Monday, June 30, 2008

My Day in Court

In By Nine, Out By Ten!

I'm home from my day at court, or rather, my morning at court. Of the approximately 250 people that were summoned, my number was 220. At least half the names called out during the roll call were no-shows. I'm confused by that. Where were those 100+ people who were summoned but didn't appear? Do they not consider a summons to be a command? Are they not fearful of the consequences of not showing up when called? Or are there no consequences?

Me, I'm too much of a chicken to risk not following the rules. I don't want to chance having the jury police show up at my door. Yes, I'm a wuss. That, and I guess that deep down, I do consider it my civic duty...up to a point.

I arrived at 8:45, despite my intentions of making it there by 8:30. The summons said to be there at 9:00, but having been called last year, I knew that roughly 300 people would be called, and there is bench seating for approximately 25 people. That means less than 10% would actually get to sit. I didn't make it in time for a seat on a bench, but I did score a spot of wall space. Even that was a premium by the time I arrived. I quickly began chatting with a man and woman nearby. In the 20 or so minutes we stood there, we covered living in Mexico verses the states, the harried job of a border patrol agent (the woman's soon to be son-in-law is one), illegal immigrants (the man's Mexican wife has sisters living here illegally), what we think of the presidential candidate choices (we were all agreed in our opinions on that subject). The courtroom doors then opened, and we were instructed to go in and have a seat.

After the soft spoken, kindly looking judge explained to us what an honor and a privilige it was for us to be there (I agree), and told us the nature of the two cases for which they'd be selecting jurors today, he read the qualifications for exemption. He asked that everyone vacate the courtroom except those desiring to be excused. He would then interview each person with an excuse and determine whether it was viable or not.

I was really torn whether to go or sit there. I was already there, and I do find the whole process somewhat interesting. Unfortunately, I have a bladder problem. TMI (too much information), I know! I had a very real concern that I wouldn't be able to sit through the jury picking process, much less in a juror's seat if selected. Not only do I have to go frequently, but when I have to go, I have to go then. The thought of having to walk up there and stand between two men (not sure who they were), on my tiptoes no less, as the judge's desk was high and I am short, and explain this problem was a tad daunting. I knew if I didn't, I'd be setting myself up for possible misery. I said a prayer, asked God to let me find favor in the judge's eyes, and marched up there when the bailiff pointed at me.

Not only did the judge look kindly, he was kindly. He told me he also suffers a similar problem (he was an older man). He said that if I were a selected juror, I'd have to be prepared to sit in the box for up to 1 1/2 hours at a time, which I knew I couldn't do. He excused me. I was relieved and let down, all at the same time.

As to the knitting, I got summoned last year, too. I took my knitting then and no one ever said a word to me about it. Today, I carried my knitting around in a clear plastic pouch, aluminum double pointed needles prominently displayed. No one said a thing. I didn't have a chance to use them, but I don't think it would have been a problem. This is a small town, and things here are pretty laid back, compared to urban areas.

I have things I want to show you, but I haven't taken pictures. We're having a sunny day today (not too hot, either-yea!). My well laid plans are to take some pictures outside. The best laid plans of mice and men........

Two Oft' Dreaded Words

Where I'll be spending the day.
What I'll be taking along to pass the hours of waiting.
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Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.
~John 7:24

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Summertime Recipe-Taco Salad

Melanie, over at Big Mama, is wilting in the Texas summer heat. She's sent out pleas for summertime recipes for those wishing to help out a girl in need. If you decide to post your own summertime recipe on your blog, be sure and sign the Mr.Linky on Big Mama's blog so others can come see your's!

I have no pictures to share, but one of my favorite summer (and fall and winter and spring) dishes is Taco Salad. Mmm...the very mention of it sets my mouth to watering. It's a simple enough dish, not really needing a recipe, but for anyone who maybe just woke up from a lifelong coma and hasn't heard of it, here's the scoop.


