Friday, November 29, 2013

Fun Day

I hope everyone had a very nice day filled with food and family and much laughter. Our day was next to perfect. If my oldest daughter and her family and the new baby had been here then it would have been perfect. It was cloudy and just a great day for Thanksgiving. We smoked the turkey all day. We used a dry rub for the first time after we put it in brine all night on Wednesday. We just stuffed it with butter, apple and onion. We put it right on the grill in the smoker and it will go down as the best turkey we have ever had.

Ron was cutting the turkey, and all of these helpful people were eating as he cut it off the turkey, I thought it was so funny because they were not waiting and sometimes even took it off the turkey.

We had such a good time at dinner, lots of food and lots of stories and lots of laughter. The kids were at their own little table.

Even Munchie is big enough to sit at the table this year. They told me that they liked my dinner rolls very much. We had a friend of Nik's here too for dinner and his wife. She goes by the name Cat. But Munchie who is just learning to talk, would call her Meow. It was the cutest thing you ever heard. You know how with babies you say, " What does the kitty say?" Well when he heard her name, he said Meow? So it stuck.

We had chicken move in day. They did really well and have taken to it very fast, even the new nest boxes and the new roost.

Sasha is very happy because she can lay down here and watch chickens again. She is sleeping better after having a job to do.

On Wednesday night, Ron got some wire and started making a tree. In styling his Bonsai trees he was having a hard time seeing the trees in his mind. He thought if he sculpted one out of wire it would help his mind. So while we sat in the living room sitting around talking. We would watch him as he worked on this tree. The photo doesn't do it justice. It is beautiful and the movement in the limbs and trunk is incredible.

This just came out of his brain. We were just mesmerized by it. If it wasn't black Friday I would be out finding him wire and cutters and all kinds of things to make more. I know I am biased but my husband never ceases to amaze me.

My youngest son sent me a cartoon the other day. It is two pictures, one of Buddy the Elf being so excited that Christmas is coming. The other is Theoden standing on the parapet at the Battle of Helm's deep, looking down he says, " Now it begins."
Well people are in two camps, you are either like Buddy or Theoden. I admit to falling in the Theoden camp. I have laughed and laughed about it. So there is no way I would venture out on Black Friday. I do hope those people who set up tents a week ago in front of Best Buy, got whatever they were waiting for last night.

So have a wonderful day. I may just stay in my pajamas and get a fire going and put my feet up. Ron just came in and said that it is raining. What a great day.

I hope you have one too.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Just a Thanksgiving Story

This morning, as Ron and I were having coffee, for some reason, I remembered a story. I thought it was a nice Thanksgiving story. Before I started hooking rugs, I spent years at Weight Watchers. Now, I think about membership dues and I go buy wool. I got to be good friends with the leaders there. My favorite leader told this story and it reminded me of how blessed we are in the little things.

I am sorry I don't remember the exact year, but my friend Nancy, told us how her husband is a missionary who goes into places to bring short term aid and other things after disasters. Her church then sponsors people to come to the United States and here to Bakersfield. She said she was always good with languages and dialects and for some reason she could  speak a little of this woman language from South America.
They took this family into their home and it was a Mom and Dad and three children. Young children. They had lived in a village that had been destroyed and were able to save their family with nothing else.

Nancy told how when they first came into her home, the Mom and the kids had eyes as big as saucers and they just touched the furniture and the woman told Nancy that she lived in a castle. The first night, Nancy said she had made two bedrooms ready one for the children and one for the Mom and Dad. The kids, were terrified to be away from their parents and the parents had never slept on a mattress so they asked if they could all sleep in one room on the floor. She got them blankets and the family all slept together. As she told me later because her small bedroom was bigger than their whole house.

Because our food would have made them sick, she had to be very careful what she fixed. The children were hungry so as she thought that popcorn would be an easy choice. She said, she took out the bag and put it in the microwave. When it started popping the kids started screaming and ducking down and crying because they had never had popcorn, and they thought it was gunfire. She stopped the microwave and took the bag out and told the mother what it was and got the kids calmed down. She put them on the counter so they could see, but that they jumped every time the corn popped.

She poured the popped corn into a bowl and they very carefully ate it one kernel at a time. She said, she thought she fixed a few more bags of popcorn and had to explain to the Mom about microwaves.
It was almost Thanksgiving so Nancy said she had to be very careful of what she fixed. She thought turkey would be too rich so she just roasted a large chicken with lots of vegetables, even then, the family was in awe of all of the food. She said, taking them to the grocery store was an adventure too. They couldn't comprehend all of the food.

