Followers

Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Imagine...

What if you kept your eye on the sky all of the time? What would you see? Would you really see things or would it be your imagination? Sometimes I wonder....

to view larger tap on image

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Zero

Winter has its beauty but I'm ready for Spring!
Photo by Lori

Winter has its ugly as well. Last night when I turned on the water tap to fill my ice cube tray - NADA! Turned on the hot water tap - NADA! Went to the bathroom turned on the faucets - NADA! Panicsville set in. A feeling of it washed over me and froze me in place! I checked the fuse box and everything was in order. I called a local plumber and left a message. Shaking, I put my head back on and called a neighbor and friend of 66 years. He calls me "Aunt Gere." Soon he and his son arrived to investigate. The heat tape was working. As he was the man who built the pump shed for us so many years ago, he uncovered it, opened the front and inspected everything inside. I sat inside trembling. I'm not good with major failures happening to my habitat. Pretty soon they came inside and turned on the tap and eureka! water flowed fine. The hose valve that was just replaced last March was frozen. He had brought a hair drier and thawed it. The heat tape was wrapped around the pipe on both sides of that tap but not on it. Now it has some new insulation wrapped around the bare area and it didn't freeze overnight. Of course I trickled water in the kitchen and bathroom throughout the night which is something that is always done when the outdoor temperature gets to zero. The plumber called me back within 15 minutes and expressed relief that it was under control here as he had other calls to get to ASAP. 

WHEW! It did take me a while to get over the shock. I must be getting old!

2014

Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Spring Ahead!

As I look out the windows I see a fisherman who surely is dedicated to this sport! He has been out there for many cold hours. His little blue tent is set up and he keeps on fishing, though alone as there are no others so far. 

I'm waiting to hear from a friend in FL who has had a rough day I'm sure, due to a surgery in her family. Surely it will be OK. Tomorrow I shall know the good news.

The sun is shining and, though it is cold outside, the colors of the spectrum are now sparkling on my ceiling, floors and cabinets in the kitchen area. YAY! The sun is moving back for these to sparkle and make many rainbows. The orchid is very happy and will be more so during this transitional month. 

The only "chore" I completed today is refilling the moth ball hangers in the linen closet and one of the clothing closets. 

Tomorrow is Ground Hog Day. It is also and more importantly the 38th wedding anniversary of my daughter and her husband. Through thick and thin they've stuck together and are beautiful, caring and loving people.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

What's Up?

I have had several of my followers and friends ask me, Where are you? What are you up to? Why haven't you been blogging like you used to?  Well the fact is that I haven't been inspired lately. It was such a relief to learn, after several diagnostic tests, that I don't have cancer or major conditions with my body except one. That is a flare of intestinal issues and I will be having a consultation mid-February with a doctor before doing anything at all. Soooo I've been kinda relaxing and puttering around in here. Looking out of the windows is a constant activity and I do know what is going on in my neighborhood pretty much! Now for some boring activities that have engaged my efforts and time for a couple of past days. Beware! This is NOT exciting stuff. 

* I cleaned and polished all of the items on the fireplace mantle and then the mantle. * I G.I'd the humidifier really really well. * I moved my slacks from the small bedroom to the larger one. * I cooked a pot roast in the slow cooker, sliced it up, froze the slices. * I sliced and cooked batches of fresh carrots and frozen yellow string beans. * I made strawberry Jello and beat it with Extra Creamy Cool Whip for a sweet treat.* I put away the freshly-laundered clothes that are done for me bi-weekly. * I cancelled Schwan's delivery food service because I have decided not to order $60.00 bi-weekly just to have free delivery. I am only one person. * I wrote letters and paid bills. * I vacuumed the kitchen, dining area and bathroom. * I gave my four plants their weekly drink. * I dusted and polished the tops of two dressers including what was on them. * I had a helper come and take away and ship some items to cousins in three different states. * I filled the salt and pepper shakers, the sugar bowl, the cookie/cracker jars. * I took out the trash. * Each day I attempt to walk seven to ten laps from one end of the cabin to the other - a 30 ft. length one way - * I am forcing myself to drink water. None of this involves other personal care. Washing dishes, making bed, researching topics on computer of course are other time-consuming things that get me through the day. So far, no mood to read or create anything. I am waiting for warm weather!!!! Be sure I am NOT depressed at all. I know the rhythm of seasonal changes and just try to stick it out until it gets warmer. I'm not climbing walls.      

Monday, January 23, 2023

Think About It...

I stole this...

