Saturday, March 25, 2006

Blogging About Tahlequah on AmazonConnect

One of the younger women was telling some of the other women at class meeting the other night about my blog, and I was asked how often I write. Since there really is no rhyme nor reason to my frequency (other than available time), I did not know how to answer.

At that point, it dawned on me that I had not shared my blogging on AmazonConnect. For some reason, Amazon calls the entries a "plog" rather than calling it a blog. I had not meant to be secretive. But first I had trouble getting approved or validated or whatever phrase is used. And then we went on our trip and I did not write, and since returning, I have also had some problems with the system. And there is no easy e-address for the blog.

However, if you are interested in our recent trip to Tahlequah, there are a couple of entries on that subject. You can simply google "AmazonConnect" and go to the master directory of all the authors who have responded to Amazon's invitation to interact with one's readers by blogging there. The directory allows you to click on letters of the alphabet, and if you click on "G" you can find "Sue Glasco."

Or if you simply go to and select books and "Sue Glasco," you will go to my book. Click on the book and go to the second page. (I don't know why all books have two pages, but that is the way it is.) On that second page below the description of the book are my most recent posts. And a place at the end to click for previous posts.

I thnk that second page also has a place for reader reviews, and I would love it if you would write one on Down on the Farm--if it is a nice review. Ha. Ha. Months ago a friend in Colorado was going to write a review, and for some reason at that time neither she nor I could locate the spot for writing a review. I don't think it was there at that time.

Another puzzlement I have about the Amazon site is the Listmania--folks can write a collection or list of books. It can be your favorite books or any other category you want to create. I was put on someone's list, and their list is on my book page. I created a list of "Southern Illinois Authors," and for awhile it was on Jon Musgrave's book page only, and now it is not even there. I thought the list of recommendations would be on the pages of all the Southern Illinois authors I listed. Jon's picture of his book did not show up on the list even tho he had a picture on his book page and I tried to get it on the list just as I did for the other authors. I always blame myself when something on the computer or Internet doesn't work quite right, but I really think I did everything correctly. Ah well. I think there is a directory of all the Listmania lists someplace also, but I don't think I have found it yet.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Birthday Breakfast with the Brothers

We woke early at our house as we had to get into Cracker Barrell, where Kenny, Garry and Ginger, Keith, and nephew Tim were all awaiting Gerald for his birthday breakfast. The standard order of the brothers is Country Morning Breakfast with "mock" eggs to go with the biscuits and gravy and a side of grits. The "boys" usually have to ask for more biscuits and gravy although the long-time waitresses know to bring it without being asked.

Garry encourged Ginger to order some sausage to go with her breakfast, as she is able to eat this meal better than any other since her stroke over four years ago, and he worries about her. She had to go to the gift store to find something for Easter for her great granddaughter, and she did. A darling little fuzzy lamb that made a baaa-baaa sound when squeezed. She had forgotten, of course, that she already had purchased the little girl a rabbit already at home, but Garry was happy to see her happy.

A Glasco brothers breakfast means constant laughter. Kenny was telling Tim all about his disappointment last night with his dog that did not have as good a nose in the cold as he'd hoped. Tim just smiled, but I fell for it never dreaming that Kenny (who I did not think coon hunted anymore) had made up the entire episode. Keith was proudly telling about his two baby Egyptian geese that have already hatched out. He was sure they'd freeze, but he says the tiny little darlings are marching around like they owned the world and the world was warm instead of cold. Garry entertained us with stories of going up on airplane rides with local friends and other chatter about local folk.

Before we got home, a phone call from our son let Gerald know Gerry was flying out today to go get his last load of dogs from Mexico. Actually his friend Rick had kinda filled us in on that plan before we left the Cracker Barrell. So suddenly Gerald's plan for his birthday was to take Gerry to the airport in Saint Louis. Since he had been trying to catch up to visit with him to hear about the Notre Dame games in California, Gerald was pleased.

