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'.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

"Hunker-Down Results"

No pictures today, just an update. I have been making gradual changes, not only for myself, but for Bill and anyone else who seats at my table.
We have now, after 10 years, totally eliminated table salts from our diets. We have switched to herbs, most often, basil, oregano, Italian spices, coarse black pepper, cayenne, paprika, garlic granules, and some onion powder. The only thing we salt are our morning egg, on occasion, and when we cook potatoes or noodles and then the salt of choice is Sea Salt which is made of evaporated sea water. Noodles we seldom have., too high in carbs. And tho we love potatoes, the one of choice has become the Red Pontiac which are the lowest in carbs compared to the occasional treat of a Yukon Gold. Hey, we can't give up everything at once.

We now eat red meat no more than twice a week, mainly concentrating on chicken, turkey, salmon and cod. When we are lucky, my brother or the boys will come home with fresh caught catfish or trout., very healthy eating so long as it is not submerged in too much oil.

We always have eaten plenty of fresh, frozen or garden canned veggies and fruits. We have increased those also, being more attentive to the ones with the natural sugars in them like, carrots, beets, sugar snap peas, onion, yes, onions, oranges, etc. and moderate amts. of the high carb ones like potatoes, winter squash. Oh, don't get me wrong, we still eat them but EVERYTHING in Moderation has been the trial for both of us. It's tough. Just try to remember to put 1/3 meat or fish on your plate, and 2/3 veggies, and you will not believe the difference in your numbers.

As for snacks, we used to hoard the chips and frozen treats...not anymore. We still sneak them rarely, I might add, but have now been eating more of the healthy snacks like almonds and pecans. They have the complex carbs rather than the empty ones. Shucks, it just makes ya feel better. Low fat pretzels just don't do it but like I said earlier, we can't give up everything at once.

Bill used to be a 12-pak man, but since his heart attack, he has quit drinking any alcohol of any kind. I used to be a Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke fanatic. I have not had one for the past 4 months, knock on wood. My choice is now water, water with Propel, a flavored water addative that is chucked full of vitamins and nutrients but NO ASPERTAME, a sugar substitute, weight addative that is found in the Crystal Lite that we USED TO drink by the gallons. It is also a big NO NO for you diabetics out there. We still have a cup of coffee or two in the morning, but no more at night. Bill isn't crazy about it, but tea is soothing to me, especially if I forget to eat when I take my handful of vitamins, minerals, and prescription meds in the morning. One will soon be eliminated under my doctors supervision.

Why am I bothering you with all these healthy, new way of living We have been doing for the past several years, and more so, this past year?...well, because
Yesterday was my 6 month check-up, follow-up on my BP and Triglycerides.
My BP went from out of control, highs a year ago, to 120/72.
My triglycerides went from 488 a year ago to 220. Still a bit high but doc said to keep on doing what I'm doing. I was just tickled and couldn't help but to pat myself on my back for the life change that I am already getting accustomed to.
Changing our eating, drinking, habits has helped tremendously.
We still load our plates a bit too much but even that is improving.
Eating out is still the hardest for me, but that's when I will let myself have a treat.

I found it's not the end of the world,
It's a life change, but a good one.
What a great Birthday Present to hear all the good numbers.

Make some changes, GRADUALLY, if you're feeling a bit 'punky', and you will be amazed how great you will feel. Who knows, maybe I've added another dozen years to my life.
Life is So Good, thanks to God guiding us toward better choices.

Oh, I also lost 9 lbs. in the past 6 months., not much but a little at a time is easier to maintain., so they tell me. I'm pleased as An Ant On A Log! That would be a healthy snack of a celery stick with peanut butter and raisins. LOL I can't stop smiling.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Storms Vivid Colors, Insects

It's been nearly 8 years since our area has had substantial rains, enough to nourish the ground and revive life in our forests and fields. Well, storms and over 7 inches of rain, we finally have had, and how the surroundings are showing appreciation.
It's amazing how vivid the colors become before, during and after a summer storm. My deck flowers are beautiful and lush with color, like these southwest planters beam with white allysum, blue lobelia, and corsican mint.
When the sky looks green and yellow, it usually indicates a strong storm is about to pass through. This one missed us by a few miles to the north, but left plenty of rain throughout the past week.
The storm sure left behind a brilliant rose colored double impatienc.
These vines are sneaky, showing up during my storm. As kids, we used to call this the Lipstick Vine. They are from the Amaranth family, but wild. We would sit and paint our fingernails with the bright red blooms that melted onto our nails like real polish. These are growing out of the old elm stump at Mom's, or the Farm, as we all call it, home, the place where we grew to love nature.

