Sunday, July 15, 2012

I'm Moving My Blog

After five years, 543 posts and 16, 548 hits, I've decided to move my blog. Don't worry, I'm not quitting, just moving to new digs.

I opened my author blog at last August but really began using it this June. I'm working on my brand and trying to keep my writing adventures a separate entity.

Life In The Big Cedars began on Blogger on June 7, 2007, and now I'm moving over to Wordpress. I bought the domain so click on over and make a new bookmark in your browser. You can also signup at the top right of the page to get my posts in your inbox. The good thing about Wordpress is that it is instantaneous! I post and you get an email. Shazaam!

I'm changing for three reasons:

1. Easier commenting. Don't be afraid to leave me a message or make a comment. I love hearing from you guys ;)

2. Faster email notifications. Like I said, I post and you get an immediate email.

3. More professional and versatile.

So make a bookmark, signup to follow by email and comment often.

Let's blog!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Meat & Cheese Pie

Bryon brought home this awesome recipe last week, and I made it up for dinner. I doubled the recipe and it made three quiche-like meat and cheese pies. Bryon won't eat quiche, but he liked this a lot. I froze the other two. Try it if you like...we did!

Meat & Cheese Pie

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup mayonaise
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. flour
1 small can corn (drained)
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/3 cup green onions, thinly sliced
salt & pepper
1 pie crust

Brown beef in skillet, stirring until crumbly; drain. Combine mayo, milk, eggs and flour in a large bowl; mix until smooth. Stir in browned beef, cheeses, green onions, salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until crust is brown. Let sit for a few minutes until firmed up. Serve.

Editorial Blog Correction

Let the record show that BRYON found the Where Did I Come From? book and not me.  Much like FoxNews and CNN, I reported erroneously.

And so it is.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Birds and The Bees Talk

Grace has been very curious lately as to exactly how babies get into mama's bellies. She's 7 1/2 if you remember.

She actually got an eyeful last year thanks to a pregnancy and childcare book I forgot I had. When Bryon painted and redecorated her room for her birthday last September, I piled all of her books from her book case in the entryway including that pregnancy and baby care book. My dad had gotten it for me before she was born. Now it was just in a stack on top of her book case used to prop up dolls for viewing.

I had forgotten all about that book.

As I moved the piles into her room after the redecorating was finished, I insisted that she be the one to organize her books back on her book shelf. It was a ridiculous plan because I knew I'd end up reorganizing them due to my Type A, slightly OCD obsession with that bookcase.

After a while of working on the project, she came out holding THE BOOK and said, "Mama, this is like a doctor book! Look!"

Sure enough there was a picture of a fuzzy little, dark haired baby crowning between a mother's legs. It was not cartoony. It was real.

You can imagine the questions that followed. I told her the truth. Yes, it hurts. Yes, it's messy, etc. etc.
At that point it was plenty of information, and mercifully she didn't ask how it got there in the first place. Whew!

This summer she's begun to put two and two together and has been asking much more specific questions. At first we just told her she wasn't old enough to know yet, but like her mother (ahem), she's persistent. She started pummeling Nana with the same questions.

Bryon took a poll of parents at his work and it was unanimous that if she's asking questions it's inevitable that someone  would eventually give her answers right or wrong. And that someone might as well be us. Several of the parents recommended this book, Where Did I Come From? 

Bryon found the book and last night he read it too her. Brave, brave Daddy! I came in at the tail end for the big finish: birth. She didn't ask too many more questions. It was pretty specific and explained everything. In great detail. With all the correctly named body parts. Bryon told her that all animals (mammals) basically do it the same way. Like the chickens and rooster in our yard.

Every time she sees that rooster going after a hen she thinks they are marrying.

No more.

She did ask if that's why they squawk all the time. Yes, yes it is. She also asked why people don't make sounds. Well, we did manage to avoid that one.

Bryon explained that this was private information and not to be shared with all of her classmates because some parents do not want their kids to know about all of this yet. She agreed to be the keeper of the truth about creation.

We'll see if it sticks. By the end of August we'll be the heroes or the villains for telling her the truth and not letting her learn on the bus like everyone else.

I just saw the same author has a book for puberty too.

