Friday, December 19, 2008

Within Our Reach: Joy

I Salute You! There is nothing I can give you which you have not; but there is much, that, while I cannot give, you can take.

No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take Heaven.

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present instant. Take Peace.

The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet, within our reach is joy. Take Joy.

And so, at this Christmas time, I greet you, with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and shadows flee away. Fra Giovanni A.D. 1513

Fra Giovanni Giocondo (c.1435-1515) was a Renaissance pioneer, accomplished as an architect, engineer, antiquary, archaeologist, classical scholar, and Franciscan friar.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


One does not let the temperature deter from sitting in front of a fire. Early AM, pjs, slippers, the dog in a sweater and coffee on the warmer. The only thing that could improve on this will be next week when we are up in the mountains!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Kindergarten Joy

Kindergarten Christmas program in McCook, NE. last night for our 6 year old grandson, Reid. Great grandparents braved the bitter cold weather and went along. Afterwards LaVern drove some of the streets of town so that mom could enjoy the decorated and lighted homes. A great time was had by all. The joy of the season expressed in a hug.

Friday, December 12, 2008


The emotion of great delight or happiness caused by something good or satisfying. A source of keen pleasure or delight.
Every day I have joy. Pray that you experience the same.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Incredible Grill

Well, what can I say? LaVern was "playing" in his workshop yesterday and welded our new portable camping grill. He made it from one of those old propane bottles that you can no longer use. The doors are hinged, the legs come off as well as the big chimney. There are two grates inside for grilling or they can be removed to put on wood logs for a fire to sit around. The iron pad on top is to set the coffee pot on for a warmer. Isn't it great?!! lol Will be easy to throw in the pickup or camper and off we go. We are not sure if there will be snow on the ground where we are camping over Christmas so this way it doesn't matter. Can grill or have a fire and not worry about scooping snow out of a fire pit. And I love the "warmer". Will take some pictures of it once we are camped and have a fire going. Simple camping.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I've been having problems with the furnace in my office. It doesn't want to run. Called the landlord and he reset it. Lasted a few days but this morning it was off again. Now when it is only 12 degrees outside the temperature inside was alittle cool. LaVern happened by and he tried a few things. Finally the heat/air guy came and got it running. Ran long enough to warm things up and then quit again. So, here I am waiting for the return visit. It felt great to go home at noon and sit in front of the pellet/corn stove. I was chilled and the heat felt great. Made me think of the old farmhouses we use to live in. One had a coal furnace. Most of them didn't have any type of heat upstairs, just a vent so the heat could rise up. I can remember scraping frosted ice off the inside of the windows so we could look out. It's funny how we take for granted a simple thing like central heat. If I get home early enough I will take a picture of LaVern's newest creation and post it on the blog tomorrow. He was "playing" in his workshop yesterday. Getting ready for our camping trip. until then...........

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Times are tough, no doubt about it. Maybe here in rural Kansas we aren't feeling some of the impact the cities are dealing with. Huge layoffs. It's important I think to pay forward all that you can give this year. Whether in monetary gifts, love or even just your presence, please be generous with others. Someone could be having a tough time and you may not even be aware of it.
Gorp. Anyone have a good recipe for gorp? I'd like one without all the sugary stuff added. Maybe I'll just mix up a variety of nuts and call it good.
Stay warm. 20 degrees here but with the 40 mph wind the weather man says it "feels like" 2 degrees. LaVern thinks the "feels like" theory is a joke. Why don't they just say, "it's cold, man".

Monday, December 8, 2008


I have no clue what it is all about but I have suddenly been invited as a friend to joins lots of others! Guess I might as well learn and get started. Went to the site this morning and was thoroughly confused so better get some insight from someone who already communicates this way. The mornings have been cool, mid to upper 20s and my kind of weather for walking/running. I'm still trying to figure out the best clothing to wear. Found a shirt at our second hand store that is 77% silk and I think that is what will work at least for the base layer. The sweatshirt over that is definitely going to be replaced with maybe a long sleeve t shirt. I got too hot this morning.
Before I forget, if you have the chance in your area to see a movie called Fire Proof, don't miss it. Your can check it out at: Very powerful.
Ordered my Christmas present yesterday.......snow shoes for LaVern!! Terrific online sales. REI had some snowshoes for 41% off and then another 20% off at checkout!
Did I tell you we are "skipping Christmas" and going up into the Rocky Mountains with the Hobbyline and camp for Christmas?

Friday, December 5, 2008


Electronic mail. When I think back 14 years before I had email I just have to shake my head. Now look where we are. Blogs, our own websites, Facebook, and on and on. In the beginning everyone was expected to have an email address. Now we all have blogs and websites. Amazing. I still get lost in some of the web lingo. wdymbt? I remember taking shorthand in high school for heaven sake. This stuff doesn't resemble shorthand. We don't have the internet at home. No TV so no dish satellite for the web. No cable TV so no web. No land phone so no web. But that is okay too. This morning the coffee shop talk was about Ipods and Blackberries. If you weren't familiar with them I am sure the conversation would have sounded like strange plants. I have days when I am so happy to have this access. I love reading about my friends in Canada, my niece in Omaha, NE., people I've never met but share the same interests. But I could easily give it all up, live green and off the grid and be perfectly content. wdt?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


My will power most likely will be tested this week. Desserts will abound at both my mother's and mother-in-law's. We are going to mom's tomorrow so that I can begin the big Thanksgiving feast preparation, including those darn desserts. Blueberry pie, cherry pie, pumpkin pie and a pumpkin torte. LaVern favors the torte so it's a must. The snack table is ready and we could feast on just that! But I am determined to lose a couple pounds during this time period so goodbye desserts. I think I am over the "hump" as far as food is concerned. I don't think it will be an issue this year. Besides, I bought this wonderful new "used" dress that I can hardly wait to try on. Just need to get a few more pounds off. Why is it we gorge ourselves during the two upcoming holidays? I'm going for a long walk after dinner this year! How about you?

