Category Archives: Things on my mind

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January is For the Birds

Here we are, almost in the middle of January already and it’s been a productive month for me quilt wise. Since Christmas I have pieced six small quilts and finished three of them, working on finishing a fourth and started a quilt that is being taught on a blog.

I am loving this little quilt from Kathleen Tracy’s book.   It’s almost folk art in its simplicity.

It’s not very big, but it packs a wallop color wise and will look cute as a table topper or a wall hanging.  It’s hung here by this….

This chicken toy I found at an antique store years ago.  Before I even had a thought about raising chickens. I guess I have always had chickens on my mind.

I did make a mistake on this quilt and it’s been fixed, but you can see it here if you know the pattern.   It was fun making this quilt and used very little material.

This is a pile of Bulls-eye blocks for the Bulls-eye quilt being taught over on the blog, Country Threads Chicken Scratch.  I am making a lap-sized quilt, but you can make it smaller or larger if you would want.  This is another quilt that is suppose to use up one’s stash, but it hasn’t made a dent in mine.

There are still a few steps to making the blocks so they won’t look anything like this when I am done.

While searching through my stashes and boxes, I found this book I bought eleven years ago. I know that because I  always write the date on the inside cover of a book when I get it.  I had high hopes of making a quilt from the book, but none has happened so far.  There is a lot of history about Louisa May Alcott in the book.

So then I had to hunt down this book….

Little Women, which was in my family’s library when I was a child and I am ashamed to say I have never read it. I have seen practically all the movie versions of it from when Katherine Hepburn played Jo, to June Allyson playing her and then Winona Ryder.  Then PBS is having Little Women on and have sexed it up a little bit more than I like. Why do modern movie producers feel the need to do that in so many movies?   We really don’t need to see the sisters in their skivvies, do we?  Even though Miss Alcott was a women’s rights advocate, I think she would be shocked to see her girls parading around in their underwear.  Anyway, I really must read this book sometime.    I remember it when I was growing up and looking at the pictures in it.

I guess because I had seen the movie I didn’t think I needed to read the book, but if it’s always true for me, the book is much better than the movie.  The only book I have ever read that I thought the movie was as good was Gone With the Wind, even though a whole lot of things were left out of the movie such as Scarlette  had more children than Bonnie Blue.

We finally had snow this weekend. We’ve been having almost Spring like temperatures for a while, but this is our normal usually in January.  David went from cleaning the pool…

to building a fire.

And because of all the snow, the birds must be fed.  They go through a lot of feed. We just bought two more forty pound bags of bird seed and hope it lasts the rest of the month, but I’m not betting on it.

I counted twelve cardinals at the feeder yesterday and today I barely got the feed in the feeder when two cardinals  flew above my head.

Birds wait in the trees like airplanes on a tarmac and drop down when it’s their turn.

I love seeing the cardinals against the new fallen snow. So pretty.  I was worried about the birds this year.  A businessman bought the property right next door to us and cut down all the trees. Almost every last one. The only one left was the one right by my shop and I asked him not to cut it down as it was mostly on our property.  I still worry about it.  He did leave a few bushes for the birds to alight in and I am planning to plant some more trees this Spring.  I was worried that all the birds would go away, but so far, we have more than ever, it seems.  They have all moved over to our property where they know there are people who love trees and bushes and birds and squirrels.

This is my one lone tree. A maple. I hope it will grow big and strong and lovely. You can see the barren field next door where the travesty took place.

There use to be trees all long the property line. They had to come down because of “liability” concerns.  I was very sad about it all, but I will be planting more trees on my property.

Sadly, in our travels, I am seeing more and more of this destruction of trees and meadows across our country due to “progress,” where whole forests are cut down and burned and housing developments and businesses sprout up like weeds and a blight on the countryside.  I know people have to have somewhere to live and work, but the wanton destruction of forests and farmland is very disturbing. It cannot be replaced and in newer developments, they are even told what kind of trees they can plant, so there is no diversity and that’s what I thought government and businesses were all about. You can drive from one city to the next and see the same kinds of houses and business and everything looks generic.   I call some of these developments, Taupevilles, because all the houses are the same color.   I’d love to see just one red house in  them just to stop the boredom.  As you can read, I am very passionate about this. We cannot lose all our forests and farmland to development.

