Saturday, March 28, 2009


It's a four letter word around our place, but in this case we need the moisture enough to overlook the icky coldness of it.

Especially since it obliged us quite well by most of it vanishing in the course of the day.

I won't hazard a guess at how much snow the Old Homestead got... it was everywhere from half an inch of bare ice to four foot drifts, and that was just on the front porch.

One news service ventured an estimate at 21 inches. Looking out the window now, we might have that much where the front end loaders piled it up.

Gotta love a fast turnaround!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


While in Big Town for classes yesterday, I hunted, and searched, and looked, and searched, and hunted.... for a kettle.

Finally found one, and was very happy as mine is packed, if I remember correctly, in the third or fourth box on the bottom row of a stack of four, in the trailer.

I like tea, more and more all the time. I've always enjoyed a nice cup of hot tea on a winter's afternoon, and while I'm a huge proponent of coffee for morning wake-up, I'm coming to realize that while I'm quitting smoking, perhaps I need to break that habit as well. Mostly because it was always coffee and a cigarette, and it's been taking twice as much coffee to beat the morning growlys into submission. More, if I didn't get much sleep the night before.

I swear to whatever deity you care to name, if I ever get off of these damn patches (I'm on step three, now, because, well, I'm butch like that, and pushing it) I'm going to burn the boxes and dance around them. After shooting them. And stabbing them.

Seriously, I hate these things.

Anyway, tea. I like tea, and while it's possible to make tea by putting a cup of water in the microwave and heating it and then putting the tea bag in the cup, I can taste a difference between that method, and putting water in a kettle, heating it on the stove, and pouring the was-boiling-just-a-second-ago water over the bag.

I am nowhere near schooled enough in tea-fu to make tea with loose leaves, although the Safeway in Big Town offers tins of Twinnings loose tea leaves in a couple of varieties. Not to mention I don't have a proper tea pot, which seems to me to be a necessity if you're going to make tea the "proper" way.

Anyway, there's something about the sound of the water beginning to bubble in the kettle, as I putter around the kitchen, and the sound of the low groan from the whistle just before it actually whistles, that's soothing to me. And, soothing has been a rare and precious commodity around me for a couple of weeks now.

So, I found a kettle, and I bought some tea. Store brand Earl Gray because otherwise I'm going to drink all of Mamaw's fancy Earl Grayer tea, from The Republic Of Tea. That stuff is gooood. Also, a store brand orange spice tea, because it smelled good through the cellophane... which is the same reason I first tried Earl Gray. And, a Twinnings variety pack, with their Earl Gray, Lady Gray, English Breakfast, and Irish Breakfast teas.

The Twinnings Irish Breakfast blend is quite good, if you're wondering. I haven't tried the others, yet.

But, I have tea. The ritual of making the tea, and sitting staring at the wall thinking about things, cradling a cup of tea and idly swirling a spoon through it.... it's relaxing. Slouching down in a comfy chair with the cup cradled in my hands, the warmth begins to radiate up my arms... and as I sip the warmth starts radiating through my chest, relaxing muscles and cleansing stress.

It's a hot, luxurious bath, in a cup, in some ways. I'm still exploring the different varieties, and figuring out my favorites.

So, what are your favorite teas? And, is there really a difference between loose-leaf and bag brewing?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

And Now, For Something Completely Different....

Tactical Dating

If you carry concealed you pick up certain habits, no matter who you are.... or at least you should.

Things like making sure your cover garment hasn't ridden up, a casual tug on the hem as you climb out of a car. Or maybe a rolling shrug to settle your shoulder holster a little better.

One of my personal biggest things, is making sure that my draw isn't blocked. I don't lean against doorways on my right shoulder, I'll angle my left side towards what I'm looking at, or I'll simply stand a couple paces further back so that I'm not hemmed in with people.

It's not something I think about, unless I get in a situation where I can't keep my draw from being blocked. Crowded elevators, things like that... but in the dating world, it can become an issue.

Guys, whether you carry or not, if you're on a date with a girl who does, be conscious of your lady's requirements. The most annoying thing I've ever had happen on a date isn't him blowing his nose on the table cloth or trying to grab my ass on the way into the movie theater.

It's a man who carries himself consistently interfering with my draw arm. Hovering on my right side, trying to hold my right hand, trying to put his arm around my waist... I carry SOB so arm around the waist has to be in a pretty specific position before I can draw smoothly.

