Wednesday, September 28, 2016

My Mom Was One Strong Lady

I like to keep this photo of my Mom out where I can see it. She was heavy most of her adult life, most likely from having us 9 children, but later in her life she lost the weight and was very proud of herself for what she had achieved. She began going to various music concerts with Donna, her good friend and hairdresser after Dad sold the family farm in Rineyville, and relocated the rest of the family to St. Simon's Island, Georgia. Donna would fix Mom's hair and get her all dressed up and they would head out to their concerts. Dad was always invited, but would never commit since the concerts were planned months in advance. He would always say he didn't know what he would be doing at that time. I am so glad that Mom got to experience some of the things she finally did. She was plucked from her life as she knew it in South Louisiana, to spend a huge part of her lifetime on a Kentucky farm, feeling her way as she went, to learn a whole new way of doing things. Cooking in particular. Mom never drove, so that made it unhandy for her as well, but she never let that hold her back. She could always find a way to get where she or us kids, needed to go. Namely to church when the doors were open or to the grocery store on Friday nights. She definitely, as all who knew her will agree, did not have a shy bone in her body. She was always one to get the job done, regardless as to what it was. I am grateful to have inherited some of her strong attributes, but so grateful, as well, that I did not inherit her temper and her extreme extrovert personality. She was a bit shy about a few things, but very few.

I could always count on Mom to come to my aid when I had a job of any kind to do. I had raised a huge flock of chickens one year from chicks purchased at a hatchery, and most of them turned out to be roosters. I called Mom up to help me. She agreed to come, but later she said" DON'T EVER CALL ON ME TO DO THAT AGAIN," I think there were about 20 roosters to kill and clean that day. Then another time, Mr. Ford Dyer and his daughter Sarah Springer, whom I was working for at the time,wanted a brick walkway. I told him that Mom and I could do that. Mr. Dyer was blown away that me and my Mom were willing to tackle that job, but we got it done. I have wondered, at times, if that walkway is still being used today.

All of my sisters were just as handy and willing to tackle any task, as well.  I am grateful, and I hope they are, for having had such a strong Mother. Many times, it takes a strong women to keep a marriage, and life in general, running smoothly. Mom was definitely "One Strong Lady."

Friday, June 24, 2016

Ruger to the Rescue! NOT!

As I was filling an old aquarium with some of the rich soil which Hershell keeps replenished in a pile near my gardens, I heard an unusual sound coming across the hay field. It was a cry of fear and/or distress coming from our new hunting dog, Ruger. Being just a pup, I guess he didn't know quite yet, that he was suppose to be the pursuer and not the pursuee. A doe was chasing him toward the house, and came very near to where I was working. She didn't appear to be going anywhere soon, so I had plenty of time to get in the house and retrieve my iPhone. Thank goodness, she was still close by, grazing happily, not too concerned about my presence, but Ruger's barking sent her a running back into the woods. I'd say she has a baby or two, close by. Such a refreshing sight to see on this cool and misty morning. I am not sure on the date of this post, but decided to go ahead and let it go. Ruger is now full grown, going on 2 years old, and still enjoying his tag games with the mother deer and her babies.
In the center, if you look closely, you can see the mother deer.

Ruger is only 5 months old

Ruger to the Rescue! NOT!

As I was filling an old aquarium with some of the rich soil which Hershell keeps replenished in a pile near my gardens, I heard an unusual sound coming across the hay field. It was a cry of fear and/or distress coming from our new hunting dog, Ruger. Being just a pup, I guess he didn't know quite yet, that he was suppose to be the pursuer and not the pursuee. A doe was chasing him toward the house, and came very near to where I was working. She didn't appear to be going anywhere soon, so I had plenty of time to get in the house and retrieve my iPhone. Thank goodness, she was still close by, grazing happily, not too concerned about my presence, but Ruger's barking sent her a running back into the woods. I'd say she has a baby or two, close by. Such a refreshing sight to see on this cool and misty morning.
In the center, if you look closely, you can see the mother deer.

