaking Gnus

...Tater Tot has discovered that his nose has two parking spaces--one per thumb. We're calling it the "Double Barrel Snot Gun." Stay tuned...

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Just the Quote, Ma'am

Quote of the Day:
(Overheard at The Fold): Musical and Lovable were playing...
Musical: "I'm not going to talk like a stylish teenager; I'm going to talk like a nice one."


Wednesday, October 12, 2005

God's "It's-No-Problem" Laboratory

Hello F.O.T.E.s!
You know, Our Lord is so good about providing opportunities for us to "work out" the things He's teaching us.
For instance...Sunday, I wrote the "No Prob, Bob" blog. Sounded fine, but God wanted to be sure I had a chance to test that concept. So....Monday...on our way to Town, the van began making a terrible sound--like a flat tire, but under the hood. I pulled off the road and started to feel panicky. Then, just as I'd rehearsed, I began telling myself, "It's no problem! Just an opportunity." I'll admit, I needed to rinse and repeat that several times as I drove my wounded craft to our pastor's house for an emergency landing. Pastor's Family graciously welcomed us to stay in their home while Pastor's Mechanic worked on our van. My children are now forming an alternate reality about mechanical probl...uh...opportunities. The last two times we had van issues, we landed at friends' houses to regroup. The children look forward to vehicles mishaps, as that's when we are forced to make time to do some visiting. LOL We will endeavor to "spread the love" and land at different friends' houses, so as not to overburden any one bloodline. ;-) Not that I'm planning on any more breakdowns. In fact, I'm planning on not doing that again. For a really, really long time. Though I imagine my children get a little thrill whenever the van starts making funny noises. :-)
Well...gotta run...got work to catch up on from all our recent "visiting." :-)
Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Sunday, October 09, 2005

No Prob, Bob

Hello F.O.T.E.s! (Friends of The Ewe ;-)
Something has been stirring around in my head this week. I thought I'd better share it with you...
Talking with The Ram this past week, I stated, "I have no problems." We were discussing how that your attitude determines whether your life is "full of problems" or you can say "I have no problems, only opportunities for growth." Now, I haven't always been able to state, "I have no problems." It's not that the circumstances were any worse--it's that my attitude was. In the New Testament, when Peter stepped out on the water to walk out to Jesus, he did fine for a short time. He was saying, "I have no problems!" But soon, those waves caught his eye and he doubted. His former "opportunity for growth" quickly became A Problem. Once his faith shrunk away, he began to sink. (glug)
I have so much to be thankful for. I reflect on the prob...umm..."Opportunities" others have, and I realize what a life of ease Our Lord has graciously granted us. I am so grateful to Him for his loving care for us. There have been situations in our life that, during the heat of it, it seemed like A Problem. I thank God that He has oftentimes allowed me to look back later and see that that Problem was, alas, just an Opportunity!
I'm praying that The Lord will help me to discipline my mind and continuously declare, "I have no problems!!!" I realize I cannot do that on my own. The faith to trust in God is not something any of us can conjure up. I am always tickled by the verse in the Bible found in the Book of Ephesians, the 2nd chapter and 8th verse: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, *and that not of yourselves* [emphasis mine] it is the gift of God..." I love that! I can almost picture the writer getting excited, explaining how we can never work up God's good favor toward us. He reminds us that we didn't do *anything* to earn God's gift of salvation...Yes, we did have faith to believe, but doggone! Even THAT came from God. So...do I have faith at all times to confidently state, "I have no problems!!"? NO! I don't have enough faith for that. But, praise the LORD! I can ASK for it! Wow. It is such a relief to know that I don't have work myself into a frenzy to "have faith." If my faith is waning, I can ask God to grant it to me. So, with that in mind, I will say, *by God's grace* I will declare my "problems," OPPORTUNITIES and trust the Lord to work it out. Besides, 27 years ago, I told God I accepted His free gift of salvation. If I can trust Him with my eternal soul, shouldn't I be able to trust Him with all the piddly little details in the here and now? I want to confidently declare, as Paul did, "For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain!" In other words, what do I have to lose? If I live, I can serve my Savior. If I die, I get to go live with Him. Where's the unfavorable choice? LOL If the worst thing that can happen to me is death, it's All Good. :-)
Now, Dear Friend, you might be saying, "Yeah, sure...but you don't have my problems..." You're right. I don't. I cannot even imagine the pain some of you live with. Please know, I do not want to sound harsh or lacking in compassion! Far from it! I just want you to know that life doesn't have to be filled with fear and worry. If our Lord truly is in control (and I believe He is!) we can relax in Him. We can stop trying to wrestle the steering wheel out of His grip. It's awfully tiring to fight against Him! Oh, Friend. I pray God's rest for you. :-)
Many blessings,
The Ewe

Saturday, October 08, 2005

My Garage...

...grows pink bicycles.

Hello, F.O.T.E.s!
Ahhh...this is my FAVE time of year!!! I tend to "reverse hibernate"--I only come outside when it gets cool enough. LOL And, Sister, it's cool enough!!! The last few days have been downright fall-ish. Which is fine, it being Fall and all. :-) The trees around our house are sending down more confetti every day. Yup. Life is good...
Tonight after dinner, I went outside to enjoy a bike show. My children delight in putting on fine shows of the two-wheel variety. This evening it was a bit nippy out there, so I made myself a "spot of tea" to fend off the chill. While I was snuggled down in the lawn chair, sipping my peppermint tea, my eye fell on a pink bicycle (c'mon now...enough jokes...you know it didn't *fall* on the bike ;-). I thought, "Hmmm...I forgot we had that bike." Then, all of a sudden, it was as if my viewpoint zoomed out, and I saw the whole driveway--with countless pink bicycles, and one pink trike strewn about like an explosion at the Schwinn plant. How did this happen? How did we accumulate (what?) 4 pink bicycles?! That's not even including the black one I donated to Carnival when she outgrew her (you guessed it) pink one. I wondered how I'd not noticed the abundance of pink bikes through the years. It wasn't as if we were constantly buying pink bicycles. We did buy a couple of them--usually for Carnival, as she outgrew the others. One of them Lovable won at a restaurant give-away. One was given to Musical. I guess we were predestined to have a plethora of pink two-wheelers. Well...that's ok...I think the Pink Bike Owners are pretty neat folks.
Might not be a bad idea, though, to begin some sort of registration program for the bikes. I think they're colonizing in the garage and I want to be sure they do not become too powerful.
Must run...getting oh-so sleepy ...
Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "YoujusSOfunny!" Tater Tot

Friday, October 07, 2005

Happy Birthday to......

Hello, F.O.T.E.s! Actually, tomorrow, Oct. 8 is Lovable's birthday, but we'll be celebrating today. We'll be meeting her buddies at the park to enjoy a picnic and cake and ice cream. It's hard to believe this girl is 8 years old! She asked me yesterday if I remembered when *I* was 8. I told her I remember my 8th birthday, because I got a swingset. I hung upside down on the bar and thought, "Wow. I'm 8 now. I've got to start acting my age." LOL I remember feeling very old and mature. Yes, turning 8 was a very serious event for The Ewe. LOL
In other news, we rolled the trash dumpster out to the curb last night. Another trash day down...we have tantalizingly few more "roll outs" left before The Ram returns home to us. I'm getting awfully nervous--to the point of frantic, truth be told, LOL. I keep thinking of things I wanted to have done before he got back...Frankly, I fear some of those just aren't going to happen at this point. I think he'll still want to come home, though, even though the garage has yet to be cleaned out. ;-) Surely all the "wags and licks" he'll be assaulted with will distract him from the clutter in the garage. Don't you think? :-)
Well, I'm going to sign off for today. Many Big Doings to get ready for.
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Carnival, I'm going to the bathroom...TAIL your brother." (The Ewe)
"Ok [turns to baby]...Tater Tot, Mom's going to the bathroom." (Carnival)

Friday, September 30, 2005

Volunteer State Festivals

Hello, F.O.T.E.s,
I don't know what it's like where you live, but down in TN, they know how to have a community festival. This past month, I've spent a good bit of time down there, trying to get the house sold. In our spare time, we attended a few community festivals. One of them celebrated the soybean. We ran into several dear friends there--it was great. We enjoyed funnel cakes.
After that was Doodle Soup Days. We sampled doodle soup (kinda like bbq chicken with a dipping sauce) and had Dippin' Dots. Carnival scaled a climbing wall, sponsored by the National Guard.
A week later, we visited the Dulcimer Festival. Strangely missing was food...? They were, evidently, very serious musicians. The powdered sugar might be bad for the instruments.
Months earlier, we attended the Fiddlesticks Festival. Fiddlesticks are basically ice cream on a stick, covered with chocolate. Not a bad way to spend several hundred calories. ;-) This one was crowned King of the Festivals by my flock. Their reasons: all the rides were free, the crowd was small, ICE CREAM, and Wimpy's. Wimpy's is a restaurant in that town that makes the best burgers. And huge! The regular Wimpy is a 1 pound, hand pressed patty! The Jr. Wimpy is a half pound and the "Baby Wimpy" is a quarter pound. EEK! That's one big baby! The fries come in a huge basket. One order fed my whole flock. So, what was the price for this gut-wrenching, artery clogging amount of food? Less than a trip to McDonald's. ! Yeah...the Lambies have discovered "haute cuisine!" :-)
You know, after analyzing all our data on the Great TN Festival Road Trip, it appears that Tennesseans, 1) know how to party and 2) love food!
Gotta run...
Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Those other girls got the music...YOU got the musician." :-)
A dear friend's husband, defending himself of his wife's accusations that he wrote his other high school girlfriends love songs, but never wrote her one.

