Sunday, February 28, 2010

Moving out of February...

Today was a gorgeous tribute to the end of a short but brutal month. The temps hovered around 50 degrees and the sun shone brightly, bidding good-bye to the month of February. All that said, there was just enough wind to make it chilly if you stood in one place too long, reminding us all that spring is not yet here.

We drove about 35 miles today to visit a Unity church in Collinsville. It was a very small congregation and a small and beautifully simple place. Also just happened to be the Sunday monthly birthdays potluck, so we got lunch. lol  The folks we met were very welcoming and it was a lovely service all about God's love for us and our love for each other. There was a reading by Emmet  Fox and a nice meditation time as well. We attended Unity in North Carolina and always liked the upbeat tone of the services.  Anyway, it was about a 45 minute drive for us, which is a little far.  I think next week I will go check out my neighbors church, which is about 15 minutes max down the road. They attend a United Church of Christ, and I've never been to a service in that denomination.  There was a nice poem on the back of the program for today's service by James Dillet Freeman:

The Church That I Love Best

The church that I love best is small,

It is no grand pretentious hall'

 Set round with works of holy art--

It is the chamber of my heart.

Where else but in this secret place

May I catch glimpses of Truth's face,

And even catch, however dim,

A sense of being one with Him?

 I have no church until I find

Holiness in my own mind;

Once found, wherever I may be

Becomes the house of God for me.

^*^  ^*^  ^*^  ^*^  ^*^  ^*^  ^*^  

Tomorrow I have to go down and help my sister who has broken her wrist and her ankle. Poor thing...she is beside herself and her husband is like a lump and completely unable (or unwilling, according to her) to help her at all.  So, I'll put on my big sister hat and go down and help her in and out of the bathtub and wash her hair and get her straightened away.  I have a feeling part of the problem is that she's taking pain pills and she has a hard time with that.  It scares her and because she has had petit mal seizures in the past, it feels like that to her. So...I'll see what I can sort out and what I cannot.

I have to get to work on clearing out the spare room too (it's full of Xmas decos that I haven't been able to get back to the storage because of the weather. A week from Tuesday, my inlaws will be here, so that room has to be cleaned and ready for them,. They'll only stay one night, but I need to get it cleaned up anyway. And then I'm going to start in on this office. I've started taking things off the walls, so I'll finish that and clean it and get it ready to paint. I'm painting it something bright and cheery, like buttercup yellow, I think.

I'm going to sleep early so I can get a head start on the day tomorrow.  Lots to do, one thing at a time.  Someone to meet at a noon meeting, go to my sisters, pick someone else up who's come back in after a scouting expedition and take her to an evening meeting.  I'm grateful to know it is NOT any better out there.  Think I'll just stay put.  lol

I'm feeling a lot of gratitude tonight...for my husband, who took such good care of me when I was in that industrial accident 9 years ago, and again when I have had my surgery this time.  Over and again, I am shown how much I am loved and cherished by that man...and that is a real gift.  I forget that every woman doesn't get that.   I am grateful for people who trust that they can talk to me when they're having a hard time or are scared or sad. That is a true blessing indeed.   I am especially grateful for my own family, and my friends...all of whom, are there for me any time I need help. All I have to do is pick up a phone. Sometimes not even that--they anticipate my needs and they shower me with love.  Sometimes my world is so saturated with LOVE that I forget that there are lonely people in the world, people who don't have any family, or anyone's dirty socks to pick up from the floor, or breakfasts to cook. And I am most grateful for the gift of a world where there are so many without it, and so many who live hopeless lives of desperation, because they can't find any other way to go.  My prayers today are that every one of us get what we need and maybe even some of what we want, if it is for our highest good.  And that we can make a difference in someone's life, no matter how small. 

  I'll end tonight with a part of the quote from Emmet Fox....

..."It makes no difference how deeply seated may be the trouble; How hopeless the outlook; How muddled the tangle; How great the mistake.

A sufficient realization of Love will dissolve it all...If only you could love enough you would be the happiest and most powerful being in the world..."


