Category Archives: Things on my mind

Sadness and Happiness

Sadness and happiness live pretty closely, side by side.  Life can change in an instant.  Joy can turn to sorrow. And vice versa.  It happens every day to people.  Life is not promised and we may not see tomorrow here on earth. I have been thinking a lot about death lately only because I know so many people who have died in the last few months. When you get to be my age, you start to lose friends and family at a regular rate, it seems.  My church family has been hit pretty hard lately.  Today I just found out a friend’s husband has died.  I grieve for her although she had a pretty hard life with him at times.   She is a very strong woman, though, and will come out on the other side of this stronger than ever.

The weather has not helped my emotions. We are stuck in cloudy, gloomy weather right now.  Generally, the weather doesn’t bother me.  In fact, I look at bad weather as a good time to hunker down with a good book or go out into my shop and make something bright and pretty.  I have done both of those lately, but I still have felt a little melancholy.  I know this, too, shall pass, for I really am, for the most part, an optimistic, happy person who looks at life as one big adventure to be lived looking at everything as a miracle. Because it really is.  You reading this are a miracle. Is my life perfect?  Heck, no.  Am I sad sometimes. Of course.  But I do feel I was placed here for a purpose.  You were placed here on this earth for a purpose. Some of us find our purpose late in life while some children already know theirs.   I read a blog the other day about a family who had a little baby who was not well and died very shortly afterward and yet, that baby served a purpose. Thousands of people who read the blog were touched.  People who had lost babies themselves were touched.  It made me think. How am I touching people’s lives?   I get up every day and ask God, “Let me be a blessing to someone today.”   I don’t know if I accomplish it most days, but I try when I can.   I hope in some small way I am a blessing to those who read this blog.

I find my relationship with Jesus Christ has helped me immensely in this walk on earth. I met Him at a young age in my small church one night at a revival.  He’s been by my side since then. He was always at my side, I had just not acknowledged Him before.  He’s by your side right now. I have been reading some of my diaries from when I was a young girl and I see how my walk with Jesus has affected my life in so many ways.  I have found comfort in Him when times have been tough.  Joy when times have been happy.    I married a Christian man and that has made my life easier.   Do not be unevenly yoked, the Bible tells us. In other words, don’t marry someone who does not believe as you do or does not like how you believe.   I think that is true. At least it’s worked for David and me.

I didn’t mean to get all philosophical here or push my faith on anyone, it’s just who I am.   It’s what I have been thinking the last few days.   I have been blessed beyond measure. If I were to die tomorrow, I have lived a blest life.  I was blest to be brought up in a Christian home, although my daddy did not become a Christian until later in life.  I saw a transformation in him like nothing I had seen before when he accepted Christ as his savior.  I can vouch for the fact that Christ does change people.  My daddy stopped cursing and smoking cigarettes from that moment on and I never heard him say a curse word or see him smoke a cigarette ever again.  And Mother never had to beg him to go to church. He went gladly.

I was going to post a whole lot of pictures on here of things I have purchased at a new antique store we found, of my chicken quilt I wrote about in my last post, of the strange people populating my shop right now, but since this has become a “things on my mind” kind of blog, I will save them for another day.

I hope and pray you are having a wonderful day, that the sun is shining on you and that peace reigns wherever you live.  Bye.

 

Under the Weather

I always wondered why the term “under the weather” meant one was not feeling well.   Some weather I love to be under, like sunshine, soft rain, cooling breezes and more.  But I will just say I have been under the weather for a few weeks.  Not completely under, mind you. I have been functioning and doing all the things I normally do, just not feeling completely up to par.

Today I think I felt the worst I have felt in a long time.  Let me explain what I think started all this. Two or three weeks ago, I went outside on our back deck to empty the dogs’ water pan and put fresh water in it. It was dark out and I didn’t turn on any lights.  I bent over to pick up the pan and rose up and hit the top of my head hard on a frame for canopy we have right outside the door.  And I mean hard.  It hurt.  But I went about my business of filling the pan so the dogs would have fresh water and went to bed that night thinking nothing of it. I am always banging myself on something. I drove a huge stake in my calf one year, bandaged it up and went to a Cincinnati Reds game with our son.  I try not to let things stop me. But today, I woke up aching in every single muscle in my body.  It hurts to turn over in bed or to try to get out of bed.

Part of my pain might stem from the fact that Saturday I helped with a funeral dinner for a lady in our church who had passed away , as I was carrying food out of the kitchen, returning food to the kitchen, washing dishes, taking out trash, and just being busy for several hours.  We fed over one hundred people and there was a lot of food to move around.  After five hours of this and cleaning the kitchen, we all left and went home. I was so tired, I went to bed extra early, but could not sleep because every muscle in my body was screaming with pain.  My neck, especially.  All day today I could hardly move without pain running throughout my body.  I don’t take pain very well and when I feel unwell, I just want to crawl into bed and lay there and not be bothered.     It especially bothers me as David has had four days off this weekend and I want to do something fun with him and just don’t feel like getting out of a chair.  Here I am in my husband’s lounge chair at one o’clock in the morning watching “Julie and Julia,” one of my favorite movies, and feeling, well, not so well.

