Exercise and me weren’t meant to be

My oven is broken.  It’s been broken since 1973.  Or at least since July, maybe April.  I liked it being broken.  I had a good excuse for not cooking.  Now that the holidays are over and all danger of cooking turkey, roasting ham, and baking pumpkin pie  is no longer looming, I thought I might get it fixed. 


I was also going to start exercising.


I have plenty of options when it comes to exercising.

You might say I have a bit of an obsession with exercise videos.  It’s important that I tell you that, since it’s not obvious by looking at me.  My theory is the more you have collecting dust in VHS boxes, the better chance you have of getting out of the Lazy Boy.

Most of my workout tapes belong to my cousin from whom  I stole them fair and square.  But she isn’t in too big of a hurry to get them back I don’t think.  They are called The Firm, and they truly made me look a quarter of half way amazing when I was 25  years old.  But who doesn’t look a quarter to half way amazing when they’re only 25?

I received 13 more Firm DVD’s from my sister this holiday.

You can find them at the link below, and I wish I was getting paid to say that.


I was going to recommit to exercise and complete one today.  Or at least attempt one.

I was completely and totally determined to start right after the Oven man came to fix my oven.

But the oven man was 2 hours late.

So while waiting on the Oven man, I decided to take down the Christmas tree. 

And I hurt my back taking down the Christmas tree.

Technically, I re-hurt my back from originally hurting it the other day cleaning out my closet.

Physical work and me just don’t jive.

I’ve never hurt my back laying on the couch.  Or napping. 

It’s always when I’m doing something.

 Strange how that works.

Moses and me

There’s only one more day left in 2010. 

How did you fare (or fair?) on your 2010 resolutions?

Me?  I don’t remember all that I resolved to do and I can’t find where I wrote them down.  That should tell you how successful I was. 

I read a quote the other day that said, “May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s Resolutions.” 

One resolution that I know I did not keep was to blog 15 times a month.  Colossal fail.

I did manage to keep 2 of my resolutions that I remember.  Man, I wish I could find that paper I wrote them all down on.

The two resolutions I remember making are:

1. Run a 1/2 marathon—I was able to complete a 1/2 marathon, which does not make me a runner.  I wogged (walked/jogged) a half-marathon, and I have no intentions of doing that again. 

2.  Read the Bible in a year—-I’ve almost completed it.  I downloaded a schedule from  http://www.Bible-Reading.com to keep me on track.  However, it did not keep me on track and I have found myself reading 23 1/2 hours a day the past 3 or 4 days to try to complete my resolution. 

I’ve been spending much time in the Word and even though I pray for a Message to leap off the page to me, I find myself simply reading words and not understanding how they apply to me in today’s world, 2010.  Anyone else?   I’m almost finished with the whole thing, only 45 more chapters to go!!!  Later today I plan on reading Nehemiah and tomorrow finish up with Esther and Revelation.  I do love Esther.  Probably my favorite book of the Bible.  Have you read it? 

Today I wrapped up  my time with Moses.  Moses is dead, isn’t that a shocker? It’s silly,  I’ve spent so much time with him lately, that I got teary when he died today.  He worked so hard leading the people to The Promised Land and yet, he himself, didn’t get to enter.  I grieve over that.  I know that he has seen a much more plentiful, beautiful place, but I’m sad because I don’t really understand what he and Aaron did that was so bad to deserve that punishment.   I imagine him going to the top of the mountain God tells him to climb to see it with his eyes, but that he cannot enter.  I imagine his tears, his remorse, his sadness, his regret.   We’re told that he can’t enter the land promised  because of what happened at the Waters of  Meribah.  It was there the people of Israel had been grumbling like they always did because there was no water to drink, which seems like a good reason to grumble to me.  They take up their case with Moses as always saying why did you bring us out here to die, we should have just stayed slaves in Egypt.  We’d be better off there.  It tells us in Numbers 20 that Moses and Aaron threw themselves facedown before God asking for help  for the people. 

Here is what God tells them to do:  “Take the staff.   Assemble the community, you and your brother Aaron.  Speak to that rock that’s right in front of them and it will give water.  You will bring water out of the rock for them; congregation and cattle will both drink.” 

And here is what they did: 

v. 9  Moses took the staff away from God’s presence, as commanded.  He and Aaron rounded up the whole congregation in front of the rock.  Moses spoke:  “Listen, rebels!  Do we have to bring water out of this rock for you?”

v. 11  With that Moses raised his arm and slammed his staff against the rock—once, twice.  Water poured out.  Congregation and cattle drank.

And then they got in trouble by God.  God told them because they didn’t trust Him and show Him reverence before the people that they couldn’t enter the land promised to them.

I’m confused.  To me ( pagan sinful me) they followed orders.  Which is quite frightening to know how badly I’m to be judged for the things I’ve done.  I do not understand what they did wrong.  Was it because they took credit for the water and did not give the glory to the Lord, or is because he hit the rock twice instead of speaking to it like he was told? 

