Thursday’s Thoughts ~ Childhood Winter Weather Memories…

The winter of 2014 has turned out to be a cold one.  Fortunately, the past few winters have been somewhat on the mild side, for us. Dealing with sub-freezing temperatures again has sparked some vivid memories, for Ed and me, of days gone by…

Ed and I both agreed, sleeping and waking up in cold houses is still our most vivid memory!  No matter how people heated their homes, back then, they simply piled several layers of covers on their beds, and let the heat go out at night.  Perhaps, on an especially frigid night, they might keep the fire stoked or leave the [gas or kerosene] heater turned down low; regardless, we always woke up in a warm bed, but it was located in a cold house!

Ed says his dad always had a difficult time waking him up for school, so after two tries, his dad would simply pull the top covers off the bed, leaving Ed exposed to the cold.  Ed says this always got him up and running!

My family lived in several different rental houses, while I was growing up, and most of them didn’t have much of a way to heat them!  I have many memories of getting dressed, for school, while standing in the kitchen, beside the opened oven.

One little house we lived in only had a fireplace as its source of heat.  A fireplace is a sorry source of heat–unless you have a fireplace insert, which didn’t exist back then!  Most of the heat, from the fire, gets sucked up the chimney, along with much of the heat from inside of your house!  I won’t even talk about trying to get a fire started,  then having to keep it going.

At one point, during my teen years, my parents were finally able to acquire a couple of propane space heaters, which made our last rental house a lot more bearable.  (This particular house was big, so it could be difficult to heat.) I was always afraid of gas heaters, though, and never would light one of them.  I was afraid I might blow myself up!

I remember daddy sometimes would put plastic sheeting over all of the house windows, in winter.  It helped keep the cold air out, and the warm air inside, but we couldn’t see outside!  During a couple of extremely cold spells, I remember mama temporarily hanging blankets over the living room windows, as well.

Having to take a bath in a cold bathroom is another vivid cold weather memory!  The bathroom was always located far away from the heating source!  No wonder people didn’t always take daily baths, back then!   I used to fill the bath tub with hot water, only, then let it sit for a while, to help warm up the bathroom.  It worked!

When I was a child, spending time at my maternal grandparents, during winter,  proved to be a real adventure!  It was like stepping back in time.  They heated  with a fireplace, and their old rental house didn’t even have ‘indoor plumbing’, except for in the kitchen!   We slept with so many quilts on the bed, it was nearly impossible to turn over!  If we needed to wash off, we used a dish pan.  If we needed to use the bathroom, we had a choice of going the ‘outhouse’ or using the small, covered ‘pot’ which sat in the bedroom!  Eventually, my grandparents bought another home, complete with a couple of propane heaters, and indoor plumbing!  Their new home was  large, and only certain rooms were heated.  These areas didn’t include the bedrooms or the bathroom, but at least now they had a bathroom!

These days, mine and Ed’s  home is evenly heated, by a central unit, twenty-four hours a day.  We sleep with only one blanket on our beds, during winter.  I wear short-sleeved shirts, year round.  Our bathroom is equipped with an additional, small electric heater, to make sure it stays toasty warm, during bath time. No more waking up in a cold house or taking  baths in a cold bathroom for us!  However, it took us quite a while to get to this point!  More winter weather memories to come…

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Published in: on January 30, 2014 at 9:33 am  Comments (4)  
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Hello Wintery Hodgepodge…

It’s cold and wet outside, but it’s a great day for some ‘Hodgepodge’.  Thanks to Joyce, we’ve got another great set of questions!  Here they are, along with my answers:

1. It’s been said that one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day. Do you think that’s true? Do you find that an easy exercise most mornings? What’s something positive you told yourself today? If you missed that boat, what’s something positive you could tell yourself tomorrow?

Yes, I think it’s true, and I believe having a positive attitude is at least 50% of the battle.  If the sun is shinning outside, then being positive is pretty easy.  If it’s cloudy and dark outside, I find it somewhat more difficult.  My positive thought for the day: We’re expecting a winter storm ‘event’, this evening (Tuesday).  I’ve prepared for the worst, but am telling myself our meteorologists are probably blowing things out of proportion, and the conditions are not going to be as bad as predicted.  

2. There will be karaoke at the next party you attend…are you in? Or will you be faking a sore throat?

I can’t sing a note, so I’d be faking a sore throat!  Actually, if that party was held today, I wouldn’t even have to fake the sore throat, since I really do have one.

3. January 29th is National Puzzle Day…what’s something you’ve found puzzling recently?

These days, I find most of the decisions, made by our government, very puzzling.

