Thursday, May 29, 2008

Kinda Googly

I got this and a few other cute clips in email today (which means so did everyone else, lol) - but this little guy looks just like I do these days. I seem to be meeting myself coming and going. I'm even beginning to understand my mom when she starts talking nonsense. I just nod my head and say, "yes, mom, I know what you mean!"
We have had rain, rain and more rain. The sun peeks out occasionally in between storms. The good news is that my stawberries look great and all the cherries on my cherry tree are turning pink. Now if I can just beat the birds to the ripe cherries, I'll be tempting everyone to cherry pie real soon.
Jim and I have been walking every morning. It is hard making myself get up an hour earlier, but I'll have to admit that I've felt better because of it. The killer hill we encounter has even started to not be such a killer hill. I found myself looking around as I walked up it this morning, rather than looking at the ground and counting... just a few more steps, just a few more steps...
Well, I'm going to join Jim on the porch now and sip on a gin and tonic before supper. I just wanted to take a minute to blog something, lol. Have a great TGIF!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Where does the time fly!

Here it is Thursday evening already. I had a list a mile long of things I planned on getting done this week. Unfortunately, I still have a list a mile long....
I did get the invitations mailed for my mom and dad's 60th wedding anniversary celebration. My dad has his heart set on doing this, even though mom won't know what is happening. I'm trying to keep it small, only inviting 60 people. If a celebration will bring him a little happiness, then a celebration he will get. My boss (our Pastor) has agreed to renew their wedding vows, so it should be nice. This all happens the middle of June. My sis and some of her family will be coming in from Arizona. They can't stay with mom and dad because having people around upsets mom, so I guess I'll have a house full of people. My sis and I have never really gotten along real well. We are just so different. I'm sure it will all work out
It keeps raining! I think the weekend is supposed to be nice. I sure hope so. My kids and their families came in for mother's day last weekend. They brought all the food and did everything. It was very nice. I took my glass of wine, the youngest grandbaby (5 month old Reagen) and sat and enjoyed the goings on. It was muddy and rainy outside, so we had 9 kids running around the house. (Reagan doesn't count... I was holding her) Between the pool table, air hockey, riding tricycles on the porch, and FOOD, they kept pretty busy. It was just nice to have them all together.
I hope everyone has a nice rest of the week!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I know........

I know I should be making a post...
Not enought time! Maybe tomorrow...

Have a great day everyone.. Huggsss

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

This is for the mothers who have sat up all night with sick toddlers in their arms, wiping up barf laced with Oscar Mayer wieners and cherry Kool-Aid saying,
'It's okay honey, Mommy's here.
'Who have sat in rocking chairs for hours on end soothing crying babies
who can't be comforted.
This is for all the mothers who show up at work
with spit-up in their hair and milk stains on their blouses and diapers in their purse. For all the mothers who run carpools and make cookies
and sew Halloween costumes. And all the mothers who DON'T.
This is for the mothers who gave birth to babies they'll never see.
And the mothers who took those babies and gave them homes.
This is for the mothers whose priceless art collections
are hanging on their refrigerator doors.
And for all the mothers who froze their buns on metal bleachers at football or soccer games instead of watching from the warmth of their cars.
And that when their kids asked, 'Did you see me, Mom?' they could say,
'Of course, I wouldn't have missed it for the world,' and mean it.
This is for all the mothers who yell at their kids in the grocery store and
swat them in despair when they stomp their feet and scream for ice cream before dinner.
And for all the mothers who count to ten instead, but realize how child abuse happens. This is for all the mothers who sat down with their children
and explained all about making babies.
And for all the (grand)mothers who wanted to, but just couldn't find the words.
This is for all the mothers who go hungry, so their children can eat.
For all the mothers who read 'Goodnight, Moon' twice a night for a year.
And then read it again, 'Just one more time.'
This is for all the mothers who taught their children
to tie their shoelaces before they started school.
And for all the mothers who opted for Velcro instead.
This is for all the mothers who teach their sons to cook
and their daughters to sink a jump shot.
This is for every mother whose head turns automatically
when a little voice calls 'Mom?' in a crowd,
even though they know their own offspring are at home --
or even away at college -- or have their own families.
This is for all the mothers who sent their kids to school with stomach aches,
assuring them they'd be just FINE once they got there,
only to get calls from the school nurse an hour later
asking them to please pick them up. Right away.
This is for mothers whose children have gone astray,
who can't find the words to reach them.
For all the mothers who bite their lips until they bleed
when their 14 year olds dye their hair green.
For all the mothers of the victims of recent school shootings,
and the mothers of those who did the shooting.
For the mothers of the survivors,
and the mothers who sat in front of their TVs in horror,
hugging their child who just came home from school, safely.
This is for all the mothers who taught their children to be peaceful,
and now pray they come home safely from a war.

