Wednesday, January 31

Books, email programs

Been putting off blogging pretty much all afternoon. Why? Don't know, it's just that ever since the first thought of, "I should probably write in my blog today", I've been procrastinating. As of a couple of hours ago, it is snowing. I'd say we've got about an inch of very fluffy dry snow on the ground. The air is SO dry, I'd expect nothing else. The forecast in WeatherBug says that we will probably only see 1-2 inches, let's hope that's all we get. *grin*

Haven't been doing much. I finished the book I was reading "What God Wants". A pretty good book. The next book I plan on reading is "Ask and it is given 'Learning to manifest your desires'" by Esther and Jerry Hicks.

We have been using Eudora 7.1 since yesterday, and it's been working fine. The *main* reason I like Eudora is because you don't have to cut & paste the portion of the email that you want in the reply-mail, you only having to *highlight* the portion, click reply, and it's automatically put in the reply-mail. Right now we're using it in "sponsored mode", which gives you use of all the features of the "paid mode", but you have to look at a small ad in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen. If you want to get rid of that ad, you either have to pay the $19.95 for the paid version, or go to Eudora "Light" mode. The problem with the Light version is that you can only have *one* email addy download messages, at least that's what I believe. Anyway, you can remain in sponsored mode until March 15, at which time you'll be set to "light" if you haven't bought it. So, my wife like Outlook Express just fine, and I do to, I just like that one 'perk' when replying to emails, so after March 15th, I'll just let it go to the light version :-)

Other than that, not much going on. We're just waiting for "Bones" to come on at 7 p.m., then "American Idol", after the NBA basketball (which I will watch alone :)

Talk to you later.

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Monday, January 29

Tree limbs, Firefox, Thunderbird

Good morning, y'all! The reason I haven't written in 4 days is because I've been going through an inferiority complex thingy. In other words, nothing that has been going on in my life really seems all the write-worthy. It's basically been the same ol' same ol'. You know, doing a little clean-up of the limbs that were broken off the trees in that brutal ice storm the week before last. Haven't got a lot cleaned up because it's been too chilly for these old bones. We did get most of the fallen limbs off the trees and stacked semi-neatly next to each tree. Still need to take the chainsaw out and turn the big branches into firewood though. Well, I guess some of the ones that aren't too small will also be used as firewood, just not the splittable kind, more of the kind that you add to the fire once it's burning really well and you don't want to use the split wood kind. *smile*

A couple of days ago I got one of my wild hairs about computer programs. I had decided that I wanted to try a new one because we have been using the same ones for a while (i.e. Outlook Express & Internet Explorer). So I went searching. I saw that Mozzilla has release (1)"Firefox 2.0" and has a couple beta versions of (2)"Thunderbird 2.0". Since this was *my* wild hair thing, I decided I could spare Rain the pain of having to learn a new email program while I tested Thunderbird 2.0 beta, so I downloaded it and the upgrade for Firefox. I thought that one way I could do it without screwing-up Rain would be to just create a new user account and set-up Thunderbird on it. Then I decided that I didn't *have* to do that, that I could stay with the one, main account and have another button/link to TB. Well, the problem was that we use TB 1.5 as our default blog reader program. Well, I decided I would try to set-up another account afterall and try "sharing" a bunch of programs (Zone alarm, AVG, Firefox, Zoundry, etc.). Somehow when trying to share these programs I messed the computer up when I decided I wasn't having any luck and "canceled" the effort. First of all, I deleted all the RSS feeds off of TB 1 when I thought I could separate 1 and 2.0, but the install of 2.0 overwrote 1.5 even though I *thought* I still had two separate programs on the same account. Long story made short because I'm thinking this is starting to drag on and on and on *grin*, in the end/highlight of the screw-up, we couldn't even visit websites or download email. *heavy sigh* I was just about to give up and do a total reformat when I decided to try one more thing -- reinstall The (3)Centurytel Accelerator. That worked, thank the Gods and Goddesses, because I *really* didn't want to make copies of all the programs!! And yes, I know I should anyway, but I was tired :-)

Okay, well, I've got a TON of email to read and respond to. C.Ya! :)

For all of you getting this as plain text email...




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Thursday, January 25

Friends. Limbs. Chicken food.

