Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hmmm Hmmm Good!

 Strawberry Plant

Can anybody guess what I’ll be munching on in about three more weeks?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I want to welcome my sweet, wonderful, ornery daughter, Julie, to the blog world.  I’ve always thought the name we gave Julie was a perfect name because she turned out to be quite a Jewel. 

My daughter amazes me.  She co-exists as a woman of one in a world of five guys (3 sons, 1 stepson, and one husband).  In addition to that, her husband is a Firefighter (yea Doug!).  This means she has an extended family of firefighters.  From what I can tell, she holds her own in the world of testosterone that she lives in.  Oh, and did I mention that she has her own daycare?  And she seems so sane ;-)

I will warn you, though, if she starts telling stories about me and they aren’t flattering, then she has to be stretching the truth…..

And to all my blog friends, I am hoping you will send some of the same bloggy love you have shown me to my Ms. Jewelz

Julie and her family

The Legend of the Dogwood Tree


Two thousand years ago, few trees in the Middle East were big enough to construct anything. However, one tree was valued above the others for its thick trunk and fine, strong wood.

When the Romans came to rule over Jerusalem, their government used this same timber to build the crosses for executing criminals. A group of workers were assigned to gather wood for the crosses. Before long, every Roman official knew the best wood came from these gatherers of execution wood, so those workers became popular.

One day, the wood gatherers received a special request. An officer of the Roman court came and said, "The King of Jews is to be put to death. Deliver an extra-large cross made from your finest wood." So, a fresh tree was cut from the forest of the trees with thick trunks and fine, strong wood. An extra-tall (and extra-heavy) cross was quickly made and delivered.

Three days after the death of Jesus of Nazereth, the chief wood gatherer got alarming news. "All of our finest trees are withering!" the messenger whispered. The wood gatherer hurried to the forest and saw that it was true.

Several years later, the chief wood gatherer heard that, every spring, many people visited the old forest that had once made his job so easy. Despite his advancing years, he set out to discover why. He saw the remains of forest, now like a salty bottoms, with only a few trees still standing tall, bare, lifeless and rotting.


But what was this? As he drew closer, his feeble eyes could make out the people walking among thousands of beautiful, flowering bushes. Seeing one of his own workers there, the old man said, "No one could ever make a cross out of this twisted wood. Our finest tree has gone to the dogs!" He noticed the beautiful white flowers, each blossom looking as if it had been burned from the touch of a miniature cross.

Dogwood Tree Blooms

As told to Ben Baston by his grandmother, Louise Brown.

There Is A Legend
At the time of Crucifixion the dogwood had been the size of the oak and other forest trees. So firm and strong was the tree that it was chosen as the timber for the cross. To be used thus for such a cruel purpose greatly distressed the tree, and Jesus nailed upon it, sensed this. 
In His gentle pity for all sorrow and suffering Jesus said to the tree: 
" Because of your regret and pity for My suffering, never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a cross. Henceforth it shall be slender and bent and twisted and its blossoms shall be in the form of a cross--two long and two short petals. And in the center of the outer edge of each petal there will be nail prints, brown with rust and stained with red, and in the center of the flower will be a crown of thorns, and all who see it will remember." 

Dogwood Tree Blooms

The pink dogwood is said to be blushing
for shame because of the cruel purpose
  which it served in the Crucifixion.
The weeping dogwood further symbolized the sorrow.
The red dogwood, called the Cherokee, bears
the color to remind us of the blood shed by our Savior.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

This weekend was a blur! (and so were my pictures)

These pictures might give you an idea what my weekend was like watching my 1 1/2 year old granddaughter.

 Blurry picture of Reagan runninganother blurry picture of Reagan another blurry picture  of Reagan another blurry picture of Reagan another blurry picture ofReagan 088 

  I am plumb tuckered out!

Reagan sitting pretty

We did have a few quiet moments, but they were few and far between.

Allen grinning at the camera

Her big brother, Allen, stayed with us too, but he was good as gold.

Allen showing me his butt

Well, almost good as gold.

Reagan wearing grandma's shoes

As I was getting her ready for bed, I finally told Reagan she needed to walk a mile in my shoes.  So she did…

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A view

This is a quick post hoping that it finds everyone having a great weekend.

I love my office.  Sometimes it is hard to concentrate because the view draws me to the outside.

dogwood trees

It has been a busy weekend so far in my part of the world.  For those who have been wondering, the Dr. FINALLY confirmed what I already knew in my heart.  My dear old dad has cancer in his liver.  We don’t know yet whether it is liver cancer or if it is another cancer that has metastasized to his liver.  He is already in a lot of pain and very weak and we have not yet even seen the oncologist.  When we told him he has cancer he just bowed his head and said “that’s the way it is”.  I do love that man.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The battle of the leash

Jim and I don’t fight over things that normal couples fight over.  Things like money, disciplining the kids, where to eat, and on and on…  We duke it out over the craziest things.