Saturday, February 27, 2010


 "Spirits of the Sea"


  We had a wonderful evening at the Museum.  The exhibits were breathtaking...African Cloths, Medieval Exhibit, Chinese Buddhism and American painters were the ones we managed to look at before the concert. The place itself is gorgeous and was built for the World's Fair in 1903 and then given to the city of St Louis. They are doing a lot of work out there right now and expanding the building as well as some repairs and remodeling.  The venue for the concert was small...only about 150 seats, and the acoustics were terrible. But the band just threw out the mics and sat down on the floor and went crazy. They were magnificent.  The music was wonderful. There were so many people there, they decided to do 2 sets of about an hour each, and we got in to the first one because we stood at the door for an hour (upon the advice of the information desk woman). She was spot on--when the first set was done, they asked us to please exit and if there were any seats left after they seated everyone, they would open it up again.  Naturally, there were no seats. In fact, there were people who couldn't get in at all.  They played violins, resonator guitars, some kind of clacky things that played like castanets, but looked like tongue depressors, kazoos, a jug, and an African banjo instrument made from a gourd and hides with a long long neck,called an ekontone. Rhiannon clogged in the aisles and they all were hootin' and hollerin' and there was lots of audience participation. It was an absolutely delicious night, altogether.

  And then this morning we had to get up early and go to a funeral.  It was a large and solemn affair punctuated with  laughter and reminiscing. In the longest ever funeral procession of my life, we travelled about 20 miles to the cemetery. It was crazy. We were there to support MissT  and she held up pretty well, all things considered.  It was her aunt who finally succumbed to her fight against pancreatic cancer and her mothers younger sister. So there were lots of tears and fears and all the things that go with funerals and people who tragically die too young.

  We came home after stopping at a new Mexican place for a little lunch. It was quite good and then we were home and I vacuumed and started laundry.  Now it is after 11 and I am ready for bed.  

  Music and funerals and love and grief. Friendship and food and  art and laundry. All the things that an authentic life is composed of, with all the ups and downs and plateaus that come along.  I never thought my life would be like this, for years, when I lived in a twisted surrealism of my own design.  Now I long for the times when I can stay on my little piece of dirt and just breathe...simple things like folding stacks of laundry bring a new serenity to me.  I am blessed by an extravagant God, to get to live the life that is mine.

  I live in an abundant Universe.


Friday, February 26, 2010

I cannnnn't drive....fiiifty fiiiiiive.......

  Here's once again (due to the cyclical nature of the cosmos) Friday.  Which means, children, that G-Daddy, over at Mr Know It All has  been waiting with baited breath to read all of our flash fiction pieces. In EGGS-ACTLY  55  words,  write that Hoo-Doo that You Do so Well and then link it back to him.  Kinda like this--only maybe not so goofy.


Strong smells-curry, maybe. Or something heavy on the cumin.  Smells like male sweat. Nasty. In the distance a light tinkling of bells and coming into view, the delicate ankle the bells wound around. A  light gossamer of pale blue  and then the swaying begins…

 Feeling light-headed and breathless, he watches her step onto the dais…


   (This is for you, Gabi!!!!)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday bows her fetching head...

This, ladies and gentlemen, is a group portrait of the Carolina Chocolate Drops.
We are going to see them tomorrow at the St. Louis Art Museum.
I can hardly wait...


Thursday fades into the weekend. It's been cold cold cold today, although in the late afternoon it warmed up some. I was still cold. I have on layers of clothes and am still chilly. A scratchy throat has been dogging me all day..  I think I've caught something from Cabo. Damn you, man!  lol

I've pretty much lazed around all day and even napped some.  I made some yummy Huevos Rancheros for supper (because, honestly, I napped too long and when I woke up I had only 20 minutes to figure out what to fix and make dinner.  LOL)  Ai yi yi...

I'm reading a book called Fall On Your Knees by Ann-Marie Macdonald and it has suddenly gotten so interesting that I can't put it down.  This is a good thing, lol.  Set in Nova Scotia, often darkly humorous, it's quite a tale. This writer is an accomplished actor and playwright as well. Already I'm thinking I'd love to have lunch with this woman.

It should prove to be a great weekend if I don't wind up to ill to play.  Our plan is to have a nice late lunch and then head to the city just before rush hour starts. We will go to the Museum and see as much as we can and then the concert starts at 7 PM.  BY the time we leave (after 9) the traffic will be back to city normal as well, so we don't have to  hassle with that. We're a couple of old country bumpkins and don't do things like traffic and  citified madness well.  I am looking forward to it's nice having a metropolitan city within driving range so that you CAN go there and do this kind of stuff when you need to. We have been to a couple of operas and several musical functions (a string quartet that we know) and some other fun stuff. But we carefully space it out so that our heads don't explode.  ROTF...

I can't believe this (after all the extra rest I've had today), but I am going to bed early to read and relax and get some extra sleep.  I haven't been sleeping well lately, and it's good to catch up.

Enjoy your evening, friends. 



Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A solemn Wednesday...

  A moment of silence here on my blog, in memory of the passing today around 5 this afternoon of the aunt of a young woman dear to my heart.  She finally succumbed to cancer after a valiant fight. As is the case with this disease, the end was particularly hard and undignified, and there was a lot of  drama around it all by all the family. 

  My young friend had been taking care of her these past 2 months, and had gotten to do a lot of mending fences and being there for her family.  What a blessing.  So many of us never get the chance to suit up and show up for the families we have abused all the years of our using.  I truly believe that there are a lot of important lessons to learn when dealing with a situation like this...caring for the terminally ill. It can be painful and it can be a relief.  And the mixed emotions in us over it all can be guilt filled or they can be honored.

  I have buried 2 parents, 5 grandparents, 5 uncles, 1 aunt, and 2 cousins over the years.  The most recent was this year past. The earliest was 45 years ago.  The circle of life goes on.... acceptance of this fact has helped me a great deal.

 So...Adieu, Aunt Ruth...and we bid you a happy journey on this next great adventure...sparkling among the stars.


  Spent a chunk of the day in the big city.  The traffic wasn't bad, got a great parking spot in the parking garage, and the appointment was quite timely.  Got to be there w/ my friend and meet the new doctor and it was a positive day altogether. Hurrah!

  Started the day with a wonderful juice made in the new (to me) juicer...carrot, lemon, celery, apple and strawberry and cabbage.  It tasted wonderful and I could feel the zing in my cells from all the nutrition.  Drank another cup or so of it after getting home tonight from the city. Yum!  For supper (vegetarian night)  I made a soup with aduki beans and sweet potatoes, celery, ginger, onion, cabbage, garlic, miso and peanut sauce. It was grand!  Served over rice, it was comfort food at it's finest.  Aduki beans are one of my favorites...high in fiber and protein, they cook relatively quickly and hold up well.  The leftovers will be even better!  All in all, it was a good food day. The weather was brutally cold today, with wind chill factors in the single digits.  When the Irishman got home from work he was so ready for some good filling soup...he worked outside a good part of today. 

  Had several phone calls tonight from women undergoing  one crisis or another. Made me grateful for my life, with all it's ups and downs.

   I'm off to dance among the Milky Way....and I'll leave you with this lovely quote from John Wesley:

Do all the good you can
By all the means you can
In all the ways you can
In all the places you can
At all the times you can
To all the people you can
As long as ever you can.
-John Wesley


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Strolling about the Blog-o-sphere.

   I just spent about 2 hours leisurely strolling through blogs. Along the way, I picked up a recipe for homemade dish soap and another for an iced drink called switchel.   I connected with a woman who's changing the way she eats and going about 80%  raw.  I read about trials and tribulations and joys and achievements.  I had a good time,  except that I was really heading HERE  to blog and then get to bed early for a change.  And now it's almost a quarter of 2. IN the AM. Not good. sigh...

  I am going to the doctor tomorrow at noon with a friend.  She's going through some scary stuff, and I'll just be a warm body to hold her hand if she needs me.

  Today I met up with a friend who's moving to the Islands and she gave me a Laurel tree in a planter. It's not terribly big yet, but it was a lovely gesture.  I met her at her mama's house and we had tea and visited a little bit.  She's been coming into town and visiting her folks for supper every Tuesday before she leaves.  I'm sure gonna miss her...

  This morning I got some housework done and made a nice chicken and rice casserole for supper. It is one of those that goes into the oven at 250 degrees for hours and hours and comes out tasting like candy.  Yummmmmmm.  lol

  I also pulled out my copy of Amy Dacyczyn's  "The Complete Tightwad Gazette"  to read again. There is so much good stuff in there!!  I read it through about 2 years ago, and am loving it again. It's chock full of ways to stretch your budget, and now with another car payment, we need to watch what we spend. I am  pretty frugal, but there are always more things to learn and put into practice.

 I'm off.. a short post tonight, but I need some sleep.  Happy Trails, all y'all...





Monday, February 22, 2010

Just another manic Monday...

Several times today, I have had to reel myself in and slow myself down.   I am all over the map. It has been a grey foggy day, all yucky and no sun again.  I was looking at some pictures of my gardens and my yard...thinking a peaceful meditation might do the trick.  

 It helped some. For a while.

I am tired of winter.  I am tired of ungrateful people.  I am tired of whiners.