Ewe Ever Dance?

...This Ewe did yesterday. Mr. FedEx man brought me a check. From the sale of our house! Sweet success! It's been 4 years in the making. Whew!
Yup. I did the Happy Dance right there on the driveway.
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Quote of the Day:

Monday, September 05, 2005

The GrandRams...

...Are home. Continue to pray for them as they decompress.

The Ewe

Quote of the Day: Lovable, had just asked me what that 'funny looking underwear in the catalog' was. I explained that it's special underwear that helps a lady look more trim. Understanding brightened her face and she replied, "OH! So, it's a griddle!" (that's no typo) :-)

Saturday, September 03, 2005

My Heroes Have Always Been...

...normal folks. Nita, Tanisha and Ernestine, you rate. :-)

This is from Foxsnews.com:

"At the convention center, people stumbled toward the helicopters, dehydrated and nearly passing out from exhaustion. Many had to be carried by National Guard troops and police on stretchers. Some were being pushed up the street on office chairs and on dollies.

Nita LaGarde, 105, was pushed down the street in her wheelchair as her nurse's 5-year-old granddaughter, Tanisha Blevin, held her hand. The pair spent two days in an attic, two days on an interstate island and the last four days on the pavement in front of the convention center.

"They're good to see," LaGarde said, with remarkable gusto as she waited to be loaded onto a gray Marine helicopter. She said they were sent by God. "Whatever He has for you, He'll take care of you. He'll sure take care of you."

LaGarde's nurse, Ernestine Dangerfield, 60, said LaGarde had not had a clean adult diaper in more than two days.

"I just want to get somewhere where I can get her nice and clean," she said. "

Faithful nurses, doctors, soldiers, and elderly folks...Those are the heroes.

Keeping my wool dry and keeping the faith,
The Ewe

Thursday, September 01, 2005

What Can *I* Do?

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
As pictures and stories come to us from the Gulf States, some of you have probably had the thought *I* did yesterday--"...but what can *I* do?" My in-laws are actually down there, helping provide food and comfort. (Also, my husband is 7,000 miles away, doing his part to promote Democracy.) And I'm here, making peanut butter sandwiches. :-)
Now, I do plan to collect items to send (check out the website below), and I do plan to send a monetary gift, but we all like to feel we had a personal impact on situations like this. A friend encouraged me yesterday, "You've got family off doing these big things and you're left behind. But you keep being positive--keep on keeping on." Oh, how that made me smile. I thought a lot about that. I realized that it's all a matter of *knowing* what your job is. My calling is to raise up these little ones and hold down the fort while The Ram is gone. Now, we will incorporate our "relief efforts" into our life here--collecting items, etc--but, since I know where I'm supposed to be, I can keep my priorities straight. Yes, there is something attractive about doing the dramatic things. But I'm called to be faithful to my mission. Our soldiers overseas can't rush home to help our Gulf Coast brothers and sisters. They have a mission there, as *I* have mine here.
Thinking about this last night, I heard a little whisper in my heart, "Ewe, you could be feeding those peanut butter sandwiches to the future engineer that will solve New Orleans' problem once and for all. You could be feeding those sandwiches to a future Coast Guardman who will pluck people from danger. You could be feeding those sandwiches to the scientist who will discover a cure for cancer. You could be feeding those sandwiches to the mother or father of the person who God uses to usher in the next Great Awakening." OH, isn't that exciting? But what if I'm feeding those sandwiches to a future restaurant manager? Or truck driver?
Remember the movie "It's a Wonderful Life?" I love how it points out that we *all* impact our world. We may never know the extent of it, but that doesn't matter. In the big picture, we're all just "a vapor." But we're vapors who can mean the difference to some other "vapors." :-)
So, what can *I* do? First off, I can pray. I can ask The Commander daily what He has for me to do in that day. I can remain faithful and steadfast in my calling. In that context, we will also reach out to the people in such desperate conditions.
Well, gotta run...I've got some peanut butter sandwiches to make...
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

For information on giving monetary gifts and in-kind donations:


Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
Oh, my heart is heavy for the people of our Gulf states. It seems the worst was just beginning in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina blew through yesterday. She had mushroomed into a monster Category 5 hurricane the day before, but weakened before barreling ashore. Still, a Cat. 4 is nothing to sneeze at. Though she veered slightly east and did not strike New Orleans squarely, the devastation is incredible. I had thought that, with the advance notice and mandatory evacuations, the death toll would be low. No one is expecting that anymore. My understanding is that many of the city's pumps (which it needs in order to stay dry even without flooding)have stopped working. There have been levee breaks, letting Lake Pontchartrain run into the city. A water main is broken. The mayor estimates that up to 80% of the city is under water--up to 20 feet deep in some places.
I've just read, too, that the mayor has issued another mandatory evacuation order. This one requires citizens to leave the city, including the "refuge of last resort"-- the Louisiana Superdome. Up to 10,000 people, mainly elderly, frail or poor, had lined up for hours to get inside before Katrina hit. Even there, portions of the roof peeled off, letting in torrents of rain. The mayor, concerned about the deteriorating conditions in the city, has now ordered even those refugees moved.
Amidst all this, The GrandRams are on their way to New Orleans. They are going as part of the Disaster Relief Team from the Southern Baptist Convention. You would be surprised at the training that you must take to be part of those teams. They do a great job. Please pray for the Teams...and pray for The GrandRams, too, as they go.
As for us here, we're soaked. Many surrounding counties have some flooded roadways and most closed the schools today.
Well, I'm going to sign off now. I'll keep you updated.
Today, I *really* mean it--"Y'all keep your wool dry!"
The Ewe

Check out the info about the TN Baptist Disaster Relief Teams:


