Category Archives: HAPPINESS

Lost After 47 Years

Not too long after we got Sadie, our Norwegian Elkhound puppy, we decided we should take her for walks around the farm to get used to everything.  One afternoon we walked down what we call “Barker Hollow” (our neighbors, George and Betsy live down that way) with our pup and started walking back toward home and I realized it was gone!!  The diamond my husband got me when we got married had come out of the setting after 47 years.  I WAS DEVASTATED!!

I received it on February 4, 1972.

We knew there wasn’t much since in looking for it because it could have fell out of the setting anywhere  down through the dirt road we had walked.  When we got home I took off the engagement ring and the wrap that he bought for me a couple years back and was determined to replace it as soon as I could.

My hand looked rather naked without the whole set bu t the band meant as much to me as the entire set!! 47 years is a long time!!

Eddie replaced it for me for Mother’s Day and my hand feels back to normal!

I don’t wear much jewelry but these pieces mean a lot!!

The hands show the age now, used and worn.

The sparkle of the rings take away from the wrinkles!!

I sure hope this one lasts as long as the old one!!!

Blessings for 2017

 

On New Year’s Day and the whole year through, I hope the kindness you’ve given to others returns many times to you.   I wish you all peace and harmony in this New Year 2017!  May peace and love fill your heart, beauty fill your world, and contentment and joy fill your days.  

Most of all have a safe, happy and peaceful end to 2016!

Happy New Year

Rita

44 Years

On February 4, 1972 Eddie and I eloped to Sparta, North Carolina.  This morning the love of my life presented me with the following that he handmade and I love it.

He took two single-trees and made a frame for a frame and put in his favorite picture of us together.

He took two single-trees and made a frame for a frame and put in his favorite picture of us together.

Close up view of the art!  I just so tickled with it and he has learned that handmade gifts are preferred for this girl!

Close up view of the art! I just so tickled with it and he has learned that handmade gifts are preferred for this girl!

Isn’t it beautiful and the parts came from this farm and are probably over 100 years old because he said that uncle Holl never had horses while he was growing up and helped his uncle on the farm.

For our 45th we’re planning to go back to Sparta for a visit if the weather is good. In 1972 it was snowing and cold and the roads were covered with ice.  We were young and spirited then and a little more level-headed after 44 years.  😉

Had enough. . . time to retire

I’ve been working at Virginia Tech since April 2011 and last July moved to a different department on campus. I loved the job, especially loved the students and worked hard for my department.
I will be 62 in December and my workload and the stress have been getting worse over the last couple months. By the end of most days I would have a headache that seemed to build until I started home.  And no matter what anyone says, you can’t leave at the office.  I would dream about my job and work issues.

I used to love my job but on Tuesday of last week I decided I just can’t take this anymore!  It’s just not worth it!!  I worked all day and when I prepared to leave for the day, I decided then it would be my last day.  I packed up my personal belongings, locked up the files and left my office and file keys in the desk with no intention of coming back.
I came home and talked to Eddie about my decision and he’s behind 100% and was surprised I stayed as long as I did. I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders!!
I drafted a resignation letter that night and attached it to an email to my supervisor and department head of the center where I worked. I copied my children and best friends on the note!!
I slept better that night than I had for several months and consider myself one of the luckiest women in the world.
I will have to find some odd jobs to help pay for the “dreaded” health insurance because ours will run out on the 31st of July and we can’t be without health insurance living on a farm.
The odd jobs I’m looking for will be light housekeeping (including washing windows, I love doing that) and home/office organization jobs. Organization seems to be my forte and I did housecleaning when my kids were growing up for extra cash.

WISH ME LUCK!!!!

Friends and orchids

Back in early May I showed everyone the beautiful orchid a friend from Greece brought to me.

Orchid from my friend in Greece who also has a beautiful daughter.

Orchid from my friend in Greece who also has a beautiful daughter.

Orchids in my kitchen.

Orchids in my kitchen.

I do love these fragile flowers and a friend of my that lives in Craig and has a winter/summer home in Florida gifted me these because of my beautiful daughter.  My daughter is the orchid of my life but these try to out bloom her.  My friend and daughter’s best friend, Martha just came back to the country and these beauties traveled very well on the ride back so they could reside in my kitchen.  Martha you have made my month and brightened my life more than it already is, if that’s possible.

This is my beautiful orchid, Heather!  She doesn’t sit still long enough to get a picture of her alone but I’ll take what I can get!!

Heather is on the left.  DUH!!!

Heather is on the left. DUH!!!

 

Thank you Heather and my beautiful friends!  I love you all!  🙂

I do hope I can keep these beauties alive.

I do hope I can keep these beauties alive.

Floridian orchids are much more abundant and less expensive.

