Thursday, November 19, 2009

Goin' to Kansas City, Kansas City here we come.

Three of my sisters and I got to meet Ree in KC! Rhonda, Bonnie, Cheryl and I went, unfortunately our sister Lorri had to work.

On the way we ran into snow. The roads got so bad that I even suggested we pull off the road and miss seeing Ree (drastic measure). Thankfully Rhonda, our driver, persevered and we made it.

We also met her boy punks and her manly husband. Wow on the husband, he's gorgeous in person! I once mentioned in Ree's comment section that If I ever met them in person I was not the type to ogle her husbands butt. (Everyone ogles his butt on her site especially when she posts a picture of it in chaps.) I lied. I ogled.
It was also very nice in person. Can I say "I saw his butt in person?" I think I can. His voice is gravely and sexy, there is something extraordinary about his eyes. Let's just say he is a fine specimen.

The boys were adorable and entertaining. This looks like a sweet hug, it is actually a head-butt to the neck.

"Look what I found Dad."

Tossing his little brother over the wall. They got lots of laughs.

Ree looked awesome as always. Loved her outfit. We were in the second row. The interviewer asked us to write down questions for Ree. The lady skipped my question which was, "Have you waterboarded your children lately?" It was an inside joke Ree would have got because I asked a question involving waterboarding during one of Ree's question and answer posts. Anyway, Ree was sweet and funny. She sang. Then they awarded door prizes.

MM gazing adoringly at his wife as they get ready to give the prizes.

Cheryl won! Ree's oldest son presented her a wall hanging that said "Cowgirl Up". Ree gave us all a T-shirt and I got a hug when we finally got our books signed. Ree said she was glad to meet me!

He wanted that mic bad.

A helpful smack on the butt. He got a big laugh for that.

Practicing their mixed martial arts.

Being goofy and the crowd loved it.

My sister Bonnie found the cutest Limoges figurine of a basset hound. We let the boys look at it while they where waiting for their mom to finish signing books. They loved it and so did Ree when we gave it to her.

Ree announced that she will be publishing Black Heels to Tractor Wheels! I hope she does another book signing tour. We want to meet Mike next time.

It was worth the hours of waiting to finally meet Ree. We had a great time at the signing, and in KC in general. Lots of shopping.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


I think I am done with my pond for this year. I may do a little more planting next spring.

Monday, October 12, 2009

What I did on my summer vacation. by Slug-a-bed

On our summer vacation my boys and I built a fort in our backyard.

It has a climbing wall, a swing and a rope ladder the boys can throw over the fence to let friends climb up from outside our yard. There is also a fireman's pole that we are not quite done installing. We have plans to add a door to the open end and we want to put two bunks that fold down inside so the boys can have friends over and sleep out there.

We had a cool zip line from the fort to the other side of the yard, but I had to take that out because it wasn't safe unless I was there to supervise and some of the neighbor boys were using it without permission. There was also the matter of a small head injury to one of my brother Johns girls, lacerations to one of my brother Don's girls and a possible fractured bone to Johns littlest girl. The bone injury actually happened on the trampoline. I gave the tramp to our backyard neighbors and gave the zip line to brother John.

I removed the tired plants in front of our house and put in new beds and plants, but the best summer/fall project is the new pond and waterfalls I have been building. The project is not 100% complete, but I wanted to show what I have done so far. It looked pretty with the fresh snow blanket this morning. This is the view from our den.

I plan to add a third smaller waterfall to the left of these falls.

I want to add some ornamental grasses too. I am trying to keep it natural looking.

I purchased my latest 'one true love' today. It is the most perfect weeping white pine.

Isn't it incredible? My sister Cheryl said I was crazy to buy such a crooked tree. I just fell in love with the character of this tree. It is still in it's pot because I am not sure where I should place it. Any suggestions? Also what should I do with that open area between the water falls, just below the top of the pine? Plant something? It can't be a tree because the tree roots could cause problems later.

I think the new water feature looks best at night.

That is what I did on my summer vacation. The end.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Too busy to blog.

I'm baaaaa-aaaaack. You can't believe how busy I have been. I (with much, much, much help) prepared my old house to be sold, sold it, packed up all my earthly possessions, moved to a new house, unpacked most of our stuff (not all), had a new patio put in, are in the middle of having a fence put up, went shopping a couple of times for stuff needed in the new house, totally redid the planting beds in front of the new house, fixed the sprinkler system, am planning(with my boys) a fort to be built in the next two weeks and I am wondering how am I going to place the large boulders I will need for my pond and waterfalls (also in planning stages) after the fence is installed. Whew!
Other interesting things of note: Niece Shayla is living in a castle in England for the summer as part of a study abroad program. Niece Sarah is in Italy teaching the children of US military personnel.
So much going on and not enough time left in the day to blog. Last night Bruce and I sat down and relaxed together in the evening for the first time since we moved. I checked my email and found the following gem from Soupa-sista.

