Hello Blog! I’ve Missed You…

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the view of my kitchen table (all last week)

I had the best intentions of re-entering the world of blogging, last week.  That was before–before the pea vines made a second crop of peas, before the butter beans made their second crop of beans, and before our dying tomato plants began growing more tomatoes!  Ya’ gotta’ love a good garden 🙂  So!  Guess what I’ve been doing for the past four days?!  In fact, I still have butter beans spread out on the floor, still waiting to be shelled–but I’ll get to those a little later.  For now, I’m going to blog!

Today is the first day, since June 18, that I haven’t had to get up and be in the garden at 7 a.m. (Sundays included)  I’m not quite sure what to do with myself,  but to tell you the truth, it sure feels nice!  There’s nothing quite like falling out of bed, putting on clean clothes, then covering yourself with insect repellent and heading for the dew-covered garden–and yes, you can insert a bit of sarcasm there!

Last week,  after a particularly ‘dirty’ trip to the garden, I managed to get water in my ear, while shampooing my hair in the bath tub.  I was in a hurry to deal with the vegetables  awaiting my attention, so I failed to get all of the water out of my ear.  As a result, I developed ‘swimmers’ ear’, which I’ve been battling for nearly a week!  An earache is a miserable thing, especially when you don’t have time to be sick.  Thank heaven for daughters who live next door, and have a handy supply of ear drops!  Thanks to those ear drops, I’m finally getting better 🙂

In addition to all of the gardening and canning, we did manage to fit in some family time on Friday night–with the entire clan, this time!   I fixed a pot roast in the oven, and cooked fresh peas and corn from the garden.  I even managed to bake a chocolate cake–all while dealing with an earache!

Our home gets very crowded and loud when everyone is present (there are 12 of us), but there’s nothing like having everyone together, under one roof.  The high point (with noise) of the evening was when the grandchildren decided to drag out the Baby Einstein keyboard and the old Fisher Price Marching Band set!  The ladies were talking in the living room, while the men were talking in the kitchen.  I sent the ‘grands’ into the kitchen to serenade the men folks 🙂  The men folks never missed a beat, they just slid their chairs a little further away from the children and kept on talking.  It was a priceless moment!

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our oldest and youngest grandchildren, enjoying a moment together

Brad, Jennifer, and Evan spent Friday night with us.  Evan doesn’t sleep well when he’s off from home, so he was up and down all night.  I feel bad for the little fellow, ’cause I don’t sleep well when I’m off from home either.  We all woke up, Saturday morning, with dark circles under our eyes, but none the worse for wear.  After all, we all had places to go and things to do.

Brad and Jennifer had plans with her family, so they left us pretty early on Saturday morning.  The rest of the day Ed and I spent picking and shelling–both peas and beans!  I put the last packs of peas in the freezer at 10 p.m. and went to bed, dead tired– but happy– because I knew I would be sitting on St. Simon’s Island on Sunday 🙂

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the view from our favorite tree: two huge ships passing in front of us

Ed and I got up early Sunday morning, and were on the road to St. Simon’s by 8 a.m.  We spent most of the day under our favorite tree again.  (I never grow tired of it!)  This time we were joined by our daughter and her family, which was a pleasant change for all of us.  There was a ‘Antiques Show’ going on, and we all browsed through the exhibits.  Our son-in-law took granddaughter, Madison, swimming in the park pool, as well.  We were all back home before 6:30 Sunday evening.  All-in-all, it was a good weekend!

This week, I’ll be attempting to play ‘catch up’ in the coming days–both in writing and finding out what’s been happening with all of my blog friends.  Of course, things may become a little bit crazy around here, again, during the next few days because…

Now that we have a brand new roof covering our front porch, the old decking boards suddenly need to be replaced!  As a result of now being protected from the rain, sun, and dew, our boards suddenly began to shrink.  We had no idea this was going to happen when we covered our porch!  We now have these HUGE cracks between each board (an inch or more), and this just isn’t working for us.  The chair legs keep falling into the cracks!  Over the upcoming holiday weekend, Ed will be attempting to remove these old boards, replace them with new ones, and close up the cracks.  This will not be an easy job!  (Much of the porch will have to be disassembled.)  Wish us luck, and hopefully, there won’t be any unintentional fireworks at our house!  If you read here regularly, you know how our building projects tend to go…  Have a great Monday, everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Published in: on June 30, 2014 at 8:08 am  Comments (7)  
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Having A Hodge-Podgy Summer…

Seven days (and more) of gardening and canning makes one weak!  I’m about ‘pooped’, but the freezer is full, and the garden is now on its way out. I’ve shelled so many peas and beans, I’ve got inflammation in my thumbs. Seriously!  By the weekend, the garden of 2014 will be history.  I’m sensing a celebratory trip to St. Simon’s Island in the near future 🙂

Today is my first day of blogging in a week, and it feels so good to be back! There’s no better way to get started back blogging than with the Wednesday Hodgepodge!  Thanks so much to hostess, Joyce, for providing the great questions for this fun meme.

