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'.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bring It On

Spring and Summer cannot come soon enough. The winter has been so much longer, it seems. I am so ready for some
Frog Jumping Contests,
Rides through the woods trails to the cabin,
Planting Sugar Snap Peas,
Ice cream giggles,
And more ice cream giggles,
Merry-go-round rides,
Four-wheel rides at Easter to kick off spring, GGrandma with 7 of my Grands.
Softball games with 3 of the granddaughters,
Rock-hopping the creek by the cabin,
And Grasshoppers to squish.
So, I say, bring on the spring and summer for lots of outside fun in the sun, green grass and gardens, GrandLoves and Loves..I wonder what this year will bring?


God Bless Your Hopes

Friday, February 26, 2010

Tea Time

As just a 'wee' one, I think I was about 6 yrs. old, I got this lil' rose tea set for Christmas. As an adult, I found this cute cabinet to display them in.
As a young mother, they soon were passed down to my first born, Darcie. Many times throughout my daughters youth, they were carefully set at the table with her teddy bear and dolls. I often wonder if she remembers this, as she spent the majority of her time outside tending to the animals. The tea set is still in my care as her little boys are quite rambunctious. Someday soon, she will take them home with her and display them lovingly, hopefully, out of reach of anxious fingers.
I remember, there used to be a music piece under the teapot, that my twin dismantled. I don't think I forgave him for that yet. Something to consider. Maybe that's why this set still is under my care...oh...little boys just don't understand how important these things are to some little girls.
This second set was a gift to my aunt who still displays them in her buffet case. The top third of this set is a pale yellow that you can see better if enlarged. Just click on the picture to see either tea set close-up.
There is something captivating about children's tea sets. It must be all the memories that surround them...the chit-chat with little visiting toys, and imagining being someplace far away, the miniature factor or just that it's like Mommy's that I can't touch.,as a child.
Time for a spot of tea, Earl Grey perhaps...lol...with one gloved pinkie, up.

God Bless Your Weekend

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Sweet Williams

The Sweet William are one of my most loved flowers. It is one of my first promises of more blooms to come of all colors, scents, and eye-quenching, for the spring.
It also happens to be a favorite for it's name. My Sweet William is the love of my life. I'm sure some of you consider this corny, but it's the truth.
My first plant came as a housewarming gift from a neighbor, 30 yrs. ago when we first moved into our home. That very first plant is the sweet william that has survived through our drought these past 7 yrs. Pray for rain.

God Bless You All

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Spring Lambing Season at the farm between 1978-1985 was always an exciting, exhausting, busy time. Here's part of the family , the ram is in the center of the doorway manning who enters or leaves the barn. His ladies and lambs surround him.
The newborn lambs were tended by my mother. She is holding my son who is not liking the whole ordeal., while the ewe tends to her twins. Did I ever tell you that I am a 'twin'? Back to the lambs. Mom would vaccinate them and hold them while Dad docked them and tagged them, to keep track of their progress. Each one had their own name and number. No critter on the farm went without a name. Sometimes it took awhile to name them based on a developing personality. That was usually everyones job, even the grandkids got in on it.
The folks sent my youngest brother to Sheep Shearing School when he was 13 yrs. old. He said it was sure better than the book learning at regular school.
It was the same time my Dad got laid-up with his bum legs. My brother had to help at the farm in between schooling and sleeping. He sure grew up in a hurry but never, ever complained. We all knew he would rather have been home than inside a school building all day long.
After sheared wool was bundled and sent onto a carting company, it wouldn't be long and Mom would get many wool quilt batts in the mail to warm every bed in the house. As adults, all of us, my siblings and I, got a batt for Christmas. I still have the quilt I made from mine. It's amazing how warm in winter and cool in summer, wool feels.
Lunch time was always a thrill to watch...sometimes the lambs would get so aggressive that their mamas had to put them in their place, even though the ewes tried their best to be patient with their youngin's.
Snack time was serious business in a lambs day. It was one time that they all payed attention to what they were doing and not 'kicking up a storm' and running their little legs off.

