Year in Review

How was your year?  Was it pretty good or did some bad things happen to you?  Did you lose a loved one?  I am very sorry.  My niece lost her husband just before Christmas and I had two friends at church who died then, also.

Did you take a vacation?  Did you do something new you have been wanting to do for a long time?  Did you lose weight?  Did you gain weight.(I can relate.)   Did you get married?  Did you get a divorce?   I know the pain that can cause.  Did you have health problems or were you at the peak of health?

Whatever happened to you in 2017, it’s over now and we can start afresh in 2018. I’m brushing off myself and looking back on 2017, so here goes.

January

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Lily, our daughter’s Golden Retriever had her first litter of pups.  They were so cute. I hope they are in good homes and are well loved.

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We practiced shooting guns in our son-in-law’s woods.  I rather enjoyed it.

February

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Wintery blue skies.  Looks like the new Crayola crayon color “Bluetiful.”

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Made some Valentine type projects.

We attended the Indiana Home Show in Indianapolis where I saw this kitchen island which is like a cutting table I want David to build for me for my shop.  He hasn’t gotten it done yet.  Maybe this Summer.

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We actually did some porch sitting even if we did have to bundle up.

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I cannot wait to sit out here again. Maybe next week when the frigid temperatures will be gone for a few days. I see thirty and forty degree days on the horizon.

March

My birthday month.

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I knit David a pair of socks and he loves wearing them.

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Molly Marshmallow enjoyed some sun while sitting in her favorite chair.

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More porch sitting.

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More sock knitting. These were gifts for Christmas this year.

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This flower bloomed in the snow.  Helebores.  They are so beautiful in the winter landscape.

Wow, do I miss the flowers outdoors.

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Did some antiquing for my birthday and bought this tablecloth that I then saw featured in a magazine about antiques.

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I really need to get that tablecloth out and starch it and put it on my table now to brighten our days.

April

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Bought new chicks.  These little girls have become excellent layers.  We get a dozen eggs every two days. Miss Mary Foster, my little lame chick, is the one in front. I love her.

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More sock knitting.  Do I see a pattern here?

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Made a quilt for a sweet baby girl in our church.

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The redbuds burst into bloom. Spring was here!

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Was time to put the Easter decorations out.

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The grandkids here for the annual Easter egg hunt.

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Flashing the dollar bills they got for collecting the dollar eggs.

May

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Finally flowers all over the garden.  I am so looking forward to this time again.

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We got our upstairs bathroom remodeled. This is the before picture.  I can hardly remember it looking like this.

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Our baby chicks were turning into pullets.

May or June( I can’t remember the date.)

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My fairy godmother….

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took me to a Trump rally in Pennsylvania. One of the best times I have ever had and I’ve had some good times.  Made me love my country even more than I did.

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Our almost finished bathroom. I don’t think I ever took a real after picture.  I love my new bathroom and I love soaking in that big tub.

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Dame’s Rocket.  A surprise flower that came up from my wildseeds I had planted last year.

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My other “wild seed.”  Miss Molly is such a playful pup.

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Clematis growing up on our deck.

Really June

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My  baby brother’s baby girl got married

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She was a beautiful bride.

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Her dress was exquisite.

That same weekend, because her brother was home from Germany, my other niece, my brother’s oldest child got married.

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Unfortunately, we were not able to stay over another day for her wedding as we had to get home as I was having tests the next day.  My health issues were resolved, thankfully.

July.

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Found a darling garden shop on one of our little trips.

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Bought more sock yarn. This yarn is already socks and most were given away.

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The garden just kept getting more and more beautiful.

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Played with fire with friends from church.

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And watched fireworks, but the music accompanying the fireworks was so dreadful, I contacted the radio station who sponsored the show and complained.  The music was the least patriotic music I have ever heard.  And rap.  Ugh.

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David and I made a trip to Evansville so I could see….

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Beth Moore.  On the drive home we saw President Grant’s childhood home and passed through some wonderful little, historic towns.

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August

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Went to King’s Island with this crew.

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The garden began to look like Autumn.

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Pumpkins were growing on the fence.

We took our three youngest grandsons to the state fair.

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I think they had a good time and we ate our way through the fair.

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Went to my fiftieth class reunion and saw some school friends I hadn’t seen since we graduated. They didn’t look quite the same as in our yearbook!

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Although these three really look the same to me.  I have many memories with these friends.  The lady on the left is David’s cousin and drove us on our first date. We saw the movie, “Joy in the Morning.”  I still love that movie.  David held my hand through the whole movie.

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Visited with James Whitcomb Riley.

September

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Went to Grandparents’ Day at three of our grandchildren’s school.

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October

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Worked on a pumpkin table runner which was given away this Christmas.

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Watched our grandsons play soccer.

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October

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Decorated for Halloween.

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Did some driving on country roads to see the foliage.

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Made an apple quilt. I’m keeping this one.

November

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Attended our younger grandsons’ school’s Veteran’s Day program.  Love attending this every year.

