Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Last night we got home after a VERY long day of sorting through things at Jim's mom's house and moving furniture to new homes. By the time we unloaded our stash, fed the animals, and showered the dirt and grime away, we were bone weary. Oh dear. Eight o'clock and we haven't eaten yet. I find steak and potatoes is the easiest meal there is to fix. So, Jim got the gas grill going and I scrubbed two potatoes and wrapped them for the microwave. (I prefer baking them for real but last night was one of those "do it the quick and easy way" nights). Anyway, while Jim was tending to the steaks, I did the potatoes.
After turning the microwave on for five minutes, I ploppped down in my favorite chair and closed my eyes. All of a sudden I hear sizzling, pop and when my eyes flew open I saw FIRE! Oh shit! I forgot to put the potatoes in the microwave! They were on the counter below it... Oh dear...
It turned out the fire was just a flash of some particle of food that was apparently left on the tray (at least that is all I can figure out). I cautiously opened the door, fearing the worst, and well it looked ok.... So I popped the taters in, turned it on and away we go! Taters got done the same time as the steaks. Wala insta meal!
Saturday, March 28, 2009
I took my dad to the Dr. Thursday. Dad has become quite frail and nothing much perks him up these days. The Dr. was asking him questions and asked if he ever smoked. The answer was when he was a teen and in his 20's he had smoked for about 15 years. The Dr. said "I'll bet that was when you were in the service". For the first time in a long time I saw a light shine in dad's eyes. It was pride I was seeing. He responded that he had served in WWII. As the Dr. prodded and probed he asked him what branch of service.... "Airforce" and where were you stationed... "Guam"
As I listened to them from a distance, I felt such pride. Pride in my dad and in my country. It is because of people like him and all others who are willing to fight for us that we are free.
So, thank you Dad! And thank you to all of our fighting men and women, past, present and future. We owe you our lives.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
The breed originated in Maine (how about that, Junyah). We chose this breed because they are hardy, have very little trouble lambing, and don't need to be sheared. I have bottle fed a few of the babies whose mama died in lamb birth. That is one of those good news, bad news stories. The good news is they become so tame that they follow you around like a little puppy. It is so sweet. You are their mama. The bad news is that during that first week you are literally up every couple of hours all night long. The other bad news is that ultimately you have to decide whether you have a pet or dinner for someone's table. I've gotten around that so far by selling them to other farmers for breeding. (whew) Fortunately we don't have any bottle fed lambs to take care of this year (so far).
What we do have is one very unusual lamb. We are scratching our heads on this. I took some quick snaps today while we were ear tagging them but will try to get some better shots later. This lamb is so unusual - I'm going to send a picture into the association. We've been raising/breedinig sheep for over 8 years and have never seen such an unusual lamb.
Usually our sheep are white or brown and sometimes a nice mix. The underbelly of this one is solid black. I think he is gorgeous!
Here is what the Katahdin's usually look like. We have been trying to breed more brown into the flock because they seem to be hardier. But it definitely didn't take on these little ones. Aren't they precious?
This is Black Belly's (that is what we named him) mama. MaryAnn is actually quite old for breeding. She is one of our original sheep and was a bottle fed lamb. I walk into the pen and she always comes over and wants me to pet her. She will die of old age on this farm. She has been my baby from day one.
This is dad. His name is Abe (we bought him from the Lincoln University Ag Farm). He's a pretty brown - but no black that I can see.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Sunday, March 22, 2009
And look what mother nature has been busy doing while I was getting better. What looked like a bare, dead limb just a few days ago has the slightest beginnings of red buds popping out. Red bud trees amaze me. They grow under canopies of other trees, often bendinig to the wishes of those trees. Then when there is not a leaf yet in sight, tiny little buds pop out of nowhere. I absolutely adore my red bud trees. Within the next week or so the hillsides will be ablaze with them.
I know I've said it often, but I love my herbs. One of my favorites (among many) is Thyme. It is such a faithful, aromatic herb. Every winter it hibernates under a bed of leaves. Each Spring I despair, thinking this will be the year I will need to replant. Replanting is no big deal but somehow it just feels better to see last year's beauty come back to life. Gosh it doesn't look too good yet, does it? But wait...
I went to Church this morning (big mistake - I coughed until I had to leave.) The last thing I want to do is share this - whatever it is. Jim had to work, so I cleaned up around here a bit and did a few loads of laundry. It is amazing what doesn't get done when you aren't doing it ;) But now it is time to take it easy. I've done enough for one day. Hmmmm the bird feeders are empty. I know! I'll fill the bird feeder and sit on the porch with my trusty camera and a glass of wine and take pictures!
