Friday, December 31, 2021

2021 Wrap Up


January - County Retirement dropped our health supplemental and drug coverage plans as it was too costly for some retirees. We had to find broker to help with getting new coverage. Hassle! Horse loving friend died.

February - Roof was shoveled by construction company. Lots of snow. Interior bedroom door was sticking. 

March - COVID  continues. First Moderna vaccination. Socially distancing. Seedum and daffodils poking up from ground.

April -  Second Moderna vaccination. Hummingbirds arrived. 

May - Yard man hard at work with Spring cleanup. 

June - The Mister hospitalized on 6th after many falls. The Mister died  June 20. It was our 60th anniversary on 12th. Nephew had bladder surgery for cancer. Radiation followed.

July - Private memorial Masonic ceremony for the Mister. Impressive. Many Masons participating. Cremains brought home and in special Raku pot. Lots of paperwork completed. 

August -  Great Grandson #2 was born. PA tomatoes only fair this year. NJ daughter’s were outstanding as usual. Saved seeds. 

September -Beach friend’s wife died.

October -  Sold car. Got my long hair cut at home. Local Grandson grew a huge pumpkin again!

November - Brother very Ill and hospitalized with double pneumonia and Covid right after Thanksgiving. Several neighbors diagnosed Covid + and recuperating. Got my Moderna booster vaccination. James has another torso hole. Repaired previous ones this summer. Sent golf car to dealer for winter storage.

December -Staying as safe as possible with Covid Pandemic. Spent Holiday alone. Coping well. Nice gifts received. The sound of pine cones bouncing off of the roof is something I didn’t hear last year - probably because the roof was snow-covered then. More red squirrels evident than in previous years. No Mister to control population now. Brother not gaining and still in ICU.

ME-Turned 85. Still slowing down while moving forward. Took some pictures  from golf car riding with daughter around home area; most photography efforts are of indoor activities. Shoulder received injections many times throughout year. More constriction due to increased scar tissue. Eyes still giving me grief with dry eye. Leg and feet circulation poor. Lost weight. Using cane when motivating outside cabin. Exercising by walking laps with rolling walker inside cabin. Mailbox moved closer to side door.

Am living with smaller means and don't have any debt. I am comfortable and still capable of being somewhat independent and self sufficient. Schwan’s delivery of foodstuffs continues. Laundry picked up and delivered by friends. Grocery shopping help with friend. Medical appointments with daughter’s help. Depending on Yard man more than before.  Thankful for many good friends.

New Stuff

Large hand thrown clay bowl and several small ones.

Candles in potter’s bowls. 

New sweater vests and fleece sweatshirts.

Repairs (Professionally Accomplished)

One, a patch on chimney flashing - no charge


Created some Christmas cards-scissors, glue, etc.

86 Photomanipulations on computer


Published 175 Blogs

Read at least 40 books

Research of many various items and subjects on internet

All of my various directories and calendars are updated for the year 2022 and I start all over.

“Count your blessings instead of your crosses.

Count your gains instead of your losses.

Count your joys instead of your woes.

Count your friends instead of your foes.

Count your smiles instead of your tears.

Count your courage instead of your fears.

Count your full times instead of your lean.

Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.

Count your health instead of your wealth.

Love your neighbor as much as yourself.”

Kindness and acceptance for all. SHARE! SHARE!

Out with the old....


I spent less time in the kitchen 

Cinnamon Buns

Bread Pudding with Almonds and Raisins

Baked White Loaves of Bread (4)

Baked Wheat Loaf of Bread

Lemon Poppyseed Zucchini Bread

Pumpkin Spice Quick Bread 

Loaf of Lemon Bread

Dinner Biscuits

Pumpkin Pie (2)

Lemon Cookies (2)

Chocolate Chip Cookies (2)

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Walnut Bars (2)

Chocolate Brownies

Spaghetti & Homemade Meatballs


Pickled Eggplant

Quiche with Spinach and Cheese

Baked Macaroni & Cheese (2)

Patty Pan Squash Casserole

Swiss Chard Soup

Cabbage Bean Soup

Vegetable Bean Soup

Split Pea Soup (2)

Chicken Chunky Soup

Cheesy Potato Soup

Dehydrated Apples


Turkey Breast roasted

King Crab Legs baked 

Saturday, December 25, 2021

The Nutcracker

Through my teen years I will always remember a wooden bowl that sat on the dining room table, especially during all holidays, that was loaded with a variety of nuts! My mother would even name each of the different varieties and we soon learned our favorites to consume. It was allowed for us to pick up the nutcracker and break any one open and then pick out the inside meats. There was a hard pedestal in the middle of the bowl, and a hammer too that could be used if the cracker wouldn't open one with the first try. The bowl was in the shape of a log with bark and the middle was the nut storage place. I have no idea today whatever happen to it. Well just look! I  found one very similar on the internet! This is from the 1950's.