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Saw our granddaughter in the Music Man.  It was wonderful.

Time to get out the Thanksgiving decorations.

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Lily had her second and my daughter says, her last litter.   She is such a good mother.

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I can’t stand how precious this picture is.   Everyone should get to hold a puppy every single day. The world would be so much happier.

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Drove some really beautiful back roads of Indiana.

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And toured some primitive shops on those back roads that hardly anyone ever travels.

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Had Thanksgiving dinner where I didn’t get that one picture for some reason.

December

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The puppies were older and even more cute, if possible.

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Christmas came all too quickly.

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I was feeling so nostalgic this year remembering Christmases past.

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If we could only spend one day in those times gone by.  But it would probably make me cry that I would have to leave it again, so maybe it’s best to leave the past in the past and keep the sweet memories.

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Socks were a part of the gifts to everyone.

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But when You get right down to it. Spending time with those you love is worth all the money in the world.

I know that it will be a split second and I will be writing about 2018 and looking toward 2019 if I am blessed enough to live that long.   So here’s to another year. May it be the best ever, free from care and heartache.  Full of love and joy.  Bye.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018

We are standing on the threshold of a brand, new year. It’s like getting a new box of crayons, a new unmarked journal, an unread novel, a bright, shiny penny, a new fallen snow that no one has walked on.  It’s so fresh and new you can smell the hope in it.

I am leaving 2017 with gratitude, relief and a little sadness. It was a good year in many ways, but a sad year also as we lost several church friends and a family member.   It’s been a year of ups and downs with mostly ups, thankfully.  It held many surprises, some tragedy and some comedy.

This year I want to be more faithful, less fearful of new things, more determined in my quest to walk 10,000 steps a few times a week and more happy in my circumstances.   I managed most of these in 2017 except for the walking bit. I kind of slacked off on that.  Right now we have the most frigid temperatures we have ever had to endure the last few years so it’s hard to want to get outdoors and walk.  Oh, and I want to knit lots and lots of socks!

We are planning our trips for our fiftieth wedding anniversary. So far we are planning trips west, south and northeast.  It’s going to be a busy year.

I wake up every day thinking “who can I bless today.”   I write this blog not to make people think how wonderful my life is.  My life is just like yours.  I have my good days, my great days, my lousy days and my sad and lonely days. Some days I’d just prefer to stay in bed, but I get up and get going because I don’t want to be a slug.    But even through everything, I hope I have touched someone in a way that will help them.  We aren’t alone on this planet.  Everyone wants to be loved. You are.  Everyone has pretty much the same needs. I am interested in all of you.  I hope your year will be kind to you. I hope you have good health.  I hope you have someone to love.  I hope you never feel so alone that you think no one cares.  Someone does.  I hope when 2018 is over you can look back and say, “I made it through and it wasn’t so bad.”   I really hope you can look back and think, “Wow, what a year!”

Love, don’t hold onto anger, forgive, take chances, and remember the One who is always there for you.  Happy New Year, everyone!  Bye.

Signs of the Season

I’m not in the mood to write a whole lot today, but I have a whole lot of pictures from the past few days and weeks that I want to post here, so here goes.

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Our tree and presents beneath the tree.

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These little birds live in this Snowball bush in the Summer, but it is only in the Winter when we can see them.

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This little bird bit off more than he/she could chew and spent quite a bit of time trying to get this piece of corn chewed up and swallowed.   I have been filling the feeders every day and every day the food is all gone within a few hours.  Time for another trip to Rural King.  We are having frigid temperatures here and they are going to stay around for a while.

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A few of the things I made people for Christmas. Through the year I knit socks and when I would get a pair completed I put them in a sack in a bedroom in a closet upstairs and forgot about them. When I got ready to wrap presents I found I had knitted thirty pairs of socks!Enough for almost everyone to receive one or two and in some cases, three pair for gifts.

That has not stopped me from knitting, however.

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Here is some new yarn I just received in the mail today alongside two more pair of socks I have knitted since Christmas. Maybe I will get fifty pair knitted this year.

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I really love this yarn.  I wanted to knit myself a pair of Christmas socks this year, but didn’t get it done.  That yarn on the right is going to be next year’s Christmas socks for me, myself and I.  I can’t wait to get started with it.

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This is my drink of choice during the holidays.

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A good cup of coffee with peppermint mocha cream.  This is only sold during Christmas and I wait for it all year long.

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David always gets me calendars for Christmas. Or rather, I pick them out and he pays for them.  I especially love this one, Reading Women.   I am a reading woman and this just caught my eye and the pictures inside are works of art with beautiful women reading books.  It will hang in my shop which I am renovating this Spring. New paint, curtains and a complete clean out and when the weather gets warm, I am having a huge garage sale for one day to try to get rid of a lot of things I really don’t need or want anymore. I am putting it on a date on my new calendars, circling it and will hold myself to getting this done. It will be a lot of work.  I really don’t like having garage sales, but it’s better people come and take stuff away rather than me having to haul it to Goodwill.