Nancy said, she had a really hard time explaining that she worked at a place teaching people how to not eat. The lady just couldn't understand how or why that could be. We laughed about it but as I was telling Ron this I thought about my table at Thanksgiving and how we will have so much food and it makes me remember the things that I know I take for granted. I kept thinking of this grand house I live in and all of the nice furniture and the heaters that comes on all by itself and keeps me warm.

I just thought I would share this as when she was telling the story I was on the edge of my chair. I went up afterwards and had her tell me more of the story. The family did go on to get a small apartment and the kids went to school and the husband got a job and they were bringing people over here and helping them to learn our culture. At Thanksgiving we celebrate a holiday, about God's provision. How if not for those early Pilgrims who God brought here and who had prepared for them Samoset and Squanto, who brought popcorn to that early feast. Who knows. There are no accidents or coincidences. Only plans.

Have a lovely day,

 Godliness with contentment is great gain."
(1 Timothy 6:6)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Out and About

This morning, it is cold. The ground had a light coating of frost. After all of the rain, everything is staying wet. We have rain coming for Thanksgiving. I am so excited for a cloudy Thanksgiving. We haven't had one in a few years. I always bake my pies on Wednesdays. On Monday and Tuesday I clean house. After this weekend, it really needs it today.

Ron worked on the chicken house all day Saturday. What a huge project this has been. It is very nice and I will be glad when it is finished. I don't think I would have even said yes, had I known how much time and energy he would have to give for this. I worked with him until Saturday about noon, then the boys came out and helped him cut tin and hammer it down. They worked so hard until the sun set. We try not to work on Sundays because it just doesn't work for us. It always seems like you start Monday behind the eight ball. 

These are so dark as the sun was barely over the roof top, but this is how it looks from the inside looking out.  I can't wait until the hens are in here.

The gate is on and there is only a tiny bit left to the roof. I got really bossy, and told him no more work. He was so tired and he works really hard at his job during the week. So as hard as it was for him, he came in the house. He will be off this weekend so then it can be finished. I think with this project I have turned into a harpy. No chicken pen is worth this. I keep telling him over and over. I am ready for him to work with his trees.

Can you see this great wire he found? It has this little squares. We wanted the birds to stay out. It really looks so nice and I think will help to keep things cleaner.

I hope you have a wonderful week. I think it will be a nice week. Last week was rather busy.
All is well though, and I am happy and contented and full of joy for this coming week. I have so many, many things to be thankful for.

"Trust is the ground for our thanksgiving---no matter what happens. He is still at work, even though it may not look as though He is, and He is the God of deliverance, The Lord is my strength and my song."

  Last year at this time, I had given up all hope, and felt forsaken and alone and didn't understand, why God was allowing the things that He was, life was very dark for me. Now one short year later, I see why, and realize no matter what I felt, God was doing great things, so this year, my Thanksgiving is filled with such awe that so many things that I thought would be the end of me, was in truth the very beginning of  wonder.
" Our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name."
(Psalm 33:21)

Thank you so much for being apart of that hope, your words and your friendship, gave me encouragement to go on one more day. I am Thankful for each of you who take time to stop in, to read what I write, to laugh at  and to cry with and to keep me striving to be better than I am. You have truly, given to me such gifts as I could never repay,
Have a lovely Thanksgiving,

Friday, November 22, 2013

Yay!! For Fridays!

After a very exciting week, I am so glad that it is Friday. Now that baby and Momma are back at home and they have a new normal. I feel like I can finally sleep. Now I have to start thinking about Thanksgiving. We have had just a lovely couple of days with lots of rain. I had to laugh because today the weather said we were having a sunny day. I went outside with my camera to show you sunny.

Here in the valley, after a rain we get what is called Tule Fog. "Tule fog /ˈtl/ is a thick ground fog that settles in the San Joaquin Valley and Sacramento Valley areas of California's Great Central Valley. Tule fog forms from late fall through early spring (California's rainy season) after the first significant rainfall. The official time frame for tule fog to form is from November 1 to March 31. This phenomenon is named after the tule grass wetlands (tulares) of the Central Valley. Motor vehicle accidents caused by the tule fog are the leading cause of weather-related casualties in California."

We have had so many dry years that I have missed the fog. I know that sounds crazy, but living here and growing up here that is what makes it feel like Christmas to me. It also means it gets cold and wet and you learn to drive very carefully. Around here the schools have what is called "fog delays." When I was in school, you had to turn on the radio first thing to find out if you would be two hours late for school. We loved it. I don't think the teachers did. The fun part was at recess, playing tag in the fog. We weren't supposed to do that either but we did.
 One of the things my kids always thought was a total rip off about home schooling was they didn't get fog delays.