4. Jigsaw, crossword, acrostic, logic, sudoku, word search…what’s your favorite kind of puzzle, and when did you last work one?

I don’t much care for crosswords, since they seem to ‘tax’ my brain, and make my head hurt!  Jigsaws are fun, but I get impatient before it’s finished.  Word searches are my favorite, but it’s been quite a while since I’ve attempted one.

5. Recently a writer by the name of Amy Glass ruffled feathers with a post she wrote saying she looks down on young women with husbands and kids and she’s not sorry. Among other things, she says women will be equal with men when we stop saying house work and real work are equally important. You can read the whole piece by clicking here.

What say you? Do you think men and women are equal in the 21st century? Why or why not?

I genuinely feel sorry for this woman because she’s missing the greatest blessing(s) a woman can have!  If she ‘looks down’ on women with  husbands and children, this tells me she must not have either one!   

While there are women who can do the same jobs as men, and men who can do the same jobs as women, in my opinion, they can never be equal because they are different–and for this, I am thankful.

6. What’s a product you’ve noticed in the grocery store that you’d like to try, but haven’t yet?

At the moment, I can’t think of anything  I’d like to try, unless it’s a mango. I’ve never tried mango.

7. The author, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) was born this week in 1832 (January 27th). Which character from his celebrated novel, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, would you most like to meet, and why? Here’s a link to a character list if you need help on this one.

You know, I’ve never really liked Alice in Wonderland!  I’ve never read the book, but I’ve watched some of the movie, a couple of times.  (I lost interest both times.)  Truthfully, I wouldn’t care to meet any of the characters, except for, maybe, Alice.

Random:

The weather is the topic of choice, in our neck of the woods.  In fact, it’s all I’ve been hearing about for two days!  It’s a very big deal when snow, sleet, and ice is predicted for our area!  All schools and some businesses have been closed, and people were advised to stay home last night and this morning.  (Poor Ed and Jennifer had to go to work, anyway, since hospitals never close.)

Unfortunately, many people living in counties to the north of us, got caught in the snow, which arrived earlier than expected.  Many people couldn’t make it home from school or work yesterday.  It was a traffic nightmare in and around Atlanta!  Some spent the night stranded in traffic, while others had to spend the night at schools.

Fortunately, our area (further south), seems to have missed the brunt of the ‘winter event’, as I’d hoped.  A few counties around us have gotten a light dusting of snow, but  we haven’t seen any snow at our house, only rain and sleet.  Our temperature is currently around 30 degrees, but I can hear sleet falling, as I write.  Our front porch is covered with ice.  (Darn, I wish we’d covered that porch, when we built it!)  Our temperatures are supposed to stay below (or just above) freezing until tomorrow.  As for me, I plan to stay inside and stay warm!

Published in: on January 29, 2014 at 9:00 am  Comments (13)  
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Miscellaneous Monday…

I missed participating in Friday Fragments, so I feel the need to do a Miscellaneous post today.  In case you are wondering why I missed participating in Friday Fragments–I went to the circus!

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I didn’t go to the circus alone, though.  I accompanied my daughter and granddaughter.  Daughter-in-law, Christina, had gotten circus tickets for everyone through grandson, Caden’s, pre-school.  Since son-in-law, Clint, couldn’t go, due to his new job, I used his ticket. Everyone sat together, in one row, so it was kind of nice to be able to watch the grandchildren, while they watched the circus.

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The time spent at the circus was the only bit of ‘family time’  we spent over the entire weekend, which is quite unusual.

The circus was good, but I must admit, the circus isn’t nearly as big as it used to be, years ago.  I suppose the economy has taken a toll on the circus, too!  First of all, the circus has gone from three rings down to one!  There are no longer any tigers either, only elephants, camels, ponies, and dogs.  There didn’t seem to be as many performers as in the past, but the show was still good.

After twelve weeks of maternity leave, daughter-in-law, Jennifer, returned to work last Wednesday. Hubby, Brad, stayed home from work for two days to keep baby Evan, until his daycare slot became available.  I called to check on everyone, and discovered their first day turned out to be a crazy one!  In addition to being heartsick over having to leave Evan, poor Jennifer got ‘punched’ in the face by a patient!  She’s okay, but what a way to start the first day!  Meanwhile, Evan kept Brad busy, all day, trying to figure out how to keep him satisfied.  Everyone survived Jennifer’s first day back at work, and, I’m told,  the second day went much smoother for all.

Our weather, on Saturday, was cold and very windy!  I was so very thankful that we no longer have those tall pines surrounding our home.  There are still some pines, in the area of our chicken coop, and they were really swaying in the wind!  Needless to say, I didn’t spend much time around the chicken coop, on Saturday!

