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About 4 years ago, Jimmy had his first joint replacement.  I am not sure if he enjoyed it or not, but about 15 months ago, he needed a knee replaced.  He has done wonderfully with both of them.  Followed therapy’s orders and listened to the doctor for the most part.  He has been limping along with his other knee for a while and we had to get him through Shawna’s wedding so tomorrow is the day!  Yikes, I think once again I am more nervous than he is.  I probably won’t sleep very much tonight and I can feel my stomach feeling queasy.

I don’t know why I get so nervous about this, he has had several surgeries and comes through them so much better than when he goes in.  Yes, I will probably cry when they take him back (like I always do) and now you know why I don’t really want anyone there with me.  I usually find my way to the chapel to say a prayer for the surgeon (Thanks for taking such good care of him Dr. Anz and your amazing team) and his team, a prayer for the recovery nurses and everyone that has a hand on my husband.  Then I turn everything over to God and work on whatever I brought with me to keep me occupied.  I periodically check the screen to see where he is at in the rotation.  Sometimes I see people I know and talk to them, sometimes I keep to my self but I always get to walk with him to his room.  Every time he has had a joint replacement, he is up walking the same day, bugging the doctor to allow him to come home early.

Please pray for him, the surgery team and the hospital staff as we prepare to do this one more time (and I hope the last one he has to go through!).  Will be posting after he gets home and hopefully I can get some pictures.

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How many of you get junk mail on a daily basis? Or newspapers, bills you pay on-line, catalogs, magazines or any other thing that is made of paper and you can recycle? Junk mail drives me crazy as well as catalogs that I don’t request.  If I ordered your product on-line, why do you think I will look through a catalog that you send?  I don’t, they immediately go in the recycle bag.  When we get enough, we shred it and put it in the garden as a ground cover to keep weeds down and it breaks down rather quickly and helps the soil.  When we have more than we need for the garden, it will go in the compost pile.  Jimmy just made me a new (and BIG) compost area.  We have corn shucks, cobs, tomato cores, and other left overs from all the canning/dehydrating, freezing we have done from the garden, next will come leaves and chipped sticks/limbs and one day soon, we will have beautiful soil to add to the garden.

We have shredded almost 8 huge bags for the garden alone this year and it has also helped with holding moisture in the ground instead of it evaporating.  That has been a huge deal this summer while it has been significantly dry once again.

What is the recycling saying, “Turning trash to cash”, well that is what we are doing because our grocery bill has been reduced greatly this summer and I have tons of food dehydrated, waiting for cooler weather cooking.

So the next time you complain about junk mail, save it, take it somewhere that has a cross-cut shredder and enhance your soil or check your office to see if they are trying to get rid of shredded paper.  You might be surprised how much it helps your garden, whether it is vegetable or flower.  One word of caution, if it has colored ink, sometimes it contains metals, which if you add manure (especially poultry) it will break down the metals and make it safe for your vegetable garden.

Happy composting everyone.

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With the disasters that have gone on in our country lately, I feel it is time to get back on my soapbox.

First and foremost, please become better prepared.  If it is nothing more than understanding the difference between a warning and a watch and what to do in each situation.  Do you have a plan for your family?  Do they know it?  My two daughters are grown (25 and almost 30!)  and they still know if the weather is threatening, they can come home to the safe house.  We live in an earth contact house, so most of it is underground, our bedroom is the safest place in the house and they know Momma has enough food to last for several days (if it doesn’t get blown away and if it does, we are in trouble because that is one of the first things I will grab.

Do you have enough food to feed your family if there is a run on the grocery store after a disaster?  Do you have enough to share with others?  Would you be willing to share food that you have stored with others that did not prepare?  Only you can answer these questions for yourself.  Some people have strong opinions both ways and I know what I am willing to do and what I am not willing to do and in the event of a disaster, I do have a plan and it makes me feel more peaceful when those spring storms hit.

