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Friday, August 30, 2013

What a Week!!!

Please pray for healing. Dave had complications and was admitted to the hospital on Wednesday, the pain is now under control, THANKFULLY, but he will be in hospital for a few more days.

Things to be thankful for:

My husband is no longer in pain!
My boss is so understanding and I did not need to stress about missing work on Thursday.
My children have been wonderful! Feeding the chickens, the steer, the dog and the cat, keeping me company at the hospital, bringing me coffee, bringing me something to eat while I stayed by Dave's side.
Friends and family, all the supportive phone calls, and prayers offered.
The priest at the hospital, such a nice man, so encouraging to us.
That my husband is getting good care and should be well again soon.

Praise The Lord, for he is GOOD.

Thank you,


Monday, August 26, 2013

Surgery Update

All is well! Praise the Lord.

Dave's surgery was straightforward, the hernia repaired, and no sign of weakness on the other side, so very good. He is a bit uncomfortable, to be expected, but is taking his pain meds, and is already feeling bored because he is sore and can't really do anything.

Nancy, my neighbor, called me a bit ago, she had knee replacement surgery today, she is doing very well, in fact, I could not believe how perky she sounded on the phone. I will pop up and visit her tomorrow on my way home from work.

So thank you everyone for your prayers, they were answered.


Saturday, August 24, 2013

Prayer Request and Busyness

First of all I would like to request prayer for my husband who will be having surgery on Monday morning to repair a hernia, and also for my neighbor Nancy who will be having knee replacement surgery the same day. I will be taking both Dave and Nancy to the hospital as they both have to check in around the same time. Dave's surgery is outpatient and I assume we will be back home by early afternoon. Nancy will in the hospital for several days and will then spend a yet to be determined number of days in a rehabilitation facility as she recuperates from her surgery.
Dave has been off work all week, he isn't in pain, but he isn't feeling very comfortable, hopefully by the end of next week he will be feeling almost back to normal. The doctor said he should wait three weeks before returning to work as his job is quite physically demanding.  Four weeks without pay is going to stre-e-e-tch us for sure, thankfully we have a freezer full of meat, and a lot of vegetables put up already from our garden so we can cut grocery purchases to the bare minimum. I am trying to avoid thinking too much about what all of this will cost, and instead am thankful that it can be taken care of so quickly. Anyway please pray for us as this adds stress to the situation, I have faith that God will see us through, but still appreciate your prayers.

I find it best to keep occupied when times are a little tough, so busy I have been keeping myself.  Last year I purchased about four yards of blue and white pinstriped seersucker material with plans to make a jumper. I had a pattern but couldn't quite convince myself that it was exactly what I wanted so the material has sat on a shelf since last summer. As I was ironing the other evening I pulled a seersucker jumper out of the ironing basket, it is one that I like, it is in a very light brown check, so comfortable to wear in the summer. I purchased the jumper in the Goodwill store in Loveland, CO, about five years ago and have always thought it would be nice to have another one. Well as I ironed a light bulb went off in my head and thought about the blue and white pinstriped material and thought why not? I have never made a jumper without a pattern, and have never attempted to make a garment by copying one I already own. Well it took some thinking, but armed with a tape measure, a marking pen, and a seam ripper I was able to duplicate the jumper.  I made a few modifications, I simply sewed the shoulder straps in place in the front, rather than using dungaree clasps. Each side had a row of three buttons, I have never had any reason to undo them so decided they were unnecessary so simply continued the seam up the side. I could not believe that I actually succeeded with this project so well, I am pleased with the jumper and know I will wear it often. I also used a decorative stitch on my sewing machine to edge the pockets and the top front of the bib.

I have had a number of projects in limbo. I have four balls of nice brown yarn that have been in my knitting basket for a year or more, I decided to start a cardigan and cast on the back yesterday and started the ribbing, I should have this project finished by fall.  I have some knobbly, fluffyish sort of tawny colored yarn that I purchase months ago to crochet a shawl with, I think I will start this project on Monday morning while Dave is in surgery, this should help pass the time and when my mind is concentrated it doesn't turn to worrying.

A couple of summers ago I purchased a pair of hot pads at a yard sale, they were new and were crocheted by the mother of the elderly lady who was having the sale. They are great hot pads, very colorful and they work well, I could tell they were crocheted but could not figure out how they were made. Well now, thanks to google, I discovered that they are called Magic Hot Pads, and boy are they easy to make, and they are kind of magical because of the way they are put together. I made one today, it didn't take long, although it is made out of a very garish variegated yarn, it will certainly add color to the table!

As I said, the variegated yarn is very GARISH,
don't you think?

 Another item I purchased a while ago was a kitchen hand towel that hangs from a drawer handle, I love it, and miss it so when it is in the wash, which is frequently because it is used so much.  Well I googled how to make a crochet topped towel, it is easy, and I am pleased with the finished product. A very inexpensive project, the dish towel cost .94 cents and makes two hanging towels, which is good because I will now have three of them and will always have one hanging around to dry my hands on. I will make more of these for Christmas gifts.