Saturday, August 20, 2005

Time Speeds By...and a Prayer Request

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s!
I am truly astounded that another week has passed. I've said from the beginning of this deployment that once we made it to Aug., time would fly. So far, I've been right. Aug. has flown by. Seems like Trash Day rolls around every other day, LOL. I'm certainly not complaining. We can't wait to have The Ram back in our grasp.
Let's see...oh, yes... the prayer request. Well, our landlord called last week and told me that they are planning on selling this house. And that they'd *like* to sell it to *us.* LOL Hmmm....One catch was that our TN house hasn't sold yet. Well, a couple days after Landlord called, our Tenant (in TN) called to say they'd gotten financing to buy our old house. WAhoo!!! We're supposed to close on that next week. (Lord willing.) So, about *our* living arrangements...I told The Ram the time has come that we either have to marry this house, or set it free for someone else to love. LOL I am rather attached to the house, but we're nearly positive that we could never afford the mortgage. So...what do we do? We have our eyes on a beeeee-autiful piece of property not far from here, but there is no house on it. So, do we buy a trailer to live in there while we build a house? Just don't know. Would you join us in prayer that God will show us clearly His will for us? Thanks.
Oh, I have to tell you what happened tonight. File this under "Appliances and Plumbing Know When the Man is Gone." I went to flush The Ram's toilet (i.e. the toilet in his bathroom here. ;-) and it wouldn't flush. Not uncommon around here. Usually, we just dump extra water in and "viola!" it flushes. Not tonight. So, I lift the lid to the tank. Hmmm..."Wonder what would happen if I pullll...this?" NIAGARA FALLS!!! EWWWW dirty potty water came gushing out of the toilet, soaking the rug in there, flowing out the door into the laundry room AND kitchen...EEK! It's as if the Pacific were backwashing into my bathroom! Anyway, somehow I got the river to stop "running through it," then mopped, soaked, and toweled until the water was gone. Dumped the rug/towels/etc. into the washer. Filled the utility sink (in the laundry room) with bleach water, and began cleaning/disinfecting the floor where the toxic spill occurred. Mop, mop...sweat, sweat...strain, strain. Whew. Got that done. Washed out the mop head...nice and tidy. Pulled the plug on the utility sink...and...NIAGARA REVISITED!!!! The "exit pipe" had pulled apart at a joint and dumped bleach water everywhere (of course, bleach water is better than potty water...but I had some laundry in the floor, waiting its turn to be washed. I had to scoop up the non-colorfast stuff really quick, while the sink released its contents onto my floor.) GRRRR...but then, LOL!!! I decided I was too tired to get mad...might as well laugh. LOL Yes, finally, I got the laundry room cleaned out. Now, The Ram's bathroom and the laundry room look really good! :-)
Well, must run. Tomorrow is Sunday--always a busy time around here. Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Mommy! You forgot to press 'play!'" Musical--standing at the silent microwave.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s!
Well, I've got such a ton of gnus for you, but I wanted to just pop on here for a minute and let you know about what we did today...
I've been needing new contact lenses for *some* time now, but with The Ram gone, plus being an hour+ from the optometrist, I had put off taking my lil "von Trapp" entourage in get them. ("The hills are ali-i-i-i-i-ve...")
Well, I decided last weekend that MONDAY (today) was The Day. So, I bit the bullet and loaded up my troops. The drive gave me opportunity to instruct the children about the behavior I expected from them. Words such as "duty, family honor, courage" were involved in that conversation, along with words like "punishment, serious, silence, immediate, obedience, and 'small reward' IF..."
The Ram has always purported that if you take all the children into a place of business, you get more prompt (if not altogether friendly) service. I was about to test his hypothesis...
By the time I had filled out the requisite paperwork, the pre-examination person was ready to puff air into my eyes, test for colorblindness and see if I could tell "which bullseye pops out at you." (That last one was new to me. I'm not sure that I passed. :-) I had escorted the children to the toy box and they had settled in.
The first thing Pre-Exam Girl did was take my blood pressure. Lest I frighten you, I won't tell you the numbers--just that they were high for me. The Girl didn't flinch, so I imagine she understood my high level of anxiety. I explained that we'd never tried this before--with me being incapacitated during the exam and Carnival in charge of keeping the peace. Well, a few puffs, colors and bullseyes later, the Girl stood up and asked me to go take out the lenses I'd worn in. Uh...OK...
I went and took those out then sat in a chair near the toy box and listened for clues that those blurry spots were, indeed, my children. Before my chair cushion had time to warm up, the Dr. was leading me into The Big, Blue Chair. Horror of horrors, he shut the door behind him--my progeny on the other side. I felt my blood pressure click up another point.
I have always had a hard time keeping a straight face when the eye doctor examines my eyes with his penlight, right up close. When I was a kid, the optometrist we went to was a smoker. When he turned off all the lights and walked right into my face with his light shining and his breath coming in hoarse rasps like an obscene phonecaller, I always suffered from a fit of giggles. Now as a grown up, I always try to psyche myself up before a visit. I tell myself that it's really NOT funny. It's a very serious eye exam and I will NOT giggle this time. For the past several years, I have managed to get through the inspection with only a grin. Today, with the distraction of the children in the other room, I thought surely I would not be attacked by The Humor Monster. Evidently, the Humor Monster is superior in strength to the Fear of Being Embarrassed by My Toddler, and I caught myself about to snicker. Again, I forced myself to act dignified, and made it through the exam with only the hint of a smile. I've always wanted to ask the Dr. (I see a different one now than the Smoking Eye Doc) if anyone else laughs in his face. But I never have.
I'll admit that I was hoping the doctor might have a "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding the length of time a patient has worn the same pair of disposable contacts. I will also admit that I carefully phrased my answer. His question was, "How often do you change your contacts?" My scientifically formulated answer was, "GENERALLY every 6-8 weeks." (Notice, he did *not* ask how long I'd been wearing *that particular* pair of contacts...and notice further that I said *generally*.) Two things I'm not likely to share with you: my weight and the length of time I wore those last contacts. ;-) Anyway, the dreaded question/answer was over and the Dr. was writing out my prescription. Before I knew it, the assistant was bringing me a brand, spanking new pair of lenses.
I know you're wondering about the children's behavior during my heart-pounding exam. I am very happy to report that the conversation in the van after the visit was replete with "proud, cooperative, quiet, good job, and small reward." (please, cut me some slack--we almost never do material rewards for good behavior, but this was a momentous, not to mention stressful, occasion, LOL)
As for The Ram's Hypothesis: I'll summarize this way. Time upon entering said optometrist office: 3:15 p.m. Time upon leaving said optometrist office: 4:00 p.m.
Time I spent last time we went and took only one child: 90 minutes. Hmmmm..."The hills are al-i-i-i-i-i-ve with the sound of mu-u-u-u-sic...." :-)
Well, must run put the flock to bed...y'all keep your wool dry...
The Ewe


Thursday, July 21, 2005

Here at the Flock...

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s!
Well, my, my...it's HOT! Our county is under a heat advisory for the next several days. ICK. I've thought for a long time that the best time to hibernate is in the summer...In the winter, you can always *add* clothes, but in the summer, well, there's just "so much" you can take off! ;-) On the other hand, the produce is yummy. We were blessed with some peaches yesterday and they are some of the ssssweeetest I've ever eaten. So, as in everything, there are always trade offs.
A sad occurrence: an agitated pack of neighborhood dogs caught, killed and dragged off one of our sweet little kittens a couple days ago. :-( We have a neighbor who keeps between 3-6 pit bulls, who, along with our other neighbors' dogs, wander around out here. They have carried off countless toys, bike helmets, etc...from our yard and now this. The Ewe is *not* a happy camper. Anyway, that was an awful thing to witness. And, yes, I did see it--thank goodness the children did not. Of course, my mind kept thinking, "That could be my baby!" So, I am looking into what back-up we can get from the county animal control officer. Meanwhile, we've put up the remaining kittens and I don't let the children play out unsupervised. I'll keep you updated...
On a happier note, we visited with our pastor's family yesterday...The girls got to help in the kitchen while Pastor's Family canned some of their homegrown produce. The children love to help out like that. We all got a short tutorial on home canning, as that is something I've never really done. Of course, my thumb is brown, so I've got to learn how to actually grow something! Anyway, we all had a great time.
Monday, I visited a new doctor. I wanted him to look at my wrist--I've had a ganglion cyst there for several months...Also, Musical's leg has hurt her off and on for a long time, too. The visit came off as I expected..."Yup, Mrs. Ewe...that's a ganglion cyst." "Yup, Mrs. Ewe, Musical has a strained muscle." So, also as I expected, there wasn't really anything he could do for us. He did stick a needle into my cyst (OUCH!) and puff air into it to try to pop it. Didn't work, but it did help me know not to complain about little things. The cyst is worse now than before. ;-) Ah, well...at least we know what we have.
Well, I need to run...we've got a trip to the grocery store on the docket...BUT, before I go...
As a "trained journalist," I understand about the public's "Need to know." So, in light of that: If you ever truly need to read someone The Riot Act, see the link below:

Y'all keep your wool dry!!!
The Ewe

Quote of the Day:
"I make milk...What's *your* superpower?" Overheard on an internet message board. :-)

Monday, July 18, 2005

Another Day at The Fold

Hello, F.O.T.E.s!
Well, another day under our belt here at The Fold. The Ram's deployment is over halfway done. I'll admit, though, that since we topped the hill, the roller coaster has slowed down. I mean, time seems to be creeping along for us now. The Ram, on the other hand, is really busy right now. That's good for him--makes time pass faster. And when the temperature is 122 degrees outside, it's good for time to pass fast!!! LOL He told me he hasn't gotten sunburned because you can't stay in the heat long enough for the sun to burn your skin. OUCH! What a harsh place.
We're surrounded by green here. It has rained for 2 solid weeks here. Thanks, in part, to Hurricane Dennis. Now, Hurricane Emily is churning out in the Gulf. Don't' expect we'll see any effect from her. She's aimed more toward TX, from what I heard last.
Oh, Friends. I miss my hubby. Sometimes I just wear down. I must remember, though, that we are so blessed. We have very regular contact with The Ram...not all soldiers have that luxury. Golly, though...a year is a long time.
Let's see...on the menu today was chicken, broccoli and cheese casserole--very yummy. We also made pumpkin bars--a recipe I made up. They're very good!!!! And, outside the 18 pounds of sugar, good for you! LOL Ok, so it's really just a cup of sugar...I guess that's not bad, spread out over the whole pan. May have to tweak the recipe and see what I can do to reduce the sugar content. Why didn't anyone ever tell me how nutritious pumpkin is?!? A whole lot of vitamin A and fiber. Beta carotene...it's good stuff. You oughta go buy a can and make muffins or something. LOL
Well, I'm a tired ol' ewe. I'm gonna go lay my carcass down and catch a few winks...y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Quote of the Day:
Horse sense is the thing a horse has
that keeps it from betting on people.

