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'.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Quietly Watching

It's cold, the beginning of a long winter.
 A short drive from home and we arrive at our cabin in the woods,
 where the snow has fallen, thinking it will stay,
 the ice is forming on the shallow creek, only a ripple of water flows along the edge before gliding underneath unsteady footing.
I'm not fond of  ' thin ' ice.
 The benches and chairs, the deck, need shoveling for one last sit 
 to quietly watch for a bit of color,
 or timid movement.
 Soon the deer blind will be moved on it's skids,
onto the lake, for ice fishing~A dual-purpose shanty.
 I will look forward to seeing the deer peek in the windows, wondering whether or not they will continue to be treated to bits of corn, acorns and pumpkins.  
 The colors of Christmas are moving in, flitting about, 
in anticipation.
The Pine Grossbeak Boys are filling up for another snowfall or worse, freezing rains.
Bringing it on, seems to be a winter wish.
I'm thinking I will hibernate. 

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bring It On If You Must

The snowflakes, you know, those frozen droplets falling from the sky, have been plentiful.  It snowed so hard earlier this afternoon,
 that it was nearly a white-out, barely making the trees across the field, visible.  Can you make them out?
 The temperature rose around noon, from the 11F.degrees we woke up to, to nearly 20, then 21,22, and then the snow fell from the sky without retreat.
 By late this evening, as the moon began to shine so bright, a lone star tried to peek through the overcast sky.  The moon was circled with the faintest rainbow...what's that called?
 The night grew brighter and brighter.,
to see
 the railing shadows and the deer.  
 If this was not enough snow for you, stick around.  I'm sure as the days have shortened, that I will be able to share many feet of the white stuff before spring.  Promise.
Until next time,
Stay warm and cozy.
I plan to.
Blessings and Thanks for Stopping By

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Shine On

It won't be long and our Christmas will be upon us.  Since we celebrate early this year, it's time to get things shiny and bright.
I cannot believe how dusty things get in storage., this case, on the mantel.  Of course, I will blame my achy bones.
 Awww, much better!  
(enlarge by clicking on one of the pictures, not to see the dust, but the shine)
 All in a row, one gas lantern at a time.
 This tall globed beauty is one of my favorites.  It was given to me as a gift one Christmas, from a dear bachelor neighbor that we barter with for pork each year.  What a sweet guy.
 Another favorite is this fat bellied one from another neighbor who's home we take care of when he becomes a 'snow bird ' that leaves for warmer states for the winter.
Gene, our bartering neighbor and friend, used to carry this lantern up the stairs to his un-insulated bedroom each night as a kid.  It was his night light. 
 When I was in my meer 20's, I found these kaleidoscopes.  They come out each Christmas so we all can find their treasures as we look at the tree lights and the snow-covered boughs.
 And the reason for the season,
God blessed us with the birth of his Son,
Jesus in the manger.
Thanks for stopping by.
Sing while you decorate for Christmas.
It will lighten your spirit as well as the Lord's.


Friday, November 23, 2012

Brrrrrrrr Hum-bug

Yes, it's cold outside!
The weather shifted nearly 30F. degrees when the cold front rolled in from out west.
 It's such a good thing that the Ruby Throated Hummingbirds flew south, leaving their untended nests under the weight of the coming snow.
 I would suppose I should take down that last Hummer-feeder.  I cannot believe I forgot it.  It is quite stunning against the snow, don't you think?  It will brighten these coming long winter days.
 With the cold, it is still snowing hard, a l l  d a y  l o n g !!!
At least it's the ' fluffy ' stuff.
 Our favorite Black-Capped Chickadees are filling their bellies to keep them warm.  Did you know they will use a bird nest box all winter long, one piled on another, to keep from the cold winds.
Pretty smart little perching birds.
 And look who showed up yesterday and all day today.  The Pine Grossbeaks are home again.  I haven't seen them for at least 4-5 years.  What a welcome sight.  I need to get them some nuts.
 Blanket, anyone?  The trees are well insulated.
 The windy evening air is enough to make this female Pine Grossbeak fluff her feathers for her protection.  Birds amaze me~~~such resilience.
 When the snow stops, it will be deere John's turn to get busy again...only this time, pushing snow rather than plowing.  Then he goes under storage for the winter while Blue takes over pushing snow and making snow forts.
Winter has begun, whether we like it or not.  It's time for me to deal with it once again.  Until next time,
stay warm and safe.  And

