Wednesday, January 1, 2020

First Day of a new Decade

  Here we sit. Precipice of a new year. Not particularly excited about it, but not dismayed either.  Curious to see how it all plays out, considering the state of the world and of this country.  I do believe that even in the darkness, the light will prevail.  That love wins over hatred, although it may not look like it at times. That there is hope for humanity, no matter how bleak things appear from time to time.  I am generally an optimistic person, and hope that doesn't change...

  We had a lovely quiet Xmas and New Years.  Friends and family for a Xmas Eve supper, and then just himself and my son and I for our traditional Steak and lobster supper.  And as I was cleaning up my plate, I realized I didn't take one picture of that magnificent spread.  NY strip steak, lobster tail, skewered shrimp. Caesar salad and aglio y olio and fresh baked Italian bread. We ate until we were full as ticks and still managed to barely stay up long enough to welcome in the new year. We never go out for NY Eve.  

  No particular resolutions for this year, other than trying to practice better self care and live an authentic life.  Something I do strive for, and probably do better than I think.  My diet needs cleaning up, my weight is an issue, and these things are in the back of my mind.  In 5 days I will turn 67 years old, and I must say, it's been a ride. lol  When I look at it all from a historical perspective, it's amazing that I'm in as good shape as I am. So there's that.  And when I get real, I could be a lot better physically and I know it.  Mostly I intend to be a little gentler with myself and try to stay grateful and happy.  I have lived longer now than either of my parents (mom died at 55 and dad at 60) and sometimes that's a little freaky to think about. 

  All in all, living lightly on this planet, doing what little good I can for others,  and cultivating more love in the garden of my heart... these are things that are important to me.  Family.  Food.  Love. Laughter. Simple things, to be sure.  But in my little corner of the world, it is enough. I hope to have chickens again this year and plant a garden. That's been missing from  my life for over 2 years.  I need it back.  So I'll do whatever I have to.  I may have to do it on my own, but maybe not.  This winter I have been feeding wild birds and they eat like crazy, but provide me with so much joy.  Every day out there I am blessed with cardinals, sparrows,wrens, titmice, woodpeckers (3 kinds) juncos, chickadees, and probably a few others I can't recall.  The weather is bizarre-- 51 today. I'm going out to enjoy it while it lasts.  Happy New Year, everyone.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thanksgiving Day 2019

   This is what the high holy day of gluttony looks like when your oven doesn't work.  LOL  Right now there is a pan of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls in there for breakfast. That little Airfryer Oven has sure gotten a workout this past 6 months. I'm getting ready to make the pumpkin pie in it and then I'll put the crescent rolls in.  The Proctor Silex roaster oven held the 2 --12 pound turkeys just right...they've been cooking on low overnight and just turned it up to crisp the skin a little. House smells like roasted meat...and cinnamon. Keeping it pretty simple this year, turkey, stuffing, baked sweet potato and bacon wrapped asparagus.  Crescent rolls and pumpkin pie.  lol Some years I have lost my mind and made a 15 course meal.

  It's just me this year. And maybe my son.  But he's sick as a dog and I may just take a plate to him.  The Irishman is up in northern Wisconsin with his family. I don't know what any of the rest of my family is doing, but heard nothing about a get together, if anyone's even having one besides their immediate families. So, it's a quiet cold Thanksgiving day.  3 days ago it was 65. Today it's 35. I'm going to go out and refill the bird feeders in a bit. They appear to be stocking up, lol, and the wildbird seed feeder is empty and the suet block is almost gone. I filled them about 3 days ago. Maybe it will tun winter now...been crazy.

  Been thinking alot about the practice of giving thanks. My grandmother taught me to bend over the plants in the garden and thank them for feeding me and my family when I harvested them.  I was taught to say  thank you when anyone gave me gifts.  Gratitude and appreciation go a long way in changing my mindset, when I am feeling stressed about money or sorry for myself because I don't have everything I want.  But you know, I always have everything I need. My house isn't a palace, but it's [mostly] clean and it's cozy and it's warm and the roof doesn't leak. I have a car that runs well. Because I have a house and a car,  I have insurance that [for now] I am able to pay. I have family and a husband who loves me and a son with whom  I have a relationship I don't deserve.  I have friends.  I have  serenity. And I have a good stable life.  These things are the most important. The older I get the more I understand that the basic component of a well lived life is love. I could be anywhere, doing anything, and as long as I have love--in my heart and in my life-- all will be well.  The venerable Meister Eckhart  said : 

So I say thank you to God every day, for all things and in all circumstances. And I hope that is enough.

Happy Thanksgiving !

Friday, October 11, 2019

And just like that... it's autumn.