Floridian orchids are much more abundant and less expensive.

Orchids from Florida.

Orchids from Florida.

 

Weekend gratification

What an awesome long weekend I just had (Memorial Day Weekend).  I worked my tail off but the end results were so gratifying.  On Thursday afternoon and evening of last week, I moved everything off my front porch and swept down the walls, porch floor and steps.  Then I took a very stiff brush with a long handle and knocked down all the debris from spiders and other bugs and peeling paint from the ceiling and walls.  I worked until dark but even got it all mopped with a solution of two gallons of water, 1/2 cup of bleach and a cup of laundry detergent.  It still looked pretty rough but it smelled good and there were no more spiders and their nasty webs.  The wind was blowing about 20-25 miles an hour so I knew the porch would dry by the next day when I would start painting.  Here’s my “before” pictures:

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On Friday morning I took a trip with my beautiful daughter to Roanoke/Salem area and we visited four spots looking for flowers for my gardens, stands, gazebo and porch.  We had such a great and much overdue trip together.  Those beauties will be shown in another post after they’re where they need to be and taking root.

On Friday afternoon, the paint brushes came out and I spent about five hours painting the columns and wooden trim and part of the ceiling.  Most of the ceiling is a very pale blue siding but it’s has a wide section that flows from the porch columns up to the siding and it’s wood.  I painted it as well in the brilliant white that I put on the columns.  They looked so good but while on my step ladder I realized how dirty the ceiling was and the white siding didn’t look so white so I went at them with a vengence and what a difference.  Everything dried overnite while I worked in the yard on other projects and hubby built me another shelf on the entrance to the porch just like the one on the opposite post.  We use these to sit our binoculars for watching wildlife on the mountain.

On Saturday morning I started putting the stain and water repellent on the porch and it took about four hours because I used a brush and got down on my knees to make sure everything was covered really good.  It was dried by 8:00 p.m. but no furniture was to be placed on it for 24-48 hours.  On Sunday afternoon, I cleaned up all the furniture and put felt pads on everything.  Here’s the results:

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The end results and very nice, clean porch that has been washed down, painted, weather proofed and furniture minimized and cleaned as well.  Out damned spiders!!  Not sure how long it will look this nice with two cats and a dog always on it and muddy feet when it rains but it is so gratifying at the moment and a little swish with a broom and a mop to wipe off tracks and we’ll be set.  We’re already enjoying the evenings listening to the quiet!!

 

2013 in Review

MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR FROM THE COUNTRY GIRL AND HER FAMILY! 

I don’t know of any year that has flown by like 2013.  We’ve been very blessed to have been healthy most of the time.

We enjoyed a fairly good harvest season and hunting season on the farm. 

January/February started with some wet weather which was good for the very dry pastures and hayfields.  It was a good start for our hay season to come. We had lots of icy mornings for me to travel to work but luckily when they are very icy I can work from home.  Through out the month we had some snow but nothing major. 

 Eddie got back into coonhunting this year and had two walker hounds and a redbone.  Later in the year he got a beautiful plott female that he hopes to train to be as good a dog as some he’s had in the past. 

Little brother, Dean, remained a groundhog, and stayed in as much as possible.  He does not like the cold weather. 

I quilted some, crocheted some and I’m working on a cookbook for my family  and  I’m teaching myself to knit!  

Eddie and I celebrated our 41st year together February 4th and our daughter turned another year older February 3rd! 

I found a new home for my Norwegian Elkhound.  She’s not turned into the hunter/farm dog I was hoping for and she is now living with a wonderful family that has two beautiful kids and Dusty loves kids and attention.  Belle, one of the new dogs, got lost for seven days and she was in sorry shape when we finally got a call that she has come into a farm on Johns Creek.  She never completely recovers from the hunt and dies about six months later.  She was the oldest of the dogs at 13-14 years of age.  The weather was somewhat wetter and we received a little more snow.

March/April is sugar time on the farm and we had our best year since living here.  Maple sugar time and I missed it because of the bronchitis but Eddie cooked off about 6 gallons of syrup and it was the best year we’ve ever had.  The weather was perfect and the honeybees got in on the event.  Some very special friends and the kids helped with the process and some of the neighbors came out to watch.

Baby calves started arriving and we had a great year with only two losses on calves and one cow died calving which allowed one of the mom’s that lost a calf to adopt our little Annabelle. She was bottle-fed for three weeks  and has turned out to be one of the better heifer calves and Eddie decided to keep her and one other black-white face heifer for new breeding stock.  You’ll have to come visit and meet her!

Our daughter, Heather, hit a deer one morning going to work and soon after she got the Tahoe fixed she hit a bear.  Both populations need to be thinned.  Craig is famous for the deer claims.