I think I have a low grade fever and that makes me feel even worse.  I almost rather it was a full blown fever that would kill all the bad germs coursing through my body, but instead it’s a fever that just taunts me with unease and the feeling of always being warm.  But then I feel chilled and can’t get warm. Maybe it’s the flu and a combination of other things, but I know I am ready to be done with it.

I am not a good patient either.  I don’t want to be waited on or hovered over.  If I am hungry, I get my own food and I try to hydrate myself continually.

Gee, I am sounding like a whiner and I really don’t mean to. It’s kind of cathartic to talk about something that is bothering you and sometimes it makes things better. I am hoping this will pass before I have to make a visit to my family doctor.   I don’t like to take pills and I know he would prescribe antibiotics.  I just got over a run of antibiotics and steroids a few weeks ago that left me depleted and tired.  I have decided steroids will not be something I will take ever again.  They are really not good for people and the less you have to do with them, the better. I am not a doctor, but I saw what steroids did to my system.  It took  weeks for them to get out of my body.

Are you a  good patient when you are ill?  Do you like being cared for or are you like me and just want to hide under your blankets and be left alone?   I really hope this will pass soon. I have so many things to do this Spring and places to go.

Here’s to good health. Bye.

Why Has the World Gone so Crazy?

I’ve lived quite a few years and voted in several elections.  When I became eighteen, I was so excited that I could vote for the president of the United States.  I grew up in a family that talked politics at the dinner table and have never had trouble talking about politics to anyone.  A lot of people are uncomfortable talking about politics. Not me. I like a good rip roaring debate as long as it doesn’t devolve into name calling and swearing.

I have never missed voting in an election.  I have been unhappy with the person I voted for at times and at other times I have been extremely happy.  I am happy now.  There are people who say I am dumb, can’t read, should be dead don’t pay attention to the news and all manner of mean spirited things just because of who I voted for this time.  I have never seen anything like it.

This year has been different for some reason. I have tried to figure it out, but, honestly, I don’t know what all the uproar is about.  I have lived through several presidents I really didn’t like, but I didn’t attack them incessantly.  Here we are three months into a new president in the White House and the angst hasn’t diminished.

I began to really notice this phenomena right after the election last fall.  I went to my favorite blogs. Blogs that were all sweetness and light and suddenly I felt like I was visiting a complete stranger. The vitriol that I read was astonishing.   People so upset, they talked as if their lives were completely ruined.  So upset they said horrible things about our present president.  People have attacked me online just for mentioning something good about our president. I have been called a bigot and a racist.   I wondered how their lives had changed so much overnight after the election.  Sure, I have been disappointed when a president was elected that I really did not like, but I didn’t immediately start attacking everyone who had voted for him.  I didn’t think my world had ended.

There will be other elections that I won’t be happy about.  But for now, I am enjoying the fact that the person I voted for won.  Fair and square.  Just like every other president has done.  But now there are some who are trying to say the Russians helped him get elected.  How silly.   They are doing everything in their power to try to destroy this president. Our president who is trying to uphold our laws and help people get jobs. I read lie after lie about him and it saddens me that we Americans have become so divided that some cannot accept a free and lawful election.

I’m not even sure I should post this because I think it will make some people so angry they will not want to read my blog any longer.   They will miss out because I have some great stories to tell.     I hope all of you that are reading this don’t suddenly hate me.   There is too much hate right now.  Signs in your yard saying, “Love More” won’t work if you are not willing to love those with whom you disagree.

I pray every day for our president and our country.  I want our country to be the best it can be.  It cannot happen if people are not willing to follow our laws or attack with animosity those with whom they disagree.

I want to keep my blog happy and light and this will be the last time I write about politics for a long time.  I just felt there ought to be a blog for the other side.  Bloggers who agree with me are probably afraid to post about this.   I’m throwing my opinion out into blogosphere and who knows. Maybe someone will understand the other side.

Be happy today. You are alive in a wonderful world if you want to make it that way.  Bye.

My Mom

Today is my mother’s birthday. If she were alive, she would be celebrating 102 years on this earth, but, instead, she is celebrating in heaven with my daddy and that makes me happy. I miss her. I always will until I see her again.  The day she died, I became an orphan. I became the matriarch of my family and I didn’t know if I was up to the job.

