Saturday, December 29, 2007

My Poor Neglected Blog

I really need to do better about posting here because I do have a few loyal "fans" that check in. *waving at my mom & dad*

The best update in the last month & a half is that Cory has been accepted to college! We got his first acceptance letter a couple of weeks ago! SO EXCITED. His response (typical teenage boy response) was "Yeah mom, I'm excited. But I expected it." While I was trying to hold back the tears. I know deep down he's just as excited as we are! Now comes the hard part. Figuring out how to pay for it all. He's going out of state, and we were lucky enough to get a $7500/year grant from the school based on his academics! Now we just have to figure out how to get grants, scholarships & loans for the rest of it.

Wrestling season started about a month ago. Cory has finally come into his own. We were beginning to see signs of it at the end of last season, but wow...he's really doing well! He's confident, strong and knows what he's doing. His first tournament, he got 5th place, then 3rd place and last weekend he got 2nd place! He didn't wrestle well today (didn't place at all). He was upset, but I think he understands that he just has to chalk this one up to experience and the fact that you can't win them all.

I know I talk alot about Cory, and you know that he's not an only child. Megan's doing spectacularly as well. She's just not involved in as many activities as Cory is. She's more of a stay at home & chat with your friends kind of girl. She did perform a featured solo in the winter jazz band concert and did a fabulous job! I was so impressed. She plays the piano beautifully. I just wish she would practice more. She'd rather play SIMS or talk to her friends more!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Coming into the technological age!

This two cow town is coming into the technological age! At last! The City has requested Verizon (phone company) and Charter (cable TV company), many times to provide us with high speed speed internet. Both companies told us in no uncertain terms that it wasn't cost effective for them to light the fiber optic cable that was already running through the center of town. Finally, this year, a small company called Comspan has agreed to bring us high speed internet. I'm SO excited.

Right now we can only connect here at home at 28.8 kbps (at work I can connect at 56.6). With this new service we'll get 2 Mbps!! Lightening speed compared to what we have now! WOW! We'll also get TWO phone lines (one with unlimited long distance) and 170 digital TV channels! whoohooo! We're dumping Verizon & Charter and I hope they feel it!

Senior Night

This seems to be a year of "last times" for us. Cory's last year of high school, thursday was his last football practice, last night was his last football game. I cried. Especially when he told me that he handed over his lineman gloves to one of his teammates after the game. I know it's also a time of "first times" for us as well...Cory's applying to college, so we have his first application and will be looking forward to his first acceptance letter. But for now, it's a poignant time for us as we watch him finish one chapter of his life and begin another.

Here's Cory & two of his teammates. Cory's the smallest kid on the team and played left guard!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I just wanted to post a couple of pics.

Here's one of my new kitty...Gracie. She's a cute little thing. Weighs about 4 pounds now. She follows me everywhere and swats at my feet to get my attention when she thinks I've been ignoring her. The little purple house behind her collapses, and she loves to pounce on the house and flatten it, only to have it spring right back up when she gets off of it. We laugh so hard watching her antics.

Here's one of the kids.

We went to the Redwoods a couple of weekends ago. The last time we were there, Cory was about 7 and Megan 5. It was a beautiful day, and we took several short hikes through the some of the hugest trees in the world. The Redwoods are just amazing, and I could've stayed there forever.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Home Sick

Yesterday, my daughter woke up with a stuffy nose. She didn't have a fever, so I brought her to school. By 8:30am, she was calling me at work to pick her up and bring her home. She sounded miserable. So, home she went with instructions to take some cold medicine, get into bed, take a little nap, read a book, and relax.

Between 8:45am and 9:00am I get these phone calls at work:

Phone call 1:
Her: Mom? When do you get off work?
Me: 3 o'clock.
Her: Can you bring me some kleenex when you come home?
Me: ok. Go to bed now.
Her: ok. bye.

Phone call 2:
Her: Mom? Make sure it's the strong kleenex. And soft. Soft & strong.
Me: Ok. Go to bed now.
Her: ok, bye.

Phone call 3:
Her: Mom? The kleenex needs to be the Lotion kind too.
Me: ok. Anything else you need?
Her: Yeah, some cough drops. But not the Honey-Lemon kind, or the Cherry kind. They're gross.
Me. Ok. Are you in bed yet?
Her: Yeah.
Me: Go to sleep.
Her: ok. bye.