 When I get like this, I know something is up. This time I am just not sure what.  My spiritual path is not a defined, clear cut path. I envy people [sometimes] who have a very clear purposeful idea of who and what and when and where. That has never been my story.  I have crafted a loving concept of God in my life, fashioned of bits of this and pieces of that. I don't put much stock in religions and dogma.  I believe that God works in my life when I ask for guidance and for help.  I know that I don't ask nearly enough, in the day to day living portion of my program. I think I keep God in reserve for the really big stuff, the emergencies. But I forget that as God cares for the birds of the air, God cares for me.  I forget that it's okay to put everything in God's lap, and that means EVERYTHING.  My fears, my joy, my husband, my family. My finances, my garden bounty, my animals and my friends.    I sometimes forget that I can put me there too. When I am bewildered or angry or scared or's okay to take a deep breath and just crawl right up there in that big safe lap, and relax.  It's the only way to survive this life some days. To take a break and slow down and have a cup of tea.

My brains get whirling like a blender every now and then. I used to have a good tonic for that problem, it was called Glenlivet.  I put down the scotch and traded it for a different set of tools.  And it isn't always enough.  Today it isn't enough. And I am picking through whatever else I can find in this dusty old box to make something work. Writing always helps. I've developed a bad habit of late of doing all my journal writing on the computer, and that isn't nearly as cathartic as using a pencil and paper.  I'm also spending way too much time in front of the computer, so I stepped away for a few hours today.  I tried meditating and couldn't force myself to be quiet. I walked around outside a bit, checking on the chooks and such. Fed them a bag of spinach. Poked around in my herb bed. Listened to the singing of all the birds who are rejoicing in this rain...snatching up bugs and spiders and worms.  Looked at the subtle signs of springtime...the daylilies are pushing their little nubs up through the snow.   There are the beginnings of buds on the fruit trees.

After a while, I started to that grey area I was stranded in, I could see little bits of brightness, of clarity. I'm still not right, but once I get to feel the shift in my attitude, I breathe a sigh of relief. I look around and see that I can be okay, if I choose it.  That I am not responsible for anyone else's happiness....only my own. That I am glad to live out in the country, where the dogs chase that fat old raccoon out of the yard every night, and the cats bring me gifts of tiny voles and leave them on the door mat. Where, any minute now, the trees are going to burst forth with green leaves and the flowers will start to bloom and then beauty around me will soothe me like the touch of a Mother for an ill child. That time will come, it always does. And I have the photos to prove it. To remind me.  As Mary Oliver so aptly puts it:

"...My work is loving the world.  Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird....equal seekers of sweetness. Here the quickening yeast, there the blue plums.  Here the clam, deep in the speckled sand. Are my boots old? Is my coat torn? Am I no longer young, and still not half perfect?  Let me keep my mind on what matters, which is my work. Which is mostly standing still, and learning to be astonished."


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday musings...

 Here are a few things I absolutely LOVE...

  • Old fashioned flowers, like hollyhocks and rose of sharon, and lilacs.
  • The smell of coffee brewing, first thing in the morning.
  • Embroidered dish towels.
  • Vanilla cream,. lattes, hand cream--you name it!
  • The feel of a baby in my arms.
  • Puppy breath.
  • Vintage clothing.
  • Vinyl record albums.
  • Journaling-in pretty journals.
  • Laughter.
  • Bird song.
  • Hand made rag rugs.
  • The feel of silk against my skin.
  • Poetry.
  • Being at one with God and nature.

 And it's been a long day and I am ready to sleep...perchance to dream...of spring??  In a week or so, I can start the process of starting seedlings for transplant into my gardens.  I'm going to try a 2 stage transplanting method I've been reading up on.  We will sit down next weekend with journals and paper and start planning the bounty.

  On Friday we are going to the St. Louis Art Museum and spend the afternoon there, and wind it up with a free concert being given by a group called  the Carolina Chocolate Drops.  A 3 person group , accomplished musicians who play primitive instruments and jug band type stuff...they are remarkable.  The woman, Rhiannon is a trained opera singer. The 2 male members of the band are classically trained musicians as well. Their music is wonderful, and I'm really looking forward to the day. A great date with my best friend...

