Welcome! I am glad you are here. Join me with a cup of your favorite beverage and see what is going on in my life and what is on my mind. I would love to have you join my site and you can do that on the left side where it says 'followers'. And please leave a comment! Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


That was the headline of something shared on Facebook from Country Living magazine today. Since I had just written a post speaking of decluttering for the new year, I just had to read it.


I will list the 12 things here, but you will have to check out the link to see the descriptions of each one.

1. Family heirlooms 

2. Electronics of any sort 
       (until you wipe them clean of all personal information)

3. Photographs

4. Important paperwork

5. A landline phone

6. Collections

7. Fine jewelry AND the boxes they came in

8. Extra kitchen and bathroom supplies 

9. Decorative and sentimental items that bring back precious memories

10. Emergency supplies

11. Tags from expensive handbags

12. Medication and toiletries that haven’t expired yet

How do you tell what is TRULY meaningful? 
Watson says this is her favorite trick: “In any given category, like artwork, ask this question, ‘If I could only take three pieces with me, which three would they be?’ With books, the question might be, ‘If I can only take 20 with me, which 20 would they be?’ This will help you discover the items that are the musts to take with you; the rest is negotiable." 

I don't have to worry about numbers 7 and 11 since I don't have either one. I do like the favorite trick on what to get rid of in any category.

Many on the list are obvious keepers, but sometimes we can get carried away with tossing 'stuff' that we wish we had kept later. And when we move and unpack, we wonder why we even bothered to move some of the others. Right?

Monday, December 29, 2014


A new year is fast approaching, are you ready?

When I was younger I always tried to start the year with a clean house, as well as have things somewhat better organized. Of course, that did not last long - the organized part anyway.

I have gotten out of that habit ever since my hip and knees got really bad. But this year, I am working on it again. I have been sort of forced into it since Felix died. He made such a mess with tracking his litter all over the house this last year, plus messes around food dishes, and water bowls all over the house, and a small milk saucer next to the fridge, not to mention many toys that he no longer had an interest in. I must admit that, even though I loved having Felix around, I was getting tired of  having to work and walk around those things. Plus, with having walking difficulties, I was getting concerned they might cause me to fall, and I don't need that!

I am not going to have this house 'perfectly' clean by the new year (or ever anymore!) but I have been busy doing a more thorough vacuuming in every room. Remember, I have carpet in every single room in this house, including kitchen, bathroom and laundry room. That is not my preference, but when renting you don't have much choice.

All the cat food, toys, and treats are gathered and boxed so my daughter can take it all to an animal shelter in her city the next time she comes this way. The litter boxes are in the garbage and that area has been cleaned up. I still need to shampoo all the carpets but I am not sure I can handle doing that myself, so may have to wait until one of my daughters will be here for that as well. Nose prints are on a few of the windows, but it is frigid cold right now - only 9 degrees at 3 pm - so washing windows, even inside, will wait for a much warmer day.

I am not good at making and keeping New Year's resolutions. Is anyone? Some of my friends and fellow bloggers do make a list of goals for the new year. One priority for me is to continue to do some deep decluttering, especially paper things - recipes, magazine pages of hints and things I like, old financial/business type papers that are no longer necessary to keep. I have decided I am a paper hoarder. Not as bad as those on the TV show!! But I do have way too much, and to be honest, they are never looked at again after I saved them. I can always look things up online quicker than trying to find a paper in a huge stack or 4 drawer filing cabinet.

I also intend to work at blogging more regularly again. I have neglected this much too long. And I have lots of work to do in getting all my genealogy research in order. I do want to make a trip to the small town where I grew up, so I can go through the newspaper archives in the library there. I wish they were digitized and online like the neighboring town has done, but they are not. I have found a lot of needed information from those online archives, but some things are missing that might be in the old home town papers.

One side of my family is trying to have a family reunion this summer and I have several ideas of things I would like to do with that. I have started the ball rolling, so now I need to keep it going, hoping other relatives will take on some of the load. We are thinking the last weekend in June for that.

Then my granddaughter is getting married the end of August, and I suspect a bridal shower or two to attend. And a sister-in-law from California is coming for a visit in June, a niece is coming for her all school reunion this summer as well, and has asked to stay here during that time. So the summer schedule is filling rapidly. But it all should be fun times.

