Saturday, May 26, 2012


Graduates - #70 - Alex "Mo" Moses and #73 - Nicco Salvador

One of my favorites things about our son being in college is that fact that we have got to meet so many great people! Our trips to Nebraska have been some of the best times I have ever had. Not only is our son in college and playing football, he has made some great friends.

Over the last three years, his friends have become like "other kids" to us. We have had the privilege of getting to know them and their families. So today, I wish I was in Nebraska watching my other sons, Alex and Nicco graduating from Midland University. 

Congratulations Alex "Mo" and Nicco! As you graduate and head into your teaching careers I know you will do great. It has been a privilege to get to known you both and see your successes! Enjoy your deserve it!

To their wonderful have great sons and it has been equally a blessing to meet all of you and become such great friends. To my "other sister" Wanda...well, as they say, I guess we may have been separated at birth! Hug your boy (and mine too!) Enjoy!

Friday, May 25, 2012

I Am Asking Now...

It's the time of year my "worry gear" kicks into overdrive. There is so much going on, especially with our young people, that I just worry. I know that worrying doesn't help...but I do it anyway. 

So today I ask in earnest prayer that God will protect you in all you do
That He will guide you and comfort you in each experience, old and new.

That He opens your eyes, your heart and mind
That you will see the things He wants you to find

I pray that you know He has big plans in store
For today, tomorrow and so much more

Approach each day with care and grace
Enjoy the moments and in each thing see God's face.

You are loved beyond any measure
You are a gift and a person to treasure

I ask the God watches over you with care
Whether you are here, away or anywhere

Be safe and know that you are loved, cherished from all of us and God above.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Happy 110 Nana!

Today would be Nana's birthday.  Zereda Fine Jensen was born in 1902 and passed away in 1996 at the age of 93.  Her life was an example we can all live by. Today She would have been 110 years old.

I had the privelege of marrying into Nana's family.  Although I only had 13 years with her in my life, I learned so much.  She was smart, she was funny, she knew what she believed, she stood firm on what she believed, she was stubborn and she knew everything that was going on around her.  She earned the nickname "Radar" from my father-in-law, nothing could get by Nana.

She grew up in our small valley, attended college and became a teacher of one room schoolhouses. She loved to cut wood, garden, be involved in community activities, stay involved with the ranch and be with her family.  She was highly respected in our community.  She stayed up on politics and important community issues.  Everyone may not have agreed with her opinion, but they truly respected it.  My husband has endless memories of his time with Nana.

I thank Nana for teaching me so much.  Her example of standing for what you believe in provides a lot of motivation in my life. She would never complain about something she wasn't willing to get involved in. Things were very black and white to her and she knew how to work hard to get things done. 

Happy Birthday Nana!  We love you and miss you and thank you for the influence you have been in our lives!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Rest of the Story

A Story About Some Very Special People!

It was our wedding rehearsal dinner and there was a big crown around the table. My grandma was sitting right in the middle of it, right next to Andy. It wasn’t long and she was laughing pretty hard. Yep, Andy was telling jokes to my grandma! I wondered how she would take it, I’d never heard my grandma tell a joke, but she sure seemed to enjoy listening!

If you have ever worked at a bank or business in town that he patronizes, then you have no doubt heard his jokes and stories. He has probably even shared candy out of his coat pocket with you. There is not a person he can’t or won’t make friends with. He can strike up a good conversation with anyone. I guarantee there will not be enough paper in this week’s issue to tell a fraction of his story, but I will do my best. As for the rest of the story…he would probably share a few.

“Can I come up and interview you?” I asked. “Why would you want to interview me?” He replied. I am sure he was puzzled, because after all he has been my father-in-law for 22 years. The thing was, I needed to interview him to make sure I had all of his stories straight. There are a lot of stories, some of which I won’t print to protect the innocent! So, this is a bit risky, being the daughter-in-law, but it was an assignment from the editor.

Andrew Lakey was born in Burney in January 1925. He was the fifth of ten children born to Agnes and Asa Lakey. The Lakey clan was a lively one and Andy was always right in the middle of it. Five boys and five girls, an even match for the most part, although when you hear the stories, you might wonder.

Andy’s dad Asa came with his family from Missouri. He settled in Burney and married Agnes Spears from Montgomery Creek. In fact, that yellow house on the right on your way to Redding is where Andy’s mom was born.

The Lakey children all attended elementary school in Burney. Of course they got there not by walking uphill with no shoes in the snow, but on stilts! “We walked over a mile through town to school. We lived in the middle of town. One day I was walking to school on my stilts and I fell…right through a glass window of one of the stores.” He didn’t say if he was hurt, only that he had to go to that store every day after school for a couple of weeks to do chores to pay for the broken window.

