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.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Country Katie and Daisy many  more.

Because I loved my Daisy Mae Foxhound so much, she seems to still be very much a part of my life, but today I was thinking as I was old walking, without this grand walking companion, that it has been since August of 2015 that I have not had her.  If you have every been attached to an animal friend, I am certain you can understand when I say that there are reminders of her all around.  I have pictures and some little ceramic statues, a scrap book, and than, the wonderful memories as I look at things in my life.

Hemingway, a little yorkie mix, came to live with us some five months later.  It was hard to think of getting another dog, or getting attached to another dog.  My Hemingway is very much loved and admired for sure.  He has stole my heart.  I look at him and tell him that it is because of Daisy Mae Foxhound and other dogs before her that I brought him home.  The Humane Society told me that he would steal my heart.  They knew me well because I did volunteer work down there and also found my Daisy Dog there.  I should say that they both found me, both Daisy Dog and Hemingway.  

Then we needed to have a more playful dog as a companion for Hemingway as he is such a busy dog.  We again went to the Humane Society and told them what we needed or what Hemingway needed and we were introduced to Mr. Molesley, a two year old Italian Greyhound.  So I was back to another hound, but he acts and looks nothing like a hound.  Hemingway did a good job in picking him out.

A few months after that Vincent came to live with us.  A friend had purchased him at a puppy mill in Indiana and he was a mess, but she was also a mess, never having a puppy, only grown dogs.  She had him five days and was crying for help.  She had him in the car and was putting posters up to get rid of him.  I took one look at her and knew that I really did not care if I helped her out of her mess.  As a psychologist, she just should have known better is my thought.  I did feel so sorry for him.  She called him Cody, but I already knew that could not be his name.  I purchased him from her so she would not want to claim him after we welcomed him home and he was all trained and grown.  I admit it seems I have lost her friendship, but not his.  He is a mighty little Maltese and fun little boy who plays well with both of the other guys.

For this woman who has mostly had hounds, we are all paired up well, and these three little guys came to me and rescued me.  They are the joy of my days and snuggled friends during my nights.  They make me laugh and cry and enjoy my every days.  This country life is made better with my little boys who I call my three (four-legged) sons.  

It just seems that I know that my Daisy Mae Foxhound would be so pleased that these three little guys have rescued me and also come to enjoy the good home that she so enjoyed.  
Mr.  Molesley

 Hemingway and Vincent

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Good Country Living Day...........

As I still await any winter weather here in NE Missouri, I also enjoy being able to go out for walks and not wear boots.  There is a trade off for things, and I do not mind boots, but it is much easier walking in shoes.  The sun is shining and it is about 50 degrees today.  I just told my husband that this winter season has been somewhat disappointing as I like snow and some cold.   

But today is February 1, and I am feeling better from my long running cold/chest congestion.  Today I made two peach pies, yes with fruit from our orchard, and than from the freezer.  I also made three loaves of wonderful baguettes.  Roy and I had baguette slices hot out of the oven with nice rich butter.  It just does not get any better than that.

My outdoors may look gloomy without some snow, but life in rural Missouri still is grand.  As I plan to take a three day trip to the big city, my favorite, Chicago, by train, I still look at it as a treat to see and experience the big city.  But live there, no way.  Someone has to but I am glad it is not me.

I will take the huge flocks of snow geese flying overhead all day today.  I will take the woodpeckers rapping on the trees, and the finches eating merrily in our many feeders.  I will even take the howl of a coyote at night or even early morning.  Now and than I hear the screech of a bobcat over at our farm, and I will take that also even if it is an erry sound.  

Country life......almost as good as my hot baguette bread slices with rich butter.....well, at least a good match.

Saturday, January 28, 2017


Winter does not seem to have even come to my part of the country and it soon will be February.  I miss a good snow storm like I grew up with in Wisconsin.  Another thing about longer winters is that you get more projects done of cleaning and redoing things in the house, of sewing, quilting, knitting, and painting.  I find that I have not accomplished as much as I have planned for this season.  Maybe I planned more than I should have but as I get older, I almost feel like I have to speed up to get my projects finished.  My friend, Helga , always says that she and I always have so much creativity that we have to live to be 150 to finish it all.  

