Category Archives: Things on my mind

Cleaning the Refrigerator

Cleaning the refrigerator is on my top five list of things I hate to do.  This is them in order…

1. Cook  I hate to cook.  I hate all aspects of cooking from the picking of ingredients, to choosing a recipe, to cooking the food and then, there  is the cleanup.  My mother was the best cook in the world, but I know she didn’t love doing it.  I learned a lot from her  mostly from watching her as she bustled around the kitchen.  I was in charge of cleaning up most often. Especially after my older sister married. The cleanup was left to me. I’d rather wash and dry dishes than cook.   I took Foods in 4-H and my remembrance of it was me in the kitchen crying and my mother yelling at me from the other room that I could do it.   I baked so many yellow cakes one Summer, my brothers would moan when another one appeared at the table for dessert. Now baking I don’t mind so much.  I will gladly bake a cake at the drop of a hat, but fix a meal, ugh, no. Don’t confuse cooking with baking. They are very different and charm the senses in very different ways.

2. Clean the refrigerator.  This is a chore best done when no one is around so no one will hear any curse words, but it is nice to have  a husband to know how to put it all back together again after you have disassembled it.  I wasn’t planning to clean the refrigerator today, but I watched  Hoarders on tv this morning and after I washed some eggs and was arranging them in the refrigerator, I realized something sticky and red had been spilt on just about every shelf and on the walls.  Some of the refrigerators on Hoarders are pretty nasty. I’m not here to judge, but rotten food and expired food is not what I want in my refrigerator. Anyway, I washed one shelf, realized the next shelf needed cleaning and before I was all through, I had every shelf out of my refrigerator and had washed just about everything. There was a bit way in the back I couldn’t reach, but thankfully, David did that when he got home.  Now it’s all clean for another year or two.  Just kidding.  I had scrubbed my kitchen floor this morning and had to reclean it and that’s another reason.

3.  Attend Funerals  I have attended quite a lot of funerals in my life. I’ve buried grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, a brother, a nephew, and friends.  My son-in-law’s mother passed away this week after a long illness.  She was such a wonderful lady, loved by everyone who knew her.  She’s just a year older than me and makes me think how near I am to death’s door. I’m at the stage of my life now that I know more dead people than living ones.   I always want to go to funerals out of respect, but I am a very horrible comforter.  People usually end up comforting me.  This will not be an easy funeral to attend. What ones are?

4. Dust.  My house has to get pretty dusty for me to dust. My rule is, dust before company and rest the rest of the time. Enough said about that.

5.  Go to parties.  I am not a party animal although once I get to one I enjoy myself usually.  I always feel like people are trying too hard to have a good time and I’d rather be home reading a book.  But that’s just me.  Some people are just gregarious.  I’m not.  I’m the one sitting on the sidelines watching everyone else and that is all I’d rather do.

I know there are other things I don’t like to do, but these are my top five.   I’m pretty easily entertained and don’t expect much from people.  I love gardening, taking care of my chickens, playing with my dogs, traveling, reading, quilting, knitting and painting(not pictures, walls.)   I love to visit with family and friends which we don’t get to do often.  I don’t consider going to funerals as visiting even though I will see several people I don’t see often.

Do you have a list of things you just hate to do, but have to be done? We all have to do things we don’t like and I’m glad there are only five on my list. I think I’m pretty fortunate in that way.  Bye.

 

Traveling the Backroads

If you have read my blog for any time at all, you will know that David and I like to take back roads when we travel.  We don’t have to go far to get on backroads and we always discover some hidden gem along the way.  Before my pacemaker, or as I like to call them, my huff and puff days, we took a short journey on  back roads to Cataract Falls.  I found it on the map and we had never been there before, so we decided to find it.  Cataract Falls is in our state and not all that far from our house, but it is on winding back roads and it helps to have GPS to find it because I really don’t think we would have otherwise.

Cataract Falls is a series of Falls along a River in a small state park where there is a covered bridge going over the river.   The day we were there it looked like they were setting up for a wedding or wedding reception on the bridge. How neat would that be?!   As I was still tiring out easily we did not walk far but got a feel for the park and may go back one day.  There were kayakers at the bottom of one of the falls that must have kayaked from down river.  There were lots of families enjoying the park and one amorous middle aged couple who acted like they were just married.  Maybe they were!

We left cataract falls and followed signs to a general store.  This store was really off the beaten path, but so worth stopping to see.  It was a real old fashion general store run by a very genial man and his wife.  They sold everything and the kitchen sink.  I found a state scarf from which I am going to make a pillow.  And I found this……

TRUMP ALERT!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

Oh, yes.

Someone had included a handwritten message….

And several outfits President Trump could wear if he so chose to.

There were several more outfits, but I thought that is as many as some people could endure!

I have a friend who would get a kick out of these.

So, as you know, I had a pacemaker put in and I am slowly getting my energy back.   So we went to a football game of our oldest grandson’s last night.  He was wearing a cast on two fingers, but he played anyway. Their team won handily.  I’m not much for football, but I will endure it for my grandsons’ sakes as I like to watch them play sports.