With lots of cards and emails along with telephone calls from children and grandchildren, Gerald says he has had a good day. Of course, he did not get 60 yellow and peach roses like his sister in Wyoming did last week, but I don't know where we would have put 60 roses anyway!

Monday, March 20, 2006

First Day of Spring--BRRRRR!

I woke up on this first day of spring hearing rain, sleet, and wind as I dozed in and out of sleep and kept on dreaming. Then one big bang made it impossible for me to go back to sleep when the wind somehow slammed our porch swing right outside our bedroom up against the deck banister. The wind has never done that before.

We had beautiful weather last week, and daffodils and forsythia are blooming brightly. And since we have had a warm winter, perhaps it is only "fair" that we have a chilly start to spring. But I have loved the warm weather so much that I could not help but be a bit disappointed at this bitter weather snap.

March has always been a Glasco birthday month. We enjoyed an account of the birthday of Gerald's sister out in Wyoming, and the brothers here are planning for Gerald's birthday breakfast day after tomorrow. We were gone when the brothers celebrated Garry's birthday, so Gerald is still planning on getting together with him. Nephew Kerry has had his birthday already, and our grandson Trent turned 13 on the 2nd of March.

Granddaughter Cecelie had her seventh birthday yesterday up in Freeport, on what would have been Gerald's mother's 98th birthday. She used to cook up a storm in March fixing birthday meals for her brood. But she died young at just 66, so we have been without her in our lives for a long time. We still miss her. She was so good to all of us.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Missing Phil and Rosie's Good Cookin'

It is a let down to come home to my own food after all the good restaurant meals and the exceptional cuisine one always gets at Phil and Rosie's. Both are such good cooks and have the skill of seasoning ordinary food so it is much better than the average bear's.

Inspired by Phil's sweet smelling and tasty meatloaf made with salsa sauce, I decided to experiment. Except oddly I was out of salsa tho I usually have it on hand. So I decided to open a jar of picante sauce I have had in the pantry for months for some recipe (have forgotten what) that I never got around to trying. Well, first I put in a bit more than I intended cause it plopped out when I poured from the jar. Then I forgot to coat the top with catsup, so the finished product was dry and maybe I cooked it a mite long. I made two small loaves so I could take one to our daughter, and they were edible--but they surely were not yummy like Phil's.

Rosie had made a great salad with onion rings and orange slices. I've done that too, but again her salad was more flavorful than mine. Nevertheless, I will be using that variation on green stuff again soon cause my mouth waters thinking about her salad. I came home with her broccoli cornbread and dill biscuit recipes that we enjoyed, and wished I had asked for her chop suey recipe that she served one lunch.

Like so many of our retired friends, Rose and Phil have gone to two meals a day plus snacks. But they still insisted on fixing us three. We might be as slender as they are if we could make the switch. But Gerald works so hard outside that I would feel bad not fixing meals according to our regular three times a day custom. I already do not cook breakfast since he gets up so much earlier than I do--anytime from 4 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. while I like to sleep till 7 or later when I get a chance.

So I fix coffee the night before, lay out the dishes for his orange juice and cereal, etc., and occasionally Gerald varies his menu with an egg he fixes in the microwave. Once or twice a year or more I actually cook breakfast, but frankly it is not very good when I do. Nor are most of my other meals since one of my goals is to fix five-to-fifteen minute meals whenever possible, so I have time to do other things. However, I will try to create Phil's scrambled eggs with onions and green chili peppers. Now that was a breakfast!

Shiloh got to eat some too when he dropped in to clean their backyard for spring. Phil and Rosie are always ready to feed a hungry grandchild who stops by before or after work. Their pantry, fridge, and freezer are always full of good things to eat. (You'd have to see it to believe it. They are ready for earthquake, tornado, bird flu, or terrorists if the roads get shut off, but then they always have been.) They feed a lot of people often. Yet my sister could give lessons on how to be thrifty in buying groceries. I admire that skill of hers also. She studies the ads and stores and buys thoughtfully. They like to share, and their culinary and money management skills are used to that end. The grocery carry-out boy followed me and Rosie to her car to be sure that Phil knew he was not going to be at the grocery store during his birthday week as he was taking off on vacation to do another job. But he knew Phil always brings him a birthday cake--and he wanted Phil to know he would have to have it early this year!

