Friday, December 30, 2016


Roy and I took a short back roads trip yesterday from our house to Mexico, Missouri and back.  Of course we stopped for a little shopping and lunch, but main idea of trip was to take photos of old buildings, especially old barns.  We also had some time to stop at the South Fork of the Salt River and walk along the beach area where people put in boats and kayaks, canoes.  I could see myself doing that, but right now I always have plenty to do.  Years ago I did do canoeing and enjoyed it.

The photography in black and white does capture the old structures in a special way.  

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Letter writing and Snail Mail

Just finishing typing several letters to people in my life that do not use their computers for facebook, or even email.  Actually there are people like that in my life yet and it is okay because I enjoy sending notes and letters.  How, you say, can I as I do email, facebook, blog!   I do enjoy it because I enjoy receiving letters and cards and notes in the mail.  It is like receiving something I can spend time with during lunch or savor after lunch like a good dessert.  I feel the same way about my wonderful "bella Grace" Magazine I receive quarterly.  It is good to savor these treasures as they are few and far between.

So I pile my letters and cards up in my desk in the study and frequently take a look at how the pile is, and head over to my desktop to type.  I used to make my living typing many moons ago and enjoy the craft.  The people receiving the letters often hand write back to me and that is also nice.  I do notes that way and cards, but when I am actually going to type a letter it will become three pages so is best typed.  I enjoy using different fonts for different people.

One of my friends likes cursive writing on the typed text so I always use this for her.  My cousin has eye issues so I make my font strong and larger.  Oh, this computer thing is so great. 

I encourage you to send notes to people, type or write a letter.  I know it may seem old fashioned, but, it really is okay to keep some of these old fashioned things going.  They have value I believe.  I know it brings a smile to me each time I get one in our country mail box.   Actually there is something to a nice large country mail box also.  I love my larger box that my postal person can put some packages in and not have to drive down our circular drive to get out and knock on my door.  Of course, by the time she gets down the drive and in front of the house my little dogs are letting me know someone is here.  Of course it is always good to see her for a few minutes.  Oh, that makes me think that I need to get my container of fudge/cookies put together for her Christmas gift to put in my country mail box for this special servant.  Yes, it is also old fashioned I suppose but it is also kind to remember the people who serve you all year long.

So write some notes, letters, cards and give your mail person a gift, your paper person if you have that at our house, or others.    Blessings.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Icy Winter Day

Although it is yet to become winter, here in NE MO it is wintery for sure.  We have a beautiful scene with ice covering tree branches, porches, fences and also the roads.  Any cars that go past our place are moving very slowly, some actually turn around in our driveway and head back from whence they came.  I don't blame them.  Our country county road heading around hills and curves makes for terrible travel in the ice or snow as it has no edges to turn off on, just steep ditches if you slid off.  I have seen many accidents and also a huge semi slid part way off the road some years ago and just hanging in the ditch.  So my thought is to stay in and stay home.  It is even hard to stand up and walk outside thus why drive!

It makes for a pretty scene but also a harsh one as if we get any wind, the electrical lines sometimes snap, branches of trees break and are lost from the pretty trees we live around.  I like the photos I can take, if I could stand up to take them.  I know this is silly, but I could put on my long zoom and take photos from the house but I don't think I will.

My little dogs are hard pressed to walk on this stuff and do not enjoy running in the backyard like they usually do.  They like the snow but not this ice.  So sorry for them when they have to go out.  I must say they do go out but only for short periods. 

The worst is to come tonight as we are to hit -2 degrees which is cold for our area of the world.  I am thankful for my warm cozy house.  I am thankful our furnace is in good care and is caring for us.  I am thankful for a stash of food, things to do and just comfortable indoor life for now.

As I will miss my walking today, I will read more, or spend some time quilting or knitting which are all very enjoyable.  I will nap with my little dogs and snuggle under a homemade quilt in my comfy recliner while watching some of my college class on dvd.  

There are always so many things to do in this country life, and is it not silly that just because I cannot safely travel out in my yard and surrounding country area, I miss it so much and sit and think of ways I could do it safely only to think how my doctor would sigh if I had to tell him my silly thoughts and plight of broken bones because of it.

So all who are tucked in in similar situations, take a nap and dream of a nice soft snowfall and walks in the country as I plan to do.

Friday, December 16, 2016


In light of the turmoil with the election and after, our country is so astir with anxiety and fear.  Some people seem to believe it will all be okay, but they are blinded to the fact that things are changing or planning to change in a harsh way in our country, as it has changed in our campaign time for hatred and meanness.

