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Old 12-21-2013, 12:59 PM   #1411
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My sister Donna always wore her pj's when making our holiday dinners and throwing those big family parties. They didn't even MATCH but she'd wear what was comfortable.

Merry Christmas to you too, my friend. Enjoy those paper snowflakes, then take a drive up to Flagstaff or Prescott after the festivities are all over.
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Old 12-21-2013, 02:08 PM   #1412
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Hi there
Sounds good Cheryl, nice quiet-comfortable day with your DM. I LOVE the sound of that!
I'm not sure 'where we'll be' but I do know that I'll be cooking.
Finished the shopping, now I need to get moving & dust the upstairs & make the beds.
Enjoy your day off!
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Old 12-21-2013, 02:23 PM   #1413
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Well, that's wild. How come you don't know where you'll be going? It's only days away, kiddo. What are the variables?

I did enjoy my day off. Glad you're getting lots done. Have a relaxing night on your comfy leather furniture. Give Molly and Kaboodle a pat from me.
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Old 12-21-2013, 02:44 PM   #1414
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Yeah, it will probably be here... but could turn out to be DS's home. We do this every year that we're home... not that hard, I just have to pack up all the food & take it over there. There will be 6 adults & 7 grand-kiddo's.
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Old 12-21-2013, 02:49 PM   #1415
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Well, I hope it all works out well. Packing an entire meal and transporting it and having it arrive hot and ready is tough. Especially in cold climates. Oh, well. Make the best of it! I know you will.
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Old 12-21-2013, 03:07 PM   #1416
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Cheryl, that sounds like a nice laid-back Christmas ! So special that you and your Mother will be together. I love that....... treasure those moments. <3

Have a good night !
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Old 12-21-2013, 05:04 PM   #1417
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Thanks. I will. You too.
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Old 12-21-2013, 08:55 PM   #1418
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In case I don't get a chance to talk to you (but I know I'll text you on Xmas) you and your mom have a great time together on Xmas. I think it's so special that you get her to yourself.
Chloe did enjoy her time with her dad today. I think he's starting to really enjoy being with her now. She talks his ear off! He looks at me when he doesn't understand what she's saying! Everyone says I understand her more than anyone. We'll I'm with her all the time! But there are words she says I have no clue what she's saying! Lol it's funny. I just say "oh yeah?" Hahaha
My dh can't believe all the cooking I'm going to do for Xmas dinner. We're eating Xmas eve. We have too much to do Xmas day and we're going to my BIL's in the afternoon. It takes almost an hr to get there! It'll be fun. My dd's bf is going too. He gets along with my dh's family. We're going to my parents house Monday afternoon for dinner. She wants to make Shawn a dinner. So far it's lasagna and salad. But it's subject to change! Lol
I'm tired so getting to bed now. Ttys!
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Old 12-22-2013, 09:04 AM   #1419
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Thank you, Tammy. It is going to be a very special Christmas indeed. A first for us both. It's cool that Chloe's dad is getting involved with playing with her more and that she talks his ear off. I think everyone who has a young "new talker" does that, "Oh yeah?" or something similar when they can't understand. What else can you do? If you make them repeat themselves until you understand what they're saying, they'll develop a complex.

I like Christmas Eve dinners. Then you can eat leftovers and stay in your pj's and open gifts on Christmas Day. Well, unless you have to go somewhere, as you will be doing. Wow! You have another dinner to go to on Monday? That's what happens when someone who's been far away comes home. Everyone wants to see them and treat them well. I hope Shawn is enjoying being home.

Merry Christmas, sweetie!

As for me, it's 60 degrees today and when I looked out the window, I was amazed to see all the snow had melted away. Only snow remaining is in very shady spots or places that were mounded up from a plow.

The deer and other grass-eating animals must be in Heaven. I will have to try and let the horses graze a while, if they haven't been put out into the paddocks where some grass is visible. I should have two volunteers today but they are very "green" themselves. I'll keep them busy.

I hope you all have an excellent Sunday and enjoy the reprieve from winter. It's returning soon enough.
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Old 12-22-2013, 01:59 PM   #1420
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Glad the snow melted for you . Enjoy your day !