Come on, guys, you know better than that. How would you like it if the girl you were dating constantly hung on your gun hand in public in spite of your asking her not to?

If you're both right handed, it's not a total loss, your right hand in the small of her back or under her elbow is a gallant way to guide her through a doorway or give physical flirting, without having to compromise your draw or hers, as long as your hand isn't on her gun.

A steady who carries will gladly practice with you if you simply must put your arm around her waist. Discuss with her which way will work better, and one of you simply take one or two steps forward or backward, if the fecal matter collides with the oscillating rotating air circulation device. Stepping to the side is acceptable as well, but in my experience people are far more coordinated stepping back than stepping to the side. You and your sweetheart make the choice on what works best for you.

Hell, do drills while you're out. Pick a trigger word, and when either of you say the trigger word, you jump apart. If you want to do full drill, you might want to pick a secluded area to take a stroll in, so that you don't frighten unsuspecting passers by.

But remember, a gentleman is always aware of his date's draw clearance.

And while I'm at it, guys, we need to work out some arrangement about who gets the seat facing the door. I've learned not to argue about it for the most part, and how to position myself so that I can at least see in the peripheral, but it still gives me the creepy crawlies.....

Monday, March 23, 2009

Dance, You Bastards!

Mamaw is addicted to Dancing With The Stars, and I'm a bit of a fan of watching people who know what the hell to do with their bodies myself, so we watch whenever we can catch it, and the 50 inch isn't playing something else, like a DVR of the Big Joe Polka Show. (Which has NO reason to exist whatsoever. An hour of overweight old people shuffling around to multiple accordians. Ten minutes into it I'm ready to slit my wrists.)

Anyway, we watch the show, and I have to admit, some of the stars are putting a lot of effort into it and not doing half bad.

Others, not so much.

But does it make me completely crazy that watching it makes me want to take latin dance lessons?

Sunday, March 22, 2009

It's Amazing!

How much difference a good night's sleep will make.

I took the patch off yesterday afternoon because I'm tired of the way it screws with my sleep. Either I can't get to sleep or I wake up six or seven times a night from messed up dreams.

Slept pretty good last night, woke up once when the train was going through and Farmdog just had to sing to it at the top of her little puppy lungs... but I slept.

And, I'm not too spastic about the nicotine being gone so far this morning. Put it this way, I'm doing better with not having that mood leveler from the patch, and instead having gotten an actual night's sleep.

We'll see, throughout the day. I may decide I need to go back on the patch... I may decide I need to go ahead and step it down.

In reports on the rest of the fam, Farmmom has made seventy two hours plus, go her! And Mamaw has hit the twelve hour mark, yay!

We're all made of win and awesome!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Seconding LawDog

I point you to TOTUS.

I'm not political, but it makes me giggle that someone has created a blog for Barak's teleprompter. And a Twitter account. And a seal.

Go, Look, Laugh.

That is all.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

72hrs Plus

Haven't smoked at all since Sunday night.

Muscle soreness, mostly from tensing up when people say things that make me want to strangle them, I think, is pretty bad. Sometimes I feel like someone beat me with a baseball bat.

Sleep schedule is... non-existent. Either I'm out like a light at nine, but waking up every fifteen minutes or so, or I can't get to sleep until after eleven, and... waking up every fifteen minutes or so.

Blargh. I'm a girl who likes her sleep, and I really hate it when there's interference without good cause. Plus, lack of sleep doesn't make the cranky thing any easier.

That's getting a little bit better as it goes along... frankly I think I've done rather well, as far as not snapping at people goes. I haven't completely alienated any of my good friends, anyway, and I've manage to keep my hands to myself, so no assault charges.

Just because it's getting easier not to light up, doesn't mean it's feeling better.

Farmmom hit 24hrs without smoking last night, I dunno if she's smoked since, but major kudos to her for making it!

And Mamaw... wow. She's still holding it way under what she used to smoke. Honestly, I think maintaining at two or three puffs at a time spread out through the day would probably be harder for me than not smoking at all.

We're all getting there. Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go take more advil, change my nicotine patch, and try to remember not to eat the first person who acts all cheerful.

Monday, March 16, 2009


Back on the first 24 hrs again.