I also don’t want to tell you to jump in your car and head toward the disaster, sometimes that can cause more harm than good.  If you are down there and they don’t need you, you are taking valuable resources from those that need them.  There is usually a phone number set up to contact for donations (whether it be money or services), please contact them to see what you can do to help.  It might be more valuable for you to stay where you are and organize a local drive to take once the rescue is complete and they are in the rebuilding phase.  If you are rescue personnel, you know the protocol, please follow it.

My heart breaks for each and every person down there that has been affected by all the tragedies and was glad to hear a teacher say that she prayed.   Never underestimate the power or prayer.  It can give others comfort and peace, but know that God hears every one of those prayers.  Hug your family and friends a little tighter, call them up and tell them you love them, let them know you care.  We are not guaranteed another minute on this Earth.  My grandmother and grandfather didn’t expect to lose their oldest child at the age of 19 but they did.  My grandmother spent many years being mad at God (her words, not mine) and she said there wasn’t anything good that came of it.  She missed a lot of time basking in God’s love but came to the realization that sometimes we don’t know when we have to say goodbye so we should make the most of each day.

This time last week, we were laying to rest a beautiful soul (who just happened to be married to my cousin) and the preacher said he saw a sign that said “Choose your Attitude” and he believed that is what Susan did every day, she chose to be happy.  I noticed several people they interviewed in Oklahoma that had that same attitude.  They were grateful they were still alive and loved ones were as well.  In the midst of all that destruction, they chose to look at the positive.  If they can, how about you?  So now go back to the questions in this post and ask yourself them again.

Stay safe, become better prepared, make a plan, make sure those close to you know your plan, don’t count on others to help you out.  There is nothing more liberating than being self-sufficient when others are not.  Continue to pray for those that need our prayers (so basically everyone, everywhere) and most of all, tell your loved ones that you do truly love them.

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First of all, It is Ag week.  I want to say thank you to every farmer in the world, you make my way of life so much easier and I appreciate it so much.  Starting with my parents who have been farming forever to my grandson who dreams of being a farmer and driving that tractor and combine.  I have to say, I wouldn’t be the person I am today without that influence.  I tried living in “town” for about 3 months in McCredie population 40 (maybe if everyone was home!!) and couldn’t handle it so I am glad I married a farm boy and we moved to the country.  I love the feel of dirt and things growing, love mowing the grass, watching the crops grow, seeing the hay cut (love that smell) and baled into big round bales (yes I have bucked my share of square bales in my life), planting the garden, working the soil and reaping the harvest and hopefully share with friends, watching that little seed grow into a big corn-stalk or grow many more soybeans from a single bean, milo makes me itch so I admire it from afar.  I also love to pick wild blackberries or go mushroom hunting if I can.  Love to watch the hubby hunt or fish.  Love being able to burn wood to keep us warm in the winter and help cut, split and haul the wood in.

SO TO ALL THE FARMERS IN THE WORLD, THANKS AND I APPRECIATE EVERYTHING YOU DO.

We didn’t really do much this weekend, think my body was charging up for the week.

Monday I went on a grocery tour after work to learn about how to get more calcium in my diet, since I have a milk allergy, this can be difficult, but I will work on it some more and see what I can do to make it more healthy.

Tuesday night, Jimmy had a meeting in Fulton and I stayed in town, picked up supper and worked while he had his meeting.

Wednesday, it is KFJ (Kids for Jesus) and I help Agnes Hatcher with the little kids 2-3 years old and we have between 15-25 kids every week, they are so sweet and I love seeing them every week, they are such a bright spot in the week, sure gonna miss them this summer.

Thursday night, our Women’s bible study group is going to an Easter pageant in Mexico and I can’t wait to watch it and be blessed with the Easter spirit.

Friday night, a Church group is going out for supper for fellowship and enjoyment.  Can’t wait to get together with these people and visit.

