Monday, October 31, 2011

Filling the Void

I've neglected posting for a few days,since loosing our special companion,Sarah. Of all the pets we have lost in our 33 years together, this has hurt the most. We had Dixie for much much longer, but she was getting really old and we were expecting to loose her at any time. That's only natural,but Sarah was only 4 and she was a house dog. That alone makes a big difference.She slept with us, she ate with us, she went on most vacations with us.She was a constant comfort and companion.Every minute of every day.No sleeping outdoors in the heat or cold. No long days at the end of a chain with little attention. Everyone loved Sarah and if you ever showed her your love, it was returned tenfold.

Pop had her with him just about every minute of every day. There were a few times he would take her along in the new truck, but most of the time he would drive one of the other vehicles just so she could go along.If it was necessary to use the new truck, he would leave her in his "pouting room" where the temperature was always controlled, but she was never chained out in the yard somewhere, in the hot sun or the cold.She always knew she could not go, if he took the new truck, so she would head to her bed,Pop's recliner.That's why Pop is having so much trouble using his "pouting room" yet.When Pop would return in the new truck, he would always make up for leaving her behind, by taking her for a ride on the 4-wheeler or in one of the other trucks.Every morning,after breakfast,she would watch Pop to see which pair of boots he would put on. If they were his everyday boots, she was jumping with joy. She knew she would be going with him. If they were his shiny boots, she would lie on the sofa with her head hung down. She knew that meant she could not go.There are so many things that Sarah would do, that made her seem almost human.She had only one weakness,which in most cases, for a dog,was a great quality,but for our household pet, it was a indeed a bad thing.She was a hunting dog, with the best nose in the world,and to a hunting dog, the instinct to hunt wins out over anything else.That is what cost her her life.Pop had taken her for a ride down the lane, which he did on many occasions. Most days their daily excursion would be through the woods behind our property or on our property.But this day, he had gone down the lane to visit with neighbors or simply take in the beauty of the outdoors.Pop loves the outdoors. They had parked in a vacant lot that had been cleared of undergrowth several years ago, but the owner decided not to build there. The wooded lot is sitting there vacant now.While they were stopped, taking in the view,Sarah spotted a squirrel across the road in another neighbor's yard.She  was after the squirrel before Pop realized he had let go of her collar.He always kept a collar on her for just that reason.When she went for a ride in his truck,she wanted her head and body,out the window as far as she could stretch. Usually one of her hind feet would be in Pop's pocket,she was so far out the window,but he always had her by the collar.This was only on our lane he would allow her to do that.When it came to the big roads,she knew she would have to get down in the seat beside of Pop.She was content with that.

Pop said he heard a couple of cars coming, about the time Sarah leaped off the 4-wheeler,and they were moving fast. He said he started screaming as loud as he could for her to stop, but the hunting instinct was too strong. She ran out in front of one of the cars. I doubt the driver ever saw Pop sitting there in the vacant lot. They didn't stop. Pop said he was so terrified at Sarah being hit, he never even looked up to see who it might be or what kind of car it was. It didn't matter at that moment. Only getting to Sarah was important. Pop said she took a couple of breaths ,then she was gone. If there is anything good about this case, it was that. She didn't linger on in suffering.It was quick.She was gone.But now the void of not having her is almost unbearable.We know,this too,will pass,as does any other heart breaking event,but it hurts so bad now.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

We will always remember......

 On October 26,2011,we lost,Sarah, our beloved friend and companion.

Monday, October 24, 2011

What do I do?

I'm torn, as usual. I really don't have time to blog, although that's what I really want to do. There are several other projects that are vying for my time,as well.The little hot pad thing has pulled me away from my duties several times here lately, and it calls to me again today, but I have some flowers to dig and remove from my beds and new peonies to plant,that came in the mail this week. I must have ordered twice. I had just planted five peonies this past week., then here come three more.It's very possible. I meet myself coming back most days.I think what happened is, I ordered a set of peonies and they don't ship them until the right time to plant them rolls around. I must have forgotten and ordered another set.Nevertheless. I should have lots of different  colors of peonies this next season. At least I can hope! Sometimes they don't bloom the first year. Hopefully they won't wait too long to bloom.