Ruger is only 5 months old

Thirteen Chicks in a Pan

Patience is definitely the key around my house lately. Even with their beautiful new living quarters, all was not bliss, for myself nor my baby chickens, last night. I made numerous trips to check on my them, before my bedtime since it was their first night separated from their moms. They didn't want to settle down and accept the fact that Mommie was no longer there to snuggle with them at bedtime and scratch out their food and call them for their meals. Having to grow up is proving that it is indeed a cruel hard world, at least until you learn the ropes. After about the third trip out in the darkness to check on the chicks, I went out once more to hear an unusually loud chirping sound coming from the area of the shed, near the chicken coop. As I walked nearer to the chicks, I could see a Sparrow Hawk fly out of the shed, and realized it was the one doing the loud chirping. I guess he heard the baby chick's cries of distress and thought he might find an easy meal. All was not well quite yet with the chicks, but I went back inside, hoping they would settle down soon.With my next trip out to check on them, I find several chicks, huddled up in the opposite corner of the cage from where their roosting box was located, sitting on the bear wet ground, in a spot where there was not even a sprig of grass to make a comfortable bed. I felt so sorry for them,I draped an old quilt around the corner of the cage. I had an old rusted granite wash pan that I had once used as a flower pot, placed in their cage, filled with dirt for them to wallow in and clean their feathers. I lined it with grass from my compost bin, and moved it to the corner where they had congregated. Then back to the house I went. About 30 minutes later, I decided to go and check one more time, hoping this would be my last trip to check on them for tonight. Some of the chicks had previously,ventured into the roosting box, but during my final trip out, I found every single chick, all 13 of them, nestled up in the wash pan. All encircled like a covey of quail. It was so comical, I had to make one more trip with my camera. So now that you know WHAT you are looking at, hopefully, you can see the chicks in the pan. They had no need for the duster I had placed there as a temporary Mother. Thirteen chicks in a wash pan was snugly and warm enough.
Thirteen chicks in a wash pan

This is the new chicken tractor made by my son-in-law, David Painter. He had no pattern, but had seen others on the web and came up with this design. It has an open bottom so the chicks can have access to fresh grass and clover as it is pulled around the yard. It has retractable wheels and a tougue and hitch to pull it from place to place.

More rocks, gardens, and flowers

I use a lot of rocks. I suppose the reason why is simply because they are so plentiful on our property. I paint on many, but I also use many others as borders for my flower beds. They make it much easier to mow up close to the beds and keep the flowers within their boundaries. Hershell had been telling me that he had uprooted some buried rocks as he putters around the fields and woods with the tractor. I was asking him lately if I could purchase a load of rock to use as a border for my raised garden area. He said, "Why. We have loads of rock on the property. I just made a new pile along the edge of the woods." But I had in mind the pretty rock like I see others use. Nevertheless, I took the tractor out this morning for a stroll around the property to see if I could find the rocks he had spoke of. It's Wednesday. His eat breakfast out with the daughter day, so I have lots of time to play. Sure enough, I found the pile of rock he had spoke of and loaded several in the tractor bucket. Not near enough. I'll need to make another trip, but my border around the garden area is shaping up. The other side of the garden is being invaded with Bermuda grass. I will be working on it next. I just finished up making my last piece of chicken cage wire into more raised beds. I have the chicken tractor for my chicks now, so I no longer need the wire. My plan is to totally move the mulch pile from my garden area and fill that space with more vegetable and flower beds. The entire garden is shaping up nicely. I spend as much time in it as the heat will allow. I get most of my work done in the early morning as it is the coolest time of the day. I found myself another treat as I was loading the rock. Hershell had unknowingly uprooted what appears to be a red honeysuckle vine, so I had carried it to the yard, hoping to add it to my endless collection of flowers. I can't wait to see how it does, but with the day's getting hotter, it will be a chore keeping it alive. I do hope I can get it to live.