Yesterday I got the first major pick of tomatoes out of the garden and was able to can 16 quarts, I am sure in a few days time plenty more will be ready for picking.  We have been enjoying cheese and tomato sandwiches and toasties, egg and tomato salad sandwiches, and sliced tomatoes with most anything. Your just can't beat a super ripe home grown tomato. We are anxiously awaiting our canteloupe melons to finish ripening, they are almost ready, but not quite, it is driving me nuts. I am sure that all fifteen will ripen the exact same day and we will be eating melon until we turn orange. About all I have left to do other than tomatoes is bring in the cabbage and get sauerkraut going, I think I will work on this next weekend.

First batch of tomatoes out of the canner.

Tomorrow we are going to Amber and Brads house to celebrate grandson Henry's fifth birthday, how time flies. It is going to be an ice-cream party, so should be fun for all.
All the grand babies were here yesterday, the boys built a train out of three booster seats, a ride on car and walker toy, they had so much fun and played train for quite a while.

Anyway, thank you again for keeping us in your prayers.


Saturday, August 17, 2013

Summertime and the living is easy...

Yet another glorious summer day, we have truly been blessed with so many fair weather days in a row. The grandsons are here today, so we decided to spend the morning outside. We headed out around nine-thirty, hung the wash, fed the chickens, fed the steer, and on our way back up to the house picked a bucketful of peppers and stopped by the grape arbor for a refreshing snack of canadice grapes.  After gathering up some supplies, water, apples, matches and paper, we headed back out to light a campfire. The fire soon took off, the little boys played happily in the mulberry tree while I enjoyed sitting in it's shade with Charlie.  After a little while Grandpa came out with two little boy cane fishing poles and the three of them headed off to the neighbors pond for some fishing. The boys caught several little fish and were very pleased with themselves.
After fishing everyone was hungry so we roasted hot dogs on the campfire and enjoyed a pleasant outdoor lunch.
Charlie finally awoke from his nap, what a pleasant nap kicked back in the stroller in the shade of the mulberry tree, he literally had it made in the shade :)  Now we are back in the house, two boys are tired, but are waiting patiently for grandpa to return from the store with popsicles. Yikes, Grandpa just called, Dollar Generals freezer broke down again, so no popsicles from there, so he is heading off to Sav A Lot in Grabill for some funko brand popsicles instead :)
I thought this was cute, as we sat around the campfire this morning I played a couple of games with the boys, one was Telephone, you know the game? the one where one person whispers a message to another, and at the end you never know how the message might end up. Anyway, Henry started one of the messages and whispered in my ear, "I like it when Patrick plays with me". I just love it, they play pretty well together for the most part and I think when Henry starts preschool next month Patrick is going to miss him very much.

They were deep in discussion when I was walking towards them, I wonder what they were so intently talking about?

Behind the sunflowers is a big patch of corn, in front is a row of cosmos flowers just about ready to bloom, and then a whole mess of tomato plants with tons of tomatoes beginning to turn red.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mr. Blue Sky

Today was truly a most beautiful day. I love white puffy cloud days!!! I was listening to a dramatization of Anne of Avonlea on BBC Radio 4 Extra, a story I really enjoy, as I was driving Sunday afternoon. Anne and Diana, her bosom friend and kindred spirit, enjoy a pleasant day together outdoors. As their time together comes to a close Anne says something along the lines of, "...I feel sorry for all the people who have not yet been born, because they missed this day, not that they won't have beautiful days, but they will never have this particular day...".  I think you get the drift, and today was one of those beautiful, perfect days. Nothing much happened, I had all four grand babies over, I pickled beets, did laundry, made stuffed peppers, and it was simply a perfectly satisfying day. The crickets chirping, a gentle breeze, a sun shiny day, puffy white clouds, the burble of our chickens, an occasional cock-a-doodle-do from our two roosters, the sunflowers beaming at us from the garden, babies playing, little boys imagining wondrous things as they played with blocks and toy cars. It was a day of just mundane things, yet a day so filled with blessings.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Tree Take Down Day

Yesterday we headed to my parents house to take down a couple of dead hickory trees.  Dave and Brian, my brother-in-law, armed with chainsaws and our son Matt, had both trees down in no time at all, that was the easy bit. Next the trees had to be cut into logs, all the small branches trimmed off, and then all the logs hauled away to be stacked in another area.  Once the job was done we enjoyed a lovely meal on the deck, Brian grilled up steaks that my Mom had purchased at Fresh Market, and we had corn on the cob from our garden, lovely baked potatoes, and delicious caramelized onions. But most importantly we had a great day working together as a family and had the satisfaction of a job well done.

Dave cutting down a trunk into log size pieces.
Brian trimming down the stump to ground level.

Getting psyched up to load the wagon with more logs.

Charlie took every opportunity to climb up onto the tractor.

