About Me

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Within the confines of this blog, you will find bits and pieces of the life and times of myself, my family and friend dear and near., far and wide, few and far between. You will find bits and pieces of my world, tho small to some, but huge to me. You will find everything from 'soup to nuts',; recipes, hobbies,crafts, gardenings,loves of my life, GrandLoves-a-Plenty, and even my pets... Sooo, if you can handle family life, enjoy the tour of my 'Stuffings'.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Change is good, isn't it? I have been in a slump today, and the pout is on...
Snap out of it, I say, snap out of it.
Oh, I see a gray. No, it's just a highlight......phew......not ready for the grays.
I do like the 'ahhh nat-u-ral' that my hair has again and the chestnut highlights are great.
So, what's wrong with this picture???? Ahh, it's that double chin and the sagging neck. I'm looking more and more like a chicken. Hmmmm. I suppose my vanity could allow me to get a 'lift', but, to me, that is not acceptable. " I is who I is. "
I need to accept what the Lord has dealt me and 'be happy'....not so bad, I guess, for an old
broad such as I.

This brings the question, why are some of us SO obsesses with the way we look or is it with Who we are or have become? Good grief, it's not like I am disfigured from some horrible accident...after all, I am healthy and I am still here...shame on me. Shame, shame on me for wishing to still have the taut, lovely skin of a teenager. I certainly do not Wish to Be a teenager again. Dear Me...that would be the worse fate of all. I hated my teen years.
In all honesty, tho, I sure would not mind being 28- 31 again. Talk about vanity. I was in the best shape of my life. I had the best times of my life and I met my dear sweet Willy. My kids were finding their personalities and were happy little campers. I finally had a job I loved. We loved, laughed, and danced often.
Life was good.
Wow, don't get me wrong. Life is wonderful now, just a bit more, well, a lot more complicated.
Forgive my venting but I guess that's what you get for enjoying my disgust with myself at this moment. I warned all who visit that I am a family gal with family goings-ons, so once in awhile you get to slap me with a big....stop it and move on...
What's really wrong, is I hate the system. I hate the stereotype world we live in so I crawl into my little shell, well, big shell, and stew until I blow. Could be good, could be bad...patience has never been one of my favorable attributes...and for now, I need Lots of Patience.

I got a bit off track again...wasn't I being all vain and full of self pity? Wham!!! I'm over my big bad self...

Man, is she ever pouting....
But she's fine
Blessings Be Yours

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Giving Thanks

It has been quite the eventful year for an average family such as mine...most of my time is spent with the loves of my life, my children and our BabyGrands, my siblings and theirs, Mom and my friends. That's what it's all about.
Oh, we had some heart-wrenching losses and some very welcome additions. God really does not close one door before opening another. Like my cousin leaving this earth to now becoming Grandpa again to another grandson. And Grandma T, bless her soul, finally at peace without pain. We relish the wonderful memories of each of these kind souls and Thank God for their peace.
We have had many surgeries and mishaps throughout this past year that left our hearts hurting but only for awhile. We Thank God for taking care of our grandson through his surgery, the brave little soldier.
Mom had cataract surgery that left her with the best sight she has had since she was 8 yrs. old. Bless Her.
We have all been blessed as our little granddaughter, thanks to her mothers fast action, and the warning from her little dog, was quickly treated and is doing well after a seizure.
The love of my life has been given a new lease on life, thanks to 5 stents to give him the chance at an active retirement hopefully sooner than later. He also healed well from a terrible burn. His health is finally on the mend and I thank God once again.
We pray daily and are thankful for my lil sisters health so she can continue to have the strength to care for her loved ones, and for the rest of my siblings as they experience their own challenged throughout their year, big and small.
We were fortunate that our son was not hurt on his way to work one night this summer, when he hit a 400 lb. bear that left the car in ill repair. Thanks to God again, he was spared injury.
We have been blessed with many wonderful family outings over the summer and fall. The kids and their kids are all doing well now, and the fun keeps coming.
We were blessed with a gathering of our Mother's first cousins at her home for the first time all in the same place at the same time. What a lot of memories were made.
We were blessed with a fantastic gardening season filling the canning shelves and the freezers for lots of good eats throughout the next year. We were given the good health to work, gather and harvest all the crops of the year. The freezer has also been filled with plenty of pork, beef, chicken, venison, partridge, even buffalo to keep our bellies full and warm. Surely we will not starve. Nor will our family. All gets shared with all who want or need.
To top things off, this fall we finally had a new deeper well dug so we have been blessed with clean, clear water to feed and cleanse our bodies inside and out. Lucky us, lucky us.
And last but by no means the least, we were blessed with yet another Grandson.
Yes, we are an ordinary family with ordinary goings-on in our days that sometimes are wonderful, sometimes tragic, all just a part of life. But we are still grateful.
When the unforeseen happens, we remember that there is always someone out there that is much worse off than we., and for that, we are thankful.
So, HAPPY THANKSGIVING to you all, near and far
From My Family to Yours
Blessings Be Yours