 The rain is causing all of the trees to really loose leaves now. It is wonderful to have a fire burning and to be drinking hot tea and listening to the rain. I walked outside yesterday and and finally the ground is hard packed again. No more deep, powdery dirt.  After those years of hardly no fall and no winter, I am enjoying this so much.

I hope you have a delightful weekend. Stay warm, that weather map looks like the whole country will be in a deep freeze. My daughter in Arizona, might get 3 to 4 inches of rain.

We hope to get finished with the chicken house this weekend. I am pretty excited.

Bye for now,

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A New Baby and A Book

I am going to gush. I just thought I should warn you. If I had buttons on my shirt they would be popping off. My oldest daughter, Kessie, just had her forth baby. Susan Patrica came into the world at 9:39 A.M. she is 7 pounds 2 ounces. Kessie said, that she is already making her demands known. I am so thankful that my Grand baby number eight has made it into the world safely I prayed so much last night, I remembered my babies and I thanked God for giving me this incredible life. As a person who has made more mistakes, dropped more balls and made more stupid decisions. I am so thankful that God has taken the crumbs I have offered and has blessed me beyond anything I have ever dreamed or asked. So that brings us to an even number, Ben and Megan, four boys. Kessie and Ryan one boy and three girls. All of them are six and under.

 The next thing I wanted to share. Kessie, has been a writer and artist. She is also a very good mother. Not to mention she cooks everything from scratch. So in those departments she has far surpassed me.

She has spent the last couple of years writing  books. So yesterday while in labor, her book became available to buy on Amazon.

It is called Storm Chase by K.M. Carroll.  ( A Spacetime Legacy) It is written for 12 years and up.
She worked so hard to get the book ready to go before the baby came and she did it. So she had two babies. I am so proud of her. I loved having my babies and my kids and now, I love watching them do life.
All of them have far surpassed anything I ever dreamed. I am so thankful for God and how He has kept His hand on their lives.

 I told you I was going to gush. I will give you my apologies here. If you had known me when I was young and all of the many ways I messed up my life. You would be in shock too. All I can say, Is God has been far better to me than I have ever deserved.

So I can only give Him the praise and the Glory.

Now, I will cry the rest of the day. That is what I do, now I can fall apart. :)


Monday, November 18, 2013

Oh Monday

Here it is Monday again. The days just seem to fly by. I was thinking about when I was little and how long it seemed to take to get to Christmas. I remember being in my Grandmother's house and laying on my tummy in the floor, with the Montgomery Wards and J.C. Penney catalogs opened to the toy sections and dreaming of all of those things. I bet my Grandmother kept me entertained for hours doing that. Now it seems like I barely turn the calendar and it is Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Ron worked on the yard for the chicken coop all weekend. I think it was more work than tearing down the playhouse and building the coop put together. On Friday, he had to move a sprinkler and put in a new one. The cottonwood out there has put out roots everywhere. He had to chop and use a pry bar then the ground was so hard he had to just chop away with a shovel. He also had to fill the post holes with water just to be able to dig a little then stop and fill them again.

Then came the digging trenches and trying to dig post holes. All by hand and all with his little narrow ditch digging shovel. He did that for two days. Finally yesterday afternoon he was able to get to the fun part as he said. The people that live behind us decided yesterday to burn trash. I got so sick I couldn't even stay out there from the smell. He just kept working. I really don't know how he kept at it.

He is going to put a tin roof here and he bought the nicest wire. The wire has to be buried below the ground to keep critters out.

Here is the other part of it. I will have a gate here. I think it is really still too nice for chickens. Being chickens, I don't know if they will appreciate it.

It will be finished soon. I will be so glad.

I hope you have a wonderful week. We have some more storms coming and we might, just might get rain.

Bye for now,

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Saturday Morning

I am loving November. I love walking outside and the air is cold, and fresh and crispy. I had to walk back inside and get a coat, which is always nice. I love sticking my hands in my warm pockets and pulling the hood of my coat up over my cold ears and seeing the sun sift down through the trees. It gives a inner light to the trees with a leaves that are now purple, yellow and red.

This tree is right out my office door. It is a Raywood Ash and most years they don't have real good color but this year they do and I just sit in the afternoon with my coffee and stare up at its branches.