J.J. and my brother were best buds...
more 'serious business' going on....dinner time
Each spring, one of the 2nd grade field trips, was always to 'The Sheep Farm' to see, hold, pet and feed the lambs. The children would line up on the feed troughs two bus-loads at a time.
After a morning of fun with the lambs and a little education from my Dad, Mom would bring out the koolaid and homemade cookies. No child ever got back on the bus without at least 2 cookies.
Once the day was over, nightfall would mean all little lambs had to get back in the barn with their parents for a long nights rest. Afterall, more lambs-play tomorrow to wear them all out. There were always a few that had to get one more game of 'king on the mountain' in before bedtime...just like a lil lamb.
The farm has raised many different animals at different times throughout my life. Sometimes several species at a time...but back then it was 'The Sheep Farm'.
So, there ya have it. Yet more memories.
I think I must be craving spring time at the farm...more to come.

God Rush Your Spring

Monday, February 22, 2010

In Celebration

This Feb. day marks two reasons for celebration in our family.
Today would have been my parents 63rd Anniversary. Dad rests with Our Lord a couple years now... A little story goes with this verse, Psalms 118:verse 24. If you click on the picture, it is much easier to read.
Mom and Dad would, sometime throughout their day, whether working in the garden, eating breakfast, or playing their daily game of cribbage, they would recite this verse. One would start it and end any where they pleased and the other would finish it. I heard it many, many times and loved that they shared such an intimate part of their day with whoever happened to be within earshot. Thanks folks. You taught me what real love is.We celebrate that our sister Lana also sits at our Lords right hand. Today marks her 1st year of her passing. We are grateful she is no longer in this earths pain and that she and Dad are the Angels that help us all through our days. She was a treasure. I rest assured that I will see her and Dad again someday, at our Lord's choosing. For now, I continue to be grateful for the time we did have together and look forward to seeing them again.

Thanks to two dear friends, you know who you are, for sharing these wonderful memory pictures. They fit my folks and sister perfectly.

God is Good and may He Bless Your Day

Friday, February 19, 2010

Water-Witchin' and Well Drilling

Back in Oct. '09, we ran dry. I may be repeating myself again, but we have been in a drought in our particular area for going on 8 years. Little by little, it has been getting harder and harder to reach drinkable water, let alone water my gardens. Finally, we had a dry well.
Our dear friend and neighbor is from the 'old school'. He learned many of the old timers trades and has been doing his best to pass his knowledge onto all of his friends and family. Gene is a bachelor farmer who can teach all of us a thing or two about survival...real survival, not like the kind you see fabricated on TV.
He is holding a sapling twig with the roots on, waiting for some action. My son and grandson are learning what Gene had taught me centuries ago, and that is, how to witch for water.
The twig he is lightly holding takes on a mind of its own when water is located beneath the surface. It will begin to bounce up and down and for each bounce, it measures a foot in depth that the water flows. Gene consistently got 31 feet. I got 33 feet and a second vein at 50 feet. My grandson got 31. Once the stick stops bouncing is the depth. Hold the stick still and it will begin to bounce again measuring the next vein of water beneath the first measurement.
My grandson was just in awe. Unbelievable, he says, Ya Right.!!, in disbelief. His daddy thought this was complete nonsense, but then he is more of a scientist than believer. I guess it wasn't technical enough my youngin'.
This is the drilling rig that had to come in and test our theory. Besides, we needed water a week already. I have to admit, I was not skeptical, but curious as to how accurate our old time predictions actually were.
The first vein was hit at '32' feet, that's right, 32 feet....right in between our bobs for water. Deeper drilling had to be done, however, as the first vein was not only too shallow for state regulations, but the water was full of silt.
It was quite interesting watching this slow process as they had to eventually go through hardpan before hitting drinkable water. That drinkable water was hit at '49' feet. That's right, one foot off my depth of 50 ft.
The drill was then fit with the proper pipes and drains, hooked up to a hose for 24 hours to drain the remaining sand from the water that we soon would be drinking. Another day later, trenching was done from the pipe to the house, and hooked up to the new waterpump in the basement.
We have a lot of iron in our groundwater so we had to invest in a water softener that removed the iron through a salt and filter system...it works great, we have more water pressure than any of the 30 yrs. we have lived here, and the water is so good. They say you know a good drink of water if it doesn't taste like anything. Well, we have it then because our water is wonderful to drink, soft to shower under and kind to my laundry. And, ta'da', this year I won't have to call the fire dept. to fill the kids big pool and I will have enough water to water all three of the gardens and all of the flower beds without the worry of running the well dry. Now let's just hope we don't have another 8 yrs. drought. A country gal couldn't ask for anything more than that.
God Bless Your Weekend.........drink lots of water......it's good for you