Just a picture of my work area in the house while I watch tv or listen to the radio.

All the yarns laid out to inspire me.  Oh, and laundry that is less inspiring!

A devotional book to feed me spiritually.

And new lipsticks from Color My World. I love these lipsticks. They seem to last forever and they come in the cutest tubes.

Now that I have stepped gingerly off my soapbox, I will leave you with a good cup of coffee.  Starbucks has nothing on my coffee.

Bye.

 

Changing the Calendar

I always get a new calendar or two or three for Christmas. This year I just got one, so I ordered another one for the bathroom downstairs because you always need to look at a calendar while you are seated on the throne!

Before I hang a calendar, I write all the important dates to remember throughout the year, birth dates, anniversaries, etc., and it’s always fun to look at all the things I did throughout the year because I write all doctor, dentist, and hair stylists appointments and mark off vacation days and other special days like events at our grandchildren’s schools.  It was a busy year last year.  January already has a date saved to attend our grandson’s first recital.

He is learning to play the cello and will be performing with his group.  Our children all took some form of strings and our daughter took piano for years.  I think it’s important for children to learn some kind of instrument because even after they are grown they can play it if they so choose.

If this year goes as rapidly as last year, I may as well turn the page to December 2019 right now because that is how fast it seemed  the year flew by.  I guess it’s better than it dragging out forever and wishing time would speed up.  It’s all relevant.  Depends on what you are doing or what you are waiting for. Remember when you were a kid and were waiting for Christmas and it seemed like it took forever for it to get here?   Now it comes way too fast for me and I’m never ready and then it’s over and I wish the time had gone a little more slowly.

Have to show you some pictures from Christmas of my very favorite present.

It’s the rooster from the movie Moana.  He clucks and crows and I love him.

He has made friends with my skeleton Halloween dog.  The rooster crows and the dog talks back.  Yes, the dog talks.  I’ve had him for years and I get him out every Halloween.   I will bequeath him to one of my grandchildren one day. Ha.

The dog says things like, “Bring me a bone, I’m hungry,” and “I’m thirsty.  Water runs right through me.”  He’s been the cause of many laughs through the years and now he has a companion.

Another thing I gifted myself this year because I thought it was so cute was this little camper.

It goes very well with the truck I have had for a few years.

Makes me think of a dream of mine to get in a  truck with a camper behind and travel the United States and Canada.

May never happen, but I can dream.

Now David and I are sitting on the couch counting down the hours until the new year. I even dressed for the occasion. I am wearing pearls and perfume and my pajamas.  All ready for the big night!

We even have a small bag of cashews each and some peanut butter crackers to share. We really know how to celebrate!  One year we actually dressed up and went to a hotel in Indianapolis where there was a big New Year’s party with bands, dancing and gambling tables and food and at midnight they dropped hundreds of balloons from the ceiling which was fun. Then in the morning they had a breakfast buffet for all the party goers with everything you could think of to eat including  sushi, which I tried for the first time and didn’t like all that well.

But we are going low key this year which is fine with me.  It’s raining out and our house is warm and cozy.   So if you are celebrating at home, whether alone or with several, put on your pearls and perfume and enjoy the evening.

I wish you all a very blessed and joyful, peaceful New Year’s.  I wish you health and happiness and all that life can offer you that is good.  Happy New Year!  Bye.

 

 

 

All is Calm, All is Bright

Listen, the children have gone.  All is calm.  The packages have all been unwrapped and the pretty paper is now just trash in the trash can.  The food has been eaten and the leftovers await us for the rest of the week until some of it turns green. The floors need swept, but loved ones did the dishes for me. Thank you. Thank you.

The time after Christmas is always a strange time for me. I told David that it felt like I have been holding my breath since about October and now I can finally let it out.   I think about Christmas all year long, looking for gifts I hope will mean something to the giftee.   But for this next week I hope to just rest and relax and reflect on the past year, thankful we all got through it with our lives and can say things were pretty good for most of us.  I belong to this group on Facebook that is all about quilting and, believe me, I have got some awesome ideas for quilts I want to make in the coming year.  I am taking part in a couple of quilt block quiltalongs, something I have never done before and am looking forward to with a lot of excitement.

