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Sunday, May 31, 2009

I'm not judging you, but...

Today was magnificent! I made it to church for the most wonderful service. Still celebrating the upcoming birth of Grand #5 (or should it be #B1, with A1,2,3,4 the others? IDK) it brought me to tears to witness the special events today. Four graduates were honored before the congregation. All four were read to as they stood near the alter. The youth pastor read letters written by their fathers... Words like, "...when we first found out you..." and "...our little bean!" Thanks what Tim & Jessica call their long-awaited. And if that wasn't enough? Following the grads was a family for a baby dedication. The baby's name? Brody! Close enough to Brady to make me grab my next-to-last tissue!

Oh well... I know you're all ready to O.D. on my baby babblings. Back to the point of my post...

[Warning: If Jesus offends you, click the little x in the upper, right-hand corner. Or better yet, read on anyway...]

Friday, after Jessica 'delivered' (I love that word) the news, we were talking about church. I commented about some of the people that are there whenever the doors are open. (no names, not a gossip session - just opinions) Yes, we do need those dedicated people to keep things in order. But, (and again, I'm not judging) that's not what it's about folks! Remember the Great Commission? Did Jesus spend his every waking hour inside a synagogue? No! He went out! Out to where they needed HIM!

I am being judged. I don't know by whom, but I know it's happening. People know us. They look around at the small group gatherings and miss our faces. They have a BBQ and we're not there. They have the ladies lunch bunch. I made one. Men do a Saturday breakfast. I don't think Hubby's ever been. We've missed numerous prayer meetings and special events. I'm not saying we never go to them. We do. Some. Want to know the most horrible thing about me? I've skipped church because of reasons other than death. I KNOW!

Yes, Jesus clearly directs us to gather together. It is important to strengthen our faith. Our church family upholds us. They pray with us. They are so very important to me. It is hard to grow our faith in the world without a strong bond with our Christian sisters and brothers. 'Nuff said.

Pastor's sermon today said it all. He reminded us that, yeah it's great to come here, but that's not what it's all about. We come to be equipped... to go. On the Day of Pentecost, the followers waited. The Spirit came and filled them, giving them the ability to speak in all the tongues of the people gathered in the city. Not to communicate with each other, but to go out.

Now, I'm not bragging that I'm this 'pounding on doors, bringing people to the Lord' person. Far from it. I fall miserably short. I've missed many opportunities to witness about what God has done for me. But I've shared a lot. When I was a MySpace addict, many of my posts shared how God was moving in my life.

Our church purpose: "To turn people into passionate followers of Christ" Pastor reminded us this morning that we can't do that sitting in the sanctuary. And Pastor, if you're reading... "HONK, HONK!"

Saturday, May 30, 2009

What's his name?

Sorry about bombarding you with all these new posts, but things are happening in every aspect of my life right now, and I'm just overwhelmed with the urge to share. Following is my attempt at humor, even though this is pretty much word for word.

Some background info: My F-i-L is named J.C. That's it. Just initials. Gave him problems in the Navy. Tim adores his grandfather - puts him on a pedestal as all should. He has said in the past that if he had a son he would name him J.C. Just initials! I have to side with Jessica on this one. Hey, call him Joseph Christopher or something...

So now they have told us a girl will be Isabella (lovely) and a boy will be Brady (very country-sounding to me - I like it).

So we sit down to dinner tonight, me, Hubby and the in-laws and, of course, the conversation immediately turns to the new baby...

J.C. beaming: "I told them what to name it - James Cecil..."
Lily interrupts: "They're not going to name the boy Cecil. It's not a popular name in this day and age. He would probably get beat up on the playground. Besides, they said a boy would be named Brady."
"Well, I knew a guy named Cecil..." J.C. rolls on and on...
Hubby interrupts: "I know a guy named Cecil, Who do you know named Brady?"
Me again: "I imagine the girls go to school with boys named Brady - not Cecil."
Hubby: "Who do you know named Brady..."

My New Husband...

The last twelve hours have been a joyous ride! (miracles-do-happen) The baby news sure helped my dry-eye problem and helped loosen my sinuses! Just what the doctor ordered ;)

I've already contacted Hubby's ex about our joint shower. She replied with smileys. Of course, I posted the news here and a link on Facebook. Oh no! I forgot MySpace. Be back in a minute...

OK, I'm back. Sorry, had a couple of comments to read. Anyway, back to Grampa...

Since we are a middle-age hook-up, I never got to experience Hubby's new daddy days. I'm beginning to think it was probably a lot more emo than the new daddy days I had. He is funny! You know, that cutesy funny that you don't expect from 'that kind of guy'. Oh, I know he's got that soft side. It shows with our four granddaughters. He loves them more than life itself, but those are 'my' daughter's children. He loves my daughter too, but it's just not the same. I was a gramma when we met. He had his children at an older age (not much) so his son Tim was just graduating high school about the time Grand #1 started school. By the time Tim married, Grand #2 danced with him at the wedding reception (and had a serious crush on the groom.)

Now it's 'blood'. That little boy that followed him around with the plastic mower, is becoming a father. And I love his reaction! Last night he was in the living room watching his MAN shows when I came out and mentioned her 'positive test' blog. wanna-hear-secret So there we were, both of us wiping our eyes again...