~W.C. Fields~

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Our Fourth of July Trip

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s!
Well, the Flock and I are back at The Fold after our safari adventure. What? You didn't hear about that? Oh, yes...we went to the land of fire ants, alligators and rattlesnakes...You guessed it!! ALABAMA!!!
Traveling (or would that be "travailing?") with 4 children is always an adventure in itself, but I will say I was very pleased with the children's behavior both on the road and at our destination. No complaints from me!
As for the wildlife...I had been warned to avoid the fire ants every year we'd been down that way, but never (in 15 years!) had an up-close and personal relationship with one. Well, I guess they felt an urge to get to know me better, because they marched in through the window of the room we were sleeping in, and right on into my suitcase and through my underwear and everything else in there. Imagine my horror when I opened the suitcase to find a colony of fire breathing insects rifling through my unmentionables! Imagine the increased horror, when I began shaking out my things (outside the house ;-) and the buggers started biting/stinging me! OUCH! The real kicker about those bites is later, when they start itching. My word! Talk about a make-you-crazy itch. I believe the ants are gone now, though the bites remain.
Now, just in case *you* ever get bitten by one of those ill-mannered creatures, the remedy recommended to me was meat tenderizer. Do skip the "pierce several times with a fork" part of the directions on the bottle. ;-)
Well, I'm still a tired mama, so I'm going to sign off for now.
Y'all keep your wool dry...
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Don't you bite my cellulite!!!" --overheard at The Fold (wink)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

A Letter to The Ewe

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s,
Well, The Ewe had a "letter to the editor" asking my opinion about a passage of scripture. The question was re: I Cor chapter 5. I'd usually put this on our "sister" website, activeflock.com, but AF is down for the moment, so I'll respond here--Y'all don't mind, do you?
What was going on in this letter (to the Corinthians) was really nasty stuff, like immorality between men and their stepmoms, etc...To top it off, they were actually boasting about doing it! Paul basically said to just expel them from the fellowship. A couple things to keep in mind: these were people who called themselves "Believers." Folks "of the world," who don't claim a relationship to Christ--we're not talking about them. We're also not talking about Believers who sinned, then were repentant. These folks Paul was talking about enjoyed their sin--were even proud of it. Those are guys Paul said to expel. Don't even associate w/ them. Jesus didn't tell us not to have anything to do w/ "sinners"--unbelievers...The folks He told us to avoid are "Christians" who are unrepentant and hypocritical...the "image only" guys. I call them "schmoozers." Basically, what I think of as the Pharisees--Jesus called them white-washed tombs. Ick. Look good on the outside, but just full of nothing but death on the inside. So, to my reader who wrote the question aobut ICor5:9, telling us "not to associate with sexually immoral people" we've got to read on in verse 10, "not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you not associate with anyone who *calls himself a brother* [emphasis mine] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolator or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. Expel the wicked man from among you." This is not referring to folks who "mess up," and repent--it's talking about folks who are proud of their sin. So, reader, does that help?
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Monday, June 20, 2005

A Tick Tip from GrandRamama

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s!
Yes, yes...it's been a while. Please forgive me...I'm juggling just as fast as I can!
The tick season is pretty much in full swing around here. I really despise those critters! Sometimes it's hard to know what to do with one once you've found it and pulled it off. GrandRamama found a tidy way to dispose of them the other day...
She was riding along in the van on some interstate between Here and There and felt a tickle. She tried to ignore it a while, but that tickle persisted. So, she reached up and, lo and behold, it was a tick. She thought of throwing it out the window, but she feared the tick would be swept back in by the rushing wind from the open window. Hmmm...what to do? Couldn't hold in her hand all the way from Here to There....Hmmm....
Well, ingenious lady that she is, she took the chewing gum out of her mouth, wrapped it around the little pest and *then* tossed the whole Tick Burrito out the window. The gum added enough weight that it flew out, instead of out--then back in. Also, she knew that if the tick *did* fly back in, she'd surely know it by the icky sticky mess. :-)
Well gotta run...the Lambs are enjoying the day outside and I think I'll go enjoy it with them.
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Dead rabbits don't hop." The Ram

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Bit of Excitement

Well, Friends of the Ewe,
I'm not going into all the gory details, but just suffice it to say that it's a *good* thing that lizards can't get good traction on linoleum. Also, that a person can maneuver quite well in a kitchen by standing on one pink chair and picking up and placing another pink chair adjacent, then stepping onto Pink Chair No. 2. Then, you reach back, pick up Pink Chair No. 1, place it next to where you are...step onto it...repeat...
I will add, too, that it is a good thing to have children who are adept at catching reptiles.
The Ewe

Monday, June 06, 2005


Hello, F.O.T.E.'s!
Well, I'll tell you...the calendar says "Spring" but the thermometer says "Summer" here at The Fold. Those of you who know me well, know that Summer is my least favorite season. Something about staying sweaty for months just doesn't appeal. On the other hand, I must admit the produce during the Summer is wonderful! We had the sweetest cantaloupe (our favorite fruit!) a couple days ago, and I thought that might be our reward for surviving the heat. :-) Thank you, Lord, for Summer!
I guess the biggest news around here is the state of Tater Tot's noggin. Nearly 2 weeks ago now, he fell onto a stick outside. He cried a bit, then acted like all was well. That night, as I was putting him down for bed, I found a spongy spot on his head. !! I was talking to a friend on the phone at the time, and I'll admit to you, panic just about set in. I shot off a desperate email to The Ram and awaited his call. He did call...and continued to call through the night, as we kept vigil over T.T. The next day, we went down to The GrandRams and Grandma Ram went to the E.R. with me. After we were *finally* able to get the X-ray done of T.T.'s head, the doc saw that the skull was fractured. So, T.T. has a cracked head, in exactly the same place *I* cracked *my* head when I was exactly the same age as T.T. is now! (The "fractures of the mother, visited on the son," or something ;-) The doctor told me to not let the Boy hit his head on that spot again for 6 weeks. This is quite a challenge, as T.T. is a lil busy guy. It's getting easier, though...that first week, his balance was terrible and he kept falling all over himself. He's much more sure on his feet now, thank You, God.
Well, I have a lot more to write, but life at The Fold calls. T.T. is toddling around w/ strawberry jelly on his face and I know it will end up other places if I don't act now. Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe
Quote of the Day: "OOOOOoh! He's *maditated!*" Musical, as T.T. carried out a protest at having to sit at the dinner table. We had earlier discussed the word "agitated." :-)

Monday, May 23, 2005

Life at the Fold--May 23

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s!
I just realized I'm not doing a very good job at reporting on the sometimes run-of-the-mill days around here, and that was kinda the point of my starting this blog. The Ram (for those of you just tuning in) deployed to Country Across the Sea last Dec. Before he left, he helped me set up this blog so that he could tune in and peek into our days here at The Fold. I'm going to attempt to post more often to provide that "peek."
I hadn't slept well the last 2 nights--Tater Tot had a very high fever and the Hot Tot just couldn't settle. So, The Ewe kept vigil Sat. and Sun. nights. Finally, today, his fever broke and he started acting like his old self. I'm looking forward to what I hope will be a better night tonight.
I hear tell that the workers showed up today at our house that we rent out down in TN. The work is tantalizingly close to being complete. Praise GOD!!! It's like a dream come true. LOL Thanks to you FOTES that contacted them.
On the menu today was baked cheeseburgers for lunch and pintos and hot cornbread for dinner. Dinner was served w/ butter and "sweet" tea. YUM! YUM! ("Sweet" is parenthesized, because for you true Southerners, it wouldn't be considered sweet. :-)
You'll notice that breakfast wasn't included on the menu, because I don't believe we had any. When we got up this morning, T.T. was very clingy and lunchtime got here before we'd had breakfast. It's not uncommon, though, for us to have only 2 meals a day--plus snacks.
Lawnmower Man's Mama came by and mowed our yard this afternoon. Lawnmower Man is a college student and is very busy--Mama's helping out for the time being. I have noticed that Mama has a little closer eye to detail than L.M. :-) Our yard looks really good this year, though my beloved tulips never made an appearance. Even my next favorite--black irises--were a no-show. Wah! :-(
The Lambies played out quite a bit today. Musical, who turns 5 tomorrow! has just about got her two-wheel bike-riding down. I'll be glad when her ability is perfected--she looks pretty beat up, LOL.
The Lambs also spent some time this evening scrubbing down the picnic table. For Mother's Day, a sweet couple of ladies at church gave all the mamas a picnic basket, filled with yummy picnic goodies. So, now that our table is all tidy, I'm anxious to pack a picnic. We may do that tomorrow for Musical's birthday.
Carnival and Lovable used some of their chore money last week to buy Musical a birthday gift. They are a thoughtful little pair. Carnival spent some time today planning out a party for her sister. It will be fun. :-)
Well, (yawn) I'm going to sign off for the night and hit the hay. (yawn) I'll update soon...
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Friday, May 20, 2005

Operation F.I.F.

