Monthly Archives: September 2013

Chickens and Chatting

I got to spend some time with one of my best friends from school this week.    We went to school together for twelve years from first grade until we graduated.  While I was attending college and marrying David, she was attending beauty school and getting married to a farmer.  We have kept in touch all these years even if It is just once a year.  When we get together it is as if we hadn’t been away from each other for months and months.  I love her to pieces.  She knows things about me and I know things about her and we aren’t telling!

My friend’s husband raises chickens for the eggs.  Not just a few, mind you, but thousands.  Ninety-seven thousand to be exact.  I have always wanted to go up and see their chicken operation and I got to do it this trip.    When we first went in the building, it was cold and on a conveyor belt were hundreds of eggs.  There were stacks and stacks of eggs ready for shipment.  We then went into where the chickens lived.  I was overwhelmed.  To see that many chickens and eggs continuously coming down a conveyor belt was amazing.  They were beautiful white chickens with bright red combs.  And the eggs.  They were enormous.   They made the jumbo eggs in the grocery stores look like small eggs.  The building was so long that you could not see the end. My friend told me if someone was standing at the other end  you would not be able to see them.

Once the eggs are packed and shipped, they go to another company where the eggs are boiled and chopped up and packaged for restaurants so if you get a salad with chopped eggs on it, you very well may be eating my friend’s chickens’ eggs.  It was so interesting and I am glad I got to see it all.

We didn’t just look at chickens, though.  We went to quilt shops and antique stores and talked and talked and ate dinner together before David and I had to get to our motel.  It was so much fun.


This is my best friend forever and no, she is not an antique.  This girl can do more work than any ten women.  She is always busy.  We are bound by something that cannot be broken.

The next day David brought me breakfast in bed from the motel’s breakfast room.  Cinnamon rolls, blueberry muffins, yogurt, a banana and coffee.  It all tasted so good. I had slept so well that I didn’t get up in time to go down for breakfast.

We drove to Geneva where the Limberlost cabin is.  If you have heard of Gene Stratton Porter you know what I am talking about.  She was a famous Indiana author who wrote “Girl of the Limberlost,”  “Freckles” and many others.  She studied moths and butterflies and wildlife in the swamps that surrounded her house in the early 1900’s.  She was saddened to see the swamps being drained for farmland and houses and later in her life she moved away because she couldn’t stand it anymore.  She lived in California, built a mansion there and became the first woman to produce movies.  She was killed in a car accident when her limo was struck.

We took a tour through the house and it was wonderful.


It was a frame house with whole logs nailed to the side to look like a log cabin.  It had a broad, airy front porch that made me want to pull up a chair and sit for a while.


I could live in this house.  I didn’t have my camera to take pictures inside, so you will have to go here sometime and see just how beautiful it is.  The fireplaces all had gas logs.  Something most houses in that time would never have.  It cost five dollars a month to use all the natural gas you wanted.  Wow, I wish it were still that cheap.  The house cost five thousand dollars to build.  In those days that was still a lot of money.


This is the guest bedroom’s own private porch.  How neat is that?


A beautiful bay window with windows that opened at the top and the bottom.  Inside the house Mrs. Porter could close off this area and she would allow any animal or bird to come in this area and could watch them through the glass doors inside the house.  She loved watching the animals and birds.


Mrs. Porter hated seeing the trees being cut down in the swamp and when they cut down this big one, she had it brought to her house and used it as a smoke house for meats.


This little kitten was wandering around the grounds.  He or she was a little skittish and wouldn’t allow me to pet it.


This is the hired hand’s room.  Real comfy looking.  Our tour guide said his pictures look like Yosemite Sam and that he was just as cranky.  Not our guide, the hired hand.


My mother always wanted to come here all her life and never got to see it.  When the tour guide asked us why we were there I told him I was seeing this for my mother.  She read a lot of Gene Stratton Porter’s books and was always telling me how wonderful they were.  I guess I am going to have to read some soon.  Mrs. Porter was very popular when my mother was a girl.