According to our weatherman, we have a chance of snow, on Tuesday evening/Wednesday morning!  It will be interesting to see what happens with all that! Snow or not, there’s some cold, nasty weather heading our way.  If we don’t get snow, we’ll most likely get sleet and ice, or perhaps a mix of all three.  Here in the south, we don’t deal with any of those things very well, so it’s likely to be a mess.

We spent the weekend doing some mundane chores, including working at my late mother-in-law’s house again.  It’s slow-going, but Ed and I are beginning to make some progress.  At times, we both feel a bit over-whelmed, but we keep going.  Someday, there will be a light at the end of this tunnel, in the meantime,  we’ll continue to sort out sixty-seven years worth of  memories and possessions.

Speaking of family, today is my sister-in-law, Kay’s,  birthday.  Kay and my brother have been married for over 50 years, so I guess you could safely say Kay and I have known each other for a long, long time!  In fact, at one point in time, she used to be my baby sitter, since she’s nine years my senior.  How neat is that?!  Anyway, I hope Kay has a great birthday, ’cause she deserves it!

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Today’s Birthday Girl

I don’t know if anyone remembers my post Weekend Manhunt, but in October of 2012,  a local prisoner escaped from custody–and it took  law enforcement over a week to catch him!  He stole several vehicles, and broke into some homes in and around our area.  There was a massive manhunt  for him in our community[complete with helicopters flying overhead], which lasted several days.  The escapee eventually made it down to Florida, where he was apprehended.  Well, this same guy is back, and has managed to escape [from jail] again, along with a friend!  The men, somehow cut a hole in the ceiling of the jail,  hung sheets out of a window and escaped during Thursday night!  As far as I know, the two are still on the loose.

I think that pretty much covers what’s been happening around here.  The ‘Monday Quiz’ questions aren’t up yet, so I’m going to go ahead wrap this post up and publish it.  Have a great Monday, everyone!

Published in: on January 27, 2014 at 9:12 am  Comments (4)  
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Thursday’s Thoughts ~ The Apple Didn’t Fall Far From The Tree…

I’ve always thought my husband, Ed,  inherited more traits from his dad than from his mom.  Ed’s dad was always happy and calm. Rarely did you see him get excited over anything.  Ed used to be like that, but these days I see more and more of his mom’s traits manifesting in him.

Ed’s mom was what I commonly refered to as a ‘fliterer’.  The definition of flit is to move or fly quickly from one place to another.  For instance, if Ed’s mom lost a personal item, she’d ‘flit’ about like a bee until she wore herself out looking for the lost item!  In the past few years, Ed has officially begun to flit. 

The other day, Ed lost his pocket knife–again!  Ed was all in a tizzy (again) looking for his lost knife.  He even turned over his recliner chair twice before I finally yelled at him to stop! (The recliner is a haven for Ed’s lost items.)  A few days later, our oldest son was outside spending time with grandchildren, Caden and Madison, when guess what they found on the edge of our dirt road?  Ed’s knife!  Thank goodness, another  flit crisis was aborted!

Ed’s mom was never without a roll of paper towels or a box of tissues in her possession, at all times.  She usually carried both in her vehicle, and always kept a box of tissues beside her,  while at home!  (Ed must have purchased hundreds of boxes of tissues for his mom, during the last two years of her life.  He ordered them by the case!)  Guess who [else] always has napkins, tissues, or paper towels in his pocket or beside him, at all times?  Unfortunately, this has become a source of distress for me, on more than one occasion, while doing laundry without checking Ed’s pockets first!

Last weekend, Ed and I were doing some cleaning at his mom’s house.  In the process, I brought home some of my late MIL’s clothing that needed to be washed before we donate it to Goodwill.  I  proceeded to do her laundry–without checking the pockets first.  Guess what was in the pockets of several items?  Tissues and napkins!

While cleaning out some drawers in my mother-in-law’s kitchen, I discovered something else Ed has in common with his mother.  They both liked to peel the labels off of prescription bottles, and save the empty bottles!  How many empty, label-less bottles does a person need?  Apparently, Ed and his mom believe they needed SEVERAL!  The ones pictured below are just a few of  his mom’s former collection.

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My mother-in-law had one other idiosyncrasy.  For some reason, she could never remember how to use the remote to the satellite receiver/television.  No matter how many times she was shown, she just couldn’t remember.  We finally bought her one of those really simplified remotes, but she couldn’t use that one either!  After she died, I found this note beside my MIL’s chair:

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The other night, I left Ed alone with the satellite remote, while I went to take a bubble bath.  Guess who managed to mess up a recording of one of my shows, while in the process of watching a movie?