Playing on the tractor.

Oh, the lure of the tractor.

Charlie thinks he helping.

A ride back from unloading logs.

Alivia supervising from the stroller.

Two grubby, tired babies, who were ready for a diaper change, bottle, and nap!

I told you they were tired! :)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


The little boys are over today and Alivia will be here in about an hour, so a full load of grand babies to entertain.  Little Charlie has a cold and is taking a nap, Pat is playing with the train set on the floor and Henry is doing school work.  I think a little later today we will bake some oatmeal raisin cookies.  I find that the day goes very well with a bunch of kiddies if there are plenty of things to keep them occupied, and cookie baking is always fun.
I have been sewing a little recently and have made the boys each a pair of shorts in a fabulous super-hero print fabric and Alivia now has a matching sundress. Last summer I cut out a fabric to make Dave a shirt, then kind of lost my sewing mojo for a while, (like a year), but this week I put the shirt together and am pleased with it.  Dave really likes the animal print, the more you look the more you see.

 am pleased to say that Angie, Dave's sister, responded extremely well to her treatment for lung cancer and she is now cancer free.  TRULY CANCER FREE - isn't that an amazing blessing from the Lord! 
Emily and her boyfriend Skylar are expecting a baby next March, this will be our fifth grandchild! I think there will be a wedding in January.  It is always exciting to have a baby to look forward to, I wonder what it will be? 

Lately I have felt rather unsettled and restless, I think about my next birthday, not until March, and the fact that I will be fifty, and I wonder how on earth that can possibly be.  It makes me feel very strange when I think about it, fifty???  how bizarre!  

I am continuing to read my bible each day, I have a little booklet that gives me an old testament and new testament reading each day and after one year I will have read the entire bible.  I like the Kings James version of the bible, it makes me slow down when I read and I have to think about what is written. I am continuing to do a bible study program with Lamp and Light out of New Mexico, it is a correspondence course, I enjoy it. I started last year, kind of ran out steam, but picked back up earlier this summer and am going strong.  I think God brings things to me in the season that I need it.  

I have done a lot of reading this summer, all books by Christians who have faced adversity with a grace only possible because of their strong faith. I have enjoyed the books, they really show me how to live a faith filled life, and I am learning to turn all things over to the Lord. 

Recently I made some little signs and hung them on the cabinets by the kitchen sink, I find them encouraging, and since I am in the kitchen a lot it is nice to look over an see a little note of encouragement. 

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Little Garden that Could Give and Give and Give

Wow, our garden is superbly productive this year.  It was very satisfying this evening to eat a meal that mostly from our very own back yard. Dave cooked some burgers on the grill, they were made with beef from our steer we raised over the past year, and garnished with tomato and onion from our garden, topped off with bread and butter pickles I made last weekend with a lot of our cucumbers, we also enjoyed some corn on cob from the garden. Everything was delicious, so fresh, and so tasty.

Noodle, brother of Beef who was butchered earlier this year.

Bread and butter pickles in the canner.

Today I made up another batch of bread and butter pickles, they are in the canner right now, when they are done processing I am going to bed. Along with pickles I got two batches of bread done, five loaves of white, and 4 loaves of oatmeal, this will keep us in bread for a few weeks. I baked two birthday cakes, one for Dave, and one for Ben, as they share a birthday, we are celebrating tomorrow, a few days early.
55 and 22, both like the same cake, and have done so every single year!!!

Dave will slow cook baby back ribs on the grill tomorrow for everyone to enjoy, I plan to fix up a pan of baked beans and a big batch of coleslaw.  We are going to have some fresh veggies and dip, all of the veggies are from our garden, carrots, peppers, cherry tomatoes, kohlrabi, and cucumber, I just love it.

Henry was very excited about picking corn from the patch of garden that belongs to him and Patrick, all the plants are taller or as tall as they are and they like to play in their "jungle". Today was high excitement, one of the very tall sunflowers finally had a flower. The boys were in their jungle garden for a while and then came running out because they found "jungle bugs"! Charlie was worn out, he had walked all over the place and was ready to go in the house for lunch and a nap.

I took a good look through the tomato patch, once they start ripening I will have to get busy canning, nothing like opening a jar of home grown tomatoes in January and smelling their lovely smell and with a quick closing of the eyes you are right back in your summer garden.

I just cannot believe how productive the garden has been this year, it truly, truly, truly is the best garden we have ever had. I have given away arm loads of kale to my sister, along with swiss chard and brocolli, my parents have enjoyed fresh green beans and broccoli, and we eat something from the garden most days. Our fruit trees are just loaded and for the first time ever, we planted most of the apple trees ten years ago and have never even enjoyed an apple from them but we are cautiously optimistic that we might actually have enough fruit to make a pie and hopefully some applesauce.

How is your garden doing this year?

I just love this picture.  Little Charlie is just 14 months old, but he is bound and determined to do all that his big brothers do and some!