Thursday, March 31, 2011

Why Must A Small Task Become Such Big Job?


Several weeks ago,I found these little things that are suppose to hold my canning jar pantry doors shut tight. Since I hung the doors,myself, they are not perfect, and tend to stay ajar just a bit.Nothing major, but I want them to stay shut tight.I have knobs for the doors, but they are mostly ornamental.Not functional,at all.Nevertheless, I proceeded to put one of the little buggers on, just to be sure they would do the job I wanted them to do. Sure enough, it worked perfectly,but now, here it is one month later and I still have not taken time to attach the other three.I can think of a thousand excuses why I haven't got to it, but needless to say,that won't get the job done.I simply didn't.I haven't been in the mood to work in the basement here lately. I can think of a gazillion things I want to do, but working in the basement is not on my list.I ,personally, think it may be the lightening.I have several fluorescent lights over head in each quarter, but evidently they are not the right kind of light. You know, the kind that you read about to fix the SAD syndrome.  I know I am grabbing for straws, but when you get down, you know what they say about a drowning man grabbing for a straw.Then, too, the weather has turned off colder than it had been for several days. That puts a damper on things for me,too.All I want to do is snuggle up in a fleece blanket, and sleep.And too,after caring for Pop these last few days,he is much better and now I am puny.I can't really say I caught it from him though. I mowed the grass Tuesday evening,out in all that pollen with no mask,then to make bad matters worse, I slept by an open window all night.Just a small opening, but still,more pollen.So now I am paying the price. And I thought we were suppose to get wiser with age.One good thing happened today for me though. I got a lovely package in the mail from my dear friend,Terry,at Uraniasinspirations. Now,I'll need a big stick to keep the ladies off of Pop when he uses his new soap and body butter.Yum! He smells so delicious when he bathes with that Ceylon Spice,and with the body butter,he'll smell twice as delicious.Thanks,Terry for a wonderful ending to my gloomy day.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Everybody Wins!

When I'm in the mood to cook, I best get to it, because I don't get in that mood too often anymore.I'd rather be crafting.



Our House
 We had company for dinner yesterday afternoon at our house. I got an opportunity to move along some food items from my freezer. That is my big goal right now to clear out my freezers of last years items(and try not to refill it with so much that we don't eat, this next season)  It was an unexpected call and visit,but Pop's Aunt would be coming along,so I wanted to cook something. I thawed out about a pound or two of blue gill that Pop and this same family of cousins had caught on one of their camping and boating expeditions. We don't get together that much anymore with large groups where I can cook up lots of foods like we once did, so I jumped at the opportunity to cook plenty.We had fish, hush puppies,corn from the freezer,a big skillet of fried potatoes,and iced tea.They brought peach cobbler and I furnished the ice cream.It wasn't a big meal. We should have had a salad, but I didn't quite have the needed items,so I omitted that,but everyone was "stuffed" at meal's end anyway.We spent the rest of the day just talking and reminiscing.It was a very relaxing and enjoyable evening.Aunt Margaret and Edna got to browse through my little books I have published from my blogging,while Pop and Cousin Larry watched the ball games, Nascar,and more Western reruns.The grand children let us have a free day today, so there were no kids around.They hate it when we have company anyway. Company takes our attentions from them.So it all worked out fine for a relaxing Sunday for us all.We got to relax in the house for once and not in Pop's pouting room. He usually steals company away to his area in the garage, but not today.We got to enjoy our huge living space in our like new house.It was nice.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

I Wonder,Wonder,Wonder....

No, not about Who Wrote The Book of Love.I have been wondering about Kathy of Kathy's Musings .If you remember, she had taken a job helping a friend on a produce farm. She had found housing in a home,near the produce farm, that was built by an Amish family,for their son,to get him set up.Barns and all were built for him. For reasons unknown,the plan fell through for the son,so the family decided to rent the farm out. Kathy had moved into that home. She had no intentions of joining the Amish group,per se, as Kate has done,but she did want to live as the Amish do,just to better utilize her living arrangement.She proceeded to fill the home,for the most part, with the kinds of furnishing that the Amish would ordinarily use on a daily basis, and live as close to the way they do,as possible.All seemed to be going well for her with the moving and settling in,but we have not heard from her since January 13 of this year.She seemed to be adjusting well to that lifestyle, but we have had a rough winter, especially for someone trying to change to this life style so suddenly. She sounds like a tough lady to tackle such a feat, but still I worry about her. I have been wondering about her, and hoping some of the other bloggers might be keeping in touch with her, other than through blogging. I sure would love to hear something,anything, from her or someone who knows her.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Note to Frugal Queen,

I am directing this post to you,Frugal Queen,better known to your followers as Froogs.
If you must limit your following to only 100, you will be leaving a lot of folks out, that truly draw help and inspiration from you and your blog. I try to read as many of the comments to your blogs as possible, but if I read them all,I would get very little else done. You are truly loved and a great help to your followers and it would be so sad to loose any one of those who truly enjoy and appreciate you and your blog.Things are not quite so bad for my household yet, but one never knows what the future will bring. The BIG GUYS running things for each of our countries, tend to do whatever they please to us,all the while trying to make us believe they are carrying out the wishes of the people.They haven't convinced me of that just yet.
My husband and I have lived frugally  for our entire lives out of necessity.Thank God, we were both able to fall into good jobs, and are both of us have retired with good insurance and feel no pain financially,as long as we continue to live that way.Pop has an extra medical policy which costs him outrageous,but at his age, we are afraid to drop it now.He uses Medicare for his primary coverage,which pays 80% of his medical expenses,leaving the last 20% for his secondary coverage to pay.I have a decent medical coverage through my past job with the county schools.When I turn 65,Medicare will pick me up and my other insurance will end unless I choose to continue on carrying it.We will decide about that when the time comes. We buy very little,and usually then it comes from the consignment stores,auctions, or marked down stores.The two most expensive things we buy are meat and gasoline for the trucks. Pop is a big meat eater,but I can do with a lot less meat.We grow most of our garden needs ,or as we did this last season,buy a lot of it from the local Amish growers who raise and sell their commodities really reasonable,and there are many Amish families living close by in our rural community.A huge portion of our money goes to gasoline.We live 25 miles from the nearest big town, and it is cheaper to go there then to spend twice the price at the few little markets closer to home.We do try to double up on reasons to go to town,when we do go. Pop spends a little more time on the roads than I feel is really necessary, but he is a "social butterfly" and he needs to spend as much time with his friends as possible in order to function,or so he thinks.I guess he feels he has earned that luxury,after working so hard during all the years he did,most being away from his home and in the hot,hot sun.Yes, I think he has earned the right to do what he wishes during his retirement years, as long as it is not depriving our family of necessities, in any way.We have raised Pop's two girls. They have good educations. They are both married. Both they and their spouses have good jobs. Their families are all in good health.They take excellent care of their own families.They always know that we are here to help, if  ever they need us.What more could a family ask for?
I love blogging ,but it was never my intent to teach anyone anything. If others are interested in learning how to do anything that I do,I am more than willing to share my knowledge with them, but the things I do are nothing, compared to the lessons you are offering to others.I agree whole heartedly that blogging is our way of satisfying a need in ourselves, to speak our minds about whatever topic we choose, whether it be helpful to others or not. It,in turn, is helping each of us,just by writing it down, in more ways than we know.If our words touch others in any way, so much the better. We are all human, and are all looking for a better way to exist in this everchanging world that we live in.If reading the experiences of other bloggers and trying new ways of doing things is helpful to us on our journey,then it has all been worth it.Keep up the good work. Your are truly an inspiration to us all.