Christmas day was unusual this year and I didn’t have anyone here for dinner. The grandchildren came in the afternoon and opened their gifts. Besides the usual clothes and socks the boys got these.

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Hoverboards!    As soon as they opened them they were off sailing through the house. I was amazed how good they were on them.  Some had had practice, but others hadn’t.

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Our granddaughter didn’t get one as she got a lot of other things, but she was proficient on them, too, and I told her she needed one to get around college next year.

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David enjoyed playing Santa. He no longer has his beard as he shaves it off immediately after Christmas. I tell him he looks twenty years younger without a beard and he does.

I am looking forward to the new year when David and I will be celebrating our fiftieth wedding anniversary all year.  We have some vacations planned.  One to Oklahoma to visit Pioneer Woman’s mercantile store.  I can’t wait.

Happy New Year  and may it hold blessings overflowing for you. Bye.

 

 

 

Sleds and Santa

I am sitting here and it’s Christmas Eve remembering the wonderful Christmases I had when I was growing up. Christmas always centered around the Christ child. There was church and nativities and carols sung and candles glowing.  Packages under the tree.  Trips to the department store to see Santa.  How I wish I could relive those years again. They were the best of times.  I heard that some people don’t even think of Christmas as a Christian holiday anymore.  I don’t know what they think it is or what the word Christmas means to them, but for me, it always is about Jesus.    Years ago I wrote a story about Christmas and I will share it with you now.   It’s as true as I can remember it.  Most of it really happened and some may or may not, but that is for you to decide.

Sleds and Santa Claus

A heavy blanket of snow covered Daddy’s Indiana farm.  Katie looked out the kitchen door and saw drifts of snow on the sidewalk and back porch.  Daddy came in the back door stamping his feet and  carrying an armload of wood to put in the big black iron stove that sat in the kitchen.  As Katie ate her breakfast of hot sweet tea and cinnamon toast, she felt warm and cozy.  Daddy sat at the head of the table and Mommy sat next to him.  They were discussing what needed to be done that day on the farm

Katie’s brother’s came down from the cold bedrooms upstairs.   The window in Katie’s room had had frost on the inside of it that morning and she had not wanted to leave her warm nest in her bed.

“Hey! Let’s go sledding this afternoon,” cried Andy. That sounded like a great idea to all the children, but first all the chores had to be done before play.  On a farm the livestock comes first and all the animals must be fed and watered before anything else.  The eggs must be gathered before they froze in their nests.  That was Katie’s job.  Soon they were all bundled up   to go outdoors to do their chores.

The cold wind whipped Katie’s face as she walked to the chicken house.  Inside it was warm and the chickens began to cluck.  Sometimes Katie would have to reach underneath a setting hen to take her eggs. The hen would not like this, but it had to be done.  Eggs were never left to be hatched in the henhouse.  Mommy used many of them in her baking each week ad the ones she didn’t use were carefully washed and crated and taken to the grocery store to be sold to the grocer for him to sell.   Mommy’s chicken eggs were especially good. They were fresh and the yolks were almost orange.  That was because the chickens were allowed to scratch and peck outdoors and to eat a lot of different things like juicy bugs and worms besides the ground corn Daddy fed them.  The grocer was always glad to get them.

After a good hot midday meal, Katie and her brothers dressed in several layers of clothes and snow boots and went out to Daddy’s workshop where the sleds were kept. They walked down the road to a hill owned by a neighbor, Mr. Bond.  They climbed over the fence and trudged through the deep snow to the top of the hill.  The first few times sledding down was not very good because the paths had to be made through the snow.  After a few rides down the hill, it became slicker and slicker until you were absolutely flying!  At the bottom of the hill was a little grove of tree that you had to steer your sled through.  It was dangerous, but fun at the same time. Sometimes the neighbor boys, the Clevengers, would join in the fun. The boys would throw snowballs at one another as they slid down the hill.

All too soon for Katie it was time to go back home.  She was chilled to the bone but hadn’t noticed while she was sledding.  Back in the warm house Mommy made hot chocolate and Daddy made popcorn balls.  After all the exercise, it all tasted so good!

Sometime in the winter,  Daddy and Mommy would begin whispering to one another and hiding things from the children.  It was Christmas time, one of the best times of the year for a child.  Soon after Thanksgiving, the tree would be put up and decorated and Mommy would put up the red plastic wreaths with the red candles in the windows.   A plastic Santa riding a white reindeer and that lit up was one of Katie’s favorite Christmas decorations.  The nativity that Daddy had built was put in a place of honor where Katie would look at it every day.  It had a blue lightbulb that gave the holy family a heavenly glow.

Soon it was Christmas Eve and the children were all excited about Santa’s coming visit.  The boys wanted Davy Crockett coonskin  hats and Katie wanted a doll.  Her older sister, Joanne, wanted new clothes.   Katie wanted to stay up and see if Santa really was the one who brought the toys each Christmas.  She begged Mommy to allow her to stay up if her sister stayed up with her  “You may stay up, but you will be asleep before Santa gets here,”  Mommy told her.