Today we left Indianapolis for home, once again on back roads.  It was such a pleasant drive. Much better than on interstate where everyone is in  such a hurry.  It was a perfect Autumn day.  Went through little towns and saw some really nice older homes. Glad people are still restoring the old things because once they are gone, they won’t be back.

I have been doing other things besides traveling on backroads. I have been getting back into quilting again.

And knitting socks.

A small quilt and a pair of socks I completed last week. I have some larger projects I am working on that I will show later. I also painted a sign to put in front of our house that I will have to show you next time.

Oh, and here is something that has built its web right by our front door.

Isn’t he/she beautiful?  I love spiders. David, not so much. Before I told him about this one I made him promise he wouldn’t kill it.  Notice the coiled like web. They make it this way. Don’t know how, but then I don’t understand where spiders get the material to build their webs. They spin it from their bodies, but how?

Anyway, spiders are welcome at my house.  They are good bug catchers. And they fit right in with the Halloween décor!

Here’s to back roads and fun discoveries.  Bye.

 

Ouch!

Before I tell you about all the fun I had last weekend I want to tell you about a surprise I got in the mail. Remember the flowers Coldwater Creek sent me for over billing me on my credit card?  Well, one day last week I got the mail and there was an envelope for me and when I opened it, there was another apology from Coldwater Creek and an American Express Card for $100!  Now that is a company who treats their customers right.   I guess I’ll be ordering from them soon.

Now about my weekend. Early Friday morning David and I got up and got dressed and went to the hospital where I was going to have a pacemaker installed. The nurses who prepped me were very nice, but I had trouble understanding one of them. Seems I did understand her, but I couldn’t understand why she was asking me if I or anyone I know abused drugs?  Huh?  The other nurse said I’d be surprised at how many people say, “yes.”  I just didn’t know why they were even asking me the question.  There were a lot of questions asked that day that I didn’t think was anyone’s business but mine.  But that’s just me.

In the operating room it was like a beehive with nurses fastening all kinds of wires to me all over my body and the anesthesiologist put a nose plug in my nose so I thought I’d soon be asleep. After a few minutes I was still wide awake and I said, ” I can still hear you guys”  The doctor said he hadn’t started the anesthesia yet.  Then the next thing I remembered was sitting up in bed, trying to get out of it and two people wrestling me back down and I was out again until I woke to an almost empty room and wondered where everyone had gone.

Finally they took me back to the recovery room where I could see David. I was feeling no pain.

Then it was just enduring all the blood pressure taking and checking up on me all through the night. It’s true you cannot rest in a hospital. I was sound asleep a couple of times when nurses woke my up to take my blood pressure.   Why do they do that?  Seems one’s blood pressure would be down when someone is fast asleep.

Anyway, the next morning we waited and waited for the doctor to release me. I got a monitor that I will have to keep beside my bed to keep track of the pacemaker.  Other then that, I have no limitations after a few weeks of recuperation.  No putting my arms above my head or lifting anything heavy.  I don’t know how people get along who live alone as David has been doing all my work for me.

Today we decided that David would wash all the windows inside and out.  I decided to wash all the curtains.  So as we were removing a curtain from the rod, David dropped the end of the rod right on my surgery site and let me just say I was in a lot of pain.  I shed a few tears.  David felt so sorry, but I was just worried that he damaged the pacemaker.   But all is well.  I’m having some pain, but not enough to incapacitate me.

We are hoping to go to a quilt show this Saturday at a farm that sells flowers.  I’ve been to the store twice and no breathlessness or tiredness. It’s a miracle.

If you ever come to a day when the doctor tells you you need a pacemaker, don’t let it frighten you. It’s not like the old days when you had to be careful and stay away from microwaves.

Here’s to medical miracles and the doctors who perform them. Bye.

The Old Lady from Up.

Have you seen the Disney movie, Up?  It’s a delightful movie about love, loss and renewal and I love it. It’s about two kids who meet, one’s a nerd and the other one is a full of life girl. They become friends, grow up and marry and grow old together. Then the old lady dies and  the old man is left with one wish on his mind. To complete a dream his wife had.  So he blows up hundreds of balloons that carry him and his house and a little boy scout stowaway to the adventure of their lives.

In one scene of the movie, the old lady is becoming ill and can no longer walk up a hill where they have picnicked often.  She gasps for breath at the exertion.  I have become that old lady.

For the past several months I have gone through a myriad of tests in Florida and here in my state and the doctors could find nothing wrong except I had a slow heart rate and an extra beat to my heart.  They think they have controlled the extra beat, but my heart rate is not what it should.  My heart beats at forty or fifty beats a minute and the average for women’s is in the sixties.   It has become increasingly difficult for me to climb stairs or walk any distances.

Sooooo, tomorrow, bright and early the doctor is putting in a pacemaker.  I’m  not thrilled about it, but it’s a last resort kind of thing. I pray this will take care of the problem.

If you believe in God and are a praying person, please send up a prayer for me that all will go well.  If I wake up and see Jesus’ face or David’s face, I will be just as happy so I’m not worried. It’s just an inconvenience to me and I will be glad when it is this time tomorrow.