Friday, November 21, 2008


If people could look into my living room windows on some nights, they might think that I'm having a seance. What I like to do at night is to turn off all the lights, light candles and put on some soft music, Enya or something similar. Peaceful. I light tall candles, big fat ones, votives. I try not to set the house on fire.

LaVern got in to candle making two years ago so now he is my source for candles. If you know me, you know my "decorating" is purely primitive. You just can't go out in this area and buy one of those "grubby" candles. So he got interested and started experimenting. I LOVE my candles. Last year my best friend and LaVern got together to make candles using crush charcoal!! When I went out to the work shop to check on the progress I had to take a picture. Their faces were smudged with charcoal as well as the candles. But they turned out great. Warmth comes in all sizes.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Even here in rural Kansas people have an opinion of the bailouts. There will be no easy answer. I'm just thankful we have voted people into the offices that hopefully will be able to discuss all the options and make a decision that will help all of the U.S. This is definitely a time to look around you and extend a helping hand to those in need; unemployed, depressed people, homeless. Continue to buy when you can. Pay it forward always. Pray.

Monday, November 17, 2008


The eggplant. I had to look this one up! Recently was looking at some clothing and the top was described as an aubergine turtleneck. Well, it looked like a regular turtleneck to me and I thought aubergine must be a new style. Silly me! It is actually used to describe the color, that of an eggplant. Purplish brown. My vocabulary continues to increase.

When Jack Metcalf (I purchased the business from him, my friend) was still alive I would be priviledged to sit in on many interesting conversations that he had with various other individuals. Jack was a logophile. Lover of words. Sometimes in conversation with me a word was used and I was clueless. Jack would have me look it up in several different dictionaries to learn the meaning. I have a small notebook that I write those new words and their meanings in. Aubergine will be added.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mark 12:28-31

Perfect morning. Left at dawn for my 3 mile walk at the park. Still had light from the full moon. 28 degrees, no wind. Owyn happy to be along. Overdressed. Took sweatshirt off. Wildlife on the move. Still. Quiet. So I ran. Have lost 40 pounds with 60 to go but still I ran. Tears of joy. Made 1 1/2 miles..... Jesus, I said I loved you but I lied. 'cause this is more than love I feel inside. Said I loved you but I was wrong. 'cause love can never ever feel so strong. You are the one!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Basket Weaving

The class was wonderful and I still can't believe we made both of these baskets in two days! The willow was organically grown by our instructor. She was an excellant teacher and we had a great time both days. My forearms are sore. Used muscles I obviously haven't used for a while. The gathering basket is quite large. I intend to use both baskets. One gal made a lid for her herb pouch and was going to use it for her purse! I'm pretty sure I could not start another at home without instruction but would go again to her class if she comes back next year. It is awesome when we have the chance to do something like this with a nationally known basket weaver and author just an hours time away from home. The Dane Hansen Museum is very unique. Oh, the security guard pictured with us......he is a wax figure!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Zany friends

Mr. and Mrs. Potatoe Head, a couple zany friends of mine! It is good to surround oneself with friends that have a sense of humor and fun. And I am all for fun! It has been a busy month and I am glad it is finally winding down. Tonight is our Pheasants Forever banquet and I look forward to going each year. Then on Saturday and Sunday I am going to Logan, KS. to the Dane Hansen Museum for a basket making class. A very talented lady from Iowa is coming and we will make two different baskets from willow. I am very much looking forward to the weekend and a chance to relax and learn something new. I just realized I am at the end of the alphabet!
We'll just have to start over!! It has been great fun.....just like my friends! What a true blessing they are....even as potatoe heads!
(p.s.) They suggested I jump into a brown paper sack and be a tator tot......... ha ha

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


How do I replenish my spirit? By quieting my inner chatter. I let go and let God take over. Things happen for a reason and I'm being guided all the time. Yoga and meditation enable me to understand the impermanence of life. Nothing lasts forever, which in itself is very freeing. I can get over the hurdles in life and know there is an end to them. I am reminded that I'm here for more than going to work, going home, making dinner and going to bed. I am still very new to yoga but find myself more relaxed each time I do it. I was so surprised when I sat down on the floor and could not sit cross legged. When did that happen? Take a few minutes every day even to just stretch and ponder. Quiet that inner self.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Just when I think the world is changing and our arms are open wide for all people someone dashes my hopes. Generationally I think acceptance is broader but there are still those small pocket of individuals who are afraid I guess. Brown, white, black. What difference does it make? I love the clip in the movie, Robin Hood, where a little girl comes up to Morgan Freeman and asks, "Did God paint you?". He responds, "For certain." "Why?"she asks. And his answer to her, "Because Allah loves wonderous varieties." Shalom.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Hakuna Matata!

I know you are thinking my title does not begin with the letter "w" but I'm still blogging about "w", just in a different sense. Remember the movie Lion King? I loved this song. It even plays on my cell phone instead of the phone ringing!
Hakuna Matata! What a wonderful phrase. Hakuna Matata! Ain't no passing craze. It means no worries for the rest of your days. It's our problem-free philosophy. Hakuna Matata!
Today instead of worrying try out some compassion.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


I have decided that I am not aging but regressing! Regressing is to move back to a more primitive state or condition. Yup. That's what I am doing. I have been thinking about a different vehicle of late. One of our boys is without a vehicle so my car could go to him. I have not had a new car for years and have no desire for one. I like paying cash and no car payments and cheap insurance. And for some "wierd" reason, I am thinking a VW bus would be a hoot! I have always loved them so why not. They are 4 cylinders so gas mileage would be good. LaVern really misses our Ford Windstar van that we had (two cars previous). But I'm just not into one of those again. But a VW, now that would be cool.

I would love to find a '60's flowered one. We actually looked at a couple while in Greeley. A good friend of my brother's had them. Neither one ran. He told us that out there the guys are putting Porsche rebuilt engines & trannys in them!! Can you imagine? A VW bus running 80 mph down the road? I want to grow my hair long and where it in a braid along with my round wire rim glasses and birkenstock sandals. A VW bus just works for me!