  I have a dear friend who is moving to St. Croix the first of the month.  I'm so excited for her, and everything is just falling into place like magic.  I am amazed...there are people in her life who are beating her up about her decision to make this change in her life. ..what is it with people? Jealousy? Fear?  Most are people who have never had any adventures in their life, and/or are living in the same town doing the same thing they have all their lives.  I am her biggest cheerleader.  I have always believed that God gives us opportunities to spread our wings and soar...all we have to do is find the courage to make the leap.  I will sure miss her...who knows? Maybe this is how I get to go visit the Islands??  lol

    I am feeling so grateful and so blessed to have the life I have today.  There is more love surrounding me than I have ever had the honor of experiencing all the days of my life.  I have a small and modest home in the country, with lots of trees and flowers and beauty.  This morning I awakened and reached over to feel the Irishman beside me.  "Listen", I said..."do you hear that??" He smiled.  Through the rain falling outside, you could hear the song and voices of many birds, for the first time in months.

  Spring is coming.


Saturday, February 20, 2010 oasis in the midst of winter...


Thanks to Pattiken for giving me this lovely baking soda award. (Get it?--Baking soda??  Arm and Hammer???? lol  I just crack myself up...)

Now, if I remember correctly, I am supposed to link to her blog, and then list 7 unknown facts about myself., and then give it away to some other bloggers. So if I give it to you and you've gotten it before....oopsie...

Seven facts about me.
1. I was delivered in the middle of a blizzard by a Dr. Jack Frost
 2. I could read and write before I went to kindergarten.              
                              3.  I had to wear "granny dresses" when I was pregnant with my only child, because they didn't make maternity clothes in a size 3 junior petite.
                        4.  I read both volumes of The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich in the 6th grade.
                            5.  I can sing Me and Bobby McGee and Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz...and sound exactly like Janis Joplin.
                             6. I have a great ear for accents, and can mimic almost any of them. I also can understand foreign English speakers when other people cannot.
                                7.  I have reason to believe that in another life I was a black warrior queen named Dhana.

  There you have deepest darkest secrets.  lol  Well, not really. Just some useless factoids that no one can really blackmail me with.

  Now. I would like to give this award away to :
Carol @ Three Routes
Janna @ Jannaverse
GaryKFC@ Garytude

  Well....for some reason the heavens have opened up and made it possible, almost 2 years after my husband blowing up the engine in his truck, for the Kelley family to once again be a 2 car family. One of the dealerships in town was having a big sale, and we went down to look around and voila!  We are now the proud (?) owners of a 2003 Candy Apple Red Ford Ranger XLT, with chrome (a boy thing apparently) and a bed and rail liner.  It is quite pretty, a V-6, and looks like it was owned by somebody's grandfather who did nothing but drive it to the car spa on a regular basis. It's freaking pristine. AND....drum roll.....the payments are under 200/month.  The Universe conspired to make the Irishman a happy boy.

  I, on the other hand, spent most of today trying to clean up the other car that he has been driving to work. He works in a pipe factory, and gets very filthy from cutting and burning pipe. And our car has light gray vinyl everywhere his arms, hands, and coat touch. The car was so took me about 3 hours to get the inside clean and then I whisked it up to the car wash in town and washed the road and snow and ice dirt off it.  I pulled it into the garage and vacuumed it to death as well.

  The weather was incredible one point it was 50 degrees...I spent as much time outside as I could ...burning paper trash, cleaned the chicken coop,  shoveled snow off the 2 back decks and cleaning the car.  and rescuing a kitten who had managed to get ON the roof, but could not for the life of her get back OFF the roof.  Then I finally came in and put some chicken in the oven to slowly bake, started laundry and vaccumed copious amounts of dog hair from my floors and rugs.  I am drying the last load of laundry now, as I stopped to eat supper and then we watched The Last of the Mohicans, which was filmed very near where I lived in North Carolina for 10 years, at Chimney Rock State Park.  Then I returned a couple of phone calls and now here I sit, getting ready for some sleep as tomorrow is a day of District meetings, morning meetings and all that jazz.


Alright. Another day, full of the blessings of a life lived ODAAT.  No big deals, no neverending crises, nothing to have to be sorry for in this day past.  Just a day in the life...and now...time for sleep.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Iiiiiittt'sssss FRIDAY!

Searching for… Cloud Mountain…Saving Fish from Drowning. 

The Space Between Us and Stones From the River.

The Death of Vishnu  and Return to the Garden.  Strolling through the shelves of my library,

Yearning for The Family Orchard,  The Unbearable Lightness of Being,

Catapults me across continents, through cultures not my own.

Literature is my Salvation.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Out and about a little today...


