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, August 30, 2010


Just a quick note before my PC goes down again....
If you can't find me on here, it is because of a great need for a new-fangled one.
It's so in and out that I cannot rely on it anymore.
To say I need a new one, is an understatement.

Just like the rest of the world, funds do not allow.
Besides, after yesterdays ' blunder ', I will be replacing a rear bumper on that pretty blue Dodge truck first....grrrrrrr
One question...
Why do the guys always park their big equipment, like the jammer,
in MY turn-around....

BlessYouAll and Don't park too close to me.........Bill will warn you to beware!

Friday, August 27, 2010

I'm Baaaaack!

Did ya miss me? I sure missed all of you~
And what a busy week it's been.
Besides computer glitches that forced me to spend a week saving pictures, it has been full of family activity.
A week ago we celebrated my cousin Sandy's 60th.....ha!!! I'm not the only one getting up there.
We all gathered at the lake to surprise her. All of her kids and grandloves, siblings and quite a few of us cousins were there to help with the fun and fun it was.
There was a day full of chatter, hugs, play and food, there is always food involved at a great party. There was
Ring-Around-The -Rosy...
A drink or two,...I was good and only had flavored waters, but wished I was the dog~~~~
A few jokes, Gary being the joke of the day with his ' There will be nooo sermon today....'
Kayak rides were given to at least a dozen little ones...a note here...The birthday girl had two of her three sisters present, with most of their kids and grandloves...there were 15 little ones under the age of 5...and two more on the way. Actually, there were cousins, 5 times removed. And we thought we had a productive bunch...
The guys cannot get together without having a horseshoe tournament of which sister Mel kept score and made sure there was no cheating going on...
Bill doesn't look too sure of Teddy's decision...
The hammock was a busy place for all the little ones lined up to take turns.
There were even water train rides...come one, come all. Chuga, chuga, chuga, chug.
Every one of the people at this beach are family...there were 48 at the beach, not including those out fishing and kayaking, and at the 6 campsites they had reserved. What a great blue sky day for a family get-together that it turned out to be.
OOPS!!! This picture is out of sync. The following day Mom and I went to a church dinner in Butternut, the little town north of us. All of the proceeds went to the Butternut Community Fair which we attended. Mom ran into a few of her cousins and we all laughed about their days as kids while we walked through the exhibits. There was a Kathie Doll at the entrance that took Mom's breathe away. (Sorry, no picture.) She said she made one for my sister Linda, who was pretty upset with her for leaving it behind for the little girl moving into their home when they moved north. It seems her family was even more poor than ours and the little girl didn't have any toys. My Mom was so thoughtful, though it took my sister months to forgive her.
Here we are, back at the Birthday Party. Some of Sandy's surprises were US! Left to right, front to back, are myself, cousin Sandy, the birthday girl, my Mother Wynette, cousin Debbie, middle row, my sisters Linda and Mel, brother Randy, my hubby Bill, back row is cousin Rhonda hiding behind her sister, and Slim, Mel's hubby. There were lots more family that were off in other directions during the picture taking, at least another dozen.
Always out for a good laugh are Rhonda and Mel. What a hoot these two are when they get together. The day was a great success with so many little ones playing together and cousins getting to know one another., big kids playing too. You are too funny, Mel and Rhon...
The rest of my week was spent taking care of myself and little ones. I felt like Noah, who was teething....That's the tooth, that one right there! Only my problem was not teething, but laryngitis! ( I guess Bill would not call that a 'problem', but, instead, peace and quiet....for him~~~ ) I'm on day 5 with this every other word being a squeeeeak.
In spite of it all, we stayed busy outside and inside,
playing board games before the boys Daddy had to fly off again,
and, has anyone seen the toy cars bucket?
There were pickles to make, lots of Bread and Butter Pickles, thanks to my Mom's lush cucumber patch.
As you can see by my garden ground, it is nothing but mud. I was surprised to see tomatoes struggling through the muck after the weeds were finally suctioned out of the way. What a mess.
Mom dropped off another bag of cucs for dills. Those of you who have been following my blog have known that we had a water problem...none...due to the 8 yr. drought prior to this summer. Because of it, we had a lot of calcium deposits in our water that was causing problems when canning., turning everything into mush. Needless to say, we have not made dill pickles since., so , what a treat to now be able to make them again, now that we have a new well with good water. Let's keep our fingers crossed, that they are nice and crispy like Mom's. Afterall, it's her recipe for Garlic Dills.
It has been a very busy couple of weeks. There was also another birthday party for my son, and a couple of nights of company. I'm ' plum tuckered ' but ready to see what this weekend will bring. Dear Bill says we are digging the potatoes and starting to clean out the other 2 gardens as well. It should go quickly, as there is not much this year with all the rains and rot. Hopefully we will see a few carrots and rutabagas for the pantry shelves. There aren't enough of anything else to fill a canner, but we are grateful for what we do have. Does anyone have winter squash? I am so hungry for a buttercup squash that I will be stopping at a farmers market tomorrow.
That's it folks! My luck is holding so let's see if this publishes for your pleasure...or not.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Perfect Weekend and then............

