Thursday, November 29, 2012

Regifting My Collectibles

 My collectibles have become overwhelming. Although I do love them, even I, know enough is enough. My attachment to them is a hard thing to shake, but I do enjoy, working with my gift bags, where I am using a combination of my crafts and my collectibles. The picture is of my latest project. The box  that I have used for my sleigh was simply a wooden box given to me by a friend.I never knew what it's purpose was. Possibly to hold paper files.I'm sure it was made by her son-in-law, since I know he is into wood crafts. This little wooden box has always stuck me as a good starting point for a sleigh. So,here it is. I cut out and assembled the runner parts and the brackets to fit them to the under side of the box.I painted them black to look more like metal.Then I filled all of the pits on the box,sanded it, and repainted it. Then I ran a strand of gold beads all around the edges.The collectibles inside the sleigh are several of the tree ornaments I have received over the years, while I was still working, from various times the staff all drew names.The little rein deer was in a bunch of crafts that I purchased from a friend who was going out of the craft business. I had a similar deer, but mine is a cut out that can be assembled and then disassembled when not in use.I am keeping it for a pattern later.I used some gold cord and put together a harness ,of sorts, for the reindeer.I know nothing about harnesses, so forgive me if it doesn't look much like a harness.I will be offering this grouping at the up coming auction to raise money for my sister-in-law's funeral expenses. Hopefully with the Christmas holidays just around the corner, someone will purchase it to add to their own holiday decorations. I am very pleased with this project.I am almost tempted to keep it for myself, but I'm sure,that would defeat my whole purpose of putting it together.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Finding My Niche

Due to a unfortunate occurrence, I think I am finally finding my niche in life. Well, maybe not my life, since I will be going on Medicare in February,but a peaceful and relaxing way to spend my retirement time. I am enjoying tremendously, my new found craft. Assembling gift bags. I have been toying with this idea for some time now, but I have just lately,decided to put a little more effort into it.Pop's sister passed away this past month, and her finances were such that the family had no funds for her burial. Her family, friends, and community have organized an auction and soup supper to help raise money for the burial expenses. It's heart wrenching to see just how many folks will gladly lend a helping hand in a time like this. The auction is a few days away, but appears to be coming together nicely, even though many of us have never had the experience of putting one together,from square one.There may be a few flies in the ointment, but overall, I think folks will understand, we are doing it for a good cause, even though we know nothing about organizing and setting up an entire auction.

I pictured one of my gift bags in my last post, and I am posting another today. I have been working with Mom lately, more than normal, since her Alzheimer's is worsening, but tonight, Vicki,one of my sisters, of My Favorite Things, is staying with her, to give me a little more time to create more gift bags and to gather up a few of my cherished collectibles to donate to the auction.(Pop is happy about that.)It has always been so hard for me to let go of my crafts and my collectibles, but with this cause,it has become much easier.I guess I am beginning to see that there are more important things in life than having pretty things around you.It is so sad to think it took a death to make me realize that.

I am a bit nervous over the upcoming auction, as I am sure the other participants are, but hopefully, it will all come together soon, and all will be just fine. I will post more about it as it happens.

The little gift box that I have made tonight is a sewing box,filled with a few of my little collectibles. A pretty pin cushion I dearly love, with lots of pretty pins and needles,a tiny jar filled with several tiny spools of thread(that's one of my handmade toppers on the jar),and a tiny book of Chicken Soup for the Christmas Soul.I worked on the little sewing box tonight after spending the biggest portion of the day with Mom and Vicki.

Mom had a regular doctor's appointment,and Dr. Green had her to go to Radiology for an x-ray on her hip.She fell two or three times this past three months.Rita and I felt nothing was broken, and we found out today that it wasn't,but she evidently had pulled or strained some muscles and bruised herself in a few places.She is healing slowly, but loosing strength in her legs from her inactivity.Dr. Green recommended she do as many leg lifts as possible,daily. She is pretty weak in her legs, but I think she is willing to try it.She hates being unable to carry on with her activities like she once did.She fell the first time while raking leaves in her yard.She has always been so active,it has to be hard to accept that you can no longer do the things you once did on a daily basis.She will be 87 in January.

After we finished at the hospital, we went out for a nice leisurely lunch at Captain D's.It was nice.When we returned to Mom's home, we found that Rita had dropped by on her way to work at Walmart, and left several dishes of goodies left over from her family's Thanksgiving meal on Saturday.Looks like Mom and Vicki will be eating good again tonight.Rita will be staying the night with Mom when she gets off at 9 p.m.It's a struggle figuring out a schedule so that Mom is never alone any more, but so far we are managing.Our families understand that we must do what needs doing, when it's required, and so far it's working out without a lot of stress on anyone,thanks to Vicki's help. Alzheimer's is a horrible disease. I feel for anyone who has to care for a family member with it. Alzheimer's knows no age. It is affecting younger folks,more and more, every day.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Duty Calls

There has been a lot going on in my life for the last few weeks, so I have not been posting. I do miss blogging, but when Duty Calls, we must respond.Mom has gotten a lot worse with her Alzheimer's disease,so we sisters are having to spend a lot more time with her. It is not safe to leave her alone any longer.Someone must be with her around the clock.

