Friday, May 25, 2018

MORE BERRIES

A few days ago we picked 1 pint of fresh strawberries, and two days later we picked a gallon.  They are smaller, but sweet sweet sweet.  I had ordered a lovely short and smaller bundt pan which has an indented top so you can fill it with fresh fruits....like our lovely strawberries.  It is such a pleasure to have these fresh berries.  We also have blackberries and black raspberries, and trees with apples and pears and peaches.  The smell of the orchard is so pleasant.  It is fun watching things grow also.  Farming, gardening, and living in our country home is a joy.  There is work in all of these things, but it is joyful work, with sunshine, quiet, harmony of the bird songs, and fresh air.  At night I may be tired after spending time trimming, weeding, hoeing, picking, and even canning and freezing.  But it is "delicious" and healthy.  




Wednesday, May 23, 2018

FIRST STRAWBERRIES ON 2018


About five years ago two of my grandson's, my son's wonderful boys, and my husband planted a three tiered strawberry patch for me.  I had taken out the big garden and also the large strawberry patch which was getting old.  My desire was to go smaller.  Thus for my birthday one year they made this lovely patch.  I enjoy having the tiers as it makes it easier to pick.

Yesterday, 5-22-2019, I picked my first "pint" of berries.  They are small, but sweet and delicious.  It is fun to was them in the neat new container, ceramic, that I picked them in.  Funny story when I purchased this at Hobby Lobby a few days ago, an older man stuck up a conversation with me about what I was going to pick in it.  I nicely told him about my patch and that it would be fun to use it.  He continued on talking when I had a sense that he was flirting with me.  I just smiled and said, "Nice talking with you."  I am 70 and this boosted my spirits, but I also walked out of Hobby Lobby with a neat purchase that made me smile, that day and when I used it to pick, and wash my berries in.

The best part is that I took my freshly cleaned berries and mashed them with some sugar, scooped out two dishes of vanilla ice cream and had this lovely treat along with fresh warm homemade bread with good butter on for lunch....with my husband of many years.  He conversed and licked his lips, saying how blessed we are to have our own berries.  Be they littler then store berries, but they are also much tastier, and all organic!


 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Blooming Beauty

Lovely blooms are all over my yard and how I love it.  Flowers do warm my heart even if the day may be a hard day.  So I pick peonies, take photos of Clematis and Iris.  All enjoyable as I also watch my salad and herb garden grow and pumpkin patch increase in leaves each day.  The rain has been hitting our area every evening for a bit, maybe 1 inch, or 1/2 inch a day.  It means weeding is easier and less watering time.  Time to enjoy it all and raise the spirits of anyone who takes the time to look.





Wednesday, May 9, 2018

EAGLES NEST

No not a restaurant or bar, but really, a nest with youngsters sitting on the edge looking out at their big world.  Later we went back again with my son and two of his children.  My son is a certified, licensed, Missouri Falconer, which means he can have a hawk and train it for hunting.  He does, and actually has had three or four already, catching, keeping and training then releasing after about two years so they can again go out in the wild.  So it was with agreement that I had to tell him about this nest we found on our farm, but not telling the neighbors or the world where it is.  Some people don't appreciate these things and just act stupid.

So both times we approached, we did not go too close and we were quiet as we could be.  I took lots of photos with my long zoom.  What a treat when we went back with son and family that while we were again looking but respecting, one of the parents flew in.  It landed on a tree a bit away from the young and put down the fish it had in its beak, and started to converse with it's young.  Amazing to be a witness to all of this.  Wandering in the wonderful world, even if it is our farm, which is amazing, is something to behold.
Get out and enjoy this world.

Monday, May 7, 2018

GARDEN IS UP!

Today the corn popped out as well as my cucumbers, and lettuce.  It is always exciting, no matter how many years I put seeds in the ground, it still amazes me that they grow and will produce great things for us to eat and share with others.

Indoors, my starter is ready for baking baguettes tomorrow.  So good to be able to grow healthy things and also the bake healthy things.  I will also make spaghetti from my tomatoes of last harvest, and I even make my own pasta, which means no preservatives.  