I have so much more to tell you about a little trip we took this past weekend on the back roads of Indiana.  There are lots of surprises when one takes the back roads.   One never knows what they will come across.  So after this is all over, I will tell you about our trip.

Here’s to good health and may I have it soon.  Bye.

Late Summer

It seems we were just in June looking forward to a long Summer and here it is, almost Autumn already.  The days are getting shorter and the nights are a little cooler.  I must say Autumn in just about my most favorite seasons. I don’t like the real hot weather as it seems to sap any energy out of me that I have, so the cooler days are so looked forward to.  I love the clothes we wear in the Fall also. Corduroy pants, woolen sweaters, heavy socks and boots.  I have an intarsia sweater with apples on it I can’t wait to wear.  I ordered it from one of  my favorite online companies, Coldwater Creek.

Speaking of Coldwater Creek, there was a glitch or something in their computers and they put over $1700  of bills on my account.  I didn’t know about it at the time, but a lady from the company called me and told me so I checked my credit card and yep, they had charged me about ten times for that intarsia sweater, but they had already taken it off.  So I thought nothing about it until today David heard a knock on the door and there was a lady there holding a vase of flowers in her hand. The flowers were for me. David said my boyfriend should be more discrete about sending me flowers. I had no clue who they were from. Here are the flowers.

They are so pretty. And here who they were from.

Talk about good customer relations!   I was so surprised.  I don’t order from them that often, but maybe it was because I was nice to them on the phone.   Anyway, thank you, Coldwater Creek for the pretty flowers. I don’t work for them nor do I advertise for them, but I think this was pretty nice for a company to do after an err they made.

Wanting to see our older grandchildren before school started and knowing they would all be busy, busy, busy with school, sports and friends, David and I wanted to take them out for breakfast.  We missed our granddaughter as she had already gone back to college. We had a nice visit and will be seeing them on Grandparents Day before too long at their school.

Everyone is taller than David and I now. We are shrinking in height and they are all tall.  Was just yesterday I was rocking these two boys, holding them on my lap.  We ate at a pancake house that we all love and the food was so good.  It was really busy and they were serving a lot of pancakes.

On the way home we traveled through downtown Indianapolis in Fountain Square to see if we could see some of the homes remodeled by our favorite gals on our favorite fixer upper show on HGTV, Good Bones.  It’s nice to see Hoosier girls starring in a tv show and we watch it every week,  Here is one of the houses. I remember watching this particular show.

They are known for their brightly colored houses. No taupe for these girls.  They buy rows of broken down houses and fix them up.  They are bringing back neighborhoods in Indianapolis that have fallen on hard times.  So if you get a chance to watch their show, you will enjoy it. They are so funny at times, but they are sure hard workers and not at all afraid to get dirty.

Driving around we saw this interesting door. It had a lion’s head above it. You can see part of it in the picture.

Then on a beautiful late Summer’s day we attended one of our grandson’s soccer games.  He is in a traveling team and several of his games will be played in our town as we have a really nice soccer field. Our boys played on this field years ago.  At that time there was no public restrooms, but they have built some nice ones by the field.  I sure could have use those years ago!

He is getting so tall.  A pre-teen.

I love to watch soccer games.  They all want to play football and I just could never get interested in that game.  Our younger son got a badly broken arm in a football incident and I just have never liked it since.  Now that one of the players on the Colts team has retired because of all his injuries, I am more likely to think it is not a safe game to play. And I think the uniforms for soccer and lacrosse are much cuter!  But that’s just me.

I said I would show you all our swings we have set up. We use them all.

Let’s go down our porch steps to the one on our cabin porch.

This is the little cabin we just finished restaining  this Summer.

 

David took the old swing from this porch and put up this new one. This is where Molly likes to sit with me, but she’s almost too big to fit on the swing any longer.

Then the swing from the cabin was put on the old swing set in our backyard.  I stained it and I can sit here and watch the chickens.

This is the swing on our front porch.  We sit here to watch all the hummingbirds fight each other for the hummingbird food.  We can also watch the world go by. You can do that when you are retired.

There is the swing on our new screened in porch.  We sit here a lot watching the birds at the bird feeder.  The birds actually planted the sunflower that is here….

Not bad for a bird.

And last, but certainly not least, there is the swing on my shop porch.

I sit here almost every day watching the traffic go by and say a prayer of thanks I am no longer in the rat race of life so many people are in, rushing here, there, and everywhere. I use to be one of those rats, but I am glad those days are behind me.  I enjoy retirement immensely. I remember the days when I was a girl when my mother, my aunt, my sister, the dogs and I would sit on the porch after supper and sit and talk and swing.  Oh, how I wish they could all join me on my swings now.   David and I have created the Porch Sitters’ Society of which we are the CEO’s and welcome anyone who would  like to to come sit with us.

Hope you are enjoying the last few days of Summer.  Before you know it, Summer will come around again.  Bye

 

 

 

 

My Experiences With Contractors, Plumbers, and All Fixer Upper People

Having lived in this house almost forty-three years, we have, on occasion. hired people to do work for us.  When we first moved here, we were kind of poor with three little kids, so much of the remodeling on this old house was up to us.

