Tuesday, November 22, 2016

I am not afraid.....

...and you don't have to be.

We are living in interesting times, to say the least.  I do not remember people being this angry, rude,  frightened, sad and just silly in some cases.  I read of college students who need 'safe spaces', actors and actresses who are quite dramatic (probably an occupational hazard) in their intentions to leave our country or at very least to simply die!  It seems to me that many of these people are seriously afraid.  That many of them truly think this is the worst time of their lives.  I feel sorry for them.  See I am not afraid.  I know how this all ends, I know who is in charge. 

I know that the world is never going to be a perfect place and it will get worse.  I know that there will always be wars  and rumors of wars.  No matter how much we try there will always be poor people and the homeless.  I believe that life on earth is going to become more and more difficult for many.  I believe this is part of the plan.

The Bible says "count it all joy",  because the trials make us grow, deepen our faith and set our anchors.   We are stronger because we are tested.  The goal is to be an example, to tell others why we are not afraid and to share the peace that can be had by all.  God has a plan, he wants us all to be saved, and he provided a way for it to happened.  Then he wrote it all in a book so we would know what was coming.

Don't be afraid, God is sovereign....be thankful and count your blessings!

Happy Thanksgiving!

And remember.......

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Older....still waiting for that wisdom thing!

Yes well, as each birthday comes and goes I wait with bated breath to see if this is the year I will get the wisdom that is supposed to come with age and each year I am left disappointed, and, quite frankly wondering if I have been left off the list permanently!  This year I was certain that with turning 60 and all - now the wisdom would come and take over and ....you know!  I have recently entertained thoughts that there is no wisdom with age and this may have been a hoax perpetrated on me by my grandparents and parents!!  My hopes of achieving that "wise old woman" stage are dwindling, I think it is a good thing I'm doing so well on the "eccentric old woman" which had always sounded like the most fun anyway!  Sigh....wise just sounded nobler somehow....oh well!

On the bright side I had a lovely birthday and my biggest surprise was my son coming along to see me for a week.  My daughter-in-law had been planning on being here and driving home with Mom - I knew about that - seems every one but me knew that Son number one was coming along, a truly lovely surprise!! 

Mom's visit began on the 21st of September.  We did a couple of day trips.  This one was to an old silver mining town, now catering to mostly tourists, ranch hands and hunters.  Population 12 in the summer, 2 in the winter!  The road is narrow and rutted and dirt for 20 miles or so.  but the scenery is splendid!

When we got there we ate lunch in the hotel which was getting ready to close for the season.  I was glad we had eaten our very good meal, with excellent coffee before I saw this side of the building.  I might have hesitated to go inside and it really was a good meal and very cozy on a chilly day!

On another day we went to see the Idaho State Capitol building, the Boise Art Museum (BAM), and drove around downtown Boise some.  As cities go I have always thought Boise is a very pretty one!

For moms birthday (our birthdays are a week apart) I got tickets to see the Gaither Vocal Band at the Morrison Center.  They are renowned gospel artists and when I was a teen our family used to sing a lot of their songs in church.  Here she is with the guitar player Kevin Williams!  She looks pretty good for turning 82 doesn't she!?

We hit the thrift stores, went to some of our favorite restaurants, and we visited and shared some labors.  (Visiting being the most important!!)  The Strawberry jam we made out of a seasons worth of the leftover strawberries, turned out just a little less firm than we hoped but the flavor is awesome!  You just have to hold the peanut butter and jelly sandwich flat while you eat it or put it on vanilla ice cream - yum!!
We picked some of the apples off the tree and put up 6 quarts of "chunky" applesauce.  (On a side note, we have since thrown away 60 gallons of apples that were wormy or too bruised and picked another 10 gallons that are in the process of being canned, it will be awhile before I like apples again I fear!)  That tree has outdone itself this year, we hope it lives through the winter with all of the broken branches.

When Davy and Laura got here we went to Baker City Oregon and the 'National Oregon Trail Interpretive Center'.  This is an awesome place and Baker City is a fun town to explore.  We ate lunch at the Geyser Grand Hotel, where Theodore Roosevelt stayed (a few years earlier!), and we drove out to the 'ruts'.
 I have become something of a 'rut-nut' in recent years which is local jargon for those who become very interested in the Oregon Trail.  The center in Baker City is one of the places you can still see the ruts from 150 years ago!  Imagine how deep they were then.  In grade school These kids played a video game called "the Oregon Trail" and you planned flour and water etc. and you might die of dysentery!  They remembered and it made it more fun to take them.
Inside the center are dioramas and story areas, the stories are based on diaries from a couple of families that survived the trip.  It is a very fun place to visit.