 In Exodus 17 it says he was told to strike the rock. 

So anyway, I’m left with questions.  Moses is dead.  He did not get to enter the Land flowing with milk and honey.   Joshua will lead the people.  But with all this bad news, here is a good part. 

Moses left the people with this blessing.  With 2011 approaching, I carry this blessing of the Lord with me as I journey into my new land.  I hope you do too.  I pray our nation will also.

If you listen obediently to the Voice of God, your God, and heartily obey all his commandments that I command you today, God, your God, will place you on high, high above all the nations of the world.  All these blessings will come down on you and spread out beyond you because you have responded to the Voice of God, your God:

God’s blessing inside the city,

God’s blessing in the country;

God’s blessing on your children,

the crops of your land,

the young of your livestock,

the calves of your herds,

the lambs of your flocks,

God’s blessing on your basket and bread bowl;

God’s blessing in your coming in,

God’s blessing in your going out.

God will lavish you with good things; children from your womb, offspring from your animals, and crops from your land, the land that God promised your ancestors that he would give you.  God will throw open the doors of his sky vaults and pour rain on your land on schedule and bless the work you take in hand.  You will lend to many nations but you yourself won’t have to take out a loan.  God will make you the head, not the tail;  you’ll always be the top dog, never the bottom dog, as you obediently listen to and diligently keep the commands of God, your God, that I am commanding you today.  Deuteronomy 28 The Message.

Did you hear that?  That’s a blessing on ‘pert near everything.  Everything you set your hand.  He will open his sky vaults, his heavens, and rain down blessings on us if we follow his commands.

May 2011 be your best year ever!


Dear Friends,

You’ll never guess what I’ve finally got my hands on.

I’ve been wanting one of these.

I’m going to hang it in my house.

Yes, I do believe I heard a barely audible shriek from my sister all the way in New York City. 

 To attain this gem, all I had to say was “I’d like a cow skull to hang up.  With horns.”

And waaa-laaa.

J-Dub found one right in the pasture for me. 

He even got a free rope out of the deal and everything.

Fortunately the coyotes have already eaten off all the flesh. 

And the worms and bugs have cleaned up all the skin and hair.

So now I won’t have to dirty up my stew pot boiling it up.

I’ve got the perfect place for it right on the dining room wall.

Don’t forget I’m available for decorating assistance if you’re going for the edgy cow town/chic trailer trash look for your place as well. 

And we hope to see you out to supper real soon.


J-Dub and Auntie

Preg Checking

There comes a time in every cowboy’s life when the question arises as to whether or not a cow is pregnant.  But only dudes say pregnant.   Real cowboys say bred.  For fear of embarrassing my husband, I shall only speak in cowboy lingo for this blog.  So try to keep up, okay?

Recently we acquired a cow that was believed to be 8 months bred on August 25th.  Cows are pregnant on average 283 days, just like a woman, which meant she should’ve calved (Dude translation:  given birth) back in September, October at the latest. 

As of December 27th, she still hadn’t calved, nor was she springing heavy (Dude translation:  showing any signs).  Click here for a visual.  So J-Dub questioned if she was even bred at all and thought she was probably open (Dude translation:  not pregnant).

Since cows don’t voluntarily lay on a table and put their legs in stirrups or pee on a stick on demand, there’s really only one cost efficient method to determine a cow’s state of pregnancy.   

For this method you need a:

1.  a cow  (for obvious reasons)

2.  a plastic sleeve (for obvious reasons to be seen)

3.  lubrication (for obvious reasons)

4.    one tough cowboy (for obvious reasons)

Here we see Maybelle looking a bit wary.  She knows something is up.  She has been penned away from the rest of the cattle.  And she’s not liking it one bit.


First, she takes a big ol’ crap.

Then she takes a big ol’ pee.  If you’ve never seen a cow pee, there isn’t anything dainty about it.  It’s a gusher.


Next J-Dub pens her in a chute.

And prepares himself by putting on a plastic sleeve and squirting some lube in his hand.

He enters the chute at the rear of the cow……


and does exactly what you’re wishing he won’t.

Sticks his hand into her #2 hole.  His arm rather.   

 Right into her poop chute.  He feels around a bit, concentrating. 

He doesn’t have to go too far until he pokes something in the eyeball.

“Yep, there’s a big ol’ calf in there”

And everyone is all smiles.


 Everyone except Maybelle.

The Land of Less is More—Mile #1—Cleaning out the closet

Today’s gargantuan leap in my journey to the Land of Less is More begins with my closet. 

I think I can.   I think I can.  I think I can.

I needed direction so I found a site with 7 simple steps.  http://www.happyslob.com/closets.html

I got scared off by the first step which says to take everything out of my closet, yes everything, so I developed my own system.