In the coming year I hope to get another puppy and maybe a kitten.  We have some more renovations to our old house planned which includes the screened in porch our contractor didn’t have time for this Fall.   We have no trips planned, but that does not mean we won’t fit one in somewhere during the year.   It’s fun to make plans although I have learned the hard way that most plans never happen as you planned.

The calm after Christmas is a welcome time for me since I have been going at top speed for weeks now.  Add the multiple trips we have made to Indianapolis and my time in the hospital, it’s been a very stressful and tiring time.  But now, I breathe a sigh of relief and look toward 2019 with faith that things will be well for my family and myself.   I’m thankful for my faith in God and what He has done for me this year.  My prayers are that every person reading this blog is blessed by God in the coming year with health, happiness and peace.   Wouldn’t the world be wonderful if everyone was blessed in that way?

The days will continue to get brighter now that Winter solstice has passed.  I look forward to longer, brighter days and before we all know it, Winter will be past and we will be enjoying another Spring. Here in Indiana we are having balmy weather now.  In the fifties maybe this week!

I hope this Christmas was a blessing to you.  Bye.

 

Enjoying the Days

I can’t tell you how wonderful the last several days have been. First of all, it’s just so absolutely marvelous to feel healthy again.  I’m not sure I had felt healthy for a long time, but I thought it was my new normal. Age and all, you know.  But I kept wondering how I went from walking five miles a day to barely being able to walk across the yard without getting winded.  Who would have thought it was the medicine I had been taking for years?  I’m telling you, be very careful the chemicals you put in your body even when the doctor prescribes them, because sometimes they do more harm than good.  David even says it’s nice to hear me whistling and singing around the house again.  Had I stopped?  I hadn’t noticed.   I was just trying to get through each day and get things accomplished that I was able.

So, this week, for the first time in I don’t know how long, I sewed on quilt blocks in my shop all day and never felt tired once.  There is a mystery quilt I am working on that I will tell you about later when I get some pictures. I have never taken part in a mystery block quilt before, but this one sounded like fun and I kept seeing pictures of the blocks ladies were making all over the world and I thought I should get in on all the fun and it has been fun.   Can’t wait to see how the quilt will turn out. I’ve been so enthusiastic about it, I am making four different quilts with the patterns we are given.

I know I’ve been talking about health issues a lot lately, but once again a family member was hit with a health problem. One of our grandsons was having stomach cramps and was passing blood and was taken to the hospital this week.  Quite a scare, but he is getting better. The doctor believes it is E coli and says it will have to run its course. Seems E coli and Salmonella are appearing a lot in our food and I have a theory on why that I won’t get into here, but people who are working with our food are not being very clean about it.   I love Romaine lettuce and I did eat it before we took our vacation in November.  I do wonder if part of my being sick was because I had eaten it.  We will never know.

We are having our first Christmas family get together this Saturday so I will be baking and cooking up a storm starting tomorrow. Baking rolls, making potato salad, baking a chocolate cake so we can celebrate all the birthdays in December(we have four.)  I want to try cornbread dressing sometime and am looking for a good recipe for it.  Also I always have to have scalloped oysters at least once during the holiday season.  I love scalloped oysters and I even love eating it cold.  I see so many delicious looking recipes on Facebook and I want to try them all.  Do you have a favorite food that you have to have during the holiday season?

I get nostalgic thinking about past Christmases when our children were young. Christmas is always so much fun when children are around. Our grandchildren are growing up faster than our children did, it seems, but they all still love coming to Grandpa’s and Grandma’s for Christmas and we love having them.   Having family gathered around is such a blessing.  I remember going to my grandparents’ house Christmas Day and it was always fun, seeing the cousins, eating Grandpa’s homemade popcorn balls and getting fifty cents from Grandpa(yes, fifty cents, I’m that old I thought it was a lot of money.)  If there was snow, it was even better and if somebody got a new sled it was wonderful.  We still have a sled our children used when they were young.     I would love to slide down a snowy hill again and feel the wind in my face.  Maybe I might try that this winter.

I’m sitting here on a rainy night, the Christmas tree lit, the fire in the fireplace, candles burning feeling warm, safe, and happy and thinking about the days ahead with joy.   I’ll be writing one last post before Christmas I am sure, but in case I don’t, Merry Christmas and may the day be a blessing whether it’s with a crowd or only one remembering the One we celebrate, whose birth over 2,000 years ago changed the world , and  showed we can all be united in love if we so choose.  Bye.