Trips to high school in McArthur were a little easier; they were on a bus ride along the old highway through Cassel. Andy graduated from Fall River High School in 1942 in a class of eighteen students. He recalls ag teacher Jess Beckett as being one of his favorites. “I raised Jersey cows for my project in ag.”

Growing up in Burney, the Lakey kids and their friends could always find something to do. “We would fish, swim and ice skate at Burney Creek. I learned to swim in Burney Creek.” Ice-skating at Dixon Flat was also a favorite. “We also liked to ride bicycles and eventually motorcycles.” He said.

Andy recalled a story when his dad had a car accident and came home with a big cut on his head. “Dr. Pratt from Fall River came down to stitch it up. He was using a sackcloth needle and the needle broke. Dad was in so much pain, he sent me with a note to the Rex Club across the street giving permission for them to send me home with a pint of whiskey. I think I went back four times, the doctor needed it as much as my dad!”

After high school, Andy went in to the Navy. He wasn’t stationed until December of 1943 when he was sent to Peru, Nebraska in the V-5 program of the Naval Air Corp. It was in Nebraska where he learned to fly. Flying was a hobby that became a lifetime one for Andy. While in Nebraska, he attended Peru State and was there for three years. Recently, Andy made a trip to Nebraska to see grandson Nick who attends Midland University just a couple of hours away from his old stomping grounds. Andy attends a reunion every year with classmates from Peru.

A problem with his vision had him transferred out of the Air Corp program and sent to southern California in late 1946. There he attended Cal Poly and continued his studies of Electrical Engineering. He was assigned to a cargo ship that delivered all supplies. He also spent time in Guam.  He got out of the Navy in 1949 and came back to Burney.

When he returned to Northern California he began working for Scott Lumber Company as an electrician. Andy remained at that position until 1954 at which time he married Mildred Jensen of Glenburn.

How did they meet you ask? With a little help from John and Shirley McArthur. Andy was good friends with a lively crowd including Floyd Bidwell, Sparky Bethel and John McArthur. One day Andy was in McArthur with John and saw some ranchers moving cattle through the town. John said hi to the young lady on the horse. “Who’s that?” Andy asked John. The rest is history. John and his girlfriend Shirley were quick to set up a double dinner date. “We had dinner at the Rex Club.”

After meeting, Milly went on a trip to Denmark for six months. When she returned the couple continued to date and were married on August 14, 1954.  “I wasn’t sure how it would go. Milly’s mom wouldn’t speak to her for about 3 weeks after we were engaged. She had been told some stories about my friends and I. She wasn’t too happy. Once we got all that worked out it was fine.”

I had always heard the story of Milly being late for her own wedding and they confirmed it for me. “My dad said I should have known better than to get married during haying season. I was trying to get everyone to head to the wedding and they were all out haying.” Milly said.

Mildred Jensen was born to Walter and Zereda Fine Jensen in June 1932. Both sides of her family were pioneers. The Jensen family came from Denmark and homesteaded in Glenburn and the Fine family were pioneers of Pittville.

In 1954, Andy and Milly Lakey became a part of building their own part of the story. “Milly’s dad was ill and we helped out on the ranch a lot. One day he came over and I made him buck steak and gravy for breakfast. He asked me when we were coming over. I told him we could come anytime to help. He said that wasn’t what he meant. He wanted to know when we were coming over permanently to the ranch to help.” Andy explained. “He offered a chance for us to be partners and we accepted.” In 1955 Andy and Milly moved to Glenburn and took residence in the little house on the river. (Where we started our married life.) “They never got rid of us.” Milly said. Since 1955, they have been working side by side on their ranch raising hay and cattle. In 1970 they expanded and purchased Milly’s Uncle John Jensen’s ranch on Island Rd. (The original Jensen homestead where we live now.)

Andy and Milly have three children, Marty, Debbie and Tim. They have four grandchildren, Marianne, Nick, Mandy and Shay.

They both agree that there have been a lot of changes in the area and in ranching over the years. “We did things a little simpler. We used to spend a lot of time out on the range with the cattle. We don’t do much of that anymore. We used to lease 34,000 acres.” Andy said. “Horses were also used a lot more, now it’s a lot of four wheelers.” Both Andy and Milly noted that it is a lot harder now and that costs of production are proportionality a lot higher.

Andy has had his share of being in the limelight. He has been referred to as the I-5 Cowboy after losing a load of cattle on I-5 by Cypress Ave. many years ago. “It was kind of a mess. One tire went one way, another tire went another and the cattle were all over the freeway. It was amazing how many people stopped to help circle around the cattle. It took a while but with the help of the Peek’s at the auction yard, we got everything loaded again. We got the cattle to the sale, but one bull was sure missing a lot of hair!” Andy made the evening news and every local paper over this one.

