Thursday, December 31, 2009

Winter Walk

Full moon, foggy, lightly snowing, silent, crisp and an amazing night for a walk in the country. Last night about 9 pm LaVern and I bundled up and with Owyn, the fearless Corgi, we went for a long walk down the road. It was such an incredible night for a walk. A few lights shown in the distance from other farms. We walked a couple miles and I hated to come back but another time. I need to write down these simple joys in my journal. Someday maybe the kids will come across them after I am gone and realize the true meaning of joy. Speaking of which, LaVern said that joy is free and that fun cost money! It must be why Take Joy is so important to me. And so my friends I leave you with that, Take Joy.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


I just love libraries and especially now since most offer "hot spots". I am sitting at the library in Mt. Ayr among all the books and blogging. All I am missing is a nice cup of hot chai tea and then they would have to usher me out at closing! Had several errands to do in town so ventured out. I had to make a list so that I wouldn't forget something. I have a stack of 7 books checked out for weekend reading. No internet at home yet so we usually read by the fire in the evening. Yes, we have electricity for that! Our new inverter should be coming soon and then we will be able to use everything that we would want as far as electrical. I really haven't missed not having it readily at hand. We finished putting up the wood ceiling in the bedroom that will become my "wool room". LaVern is working on the trim around the windows, door and baseboard. I may try to paint the walls tomorrow. The floors are all chipboard so I am going to try to paint, distress and then stain them. Hope the finish is something I can live with and we don't have to go to the expense of wood floors. This morning we chopped wood and then walked down to the well and started it. Chores, as LaVern calls it. The mornings have been beautiful. I love the snow and am going out yet this week to snow shoe. Would post some pictures but we can't find the camera! No clue where it is at so hope it just shows up. In case I don't get back to the blog for a couple days, wish everyone a wonderful, peaceful and healthy new year. TAKE JOY this next year, each and every day!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Goob's Repair

Located in Diagonal, Iowa! Just ordered new tires for the car. They will be in and put on this Thursday. Roads were plowed yesterday so we are out and about. I brought the lap top in and while LaVern was busy ordering the tires I tried to get online. Hooray! Success! I am assuming I am using Goob's internet server! Not sure how much snow we had this last time but Creston, north of us 30 miles, had 10 inches. The wind howled for two days. Lots of drifts at home. Cold, cold temperatures. Well, maybe not like up in Canada but cold for us here. We are working on a wood ceiling in one of the upstairs bedrooms. It goes slow, with lots of breaks, with a hammer and nails. LaVern is really missing his air nailer. We hope to get the other wood stove hooked up in the kitchen in the next week or so. We will use that until we decide on a big cook stove. This is a little wood cookstove but at least it should help heat that huge kitchen area. The sun is shining this morning. Electricity!! We like the sun. Mom is about the same. I will probably go out again after the first of the year for maybe a week. Have been talking to a girlfriend in Kansas daily and she was snowed in as well. It was quite a big storm that went across the plains. LaVern is patiently waiting for me to blog so I best finish up and check emails. Joy.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Headin Home

Sunday........December 20........I am finally headin home! LaVern drove out from Iowa to my brother's in Greeley, CO. He is such a sweetie but also has a sense of humor. It was 8:00 AM in Greeley and I am in my sweats enjoying a cup of coffee and slowly packing. LaVern was to leave Imperial, NE and drive to Greeley so we were expecting him about noon. My cell phone chimed and showed I had a new picture. So I clicked it was a picture of LaVern's pickup in front of my brother's house. It took me a couple seconds to realize what had actually happened!! I raced outside (barefoot and in my pj sweats) and there he was sitting in the pickup!! Surprise! He couldn't sleep so he got up at 4:00 AM and drove! Wow! 20 days without him has been 20 days too long!! We are now at his mother's in Imperial and will get up early and start heading east. Will stop in McCook and pickup the car. Hate the fact we have to drive separately but at least I will be headin home!! Originally planned to spend a day around Oberlin and go home on Tuesday but weather is saying a big ice storm and snow following beginning on Tuesday so we will scratch that plan and get back tomorrow. I can't wait to enjoy Christmas in our new home. Despite the fact that everything was just unloaded and I left! But you know what, it doesn't matter. LaVern, warm fire in the stove and home is all I need. Might be a bit before I blog again if nasty weather comes in as I still have to drive to Mt Ayr to get Internet.
Mom will be at the care center for at least another month, maybe longer. Depends on the antibiotics working on the bacteria. I think they have finally got her pain somewhat managed. She still has bad nights but at least the pain is alittle more manageable for her. Physical therapy works with her every day also. Her spirits are alittle better so your prayers are working. I spent time with her the last few days reading from the bible, a book of Max Lucado called Fear Not and prayed the rosary with her. Isn't it wonderful the healing power of prayer? I have seen the results!! Thanks again. Love to all.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


From Wikipedia; A home is a place of residence or refuge and comfort. It is usually a place in which an individual or family can rest and be able to store personal property. Hmmmm I am thinking that I have not established a home yet, just the address! Over Thanksgiving we moved our personal property, came back to Kansas and closed on our house there. Then I, with a suitcase of clothing, went to my folks' in McCook and LaVern went "home". Now I am in Greeley and certainly feeling displaced at the moment. Although I must admit, being able to use my brother's computer anytime is instant gratification. My mom was transferred to a care facility here in Greeley yesterday. She was wore out by the time they got her settled and went through all the paperwork stuff. Now the difficult rehabilitation days are ahead. I may try to get HOME and take alittle break. Will drive my dad back to McCook for a couple days so that he can pick up his mail and check the house. Get him back here and then figure out the rest. This past month or so feel like I've been going nonstop, maybe even on autopilot as I'm still numb to the fact that I am here and not home. But as LaVern told me, "It's where you are suppose to be". Here is our new address........HOME...
1852 158th Ave, Diagonal, Iowa 50845

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Mountain time

I am still running on central time, or at least my body is but am staying in mountain time. So, I am up at 3:00 AM here! Not alot stirring in the house at that time! This morning I opened my window and sucked in the pine smell along with the wood smoke in the air. Just needed that to get energized for the day. There are two kinds of tired. There's "good" tired, and there's "bad" tired. I have put myself in service to my fears and I have ended up "bad" tired. I have let fears manifest and have been feeding them with every thought, until I am drained beyond the point of exhaustion. I "know better" and after a good long talk with Him last night I woke refreshed this morning. TODAY I will find something to love about EVERYTHING I am doing and I will put myself in service to that love. I know that I will still be worn out tonight but it will feel good! Mom is still in the hospital in Ft. Collins and it is tough to see her suffer but she is receiving the best care available. Dad and my brother left this morning to spend time with her. I took a much needed break and will go later. Thank you all for the calls, emails, thoughts and prayers. They have served to keep ME uplifted.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Compassion and Understanding