1. What summer activity most takes you back to your own childhood?

I had to think about this one for a while, but I finally settled on ‘fishing’.  As a child, I didn’t care much for pond or river fishing, but all of the adults in my life sure did!  They went fishing a lot.  I’d usually settle for playing by the water’s edge, trying to catch some minnows.  On a good day, I’d actually catch a few minnows, and be allowed to keep them.  Fun memories of life’s simple pleasures!

2. What’s your favorite summer smell?

I love to smell of any kind of food cooking over charcoal.  Nothing screams summer more than that–except the smell of the ocean!

3. It’s beach season in the US of A…so how do you feel about sand?

I love the beach, but hate the sand that goes along with it.  I especially hate having sand in my shoes, and will be desperately looking for a shower or water hose immediately after leaving the beach area!  I don’t swim in the ocean anymore, but when I did, I hated having sand in my bathing suit, as well!

4. Sun tea, SunChips, sunflower seeds, Capri Sun, Sunny Delight, Sun-Maid raisins, sun-dried tomatoes…your favorite food or beverage with sun in its name?

Of the foods listed, I’d have to choose Sun Chips.  At first, I didn’t like Sun Chips, but I’ve since developed a taste for them.  They’re one of my favorite chips now.

5. What’s your favorite way to cool off on a hot summer day?

My favorite way to cool off on a hot summer day is to stay inside under the air conditioning!!!  Back in the day, when we had a pool, I enjoyed cooling off that way.

6. Share a favorite song with the word sun or sunshine in its title.

A particular ‘sun’ song that has special meaning to me is an old song entitled ‘Sunny’ by Bobby Hebb. You see, I used to have a cat named Sonny, and I’d always sing this song to him.  (Sonny lost his mama at an early age, and was bottle fed as a young kitten.  I never had to bottle feed Sonny, but adopted him when he was still very tiny.)  Sonny would let me hold him like a baby while I sang  this song to him. Also, if Sonny went outside, I could open the front door, start singing this song, and he would come running to me.  I loved that cat!

Sunny, the song:

Sonny, the cat:

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As you can see from the photo, Sonny was quite a character!  He thought nothing of plopping himself on the dining room table,  among my autumn decorations.

 

7. Tell us about a time you had an exceedingly good or truly awful customer service experience. If it was awful, did you report it? Ever go back there again?

The most recent thing I can think of was when our mail carrier kept refusing to deliver my packages.  You see, our mailbox isn’t located next to our house, it’s down a little dirt road, and beside the highway.  The mail carrier didn’t want to take the time to come down our dirt road to deliver my packages, so she’d just leave a paper in the mailbox, claiming to have attempted to deliver the package.  (I’m always home, so I know this wasn’t true.)  So I’d have to drive 7 miles, one way, to the post office, just to pick up my package!  I put up with this for a while, then decided I’d had enough!  The next time I went to town (to pick up another package), I filed a complaint with the post master.  My packages now get delivered to my house–every time.  If only I could get UPS and FedX to deliver my packages, too, I’d be happy.  They often leave my packages at our son’s house–simply because it’s located beside the highway, and they’re too lazy to drive down the dirt road to my house.

Random:

Today, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish our son, Brad, and his wife, Jennifer, a very Happy Anniversary!  Three years ago they said “I do!”

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After a couple of years of marriage, the family of two became a family of three, when this cute little fellow arrived…

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Evan William will be 8 months old in five more days!  Brad and Jen, enjoy your anniversary, and treasure your time together as a family.  My your years of marriage be long and happy ones 🙂

Published in: on June 25, 2014 at 7:07 am  Comments (8)  
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Dropping In For The Hodgepodge…

I said I’d give it my best shot–so here I am, participating in today’s Hodgepodge.  The veggies will just have to wait today, and I’ll tell you why in my random thought below.  As always, thanks to our gracious hostess, Joyce, for hosting this fun meme.  Now for today’s questions:

1. Since you weren’t Hodgepodging last Wednesday, how did you pass the time?

Last Wednesday, I had an appointment for a ‘cut and color’, which is always a good day!  I thought about doing some shopping, afterward, but decided to come home instead.

2. What’s the first word that comes to mind when I say marriage? Yes, one word.

The first word that comes to my mind is ‘compromise’, because marriage involves the blending of two independent people into one united couple, and eventually a family.  No two people like all of the same things, or do things the same way, so some type of compromise will be necessary to achieve happiness and harmony.

3. Summer officially arrives in the Northern hemishpere later this week. Does it feel like summer where you live? Describe your idea of the perfect summer day.

Yes, it feels very much like summer here!  Last week, our heat index was at 107 for two days in a row!  One of our hens apparently became over-heated on one of those days.  Fortunately, she recovered and seems to doing okay, for now.  We’ve installed a fan inside of the chicken coop now, so hopefully, that will prevent any future problems.

4. “Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.”(Sam Keen) Is laziness ever respectable? Do you have a lazy summer planned, or something semi-ambitious?

I think everyone needs a little time to relax and regroup, sometimes.  In those cases, laziness is absolutely respectable!