Andy is a busy guy. There are several nights a week he is attending some sort of a meeting. He has been active in the community his entire life. He was a founding member of the Eastern Shasta County Sheriff’s Flying Posse. “I am the only founding member left.” He has been a posse member well over 60 years.

His love of flying was a big part of this organization. Andy and Milly owned a plane up until a few years ago. Sunday morning flights for breakfast were often a part of the schedule.

Andy has been a member of the Masons for over 58 years. He will reach his 50-year membership with the Elks Lodge next year and has also been a longtime member of the cattlemen and Shriners.  Currently, he has also been active in helping Milly at the Fort Crook Historical Society where she is a board member. He is also known for having a hug woodpile, a big love for vanilla ice cream and a new joke every time he goes to town. 

Andy says a lot of the things he has learned and enjoyed about life have come from his dad. “My dad taught me how to trap bear and that is something I loved to do. Finally, though, Milly had had enough. When we were dating, every time she would come over, I was skinning a bear. She finally told me no more bears or she would dump me!” A few words of wisdom came from his dad too. “He told me how to keep a good marriage. If you did something wrong just say I’m sorry, then shut up!”

There are a lot of stories that I have heard many times, but they never get old. I have learned which nickname belongs to which person, which house or property is referred to by which slang and always to listen when Andy has a story to tell. I encourage you to listen if you get the chance to hear “The Rest of the Story.”

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Thanks For the Smile!

"It's so nice to see a happy face," she said. "I just got chewed out by another customer, it is so nice to see someone smile."

That made my day! I was in a larger retail store today and had just finished unloading a cart full of "stuff". I was tired and wasn't thrilled about waiting in line, but I always try to be very friendly to the cashiers. Having owned a store, I know how it feels to encounter "grouchy" customers. 

As I approached the cashier, who later told me she had worked with the company for 11 years, I smiled and asked her how her day was going. It was a small gesture, but it turned her day around. She told me that she was having a bad day because of the way she had just been treated by a customer.

We have always told our kids to go out of their way to be friendly and smile. A good mood can go a long way. You never really know what a person is going through and what your smile can mean.

Have you smiled today? If so, you have most certainly made a difference in someone's life, whether you know it or not. 

Monday, May 21, 2012


Deep thoughts...pray! I am having one of those UGGGGHHHH afternoons. Everything is getting on my nerves and I don't know why!

Funny thing...I got taken away from the computer and am finally back 4 hours later and I feel MUCH better!

What changed? My husband got home...and we was great after not seeing him all day.  I went to exercise...that definitely helped! 

It goes to prove a bad day, bad mood or frustrating situation doesn't have to stay...take a new direction, distract yourselves and see what happens! It worked for me today!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Plants of Yesterday

We live on a homestead ranch. I have a big yard and have planted a lot of different flowers and plants. There are many plants, though, that have had a home here for a very long time. There are many perennial plants that were very common on the ranches of yesterday. They continue to thrive in my yard, whether I want them or not.

I decided I would keep these plants contained and let them grow in certain areas. Therefore, I wanted to know a little about them and their uses. I have provided informational links if you click on the name of the plant. 

We have a lot of horehound growing and it just seems to pop up everywhere. I pull a lot of it out.

Today most herbalists still recommend horehound for relief of minor respiratory symptoms that result form bronchitis, colds, flu, and sinusitis. Horehound is available in many commercial preparations, including cough syrup, lozenges, and teas. If you’re in the United States, don’t expect to find these products with the cough suppressants in the drugstore, though, although horehound is still included in some products used to treat sore throats. 

Hop vines climb our woodshed and it takes a lot to keep them under control. I keep thinking we should harvest them and do something with them. I found there are several uses....

Besides beer, what are hops used for?

In herbal medicine, hops have a long history of use as a relaxant and sleep aid. In many cultures, pillows stuffed with hops are given to people who have difficulty sleeping, and they may be added to remedies and herbal teas which are designed to promote healthy sleep. In addition, hops appear to have a beneficial effect on the digestion, and many people which chronic gastrointestinal complaints incorporate them into their diet as a result.

This is not one of my favorites, but I continue to let it grow...It is pretty until it gets to big...This is what I found out about this plant...

This herb is a favorite first aid remedy. It contains a compound called allantoin, which when applied to the skin accelerates the healing of tissue and the closing of wounds.

When fresh leaves or roots are applied to a wound it causes it to contract and close quicker and inhibits the opportunity for infection while minimizing scarring.