Pop lost a sister and we have been working on a Benefit Auction to help the family with the funeral expenses. Between these two obligations, there's little time for much else.

Today being Thanksgiving, Mom spent a couple of days and nights with other siblings. Mary and Vicki were having several other family members in to share their Big Day, so it was nice that Mom was up to being part of their day.It does her good to spend time with some of the other children who are not as much in the loop of caring for her as Rita and I have been.Rita was freed up to have Thanksgiving with her children and Pop and I got to spend time with some of his family.We stayed later than usual, over at the home of the son who had just lost his Mother. I'm sure it was comforting to the entire family, to have their Mother's one remaining sister and two brothers, plus numerous cousins, around them for the holiday.We had a nice meal with everyone bringing in a dish or two, then they all gathered around for a game of Cornhole,followed by an hour or two of watching home movies.A really nice day.

This picture above is one of my latest projects. This is one of my favorite things to do. Match up different articles and colors and put together an appealing gift package.These two colors make up one of my most favorite combinations.I think it evokes thoughts of Peaches and Cream.This particular set includes two mug rugs,a coffee mug with a Mother's verse,a pencil holder,a dish washing cloth,a wall hanging with a nice verse, and a catch-all tray to match. I think I would appreciate a gift like this,so hopefully, others will,too.

I have been compiling a few of these types of gift boxes for the auction, and I am enjoying that tremendously.It is very calming to me to work on these types of things. It takes my mind off of my problems better than anything else I could do.It's great therapy.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Getting Ready for Trick or Treat Night

I had several soup cans accumulated here lately, and I was wanting to get more into making Christmas arrangements, so I needed a project to use up a lot of the cans quickly. While doing a bit of shopping yesterday, I ran across a roll of duct tape with candy corn printed on it.I had no reason for buying it, but thought it might come in handy in my crafting sometime,so I bought it to add to my supplies. Who knows when I'll ever find a roll like that again.

Well, today, it hit me. Use the cans up by making pencil holders for my Trick or Treat visitors. Perfect! I rummaged through my supplies and found a can of black spray paint. Perfect again!So I got to work. Within an hour or two, I had made up 25 cans. That's about all the visitors we get way back here at 40th and Plum. I'll fill some baggies with candy and tie them up with an orange thread or ribbon..
Who could ask for a nicer treat, and I've solved my problem of moving the cans quickly.

Our Pond Do-Over

I've posted about our new pond and how a sink hole broke out in it, and we lost all the water we had gotten so excited about.We dammed up the little bit of water that remained, and Pop worked for days trying to patch the sink hole to no avail.Finally he decided to build up the walls of the pond right across the patched sinkhole, thus making our pond a bit smaller, but still big enough to hold enough water for the deer and other wildlife to drink.Pop had heard about a product that was suppose to help seal ponds, so he went up town and purchased 6 bags,about 80 pounds each. It was a fine gray powder which looked alot like cement.We sprinkled the material all around the outer edges of the pond, and then he took the tractor and disc and worked it in the ground good. I then took Ole Rose,our big tractor, and made about 20 circles around the pond,packing it down as best I could. Then we waited for rain. We did get a very light rain last night, and the small portion of the pond on the right, is holding some water. We are expecting more rain possibly tonight or Friday.We'll definitely need a little more rain to tell if the pond is going to hold this time,but if we can only keep the small pond we have now, we will be content.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bye Bye Peanuts

When I began this post today, this was all that was left of the peanuts from the four plants I grew in my garden this year.I harvested about 4 cups total and after a lot of experimenting, I think I have finally got the hang of it. 
Next year, I will cover the vines with extra soil,something I failed to do this year. That should bring in a better yield of peanuts for next year's crop.
Hopefully,I'll get them in the ground a little earlier than I did this year.
Right before the first expected frost,I'll dig the peanuts.
I will wash them really good and pluck them from the roots of the plants.
Next, I will cover them with salt water and let them soak for several days.
Then I will air dry them or put them in the dehydrator until they are totally dry.
Then I will put them on a cookie sheet and toast them in a warm oven for a few hours, turning them every once in awhile.

I'm not sure if this is the correct procedure, but I am well pleased with the results of my first try at raising peanuts, so it can't be too far from correct.

I hope Pop had not planned to eat more of the peanuts,for they are now history.

