Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cross and Creation

A good friend of mine took this picture and shared it with me. Wow!

Don't you just love the "sudtle" messages He sends.

Takin joy. Takin peace. (Thanks, John!)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Media turnoff

The six o'clock news offers a litany of war, corruption, greed and trouble. The same holds true for the newspapers and radio. I struggle understanding people becoming "addicted" to the current trial on TV. I believe it is important to know what's happening in the world but you also need time to listen to your spirit. Ration your media exposure. Instead of watching TV, spend time in prayer and meditation. Let the silence soothe you. Finish a neglected project. Give yourself quiet time for communion with God.

Monday, June 27, 2011


Monsoons, or rainy seasons, are a shift in wind direction which causes excessive rainfall. Yup, we are having a monsoon. Flash flooding in Creston (25 miles north of us) last night, water was a foot high over roads. The Grand River is just east of us about 1/2 mile but fortunately we are uphill from it. The whole southwestern part of Iowa is under a constant flood watch not just because of the rain but also the Missouri River. According to our weather forecasters the sun is to shine tomorrow. A welcome blessing as my garden looks pretty sad right now. We have been getting rainfall almost every day, and looking up at the sky, we often see it dominated by dark foreboding clouds. But as with all things, we welcome the rainy season, as we know a dry time will come.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Final day for fair projects

This is it, the last day to get those projects done for fair! I remember those days from when I was in 4-H but I don't remember getting to do all these cool things my granddaughters are experiencing! For me it was a cooking project and a sewing project but the most time was spent on our calves. I also showed horses so additional time there. No one in my immediate family had any sewing experience so I am thankful I learned all that I did. My paternal grandmother sewed, crocheted and embroidered and I learned from her also. I remember it was difficult at times as she was left handed. She loved horses as much as I did so I never complained because in my world she was the best. Still to this day I think of her at times when I am out in the buggy or handstitching a project. I wonder what memories I am leaving for my grandchildren. I hope they include to always be kind, not to judge, make do with what you have and to take joy and seek peace in each and every day.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Smooth hands,soft lips & cornhole game

This morning I am blogging with a head full of braids, the smoothest hands ever and soft, soft lips! Yesterday we "girls" spent the day making liquid hand soap and lip balm. Of course we had to try each recipe. Cocoa lip balm, vanilla lip balm, strawberry lip balm, peppermint lip balm, and honey lip balm. We each have our favorite. The hand soap is great and made a nice big batch. The girls are taking all of this to the fair so they had to determine their cost and I think the hand soap came in the winner at less than a penny an ounce. Like I said, it made a big batch! ha ha Cierra (age 14) made her corn bags for the cornhole game board that she made with grandpa's supervision. I'd never heard of that before so that was a learning lesson.
Today's agenda includes making a thrift store vase look old and grungy for the wild grasses that they picked (before all our rain), making hand lotion, wood fire starters and baking cookies. Oh boy! Let me rephrase..........Oh girls!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Clearing out the emotional clutter

You hear it everyway, we are downsizing, I'm decluttering my house, simplifying. We should all take time to clear out some of our emotional clutter. Just as clearing clutter in your living space calms and soothes you, clearing emotional clutter will help you live life more freely from the heart. Galatians 5:19-21 lists all the toxic emotions some which include hatred, rage, jealousy, envy and discord. Then verses 22 and 23 offer the contrast; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness. Allow God to clear out the emotional clutter and savor the serenity that comes. Take joy. Take peace.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Thunderstorms and granddaughters