In April we planted about 30 new apple rootstock this spring and planted some apple, peach, and cherry semi-dwarf trees.  The duratio we had June 2012 destroyed a lot of our old apple and chestnut trees and two of the pecan trees.  Eddie has been kept busy clean up downed timber and filling the Woodhouse with firewood for this winter.  The last four months were wet and the hay fields, pastures, and orchards are getting much-needed moisture. 

Working at Virginia Tech now for two years in April and it’s great job. I’m amazed at the wealth of information my brain has absorbed about energy in our world and the bad press a lot of it gets.   I’ve made lots of new friends and some of the ladies that I work with have decided to start a book club and have asked me to join them once a month and we have so many book choices to choose from.  The ladies in our club have become very special friends and we have lots of fun together.

May/June/July finds us having more and more issues with Dean and he’s been with us almost seven years.  No one can imagine or will know what it’s like living with someone with disabilities and we spent almost as many years taking care of Eddie’s uncle who had Alzheimer’s.

May and June have me feeling much better after a long winter the spring weather has put me in the yard and enjoying working in the dirt.  Eddie treated me to a truck load of perennials and annuals to keep me busy.  It’s hard to find plants that love shade because our yard is surrounded with huge beautiful sugar maple trees but I think I’ve chose some great perennials to fill the void and using some herbs to fill in.  They’ll be used in the kitchen as well.

May had us planning a big birthday celebration for our son, Shawn.  He turned 40 years old June 15th!!   It turned out to be a wonderful 40th birthday party with about 20 of his friends and colleagues and our family coming to spend the evening with him.  We did a big outdoor picnic with games and we had gorgeous and what seemed never-ending fireworks but the highlight of the evening was the slide show a friend of his put together for him.  I had sent her about 100 photos of Shawn dating from birth to present and she put it together in that timeline with a music background and I was in tears by the end of the video.  I got a copy of it a couple of weeks later.  What made it more special was the fact that he received his Bachelors degree in Engineering in May and she added his graduation pictures at the end of the show.  We weren’t able to travel to Newport News for the ceremony so this was so special.

In June, we are having more issues with Dean and have decided it’s time to find some help.  Don’t let anyone tell you is a quick process to get Medicaid for someone.  UNREAL!  I’m working with our local social services to find a very special place for Dean to move to.   

In July/August, we can’t believe the rain we’ve received all spring and summer and it’s been really hard for hubby and our daughter to get the hay cut, processed and rolled. They end the season rolling almost 650 5×6 rolls. 

 Since the end of June, I’ve called over 20 assisted living facilities in Roanoke and Montgomery counties for placement for Dean but there are either no availabilities, private pay/no Medicaid, or he’s not old enough.  I’m not giving up.  He’s been with us for seven years and since I work and Eddie farms 24-7, I’ve decided he needs more help than I am able to give him anymore.

Our garden is non-existent this year except for onions and potatoes and weeds.  AND, it’s still raining.  We’ve got over 30 inches of rain this spring and summer and not enough breaks for the ground to dry and get to the weeds.  Onions and potatoes will still make good eating.

With bow season, black powder and rifle season,(September thru November) we now have a two freezers full for winter meals.  Hubby and our daughter got beautiful nine and ten point bucks and our granddaughter got a nice eight pointer on youth day.  I got a seven pointer while on vacation Thanksgiving.  

We were very blessed to have the kids and two guests join us for a big Thanksgiving feast that I cooked two days for.  The leftovers were wonderful too!!

In September I was hooked up with a weight coach and have lost eleven pounds total and gained back two but my coach says it’s muscle weight not fat so I’m happy but still have about 15 – 20 left to go.  I already feel so much better and dropped a full pant size. Happy, happy, happy!!  Since the weather has turned cold I’m using my treadmill and walking 1 – 1 ¼ miles in 20-25 minutes at a speed of 2.5 – 3 miles per hour.  I actually get more good from the treadmill than normal walking because there too may distractions outdoors to keep up my speed.