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Living Off the Land Thanksgiving

Do you see the turkey tracks...
 and Big Bird Turkey up the tree preparing to roost?
Well, I have a better plan.  You know how our food does not always come from the grocery store? and how our forefathers had to hunt for their meals? not much has changed in the north woods.
We do grocery shop, ( like I did this time,) but we have been fortunate enough to ' eat off the land.'  Venison from the deer the guys are trying to harvest with bow, rifle or black powder gun,  turkey season is long past but unsuccessful, ( so I shopped ), geese and ducks were hunted by my grandson and son, they ' were ' successful.  Partridge line a shelf in the freezer thanks to another son and dear husband.  Plenty of pan fish from the waters during the spring and summer.  You will not catch me on the ice, ice fishing, tho the guys bring in plenty of walleye.  My brother and Hubby provide the trout each year from the spring-fed waters.
 Oh, they are a treat!
To top it all off, we have every vegetable we could hope for on the pantry shelves, in the freezer and dried.
So, you see, we are so thankful for the gifts of our provider, our Lord and Savior.

Today, I start early, preparing for our Thanksgiving Dinner.
Ours comes early each year.  It's our way of sharing our children with their in-laws and moms.  Turkey day is just a day, whereas, Thanksgiving is every day.  Share it with those you love if you can.

Now, I have some cooking and baking to do.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Woodburning & Practicing Patience

I know some of you have seen these etchings before,  done with a wood burner.  I'm showing them again in an attempt to ease my own desire to be at the cabin.  

I did these free-hand, many years ago, rather quickly, before the generator quit.  There wasn't much gas left in it and I wanted to do something to these crude window frames, so it was a ' full-speed- ahead-project.  Each window took no more than 10-15 minutes.  
 Somewhere on each of the frames, I also burned the footprints that each of these wildlife make.  It was kind of fun.  I had never done wood-burning before, so please forgive my ineptness.
 I think the moose is one of my favorites with his knobby knees wrapped around the framework's edge.  There is a buck, a bear,
 a moose, chipmunk, and 
 my favorite friendly perching bird, the Black-Capped Chickadee.
 Tho, I've been longing to spend some time at the cabin, now is not the time.  Soon, I keep saying, but now, I will wait until the hunters have thoroughly cleaned and gone.  If I go now, I would be tempted to clean up after the guys.  I will wait.
 Maybe then, I can stay before the snow flies.  I have no interest in strapping on the snowshoes just yet.  I will have to wait a long time before another hike in the woods.  Until then,
 patience.  Not something I'm good at lately, but I will practice.

Have a grateful Thanksgiving Week with your families.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

The O Family

Wow, look what I found.  This is my family, a picture taken in the 70's, or near that.  Some of you have been asking more about my family when I was growing up., so I thought I'd share a couple pictures of us.  

Pictured left to right, front to back are:  me/Darla, Eric, Randy, Colleen, Linda, behind me is my twin, Doug, behind him is Cheryl, Mom Wynette, Dad Ted, Melody, and Lana.  We sadly, lost our baby brother, Jimmy, at birth. 
 What a houseful.  Mom and Dad were the best parents then and always.  How in the Lord's name did they ever cloth and feed all of us, was with the Lord's help.  Can you imagine putting glasses on all of us?  Good grief.  That alone, would cost at least 4 grand now days.
This next and last family picture taken, was just after our Dad's funeral.  My apology for the lack of clarity.  

I hope we can all be with Mom this Christmas for another family picture.  I think it's important to take these while we still can.  It's been 5 yrs. already since this one was taken, but it's still pretty close to what we all look like today.