A little bit ago, he came in, sat down and said, "Good thing I got five of those coin cards," with a mile-wide grin. He has been saving coins for the Grands and, believing this would happen soon, started one for Baby Isabella/Brady too. Last night when the lottery numbers came on the local news, he declared that we needed to win it to help start a college fund. (Better be a big jackpot. That makes five college funds and counting!)

Yes, it's going to be a wonderful seven months!

Friday, May 29, 2009


This has been the most wonderful day! My step-son and daughter-in-law are one of the most got-it-together couples you'll ever meet. High school sweethearts, she waited for him to serve his country, then he came home to marry her. After enjoying a bit of married life alone, (and after being asked over and over again when they were going to have a baby) they decided to start a family. Then things went south...

At first it was a casual thing. "We're not on birth control anymore." Then it got more focused as time passed and nothing happened. Finally, it was time for some tests. One day she told us the doctor found a little hormone level problem and now that they took care of that she should get pregnant very soon! We were all so excited!

Time passed. Nothing happened. The road led to specialists, expensive drugs, uncomfortable procedures and insurance battles. Jessica was diagnosed with PCOS (PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome). I know that many people wait for much longer periods, some never have success. But I still think that every day must have seemed like an eternity as her frustration lingered on.

To keep from having to explain things over and over, and to keep those of us that didn't want to keep asking up-to-date, Jessica started posting blogs on her MySpace page. She added links for weirdos like me to click and soak up all the information we could about it.

That's what brought her to blogspot. And I followed. You can find her story (and some cutesy vlogs) at Hey Mrs Robinson....

Anyway, tonight they came over to dinner... We visited a bit, then sat down to eat. That's when the ultrasound picture came out! She has known since Mother's Day (from a home test) but didn't want to announce it until they heard the heartbeat. Here is first picture of Mommy, Daddy and Isabella or Brady. (subject to change, of course)

"I once felt sorry...

...that I had no shoes, until I met the man that had no feet." This is probably the quotable quote I quote the most, and that says a lot coming from me. I'm a notorious quoter! Too bad I can seldom remember who said what. (Mark Twain & Thomas Edison were very wise!)

Back to the subject... Not that I'm having a pity party - far from it! Thanks to that little saying, I've not fallen pray to the invites in some time. It has become second nature to me that whenever I have to do something or experience something unpleasant, that quote immediately comes to mind. I think it's my answer to a frequent prayer. I asked God to continually remind me to be thankful and deeply aware of other's needs. It is amazing how your mountains can instantly become the most beautiful fields of wild flowers!

Next on my agenda is strapping on my pollen mask and tackling those resilient sticky things in my front garden. I am taking a breathing treatment 'as we speak'. The new medicine my doctor added to the regimen tastes nasty! And I have to wait for the jitters to subside before I dare try to bend over on a slope. But thanks to God and that little saying, it is no more a bother to me than brushing my hair in the morning. Besides, it gives me time to share one of my favorites with you...

Awards Time!

Please check out my blog entry at essays & utter nonsense. I've got a new award to tell you about...

Since different followers of mine read different blogs, I'm posting this short message instead reposting the whole story here.

In the Out House (for women)

Everytime I behold this sight, I want to share it on my blog.
I'm asking you...
Could I make it any easier?

One Lovely Award!

Last night (or this morning - however you look at 1am) I was sweetly surprised by a note from Lille Diane. We have recently discovered each other, and I guess she must enjoy my blog as much as I enjoy hers because she chose me to receive this lovely 'One Lovely Blog' Award!

I do adore her style and the topics she chooses to post. I hope you will check her out at ...this time tomorrow and please, tell Lille that Lily sent you...
The rules for sharing this award are different than other awards because instead of passing it on to just anyone, you are supposed to pass it on to NEW to YOU blogs you've just become familiar with, which is very, very cool!

Here are the rules for this Very Lovely award:

1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link. You can also make a comment about the person who gave the award to you by asking your readers to stop by their blog, pay them a visit, leave a comment, or even 'follow' their blog if they feel led to.

2) Pass the award on to other blogs that you’ve newly discovered. Contact these bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award. Just go to their site and leave a comment to one of their posts telling them you have an award for them and to please come by your blog to get it. Just a little note: You pick the number of blogs to pass the award to, just give it to those you have recently discovered. A second note, I am not passing this award along as much as I am giving you, my followers, a list of blogs to check out and hopefully follow. I know some of those I have selected may prefer not to participate in this little exercise and that is fine, no problem. Please visit these blogs and if you leave a comment maybe say MzzLily sent you.

A lot of my newly discovered blogs have already just received this award. Lille Diane would have surely been on my list, had she not been the one to award it to me! Then there is Jase at foolstop who also just received it... Well, you get the picture.

I've tried to be a little more organized lately, as I've come to realize that some of my favorite blogs have never received an award from me! I will make it up to them, but now is not the time. These are supposed to be 'new to me' blogs. But do check out my list in the sidebar of blogs I follow. There are some tremendously entertaining folks in Blogville. OK! I've got it... or them:

  1. scribbleinkcafe AmyPlaton is hoping to soon be a published author. Her topics vary from the adorable from-the-mouths-of-babes story to letter-to-the-editor style. She welcomes comments (don't we all) and polite debate. A delightful and educated woman.