I wanted some pictures this morning. Ron is trying to get my chicken pen finished today. I walked down while he was measuring for wire. I had to take a picture of his cat Socks. She is with him where ever he goes. Talking to him in her little high pitched voice. She always gives me the evil eye when I show up. She wants him all to herself. He will be in the house, and decide to go outside to do something, and he will say, " Come on Socks, we are going outside.." She will answer him her her squeaky voice as she runs to go outside with him.  She follows him like a little dog.

I kept trying to get a good shot of her but she seems to know I wanted her to be still so she wouldn't be still. I kept talking to her and calling her name, finally Sasha fed up with the whole attitude thing of cats tried to nip her in the head to be still.

So I had to yell as Sasha to quit biting the cat in the head. I had enough of the fun and games so I went outside to take pictures of the trees.

In the book of Stillmeadow, Gladys Taber writes about November, "...Early in the morning, when I cross the frosty grass to let the spaniels out, I smell the leaves. I never noticed before how sweet they smell on autumn mornings, It's the kind of odor that quickens the heart, a clean, bright-bladed smell."

The leaves are raining down now, the trees I visited with last week and took pictures of are now just bare branches. There are now surrounded by multicolored carpets. I don't walk close to the trees with the perfect circles of a rug. I love the bright colors on the brown earth. 

I hope you have a lovely Saturday. I have 4 sweet boys coming to visit. I will be grandma for awhile. " The world is so full of a number of things, I am sure we should all be as happy as kings." (R.L. Stevenson)

Wishing you a beautiful day,




Thursday, November 14, 2013

Odds And Ends

I have made some things but with so much going on I haven't had a chance to post any pictures.
This first pattern came from Pineberry Lane. I like this pattern so much that even when I see other people post pictures of it I still like it as much as I did while sewing it. 

It is another in the series of Fancey Blackett. The sunflowers and the crows just made me happy, but that little scarecrow was the best.

The next thing I worked on was a snowman. This pattern is from Threads That Bind. I have had it a long time. Of course like cooking, my recipes are always changed, the same goes for doll patterns. I had to change it up a bit but it was a fun project.

He is really big. I have  few snowmen that I have made through the years. This is the first one in a long time.

I ended up making his nose out of skulpy. I enjoy working with that and I always like how it turns out.  I was pretty proud of the hat. I took some old black socks I had in my sock drawer and kept playing with it and finally I cam up with that hat. I also used part of the socks for his mittens. I hand sewed them together and then turned them wrong side out so the mittens would look fuzzy. I had the eyes and mouth beads from when the kids were small and I would make them stuffed animals. The package was marked 75 cents. It made me chuckle. I wonder how much they cost now.

One of the things that is nice now that Hobby Lobby opened, is Michaels   was not a zoo.  I went in and walked around and looked at things. I have a cookie/ornament exchange coming up in December so I thought I would go by the Christmas ornaments. I found a couple.

There was this adorable hen. I was totally sold when I spotted her shoes. I have a thing for ruby slippers ever since I saw the Wizard of Oz at about 3ish.

I knew this little hen was coming home with me. Then I spotted the rooster. I realized he needed a home too.
I bought them both. I think I will have to go ornament shopping for something else to exchange. I don't think I can part with these guys. I kept taking them out of the bag to show everyone and every time I did I was more and more attached.

Last night I thought this would be a good time to finish this rug. I thought I had a small piece of  tweed wool left and nope. Someday you will think I will get this down and not run out of wool at the end. I think I have done that with my last three rugs. So I will put it away until I can get some more. Ron asked me if I was going to sell this one. I told him I have waited 15 years to make this. I laughed and said, "when he starts selling his Bonsai trees, I will sell rugs". :) I am having some hoarder moments I guess. Maybe I will make this pattern again and then I will sell that one.

Have a wonderful Thursday. Today is one of those days, that I have miles to go before I sleep.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

A Few More Photos

I was cleaning house yesterday and I had to just stop and go outside to take a picture of this tallow tree. I just stand and stare out the window at it during the day. I thought I would share a few more photos of our trip.

This is my favorite kind of Bonsai. I like the kind that look like a tiny little forest. On our first trip to the Bonsai nursery that we went to at the beach. George the man who owns it told us that the pot that tree is in is sometimes worth more than the trees. He showed us some antique pots like this one that came from the Emperors private collection. He said, " He never knew how it got out of Japan but he always goes to yard sales and has found some that way." They will be marked on the bottom with Japanese characters. So if you are ever at a yard sale and see pots like these, you might find a jewel in disguise.

This is another multi trunk tree that I like.  There are some species that have the cork bark. Cork oak and cork elm. The cork oak is what corks are made out of. The harvesting of the bark doesn't hurt the tree. Ron and I both love the cork bark trees so we are trying to get the different kinds of species of trees. There is one more but I can't remember the name.

