In Our Neck Of The Woods (Part 2)…

I’m sorry it’s taken me three and a half weeks to get around to posting part two of my original post, but life has been busy!  I only thought the month of May was busy, with all of its celebrations. Then came the month of June, with Father’s Day, an anniversary, and our garden kicked into high gear. I’m here to tell you, things got a little bit crazy in our neck of the woods!

Before going forward any further, let me back up a bit to the month of May and show you one of my favorite Mother’s Day gifts.  My daughter-in-law has a good sense of humor, don’t you think?


I’ve named this little lady “Bertha Big Butt” and we’ve gotten quite a bit of enjoyment out of her, so far…  For the first few days, everyone thought “Bertha” was me–bent over and tending to my flowers 🙂 Actually, I do have a polka-dotted dress…but it’s blue.

Come to think of it, “Bertha” reminds me of a story [our former pastor once told] about the lady who came walking into church, one day, with the her dress accidentally tucked into [the back of] her girdle!  Heaven forbid!  The other day, I was actually headed out the door, to church, when Ed told me to turn around and look in the mirror.  Yep, you guessed it–my dress was tucked inside the back of my undies 😦  Thank goodness for observant husbands!

Let me back up a little bit further and show you one of the cute little wrist corsages the children [of the church we’ve been attending] made for the mothers of the church, for Mother’s Day.  I thought they turned out nice.


I was invited to help with this project, and I enjoyed having lunch with the ladies, getting to know them, and helping the children create these corsages.

Now, fast forward to the month of June, and the week before Father’s Day and our 45th wedding anniversary.  I felt lousy almost the entire week, but on Thursday I finally rallied…just in time to take a beach trip!

On the spur of the moment Ed and I threw our beach chairs into the back of the van and headed for St. Simon’s Island–totally unplanned.  We had a great time, celebrating our anniversary a few days early.  We ate bar-b-que sandwiches for lunch, and spent the afternoon relaxing under the shade of our favorite oak tree.  I didn’t take a single picture, but the view was still the same.

Ed and I celebrated our 45th anniversary (and Father’s Day) in church, on Sunday, June 18.  Without God’s mercy, Ed wouldn’t even be here to celebrate with me, so there was no better place for us to be than in church.  We drove to the nearest Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant, after church was over, and enjoyed our traditional anniversary meal together.  Later, we drove home and celebrated Father’s Day, too.  It was a busy day!

Suddenly, the day after Father’s Day all of our garden was ready to harvested!  We’ve never had this happen before, but our corn, butter beans, tomatoes, and peas were all ready to be picked and canned at the same time!  Ed and I worked several twelve to fourteen hour days in a row.  At night we fell into bed, exhausted, and this is what my kitchen has looked like for over a week:

this table has been totally filled, twice, with rippening tomatoes

Day one – ( 2 of the 7 buckets of corn we picked)


day four – some of the 3 bushels of butter beans we picked and shelled

more butter beans and the first of the peas

We’re well into week number two, and we’re still picking and shelling peas, as well as canning tomatoes as they ripen!  Our green beans and some of the tomatoes may have drowned, but the rest of the garden not only survived, it has produced beyond our expectations. I promised God if He blessed us with a good harvest, we’d share the bounty, and we have.

We’re so grateful to our daughter and our granddaughter for their help in shelling all of these peas and beans.  One day, the four of us sat and shelled beans for six straight hours!  We all went to bed with sore thumbs.

Things are now winding down with gardening and canning, so the end is in sight!  A few more days and the spring gardening season of 2017 will be history.  Did you notice I said “spring gardening season”?  The fall gardening season is already underway.

Ed already has two rows of sweet potatoes planted!  We’ll be adding a few more things to the fall garden as the summer goes on.  Oh, and our grapes will be ripe around the last of August!  It’ll be time to break out the jars and make a little grape jelly. The fun never seems to end in our neck of the woods 🙂

 

 

 

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Published in: on June 28, 2017 at 6:59 am  Comments (4)  
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A Pre-Mother’s Day Hodgepodge…

Happy Hump Day!  The week is half over, and it’s time for another edition of Hodgepodge.  It’s also almost Mother’s Day, so I’m going to take this opportunity to wish all of my blog friends a “Happy Mother’s Day”.  Today happens to be our oldest son, Brett’s birthday, so I’m going to take this opportunity to wish him “Happy Birthday”, as well.  Brett was my Mother’s Day baby, and so he made Mother’s Day of 1982 quite memorable!  He was born 4 hours, 7  minutes after the day had ended at midnight! Happy Birthday, son.  I love you!