My mother grew up in the days of silent pictures, horses were still on the streets, indoor plumbing was not the norm, and clothes were hung out to dry, not put in a dryer.  There were no takeout restaurants.  No giant stores.  No cellphones.  No big screen tvs. In fact, my grandfather didn’t have a tv for a long time and when he did get one, it was about the size of a large radio and in black and white. She lived during the days of radio shows where everyone would sit around the radio and listen to show like “The Shadow.”   She was born just a few years after the Victorian era and she still had a little of that Victorian aura about herself.  She was the oldest of four sisters with whom she stayed close all her life. There is only one of the sisters left now and she lives in Michigan.   Life for my mother was school, church and home.  I never heard her speak of any vacations her family took.  They probably never did. People didn’t have time for those kind of things back then.  Making a living was all people had time for.  She did go to dances and in fact, I found a copy of a letter she wrote to some band asking them to play at a school dance.  I think she was the president of her class by what I read.  She was a woman before her time.   I really wish I knew more about my mother’s early years.  I bet I could write a book.

DSCN4874

This is my mother’s senior picture taken in 1932.

Mom was born just before WWl.   She grew up in a small Indiana town where she knew everyone and everyone knew her.   She lived in the same house until she married my daddy.   That is a story unto itself.  My parents were some of the most ordinary, quiet, sensible people you would ever meet, but there was a streak of rebellion and excitement in them.   I am not exactly sure when they started dating each other. I found an autograph book of my mother’s where my daddy wrote some things that made me think he was in love with her, but she wasn’t quite sure about him at the time.  I have that book  around my house somewhere, but I have lost it and have not been able to find it.  Anyway, at some point, daddy won my mother’s heart and they became a couple.  After they graduated they continued dating and then one night, when they were suppose to be going to a basketball game, they headed on down to Kentucky, found a justice of the peace and got married. They came back home, each to their own home and continued living their lives like nothing had ever happened, But….. one day the newspaper came with wedding licenses in it and my grandpa saw that Miss Jeannette Driggs  Ridenour  was wed to Mr. Paul K. Pentecost and let’s just say the roof came off.  So, parents and my parents had a meeting and it was decided that since they were married, they needed to make a home together. No more living at home with Mom and Dad.  So they started their life together.

I am not sure where all they lived, but there was one place my mother called “Tucker’s” that my mother evidently loved.  She talked about it often.  Then my daddy’s mom and dad wanted him to come home and farm the farm as they were getting old and couldn’t manage any longer, so Mom and daddy packed  up and brought their little family to the farm where I grew up.   I am not sure how many of us kids were born at that time.  But my mother and daddy lived there until they had to go into nursing homes.

Life was not always easy on the farm. It was hard work, but my daddy was never one to shy away from work nor was my mother. I believe that is where I got my strong work ethic.  Mom raised six children on that farm, making our clothes, canning, washing clothes in a wringer washing(worshing) machine and hanging the clothes on the line to dry. Ironing, cooking and cleaning.  That is about all I remember my mother doing at home. Besides reading.

My mother loved to read and every two weeks she would pack me and my younger brother into the car and drive five miles to Hagerstown where the nearest library was and we would all get armloads of books to bring home to read.  I loved going to the library.  I loved how it smelled. I loved the two older ladies that checked out the books.  I got my love of reading from my mother and I am so glad I did.  My aunt told me one time that when my mother was a girl she always was reading, even when she was ironing clothes.  I believe it. She would get up early every morning and read the Bible and read her library books.   With six children to raise, she had very little time during the day to sit down and read.  Early morning was her time and if one of us kids would get up at five a.m., Mom would tell us to go back to bed for a while longer.  It was her reading time!

My mother was the best cook for miles around.  She fried the best chicken I  have ever tasted. Just last week I fried some chicken and for some reason, it tasted just like Mom’s and I was so excited.  I hadn’t done anything differently.  Maybe it was the chicken itself. I do know the chicken my mother fried was killed one day, dressed and prepared the next, so it was nice and fresh.   Saturday was baking day and all kinds of cakes, cookies and pies came out of Mom’s kitchen.   I was often in the kitchen with her baking something for a 4-H project.  One summer my family grew sick of yellow cake because that is the kind I had to show at the fair.  And one year it was orange breakfast rolls that we had every single week until I showed some at the fair.   I love to bake and it all began in my mother’s kitchen.  I don’t like cooking so much. I think because it is something one has to do every single day if one wants to eat unless you go out to eat every day, which we don’t.  My mother was cooking all the time when she wasn’t cleaning or gardening.  She loved to garden.  I have some of her perennials in my own garden today.    I remember an old fashion rose bush that smelled heavenly growing on a fence by our vegetable garden gate. Every year it was loaded with pink roses.  She grew African violets and my daddy built her a window hothouse in which to grow them. She became quite an expert at raising them and had many beautiful violets growing all year round in the window.

My mother was terrified of storms. When one would come up, she would tell us to stay away from windows and she would huddle somewhere in the house far from any window.  One year lightning struck our house and blew the telephone clear off the wall.  That kind of reinforced Mom’s fear of storms.  And yet, she liked to watch rain come over the hill and down to our little farm. I loved storms until this year lightning struck an electric poll near our house and took out several of our electrical appliances and the internet. Now, when I hear thunder, I start unplugging things.  I understand now to be fearful of lightning.