Hi, Friends...
I thought I'd update you on Operation Fix It or Fifteen. Some workers showed up Tuesday (I believe it was) and did do a portion of the remaining work. They said they'd be back Friday (that's today)--I'm sure hoping they do. My understanding is that they received a fair number of faxes and some phone calls. :-) We surely appreciate you folks who took the time to help us out like that.
Gotta run...We had strong storms last night and I'm not very "with it" this morning...gonna take me a while to get the Lambs' breakfast made!
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Only one strip left 'til my birthday!!!" Musical, referring to the weeks on a calendar. :-)

Monday, May 16, 2005

Operation Fix It or Fifteen

Hey, F.O.T.E.'s,
Some of you know that 3 months ago, we hired a contractor out of Paducah to do some repairs on the house we own and currently rent out in TN. Well, the fellow we hired did a portion of the repairs, but hasn't been seen (except to come get more money, which I am no longer handing out ;-)in a couple months or so. We've called innumerable times and sent certified letters, pleading with the company to complete the work. We are very anxious to get these repairs done, so the folks who want to buy the house can. We've tried being nice, tried being assertive, tried crying (yes, I confess), tried every tactic we can think of (barring those being illegal/immoral--though even some of those crossed my mind during weak moments). Absolutely nothing will prod this company to complete this job. So, today, we launched "Operation Fix It or Fifteen." (the "Fifteen" being the $1500 we want refunded if they won't do the work.) This is not intended in any way to be threatening to the company, just to bring attention to our plight, and, ideally, prompt them to finish what they started. So, we have begun a phone calling and letter writing campaign. From the time The Ram announced that he was being deployed, wonderful friends and family members have repeatedly told us, "If there's ever anything we can do for you, while The Ram is gone, just let us know..." Well, here's something, LOL. The Ram and I can't spend all day, every day, calling and writing letters to these folks, so we're asking our friends and family to contact the company on our behalf. Yes, in case you haven't noticed, we're getting desperate. LOL
Well, I just wanted to document our progress on Operation Fix It or Fifteen. Here's to a great campaign!!!!
The Ewe

"All great journeys begin with a single step."

Tater Tot's First Haircut

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s!
Thought I'd try to do a quick post before things really get rolling her at The Fold.
You'll notice that "Tiny Tot" is now "Tater Tot." If you've ever been around him at mealtime, you'll understand the change. :-)
I had noticed for a while now that T.T.'s hair was creeping over the edge of his collar. So, I gathered information about how to go about cutting his hair. This is a new one for me. With the girls, we just let it grow as much as it would. But The Boy...hmmm...
Yesterday, when he was seeming calm, we set him down and I began going over his head, pulling up hair and clipping it off. I've discovered, Floyd the Barber, I ain't. LOL Oh, where, oh where, is The Ram?!?! I'd intended to wait until he got back and let *him* do the hair cutting, but T.T.'s shaggy "do" was getting to be more than I could stand.
The sad thing is, I only got half of his head done before he was too wiggly to continue. From a distance, he looks fine. :-)
Well, I'm sure this story will be continued...but for now, I must go.
Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: Musical: "Why do they want to sleep on the roof?" Upon seeing the feather beds airing on the roof of the cabin at The Homeplace, 1850. LOL

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Update from The Fold

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s!
Well, it's been too long since an update. It's not that nothing has been going on, just the opposite! It's been so much going on, I haven't taken the time to sit down and write.
Carnival, Lovable and I are taking a quilting class at The Homeplace. If you're not from around here, you may not know about The Homeplace at Land Between the Lakes. LBL is a beautiful nature area about an hour and a half from here. When the Ram and I were in college, we went there near every weekend. Go over to www.lbl.org to take a peek. Anyway, The Homeplace is a working farm, set up as it would have been in the 1850's. The historical interpreters are in period dress and they're always eager to answer questions and let you take part in their activities. In the past, we've split logs, stirred lye soap, gathered herbs from the herb garden...many things. Once, we attended a "Wedding" there, as it would have been in the 1800's. It's great fun.
So, our latest Homeplace adventure is quilting. We are making a wall hanging, consisting of 4 blocks. One is a nine-patch, one is a Grandmother's Flower Garden and one is a Churn Dash. The fourth block will be one of our choosing--I'm considering Bear Paw. I'm finding this to be faster and easier than knitting or cross-stitch, what with the little ones around. With cross-stitch, I was always losing my count when I had to attend a child. Same for knitting and crochet. With this, it's pretty obvious where you left off, LOL.
Carnival is Miss Speedy--she's nearly finished with her 3 blocks. I'm helping Lovable with her Nine-Patch and I'm just starting on my Grandmother's Flower Garden. We're having a lot of fun.
Well, must go. Life at The Fold is calling.
Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: Reading from Proverbs 24:13, I asked Musical to fill in the blank: "...honey from the..._________ is sweet to the taste..." Musical replies: "Store!" Mom says, "No..." Musical tries again: "Cow!?" (the answer is comb) :-)

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Baby's Got a New Pair of Shoes

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s!
Well, the big news around here is that Tiny Tot has *finally* started taking some steps. Early last week he took a step. Now, he's stringing together 4 or 5 steps at a time. I can tell--he's revving up! I need to buy myself a new pair of tennies before he gets in gear. I have a feeling I'm going to be doing some running!
Speaking of shoes...a Ram-Family tradition took place yesterday. We don't buy our babies shoes until they've started walking, and even then they usually only wear them when they're going outside. Last week, though, T.T. discovered the joys of trike riding when we were outside playing. Bad thing was, the little guy kept scraping his toes on the sidewalk! Ouch! So, I ordered him some Robeez, which are a lot like moccasins. They came yesterday, so we had the First Shoeing for Tiny Tot. It was hilarious. He immediately loved his little shoes and wore them all day. AND he rode the trike without bloodshed. LOL
So, if you know a little tiny tot, you can tell his parents about Robeez--they're like leather anklet socks. Foot doctors say not to put stiff shoes on little babies, because it can cause their feet to grow wrong. We had always solved that by just not using shoes! But T.T.'s a little more aggressive and need something to protect those lil tootsies. He loves these little shoes with the puppies on them. LOL
Must run--Carnival is making her first attempt at waffles and it sounds like maybe my presence is needed in the kitchen. ;-)
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Cookie Jar

Hello, Friends Of The Ewe!
I hope this finds you just blooming like my irises! My very favorites are on the verge of popping open--those are my deep purple ones...I call them "black." They just look so elegant. :-) My tulips have *not* bloomed--is that normal? I can't remember when it was last year that they bloomed. Anyway...
A couple weeks ago, we were blessed with a cookie jar. This is one I've had my eye on at a relative's house for a few months now. I didn't ask for it, but I was sure happy to be offered it! LOL Let's just say it's a Bible character scene, and I really like it.
Since The Ram and I married, I've been an "anti-cookie jar" gal. You see, I have a "love/hate" relationship w/ cookies--I hate that I love them! Though there had been a few jars through the years that I admired, I always thought it would be bad to welcome cookies into my house. (Rather like housing the enemy.) I didn't want the children expecting there to be goodies in the house all the time. But...
When this just-too-cute jar was offered, I couldn't resist. So, I brought it home. It sat empty on the counter for days. The girls were anxious to fill that puppy! Finally, one day, The Ol' Ewe broke down and gave the go-ahead for cookie baking. Now, my girls know their way around a kitchen and they had cookies baked in no time. We gathered around the cooling racks, admiring those round treasures. Before they'd cooled 10 minutes, the girls wanted to put them in the jar. I realized that the Cookie Jar Way of Life was foreign to my daughters. I explained that you have to wait to put them in there, or you'd have one huge cookie. I began to think that maybe this whole cookie jar thing could be used to teach self-discipline. Any time before The Jar, we'd pull the cookies out of the oven and break out the spoons, if we had to. A dozen cookies never made it to "cool-dom." So, now, with the anticipation of getting to fill the jar, we learned to wait. I explained to the girls what a huge responsibility it is to have a full cookie jar in the house. I knew I had to lay down some ground rules. Or actually, rule. Basically The Cookie Rule is that we only get cookies at tea time. For us, that's 3 p.m. (I know it's supposed to be 4 p.m., but that a bit late for us--too close to dinner!) So, we have the cookie jar on a time-lock security system. (It's the Honor-type.) I believe I've sufficiently instilled in the children the gravity of unauthorized cookie gnoshing. I'll admit, it's been a challenge for me to deny the flesh and walk on past that piece of ceramic, but I just remind myself that 3 p.m. is coming and the lid will unlock and we'll all get to fellowship around the round things. :-) Yes, I'm thinking this cookie jar is a good thing. So far, we've had good compliance with the Cookie Rule. No one even asks for cookies unless it's 3 p.m. (or later, if we've missed cookie time.) They know I'll say "no." LOL
I remember as a child, my babysitter had a cookie jar. She generally kept on hand those sandwich cookies--duplex, vanilla, peanut butter...Man, they were good. I confess to you that *I* did not typically ask first. My babysitter, though a sweet lady, had an open-jar policy. Any time I wanted to open it, I could. I believe that is not a good way to run a cookie jar-containing kitchen. Some little critter like me could get in there and founder.
Well, y'all keep your wool dry...and your cookies cool!
The Ewe

