Browsing Archives for November 2008

CDW Talkin’ Corn Stove

November 28th, 2008





We have been talking corn stove for two solid hours now.  TWO SOLID HOURS!  I know everything you could possibly know about corn stoves.  Go ahead and ask me.  
ASK ME!!!!

 When we are not talkin’ corn stove.. we are talkin’ “grain comfort”.  If we aren’t talkin’ “grain comfort” we are talking “exotic animal auction”  where you kin git yerself an emu with a broken leg for five dollars.  

Anyone in the market for an emu with a broken leg? 



Did you know that there are “hay stoves” into which you can shove an entire round bale of hay and it will heat your house for a month?  
Clay says he knows of a stove that you can shove an entire elephant into it and it can heat your house for a YEAR! 
If you ever get a wood stove, you want to get you an exterior one, but the “grain comfort” is far better as it burns cleaner than alcohol.  Besides, if you live in Kansas it makes no sense to burn wood, as there are no trees in Kansas.  There aren’t any elephants in Kansas either, so you really want to go “grain comfort”.  
The klinkers from a “grain comfort” are the size of a mouse turd and you don’t even need to vent it.  Stick one in the middle of your living room.  It burns as clean as alcohol.  The klinkers on the “grain comfort” exist but they can’t be seen by the naked human eye.  
Besides, with all that alcohol and all that nakedness, who cares if you are poisoned with carbon monoxide?
The next step is to erect a cinder block building and fill the holes with foam insulation.  Run a series of pipes from the cinder block building to your house and then shove a bale of hay in your living room, pour kerosene on it, set it afire and heat your home for free for a year.  
If the auger is as big as your pinky you are going to struggle, but if it is as big as you “other finger” you can switch over to corn, wheat, or rye which burns like alcohol producing a pile of ash so miraculously small, you will mistake it for invisible mouse turds.  
The only way to get your hay, wheat, corn or rye is to find a farmer who happens to have some laying around that he doesn’t need.  He will give it to you for free.  Then you can heat your house for free.  Pretty much all farmers have extra hay, wheat, corn and rye laying around.  All you have to do is ask.  If they don’t have any hay, wheat, corn or rye, ask for an elephant.  If they don’t have an elephant, ask for an emu with a broken leg.  
Dig a series of underground tunnels that connect the cement hole to your home.  Place an auger in your living room.  A pipe will run across the room from the hole in the wall to the stove in the middle of your living room.  Your wife will hate you forever due to the holes and the obscene, naked, alcohol burning “grain comfort” in the middle of her living room, but who cares?  Did she find the farmer with the free broken leg emu?  I don’t think so.
A pair of mated emus normally cost around twenty thousand dollars, but if you don’t mind an emu with a broken leg, it will only cost you five bucks.  I got mine at the exotic animal auction. Get the ones with the broken legs.  Saves you a bundle that way.  
Whatever you say… say it with authority.  That is all you really need to know about emus, “grain comfort”, klinkers, augers, anything.  If you are forced to take an anger management class someday due to a speeding ticket, you will know you have reached the pinnacle of success.
Socks are the bane of my existence.
A perfect cup of tea is the elixir of life…
And socks are the bane of my existence.
This is the yin and yang of Rechelle.  
Socks and tea.  Tea and socks.  Socks and tea.  
The problem is…
And why is it that some cups of tea are perfect and other cups are merely marginal?
Here is my recipe for a perfect cup of tea that more often than not turns out to be merely marginal.
Heat water in kettle to boil.
Warm cup or tea-pot with hot water. 
Pour out hot water and add new hot water.
Place tea bag in hot water.
Add milk.
Add sugar.
Sometimes don’t add sugar.
Sometimes perfect.
But more often than not…
Merely marginal.
On the other hand…
Socks never cease to torment me.
I have four sons and one husband.  
They go through at least one pair of socks a day, but sometimes two.
This adds up to six katwillion pairs of socks each week to wash, dry, match up and put away.
But some weeks I am far too weak and shaky to do the matching up and the putting away… so sometimes I have two weeks of socks to match up and put away.  And SOMETIMES I have three weeks of socks to match up and put away.  AND SOMETIMES I CAN’T OPEN THE FRONT DOOR BECAUSE IT IS BLOCKED BY A MOUNTAIN OF SOCKS THAT NEED TO BE MATCHED UP AND PUT AWAY.
This is generally when I try to make a perfect cup of tea in which to drown my sorrows, but it usually turns out to be a merely marginal cup of tea.  
It can get worse!
Sometimes to make myself match up all those socks, I will rent a movie and put the mountain of socks in front of me and sprinkled all around me and forming a cushion underneath me and I will use a pile of socks to form a back support and then I will create a tufted foot rest and a set of matching throw pillows and also an area rug… a room sized area rug… made entirely of socks… and finally, I will watch a movie and match all those socks while drinking a merely marginal cup of tea. 
After I match all those socks and drink all that tea,  I have to decide who gets which pair.  This is harder than you might think.  
For one thing – there is the whole size thing.  Jack – my youngest is still pretty easy.  The small socks go in his pile.  But my two middle sons have the same size foot so they can wear the same size socks.  However… in our house we have both crappy, shredded, socks with a sort of perma-crust embedded in the heels that no amount of washing will ever take away… and we also have socks that are spongy and soft and have some valuable trademarks on them that my children prize more highly than any other items in their wardrobe.  It is my job to carefully divide the crap, perma-crust socks and the highly prized logo socks between my two middle boys.  While I am doing the dividing, I often start to wonder if I am being truly fair.  Am I giving Ethan more soft, spongy Nike socks than I am giving Drew?  Why am I doing that?  Does Ethan need more sock love from his mother?  Am I trying to compensate for Ethan’s short-lived babyhood which was ripped away from him at the tender age of eighteen months due to the birth of Drew?  Will giving Ethan more thick, cushiony Under Armor socks really prove to him that I think he is just as special as Drew?   Will Drew grow to hate Ethan because Ethan has two extra pairs of Adidas shortcuts in his sock drawer with no visible stains while he himself has only one pair of Adidas shortcuts and they have tiny holes in both heels?
What about Calder?  He is my oldest son.  He can still wear most of the socks that Drew and Ethan wear, but he can also wear the socks that his dad wears.  How come I give almost all the nice larger socks to Calder, while I tend to give his dad all the crusty pairs?  Is it because I blame my husband for the lack of a female heir?  Where are my little pink girly girl socks?  Where are the socks with the lace trim?  Where are the tights and the leggings and the green and purple argyle socks?  Where are they?  WHERE????
It really would be easier to match up fun floral printed socks and polka dotted socks and socks with little pink cotton balls at the heel.  Trust me, four thousand pairs of white shortcuts that differ only in levels of crustiness and logos causes early senility in mothers.  
See it is happening already!
Look what came to my house this weekend…