1. Share a favorite memory of your mother or share a favorite something from your own life as a mother.

Most of my favorite memories, as a mother, center around holidays or the children’s birthdays.  I always took great joy in planning for their birthdays, Easter, and Christmas.  I’d start planning well in advance, and usually went over-board in the gift giving department, but it was fun!  I wanted my own children to have better childhood memories than I have, and I think they do.  I wasn’t a perfect mother, but I gave it everything I had!

If you’re a mother (or stepmom) tell us how your experience as a mom differs from your own mother’s experience.

For most of my childhood and adult life, my mother wasn’t a very stable person.  I didn’t know it at the time, but she was bipolar, which meant lots of ‘ups and downs’.  She [and my father] struggled with alcohol, as well.  There were some good times, but, as you can imagine, there were a lot of not-so-good ones.

I was bound and determined to give my children the kind of stable, happy home life I never had, and I think Ed and I were successful in that.  We both tried to set good examples for our children, and I hope they have lots of good childhood [and adult] memories.

2. In May we celebrate teachers (May 9) and nurses (May 6) both. Most every family has at least one in their midst, so tell us something (or a few things) you appreciate about the teacher or nurse on your family tree.

Ed’s mama worked as an office nurse for many years.  She loved her job very much, and worked long hours!  She was quite dedicated, and worked until she was in her 70’s.  She’s passed away now, but we have another nurse in our family, these days.  Our youngest son, Brad, is married to a nurse!  Our DIL, Jennifer, is currently working for an orthopedist.  She, too, is quite dedicated and works long hours.  Anyone who has ever worked beside Jennifer will quickly tell  you she goes above and beyond duty.  We love and appreciate her for the difficult work she’s chosen to do.

3. Chicken salad, egg salad, tuna salad…which would you go for if all three were on the menu?  That’s a tough choice because I like all three, but I’ll go with tuna salad.

On bread or a bed of lettuce?  I prefer tuna salad on a bed of lettuce, but we usually just eat it on bread.

If you answered bread, what kind of bread would make it the perfect sandwich? Honey wheat.

4. Do you have a desk?  Yes, we have an old computer desk, but we no longer use it.

Is it organized? No, not really.  It has little spaces for organizing things, but there always seemed to be clutter on top of the desk.

If you don’t have a desk, where in your home do you take care of family paperwork and business?  These days I usually sit in my favorite chair (in the living room) and use the laptop.  Occasionally, if I have a lot of things to take care of at once, I’ll move to the kitchen table.

Where do you normally sit to blog?

I sit in my favorite chair.

5. When I was nine years old…. my parents lived across the street from the elementary school, for a short time.  I walked home for lunch each day, then walked back to school, afterward.  After school, I often walked back over to the school and played on the school playground.  Good memories!

Random:

Those of you who read my blog regularly probably know that Ed and I often visit a local assisted living facility (Alzheimer’s unit), for church services on Sundays.  We’ve had some interesting experiences while there, and last Sunday we had another one.

We’d just finished the song service, and our son was preparing to read some scripture and preach. A new resident, Barbara, who was still holding the song book, suddenly asked what page he was reading from.  He explained to her that he was now reading from the Bible.  She didn’t have a Bible of her own, and there weren’t any available, so I offered Barbara my Bible to follow along with.

Now, before I go any further, let me explain that I’m very attached to my Bible.  It’s a Creative [journaling] Bible that Ed gave me last Christmas.  It’s already filled with all kinds of notes I’ve taken, it has beautiful illustrations for coloring, and I just love it!

Well, things were rolling right along, our son was reading and preaching out of the book of Romans, and I was sharing Ed’s Bible with him…  About that time, the lady with my Bible got up and left the room–and she took my Bible with her!!!  Oh, no, I thought!

I couldn’t decide what to do, without causing a disruption, so I did nothing…and she never came back!  As soon as the service was over, and we’d said our goodbyes to those attending, I took off on a search for my beloved Bible!