Whiskey daring me to take his picture

Demon Dog (aka Whiskey) has trained us to do things his way.  This means we do things backwards when it comes to putting a leash on him.  We never got him completely housebroke.  We used the method where he was confined to a small space where he wouldn’t think of diddling because it was his own and then slowly expanded that space.  And it worked!  Well, we thought it worked, but soon realized it worked only to a certain point.  Whiskey wouldn’t dream of diddling in the kitchen.  It turns out the rest of the house is fair game.

We finally declared him the winner and implemented the leash law.  When he is in the house he is confined to the kitchen, on our laps, or on the leash.  When he is outside he can run to his heart’s content.  I know, I know – that’s a little backwards, but we have a lot of property and he doesn’t wander far.  He’s too chicken for that.

Whiskey roaming around the property

Here’s the twist.  We used to open the front door to let him run to the kitchen.  Then we discovered the little shit was hysting his hind leg between the front door and the kitchen to leave a little yellow squirt on the living room carpet as he passed through!  Arghhh!!!  So now we have to put the leash on him to take him inside.  Can you say dumb dog.?  Or more like, dumb people…

Whiskey walking up the rock steps

The leash on the table inside where it belongs

Why does this cause a battle?  I like to put the leash on the table at the front door.  That way I can pick it up on my way out to get Whiskey in, or if it is cold, I don’t have to go outside at all and can just open the door and let him in. 

Leash outside where it doesn't belong

Jim likes to put the leash on the porch railing.  I don’t know why and since this is my blog, he can’t tell you!  So, he lets the dog out and the leash is left outside.  I let the dog in and where is the leash… outside!  This is especially irritating to me in the early morning or late at night because I’m always barefoot and have to put shoes on or walk outside barefoot.

Last night I hit the ceiling when at 10:30 I went to let the dog in.  No leash.  It was once again outside.

Me:  Just once can’t you do things my way!

Jim:  Huh?  What?

Me:  The leash!  You left the leash outside!

Jim:  So?  That’s where I always leave it.

Me:  I know!!!!!  I’ve asked you a million times (I sometimes exaggerate) to leave it on the table inside, but will you do that?  Nooooooooo!!!!!!!  Can’t you just once do things my way!  (yea, I repeated myself, but only about 100 times)

Jim:  This isn’t about the leash.  What’s really wrong?

Me:  It is TOO about the leash!  It is definitely about the leash! 

More stupid stuff was said, all of which I regret – and all over a stupid leash. 

At some point I stomped off to bed… in the guest bedroom.    I can be so hard headed and stupid!

I’d ask for everyone’s opinion on this, but I already know I’m right.  The leash belongs inside and I’m hard headed and stupid!    ;)

       Demon Dog checking me out from the porch

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A few changes

I've been thinking about making a few changes to my blog lately and this morning I woke up and decided it is time!

When I first started blogging, I followed some of my chat friends here. They all knew me by my chat nic - Punkn. So it was only natural to name my blog Punkn's Place. Somehow, though, I've evolved away from Punkn and back into Deanna. And what do I write about? I write about the loves of my life, my husband, children, grandchildren, parents, friends and about my life. So, I've changed the name of my blog to My loves, My life. I hope you like it.

So far I've kept the changes simple - just a name change and new simple background. But who knows what tomorrow will bring...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

An apple for the Prez

007 In the 1980’s I worked in the Missouri Governor’s Office for then Governor, John Ashcroft. Many of you will recognize the name as our US Attorney General not too many years back. I realize he wasn’t exactly popular and many didn’t agree with his position on things, but that isn’t what this babbling is about, so I won’t go there.

My job title was Fiscal Officer. A better title would have been Low (Wo)man on the Totem Pole of Senior Staff. I never knew what the challenge of the day would be.

See the picture of then Governor Ashcroft presenting a paper mache apple to then President Reagan? That was one of the challenges of the day.

Education seemed to be the platform of every politician in the 80’s. Ashcroft presented himself as the Education Governor. So when Ronald Reagan was coming to Missouri for a visit, Gov. Ashcroft decided he wanted to present him with a LARGE apple. You know, an apple for the teacher… Unfortunately he decided this only four days before the President was to visit.