I cut up lots of little boards, getting them to a more manageable size to bring indoors this winter. That's when I do most of my sign painting and the like.I love picking out my favorite quotes and putting them on little boards.  You wouldn't believe the stack of boards I have cut and waiting for me.

I have begun tearing up strips of fabric for rug making this winter,which is usually old sheets or sheets I have purchased at yard sales just for that purpose.Then I can sit and crochet and watch all the Western reruns with Pop.Well, really I crochet and listen to them while he sleeps. He can never stay awake for long, after eating his evening meal. There is something about a full stomach, a warm bath, and a loud program on TV,and his recliner, that puts him to sleep instantly.Not really sure just which one is the culprit, but I generally crochet or sew right on,for a while, at least.I just enjoy him being there beside me for a few minutes out of his busy day.Of course, you know his busiest days are usually spent visiting all the locals about town,although he is taking down a tree for a neighbor today, and helping them to cut it up into firewood.I just called to see if they needed me to come and help. They are about to call it a day. They cut up enough firewood for a truck load for each of themselves and one  load for the neighbor's cousin. They're calling it a day,but plan to cut another tree down tomorrow.They're off to the local restaurant for a bowl of bean soup with cornbread and onions.
That seems to be a favorite with all the local farmers.Possibly because it's cheap.Times are hard,you know.Especially for farmers.

I baked up a plate of muffins this morning.They'll be ready for the coffee drinkers this afternoon.  I have a pot of brown beans cooking.They won't be done until later today, and if he does have beans for lunch, we may just hold them over until tomorrow.I never figured on him going out for beans for lunch.Sorry 'bout that,Pop.

Just thought I'd drop in with a bit of what I've been up to.Nothing major going on around our house. The sweet potatoes are dug. I've gathered in lots of green tomatoes to freeze. The two or three frosts we've had have made it rough on the vegetation.Fire wood is in.Enough to hold us for a spell,anyway.The flue has been  cleaned out.Winter is approaching fast,but I think we're ready as soon as I dig out the fuzzy blankets.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

It's Either Eat,Sleep,or Make Another Hot Pad!

You guessed it. I've made another hot pad today. I call them hot pads, but who knows how they'll be used. I have no specific plan for them. I just enjoy making them.

I'm using up more of my pretty fabric pieces.

Don't these fabric pieces look great together?
Another day indoors. Got to keep my hands busy, or I'll be eating or sleeping. My older sister,Mary,from Nails in my Pocket,and I,talked on the phone today. She and I are a lot alike, in that we feel guilty if we are not busy. If we don't stay busy on these cold dreary days, we're likely to snuggle up on the sofa with a warm fuzzy blanket,and sleep the day away,and that doesn't sound like such a bad idea.Where's my fuzzy blanket?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Another Day, Another Project

This is the right side of my Christmas hot pad.

This is the tentative back side of my Christmas pad.

As Pop was getting ready for his day at the Flea Market, I assembled my project for the day. It's a dreary drizzly day outside,and I truly don't want to work in that bone chilling drizzle. Pop tended the chickens  before he left, so I didn't even need to go out for that.No need to waste time cooking breakfast. Pop eats out on Wednesdays,usually with his oldest daughter, but she had other fish to fry today.As for me, I just grabbed a peanut and wholewheat bread sandwich and a glass of Cranberry Acai juice. Quick and simple, but very nutritious.Now,back to my project.

Back to assembling my project for the day. A pretty piece of Christmas fabric was screaming out,Use Me! Use Me! So that's just what I did. I gathered up two or three paper-thin tea towels to use for my batting. As I have stated before, I hate to waste anything. I laid out the layers. The tea towels for the batting, the pretty piece of Christmas fabric for the face, and a coordinating colored piece for the back.I worked on the pad most of the day, only stopping occasionally to make a pot of Chili,wash a load of clothes and make a few phone calls.Oh,yes.I did wash a few dishes,however,the main part of my day was devoted to my project.I was determined to finish it in one day.Well, as you can see, I got it finished, and it is very usable in it's present state, but I have a tentative plan for the back.I like for everything to have more than one purpose.Especially since the one side is for Christmas.I will need to store it away for another year if I don't make the other side usable for any day of the year.I have these applique letter patterns given to me by my sister,Vicki,of My Favorite Things,approximately 30 years ago. I love them dearly. I thought about appliqueing the words,Good Food,Good Friends,Good Times, but the word Friends and Times were a bit too long to fit properly on the pad, so I'm thinking of going with Folks and Fun  instead. Not quite what i had wanted, but unless I change my plan,which is quite possible, it'll have to do.