Phone call 4:
Her: Mom? Can you bring some juice. Pineapple-Guava juice. And something minty.
Me: Are you going to close your eyes at some point and take a nap?
Her: yeah.
Me: Good. Quit calling me!
Her: ok. G'nite.

Phone call 5:
Her: Mom?
Me: What now?
Her: I love you.
Me: I love you too honey, now put the phone down and go to sleep!

Conversations with a teenage boy

This is a typical conversation with my son after he gets home from school. (He's 17)

Me: Hi son, how was your day?

Him: Fine.

Me: What'd you do today at school?

Him: Nuthin'

Me: How's Calculus coming along? Do you like the new teacher?

Him: unh (imagine this as a gutteral grunt)

Me: How was football practice?

Him: unh

Me: What did you get to do at your work experience place today?

Him: nuthin'

Me: oh. Good day, then?

Him: yeah, fine.

*end of conversation*

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ganglion what?

My left thumb is numb. Not all the time. Just occasionally. Sometimes my left index & middle finger are numb. Weird, I thought, but not earth shattering. Maybe it was just the way I was resting my hand, or maybe I've been playing with my son's DS game too much. Until last week when I noticed I have a BuMp on my wrist...right at the base of my thumb...where your wrist bends. Hmmm...that's odd. It hurts when you press it. Ok...obviously the key is not to press it. SO I go to the Dr today and he says without much preamble...."It's a ganglion cyst." It happens when you age.


Gray hair, sore joints, perimenopause & weight gain aren't enough signs of aging? Now I've got to have a ganglion cyst? He said, "In the OLD days, when the cyst got big enough, people would just slam a a heavy Bible onto the cyst to make it ~PoP~". YUK! I don't think so. He said he could "drain it" if it got much bigger. Ewww.

Short of those two remedies...I'm now stuck with a bump on my wrist. He was a bit concerned about the numbness...apparently that is not a characteristic of this type of has me going to see an orthopedic surgeon just in case I've got carpal tunnel syndrome.

I hate getting older! *sigh*

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Malt Vinegar

Living in a small town is challenging at times, and down right frustrating at others. A friend of mine was telling me this story today about malt vinegar. She used to live here in town 6 months out of the year and then on an island in the British Virgin Isles called Anegada (see the small island on the map that's outlined by a box? That's Anegada). About 2 months before she was to leave for Anegada, she went to the local grocery store and tried to order 10 cases of 1 gallon jugs of malt vinegar that she would take with her. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong! Apparently, it was going to take 7 weeks to get her order in. She was flabbergasted! In Anegada, it takes 2 weeks at the most to get anything. The store's reasoning? "Because we live in the boonies." *insert rolling eyes here* I suppose Anegada isn't in the boonies, but Coos County, Oregon, IS!

This of course lead to a conversation about how we can't get high speed internet here for the same reason. And how high the gas prices are for the same reason. And it seems to us that someone is feeding us a line of balonie because if Anegada can get gas for the same price we can, and has high speed internet and can get stuff shipped there in two'd think this little corner of Oregon could get it as well! Maybe Anegada is a three-cow town and that makes all the difference!

Monday, April 16, 2007

What Joanne needs...

Ok...this was a challenge from Scrapbook Chalet (one of my favorite scrapbook sites). It's a little Google game. Go to google and type in 'Your name' needs - and see what pops up. Here are a few that popped up for me. I put my comments in parentheses.

Joanne needs intellectual stimulation and companionship (had to laugh at this one)
Joanne needs to be very careful not to interrupt, ignore, or judge Paul when Paul is speaking. (Who's Paul??!)
Joanne needs space (YUP!)
Joanne needs some adult company (maybe I've been hanging out with Girl Scouts & the Youth group too much! *LOL*)
Joanne needs to make a difference (yeah, sometimes I feel like that)
Joanne needs to reassess situation (which one?)
Joanne needs more character development. She is gorgeous and has been in the background far too long. (OH that one!)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


I just wanted to share one of my scrapbook pages that I completed recently. When Cory was little, we would stop at Burger King in Roseburg, on the way to & from my dad's house. It was a great pit stop for us because we could get something to eat, and he'd get a chance to stretch his legs. One time we stopped, but it was raining, and the playground was locked up because it was all wet. He really wanted to play and was disappointed that he couldn't. He called Burger King "Roseburger".