Judy got married and had 13 children. Her husband Ted died of cancer. She married again and she & Bob had 7 more children. Bob was killed in a car accident 12 years later. Judy *again* remarried.... and she & John had 5 more children. Judy finally died after having 25 children. Standing before her coffin, the preacher prayed for her. He thanked the Lord for this very loving woman and said, "Lord, they are finally together." Ethel leaned over and quietly asked her best friend Margaret, "Do you think he means her first, second, or third husband?" Margaret replied...."I think he means her legs, Ethel."

Hope your summer is going well, we love our new house. Luke is at the swimming pool about every minute it is open. Levi is with friends all the time, fishing or playing baseball.

Monday, April 27, 2009

I went on a date!

We rarely leave our boys with a sitter. We either take them along or stay at home, but last Saturday Bruce and I decided we wanted to go out alone. Levi, age 12 and Luke, age 7 don't always get along (they fight verbally and physically to the point of driving me insane). I don't leave them home without supervision.

I called my brother John and SIL Marlys to see if they would watch the hooligans for us. They didn't answer any of their phones. Obviously they have caller ID and a good idea that we might be looking for a place to dump our kids.

We were all dressed up (I had even plucked the two long hairs that grow out of my chin mole) so we decided we'd try to leave them alone. We ordered huge amounts of pizza and chicken to be delivered, hoping they would gorge themselves and be so loaded up with carbs that they wouldn't have enough energy left to maim one another.

Bruce and I went out for steaks. We were surrounded by families with kids. Kids that were screaming, kids dripping blue ice cream on themselves and smearing it on their unsuspecting mothers back. We loved every minute of it. We smiled at the crying and fighting children and were so thankful that they weren't ours.

When we got home all was calm. Luke was sleeping in bed and Levi was calmly watching TV. I think Bruce and I might start having regular date nights.

Sister Cheryl's Cakes

My sister Cheryl has gotten into decorating cakes.

She went to a cake decorating demonstration given by this guy.
He is a big deal on the Food Network. I didn't get his name.

Cheryl's son Justin lives in a group home with lots of others.

Cheryl made this birthday cake for Justin's house mate Char.

Notice the guy in the background who has edged his way into Char's moment of glory?

That's my nephew Justin. I think he was probably wanting a big chunk of that cake.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sister Bonnie made me aware of Susan Boyle's performance on Britian's Got Talent. Wow! Imagine the emotions this woman experienced. Bottle those and sell them, you'd become a billionaire. If you haven't heard her yet, check it out here. Go back and give Paul Potts another listen too. His voice also gave me goose bumps.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


We sold our house today to a very nice couple. They have been looking for the right house for a couple of years. They shed tears when they heard we accepted their bid. Isn't that sweet? I'm glad it's going to someone who will appreciate it. We move June 1st.

We are going to live a short distance from the city pool/park. There are lots of boys for my kids to play with in that neighborhood also. They can't wait. We will be across the street from my parents. I called and told them to get some deadbolts installed on their doors and windows before June 1st. He he.
Now I get to plan a water feature garden for the new house. Time to get out the landscaping books and start dreaming.

Friday, March 27, 2009

My very dear and lovely SIL Marlys sent these pictures in an email. Thanks for contributing Mar.
There's another below

On the tenth floor of a hi-rise building.....
You open the door...
Scroll sloooooooowly.

This is a picture of a public toilet in Houston :

Now that you've seen the outside view,
take a look at the inside view...

It's made entirely of one-way glass!

No one can see you from the outside, but when
you are inside it's like sitting in a clear glass box!
Now would you...

COULD YOU....???

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Our first offer!

I felt like my date ditched me at the dance. Brent who was interested in buying my house, traded houses with my neighbor Eric. But all is not lost, our realtor took another couple through our house last night and they loved it. My pond sold them. They made an offer last night! We have until Saturday to reply. Another couple will be coming through the house tonight. Also our school district has hired a new high school principal and she is a widow with two kids. I would love to have her look at my house. I think it could be a good fit for her family. A principal would need a nice back yard to relax in after a stressful day right? Or a jetted tub in the master bath?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Eric, my neighbor with the nice eyes would like to buy this place which is owned by Brent.
Brent once dated my niece Shawn. Brent was shot in a hunting accident and lost one of his kidneys. My brother Rick bought the first acreage Brent owned. Brent's older brothers laughed at me when I wiped out on my brand new 10 speed.