November brings more good news, I found an Intermediate Care Facility for my brother in Covington VA which is about 45 minutes from where I live.  I took him to visit the center in November and we were both so impressed.  He wanted to pack everything that night after we got back home.  It’s a beautiful one story home in Covington just off route 18 before getting into the town of Covington.  There are only eight residents(three women and five men) in the home currently and he will make nine, when approved.  He will share one of the large bedrooms with large bath with one other resident.  The rooms are bright and cheerful.  Each day the residents leave at 8:00 a.m. for day school or a job at a recycling center in Clifton Forge and return to the home at 4:00 p.m.  He will be able to decide which he would prefer to go to. The residents go bowling once a week, go to movies, and other entertainment venues all year-long.  I’m told the counselors find talents of their residents and work with them on those talents when not in school or work.  We found out while there that one of the counselors plays the guitar and Dean is taking his guitar to learn how to play.  I’ve never seen him so excited, as I had given up hope of finding a situation that fits him perfectly.  The facility is very secure with locked doors so that no one can enter the facility without being allowed to and meals are taken together in a huge dining room.  There are three rooms for watching TV and all have comfortable furniture and wide-screen TV’s.  One room is a sitting room with large screen TV for viewing DVD’s.  Dean was excited to hear that one of the other residents loves westerns as much as he does. I’ve never seen such a large kitchen in a home.  The centers directors and staff are all so very nice and pleasant and Dean naturally fell in love with all of them.  One of the residents met him at the door when we arrived, took his hand and started taking him around to meet everyone.   His application has been accepted and I just found out on Thursday that the Medicaid should be approved by the end of next week and before 2014.  If all goes well he will move in on January 6th.  I ask for all of your prayers that this will be a blessed fit for him and for me and hubby.  Our hope is that 2014 will be a blessed turn for all of us!

I messed up my hip early December and started seeing my first chiropractor and feel much better.  I will never have another negative thought about chiropractor again. 

I hope that all of you had a very blessed Christmas and that Jesus was a part of your celebration and that you all have a very blessed and prosperous 2014!!

 

I leave you now with a few photos from 2013!!

 

View of Little Mountain (8)

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He's on the alert to danger!

He’s on the alert to danger!

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Come on, give it up!

Come on, give it up!

Camouflaged in the bloom

Camouflaged in the bloom

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Jippy decided to take a nap!!

Jippy decided to take a nap!!

 

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Father - Daughter hunt 2013

Father – Daughter hunt 2013

 

Victoria's last year to early hunt (Youth Day)!!  Papa and Victoria very proud.

Victoria’s last year to early hunt (Youth Day)!! Papa and Victoria very proud.

Victorias pumpkin

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tired of my body and clothes!!

Relaxing on the dock in 2010

Relaxing on the dock in 2010

On August 26th, I contacted my PA and told her I needed to do something about my body weight and how I feel about myself!  She scheduled me an appointment that week and we talked a few minutes and she told me that my weight had not changed since 2010 and I was shocked it took me almost four years to see how bad it was in my mind!!  She checked me over and then she introduced me to a lovely lady by the name of Lori!!  Lori is now my weight coach and main cheerleader.  It’s fun to talk to her and her encouragement is priceless.  In the last six weeks my habits have changed drastically as far as my eating and exercise and I’ve lost nine pounds.   NO, NO PICTURES!!  EMBARASSING!

I now eat a good breakfast (none to speak of before except on weekends), yogurt, raw vegies, salad, cheese sticks for lunch and our normal supper but smaller servings and only one serving and the biggy NO SWEET TEA EVERY DAY AND NO EATING AFTER 7:00 P.M.!!!    I do treat myself to something sweet once a week but not cake and ice cream and definitely no chips/snacks while watching TV at night.  I’m keeping my hands busy with crocheting, recipes and my digital cookbook or housework 😦 !!

I started out walking 30 minutes a day which I wasn’t doing at all before and rarely got any exercise except for the weekends cleaning house and doing laundry!!  The first four weeks I walked everyday for 30 minutes to 90 minutes depending on what was going on at work or home.  The last two weeks I’ve been rushing home to bowhunt which means walking into the house, pick up the bow and bag, hubby drive me to my stand and drop me off, set there until almost dark and hubby picks me up and we go home to supper.  It’s dark and can’t/won’t walk by myself!  Needless to say, instead of dropping two pounds a week, I’m only dropping one pound or none.

After meeting with Lori yesterday, I’ve decided to set my reminders on my work Outlook calendar to remind me twice a day to walk 15 minutes rain or shine and then do some other exercise once I’m home.  I was really disappointed yesterday when I went for my two-week weigh in and only lost two pounds so it’s time to get serious and make the changes and stick to it!!  What you must know first is I love to cook and I love to eat what I cook.  My hubby is an excellent cook and his feelings are hurt if I don’t eat.  He now knows though that to meet my goal of losing 30 pounds means eating smaller amounts and he has been giving me these cute looks if he sees me heading for those sweet things that I love to make and EAT!

I have my personal cheering team here at work and my family at home but could use your prayers and pep talks as I go for twenty pounds by Christmas!!  I would like to get back to this point 20 years ago.

Me in the late 80's.

Me in the late 80’s.

My “get-away” room

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It’s bright when I want it to be, cool in the summertime, warm in the winter, quiet when I need it to be, pretty, feminine and country!  Now, I just need to clean out the rest of the rooms and make them just as comfortable but with a different look.

The yard and what’s growing

Look closely under the guarding gnome!!

Look closely under the guarding gnome!!