Tay - so happy for you all that your son is here and safe. What a wonderful Christmas you all will have <3
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Old 12-22-2013, 05:59 PM   #1421
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Glad the snow melted for you . Enjoy your day !

Tay - so happy for you all that your son is here and safe. What a wonderful Christmas you all will have <3
Amen!
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:53 PM   #1422
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Today was very mild and the mud was deep in places. The horses were naked and all but one had rolled. Well, Lola didn't look too bad but she at least laid down in the muck at one point. She didn't grind her body into the ground, though. Daphne was the cleanest of them all. That's my girl!

I had three volunteers but they're all brand new and very green. Two teens and one lady roughly my age. I had to watch each of them like a hawk and lead them each step of the way in what they were asked to do. It's trying for me. It's a lot of work training novices. And the two teens were so involved with talking with each other that their speed at which they cleaned the paddock was pretty pitiful. I had to ask them to just stop raking up the wet hay and concentrate on just picking up the piles of manure cause there were still two paddocks to go and it was almost time to start bringing the horses down to groom them.

It's hard to train that many new people at one time when you are also trying to get the jobs done. For instance, I had them bring Cowboy to the barn and hook him up to the lead on the outside of the barn so I could put Calvin and Lola into the barn and put them into the cross ties. They were both very worked up and I had to take them down together, by myself because the older lady (who was all I had left at that time) has no experience with horses at all. So I got someone to hold Lola's lead rope (once I got them to the barn) so I could go and put Calvin in his cross ties. He was way too excited and was threatening to come unglued and just take those ties with him as he just leapt out of the barn.

I looked out to the girl who was holding Lola's lead rope and I said, "Okay. You can bring her into the barn." She started to bring her into the half of the barn I just put Calvin!

This is what I hate about our method of "orientation" we give to volunteers. After orientation, they should know a lot more than they do. I know there's a learning curve, but goodness gracious! This girl has been riding (taking lessons) for three months and she couldn't get Cowboy to lift his hind feet to pick them out. I had to leave Calvin (who was all worked up and could have easily left the barn, at a canter with cross ties trailing behind him) to go out and show her how to get him to lift his feet.

It's just dangerous. And I try so hard to be patient, to remember that it was me, two years ago and that someone trained me and exercised patience on my behalf as well. I have to believe that I am capable of training them and being effective. Sometimes it's tough.

Lola was one of the cleaner horses. I almost didn't even check her before tucking them in for the night but I had just gone down the line and she was the last of the four in the run-in stalls. She had mud on both sides of her head, near her ears. Her mane was muddy on the top and her entire belly and legs were covered in dried mud. So I ended up regrooming the ones they did.

Now, I know that the mud was pretty wet at the time so it wasn't possible to get it all off but they really missed a lot. And I had actually asked the older lady to go and help groom Lola and mentioned how muddy her head was.

I can't expect too much and I have to let things go. I guess I have to expect to be displeased and to just take it in stride. I shouldn't expect them to do things right or to have experience in doing anything I'm asking them to do. That way, I will take it upon myself to train them in the way that we do things. But it would almost be easier if there weren't three of them because I get the sense that I have all this help and I try to give them real things to do, and then I get in a place like I was in with the horses in the barn, and me trying to meet all the horse's needs at the same time.

The manager was there but she was inside her office, trying to do all her CEU's for her healthcare job. Her spirit is just deflated. I don't know how she's going to keep working at the farm the way things are between her and those whom she's butting heads with (her superiors.) It's not good.

So anyway, I went in and sat in her office for a half hour while she was doing that stuff and I filled out my time sheet and looked through the farm book, to see what stuff was being documented about various treatments for horses. I had never looked inside that book before. I think that would be fun to really check out sometime. I might learn something useful about each horse. Age, history, etc.

Then I came home and decided to get Cissy and take her up to the Fish and Game property so she could run around a bit. It was still in the 50's but it sure felt closer to 40 beside that ice-covered pond. I got chilly and I hadn't brought a coat. Had no idea I'd want one. So we stayed the length of time that it took me to casually drain a can of beer and then home we went. She had had enough. She told me so. She was ready to go home and get a snack or bone or whatever was coming next.

We got just a trace of a sprinkle today. No real rain this entire weekend and it was predicted to rain all three days. Just wish weather predictions could be more accurate in this part of the country. It's iffy for sure. Too many factors I guess.