I have 3 granddaughters here now for a week and the two youngest do not like thunderstorms and last night we had storms! Started in about 9 pm and they finally just got through about 4 AM this morning. Hard rain, hail and lots of wind. Not sure on the rain amount but we are in a flash flood warning now. It came down hard off and on all night. If the sun does come out today it will sure be humid.
At 4 AM this morning the 8 year old came in to our bedroom (we actually slept upstairs last night and let the 15 year old have our bed downstairs) stating she could not sleep. That's okay, climb in with us. I got up and came down knowing I wouldn't get back to sleep. Got in the recliner and rested the body but my mind was going in all directions! Too much thinking! 45 minutes later here she came.
Grandma.........I can't sleep
Grandma.........Are you going to do chores now?
Grandma.........What's that noise?
Grandma.........I have an itch on my leg.
Grandma.........Why is the rooster crowing?
Grandma.........Do the Amish have toast in the morning?
Grandma.........Why do you have a cuckoo clock?
Grandma.........Do you have the little rubber bands for your hair?
Grandma..........That rooster is sure crowing alot, he is annoying.
Grandma.........What size quilts do the Amish have?
Grandma.........It's cold.
Grandma..........Are we going swimming today?
Grandma.........I have the yawns.
and on and on and on..........
It is now 6:30 AM.......................we still haven't gone back to sleep..................the annoying rooster is still day begins

Saturday, June 18, 2011


I've decided that the size of a rooster must have something to do with the size of his voice and Hugene is a BIG rooster. This guy has a set of lungs on him and he loves to crow. I wonder if that has anything to do with the reason HE was the one that my Amish neighbor chose to give to me?! hmmmm Instead of a horse trader I was dealin with a rooster trader and didn't know it. Hugene crows whenever he feels like it: morning, noon, evening and parts of the day that don't have names! I guess we associate a rooster crowing just in the morning because we've been asleep, enjoying quiet, and then wake up and notice the rooster crowing. I don't know if Hugene just has a lot to say in the morning, is staking out his territory to the birds, clearing his throat or what but he can sure crow. I read somewhere that a lady gave her rooster some peanut butter on a spoon and he didn't crow for a while. I'm gonna have to buy stock in Jiffy. I wonder if peanut butter comes in 50 gallon drums.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Reid will leave this afternoon. Sure will miss the little guy. He and I had such great fun together. Grandpa had his fun too although not as much since he worked during the day. Reid grew alittle while here. Yesterday he went out on the canoe all by himself. I failed to get a picture. I picked strawberries while he oared around the pond. Didn't want to be too far in case of a problem! But he handled everything with expertise and no reminders. Then last night he drove the riding lawnmower around the farm. First gear and no mower running but he enjoyed every minute. I think I have the teardrop trailer packed and Reid's things as well. All of his Cub Scout projects took up the front and back seat of the car!! Reid picked peas, onions, strawberries and a few cherry tomatoes to take home. He and grandpa are going to Minden, NE to the International Teardrop Gathering. He will enjoy the camping and seeing all of the different teardrop trailers tomorrow. I'm hoping that maybe Sept/Oct. we will be able to make a long weekend trip to Greeley, CO. to my brother's. Pick Reid up along the way and take him to the mountains. He has never been there and I know he would love it. The aspens will be turned and the elk down from the mountains. That would be way cool for him. (and us too)


We are not satisfied. Think about it. As a child we can't wait until we are a teenager able to drive, as a teen we want to be an adult. As an adult it's to be married. Then we want kids. Then we can't wait for the kids to leave home. Then with an empty nest we want them to visit! With old age we want to be young again. We are not satisfied. I think contentment is a difficult virtue. Why? Because there is NOTHING on earth that will satisfy our deepest longing. We long to see God. We won't be satisfied until we do. God holds all the power and protection we need. He satisfies us and brings contentment. Read Psalm 17:13-15. Take joy in your age, your job, friends and the simple pleasures each day brings. Take joy, my friend. Take joy. When you are tempted to be dissatisfied, find contentment in God.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hugene Felberts

Let me introduce you to Hugene Felberts, our new rooster! Our grandson named him and I'm not sure WHERE this name came from but it seems to fit him. One of our Amish neighbors gave him to me after hearing about our racoon loss and I no longer had a rooster. I brought him home just before dark last night. I wish I could have gotten some pictures of myself and 7 small Amish children chasing this rooster all over their farm trying to catch him. We were ALL laughing as we would get him cornered and he would manage to get pass one of us. I turned him in our hen house and for a bit there was quite a ruckus as Hugene introduced himself to the girls who were trying to settle in for the night.