  2. room304englishteacher I loved her last post on the empty desks! I find her writing entertaining and her spelleng und grammer mmpeckable:) And who doesn't love an English Teacher?

  3. The Business of Being a Mom Saving the best for last... Traci Weldie is someone that I've been following a bit before I found her blog. I am friends with her in-laws and learned about her remarkable life through them. She is a very devoted mother to four biological children and, most importantly, a child of God. God led them to the decision to adopt a fifth child, George, a seven-year-old boy from Ethiopia. Her blog offers a frank discussion of the hurdles she, George and her family must overcome in this process. My heart has been uplifted and ripped apart by her words. She is brave and honest, and worth a read.

life on the gravel lane

Sadie's favorite cat is Teddy Bear... she just doesn't know it yet! Ted B. adores Sadie. He was the runt and has a funny sound and wobbly walk. Anytime Sadie is around, Teddy wants to rub faces, but Sadie's favorite activity is finding Daddy. When she spots him coming up the lane and runs past the rooster's territory, he sounds his warning!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

droplets at sunset

The rain stopped right before dusk. You can keep the morning...

Foggy mist smudged the outline of the trees into the darkened sky. The air was heavy with sweetness, but yet crisp and clean, freshly washed. The irises, late in bloom and looking tired, folded in for the night, their blankets damp.

back then, now, later...

Another rainy day for writing and creating...

I just stepped out into the sprinkles to look from my balcony down to the goat shed. I have been putting some attention into sprucing it up since it's the focal point from the front porch. Here is an old picture back when we first built it. Except for the detail on the doors - not much to look at... I added shutters, a nice shrub, a rock border, some Japanese blood-grass, mulch and a bird bath. Plus with the new trees and shrubs in between, it's beginning to look picturesque. There are some baby willow trees (my own propagation) to the right and left that are too small to see. This is what it looks like today...
The next things I will be adding this year (God willing) are a trellis with ivy on the blank wall, and a fake window box with wood painted flowers that will brighten even in the winter! I'll probably plant another pine in the big open area, and the bird bath will get a deep green coat.

That should be enough for awhile. I'll turn my attention back to the 'people' shed...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pay Dirt!

I tease Hubby frequently on laundry day about the small pittance he gives me for the chore... It's usually just a dime or a wad of string. Every now and then I get a palm full of change. But today... ah!

Ohio Gardening Kit

A few weeks ago, Hubby picked up this gardening kit for me at the nearby Tractor Supply Co. I already have all the hand tools I need for the job, but he was thinking of me... sweet.

My old recycled steak knife was my most often used tool until the last couple of weeks...
This time of year in south-western Ohio requires some special items that you won't find in your run-of-the-mill garden shop. One would have to spend hours driving around town to locate all the needed supplies. We're all trying to save time and gasoline, right? So, I have decided to market a gardening kit made specifically for the Ohio Valley area. It contains all the essentials needed for the hobby gardener in this area... All shipped directly to your doorstep, so you don't need to be out in the flying cotton balls any longer than necessary. Please indicate your choice of Wild Cherry or Honey Lemon.
WARNING: Please check with your Respiratory Therapist before beginning any gardening activity. Some users may require a higher dosage of medication than contained in this kit.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

baby steps...

My asthma treatments are slowly working... I snuck outside today to help Hubby with the next step of my project. I wanted to concrete around the top slab so the sand base wouldn't wash out.

Hubby readied the site by clearing the sand around the slab. He then mixed up the concrete while I was a safe distance from the dust. (He's great.) That left me with an easy sit-down job. He shoveled the concrete mixture into the larger areas, so I could just use my little gardening shovel to fill the gaps. I then pressed the crushed brick into the top layer of concrete.
The crushed brick will soon replace the mulch under the steps. It will flow down around the bottom slab and on down to surround the stone steps to the lower level. I was hoping to open the pool this week since Grand #2 will be here for the summer. (she is a water rat-the one being flipped in the video) but we've got a ways to go and I hear the thunder coming closer. That's good news though... Hopefully God will wash all these little puffy things from my airspace and I can get some work done!

Monday, May 25, 2009

My thoughts on death & cemeteries...

Being Memorial Day, a lot of posts have had a bit of cemetery talk. While commenting to Lover of Life about her post (lifeinthesecondhalf.blogspot.com/2009/05/i-hate-memorial-day.html) I felt the sudden urge to blog about my desires for when the inevitable happens...

Every day I get in the car, I risk losing my life on the road. Not that I am paranoid about it, just a fact. Anywhere you drive these days, you're likely to see those little crosses and fake flowers marking another loss of life along the highways. I told my husband that should I die in a car accident and he puts one of those things up for me, I will come back to haunt him! Please, don't take offense if you've done that for a loved one. This is only my personal feeling about me and my loved ones. Should Hubby meet that end, I will NOT put up the little cross with fake flowers. I do not want to be remembered for how I died, but for how I lived! I don't want him to think of where I died, but where I lived! I'd rather him be reminded of me by looking out to the gardens and the animals. I hope he leaves the feminine touch in the master bath to remember how I loved it. I hope he reads the notes I scribbled in the margins of my Bible, and the numerous blogs I have posted all over cyberspace. That is me. I am not a corpse along the roadway.

