Dec 28, 2009

Honey, I'm Home!

Regardless of the horrible weather and a nasty "bug"setting up homestead in our bodies, we returned home safely after sharing a wonderful Christmas with the kids and our Grandloves. Our hopes of  "going home" to visit more of the family a couple of hours away, was bought to an abrupt halt due to illness.  My husband has a horrible cold and now I'm finding myself feeling it slowly making its attack on me.  He went through high fevers accompanied by chills and body aches. Then the "thick throat" and congestion set in. As for myself; I'm hoping I can sneak by this round of "sickness" with nothing more than a stuffy nose.  I guess time will tell.

Dec 19, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our house to yours. We will be leaving on Dec 22 to spend time with family and friends so I wanted to send my greetings now. I just love how the picture of our Christmas tree turned out so I decided it would be the perfect backdrop for this years card. Click on the picture to enlarge it.

Dec 16, 2009


Well wouldn't you know we'd get around to our Christmas shopping on the coldest dang day we've had so far this winter. And technically "winter" hasn't even arrived yet. I would say the wind chill was a tad bit "chilly" right around 10 to 15 below zero depending on the gusts. 

But we did get our shopping done ~ and we did good! I forsee a lot of happy little faces again this year.  Our Grandkids recieved their letters from Santa today.  The six year old was so excited she threw her head back as she was reading her letter and exclaimed "Mrs. Claus loves the same kind of fudge as I do ~ Chocolate mint, and Santa said I should look for some under my tree!" 

Now I have to ask, How exciting is that?  ~ she has a personal connection with the big fella's wife.  They are at the wonderful ages that make Christmas so exciting.  Their eyes just sparkle and their voices echo in ranges of squeals and giggling.  With camera in hand - her comes Grandma. I can hardly wait!

Dec 12, 2009

Why Oh Why?

I have some cookies baked and the house decorated for Christmas but for some reason I just haven't gotten around to shopping yet. Why?? Not that I haven't had the opportunity. On Thanksgiving Eve I went "shopping" with my daughters. What an experience that was, fun but my feet were on fire from our venture. We decided we didn't want to fight the "Black Friday" crowds so we went on Wed. night instead. We started at 8:00 p.m and ended at 2:00 a.m. Three stores, only three stores! They did good and got a lot of their Christmas shopping done, but this old Granny just picked up a couple of upcoming Birthday gifts and that was it. Why?

So today we decided to go shopping, after all we are within the two week margin now ~ but I still didn't buy a thing that would go under a tree. Why? Oh yeah, we bought groceries and looked for gifts but no luck.  Hopefully we will have better luck on Moday, or Tuesday or Wed or maybe Christmas Eve!

Dec 6, 2009

Christmas Decorating is Now in Full Swing!

Help! Now that I've started decorating I've become unstoppable! The Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls had company stop for a visit.

The stockings are hung ~

on the railing with care!

The tree is trimmed!

Santa's watching my stocking ~
Every year he fills it with love!

The dining table awaits guests.

And my beautiful doll reminds me Christmases past.

Merry Christmas!

Dec 5, 2009

Christmas Tree is Up!

The Christmas tree is up, and not only is it up... it's even decorated! All of this in one afternoon is pretty good for this ole' gal.
Several years ago on one of my many treasure hunts at an auction, I won the bid on some beautiful antique tear-drop ornaments . I should have counted as I hung them but "if my recollector is recollecting correctly" (as my Dad used to say) there were 35 to 40 and the entire box sold for the grand total of $3.00. Each one is multi colored in shades of gold, pink, red, green and blues. They are now adorning this years tree. With colored lights as a backdrop and crystal beads as garland the tree turned out just beautiful. But not just night-time beautiful ~ it even looks great in the daylight.
We are invited to join some friends at the "Parade of Lights" tonight. Time to pull out the long johns and bundle up. That shouldn't be a problem - after all when we lived in Alaska we would go to the Yukon Quest dog races when it was 30 below zero or colder. Here's a pic of me that day and "Baby, it was cold outside!"

I know what you're thinking ... who wants to see a picture of her? Where's the tree?  Well, maybe later. 

