Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I do have memories

"In less than one hour, what was once a stately white barn with concrete walls was reduced to a smoldering ruin."

I went to breakfast with dad this morning (since he had finally given me more than 2 hours notice that he wanted to) at Chrome Grill. While we were sitting there an ambulance drove by. About a minute later there was a fire truck and some police cars. A gentleman next to us said "must be a bad wreck." I looked to dad and told him that I always get nervous when I hear sirens on this side of town (the side I live on). When we finished I decided to head home before going to work to make sure everything was ok. I came home to this:

So long Joe's House

This was an intentional fire that got out of control. Thankfully no animals or people were harmed. 18 years ago we weren't so lucky....

September 27th, 1994, I was a small fish in a big pond. Literally. I was a sixth grader swimming at the high school pool. Each elementary school took turns taking their sixth grade classes to swim at CHS. The most terrifying part of this was riding the bus home with high schoolers.Thankfully, my bus driver was the same bus driver I had had since the first day of kindergarten. That day, I walked through the courtyard to the bus. Before I stepped on, I glanced to the east and saw balls of black smoke in the sky. I didn't have a chance to think about it before Denver (my bus driver) told me it was coming from my farm. He didn't know the details, but promised to get me home as soon as possible.

They weren't letting any buses down Alquina Road so one of my teachers met me at Eastview (my elementary school) to take me home. By then I had learned that it was not a house but a barn that had caught fire. For some, this may have been good news. Not for this farm girl. Any barn on my farm was just as important as the roof that was over my head. Not only did they house my animals, but they had a very rich history. This was the barn I left that morning:

The barn on the hill
I came home to this that afternoon:

I always say that I have no memories of my childhood, but I could recap this moment beginning to end. From the smell of my chlorinated hair, to the sound the fire hoses made keeping the other barns from catching fire. One thing I will remember most is my Grandpa with his head in his hands. By this time he had lost his eyesight. My dad remembers Grandpa asking "Is it the big one?" After dad replied yes he asked "Is it gone?" to which he replied with another yes.

It was very hard for me to drive down Alquina Road this morning and see the flames coming from the farm. When I got home tonight there was still some parts of Joe's House that were crackling, but "...rain showers helped diminish the remaining embers" just like the paper reported 18 years ago for the barn on the hill. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Things I've learned this week....

At work: 1. Norman (older customer) does not want to marry his lady friend. She has had two husbands die from a heart attack, and he wants no part of that! 2. Kids cartoons say "poop" a lot. 3. Thomas Crapper did not invent the toilet. He did, however, have a lot of inventions related to the modern plumbing system. 4. There are actually people who think Nickelback is a great band. They also get very defensive when you tell them they are wrong.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Live Your Dash

Reason number two for my hatred of February: The night of my grandma's calling, I was chatting with some friends when my husband came up to me with a strange look on his face. He pulled me aside and said he had some news that he didn't quite know how to share. When he told me my friend Matt had passed away I remember shaking my head no. Really? I had just spoke with him briefly on the phone a week or so ago. The next day was my Grandma's funeral and shortly after that was Matt's. I think that was the most emotionally draining week of my life.

There was a poem read at his funeral that I look at often. Even though his time with us was short, I can say that he spent part of that dash being an amazing friend. 

I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of his friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
from the beginning...to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth…
and now only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own;
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard…
are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left.
That can still be rearranged

If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real,
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
and more often wear a smile…
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy’s being read
with your life’s actions to rehash...
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent your dash?

by Linda Ellis

We miss you Matthew Roy

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Now we look forward with confidence to our heavenly bodies, realizing that every moment we spend in these earthly bodies is time spent away from our eternal home in heaven with Jesus. We know these things are true by believing, not by seeing. And we are not afraid, but are quite content to die, for then we will be at home with the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:6-8
The Living Bible

I am happy to be a Christian. I am happy to have a savior that gave the ultimate sacrifice for my sins. I believe in heaven and hell, and I pray every night that I will go to heaven so I can see all of those who are not here anymore.

Having said that, I'm not always comforted by the last statement. Sometimes I would just rather have that person here. Maybe I'm selfish. I don't know. Today marks the 3 year anniversary of my Grandma's passing (one of the reasons this month blows). The bible verse above was on the page where her bookmark was in her bible. So I guess I can take a little comfort in knowing she was ready.