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hunter Hannah

Bringing home meat for the family, Way to go Hannah
The proud and envious hunting crew,Uncles, Dad and Grandpa
Grandpa proud of her Granddaughter learning the tradition of feeding the family

Our Hannah got her doe tag filled and they already have it processed because of the warm weather we have been having. I will be showing Hannah and her Dad how to can venison tomarrow morning. Yeah for you Hannah, for putting meat on your table and making such a huge contribution to your family. That's what it's all about when you come right down to it. The stay at the cabin for the week is just the tip of the iceberg. Feeding the family is major. Good for anyone who can do that for themselves instead of relying on groceries from the store. It all comes from somewhere, and when it comes from your own garden, farm, woods or fields, well, there is a certain amount of pride in the process., isn't there.
This has been a way of survival for my family for as long as I can remember. I recall many game put on the table by my folks, Mom still hunting at 80 yrs. young. We grew up a family of 11, including the folks, and money for the grocery store was for staples like flour, sugar, and the leavening needed to make 10 loaves of bread 3 times a week, and an occasional box of dry milk that was added to the cows milk straight from the cow. Kids, these days, do not begin to realize how different life was for even my generation and their own parents. Don't get me started....anyway, killing deer, moose, elk, caribou, bear, partridge, ducks, geese, turkeys, any wild game available during any given season, it was not out of cruelty, it was out of necessity. Even today still, with the economy so tough, it is a great thing to bring food to the table for your family. So, we thank Hannah, for doing just that. She is learning that she can take care of herself and her family by learning a lifelong tradition handed down from many a generation, and she is proud to learn. So, I post a few pictures of her with her uncles and her Grandpa who guided her on this particular hunt. Way to go young lady.
Happy Thanksgiving....the cabin crew had venison loins smothered in mushrooms and onions with all the trimmings in celebration and thanks for a good hunt.
Blessings Be Yours
Blessings Be Yours

