Wednesday, December 31, 2008

on this last day of 2008

I wish everyone the very best in 2009. May all your hopes, wishes and dreams come to pass, and may you soar with happiness.

I want to thank every one who has commented and to let you know that it means a lot to me. If I cannot thank you individually, please know that you are still very much appreciated. All the best in 2009!

Not to back step, but I have added a button to my site to "Save Handmade". The Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act will go into effect on February 10, 2009 and will keep small handmade toy businesses from operating any more. Each product needs to be tested for all sorts of safe features, costing these business hundreds of dollars per product. They cannot continue in business with this kind of cost in their budget. Please check out Cool Mom Picks and contact any one and every one listed and linked on her site. This could affect you, let's all help each other.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Aha, rain today . . .

We got some rain - NOT snow - and it was dripping from every where. More places than I knew it could drip from! But thankfully not on the inside of the house. We are having a heat wave, yeah, a heat wave. About 34-39 for highs this week.

I went to the local store today and WOW, talk about slushy roads . . . phew! I have a 4X4 and I was all over our roads here in the neighborhood. Slick as snot is about all I can think of to compare it to. Not nice I know, but truthful! The slush is about 9-12 inches deep, and it moves your vehicle ALL over the road.

I had a wonderful Christmas, got some great presents; a 25' Stanley Tape Measure (all my other ones have disappeared), some of those stick to your sock foot warmer thingies (love them), and for my collection, some silver colored Reindeer (not Rudolphs).

I went to Dale's to help him move some snow, ha, ha, ha, SNOW . . . he had to clear his shop roof and the camp trailer. They had at least 2 feet of snow on them, and even though the shop would be OK, the trailer had to be cleared or it would start to sag in the middle - not good. He got it, no problem, but the walkways had to be cleared. A friend brought his snow blower up to help, but there is always corners that need a good shovel. I have experience in that department! I helped. It felt good that I could help him for a change.

I filled my wood box today too. Damn that thing is a huge cavernous beast when it's empty! Nice and friendly when full, but this afternoon it only had 8 pieces left - they seemed so little and tiny way down there in the bottom of the box. It now has so much that the lid won't close. I like it that way! The box measures 2 x 2 x 4 feet - doesn't seem that big UNTIL you have to fill it! It's more than full now!

I've been gathering turkey carcasses since Thanksgiving and am in charge of cooking New Years Eve dinner - every year, that's my thing! I need to hit the store for some carrots, broth and spaghetti noodles. The rest of the ingredients are in the cupboard. It has to make enough to feed about 12 - 14 people...... Hmmm . . . do I have a big enough pot??? No, but I'll start in the one I have and since I have trouble lifting those huge 16 qt pots, I will take two pots, combine the soup in Candy's one HUGE pot, and we will all eat merrily ever after!!! LOL

I will not be around for the Midnight Party - my dog freaks. I will take her home about 11:30 (if I last that long!) and sit with her. Here where we live there will be fireworks (not legal), and gun shots (definitely NOT legal), and the dog, all 60 lbs of her, will try to crawl up on my shoulders. Even though she is on medication, it is just too much for her. I will turn the stereo up, plug my ears, and hold the dog. Interesting picture to say the least, but I will do what it takes to keep the dog at least half way sane.

You all have a safe and sane New Years!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Snow anyone??

I've been busy shoveling snow for at least two weeks! I'm getting tired of this, the shoveling not the snow... I bundle up to the point that I can hardly move, long johns, sweat pants and my quilted bib overalls. On top, I have a chemise, sweat shirt, scarf and big jacket. And my baseball cap. On my feet I have huge, gigantic, rated to 100 degrees below 0 boots. Just watch me move . . . LOL. Just like when you bundle your kids to go play in the snow, and they can't move . . .

I love the winter, but I have to be warm. Shoveling does that! I was up on the roof yesterday to get the 2 feet of snow off. Really, really hard work. And slippery on a metal roof. It might not have that much of a pitch, but when you are on a wet, even slightly slanted, roof, you can do the slip and slide thing real fast!

