Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 It was the Best of Times;It Was the Worst of Times...

I have always loved that first paragraph in not- my- favorite- Dickens . " A Tale of Two Cities." I am more apt to say, out with the old and in with the new. As I reflect on 2013 I would admit it was a year of contrasts.
But for the most one filled with abundance over flowing into our laps. We added two more people to our expanding family. I finished homeschooling. Everyone in our family, I think has met the challenges presented to them. God has and continues to be faithful. Now that we have a new year to prepare for a few things have crept into my mind.

I spent far too much time looking back. Not thanking God for all of the wonderful things that were right in front of me that I missed.
I tried to run ahead of God, instead of waiting quietly at His feet like Mary and doing too much busy work like Martha.
I listened to the whispers in my mind rather than listening to the whispers of God to come away with Him to a quiet place and sit and learn of Him. I spent far to much time with my Bible on the shelf rather than open in my lap.

I spent to much time playing the " What if game" , and letting fear be my friend, rather than being like Piglet in Winnie the Pooh, " Piglet was so excited at the idea of being Useful that he forgot to be frightened."
( Winnie the Pooh, A.A. Milne, 1956)

I forgot about my calling was to be a servant. I think I thought maybe I had made it to queen status. I want to go forward this year. To get my eyes fixed so I can see again. Not being able to see the birds in the trees or the clouds in the sky. To be able to drive again without the fear of an accident or making tons and tons of mistakes I make daily, I have spent the last year, trying to cover up not being able to see. Having Ron home this week, as I watched him cover up or try to ignore the things I do wrong every day brought it home to me. My world has grown so much smaller that I want to be free again.

I read this and I think it says what I feel about a new year, a New 2014.
" The Old Man of the Earth stooped over the floor of the cave, raised a huge stone from it, and left it leaning. It disclosed a great hole that went plumb-down.
"That is the way," he said,
"But there are no stairs,"
: You must throw yourself in. " There is no other way."
(The Golden Key," Dealings with Fairies,
George MacDonald, 1867)

So with 2014 I plan on jumping in with both feet, not looking back, going forward. Because all in all, life is a wonderful adventure waiting to be lived.
Not to mention being thankful in all things. I am thankful because even though I can't see the beauty that I once took for granted, I live in an age where it can be fixed, and  I will see again, I will be reminded of all that is beautiful in this world.
 " Be Thankful, and give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:18)

Happy New Year from me to you. Thank you for reading along in 2013 I hope to be back to not the old me but the new one in 2014


Sunday, December 29, 2013

Before and After

Earlier in December, my sister was going through old family photographs. It reminds me of how fast things change and time  seems to be flying by. I thought I would share a couple so you could see how things have changed.

This picture was taken in what is now my front yard. Do you see that little tree in the background. That is the one that is so big in my front yard now. If you look beyond and out in the pasture, that was the old barn where we used to feed our cows. Oh by the way, that is me, and that was my mare Gigi she had just foaled that day. My Dad wanted to take a picture of me, and I didn't know how Gigi would act with me there. She was just fine and I did love having a baby horse.

Okay here is now:

That tree is so big and our house is here is now. So it has changed the way the pasture looks now.

This was me on my 13th birthday and this is my horse Apache. He was the best horse and I think even today I owe my life to that little horse. He got me through so many rough times in life. He lived until my oldest daughter  was 4 years old.  Now if you look in the back ground and you see that plowed field. Look in the distance to that row of trees. That used to be a dairy.

Here is now:

Where I am on my horse is where the sidewalk is now. That road is a main road now. If you look down the street you can see all of the housing developments.

Here is a better shot of the street. The speed limit on this road is 55 so you can imagine the traffic now.
I will stop now, because blogger is acting up.

I just thought I would share today. Because I love before and after photos.
I hope you have a great New Year.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Last Saturday of 2013

This is the last Saturday of 2013. I admit in a year such as we had, I will describe it this way. I used to have braces on my teeth, every month when I went in to have them tightened for a few days my teeth ached. Then I would grow used to the pain and everything would be fine until the next month. 2013 is like that I grew used to the pain, and 2014 will be like when I was going to get my braces off, I was used to the tightening and the pain because it was normal for me. A new year will be full of new challenges and new beginnings and a whole set of life I have never lived before.