Mom wasn’t a hugger or kisser except when Daddy would grab her and spin her around and hug and kiss her. She would act all embarrassed and we kids would go, “Ewwww!” but we really loved it.  With her strong German heritage, she didn’t demonstrate her love that way and even though I got few hugs from her, I knew she loved me.  There was no doubt in my mind.   She would do anything for her children, but she did expect us to mind her.

My mother told us interesting stories like when Pearl Harbor was attacked and about all the airplanes that flew overhead for hours heading west.   She lived through the Great Depression and told about men who would come to their door asking for food and Grandma would give them some. My Grandpa worked in a grocery so they were never without food and shared what they had.  Back then they called those men hobos although they were men out of work traveling across the country looking for a job.  She told about a little boy who went missing in her town when she was a girl and that the last time he was seen he was walking with a woman with long, dark hair.  I don’t know if she told me that story in order that I would be wary of strangers, but it sure did make me so.  She told about the days when she would go home for lunch from school, crossing the rail road track and then when she was going back to school a train would be on the track and how some kids crawled underneath it to get back to school on time. I asked her if she ever did and she told me, no.  I wish I could talk to her again and hear her stories. I know I would listen more closely and ask a whole lot more questions.  She told me about walking to church and the library just a few blocks from her home. I thought it was wonderful to live so close to a library.   One of her best friends was Dr. Dubois’s daughter. He was the town doctor.  He lived just a couple of blocks from my mother’s house.  Her friend moved to California and she never heard from her again. I am glad I still hear from my best friends from school.  Not often, but we do keep in touch.  I think my mother always missed her best friend.  She told me about her Aunt Emmie and Aunt Idy whom she loved and visited quite often. They, of course, lived in the same town not far from my mother and she could visit them any time she wanted. All my aunts and uncles lived far away from me most of my life so I didn’t get to experience that closeness with them.  I wish I could have.

If you still have your mother with you, ask about her history.   Have her write it down.   One day you will wish you had.

Happy Birthday, Mom.  I miss you.   Say hello to daddy for me. Bye.

 

What Happened to My Favorite Blogs?

I got into the blogging world late.  A late bloomer, you might say.  The day I found out about blogs, I spent almost the entire day reading them.  I discovered Posie Gets Cozy and Pioneer Woman.  I read every post they had written.  I discovered Henhouse and Posey and Attic 24, blogs from England. Nostalgia at the Stonehouse.   Tales From the Coop Keeper.  Pamkitty Morning.  I read and read them and wanted to start a blog of my own.   I read so many blogs that I have forgotten their names and wish I had written them down so I could visit them again. Posey just disappeared one Christmas and has never come back. I hope she is well.   I really do care.  Tales From the Coop Keeper started a business and has stopped blogging regularly.   I can understand.  Henhouse opened a guest cottage and hasn’t written since.  I would love to visit her guest cottage in England one day.   I imagine she is kept busy.

Still, I found more bloggers and went into their worlds and read about their lives and their businesses and families.  This week, Ree, the Pioneer Woman wrote about the loss of their beloved dog, Charlie, and I cried like it was my own dog. Ree has created a mega business from her simple little blog.  A tv cooking show and a store.  Dishes and books for sale.    I read From My Front Porch in the Mountains and about her horses and the birth of a new foal and watched as that foal grew up.   The writer suffers from a debilitating illness and wrote about that, but always foremost were her animals.  All her dogs and cats and horses.  Then, suddenly, one day, she stopped writing and has not written another post.  I feel like I lost a friend.   I wonder if she is well.  What happened?

I read blogs from almost famous people, like Susan Branch who designs calenders and writes beautiful books and illustrates them herself.  I even got to meet her.  Many bloggers have become almost celebrities in their own right.

Then there are the blogs that talk about quilting.  I love those blogs.  Many have quilt alongs where you can make a quilt right along with them as they instruct you.  One of the bloggers, who use to own a quilt shop in Iowa and that I met once, also is a designer of quilts and has written several books and patterns with a friend.  I visited her quilt shop before she closed it. It was so cute.  In a former chicken coop.  And she talked to me and took me on a tour around her house.   How about that?

There are blogs about knitting which has drawn my interest lately.  Cozy is a prolific, outstanding knitter who seems to knit a sweater a week.  Canadian Needle Nana is a like minded soul who loves creating with her hands and I love the scenes from her Canadian home.

I finally decided to try this blogging thing a few years ago and my first blog was called,
I LOVE MY DOGS.   I wrote it for a while until I lost a lot of pictures on it.  Then my son bought me another site and I began this blog.   It’s become a hodge podge of different things about my life, stories, poems, history and English lessons, my dogs and chickens, our travels.  Whatever I feel like writing about.   It’s become a diary of sorts that I hope one day my children will read about their mother’s life.

There is a blog of just pictures called Murmuring Cottage. The photos are exquisite and many make me wish I could go inside them and live they are so beautiful and warm and cozy.