We drove country roads.   We arrived in Berne where I found another quilt shop and saw this clock tower.



It plays music at three o’clock every afternoon, but we left at two-thirty and missed it.

Then we returned to Geneva to find the marshes.


They are returning the marshland to areas around Geneva and this is one of them.  I walked this path and enjoyed seeing a large hawk fly before me, hear the crickets chirping and hear the swishing of the tall grasses in the breeze.  It was so peaceful the farther I went back into the marsh I felt like I was the only person in the world.  It was a mile round trip and I walked it twice, then walked another path across the road.  I would have stayed longer, but David and I had to get home.  We drove back roads as much as we could through small towns.


Saw this sign.   Free speechDSCN6824

Where else but in the country would you see a tractor pulled up to a gas pump?  This was farm country and tractors ruled.

We drove past soybean fields being harvested as dust clouds rose from the combines.  We passed acres and acres of corn growing brown and brittle in the Autumn sun. The sky was blue, the breeze was pleasant.  I love our state.

We had a wonderful time, but we were glad to get home and see that the automatic door on the chicken coop worked and the girls were all fine.  The dogs were hungry and telling us it was time to eat.  Nice to come home to pets.

Here’s to BBF, country roads and wonderful Hoosier authors.  Bye






















Festival Fun

Before I tell you about the festival we attended Saturday, I have to show you the other Strawberry Shortcake doll I found while putting the rest of them away


This is Sour Grapes and her snake, Dregs.  I had completely forgotten about her.


She uses way too much mascara.  I think she is a villainess.  She doesn’t look too friendly.


David and I went to a festival that was being held at our grandchildren’s  school.  It was a lot of fun.  This lady was walking around giving everyone a “high” five.  The kids loved it.

You paid one price and got to do everything there was to do and there was a lot.


There was sumo wrestling.  The suit was almost too big for my grandson.


It rather overwhelmed him, but he wanted to try.  This was the second time he did it that day.


The men had to stand the two contestants upright and then they were supposed to try to knock each other down.



They were both down within seconds.  I think the weight of the suits was what did it.    I laughed so hard at this.  It was really funny to watch.


Then they were  placed upright again and tried once more.


Then down they went again.


This is my grandson who was the sumo wrestler.  Yes, his hair is fire retardant.  He’s the one who reminds me of my dad so much.


There was reverse bungi jumping.  My granddaughter is putting on a vest she had to wear to do this.  The object was to run against the bungi cord and try to get to the end before it pulled you back. I told her if she could make it to the end, I would give her five dollars.  Sneaky, but I knew she wouldn’t be able to do it.  Larger people than she had tried, but she gave it her all.


She began to run as hard as she could.


Hair flying, she ran against the bungi cord as hard as she could, but it sprung her back less than halfway to the end.  I gave her five dollars later, anyway.


Another grandson climbed the big rock.  It was pretty high, but he made it to the top and rang the bell.  He’s so athletic.


He also became a human bowling ball.  Strapped in this contraption, he was rolled toward the bowling pins.


It took longer to get him strapped in than it did for him to be rolled toward the pins.  Safety first.


There was a man drawing caricatures and he drew this one of my granddaughter.  I think it’s really cute.  But then, I think she is really cute.  The man drew for over two solid hours nonstop.  I don’t know how many caricatures he drew, but it had to be a hundred or more.


There was so much for kids to do and they could do it as much as they wanted.  This was popular with the boys.



The water dunking booth was popular.  The men in the tank were good sports and goaded the kids to try to knock them down.   I tried once, but I threw like a woosy girl.  Absolutely no arm strength.  Some of those boys could throw the hard balls.

All in all, it was a fun evening.  There were vendors there also selling elephant ears, funnel cakes, Italian food, Chick-fil-A(yum) differently seasoned French fries.  island food, ice cream, and much more.  We tried several things and they were all good.