We finally got the old chicken house down and the old wood moved out to be disposed of and what can be salvaged will be used for other projects.

It really is a very pretty part of the back yard with the way the trees grow. We will have to do something pretty with it. I just couldn't take pictures of the mess. I share lots and lots of my life here on the blog, but that eyesore was just a bit much even for me.

Here is a photo of the junky wood and wire we moved. This morning when I got out of bed I felt 110 years old. I was so sore I could hardly move.

I am still pondering about this much wood, and just hauling it all off or just seeing it as treasure. I am not at the treasure part yet.

Today I am going to trim all of my rosebushes and get the last of the leaves raked and get my garden all ready for the spring. As soon as it warms up. I do have a thing about getting all of my yard and garden and my flowerbeds all cleaned before the New Year.

One of the things we have in our back yard is a potters wheel. I am a very slow and not very good potter. The different kids through the years have taken pottery but it never clicked. Then Nik came into our family and we found out he is the potter we have been waiting for all of these years. For Christmas, Nik wanted clay. So in the cold on Christmas morning he came outside and made this vase. We are now looking for a kiln so he can throw and bake and glaze his work. We are so thrilled to have some one in the family to now throw pots and use this. He is amazing to watch. God has brought such wonderful gifted people into our family.

Speaking of gifts. Ron bought for me something I have been longing for, I was so thrilled to open this on Christmas morning.

My very own rubber boots to go tromping in the mud and to clean my chicken pen and my feet won't get wet and my shoes will stay nice and clean. I really was so happy to get poka dots.

Since Ron has been on vacation he has had time to work on his trees. Here are a few more that he has done.
Each one he does just thrills me to death.

He even made the pots for the tree. So that has been fun watching him work with clay too.

This is a darker one and he used different colored wire.

I like this one because I can see it as a big tree hanging over the top of a cliff on a mountain side.

Here is to show how small he is working to get them. I loved this one too. Just tiny Bonsai trees. He does wire and I read out loud. It is very pleasant to spend the evenings this way.

Just some odds and ends today. I hope your Saturday is very nice.


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Forward Ho!!!

The tree is boxed up and in the shed, the lights are off the outside of the house. Every thing is vacuumed and put back in order. Ron looked at me and with a shocked tone said, " OCD's Unite!! It is 8:30 on December 26th and we are done." We got up early this morning and never looked at the clock. We just went to work.

He is out in the back yard tearing down the old chicken house and I thought I would stop in briefly before I go haul wood for him out to the side so the wood can be cut up and thrown away. I hope you all had a lovely Christmas. Ours was nice and was full of lots of fun. Now onto 2014!!!

Have a delightful day,

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Merry Christmas

I just wanted to stop in and wish you a Merry Christmas. I was driving down the street yesterday and I could see our pasture and all of the trees are so pretty and gold. With today being the first day of winter, the leaves will all be falling like rain.

All of the presents are wrapped and boxes are mailed. The groceries are bought. Surprises abound every where. Boxes full of goodies have come to my house from afar. Julie at Dog Trot sent me a lovely box from goodies from Maine.
When she visited Tasha Tudors earlier in the year, she sent me a gift from there, a hen and chick cookie cutter and a card. I feel so honored as I doubt if I will ever make it there to see it for myself.

Sorry about the glare, it is dark in the house and I had to use the flash. One thing I have found that in blogland, live the most generous and kind people of any place I have ever visited.

I also finished up another Merry Christmas rug.

I worked on this pillow and now I doubt if I will finish it until after Christmas. This has been a fun project just for all of the different embroidery stitches I got to use.

My last little project, I thought I would turn into a ornament but that too will have to wait.

I took a whole month to make this. It was fun though and I did change the colors. It was a freebie from Pineberry Lane.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas. Hopefully by the New Year, my blogger will be acting right. Or I will have time to sit and fool with it.