That night Katie and Joanne each picked a chair to sleep in. With pillows and blankets, they settled in and  prepared to stay up and see old St. Nick bring their presents.  Everyone else went to bed and the house settled down into a deep, dark quiet.  Not a thing was stirring.  Katie was so excited.   She waited and waited until her eyelids became heavier and heavier.  All at once there was a soft glow in the room.  Katie rubbed her eyes because she could not believe what she was seeing. Right in front of her, so close she could have touched him was a short, round little man in a beautiful red woolen suit with the whitest fur trim. He was bent over putting something under the tree.  It was Santa!   Katie was afraid that she might get in trouble for being there, but suddenly, the little man turned and looked right at her with his kind eyes and said, “Go back to sleep, honey.”   The next thing Katie knew she was waking up in her own bed. It was Christmas morning!

The children all had to wait until Mommy and Daddy said it was okay to come down the stairs.  When they did there was a mad dash to get to the Christmas tree and see what Santa had brought them.  Katie doesn’t remember what she got that year, but she does remember it was the year she saw the real Santa Claus.

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.  Bye.

Christmases Past

Do you remember that scene in Christmas Vacation where Clark Griswald(Chevy Chase) was up in his attic  looking at old movies of his family when they were all younger?  Sitting there with tears running down his cheeks while he watched?

I just had the same experience looking through some old pictures of my growing family as we celebrated Christmas in the past.   I so miss those little children and my parents who made Christmas so special for me.   Those little children are middle aged now and my parents have gone on to live in Heaven.

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This is my mom and daddy.   I miss them.   They have been gone for decades, but you never really ever get use to being without your parents, no matter how old you get.

 

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This is how it was for many Christmases at our house on Christmas morning. The kids would come down the stairs, youngest first. Look at  those faces.  To have the joy of a child at Christmas again!

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One year our younger son played Santa Claus in his school Christmas play.

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Who is that handsome man and who are those babies?   I think this was taken in the Virgin Islands when we visited David’s mother there one Christmas.  Our daughter sits on his lap and her cousins are watching her open a gift. This was the trip where she fell into the swimming pool and was afraid of water for a long time afterward. It was even hard to get her in the bathtub.

 

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New pajamas?  I remember that sofa.  I really loved it for a long time. Now I think it’s kind of tacky.  LOL.   And it clashed so well with those drapes. An interior designer I was not at that time.   I still have that jug lamp only because my daddy made it for me.

 

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Someone got a new bicycle that year.  Snow didn’t stop the first ride.  We lived up a hill with a park right next door to us and we could walk down a path to a lake and to a playground where the children could play. I loved living in that house.

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And the Big Green Machine. Remember those?   This was a fun Christmas for those two boys. You can see the lake behind them. We use to go ice skating on it. There would be a big bonfire and lots of skaters and it was so much fun.  I wish I still had my skates, but I sold them in a garage sale before we moved to our present house.  I guess I knew my ice skating days were over.

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I made those coveralls my younger son is wearing.  I made a lot of their clothes back then. I believe I made the plaid shirt also.   I think they are adorable.

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David’s Grandma reading to the boys. I loved her. She was such a wonderful person and really loved her great-grandchildren.   And they loved her.

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The year our younger son had one of his first of several broken bones.  He was playing on a hill behind our neighbor’s house and jumped off a little hill and landed wrong, I guess, because he broke his leg.  I thought he had stepped on a nail and pulled off his shoe while he was screaming.  Probably didn’t help the break any.  I was so surprised when I learned he had broken his leg.   He got very proficient on those crutches.

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I use to bake so much at Christmas. Now with just David and me at home I don’t bake as much.  I use to make gingerbread houses all the time at Christmas, too.  Today I baked two cakes and some sugar cookies because the grandchildren are coming and like sweets.

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Really wish that I still had this little girl around.  But she grew up and so did the boys and life goes on.    Now with tears in my eyes I will close. Tomorrow I will write about the time I saw the “real” Santa.   Bye.

 

Scrambling

The weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are always a blur to me.   It seems like when Autumn gets here I should put on my running shoes and take off with a bottle of water in my hand to keep me hydrated as I scramble through the days.

I am really not the busy, I don’t think.  I don’t have a job.  I don’t have children I have to ferry here, there and everywhere.  I don’t even have a very demanding husband who is always asking me to do things.  I’m just saying, the days seem to fly by like the wind and when a week is over David and I look at each other and say, “That week went fast.”  Maybe it’s our age and the space, time, continuum thing, but I can almost see the world turning, it’s going so fast. I also tell David I can hear God’s voice whispering to me constantly and I am wondering what He is telling me.