A pair of sturdy toddler GIRL legs…

Sporting cute little girl shoes….

And these… these… these undeniable ruffles!

And yes.. white cuffed socks.  

I bet those white cuffed socks are an anomaly in her house.  
While in our house… they rise up like a killer tidal wave.
And I am the only line of defense.

The Oracle Answers.

November 24th, 2008

Well… I did it.  
I managed to lasso the Oracle Known as Steve and get him to answer a few questions, but it was not easy.  The Oracle likes to be on the move… he’s always pacing… pacing… pacing… skittering… skittering… pacing… stirring… chopping… making demands… skittering… chopping… pacing… pacing… making demands… pacing… chopping… chopping… pacing… so getting him to sit and answer questions for more than five minutes at a time was excruciating for him.  When he is sitting he seems to generate a sort of green glowing energy that makes everyone around him feel edgy.  I certainly can attest to feeling very edgy as I forcefully pulled one answer after another out of him.  
I think I might have felt less edgy  if I had asked him these questions while he was carving a turkey or making pies or… or… chopping something.  So EVEN THOUGH,  the Oracle made it clear that this will be the ONLY time he will ever answer questions for my blog, I am pretty sure I can get him to do it again.   I will just have to be more sneaky…and also… I will have to lie and pretend that the questions are from me… just me… because I am helpless without his knowledge… and also I will ask him questions while he is cooking… so he won’t notice so much.
Before I give you his answers, I think we should absorb the full impact of what your are about to experience as you read his answers.   I want you to realize that you may be looking at the only collection of answers to very important questions from a real live Oracle since the road to Delphi was closed many many aeons ago.  
Think on that my friends.  
You think on that!
The Oracle Speaks…

