Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sis!

My Little Sis - 25 years ago!

Today is my sister Avis' birthday.

She is 45! And younger than me....

Happy birthday sister dear!

Avis lives in CA and works for the State of CA. She is single, free, never married and a living angel. As in, she works for God.

We need more living angels...

She doesn't read my blog.. Oh well... Perhaps one of her other relatives will steer her over here!'

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Speaking of Shabby Chic (Happy Dance!)


I got an honorable mention with one of my Shabby Chic cards on the Hero Arts Blog! I'm so excited! There were 153 entries and my little ol' card, this one, got one of the Honorable Mentions! I am on cloud nine!

The fun part is, Jacqueline won the second place slot! She is one of my stamping friends... Isn't she just awesome????? I love her gorgeous work!

Now, it you recall, I made two cards and 'saved' one to show later.

Here it is!

My Second Shabby Chic Card
I also entered this onto the Hero Arts Challenge

Another View
Hero Arts Supplies Used:
CL236 and HA Gemstones.
I used four stamps from the set: The little tree stamped w/ Color Box Gold; the Joy sentiment (which I put a mini Joy sticker in the ornament 'o') which is stamped with white Cotton Stazon first, then again with SU Purely Pomegranate; and the Season's Greetings sentiment. I also used the pine bough (stamped w/ white stazon) on the background paper.

Papers are all Cosmo Cricket, as well as the tag.
Ribbon, twine, and twill: Stampin' Up.
Snowflake embelli from Sandylion Kelly Panacci stickers.
Inks: Cotton White Stazon, Olive Green Stazon. Always Artichoke and Real Red SU markers, SU Purely Pomegranate, and Color Box Gold
Mini Joy Sticker: Melissa Frances

Thanks for visiting!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Arrrr! I Missed Talk LIke a Pirate Day! (Yet Invented my Own Special Holiday)

Yep.. I heard it through the grapevine, via other blogs the Talk Like A Pirate Day came and went. Go check that site out. It is darling!

The Just Johanna girls had a few challenges, as did a few other sites. The goal was to make pirate type cards. I watched it all from a distance, but just could not muster up me timbers to get off me bloody ars and participate. Nope. It was on September 19th, Friday, first day of moving Huffalumps (Heifers) and Woozles (Direct Market Beef). No fun to be had.

I really think such a monumental day should be closer to Halloween, when we are more than likely willing to be sportin' our Pirate and Wenchy attitudes.. Come to think of it, I know a few Wenches. Perhaps I should give those girls a call. Stir something up. Now I am in the mood!


But then there was today... which really was a match made in Heaven for Talk Like a Pirate Day..

No, I take that back. Today surpassed Talk Like a Pirate Day. It was more like.....

Curse Like a Sailor Day!

Yep. Little ol' me was really lettin' the sails flap out there early this am.

It all started with another love note from Mr. Sexton who had to leave before the crack of dawn to take 8 beef on a road trip. He needed me to move the Huffalumps again, by my lonesome, and go out and feed Jessie, along with all the other stinkin' chores. It was a pleasant morning, dressed in my Eskimo Gear (have you seen my jester ski hat? HOT!)... and scraping the ice off the four-wheeler seat.

  • The day started with 25 degrees of frosty weather.
  • The kids are both are home sick with colds
  • I am sportin' a close 2nd to their illness
  • Mr. Sexton left about 6:30 am
  • I went out at 7 am
  • Returned at 8:30 am. Hotter than heck, wearing considerably less clothing - call it a fever, hot headed, or catching the bug. I don't care. The flames are still flickin', and I had to get those things off! Paramenapaus?
I think the cause was my battle with a *$#) stretch gate!

(Warning.. Foul language ahead.... )

Oh.. what is a stretch gate, you ask?

It's made of barbed wire, looks like a gate when stretched, (about 4 strands of barbed wire, with posts every 4 feet or so) yet when lying flat is a tangle of disaster waiting to trip any unsuspecting animal or human. These things are typically long enough so a truck can pass through.

Did I mention you have to stretch it to make the gate? As in who ever invented these things did not leave any room for 'play'? No extra inches to the gate? YOU MUST GET IT RIGHT AND HAVE ARMS MADE OF STEEL TO CLOSE THEM ?????? AAAAAAA!!!