Monday, October 20, 2008


Wow! Time really does slip away. I haven't ignored my blog unintentionally. No excuses really. Time. I have been spending alot of it exercising. Four hours a day at least. Two every morning and another two in the evening. After years of not taking care of myself I decided it was "time" to get out of bed and begin. Needless to say the first month was rough but I have broken through the barrier and it is much easier. I'm excited about snow shoeing this winter and am buying a mountain/road bike. May need the bike when I can no longer buy gas and will walk to work in the snow shoes if the weather gets bad! Actually, if it gets that bad I won't have to come to work as no one will be buying a house. I love fall. Spending time outdoors in it is such a blessing. 1 Thessalonians 5:16- Always be joyful. Pray continually and give thanks whatever happens.

Monday, October 13, 2008


My business is people oriented, and after a busy day, I just want to be on my own. I make myself a cup of tea--spiced herbal Chia--and retreat to a quiet corner in my home. Tea is my companion. Sometimes the retreat is my "wool" room where I spend time relaxing by hooking wool rugs. Or I just may curl up in the living room in a rocker and read or look through books on primitive homes. The photographs, the text and the process let my mind unwind. I recently have enjoyed experiencing different teas. I tend to navigate towards the "milder" blends and herbal teas. Where is your quiet corner? How do you feel when you're there?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Slow Breathing

It's such an incredible time to be living. I'm connecting in ways I couldn't even imagine before. It's like I'm coming out of my cocoon before I start flying! It's beautiful and uplifting. It's a new way to see myself, and it is a good time to take a breath. I relax through slow, deep breathing. Very helpful when trying to meditate. Get back on track. Focus. Life is something to celebrate on a moment to moment basis. Deep, slow breathing is part of nuturing myself. That's one way I replenish my spirit. If you usually have lunch at your desk or at the kitchen table, take a breather and take it outside.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Riding a Bicycle

I had way too much fun last Saturday riding a bicycle. And not just any ordinary bike but a two seated one. It was alittle strange riding on the back. I found out you don't just sit there and let the front person do all the work! Our museum celebrated their 50th anniversary and we had a grand parade in downtown Oberlin. I was busy working on a float for one of the numerous boards that I am on when the call came from Vickie asking me if I would join her. "Sure, why not" I replied. Initially we were going to be clowns. I raced over to our little second hand store on the hunt for a clown costume. But when I saw the square dancing skirt underslips a light bulb went off. Why not bicycling ballerinas??? The rest is history. We even stopped the bicycle periodically on the parade route and did our ballerina positions; first position, plies, twirling, crow pose. Maybe we will be the next winners of AGT! It was a fun day beginning with a pancake breakfast early, the parade, Indian dancers, buffalo burgers for lunch, melodrama, homemade ice cream and the museum had several people demonstrating crafts. Our six year old grandson Reid was down and he loved it. We camped both nights out at our park. The weekend couldn't have been better.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Quiet Time

I am either on the phone talking to people or with people all day long and sometimes I get tired of hearing other people's voices. Yesterday I was out with a potential new doctor for our area and for two hours it was constant chatter. Now I enjoy talking, ask anyone that knows me. In fact, I am an auctioneer and I enjoy it. But I also relish quiet time. I don't put on my Ipod or the CD player. I sometimes shut my phone off! It doesn't matter if it rings or not. I just enjoy the hum of life. We could all eliminate more from our lives to make it more peaceful. I enjoy getting up early, usually about 5 AM. It's my quiet time. LaVern and the dogs are still asleep and the house is quiet. Make some time in your life for just quiet.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

People Watching

I have been contemplating what I would blog about for the letter P. Pumpkins, prayer, parades, photography, painting. This list could go on and on. Then I thought about next weekend traveling to my brother's in Greeley. I know we will eventually end up at the mall. I think it is expected of us since we have no malls in northwest Kansas. I love to stake out a place in the mall and just sit and watch people. They come in a big range - from those wearing designer clothes and jewelry to those with purple hair and nose rings. It's like Ripley's Believe It or Not on parade! It is even more fun watching people here in town. And I wonder, "Why do some people look like their dogs?"

Monday, September 29, 2008


My favorite month of the year, October. Falling leaves, pumpkins, brisk cool weather, migrating monarchs, bittersweet and carmel apples. Early this morning a friend and I walked a trail at the park and the leaves crunched underneath our feet. This is the time of year that I love going to the Rocky Mountains to view the golden Aspen and listen to the bugles of the elk. Our plans are to go to my brother's in Greeley, Co the weekend of October 11th. We usually plan a quick trip up into the national park. I generally will find that one perfect leaf to pick up and bring home to stick in my journal. The weather is to be in the mid to lower 70's all week so I think I will call a special friend to join me for a walk in the woods, seeking out the bittersweet and returning home for a carmel apple! What fall plans do you have?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

New Age

I hear this term alot especially about music and it made me wonder where did the term come from. Dictionary says it is an adjective from 1956. Hmmm. Back to the '50's again. That must have been an interesting period. I wonder if it has anything to do with the war having ended and people looking ahead. A social movement drawing on ancient concepts especially from Eastern and American Indian traditions and incorporating such themes as holism, concern for nature, spirituality and metaphysics. I guess I thought the term was fairly new like in the last 10 years and was applied just to music. Just one more thing adding knowledge to my life. One is never too old to learn.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I love mystery books because they force me to pay attention to the story and nothing else. I try to solve the cases. I try NOT to read the ending first and usually I don't but I still have a relapse now and again. I like that the characters are fictitious. I can either deal with them or not. I am the type of book reader that by the second chapter I am either interested in it or it goes back to the library. I know that some books are slow to start and maybe by the 4th or 5th chaper they get good but I never get that far if it is a "slow read". I love reading any type of book not just mysteries but they are my favorite. It is sad that our libraries are not being used near as much as before computers came into our lives. Reading a book is like watching a movie in your mind. I give faces to some characters in the book and the show begins. Next time you find yourself flipping through the channels on TV, check out a book. You can still pick out "what you want to watch" in a book!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