I think that is more than enough to concentrate on for the year. And that is why I need to get the cleaning and organizing done this winter! Time to get busy.

Sunday, December 28, 2014



December 24, 2014

This is the day Felix crossed over the Rainbow Bridge.
A sad day, indeed.

He was very sociable
He was very affectionate
He loved to be on my shoulder and then hug my neck
He greeted me every morning, about the only time he would talk
He thought his purpose in life was to take care of me, which he did
He made sure I found the bathroom during the night as he would lead me there, and rub every corner on the way, then would not move until I flushed

He lived with me for 10 of his 15 years
About two years ago he started losing weight, drinking a lot of water, and peeing a lot
We are sure he developed diabetes as he soon began to walk like a cat having diabetic neuropathy
But he did quite well up until the last month

Felix, you are greatly missed!

Look at those long legs! He was a long cat - long body, long tail and long legs. He could stand on his back legs and able to look over the top of the dining room table.

Sunday, December 7, 2014


Yes, I know. It has been far too long since I have posted here. There are various reasons that I will not go into. Even though I have not posted, I have been thinking about what I will be posting, and even made a list or two as I think of them. Now, it is just a matter of making the time to work on it. I am not so sure December is conducive to finding the time. Right now I am in the middle of getting my annual Christmas letter written, labels printed, etc., among many other things. How can an old retired person that rarely goes anywhere be so busy?

As I was going through some old emails tonight, I ran across this one that I never forwarded to anyone, but I do think these thoughts should be pondered upon so I shall share them with you now.


Someone has written these beautiful words.
Must read and try to understand the deep meaning of it.
They are like the ten commandments to follow in life all the time.

1. Prayer is not a "spare wheel" that you pull out when in trouble,
but it is a "steering wheel" that directs the right path throughout.

2. So why is a car's windshield so large and the rear view mirror so small?
Because our past is not as important as our future.
So, look ahead and move on.

3. Friendship is like a book. It takes few seconds to burn, but it takes
years to write.

4. All things in life are temporary. If it's going well, enjoy it, that won't
last long. If it's going badly, don't worry, that won't last long either.

5. Old friends are gold! New friends are diamonds! If you get a
diamond, don't forget the gold! Because to hold a diamond, you
always need a base of gold!

6. Often when we lose hope and think this is the end,
God smiles from above and says, "Relax, sweetheart, it's just a
bend, not the end!"

7. When God solves your problems, you have faith in His abilities;
when God doesn't solve your problems, He has faith in your

8. A blind person asked St. Anthony, "Can there be anything worse
than losing eye sight?" He replied, "Yes, losing your vision!"

9. When you pray for others, God listens to you and blesses them;
sometimes, when you are safe and happy, remember that
someone has prayed for you.

10. Worrying does not take away tomorrow's troubles, it takes
away today's peace. 

'til next time. . . . .

Friday, October 24, 2014


My friends and I are currently studying about true worship on Friday mornings. They had chosen that title among several others, but have discovered this study is nothing like what they expected. Even so, they are very thankful to be studying this as they are getting a very different picture of what true worship is.

Here are some things we have looked at so far. First, we were given the example of Abraham when he took Isaac up to the mountain to worship, and where God had told him to sacrifice his only, much loved son. This is the son that God had promised him, and the son through whom all Abraham's descendants would come. And yet, Abraham was obedient, trusting God to fulfill His promises, and somehow resurrect Isaac. If you are familiar with the story, before Abraham kills his son as the sacrifice, a lamb appears and he sacrificed the lamb instead.

There are many pictures of Christ in this story, but what is learned about true worship is that there is a sacrifice, and obedience, a complete surrender to God.

Then we started looking at the tabernacle and all the furniture in the tabernacle and how it all represents Jesus and the heavenly tabernacle. The first thing we see is that there is only one way inside, and that is the gate or doorway. Jesus is the only way into God's presence.

The first thing we see is the bronze altar where the animals are sacrificed. So we see again, a sacrifice is needed for true worship. Next comes the laver filled with water. After the priest sacrificed the animal and sprinkled its blood on the altar, he must now wash himself. I am sure things got a little messy!