Prayers Answered

Do you pray?  And I mean to a God in Heaven who is sitting on His throne and knows absolutely everything that is going on with your life and knows the outcome even when you don’t.   Do you pray in earnest or half heartedly, never quite believing you are being heard?   Are any of your prayers answered?   Are they answered in the way you thought they would be or should have been answered?

Our God is hard to understand sometimes.   I know He loves everyone and wants no one to perish.  He feels our pain and knows our futures.   He has a plan for our lives, but it’s up to us to figure out what it is.    Most times we work against that plan whether we know it or not.

This last month I’ve had a reason to pray in earnest for several things.  There are some things and some people I pray for daily.   Some of those prayers have been answered and some I am still waiting upon.   I was in the hospital a couple of weeks ago and I was praying continuously.  Late at night in the hospital bed, I would ask God to keep me company and I would sing hymns silently to myself because I felt so lonely and scared. I didn’t know what was happening to my body and really wondered if my life on earth was coming to an end. I was all for it if it was,  because I knew to die was just the beginning of my eternity, but I was still scared.  I knew there were many people who were praying for me and believe me, I felt those prayers.

I really did not know my prayers had been answered in a very remarkable way until I got home.   You see, my blood pressure had been soaring and my heart rate had been falling and the doctors didn’t know what to do about it for a couple of days.  They took me off all my medications and started all over.  Nothing good happened until one day they tried this one medicine and my blood pressure fell dramatically and my heartrate went up.  I was also taken off one medicine that had been making me sick to my stomach for several weeks.  Suddenly, I felt so much better.  Now since I have been home and have seen my cardiologist and gotten a good report, I have felt better than I have felt for months. I didn’t even realize I had been feeling badly before other than being short of breath at times.  Now I have so much energy and feel so much better.  Was I unhappy I spent my vacation in the hospital?  Yes.  Did God answer my prayers for good health?  He surely did.  He just did it in a way I wasn’t planning.  I knew I was in the hospital for a reason and that one day I would know that reason.  It’s possible if I had not gone to that clinic that day and been hospitalized, I may still be feeling very unwell. I might even be dead.    God works in mysterious ways.  Why He made me miss Walt Disney World, He will have to explain to me one day.  By then I won’t care.  I’m just saying God answered my prayers in a way I would never expected and in a way I would not have picked out myself, but He knew what I needed.  Perhaps I needed to be placed in that very hospital to slow myself down and let others figure out what was wrong with me.   I pray for all those ladies and that one young man who took care of me while I was in there.  I will think about another young young man who had trouble taking my blood and then joked he had used the wrong vials and would have to do it all over. When I looked upset about it he said, “just kidding!”   The young woman from Puerto Rico who was so sweet and gentle and patient with all my questions.  The Haitian lady who told me about all the horrible things happening in her native land and how her church sends clothes and shoes to people there who have none.   The lady who always had a smile on her face.   Even the doctor who didn’t act very doctor like to me.  They all touched me in some way and I would never have met them if I hadn’t been placed in that hospital.

God taught me patience while I was in the hospital also.   Now that I look back on it, I’m pretty happy with myself how patient I was because there were times I wanted to throw a tantrum like a baby!    God must have been working on me.

So I am here to tell you, God does answer prayer.  I even find myself thanking Him for putting me in that particular hospital.  Only He knew that is where I would find health once more.  Never give up praying.  Whether it’s for yourself or someone else.  Whether it’s for your circumstances  or something you want.  If you really pray in God’s will, He will answer your prayer.  Maybe not like you think He should, but He will answer it in the way that is best for you.  Sometimes unanswered prayers are the answer.  Not now, He is telling you.

So my prayer for all reading this is that you take your troubles and worries and also your praise to God. He’s listening.  He loves you.  He wants what’s best for you.  God bless you.  Bye.

No Disney For Me

If you read my last post you know that I am down in Florida in a hospital waiting to be released. It’s been a not fun three days of tests and being jabbed with needles and having my blood pressure taken.  There is no sleeping at night because the nurses come in constantly checking on me. I am dreaming of a bath in a tub and a soft bed with real pillows.

