Monthly Archives: November 2014

Talking Turkey

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving.  Ours was very nice.  It started out early with a 5K walk put on for a senior project by one of the high school students in our town.  It was a cold, but beautiful morning.  The runners and walkers met in one of the parks we have here.

DSCN9844   The park has a covered bridge.  The original bridge that was here was set on fire several years ago by vandals and the city had to find one to replace it.  I like the new bridge even better.  It looked so pretty in its Fall setting.


The river was running swiftly that morning.  This river floods the park about every year or so.


I went here to get my number and my shirt.  Registration included bringing at least five cans of food for Love Chapel, an organization that helps needy people. They gathered over four thousand cans of food that day.  How great is that?


I am beginning to get a collection of 5K shirts.  I hope I can walk in a few more next year.


Our son arrived from Cincinnati with a friend and her son.  My son was not a happy camper about the run.  But because he’s the one who talked me into doing it, he was compelled to run it.  Yes, he would run it.    I would walk it.  I don’t run if I don’t have to.


There were around four hundred people participating in all ages and sizes and clothing choices.


Shawna and her son walked with me.  We were bundled up against the cold.  I think I had about four layers on, but my legs still got cold.


Some people really got into the theme of the race by dressing the part.  This man looked like he was riding a turkey.


There were several different turkey hats.


Even cooked turkey hats!


Here we are completing the walk.  I think we were the last ones as everyone else was running.   See that boy behind us?  He probably walked four miles as he meandered all over while we walked the trail.


Then we went home. Dogs were played with.  We ate a huge meal.  I have not been hungry all day today.


We played Dizzios.  I lost as usual.  I keep telling my one grandson that one day I will beat him.  He is really good at this game.


I love these two.  They made David and me turkey pictures.  They are so cute.




When I looked around our table, I knew exactly what I was thankful for.  Family and friends.  What would the world be like without them?   And love.  That’s what it’s all about.  Bye.


Excitement at the Coop and a Frazzled Hen

If you have read my blog for very long, you know I have chickens.   I love my chickens.  Their names are Dorcas,  Beatrice, Phoebe, Freedom, Penninah, Jemima, Abigail and Ada.  I take very good care of my girls.  They are a little spoiled.  If I open the back door, they come running to the garden gate to wait for their treats.  Treats being leftover salad, pumpkins, sunflower seeds, bread(they go wacko over bread),  or anything leftover from meals that the dogs won’t eat.

I check them once or twice a day to be sure they have water and feed in the feeder.  Every night David goes on chicken patrol to be sure all the hens are on their roost.  They are usually in their house before the sun is completely set.  But tonight, one of them was missing.  Abigail, the Silver Laced Wyndotte.  The most beautiful chicken I have.  Where was she?


David took a flashlight and began looking for her.  In every tree, over the neighbor’s fence(if she had escaped the yard we might never find her), all over the yard.  I put on a coat and got a flashlight and began to look too.  I looked behind and under and on top of everything in the yard and garden.  I rechecked the chicken coop to be sure we hadn’t missed her.  I couldn’t believe how awful I felt that Abigail might be lost to us forever.  This makes me think of a story in the Bible about Jesus looking for the lost sheep.  That lost sheep was so important to Him he left the others to go and find it.  That is what I was doing with that lost chicken.   Then, I said a little prayer.  I said, “Dear God, please help us find Abigail.   She won’t survive the night outdoors.”   Then I looked some more and then I looked behind a piece of lumber in the chicken coop and there she was.  She had flown between the shed and the fence and gotten wedged in and couldn’t get out.  Her wing was caught in the fencing.  She must have been there for quite a while and put up quite a struggle because she looked frazzled and almost dead.  In fact, I thought she was dead for a second.  My heart dropped. Then David touched her and she clucked.  He had to pull her out and if a chicken could scream, she sounded like it.  She was tramatized I could tell.

David placed her on the roost in the coop.  She was breathing so hard and was all fluffed up and her head hung down.  Poor girl.  Chickens have a way of beating another chicken when it’s down and Freedom hopped up on the roost and started picking on Abigail.  I brushed her off the roost and told her she better leave Abigail alone.

This is the first time I thought I had lost one of my hens and I realized I am entirely too attached to them.  My dad never mourned a dead chicken.  If one got eaten by a pig he’d just say, ” The pigs got another chicken,” and take a big bite out of the chicken leg he was eating.   If he found one dead in the chicken yard he would throw it over the fence to the pigs.