Most interesting to me though, are the nutcracker and picks that were always available next to that bowl! After some research I found that the silver plate vintage nutcracker I have, has been passed down through the generations is marked Wallace Bros. It dates back to the early 1800s to the early 1900s! I only found two picks and believe several have been lost in the past. What started all of this was my hunt for a good tool to crack open the king crab legs and claws that I was having for Christmas day dinner. I have never prepared these at home before and was planning to use pliers, scissors and a fork! Then my memory kicked in and I recalled seeing the nutcracker at the back and bottom of a kitchen drawer!
As you can see, they worked well and my dinner was a success.
The little cup in the back of this image had Baileys Irish Cream and the cup with the drawn butter is back in the refrigerator as I still have six more frozen legs. I only ate three today so I can share with my daughter when she visits tomorrow.

In case you're wondering, I ordered these legs from Schwan's Home Delivery early in November and they were finally in stock and delivered last week. 1.75 lbs. cost was not near the prices you are seeing on TV or in your markets! 
Don't forget to tap on photo to see a real nutcracker

Friday, December 24, 2021

Gift Thoughts

Two of my daughters know me very well and sweet sugary stuff is a real treat. Also another pewter ornament for my ceramic tree this year is an angel. She is beautiful. In the cupboard is a good supply of spirits as well. 

Two trays of homemade cookies arrived here last evening. YIKES! How I love them and appreciate the work that my two cherished friends completed. Sharing is one of my favorite activities and these are heartfelt gifts that came my way.
One never knows what will happen when one loans a large ancient cookie cutter to a friend, along with a recipe. I know personally that it is a challenge to make these as I did many years ago. It seems that Ginger Jack was out playing in today's snow.
And one of my cookie-bakers has exposed one of my secret loves - a lunchtime treat that I REALLY like! The bean tree for me - all for me! Who knew? Small but mighty.....
As I write this blog, I have a special CD that was sent by friends in HI playing on the old computer with the fantastic sound resonating from the beams and log walls. It is HAPA Holidays. And, Joyful Red is growing well. 

So folks, think positive, share, and be kind. This is the only life you will ever have so don't worry - be HOPPY!

Don't forget to tap image to see goodness


Monday, December 20, 2021

The Stone

My daughter was given this piece of rock from a family member who works in a nearby quarry. It is amazing. I have not been able to visit in person but she took pictures to show me. 

It measures 19" by 23" and is VERY heavy.

I see a large tree, several tall pines, colorful mountains and grayish dawn skies. What a picture it is! We think the "pine trees" are actually fossils of plants and the "tree" on the left is a large leafy one, perhaps mold, but cannot figure out how the beautiful and colorful streaks could have developed. I suspect mineralization. 

Several more pictures are shown below.

Tap on image to enjoy Nature's Creation!

Sunday, December 19, 2021


Some blog heading, eh? Well I've been thinking of how to post such a topic but just decided to tell it like it was and is. 

When we had our permanent place in the SC Campground, I slept in the queen size bed at the front of the place and the Mister slept on the twin bed at the rear. This was his choice because the front was close to the road and the rear was under the trees at the back. It worked for many years.

When we were in PA in between trips to SC and living in the cabin, I have the twin bed and the Mister had the double bed. This was my choice. On the double bed was a soft mattress and a foam topper to boot, all under the oversized thick mattress cover! He liked soft beds, I liked much firmer mattresses... did I say MUCH?... I turn constantly all night long due to the shoulder issue and need the firm base to do so.
When the Mister died, it was assumed by others that I would take to sleeping in the double bed. Well, I did try it twice, but soon realized a soft but larger bed was definitely not for me. 

We purchased new mattresses and box springs in 1997 when we moved from across the lake from our large home to the cabin. Since we slept on the new mattresses for only half of all of those years, we considered the mattresses to have only 12 years of use so it isn't time for new.

There! I said it. I like a hard mattress. After I'm gone whoever takes over really should replace the beds and mattresses. I'm not going to do it. Now the 'bed story' is out of my head and I can move on.  
(tap on image to view larger)

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Monday, December 13, 2021

Different Plates

Sometimes just before I nod off at nap time the mind goes into overdrive and today was no different. This is all about plates and servings. 