Today my friend Dale came down and got the snow off the truck camper; another 18" off that! There was just a skiff of snow left, but we put a tarp over it to make it easier to remove future snow - and I guarantee there will be more snow. He has an ATV with a blade so clearing the driveway gets done a lot easier than if I had to shovel that! It is a circular driveway and I like both ends open, but if I had to shovel it, I would only do from the street to the carport. Thank goodness for Dale and the ATV!!!

I feel better having the roof, (wobbly) carport, metal shed and camper cleared off. I worry - a lot! There is a tree close to the house by my bedroom and when the snow clumps start to fall off, it sounds and feels like the whole tree is coming down. I'd love a new house, but not by a collapsed roof - what would I do until a new one could be put in place????? and getting my belongings out before they got ruined... not something I want to think about - that's why I crawl up there to GET IT OFF!

We are suppose to have a heat wave next week; in the mid 30's with some rain and snow! That will help a bit, but I don't know what's coming after that. I'd rather clear the roof and not take the chance. But, I tell you, I'm getting too darn old to be climbing ladders and clearing roofs!!! I hurt so bad last night I had a hard time getting to sleep. Hot shower and ibuprofen not withstanding!

Yup, and after that, I had to fill the wood box . . . with Dale's help! But, you know, the chores get done and THEN I can collapse. And I did.

The snow on the truck in the picture is not that much yet - we had more snow last winter by February.... I know, I know, February is way off in the future and who knows what lurks in them thar clouds!!!!

Have fun in the snow, but stay safe, and drive careful if you have to go out. I guess this only applies to those of us in snow country, but so far this season, there seem to be a lot of us in snow country. Don't forget to take a sense of humor and patience along when you go anywhere.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Very Merry Chritmas

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, and peace and love.

I spoke with my Mom at 8:30 a.m., my time, 5:30 her time. She lives in Denmark and it is already Christmas Eve there. It is always nice to speak with her and I wish I could do it more than once a month. She is 81 and even though there isn't too much new going on in her life, I enjoy talking to her. We share lots of laughter and the time runs away from us, today we talked for 45 minutes, but that's OK.

I enjoy my Christmas Eve, but for me the BIG celebration takes place tomorrow. I've become Americanized over the last 50 years. I will still light candles tonight and enjoy the peace (and snow!).

Today I'm cooking and wrapping presents. My evening will be quiet, but I need that before the total fun and hoopla of tomorrow.

Again, wishing you Peace, Happiness and Love this Christmas Eve.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

down to the wire

Well, Christmas is just about here, and I only have to wrap presents and make red cabbage for dinner. I won't make the cabbage until tomorrow afternoon.

I want it to sit and 'steep' in its juice overnight for a better flavor. It's a very simple recipe, the only thing you don't see sitting in the picture is a little bit of butter, some sugar, just a half teaspoon, and some salt & pepper.

I have made this for both Thanksgiving and Christmas every year for the last 10 years. Those are the only times that I make it, so it becomes a holiday treat.

The pot is probably 45 years old! Revere ware 5 1/2 qt. It was my Mom's before she moved back to Denmark. It is pretty pitted on the inside, but I don't have the heart to get rid of it, so I just scrub very, very, well with a stiff brush. I have never gotten sick from anything made in it. It is my stew pot, spaghetti pot, soup pot. I love the way it cooks and wonder if I could ever find any other pot to replace it with.

OK, enough of my cooking pot ramblings. I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas. Stay safe, and warm, and if you're traveling keep your sense of humor and patience close at hand.

Much Love and Many Hugs to all!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I think I'm done with . . .

making Christmas presents! With only 3 days left, that's a good thing!. Anything else I make in the next few day will be purely an extra gift; a neighbor maybe or an extra guest Christmas morning.

This ornament was made from a picture I saw - no directions, just a picture. I will make more of these (for next year) but not the way I did it this time! I'll have to experiment. It was made for one of the ladies that I've spoiled with an ornament each year. I sure hope she likes it.

This one is small, only 1 3/4" across. The recipient of this one is also getting another present, but she has a small tree and likes the small ornaments. Ya think?