Here I am in a hospital bed waiting for a doctor to tell me whether or not I can leave.  If not for my computer, kindle and a puzzle book I would have been lost.  I’ve kept up with friends and family so I don’t feel so alone.  But being in the hospital is like being in the army. They are constantly asking for your name and birth date and you are always waiting.  We were suppose to be spending these days at Walt Disney World.  No Disney for me and David.  Boo.

I know there is a reason for everything and I am here in this bed for a reason.  But I sure would like to know what that reason is. Is it teaching me patience?   Sometimes I don’t have much patience especially when I have to wait.   Poor David is waiting with me which I am thankful for, but it’s hard on him, too.

Back home there was an ice storm and my dogs, who live outside, have been spending time in their insulated dog house.  Our pet sitter is taking good care of them, but I still worry because if I were home, they would be in the shop with the furnace going.   I don’t think I will ever take a trip this late in the Fall again even though the ice storm was  unusual for this time of year.   The electricity went off I heard and I am wondering if it went off at our house and for how long.

UPDATE:  I was finally released from the hospital hours after they told me I would be released.  This has been the worst stay in a hospital I have ever had.   I would be told they would bring me Advil for my headache. It never showed up. They wanted a “specimen” from me and they never picked it up or provided the medication I was needing at the time. When I was about to check out the RN finally asked me if I wanted her to order the medication. Knowing it would take hours for it to show up I told her “no.”  When I was finally checked out, David went to get  the car and I was told I would be taken out in a wheelchair.  I waited and waited and finally I went into the hall and an RN said, “You are anxious to leave.” It wasn’t until then she called down for someone to bring a wheelchair up for me.  I could have walked down and been going back to our rental faster.  Then the doctor gave me a new prescription and when David went to fill it,  the pharmacy said the doctor had not signed it so they could not fill it. As  I write, poor David is trying to hunt up this doctor to get his signature.  I am very unhappy.  I told David if I needed to go to the hospital again, drive out of Florida before taking me to one.  If you are reading this and live in Florida and have had better experiences in the hospital, I am glad for you, but this particular hospital will get a very bad review from me.  I’m usually pretty tolerant and understanding, but this was too much. Done with my rant now!

So tomorrow I hope we can spend some time with family and maybe find a yarn shop and relax before we start our trip back.  I am so looking forward to being home.  I certainly will remember this vacation!

Have you had horror stories about a hospital?    In my city the hospital is great and I have always been happy with the treatment.    I don’t know what happened with this hospital in Florida.

My next post I won’t sound as crabby. Bye. Oh, and I did get my nice bath and will have a comfy bed with real pillows tonight.

Halloween

I’m not sure if Halloween is purely an American holiday, but we Americans sure go all out for it every year.  It’s been reported we spend as much on Halloween decorations as we do Christmas ones.  I’m not sure about that because I have never gone out driving to see the Halloween lights, but if “they” say so, it must be so.

I loved Halloween when I was a kid. We lived in a tiny town of about 400 people and everyone knew everyone else or was related to them or knew some of their relations.   I knew the grandparents, cousins and aunt and uncle of my husband long before I met him because he was an “out of towner.”    So, when you went trick or treating, you knew every one in every house you visited.

I don’t remember any of my Halloween costumes except one. My mother made me a white rabbit suit one year with long ears and a furry tail.  It was so hot to wear, but I loved that thing.   I was probably a first or second grader at the time and our class paraded around the school in our costumes, going into each classroom.  Now my school had grades one through twelve in one building.  I had older brothers and a sister in the school at the time so we visited their classrooms.   I remember going in one room and suddenly one of the older boys was laughing and  pointing at me.  I wondered what was so funny until someone told me my flap was down.  There was a flap on the backside of the costume so I could well, use the bathroom should I need to, and evidently I had not refastened it.   I was so embarrassed.   I walked out of the room backward.

In other years I am sure my mother bought those hot fabric masks they use to sell in the five and dime stores and I would find some old clothes of some kind to wear and my brothers would take me trick or treating.   I remember wearing those masks and sweating and the more I breathed in and out,  the sweatier I got. Those masks sell for high prices in antique stores now.

