Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Okay....now I feel better.

I've been looking forward to the day when these two were old enough to want to play together. They played, they shared and they bumped heads. This was taken at way past bedtime.

I put out a rubber nativity for the kids to play with. At some point baby Jesus went missing.

This is where I found him.

Mcclellan liked Grandma's chocolate pie.

Trying to encourage Riley with 'big boy pants', but he just wanted them on over his clothes. It was more fun to play with the tractors.

Mariell's first Christmas.
Modeling new red shoes from her stocking.

Verity's first Christmas. I am concerned that she may be undernourished.

Is it spring yet?

I've been sitting here exhausted and down in the dumps. The out of town kids have headed home and the house looks like we've been having a party all weekend. Which we have. They have it worse though, a long drive with 2 children under two who don't like to ride long distances. Verity can cry for over an hour without cease.

I can't think of anything to write that others might be interested to read.

Yesterday, I got the first seed catalogues for the upcoming year in the mail. I haven't had a vegetable garden for several years. First, Mike was sick and the last 3years I've been traveling for Habitat in the spring and fall. A garden would either dry up or grow to weeds.

I'm thinking of staying home this year and planting a one. Maybe trying to do a little landscape beautification. My rock garden is even starting to look pathetic. Is this what brings on New Year's resolutions?

I think it could be a good time to figure out how to use the photo editing program I bought or start using Quicken to track my finances. I've had the program for 2 years. Oh, yes, I haven't been able to sync my Palm since I got Vista. I'm told that I should join Facebook, everyone is on it. Wow, where do I start? There are so many possiblities. I have boxes of fabric for quilts and rugs, maybe I could start something there. Of course, I could finish one that I have started.

I think I need to go start a list. I accomplish more when I make lists.

I hope your Christmas was a wonderful time. I have some great pictures. When I get my thoughts sorted I'll post a few.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Must Read

I just finished reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. I read a great deal and this is one of the best I've read in a long, long time. I don't use words like delightful and poignant, but I would use them to describe this story. The setting is just after WWII. The writer wants to cover war stories in a different way than the usual. She finds those stories through a series of letters. There is humour, sadness and tales of evil.
I even made note of a couple of quotes that spoke to me. Seneca was credited with saying "Light griefs are loquacious but the great are dumb.

In response to the statement "Life goes on." the Authors say have their character, John Booker, write, "It's death that goes on....There's no end to that. But perhaps there will be an end to the sorrow of it"

This story isn't all gloom and sadness. I really didn't expect to finish it, but I found I didn't want to put it down. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Weather, Tractors and Age

Just before I got off work tonight it began to rain. It's 27 degrees outside and raining. Do you know what that portends? ICE!!!!!!! There was Christmas party tonight that I'd organized, but I made about 30 calls quickly and cancelled. I'm home and tucked in with milk & bread (staples).
If the ice builds up, we could lose electricity. I pray that doesn't happen. It'll get very cold, quickly, in my house. When my husband was alive, he would've hooked the tractor to the generator in preparation for the worst. I still have both, but have never mastered my fear of that old tractor. It's truly as old as I am. Just think a tractor that is half a century old. It doesn't have any safety features, either. Also there's a ritual you must go through to get it started. Something like: get the key down from over the door in the shop, turn on the gas, walk around it 3 times clockwise, stand on the ground operating the choke while you push the starter. Well, maybe you don't have to do the walk around thing.
It's so complicated I need to write it down. Anyway, I think I was born with a fear of getting a limb ripped off by the PTO. I just don't mess with the tractor.

Maybe I could get an auto-start standby generator? I suspect that could cost as much as a new tractor.

