Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ringing in the New

This is it.  The end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012. 

Just think, we will have an extra day in which to complete those many projects next year.  It is a leap year!  I've always felt a little sorry for anyone born on February 29th.  They are in limbo.  Do any of you have a leap day birthday?  When do you celebrate?  Inquiring minds want to know.

To all of my friends, Happy New Year!

To those who want to see smiling faces opening Christmas Presents, just click here....

Thursday, December 29, 2011



How do you like my dirty window?  Or did you only notice my pretty African Violet that is flourishing, but has yet to yield any drop dead gorgeous blooms?  Both are challenges.  The window is too high for me to just run outside and clean.  It takes an extension ladder.  Maybe we (Jim) can tackle that challenge this Spring.  I've watered and fed my African Violet and offered filtered light (admittedly through a dirty window).  When I bought it for 50 cents at Lowes, it was almost dead.  So I am obviously up for challenges.  But what now...  Less water?  More fertilizer?  A challenge.

We just paid our real estate and personal property taxes.  Talk about a challenge!  Of course the challenge of income taxes will soon follow.  Ugh.  Maybe I'll try facing that challenge head on and get it done right away rather than waiting until the last minute like I usually do.

Whether she realizes it, I don't know, but my daughter, Tessa, and her family, gave me a challenge for Christmas.  They gave me a gift certificate from blog2print to get my blog made into a book.  Now that is super cool!  It is also going to be a super challenge. 

I've been blogging since the end of 2007.   Many of my posts are not book worthy.  Admittedly, none of my posts would be book worthy to the rest of the world, but to me they are a point in time that I obviously thought noteworthy or I wouldn't have blogged about it.  I went to the website today and checked things out.  This is going to be great but... a challenge!  I've decided the simplest way to do this is to start from the very beginning (like Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music, singing Do Re Mi).  That's a very good place to start.. and label each post that I want included in the book.  Then I can process it and see where the cost is and add or delete.  Oh yes, this is definitely going to be a challenge.  A wonderful challenge.

Shoot, I just noticed cob webs behind my blinds.  Another challenge!  I'll be back later.  It looks like I have some cleaning to attend to.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Awayward in the Manger

Thirty or so years ago Jim gave me a Precious Moment's Nativity set for Christmas.  Every year since, I have carefully set it out for all to see.

It usually looks something like this.  Mary and Joseph and a little lamb watching over baby Jesus, and the Three Wise Men off in a distance.  After all, according to the bible, they are coming from Persia and aren't there yet.

This year the wise men saw a little action.  Jim's mom took a liking to one in particular and was bound and determined to take it back to the nursing home with her.  You can see his little crown poking out of the top of the kleenex in her hand.  When Emily asked her what she was doing, she told her that "Nana told me I can have it".  We now call her Cleptograndma. 

When I got up Christmas morning, all three Wise Men were back in place, safe and sound.  Apparently they couldn't wait to see baby Jesus, and chose to come from on high rather than from afar.  At some point the crib was re-roofed with a coaster.  I wonder which grandkid is going to fess up to the redecorating...

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  We certainly did.  Nothing makes me happier than see family spend time together.  We ate, drank, played, talked, ate, drank, talked, played, ate... and then  read the Christmas Story of the birth of baby Jesus right before opening presents.  We also took LOTS of pictures.  As I looked through them, I noticed an amazing number of pictures of people taking pictures. 

Since we celebrate with the family on Christmas Eve, after we went to Church Christmas morning, we had the whole day to ourselves.  The temperatures rose to the upper 50's.  What a beautiful day!  Other than taking a walk to the pond and back, we just hung out all day.  How did you spend Christmas?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Friday, December 23, 2011

An early Christmas present to myself

Every year the week before Christmas I give myself an early Christmas present.  Yes, I am selfish that way.  But I love myself, so each year I do it. 

This morning I headed to the outpatient hospital clinic and trudged down the long hallway for my annual mammogram.  We've all heard the jokes about mammograms... you know the lay down on a cold concrete floor with your boob wedged under the rear tire and have a friend back over it a few times... there are hundreds of mammogram jokes out there.  But.  Mammograms are no joke.  They save lives.  Eight years ago a mammogram saved my life.  If you are 40 or older, please do yourself a favor and get your annual mammogram. 

Every year I try joking with the technician, saying things like "you are going to give this to me half price since you only have to do one scan, aren't you?" or "don't get confused and scan the wrong side, it might pop".  They are always nice and joke back.  I'm sure they've heard it all.

So today was Merry Christmas to me!  Have you don't anything nice for yourself this Christmas?