Taco Salad

  • salad-make your own with the fixins' your family prefers, or buy a bag of premade salad from your grocery store
  • ground beef (I prefer extra lean for lower fat content; or you can use ground turkey or ground chicken)
  • taco seasoning package-1 package per each pound of beef you cook (or find a recipe online to make your own and eliminate those pesky preservatives)
  • kidney beans-drained (matter of preferance, if your family likes them)
  • Kraft Catalina Salad Dressing
  • Frito's
  • salsa
  • shredded cheddar cheese

Brown ground beef, then drain off the fat. The amount of meat you cook is up to you. I usually cook two pounds so we have leftovers for the next day.

Follow directions on taco seasoning packet to make taco meat

For each serving, on a dinner plate, or in a large shallow bowl, place 1-2 cups of salad, depending on your appetite (we go for the big helpings around here)

Place about 1/3-1/2 cup taco meat, or desired amount on top of salad

Spoon a few spoonfuls of kidney beans on top, unless you don't like them

Add a small handful of frito's

Sprinkle on desired amount of cheddar cheese

Squirt on desired amount of salad dressing

Spoon on a few tablespoons salsa, or amount you prefer

Stir it together with your fork, and dive in!


The neat thing about this recipe is that you can customize it to fit your family's tastes. Alot of people mix everything together in one big bowl, then dip out servings from it. I don't do it that way because we like to have leftovers. Once you've mixed the ingredients all together, if it's not all eaten in that meal, it will get soggy when refrigerated.

By keeping the ingredients in separate containers, you can easily save the leftovers; plus, if you have picky eaters in your house, each person can customize their salad to fit their tastes.


Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.

~Leviticus 19:18 NIV

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Free Fabric Contest Tip!


Randi, at i have to say..., who hosts the monthly Recipe Box Swap the first Thursday of each month (which is coming up soon, by the way), has opened her own fabric store on Etsy. Listen, if you're one of those whose heart palpitates at the sight of pretty fabric, and your mind immediately drifts off in a dream of what pretty things you could sew with it, then you have to check out Randi's store!

Her fabrics are truly beautiful. They're summery, fashionable, classical, and just make you want to flip the power switch on your sewing machine! Even the name of her new store is delightful, Fresh Squeezed Fabrics. How cool is that?

I've been gradually getting to know Randi in recent months since discovering her (widely read) blog. I'm not exxagerating when I tell you she is a genuine sweetheart of a person. She's someone I hope to someday get to meet in person.

This week is Fresh Squeezed Fabrics grand opening! To kick things off, Randi is hosting a contest on her blog to give away some of that lovely fabric. Granted, I do get extra entries into the contest for mentioning her store and contest on my blog, but I seriously had planned to share about her new store here even before I read about her contest. Of course, those of you who know me very well, know I tend to struggle with procrastination, so possibly it would've been later rather than sooner before I mentioned it. ;-Þ

Now, hurry on over to Randi's and leave a comment on this post on her blog to enter her contest. You'll see the rules there, and may want to mention it on your own blog to increase your chances of winning. We don't have much time, though!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday Bath Day

That's it. I'm calling the CPS (Cat Protective Services)!
I walked into the living room tonight to find the cat lying on one of the tv trays, a tray on which I had planned on setting my plate to eat dinner in the living room with Mr. Studley. He sat across the room as if oblivious to the fact that anything was out of order. It's not that he's a slob, far from it, but he has this major soft spot when it concerns Putty Tat. My reaction was less than pleasant, so he quickly piped up that he'd bathe her after dinner. Yeah, that's going to help me. The tv tray needs bathing!
True to his word, Mr.S. did give her a bath. The pitiful moans coming from the bathroom were a surefire indication that someone wasn't enjoying the process. Putty Tat wasn't any too happy, either. I wanted to get a better picture than the one above, one of her dripping and showing her displeasure. Unfortuantely, with her claws sunk into his arm, Mr.S. wouldn't accommodate a pose for me. Harumph!
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A righteous man regards the life of his animal, but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.
~Proverbs 12:10