Life gives each one of us a different plate. Some have beautiful looking contents but no taste; some have a plain assortment of servings but will both nourish and please. Others contain negative stuff that is really bad for you. Some are empty.

Think of some of the plates that you have been served and what was on them. One portion might be good health. Others might be fortune, love, peace, happiness, OR  pain, disaster, loss, terror; perhaps a combination. 

Throughout life, plates and contents change. Often there is no rhyme nor reason. Plates break - contents spill. Messes are cleaned but the odor remains. Maybe it is the fragrance that remains instead. The stain remains? Maybe no stain is perceived. When the plate that is already empty and is broken, it might be replaced and refilled with something more disastrous or perhaps something new and good. 

What's on your plate? NOW? My concept today is confusing - even to myself.

The nookworm strikes again

Seeing Clearly

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood ... and I should wash the 13 cabin windows! Each one has 6 panes. One is filled with the A/C. That makes it only 12. Oh well, now I will have to have 'someone' do it this Spring. It is a tricky procedure here. First of all you can only clean the storm windows from the outdoor side. To get the inside of the storm windows you have to open the inside window. Sounds easy, right? NOT! Furniture has to be moved. Curtains have to be taken down. The nails that hold the latches tight have to be removed. The sliding latches have to be unlatched - sometimes with a hammer. Then, sometimes the window still won't swing inwards and you have to take a large putty knife and pry the frame to get it to open. THEN... you can clean the inside of the outside storm window, clean the outside of the inside window, shut it and secure it and clean the inside of the inside window. Then put everything that you moved or took down, back! It is a fun job that the Mister always did every year and both 2020 and 2021 it has not been done. 

It really didn't used to be so hard but traffic has picked up on the dirt road making terrible dust over the years here and we have sealed the storm windows with putty. The windows are never opened anymore except the inside ones to clean the glass. Enough dust seeps in the old cabin anyway. For fresh air, the front and side doors are equipped with screen doors. Besides all of that, the settling of the logs has made window opening and closing very difficult.

Of course my dad and mother could never have realized that being so very close to the road would be a dust problem sixty years later. It would have been better to have had their summer retreat cabin set back about fifty feet, right next to the cow path that ran all along behind at the property edges. Of course, at that time it would have caused different problems!

So, here I am, looking out through sunny and hazy windows hoping for a seasonal change that I know will come - in its own time. It could be worse, right? I love my home and I'm lucky to have one! 

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Mixed Bag

Nasty darn day here. There even was a thunder and lightning storm early this morning and hard rain. Now it is just a light rain and 42° but still dreary. The roof didn't leak. That is a relief.

The destruction of the tornadoes in Mayfield KY is unbelievable. Shocking!  Mother Nature is VERY angry. The Blue Origin blast into space at least was successful this morning, and that is good news. Both events are scary and incredible to me! Awful and amazing. What is the world coming to? I'm glad to be old. 

Brother is getting good care and there is hope for his recovery. We have to take life's struggles just one day at a time, one baby step at a time, and maybe, just maybe we'll be able to breathe freely again. 

I'm reading an interesting book. Title: Folly. Author: Laurie R. King. First published: March 2001. Yard sale $2.00. It has me in its grips.

Got my Christmas cards in the mail. Cut back on number. I still like to send some.

Feeling lazy. Taking the day off. Bored. Kick me!

(all images from internet)

Friday, December 10, 2021


I am not very good at drawing or sketching. The old application I use to make some of my latest creations is difficult for me to operate. I have to move my index finger on the laptop keypad due to my frozen shoulder. The stylus that is supposed to be used on the Wacom Utility controls me and I gave that method to the birds. (It is a graphic tablet that plugs into my computer.) Sometimes I have no idea what the end result will be as I make many mistakes along the way. BUT I do really enjoy the attempts. It is a challenge to get them the way I want them and I do them mostly for myself. I don't give a darn whether others like or dislike my work. I sure am rambling today...

My true intent was to create a Santa of many colors looking at everyone no matter who or where they are. I think it was quite successful. It would have been better if I didn't feel that I had to explain it to you.

