Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Today I was able to take some time and paint, with acrylics from my grandson, Easter cards.  It was relaxing and fun.  I did six and then stamped my name on the back, wrote inside and addressed the envelopes.  I was done in time to walk them out to my country mail box at the end of my gravel driveway.

With all the fun it was, I had to laugh as I cleaned up, because in the studio sink, as I washed the brushes and pallet, I could see a lovely rainbow.  Yes, in my sink.  Now I know I am creative and enjoy things like pictures in the clouds, but just laughed at my pretty sink rainbow.  I will always look for them again as I clean up after painting.

Do any of you enjoy painting as I do?  I mainly do oils and  have been working on birds.  I have usually done flowers, especially sunflowers, some of my favorite.  I have a nice collection of paintings in our one bathroom.  Birds are a bit harder for me, but each one I do I see improvement.  An artist friend in Wisconsin has encouraged me to keep working on them.  So my next bird project is from a photo I took of my son's red-tail hawk.  He is one of the about 90 licensed falconers in the state of Missouri.  It will be a nice project and also make a good gift to him.  

If you paint, draw, quilt, knit, crochet, etc., I want to encourage you to keep at it and enjoy creating your own patterns and ideas.  Design things for yourself.  You can do it.  And the more you do, the improvement will be seen by you and make you proud.  Have fun with it, and also....look for that rainbow in your sink.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018


People all over are waiting for spring, but this country lady enjoys time to complete some projects inside before being outside during the spring and summer.  However, I would like to see more sunshine even if I am inside.  These gloomy days remind me of when I lived in Indiana some years ago.  My friend and husband had moved that direction with our family as we needed work and that is where the engineering jobs took us.  She loved the gloomy days as she said they reminded her of Yugaslavia, where they were from.  After living in Colorado, it was just too gloomy as Colorado is such a sunny state.

However Missouri changes a lot from day to day so I know that spring in on the way and so is the sunshine.  I told my three little four-legged sons today that soon it would be warm and sunny and they would want to be outside all the time.  They just wagged.  They like to have me talk with them, no matter what I say unless it is "eat, walk, see, look, who is here, bedtime or bathtime".

So as I rest today, play on my computer and drink hot cocoa, with dogs on my lap and chair next to me, I enjoy some down time.  I, as a country person, know that once spring really arrives, it gets busy.  The farm people have tractors ready.  We have lawn mowers and tillers ready for our yard stuff.  I even have seeds purchased and pots in the screen porch to plant flowers in as soon as I can.  My little mini veggie garden, table garden, salad garden, or as I call it, the flag pole garden, is tilled and ready to go also.  My compose from the year is tilled in to make the ground richer and looser also.  

Am I anxious for spring, yes, waiting, but keeping busy with quilting, knitting, crocheting, etc.  in the mean time.  Just maybe I will get off of here and take a nap.

Saturday, March 17, 2018


Sometimes I do have to head to town, and sometimes I just want to.  I usually am home all week and enjoy it, but on Saturday, especially on a rainy day, I head out to Hannibal, nearest big town, 18,000 people or to Quincy, Illinois, about 50,000 people.  Both places are nice to visit but still will take my country home over any of it.  

Today was a Hannibal, Missouri type day.  So my husband decided to go with me.  We went down town to little shops like Stam Chocolate store....delicious is all I can say.  Next we stopped at Java Jive, his coffee shop hangout a few times a week with the guys.  I used to go there once a week for my knitting circle, but then decided with my not so social side, that I can enjoy knitting at home better, in my pjs and with my dogs.  We also hit Mike's Cheese Haus.  He is a friend from Wisconsin and runs a nice little shop that serves and sells beer, wine, cheeses and meats.  Most of the cheese and meat is from Wisconsin which I like.  I also like his Wisconsin accent.  I seem to have lost lots of mine from all the places I have lived, but can pick it right up again the longer I speak with Mike.

After all this excitement, we went to Country Kitchen for lunch and a good visit with the owners, Sue and then Kevin both came to the table and chatted for some time.  It is always nice to see them.  They are also farmer neighbors down the country road we live on. Onward then to drop off donations at Good Will before heading to WalMart to say hello to our grandson who works there, and also do a little shopping.