As for my summer, it will be a combination of work and play, thanks to the garden!  We rarely go on over-night vacations anymore, but we take our fair share of day trips to the ocean.  (Besides, it’s the only way to get Ed to sit down and relax.)  Ed and I have both come to look forward to those ‘mandatory’ vacation days every two weeks 🙂

5. Past or present, who’s your favorite television dad? Why is he a favorite? Is he anything like your own dad?

My favorite television dad was Charles Ingals on ‘Little House On the Prairie’.  He was an honest, hard-working man, and he was gentle and loving with his wife and daughters.  Yes, I suppose my own daddy had a few of those same traits, too.

6. June 18th is International Picnic Day…share a favorite picnic memory.

My favorite picnic memories have taken place at St. Simon’s Island.  Ed and I used to always stop and pick up sandwiches [on the way to the beach] at Subway, then eat them under our favorite oak tree–but that was before we saw the roach in Subway’s cookie bin one day!  These days, we’ve found a delicious bar-b-que  place on the island, that we both love, so we get take-out sandwiches and eat those under our favorite oak tree.  Everything tastes better when eaten under that tree, while admiring the ocean.  (Did I mention that we’ll be having a picnic there today?!)

7. The travel site Trip Advisor lists the top five islands in the world for 2014 as- Ambergris Caye in Belize Cayes, Providenciales in Turks and Caicos, Bora Bora in French Polynesia, Marco Island Florida, and Lewis and Harris in The Outer Hebrides (Scotland). Have you been to any of these? Of those listed (and if price were not a factor) which would you most like to book for a holiday?

I’ve never been to any of these islands, and I don’t know anything about any of them.  Since I don’t have the time or energy to research them, I’ll choose Marco Island Florida because I’ve loved almost any place I’ve ever been in Florida.

Random:

Forty-two years ago, today, Ed and I became husband and wife.  I can’t believe how quickly those forty-two years have passed!  God blessed me with a truly wonderful husband, and I wouldn’t change a thing!

Many years ago, Ed and I began the tradition of timing our vacation around our anniversary, so we could always spend the entire day of our anniversary together.  Today is no exception.  Ed has taken another ‘mandatory’ vacation day, and we plan to spend the day under our favorite oak tree, at St. Simon’s Island.  (The garden veggies are  just going to have to wait!)

On our wedding night, our first meal as husband and wife was Kentucky Fried Chicken.  The manager of the KFC gave us our meal for free, after noticing ‘Just Married’  was written all over our car.  Ed and I have made it an anniversary tradition to eat at KFC every year since.  This year won’t be any different.  We’ll stop by KFC on our way home…

I made the video, below, for Ed on our 40th anniversary, and the years seemed to have passed almost as quickly, in real life, as they do on this video!  Ed and Kathy, this is your life…

 

Published in: on June 18, 2014 at 6:51 am  Comments (10)  

Alive And Well…But Busy!

I don’t know about you, but one of my pet peeves is having a fellow blogger disappear without a trace!  It’s almost like having your neighbor move in the middle of the night, without leaving a forwarding address!  Lest, you think I’ve disappeared without a trace, I’m dropping in to say I’m alive and doing well.  I’m just very busy these days!

The garden is coming in faster than I can gather and ‘can’ it, so that’s taking up almost all of my time.  I spent a twelve-hour day in the field and kitchen, yesterday!  I put onions, squash, blackberries, and peas in the freezer–plus cooked chicken and dumplings for supper!  Today isn’t shaping up to be a whole lot better, more peas, squash and onions are awaiting my attention as I type!  The good news is–we have lots of good things to eat, praise the Lord!

Please forgive my absence from posting or visiting for the next few days.  Our peas are ready, and the beans and corn will be ready by the end of the week.  Yikes!   I’ll be back on a regular schedule as soon as things slow down a bit with the garden, but if there’s anyway possible, I will try to participate in tomorrow’s ‘Hodgepodge’.  I’ve never missed participating, and I hate to start now!

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, so here are a couple of pictures to make up for my lack of words…

From the garden

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the sunflowers

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the zinnias

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some of this morning’s bounty from the garden

Have a great day! I’ll be back as soon as I can…  I have lots of things to write about!

Published in: on June 17, 2014 at 9:56 am  Comments (7)  

Remembering The Seventies…

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I was a 70’s girl

Forty-two years ago life was good!  It was June of 1972, and I’d just graduated from high school.  I was less than a week away from marrying the man I’d been engaged to for almost two years, as well!  Did I mention that Ed and I had only recently been reunited after spending almost two years apart?!  It was a time of changes, but they were all good, at least as far as I was concerned!

Not only was I finished with high school, and about to get married, I was preparing to move to a new city, too!  Ed had recently finished his time in the military, and found a job in a hospital, located sixty miles away from our hometown.  A move was definitely in order for the two of us!  Within three weeks of graduating high school (at the ripe old age of 17), I was married and transplanted to a strange city!  Oh, how I loved the excitement of it all, though, and I still consider the early seventies as some of the best years of my life!

The 70’s were a time like no other.  A time of bell-bottomed jeans, and smiley-faced t-shirts.  The 70’s were a time of  bikinis, ‘hot pants’, ‘scooter skirts’, halter tops, and ‘go go’ boots–and I wore them all, even though I’m sort of ashamed to admit it, these days.  What was I thinking?