The orange Gerbera Daisy is brilliant this year. Even the spent blooms are showing off, dripping with raindrops.This little fella has no life left in him. The storm tangled his wings in the deer fencing, but he still is welcome to rest on the Boxwood Basil. I had to show you his iridescent wings. Click to enlarge and you will be able to appreciate the veins within his fragile but strong wings. God sure does some miraculous work.
Check out this spider, of whom I have not identified yet. He is a master of disguise, and yes, he Did catch that fly for his lunch.
Speaking of spiders, this was my weekend surprise. I had completely forgotten that I had planted these just this spring, so looking out my living room window this morning, I see these pure white Spider Lilies with green throats. On closer inspection, a Squash Bug was enjoying the fragrant petals, as much as I was. I know most bugs are beneficial, but this one, however, was eliminated. He is the cause of damage to my Buttercup squash blossoms. Last year I had very little squash because of his cousins, so, squish, no more problem from this fella.
Mom's Missouri Primrose are brilliant this year. This one just happened to have a tiny, personable Eastern Meadow Fritillary drinking it's nectar. When they open their friendly wings, they are orange with black spots and no more than an inch and a half in size.
Enjoy the tour. Don't let the insects frighten you, and have a very adventurous week. Pick some flowers, jump rope, glide through the air on a swing, or just take a walk around your yard or neighborhood. Enjoy you surroundings. You may be surprised what you discover. Just use your God-given senses and laugh. Don't forget to look everywhere, up, down, under the leaves and in the water. Laugh.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

More of Yesterdays Treasures

More treasures beholdin' to me. I have surely been blessed. Yesterday was spent washing and polishing antiquated items given to me by our neighbor who wants to clean out the pole barn. The afternoon was spent scrubbing buggies, sleighs, surreys, wagons, buckboards and cutters. Pictures of them will follow when we are done sprucing them up.
In the meantime, some of you have been wanting to see more. Here we go.
The view out my kitchen window now includes these brilliant turquoise and clear glass insulators. Note the one on the far right still has the liner in it and is a bit larger than the rest. I love how the light catches them. In the background outside, you will see the small Adorandack chair. I will explain in a bit.
This may interest you fellas, as it is a piece of ancient history of the loggers. This is a 2-man Mercury Disston KB7-AY Chainsaw that weighs over 100 lbs. and has a 32" cutting bar on it. After the tree is cut down, the bar can be turned sideways to then cut the log into lumber. Amazing piece of history. It came from a Boyd's Resort, down the road from the farm and Mels, where myself, Mel and Cher all worked as kids.
This tiny adorandack chair was custom made for my neighbors Mother. Eva was a tiny little thing no taller or larger in frame as my grandson. I told Teddy to take it home and repaint it for his lady who is also tiny. I had told him that his Dad had given me the chair made for him, years before he passed away, and it is the one that now sits on the cabin deck. An hour later he calls me to come and get the chair. I am so honored to have it and will fix it up to sit right next to his Dads.
He also gave me several trinkets...this tin box that says 'The Musicians by Frans Hats',
this ceramic cookie jar decorated with fruit,
these, too cool, celluloid farm animals that were on his junk pile,
this beauty of a tulip vase, I love this one,
and a cute little nut bowl with a pesky squirrel on it.
American Pickers would love this bike that I am in the process of research to find it's value...does anyone out there know?
I have had so much fun poking through the shed and now am blessed with some of the treasures that Ted's Dad had saved all those years ago. I hope you also enjoyed the tour. There will be one more of all of the carriages, etc. for your enjoyment. Until then,
I have a wedding shower, a baptism, and some goodbyes to tend to.
BlessYourHearts and
Have a Wonderful Weekend