Dec 2, 2009

Shifting into the Christmas Mood

I was in a horrid mood through most of the day,as you can see by my last posting - but I'm back to my jolly ole' self again. I decided it's time to do more than just "think" about Christmas and to take some action. So I'm beginning here in my blog, by changing my background to a country Christmas tree. 

I have oodles and oodles of Christmas boxes to go through. Now when I say boxes I'm not talking shoe boxes, I'm talking HUGE boxes.  When I got remarriend and we joined our treasures, I was amazed at how much "stuff" we have.  I change things from year to year so I'm not really ready to part with of much of it just yet but I do plan to have a "garage sale" box setting on the sidelines as I peek through everytihing this year. I really don't need as much as I have.

A couple of years ago I did the tree in all white lights with crystal icicles -okay so they are fake but they're still beautiful - and white, gold and tan ornaments. I used white lacey Christmas ribbons wrapped throughout the tree as garland. It was just gorgeous. Last year I trimmed the tree in all colored lights and loaded the branches with homemade ornaments and keepsakes from years gone by.  Once agian it was a beauty but totally different from the prior year.  I haven't really decided on this years theme yet but it will come to me as I go through those boxes and find things I've forgotton about since last year. It's just like Christmas!!

We used to live in North Pole, Alaska so we also have a nice selection of the "Dept. 56 North Pole Collection." How fitting is that?  It's a beautiful village with very detailed pieces.  I love it but it's a lot of work to set up and take down every year. This fall my sweet Aunt gifted me with an old store showcase that will be perfect as a display case for part of our collection. I plan to refinish the showcase next spring and set up the village permanently. I know I will enjoy it every time I pass by whether it be the holidays or not.

Moody Moody Moody!

I'm in such an ugly mood today!  I should be ashamed of myself but I just dont give a tinkers damn. Where in the hell did that phrase come from anyways?  See what I mean, I said HELL ... on a good day I would have said "heck" to be politically correct and not have people think badly of me. But not today, today I dont give a damn.   So there, take it or leave it but whatever you do, keep your distance from me!  Maybe tomorrow I'll be nice again.

Nov 29, 2009

As a huge dark snow cloud hoovers overhead, I find great comfort in peeking at sites like "Todays Flowers."
Looking at all the beautiful flowers inspired me to pull out my digital photos and once again take a little trip down memory lane. These African Daisies were stunning in real life.  I snapped this photo in 2003 at the University of Alaska Botanical Garden in Fairbanks.  We lived in that wonderful state at that time and really enjoyed our visits to the gardens. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

Nov 28, 2009

Home Again, Home Again ...

And this little piggie went out for Thanksgiving! 
Home again, home again Jiggity-Jig-Jig!  

She ate all her stuffing, she ate all her pie
forever it stays on her belly and thigh.

So off she is now, to waddle and try
to lose a few pounds before Christmas comes by!

I hope to get back to a regular posting schedule soon ... bear with me.

Nov 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Family and Friends

To those of you who are hosting this holiday ~ 
I wish you help and harmony.

To those of you who are cooking and baking ~
I wish you wonderful recipes with outstanding results.

To those of you on the invitation lists ~ 
I wish you appreciation and manners. 

To those of you who are traveling ~
I wish you safty and comfort.

To those of you whom I call family and friends ~
I wish we were together and I send my love.

To God the Father who makes all things possible ~
I glorify You through my humble thanksgiving.
I am ever so grateful for all my blessings.
In the name of your Son, Jesus Christ
Filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.

Nov 22, 2009

Plant Rescue

A couple of years ago as I was browsing through a local greenhouse, I came across a pot setting off in the corner, It was the saddest plant I've ever seen. Their heads were bowed and nearly dead and yet I thought there was something peculiar about it. Upon inspection I noticed there were two different colors hanging there - pink and purple peeking through the tips of what was supposed to be a beautiful fuschia plant. I asked if it was suffering from some sort of disease and the lady said "no, it just wasn't flourishing and so we gave up on it." Being it was still on a marketable table, of course I had to know "how much?"  She told me that if I took it, I'd be rescuing it from the trash. So - I rescued it. 

