Friday, August 31, 2012

Friday Favorite Things

friday favorite things | finding joy
These are a few of my favorite things this week

Oh Beautiful for spacious skies
Amber bales of hay
Purple mountain majesty
Fruited plain (backyard)
Visit with good friend from Colorado Springs
Grandson's new car
Great gran helping Auntie clean (dressed for success-a tutu)

Each week, Hilary at Feeling Beachie lists four statements with a blank for you to fill in on your own blogs. If you want to join the fun and come up with four fill in’s of your own, please email them to her at If she uses them, she will add you as co-host to the hop!  

1. I love to _have a flower garden__ but I hate to _do yard work__
2. A hug__ makes a day better
3. They Didn’t Think I Could __live abroad____, But I Did (In France for three years)
4. Warning: _I get cranky when I am tired_!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pondering with a Purpose--Talent

This Week's prompt is: Talented? Do you do something... that you learned in school or as a child... that your children have no idea how to do?

When I read today's thought, I was reminded of a conversation that I had with my middle daughter many years ago.  I had decided that it was time that she learned how to sew.  I bought a simple dress pattern and some fabric and started to show her how easy this project would be.  About five minutes into the lesson, she turned to me and stated as only an eight year old could, "Mom, why should I learn how to do this, cause your my Mom, right? and you know how, right?"  I'm afraid that was the end of it.  Then a few years back, I gave her one of my old sewing machines--it worked fine but just didn't have all the latest technology.  Do you know what she said?  "Thanks Mom, now when you come to visit, you can mend some of my things".

I can do a lot of things, but for whatever reason none of my kids got the creative gene.  But it does make me feel needed.  I know that they are glad to see me because there is always a list of projects.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge--Labor Day

1. Americans will celebrate Labor Day this coming weekend. Do you know what we're actually celebrating? (without consulting your friends Google or wikipedia, ahem) What's a project you're currently 'laboring' over?
Labor Day is set aside to honor the working people who make up the backbone of our great country.  I am currently 'laboring' over finishing items for a primitive swap that I joined, although it is so much fun to make the autumn things that it really isn't work

2. Labor Day also signals the unofficial end of summer for most of us...what summer food will you miss the most? If you're in the southern hemisphere feel free to substitute winter for summer.
I love all the fruits of summer, especially watermelon.  Watermelon and summer just go together.

3. A well known proverb states, 'It's easier to seek forgiveness than ask permission.' Your thoughts?
Being the somewhat foolhardy person that I am, I tend to agree.  If we waited for all the votes to be in, we would never get anything done.  Have I made mistakes with my rashness? Of course, but I enjoyed the challenge of being bold.

4. Food critic, film critic, book critic, art critic....which hat would you most like to wear?
Art Critic.  I so love art.  I read a lot, but do it for fun and would hate to have to analyse everything. Food critic--I eat anything, and like everything so that wouldn't work, and I have a hard time sitting though movies.

5. When you were a kid, who (besides your parents) was your favorite adult?
Living on a ranch, pretty much isolated from the world, the only other adult that I had contact with was my school teacher, and for the most part loved each one I had. When I was 8 or 9 we started going to church, and I liked my Sunday School teachers.

6. The astronaut, Neil Armstrong, passed away last week. He was regarded as a hero by many generations of people all around the world. Do we still have modern day heroes? What makes someone a hero?
I think that each one of our service men are heroes.  They volunteered to do a job that puts them in harms way.  Also most of our policemen, firemen and emergency responders are heroes.  They put our needs above their own safety.

7. I never get tired of __reading.  Since I got my Kindle, I probably read 3 or 4 books a week.  Most of them free.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
Most Labor Days I go camping with my daughter, but this year I am staying home and doing art projects.  I will enjoy the quiet time.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Petits PoisWhen I was young, the end of August was canning time.  My mom's huge ranch garden was loaded with all kinds of vegetables that she would can to last us through the coming year.  I loved to shell the peas.  I would tear the stem end and pull the string down along the pod, it was just like a pull tab. The pod popped open and I would free those bright green  peas with a zip of my thumb.  Mom always canned the peas in pint jars.

My least favorite vegetable to ready for canning were green beans.  There would be a wash tub full of them, and it seemed to take forever to snap both end off, cut them in nice little lengths to fill the many quart jars.  Mom always kept back some of the nice slender ones to can whole.  They did make a pretty sight all lined up like soldiers marching around the inside of the jars.

She also canned beets, corn and many other vegetables.  Carrots, potatoes, and root vegetables were stored in the sand in the root cellar.

By the end of the season our basement shelves were filled with a myriad of colorful jars to tide us through til the next harvest.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday About Me--Dancing to a Different Tune

Acting Balanced

When was the last time you tried something new?