Okay, so I don't know what to say. Drove into town to get some peroxide, chocolate, and chicken food. On the way there however, we stopped at a friends place to make sure they were okay after the ice storm, and they were. We had sent them email which hasn't been answered, and left a message on the answering machine that we hadn't got a call-back from. When we got there we were told she tried to call, but got a busy signal, and she hasn't had time to go on-line yet, so no email. That's cool though, that's why we stopped by. *smile* Turns out they made it through just fine by staying at the mother in-law's house. *Yay!*

Other than that, not much happening. Still hasn't been warm enough for us to get many tree limbs taken care of, although my daughter did drag a couple of branches to the wood shed for us :-) Still lot more to go. We're not going to drag everything to the wood shed and then cut it into log-form. We're going to do the cutting at each tree, load the logs into the wagon and have the kids take them to the shed while we cut more branches up.

The price of chopped corn has gone up due to the poor corn harvest this year. So, come Spring, we're going to try to grow our chicken's corn-food ourselves. We've never done it before, but whatever we can get to grow will at least help in that we won't need to buy quite as much.

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Tuesday, January 23

Mom update

I know that some of you asked that I keep you updated on the status of my mommy who went in to have hip replacement surgery, so here it is. When I talked to my dad on Saturday evening he told me she was scheduled to be home yesterday. She was staying in the hospital in the town they live that initially said they didn't want her because she was too high maintenance. They assumed that she would be again after her surgery this time too, but they didn't *know* for sure because the surgery was done at a different, more advanced hospital in another city. Since they hadn't actually seen her since she had been discharged, they didn't know that she has gained about 40 pounds and was eating w/o a feeding tube. Anyway, they were very happily surprised at her much better condition. Dad says that although she still needs to use a walker, she should only need it for a while longer and that within 3 months she will probably not need it at all. Before they discharged her from the hospital she had to be able to get out of bed on her own, feed herself, dress herself, and get to and from the bathroom by herself. She's able to do all that now, and her pain is of course GREATLY reduced since the latest surgery. Well, that's the latest from my dad to me to you :-) Have a nice day!