Like I said, the apple didn’t fall from the tree, but I sure loved that old tree, and I really love the ‘fruit’ she produced 🙂

Published in: on January 23, 2014 at 6:36 pm  Comments (7)  
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A Heapin’ Helpin’ Of Hodge-podge…

It’s Wednesday again, which means it’s time for a weekly heapin’ helpin’ of Hodgepodge. Our Hodgepodge hostess, Joyce, has served up another great set of questions, this week, so let’s sit a spell and ponder the answers…

1. It was decided on Sunday the Denver Broncos will meet the Seattle Seahawks in this year’s Superbowl. So when was the last time you bowled? Not where you thought this question was going is it? Do you like to bowl? Are you any good?

It’s been thirty-something years since the first, last, and only time I ever bowled.  I am not very good at bowling, therefore, I do not like it.  I was actually thrilled when we had to leave the bowling alley early to go home!  I can’t even seem to bowl a decent game on our Wii 😦

2. Should sports stars be role models?

Given the negative publicity surrounding so many of our sports stars, these days,  probably not.  Of course, there are always a few exceptions, but not very many.

3. January is National Oatmeal month…are you a fan? How do you like your oats?

I learned to eat instant, weight loss oatmeal, last winter because it’s filling and is low in sugar.  I’m not a huge fan, but I can eat it, occasionally.  Banana nut bread is my favorite flavor.

4. What is one book on your reading list for 2014?

The book at the top of my list is the one I’m in the process of reading now–Lone Survivor.  I’m about 1/4 of the way through it, and I’m reading it on my Kindle.  So far, so good!

I am, also, in the process of reading a series of books entitled The Adventures of Lily Lap, co-written by fellow Hodgepodger, Mary Ann Kinsinger, from over at A Joyful Chaos.  (Hi, Mary Ann!)  I’m enjoying these books, and plan to share them with my granddaughter, Madison, when she’s a little older.

5. What would you like your future self to say to your present self?

“Do not spend your time worrying and stressing over things.  They will work out the way they are supposed to.”

6. When scrolling through the TV guide, what is one movie title that makes you want to stop, grab the popcorn, and watch for a while?

I can’t choose just one, so here are several of my favorites:  Rainman, Steel Magnolias, Pretty Woman, Driving Miss Daisy, Forrest Gump, Dances With Wolves, and Mr. Holland’s Opus, to name a few.

7. What are two style trends you hope never come back into fashion?

My all-time, least-favorite, style trends became popular in the early 90’s.  They were (1) saggy pants and (2) parachute pants.  Both trends were awful, and I can’t believe people actually wore either one!

Occasionally, I’ll still see this, today, and it always makes me cringe!

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Random:

Last Wednesday, I asked for your prayers concerning our son-in-law, who had been unemployed since before Christmas. I’m pleased to tell you that our prayers have been answered!  Our son-in-law got a job offer, on Friday, and actually began working at his new job, on Monday.  Praise the Lord!

Also, Jennifer, our daughter-in-law,  is returning to work, today, following twelve weeks of maternity leave.  Jennifer was able to secure a slot for Evan, in a Christian daycare center [across the street from the hospital where she works], but his slot won’t become available until Monday.  Our son, Brad, will be staying home from work, and keeping Evan for three days.  Jennifer’s work days are 12 hours long, and she hasn’t been away from Evan for more than a few hours since his birth.  I’m praying for a smooth transition for everyone involved.

Published in: on January 22, 2014 at 8:22 am  Comments (10)  
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Can I Request A Do-Over?

Have you ever experienced a weekend, and at the end of it, you felt like you needed a ‘do-over’?  That’s how I feel about this past weekend!  I definitely could use a ‘do-over’!

The weekend got off to a great start, on Friday.  I made crock pot bar-b-que, and two [of our three] grown children, and their families joined us for supper.  The girls furnished some side dishes to go along with the bar-b-que.  I had hoped that our youngest son and family, who live out-of-town, would, also, join us for supper.  They decided to wait and come to town on Saturday instead.

On Saturday morning, Ed was hoping to be able to burn off the field in front of us, along with one of the piles of discarded pines from last summer’s tree cutting.  Saturday turned out to be windy and cold, so Ed’s plans had to be put on hold.  Instead, he settled for pruning the pear trees, removing a couple of dead trees, and meeting with the carpenter about building a cover for our front porch.

Meanwhile, I continued the dreaded task of cleaning, sorting, and getting ready for the future ‘estate sale’ at my late mother-in-law’s house.  It’s never a good day when I have to continue this task, since it always leaves me feeling a bit sad and over-whelmed.  Unfortunately, nobody else seems willing to do this job, except for Ed and me.