Also stepped down the patch, and I haven't noticed any more cravings or twitchyness than I had on the higher dose.

And, the dreams aren't nearly as bad, or weren't last night. Of course, I was completely exhausted last night, so that may have been it.

Anyway... starting over. Not nearly as bad as it was the first time, so far.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Day Two, Smoke Free....

Well, since I seem to be absolutely determined to be evil to myself, I decided this morning not to put a new patch on... I left yesterday's on until I started getting antsy... and then took a little bit of a nap. Woke up still antsy, so, I had some chocolate.

I may owe at least half of my quitting smoking to these little guys. More specifically, the peanut butter eggs.

Oh, and Hershey's kisses, and Dove milk chocolate eggs... it's a very cheerful bowl sitting always within arm's reach, all pastels and little cartoon bunny faces.

Doing all right now, although some of the physical symptoms (hot, then cold, then slightly nauseous, mild headache) are back. The headache goes away with Advil, the rest of it, well, none of it is so bad I can't deal with it... maybe my appetite is off for a few days. I may decide to get the step down on the patch and go ahead with it, we'll see how I feel in a few hours when the remnants of the last patch get out of my system.... Or, I may decide to go ahead and quit it all.... or I may figure out that I'm an idiot and put one of the big patches back on.

I don't know yet... but by gawd I'm going to lick this thing if it kills me. Coming up on forty eight hours without smoking... I'm pretty impressed with myself. I'll be more impressed when I can say forty eight hours without nicotine, but that may be a ways away.

The longer I've gone without lighting up, the easier it's been to not light up. Had the urge a few times today, and I leaned pretty heavily on the cig (un-lit) that I've been mauling since ten yesterday morning. Let my body go through the motions, but not get what it's wanting out of it.... it helped a lot with the nervous twitches yesterday, and seems to be helping today with the complete lack of nicotine. I've noticed that I'm "dragging" on it more today, whereas yesterday it was more just holding it... and even that is starting to ease off as my body seems to figure out that it's not working the way it used to.

Anyway, sorry for the rambling, weird post, but I promised updates. I'm not sure where Mamaw is at today, or Farmmom, but that's where I stand.... Hopefully over the hump and on the downhill side.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

One day,

Smoke Free!


I feel pretty safe saying it now because I'm one tired cookie and I'm about to go to bed... not much chance to slip in my sleep.

Farmmom is doing great, and so is Mamaw.... Mamaw came up with a very original method of distracting herself and keeping her hands busy...

She's got a Nicotrol inhaler, from a previous attempt to quit... and instead of the nicotine soaked filter thingy, she put a tic tac in the end. So she chews on it, blows through it, and rattles it around to keep herself occupied. It seems to be doing something for her, since she doesn't hardly put it down.

Farmmom held it down two two cigs all day at work, and two or three after she came home.

As she said when I told her I hadn't smoked all day today...

We are all made of Win and Awesome!


Yes, yes, I know it's been a couple of days. Trust me, it's been a rough couple of days.

Three cigs a day total, has been my average. I was going to go for none at all yesterday but that got blown when I got my mail and had a bill from the college and they hadn't even sent my aid refund yet.

Turns out, all it was was the flu shot that Etta had to have last semester... since it was a charge on last semester, she couldn't take it out of this semester's aid, but she couldn't release the refund either. So they were holding a little over four grand, over... wait for it.... $15.

Got it taken care of, got my refund checks deposited, got my first class taken care of, learned all about what we're gonna be doing for this class, joked around with folks I haven't seen in months, went to Wally World and decided to celebrate by buying a movie.

Wanted is pretty awesome if you can turn off your "but that's not possible" button.

Managed not to smoke after dinner last night, so I may be able to make it all the way through today. Gonna try it, anyway, with the help of my magic little stop-smoking pills (Tic Tacs, flavor Orange.)

They're not food so I don't have the major craving after one, but they're something in my mouth so it kills the craving for a few minutes. It's working fairly well so far, anyway.

Mamaw is still slipping some, but still way less than she was smoking before, so major kudos to her, too!

Farmmom is on the patch now too, and she's doing really well, especially considering that Farmdad is still smoking. Having someone in the house still smoking makes it tough, as I know from experience.

We're still pluggin away, I'll update again when we have news...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

*Twitch Twitch*

Well, I'm well and truly into the twitchy stage, now.... And yes, I've had some slips, but guess what? I'm not going to kick myself over them because it's counter productive, and by gawd I've already accomplished miracles, with the help of the Patch.