So it seems, in true worship for us today, a sacrifice is to be made, and then we need to be cleansed. We have Jesus the Lamb, who was sacrificed in our place, saving us, just as the lamb was sacrificed instead of Isaac and so Isaac was saved.
Then we are cleansed of our sins by Jesus' blood.

Is there something that we can sacrifice today? We don't need to sacrifice animals, but we are to put to death our old, sinful nature. We are to 'sacrifice' our selfish desires and worldly lusts of the flesh.

Just something to think about today.

Thursday, October 23, 2014


I just thought this little shopping bag was so cute. I received it filled with the glass cleaner and cloth at the time I get new eyeglasses.

This gives you a better idea of the scale of the bag. 

Now that the picture has been taken, the bag has been decluttered from my dresser. (It has been there for months!)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


Nearly perfect red/orange tree in
my neighborhood.

Someone who lived in this home several years ago
planted 4 trees that turn red. It is the only one in town with
this many, that I know of.
I also like the golden yellow tree to the right. It showed
up very brilliant on this day.

This house belongs to a friend of mine. She is so good at decorating and crafting things from 'junk'.
Every holiday gets its own decoration son the porch and front yard. I am afraid my picture doesn't
do it justice. Notice the row of painted pumpkins at the bottom?

Here is another porch on the same street, different block. That corner is also decorated for every holiday.

Here is a close-up. I think she must be a Pinterest fan because of all the
milk jugs with faces for ghosts.

I go past these two houses every time I go to the post office or bank and it is always interesting.

That is a little tour of the highlights in my neighborhood.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


This was a beautiful fall day, and you can see in the pictures that there was not a cloud in the sky and is the prettiest blue!

Actually, this is taken from my patio to get a better picture,
but it IS what I see from my south kitchen window.
I love this red-orange tree.

Panning to the left of the above picture -
naked trees! So far there is just a few of them.

My front yard totally covered with leaves, most of them from the
closest tree.You can see behind that tree is the
white birch that still has most of its leaves.
Closer view. I am so glad I don't have to clean them up.
Either the church youth will be removing them on Saturday,
or the landlord will do it later.

This is the huge old maple that towers behind my house and garage.
You can just see the garage peak and house roof at the bottom.
The picture doesn't do it justice but it is really hard to catch it.

Here I was standing between the house and
 and looking almost straight up.

Friday, October 17, 2014


I keep asking myself that question! I may have bitten off more than I can chew.

After visiting with some second cousins at my cousin's funeral this summer, we had talked about a family reunion. Actually I have been thinking of a family reunion for many years, but no one ever got one started. Another cousin and I had talked about it several years ago, but she is now gone and that means a lost opportunity for her.

There are only 5 first cousins left on my dad's side of the family, so it is time to have that reunion before we lose any more. None of us are very young any more, in fact the oldest is over 90.

A reunion was on my mind a lot recently, so I started things rolling by sending out a 'feeler' email of all the relatives I have addresses for, to see if anyone was interested in a reunion next summer. I asked them to give the information to all their families as well. I have only heard from a few and they are all interested. So I think there will be one, whether it be big or just a few of us. I am hoping it will be big, and I have lots of ideas of things we can include, but that means a lot of work.

If there are a lot of people that plan to come, we will have to find a place that can hold us all. And do we have it over a weekend or all week long? It would be nice if we have plenty of time to visit with each family, and there is a lot of catching up to do, and meeting relatives we have never met before.

I also would like to share the family genealogy that I have been working on, so that means getting that all organized, including pictures. More and more ideas keep popping up in my mind, but I can't begin to do it all myself! I am tired already. Pray for me!

Thursday, October 16, 2014


"Autumn Leaves" has always been a favorite oldie for me. I haven't heard it in a long, long time. Maybe I should check youtube and see if it is there.

I was reminded of that song this week since we had a few windy days, and that meant a LOT of leaves came down and some trees are already looking a little naked.

Right now the city street sweeper is going down the streets, next to the curb and sweeping all the leaves and debris toward the middle of the street. Then another vehicle comes along and picks up what was swept. Both of them are raising a whole lot of dust! Thankfully it is blowing away from my house today! My house is dusty enough.