I am in Ft. Collins, Co. now for all of you who have been wondering why no blogs. I sure didn't think this is where I would be 10 days ago. My mother had been in the hospital in McCook then and got out on December 1st. So, LaVern went on to Iowa and I stayed with the folks to help care for mom. I expected to be there maybe a week or alittle longer. I jokingly told LaVern when he left that I'd see him Christmas when he came back. Mom was home for 7 days and progressively got weaker and then started the fever again. I had to call the ambulance last Tuesday even though they live just two blocks from the hospital. The blizzard was raging that day. Not sure what McCook had but I think 6-8 inches and then the wind. Tuesday night an ambulance took mom to Ft. Collins( a plane could not fly). A snow plow ran in front of the ambulance all the way to the Colorado border. Thank goodness they allowed my dad to ride in the ambulance as I stayed in McCook the night. I was exhausted as mom was up and down all night long for the 7 days. I just was not up to a drive in a blizzard.
Mom is at the Poudre Valley Health Center and what a blessing. Never in my life have I experienced the care she is receiving at this hospital. Every single person, nurses,doctors, staff, even the orderly that took her to her procedures has shown such compassion, love, understanding. I literally feel transformed from this stay. Even my brother has made mention of it. He is a manager for a large company so has hired people for the past 30 years. He said he would like to talk to the person responsible for the hiring program at this hospital. How is he able to interview people and choose the ones that have this healing compassion? My brother said that he can see that they are hired for that over their experience or knowledge. Every person has asked us if we need anything each time they see us. And the care mom is receiving is beyond words. She does need your prayers. She has a nasty bacteria in her blood and is very ill. There is a whole team of doctors who are caring for her. I have no idea how long I will be here or what the future decisions and plans will be. LaVern is holding out on the farm, blizzard and all. He said we had 12 inches of snow there. Our son in Pella, Iowa reported 18 inches at his house. Darn, my snow shoes are in Iowa!!! Love to all. Sorry it took so long to let you know but just got to a computer. I'll try to keep you posted.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Move

This is us..........upon arrival in Iowa. Don't you love the trailer? LaVern did a great job getting it ready to make the move. No windows in it yet so he just filled them in with plywood. Guess who got to pull this rig down the highway? You should have seen all of the "looks" I got from people! It was a hoot. Talk about a "redneck rig". LaVern is in Iowa now and I am in McCook. Mom just got out of the hospital so I am helping her until she is on her feet again. Busy, busy time.
The uhaul was a 26 footer and LaVern pulled our trailer behind it. Stuff. WAY too much!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


This has been a week of tears. We made the big move over Thanksgiving and are back in Oberlin to finalize everything, loaded the trailer one more time and cleaned the buildings. Several people came by to say goodbye and tears were flowing. I hope they were all tears of joy! It got me to thinking about the tears and I wondered what was said about them in the bible. There are, I think, 697 references to tears, weeping, crying. Amazing. I had no idea. Alot of the tears mentioned in the bible were of grief and repentance. But then I am reminded that God is called "Comforter" for a reason. His motherly hand will wipe all the tears away. The tears will go away but I am not! It's all just geography, my friends. With this blog, email, cell phones.......I'm close by.
Take peace.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanks & Giving

Two things I hope to do this Thanksgiving holiday, be thankful for all I am blessed with and give to others. Thanksgiving brings to my awareness the one thing that can relieve stress and bring greater happiness and contentment: gratitude.
Even in our tough economic times when people are losing jobs, savings, faith, there is still so much to be thankful for. That's what you focus on, the things that really matter in life. Major things---my health, loved ones, friends. And then the subtle but still important things, chai tea, internet, hooked rugs, primitive cupboards, a 12 year old car still running. So I encourage each and every one of you to be thankful this holiday for those many blessings, big and small and then give to someone else all the joy and peace.
Take joy.
Take peace.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tears for the Job Jar

Shortly after we moved to Oberlin we received new neighbors across the street, Leo and Marianna Bendon. After much RV traveling they had purchased a home in Oberlin and a dearing friendship began. Even though Marianna could be my mother (the age thing)she was a kindred spirit and still is. Leo has since gone home to our Father but a day doesn't go by that something reminds me of the great times we shared. When it snows, I think its Leo throwing down baseballs from heaven. He LOVED to listen to baseball on the radio. One rare time LaVern and I went to a Rockies game in Denver, sat right behind the pitcher and called Leo on our cell phone! We brought him back a bag of peanuts! And of course the "crooked post holes" but that's another story to be shared. He was a great mentor for us and we often went to him for advice. Some advice he gave to LaVern was to forget the "honey do list" and get a Job Jar. I had never heard of such a thing. He told LaVern to get alittle pint jar and put all those honey do's on separate pieces of paper and put them in the jar. Then just draw one out once a week and do it. He pulled LaVern aside and whispered to be sure and add jobs like taking a break, golfing, taking a nap in the jar also. ha ha I went home and promptly found a jar and made the list. I took it up and showed it to Leo. He got quite a chuckle out of the jar, GALLON size. This morning I was racing around doing things and I thought to myself I need a "to do list". Surprise! Opened a cupboard and there sat the Job Jar. If I could have, I would have put my tears into the jar but then Leo would probably start throwing snowballs down so instead I laughed and thanked him.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Living in the present moment

Of late I have noticed how often my mind is dwelling on the future. I'm in the midst of a conversation with a friend, but my mind is leaping ahead to errands, things I still have to complete. Today I was eating lunch yet I was replaying a past conversation in my mind. I have to remind myself to stop and enjoy the moment while it is there. Savor the meal I'm eating. Be fully present to my friend. Breath deeply. Look at what's around me. Be aware of the simple wonder of here and now.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day


Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Last weekend we received three different blessings and answers to prayers. One was from a good friend who has been testing for medical reasons for over a year. She received a clean bill of health. The other was for a son who was contesting a ticket for not wearing his glasses (which would have resulted in job loss). The third was a personal blessing. I firmly believe that how you think about your life can make a difference in how you experience life. I set my intentions to trust God instead of dwelling on negative circumstances. I believe that a trusting attitude opens the door for positive change. If nothing else a positive mind set helps me to develop a happier attitude that cushions the bumps in the road. When our son had called several weeks ago about his dilema I told him he could either pray it away or stress it away. He chose to pray and now he is singing His praises. I am so thankful when our children receive those confirmations. Matthew 6:22...Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. Amen.

Monday, November 9, 2009


While sorting through stacks of my wool the other day I ran across several sachets of lavender and even a shaker full. Victorian ladies used it in their smelling salts and its flowers have soothed people to sleep for centuries. Lavender is called the "Swiss army knife" of aromatherapy and I like to use essential oils for wellness. I just happen to also put it among my wool to ward off cloth moths. One or two drops of lavender essential oil can calm a headache or help you release the day's stress and get to sleep at night. Be sure you buy a bottle of high quality lavender oil. I always look for the stuff that is labeled by its botanicl name............lavandula augustifolia. Soothing.
Proverbs 27:9 Ointment and perfume delight the heart.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


A good friend will bail you out of jail.
A True friend will be sitting next to you and saying, "WOW, That was fun!"

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Ideals, Living by them

I was thinking about the choices I made yesterday. What were my motives for doing what I did? Would I make the same choices again? I realize that I may not be able to live out my ideals perfectly, but staying true to them nurtures my soul. I believe that creating a simpler life means making moral and spiritual choices that are meaningful to me and true to what I believe. I am at peace with myself. I know there is a higher power who will give me the wisdom and strength to do my best, and the understanding to forgive myself when I fall short of my highest ideals.
I love this quote by Louisa May Alcott; Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.

Friday, October 30, 2009

First snowstorm

First snow storm of the season! I'm lovin it. Fall is my favorite time of year but I still love that first snow. This is early for us however. Owyn, our corgi, LOVES the snow. He went out early this morning and raced all over the yard playing in the snow. He runs and jumps at the snow and tries to get snowballs rolling and then pounces on them. He is a hoot to watch. I'll try to remember the camera the next time. Let it snow, let it snow, let is snow!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

The new kitchen walls

Yes you read it right. This will be the walls in the kitchen of the farm house. My dear friend Betsy had this wonderful red rusted tin on a building that is going to be torn down. So, I traded her a cupboard for some tin! LaVern thought that was great until I broke the news that WE had to go out and take it off. Oh my! What a job! It was put up back in the days when those boards were full 2x4's and rock hard. And the nails were in like concrete. We finally got enough off to tin at least one of the 35 foot kitchen walls. Can't wait to see it up. Betsy has a small wall in her kitchen with this. And now I know why it is only tinned on the smallest wall in her kitchen! Should go up easier than it was taking it down. Primitive and positively fun.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The ash pile

Sometimes I am in awe and wonder and this morning is one of those times. Just last night the thought crossed my mind of how many times I have heard people say, "why do bad things happen to good people?". What would my response be? And then I log in to my blog this morning and what do I see? What do I see? Father John's blog. Amazing. Read it.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Why organic?