Merry Christmas,

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Getting Caught Up

I have been having problems with blogger. It has decided to loose my posts. I will just make this one short, to see if it will work today. No, that isn't us, the last time it snowed was January 25, 1999. We had a blue moon that year and lots of snow.
We are now one week away from Christmas Eve. I can't believe how fast Christmas arrived this year.

Ron and I had this conversation. It went something like this.

For the first time I noticed the calendar. I think I have been in denial. If I don't look at it maybe it won't come at all.
Me. " Oh No!! Next week is Christmas!"
Him, "  Yay!! Next week is Christmas! I will have a whole week off!"
Me, " A whole week? I didn't know that? Since when?"
Him, " I have been telling you, didn't you listen?
Me, " Um, I thought it  meant another week I guess, Are you off New Year week too?
Him, " No, I told you that too, I am working.
Me, " ***breaking into song from Muppet Christmas Carol*** about Mr. Skinflint with vacation days."
Him, " He begins quoting, " If you give a mouse a cookie she will want two weeks of vacation in a row."

It will be here fast. I don't know why I panic, I always manage to get things done. I hope your week is very nice so far. We are supposed to be having a warm up, it might even be in the 70s tomorrow. I doubt it though, we are having that inversion layer that keeps fog trapped and the warm air above. I suppose it is better than being 17 below. That is some serious cold. I can't even imagine what that feels like.

So stay warm and safe.
So here is keeping my fingers crossed that this posts.


Friday, December 13, 2013

Cookies and Decorating

After a long day of cookie making. A million things went through my head. For one thing, why did I think that every recipe I chose was one that had to be chilled an hour, and then rolled into balls. Or why does Kenny G Christmas Carols make me want to take a nap. Or what possessed me to put 5 different versions of Carols of the Bells back to back in my Christmas play list? I as a good blogger should have taken a picture of the state of my kitchen. My goodness it was a mess for hours. No one was around but me so I couldn't even blame it on anyone. Not to mention I was so scattered brained I would just stop and go for a walk outside. After my third walk outside to stare at chickens, I shook myself and told me, " Get a grip and get in there and get something done!!"

Here are my cookie  trays today.

On this tray is my all time favorite molasses cookie. Then in the middle is the recipe off the back of the package of candy cane kisses. I was going to make soft sugar cookies but I liked this recipe better. Then the chocolate cookie is just my old standard chocolate chip cookie recipe but I called these triple chocolate  because they have mini chips, Hershey cocoa and dark chocolate kisses.

My second little tray is for the boys to eat. I don't know if this happens to you but if I am going to be gone all day the boys are pretty happy as long as there is food in the house to eat. That cookie jar is just for Ron. That is the molasses cookie. His favorite. I collect pink depression glass. One of my treasures is this pink depression glass cookie jar. I have never found another one like it. My Mom collected green depression glass and her collection is quite extensive. I liked the pink because it was a bit rarer and at the time when she started collecting it no one else was and you could get it for free or for a dollar at the most. Now it is crazy how much it costs.

I took a picture of the tree. The light isn't right. I got out all the dolls I collected through the years.
Also one of my favorite little Nativity sets.

I just love them, and I wish I had continued getting them. I still like them though.

Here is my favorite Mary and Joesph and baby Jesus.

My friend Pom Pom likes Raggedy Ann and Andy so I thought I would take a picture of my bench with mine.

I have a bunch in my hope chest that someday I should take out and put them out but you know how that goes. As soon as I take them out they start griping about being in the hope chest for ever and how come I never pay attention to them anymore. Just like a scene from Toy Story.

Here is my shelf all decorated. It is full of things I love. My little Raggedy Ann's are up here too. One of the book series I love is by Jan Karon. I love Father Tim and I have the Church and Father Tim's house.

I always think this next picture of his house before he and Cynthia got married. I don't know why.