Life is good in my corner of the country.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

DIGGING IN THE DIRT

Such fun today getting the old metal wheelbarrow, large pots by my church pew in front of the house, and little rock garden between two trees in the backyard, plus many pots all planted with flowers I purchased last week and yesterday.  Now to keep them all going and growing this summer.  How fun and healing it is to dig in dirt.  I look forward to planting my pumpkin patch in  a few days and also the salad garden and herb patch.



Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Being Fit, and my FitBit

This 70 year old lady wears her fitbit now for several years and has gotten her husband to wear one also.  I like to challenge myself with the steps each day and am always interested in the active minutes.  I can clock up steps with no active time and this bothers me some.  But it is technology, and I am the one in charge of my active time.  Some of this active time is yoga and other exercise good for me but not counted on my fitbit.  

Yesterday being a wonderful spring day, I was out and about.  When realizing early afternoon that my wrist was vibrating to let me know that I had made my 10,000 steps, wow.  By the end of the day I had 14,000.  Now this is good.  I also had 50 minutes of active time.  It is suggested to do 10,000 each day and 150 active minutes per week.  So I kept track last week how I was doing.  I must say I was pleased.  Today I was pleased, but also tired.  Outside time and exercise is good for us all, and keeping track of it is good.  However, the challenge can make you lose the joy.  I work at not allowing this.  I like the heart rate check also, but again one can get too concerned about all of it.
Some days I have come to not wearing my fitbit because I just need a break from it.  

With my fibermyolgia  I often cannot stand to wear jewelry like wrist and ring items.  But I also like to take breaks from technology and just enjoy my life.  All the while I know I am doing okay with my challenge to keep moving and enjoying my life.  Staying as healthy as I can.

My challenge to you is to move, stretch, but always enjoy your time doing so.  Enjoy the down time also by using it to read, be creative, or even nap.  Balance yourself and enjoy what life you have left, no one knows when it will end.

OUTSIDE 


Yesterday was so pleasant.  I mean the weather, as most of my days are pleasant, all about attitude I say.  But after days of cold this spring and not much sunshine lately, well, yesterday was everything one could ask for as a day to be outside.  OUTSIDE is a good word in my life.

So I was out with my dogs in the fenced large backyard, and then took them on not one but two long walks.  I cleaned out my cactus flowerbed.  After many "ouch" times, I removed most of the leaves from the yucca and prickly pear.  I do enjoy the color and the blooms on these plants.  I have added more prickly pear to the area and will await the lovely growth and blooms.  This bed has lots of collected rocks and a couple of bird baths, twirly gigs and some light stems.  It brings me great joy.

Then the other front flowerbed is all returning flower groups...daisies, black-eyed Susan's plus some decor, homemade and purchased.  Many are gifts from children.
Below is one I designed from a $4.00 purchase of old aluminum coffee pot and old silverware.  Now awaiting the plants to return with full glory and stay until fall. Behind this bed, looking from my front window, is also a white picket fence to frame the look.

So I encourage you all to get outside and enjoy.  If you cannot, then just enjoy.  It is time to stop complaining and start complimenting your world.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Silly Stuff...

Going to shop at Dollar Tree with my adult daughter was a treat yesterday.  She lives 25 miles from me, and we were getting together for lunch and a bit of shopping and visiting.  The new Dollar Tree Store in her little town was fun.  It even has silly things to purchase for a dollar that this 70 year old enjoys.

One purchase was a hippo that is battery operated and twirls a bubble wheel from it's mouth into a bubble solution trough and blows the bubbles out, little bubbles which my three little dogs just loved to chase.  What a nice addition to our screen porch time.

Another purchase was small plastic flamingo that I put on the end table next to my porch swing in the porch.  It is solar powered and flaps it's wings.  Really cute.  Some time ago I read a book with a story about a flamingo.  It goes something like this as I recall:  At the end of the day, each day, look for your flamingo.  You see when people see a flamingo, they laugh, smile, marvel.  Yes, they laugh at the silly bird standing on one leg for long periods of time when they have "two" legs to stand on.  They smile when they see a "pink" bird.  And they marvel when they think of all the wonderful creatures in this word, and this one pink bird on one leg often turns even a brighter or lighter pink with how many of a certain berry they eat.  The final idea here is that each day we have something in our life to laugh at, smile about, or marvel, so look for your daily "flamingo.  I liked that so much even if I don't want large plastic flamingos in my yard, but this little guy will make me laugh, smile and marvel even about the idea when I am spending time in my country home screen porch this season.  