Here’s to fun festivals and grandchildren to enjoy them with. Bye.


Strawberry Shortcake

Back in the early eighties when my daughter was a little girl, a doll came out that she fell in love with and, to tell the truth, so did I.  Maybe I fell in love with it even more because once the other dolls came out, I was determined to get them all.  I still love them and have had so much fun looking at them again.  It was Strawberry Shortcake and soon after came Apple Dumpling,  Blueberry Muffin and others.  These dolls were played with, so some of the pieces are missing, but I did keep all their boxes.  Here they are.


Here’s Miss Strawberry Shortcake with Custard, her polka dotted kitten.  Can’t you see why I just fell in love with her?  Someone told me I looked like Strawberry Shortcake at church the other day.  I took it as a compliment.  Some of the kids call me Miss Cake anyway.


This is Blueberry Muffin.  She is the only doll who did not come with a companion animal.  Poor girl.



This is Lime Chiffon…..


and Parfait Parrot.


This is Raspberry Tart with her monkey, Rhubarb.


I think Rhubarb is especially cute.



This is Orange Blossom with her butterfly, Marmalade.  How sweet are they?


This is Apricot.  She is suppose to have a bunny called Hopsalot, but somehow Hopsalot has gotten misplaced or lost.  I need to see if I can find her. I don’t throw anything away, so hopefully she is in a box or toybox somewhere.


This is Cherry Blossom with her goose, Gooseberry.  How appropriate.


This is Crepe Suzette with Éclair, her poodle.



This one had no box and looks like a boy.  He has grapes on his straw hat.  If anyone knows his name, please let me know.



Ah, the Purple Pieman.  He was kind of mean if I remember correctly.  His parrot is named Berry Bird.



He must have shaven since I last saw him as his mustache is missing.


As you can see, there is a hole in his head where the mustache should be.  A long curly mustache.  I wouldn’t have thrown that away.


I also found this butterfly and think it was part of the Strawberry Shortcake collection.

There is a place to put something or someone on his back, but I don’t know what.


If anyone knows about this butterfly, please let me know.  I think all these dolls were made in Cincinnati, Ohio by Kenner Toys.  They are probably made in China now.

Now on to other things.

David was in the military for thirty-six years and over ten years ago he retired.  He took a few months off and then when the new Ralph Lauren store was built up at the outlet mall he applied and got a job.  He has been working there ever since.  He started out taking out the trash, moved up to full time, became an assistant manager, went back to full time and is now working part time for them.  The other day they celebrated him being there for ten years.  He is the only original staff member from the very first hiring left.  They put up these signs all over the store to include the rest rooms and even the refrigerator.


He enjoys working there and they appreciate that he shows up on time ready to work and has never had a sick day off.  He even asks to work more.   He gets most of his clothes there at very good prices.  He’s always watching for a sale.


The chooks are flourishing and enjoy tomatoes from the garden.


We have picked several pumpkins from the garden.  It’s been a very good year.

Here’s to adorable dolls and an industrious husband.  Bye.

A Birthday and A Busy Weekend

It was a busy weekend.  We had two of our grandsons overnight and they helped their grandpa around the house.  They learned how to lay cement and they helped him clean out a shed.  They were a great help and he said he would gladly have them help him again.  I will have to show you the concrete pad they laid right outside my shop door.   We all put our handprints in the cement and I wrote our names and the date so we will remember this day.

Sunday after church we headed to my hometown for a birthday party.  It was my sister-in-law’s seventy-fifth birthday.  She was married to my oldest brother, Jack.  There were relatives there I hadn’t see in ages.  And I mean ages.  They all got old on me overnight, it seems.



This man is my oldest nephew.  I remember when he was born.  But when I was talking to his sister, I asked her where was Doug, and she said, “He’s right here! ”   He was standing beside her.  He use to have red hair.  I gave him a big hug because I haven’t seen him since my mother died in l994.  He’s not suppose to be this old.  I remember babysitting him when he was a boy.