Speaking of chickens, I have been cooking one all day to make broth to make chicken and dumplings for Thanksgiving.  I didn’t know this particular chicken so I don’t feel bad about eating it.

Hope you have a blessed Thanksgiving and give thanks to the One who provides all we need.  Bye.


Requiem for a Maple Tree Part 2

It finally happened.  They came and cut the big maple down this week.   When I got the phone call they were coming, I almost felt like I had heard of someone’s death and that night all I could think about was that the next day the big maple would be gone.

We have lived under the shade of the big maple for decades.  In the Summer when it would be hot outside, the big maple would shade the north side of the house and make the house a little cooler.   In the Autumn, the big maple would drop its leaves and allow the sun to shine on our house to give a little warmth.


I took a final picture of the tree.   It looked so beautiful against the blue sky.


My last view of the tree through our kitchen window.


Then it began.  The saw began its cutting of the smaller branches first.


Each branch was carefully lowered down with a rope.


One by one the branches came down.


The smaller branches were put into this industrial strength chipper shredder.  Wow,  I wish I had one one these.  David does not think it would be a good idea for me to have this for a playtoy.


Then the big branches were cut.


The big maple was a mere skeleton of itself.


Finally it was down to the large logs.


Logs too big to lift.  These will have to be split.


I’m not sure what this tool is called, but it was used to move the large logs.  These logs are still beside our house.  David has his work cut out for him.  The men asked me if we had a log splitter and I said,  “Yes, my husband.”


We ended up with a lot of fire wood.

Now the yard is bare on the north side of our house.  Next Spring I plan to plant a whole new perennial garden with lots of fall color.  Sumac, Japanese maples that come in all shades of reds, oranges and yellows, hydrangeas, maybe a fir or two.  Color will return to the yard by next Autumn.  And I won’t have to mow there any longer.

I will leave you with a poem I found online about cutting down a tree.  It’s kind of how I feel.

Tree I was

That shed its leaves

In winter to let

Sunshine enter

 Your home

 To brighten life.

Tree I was

That grew leaves

To provide shade

In hot Summer

 To cool your home

 Providing comfort.

 Tree I was

Where birds made

 Nests and lived

And you said

 How lovely it is

This lovely tree.

Yet you forgot all

 And didn’t hesitate

 To cut me and slice

For the timber needed

 To build your

Vacation home.

 Tree I was

That lived a while

Tree I was

Tree no more.

Tirupathi Chandrupatia (2014)

   Except for cutting down the tree for a vacation home, that’s my sentiments exactly.  Here’s to beautiful trees.  May there be more of them.  Bye.

Eating is Elementary

Today David and I drove over to Bloomington to our grandsons’ school to eat lunch with them.  One is a kindergartner and the other is a first grader.

We stopped at McDonald’s and bought the first Happy Meal with Gogurt and chocolate milk and headed to the school.  After signing in and finding the cafeteria, we sat down and waited for the first grandson to come in.  Suddenly here came little children talking and laughing with some carrying their lunch boxes.  One little boy noticed the Happy Meal and proceeded to tell us he had the toy that was on the outside of the box.  Evidently he thought we really ought to know it because he came back and told us again that he had that toy.

Finally our grandson came in and sat with us.  His friends sat all around.  His little friends were very friendly and talkative and so cute.  Foster talked about going to Book Fair today where the children could buy their own books.  We spent thirty minutes with him and then they all had to pack up and follow their teacher out.  So with a big hug and kiss we said good-bye.  Then David had to make a dash to McDonald’s again to get our second grandson his Happy Meal with Gogurt and chocolate milk while I sat waiting for Tristan.  Suddenly, a little boy came up to me and said, “You have my seat.”  I looked at him and our empty table and he said again, “I have to sit where you are sitting.”   The woman who was working came over and said she forgot that I was sitting in this boy’s assigned seat.  I guess he had gotten in trouble some time and had been told exactly where to sit.  Well, I just moved then.  I found out later his name was Mao-Mao.  Another little boy quietly walked over until he was across from me,  coughed on me and then quietly went back to his seat.  I don’t know what that was all about, but I do seem to attract children with colds who like to sneeze and cough on me.  In Sunday school I have had children sneeze directly into my face.  I tell David that day don’t be surprised if I get sick.

I watched the cafeteria workers while I waited.  There was one woman and one man who were in charge of cleaning the tables and floor before the next groups came in.  I was fascinated how quickly and efficiently they worked.   The woman washed down all the tables and seats with the man coming behind with a sweeper cleaning up under the tables.  The tables could be raised in the middle to be easily cleaned under.  I told them I was impressed.  By the time the next groups came in, the cafeteria looked like no one had eaten there.