When the sweeper was in front of my neighbor's house there was even more dust kicked up because his yard has been all dirt most of the summer. I was hoping by now that grass had been planted, or sod put down because I am really tired of how quickly and thick my house gets dusty this year. I hope they don't wait until spring or next summer to get that yard done! But they don't seem to be in a hurry to get their project finished.

It is so easy to complain about what others do, isn't it? I so want to see how it will all look when finished. I know it will be a huge improvement and very different than it was. The back yard with the new patio will allow them to use that part of the yard  that had really been wasted space for years, so I am happy for them.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Anyone know that song?

No, I did not shoot the sheriff, but I had a deputy at my door recently! Since I had not done anything wrong (that I knew of) I wasn't too concerned, and thought maybe there was a child missing in the neighborhood. But, it seems my phone had not been working for two days and my daughter got really worried when she could not get hold of me.

She called my landlord but nobody was home, and she couldn't remember the names of my local friends, so she finally called the sheriff's office to have them check on me. I told him my phone must not be working and when I checked, I had no phone service. But I still had internet and had just been on Facebook earlier, as well as checked my email. I don't understand why she didn't send me an email or message on Facebook like she usually does.

I checked the phone jack and made sure things were all plugged in and didn't find anything wrong. The next morning I was going to call the phone company with the cell phone, but first had to dust the computer desk where the phone sits since I knew the phone man would have to come inside. Suddenly a cord fell down from behind the cable modem. Sure enough, it was the phone line!

I have no idea how it came loose since the cat was not back there and I had not moved anything. The only thing I can think of is that it might have been pulled a little when we installed the wi-fi router earlier this summer, and it finally worked itself out. All the lights were working on the modem so assumed all was well with that, but I was wrong. And that is all that was wrong with the phone.

I am so glad I discovered it before I called the phone company as that would have been more embarrassing that having the deputy at my door, not to mention, more expensive.

You may ask why my daughter didn't call my cell phone, but I never have that turned on. I only use it for emergencies and long distance calls and she knew that. Can you tell I don't use a phone much? I didn't even notice that I had not even gotten the nuisance calls from telemarketers or politicians for two days.

Now I am getting those again, and a lot of them. I just don't answer and they hang up before the answering machine starts so I know it isn't anything important. And I know the same ones keep calling since I recognize the numbers after awhile. I sure wish they would get the hint and stop calling. If I do answer they don't accept no for an answer until I just hang up on them. Very annoying! The same number calls all hours of the day, from 8:30 in the morning until 9 at night, even on Sundays. And the same numbers have been doing that for several years. Persistent is the word.

Friday, October 3, 2014


Faith Friday

Recently I heard a good sermon from a tv minister. He brought some Scriptures together in a way that I had not seen before, and I found it enlightening. I will try to tell you what it is about.

The first story he talked about was the one about Nathan confronting King David about him desiring Bathsheba, taking her, getting her pregnant, and having her husband killed so that he could marry her.

In 2 Samuel 12:1-7, Nathan says this to David, 

" There were two men in a certain city, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one small ewe lamb that he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up, living with him and his children. It shared his meager food and drank from his cup; it slept in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man could not bring himself to take one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the poor man's lamb and prepared it for his guest."

David was infuriated with the man and said to Nathan, "As the LORD lives, the man who did this deserves to die! Because he has done this thing and shown no pity, he must pay four lambs for that lamb."

Nathan replied to David, "You are the man!"

Take a look at that lamb. The poor man brought that one lamb into his house and it lived with him and his family in that house. It ate the same food and drank from the man's cup! When the man went to bed he took the lamb with him, placed him on his chest and held him all night. The lamb was a part of the family. We often think of our pets in the same way, don't we? This lamb was very precious to the family, and is the only one they had. And yet the rich man took it and killed it to feed a traveler.

Now look at another story about a lamb. The minister had not seen this before and neither had I. Exodus 12 tells the story of the first Passover. The people were told that each family was to select one unblemished lamb from their flock, and take it in. They were to live with that lamb for 14 days. You can imagine the children playing with that lamb and it becoming a pet. But then on the 14th day, it was to be killed and its blood smeared on the doorposts and lintel of the house so that their house would be passed over while all the firstborn male children of the Egyptians would be killed.