It troubles me as I love my country.  It does not matter who you voted for, but it does matter that we now stand together to heal our country and also to be the watch dogs for keeping our democracy and liberties for all.

As a country person, rural America, I am not someone who follows blindly and I do not like to be pegged as one who would vote for someone like trump.  I did not.  I love my country and its freedoms, even to vote for who I want.  I do not want to be lumped into the group of women who voted for him either, because I did not.  I am a college educated white woman and a retired woman.

It is now that I look at the Off the Grid things and do not laugh as much at how hard people make it for themselves.  I also see that they are insulating themselves some when things may turn bad in our wonderful nation.

I am not someone to leave my country because of this horrible man and his ideas.  He does scare me and I do not believe we have all the checks in place to stop him from many things that he "will" do to harm our country and benefit himself.  It is just a shame.

In saying all of this, I am full of hope as I always am.  In the process, I will listen and watch and take measures to safeguard my style of life.  It may not be Off Grid, but it is rural living and I enjoy it.  I have thought about a wood furnace.  We have well water and we are not talking solar panels.  I had thought of a windmill at one time but we do not get sufficient flow in our hollow.  I have a stock pile of things usually and am pretty self sufficient but still rely on my internet and electricity.  We have a gas pipeline through our land and get reasonable rates for our heating, but can change to wood.  We also are looking at generators.  All the while my hope is in the fact that I am a survivor and I believe I can not leave my country and survive this time, maybe helping some others along the way.

Never give up on yourself, your country and your hope for a better future.

Monday, December 12, 2016


Recently I joined a group on facebook called Off Grid and Homesteading.  Now I do not do either.  My grandparents did homestead years and years ago when they came from FRANCE to Canada and down into Wisconsin to a homestead.  It was amazing to recall that they built and lived in a two story square log house for years and years, raising nine children.  
But for me, country life is enough.  I do not believe I could do the off grid thing as I like my comforts.  I do try to conserve energy where I can and recycle and garden and can and make jams and jellies.  I bake, cook, sew, quilt, knit and crochet.  But off grid to me means generators, gas or kerosene lights, cold houses or way hot with the wood stoves.  I like my comforts but admire these who do the off grid and homesteading style of living even if they truely are not homesteading, just living country life at its roughest I suppose.

Now I did live in a camper for five months in Colorado and enjoyed the experience, but a camper with stove, oven, bathroom, shower, and furnace.  It was fun and my children have lots of fun memories.  

I glamped recently for three seasons but also had a nicer camper and comforts for my Daisy Mae Foxhound and myself.  At times we were the only ones at the Federal Reserve and it was very pleasant and enjoyable to watch nature and the quiet.

Living were I do on 2.5 acres with our farm 1/2 mile down the road offers me lots of outdoor time, plus garden and potato patch area and woods by the house and nature, coyotes, deer, eagles, many other birds and animals also.  I like country life and always will.  

When I come inside I like my three bedroom brick ranch style home and bathrooms and full basement that is also heated.  I like the furnace running and it is gas which we get a big break on because the pipeline runs through our land.  We have a hot tub in the basement and it is wonderful.  I have areas for my yoga, painting, quilting, and sewing and also knitting area for my circular sock knitting machine.  I enjoy bedrooms and nice dining and living room area.  Oh, favorite, of course is my kitchen.  Country decor and country kitchen for me to play and bake and enjoy.  Most of my company sits around the kitchen table to visit.  That is country life.  

Bless those who want more "roughing it". 



Christmas time seems to be when many people make their special recipes.  I bake all year round and love to bake, considering it an art form when I take fresh bread, etc. from my oven.  But I also save a few cookie recipes for the holiday season.

My grandchildren especially ask if or when I am going to bake peppernuts or sugar cookies with piles of buttery frosting on them.  I was asked about fruit cake and scones and breads of every kind.  So my children generally don't ask because they know it will happen in due time.  In recent years I have been baking a double batch of one type of cookie and handing them out to all who request but then we eat the rest before I make more.  I have gotten away from having bowls and jars of cookies in my pantry simply because I am retired and can do it this way at this season of my life.

Today I am trying my new stove, a LG convection bake/roast and regular bake and also a proof oven for my breads (wonderful idea).  I have scones in the freezer for their needed 30 minutes before baking them.  These are dried cherry and almond with almond flavor plus some vanilla also.  They look yummy raw but will be better baked and I know I can wait.