Friday, March 11, 2016

March 12, 2013 Mom went to her Heavenly Home

March 12, 2016 marks year 3 since my Mom's passing. As I skipped through some of her collectibles that she had saved, I found this page, laminated and tucked away neatly among the many other special things she had collected over the years.. She saved many of the letters and cards from us nine kids and other friends and family members. She saved pretty pictures clipped from magazines, bulletins from her church marking special dates to remember, poems, verses, and sayings that tugged at her heartstrings, many of the drawings that us kids had made for her over the years.certificates and report cards, letters of praise from our teachers regarding our behavior. and so many other fragments of our lives, neatly laminated and stored away for her quiet time and peaceful moments of reminiscing as she grew older. Mom was so sentimental in that way although many who knew her well, knew she was tough as nails, and could be as mean as a copperhead snake when provoked.I guess her hard life caused her to be tough, but underneath, she was as loving as any other Mother.She simply wasn't comfortable being a sweet little demure and needy sort of a lady. That just wasn't her style. Ask some of our neighbors. I'm sure they would agree. She could get loud when necessary.and she didn't care if the neighbors a half mile away heard her scolding us and trying her best to keep us on a straight and narrow path.I know when she read this story about the Meanest Mother, she did so with a chuckle, seeing herself and us kids in every line. There are a few things that may not fit our lives,but very few.........................................................."The Meanest Mother"
I had the meanest mother in the whole world. While other kids ate
candy for breakfast, I had to have cereal, eggs or toast. When others
had cokes and candy for lunch, I had to eat a sandwich. As you can
guess, my supper was different than the other kids' also.
But at least, I wasn't alone in my sufferings. My sister and two
brothers had the same mean mother as I did.
My mother insisted upon knowing where we were at all times. You'd
think we were on a chain gang. She had to know who our friends were and
where we were going. She insisted if we said we'd be gone an hour, that
we be gone one hour or less--not one hour and one minute. I am nearly
ashamed to admit it, but she actually struck us. Not once, but each
time we had a mind of our own and did as we pleased. That poor belt was
used more on our seats than it was to hold up Daddy's pants. Can you
imagine someone actualy hitting a child just because he disobeyed? Now
you can begin to see how mean she really was.
We had to wear clean clothes and take a bath. The other kids always
wore their clothes for days. We reached the height of insults because
she made our clothes herself, just to save money. Why, oh why, did we
have to have a mother who made us feel different from our friends?
The worst is yet to come. We had to be in bed by nine each night
and up at eight the next morning. We couldn't sleep till noon like our
friends. So while they slept-my mother actually had the nerve to break
the child-labor law. She made us work. We had to wash dishes, make
beds, learn to cook and all sorts of cruel things. I believe she laid
awake at night thinking up mean things to do to us.
She always insisted upon us telling the truth, the whole truth and
nothing but the truth, even if it killed us- and it nearly did.
By the time we were teen-agers, she was much wiser, and our life
became even more unbearable. None of this tooting the horn of a car for
us to come running. She embarrassed us to no end by making our dates
and friends come to the door to get us. If I spent the night with a
girlfriend, can you imagine she checked on me to see if I were really
there. I never had the chance to elope to Mexico. That is if I'd had a
boyfriend to elope with. I forgot to mention, while my friends were
dating at the mature age of 12 and 13, my old fashioned mother refused
to let me date until the age of 15 and 16. Fifteen, that is, if you
dated only to go to a school function. And that was maybe twice a year.
Through the years, things didn't improve a bit. We could not lie
in bed, "sick" like our friends did, and miss school. If our friends
had a toe ache, a hang nail or serious ailment, they could stay home
from school. Our marks in school had to be up to par. Our friends'
report cards had beautiful colors on them, black for passing, red for
failing. My mother being as different as she was, would settle for
nothing less than ugly black marks.
As the years rolled by, first one and then the other of us was put
to shame. We were graduated from high school. With our mother behind
us, talking, hitting and demanding respect, none of us was allowed the
pleasure of being a drop-out.
My mother was a complete failure as a mother. Out of four
children, a couple of us attained some higher education. None of us
have ever been arrested, divorced or beaten his mate. Each of my
brothers served his time in the service of this country. And whom do we
have to blame for the terrible way we turned out? You're right, our
mean mother. Look at the things we missed. We never got to march in a
protest parade, nor to take part in a riot, burn draft cards, and a
million and one other things that our friends did.
She forced us to grow up into God-fearing, educated, honest adults.
Using this as a background, I am trying to raise my three
children. I stand a little taller and I am filled with pride when my
children call me mean.
Because, you see, I thank God, He gave me the meanest mother in
the whole world.
written by Bobbie Pingaro (1967)

Petit Fours Anyone?

I collect all sorts of wax. Well, I really collect everything, but wax is my topic today.I have tackled this project before and it turned out so nice, I decided to try it again. This is my latest attempt at making Petit Fours. The last tray I made was a whole assortment of various types of cookies, candies, etc. Lots of different colors used, but today I had only melted enough wax for one color. Brown. So these are my chocolate covered petit fours.They look delicious, but believe me, they are not for human consumption. They are made of wood blocks covered with brown wax. I didn't take near the pains I should have to coat them more perfectly, but I was having a bit of trouble getting my wax melted like I needed, to get a better coating on them.They do make for a nice centerpiece. Now if I can only keep folks from biting into them. I don't want to get sued over a broken tooth.