It didn’t help my day when ‘Trouble’, the cat, seemed to be unusually lonely, and tried to come home with me when I left my MIL’s house. Trouble hopped on the front seat, ready to ride, and was a bit indignant when I left her behind.  (I’ve taken her home with me, on numerous occasions, but she always refuses to stay because of my other cats.)  Trouble is what makes me saddest, and concerns me the most, concerning my MIL’s empty house.

Our youngest son and his family arrived, after lunch, on Saturday. Later, the rest of the family came over to visit with them.  The baby, Evan, wasn’t in a good mood, so his smiles were few and far in between, and he fussed a little more than usual.  Some of the other grandchildren were a bit ‘whiny’, as well.  The day just wasn’t going smoothly.  Then, to top it all off, a disagreement broke out between two grown siblings and one spouse.  Unfortunately, the disagreement escalated and I became quite distraught by the end of the visit.  Needless to say, the day ended on a bit of a sour note, and this mother spent a restless Saturday night.  Sigh.

After Saturday’s fiasco, Sunday should have been a better day, right?  Nope.  This time, Ed accompanied me to his mother’s house, and turned the water on so we could wash some dishes and wipe out the cabinets.  What we quickly discovered was a busted pipe under the house!  Probably the result of last week’s hard freeze.  There wasn’t a lot we could do about a busted water pipe, on Sunday, so we quickly turned the water back off.  We cleaned things, the best we could, using several gallon jugs of water brought from our house.    I couldn’t help but think- these are that times which try men’s souls…

I’m tired.  I’m stressed, and I tell you, I could really use a weekend ‘do over’, in the worst way, but there’s no use crying over spilled milk, so let’s move on to The Monday Quiz.

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Acting Balanced

1. Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day from the US!  Do you have a favorite MLK quote?
No, I don’t.
2. Wayne told Heather to get the questions up early because we’d be exhausted from our trip… she didn’t listen to his good advice, so MQAM is late – when was the last time you didn’t listen to good advice?
Gee, there have been so many times…  The one thing that’s  foremost in my mind is not listening to Ed when he wanted to cover the front porch, when it was first built!  Now, six years later, I’ve lived to regret that decision.  Now that we have no trees, the porch is in the sun, all day.  At night, it’s covered with dew, and is wet and slippery.  In the morning, it’s frozen and slippery, and that’s why we’re having to add a cover!
 
3. Since we talked about Movies last week, lets talk TV this week – what show or shows do you wish was still on TV that ended or was cancelled?

Ed and I enjoyed watching Under the Dome, over the summer.  The show’s drama and suspense was pretty good.  Although it was a bit on the ‘trashy’ side, I enjoyed watching The Client List, too.
4. What is your personal anthem or theme song?
 This isn’t normally my personal anthem, but, following the weekend I just endured, a certain little jingle is running through my head today.



Published in: on January 20, 2014 at 10:17 am  Comments (9)  
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Friday Fragments…

Half-Past Kissin' Time

It’s been a fast-paced, crazy week at our house, and I can’t believe it’s already Friday!  I must admit, sometimes I get a bit over-whelmed by how quickly time is passing.  Every time I turn around, it’s time to refill my weekly medication dispenser!  I sometimes feel like time is running out, and I wonder if anyone else my age feels the same way.  All of this being said, since it’s Friday again, I’m posting a few fragments.

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Yesterday was my brother’s birthday.  He’s nine years my senior, and to see us together, you’d think it was the other way around!  I always tell him that he got all of the good genes in the family 🙂  I wish I could have spent the day with him, eating a piece of German Chocolate Cake, which happens to be his favorite, but we live nearly 200 miles apart.  These days, our visits are fewer, but always special.  Sure hope he had a great birthday, and that we’ll get together again soon.

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Every day, without fail, my husband, Ed, goes to his mom’s house to feed ‘Trouble’, the cat. (His mom’s deceased, but the cat still chooses to live at the house.)  Ed’s been doing this for over a year, because ‘Trouble’ is too old and ornery to relocate anywhere else. Anyway,  I hadn’t seen ‘Trouble’ in a while, so I decided to ride with him, yesterday, to feed her.  It’s a good thing I did!