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Sunday, January 21

Our week during the 2007 ice storm in Southwest Missouri

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Of the 44 pictures I took of the ice on the trees and whatnot, I thought this one was the prettiest :-) They're all pretty in a weird, eerie sort of way though. You see, for us it all started to go down hill last Saturday morning at 2 a.m. That's when the power went out first. It was off for about 12 hours: came back on Sunday afternoon around, you guessed it, 2 p.m. We didn't know what our future was, but I decided to do my usual Sunday thing and watch the NFL playoffs. That was going okay. Then 5:30-ish rolled around and the electricity went off AGAIN. We figured that it wouldn't be off long since they got it back on pretty quickly the last time. Well, we were wrong! At the time though we still had water, but as it turned out that was only because the tank in the pumphouse still had water (I think, or there was still water in the lines), so we were able to flush the toilet at least. Unfortunately that didn't last. Sometime during the morning of Monday the 15th of January, the water stopped flowing. Luckily, we keep many juice bottles filled with water at any given time just for these "just in case" scenarios. Usually we just use them to fill water bowls for the animals (cats & dog's indoors and chicken's & duck's outdoors), especially on those mornings when it dips below freezing outside and turning on the outside picket wouldn't do any good, ya know? :) Anyway, we had water. Luckily for some reason the week prior I had decided on a whim that I was going to fill the one-gallon jugs as they became empty (as opposed to waiting until there were ten or more to be filled and then doing a marathon filling). Turns out that was prophetic. *smile* Then on Monday we saw that there was a limb that broke-off of the tree by an electrical wire (to an outbuilding) and was hanging on said wire, so Rain was going to call the electric company to let them know. At that point she found that there was no dial-tone. We of course checked all of the phone-jacks to make sure it wasn't a problem inside the house, even though we kind of knew there wasn't. Tuesday afternoon rolled around and we decided that one of us should go up to the neighbor's house and see if they have phone service, or if the entire neighborhood was out. I was the chosen one. Got up there and they did have service, and they let me use their phone to call the phone & electric company. The phone person told me that they'd be out within 24 hours to check the phone. Wednesday afternoon rolled around and STILL no phone service, so we figured we'd just call them on Friday when we went to the store to get some more food, so I did. The phone person told me that they were just extremely busy and would be out as soon as possible, hopefully "within 24 hours". That wasn't so bad since the electricity had came back on Wednesday evening around 6:30 p.m. That was cool because we had missed the start of American Idol on Tuesday and there was to be the 2nd 2-hour show Wednesday night at 7 p.m. CST. *smile* Anyway, the phone service *finally* got turned back on Saturday morning and has been on ever since... so far. So anyway, as I said, the electricity came on Wednesday evening, so of course we were THRILLED! Waited a little bit to let the water pressure build back up in the pumphouse tank and tried the faucets - no water. Figured we'd just have to reset the pump and everything would be back to relative normalcy - WRONG! Opened the door to the pumphouse to check and heard running water :-( Looked at the filter housing and saw that it had frozen and broke-off at some point, but the water wasn't coming from there. I was standing in 6 inches of water at this point, looked down, and saw that there was water GUSHING out of the pipe coming out of the ground. Oh no! Freak-out time, BIG TIME! I ran as fast as I could to the shed, thinking that perhaps there was left-over pipe that I could use to "mend" the broken one, but didn't find any. Ran back to the pumphouse to try just putting it back together. LOL. Of course THAT didn't work, too much pressure. *sigh* Was still freaking, ran into the house to tell my wife. She didn't know what to do either, so I grabbed the duct tape and headed back out. I was out there in a foot of water now (with holey boots), wrapping the tape as fast as I could around the pipe, freezing my ass, feet, and hands off when my wife showed-up and suggested looking for an "off" switch. Of course I had NO CLUE where it would be. She looked around and saw a couple of breaker boxes and one of them had "emergency switch" (or similar) written on it so I pulled that down and VOILA, the water shut off because that switch turned off the underground pump. WHEW! But now we have no water and all of our water bottles are empty (except maybe one or two). We collected some ice sickles from outside and melted them in a pan so we had water to at least flush the toilet one time (and boy did it need it. lol). Thursday morning came and we drove into town to get some PVC pipe and see if we could find another filter housing unit. Got the pipe, but no one had the housing. Went into town on Friday to do a little grocery shopping and stopped by Sears - they had the whole unit for $40 (couldn't get *just* the housing, but what're ya gunna do). Brought that home, put it on, and it STILL leaked out the top of the housing. *sigh* So what did I do? I tightened it as tight as I could, of course. Unfortunately that wasn't tight enough because it STILL squirted water at the breaker boxes (yes, I turned the water of quick to keep from blowing the fuses with water). That wasn't enough bad luck though, because as it turns out I must've cross-threaded the filter housing and could NOT get it off :-( Now what?! Took the WHOLE unit off, took it in the house where it was warm, to work on it, but it's too tight. *sigh* I guess I don't know my own strength sometimes. Luckily though, we had gotten the whole unit at Sears, which had a 'bypass' setting, so we set it on that so the housing didn't *have* to be on it, yet we could still get water. Which was awesome, because I didn't/don't have the pipe-fittings to create a short pipe to go where the filter unit is. But now we have no filter. Oh well. Maybe if we can get the housing off at some point, we'll put it on, but for now it's not totally necessary. *shew!* So you're probably wondering what we did between Sunday evening and Wednesday evening to take off the time without a computer or television, huh? I finished the 2nd half of "Cell", by Stephen King, and have started on another book by Neale Donald Walsch named "What God Wants". Besides reading, we played several games of checkers (11 yo son kicked butt), a few of chess, one of The Game of Life, listened to the radio until the batteries died, talked, started fires in the woodstove which luckily still heats the house even without the fan, albeit somewhat slower. We (as in my wife) used the propane camping cookstove to cook with. Luckily we had bought several extra little tanks of propane for it a while back, although we only needed one more than the one that had been on it. What we learned through those 4 days without electricity was that we don't have enough crafty things to do, need even more juice bottle to fill with water in case power goes out for longer than 5 days, need more food that doesn't have to be cooked, and an "eco-fan" for the woodstove would be a plus. That's a fan that sits on the top of the stove that comes on as the heat from the stove rises. That's about how our week went. Hope yours, if you were in a similar situation, turns out well too. We expect that with all the broken wires, limbs on wires, that the power will probably be off & on for a while until all the damage & debris can be dealt with. We're just SO HAPPY that we have electricity, water, heat (and firewood once we cut-up all the fallen limbs), food, and friends that worried about us. Thank you guys and gals, you must know that we love you all dearly! *SUPER HUGE HUGS*

P.S. In case you're wondering why we didn't go and check on the neighbors until we needed a phone, that's because we knew they had a generator (could hear it), so figured they were fine, which they were :-)

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Tuesday, January 9

Group meeting. Rooster & cat. Mom

I haven't written for a few days, so I figured I'd just sit down this afternoon and do a blog entry. And once again *sigh* I'm not *feeling* particularly gregarious. Truth be known, for a while now, I've just been feeling "off" mentally. Not exactly sad, perhaps a little depressed. I believe I know why, and I try not to say anything because nobody can do *anything* to help other than to suggest a chiropractor that we can't afford. Okay, here's the thing, for a couple of months now, since November, my back has been all wonky, and I think dealing with it every day is wearing on me emotionally. Part of me wants to believe it's just that I need a spinal adjustment, but the other part thinks it's more than likely being made worse by my MS.