Now read those stories again and put Jesus in the place of the lamb. Jesus is our sacrificial Lamb, who's blood saves us from eternal death. But also look at how He should be treated by us. He should be living in our homes, eating our food, drinking from our cups, sleeping with us - taking part in everything we do every day. He should be more than a picture hanging on the wall, or going to 'visit' in church on Sundays and then forgotten about the rest of the week.

As important as that Lamb is to the family, it is even more important that the Lamb had to be sacrificed to pay the debt that we owe for our sins so that we can live, just as in the first Passover. Praise God that our Lamb was raised to life again, to live forever, and so will we!

Thursday, October 2, 2014


I think this must be a memento from WWII.

The design on each blade of the fan is balsa wood and has been intricately cut, I am guessing by hand, since they aren't perfectly shaped. It is hard to tell in the picture, but each of the letters is cut out, as well as little darker spaces in each part of the design, including the little arrow shapes at the bottom.

And the painting, which looks like watercolors, has been done by hand as well. The deep blue 'squares' is a length of ribbon that holds the blades together so that they can fan out or be closed.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


I have tried many meat loaf recipes throughout the years. They were all good, some better than others. This is my all-time favorite. It comes from one of my church cookbooks, and most of those recipes are wonderful. I think meat loaf is a comfort food, especially for fall and winter. But it is also good to take to pot lucks any time of the year. It usually disappears really fast, and is good cold.

2 pounds ground beef
1 cup dry bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups milk
1 pkg. onion soup mix
          or   1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon each pepper, celery salt, garlic salt, and dry mustard
1 teaspoon salt (if using the soup mix, I don't add more salt)
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

Mix all thoroughly. Put in ungreased loaf pan. Mix equal amounts of catsup and mustard; spread on top of loaf. Bake at 350 for 1 1/2 hours.

Sometimes I use this topping:

6 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup catsup

The last time I made this I did two batches, and used panko bread crumbs as that was what I had on hand, plus what was left of a can of regular seasoned bread crumbs, and finally had to add some quick oatmeal to the mix. It all worked well. Use whatever you have in your pantry.

I mixed these two batches up and then divided each batch in half to freeze. I wrapped in aluminum foil and then put in freezer bags, and froze unbaked. I will sometimes bake a meatloaf and slice it up, then freeze the individual slices for a quick meal option.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014


I just finished revamping the Recipes page. Now you should be able to find recipes much easier. Check it out!

I will be working on the other pages soon.


I think I need to name this baby Old Faithful. He has served me very well over the last 14 years. This is a 2000 Pontiac Montana.

The other day I drove in the garage and happened to look at the odometer and it said 99,900 miles. I have driven him a few more miles since then, so I have less than 100 miles to see it roll over to 100,000! I have never kept a car for that many years or miles, as I had husbands that thought we needed to trade every few years.

I think he has aged well, don't you? Still as handsome as ever with very few dings.

Some of you may wonder why I, as a single (and aging) woman, would want to drive a minivan. I love to drive it! It is much easier for me to get into rather than 'fall' into a lower car. I also sit up higher so I can see the road better. I like the sliding doors, which means I don't need a lot of side clearance in order to open those, like I need for the front. And the back end works so well for hauling groceries or any larger items. I can easily put my garbage cans in the back to take to the curb every week. I doubt they would fit in the small trunks cars have today. I have also hauled lots of tree branches and garden refuse to the city tree dump, as well as many other various things.

Once in awhile I even fill it with people! It does seat 7 fairly well, but I usually have the back row of seats folded up so the cargo area is larger. And with two sliding doors, the people can get in and out very well.

I do hope Old Faithful will stay with me as long as I am able to drive as I hate to think of having to buy something else.

Keeping fingers and toes crossed!

Monday, September 29, 2014


I seem to be spending a lot of money lately, just on basic needs. But I needed to order yarn and pattern for my annual afghan that I donate to the church for fundraising. You can see those I made in other years elsewhere on this blog.

I need to get started on it soon so that I have plenty of time to get it finished by February when the auction will be held. I do have money set aside for this, but when I checked my Paypal account, I found I had more than enough there to pay for the things I ordered. The money in the Paypal account comes from survey rewards that I had cashed in and had sent to Paypal.

My order came to $84 (gasp!) but I had $95 in the account. So all the yarn I bought for the afghan, plus two other projects, is free to me. I call that very frugal living! I am sorry, but you won't get to see what I am working on until after the auction.