One day I was driving down town. I love to drive in the streets down there and look at all of the wonderful old houses. I went down this street and there was Father Tim's church. It is our Episcopalian Church. I about had a wreck hitting my brakes and stopping right in the middle of the street. Some people were coming out of the door that looked just like that door on the church. I have to go there someday and visit. It is just beautiful. I have no clue how I have lived here all of my life  and I had never noticed it before.

Last but not least my very favorite Christmas tree I made last year.

I still like that thing so much. It always makes me happy.
Time to go paint the barn and get ready to go hang out with some of my favorite people today. I get to see my grandsons. I have to share though with the other grandma though. It is okay because we were friends before the Megan and Ben even started dating. So sharing with someone like that is fun.
Have a lovely Friday,

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Lots of Baking Today

I thought I would write a short post to say, I hope you are having a nice week. Along with the garage door, one of the other things that the cold makes blinky, is the internet. I didn't have internet yesterday, until late. It will just die and there is nothing I can do to make it work. So I am in and out. I am baking cookies today for a cookie/ornament exchange tomorrow and yesterday, my recipes I was going to make were on my computer.
I learned something keep hard copies.

We have had pretty blue skies and the cold is a nice change. I am so thankful for the new coop. I love locking the hens in at night, sort of like tucking them in. Yesterday I thought I would let them out in the yard for awhile and not a single one wanted out. I guess that means they like it.
Have a lovely Thursday. I need to start assembling ingredients. I wish I could send you a cookie or two through the screen. It would be so nice to sit and talk and get caught up on life.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Why I Am Glad To Be 50+

I had an eye appointment yesterday and I will have to have two cataract surgeries next year. To say I came home feeling old, and worn out was a understatement. I came home and looked in the mirror and decided that I would be thankful that I live in this age where they will take out my old lens and pop in a new one and I will be able to see. I thought about other things I am thankful for at this age.

Being over 50 means, I get to be who I am, really. Not that person I tried to be for the 40 earlier years, like Nancy Drew, or a California Girl in a string bikini, or a soccer Mom or any of those labels I tried to live up too. Now, I am just a me, full time.

Being this age, no amount of Oil of Olay will help. I am going to have lines, and gray hair and hopefully, I will have more laugh lines rather than grumpy lines. Smiles are far more encouraging than frowns and cost me nothing. As does being nice.

 I noticed the other day, I have some serious quirks. I never noticed, but when I get nervous, I talk too much. I have to keep telling myself to shut up and quit rattling along like a model T. I  realized that at this age, it would be easy to become a crone. I do have to fight selfishness really hard. Because at 55 I want to do what I want to do, every day, all the time.

I won't wear junior clothes anymore. I know that should have been something I  would have  noticed before now, but I didn't.  I went clothes shopping and bought new jeans in the woman's department, in the petite section. I love my jeans, I am happy again about getting dressed. At 55 I can be comfortable with how I am shaped and how I am built, since I was 10 years old I have been trying to be Twiggy. I have curves and hips. Having six kids does that.

I think today it dawned on me, I am who I am, the people who haven't liked me in the past won't like me now or ever. The people who like me now will go on being my friends. Life is too short to keep looking back.
I think at this age, being comfortable in my own skin is far more important than worrying about the other things that never happen. Being creative and liking the way things look to me is important. One thing I learned this week, is I don't like things symmetrical. It drives me nuts. I didn't know that until I was looking at Ron's wire trees. I love his trees but I found myself asking him to mix it up and make that branch look different from the other branches. It dawned on me, I like Whimsical. which means cockeyed, out of balance and there are people who like every thing to line up straight and be perfectly in line.. So this weekend I learned why. It isn't a bad thing, it is just how it is and it helped me to see, that being different is okay.

So being this age is a good thing. Yesterday, going to the eye appointment I didn't wear makeup. I really expected people to run from the office screaming in fright. No one did. They were polite and nice. I thought driving home, no one cares just be who you are because beauty is fleeting, and it is the gentle and quiet spirit that draws people not what I look on the outside.

Just thoughts rattling around in my brain today.
Thanks for stopping by I know how busy this time of year is so thank you,