I have never eaten a cookie I did not like whether it was my own or someone else's. However, I won't even try to compete with Phil's famous chocolate chip cookies and all the variations he makes. The orange extract he puts with the chocolate and butterscotch chips make them very special.

Because of the need to have the car in Tulsa on Friday, we left Thursday morning even though I really would have loved to go to Hereford to meet my new great great niece Autumn Rose and to see her three brothers again, who were so adorable two years ago at their Aunt Tori's wedding--the last time I got to see them. We were invited down for a meal with Autumn Rose's grandmother,Cyndi, and she is a great cook too just like her parents. If we had gone, it would have been after Rosie's tai chi class on Thursday mornings and so it would have been evening when we got back to Amarillo and we would have needed to spend the night.

Once we woke up on Friday, I would have been very reluctant to leave. Friday is the weekly gathering at Rose and Phil's when all the kids, grandkids, and great grandkids who aren't working or otherwise occupied come to enjoy Pop's cooking. He was smoking a ham the weekend we left. Rosemary fixes great side dishes to go with the chicken, brisket, hamburgers, tacos, or whatever meat Phil fixes in the smoker. They usually have ranch beans, which are much better in Texas than the ones I buy in Illinois. And, of course, a yummy dessert or two altho their kids aren't too into desserts I'm told. Although they may have l0 to 20 there, they always have an extra plate or two to send to a neighbor or shut-in. I really would have like to have been there to participate last Friday night. I enjoy the Friday night feasts and fellowship vicariously whenever I talk to Rosie on the phone.

But fortunately we left on Thursday to get the car fixed. Thus, we had a very pleasant trip on Highway 40 without even suspecting that the Saturday we might have come home was the day when the wildfires would kill four travelers on that road. We hear they are having some rain now, and we are so glad.

It also is raining in California, and Notre Dame's softball game was postponed. Since Gerry, Vickie, and Geri Ann's tickets home are for Sunday morning, they are concerned they might miss a game or two if everything gets postponed too long.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Tulsa, Texas, Tahlequah

The reason it has been two weeks since I have written any Woodsong Notes is that the last two days of February, when I was supposed to be packing and preparing to leave on our long-planned trip, I had the old-fashioned respiratory flu replete with chills, fever, cough, running nose, and lots of misery thrown in for good measure. (Yes, I had a flu shot last fall.)

Gerald suggested it might be wise to postpone our trip, but I could not bear that disappointment on top of the misery. I argued that I might as well as be sick on the road as at home, and surely by the time we arrived I would feel better and far enough along to not be contagious. I did feel better, altho I am just now getting back my energy level and the cough is hanging on.

We stopped at Branson where we saw The Magnificent 7 and then onto Tulsa to see grandaughter Erin play softball with the Notre Dame team. When we planned the trip at home, we had tried to get a room at the same motel as the team, but they were full and recommended one, which we thought would be nearby. Actually it wasn't and was a little old to please Gerald, but to me a room in hand was better than tostart over to find a room, and besides the room was very large and well appointed with king-size bed, small couch, and large TV screen, etc. I did not see how we could do much better.

It was bitter cold when we arrived on Friday despite some green in the turf on the field at the University of Tulsa stadium. On Friday night and then on Saturday, we wore double-layered sox, slacks, and shirts topped with a winter coat and then surrounded with blankets. We had carried chairs with us as we've had too much experience with aluminum stadium seats in the past. However, the Donna J. Hardesty stadium had very comfortable concrete-rock seats. Nevertheless, our chairs with windbreaking rugs on the back were warmer.

By Sunday after worship downtown at First Baptist Church, which is in an exciting remodeling project and whose pastor brought a very worth while message, the weather was warmer and we were beginning to see blooms on the pear trees and even an occasional daffadil.