Since dear hubby (who I get so much mileage out of in this blog) was an art teacher, it was only natural for the Gov. to ask him to make the apple. Jim is not one to shy away from a challenge! He bought one of those big bouncy balloon balls, took it into school with him and he and his students made a paper mache apple. Now anyone who has ever worked with paper mache knows it takes time for each layer of paper to dry. They had fans going day and night to dry the pasted paper as it was applied thin layer after thin layer. His students thought it was cool to be part of making something to give to the President of the United States and showed up before school, during lunch hours, free periods and after school to work on this apple. Jim put the final touches on it, painting it candy apple red and lettering #1 Teacher.

This beautiful apple was presented to Reagan at one of the local high school’s assembly, but only after it had been x-rayed by the Secret Service. I didn’t get to go to many of the high profile events, but this is one I got to attend (do you think it had anything to do with the fact that hubby came through in a pinch?) Dang I was proud of that apple. And as the President boarded Air Force One, he was carrying the apple. How’s them apples…

I had no idea a photo was sent to Reagan for a personal message to Jim. Hot diggidy! A signed photo of President Reagan! Or is it… I don’t think we’ll ever know for sure. Is the signature real or a robo-signature? What do you think?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Rain… Forest…


I was hoping for a speck of sunshine so I could snap a nice bright picture of the marriage of my red buds and dogwood trees.  The contrast of the two always amaze me.

redbuds and dogwoods 003

But…. NO sunshine - so for today you get only a soggy picture with a promise of sunny day pictures SOON (I hope).

And what you also get is a dose of where my mind goes when it rains for too long of a time – and that my friends is the Rainforest of Dominica.  Imagine trees forming a canopy so thick overhead that even though it is raining, you aren’t getting wet.  That is a rain forest.  The water in the stream leading to the waterfall was crystal clear.  The scenery overlooking the countryside as we strayed from the beaten path was breathtaking.

So, on this oh so dreary, rainy day, I thought it would be nice to share some of my Dominica Rainforest pictures.  I hope you enjoy them.



IMG_1113 - Copy



I walked the narrow path to behind the waterfall for this picture.  Why I didn’t take a picture of the path is beyond me, but I didn’t…  I was scared at first – the path was a combination of small and boulder type rocks and they were WET.  I expected to slip and slide all the way, but strangely, the rocks were not slick at all.  I am a chicken at heart when it comes to things like this, so I was secretly proud of myself for venturing forward.  I was disappointed nobody took a picture of me proudly standing under the waterfall.  But, I can’t blame Jim this time… I had the camera.  Proof is the picture of him that I took from my side of the waterfall.











Friday, April 17, 2009

My new best friend

I don’t know if any of you have noticed or not, but I’ve been posting more pictures on my blog lately. I used to dread posting more than one or two photos because you had to be careful to get them in the right order. If not, and you did the dastardly deed of moving them around, then they would no longer enlarge when clicked on. Arghh!

The answer? Windows Live Writer. When you use Windows Live Writer, blogging is a breeze. Inserting photos is especially easy. You just click on the photo icon, and then brows for your photos like normal. The neat thing is if you want to insert multiple photos, hold the alt key on your keypad and click each photo you want to insert. You then have the option of photos in a line or a photo album. Once the photos load (and this happens quickly) you can move them and resize them to your heart’s content. You can also insert hyperlinks, maps, tags, & movies.

Inserting a hyperlink is as easy as clicking on the hyperlink icon in the toolbar and pasting in the link URL and name.

It took me a bit to figure out when I wanted to edit a paragraph that I needed to double click in the area I want to edit. Each paragraph, image, etc. is put in its own separate box. Once you are done with your post you can Publish it or Save it as a draft for later publishing. Those options are in the top toolbar.

I first learned of Windows Live Writer while reading Southern Hospitality's blog. She devotes her blog to decorating, cooking, and gardening. She has some great ideas. I couldn't find the exact link at first, but thanks to Iggy (see his comment) I am able to point you to her blog entry that lead me to this application. She doees a really good job explaining Writer. Thank you Rhoda!

If you are interested in trying my new best friend out for a drive, just click here and click on the DOWNLOAD button to the right. When you click download you get options of features to download, I only clicked on the Window Live Writer because that is all I wanted.

Let me know what you think… and if I find out everyone is already using this and haven’t shared with me and I’m the only one in blog land not using this, then I’m going to stomp right out of here!!!!!!!


Thursday, April 16, 2009

My world yesterday

There are no words to describe yesterday.  At least not in my limited vocabulary.  It was so peaceful as I took my much needed walk.


I could hear our recently acquired hoot owl off in the distance.  Over the many years we have lived here, every once in awhile one of those mysterious creatures take up residence with us.  This big fellow was sitting on our corner fence post at dusk the other evening and we’ve been hearing him ever since.  As I was thinking about how forlorn and yet comforting the hoot hoot was, a shadow darkened the sky above me.  I looked up to see a gorgeous red tail hawk riding on the breeze.  All I could think was, “God is good”. 

