Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Just breathe

A young friend of ours just lost his job. Two children, smaller town so jobs are not plentiful. Has to be stressful even though he knows God has a plan for him. All I can tell him is to take a deep breath, several deep breaths in fact. I have found that deep breathing is a simple way to relieve some of that stress and tension. It is relaxing and slows you down. Open up your lungs to receive the breath of life and the energy that comes with it. Allow it to fill up your body then when you let go of that breath, let go of the tension. Breathe in the love of God and exhale all that no longer serves you. Just breathe.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

Howling coyote

We have been sleeping upstairs (I'll blog about that later) but last night we slept in our bedroom downstairs. 3:00 AM I heard somewhat of a growl. At first when I woke I thought it might be a visiting tomcat but when I heard it again I knew it wasn't. It even woke LaVern up. I silently creeped across the living room to the front door. Silently is probably not the best word to describe the walk on the wood floors that creaked with every step. I look out the front door window and right off our porch by the steps is sitting a coyote....a big coyote. I have no idea why he was there other than we have 3 half grown kittens that sleep on the porch in a box. I watched and the next thing he sat there and let out a low long howl. Creeped me out! I thought about going after a gun but figured he'd hear me for sure so I opened the door to let out my own howl but in a flash he took off. I would not have had a chance to shoot if I wanted to. Never thought I'd see one that close to the house. Next time I may forego opening the door and shoot him through the glass!! Howwwwwwwwwllllllllllll

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The wonder of nature

This morning there was a heavy fog and the pavement was slick. I had an Amish crew to take to their job. We drove slow and ended up crossing country on gravel roads. Beautiful drive I hadn't been on and oh the wonderful scenery and the wildlife that we saw! As the fog lifted and the sun was trying to peek up we enjoyed the sights. Saw a large group of turkeys out on a hill and further down the road a big bald eagle flying with a group of crows! One of my riders mentioned he saw several owls. He wasn't sure what kind but they had the tufts or possibly horns on top of their heads. After I left them off I just started onto the road and 7 bucks came across in front of me. They were separated by quite a bit so I just stopped and watched each one race across the road and jump the fence on the other side. Oh, to have a camera with me. I must remember to take it along in the mornings because just like the bobcat under the bucket, you never know what you might see! The early morning fog itself was worth the drive!


550 piece that I actually thought would be hard but it went together quick! Now will pass it on to my Amish neighbor, Lillian, as they like to put puzzles together in the winter as well. When you don't watch TV it makes for time to do puzzles, sew, read, rug hook....and on and on!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Quick, Easy Bisquits

2 cups Bisquick
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup 7-up
1/4 cup melted butter

Cut sour cream into the Bisquick mix. Add the 7-up. This makes a soft dough. Sprinkle additional Bisquick on to your cutting board and pat out the dough. Cut into bisquits. Melt the butter in a 9 inch square pan. Add the bisquits and bake at 450. I am guessing the time would be the same for any other bisquit, 12 minutes or so. I did mine in the woodstove oven and didn't have it to 450 (it would heat us right out of the house!) so took about 15-18 minutes. They were really good! I had an 8 inch pan and got 9 bisquits. LaVern gobbled them right up with turkey gravy!!

And so it begins

Monday, January 23, 2012

Thrift store Jackpot

Kitchen trash bag full, $6.00 for all the wool (Pendleton, 4 skirts, 1 pant, 1 coat) plus a wonderful 100% wool sweater, LaVern found a new Lands End coat, sweatshirt and a shirt....and a puzzle. Bag day at the thrift store in Creston. I recycle everything from the wool garments including buttons, zippers (metal ones) tags, waistbands and the linings. Nothing gets tossed! The sweater will be used for mittens (I laid a pair in the picture) hats, slippers or purses! Love the mitten pattern as you can slip your fingers out of the mitten without having to take them off. Then found 40 cent a pound turkeys at Walmart and I have one of those in the wood stove oven cooking. Should have bought them all and just canned some of the meat! I love when I find wool at the thrift stores as it just gets harder and harder as not many wear wool these days. The new wool off the bolt is $25-30 a yard now so thrift store finds are great!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wooly slippers

A surprise package in the mail from a dear friend in Kansas, new slippers...wooly ones! The pattern was in a book and I had them on my "to do" list. I have noticed that the things that I want to make for myself are a long ways down on the list! I was thrilled that my friend made them for me! I have a new appreciation for slippers since we moved to our place and are off grid. When we lived in town with central heat and A/C I never wore slippers. The floors were warm. But here with the wood heat (which I love) WE are warmer but the floors are not. I now wear slippers in the winter! These are all wool so they will be toasty and perfect for curling up with. Slippers are kind of becoming a thing of the past as I don't think they are worn as much as in many years past. Kind of like with a wrist watch, do you still wear one? Most people, if you ask them the time, will take out their cell phone and look at it. I love my new slippers. Thank you, my friend.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Take peace and joy

May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us.