Oh, and I'm not a complete masochist.  After my mammogram I treated myself to an afternoon at the beauty shop.   Cut, color, shampoo, and style!

Friday, December 16, 2011

That’s Amore

Our bunch had a great time several weeks ago when we came together for a Pizza Party. 
I’m talking home made dough, fresh ingredients, build your own type pizzas. 
The kids really got into the act of rolling out the dough and deciding which toppings were appropriate and which were not.  We did insist on one adult pizza, complete with onions, green peppers and mushrooms. 
With our tummies already yelling STOP!, we dug into whipped cream topped pumpkin and warm apple pie with vanilla ice cream.  Oh my gosh.  Does it getting any better than that?
Of course it gets better than that.  A few stretched out on the floor and couch for a nap.  I won’t post those pictures.  You’re welcome.
The rest got caught up in a rousing game of Apples to Apples.
Jim took so many pictures and as I looked through them, a song kept going through my head.  So, I will leave you with my version of “That’s Amore”.   (Forgive me Frank Sinatra and composer, Harry Warren.)  Just hum along as you read the titles under each photo.
The kids keep working while the adults EAT!
When the family arrives to make pizza pie,
That's amore;
When the smiles are so wide as secret cards slide,
That's a - more.

Ingredients will swirl, flippy slip-a-tip-a-twirl, slip-a-a-twirl
And you'll sing "Vita bella."
Hearts'll play tippi-tippi-tay, tippi-tippi-tay
Like a gay tarantella.
When the old and the young come together as one
That's amore;
Here it is the clue, whatcha gonna do?
Flour Power
Family is love;
When you talk and scheme and you know you're living a dream, signore,

'Scusa me, but you see, back in old Mizouri, that's

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

This and that

No Radar, I don't have time to come out and play with you!

I'm too busy making a mess working
Some customer had the nerve to want these shirts by tomorrow - and then when  I called to tell him they were ready he apologized for not calling... he now doesn't need them until next week!

So I stared out the window and pondered... then decided I'd rather be inside working than outside playing.

Does fluffing up like this really keep our feathered friends warmer?

Happiness is an evening with my 91 year old Uncle Cy

Even happier when the rest of my Aunts and Uncles are there two.  Of eight children, these four are still keeping us all in line.

Did someone say Christmas is coming?  Am I insane to be making all of my Christmas cards this year?  This picture is prelude to another post.
Red solo cups all lined up - gosh somebody ought to write a song about that.  Oh wait, they already did!

This pile of kids created the red solo cup mess.  I see a blog post out of this one.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Just a chair…

How many of us are vowing to start exercising after our wonderfully, over-the-top, calorie loaded, Thanksgiving Day?  Are we checking out Black Friday exercise equipment offerings today?  Or maybe looking into getting a gym membership for a Christmas present. 
When I was a little girl my Grandma would sometimes stay with us.  Grandma was getting older and a little thick around the waist.  My ever health conscious mom was doing everything she could to keep her from gaining any more weight.  We’d line up chairs across the living room floor, one for each of us, and turn on the old green tube television to exercise with Jack LaLanne. 

jack-lalanneHere was this muscular guy with what sounded like an accent to me, in a jump suit and ballet slippers, urging us to get up off the couch and MOVE!  We’d stand behind our chair and kick our legs.  Then hold on while doing deep knee bends.  Then we’d sit on the chair and pull our legs in, kick out, lift and hold… The funniest was the face contortions to firm up the face muscles.  No face lifts for this generation.    
He’d say things like “Anything in life is possible if you make  it happen” and “The food you eat today is walking and talking tomorrow”.  Apparently he was onto something about how to live, since he lived to the ripe old age of 96.
Last weekend, when grandson Dakota was with us, I fixed all of the wrong things – bagels, fried foods, lots of potatoes, and *horrors* bought ice cream.  Central Dairy Muddy Waters ice cream.  For those of you who are not from this area do not know what you are missing.  Central Dairy Ice Cream is the best ever!  Anyway, I told Dakota that Grandpa and I needed to get back into the habit of going to the gym.  He couldn’t believe his grandparents have a gym membership at all… which got me to thinking about how my parents and grandparents exercised, which got me to thinking about Jack Lalanne and our fun afternoons in the living room.  It’s strange how the mind works – or at least how my mind works.  Now if I could just get my body moving in as many different directions and as quickly as my mind.
No, I haven’t gone back to the gym (yet), and the kitchen chairs are still where the belong, pushed in under the kitchen table.  But you just never know when motivation will hit. 
Dakota and Whiskey laying in front of wood stove
In the meantime, I think I’ll join Dakota and Whiskey on the floor, relaxing in front of the wood stove.  Move over guys, I’m coming in.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Let's all be thankful and grin

It is a time to give thanks.  I have a great deal to be thankful for.  The list can be simplified by saying I am thankful for my family, friends, God and Country.  Not necessarily in that order. 