I knit these for me. They were knit at night when I had to just sit and relax before going to bed. It is just a simple 40 stitches, basic dish cloth, but I like them lots.

With all the snow that has been falling all over the country, I sure hope everyone takes care in their travels, whether you are going a mile or across the country. It is bad out there in most places.

My daughter is going from Texas to Nebraska and I worry. I know what the roads can be like, I use to live in Nebraska. Lots more ice than I get here in my area.

Take care everyone!!!

Many wishes for a wonderful Christmas.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A whole week's gone by

I can't believe it's been a week since I last posted!

Today is my grandson's birthday - 13. I don't know him well since he lives in Texas and I in Oregon. It is hard for either family to travel, so I have to rely on my daughter to tell me what he's jup to and to send pictures of all the kids (which she can be bad doing! - Love you Hon!!!!) In most of the pictures that I have of him, he looks like he is up to no good as soon as the picture has been taken! He is a very nice looking young man and has a charming smile. He is the youngest of the grandkids behind two sisters, ages almost 21 and almost 19!

I had my daughter when I was very, very, very young! Don't even go there!!!

It has been cold here, no I mean COLD! Like last night is was -6. Today got up to 16, I think. I have had the faucets trickilin for the last 3 days and I still froze up. Get out the little heater, check the pressure in the tank (off the well). Hmmm, I used the bathroom, flushed, and no trickle from either the bathroom faucet or the one in the kitchen. I called Dale to see what the first thing I should do - take heater to pump house, check pressure - OK, I'm on track. He also said to leave a faucet open - ok - Iwent todo that after I put on the boots, hat, scarf, coat and gloves. Hmmm, water !?!?!?!? I still took the heater down to the pump house, plugged it in for a while. Turned up the trickle at the faucets while I ran to the post office (1 bill - blahhh). Everything worked just fine when I got back.

I had also noticed that the bottom metal piece on my house skirting had big gaps in being attached to the wood part of the skirting. This is a major contributor in my pipes freezing! The wind and the cold just flies right under there and does the freeze thing. My battery charged drill had 2 dead batteries. Oh, fun. I'm out there in 9 degree weather with a manual screw driver, balancing on the balls of my feet trying to attach frozen metal! I had some left over hard insulation from the pump house, that I leaned and packed against the gaps that were remaining. I sure hope it works because I don't want to go through that again! I almost lost my balance and would have landed right on my butt right in the snow. And I only had sweat pants on - no jeans, no long johns, no bib coveralls....... just a quick job - sweat pants! My hind end was sooo cold when I got back in the house it hurt.

I traipse down to the pump house to turn off the heater, but left it there since tonight is also suppose to be very cold.
This is a view from my back door looking up into the trees. COLD.

The next one is still looking out the back door but on the ground and to the right of the one above. You can see the icicles hanging off the roof, and those are after I knocked down the really, really big ones. The kennel is in the corner of the picture, but I could no more put the dog out there in this cold, than I could live there myself. There is only about 5 inches on the ground, but it is crusty.

Joey will only use the cat box if he's in the house and I'm gone. Otherwise, he wants out. Well, sort of. Let's say he needs to go out, but really doesn't want to. I have to coax him to come to the door. He will hem and haw about leaving the top step, and then when he can't stand it any more, he will charge out there amonst the trees. Do his thing, and then he will charge back to the steps, and if I didn't see him coming and forget to open the inner door, he would be flattened against it! He is not happy out there when it is this cold, and don't forget he sinks. He will look for previous foot prints to step in rather than make new ones (unless he's charging!)

If he's slow, and I go in before he decides to come back, he will go around the house to the front, and the following picture shows you how he lets me know he wants in . . . you cannot ignore a cat that will keep that up indefinitely! Thank goodness for aluminum screens - can you imagine what the fiberglass ones would look like? Even these have holes and small tears. Ahhh, Joey, one of the loves of my life.

When the temperature is in the twenties, he's not quite so bad about going out, but will always let me know like this that he wants in - even in summer.

Oh goodie, the Weather Channel just told me it was 3 degrees outside here in our area. I'm going to let you go so I can throw some more wood on the fire!