Comfrey leaf has a long history of use to promote the healing of bones and wounds, as well as internal use to treat a wide variety of ailments from arthritis to ulcers. Its use in Chinese traditional medicine spans over 2000 years.

I do have pretty much every old time plant in my yard, including this one that many consider a weed. 

Its uses...
The herb has a long history of use in folk & traditional medicine as a remedy for disorders often reduce by aspirin, such as fever, headaches and few of the accompanying symptoms such as depression & nausea . European & Greek herbalists traditionally used it to ebb fevers. As its common name imply's, it was once popular for reducing fever .Feverfew has also been used as a treatment for headaches , arthritis and digestive problems. Scientific studies has supported the use of feverfew as a remedy for migraine headaches .Feverfew have chemicals include parthenolide and tanetin , both of which work effectively to mitigate migraine. Feverfew is not a treatment for acute migraine attacks.

So I have chose to keep these plants along with the Hollyhocks, vinca and sweet peas because I know they were planted and cared for by the generations past. I am sure they were planted for a reason and used for that very reason...

Saturday, May 19, 2012


I am not really a "crafter" but I like to try. We have been having community craft days in our town once a month. Different people present a craft and we all come and give it a try. It is our opportunity to be creative!

Today was a fun day of creativity! It was a perfect project to let the creative juices flow with color schemes, patterns and design.

This made me think about the fact that we all are creative in some way. We just have to let ourselves try. Some ladies don't come to the craft days because they don't think they have the skill.  Who needs skill, just the willingness to try is all  that is required. That pretty much sums up most things we do in our lives. Approach it with willingness and creativity and you never know what will happen!

Friday, May 18, 2012

How Do They Know?

This is an old picture and it is only one of the dozen deer that live in our yard. They mostly hang out in the orchard, but seem to really like the plants in the rest of the yard. My rose bushes are pretty much non-existent. 

This was okay for the five years I didn't have time for my yard. While we had the business in town, I basically mowed, weeded, watered and let the perennials grow...and watched the deer in graze the yard. They were so cute.

Well, they aren't cute anymore. I want my yard back! I decided to try to take control. It hasn't been much of an issue for the past couple of weeks. The pastures are so green, my herd has been hanging out in the fields. Maybe this wouldn't be so hard after all.

This last week I have been planting flowers and my garden (a garden which I haven't had for 6 years!) How did the deer know what I have been up to? I chased a doe out of the yard yesterday. She is so tame she just stood there and looked at me. I literally had to chase her out the gate. 

Fortunately, I got my fence up around the garden (The fence I built all by myself!) This morning I went out and there were little deer tracks all around the outside of the garden...but none inside! They hadn't been hanging in the yard in they are back. 

I went a step further today and put out that stinky liquid fence. We'll see how that works for the flower beds.

The bottom line is I want my yard back...and I will get it one way or the other. If I can only train them to come back on the fall to clean up the orchard!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

And The Next Day It Rained...

I drove the gravel road into the valley where the ranch sits. I hadn’t been there in quite a while, so I wasn’t sure which house was his. As I came around the corner and the homestead became visible, it was like I went to another place. It was quiet and peaceful and removed from everything else around it. It was easy to find where George lived. There he was sitting under a beautiful shade tree in his yard. When I approached, he asked whether I wanted to go in the house or sit outside. Definitely, I wanted to sit outside and take in the beauty of the Ingram Ranch as I talked to George Ingram.

As a student in Big Valley during high school, I always knew who George Ingram was. He was the Fair Manager and had been for a very long time. After I got married and became the Business Assistant at the fairgrounds, I became very aware of what George Ingram had done for the Inter-Mountain Fair of Shasta County in his 40 plus years of service. I was not lucky enough to get to work with him, but I was lucky enough to become a part of the traditions he left.

Interviewing George was a pleasure and the interview could have provided enough information for a book. Unfortunately, I will have to keep it down to article size. George’s wealth of information about the valley, his personal history and his family’s continual involvement in our community is amazing.

George Ingram was born in 1926 in Fall River Mills next to the Bank of America. “All of the landmarks have changed, but the Bank of America was where La Cocinita is now.” He laughed. He has lived his life on the 1883 Homestead of Charlie Straub, which is now part of the Ingram Ranch.

George attended his first four years of school at the Beaver Creek School. “Then it closed. So I went the next four years to the old wooden school which now houses the art department at the high school.” Coincidentally, George’s daughter Alexis teaches in that building. Graduation came on May 24, 1944 from Fall River High School. While in high school George had a wonderful mentor in Ag teacher and Fair Manager J.W. Beckett. “For some reason he took a liking to me.  George went on to tell me he has had everything handed to him. “I’ve had a pretty rough life,” he laughed. He was very humble in expressing that he was given a lot of things he didn’t feel he deserved. George was class valedictorian and said he was “given more awards than necessary or needed.”