We had enjoyed seeing our son and his wife and their youngest daughter at the tourney, and they took us out for Sunday dinner after the game. Eventually we were allowed to travel across the town to meet up with the team before they flew out of Tulsa, so that was good. (Because of losing in the 8th inning, we could not immediately visit with the team.) Our son's family was to fly out shortly later.

We went back to our motel, and I immediately went to sleep for several hours as I did anytime I sat still for awhile. My flu was better but my energy level was zilch. After I woke up and we were relaxing watching television and snacking, we suddenly had the electricity in our room go out. We called the office and the repair person could not fix it and suggested we move to another room. (Yes, ours was the only room without electricity!) I could not imagine trying to pack up in the dark. We decided it was time to go to bed anyhow. So we did not move. We packed the next morning with a flashlight and the light from the area outside our draperies.

We were up early to get our beautiful new car back to the garage which had almost got it fixed on Friday when we arrived with all kinds of flashing warning lights. But a couple more warning messages showed up and the garage was closed until Monday morning. To make a long story short, the mechanic who replaced our main computer when the car had 150 miles on it had left the electrical harness on the exhaust. Quite naturally the harness had started to burn up with wires melding together. (So much for buying a new car to insure a peaceful relaxing drive. Ha.)

We were anxious to get on down to Amarillo to see my sister Rosemary, which was really the main purpose of our trip. Robert, the very sharp technician there at the garage, thought he could get it fixed if he had all day, but Gerald only gave him till l0 a.m. since we really had meant to be on our way the day before. So he did get most of the trouble cleared up and once again we had cruise control, and only one little warning light.

We had a great visit in Amarillo, but cut our visit short by a day or so in order to get back to the Tulsa garage to give Robert all day on Friday to figure out the remaining problems. Gerald had great confidence in the personnel there. As we traveled back, the brown highway scenes were broken up by occasional green wheat fields, some with cattle grazing on them. We loved seeing the huge modern windmills providing electricity along the way as well as the old-fashioned windmills that provided water for pastures. We stopped and had an excellent meal at a Cherokee restaurant and gift shop as we had also done on way down to Amarillo.

So we spent Thursday night in Tulsa again but at a different motel with electricity this time, and the next day while Robert fixed the car, we took a loaner pickup to Tahlequah and had a great day there at the Cherokee Heritage Center.

Our trip home was boring without any flashing lights and entertaining calls to OnStar to amuse us, but everything was greener by the hour as we drove through Missouri. There were lots of daffadils now and many blooming trees, and even greener wheat fields along the highway. We managed to connect by phone with all of our children as we drove along, and it was good to know everyone was okay and everyone's lives were full and busy on a Saturday morning.

Maybe we took too many breaks because we missed picking up our accumulated mail at the Marion post office by about 30 seconds. As Gerald rushed in, the employee had just shut the door and locked it. We stopped for some fresh milk and orange juice and other groceries, and then pulled into the farm in the middle of the afternoon.

Our son-in-law was down, and soon he and Gerald were working on the lights on a trailor he wanted to take back to Lake Saint Louis. I started deleting emails, listening to 14 phone messages and returning calls, and doing the first two loads of laundry. (I had two phone calls from cousin Helen Sitter, who so pleased with a genealogy left in her door that she assumed I had left for her! Since I hadn't, I had to plead innocent and helped her decide it was her nephew Dick who had probably left it for her!)

Having heard about the heavy rains and wind while we were gone, we were pleased and grateful to see everything in good shape. Two duck nests were filled with eggs beside the house, and Gerald hurried to take all the ducks some corn as Gerry had done for them earlier in the week. Gerry had told us we had some teal show up, and we were glad they were still there on the lake. I was pleased to see two hollyhock plants had survived the winter and were making a good start toward adulthood. The day lillies are green again, and I made a mental note that I must get busy cleaning out the flower beds of winter's dead grass and debris. Rosemary called before I had a chance to call her to make sure we had made it home safely, and I was able to report that I'd talked with our cousin Helen after we arrived home and she was doing well.