Last summer, I ran out of freezer space while canning vegetables from our garden.  I decided to put the remainder of my vegetables in the side-by-side refrigerator, at Ed’s mom’s house.  (His mom was  living in an assisted living home, back then.)  While I was visiting ‘Trouble’, I decided to check on the refrigerators. (Ed’s mom had two of them, because her house has two kitchens.)  Lo and behold, the refrigerator with all of the vegetables in its freezer had stopped working!  The freezer had thawed in the top, but, thank goodness,  the bottom area was still frozen.  I lost all of our corn-on-the-cob, but managed to save everything else.  Praise the Lord!  If I had to give up something, I’m grateful it was only corn-on-the cob, which I don’t cook a lot of.  One more day, and I would’ve lost everything!

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Speaking of Ed’s mother, it’s only taken the Veteran’s Administration four months to figure out the lady is deceased!  Ed filed the necessary paperwork, two weeks after she passed away, but for four long months, the VA has continued to direct deposit checks into her bank account anyway!  Finally, after numerous phone calls from Ed, and four months worth of checks, they realized their error, and contacted us to return the money.  That’s our government at work!  Better late than never, I suppose.

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On Wednesday, I’d asked for prayers concerning our son-in-law, who has been out of work since just before Christmas.  Several of you told me you were praying.  God is listening, and possibly answering.  We’ll know more in a few days, but something could possibly be ‘in the works’.  I sure hope so!  Please continue to pray.  These are tough economic times we’re living in, and jobs (of any kind) are scarce.

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Thursday morning, I had the opportunity to spend some one-on-one  time with our next-to-the-youngest grandson, Chase.  It was just the two of us, all morning, and this doesn’t happen often.  He just turned two, and is quite a character, guaranteed to make you laugh if you spend much time around him.

100_3443 (2)See that green ‘lovey’ in the picture?  It’s a frog blanket, and I’m always aggravating Chase about wanting to keep it for myself, because I like frogs.  On Thursday, Chase hid his ‘lovey’ from me, and had me searching everywhere for it before he finally showed me where he hid it!  Chase does things like that, and just smiles about it.  I believe we might have a ‘practical joker’ in the making!

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Is anyone else watching this season of Downton Abbey?  This year, there seems to be a lot more drama in the servant’s quarters than in the main house–or should I say the castle?  Who would’ve thought it?  If you haven’t watched this show, yet, you’re missing out.  The plot is filled with more twists, turns, ups and downs than a roller coaster!

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I got a new Kindle for my birthday, back in August.  I haven’t done much with it, because, honestly, it has been a bit overwhelming to me.  Why, oh why don’t Kindles (and computers) come with instruction manuels???  I’ve had a hard time trying to figure things out on my own!  Yesterday, I finally got brave enough to download my first e-book on it.  It’s a strange experience, reading without having to turn pages or hold a book open, but I think I’m going to like it!  The book I’m reading?  Lone Survivor, the book from which the current popular movie, by the same name,  was made.  Can anyone say, intense reading material???

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That’s it for my edition of Friday Fragments, which I will be linking over at halfpastkissintime.  Have a great weekend, y’all!

Published in: on January 17, 2014 at 12:32 am  Comments (10)  
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Hello Hodgepodge…

Hello Wednesday, and hello Hodgepodge!  The time has come for us to jump into another though-provoking, informative set of questions, provided by our gracious Hodgepodge Hostess, Joyce, so let’s get to it, shall we?

1. Are you a force to be reckoned with? In what way?

Most of the time I don’t think I’m much of a force, but I certainly can be a force to be reckoned with whenever it’s necessary.  For instance, I can become as fierce as a tiger, when it comes to my children.  (I once went toe-to-toe with a doctor, concerning my daughter’s prenatal care.  I told him I’d, personally, hold him responsible if anything happened to her, because he was trying to send my daughter home, even though she’d been sent over to the hospital for an emergency c-section!)

There have, also, been times in my life when I’ve had to take a stand for what’s right–or should I say, because of something that wasn’t right?! (I left a job I loved, because of a classroom ‘situation’ beyond my control, but I didn’t leave without taking a stand!)

2. What are two things you love about the wintertime? Or, if love feels like too strong a word, what are two things you ‘like’ about winter?

I love not having to deal with bugs (flies, gnats and mosquitoes), and I love Christmas!

3. Pomegranate, kumquat, persimmon, kiwi, and guava are all fruits said to have health benefits, particularly during the winter months. Do you have a favorite on the list? Are there any on the list you haven’t tried?

I love kiwi, but don’t care for kumquat, persimmon, or pomegranate.  I’ve never tried guava.

4. I passed a local church yesterday and noticed they had this on their outdoor sign- ‘When all else fails, do the right thing.’ Your thoughts?