We had a nice day. We went to a thing with our homeschool group to get people who weren't familiar with it, familiar with the Conservation Frontiers program. A couple of families that we knew, were there, but a few who we hadn't met in person were there too. I would guesstimate at least 25 kids - a good turnout to be sure. We arrived at Pizza Hut at noon to have lunch before the meeting started around 1. We were mostly done eating when the first mom and son showed-up, so we were just shootin' the breeze.

Other than that, no much else to tell. We've got a single rooster who was being picked-on by at least one of the other roosters. He had been singled out and had been in a fight and we couldn't find him last Thursday night, so we thought perhaps he had been taken by a predator. We didn't see him all day Friday until my wife and daughter were looking for chicken eggs and they found him hanging out in the wood shed. When they found him he looked okay except that he had one damaged eye, so they caught him and put him in a separated coop so he could recuperate and heal a bit. He stayed until yesterday at feeding time, when I let him out. Plus on Monday we butchered the one rooster that we saw chasing him the most. We thought that he would just re-integrate with the flock. He did sleep in the main coop with everyone last night. Today though, after they all had been fed, I was outside the old goat shed calling for a cat that one of our other cats had scared the other day (Arie). I just happened to glance into the goat shed and saw the rooster we had separated previously, laying in there all by himself. I thought maybe he was hurt again, but when I went a little closer, he got up and went of the the shed & pasture. I think he went back in there though. So, I don't know what to do. Realistically I'm thinking we should probably just butcher and eat him because he's obviously been ostracized from the flock. Part of me though, wants to keep him because he's been one that has separated himself at feeding times and got his own private feeding. *smile* Kind of like a pet. However, if he's going to be alone all the time, he's going to be miserable and lonely. None of the hens hang-out with him (then again, I don't really pay all the much attention most of the day). Guess we'll have to see how it goes the rest of the week. We'll decide on the weekend because we've decided that we need to cull-out some roosters and plan on doing one per week. NOTE: We just closed them in the coop for the night and he was there, I think. P.S. The eye that was hurt is missing, at least as far as I can tell, unless it's just *really* scabbed-over (but I don't think so). Other than that, he's okay.

In familial news, my mom in Colorado, is back in the hospital getting a complete hip replacement because she just didn't heal after the hip *repair* from a few months ago. She had started eating regularly and they were seriously considering taking out the feeding tube she was no longer using. Now though, until they see how she is after this surgery, they're going to wait. Gee, the way that sounds, you'd think she doesn't have a say, huh? Well, she didn't want the feeding tube the first time, but they made her get it, so they're hoping the memory of that experience will encourage to do well so she doesn't have to "go back".

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Saturday, January 6

Great visit by friends!

We had a *very* fun evening last night. Friends and their kids came over, brought some pizza and a bottle of wine. The pizza was delicious, of course, and so was the wine. For the first hour or so we just talked while the kids played. They played video games for a while, then they moved into my DS's room to play something else (Legos? I don't know, I just know he has some and likes to play with them). Eventually, after a lot of talking about this, that, and the other thing, we broke-out "The game of Life" (Pirates of the Caribbean version). And of course while playing the game we talked some more. As it turns out, we have quite a bit more in common than we (Rain and I) originally thought, which of course it totally cool :-) Oh yeah, in addition to the pizza and wine, we also had some yummy brownies that my wife made for us. They were a big hit, of course, because she's such a good baker (and awesome cook in-general). And I'm not just saying that because she'll be reading this. LOL. Their daughter put a movie in VCR and watched some of that while "the boys" were off doing something else. She did go and see what they were doing before long though, so they didn't escape her presence for long. *grin* Meanwhile, the little one (under 2 somewhere) wondered around exploring everything and everywhere she could get to :-) I'm just very happy that all the kids were comfortable enough to treat our house like home and weren't afraid of "getting in trouble" for checking things out, ya know? We had soda and kool-aid too, so everyone was happy as far as drinks were concerned :-) All in all, like I said at the beginning, we had a GREAT time, and hope to visit them and for them to visit us on a regular basis. That would be AWESOME! Their son and our son have already been talking about sleep-overs, so Rain and I (and our son of course) need to discuss that. *smile*

Now that I've caught up (for the most part, cuz I'm rarely totally caught-up for long) on my email, I think I'm going to get off of the computer and be in the living room with Rain until she comes here to catch-up on *her* email. *grin* Oh yeah, and probably after the Kansas City football game, I'll have blogs to read. My work here is never done. *smile*

I forgot to mention that I have a new Xanga friend. Don't know much about him, other than he asked (via Xanga) to be my friend :-) I didn't even know Xanga HAD a "friend" feature thingy, or just never paid attention.