I only crocheted a single edge around the pad. It doesn't show up too well,so I may decide to add another round of crocheting. I have tacked and stitched the pad with the same red crochet thread.I am somewhat pleased with my day's project.So glad I found something to do with that pretty piece of Christmas fabric.I'm sure it'll be well used during the holidays.

Hard Times Aren't Coming,They're Here

some of my batch cooking-turkey pot pie

I can't imagine having to cut everything as close to the bone as Frugal Queen is doing,but I do admire her for her tenacity.Above is a picture of my batch cooking,which Frugal Queen does quite often,so as to save as much as possible.

I hear on the news occasionally that the United Kingdom and other countries across the big waters are struggling much more than we are here in the states. I guess many folks view hard times differently. And,too, it depends on your raising and your present circumstances, as to how you cope with the hard times. Pop and I were both raised fairly simple,close to the land, and extremely poor, although children don't think about themselves as being poor like older folks do.I guess that is a blessing, in a way. Children are resilient,and many times,they don't see things like gown ups do.Thank God for that.We didn't think of ourselves as being poor when we were kids. All of our friends and classmates, as far as we knew, were dealing with life in the same usual manner.Very few kids in our classrooms stood out in our minds as being better off than others.I'm sure my parents had a hard time feeding,clothing, and keeping a roof over the heads of nine children, but we kids, knew very little about the finances of the household.

Pop and I have been so blessed during our soon to be 33 years of marriage. Not that we have a lot of money accumulated, but in that we had the good fortune of landing good jobs that had a good retirement, and good benefits.Pop is now on Medicare and I soon will be in 2 more years, but we still carry his secondary insurance which he had through his work. Mainly because we are afraid he will need something major here in the later years of his life.I am presently using the same insurance I used during my working days. I can keep it until I reach Medicare age, then it drops. Not sure if I will keep a secondary insurance at that time or not. I am 10 years younger and in relatively good health. Mom gets by on Medicare and a simple drug insurance.She seems to do alright with that. Pop's supplemental insurance takes a huge chunk out of our budget. It has gone up from $99. in 1999 to $302. to date. A lot of folks could almost eat a month on that(if they buy the bare minimum and only staples),but as I said earlier, we have not had to draw in our belts that tight just yet,although we may need to do so,one day soon. We preserve way too much food every year, so the things we actually buy are minimal. We do buy a lot of unnecessary things ,in the eyes of many,but I am very saving and I am not one to waste anything. We do buy dog and chicken food, so when I do have to toss a food item,which is rare,I look at it as saving on those purchases.We know folks who cook up an entire chicken and give three fourths of it to the dog after serving it one time, simply because they don't eat left overs. That is definitely a no-no in our book. We eat leftovers.They don't,and they struggle with finances. Is that using poor judgement or what! Some folks can't see the forest for the trees.There are many weeks that my truck doesn't leave the driveway.Theirs makes 3 or 4 trips in and out daily,and with gas ranging from $3.50 to $4.00 a gallon.Go figure. Pop and I refuse to go to town without several tasks in mind. It is 25 miles to any town in any directions, so we make every trip count.We are racking our brains today, trying to think of another task we might undertake while in town for a doctor's appointment.We usually eat breakfast out, when we have chores that take us to town, but today we ate at home, and many times we will drive my small truck to town to save gas.I have applied for a gas card which Pop has been wanting forever. He swears it will save more than we are saving with our Walmart card. I have hesitated for a year or two, because I figure there was a catch somewhere, but finally broke over and applied for the card. We'll see how it goes.Our gas bill runs $300 to $400 a month on gas at Walmart.We don't keep that close a check on it, but we only use that card for gas, so that's a pretty close estimate.We pay it totally off each month so there are no extra charges.Gas is 3 cents cheaper on the gallon with that card, but we are seeing gas prices 10 to 20 cents lower at other stations,so whose winning there.No us, that's for sure.We both enjoy activities that don't cost us an arm and a leg for the most part. Pop spends a lot of time visiting and socializing with all the locals.When I visit,it's usually with my family,who are fairly local,but I usually make a working trip out of most of those visits. Mom and I try to get together once a week, to do our grocery shopping, and once in awhile,we might drop in and visit a bit with other family members,so I feel the trip is not totally wasted. Pop and I both spent a lot of hard working years in order to enjoy our retirement, and we are doing just that.