I can't even think of any thing profound to leave you with except:

STAY WARM!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wow . . .

I went back and looked at my post from yesterday, phew, I sounded really, really bad - nothing nice to say about anything! I can usually let things go, just attribute it to the times we live in, but since my trip to the market came out of my pocket, I just let it all out! I need to calm down. LOL

Lets see what I can do today . . . I 'met' another blogger, Betty of Joy in Our Lives. She left a very nice comment on my blog a few days ago, and I thought that she sounded like a wonderful and fun person. I checked out her blog and Boy, was I right. She has a house full of fur children, a great husband and a family that won't quit! I will be following her, and I have listed her in my sidebar, check it out.

My fur kids might not be rescue animals, but they've come to me - I did not look for them, so in a way I did rescue them. I have also had many that have crossed the Rainbow Bridge, and I know we will make quite a commotion when we all meet again.

This post wasn't meant to be sad . . . (as I sniffle at all the memories) but a celebration of all the varied lives that have touched mine. I've had a huge volume of cats through the years, but only 2 dogs. I had Tramp when I was 12 or so. He was literally a Heinz 57. Happy, fun and very lovable. When we moved from the house we lived in, we gave Tramp to our neighbors so he could have a yard and family full of kids. We moved to a small apartment and Tramp would not have been either happy or welcome there.

SueAnn is my current dog type companion. She is now 7. I got her 2 months after moving here to Oregon. At best we figure her birthday as 9-11, and the birth year was 2001. I needed a 'good' memory of that day, and SueAnn has been GREAT! She is part Lab and part Hound. Her nose and voice are Hound, the rest is small black Lab. She has the most expressive face and ears. The ears are floppy, but when she is really listening to something they sort of come up.

She is medium-large at 56 lbs, has a long tail like a whip and smiles and 'talks' to me. She has left bruises on my legs from her tail - I can't believe it doesn't hurt her when she hits anything with that tail! When I say she 'talks', she really does! Not words, but kind of low noises - not barks, she's been told to use her "inside voice" and will kind of "woo,woo". You have to hear her to believe it. And she can keep it up until she gets what she wants (mostly). There are times when I tell her "NO", and she will walk away totally deflated. Makes me laugh, but then she'll get her treat anyway - I'm well trained to follow orders!

She is very afraid of gunfire and thunder storms. Living here in the Southern Oregon Cascades, there is some sort of hunting season going on for most of the year, and SueAnn does NOT like it one bit. If it is off in the distance and only makes a 'pop' she will look to me to see if she should panic or not, but if it is loud and close by, she will come running to be let in, or try to climb on my shoulders! I can sometimes diffuse the fear by asking her "Did they get it?" with an excited tone to my voice, but that doesn't always work. She also dislikes/fears thunderstorms and the summer is fun here - we get our share of them too.

She is on medication to help calm her, but she is still not happy with the sounds. She does not go ballistic like she use to, but she still wants to hide and be in a safe place. I've got a kennel that we tried using, but she doesn't like to be confined either. Aarrrggghhh! I take each incident of gunfire and thunderstorms as they come, but I never know how bad she will get. Desensitizing has been tried and doesn't work - the sounds are not normal, they are recorded and she knows the difference. She "feels" thunderstorms hours before they get here - atmospheric pressure and all that stuff. She will start walking around with her tail sooo tucked that she looks like she doesn't have one, and will stay so close to me that if I stop she will either step on me or I on her! I wish I could help her deal with this, but I don't know what else to try besides more medication and I don't want a doped up dog. Any one have any other ideas?

Sorry this got so long, but that's my SueAnn . . . well, parts of her anyway.

. . . and Christmas is only 14 days away, yup 14 days, two weeks away, that's it. Then you can breathe for a while and start on next year!!!! LOL

I will leave you with this: I try to be the kind of human my dog thinks I am.

(((Hugs))) everyone!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Boy, am I angry . . .