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Partridge at Sunrise

Mornin' All...My intent this morning was to drive to the top of the cabin hill to capture the days beautiful sunrise. I drove the mile and a half in and out and spotted motion fly into the saplings. What was up so early besides me?
Upon closer inspection and slowly approaching down hill, opening the window, still inching my way downward, I finally could make it out that there was a partridge
s t r e t c h i n g for his breakfast. He was eating the buds off the maple twigs he was perched on. I watched and snapped away, while he ate, not seeming to be bothered by my presence. By this time I have my arms out the window, Toby Keith is singing away, and Mr. P. carries on with his morning ritual.
By now 8 minutes have gone by, the sunrise has been put on the back burner, all for the honor of this close encounter with what is normally, a very skittish bird. Rarely do you get the opportunity for such close viewing... the truck and I just 10 ft. from his tree and maybe 30 ft. from his breakfast. Another less seen feature is his auburn tail. Most are more grey than red. We have quite the reddish line in our property. This fella is such a beauty. I only wish I had my daughters or Betsy and Georges long lenses....
Before I got distracted by Mr. Partridge, as I'm driving out and up the hill, the woods looked like it was on fire. Beautiful!
This is the sunrise I caught just before the partridge flew into the sapling for breakfast. I'm grateful to have witnessed both. What a breath-taking distraction.

May God Distract Your Day

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Good Morning

We have been having some absolutely beautiful sunrises in spite of the season. This was at 6:58 a.m. peeking through the trees.At 6:59 the pinks started circling the field.
And by 7 a.m. it was just glorious. How can one not have a great day looking at this.
There is not a soul out there who is not blessed simply by 'looking UP'.
God Bless YOUR Day

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Creekside Retreat/Our Cabin in the Woods