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Wednesday, January 3

The game of life, dining out, shopping, Serenity

I have 67 emails and 4 blogs waiting for me to read (probably more by the time I'm done here). So I decided that I would write in my blog before getting to all of that. No offense to those hoping to get a response from me. I don't mean to be selfish of my time, but sometimes ya gotta be, ya know? Not that I have anything mind-blowing to write about. *grin*

Didn't go to the scheduled playday with our homeschool group today because we needed to get chicken & duck food in on the outside of one city, then drive approximately 30 miles to the other city to do our grocery shopping, plus stop for lunch in between since we didn't leave home until 10 o'clock this morning. Speaking of lunch, we had decided to stop at a restaurant name The Timber Cafe in Buffalo, MO. We had to go by it on the way to the feed store and noticed that it wasn't open. We thought perhaps that was because it wasn't 11 a.m. and they may just open at 11 like Pizza Hut. So we got our birds some food and drove by that same restaurant noticing a 'for sale' sign on the front lawn, so figured it wouldn't be open today. Because of that, we went and did our once-a-month-because-we-got-paid dine-out at Pizza Hut - YUM! I love pizza and bread sticks, even if neither are particularly good for me. *grin* I was a good point and had sweet tea rather than Pepsi though. *smile* Then we went to the other city, got the kids their chore money. After that we went grocery shopping.

Not much to tell about that. We got a few links taken out of my son's watch band so he could wear it. Unfortunately she took too many out, and although it fit at the time, after walking around the store for a bit he said it was too tight (he couldn't move his wrist), so we went and got one link put back in. Now it fits, but he's so NOT used to wearing a wrist watch, that he's just carrying it. *sigh* We'll just keep reminding him he has one, or maybe not. Maybe we'll just assume that he knows and he will wear it when he's damned good and ready. LOL. The only other sort of exciting thing about the shopping is that we bought ourselves (family) a board game, because I spotted it and we hadn't bought one in like, forever. *grin* What? Oh, you want to know which one? Oh alight, since you begged... it's "The Pirates of The Caribbean 'Life' game". We'll be having friends over on Friday, and they'll be bringing the standard 'Life' game that we played twice at their place last Friday. So I guess we'll play their game at least once, and our game at least once. *smile* Plus they're bringing pizza! Woo-Hoo! Anyway, we've already played one game of TPOTC 'Life' and it works well, and it quite enjoyable. Of course I REALLY liked it this evening... BECAUSE I WON! Nah-nah-nah-neener-neener-neener. LOL.

Whelp, that was our day. Now, because I'm not really *into* email or blogs right now, I'm going to watch the rest of "Serenity" the movie with my wife :-)

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Monday, January 1

Cat pictures, New Year's Eve

Good morning verging on afternoon, all :-) If you'd like, you can comment on the picture I post on my page. It's one of Drigger holding up the world while sleeping. *smile* We took a picture of Ruth and Celebi laying the table last night. They look just like "Yin and Yang" cats, pretty cool. *grin*

I felt like writing, but now I can't think of anything worthwhile to say. Don't you hate it when that happens? I know I do, and it doesn't seem to stop it from happening either. Yesterday was pretty uneventful. Didn't go anywhere or do anything exciting, just stayed in watching television, reading email, surfing the web. Blah, blah, blah. The weather was cloudy, rainy/drizzly and windy all day long. Which of course meant the cats were in and out and in and out looking for that illusive "door to summer". Today looks to be a better one weather-wise, at least it's sunny. Oh, Rain did make us cake last night for the new year's celebration. We bought a 4-pack of "Jose Cuervo Margarita 'Minis'" last week specifically for last night. We drank them, and they were pretty tasty. But since they were so small, they didn't "do" much of anything. *grin* Each bottle was only about 4 ounces. We have a bottle of wine in the fridge that I thought me and the missus were going to have a glass of each, but didn't. That's okay though. Speaking of what I did yesterday, it was the watching of the Broncos versus the Forty Niners. The Niners won, therefore knocking the Broncos out of the playoff race. However, because Denver lost, the Kansas City Chiefs will be in the playoffs. So you see, although I'm a die-hard Broncos fan and really wanted to see them in the playoffs, I'm not too disappointed, because I live in Missouri and am also a Kansas City Chief fan. So it all works out. *smile*

For those of you in email-land who don't see the Drigger and Celebi/Ruth links, here are the URLS:



Jose Cuervo:

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