When we bought the house it had blue paneling on all the walls upstairs and greenish blue carpet over most of the downstairs. Carpet that crunched when you walked on it. I said at the time that carpet would be the first to go. Well, it wasn’t. We had to get bedrooms ready for all of us, a nursery for our baby and a bedroom for our two boys.  We painted the paneling since we didn’t have the money to rip it out and fix the walls and then paint them. It actually looked pretty good. In fact, three rooms are still painted paneling and you would not know it.  We bought new carpeting for all the bedrooms, a little at a time. I sewed curtains and decorated as best I could on a limited budget.   That greenish blue carpet stayed on the floor for years until we could afford new carpeting.

As our family grew, we needed more space. The boys wanted separate bedrooms as they grew older so we looked for a contractor.  I’m not sure how we ended up with the one we hired, but he has pretty much remodeled this whole house through the years.  He was very young when we hired him, as were we,  He built a two-story addition to the back of our house that included a new bedroom for David and me, a family room and a combination bathroom and laundry room. We felt like we had so much more space.  After it was all built, we had a big rain and it was leaking in our new bedroom, so David called the contractor and in a storm with lightning and thunder, he got up on our roof and fixed the leak. I was so impressed with that even though we had not expected him to do that. We still talk about that with him. Since that time we have hired him for pretty much all our remodeling except for our kitchen and that’s a story  all by itself.  I regretted not hiring him for that job.

Since then our contractor has replaced all our windows, added two porches, one screened in and has done some other work on our house.

I have one criteria for hiring someone for a job. Are they optimistic and do they say they can get the job done.  I have hired people that I wondered why they were in that line of work. One time I hired a chimney sweep who said he was afraid of heights and I even had to hold the ladder for him when he climbed to the roof.  We do have a very high, steep roof, but I told him he was probably in the wrong line of work. Another chimney sweep I had hired came to our house and with one look told us he was too old for the job and I understood because he was about our age.  So we switched to a gas fireplace and no longer need a chimney sweep.

We have called people to our house who have brought their children who began to climb all over our wood pile and I feared for their safety. Needless to say, they weren’t hired. It’s not that I don’t like children, but they don’t belong on a job site.  We had a man to our house about painting our vaulted bedroom ceiling and I knew immediately that he would not be doing it by his attitude.  So, David and I painted it ourselves.

Now for the kitchen remodel.  We searched for a long time for someone to put in a new kitchen and we went to a kitchen “specialist” where we found cabinets we loved so we hired them.  Well, a job that should have taken a month took all Summer. I had to cook all our meals in my shop and we did not have the use of our whole downstairs all Summer as we were also getting hardwood flooring put in.  And the guy evidently didn’t pay his sub-contractors because I had them calling me asking me to convince him to pay them. I told them I paid him and it was up to him to pay them.  I have always wondered if they ever got paid.   It was one crazy Summer. He sub-contracted the drywall work and as soon as the middle aged woman and kid came to our door to hang the drywall, I knew we were in trouble.  They drywalled over a bump in the wall that looked like something was going to pop out of the wall.  I was not a happy camper when the contractor came the next day.  He found someone else who did the job right, but it was an unnecessary delay in our kitchen progress.  I really am not a demanding person, honest, I just expect people who say they can do a job, to do it.

We have been blessed to have a very good contractor for the last few years, but now I think all the work on our house is done. Except for some painting once in a while it is completed.

David stained our cabin this Summer. We have had it for sixteen years and it was needing some work. I will show you some pictures of it my next post.  I also will tell you about all the swings we have on our property. David and I are real swingers. Ha.

Have you ever had trouble with a contractor or anyone who has come to do work for you? I’d love to hear the stories. I’m sure there are many.  Here’s to good contractors who get the job done. Bye.

I never wrote one thing about a plumber, did I?  We don’t hire plumbers too often, but we have found a very good plumbing business who sends plumber to our house when they say they will and they get the job done with no excuses, so they are the ones we will always use.  And that’s all there is about plumbers.

Are You Bored? Or Shall I Ramble Today?

Are you bored?  Have you ever been bored?  I probably got bored when I was a child, but I really don’t remember ever being bored. I always had something to do and if I couldn’t find something to do, my mother found something for me!   Right now, in this part of my life, I can honestly say I am never bored. In fact, I said to David the other day, “I wish I could be bored for just one day!”  He agreed.  Maybe that’s an awful thing to wish for, so I take it back.

Our life right now is going to the doctor, working on the house, taking care of the pets, going to the doctor and shopping for groceries, something we both seem to never feel like doing.  I hate to shop. At least in stores. I love to shop online in my easy chair, preferably in my pajamas with a cup of something hot beside me.  But going to a store and having to deal with all the people and then get to the checkout and see all the self checkout lanes and maybe, if you are lucky, two or three actual cashiers working. I am on a vendetta against self-serve lanes.  Now if you love them and think they are the bees’ knees, then ignore what I am about to write.  I believe self-serve lanes makes people the unpaid employees of the store that has them. You do all the work but don’t get any salary or benefits and the store owners pocket a whole lot more money. Plus, self-serve lanes put people out of work except for that person who just stands there waiting to help the people who don’t know how to use the self-serve lane.  I simply refuse to use them. I will stand in line for fifteen minutes and complain so everyone can hear me about all the self-serve lanes and the few service lanes.  David tries to pretend he is not with the crazy lady.  Many stores don’t offer any service anymore. Wal-mart is one of them. Wal-mart is not my favorite store and I wish Pioneer Woman had not made a deal with them to sell her stuff because I love her stuff, but hate shopping in Wal-mart.