No matter if you live in an apartment in town, or a farmhouse, we all need that flamingo and we all should realize it.  Enjoy

Thursday, April 12, 2018


Spring Time


Such a good country living day, with working around the house and outside.  I even sat in the screen porch and worked on my felt work table runner.  How good is that for a nice time!

From dog baths, windows open and bedding on the line, it feels like spring.  

At the end of a good day, we sat and talked and had homemade rootbeer floats.

Roy even got in a motorcycle ride, the first of the season.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

DRINKING WINE IN THE PORCH

Today was a beautiful day in NE Missouri, actually about 72 degrees and sun.  I spent time walking, more then my 10,000 steps for my FitBit.  I also had fun with my dogs, and hanging clothing on the line.  So much fun.  Then.....

I took a nice break after dinner, and sat in the screen porch and drank my wine.  Now how good can the day get then that.  My husband had a soda and we talked about summer trips, maybe an RV to do more travel together as we could take our dogs.  But we do like our separate trips also.  I like being home for days without others, just my dogs and my many hobbies and books.

Good weather brings out the best in people I think.  Another nice day tomorrow but snow coming again this weekend.  Wow

Wine, tea, soda, coffee or water, get out side and enjoy it.

Monday, April 9, 2018

COUNTRY WALK

It is always nice to get out with my dogs and walk.  It was cool, but the snow has melted.  I was pleased to get fresh air and exercise plus fun time with my three little guys.  Living in the country mean nice quiet walks, watching birds, trees budding, clouds, and nature smells and sounds.  How blessed to be able to live in the country.

Yet,with all of this relaxing environment, I suffer from stress which is bothering my asthma.  Family gives me so much stress and they don't realize it or care.  Maybe both.  My doctor is checking many things out, a specialist for my asthma now.  More tests were scheduled by phone today for later this month.  A new inhaler, told to avoid damp and cold weather.  Close the wind when it is raining, and stay warm.  I was glad to here I am not allergic to dogs, etc. and just mildly toward grass and plants.  Stress is to be controlled, avoided.  Well, maybe I need to move to Arizona.  It is dry and warm and my family does not live there.

So I googled RV's ....just thinking....my little guys and I could have a great adventure.  But first I have to get this asthma controlled.  Then I may feel good enough to fight it all head on again until I am sick again.  What a circle.

Tomorrow, I will bake and also quilt.  Glad to live in the country away from everyone.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

COUNTRY LAUNDRY LINE

Today it was 60 degrees in NE Missouri.  The clothes lines held my many homemade aprons which I wear often, when I bake and cook and sometimes when I do some flower planting.  Most often when I garden plant I wear my dear bib overalls.  

With this warm weather and deciding to clean the kitchen pantry, I took all my aprons, which hang in the pantry, and washed them, and put them outside on my lovely clothes lines.  If you never had clothes lines, well, try it.  The smell of the clothing after drying in the fresh air and sunshine is something to behold.  I open the pantry and breath it in.  Just wonderful.  

Aprons are something my grandmother always wore, and I have one, actually the last one she made in her 80's before she was too sick with cancer to do anymore sewing.  One thing she always did was cut a small piece of the scrap fabric and stick it into the apron pocket.  Why, you may wonder....she did this because she wore her aprons until they were worn or wearing out, or maybe tore it, so had a little fabric to patch it.  That special apron is the dark with pink flowers and it has that fabric still in the pocket.  I was given this apron in 1988 after my grandmother died.  I have made many of these aprons and have pieces of fabric in them also.  I may not wear my aprons as long as my grandmother did and I know I have more then she had at a time, but it is just a little touch of "Grandma Clara".  That is ENOUGH reason.  

My suggestion to you is to make and apron, and get a clothes line up.  All part of country life, even if you are in town.

My grandmother's last apron sewn.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

EASTER DAY

Our country home was hit with about two inches of snow today.  We had about that much all winter and now it is slippery, cold, and very white.  Pretty, but it is spring.  People are in the ditches on the highway our daughter reported to us after she called that she was safely home after her dinnertime here with us for Easter.