That doesn't change the fact that I couldn't call her when Quinton proposed to me, I will never have a picture of the two of us together on my wedding day, and she will not get to hold my babies. I do still love when people introduce me as "Marilyn Hanson's granddaughter". I personally think it is the greatest compliment anyone can give me.

One of the most beautiful women I know

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


My favorite quality in any individual is their ability to embrace their own imperfections. 

I'm not very good at it. I had every intention of making some fabulous valentine cupcakes last night. The icing was yummy, the batter was perfect, the presentation was abysmal. Usually I can't wait to take a picture of my final product, but I skipped that part. Instead, here is a more successful cola cupcake.

They have heart liners so we can pretend
Aside from the baking fail, it was a very sweet Valentine's Day. The boys got their dad some nice cards. I finally found a good (dishwasher safe) travel coffee mug for Q, and he got me a beautiful card and figurine. Today was a good day.

Tomorrow will be another story......

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


This might sound weird, but the second I have a spotless kitchen, I can't wait to get it dirty! It's like a sickness. I start my cleaning in the kitchen and by the time I reach the bathrooms, I drop everything I'm doing because all I can think about is what I want to bake. 

Who doesn't love girl scout cookies? I love how they are always out right about the time people are starting to struggle with their new years resolution to loose weight (which I stopped making years ago). I can never say no. My favorites are thin mints and tagalongs. After I ate an entire box of tagalongs, I told myself I would not do that with the thin mints. So instead I made some thin mint cupcakes! I wanted them fast so the recipe is about as easy as it gets!

Loving my grandma's old saucer for this pic
 Thin Mint Cupcakes:
1 box of your favorite chocolate cake mix
1 sleeve of Thin Mint cookies crumbled

Follow directions for box mix. I always substitute milk with butter milk and vegetable oil with canola oil. Dump the sleeve of cookies into a ziploc bag and crumble with hands or use a meat pounder. Mix batter with cookies. Cook as directed.

I think I have finally found my go to icing recipe. I love the texture and stiffness! I found it at my new favorite blog, Glorious Treats. The only change I made is substituting vanilla extract with mint and of course adding green food coloring. I took a few of the remaining thin mints and cut into fourths for a garnish. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Always Reminded

Let's see how this works. I'm doing this whole entry from my phone. You would think since I work for Verizon it would be no problem. Think again. Technology gets the best of me sometimes.

My grandma (who you will hear plenty about) always collected drummer boy quarters. Quick history: They were coins stamped in 1976 to celebrate the bicentennial. Every where we went she would search her change for them.

Just like all kids, I went through phases. At first I thought it was so cool, then I stopped looking and caring, and of course now I wish grandma was still here so we could look for those quarters forever. Funny thing is I don't have to look for them because they always seem to find me. I'm always dropping one on the floor when I count the drawer at work or seeing one in the Kroger parking lot.

I did a Google search for the value of these quarters. They aren't worth much according to various websites, but they sure are priceless to me.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Mild Day

I hate February. So much in fact that I think I will refer to today as January 32nd. To make the month a little more tolerable I decided to start blogging. I will try not to make it a "Dear Diary" feel (lord knows people are too quick to share every single emotion they feel 24/7 these days) because I would like to actually have some readers. Instead, I would just like to share little things that happen in the day to day grind. A new friend of mine has made it her mission to blog 366 days this year. Even though I'm not as good of a writer as she is, I find her short stories and fun pictures very entertaining. 

One of my husbands Christmas presents this year was a new shop-vac. Isn't it funny how as we get older, our excitement over certain presents change? Forget the new clothes and latest gadgets. Give me a shop-vac and some new dishes! Since today was 60 degrees (yes it is the middle of winter) I decided to finish cleaning the Ford Escape. Willa, as I like to call her, will be going to a new home soon. She has served her purpose for me, and will now move on to a new life transporting kids to and from school and sporting events. She will love it, but I'm going to miss her. 

That really is it. I want to keep this short so you will read the whole thing. Pardon my poor punctuation and grammar. Like I mentioned earlier, I'm not a writer. Goodnight and see you on January 33rd.