I don’t watch that much tv although I have gotten hooked on The Crown on Netflix and have been watching that.  Man, am I glad I was not born into royalty.  I would have hated all my time planned for me every day.  And not being able to leave your house without the media watching all the time would make me downright crazy.  And your privacy certainly is not private.  Poor Elizabeth and Phillip cannot even have an argument without someone noticing and reporting that their marriage is on the rocks. If David and I were watched like that, people would think we were getting a divorce all the time because we do argue a bit at times.   Don’t all couples?  But if you are royalty you are expected to be happy all the time and give a good show to the public. That is not for me.

We also finished watching Longmire on Netflix.  We always watch a show during our evening meal because that is the only time David and I watch anything together.   I really hated to see Longmire end and I won’t give anything away, but I was not happy about something that has bothered me the entire series and it bothered me at the end.  That is all I am saying.  I had kind of a crush on Longmire. That handsome, rugged, cowboy look set my heart to pitter pattering.  David, if you are reading this, you make my heart go pitter patter all the time.   And one other show I have been watching while I knit is the Roosevelts.    It’s  a Ken Burns documentary and I am learning a whole lot of history about our two Presidents Roosevelt and their lives and their families and the times during which they were presidents.    There is something about Teddy Roosevelt that reminds me of our current president.   In a good way, of course because I am not a Trump hater.

But back to time.  I have worked on Christmas gifts for weeks and finally today I am finished buying and making presents and next week David will wrap them.  I don’t like wrapping.  David does a great job and is very meticulous and his edges are crisp and he does not waste paper.  My wrapping looks like a two year old had a tantrum and had some paper and tape handy.

We have attended a couple of our grandchildren’s Christmas programs at their school.  That always gets me in the Christmas spirit.  I have been taking lots of pictures and one day soon I will put them on here when I have time.  There are some things I just cannot show right now because there are people who should not see things before Christmas if you know what I mean.

Hope your days are going well.  All of you all over the world who read this blog, I just want to tell you, I think about you and wonder about your lives and hope all is well in your part of the world. At this Christmas time I wish the world and our country could all come together for a few days of peace.  We all need it.   I like to think if all those who read my blog could get together, we would all like each other and have a great time getting to know each other.  Wouldn’t that be fun?     I’ll bake the cinnamon rolls. Hope you aren’t gluten free or carb free because my cinnamon rolls are to die for.  Bye.

It’s Beginning to Look…….

I have been slowly getting the Christmas decorations up.    I was going to go for a more streamlined look, but, as usual, when I started getting out all our decorations the house was soon overflowing with Christmas cheer.

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To put our tree on top of the old red table I bought at the last antique tour we attended,  involved sawing a fake tree limb to make it shorter so the tree would not touch the ceiling. Next year the tree is going back on the floor!  In fact, I’m thinking real tree next year. Something we have not done in decades.   But the tree is decorated and waiting for the presents that will go underneath.

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I love pulling out all the old decorations we have gathered through the years.  We got this Santa on a hot air balloon at Hershey Pennsylvania many years ago. I remember this vacation in particular because half way to Hershey our younger son rose up from the back seat and with a worried look on his face said, ”  I think I left the freezer door open.”   Well, there was discussion about going back and David said no and believe it or not, I didn’t think about it again until we were almost home and I began to wonder if we would have thawed food in the freezer. We had this huge standing freezer where I froze meat we got from my parents when they butchered a cow, frozen corn I would freeze in the Summer months and other frozen foods.  Having young children I was always having to tell them to close the freezer door, so I was worried about what we would find.  The freezer door was closed.  Why our son said that makes me think I had traumatized my children about leaving the freezer door open.  I was so glad when we got rid of that freezer.   The same thing about the iron.  I was always afraid of leaving the iron on when we went anywhere because I did a lot of ironing at that time.   That and the freezer were usually always checked before we went away.  Our younger son said that was one of his best vacations going to Hershey and I’m glad he enjoyed it.

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This Santa on a stork always goes on the tree.  When we were expecting our first child, David’s grandmother gave me this for Christmas and I have always loved it.   It’ almost fifty years old now and I cannot believe I have a child almost that old.

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This snowman is even older. When I was a little girl my grandfather had a few of these snowmen candles on his tree and I was blessed enough to get a couple of them. I always think of my grandpa when I put this on my tree.  He made the best popcorn balls.  We kids always looked forward to those at Christmas.  That and fifty cents was our present from him and that was enough for us.

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A tiny pillow I made.

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And a table runner.  I have made so many Christmas decorations from fabric in the past years that I cannot put them all out.

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Fabric gingerbread men I sewed when we had our fabric store.

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This was actually a tee shirt I found at Target years ago. I sewed up the bottom and the armholes and stuffed it and it makes a very comfortable pillow.

This time of year I love to bake and make sweets to eat. David and I are both sugarholics.

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I made a big batch of donut holes with sugar and cinnamon.  Yum.