Dear Oracle,

WHY is it that the batteries in smoke detectors ALWAYS run low in the wee hours of the morning…beeping and scaring the bejeepers out of everyone? Is there some way to prevent this other than sleeping during the day?

A ton of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Keep yourself on a weekly schedule to change out the batteries so you KNOW you always have fresh batteries.  Personally, I like the beeping.

Dear Oracle,

Going with the first poster – I would like to know – why do the majority of fires happen in the late hours of the night and wee hours of the morning?

I know a lot about fire.  That’s enough.

Dear Oracle, 

My cousin’s mother on my father’s side has a sister who’s third cousin’s (twice removed) son is going to college. He doesn’t actually have a question, but he wanted to be mentioned.

Dear Oracle,
I would like to know what do you call a french horn player?
My sister Barb played the French horn.  I call French horn players… Barb.

Dear Oracle,

What is that odor emanating from my 17 year old son’s bedroom?

It’s the smell of disappointment.

Dear Oracle,
I’m a college student, and I’ve just survived the hardest week of my entire semester. I’m exhausted, I have tons of studying to do, and I have a cold. Do you have any advice that will help me get through my two tests next week before Thanksgiving break?

Hot Lemonade and Vodka.  IF you have a cold that’s the best answer regardless of if you are going to take a test or join the priesthood.  How can you go wrong with those two together?  I don’t really care if you succeed in your test.  I am who I am.  The Oracle should be the Oracle.

Dear Oracle,

How am I supposed to eat when my nose is completely stopped up from this cold I’ve got? I can’t breathe through my mouth and eat at the same time!

I deal with this all the time  My nose is always stuffed up.  You have to eat in rapid bursts and gasp for air.  Hyperventilate between bites.  Pace.  Hyperventilate. Pace.  Hyperventilate. Etc…Etc…  

So Mr. Oracle,

I wish to know why do animals seem to like to crawl under houses to die. Don’t they know that they cause a horrible odor? Please tell me how to keep them away.

I don’t like animals for this reason.  Move.  Continually move.  Get a trailer.  When the animal dies… move the trailer.  This is very practical.

Dear Oracle,

What do you do with leftover pitchers of gravy? I don’t have a garbage disposal. Can you pour it down the sink?

I’ve never had any leftover gravy.  IF the gravy is a gift from a guest, it is clearly not leftover.  It is not my responsibilty.  When the gravy is mine, I finish it… one way or another.

Dear Oracle,

I seem to kill all plants in my house. Is it my subconscious? Do I have unresolved issues from my childhood? Now all the fish in the house have died as well.

I’m thinking I should wait til the last possible moment to get a Christmas tree, right? And is there any hope for the dog?


The dog shouldn’t care when you buy a Christmas tree.  If he does… you need a new dog.

I personally have an aluminum Christmas tree.  Get one of those.
Dear Oracle: Is there a question you would like to ask US out here in blogland???


Dear Oracle,
Can you tell me why my 5 year old thinks he is master of the universe, and why he will burst into tears when we fail to see the brilliance of his direction?

He  is just like his father.  Just less repressed.

So Oracle, 

I have not watched any television for a number of years. Now that I am meandering towards my twilight years (!), and not quite as actively engaged in well, you know, wood cutting and all, I’m thinking of subscribing to some sort of service in order to be able to watch TV. Are there enough shows available to watch to make this worth the price? (No, I do not yet know how much it will be – my rural telephone co. is working on making this an option.) Bear in mind that I do not find the abuse of women and children entertaining, nor would I watch anything with lots of violence. Screaming and sirens do not actually encourage good mental health, do they?