All good things must come to an end and they all headed for home the 8th of October.  I hope these visits become an annual event!

Since that time I have worked nearly full time as the young agent I am working with currently and his wife have welcomed baby number 3 into their family and I gave him a few days off for the arrival!  Don't really like the full time thing any more!  Ah well, I will be happier about all the hours when I get that check!
Hmmm....after 2 months of silence there is more to share but I will save it for the next post!

I'm sure you were wondering how Miss Lily was doing, here is my newest favorite photo of her!...Oh  and her folks as well!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Olympics, fairs and gardening - no politics!

Even though it is very warm now, the air has that feel to it that says it's the end of summer and not the beginning.  That thing you can't explain but you notice it the first day you walk outside and it is there.  I will admit that summer has gone by very fast this year and I have spent much of it in an air conditioned office - so I will not complain about the heat!  Since my last post (and it looks like it has been awhile!) we have been busy with the garden, we went to the county fair, and I am currently doing my every 4 year TV fest watching more TV during the Olympics than I do during the other 4 years altogether!!  I justify it by crocheting in front of the TV so it looks like I'm being productive, but of course I have to stop during the gymnastics etc!  I grew up watching the Olympics and it is something I thoroughly enjoy.  I root for other countries when I hear a life story that tugs at my heartstrings.  Some people say the spirit of the games isn't there any more, but when you watch a runner stop and help another to cross the finish line - I think maybe it still is there, at least  a little!

I want to show you my new toy!  There are no links here, I got mine from Amazon.com but I am not an affiliate- I am sharing with you because I am having sooo much fun with this!

First I cut some chives....

then I get out my new toy - the 7 bladed scissors!!  I use the tool to cut the chives and it ends up like this.....

perfectly even for dehydrating and they will sprinkle out of my dispenser so nice, shook a few on an omelette the other day and it looked marvelous!  I realize that how the food looks is not the most important thing - but it doesn't taste any worse if it looks good!!  Think about how long it takes to chop a lot of chives, or rosemary, or oregano - yes it is a time saver.

The Lilys in the back of my garden that came up after being
rotor-tilled are just beautiful this year!  They
must be hardy - that old saying "that which does not kill you makes you strong"!  Love the fragrance too!

The apple tree was trimmed and just loaded with apples, then we had a real wind storm and several of the heavy branches are broken.  We will wait and hope they ripen still and then cut the branches after the harvest.  We were planning to 'top' the tree, guess it did it by itself!  Look at all those apples though!

I went outside to take some photos of the garden and found that the 'neighbors' had come over to visit and terrify the cats!  The peacock came along with his hens this time.

In the spring when the garden is just planted I always think I will have a lot of space and by the end of summer I am worried about one thing overrunning the other!  The cucumbers have produced 14 quarts of dill pickles and 7 pints of sweet pickles plus the eating in salads and snacks.

The beans are slower than usual this year and one row grew and the other row is not doing well at all.  (The vagaries of gardening.)  The 'neighbors' are getting ready to go home over the back fence.

The corn looks like it will all do well, the last bunch is popcorn, I have never tried it but daughter in law #1 sent me some seeds so we are giving it a whirl.

Bell peppers have done well this year too.  This big boy is one of many they have produced and they still have blooms!

Seems that the county fair is always during the hottest week of the year, and this year was no exception!  The most popular place for kids was the firefighters with the hook and ladder truck providing their own 'water feature'!  Wet happy kids running all over the place!

Think that about catches us up, football season is ready to start, Mom is coming to visit soon - life is good here!
We are keeping all of our firefighters in prayer, seems like the whole western US is on fire, these heroes are working very hard this summer!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

This is so good!!

Once a month our church has a 'Food Fellowship'.  Everyone brings something and we all eat and visit.  I grew up calling them 'covered dish suppers' or 'pot lucks'.  I had not settled on a regular rotation of dishes yet.  In the winter we had taken chocolate chip cookies and ham slices (warm).  Summer seemed to require something different - as in I don't want to turn on the oven!  I had seen a post by daughter-in-love Amber on facebook that looked yummy and of course then I could never find it again!  I went trolling the internet looking for the recipe for this awesome looking salad and found at least a hundred versions, so I copied 3 or 4 of the best looking ones, and sort of experimented with amounts and came up with this recipe.  To find it on the internet you call it strawberry banana cheesecake salad, but I knew I wasn't going to leave bananas sitting in a salad overnight or even during church and expect them to look appetizing!  This is the recipe that I cobbled together from the collection - I have to tell you this was so good!  It was gone very quickly and 3 people asked for the recipe before I left, there were lots of compliments.  This will be my new 'summer dish' and I will take ham slices (cool)!!

