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'.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Country Commandments~

Please click on the Country Commandments to enlarge for easier reading~it will be worth it.

As a kid growing up on a struggling country farm, our Country Commandments were adhered to daily.  We behaved, or else.
God, church, Sunday School, Bible camp, the church choir, were the center of our entertainment and learning back then.  I miss those fond days.
Life was good on the farm.  Myself, my twin and 7 siblings each had our ' chores ' to do, some pleasant, some not so much.

One of the things I recall as my ' job,' was to pick weeds before picking and eating the tomato I had my eye on.  As I think of it, there were times that we each had a row to clean of the weeds that seemed to pop up over night.  Or a 20 mile ride to  where Mom grew up just to pick at least 10 buckets of raspberries before we could go home, snitching was allowed.  Times enough, we were rewarded with pie, cake or cookies, making every berry or bean worth the wait.  Is that Mom's bread I smell drifting toward the garden?  Things like that made the chore seem less like work.

Oh, I'm not complaining, so much, as I'm in total recall of some of my youth, lately.  Did you know I was quite the horse gal in my prime.  I could ride like the wind through the woods on Poncho, Penny and Old Babe., even Amber Gal on occasion.  She was my one of my sister's favorites.  Poncho was one of my favorites, tho he was quite a spunky young paint.  He loved to run...straight for the barn, but he was the one I loved to ' horse play ' with.  My twin and I would pretend we were circus performers.  Doug could do just about anything with those horses, so of course, I had to give it a shot.  Ride, I did, side-saddle, standing on the saddle, hanging upside down on the side of the saddle, backwards.  If Mama knew half of what we did, she would have paddled our behinds.    We Did Mind our parents,......most the time.  Like any kid, we did try to get away with things once in awhile, ( is that like lyin' ?, ) but we did mind...most of the time. 

We did not cuss, at least I don't recall ever getting my mouth washed out with soap.  I do remember my Dad sternly reminding  my brother  ' once,' that he eats with that mouth...and in all his 80 years, I don't think I ever heard him swear, honest!

Did you ever have to give back a toy or something that doesn't belong to you, and then apologize ta boot?   It's a tough cookie to swallow for a kid.  Tears swell and a knot forms in your throat.
I know., but I never took what wasn't mine after that hard lesson.

Do you know what a party line is??? well we had one at the farm.
And one thing you never, never, ever do is to listen in on your neighbor's conversations,...........even if they're talking about you.  It was a long bus ride to school the next morning, sitting with who you ' thought ' was your best friend.  That's a hard pill to swallow.
I never did like bad-mouthing.  It's such a hurtful, useless thing.

What's most important in your life?  As a kid, it was a distant dream to be the best dressed kid in your class or the smartest.  Going on a ' real ' shopping trip, or just the chance to leave the neighborhood for a day, swim in a real swimming pool or ride in a nice car instead of being crammed in a station wagon with 8 other kids.....it was a rare treat, a very rare treat.
I suppose I wanted it so badly, that I'd have given up Sunday School and sitting quiet in church for it.  I never, however, would have given up my brothers and sisters, even when they were being mean.  Today, I am just happy being me and living on less.

We had a good life growing up on the farm.  So we had to muck the stalls, feed the chickens and slop the hogs, feed the mink and brush burdocks from the horses and dogs tails.  These were the worse of the jobs for which we were greatly rewarded.  We got to grow up together as one big happy family.  Sure, we stumbled from time to time and even lost our way on occasion, but we knew that whenever we needed, the door was always open and we would always be received with wide open arms.

We have had our good times and the bad, but we have survived to tell about our loving and understanding up-bringing.  My heart prays for those who have not had that same relationship with God and their parents.   Our home was just that...a home, the place we know we can always come back to. 
I understand now and Our Country Commandments come easy~

Life IS Good


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lessons ~ Wildwood Treasures

It's raining again.  No complaints, however.  Our ground had been  
' so ' dry ' so ' deep, thus, we need the rains.  In the past week we have gotten over 4 inches.  It has replenished our gardens, the lawns are green once more and the creek no longer trickles ~ it roars.  There is not a more relaxing sound, except, perhaps, the sound of rain on the cabin's metal roof.

For some unknown-to-me-reason, I'm unable to load pictures for you.  Sometimes, it's just good to use one's imagination, just like when we were kids and before the age of technology.  Even my kids, and especially the Grandloves, cannot begin to understand such a peaceful and fearless world. Growing up when I was a kid was good as gold.

The gardens are overflowing.  There is processing going on daily.
Today  it was peas........again...........Next, green beans.......and cucumbers, dill, basil......and kale, carrots and beets and beet greens........and, and, and ~  life is busy.