During those years when we were trying to finish raising his two girls, we were basically debt free. Pop had purchased five acres of land with a meager dwelling, really reasonable, although at the time,he didn't feel that way.As I have stated earlier, it just so happened, that we both fell into good jobs,although we realize now,nothing,just so happens.It's the work of a higher power. And even though 20 plus years is a long time to work to reap the harvest of a leisurely retirement, the time went by quickly. We enjoyed what we were doing for the most part, and time does fly when you are having fun.We never realized we were having so much fun, because time has really flown by for us both.

I must confess. I did and still do, buy a lot of store brand products. I do shop at Dented Can Warehouses for food items.Pop and I (but not the girls)wore second hand clothes from yard sales and consignment shops, for the most part,which the girls never appreciated.But when they began driving, we were always able to help on the purchase of a vehicle for them(if they needed help)They both kept jobs from the time they were old enough to get jobs.When they moved out on their own and needed help on a washer or dryer,etc.,we were always there(when and if they needed help with the money)Only because we were wise enough to set aside the money we could have spent in earlier years on fancy clothes and name brand product from those fancy stores up town.I feel we are living as comfortable as we are today, because we used a little judgement and good sense, all those years ago, when times were good.Young folks today, can't stand the pain of not having what their friends have, even though it is bogging them down with a debt they will never find their way out of.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Daddy would be so proud.

Back in 1972,Mom and Dad,along with their five younger children,moved to St. Simon's Island,Georgia,after raising the first four children on Kentucky farms.  The family had not been relocated too long before Dad experienced his first heart attack.I drove down and visited with him in the hospital.It's strange how you remember certain things,but I remember Dad telling the gentleman sharing the same hospital room with him,about how I was the daughter from Kentucky who raised her own chickens and had home grown country eggs.Dad always enjoyed doing things the way his Mother and Father did when he was a kid.I guess as he grew older, it brought back memories of his childhood. I think that's the reason he was always bringing home quilt scraps from the auctions. So Mom would take up quilting like his Mom had done.Nevertheless, I got to thinking along these lines as I was cleaning a batch of turnip greens yesterday and Pop was splitting firewood. Daddy would be so proud to know we are still doing these kinds of things. Winter is just around the corner and these last few days, we have both been tying up a lot of loose ends,getting ready for it.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Oh,Dear! What Can the Matter Be!

                                         Johnny's so long at the fair!

                  No,it isn't the Fair that's keeping me away from my computer.
I have so many projects started, it's unreal, but this project has held me captive here lately. I ran across these pretty images while rummaging through my fabric stash, and they cried out to me. Use me somehow! So that's what I have been doing. I guess it sounds like I need to take a trip with those men in the baggy britches,with my fabric speaking to me, but no, I am serious. I am ashamed to say that I don't have a clue where I got this piece of fabric.It is terrible to have something you love so well, and not even remember from whence it came. I get fabric from so many people and places,it is not possible to remember the who,what, when and where for every piece.That sounds awful when I say it, but truly, I do not know where I got this piece.