  A few days in the 70's,  back to the 90's and finally... 60's and below.  Today's high is expected to reach 49. Chilly nights coming up and cooler days.  The leaves are starting to fall. Colors beginning to change.  Still a lot of corn and soybeans in the fields, and it rained like a monsoon last night and most of this morning. It's stopped now, and the sun is out, but it's chilly.  Himself is walking the dogs down the road and back. One at a time. So every time he brings one back and leaves with another, the other two sit at the window and whine. Even (esp) the one that just came back.  smh...

  I love soup weather.  I have been home for 2 days and don't want to go out.  Decided I would make a nice comfort food stew this afternoon. Knew I was out of onions, but I had dehydrated onions in the pantry, so I used them.  All the rest of the ingredients for Posole were in my pantry. Yippee !!  It's in the crock pot now, filling the house with the wonderful aromas of onion, pork and cumin. I'll warm up some tortillas to go with it and it will be a filling and warming supper.  Made enough for supper and a lunch or two.  A great fall/winter meal.  But now I need to look for pork loin on sale to buy and can... that was the last 2 jars.  I still have lots of chicken, some roast beef and a jar or 2 of corned beef in there.  Winter is a good time to watch for sales on these meats and can them. Summertime is too busy with vegetables.


  When it's time to eat, I'll garnish the bowls of it with some thin sliced cabbage and radishes. 

  It's been a hectic week...doggie health issues, financial woes, sick friends.  My leg is in a cast for 1 more week, more or less, and I am SO ready to have it off.  It's a pain in my arse.  lol

 The kittens are growing by leaps and bounds.  The special needs girl is such fun to watch, as she grows more confident and gets braver all the time.  The boy is a snugglebug.  Our old cat Chichi doesn't like either of them.  She's going to have to suck it up soon, because it's getting too cold for her to stay outside all the time.  lol

Life goes on.  DC is a joke.  The world needs all our prayers.  

Be kind.

 Later, taters.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Will it ever be autumn ?

  It has actually cooled down some. but not much.  Tonight I changed the setting on my AC because it's feeling chilly and the damn thing wouldn't shut off.  I'm sitting here with my robe on.  We have still been having daytime temps in the mid to high 90's and it's getting old. Rainy today and probably tomorrow, so maybe things will really start to cool down. 

  I haven't posted here since  April. Good lord.  I have been feeling the need to write but somehow just not getting it done.  I have no excuses... still not working, although I am going to probably have to go back to work soon.  Having a terrible time with a nasty bone spur in my left heel that is tearing my Achilles tendon. The pain is and on.  The anti-inflammatory they prescribed made me sick as a dog, and am using a  cream now. It bypasses the gut, so no yuck. Unfortunately though, it helps for about 2 hours after I apply it and then it starts hurting again.  SO I'm all gimpy and cranky and trying to make it another 9 days til I can get in to see a new podiatrist. As usual, I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off....on the go way too much, busy with a lot of things and blah blah blah.  

  On a bright note though... I rescued a couple of adorable kittens last February and they are doing great. They are about 7 months old now. The little boy was just neutered and the little girl is next. She's a warrior princess and in spite of her disabilities, is climbing and playing and just living a great life.   They are a handful and def keep me busy. I wouldn't trade 'em for the world.

I'm tired today. Maybe I'll hit the hay early tonight. We have a big annual picnic tomorrow and I need to get up early-ish and go help out. Also forgot (until about an hour ago) that I am supposed to make a basket for the raffle,  Yikes.  I'll figure something out, lol  I canned about 2 bushel of jalapenos as Cowboy Candy and Jalapeno jelly. Everybody wants some. Maybe I'll do that... 

  Good to be here again... With all the madness in the world, it's a great place to escape to.  Later taters...

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Is it safe to come out yet ???

April Fool's Day is over...and I think it's safe to come out. lol  Actually there weren't many pranks or jokes in my world this year, aside from a few tRump jokes.  The kind of people I know usually go all out for this special day, but this year I think everyone is so fizzled out from the winter sick and bad weathers that they just didn't have it in them. lol

  I've been spending my days doing weirdo things like dehydrating pineapple. In fact the loaded up 6 tray dehydrator is finishing up a batch now. The fruit has been on sale and I have so far dehydrated about 10 of them. I am finally feeling better enough to do stuff.   Moved all my furniture around one day. Got a new-to-me china hutch to put my new-to-me Pfaltzgraff set in, which meant I had to rearrange the angle of the dining room table and then rearrange all the living room too. That's what happens in these sought after (ahem-cough)  open living spaces.  But it looks good and seems to flow better and I am happy with it.  It took the dogs and that man that lives here a few days of grumbling and glares before finally getting used to the change. lol  But you know the saying..."When mama's happy, everybody's happy" and so it was.  It's quite pretty, the new stuff. I got the dishes for a hundred dollars, a huge set with all kinds of extra matching pieces and stuff like linen napkins, potholders, dish towels, candle holders... the woman I bought it from had obviously been collecting it for a long time.  I think she said she got the starter set when she got married. And it was her 30+ year old sons that loaded all the boxes into my little car.  (I was never that kind of a girl.)