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Yesterdays Treasures

What a fun day, digging through the vintage treasures, which are now mine to love and care for. The ol fella cross the road is not a 'picker' of the old items, but his daddy was. Look what I own. Ok, so I didn't get this wonderful McCormickDeering tractor...a bit much for my squeaky pocket. Not sure on the homemade covered wagon yet...he's thinking about it. But, the rest has a new home., like this,
trunk, that was already on the junk pile,
this wooden wringer washer,
wooden barrel, he thought used for churning butter,
this Huge bellows, not sure what it was used for, research is in order,
treadle sewing machine, red goblets,
wagon wheel and rocker, maybe a washtub,
the white flower cart, maybe the red wheels,
old office chair,
old childs wheeled riding horse,
a wooden brewery barrel, also on the junk pile,
axle grease bucket full of grease, (Bill liked this one),
kerosene lanterns,
vintage ice chest from the junk pile,
oops, how'd that get here twice, but isn't it amazing?,
The day had come when the young man next door of late 70 something, decided to clean house...or pole shed. He literally was pushing stuff out of the shed with his skidder. My heart sunk, to see what had gotten broken in the process. Everything needs a good cleaning, but still has lots of life, if given back to it. I will be busy cleaning up all of these fine treasures. There is also a bucket of green and clear insulators, some ceramic ones also, enamelware, celluloid toy animals, atomizers, baskets....too much to mention. There will be more pictures later, of the items that he is selling, hopefully., like buckboards, a stagecoach, lots of horse drawn carts and wagons, tons of horse related items, etc. The list is huge.
I sure wish he would have had an auction but he just does not want to deal with it. We offered to help and even do all of it for him, but he chose not to auction. He knows several folks that would be interested so that's where he is starting.

That's how yesterday went...my grandson thought he was on a treasure hunt. He even told the ol' fella that these things can be used over again in other ways to help save the world from waste. What a smart kid.

Thanks for listening and

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Clouds go Bump in the Night, Flat Friends, Award

Tues. morning sunrise at 4:45 was a sight to behold! Glorious, magnificent, fantastico!!!!...............but then
rains came sporadically throughout the day, the temperature kept rising and rising and rising well into the hot, humid, still 90's until it peaked at 95. The day stayed so still until ... we knew something was about to happen somewhere, looking like the north of us was surely in danger. By 8:30 p.m. when it normally is still very light out, just having our summer solstice, the sky was quickly darkening, the clouds looking more ominous than ever. They looked as though they would go bump in the night. The storm was to hit our town by 9:40 when just prior, the tornado warning whistle blew, screaming in everyones ears to take cover.
My son, Andy, is a certified storm watcher, so, making me doubly nervous, he goes ' outside ' to ' watch ' the storm roll in. A funnel was spotted 8 miles north of us but never did touch down, to all of the towns gratitude, remembering the storm that tore them apart more than a dozen years ago. By 9:35, the weather stations announced that the storm was quickly dissipating and that all the warnings had been lifted.
Breathe, we could take a deep breath and relax. I'm afraid Andy's oldest son of 7, is going to be a storm watchman too. He loves the storms as much as his Daddy, for scientific reasons, of course.
The first thing Sy did, was to go and put on his safety glasses, just in case, he says.
He tells us, Safety first!
Being it was such a wet day, the kids needed a 'project', so we made Flat Alex, a distant cousin to Flat Stanley, who just happens to have the same color hair as Sy and wears only camo pants and shorts.
Ben wanted a flat girl so he called her Flat Girly. They shared a sleepover at Amas and Papas. We will have to see where else their Flat Friends go with them.
Suz, from Begin Again, awarded me, of all people, with a Kreativ Blogger Award. Thank you Suz, for thinking I am worthy. She wants me for a neighbor...brave soul, but I loveya for it, Suz. We could share all kinds of gardening ideas and even gardens and chase GrandLoves out of them. Along with this award, Suz wants me to reveal 7 things about myself that you might find interesting. So, lets give it a go. Be forewarned, I hate these revelations, admitting more about ' myself.'
#1. I do Not think I am creative enough to be recognized...I ' borrow ' when I create.
#2. I once had a mink for a pet named Little Joe, ya know, that cute Bonanza kid.
#3. You all know I'm a twin, but did you know that I had to clear the way for my brother? We have the same receding hairline...argh
#4. I have been ralfed...
#5. I never finished college...twice........that makes me a ' quitter '
#6. I have no teeth......lol......gotcha....but I do have metal in my back
#7. I am an excellent marksman.......even my sisters didn't know that, but I no longer like to shoot anything larger than a BB gun or a camera ...another story that 'still' terrifies me to this day.