We had wonderful ham from Nueske's in Wittenberg, Wisconsin.  It is applewood smoked and so very good.  I made good potato salad, and some delicious corn bread from a recipe of Ina Garten's .  It has cheese and onions in it and it is also topped with cheese.  Rich and tall and moist corn bread, the best recipe ever I believe.  Leslie brought homemade lemon bars.  

The dogs played, having Dottie, Leslie's dog, here also as their company.  They like having her visit.  Roy took a nap and Leslie and I scrolled online sites and did a little shopping and also just looking, visiting, laughing, talking about life, jewelry, books, family, and our dogs also.  It was a good time and this almost 70 year old will treasure it.  It is always nice to have a pleasant time on a holiday, even if we are home.  I am grateful.  
Oh, I am the younger one....with the very white hair.   Silly me, my daughter is the young one, with the long pretty dark red hair, naturally curly and so pretty.

Hoping all of you had a good holiday also, Easter, Passover, or whatever your Sunday was for you.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Changes in the Neighborhood

Sometimes it is hard to put yourself in other's places.  Some people have a harder time with it then others.  It seems that I can do this, and maybe it is why I was a pretty good counselor, social worker, and Sunday School teacher for teens.  I listen, but I also care and both help to feel for others.  Thank you, GOD.

Today as I watched neighbors down the road working on taking down fence poles and wire across the road from our house, I could not help but hurt for them.  Three generations had been farming this land, but recently the dad sold it at a land auction.  It is a 65 acre plot that had been used by them for hay, cows, and then crops during my 25 years of living across the road from it.  I have enjoyed see the evolution of it, plus the evolution of dad on tractor, son on tractor, grandson herding the cattle with a four-wheeler, and lately a fourth generation also...that same grandson riding his daughter or son on the four-wheeler with their dogs following behind.  Lots of memories and I am only the observing neighbor.  

Somewhere it had to be decided to sell this land, told that he wanted to pay off all of his bills and build a new barn before he died....about 75 years old now.  But I so felt for the son and grandson as they worked hard on this nice spring day to cut wire, cut some trees, pull up poles and drag away trees they had cut down.  I am imagining that they made some deal with the businessman who purchased the land that they could pull up the poles and fencing and keep it.  They have been some of those Missouri farmers that have scrapped by with everything to hold things together so even used fence poles are a great treasure.  I know the son told my husband he was not too happy about the land being sold.  Division there between generations and yet he and his son had to be out there doing the hard work today.

The new owner is a business man who is buying up acres and then hires others to farm them.  He has had it surveyed and has claimed 1/2 of the abandoned county road so down comes fence on all sides, and he will bulldoze the edges to incorporate more land and also have it better to access with big equipment without a fence.  I am happy always to see progress.  I am glad he hired a local farmer to till the ground for crops.  I am glad for my neighbors that they got a very good price for the land.  But today, just today, I could not help but feel for the two guys working their land for the last time.  I could imagine them saying a little "goodbye" with each pole they took out.

Country life is wonderful, and it, like city life, can also be brutal at times.  It was a nice warm spring day to be outside working.  It was good to work with your child and dogs around, but I can just imagine the "heartache" of the day.  

Friday, March 30, 2018

BEAUTIFUL MORNING IN MY COUNTRY NEIGHBORHOOD


March 30, 2018, I was out in the backyard with my three little dogs, about 6:30 a.m..  It was warmer and peaceful.  As I turned to look West, I was graced with a beauty of a moon setting.  Moon was bright deep orange with some dark grey clouds in front of it.  What a beauty.  It made me think of a time long ago when driving across the country, and the Moon was speaking to us as it looked huge and wonderful.  We were going across South Dakota I believe.  My youngest child was in the backseat and piped up that the Moon was so pretty and looked like when I hang a picture on a wall with a nail.  She said that it looked like someone just hung it there for us to look at and it was a pretty picture.

Wow, this morning brought back that happy memory and it also brought a lovely view to me which I needed.  It seems when I have had a difficult day, GOD blesses me in some way the next day with a great natural thing like the Moon setting, or a Sun rise, or a magnificent Eagle soaring over my head.  Life is good even in down times.  Just enjoy each moment.  