Now, on to cemeteries... I obligingly take my mom to my Gramma's grave a couple of times a year. I don't really feel much about it because I know Gramma isn't there. She is with her Lord in heaven! I know Mom gets something out of this visit, so I take her. I'm glad she's not reading this... When she is gone, I will not be spending time at her grave site. I will have pictures and memories.

Hubby and I have decided to donate our bodies to the university's medical school. When they are done, Hubby's cremated remains will be spread here on his beloved farm. I told him to flush me, throw me in the creek, whatever... I just want to end up in the water.

If my daughter wants to do something special on Memorial Day, have her spend an hour relating stories of some good times with me to friends and family.

As far as the Veterans are concerned, I am as grateful as anyone for the service they gave. It is stirring to drive past a Veterans' Cemetery and observe the tidy rows of miniature flags. Thank you to all those that volunteer to carry on this tradition. It is an honor to them, but I think an even greater honor is a public service where living Vets can tell their tale, the ones who gave their all can be recognized, and just generally show everyone of them the respect and thanks they so well deserve. Take your children to these events and educate them on the price of our Freedom.

P.S. I had to come back to edit this post. While commenting on yet another Memorial Day posting, it suddenly dawned on me... What people get from the ritual of visiting the graves... I had just read Joan's post at 50somethingwoman.blogspot.com/ She spoke of the bonding, family values kinds of things. Blame it on my upbringing I suppose. Those things were never nurtured in me. That makes me sad. I must be missing out on something really special...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Grace in the Garden

Since I'm still 'under the weather' (I wonder where that expression came from) I don't have any new news to blog about, so here's a farm-fresh oldie but goodie...

Gotta love that Gracie (Grand #3).

She was trying to be a farm girl and bring in

a bucket of corn and green beans for dinner.

She is quite the drama queen!

WWII Veteran

This weekend, as we come together with family and friends for cookouts, graduation parties and camping trips, let us set aside a bit of time to reflect on those who gave their lives so that we might have the freedom to do those very things...

I am proud to introduce to you my father-in-law J.C. He served in the Navy during WWII. Luckier than a lot of the men he served with, he not only lived to return home but also lived long enough to witness the memorial built in honor of those who fought in that "war to end all wars".

He is now 85 and his dream was to see the WWII Memorial before he died, though he wondered if he would. In July of 2007, Hubby's brother took him to tour Washington, D.C.
This is a military family. Hubby joined the army after high school, as did his son Tim. His brother Richard (shown below with J.C.) served in Vietnam and retired from the military. Richard's son Shawn is also career army, a member of special forces, a black hawk and fixed-wing pilot. It was a very emotional trip for all three generations. Richard found names on The Wall of friends that he had thought had made it home. Yes, they made it 'home'. J.C. had a tough time. There is a reflection pond with a star for every lost man. With tears in his eyes he said, "I'm sorry you boys didn't make it home." We consider them men, but in reality a lot of these soldiers that have made the ultimate sacrifice were still being raised by mom and dad when they went to serve. For many, it was the first night away from home. For too many, they would never again fall asleep in their own room.
In the last couple of years, there has been a lot of talk about the dying WWII vets. Their numbers are shrinking daily, with not many of them left. I had seen several news reports about different groups of veterans making the journey to D.C. to witness the Memorial. I thought J.C.s story might be an interesting read. He was raised in a coal mining camp and also served in the CCCs before the army. Without telling him, I sent an e-mail about him and his D.C. trip to the local newspaper. I got a reply saying they wanted to interview him.
This photo of J.C. the reporter and the photographer was taken in August of 2007.

Here the photographer has J.C. and Jackie posed in front of some old photographs and Army papers.

The story appeared on the front page of our Xenia Gazette and also on the Fairborn daily paper. Fairborn was their hometown before coming to live with us. Hubby's sister and brother both live there. We kept it a surprise, and boy were they ever surprised! I framed the article and it hangs in their bedroom. It's something that J.C. is very proud to show off. It's a shame that all veterans don't get that kind of recognition

Here's a fun picture of J.C. 'in the day' with a few buddies having some brewskies:

Thank you veterans!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

pool time

I am praying that my health will improve very soon. I hate being stuck in the house, but since I am I've been browsing through some old family photos and video clips. Watching the short films of the various family pool parties, I am anxious to get finished with the landscaping project and open the pool! For those who don't know, we installed an outdoor boiler system last fall and the plumbing for it went straight through the landscaped walkway to the pool.

This is not a top-quality video, but I think it summarizes my idea of a wonderful summer day. Whenever I get tired of cleaning and maintaining the pool, I watch a clip like this and I am reminded of why I love it so.

In this clip, Hubby takes his traditional place at the grill, with my son-in-law nearby. Grand #2 is driving Uncle Tim (my step-son) crazy making him flip her in the pool. Towels and pool toys are strewn everywhere. I'm probably ready to put the camera away and yell at the kids to drip-dry for dinner... Worth every penny!

Friday, May 22, 2009

A Real Winner!

Congrats to Dani a.k.a. Grand #1!
Today she became an 'official' member of the Thespian Club.
She has been performing since she was a baby. She sings for her church, and school. Last year she starred in Guys and Dolls. She won two awards tonight for her performances in two one-act plays put on by the drama department. One for best supporting actress and one for best female minor role. She felt very honored because these awards are voted on by the students! Someday at the Oscars...
"I would like to thank Nana for always being my biggest fan."