My hope is that I can post this.
It was a perfect weekend of family activities. I want to share the pictures but my computer keeps going down.....again and again~
I will keep this short. I want to let you know that I am so bummed. I have missed so many of your entries and want to get back to all of the wonderful reading, photos and stories you all share.
Please bear with me. I will return when my PC problems are resolved, or replaced.
Until then, grrrrrrr on this old jalopy of mine.

I'll fly in whenever I get the chance,
until then,


Friday, August 20, 2010

Hello Rains, Goodbye Loves

If you recall months ago, I was noting that we had not had rain for 8 years and were in a terrible drought. That statement can now be retracted. We have had rains every week and at times, every day for the past several months. It has been a huge reprieve for the forests, grounds and waters and the hope of a returned fish and fowl supply to our own trout streams and fun in the waterways.
Below is a picture of my brothers pond, which though, manmade, had never held water, until now. In fact, it is overflowing all 10 ft. deep of it.
Our own swamps and creek are also overflowing. Soon there will be water over our road to the cabin and the only way in will be by 4-wheeler or tractor from across the neighbors property. What a ' splash ' that will be.
I'm not complaining, tho I am beginning to be concerned. The gardens are a waste land right now, with flooding, rotting produce, and mud everywhere too deep to get at the crops. If it ever dries up enough this fall yet, we at least will till it all under and hope for a better gardening year next year.
If we had had half the amount of rains last year, we would not have had to dig our new well last fall, but I guess you can call that ' water over the dam.' And good water. We have been blessed and are grateful, in spite of yet, another 2 inches so far tonight. We prayed for it and we got it. Thanks God! We loveya!

This has been a long couple of weeks and lots of company has come and gone. A few weeks ago, we were blessed with a visit from a magic man and his wonderful bride who just happened to be passing through. Jack and Sherry were a true delight for us all to meet and love every second with.
Then came a ton of folks that drifted in and out during the week of my nieces wedding. Family company is always such fun to have around, especially when we don't see them often.
My baby sister Colleen and her hubby Mike were here for the past couple of weeks. We had a blast with them as usual and cannot wait to get to TX in just under a month from now for a couple of weeks in their stomping grounds. They had to hit the road a couple of days ago. After talking to them tonight, they advise we take an extra driving day just for all of the construction. I think we will just take detours and enjoy the countryside instead of the interstate this time. We will see you guys in a few weeks.
Another couple of gals that had to leave today, were our gorgeous granddaughters Hannah and Chloe, who were also here for the past couple of weeks. They don't begin to know how much we will miss their pleasant personalities popping in and out of the house. While up north, as they say, they went on a 5 day retreat with their Dad to the U.P. of Michigan, touring and staying in Bed and Breakfast's, walking the sandy beaches of Copper Harbor, visiting a lighthouse, that they said was a bit eery! They had a great time with their cousins not only here, but while rafting down their Uncle Eric's water slide on the creek in his back acres. As the girls were saying their goodbyes, we realized how quickly the summer has slipped by. We won't see them again for at least a month, nor their cousins. As exhausting as it all gets sometimes, we wouldn't give up any of our time with any of our family or friends, for anything in this world. Time, family, friends, are all so precious. Treasure every moment.
Take time to hug your family and loved ones. Life on this earth is a gift. A short gift.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Ya Got Cake?, Newlyweds, Day After Siblings