What I Do With Newspapers

This is one week's worth of papers, so times that by 52 weeks in a year, and that's a lot of papers to find a use for,but I can do it,and I love the challenge.
This is my answer to Piggies Heaven on What I Do With All My Newspapers.
We get the Newspaper 6 days a week.The weekday papers and the Sunday paper. I could go on line to read what little I read, but Pop only had grammer school when he was young, and there was so much that he did not get to learn, so that is my way of helping him to educate himself as he reads.It is amazing how much of the paper he will read most days. I feel it keeps him enlightened on the world and community news while it is helping him to learn.He doesn't realize any of this,but that is why I keep the paper coming.It does get to be a lot of paper accumulated,but I have a way of using it that might not work for others.We have 5 acres of land, and it is riddled with sink holes.Our soil erodes away really bad,especially if it is not covered by grass or some type of vegetation.There are lots of spots on our property that are nothing but slab rock.Grass will not grow on it, and soil alone washes away quickly on those flat rocks.I have found that I can soak my paper in a bucket of water until it is saturated good.Layer it really thick over the rock areas or even low spots in the yard.Put a layer of wood chips or mulch of some kind,over that.Old dead garden or flower refuse will do.Spread a thin layer of dirt over that,and sew it in grass.You may have to repeat this process a few times.As the paper and organic matter decomposes,it will settle.But I never send my papers to recycle for this very reason. I have a little spot near my basement carport that I have been filling in this way. I added several layers of wetted down paper, a layer or two of wood refuse from the winter's wood pile,and dirt from my chicken compost pile.It makes a wonderful spot for growing tomatoes each year,right outside the door.
There are lots of other ways to utilize the papers,too. You could run the papers through a shredder to make nesting or bedding materials for the chickens and other animals.Some folks shred them to use as mulch around their garden plants.I have even wet them down whole,and layer them in mats under my tomatoes.They will keep the moisture in and the weeds down.I have even soaked my papers and used the slurried product for crafts. I tried mixing the slurried paper with cement mix in hopes of coming up with a product for making sculptures,but that experiment is not finalized yet.It is unreal, all of the different creative ways one can find to use up their newspapers.I hope just these few ideas can help others.I'm sure there are many other ways of utilizing them. Hopefully we will hear from some of the other bloggers,on their solutions to your problem with accumulated newspapers.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Peony Time


It'll soon be time for the Peonies to shine once more .They make a most beautiful bouquet when they are in bloom. The flower heads are extremely big and heavy.  Usually when they are in bloom,it is the rainy season. The rain  makes the flower heads extra heavy,and without some type of support, they fall to the ground, where they lay until they rot. Therefore,we have learned to provide them with some type of support.I have a support around mine,but didn't put a whole lot of effort into making it.(bottom picture)Last year,after Mom's Peony plant had died back,I persuaded her to let me take away the unsightly fencing she had used to support her Peony.It was right in the middle of the front yard, for all to see,and she lives on a busy street,with walkers,bicyclists,and just ordinary traffic.Mom takes great pride in her yard. The neighbors compliment her on it, often.With a little hesitation,she agreed. It was made of several broken pieces of wooden latis panels that she had scavenged from the yard work remains of others.It served the purpose,and she had painted it a year or two ago, but it had done it's duty and needed to be retired(to the dump).Finally,since I noticed my Peonies growing by leaps and bounds, I figured I had better get to the task of making her a new fence. If she had not been so low this past winter, she would have been out and about the yard already,calling all of us kids to get us over there to fix any and everything in sight,but so far,she hadn't mentioned the new Peony fence I was suppose to be making for her.Thank goodness!Well,I finally got to it this morning and I am a little proud of myself,for the nice little fence I've built for her. You can see,below, what my Peonies are having to deal with.
As you can see,I did not paint Mom's fence.She loves to paint,and that is one of the few things she is able to do these days,so I called her to warn her to get her paint and brush ready. Her little fence is coming home,and she will need to paint it herself.

The Best Medicine

My Grand Daughter picked this bouquet of flowers for me this weekend. They make the house smell so good, and with the windows open and the gentle breeze blowing through,what could be better.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Medical Update

I received a call from the doctor's office today regarding the tests I had made this past week. I have not worried too much about what they might show,since I have never had that many medical problems,but I guess it's time to worry now.They took several types of tests, and one of the tests shows a mass on one of my ovaries. I have an appointment with a gynecologist on the 4th of April.I have not had a gynecoligist for many years. Our regular family doctors have taken care of the minor problems I've encountered up until now.This requires one now. A few of my sisters have had problems with cysts in that area, so I am hoping it will be no more than that for me.I have been put under anesthesia only two or three times in my life,so I don't worry so much about that like I once did.I use to worry about my heart since I had murmurs as a child.I had a good heart check up just before retiring, so I don't worry as much about problems in that regard, anymore. Now my main worry is Staph and Blood Clots. I guess everyone has these same worries before having any kind of surgery, and it may be all for naught,in my case,too. But when you are my age and have never had major surgery,you worry about every little thing that could possibly go wrong.I read a lot about medical things and sometimes that can be a bad thing.A little knowledge can be worse than no knowledge at all.I'll do best to keep from worrying,but I know that won't happen. I'll stay busy and maybe the time will go fast enough for it to all be over soon.And I will have worried for nothing.Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers.Later.