Back to boredom.  I have a lot on my plate right now.  More than I really want or want to deal with, but sometimes life hands you a big plate of, shall I say CRAP(excuse the French) and you have to deal with it whether you want to or not. I try to ignore the bad stuff as much as possible and focus on the good stuff, but sometimes the bad stuff takes over for a time.  Yet, there is so much good stuff.

The good stuff for me right now is the fact it is Spring,  we are finally getting our old house painted, a new screened in back porch built and a revamped bathroom done. As I write the painters are banging ladders against the outside and painting up a storm. I really love the new darker color of our house. Now it will disappear into the scenery.  After our neighbor cut down all the trees on his property, our house stuck out like a sore thumb and people all of a sudden noticed our house.  Before, you could hardly see it from the road.  But now, with the darker paint and the fact that the bushes are growing taller because the trees are no longer there, the house will fade into the background again, which is good.   This old house has seen many changes in the decades it has stood. It was built just a few years after Queen Victoria died which I find kind of neat and before the first world war.  It’s held families during WWll, the Korean War, and the Viet Nam War and this family that has had a member who served in the Gulf.     It’s seen babies come in the front door and go out the back door adults.   It’s seen parties and Christmases and birthdays and sad days.  It’s been my cocoon when I have needed one. I hope whoever are the next occupants will have as wonderful a life in this house as David and I have had for over forty years.  I’m hoping we still have several years left in it.  It’s a dear, old house and I always think it has its arms around us. It’s haunted, too, but that’s a whole other story I will have to tell one day.

But, back to boredom.  I am never bored. If I get bored, I read a book and if I don’t want to read, I sew and if I don’t want to sew, I knit. Anything to get out of cleaning house.   I keep the house, as they say, clean enough to be healthy and dirty enough to be happy.   Dusting is the least favorite thing I like to do in housekeeping.   I dust when company is coming and not very often other than that.  My shop is one big dust bunny right now because I have a crate of baby chicks I am raising in there and they put out a lot of dander.  I didn’t realize how much dander just four little chickens can generate.  In a few weeks they will join the big girls and I will dust then.  They have almost all their feathers and are outgrowing the crate.  We put them outside for a while each day to acclimate them.   I will miss them when they move out of the house.  Just like I did my children!

But, back to boredom.  What does it feel like to be bored?  I really don’t know anymore.  Sometimes it seems that I just get up and it’s time to go to bed again and I wonder where the day went. Maybe I’m just a poor time manager or get distracted by too many things.  I get up in the morning planning to clean out a closet and the next thing I know, I’m planting flowers instead.  Or I plan to do the ironing and a quilt I am making calls my name and I must work on that.  Things do eventually get done, but usually not when I had planned them to be.

So, if you are bored, come to my house and I will find lots for you to do.  Bye. Oh, and thanks for putting up with my rambling thoughts today!  I was going to have pictures, but haven’t downloaded them yet. Got distracted.

 

 

Magical or Miracle?

I hear people say something is magical when they see it. I’ve said it myself a few times in my life.  And yes, some things are magical.  Why else is Disneyland called the “magic” kingdom.  Magic is the art of producing illusions. Things that aren’t really there, but appear to be. Disney does that very well.  They produce an illusion that everything is perfect and beautiful and fun when in reality it’s all an illusion. You can go to Disney and have a good or even a great time, but it’s all been an illusion that disappears the moment you leave the Disney park.  I’m not knocking Disney here. I have loved going to their theme parks and have enjoyed myself immensely, but there is a dark side to Disney none of us sees because it is kept well hidden from our eyes.   It truly knows how to produce magic. It has mastered the art of illusion.

I believe in miracles.  I believe they have happened and still happen. I expect them to happen.  I want them to happen. Miracles are extraordinary occurrences that surpass all known human power or natural forces and are ascribed to a divine or supernatural cause especially to God.  I know God performs miracles. I have seen some in my day.  Right now I am praying for a particular miracle to happen and I have no doubt in my mind that it will happen because I have a God who performs them. I may not live to see this particular miracle.  Now I don’t know why God performs miracles in some people’s lives and leaves them out of other’s.  I don’t know but it might be the faith that one has or lack thereof or maybe God knowing the future, knows some miracles won’t really change things in the long run.  Maybe you have had a miracle happen in your life. Maybe you are praying for one now. One miracle I witnessed was when my daddy became a born again Christian. My daddy was a two pack a day smoker and could swear like a sailor(no disrespect to sailors here) and never went to church unless he had to.   That’s not to say he was a bad daddy, because he wasn’t. He was a very good daddy in many respects and I loved being around him, but he was not a Christian.   Then my mother got very sick and almost died. I don’t know what God told him in that church the day he attended, but that day he went forward when the call to the altar was made, got down on his knees and gave his life to Christ and from that day forward he never smoked another cigarette, never swore and never missed a Sunday in church.  He spent the rest of his life working for the church.  The day he died I knew he was speaking personally with Jesus and shaking his hand or hugging him and I know that one day I will see my daddy again and he’s with my mother and if that isn’t a miracle, I don’t know what is.