I guess I'll just call the assisted living center and put my name on the waiting list. I must be ready to have someone take care of me.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sunday Snap

Please excuse the quality here. Riley just noticed the nativity at church.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

New Follower

I am so excited! I don't have very many followers but I noticed one on my FEEDJIT that had visited several times in the last few days. I guess they really want to see what I have to say. I must post something to keep their interest. I even mapquested to see where Blue Rapids, KS is. I found out that it's 280 miles from here. So maybe it's someone that knows me? Who could I know that lives there? I don't think that I've ever been there, myself. Today I figured out who it was. Yup! It's me, dummy. Evidently my server has moved their location. It was exciting while it lasted. Just like before the baby figures out who that is in the mirror. ;+(

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Grandma's Bag

I have a little bag that I take to church with me. It's filled with things to occupy my grandson and keep him quiet. It doesn't go home with him. It's saved for church only. When he sees it, he wants to carry it and tells everyone, "towees, towees".

I started with an insulated lunch bag.

Preferably, one that the lid will lay flat when open.

This one happens to have a magnetic? scribble board in the lid.

Then, I fill it with an assortment of things that might interest him. They have changed with his interests and abilities.

He liked this when he was smaller. It gives little fingers something to hold and they really aren't noisy. I used a springy key ring wrislet and attached an assortment of other plastic key tabs.

Stickers, a simple stencil and a pencil for little hands.

A small snack of cereal and dried fruit. Sometimes, I keep that in my purse until the sermon.

Small toys. He's into buses and airplanes, currently.

And that's my "towee" bag. His mom says less is more. So I rotate items from time to time.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Mothers-in-law/ Mother-in-laws

I've been really lax in posting this last week. Tuesday my mother-in-law was in a traffic accident which had the whole family in a tizzy. She spent a couple of days in the hospital because she has some health issues. She also takes blood thinners and had some subdural bleeding problems last year. She's home now with some beautiful bruises and staples in her head. The small town hospital where she was taken only has a nurse practitioner. The accident happened around 6:30 p.m. and at 10:30 she was still strapped to the spine board and not allowed to eat. They had taken a scan and evidently they are read in Australia. Really! It took 3 hours for them to discover that it had not been received. I only know about email, faxes and phone calls. If it's important I follow up to see if it was received. How simple it that? Well, they didn't ask me, anyway.

I consider myself fortunate. My husband was a child of divorce, so I have 2 mothers-in-law. Each very different, but each an important part of our family. My kids had the advantage of an extra set of grandparents. My husband's mother remarried and had a second family. When we got married, she had a 10, 8 and 5 year old. So a few extra kids in her house were no big deal. His stepmom never had children, but she is a true grandmother to my kids and grandkids. I also had the luxury of backup sitters, when mine cancelled. Yes, we all live in the same town.

Christmas was usually at Gramps on Sunday night, Grandma's on Christmas Eve and my parents' on Christmas day. Very hectic and the kids had a car load of loot from each one. It was crazy finding a place for it all.

I had planned to post a little tutorial over the weekend, but I don't have an uncluttered place to take pictures (+;

Maybe later.

What about your mother-in-law?
I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.

Marth Washington

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Is it better to regret the things you've done or the things you haven't?

I began this blog to chronicle a trip for Habitat for Humanity RV Care-a-vanners for my family. I read about care-a-vanners a few years ago. I mentioned to my husband that it would be fun to go on a build, but he wanted to wait until he retired instead of spending his vacation time working. Sadly, he didn't get to live long enough to retire, but I went on my first build the summer after he died. I was scared to death to get in that motorhome and drive across the mountains and infamous Wolf Creek Pass to work with people I didn't know, doing work I didn't know how to do. I had never done the tank filling and dumping, the leveling, the water and electric hook-ups. All those things RV'ers do. I had to practice everything before I left home so I wouldn't embarass myself. Good thing, too. The first time I emptied the sewage tanks, I dumped them right on my foot. Fortunately, I had filled them with clean water. I now have six 2-week builds under my tool belt.

I have ample regrets for things I've done, but I want my list for the things I haven't to be a short one. I've got one thing down. I wonder what the next one will be. Any ideas?

Monday, December 1, 2008

What's for dinner?