There's Peace in Pastels

When I browse through some of the many beautiful pages of pictures posted by Carolyn over at Aiken House & Gardens, I get such an overwhelming feeling of peace. I love the pastel colors throughout her pages, and more specifically, the pink roses. I love pink roses.

I decided to make something that brings peace to me,even though it is not really a practical project.I worked on it incessantly, until it was finished, simply because I wanted to see if I could produce something that would bring me such a feeling of peace, just by having it in my presence.I say it's not practical, because a hot pad or a mug rug will inevitably, get soiled when used, and I hate to use these little pads for that reason. I may just hang them on the wall in a frame. I have done that before,although I have never cared to make things just to look at. Most of my projects have a purpose and are usable.

I'm not real sure what it is about this color combination,peach and antique white but it definitely does evoke peace for me.Nevertheless, here they are. Two little mug rugs,of sorts.Now, finding a special place for them is my next task.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Critiquing my Creations

I'm satisfied with this one with the Ducks.
With Scarecrow(I may retouch this one. It's a bit too much)
This one needs something more.
I may rework the sign placement but other than that, I'm happy with this one.
From Last years experimenting.
                     Now I'm off to the woods to gather more embellishments.This is such fun.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Happy Harvest!

   Happy Harvest to All
       My Blogger Friends!    

Friday, October 12, 2012

My Pink Potting Table

My Potting Table is pink today,and even though it's really pretty, that's not the final coat.

I made this potting table a few years ago to use in my potting shed. My Potting Shed never got a roof, so I decided to do something else with my table before the weather destroyed it totally.I built it from used lumber and it was rough wood, so the wood was really soaking up my paint.I had only a small amount of my favorite paint, the barn red paint,so I found a can of pink that wasn't going to be used for anything else in the near future.Hopefully,now the red I do have will be enough to give it a final coat. If not, I'll try to get the local guys at the Do-It-Center to mix me more. I haven't had much luck in getting the same color mixed again. The original can was one I picked up at a consignment shop, so it's hard to match.The name on the can says Salem Red, but I love it and I call it Barn Red.I use a lot of that color for my crafts.

 As a matter of fact, I have been making a few more of my little bird house/barn/house type crafts that I love making in the Fall and Winter. Yes! I think I will definitely need more red paint.

Peace and Contentment From a Jar

I 've started making these little jar toppers this past few weeks and am enjoying it thoroughly.My pattern stems from a small doily that I picked up somewhere in the past, that pleased me so. I don't usually follow directions when I crochet, but I can usually look at a pattern and copy it pretty close.My Mother use to do a little crocheting, years ago, when she was younger and had better eyesight, and I remember her using a pattern on occasion. I tried, but never tried hard enough(I guess I just wasn't interested enough at that time) to learn the different stitches and follow the directions,but that has been my way of doing things my entire life. Just wing it.

Each Fall and Winter, it usually happens this way.I start making a particular item, and I continue making that same item, over and over. I have spent several Winters doing this. It is like an uncontrollable habit now.

The pattern for the little jar toppers varies from one to another. I keep finding different things I want to try with each one, but the finished project usually pleases me just the same.

 I have so many different colors of thread that I have collected from consignment stores and the like. It is such a joy matching up the ribbon and the thread.Next will come the little labels that I enjoy making as well, and of course, deciding what to put inside of each little jar.

 I have decided to try adding a few of my embellishments that I assemble for the tree and gift wrapping.It seems,with each new jar topper, a new idea pops into my head.I get so excited when working with Fall and Winter crafts. I know it must be the color that affects me that way.It has to be sinful to get such pleasure from working with these tiny crafts. Especially, since the cost of my supplies is so little. In many cases, I am using recycled materials

.I hope everyone gets as much peace and contentment from their favorite crafts as I am enjoying with mine.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fall and Gift Jar Toppers

Fall is such a beautiful time of the year. Some flowers take a second growth, after the long hot dry year we have had this summer, and others are showing their beautiful faces for the first time.

The huge aster bushes are finally filling out with thousands of tiny violet colored daisy like flowers. They are one of my favorite flowers. I think they bring back memories of the peaceful times of my Grandmother's day. The aster has been a mainstay in many a yard, especially in the yards of the older generations. I have given starts to lots of folks in the past 40+ years.It is definitely one of the highlights of my Fall flower gardens. Hopefully, by another year, I can start several new plants all around our new property.

With the cooler days of Fall upon us,I tend to busy myself a bit more with indoor crafts.I spent a day in the shop last week cutting and sanding tiny pieces of wood for making more pumpkins for my Fall crafts, but Christmas is drawing near, so some of my thoughts are definitely on that,too.

One of the things I have been making for the Christmas Holidays is the little jar topper which I have come to love.I found one at a consignment shop, and that gave me the idea to try one for myself. I didn't use that particular pattern, but found one I had stashed away, that struck my fancy. I have been making the toppers ever since.I plan to display a few of them in the craft bazaar soon to see how they might sell. Surely, they would make a nice gift,if only to say "I was thinking of you."You could fill a little jar with whatever you choose.Nuts,candy,jams or jellies,money....the list is endless as to what you could use(and they could use the topper to pass a gift along to someone of their choosing).