Purple Martin Time Again...2011

If you are a member of the PMA, you know there is a lot involved. I enjoy experimenting with my little newly formed family of Martins, (if they return this year)but I do not get that involved with the organization. The birds do fascinate me, and I love to learn more and more about them and their habits, but it is a job, recording and documenting all the required stats when you are really into it.
The Purple Martin Association has a catalog that I get each year. In it, they have a new shape of entry hole which can be used on our bird housing.It has a specific shape,and is designed to fit the bone structure of the Martin as they enter the housing, but not the larger birds that may try to enter. It can be placed over the existing opening of older housing.I have not converted the opening to my housing yet.I may decide to do that after awhile,if I see the other birds are giving the Martins a problem.Pop says the Martins are pretty aggressive when it comes to protecting their territory,and I did see a bit of that played out this last summer.

For houses that have the larger compartments, a starling-resistant entrance hole is strongly recommended. These new holes (SREH's) have been tested since the early 1990's and are proving to be an asset in allowing martins a safe nesting place that is not accessible to starlings. (This paragraph was copied from the PMCA information page)
(http://purplemartin.org/forumarchives/archive/SOPEH.htm)


I found this pattern in the PMA catalog regarding the latest shape for the entrance hole.
This is a sketch I made to give you an idea as to what the  shape looks like. It is supposed to allow the Purple Martin in, but not other birds.
My birds have not returned as of yet, and there is no certainty that they will,but I am hoping they will.I have put up a few extra houses,and replaced a couple that were in bad repair. I had a small pond dug,close to their housing,although it still needs some work.Hopefully, they will show up soon.If not,I'll keep trying to lure them back once more.I do enjoy watching them.

Starling...Pros and Cons

It's that time of the year once more when I must watch my Purple Martin housing to keep those pesty Starlings at bay. They are bad about building in houses you had intended for other birds,or running other birds away, or even destroying existing nest or baby birds. Yes, I have seen it with my own eyes.A Starling, destroying the nest of a wren family.No wonder folks consider them to be a pest. I have done some reading on Starlings, before I posted today, and now,I feel bad about maligning them so.I guess every form of wildlife has it's following,and I'm sure Starlings are no different,but to those of us who try to provide sanctuary for certain other birds,they are a nuisance. I have read that they eat grubs and decaying fruits, and that is a good thing.And I suppose all forms of wildlife have their good habits, as well as some bad.That seems to be the way of every living species.Europe seems to have had their fill of this specific bird though.I pulled up this link in my research and got to feeling kinda sympathetic toward the Starling,but not enough to let them overtake my Martin Housing.This link ( http://www.starlingtalk.com/) interesting read for anyone.You might want to check it out.
And then there are other sites that reinforce my feelings about them being a nuisance.
(http://www.pestcontrol-products.com/starling.htm) I guess it depends on the individual,as to whether it is considered a problem or not.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A New Project in The Bathroom

There's not a lot I can do to my bathroom, since it's so small unless I put up a new border,or maybe some wall paper, or new rugs or towels,and I do a lot of changing things around that way, but I wanted to do something different. In my last house, I had stenciled grapes or roses on white ceramic tiles and made a border over the top of the vanity, and I kinda wanted something along that line. I went to Lowe's yesterday,while in town for the tests at the hospital,(you know how I like to kill as many birds as possible, with one stone)(and being a bird lover, I do hate that saying)but nevertheless, my older sister and I went to Lowe's and shopped around for something to use in my project.Everything is so expensive.I picked up several different types of pretty trim,but ended up putting them all back. I had in mind something on the order of the cute wooden blocks that folks use at the top corners of door facings. I did find some cute little glue-on pieces to make my own home made version of blocks,since theirs were about $5. per block.I would have needed about $50. to $60. worth for my 4 foot vanity trim.It may not be a nice as theirs, but it suits me just fine. I have a nice white cornice over my one window. I found it at a consignment store and it was love at first sight. It was my inspiration piece for the ideas I'm using in the bathroom. I have a bookcase I got for $10. at another consignment shop that I've painted white,so my next project is to get some of those cute little glue-on decorations to cutesy it up a bit.
I overhauled a pair of curtains for a friend,and had enough material left over to make myself a new set for the bathroom window. They are snow white,too.I plan to put a little embroidery stitching on them somewhere ,if all goes well. I think that will give them a crisp Spring appearance.I'll try to remember to take a final picture soon.
P.S. If you enlarge the picture to see the glue-on  pieces I used,ignore the two screw holes. I will need to fill them later with wood filler.I didn't hit the stud with my first try.

One Step Forward and Two Steps Back!

No,I,m not trying to do the Two Step.It seems that has been the way my life has been going for a few days.
If you remember the medical tests I had taken,well, that was Tuesday,of this week. The results should have been back in a day or two.I waited and waited.And you know how anxious you can get when waiting for test results. Especially medical tests.Well, the doctor's office called sometime Thursday,and left a message for me to call them,but ,of course, I was out with Mom,doing our shopping and running our weekly chores, and didn't get home until after office hours.No problem,I thought,I'll call Friday morning at 8:00,when they open their doors.I tried several times.No answer. I called the main hospital,and asked for the days and hours for my branch, and they said they had them listed as being open on Friday.So I tried again . It rang and rang and finally, a recording came on saying they were only open Monday through Thursday.So, I called the main hospital again to see if I could pick up my results there.Yes,just come in,show some ID and sign a release form.No problem. I was going in for other tests anyway.I picked up the forms,and they might as well have been in Greek. I could not understand a word.So I'll have to wait until Monday,make another appointment so my LPNP can read them for me and explain it all.The tests I had run Friday went quickly. Nothing too embarrassing.The room was dark and they give you a sheet to cover things.I didn't get to see the monitor,not that I would have understood anything on it, but I told the young lady doing the test, that I would have loved to have seen the screen while she was checking things over.She clicked on a few things and showed me what she said was my uterus and an ovary. It could have been anything for all I knew.I had seen babies on sonograms before(not my own,of course,since I've never had kids or many tests, for that matter)but I couldn't tell beans about the images she showed me. Nevertheless, here I am,again. More waiting ,for more results.
Then this morning, I eat a light,nutritious breakfast,I thought. Just enough,hopefully to be healthier,and loose a little weight. I go outside and begin my yard work,cleaning the yard and flower beds for a new season,and I get the shakes. I didn't eat enough or the right kind of food to sustain a normal blood sugar level. I work with that a lot, so I know the feeling.It seems you can't win for loosing. If you eat too much you gain weight. If you eat too little, you get the high speed shimmies,that comes with low blood sugar,or at least, I do.I go in and eat a few more whole grain carbs and a bit of protein.Then it makes me sleepy.Oh,for those days of our youth,long past,when you could eat anything you wanted,stay thin,and never think about medical issues.I guess all good things must come to an end,eventually,so I'll just take a nap,and maybe things will look brighter when I awake.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What Makes You,Who You Are?