Thursday, December 9, 2021


There is nothing more enjoyable to me in the morning than my cup of coffee and a bowl of hot oatmeal. I use quick oats, ratio 1 - 3 and microwave in my pottery bowl for 2 minutes. I admit to adding a little salt, sugar, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg to the cooked product but it also is very filling so it is hard to finish my fruit. Well, this morning I put the empty bowl on the counter and saw a beautiful sight - the sun was shining her beauty right in here on the counter! Well, even if you don't think it is beautiful, I do and that is what matters.

The fact that I can still make my breakfast of choice, see beauty in an empty pottery bowl and be thankful for every hour I have, is a wonderful feeling. 

My brother is very ill and on my mind too, so it is the smaller things that I'm very grateful for, such as an empty bowl, and the opportunity to capture its beauty with my camera.

Yes, I am still enjoying my treasured ceramic Christmas tree. I love this out of focus shot! An accident shot! What do you think?
Oh and I must show you a photo of my newest great grandchild, #12. This little fellow is sure growing fast!
please tap on image to view larger

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Joyful Red

She is reaching out for the sun! Let the beauty shine!

She is only 1 week old!

After I took her picture the day turned grey and cold... brrrr! except for Christmas gifts and lights.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Full Day

Remember I said I would put the bone broth kettle out to cool overnight so I could skim the fat off in the morning? Well, I forgot that I can't reach the top of the freezer where I had the Mister put it, and I also remember putting it into the car on the back deck. Oops! Sold car. I sure didn't want to temp the visiting forest critters! Well it ended up in the kitchen refrigerator after I moved things around to make space. Yes, there was a lot of fat to skim off this morning. It wasn't as easy to do as when it used to be hard, but I was able to do it. I found that the yellow split peas cooked down faster than the green ones, went mushier quicker, tried to stick to the bottom even! I had to do an extra amount of stirring. It was tasty but something was missing. I never salt or pepper it as I feel everyone has their own limits on condiment additions, but I did add a little black pepper. It was lunch in my pottery bowl and very filling. I'll stick to the green variety.

It went well with the fresh loaf of whole wheat bread that I baked this morning.
It is ready, after cooling down to put in the freezer. I leave room at the top for expansion. Nice yield!
I had a wonderful surprise from my family friend who took away the base of the ceramic tree and replaced the entire wiring system. He brought it over after dark and it was so wonderful to see it lit and pretty! Happy Dance! It will stay lit the entire season. I like it that much!
Early this morning I decorated it and now my world here is right.
Meatloaf for dinner tonight! I should have lined the pan with foil and now will have a cleanup. I forgot! Dang! Doesn't really matter - I make good meatloaf! I know it is done when the internal temperature reaches 160°. I usually make a bigger one, but this will keep me for a bit.
If anyone wants to help wash dishes and pots and utensils, my door is open. I could feed you too!
please tap on image to view larger

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Memory of Days Gone By...

For the last couple of years I have had to have help lifting the heavy pot of 10 cups of water from the sink to the stove and then many -at least 10- hours later, taking the pot to the sink to dump out the bone into the colander. There will be my large blue container full of broth to pour back into the pot. Next will be to set it outdoors overnight to have the fat float to the top of the broth and be skimmed away. Another seven hours of simmering and stirring and my delicious pea soup is born! Although a time consuming project, the results were always appreciated and soooo good. Sure hope I can muster up the strength myself this year. Idea! Maybe I can fill the pot containing the bone several times with water! That will eliminate one lift! Ya think? Well here goes.....tomorow!

Who could throw away a ham bone without making some kind of soup? Mine turns out as smooth as a puree without any machine involvement. No straining either. Pure and simple. No other vegetables or ham pieces are added. I wonder how many kettles of this I have made in my lifetime as a wife and mother. Probably about 65 is my guess! Maybe more.

This time I'm trying a different variety of split peas. Not green - yellow! Time will tell if they are up to the flavor test! Salt and pepper optional when served.

please tap image to view larger

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Here we GO!

Welcome to Joyful Red, a new member of the Home Sweet Home Window Team! She’s currently hiding but will soon show off her redhead and long limbs and delicate arms. It will take time. Maybe even eight weeks! I plan to follow her growth and you may be privileged to tag along with me. Loving care is the key and I’ll do my best to keep her nourished and as warm and bright as necessary. She arrived as a wonderful, delightful and challenging gift from dear friends across the big pond.

On a completely different note, I now know why the mouse who got into my paper towels died! He was wire poisoned. Darn! Need some electrician help here! We had a four hour scheduled power outage and it seemed the perfect time to haul out my old treasured ceramic tree and decorate! Not today! 
please tap photos to view larger