Thank God.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Why We Read Paranormal Romance: A Confession

In an effort to resist spamming you with posts concerning my latest obsession with writing. I wanted to let you know, I just posted on my new Author Blog at Lisa Medley. Just click on my name and it will take you directly to the post or here

If you like getting the posts on my writing adventures, you can subscribe at the top of the new blog page, and they will come directly to your inbox. Or you can just bookmark it and check it out when you feel like it.

You can also follow me on Twitter  here if you happen to be a tweeter. My Twitter feed is mostly writing related as well.

Don't worry, plenty more family adventures to follow here.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

Summer Time And The Swimmin' Is Easy

Bryon built this great deck for our new swimming pool. So now we can just jump right off into it or lounge on the side benches. Grace has been in the pool a lot already. A swim suit is pretty much constantly dripping on the back deck while it hangs to dry.

This week has been especially crazy because swimming lessons started. She's in the advanced class already and doing great.

Now he and the Grandpa's are working on a pergola and concrete patio at the end of the stairs where we'll then have an outdoor room.

I wonder if we can put an air conditioner in?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Author's Blog

Announcing a brand spankin' new Blog!

I know, I know you are saying, "But you don't keep the one you HAVE up-to-date enough. Geez, why would you start ANOTHER ONE?"

Well, because I have high hopes and ambitions and dreams and plans to become a ridiculously famous author. Or of, at the least, writing a few more books which my six friends can read and giggle over in depths of their cars and reading hidey-holes.

So with that in mind, I've re-posted all of my writing posts of my journey thus far (which have also been on this blog) to my new site at Lisa Medley . The new site will only be about literary pursuits; writing, blogging, reading. This site will remain all inclusive.

Here you'll get the writing bits but also the cute / demonic pet photos, stupid family tricks, travels, mishaps and everything in between.

Thanks for reading and spread the word!

The Boy Who Cried Woof

Following is the world premiere of Grace's first short work of fiction on her new (my old) laptop. I only helped her with the correction of the words that Word indicated were misspelled or not grammatically correct because she asked for explanation of the squiggly lines underneath them. She did all the rest.

She was very pleased that it was 90 words (including the title). I think the word counter is her favorite Word feature.

She's downstairs right now working on another story.

All rights reserved. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

The Boy Who Cried Woof.                                         

 Once there was a boy who was walking to his mom’s house and his mom got bit by a dog. Then his mom kissed him. The next morning when he woke up and he opened his mouth he woofed. It took him ten days to figure it out. And on the 11th day he figured it out. His mom has to kiss me because the dog can talk. And she has to kiss the dog. So he can talk and the dog can talk.  

Monday, June 11, 2012

Silver Dollar City Day

 Last week I took Grace and her BFF to Silver Dollar City. For one briefly insane moment there, I had a third seven year old lined up to go with us. I'm pretty sure a third would have done me in.

Actually, there were really, really good. It's me, not them. I have absolutely no patience, so I just had to go to that happy place in my head for twelve hours. Yeah, it took twelve hours. We left at 8 am and returned home at 8 pm.

We burned that place down.

We rode every ride except Wildfire (they were still too short) and the train.  In fact, her friend was a half inch too short for most of the rides. Luckily, Grace had her high heeled flip flops on, so I made them trade. That got Short Stuff on all the rest of the rides.

At one point, the ride operator of the Electro Glide told us we should just go to the measuring station and get her a wristband so she wouldn't have to be measured every time since she was "All Ride" height. Cool, I thought. So off we traipsed to the measuring station where the girl made her take OFF Grace's high heeled flip flops and measured her flat footed.

No dice.

She was still kiddie ride bound. Grace was an inch OVER All Ride status so as soon as we were out of sight of that measuring station, I tore off Short Stuff's wristband and we were golden again. Was I perhaps setting a bad example by using deception to get what I wanted? Yes. Did we ride like fiends? Yes.

Grace got to ride the barn swings for the first time and Powder Keg for the fifth or sixth. My only real regret was those dang tea cups. I'm pretty confident I've spun my last tea cup. I remember when we went to Disney World when I was small and my Dad hated those things and got sick after riding them. Oh yeah, I wanted to hurl.

We wore our swim suits under our clothes so we could ride the water rides and not have squishy underwear all day. Ingenius I know.

We pretty much ate our way through the park. I don't even want to add up what we spent on food, but over all it was a very fun day.

A day full of YES.

Boy did I sleep well that night.

 Who doesn't love that?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Read Me A Story

 At the risk of being too stinkin' cute, I had to share these pics of Grace and Rosie.