With thoughts of another quilt this winter, of wool work to applique, and of knitting and learning more about my painting, and  on and on, I also cannot help thinking about spring on this sunny cool day in January in Missouri.  I trimmed some of my houseplants and cut some of my indoor herbs.  My kitchen smelled so lovely, and I am grateful for the growth, which makes me think of growing which makes me think of garden, which makes me think of spring.  

It does not have to be spring for some time as I have lots to do indoors, but one cannot just think a little about it on such a pretty sunny day late in January.  

Challenge Myself.....

Do you believe that if you stay stagnant, you just grow older?   I tend to believe that and as of late, I have felt a bit older.  I have been sick for over a week now and it just brings me down.  But, as I feel some better each day now, I have been challenging myself.  It may be a challenge to just "undust" the furniture, or walk outside a little bit or throw out a pile of magazines.  It may be a challenge to finally fix a better meal instead of soup and sandwiches.  Actually one night we had mac and cheese and fried spam.   Wow, for this person who prides herself on being a wonderful cook, I sure can slip fast.

Challenging comes in more forms than what I mentioned above.  I need to challenge myself to set boundaries with people who I do not want to set boundaries with because they are my family, husband, and children and grandchildren.  Challenge myself to say no more and yes to myself more often.  Challenge myself to expect more respect from them. 

Challenging goes to what I do also.  Do I just keep doing the same things, or learn new things.  I am a learner and you might saw I have "learned" that about myself.  So I have to challenge myself with the difficult things I have wanted to learn, more of my FRENCH, more of my wool applique work, more writing.  

Some people who are city dwellers probably think that I challenge myself enough by living in the country.  Some actually have never come for a visit because they think I live "too" far out in the country.  My comment to that is maybe they are not as good a friend as I thought.  But living in the country brings challenge and joy.  I challenged myself late last year to be home more and for weeks at a time so I can focus on my things in a better way.  I am enjoying that challenge.  That challenge makes people I know think I am becoming a hermit or recluse.  To each their own thoughts, but my thoughts are of days with the dogs, the freedom to do what I want and to listen to birds and the breeze in the trees.

So life is a challenge and even if I am 68, I will challenge myself to do all I can as I get to feeling better.  I challenge myself to be me, a country person who enjoys her own company.  Okay, I talk to myself a lot, but if someone sees me, I could say I am talking to the dogs.  In actuality, I even talk to the birds and the trees and the bees........

Challenge yourself right were you are at, and if you feel really courageous, I challenge you to spend more time in the woods.

Thursday, January 26, 2017


Country living brings many lovely country photos and I feel blessed by having many framed in my home.  I also have walls with photos from great trips I have taken.  I have made cards to share with others while I still continue to post many on facebook, and other sites.  It is a joy to see the progress from years ago.  Good equipment helps with that process also.  But the important thing is to get out there and do it, daily actually.

Now I have been so encouraged today as my oldest granddaughter just posted a lovely album of photos she took on a short visit to an animal park in St. Louis area.  She received a better camera from her boyfriend's brother.  She also works as the manager of a WalGreen's Photo Lab in the area.  But, what encourages me so much is it blesses me to see this grown woman who I used to encourage to take photos with my camera and than just take my camera and take a walk and take photos.  I have done this with my younger granddaughter also.  This love of photography is being passed down.  To top it off, she wrote that she is learning by doing it daily and enjoying the process.  

 MO capitol in Jefferson City.
 Sunset from my front porch.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017


My country life is so pleasing to me but at times other things can creep in, or I allow them to creep in and steal my calm and pleasing life.  It is sad to me when I do this, but I am human.  When it especially comes to family, I can allow way too much drainage and heartache at my cost of joy just because they are that, family.  Everyone has issues from time to time, but my family is most often very dysfunctional while looking good.