Angel’s Steps to Cleaning out the Closet.

Step 1:  Adopt this motto:  If you’re going to be a bear, be a grizzly. 

Step 2:  Put on some music that gets you in the groove.

Step 3:  Sit down and drink a Red Bull and tell yourself you really need to get up and clean the closet.

Step 4:  Get a cardboard box.  Or seven.

Step 5:  Begin in the back where 700 hangers are crammed within an inch of space.  These are the clothes you more than likely haven’t worn in 10 years and are easier to say good-bye to.

Step. 6:  Attempt to try on a pair of size 8 capri pants that you love.

Step 7:  Sink into depression when you cannot get them over your pasty, jiggly thighs.

Step 8:  Relieve depression by eating a pack of Rolos from the case your husband bought you for Christmas.

Step 9:  Repeat steps 6 and 7, ad nauseam.

Step 10:  Regret that you recently cleaned out your email and unsubscribed from Weight Watchers, Losing it with Jillian Michaels, The Firm, and Spanx.

Step 11:  Resolve to lose weight in 2011.

Step 12:  Come to the harsh realization that you will never wear some of your clothes again.  Ever. 

Step 13:  Adopt this rule:  “If you haven’t worn it in a year, say adios to it.”

Step 14:  Get your butt back to work clearing out your clothes.

Step 15:  After 13 minutes, lose momentum and crash from your sugar high.

Step 16:  Waste an hour on facebook

Step 17:  Slap yourself three times and drag yourself back into the bedroom.

Step 18:  Work until you lose momentum…..about 10 minutes.

Step 19:  Take a nap on the couch since your bed is covered in clothes and cheap plastic hangers.

Step 20:  Wake up refreshed. 

Step 21:  Realize your husband needs a place to sleep tonight.  Get up and finish the job.

Step 22:  Take the boxes to a local charity.

Step 23:  Reward yourself with ice cream on the way home.

Step 24:  Step back and look at your clean closet and feel good about your accomplishment, but not your thighs.

Do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do (The Twilight Zone Theme Song)

Bizarre happenings are occurring in the Wheeler household.

If you get real still you can hear the Twilight Zone theme song playing in the background.

I’m awaiting the aliens who have kidnapped my husband to return him from the planet XOK and switch out this phony they’ve left here. You do know how the aliens function don’t you? The sneak in and steal an earthling, replacing them with a duplicate, who looks and appears like the original, but some things are quite amiss. They haven’t fooled me.

I’m onto them.

I am basing my alien-invasion beliefs on several unexplained occurrences that I am documenting here.

1. My duplicated husband has turned off the T.V. Not just for an hour or two.
For days now.
For days and days and days.
He has grown tired of the crap. So in place of the constant blah, blah, blah of commercials screaming at us to fit in and buy some dooo-dad or another, we sit in silence.

2. My duplicated husband has ventured to the library and actually checked out books. After a couple of days of silence, he said he needed something good to read.

3. My duplicated husband has completed 2 books. With words.

4. My duplicated husband has declared The Antique Stores as his new favorite stomping grounds. He bought a coal oil lamp, and has been reading by it.

5. My duplicated husband is shaving the old-fashioned way by swirling a shaving brush in a mug with shaving soap. Oh, and he’s buttoning his shirts up all the way to the top. He looks so cute. I just might keep him instead.

But what if I’m being a little irrational? Maybe it’s not an alien invasion. My mantra in life is simplicity. I surround myself with reminders of it.

I long for the good ol’ days. I want to gather chicken eggs and milk goats. Can my own food and learn to knit. Go to bed by 8:30 and get up at 5:00. Jason has always longed for the good ol’ days as well. He hates technology and keeping up with the Jones’ mentality. He thinks facebook is the devil. And the three meals of the day are breakfast, dinner, and supper. Not breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Perhaps our battle cry of SIMPLIFY has finally reverberated our ears and sank deep down into our souls and now like the Kundalini serpent has awakened and is uncoiling itself.

Either way, we are on a mission for simplicity. We are gaining a new lifestyle. We are watering our own little patch of grass under our feet, the world in which we exist.

Jason hasn’t gone so extreme as to cut off electricity and running water……yet.
I’m not going as extreme as growing dreadlocks and only possessing 4 outfits…….yet.

This idea, this concept looks different for both of us. We are searching for a happy medium. For Jason it has begun with something as simple as turning off the T.V.
For me it’s going to start with baby steps too. First things first. I’m going to begin uncluttering my life, beginning with my closets and cabinets. Less is definitely more.
Instead of working harder and earning more to buy more, we are downsizing and living on less.

This may turn out to be a colossal failure. Or it may turn out to be a brand new life-style for us.
Only time will tell, but it’s the perfect time with 2011 inching closer and a move to a smaller, trailer house way less than fancy home in the very near future.