Drop Perfectionism

I think it is one thing to love excellence; it's another thing to drive yourself crazy attempting to be perfect. You may tell yourself nobody is perfect, but do you really believe it? If you are too hard on yourself chances are you will be hard on someone else. Relax. Enjoy the process. I think perfectionism is just another way of trying to control life and I am here to tell you that life is much larger than my limited ideas of what it should be! lol We should all drop our unmet expectations and embrace the serendipities of life. Celebrate the grace of imperfection: a rusty pail, old worn quilt, hooked rug with a crooked row. Striving for excellence motivates us but striving for perfection is going to drag you down. Take joy in the your accomplishments and be inspired to move forward. (don't forget to pay it forward to the next person!!)

Friday, January 13, 2012


I have never been to Hawaii but I sure enjoy their coffee! My nephew recently married in Hawaii and while my brother and sister in law were there they got us some coffee and sent it. It is good, a bit richer roast than what I am used to but LaVern sure loves it. So with the coffee and the pictures they sent us it was like we had been there! Simple pleasures.

Monday, January 9, 2012


According to a recent study, 1 in every 3 households have 4 TVs or more!! FOUR! Before I left my real estate job I listed a home (family of 3 kids) that had 7 TVs....one in each bedroom including the parents, one in kitchen, living room and family room. I was astonished to say the least! We have a little 19 inch hooked to an antenna on the roof that we have primarily for the local weather/news. It just is not on during the day. And do you know that when the grandchildren come and stay...........even for weeks at a time...........the TV is not missed nor do we have this one on. I believe the first commerical television was as early as 1920s. Look where we are today!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Take peace

peace....it does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart. (author unknown...the art is by: www.picturetrail.com/cinnamoncreek

No is an easy word to say

Didn't come home with the trailer although it was tempting. Great old trailer but a complete restore from frame up. The only reason we didn't come home with it is that the original windows were gone. These trailers always leak and sometime through the years someone had removed the original ones and put in aluminum storms. They did a nice job but for us to restore and sell it just wouldn't work. We'd never find old windows for it. We did however fit Menard's in so that was a good thing. The thing LaVern wanted from Harbor Freight he found on sale at Menard's also so one stop shopping! Hurray! Coyotes were howling in all directions about 4 this AM.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Whose idea was it to come up with Craigslist? I need to find a way to put a block on our laptop and my Kindle so that we can't go on there!! LaVern had to go in to work this morning but he is on his way home and then we are going to Des Moines to look at a 1947 travel trailer! Complete restore of course but getting harder and harder to find them. I'll have pictures if we get it bought! (I'm hoping that we can work Menards and Harbor Freight in on this trip also)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Antique applique

Saw this appliqued quilt on another blog and it dates to 1845. First I would LOVE to do a quilt like it but am thinking I could maybe make it work in a rug. I wonder the idea behind the design especially dating to that time. Definitely on my to-do list!

Today marks Epiphany

In the United States, in Colorado around Manitou Springs, Epiphany is marked by the Great Fruitcake Toss. Fruitcakes are thrown, participants dress as kings, fools, etc. and competitions are held for the farthest throw, the most creative projectile device, etc. As with customs in other countries, the fruitcake toss is a sort of festive symbolic leave-taking of the Christmas holidays until next year but with humorous twist, since fruitcake (although the traditional Christmas bread of America) is considered in the United States with a certain degree of derision, and is the source of many jokes. My Amish neighbors celebrate by fasting until noon, the father reads from the Bible and then the afternoon is spent either resting or possibly gathering at a neighbor's for singing. Since I have been up since 3:30 I have been able to read up on how other countries celebrate Ephiphany. Interesting reading even at this hour.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


This morning at sunrise I took a moment to express my gratitude for the moon, stars, the air I breathe, the warm sun on a winter day, birds singing in the distance, the ground I walk on. Simple things that can color your day a brighter shade, if you are aware of them. I need to get back to a daily journal of gratitudes. At the end of the day if I wrote down in the journal six blessings I received during the day before long I would have history of many days filled with gifts from the hand of God. How awesome is that?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My new chair

New "chair"

"Old" chair

Out with the old and in with the new. Right? I have replaced the recliner with a recumbent bike. Borrowed the bike from one of the sons, it was in their garage! I like it! Much easier on the back. New Year's resolution? No, just an accountability to myself and a niece. Over Christmas I overheard one of LaVern's nieces telling her sister she wanted to lose 30 pounds before spring break. (swimsuit issue, I would guess) Anyway, I told her why didn't we both go at it and encourage each other on Facebook. I have 80 pounds to lose so the "challenge" was on! lol Both of us are very competitive and that is a positive for me. Other positives for me: age, experience and the great outdoors that I love to be in. Negatives for me: age, bad knees and hips, 80# to lose. She is young (late 20's), lives in a city right across the street from one of those big gyms! lol However, she is going to college and works part time and that is HARD to balance especially where meals are concerned. So easy just to "grab and go" and that is tough. We are both giving up sugar and flour. Have you ever tried that? EVERYTHING has sugar and most things we love to eat include flour. But I am finding recipes that work and sharing with her. She also lives close to a Whole Foods grocery store. We stopped there on the way home and I bought several things to try. Got some organic brown rice that is yummy and very reasonable. My biggest weakness would be breads, pasta and Mexican food. I found some spagetti made out of rice...........not rice flour....just rice. Can't wait to try it.

LaVern is moving around a little today and that is a good thing. He says he feels better. Back to chiro tomorrow. I'm heading out for a walk! (will be thinking of my walking partners back there in Oberlin.....get out and walk girls!)