Monday, December 27, 2010

Ways to relax and reduce stress

I received this from a dear friend and at first glance you would think it was something for the kitchen! Instead it is a scalp massager! It is soooo cool. Increases blood circulation, relaxes stressed muscles, helps relieve aches and pains, provides deep relaxation and small enough to take with you anywhere. I can assure you that it works. I used in on LaVern's head and thought he was going to doze off! You actually get tingling sensations from your scalp to toes. I'm going to try it on my knee joints. I'm thinking that now that the "holidays" are over that some of you are stressed so maybe I'll blog on some ways to reduce the stress and relax. In the mean time, check out this gadjet!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve Greetings

Take Joy! Take Peace!
(Written by Fra Giovanni Giocondo on Christmas Eve, 1513)

I salute you. I am your friend, and my love for you goes deep. There is nothing I can give you which you have not got; but there is much, very much, that, while I cannot give it, 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 the present little instant. Take Peace!

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

Life is so full of meaning and purpose, so full of beauty.....that you will find earth but cloaks your heaven. Courage then to claim it, that is all!

And so, at this Christmas time, I greet you; not quite as the world send greetings, but with profound esteem, and with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks and the shadows flee away.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Lunear Eclipse

I heard on the news that like 1 million people would be looking at the eclipse and that got me to thinking. I wonder how many of my friends or family will get up to see it. Afterall, there hasn't been one since the 1600's. Okay, let's see. Possibly MS here in Iowa as she is a homeschool mom and I bet her kids would love it. My friend, Kim in Kansas would love to see it but she is not much of an early morning person. Maybe John and Carol. If we still lived in Kansas we might have gotten them together for an "eclipse viewing party". Now that would have been fun! My list is pretty thin. Did we get up to see it??? You betcha. I was up at 11:30 but it was about 1:30 AM before it was completely covered. There must have been a million stars out and it was just beautiful. Wouldn't have missed it!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Christmas Story

'Twas the night before Jesus came and all through the house
Not a creature was praying, not one in the house.
Their Bibles were lain on the shelf without care
In hopes that Jesus would not come there.

The children were dressing to crawl into bed.
Not once ever kneeling or bowing a head.
And Mom in her rocker with the baby on her lap.
Was watching the Late Show while I took a nap.

When out of the East there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash!

When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But angels proclaiming that Jesus was here.
With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray
I knew in a moment this must be THE DAY!

The light of His face made me cover my head
It was Jesus! returning just like He said.
And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth,
I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.

In the Book of Life which He held in His hand
Was written the name of every saved man.
He spoke not a word as He searched for my name.
When He said "It's not here" my head hung in shame.

The people whose names had been written with love
He gathered to take to His Father above.
With those who were ready He rose without a sound.
While all the rest were left standing around.

I fell to my knees, but it was too late;
I had waited too long and thus sealed my fate.
I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight.
Oh, if only we had been ready tonight.

In the words of this poem the meaning is clear,
The coming of Jesus is drawing near.
There's only one life and when comes the last call
We'll find that the Bible was true after all!
-Author unknown

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Best Vacation Ever

On our way to town
Up to date clothes dryer

Maytag at it's best

This is my niece who spent her vacation with us. I finally got some pictures posted for you. Sorry about the two you have to look at sideways. I'm at the library and just didn't get them all turned around. We had a great time with Stacy and hope she comes back next year. This time I will be alittle more prepared and have a few things planned out. She wants to go camping with us and we didn't get around to some of the sights in the area but our days were packed with fun just the same. She loved washing clothes in the wringer as much as I do. What a hoot!
It's cold here and kind of misty right now but we missed all the big snow. Northern Iowa received the brunt of that. I talked to an aunt that lives up there and they had 10 inches last weekend and were expecting as much as 6 more this weekend.
Must run........(just an update, I did NOT get the flu!!)

Green Eggs & Ham

The Ham
Reid's Nellie

Green Eggs
Upon finding the FIRST green egg you'd have thought she laid a golden egg!! I was so excited! ha ha Almost like coming down Christmas morning and finding out Santa had come. I immediately took a picture of it with the cell phone and sent it to Reid in Nebraska. He was as excited as I was. Nellie finally laid her first egg! She is such a pet and I spoil her with special treats which she now comes up on the deck for! Her eggs are either a light avocado green or a wonderful seafoam/blue egg. When the grandkids from Pella were here over Thanksgiving they saw the green eggs. Their responses: "Wow, now we can have green eggs and ham!". Another asked, "Do the green eggs taste like the brown ones?" Ah, the wonder of children.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