I began blogging on October 17,2009. Not that long ago, but since that day, I have had six little books published on my blog. I am so proud of these little books, even though,to many, it may not seem like much, but to me,it means a great deal. I have dabbled in writing poetry,in my younger days,but never thought to keep the poems I did write, and my memory is not good enough to remember them today. I did remember enough of the words to put one of my poems in my little books.But all the things that I do on a daily basis are so satisfying to me,I tell my family and friends often,I want to live as long as I possibly can, but if I had to leave this earth today or tomorrow, I think I have had a wonderful life. I met and married the most wonderful man in the world,I have not had that much sickness,I have a beautiful home,even though we had to suffer through a fire with our original home,I have retired from a wonderful job,well,there may have been parts of it that were not so wonderful, but for the most part,it was wonderful,I have enjoyed being a stepmother and step grandmother,even if I never got to experience the joys of being a natural mother. I know, I do have step daughters, but giving birth to your own child shapes and molds you in ways that can only be explained by those who have been there. I can only imagine and draw upon what I have seen and experienced. The joys of seeing and being a part of my grandchildren's lives,from their moment of birth,has opened my eyes a lot,as to what it feels like to be a mother. There is something about knowing a child from their moment of birth, that changes they way you view anything they might do,good or bad, from that moment on.If only I could have had that with my two step daughters, things would have gone much smoother than it did,when we began our lives as a blended family,thirty two years ago. It's funny how you live and learn.Life cannot be undone or did over. You can only learn from your mistakes and hope never to repeat the same ones again.Life is indeed a journey, and we will never travel this same road again.I guess life's experiences were the fodder for so many of those sayings we use every day,on lessons,other folks must have learned the hard way,and they have left these quotes behind for us, to make our paths through life, a little smoother. Hopefully these little books will,one day, help others to know me and my inner most thoughts that made me the person I have become.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It Just So Happened?

Do you think things "Just So Happened"? It's funny how you hear something said over and over, and you never really think about it until someone calls it to your attention in a certain way. I have attended Mom's church with her many times.The Pastor,Brother Art, who was serving there when I first began visiting,has moved away and is no longer with that church, but he is the one who brought this particular saying to light for me.He explained in one of his sermons, that Nothing Just So Happens.There is always a Higher Power working the plan.My family uses that statement quite often anymore,after hearing Brother Art's explanation.It happens so often, it is amazing how many times one does use those words,and I never use or hear them anymore,without thinking of that explanation.
I called Mom just tonight to tell her what had "Just So Happened" for me today. Mom had a piece of material at her house one day, that appeared to thin and worn to save for anything.Well,you know me. I can always think of something to do with things that others deam no longer usable.I told Mom that I could crochet it into a rug. I adored the pretty pastel colors in the fabric.Sure enough, I took the piece home with me and proceeded to tear it into strips for my rug. I usually have a certain size I make my little rugs, but I ran out of the fabric before I got to that point.I did scrounge around and fine a tiny pastel green piece that matched the original green in the fabric I was using.That was enough for another round or two,but the little rug was not big enough yet.
Meanwhile,back at the ranch......Mom had a couple of large trash bags full of fabric pieces and scraps she no longer needed,left over from her quilting this past summer.She always saved every scrap of anything for me, since she knows me so well. I brought the two bags home and knowing I wouldn't be needing them for awhile,I left them in my truck.In a day or two, I decided to bring them inside.There they sat for another day or two.For some reason,today, I decided I would dump the scraps out in the floor and check out all the goodies inside.Mom likes glitzy,shiny,sparkley things,so there were several pieces of that type of fabric inside.They are all small,but Leah loves that kind of thing too,so she will probably use them for her doll dresses.But wait! There were three or four panels of curtains that were made from the same identical fabric I was using in my rug.I guess they went together at one time,but since the original piece I had brought home was worn thin along the hemline,it was headed for the trash(until I saved it.)Now I can make my little rug a bit bigger.I may get two rugs out of the same fabric,which will be wonderful since I am redoing my bathtoom in white.The crocheted rugs from the pastel fabric will go good with the white,and they will be much easier to launder than the others I had been using.I painted a shelf white,just today for the bathroom and I found a beautiful white cornice board shelf awhile back,for over the window.I will be looking for some wood trim tomorrow(I have it pictured in my mind.Little 4 inch wooden squares,with a carving in the middle) which I will paint white to decorate across the top of  my vanity.I may try to find some of those wooden or plastic curlyque symbols to glue on the sides and maybe the rim of my shelf and paint them white,too.It looks so pretty in my mind.I hope it will be that pretty when I'm done.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Does Worrying Help?