LaVern asked me this morning if there was a refund on the rooster! He said to take him back because the rooster is on "Amish time"! ha ha I was sleeping soundly at 4:30 this morning (unusual for me) when LaVern jumped out of bed shouting something's in the hen house. He was scrambling for the shotgun and a flashlight while I headed outside. I was fairly certain the hens were secure and I had the trap set right by the door. As soon as I got outside I realized the rooster was crowing his lungs out. By this time Reid was up with his flashlight so we all headed to the hen house. Everything was fine, hens safe and sound and Hugene crowing. LaVern and Reid went back to bed. I was up for the day!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cub Scouts - Bear

Reid goes home this weekend. We have had SO MUCH fun! I could keep him the entire summer. He enjoys the outdoors, camping, hiking, nature crafts, woodworking and more. Scouting is the perfect venue for his energy. One evening when we sat down for supper he told his grandpa, "This is the first time I've sat down ALL day"! ha ha ha I believe he was right!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cloud gazing

It was about 9 pm when Reid and I left for our nightly walk. The clouds were beautiful and he commented on several. Neither of us knows anything about clouds, which have wind, rain or hail. We both saw one that looked like the seahorses that we saw at the zoo. Then the conversation turned to seahorses and how much smaller they actually were. Reid thought they would be bigger than he. It was such a beautiful night that we walked about 30 minutes and ended down by the river. Spent alittle time looking over the bridge at the water and listening to all the noise of the night. By now it is dark but the moon gave us plenty of light to see by.

We finally headed back up the road towards home. Little did we realize that the seahorse cloud had turned dark and contained thunder and lightning! Our walk soon turned into a jog! The cat had followed us the entire way! We tried to get her to stay home at the beginning of the walk but she INSISTED on coming. She was "jogging" too on the way home. Reid ran on ahead and I waited for the cat to catch up. I finally picked her up and we got home just ahead of the rain drops. I have never heard a cat pant before but Sunshine was panting like a hot dog! (so was I).

Monday, June 13, 2011


New strawberry plants and hard to see but new black raspberry patch

This at least gives you an idea of the size. 65 tomato plants!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Puff balls and late night walks

"Grandma?"........(long pause)...."It's almost a full moon can we go for a walk?"

I am exhausted and yearning for bed, even if it is in the teardrop trailer down by the pond with a thousand toads croaking all night. "Sure!" I reply. My energy level was renewed by an eight year old grandson who now knows that at this grandma's we go for late night walks when there is a full moon.

He was so excited and litterly danced down the road. "Grandma?"..........(long pause).........."This is neat walking on a country road with no cars. And you can see thousands and thousands of lightning bugs and grandma?..........(long pause)........How come some look like they are red or green or blue?" Ah, the wonderment of a little boy.

A half mile or so down the road I saw the first puff ball. Yes, I know it is some sort of weed but that doesn't really matter. I call them puff balls. It was only a matter of minutes before Reid and I were headed back to the house. We armed ourselves with cans of hair spray and walked back to the puff balls. "Grandma?".............(long pause).........."How come you know how to do all this cool stuff?"