I just spent several days over the Thanksgiving holiday with my "city" kids. For the past year or so, we made a tradition of going to an Italian restaurant while I am visiting. They know I really like the salads and the chicken dishes and the sangria isn't too bad either. The place we chose last time was so noisy and the server so over extended we vowed to find a new place. This weekend we returned to another location of our original favorite that had closed. Unfortunately that didn't really measure up, either.

Matt & Christina suggested trying Indian food, but I said I didn't really like it. Truth is, I haven't tried it. Thinking about it later, I realized that I didn't even eat pizza until I was 17 years old. I went for a college visit and was taken to a Pizza Hut by my future roomates. The only Italian I had ever eaten was spaghetti out of a box marked Kraft. Meat not included. Small rural towns 35+ years ago didn't have Pizza Huts. Eating "out" was rare. The local cafe served chicken, burgers & steaks.

I didn't eat tacos until I was well into my late twenties. A local dairy barn began serving them one evening a week. What a treat!

Maybe it's time to step it up a notch and try the Indian. Put it on your schedule for my visit next month.
Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start now and make a brand new ending.

Carl Bard

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Riley, Mariell, Verity, Mcclellan

While I was traveling across the state west to east to spend the holiday with my son and family, my daughter (only daughter) and family traveled south to north to see same son (only son). Daughter & family are visiting in-laws, but traveled a couple of hours to meet son for lunch and let the kids play. It was too cool to meet at the park, so they opted for McDonald's thinking the boys could play there. The playground turned out to be too big for the boys and another child's toilet problems were a further deterent. I was the lucky one of the day. My daughter took the first picture of all 4 grandchildren together. I am convinced that I have the some of cutest grandchildren for miles around. However, I may be slightly prejudiced. They range from 27 months to almost 2 1/2 months.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I am a Collect-aholic

I've come to the conclusion that I have another addiction. If I possess one of something and I see another similar one at a garage sale or auction, I buy it so the first one won't stand out so much. To keep the little buggers from being lonely, I just keep adding and creating more collections. Case in point, I had some pieces of 70's green glass that I liked and you know they almost give that stuff away, so this is part of what I have.

I have a shelf about 12 feet long the entire length of one of the bedrooms rapidly filling with this stuff. One end is the 70's avocado green and this end is the emerald green glass. I just really enjoy looking a them as a whole. Most of them are only worth a couple of bucks.

Here is my upstairs guest room collection. The heat detector sets right in the middle of the shelf, so I'm only showing half. This cobalt colored stuff is a little harder to find on the cheap.

Cheap art and it's fun to search for. What can I say? Do you know the cure for this addiction? I'm thinking that if they suddenly become highly collectible, I would be motivated to sell them. Then, again, if they were valuable, I'd be on look out for more. I think I may be incurable.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Walking the Talk

Do you ever think about how difficult it is to live so your christianity shows? I'm thinking this in a round-a-bout way because I got a different car. Bear with me and you might learn how I got there.
My almost 13 year old car was starting to worry me, so I went shopping and the best deal I found was a red car. When you drive a gray minivan you are pretty anonymous among all the other neutral colored vans, but a red car in a small town screams "It's her!" and everyone knows who the car belongs to. I think I'm a good driver, but sometimes I get impatient with others. You know, like the guy ahead of you driving 15 mph and looking left and right while you are running late. Or, when everyone is trying to decide who will go first at a 4-way, so you just go. It only takes of few seconds of patience, but sometimes I just don't use it and I'm immediately ashamed. I think if I had one of those JESUS tags that you can't read until you stare at it or the ithcus (fish) emblem, I would be even more ashamed.

If you know Lutherans, the pastor usually wears his collar just for church services. The rest of the time they dress like everyone else. We had a pastor a few years back that wore his more often than that. When I asked him about it, he told me it helped to remind him of his calling.