On Saturday, we had to check out of the room. The boys were not finished so we had hours to do something else. Years ago when we visited Disneyland and stayed at the Disneyland Hotel, there was these trees with thorns on the trunks. One of the things I wanted to do was to take pictures of them  We walked down to Downtown Disney. We went hunting for the trees and they are even more massive now than when I saw them years ago.

They look like rose thorns. If there is anyone out there that knows the name I would love to know. I think they are just amazing trees.

If you look close at this trunk you can see how the thorns go all the way up the trunk. I noticed in Downtown Disney that they have them planted in the flowerbeds so they must be fairly common. As we walked we came to the Christmas tree that was decorated. That was about all of the only Christmas things I saw and because it is November and it has got here so fast I was just a little shocked and had to stand there and think, "Christmas is almost here."

I wish I could have seen them decorating it. They were building something around it. I am sure it will be really pretty when it is all finished.

It was so nice to get home. After being down there and all of the people, I do love the peace and quiet. Sometimes I get ungrateful for all of the work I have to do to live here and all I have to clean and clean. It was so nice though to come home and see all that I take for granted. To feel so thankful for the room I have.
I realize how very good God has been to us.

I am so thankful to be able to look out my front windows and to be able to see the sunrise. Then in the evenings to watch the sunset. It is the simple things that always bring me home.

Have a lovely Tuesday,

Monday, November 11, 2013


When I got on the computer today, I realized it was Veterans Day. I want to say Thank you to the Veterans who have given up so much so I may sit here in my pajamas and blog. Without the sacrifice of their families and their lives my life would be so different.

After a very crazy week last week. It is hard to know where to start. So much happened. Illness, hospital visit and a vacation. All in one week. I will try and hit just the vacation part.

The boys who still live at home had a convention to go to down in Anaheim California, which is the home of Disneyland. It used to take a little over two hours to get down there. This time because of all of the road construction it took us three and a half hours. It was grueling.

It is beautiful though. I loved this walk and how all of the date palms grow like this and all of the banana trees. We were late getting down there so the boys left immediately after we checked in to wait in line to get their badges and loot. The convention they went to see had sold 35 thousand tickets so they had a while.
 Friday morning they left a little after six A.M. To wait in line just to get in before 11:00 when opening ceremonies took place.
Which meant that Ron and I had a nice breakfast and then we decided to go explore. The first place we drove too was called the House of Bonsai. It was in Lakewood California.

 We got out of the car and this was our first sight, there was five acres of nothing but Bonsai. It was so amazing to just walk and look just look to our hearts content.

There were five acres of all kinds of trees used in Bonsai and then I think there were about 10 hoop houses filled with baby trees. There were men working doing nothing but cutting and training little trees. These trees this size were 120 dollars each.

Here is some of the trees that they had that weren't for sale. Or if they were it would have been thousands of dollars.

After we spent a few hours here and the next place opened at noon, we decided to go visit The Huntington Gardens. It is located in San Marino California. What a mind blowing experience. It has about 120 acres of gardens and Ron and I tried to see them all. The Japanese Garden was our favorite and the Bonsai specimens were breath taking. I won't show you the oodles of photographs I took but I will show you some.
This is a cork oak and we both love cork oak so much and a couple of years ago we went to our park down down and gathered acorns now we have all of these little cork oak trees that will someday be lovely Bonsai specimens like this. Here is a picture of the bark.

I just love the way it looks and it is such an old tree.

They had a awesome Zen Garden.

It was too hot out there to enjoy it very much. Ron was in a hurry to see it all so I just snapped this photo.

This was the coolest bamboo walkway. There was water running and a Koi pond with such amazing huge fish. They came to the top when I stood on the bridge and looked down and made the kissing sounds thinking I would feed them. I of course stood there like a loon and talked to them. I was glad there was no one around to hear me.

This was the jungle garden, see the vines hanging down? Don't you just expect to see Tarzan swinging through? That was incredible there were Elephant ears that the leaves were almost as big as me. I have a gillion pictures so I won't bore you. The Australian garden was incredible but the desert garden was just as amazing. I thought it was full of Dr. Seuss Trees.  I still have more to show you but I will stop here.

 This is only part of the things I saw and did. When  I was at Weight Watchers all of the time, the number one reason women wanted to get in shape was to be able to keep up with kids and grand kids. I found out on this trip, I need to get in shape to keep up with my husband. He has more energy than anyone I have ever seen. That is for another day though.

Have a awesome day, I have mountains of laundry to do today.