Monday, February 23, 2015

Snow Day!

Nothing like a fun day in the snow.....

Wait for me... I'm coming!
These pictures were taken 2/21/15 at their apartments.  I wasn't there, but thank you again Heather and Brandon for sending me a few picture.

Friday, February 13, 2015


Just a little "non-toxic" water coloring.  Yum.
Joanna and her little man. 2014
Warm, sunny days of summer... just a memory.  June 2014
July 2014 tubing with the youth group... was a chilly day though.
September 2014

Norman 2014

You are under arrest!

mini golf with the youth group

pumpkin carving 2014

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what to you see?

just a few silly selfies

Hmmmm seems like the wrong season for this.

night night
Uncle James... looking forward to seeing you in heaven!
Thank you Heather for chronicling some of our family get togethers in pictures.  You're the best.  I gotta get the camera out more often.

Love to all.

Happy Valentine's Day

We do not do a lot of celebrating of holidays outside of Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I always dreaded Valentine's Day as a kid because we always had to give out cards to all our classmates and that meant we got Valentine's cards from everyone in the class too.  I was perhaps the least popular in my class and as you can imagine that caused my young mind some stress.  I always tried to be kind, but it was not easy being kind to those who ridiculed you.  I look back at those days of elementary school and I know God meant it for good for me.  I recently ran into one of my old classmates working at a local hospital.  In elementary school she wore a leg brace but was an excellent student and I guess I was always a little envious of her because of that and that she had the most gorgeous full head of reddish blond hair.  She recalled to me that the kids in school were so mean to me and it got me to thinking of things I hadn't thought of in a long time.

In our Sunday School class we have been studying the life of Joseph.  I'm not comparing myself to him in anyway because I'm sure I was never, nor will I ever be as gracious and believing as Joseph was, but the verse we are memorizing is a good verse for me to remember and I think I'll share that with my old classmate if I see her again one day.
       Genesis 50:20a  "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good,"

Well, now that I'm 60 and married to the love of my life Valentine's Day has a whole new meaning and I plan to celebrate somehow this year if the septic or the water doesn't freeze and we can get out of the driveway... supposed to snow on Saturday.  All things aside I think we'll have a seafood diner.  It's the way we celebrate anniversaries and such and Valentine's Day... we need that in the middle of the worst part of winter.

Seems fitting that this blog comes back to life in February.  I'm just thinking about spring and trying to focus on that.  I've been doing a little garden planning and thinking about doing some maple sugaring.  I need to get some more taps and buckets and hoods.  Joanna and I made maple syrup last year and this year I plan to do the boiling outside at the fireplace to make it all more economical.  I guess that will be on weekends since I do not have daylight during the week to do this.  I will store the sap outside in the stainless bucket and then boil it on Saturday or Sunday afternoon.  That's the plan anyway.

Our grandboy has been coming over and spending quite a bit of time with us and maybe I can get his assistance since he now knows how to run the snowblower.  He seems to like to come over even though there seems to be an endless amount of work to do around here.  I've been exhausted every night and all I really want to do is crawl into my warm bed.  He likes to go out and run the snowblower and he has been helping Grandpa with the sanding and plowing and getting vehicles unstuck.  When we changed the motor in the plow truck earlier he helped with that too.  He's a great kid and we love him to bits.  He even sleeps on the tiny love seat in our "living room" and stayed with us even though the toilet was frozen and we had to use a bucket or go outside.  I'm amazed that the city boy has adapted so well to country living.

I will try to write here a little more now.

Spring is on the way and I have lots of gardening plans to make.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Thank you to whomever put this picture up

I saw this on FB recently and just needed to save it here.
A good reminder when life gets crazy.
"Come apart before you come apart."
I don't know where that quote is from but have heard it many times and it's appropriate for me right now.
"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."  1 Corinthians 13:12

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Canning - Camper Style

We prayed for a good harvest of especially tomatoes and cucumbers because we were out of pickles and canned tomatoes which we use regularly.  God provided a great harvest... that's not quite over yet despite a hard frost on Monday morning.  Thankfully a young man from church warned us of the frost and we had the afternoon to make sure things were covered.  

This is what I did most of the day Saturday.  I spent the early morning gathering supplies.  I had to find more rubber rings for our bale top jars, take the trash to the dump and get water for drinking.  I was home by 10 am, then went right to the garden and started picking and weeding.  I picked beans and tomatoes mostly.  There were a couple of squash but that is slowing down now.  Then I washed the jars and the canners and the bowls which I keep outside... no room inside right now.  And away we go....

first batch of tomatoes

second batch of tomatoes

last batch of cucumbers

canner going as well as brine on to boil and jars on to boil... made for crowded conditions on our little stove top

I was tired but all finished up around 10 pm with a pot of chicken soup made for church potluck cooling on the porch.

So, altogether so far I have 29 quarts of dill pickle slices, 17 quarts of tomatoes in jars, 4 quarts of frozen tomatoes and 2 quarts of roasted tomato sauce.  14 quarts of green beans in the freezer and more on the way if the weather holds.  We've enjoyed kale, Swiss chard, carrots (very few but tasty), many cherry tomatoes (which I am not canning or freezing), summer squash, zucchini, and we have not yet put up the winter squash or the beets.  They are all ready, but I just need some time now to do them.