Many of us wear crosses, even people who aren't Christians. It's just a piece of jewelry to them. I wear one nearly every day, but I want to be the kind of person who lets their faith show, no matter what they are wearing. I also know that I will often fail because we all "fall short of the glory of God".

So what is the point of this ramble? I imagine you are totally baffled by now. Maybe, having a red car could make me a more considerate driver or could it make me a better Christian?

This is my cross. I had the medallion cast from my late husband's wedding ring.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dear Sirs:
In view of what seems to be happening internationally with banks at the moment, I was wondering if you could advise me. If one of my checks is returned marked "insufficient funds," .....
How do I know whether that refers to me or to you?

House Party II

My daughter & I just had our second "House Party". Her hubby is out in Wyoming for several days, so she and the kiddos came to stay with me. With a 2 year old and a 4 month old, an extra hand is a real bonus. Plus, I get to spend 24 hour days with my grandchildren without being 100% in charge. Neither one of us feels like a house guest since she's using her old bedroom with just a couple of baby beds added. Hah!
Anyway, I enjoy having people in the house again and if they didn't add to the mess, I would never realize how bad things were getting. They are on their way back home....clear across town (2.5 miles) as Dad should be home before bed time. It was good time. I just need to remember to get rid of the trash can full of diapers tomorrow. Stinky, stinky, stinky!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Memory Lane

I was reading Far Side of Fifty's account of her EMT career. It brought back a memory that I had forgotten. I worked in communications from the time I was 16 until I retired. I was always on call and many nights the phone rang at 3 a.m. My habit in the winter was to tuck my nightgown into my sweats, pull on my snow boots, don a stocking hat and my down coat and go to the office. After all, I wasn't going to see anyone but the local cop on patrol. It saved time, I could fix the trouble and be back home most nights in under an hour and go back to bed. That all changed one night when things were more complicated and not resolved very quickly. My boss came down to the office for some reason or other. I tell you I got really, really warm working with my coat on until he left! Needless to say, I started putting a sweatshirt over my night gown after that.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Dust Bunnies & Bats in the Belfry?

Lately, I've been feeling inept since I don't raise anything. I use to have a garden, but when I go on my builds they either burn up or the weeds take over, so this year I didn't even try. (forgive the previous sentence, it's not worth the effort to fix it, if I could) I guess I raise grass, because I spend a lot of time mowing it. The other thing I raise really well is dust bunnies. They are multiplying even as you read this. Oh, and I had more apples from my one little tree this fall than I ever had. Also, tonight, I discovered I must be raising birds. I can hear a bird chirping in the ceiling over my head. I went outside in the dark cold with a spot light to see if the screens on the gable vents had come off, but they look intact. Tomorrow I will get the extension ladder and see if there is an opening into the house attic from the garage. I came home one day this week and the garage door was open. Sometimes those darn cats run in as the door goes down. However it got in, I suspect it will have to die there. I sure hope it doesn't stink. I'm not opening up the attic from the inside and having a bird loose in the house. It's very stressful being a homeowner!

Something to think about today

That the birds of worry and care fly above your head, this you cannot change. But that they build nests in your hair, this you can prevent.---Chinese proverb

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I've only been blogging for a few months. I was beginning to think I was too old as most of the blogs I looked at were discussing breast feeding and home schooling. Now I'm not uninterested in those topics, especially when they concern my grandchildren. I just didn't have much in common with most of those bloggers. A young woman I have enjoyed reading is Rachel. She always has a positive outlook, is a prolific knitter, teaches music from her home, homeschools her children and has a great sense of humor. I wonder if she ever has a down day or she just blogs on her "good" days. Seriously, I think she is an admirable wife & mother.

Recently I have found some blogs of women closer to my generation. Although I don't raise goats or chickens, I find I can relate to their lives and memories. I'm enjoying Life on a Southern Farm and I have a new friend over at Wyoming Breezes, so check them out if you get a chance.