Now you put holidays on top of that, and well, you know, because maybe you have an Uncle John who is always angry or drunk or both, no good day with an angry drunk for sure.  I do not  have an Uncle John, but I have grown children and grandchildren who know better that to act like they do.  Who have no reason to be hateful to one another and at my home.  Of course when I call them on it, they get mad but never spout off at me, or seldom anyway.  They usually let it all brew until they are boiling over and than rant and rave.  So unbecoming of them or anyone.

Just the other day my grown 24 year old grandson was having a hard time with anxiety and depression which he suffers from and is working on with his doctor and medication.  He had not taken his medication and had a real melt down.  So dealing with that with him, and then addressing it with his parents and making them realize he needed to be checked on and cared about even at 24, well, I was worn and tired and up way past my bedtime.  Even my dogs were telling me to come to bed. I finally did and slept well after a cup of lemon verbena tea which helps me sleep.

So the next day, I got up and told my husband that I was going to town, about 45 miles away and doing some "shopping therapy".   Really how silly of this retired therapist/counselor to say and do this.  I suppose it is good for some but I do not even like to shop.  I headed out by myself, not wanting my husband to accompany me.  I shopped for some sale items at one store and enjoyed talking with a nice lady.  I headed to the pet store and enjoyed the cats and toys and treats and also pet a ferret and talked to him or it.  Than on the Hobby Lobby for just a few simple things and found several ladies that I visited with, no one I knew.  Next lunch and one of the ladies had gone to Panera also and we sat and visited over our lunch...pretty neat.  Off to the grocery store and got lots of meat items for the freezer, but again visited with people and cashier was so sweet.  Off to home and stopped to visit a friend/neighbor with alzheimers who is doing well even after 4 years now and being almost 80.  She said, "Katie, I know you like being home but if you could find the time to come visit me at least once a week, really, I would so enjoy it."  I was blessed and then realized that my shopping therapy was not that at was a time to get out and see that there are nice pleasant and friendly people in this world that enjoy talking with me.  I was blessed.

Also as I sat at home in my living room with my dogs around me working on sipping my tea, that I did not have to go anywhere away from my calm and beautiful country home.  I enjoyed every part of it and stayed home sometimes for weeks at a time.  What I really needed was "nice people" therapy and yesterday I did receive that.  Now I must learn to be able to stay home when family is being nasty and just "let it go" and with that I am heading downstairs to do my daily yoga.  

Friday, January 13, 2017

Ice Storm Coming...

Today we are to expect a severe ice storm.  It is to start sometime this afternoon.  Schools are closed and some people even heading home from their jobs early, getting ready to stay in place at home.

I am staying at place in my country home and have been here for about a week now, storm or not, because I like it.  But I also note that when storms are coming, weather changes, I must put out more food for my bird friends.  This morning so many were flocking at the feeders.  We have several, and a jar of peanut butter attached to the tree, screwed lid to the tree and cut the bottom of the plastic jar out.  The birds and squirrels love it.  I put out some halved oranges also as the bluejays like those.  The seeds are flying away with the bluejays, cardinals, chicadees, finches, sparrows, and snowbirds.  We even have a covie of quail that come and eat.  One year the weather was bad for a few days and we even had a hawk that took its place on top one of the feeders, waiting to have the birds come feed so he could feed.  I must say I never saw them take his being there are a time to come and feed.  

It is fun to watch how the animal word responds to the weather changes, and they do not even watch the many reports.  They never get nervous, but just take care to get "fed up" in their world, not the way us people get fed up with the bad weather.

So, I sit indoors enjoying my country life like I did for days now.  What will change for me with ice coming is that I will not get out to walk as much in the next few days, but plans to enjoy reading, knitting and other activities.  I can always take some photos, even from my many lovely windows with many lovely directions of "country" on every side.

To those that feel stranded or closed in by this store, I say, get some good books, some hot tea, and a few dogs, a blanket and wait it out in comfort and enjoy each relaxing moment you have before you have to get back to  your so busy life.  I will be here doing what I do most days, enjoying what my country life brings me each glorious day.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

January in Rural Northeast Missouri....

One never knows about the weather anywhere they live, because we are not in control of it for one thing.  But I know that most places I have lived I could count on some winter and other seasons when they were suppose to happen.  I have lived in a number of states to claim this fact.  Here in Missouri, and I have lived here 27 years now, well, it is different.