The big purchase was an air fryer so now I have something to learn and play with while making better and healthier fries and chips, meats also.  This one actually does more, it dehydrates, and has a rotissourie.  I am looking forward to making some chips tomorrow.  

Wow, enough country woman going to town for awhile.  I told my dogs that I promised to stay home all week again.  They just wag, their way to smile, accept for Vincent the Maltese/Poodle mix who actually does smile when I speak to him or maybe he is showing his teeth to tell me that he will not listen to me like a defiant teen because he is two or fourteen in people years.

Oh, it is so good to be home in the quiet country and have my pjs on and my little dogs around me, smiling or not.

Friday, March 16, 2018

   Country Lady Cooking

Today was another day of cooking and baking for this country woman.  I really enjoy doing this.  I especially appreciate my nice baking supplies, cookware, and stove....with a proof oven setting.  It is a LG model, electric with glass top stove.  The oven is blue in color and also works as a convection oven. 

With all that sales work for this great oven, I have to get back to what I wanted to write, which is taking my sour dough recipe from King Arthur Flour, and using it to make some wonderful cinnamon rolls today.  I let the dough rise as needed and the second time out, I rolled it out, put in sugar, cinnamon, raisins, dried cranberries and walnuts plus butter.  I rolled it up , cut them, and placed them in a large baking pan so I could allow them to have a rising time again of about 1 hour.  After baking, I cooked them and frosted them with simple butter/powdered sugar frosting.

These turned out so good and were a great use of my sour dough starter which I enjoy making.  Then for dinner I made beef/potato/carrot pasties with a great gravy.  I have made them before and we enjoy them.  We always have leftovers for another day.  This is a good old recipe.  Pasties were made and used by miners and lumberjacks for years as lunch pail sandwich food.  Check out recipes and enjoy.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


Today I am enjoying watching the young people of our country taking action and charge of a great movement to hopefully progress on gun control.   It is good to see them challenge the norm.  It reminds me of this country woman who so many years ago as a country girl, got involved in picketing and protesting during her high school years.  Oh, those 60's had lots to not stand with for sure, but today also does.  So proud of these young people who are standing up and speaking out.  You don't have to agree with them, but you still can be proud of the fact that they are having a voice especially when many older people just sit and do nothing.

Monday, March 12, 2018

A Country Day in My Life

Today was a pretty normal day in my country living in NE Missouri.  Enjoying the warmer weather and waiting for it to get warmer.  Plans for spring things are getting anxious on my mind.

Today I started as usual with breakfast and watching news programs, with my little dogs all around.  After that I got at exercise down in my little corner of the basement set up for exercise and yoga time.  I lit my candles and turned on my Zen CD.  Very relaxing, calming time with stretches and moves to keep me strong.  

One needs strength at any age, but I am happy to say that I am pretty strong and I will soon be 70.  I may only be doing quilting or bread baking, but also do other things continually through the day and need the energy and strength for them.

Later morning after making some business phone calls, I pinned my binding from the back on my current quilt project, to get at hand stitching it tomorrow.  I like doing steps in the process and enjoying the time with it.  It makes the project feel like it really belongs to me because I have put lots into it.  The same goes with yoga, being in the moment and giving it my time, doing steps to go through my routine.

After a delivery from FED EX, and a short visit with the driver, no cookies for her today, but nice to get to know these delivery people.  Lots of my shopping is done online so I don't have to drive the twenty miles to the nearest large town, only 18,000 or the 45 miles to the next town of 40,000.  I go there sometimes, but enjoy my time at home in the country doing my needed things and also the many things I like to do.

Next was walking with my dogs, good exercise also, lunch with wonderful Brie and crackers and fruits and water.  Plans for dinner later by making a salad and  thawing the pork chops.  Bread was made  yesterday.

Another phone call to get insurance straightened out before doing some reading while laundry is being  washed  as are dishes.  Nice to lay down and  rest a bit , yes , with my little dogs.  Outside again for a short  walk in the woods.  Dinner and news time again.
Visiting with my husband before working on some knitting.