The weekend was gorgeous for a wedding in the back yard. My sisters lil' girl got married to a wonderful southern gentleman. We embrace them.
The wedding cake was delicious, as I was told many times, and so beautiful with all of the sugar flowers that Mel, the Mother of the Bride from UpNorthWithMel, lovingly made the same week her daughter announced that she was getting married to the man that was crazy about her.
Meet the newlyweds, Sara and Don, as they relaxed into one last picture before loading their gifts, hugging our necks one last time and heading to their home.
The day ' of ' was wonderful, but the day ' after ', always seems so much more relaxed, lazy and just giddy.
Left to right in the back are my sisters and husbands, Cher&Thom, Lin&Jim, myself&Bill, Mel&Slim, and Colleen&Mike. In front of us are Mom, who started all of this craziness, our brother Eric, the baby of the family, and missing is Randy and Doug. Randy managed to sneak out without getting his pretty face taken at all and below is my twin, Doug, who also disappeared when family pictures were taken.
Us gals, and
Our best friends! Ha!
I tried posting this early this morning, but I lost the whole thing....
keeping the faith...
I have a ton of other pictures but will let Mel post the actual wedding. Maybe I will throw a few others out there for you to enjoy later...we are a crazy bunch of gigglers, so be forewarned.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Smith Rapids Covered Bridge 1991

Welcome to the Smith Rapids Covered Bridge!
It was hot, everyone was miserable and cranky, so we took a short drive to see the covered bridge on Smith Rapids. Just to the south of the bridge is a campground, a unique one that I will post about another time.
The Grands that were with us had not ever seen the bridge before and thought we were teasing them when we told them there was a wooden covered bridge that we could drive right through in the middle of the woods.
Sy was in amazement as he checked out the underside construction, trying to figure out just how it stood there unsupported over the water. His Daddy explained.
It took a lot of pine to construct this bridge in 1991, but pine forests are very plentiful around here. We are on the dirt road that leads to the bridge. There are miles and miles of stands of pine, most of which were planted 35-40 years ago by the high school students of which I was one. You are looking at part of the national forest land that the trees were taken from, to construct this fabulous sight.
The specs on this sign give some idea as to the engineering of this project of which my cousin's wife was the chief advisor. She is rightfully, very proud of this bridge and it's success. It will last for hundreds of years so long as it is maintained.
From downstream, it is a sight to see. Imagine kayaking or canoeing, rounding the bend and finding this marvel to glide under in sheer awe of it all.
It's difficult to see by these photos, but the water is very rapid as it passes by.
Our curious Grandson, could not help but climb higher for a better look.
The shadows make each timber seem alive, as if they were moving with the water.
The roof and ceiling show how this bridge was built to last many, many moons.
The underside is also testament to the strength of construction. This is truly a marvel, and a beautiful one, at that.
It is gorgeous outside...
and as we drive through.
It is always such a thrill to take the family where they have not been before and watch as their eyes show their amazement. As Andy explained to Sy how the bridge was built, and how long it will last, we could see in his eyes that there is going to be a day when our grandson will bring his own family here someday.
That's what it's all about.

Hope you enjoyed the tour of the covered bridge. If you ever get to Price County, WI, look it up. You will not be disappointed. Next stop, Madison County, Iowa...oh I was dreaming again.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Smith Rapids Covered Bridge

First thing, I must have way too much going on in this head of mine. Why oh, why, I didn't think to take our recent guests to see this is far beyond me. Let's just blame one of those 'brain' lapses.

The Smith Rapids Covered Bridge is no more than 6-7 miles from my house, and it's beautiful. For now, every one of you will just have to take my word for it because, for some reason, I cannot load any pictures while online or off. In fact, I have not been able to stay on here at all lately, before , out of the blue, everything goes blank and I have to manually operate this danged thing. I think it's time for a new PC. I love my Dell but it may be getting on the obsolete side already.

So, my friends, until I have the time to get at this, I'm afraid there will be stories without pictures, you know, like reading a book without illustrations or great photography. I don't know about you, but it happens to be my favorite way to read a book or a story. It leaves a lot to our imagination. There are no disappointments when we can make things up along the way.

Jack Darnell gave us several of his books to get lost in. Bill has had his nose in one of them ever since. Andy, our son, says, " I don't think I ever saw Dad read a book before. " I told him that he used to read all the time when we were campers, but since, has not had the time or interest beyond skimming a hunting magazine once in awhile. Jack struck a genuine friendship with Bill and I think it may have something to do with his wanting to know all he can about his new friend.