It was almost balmy at 39 degrees today.  I got all excited and got showered and dressed and went out into the world.   It was pretty exciting out there, I have to tell you.  lol

I found the Irishman 2 very nice pairs of jeans at the Goodwill for 4 dollars apiece. They look almost new. They are  for work pants, and  the way he goes through them it's a blessing I am able to find them.  I also picked up 2 books for me to read, as I have finished the last 4 I got. (By the way...I read Clive Cussler's Arctic Drift.  I really like the movies I have seen made from his books (Sahara) and I really like his writing style.) These new ones  are a book by a Canadian writer named Anne Marie MacDonald called Fall On Your Knees  and another one called The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield, a British author. I am looking forward to reading them both, but first I have to read a book loaned to me today by a new friend called Mutant Message Down Under.  Not sure what it is, except that it had a powerful impact on my friend.   I'll read it quickly and get it back to her.

  I bought a Jack LaLane juicer today, barely used, for 50 bucks.  A deal!  Looked them up and they retail for around $199.00.   I look forward to getting back to juicing.  I felt really good this summer, replacing 1 or 2 meals a day with juice. AND I lost over 25 pounds. (Don't worry though...I found most of  it again).  sigh...

Twisted my knee, slipping on ice getting out of the car this afternoon. It's not too swollen and hurts a little. I don't think it's anything serious. Achy...and I took some Aleve.  We'll see how it feels tomorrow.

 Thankfully, we have no plans for this weekend, save the District meeting on Sunday afternoon.  Otherwise, it's nothing but R&R.  I am looking forward to some time at home with the Irishman.  And the menagerie, of course.

Alrighty. I am off to bed. Didn't get there last night until almost 3:30 AM...that is NOT happening tonight!! I come......


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Arrrgghhhhh......Woeful Wednesday

Oh my gawd....I have been visited today by these little charmers....

It's been one of those days like my first sponsor told me about:
She said, "I have good news and I have bad news. The good news is, now that you're sober, you get to feel all your feelings.  The bad news is that now that you're sober, you get to feel ALL your feelings."

  I can't decide what's going on with me. The day started on a bad note when I awakened to find the furnace running full bore and the front door wide open.  The culprit, of course, was one Miss Molly Mayhem, who has learned to open the door when she wants in by throwing herself against it. If it is closed properly and securely latched, she can't do it. But often that door gets pulled closed and doesn't quite latch. So there it was, and there she was--sitting on the couch looking very pleased with herself.

Then my coffee pot filter basket got somehow stuck, and as coffee water filled the basket, it had no where to go except run down the sides of the maker and all over my counter. This constitutes an emergency at my house. But I decided to forego calling the Starbucks support team, and cleaned it up and tried it again. It was purely operator error. The second time was a charm, although by now I was grinding my teeth and muttering.

THEN....I got a call from my neighbor across the pond, telling me that Molly had bitten her dog and she had to take it to the vet.  Apparently Molly had gone around the edge of the pond and came out in their yard, and all 3 of their dogs (2 Min Pins and a Poodle) came rushing at Molly to protect their turf. Molly thought she was being attacked (?) and bit one of the Min Pins right on it's fat little butt. She wanted me to keep Molly at home (fat chance) and please, her sister was here with her 2 little Pugs and she didn't want any dog fights. And BTW, her dad died in the nursing home last night.  (He has been there in last stage Altzheimers for over 7 years.)  She said it was relief, but there was a lot of paperwork and she didn't want to have to be worrying about the dogs.  Of course, I apologized profusely and offered my condolences. The vet just put some antibiotic cream on the dogs apparently, no stitches or I assume the bites were not bad.

  So--I kept her in the house the rest of the day, meaning that I was stuck in here with a whining, whistling Jack Russell Terrorist.  After it was dark and there was no danger of the little dogs being outside, I let her out for a bit.  I told the Irishman to make sure he does not let her out to run in the morning....I cannot chase her down. My life will be hell for the next week or so.  Sigh....

I spent the day being chased down by the 7 dwarves of Menopause.  I felt like crying a lot, and I don't have a reason for it. I was bitchy and sweaty and feeling like a giant fat pig.  I am going to make an appointment with a new doctor in the area, who does the bioidentical hormone treatment....a friend of mine is seeing her and said she cannot believe how much better she feels.  If I can afford to do it, I will. 

On a lighter note, I realized this afternoon that the days are getting longer. It's light when  the Irishman goes to work in the morning and still light when he comes home.  This screams to me that spring is on it's way, that the cabin fever will soon be over with, and temperatures will start to climb. That I can still believe in spring is a good sign. Because I am so tired of this winter and this cold...that I have been looking at real estate in New Mexico. Living in the desert looks like heaven to me right now....There's still so much snow in my yard that you can't see the garden beds.  It looks like an ice floe back there...solid white as far as you can see.

