Category Archives: Things on my mind

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.

Spa Day and Father’s Day

I did something unusual for me.  I got up at six o’clock, something I very rarely do nowadays.  I have become a lay-a-bed in the past year or so because I have been staying up late at night.  Last night I sat outside and watched the lightening bugs flit around in my garden.  It was magical.  They would light up all at once and then there would be a short period when few were lit up and then they would light up again.

Anyway, I jumped out of bed this morning, ready to go, got dressed and out the door to do some chores before it got too hot.  David was still asleep.  He is almost always up before me.  I was thinking he was supposed to be at work at five, but his employer changes his hours often, so I just thought he was going in later.    I weeded a flower bed and spread some mulch.  I watered the flowers.  I took out an unwanted bush that had grown up on the fence. I trimmed down a small tree that had popped up in one of my flower beds.  Then I went inside and it was seven o’clock and I thought if David was going in later, he should be up by now so I went upstairs and he was still asleep.  I really hated to wake him, but I was wondering when he was suppose to go into work.

“You didn’t have to go in at five this morning?” I asked him as he opened his eyes.  “No, I go in at ten,” he replied.  “That’s your Saturday hours,” I told him.  “It’s not Saturday?!”  he asked and jumped out of bed.  He was dressed and out the door in fifteen minutes.  As soon as he left the phone rang. It was his manager wanting to know if something had happened to him.  I told her what had happened and that he was on his way.  I think this is only about the second time David has ever been late for work.  He prides himself on arriving early.  This will bother him for days.  He was also hoping they would keep him for two hours longer to make up for the two hours he missed this morning.   Yes, he has a very strong work ethic.

After he left for work, I went out and cleaned out the chicken house, spread some new bedding, raked their yard and fed and watered the chooks.

Then I decided I would do something else I have not done in years.  I took a spa day for myself. Not a go to a spa and get myself pampered.  My spa day was a long soak in the tub, washing my hair and reading all morning.  I very rarely get time to read during the day.  I do most of my reading in bed at night.  So this was a treat for me today.  I am reading a very interesting book by Vernon Coleman.  He has become one of my favorite authors. He not only writes fiction, but he writes about the medical profession, politics and the EU, which he hates.  He was a general practitioner in England until he retired to write.  I didn’t know if a doctor retires in England, he loses his license to practice medicine ever again.  Is it that way here in the United States?  Sounds like a horrible idea to me, but it’s one of the EU’s laws.  Anyway, I read one of his books all morning and enjoyed myself immensely.  Maybe I need to do this more often.  When I was a girl, I would read all day sometimes swinging on the porch swing.  Now that I’m retired(if a homemaker can ever really be retired) I should find more time to read.

I got this book and DVD in the mail today.

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At the Creation Museum near Cincinnati, Ohio, they have built an exact replica of the ark as described in the Bible.  It’s longer than a football field and four stories high.  I sent some money to help it get built and received these for donating.  Very interesting.   It opens on our wedding anniversary, but I think we will wait a while to go see it until the newness wears off it, because the crowds to see it will probably be enormous for the first few months.

This Sunday is Father’s Day. I lost my daddy decades ago, but I still think of him every day and miss him.  I know he’s in heaven, probably building something or taking care of animals.  My daddy taught me a strong work ethic.  Because of him, I am not afraid to work.   In fact, I love to work.  He was a farmer and a factory worker. He raised six children with my mother and I think all of us turned out pretty good.  He saw some tragedies in his life that would have broken weaker men.  He was a Christian.  He got saved later in life and I remember when it happened. Now my father was always a kind and good man, but he could swear with the best of them, especially if he hit his finger with a hammer or some such accident and he smoked cigarettes continually.   The day he was saved, all swearing disappeared, the cigarettes were tossed and he started going to church every week and became very active in the church. Before that, he only attended once in a while.  I kept waiting to hear him swear, but I never heard him say a swear word for the rest of his life.   He took his salvation seriously, as we all should do and lived it until the day he died.

