Friday, August 18, 2017


Yes, again guilty of slipping with my emails and my pinterest and blogging.  I do better with my snail mail to people as I send out postcards and notes about places I have been.  And facebook is a daily thing as is my yoga and meditations and devotions plus knitting.  Oh, put my wanderings and gardening and dogs and many other things I keep going with....taking care to get in walking, swimming and canning some during this season and it seems, may I use these excuses....guilty again of lapsing on what I always say is good for me to do.

My thoughts have been taken aback with all the political things and hatred things going on in our country also.  As I am a northern person who is dislocated I believe to the south, I do find going to town and seeing many confederate flags a bother to me.  I love my country and these things make me sad.  So I pray, I voice my opinion kindly and listen to the other side, but will never understand why people hate and want to go backwards.  Troubling because it has hit my family and some friends, who have actually decided to not be my friends any longer because I don't agree with them.

I revert back to my home, my dogs and my hobbies which I am so blessed to have.  I paint lovely pictures of birds and do photography of blessed sunrises and sunsets as our world turns each day to give me hummingbirds, leaves of trees, blooms of flowers, and ripe tomatoes.  My part of the world is good and I desire that for others.

A reprieve is to head to my home state more often and just chill out, enjoy and breath the air, visit the waters and beaches and forests and art people and authors and musicians I have come to know and enjoy.  Climb a well known childhood and adult mountain I relish good memories of.

Life goes past all of this and I wish that some would see that their daily lives need some reprieve as they fight the bigger picture but it can not be all about what they call the bigger picture.  Actually for me the bigger picture are the hummingbirds, the leaves of trees, the blooms of flowers, and ripe tomatoes and never leaving out my three special little guys.....Hemingway (yorkie), Vincent (maltese), and Mr. Molesley (Italian Greyhound).  I am blessed.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

                           WHAT  HAT  TODAY?

Do you every ask yourself, "What Hat Today?"   Many people wear too many hats, or jobs or titles and that is what they mean when asked or asking this.For me, this country woman who is also retired, when I think of this question it is because I have gone out in the garage to get things to work in the yard.  I think, hat, yes, to protect from the sun rays going too much on my face and head.  My pile sits on top of the dog food container.  Not very glamorous but it works fo me.

Hats are practical but also fun so I try to combine the two.  My newest purchase as a tan light weight cloth hat that you can actually roll up, put in a suitcase or pocket and still comes out great.  Good for yard work but also for going "gadding" about.  It looks nice and is new and washable...a steal of a price from Scheels in Springfield, Illinois. 

I have several red or reddish hats because that is my favorite color.  One is canvas like material and wears well.  I used it lots when glamping and still do.  It is my go to hat for planting.  My granddaughter remembers the story i told her so many years ago about having to wear my growing hat when planting because it made the plants and seeds grow.  Well, this an a larger straw hat I have are the ones I wore and still do wear for garden work.

A straw material cowboy hat with leather draw string is handy on windy days so it is my go to hat on those days.  I like it for berry picking as it stay put and also can be taken off and hung down my back if I want to go without it in the breeze of the day.  I also did wear it often when horseback riding many years ago.  It is an old hat now.

My glamping and also steampunk style hat was a felt hat with a large red antiquey type flower and leaves on one side.  I passed it on to my friend, Hilly, who always has a knit sock booth at the steampunk festivals in Hannibal and always always liked my hat.  Because of that another friend wanted to help me out by giving me a hat of hers.  After all I had given one away and certainly was in need of another.  Not really, but it is red, straw, larger and has a veil...not really my "cup of tea", but she really wasn't my cup of tea as a friend either.  Always toxic.  I have the hat and will pass it on to someone else that really likes it.  So far the only person in my family  that thinks it is nice is my son, and he won't wear it.

Neighbors from South Africa said they would bring me back a hat like the new one I just purchased, but it will be reversible and made from fabric which is special to South Africa.  I have a little zip bag with this fabric from a year ago which they gave me.  So I will look forward to this new hat.