I love to try new things.  Every time I go out to eat I always order something new on the menu.  I take new routes to go places, and watch for new things in the stores. Saturday I did two of these.  I took a different road to a friends house, and tried a new dish at the dinner.  I think that it expands your horizons and keeps you thinking young when you are open for new things.

2.  What’s a belief that you hold with which many people disagree?
I believe that it is my duty to turn the other cheek.  I don't mean let others run over me, but return hatefulness with kindness.  This isn't the easiest thing to do, but I have peace when I do it.

3.  What kind of music do you enjoy listening to?
I love country music, old time western music and blue grass gospel.  You can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl.

4.  What piece of advice would you give to a beginning blogger?
I would tell a beginning blogger to be themselves.  Write what is important to you, what interest you.

And don't forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!
5.  What makes you angry?
Me--I get angry when I see someone belittling another person.  From experience, I know how much that hurts and the damage of words is a wound that cuts deep.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sunday Mediation--ME

How many times have we heard that phrase "It's all about me." You know them—they're all around us. They think they're exceptional, and they're just waiting for you to realize how superior they are. To meet a narcissist is to like one; but to know them over time is to seriously sour on them.

When a man is wrapped up in himself, he makes a pretty small package. John Ruskin

Mark 10:31  But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then. (NLT)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Ditty Swap

It is amazing how much talent there is out in blogger land.  I participate in a prim swap hosted by Amy at Bumble Bee Lane.  This time my partner was Ellie from Ellie's Country Accent .  The requirement was that one item had to be a ditty bag.  I absolutely love mine.  It is an aged bag with a crow applique. Also included was a candle mat, two lavender sachets, and the sweetest sheep soap.  Thank you so much, Ellie for the wonderful gifts, hope you are feeling better.  And thanks to Amy for hosting such a fun swap.  

Friday, August 24, 2012

Friday Favorite Things

friday favorite things | finding joy
These are a few of my favorite things this week
weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalms 30:5
Your unfailing love, O LORD, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.  Psalms 36:5
Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Hosea 10:12 
He covers the heavens with clouds, provides rain for the earth, and makes the grass grow in mountain pastures. Psalms 147:8
Dinner at Texas Roadhouse with son and family  (Oldest grandson on left, granddaughter is in front on right)


Each week, Hilary at Feeling Beachie lists four statements with a blank for you to fill in on your own blogs. If you want to join the fun and come up with four fill in’s of your own, please email them to her at If she uses them, she will add you as co-host to the hop! 

  1. I hate _boring teachers___ And since I have to pay for the classes, I feel that I am not getting my moneys worth.
  2. I have never been to ­­­­_the deep South___Hopefully on one of my next vacations I can rectify that.
     3. The hobby I love the most is__art  followed closely by sewing__ and one day I will                                    have my own art studio where I can teach art in many of its forms including sewing._.

         4.  My favorite store to shop at is_a thrift store_because_you never know what treasure you may find, and it will be a bargain; example--I found a dresser for $15.  It had many coats of paint that were chipped and ugly but it had good bones.  When I stripped it I found this treasure valued at $1000.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pondering with a Purpose--Hot

This Week's prompt is: Hot?  Some like it hot... do you?
Let me preface my views with a synopsis of some of the places where I have lived:  Born in Cody, Wyoming 
The highest recorded temperature was 105°F in 1951.
The lowest recorded temperature was -46°F in 1936. (a bit before my time) with very low humidity.

Lived in Denver, Colorado--Denver's coldest month is January when the average temperature overnight is 15.2°F. In July, the warmest month, the average day time temperature rises to 88.0°F.

Lived in Evreux France--Over the course of a year, the temperature typically varies from 33°F to 76°F and is rarely below 24°F or above 86°F.

Lived in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan--one of the snowiest places in Michigan, receiving an average of 128 inches of snow a year, Temperatures varied between a record low of −36 °F and a record high of 98 °F 

Currently living in Phoenix, Arizona--Warmest ever: 122,  Coldest ever: 26, coldest month is January when the average temperature overnight is 43.4°F. In July, the warmest month, the average day time temperature rises to 104.2°F. 

All those staggering facts, just to say that I have experienced both extremes in temperature.  After living in Sault Ste Marie for two years, waking in winter with the car buried in snow up to the windows, having lake effect blizzards blowing so hard that our frame house would get icicles inside, having the furnace on full blast and if you moved just a couple of feet from the vent you were chilled, I was soooo cold.  Then we moved to Phoenix in August.  The temperature the day we arrived was 110.  My poor babies cheeks were flushed from the heat.  I was here on the hottest day on record-June 26, 1990.  But I have also experienced days in December and January when the daytime temperature is in the low 70's. Since I hate to be cold, I would have to vote for living in a hot climate.  It seems that when I am cold, I just can't warm up, no matter how many layers of clothing that I put on, or how much hot chocolate that I drink.  In hot weather like we have had the last couple of weeks, my house is cool, I wear shorts, enjoy ice tea, can cool off in a swimming pool.  During the heat of the day, I stay cool.  