  I got the hutch from a woman here in town selling things off because she and her husband were moving to Texas where it's warm and her grandbabies live. lol  Fifty bucks. Yay for me.

  So that's about the gist of it here on Honeysuckle Hill. I have started doing a little outside work. Weather has been hit and miss, warm and rainy, but it's a start. I haven't got the chicks yet and need to get on that before they're all gone. The Irishman is dragging his feet about it, so a friend of mine came over and we walked around the coop and took some measurements and talked about some ideas.  She wants to keep a couple of chickens here too, as she now lives in a place where she can't have them. Same with a garden, so I told her we could easily share crop if she wants to come help me with that. She has RA and has some limitations, but she's amazing and persistent-- between the two of us, we're almost a whole person. lol  It will be a win/win if we actually do that...

  The summer is shaping up to be busy, we have 2 family reunions, an area assembly and a speaking engagement  to fill it up. As well as my sober birthday and our 27th anniversary. And that's just June. We might try to turn the second family reunion (in Wisconsin) into a mini-vacation. A couple of years ago we did that...followed the Mississippi north, went to Hannibal MO (home of Mark Twain)  and Stillwater MN (Took a paddlewheel riverboat dinner cruise) and stopped at all kinds of places in between, including a cool set of caves that we hiked through. We're pretty simple folks, and easy to amuse.  lol

 In the meantime, there's weeds to pull and wisteria and Rose of Sharon to prune. Today is my volunteer at the AA office  day (every other Tuesday for 4 hours, no biggie).  I have a meatloaf in the oven for himself's supper and some leftover mashed potatoes to go with that. A vegetable and he's set, since I won't be here. After the office thing I'm going out to eat and then to a mtg to see a friend get her sobriety coin. I was out last night to, so I am really looking forward to Wednesday when I can stay home all day and night.  It's supposed to hit 60 today, the river is rising and the creeks are running over their banks and once it warms up north of us it's gonna be crazy. We live high and dry, so it doesn't affect us except when we have to go south. 

 Have a titillating Tuesday campers.   I KNOW you will...

Monday, March 25, 2019

Technology will make your life easier, they said...

 Oy... I have struggled for 3 days with this blog. Every time I tried to sign in it would shoot me to the other blog and still not let me sign in to post. I am such a technotard... I don't know exactly what I did differently, but I think this is what happened last time too. And being over 3 years ago, I think, I didn't remember then either. And THEN, it tried to make me start a new blog. Well...having none of that, I promise.  lol  I don't know if it has something to do with the "synching" of 4 email accounts (3 are for area business) but I suspect it does. sigh...

  Anyway, here I am. I did something and fixed the problem. For now. Who knows... Steve Jobs I am not. lol

  It has been a busy and frustrating few weeks around here. I have taken on a service position that I may or may not be woefully unprepared for. In spite of it all, I survived the first 3 months of it.  Health issues abound around here (and regionally and nationally, it appears) and we have been struck senseless by it as well. Things appear to be on the upswing, and the weather is getting better too, which can only help. It's getting time to get out back and start cleaning up the garden beds and get to work on the chicken house. If  I am going to buy chicks, I probably need to get on it. I desperately want chickens again.  I really need a garden again. One year without both was a nice break and a tragedy at the same time. I'm seeing news reports that farmers are going to have the worst financial crisis in years due to economic sanctions and weather catastrophes) and that tells me I'd better get back to taking care of business. Prices will go up. Inflated reports of supplies will make everyone panic. I need to not attend that rodeo and the way to do that is produce as much of my own organic food as I can. Gardening and small scale farming gives me a sense of purpose and accomplishment. It's a lot of work, but it's good work. And I am extremely grateful to be able to do it.


  And that's pretty much it. I have this ominous feeling that things are going to get worse before they get better. So...I do what I can.

  My son asked me to dehydrate him some pineapple and Aldi's happens to have them on sale so I will probably do that tomorrow. I'm almost out of the pineapple I canned last year too. Today I am on sabbatical (lol) after a 5+ hour there and back road trip to sit on metal folding chairs (which almost kills me) for 6 hours. I'm a hot mess. But the reality is that I have physical structural issues as a result of being hit by an 80,000 lb fork truck in 2001 which crushed my pelvis and busted me up from the waist down. So, really the fact that I can do anything at all is pretty amazing. lol  I do try to keep that in mind when I want to complain too much.