There is a blog called Quiet Life and she is still blogging steadily.  Almost every day.  She got me interested in reading a book about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a Christian man who was murdered by the Nazis because of his beliefs.   She was having a book discussion on it, but stopped suddenly.  Perhaps because the book was about a thousand pages long and it got to be tedious. Not the book. The book was wonderful. Written by Eric Mataxes.  I think that is how his last name is spelled.  I even read a blog where the blogger was all excited about having dinner with this author.  Small world, isn’t it?   Sometimes I think all we bloggers are connected in some way.

Wishwishwish.   A blog written by a young English woman who models her clothes and is now earning her living with her blog.   She has style and travels a lot and takes her readers with her through all the pictures she shows us.   I often wonder how one so young got so smart and mature so fast.   Of course, when I was her age, I had two children, had bought two houses already and was working and raising our family.   I still don’t think I am so smart and mature!

I have learned so much from blogs.  Things to cook.  Things to sew. Creative things to make. The latest blog I have found is Ann Wood’s blog. She is a creative person who shares some of her patterns for free.  She made the most glorious flamingos from paper.   I can’t wait to see what she will come up with this year.

There are many more blogs I have read.  Some have just disappeared or the blogger has found something else to do with her time or something has happened in the family that causes them to have to stop blogging.  I know blogging can be time consuming with taking the pictures and putting them on the computer and then writing the blog.  Notice all the pictures I have here today?!   Sometimes I just feel like writing without pictures.

Another blog I loved was Coal Creek Farm.  The blogger wrote about her family with humor and often had videos of her dancing or the family dancing.  Then the kids grew up, her husband got cancer and her blogging stopped, which I could understand, But I wonder how they all are.  If everything is okay.  I worry like they are one of my family.   I will tell you, if I ever decide to stop blogging I will tell you why I am stopping, if I am able.  I look at blogging like it’s a book.  A beginning, a middle and an ending and you must include the ending.

So that’s why I blog.  So many people inspired me to do so.  To all you who have stopped blogging,  I miss your blogs and to all you that I still read, keep blogging.    Bye.

A Fresh Start

Ah, a brand, spanking new year to celebrate.  Clean, bright and shiny with nothing to tarnish it for a short time.  Once the clock says twelve midnight, we say good-bye to 2016 and hello to 2017.  When I was a young girl, this year would have seemed like it would take  forever to get here.  I would be an old lady then(or older lady, anyway.)   There would be flying cars and robots doing all our work for us.  Well, it hasn’t turned out quite like that, but things sure have change a lot since I was a child.

When I was a child, we still had television antennas and three or four channels.  We had no indoor plumbing and we heated with wood and coal oil.   We did have electricity and telephones but the phones were connected to the wall and we could only take the phone as far as the cord would stretch.  No telephone conversations that the whole family could not hear.   My daddy drove a big old station wagon and we could sit clear in the back without seat belts and even lay down and take a nap.   I was raised on a farm where the animals were fed and cared for before my daddy would come in to eat.   We ate our meals around a table with conversations and no cellphones to interrupt. Now, it’s the other way around. Conversations interrupt people texting on their phones.  I don’t call that progress.  I call that sad.   Every meal was freshly prepared by my mother, who was the best cook in the county, if not the state. Never any takeout meals.  No McDonald’s or Wendys when I was growing up. Our little town did have a restaurant, but I don’t think our family ever ate in it.     We washed dishes by hand together, drying them with a towel and talking as we worked.  Until we had a bathroom installed, we washed from a wash basin in the kitchen.  My mother would cover all the windows with newspaper so no one could see us bathing.

I enjoyed growing up on my daddy’s farm.  I think I had one of the best childhoods anyone could wish for.  I spent hours in the barn playing.  I dreamed of having a horse and every Christmas I always thought I would get one.  I did get one, but my brother helped me buy him and I will be forever indebted to him for being such a good big brother for helping me get my horse.   I roamed the farm playing with all the animals, even the baby pigs and calves that were born in the Spring.  I rode my horse on the country roads and even into town.   I worked in our garden, fed the chickens, helped my mother clean the house.  We were always cleaning house, it seemed.   We washed clothes in a wringer washer and I loved putting the clothes through the wringer, being careful not to catch my fingers in it.  We hung our clothes out to dry. I still miss the scent of air dried clothes, fresh from the clothesline  My mother didn’t get a washer and dryer until after I got married and left home.  Mother did the washing every Monday and I helped do the ironing on Tuesdays.  Fridays we always had hamburgers for dinner which was a treat for me.  Saturday dinners were always fish.   Sunday dinners were almost always fried chicken or beef roast. Saturday night and Sunday night suppers we got to eat on a tray in front of the television and it was the only time I got to drink a coke.

I never thought I would grow up, grow old and not live on a farm.  I still have a farmer’s daughter’s blood running through my veins and I always will.  I loved when every new year came.  I always got a diary for Christmas and loved writing on the very first page about the very first day of the brand new year.  Some day I will share some of my diaries writings.  But not all of them!  Some things must remain private!