On the road again

Just a quick note. It is 1:30 and I am still waiting for the State auditor to come and review my books. After work we will finish loading the travel and get on the road. Plan on driving to Hays and spending the night in a Walmart parking lot! Been there, done that. It really is fun and someone always comes over to see the trailer. I'm thankful the Walmart company allows it. Then on to Hillsboro Thursday morning. We are hoping we get one of the first come, first serve camping spots. If not, Plan B. So I will be away from the computer until next Monday. Everyone have a great weekend. Autumn begins next Monday so get out and enjoy it! I love this time of year. Makes me want to buy pumpkins and ghords! Of purpose and spirit.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


This morning in the coffee shop a group of us sat around the table conversing. I noticed that a gal was speaking but was interruped before she finished. Was the other person even listening? Most of us take good listening for granted. Therefore, we don't work very hard at improving. But it is a complex activity! Listening requires an active response, not a passive one. To be an effective listener involves several processes. What you think about listening, what you feel about listening and even what you do about listening. I may not feel like listening to someone and so attitude definitely plays a part. In my work as a real estate agent I have found that the job requires me to be a good listener. My sellers and buyers have alot on their minds and selling or buying a home is one of the biggest decisions of their lives. Sometimes I just need to listen. I read somewhere that we were given two ears and only one mouth, because listening is twice as hard as talking! Listening........something to work on.

Monday, September 15, 2008


I have been accused of being this and I admit, I am. I'm not going to give you the definition as it is more fun challenging you to look it up! This morning it was 38 degrees here. Unusual for us in September but then next Monday autumn officially begins. There are only 107 days left for 2008 and lesser time yet before Christmas. LaVern and I hope to "get out of town" this Thursday and travel to southeastern Kansas. There is a big craft show in Hillsboro that we want to check out and then several things in that area to see. We will take the 1955 Hobbyline canned ham travel trailer and camp. LaVern started a batch of soap over the weekend. He is making a batch called "kitchen" soap. It has coffee grounds in it and when you have onion smell on your hands this soap is suppose to take that away. I may have an opinion about that!

Friday, September 12, 2008


Do you write in a journal every day? I try to but don't always get it done. Problem with me is I have more than one journal. I have a camping journal, my everyday journal, a journal for my rug hooking adventures and then my "Jesus" journal. It's probably my most favorite. It was actually a small leather book about sea shells. Not in the best shape so no monetary value. But I like the tattered worn cover and the size. My friend Craig from Canada sent us a ruffed grouse feather lamenated. It is a special book marker for the "Jesus journal. I take plain paper and glue to the pages and write my own things. Prayers, scripture verses, thoughts, pictures of family scattered throughout. The small size is perfect for taking out to the park when I go for a long walk, find a stump to sit on and meditate. My grandmother Jass journaled every day. Sometimes it was just a line or two and maybe nothing more significant than the weather. Periodically I look back a few years in my journal and am amazed at the changes and how prayer was answered later on. I like to write until I have nothing more to say, then read what I've written and see where my thoughts have led me! I don't have to correct spelling mistakes, I can write outside the lines, no rushing. You don't have to buy a fancy journal just make your own as I did. Pick a book with a cover you enjoy and have fun. To journal is a good thing.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Idiot Box

I am laughing this morning inwardly as I wonder how many of you were anticipating what I would blog for the letter "i". There is such a word, idiot box. No it is not about a person but rather this word was introduced in 1955 and means...........television! Gotcha. I'll have to ask the folks when they got our first TV. I think we had one by the mid 50's. I think today the word still applies to TV! Look at where we are at though, 62" big screen, high definition, surround sound, flat screens. People have amazing looks on their faces when I tell them we do not have "real" TV. I have a TV to watch a movie now and then but we do NOT have cable, satellite or whatever. Do I miss it? Absolutely not but I admit we had to wean off of it. I guess we haven't had an idiot box for several years. The first TV was about 1930 and then it took 25 years to come up with another name for it. Interesting.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I love horses. Have since I was a youngster. I think my dad had me sitting on a horse before I could walk. As you can see from the picture, I was a little dare devil when it came to horses. I would try to ride anything. We learned to ride bareback and didn't use a saddle until later. Some of the things I tried a horseback. When I think about it, it is a wonder I am still around to tell the stories! Our first horse was named Spot and he lived to be 21 years old. Then came Prince, Coco, Sammy, SweetPea, Molly and more. They all had a special place in my heart. I think each and every one made a connection that I wouldn't trade for the world. Crazy as it sounds, pets do listen. What animal do you like the best? Why?

Monday, September 8, 2008


Grouchy...given to mutter discontent.
Had a guy come in to my office the first thing this morning and when I asked him how he was doing he said "Look out, I'm grouchy".
Whoa! I could have easily gotten on my "band wagon" and preached to this young man that he was going to waste an entire day with that attitude. But instead I simply said we have choices about everything we do and say. I'm choosing to be happy, not worry. After he left I thought there is a relief in knowing that you can never control what another person does. I can't carry the burdens of other people, God does that for us. How cool is that? Sometimes I think the weather plays a big part in how some people's behavior is for the day. Today is one of those dreary, rainy, cold days and folks just tend to be grouchy. What a bummer. I'm not going to waste it. I'm happy!