Will someone please tell my hubby I do love him and will plan to spend a relaxing weekend again with him when this crazy wonderful week is over.  And I am planning to sleep late one of those weekend days.

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In my line of work, you get to do all kinds of things, some great and some not so great!!  I love my job because it is interesting to me and there is something new every day.  As I sit here listening to people ask questions at the front desk, it is amazing to me things they ask.

Phone calls are the best, asking what the county takes care of, what is DNR’s responsibility, what does the State Department of Health and Senior Services do/require us to do.  I even had someone ask me about something and he said the rules constantly are changing, I had to tell him they hadn’t changed in over 7 years here on that specific subject and he was surprised about that.

For those of you that don’t know, I work in the Environmental Services of our local County Health Department.  We do many things, check childcare facilities (which we have many good ones in Callaway), food establishment inspections (I love visiting with these folks), lodging inspections (haven’t had the opportunity to do that yet, but soon), truck wrecks that involve food, drugs or cosmetics (worked the first one a week ago! very interesting) sewer inspections (yes we have our own county ordinance) and my stance on that is, no one wants raw sewage draining on them or their neighbors so please work to clean it up!  And we get very involved in emergency preparedness planning.

When I started college (what was it, back in 2008?!), one of our professors sent us to the FEMA website for a paper we were to write.  Little did I know, during my research for this paper, I would stumble upon the FEMA training website, which has many FEMA related classes you can take (some for college credit) and I started taking some of them.  I think I have taken somewhere around 20-25 classes at this point and have enjoyed learning about all the different aspects of disaster preparedness.  Tonight we are going to a class put on by our local county on “Emergency Shelter Food Safety”.  Sound like something a food inspector would need to know, right??  Well, I am dragging the hubby along because I am sure I will be busy doing other things during a disaster and he is an awesome cook as well and can be in charge of food if needed at a shelter.

Which leads me to the whole reason of this post!!  Late last week, we were given the opportunity to apply for Mental Health First Aid Trainer classes.  We discussed it in our department and I was chosen to go!  This is something totally new to me (well training people is not, but the mental health first aid is) and I am starting to get excited about it.  It is a week-long class and starts next Monday (April 2nd).  I know my Grandmother is very proud of me because she worked in the mental health field for some time as a psych aide at the local Mental Health Hospital.  So once I pass this class, I will be able to teach others how to deal with issues they may encounter.  Asking for prayers for this class to go well!  I will miss my family and will probably be on the phone a lot next week, checking on everyone, having them talk to me and tell me how I can do this!  Then on to schedule trainings with other instructors.  I am very excited and nervous about it.

Will keep you up to date next week!

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I am not sure if most of you know, but I am allergic to dairy.  Think I have been most of my life because my mom said I weaned myself at 9 months because the only thing she gave me in a bottle was milk.  I got in trouble a couple of times at school because I didn’t drink milk but I didn’t drink it.  Became a huge water drinker at an early age.  After explaining all that to you, bet you wonder why the title of this post is about smoothies.  I am always careful when they offer me smoothies of any type because they are always milk based.  Oh I know they have soy based but I can’t tolerate soy milk, just the smell of it makes me gag.

Tara (the oldest child) sells It Works (and it really does) and they came out with two shake flavors (chocolate and vanilla) that you can make into a smoothie.  Of course, they recommend milk, but we tried it with ice and fruit and the vanilla flavor mix.  The first time we used strawberries, bananas and blueberries with ice.  It was yummy.  This morning, since I have a bunch of cantaloupe frozen, I thought I would try it with bananas.  Let me tell you, I am not a breakfast person but I think I could drink this for breakfast every morning of my life!  If you don’t like bananas, try some other fruit (this is for you Shawna).  I think you could even put a little juice in it if you don’t like it so thick.  It reminded me of something smooth and creamy like ice cream but so much healthier for you (and of course I can’t eat ice cream so it is extra special for me).