I hope you are all having a nice evening. I'm going to wrap up this post now and relax. Time to take my sleepy-time meds and hopefully fall asleep soon. Two more days of work, then I'm off for 3.

Last edited by CherylB; 12-22-2013 at 07:00 PM..
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Old 12-22-2013, 10:08 PM   #1423
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Glad you got a chance to take Cissy out.
Sleep well!
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Old 12-23-2013, 08:33 AM   #1424
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Amen!
Agreed!! Merry Christmas Tay!!

Merry Christmas Cheryl!!
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Old 12-23-2013, 10:36 AM   #1425
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MERRY CHRISTMAS to you too, Julie!

Copy/paste from horse thread:

No, the barns aren't heated. And in places, the snow actually blows through the cracks. I haven't seen that happen in any of the stalls, but in the area where the barn cat food is at, snow can sometimes make it through there. I wish we had heated barns. Maybe if we ever get the dream facility built, it will be that kind of environment.

I am reminding myself about when I was in there shoes. (The newbies). It's just dangerous to have them bring horses to the barn to groom when what they really need is another orientation where they can just watch me groom a horse. The manager said I should have just had them groom them in their stalls. I said that I don't know or trust them enough to send them into a stall with a horse where I can't even see what's going on or give them pointers. That wasn't the right suggestion and I nailed her on it. So there.

It's raining cats and dogs here today. The rain they predicted eventually did arrive. I called the manager and left her a voicemail, asking that she call the girl who was coming in today (not a newbie but might as well be) and tell her not to come in this weather. She travels nearly an hour each way and only stays about an hour. And on a day like today, paddocks won't be touched.

The horses are all inside. She said they had been out but looked miserable. Well, yeah! I'll bet they stood in one spot and just stared at her when she walked away. So it will be all mucking stalls, feeding, grooming, maybe changing the sheets on the run-in guys (or "duplex guys", as I used to call them, but apparently they are referred to as "run-in guys.") Grooming, snuggling, barn sweeping, goat neck massaging, maybe a little cat petting, and that's about it. Feed and water. I'm going to keep it simple. Correction: I'm going to try to keep it simple.

Have an awesome day-before-Christmas Eve!
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Old 12-23-2013, 11:51 AM   #1426
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Be careful and stay dry !
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Old 12-23-2013, 06:12 PM   #1427
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Be careful and stay dry !
Be Careful-- √

Stay Dry--

Will explain shortly.
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Old 12-23-2013, 07:41 PM   #1428
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Okay. It rained like hell. It never let-up. The horses were all inside and I went from one stall to the next, mucking them out. In the barn, that was a pleasant thing cause I was safe inside and had the radio going and could put each horse into the cross ties while I cleaned and organized their stall. I could also add bedding if I needed to. Then before I put them back into their stall, I groomed each one and it went very nice and orderly.

Then I got to Cowboy's and his was a real mess. He had pooped several times and one of them was close to his water bucket, which I had just recently topped off and was full. Naturally, some of the poop went into the water and I had to dump and refill the water, which was a drag. The electric cord was run through the hole in the wall and it was plugged in so I had to unplug, pull the cord back through, support the full bucket with my body while lifting it enough to allow me to unclip the hook and carry the sucker outside to toss the water.

The poop also soiled a good chunk of his hay so I had to toss that out, too. So then I went to go grain everyone and realized that it was now dark and I hadn't mucked out the mini's shelter. Too late at that point, cause I refuse to use a flashlight to try and clean out a flooded hut.

Fed the grain to everyone, then set out to muck the four stalls on the hill (the "run-in's"). Those guys had their turn-out sheets on cause they can go in and out of their stalls at will and with the rain, they get really wet. Well, I discovered that Lola is now exhibiting a symptom of a problem. Long story short, I wrote about it on the form on the manager's desk, I talked to the manager on the phone, I texted the director about it. She texted back that she asked the manager how today was and was told that everything was fine (They aren't really speaking to one another). So then I offered for her to call me. She said she'd call tomorrow. I said I sleep late and will be there at 2:30. She said "I'll be there in the am." I said, "Well, I guess we'll be missing each other then." Is she now going to dodge me as she does the manager? This is BS, people.