Due to the saturation point of the ground, however, and the wet crops, there will be no sinking in the paths, no picking the beans that are getting away on me, for I'm staying out of the gardens.  Mom always said, " Don't pick the beans when they are wet or they will rust. "  She knew.

Long ago when I worked late waiting tables, I would come home famished and headed straight for the garden to pick a handful of green beans, steam them and that was my snack while winding down from a long night on my fast but tired feet.  
 One night, I came home to find the beans picked, snipped, in the pan and waiting for me.  It was then, that I learned about not picking wet or dewy beans. 
Thanks to Mom, another lesson learned.  I never liked feeling my way through the bean patch in the dark anyway.

I learned most about gardening from my mom and about berries and cattle/deer crops from my dad.  Coming from a large family to feed, most every opportunity is taken to cut corners in the pocketbook.  My parents taught each of us to fend for ourselves.  
Nothing is free but everything can be a gift.  It's all in how you see it and utilize it.  That was why gardening and hunting for food was always so important.  Just yesterday, I made jelly from the chokecherries and black cherries that Bill and I found in the woods.  Jelly from wild trees ~ another gift.  It's there for everyone to find and use.  Gifts, like the mushrooms and berries, cherries and leeks of springtime.  All any of us need to do is, open our eyes and see that ~ it's ok to accept these wildwood treasures to feast on.

Life is so Good

Friday, August 23, 2013

A Walk on the Wild Side

First, I apologize for unclear photos.
 Among one of the finest treasures of this earth, is the flavor of a fresh Giant Puffball Mushroom.  Bill came home with this one and asked if I'd fry it for him...of course, but only if I could have a taste.  I've had them before but was quickly reminded of their extremely buttery flavor.  I couldn't even tell you what we had it with for I only remember the mushroom.  They are wonderful, but beware, know what you're picking, and never eat them once they begin to yellow inside.  They must be snow white under their outer skin that first gets peeled away.  What a great gift to your palate.
 Late summer offers so many temptations from the woods and field edges.  Another are the multiple patches of wild raspberries, smaller in size but so intense in flavor compared to those terribly expensive ones from the stores.
 On our Lake Superior drive, we found Thimble Berries.  They also have a flavor all their own, similar to a raspberry but not a good one to pick a bucket full of: reason? they're a bit mushy.  I do love the leafs on their plant.  They are huge as my son's hand and would make a great impression in concrete~~~now, why didn't I pick a few?  Next time. 
 Thank God for this plant.  Did you know that wherever there is a plant that will pick you or make you itch like some berry brush or stinging nettle, poison oak or ivy, You can rest assured that God planted a remedy.  In this case, close by was Jewelweed, also known as Spotted Touch-Me-Not.  The juice from this plant relieves the itch or burn, just like Aloe plants.
 My Grandlove, Katie, couldn't get enough of the wild raspberries~
however, picking berries and sitting around evening campfires, can get itchy to sensitive little girl legs.  Katie's little sister Megan was proof of that.  Instant relief was close by. 
Also, if you see any fuzzy caterpillars on your outdoor adventures, don't be tempted to pick them up or let them fall down the back of your t-shirt.  Their fuzzy bodies Will cause quite the itchy-scratchy or even a rash.  Mr. White-Marked Tussock is not your friend nor the friend of your deciduous trees.
So much for today's walk on the wild side.

Have a great weekend and remember
Life is Good

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Worth the Wait

Papa got a new toy,
 Mama got a new toy!
oh, and how we appreciate our new toys~
It's exciting!
It's been a very long time coming for us.
We are calling these items 'perks' of retirement,
our 'plus' of this material world we live in.
It's seldom, I say, that we ever get anything for 'us.'
His new cross-bow is allowing him to continue an outdoor
sport that he loves, into the age of medicare and tired eyes.
The highly up-graded pc for me is another
' learning curve,'  another challenge.  
Don't ask me for details, I do not know details.
All I know for sure is that this touchscreen is nice
and it's faster than ever, ( anything is faster than the dinosaur I was using.)  I can see my daughter snickering at that comment.
It's taking some getting used to, Windows 8., but I will 
' get it ' sooner or later.
If he's happy,  I'm happy!
At the September of our lives, we have earned ' new.'
For that, we are grateful.