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Just Another Sunday

Mr.Studley and I each got up feeling stiff and achy this morning. In an effort to deny old age's attempt to latch it's label upon us, we headed out to the lake this afternoon and took a fast walk. It was hot, not horribly hot, but hot enough, and humid.
We took along Leyna, who's always up for a road trip. Since we'd left the house rather impulsively, we didn't think to take along a water bowl for her. By the time we finished our jaunt and headed back to the truck, she was showing signs of distress. We had tried to get her to lap water from the lake, but as tough as she usually acts, she was a complete wuss when it came to getting near the lake water. She was having no part of it. It was downright comical to watch her when a wave lapped up towards her. She shot away from it like a bullet.
Here she is with her tongue hanging out, right before I took her into the restroom and let her drink water out of my cupped hands. I splashed water on her face and back to cool her down some. On our drive to the lake, she never took her eyes off the road. On our drive back home, she never opened her eyes. She came home and took a two hour nap, poor tired doggie.
My son had been fishing all day and brought us a whole mess of bass. They were cleaned, filleted, and ready to be cooked. I baked some potatoes in the oven, then fried up a pan full of hushpuppies, along with the fish. We all had our fill, and there's enough to be reheated for our lunches tomorrow. What a blessing! It was a tasty meal to end a good day!

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In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
~I Thessalonians 5:18

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Soul Soother

Lake City, Colorado
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His foundation is in the holy mountains.
~Psalm 87:1 KJV

Saturday, June 14, 2008

And I Call Myself a Mother!

After pouring through my Picasa folders, I discovered I don't have that many pictures of Putty Tat. You know how it is, you take lots of pictures of the baby, but sometimes the older ones, not so much. Our baby, of course, being Leyna, the dog.
I feel like a bad person this morning, a bad mother. As I was bringing Leyna inside last night, after doing her last 'business' of the night, I saw Putty come running toward us from across the yard. I hurried on inside. With one last glance over my shoulder, I saw her bewildered face as I said "no" and closed the door. Just a twinge of guilt.
It isn't that I have no regard or affection for the cat, but cleaning up piles of puke and hairballs from all over my furniture yesterday had hardened me somewhat against her pitiful look. The cat is not sick. She's seemingly quite healthy, and she's not thin. I think she's just bulimic. And we won't even get into the hairballs I swept from every corner. At the rate she's been shedding her winter coat, we have enough hair to cover some poor, hairless cat somewhere.
So I issued the edict that from now on, the cat would remain outdoors except in inclement weather. Only I didn't bother to check the weather forecast before going to bed last night.
I was awakened suddenly at six o'clock this morning by a loud clap of thunder, followed by a flash of lightening which lit the bedroom. My very first thought upon waking? "And I call myself a mother!". I could hear the torrential downpour of rain outside the window. I mean, really hard rain. I could imagine poor Putty outside getting drenched. Her little paws soundlessly scratching at the back glass door. In dry weather, those claws against that glass are akin to nails on a chalkboard, but when it's raining, she could be doing that for an hour, and no one would hear her as her wet paws slide against the glass.
I hopped up and without even taking time to do my morning 'business', I ran for the front door. Since it has a small covered porch, I figured....hoped she'd be there waiting. I knew the look she'd have on her face as she sashayed in the door, too, water spraying me with each determined flick of her wet tail. Only she wasn't on the front porch. I ran for the back door, the one where she can send shivers up my spine on a sunny day. No Putty. I flipped on the outside lights, hoping it would signal her that her humans were up and about, and that she'd come running through the torrential downpoor to the door. By that point, she'd about have to swim. I've heard it said that cats don't swim, though that may be an old wive's tail.
She never did show up at either door. I can just hope she's safely tucked away in someone's open garage. No doubt she'll be home soon. I sure hope there's some canned tuna in the pantry. Guilt tuna.
She's home, and she's mad.
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For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God.
~Hebrews 6:7

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Cat in a Bag

Stupid dog took my stupid felted bed, now all I have to sleep in is this stupid paper sack.
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Bless the LORD, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name!
~Psalm 103:1

Thursday, June 5, 2008

The Recipe Box Swap!

swap blogpost

The first Thursday of every month is The Recipe Box Swap. It's the brainchild of Randi, at i have to say. If you have a blog and would like to participate, post a recipe on your blog; then go to Randi's Mr. Linky (at the bottom her Thursday Recipe Box Swap post) and add your name, the title of your recipe, and the URL of your recipe post. While you're there, be sure and check out the blogs of others who participate. New recipes, new blogs to read, new friends to make. C'mon and join the fun!