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

When I grow up: Blog Challenge

I was challenged at STM to post a blog entry about what I wanted to be when I grew up. My first thought was "grew up"?! Does that mean I have to grow up? My husband has a phrase he uses frequently, "It's mandatory to get older, but not mandatory to grow up!" I think he likes Peter Pan too much!

OK, back to me.

I had this question posed to me in one of my college English classes. I didn't know what I wanted to be, even though I was in college and I was talking to the professor about it one day. I told him I'd like to be a lawyer (though I wasn't in law school), or a teacher (nor a teaching school). I told him I'd like to try a bunch of different things. He suggested that maybe I be a "Sandwich Board carrier". I was offended!

I graduated from college with a Bachelor of Science degree in "Natural Resource Planning & Interpretation" but after struggling to find a job for several years, I decided it was more important to know HOW I wanted to be rather than WHAT I wanted to be.

For me, it was to be Happy. It hasn't mattered to me what job I held, what career path I followed, as long as I was happy doing what I was doing. And with that being the criteria for "What I wanted to be when I grew up"...I think I've succeeded!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

You know you live in a two cow town when...

...the high school has to ring a cow bell over the intercom to signify the end of a class period! Apparently, the bell and master clock system at our high school has bit the dust. Quit ticking, so to speak. And the only way the staff could think of to signal the end/beginning of class periods was to ring the cow bell over the intercom! Now that's quick thinking!!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Learning to Quilt

We have a number of ladies at our church who meet every Wednesday to quilt. They've invited me a number of times to come over for their weekly potluck lunch and of course I accept! I love going over there to look at the latest quilt they're working on. They're all so beautiful. We have so many talented quilters around here. One of them is Roxy. Roxy has tried for the last couple of years to get me to start quilting, and I'd always put her off. I didn't have time, didn't want to start a new hobby, couldn't afford it, it was too complicated, already had too many scrapbooking supplies, etc.

Well, *hanging my head*....last December, several of the ladies dragged me into the Quilt store. Of course, I didn't put up too much of a fight. I love looking at all those beautiful fabrics. And I was smart! (Or so I thought). I left my wallet, checkbook and credit cards at home! I knew I didn't want to get started on a new project. So...what do I find when I'm in there?! The most PERFECT material ever! *happy dance* I've been searching for years for the "perfect" comforter/bedspread for our bed. And there it was, in a bundle of 6 fat quarters in the quilt shop. I just about died. And Roxy knew that she'd finally hooked me!! Of course, I dragged my husband back the very next weekend to show him the colors (get his approval, since it is his bed too), and to pick out the borders for the quilt. My husband indulges me so much and just kind of rolled his eyes when I told him I wanted to make a quilt. "But Roxy's gonna help me!" I said. *giggle*

So, today, I went over to Roxy's house and she gave me my first lesson. I learned how to measure & cut the pieces, and then actually sewed the first 2 rows of 8 for the top. I am SO excited. The colors are gorgeous! And it really is easier than I thought it would be. Though, I'm not sure I could replicate anything I did today on my own!

Roxy has a nify computer program where she can plug in the pattern and colors and print it on on her printer. The program does all sorts of nifty things with quilt patterns and I can see I'm going to need to add another room onto my house for this new hobby (cuz it won't fit in the room with all my scrapping supplies!)! Here's a computer generated drawing of my quilt. The real colors are similar, but not exact. The colors in my quilt are more foresty/green/deep purple colors, with a few lighter colors to offset the darks. I can't wait to get it done. I'll try to get a pic of it when it's done!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

All it takes is a little confidence

My son started wrestling when he was a freshman. Most of the kids on his team and those he's wrestled against have wrestled since they were little kids. He's a pretty good wrestler...knows all the moves...but just doesn't have the confidence to win a match because he feels so inexperienced. Until yesterday! Yesterday, he finally put it all together and realized that he DOES know all the right moves, and he went out like a bulldog and put this guy down. Pinned him in the first round. I was SO proud of him!
(Cory is the guy on the left). I know this isn't the greatest pic, but it's the only one I've got of the match.

I never thought I'd like wrestling, but after you watch a few matches, it's hard not to admire these kids. The strength, stamina & agility they've got to have to engage in this sport is amazing. My son plays on the varisty football team and runs on the track team as well, but it's wrestling that really challenges him to push himself. These kids are STRONG and atheletic and agile. It really is an amazing sport to watch!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Snow Day!