 

He's so cute!  He's guarding us and meets everyone at the front gate.  I hope he stays all summer.

He’s so cute! He’s guarding us and meets everyone at the front gate. I hope he stays all summer.

 

Here’s what’s blooming in the yard this week:

Hostas

Hostas

Peppermint rose

Peppermint rose

More hostas-the hummingbirds love these.

More hostas-the hummingbirds love these.

Bell flowers

Bell flowers

Lilies

Lilies

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Castor bean

Castor bean

hyacinth bean-getting a late start.

hyacinth bean-getting a late start.

The potted group-can't remember the name of the blooming flowers but they are so pretty.  I think it's like a miniature begonia or  double impatien.

The potted group-can’t remember the name of the blooming flowers but they are so pretty. I think it’s like a miniature begonia or double impatien.

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I can never remember the name of these but its a perennial and the leaves are like lambs ear or dusty miller but it's not either of those.

I can never remember the name of these but its a perennial and the leaves are like lambs ear or dusty miller but it’s not either of those.

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I took the herbs out of the clay pots that were hanging on the coal house because they just didn’t look healthy.  This year I tried putting them in larger pots but that didn’t help so I moved them in the yard in front of the corner flower bed.  We’ll see how they do!  There’s parsley, lemon balm, lime basil, cilantro, orange mint, peppermint, purple sage, lemon thyme, oregano, and cinnamon basil.  The oregano and lemon thyme look the worst but I’m hoping with a little loving care they’ll come back.

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I also harvested one batch of garlic and getting ready to start a new batch but have to kill the wire grass that the birds have so kindly planted in all my flower beds.  The garlic looks really good and now it’s drying before I store it.

Fresh garlic

Fresh garlic

Garlic pulled and ready to dry!

Garlic pulled and ready to dry!

Front porch fun

In the heat of the summer day, we spend time on the front porch.  We welcome neighbors and friends and sit around and talk.  I’ve tried to make the porch an enjoyable place to visit with young and old alike.  This year I added a antiques bench on one end of the porch and a game board on the other end with plenty of seating in between.

First I want to show one of my new chairs that I added to the decor and fun!

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                       An old blue stool and a tractor seat =  this:

IMG_0007  IMG_0006  IMG_0005 Believe it or not this is a very comfortable seat.  It’s sturdy, country looking, and fits all sizes!!!

Then I added a game corner for the porch.  I took a vinegar barrel and added a checker board for all too enjoy!  A couple of tall stools on both sides makes for some friendly competition for old and young alike.  Right now the checkboard clother is draped over the barrel but hubby is making me a flat service to fit the checkerboard and the fun begins.

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I can’t wait to challenge my granddaughter to game of checkers or Life on the Farm game!

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Life on the Farm is much like Monopoly but based to farm life instead of city life!

And the last of the porch makeover is this assortment of antique tools we’ve found on the farm which we’ll add to as time goes on!

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Wouldn’t you love to come visit on the porch for awhile?!?!?!

 

Talking with Jane and posting

I’ve just replied to a comment from one of my favorite bloggers, Jane Fritz.  I’m having a time finding time to post on my blog so I usually post two or three things in one day to make up for lost time.  I’m hoping  you are enjoying the posts and I’m trying to figure out when I can best put more posts on the blog.

My weekdays start up at six everyday, get ready for work and wake myself up good before getting behind the wheel of my car. I work from 8-4  each day about 35 miles from home and home by five.

We eat supper which my wonderful hubby has ready when I walk in the door and then we head outdoors for chores and work or enjoy the farm until dark which is around nine and then I’m in the shower and off to sleepyland!!

Weekends are my best posting time and I don’t get much of that. I am trying though. I hope you all have a marvelous weekend. The rain has stopped here for the moment and sun is bearing down. Too wet to do much outdoors so I’m starting my spring cleaning.

I’ll leave you with a view from my front porch and a some of the wildlife we see from there!!

 

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Wildlife and cattle (8)

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Peace of driving to work

On my way into work this morning was much cooler than the last few days but the beauty I saw was so peaceful.  Try to imagine this without pictures.

  • Fields of orchard grass waving in the wind and looking like waves of green water.
  • A sky so blue that you think you’ve never seen that blue before.
  • Small, scattered, wispy, white clouds trying so hard to invade the blue sky.
  • Full grown brown rabbits sitting along the road enjoying the warmth of the sun.
  • Flocks of barn swallows flitting together overhead like aircraft gracing the skies in formation doing their intricate stunts
  • A huge United States of America flag gently waving in the wind.
  • Gorgeous orange poppies in flower beds bending gracefully try to touch one another.
  • A long legged doe gently grooming her fawn while trying to hide in the tall orchard grass.
  • Green leaves fluttering like butterflies in the tops of the trees.
  • Quiet country road with no traffic but me until I come to the main roads.