Nevertheless, I had this little quilt that I had made, quite some time ago, that just didn't appeal to me,so I left the one side of it blank, for the most part, just in case I found something I liked better to put on that side.Well, that day has come. I found the perfect thing for that bare side.I say bare, but really, I had put a tiny trim border around the edge of the quilt,in a sky blue fabric, and embroidered a few tiny flowers on each corner so it wouldn't look so bare, until I could finish it. The appliqued pieces fit perfectly and really do appeal to me.Now, if only I can decide what to do with the little quilt. I'm thinking possibly a wall hanging . I had been letting Sarah use it on the sofa, but it's too pretty for a dog quilt now.The only trouble there is that I have no more wall space unless I start filling up the walls in the basement.That's a thought. I'll get started now.I have so may things I'd like to display.So Tootle-loo! Til my next post.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A Dove called Noah

I received this in an email this morning, and I could not help but to share it with everyone.Our world needs more pure love like this.

 A sweet animal story.

These little bunnies, about 6 days old, were attacked by a dog and orphaned.

Two out of the litter of five did not survive, and these three were not doing very well.

Noah is a non-releasable, one-legged homing pigeon/rock dove that is in the rehab centre.
Noah kept going over to the bunny cage and looking in -- even sleeping in front of the door to the cage.

Then, suddenly, there were only two bunnies in the cage.

But when Noah moved a bit from the front of the cage to everyone's surprise... there was the tiny bunny... under Noah's wing... sound asleep! That little bunny rabbit had crawled through the cage, preferring a featherbed, no doubt to snuggling up with its littermates!

Now, they are all together and the bunnies are doing GREAT. When the bunnies scoot underneath Noah's feathers, he carefully extends his wings out to surround them and then they snuggle.
When one of them moves and they start sticking out here and there, he gently pushes them back under him with his beak! It is beautiful and amazing to see...
This is what God does with us when we need the warmth and love He offers. He gathers us under His loving wings to a warm cradle of protection. All we need do in return is give Him the thanks and praise for being with us.
Update on Noah the pigeon:

We are Bob and
Georganne Lenham of Wild Rose Rescue Ranch in Texas , home of Noah the Pigeon.

After finding many posts online featuring Noah and the bunnies and reading about the many lives he has touched (his story has been forwarded around the world) we thought we'd post a follow-up and a few new photos.
We knew there was something special about Noah the moment we saw him.
Although the bunnies seem to be his favorite, Noah helps out with many rescue babies here at the Wild Rose Rescue Ranch...

Noah's first litter of bunnies, almost raised and
ready for release.

Noah helps out with many rescue babies here at the ranch...

How wonderful it is to have a full-time soft-feathered nurturer
here at the rescue ranch! He cuddles with all the babies as they snuggle under his warm feathers...and he "coos" as if singing them to sleep with a lullaby.

Noah is truly, truly a God-send.
He will cover you with His feathers
And under His wings you will find refuge.
Psalm 91:4

Saturday, October 8, 2011

We Bowl A Lot!

No,not the kind where you roll the ball down the gutter,at least that's where mine always ended up. I am speaking of the kind of bowl you use to eat your food. It seems we are using more bowls every day. When we grab a quick bite throughout the day, we choose a bowl. Possibly because they fit in the microwave better. But then they are easier to carry around with you. At least that's part of my reasoning.I am usually multi-tasking when I eat.Either that or taking a quick bite out to the garage for Pop, so he won't eat junk that will mess up his sugar.He keeps several food items in his fridge in the garage for quick snacks, but they are all from the worst food groups.There should be a law against making those types of foods that harm folks so bad health wise. Either that or have all of the grocery store computers programmed to where each person has a bracelet from their doctor, and then they will not be allowed to buy certain foods.Their bracelet ID, when scanned,would say DENIED,for certain food items.I doubt that idea would ever get approved, but in some cases, it sounds good to me.Without naming any specific names, that concept could be used in lots of other programs as well.But,getting back to my topic. You can order up lots of meals nowadays,all in one bowl. Everyone knows about ordering salads with everything in the bowl. Now I am seeing beans,potatoes,cornbread,etc. all in one bowl.They usually tack funny names to these items on the menu.Then there is the breakfast in a bowl. I have never ordered one of these type meals, but I see others who do.Some folks don't like their food to touch on their plate. We have a daughter like that, but most folks I know could care less about that. Some even stir it all up anyway. I have a brother that has done that on many occasions.To each his own.Just wondering if others are using bowls the way we do.