Well, there you have it. Another bit of DarVille
Have a Great Day

Monday, June 21, 2010


My weekend was such a Whirl, just like these Maidenhair Fern...
As busy as this lil' bee searching the forest floor, so frantic...
My wings have not had time to dry...
Have a calm week...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Night and Day, A Gift

It's been a very busy, relaxing, hot, surprising, hectic, calm, energizing, exhausting Day.
I start with the end...this peony photo was taken just after dusk...amazing the clarity for my small, insignificant camera.
Look what came in my mail today. I came home to find this on my steps. It is a bee-utiful framed picture of a bee collecting nectar from a buckeye bloom from Tom's tree. Tom is The Fishing Guy at This Is My Blog........isn't it the greatest? Thanks again, Tom, for the surprise that was waiting for me tonight. It pays to know my birds, even tho I got one wrong. It's hanging on my pale yellow wall by my computer. I love, Love, LOVE it!
God Bless Your Heart

I couldn't go to sleep tonight, without sharing one more look at the night and day shots of my peony.
They are both gorgeous and smell divine. My favorite is the night shot at the top of the entry. The colors just seem to ' pop.'
The peonies are something else, an incredible treat for the senses.
Smell their sweet fragrance, like that of the rose.
Touch their silky petals and shining, leathery leaves.
Hear the busy bees gathering nectar or the butterflies wisp near and far.
See their different varieties show off their doubled or bowled flowers, some with stamens of gold.
Taste NOT!!! NEVER eat the peony. ALL parts are extremely poisonous, especially the Flower. But do, do
take time to smell the peonies. You will so glad you did.

God Bless Your Sunday

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pink, Purple, Green and Pie

God sure brings on the day! Look at what I woke up to at 5 this morning! I think God handed the paint brushes over to my Dad for me. God Bless Today!
Then he painted these beautiful lupines up and down Mom's driveway for her to enjoy as she walks for the mail down her 1/4 mile driveway each day.
A little of glitter never hurt anyone. The Mica boulder at the end of the drive (or the beginning, if you are just arriving at the farm), accentuates the stateliness of more lupines.
Their colors make me thirst for more. When the seedheads dry, I will have to see if Mom is sharing seeds. I know she is still sprinkling them in vacant spaces along the way, but just maybe.
The rainbow of color comes in all forms. Yesterday morning, it came in the colors of spring pie....like
Rhubarb-Strawberry- just click on the recipe to enlarge it for your own indulgent, tantalizing, taste-bud teasing samplings. I heard the 'cryer' out early yelling,
"I have Rhubarb, who wants rhubarb, come one, come all, come get your rhubarb!"
Sure looks pretty going into the easy, boxed, roll out and bake, pie crust. Oh, Yes, I do know how to make pie crust from scratch, a darned good one, but who had the extra time yesterday? not me.
Sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon on top, wedged and eaten ala'mode with rich and creamy vanilla ice cream....well, smack my lips and call me Ms. Piggy! Mmmm, mmm, it was so good!
While waiting for yesterdays pie to bake, it was 'thyme' for a Sesame Thyme Crusted Chicken, Spinach and Cucumber Wrap with melted cheddar and Vadalia Onion dressing, a healthy, filling lunch. Ain't life grand!
Try to find the blessings in Your Day while remembering to feed your soul.