Since everyone knew each other, at each house the person handing out the treats would try to guess who we were before they would give us any candy.  It was a long drawn out affair with names being guessed and I could only shake my head so as not to give myself away.   Finally they would guess who I was and put a candy bar in my bag.  Back then we got the big size candy bars, not the tiny ones handed out now.  I was taught to say “thank you,” and then we would proceed to the next house.  Being a country girl, it was so much fun to be in the “big” city going door to door and seeing all the people I knew.

When we had visited about every house in town we would go back home and mother would put a sheet on the floor and we would dump our bags onto it one at a time. For some reason my brothers always seemed to have more candy than I did.  They would have these big piles while my little pile looked puny in comparison. But still, there was a lot of candy and we got to eat some before we went to bed and then mother would put it up and dole it out a little at a time.

When my children use to go trick or treating they would bring their bags home and dump it all out. I would always look for the Snickers bars and when the candy was put away, the Snickers bars would mysteriously disappear from the candy stash.  My children are old enough now I can tell them my deep, dark secret.  But they very rarely got to eat any of the Snickers bars they got in their trick or treat bags.    I don’t think they really cared because they didn’t like Snickers or at least that’s what I tell myself!

When I got older and thought I was too old to trick or treat I wanted to go out tricking like some of the older kids would do. You could always tell it was Halloween in our town because all the windows of every business had been soaped. I don’t think that’s done much anymore and would probably get kids in trouble now, but back then it was a rite of passage. Soaping was taking a bar of soap and writing or scribbling something on windows.     So one year my very best friend, Mary Jean, and I decided we would soap windows.   We were both terrified of getting caught so we didn’t soap many windows, but we did throw shelled corn on people’s porches and thought we were sooo bad!  But it was harmless fun and the adults in our town knew to expect it and put up with it for one night of the year.    There was some outhouse tipping that was not funny and my brothers told of some cow tipping although I think that was just a myth that came out every Halloween.

Back in the day my brothers use to tell me there were these two men who lived in our barn.  They would tell me they heard them talking and would scare me so much.  I didn’t now why my daddy would permit two men to live in our barn.  I think that was another myth my brothers told just to scare their little sister.  At least I hope so.

My daddy worked nights in those days and we kids and our mother would sit up waiting for him to come home.  One Halloween we were sitting outside looking at the moon and my mother said she saw a witch fly across the moon.  My mother could tell a story and make me believe it no matter what it was about.  I just knew she had seen a witch fly across the moon.  She saw a UFO once(or so she said) and I was forever looking up in the sky for a UFO.    Those were such fun times though and I remember them with such fondness.

So now I watch as my grandchildren celebrate Halloween by dressing up and collecting candy. My grandsons go trick or treating two or three times and don’t usually know most of the people who give them candy.   My one grandson dressed up like the headless horseman this year.

Speaking of the headless horseman. We always watched Disney’s cartoon version which was usually shown right around Halloween.  It would always scare me to death. Poor Ichabod Crane. No one ever knew what became of him. So when I learned that Conner Prairie, an 1836 reproduction village north of Indianapolis had headless horseman hayrides, I just had to go.  My older grandchildren and their mother go every year.  First you walk around Conner Prairie where they have puppet shows, crafts and food booths and a story teller and then when it’s your turn you get on a big wagon with several other happy people and ride back in the woods. Slowly your horses clop along.  You sit there in anticipation. Suddenly, there he is, the headless horseman coming behind the wagon on a big, black horse, his cape flying, his head gone and he is galloping faster and faster.   He is laughing this awful laugh as he comes closer and closer and suddenly he is right beside the wagon and you can feel the horse’s breath right on you if you are sitting in the back, which I was, and you scream your head off until he finally gallops away.  So much fun!!!

They say Halloween is a pagan holiday. It may be for some. For me it’s all about fun. As long a no one gets hurt or too scared it’s a holiday I hope we continue to celebrate.  I don’t go for the gory or bloody or murderous Halloween. I go for more the Casper the Friendly Ghost kind of Halloween.  The candy filled Halloween. The cute costumes Halloween.  The slightly scary Halloween.  Happy Halloween!  Bye.

 

Been Through the Wringer

Do you feel like our country has been put through the wringer in the past few weeks?  Or months?   Or years?    Being put through the wringer is being twisted, squashed, pounded, and completely drained.   I have never seen anything like it in all my years on this earth.   Before you read much farther, this may get political.