Dad in 1946 and 2001

 I come from a large family of nine brothers and sisters. My Dad lived a long and,for the most part, healthy life.He didn't contract cancer until his later years, at least not that he knew of. He had prostrate cancer for several years, which they caught and were treating,thus holding it at bay,as much as possible.He had a heart attack or two,shortly after moving from Kentucky to Georgia in 1972.He carried on with his life after that first attack and didn't need  heart surgery until 1996.After the surgery,he complained of his legs hurting, where they had taken the veins to use in the work on his heart,moreso than did his heart.He recovered quite well from the heart surgery,and then his back seemed to be more of a  problem to him, than anything else,at this point.The doctors wanted him to have back surgery,for years,but his heart could not stand it.Then after he had the heart surgery,he seemed to push the thought of back surgery further and further from his thoughts.I guess major surgery does that to you.In his 83rd year,he developed a cancer in the center of his chest. He complained for a few months with it hurting,thinking it was his heart again.The doctors dismissed it as being a heart problem,only to find it was a cancer growing in his chest. It had entwined itself around and among the heart,lungs and bronchial tubes. An impossible place to have it removed.He suffered with it for several months,before succumbing to it September 5, of his 83rd year. He would have been 84 on December 1,2001                                               

                                                     

Mom in 1946 and 2010
My Mother is 85 and has been extremely healthy for the most part,during her lifetime.She has born nine children and lost one to a miscarrage.By the age of 85, she has developed a few medical issues. She has had surgery to remove her thyroid gland. Even after taking thyroid medicine for most of her adult life, she felt she was having trouble swallowing her meds and certain foods.The doctors felt it should come out. It was removed and she healed very quickly to the surprise of everyone, doctors included.She has had trouble with her back in years past,around the age of 60, and had lower back surgery which she had great healing results with,also.No more problems with her lower back,but her upper back has given her problems for years,causing a numbness and burning in her hands and arms on a daily basis.She has had treatments and therapy of every kind trying to fine relief to no avail for that problem.She takes the usual meds that folks her age take. Meds for blood pressure,for water, for pain in her hips,back and arms.Then she takes her OTC meds .Calcium,bone supplements,allergy meds,ibupropen,gasX,fiber.But nothing has slowed her down as much as her inability to see as she once did.She continues to this day,doing what she can to care for her property.She is slowly loosing her eyesight.One eye is 90% gone.Her eyesight in the other eye is lessening as time goes by.The eye doctors have done all they can,but she continues to go for her regular eye exams,just in case.


Of the nine children,we are all still living,to this day.That in itself is miraculous. We have had good friends of our family who have lost many of their family members. One of my sister's has had a round with cancer, among other serious medical issues,with the worse case of psoriasis being one of her issues,one brother has had back surgery after a bad fall during a construction job,one brother and his family had major medical problems stemming from an insect control company using an outlawed treatment,one sister has Fibromyalgia,one brother has liver problems,due to unhealthy choices in his lifetime.One sister is having a great many problems with her knees.Two additional sisters have psoriasis,but not nearly as bad as the one sister.One brother has gout.As for myself, I have a few minor aches and pains,but after 63 years of nothing like the other siblings have endured, I hate to complain,but with all of this said, I come to my topic for today.

Today I got a scare. That may be all it amounts to, but knowing the history of my family, and my not having had any medical problems to speak of, in my 63 years,it does make one wonder.Is it my turn?I had some medical tests today, and the Nurse Practioner that looks after our medical needs,for the last few months,has found a spot that looked suspicious.I am scheduled for more tests on Friday. This may turn out to be nothing,but today I am not afraid to admit,it scares me to think of what it could be.I have never had any natural children of my own,and only twice been sedated for a medical procedure,so you can imagine my fears,but I have vowed Not to Worry about it until necessary.I have other worries to deal with at this moment.I got a form from the United States District Court demanding that I fill out and return their form for possibly serving on the jury.It's hard to believe,I am 63 and called last year to serve and possibly again this year. And they say the names are chosen at random????It makes one wonder about that,too.Worry,worry, worry.I'll keep you posted as I hear more.Right now,I'm headed to take a Zantac.
(P.S.I know several of my family read my blog,so I hope I haven't misquoted anything regarding the family's issues. If so, I am willing to make corrections.)

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Joys Of Spring

I think I love Spring most of all.It is my favorite of all the seasons. The grass is greening up.The daffodils and hyacinths are in bloom.Forsythias are beginning to bloom.The birds are singing and starting their nests for the new season.There is new growth everywhere..
Yesterday,we had John for the day. His sister,Leah, went to Derby Dinner Playhouse with her Aunt Rhonda and Uncle Marc.That's something they enjoy and do quite often with Marc's family.That has always been right down Leah's alley.She has enjoyed that type of thing since she was three years old.
John spent the day doing what he loves. Roaming around our property,playing in the dirt,teasing Ellie Mae,taking a walk in the woods with me,(he thinks he got his first tick,oh dear,those dreaded ticks already?)I needed to build up my stamina for a new year anyway, so that was nice.Over the winter months, I get as weak as a cat.It gets to be a feat just going up and down the basement stairs fifteen times a day.You'd think I would build something up doing just that,but it doesn't seem to work that way.

Pop and I lowered my Purple Martin Gourd Pole and worked it over a bit,added a few new gourds and replaced some older ones.I bought several bluebird and wren birdhouses at the auction this week, so, hopefully,I'll put them up today.It's rained a bit through the night, but that was good, because I transplanted some flowers and 4 peach trees yesterday.The daffodils had gotten so thick in places, I moved a few big clumps of them to a flower bed that I had widened near the porch,where I could enjoy them more.I had planted a handful of peach seeds from the peaches off of Dad's peach tree,just beside the porch,so I could keep check on them.Sure enough,2 or 3 years later, I see they are nearly shoulder high. I figured I needed to move them to a more appropriate spot before they got established there in the flower bed.That's why I'm glad we got the rain. They say I will probably not get the same wonderful peaches Dad's tree had, but I mostly wanted them to remember him anyway.If they make any kind of a tree,I'll be satisfied.Fruit and flowers will be just an added bonus,if they do have any at all.

Last week,my brother,Terry came over, and he chose lots of flowers and bushes from my yard to use around his newly established home. He recently moved back to Ky,since living in Georgia and West Virginia since 1972.He is having to start a new home and a new family,so the rest of the family have been trying  to help ease him into his new life,as much as possible.Life can be rough nowadays,for a sound and solid family, but starting over,from scratch,with a new blended family, has got to be hard.That's where a loving root family can help,so we have all been pitching in,when and where ever we can.