All my hats get used while I work around my country place and even sometimes when I go out and about.  I took my newest hat with me to latest Chicago trip and while there, yes, purchased another hat, but it is a winter grey felt hat with a black leather band around.  Very nice hat and more dressy.  
Hats are fun and fancy and frivolous, but can be practical also.  Some people tell me that they just "can't wear a hat", or they don't look good in a hat.  Silly people.  Who cares what others thing.  Get one, put it on at home and wear it around to get comfy with it.  Go outside and then go to town. Heaven's we glamping girls even wear aprons to town sometimes.  It is okay.  
So I tip my hat to you and tell you "Top of the Morning" as I get off and put my hat on and head to water my potato patch.

Thursday, June 8, 2017


Aprons of every size and style and color hang on a large hook in my kitchen pantry.  Why you may say?   I do use them, but I also have collected them through the years, making many and some as gifts for purchases.  I even have one from my Grandma Clara.  It is the last one she sewed before she could not longer sew due to her cancer before she passed away at 84.

Grandma Clara's apron is a dark flower print with bias tape for edging.  It has pockets, and in the one pocket was, as typically her mantra, a swatch of the apron fabric.  Just in case you got a hole or a tear, you had something to patch it with.   She did live through two world wars and also the depression, so frugal thoughts came natural to her.  My aunt gave me the apron as she thought I would hang it up in my kitchen and never use it.  Hardly, Grandma was frugal and she made this apron for someone to use, even if she never was able to.  I am glad it came my way, as I have used it plenty of times and it thin now with years of use, but still a treasure.  It was 1988 when it came my way.

Other aprons may be from trips, like some from FRANCE.  A glamping friend even sent me one from FRANCE for Christmas this past year.  Another is South African as my neighboring farm lady is from this pretty country, resettling her due to dangers of being a white farmer in this dangerous country.  Many are sewn by me with love, interest in the fabric, or for special reasons.

I made some aprons of floral prints for a group of ladies at a country church I attended years back.  We were having a ladies luncheon at one of our homes and my thought was that the ladies who were in charge would look "spiffy" with matching aprons.  Years later one of these ladies, who has now retired to town saw me at a yard sale and said that she still has the apron I had made.

At one point I took my aprons and stitched loosely a fold to make a sleeve so I could slide them onto curtain rods and made , repurposed, them for cafe curtains in the dining room.  As I generally like my windows free of things blocking the outdoors I soon changed this to just two longer aprons hanging on each side of the top window rod with tea cups nicely hanging from the shelf bottom.  It looked very interesting and I liked the compliments it brought also.

There were special aprons I used while I did glamping camping.  People would comment that I used aprons.  To this day I use aprons when I am cooking and baking, which is daily.  My neighbor wears them also and it gives me a since of joy that a younger person likes aprons.

A few years ago when my youngest granddaughter was learning to sew for homeschool projects, her mother invited me over for a day of apron making.  I wore my newest apron which is sewn from fabric that has....wait.....aprons on backing with red and white and black spotted and floral aprons.  I like the pattern as it has to arm holes and fits over the shoulders more like a smock worn by children for painting.  It also ties in the back.   The day was fun and Alorah made a really cute apron with fabric print of donuts.  Never did learn if she wears it when she cooks or bakes.  She is 15 and may someday look back and really treasure it.  I treasure the day we had together.

So with my typing on this blog done for today, I think I will put on my new bright yellow daisy print apron and make some lunch.  It is a cheery print and the daisies remind me of my Daisy Mae Foxhound who was my glamping friend, my best friend, and no longer is with us.  Lots of great memories, even a apron.   

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


Like Mr. Rogers used to say,  "It's a beautiful day in my neighbor, in my neighbor."  It is for me also.  The weather is moderate, about 80, cool breeze, birds singing, sunshine, an all around pretty "almost" summer day.  