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Recycling Run Amok

Well, hello, F.O.T.E's! Life's been busy and interesting around here--as usual! It's been wonderful seeing the plants and flowers come back to life after the long winter. We were delighted to find that an iris plant Lovable rescued from sure death during an excavating project last summer, had bloomed in the pot she transplanted it to. It's beautiful. The bees and wasps are busy, and the lizards are beginning to show up again. Carnival reminded me that if you grabbed their tail, it would fall off. I love Spring.
I hear tell that Earth Day is (was?) sometime this month. In honor of it, I'm going to tell you a story about my ingenious children and their little contribution to The Fold Recycling Program.
First, you should know that, again, our Beloved Vehicle is visiting the mechanic. This time, it was a pre-emptive strike; I just wanted him to check out some suspicious behavior and fix anything that needed it before it actually broke. So, anyway, we've been home for days (which is just fine with me, homebody that I am.) We've been "living off the land," foodwise, which around here means we're cleaning out the freezer and pantry, making do with what's on hand.
Tonight, what was on hand was an old pantry standby: spaghetti and marinara sauce. We had just about eaten our fill and Lovable wanted a second helping. I explained that the noodles were just about gone, though we had a lot of sauce left. I guess in a subconscious attempt to convince Lovable she was getting more food than she actually was, I put more sauce on her noodles than she wanted. I apologized, and, seeing that my plate had too many noodles and not enough sauce, I quipped, "Hmm. Well, we can't take the sauce out of your noodles." Lovable glanced up and matter-of-factly announced, "Oh, I can. I just suck the noodles out of the bowl and the sauce stays behind." For some reason, this struck me funny and I chortled a few minutes. Seeing my enjoyment of Lovable's ingenuity in Sauce Conservation, Carnival decided to share with me an episode that had happened this week...
Carnival and Lovable had gotten up one morning and made cereal. This emptied out the milk container, with no way to get more. While those two were munching their kibble, Musical came padding down the stairs, wanting cereal. Hmm...no milk. What to do? Well, not one to be daunted, Carnival came up with a plan. She instructed Lovable about her scheme. A few minutes later, Musical got her bowl of cereal, complete with milk. How did they do it? Carnival tells me that she and Lovable used their spoons to carefully fish out the bits of their cereal, leaving the milk (or what was left after the cereal soaked up it's share)in their bowls. Then, they combined the paltry puddles in each of their bowls and poured it over Musical's cereal. So, all three girls got bowls of cereal, even though there was only milk enough for about one and a half.
Carnival does report that, since each girl had a different type of cereal, the resulting residual milk tasted a trifle funny. Ahh, that's ma' gals! Making it good to the last drop! :-)
Well, must run. Gotta get to bed. A lady never knows when a mechanic might call and tell her her carriage is ready. Could it be tomorrow? Alas, only time will tell...
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

P.S. Though the carrot cake last Saturday was a bit homely, the church folk assured me it *was* "fit to eat" and, in fact, they made rather flattering noises while consuming it. :-) I just might do that again...maybe...

Saturday, April 09, 2005

The Boy's Corn Fed

Hello, F.O.T.E.s,
How're y'all? We're having a great day here at The Fold. It's sunny and probably about 80 degrees out there. The girls are enjoying some fun in the water hose and Tiny Tot has just come inside for a nap. I used the time their obsession with the water afforded me to bake a carrot cake. I've never done that before--I'll let you know how it turns out. I had planned to take it to church tomorrow, as we have a meal after most Sunday services, but then I decided that maybe I ought to taste-test it first, since I'd never made one before. So, there will likely be 4 pieces missing from my carrot cake tomorrow. (grin) That is, if it's good. If it's not good, the whole thing will be missing. LOL
We returned last night from a visit with the Grand Rams. We had gone down to celebrate the Great-GrandRamamama's 88th birthday.
A couple of nights ago, having dinner with the Grand Ram's, we marveled at the amount and variety of food that Tiny Tot can dispose of in one sitting. That particular night, I let T.T. have his first cob of corn. He delighted in shearing off the kernels, though I think he enjoyed sucking the end of the cob best of all. I'll admit, it was a bit disturbing when I needed to adjust the cob in his hand, so that he could get to the actual food, and not the silage. I would reach my hand toward him, and he would curl away from me, shielding his corn. A few times, I had to stick my hand in between his mouth and the cob, and I'll tell you--the phrase "draw back a nub" went through my mind. He growled at me like a dog at the food dish...Anyway, we decided the boy likes corn. My family will get a chuckle at that, as, growing up I was the corn fiend in the family. I was mocked mercilessly--"More corn." So, I guess the affinity for corn is genetic. I passed it on to my son. :-)
Must run frost that carrot cake.
Y'all keep your wool dry,
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Peanut-butter-pizZA! Peanut-butter-pizZA! Peanut-butter-pizZA!" All the Lambs' as they composed a new song about, well...peanut butter.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

R&R Highlights III; Revenge of the Peanuts

Hello, F.O.T.E's!
Well, I know it is taking forever-long to update you on The Ram's R&R, for which I apologize. Here's the next installment:
Since we had already determined that a camping trip or trip to the beach would not really be a "vacation" for The Ram, we decided a couple nights in a nice hotel would fit the bill. So, we packed up our little flock and drove a bit up to Small City to the North, where we bedded down for a couple of nights. The hotel had an indoor pool, which we made frequent use of. The girls had a great time splashing around and playing with Dad. We were often the only family in there, so that was an added benefit.
This particular hotel has suites, with a living room area joined to a bedroom by the bathroom. It sported refrigerators and microwaves in each room, plus both breakfast and dinner served in the dining room most nights of the week. For a family of our size, it's a pretty good deal.
One night, we decided to forego the hotel's dinner and go out with the Grand Rams. The Ram had a taste for a Texas-type grill which was near the restaurant, so that's where we headed. This was one of those places where you grab a handful of unshelled peanuts, crack them open, dump their contents into your mouth then boldly drop the shells to the floor. I was sure to explain to the children that only at this particular place was it ok to throw trash on the floor--and even there only peanut shells.
While waiting to be seated, I discovered that Musical had stuffed peanuts in any convenient cubby she could find on or in her clothing. Tiny Tot, despite my best efforts, joyously popped a whole, unshelled peanut into his mouth and sucked off the salt. Any attempt to extract said peanut brought on a growl of displeasure from him. Though it offended my motherly instincts, I allowed this perilous behavior to continue through two peanuts or so...thank goodness, by that time we were called to follow a waiter back to our table and T.T. lost interest (for the most part) in the peanuts. Maybe they should supply barrels of animal crackers for their patrons under 3? Anyway, the tot survived and so did I.
After the meal, we bid farewell to the Grand Rams and turned in for the night. We are still finding bits of peanut shell in Musical's clothing.
Well, it's time to hit the hay here at The Fold. I'll provide further updates as time allows. Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Mom, why would anyone like Elvis? I mean, his hair was sorta weird. And his name was sorta weird, too." Lovable

Monday, April 04, 2005

R&R Highlights II

Well, Friends,
I'm going to try to post this again. I had already written out a complete post, then, locked in mortal combat with me over the mouse, Tiny Tot somehow highlighted the whole post and deleted it. I screamed at the monitor, "NOOOOOOOO!!!!!" but it was already gone. I will attempt to recreate that post, now that I've sent T.T. outside with the girls. :-)
When we picked up The Ram from the airport, we found that his luggage had taken a different flight and was not expected for a few hours. So, the Grand Rams and we decided to go for lunch. Sitting across from The Ram, I looked over at him and noticed an enraptured look on his face. I asked, "What is it?" He held up his glass and said, "I haven't had sweet tea from a real glass since I left [on deployment]. It's so cold and hard!" Tears came to my eyes. The Ram never complains about his living conditions, so it's easy to forget how lacking in comforts his everyday life is. When I lie down on my cushy, king sized bed, I think about him, barely able to turnover on his uncushioned cot. When I flush the toilet, I realize he doesn't get to do that. ;-) You can't flush a portapotty. When I drink sweet tea from a *glass,* I take a sip for him.
I realized at Cracker Barrel that the ideas the Lambs and I about R&R weren't going to work--we had thought about going to the beach and we'd also thought about camping. How insensitive! LOL The Ram camps in the sand every day. So, we decided to keep him in plush surroundings during his short reprieve. :-)
I often have folks express sympathy for me, going through this with four little ones and an absent husband. Oh, but I have my family surrounding me! The Ram is in a foreign place with no one. Yes, he's surrounded by people, but still, basically, he's alone. I have a very nice home to wait in--he wades through sand with very few creature comforts. Yes, I'd say I've got the better deal. God bless him.
And you know, all our troops need our prayers. They all have their own burdens to bear and families who miss them. And it's always been this way for our military families, but this has certainly brought that fact "home" for me.
Well, must run. I'll continue sharing about R&R as time allows. Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Friday, April 01, 2005