We had snow last week and it stayed on because than the temp went down to almost zero.  Then a few days into that, it went up into the 40's and now almost 60 today.  But tomorrow it is to be 30 again and tonight and for several days rain.  What I think I am trying to say is we have had spring, winter, fall weather all in a matter of a week and a half.  

Now, do I mind.  Well, it makes life interesting in what coats I will wear outside on my lovely walks to enjoy the nature and beauty of my country life.  Other than that, well, I am retired, and if it is rainy, snowy, icy and I do not want to drive somewhere, then I just don't.  So I really do not pay much attention to what weather is coming, only what presents itself for my current day.  It is, of course, often a great surprise.  

Do I like it.  I would like more snow, but I do live in Missouri, not Wisconsin or Colorado.  I enjoy the sunshine unlike when I lived in Indiana where it was cloudy lots of the time.  I do not care for the humidity, but it seemed worse in North Carolina.  So each place has advantages.  I just learn to enjoy my life, especially country life.

While out walking today, I try to do 4-5 miles a day, I was thinking about just that, "country life", and decided that you can have a country life style even in town, because you can garden a little patch, have flowers all over your porch, take walks in parks, and go camping, kayaking, etc.  Now, do I want to do that.  Well NO NO.  I have fields and woods around me, not houses and people.  I can enjoy nature right from my own spot.  But, if you live in town, please get out and have a "country life style".  It is good for the soul I believe when we are close to nature.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Trek to Town.....

Yesterday I had to head to town, meaning Hannibal, MO which is around 20 miles away.  No big deal, but two inches of snow and very cold make it just.  People don't always seem to be able to drive in any amount of snow, and yet I am told that they "used" to get much more snow before I moved here some 26 years ago.  Really, then they should know how to drive, right.  No, because I saw several vehicles off the road and others sliding as I carefully drove to town, on some steep hills to visit a friend and in downtown Hannibal where it was not plowed.

The day was good, and went as planned, with a wonderful stop at my favorite quilt store, and voted one of the top 10 in the nation some years back.  The Hickory Stick had just opened for the day and as I planned it that way, Nancy was free to help me with two wool applique projects, collecting all the needed colors, backing and threads.  It was so much fun visiting and picking things out.  It was as if we were doing the project together.  We did this for 1.5 hours, with no other customers, only the store owner, Pat coming in.  I so enjoyed this time and Nancy said she did also, wanting me to bring in the finished projects to share with her.  Now, bad weather/road issues, and getting there when they opened at 10:00 made a great plan work even better.

Next I hit the Mississippi Marketplace..lots of interesting things, bulk items and specialty items.  I purchased my very good vanilla, some Amish popcorn, and good molasses plus a small package of sesame seed sticks (yummy treat).  Off than to the Brick Oven for a wonderful brick oven baked pizza and a tall glass of purified water.  I don't do the Hannibal water as it comes out of the Mississippi.  Icky.  

My hair appointment was at Penneys and I enjoy Michelle's talent so much.  I swung through Penneys store and purchased a nice $48.00 sweater I had looked at previously but today bought it for $14.00.  Hair and visit went well, off to get a few groceries and pick up some medication at CVS.  

Now my treat of the day, even if all the others were grand on their own.  I got to go up steep hills, snow covered and visit my friend, Hilly, who lives in a vintage house on millionaire road in Hannibal...Fifth Avenue.  She lives in a double house, lives in one side and rents out the other.

A big Hello and hug, taking off my coat, and sitting for a bit to talk about family, politics, our country and love of it, and also much about reading and knitting.  We both have circular knitting machines for socks and it is always interesting to see what one is doing.  She also had a lovely shawl she had just finished.  We discussed gardening even if it was snowing and cold...why...because Hilly and I always discuss gardening.
 Hilly at Folklife Festival fall of 2014 in Hannibal in her booth demonstrating her antique circular sock machine.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


The mist and rain is really needed and it is only in the 30's so not so bad for January weather in NE Rural Missouri.  Now, what does one do on a day like today.  Well for this country woman, it is have nice hot coffee and some television news time before getting going on a few chores.  Than...