Not knowing what you do I will tell you how I start my day, around 5:30, my three little guys, my dogs, have to get out and go outside first thing.  Then I start the coffee, get my face washed and other stuff, before feeding them.  I make the bed and they sometimes want to help by jumping all around on it.  Fun times.  After getting some breakfast made, I usually head outside to sit in the porch swing or by the table and eat while enjoying the guys running around and also listening to the world wake up.  Have you ever done that?  It does wake anew each morning, sunrise, birds welcoming songs, maybe a truck or car, but few going past to work.  I talk to the dogs, the birds, and even my favorite patio tree frog that seems to have taken up residence.  The little bossy wren likes to complain because she thinks the porch swing is too close to her house.  I keep reminding her that she is renting and I am the landlady so she could be a little more pleasant.  She is one of "those types" that thinks she owns the place.  

Many things to do but because I am retired I never am in a rush.  It is good to have that luxury for my tired and sometimes sore bones.  With my walking and yoga I keep moving and stay limber also.  My Fitbit encourages me in this area.

There may be weeds to pull and hoeing to do today, or laundry to hang out, or berries to pick.  I must water as we need rain.  I also take time for photography, a passion.

My project for today is cutting out a new quilt, a crazy quilt block pattern.  It is done and by my sewing machine to work on another day.  I have to move on to some cleaning, etc. before going out for a long dog walk.  Now it is about 11 and I swim for a bit.  Hemingway, my Yorkie always joins me, jumping in and going on the raft also to bask in the pleasures of being a spoiled little pouch.  Others are not so keen on this adventure.

So I do shop but mostly at home, order today to Penneys and also to Buykud.  Other days I may order or Boxed.  All favorite sites for my shopping.  

After being outside working, I decide to eat lunch and read some, write some, and take a small nap with my little guys.  One hour, wow, I must have been tired.

Off to do some computer work, get the mail, get clothes off the line, feed my dogs and make my meal....tonight chicken breasted on the grill and sweet corn, with a fresh leaf lettuce salad.

The bobwhite are calling so will have to check if they are close for photos today.  Such lovely sounds my bird friends make throughout the day.

After a bath and hot tub, I am ready about 7:00 to sitdown and knit and watch some politics and news.  Sometimes I stay up to watch the local news, but mostly go to bed about 9:30 and read, while my dogs nap around me.  Up to take them outdoors one last time and check all is locked up and safe.

Good night world....I will see and hear and enjoy you again tomorrow GOD willing.

Friday, April 28, 2017

FRENCH I  AM......

Some years ago when moving to Hannibal and than getting engaged to a farmer from Ralls County, I was told, LaBon, what kind of name is that.  You aren't from here, are you!!!!   It was not a question as you may note by the exclaimation mark I used.  So LaBon, no, it is a FRENCH name, my great grandfather's name in fact, and my dear materal grandmother's maiden name.  

When I got divorced after 23 years, I asked my children if it was okay with them to change my name.  I believe they thought I would change it back to my maiden name.  However, my parents had long since disowned me when I became a Christian.  I did not fit into their life either, name or not.  They were atheist.  So I did change it, to LaBon, after speaking with my aunts about it.  They thought it was wonderful.  You see, Franc LaBon only had three daughters and they all married.  No more lineage of LaBon from them by name anyway.  I thought this a way to carry on my FRENCH heritage and also  the name.

My paternal grandparents also came from FRANCE, in fact, in the same area of the country, Alsace/Lorraine area which is North Eastern FRANCE, up against the German border.  It was an area of much trouble for years so it seems generations left the area and the country.  But I have carried on many traditions from grandparents and also from learning about and visiting this wonderful country.

LaBon, yes, and do I care if I fit into the area I now live.  Absolutely not.  I care about my heritage and my little world here, and it does not matter to me which county I come from, as if Ralls is such a great county.  Most places say the city they are near, but in this rural area, it is the county.  

