Monthly Archives: May 2013

Summer Beauty and an Angel in the Hottub

You know a few weeks ago I wrote about the vast wasteland in my backyard where it looked so barren and ugly?  Well, a few weeks have worked a miracle and the perennials are busting out all over and it isn’t even June.






Wait a minute.  Do I see an animal in my flower bed?   Who could it be?



It’s Belle, Mom. I would never get in your flower bed.  Bonnie has a short term memory because she has already forgotten all the flowers she and Belle dug up a few days ago including a brand new clematis that I had surrounded with fencing that they tore out by the roots.  They were in the literal dog house that day.  They like to dig for moles and they are good molers, but they can destroy a flower bed pretty quickly.  Bonnie shows no remorse.

Oh well, that is what you get when you keep dogs that like to dig and allow them the run of the yard.  If I could just teach them to dig up the garden before I planted it because they do till the soil rather well.

David and I went to the pool place the other day to buy one bottle of algaecide and we came out with a hot tub.  Really.  Shopping together is dangerous to our wealth.  We have looked at hot tubs through the years and talked about how nice one would be for our aches and pains, but we always put it out of our minds.  We may have been out of our minds that day, but we now have a hot tub sitting on our patio and I must say David is using it a lot and says it is really helping his arthritis.

The grandkids came to try the hot tub.


They really enjoyed it. And then I saw an angel in our hot tub.


A sweet face appeared in the bubbles.


Turned out it was this handsome lad.  Here’s to flowers, angels and hot tubs.  Bye.

Growing up in the fifties

To many people living today, the nineteen fifties and sixties seem like ages ago.  For those of us who grew up in that time, it seems like only yesterday.

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This is a picture of me and my brothers, Fred, Andy and the baby, David.  I also had another older brother, Jack and an older sister, Joanne.  We all lived in the little house in the background on our daddy’s farm. It had no air conditioning, no central heating and NO bathroom.  Just think, six kids and NO bathroom.   We kids didn’t have a room to ourselves either until some started leaving the nest  Anyway, it must have been Easter because Fred is holding a paddle ball.  We always got paddle balls in our Easter baskets.  Look at those rolled up jeans.  The height of fashion in those days. I’ve never seen a dog mug for the camera like that one was doing.  Can’t remember his name, but he sure is grinning.

It was an idyllic  childhood.  At least it was for me.  There was always something to do and animals to play with.  There were, of course dogs and cats and kittens in the barn, cows chickens, ducks, pigs and at one time a little old ram I raised for 4-H and later a horse that my brother helped me get when I was around twelve or thirteen.

During the summers we never stayed inside for a minute.  In fact, Mom shooed us outside right after breakfast and we stayed outside until dinner at noon and then back outside we would go again until supper.  The only time I spent in the house was when I was helping Mom clean the house or do dishes or when I was sewing on her Singer sewing machine.


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See that big wrap around porch behind us?  Also see my little brother’s droopy drawers?  We use to roller skate on it, the porch, not the droopy drawers.   I was so happy when I finally got my first pair of skates.  You know, the kind with a key you had to tighten over your shoes..  I also spent hours on that porch swinging back and forth on the swing as I read one of the many books I got at the library.  In the evenings we would sit outside swinging and listen to the adults as they talked about the day.  Sometimes we would play hide and go seek or kick the can.  We played a game my brothers made up called  Battle Station.  You see, we lived on a very little traveled gravel road so at night if or when a car would go by and if we kids were out in the yard one of my brothers would yell, “Battle station!” and we would all run and hide.  We also looked for flying saucers.  Mom was always seeing them or at least she made us believe she saw them.  Sometimes as we sat on the porch, bats would fly around above us.  I didn’t like that so well.   I watched the Aurora Borealis from this porch with Mom one evening when the atmosphere was just right and they appeared farther south than usual.


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See that old watering trough?    The cows drank out of it.  That is how close the house was to the barnyard.  One time I got into the trough to cool down.  My mother was not happy I did that, but I was hot.  I love the picture of that old car.  I’m not sure whether that was ours or if we had visitors that day.  Seems like we had a lot of visitors especially at meal times because my mother was such a good cook.

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This is me and my baby brother, David.  I guess my parents weren’t too afraid of me swinging from so high up.  I just wonder how I got up there.  We always had a dog around. Guess that is why I always like having dogs.  This one seems to be standing guard by David.  Daddy probably made this swing set and the little swing David sits in.  What’s with my hair?  Mom always was giving me home permanents and the frizzier they were the better.  I would come out of her home “salon” looking like Harpo Marx.  I had curls that lasted for months. People always knew when Mom had been doing my hair.  I quit having permanents years ago.  Free at last.