I went to Wal-Mart today - the store we all love to hate! I know the prices of everything I purchase and I can't believe that what I bought today cost $20 MORE than what I got two weeks ago! There are a few prices that have gone down, but most have gone up by at least 10 cents! In two weeks??? How do families do it? I know that I'm ready to cut a few things out, but good gracious, this is ridiculous. I could stand to loose a few pounds, but I prefer to do it myself, not dictated to by what I can afford or not!

I think next time I go to town, I will try a discount market just to see what I end up paying. Probably more, since I won't be going in for another two weeks. I HATE going to town to shop! Don't get me wrong, I like to eat, but, phew!! I do use some packaged, easy to fix meals, but if you compare the ingredients to fresh, I wonder if you come out ahead? Probably not. I also buy a lot of brand name products instead of generic - I tried the generic stuff and found the flavors greatly lacking. Why should I buy cheap and not like the taste, to purchasing brand name and enjoying my own cooking? And I do like my own cooking - LOL . . .

We don't eat a lot of meat, but when we do, I want the leanest and tastiest I can get. Why spend less money on meat that is full of fat and have lots less when done cooking? I want flavorful foods that taste good and fill me up.

Ahhh, why am I ranting? I guess because I can. And, how good for us is the food that we buy? Most has too much fat and too many chemicals. I don't care how good the food producers are at advertising, most skirt the health issue. The FDA needs to really, really check into the claims that are made. Yeah, sure.

Last night I watched a news report on the elderly in Okinawa, Japan. They have a major population OVER 100 years of age. Cancer, Alzheimer's and heart disease are almost unheard of in Okinawa. They eat low fat, low sodium and low chemical content foods. And their portions are not "Super Sized"! We, even I, could learn a lot from these people. Neither do we exercise like we should. I am guilty too. Most of us say we have no time - turn off the TV, computer and all other electronic gadgets, and take a walk each night after dinner. The WHOLE family! Kids and all. Take the dog, it probably needs exercise too!

All this as I just finished two small pork chops with spinach on the side. LOL The chops were cooked in margarine, with Worcesteshire Sauce and water to steam. Worcestershire Sauce - the king of sodium! Not the healthiest, but . . .better than a lot of meals I've cooked. Like lots of mashed potatoes with butter and gravy!

I guess I can only do the best for me, but people need to really look at what they fix and eat. Just my opinion, but shared by many I know.

As a footnote to this - I eat my share of crap too, I love garlic Triscuits and can eat a box in one sitting if I don't watch myself!

I think I should end this - I'm just getting more and more frustrated at the treatment of the people by large corporations. No more than I use to, but shopping today just brought it out in the open.

Speaking of food - here is some 'food' for thought:
How we live our days is how we live our lives.

Hugs to every one. Really! LOL

Friday, December 5, 2008


Not that I'm counting or anything - but the days are starting to go faster and faster . . . and on the 26th they will come to a complete stop. No more, nada, ziltch, over, done . . . that is for another year. Phew.

Every year I keep saying, a few weeks after Christmas, that I will start on the next year. Uh, huh, yup, right!!! I want to, well part of me wants to, the other just sticks its tongue out at me. Well this coming year it will happen. You just watch and see!

Once in a while, I have the tv on in the background of my day, just for some movement and a little noise. There are two sentences that I hear over and over and over again. And I HATE them.

"If I (he, she) can do it, you can do it" or some verbal equivalent. It has been sooo over used that I want to puke!!! Of course the other one (to me) is no better. Ever since Shaker design and/or Minimalism was discovered (?) I have heard the term "Less is more." Aarrrggghhhh! I also HATE that statement. I swear I have heard it forever! less of what? furniture, decorations, dust bunnies, dog hair?????? less what?

These two statements can drive me up a wall, and that's not a pretty sight!

"If I can do it, you can do it" I DON'T WANT TO! How's that? "Less is more." Less is BORING!!!!!

OK, now that I've gotten that said, I feel great! I need to leave to go work out and I can stomp the rest of my aggravation out to my hearts content on the treadmill!!! Works every time! I may not be loosing weight, which I need to, but I'm toning and starting to feel a lot better. I guess the weight will come off eventually??

Oops, just looked at the clock - I'm out of here . . .