With a little fresh potting soil, water and love that plant had a major comeback. It was beautiful!  I couldn't stand the thought of bringing it back to health and then tossing it out at the end of the season so I clipped it back and set it in my basement, just out of direct light. I dropped a little water on it about once a month, but never really thinking it would survive. But to my surprise it started showing signs of green come spring. I  must have done something right because it was just as beautiful the second year.  So once again when fall rolled around it got  a trim job and I tried it agian.  Third season wasn't quite as prolific but it was still pretty and it put a smile on my face everytime I looked at it.

If you ever have the opportunity to save a plant ~ do it. Not only is it good for the plant, it's good for the soul.

Nov 19, 2009

Pickled Pork Hocks, Limburger Cheese, Amaryllis and More

As I go through my daily routine, living life as I best  know how - there are constant subtle reminders of those I've loved and lost.  It doesn't take much to stir up a memory.

As I was grocery shopping shortly after the loss of my first husband; I became overwhelmed at the site of a jar of pickled pork hocks. Of all things - pork hocks! It was one his favorites, and an occaisional treat. I stood there almost breathless struggling to hold back the tears. I just stood there and stared. The pain in my face must have been apparent as a sweet little lady appoached me and asked "ma'am are you alright?"  It snapped me back to reality and I answered that I was fine, "It's just those blasted pork hocks." I told her I had recently lost my husband and she touched my arm expressing her sympathy. We talked for a little bit and then continued onto our shopping.

That was over 10 years ago and I've lost several close relatives and friends since then. Limburger cheese reminds me of my dad, along with suffolks sheep and many other things too numerous to list. An amaryllis plant always reminds me of my Grandma. She gave it a good run and passed away just before her 102nd birthday. Roosters and snow villages remind me of my Aunt. Hairspay - a classmate etc. etc.  

This morning as I was getting ready for the day, I glanced in the mirror and I swear my sister was looking back at me. My bangs swept across my forehead in such a way that it shocked me at just how much we looked alike.

I don't wallow in my losses, I know they are all out of pain and misery and with our Lord, believing I will see them agian. But in the mean time I will enjoy every passing memory I have, whether its pork hocks, hair or whatever.

Memories are a gift!

Nov 17, 2009

Treasure Hunting

I'm a treasure hunter!  I'm a believer that one mans junk is another mans treasure. But lets forget about men for just a minute, I'm talking about the great deals we women can find.  There are certain places I have a hard time passing. Thrift stores, second hand stores, garage sales, estate sales, auctions etc.  I've mastered scanning a garage sale in a  matter of minutes.  If there's a treasure to be found I'll sniff it out.

But as long as I've been doing this (no -I won't mention how many years) I still learned a valuable lesson this past summer.  Be the first one in the door, and if you're sisters are along, scan fast and head to whatever catches your eye even faster! 

My oldest sister was visiting and knowing she's also a "treasure" hunter, we headed to our local St. Vinnie's.
Now knowing we have very similar tastes, I knew I was taking my chances that she'd find something I'd like.
Neither of us buy, just to spend - we just get things that we know are functional for our purposes or maybe just a gift for ourselves because God knows we deserve it! 

Being a lover of old tapestry; I've found purses, table runners, wall hangings etc. at these wonderful sales.  However; I don't have a large shoulder bag perfect for an overnight bag or to take along on future shopping sprees - but she does!  She found the most beautiful green tapestry bag right in front of me.  Talk about a deal, it was only a few bucks and it's in perfect condition.  I spotted it across the room because it was even in my favorite color. Now I have no idea how she snuck right past me to get to it first but she did. 

I LOVE IT ~ but she owns it. Oh well, you win some and you lose some. 

Nov 15, 2009

Recalling Summer Beauties

As the cooler winds blow in and the temperatures drop I find some serenity in reviewing the pictures I've taken throughout the summer months of my flowers.  I just linked my site with "Todays Flowers" so I thought it appropriate to share some of my beauties.

This is my first year of growing hibiscus. Hopefully they will survive our Northern winters as well as the saleslady said. They are the "hardy" type so wish me luck.                                                              

I'm well aware that cabbage is not a flower, at least not this particular one; BUT it's still as pretty as can be with the sun shining through it's leaf. Don't you agree?