As it turned out, during the service, the lady had been summoned for a phone call, but I didn’t realize this.  In fact, she was still talking on the phone when we found her–and there lay my Bible on the dining table.  Whew!  That was a close one!  However, I think I’ll make sure I carry a spare Bible from now on:)

Published in: on May 10, 2017 at 8:51 am  Comments (8)  
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Miscellaneous Monday…

I’ve been blogging so little, lately, I almost feel like a stranger in blog land.  However, I’ve really been missing it, so the dirty floors, the laundry, the peas waiting to be shelled, and the butts to be washed will just have to wait…  Now, where to begin?

Last Monday, Ed and I both had doctor’s appointments, together.  We’ve been scheduling our appointments for the same time, with the same doctor for over a year, and I’m still trying to get used to that.  We both go into the exam room together, and take turns getting checked over by the doctor. No medical secrets here!  We both got good reports, except my triglycerides are up again. Every time I add sugar back into my diet, this happens.  Sigh.

Last week, I spent most of my mornings helping my daughter with a project, then spent most of my afternoons on the couch.  For some unknown reason, I didn’t feel well most of the week, but, finally, by Saturday, I began to feel like myself again–just in time to celebrate Mother’s Day.

On Sunday morning, I baked a ham before going to church.  I invited the rest of the family to bring a side dish and join me for lunch, which they did.  Our daughter and her family also surprised me by going to church, with me, for Mother’s Day!  It’s been several years since we’ve attended church together, and I have to say, it was nice to have her [and family] sitting beside me on the pew.

I felt very special and blessed, on Mother’s Day, to have all of my children set aside the day and spend it with me (and I told them so). It means a lot that they all came to spend the day with me–and spend the day they did!  They didn’t leave to go home until around nine o’clock, last night.

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This year, the children chipped in together and bought me a beautiful windmill to go outside, for Mother’s Day.  (It’s shown in the edge of our picture, above.)  I’ve always admired my daughter’s windmill, and am tickled pink to now have one of my own!  I also received some nice cards, a rose, a Dove candy bar, and a small chicken statue.  Ed bought me a “rooster planter” that I’d picked out, and even planted some flowers in it for me, on the day before Mother’s Day.

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Now it’s Monday, and the weekend is history.  This morning, Ed and I were in the garden picking peas before 8 o’clock!  In fact, Ed’s still in the garden, as I’m writing this post.  He’s busy adding a little fertilizer here, and a little garden dust there. (He’s in the the picture below)  Gardening is a chore that never ends, but I consider it “a labor of love”.  I “loved it”, yesterday, when I needed an onion for my potato salad, and simply sent Ed to the garden to get one 🙂

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“Part A” of our garden, which we are now beginning to harvest

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 “Part B” of our garden, which is coming along nicely, and will be ready in late June

As bad as I hate to, I must end this post and move on.  Today, is the time for the quarterly “butt washing” of our two old red hens.  Sorry, if that’s too much information!  The hens don’t seem to mind having dirty butts, but I do get tired of looking at them, so we wash them, occasionally!  The things we do for love…

Have a great Monday!

Published in: on May 9, 2016 at 10:30 am  Comments (5)  
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A Mother’s Day To Remember…

Mother’s Day, 2014 will go down as a Mother’s Day to remember for several reasons.  First of all, it was the first Mother’s Day in all of our years together, that Ed and I didn’t have one or the other of our mothers to celebrate with.  My own mother passed away many years ago, but I’ve always thought of Ed’s mom as my second mother.  I really missed having her around to celebrate with us.  100_2454

Ed’s mom, celebrating her final Mother’s Day in 2013

My oldest son was a ‘Mother’s Day baby’, which means our family always gets to celebrate his birthday along with Mother’s Day each year!  Brett turned 32, the day before Mother’s Day, and we needed to celebrate!

On Saturday afternoon, Ed and I hosted a family cook out (the one we postponed from Easter).  Ed tried out his new grill–along with his old grill.  He cooked on both grills at the same time, and did a great job!  While we were at home cooking, everyone else was busy doing other things before the evening birthday celebration.

In addition to the birthday and Mother’s Day celebration, our town was hosting its annual ‘Sweet Onion Festival’.  Some of the family attended the parade and festival activities, while others in the family attended showers or visited with the elderly before arriving at our house to celebrate the birthday.  It was a busy weekend for all!