Too good not to share!   https://www.facebook.com/TheOliViral

"A friend posted this writing today and it struck me that someday EVERYONE will go thru this discarding of “things” that are the memories of one’s life. Sometimes it’s our own and more often it’s the life of someone we love…..

When my mom was cleaning out her house over 23 years ago to sell it, I wasn't very sympathetic over her attachments to things. I would go over on weekends to help her and we would go through things, things for a yard sale, things to donate, things to throw away. I would usually get upset over how long it was taking her to decide. For instance, we were going through kitchen cabinets and she spent 20 minutes looking at an iron kettle with a lid. Finally I said,
“Mom, at this rate it is going to take us another 2 years.”

She told me that her mother used to make meals in that kettle and leave them at doorsteps of neighbors during the depression, mom would deliver them, and then they would reappear back to her with an apron, or a wood carving, something in return for the meal. I realized that everything that my mom was going through was really a reliving of her life.

If you are reading this and are under the age of 60, you wont get it. You haven't lived long enough. Most of you have not had to move your parents into a nursing home, or emptied their home. You haven't lived long enough to realize that the hours you spend picking out the right cabinets, or the perfect tile will not be what matters in the later years. It will be the handmade toothbrush holder, or a picture that you got on vacation.

So, if your parents are downsizing, and moving to smaller places, or selling a home, give your mom and even your dad a break. Those things that you don't understand why they can’t just pitch, and why you think you know what needs to be tossed or saved, give them a little time to make their decisions. They are saying goodbye to their past, and realizing that they are getting ready for their end of life, while you are beginning your life.

As I have been going through things, its amazing just how hard it is to get rid of objects. But, life goes on, and you realize they are just things, but sometimes things comfort us. So give your parents or grandparents a break. Listen to their stories, because in 40 years, when you are going through those boxes and the memories come back, it will be hard to get rid of those plastic champagne flutes that you and your late husband used at a New Years party 40 years ago. You will think nothing of the tile or the light fixtures that were so important then.

As happy as they are for you, and as much as they love you, you just don't have a clue until it happens to you and then you will remember how you rushed them, and it will make you sad, especially if they are already gone and you can't say I’m sorry, I didn’t get it."

A few of mine!

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Next on the "To Do List"

It looks like there will be busy times ahead for me. I might be allowed to grow older. Good news - not cancer. Good news - not infection. Good news - Most systems but one in tip top shape. Need a fix. Maybe sooner than later. Will know more after Feb. 17 consultation. Geeze!  There is never a dull moment down on this farm! This has been coming on since 2004. Dang big flare up now. Just taking it one day at a time. 

Saturday, January 14, 2023

In a Lull....

Just trying to get through each day toward Spring. Do NOT like being cold. Everyone who stops in says it's hot in here. Well to me it is cool and 75° is just not warm enough. I turn the thermostat down to 69° at night. My electric blanket helps some. The humidifier is going strong. I have lost too much weight (not on purpose) so have no fat to help keep me warm. Doc appointment next week. In prep, had full lab work a couple of days ago and am scheduled for CT scan Monday. Something is askew. No energy to create computer art, or do much of anything. Time will tell, I guess. Just another path to travel and explore. I might try frolicking around in here. Maybe cavort a bit as well. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

First Bake 2023

Many good large fresh eggs, given to me by yardman family and a shredded chunk of special sharp cheese from a daughter's gift, together with lots of spinach made a wonderful supper for me. This quiche is simple, tasty and I saved several slices for the treat again. Of course it was so good because I baked it in my pottery pie plate. This plate is heavy and kept it warm when I took pictures and still warm after I devoured my large slice. 

Everyone should have one of these plates! Plus a good neighbor with hens that keep on laying!

Love my old tools!
tap to view larger

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Lingering Thoughts

Well, it's just a year today that my brother left earth. He was such a ball of enthusiastic energy and innovative ideas that his spirit really does linger on for me. You just don't know someone for 81 years and, POOF! they aren't around anymore. It is still a shock that he doesn't come around for a bustling fly-in and fly-out visit, leaving a whirl of energy in my space. I admit, that he was not a rule-follower, sometimes self-centered, but those are traits of many others. Yes, he left a mess behind. It was to be expected. I accepted his ways and it was never my duty to try to change him. I think the main trait was that he was a God-fearing/loving man and enjoyed every endeavor to the fullest. Even when struggling with his final illness, it was with wholeheartedness and fortitude. Something was taken away from me when he died. Something was taken away from all who knew or came in contact with him in large or small ways. I miss him — terribly.