Instead of approximately a pack to a pack and a half, I've had less than two, count 'em, two cigarettes today. Mostly in single puffs here and there bummed from Farmmom's already lit cig.

Mamaw has done even better than I have, going from about three packs a day (about two, by this time of day) to one cigarette, right after lunch.

We're pretty danged proud of ourselves, frankly.

Quit Day

So, I was planning on putting the patch on first thing this morning.

Of course, that was before six freaking trains went by in the middle of the night, and the engineers didn't know how to get off the damn horn.

I would have slept through it. Farmdog, on the other hand, had to complain about the lack of courtesy, so I was awake.

And started craving a smoke.

And slapped on a patch....

And went back to sleep!

I'm craving, now, more because of the habit of getting up, having coffee, checking all my intarwebz things, and having a smoke... but it's not nearly as bad as it would be without the patch.

Mamaw apparently made the decision in the night to join me on my quit date, since I got up to a dining room free of ashtrays or cigarettes. That's helping, too.

We'll see, as the day goes on, how things go. I'm not twitchy... yet. I'm not cranky... yet. I also don't want to go seven weeks with this size patch... once the cranky and twitch are over for the most part, I'll step down.

So far, so good.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Quitting Smoking

Well, the entirety of the Farm Fam (with the possible exception of Farmdad,) has decided that the cigarette tax hike (about eight bucks per carton, effective Monday, according to the clerk at the stop&rob where we get our smokes) is the perfect excuse to quit.

I have six cigs left in the last pack out of the last carton that I bought. Farmmom and Mamaw are getting the infamous Patch. Here goes nothin!

I was leery of the patch, since older versions tended to drop blood pressure, and I natrually have low blood pressure. Not like, no worries about hypertension low, but like "Hey, are you sure you're alive?" low.

The pharmacist ensures Mamaw that the patches she bought will not effect blood pressure... we'll see if I die. It's not going to be fun, and it's not going to be easy, but it will help that Mamaw and Farmmom will be doing it themselves.

The timing could be better, what with going back to classes Tuesday, and all, but if I worry about that, at this point, I'll never quit.

I figure the tax is a sign from Above (and no, I don't mean Obama... if he wanted me to quit smoking he'd show up at my house and nurse me through withdrawals with his own two hands!..... < /sarcasm >) along with the Fam quitting right along with me...

I'm not going to kick myself for a slip, and I'm not going to expect it to be easy. It's a process, and I'm going to give it my best shot.

I think if I can get past the first three days or so, I'll be good.

On the other hand, this is a good thing for me gaining weight, not only because cigarettes supress appetite, (AD, can you imagine me with more appetite?!?!?!?) but because I've found that the most effective oral-fixation replacement is, you guessed it, food.

Particularly sunflower seeds, because I can nibble those suckers all day and not get full, with occasional injections of chocolate for those ever-lovely endorphines.

So, wish us all luck!

Back To School, Back To School,

Well, as of Tuesday I'll be back to classes. Monday through Wednesday as a student instructor for the freshmen.

I remember the stupid things the sophomores made us do last semester. I just hope that I don't annoy the students I'm assigned to as much as the sophomore I got annoyed me.

It's gonna be tough being at the barn and not riding. Especially since, from all appearances, they're almost done with the fancy new indoor arena.

Friday, I'm headed out of town for the weekend, so blogging will be non-existent, but I'll try to get a couple of good ones up before I leave.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I am not what I would consider a "Gunnie." I have a working knowledge of firearms, and a reasonable (if extremely rusty) skill in putting the projectile where I want it.

The night before I headed off to the big gathering in Dallas, Farmdad sat down with me, and laid out three smallish pistols. Two Kahr pistols and this little beauty:

"Any of these will be easier to conceal than your Firestar, and handier for walking the dog at two in the morning," he told me.

I picked up and fondled each in turn, and chose the Walther. What can I say, after carrying the Firestar, the Kahrs just didn't feel like real guns. Plastic toys, not for me.

When I announced my choice, Farmdad said "Happy Valentines Day... early." Apparently, if I'd chosen one of the others, it would have been a loan.

Like I said, I'm not a gunnie, per say, but I am rather proud to have this particular gun. It has a story, almost certainly much more of one than I know.