If you are lucky enough to have an organic grocery store in your area, buy from them. Or maybe even directly from an organic farmer. I know, usually organic food is more expensive but consider the trade off. I personally believe that all the chemicals going in to our food supply and even the processing and packaging of it has a great deal to do with all the cancers. You may be young now and really not giving much thought to what you are eating but when you are my age the years of putting all those chemicals in to your body will catch up.
There are people who spend their lives uncovering what's safe...or eat. Food scientists of all kinds. An endocrinologist at the University of Missouri will not go near canned tomatoes. The resin lining of the tin cans contain some synthetic estrogen that reacts with the acidity of the tomatoe which is released and we eat. Microwave popcorn........chemicals in the lining of the bag migrate into the popcorn upon microwaving. I haven't had a microwave for a long time so we pop our kernels the old-fashion way in a skillet on the stove. Conventional apples. Apples are the most doused in pesticide fall fruit on the market. Because of the way they are grafted now, they don't develop resistance to pests and are sprayed a whole lot more with chemicals. The list goes on and on. Reach for alternatives. It will bring you better health....and peace of mind!

Saturday, October 24, 2009


When I was growing up, we lived in the country, and one day of the week was washday. I guess once we get moved to the farm it will be the same for me. No more dropping a load in the ole automatic and forgetting about it. The wringer and the tubs will be set up and I'll do it all at once. That day will depend on the weather as I'll hang everything out to dry. I do have several wood drying racks and on our last trip back there I hung towels and dish rags on one behind the wood stove. They dried out in no time. Even though it is a chore, I like it. And I especially love clothes hung out on the line. The sun can whiten the whites like nothing else. I don't know, there is just something funny about underwear flapping in the breeze.

Monday, October 19, 2009


I am at the age, as well as my close girlfriends, of what I like to call mentalpause. Yeah, yeah we've done the menopause thing but this is much worse. I went to Valley, NE. with my two girlfriends, Betsy and Mary, for a rug hook in. This is a one day event with vendors and rug hookers from all over. There is usually a rug show and it's always fun to see what others are hooking. Anyway (I'm trying to keep the story short), we were staying the night in Fremont, NE. Arrived in town about 6 pm and started looking for the motel where we were staying. Driving through town we saw a Dairy Queen advertising Pumpkin Blizzards! We all three promptly decided we had to have one before we left the area. But we continued on and located the motel. Betsy thought it best if she filled up with gas and we grab a sandwich before checking in to the motel and dragging all the luggage in. So we turned and headed back up the way we came. She saw a gas station on the corner and pulled in. I love Betsy dearly, but it's time she learns how to pump gas using a credit card!! I mean, she is "old enough" to know how to do this. Well, it was cold so Mary and I sat in the car while Betsy mumbled and muttered outside with her card. Finally she said, "forget this, I'll just pay inside". By then, I was on a cell phone call and Mary was in the back seat reading. The next thing I know is I saw Betsy running across the way into the a side door of the Dairy Queen. It just so happened it was right next to the gas station. I thought "GREAT, Betsy is going for our blizzards".
She gets inside and a young man asks her what she would like. She looks up and sees they have food at this gas station. "Oh, I don't want anything to eat I just want to pay for my gas", she replys. The young man has a puzzled look on his face and answers, "But this is the Dairy Queen". By now, Betsy has realized she did not run into the gas station but the Dairy Queen. Embarassed but quick to wit she says, "oh, good, we were looking for this" and races back outside. This time she saw the gas station behind the pumps and made it over to pay for the gas. We then parked and went in to the Dairy Queen where Betsy told the young man, "Look, I'm back and I brought friends". ha ha ha ha
I usually am frustrated with mentalpause but sometimes it is great for laughs. We all three laughed until the tears were streaming down our faces. (thank goodness for Depends) This will be a memory that I shall cherish forever, Betsy. You are a hoot!! (We still need to teach you how to use that card to pump gas). Love ya.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Still around...just not blogging

LaVern wanted to come in to town (Mt Ayr) and pick up some RV antifreeze to winterize the RV plus get something to put in the transmission of the pickup. It is going "kaput" so I am sure we will be driving home on a wing and prayer. Anyway, I am blogging in front the of the library! I think the plan is to drive back to Oberlin tomorrow. We got a lot done this week at the farm. Still trying to figure out the hot water system. Know we will use solar but have to think about the days like this week when there wasn't any sun. It has been raining, cloudy and cold the entire time we have been here. Even snowed last Saturday! I love the fall weather though. The trees are beautiful here. Lots of maples so that red color scattered throughout. Went to the Amish neighbors nearby and bought a couple quarts of bee honey. Need to get alittle more firewood cut so that there will be some all ready when we come back in a couple weeks. We have quite a bit in the pole shed now waiting to be cut up. That's the update for now. Back to the farm.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Haven't gotten to stop and see this yet. It is on my list to do. Just west of Omaha, NE. You can see it from the interstate. The entire building sides are all glass and it sits high up on a hill. Breath taking from the interstate so I can imagine what it is like up there. Maybe I'll get to see it this trip back. Leaving early tomorrow morning with two girlfriends. We will stop at our favorite shops in Lincoln and then head to Fremont, NE. Going to a rug hook-in on Friday. Then on to the farm that evening. Saturday we will take in the Covered Bridge Festival in Winterset, IA. they will head home on Sunday and I will stay another week with LaVern at the farm, working on the house. He is back there now. Will try to get in to Mt. Ayr and blog while back there. Chance of snow here while we are gone! Take joy.

Monday, October 5, 2009


LaVern is back in Iowa working on the farm. I think he is going to put in some new plumbing and maybe get our shower in place............inside the house! Anyway, he arrived late yesterday evening and so therefore did not have the solar panel (our temporary one) out. He commented that he was glad we had some little battery flashlights there. I was thinking about batteries then for the rest of the afternoon.
We expend energy every day, work, people needing attention, household chores. Everything piles up like the fall leaves. Right now I can't escape to the quiet of the farm but I can sure find that peace and comfort in the presence of God. It's like recharging my spiritual batteries. I'm going to retreat from the world for a few moments of meditation and prayer. Charge up those ole batteries and keep shining!
Take peace.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Uff da

From Wikipedia encyclopedia: Uff da is an exclamation of Norwegian origin that is relatively common in the Upper Midwestern states of the U.S. It roughly means "drats," "oops!", or "ouch". It has become a mark of Scandinavian roots, particularly for people from North Dakota and Minnesota.

I guess I say this all the time but just never noticed it before. Someone finally brought it to my attention and asked me where it came from. "Good grief, I don't know", I replied. So after some research, now I know! My family (both parent's) all come from northern Iowa, almost into Minnnesota. Lots of redheads and probably Norwegian roots. Must have heard "uff da" has a child growing up and it stuck.