Saturday, June 11, 2011

25+ garage sales, rain and the Amish

I took my nearest Amish friends, Eli and Lillian, to Creston yesterday to the city wide garage sales. We went to the garage sales until there were no more that were open. It rained several times but that did not deter us. Bargains were to be had! Of course we each thought we scored big on each find. For me it was a big box of ice skates (some new) for $2...for the box! I have grandkids who so bad wanted to skate on the pond last year. Reid found a nice tent with 3 small attached windowed extensions. He wanted to set it up in the dark last night and camp out. That is on for tonight down by the pond. For Eli it was pocket knives for 50 cents each. He still has 6 boys at home. Lillian found a like new comforter that she will use as batting for a quilt. Then there was the big box of FREE puzzles! Reid had the time of his life. Eli shared (and was teaching at the same time) stories with Reid about things he did as a child. At one garage sale a young man gave Reid a pocket knife thing that has a small pair of scissors, file and screwdriver. Eli shared with Reid the way to use it and all the things he could use it for. Now it is priceless! At another area there was a small ditch and Eli showed Reid a mud house made by a crawdad. Even I had never seen that before. We ate our packed lunches and continued shopping. Before coming home we visited Walmart. While there Reid wanted me to go to the shoe department which was fine as I know he needs shoes for school. I was, however, surprised when he took me to a pair of black leather tie shoes and said, "grandma, are these the kind of shoes the Amish wear and can I have them?" My neighbors have certainly made an impact on Reid. When we had stopped to pick up Eli and Lillian, Reid shared his Big bubblegum with each of the 8 children. I say children but the two girls are close to 20 and the boys are older also. I guess the youngest would be Monroe,6 and Levi, 10. Anyway, when we got back to their place here came Sarah with a special small little strawberry pie for Reid (she sent a big one home for LaVern). Reid was walking on air all the way home! Not sure if he is going to eat that pie or just look at it.
He fell in to bed sharing with his grandpa all the great adventures of the day! I fell in to bed also.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Three Down!

The word must be out. "Come to the Burtis', they are serving peanut butter, banana and marshmellows"! I need another trap as there seems to be an endless supply of these guys. Caught this one in the barn again but they are still trying the hen house. After locking up the hens I put a board with a cement block in front of it against the door and the board was off again this morning. The image that I see of these coons is just like in the movie, The Great Outdoors with John Candy. The racoons raid the garbage cans every night and they think it is funny everything the humans do to discourage them. When I came back in the house this morning I asked LaVern if I needed to pick up some more short shot when I was in town today. He just grinned and shook his head. I have been fortunate that I haven't had the cat in the trap yet! (or maybe a skunk!) hmmm I maybe should read up on this trap and be sure this is the kind that a skunk can't get their tail up to spray. That could be important knowledge down the road!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Grandpa and grandson

8:30 P.M. They've been out on the pond for almost an hour just paddling along. Owyn went along also. It is a beautiful evening, 70 degrees with a slight breeze. The sun is setting behind clouds but we saw it for a few minutes burning a bright coral color. Reid summed up the day in his prayer at supper time tonight as he thanked God for a "wonderful afternoon". Amen, Reid. Amen.

Two Down

This guy was even bigger than the first one! It was all I could do to lift the cage with him in it. He was snarling, snapping and growling the whole time. And I thought he would have appreciated the peanut butter, banana and marshmellows that I left for him!! Caught him down in the barn near where I feed the cat. I have the cat food in a gallon jug (heavy plastic) with a screw on lid. I heard a noise night before last about 9 pm and went to the barn. Two big coons were fighting for the cat food. They had unscrewed the lid!! I chased them out and tightened the lid down. The next morning I found the jug with a big hole chewed or clawed into the side and the food gone. They had come back and finished the job. This guy won't be back! Chalk up one for the great white trapper. Reid is impressed with his grandma trapping two coons! ha ha Will set the trap again tonight as I know there is still another one! Too bad it is summer or I would be skinning these guys! I bet Reid's mother would be impressed with him draggin home a skinned coon! Lions and tigers and COONS! Oh my!

P.S. Click on the link here of Blue Jeans and Cotton Tees and read Melinda's blog about their coon hunting! It's a riot! (I'm not sure our husbands are seeing the humor caused by the coons but one has to laugh rather than focus on the loss of the pets. Oops, did I just say that? I meant farm animals meant to feed us.)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Another pit

I'm chuckling this morning as I was going to blog about having an 8 year old bottomless pit in our house who is eating us out of house and home. I see (by her blog) my friend Melinda has one at her house also and she described it perfectly. But all of this did get me to thinking about the term bottomless pit. I did alittle research and finally had to use the slang dictionary to find the meaning to fit hungry appetites. I find it interesting how stuff like that is passed on and on for generations. Even more interesting that they now have dictionaries for the stuff! We ate at the Olive Garden after our zoo trip and the waitress asked LaVern if we wanted a kid's menu (upon her seeing Reid) he answered yes. After we got to the table I laughed and asked LaVern how many kid's meals he was going to order to fill up Reid. Not only did he eat a huge plate of salad but the adult size spagetti and meatballs which also disappeared. Bottomless pits.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Two Adventurers!