This Morning

It started out just plain terrible! I am NOT a morning person. I don't mean I'm grumpy in the morning... I mean I am asleep in the morning, by choice. I do not like getting up much before the crack of ten. Especially after a night like last night. This bronchitis/asthma is getting the best of me. I woke up at 3am in a hacking fit that would not stop. The breathing treatments help, but then I'm jittery for hours. Anyway, back on track...

This particular morning I am summoned to the conscious world by Hubby. He simply states, "We have a problem in the bathroom."

Did I mention that I am not a plumber, never have aspired to being one? Why is he waking me? Is the toilet clogged? Did a pipe break? No. That would be a plumber's job and I am not a plumber. I am however Hubby's resident mess-cleaner-upper.

I'll interrupt this story briefly to let you in on a tip: Never, never, never under any circumstances let your lab wolf down left-over corn from dinner. Even if she is overweight and the vet says let her munch on veggies. DON'T DO IT!

Now back to the story...

It seems that sometime between "Goodnight, I love you, too" and "We have a problem in the bathroom" our lab Sadie had an accident. Well, several actually. Fortunately, it was in the bathroom and not on the bedroom floor!

All I could do was look at Hubby and say, "and I'm out of Frappucinos!" He replied, "I'll run to Speedway and get you some."

So here I am, on my knees hacking, trying to get enough air into my lungs while assuring that multiple trees will die because of my indiscriminate use of paper towels. If you will remember, all this is taking place at a time during which I should be having my REM period.

You're probably thinking this day is starting off on the crappy side - no pun intended...

Yeah, that's what I was thinking too. Luckily, I do not have Hubby's weak stomach. Cleaning up after people or animals doesn't phase me much, unless of course it's in the middle of my night.

When the only trace of the 'plumbing' problem was a lingering aroma, Hubby returned with a nice cold coffee Frappucino and said, "I owe you." Oh yeah, you owe me big time! So I decided to put him to work.

I had Hubby fetch me some mulch for a quick job outside - remember, I still can't breathe. I'm feeling sorry for myself because I really want to get some things done, but the Dogwood trees are running me back inside. I wish I could open the windows and listen to the sounds of nature, but that would give those nasal terrorists access to my sinus cavities. So I did what I do best...

Settling my laptop in front of me, I went online to check my mail and read the blogs I follow. I made a quick trip over to Facebook. I have a friend on there that I've never met, but I know her in-laws. I worked with Harry for several years. His son and daughter-in-law have recently adopted a young boy from Africa. I knew the daughter-in-law wrote a blog but didn't know where. I checked her Facebook page and there was the link. (I will not post the name of her blog here until I have her permission.) I was anxious to read their adoption story...

I spent the next chunk of MY horrible day reading her honest and open thoughts concerning this tough journey that her and her family have taken. She speaks frankly about her conflicting feelings, and shares the way her day starts out every day...

A favorite saying of mine popped into my head... "I once felt sad that I had no shoes, until I met the man that had no feet."

I am not letting Sadie have any corn tonight. But even if I did, tomorrow morning will still be wonderful. Thank you Lord Jesus for making me see.

finishing touch

Yesterday pushed me over the limit. The Dogwoods are killing me with my asthma! So today I decided to greatly limit my outdoor time. It's hard when it's so beautiful out!

Anyway, I had Hubby fetch me a load of mulch (He owes me... I'll probably write about that one on my 'essays' blog.) so I could cover the black plastic under the new steps. A few minutes later, I was safely back in the AC.

Later, I went shopping with a newbie... a friend needed help picking out her first computer. We stopped at Michael's first (a wonderful craft store) to buy some flowers. She has a shady spot that she brightens with artificials. I left there only spending ten dollars! Yea me! And it was $10 well spent!

The new planting bed beside the new steps will take a while to fill in. The chives looked so whimpy they reminded me of weed stragglers. I plan on later adding something pink with a little height, but that comes after I paint the foundation and finish some other projects. I didn't want it to look half-down until then, so the $10 worth of artificial flowers will due until then.

I bought a $1 bundle with many branches of tiny white flowers. The stems of the flowers blended perfectly with the chives, so I pulled off the silk leaves and stuck them in with the baby chives. It gave them a little punch until they grow their own. I found the pink flowers for $1.89 each to put behind the blue fescue. Nobody really sees this area except me and Hubby, but now we have this secret little place with perky blossoms waiting to greet us.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

project moving ahead...

We hit it hard today! Fortunately, (as you can see) we got out there while there was still shade. In this photo, I have placed 2 layers of plastic under the steps to control weeds. It will be hidden by mulch. Hubby is screwing the stringers to the posts while the supervisor inspects the job. Add a few plants, some compost and mulch, a blue slab at the top and ... voila!
The stone steps will take off from the lower slate slab to the right and down to the patio below. Then I will continue the planting bed to the right of the steps as well. I have to wait a month or two to stain the new wood, and it will take a little while for the sedum to spread. I couldn't wait to see what it would look like, so I faked it on my computer.