Someone once observed that if Charlie Brown was Norwegian, he would say "uff da!" instead of "Good Grief!". UFF DA

Friday, September 25, 2009

Satellite internet

HELP! If anyone out there is familiar with DSL via a satellite, please email me. We are trying to figure out what we want to do for the internet at the farm. No land line so that is out. The only two wireless satellite servers I have heard about are and Wildblue. I think Dishnetwork owns the Wildblue service. Anyway...........expensive, $80/month. Not sure what other options we have. I am NOT going the dial up route. Been there, done that. I have seen satellites for both these companies in the area so some people are using them. That's the only thing I'm just not sure I am ready to "give up" just yet! But who knows, I just may. The library in Mt Ayr has wireless access so........................once a week I just might jump in the ole buggy and the horse and I will travel 12 miles for Internet access! I can check out books and then the next week return the books and check email. Works for me! (maybe I should be looking for runners for that buggy in the mean time)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


While at the Sustainable living fair LaVern and I had the most delicious taco and I can't wait to try it at home. It was from a vendor so they had the big flat iron grill thing. It was small chunks of sweet potato, black beans with sauted onion and green peppers. I'm guessing all sauted with olive oil. Then served on corn burrito shells that had been lightly warmed on the grill. Topped with a red cabbage slaw that I think only had a lime juice with cilantro sauce. Very good and ALL VEGETABLES. My mother would be proud. I am looking for a good.....but SIMPLE....vegetarian cookbook. Something that a beginner would use but with recipes with "common" ingredients so if you know of any......send the names to me! Great appreciation in advance.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sustainable Living Fair

Back home after a long weekend in Colorado. LaVern and I went to the 10th Annual Sustainable Living Fair in Ft. Collins. It was awesome! We went both Saturday and Sunday. They had over 75 free workshops both days and then LaVern went to 2 extended workshops, one on wind power and the other solar. I was able to sit in on a one hour talk by Frances Lappe, activist and author of "Diet for a Small Planet". Also a workshop on Organic pesticides and fertilizers which was terrific. Another was Introduction to Qi Gong. I'll have to blog that another time! The entire experience was humbling. It was exciting to see younger people there sharing our concerns for our planet and people. When this started ten years ago it was a one day event held at the CSU campus with about 500 people attending. Now it is a two day event held in a large open field and they were expecting 20,000 people this year. LaVern and I came away with affirmation that we are going in the right direction by focusing on renewable energy, organic and simple living.........even though we are starting a little late in life!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Squab...taking flight

Our baby doves, otherwise known as squabs, have taken flight and left the nest. Amazing! I guess that doves almost always lay 2 eggs and the incubation only takes two weeks. From there they are fledgings in 11-15 days! This is one of the squabs and he?she would rear up and puff out when we came to the door. We are assuming they have migrated. Dove's migration is from Sept thru Nov. The immatures move first followed by the adult females and then the adult males. They migrate during the day in flocks at low altitude. Some overwinter in the area however. LaVern just stopped by the office and saw I was blogging about our babies leaving the nest and he said we had a problem!??? He had cleaned off the light fixture and later when he went out he said the mother bird was back. He tried to shoo her away and she would NOT leave. I said "Uh Oh"..............doves can have 6 broods a year!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dog Tired

Garage sale Saturday morning at our house for our dear neighbors that we moved to VA. I sorted every single one of those boxes. It actually was quite fun because it was someone else's "stuff"! But by day's end we both were dog tired. Even Owyn had a tough day as he was awake all day and no naps. That is him about 6 pm Saturday evening, sound asleep. Definition of dog tired in the dictionary is "utterly exhausted". Yup...that would describe LaVern and I and Owyn is a good example of how we looked. The day was good and we felt the garage sale went well. Once again I was asked why I was doing this and again I stated that I was just "paying it forward". If we all paid forward a good deed to someone else just imagine how much better the world would be! Paul in 1 Corinthians says it best, "Do everything in love."
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. Take joy.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Alot of talk these days is about health care. For us it is not the lack of it but rather the cost of it. I am going to the chiropractor this afternoon. Low back has been aching since returning home from the Virginia trip and getting ready for a garage sale. I listen to my body. It is wiser than you realize. I've always believed that my body knows what I need, and tells me so. It is also attuned to my surroundings. I read that researchers have even discovered that there are brain cells in your intestine! I do not have the answer to our national health care crisis but I do know that change is needed. The cost of it is mind boggling. Maybe that is why alot of people are seeking alternative care, chiropractic, reflexology, acupuncture, etc. Once again............we are going "back" to what worked before! Will stop by my folks and give my dad a haircut. Months ago he came home shocked at the price of his haircut. Now my dad has very little hair left so I was shocked also. I bought a pair of electric hair clippers and now cut both his and LaVern's hair. It's actually quite easy. My mom told me that it was just on the news that the sale of hair clippers had gone up 28% since the recession started. I was not surprised. Another example of going back to things that were done and used and WORKED ages ago. Me...........I just quit cutting my hair!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Counting each moment as Holy

Ruth Rochelle....Went to walk with the Angels up to Heaven's door 8-24-09
Not a "close" friend but a wonderful lady who inspired the passion for primitives to hundreds of people. LaVern and I had the pleasure of going to her primitive antique show in Bradford, TN. a couple years ago. I had been purchasing from her online and corresponded via email. She was a delight and it was an honor to meet her in person. She made us feel like old friends immediately. As you can see from her smile she delighted in each and every day and spread it to everyone around her. I am confident she took joy and counted each moment as Holy. The river of time flows swiftly by. The seasons are a circle that go around and around. Looking back at what has been I realize that those fleeting moments are precious. By counting each moment as holy, it brings clarity to what's most important to me right now. Each moment IS a gift from God. "Take care of the minutes, for the hours will take care of themselves". Lord Chesterfield.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Friends and allies

This is my dear friend Mary as she was contemplating articles in a book. This wonderful rug hooking store is in Garden City, KS, Cricket Street Wool. This is only one little portion of the store. I didn't come home with 3 bags full of wool on this trip but easily could have!
I believe that friends can be my greatest allies in the quest for a simpler, more meaningful life. Mary is such an encourager. She always has creative ideas for me and will lend a helping hand whenever she is called. It seems like when I am weary and need that little lift, God places Mary in my presence and I find that much needed courage. Isaiah 41:6 Everyone helped his neighbor; and said to his brother, "Be of good courage!" Thank you, Mary, for making my life more meaningful.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Accepting my limitations

When I was young, anything seemed possible; any goal was reachable. But as life goes on, choices are made and I grow older and wiser. I have learned to accept my weaknesses and develop my strengths. Instead of resisting, I now make my life simpler by accepting what is and working with that! That has made the load much lighter, both physically and mentally. I can't do it all and now have no desire to try. And you know what? It's okay. Saturday I drove to Garden City with a girlfriend to our favorite wool shop. I should have spent the day at home doing the laundry and just catching up from our long trip. But I hadn't seen Mary for a few weeks so off we went. Great conversation, beautiful weather, lots of wool, ate Mexican food, shopped the Goodwill store. It was just a day well spent and the work was still there when I got home. Accept your limitations and lighten your loads. Take joy.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Special memories

The little things that are so easy to overlook yet so awe inspiring when we take the time to notice them. These are the simple things that give me the most joy. My dear friends and family, take joy and take peace.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

10 days....gone too long

How do you know you have been away from home too long??? When you come home and a bird has built a nest and is sitting on eggs right at the front door!!
We laughed hard this morning. Got in about 10 p.m. last night and did NOT see the bird. LaVern was unloading this morning and saw her. He went in and out the door as well as both dogs and she just sits there. All this in 10 days time!
We traveled in 10 states in 7 days! Richmond, VA is a LONGGGGGGGG ways from Kansas! But I would go again in a heart beat! Everywhere we traveled we ran in to rain. It rained all night while camping in the Great Smokey Mountains, rained in Nashville and then rained at least two inches while we were at the farm in Iowa. What a difference after being in a 10 year drought. LaVern had to put a new pump in the washing machine this morning but he stopped by to tell me it was up and running. We definitely had clothes to wash. I am catching up on "work stuff". Will keep you posted on our new home visitor. See, Marianna.............we really do have a new found love of birds!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Taking joy and taking peace