Thursday, September 4, 2008


What better "pick me up" then a bouquet of flowers and I especially enjoy them because we grow them in our gardens. When the flowers start to bloom LaVern picks a bouquet every Sunday and takes in to his mother in law. She, of course, is thrilled. We have a wide variety and it is relaxing to pick out zinnias, lilies, blackeyed susans for that perfect bouquet. I like to add some herbs or sweet annie to the bunch for color and scent. Then they go in a crock jar on the kitchen table. The rooms in our house are small so a small bouquet is perfect. Usually the kitchen table is a clear spot and the first thing you see when you step through the door. I think flowers are an expression of ourselves. I love an old chipped crocked jar filled with sunflowers or a rusted tin can with blackeyed susans. Yet that would be the LAST thing I would take to my mother! expression of yourself.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Farmers' Market

Every Wednesday morning, usually starting in mid-August, there is a Farmers' Market here on main street Oberlin. Even though we have our own garden it is still fun to see the fruits of labor of other people. Recipes are shared, weather is discussed and new seed varieties shared. Wouldn't it be exciting to go to a big city market and look at all the exotic fruits and vegetables? Now that I'm older my priorities are different. I know exactly what I need. I appreciate the changing of the seasons which is reflected when the market begins. Fall is around the corner. There is coolness in the air. How do you celebrate the seasons? Don't pass by a Farmers' Market....thump a melon, smell the tomatoes, touch a summer squash.

Friday, August 29, 2008


Emus live in most habitats across Australia. They are not the most beautiful bird in the world. Related to the ostrich. They are flightless birds and can run 30 mph. The male is an interesting creature. He becomes broody after his mate starts laying, and begins to incubate the eggs before the laying period is complete. From this time on, he does not eat, drink or defecate, and stands only to turn the eggs, which he does about 10 times a day. Over eight weeks of incubation, he will lose a third of his weight and will survive only on stored body-fat and on any morning dew that he can reach from the nest. Wish I had his endurance! Gives a whole new meaning to weight loss. By now I am sure you are thinking this is the only "e" word I could come up with but actually one of my favorite homemade soaps has emu oil. We bought a small bottle at a craft show so that LaVern could make soap with it. I think alot of people are raising them commercially now. They are raised for their meat, leather and oil. Another favorite "e" word........elope. Which is what we are going to do this weekend. The definition of elope from Merriam Webster's Collegiate dictionary is: to slip away; escape. Hope you do the same!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Sometimes rather than empty my mind of all thoughts, I like to daydream. I especially like to daydream while riding in the car on a long trip or while listening to music. I think daydreaming is important when you live in a society like ours that stresses that you always have to be realistic. I mean, get real! Dreams help me know who I am because anything is possible in a dream. Just imagine yourself in a different place. What do you see? Feel? Smell? Recently I daydreamed about a small log cabin, somewhere remote, where LaVern and I could live out our dream to be self sufficient. Living "green" and giving back to the earth. Imagine. Dream.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Clowning Around, Depends

People have become so serious---about making money, being in shape, what they are eating, raising the perfect children. None of that is very funny. When I think about all the things I have tried to do to be perfect--well, let me say, "now that's funny". I try to look for humor in everyday life. People want to be around you, and you want to be around yourself when you're humorous. It's contagious. I could share with you several funny life experiences, most of them have happened in the last few years. And most of them ended up with my being thankful for Depends. What's the funniest thing you've ever done? My answer, now that is a Depends!

Friday, August 22, 2008


Yes, another "c" word. I think there are lots of things beginning with the letter "c" that would be great to talk about. Carolyn, for instance! But today I want to talk about catalogs. We get tons of them. I recently cleaned out a big old wainscoting cupboard that was full of magazines and catalogs. I have the bad habit of keeping catalogs just for the ideas in them. Furniture that LaVern could make! I like flipping through catalogs. It relaxes me because it is mindless. Catalogs are mostly pictures so how much thought do you need, right? Usually I throw the catalog away after looking at it. I never buy a thing. It is like when you were a kid and the Sears or Montgomery Ward Christmas catalog came in the mail. I'm guessing my siblings and I probably fought over them many a time. The "wish" book as it was known. So I guess the catalogs I get today are the adult version of the Christmas ones. Catalogs are always around. Just one of those whimsical activities I enjoy simply because it doesn't take brain power.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


There is nothing more enjoyable than setting up camp. We have so many terrific items now that it is like home when it is all set up. We have a 1946 Teardrop trailer, original and factory built. If you are not familiar with them, there is a door on the side that opens up to the bed and you just jump in. At the rear is a hatchback that lifts and that is the kitchen galley. We did not want to disturb the original galley however I found that is just was not very user friendly. On one of our travels we found this wonderful camp kitchen at a Sam's Club for $80. It all folds up right into the case and easily stores in the rear of the trailer. There is a sink, counter area, place for coolers and much more. I am the envy of our teardrop club that we belong to. I get a kick out of setting up all this. I try to remember each time how I liked it so I can do it again but the ground determines whether or not I can have it that way. I also love to cook in dutch ovens over hot coals but that is another story. A good friend recently started a blog but stated he didn't know how often he would change his blog as he didn't know what to talk about. As you can see, I don't have that problem! In case you haven't noticed, I have decided to go through every letter of the alphabet in my titles. Surely I can find a topic for each one!! I may even have several topics for a letter. We will see. In the meantime, go camping. Enjoy the excitement and change a new location brings.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bubble bath

I love taking a bubble bath. Don't ask me why it's special taking a bath in bubbles. It just is. Maybe it is a reward for being an adult. We have an old clawfoot tub that slants in the back so I can lay back and rest. I also use essential oils and have a variety of scents, but eucalyptus is the best. If I don't have bubbles, I put shampoo in the water. I especially like taking a bubble bath at night. I turn off the lights and "turn on" the candles. Sometimes I even pull the shower curtain all the way around the tub. It's like my secret hideaway. Soothing. Pampered. Quiet.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


I love to go antiquing. It's like a weeklong vacation. It calms me down. I don't even have to spend any money. For some reason, all that old stuff speaks to me. I know there is a story behind each item or I may be attracted to it because of its uniqueness. I especially love primitives. Those one of a kind items crafted by someone for a specific use. Good conversation is listening to other people's stories about their treasures. One item I have is the Lone Wolf picture. It did not belong to my grandparents. My brother has that one. But I bought a print exactly like it. Every time I look at it I am reminded of special memories. Their big stucco house in Mason City, Iowa, going to the candy store with a nickel in hand, grandpa magically withdrawing a piece of JuicyFruit gum from my ear! What items bring back special memories for you?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