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Peanuts and Sweet Potatoes

This has been my first try at growing peanuts, and it hasn't been very successful. I planted about a dozen hills, but only four survived to maturity. I pulled them up last night, hoping they were done, but now, I am not sure. I failed to do enough research on them, and I may have pulled them to early. I don't know what to do with them now that they are pulled and cleaned.I soaked a couple of cups in salt water hoping to give them a better taste, but I don't know anything about what I need to do with them. I put the remainder of the  nuts in the dehydrator, but they still don't taste like I was hoping.Pop says his Mamaw used to toast them in an old iron skillet and they tasted better, but in my opinion, they wouldn't win any blue ribbons.I put one or two nuts, after shelling them,in the skillet with the cornbread I was cooking for supper, and it tasted a bit more like I was used to, but a long way from being perfect. Hopefully, I will toast a few tomorrow in the iron skillet,wit a little salt and butter,and,hopefully, they will taste better. The salt is missing, for one thing, and unsalted peanuts are a long way from the the top of my favorite food list.Maybe the ones I'm soaking in salt will be better after the drying and toasting. Regardless of how they turn out, this has been an experience I will not soon forget. Maybe, next year with a little more research and one years experience under my belt, all will go better.

Pop had a much better turn out on his 12 hills of sweet potatoes. We don't eat that many, but we do enjoy raising a few, and we love seeing them grow.I'll put a few in a jar of water for house plants, then we'll have slips to grow another bunch next year.Pop's Mamaw always grew one in a jar, and it brings back fond memories for him.

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Dog's Life

Pop felt this would be a great story to share on Facebook. I may get to that later, but for now, I think it will make a nice story for my blog.Pop doesn't know much about blogging, but he hears quite a bit about Facebook from his two daughters and myself,but with the grand daughter, it is another story.Every time I snap a picture, she comments,"Don't tell me. It's going on your blog."The little brat.She does that to bug me, so I have learned to ignore her when she says that, and that bugs her.

Nevertheless, Pop wanted me to mention that HE leads a dog's life, but HE has to get in line.

This incident was a rare one. Three dogs in the house.We don't have three house dogs. Lily is our only house dog,and we do have two semi-house cats.Speckles is the new pup that snuck in when the door was open this morning, and the third dog belongs to the grandchildren.We are dog sitting for them while they take their vacation.They have been spending a little time in Florida during fall break.

I can see now why folks charge so much to dog sit for others. Abby is old and she is very cantankerous.She follows me every step, usually when I am in the kitchen. She is constantly begging for food. She wants to be rubbed when she sleeps. It's like caring for an infant child,but she is very old, so we must coddle her a bit.  I do love my pets, but they learn early on, that I am too busy to have a needy pet.I know that sounds a little selfish, but for the most part, our pets are very well treated and they know it.

 I know Abby misses her family, but she seems pretty relaxed, there by my feet as I type up my blog.

Yes, Pop I think you're right. It seems you do lead a dog's life in many ways. You both even sound a lot alike when you snore.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Lucky vs. Mockingbird

I have written a few times about Lucky and the Mockingbird, but today I do not have a sweet story to tell. I can only assume from the long pretty feathers that I've found on the carport,that Lucky has eaten his friend, the Mockingbird. I know there are lots of Mocking birds around, but this one had gotten so use to playing with Lucky, I fear he might have let his guard down, just a bit too much.

I do love my Cats, but it's times like that that I tell myself, "Never will I, ever again, have another cat when these are gone". I know that cats are predators  and they do things like this,daily. I just simply don't usually see it. Today the feathers on my doorstep,broke my heart to think of the dreadful death the bird must have endured, and to be eaten by your friend. What could be worse?

I'll never know if it was truly the same bird that appears in my yard frequently, but the thought of Lucky eating such a beautiful bird, disturbs me. Why couldn't it have been a dreadful,annoying,pests, like the Starling?

Monday, October 1, 2012

I'm Back Online,But...

After worrying myself silly about what I need to do, I decided to junk the older computer(5 years old) and get a new one. The folks I have been talking to, about my case, say it's most likely out dated enough to warrant getting a new one. Five years, that runs about $100. a year. I guess,considering the pleasures I have gotten from the use of my computer,it's worth that much,but that doesn't include all of the extra expenses that go along with owning a computer.There's security.That's always be a puzzle to me,not knowing which one to use. There are so many things out there that you need to be protected from, it's hard for a person with no computer skills at all, to know what they need. I keep thinking I'll see what our local college offers along that line, but then I must consider Mom's condition. I need to be available when she needs help,especially with her being in the early stages of Alzheimer's. You never know what her needs will be at any given moment, so again, my wishes must be put on hold a bit longer. Maybe I'll get to take a few classes before I reach 70 years of age,but five years passes very quickly,barring any unforeseen problems with MY health.