Here is hoping each and every one of you have a Happy Thanksgiving. 

Click on the below video if you want a silly grin pasted across your face as you head into the holiday season.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Answers and what I loved about this week

In  response to comments and questions on previous post:

  • The metal roof is a very dark green and matches the greenhouse portion of the house and the garage.  We are now color coordinated again
  • I absolutely adore the sound of rain on a metal roof.  I've even been known to go to the loft to work when it is raining just so I could hear it on the roof!
  • Travis does NOT have a tattoo.  The spot on his arm is the wind chime hanging there.
  • The neighbor came and got her horse back.  Our fences are not adequate for horses, having been designed for sheep.  Unfortunately, obviously hers aren't either.
  • She said the other horse was shot (don't know where she found it back).  Deer hunters?  Disgruntled neighbor?  I guess we'll never know.
  • The mums are definitely dead.  Wish I could tell you I gave them a proper burial, but.. .
  • Travis did not conquer the leaves.  That is not possible!
  • Bailey is too lazy to attack.  Kind of like me.
  • The roofers are back today.  Since they didn't fall off last week, I trust they won't today.  It is much less windy.
  • Whiskey is like the energizer Chihuahua - never wears out
  • I love where we live.  It is our own little oasis.

What I loved this week:

  • Discovering when I kissed Austin on the cheek and he swiped at the spot, that he was not wiping my kiss off, but rather rubbing it in
  • Grandparents day at Allen's school.  We (the two Grandma's) decorated a turkey with him.  He seems to have a great teacher and was all smiles and hugs.
  • A sweaty hug from Travis after his first wrestling skirmish of the year.
  • The fact that Jim noticed I had my hair colored this week
  • Sitting on the front porch with Jim late at night, swaddled in a blanket, talking and listening to the wind howl
  • Dakota wanting to spend the weekend with us while his mom and dad were out of town - even if he did have the motive of wanting to go to a birthday party
  • Getting a rush embroidery job done ahead of schedule
  • Visiting with a friend who has been very sick
  • Making the difficult decision with our friends that we are no longer going to continue our annual Christmas open house (a ten year run) - and sending out a Christmas card telling everyone so. 
  • Learning that Uncle Cy is in town and I will get to see him, and many other family who I don't get to see very often, next week.
  • Reading Susan Vreeland's book Clara and Mr. Tiffany (awesome book!)
  • Working on my scrapbooks and card making
So, what made you smile this week?

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What’s been going on in my world…

Where have I been, you ask?  Life is out of control.  But you don’t want all of the gory details, now, do you?  I didn’t think so.  Instead I’ll just leave you with a glimpse of my world this past week.
This guy showed up to spend a few days with us. Since many neighbors have horses, it took quite a few calls before we figured out where the prison break took place.  She belongs to the one neighbor we didn’t call, because she is known to not take very good care of her animals and this ol’ gal looked very well groomed.  I guess we should have known, though, because our neighbor’s fences are atrocious.  It turns out she had two rescue horses.  Had is the key word.  This one ended up in our field.  The other one she found dead.  I’m thinking she doesn’t need to be rescuing any more horses.
Beautiful brown horse with star blaze
This guy showed up too, but unlike the horse, he was invited.  It is amazing how helpful a 15 year old can be.  Thank you for all of your help, Travis.  Hopefully all the running we did with you (and driving practice!) made up for it.
Travis bagging leaves
I do believe the mums are done for this year. 
Dead mums sitting on the steps
We are getting a metal roof put on the house, thanks to hail damage this last spring and summer.  You would not have caught me on that roof with the wind whipping around like that.  Shoot, who am I kidding?  You would never get me on the roof!  Period.
Bailey never changes.  She just stays lazy, with an attitude.
My roses are going for the last hurrah of summer.  Isn’t this one beautiful?  The scent is oh so sweet.
Beautiful yellow rose with pin tips
And Whiskey keeps us entertained every night as he plays catch with his many toys.  He is so spoiled!
whiskey 11-11
I haven’t been around the blogs much lately, but that will change soon I’m sure.  It is too hard to stay away!  Have a great weekend all.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank you

Thank you to all of our brave men and women who serve the United States of America in the Military.

I have written and deleted and written and deleted.  It all sounds almost trite.  The USA is in danger in spite of all of the efforts of our military.  Our Government is killing us. 