(Any kind of fruit) Cheesecake Salad
  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 16 oz of vanilla yogurt
  • 1 (8 oz) tub of cool whip, Thawed
  • 1 (3½ ounce) package cheesecake flavor instant pudding or pie filling mix
  • ½ bag of miniature marshmallows
  • 3 to 4 cups of rinsed drained frozen mixed berries - blueberries, blackberries and raspberries
  • Graham Crackers (I bought a ready made graham crust and broke it up into crumbs)
  1. In a bowl, mix cream cheese, yogurt, pudding and cool whip until creamy.
  2. Stir in marshmallows.
  3. Fold in fruit.
  4. Sprinkle graham crackers (or graham crust) over the bowl at the last minute
I forgot to take pictures of the finished product so this is a picture of the part I couldn't get into the bowl and left at home!  Rinsing and draining the berries kept them from coloring the mixture too much I think.

Graham cracker crust topping, this little bowl did not last long!!

This was seriously easy and yummy in the bargain - hard to beat!!

This was what I brought home!  An empty bowl!

And we have our first ripe tomato of the season!  Hubby says the first one is mine to eat, BLT here I come!

Today is an oh so rare cool and rainy day, apparently hasn't been this cool in July in twenty-some years with snow in the higher mountains!  I am loving it and trying not to remember that it will get hot again soon!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

About those bruises....

Charming title isn't it?  Do you sometimes find yourself surprised at the things we talk about now that you could never have imagine when we were younger?  I say 'we' as I have chosen to believe that I am not alone in noticing this!!

So - the bruises, if you are like me and take blood thinners or have thin skin (the real stuff not the stuff that makes you cry when people are mean!) you may have noticed these bruises that I used to call "old people bruises".   They are almost scary the first time you see one and now I am so used to getting them that Hubby will say "what did you do there?" and I have to reply honestly "I have no idea"!

They are dark and look terrible but hardly ever hurt!  They are the result of aging, blood thinners, thinning skin, loss of protective fat layer ( I intend to remember that term 'Protective Fat' for future use, if WEB MD used it it must be true), and some dietary deficiencies.  Even fish oil supplements and ginkgo biloba can cause enough blood thinning to see these.

I am not really upset about getting old, I have adjusted to the idea and most of the reality.  They are ugly though, they take forever to go away, and people can't resist the urge to ask you "what did you do", and then you say "I don't know, I don't remember banging into anything" and then they look at you like you might need to be watched for signs of senility!!  Younger people think anything that looks that bad must have hurt to get!!!  This one is from reaching under the wire on the strawberries - didn't hurt at all!

Years ago I had a client who had been badly burned in a fire and had had skin grafts.  She got these bruises very easily and the Sherman Oaks Burn Center, where she had spent so much time recovering, gave her this tip, that she shared with me, that I will now share with you. 

It is not what you think!!  Yes it is a hemorrhoid medication, but you will not use these as directed on the box!!  Open the little packages inside and break off a little piece of the suppository and rub it on your bruise.  That's it, do it at least once a day for a couple of days and you will be amazed at how fast the bruise will go away!  Mine used to last for a couple of weeks, but after I remembered this - they go away much faster - this one in 5 days!

Here it is, the 6th day and no more bruise.  I swear I am not being compensated by Preparation H!  I also do not know why the suppositories work better than the cream - they just do.  Sherman Oaks is one of the premiere burn centers in the country and they know their stuff!

Spending more time in the garden means more opportunity for bruises, but the fun things are starting to ripen.  Yesterdays harvest turned out to be about 3 cups of shelled peas, just a few strawberries, one lone green onion, a bell pepper, and some pie cherries off the recently trimmed tree.  Hubby even had one tomato this week - Hooray!!

Hope this wasn't too off putting, pass it along to your elderly friends.  We will move on to more pleasant topics next time - I tried a new recipe that is going to be a go to for church dinners and socials and get-togethers when I have to bring something!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

A blustery spring...

When I was little we had an album 'vinyl' of Winnie the Pooh, being read by a man with a wonderful voice.  We would sit and listen to the record over and over.  One of the stories was Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day.  For some reason that word 'Blustery' is one of those I just love!  It is a very descriptive word and I try to use it occasionally as there are words that should not be allowed to fade away!  Our spring so far has been a little blustery, winds and mild rains, cool weather and warm in the same day and fluffy clouds scudding across the impossible blue skies we get this time of year.  It is then, a spring from my memories of springs!  The springs of my childhood, I am thoroughly enjoying it!