My job was to drive through field A which contained the Llama and sheep
Get to the *&#&# stinking stretch gate, which was closed, and separated Field A from Field B
Open the stretch gate,
to get into field B, where the Huffalumps were, so I could take down a hot fence so they could have more grass.

Oh.. The #&*((* stretch gate was stretched across a water hazard (I love that golf term!), aka ditch.

I had no intention of driving through the gate, I just wanted to open it a 'teeny weeny' so I could walk to the other side, then close the Son OF A B*#&.

That gate had no mercy. The inventor, also made this handy little device, called a stick, that is chained to the fence. You are to use it like a fulcrum to wedge it against the gate, pull it and the gate to the fence, then undo the loop of wire over the gate post to have it suddenly become limp and useless (the gate). You do the reverse to tighten the gate, but oh the gate and the loop of wire tend to not want to 'hook up' when it's time to close the gate!!! Which is where all sailors came to pay homage to me today.

I fought with that Son OF A B#^$ for several minutes. Super long, start tearing your clothes off and sweating minutes.

The stick thang is made for right handed folks. I am convinced. My husband dissagrees.

I am left handed.

And you need upper body strength.

I have none.

I could open the gate.

And close it on the 'right side' when I could use my left arm with the long end of the stick.

But, gee, to close it on the 'left side' with just the stub of the stick, was not working for me. I did try turning it around to have the long side, but it was not agreeing with me. I am so left brained! Or is it right brained? I confuse myself....

Hence, my Curse Like a Sailor Day... And boy did I let it rip.. And rip... and rip. This keeps the tears at bay. Tetering on a breakdown. Foot stomping, those sorts of things.


The neighbors most certainly did not have their windows open, too cold. Or, they would have been shocked.

The dogs got a few new terms for their card playing nights.

I thought about tying the damn thing with my jester hat and leaving it that way. But I did not want to be responsible for the Huffalumps getting mixed up with the sheep and Llama.. Bad mojo.

So.. I went back into Field B, the Huffalump side, closed the F(#*$n gate. then crawled through a section of barb wire to get back into field A.

And that was the beginning of my day.


I'll take a photo of that gate later.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Shabby Chic - For Hero Arts Challenge

Another View

Last night I just 'broke down' and dived into my craft supplies so I could create something! Oh it has been so long I am going through withdrawals. As I mentioned on my last post, I had hoped to play while the cat was away, but that boat did not float.

That ship did not sail.

That dog did not roll.

Or, that rock did not roll.

(I have been indulging in Psyche episodes. Can you tell? I have to say, it is my favorite show)...

Here are some things I had hoped to work on (let's call this the 'When The Cat Hits The Road' list):
  • Such as the Walsh Girls Missouri Years Album. But heck, since not one darn sister has sent me photos, or stories, the album should be a quick and short project! HA!
  • I also have some cards to send out. Thinking of Yous.
  • And Thank-Yous to the Cycle Oregon Helpers.
  • And my next batch of Fat Book pages. Which are, um, overdue.
  • And a list of challenges I would love to participate in!
  • And gosh, I need to setup my Fat Book Challenge for S.O.F.!

So.. I selected one item to tackle.

The Hero Arts Blog posts a weekly challenge, with entries due on Sundays. So, there I was, at 4pm getting my 'grove' on. I have always been a deadline driven type of Gal.

I actually made two cards and will share the other with you later. That way I can spread the love!

Hero Arts Supplies Used: Stamps (CL236) and Gemstones. There are four stamps used! The pine bough in the corners, the sentiment, a tree in the pp strips, and the tree toppers are cut out of one of the ornament designs!

Other Supplies:
Papers: Bazzil card stock; Cosmo Cricket Dutch Girl pp (2nd layer and sentiment layer); top pp layer is Foofala (love the vintage look!).
Inks: SU ( Old Olive & Purely Pomegranate) and Archival Brilliance Pearlescent Ice Blue.
Embellies: Buttons (Basic Grey & Rusty Pickle); SU twine, Sandylion Kelly Panacci tree stickers.

Thanks for looking and for putting up with my ramblings.