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Kathy and Ed, (at Disneyworld) in the early 70’s

Long hair was all the rage, in the seventies, on both men and women.  I grew my hair down to my waist, and wore it straight and parted down the middle.  I wore my hair this way through the first half of the seventies, when I suddenly opted for a short, shaggy hair do!  Ed was sad about my decision to have my hair cut, but having short hair felt so much better and was so much easier, I never grew it out again.

Speaking of hair in the seventies, Ed’s hair was thick, curly, and a bit unruly, so he never grew it very long–except on top. Ed’s hair had a mind of its own, and it flipped and curled every which way, except the correct way!  Each night he’d shampoo his hair, then comb it over to the wrong side to dry, which he claimed made it lay down better the next morning.

The seventies’s was a great time of music!  Some of the best music, ever, was written and recorded in the seventies (in my humble opinion).  The Guess Who, Carole King, Jame Taylor,  Elton John, Jim Croce, Three Dog Night, The Bee Gees, The Carpenters, Bread…I could go on and on with a list of my favorites.  A large stack of old vinyl records still sits in a corner of our house–and I still play them, occasionally, believe it or not!

Two of my all-time favorite bands, The Eagles and the Doobie Brothers, became popular during the 70’s, too.  Ed took me to see each of these bands in concert, and I was thrilled!  I’ll never forget, while we were standing in line at one of these concerts,  Ed said to me, “Do you smell that sickening sweet smell?  That’s pot!”  I was shocked because I had no idea what ‘pot’ smelled like, or that anyone would dare smoke it in a public place!  I was (and still am) a naive person.

Ed and I started out our marriage with a [hand-me-down] black and white television set, but when it died,  we soon established our first line of credit to buy a new television.  We purchased a 19 inch color television from K-mart–and we made payments on it until it was paid for.  We thought we’d done something big!  I still remember watching ‘The Price Is Right’ (when Bob Barker actually had black hair), watching the premiere episode of ‘The Young and the Restless‘(with a young David Hasslehoff playing ‘Snapper’ Foster), as well as  the very first episodes of ‘The Waltons’  (Ed never liked John-Boy!) on our new Zenith color television!

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Our car on the day of our wedding –  (the hood was up because somebody was up to ‘no good’)

 The seventies heralded the last era of muscle cars, and oh, how I loved a fast, sporty car!  GTO’s, Roadrunners, Firebirds, Chargers, Mustangs, and more!  Gas was cheap back then, and speed and sportiness was what counted. Ed and I had a 1970 Chevelle , with black racing stripes on the hood, and a ‘four-in-the-floor’, which I didn’t know how to drive!   (We owned that car for over four years, and I never learned how to drive it.)  By the way, the air conditioning, in our car,  was referred to as a 4-60 model–four windows rolled down, going sixty miles per hour!  We were cool–NOT!

I could sit here and reminisce all day about my favorite era, the 70’s, but time’s passing quickly, so I’ll stop and get busy before 2014 is gone.  Yikes, I can’t believe the year is already half over!  Before we know it, it will be 2020…  Speaking of 2020, I’m reminded of another great song , released just prior to the 70’s…  The lyrics kind of send a chill up my spine, especially with all that’s happening in the world today!

How about you, do you have any special memories of ‘the seventies’?  Those were ‘the days’!

Published in: on June 13, 2014 at 7:51 am  Comments (6)  
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This-N-That On Tuesday…

Since I was in a bit of a hurry when I blogged yesterday, I thought I’d take this chance to unwind a bit, and talk about what’s been going on around here, lately.  I’ll begin by showing off my newest bouquet from the garden–in one of Ed’s mom’s vases, of course.

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On Thursday, Ed and I ‘adopted’ another item from his mom’s house.  This time it was the buffet to her old dining room suit.  I don’t know how old it is, but I’m thinking it’s about as old as Ed, and he’ll soon be 65.  I didn’t plan to ‘adopt’ the buffet, but didn’t want to let it get out of the family either.  Our daughter-in-law, Christina, mentioned she’d love to refinish the buffet, but has no place to keep it, at this time, so I decided to hang onto it.  For now, it makes a great place to store things!  If Christina wants to give it a home, someday, it’ll be hers.  (Funny thought here:  Isn’t it funny how one’s home sort of ‘morphs’ into a mixture of their parents’ things, along with your own–or is it just us?)

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the old buffet, before we moved it

As I mentioned, Ed and I made another trek to St. Simon’s Island, on Friday.  We almost called our trip off because it rained all night Thursday night.  We finally decided to go ahead, and take a chance–rain or shine.  The day was a bit overcast, but we don’t care much for being in the sun anyway.  Fortunately, we didn’t see any rain, until we got back home!  It turned out to be a good beach day for us, except for the lady with the six barking dogs!  Why would anyone take SIX dogs to the beach???  They barked at everything, almost the entire time!  FYI: I didn’t take a single picture.

Over the weekend, Ed and I canned twelve more quarts of green beans, bringing our grand total up to forty-five quarts for this season!  We’re officially finished with the beans, and that’s a great feeling!  I’m still putting squash in the freezer though.  We only planted four hills of squash, and grew more squash than ever before!