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Those with a cup of coffee are wonderful in the morning. I am so glad I am not a diabetic or on a gluten free diet.  I think I would miss donuts more than anything. The author, Jan Karon, wrote in her cookbook about sitting with some famous people and asking them that if they were going to have their last meal of their life, what would they eat?  There were answers of steak or lobster or cake.  If I thought I was going to die and was allowed one last meal I would want two Krispy Crème Boston crème donuts with a really good cup of coffee with plenty of sweetener and cream.  I use to think ice cream was my favorite food, but in the last few years I have found I could take it or leave it unless it’s really, really good butter pecan ice cream.  I only eat it about three or four times a year because I really do not crave it, but I crave donuts. Anyway, these little donut holes are so good and so easy to make.  I only make them three or four times a year and usually at this time of year.

Speaking of sweet things, we went to see these last weekend.

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Golden Retriever puppies!

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How darling can an animal get?  I love puppies.  But it is dangerous for me to be around them because I always want one.

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Our grandsons are enjoying the cuteness, too.

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They are just like puppies. Growing up too fast.   I don’t know how my daughter can not keep one of the puppies, but they already have three Goldens, so these are all for sale.

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Our beautiful daughter. She is dog crazy like I am.  In fact, when she was a girl, she would scour the ads in the newspaper looking for free puppies and would beg to get one.  We got three dogs that way through the years. then she grew up and guess who was left with the dogs?  But I loved them too, so it was all good.  Now I scour the ads looking for Chocolate Labs.

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I’m in love, but I will resist.  I am holding out for another Chocolate Labrador Retriever. Maybe in another year.  This coming year is going to be busy as it’s our fiftieth wedding anniversary year and we have plans.

As we plan for Christmas day remember this…..

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Keep Christ in Christmas because that is really why we celebrate. The birth of our King and Savior.   With Christ out of Christmas, it’s just another day.

Here’s to Christmas and darling puppies.  May they both bring smiles to your face.  Bye.

 

 

 

The Day Before Thanksgiving

I am the chief cook and bottle washer at Thanksgiving.   I’ve been that for going on fifty years.   We did use to go to our son’s house for Thanksgiving, but now he lives in Chicago and that is too far for most of us to travel, plus we all would have to stay overnight and go home the next day. Since our house is central to most of the family, I make the dinner.

I got up this morning before Thanksgiving and hit the floor running.  First I went outdoors and let the dogs out of their pen, fed and watered the chickens, checked for eggs(they have been providing us six eggs a day lately,)  and put out fresh water for the dogs. Then I came inside and made rolls, got the noodles made and rolled out(made with our good, fresh hens’ eggs,) made scalloped oysters, put chicken thighs in the crockpot to make broth for the noodles, made sunshine salad, cleaned the downstairs bathroom, mixed up some cranberries and sugar to cook in the oven, and boiled eggs for deviled eggs. I still had not gotten out of my pajamas or brushed my teeth.

I am taking a break and this afternoon I will cut the noodles, pull the meat off the chicken, make another salad, make the deviled eggs, bake the oysters because I think they taste better the next day and clean the kitchen.  Tonight I will collapse in a chair and watch one or two episodes of Doc Martin, which is my very favorite show right now and get to bed earlier than usual for the big day tomorrow.  We are having chicken and noodles(because our family is not fond of turkey,) ham, homemade rolls, mashed potatoes, scalloped oysters, deviled eggs, home grown corn, two salads, cranberry sauce, pecan pie, cherry pie( Marie Callender’s because I  love her pies) and pumpkin cake with whipped topping.

Then I plan not to cook for the rest of the weekend!  And probably shouldn’t eat much either.

Make the day after Thanksgiving Outdoor Day Friday instead of Black Friday. Instead of getting in the crowds to push and shove to get one more present that will be forgotten two days after Christmas, get out and take a walk with your family, or friends or your dog. Smell the fresh air.  Look at nature.  You will be richer and healthier for it.   That’s what I plan to do.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving and remember the One who provides all our blessings.  Thanks be to God.  I have so much to thank Him for.

Here’s to Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims who started it all. Bye.

Riding the School Bus

When I was a little girl I longed to ride the school bus. Every day I would watch my older brothers and sister climb the steps of the bus and head to school.  I always missed them when they left and couldn’t wait until they got home.  When it came near time for the school bus to bring them home, Mom would tell me  and my little brother, David, and I would run out to the swing set by the road and sit in the swings and wait.  When we saw the school bus coming down the road we got all excited.  The bus was always noisy and it just looked like fun to me

Finally the day came for my first day of school.  Mom tied the sash of my new dress into a pretty bow and brushed my hair.  I was so excited.   I was going into the first grade. Our little school had no kindergarten and went from first grade to grade twelve in the same building.  I already knew how to read as I pretty much taught myself.

Suddenly my brothers yelled, “The school bus is coming!” and out the door we all went and crossed the gravel road and waited for the bus to stop.  The steps were high and I was little and the bus driver looked scary.   I climbed the steps and stood there facing strangers staring back at me. I quickly took the very front seat while my brothers and sister went to the back of the bus.   Down the road we went.  We picked up a little girl whose nanny goat had followed her down her long lane.  I learned her name was Jennifer and she sat by me.   We soon became friends.  We were both in the first grade.