I usually give away boocoodles of flower starts to any and everyone who asks each year,so with Terry being in the yard and landscaping business his entire grown up life, I knew he would be interested in getting back into that a bit,if only for himself,at the moment.I have enough to start a nursery of my own,so I was eager to share in that department.I hope to use some of his expertise a bit on improving my landscaping around my home, now that his is living closer. He still has a few connections with the suppliers he used when he had his own business in West Virginia.That's always helpful to know someone in the business. I spend more money on landscaping supplies than anything else.Now maybe he can help me save a few dollars there.                Happy Spring to All.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Trying a New Food

A few items from the food auction
I keep reading on other blogs, mostly from across the Big Water,of different foods that I have never heard of before.One that comes to mind, is Hummus. It had never entered my mind to look it up as to what it might be. I just assumed it was a food eaten by folks in their particular region,and I am well aware that different regions eat different foods.Never the less, I had gone to our local auction, one night this past week, and it was Food Night. Some nights they have all kinds of foods to auction off.Lots of folks frown on buying food products at an auction, but then, times are hard,so many folks will make it a point to attend on Food Night.They have things like cookies, cakes,chips of all kinds,breads of all kinds,lots of box type meals,bottled drinks, and other unusual items,that don't sell good at regular stores,to the general population of our area.Well, on this night, they had offered items on one table, to the highest bidder,and after that person took what he wanted, for that price,it was opened up to the rest of the crowd. for the next highest bid.Still,there were about 6 or 8 boxes that no one wanted. It sounded like a real deal,regardless of what it was. You know from my past post,I'll eat about anything.(not Pop ,though)I raised my hand and got the 6 or 8 boxes remaining. I think the auctioneer was calling it bean dip,and I thought ,What the heck. I've eaten refried beans before, as a dip.So I raised my hand and got the remainder of the boxes for a mere $1.75. A real deal. I brought my purchases home and into the pantry they went.A few days later, I decided to check out one of the boxes,and as I read more of the label, I saw it is called Hummus. Now I've seen that food mentioned before.I tried to find the blog where I had seen it, to no avail, but I do remember they ate it on crackers.I whipped up a batch, and sure enough it was nothing more than a bean dip with lots of garlic and lemon pepper flavoring to it. A bit more garlic than I would have used had I made it from scratch, but not so bad anyway. I ate it on the triscuits which came from the auction,too.Not bad for a snack, but there would be no way Pop would touch it with a ten foot pole. He'd starve first, but I definitely will work it over and try it again.I'll do some experimenting to see if I can make it a little more suitable to my taste next time.Maybe less garlic.Surely there is a recipe on Cooks.com. So until next time,I'm off to do some investigating.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Cookware

While reading one of the posts today,namely Frugal Queen,I got this idea, for a post of my own. I get lots of my ideas this way. Thanks,Ladies,to all of you who have given me inspirations along the way, for all of the wonderful ideas that have sparked my thought processes.

I borrowed this picture from Frugal Queen's  post today.
 When I first graduated from high school,I got my first real job,and I say real job because I had worked out for different families at odd jobs since I was 12 or so,doing every menial tasks known to man,such as painting,scrubbing,ironing,baby
sitting,housecleaning,working in tobacco, bringing in hay or corn from the fields,really anything  folks were willing to hire me for.One of the first things I bought with my real money,was a nice set of cookware. Since I had been engaged, since turning 18 in February, and not graduating until June,then planning to get married in July,I felt I needed to start gathering up things I would need to get my home started.You know how most young girls feel they need a Hope Chest full of those kinds of things for when they married.I guess I was trying to start a Hope Chest of my own.Nevertheless,a good friend of mine had just bought a set of this amazing stainless steel cookware, and she was trying to get others to purchase a set, so she could win additional pieces to her set. I think, if she encouraged others to buy a set, she would win a nice big stainless steel coffee pot,or something of that nature. Well, it was a beautiful set,all shiny and new,and the concept seems just as amazing. The stackable pans that would cook several different foods,all at once, and using the same burner for all.What an amazing feat that would be.And an energy saver,too.I was sold. I think the entire set cost around $350. But so what.I had a REAL JOB now.Well, my Mother never had nice pots and pans in her lifetime, so I gave her all of the biggest pans and their corresponding lids.Being a new home maker, and with only two of us,I would keep the smaller pans and lids for myself.There was one stipulation for Mom though. Since there was a lifetime guarantee on the set, I wanted her to will them back to me at her death. HA! With our big family of nine kids,and everyone helping with the cooking,those pots and pans didn't stand a chance of surviving.Every few years,I would notice one of the pots or lids would be missing until all of the set Mom had, had gradually vanished.I guess they were like the socks in the washing machine. No one had an explanation of where they might have gone.I think I might have a few pans and lids left,myself, stashed away somewhere, since 1966.The knobs have all come off the lids, and some of the handles, but the company that was suppose to be on hand with their  lifetime deal has long since vanished ,too.The pans if used in the proper manner would have been wonderful, but I never had the patience to set it up the way it was suppose to work,or maybe,back then I could not afford enough foods to fill three pans to stack and cook them the way it was suppose to be used.Nevertheless, that is the story of my first major purchase,as a mature 18 year old with my first REAL MONEY to spend as I saw fit.(My second purchase was a sewing machine, and that's another day's story.)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Mardi Gras King Cake

picture taken from the  link below
My Mother was raised in South Louisiana, so we know all about the Kingcake.Each year, our first cousin,Lonnie Deroun, sends Mom one,two,or maybe even three King Cakes.This  year she sent three. We have a big family and,too,Mom likes sharing the cakes with company.She doesn't have coffee drinkers,per se, like we do at my house,on a daily basis,but she does have several visitors most days.One of Mom's neighbors gets her mail each day, and a couple of others take spells of sitting around chatting with Mom,just to be sure she is O K,I'm sure. They have always kept a close watch on her for us,and we do appreciate that.When the weather is pretty,they all gather on her little porch and visit for a few minutes.Sometimes longer.They are good company for Mom, since loosing much of her eyesight, there is not a lot that she can do otherwise.I have never attempted to make a King Cake,but this may be the year,I'll try.It seems like a very simple cake to make.
 
http://news.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474979124594

Ladybug or Asian Beetle?