I love making progress! And I really love the new steps.
So much better than the old muddy slope!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

progress on the steps

Asthma & bronchitis has caused me to lose time on my outdoor projects. I finally got out there late today and helped Hubby put the posts in for the top of the steps. Here he is digging the first hole with his beloved tractor... After placing the steps back in the proper location, I held the post perpendicular while Hubby tamped the dirt in the hole. Note the 'supervisor' standing in the background. Nothing gets done without Sadie's oversight.
If I don't die in my sleep, we will anchor it all together tomorrow and start on the stone section that goes to the lower level.

Awards and Friendships

Squirrel Queen has made my day! I look forward to her posts with the lovely photography and thought-provoking words. Even though we have never met 'face-to-face', she is a very good friend. Today, on her thrusquirreleyes blog, she honored me with the Most Wonderful Favorite Award. I love that this award focuses on friendship. I have made the most wonderful friends through blogging.

These are the rules in accepting this award:

Deliver this award to eight bloggers who then must choose and deliver the award to eight more and include the following text into the award.

"These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers."

I would like to honor the following bloggers. As noted in the text above, my aim is to find them as friends. These are blogs that I hope everyone will visit and follow.

  1. my thoughts dani-mhs1
  2. chase at 290minus100
  3. Joan at 50somethingwoman
  4. TC at animalsthatgivepause
  5. mkreider at fromthenorthfork
  6. Cameron at ricemansblog
  7. Jessica at countryfamilyrobinson
  8. Lady Katherine at ladykatherineteaparlor

There are many, many more that I also think of as friends, but life is short...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Roommate in Heaven

My roommate in heaven will be perfect! My R-n-H will know how to change the empty toilet paper roll. My R-n-H will not drip liquid handsoap or toothpaste. My R-n-H will know how to operate light switches in BOTH directions. My R-n-H will understand when to keep quiet and when to speak. My R-n-H will love classical music. My R-n-H will not put 'balls' of hay-filled-socks into the laundry basket. My R-n-H will not use the dish towel for wiping muddy hands. My R-n-H will not need to keep an assortment of munchies within arms reach of the favorite chair. My R-n-H will understand the purpose of coasters. My R-n-H will understand that I don't have a built-in key/eye-glasses/wallet finder. My R-n-H will be able to sleep through anything, and without snoring. My R-n-H will use only 1/4 of the bed. My R-n-H's arms will not tire when massaging my back.

My experience here on this earth is teaching me wondrous things about heaven.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

last chick update

Well, maybe... we'll see. It was pretty rough going into the chicken house today. Hubby keeps it super clean, but there are a lot of chicks! As much as I love fresh eggs and being self-sufficient, I want nothing to do with the chickens. I have a medical situation that dictates I should not be spending time in a chicken house. 'nuf said. And Hubby is not one to pick up a camera. Once they are old enough to go outside there will be more pictures, but for now... 0n to the comparison shots.

The top photo is one from April 9th - our 1st day. It's not the greatest, but I wanted to include the gallon waterer to give scale. At that size, they could have used the lip as a bird bath. They were no wider than the trough. The 2nd photo I shot today in the chicken house. That makes them 5-1/2 weeks old. Also note that in the 1st shot the waterer is sitting on the shavings and in the 2nd shot, it's up on large bricks.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Beauty on the Farm

Another beautiful Saturday spent with Grace, a.k.a. Grand #3

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Maggie & Me

I was just gazing through some old pictures and thought I'd share.
Believe it or not, it was love-at-first-sight with Maggie.
She was my first horse... an off-the-track thoroughbred,
neglected and needing a home.
Here she is, the way she looked then, at twenty-five years old!
My favorite picture... This was taken about three months later.
I got her weight back to what it should be and she looked like a winner!
I never used a bit with her. Only a halter with reins clipped on.
I trail-rode her this way. Lovely gal. I miss her.
She lives a ways north of here now with a friend of mine.
...and she still runs like the wind!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mother's Day heartache

I'm still reflecting on Mother's Day... not a good thing. I wish I could stop thinking about it. I've contemplated writing about it many times, for therapeutic reasons, then changed my mind. I've prayed about it so many times over the years. Why can't I just take it in stride?

You're wondering what's up? Did my mother die tragically? Was I abandoned? No. My mother lives less than two miles away in a senior's apartment building. I help take care of her. But when it comes to Mother's Day... Let's just say she is not the mother they write about in the greeting cards. I have no fond memories of my childhood that involve her. I have a hard time dealing with my jealousy of others that have great moms. Why couldn't I have one of those moms? I really think I would be better off emotionally if I had never known her... if I had been abandoned. At least then I could let my imagination create a loving lady that had no choice, that loved me enough to want the best for me.

From the time I was very young I remember feeling like my mom didn't really want me. And she probably didn't. I was the third child born into the unhappy marriage. I guess birth control wasn't in her vocabulary. My father married her because she was pregnant with my oldest brother. Another brother, four years younger than the first, might have been planned. I've never asked. I'm quite sure that I, as well as my youngest brother, were totally unexpected.

Mom and Dad were married about thirty years... That to me is amazing, considering their daily lives! There was no love between them. There wasn't much shown to us kids either. During their entire marriage, my dad never once gave my mother a birthday or Christmas present. No card, no flowers. Nothing. He made nasty comments about her weight at the dinner table. She slammed cupboard doors and grumbled. He retreated with his beer can to the basement or the garage.