Country life is so precious, peaceful and quiet!!

Greenhouse fun

This year is going to be a little different in the garden.  We still have so much left in the freezer and cellar so we’ve decided to cut back.  I didn’t start up the greenhouse this year and instead have just planted a few of the things that we’ll eat as it comes in.  I’ve planted some tomato, cucumber, cabbage, squash, cantaloupe and watermelon for the garden and have several of my herbs in cups.

Southeast window for seed growth

 

Two varieties of cabbage and squash

 

seed cups

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Four varieties of tomato

I haven’t started my periennial flowers yet but think I have plenty of time for that.  I also like to put some directly in the ground.  It will be late May before we can safely put anything in the garden.   My rhubarb is up and doing better than it did last year but it’s new and will take a couple years to get established.  I started it these huge tractor tires  and I need to work some manure into the dirt soon.

rhubarb spring 2013 (1)

I also started some garlic in a tire last year and I haven’t pulled any of it yet.  The stems are greening up and hopefully they’ll  do as well as the rhubarb is.  I was very afraid the moles and voles would eat up both but it doesn’t look like it so far.

rhubarb spring 2013 (2)

 

I read on someone’s blog and on Pinterest that if you buy celery in the store and cut the root end off and place it in a cup of dirt that it would grow!!  Believe me it works and I can’t wait until this gets big enough to eat.

Starting another celery_time to go in the dirt DSCN3360

One plant is one month old and the other is about two weeks old.  I use a lot of celery when I cook and a lot of onions.

I have a very special friend that heard my plea for a purple and green shamrock and she came through for me.  Here’s the plant she gave me along with some that I found at Food Lion around St. Patricks Day.

Purple shamrock

Purple shamrock

Green and purple shamrock

Green and purple shamrock

Gardening time is just around the corner and I still have to clean up the yard and clear out the flower beds.  There I go again wishing my life away!!  Happy gardening everyone.

Time to ourselves

This past weekend was special time for hubby and me.  We had the house and farm to ourselves for two nights and one day.  You see, almost five years ago my Mom passed away and my youngest brother, Dean, came to live with us full time.  Our family of two became three and no more privacy.

This “special t ime to us is very important.  Our kids left home at the same time and we had a little over six years by ourselves.  Ten years ago we moved to hubby’s uncle’s farm to take care of him because he  had Alzheimers and his caregiver passed away suddenly.  Hubby was his only living heir that could move in and take care of  him and the farm.  While he was doing this, he was also taking care of our small farm and his mother’s 200+ acre farm.  I was working full time to provide us with some extra cash and medical insurance.  We spent another five years with his uncle until he passed away.

Then we had about two years by ourselves again and cherished every moment of the time.  My Mom passed on and we took in my youngest brother who is mentally handicapped.  Our family of two turned into three.    This is why those  “special” weekends alone mean so much to us.  We don’t do anything any differently but just knowing that we can run around in our shorts(hubby) and nightie (me) gives us such a feeling of freedom.  Being able to sit and talk and not having someone in the next room listen to every word.  Until you have been through this it’s hard to grasp the feelings that I’m trying to put in words.

I guess the real reason behind my post is this:

Make every moment in your married life count, cherish each other, do things together!!!  Treat every moment as if it may be your last because there could always come a time when that shared time together won’t be there anymore or things could happen to change that couple into a “group” again.

What are you saving it for?

Has someone ever given you something special, made you a quilt, embroidered some pillow cases, or anything along those lines?  Do you use them?  Do you display them?  Are they hidden away for no one to see but you?  My Mom used to be like that.  My Mom’s grandmother, some of my friends  do that and even my husband does that.  I made him the nine patch quilt year before last  and he was so proud of it.  I was proud ot it but it isn’t being used.  It isn’t even out where he or someone else could see it.  I’m disappointed!!  Not because I wanted to show it off, though!  I made it with love and to keep him warm!  He says he doesn’t want to get it dirty.  For heaven’s sake, it’s washable!  It’s made of fabric and polyfil.  It’s warm!

9 Patch w red backing quilt 001

The following quilt I made for our bed about five years ago and was my first attempt at piecing a complicated pattern.  I loved it and I wash it about every two weeks and except for fading a little it’s still like new.  I wash it so often because Sassy our cocker spaniel sleeps between us and the quilt desperately needs the washing after two weeks.  But, like Eddie’s quilt it’s beautiful, it was made with love and I made it to be used, not stuck in a trunk waiting for me to die!!

rita's first quilt

I have beautiful dishes that belonged to my grandmother, Eddie’s aunt, my Mom and yes, I show them off but I always use them too!  Things of beauty are meant to be used, shared, admired.  Don’t stick them away!!  They may not be as admired when your gone.  They may be sold, passed on, handed down but for heaven’s sake use them!