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Christina prepares to light Brett’s candles, while Chase looks on

You may recall that it rained here on Easter, and we had to cancel our outdoor egg hunt.  Nothing says ‘love’  like throwing an egg hunt in with your birthday/Mother’s Day celebration, so that’s what we did!   I was impressed with how well the ‘grands’ were able to find eggs, this year, needing very little help from the adults.  Caden found the most eggs.  He also found both of the prize eggs, but he shared one with Madison’s little friend, Brooklyn, who was a guest at the egg hunt.   On Saturday, Ed and I hid 200 eggs in our yard, but the children only managed to find 190 of them, even after searching again on Mother’s Day!

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Searching for eggs on Mother’s Day weekend!

Another reason Mother’s Day 2014 was so special is because it was daughter-in-law, Jennifer’s, first Mother’s Day!  Mother’s Day is special for any woman, but for those who have had to over-come huge obstacles, in the process of becoming a mother, the celebration always seems a bit more special.

Jennifer and Brad chose to commemorate her first Mother’s Day by having their son, Evan, christened on this day, which made the day all the more special.  I felt honored and blessed, as a mother, to see every member of my family sitting in the church, on Mother’s Day, for baby Evan’s christening–a baby none of us ever dreamed would be possible, three short years ago!  God is good.

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our family after Evan’s christening

We listened to a sermon concerning ‘family’, and continued our celebration throughout the afternoon with family and fellowship.  I am a blessed wife, mother, and grandmother!  I received several wonderful gifts and sweet cards.  2014 must have been the year of ‘living gifts’, as I received a pink dogwood tree, and two baskets of flowers among my Mother’s Day gifts, along with an updated portrait of Evan and a gift card.  I loved each and every gift.

I hope to be around to celebrate quite a few more Mother’s Days with the family, but Mother’s Day 2014 will be always a favorite!  It will be difficult to top this one.

 

 

 

Published in: on May 12, 2014 at 8:08 am  Comments (6)  
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Monday After Mother’s Day…

Acting Balanced

The weekend is history, and it’s time to start the week anew.  It was a busy time in our neck of the woods, this past weekend.  In addition to celebrating Mother’s Day, we hosted a cookout, attended the Sweet Onion Parade, and did some shopping!  I’m tired, but not too tired to join the “Monday Quiz”!  Here are today’s questions:

1. What did you do for Mother’s Day?

I volunteered to cook lunch!  It’s been a while since I cooked on Mother’s Day, but I decided to cook this year.  Two of my children and their families joined us for lunch, along with Ed’s mom.  Our youngest son and his wife spent the day with her family, but came by later in the afternoon.

Everyone coordinated their efforts and came up with one of the best Mother’s Day gifts I’ve ever received!  They did a photo session together and presented me with some beautiful framed family photos and a wonderful photo book filled with pictures from the session. The story behind these gifts was almost as priceless as the gifts themselves!  Apparently, it was quite an ordeal for all to get together to have the pictures taken, then another ordeal to actually get the pictures and book made.   I’ll treasure these gifts always!    I also received some flowers, a gift basket, and a new bird bath, all of which I loved, too.  I had a blessed Mother’s Day.

2. What was the best advice your mother (or a mother figure) gave you?

Pick your battles.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.  Let the little things go…
3. Are you gardening this year? What have you/will you plant

Boy are we ever gardening this year! We are growing lettuce, cabbage, carrots, radishes, several kinds of peas and beans, tomatoes, corn, watermelon, squash, cucumbers, and peanuts.  We’re eating radishes, cabbage, lettuce, and squash, so far.
4. What is the first song that comes to mind today?

I love the music from the television show “Nashville”!  Each week the show introduces a different song during the story line.  I love all of the music, and have purchased most of it from iTunes. “Nashville” has several talented actor/singers, on the show, including a couple of very young ones.  If you haven’t seen Nashville, you’re missing a great show!  Check out this clip of these young sisters singing “Ho Hey”.  This song has been stuck in my head lately.

Published in: on May 13, 2013 at 8:12 am  Comments (7)  
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The Monday After…

Another weekend, gone already!  How can this be?  Somebody slow this ride called ” life” down a bit–it’s going way to fast!  It never ceases to amaze me how quickly time passes at this stage of life.  When I was a child, time seemed to drag by…the school year took forever to end.  These days, I blink and it’s over!