I have no memories of Mom helping me to get ready for my prom. She would never have allowed me to go. She never taught me how to cook or keep house. She never told me about love. The memories I have of Mom are her calling us nasty names, her chasing us out of the house, her telling me that when I grew up I'd probably end up 'in trouble'. I could write a book on the negative things I remember from my childhood and teenage years, but that's not what this is about. It's about me.

The only time I remember hearing the word love was when my brothers and I would fight. Dad would tell us that we shouldn't fight because we loved each other. It's no wonder I grew up with a screwed-up definition of love! When I was in my twenties (my parents lived 1000 miles away then) I made myself tell them "I love you" at the end of a telephone call. There was a period of silence... Then, "I love you, too." It wasn't the way I imagined it sounding. It sounded strained, unnatural.

Now that I'm supposedly wiser, I think my parents aren't capable of that kind of love. Not everybody is. It's just that simple. I drew the short straw. But where does that leave me?

The leading character of my manuscript has a very skewed picture of what love is. I relate to her a lot. I made a mess of my past life because of that very reason. It wasn't until I let Jesus into my heart that I really understood love.

I vowed, when I had my daughter, that she would hear those words every day. And she did. Still, we don't have the relationship I wish we had. I did all the right 'mom' things for the most part. Our relationship changed during her rebellious teenage years. I was divorced and didn't have the answers. I don't think she's out of those years yet... but I blame myself for that.

Whoever you are reading this, I wish I had your mom. Because then I would know how to be that mom. I didn't have a script to go by. I don't have a clue how to be that great mom that I read about in the Mother's Day cards. Maybe if Mom hadn't run us out of the house so much, I could've watched those sixty shows that people are always talking about... you know... the ones that have the perfect mom and dad.

My best friend can't understand why I help my mom now. She remembers all too well. But my mom is old now and she needs help. My brothers aren't going to do it, so I guess I feel it's my obligation. She feels that way too. She went many years without having anything to do with me. Then she got old. She told me she was coming back because she needed me to take care of her. The Bible tells us to honor our mother and father. I have wrestled with this a lot. It's the reason that most people don't know the private side. It's the reason I've deleted several things I just wrote. I feel it's not honoring them to write this, even though I didn't really get into the nitty-gritty details. At least no one that knows them will be reading it.

So this Mother's Day, I went through the same anguish trying to pick an 'appropriate' card for Mom. I just can't bring myself to give her one of those 'thank you Mom for being there for me' greeting cards. It hurts too much. What hurts worse? When I open my daughter's card to me and don't find the 'thank you Mom for being there for me' greeting card.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

beautiful day on the farm

The weather was beautiful today.
I managed to get some garden chores done and even got a start
on the steps project from my balcony to the pool area!
I'll post some pics when I get farther along.
The forecast indicates it may be awhile.
But for now, enjoy these sites I shot today...
I love this willow shrub! It is over six feet tall now.
This time of year it is covered with a worm-looking growth.
It was too breezy to get a good close-up of them.
The Japanese blood grass I transplanted is doing very well.
I love the way it looks when the evening sun hits the blades.
It becomes almost transparent!

The color of the sky was a perfect contrast to the brightly lit branches of our ornamental plum.

This iris is what I remember from my grandmother's flower bed.
I love the combination of the stark yellow and delicate lavender.

I only wish my camera could capture the brilliance of the evening sun
hitting this bright yellow iris!

I just noticed this artwork on the sitting rock today.
The grandkids were playing with their sidewalk chalk this weekend...
I think it's a 'welcoming' touch!

The new iris bed is doing well.
I worried because the bulbs were out of the ground so long.
It's certainly an improvement over the transformer box!

One of our baby pines. It's about six feet tall now and is getting it's first pine cones!

Monday, May 11, 2009

chickens, and horses, and goats - oh my!

Ridding the critters of mites and worms... I never had these worries in the burbs. Hubby suspects the chicks are infested with mites. No big deal, it's quite a common thing, but still needs prompt attention. The big deal is in the treatment...

There is a powder that will eliminate the problem. The problem lies in that the powder must be applied to not only the hen house cracks, crevices, bedding, nests, etc, but also to each and every chicken. ALL EIGHTY! So Hubby asked, "How are we supposed to treat seventy-five chicks?" I replied, "One at a time." I've got a plan. I hope it works.

Let's make it a pest-ridding week. I figure I might as well worm the six cats, four goats, and two horses.

The last time we wormed the goats was nearly fatal... for us! Fully grown, they are quite strong. I, being a 'townie', bought the first goat wormer I found. The labeled stated how much of the liquid was to be administered to each goat. Apparently, even though the goats love the taste of mud and dandelions, they abhor the taste of this pink liquid stuff! I'd love to have a video of Hubby wrestling Elvis while I scurried around them with the eye-dropper! I'm sure our 'country' friends laugh at us quite frequently.

I'm using a different approach this time... Turns out there's a pelleted form of wormer for goats. They're supposed to eat it like feed. You just pour the correct amount into the feed trough and let them eat it! Who'd a thought? I'll let you know how that turns out.

I mastered the cat meds long ago. When we had fourteen (oops) it was either learn a fail-proof method or be scarred for life! I tried the 'wrap-the-pretty-kitty-in-a-towel' trick. Yeah, right! Without resorting to duct tape, how do you keep the claws inside the towel? (It did qualify for my insurance to cover a tetanus shot on my next doctor visit.) Four hands were simply not enough to control to flailing limbs with extended switchblades.