This is my sister-in-law, Carroll, who was celebrating her birthday.  She always remembers to send birthday cards to me and David.  Her cake was so pretty and good, too.


Of course pictures had to be taken for posterity and this is Carroll with my two nephews, Doug and Tom(who I did recognize) and my two nieces, Cindy and Sandy.   I really remember when my niece, Sandy, in the brown shirt was born.  My brother was in the military and gone on duty and Carroll went into labor and called my mother so Mom packed up me and my brother and went over to Richmond where we picked up Carroll, Doug, Tom and Cindy and rushed to the hospital.  I was only a few years older than Doug, but Mom told me to stay in the car with all the kids while she took Carroll into the hospital.  Carroll almost had Sandy before she got into the hospital.  Mom came back to the car very soon after and said I had a new niece.   She couldn’t believe how fast her new grandchild had come.


A picture of my brothers and sister.  That’s my “baby” brother in  the red shirt.  All the others are older than I.   They were all shocked at my red hair except for Joanne who I had already told.


This is my brother-in-law, Clyde, who is married to my sister.  He had a kidney removed in July.  If I had had a kidney removed in July, I would probably still be in a fetal position laying in bed and having David wait on me hand and foot. Clyde is tough. He’s already mowed his yard.  He can’t stand to be sitting doing nothing.  Keep him in your prayers that he will make a full recovery and be able to keep his big garden next year.  He really hates that he couldn’t plant one this year.  He and my sister provide a lot of food for the people at their church.  My sister puts me to shame with all the food she cans and preserves every year.  Clyde is a special guy.


My sister doesn’t like her picture taken so, being the bratty younger sister I am, I kept snapping one after the other of her.  She laughed.


These are cousins of David’s that came to the party.  I haven’t seen either of them for ages either and we had a nice visit.  They are both retired.  Carolyn use to be a school teacher.  A very good one from what I always heard.  Wally is a card and likes to joke around.  They are both  special people too.

David and I drove back roads to get to my hometown and along the way we saw some neat barn quilts.




By the way, have I shown you the barn quilt I painted for our house since we don’t have a barn?  Here it is:



I thought it would look good with our chocolate brown house and in the Autumn it will blend in with all the Fall colors.

On one of the back roads we came upon this.  Something you won’t see on the interstate.



Not exactly sure what town this was near as we were just wandering around, but this bridge was built one year after our house was built.  How neat is that?


I will leave you with a picture of some of the last of the roses of the summer.   I love these roses.  Yellow with just a tinge of pink on the edges.

Here’s to birthday celebrations, family and taking the back roads.  Bye.






Where Am I?

  What has happened to the time?  Where am I?  Is it Summer still or is it Autumn?  I don’t know.  I just wrote about Spring and planting the garden and enjoying the warm weather and now I am so looking forward to cooler temperatures, falling leaves and wearing sweaters, sitting by campfires and drinking hot chocolate. 

  The chicks were tiny little balls of fluff only yesterday and now they are laying an egg every day.  A dozen every two days.   One hundred and eighty eggs a month.   I can’t use them fast enough.  The dogs get one in their dog food every other day.  I boil them, fry them, scramble them, make egg salad, bake cakes and cookies and still they keep coming.  The hens are like little laying machines now and the eggs are getting bigger.  The thrill is still there, though, every time I go out to the coop and find the pretty brown eggs, some still warm from the hens’ bodies. 

  We got an automatic chicken coop door opener today.  We are hoping we can go away once in a while and not have to worry whether the chooks are able to get out during the day and are safely shut in at night.  The company that we ordered from included a free gospel of John in the box.  Was a very nice thing to find.   The company is called Fleming Outdoor if you are interested.