Speaking of school year, it’s that time of the year, when things are drawing to a close.  I’m the grandparent of two precious little ones, one of whom attended dance classes and nursery school for the first time this year.  I can’t believe granddaughter, Madison’s, first year of “school” is almost over! 

 Dance classes ended for Madison last week, and her recital was held on Saturday evening.  This week winds up nursery school, and she’ll be having a closing program on Thursday evening.  It’s so much fun going to these functions as a grandparent.  I get to experience all of the fun– without the stress of being the parent in charge!  Getting older has it’s advantages.

Madison's recital (she's far left)

Mother’s Day was nice.  I originally planned to spend the day at the beach, but ended up changing my mind, when my husband decided to build a small back porch onto the house for me.  For the past three years we’ve only had a narrow set of five steps leading straight in and out of the back door.  I’ve always felt like I’m going to fall down them, so I asked hubby to build a small porch in between the house and the steps.  He began the project on Saturday. ( It wasn’t the greatest choice of weekends, but his first choice had been Easter weekend!  I flatly told him “NO!” on that weekend. )  Once the steps were torn away from the house on Saturday, I wasn’t about to head to the beach on Sunday, so we postponed the trip until another weekend. 

My Mother’s Day was spend lounging around the house.  We had grilled hotdogs for lunch, and throughout the day, each one of my children stopped by.  It was a low-key day, with hubby working on the porch most of the day.  He didn’t get it finished–still no steps–but at least the porch is almost done, so I won’t fall out of the door.  Yes, I know, he worked on it on a Sunday, but sometimes it can’t be helped.

This turned out to be the Mother’s Day of flowers.  Ed gave me roses, Brandy picked and arranged a bouquet for me from her own yard, and Brad brought me a single red rose, too.  I’ve never gotten so many flowers at one time before, but I love flowers!  I also got some money, some sweet cards, and a water bottle filled with candy–and of course, the porch!  I am blessed…and I still have that beach trip to look forward to!

Have a great Monday, everyone!

Published in: on May 9, 2011 at 11:32 am  Comments (5)  
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Rewarding Moments As A Mother…

Everyone has gone home, and I am sitting here trying to think of the most rewarding moments of being a mother.  I can easily think of many, and I’ll share a few, but one particular moment stands out above the rest.

Some of my favorite “mom moments” are holding my babies for the first time, breast-feeding babies number two and three–after failing at it with baby number one, hearing that first word from each baby, watching those first steps, seeing the children successfully learn to ride bikes–after a lot of trying, watching my oldest son improve until he become a “starter” in basketball, and buying him a letterman jacket, seeing my daughter all dressed up for her first prom, having my youngest son win the state FBLA competition in banking, having all of my children successfully complete high school–with two of them being honor graduates.  I could go on and on with college graduations, weddings, and of course the births of those two wonderful grandchildren, but you are probably wondering what I feel is my most rewarding moment, so I’ll tell you.    

While some children are easy to parent, and seem to take very little effort to raise, others are not so easy.  If you are the parent of more than one child, you probably know what I mean.  No two children are alike, thus the parenting experience with each child is different, too.

I raised two of the “easy” children, but I also had one of the more difficult ones.  You know the one who bends and breaks the house rules, and has the wrong kind of friends.  One of those who ultimately requires some “tough love”, which causes your heart to break…  The one that makes you toss and turn at night worrying, and  yes, even one of those  whom you get a call  in the middle of the night about… 

For me, the most rewarding moments of being a mother was watching that troubled child finally grow into a responsible person–the person I’d always hoped they would be. It was finally having a good relationship with that child after so many years of arguing, but the most special moment of all was hearing that child–now an adult– say “thank you” for caring, and for being hard on me–you did the right thing.”  

last year's Mother's Day photo

I hope all of you had a Happy Mother’s Day…I know I did.  Although I have felt better physically in past years,  I realize that I am so blessed.   I am the mother of three wonderful people.  Three people who have already,  and  will continue,  to make this world a better place.  As  I watch two of the three of them with their own children,  I feel the love and see the tenderness in their eyes as they deal with their children.  I see that same determination to be a good parent that my husband and I had…  Yes, it was a good Mother’s Day indeed.

Published in: on May 9, 2010 at 10:30 pm  Comments (4)  
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