God performs big and little miracles.  I know this story will sound crazy and I was imaging things, but to prove God performs little miracles and also has a sense of humor, here’s my story. I was walking one of my dogs in a field years ago and took off her leash and stuck it in my coat pocket. When it was time to go home, I felt for the leash and it was gone.  I searched all  over that field with my dog by my side and could not find it. Then I just said, “God, if you know where that leash is, would you please show me?”  Then I looked right behind me and curled carefully at my feet was the leash!  It looked like someone had placed it there as neatly as could be.  I have always thought God had done that to show me that even in the little things we should not be afraid to ask for help. And He will.  We all think God only works in the big things, but really, He’s in everything if you just look and just ask.

I guess I’m writing this today because I had the strangest dream and am up at 3:00 in the morning and felt like God was telling me something in that dream.  I can’t tell you the dream because it is too personal, but I think I got the message.

Also, I went outside my front door today and witnessed the best miracle of the season. I usually go in and out our back door when I’m at home, but we were going somewhere and we went out the front door and this is what I saw.

A mass of pink everywhere I looked.  Just a few days ago all was barren and dark and drab. Definitely not an illusion.  Not magic.

New life awakened from what was once dead looking.  A miracle. At least to my eyes and to my heart it was.  Who can explain it?  I’m sure there are scientific words to explain why the buds form and burst forth at a certain time, but who tells that bud to form and who tells it when to open?   I believe there are miracles all around us if we just open our eyes and look with our hearts.  This beauty won’t last long, but there will be other things to replace these.  My irises and poppies are getting ready to bloom.  I’m going to keep looking for miracles.  How about you?

Here’s to miracles and the One who performs them.  Bye.

 

Winter Hangs on With Gusto and Seventy Came Too Quickly

Just when we thought Spring might be just around the corner, Winter hit us with another blast of cold air and lots of that white stuff that likes to stick to the ground and on the roads and makes us have to work whenever we want to go anywhere.  It’s really pretty and does make things look a whole lot better outside. The outdoors had begun to have that ugly, muddy, dirty, just before Spring look it gets every year when nothing looks especially pretty unless you like dirt, mud and grey.

This week I’m celebrating my seventieth birthday which kind of astounds me when I think about it. I remember sitting in Home Economics class with some of my girlfriends many years ago, discussing how old we’d be in the year 2000 and most of us would be 50 or 51 and we thought that was so old. Now I’m nineteen years pass 2000 and looking at a whole new decade that I never thought I’d see for at least a few more years, but here I am.  How did I get here so quickly?  If you are reading this and you are in your thirties, forties or younger, just know, one day you will be seventy one day if you are so blessed, and you, too, will wonder where the years have gone. We take youth so for granted, but it really is fleeting so enjoy it while you can.  You will not be young forever. That is not to say you can’t remain young at heart. I still find things pretty miraculous at times. I love nature and baby animals and babies and listening to stories and playing outside in the fresh air. My body doesn’t cooperate like it use to. In fact, my body tells me, “No,” many more times than I like.   I can’t run up steps two at a time anymore.  Sometimes I feel downright shaky on my own two legs. I tire easier.  But that’s okay since when I’m tired I can still sew, quilt, knit and read, all things I love to do.  I’ve knit two pairs of socks in the last weeks which kind of tells you I’ve been a little tired lately.

I still want to get one more puppy and a kitten. I still want to get more baby chicks and raise them to adulthood and gather eggs every day.  I still have a lot of places I’d like to see and people I’d like to visit.  I’d like to walk five miles a day again. There is still a lot of life in this old girl!   So I will celebrate my birthday by eating cake and ice cream and thank the dear Lord I made it this far.  Whatever happens in the future is in His hands, so I’m happy with that.

My very best friend in grade school was a girl whose name is Mary Jean. She and I were born in the same hospital, on the same day and our mothers shared a room while there.  We found each other in first grade and we have been friends ever since.  We grew apart in high school, mainly because our classes were not the same and I was boy crazy and dating and found David, the love of my life in high school, but we re-ignited our friendship after high school through letters we wrote to each other. She married and moved clear across the country and raised three children, one of them named Kate, and we stayed in contact.  One year David and I drove out west and I wanted to go see her so I called her and she was so excited to hear I was coming.   We drove and drove over the mountains to her town and found her house. It was like we had never been apart.  I met her children and her very nice husband. I was so glad she found a good man. Sadly, he has since passed away.  She fed us lunch and homemade pie and we sat and talked in her back yard and she took David and me to see a neighborhood garden that was so beautiful and the fact the people allowed the public to tromp through their garden was very special.  Our visit was way too short. She gave me some flower seeds to plant when I got home.  When we left I felt so sad because I knew it was probably the last time we’d see each other.  We continue to send cards to one another and when I was sick this past November, she was so concerned for me and wrote me a letter saying so which was very touching.  I wrote back reassuring her that I was well.   This is true friendship when the love for a friend never dies no matter how far apart you are.  I have so many stories I could tell about her and my escapades when we were girls.  I’m hoping she will have a happy birthday and know that I am thinking of her.