My country home and life fills my heart with joy.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Passing Things Down

This country person likes "hand me downs" even if it is a vase or dish from a grandparent or elderly relative or neighbor.  These days I am seeing my children passing things down to their grown children who are starting out their "on my own" lives.  

It tickled me when my daughter called to say that Gwyn, her grown daughter was moving from the apartment with two other people to one with her soon to be husband.  They need things and Leslie decided to give them her kitchen table and four chairs.  She has had it since Gwyn, now 23, was 3 years old.  I recall the day that Leslie and I went to the furniture store and purchased it as she was moving to her own place after a divorce from the children's dad.  They lived with us for about six months during that time.  So this table has served many meals to her family of three.  Now it will go to Gwyn's new place and beginning life as a couple.  

My son has a table that I gave them when he started out in a small apartment while in college and working at a church.  His family still has it to this day and he has refinished it.  It is a nice wooden table also.  When I moved from one state to another, my large dining set did not come with me as I knew it would not fit in the place I was moving into.  A distant relative, and friend, gave me this set which she and her husband started married life with.  I enjoyed it for a number of years before getting a different one in order to pass this one on to Brook.  Then he got married and they are still using it with now 28 years of marriage.  

Tables would be interesting to talk to, many stories told around them, games played, and hobbies done.  But the table, as well as other items passed down, make for interesting stories we know about the previous owners or can tell about our life with the item.

As I recall moving across this wonderful country, I recall giving away some items to good friends, and when I would visit, there the item was in their home, cherished .  One friend actually said that whenever she was cleaning house and came across the items in it from me, she would say a quick prayer for me, wherever I was and lived.  That is also a treasure.

So enjoy your items, pass some down to others, and enjoy the memories made.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Baby Squirrels

Oh, those crazy young squirrels are fun to watch.  We have plenty and I enjoy when they come out of the nests or the squirrel house.  Today one climbed up on our front porch and then over to the church pew and back of church pew to the outside windowsill of the front windows.  It was fun watching it looking in and its nice fluffy tail, but when my little dogs saw it....well, they were more then excited.

Wild things are very interesting and lead simply lives.  I know I can continually learn from them.  Joy in simple life.


You may think like I do, that sometimes "enough is enough".  It could be on many issues, but I am thinking about "stuff".  As we go through life, we Americans especially seem to collect and accumulate many things.  But it seems to me that at a certain stage of life, "enough is enough".  

As I have moved many times in my life, sometimes many distances, I have been able to limit what I have because of necessity.  However, I have now not moved for 25 years.  I can see how it happens.  

I am not speaking of hoarding, but collecting neatly and with organization.  I got into it with having consignment booths and going to auctions.  It was fun and not that expensive, or even a hobby.  Collecting teacups and pots, Precious Moments, music boxes, little tea cups and saucers, measuring cups, bowls, juicers.  It just went on.  So I quit.  I quit the consignment booths when the shop closed.  I quit the auctions because my grandson no longer worked at one I used to go to every other week.  I quit the collecting of some of the items.  Because, I just did not need the things anymore.

It also made me think when my neighbor from another country said, wow, do you use all of those teapots?   Well, I actually rotate them and use them all during a years time.  However, it made me think about my collecting.

A friend calls it "death cleaning", but I call it making life a little lighter.  So I lightened my load and house by giving away my Precious Moments , juicers, most measuring cups, music boxes.  I used some as gifts and gave the rest to good thrift stores so they can make some funds for their cause.  I even gave away my curio cabinet.  My wall shelf that I used for music boxes that just collected dust is now nice with antique book collections from my husband's grandfather, and a few antique unique items.  It looks so nice.  The living room is lighter because a wooden rocker and the curio cabinet are also gone.  I have one shelf in a kitchen cabinet with my glass measuring cups I kept.  I kept most of my bowls and all of the teacups and pots which are displayed on three nice higher to the ceiling wooden shelves around the dining room.  