R&R Highlights I

Hello, F.O.T.E's! Yes, it's been a while since I've blogged. I've been engaged in Very Important Business for the last two weeks. The Ram was here for his two weeks of Rest and Relaxation--R&R. We had a wonderful time and, of course, the time passed too quickly. Here's a recap:
On Sunday (2 weeks ago) we picked up The Ram from the airport. He told us the pilot had invited him and the other soldier on that flight to sit in first-class. That was awfully nice. I must admit that when The Ram came out of the "tube" at the gate (what do you call that, anyway?) I involuntarily emitted a squeal. I was so embarrassed later, but it just happened. I imagine the others around there feared some wild boar had been let in the airport. I will also admit that I fairly tackled The Ram when he emerged from the gate--a fact that also slightly embarrasses me. This breach of propriety was, as the squeal, completely involuntary. It couldn't be helped. I do wonder if the Transportation Security personnel saw it coming. You see, they were suspicious as soon as they saw me (...and my four Lambies...and the stroller...and the Grand Rams...) I imagine they could tell I was a risky sort. The sort given to involuntary squeals and husband-tackles. So, they did what any prudent Security person would do--they performed the Super Deluxe, Stand-Here-On-These-Peanut-Shaped-Mats-With-Your-Arms-Extended-Palms-Up Inspection. Complete with Magic Wand and the Thorough-Rifle-Through-All-Your-Possessions Drill. This was all executed to the tune of Tiny Tot's "One-Year-Old Overture in the Key of Shrill." (Yes, Tiny Tot was none too sure about the service we were given and vociferously called for the ombudsman.) Every member of our entourage was carefully inspected, hoof to tail, and deemed a manageable risk to security. Musical was traumatized by the whole ordeal; and it took Tiny Tot a few minutes to stop sniffling from his outpouring of complaint. The scrape with the law was soon forgotten, though, as we readied ourselves to meet Daddy. The pork rinds the Grands had brought helped out Tiny Tot, too, though he was the only Lambie who gave the pig skins more than 1.5 stars.
Oh, Yawn! It's getting late here at The Fold...I'm going to tuck in the Lambies and bed down for the night. There's ever-so-much more to share about our wonderful 2 weeks with Daddy--I'll continue this expose tomorrow.
Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Why do you have to go back?" asked of The Ram by all Lambies old enough to speak. The Ram replied, "Because it's my job. But I'll miss you." :-)

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Another Homefront Adventure

Hello, F.O.T.E.'s!
Well, my cell phone is fixed...sort of. It had stopped working about 2 weeks ago, and I finally worked up the moxy to go by the C****** store to see what they could do about it. Yes, it took some bravery, because every other time we've had a phone stop working and we went in to have it fixed, it cost us a bunch of money, or years added onto the blasted contract. So, I went in to the store a couple days ago, ready to do battle.
At first, the lady said, "Well, I bet you're due for an upgrade." (?) I replied, "OK." She clicked away on her computer a few seconds, then frowned...like a doctor hearing something through the stethoscope. "Hmm..." she said... "You can't have an upgrade for another 10 months." I replied, "OK." (?) Then, she looked at me in a way that implied, "Ok, thank you for playing...NEXT!" I looked back at her in a way that implied, "That's NOT your final answer." An impasse.
I asked, "How much would it cost just to pay off the contract?" Either I was getting service or I was running.
Another worker walked up and addressed the first one, "Is she wanting an upgrade?"
I blurt, "I just want my phone to work." (sad face) I decided that maybe bluffing a confident attitude was less effective than playing the pity card. I threw in, "My husband is a deployed soldier and I really need a phone to stay safe..." (Ok, I don't NEED a phone...it's a luxury...but one of my favorite ones. :-) (C'mon lady, where's your patriotism?!) PAUSE
The first worker leaned close to my ear, "We'll fix you up."
What does that mean? I don't need a blind date, I need a phone!!!
The worker began digging around in a back closet, and soon produced a cell phone that looked like a long-lost twin to my own. She waved a magic wand over them both, then handed me the new one. (Really, she just used a new shell and put the computer-thingy from my old one into it...did I fool you? ;-) Anway, she tested it out and the bandaid fix worked. I was happy. I think I'll try the pity card more often. They see right through the Confident Woman act. :-)
Well, y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe
Quote of the Day: (while visiting with MommyX3 at a restaurant, one of the flock asked:) "Mommy, what's this card?" (holding up a solar system collecting card)
The Ewe: "Venus. It's the brightest planet."
MommyX3: "Nah. We're smarter than those people on Venus."

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Proof of What?!

Hello, F.O.T.E.s!
Well, The Ewe continues to experience the big, wide world. ;-) Monday I had to renew our two vans' registrations. Silly me, I thought I'd just take those two cute li'l' postcards into the courthouse, write a check, and come waltzing out with two li'l' stickers for the license plates. Well, now. There seems to be some unwritten rule about needing "proof of insurance" before they'll let you have those li'l' stickers! When the lady asked for that, I was standing at the counter, juggling a baby, a purse and those postcards. I handed T.T. over to Carnival and commenced digging through my 50 lb handbag. I produced an insurance card and handed it over to the clerk. "I'll need a card for *both* vehicles, please." Really? Ok, well, I don't *have* the card for my husband's van, so I'll have to come back. Trot, trot, trot...I and my entourage replace ourselves in our seatbelts and drive the 30 minutes back home. I look in DH's van--nothing. I go into the house, looking for the card for DH's van...nothing, though I did grab the actual policy, in the event that the card never surfaced. Upon close examination of the policy, I discovered that the card I *did* have was actually the card for DH's van and the missing card was for *my* van. Well, isn't that interesting?
Anyway, with 3,000 page (yes, I'm exaggerating) policy document in hand, I climbed back into the van and drove the 30 minutes back to the courthouse. This time, my entourage and I tooled into the clerk's office, presented the aforementioned 3,000 page document-- oh and don't forget the cute li'l' postcards--wrote a check and walked out victorious with two li'l' stickers. All in about 7 minutes. I did think that after all I went through, they should have given me a plaque or something, but the lady acted like that wasn't going to happen, so I just thanked her and left.
A day later I was chatting online with The Ram. I told him my tale of woe about the insurance cards and the adventure getting the registration renewed (by the way, if I'd just mailed it in, none of that would have happened, eh? Hmmm....). He asked if I had a new card for my van. I told him, "No, but I've got the policy in there." For some reason, this made him laugh really hard. Evidently, he was envisioning me being pulled over by the police and handing the officer that 3,000 page document. The Ram said it would almost be worth it to see the cop's face. I was unaware that this was "just not done." So, in the span of another 7 minutes, The Ram had emailed me a copy of my van's insurance and I'd printed it off and placed it in my 50 lb handbag.
Just wait...in another year, I'll wait for those cute li'l' postcards to come in the mail. I'll drive into town with my proof of insurance. I'll march in there and write a check and come out with two stickers. All in 7 minutes. Just you wait...
Well, gotta run....Lambies will be rousing before long. Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe
Quote of the Day: "These pants are on their last leg!" Anonymous Lambie

Monday, February 28, 2005

One Year Ago Exactly

...our little Tiny Tot was born. Except he wasn't tiny...He weighed 10 lbs 14 oz, 2 oz less than Musical did. Though I didn't see it, I'm told the little man was delivered into his papa's eager hands at 8:47 p.m., Feb. 28, 2004. Our midwife had helped T.T.'s big ol' linebacker shoulders through, then The Ram caught him. Ahhh, SWEETNESS!!! Exhiliration!!! RELIEF! LOL! The only thing that was missing was.....KRISPY KREMEs!!!! When T.T. was just a minute old, the Grand Rams brought in Lovable and Musical (Carnival was already there...) at which point I practically ordered my wonderful father-in-law to go get donuts! (Yes, I'm so embarrassed now, but at the time, I wasn't in my usually-half-way-right mind). It was such a celebration. There were several folks at the midwife's house on unrelated business, but everyone knows that K.W.'s house is about BABIES!!!! and we had several people stick their heads in the door and congratulate us on "the latest model." It's fairly impossible to believe that was a whole year ago. It was a long, difficult birth. It took everything I, The Ram, my 2 midwives and the doula had. But it was amazing. We had people all over the world praying for us. That night, The Ram, T.T. and I cuddled down for the night all toasty warm together. The Ram was not delegated to an uncomfortable recliner for the night; for the first time, he got to spend our babe's first night in a warm bed. It was amazing. A year later, it's still amazing. Happy Birthday, Tiny Tot! For a peek at our midwife, see http://www.blessingsmidwifery.net/index.htm

Right About Now, One Year Ago...

...the contractions were pretty much stopped...I'd been fully dilated all day...WHERE'S THAT BABY?!?! The midwife pulled one more trick out of her sleeve...

One Year Ago, Right About Now...

...I was fully dilated, ready to push....we were thinking we'd have a babe in arms within the hour...

One Year Ago, THIS Minute (or so)

...We were hauling our things in from the van, at our midwife's house...I was dripping amniotic fluid all the way...After we got settled, our midwife checked my progress (I'd been having major contractions). I was 7 cm! We were well on the way to holding our baby boy!...