Thanks, Farmchick, for giving me a reason to use this picture of the ladybugs. It is from a roll of border which I ran across lately, and was hoping to use it on my blog. As I said in a previous post, I miss assembling the little bulletin boards that I used in my job as cafeteria manager.Now, using similar ideas with my blog,gives me the same satisfaction.Since you spoke of the ladybugs, I thought some folks might like to know that those pesty little lookalike bugs, that are so worrisome at times,with their coming indoors,are not the same.I found this youtube piece on the other bugs(Asian beetles).
For the last several years, we have been inundated with the Asian Beetle,which looks a lot like the ladybug,with the exception of it's color.The ladybug is red with black dots. The other is a dull brownish orange color,with black dots. I understand they are both good bugs,since they both feast on aphids, but the Asian Beetle can be a nuisance at times. If your house is not airtight,they will get in.And like the video says,Do not smash them. They smell horrible.I have a couple of sheds where I store lots of things that are not needed at the moment, and they get in there,by the thousands.You can find a lot of them sandwiched between cardboard boxes.They love snuggling up in close places,like in your walls.I guess I should be thankful they are Asian Beetles,and not  bedbugs or roaches.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bT60L6Qfvs

Monday, March 7, 2011

Bobcats in Kentucky

Sometime this morning, our yard dog,Bear, began barking, and that usually means there is some type of wildlife stirring on our property.I glanced out the kitchen window,just in time to see a bobcat,standing in the middle of the road. Bear will not go too close to the animal,but she will rush out in it's direction, barking loudly.I won't say she's afraid,just optimistically cautious.She is a smart dog.Nevertheless, the bobcat turned, and retreated to the cover of the woods.
I did some research on bobcats in Kentucky,and found that they are not as uncommon as I had thought. I guess we just don't see them that often, therefore, I figured there were not that many in our state.The last time I had seen one was in 2007 or 08, during the time the county was putting in the county waterlines in our area.




I have pulled up this chart showing the map of Kentucky and how many cats had been harvested during the year of 2009 .I guess by harvested, they mean killed.From the diagram, it appears there were 21 to 30 bobcats harvested in our county that year.I was amazed at this figure since they are such a rare animal to see in my area.(I have circled my county.)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Trying Out My New Toy and Leah Has Guests


Today is the first day for me to try my new laptop in my craft room.It is very awkward,but hopefully,I will adjust to it soon. My grand daughter is here with me today, and she likes for me to be near her,at all times,when she is here,regardless as to what she is doing. She is playing with her many Barbie dolls in the adjoining room,unaware that I am blogging.She usually gets upset,if my attention is on the computer,or anything else,for that matter,but I think she has adjusted to spending time alone,with her own thoughts and entertaining herself more,now that she is getting older.I am so glad she is learning to do that.
Today,Leah has 3 of Connie,grand daughters over to play for awhile today.Connie is from Granny's Sewing Room.The girls are near Leah's age and since her brother,John did not come with her today,she wanted the girls to come by for a visit.When John comes over, and there are 4 little girls present,he goes hog wild showing out. Way too much showing off for my nerves to handle,so today was a good day for the 3 girls to visit Leah.Leah wanted a clubhouse built in the basement, since it was rather cool outdoors, so rather than drag out the usual cardboard boxes and every other imaginable building materials, I decided to get Pop's turkey blind from the garage. It fit just perfect in the basement living area near the stove.We filled it up with blankets and pillows,and they made hot chocolate for themselves.They took a sachet around the yard once or twice, checking out the chickens and John's F-150, which  wasn't charged up enough to drive around the yard.Besides, it was a little too muddy.They didn't linger long outdoors,till their grand father pulled up to take them back home. It was a short visit, but I think they enjoyed it anyway.Leah is forever wanting them over or begging to visit them, but I am always afraid they will be too much for either Connie or I to handle for very long,especially indoors. Hopefully, this summer they will be old enough to spend a little more time together, without constant supervision.We both have enough ground for them to explore that is in plain view of the kitchen window.

My Home Page


http://www.aolhealth.com/condition-center/osteoporosis/tips-recipes?icid=maing%7Cmain5%7Cdl5%7Csec1_lnk3%7C48537

When I first turn on my computer in the morning,whether it be at 4 a.m. or 6 a.m.,I find lots of great information. Much of it is regarding the latest news, but much of it is related to health issues that are of great concern to  me and my health.Health is one of the subjects that catches my eye quickly.I suppose because I am getting older and find it covers many of my health issues.My Mom is 23 years older than myself, and from dealing with her issues,I am educating myself for down the road. One of the main concerns with Mom or really  the elderly in general,is their bones breaking.When someone reaches Mom's age,85 or so,danger of tripping and falling is a high on their list of worries.Mom is very concerned about it. She fell,just this month, and hit her head and knocked herself unconscious.She has many other issues, some of which might have caused the fall, but nevertheless, falling is forever on her mind,and breaking a bone or two,in the process,is usually the end result. It is very difficult for folks Mom's age,to recover from a broken bone,in most cases. The number one reason for the bones breaking is the insufficient intake of calcium over ones life time.By the time you reach my age, it is hard to compensate for the lack of calcium over the past 50 plus years.This is the reason I have posted on the link above. It includes lots of other great and information, but the main topic of interest for me this morning was on Calcium and the 28 ways to prevent osteoporosis. I think that is a wonderful piece on the many ways to get calcium.I plan to utilize as many of the suggestions as possible.I will be adding all of the things mentioned,to my shopping list immediately.

Another great product that my family believes in is a nutritional drink by the name of Ensure.It is a little costly, but the store brand seems to be just as good. It runs about $1. per 8 ounce bottle.I tell this story often to elderly folks with medical problems.A good friend of my familiy's,who has since passed on, lived to be in her late 90's,very close to 100 years old. She had fallen and broke both a hip and a shoulder at the same time,a few years before she died, and she began to drink this product on a regular basis.To her doctor's amazement,her bones were healed in 5 weeks.The doctor could not believe it.And at her age, that was miraculous.We all contributed it to the product Ensure, and our family began using it to speed up recovery from any ailment we might have.It is on many of my family's grocery lists now,on a regular basis. Pop is 73 and I am 63, and we keep several bottles in the fridge daily. Only time will tell whether it is helping us or not, but we are rarely ever sick, and that's a bonus in itself.My motto regarding this is"If you always do, what you've always done,you'll always get, what you've always had." I'm hoping in this case"our health remains good", if we continue to use this product.(but we will be adding the new items listed in the post above.)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Two Banners at Once

a banner to display during July

I finished the baby quilt,and a set of curtains I was redoing for a friend.I've crocheted several more dish cloths,using a different type of thread,a much heavier cotton thread.Since I already had my sewing machine out, I whipped up this little wall hanging/banner. The one side is in a Fourth of July theme.The reverse side is going to be more of a Fall theme when I'm finished.I like a little on that side.I'll add some words,hopefully.