All the surveys I do are online and just takes a little time. If I did them  more regularly I would have even more money saved up, so I think I need to get busy again.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Thursday, September 25, 2014


Did I mention apple crisp is my favorite apple dessert?

Here is another good recipe you may want to try a little later in the year, when the fresh cranberries are available. This one is really good, too.



3 cups peeled, chopped, cooking apples
2 cups fresh cranberries
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cup regular rolled oats, uncooked
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; toss gently. Place apple mixture in a greased 8-inch square baking dish. Combine oats, brown sugar and salt; stir well. Cut in butter. Sprinkle oat mixture over fruit mixture. Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

May be doubled for a 9x13-inch dish.

I have always melted the butter or margarine before adding to the brown sugar/oatmeal mix. It just seems easier to me.

Again, this needs a scoop of vanilla ice cream, but whipped cream will do as well. Use whichever you prefer.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Old catalogs are clutter.

I decluttered 15 of these today!


It is apple picking time, and time for apple pies, applesauce, apple butter, apple crisp, apple cake . . . . . .

What is your favorite apple variety? Mine is Honeycrisp. If you haven't tried them yet, you don't know what you are missing! They are so juicy, crisp and sweet for eating fresh. I can't stand a mealy apple but they are great for cooking.

What is your favorite apple dessert?  My all-time favorite is apple crisp.

We were discussing apple crisp recipes in one of my groups recently and they asked for my favorite recipe. Here it is ~



8 cups peeled apples, sliced
1/2 cup raisins (I prefer mine without)
1/2 cup walnuts
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup flour

1 cup brown sugar
1 cup quick oatmeal
1 cup flour
1/2 cup margarine

1 jar Smucker's caramel topping

Mix all ingredients for dessert (apples, nuts, sugar, cinnamon, flour). Place in 9x13" pan. Mix all ingredients for topping. Sprinkle over apples. Bake at 350 for 45 to 50 minutes. Serve warm. Drizzle with caramel topping. Add scoop of ice cream.


If your apples are sweet to begin with, you may want to cut back a little on the sugar that is mixed with the apples. Use 1 cup instead.

Apple crisp DEMANDS caramel topping and vanilla ice cream!!

It reheats really well in the microwave. Just put one serving in a dish, reheat until warm, add the caramel and ice cream and enjoy.

A funny story. My husband was going to get me a dish of apple crisp and I told him I wanted it warmed up in the microwave, so he puts the ice cream on top and THEN microwaves it. :o) So I ate apple crisp with warm cream. That was okay, but it is much better warm with cold, frozen ice cream.


Monday, September 22, 2014


When I checked my posts I noticed it was just a month ago when I announced I would be absent for awhile. How time flies. I have been thinking of ideas for posts but that is as far as my mind would let me do. All it has been wanting to do is play games on the computer - you know, those mindless things. What I play is more a game of skill so I don't have to think while playing. I can even chat on the phone while playing because I can focus on the conversation and not think about the game.

The family emergency I noted earlier is still not resolved, but it is not quite the emergency it was. There is progress, and the end is in sight. Just praying it all turns out well. I can't say any more about it for privacy reasons. I can at least say the family feels a bit calmer now.

I have been reading a lot of books on my Kindle this summer. I only download the free books. Some have been very good, and a couple were questionable, but I had to finish them and see if I could figure out what they were all about. I like mostly mystery and romance, preferably both in the same story. They have been short reads, but I also love those really thick books that are so good I can't put them down. And when I come to the end I do not want it to end! I want more. I guess that indicates an excellent writer, doesn't it? I do immerse myself into the story as if I am part of it. One thing that I have found with some of the Kindle books is that there doesn't seem to be much proofreading done. One was really bad as words were misplaced or even missing. Otherwise it was a good story. Maybe I should have had a job as a proof reader with a publishing company? But, you will find errors in my writing as well. It is so much easier to proof someone else's writing because I know what I had written and don't see the errors - until after it is published. Then they really glare out at me!