Our daughter and her family brought me some beautiful flowers for my birthday.

Several different kinds.

A sunflower which makes me think of Summer days when I complain about it being too hot, so I better enjoy this cool weather now.

Little roses. So pretty and dainty.

Are these carnations?  Not sure.

I really wish someone could tell me what these are. My son-in-law didn’t know either and he knows flowers. They are gorgeous.

They also gave me this card.

Why do people think I like chickens? Hmmmmmm?   I just ordered a T-shirt with a chicken in a headscarf  on the front of it, so maybe I do like them a little bit.  I lost another one of my older chickens this week. I went out today and couldn’t find her and David found her under the snow. He thinks she probably died before we had the snow because there was no snow under her.  It’s getting closer to the time I will have to get more chickens. They have them at Rural King and I have been looking at them.

And one of my grandsons wrote me this birthday greeting.

There was a piñata.

A slide for me to go down!

A birthday cake, of course.

Thank you, Tristan. I really enjoyed this card and will save it forever.

I have several friends who are now in their eighties and still going strong.  Our contractor told us he believed his father was going to live to be one hundred.  I’m not so sure I want to live that long, but we can’t chose our time to die, so whenever God calls me home will be my time.   I’m hoping David and I have many healthy, happy birthdays ahead.   Anyway, we are celebrating all week. I don’t plan to do much cooking or baking and a whole lot of eating out and maybe some shopping.  We are going to pick up the new sink for our bathroom which is getting remodeled this Spring.   I’ve always wanted a pedestal sink and since David picked out the sink and cabinet for our upstairs bathroom, I am choosing the sink. Off to Home Depot we will go!  I love remodeling. I think I would have done well on one of those fixer upper shows on HGTV.  I love seeing a room and changing it into something completely different.  Heaven knows, I’ve done it several times in my lifetime. I have done most all the painting in our house. The paint section in the lumber yard store is my favorite place.  I’ve made some bloopers in my time like the Pepto Bismol pink bedroom I painted once. We lived with it for several years, but David never let me forget it.  We’ve papered, stripped paper, painted and painted again all the rooms in this old house of ours. Right now I’m pretty content with all the rooms, but give me time.

We live on a fairly busy road, especially during the week and I have seen many things go by in all the years we have lived there. Because there is a train track right across the road, we see a lot of trains which my grandsons love. Me, not so much although I’ve gotten use to them. We have always lived where we could hear the trains go by.  We lived on a hill in Richmond and down below us was the train track. It’s now a walking trail which I would have loved when we were living there.  The neighbor girls and I went raspberry picking along that track years ago and got the best raspberries.  Raspberries use to grow wild in a place near our house where we live now and David would go and pick a quart or two for a pie.  The gravel pit expanded and they covered up the raspberry plants, so no more raspberries. Boo.  By the way, I got off the subject of the train track. David looked out the window the other day and said, “What is that?”

I was thinking space ship.  It was extra long and the truck driver was having a hard time turning and getting over the railroad track.

Traffic began to back up.

Then he finally got over the track, but he got stuck and I began to worry about a train coming because they go through often.

But in a few minutes a guy from the gravel pit came riding up on this front end loader and lifted that thing right up and over the track.  It’s called a trommel. Our word for today.  A trommel is a rotary cylindrical or conical screen for sorting ore, coal, gravel, etc. I would have never known that, but David watches all these shows on tv where people are digging for gold.  This one will be used at the gravel pit.

That’s all for today. I’m going out to eat for the first time this birthday week. David took the week off so we are eating out every day.  Yay! And we are eating dessert first.

Here’s to best friends, birthdays, trommels and painting fanaticism.  Bye.

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

 

I know I sound like a recording, but isn’t the time flying?  It’s almost Valentine’s Day already and we were just celebrating the New Year.  When I hear young people say the time is passing quickly, then I don’t know what to say because if it’s passing quickly for them there is something happening to the space time continuum of planet earth.  I often wonder if God is speeding time up for Jesus’ coming as He looks upon us and sees the evil that is in people’s minds and actions. I can hardly bear to read the news or listen to it anymore.

I also believe at times that I live in an alternate universe from many people.  I don’t understand a lot of people a lot of the time.  Maybe they feel that way about me.  I don’t know. Of course, my husband tells me I am weird all the time.  The last time I visited my doctor, he called me weird because of how my body reacted to the medicine he says helps everyone else.  So, maybe I am weird! But I’m a happy weird.

Well, that is about as deep as I’m going to get today. Just something to think upon and wonder about.  I try to live each day with joy and hope and I know how it all ends, so I’m not afraid.