I Love Making my Little Refrigerator Magnets.

I have been making refrigerator magnets for months now. Making them has become one of my favorite projects. I use a lot of recycled card stock from any boxed item that passes through my house. Many days when I have nothing better to do, I will sit down with my home made templates,my paints, my glue gun and Elmers glue, my many containers of all sorts of embellishments, and begin putting together various layers of card stock and sometimes fabric, until I come up with an appealing finished product, I seal the back of each project with white paper or brown paper to hide the printing on the card stock.then I glue 2 tiny magnets on the back of each. After gluing the 2 tiny magnets on the back, I then glue a matching piece of paper over the magnets to double insure that they stay put. The heart is a favorite shape of mine at the moment, but I have drawn and cut out several other shapes of templates from the same card stock,that I use for other projects.The fun is in mixing and matching colors and shapes and embellishments to form an appealing product. I always leave just enough space on the faces of each to place my sentiment. I keep a lot of generic sentiments printed up with my printer. I print the words very small, in most cases, so that I can glue them onto another tiny piece of colored card stock for the border around the sentiment before strategically placing it onto the finished magnet.I have given out so many of these magnets during the last few months along with my crocheted dish washing cloths. Some that I adored so,I literally hated to part with them, but I did take pictures so that I can duplicate some of them at a later date.

Friday, February 19, 2016

My latest obsession, Refrigerator Magnet Sentiments

I am so proud of the fact that I have the ability and the desire to use many things that others would discard. My ultimate goal is to make something useful and pretty. I have spent a great deal of my spare time during the cold, nasty days of Winter, many of which kept me inside, not my most favorite place to be, doing something I thoroughly enjoy. I can't really say what I do is card making. I know that has become a big thing in crafting today. Card making for many, means hundreds of dollars spent on fancy modern supplies, but that is not my way. My goal has always been to use recycled or reclaimed materials. I have made, in my opinion, many beautiful cards, tags, and my latest passion, refrigerator magnets, using only recycled and reclaimed supplies. That, I feel, is my trademark, but I must now confess. I have ordered a very few fancy tools from the Master Crafter herself. Most of my creations are still being made in the same manner, but I have now added a paper butterfly and paper lace to some of them. I am having so much fun creating my little works of art. I find it to be a very peaceful and calming hobby. I do a lot of searching through my mountains of supplies to find just the right embellishment, but a little more exercise is good, too.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

One Less Chicken Killer

One old lady, out in the freezing cold, wearing nothing but her night clothes, with no glasses, shivering and barely awake, does not make for a good scenario. My eye opening experience this morning at day break, ended up with less than perfect results. Three dead chickens. Well, two bodies, for sure. A third body, evidently totally devoured. Only feathers remain of it. Three dogs running around the hen house frantically. Only after circling the pond and surrounding property,did they decide the culprit was still hid away in the hen house/ tractor shed. I hear a loud noise in the adjoining shed, only to find the yard dog had treed a raccoon up in a tight corner of the tractor shed in it's attempt to get away. Hopefully, Bear would keep him there until I could get back to the house, awaken Pop, get him dressed and awake enough to shoot the gun. Using guns are not my first and foremost favorite hobby, therefore,I'm out of practice. I'd rather Pop did the shooting, if and when it comes to that. No coffee in him yet, so that speaks volumes. Rhonda will tell you that he is definitely not at his best for any task, with no coffee, much less for shooting a gun. Nevertheless, Pop tries frantically to get a sight of the raccoon in the scope, but without glasses, that was futile. He shoots a hole or two in the roof of the shed and maybe one in the raccoon, and the raccoon looses his grip, and falls to the outside pen. That's where we have our extra lumber and metal stored. We think the raccoon is still under the tin, too frightened or injured to come out. Back to the house for coffee and glasses,we try again. We must now bring out Ole Rose to lift the tin, hopefully, to finish him off, if he's still there. I know there are rules and regulations about killing most varmints anymore, but it is my understanding that if it is caught in the act of destroying your property or livestock, killing it is allowed. At least we now know, it is a raccoon. I have found the entry hole, over our newly installed door, an repaired it.We'll post an update as to our results, as soon as we make another attempt to settle this case.................Pop managed to toss some of the metal sheeting aside, exposing the 20 pound raccoon who was growling furiously, possibly knowing that he was caught and his demise was imminent. We have a couple of neighbors who collect and use hides of various animals, so hopefully some good will come from his remains, even if he did cost me 5 or more chickens over this last year..... We lost one of our beautiful white Silkie hens that was laying good, a Rhode Island Red hen that had escaped from a hawk last year with only slight damage to one of her wings, and a small black bantam hen that sang the prettiest songs.