Awhile back I was telling you about my decluttering. Obviously I did not get very far with that! It got put on hold with everything else happening around here, not to mention my body and mind taking vacations for awhile. Last week I had a better week and was able to get some much needed things done. And that was in spite of the fact that I couldn't sleep at night. I maybe got a total of 3 or 4 hours of sleep per night. I would be wide awake at 3 am and up and watching TV until finally getting sleepy enough to go back to bed around 6 am. One morning I was up until 9 am! Slept for a couple of hours and then was up for the day. I am sure it will remain a mystery why this is happening since I have not changed the amount of caffeine consumed or any other changes. The lack of sleep will catch up with me eventually.

I hope I am back in the groove now and able to more posting here. Talk to you later.

Sunday, September 21, 2014


I took these pictures earlier this summer, thinking I would get them posted much sooner, but you know how life can get in the way sometimes.

This first pictures is a little beautification in an otherwise rather ugly spot between the bowling alley on the right, and a little building that was once a plumber's shop. I had seen something similar either on Pinterest or Hometalk, and whoever did this must have seen the same thing. It is nice to see some of these ideas actually in use in my own neighborhood. I think it brightens up this otherwise drab area, don't you?

If you drive around my town during the summer, you might see these little mini flower gardens here and there at street intersections. Where the sidewalks intersect provides these little pie shaped areas that just beg for some dressing up.

I took this pictures during the time a pair of young ladies were painting all the fire hydrants. Doesn't he look sharp? It reminds me of a little guard, standing at attention, dressed in his finest uniform.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


I have finished the genealogy project I was working on. I only entered names and data for 5,954 people!! And that is just once side of my family.

Now my brain is dead. At least it doesn't want to work. So I need time to recover from that. And now, I am in the midst of a family emergency that may take awhile to resolve, so I am not sure how soon I will feel like blogging. So bear with me awhile longer. In my best Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation, "I'll be b-a-a-a-c-k!"

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


I am taking a little bit of a vacation from blogging right now. I am busy entering a whole lot of genealogy data into some software and it is taking all my time. But I WILL be back! Meanwhile enjoy what is left of the summer. It is passing by very quickly.

Monday, July 28, 2014


This is something that has been floating around in cyberspace. It is an interesting way to describe our journey in life.

At birth we boarded the train and met our parents, and we believe they will always travel on our side. However, at some station our parents will step down from the train, leaving us on this journey alone. As time goes by, other people will board the train; and they will be significant i.e. our siblings, friends, children, and even the love of your life. Many will step down and leave a permanent vacuum. Others will go so unnoticed that we don't realize that they vacated their seats. This train ride will be full of joy, sorrow, fantasy, expectations, hellos, goodbyes, and farewells. Success consists of having a good relationship with all passengers requiring that we give the best of ourselves.

The mystery to everyone is: We do not know at which station we ourselves will step down. So, we must live in the best way, love, forgive, and offer the best of who we are. It is important to do this because when the time comes for us to step down and leave our seat empty we should leave behind beautiful memories for those who will continue to travel on the train of life.

I wish you a joyful journey on the train of life. Reap success and give lots of love. More importantly, thank God for the journey. Lastly, I thank you for being one of the passengers on my train.

Monday, July 21, 2014



I hope Mary's garden is doing much better than mine! I let Mother Nature plant mine this year, as well as last year.

This large pot is at the corner of my garage. I see I have some lovely trees started. I think I might just let them grow and see what happens.

 This planter has filled in with various weeds. I actually think it looks rather nice. Mother Nature can do a good job sometimes.

I don't think Mother Nature liked the dirt in this tub as there isn't much in here. I don't know why things haven't sprouted up like they did in the long planter, which is close to this tub. The small planter originally held an ornamental strawberry plant which did not make it through the winter a few years ago. The tub once had green beans planted in it, but that was at least 2 years ago. I had hoped to get something planted this spring, but since the last two winters have dragged on and on into spring, I just didn't get it done, and now I am not in the mood to work on a garden. Maybe next year.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


If you aren't from Iowa, you might not know what RAGBRAI is. It is pronounced 'rag-bry'. Each letter is the first letter of the name of this annual event.

R - Register's
A - Annual
G - Great
B - Bicycle
R - Ride
A - Across
I - Iowa

"Register's" is short for The DesMoines Register (Iowa) newspaper. Several years ago one of the column writers had the idea to have a group of bicycle riders start on the western border of the state and ride all the way to the eastern border in 7 days. It has grown very popular over the years and now has a few thousand riders of all ages and from several states who take part in the ride. Some go all the way, and some might only do a segment in their local area.