So bring on those hot days.  I'll take them over the bone chilling ones that I have experienced any day.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. Aloha! On August 21, 1959 Hawaii officially became a US state. Have you ever been? Upon arrival would you prefer an orchid or a hibiscus to tuck behind your ear?
I was in Hawaii last year for 3 weeks.  My daughter was married at sunset on a beach on Kauai.  We spent 2 weeks on Kauai, enjoying every second of the lush tropical island, and then we spent a week on the "Big Island"--Hawaii.  It was an island of contrasts, from desolate volcanic moonscapes, to lush jungle.  On arrival, I would prefer an orchid as hibiscus grow in my back yard so they are not as special.

2. Since we're talking tropical...what's your favorite food or beverage made with pineapple?
Food--pineapple upside down cake  Beverage--a refreshing tropical punch

3. Do you believe in soul mates? Explain.
No.  I think that that close relationship can develop with a spouse if both people are totally committed to making the marriage work. And that blending of the soul can happen more than once.

4. Share a memory about the house you grew up in.
I grew up in a log home that my daddy built in the mountains of Wyoming.  I have so many memories of that place, not only the building but the ranch.  It was a place where we were taught the value of hard work, and experienced the freedom to develop our creativity.  Here is a link to a favorite memory.

5. Are you comfortable with silence?
I love silence.  I enjoy the solitude of a quiet morning, or the quietness of an evening.  I am comfortable with myself and the ability to reflect.

6. You spot a giant spider on your bedroom wall...what's your next move? (all spiders are giant, right?)
I would get the Raid.

7. My idea of fun does NOT include _going to parties.  See #5.

8. Insert your own random thought here.

We had a wonderful rain last night.  This morning everything was so fresh and clean.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wapiti School--A Century of Learning

Old WapitiWith school starting for another year, I thought back to my grade school--a one room school west of Cody Wyoming.  On March 11, 1911, the little school on the North Fork opened its doors for the first time. Teacher June Hale, her five students and Beans Wagner the dog stand in front of the first Wapiti School in 1911. School was held in the tent March-May. A new schoolhouse was built during the summer near the site of the current school.

Wapiti School 1928

Wapiti School 1950  4th Grade--I am in the back row, fourth from left, notice there still is a dog

1954 8th grade for me--I'm back row, third from left

Wapiti school 1955
The school provided excellent education, rated on of the best in the state of Wyoming.  It had varied program and activities.  With the reopening of Sleeping Giant ski facility in 2010, the ski program began again. It originally started in the mid-1970s.

The school has been teaching the children of the Northfork for over 100 years.  I never will regret the time that I spent there and the quality education that I received.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Quiz--All about Me

Acting Balanced
1.  If you found a $100 bill on the floor at the mall, what would you do?
I'd wish for a minute that it was mine, and then I would turn it in to the mall office, and get a receipt.
2.  What is one thing a friend could do that you would considering ending your friendship upon finding out?
Lying to me about something important

3.  When was the last time you had to say your 'sorry?'
Yesterday, when I said something that my grandson took wrong.

4.  In your words, define 'perfect.'
Without flaw or mistakes.  Something that I can strive for, even knowing that I probably won't attain it, but it gives me a goal.

And don't forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!
5.  What is your biggest fault?    Mine is a lack of self-confidence.  I know that I have to push myself to do things.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Sunday Meditation--River Bridges

The bridges you cross before you come to them are over rivers that aren't there.

Matt 6:34  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

School Clothes--Flour sacks to Fakes

My little granddaughter loves to shop, just like her mom.  She recently went shopping for school clothes, and being the little fashionista that she is, it was a long day.  She likes certain styles, and colors, and even has an opinion about fabrics.  It sure is different than when I was a kid.  
Flour sack fabric 1940-1950
My mom made all our clothes generally from flour sacks or reworked from other dresses. Occassionally we would get a dress from new fabric she got in town.  Now don't get the wrong idea, my mom was an excellent seamstress, and she copied the styles out of the latest Monkey Wards catalog, but their were no designer labels or high end trims.  We were ignorant of the difference.  We were proud of our wardrobe, and bragged that "Mommy made this!"  

When my girls were growing up, I made all their clothes, but they were label conscious. There was a SAS fabric outlet store not too far from us, and I scored with labels--they were rejects from the manufacturer, but no one ever knew the difference.  My girls were happy--they knew they were fakes, but didn't lose face with the other kids and the money I saved was amazing.  Which brings me to this thought, it is sad that status symbols are often more important the a persons substance.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Favorite Things

friday favorite things | finding joy
These are a few of my favorite things this week
Sunrise Thursday morning

Every cloud has a silver lining.