So it rained and it blew and it rained and blew some more. I finished cleaning and making sense of all the stalls and by that time, I should have done the barn stalls again but I just couldn't bring myself to do them again. It was almost 3 1/2 hours later and the barn stalls looked almost as bad as before I did them. I just had to admit defeat, if you will. I know I did a good job on them, but when they're in their stalls most of the day, it's just a nightmare.

No volunteers today. Just did the bare minimum but did groom the three horses in the barn. Horses in the run-in's were too wet to groom. I left them the way they were. But Lola is now rubbing her left rear "ankle" against her right rear ankle area. I saw that and was in Calvin's stall next door. I stopped mucking Calvin's and went to check her hooves. She had nothing stuck in the hooves and they were pretty clean. I massaged her left lower leg and the muscles in that leg went totally limp. She just let her hoof rest on the floor while I was doing it. (The front part of the hoof, so the sole of her hoof was facing the back of her stall.)

I massaged her right lower leg trying to see if she had a similar response but clearly it was the left leg that's bothering her. I couldn't see what face she was making while I was massaging her cause her entire body was between my head and her head. So, I stopped and went back to Calvin's stall to finish cleaning it.

Lola started doing the same rubbing thing again, and then I heard "bang, bang, bang." I looked over there again and she was taking her right hind hoof and slamming it into the floor a few times in between periods of rubbing. Lola never has shown signs of problems before this. I'm so sick of sick horses.

It's going to be a long winter.

Last edited by CherylB; 12-23-2013 at 07:47 PM..
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Old 12-24-2013, 06:32 AM   #1429
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God BLess you this CHristmas .! Enjoy !
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Old 12-24-2013, 09:12 AM   #1430
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Thank you, Laura. Blessings right back atcha.

Sunny today! Still cold and a little windy. Well, maybe more than a little windy. But I'll take it.
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:13 AM   #1431
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Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:31 AM   #1432
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Old 12-24-2013, 10:05 PM   #1433
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We're an hour into Christmas Day so it's a little late to start telling about my Christmas Eve farm experience. All I'll say is that I stopped for gas, a few things at the drug store, forgot to get cash-over the amount, headed to the bank for atm cash, then decided since the streets were deserted and that there was no one at the farm and it wasn't raining or snowing, it was time to take Cisco to meet the animals.

She met the barn horses and Ellen the goat, then I introduced her to the mini's. They were curious about her but they're used to being charged by Chico, the manager's German Shepard so Domenic was at the ready to defend his little herd of females. It was cute. She never barked and Chico (who was up in the apartment and never sensed we were out there) never made a peep.

I let Ellen out to meet Cisco and Cissy was very interested in smelling Ellen's butt. She also went into Ellen's stall and pee'd. I think Cissy would make a great farm dog, so long as she stayed away from the animals that could kick her. She's as harmless as a lamb. She might even make a good slumber buddy for Ellen. Ellen used to cuddle up with her dearly departed mother. Not sure if Cissy would ever go that far, but animals do bond in the strangest ways.

I'm not going to admit that I took her there, though she "left her mark" in a couple of places and it was dark and I didn't go hunting for treasures. I'll just play dumb if the manager sees strange droppings.

Merry Christmas!
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Old 12-25-2013, 04:18 AM   #1434
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Merry, Merry Christmas to you Cheryl. I hope you and your mom have a very comfortable and joyous celebration. I am also at the point in life when I am truly grateful for the comfort of simplicity and calm at this time of year. My husband and I are at the coast for the hols and we are glorying in the peace and beauty here. It soothes the soul and fills me with gratitude and happiness. May you be happy today as well.
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Old 12-25-2013, 06:13 AM   #1435
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Merry Christmas !
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Old 12-25-2013, 07:49 AM   #1436
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Good for Cissy! Glad she finally got to go meet your animals.
Have a wonderful Christmas!
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Old 12-25-2013, 09:27 AM   #1437
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Lola, how nice that you're at the shore! You must be someplace warm cause it's cold where I am. Enjoy yourselves and the simplicity you can experience today.

Thanks for the Christmas wishes, ladies. I'm going to my mom's after all. I called her and she's feeling a bit better today and sounds pretty up-beat, which isn't like her. Maybe she's feeling a bit more like a mom, cooking for me and having one of her kids coming over to her place on Christmas Day. It will be simple and relaxing and that's fine by both of us.