Brent would like to buy my house.

And I would like to buy this house which belongs to Garald.

So my realtor needs to sell Eric's house which is across the street from my house, so Eric can buy Brent's house so Brent can buy my house so I can buy Garald's house. Garald wants to get the heck out of Dodge and is moving to the other side of the state. It's all kind of like the lady who swallowed the fly don't you think?

Open house results.

We had our first potential buyers come to our open house Thursday evening. Seven couples came. Two may want to buy our house but, they need to sell their own homes first. One lady fell in love with the house but couldn't convince her husband who would like to build a new home.

Our realtor will continue showing our house and we will see what develops from here. He called today and before answering I had a feeling of fear that someone actually wanted to make an offer on our house. I am so conflicted. I will definitely miss this house if we move. I finally have everything done here with the help of my family... artwork on the walls, nail holes filled, doors painted, front porch railing installed, gardens established etc. Then I think of the house across the street from my parents home. It is 200 square feet larger than our house and has a den and 2ND bedroom upstairs as well as a full bathroom upstairs for the boys. It is close to my parents, swimming pool and lots of kids for the boys to play with. Like I said, I am conflicted. Our current house is perfect for me but the house in town is better for our family. Time to be unselfish I suppose.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Want to buy a house?

Water feature garden in the back yard.

These are pictures of my house, the house we built 2 1/2 years ago.

The kitchen.

We made an offer on a house in town and our offer was accepted. We will move if we can sell our home. The house we bid on is larger than our current house and is near lots of neighborhood kids for my boys to play with. It is blocks from the swimming pool and the city park and it is across the street from my parents.

This is the tub surround in the master bath.
The tile job was done by my brother Rick, me, brother John and his wife Marlys.

However, this means I have to give up the house I designed and had my brother Rick build. That won't be easy. This house was literally made for me. If we don't sell I will not be sorry. If we do sell that will be good too.

Living room and entry.


Backyard garden.

This is the description the realtor used to describe our house:

Stunning is the perfect word to describe this home!! This home is a 1400 sq ft custom built Ranch style home. The workmanship is excellent and shows in the open floor plan and gorgeous Cherry woodwork and cabinets. This home is really indescribable and you need to see to really appreciate the beauty! The main floor consists of an open living, dining and kitchen. The kitchen has Cherry cabinetry which you will love and the dining room has patio doors to the deck--which has a awesome view. The master bedroom is huge with a gorgeous master bath right off of the bedroom. There is a main floor laundry with office and another 1/2 bath on the main floor. The basement boasts 2 bedrooms, bathroom and a large family room. Outdoor entertaining is made easy with the large patio and backyard and plan to spend many evenings relaxing by the gorgeous pond!! The home is located on a 1 acre lot on a hard surface road in the Rock River Bluff addition. Don't miss this one!!

So if you need a home in North West Iowa e-mail me. Open house is Thursday evening. I'll let you know how it goes.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Blood boiling rage and a turning point in my life.

Tonight my twelve year old son Levi asked, "What is the angriest you have ever been."

Wanting to share a valuable life lesson that I had learned the hard way, I explained to him that when I was younger I had always been mild mannered and quite shy. I tried to avoid confrontation and anger to the point I could have been called a wimp, except one night when I was in high school...

I was one of the youngest in our sophomore class. My classmates had turned sixteen and were driving long before I was licenced to drive. My parents wanted me to contribute gas and a vehicle along with my friends so they allowed me take my dad's red farm truck to the edge of our small rural town as long as I promised to let my trusted friend Shelli drive it after we met up. We had great fun with that truck even though it wasn't the coolest vehicle dragging Main. One redeeming feature of the truck was the powerful spotlight mounted on its hood. We interrupted couples parking in secluded areas with that light and shined it into the cars of other kids driving up and down Main. Good times, good times.

One Friday night while cruising Main we heard that some older kids were having a party out by the river that runs through our town. The river had wooded areas laced with rugged dirt paths. There were small grassy clearings just perfect for parties.