My mind has been so bombarded here lately, with these two problems, I have had not time to think of blogging. Blogging is a great release for me, so I really would love to get back to it, but there are so many other responsibilities that get first priority any more,it will have to wait.

.Hopefully, things will lighten up for me soon, and I can get back to it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

There's Something About Fall

There's something about Fall that brings out the desire to do some Fall related crafting, more so than any other time. I think it has something to do with the bright Fall colors. When I begin to see all of the bright oranges,yellows, and golds, of Fall, I want to make something Fallish. I love working with Fall colors and trying my hand at creating new things, mostly from recycled materials.Plus,I work a lot with wood scraps.

One of the projects I started lately, is a cabinet to hold some of my gardening supplies on the back porch. I had a shelf already, but it was so unsightly, I wanted to make it more appealing to the eye. Sorry! I failed to take a picture of it before I began my up grade.It was just a home made open set of shelves.

I'm reusing the wood from an old picnic table that was always in the way.

It's amazing what a coat of paint will do.
This is it so far. I am so pleased with the way it is turning out,I have another small set of shelves I got from my sin-in-law this past weekend, that I will be painting and adding to the base cabinet.
I've been thinking, instead of using the cabinet for storing my gardening tools and supplies in, it would make a nice piece for Pop to use when cooking outdoors on the grill or maybe in the basement for a snack serving table.Some of my pretty cups I have collected would look nice on the little top section of shelves.Who knows where it will end up,but,rest assured, where ever it is,(I think) it will look good. I am so pleased with it.I need to add knobs and a magnet or button or some type of fastener to keep it closed.Not sure if I will simply set the small set of shelves directly on top of the base set, or put a back on it, and raise the little set up higher.That would look nice, too.I am planning it as I go, so we'll just have to revisit the finished project later.
and after
(And to think my SIL was headed to the dump with this little jewel.Go figure!)

Why Do Women Strive to Do More?

As I was going through my list of posts today, I have found many posts still in draft. No matter what the reason for not finishing them, I may go ahead and try to post them soon. I figure, in most cases, my thoughts about certain things probably changed mid stream, before I got around to hitting the publish button.Some times, that might be a good thing. Put my thoughts down in black and white, then discard them.I understand that's a good form of therapy.
(from an old post left in draft)

I have been reading more and more about coconut oil and memory lately. I even ordered myself 2 bottles of Coconut Oil Capsules. The recommended dosage on the bottle is 2 capsules a day. You should see the capsules. I'm guessing each one holds a tablespoon. I have never taken coconut oil, but I have taken Castor Oil in my lifetime. It was the yuckiest thing I have ever tasted. I wonder if coconut oil tastes as bad,and maybe that's the reason it's in those huge gel capsules. It's recommended that you take it with a meal, and I guess the reason being, it would most likely hurt your stomach if taken on an empty stomach,so I have been trying to take it as it says. I still notice some discomfort in my stomach. I guess since I have been dieting, I am not putting enough in my stomach to mix with it thoroughly,and any kind of oil on an empty stomach can't be all that good.

Nevertheless, it may be in my head, but I do seem to feel more energetic. It may be the weather, since we did get a little rain, and it has cooled down considerably.Then,there's the rat race of dealing with extra company all week and the responsibility of entertaining them, has passed.Things have slowed down to a more normal pace. Whatever the reason, things are a little calmer around the Nugent household today. (Yesterday was a different story. I had to babysit both Grandchildren.Those two at once is no picnic.I have never understood how Connie,next door, manages with her six,many times, all at once.)

The reason I chose this topic today, is mainly because I have done a full day's work, before Pop got out of bed and/or the house.I am ready for a nap. I was thinking while I worked this morning,Why do most women strive to do more and more, when they already run circles around their man. There may be an exception to this rule, as there usually is, but it has been my experience in talking to more and more women, that this is the case in their household,too. Women can see 10,000 things that need doing,at any given minute of the day, and men see very few, if any at all.

I guess it's the nurturing/mothering gene in us women that drives us. We are constantly feeling that we need to take care of whatever needs taking care of. Do you think it's possible that men did not get that type of gene?I know there are a few cases where the man is obsessive about getting things done,whether it be around the house or in his own space.There's that 'exception to every rule' again. Pop can usually see things that need doing, but the desire to "do it" doesn't enter his mind.I guess it could partly be his age, but then I've noticed that for years in him.I have noticed him,many times, mentioning that something needs doing. Evidently, he thinks just mentioning it, will cause me to feel just guilty enough that I hadn't already got to it, to get to it now.When I get idle enough to start thinking along this line, I get very frustrated. That's why I try not to let myself get that idle.Some thoughts can bring you down for days,weeks,months, and even longer.In most cases, I try not to think negative thoughts. I don't have time for that.There's too many other projects waiting to fill my mind and lift my spirits.