Dinner is at 3 so I probably won't be there into the evening. I can't bring Cissy cause there are no dogs allowed in her complex (thanks to some witch that lives out in one of the apartments by the entrance. She guards the place better than any watch dog could. Talk about a bah-humbug kind of person.) She would have really been happy to sniff around Granny's place and lay on her area rug in the living room. But, alas.

Actually, mom's apartment is the very first place I ever brought Cissy, right after adopting her. I took her to see my mom on my way back home and so I'm sure she has very early memories of attachment to that apartment and even to my mom. I believe so, anyway. Who really knows?

It's only in the low 20's today but it's sunny. I'm glad to have the day off. I will also be glad when all the holiday festivities are behind us and we can focus on refocusing (speaking of myself) on things that truly matter.

Enjoy your Christmas, everyone! God bless each of you in a special way.
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Old 12-25-2013, 09:24 PM   #1438
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I hope everyone had a nice Christmas! Mine was one of the oddest ever. I have spent Christmas completely alone in FL so I can't say it was that odd but it was something I'll never forget, for reasons of its own. I'm trying to memorize each detail cause one day when my Mom is no longer here to make one for me again, I will cry tears and wish we could do it again. But for now, all I can do is laugh about it and find it endearing.

I did the dishes after we ate and watched "Funny Girl" with Barbra Streisand. She had it on tape. I was 7 when that came out and she loved it so much for the music and so I said that was fine if she wanted to watch it. If it took her back all those years ago to a time when she was much younger (as I was), then it was worth the torture of sitting through the whole thing.

Bless her heart, but the food was such that I had no second helpings, even though there were plenty. And I'm not bashful about eating, let me tell you. I thank her for having me over and for doing what she did, but we had not a single Christmas decoration or string of lights. Well, that's not true. She had two electric candles in the kitchen window. That's more decorating than I did this year!

I sound like an ingrate but I guess you had to be there and to know my Mom. She cooks the same sort of thing on a daily basis when it's only just her eating so it wasn't anything "festive." But she did comment on how much more the Asparagus cost this week as opposed to a week ago. She knew I liked Asparagus, as she does. (I don't care for it so I don't know where she got that idea. It wasn't bad but I'm used to smothering it in a hollandaise sauce or lots of butter.)

She boiled a few potatoes and mashed them with that little old-fashioned metal squisher thing. I didn't know people with electricity still did that. Again, I will store the memory away for another time when I will be wishing I could relive the day all over again.

We didn't have any inclement weather but it was cold. All the snow is gone from the warm spell we had before winter returned. I don't know when the next snow is supposed to come but I can wait. I can wait a long time. LONG time.

So far I haven't gotten any texts from the manager, asking if I had brought my dog there. I swear she's got some sort of sixth sense. She asked me last night if I'd been up at the farm the night before, after I had finished work. I hadn't. I said "Why?" She said that she had left the barn doors open a smidge for the cats and when she went out there the next time, they were closed all the way.

I have two more days off but I think I will choose a day and go move manure. I don't want to do it on a day that I'm working. Makes for too long a day, if you ask me. I'll text her and see what day sounds good to her. Right now, it's a massive frozen pile of you-know-what and it must be somewhat steaming in the middle. If you're ever lost out in the cold and can't find shelter, find a manure pile near a farm. That thing will keep you alive.

Well, now that you all think I'm a creep, I'll go to bed now. I will have to now make my Mom a meal. It will have to be lunch or I won't get her to come out here without going to pick her up and bring her home. I will work on it and get her out here. I need to return the favor she paid to me today. I know it was out of her comfort zone and I ask God to forgive me for speaking ill of our day together. I suck.
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Old 12-26-2013, 09:34 AM   #1439
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Don't feel bad. I'm just glad you were together and you have memories of her that you will fondly remember !

Enjoy your day off !
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Old 12-26-2013, 09:37 AM   #1440
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Hi Cheryl!
Actually, you sounded quite gracious to me. I know how these things go, with our aging parents. They just 'aint what they used to be,' finding humor in it is really good.
Hope you have a delightful time with your days off.
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