I recently was the lucky winner of these towels from Garage Gramma. Aren't they cute? They've been hanging there for a couple days. Now I can use them, since I finally got a picture taken. Thank you Kathy!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Fall Harvest 101

When I went into town this evening I noticed the trucks were lined up for over 4 blocks waiting to get into the elevator. It has just dried up enough from the last rain for the harvest to resume and now there is rain and snow predicted for tomorrow. Last year, I drove the tractor and operated the grain cart for my brother-in-law for a while. Actually it was probably just a week, but 14 hour days made it seem longer. He was finally able to find some more experienced help, so I got canned! Anyway, I took my cameras with me and got some good pictures.

When you see the yellow start to top the bin, you need to get the cart over to the combine before it runs on the ground.

The combine unloads the corn into the grain cart.

The tractor driver takes it to the truck at the edge of the field and offloads into the trailer. The tennis ball is to help some of us novices with poor depth perception line up with the trailer.

You work as late as you can, until the corn tests too wet or the elevator closes.

This picture was through the rear window of the tractor into the sunset. Looks like gold, huh?

and when you finish one field.....you go to the next one.

Help Baby Mia

This little baby needs a heart transplant. She is only a few days younger than my little Mariell. Please check out her story here and help if you can. You can also click on picture below to get a chance to win a quilt and help.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Don't forget to VOTE

I picked this image up over here. I voted early as many of my friends did. No matter who you like, you need to vote. To not excercise this right is disrespectful of all the sacrifices others made for us to have that right.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Boys & Tractors

What is it with little (and big) boys and tractors. Whenever I take my grandson outside, I can guarantee where those little legs will take him first. He's only 2 years old, but he climbs up on that old tractor like a little monkey. He also has observed how temperamental it is and uses the palm of his hand to tap the throttle. I don't know if my kids were as smart as my grandchildren. Probably they were, I was just too busy to notice.

Weekend Highlights

What a lovely weekend we just had. The weather has been so mild that I'm getting a second chance to do the winterizing I should have already done.
I had to work my courage up for one task, though. Long story short... my dog hasn't been sleeping in his dog house, which seems unusual for the cool nights and I was missing a cat. Can you see where this is going? It has happened before. Anyway, I couldn't smell anything, so I had to nerve up and crawl in the doghouse to see if there was a dead cat inside. Fortunately there wasn't. So that was GOOD.

Also, I've have some new trees that I babied all summer. I've been thinking that I need to protect them from the rabbits and deer this winter. I purchased a roll of orange snow fence and tied it to some t-posts that I pounded in the ground. I don't know why I put it off. It didn't take nearly as long as I anticipated. I hope it survives our strong Kansas wind. I really can't believe that built a fence!

Friday, October 31, 2008

One tidy spot

My cleaning has been sporadic these last few days. I think I have ADD. Of course, it could be that I don't have a place for everything that I have. You know..."a place for everything and everything in it's place". This old hutch has scratches and dings, but it's one thing I remember from my grandma's house. It probably was never an expensive piece and sometimes I think of painting it.
Anyway, the latest theme for my hutch has been the blue stuff. Soon it will be time to put out the Christmas dishes.

Trick or Treat

Since I don't have any neighbors and don't live in town, these little dolls were my only visitors tonight. Aren't grandchildren beautiful? Little Riley took his train costume off and was going to stay at grandma's. I love that he wants to spend time here. McClellan called to say trick or treat for me. Often times he signs, which doesn't translate well over the phone.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It's in the Mail

I've been gathering some 4" fabric squares for Christina. Jeannie from her church is going to help her and some other budding seamstresses an I-Spy quilt. It's hard to know where to stop, but I decided when I went to the fabric shop to look for "bug material" that I had gone far enough. So, today they went into the mail.

I got to meet Jeannie, Karen, and Ginny last week when I stayed with Christina while Matt was gone to Ohio for the week. The older ladies meet with the young mom's weekly for chatting and planning and mentoring. My grandchildren are lucky to have those stand-in grandma's.