Sami and I are actually coming down with colds and I am feeling a bit punchy.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

While The Cat's Away - Huffalumps and Woozles

Greetings From My World!
Yep. That's me in the reflection wearing my workin' mama rain gear.
Ranch style, that is.
No Jimmy Chew shoes here (or whatever they are called).
My husband has been out of town and the kids and I have been
assigned a few tasks in his absense.
Morning and Night.

A new Additon to the Household
This sweet little thing is Pumpkin.
Pumpkin has also created more work!

Some of the puppies
Don't ask me who is who. I give up.
Sami and Dick are in the endless puppy batch cycle.
I am loosing track of who is who. They all look the same
after a while!
Dogs. Black and White. All of them.
These guys are cracking me up. They have itty bitty growls and barks
for all the things that invade their space.

Mr. Sexton was a buying fool at the kids School Open House
this last Thursday. We (obviously) had a desert auction to raise bucks
for our PTCO's 'back to school supply' fund. Our parents do not
have to purchase school supplies. Our PTCO gives the teachers money
to buy (their own darn) class supplies. It's a win win. The teachers know each
student will be equiped. The parents don't have to shop.
The 'less fortunate' kids don't have to arrive without their needed goods if their parents are not in a position with money, or are flakes, drug addicts or selfish pigs. Some parents just really make me mad with the way they treat their children and their children's education. But don't get in the way of their fancy coffee drinks or big screen TV's! Uh uh.
Which happens.

The To Do List Left By Mr. Husband
OK.. These are the types of love notes my husband leaves me when he splits town.
Dude! Get a clue!
The kids and I have been 'lagging' on the check water thing.
But it rained 3/4 of an inch...
Not worried about it.

Dinner for Champions
The Corona is mine... All mine!
Friday night's dinner.
Whole Grain Mac & Cheese, with tasty whole milk and real butter.
When the boss is away, we indulge in highly processed white starchy carbohydrates.
I remind myself of my dad! When my stepmom would go out of town my Dad loaded up on twinkies and other tasty forbidden kid stuff.
Let kids be kids. At least once a year, eh?

Watching TV from the doorway
Carpets got cleaned late Friday. Oops.

Morning and Night Job
Putting up electric fence and taking down electric fence.
Twice a day.


My dear sweet husband has been out of town since about 11:30 am, Friday. Every time this man goes out of town I have grand plans about how much fun I am going to have while he is away! This usually revolves around hours of scrap booking and playing in my crafty zone with the least amount of work as possible!

Mr. Husband returns in 2 or so hours. Guess how much scrappy time I have had?


We have been busy little campers over here at Casa de Sexton Ranches!

Here's the rundown:

  1. The kids and I were given a job to do while Mr. Husband was out of town. We call it our 'Huffalumps and Woozles' job. You see, we 'get to' setup electric fence and take down electric fence, every morning and evening, and move the Huffalumps (Heifers) and Woozles (Direct Market Beef). This job takes us 'a while'. If you toss in going out the back 200, and feeding Jessie, the entire process takes 2 hours! In the morning at least. The pm job goes faster, because just the Huffalumps get moved at night. And of course, we have our usual chores as well. I'm not complaining though. Oh my gosh the weather is so darn beautiful right now! I love the drizze of rain, the smell, the clean air! Gorgeous!
  2. It started raining Friday, about 5:30 pm. It did not end until sometime in the wee hours this morning. Puts a new twist on things... like, the Saturday 10:30 am soccer game the kids had yesterday. GADS! We had to husstle with our morning jobs, get to soccer, and they actually played in the rain the entire dang dong time. OH my.. It was the only game played at the Sports Complex! Diehard coaches. Our team has not yet lost a game. We are the champions.. in a 'nonkeeping score' YMCA liberal minded 'we are all equal' kindof way. Come on. Let us keep score! You know we all are!
  3. The kids and I have been on an everlasting food fest. It started Friday.. I made the kids Mac&Cheese for dinner. A healthy one, of course. No, not really. Just slightly. We chased it with one of our four desserts that we got at the kids school Open House Thursday night. Yesterday we went out for Chinese Food for lunch, and had pizza for dinner. And then more dessert. (Burp.) OH.. and my little sister and I have been enjoying Happy Hour together! Fun... Even though we are 3,500 miles apart, I open a Corona, she makes a margaritta and we call one another and chat. Bliss. Sans the bloated feeling I have!
  4. Oh.. let's not forget to mention the lastest addition to the household! Yep. Another critter! Friday morning Sami went with Dick after our huffalump 'how to' demo. They ended up at the barn, and Sami caught a baby kitten. Minature. On Friday. First day of freedom day became first day of kitty laundry day. I'm glad to say today little miss Pumpkin is potty trained. Alas.
  5. And, not to be outdone by previous Husband Be Gone experiences, I scheduled a home improvement project. I do this everytime my Husband goes out of town! Something epic. Something I don't want to deal with on my own, yet find myself having to be available and supervise the help for several hours type of project. I had our carpets cleaned Friday evening. And, to prep for this event, I spent the morning hours vacuming and arranging things so the job would be easier for the project dude! What a dork I am. Why do I feel the need to make someone else's life easier? Dang. Well, the carpet guy arrived at about 3:30 pm and left at 5:30pm. I was plump tired after that. Which put a damper on Friday night's movie watching plans. Get it? Damper? As in wet carpets and furniture? Ha! I just kill myself sometimes! The kids watched a show upstairs in the doorway to Jakes room (why that room has white carpet is beyond me - and why we put our boy child in it is a testament to my lack of forward thinking) and I watched a mommy show downstairs, atop a sleeping bag, on the floor. Mrs. Pedigrew Lives for a Day. Super Movie!
  6. Let's not forget the guests in my bedroom each night. First Sami on Friday night. Then both kids last night. Oh mama. But heck, they are so darn adorable! And no, they don't get to sleep in the bed. They have sleeping bags in the room. I do have my boundaries afterall.
  7. Last night, pizza night for kids, and salad for mommy night (but caved and ate pizza anyway), we watched Nim's Island. Cuteness! Love the critters. Love the actors/actresses. Jody Foster, you rock!
  8. This morning's after chores breakfast: Peaches and heavy cream, french toast with almond butter and syrup, coffee for mama, juice for kids... and I am so tired (or in a food coma, they feel the same)!
So.. off to napland for this camper!

Have a great rest of your weekend!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Visitors - On the Grand Scale

The Grands
Seated: Hank Sexton and Jake Sexton
Standing: Dick, Sami and Georgia Sexton
(the outlaw is taking the photos.. )

The Backyard Dining Room
Thursday Night. Ah..

Sami and Grandma Georgia
Searching for Sami's Goat, Betty

Sami - With One of the Latest Puppies!
Yep. Here we go again!


OK.. So last Monday, on the day of Cycle Oregon, I got a call on my cell phone while out at 'the sight'...

Me: Hello?

Caller: Hi Andi, It's Sherry! (my sister-in-law )

Me: Hi Sherry! (Surprised. She only calls about 3 times a year)

Sherry: So Mom and Dad are here and wanted to know if they could come visit you guys?

Me: Sure! When?

Sherry: Oh, they are thinking of heading your way tomorrow!

Me: Sure! Sounds great! Can you have them call Dick tonight? It's kind of hectic right now, I'm helping our school by feeding 2,300 cyclists!

Sherry: OH! Ok!


So... my in-laws came on Wednesday (instead of Tuesday). Dick informed me that they were coming and he had talked with them. They stayed until Friday morning.. Their arrival was perfect, I got to clean house (oh boy) and mow the lawn just before they arrived. Yet, the visit was very brief and fast. I would have liked to get more mileage out of the clean bedrooms, bathrooms, dusting and mowing! (Yes, I am being snarky)...

Wednesday they arrived at 3pm... and I took my mother-in-law with me to get the kids from school, and then to the soccer game that the kids won! It was very exciting. The Men folk stayed home and drank. Two peas in a pod I might add. (That is another story)... Then it was dinner, and bed.

Thursday night my husband (the SON of the two visiting guests) LEFT. ALL DAY. The in-laws also left on an adventure.. which was fine..I was stressing anyway. That night was our dinner outdoors.. Always a treat.

But, Friday morning they left.. pooh.