Wednesday, AM Sharing good conversation and a cup of coffee on the deck with Marianna. She looks soooooo good, content and happy. I shall take joy and peace in knowing this was in God's great plan for her. Her HUGE bedroom is like private retreat including her own sitting area, writing area and more. The future has changes for us both but I know that with her kindred spirit she will embrace the new adventure. What fun for us both!! She has told me she will scope out all the new places and we shall visit them upon our return. In the mean time we will continue our conversations with email, blog and cell phones!! I will have pictures for you when we return. I forgot the card reader for my camera! Need to keep a list these days.
Today we are leaving and driving to Virginia Beach. Karla asked LaVern if we had a plan. Our only plan is to see the beach and the Smokey Mountains. We will get to Nashville and then on to Iowa for a couple days. We never have been the type of people who have "planned" vacations. We just get in and drive!! Well, on the road again. Will blog again when we are connected somewhere down the road. love to all

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Richmond, Virginia

What a beautiful state!! Yes, for those of you that don't know.......we are in Richmond! We moved our dear neighbors, Karla and Marianna. Karla's daughter, Lisa and her wonderful hubby, Ricky and two grandsons have a beautiful new home.......6 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms!. So Karla and Marianna are joining them. How awesome is that? I truly believe more families should be doing this. I know it isn't for all families but for those that can and it works, what a blessing for all. We are so happy for them. The home is perfect as everyone will have their own "spaces". I would LOVE for my parents to move in with us. Mom would in a heart beat but not sure about dad! Karla and Marianna flew out last Wednesday and LaVern drove the u-haul truck pulling a trailer with their van. Biggest truck they had and it is loaded! I drove our pickup pulling our 1946 teardrop trailer. Trip was good. Long but good. Virginia and W. VA are beautiful states. I would love to come back and visit. Trees and rolling hills and small mountains. I am sitting out on the back deck and the yard is a wooded area.
A moving crew should be here soon to unload the truck. We will spend the rest of the day and tomorrow LaVern and I are headed to Virginia Beach. Can't believe we are on the east coast!
When I mentioned our trip in the coffee shop before leaving one guy gave me a "look" and asked "why?". I just told him that is what friends/neighbors do for each other. And besides...I'd never been to Virginia!! Lovin life!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009


During a conversation yesterday a friend mentioned that he was asked what the minimum wage was when he first started working. He laughed and said he didn't know if there was one then. Well, that got me to thinking, when did all that start? I had to search to find the answer but it was in 1938.......and the minimum wage was 25 cents!!! Fair Labor Standards Act. A couple amendments happened in 1961 and then again in 1966. When I first started working it was probably $1.60 an hour. Now we are at $7.25. Interesting that it was initiated after the depression. I wonder if it was called a stimulus back then?

Monday, August 10, 2009


This is a picture taken of the road, looking south from our driveway on the farm. When we purchased the place this area was overgrown with volunteer trees, brush, wild grapevines and wild rose vines. It hung clear out over the road. So when you wanted to leave our drive, you were risking your life as you could not see to the south if anyone was coming. This past weekend LaVern and I spent two days cutting down trees and clearing the brush. It was a jungle!! We used the pickup and chained the trees and limbs and drug them out. The positive, you can see down the road now. The negative, we uncovered wire, blocks, broken glass, an old garage door, pieces and parts of machinery! Yikes!

I felt really good that we worked two full days from early morning until 5:00 or so. That is until Saturday when our Amish neighbors to the east came by. One young man, Benjamin, with the buggy and he was also pulling a small trailer with a stock tank on it. His father and 3 of Benj's brothers were on a hayrack with a big driving team. We talked with them for a bit. They were on their way to gather hedge balls. This was at noon. They came back by at 8:00 pm!! They had a load of hedge balls. I felt like maybe we should go out and work a couple more hours!

It was sure satisfying to see the results of our hard labor. And the hot shower with the water heated by the sun was wonderful! (Betsy, this picture is for you!! Thanks for your help at the beginning of this)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Key to happiness

I recently read something that I just had to pass along. "Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket! Keep it in your own." This all has to do with attitude! I know I could serve LaVern burnt biscuits for supper and apologize for it and he would tell me he loves burned biscuits. Life is full of imperfect things, people, events. Accepting those faults is one of the most important keys to a growing and lasting relationship. Take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end............He's the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where burnt biscuits aren't a deal breaker! Blessings and peace.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Reflective time alone

I have discovered that to remain productive over the long haul I have to balance busy times with downtime. In order to do that I have had to create space in my schedule for personal reflection, time to think about life. This is easily done while riding in the car, LaVern is driving of course. I close my eyes and allow myself some time to daydream, to review my priorities and mull over the events of that day. This time taken refreshes my spirit and allows me to step back and look at the bigger picture. Sometimes of an evening I will brew a cup of tea, curl up in my chair and sit quietly, reflecting. What is important to you? Spend some reflective time alone!

Contemplation is nothing else but a secret, peaceful, and loving infusion of God, which, if admitted, will set the soul on fire with the Spirit of love.....Saint John of the Cross

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Horno, Earth ovens

While in New Mexico we noticed that all of the Native Americans had either one or two Hornos. These are beehive shaped adobe ovens. They use them to bake bread and just about everything else. LaVern has always had an interest in building one so after we got home we started researching alittle. Once again with the internet we have found thousands of web sights, videos and ideas. This is a picture of an earth oven which is probably what we will build as there isn't adobe in Iowa! We do, however have clay soil. I think it would be a perfect place to cook the Thanksgiving turkey!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Independent thinker

Think for yourself. Going along with the crowd can seem easy at first, but it may lead you down a wrong road. This is difficult sometimes living in a small rural town. The easier route would be to just agree with the "home" crowd and not "make waves". I have found that it is much simpler to live by my own convictions than to imitate someone else's style. Granted I am sure that alot of people think me wierd, different, "out there" but I know myself. God gave me a good mind and I am going to use it. I would much rather be an independent thinker who is willing to choose simple values over sophisticated, heated arguments. Nothing to be gained there.
Choose the company you want to keep. Positive, energetic and fun people. It has been said that our life is what our thoughts make it. My days are full of joy.

Friday, July 10, 2009


While back in Iowa last weekend we had 4 of our 7 grandchildren with us. My mom asked me what we "did". I guess she thought with no electricity there would be nothing to do. Here is the short list of our activities:
1) Made sand castles in the sand pile
2) fished in the pond with cane poles
3) Played dominoes in the evening
4) Explored the fields
5) Drew pictures and colored
6) Walked barefoot in the mud
7) Played twistie on the rope swing in the huge cottonwood tree
8) Caught frogs and catipillars
9) Climbed hay bales in the barn
10)Chased cats
11) Visited several Amish country stores and saw horses and buggies

The list goes on. Didn't have enough days to do everything! Here is a great hint if you have kids that like to draw. Go to your local newspaper and buy an "end roll" of paper. Not expensive, probably a couple bucks. I have a big long table in the kitchen so I stretched a big piece of this paper across the entire table, set the kids up to the table with colored pencils and crayons and they had a blast. They thought it was way cool and you end up with a mural when they are done! I dumped the crayons and pencils on the table so no fights. Great, cheap fun!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Late bloomer

A late blooming adult is a person who does not discover their talents and abilities until later than normally expected. In certain cases, the individual may be as old as 83, and retirement may lead to this discovery. How long does a person have to be called a "late bloomer"? Is there a deadline? For me, the drive to be myself, to use what I've got inside, sent me on a path that was more down to earth. That is why now I can sit at home on one of my free days and indulge in new creativities. There are not too many plump, pleasant, middle-aged women who take up Native American flute playing, for instance. Or decide to start running again at the age of 58. I feel like I have only just begun experiencing new things. And why not? Carve out some space for your passions! Spend time learning a new hobby. Tomorrow I am going to experience reiki attunement.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Just keepin it simple

I like to think that I am just keepin it simple but most would describe this as a "redneck hot tub"!! Back on the farm and needing a break. Found the clawfoot tub overturned down in the "south 40". Don't know how it got there but appeared to be useful so with the help of our son Ross, a little wagon and the riding lawn mower, we brought it up. The clawfeet were gone so we had to prop it up on cement blocks. Put a cast iron, two burner camp stove underneath and hooked up the propane. In short time I had nice hot water and a great view. It has been a long time since I just laid around, thinking of nothing........pondering the air. Blue sky with rolling white clouds and frogs singing in the pond. It just doesn't get any better than this. It is what I would describe as "simple living".