So today I not only say a prayer of thanks for our Veterans, but also a prayer for guidance for our leaders.

As I reflect this morning, I am reminded of a business trip I took to Washington many years ago.  There was very little time for sight seeing.  But on a very hot summer day we walked to the Vietnam Memorial.  As we got closer, the impact took our breath away.  The heat coming off the sidewalk rose up to meet the rows and rows of names in black.  Mementos lined the base of the memorial.  Flowers, boots, plaques, medals... I've never felt more proud and yet helpless in my life.  Tears streamed down my face at the realization of how many lives were lost - and that was only one of many wars.

God Bless America.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Grumpy Gus

Yesterday's post prompted some name calling.  I'll own up to starting it by calling myself a Grumpy Gus.

Chicagolady really got it going by questioning what is the opposite of Grumpy Gus.

 Then things got rolling with Iggy's vivid mind, having had all of the cobwebs blown out with much fresh air.

He offered up  Smilin' Sally? Laughin' Larry? Jolly Jill?  And then admitted the controversy was going to make him Insane Iggy!

But it doesn't stop there, because Alice Kay wanted to see the smile, which isn't going to happen since I am sitting here with my hair sticking up ever which way after another tossing/turning night - so I will dub myself Tosseled Tildy this morning.

But if you had see me grinning yesterday, you might have called me Dopey Deanna.

So what say you?  Anybody else want to weigh in on the name calling?  What name would best describe you today?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

It's in the air...

You might ask, "What's in the air?"

Is it pollin?  Or maybe that four letter word L O V E?  Or holiday cheer?

I woke up this morning in a rotten mood.  I had not slept well, needed to help my brother work through the complications of credits for tech support that hadn't supported his computer problems, and charges for the support that was good, and then deciding on a new computer since the final answer was that the mother board on his old computer had thrown craps.  (How's that for a run-on sentence...)  Never mind the fact that I thought my own lap top had died.  Yet when I took it in to have it looked at it booted up just fine.  I get it back tomorrow, having opted to have some maintenance done on the ol' gal.

So what is in the air?  Well, I'm convinced this blustery day blew KINDNESS my way.  It was in the air all around me.  Even though I was a grumpy gus, everybody else was smiling, patient, holding doors, saying "have a good day", and just generally being nice!  I couldn't help but be nice back.  By the time I got home this afternoon, I actually had a smile on my face and was humming a tune.

So tomorrow when I wake up in a good mood (instead of the bad mood of today), I'm going to remember to share my smile with the first grumpy gus I run across.  Because I was reminded today what I already knew, smiles are contageous.  I might even hold open a door or two.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Day Trip to Louisiana (Missouri, that is)

We've been wanting to go to Louisiana, Mo to visit the studio of artist John Stoeckley for quite some time.
Last Wednesday was tailor made for just such a short road trip.  What a great day we had!

If you click on the link above, you can see some of John's art work - Reflections of Missouri.  We live in a beautiful State, and it always makes me smile with pride when someone honors that beauty in works of art.  Since we have visited many of the places he showcases, we stood and drooled for a very long time.  John was the only other person in the shop and spent as much time as we wanted with us, just visiting, answering questions, and telling stories. 

An extra bonus of this trip is Louisiana, MO itself.  What a pretty little sleepy town.  If you would like to see more, just click on the video below, sit back, and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Bailey and the Titmouse

Bailey curled up in front of the front door
Tread carefully.   All who enter here must get past me, and I take my job very, very seriously.
Google eyed Titmouse
Cat?  What cat?
Bailey sneaking up on the bird feeder

Purrrrrr-fect.  Be vewy, vewy, quiet. 
That fat cat can’t jump THIS high!  Right?

Titmouse looks like telling a secret
     Eh?  What’s that you say?  There’s a puddy tat out there?
Tufted Titmouse
Don’t worry tweetie, that tat don’t scare me…
Titmouse on lookout
   Just hangin’ out here at the Diner.  Come  join me.  The atmosphere is great.  So is the food.
Bailey hiding among the rose bushes
Did you say Diner?  I’m more thinking DINNER… 
Well now, that’s 2 minutes of your life that you’ll never get back.  Hope you enjoyed!

Monday, October 31, 2011


Often life takes unexpected turns as we go about our merry way.  And everybody handles what are often life changing events in different ways. 