On Saturday night, I tried something I’ve never done.  I made a jar of pickled peppers!  This is our first year of growing peppers, and Ed wanted to pickle some.  I wasn’t sure how to do it, so I consulted Google, and found a video on YouTube.  I only made one jar, and they turned out great–or at least I think they did.  We haven’t opened them, yet.

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 jar of pickled peppers

On Sunday, I cooked dinner for two of our three children and their families. (Our oldest son and his family were on vacation.) I used to cook Sunday dinner every week, but don’t do it much, these days. Everyone seemed to enjoy the lunch of roast beef with fresh vegetables, along with the blackberry cobbler and banana pudding for dessert.  We had a great time reminiscing about old times, afterward.

As you can see, little Evan (our youngest ‘grand’) isn’t so little anymore! It’s amazing how much he grows and changes in just two weeks’ time. He’s a busy little fellow, these days, and I was only able to capture one picture of him.  Everything goes straight into his mouth, these days!

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our 7 month old Evan

This time, I’ll only have to wait five days to see Evan again, because all of the family has been invited to Brad and Jennifer’s house on Saturday!  They’re having a cookout for everyone, with swimming afterward.  I know the grandkids will love that!

The new kitten is doing well.  I’m still deciding on a name for it.  I keep calling it different names, waiting to see what it best responds best to. So far–nothing!  By the way, I think ‘it’ is a ‘she’!  She is very ‘spirited’, and likes to stay right under my feet.  I’ve been leaning heavily toward the name “Lucky”, but if she doesn’t stay out from under my feet, that name may no longer apply! That crazy little kitten actually likes to chase the chickens, too!  No fear!

Speaking of the chickens, another one of our hens became ill, yesterday.  Why is it always something, lately?!  She was fine yesterday morning, but by the afternoon, she wasn’t.  I’ll be watching her closely today to see how it goes.  (I’m thinking – now I know why people butcher and eat their chickens each year, then get a new flock!)  If this one dies, we’ll be down to just three hens!  It’s getting time to decide whether to continue this venture or get out.

Yesterday was a hot day!  I don’t know what the high temp was, but at 9 o’clock, last night, it was still 81 degrees!  Today appears to be headed in the same direction.  As of 6:30, this morning, the chickens now have a fan blowing inside of their coop!  Lucky girls–except for the one who’s not feeling well.

That’s pretty much what’s been going on around here.  So what have you been up to, lately?  Do tell!

 

 

Published in: on June 10, 2014 at 9:14 am  Comments (7)  
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It’s Monday…

It seems like I’ve been away from this computer forever, but, in reality, it’s only been four days.  Ed was off on Friday (another mandatory vacation day), so we had a long weekend together.  I’m beginning to like, and look forward to, those ‘mandatory vacation days’, so when Ed’s off, the computer gets a rest.  In fact, it collects a lot of dust.

To make a long story short,  the past three days,  Ed and I spent another day on St. Simon’s Island (without car trouble), worked in the garden (a lot), canned more vegetables, and spent time with each other and with our family.  Life has been good in our neck of the woods!  All good things must come to an end, so Ed had to go back to work today.

The house is a wreck, my hair needs washing, and the laundry pile is out of sight, so I’ll blog more about what’s been going on around here…later!  I’ll be catching up on blog visits, as I can.

Since it’s Monday, I’m joining Heather and Wayne’s ‘About Me Quiz’ again.  It’s a fun way to kick off a new week!

Acting Balanced

1. It’s email week – do you still use email for communication? How do you keep in touch with most people?

Yes, I still use email for communication. I prefer email over phone conversations because email gives me more time to think about what I want to say. Email and phone calls are the primary ways that I keep ‘in touch’ with people.

2. Today is Donald Duck Day – in his honor, we’re asking what makes you Quackers?

Children who disrespect their parents, and refuse to obey their rules  makes me go ‘Quackers’!   The last time I remember going ‘Quackers’ was about 13 years ago.  Our oldest son, who was being very disrespectful and hard to live with at the time, called me ‘the B word’.  Something in me just snapped!  I grabbed the broom, and chased him out of the house!  It’s a good thing he out-ran me, because I may have inflicted bodily harm on him, with that broom, if I’d been able to catch him!  I was so mad, I actually tore a muscle in my leg, while running down the steps, and I didn’t even notice the pain!  I hobbled around, afterward, for over three weeks.

3. Tomorrow is Iced Tea Day – sweet or unsweet? flavored? lemon? not at all?

I’m a southern girl, so I really like sweetened iced tea!  My favorite brand is Luzianne.  These days, due to dietary restrictions, I only drink iced tea, occasionally, as a rare treat, and I usually drink it without lemon.

4. How is your garden growing?

Our garden is growing great!  (Unfortunately, the grass and weeds are growing great, too.)

Here’s some of the bounty we gathered on Saturday morning:

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Here’s a picture of what our garden looks like, at the moment:

(corn, sunflowers, butter beans, peas,  and more butter beans)

The white dot in the picture is Ed

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Published in: on June 9, 2014 at 10:44 am  Comments (10)  
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The Wednesday Hodgepodge…

Hello again Hodgepodge!  I’m so glad I was able to participate this week.  It’s busy around here, with the vegetables getting ready in the garden, so I’m burning the midnight oil to get everything done!  Thanks so much to our hostess, Joyce, who’s been burning a bit of her own midnight oil, lately, but still managed to put some great questions together!