If you ask me at the end of summer what my favorite time of year is, I will answer without question – “FALL!”  But ask me today after a long dreary winter what my favorite time of the year is and I’m telling you very firmly it is SPRING!

Here are a few photos I took yesterday when I should have been hoofing it to burn off those many sins of winter.  I hope you enjoy them.


I was ready to snap this red bud bloom picture and out of the blue I got a visitor.  How special is that?  I think my friend the honey bee posed quite prettily.

002 003 004 008 013 015 017 018

Oh, did I mention that I love Spring?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fashion statement

If it weren’t for my pension for giggling, I could have gotten a lot of mileage out of this one.  But noooooo!  I had to give it away by first giggling a little and then snorting.

Something is up with that man of mine.  First he throws away a perfectly good shirt, then he buys himself a new pair of jeans.  You heard me right – a NEW pair of jeans!  And he puts them on for Easter.  Knock me over with a feather.

But wait… what’s that…. hehehehe, wait until the kids see it…. lol snort, snort.  “What am I giggling at?  Oh nothing, dear.”  Oh heck, he’s on to me.  “Hang on, just let me get the camera and then I’ll tell you, dear.”


There ya have it.  How does the saying go?  You might be a red neck if…

Monday, April 13, 2009

It’s not meant to be

I dream of getting a good photo of all of my grandchildren together.  Is it too much to ask?  How do the professionals  do it?  I try every trick I know.  I first get the older ones assembled.  Then at the last minute we bring in the wiggle worms.  This time I am missing one of the grandkids (he was with his mom), but here is how it went…


Not too bad for first try.  At least Reagan (the youngest) is looking at the camera.  Now if we can just wake Dakota up, get James and Austin to sit still, and talk Allen into looking forward.


Utoh.  Reagan is on the move.  Great smile Austin, even Anna thinks so.  Pssst Anna… look at the camera.  James, quit eating.


Austin!  Quit that!  You’re face will freeze like that.  James sit still!  Who gave Reagan a piece of paper?  Great smile Cara and Travis.  Dakota you are sitting so nice. 


The camera Travis, the camera… Emily will take care of Reagan.  Oh dear, Reagan is not happy… anybody else want to try holding her.  James!  Sit still I say!  Cara, Allen can watch himself, thank you very much.  Dakota, hun, you are still sitting nice but a smile would help….


Oh my.  Things are getting totally out of control.  Did you find what you are looking for Dakota.  Yes, Emily, I can see she is a handful.  Travis, you aren’t helping matters at all.  James!  Sit still!  You are being so patient Anna, Austin, Allen and Cara.  Keep those smiles coming.


Ok Travis.  Let’s see if you can handle Reagan.  Jamesie… please hun.  Sit still! Who gave that child candy?  Allen?  You have candy too?  Please look at the camera everyone!


Did we lose you Austin?  James!  Sit still!!!  Allen… Allen!


I know you’ve had enough James.  But if you would just sit still and look at me one time, we would be done.  Allen?  Allen!


Ok, I got Allen back.  Cara? You poor thing.  You’ve been sitting so nice and sweet.  And look at Dakota, Anna and Emily.  Picture after picture they are is sitting perfectly.


Ah, we got Cara back.  Never have had James, yet.  James!!!!!


I love that tootless grin, Anna.  Austin’s not too sure about it, though.  JAMES!!!!! I cannot believe how perfect you’ve been sitting Dakota.  Travis keep doing what you are doing with Reagan.  It seems to be working.


What happened?  What’s so funny?  I agree with Dakota… his hands say it all.  JAMES!


HELLOOOOOO!  The camera is this way… JAMES!  We told you no more  candy!


Oh dear.  We got James… are those JuJu Bears sticking to your teeth dear?  Austin?  where  did you get candy now?


Wake up, Dakota.  We’re almost done.  Allen and James, pay attention.  Austin, pop that in your mouth and look this way.


JAMES WILLIAM!!!! Austin… what kind of look is that?  Yes, I see you have chocolate on your hand.  You are being so good Dakota and Anna.  Allen, look up hun.  Keep up the good job with Reagan, Travis.  Emily and Cara are doing the side ways glance look.


Look at the camera, Cara.  Austin and James…. please……


I’ll bet you thought I’d end this post with one frame worthy photo.  Wrong…  Next year I’m going to hire a professional.  I swear I will….

I hope everyone had a nice Easter.  I’m going to go pitch my camera now (surely it is the camera’s fault I didn’t get a single good picture).  Will be back later.