We decided to put a little scare into the party goers. We went to the river and turned on the spotlight and speared its light through the smoke and trees as we approached. Thinking we were the police, under aged drinkers scattered into the trees like a herd of frantic deer chased by a mountain lion. It was awesome! Surprisingly, our humor was not enjoyed by those at the party. He he.

There was a large bonfire and music blaring from speakers mounted in the trunk of a car. A kid named Mark put live lightening bugs in his mouth and blew his cheeks out like Dizzy Gillespie, his cheeks glowed green! He was always a big attraction at river parties. However, we were feeling unappreciated because of our prank so we started back to town.

Dan and Greg, two seniors, wanted a ride into town. Dan opened Shelli's door and shoved her over until he was behind the wheel. He had been drinking. I gathered my weak courage and told him, "No, you can't drive. You can have a ride, but let Shelli drive."

He took off with Shelli and I and his friend Greg all telling him to stop. Dan was going too fast down the gravel road and and about a mile later he drove straight into a ditch and the front end of my dad's truck was crushed.

We were shaken up but no one was injured. We all sat silently for a second, I was angry and in disbelief, it had seemed like he had deliberately driven into the ditch. How was I going to explain this to my dad!

Unfortunately for Dan, I accidentally slammed my thumb in the door as I exited the truck and that triggered an emotion like I had never experienced before. It was a blood boiling rage, my blood literally felt scorching hot coursing through my veins. The heat rushed over my entire body! I came up out of the ditch as Dan came towards me around the back of the truck. He was stuttering and saying, "I, I don't know what happened."

I walked straight into him and slammed him hard with my forearms. He was laid out flat onto his back. I followed him down and started pounding my fists into him like that scene from The Christmas Story movie when Ralphie beats up the school bully. I confess I began spewing curse words just like Ralphie.

Shelli and Greg were stunned. First the accident, now shy, happy-go-lucky Lisa was acting like a person possessed. They eventually pulled me off and Dan ran back to the party to escape my fury.

A passerby saw the accident and called the police. An officer showed up and asked me what was going on. Like an idiot I told him that I had been driving. Dan had been drinking and I stupidly decided to protect him. The officer asked for my licence. I told him I didn't have it with me. He accepted this and took down my name. He didn't give me a ticket. We eventually got the truck out of the ditch with a wrecker and they let me drive it home.

I told my dad that I had driven the truck into the ditch. He was pretty reasonable about the whole thing and that made me feel even more guilty about the truck and my lies. The next day I told my brother Rick that Dan had wrecked the truck. Rick was a senior like Dan and Greg. He said, "You need to tell Dad the truth and maybe I need to teach Dan a lesson."

I mumbled, "You don't have to beat him up, I already did."

Rick questioned me and burst out laughing when I admitted that I had flattened Dan and pounded on him until he ran away. Rick thought this was hilarious.

I told my dad the truth later that day, he asked the police to change the accident report so Dan's insurance would cover the repair costs for his truck. Dan denied that he had been driving and the police said that I had lied once and how were they to know I wasn't lying now.

My dad was stuck with the cost of the repairs because of my lies. I vowed to be completely honest from that moment on, hence that night became a turning point in my life.

Do you remember the Nazareth song 'Hair of the Dog'? After that night my friends would sing it with the words changed a bit. Instead of singing, "Now you're messin' with a son of a b****."
They sang, "Now you're messin' with a daughter of Rich." (My dads name is Rich.)

My brother Rick thought that his little sister beating on his male classmate was great fun. He told all his buddies and they laughed at Dan's expense for weeks which was probably his greatest punishment. I do hope Dan learned as valuable a lesson as I did that night.

So Levi, always be honest, especially to the police and your dear sweet parents. Also if you slam your thumb in the door of your truck, go give someone a serious beat down. It will ease the pain in your thumb.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cheryl's Panama Cruise

Sister Cheryl and BIL Glenn traveled through the Panama Canal on Day 7 of their cruise.

They took a smaller boat to get a little closer to nature.

Costa Rica is next.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cruise update.

My sister Cheryl and her husband Glenn are still on their Panama Canal Cruise.
Day 4 was spent at Aruba.

Aruba was settled by the Dutch, hence the architecture you see here.

Day 5 was spent on Curacao.

These views are from their private balcony.

Towel art monkey.

This is what my BIL ate last night.

Grandmothers Beef Broth.

Hearts of Romaine Lettuce Nicoise

Vodka Style Graviox

Italian Meatloaf.

Veal Medallions.

Marshmallow Sundae.

Coconut Cream Pie

Cherries Jubilee.