“I don't think there's anything on this planet that more trumpets life than the sunflower. For me that's because of the reason behind its name. Not because it looks like the sun but because it follows the sun. During the course of the day, the head tracks the journey of the sun across the sky. A satellite dish for sunshine. Wherever light is, no matter how weak, these flowers will find it. And that's such an admirable thing. And such a lesson in life." - From the movie, Calendar Girls.
This is a picture of our grandson Reid and his sunflowers. Every year for the past 3 years he comes down and plants sunflowers in alittle garden area near our house. It's "his area" and he loves doing this. He can hardly wait to see them all in bloom. LaVern orders the seed from Park Seeds and he gets some really unusual sunflowers. Tall, short, red, orange and yellow. A couple of the plants are taller than the privacy fence so I can enjoy them out the kitchen window. I always think of the movie quote when I see them. So many lessons in life in simple things.

Friday, August 8, 2008

God's Problem Now

When the graveside service had no more than terminated, there was a tremendous burst of thunder accompanied by a distant lightning bolt and more rumbling thunder.
The little old man (LaVern) looked at the pastor and calmly said, "Well, she's there."

This one is for laughter if you haven't had any today and I thought I would test my blog and see how many comments I get! (lololol----laughing out loud!!) This would definitely be my scenerio at the grave! I intend to slide in yelling, "Wa Hoo, what a ride"!! It is fair week here and since our little carnival is all home owned and run by volunteers this week is always busy. I'll post some pictures alittle later. Blessings.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

National Simplify Your Life Week

The first week in August is National Simplify Your Life Week. What does it really mean to SIMPLIFY? Do you have to give up all of your worldly possessions and move to a bark hut in the woods? Not hardly! Simplifying is all about having enough without having too much -- cutting back on unnecessary spending, slowing down, and FOCUSING on your true priorities. LaVern and I have been practicing this for quite some time now so if any of you need pointers, just let us know! We have learned to say "no", are able to identify if it is a "need" or a "want" when it comes to buying, organized clutter, find one thing to be thankful for each and every day. These are just a few of the things that we practice. We both have said we could easily sell all we own, jump into the little Hobbyline travel trailer and just go. I think each individual has to come to the point of .....stuff is, just stuff ,in their own time. And some never do. Simple joys have a whole new meaning for us. You don't have to go to extremes to unwind or de-stress. Laugh. Be silly. Silly. Now that is a word most people miss. Simplify.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Change begins at the ballot box so be sure to make the effort to vote. The taxes we pay, the quality of our children’s education, the safety of our neighborhoods, the quality of our medical care, our rights as consumers, are all decided by the people we elect to represent us. Exercise the power of your vote. Remember, your vote is your voice!!

Monday, August 4, 2008


One of my favorite things is pulling weeds. Weeding puts my mind someplace else. Let's face it, it's a task that requires little thinking, it doesn't cost anything, and chances are pretty good it is always there. I like to go barefoot when weeding. I just have to watch out for those nasty little sandburs. Owyn, my Corgi likes weeding too. He follows and promptly digs up what I've missed (sometimes it includes the flower). Digging in the dirt and weeding is therapeutic. Stressed and need to vent? Take it out on those weeds! Most of our flowers are in full bloom now and I love wandering along the path enjoying the fruit of my weeding. What's right outside your front door, waiting for you to enjoy?

Friday, August 1, 2008

It's Your Turn

LaVern has been gone all week to his nephew's in Nebraska. He is remodeling a bathroom for them. He is staying at his sister's house while she is gone. Even though we miss each other I think we both recognize that spending time alone erases stress also. Wandering, daydreaming and thinking of nothing at all doesn't cost anything, isn't complicated nor consuming. If today you made a list of everything you've given to your family, spouse, friends, boss, pets, whatever and whoever, I would imagine your list would be long. Now make a list of what you did for yourself today? Would it equal what you gave to everyone else? Make time for yourself today, one simple indulgence. My older sister emailed me a recipe for a mocha frappachino this morning. I can't wait to get home tonight, put the dogs outside, light a favorite candle and curl up in my favorite chair with a cup. Savor the silence. You are probably thinking it is 103 degrees outside why something hot to drink? I'll just turn the AC down to 68 and enjoy!!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Laundry Soap

I am always looking for ways to be frugal or "green". A long time ago I found a recipe for laundry soap and thought I would share it with you. What with the high cost of groceries we all are looking for ways to cut costs. I have found that the things you can't eat seem to cost more and more. I LOVE this soap. My mom said she use to shave the Fels-Naptha and use it alone to wash clothes. Interesting that we are drifting back to what worked years ago! Here is another interesting won't find these products in Walmart! hmmm.....possibly because the big laundry soap manufacturers that Walmart buys from won't allow it?! Anyway, pennies to wash your laundry compared to the name brand or even generic ready made stuff. My local grocery store carries all three. If you can't find the Fels-Naptha you can substitute with Ivory soap or better yet, old fashion lye soap. A good friend of ours gave me a box of lye soap. It had been sitting in a shed, picked up at an auction and they were going to throw it out! It is the BEST soap. Amazing how soft your skin is with this soap. I even shave alittle in my wash and it softens the clothes. Great if you hang your clothes out on the line. The clothes are not quite so stiff. Here is another tip: if you dry your clothes in the dryer, look for those blue nubby rubber balls. I think they are $10 for a pair. Use them instead of those expensive dryer sheets. Your clothes will be soft and no static. Here is the laundry soap recipe:

1 Cup grated Fels Naptha Soap (I use a kitchen veggie grater)
1/2 cup washing soda (this is NOT baking soda)
1/2 cup Borax

For light or regular load, use 1 tablespoon. For heavy soiled load, use 2 tablespoons.
I know it doesn't look like much but it does clean the clothes. Ask your local appliance dealer and they will tell you that it is not the soap that is cleaning the clothes but the agitation of the washer. You will not see suds in the washer. Again, a myth that you have to have suds or the clothes won't be clean.