Nov 14, 2009

Insomniac Searching Backgrounds

I've been bouncing all over the net searching for a blog background to suit my mood. I think I may have found it, at least until I change my mind again. I do still have that right to change my mind - and if you must know, I like to keep people guessing about me. I guess there's a little part of me that likes to stay mysterious.

Speaking of mysterious, what the heck is up with insomnia. Sleep used to be my friend, but not lately. I catch myslef staying up way into the wee hours of the morn. Then when I do slide betwixt the sheets on my comfy, beautiful bed - there I lie; eyes closed and the brain just a wandering. Occasionally I peek at the clock, hour after hour after hour.

How can one person have so many thoughts? If I do drift off into sleepyland, the dreams keep me as busy as if I were wide awake. The dream, dream, dream - DREAMS!! And of course mine come complete with color and sound effects. Cartoons come to life and trees talk. Chocolate flowers grow in the garden and cows dance. People from my past visit often, I'm a kid shooting marbles or an old person grumbling. I move from house to house and I'm constantly redecorating. Don't ask, because I can't tell you. It all makes sense at the time. I've heard that a lot of people don't recall their dreams but I recall my dreams so vividly. Some could and probably should be made into movies.

Well enough about that, sure hope I can sleep tonight.

Nov 10, 2009


My heartfelt thank you goes out to all our veterans and to our servicemen and women who are presently serving our country.

I personally have had several family members who have filled those shoes throughout the decades. My Dad and Uncles in the WWII era, brother and husbands (deceased and living) serving the Vietnam to Desert Storm timeframe and my son and other relatives in the Iraq to present timeframe.

It breaks my heart that these men and women gave their all and still are as I watch our nation self implode. Our stiving to remain "politically correct" has become our "political pitfall."

God Bless America!

Nov 2, 2009

My Wireless World

I remember a time when my kids were quite young and the television quit working; it bit the dust and was a goner. In those days, we didnt run right out and get a new one, we spent months SAVING for a replacement.

But as I recall, I accomplished more in those few months than I did in several previous ones. I pulled out the treadle sewing machine and stitched up some of the cutest little kids clothes, and patched up worn out work jeans.. Ok, I know you're wondering about the "treadle" machine, and NO - it's not that I'm that old, it's just that I loved that machine and it was all I had at the time, it was functional and so I put it to work.

I delved into my recipe collection and rediscovered cooking and baking, I spent time playing with the kids, took walks, READ books and finished up a lot of odd little projects that had been put on the back burner for too long.

Now several decades later here I am caught up in a world where I sit in front of a computer, spending precious hours surfing the net, wasting time day dreaming, doing virtual landscaping, getting upset with online news reports, shopping, etc. My evenings are spent multi-tasking - I'm in front of the tv and on the laptop at the same time. Such talent! When in reality, it's such a waste of talent.

I wonder what my world would be like if I lost electricity. I still have that treadle sewing machine, lots of candles and oodles of crafting supplies gathering dust. Hmm... just wondering!

Oct 27, 2009

Off the Beaten Path

Even though yesterday was a "gray day" we still took our usual walk. This time we decided to go a little off the beathen path to do some exploring in areas we hadn't yet visited. We turned left instead of heading down our usual trail, and knowing the general area and how the roads ran, where the river was, in what direction the lake was etc. we headed straight into the woods.
We really do live in a beautiful wooded haven. Pine trees reaching high into the sky, maples dropping their varied colored leaves and ferns preparing for winter. My thoughts kept going back to the numerous hours spent playing in the woods and exploring as a child. I loved it then, and I love it now. You never know what's around that next corner, like a bucket hanging on a branch, way out in the middle of nowhere. I think it was there just in case someone like me came along with a camera, which I did. I've learned to pocket the camera for just such occasions.
We came across this beautiful little oak tree. The display of bright red against the browning leaves was brilliant, even for a "gray day."