It was all so dynamic that I did not even rush inside to get my camera.  I savored the moments while my dogs enjoyed being outside for their morning needs.  Birds were singing to me.  Yes, just me, or at least I can think that.  

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Sewing Day

Today I cut out 15 one loop cloth scarves and also some napkins and an apron.  It was a fun and relaxing time.  I actually stayed in my pjs all day as it was cold and rainy here, and a great sewing day.  Now that I finished my first quilt of 2018, I want to do some smaller projects for awhile, along with my other crafts of knitting, crocheting, painting, etc.  

The one loop cloth scarves are easy and then I cut to fringe them.  They are less work and cheaper to make then the two loop scarves I have made and I think I will like the flannel ones with denium jackets and my denium dress.  Of course I will just keep one of each print and the rest are for gifts.  What a nice inexpensive gift.  I can get four scarves from one yard of fabric.  The gauze fabric I only was able to cut three from.  It is the bee fabric and so pretty.

My cherry apron is a great addition to my many homemade aprons.  I do have a couple of purchased aprons from friends who know I like aprons.  I also purchased one while in FRANCE.  

The napkins are left for another day.  Yes, we do use cloth napkins at all of our meals.  Such a nice touch to everyday life and actually economical also.
I just could not decide if I was going to machine stitch hems or do rolled handstitched hems or stitch around the napkin and ravel edges.  The fabric is lovely homespun.  So another day I will have it decided.  No hurry.


Wednesday, March 28, 2018

MY SANDWICH BREAD................DELICIOUS


The sandwich bread recipe and pan worked so well.  I enjoyed the process and the product afterward was wonderful.  My daughter was here for overnight and we all enjoyed it with our casserole of Tatter Tots, meat, corn, which is also delicious.  Then we had some for toast for breakfast and with our next evening meal of steak and baked potato for my husband's birthday.  After that, other people came for cake, which was cheese cake.  My 20 year old grandson does not like cheese but he opted for a couple of slices of my wonderful sandwich bread.  Actually he asked if I had any homemade bread and he would eat that as he loved my homemade breads.  Nice compliment from him and I do agree I have become a good bread maker.  I actually have baked bread for years now, but I enjoy the time to do more and always have homemade and fresh breads, muffins, English muffins and even bagels.

OUR NEEDED RAIN HAS COME.

It has been so nice to have lots of rain as we really needed it here in NE Missouri.  Of course, there was some flooding of roads and yards.  Ours got very muddy and wet as usual and my dogs loved playing in it all.  Especially my little so called Phoo Phoo dog, Vincent vG who is a Maltese Poodle mix.  He loves the outdoors and likes getting dirty.  I always apologize to him when I have to give him yet another bath, but I also tell him that GOD made him a little white hairy dog and not me.  I do adore him but just take a look at this dirty face.
His legs and even belly were like this also.  And we were getting company for dinner and more afterward for my husband's birthday.  So I let it dry and lots just fell off but had to bath for the rest.  I did not bother to clean the floors, only sweep them as my company all  know about dogs, and especially my dogs ruling the world.  Clean but dog prints on my nice wooden floors is nothing new.

And yes, it has begun to rain again today.  Positive is that the pond is full and the grass is greening.

Saturday, March 24, 2018


EXCITED ABOUT A BREAD PAN


Yes, I am a country person, but I believe anyone who likes to make breads, gets excited about new recipes, products, and even bread pans.  Today I received my pullman, 13 inch, covered bread pan which I had ordered from King Arthur Flour in Vermont.  I was so excited to hold it.  It is heavy and "beautiful".  So tonight I downloaded a few recipes and will get at experimenting with sandwich breads.

Sometimes it is just small things but things that interest me that get me happy.  Bread does this, not only to eat it, but to make it.  Some days I just "feel the need to knead".
If you have not enjoyed making breads, just keep trying.  How delicious it can be with good butter.  I like it toasted, broiled, grilled, or just fresh out of the oven.  I like sandwiches with homemade bread also.  Just enjoy.

Friday, March 23, 2018


COUNTRY KATIE AND ALWAYS DAISY MAE, BUT ALSO HEMINGWAY, VINCENT vG AND MR. MOLESLEY....