I'm sort of cheating this month. I tried this recipe of Pioneer Woman Cooks just a couple of weeks ago and blogged about it; and yes, this is the same picture I posted then (that's the cheating part). It was sooo good, it bears repeating. Plus, I finally have a picture to include with my recipe, even if y'all have already seen it.

Pioneer Woman Cooks!
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Apricot Bars

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt1
1/2 cups oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 3/4 sticks (regular, salted) butter, cut into pieces
(I let mine get to room temp)
1 10-12 ounce jar Apricot Preserves (I used Rasberry-use whatever you prefer)

Mix all ingredients except Apricot Preserves.
Press one half of the mixture into a buttered 8″ square (or small rectangular) pan.
Spread with a 10-12 ounce jar of apricot preserves.
Sprinkle second half of mixture over the top and pat lightly.
Bake at 350 for 30 - 40 minutes or until light brown.
Let cool completely, then cut into squares.

When these were hot out of the oven, Mr. Studley and I had them with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream, which made a tasty dessert. The rest were eaten as snacks. Nary a crumb was wasted.

Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.

~1 Thessalonians 5:11 NKJV

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Summer Visitor~Wordless Wednesday

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Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and the earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and Yours it is to be exalted as Head over all.
~I Chronicles 29:11 Amplified Bible

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A Couple of Nuts from our Family Tree

Nikki & Daddy 5-26-08 Ft.Worth, TX
Amidst several 'respectable' family pictures I took last week outside my mom's house, my daughter and Hubby, or as I've taken to calling him, Mr. Studley, had to slip a reality shot in there. He would probably croak if he knew I was sharing this picture with strangers. No need to worry, though, as he'll never see it. My daughter? She could care less. She has no qualms with anyone seeing her be 'real'. Then again, Mr.Studley probably wouldn't mind, either.
No, Mr. Studley doesn't read my blog. None of my family does, but that's okay with me. I actually sort of prefer it. If my mom were computer literate and had a computer, I'm sure she'd read it. Even though Mr. Studley doesn't read it (nor any other blogs), I caught him telling some locals that I have a blog. Once in the car, I informed him I'd just as soon no one around here did know I was blogging. I'm not really sure why.
It isn't that I'd gossip behind anyone's back, or say anything I'd want hidden and yet....I don't know. For some reason, I like maintaining that degree of privacy. I guess I can better handle those I've never met face-to-face knowing the way my mind works than those I see on a regular basis. I wonder why that is? Pride, perhaps? I don't want them knowing how I tend to ramble on and on when no one can interrupt me or shut me up? Remember, I told you I'm shy in person (though I'm working on being less so). Gulp. I hope it's not pride. I guess that's one I should bring up in prayer, huh?
On a completely different note, I, being techie challenged as I am, need to learn to back up the files on my computer. I just heard that sharp intake of breath. You read it right. I've never backed up my files. I've backed up my car, I've backed up my toilet, I'm even backed up in my housework, but I've never backed up my files. Bottom line, I don't know how.
This morning, I got what appeared to be the much dreaded blue screen of death. After manually shutting down my computer and bringing it back up again, I clicked on the Microsoft update thingie and downloaded and installed some other thingie, restarted my computer and now things seem fine. I'm not fooled, though. I'm taking it as a warning sign that I better figure out how to save the things I don't want to lose, such as my pictures and my knitting pattern bookmarks. I wish I could trade some of my dorkiness for some geekiness.
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Start with God—the first step in learning is bowing down to God; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.
~Proverbs 1:7, The Message