Monday, November 23, 2009

Christmas Decor

It's been a very busy weekend for me. It's the opener for hunting season in WI. so once my house emptied of hunters heading to the cabin for the next week, I started my projects that wait until now. One of those projects is the start of Christmas decorating outside. I do my best to get as much of it done as possible before the snow flies. This has been a fortunate year for doing it due to the warm weather we have been having. Not good for the hunters, but great for me. I don't have to freeze while hanging lights and placing the yard ornaments about.
All the icicle lights that I hang on my deck were tested before hanging. Good, all work fine. After about an hour and a half of untangling and hanging, straightening each strand, I plug them in to see how they look. Dangitall...they all worked 'before' I hung them, so why are half of them unlit now.? Nothing spoils my Christmas spirit faster than '.lights.out.' , when they should be shining. I got so frustrated, I went to town, bought the new LED lights this time, (expensive, I might add) , yanked the icicles down, and threw them directly into the trash. What a waste, but I have had it with faulty lights.
Turns out, the new ones are beautiful in their 'blue' glory. I love them and they went up in about 10 minutes and I was done. Goes to show how little I decorated this year. I also placed my reindeer on each side of Frosty, fixed the timers so there is no need to go outside to plug anything in, just wait for 4:30 p.m. to roll around and enjoy the show.
The entry has a beautiful arrangement to greet you as well as the railing is decorated with boughs of pine, cedar, balsam and winter holly berries. I had some berries and boughs left over so poked some in the ground around the birdfeeder post for the birds to enjoy. Hopefully the deer will not pull up all the cedar, but if they do, then they will have been well fed a sweet snack.
As I worked outside today, especially around the feeders, the birds sang the entire time, and were flitting around my head and shoulders. I'm sure they must have been enjoying the decorating too or they may have even liked the Christmas carols I was humming or singing for them.
My sled greets visitors as they come to my door. I hope all approve of the signs I put up. The sled has one saying 'Let It Snow'...by the rail one reads, 'Home for the Holidays' as well as another saying 'Welcome to Grandma and Grandpa's, Grandkids Spoiled While You Wait'....
Oh, I suppose, I should spill the beans and admit that I do Love the Christmas season and the decorating...I really have only just begun. Lights, lots of lights, still need to be hung by the doors...And of course, Bells.
I will have the entire crew here for Christmas this year so, forgive me for jumping the gun on the outside decorating. Lights get turned on Friday, the night after Thanksgiving at my house...and it marks the beginning of lots of jolly goings-ons from baking, decorating, planning menus, games, sledding once the snows come, snowshoeing and snowforts. I cannot wait.
Besides some early decorating and visiting the hunters each evening, I did a little shopping. I'm not in the mood for it yet, and I'm afraid Black Friday will have to succeed without me this week.
Who needs that craziness anyway....
So, Get out there and deck the halls....and
Blessings Be Yours

Friday, November 20, 2009

Crazy Beautiful Hannah

Our Lovely Hannah
Hannah giving Grandpa affection
Lurking out the barndoor
A Cat in the Grass
Just Creepy
Look Mom, No Body
Spending the day with one of my BabyGrands was quite fun. We watched one of her favorite reality shows, Strictest Parents., ordered Chinese from a vending truck in the 'Mida' parking lot, shopped for a birthday gift for her little sister, and as we shopped we found a bin of masks. What a comedian. She pulls out her camera and starts to try on all these masks while snapping pictures of herself in each one. Of course, she had to have one of a clown, knowing her uncle hates clowns. I tossed this clear one in the cart that she had not noticed until we got home. Well, that started an afternoon of craziness from staring through windows at home and the cabin, to practically stopping traffic as she run out from under the trees in the front yard., but all in fun, mind you, as you can see by the pictures. She knows how to have harmless fun and what a wonderful thing to see. We laughed all afternoon. Just had to share my HannahGirl...
Blessings Be Yours

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

November Finds

Dried Milkweed Seeds spilling from the pod like Angels Wings
Rose stems at Sunset
Violet-Toothed Polypore
Grilled Reflections
Cabin Logs reflecting in the grill cover
I know I've shown this before, but it is one of my favorite pictures of the year-
Wormwood, sought after by craftsmen for making cabinets and shelves
Looking Up the beautiful Hemlock Tree
The rusty old Dump Rake at the fork of the trails
Decaying Yellow Birch
Paper Birch of which a lot of paper is made of at our mill in town
White Birch- also a paper making product
Red-Belted Polypore
A beautiful specimen Mossed Rock that I will soon have moved to my garden
Northern White Cedar Cones- I use these in my winter decorating outside and inside- they smell wonderful like an old cedar chest
A mysterious Hollow Tree
INSIDE the Mystery Tree-I'm sure it must be home to a squirrel or chipmunks, maybe even chickadees, or at least a winter storage bin for their seeds
A Decaying Old Log Bridge much in need of repair
Hemlock Varnish Shelves that are as velvety and beautiful as a queen's robe
The Tattered Old Wagon Wheel behind the Old Barn- I plan to roll it out and use her in my winter decor
A 75 yr. old Birdhouse built by our Ol' Bachelor Neighbor Gene's Dad
A Birds Nest in the woods, built by one of God's Sparrows
Decayed Rings of an old stump- a freshly cut tree can be aged by counting the rings of growth-each ring representing a years growth-and any blackened area may represent a lightening strike or a burn from a fire and the distance between each ring represents whether or not the growth year suffered from drought or not-
Now I need to find a fresh cut piece to better show what this all means. This picture is too badly decayed, tho it still shows good and bad growth years.
A Rusty Barbed Wire Wreath-another place to hang a bow for Christmas
Barberry Seed Pods
Alder Brush Cones- yet another cool medium for making and/or decorating a wreath