Grace brought her into her room one night (a feat in itself because Rosie still likes her little bed in the garage much more than inside). Undeterred, Grace decided she was going to read to her.

I'd say it was a success all around.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Write Around The Corner

In case you've been wondering, I have been continuing to work on my novel. I still have a hundred pages to edit. It's taken FOREVER to get it edited to the point that I'm ready to push it out into the world. Okay, maybe just to my husband and a few beta reading friends.

Honestly, it's MUCH worse than taking Grace to daycare for the first time or dropping her off at the first day of kindergarten. No one was going to judge me for doing those things. They were expected. Natural. Necessary.

This is terrifying. The more I read and work on my story the more I think, "Uh, this is probably not good enough."

But you know what? It's almost finished and by God; it's going somewhere.

This Saturday at the monthly Ozarks Romance Authors  meeting, I'll get a chance to practice my pitch. A pitch is when you get to try to sell your story to a real LIVE editor or publisher. It's your chance to play salesman and cheerleader all in one.

I've spoken to LOTS of civic groups, hospital administrators, principals, church volunteers and kids. When I pitch to an actual live EDITOR and PUBLISHER on Saturday June 23, it will be the most terrifying thing EVER. Seriously, I can't even picture her naked. That would only make it worse. I have butterflies just thinking about it. But you know what? I'm totally going to do it.

I'm gonna sell that sucker like it's the next Sookie Stackhouse book. Then I'll hope she wants to see more. Then I'll hope when I send it to her she won't say, "Thanks but this is not for us."

If she does, I'll self-publish it, sell it for $2.99 to all my adoring friends and family (all twelve of you) and start again because this dream isn't over. Not nearly.

I can do this.

If you would like to do this too. Write a novel that is... you should totally join us on Saturday June 23 at the Howard Johnson in Springfield for ORA CON. I promise it will be $50 well spent.

Viva la dream!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Memories

Okay, first of all I know...I suck. I just realized I hadn't posted since May 3. Eek! My three fans are revolting. So here you go, the colossal update and a promise to try harder. No, I'm not going to post every day, but I'll try to make it more than monthly.

This weekend we finally got the pool up. We had a dozer guy out to level the ground several weeks ago then hand-worked the ground and leveled it more with a 2x12, a tape measure and a four foot level.. We felt like it was pretty good but my dad borrowed a transit on Friday, and we shot it . Thankfully, it was less than a 1/2 inch off. We had two inches to work with so we were relieved.

Saturday we had a crew of friends and family rounded up and started the pool raising at 7 am with homemade biscuits and gravy. We had the pool up by noon and the Niangua fire dept. brought us out water to fill that puppy up.

Grace was in and out of it from the first droplets till the final fill.

The garden hoses only got it so far and when the fire truck arrived things really picked up.

It took the rest of the afternoon to get that sucker filled to three quarters full. They came back out this afternoon and finished it up. Bryon and I finally go the skimmer and the filter/pump hooked up no thanks to the absolutely horrible instructions or lack there of.

It was chilly, but we all got in this evening including Nana and christened it.

Grace went through four swimsuits in two days.

We had a talk about that.

Looks like a long fun summer. Bring it!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The M.R.S. MisGuided

I'd like to introduce The M.R.S. MisGuided. 

It's officially finished and successfully completed it's maiden voyage last weekend with Bryon, Matt and Steve taking turns at the oars. Not only did it float successfully but it also survived the misguided oaring of three novices.

They even caught some fish.

Grace and I are waiting for our turn now.

Row, row, row your boat.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Free Mange Mutt

Well the good news is no mange. The bad news is she does have a spectacular case of ear mites and tape worms. Luckily they can both be treated but she won't be getting many snuggles and NO kisses for the next three weeks until the medicine has time to work its magic.

The vet thought she was probably a year to a year and a half old, had surprisingly good teeth for her condition and needed to put on some weight. She weighed in a at a paltry six pounds. She weighs less than either of our cats.

On second thought, maybe I do need to give her some kisses. Perhaps I could benefit from a tape worm. Nothing else is working.

I bought her a cute little pink collar with a bell on it. I had to get a cat collar because her neck is so dang skinny. It's cute listening to her prance around in it.

So far, so good.