I've mentioned before that we live close to the coast, right? We're about 15' above sea level, and rarely do we see snow here. Occasionally, we'll see it in the hills around us, but not down in the valley. This morning I woke up to this!
The weather reports predicted a sprinkling of snow, but what we got was 1/2" of the most perfect snowball making kind of snow! Unfortunately, the only one I could lure out of the house this morning was the dog! She wasn't interested in the snow! She just wanted to play ball! It's funny, though, at the first sign of snow, the whole county cancelled school!
I love this picture! We collect froggy lawn ornaments and this jolly old fellow sits under our flowering plum tree. A friend asked me, after reading this post (so of course I had to come back to edit), how long we've collected froggies. We've never really purposely collected frogs. It's just happened. I lovingly call my husband a ~toad~, so over the years I've purchased him a toad or two.

Here are a few more snow pics! One is of a snowman the kids made. He's only about a foot tall. Kids on the coast just don't know how to make a "real" snowman! *lol* His name was Pierre, until we realized that he looked more like a woman with that pink scarf. So he was renamed to Louisa. Hopefully, she won't have an identity crisis.

This one is of my son & his girlfriend.
He's a junior in High School and she's a senior. Cute, aren't they? Today is their 1 year anniversary.

The last one is of my daughter & her friend tasting snowflakes. They were so excited that school was cancelled!!

Friday, January 5, 2007

When do I have time?

Since I started blogging (what 3 or 4 days ago?), I've shared my spot on the net with a few friends. The question I get asked the most is, "When do you have time to do that?!"

My first thought was, "While the internet slows to a snail's pace and I'm waiting for pages to load...that's when I start composing what I'm going to blog about!" While that's the truth, I want to make it clear to everyone...even though I am a busy woman, I do get a few moments to myself!! I know, it's hard to believe, but there is a special time in the evening when everyone is asleep, but me, and I have a few quiet moments. (I guess the secret is out now!) :)

For those that know me, they may find that hard to believe. Let me tell you why. I have 2 teenagers. That should be enough for any parent right there! But no, I have 2 very ACTIVE teens. And I go to as many of their activities as I can (band concerts, football games, volleyball games, wrestling meets, track meets, piano recitals, youth group activities, etc.). I am also part of the leadership team for our church's Jr & Sr High youth group, and a Girl Scout leader. Last year I had 2 Girl Scout troops, but was able to pass one troop to another mom (thank goodness!) Until the end of January, I was a City Councilor. I chose not to run for re-election because I wanted to reprioritize the activities in my life. I am also on our local School Board. (yes, City Councilor & School Board at the same read that right). With all that going on, it's hard to believe that there is any time in the day for anything else! Some days I feel like that, too!

For a lion's share of last year, I had meetings or activities every night of the week. I love being busy and supporting my kids, but let me tell was a wee bit exhausting at times. On top of all that, I was recovering from not one, but two knee surgeries last year. Not fun. I managed to maintain my sanity, though. With a little help from my friends and family!

This year, I've reprioritized my life and dropped a couple of activities. Though I'm still busy, I find that I have a few more nights at home to relax!

Even today, while the kids were at school and my darling husband was off doing whatever he was doing...I had a day to work on my favorite hobby...... scrapbooking! I haven't felt inspired to scrap in a very long time, and it felt good to get into it again today! I will try to scan my pages and post them here soon, but please understand that I am technologically challenged. I have a scanner here at home, but 2 days after we bought it the cat thought it was a great place to sleep, and knocked it off the desk. It doesn't work anymore. I have the use of a scanner at work, but only feel free to use that when I'm not busy at it may be awhile before it gets done! (Got to find the time...*lol*)

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

A Day in the Life...

Here's a typical day (actually what I did today)...

Get up at 6:45am. Take a shower. Get dressed. Drive my son to school (it's way too dark for him to walk, and at 16 1/2 he STILL doesn't have his driver's license). Come back home. Get my stuff ready for work. Drive daughter to school (she goes to school 10 miles away). Come back to town and go to work. Work like a madwoman for 7 hours (no lunch break), then drive 10 miles to pick up daughter from school. From this point, my day usually varies a bit, but today we came back into town and I went back to work. Only this time to finish getting ready for a Girl Scout meeting, while my daughter worked on her homework. Stayed at the office until Girl Scouts, then had Girl Scouts for 1 1/2 hours. Stopped by my friend, Tonya's house afterwards. Helped her move her new treadmill into her house. Came home. Said hello to my son. Then he went to bed. 10 minutes later my husband comes home from Boy Scouts (he's the Scout master). Talk to him for 5 minutes before he goes to bed. Daughter soon follows, and here I am at 10:30pm...typing away in my blog. I saw my son for a total of 15 minutes today. My husband about 10 minutes and my daughter a bit more because she was at Girl Scouts with me. What a day!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Technology woes...