One Year Ago, THIS Minute...

...We had finally gotten in the van and started driving south...

One Year Ago This Minute

The Ram and I were rushing around, throwing things into a suitcase, hearts pounding...

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Grab Your Underbelly!

Hello, F.O.T.E.s!
Wow! The rain is coming down in torrents here. Where's that umbrella? A funny: The Grandma Ram is a retired kindergarten teacher. She tells a story of a student she once had who called umbrellas "underbellies." Tee hee!
We had a small thunderstorm last night at 2:00, which promptly sent all 3 girls scurrying into my bed. Reminded me of the scene in _The Sound of Music_ where the children all gathered in Maria's bedroom because of a storm. However, *I* did not feel like hopping out of bed and dancing around the room, singing "My Favorite Things." ;-) No, I relinquished my spot and went downstairs to make sure there were no watches/warnings on the t.v. Thank goodness, there were none. I went back up to bed and wriggled in between two or three children, who grunted their displeasure. (They had fallen asleep when I was downstairs.) After a couple hours of hanging my feet off the bed, trying to find a less-than-torturous position to sleep in, I gave up. When Tiny Tot woke up at 4 a.m., I decided he and I would retreat to the couch. That was a great idea, and I slept well until time to get up. Ah...what a night! LOL
Right now here, it looks like it does right before sunrise. Pretty dark. And it's after 8 a.m. The rain is coming down steadily. I could easily lie back down and sleep. But, no, I will press on. I've had my coffee anyway...If I went to sleep now, I might have another weird dream like I did last week...In that dream, I was visiting a nearby Goodwill Store. Not unusual. Except this time, you had to climb in and out of their front window. I was in the store, checking out and wondering how I was going to get out that window with 4 children and a load of goodies. LOL I woke up while I was still standing at checkout. Never did find out how that all turned out...
Well, I guess I'll go. The laundry is calling my name. "Would EWE please wash me?!" ;-)

Must run...Y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "Well, if they're going to that to learn to be gracious, you'd think they'd take their kids with them." Carnival, commenting on a radio spot, advertising babysitting for a church seminar about being a gracious woman.

Monday, February 14, 2005

My Heart is Singing! and Flashback

Hello, F.O.T.E.s! Happy St. Valentine's Day!
I don't know what the weather's like in *your* neck of the woods, but here it's over 60, sunny and gorgeous! My house is tidy, the windows are open, a slight breeze is venting out all the microbes that had settled here last week (yes, all 4 lambies had come down with a virus!). I had only a couple hours sleep last night, due to Musical coughing and the wind and rain howling outside. (Having been in a tornado a few years back, I surely do take notice of wind speed now.) Last night I was feeling a bit wistful, what with The Ram half a world away and the internet acting unreliable in his half. And it being Valentine's Day! But, listen Friends, a delivery guy showed up here right after lunch and brought the most beautiful dozen roses I ever saw. The girls retrieved that long box from him, and set about putting on a production to present me with them. Musical wasn't thoroughly convinced the flowers were from Daddy...she suggested maybe they were from the "nice man who brought them." I assured her the weren't from *that* man and that I'd never laid eyes on him before. Carnival joined in, saying, "Yes, Musical...that guy was from DHL (or whatever that new delivery company is) NOT UPS!" She pointed out that the UPS man had been here several times and I *had* laid eyes on *him.* Just to relieve the suspense, I opened the card attached to the flower box. "I am my Beloved's and My Beloved is mine." Yup...it was The Ram. Sigh...I felt like a school girl. :-) Carnival helped me get the roses in water and we set them on the kitchen table. I'll take a picture to email to The Ram. What a Sweetheart.
So...after the flower fest, the girls zoomed back outside to finish up the project I'd assigned them for the day--cleaning out half of the garage. Now, Yes, You guessed it...the jun...I mean, the *treasures* shuttled out of the one half of the garage ended up in the other half of the garage, but my purpose was suited. Sometime over the weekend, the wind pushed in one of the garage windows, and I needed at least a clear path for the house's owners to get in to fix it. So, I put the Lambies on it and they did a fine job. If we can string together a few more days like today, we'll bring Tiny Tot out in the play pen and actually clean out the garage the right way. EEK!
Right now, the sun is shining bright and Lovable has Tiny Tot out on the back deck. Carnival and Musical are blowing bubbles and everyone is laughing. Ahhh...what a lovely day.
I did realize earlier that tonight will mark the exact one year anniversary of my splashing boiling hot spaghetti water on my 9 mo pregnant belly! The Grand Rams were staying with the Lambies and me while The Ram was on National Guard drill. We were concerned I might go into labor while he was gone across the state, so his parents came for the weekend. It was Valentine's night and I was making spaghetti. Grandpa Ram was reading from an animal magazine to the girls in the living room. Grandma Ram was (if I remember correctly) teaching Carnival about sewing. I was in the kitchen, simply loving my full, busy house. I was pretty distracted and went to stir the spaghetti--and OUCH! I burned my finger! A few seconds later, I felt the burn on my belly and ran into the bathroom and ripped off my shirt--along with a few layers of skin. The cotton shirt had held the water on my bulbous tum long enough to inflict a severe burn about a foot square. I started shaking and got very confused...later it was pointed out that I was probably beginning to go into shock. Grandma Ram took me to the emergency room (yes, the same place we took Musical when the possum bit her) My blood pressure was up and I was so afraid some obstetrician would come rushing in and decide I needed a C-section right then! It's a laughable thought now, but at the time I was scared. Instead, a really super doctor attended my wound, pulling off burnt, dead skin. I felt like such a loser...Who *can't* make spaghetti?!? LOL Anyway, I've still got a reminder of that night...right on my belly. Of course, the scar is kinda hard to see through the stretch marks and cellu-whatever, but the funny thing is that it is now only a few inches across. LOL Just like drawing on a blown up balloon then letting the air out.
Sigh...what a day. Life is good. My Ram may be thousands of miles away, but I feel him right here with me. We still get to talk very frequently, for which I thank my Heavenly Father multiple times each day. As soldier wives go, I've got it good. Well, must run...Got Valentine's Day spaghetti to make...Well, on second thought...maybe we'll go out. Y'all keep your wool dry! The Ewe Quote of the Day: "Tiny Tot, don't *EAT* the bubbles!!!"

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Cox's Tough-As-Whit Leather Army

Hello, F.O.T.E.s!
It's as cold as a cucumber here today.
You know, anyone who's known my mama more than a few minutes has probably heard some colorful expression escape her lips. She's never needed curse words to liven up a story or conversation--her "Momisms" have always been enough. Having grown up in IL, you'd expect I'd be a full-fledged Yankee (and many deep Southerners would say that *is* the case) but growing up in a family full of Tennesseans, I consider myself at least to have dual citizenship. Anyway, I've grown up hearing sayings that many consider unusual. Some sayings, I've learned, are unique to my mother...some are just general Southern sayings. Even the ones that are well-know Southern sayings have origins that are mostly obscure to me. For instance, *who* was Cox, anyway? And just *how big* *was* his army? And what's "whit" leather? Who was it that discovered just how nervous cats *are* in a roomful of rockers? Also, at times, I've been weak as a kitten or crazy as a "bessie bug." What *is* a "bessie bug?" Friends, I'd sure appreciate it if you could enlighten me on these issues...also, feel free to add some of your favorite sayings in the comments--the "obscurer" the better. I sure would hate for these sage words to be "gone with the wind."
Well, gotta get "back to my rat killin'..." Y'all keep your wool dry...
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: "OOOH!!! CHOCOLATE!!!!!" the Lambies, opening the Valentine's Day gift The Ram had delivered here today. :-)

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Ladybugs, Ladybugs Fly Away Home...

...the sheep's in the meadow, the cow's in the...no, wait...that's the wrong nursery rhyme...
Well, hello, F.O.T.E.s. I just got finished washing my hands in the bathroom (the one we call "The Girls' Room"). Just how hard *is* it to drown a ladybug, anyway? Or just to kill them, in general? They came in swarms back at the beginning of fall, and just keep on coming. The really fun part is *where* they come in--the window in my bedroom. And the head of my bed is up against said window. I have nightmares about pulling ladybugs out of my ear canal or nostril. Or nests of them in my long hair. I have pulled them out of Tiny Tot's hand...on its way to his mouth. I usually have one on my pillow when I go to bed. They float in my bedside-table glass of water. I listen to them ping around in the light fixture at night. They really irritate me. Have ladybugs always been as aggressive as these are? I don't remember them ever getting into the house where I grew up. I think these are heavy on the "bug" and light on the "lady," because a real lady wouldn't stay where she wasn't welcome...and, buddy, these are *not* welcome. Maybe I ought to pull out that Gopher...
Well, y'all keep your wool dry!
The Ewe

Quote of the Day: Ewe's Friend: "Boy, those shoes are odiferous!" Ewe's Friend's 5 year old Lamby: "Yeah! And they stink, too!"