Friday, February 5, 2016

My Favorite Craft for the Winter of 2015

I have lots of time on my hands and loads of ribbons, lace, card stock,paints,etc. As a matter of fact, I have most any kind of crafting supplies known to man, so I have been crocheting lots of dish washing cloths, and I do mean lots. Most folks use cotton only, but I have so much acrylic yarn accumulated, I tried using it and it works fine for my dish washing. That's my opinion anyway. Nevertheless, I give many of them as "spur of the moment gifts", and I usually don't have a store bought sentiment card handy, so I make my own card to attach to the dish washing cloth. I have enjoyed making the cute little topper cards as much, if not more, than the dish washing cloths themselves. I can mix and match and create till the cows come home. I think this is my favorite craft for the year. Every year, it seems, I find something new to busy myself during the winter months. The only problem is......time goes so much faster when I am creating the little cards. At my age, that is not a good thing. 😥

dish washing cloths with cards
P.S.   My ultimate plan for the little cards is to use them as refrigerator magnets. That is my goal anyway. Only time will tell if that plan comes to fruition.I will give an update on that in a future post.


Thursday, January 28, 2016

My Jar and Box Top Collages.

I am so happy with my progress on my latest project. I may not have all of the fancy store bought supplies that many are using today, but I get so much pleasure from making pretty things from all of my reclaimed collectibles. I am not real sure what I'll call them, but for now, I will call them my jar and box top collages. I love making my little tags and I love making embellishments for my pin cushions, but the two projects seemed to have collided and evolved into a totally different product. I am getting so much pleasure from assembling these adorable little arrangements, I may be making more of my little keepsake jars and boxes soon. I picked up a cute little keepsake box at a consignment store this past week, simply to be used as a pattern. It is so cute and looks very similar to some of my own creations.

While looking over a few DIY crafts this morning, I have decided that there are so many ways to use these little collages.  I use a lot of jars for various purposes since a dear friend of mine saves them for me, so I will definitely be moving a few of them along as gifts in the near future. Many are not usable for canning or freezing, but I do not have the heart to tell him to stop saving them for me. He is such a sweetheart for thinking of me. I watch a lot of the TV programs that involve cut outs and dies and such. I am fascinated with many of their ideas, but too cheap to order their products, so I use what I have on hand and make my own. I think my creations look as good as any they have made, and they are definitely less expensive. I had been crocheting a lot of dish washing cloths since I came into an abundance of yarn lately, but now it's time to "Move over yarn". You definitely have a new competitor when it come to finding things to keep me busy during these long winter days. No complaint of getting house burned here. I have too many exciting things to keep myself occupied.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Chocolate Covered Cherries

This is not a new story to some, but since I ran across a box of chocolate covered cherries in the pantry this morning, I'll share it again. When I was in grade was about fifth grade....the best I remember.....many of the kids were giving and receiving these boxes of cherries at Christmastime when we exchanged gifts. At that time, I think they cost approximately 50 cents a box. Today they are closer to $3.a box. I'm guessing since I never buy them for myself. My family was so poor, we were lucky to get a gift for the person whose name we had drawn. I remember getting a blouse for my gift. It was a nice blouse, and I remember it well. I only hope the person who had my name and gave me the blouse that year is not reading this, although it is very likely they are, since many of my fifth grade friends from grade school are following my posts. I cherished the blouse, but to a child, clothing, no matter how badly it's needed, is not the most appreciated gift. Nevertheless, I longed for a box of those cherries, just one time, but that never happened. When Hershell and I married, I shared that story with him, and every year for the last 37 years, he has gotten me a box of chocolate covered cherries for Christmas, and sometimes on even Valentine's Day. Now that is true love. He is definitely a keeper.