It all makes me feel lighter and more organized.  It also has made me think about other things also.  This past Christmas and also this coming Christmas I will again "shop at home" not on line, but from my home stash, for family and friends.  I gave books, scarves I had made, measuring cups, teacups with candy in, coffee mugs to service people with keurig or tea bags in.  I made things from supplies I had here, to get rid of my fabric and yarn stash also.

Closets look great.  My house is as usual organized and neat, but underneath and outwardly, there is just less.  To me less is best and ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.  

With shopping now my husband laughs because most of my shopping is for baking and cooking as I really enjoy doing both.  I also purchased some more and newer exercise equipment to use at home now that I have to spend less time undusting all my collections.  

So I encourage all of you to lighten your load also and call it what you want to.  As for me , I am only 70 years young and not ready to work on death cleaning, but see my home being easier for those left behind if I do go quicker then planned.

Thursday, March 8, 2018



We have a nice gravel driveway, actually a circular drive way, and at the end of this driveway is our oversized mailbox.  I like it being oversized with a nice handle on the front to open it easier.  It is shiny black with large white numbers which I painted on and also our name is on the front.  Our long time, now about twenty years, postal person even likes it.  When we put it up, she left a not saying thank you and how nice it was.
You see, I do online shopping and she has to deliver lots of these items that do not come by other means.  She would have to  leave the road and come down our nice driveway to deliver these packages.  Now she can leave them in our mailbox because most fit in it.  She puts lots of miles on her jeep on our country roads so even the distance of our driveway not having to travel is good news.  BJ does a good job and we are grateful.  Therefore when Christmas comes, she gets a tin of cookies and homemade candies, which she always thanks me for.  On Easter I make a basket for her and leave it in the box.  She thanks me for that also.  Today I pulled three nice loaves, baguettes, from my oven, and thought, well, it is about time for BJ to deliver the mail, so I quickly wrapped a baguette and tied a ribbon around it, took it to the box and left it.  Minutes later I saw her driving down the side road so she would be back in about ten minutes.  I was so glad that I made it out there with the bread.  Later, getting the mail, a note from BJ was found and she said,  OMG, this bread is a nice surprise and it is still warm.  Thanks.   She always thanks me.  But I thank her and all the other service people that make my days better.
And, I thank the people who made my oversized Country Mailbox.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


Birds, flowers, sounds, breezes.....spring.  I like to take it all in.  Just yesterday while standing in my backyard an oriole flew past me and landed in the tree near saying "see me, I am back".  Oh yes, you can see these lovely bright colored birds.  A few days before that I hear a red wing black bird....loving that sound.  I recall when living, growing up, in Wisconsin, I would hear these birds and "giggle" because I knew it meant SPRING.  I liked seeing these birds wherever I lived and no matter how old I was.  The breeze makes me rush out with bedding, rugs, and other laundry.  How good it is to crawl between those sheets that evening with the breeze of spring still on them.  It makes me think of sleeping under the stars years ago.  I still sleep under stars but only see part of them as I look out of the bedroom window at night.  It is quiet in this country home, and no curtains makes this possible.
Now for flowers, my daffodils are up and also some lilies.  The grass is even getting green.  SPRING.
This little girl used to "giggle" about it's arrival, and this almost 70 young lady is still "giggling" at it this season.  If you come my direction, and slow down, listen and you may hear my birds, my breeze, and even my "giggle" of spring.

Monday, March 5, 2018


This country person does enjoy being outside and doing what she wants to do, but lately I have not felt saying I have  exaspcerbated  It has kept me coughing and wheezing and using lots of different things to be able to breath and sleep.  I am getting better but it is a slow process.  With this process is frustration and gratitude also.  Frustration that I cannot go to exercise at the YMCA or go lots of places because I am tired.  Gratitude because I am getting better.  I am also getting better with my plans for simplifying my life again.  I get out of balance sometimes and this setback has made me think about it.  I have been going too much, three times a week to exercise.  I don't like being away from home, my country life, my dogs, and my many hobbies an activities I enjoy.  In  fact, I recall telling my daughter that I need to find balance again.  