When Jim and I are together on one of our many drives in the country, I will become lost in thought.  Usually Jim will say “a penny for your thoughts…” – and then he gets more than he bargained for - a whole jumbled bag of pennies.  Things like, “well I saw that bird, which made me think of this person, and that made me realize he said this, and that made me think of I forgot to do that…”  Thoughts work that way sometimes.
As we drove on Saturday, my thoughts kept straying to friends.  In this day and age, friends come from so many more places than they did years ago.  Not only do friends come into our lives from the usual places, like family, church, ex-coworkers, former classmates, acquaintances; but it is much more far reaching.  We have chats, blogs, social media…

So, here is a sample of my driving thoughts: 

“I’m hoping he is going to be ok and is able to recover at home without returning to the hospital.  It seems we  almost automatically say we will pray for people, but how many of us really do.  He is so patient with those kids and always doing things with them, and teaching them.  I think if I lost my job, I would be doing exactly what she is and re-evaluate what is really going to make me happy and fit my changing life.  It seems so unfair that an ex can take control like she does without giving any consideration to how it affects him and his family. He is already driving.  How is that possible? He treats me like I am his life.  Do I really deserve such devotion?  Everything is so pretty.  God is good.  I didn’t know she had a second stroke and she is so young.  Why God?  She never complains. Why can’t I be a better friend.  It seems I spend too much time doing things that make me happy and not thinking of others. She is always surrounded by kids and yet never complains.  I don’t know that I could do that… I’m pretty sure I couldn’t.  She hasn’t blogged in almost a year and nobody has heard from her.  What could have happened? He works so hard on the farm and travels and she just keeps going, taking care of things at home. She tells me she loves me every time she talks to me.  It means so much to me… “

Gravel road leading to Muddy Bottom Wild Life Preserve

So as we travel this road down to the Muddy Bottom Wild Life Preserve, how about a penny for your thoughts…

Concrete Marker of Civil ar Battle

We parked the car and walked towards the railroad tracks.  Imagine our surprise when we happened onto a Civil War Marker.  “The Battle of Boonville Began Here June 17, 1861  Gen Lyon Commander of the Union Forces”  This was 111 years to the day before Jim & I were wed.

”How many? How young? How many died? Were they local boys? Did his mama know immediately in her heart that her boy was gone?  How long before she was officially told?  How long did they lay on the battle field suffering?  Was there a Union hospital nearby in Boonville?  What were their dying thoughts and wishes...”  More thoughts.

Railroad tracks winding through the Missouri River Bluffs

What is it that makes railroad tracks and trains magnetic?  Those iron rails extend forever into the distance.  They always make my thoughts turn to life and directions and those who have come and gone.  And what lays ahead in the short life remaining.  No matter how old you are, life is short.  It just is.

Airplane getting ready to land

As we left the river bottoms, a plane flew overhead.  There must be a small airport in Boonville.  I’d like to be on an airplane on some new adventure right now – or soon.  Maybe next year.

Our destination was to drop off plans for a television stand to our Amish friend, Mose.  As we stood on his front porch talking to him, we got a peek of his world inside.  His wife was standing at the window, ironing starched white bonnets.  The untold number of children were peeking out at us.  A few of the younger boys ventured outside on the porch with us, but would barely talk.  One finally agreed he was nine, after Jim guessed his age up to eleven – and said he knew Greg and Allen. 

I have to wonder what Mose and  his son Jacob, who works with him, thinks of our fancy ideas of how furniture needs to be constructed in order to hold our many worldly toys.  I envy their simple life and yet strive to clutter mine more.  More to think about.

Deanna looking at Amish made baskets

We stopped for gas at a station right outside of Boonville.  See the gas sign?  $3.05.  It was actually $3.15.  We didn’t complain, considering that was still a lot cheaper  than we would have paid elsewhere.  We were left wondering if the price had just gone up to $3.15 or was going down to $3.05.  More to think about.
Mose’s neighbor, Jacob, and his little brother and sister, were selling baskets they had made.  I bought a couple to help organize my scrapbooking supplies.  Again, more thoughts about their simple life.  See the little shoes  on the concrete slab?  It was a cool 50 degrees and both children were running around barefoot.  They said their feet were not cold.  Do we protect our children too much?  Maybe we should give them the freedom to run barefoot more.  More to think about.

Jim blowing leaves off the driveway

Back home again, the leaves have taken over.  When dad was alive, he always struggled with knowing where to drive along our never ending driveway that circles in and out of trees.  So, even though dad is no longer with us, Jim blows the leaves off the drive… just in case. 

Driveway almost clear

So with a little determination, a lot of repetition, and belief that he will succeed, the leaves are all blown away.  Even though he knows the winds will blow more leaves his way, and he will have to do it all over again in a week or so, he perseveres.

That’s life…