My thoughts are ‘do the right thing’ in the first place, not after everything else fails– and what kind of church would put such a thing on their sign, anyway?!   (I think not one I’d want to attend)

5. Do you ski? According to one list I’ve seen, the top 5 ski destinations for 2014 are-St. Anton Austria, Whistler Canada, Cortina Italy, Tahoe USA, and Zermatt Switzerland. Of the five listed, which would you most like to visit? We can make skiing optional if that helps the non-skiers with their answer.

I’ve never skied, nor have I ever wanted to.  Of the five destinations listed, I’d choose Tahoe USA–because it’s the closest destination, and I don’t particularly enjoy traveling.  Once I got there, I’d be a spectator, not a skier, and I’d be perfectly content to drink hot cocoa and watch.

6. What’s the last thing you looked for online? (Besides my blog!)

I’ve been looking at some infrared heaters.

7. What saying, slogan, quote, or motto have you seen lately that inspires you for the new year?

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Random:

I found the above quote on Facebook, last night, and it ‘spoke’ to me.  So many things are ‘up in the air’ for our family, at the moment.  Ed is struggling with the decision of what to do with his parents’ home place, as well as his mother’s car (her most prized possession).  The problem is, the home place sits right in the middle of the old family farm, where most of our family lives, so we don’t want just anyone living there, but nobody in the family is interested in buying it, at this time.  I hope before the end of 2014, all of these situations will have been resolved and we can move forward.

There’s also another situation facing our family, in 2014.  Our son-in-law has now been out of work for about a month.  He did contract work at a nearby military base, but his company’s contract ran out in mid-December.  Fortunately, our SIL had enough leave accumulated to provide his family with a pay check through Christmas.  He had to apply for unemployment assistance, this week.

We all know what the situation of the government is, concerning money, so I don’t know when, or if, he’ll get his old job back.  I’m praying for him to be able to find work  soon.  We’re going to have faith that God will provide, and things will work out how they’re supposed to, but prayers sure would be appreciated for these tough situations facing our family.

Published in: on January 15, 2014 at 9:08 am  Comments (11)  
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Ed & Kathy’s Late-Night Chicken Adventures…

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It’s coming up on two years since Ed and I became chicken owners, for the second time in our marriage.  While our experience raising poultry has gone much smoother, this time around, it hasn’t been without a few adventures.  We’re still learning as we go!

The beginning of our most recent adventure was a couple of months ago, when we began to notice large amounts of feathers inside of the chicken house each morning.  It wasn’t long before we spotted a couple of ‘nearly naked’ hens wandering around the coop!  My first thought was, Oh, no!  They’ve got mites again, but soon it became apparent that ‘the girls’ were molting–in winter!  Spring would seem to have been a more appropriate time, but, no, all five of our girls chose to shed their feathers during winter.

I got very tired of looking at ‘nearly naked’ hens before the last of them regrew their feathers!  In fact, the last of the five, is still growing her tail feathers.  (I was especially grateful they regrew their feathers before the Polar Vortex hit us!)  By the way, I could have stuffed a large pillow with all of the feathers I’ve raked up over the past six weeks or so!  Another down-side of the molting process–not many eggs are produced!  The girls have only been averaging one egg per day, since mid-November.

About half-way through the molting process, I began to notice something appearing to be ‘scales’, in the bottom of the chicken house each morning.  I had no idea where these scales were coming from, but assumed they might be coming from the feet of the chickens.  On a recent trip to the Tractor Supply Store, I discovered something called ‘Scaly Leg Protector’!  Who knew there was such a thing?!  Finding ‘Scaly Leg Protector’ could only mean one thing–another late night treatment!

Now, the most interesting thing about treating ‘the girls’ for any kind of malady is having to do it at night–in the dark!  It takes two people, one willing to catch and hold the hen, the other willing to apply the treatment.  Guess who gets to catch and hold the hens?  Well, it isn’t me!  You have no idea how mean and ornery a hen can be whenever her sleep has been disturbed!

Ed’s a real trooper, and always holds the hens.  Some of them put up a real fight, but Ed hasn’t lost his grip yet!  My job is always to try to hold a flashlight and administer the treatment, whether it be powder or spray.  Sunday night’s treatment consisted of both.

Let me begin by saying, ‘the girls’ have been eating very well, lately, and they’ve regained any weight they lost during their last illness.  Ed really had his hands full, holding onto those feisty hens, and turning them every which way, but loose!  First, I’d powder their backs, then he’d turn them over and I’d powder their chests, and under their wings.  Finally, I had to spray their feet and legs with ‘Scaly Leg Protector’ spray.  You’ve never heard such fussing and chattering out of five hens!  By the end of the treatment process, it was difficult to tell who had more spray on them–the chickens or Ed, but our mission was accomplished–until the next time!  I don’t know who will be more excited–us or ‘the girls’.