My father showed no favoritism to any of his children.  I loved being out with him when he was working especially when he was in the milking parlor where he taught me how to milk cows by hand.  Later he got milking machines.  He showed me how to squirt milk into a barn cat’s mouth from several feet away.   We kids always loved it when he took some time out from his always busy days to play basketball with my brothers in the haymow.  Daddy didn’t have a lot of time in his days.  He was always working.  Later in his life he slowed down a little and he would come in, lay down on the floor and take a short nap.  Then it would be up and out and working again.  He was the love of my mother’s life and when he died, she lost her best friend, lover and constant companion.  She was never truly happy after that and I understand her completely.

I received some books of my mother’s a while back and in one of the books that was like a high school annual, my daddy wrote my mother a poem.  From the words, it appeared they weren’t dating yet and daddy was trying to get my mother to like him.   Later they would date and elope and were married for over fifty years.

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My daddy was a very handsome man.  He had very blue eyes.  I remember once when I was about five years old, I did something naughty and all daddy had to do was cock an eyebrow and look at me sternly and it would crush me.   I only got one spanking from my daddy in my life and it was when I was grown and old enough to know better.   I said something very disrespectful to my mother and my daddy whipped around, threw me over his lap and gave me a few whacks on the bottom.  I was more embarrassed  than hurt, but daddy was not going to stand by and hear his wife talked to in that manner.  Now that I look back, I sure deserved that spanking and I have never held it against my daddy.  In fact, I rather admire him for sticking up for his wife, which every man should do.

One of my grandsons reminds me so much of my father.  I tell him that all the time.  Daddy had delicate features, but was one of the toughest and strongest men I know.   He wasn’t a big man either, but was tall in stature in my eyes.

Happy Father’s Day, daddy.  I know  you are watching over me and I will see you again one day.  Say  hi and give my love to mother, too.  Bye.

 

 

This is Retirement?

I don’t think David and I thought very much about retirement when we were younger.  We were just trying to make a living and raise our three children and keep food on the table.  I always heard that retirement was the time when one could kick back and relax.  Do some traveling.  People picture Grandmas and  Grandpas sitting on the porch, Grandma with knitting in her hands.  Well, a little of that happens around here, but we evidently didn’t get the message about how to behave when retired.

It seems we are busier than ever.  Work just as hard and the days go by much, much more quickly. Here it is, June already.  Where did May go?  I spend most of my days outside in the garden or taking care of the chickens and playing with the dogs.  Between laundry, cooking, cleaning, and other household chores, I keep pretty busy.  I don’t know how our ancestors did it without all the labor saving devices we have now.  My great-great-great grandmother had to heat the water for the laundry, wash everything on a washboard, hang the clothes outside, weather permitting, iron all the clothes and by the time she was done with that, it was time to start all over.  She did this while raising a garden, canning enough food to get the family through the winter, cooking every single meal, and raising a family.  Whew.  I get tired just thinking about it.  I can stick a load of clothes in the washer, go outside, and when I come in, the clothes are washed.  It almost seems like a miracle to me.  But I see miracles in a lot of things.   Not all that long ago if you had leftovers, you had to get out pans and heat them on the stove and then you would have all the pans to wash afterward. Now, with the microwave, we can fill up a plate with leftovers, heat it for a few minutes and have a good, hot meal, almost as good as the original you cooked before.  Miracle.

But I got off subject. I do that all the time.  Here are a few things that we have been doing the last few weeks.

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We celebrated Memorial Day, a day to remember our fallen soldiers and also to remember loved ones who have died.  David’s grandmother always called it Decoration Day because it was the day she always took flowers and decorated the graves of family members.

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I fix a pot of grass for the chickens every once in a while.  They need their greens, too.

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“What are you looking at?  Can’t we eat without being disturbed?”

I’ve become a sock model.

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Why do I always have a bruise on my shins?

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See that pie safe in the background?  I took that step ladder there and climbed up to see if it needed dusting on top.  Well, since I  haven’t dusted up there in years, I found a dust storm up there.  I was a little amazed, thinking I kept a pretty clean house and there was such a dusty place almost right over my nose.  I took everything off it, washed what I could to include several American flags I had in a can.  I scrubbed the top three times until I felt like it was clean enough.  Now it’s good for another ten years!  I reckon if I looked hard enough, I could find several dusty places in my house, but I’m not going to look too hard.  The thing about dust.  It will always be there.  It won’t go away on its own.  I read one time that we could have the dust from the first Adam’s body in our dust bunnies under our beds because dust travels all over the world.  Maybe I have Moses under my bed or maybe Christopher Columbus.    If so, they will be quite safe there as I don’t like to dust all that much unless I really feel like it.