It was put to me in health issues.  But now, just today I made many decisions.   I again got out my yoga things in the corner of the basement where I used to have a yoga area.  I also cleared off some of the storage shelves with excess items, boxed and in the jeep to go to thrift shop for donation.  I talked to my dogs, especially Hemingway, and told them I would be home with them more.  I can exercise at home, and I can stop paying the YMCA monthly and running three times a week.  When I don't feel well, I can slow down my workout, I can walk more and do more yoga when I am doing well.  Little by little it will balance out while I enjoy my country home more and more.  

Today I brought my quilt up to my sewing area and am ready to machine quilt it.  I actually felt better physically with decisions and actions made.  I feel like I can finish projects, be home, and more true to myself with what I want....Simplify....Simplify....and enjoy this country home and country living.  Gratitude for being sick to slow me down so I can find a better and straighter path for being ME.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Country Rest Time

Winter is a restful time for country people like me.  It means more time in the house, not all the wonderful yard work and growing season, berry picking, etc.  Which I always enjoy of course.  But it is time to do other inside things that sometimes get set aside for spring/summer/fall things.

Quilting is on my list and I have a nice quilt on the table downstairs to pin together front, bat and backing and then machine quilt.  Knitting is a daily thing (however, I knit for therapy, and love doing it all year some each day).  I enjoy other crafts and readings and college classes, etc.  also that I just don't find the time for in the summer months.

However, winters in Missouri go faster then some other areas of the country I used to live.  It seems I always run out of time before the growing season starts.  However, also, my asthma has become more of an issue to my life.  Since I moved to Missouri some years ago, my teenage asthma came back and now at age, almost 70, and having had a very severe cold, my asthma has become a more severe issue.  Today a doctor told me that I should stay out of the damp is humid in Missouri, summer and winter, fall and spring.  Does this keep me in the house all year?  I hope not, but if it is, then I will still enjoy my life with all my hobbies.  I do hope things get better so I can walk and play with my dogs outside and swim in my pool.  It is good to be able to breath, of course.  The other solution may be to move.  Really, I would like to see that happen.  My husband is a Missouri person.  I, on the other hand, just live here, but am from Wisconsin.  Wisconsin is not an answer for me either, as it is humid.  I did live in Colorado and like it.  Well, life can get interesting at any age.  We will see how this new issue is to be resolved.  Saying that, I am off to do some breathing treatments, take some new meds, and head to bed.  

And tomorrow, well, I am going to bake bread and quilt. 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018


After I had to say goodbye to my dear Daisy Mae Foxhound in 2015, my heart was broken.  Life does go on, and one heals.  I still miss her sweet smiling eyes.  Friends that run the Humane Society in my area were wonderful.  They rescued a little special dog, yorkie mix and nursed him to health and well being.  Then Kirk intruded me to him, telling me that he would steal my heart.  I, of course, said no, but just looked at him.  The next time I went, I said I would hold him.  The next time, just a few days later, I held him again and watched him play a little with other dogs.  Then I told Kirk that he was right, this little tough guy was stealing my heart, and mending it also.  I adopted him or as they say, rescued him.  He actually rescued me.  As he sleeps next to me on the couch tonight, I could not love him any more, and I admire him also.  He is 2.5 years old now.  Such a wonderful dog.  He needed playmates so we adopted a little Italian Greyhound which we named Mr. Molesley, and later Vincent vG from a person who could not deal with a 4 month old maltese puppy.  My three country dogs are little, and busy and strong and healthy and happy.  I have been rescued times three and am grateful.
 My sweet sweet sweet Hemingway, yes named after Ernest.
 Mr. Molesley, small and fragile, named after character on Downton Abbey.
Little Vincent vG named after Vincent van Gogh.