P.S.  We’re planning to add to our flock in spring…  Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?

Published in: on January 14, 2014 at 10:57 am  Comments (8)  
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Miscellaneous Monday…

Another weekend has quickly come and gone, like they always do…and of course, there’s never quite enough time.  Enough said about that, but here’s how I spent my ‘not long enough’ weekend…

My weekend got off to a rough start, when I went to the grocery store on Friday.  It rained on me, my groceries were ridiculously expensive, and to top it all of, I dropped my car keys in the parking lot, as I was leaving.  This might not have presented a problem, except for my Origami Owl key chain–a gift from my grandsons.  The little compartment of the key chain [which holds the four birthstones of my grandchildren] popped open when it hit the pavement, and little birthstones flew everywhere!  With cars parked on each side of me, and my eyesight, there was no finding the missing stones.  I’m left with only one stone 😦  Fortunately, our daughter-in-law came to my rescue, later, and helped me re-order new stones 🙂

Friday night, Ed and I kicked off the beginning of our weekend by spending time with some of the family.  We ate spaghetti and subs, with two of our grown children and their families, then watched some of the movie, The Life of Pi on television.  (The grandchildren were captivated by the sight of the zoo animals in the life boat!)  It had been quite a while since we’d spent time with our son, Brett’s, family, due to the illness that’s been attacking their household.

On Saturday morning, I’m happy to report, the ‘carpet man’ showed up, and did a great job!  It only took him about 45 minutes to move the furniture, stretch and cut  off the carpet, then move the furniture back into place.  The carpet man had this woman helping him move furniture, who could put most men to shame!  We have two couches in our living room with two recliners in each one–and they weigh a ton!  I can’t lift the couches at all, and Ed struggles just to get one end lifted up.  This woman picked up her end of those couches as if they weighed nothing–and she moved three heavy bookcases, too!  We were impressed.

During the recent cold snap, the fan to our electric fireplace stopped working. Isn’t that always the way it goes?  While we had the furniture moved, on Saturday morning, Ed pulled the fireplace insert out of the console so he could get the model number to order a new fan motor.  Ed sprayed the fan with WD-40 and suddenly it started working again!  I love when things like that happen 🙂  We wrote down the model number, anyway, just in case!

It took both of us most of Saturday afternoon to put everything back on the living room shelves, after the carpet man left!  The good news is, everything got dusted and organized in the process, but I sure hope we don’t have to move everything again any time soon!  I didn’t even tackle putting all of the curios back in their cabinets, yet.  I’ll do that today.

On Saturday afternoon, I discovered that chivalry isn’t dead.  It’s alive and well at my house.  I went outside to feed and water the chickens, and while I was in the chicken coop, suddenly we began having a downpour.  It wasn’t  just raining, it was flooding!  I had no choice but to stand there, stranded under the shelter of the coop, along with the chickens.  After several minutes, I looked up to see Ed splashing his way through the yard, dressed in a poncho, and bringing a second poncho for me.  My hero rescued his damsel in distress:)

The rest of the weekend was spent doing a little shopping (for exciting things like freeze-dried meal worms and scaly mite spray for ‘the girls’), and burying our “grandcat”–at least I think it was our grandcat.  It was really kinda’ hard to tell, since the carcass was rather battered up when it found its way to the yard…   “Spencer”, our grandson’s tom cat,  had begun living in the woods, quite a while ago, but would stop by to eat with our cats, occasionally, so we considered him one of ours.

I’ll miss Spencer’s visits, and I can’t help but wonder if the coyotes I keep hearing in the woods (even during the daytime), brought Spencer to his untimely death.

On that unsettling note, I think I’ll change the subject, and join “The Monday Quiz”…

Acting Balanced

1. It’s International Skeptics day – what are you skeptical about?

I’m skeptical about pretty much everything, and now,  I have my own holiday 🙂   LOL

2. Wednesday is National Hat Day – what is your favorite hat? Do you wear hats often?

I don’t like hats of any kind, and rarely wear one because they give me a headache.  If the weather gets extremely cold, I’ll wear a knit hat, but it doesn’t happen often.

3. What one movie or two would you say should be on everyone’s must see list?

I’m going to say “The Wizard of Oz” , simply because it’s a classic that I watched as a child, then watched again( several times) with my own children.

4. If they were going to make a reality show about your life what would it be called?

Married, With Grown Children–and Grandchildren, too!

My question:

How do you spend the cold, dreary days of January?

Published in: on January 13, 2014 at 8:49 am  Comments (12)  
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