It's quite obvious that our fall is beyond it's peak but there are still a few trees holding on as long as they can. Although we've already had accumulating snow that lasted a few days before melting; I'm like that tree, holding on to the hopes of a few more warm days to call autumn before succumbing to the wiles of winter.

Snow pics coming soon !

Oct 19, 2009

Chickens and Goats

They say that a good fence makes for good neighbors. Well ~ we put up a fence and it changed what used to be a tolerable old neighbor into a cantankerous old fart! The man just won't smile at us any more. Okay, okay ... So maybe it's the way my husband finds humor in staring at him as he tries to back his pontoon into his driveway, or it could be the fact that we put up a fence in the first place because he was treating our yard like his private parking lot. So being the good neighbors that we are, we measured out the limits set by the codes and we proceeded to build a beautiful split rail fence.
Of course this lead to the old codgers curiosity and he quickly sprinted to the best of his ability, to inquire as to what we were up to now and to inform us we were too close to his property... the humor being that we had already measured and knowing where the survey post is buried we were WELL WITHIN our limits. We even left enough room on "their side" of the fence (which is actually still our land) to enable us to use our riding mower on that side. So... back to my naming this post chickens and goats.
When the old grump asked "what are you up to now?" I responded "We're going to get some chickens and pygmy goats." I don't know what made me say it but I thought they were going to faint. The way their heads spun around was like watching "The Exorcist!" I was laughing so hard inside, but I was still able to maintain a straight and serious face. My husband fell right into my joke and never cracked a smile ~ at least not within thier view.

Now mind you, WE DO LOVE ANIMALS and we would love to have goats and chickens but although we live on the outer skirts of what we laughingly call the "city limits" we are still within them, so we don't have goats or chickens ~ yet. But we might just check into that a little further and see what limits we can push. I do love my farm fresh eggs, and who can resist those cute little goats?

I woke up this morning snickering to myself after dreaming that when our snow-bird neighbors returned from wintering down south ~ we had chickens and goats. But it was only a dream.

Oct 16, 2009

Our Corner of the World

Fall seems to have taken a turn for the worse here in Upper Michigan. We've already seen snow and the cold set in long ago even though we're just now in mid-October. The leaves on our maple tree are green and changing ever so slowly. Leaves are falling off of it but its so much duller than last year due to our cool weather and early frosts.
Our maple tree this year ~
Our Maple tree last year ~
We raked and raked and raked today. Covering the flowers and raised garden beds with leaf mulch before the snows decide to stay. Brr... just too cold for this time of year.

Oct 4, 2009

The Scuffle

I've been having a scuffle amongst myself. My mind has such great aspirations but my my body lacks the ambition. Without the get up and go, what good are my ideas? Even in my dreams I'm doing fantastic things and accomplishing all my undone tasks; so why can't I get that burning desire to actually get things done?

Today I'll blame the dreary weather. Tommorrow I'll blame something else.

Maybe if I keep journaling about it, I'll get tired of my own prattling and take action.

So it goes...

Sep 29, 2009

A Hidden Treasure

As we wandered around the sales at the "Fall Harvest Festival", my dear hubby spotted the top of this little lovely, hidden behind a table displaying a huge set of dishes. He mentioned it to me, so I peeked under the table and immediately knew it was an interesting piece. When we asked the gentleman if it was for sale, he replied he didn't think so and that he would have to ask. Someone thought it was a prop, and then this sweet lady piped up " If someone wants to buy it, sell it for crying out loud." When she asked me what I thought it was worth, I named my price and she said "SOLD."

I immediately envisioned it standing in my garden however it's too fragile for the outdoors. He stands 3 feet tall and fits perfectly in our home.

I just love when you find a little something special, something you don't really need but it still fits into your life. But what I love the most is the fact that Thom thought of me when he spotted it, knowing I would love it.

Sep 22, 2009


I love to bake and it shows every time I step on the scale.
So I finally figured out a way to beat it
... I quit stepping on the scale!
Pineapple Upside Down Cake made with fresh pineapple!
Rhubarb Cobbler

Rhubarb Custard Pie with Streusel Topping

Good Old Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies

Blackberry Pie

There's no question how much I love food, but as I was looking through some of my digital photo albums it actaully took me by surprise just how often I photograph my food too,
combining my semi talents.
I guess a part of me is knows that I bake for consumption so this is my way of journaling a part of who I am and what I like to do.
I've heard it said that you eat with your eyes
so feast away and enjoy !