Sunday, April 15, 2012


We've had spring around the Big Cedars for more than a month now. Way earlier than usual, so of course we got premature gardening fever. Bryon planted potatoes, radishes, onions, lettuce, cabbage and broccoli around the first of March and yesterday we enjoyed the first fruits, er, vegetables of that labor.

It was delicious! I finally stopped buying balsamic vinaigrette from the grocery story and just mixing up my own. I figured out the trick is LOTS of honey and half balsamic vinegar and half extra virgin olive oil.

I found a recipe for radish relish I'm going to try, maybe tonight. I've made zucchini relish several times and it's soooo good on hamburgers and hotdogs. I never know what to actually DO with all those radishes but the are just so lovely their too good to waste. I'll report back on how it turns out.

Today we bought tomatoes and pepper plants. Sure it's probably way to early, but hey, if we get tomatoes a month sooner, WooHoo!

We've had some progress on the pool building as well. We have a spot almost leveled out and we'll be putting it up very, very soon. YOU may be on the list of potential pool builders so prepare your strong ropy muscles in advance! It will be all hands on deck for pool raising day! We pay in beer and Aleve. The beer comes AFTER the work is done. That was a lesson learned long ago. Yeah, I'm talking about you brother Mike ;)

Friday night we got another little farm surprise.

She was up by the road in the ditch along our driveway. Bryon found her when he went in the Rhino to pickup Grace off the bus. She followed them home. Grace fed her. Case closed.

She is COVERED in ticks and fleas and has hardly any hair on her belly. Her nipples look like she's had a litter of pups in the recent past. She's thin and pitiful. We are hoping she doesn't have mange. We gave her a flea/tick bath yesterday and Frontlined her. She's very friendly and can't keep her tail still when you peek your  head out at her or talk to her. Of course she's a little skittish but she's warming up.

You can feel every bone along her back and her sternum protrudes. We've all been washing our hands incessantly after handling her but you just can't resist giving her a pet or a scratch or picking yet another tick off of her. Bryon is taking her to the vet tomorrow and Grace can barely wait for a report of no mange so she can cuddle with her.

Grace had a complete meltdown Friday night as we discussed what to do with her. We thought maybe someone in Bryon's dad's apartment complex would enjoy a tiny dog like her. Grace lost it and proclaimed her undying love for her. Bryon told Grace we can't keep every pet that shows up at our house. Grace responded (correctly) that this was the first one in her WHOLE LIFE and that she wanted a dog that was little she could hold that wouldn't ever grow up.

Geez, how can you argue with that?

Besides, how much could it possibly eat? It's tiny.

I'm pretty sure she has worms too. Double fun. Bryon will probably stroke when he has to pay the vet bill tomorrow but she's too cute to turn out. I'm surprised she hadn't already been eaten by a coyote up there by the road and the field.

She's stayed right on the back step on that little bed the past few nights. I'm sure as time goes on she'll get more adventurous but for now, she's pretty damn happy to stay right there safe, sound and fed.

Stay tuned for the vet report. I'll try to let you know before ten days passes again :)

Damn bloggers.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

TTAM2 = Things That Annoy Me Part 2

Hi, my name is Lisa and it's been 17 days since I posted the first TTAM post. I'm not sure that bodes well for my patience. Obviously, this proves I am too easily annoyed. I blame it on pre-pre-menopause.

So here's the list:

Ten Things That Annoy Me since March 8 in no particular order of annoyance:

1. Trains. This train above in particular. On the one hand it's all cool and nostalgic to see and hear a train running through your very own tiny rural town. On the other hand, it's a pain in the keister when you are in a hurry. Those trains are long. And slow. And annoying.

2. Smoking. By anyone, anywhere, ever. Yeah, yeah it's your right to kill yourself slowly and painfully but don't take me with you. Also, it gives me a banging headache.

3. Returns. I hate having to return anything to any store. Even when I have the receipt and I know some uppity store clerk is not going to hassle me. I especially hate returning things that didn't work directly out of the package. Like the digital thermometer I bought at Wally World that has ONE button on it to push to turn the thing on. Did it work? No. It did not. Back to Customer Service I had to go.

4. Rude Car Drivers. Especially those who do not acknowledge my supremely magnanimous generosity when I let them into traffic in front of me even though they've been a douche and have not been paying attention to the obvious signs and traffic directions.

5. Companies I Have To Deal With. Mostly those who will not let ME access our accounts because the don't have BOTH of our names on them. Whatever. If they want my money, they'd best let me take care of things because Bryon has no idea what the passwords are or where to even find the websites. If I fall off the planet tomorrow, they are so screwed.