Tomorrow is a new day.  I will wake up being more grateful than I have been today and more committed to my meditation and prayers.  I will make sure I eat breakfast and I will drink more water.  I will look at my world through a new set of eyes and be filled with wonder. 



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A lovely Tuesday...


Lots of the white stuff out there, but at least the sun was shining today.   I went out and fed the chickens and got the mail --could barely make myself come back in. Feeling a bit of cabin, I fussed around outside...swept the car off and started it up since it's been sitting there idle for about 4 days now. I took a shovel to the walk and cleared a path . I played with the dogs and I said a quick Thank You to my Creator for blue skies and sunshine and Vitamin D.

I spent a lovely day at home, minimal cooking, patching some holes on the Irishman's jeans and [experimentally] patched a pair of long johns (bottoms) that he burned the knee out of when he caught his jeans on fire welding at work. We'll see if it holds...that thermal cotton material is not the best kind of stuff for fixing...I still have one more pair of jeans to fix the back pocket on, and I think that chore will be out of the way.  The little stack has been sitting around for about a month and I just kept putting it off.

 I think tomorrow I will bake a bread pudding, as I have some old rolls in the fridge that need using.  There's nothing like a cinnamon and nutmeg-y bread pudding with a warm vanilla sauce to warm the cockles of your heart!

The chest cold is passing and the coughing is almost non-existent. Except in the evening. lol I have coughed more in the last hour than I have all day. I have gargled and will have a nice drink of water before bed...hopefully I will sleep as well as I did last night...

  I've just found one of my cousins on Facebook (actually, she found me, I guess). I only see her once a year at the family reunion, and she only lives a couple of hours away.  I am itching for a road trip...Waiting to hear from her about it.  LOVE that girl...she is a hoot. Everytime we're together, the laughter is the point of gasping for air sometimes...

I was out back for a bit this afternoon. The pond is completely iced over and the geese are throwing a fit. They make so much racket and then circle circle circle...finally landing and sliding across the ice. It is really something to watch them. There are really beautiful designs on the ice...not sure what made them--possibly just the wind, I suppose. We still have a lot of snow out there,too.

Okay..time to sign off and hit the hay. I am a sleepy thing tonight and cannot even keep my eyes open to read the homesteading magazine that came in today's mail. I love this magazine...I usually read it cover to cover the day it arrives.  Full of all kinds of great stuff, and this issue is no exception. It's called Countryside Magazine  &Small Stock Journal.  The magazine of modern homesteading.  It's my all time favorite. Check it out.  I also found a website that belongs to a woman who lives rather efficiently with her husband and 5 children on an acre of land. Her name is Lara and it is  here.   She is delightful

Sweet dreams, my friends. May the wind be always at your back....


Monday, February 15, 2010

My furry world

This is a picture of our lab mix, Lucy. Lucy came from the local shelter. She had been born in a snowstorm to a mother that was tied up and left outside(with no food or water) when her owners moved. By the time the neighbors called the Animal Control people and they came to the rescue, the mother and 3 other newborn puppies had frozen to death.  Lucy and one other pup survived.  It was everything we could do to not take them both. 
Lucy also goes by the Big Goon and Lucy Goosy. Honestly, if you have a cookie in your hand, she will answer to anything you want to call her. lol

This is Miss Molly McGee [AKA Molly Mayhem]...our Jack Russell Terrorist.  She was purchased by my dingbat  brother at a pet store for his 2 year old daughter. Anyone who knows JRT's knows they are not good children dogs. Except my brother, who said that the lady who took his 350 dollars said, oh yes---they're great with kids!!  (I told him I had a bridge I'd sell him too).  He begged and pleaded with me to take her as she was mowing down the toddler at every turn and running away and terrorizing the neighborhood every chance she got to jump the fence.   We brought her home 4 years ago, a couple of months  after having to put my beloved cocker spaniel Sophie to sleep, due to liver cancer. We live in the country and she runs like crazy here.  She's mellowed out a lot in the last year, but she will always be a Jack Russell.