What makes a good mother anyway?
Is it patience? Compassion? Broad hips?
The ability to nurse a baby, cook dinner, and
sew a button on a shirt, all at the same time?
Or is it in her heart?
Is it the ache she feels when she
watches her son or daughter disappear
down the street, walking to school alone
for the very first time?
The jolt that takes her from sleep to
dread, from bed to crib at 2 A.M. to put
her hand on the back of a sleeping baby?
The panic, years later, that comes again
at 2 A.M. when she just wants to hear
their key in the door and know they
are safe again in her home?
Or the need to flee from wherever she is
and hug her child when she hears news
of a fire, a car accident, a child dying?
The emotions of motherhood are
universal and so our thoughts are for
young mothers stumbling through diaper
changes and sleep deprivation...
And for mature mothers learning to let go.
For working mothers and stay-at-home mothers.
Single mothers and married mothers.
Mothers with money, mothers without.
This is for you all. For all of us...
Hang in there. In the end we can
only do the best we can. Tell them
every day that we love them. And pray
and never stop being a mother...
Author Unknown

Friday, May 9, 2008

Going to the dogs...

Radar is our guard dog. He is an Anatolian Shepherd/Great Pyrenees mix.

These dogs are bred specifically for guarding and he does a great job. The sheep are constantly in danger of predators - in our case it the coyotes and packs of wild dog. He sleeps most of the day and then goes into action at night. This particular dog will let strangers into the sheep field, which is kind of good because people often want to stop and see the sheep. He is wary of them, but will let them come into the field as long as Jim or I are with them. We had a guard dog before this, Buddy, who would only allow Jim, me, our grandson, Travis, and Jim's brother into the field. We felt the sheep were safer from poachers, but it sure did make it challenging to let people see the sheep. We would have to always pen him up first.

This is Buddy. Komondors originated from Hungary and have cords (dreadlocks) when they are groomed. Being a working dog, Buddy was just dreadful looking... but he sure knew how to do his job. I hated it when he passed away.

We have another guard dog in another field that is an Anatolian Shepherd/Komondor mix. I don't have a picture of her for some reason. She (Becky) does a good job too. We often hear the two dogs bark back and forth as if they are warning each other of danger. Both dogs are good size, weighing between 80 and 100 lbs. (you might not want them at your place Chicagolady...)
Now our other two dogs are a different story. We also have a Bassett (Lucy) and a Chihuahua (Whiskey). The Bassett is the dumbest dog I've ever owned and the Chihuahua is possessed when it comes to me. He goes ballistic if he even thinks someone is going to touch me. He is fine if I initiate the touching but not the other way around. We have found if Jim and I are going to snuggle on the couch, Jim has to sit down first and then I can join him, but not the other way around... *shakes head*

We call this one Whiskey Dog... he is possessed!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The farm

We raise registered Katahdin Hair Sheep. The breed originated in the late 1950's on a farm in north Central Maine. We were attracted to this breed of sheep for various reasons. One of the top reasons is that they don't have to be sheared (thus the name "hair" sheep). They get wooly looking in the winter when they need the warmth of a coat and then in the spring they start shedding their coat, eventually ending up with coarse hair for the summer. They are a nurturing breed that lamb easily without assistance and nurture their babies well. In 8 years we have had to bottle feed only four lambs; two times because the mother died while lambing, and two times because the mother rejected the lambs. We have them in various pastures but unfortunately the herd is larger than our pastures can support. I think Jim is soon going to sell off quite a few of them.

When we first got into farming we named the sheep. One time we named them after money (quarter, penny, dime, dollar, nickel), another time after Disney Characters (seven dwarves, mickey, etc.) We quickly learned naming them wasn't smart (actually I knew that from the beginning, but did it anyway). We now name the Daddy Ram and the Ewes we will be keeping. The rest are "hey you... "
This is Abe. He got the name because we bought him from the Agriculture School of the local University - Lincoln University.

This little guy is the strangest looking lamb I've seen yet. Isn't he cute? Usually they are white or brown and sometimes has a spot or two of the other color. But this little guy just couldn't decide I guess. I don't know if she is a keeper yet or not. I kind of hope so.

Maybe tomorrow or the next day I'll find time to blog about our guard dog, Radar.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Have a nice day

It's dreary here and so much to do today, so just want to tell everyone


Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Loft

I have a custom machine embroidery business. It is called Deanna's Designs. But I often refer to it as The Loft. The reason is because several years ago my menagerie of equipment became more than the space available in the downstairs of our house could accommodate. After much cussin and discussin we decided to turn the unused upstairs of our garage into my business. Thus The Loft was born.