6. One Square. That Seinfeld episode was so great. The one where Elaine asked the lady in the stall beside her if she could spare a square when she realized her toilet paper dispenser was out of paper. Honestly, one square is not nearly enough, but when there are no is wonderful. If you use the last square, tell someone who can take care of it. Because if I don't have a square, someone will receive my wrath.

7. Pay At The Pump Receipts That Don't Print. Frankly, if I do not want to schlep the fifteen steps into your store for a receipt. Refill the dang printer paper on the pump. Don't ask if I want a freakin' receipt if you aren't prepared to deliver it.

8. The Chairs At Barnes & Noble.  I have a love/hate relationship with Barnes & Noble as it is. I feel like they basically crushed my true love, Borders, and ran them to bankruptcy. B&N is the only substantial bookstore/coffee shop in town so if I want to peruse new books with a cafe mocha in my hand, that's the place I have to go. They are not loiter friendly. The chairs are purposefully uncomfortable and few. If you aren't lucky enough to sit with the A Listers in the cafe, you're relegated to sitting with your back to the Glenstone Street window and facing a row of puzzle boxes. There isn't even anything to put your feet up on. AND they took the only two soft chairs out and replaced them with Sunday church pew-hard arm chairs.

I suppose we should be happy they have arms to balance our cafe mochas on. Honestly those soft chairs weren't the prize I thought they'd be anyway. One day I finally scored one. I immediately sank to the bottom of it and landed on a hard board and the chair smelled funky. NOT a good funky. A few times I've had to cruise the cafe and the row of Glenstone misfits like a vulture until someone finally bugs out. Friday I finally scored a Glenstone chair only to notice the not so subtle hint of dead mouse wafting from the wall behind me. Foiled again.

9. My Dog. Almost constantly.

10. Unreliable Bloggers. Especially those who wait 10 days between posts. Who can trust them?

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I give.

I am not Superwoman.

I've really struggled posting every day, and I've decided to quit. I'm not going to quit blogging, but I am going to stop posting everyday. It's just too hard to keep up with it and do anything else. Maybe I'll still get in 365 posts before the year is up. Maybe not. But I am relieved to let the burden of it go.

Don't worry, you'll still get the good stuff. Probably better stuff actually.

I've made it through the first hundred pages of edits on my book, so I'm a third of the way. I've also rewritten the first two chapters now for the third time. It may get still another makeover (probably several more). Hopefully, I'm making it better and not just replowing the same earth.

Monday night is the first of four writing workshops, and I'm excited to attend. They cover point of view and dialogue, characterization and conflict, plotting and show don't tell. I suspect I'll learn more in those four sessions than I did in four years of college. Of course, I'm differently motivated now. That helps.

So there you are. Don't be bummed. I won't forget about you. Be sure and signup for post emails at the top right of the page if you want to get them in your inbox instead of just guessing when I might post next.  You have to respond to the first email you'll get after you sign up to confirm your address and begin receiving the posts.

Let me know if you have trouble, and I'll try to help you out.

Thanks for your support so far.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Belle Eats Bubbles

Here is your video entertainment for the day. Grace busted out the bubbles last night, and Belle joined in. That's some good clean entertainment right there.

Bryon and Gary were playing trackball in the yard off screen, and the chickens were in the peanut gallery.

First shorts and flip flops of spring.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Puss In Boots & Kitty Softpaws

Grace's art of the week. Guess what she watched last weekend.
That's a sword by the way...just in case you were wondering. 
We asked.

I Got The Music In Me

Every once in a while you come across an album (can we still say album?) that is just right for the place and time you are occupying. It's like a cosmic gift. It punches all the right buttons and speaks the words you need to hear.

In the mid 80's there were three for me: Van Halen's Diver Down, Aerosmith's Greatest Hits and AC/DC's Back In Black. I have two of those albums on my most frequent playlist still. They were resurrected thanks to seven seasons of Supernatural. (Best show EVER by the way, seriously you should watch it if you dig monsters and apocalyptic terror. And really, who doesn't?)