This is little Caylee, back when she first found us and came out from under the back deck. She looked like a little polar bear cub.  Also known as Cooder Brown, and Caylee Baylee.  She is coming on 2 years old now and is the sweetest dog in the world. She loves the snow, and lays on her back and makes snow-dog angels (I swear!!).  She is a barker and a runner and she always kowtows to Molly, who is the Alpha dog. She stays out in the cold for ungodly amounts of time and is a happy happy dogglet. Here's a more recent, grown-up picture of her, playing with her best friend, Lucy:

  I guess I've trotted out these pictures because tonight we watched the movie Marley and Me. It was  a heartwarming and heartbreaking story.  I had to put Sophie to sleep, and I held her until she was gone, bawling like a baby the whole time. That damn movie had me crying  my eyes out.  Every animal I have ever had that something has happened to, has nearly killed me. And every time I say "That's it! I can't take this!! No more more..."

  So I'm feeling a little melancholy and a little hopeful and a whole lot blessed tonight. Because I have 3 great dogs.  And I have had other really great dogs in my life...and there's just nothing like that unconditional love. That trusting, fun, acceptance that you only get 24/7 from your dog.  I have had dogs in my life as long as I can remember and I probably always will.

  I'm just blessed that way...


Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Party's Overrrrrr.......

 Here's a picture of the  strawberry trifle I made for the dinner party tonight. It was fantastic! I would definitely make this dessert again, only took about 25 minutes to prep and assemble. And everyone loved it.

Well, I almost pulled off the surprise. Right down to about 2 hours before, when some goofball called his phone and said they were sorry they couldn't make it to his party.  He was out, and so when he got home at about 2:30, he comes in and says  "Were you thinking about having some kind of a party?"  I said, uh,-what?   LOL

In spite of the terrible weather today (we have gotten about 4 inches of snow in the past 6 hours), 14 people showed up for dinner, plus the 2 of us.  I was worried about having too much food, in the event that people started calling and cancelling at the last minute, so I was holding off on the pasta cooking, but had already made a punchbowl sized salad. I made a dutch oven sized pan full of the marinara, and dumped all 8 dozen meatballs into it,  and a big bowl of the aglio e olio. Well, there is about 1 serving of salad left over! Whew! Most all the bread was eaten, ALL of the Aglio e Olio was devoured, and I have enough spaghetti and meatballs left for a couple of lunches for the Irishman and one more main dish for us at supper. There's about 1/3 of the Trifle left too.  It was delicious, btw. There was lots of good conversation, good friends and good eats.  Perfect combination.

I am exhausted.

I got up early and got almost every thing done...mopped floors, cleaned bathrooms,vacuumed furniture, dusted, cleaned the birdcage....made the salad, made the Trifle, ---OMG!!!  I've turned into Wonder Woman !!!!     *grin

I'm gonna take some cough syrup, put some Vicks on the bottoms of my feet AND my chest, have a glass of water, and go to bed.  I did pretty well tonight as far as the coughing , but the later it got, the more I was coughing.  Laying in bed is the worst, anmd I even have a pillow setup that keeps my head and neck somewhat elevated.  But all in all, I feel better than I did a couple of days ago, so I have high hopes of a quick (ish) recovery! lol

Hope everyone had a happy Valentine's Day!


Saturday, February 13, 2010

And the long day comes to an end...


I have been busy busy busy today.

  In the past 2 days, I have made 8 dozen meatballs, 4 loaves of Italian bread, 2 Foccacias, and cleaned about half of my house. I scrubbed all 3 cat boxes and changed litter. I did laundry. I made regular sandwich bread (honey whole wheat  oatmeal). I cooked breakfast lunch and dinner. I am whipped tonight and don't know if I can even string together sentences. lol

This chest cold is knocking me down. I am coughing like crazy and it is to late (of course) to not have this party.  Today I bought some Dayquil (and I almost never take this stuff!!) and it made me sick to my stomach. And I'm still coughing.

I will get up early tomorrow and make sure everything gets done. I even made an errand run first thing this morning and got the rest of the ingredients for the Trifle, a couple of plastic Valentine's tablecloths, 2 pounds of my Starbucks Sumatran coffee. I think I will run to Dollar General in the morning and get some kids Valentines, if they have any left, and make one for each person that is coming. Just for fun.  I also bought a helium balloon that says I LOVE YOU on it for my sweetie.

  Guests are expected starting at 4:30, so that gives me a window to get everything done.  The pasta won't be cooked til last minute. I will get the sauce going first thing and the aglio e olio is a very last minute prep. So.....If my house isn't clean enough, I have to live with that. I'll light lots of candles and turn down the lights.I'll play romantic music and light some lavender incense. My biggest worry is not having enough bread. sigh....  High class problems....

I'm going to bed....Goodnight all. I will post party pictures tomorrow night and I will be thinking of each and every one of you...and wishing you were here too.

Happy Valentine's Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!