My son made this ceramic feeder when he was in high school. It is kind of a cool design. The lid lifts up and you can pour the bird seed inside. Then it flows out of the holes on the side. Nice idea but... it doesn't really work.... I still love it though and just pour the seed on the nice wide rim he molded around it.
Ahhh well. They have no need for my lousy feed right now. I could hear them singing to me high in the trees. That was almost as good as getting a good picture of one or two of them.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Jim's been battling this achy snotty crud for over a week now.
I watched 18 month old Reagan Tuesday and Wednesday while her fever raged and she took every opportunity to show me how good she has gotten at sharing kisses and snot.
My dear boss uses my phone and my computer every morning before he heads into town to the office where he officially works. He could barely talke last time I talked to him. I bought sanitizing wipes but.... I forgot to use them.
So who do I blame?
*looks in the mirror*
There is only one person to blame. ME!
I did go to work yesterday long enough to get the bulletin done and return phone calls. Then I came back home and crawled back into bed. I'm going to try my darndest to stay upright today - well maybe after I lay back down for a bit...
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
So what is your fifth photo in the fifth folder? I'd really like to see it!
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Reagan is our youngest grandchild. Doesn't she have the prettiest eyes imaginable? This picture was taken last weekend when everyone was here for a Lasagna dinner get-together. She is staying with me today because she is running a fever. I sure do love this little stinker!
Doesn't Austin look a little bit like Spanky of Spanky and Our Gang with that hat cocked to the side and the bad boy grin?
Monday, March 16, 2009
A few weeks before Christmas this year we had to make the difficult decision to find a retirement center for her. She had taken to wandering the streets of her little town in the middle of the night. For some reason that is frowned on ;) The "place" we found is close to our home and takes good care of her.
We kicked her birthday off a day early. Her real birthday is on St. Pat's Day and they had other activities planned at the home. I decided to take cupcakes for everyone. I had no idea there were 60 people... so 80 cupcakes I baked (some would want two, right?).
We had chocolate, yellow and spice cupcakes. We surprised her by showing up in time to serve dessert at their Noon meal. Everyone sang Happy Birthday dear Hawkie. She was grinning from ear ato ear.
I screwed up again. Geez, you would think I would learn.
The Barkhauses and Schultehenriches and us always go into together when there is a death. We didn't make it to the visitation so we got something and thought we would give it to Nicki at PoKeNo night. I didn't think it through. Sorry!
This is so typical Rita. I will continue being friends with her - we've been friends for too long to let something like this come between us. I'm not too sure why the whole thing hurt my feelings the way it did - that part isn't like me at all. I'm not going to join the group anymore, though. I've too many other things that I enjoy doing to keep me busy. I don't need to waste time doing something I don't enjoy all that much.
The only person who will miss me is Rita - I sometimes think the rest struggle to remember my name!
I hope everyone has a wonderful week and thank you for your insightful and often funny comments.
PS. I've stored my nine iron and putter in the hall closet where they'll be handy if I need them again :)
Friday, March 13, 2009
Blogging my feelings helped me feel better. Your comments helped me feel even better! Thank you for the comments. I stewed and spewed and pondered. What to do, what to do.
I finally decided Marmie was right...
Take a nine iron and bend it around their golfing heads :) and shove a putter up their bums.... that will sort them out..
I dug my vintage 70's golf clubs out of the recesses of my basement. They clanged awfully loud when I dumped them onto the concrete, looking for the nine iron. Oh shit, Jim heard that. He wanted to know what I was doing. For some reason he thought I was making a big mistake and hid my nine iron, the big bully. So I asked him what he would do... His reply - and I quote...
F#%k em and feed em fish heads...
OK, I guess that is another way to go.... So here is what I really did. I sent an email to Rita. It said,
Was Niki's gift from the Pokeno group? If so, I owe someone some money. I probably came across as uncaring when I didn't hug Niki, but I felt awkward. I didn't know who the flowers were from and didn't want to make it seem they were from me if they were from you, Pam and Barb. Carol looked about as bewildered as I was! Just let me know.
Once I read your comments and had calmed down I realized there was the remotest possibility that I had been included and didn't know it. I over reacted and am glad I blogged rather than reacted hastily. Rita hasn't responded yet (she's not much on checking her email). I'm moving on. I'll decide next month whether I continue joining PoKeNo. My own blog made me realize how little I like it. I think I'll just spend more time with Jim and ... feed em fish heads.