What I do know, is that it's a real Germal Walther PPK from the 70's. When Farmdad acquired it, it had literally been walled up in a house for an unknown number of years, and was a rusted mess. For it to be functional, it had to be re-blued.

So no, it's not original, but it is functional. It fits my hand, and feels almost as sweet as my Firestar, while being easier to carry. The double-action trigger is heavy, for me and my tiny hands, but then, I'm not used to double-action in the first place.

I need much more practice with this pistol, and my Firestar, than I've been getting, but that's just a matter of finding the time, which I intend to do soon, as the weather is starting to get nice.

In honor of MattG's picture with a full-size 1911 (and to help illustrate why I'm so picky about my guns,) I give you:

Yes, my hands are tiny. Yes, those are my real nails (need to chop 'em off...)

Oh, an interesting piece of trivia about me... I name my weapons. I have a weighted baseball bat named Reason, "Because sooner or later, everyone listens to Reason." I've had that one for several years, before I got my first gun, even.

So, when I got the Firestar (partially as a birthday present, partially paid for by trading in my 20 gauge shotgun) I continued the theme, so to speak, and named the Firestar Logic. "If Reason doesn't sway him, Logic will."

I've toyed with the idea of naming the PPK "Understanding," but it just doesn't fit (the gun, not the theme.) I'm still wavering, between "Brunhilde" and "Gertrude."

I'll figure it out, eventually.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy Birthday Farmmom!

Today is Farmmom's birthday, and if this whole blogging thing is good for anything, it ought to be to get a whole buttload of people to wish my mother a happy b-day.

So, hit the comments, and wish her a happy day. Do it for her. Do it for me. Do it for your country!

Ok so birthday wishes have nothing to do with patriotism, but it sounded good, all right?

In honor of this special day, I've assembled some quotes. Some are on motherhood, (since she is my mom,) and some are on birthdays. Enjoy!

This is part of the essence of motherhood, watching your kid grow into her own person and not being able to do anything about it. Otherwise children would be nothing more than pets. -- Heather Armstrong

My mother's great. She has the major looks. She could stop you from doing anything, through a closed door even, with a single look. Without saying a word, she has that power to rip out your tonsils. --Whoopi Goldberg

Whatever with the past has gone,
The best is always yet to come. - Lucy Larcom

Everything I know I learned after I was thirty. - Georges Clemenceau

They tell you that you'll lose your mind when you grow older. What they don't tell you is that you won't miss it very much. - Malcolm Cowley

Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been. - Mark Twain

You are only young once, but you can stay immature indefinitely. - Ogden Nash

Women deserve to have more than twelve years between the ages of twenty eight and forty. - James Thurber

Youth is the gift of nature, but age is the work of art. - Garson Kanin

We are all born naked and screaming and if you're lucky that sort of thing won't stop there. - Unknown

You're not getting older, you're getting better. - Unknown

May you live all the days of your life. - Jonathan Swift

Birthdays are nature's way of telling us to eat more cake. -- Anonymous

Like many women my age, I am 28 years old. -- Mary Schmich

Here's wishing the wonderful lady who rocked me to sleep, patched up my bangs and scrapes (of which there were plenty,) taught me to be a good person, gave me perspective on the world, offered advice even when she knew I wasn't going to listen, and generally helped to build me into the person I am today, a wonderful birthday.

After all, without her birthday, I wouldn't have mine.


I have a great story... just can't quite get it down on paper (the sound effects aren't coming out right) so I'm gonna keep working on it.... It's coming, though.

This morning, Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth The Umpteenth, aka Lizzy Dog, aka Farmmom's pup, is getting her baby factory shut down, and Farmdad's pup is getting his shots. So, I'll be playing puppy chauffeur in the morning, and likely puppy nurse in the afternoon. Probably keep Dizzy Lizzy with me for a couple of hours after she comes home at least, just to be sure everything is kosher.

Tomorrow, we're off to the cattle sale again!

Probably take Farmdog along, just because she enjoys going on rides. I'd take Fuzzy Pup but he doesn't like the leash and he'd probably spend the whole day offering to kill one of them big furry things for me.

Cattle sale etiquitte; Don't bring your dog if it's gonna be a nuisance. So, Fuzzy Pup stays home, until I get him taught some more manners....