(I try to check my Biorhythm on days like this. I'll bet I forgot to check it on this day.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Grandchildren Outing

This is what we had in mind, when we bought the new property. Spending time with the Grandchildren,doing lots of fun things in and around the woods.We have cleared paths for the four wheelers and walks in the woods. There is lots of downed wood for building campfires(when the conditions are right), and lots of hunting to be done, whether it be for rocks, mushroom, wild flowers,and last, but not least,animals such as rabbit, squirrel,bear,etc.The hunting part, we hope to keep at a minimum. Pop doesn't care as much about killing the little critters any more, as he once did. Maybe an occasional rabbit or squirrel for a meal, but for the most part, he enjoys watching them.As we grow older, it seems there is something peaceful and calming,about simply watching them play.The grandchildren are both taking interest in guns now, and Pop has always loved his guns, so I suppose it's natural that they should enjoy them,too, but I,personally, hope it is a passing stage. I have never cared for guns, and two of our three dogs don't seem to like them either. Lily is so frightened, she shakes all over and comes to me for protection when the guns start going off.Speckles doesn't react quite as badly, but I can tell, he doesn't care for them either. Bear is the yard dog, so she can venture out further when the guns sound off. The loud noise doesn't bother her as much.

We worked with the children, as their father asked us to, on gun safety and the proper handling of a gun when hunting. John has his Dad's antique BB gun(mistake) and Leah uses it and an old pellet gun of Pop's. Now and then Pop will let her shoot a 22 rifle. Leah is very careful and cautious when using a gun, but with John,it's going to be and uphill battle teaching him anything. He loves having and using  a gun,but hates the noise it makes.Personally, I think he is too immature to be using a gun of any kind, but convincing his Dad of that,is out of the question.

We did build a campfire for toasting marshmallows, and they set up the turkey blind,just for the novelty of it, but hopefully, with a little more planning, our next outing will be better.Pop and I took our lawn chairs, so we got to relax a bit and enjoy their outing,too. For our next outing, we plan to incorporate, the job of picking up a few more sticks off the newly sowed property,for using in our campfire.Maybe it won't seem so much like work(as long as they don't catch on to what we're doing).

A young friend dropped by, while we were out in the woods. She interviewed Pop and I for a Psychology class project.Very interesting. We hope to get a copy of her final paper.She bombarded us with a lot of big words, so hopefully, we didn't mess the interview up too badly, for her sake.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sweet Coincidence .

One day,this past week, Mom called, needing some help with her medicines. I was on my way to assist her,almost to her door, when I remembered it was Thursday.Thursday is the only day that, Paula,a friend from Mom's church,offers her delicious home made Eclairs. Paula owns My Father's House, a darling little coffee house/gift shop,there in Mom's town.The picture looked so good, I felt I just had to try one. Perfect! It's Thursday, I'm there in time. She tries to have them ready when she opens her shop, and she says they go like hot cakes.She even had to double the number she was making, in order to fill the requests she was getting.Maybe this would be my lucky day. I never plan to go that way on Thursday, but it just so happened,(Mom's former pastor says, "Nothing,just so happens") I needed to go on this particular day to help Mom.Sure enough,Paula still had eclairs. I purchased three, not being sure if one of the other sisters would be there or not. It didn't take Mom and I long to devour our eclair.As a matter of fact, they were so big and so rich, we could only eat half. Mom said for me to be sure and put her name on hers, so no one else would eat it. I labeled mine,too. Whenever, us sisters stay with Mom, we prepare the food for our meals while we're there .We try to utilize whatever is in the fridge from the previous sister's visit.Well, this little "goodie" was definitely going to be off limits, if we didn't get back to it right away.We can get them one to sample, another day.Sorry, girls.

It seems I got "the cart before the horse".I planned to get this post off before the one where I made my first eclairs, but oh, well. Here it is anyway.I wanted to post about the eclairs, just to tell this little story.

We went to the post office to deliver Mom's "Christmas Tree Package"(another story) to a friend, and I was telling the post office lady,Donna, about Paula's eclairs. I said she just had to try them, but they were only available on Thursdays.   As Mom and I were leaving the post office parking lot, I got the idea that we should go and get the ladies each an eclair for a special surprise.We headed that way to the coffee shop to get the eclairs, and another young lady came in,eyeballing our eclairs. I paid for mine and went on out to my truck and told Mom, I hope that was not one of the post office ladies, getting eclairs. Low and behold,it was. She returned to the post office about the same time as I did. I told them I sure hoped they had not just gotten eclairs for themselves. Yes, she had gone to get them each one, but Paula, told her that I had just bought them each one, so she returned empty handed. I gave them the eclairs and we all had a good laugh.