Let’s get right to the questions, shall we?

1. I’ve read several posts and status updates recently describing end of year school field trips. Do you remember taking school field trips as a kid? Where did you go and do you recall a favorite? For any parents responding today, have you ever chaperoned a school field trip, and if so where?

I don’t remember taking any school field trips as a kid.  While I was in high school, once a year, during the month of May, our high school would sponsor a field trip to the beach.  Any student could sign up, and pay a fee to ride the bus to Jekyll Island, located about 90 miles away.  I went on one of those field trips, with my friend, Diane, and we had a blast!  Would you believe that we both made the bathing suits that we wore on the beach trip!  Those were the days 🙂

As for chaperoning a field trip, I did plenty of chaperoning during the fourteen years, I worked as a paraprofessional.  I always preferred being in the classroom over a field trip.

2. What’s something you’re tired of seeing online?

That’s easy–pop ups!  I hate it when I’m looking at one thing, and something else pops up in front of it–even a person offering to help me!

3. June is the month for roses. Which of the following expressions would you say has most recently applied to your life-‘everything’s coming up roses’, ‘there’s no rose without a thorn’, ‘came out smelling like a rose’, or ‘wearing rose-colored glasses’?

I’m going to say ‘there’s no rose without a thorn’ because Ed and I recently had some car trouble on our way home from a delightful day at St. Simon’s Island.  We ended up broken down on the side of the road, which sort of put a damper on the fun day we’d just had!

4. When grilling outdoors do you prefer gas or charcoal? Who does the grilling at your house? What’s the last thing you ate that was cooked on a grill?

When grilling, I prefer the taste of food that’s been cooked over charcoal.  However, in the interest of saving time, sometimes we use gas.  Ed always does the grilling, but I do know how to grill. ( I learned how to grill during our many camping trips.)  Ed grilled hamburgers and hot dogs for supper on Monday night–grilled over charcoal!

5. Are you afraid of the dark?

No, I’m not afraid of the dark, but I don’t like walking outside in the dark.  I’m afraid I’ll step on a snake!

6. Share a favorite song with a number in its title.

I love the song ‘One More Day’ by Diamond Rio.  It’s a beautiful song, that perfectly expresses how most of us feel about our loved ones, especially after they’ve gone.  Sometimes I find myself trying to imagine what life might be like without Ed, and this song always comes to mind.

I found a beautiful video of ‘One More Day’, matched up with a beautiful poem, entitled ‘The Last Time’. The video is well worth watching, and will certainly make you stop and think.

7. “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”(C.G. Jung). Do you agree? Why or why not?

I’m not sure I totally agree.  When someone irritates me I find myself wondering why people can’t just do what they’re supposed to do!  It’s usually people who always arrive late, break in line, talk on their cell phones while shopping or dining, or let their children run wild, who bother me the most.  I don’t do those things, and can’t understand why others do.

Random:

The row of flowers that I planted in the garden has begun to bloom.  The zinnias are in full bloom, while the sunflowers are just beginning to open.  I’ll try to post a picture soon.  In the meantime, here’s a picture of the first bouquet of zinnias that I cut, last week.  They still remind me of my grandmother because she always grew zinnias in her garden, too.  You can’t see it in the picture, but the flowers are in my late mother-in-law’s milk glass vase, which makes me think of her, as well.

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Also, here’s a picture of one of the bowls of fresh blackberries that I picked off of our two thorn-less blackberry bushes. The bushes are so tall, I don’t even have to bend down to pick, and, best of all, they have no thorns!  It’s hard to tell from this photo, but the berries are the size of my thumb, or larger.
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Published in: on June 4, 2014 at 6:47 am  Comments (16)  

The Continuing Saga Of The Man With The Can…

My story begins eighteen months ago, when our youngest son and his wife moved out of Ed’s mom’s house, and left two cats behind.  For a brief moment, they considered taking the old cat named Trouble with them, but decided Trouble was too old and set in her ways to successfully relocate.  The second cat, aptly named ‘Feral Kitty’, was simply too wild to catch.  Ed and I promised to feed the cats each day, for as long as they lived at the empty house.  Ed’s not only kept that promise, he’s done more.

Trouble continues to live at Ed’s mom’s empty house, but Feral Kitty disappeared about four or five months ago.  A few months before she disappeared, Feral Kitty gave birth to three gray kittens, who were even wilder than she was–and that’s saying a lot!

For a while, Ed was feeding five cats instead of two, then one of the kittens disappeared.  Ed had been working on taming the kittens, by trying to rub them while they ate.  He had only been successful with one kitten, which, unfortunately, disappeared when it was just a few weeks old.  The mama cat eventually took the two remaining kittens to our oldest son’s house, where Ed continued feeding them.

Eventually, one of the two remaining kittens actually found its way from our son’s house to our house!  I joked and said he followed ‘the man with the can’ home.  I was able to tame this kitten, who turned out to be a male.  I  named him ‘Jo Jo’, and he still lives with us today.  The other kitten remained at our son’s house, where Ed continued feeding her on a daily basis, in addition to the scraps she got from our son and his family.  Ed was never able to tame this cat, but our grandson named it ‘Stranger Cat’.  This cat turned out to be a female.