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We had sixteen people here for dinner the other day and the kids all played in the pool. I love having lots of kids in the pool.  They had so much fun.  Besides that, they stir up all the stuff on the bottom of the pool and that actually helps to clean it.   And the water definitely was stirred.

David and I have eaten at a couple of different restaurants lately.  One was called Stone’s Family Restaurant in Mihousen.  The food was so-so, but it was worth the trip to eat the fried biscuits and apple butter.  We could have made a meal out of those.  The restaurant is in this little off the beaten path town time has forgot.   We drove several back roads to get there and the scenery was so pretty.  I don’t think any place is prettier than Indiana in Summer.

The other one was in the little town of Vernon.  Vernon hosts a town wide garage sale every Labor Day weekend.  There are yard sales all the way along the highway to Vernon. We went one year and there was just about everything for sale, plus there were vendors selling their wares.   We have eaten at this restaurant before.  Really good food.

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We missed the Karaoke.

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This is what it looks like on the outside.  Nothing special, but I don’t think I have ever had as good fish as I did there.   It was done to perfection.  Not greasy and not fishy tasting.

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We ate there on the way back from this place.  Streamcliff Farm.  A nursery, winery that was having a flower sale.  I was not going to buy anymore flowers this year. But…..

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Of course, I did.  You took a little red wagon through the greenhouses to pick up your plants.

I bought several perennials and a rhubarb plant. By the way, our rhubarb has done wonderfully this year.  I have several packages of it frozen so that in the middle of the winter, we can have rhubarb pie and think of Spring.

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The plants sold here are so healthy and big.  I don’t know what kind of fertilizer they use,  but the plants sure do flourish.

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There are little gardens everywhere.  I wonder what it is like to wake up every morning and know all this is yours and you can walk through it anytime?

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Fish in the fishpond. Everyone needs a garden they can escape to whether it’s on several acres or on the rooftop of a city building.

There was a man there playing  and singing Johnny Cash songs and he sounded just like him!

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Man in black.  I love Johnny Cash songs.  He was a great song writer and singer.

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This is what I have been doing today.  David is replacing the fence boards along one side of our back yard so I decided to stain them.  There will be hundreds. Today I stained forty some.  He went and bought some more and some more stain, so guess what I will be doing tomorrow.

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David put up the original fence about twenty-five years ago.  It’s held up pretty well, but it’s time to be replaced.

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Just so they won’t think I have forgotten them, here’s the puppers.  Always watching for me to come out.  Playmate, come out and play with me, and bring your dollies three, climb up the apple tree.  Look down the rain barrel, slide down the cellar door.  And we’ll be jolly friends, forevermore.  My mother use to sing that song to me.

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Molly looks like she has a big cigar in her mouth.

Hope you are having a wonderful Summer(or Winter in some parts of our world.)  Soon the longest day will come and the days will start to shorten again.  It never changes.  Bye.

 

My New Obsession

I love making things.  Mostly sewn things.  It was my goal years ago to have at least one hundred quilts before I died.  Well, with having a quilt shop and making so many display  projects, with family loving quilts too, and with going to auctions for years, I finally accrued, created and found at least one hundred quilts.  I don’t own all of them.  Many of them have been sold or given as gifts.  All my grandchildren have at least two quilts I made especially for them.  I have made quilts for charities, for church projects and for Samaritan’s purse.  I wish I could see all the quilts I have made in one big pile.   I have quilts for every season.  Quilts are on every bed, on both couches, on every chair and hanging on walls.  I have a big box of unfinished quilts in my shop.  I have one quilt on my sewing machine in the process of being quilted.