 Our trip to California was fun and the weather was lovely, not too hot, not too cool.  We were there for Miss Lily's 2nd birthday isn't that a cute birthday dress!?  We were trying for a family photo with all of them looking the same way, this is as close as we got!

Son #3 here is a week and a half after back surgery in this photo, he was moving pretty gingerly!

We got lots of Lily time, this is one of my favorite photos - Miss Lily and Grandad watching funny cat videos!

 We came home to quite a few flowers blooming.  The honeysuckle survived another brutal trimming this year, so I don't feel so bad doing it

The Columbines would have been even lovelier without the weeds...oh well!

The pink honeysuckle in the back yard....

chives and sage both blooming....

Hubby's tomato planter, look at all the little tomatoes that came up on their own.  Not sure he will have the heart to thin them!  It will be a tomato rain-forest in this planter again this year!

Weigelia in bloom, they just don't last long enough!

Peas and lettuce are doing well in the cool-ish weather....

The latest flowers we added, Delphiniums. 

So we had a wonderful trip, visited with the kids, spent mothers day with my mommy. (I know how lucky I am to be able to do that.)  We came home to flowers and pretties all over the yard, and the car gas mileage, when I figured it up averaged 44mpg!  We are feeling very fortunate and blessed!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Catching up ......

It has been amazing to me how this little part time job has come to take up so much of my time.  I was feeling pretty bad, as I was tired and not accomplishing things around the house.  I decided to sit down and figure out if I was really having a problem, thought maybe I was just being disorganized.  The first change had come when I was asked to work 4 days (5hrs) a week instead of 3.  So 20 hours a week shouldn't be taking such a chunk of my time and energy right?  I started adding up the 40 minute round trip each day, plus the hour to get ready in the am, and the hour to iron and make my lunch in the pm.  My 5 hour job is now taking 8 hours of my time.  OK that kind of makes sense, sleeping and eating are a must and I'm feeling better about my organizational skills and my energy level!  I also have hit that spot where I used to be when I worked full time and was just able to organize my time better.  My mother and I have discussed this and we both agreed when you work outside the home you just get more organized because your mind 'knows' you have less time!  Once we retired I had that idea that if I didn't get it done today there was always tomorrow.  There is nothing wrong with that but my organization of tasks was "fluid"!  Things could be moved around more easily!  That it took this long to get back into the habits of the 'before times'  may speak more to the impending 60th birthday (this fall) than anything else!!  ;)  Having gotten that off my mind we have made lists of projects that we are going to do while the money is coming in, and prioritized them.  It is nice to have the little extra and be able to get a couple of the big items done this year we hope now instead of waiting till next.

While the Northeast is having a rough spring we are having a lovely one and the garden is hard to resist!  Tonight's predicted frost is proof we were wise not to give in to the urge to plant too many things. We will put a tarp over the tomatoes and the rest should be fine. I finally got the red mulch I wanted last fall and couldn't find any more. The herb garden looks very nice I think and hopefully this will make a big difference with the weeds.  Do you see all the blooms on the strawberries?!

This is looking up at the apple tree, Hubby and Number 2 son trimmed this big time last fall and it is loaded with blossoms, would be nice to have a bumper crop of our own apples this year for pies and applesauce.

I am loving this brave little lettuce plant that came up from last year before we started planting new this year.  I have been picking a leaf or two here and there and dipping in dressing for a snack.  It is keeping my craving for fresh veg under control!  By the way, that is technically called 'chicken wire' in the store.  We call it 'cat wire' because it is used here to keep the cats from using the freshly worked beds as litter boxes - just one step too 'organic' for my comfort level!  (smile)

From the back porch looking back to the garden.  Hubby has since cut the grass once and we have irrigated once.

Looking from the garden to the back porch.  It has been nice to have a lot of rain this spring and our snowpacks are still looking good.  After low water years it is always nice to have a green spring!  The trees are leafing and the hillsides out and about are green.  It really is a nice time of year.

The cherry tree got topped by about 20 feet last year and has quite a few blooms on it, we are holding our breathe to see if it weathers the frosts and cooler nights this week or if we will go another year with no cherries!

We will be going to see this little one in a couple of weeks - I love this picture - you can almost hear the laugh can't you!?

Think I am caught up again for a little while, maybe get back to a regular rhythm here too!