Our group is a rather odd mix of women. One of my best friends, Rita, brought us all together a little over a year ago. The core group of five have been golfing buddies for years (I've tried golfing with them, but it's definitely not my cuppa tea). They have traveled together and get together as couples quite often. Then there is Deb, who doesn't golf with them but her husband sometimes does and she socializes with them. Then there is Rita's sister and me. I've known all of these ladies enough to say hello for over 20 years, so this mix has worked out fine for me. Often the conversation turns to golf or a dinner out and I feel a little on the outside but it has never really bothered me - until last night. Last night four of the golfing group, Rita's sister and I were there.
One of the ladies, Nicki, (part of the golfing group) had lost her brother to cancer two weeks ago (I sent her a sympathy card at the time). She wasn't sure whether she was going to come, but showed up at the last second. It was obvious she was still struggling but it was also obvious that the evening was good for her. The silliness and laughter took her mind off her sorrow for a time.
Just as we were all getting ready to leave, Rita came out of her bedroom with a beautiful spray of flowers for Nicki, with a card attached. Of course Nicki broke down and cried and said "Thank you all". But the bouquet was not from all of us - it was from the golfing group. I felt horrible. I would have loved to have gone in on a gift! And now it looks like I chose not to. It looks like I don't care! They gave it to her at a PoKeNo get together - it is only right that it should have been from the PoKeNo group. I didn't even give Nicki a hug because it would have looked like I had gone in on the gift. And on the other side of the room Rita's sister was doing the same thing I was - looking on from a distance, not saying a word.
It takes a whole lot to hurt my feelings - it really does. But I am so totally hurt right now. I thought about calling Rita and telling her how I feel but I can't do that because I'll cry and I'm not going to cry! I thought about sending her an email saying much of what I've said here. And I've thought about saying screw it and quit PoKeNo. I don't really like the game and I'm tired of having the "I'm on the outside looking in" feeling.
Am I over-reacting? Am I being petty? What would you do? I really want to know...
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Allen was fine until Greg drove past school. Allen made sure to cough so Greg knew he was still sick. No more coughing until Greg asked him if he was sure he was sick.... *cough, cough, cough*. Hmmmmmmmm.
Into Grandma & Grandpa's house he runs and climbs on my lap. And of course I'm lovin' it. I've found once these grandkids start kindergarten, they get too big for lap sitting. So now I'm eating up the whole I'm sick routine. But, I've not heard a single cough. So I ask him if he is sick. "Yea Grandma, I'm sick. *cough, cough, cough*" So I ask him if he wants to play pool. "No, I'd rather play air hockey". Oh yea, we've been so snookered!
He and Grandpa played air hockey, Grandpa gave him some pool lessons (which is ironic because we both suck when it comes to playing pool) and then he and I made a pot holder to take home to mom. And that was just the morning.
I went to work and Grandpa and Grandson went to visit Great Grandma in the nursing home and then ran errands for me.
When we took him home tonight he just wouldn't fess up that he wasn't sick. But I know the truth. Allen needed a day with Grandma and Grandpa and that is a good thing!
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Set in 1928, Gumbo Bottoms is the story of Vivian Marks, a wealthy easterner, who discovers her fortune has been squandered when her husband dies suddenly. All she has left is a piece of bottomland in Missouri. “You mean “Misery”, Vivian sings in the opening song. Things go from bad to worse when she travels to Missouri only to discover her rich bottomland has been taken by the “Wiley Guiley Mighty Mo.
The story continues as big city wealth clashes with rural river life and basic survival crosses the racial divide. With song and dance, laughter and drama the 90 minute musical delivers a tribute to river life, rich, deep, inspired by stories from the region.
Gumbo Bottom was launched in Boonville, Missouri's Thespian Hall, built in 1855. Many of the actors and producer, composer are from Boonville. It just happens that Boonville is located alongside the Big Muddy, the Missouri River.
We caught the show in Hermann, a little German town about 45 minutes from our home. We go there quite often to visit the many wineries. If you are ever in Missouri, Herman is a must see. It is also on the Mighty Mo.
The show and the locations where it performed dredged up so many memories that my mind is literally swimming. So, this blog entry is going to be a mishmash of jumbled thoughts. It is only fair to warn you about that...