 I need to tear my pantry apart and clean and organize it. See what's in there. See what needs to be tossed.  You stuff.  lol  I'm debating about cleaning my house today. Needs it but I'm not real motivated...unless my buddy is coming for lunch tomorrow, then I will be. lol  ***OK-- she is.  There you go. ***  Now my life has meaning again and I have a purpose.  (not).  I am slowly getting my house in order though, since I quit working. One room at a time. Little by little. As anyone who has had these nasty bugs going around can tell you, they knock you flat on your ass. No energy, sleeping a lot, and  a cough that sounds like a TB ward. During the 6 months I was working and  the 2 months I was sick, chaos reigned. And that's all I'm gonna say about that.

  So, there's the news from Honeysuckle Hill. There have been some good times the past week, out at my beloved La Vista where I made a new friend and enjoyed the company and fine food of that bunch...and of another gathering on a different note, which always nourishes my soul and helps me to grow. 

  Looking forward to getting out the little in-house chicken cage where the babies live until the weather warms up enough to put them outside. (I will never forget the first year we did this because they always have the chicks out way too early around these parts weatherwise, and my husband told someone-- now she's got chickens living in the house!!) The newly remodeled chicken house/area will hopefully be done in time. I have high hopes. I am going to spend some time today researching some building plans and hints for predator proof chicken coops. Imperative that I never have to go thru the heartbreak of losing all my chickens like that again. This old heart of mine can't take it.  Even though I know that alla god's babies gotta eat...and that we're all on the food chain somewhere... still... Rather not lose them again.

  Life is never boring at the Hill. We may not have much, we may not get to travel as much as we'd like. We may look goofy to others, but we're living a simple life that some people only dream of.  And most days...that is enough.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

...will it ever be spring again ??

  My beautiful clematis, which, in 2018 did not bloom or grow for the first time in 15 years. We'll see if she shows her face this year or if the dogs have possibly murdered her.  I decided this morning that I am going to WILL away this horrid winter by changing my FB profile picture to my road in the summer...[here]
 And by thinking spring thoughts. So I will start spring cleaning today as well, starting here in this  hellhole of an office, where the desk calendar still says January and the crap is piling up faster than  toilet paper during a colonoscopy cleanse.  There are a million things to do and I just got out of my pj's and into some sweats. Then realized I have to eat something, so heated up some leftover minestrone soup and am back here at the computer again. Eating. lol  Decided I would multi-task and do a little writing that I've been wanting to do but just didn't have the energy. Am feeling better mostly, so today's the day I tackle a few things. 

  The weather here has been atrocious. A few weeks ago we had almost 14 inches of snow that hung around for 2 weeks because it was too cold to melt. And again last night we had a storm sweep through that dropped some snow (not much) and a LOT of ice.  The this morning the temps started climbing and are supposed to hit 45.  60 by Saturday. And this is the roller coaster we've been riding for 2 months.  From 0 to 35 to 27 to 60. And then back to 10. Major suckage. You never know how to dress. So I just stay at home , inside, in my pajamas.  lol

 There have been some gawdawful bugs and viruses going around these parts. Immediately following my tests the 3rd of February, I picked one up that flattened me.  Finally started feeling a little better about 14 days later.  I was sleeping 12-16 hours a day sometimes. Coughing, fever, sore throat... utter and total exhaustion.  Tonight I was supposed to go to a welcome home potluck for a friend, but now she is sick and so everything was cancelled. I'm still going to make the chicken and rice casserole that I had planned and we will have that for supper. It's a lovely one dish meal that bakes at a low temp for a little over 3 hours, so it can cook while I work and warm the house and make things smell good. If that kind of thing interests you, you can find the recipe here: YumYum   (I don't often cook things with store bought soups or mixes, but this one is special. lol)

  I ordered a new wingback chair cover off Amazon this morning. Can't wait.  I have a 15 dollar yard sale find Ethan Allen wingback chair that I've had about 14 years. The cats and kittens over the years have destroyed the beautiful upholstery, but the bones are still good.  I have been covering it with a hodgepodge of covers and blankets that didn't fit it really, and decided it's time for this beauty to have a real slipcover. lol  It will be here Friday. Almost ordered a love seat cover as well, but decided that could wait. Don't need to be spending a lot of money since I'm not working anymore. I resigned from my pt job when the diverticulitis hit and then hit again and again making me unable to keep my commitment. I sent them a letter resigning and they called me and said they had been worried and that if things changed I always had a place on their team. (That was very nice)
 I am used to having a little extra money in my pocket... but I don't know if I want to do that work again.. the standing and sweeping and mopping really hurts me, I can barely do that at home, where I don't have deadlines.  We'll see what happens...

  So I am starting to feel better all around and am hopefully on the mend. My attitude is certainly better.  Getting a no cancer no polyps/clean bill of health (except for the diverticulitis)  certainly relieved a lot of my anxiety.  Who knows ?? I might be back running marathons any day now. (Just kidding. If you see me running ANYWHERE, you'd better run too, because there's probably a bear behind me!)

  TTFN, kids.
See ya on the flip side.