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


I have been asked several times about my heading, particular the Take Joy. The only way to have true joy is to remember to put Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last. J-O-Y
Some people have y-o-J, putting themselves first and Jesus last. Others just have y-o and too many people with just y. My purpose in life is to smile alot, sing God's praises and have JOY. Smile and pass it on...............JOY

Monday, June 29, 2009

Back to Oberlin

What a flying trip we had over the weekend. Left Thursday evening and back home last night at 11:00.........down to Albuquerque, NM! Delivered the Hobbyline trailer to our new friends, Jill and Dennis. It is such an awesome trailer. I will miss it but look forward to seeing Jill and the trailer with "Sisters On The Fly". I would love to someday go back to Santa Fe. Didn't get to spend alot of time there this trip. There is so much to see and do. Would love to visit more out in the area, the adobes, etc. Another time. What a contrast in homes and the countryside! The houses were all adobe style and color and when you looked off in the hills they just appeared as rocks. Blended right in to the countryside. LaVern is home having fun with solar power. He picked up 3 small solar panels and our cache of golf cart batteries for the farm. I think he is going to focus on the RV now as we will drive it back on the next trip. One of the boys wants to use it to go camping with his family. It has just been sitting here. I am road tired but was great to see that area.

Friday, June 26, 2009


1:00 PM Friday...........we are in Raton, New Mexico!! Beautiful landscape. Trip is going great so far. Anxious to get to Santa Fe and check it out. Sitting at a visitor's center. You have to love this wireless technology!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Black or White Clothing

It's hot out now so I wondered about clothing. What is cooler, black or white clothing? I've always heard that white is but check this out:

An extensive and detailed study (Walsberg, Campbell, & King, 1978. J. Comp. Physiol. 126B: 211-222) examined different colors of bird plumage under different temperature conditions--with the added wrinkles of examining whether the plumage was fluffed or flattened, and varying the wind speed.
Under cold conditions with no wind speed, black, flattened plumage held in heat the best (though barely, compared to fluffed black plumage). Under hot conditions with no wind, white, fluffed plumage let heat escape the best. Both pretty logical findings.
But once the wind picked up, the results changed dramatically. With even a modest wind (anything above 3 m/s, or about 7 m.p.h.) fluffed white plumage exhibit the lowest net heat loss. This explains the large number of arctic animals that are fluffy and white. It's not just camouflage.
At high temperatures, as I say, white is best at not transmitting solar/ambient heat to the skin when windspeed is zero (only barely better when fluffed). However, with an increase in windspeed (again anything above 3 m/s), fluffed black plumage is the best at reducing the amount of heat transmitted to the skin. Flattened black plumage is the worst in terms of heat gain no matter what the windspeed.

What this means is relatively straightforward: black clothing absorbs sunlight and the heat radiating from your body, but if it is loose-fitting, and there is wind, the wind convects the heat away faster than it is absorbed. White clothing reflects sunlight, but also reflects internal heat back towards your body, so the net effect under identical conditions is less cooling than if you wore black. While it's true you don't often find fluffy black animals in deserts, you don't find many white animals, either--typically you find animals that blend into the background. So it appears that if heat gain and camouflage are in conflict, the need to avoid predation outweighs other considerations. On the other hand, desert-dwelling nomadic people such as the Tuaregs wear loose-fitting black clothing, and have been doing so for a very, very long time. If there were an advantage to wearing white clothes, you'd certainly expect they'd have figured that out by now.

I guess the easiest way would be to try it myself. Wear white on a calm day and then on a day with a breeze and then try the black clothing. I do find it interesting. LaVern said his grandfather Burtis always put his thermos of water out in the sun because warm or hot water quenched his thirst more than cold water. But that's a subject for another day. We are off to Albuquerque, New Mexico today. Meeting the buyer of the trailer. She is from California. Will be a quick weekend trip but we are excited as I've never been south of Co. Springs.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Keeping paper in its place

I feel like a blizzard has landed on my work station at home. For two days now I have been searching for a picture of a project that I would like to try. typically I am very organized. Ask LaVern. I have three ring binders set up for everything. But I guess all these recent road trips have put me behind. I have a place for everything but have not kept up with the to-be-filed box. So, the paper has control over me now instead of the other way around. I am going to find that picture and then you can be sure it will be filed in its proper binder!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Buns of Steel

I am thinking that the term "buns of steel" must have originated many, many years ago when the milking stool was first made. How do I know this? After sitting on one for 4 days, hand picking the weeds out of the strawberry bed, I can safely tell you that I do NOT have buns of steel! Ouch! My behind is sore. I believe that a "double wide" milk stool needs to be designed. By this, I mean the top of the stool not the bottom. The positive side to this is that after 4 days I was quite adept at being able to lean forward or backward on that stool and stay seated and NOT fall over. Saved my back and I was close to the strawberries that had to be eaten less the birds get them. When we first arrived all I saw was a field of weeds about knee high. I was amazed at the wonderful plants once I started pulling the weeds. By the end we had 5 long rows of strawberries. Next year the crop should be tremendous as these plants were just put in a year ago. Maybe by next year the buns will be alittle more conditioned also.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Turn off the noise

I have noticed that when I go to someone's house and the TV is on (no one is watching it , of course) that the noise bothers me. Now more than ever people regularly do several activities at on the phone, text messaging, surf the internet....all with the TV or radio in the background. With all those distractions, it is no wonder studies show the attention spans are getting shorter and autism is at a high level. All that noise drowns out contemplation and eliminates the opportunity to sit quietly and reflect. Turn off the noise in your house and listen to the sounds of silence.

Friday, June 12, 2009


I think I have found my next type of horse! They are haflingers. I believe they have only been in the U.S.A. for about 10 years or so but gaining popularity fast. They are not a big horse, most are about 14 hands or so. But are they ever beautiful and versatile. Saw my first ones while back in Iowa, closing on "the farm". An Amish came driving in a pair. So I have been online checking them out! lol People are showing them in dressage, jumping, English pleasure and western. AND............they make great driving horses. While in Iowa, we drove the "back" roads to Mt. Ayr which is about 12 miles away. I wanted to see if I could take gravel roads all the way there (with a buggy, of course). And I will be able to. lol That's the town where I will go for grocery shopping, etc. No date yet. Everyone keeps asking. The door will open when it is suppose to! Ate supper and then breakfast with our Amish family.....tomato gravy for breakfast. It was yummy! More later.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Economic conditions

"Entirely too many people have jobs that are both unsuitable to them and precarious. Trade unions are feeble, or crooked, or both.....Plenty of people are strangled by installment buying. The equipment of the public schools is good, but the old irrelevant curricula endure, the football field seems to be considered generally more important than the library, and there is a multitude of silly 'activities'. People generally seem to be increasingly dependent on pleasures that have to be bought, like cars and movies, and therefore on money and on their employers. The government is expensive and inefficient."