Shortly after the first of this year, strange tom cats began turning up at our son’s house–first a black one, then a red one! Before long, it became obvious that ‘Stranger Cat’ was going to have kittens.  Ed continued feeding her, and was actually able to pet the cat a few times, while she was pregnant.  Stranger Cat gave birth to six kittens around the end of March, then promptly disappeared about four weeks later.  (We assume something killed her.)

The kittens were very small when their mom disappeared, but, somehow, they were able to eat well enough to survive.  Unfortunately, they were as wild as their mother had been!  Ed fed them daily, and tried to pet them while they ate–unsuccessfully–except for one…

I’d usually be cooking supper when Ed would go feed the cats, but he’d give me a cat report each day.  The kittens were several weeks old before I ever saw them, but Ed kept referring to this one cute “gray colored” kitten he’d been able to pet.  He spoke of this kitten fondly.

When I finally saw the kittens, I dubbed them the “Rainbow Kittens” because they were so many different colors.  There were black ones, a tabby one, and one cream-colored kitten–but here wasn’t a gray kitten in the bunch!  The “gray colored” kitten  Ed kept referring to was actually a cream-colored kitten–with dark brown markings, and beautiful blue eyes!  The kitten looked exactly like our old cat, Charlie–who came from Ed’s parents’ house, many years ago!

One day last week, I rode with Ed to feed the kittens.  When we drove up, there wasn’t a kitten in sight.  Ed beat on the bowl with a spoon and, soon, cats began jumping out of the over-growth in the field between us and our son’s house!  We, also, noticed a large red tom cat was with them, watching us from a distance.

A couple of days later, no kittens showed up for supper.  Ed wondered if the red tom cat had something to do with their disappearance.  Later that afternoon, Ed spotted three of the kittens near his brother’s house, which is also located on the family farm.  Those little kittens had made their way to the opposite end of the grown-up field (about 1/4 mile away)! The following day, Thursday, our aunt called to ask if we were missing any kittens.  Two of the kittens had shown up at her house, located on the far side of the grown up field!  Wild kittens were showing up everywhere.

On Friday afternoon, Ed stopped by his mom’s house.  Trouble was there, as usual, along with Ed’s friend, the cream-colored kitten! It was simply amazing that kittens so little, were making their way around a 30 acre farm–and surviving!  That little kitten followed Ed’s every step on Friday afternoon!  It was obvious that he recognized ‘the man with the can’, and he was hungry!

It wasn’t long before we heard a cat meowing from the edge of the field, so we turned to see who it was.  It was the same red tom cat we’d seen in the edge of the field, a few days before.  He was apparently calling the little cream-colored kitten!  It was then we figured out that the red tom cat had taken all of the kittens into the over-grown field with him!  Was he trying to find homes for them, or was he trying to get them lost?  Perhaps he was just trying to teach them how to hunt.  We’ll never know.

Long story made a little shorter, Ed and I ended up bringing the cream-colored kitten home with us that day.  The kitten was so little, and so pitiful, I couldn’t leave it behind, at the mercy of that red tom cat!  The kitten wasn’t much more than a little fur ball of skin and bones.  The kitten’s fur was filled with trash from being in the under-brush of the field, and its  little eyes and nose were runny because it had a cold.

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Lucky kitty

I have no idea whether this kitten is a he or a she, because it’s still too small for me to be able to tell.  It’s been with us for four days, and has made itself at home on our front porch!  I’ve been feeding it three times a day, and it’s beginning to put on a little weight.  It still has a bit of a cold, but I’m hoping time will take care of that.

I can’t help but wonder if those other kittens are surviving, and, if so, where they are.  I don’t know what the future holds for our newest family member, but I know it has a home here, for as long as it wants one.  I haven’t chosen a name for kitty, but perhaps I should call it “Lucky”, because it’s just that!

***I have to add a footnote here.

Trouble, the cat, became very sick a few weeks ago, and we thought her end was near.  (After all, she’s very old.)  Trouble wasn’t able to eat much food, she lost weight, and even had labored breathing for several days.  We basically said our goodbyes to her, during that time.  Then, out of the blue, she began to eat and act normal again!

We’ve decided that Trouble must have gotten something hung in her throat, which prevented her from eating, and made it difficult to breathe.  Whatever it was, must have finally dislodged.  Of course, we’ll never know, for sure, but that’s Ed’s speculation.

Trouble continues to greet ‘the man with the can’ each and every day!  Ed feeds her, and leaves a little extra–in case a hungry kitten wanders by…  The saga of ‘Trouble and the man with the can continues’…

 

 

Published in: on June 3, 2014 at 10:31 am  Comments (4)  
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All Things Monday…

If you’re looking for the Monday Quiz, it’s at the bottom of the post.  I decided to switch things up a bit, and do the weekend recap first.  You know, it’s good to switch up, every now and then to make things more interesting 🙂

First of all, I didn’t blog on Friday because I went out for lunch and some shopping with my daughter and granddaughter. We were celebrating granddaughter, Madison’s, last day of school!  Madison finished up her first year of home school shortly before lunchtime, on Friday.  I’m so proud of Madison, and everything that she’s learned this year.  My daughter did a fantastic job of keeping Madison on task, and making sure things ran smoothly all year. (She even learned a few things herself, too)  Kudos to both of them!  Madison is now an official second grader!