Living in a small town means you have to learn to accept that there are some things you just have to live without. There isn't a compromise. You just have to do without.

Unfortunately, one of those things we must live without in this two cow town is high speed internet. No DSL, no cable modem, no satellite service. Nada, nothing, zip. We have dial-up. Plain & simple. On a good day, I can connect at 32.1 Kbps. Most days I connect at 28.8. It's odd, though, at work I can connect at 52.1. I'm not sure why that is. Probably just another small town mystery.

Dial-up stinks. I mean, my service provider is ok. They are rarely down, and the customer service people are easy to deal with. But dial-up just stinks. Loading pages with graphics takes FORever. Try to open two pages at once and you can just about FORget it!

I like to play board games & card games at (you'll find me there under the same nickname). I could walk around the block...TWICE...before some games will load. I also like to visit websites that are dedicated to my favorite hobby...scrapbooking. My new home is . I love this place. The ladies are wonderful and their artwork is GORGEOUS! I'm stunned when I look at their galleries. If you need to be inspired, that is the place to go. Anyway, when I try to go through the galleries (mind you they are full of GRAPHICS, and blinky bits, and swirly things, and stuff that fades off & on), guess what happens?! Yes, my connection slows down to a crawl. And once in awhile I think it just can't take it anymore and gives it all up by disconnecting from the net! Then I have to start all over again! *sigh*

I was on the City Council here for 4 years (my term just ended and I didn't run for re-election...more on that another day), and one of the things we tried to do was to convince the biggies (like Verizon or Charter Communications) to light the fiber optic string that runs through town. But they're not interested because it's not "cost effective" for them. (Can you hear the itty bit of sarcasm I have in my voice?) Why would whoever it was, pay all that money to install fiber optics and then NOT light them. *snort* Unbelievable!

So until we get something that crawls faster than a snail, I'll just have to learn to accept and to live without some of the modern conveniences of life! At least we have electricity & running water! :)

Monday, January 1, 2007

And so it begins...

A new day, a new year and a new blog. I was challenged by my scrapping buddies over at to start blogging. "What in the world is a blog?" I said. "What in the world will I ever have to say that is interesting and meaningful?" And then, "Where in the world do I get one?"

So here I am. A newbie to the blogging world.

Life in a two cow town is really not that interesting, by big city standards. We do have our fun times though, and I hope to share some of our adventures (or misadventures) with anyone that cares to take a peek. We live in a small town (2400 people), where the number of cows & sheep out number the number of people. I call it a two cow town because of the lifestyle here. Very laid back and kinda red neck-ish. We are an agriculture/logging community, though logging has become a remnant of the past. We live 15 minutes from the coast, as the crow flies, but it takes 40 minutes to drive there. We're about 2.5 hours from the nearest "big" city...where there is any decent shopping. In our little town, we have 2 grocery stores, 3 banks, a gas station, 2 hardware stores...that's about it. We have to drive 40 minutes to get to all the "Mart" stores...Walmart, Kmart, Bi-mart, and Fred Meyers (which I call Fredmart). Pretty slim pickings when it comes to shopping variety.Today, my good friend Tonya came back home. She & her daughter, Dani left on a high adventure in August. They packed their SUV and drove from Oregon to New Hampshire in a week. Stayed with friends, then travelled to Florida for a month, and then headed home again. My daughter, Megan, and Dani are best friends, so it was hard for them to be away from each other. That meant almost daily phone calls (how can you keep teens away from the phone?!), and several times a day checking emails! And lots of tears when they couldn't get ahold of each other!The girls are in hog heaven right now, basking in the glow of renewed friendships. I'm glad they're home.Today is the day we pack up Christmas decorations. The house is a wreck. My darling husband is slaving away over boxes of decorations while I'm attempting my first blog. *lol* Poor guy.

I suppose I should go and help him....and so it begins....