So I made enough for three days this week.  Ready to go and I don’t even have to prepare them in the mornings because I have training two days and have to get up and out of the house a little earlier than normal.  It says it has soy in it but I can’t really taste it.  It also says it has dairy and I seem to be tolerating it so it is a win for me.   It is supposed to help reduce LDL (another plus for me) and maintain HDL!  It also has fiber and antioxidants in it.

Really who cares what is has in it, it tastes so yummy it makes it hard to believe it is so good for you.  I can’t wait for summer to get here so I can have my “ice cream smoothie” when everyone else is eating ice cream around me.  If you are interested in tasting it, let me know and I will connect you with Tara.

Disclaimer:  First of all, The daughter has no idea that I am posting this and did not ask me or pay me anything to write it (yeah, her hubby is in school, like she would have enough money to pay me!)  And It Works has no idea who I am other that someone who orders from them occasionally.  They didn’t offer me anything for writing this as well.  But if they wanted to compensate me, I would take another order of the vanilla  “Ultimate Pro fit ©”.

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A couple of weeks ago, I posted on here how wonderful fall has been.  Well, I would like to correct myself.  The weather has been wonderful.  So wonderful in fact, we haven’t had any rain to speak of for over a month now.  IT IS DRY! Not as bad as Texas and Oklahoma but it is dry here.  We have had combines running all around us for a couple of weeks nonstop and the dust is horrible.  It looks like they are on fire, there is so much dark dust around them and I am sure someone will lose their combine this year.  It always happens when it is this dry, working hard to get everything out and the next thing you know, all that dust has ignited.

Last night we decided to go gravel roading (for those of you that don’t know, you are missing out) and check out what the farmers have accomplished.  I run in the house and get a glass of iced sweet tea and off we go in Jimmy’s truck, basically being nosy and visiting.  I should have known better!  Since last week when I mowed for 5 hours in 2 days and helped load straw and everyone has been blowing dust everywhere, my allergies have been crazy.  What possessed me to suggest going on a gravel road (that is pure dust by this time of year), looking at fields that are full of bean and corn dust and the air has a haze that you are not sure if it is fog or just dust hovering around.  We had a good time and enjoyed seeing those guys working hard and a couple of boys using farming as an excuse for postponing homework (right Will?).  Much has been accomplished in the farming world in Hatton and the surrounding area this month (well, September).  If the weather holds like they are predicting, many will have a very dry harvest.

Then I start coughing around 8:30 because my allergies are crazy and everything is running.  I went to bed about 10:00 and was back up at 11:00 because I couldn’t quit coughing.  Decided to sleep in the recliner and that helped for a couple of hours, back up at 2 a.m. and decided I was through for the day.

Wish I could sleep like the little princess did yesterday.  She wanted both quilts on the bed and went right to sleep when I put her in our bed.

Doesn’t she look like an angel sleeping in that bed.  I am afraid I might lose that top quilt, Adrianna and Brock both love it.

For those of you that tried to get her to talk to you yesterday, see why she gets by with so much.  She is adorable.  Rotten to the core but we love our little Judy Attitudy Princess Anna.  She even tried to give her baby a drink of Nanny’s tea and got on to the baby because “The baby spilled your tea, she wouldn’t drink it Nanny”.  And later came over and told me “Nanny, nanny boo boo, I drank some of your tea.”  Laughed and ran off.  But when no one else was around, we had a great day.  She was just not into sharing her Nanny and Papa yesterday I guess.

Hopefully we will either get a rain to settle everything down or they will finish harvest around us soon!We were laughing just this morning looking at the leaves and I told Jimmy the only red leaves I have seen this fall have been poison oak that has climbed up the trees.  The rest of the leaves are yellow, brown and some still green.  He said he hadn’t really noticed but now I bet he is looking at every red leaf he finds.

And I have been applying for jobs since I am finished with school and need to get back to work.  I think I am ready to tackle the world again and try to make it a better place.  Hopefully, the next post won’t be so long coming and I will have good news.

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