This was taken from RFD by Charles Allen Smart, originally published in 1938. Amazing!! Still worth reading 70 years later and describes somewhat of where we still are today.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Every morning, now at 5:30, I go out for a 4 mile jog. Why? No one penetrates my space, I am free of distractions and I'm free to let my mind wander. Besides, I need the exercise! It usually takes about one mile and then I find my rhythm. I forget about what I'm doing and I can think clearly. Some people think jogging is boring, but it's relaxing to me. It's so peaceful. I generally run on gravel country roads. The paved streets are hard on my joints. I feel connected to nature out there. Once I get my rhythm I can then think about my running. Relaxing the shoulders, lengthing the stride, increasing the pace. What makes you feel refreshed?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lynx rufus and Puma concolor

Cougar (or panter, mountain lion)

The bobcat is brown with black spots. Its fur may be grayer in winter. It has large ears with slight tufts of hair at the tips. It has a striped ruff of fur on its cheeks and a short tail with a black tip. It gets its name from its short or bobbed tail. The bobcat is about two feet tall from its shoulders to its feet. It weigh between 20 and 30 pounds. The bobcat has excellent eyesight and hearing.

Cougars are the largest members of the cat family in North America. Adult males average approximately 140 pounds but in a perfect situation may weigh 180 pounds and measure 7-8 feet long from nose to tip of tail. Adult males stand about 30 inches tall at the shoulder. Adult female cougars average about 25 percent smaller than males. Cougars vary in color from reddish-brown to tawny (deerlike) to gray, with a black tip on their long tail.
Recently there has been alot of talk about mountain lion sightings in Sappa Park, just outside Oberlin. I've never spent much time thinking about it but with the continued "sightings" I decided maybe I should look at some pictures so that I would know what a bobcat and a cougar really look like. I'm thinking I would be able to tell the difference between a 20 pound "cat" and a 180 pound cat!!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Inspiring Poem

By Rumi, a 13th century Persian poet and theologian:

"This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honourably.
He may be clearing you out for
some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Oh My!

LaVern had the above picture on our vision board! He said it was us moving to Iowa! Then he came in the other day with the picture of his pickup, loaded. The resemblance is scary!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Take a Hike...but watch out for bears in dem woods!

Daily life can wear down your soul and make you tired. Nature is out there waiting to renew you. Follow a winding trail through the forest and enter a world of beauty far, far away from everyday cares and worries. That walk in nature's beauty will renew your spirit. (but watch out for bears on the trail!)

Friday, May 15, 2009


I thought the temperature was to get down in the 40's last night but instead when I opened my door this morning to read the termometer it was almost 60 degrees! But, oh my, the air was "heavy". Headed out at 6 am for the morning run and once out in the country one could really see the fog in the low draws. Looking out it just made me want to run over to that draw and "be in the fog". I love foggy mornings. I like to think of a foggy day as mysterious and almost comforting.

Monday, May 11, 2009


My sleep schedule is all messed up again. I've been getting up at 4:30 A.M. Maybe it is just a leftover cycle from the full moon which we had last Friday. Usually I can't sleep a few days before the full moon but this month I'm "off schedule". I try to be quiet so that LaVern can sleep in. That guy can sleep 12 hours a night, take daytime naps and still sleep long. He falls to sleep as soon as his head hits the pillow and it takes me a half hour to fall to sleep. And naps? Forget it for me. Not going to happen. I tell LaVern that I need to have a child's bedtime schedule. To bed early..........but then up early! I tell him I have to get up and milk the cows! lol My grandparents use to get up every morning at 4 to go out and milk cows. When we stayed overnight with them we slept on an old canvas army cot down in the dining room. Grandma had a Westminster chiming clock. I remember lying on the cot awake and counting the striking hours. I wanted to stay awake all night so that I wouldn't miss the 4 AM rising to help milk. I guess I never got off that schedule! Sleep is important. A calm spirit in a rested body is a wonderful thing. I think I read somewhere that hours of sleep before midnight are more rejuvenating, so I tell LaVern that an earlier bedtime can pay off in greater energy during the day! I try to aim for 6 hours of restful sleep each night. What can I say? I am a "morning person".

Friday, May 8, 2009


Had a person come in to the office to post a sign about National Prayer Day. He told me to come and pray my worries away. I laughed and replied, "You should know me well enough to know that worry is not in my vocabulary. But I'll come and prayer for all the other worriers". The word worry comes from a word that means "to divide". When you worry, you divide your energy. Do you worry? When we worry about a situation, the problem gets us instead of us getting it. I don't think any good has ever come out of any worrying that I have ever done so why waste the energy. At my age, all the energy I have is important! If my mind starts to wander towards that worry side, I focus my thoughts on the fact that right here and now I am all right. I'm gonna let tomorrow take care of itself and yesterday is done and gone. Don't worry, Be Happy!!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


My first experience with webkinz was great fun! A downtown business man who owns a B&B and restaurant had a Webkinz birthday party for kids. Our grandson, Reid is a big fan of webkinz. As you can see from the picture, he has several. We had cake, punch and sang happy birthday. Who ever thought up the idea is retired by now. One of the "hot" things when we were growing up were the troll dolls. How many of you remember those?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Discarded Treasures

You've heard the saying, "one man's trash is another man's treasure". What a treasure we have in our new "automatic" washing machine!! Can't wait to try it out! We had to order a small part for the wringer. And yes, they still make some parts for the old Maytag wringer washers. This machine is run by electricity but LaVern is contemplating changing it to a gas motor. We can run it with solar for now. I remember mom had a wringer when we kids were small. We've had this one running. I love the sound it made while agitating. I was surprised at the agitation. Guess I thought it wouldn't be enough but I don't think that is going to be a problem. Needless to say, pennies compared to a new machine. I'm amazed at the new front load washers at $900 and up. Yikes! $20 for a washer is in my budget!! I'm betting when I get home today that LaVern will have the part in and will be washing a load of towels to see how it works. Hmmmm, maybe he will like it so well, wash day will be on his schedule. Finding new uses for an old and beloved belonging is the essence of simple living. There is usually quality and worth beneath the scratched surface of a discarded treasure. You may discover a hidden treasure that no one else sees.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Grackles and Kite hawks

A sure sign of spring here in NW Kansas is when the grackles and kite hawks show up. I love it when at dusk both groups come in for the night. To the west of our house is a huge tree and the grackles roost there and on the east side is the water tower and the kites park there. It is almost like a stand off. But every year it is the same, kites on the tower and grackles in the tree. They will be here a few weeks and then suddenly are gone. The grackles clean out our bird feeders several times while here. Then the finches come back and reclaim the feeders. Birds are fun to watch. Our dear neighbor, Marianna (a young 80's lady) spiked our interest in bird watching several years ago. She is an avid watcher. We are always thrilled to see some unusual bird at our feeder and then can't wait to tell her about it. She inspired us to get an Audubon Society field guide so that we can identify a new bird. One year we took a trip up to Ogalla, Ne. so see the bald eagles that were migrating at the time. And we still go to see the sandhill cranes. It has given us many hours of enjoyment. So, thank you Marianna. Something I hope we will pass on to our kids and grandkids. No cost entertainment right in our own backyard. Simple living.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Stereo, 8 tracks, cassettes, Ipods

Wow! I sometimes have to shake my head just looking back at the changes during MY lifetime. I had the record player that spun the old records. Now I slip these little ear phones in and clip this tiny little square box to my shirt and listen to all the music I want. And I can easily change it to something different or go online and download new music. Amazing. I wonder what will be next. I love all kinds of music, new age, classic rock n roll, country, just anything. Well, wait. Definitely not rap. Never have understood that. To each his own. We have these continuous metal awnings in front of all the stores here in downtown Oberlin. And music is played through speakers downtown. For reasons unknown, Oberlin has experienced a change of directors several times in the last couple years for the Chamber of Commerce. And that person has been in charge of playing the music for public listening while strolling the sidewalks downtown. I found it interesting that with each director was the music! For a spell we had alot of country music playing, then more classical stuff and rock and roll was next. Once again we are without a director and they are advertising for a new one. I wonder if they are asked about their music preference during the interview?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Handing over the control