Lots of great websites on simple living but if you want a couple really great books, read these:
Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin
The Simple Living Guide by Janet Luhrs
Both are excellant. Our kids are getting the first one this year for Christmas!

Don't talk about life. Do life!
I don't want to spend my life making a living. I want to spend my life making a life! I think LaVern and I are doing just that! Questions about it? Email me! Take Joy!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Owyn---The Destroyer

Most of you know we have a Corgi dog, or I should say "I" have a LaVern puts it, "He's YOUR dog".

Dogs "get even". How do I know this? In the past, Mattie (the rat terrier) went with us everywhere, camping, walks, visits. Everyone loves Mattie. She is like a cat, sleeps all day and then all night. She was the best puppy, no chewing, easy to house break and no barking. You hardly know she is around. We rationalized that because she is now 11 years old that maybe we should get another dog (puppy) so that when she died the transistion would be easier. Makes sense, right? Along comes Owyn.

When making our plans for vacation we had to decide what to do with the dogs. Owyn just isn't through the training stages yet and we knew it would be hot. So for the second time the dogs were taken to the vet and kenneled for 9 days. We thought this time it would be a good idea to take Owyn's large bed as Mattie is so thin skinned that the cage gets alittle rough for her. Make her comfortable, right? I am sure both dogs did not appreciate going to "jail". LaVern's idea of being kenneled at the vet. Mattie succommed to it. Owyn got even. He ate the bed.
A dog is truly a man's best friend. If you don't believe it, just try this experiment.

Put your dog and your wife in the trunk of the car for an hour. When you open the trunk, who is really happy to see you?

Thursday, July 24, 2008


Back home to over 100 degree heat! But it is summer in Kansas so no whining! We so enjoyed our time with the kids and grandchildren. We took our 1955 Hobbyline canned ham travel trailer. Went to Ross' first in Pella, Iowa. Pella is such a beautiful town. I love the town square with the stores all in turn of the century buildings. There was a classic car show while we were there so we all walked uptown for that. LaVern and I took the grandkids to a couple different parks where we hiked. I had purchased a used GPS so we tried our hand at geocaching. It was a blast and the grandkids were sure excited when we found the hidden treasure! Brenna and Gavin had great fun in the trailer. They thought our screen door was like the window at McDonalds so we were ordering our food at the window and being served.
Click here to view pictures.

Next we traveled to Rainer and Kalli's. They live on an acreage southwest of Winterset, Iowa. About 1 1/2 hours from Ross'. We camped for 4 days at the city park campground. The girls' fair was going on in Winterset so we spent our time there. The first two days was the horse show. Rainer's oldest, Cierra participated in the show with her horse, Mardel. She is an excellant showman, won Jr. Showman out of a class of 23 and took second place in the all around points. She does it all, roping, western riding, english riding, poles, barrels, halter, trail. Sidney, age 7 had a bucket calf. All three girls had numerous things in the fair; flowers, cake, leatherwork, photography. We had to get pictures of it all! Winterset is another great town to visit. Beautiful old homes and buildings plus the covered bridges.
Click here to view pictures.

We left about 4:30 pm on Saturday from Winterset and started the long drive home. Stopped at my aunt Wanda's near Omaha for about an hour. My cousin Tom and his wife Bonnie had just arrived from Illinois so we enjoyed seeing them. Drove to Lincoln, NE. and stayed overnight in a Walmart parking lot. Then on home the next morning. Arrived about 11:00 AM. Spent the rest of the day unloading the camper, washing clothes, weeding the flower beds and watering.

LaVern has been busy this week with a bathroom remodel, built and installed a unit for a large walkin closet. Next week he is going to his nephew's home, south of Omaha and will spend a week there. He is gutting their bathroom and putting in an all new one. The following week is fair for us. I have rugs to finish! Stay cool!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

On The Road

Will probably not be posting much this next week. We are in Iowa visiting the kids and grandkids and having a wonderful time. Did some geocaching yesterday and the grandkids were ready to go again today. If you have never experienced that you should try it. I'll catch you all up on it later. We are in Pella, Iowa now with the great Dutch history. Terrific town with beautiful old homes. Tuesday we head to Winterset where the covered bridges are. The 3 granddaughters there will be showing horses and their bucket calves this next week for the fair. We have our '55 travel trailer and weather has been delightful. Later. of purpose and spirit

Friday, July 11, 2008

Full Moon

Since a full moon is upcoming next Friday and last night was the first quarter moon I once again gave thought to the full moon and strange behavior. I am one of those "strange, wierd" persons that I swear the full moon affects. Any given month I can tell you approximately when there will be a full moon without looking at the calendar. Ask LaVern!! I can NOT sleep when a full moon is upcoming. Usually it is only 3-4 days prior but this month it has started early. Up at 4 AM on Thursday and this morning it was 2 AM. Yikes! I am wide awake and can not go back to sleep. So I get up and find something quiet to do as LaVern is sleeping away! My understanding is that studies have been done as to why this happens to some people, even animals. “Since the gravitational effect from the moon controls the tides in the oceans and humans are mostly water (70% or so), is it safe to think that the moon could actually have some effect on us?” A good night's sleep for me is 6 hours so a few nights a month of only 4-5 hours is okay. Look at it this way, more hours in the day for those things I enjoy. I finished three small rugs this AM with binding for granddaughters, had a cup of spiced chai tea, sat in the quiet and listened. It is well with my soul.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The Wind