But……..a new obsession has taken over my life.   At the beginning of the year I read Lucy’s blog, Attic 24, where she was learning how to knit socks. She made it sound so appealing, I immediately ordered the Minwick Mum’s Sockalong book that took you step by step through the sock knitting process.  At first, it was all Greek to me.  I read it over and over.  Tried knitting socks. Tore more socks out than I care to mention.  Learned that tearing out your knitting stitches was called “frogging.”  Dropped stitch after stitch.  Knitted more ribbing and sock legs.  Learned how much fun knitting the heel flap is.  Found out turning the heel was easier than I ever could have imagined, picked up stitches even when I wasn’t entirely sure what I was doing. Knit the gusset and finally decreased the toes. Decreasing the toes is when everything usually fell apart because the book said I had to use double pointed needled to do it.  Then, the other day I just went ahead and decreased the toe stitches on my little circular needle.  No dropped stitches and easy as can be.  I can’t tell you how many times I would get to the toes, dropped three or four stitches and tear out the whole sock.  But, I didn’t give up and have finally found what works for me.

Now, my quilt is still sitting on the sewing machine waiting to be completed.  I hardly look at my fabric even though I have a purse needing to be finished and material for a skirt.   Now I  surf the web looking for yarn companies and drool over yarn like I would drool over fabric.  I have several circular needles, sock blockers, and other knitting paraphernalia. I have looked up my old knitting books from the seventies when I knitted sweaters, booties and hats for my children.  I have baby things on my mind.  I even ordered yarn for a baby project.  And there are no babies ahead in my family. At least I don’t think so.

I have finished two pair of socks and have two more pair almost done.  Today I ordered more yarn. For four more pair!  I think this obsession is going to stay with me for a time.  David has had to listen to me when I could not get it into my head how to knit socks.  He kept encouraging me and said I would figure it all out and he was right.  One day it all just clicked.  The fear was gone.  Now the socks glide off my needles with ease. Oh, I still drop the occasional stitch, but with a small crochet hook, I usually can pick it up.   I wish I could explain to you how euphoric I feel that I finally figured it all out.  It was like a dark cloud of doubt that was hanging over my head just went “poof” one day.     The lesson I took from this is “never give up.”  And I didn’t.  Despite several attempts that went all wrong, I now know how to knit socks.  Now I am looking at fancier socks like ones with cables or other designs.  I’m hoping I can knit socks for gifts.

I guess I owe Lucy and Minwick Mum a huge thank you for turning me on to sock knitting.

I am sure you are tired of reading about my sock obsession.  David says when I decide to do something, I jump in feet first and start swimming and don’t stop.  When I start making things, like purses, quilts or dolls, I never stop at one.  I make a dozen or more.  Now I probably won’t stop knitting socks.  EVER.  I love the process and the finished product.  But, enough about socks, although I could talk about them all day!

We have been doing some things other than me sock knitting and David helping me wind the yarn.  I am trying to start my walking regimen again.  I was up to walking five miles a day a year or so ago and then I hurt my right leg and then by the time it was feeling better, I tore a ligament in my left leg that has taken months to repair.   I just noticed the other day my leg didn’t feel stiff any longer and I wasn’t walking with a limp.    Molly is bound and determined to run into that leg every time I go out in the yard with her.  She loves to play and takes it that I want to play with her every time I go out the back door.   Many times I will play with her, but when I don’t, she follows me as close as she can and then she and Belle get into a tussle right behind me and sometimes slam into my legs.  I’ve taken to carrying a rake and holding it behind me so they won’t hit me.  I really don’t want to have a sore leg all summer.

Last Christmas my older son gave me a cute bench.

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A painted Santa face peeking out.

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A kind of creep Santa peeking out!

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With bird house posts on either side.

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With birds painted on each post.

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Snowmen on the armrests.

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Even Santa’s belt painted on.

Well, it’s almost Summer now and it still sits on our porch.  I tried covering it with a quilt, but it kept getting blown off.  Every time I passed it, Santa was looking at me and creeping me out.  David and I could not lift it because it was made from really heavy wood.   I had no place to store it anyway, so…………

I probably did the unthinkable to some people, but I feel very happy with my new little bench.

I painted it.

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Now, it’s suitable for year round and I can decorate it at Christmas with tiny lights and a wreath, so I am happy with it.   And we don’t have to move it.  It also provides a nice place for the UPS man or the FedX man to leave packages out of the weather and off the floor.   So it’s a win-win for me.