  I am still getting tomatoes.  The cucumbers finally stopped producing, thank goodness.  We got hundred of cucumbers this year.  I have Roma tomatoes just coming on and one cherry tomato plant that is starting to produce.  I love this time of year.  We can eat from the garden and the chooks.  We haven’t gone to the grocery as much lately for some reason.  David said the other day we hadn’t made a big grocery store run for some time.  Don’t know why.  We seem to be eating pretty well.  

  I am sewing on Tuesdays with a friend.  I need to get into another Bible study soon, but I just haven’t felt like studying for a while.  I have taken Bible studies for years and needed to take a break, but I have one in mind I am planning to do.  The new Beth Moore.

  I also need to get into my walking again.  I kind of slowed down when it got so hot and have had a hard time getting myself motivated to get back to my five miles a day.  I’m hoping with the cooler weather coming, I will start again.  I really love walking, but find the first mile is the hardest.  After I can get past that one, I feel like I could walk for hours.  I also need to find a new walking place as where I walk there are so many trucks, trains and automobiles.  Sounds like the name of a movie.  I read blogs where they have beautiful hills and valleys and fields and quiet roads on which to walk and wish I lived in such an area.  I guess I could drive somewhere to walk, but somehow for me that defeats the whole purpose of walking.  When we go on vacation to North Carolina, I am hoping we find a lot of nice walking areas like we did when we went to Alaska.  I walked to Alaska I always say, because every day we found a park or safe area for me to walk and I would walk my five miles.  I even walked five miles a day on the boat going to Alaska.

   I need to get new glasses, but am too lazy to go to the eye doctor.  I hate going to any doctor. Both my dentist and my family doctor are wonderful, don’t get me wrong.  I have a doctor’s appointment this week for a check-up and a dentist appointment the week after.  I don’t know why it spoils my whole day when I have to go have anything done with or for my body to include the hair dresser.  I am sort of afraid what my beautician is going to say to me when she sees my red hair.  I refreshed the color yesterday and still love it.    Anyway,  I feel so out of control in a doctor’s office because I am afraid he will find something wrong which would mean tests and more time spent in medical offices.  I think my fear comes from when I was a little girl and my older sister would tease me about the big, long needles the doctor was going to use on me.  She use to scare me to death.  I grew up in the time when you had to get multiple polio shots and it seemed to me that we were always going to Dr. Barton’s office to get yet another polio shot.  Then I developed a very stiff neck and my parents were afraid I had gotten polio.  Thankfully, it wasn’t, but polio was scary back then.

  I feel like I am in a kind of limbo right now between seasons and what I want to do.  I need a goal so I am going to think of one and put it up on this blog so that I will have to meet the goal.  It will probably be about walking distances or something like that.  Or maybe I will try to finish a quilt a week.  I have so many quilt tops that need to be quilted and bound.  Or maybe I could pick an author and try to read all his or her books.  Right now I am reading a really good Jodi Piccoult book.  I have read some others of hers and liked them.  I would like to find a book with about a thousand pages. The book I read about Deitrich Bonhoeffer had over a thousand pages and I loved every one of them.  It was such an inspiring book, but sad also. 

  I am finished with American television for the most part.  There are very few shows I like and the reality shows just turn me off.  We have Netflix and have been watching British dramas and comedies and those people know how to write a good story.  We are watching “Doc Martin” right now about a surgeon who becomes sick at the sight of blood and goes to a small British town as a GP.  He is rather gruff and abrupt with his patients, but they don’t seem to mind.  I laugh out loud at some of the things that happen to him.  The townspeople are rather quirky and I like quirky people. 

  Have I rambled on long enough?  I felt like I should come here before people decided I had given up blogging.  I haven’t.  I have so many things I want to blog about, but it takes time to upload the pictures and then write the blog and I have been kind of busy.   I have children’s stories I have written I went to put on here.  Oh, no, I am not finished blogging.  I have this need to write whether anyone reads it or not.  I am hoping I am making a kind of diary for my children so they will know their mother a little better. 

  Here’s to rambling on and on and people kind enough to read it.  Bye.