I love politics. I will be up front with you about that. Ever since I got to vote for the first time at eighteen, I have loved politics.  I watched CSPAN faithfully.  I kept up with and still do, all the news I can watch.  Being honest with you, I believe there are several “news” shows that have drifted from being the news to being opinion shows and that is fine, I just wish they would admit to it.   I voted for Jimmy Carter.  GASP!     I grew up and started to see how politicians affected my life and my pocketbook.  Politics seems to have become all touchy feely anymore. Not about the operation of our great country and how our money is spent and how protected we are.  It’s about how people FEEL, not the facts or what is good for them.

During the last confirmation hearings of the new Supreme Court judge it went from finding out how well the man would serve on the court, how qualified he was, how long he has served with distinction, to something he didn’t do years ago, could not be proven and then he was called a drunk, that he threw ice in a bar, the horror, and that he did not have the temperament to be a judge despite the FACT he has served as a judge for decades and been praised over and over for how he performed on the job.   I know many women reading this are saying, but, but, he may or may or may not have done something to a girl in high school?   Well, there were no witnesses, no one to back the woman up, no evidence of anything she said and yet the “news” media continued the lies and deception over and over to try to brainwash people into believing one thing only.   How many of us can say we were perfect in high school?  How many of us have done things we would not want brought to light?  Would we want our lives ruined because someone may or may not have remembered something we may or may not have done thirty, forty, fifty years ago?  Things that could never be proven?   We live in a very dangerous world if someone can throw allegations at you with absolutely no proof and then you are found guilty.  It could happen to anyone.  Even you or me.

Then we watch as people, mostly young men and women throwing what I call tantrums and rioting in the streets. They are not peaceful demonstrations. I have seen people punched, signs torn from people’s hands and ripped apart, elderly people harassed by dancing young women who get in their faces and shout.  There is absolutely no respect for anyone from most of these people.  Is this the kind of country we all want? It’s not the country in which I grew up.  Do we want to hear our leaders telling others to get in people’s faces and shouting them out of restaurants?   Where has civility gone?   I noticed it began years ago when a certain young president told his followers, “If they bring a knife, you bring a gun.” I wondered then, who was bringing a knife??  Another politician tells people to get in the faces of those with whom they disagree.  And just this week I heard the woman who wanted to be president tell us that liberals cannot be civil with conservatives.  What kind of leadership is that?  Certainly not a leader who wants to unite people.   I don’t want a leader like that who promotes violence.  And less you say our president does that, I have listened to most of his speeches and he has never promoted violence. Yes, he has asked protesters to be removed from his rallies which I don’t find a bad thing.  And yes, people say “Lock her up,” about Hillary even though we know that family can get away with just about anything and nothing will happen.  It’s called letting off steam, but I have been to a Trump rally and there is no violence there and it was fun.   I’m telling the world most of all the negative things you are hearing about President Trump is not the truth. If you are reading this just know, most of us like the job he is doing. We have more money in our paychecks, we haven’t entered anymore wars and he is trying to protect our borders that have become like a sieve.

I love peace and harmony.  I don’t want to see people shouting at each other, striking each other and doing all kinds of mean things because of politics.   I want to get along with those who may vote differently from me, but if my man or woman wins, I want people to respect the office and respect our country enough not to throw a tantrum.  I certainly kept quiet for years when people were elected to office with whom I disagreed.  I just waited and quietly voted. It seems one side is not content to do that any longer. If someone beats their candidate, there has to be something wrong with the world.  Maybe we should all just turn off our tvs, get together for a pitch-in dinner and talk among ourselves and ignore the politicians and talking heads for a while.   I’d love to invite you for a cup of coffee and cinnamon rolls and just talk about our lives and our families. Most people all around the world only want the simple things. Freedom, enough food, shelter, friends and family.   This is what I pray for the world,  my country, my family, and my friends.

We don’t want to be put through the wringer any longer. Stop threatening to impeach someone duly elected or confirmed in his job.  Stop telling us what you want us to hear or believe and start telling us the truth.  Get along for a few months, at least, and let the country rest.  We have had enough.

Here’s to freedom and being able to voice my opinion.  May it never be taken away. Bye.