Life is Good

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Heavy with Pollen

so heavy with pollen, like the bee~
 that it's near impossible to get up.
the gardens have been full,
the jars and freezer bags are beginning to fill,
the field crops are nearing harvesting.
but even with all the bounty to prepare for winter,
it was time to take a drive and a walk.

we rode to the crystal clear, barely tepid waters
of the south shore of Lake Superior to take a break.
the hr. ride was a noisy chatter, even some bickering,
all of us needing interruption before falling prey 
to physical and mental collapse.

the water was calm enough for the sailors to delight
in an excursion in their sail boats and little and big kids
alike, to walk the shore in search of a rare agate or the 
rock with the most sparkle, or perhaps one as round as a ball.

the breeze was slight but enough to ward off the 
heat of the day.  a ' hush ' came over each of us
as the search began. no phones, no tv, no camera

buckets of water were carried and poured on dry,
tumbled rocks of the shore, as the little ones sat and 
tumbled their treasures again and again.  maybe they
would find just ' one more ' special stone to carry home
as a memory of the day~
or a feather

one more stop to fill our water bottles with icy cold,
refreshing water from the artesian well ~ water that is
constantly forced up from the deep pressure beneath
the mountain.  a true gift from God

the best gift of the day?
the song or two that were sung,
the ' hush '
 on our return~

it was a great day
life no longer seemed so ' heavy '
life is good

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Learning Survival Alone

I'm always looking across the field,
to see what I can see, maybe a fox, or
 this lil fella and~
 his sister.  These twins have been without their mother for about a month now.  I worried they wouldn't make it without her, but they seem to be doing quite well.
 They have learned quickly, how to fend for themselves, 
how to be cautious of their surroundings and~~~
 predators.  Though my grandson was able to walk quietly, talking softly the entire time, this fella knew to be aware.  At first, the fawns ran, but it didn't take them long to return to their business~~~
 eating and tasting whatever was available.  Hey,
deer are not supposed to like pumpkin leaves because of
their fuzzy leaves and stems.  I sure hope they don't find 
the tender pumpkins that are only fist size.
 On closer look, I see he has only a mouthful of grass.
 One of my biggest fears, is the highway we live too close to.
Obviously, the deer are also learning the sounds and sight of traffic.
 This was a good time to run and hide.  Do you see him
hiding in the sunflower stalks?  He IS there.

 Once the coast was clear, it was again, safe,
to come out from hiding and eat more before nightfall.
 Back for one last snack, 
 one more cautious look, 
and off they ran to the safety of heavier cover.

If all other adversity is dodged by the twins, 
they will make it through the seasons. 

I look forward to the day they grow out of their spots
and follow the neighboring deer herd around.  Perhaps the
doe we see in the field without her lone fawn, will adopt them and teach them how to survive a bitter WI winter.
For now~
We will continue to watch.

Life IS Good

Monday, August 5, 2013

Quarter Moon & Free

At 4:50 the morning of the 4th, this is the sunrise Moon that I woke to.  It amazed me.  It's been such a long time~~~
 since I've risen to such a spectacular sight.  
Look closely, or click the photo to enlarge it,
and you will see the ring extending the crescent
of the quarter moon.  The photo below even shows the stars.
 Now, for the bird and flora lovers, 
the Honeysuckle bushes have been so busy.
The Cedar Waxwings are gobbling up berries.
 Again, please click the photos for a closer look and
you will see this gal is just about to swallow her treat.
Do you see her mate?
 Even the Red-Breasted Nuthatch is getting in the act.
 This bush is loaded with treats for our feathered friends.
 They do look appetizing but NOT for human consumption.
They taste terrible and bitter~
 But the birds love them, even the American Robin.
 Finally, the Cedar Waxwing rests long enough for a snapshot.
 Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this little gal
is a Hooded Warbler.
 She's much too small to be a female Scarlet Tanager.
I also saw a pair of Black and White Warblers that
moved so fast, I never did catch them in my lens.
 I think the over-ripe berries were beginning to drunken
the birds enough to make them dance...dance robin, dance.
 The berries of the Choke Cherry trees are ripening fast, too.
 By time the Honeysuckle bushes are cleaned off,
the birds will be after the blackened Chokes....oh
and they do choke you, they are extremely bitter, 
leaving your mouth dry and twisted.
They sure do make great jelly, tho, so I'm watching
them close.  I want my share before the birds get them all.
I can hardly wait for that first taste of Chokecherry Jelly
on my morning toast.

Have a sweet week and know that
Life IS Good as God
Just look at all the gifts we are getting~~~
for free!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hot, Cold, Luke-Warm

 Hot days dropped to cold days, 
then back to luke-warm days.
It all adds up to comfort food in this house.
 Having a bored boy visiting for awhile,
it was time for him to bake something 
' all by himself,' and he did a great job.
His choice was Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
(and cupcakes).  My, but they were goooood!!!
 Mornings have still been chilly,
so what better lunch than Chicken Dumpling Soup.
It makes a sore throat feel pretty good too.
 Of course, there is no better way to use up leftover bread,
so Bread Pudding it was.  There were no raisins in the cupboard so what could we use, but chocolate covered raisins and a handful of dried cherries.  Mercy, that pan of bread pudding disappeared in no time flat...
These are just a few of our comfort foods for these cooler evenings.  What are some of your favorites?

Stay Safe and Remember~
Life is Good as Bread Puddin'