Way left in Dad's chair is our sister Lana.  She passed away 3 yrs. ago.  Lord, how we all miss her.  She had the most contagious laughter.  You couldn't help but join in.

Sitting in the front, Colleen, is our youngest sister and Texas Sweetheart, and kneeling next is Eric, the youngest of the brothers.
Next to Lana is Randy, Doug, Mom, Cher from Michigan, Lin and Mel. I'm in the back peeking between Randy and Doug.  What a lot of love to go around.

Our family tree has many branches since we were kids, some scrapes but nothing we couldn't fix with lots of support for one another.  Our biggest losses with our huge family has been letting Dad and Lana sit beside God before the rest of us.  We know we will see them again someday.  God promised.

If you wish to hear more, let me know and I will try my best to bring you all closer.  Family is key, but a 'loving and supportive family' is such a blessing.

Like our parents always said each day,
"This is the day the Lord has made,
Let us rejoice and be glad in it."  Psalm 118:vs.24

Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Cutting Up

I know that Christmas is a ways off yet, but not if I want to make roping/garland for my deck and doors, or a wreath or swags, to send home with the kids over Thanksgiving.  

These first couple of pictures are of myself wrapped up with my nephew and sister Mel's son, Sam about 16-17 yrs. ago.  (Please forgive the lack of clarity with the pictures.  I took these with an ancient camera, a 110.)
 Wherever we were, her little guy would follow, as all the rest of our kids were in school already.  We made a lot of wreaths and roping that year.  Even Sam got in the action making his very own creation complete with a bird's nest for a winter weary bird.  It's a lot of work, from cutting the boughs from the balsam trees at just the right place to allow for following growth.

Then we would haul the bundles of boughs out of the woods on trailers behind the 4-wheelers,  roll the pine cones we picked off the ground in white paint so they looked like they had snow on them.  Wrapping cuts of the boughs around wire rings to make the wreaths went faster as we learned.  Mel was pretty fast.  My wreaths were usually pretty funky looking like the one on the right of Sam.  Some were sold, some were for our own use.
 My bough cutting, wreath making days are long past as a money-maker.  Now I only make a few swags which are relatively simple and not so hard on arthritic hands.  I keep one or two for my doors and give the rest to the kids  and my mother, for their holiday decor.
 Now, I use Winterberries, balsam, pine and cedar and if it doesn't become snow-covered, any pine cones I can find that the squirrels haven't lunched on.  The reason I do it now, or even earlier, is the weather.  Once it gets cold up north, it usually Stays cold for the next 6 months, at least.  
So, tomorrow, and before the rifle deer season begins this weekend, I need to take the truck and get supplies.
I am so late at getting to this chore that the winterberries have all been eaten by the birds so I will find a way to improvise somehow.  Perhaps just a bow this year, or some glitter spray.  
All I know for sure is that I do love to decorate my door. We will have to wait and see what I come up with.  It all else fails, fake it!

Until next time, thanks so much for making my day.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Solved Mystery/Ginormous Cookies

Remember the wee stone house?  I did as promised, and asked around the neighborhood for an answer to it's use.  Our bachelor neighbor stopped by for a visit this weekend, and he said it was a ' ' smokehouse.'  He said that it seemed like it always had smoke rolling out of it morning til night once the fall air cooled, right through Christmas and sometimes, after.  So, there's our answer to the mystery of the prior entry.  Thought you'd wanna know.
A cookie, anyone?  These cookies were so huge, gigantic, enormous, they filled the center of a saucer.  And were they ever fantastic.
 Very seldom, do I ' buy ' cookies, but these were just too irresistible.  The Chocolate Chunk were awesome but not as wonderful as the Oatmeal Raisin.  One cookie was like eating 3-4 regular sized cookies.  What made them even better?!!~~~they were ' soft and chewy.'  Mmmmmmmm, so very good! 
My apologies if I made you hungry before your dinner, but, then, who ever said you can't have dessert first?

Have a great week everyone and