David got back with the Happy Meal with Gogurt and chocolate milk just as Tristan’s class was coming in from the playground.   The children all smelled like the outdoors. Like sunshine and fresh air.  They all had worked up appetites.  David had gotten an extra Happy Meal because I wanted a plain hamburger so  I gave my Gogurt  and toy to Tristan.  He gobbled everything up lickety split.  His friends were very friendly.   One little boy came up to me and pointed to my grandson and said, “He doesn’t like me.”  I turned to Tristan and said, “You like him, don’t you?’ and he said, “yes.”  I then looked at the little boy and told him we liked everybody.  That seemed to satisfy him and he kept coming up to me to talk.

It was a fun time watching the children interact and being with our grandsons.

After we left, we went to the daycare where our daughter teaches.  She has a nice little class of four year olds and they were eating their lunches.  Afterward, they all had their very own cots on which they were to nap or lay quietly and look at books.  We left so they could take their naps.

We headed to the orchard and got some apples, some frozen rhubarb for pies and apple cider.

When we got home we started moving the wood from the old maple tree that was cut down yesterday.  I will write about it my next blog. Our big, beautiful maple tree is no more.  We have several ricks of wood.  Much of it has to be split before we can even move it.  I love being outdoors loading firewood.  We built a campfire,  after we were finished stacking wood for the time being, and we sat beside it and rested after a very busy day.

Eat at an elementary school one day.  It’s a fun experience.  Bye.


Once upon a time a little baby girl was born.  She was simply the most beautiful baby girl in all the world with dark hair and bright blue eyes.  She was the apple of her mother and daddy’s eyes and her grandparents thought the world of her.

Then one day, or at least it seemed like a day, the little baby grew up.  She became a beautiful teen-ager.  Every time her grandparents would see her it seemed she had grown taller.  It seemed impossible that the little baby was now this young woman.

Now the girl sings, dances, write books and gets good grades in school.  This week she performed in Rogers’ and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.


David and I attended the musical Friday night.  It was amazing.


Our granddaughter was one of the townspeople in the musical.   Isn’t she lovely?


One of her friends did her hair for the show.



There were lots of curls in the back.  So pretty.


She sang.


She stared at the handsome prince.


She danced with him.


The clock struck twelve and the ball was over for Cinderella.


But we all know how it ended.  Cinderella ended up with her handsome prince.


Then it was time to take a bow.  I was so proud of our granddaughter.


The cast was amazing.  I can seriously say I have seen professional musicals that weren’t as good as this one was.  The only glitch that night was that the king’s microphone batteries died, but it was taken care of and became part of the act.


Afterward I had to get a picture with the “star” of the show.  When did she become taller than me?


Her brothers were there.  I wouldn’t be surprised if one day they are in a play or musical.

It was a grand night.  It’s possible that a tiny baby can grow up to be a beautiful young lady.  Impossible things are happening every day!   Bye.


I have never been what you would call skinny, although when I look at younger pictures of myself, I look pretty slim for me. I have even had friends tell me I was tiny, although I think that is an exaggeration. Funny, though, even then I always felt fat.  We women do that to ourselves, don’t we?

I have done so many diets through the years.  I tried the Adkins diet until I almost destroyed my kidneys and my doctor ordered me to get off it.  I did lose inches on that diet, but the thing about it is, you gain the weight back and sometimes even more.  It is not a healthy diet.

When I lived in Richmond years ago, a friend and I took a weight loss  class at the YMCA once a week for a time.  We got recipes that included cauliflower pudding?!  That was awful.  There were some tuna recipes that weren’t too bad.  Neither of us lost any weight.

When we moved down here I took an exercise class and learned to run.  I did not like running and still don’t.  I did finally run a mile, but that is as far as I have ever run.  I don’t run anymore.

I gained weight with each baby and it became harder and harder to take it off.  Besides that, I love to eat and have a hearty appetite.  My mother was such a good cook that I always had good food to eat while growing up.  I was very active and spent most of my time outdoors playing so I stayed pretty slim.

Then I married and had to cook for a family and was always in the kitchen with food.  I cooked like my mother.  Foods that were high calorie and high in fat.  Not good for someone who puts on weight easily.  But I stayed relatively slim until I hit the big “M.”