The classic rock bug bit me hard again. I have seven AC/DC albums on my phone right now ready to rock at a moment's notice. Listening to those songs is like chatting with a long lost friend. They still get me even though I'm thirtyish years older. As soon as those church bells start bonging in Hell's Bells or those drum beats start banging in Back In Black, I'm sixteen again and cruising the strip in Bolivar wondering where exactly Bryon is. But that's a different post. Maybe I'll tell you that story one day if you don't already know it.

Bryon has always been a much bigger music buff than I have. And our friend Damon trumps us both. They can remember stats, musical histories, which band member was in which band and where they went or when they flamed out and died. I just remember emotions linked to songs and albums. I can't be bothered with the details.

I can barely stand to listen to a Journey album without tearing up with seventh grade angst. I went to every dance in the United Methodist Church basement. Junior high dances are painful, gut wrenching affairs. I had a big crush on one boy in particular who regularly attended those dances with his herd of friends. I asked him to dance every time to Open Arms, probably the drippiest most obvious song a goofy self-conscious thirteen year old girl could pick. He always danced with me (probably reluctantly) but I reveled in it and I can still conjure his clean, Zest soap smell.

He turned out to be a great guy but not THE GUY. Bryon was THE GUY and our HS song was Ratt's Round And Round. We danced many a foot loose night before that movie every became famous.

When I went to college, Pink Floyd's The Wall became one of my obsessions. I wrote a paper on it. Twelve pages if I remember correctly. It was the longest paper I'd ever written. It may have been the longest I had to write for my entire degree come to think of it. Wow, does twelve pages seem paltry now. I could write twelve pages in my sleep.

I'll have to admit to an elementary crush on Barry Manilow, Neil Sedaka and Shaun Cassidy. Shaun was the Justin Bieber of my time.

There were lots of others, too many to list. Just a couple of weeks ago, I found a new favorite: Dr. Dog Be The Void. There was a great review of them on NPR, and I finally downloaded their album to check them out after I heard them one day at my favorite coffee house.

I usually have to listen through an album several times before it takes root and grows or dies on the vine. I don't like story songs anymore. I've been wearing this album out while I burn down the highways.

I like Dr. Dog because it has a Kings of Leon/Mighty Mighty Bosstones meets the Bottle Rockets feel to me. Not every song makes a lot of sense but there are snippets of lyrics that hit spot on for me. I especially like That Old Black Hole. I wish I could give you a listen here, but you can check them out and the NPR interview if you would like.

It may not be your thing. You might not dig it. Music, like books, finds us when and where we are and gives us what we need if we are willing to accept it. Sometimes it gives us a shoulder to cry on, a driving beat and a boost of confidence to muddle through. And sometimes it's like an encrypted message from God with an answer you've been needing. Or a command to just wake up and smell the damn roses in a few lines of lyrics that won't mean crap to anyone else.

Because it's your music. And it's your time for it.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Purse Pursuit

I have been on a quest for the perfect purse for many years now. Searching for the perfect purse is much like the search for your soul mate. You have to try out several before you know for sure that you have finally found the right one.

Often, you think you have found the right one. He seems interesting. He is attractive to you in all the right ways. He surprises you with all of his useful qualities and handy pockets. (Uh, okay maybe not the pocket thing.) Then just when you have bought into his appeal and colorful exterior you realize that you really aren't a good fit after all.

He's dragging you down because he has too much baggage. In fact, he is the baggage. So you toss him away or in the case of the purse, relegate it to the back of the closet. Mr. Right wasn't Mr. Right at all. He was just Mr. Right-Now.

So like Don Quiote you once again tilt at windmills in search of the prize: the perfect purse.

I have quite a collection of almost purse soul mates. For a while, they were lovely. Then sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly, I fell out of love with them. It wasn't them, it was me. My needs changed.

In the 80's I carried tiny purses. I didn't need to carry a lot of stuff around. Keys, driver's license, some cash were all I really needed. In the 90's, I carried medium sized purses until I realized the larger the purse I carried the more crap I had to haul around. My shoulders began to hurt.

I switched to backpack style purses. Those worked great for a while, but soon enough newer models caught my eye. I returned to the small minimalistic purses with long straps I could loop over my head and across my back and chest. Carried the bare essentials. I was hands free before it was cool.

Then I had a baby. I needed a wagon, not a purse to convey all the extraneous gear babies bring to the game. Now that baby is seven and she can carry her own things.

It turns out, it still takes a lot of stuff to be me. It wasn't all baby weight after all.