In human civilization, wind has inspired mythology, changed the course of history, expanded the range of transport and warfare, and provided a power source for mechanical work, electricity, and recreation.
Now I am sure you are wondering what THIS post is all about! Sometimes I wonder about my "wandering" mind. Have you noticed that the ONE topic that all people can talk about is the weather? Even if it is a total stranger, chances are good you will talk about the weather with them. Right now the chances are pretty good that sometime today someone will mention the California fires and their temperatures of over 100 degrees. Just this morning at the grocery store an acquaintance said to me, "This humidity is terrible but at least the wind isn't blowing." I LOVE the wind! Wierd, I know but let me share with you something I found years ago and have kept in my journal. I hope the next time the wind is blowing, it will cause you to stop and ponder this:
The Wind
I sit in the silence of my own mind.
Where there is no silence that I can hear.
I look all about me and yet see nothing for what I seek is unseeable.
Who am I, and where am I going?
I seek something that is constant, something that is stable.
Yet all about me is instability.
As I sit, I wait, as I wait, I listen.
Then I realize that there is one thing that I have missed.
For I have not seen it.
It is the wind, and it is always there.
It may be soft and peaceful, or at times, an all powerful force.
Even when people say there is no wind today.
I know that it is still there, we have just failed to know it.
This wind is sometimes called the Spirit of God.
It moved upon the face of the earth even before God created man.
It is the very breath of God.
We may not see Him, or sense His presence, but He is there.
If we but seek Him, we can find Him.
If we can be still in our hearts, we can hear Him.
Listen to the Wind.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Summer Kitchen

Early settlers kept their homes cool in the summer by doing all the cooking, baking and washing in the "summer kitchen". This was either a separate room off of the main house or a small "shed" just a few steps from the back door of the main house. It would have open windows to let cooler air in and not heat up the main house. Pioneer women in our area used such things as prairie grass, corn cobs or buffalo dung for fuel. I read somewhere that it took a bushel and a third of cobs to heat the oven! Anyway, I have a summer kitchen of sorts! Not as primitive as the pioneer women (although I would LOVE one some day!) But just the same, the idea is there. I have a stove in our cellar. It is an electric stove (which I dispise so maybe that is why it is in the cellar) but the oven works great. The access to the cellar is outside which I don't mind at all. I do ALL my summer baking there. That way I do not heat up the kitchen or house! I do alot of crock pot cooking also during the summer. LaVern LOVES chocolate, nuts and caramel so here is a recipe that combines all three. Enjoy!
Turtle Cake
1 chocolate cake mix (I use the cheapest I can find)
1/4 c. evaporated milk
3/4 c. butter
1 (14 ox.) pkg. caramels
1 c. chocolate chips
1 c. walnuts

Mix cake mix as directed on box. Pour 1/2 of the batter into a greased 9x13 pan. Bake 15 min. Melt caramels, butter and evap. milk. Pour caramel mixture over 1/2 cake batter. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts. Top with remaining batter and finish baking. Mine takes about 15 more minutes. Rich, gooey and oh, so good!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Gift of Old Age

Received an email this morning, one of "those forwards" that was about things learned at various ages of life. After much thought I have decided old age is a gift. I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometimes despair over my body...........the wrinkles, the baggy eyes and the sagging boobs and butt. I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving husband and family for less grey hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself. I've become my own friend. I don't chide myself for eating that raspberry scone with a cup of spiced chai tea, or for not making my bed, or for buying that piece of turquoise that I didn't need. I am entitled to overeat, to be messy, to be extravagant. I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging. Whose business is it if I choose to read or hook a rug until 4 a.m. or sleep until noon? I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60's and 70's. I will play my flute while sitting on a stump at the park, making a fool of myself. I will wear my hair in a braid, put on round wire rim glasses and wool socks with Birkenstock sandals despite the glances from the younger set. They, too, will get old. I am sometimes forgetful now. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten! I can say "no", and mean it. I can say "yes", and mean it. As you get older, it is easier to be positive! You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong. I like being old. It has set me free. I like being the person I've become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. I will do my best to do what God wants me to do with what is left of the rest of my life. Nobody cares if you can't dance well. Just get up and dance!!

Van Morrison

Monday, June 30, 2008

How To Keep A Healthy Level of Insanity

Lots of my family and friends work in the "corporate" world so I thought I would share this with all of you! If nothing else, I hope it makes you laugh!
1. At lunch time, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point a hairdryer at passing cars. See if they slow down.
2. Page yourself over the intercom. Don't disguise your voice.
3. Every time someone asks you to do something, ask if they want fries with that.
4. Put your garbage can on your desk and lable it "IN".
5. Put decaf in the coffee maker for 3 weeks. Once everyone has gotten over their caffeine addiction, switch to espresso.
6. Finish all your sentences with "in accordance with the prophecy."
7. Don't use any punctuation marks
8. As often as possible, skip rather than walk.
9. Specify that your drive-thru order is "TO GO."
10. Go to a poetry recital and ask why the poems don't rhyme.
11. Put mosquito netting around your work area. Play a tape of jungle sounds all day.
12. When money comes out of the ATM, scream "I won! I won! 3rd time this week!"

Friday, June 27, 2008

Tasha Tudor passed away June 18 at the age of 92 at home. What an interesting lady and the life she led. I would have liked to have met her in person. I have both documentary videos and have watched them numerous times. I have a couple of her children's books. I will think of her often when I am sipping a cup of tea and walking barefoot through my flower garden with my Corgi, Owyn!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Vintage trailer

Thought you might enjoy a picture of one of our canned ham travel trailers. We took our 5 year old grandson to the Black Hills a few weeks ago. What a wonderful trip! Beautiful area and so much to see and do. Reid loved camping and is ready to go again. We hiked, cooked out with the dutch ovens, visited a wind cave but he was the most excited and interested in Mt. Rushmore. I highly recommend the area as a place to visit.


Welcome! This is all new to me so you will have to be patient. Not sure why I am doing this actually. Probably because a great place to share with other people. A good friend in Canada blogs and I love going to his site and reading. If you have a chance check him out. Anyway, my camera is not working (or possibly I moved something in error) so will have to wait for more pictures.
My thought for today: know that you have enough, is to be rich.