Prior to graduating, on May 16th, George had already enlisted in the Army, so after graduation he was off to Washington where he took college classes. “I took classes from July through December.  All 250 of us there were 17 years old, once we turned 18 we went to basic training at Camp Roberts.” Basic training was completed in May of 1945.

“FDR had died and about that time ‘Give ‘em hell Harry’ came in. We were supposed to go to Germany, but they changed their minds.” George recalled. Instead George went to Hawaii. “Within a month the war was over, I had taken classes for clerks and stenos, so I began to work in the Chief of Staff office.”

“In Hawaii, it was like I had a year’s vacation.” He gave me a letter he sent to his granddaughter relating to his time on the island. It told of the time he spent two hours in jail in Honolulu for walking with a young lady on Waikiki Beach without a pass. He also spoke of the visitor’s he had while stationed there and how it truly was like a vacation.                                   

George was discharged July 19, 1946 and came home because his father was ill. At that time he began helping on the Ingram Ranch and living with his folks. His best friend, David Schneider had gotten hurt and was in the hospital in San Francisco.  “I went to see him. While I was there I received a telegram that said to come home because there was a job waiting. It didn’t say what the job was, so I stayed a few more days then went home.”

Little did George know, when he arrived home it would be the beginning of an eventful career. “I came home to interview for the Inter-Mountain Fair Manager job.” It was his mentor again who recommended him for the position. “J.W. was leaving the area and his position at the fair. He told the board ‘George can do it’, so I was given an interview.” The rest is history. What began November 18, 1946 and ended May 30, 1988 gave the Intermountain community one of the best fair managers ever.

George is very humble when talking about these things. In fact, as he was telling me his stories of his career, he randomly said, “And the next day it rained.” In my confusion, he explained that was what his mother used to say when people’s stories were carrying on for too long.

I managed to get him to tell a little more about his career that spanned 41 ½ years. “Sometimes I think, did I do that? I can’t fathom that I did that,” when referring to his long tenure as fair manager. When asked about changes in the fair over the years, he simply said “If you could just see a picture of how it was when I started.” He credits Beckett for having a great master plan for the fairgrounds. With the implementation of horse racing dollars funding the fairs in 1945, development of a plan to build the fairgrounds was established. “Two blocks were donated by the McArthur family and land was purchased from P.G. & E,” he said. The fairgrounds bought 97.776 acres at $7.50/acre. “It cost us more to fence the land than to buy it.”

George said he had no administrative experience when taking the position. He learned a lot through the years. “What is really crazy is that the kids that are showing at the fair now, weren’t even born when I left there.”

Highlights while serving as fair manager included being selected as the President of the Western Fairs Association in 1983.

George’s deep roots with the fair were instilled in his children. Many of his family members are still very involved in the fair today. “It was put in their blood. Daughter Alexis and husband Bill have had the iced tea booth forever. Daughter Anita organizes the Golden Wedding Dinner. They do flower borers, the kids and grandkids have entries and have always helped out at the fair.”

George met his late wife Phyllis at a grange meeting. “I always saw her at the meetings, I was five years older than her.” They were married Easter Sunday 1950. “We had our honeymoon in Monterey and the hotel only cost $17.50 a night!”

There are 19 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. He says he keeps all of there birthdays on the calendar and enjoys seeing them at various functions. He was planning a trip to Spokane for a graduation when we had the interview.

I asked him if he is related to a lot of people in the valley. He simply said, “EVERYBODY!”

After retirement, George helped out with the ranch. “I remember Albert Albaugh asking me what I was going to do. I told him I was going to watch the grass grow. Little did I know I would be cutting, raking, and baling the grass!” So for the next 10 years he helped son, Robert with the ranch. “I still feed cows.”

George has always been very active. He is in the American Legion and the Masonic Lodge. “I used to hunt. Now I just really enjoy taking my morning and afternoon naps,” he laughed.

What things has George seen over the years in the valley? “Well, there are a lot of new people. When I go to the store I don’t know anyone.” He said changes have been slow, but recently he has seen a lot of property being divided.

We finally made it into the house so he could show me some pictures. There I saw his famous typewriter, which he still uses today. There is not a computer in the house. The typewriter purchased in 1947 at the Inter-Mountain Fair serves him just fine. In his prime he could type 70 words per minute on the manual machine and could take short hand at 110 word per minute.