We don’t know what this new year will bring.   I know we will get a new family member through marriage.  Will I get a new puppy?  More chickens?  Will David and I journey someplace new?  Will we lose a loved one?   Will we keep our good health?   Will I gain a new friend?  Every day when I get up, I pray God will send me another friend.   I pray for all my friends.  Some have had a bad year and some have had good years. I have lost several friends in 2016.  We have seen several celebrities die. Ones I watched when I was a girl.  We don’t know what life will bring us in the coming year, but we can know one thing. We can have a relationship with the very One who gave us life and put our trust in Him.  My hope is in Jesus Christ.  Whatever befalls me, He has my back.  I am not alone in this walk through life.

So for all of you reading this, I pray for God’s blessings on you and that this year will bring you peace, joy and love.  Love being the greatest of these.

Happy New Year, friends.  Bye.

 

The Inn Keeper

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a degree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed……….And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city, Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem;(because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary, his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.  KJV Luke 2:1-7

No room for them in the inn.  Has that ever happened to you?  It has happened to David and me.  One time when we were traveling, we stopped in a college town to find a motel.  We didn’t know that there was a major football game happening there between two rival teams and we could not find one motel with a room in that town.  We traveled to the next town.  Same thing. So we drove and stopped at motels and I would run in and ask, “Do you have a room?”  and  I was told several times, “No, sorry.”  So we had to drive a good distance from the first town we had stopped at to find a place to lay our heads that night.  I kind of understood how Joseph and Mary felt when they arrived in Bethlehem and they could not find a place to sleep. Plus, Mary was in her ninth month of pregnancy and was due any time.

Not a whole lot has been written about the innkeeper who told them they could stay in his stable.   Some think he was cruel.  Others say, “How dare he not give a room to the holy family?”  Well, he didn’t know at the time they were a holy family.  Only Mary and Joseph knew who the baby was that Mary was carrying.  God’s only Son.   I am sure they had kept it quiet ever since they found out Mary was pregnant and still a virgin.

In Bethlehem in those days, there weren’t motels and hotels like we have today.  Most inns were probably quite small and accommodations were probably crude, at best.  No white, fluffy towels.  No showers.  No bathrooms, probably.  No little bottles of lotion and shampoo.  So, all the inns were full to capacity because people had come to Bethlehem to be taxed.  The city’s inns were overflowing, kind of like when there is a Super Bowl happening in a city and you can’t find a motel room anywhere.

So, here is an innkeeper, looking at this young couple at his door. The girl(Mary was probably in her teens) was obviously pregnant and he had no more rooms to let.  What was he to do?  He had a stable( more like a cave) that he knew was dry and warm and had clean straw, so he gave them the choice of staying there and they took it.

If you have never been in a barn, you would not know that it can be a very cozy place.  When I was growing up. I played in my daddy’s big, red barn almost every day.  In the Summer it was cool.  In the Winter, it wasn’t exactly warm and toasty, but it was comfortable.  If there were cows, pigs and my horse in it, it was warmer because of their warm bodies heating it up.  I loved the smell of the barn.  I would lay in the straw in the barn loft and play with kittens that were born between the hay bales.  A stable is not the worst place you could find yourself.

So Mary and Joseph went to the stable and looked around and found a manger, from which the cattle ate, probably found some straw and padded it and awaited the birth of their son.  And when Jesus was born, they found some rags in the stable and wrapped him up in them and laid him in the manger.  Why would God allow His son to be born in a lowly place like a stable?  Prophets had foretold hundreds if not a thousand years before Jesus’ birth, that he would be born to a virgin, of humble estate.   There are several reasons why Jesus was born in the stable, but the main one was to show the world the humbleness of the man that would be.  That he came, not to conquer the world, but to save it.   It may have been God’s way of protecting  Jesus because the king of that country was looking for the Savior and king that was to be born.  He would never have thought of looking in a stable for a king.

Anyway, I believe the inn keeper was in God’s plan.  He provided the humble place for Jesus to be born.  He was not mean. He did the best he could.

In this glorious season celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, and that is what Christmas is really all about, let us thank God for the wonderful blessing he gave to us that first Christmas day and say a thank you to the inn keeper who provided a safe, dry and warm place for the holy family to stay. May our hearts provide a place for Jesus in them, too.  Bye.

 

 

 

Saving a Bird

Okay, I don’t have any pictures today because I have been too busy to take any.  I went boating with my daughter’s family and didn’t take the camera.  Went to two of our grandsons’ soccer games and didn’t bring a camera.  Maybe my next post will have pictures.  I don’t know. I’ve been living in the moment lately and too busy for pictures.