3 strains of flu in Iowa

I'm too old to throwup, I'm too old to throwup. I'm still missing the flu but LaVern did not do the chant so he did NOT miss it. He DID throwup and spent alot of time in the bathroom. Bummer. I told him about the news of 3 strains of flu in Iowa and he just had the one. He didn't appear to see the humor in that. I'm still hopeful that I will not get it but.......(there's that negative word) I bought some 7-up today. I'm too old to throwup.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

4th and final blog

We have been so busy and I am so far behind blogging. Before all the Thanksgiving stuff we got a call one night from my brother. My niece was suppose to be flying in to Des Moines and then my aunt from northern Iowa was picking her up and she was going up there for her week's vacation. She is a single, 27 year old city girl. This was during that terrible wind we had and my aunt did not want to drive. Sooooooooo.....could she come and spend a week with us? Of course, we would love to have her. The first day I showed her how to do the chores. Explained that you had to call the hens to the house and talk to them on the way. I think she thought I was alittle crazy and "she" wasn't going to do that but guess what? At the end of her stay she would call those hens and loved it when all 20 of them came running to her. She talked to them all the way to the hen house! She told us it was the best vacation she has ever had, next to Disney World. I told my brother with alittle more advance notice that next time I could beat out ole Disney!
I'll post pictures later as I must have them on the other camera and haven't downloaded them yet.

3rd new blog of 4

Granddaughter working on a sampler she was making for a school project.
This one loves to put puzzles together

Quilt shop in the country that we all went to.
Didn't get a picture of the grandson this time. Maybe because he ended up sick with the flu. I kept chanting: I'm too old to throwup, I'm too old to throwup.....(so far it's worked)!
He still had a couple good days. Despite the cold and wind they were still outdoors helping with chores and playing on the new rope swings. It was dark on the trip to our house and Gavin (6 yrs) suddenly exclaimed, "There's a shooting star!" His first ever that he had seen. He was sure excited. Abit later he announced, "There's one getting ready to go!" ha ha ha The things kids say. I had to call their dad while they were at our house. Brenna, the oldest, reported that dad told them to bring jackets as we heated with wood and it might be cold! I asked our son what the temperature was in his house. Confused he asked why and I told him it was 75 degrees in ours and the kids were kicking their blankets off at night!

Another blog

Our special tree and his hooked piece
Helping grandpa dig carrots

One serious rug hooker

Helping grandpa put up TWO rope swings

His chicken, Nellie (all grown up)

Once again you will have to scroll down and look at the other blogs. :(
We crammed alot of activities in the couple days that Reid was here. Took him to Kansas City on Wednesday and then drove to Pella, IA and picked up another 3 grandchildren. More blogs to come.
We had a full moon while Reid was here so every night he and I went for country walks. He thought that was so cool (and it literally was). The first night we were about 3/4 mile from home and there in the ditch was this little cedar tree, all alone. I have passed it a million times and never noticed it. So Reid and I went back to the house, got the car and a saw and HE cut down the tree. He dragged it in the house and in an excited voice said to grandpa, "Grandpa, we got the best Christmas tree ever and we didn't have to pay money for it!" Ahhhhh.....priceless moments. We decorated it the ole fashion way. He had never strung popcorn before and had a great time doing that. Then we sliced oranges and dried them in the woodstove oven. The next day we took alittle road trip as I had spied some bittersweet in a ditch while on a buggy trip. So that went in the tree. Made a rag garland and added that. Reid thought the orange slices looked like stain glass with the sun shining through them! Of course we had to have paper snowflakes and we both were laughing with each one. He hooked a tree and we framed it in a frame I found in the barn. Short visit but loads of memories. I love you, Reid and we miss you!

An 8 year old's Thanksgiving

Our 8 year old grandson, Reid spent a couple days with us right before Thanksgiving and he prepared the ENTIRE meal (with alittle help from grandma)
He set the table and wanted candlelight.

FIRST time ever using a paring knife!!

First time chopping nuts. So serious!
And he LOVES to cook!

The fresh turkey we had. It was so JUICY and yummy. Cooked it in the woodstove!!
He made two salads, peeled and mashed the potatoes and sweet potatoes. I showed him how to make gravy and dressing. It was a great Thanksgiving and one I will remember. Oh....I forgot his three layer pumpkin pie! I have three more turkeys. Plan to butcher and can them next week!