He couldn’t end the interview without again telling me he owes so many people thanks, like Gail Ashe who worked as the Business Assistant at the fairgrounds for 22 years. He told me to not go overboard in writing about him, but how can I not. I have so much respect for him and what he has done for our community.

We continued on with chitchat on my way to the car, then he just said, “And the next day it rained.”

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Yes, I Cried...

It was the 7th inning and a lump began to form in my throat. My eyes started to water and I couldn't make it stop. This was the last inning of the last sport my daughter would play in high school.

We have had the pleasure and pure joy of watching her play 3 sports for 4 years. Twelve seasons of sports...and it is now officially over. Yes, I cried.

After the game was over, I hugged her and she cried with me. I told her how proud I was of her, how much joy she had given us throughout the years and how much I would miss this part of her life. 

It is so bittersweet. She is an amazing girl and an amazing athlete who has always worked hard and been a good team player. I am sad because it is over, but I am happy for her and the experiences she has had. The lessons she has learned from athletics are valuable and she will use them in many parts of her life. 

The picture I posted at the top of the page was one of the first years of softball for her...she became an amazing player....

Here is one of the last pictures....

Thank you sweetie for the privilege of watching you play, grow and become the amazing person you are! I love you!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Fix It Again Tony

It looked like Kermit the Frog. It was the cutest thing this 16 year old had ever seen. Bright green, two seats and convertible, what more would a teenage girl want? I had to have it. My Fiat X19. I used my own money and it was mine. I even got custom plates, “VALSX19”. It didn’t take me long to learn cute doesn’t always mean it runs well…point well taken.

I am part Italian, so I can say “Fix It Again, Tony” is a great description of the car. I was on my way home from a speech contest one night and found out it didn’t do well in the snow at all. About a quarter mile from my house, I spun off of the road. I proceeded to get out in my dress and pumps and kick the tire. It must have been then that my car decided to fall apart. Just about everything that could go wrong with it did, and eventually it needed a new engine.

I was thinking about that car the other day and it sparked the list of car acronyms I had learned years ago. If anyone has ever seen Williams and Ree, The Indian and the White Guy, you have heard some of these. In hopes not to offend anyone and in good humor, I present this list…

BUICK…Big, Ugly, Indestructible Car
CHEVY…Can Hear Every Valve Yell
DODGE…Darn Old Dirty Gas Eater
FORD…Found on Road Dead
GM…General Maintenance
GMC…Gotta Mechanic Coming?
GTO…Gas, Tires, Oil
HONDA…Hang on, Not Done Accelerating
JEEP…Just Empty Every Pocket
PINTO…Put Nickel in to Operate
PORSCHE…Proof of Rich Spoiled Children Having Everything
TOYOTA…Too often Yankees Overprice this Auto
VOLVO…Very Odd Looking Vehicular Object
VW…Virtually Worthless

There are more. My husband is a Chevy guy, so he has many for Fords. In our family now there are two three Chevy’s and a Subaru…no Fiats!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I'm Sorry

I was using my address book and tucked away in the very back were two pieces of folded binder paper. Thinking it was more addresses written on the paper, I opened to see. What I got was much better. 

I don't know when this was, I am guessing when my son was in junior high and our daughter in elementary. Reading the notes made me remember the situation. Little sister turned off the video game  in the middle of big brother's game. That didn't make him to happy. What followed was a big argument between the two and I wasn't in the mood for it!

As you might have guessed, part of their punishment was to write to each other listing what they loved about each other. They were not happy and resisted, but they got it done.

I am happy to say this brother and sister are very close and don't bicker like that anymore...and they never had to write that kind of letter again!

Friday, May 11, 2012

It's Time!

I'm too frantic to be crying! I am trying to get graduation announcements out in a timely matter. It is a big project. I can't believe it is time to do this. Less than one month from now our baby girl will graduate!

I have had to chuckle over the last couple of hours. As I am trying to get addresses for these announcements...I thought, "Technology!" I needed so many addresses. So I began to Facebook message, email and text people for their address. My text beeps on my phone went crazy! I went from having a stack of over 30 needing addresses to about 10! Wow!

So they are ready to go to the post office. I have a knot in my stomach and a lump in my throat. The announcements are going in the mail confirming our daughter will graduate June 8, 2012 as class co-valedictorian. I couldn't be more proud of the young lady she has become.

It seemed no time has been wasted, as her class schedule for the Fall at the University of Nevada, Reno arrived yesterday.

Where has the time gone?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Stressed...Look No Further

There is nothing better than scripture to put things in perspective. I was having a stressed moment...too many irons in the fire all at once. I saw this clipart and thought, "Wow! Thank you!" I looked at the verses and everything was put into perspective. 