Wednesday's Woes

I started the day with a list of things to accomplish. I am a professed "piler" and I wanted to clear a few surfaces as I am having sorority at my house next week. Well, I've had muscle spasms in my back for 4 days, so today I decided this was the day to see the chiro. I wasn't going to get better on my own. That took an hour I hadn't planned on. Then, my daughter pointed out that the month was nearly over and I hadn't got my tags and taxes. So.. there was a trip to the courthouse and a $445 expenditure.

Oh, I also took some stuff out to my booth at the antique mall and remembered that I had a coupon for $10 at Famous Footwear that would soon expire, so I shopped for a new pair of athletic shoes. On the way home, I stopped at the grocery for a couple of non-necessities. One of my friends from church was just getting a booth set up to give flu shots for county health, so I stopped for that and updated my tetanus while I was at it.

I did manage to clean off my china hutch and dust a side table. Tomorrow I have Granny Camp- the slower version of boot camp and Whatever- a quilting group at church, so the morning is blown. I really should mow behind the shop just one more time, too.

Maybe I'll just head on over to Finding My Knitch and make her Buttermilk Pie. It sounds delicious.

I hope your day was more productive than mine.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

October 26, 2008

Things I am thankful for today:
I have healthy grandchildren
My children are good parents
That I have a home
That my old van still keeps running
Being invited out for lunch
Visiting with my brother-in-law and sister-in-law
I have a job to go to tomorrow
I was able to see my mother this yesterday

Things I need to work on:
Eating without thinking
Stressing about things that I can’t change
Spending too much time on the computer

Goal for Tomorrow
get ready for the plumber on Tuesday
focus on the positive

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Philippians 4:8

I belong to a service group at church. When asked what the original group wanted to call themselves, one lady answered " Whatever". So, that's what we are called. Mainly we make quilts from donated materials for each newly baptized child and each high school graduate. Some go to the foster care program.They are very basic, hand-tied quilts. Baby quilts are made from 48- 6" squares. I stepped into the job of cutter (because no on wanted to use the rotary cutter) and by default, designer. Lately,I've been trying to break out of the box regarding color. I'm trying to be more bold. By that I mean use more that 2 fabrics for a top.I wish the colors showed better in the pictures.It's difficult to stay matchy-matchy when you can only work with what's in the cupboard. We are having a craft bazaar this weekend and these are some that I have created.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Verity's Baptism

The last weekend in September, Verity Christianna was baptized. I took my mother and my mother-in-law with me. I had hoped to get pictures of all 4 grandkids together, but they didn't get the memo. We had a nice visit.
Here are pictures of the girls, Mariell and Verity ...

and the boys sharing an ice cream sandwich.....(Tonganoxie has an ice cream truck that drives around the neighborhood ringing a bell.)

and the cake that my son made. The messes he made in my kitchen growing up sure paid off. It was pretty and it tasted good. Real men do cook. His dad set the standard there.
My oldest grandson and his parents had to be out of their house for a few days, so they spent the weekend with me. I really enjoyed it. He left his parents in bed and came upstairs to sit on my lap while I ate my breakfast in the mornings. He requested waffles for his breakfast, but eggs and toast seem to suffice.

A few weeks ago, I picked up a doll and bottle at a garage sale. Both of my grandsons have new baby sisters and I thought it would be a logical addition to grandma's toys. I remembered a doll cradle that I had won in a raffle. As you can see, Riley was a little confused how it should work.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Poor Little Boy

Riley has the croup (again). He sounds just awful, with a barking cough and wheezing rattling inhalations. He hates the noise that the nebulizer makes. This is just the beginning of his breathing treatment tonite. He ended up with his hands over his ears.

He enticement was watching a "Kids Song" dvd while taking the treatment. Do you 80's babies remember those songs? Pea..nut Peanut Butter!

Poor Mommy, too, with a 10 week-old, a sick boy and Dad working very late.