I plan to also make windmill cookies again today.  They are so tasty.  Maybe I will get at the sugar cookies and the thumbprints next week and yes.....not last or least...I have to make fudge.  

Christmas time is a wonder for so many reasons so please enjoy it.  Bake just one thing special for the season.  It will taste so "seasonal".

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Christmas Carols:

The Holiday season is upon us.  It can be marvelous or horrible, attitude and organization are a key.
My holidays are always joyful for me at least, I do not take responsibility to making others happy as they can only do that for themselves. 

No matter if I were all alone, I would bake, have gifts to give, and decorate.  I would play Christmas music and watch Christmas specials on television.  I would always read a Christmas novel by Debbie Macomber.  
I would even get out my Christmas sheet music and books and play away on my piano to enjoy my own merry music.

While listening and playing music I could not help but take a great look around my home.  Starting in the dining room and kitchen you could say that it is "Here Comes Santa Claus" as I have vintage santas all over both rooms.  In the living room I would have to call it "Away in The  Manger" as I collect manger sets and have about seven over the fireplace mantel, one on the television stand, and more on my antique blanket keeper.  Then the largest bathroom has angels so it would be "Angels We Have Heard on High".  One soft looking angel hangs from the window closure by a ribbon and is decorated with feathers.  So very pretty.  The smaller bathroom is filled with snowmen of every size and shape and would be "Frosty the Snowman" for sure.  The other rooms, bedrooms, study, and basement area are not decorated accept maybe with a pretty holiday pillow handmade of course by this country woman.

Now to add to all of that I would have to say that the kitchen, dining room and living room could also be called "Oh Christmas Tree" as they each have a tree in them.  The kitchen has a counter top antique tree with small ornaments and wooden decorative chain.  Very vintage looking and eclectic.  The dining room has a full size tree with lights and tinsel garland and antique tea spoon collect with red bows.  Really fits in with all the tea pots and cups decorating the shelves on three of the walls.  The living room has a large tree with vintage and homemade ornaments.  Some are so old, from my grandmother, that they have paper tops instead of metal.  I have collected ornaments from the many places I have traveled, so it is really a memory tree also.  

Now I encourage you to go around your house or one room if that is all you decorate.  I challenge you to think of a wonderful song for Christmas that you could connect to that room.  The last challenge....go ahead....belt it out as loud as you can and cherish the memories of it all.

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and love.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Memories and Times Gone By....

Making up most of our lives are a wide range of memories.  They can be in the form of a passing thought, or be triggered by a picture, a conversation, or even an item in your possess.  

Many of those memories are all throughout my country eclectic home.  Everyday things, and then during holiday seasons when I am putting away and putting up decor.

With my collection of nativity sets there are many from other places I have traveled or family have purchased with or for me.  I enjoy each one, treasuring my times with them each year that I get them displayed for the holidays. 

One special nativity set is not the largest, most expensive, from a far land like Africa, or a special trip to an Native American PowWow in South Dakota.  This set is simply a small clear glass set of Joseph, Mary, Jesus, and three wise men and they are set on a round small mirror.  The set goes so tidy away in its small box.  It is special because it was from my friend Wanda many years ago. 

Being new to the farming community which is hard to break into in rural Missouri...anywhere in Missouri is hard to break into.  I say this with experience of moving and living many places, all of which I was much more welcomed.  Anyway, not to side track too much....Wanda, about two years into my being here gave me this simple inexpensive set, probably from Dollar General or Big Lots, but elegant in it's own way.  I have always placed it somewhere as it always fits in a "somewhere" place.  

My two oldest grandchildren lived with us several times with their mother also.  They were always helpful to do Christmas decorating with me.  They also knew that this set was one they could play with if they were careful.  So one night when their mother had washed their stuffed animals they slept with, my grandson looked around for something to sleep with.  Because he liked this nativity set and knew he could play with it, he just picked up a piece and rushed down the hall to bed, saying, "I like the Virgin Mary."  Now to him it was nothing, but us adults looked at each other and had a good smile and laugh later.

To this day I recall that memory and cherish it.  I also especially this year cherish this simplest set the best this year because my friend, Wanda passed away October 30th.  In fact her husband, Bud, passed away October 1st and then she soon followed.  

Blessings of good memories from family and friends and adventures, words, stories and treasures of little simple things.

Please go around your house and see what memories you come up with of people and places and thoughts.   I know that all the times I moved in my first marriage, at times those special little things from friends near to me helped me through and I cannot say I was lonely , but just treasured the thoughts and was ready to make new memories where I was now placed.