What would a mother do? Isn't that a question we ask often when faced with a dilemma? So what does a mother cat do when handling her young? Of course! The scruff of the neck! Turns out it works, not just for kittens either. Now, whenever I have to give meds to any of the cats, I simply lift their front-end off the ground by the scruff of the neck. (Sqeeky Bear sometimes requires lifting his entire body.) They passively accept anything I stick in their furry little faces.

The horses can't be picked up by the scruff of their necks. 'Real' horse people do not approve of my worming method. Some meds must be administered orally, so teaching a horse to accept the wormer is a good way to keep them 'med-ready'. Mine aren't. Sorry. I do need to take the time to work on that someday. But for now, I use a wormer they like. It comes in a tube they don't like. So I squeeze the wormer into a little bit of grain and stir. They lap it up as long as I use enough oats & feed to dilute the taste.

So 'country folk' - go ahead and laugh! At least I have blog material!

gone in a moment...

Like most girls her age, Grand #2, my eleven-year-old granddaughter, is crazy about High School Musical. She even has two pink, fuzzy, HSM throws - one at home, one here. She has T-shirts, posters, etc. So last year when I made my reservations for my season tickets at LaComedia, a sorta-nearby dinner theater, I bought an extra ticket for her to go with my BF and me to see their production of High School Musical. She adores my BF and was really looking forward to going... just us three ladies!
When I made the reservations, I didn't realize the date I picked was Mother's Day. Sadly, my BF's children made plans for her so she couldn't make it. Hubby wasn't up to sitting for that long with the physical impairments he's suffering lately, so I decided to take Grand #3, the almost-five-year-old, with us. She is also a big HSM fan.

I came close to chucking the whole plan! Grand #2 can be a difficult child and this weekend she tried to break her record on how many times she could get in trouble. She pushed me to my limit and I finally told her that I was seriously thinking about leaving her at home because I truly do not believe in rewarding bad behavior. She adjusted her attitude just enough...

We had perfect seats! We were center stage, one level up and one table back from the stage. She had a spectacular time! The tuxedo-cloaked host had fun teasing her and even gave her a sweet, faked-for-the-camera kiss on the cheek.
She got autographs from over half the cast while I snapped photos of her with the stars. One of the ensemble members was in a local university's production of 'Children of Eden' with her last year. He, along with some other members of the cast had already headed back stage by the time we got through the line on the right; so the host-with-the-most took her program backstage for some more autographs, including the guy she 'worked with' before. We were probably the last patrons to leave the theater. #2 was quite happy as I jumped on the interstate and heading to their house. This was a magical night for her... so far.

We got to their house well past bedtime. Both girls were bubbling about the show. #3 laid claims to the new 'boyfriend'. They were far to energetic to be sent to bed!

Then Mommy had to relay the news... It seems that sometime over the weekend, Ruby, #2's guinea pig, had expired... kicked-the-bucket... DIED!

All the excitement that had filled the room seconds before instantly vanished. She only got to bask in the magic of the evening for the twenty-minute drive home. Life is so unfair.

I've Been Nominated!

Rae at WeatherVane has nominated my 'blahwg' blog for the 2009 Blogger's Choice Award for best blog about animals and countrylife! I am so very flattered. But now I am, according to Rae, supposed to shamelessly solicit votes from you guys! So here it is: PLEASE, PLEASE, PRETTY PLEASE WITH SUGAR ON TOP follow the link and vote for me... or not. But thank you Rae for including me in a list of some very fine blogs.


Saturday, May 9, 2009


Three girls in a tub!

Since Mommy is away celebrating her anniversary in a cabin at Hocking Hills, I get the joy of having her four daughters here with me. Lots of fun was had today and they had the grime to prove it! So it's in the tub they go. Fortunately, my tub is big enough for three...

Melody loves the tub, the bubbles and being in there with her sisters. However, she's scared to death of the 'bubble machine'! She climbs up on the corner seat when I go to push the button.

Lexi is still young enough to want to hop in with the babies. She is my princess that enjoys pampering like having her back washed and her hair dried by Nana. I know it won't be long though...

What can I say about Gracie? Here she stopped bouncing off the walls long enough to smile for the camera. What a ham!

chick, chick, chicken....

This dude thinks he runs the place! Not really a rooster yet, more like a chickster. But they are pecking and fighting already! Hubby is regretting his decision to take the 'freebies'. We were going to raise those 25 for the freezer, but I'm not sure he can hold out that long.
This gorgeous gal is one of our silver-laced Wyandottes. Not exactly a great shot, but seeing how I was all alone, I think I did pretty good with a camera in one hand! They're getting pretty hard to catch. Their feet are huge! It's going to be fun clipping the wings - NOT! When you spread out the wings, the feathers in the section farthest away from their bodies gets clipped... Just the ends and only one side. This keeps them from flying off. When they molt and get new feathers, guess what? Yep, all over again!

In case you don't remember, scroll down... There is a short video of me spreading the wings on this beauty. I called them angel wings. The light from the window made the feathers glow. In the video, you could see my hands. Yes, they've grown! A few more months and we'll have plenty of eggs to sell.