Anyway, today I went outside to fill the bird feeders.  We have this metal one and a bird had gotten its head caught in it the other day and I managed to slip it out and free it.  Today I went out and once again another bird had its head stuck.  I worked and worked trying to get that bird out, but it was still stuck, so I went inside and got some cooking oil and rubbed over as much of the bird as I could and tried to slip its head out, but it was still stuck.  The only thing to do was take apart the bird feeder.  Now this feeder is metal and put together very well.  I took the lid off and used a screw driver to try to loosen the area where the bird’s head was.  That bird had its head wound around in there so tight, there was no getting it out without completely dismantling the feeder. So with screw driver I pried and pulled at that bird feeder while continually talking to the little bird telling it I was trying to save it.  I was also doing a good deal of praying For God to help me.  He must have been having a good laugh in Heaven, because He wasn’t that quick to help me.  I worked on that bird feeder for over an hour trying to pry it apart. I kept checking on the bird and it kept blinking its eye at me.  I then went and got some pliers to see if they would work.  They did a little better than the screw driver, but still that bird’s head was stuck.  Then I remembered the wire cutters David had so I found them and began to snip at the metal around the bird’s head while telling it I was really trying very hard to get it loose.  Finally, after much prying, pulling and snipping the little bird’s head got loose and it took off flying so I knew it was okay. Wonder how it explained to all its friends how it got oil all over itself!

But my day of saving birds had not ended.  We have this circular bird feeder that the birds eat from the bottom. I went to fill it and yes, another bird had its head stuck.  I got that one out pretty quickly, but I got rid of that feeder too.  Then, I went to get a watering can and there was a dead bird inside it all moldy.  What are birds doing around here.  Committing suicide?  Or are they just so greedy they stick their heads wherever they think they can get more delicious birdseed?   I was just about done with birds by then.  I was almost afraid to go out and feed the chickens for fear one of them had stuck her head in something, but they were all okay.

That’s all I have for today.  Feed the birds and hope they don’t get their heads stuck.  Bye.

Simply Words

No pictures today, folks, even though I have several on my camera.  The past three weeks have been kind of fuzzy to me. After we took the Grandboys to the Children’s Museum, I got sick the day after and am really not feeling completely well yet.  I coughed and hacked for two weeks until my head and my teeth hurt and only after David started coughing and hacking did I decide to make us appointments to see the doctor.

I really like our doctor, I just don’t want to see him anymore than I have to.  He examined us both and put us on antibiotics steroids and inhalers.  I don’t like inhalers at all.  So we are finishing up these meds and I still have a cough and am blowing my nose. so there will probably be another doctor’s visit in my future.  When I was growing up and got sick, the usual remedy was a shot of penicillin and that usually made me well.  I don’t know what has happened to penicillin, but I am going to ask my doctor if he still uses it.

During these two week our tomatoes and cucumbers have gone wild.  I have picked so many and given so many away and they still keep coming.  I froze a little tomato juice.   I use to can tomatoes, but I quit that a long time ago because it seemed all the work wasn’t worth the product.  Plus, it’s always so hot when it’s time to can.  Yes, I am lazy.

My sock pile is getting bigger, however.  I have knitted and knitted when I felt poorly and some people are going to get several pairs of socks come Christmas.  I love knitting socks now.  I can almost do it with my eyes closed.  I can’t wait to get more yarn.  I have become a complete yarn addict.  At least I feel like I am accomplishing something while I’m sitting here.

David and I are planning a train trip this year.  Riding and sleeping on a train has been on my bucket list forever.  We will get to sleep four nights on the train and I can’t wait.  When we took the ferry to Alaska. I slept better than I ever had before.  Last night I had a dream I was sleeping on a train and it rocked just like the ferry did.   Alicia Paulsen on her blog, Posey Gets Cozy. just took the train trip we are going to take.  The train goes though mountains and Glacier Park and though the west.   Her pictures are amazing.  The dining car looks just like I envision it with white table cloths on the tables, sitting by a window eating your meal while the scenery goes by.  Looks like pure Heaven.

The grandchildren have all gone back to school.  Whatever happened to Summer?  June and July flew by.  I blinked and it was August.  Now August is half over already.  I really don’t think children should have to start school until after Labor Day.    I remember one year we got out of school on May 6th and didn’t return until after Labor Day.  It was a long, lazy(well as lazy as you can get on a farm) and wonderful Summer.  I would spend my days reading, playing with the animals on the farm, helping in the garden, helping my mother freeze corn. We did one hundred pints one Summer.  I got to do a lot of day dreaming too. Do kids have time to day dream any longer?  Day dreams are what inventions and literature and beautiful music come from.  If you are constantly bombarded with noise from an Ipod or looking down at your cellphone all the time for the next text, you really don’t have time to day dream.  A whole generation is losing out on the chance to just sit and day dream.  We are hooked up to social networks and are less social.  There has to be a middle ground somewhere, but when I go out and all I see are people sitting together with their eyes on their cellphones instead of connecting to others, It makes me kind of sad.  People even think you are kind of odd if you aren’t carrying your cellphone around with you everywhere you go.  It’s like life support for some people.   And now the Pokeman phenomena is driving people nuts.  Grownups racing around looking for an imaginary little creature.  What has happened to grownups, anyway?  Why do grownups now act like children?  I’m not being judgmental, I am just curious.  My parents would think the adults of today were acting very infantile.   My parents came from the generation when you had to work hard just to live and raise your family.  Family was the most important thing, too.   They didn’t have time for playing very often.  A family vacation was a real treat to be saved for and then you didn’t take another for a few years.  Now people think they have to vacation all the time.  My thoughts on vacations are they are fun, but they always make me glad when I get home.   When I am on vacation, I am thinking of home and when I am home I am planning a vacation.  I’ve gone on a lot of imaginary vacations in my mind.  Some have come true.  Others may never happen.