When we got to school, we all piled out and went to our classes. My sister probably took me the first day as I don’t remember how I found my room.  The day seemed long and I was homesick and couldn’t wait for the bus to take me home.    For the longest time during my first year of school, every time the bus brought me home on Friday I thought I was finished with school. In fact on Sunday nights when Mom would tell me I had to go to bed early because school was tomorrow, I would start to cry.   It’s not that I hated school. I just loved being home with my mother so much more.   But I would get on the bus on Monday morning and go to school once again.

As I became an old hand at riding the bus, I became more courageous.  Now we had a bus driver, Cecil Richmond who ran a tight ship. No one was to change seats and loud talking was not allowed. He carried a switch over his visor and he kept his eye on his passengers at all times. He scared me to death.  I never saw him use the switch on anyone, but I wasn’t going to test him. I did forget once and changed seats and he yelled at me.  I never did that again!  But he wasn’t all bad.  Mr. Richmond ran a gas station in our little town  and every Christmas, as long as he drove the bus, on the way home from school on the last day before Christmas break, he would drive his bus to his gas station, get out, go inside and come out carrying boxes of candy bars for all his passengers. Back in the 50’s you could buy regular candy bars in a pack of six.  That is what he gave each of us. A six pack!  We looked forward to it every year.

When Mr. Richmond retired, my best friend’s father drove the bus through my senior year. We all knew each other then.  Now I wonder if parents know who is driving their children.

I have fond memories of sitting in the back of the bus and gossiping with my girl friends, learning how to kiss( we used our arms to practice kissing) and when we got older, flirting with boys in cars behind the bus.  I had a boyfriend one time we picked up on the way to school and I always couldn’t wait to see him.  Yes, I have kissed boys on the bus, including my husband when we went to the same school.    Later, during the basketball season I would ride the booster bus to the games in other towns and it was the most fun.  We would sing and flirt with the boys and yell cheers for our basketball team.  The bus driver had to have had a lot of patience or he wore ear plugs.

Nowadays most children are driven to school by their parents.  The big yellow school bus still goes by where I live now and I always think of the fun times I had riding one.   My children rode the bus. I said if it went by our house, they were going to ride it.   They did until they got older and either caught a ride or had a car of their own.  I wonder if kids like riding the bus as much as I did growing up.

Here’s to big yellow school buses and the people who drive them. Bye.

 

Autumn Daze and Country Roads

I had the best two days this past week doing something I love to do. Drive along country roads and go antiquing.  There was an event going on.  Several ladies had joined together to have a tour of their home owned shops out in the hills and valleys of southern Indiana. It was called Country Neighbors.  Now country neighbors don’t always live close to each other.     When David and I started out, we didn’t have a map, just addresses I had gotten off the internet.  Miss Garmin had a problem finding the first one.  We missed it entirely.   But just remember, the best is usually saved until the last.

It was just by happenstance I saw a sign along the road  regarding one of the shops and then we realized there were signs all over if we had known to watch for them. After that, we had no problem finding them as we got a map at this particular one.

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Please forgive me if I don’t put the names of  all the shops here as we went to several and I can’t remember which was which, but this one was called  the Washhouse for a reason you will soon see  It was so wonderful with so much to see and so much to buy if you chose to do so. I bought several things here.  I added to my Santa Claus collection. Getting to this place was quite a trip along high cliffs and woods.

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This was a gem of a scenic drive that not many people see.  Most people go to Brown County to see the Fall foliage, but this was just as beautiful and we were the only people there.

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The colors of the leaves on the trees was just wonderful.  This picture looks magical to me.

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It was just a gorgeous Autumn day.  But, back to the shop…..

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The proprietor had a washhouse where she actually did her laundry, but it didn’t look like any ordinary laundry room. It was a building off by itself.  Full of all kinds of old laundry paraphernalia like wooden clothespins, wash tubs, old baskets and old clothes pin bags hanging on the walls.

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Here is David getting ready to go inside.  Long underwear hung on clotheslines outside.

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She really had quite the collection.

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And she really did her laundry here because there are her washer and dryer hidden underneath a cloth. If I had a laundry room like this, I would be doing laundry every day!

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This was another little shop and here are some pictures from a few others.

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Each was unique in its own way.

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I remember this one only because the lady who had the shop told us to go on through her house and look at it.  I was a little concerned to just walk into a stranger’s house and look all over it and I said, “Do you really mean we can go walk around your house?”  And she said, Yes,” so she didn’t have to tell me again and in David and I went into one of the most wonderful houses I have ever seen. Her husband was standing in the kitchen offering hot cider(which I am not fond of) and I said to him, “How do you feel having strangers walk through your house?” and he answered “I’m use to it.”  I found out this house had been in the magazine, Country Sampler and another magazine I don’t remember the name. It did look like it came right out of the pages.   Her décor was primitive with woolens folded neatly in an old cupboard. The bathroom is the rustic bathroom of my dreams and I told David if we ever get our little house built in our woods I want my bathroom to look like hers. I didn’t take any pictures because I didn’t feel right doing so, but if you ever get the chance to see this house, you must do it.  Her shop is called Mustard Seed.