I found the center piece,which is a placemat,and decided to incorporate it into my little hanging.Thus giving me a banner of sorts for Fall.My thought process is slow,but I'll mull it over for a few days and come up with the words to applique somewhere on the blue fabric.

When I was working, one of my favorite things to do,was to decorate my 8 little bulletin boards with cute and catchy pictures and sayings. I am trying to get back into that type of thing through using some of my other skills and supplies. Sometimes, I think I loved doing the boards more than any other part of my job.No matter what else was going on in my job,usually stressing me out,I could unwind by working with my bulletin boards.It was peaceful and relaxing to my mind.But then anything was better than paperwork.

Hopefully,I will be making a few more of these banners throughout the upcoming weeks,as I get a break on occasion,from the yard and gardening chores.And that's right around the corner.

Enjoy your Craft of Choice.It's a lot cheaper than some types of therapy.

Another Gift Of Love

As I have stated many times in the past,I am not a quilter,per se. I love to make a quilt now and then. Mostly small ones that can be finished quickly. I don't cut and measure,like real quilters do. I don't, as a rule, layout my plan for the arrangement of my quilt pieces.I just play it all by ear, and hunt amongst my fabric bins until I find something that matches,or suits me at the moment,depending on what the purpose of the finished piece might be. When I started this little quilt, I had no special person in mind to give it to, but during the time I was working on it, I learned that a young friend of ours,so we are hearing,had lost her job, due to the fact she had become pregnant and was not married. That,in my opinion,is sad. If a child happened to be caught up in this situation,but is willing to work and take care of her needs,by way of her job, one must respect her for that. Instead,due to appearances,we're afraid,she is not allowed to work, and most likely will seek government help to get through her situation.The child that I speak of, has had a horrible life up to this point,and I feel the job situation will only make her life more unbearable. I think she is a mere 17  or 18 years old,and still lives at home with her Mom.She had dropped out of school,the reasons why, I do not know,but she was taking classes at home, through the use of her computer.That,too,showed she was trying to help herself. I think,by me knowing so many of the happenings in her family's lives,is  the reason I am drawn to her,causing me to think and worry more about her so much nowadays. She may have been to young to know and understand much of what has happened in her family,but still she was trying so hard to pull herself up by her bootstraps, and make a better life for herself.I have lost contact with her as of late,but hope to reconnect  with her soon.I can only hope that the decision to leave her job,was her own and not her employers.I am hoping that this little gesture of kindness will let her know she is special,and there are still folks in this cruel world who truely care.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Brendie,this is for you!

Sorry.I had no one present to take a picture of me wearing my apron.
More About Aprons
These verses were sent to me at different times from different folks,and I'm not sure of the authors.Sorry!

#1

For those of us OLD enough to remember the aprons that our Mothers and Grandmothers wore, this will bring back lots of memories. For those of you that AREN'T, just read and use your imagination!
Remember making an apron in Home Ec? Read below:
The History of 'APRONS'
I don't think our kids know what an apron is.
The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, because she only had a few.
It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses, and aprons used less material.
But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.
It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.
From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.
When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.
And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms.
Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.
Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.
From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.
After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.
In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.
When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.
When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folks knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.
It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.



#2
HER UNIFORM

Each morning upon rising,
she dressed to face the day.
No robe or house dress adorned her.
She prepared to go her way.

But first an apron wrapped her,
made on the treadle Singer machine.
As if her task might soil her dress,
that the apron must keep so clean.

Some wear their apron part-time
or while doing a specific thing.
But Mother wore hers every day,
except on the day when the church bells ring.
After church was over,
and she returned to her home,
the first thing that happened
was to get a clean apron on.
Her aprons are now folded
away in some dark drawer.
The home place is quiet, too,
wondering what for it is in store.

The mother in the apron
is remembered each time we enter there,
where her apron made her special,
made us want to be close and near.

The apron that kept her dress so clean
also wiped away many a tear,
is remembered as a symbol
of how much she really cared.

She never worked for wages
or labored in a plant,
but her family was well-cared for
by this mother that Heaven sent

#3

From the garden,

it carried all sorts of vegetables.
After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the husks.
In autumn, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from
the trees.
When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how
much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.
When dinner was ready. Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved
her apron, and the men fold knew it was time to come in from the
paddocks to dinner.
It will be a long time
Before someone invents something that will replace that ‘old-time
apron' that served so many purposes.

REMEMBER:
Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to
cool.
Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill
to thaw.
They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were
on that apron.
I never caught
Anything from an apron
But Love.

Another neat site.
http://tipnut.com/free-apron-patterns-tutorials/

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Luffa Sponge


This picture was copied from the Burgess Seed and Plant Co. Catalog


http://www.luffa.info/luffagrowing.htm


I pulled up this link, just in case some were not familiar with the loofah plant. I have grown them myself and love using the sponges in my bath,in my facial cleansing procedures,and even in dish washing,although I've not tried it on the trucks as of yet. I have been wondering why I haven't heard more about this particular sponge, since so many of the bloggers I'm following, are into soap making. I have seen catalogs where you can purchase the sponge with different types of home made soap infused into the fibers of the sponge.Is this sponge not grown in other areas?It seems to me that it would be a wonderful addition to many of the soapers product lines.Since it is used in bathing, for dish washing, and even for car washing,it only seems logical that it would be a great addition.I definitely plan to grow them myself,again this year.I have been reading a bit more about the loofah, and find it is edible at certain stages of growth.I was not aware of that fact, but I am game even in that area. I may try cooking a few before letting them mature to the sponge stage. I love to try my hand at growing new and different plants on occasion.I may even find I like eating them, as well.