Whew, I had to get out of that black and white world and get some color into this blog.  Wonder when the world turned from black and white to color?  Hmmm.  There are many tales to tell about living on the farm, like the two men who my brothers heard talking in the barn.  How I almost burnt down the rabbit house.  Whoops, maybe I better keep that one quiet.  Or the time the bull chased me or the time I jumped off something in the barn and ran a nail into my foot or……. well, these stories will just have to wait for another day.  Bye.







  You know your life is way too busy when you don’t even have time to brush your teeth.  I have found in the past few weeks that half the morning is gone before I get that fur ball feeling in my  mouth like something has crawled in there and died and I know I have forgotten to brush and floss.  I barely run a brush through my hair.  I am beginning to act and look like some backwoods woman. Soon I’ll be smoking a corncob pipe and using snuff.  I have let my hair grow long and I wear the same pair of pants more than two days in a row.

  It’s all because I have become a chicken keeper.  Something happens to your psyche when you take care of chickens every day.  I find myself talking to them in chicken language and spending more time with them than I do the dogs.  Bonnie and Belle are beginning to resent them and growl at them every chance they get.  I have been taking care of Freedom, who has a bad leg and she takes a lot of my time, hand feeding her, cleaning her box, taking her outside for fresh air, returning her to her box at night.

   I have been painting molding around our new back door, planting a new flower bed, trying to finish some sewing projects, and what with the house cleaning, laundry, cooking, etc., etc. I keep very busy.  I just finished a James Bible study also.  I really don’t know how I did anything when I was working.   I thought retirement was supposed to be more relaxing.


   We went to an auction a couple of weeks ago and there were several boxes of old books.  In one of them was this old book written the same year the Titanic went down.  When I was a girl growing up on the farm, there was a bookcase at the head of the stairs that had a book about the Titanic.  I use to sit on the stairs and read it and wonder about the people who were on that boat.   The book disappeared after Mom and Dad passed away and I have always wished I had gotten it.  I think this is the same book.  Anyway, the first box of books went for thirty-five dollars which was much more than I wanted to pay so when the bidding began on the box with this book I thought I probably wouldn’t get it, but it sold for only five dollars and we got it!  There were several nice books in the box.  There is a very old edition of Swiss Family Robinson.


  This was the captain of the ship.  He went down with the ship.  In the most recent movie about the Titanic the people on the ship were portrayed as panicking and screaming and running about.  People who were actually there said it was eerily quiet and people were orderly and not scrambling to get on the lifeboats.  In fact, up until the very last many thought it was only a drill.


  Here is a picture of the Titanic comparing its size to other things such as the great pyramids and the Washington monument.  Impressive. No wonder people thought she was unsinkable.


  As the ship was going down, the people on the lifeboats heard the ones left on the ship singing this song.  The cries and yelling did not start until the ship went down and people fell into the freezing waters.  How horrible it must have been sitting in a lifeboat and hearing those screams.  Many lost their lives that night.


 David and I were sitting outside on the swing when we saw this amazing sight.  There were about eleven turkey vultures soaring above us seeming to be playing in the wind currents.  They did this for quite a while until they flew away.


  Our snowball bush is especially pretty this year.  Years ago, David’s grandmother had a huge snowball bush in her backyard.  She gave me a sapling from off of it and these flowers are from it.  David pruned it pretty heavily last year and I was afraid we wouldn’t have flowers, but its branches are bending down from them.


  This picture was taken of it at night with no flash.  It looks like the flowers are shining.

  Now, since it is Mother’s Day, I will give you some flowers and other pretties from my garden.








  Yes, even dandelions are pretty.


  A new Echinacea that will have a completely green flower.


  This is the only snail that is welcome in my garden.


  The new flower bed I am working on.


  A dragonfly that lights up at night.


   Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who are mothers or mother someone or would like to be a mother or have a mother.  I was never happier than the days each of my children were born.  I don’t think your children realize how much they are loved until they have children of their own and know the love they feel for them.  That love never goes away, no matter what happens.  Your mother is your best friend for life, would gladly give her life for you, and will love you for eternity.  I was blessed with a wonderful mother and I can’t wait to see her one day in heaven.  Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.  I love you.


    Love to all of you.  Bye.

The Tale of the Stuck Sparrow

  It was a beautiful Spring day.  The flowers were blooming, the sun was shining, the white fluffy clouds were  skittering across the sky.  Buddy sparrow rode the air currents up and down, stretching his wings wide and gliding back and forth in the breeze.  Buddy had not a care in the world other than he was supposed to be looking for a new house for his wife so that she could build her nest.

  Buddy didn’t take many things seriously, so house hunting was not at the top of his to do list for the day.  He searched for fat worms in the warm soil, took a dirt bath in the shade of the old elm tree and spent the greater part of the morning trying to keep out of the way of Mrs. Craig who was busy planting flowers in her flower beds.