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She has this cute sign out on her front lawn.

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As you can see from this brochure, Mustard Seed and the Washhouse will be open on December 1st and 2nd and will be decorated for Christmas.  Oh, How I would love to go back.  Maybe we will.  Who knows.   These shops are well worth the trip.

So we wandered through the countryside looking for all the shops and finding most of them.

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I really, really loved this building.

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And this little shop in a little barnlike structure.  I was fascinated by all the lighting in this shop. The husband had done some very unique light fixtures, one being an old fan. He used canning jars and hung them from the ceiling with old fashioned looking light bulbs inside them.    He directed us to the last shop we were going to and believe me, it was the best one and I don’t have any pictures because there was so much to see, I didn’t have time. It was in a very nice neighborhood by a state park. The lady who lived there had made her backyard a wonderland of old buildings and antique art with little old looking shops full of goodies to buy.  While waiting for me to get out of a shop David saw two deer and I got a picture of the backside of one of them before it got away.  But I can’t show it because I forgot to download it. I did buy a primitive table painted red. David and I had a discussion about how I had too many tables already and I won the discussion because it came home with us and sits in my girly room as I type.  We are going to put our Christmas tree on it.   One day, when we are gone, our kids are going to have the neatest stuff or the best auction!  I keep telling David I am buying our children’s legacy.  Ha.

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David is the perfect travel companion.  He drives me everywhere safely and waits patiently as I look at everything.  He did find himself a canister of buttons as he is a button collector and has thousands of them all over my workshop.  I am blessed and I know it.

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We drove by woods, old barns, bucolic scenery, majestic old houses, and little churches that dotted the countryside.

We followed a swollen river for miles.  They had had a lot of rain in southern Indiana and the rivers were overflowing their banks.

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The river was this close to the road.

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We drove down this road and came to water standing in it and David thought about driving through until I said a big “NO!” imagining us getting caught up in the current and swept downstream never to be heard of again, so we turned around and went another way.  It can be an adventure sometime to drive backroads.

Sunday was church and a day of rest and then today we got up early and drove to our younger grandboys’ school for a Veteran’s Day program. They put one on every year and invite veterans to come. The children sing patriotic songs and the principal gave a speech and a retired army colonel spoke and a boy played taps for all those lost in wars.  I must say, I got tears in my eyes hearing the children sing and a lump in my throat hearing taps.  David and I have talked about him being in the military. I have said it is my one regret that I did not join a branch of the military when I was a young girl.  It would have been good for me, I think.   We counted up all the days David was gone from home while in the National Guard and he was gone well over a year of our marriage and that doesn’t include the times he was traveling to other states to take classes.  He would go to different states and take pictures while there and later on our family would take trips to see what he saw.   That is how David and I have traveled in most of the states.  He was in the guard for over 36 years and not until he retired did he tell me he did not enjoy it. He was taking care of his family and that is what it meant to him.   It was a job and he did it well and was well respected by the men in his unit.  I didn’t know how well until one time we went to a Veteran’s Day parade in Indianapolis that he was taking part in and so many young men came up to him and saluted him and greeted him with smiles.  It made me very proud of him.

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This picture is horrible but here he is with our grandboys during the program.  They are learning to love our country, what serving our country means and they say the pledge of allegiance.  So proud of them, too.

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There was a bigger crowd this year than usual.   I think this school must be growing. It’s one of the highest rated schools in Indiana for elementary academics.   So happy my grandsons are going here.

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God bless our flag

Now to end this post with some added sweetness.

Our daughter’s golden retriever had puppies a couple of weeks ago.  She had eleven and six of them lived.

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They don’t pick them up for two weeks and it was so hard for me to keep my hands off of them.

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Such a sweet mama. Their little bellies were full as you can see.

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This is proud papa.

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In a couple of weeks we will go see them and I can hold them then.  Can’t wait.

To end this post today I will tell you a cute story. Or at least I think it’s cute. David came into the house today and told me to put on my shoes and come outside, he had something to show me.  I had no idea what it was.  He said he had heard our little lame chicken, Miss Mary Foster, just cackling up a storm like she had just laid an egg.

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This is Miss Mary Foster. She is such a pet.  She follows me around when I am in the chicken yard hoping for some extra chicken scratch and she gets it.

Anyway David showed me this.

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Just a bunch of old boxes and wood stacked in the garden,  but……..DSCN6449

behind it, Miss Mary Foster had been laying her eggs for at least five days. I don’t know why she started laying here as she has been laying in the chicken house, but now we know she is hiding her eggs.  I wonder if she thinks she can hatch them?  She can’t because they are not fertilized as we have no roosters. Poor Mary Foster.  Her hopes are dashed.

Here’s to darling shops, fun drives, puppies and sly chickens.  Bye.