Friday, October 7, 2011

One Corner Porch Setting

Mary and Mom spent a good portion of the day with me today. We got a lot of work done.I went to the Do-It-Center and picked up some paint,more waterproofing for the porch, and a gallon or all purpose cleaner/ degreaser for the walls.  Mary washed down the vinyl siding,the porch ceiling,and some of the railings.Mom gave my rocker one coat of paint.It is going to look great with one more coat of paint.I touched up some of the white trim around the porch and some railings.I'll tackle more railings along the way if the weather holds out. I have a little table that once belonged to my brother,Jerry. I hope he doesn't mind. I've painted it a few times.It will make a nice addition to my corner arrangement, and hopefully one more single chair to match.Pop says he'd like to have another chair or two to match the rocker. It may not be as fancy as some of those sets you see in town, but I like it just fine.(Thanks Mary and Mom, for all your help today.)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

They're Cheap But Oh So Pretty!

A couple of years ago, Pop and I were coming home from somewhere, when I spotted a whole stack of cushions sitting by the roadside, beside several garbage cans. Usually folks will put stuff like that out in plain view just in case some one wants to take it(before the garbage truck runs). They looked really nice from the road, although I couldn't believe anyone would toss out such good cushions. Up close the one side was bleached by the sun, so you just knew the fabric was weakened,too.Nevertheless, they looked better than the ones I was using at home. Pop didn't fret over me asking him to stop, so he must have thought it was worth the stop,too.We used the flip side of the cushions for about a year, and now they can use a face lift. 

This is the good side today, a year after we found them, so you know how nice they were a year ago.I have thought about getting new cushions several times, but the price always holds me back. You might could get lucky and find them for less,but I never have that kind of luck. Whenever I have priced them, they are around $30. per cushion. Do you know how many cushions I would need? I could buy 3 whole sets of tables with 4 chairs each,cushions and all, if I had that much money to waste.

I was in the fabric store this week,picking up more pellon. I hope I got the right kind this time.When I spotted this remnant of fabric. I fell in love with it. There would be enough to cover two of my cushions,if I added a piece to the middle of the back. No problem. I could do that. I have boocoodles of fabric.Sure enough. That is what I have done. I put them on my porch rocker, but I think 2 is too much.It doesn't sit well with 2. I will use one on a single chair for an accompaniment.It will still look nice when I get my rocker and chair painted. It is an oak rocker, but the weather has gotten to it a bit,so I'll just paint it when I refinish it.
I need to make a trip to the Do-It-Center tomorrow to pick up some more finish for my porch floor tomorrow,so I'll get a can of paint for the rocker while I'm at it.. My older sister,Mary,from Nails in My Pocket, is coming to lend me a hand with some of these chores.The weather is suppose to be nice again like it was today. We should get a lot done. Finish the porch floors,wash the vinyl siding down,paint the railings on the wrap around porch, and wash windows.Whew! That's makes me tired just saying it,but that's no great task for our family though.We can all turn over some real work when we set our heads to it.Then,when all of that is done, there will be wood cutting to do, then the rest of the winter will be mine. I can work on my crafts every day if I want to.

Are you O K,Brendie!

Brendie, I received an email from your email address, but with (no subject) in the subject line.That is usually a good sign some one has hacked into your email. Has that happened to you? Or did you really send me an email dated Oct. 5 with no subject in the subject line? This was the only way I could think of to find out for sure without using your email.Please let me hear from you.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Who brightens your day?

 Although Pop only has an eighth grade education, and I don't think he finished the entire grade, you would think he had a degree in psychology.This could be his motto.

              "Let the first words you speak to anyone,be the words that brighten their day."

Pop has an uncanny way of doing that to folks. When he first meets anyone (in most cases), he can brighten the cloudiest day.I know he didn't have special training in any field, but if you didn't know better, you would think he studied psychology.It must be an innate characteristic, because he has one daughter that shows signs of having this trait at times,although it only shows up at time with the daughter. With Pop, it is second nature to put folks at ease, and brighten their day.Do you have someone in your life who brightens your day?