When I visit other places, they like me for who I am, not where I came from.  It is good to be proud of your heritage, including the place you came from or family came from, but don't exclude others.  Our country is known for welcoming all.  I still want it to be that way.  I also would like to be welcomed, but know, even after 24 years, I am not and will not be as I don't have their high school stories, etc.  I have my own and find it sad they don't want to listen to them.  They would be so overwhelmed to have gone to the large high school I did, and traveled as I have, and lived so many different and wonderful places also.  

But that is all my story, and FRENCH I AM.  

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


This plan to do more on my blog went well for a very brief time and then I slipped again.  Yes, I do like to write and have been doing some other things in my space at home, but challenge myself to do more.  A good friend encouraged me to write more as she always says I have much to say as a deep thinker and encourager.

Nice things to say, but also some hard times with family as of recent, which causes me to think about toxic people.  This is the first year that I did not invite family or friends for an Easter Sunday meal at our home.  Instead my husband and I headed to a friend's church to be what some churches call the C and E Christians, Christmas and Easter.  However, I do not fit this mold they would like to place me in just because I no longer attend weekly anywhere and don't even care to.  I no longer fit the mold of the "organized church", but I do fit with GOD, maybe even more that I don't.  So my friend's church would not label me, and I was comfortable.  Than we headed to a local restaurant for a nice meal.  The fun part was that there were lots of people we knew, our age, that could be having meals at home or with family, but were not.  I felt better with that also.  With all those activities, we headed home for a good afternoon nap time.  

All in all, my Easter was a great day, a transition of age, time and also attitude.  I no longer care to try to please everyone at my expense.  I no longer want to try to have people come to my home and watch that they treat each other with respect.  I do expect it from them but they do not always do so to each other which I believe is not showing me as the host respect either.  After sharing this with my grown children and some friends, I concluded that the next holiday which they always expected to come to at my  home, I would not entertain and did not.  

I say, yes, yes, yes, to my new move as I realized that just because people are related does not mean that they are not some of the toxic people of my world.  This will no longer be tolerated by this woman who has recently turned 69.  Just saying,  "It is time!"    

Hoping you all had a happy spring holiday also, whatever you call it, Spring Time, Easter, Passover, etc.

And, I really will try to do better on my blog.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017


Large gardens are "grand", but we just don't need the work or the produce.  I still like planting and growing and eating the home grown things also.  

Each time I think I am cutting back on my plots, I decide to plant something else.  My garden now is a six foot square around the flag pole.  I can plant tomatoes, peppers, a cucumber plant and some herbs which is plenty for our enjoyment and my keeping up with the hoeing and weeding and watering.  This year I plan to put all of that in and than on the edge plant some lettuce and also a row of pretty sunflowers.  It will all fit.

My potato patch has been able to hold "too" many rows of potatoes, even if they are delicious.  I also used to plant a fall potato patch, but cut back on that last year.  This year I am doing 45 hills not 60 and on the edge of the patch I am putting in a row of yellow/orange raspberry bushes.  I know they take work, hoeing, weeding, but so do the potatoes.  The wild black raspberry patch in our woods behind the house do well all on their own, but I am thinking to maintain in a garden plot, I will have to work at it.  My other thought is that I could just plant them in the middle of the plot and let them take it over.  Those thoughts pass as I think of my delicious fresh red potatoes. 

With all this said, I like to garden, flowers, trees, plants.  I enjoy the work at a limited amount I can maintain in the neat fashion I like them to be in.  I have several flower beds that I also have to maintain but they are looking so much better since I cut back and have retired.  Each day I can get out and putty in the gardens and enjoy my "hobby" of gardening.  It is no longer a job to produce all I can for our family, to eat, to can, to freeze.  It is a fun exercise of "loving" these plants and enjoying my country life.

Even if you can only have some patio plants, go for it.  Enjoy the green, watching them bloom and maybe even produce something to eat.  You learn to appreciate sunshine and rain also when you grow.