Saturday, November 20, 2010


I wonder how many of our friends that are close in age to us (aged hippies) were anxious to see what I was going to blog about! oops.....TYPO error! I meant.....woodstack. Sorry but I couldn't resist! tee hee
I have been in to town a couple times and tried to get to the libary to blog. One time I actually made it but their internet was "down". This morning I only have a half hour so will have to quick get this ready. We have been busy putting our wood supply in.
There is a BIG pile that will have to be split but we will get to that later. We are just using the kitchen woodstove to heat the entire downstairs at this point. When it is really cold we will fire up the heating stove. It feels so good to enjoy the comfort of the wood heat. We love going after wood. Maybe in a few year it will no longer be fun but for now we are enjoying it.
Tomorrow we drive to Lincoln, NE and pick up our grandson, Reid. He will spend a couple days with us and then we drive to Kansas City and meet his aunt for the rest of the time. Hope to have a fresh turkey while he is here.
I probably won't be back in before Thanksgiving so wish everyone a blessed day. Take a few minutes and read Psalm 100. Peace.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


LaVern has been busy constructing his greenhouse. When he is finished it will have plastic over it and then straw bales along the outside. Inside will be another covering over the plants and 55 gallon barrels in each corner. He is painting the barrels black and will fill them with water to help heat the greenhouse. Then in the cold, cold weather he may hook up the little wood stove directly to the barrels and heat the water that way. Trial and error is what he said! Those are green beans inside it now. Still producing and I'm canning.
Are you enjoying the moon? Tomorrow night is a full moon................go for a night walk!!!!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

This says it all

Life is good........God is better.
The Lord is my Shepherd.
I have everything I need.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

#3 of 3 Kitchen pictures

This isn't the entire kitchen! Cookstove and another cupboard yet on the end where I stood. Love my beams! LaVern is going to make a harvest (farm) table. 8 footer out of cottonwood and hedge. Will be able to seat 10 people!

I love this piece. We took an OLD hand made desk (two ends) put them together, then LaVern built it up by adding a big drawer and the top. The other side is the same!! Nice island piece and takes the place of countertops.
Still have to put an additional door here. This goes out to the mud room. Walking sticks available to use!

South end of kitchen.
Well, FINALLY I got pictures taken and posted of the kitchen!! It is finished except for the harvest table LaVern is going to make. I never would have believed that I had enough to fill a 16x36 kitchen but as you can see............I did!! ha ha This will become my favorite room, next to my wool room, of course. Tons of windows, lots of light. Who needs electricity??!!

#2 of 3 kitchen blogs

Wood box for the kitchen cookstove. Can't tell from picture but it is a yummy old seafoam green/blue color

Here she is!! Pioneer Maid. What a dandy! Can hardly wait to bake in it. You can see our old board floor we laid. LaVern did good!

Yes, I have running water via solar.

Kitchen cupboard, bins. Water purifier (Big Berkley) on the right.

Kitchen pictures #1 of 3 blogs

Propane stove...will paint it black with stove paint later!

Refrigerator!! (Red, rusted tin on wall)

"Small" assortment of wood bowls that I use everyday

One of several prim cupboards....LOVE, LOVe

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

New animals

Some pics of LaVern's 8 piggies

Orphan lambs...Po and Merry (Katahdins)

4 white turkeys
Went to the draft horse sale in Maryville, MO. and sold my draft mare, Peggy Sue. Made a couple Amish farm stops on the way home and I traded her collar for the 4 turkeys and two orphan lambs!! lololo The little feeder pigs are LaVern's project! I actually don't mind them as we have them turned out into the small pen that the goat used to be in so they are hardly in the barn. Took me a while to finally get a picture of them. These guys can run!! Free range pigs almost! Hope to get the turkeys out free ranging also but giving them alittle time to adjust. They want to be "up" at night to roost. Last night one was on top of the coop and then 3 of them were balancing on the gate. We finally ordered Pritchard lamb nipples and I picked them up today. Going to toss the ole hard black rubber ones. Both lambs are eating grass and drinking water from the bucket so shouldn't have to feed them long on a bottle. They are really alot of fun.
LaVern got the wood cookstove chimney in this past week. Today he is working on windows and putting up new storms. Went to his sister's last Thursday and saw some relatives. Came home with a trailer load of wheat straw bales. We still have to set the chicken house and get it ready for winter plus the turkey's coop. I am going after some apples this week and put up some applesauce. I have been driving Knight every day with the buggy. His speed has slowed down since I've gotten him home from our Amish friend who used him. Will try to get a picture of him posted as I don't think I have even done that.
I have sewing that I would like to get to and of course rug hooking. Might try to get to a rug hook-in up near Omaha next week so should hook something new to take. This morning I washed two loads of jeans in the old Maytag wringer and hung them out on the line. That machine washes so much better than the conventional I can't believe it. All in the aggitation I am sure. Did you enjoy the full harvest moon? Fantastic night for a walk! My sister in law, Patty, in Colorado called to tell me she went for a walk one of those nights! I knew she would get the bug!
Must get going and head home as LaVern will wonder where I am! Oh, to have the Internet at home!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Have you lost your marbles?