God was good to us this summer and we'll enjoy these veggies all winter long.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Happy Wednesday to you all.  Yea the work week is 1/2 over already *** smile ***

Join up at "From This Side of the Pond" to take part in the fun...

1. On Thursday we pause to remember a dark day in history-9/11. Will you mark it in some special way?
I will remember by praying for those families who lost loved ones and for our country which has gone through major changes since that day.  Pray for our leaders and those whose job it is to defend our country.
2. Do you ever/still...listen to an actual radio? Watch a videotape (VCR)? Look up a number in a phonebook? Refer to a paper map while traveling? Set an alarm on an alarm clock as opposed to your phone?
I listen to the news via NPR on my way to work some days.  We have many VCR tapes that we look at regularly.  Our phone book is within easy access… mostly the yellow pages.  I have no GPS, so if I want to know where I am, I consult a paper map which I have in the car at all times. My alarm clock wakes me up daily… except Saturday morning which is my non-alarm clock day.  I guess I must be in the dark ages still
3.  Is it ever a good idea to discuss religion or politics with people you don't know?
Not usually a good way to begin a conversation.  My family was split politically.  My moms’ family were democrats and my dads’ family were republican so we did not discuss politics without getting into a big argument.
4. What's a dish you haven't eaten all summer, but come September find yourself craving? Have you made it yet this month?
I think we did pretty well this year.  We’ve had lots of great garden veggies and salads and cookouts.  I have not had any BBQ chicken which I love but I have had grilled chicken.  We have not eaten many hot dogs… probably a good thing.  We’ve only had one corn roast over the fire this year.  That will change this weekend since I have some corn to roast.  We usually have lots more corn roasts over the fire than that but it’s been a very busy summer.
5. What's something you know nothing about?
There a lots of topics I’d like to know more about but there’s just not enough time in the day.  If I had lots of time, I’d spend it on the internet looking up stuff.  I’d like to know lots more about how to play instruments and read music, I’d also like to know more about the natural world.  It’d be great to be an expert at anything.
6. September is Classical Music Month. Do you like classical music? If so, what's your favorite piece?
I have a great number of classical CDs but don’t get to listen to them often because we do not have a reliable CD player in the house or the car.  I just picked up a CD in the thrift store of Russian Folk Music and Bing Crosby Christmas music.  My favorite classical is Aaron Copeland, but I like many others too.
7. What's the oldest thing you own?
I have lace pieces that my great, great grandmother made.  One I used on my wedding dress, but they are in a well secured place and don’t get used too much as I’m afraid they will fall apart.  I want to have them put into frames when we get into the house again.
8.  Insert your own random thought here.
Work has been crazy with all the transitions taking place.  I’ve been busy at home too.  Sunday night canning tomatoes and getting beans ready to be processed till 2 am.  Monday night visit with Joanna and Heather and dropped off some jars of pickles and tomatoes that they will keep for me there… more space and helped Brandon a little with homework.  Tuesday night went to vote and then processed the beans… 7 quarts.  Tonight I’m picking up Brandon for youth group and then prayer meeting, then I’m going to try to get to bed early.  I didn’t sleep well last night because Mr. D was having asthma problems and was coughing and sneezing.  I finally abandoned ship and went to Joanna’s camper and spent the rest of the night  sleeping there.  When he’s having problems he must keep the house closed up and the dehumidifier on which heats up the place too so it was hot and uncomfortable on top of the noise.  I hope he is able to sleep better tonight.

I am so incredibly grateful for our good harvest this year.  It was a good growing year including the berries.  I’m hoping to get a couple bushels of apples to put up too.  There’s a little orchard down on Rte 25 and they had apples left on their trees last year that weren’t used.  I’m going to ask if we could get some of those at low or no cost this year instead of seeing them go to waste.  

soon we'll see these colors... some are beginning to show right now

Monday, September 8, 2014

Now that's what I'm talkin' about.  I love these deep blue morning glories.

They go well with my red and white gladiolus.

Joanna planted some pails with tomatoes and she's been getting tomatoes quite regularly from these plants.  She started them from seed sometime in March.  Good work Joanna... Spotty thinks so too since she gets the drops.
I love these double impatiens.  They look just like little roses.  One year I had a pink variety that I bought for my mom and they were just covered with flowers and were the most beautiful pink color.  I wanted the "red, white and blue" theme though, so didn't get pink ones.

Joanna's marigolds that came up from seed from last year.

The harvest is coming in.  These were the strangest "plum" tomatoes I have ever grown.  These are drops, so I brought them in and though they are green on the outside, the inside was red and made wonderful sauce... now in the freezer.
A basket of green beans.  Lots of other types of tomatoes which are now processed in jars for winter enjoyment.
Many more cucumbers to make pickles... already have 24 quarts so maybe I'll make some different kinds of pickles too.  The summer squash has been producing all summer long.  We have this about twice/week for dinner.  I have also brought it to the church potluck on Sundays.  Very yummy.

I thank the Lord every day for letting the garden produce well.  Sunday I was complaining a little since I had to can it all up.  I didn't get done till about 2 am, but it was well worth the effort and I'll recover from lack of sleep.  I repent of complaining.  I truly am very thankful for a great harvest.