This first picture is of all of the hoops and backing that I use for the various projects. I've found that peg boards are great for organizing stuff. The walls are lined with them. The hooping station on the table is a god-send. It makes hooping things very easy. You just set it up, put your hoop and backing in, pull the item over the "station" and pop in the top hoop. No more guess work on whether something is lined up straight or in the right position. See my rocking chair? We bought it at an auction many years ago. I rocked many a baby in that chair and now I use it as I sit and snip thread off the finished projects.

This picture is of my commercial embroidery machine. It is a Tajima Neo. It allows me to have up to 15 threads ready to go at any given time. Once I program the machine, it does all the work. My programming tells it what threads to use and where to stitch. This machine is considered a "one head" machine because I can only embroider 1 item at a time. Believe it or not, they have machines that do up to 15 or so items at a time (well actually more than that, they link them together). I have over 100 thread colors and yet it seems a new project always calls for a thread I don't have. The job running at the moment is a shirt for a ball team. I am embroidering a name and number on the back. The window looks out onto our house. Every once in a while I stand up and wave at Jim if he happens to be looking out lol.

This picture is of my trusty computer where I create all of the designs using special software. Once I get a design ready to go, I save it to a disk (definitely old school) and transfer it to the embroidery machine. Sometime soon I will invest in a cable where I can send the design directly to the machine. Next to my computer is a serger (I use it for other non-embroidery projects) and across from it is a Bernina home embroidery machine that got me started in all of this.

Many years ago I worked for the Governor of Missouri in the State Capitol Building. They happened to be replacing all of the windows in the Capitol while I was working there and I sweet talked the contractor into letting me have one of only 4 oval windows that were being replaced. Once I got it I had no idea what to do with it! But I couldn't pass up a piece of history. Shortly after I got the window we built the garage and the window was put in the loft. So, as luck would have it, now when I am working, I can look out that window and see the sheep we raise. The machine off to the side of the window is a quilting machine. I shamefully admit that I have been too busy with the embroidery side of the business to get into the quilting. But I swear one of these days I will!!!!! (I hope...)

And last, but not least, here are some of my creations. The flowers are part of a series of quilt blocks that I will be donating to our quilters at church. The blue shirt is the project I am presently working on, names on the back of ball team shirts. The MU logo is probably the design I am most proud of simply because of the effort it took to get licensed to embroider for them.

So now if I am in chat and say BRB I have to hoop something, or I am working.... you know what I am doing!!!!!!!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Some mom funnies

I've posted several blogs about mom and alzheimers. Naturally I am spending a lot more time with her these days, just sitting and visiting and talking. We often have some very strange and funny conversations. I've found that it is good to laugh, not at her, but with her and at the situation she is in. Sometimes she laughs along with me. Sometimes she just holds my hand and asks why this is happening to her. I want to share some of the more bizarre and funny little talks we've had recently.

Mom was asking me where my children are. I explained to her (for the hundreth time) that they are grown and now have children of their own. She nodded wisely and said, "You know that I raised 16 children." I told her that 16 was a lot of kids and that she actually had 4 kids. She looked at me and said, "Oh, thank goodness!"

I was helping her bathe the other night and she asked if I liked what I was doing (she thought I was a nurse or something I guess). I told her she is my mom and I would do anything for her. I guess I got a little rough scrubbing her back because she then told me, "well you sure don't do it very good!"

She looked at my dad last night while we were eating supper and said, "Ed, where is Ed?" Huh?

She sometimes knows me, but mostly I am "that girl". She wanted to know my name, so I told her it is Deanna. She asked where I got such a name. I told her that she is my mom and she gave it to me. She gasped and said, "I stuck you with that name!" We both laughed pretty hard at that one.

She was sitting in my kitchen eating supper last night. She looked at me and asked me why I had come all this way to see her. I explained she was in my house. She disagrred and said it was her house. We live in the country in the middle of the woods and the isolation has always scared her. So I told her to look out the window and asked if she really thought this was her house. She grinned and said, "no, this is definitely your house."

I'm a glass half full kinda girl and look on the positive side of things. We have a lot of not so fun times with her these days. But for some reason, probably too much medication, two weeks ago she had taken a turn for the worse and was not able to complete sentences anymore. Now she can once again complete a thought. It is usually a jumbled, wrong thought. But at least I can talk to her again and occasionally I get a glimpse of the woman who raised me.

Mom always had a saying that I never liked and felt was negative, but it was how she felt about life and things in general. After forgetting the names of her husband, kids, grandkids, brothers and sisters and where she lives, for some reason she still remembers this saying. She said it loud and clear two times last night. "Life ain't all bad, it just seems that way"