Small groups of friends will bike together as a team, with matching outfits, hats, etc. There are lawyers, doctors, farmers, retirees, young kids, whole families, husband/wife duos, and everything in between. A tradition started with dipping the back wheel of the bike in the Big Sioux River, that is the state's western border, at the beginning of the ride, and when they get to the other end, they dip the front wheel into the Mississippi River - the eastern border of the state. Or if the ride starts in southern Iowa, they dip in the Missouri River. This year the Rock River goes through Rock Valley. I suspect some traditionalists will drive all the way to the Big Sioux several miles further west and dip there yet tonight.

Each year a different route is planned with different towns as the starting point, as well as at the end, and different towns along the way. Some towns are designated as overnight stays, others have meals, snacks, drinks, entertainment. It is a huge project for each town involved and each town is financially benefited.

This year they start in Rock Valley, just 8 miles east of here. I saw buses, trailers, and many cars and bikes on the highway through Hull this afternoon, on their way to Rock Valley to spend the night, and they will start the bike ride early tomorrow morning. The early birds will leave before sunrise, and they slowly drift out of town. Each person or team has support teams that carry supplies, extra bike tires and repairs, along with sleeping tents, bedding, clothing, etc. So there are a LOT of people on this journey! Rock Valley will be wall-to-wall people, bikes, tents and trailers by this evening. It really is a sight to see. Some bikers elect to stay in private homes if they can find someone to host them several weeks before this. I guess they really don't like roughing it in tents. And some people love to party most of the night and things sometimes can get pretty noisy and rowdy. But for the most part everyone is orderly. Some people get lost and can't remember where their tent is.

The Ride has at least one celebrity that has been riding with them the last few years. That is Lance Armstrong. Tonight he is going to be the guest bartender in Rock Valley to raise funds for the flood cleanup Rock Valley was so severely hit with earlier this summer.

After the bikers leave Rock Valley tomorrow morning, they will come through our town. Some will eat breakfast in Rock Valley, but many will wait until they get to Hull, so at least one of the churches is serving breakfast, another organization is also doing that, and I have no idea what else people will have to offer them. I happened to drive downtown yesterday and noticed the town has decorated for this event, and with some very clever ideas. So today I headed out with my camera and here are some pictures of the more unique displays to welcome the riders.

  I think this huge bike form is so neat and a very nice display in front of our beautiful 'new' library.

 All of this displays are on Main Street. The building above it a cabinetry-woodworking shop, and I am guessing they made those silhouettes.
 Here is a close-up of the right side of the previous picture.

 This is another one that caught my eye right away. The picture doesn't do it justice at all. They had taken various sizes of old bike wheels and painted them bright colors and welded them together in this great form. The bike in the right corner is also painted with various colors. The small bike by the light pole is chained to the pole so is there on purpose. Those beautiful flower baskets hanging from the pole are there all summer, every summer. I wish I could get mine to always look so pretty and full of blooms all summer like these are. The American flags have been put out for the occasion as well. They usually are put up for patriotic holidays only.

 This is the front of the bank. I wasn't able to get a good angle because of traffic. There were several other bikes hung this same way in the front and side of the bank. I didn't realize when I took the picture that the motorcycle was in the mirror. Rather appropriate, don't you think? Although motorcycles are not included in the bike ride tomorrow.

This is on the way out of town, at the south end of Main Street where it connects to the highway. Those two bikes are attached to the light pole. There were certainly some very creative people on the town decorating committee. Other businesses also had a bike or several bikes in front of their store or business as well. Some are just parked on the sidewalk, and some are hung up in some way.

I won't be going downtown to see it all tomorrow as there will be so much congestion and I would just be in the way. I got to see the crowds when I lived in Sibley and that town had the privilege of having them spend the night. I watched the bikers straggle into town and down Main Street in groups, and they just kept coming and coming! House yards all over town, as well as the city parks, were covered with bikes, people and tents. And they all needed to be fed supper. Several churches hosted full meals, and some ran out of food, but other places had plenty so nobody went hungry.