In December 2012, I wrote this:

Paul ,My Brother

My brother, like his only son, my nephew, is a very special individual - to me, at least. He is radical in his political thinking, he is one of those "survival preppers" to beat the band. 'Nough said in that area! He is, and always has been a craftsman - wood, glass, metal, leather and more. He is an inventor and builder of ultralight airplanes. He comes in like a whirlwind and goes out like a tornado when he visits. He scares our dog. He is loud and boisterous, and doesn't give a darn who or how he affects others. He has tons of personality but sometimes scares people away from him. At age 73, he is heading south to GA to pick up another airplane. He crashed the last one in an Amish farmer's apple tree orchard last year and all because it was a nice day and he forgot to gas up before taking flight! He has walked away from a total of 3 crashes with only a couple of scratches. There's just NO stopping him! He manages a friend's property about 15 miles from us - many acres, with a private airport, and he lives there with his dog, cat, chickens with a nearby maple syrup-making facility. He has a neighboring family with 6 children, who call him "Poppy." Oh, yes---there is much more. He is NOT dangerous in any way except to himself with his lifelong antics. 

I have no idea how he makes ornaments, but he has made many and keeps them in CD packets, lined up in an old metal file box drawer. The ornaments are NOT etched, they are CUT. The tools-machines he uses are his own inventions. In the past he went to antique shows all over the East coast, setting up a station and repairing people's chipped or broken antique glassware, giving life back to marbles and paperweights. He has taught his son the art. In the way past, he did furniture repair and stripping and refinishing.  (He is NOT wealthy at all and blows money like it is free, but actually has worked hard for what he has/had.)

He is not fussy about his appearance but is physically clean. He's also very frugal. 

GMR December 2012``````````````````````````

A bright star shines on.....
Its name is Paul
tap image to view larger

Monday, December 26, 2022

Until January 1...

More goodies - I HAD to freeze some of my cookie gifts!

Yard man's family teens made these!

I didn't know the meaning of mushrooms during this season. Mushrooms honor the reverence for nature and hopes for good luck in the coming year! A nearby neighbor who just dropped these dear little cookies off for me came from Lithuania and she was so proud to deliver them, saying "I made these!" 
I've been busy today catching up with files and other necessary things that I do every year. I'm working on a family collage instead of the usual annual list of things that happened in my life during 2022. 

Let me share my last photomanipulation of the year.  A gift was shared for three of us!

And........it is still very cold outside! I'm staying IN!
tap on image to view larger

Saturday, December 24, 2022

The Past Remembered

I wrote this in 2008. It was a fun thing for us to do for my parents.

CHRISTMAS SQUIRRELS

Memory Story

For many years it was financially difficult to give great holiday gifts to my parents. We figured out a way to surprise them with a gift each year and the plan snowballed from the first year thereafter. Because their wedding anniversary was August 12 and they were married in 1934, this was what we did.

August is the eighth month of the year and for eight months, starting in May, we purchased one specialty product a month. It was the start of a stash which, by December would consist of eight items. The items were grocery edible types of which they, being very frugal, wouldn't buy for themselves because it would be considered extravagant and extravagance was considered to be a "No! No!"


After watching their pleased reactions of receiving the contents of the brown bag for a  few years, it was decided that eight special grocery selections weren't enough so we started stockpiling in January buying one "anything" article a month for twelve months. The hoard was difficult for us not to raid when desire for an item was strong, but determination prevailed.


Now you might correctly guess what would happen after that! Yes! Thirty-four elements were saved, three a month for eleven months and one more in December. This became an annual ritual. Oh! What fun it was to see the surprise as each piece was pulled from those brown bags! "Oohs!" and "Ahhs!" were uttered and appreciation and delight were shown for the choices of objects they now had. Their response was wonderful and sweet to see.


It's those times that we remember fondly at Christmastime.


For your question of "Just WHAT did you purchase?" Here's what I remember:

 

• can of red sockeye salmon

• can of smoked oysters

• can of lobster bisque soup

• can of New England style clam chowder

• can of skinless-boneless sardines

• can of asparagus spears

• can of artichoke hearts

• canned ham

• canned brown date bread

• canned pecans and peanuts

• jar of tiny baby gherkins

• jar of marmalade

• jar of mint jelly

• jar of honey butter

• box of gingerbread snaps

• box of hard, round oyster crackers

• box of peanut brittle

• bar of cheddar extra sharp cheese

• Constant Comment tea

• amaretto liqueur

• figs and dates and cumquats

• pomegranate

• toasted coconut macaroons

• Black Jack chewing gum

• Teaberry chewing gum

• Licorice Allsorts

• Walnetto caramel candy

• Root beer barrels

• ribbon candy

• maple leaf candy

• Bay Rum aftershave

• Apple Blossom Cologne

• Lifebuoy bar soap

• Vermont maple syrup


GMR - December 20  (Pop Nulton's birthday)