I am looking forward to cooler weather.  We have had rain, heat and humidity for weeks now.  I really feel sorry for the people in Louisiana. They are really having a hard time of it. Our town was flooded a few years ago, so I kind of know what they are going through.  Just think of losing all you own, all of it underwater, the mud and dirt in your home.  I pray for them that the rains will stop and they can start the clean up and get back to normal as quickly as possible.

Well, I have rambled on long enough.   I think it is my fuzzy mind still clogged with the cold and it doesn’t help that yesterday, while running to answer the phone, I had something slippery on my feet and I did the splits running to the radio to turn it down and then I did the splits running to the telephone and laying on the floor, I finally got it answered and it was our internet company. Our internet had gone out again, the second time this Summer and I find I am lost without it, which makes me wonder about myself.  Anyway.  I got the phone answered, but today I have a badly sprained toe with bruises and my thighs hurt.  But, we have our internet back and I get to ramble here on my blog.  So all is good.

Hope you are having a better time than me.  Bye.

Freedom

I’m sitting here this fourth of July weekend thinking about my country and where it is headed. I don’t like to talk politics on my blog, but today I am going to, so if you hate politics, you may not want to read today.   I am very interested in politics and have always been proud to vote ever since I was able and have not missed a presidential election.  I don’t intend to miss this one either.

If you live in the states or not, you know we are going to elect a new president this November. We have two contenders.  One is a businessman who has never been involved in politics other than donating to various candidates through the years.  He inherited money from his father which he turned into billions with his business acumen. Along the way there has been a few bankruptcies of which he’s admitted were due to poor decisions.  It’s not as if he is the first person to ever go into bankruptcy, but you would think it by what his opponents have said.  Anyway, he looks at politics as something that gets in the way of running a country and wants to bring back the good economy we have had in the past until the politicians started making deals against their very country.  He also wants to protect our borders which have been left wide open for whomever wanted to come in.  In the past, the United States has stopped immigration for a time until people became assimilated to our country and our culture.  Learn the language and become American citizens. That doesn’t happen so much now.  People come from other countries and want our country to change for them, not the other way around.   We welcome immigrants with open arms when they come in legally and obey our laws and accept our culture.

The other candidate has been in politics almost her entire adult life.  Marrying a man who became senator from Arkansas and then became president of the United States.  He had his troubles in office and she did many devious things like having people’s tax returns in her possession.   Together, they helped run up the deficit, supported NAFTA and sent the country into turmoil with his behavior toward an intern and other women.  She ran a “bimbo eruption” action to stop any women from being heard or saying they were all lying.   She tried to write a healthcare bill that failed miserably in congress because she wanted to put people and doctors in jail for not following its edicts.   A book is now out about her telling how she treated underlings and others she thought were beneath her.   She has been under investigation for months about E-mails on her private server that should have not been there since they were government E-mails.  Now some countries have those E-mails to use as blackmail should she become president.

Neither candidate has high likeability polls. But one is more widely known than the other.

I picked my candidate long ago and intend to help him as much as I can to get into office.

The other thing I wanted to talk about was Brexit.  When England left the EU, I cheered.  I find it strange that people are against a country having borders and its own laws and it own leaders.  With the EU, many European countries were taking orders from bureaucrats in Brussels, Belgium, far away from the people they were ordering. No representation.  No ability to vote the bureaucrats out.   I found that rather odd and disturbing.  It would be like someone in Venezuela making laws for we the people in the United States.  Most of us would not like that one bit.  I am heartily hopeful that other European countries under the thumb of the EU will get out also.  Many do not know that the EU was thought up originally by Adolph Hitler.  He planned for one central government(Germany) to be over the states(other European countries.)  All the countries were to take orders from the government(Germany).  I find it astounding that so many European countries bought the EU idea after fighting a war to be free from an overbearing government.  Many of the young people who have grown up under the EU don’t know what real freedom is.  Maybe now they will learn and find it was a wonderful thing those who voted for Brexit did.

There is something about people inside them that yearns to be free. Free from overbearing, over regulating governments who stop our pursuit of happiness.   This November, we will vote for a candidate who wants to cut the chains of an oppressive government and the other candidate who wants to be more repressive. One believes our rights come from God and are mentioned in the Constitution.  The other wants to take away our guns. A right clearly mentioned in our Constitution.  We the people have a very clear choice. I pray we make the right one.

I hope all my fellow citizens of the United States have a wonderful holiday.  While you are at it, say a prayer for our country and our next president.  Bye.