I joined an exercise club that David had given to me as a gift for Christmas because I had asked for it.  David has never said anything about my weight.  He loves me thick or thin as I love him.  He’s had his issues with weight also.  I will have to tell you some time about the time when he was in the National Guard and he went away on his two week training sort of chunky and came back looking very thin and I thought something was the matter with him.  He had just decided to lose weight and cut down on eating while in the woods and the weight dropped off.  That’s what happens when men diet.  It’s so easy for them, it seems.

Anyway, I went to that exercise place for weeks and exercised like mad and guess what?   I lost not one pound and only three quarters of an inch on my waist.  I quit.  From that day I decided I was not going to be a slave of the scale any longer.  I have not weighed myself since that day and when I get weighed at the doctor’s office, I don’t look and tell the nurse not to tell me my weight because I don’t really care.  You don’t know how freeing it is when you aren’t thinking about food all the time and you aren’t fretting over that pound or two you gained.  I never worry about my weight any more.  It’s been decades and I still don’t have a clue how much I weigh.  Honest.  Cross my heart.


Weight came on and didn’t go off.  Then, something happened to my metabolism a couple of years ago and I started to lose weight for no reason at all.  I wasn’t sick, I just didn’t feel like eating much and I lost pant sizes it seemed overnight.  When I went to my regular doctor’s visit, he told me I had lost eighty pounds.  Eighty pounds!!!!!!!!  That’s a whole kid.  He asked me how I did it and I really couldn’t tell him. I still didn’t ask him how much I weighed.  I had begun the 10,000  steps a day walk routine and I believe that is how it happened. That is all I could think of.

I began to have people ask me how I lost weight and I couldn’t tell them.  It was really weird.  I had people commenting to me about how little I was.  For some strange reason that made me a little disturbed.  I didn’t like the attention.  I was still the same person.  I didn’t even care that much that I had lost weight other than I got to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe.

I walked daily and kept the weight off.  Then I pulled a muscle in my leg and could barely walk a mile.  I got lazy then and didn’t walk as much as I had been.  I had been walking five miles a day several times a week.  Now I have had to work up to three miles a day again because I am getting ready to walk a 5K on Thanksgiving Day.  I have walked two 5Ks this year.

I gained some of the weight back although not as much as I was and now I eat only two meals a day.  Breakfast and one when David gets home.  I hope when I go back to the doctor in March that he will say I have lost weight again.  I won’t weigh myself every day though.  I will never do that.

My downfall is that I like sweets.  David and I are both sweetaholics.  I could just eat sweets every day and be happy, but that wouldn’t be healthy, would it?  So I try to eat a salad every single day and lots of vegetable.

Do you struggle with weight?  Don’t allow it to become your whole world.  There is so much to enjoy in this world besides worrying about how other people think of us.  I have learned that the people who like me like me for myself not because I weigh a certain weight.  I can honestly say, I never look at a person and thought, wow, they are overweight.    In fact, I generally don’t even see if someone is overweight if they are a friend of mine.   Life is way too short to judge people by their weight.  A good heart can be enveloped in some fat and that’s okay with me.

My daddy was thin all his life and he still died of heart disease.  I think it’s hereditary, but so far, I have a really healthy heart.  I took a stress test years ago and passed it with flying colors.

What I am trying to say in this long commentary is that weight is not all that important in the scheme of things.  If you are grossly overweight, it might be good for you to lose some pounds for your health, but I see too many women worrying about a pound or two they have gained.  There are whole industries playing on women’s insecurities.  I refuse to play their game.

If you disagree with me, that’s okay too.  That’s what makes us all different.

Now I think I will go eat a piece of that pineapple upside down biscuit I made the other day.  Bye.


Bees and Honey

I am going to include another Hoosier Girl story from my past, but before I do I would like to show a few pictures of the goings on at our house.


I still commune with my chooks although they haven’t been getting as much attention lately as I have had many things to do. See Penninah and Jemima at my feet?  They stand there and chatter to me looking to see if I have brought any treats.  All I had in my pocket this day was a dog biscuit so I gave it to them.


Of course when one hen gets something, they all gather to get their own treats.


I am Queen over all I survey and these are my subjects!  Ha.  You should be here to hear the clucking and talking they do when I am around.  I don’t know if they are happy to see me or wish I would get out of there so they can go about their business.


This is Ada, the Australorp.  Isn’t she beautiful?  You can’t see in the picture, but she has the most beautiful teal feathers among the black ones.  She has started to squat, as chickens who are getting ready to lay will do.  I think she may have already begun to lay as I am finding some very small eggs in the nests.