It's getting cooler in our northwoods, but our November has been particularly mild. I have been taking more walks in the woods and discovering a few things that have always been there but never took the time to really 'see.' So, these are a few of the pleasures of my past few weeks...enjoy the walk with me.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ya Never Know What You Will See On A Country Drive
I love the trees shadows across his body

Mama holding Wuss

It's been a very busy day. After breakfast with my love, I spent the morning with my Mom harvesting chickens and one mean rooster named Wuss. Mom says he was more of a chicken than the hens were...but he had a mean streak this morning. I think he might have sensed the happenings of farmlife...it too must end. By noon we were ready for a sandwich, cup of coffee and a nap.
I still had plenty to fill my day. I first made a potato salad and a cucumber salad to go with supper. This way, my evening will be free to go with my love when he gets home from work, to bait his deer stand. I always take the camera, cause ya never know.
It was still so nice outside, and being these days can change in a heartbeat, I decided to do a little decorating by the door with pine, cedar, and winterberries nicely arranged in an empty planter. It turned out pretty cute...by the end of Thanksgiving, the orange berries will have been snacks for the birds so I will then add the red ones for Christmas with a bow and of course, an empty birds nest.
There was just not enough color with the scattered berries so hubby asked if I wanted to take a drive to find more. We meandered the back roads for about three quarters of an hour and only found a handful more. Unbelievable because last year they were so bountiful, but due to the drought we have been having, the swamps were dry and fruitless.
After supper, there still was more to attend to. I made homemade venison pork breakfast sausage for the cabin dwellers along with a big jar of pickled eggs. (This is part of the reason I no longer spend the nights at the cabin---pickled eggs and venison have quite the effect, if ya git 'their' drift...)
We were ready for a snack so I made a quick dessert that I have been wanting to try. It took 5 min. to mix up, put it in a mug, microwaved it for 3 min. and waula, why have I not tried this before. It was a 5 Min. Cho. Cake in a Mug....delish...I called my daughter to wish her a Happy Birthday, but not tell her that Dad and I ate the cake...LOL...
Blessings Be Yours

Monday, November 16, 2009

Busy Fall Weekend

Most sought after-- 'Pumpkin Pie'Looks like rain, no, looks like snow, no, looks like a cold day in the neighborhood
The illusive Whitetail that the hunters crave...this is what they look like boys...taken last year by my oldest son
Harvesting boughs for the wreaths and the last of the squash for the pies and other eats
One of my little helpers who loves crunching on 'papples'