Favorite recipes for Thanksgiving dinner

Macaroni & Cheese

Macaroni & Cheese

As promised quite some time ago, here’s a few of my favorite Thanksgiving dishes!  They’re not any particular order and I’m pretty sure if you click on the recipe card it will enlarge for you.  Here we go:

 

Hubby's favorite fruit salad

Hubby’s favorite fruit salad

 

Baked Beans

Baked Beans

 

Broccoli Casserole

Broccoli Casserole

No dinner is complete without the main dish of turkey or ham and of course, my homemade bread.  Recipes for that and more to follow in a later post.

Let me know if you have any questions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally six months later

Remember back in late June when I had nine of twelve baby chicks hatch from green eggs??

Summer hatch -nine out of twelve and they're adorable.They're hatched from green eggs.

Summer hatch -nine out of twelve and they’re adorable.They’re hatched from green eggs.

Well, I just got back from the henhouse and I am thrilled.  Finally after six months, the little pips have grown into full grown hens and I got my first green egg from one of them.  I can only hope that the other five of the hens will start laying too.  I kept two of their brothers and one brother went in the freezer.  I was really beginning to think there were not going to produce.  Here’s what I got from the nests a few minutes ago.

green, white, brown, pink, we have them all!

green, white, brown, pink, we have them all!

It’s somewhat smaller than the rest but that’s normal for the first few eggs.  They will be larger as time goes on.  I’m one happy farmer today!!  I hope she was as happy as I am.  🙂

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

I want to wish everyone a healthy, prosperous and happy 2013!!

I’m not sure where 2012 went but the goals I have for 2013 will keep me just as busy as in 2012.  Gardening, crafting, quilting, photography, family (most important) and our way of life guarantees I”ll stay busy.  I also hope to post a lot more than I did last year but feel pretty good about my blog.  I started it last year and I have 73 followers and 4,204 hits so far.  I’ve become friends with some pretty spectacular friends/bloggers across the United States and the world.  My goal was to promote farming and our way of life.  I sincerely believe that we all need to slow down and learn to take care of ourselves and our families.  The current situation with our government and the status of our economy should be a wakeup call to all that they need to be more dependent upon ourselves and learn to become dependent as soon as possible.  I don’t mean to bring a cloud over the day but I do want everyone to prepare for what may be in our futures.

ANYWAY, HAPPY NEW YEAR AND BLESSING TO EVERYONE!

Daddy’s other little girl

As much as he loves his beautiful and precious daughter, my hubby loves his second child too!  She plump, frisky, hairy, lovable, and can get under his skin in a heartbeat.

BUT, when Daddy comes home from hunting, feeding the cattle, anything that she wasn’t involved in, this is what happens:

 

Daddy and Sassy after the hunt!!

Daddy and Sassy after the hunt!!

Sassy loves Daddy!!

Sassy loves Daddy!!

 

He made her a special bed and it sits in front of our bedroom window.  She patiently (most of the time) waits/sleeps until he comes home.  Once he comes in the door she waits for him to come sit beside her and tell her how much he missed her and rubs her ears.  She listen to all of he hunting tales patiently as long he rubs those ears.  She’s not quite the joy our beautiful daughter is but Sassy comes in a fast second!!  The best part, she was supposed to be my baby as a Christmas gift eight years ago but it’s pretty clear where her heart lies.  She is definitely one of the family!!

The man who puts up with me & the kids that help him

If you will recall, I posted a few days ago that my wonderful hubby had bought me a new computer for my birthday and Christmas (both in December).  I really missed my blogging and he knew it.  Well, Christmas morning I was so surprised to find out that he had also got me another beauty and here it is!

 

My 2012 Christmas gift from my wonderful husband!

My 2012 Christmas gift from my wonderful husband!

This is very special to me because he knows I’m not a jewelry girl at all but for the last four years he has got me a dainty necklace for my birthday or Christmas.   This one he picked out himself at a reputable jeweler.  The only time he’s ever set foot in these places is to buy my wedding rings 40 years ago.   I don’t wear jewelry except for my wedding rings UNTIL he got me these gifts.  Here’s a  picture of the first one he gave me but had my daughter pick it out after telling her what he wanted for me!  I am so blessed!!

2009 Christmas cross

2009 Christmas cross

 

This year because of the economy our kids asked that we not exchange gifts with them because work has been slow for both households.  I always go overboard when it comes to gifting for them and it make my Christmas a little “strange” to say the least.  On Christmas night when we got together they pulled a fast one both kids got us gift certificates to our favorite restaurant.  I love them so much and appreciate all they do for us every day!!I also received two unusual but beautiful gifts from my granddaughter, Victoria!  The first is a copper hearth cricket and as the  Legend has it,  a cricket in the house will bring good fortune to the home when placed on the hearth or mantel.  Mine is living on the mantle in our living room.