Some of my blog family and friends have been asking to see the inside of our cabin. So, here's a peek. I hope not to bore you but to inspire you to build your own little retreat, whether it's log, stick, brick, or leaves. We all need to get away from it all once in awhile.
This is a night shot of the outside. Someday, I will post the process of building our labor-intensive, hand hewed log cabin.
It goes by many names depending on the purpose of its use at the time. It's been called The Creekside Retreat, The Hunting Shack, The Halloween House, The Christmas Cabin, The Ponderosa, The Get-Away. This weekend it held double duty as The Get-Away for myself and hubby, and as The Heater for the ice fishermen that spent their nights surrounded by warm logs.
We have a trout creek just below the hill and love a panful of them for breakfast when we can catch them. My bamboo pole is so long and difficult to manage in parts of the narrow creek, but this little expandable extension rod does the trick, so...
My poor snowshoes have been a part of the decor this winter. Either it has been way too cold or my brittle bones have not allowed me to strap them on. I swear tho, I will use them yet. It's almost time to start to look for sheds....dropped deer antlers, for those of you unfamiliar with that term. The hunt for them is like looking for hunters gold.
The main floor is One Big Room containing what log Home owners call a Great Room, we call it the R & R Room, the dining-card playing area of two tables, a kitchenette, bar, 1/4 bath with porta-potty for night use by women and children only, and our log bed in need of a headboard and footboard yet. It will not be shown until completed.
This is the view from the top of the loft stairs looking to the south wall.
Our pot-bellied stove is serving its 3rd life in our cabin. It previously was the heat source for my Grandparents one room house that they raised 7 children in. The chimney block also came from that building which, at the time of its transfer, was a hunting shack that was about to be torn down. The stove also heated 1/2 of the home I grew up in with 8 siblings. So, I'm honored to be using the pot-belly in our cabin. It's a piece of our family history.
The sink has a faucet which is funny to me....ya see, there are no modern conveniences in our cabin...no electricity, no running water. We carry our water in jugs from the house and we use either batteries or a generator for our lights. We burn firewood for heat and use a privy. Very cold in winter but, it has a light, when the generator is going. The barrel bar is duel-purpose as additional counter space. All of the barrel furniture is a temporary donation from my brother.
Another duel purpose item, is this ceiling that doubles as the floor for the loft. Not much privacy in this cabin...all open.
The loft holds 6 single beds, 2 coffee tables and a couple of chairs. It was full of ice fishermen this weekend so I didn't venture up there for a picture. Our cabin mascot, Lil Bear, is climbing the stair post. I made him out of an old fur coat. This spring, we will be doing deep cleaning and resealing the logs. At that time, I hope to do some serious decorating MY way...too many antlers are hanging around. It's my turn.
While resting and relaxing back there over this weekend, I was looking at my son's deer mount on the wall and decided to draw it for him...I'm not satisfied yet, so I have to ask Dad in heaven to intervene and help me realize where I have it wrong....crazy huh?
We have a notepad hanging on the post. I love it when our guests leave little notes....I wish they all would. It's so fun to read their stories and thoughts of their stay at our cabin in the woods.
I hope I haven't wasted your time. May you find your 'retreat' and use it. It may be a special room in your home or a favorite chair near a window. In any case, enjoy YOUR R & R space.
God Bless

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chocolate Meltdown

Happy Valentines Day!
These took a ride on the dash of the truck....it just might have been a bit warm there.
That was last year...so...I wonder, I just wonder if there are any sweets coming my way this year.
I wish you all a 'sweet heart' day.
( Mel's sweetheart got her a new truck. Check it out at upnorthwithmel.blogspot.com....)

God Bless

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Winter Boredom Woodburnings

I tend to get bored in these winter months, so I dug in my archives to show you some of the wood burn projects I dabbled in to chase the blues away. This first one was done in '98 just before our 'Cabin Warming' party. It doesn't show up too well but there are 21 critters and birds, all of which we have seen one time or another, at or on the way to or from the cabin within our property. Click on the picture to bring it closer and see if you can find all of them.Around the window frames at our log cabin, I did some friends and their footprints. Meet Chippy the chipmunk,
And 'DeeDee' the chickadee,
these are her prints as she hops the grounds. Chick-a-dee-dee.......
Buckmaster has been hanging around a long time already, tho we seldom see his illusive self. He shows himself mostly during the fall rut from mid-Sept. thru the middle of Dec., if we are at the right place at the right time!
We mostly just see his tracks. He's a heavy fella leaving his dew claw prints in his step...oops, the furthest step on the right side, he slipped.
Now these are some Big prints....hmmmm, who could be making these?
Well, lookie there, we have a Moose visiting way down in north central WI from our Canada neighbors. Hi fella! One of your cousins was seen just down the road a piece. You sure have knobby knees big boy.
Sorry, got carried away talking to the animals again.

These next two are cribbage boards that Bill's brother makes and I do the wood burning on them for him....this one went to my sister Mel's hubby, another of my brothers-in-law who is an avid trapper., so I did a beaver house and beaver for him. I think he liked it.
Of course, I had to do one for my parents. This trophy buck is on the chase during the big rut. The does heels and legs are all you see on the far end of the field.
There was a knot in the wood of the support piece, so I made part of a fawns face...this and some pine cones, branches, mushrooms down the legs, were my favorite parts to burn.
So, there ya go....a bit of my boredom turned into some useful and fun pieces. Hope you enjoyed the tour...Stay safe and warm.
God Bless Your Weekend