I did some sewing, hemming around nice pieces of fabric that I am going to embroider "Memory" pillow fronts for myself and my daughter.  We took a nice trip to Wisconsin last fall and thought of this idea for a memory.  I also sewed a neat vintage fabric apron.  It was fun and used lots of bias tape.  I enjoy sewing with bias tape.  It makes me think of all the lovely bias tape, piping, and rick rack I used on so many of my daughter's clothing when they were growing up.  I also made nice things for my son, but usually no decor like the tapes and rick rack.  

Then to make the house feel warmer and tasty, I put a spatchcocked chicken in the oven with lots of olive oil, herbs, and lemons, garlic and onions.  It is an Ina Garten recipe that I have wanted to try.  It is smelling wonderful.  We will have it with green beans and also the last loaf of my baguettes which were fresh yesterday.

It was even a time to walk around in the mist with my dogs for a bit, but the cold really does hit this old body as I have fibromyolgia and also osteoporosis.  Actually that sounds bad, and is, but I feel quite fine and tend to do lots more than many much younger than I am.  I forgot to mention I also got my yoga in this a.m.

Nice touch to the day, napping in my large recliner covered with a homemade crazy quilt with my three little dog children all around me.  It was nice to just be cozy after coming in from outside.  Before sitting down, I hit the hot tub in the basement which we enjoy daily.   

So for a rainy cold was very fulfilling to me.  Hoping you had a great day also.  If not, there is a tomorrow on the way.  

Monday, January 2, 2017


Morning comes early to this country woman even if I am retired.  My body and my mind and my dogs get me up usually by six o'clock or a little before.  And you never know what I am getting into right away in the morning wee hours.

This morning it was baguettes.  I did my starter last night and it is good to let it rise for at least 14 hours.  I use the wonderful King Arthur recipe and it makes 3 wonderful baguettes.
I then, at 6:00 mixed the starter and other ingredients with my wonderful Kitchen Aide mixer with dough hook, which certainly helps with the kneading process.  Then putting it in a butter bowl (not greased but buttered as I love butter), I place it in my nice LG oven with its "Proof" setting for breads and it will stay in there for 3 hours.  So you see where this is going...lots of hours to making three small loaves of breads but oh so worth it.  

My son stopped for a visit after he checked his traps for the morning and we visited, and as he was ready to leave, I pulled my dough out of the oven to put it into loaves.  He stayed and watched as he likes to recall helping me make bread when he was young, he is now 48, but he also bakes breads from time to time.  I butter the counter top and divide my dough and roll it into long loaves and place them on my buttered three loaf baguette pan from King Arthur Flour.  My son, Brook, comments that he needs to try making bread and kneading it to shape in butter instead of flour which gets everywhere.  

Now the loaves have to rise another 1.5 hours before baking.  While they are rising I cut out an apron and a pair of pajamas.  My yorkie grabs on of the pattern pieces and runs with it.  I do not chase but let him bring it back and he does with a few holes and tears.  I was able to selvage it, the pocket piece, but I have sewn enough years that I could have replaced the piece myself if need be.  This is why I believe I do not get too upset with little Hemingway.  He is my lovely friend and so playful and I enjoy every moment of him.  A pocket, well, I could even go without it if need be.

It is good to be retired and good to be relaxed and good to live in my country setting.  Oh, and all of this is done before I even got dressed, still in my pjs and long yoga cardigan which I use as a light weight robe.  It looks nicer also.  

Now that sewing items are put up until another day to sew, and I have bread out of the oven and have sliced four nice chunks for my lunch..with butter...and some to share with my dogs, Hemingway, Vincent, and Mr. Molesley, while I also sip some lovely hot tea from Paris  which I seeped in my dear friend Hilly's old tea pot she friended to me...I is 1:00 now.  I think I will get on the computer a bit .  Why get dressed now.

I admit I even go outside with my dogs and walk around off and on during the day in my pjs because I have fields and woods around my house.  My dogs don't mind.  You see, I really did need another pair of nice pjs.  I must sew them this week.