Monday, February 19, 2018


Fire in the country can be a game changer for any family.  We rely on help from neighbors and ourselves until the rural volunteer department arrives.  A few weeks ago our neighbor down the road pulled in the driveway, and got out of her van, shaking.  I thought, "Oh, Michelle needs my help", ad raced out the door to help her when she said there was a fire coming our way FAST.  As I looked down the road past our pond and fence row area of wooded area, the fire was part way across the field and high flames, moving fast due to the windy day.  Roy, my husband, got one hose connected from the back of the house and I did the other, then he finished as I made sure the dogs were in the house so if I had to grab them and leave they were handy.  We watched as the flames grew higher and faster coming our way.  It got to the fence row of trees on our land and into the woods a ways also.  But our volunteer fire department got there and pushed it back and then put it out, working fast and hard.  They said it sure could have been bad, but they got there in time, but after two other fires in the last 20 minutes.  The deputy said they were thinking someone was setting fires of long grass fields so they would catch and move fast, maybe causing people's houses harm because there were several fires.  Thanks to the little towns all having a volunteer department, and then helping each other also, all fires were put out.  I do not begin to understand someone who does things like this.  I do understand my neighbor coming fast to tell me, and the volunteers coming as fast as they can also.

Fire is scary in any housing situation, but on a windy day, moving fast, it was very scary.  Country life is wonderful and even when fire comes and it takes some time for help, it is good.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Purses and other objects......

Today while shopping (looking), I spied a nice leather purse and could not help but have to touch it.  I like leather and I like wood, and it seems I often have to feel these things.  However, this purse, an expensive brand, was way to expensive for what I would pay...almost $400.00, but it was a ...... says the clerk.  She was very nice and proceeded to tell me that if I purchased the purse I could then purchase a matching wallet for 50% off so it would only be $100.00 today for the wallet.  What a deal!  But then she was a good sales clerk and told me that she purchased her first ......purse last week and every time she looks at it, it makes her smile.   I should not have, but I could not seem to help myself.....I said, "Well, I have three little dogs at home that make me smile and laugh and hug many times everyday."  She did not make a sale, and I smiles as I thought of my dogs and went home, holding on to my $29.00 purse from T. J. Max and my wallet, well, I got it online from for $1.00 and shipping.   Plus in that wallet was money not spent and also credit card not used for an object that, I am glad made this woman smile, but I think it would make me cry when I thought what I spent on it.  So glad I have my little dogs, because they are surrounding me right now as I type and I am smiling.

Friday, February 16, 2018

A New Day, again

As life takes over at times in my life, as it does yours I am sure, I regret not keeping up with my blog.  I know I can do better and will say again that I am going to try.  

Since my last post so much as gone one, sickness for both my husband and it, and he even being in the hospital.  Then I was diagnosed with skin cancer, beta cell carcanomia which is the best one to get because of it's treatment success.  As I still am recovering with the scar tissue and some stitches still in my eye area, I am grateful for the cancer being gone and a clear bill of health after a total body check just the other day.  Our medical advances for so many diseases and sicknesses continues to amaze me.  I am hoping that we can continue to have funding and strive toward even better.

When one has cancer, and I have had it twice now, breast and now skin cancer, it causes, at least speaking for myself, me to reflect on things in my life.  I often find myself looking at years past and hears ahead which are much less as I turn 70 in April.  I have so much to still do and challenge myself to do and improve in so many areas.  I some days am tired and (take a nap), but go forward.  I am still learning FRENCH with Rosetta Stone, I read more all the time, I knit and try new patterns.  I bake and cook new things.  And I always am thinking and planning short and longer trips.  My newest thing is to go back to the YMCA.  I have belonged to it several times in several places I have lived, and always enjoy the swimming laps, and yoga.  This time around, I was able to have six weeks of two times a week with a personal trainer and learning to think about activity level, health, diet, etc. which I have addressed during my life.  For 70, I am strong.  But I have been introduced to the Wellness Center with all the different equipment and machines.  They are interesting and a great challenge.  With my FITBIT and a plan, I have to say I am enjoying my workouts and go three to four times a week for a couple of hours each time.  I also have started BARRE classes, which include yoga and ballet exercises.  It is fun, and challenging, and works up a sweat, but you come away feeling relaxed, well-worked, and limber.  I also admit I feel a bit like an older form of a ballet student.  Just simple fun.  

My encouragement to you is that you also have a new day and a new beginning , again.  After all, each day given us is a new start.   You can start tomorrow, or the next day.   Just get up and enjoy.