Now, why would they leave on the only day that the kids are at home? A relaxing day? The kids don't have school on Fridays... And, to top it off, they split while Sami was out in the field feeding Jessie... They did not wait...she did not get to say goodbye and she was upset. I don't get it.

There are of course other things I could write here.. But, no. It's not appropriate.

So, how about that puppy?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Some Fun Stamps I Ordered for SOF! (Stamptoberfest)

Go Ahead... Click on the picture.. Check these stamps sets out in all their adorable glory!
Here is where I found them.. At Sheetload. For some reason when I click on the photo above I can't get a huge image... Go to the link and click their image for a big ol' look!

These are the famous Michael's Studio G stamps that are only $1.00 per set.

I ordered all these babies... Some of them are going to be RAKS (give-aways) for the big Stamptoberfest Event at 2Peas - starting October 4th! AND for RAKS that I am overdue on sending out for various milestones... More on that later!

Oh my... I am so excited! I will finally be able to play with my ink, papers, and stamp friends! It has been sooooo long!

I hope these get here before the event so I can break a few in.. samples, ya know?

Some for me, and some for You!!!!

Tee Hee!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

What a Party!

The Facilities
You would be amazed at the amount of 'stuff' that travels from site to site
for Cycle Oregon! Location: Guyer property of Medical Springs Highway

Our School Informational Area
We set up an awning (normally used at the Farmers Markets by Sexton Ranches) and lined it with kid art. The 'A' Frame is an informational board about our projects for the school. That's little ol' me being an info guide.

Lunch was Eaten Anywhere
As you can see, there were lots of open skies!
Not much shade out in that country. The riders were found lounging in the oddest of places - sitting in the horse trailer opening where we dumped the trash, sitting on the backs of some of our vehicles, sitting in the display awning, anywhere shade could be found!

The Masses
I'm not sure what is with Mr. Atlas. Most riders do not have thighs like this dude.

Part of our Crew!
This is part of our PTCO work crew at the begining of the day, all fresh and smiley. I'm the one all the way on the left! Cycle Oregon's theme this year was 'The Wild Wheeled West'. Oh boy, did they ever get a taste of the wild west when they 'got to' sit in this field to eat lunch! Lycra and stiff grass do not go together well! Ouchy Mama!
A whole lot of cardboard was passed around for seats.

Part of the Student Entertainment
The first rider came through about 8 am. What a hammerhead! A young guy, very nice. He took a lunch anyway. We started to scramble after that. And boy, were we hopping!
The trash kept filling up... lots of runs to the service truck for more supplies.
The school bus arrived about 11am - a very busy time!
Part of our little school of about 80 kids sang to the riders - just the 2nd 3rd 5th and 6th graders. The little guys stayed at the school. And, they skipped the 4th grade. I was bummed! Jake's class did not come out! Can you imagine the 'pumping up' I did about this event in my household????
Poor buddy..

The Field Trip
OK.. See the biker chic on the left? With the Baker City jersey?
That is my ever so cool friend Bev, of Bella Main Street Market in Baker City!
She is a rider. She is amazing. She is so darn wonderful! OK, she's HOT!
Bev came out to the school the week prior to give a bike safety seminar with another rider, Brian. Bev managed to get some helmets and safety equipment donated from the Oregon Department of Transportation. So, our kids were ready to roll!
See Sami? She is in the front, on the right, on her bike, pink shirt.
That would be Super Sami. She wouldn't wear my Pullins Jersey from my Chico rollin' days.
Oh well.
But I love that girl!
OH.. Back to the story.. (just a mommy moment there)
So Bev and Brian came out and met the kids (5th and 6th graders) at the site, to take them riding on part of the Cycle Oregon route!
Oh My God!!!!!
I used to ride, and let me tell you, I was one nervous cat.
(Before I learned who the guides were)
Single Lane?
Hand Signals?
On your Left?
2,500 riders????
Kids weaving in the lane?
Kids with abrupt stops in the road?

It was awesome! Thanks to Bev and Brian.
The kids had a blast and a few new 'cyclists' were born!

A View of The Road
Our location was off the Medical Springs Highway,
about 25 miles from Haines

This Chick Rocks!!!