My carefully cultivated preparedness mentality demands I carry a lot of just-in-case items. The sort of things you don't use very often but as sure as you remove it from your bag you need it and have to buy another one. Immediately.

Things like: a pocket knife, a bottle of Tylenol and antacids, my netbook, reusable shopping bags, gloves, hand lotion, weird loyalty cards and Silver Dollar City passes, extra gel pens, three chapsticks, hand sanitizer, hair barrettes, beads and buttons, a notebook, compact, wallet, phone, a book, a flashlight, a tire gauge.

You can't carry all of that in a tiny purse.

I can't even carry it in the large purse I have now. The quest continues. 

Long live the hero.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

My365 Photo Challenge

Okay, this is a quickie. You like quickies right?

My friend Cara turned me on to this 365 day photo challenge. I have an iPhone so that makes it pretty easy. There's an app. My phone is also a camera. And this site Fatmumslim gives you photo topics everyday. The My365 app lets you post your pics to a calendar.

So far, here is what I have uploaded so far:

Something I wore


Here are the topics for March.

If you have an iPhone ... join in and follow me on My365. It's a neat way to be creative and take some cool pics as you go about your day.

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Medley of Certificates & Awards

This was a big week for the Medley children, furry and otherwise. 

Grace brought home three certificates of achievement and another 100% on her weekly spelling test. She's only missed words on two tests all year and those were the first couple of weeks before we all caught on to how things worked in the first grade.

And Belle graduated from Obedience School.

I'm pretty sure they gave Belle and I a pity pass but you know what, I'll take it. She is a terrible walker on a leash. Wednesday night she turned it on and did great for her test .She was also supposed to sit and stay for one minute. She did, but in 15 second increments. You can see she "needs work". Well, duh. That's why she's in obedience school

I would give her overall performance a C+. Ms. West was generous.

Now it's my turn. My writing workshops begin in two weeks. I'm just glad I won't get a grade or have to take any tests. 

I hope I get a certificate of achievement.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

TTAM1 = Things That Annoy Me–Part 1

I fear I’m growing crotchety in my middle age.

Things I may otherwise not have noticed, drive me to distraction and full on grumpiness now. Maybe it’s hormones. Maybe it’s stress. Or more likely, maybe it’s that people and businesses are out to perpetually annoy me. Yeah, most definitely it’s that last thing.

I conjured enough things just today thinking about it in my car on my way to and fro that I think this could become a regular blog feature. Hopefully it won’t be a weekly feature because that would mean either: A. the world really is conspiring against me or B. I’m becoming one of those bitchy people I can’t stand.

Either way, here are the Top Ten Things That Annoyed Me Today in no particular order of annoyance.

1. The complete lack of hooks, baby changing table or shelf to sit my purse on in 3 public ladies restrooms. This results in one of two things: purse on the floor (ick) or purse around my neck or other necessary body part. Either way = unhappy customer.

2. The piece of tasty Buffalo Chicken goodness that the dude ALWAYS leaves stuck to the paper tray when he dumps it onto my sandwich at Subway. Seriously, you don’t put enough chicken on that sandwich as it is. I want it all.

3. Random message lights appearing on my car dashboard and then going back off. Honestly, I think the car companies just have them set to go off at odd intervals so we have to go to the dealership and Scooby Doo that mystery each time.

4. People who call my cell phone and do not leave a message. I will not call your random number back and investigate. Leave me a dang message.

5. Automated answering systems for companies that disconnect me time and again when I am trying to follow their verbal labyrinth

6. Any '”man made material” in shoes or purses. Man made material just means it will fall apart, scuff up or peel off. You don’t see any cows walking around with holes worn through them, now do you?

7. Shoe Carnival Barkers. All of them. I hate that store.

8. Giant 18 wheelers in the rain.

9. Pavement on state highways that suddenly and inexplicably ends ten miles into my twenty mile trip to the next town. My car isn’t made for gravel roads. I had to turn around and backtrack.

10. How nice the dog acts when Bryon is home early and how bad she acts when he’s not.

Fear not, I’ll keep a list. There will be more.

What annoyed you today?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Trail Roving

 Today on our walk, Belle took a swim.
 Then she jumped on me with her wet, muddy paws and headed down the trail.
 I got this picture just before she trampled it.

I found this tiny flower in the field and looked it up in my Missouri Wildflowers book.
It's a Small Bluet.
Finally, a deer track as big as a moose.