And a busy one it was. I love this time of year when the air starts to crisp up, the sky is either clear blue or deep, dark and cloudy with the look of heavy rains or snow. The sun occasionally shows its pretty face to warm the frost from the ground, and the winds go from warm to icy.
During this time, this weekend, we finished preparing for the deer rifle hunt that starts this coming Sat. morning. Ground blinds were fitted with the 'squeakless' chairs and concealed from vision, the tree stands were steadied for a safe entry and departure. And the last couple trail cameras were placed throughout the woods on prime runways that are centuries old.
The rut is on with many scrapes, rubs and broken branches as the bucks mark their territory. Hopefully all the wolf sign we also found such as tracks, scat full of deer hair, turkey feathers, does not spoil the hunt for our youth that will hunt for the first time this year. Their fathers have wonderful blinds for them that they will sit in with them, and the hope is they will bag their first deer to enliven the taste for further hunts so they can put food on the table for their families someday.
Even a camper was parked at the cabin for extra sleeping quarters for the many hunters that will be at the cabin this season. Beds have already been claimed. The firewood has been made and taken into the cabin. The hunt is nearly ready, except for the grocery shopping that the boys do the few days prior. It's part of the hunt and the excitement.
And for the wives, the cedar, pine, balsam boughs and the winterberries, have been cut and taken home for their holiday decorating. The Christmas lists have been made so the moms can shop Black Friday, when an all night shopping extravaganza goes on to mark the beginning of the Christmas rush...Some of the hubbies have even done some of the grocery shopping with or for them for their baking that needs to be done for all the holiday parties and school events.
Yes, it is an exciting time of year for many reasons for our family. It's in the air. One of the boys even said, 'Mom, can you smell it?, The air is ready for the hunt and I can already smell the Thanksgiving turkey.' It IS exciting, all these simple pleasures and the fact that my son recognizes this. I guess some of what I have taught has gotten through. Take time to appreciate the little things in life.
May your aim be true if you are a sportsman hunter of the mighty illusive whitetail that rarely shows himself except during the rut. At that time, he is like any other guy chasing a gal, Stupid, and he steps out of his domain just long enough to get caught.
Have a great and safe hunt and
Blessings Be Yours

Friday, November 13, 2009

Side View shows the earflaps
Front View shows the back flap to keep the little tyke's neck warm

OK, so this project did not turn out the way I thought it would, but it's still pretty cute. I experimented with a yarn a bit heavier than called for so it is a tighter weave but I guess that means it will be windproof. That's a good thing. Also, not so sure I like the bright primary red it's done in, but, oh well. Life is full of color, so I went off the board a bit.
Besides, kids love primary colors and babies don't care.
Off to another project. I have orders from some of my BabyGrands that need to be filled and a pie to bake. Great day to you all and
Blessings Be Yours

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Veteran's Day Salute

May your Veteran's Day be a celebration of THANKS to all of our servicemen and women today, yesterday and in our future. We cannot thank you enough for all you do, have done, and will do.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Family Time

Early Morning Fog is Lifting

Sweet Little Ryele
Silly Little Syrus
Time for a walk

Learning how to cut Boughs for a wreath
Practice Josh and get the Big One
Making Firewood for the cabin
Wormwood-a process that happens under the bark during decay-the worms leave an eating trail
Orange Jelly Fungi
Sneaking a peek through a hollow log
finders keepers...we still find treasures dumped in our woods from many, many moons past prior to our ownership....
Nice deer track in the sand
We tend this creek that belongs to the forest...it rambles below our cabin
interesting creek foam
Chatty Cathy
Our day ended with a beautiful sunset
Just the coolest fire-red sunset....wow

The past three days have been spent catching up with some family time. Three of the boys were home so, of course, we spent that time in one of my favorite places, the woods. My grandson Sy learned how to pile firewood with his Daddy, Uncle Stac and Grandpa, and he learned how to cut boughs for making Christmas wreaths with me.
Grandson Josh learned how to shoot his bow from different vantage points from a tree stand with his Dad while Grandpa, Uncle Stac, Grandma and his little sister Ry supervised. And of course, Ry and Sy spent lots of cousin time playing various games in the woods like who can throw a rock the farthest...Ryele has a great arm, for a girl, says her cousin Sy. Sy also learned how the Puffball Mushroom got its name as he stepped on one to see the spores dust from it and what Orange Jelly Fungi is.
All this outside fun and not once, did our babygrands want to come into the house to watch TV or play video games. They were all completely 'into' the fresh air and the wonders of the woods.
Nothing gives me more pleasure than to see that what I had taught Josh years ago, he is doing today as a new hunter. He has remembered to walk quietly by stepping heel-to-toe. Even in the crispiest dried leaves, your walk will be silent. His Great Grandma taught me that years ago and it has been very valuable in getting some great animal and bird shots throughout my life. Now, to see him do the same, well, my heart wells up with great pride.
I hope you enjoy the walk through our weekend.
Blessings Be Yours