Beverly Calder
Biker Chick Extraordinar,
Owner of Bella Main Street Market, Baker City
You are one Hot Mama!
Thanks Girl!!!!!


Do you remember me giving you the head's up about our PTCO (Parent, Teacher, Community Organization - aka PTA) serving 2,300 bike riders for Cycle Oregon last Monday? I had volunteered our group to be in charge of one of the lunch stops, in exchange for $1,500 for our itty bitty rural school. Because of my 'we can do it' , my job was to get 20 volunteers to assist..it was down to the wire! We had all sorts of great folks helping out! Neighbors, Farmers Market Managers, moms, dads.. It came, it went, we all survived and it was a success!

What a Party! We arrived for work at 7 am. We worked until 3pm. Basically, we setup a city, setup all sorts of equipment, emptied trash containers, served the masses, broke down camp, and waived at our darling children as they arrived, biked, sang, and left. Oh the joys of being a parent who loves to 'be in the thick of things'!

I just love field trips.. And this was one HUGE kickin' trip!

And THAT was just the first week of school!

This week we have our Open House and Dessert Auction, along with three soccer games and a few ranch related projects to get out the door! ACK!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

This Past Week ... Put It In Over Drive!

First Day of School Photo With our Suzy Zoo Ducky!
This photo is in our little rural school.
I've been taking this photo each year and watching the kids outgrow their little buddy!

Jake - A 4th Grader At His New Desk
Jake and Sam are not in the same room this year.
Jake is in the 3rd and 4th grade room.
I guarantee this desk will never look the same again!
Last year his name tag was peeling off, pencil marks and doodles everywhere!

Sami in the Big Kids Room!
5th and 6th share a class. Sami is in 5th grade, and even though I
think she is tall and long legged, she is the shortest one in her class!
Boy, they grow them big out here, eh?
(Sami is in the red and white shirt combo)

Sami's Stack of Back Breakin' Books
The top book is her fave... Art, baby.
The news of the day... She gets a sharpie! Yep.. Permanent Ink.
We use these babies at home.. The kids know all about mama's
sharpie rules.

Saturday Night's Relaxing Star Gazing Event
Last night was a perfect ending to a crazy week.
Sami started her first campfire. Oh.. See the 'cave art' on the stones?
That would be Jake's Art. He got to scrub those babies
before we all gathered around the fire with our dinner.
No need to be draggin' that charcoal stuff into the house on the bottom of our shoes or feet!

The New Back to School Schedule is crazy
... Our mornings are crazy... Trying to get the kids up, dressed, fed and chores done before the 6:35 am bus is just crazy! Which is why I get up at 4am.
The school is in session 75 minutes longer per day (Friday's off now)... It's a mixed bag. Nice long day to actually get some 'work' done around here, but boy do I miss my buddies! It's quiet! And gosh, I can hear myself think! But, once I pick the kids up at 3:30pm it seems we are running somewhere.. and the crazyness starts over again... soccer practice, chores, dinner, bathe, clothes out for tomorrow.. repeat.

Tuesday - Thursday: We survived the first 3 days of school. Even though the district powers that be decided to plan bus routes during the first week (instead of practicing during the summer) ... let me tell ya.. I'm glad mine were NOT on the bus going home.. Rumors of itty bitty kids left at the high school 10 miles away from our school... and farther from homes... a whole lot of phone calls were made!

Wednesday: We survived the first School PTCO meeting of the year. And moms vs the school bus route tension chat.

Thursday: We survived the first 'everybody goes in different directions' night. The kids were at a soccer practice/mom was at a night market, and dad is at a livestock sale. Thanks BFF! I did have dinner cooking during all this. Yet, dad did not get home until 9:30pm.

Saturday: Another 'everybody in different directions' but to the nth degree! The kids were to have soccer photos at noon, and a game at 1pm. And this is all 17 miles from where we live. I had the Boise Market (150 miles away) and Dick was shipping cattle - 2 miles down the road at our headquarters... I left at 4:20 am. The kids had their to do list, and Dick made it back to take them to town for their photo shoot and game. Backup was arranged and 'on call' in case of emergency. It all worked! The kids team even won! Backup was not needed but truly appreciated (BFF!!!!!). Dad came through! What a superman... The kids and Dick even instigated another outdoor dinner and fire in the evening.... Sami lit her first fire... smores were a plenty... I retired early... those up at 3am things kill me..