    He landed on a tree branch and who should land right next to him but his wife, Betsy.  “Have you found us a house yet?” asked Betsy looking at Buddy suspiciously.  “Uh, I’ve sure been trying, but all the good houses are taken.”   “Well, said his wife, ” You better find one soon because I feel an egg coming on.”  “Oops,” said Buddy and flew off on a mission.

   Around and around the yard he flew stopping at each house where an angry sparrow would say,”Get out of here!”  He was beginning to give up hope when he spotted a cute little house that looked like a cabin.  “Betsy would love this,” he said to himself.  He flew down to take a look. 

  Now Buddy was a sparrow and this house was built for a wren so he didn’t realize he might be just a little too big to fit in the house, but he was going to try.  He stuck in his head.  Oh, oh, the rest of his body would not go inside.  Then he tried to pull his head out. It was stuck!  Oh, no.  Twist and turn as much as he could, he still could not get his head out of the house.  “I’m done for,” Buddy thought.  Then his beak got caught on the wood and he really was stuck.  He hung there, head in and body out of the wren house thinking this was the end of him.

  In the house Mr. and Mrs. Craig were talking about getting some food for the chickens.  Mrs. Craig wanted to show Mr. Craig the flower beds she had been planting that morning.  As they started to go out the back door, Mr. Craig said, “Is that  bird trying to get into that bird house?”  Mrs. Craig looked and saw the backend of a bird with its wings flapping crazily seeming to try to get into the birdhouse.  “That sparrow is too fat to get into that little wren house hole,” said Mr. Craig.  Then they both realized the bird was stuck.  Now Mrs. Craig cannot stand to see anything suffer and she pleaded with Mr. Craig to try to get the bird unstuck.  “Oh, don’t pull his head off,” she cried as Mr. Craig began to pull and twist Buddy’s head around to try to get him loose.  Then he stuck his finger inside the hole and felt around and realized Buddy’s beak was wedged into the wood.  He popped it out and out popped Buddy.   Buddy flew to the ground and suddenly two big dogs were running after him. Would his troubles never end?

  Mr. and Mrs. Craig got the dogs under control and then tried to get Buddy to move where the dogs could not reach him.  He was too dazed yet to fly and felt kind of woozy, but he hopped like mad under the rhubarb leaves and sat there catching his breath.  Mrs. Craig was so happy he was okay.

  After he sat for a while, Buddy tried his wings and soon he was flying again.  He flew to find Betsy to tell her of his adventure and how he was saved by the humans.  But Betsy was not impressed.  “Where am I going to lay my eggs?” she cried.  Buddy spent the rest of the day searching for a home and at last he found the perfect little house and he and Betsy set up housekeeping in it and raised a family of four little chicks.  Also, Buddy went on a diet.

 True story except for the parts I made up.  The end.

What’s Happening at the Craig House


April Showers brought……



May flowers.  We left the Christmas lights up in this crabapple tree and turn them on at night and it looks so pretty.



Bonnie has decided it is her lot to watch over the chickens.  She has formed a place by the pen where she lays continuously and watches them.  She is absolutely mesmerized.



I baked cinnamon rolls for my ladies Bible study brunch.  We finished up the study of James yesterday. Really loved this study.



I have been nursing a chicken who has a paralyzed leg.  She is healthy otherwise.  Alert, clear eyed and very strong.  She wants to walk so badly, but that foot will not hold her.  I will care for her as long as she is so healthy.  She’s becoming my baby and cheeps at me when I come around.  Her name is Freedom because she is the one who looked like an eagle when she was younger.



Years ago we bought a patio door at the state fair.  It’s been a good door, but it is beginning to show its age.  I don’t know if you can see the screen, but is has been patched for years.  When we got Bonnie as a pup, we replaced the screen because there  was a hole in it.  Because at the time Bonnie was chewing everything in sight, she immediately tore a hole in the new screen and David said he was not replacing it again so he patched it.  Now we are going to have it replaced with a new screen which we hope Bonnie won’t chew.



This is the new door.  Isn’t it pretty?  We are also replacing all the windows in this old house two or three windows at a time.


This requires climbing up very tall ladders and balancing on them while taking out the old windows.  David is not allowed to do this.  He falls off ladders too often.


I don’t even feel comfortable seeing David leaning out the window.



I like how open it looks right now.  Unfortunately, I would not want birds nesting in my bedroom so we need windows here.


Wish we had this setup.  This guy is like a monkey running up and down the ladders and getting onto this thing.  He must not be afraid of heights.  We asked him to replace some spotlights on the corner of the roof and he did.



I will leave you with a picture of Jemima and Penninah having lunch. Bye.