Beautiful Abigail, the Silver Laced Wyndotte.  She is gorgeous and I think she knows it.  She is the biggest hen now.  David says she looks like a nice roaster and I just say, “Not going to happen.”  I don’t think she is laying yet.


Here is a normal size egg next to a new layer egg.  In time the hen will lay bigger eggs, but she’s just a beginner.  Their eggs still taste good.  I have noticed the yolks are almost orange now.  I have fed them the last of the marigolds and I think that is why.


Molly Marshmallow continues to grow.  She is a very active little puppy.  She drags up all kinds of things onto our back deck.  She brought a huge board with a nail in it the other day and I was afraid she was deconstructing one of our buildings, but David said it was just a piece of wood she had found behind the shed.  Nothing would surprise me with this dog.


She is so sweet and wants attention all the time.  Still working on that nipping.  See those teeth?  They are like little razors and have drawn blood.  Belle, in the background, has felt those teeth a few times and Molly gets a good nip back sending her whining.



When the weather starts to get cooler, I have the urge to bake.  This is pineapple upside down biscuit.  It is delicious.  If you were here, I would give you a piece.


I cannot keep these in the house and it is not because I eat them.  David is hooked on these and eats them all.  I don’t really like them because I think they taste like paraffin.  He has gone through three bags, but I’m not saying anything.

Now for my story.  Remember, these are stories from my childhood and it is how I remember them.  My brothers and sister may remember things differently, but this is my story and I’m sticking to it.

Bees and Honey

By Kate Pentecost Craig

Katie woke up to a long, warm Summer day ahead of her.  She stretched in bed and lay quietly for a few minutes listening to the noises of the awakening house.  Mommy had been up for hours.  She always got up at 5 o’clock to read her Bible and drink her morning cup of coffee in peace before all the children came running down the stairs.  Katie always wanted to be able to get up that early too, but Mommy discouraged her from doing so.

Now Katie got out of bed and pulled on a pair of shorts and a tee shirt.  She took the stair steps two at a time and jumped off the last two steps.  “Good morning,” Mommy said to her,   “What do you want for breakfast?”  Katie had been fixing her own breakfast since she started school. It was almost always the same, tea and toast spread with peanut butter or tea and cinnamon toast.  Sometimes she would have a glass of chocolate milk.  While she was eating, Daddy came  in from the barn. After washing his hands and sitting down at his place at the head of the table, Mommy poured him a cup of coffee and placed half a grapefruit in front of him and two slices of toast.  Daddy almost always had the same breakfast too!

“What are you going to do today, Snicklefritz?”(Daddy’s pet name for Katie) Daddy asked.

“Play!” said Katie as she jumped off her chair and ran out the kitchen door.  Once outside the whole big world waited to be explored.  Katie began to run out to the the side yard when she saw a strange sight on the clothesline.  A big black mass of moving objects hung suspended on Mommy’s clothesline.  Bees were flying around this mass.  Katie ran laughing right into the swarming bees.  Back and forth she ran flailing her arms and hitting the flying insects.  Not one stung her.  She then ran into the house yelling, “Come look and see what is on the clothesline.”

Mommy and Daddy came out the back door while Katie made a dash toward the roiling mass again, but Daddy called her to get back to him.  “Those are swarming bees,” said Daddy.  “There must be a queen bee in there.  They were too busy swarming to bother stinging you, but you are a very lucky little girl.”  Katie wanted so much to run among the bees again, but she was not allowed.  Her brothers came out to look at the  swarm.  It was a very strange sight to see so many bees piled on top of each other.  In the center of the mass somewhere was the queen bee.

Daddy went back inside to call a man he knew who kept beehives and sold honey.  soon the man arrived to collect the bees.  He put on a big hat with a mesh face protector.  He wore long sleeves and gloves.  He had one of his wooden hives with him.  Carefully he put the mass of been into the hive and closed the lid. “Your little girl was very lucky the bees were swarming,” said the man.  “She could have been very badly stung.”  Katie hung her head, but inside her mind she was thinking about how much fun it had been to run through all those bees!


Several weeks later the man came back to their house bringing a gift.  He had jars of fresh honey, some of them with the comb in them.  Katie stuck her fingers into one of the jars and pulled out a piece of the honeycomb.  The sweet golden honey dripped from it.  She stuck it in her mouth and chewed the delicious sweet comb.  When she had sucked all the honey from it, she threw the comb away.  She was glad the bees had chosen their yard in which to swarm and she was glad to have some of their sweet honey to eat all summer long on her toast and ice cream.

Hope you have a wonderful day. And don’t get stung by any bees!  Bye.