Below are photographs of Madison, taken on the first and last days of school.  Boy, what a difference a year makes!

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photo 2

By the way, after lunch and shopping, on Friday, we ended our day with a visit to our local Dairy Queen!  I’d been craving a banana split for almost a week, and I gave in and treated myself to one.  I enjoyed every forbidden bite of that sucker, too!

We kicked off our weekend with pizza and a little family time!  Once again, our oldest son, Brett, dug around in our collection of old videos, and came up with some very old footage!  We began by watching Brett’s senior video, class of 2000, then we went even further back in time…  Some of the footage we watched dated all the way back to 1974, when I still had long, straight hair and Ed still had lots of curly, brown hair!  Those were the days 🙂   As we watched footage of our children as babies, it seemed like a lifetime ago–and, you know, it almost was!  Our oldest is now 35, and our youngest will soon turn 29.  My, how the time has flown, as Ed and I are now watching our second generation grow up before our eyes.

In other weekend news, I almost forgot to mention, we also kicked off our weekend by adopting a new kitten on Friday afternoon!  The story of how this adoption came about is too complicated to tell today, so I’ll save it for another day.  Just so you know, this kitten makes cat number thirteen!  I sure hope that number doesn’t turn out to be a bad omen for our sweet new kitty.

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new kitty

Our Saturday was almost like a marathon day!  Here is some of what we did:

Ed and I picked a pail of green beans at 7:00 am.  I washed and snapped the beans while Ed and our son-in-law took a load of scrap metal to be sold.  (They hauled off two old water tanks, four old grills, and an old fire pit, in addition to a few other odds-n-ends.)  Ed returned and harrowed around the garden. (the weeds are almost out of control, thanks to daily showers of rain!)  After Ed finished harrowing up the grass and weeds, he plowed up our potatoes, then we picked them up.  After that,  we babysat our two oldest grandsons while their parents went to see about discarding their old stove, then picking up a newer stove.  After the grands went home, I took a nap, while Ed mowed grass for two hours! Later, I cooked supper while Ed canned the beans we’d picked earlier in the day.  (We’ve canned 20 quarts of beans, so far.)

Almost everything we ate for supper, on Saturday night, was grown in our garden.  We had green beans, new potatoes, fried squash, stewed tomatoes with rice, smoked sausage, and cornbread.  Best of all, I made a fresh blackberry cobbler for dessert! Here’s some of the fresh bounty, collected over the weekend:

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fresh vegetables and eggs

I’d sort of hoped to make a trip back to the beach, on Sunday, but the weather didn’t cooperate.  It was cloudy, rainy, windy and cold!  It was just as well, since Ed and I were kind of tired from our busy day on Saturday!  I actually got up, on Sunday, then went back to bed for a while–something I rarely do.  Ed spent a little more time in his recliner than usual–something he rarely does.

On Sunday afternoon, Ed and I decided to pay a visit to the assisted living facility where Ed’s mom resided for over three years.  Our oldest son, Brett, has recently begun helping conduct church services there, so we decided to attend one of the services.  Most of the residents at the assisted living home are still the same as when Ed’s mom lived there, and boy,  were they happy to see Ed!  Their eyes lit up and each one had to hug Ed’s neck 🙂  One older lady proclaimed to us that “Ed is like my daddy”,  to which I had to smile 🙂

We had a nice visit with all of the ladies, and really enjoyed hearing our son conduct his portion of the service.  (I was only sorry that Ed’s mom wasn’t there to enjoy the services with us.  She would’ve been so pleased!)  I feel sure we’ll be attending more services with our son and the ladies sometime in the near future.

Since the ladies were so happy to see Ed again, he went out and bought them a couple of watermelons to have for their snack!  Isn’t he something?

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Acting Balanced

1. My Mom double dared me to actually post Monday Quiz today after its two-week hiatus… what was the last thing someone dared you to do?

I can’t remember the last thing someone dared me to do, but I probably didn’t do it anyway.  I’m too cautious for that.

2. Today is National Rocky Road Day – are you celebrating?

No, I won’t be celebrating.  I love Rocky Road ice cream, but I just ate a banana split, on Friday, and it’s too soon to be bad again!

3. June is Aquarium Month – have you visited an Aquarium lately?

No, I haven’t visited an aquarium lately.  The last time I visited an aquarium (the one in Charleston, SC, actually) was almost seven years ago.  I’d love to go again, though!

4. Have you had a yummy new food or tried a new recipe lately?

I made a fresh blackberry cobbler on Saturday night.  I hadn’t made a blackberry cobbler in years, and it reminded me of my mother because I used her recipe.

My question for you:

How did you spend your weekend?

Thanks to Heather and Wayne for hosting the Monday Quiz!

Published in: on June 2, 2014 at 9:06 am  Comments (7)  
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