Today: The kids and Dick rode horseback on another cattle drive... They did awesome! Woo Hoo!

I am doing major prep for tomorrow... We have our first big fundraiser of the school year. 2,500 bikes are coming through our area (Cycle Oregon). Our PTCO is serving them lunch. The kids school will join us - via school bus transportation. The fifth graders will ride bikes with the Cycle Oregon participants for a bit. All the kids in grades 2-6 will sing songs as part of our entertainment...... myself and a crew of 20 are due on site at 7am...

And, that my friends is our life!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Book Review and a Chat About Library Books

Book Club Read for August

First - let me explain my book club. We are a rather laid back, eclectic mix-match of various women in our County. I might be the youngest. Actually, I am certain I am. We don't have rules and we don't read the same book. We each pick our own to read, if we so desire, and share our findings with our group which meets the first Wednesday of the month.

My friend Ann (the one undergoing radiation treatment for breast cancer) is our organizer. She is the brains behind our outfit, and the one who had the great idea of 'just doing what we want'. Oh how I love that woman.

You see, I love to read. It is one of my passions. Give me a book, or a stack of books by my bedside and I am a happy camper. My weakness is I love to purchase my books. I am not good at going to the library and checking books out. And I don't save my books. Very rarely. I take them back to the bookstore for a credit. Similar to a library, but only different.

This month I took Sami and Jake to the Library (well, in August) to check out books. You know, do the right thing. I came home with four books, Sami one. She read hers. I 'discarded 2' of mine, finished the one featured here, and am devouring my fourth.

BUT I do not Like Library Books! They are gross! They have yucky stuff in them - like food stains, and the spines are busted, and I feel 'yucky' turning their dirty little pages! ACK!

So, my attempt at being frugal is now over. Back to the bookstore, and back to the book....

So, this month I read Balac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie. This book is awesome! I love it! And let me tell you, it is always horrific for me to discover atrosities that have occurred in my lifetime in another country. This one takes place in the 1970's during the Chinese Revolution.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress
is a semi-autobiographical novel written by Dai Sijie, and published in 2000 in French and in English in 2001. Its original French title is Balzac et la petite tailleuse chinoise.

Just Little Ol' Me....

My kids are back at school.

No one is here at home but little ol' me.. It's quiet.

We had dinner at 'the table' last night (instead of with the TV and a movie) and sadly said goodbye to our summer.. Ribs, potato salad and corn for the menu... Table dinners are mandatory during school. No TV nights unless it's Friday or Saturday.

Kids went to bed at 8:30pm, instead of 9, or 9:30 or 10pm. All bathed, clothes out for school, soccer stuff ready at the door. Tonight it will be 8pm. Back to normal.

I got up at 4am. Got the kitchen ready. Put out the kids juice and fresh fruit (those organic peaches!). Dick made breakfast when he got up at 5:30... oatmeal, eggs.

Woke the kids at 5:40am. They got dressed.

Sami fed her calf. We both did outdoor chores. With 29 degree weather!

Loaded them up in the car at 7:10am and took them to school.

Did the first day of school routine. Chatted with other moms, kids, teachers, staff. Took some photos.

Here's My Favorite Part:
I happily terrorized the new cook . Yes, I am evil, but I have a bone to pick and it's a big one! (Remember, I am a real food advocate and despise the school food program). This will be an interesting year - I met her earlier at the Farmers Market when she was sharing her 'I'm so excited to be the new food services director' speal. Yep. That's right. She's the new Director. She mentioned she was moving to our little town. And, I recalled reading in the paper that they were going to have her 1/2 time cooking, 1/2 time directing... When I 'heard' the news that our beloved sweet cook was going elsewhere, I had a hunch that the district was up to something... Turns out my hunch was right!

When I introduced myself to Mrs. Food Service Director for the Entire School District (at the market) it was in response to the newspaper article that said the district was interested in getting local foods into the kids meals, to cut costs of course. Nothing to do with a healthier diet. 'Hi there, I sell local meat, and would love to help out', I said. She gave me some song and dance about the Government contracted food program - ground beef comes from California, and how she wishes she could do something local but gosh darlin' we have to buy that stuff! I also gave her the 'I can't stand that chocolate or strawberry 2 percent water they call milk' talk too.. Let's have real milk!