Keep cutting wood buddy.

Dear Oracle,

What is the odor emanating from my 90 year old father’s bedroom?

Dear Oracle,

WHY did you come to my mind in church last week when my pastor read “The Oracles of God?”

That was weird. I almost laughed out loud…

Oh hey — Dear Oracle… would that be inappropriate to laugh out loud when my pastor read about the oracles of God and I thought of the Oracle of Steve?


Not at all.  I encourage laughing out loud in church… whenever possible.

Dear Oracle,
Why is it that you know so much. Do you make it up or wing it as you go? Do you happen to know when McDonald’s sold its first Big Mac? I have a bet going but am not allowed to look it up on the net. I say 68.

I am not going to answer that.  I never wing it.
Dear Oracle,

What’s it like, to have a sister n law, that is so fun and loving?

I need to know, because my two sisters n law, drain every ounce of life blood out of me, whenever I am with them, and I need an answer, that will carry me through the upcoming holiday season with them.

A loyal fan in Michigan.

Your sister in laws seem remarkably similar to mine.

Dearest Oracle,
Why is it that my dog can only pass gas when she is snuggled up beside me?

Also, if you will indulge me one more time, why do men (in general) leave their “underthings” laying on the bathroom floor?

 Your dog passes gas continuously.  You only notice it when they are snuggled up with you. 

 I never leave my underthings on the bathroom floor.

Dear Oracle,
Please pick a wedding date for me…engaged for 5 years or so and i can’t decide. thanks.

 TOMORROW OR NEVER!!!  Good Lord!  Five Years!

Dear Oracle,

On behalf of millions of laundry-doing women worldwide can you please tell us where the odd socks go. I have a huge pile of socks with no mates, who were well mated before entering the laundry system.

Its’ not an odd sock… it’s a lonely sock.  If you get enough lonely socks together they are pairs again. Calling it an odd sock is the problem. How would you like to be called an odd sock!  

Dear Oracle,

This is a two part question.

1. Who is responsible for the music in elevators?
2. Do they sell a CD of Elevator music?

Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd

Dear Oracle,

Which is more environmentally friendly, a real Christmas tree or an artificial one? I think going to a Christmas tree farm (near our home) and cutting our own is better than buying an artificial one, but I’d like your input. Thanks.

Artificial… buy it once and use it for the rest of your life.. preferably an aluminum one made out of old beer cans.  It is even better if you drink the beer yourselves.

Oh Wise Oracle,

Will we finally get a decent offer, after the open house today?

‘Cause I’m tired of cleaning so much that you can ACTUALLY lick the floors and come away feeling refreshed.

Thank you, Great Oracle.

Why are you licking the floors?  Maybe you would sell your house if you got up off the floor.  

Dearest Oracle,
A test of your knowledge before I move on to pressing question?
Of the top of your head… Do you know how much a gallon of milk weighs and how long is a dollar bill?

My more pressing question…
How is it that my husband can spot a groundhog in a field while driving and texting yet can’t keep the kids and do laundry at the same time?

 He likes groundhogs.  I like groundhogs.
I am curious to the Oracle’s portrait? Was it a gift? Commissioned especially for him? Love to hear the background story on that…

It appears to be  a painting… but it is actually a rubbing.  

(Rechelle interjecting to say that the Oracle’s sister Lois created the painting as an exercise in an art class.  I always admired it and eventually she gave it to me.  Sorry Oracle.  Please continue…)
What kind of job will leave my husband feeling fulfilled and appreciated? And are they hiring?

Barbecue tester.  The guy who reaches into the grill with his thumb and forefinger and gets the first piece.  It is a hard job to get.  That’s a job I would like to have.
Dear Readers, 
I will save the questions that came in late for another session with the Oracle… if there ever is another session.  I hope there will be.  I really think he has helped a lot of people today.  Don’t you!?!