I don’t get up very early any more.  For the first decades of our marriage we had to get up for work or to get the kids up for school.  The alarm rang at 5:30 most mornings.   Lately, I have been sleeping until 9:00 or later.  One day David worked until 11:00 a.m. and when he came home, I was still asleep.   You see, I love staying up late, but I really love the early morning so one of them had to go.  Today, I woke up at 4:30, laid awake and said my prayers until 5:30 and decided to get up.  It’s amazing how many things you can get done before 8:00 if you get up early.   I did a load of wash, did all my ironing and knitted half a sock.  This getting up early seems to be a good thing.  Now I have the whole day to do other things.

When one gets up early, they get to see the sunrise.  I sat out on our front porch and watched the sun come up.

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I have been missing some beautiful sunrises.  The hummingbirds were out feeding and the birds were waking up.  It was glorious.    Still don’t know if I will give up my late nights.  I love to knit and read in the evenings and the time just gets away from me.

I will leave you with some pictures of the late May garden.  It’s peony time and I am loving it.

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And last but not least.  Two years ago when our new porch was being built, I saved some of the concrete pieces from it and planted flowers in them.  I had this one plant I didn’t know what it was and it stayed green all Summer and all Winter. But it never bloomed.  I watched it all last Summer and it didn’t do anything.  Just some green leaves.  This Spring I looked at it and thought to myself if it didn’t produce anything this year, I was going to tear it out.  Well, I am so glad I was patient with it because it is now my header picture.

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It’s phlox and I really do not remember planting this.  There are two different ones and they are so vibrant and pretty.

Here’s to sock knitting, early mornings and the patience to wait for a flower to bloom.  Bye.

 

Rainy Day

See that beautiful redbud and bright blue skies above?  That is what we had a week ago.  Then rain, sleet and snow came and we are back in winter weather.   It is suppose to warm up again and none too soon for me.

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During the cold days there is potato soup making. (This is actually broccoli soup, but I did make potato soup also.)

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There is yarn winding.  Here’s my very patient husband helping me wind a ball of new yarn.

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There’s outdoor fires and sitting around the fire with friends.

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This is one of the friends. Ha.  Look at that toothy grin.

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Despite all the problems she has caused us(David), I love her so much.  She is definitely my dog.  Looking at me with her doe eyes.  Trying to pretend she wouldn’t do anything bad.  No, not at all.

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It rained all day today.  Looking out the window it looked so misty and mysterious over in the now empty lot beside us.  Still getting use to not having a big house there.

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That muddy place is where the big, beautiful house once stood.

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David says he would love to buy this lot.  I sit and imagine planting hundreds of flowering trees and flowers and making our own park in it.   The grandkids could really have a great Easter egg hunt there.  I see wandering paths and benches for people to sit upon.  I already have it all planted and landscaped and it isn’t even for sale!

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Our back yard is coming to life.  It looked so awful just a few weeks ago and then the miracle happens like it does every year.  I never stop being amazed at the change in such a short time.  David has mowed the grass once already and it needs it again.  Note to self.  Plant more flowers and trees and get rid of more lawn this year.

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The garden is in its pink phase.  My very favorite.  First there’s the yellow daffodils. Then all the pink flowering bushes and trees burst into bloom.

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Love it.

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Rain pouring off my shop roof. I haven’t been out there to work on anything for a few weeks.  Knitting socks has been consuming my time.

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I do have this pretty, Spring like fabric that I will be using to make a skirt.

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So cozy sitting in a warm house looking out on the rain.  It’s really beautiful in its own way.

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See the rain pouring from the gutter?  It really came down hard for a time.  They say rivers are going to flood around our city.  A few years ago we had a major flood. Our hospital was flooded, patients having to be evacuated.  Many people lost everything when the water came up to their houses.  We have several friends who lost everything and had to completely redo their houses.  I can’t imagine how horrible that was.  We were not affected at all.  In fact, I didn’t know it was that bad until a day later.  Our town is surrounded by rivers and a flood can really devastate.  Hope it never gets that bad again.

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But the garden loves this rain.  It’s true.  April showers bring May flowers or in this case, April flowers.

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I planted grass for my chickens.  Yes, my chickens like grass and crack.  What can I say?  Ha. Actually, I am growing lawn grass and when it gets tall enough I will put these in the chicken yard so that they can have a salad.

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So hopefully glorious Spring  will return tomorrow.

Bye.