Christmas 2012 Hearth Cricket

Christmas 2012 Hearth Cricket

The other beauty she got for me is a Patina watering can shaped like a goose.  She knows how much I love gardening inside and out and this little goose will be used often.

 

Patina Goose Watering can

Patina Goose Watering can

My family is so good to me and I love them so deeply that there are no words to tell them how much!!!

Sampler quilt beginnings

I’ve set a goal for the year of completing a king-sized sampler quilt in burgundy as the primary color.  I started it yesterday and completed six 10 inch blocks.  Now, I just have to keep it up and hopefully have all of the 200+ blocks completed in three months, I hope!!  I thought I would share the blocks as I go along so this will be a continuing post.  Here’s the first six:

Block  #1

Block #1

Block #2

Block #2

Blcok  #3

Blcok #3

Block #4

Block #4

Block #5

Block #5

Block #6

Block #6

I think this is a pretty good start and if I 12 weeks to complete 200 blocks, that means I have to complete about 17 blocks a week, which works out to three a day for the next three months.  WOW!  Maybe I’d better rethink this time limit and make it six months instead of three.  Oh well, I will get it done and I will post as I go.  Wish me luck!!  Did I tell you I also have three baby quilts to start and finish by JUNE 2013!!!!!!!

Green thumb extended to winter

I love things that grow and gardening.  Winter is a slow time for gardening but you couldn’t tell by looking at my back porch which is enclosed.  I wonderful husband built me some shelving a few years back to accomodate my Thanksgiving and Christmas cactus assortment.  The upper shelving holds about twenty beauties and the lower shelves hold our veterinary supplies for the cattle and other gardening supplies.  I want to show you the beauties on the upper shelving that started blooming Halloween week and are still blooming today.  Enjoy!!

New cactus from my daughter that will have yellow blooms.

New cactus from my daughter that will have yellow blooms.

White bloom

White bloom

DSCN2347 DSCN2346 DSCN2345 DSCN2344 DSCN2343 DSCN2342 DSCN2341 DSCN2340

Hunting Season 2011 007 Hunting Season 2011 006 Hunting Season 2011 005 Cactus bloom 2011 Cactus bloom 2011.4

 

A lot of them look alike but each one has a subtle difference.  I’m looking for a orange and my daughter bought me three yellow cactus for Thanksgiving.  They need little care and are only watered about once a month.  Watering anymore than that will cause them to rot right before your eyes.  The porch is very cool now but it hasn’t stopped these beauties from strutting their stuff.  I used to have to carry all of them upstairs in the wintertime but right before the shelving was done, hubby pulled up the flooring, replaced plumbing, flooring, insulation, put in new windows and insulated the walls and put up paneling.  It stays cool in the summer because of the maple trees surrounding the house and in the winter the sun (when it shines) keeps the plants happy and the room warm.

If you want a beautiful plant with little care, this is the way to go!!

Merry, merry Christmas!!

I want to wish everyone the most blessed and happy Christmas!  This has been a tough year for so many and I count my blessings everyday that I have my family, health and God in my life.  Let us all remember the reason for our season and pray for all those less fortunate and we are.  Pray for the victims of Hurricane Sandy.  Pray for the families of Newtown Connecticutt and for some peace in their lives.

 

Merry Christmas to all and I hope you all have a very blessed and happy 2013!!

Birthday Present

I think I told you last week that my wonderful hubby got me a new HP desktop computer for my birthday and Christmas!  I’m getting used to the new programs and catching on pretty quick.  Now, I just need to catch up on some posting.  Hubby knows how much I miss my blog!!

My daughter and family got me a new crafting table for my quilt room.  I spent “three” hours putting it together this morning.  It didn’t take so much time because it was complicated, it was because I took so much time getting up and down out of the floor trying to put it together.  Here’s how it went without me in the pictures:

Not out of the box yet

Not out of the box yet

Figuring out the parts-no brainer!!! I love it when that happens!!!  Getting down there and getting back up was the hard part !  :)

Figuring out the parts-no brainer!!! I love it when that happens!!! Getting down there and getting back up was the hard part ! 🙂

 

Table supports together and done correctly! YIppee!

Table supports together and done correctly! YIppee!

 

Both sides folded down, both sides up, one side up.  This is going to be so useful!!

Both sides folded down, both sides up, one side up. This is going to be so useful!!

 

Table top is together and on it's feet (and me too!).  Daughter helped me turn it up and we inspect for sturdiness.

Can’t wait to get started on some new quilts and other projects.