Another reason has to do with the fact that he is loosing his sight and nothing seems to be working to correct it. Ever since his vision is failing so much, he has been reading everything he can get his hands on. I will tell you one thing, if he does loose the rest of his sight, I will be reading to him as long as I can.

That's it for now folks. I still can't get a picture loaded, and I have another picking of green beans and broccoli to put in the freezer and jars.

I promise to post the Smith Rapids Covered Bridge as soon as I can. I also promise that you will love what you see.

A note to Jack and Sherry: I promise that the next time you come, we WILL go see the covered bridge.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Good Reads, Good Folks, Good Memories

Who just gives their hearts away these days? Jack and his sweet bride and best friend do . These are a couple of the most giving, gracious, interesting folks this side of the Appalachians, and they came to visit lil ol' us.
We relaxed into visits as if we had known one another since childhood. We showed them our cabin and how it was built, the boys shop and Archery Range, and shared a good home cooked meal with them before they had to pack to head south.
What surprised me most, was how interested they were in our lives. We are simple folks, living a simpler life than most. Our time is totally devoted to our families and friends, as we found was true for them also. As interesting as Jack and Sherry are, they found our lives of interest.
We have been blessed with some true gems in our North Carolina friends. They have been God-sends. It has been a very long time since Bill has been so open and welcoming to new friends. He wasn't so sure of meeting my blog friends, but is so glad that he did, thanks to their genuine kindness.
And how many kids, these days, will pick up a toad and examine it like a new toy. I think they were a bit surprised at the way his Dad taught him on the spot, how to put the toad to sleep by gently rubbing its tummy. And even more so,
that he would try it himself. I'm proud of the way our lives have turned out thus far. Our families are living day to day struggles and triumphs, that make us appreciate the little things such as a sleeping toad in the palm of a young boy's hand.
Sherry and Jack's visit was perfectly orchestrated by the Big Guy upstairs. I don't think they realize how they have touched both mine and Bill's hearts.
They truly are the BEST and will remain in our prayers the rest of our days.

Some of you may think this is a bunch of ' bull,' but it isn't. It's the truth. You cannot ever tell me that this short visit was not intended for more purpose than ' just meeting ' our blog friends. There is a greater plan out there. We are not meant to have all the answers, but this friendship is going to last. Sometimes, a person just gets a ' feeling!'

God Surprise You All.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Jack and Sherry from NC

Look who showed up in our neck of the woods., but Jack and Sherry, all the way from Blemont, North Carolina. What a thrill to meet these fine fellow bloggers.
Jack and Sherry are the ' cream of the crop.' We had the most wonderful visit with them last night. They didn't seem to mind our having our GrandLove Sy, with us. In fact, Jack and he really were the best of pals. We thank you Jack, for taking personal time with our grandson, to show him the bag of tricks you had. He's calling you ' Magic Jack.' He told me Sherry was sweet and that he loves her. I'm glad he, too, was able to meet them.
I do believe this is ' tractor talk ' going on here. The guys sure hit it off.
Jack shared a ton of magic with Sy. He was quite amazed at how Jack could turn a dime into nickels and back again.
Jack turned and says, He did it. Sy was pretty excited to see how it all worked.
There was even a Magic Coloring Book that went from colored pages, to outlines to empty pages. Oh, that ' Magic Jack ' sure is quite the magician.

We ended the evening with a few memory shots of everyone., Bill, Jack, Mel, me, Sy, and Sherry.
We are astounded as to how blogging brings folks together as if meeting friends we just had not seen in awhile. Our visit with Jack and Sherry was wonderful. It will continue for as long as they are still around. They have made arrangements to pick up there mail here, so we will have an opportunity to show them our homes and the cabin, have a meal or two yet and more great conversation. Bill and Jack laugh a lot because, unless left alone, neither hear so good, so a lot of lip-reading is going on. They sure hit it off tho., like old friends. Sherry and I also, it's like old times. We sure love these folks that took the time to include all of us on their trip throughout the states. What a great evening we had.
There will be more pictures and stories later in the week. For now, Bill has an eye appt. to see if there is more they will be doing with his loss of vision in his ' shootin' eye.'
Thanks for stopping and taking time out of your day to visit.