LaVern hasn't........he has found them!! It all started several years ago. I think maybe when we bought our last old home in Oberlin. The lots were empty so the digging for landscaping began and LaVern was constantly finding marbles. Then on every trip we went on, he would find a marble. One time he was underneath the RV at an auto parts parking lot and he found a marble. Since then every place we have been he finds a marble. We were out in the front yard and he was spading up the dirt for all those discounted plants and bushes that we had bought. He gave me a funny look and I said, "Oh no, another tree root?" No......just a marble!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Fall gatherings

Oh the weather outside is delightful! Good thing as we have Soooooo much to do before winter. We have started cutting firewood and stacking it in the pole building. We sure are going to need alot of firewood to keep two stoves running this winter. This morning LaVern borrowed a big bush hog mower to run behind the tractor. He is busy out mowing the three small pastures as we want to put in additional seed. Might tear up one section (it is mostly weeds) and plant some clover and grasses for my bees that I hope to have next year.
And yes I purchased a bunch of flowers, shrubs and bushes at True Value! 75% off is too good to resist. Of course that led to cutting down the second cottonwood tree which resulted in cutting down the one next to it after it broke off a big branch. Not sure what the tree was but the entire thing was leaning way over towards the road as the cottonwood was taking all the sun. But we managed to get everything cut up and stacked and the twigs hauled to the big hole. Then LaVern got our limestone put up, the iron wagon wheel and the ole wind charger. We planted all around those. Looks really nice and I think the plants will be fine. I went back to Creston this morning and bought 4 trees. No clue what they are as no tags!! ha ha But the cost was $8 per tree so we didn't much care. Going to plant them out by the pond and will plant them as though they were going to be big trees.
We sold the lambs and ewes AND Hercules (the buck goat) last week in Creston. Had no idea what those 90 day old lambs weighed. Would you believe 80 pounds each!! They brought $1.41 a pound! The ewes sold well also. I think we doubled our money on the deal without the lambs. Then the goat even brought more money so we did okay on that adventure. Not sure what our plans are next. We are leaning towards Katahdin ewe lambs and then one milking dairy goat. Both of my horses are "farmed out" to the Amish. Hope to trade Peggy Sue for some hay and labor with a young Amish farmer. I may try Knight again when I get him back. He is being used by another Amish farmer right now. Two other Amish have told us they want to buy him so I guess I should give him another go. Well, go is the problem. He can outright get going!! ha ha
I have three buckets of apples to put up yet this week. Lumber for living room is still sitting in the trailer yet to be unloaded. I want to try to make homemade crackers so if anyone has a recipe they like let me know. I tried ground cherries for the first time and they were tasty but I'm not sure I want to raise them!
Oh dear, the time has gotten away from me. I best get home as I have more plants to put in yet this evening. We discovered some buckeye trees on one of our adventures so I want to get over and pick them.
Charlotte and Marlin............Sparks, Kansas flea market was a blast!! We hooked up the teardrop trailer, threw in a change of clothes and took off Thursday afternoon. We are now only about 2 hours from there. Beautiful night to camp at the site. Got up early Friday and shopped. I was surprised at the amount of people that were there on a Friday!! Hit the one up at White Cloud also but Sparks is better. People were buying from what I could see including us! ha ha Anyway just wanted you to know we made it. I'll go again next spring since it is so close to us now.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Planting fever

Oh my, I am in at the Java Shop in Creston where I am sipping a chai Latte and taking advantage of the free wireless access. LaVern is next door to the chiropractor. We came in with the trailer to pick up wood for the living room. I am itching to get started on that. Should have tried to get pictures of the kitchen so I can get them posted but didn't even think of it. We get up here to the True Value store (Java is located in it also) and they have 75% off trees and shrubs and they have alot left! So...........we may go home with more work than just the living room. I have a picture in mind as to what I want the yard to look like. Similar to what we did in Oberlin, cottage style, mirandering, and all periennial. I'm not having to worry about drought tolerant here in Iowa though! On a trip back to my folk's I drove by our old place. I should have taken a picture. It was fabulous! Just exactly as I envisioned when we started the landscaping years ago. I actually felt like stopping and meander through the flowers!!
I am thinking I will go home with some very reasonable periennials today and get my hands dirty this afternoon. Simple pleasures, much joy.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Second group of pictures......

The making of a sand castle
Three fish, two casts!

Serious fishergirls

Does it get better than this?

Girls just wanna have fun!