Each week, Hilary at Feeling Beachie lists four statements with a blank for you to fill in on your own blogs. If you want to join the fun and come up with four fill in’s of your own, please email them to her at If she uses them, she will add you as co-host to the hop! 
This week’s statements:

  1. I _yearn for__ so much _creativity_ in a day.  I am most fulfilled when I have a productive art day.
  2. I don’t like _to see unruly children_ but I love _to watch little children play__
  3. When I watch__the 10:00 news_ I ­­­­_fall asleep by 10:05___
  4. I have _a lot of receipts but no money_in my wallet.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Pondering with a Purpose--Living Life

This Week's prompt is: Life or Living?Are you living your life . . . or is your life your living?

For me life is an adventure.  I do have goals that I try to achieve but never at the expense of opportunity.  All too often, I think that many people miss out on a chance to experience a unique moment because they are busy doing the expected.  Example--if you are in the middle of doing dishes and glance out the window and see the evening sky starting to color, do you dry your hand and go out and watch the symphony of colors play their parting melody--coral and turquoise changing into gold, then red, and finally a last note of purple , or do you tell yourself, "let me just finish the pots and pans, wipe down the cupboards, and put a load of laundry in then I'll take a peak at the sky", just five minutes have ticked by, but you discover that only a slight purple tinges the horizon.  My question:  was finishing the chores at the expense of making your soul sing worth it?

What is more important, stopping your hectic pace to take a few minutes and play Barbie's with your little girl, and help your son build a Lego truck or get the yard work done?  

Life passes so quickly.  I feel that when we have a chance to do something out of the ordinary we need to grab that moment, experience it, treasure it for those are the times that make the lasting impressions.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday Hodgepodge

1. I included this quote (attributed to William H. Danforth) in my blog post yesterday... "The best cure for a sluggish mind is to disturb it's routine." When was the last time you 'disturbed your routine' and how'd you do it?
I am a spontaneous person.  I most often lead with my heart rather than my head.  I occasionally regret it, but on the most part I enjoy "living on the edge" as much as someone who is well over the hill can.  The last thing that I did was enroll in an art class that caught my fancy, just this morning.

2. What's your favorite fried food indulgence?
I love crispy french fries.

3. Did you have an allowance as a kid? What did you do with it? Do you give your own kids an allowance?
I never had an allowance--we were just too poor.  When I was 13, I had my first job as a nanny, and besides room and board I received a dollar a week.  I saved my money and bought a beautiful blue spring jacket for Easter.
My kids didn't get an allowance per se--they had to do chores and were paid for those, a modest amount, maybe $5 a week, but they had to earn it--no work no money.

4. What's something you wish you knew more about?
Computers, I get frustrated when I can't figure out a software problem.  Good thing one of my daughters is a computer tech.

5. Is there anything you feel too old to do anymore? If so, what?
Mentally, I can do anything, physically I do have some limits like strenuous hiking, but I enjoy moderate hikes.

6. What's a song you think has a great first line?
"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound"
Amazing Grace (John Newton)

(I can't stop loving you)
I've made up my mind
--Ray Charles "I can't Stop Lovin You"

"Just take those old records off the shelf"
--Bob Seger's 'Old Time Rock 'n' Roll'

7. Who are you writing to/for when you create a blog post? In other you write, who is the audience in your head?
My adoring fans are all those out there who remember the way things used to be, and those who want a glimpse into the olden days and sometimes say you have got to be kidding!

8. Insert your own random thought here.
We are certainly in the dog days of summer.  It has been so hot here for so long, that everything is starting to express stagnation and inactivity.  Oh, for a day with a cool breeze. 

Today Tuesday

Very Hot

Hi: 114 °F

Partly sunny and hot. Highs 108 to 114. Currently 105.7 at 1:41 pm 

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Corn Days

I'm sure every town has its local celebrations, when I lived in Sleepy Eye, MN for a couple of years while my then husband was serving in Vietnam, they celebrated corn.  Sleepy Eye is in the corn belt and home of a Del Monte Packing plant.  Established in 1920, the facility produces the largest case quantities of peas and corn for the Company, planted by over 300 different growers on more than 26,000 acres. 

One of the highlights of the year was Corn Days, held every year in August.  Of course there was a big parade--homemade floats one carrying Miss Sleepy Eye, and a lot of kids on bikes and trikes.

and then everyone gathered at the city park, where local organizations served steamed corn dipped in tubs of butter for a gigantic FREE corn feast.  

My very young son, not quite three years old, loved corn, and still remembers this festival where he could have all the corn that he wanted.  Everyone was amazed at how many cobs this little tyke ate.  It was one of his happy days.