My mom lived in Boonville, MO in the 1930's when she was a teenager. She lived on a farm in the river bottoms to be exact. Her greatest fear in life was having to go through another flood. As a young girl she went through many. She would shudder as she'd talk about moving the piano to the second floor of their old farm house, and even then the legs of the piano got wet because the waters reached to the second floor As the oldest girl of 8 children, she was relied on to help with the clean-up. That meant shoveling out the dirt, sewer, snakes, rubbish, and as the show was named, gumbo bottom, of the Missouri River, before the family could move back into the house. And they did this knowing that in two or three years (if they were lucky), they'd have to do it all over again.
I lived through many floods along the Missouri River, but never in that way. I was always the awestruck bystander, watching the power of mother nature. The flood of 1993 was by far the worst known to this area. My drive to work each day was normally an easy 20 minute, no traffic drive. The flood took out the Highway leading to town. The Missouri River Bridge at Jefferson City was closed for days and when it opened back up, the double bridge with six lanes was now one bridge with two lanes. The traffic would back up to the little town where I live, which is 15 miles from Jeff City. It took hours to get to work, not minutes. This is a picture of the Highway I drove every day.
I have many pictures of that flood, but none on this computer, and I'm too lazy to go searching for them, so I'm cheating and posting pictures from the internet.
We knew the violinist. He happened to live in Jeff City when our youngest daughter was in the school orchestra, playing the violin. We relied on him often to work on her violin. As I watched and listened to him play (we had seats close to the orchestra), I remembered back to Julie playing her violin. I was and still am so proud of her. I'm hoping one of these days when her rowdy bunch are a bit older and she has some me-time, that she will take up the violin again.
The violinist also happened to be the son of the local shoe cobbler of many years ago. His shop was down the street from the grade school I attended. In those days we weren't a throw-away society like we are today. Appliances, TV's, furniture, and clothing were made to last. We didn't throw things away, we fixed them. And our shoes were repaired by Elmer. For many years the shoes I wore were repaired hand-me-downs from my older sister. It was nothing to have the heel replaced two or three times. And the first thing we always had done when a new pair of shoes were finally bought was have a tap put on the toe so the soles would not wear out so fast. And when the soles did wear out, they were replaced. I was always secretly glad when I had to take my shoes to Elmer. I loved the smell of leather and polish in his. He was such a kind man. He seemed ancient to me, but since he had a son a bit younger than me (the violinist), he couldn't have been all that old. He would often chastice me for waiting too long to bring the shoes in, causing him difficulty in repairing them. The thing I remember most was he charged practically nothing. To put a tap on was ten cents. I even remember handing him only a nickel once for stitching a ripped seam.
As I type I am looking out my kitchen indow at a red headed wood pecker on a tree, a red bird in the feeder under the tree and two sparrows in the feeder right outside my window. I do believe I'm going to head outside for a little while!
Friday, March 6, 2009
- We kinda compost. We're not the serious, have to save everything type of composters, but we do save egg shells, coffee grounds, vegetable and fruit, etc.
- I sometimes move at warped speed. When I'm in a hurry, trying to get things done quickly, Jim just moves out of my way.
So, today was one of those days. Jim had left early to help cut fish for the fish fry our church was having tonight (we served 1400 people in 3 hours last Friday... isn't that amazing?). Anyway, I did some things around here and was running late. At the last minute I decided to slice an apple to take with me. For some reason I have this thing about biting into an apple. I just hate it. But I love apples. So, I slice them into bite size pieces. And since we compost, I quickly pulled out the compost container and threw the core in and grabbed the lid to close it up. And here is what I saw.....
Yikes! That's my coffee grounds! There are apple cores in my coffee grounds! But it was an honest mistake...
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
See this pile of leaves? We had at least 50 just like it around the yard.
Each pile was loaded on this tarp and then hauled down to a ravine at the other end of our property. Leaves are heavy! Jim would pull the tarp and I took up the rear (so to speak) and took some of the weight off Mr. Puller. Austin walked along side throwing sticks in lol.
Oh dear. It looks like we aren't anywhere near done. Nature is playing with us. These leaves will fall about the time we get the current mess cleaned up :-0
Monday, March 2, 2009
This window is very special. When we built our house the main bathroom ended up without any outside window. I wanted light! So Jim designed a stained glass window for the bathroom. This one he made from design to finish. Isn't it pretty?
The shade on this lamp was pathetic. It has been many years and I don't remember what it looked like exactly but I remember it was horrid. We bought the lamp at an auction, knowing it would be perfect for a stained glass shade. This was Jim's first attempt at stained glass work. He's so dang talented!