Anyway, this morning I reintroduced myself.. 'Remember me? We met at the farmers market! My friend (BFF Michelle was at my side) here and I are active moms and we will be helping you in anyway we can'. (There is a God... Bwah ha ha)... The principal had submitted my name along with a few others for membership on a Food Services related committee for the district.

Today, Mrs. Food Service Director For the Entire School District was real flustered because she did not know how to turn on the dish washer. Hmm... no homework prep, eh? Oh.. And are those canned peaches I see? I'll have to clue her in on the local organic orchard.

A new school year is upon us...

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Recap of Mr. Sexton's Birthday, and Sniff... So Long Our Beautiful Summer!

Birthday Card for my Husband
Dick's Birthday was Saturday.
We all took the day off and had a grand play day.
See? Life.. Nothing else matters.

My Crew
First we went to the Baker City Farmers Market,
as shoppers instead of sellers!
Boy, was that fun!! Really.. To just stroll.
We toured an organic orchard.
And came home with lots of fruit!
Peaches, pears, apricots and plums.
We saw a praying mantis, ate at a greasy spoon cafe,
took a dirt road loop and saw some cool old buildings,
came home for a nap.
Then, drove for an hour to go to one of our favorite restaurants,
which was closed.
Then went to another restaurant, and had a fabulous dinner!
Funny, it was right in Haines.
Whoda thunk?
Then home to open gifts.
Mr. Sexton scored.

Here the kids are inspecting a motorized apple press
Sami got her head wacked shortly after this shot

Jake - Totally Diggin' the Tour
See that heavy metal handle?
Sami, was not a happy camper.
She got her head a little too close
when the 'demo' with the crank smacked her in the temple.

Sami's Gift to her Daddy
I love this sweet gift.
It captures Sami and her daddy perfectly.
Sami picked it out and bought it all by herself.
At Hallmark.
But we made our cards.
Because, that is what we do!


Today is our last glorious day of summer vacation. And, ol' Mother Nature is being a sassy little thing! It's been super chilly in the morning, breezy all day, cold at night. This morning it was 35 degrees... Only three degrees from a hard frost! Rats... It's officially turning to fall here in our world.

We had a lovely short stint of summer... even though the kids could not recollect what they did, I gave them a run down of their very busy and active summer... It went something like this:
  • Learning to saddle a horse all by themselves and riding almost daily
  • Moving hand lines and irrigating (summer job)
  • Going to the Farmers Markets with their mom
  • Bowling (instead of the water park, because it rained!)
  • Camp outs in the backyard - 2 for Jake, 3 for Sami
  • Backyard campfires... I forget how many, 5? 6?
  • Picnic on Fathers Day at the Creek
  • Having our friends over for a lamb kabob BBQ and campfire, only to have a huge thunderstorm and we ate inside by candles and lanterns
  • Touring the Organic Orchard in Richland, Oregon (1 1/2 hours away)
  • Walks with Patchie
  • Real French Toast, Huckleberry Waffles, Scones and Lemon Curd
  • Sami's new love for Chai Tea on a cold morning (non caffeine)
  • Staying up late (9pm, 9:30 pm, 10pm)
  • A record crop of bummer lambs
  • A bummer calf
  • New puppies
  • A few sleepovers
So... even though we never officially went on a vacation, we managed to make the best of it, right here at home and in our own stomping grounds.

School starts tomorrow, along with the soccer routine and school volunteering scene.

I am already stressed about our first school fundraising project - our PTCO is serving lunch to 2,500 cyclists (the pedal variety) for Cycle Oregon, a week from today. Guess who opened her big mouth and said she would organize all of us? That would be me...

Someone please, scratch my eyes out and make me mute so I don't volunteer for anything soon..

So, it will be an early to bed night for the kids and a shock of a morning wake up call. 5:45 for the kids... OH.. Guess I am back to the morning chores.. Dang..

Off to make some phone calls, and twist some arms... aka recruiting more help!