No words for the SEVEN hours we spent at the Omaha Zoo! As you can see from the photos there were some wild, adventurous events. We had such a good time and it was a first zoo visit for grandson Reid. He'll take home some memories from this one (and alot of pictures)!

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Varmit

One down. Hard to tell in this picture but a big coon. I'll set the trap again tonight and maybe for several more nights as I'm betting there will be others. Caught him right along side the chicken house by the entrance door.


Sunday, June 5, 2011


A sad day yesterday as during the night a varmit (s?) got our 4 baby heritage turkeys and then the hen house was raided. We were shocked that they even were able to get in as we thought we had it secured. Not sure yet as to the number of hens that were lost but it did get my black rooster, Rastus and a favorite white Americana named Brufus. We put out a live trap last night. Didn't get the varmit but it was back as boards that were put up in front of the door were torn down. At least he didn't get in the hen house last night. I'll have to study up on the turkeys as I think they may try to hatch a second time. The duck is setting so will have to figure out something for that. Just the reality of country living with animals but still sad just the same.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Enjoying the weather

You can't change the weather, so you might as well enjoy it. How often have you heard that said? I think that is the essence of simple living, enjoy what comes and accept what it is. I have even seen a sign in a catalog that says that, It is what it is. Sunny, bright day...enjoy a picnic. Clouds pouring down the liquid stuff....enjoy a walk in the rain. Some days will be sad and low-key, give those to God and do your best. Keep it simple and enjoy the weather (you can't change it!)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Oceans of Fun

Oceans of Fun in Kansas City.........Admission: $28.00 per person (Not in our budget)

Grandma's water world..................Priceless

Being a creator, not a consumer

I should have a way to flag my blogs. Early morning blogs are usually reflections, thoughts, inspirations and later day blogs are the happenings of our day. Each of us has a unique contribution to offer to the world so our choices are important. I think by paring down to a more simpler life I can put more of my energy into creating instead of consuming. It's not about defining yourself by what you own. I think it is extremely important that we nurture and encourage the creativity of the next generation. I'm hoping that this time spent with our grandson is doing that and he is unafraid to pursue his hopes and dreams.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Kids and forts

Few things are as captivating as an honest-to-goodness homemade fort! Some kids call them hideaways, clubhouse or some have secret names. They are places to simply get away, a place the child built himself with old stuff. A fort may contain special things, secret things and you may even have to know the secret code to get in. Forts are fun and if it is an honest-to-goodness fort, no one ever wants to leave.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I'm Baaaaaaaack!! Wired!

Oh happy days! Are here again!!
I am wired.....finally "gave in" and ordered Wildblue satellite for here at home. I was not getting in to Mt. Ayr often enough to use the library and get online. Hopefully now I'll be able to blog everyday so that family and friends will be able to keep up with what we are doing.
LaVern picked up our 8 year old grandson Reid when he was back in Nebraska. He brought his Cub scout book again this year so we have been busy working on projects already. I love doing that with him. I learn things too!
His first day here I unexpectedly was called to substitute drive the milk truck to pick up milk from the Amish. What a fun adventure! Drove to 9 different Amish farms and they loaded the milk cans. One Amish young man rode with me and guided me to the different milk houses. He and Reid had a great conversation. Reid was amazed at the whole process. I sometimes forget that "city kids" have no idea where their food comes from. Sure, he knows milk comes from the cow but had no clue the process. He got to see the milk coming from the cow, going to the station and what happens with it then. Pretty awesome experience.
We are now working on scout projects so my days will be full of fun. I think we will take the horse and buggy in to town. I'll post some pictures soon. Good to be back. Hope we are happy with Wildblue as we had to take a 2 year contract, no trial basis! The downside to living in the country!