Why is it that sometimes a certain dog just touches your life so deeply like my Daisy Mae Foxhound or as a friend called her, Daisy Dog, did touch mine and others?  Maybe it was her intelligence and kindnesses,  or her devotion to me, protection and love.  I don't know, but I still have pictures on my dresser of her and think of her often, recalling our times of "glamping" and long walks, talking together.

When I say talking together, yes I mean just that.  She had a way of looking at me that was like she was giving me an answer.  Protecting me when a loose dog at the campgrounds came after me and not her.  She was behind me on her leash as she was afraid of this Australian Shepherd.  When the dog charge toward me, well, she came out from behind and in front of me, with hair on her back up, and teeth showing, growling and barking at the dog.  It was then that the lady who owned this dog came from her campground to get him.  She said she was sorry and that we almost had a bad dog fight...hee hee hee.  I just looked shocked at her as she took no responsibility as many don't for their dogs.  I just said "the rules are that you are to have your dog tied in the campsite or on a leash when walking."   Enough said and I left.  In it all I was so amazed at my nice lady Daisy Mae Foxhound.  She protected me and then went right back to being who she usually was.  On our way back to our campsite we stopped at the gatekeepers to report the situation to them, and Daisy did her usual greeting of putting her paws up on the shelf by their window and wagging, waiting for her treat from them.  What a see dog.

Now with all those memories, I must say, I am smitten with my three little dogs, Hemingway, a Yorkie mix and Vincent a Maltese/Poodle, and Mr. Molesley, an Italian Greyhound.  They are smart, loving, fun, funny, and happy.  They each have different personalities and temperment.  They each have a special place in my heart.

So it is true some certain dogs are special, but now I believe each dog is special if you give then an opportunity.  All of these dogs are from our local Humane Society.  I suggest if you need a good friend, a companion, a protector, go visit your local Humane Shelter and let them, one of those special dogs, choose you to be their mom or dad.  They will love you for it.
 Mr. Molesley
 Hemingway
Vincent vG


Thursday, March 22, 2018

Renewed Friendships

Most people take friendships serious and important.  Well, some people do anyway.  Some others call everyone that smiles at them a friend.  But, I am speaking about real friendship.  Someone that cares, tells you when you are thinking correctly and when you are thinking right.  Someone who stands by you through thick and thin.  I have had several good friends like that in my almost 70 years and feel blessed for it.

Today I found out I had another such person.  About two years ago I called it quits on an agency I liked going to because of so much drama with staff and always wanted to share and talk to me about it each time I went there.  They played people against each other and I was just tired.  Instead of telling them so, I just stopped going there.  That was not the best or correct thing to do.  It hurt me and also the leader of the place who was and did consider me a friend.  Although at times she made mistakes also and did not speak or treat me as such either.  But today I decided I wanted to go back there and use this agency.  So I walked in, and right away, out of the elevator door was my friend.  I asked her if we could talk a bit, and she was happy.  She listened, and she talked also.  She was so glad that I was back.  She was also glad that I am the person that I am and will come back and correct things and always work toward the right things.  I was proud of her and she was proud of me.  We see our good and not so good qualities, but admit that we actually both have good character.

It was a wonderful day for this country woman and this city woman to get things established as friends should do.  We laughed at how we let people who gossip, like drama and cause trouble to harm our relationship.  We also noted that they are no longer at this agency, but that I am back and she is still there.  We also noted that there will always be people who like to cause trouble, but we are ready and will protect our relationship from now on.  Now that is having a friend.  I am glad to have her and she is glad to have me.

If you have friends like that, count them a blessings and cherish your times with them.  Life is short so fix relationships and move forward.

A note, I have some relationships in my life that I could not fix, but another good friend told me that it really is not my job to fix them, but to not allow them to steal my joy.
That is good advice I think.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

PAINTING

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

WAITING NOW

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

COUNTRY GOES TO TOWN 

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

WATCHING....

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.


ENOUGH.....

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

   

COUNTRY  MAILBOX

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




SEASON'S OF SPRING...


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 me.....like 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

Health

This country person does enjoy being outside and doing what she wants to do, but lately I have not felt good....now saying I have  exaspcerbated asthma....wow.  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 weather......really.....it 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

MY COUNTRY DOGS....


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.....


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 Wish.com. 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.