I was frustrated with a few situations and negative thoughts began to build. I was worried about getting some important tasks complete and thinking I was going to run out of time. If I had continued on that path, my day would have be ruined with negativity and nonproductive thoughts and actions.

It was a blessing to me to just stumble upon this list of verses when I was actually looking for something else! God knew what I needed! If you are stressed or worried...take a peek...I hope it helps!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11

Fools give full vent to their rage, 
    but the wise bring calm in the end. - Proverbs 29:11

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight. - Proverbs 3:5-6

“In your anger do not sin” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry... - Ephesians 4:26

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. - Ephesians 4:31-32

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  - Matthew 6:19-21

because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, 
    and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”  - Hebrews 12:6

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Filling Time

What do you do when you have time to fill? I am about 30 miles from home and have already had two meetings in this neighboring town. I have another meeting in about and hour.

The dilemma....the last meeting got over about meeting 6:00. Do I drive the 30 miles home just to turn around and drive it again. No, not at fuel over $4 a gallon.

Next dilemma... There is not a lot to do in this small town. No shopping movies on the weekdays and the lady I was going to take a walk with wasn't home.

So what did I do?

I got groceries, I went by an office to schedule an appointment, I washed and vacuumed my car, I went by the insurance office to work on some rates, I bought a newspaper....

No I sit in the conference room where my meeting will take place...I brought laptop, notes for articles that need to be written and my reading material.

I saved gas and I filled my time with things that needed to be done... I even left dinner in the crockpot for the fully at home.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fair - Faith and Good - God

That should not have happened...that wasn't fair...why did I deserve that...why didn't I get that...I wasn't treated right...they took advantage of me...It wasn't Fair! Well, the sad reality is that Life isn't fair...what will you do about it?

There has been a couple of situations lately that have been shared with me...and they were not, in any way, shape or form FAIR to the people involved. Why does this happen? 

Free of bias, injustice or dishonesty...that is the definition of fair. Simple human nature and self interest prevent fairness from prevailing in many situations. 

I was thinking about this a lot and it became very clear to me...I was thinking about the word "FAIR"...drop the "R" which to me stood for resentment, retaliation and remorse. Add to the end "TH" and the word becomes FAITH. That's the answer...when life isn't fair, have faith.

The quote I used at the top pointed out that even when life isn't fair, we still have it good. Look to those blessings instead of the unfairness. Have faith that there is a good plan for your life and the situation is meant to help you in some way. Life is GOOD...because we have faith in GOD and can trust the plans He has for us!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Be Your Own Dog

We can all take a lesson from Blue today and everyday. I know, he is a dog, but he is "his own dog". He is the sweetest, funniest dog ever, but he is absolutely who he wants to be. He enjoys every minute of everyday. If I could get into his mind, I am sure his only stress comes from deciding which area of the ranch he is going to explore next. So, here are the things we can learn from Blue about "being your own dog".....

1. Life is meant to be lived. Who cares if the weather is bad, you are having a bad hair day or you are in a less that perfect mood. Figure it out! Change the direction of your day. Find your fun and don't waste a minute of the precious day you have been given. I know there are days that Blue is less than excited about playing with the other dogs, but he does it anyway and soon enough he is the one having the most fun!

2. Take time for yourself. Everyone needs a little down time. You only have so much to give before you need to be refueled. If you need to say no, say it. If you need a nap, take it. You aren't going to be as productive is you don't take care of yourself. Blue takes several naps everyday! It is funny to watch him pretend he can't move or "play dead" so that Callie will leave him alone to take his nap. He has it all figured out.

3. Pick your battles. Simply figure out what matters and what doesn't. At the end of the day what is important. We sometimes get ourselves worked up for things that really don't matter. Try to let some of those situations slide. Blue does. Instead of fighting with the other dogs over the most recent bone brought to the yard, he wonders off digs up an old one and everyone is happy. Sometimes you just have to give up the bone of contention.

4. Be Happy. Life is too short to be in a bad mood. Really, what does that accomplish. Wake up each day and thank God for the blessings you have. Worry less, pray more. Be thankful. Take a look at what you have and derive your happiness from that. Blue does that everyday! He is the happiest dog on earth. I wish he could talk. I know he would say how happy is to have a ranch to run around on, friends to play with, a 4-wheeler to ride on, mice to dig up in the fields. Nothing too exciting, very simple things, but things that make him happy.

5. Be Your Own Dog. Finally, it is important to be who you are. Not who your best friend is, who your spouse wants you to be, who you think you need to be to fit in. Be yourself, stand solid on your beliefs and morals and let your light shine. Blue does, and he brings so much joy into our day, everyday! Be your own dog!

Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.
~Judy Garland

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Be Still

For some reason this verse is on my mind, in my heart and I have seen it every where lately. I am thinking there is a message for me! Maybe I am just moving too much, doing too much and missing too much...It is time to Be Still.

There is something out there that needs to be seen with my eyes and my heart...It is time to Be Still.

Time to Be Still and know that God has a plan. Be still and know that God wants me to turn everything over to him. Be Still and know that I don't need to control everything. Be Still and quit trying to make things happen according to my plan. Be Still and wait for God's plan...Be Still and reflect God's love...Be Still and know that He is God!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

The little guy approached with a smile a mile wide. His pants were crisp and white, his hair was combed and he was NOT going to take the glove off of his hand. He was probably on five or six years old, but he was ready! The first part of the day didn't mean as much to was pictures. As he stood and waited his turn, he tossed the ball about a foot in the air and let it drop in his tiny glove. As his confidence built, he tossed it a little higher. I could read his expression to say, "Let's get these pictures over with and let's play ball!"

Seeing this little guy brought back so many memories of Little League. Last weekend was opening day in our small town and I think nearly the entire town was there. The kids proudly wore uniforms sponsored by local businesses, their pants were still perfect without a tear or grass stain and their cleats hadn't seen any mud yet. It was a perfect day.

I reminisced about years back when our son started tee-ball. there is NOTHING better than tee-ball. The kids are adorable and they are so excited to get to be playing baseball! 

The thing I love about early baseball is that the kids are so literal. I can remember my sister telling me a story about my niece. She had hit the ball pretty far and was running to first...her coach told her to keep going. So, she did...straight into right field!

Attention spans aren't always the longest at this young age...I can remember several occasions when my son was so board with the game he would pick dandelions. Then there was the time he thought if he covered second base up with dirt, the runner wouldn't see it.  I have seen little ones with their gloves on their head conversations with the people in the crowd...leave the field in the middle of a game to go to the "potty" and be more excited about the after game snack than the game.

Those were the days....

Friday, May 4, 2012


She stepped in the circle, brushed her toe across the rubber strip and eyed the batter. The focus was intense, the wind up was big and the pitch was…Strike One! She filled in the slight hole left by her dragging toe, stepped back on the rubber and prepared to throw the next pitch…Strike Two! The crowd held their breath, the coach yelled encouragement and the dugout chanted…and the pitch…. “SLIPSEES!”

She walked in the door at home with an unidentifiable look on her face. “Dad, I did it today.” “Did what?” He asked. “I called SLIPSEES!” Her dad looked at her and his jaw dropped to the floor. “You did WHAT?”

She played it off well and continued to explain that she threw the pitch and called “SLIPSEES” before it crossed the plate. “Who was the umpire?” He asked. She explained that is was the high school softball coach, who would happen to be watching her for future reference. “I can’t BELIEVE you did that…” he said.

Okay, so we couldn’t hold it anymore. We both broke into hysterical laughter! We had got him. Let me explain…

When our daughter was young, she had NO interest in playing tee-ball, coach pitch or little league. She simply didn’t want to play because she was too embarrassed to stand in the batter’s box. When she was in 10 years old, one of the coaches talked her into playing because they were short players. So few in numbers, that the 9-10 year olds had to play up a level for the Major Girls, 11-12 year olds.

She decided to play and our bashful little girl wanted toPITCH! What? She doesn’t want to stand in the batter’s box, but she wants to stand in the circle? Go figure. She worked with an older high school pitcher to learn some of the basics and ended up doing pretty well.

Every once in a while, she would throw a pitch that sailed over the batter’s head. She would get VERYembarrassed. After the first time that happened, dad told her on the way home…”You know, if you throw a pitch like that and you know it’s going to sail, if you call SLIPSEES before it crosses the plate it’s a do-over.” “Really,” she said. He went on to convince her that was the rule and she bought it, she was only 10 years old. She never took advantage of the rule, there was always that doubt.

She continued to play and the next year started with a pitching coach and travel ball. One day, the rare occurrence of dad not being able to come to a game provided the opportunity she needed. By now she had figured out dad was full of “wally.” This is the day she came home and told him she used theSLIPSEES card.

She really had him going. She told him how upset she was that she didn’t get a do-over. She told him how she embarrassed herself in front of the high school coach….He was feeling pretty bad. I think we laughed for an hour once we had him.

The pitching continues, she is ending her senior year and has been the starting pitcher on the varsity team the last three seasons. There has though been a time or two she wishes she could have calledSLIPSEES! That batter at the beginning of the story…well, Strike three, and the final out!

P.S. The above is a true story from many years ago!

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