Local Update

Kirk Van Zandbergen is the photographer who created these shots with his drone when in my town recently. They are amazing and so beautiful.  He is the owner at Van Zandbergen Photograph - Studied Industrial/Scientific Photography at Brooks Institute of Photography. The first photograph is named "Winter Solstice in Montrose Pennsylvania."  His prints are for sale by personal request. 
And now for my weather report. It wasn't as awful here as it could have been. The orchid photo is from yesterday. It is thriving well!
I took the thermometer pictures at 7am this morning. Quick shots! I trickled water from both kitchen and bathroom faucets to be sure although good heat tape is in action as usual every year. We didn't loose power! Today there is a windy situation, but it's not extreme. 
Well that's all for today. Maybe I'll just start my annual paper shredding project during the next few days. Old electric shredder long gone, so heavy duty scissors will be put to good use!

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Hanging In

I'm hunkered down and looking out. It is snowing - not a surprise. The weather is predicted to change to a wind and rain event and then a big drop in temperature. I lost all ambition to bake again...

BUT! Yesterday a box of four varieties of cookies and even éclairs arrived with a bright red ribbon. Somebody went to a lot of work to create these beautiful and tasty special treats. I have never made éclairs. These were made with lots of love and then placed with care in the holiday presentation box.

Thank you Santa's Jolly Helper! Gingerbread, Pfeffernusse, Spritz (decorated too!), Raisin-nut, and Éclairs all received a taste and they passed admirably. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Memories of 40's Christmas Time

In the early 1940's I was 5-10. My brother was three years younger and our twin sisters were 6 years younger than me. Some memories have surfaced recently and I'd like to share how it was in those days.

Electric plastic Christmas candlesticks with blue light bulbs were placed on all the window sills. The naked tree sat on the front porch and never came into the house until late on Christmas eve after we kids went to bed. Some of the lower branches were cut off and tied with red ribbon as a front door spray. There was a cardboard brick fireplace set up in the living room and our stockings were pinned to the mantle. A cardboard fire with a light behind it was bright. 

We never saw the decorated tree when we were very young until we got the "OK" to come downstairs on Christmas morning. We sat on the steps peeking through the balusters waiting until permission was given. You see, after we all had gone to bed, I now realize that the tree was brought in, set up and decorated by our parents along with the Lionel train set made to circle around the bottom and ready to be activated. The presents were spread there. The lights were turned on. The OK was given. Santa was supposedly the one who did it all during the night.

Each child had a turn opening one gift and showing the others before opening another one. The wrapping paper was not torn or ruined, and the ribbons were saved. There was a special place in the room for them to be placed for imminent storage to be reused.  

We all received new hand-crocheted or knitted mittens and a box of animal crackers! My favorite gifts that remain in memory are new crayons and books. There was a craft to make flower petals and leaves with wire dipped into a transparent colorful substance and they were twisted together to make a flower. How I loved that one! A lovely 12" blond haired doll with jointed extremities, dressed in a yellow organdy frock was a favorite. She was from my mother's life-long friend who we called "Aunt Jeanette." The lady was never married and was always part of our family, though much wealthier and very caring and sweet. One year she gave me a 13" Kewpie doll and my mother and a neighbor made many outfits for her. I regret now that I didn't keep her and her hand-sewn clothing.

I only remember some of what was in our stockings — mine had a can of sweetened condensed milk - all my very own! My brother's had a package of Velveeta cheese. I don't remember our sister's special treat but do remember that we all got a potato in the toe!

During Christmas week I was allowed to run the train set, which was really my brother's. The twins didn't get this privilege. When a couple of weeks had passed, it was time to take the tree down and put the decorations in storage. A very important part of it was first removing the crinkly lead tinsel of the 40's, ONE strand at a time. Back then it was stored and then reused from year to year. Some of the hanging glass ornaments would be valued today as they had been passed on from my grandmother.

Christmas dinner was special. We kids all got a wineglass of watered-down wine. There was always a turkey. Dad claimed a leg. After dinner, a plum pudding, made by Mother was lit on fire before serving. Blue flames!  Brandy had been poured over the top and it smelled really good! The hard sauce was sparingly dolloped on top of each slice! No wonder I love sweet stuff!

Oh there is so much more starting to surface but the jist of this story is that we always felt loved and happy at this time of year. We never realized the sacrifices that were made for the celebration. We knew the real meaning of Christmas as well. A manger set up was on the dining room buffet. The story was read to us every year before we went to bed.