My First Try at Eclairs

I love to cook, but I take it by spells. If there is anything else that I enjoy more, going on in my life, cooking will have to take a back seat, and it does that quite often, but this little eclair thingy struck a chord with me. I felt I must do some research on how they are made. I thought I remembered the recipe involving hot water, and I know bagels are cooked that way, but my memory ended there. I had a vague memory of pop overs. Not sure if that was anything similar, or not, so I proceeded to do my "Research".I found a wonderful recipe for Chocolate Eclairs,on that appears to be quite simple,but as most cooks know,simple is not always as it seems.I will have to experiment a little to know if it is as simple as it sounds. Most likely,not.We'll have to see.Maybe, I'll post about my results later.I hope you noticed, I said,Maybe!

 Well, later has arrived. It was yesterday, as a matter of fact,and it wasn't as bad as I had anticipated. Most of the eight eclairs I made,are history. I will need to make another batch to take Mom her sample.The process was nothing near as bad as I had thought it would be. It was really simple, to say the least. I used an instant french vanilla pudding for my center(sorry). No whipped cream on hand to make the real filling recipe, and the sauce was a variation of the one in the recipe, but the results were close enough to suit me.You might say,I'm easy to please (on some things).Paula has a bit more experience than I, so maybe if I make the eclairs a few more times, I will get better(and fatter).

Terry,you really need to try this one.It was simple and lots of fun.You can take some short cuts on the filling and the sauce, or use your own choices for both, but the shell is what fascinated me by the way it was made.Who knew you could get such an end product from that beginning mixture?

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Remember the two boxes of jars someone set out on the side of my road? Did I mention there was a huge glass lid  in the box with the jars? Guess what? It is the lid to a 4-quart Corning Ware Dutch Oven. I bought the bowl part of this same oven, years ago at a yard sale for a mere $4. I've never used the bowl that much, since it had no lid, but those days are over. I am bringing it out of storage and I'll be using it more this winter, which is when I use my oven the most.I can already think of lots of things I'll be cooking in it.

I went on e-bay just out of curiosity, to see if I could find the Dutch Oven and low and behold, there it was with a price tag of $59.99.What a find! How lucky can one gal get? Now, if I don't mess around and break it. I do tend to do a lot more of that nowadays.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New Puppy

Pop came home from the Flea Market(I think he brought them all home on the puppy),and he was so excited. He had brought in a new puppy.He said he was afraid I would be upset. I don't know why he would think that. I am as much as an animal lover as he is. he has always been the one to hesitate on getting new dogs.Well, a Mennonite family had these puppies,said they were 1/2 Blue Healer and 1/2 Red Healer.That caught Pops attention,although it don't see red or blue anywhere on the dog. Only white with a few brown Speckles.(My suggestion for it's new name). Speckles(we'll call him for now) was covered with fleas. Pop and I undertook giving him a bath in flea shampoo in a tub of warm water. He took it tolerably well. Pop thinks he might have some Lab in him.They love water. Speckles seems to have taken up with me really quickly. I love to pet and cuddle with him and goo and gah and such.He likes me to rub his belly. His belly is really big. Not a good sign. Pop says we will take him to the vet and get him checked out soon. His gums are still fairly pink, but worms will probably be an issue. Then there are the shots required anymore for all dogs. You can have a lot invested in a new puppy before you know it. Our yard dog is getting older, so Pop wants Speckles to learn the ropes while Bear can still teach him.We have always had a good yard guard dog.They teach each other the boundaries of our property and if anyone steps on our property,they let us know immediately.I'll have an update now and then on progress with Speckles.    

I am my mother's daughter.

Yes, as much as I hate to admit it, I have many of my Mom's genes. Some,I try hard to suppress, more than others, but there are some that stick out a mile. There's no way,I could suppress them all.

Mom has done many of the crafts in her life time, that I am now doing today. She still has enough mind left to tell me about all of the things she use to make and do, but has no memory of things that happened five minutes ago.Her short term memory is taking a hit at present. Her long term memory is fine, to a point. She can tell me stories of things that have happened in her life,from the time she was a very small child.Strange how Alzheimer's works on the mind.

Nevertheless, Mom has been purging her home of every single thing she feels she no longer needs. I think she feels. in this way, she is making the job easier to us kids,after she is gone.Having to sort through all of her junk,which in most cases, means nothing to anyone but her.Pictured above are a few of the trinkets she has saved for me. She knows how I love to collect and use everything under the sun when making my crafts.In most cases, things others would toss in the trash, in a heartbeat. Every time I visit, she has a new collection waiting for me.I think I understand,somewhat,as to why Mom is drawn to all of these pretty trinkets.