I’ve had so many projects going on and many more I want to do before the warm weather gets here and I will want to be outside in the fresh air playing with my dogs. They have been rather neglected in these cold and rainy days.   They have been spending a lot of time in my shop with me, listening to my radio talk shows, ha, and watching me cut out Bullseye quilts.  I am addicted to Bullseye quilts. I think I am because I love going through all my fabric and finding material that will go together to make a block, knowing I will cut that block into four pieces along with many other blocks and then sew all those parts together to make a pretty amazing looking quilt.  And I am discovering fabric I had forgotten about, so that’s a plus, too. It’s almost like Christmas when I find a forgotten fabric.  I made a pillow with a four of the blocks.

I love this pillow way too much. I had had it on the couch for a couple of weeks  David just noticed it!   My very observant husband.

How can one miss this bright and colorful pillow!   I’m going to make some more. Maybe give some away.  I have a Christmas Bullseye quilt almost all cut out.  Like I said, I’m addicted.

And wonderful things have been coming in the mail. I read Mary Etherington’s blog over on Country Threads Chicken Scratch. Mary and her friend, Connie use to have a quilt shop in northwestern Iowa called Country Threads. They wrote many patterns, some of which I sold in our store, Craig’s Vac and Sew, years ago. They closed the store several years ago, but still write patterns and they have a book out right now that I ordered.

I was so excited when this package arrived.

With the cutest little return label.

And a wonderful book inside.

Here’s Mary and Connie.

They are very good friends and were superstars in the quilting world years ago.  I met Mary, the one in glasses, years ago when we traveled through Garner, Iowa going out west. I wanted to visit their quilt shop. It was wonderful, but the best part was I got to meet Mary as the quilt shop was located on her farm.  You know you see someone who is famous in their field and you wonder if they are as nice as they appear in their pictures. Well, Mary is the nicest person you could ever wish to meet. She welcomed me and showed me around the farm. I’m sure she doesn’t remember me, but she had a hurt arm or shoulder and I grabbed her and hugged her before I realized it and she was so nice about it even though I probably caused her great pain.

I felt like I did when I saw the Beatles.  Mary was that famous in my eyes.  Their patterns sold very well in our store and I have made so many quilts from them. If you want the book, go over to her blog and I think you can still order it.  And they sign the ones you buy from them.

I’m just saying. Superstars!  I plan to make several quilts from this book.

I got more flower seeds.  I honestly don’t know where I am going to plant them all as my garden is pretty full already, but I will stick them in somewhere.

Zinnias are one of my top five favorite flowers to raise. Just toss the seeds in the ground and in a few weeks you have a wonderful display of blooms.

And I got some more fabric.

Just some basics to use in my Bullseye quilts.

And last, but certainly not least I got more yarn.

It came in a bag that had this on the front.

And each skein of yarn had a yarn marker attached.

An extra little bonus.  I will be ordering from this business again.

Her yarns are amazing.  And fun to knit up.

Years ago our city had a major flood. They called it the hundred year flood because in theory it only happens every one hundred years.  But this week, people were getting worried as the rains kept falling for hours and hours.  We drove past a park in town and this is what we saw.

I’ve climbed that tower from which you can see the downtown.

The amphitheater where shows and bands perform. Not going to right now.

The playground.  Many years ago before this park came into existence, there were people who lived down by the river in shanties.  I have seen pictures from years ago of those shanties flooded. Finally, the city moved all the people and put in this park that gets flooded every so often because the river runs right by it.

Friends of mine, who lost everything in the last flood, were getting concerned and I didn’t blame them. It was looking scary for a while, but finally the rains stopped and the sun came out and the water is receding.   Today it is snowing and sleeting.

My church helps support a Crisis Pregnancy Center. Every year we are given baby bottles to fill with money to give to the center.  I am always happy to contribute because they are saving babies’ lives there and with what we see in the news today, we must continue to fight for and protect the unborn.

I am glad my church participates in this. I pray for all the babies.

My chickee-poos are still laying during this crazy weather.  We get just enough eggs for us right now.  I must show you the one a hen laid.  She certainly gave her all.

Almost as big as a duck egg and I should know. I use to raise ducks.

 

What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?  If I don’t plan anything, we won’t do anything. I do have a delicious looking Valentine Jelly Donut cake recipe I am thinking of making for David.

I bought these candy hearts. You know, the ones that have cute words on them for Valentine’s Day, but you can hardly read the words they’re so dim.  And it’s a brand name, too.   What is wrong with them!   You really have to look to see what each heart reads.   Oh, well. That’s the way of things today.  I may be getting old, but things really are more poorly made than they were years ago except for maybe cars because one rarely sees a broken down car on the side of the road any longer.  When I was a girl you’d see them all the time and cars use to rust out faster than they do today. Our car is ten years old and still going strong and we’d like it to last another ten years.   That car has been all over the United States, to Alaska and down the Alaska Highway through Canada. North, South, East and West.  I’d like to keep her a while longer.

I sincerely hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day.  Whether alone or with a loved one, you still are loved by the One who loves us all.  He never disappoints. He will never forsake you.  He is the best Valentine a person could have. Jesus. Love you all and God bless. Bye.