Sep 11, 2009

Family Updates

GREAT NEWS ~ all of our family members who have been hospitalized over the past month are home and on the mend. Believe me; there have been several.

AUDREY~ our 12 year old great neice had a one month hospitalization following open heart surgery. She exceded the doctors expectations but still has upcoming therapy sessions scheduled. We're all so proud of you Audrey!

MEL ~ my sister who occaisonally spends a day or two in the hospital just to keep her on the straight and narrow. Mel, I do pray you can stay out of those places and that you will have a great fall and winter.

BILL ~ our brother - in - law is home and back to work following a heart attack. Five stents and one month later my sister Darla is still trying to slow the man down.

KAREN ~ my sister - in - law is home and recouping well following surgery for a brain aneurysm .

CHARLIE ~ our nephew is home following a kidney removal

ZAK - our great nephew had surgery to lift his eyelid. He's a real trooper and keeps on keeping on.

CALLIE ~ our great neice (Zak's sister) had surgery to put a shunt in her brain to drain fluids

My apologies if I have missed anyone.

Our prayers continue for healing blessings.
Thanks for your prayers as well.

Aug 30, 2009

Our Great Niece Audrey was has been hospitalized since Aug 10 with open heart surgery. She was born with some health issues and has overcome many trials; becoming a true inspiration to many around her. This little sweetheart although tiny in stature, has a personality larger than her own being.
Before you ask, I will share that she is a trooper and even though she has a long recovery ahead of her, she has already surprised her doctors in how well she is doing by surpassing some of their expectations.
She loves RAINBOWS so I made a scrapbook page that I turned into a card for her. It was just a little way of sending my love.

Aug 25, 2009


I don't know what it is that indwelt my love for tapestry ~ but I sure do love it. Wall hangings, table runners, tote bags, purses etc.

I found this piece last week and without any logical reason for buying it, I just had to have it, darling!

I love the flowers in it and decided to hang it on my kitchen door, so I can enjoy it year round whenever I'm busying myself in that room.

I missed out on a beautiful large tote bag, simply because my eldest sister spotted it first... argh!!

Note to self ~ scope the area fast when shopping with others!

So now you know one more useless thing about me!

Aug 18, 2009


The Morning Glories seemed to be very slow starters, but now that they're here I'm anxious to see the wire frame covered in flowers.

And here we have a few run away flowers... crossing their bounds.

Now this Hardy Hibiscus is another story. We just planted it four days ago. It's loaded with buds and today one showed its beautiful face. Just a hair short of 9 inches across.

I call this my "Mystery Hibiscus." Also loaded with buds ~ I would have sworn this was going to be a purple flower. However; I'm very pleased with the beautiful reddish bloosom.

Aug 13, 2009

I took the time to have a face lift... what do you think??? I've never felt so firm or happy. I just can't stop smiling!

Now here's something to smile about,
all my Grand - loves in one place at the same time.

Do you think my sister Mel and I look anything alike? She's the sassy one.
And NO MEL that's not a crown on your head, it's just the light.

Jul 27, 2009

Melon Mystery !

A friend sent me a photo stating they had a "melon mystery" ~ well you know me, I can never leave anything alone so I popped over to my Paint Shop Pro photo program and started messing around. This is what I come up with ~ I sent the photo back with this note:

"I Think I Spotted the Problem !"

Jul 21, 2009


We've been busy as can be this summer, which isn't a bad thing because it keeps us out of trouble.

Our latest project was building an arbor. You know how it goes, one thing leads to another so our next project will be making benches to go in it, built from an old wooden slat bed. And I have an old table that would look nice in there too ~ given enough love and care. Time will tell, and so will the camera as things progress.

Flowers Around Our Yard

This is our first year growing roses. We were thrilled when we saw buds, and almost beside ourselves when they actually blossomed. So sad the single stemmed varieties don't last too long. I can't wait until the climbing roses fill the fence.