Mom grew up very poor.She was born in 1946 during the Great Depression years, in the state of Louisiana.For most folks in that area,any material possessions were things your dreams were made of.  I don't know a lot about the state of Louisiana, but just from the stories I have heard from Mom, the area and the time in which she spent the early years of her life, were nowhere near the best.Folks all over the United States were poor and had problems, but I feel folks in that area, during that time, had some of the worst, although you can always look around and find folks who don't have it as good as you do.The conditions in which Mom grew up, were one of the factors that contributed to making her the strong lady she grew to be.You know the saying,"If it don't kill you, it will only make your stronger." That could apply to Mom's early life.Well, really,her entire life, if the truth be told. There are some who may not agree with what I say here, but then,Thank God, they have the freedom to feel the way they do.I feel that strength is built, largely,through the survival of hard times.The education you gain, through the hardships of your past, go with you, throughout your entire life. It can make you stronger, or it can eat away at you indefinitely. We have the ability to pick and choose which of the two, we want to fill our daily lives with.You can relive the past and bring yourself and everyone around you, down, or you can learn from the past and try to make the lives of everyone around you, better.Why put our friends and family through all of the heartache and pain that we had to endure? Personally,I choose to take the upper path, and try to make this a better life,in some little way,for all that I meet, every day of my life.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Free Canning Jars Anyone?

Here we are at 40th and Plum,40 miles from town and plum back in the sticks, and someone sets a couple of boxes of good (but dirty) canning jars out on the side of this little Road to Nowhere. Go figure. With the price of canning jars being through the roof nowadays,at 10 to 15 dollars a dozen,why would someone go to that much trouble? Why not set them out by their own mailbox with a sign FREE CANNING JARS? They would have saved a lot of gas and someone would have picked them up in a matter of minutes. If folks who do can foods see them and don't need them, most likely they know someone who does. I personally know several folks who are in need of canning jars. I have given away several dozens of my own jars this year to help others out, so I know the craft of canning is reviving.With the cost of foods, I feel more and more folks will be canning soon.

The little red nuts and bolts containers was an added bonus. It doesn't pay to be too proud these days. Friends dropped by and told me about the jars sitting on the side of our road because they know how I cherish my canning jars. Most folks in my community know that as well. Several local folks have donated me jars when my house burned and I was in need of a few more. Now it's my turn to help someone else out. I'll wash them and box them up and wait. Sooner or later, I will be asked if I know where to get some good cheap canning jars, and I'll be able to say,"Sure do! I've got extras! Help yourself!"

This Will Make Some Little Girl Happy

Can you guess what I used to make this pretty pencil holder? I just know Leah will have a little friend who would love a pretty pencil holder for her room. I used an old discarded purple sock, a discarded pink ribbon from one of the family's birthday parties, and a soup can. Who could ask for a less expensive,more useful, or a prettier gift. I can hardly wait to see what kind of response Leah gets from her friends when she offers it to some one at school.I love making others happy by giving them one of my pretty,recycled, but useful gifts.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Grandparent Day At Leah's School

Not the greatest shot of us, but Beggars Can't Be Choosers. Well,maybe we didn't need to beg, but I did have to ask one of the other parents to take a picture of us across the table.I would loved to have had to her take a few shots so I could have chosen the best one, but I am thankful she was willing to take the one for my blog,of course.We came a few minutes early to visit with some of the folks we knew. Like every other place we visit,we both know so many folks.Then I brought gifts for all of the cafeteria staff, and a couple of other helpers.They seemed pleased to get the crocheted dish washing cloths. I only wish I had had enough insight to have crocheted more in purple.That is one of their school colors.I had a few, but they would have most likely taken more, had I had them.

The meal was nice,although Pop would not agree. No extra salt allowed. He thinks if the food not swimming in salt and bacon rinds, it isn't good.And the green beans were not cooked down low enough to suit him.I,personally, think he might be a bit spoiled.I felt that everything that I took was good.I had Barbecue on a bun/green beans/watermelon/chocolate chip cookie/sweet tea(which the kids are not allowed,of course).They had mashed potatoes and salad, but I passed on them.Pop chose fried chicken for his meat.They had many choices on fruits. Leah took Kiwi.The purpose of the day was to spend time with the grandchild,not to eat an extravagant meal. So, I feel the day turned out just fine.Leah seemed pleased that we came.Maybe John's school will have a Grandparent's Day,so we can visit with him.

Now it's back home to mow the grass before I must leave again to spend another day and night with Mom.This Alzheimer's that Mom has is wreaking havoc with my schedule at home.It's a struggle,trying to  juggle my responsibilities at both homes.I am not alone with these struggles. Two of my sisters and I are rotating about,doing the best we can to keep Mom and our own families content. It is a real struggle at times,but by taking it one day at a time,with lots of prayers from everyone,we will get through it.