I’m going to blog our journey to the Land of Less is More.

It’s looks scary from here.

There are dragons to slay

We may even be eaten alive by flying monkeys, but if we do survive, I believe it will be worth it.

December 25th

Christmas 2010 is winding down friends.  I hope you enjoyed your day and your time with family.  I’m home alone for now, but soon will pick up my niece and head to some friends house for extended festivities.   I’m honored that they invite us to spend their Christmas day with them.  True friends.

I got blue this Christmas, I sometimes do that.  It’s just a part of my essence.  It’s  something I deal with occasionally.  Especially during those times that are supposed to be joyful.  While others post on facebook how much fun they’re having, I get blue.  I’m not sure why.  Maybe it’s jealousy.  Maybe it’s self-pity. Perhaps it’s hormones.  There’s no telling.   

Sometimes Facebook posts make me feel like a voyeur, standing outside in the dark, peering through the window of somebody’s life.  The lamp and the Christmas tree put off a soft glow.  Families sit around a table, smiling, heads tipped back in laughter, a warm fire burning, popping, and crackling in the corner.   But it’s dark out here where I am and cold.  I wrap my arms around myself, pulling my coat tighter, longing to be a part of what they have.  Is it just me, or do you know what I mean?

But then I think, Really?  If you’re really enjoying your fabulous family, playing monopoly, and baking cookies, you wouldn’t be concerned about posting it on facebook, would you?

The grass ain’t always greener on the other side.  I’ve learned that.  I think the enemy tries to trick us into believing that.  In order to make us unhappy or unsettled with what we have.  When what we have, is exactly what we need.  I have everything I need right here. I am blessed beyond measure.

 Here’s our tree this year.  It’s artificial, for the first time since Jason and I have been married.  We strung popcorn and cranberries like we used to when I was a kid, and strung them up.  This is the first year I haven’t wanted to take it down.  More than likely, this is the last Christmas in this house as we are drawing closer to moving to our little trailer house on the prairie.  I’m going to make it last. 

The phone is ringing and Ashlynn is beckoning for me to come get her, so I must hurry and finish.  I wanted to wish you, my readers, a Merry Christmas.  I know it’s not the easiest time of the year for a lot of people, and can be a reminder of what we’ve lost and what we don’t have, what we may never have.  But remember that this is a day of Good News.  We have a Savior who can meet all our needs, who can sustain us through difficult times, who knows our heartaches and troubles.  Today is a celebration of Him.  Do not allow the enemy to steal your joy during this season. 

For unto you a child is born, unto you a Savior is given.
Unto YOU! 

Merry Christmas with oodles of love,


The Kitchen Sink

When I was a little girl I was walking on my kitchen countertops.  I was too old to be doing such tom foolery, but my age has never really stopped me in any of my acts of tom foolery.   Our kitchen on Seminole Lane was a U-shaped orange kitchen in every sense of the word.  Orange countertops, orange linoleum, orange canisters, orange, orange, orange.    I had a method of walking on the countertops.  If you imagine an upside down U, I started at the bottom, next to the refrigerator, made the turn at the top of the upside down U, then I’d step on the center of the stovetop, make the turn to the last leg of the U, walk the dangerously narrow ledge in front of the sink, down to the end of the countertop and then reverse it.  Perhaps it would help if I drew you a picture since that was really hard to describe.

While I paraded across the formica, I imagined the floor was a pool of bubbling, gurgling hot lava and I kept my footing sure.  Then the lava morphed into a swamp of murky water with snapping crocodiles leaping at my pinkie toes and I focused on my mission. 

I became a bit over-confident.   Being the expert countertop walker that I was, I needed to up the ante.   Maybe not look down.  Maybe not use the upper cabinets to steady my hand as I traversed the course of the countertops.   I was a tight rope walker, thrilling my fans below as the gasped at my speed.  Then I was a gymnast on the balance beam, leaping, the regaining my balance before my big finish. 

 I was at the very treacherous narrow ledge of the sink.  I was making my way across as I had numerous times before, when suddenly I began to lose my balance.  I couldn’t fall into the mire of snapping crocodiles or fall from the balance beam and disappoint my audience, so I went for it, taking a huge step to clear the sink and grab hold of the cabinets for security, when suddenly I felt my bare foot sink into a mushy, sticky, blackberry cobbler sitting on the counter next to the sink.

I don’t remember the rest.  I’ve tried purposely to forget.

Something to the effect that my sister and dad laughed mercilessly at my misfortune, and like bullies in a school yard they began chanting, “Cobbler foot, cobbler foot, Angel is a cobbler foot”  until I cried like a baby.  Then they continued.

I have never walked the countertops since.  But it hasn’t stopped me from loving cobbler.

So I stand corrected.  I do have a nickname.  Thank goodness, it didn’t stick (no pun intended).