We have the free will to make our own choices, but God is hoping that we will let him guide and direct us, gently steering us away from the rocks. LaVern and I have been looking for acreage for over a year now but most recently in earnest. We were the captains and in control. I kept asking God to show us the way, to send me that "electric billboard". And as always He did. Swung the door wide open. It wasn't in Missouri but southern Iowa. I think both LaVern and I are still in awe that we were able to purchase the Amish homestead. Talk about testimony! There were 9 other people lined up behind us on that Saturday and 2 couples had looked at it on Thursday evening but did not have their funds ready. The Amish will not do "business" on Good Friday (even though people showed up) so that allowed us to make the 8 hour drive back and be there early Saturday morning. The guy who was the 3rd appt. jumped out of his vehicle and said, "I suppose I am too late, I'll pay the price and don't have to look at it". We were already signing the paperwork! Imagine that! When our son called to tell us about it, after seeing an ad in a shopper, he said, "Mom, I think the ad is wrong. The price can not be right." But......the price was right. Imagine that! We met the gentleman who owns the adjoining acreage. He is very active with "Feeding the Children" program. Rosa, the Amish wife, cooks on a wood cookstove. The same brand and model that I am looking at (and have a picture of on my vision board). Imagine that! Her chicken are Rhode Island reds (same as on my board). Imagine that! This family is already living "off grid" just as we want to. Imagine that! The list just goes on and on. I want to learn beekeeping and while at an auction this past weekend, a man from McCook offered to teach me all there is to know. He has been a beekeeper for over 25 years. He orders his supplies from a company in Auburn, NE. LaVern's sister lives there and it is only a couple hours from our farm. Imagine that!

LaVern said yesterday that he doesn't know what God's plan is for us once we move but he knows there is a purpose in all of this. Maybe LaVern will be involved with Feeding the Children or it might be something as simple as helping our elderly neighbor up the road. We know the direction won't be from our navigation but God's. Hand over the control. Be still and listen for His counsel.

Monday, April 20, 2009

A simple way of life

LaVern and I admire the Amish and their way of life. It's a simple life that they choose to do. They are devoted to family and God. I think that all the government restrictions are making it harder for the Amish and that is sad. It's hard for our families to understand why LaVern and I want to live "off grid". I gently remind them that it is our choice. I think the Amish are making alot out of their lives because they have a very definite conception of what they are living for. I recently read in Countryside magazine about a woman who finally was realizing her life long dream of homesteading. She had purchased alittle land and moved to the country. She is 73 years old (young).
Our dream: small homestead, big garden, solar and wind power, off grid, chickens, rolling hills and trees, harvesting rain water, recycling, canning, self sufficient, beekeeping, horse and buggy..........oh, did I forget to mention.........we have purchased the above property from an Amish family.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Celebrating the Little Things

The big things in life are important. Births, graduations, weddings, life-changing events all mark the changing seasons of life. We recently have had a "life-changing" event (in a future blog) and it will definitely be a new season in our life to which we will embrace. But this morning I was reminded it's the little things that keep me going on ordinary days. Fresh perked coffee, a smile from a stranger, first spring rain---small miracles that are easily taken for granted yet make up the stuff of everyday life. Celebrate the small things in life. Celebrate what you accomplished today. Celebrate the fact that you are alive, breathing and blessed by God.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Bone to Pick

Once again I am behind on blogging. And once again someone said to me, "I have a bone to pick with you." Well, that got me to thinking about where that phrase came from. "Bone to pick," dates back to the 16th century, simply refers to a dog chewing endlessly on, and "picking clean," a large bone. A "bone to pick" is thus a subject or issue that is expected to require considerable discussion or argument. A similar phrase, "bone of contention," meaning an issue over which two people argue, also dates back to the 1500s and refers, appropriately, to two dogs fighting over an especially choice bone. Here in the States the meaning is the same. A 'bone to pick' is an issue to be discussed and resolved between individuals. Hopefully this blog should resolve that grievance! I find it interesting that this phrase dates back so far. And we still use it today! I am going to have a dog bone on hand at my desk. Just for those times when I "have a bone to pick". lolol Thanks, Pat!! Keep those lines coming! I love it!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A must see

I'm just going to blog about an awesome video. People making the effort to change the world with music. Peace be with you.

Then watch the video: Stand By Me

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Just saw another article in a magazine about the group of women known as "Sisters on the fly". they are a group of ladies that have vintage trailers and love to fly fish and ride horses. I have never been fly fishing but imagine that I might like it. The solitude, scenery and gracefulness of the sport. I love the waders that they wear. They remind me of the little rubber boots I wore on the farm as a kid. There are easier ways to fish, but I think this is an artistic, challenging way. One of those times when I would be proud of myself that I made the extra effort to do something the hard way.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Peace be with you

The road to success is not straight. There is a curve called Failure, a loop called Confusion, speed bumps called Friends, red lights called Enemies, caution lights called Family. You will have flats called Jobs.But, if you have a spare called Determination, an engine called Perseverance, insurance called Faith, a driver called Almighty God, you will make it to a place called Success.

Peace is seeing a sunset and knowing who to thank. The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Play with your whole heart!

Every sixty seconds you spend angry, upset or mad, is a full minute of happiness you'll never get back. Today's Message of the Day is: Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love truly, Laugh uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you smile.
In a never-ending quest for a steady job and paycheck, it's easy to lose sight of what life is all about. Life should be a wonderful adventure! You know how to work hard. But do you know how to play well? Lighten up. Do something with your whole heart and let the fun be its own reward!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Give something away

I think that scarcity thinking will make you want to clutch tight to everything you own whereas a flow of abundance runs on different energy. So giving something away renews that spirit of abundance within me. Everything I have is a gift from God so everything I give away is a gift to God. I started small and simply. Went through all my small electric appliances and only kept a couple that I use consistantly. The rest I gave a way. My closet was next. I have a big basket full of nice clothes that are going to the Bargain Box today. Small steps to simplify my life. Doesn't have to be "stuff" you give away. Give away your time or better yet the gift of your best self. Start today. You will "feel" the difference........that abundance.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Tuning up my brain

I just don't like it when I am not able to remember important things or events. I often wonder if it is the same with other people my age. Several friends have told me that it is. Recently several of us girls went out to the park for our daily one hour walk. "CR" always brings her dog who wears one of those shock collars. I think it is more of a precautionary thing. "CR" has a hand held gizmo that she carries and usually hooks it to her jeans. Well, about 20 minutes into our walk she suddenly realizes she does not have it. It is quite expensive so we abruptly turned around and started back. There were three of us looking. I kept asking "CR" if she was sure she had it with her. And yes, she remembered putting the antenna on. I reminded her she was my age and sometimes we have "flashbacks" where we thought we did something today but it actually was yesterday! No, she was certain. We got back to the vehicles and she looked in the back of hers where the bag was. Nothing. So back up the trail again to the point of turn around and then once again back we came. By then I am thinking, yup, she has had a flashback or possibly brain gas. We are laughing then. She is determined to find it on the trail. The dog doesn't seem to care at all. Back to her pickup. "CR" is tearing apart things in the back seat. Kim, in the mean time, looks in the front. There is the gizmo stuck in the tray...........where "CR" put it before getting out for the walk. Flashback, brain gas, age?? I followed her home in my vehicle just to be certain she remembered where she lived. Exercise your brain daily. Some day you will be glad you did.