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.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


I just discovered that I have a butterfly bush right outside my window! I don't have a tree by a window like I did at the other house so have not been able to watch the birds and I miss that.

The flowers have just started to open and the butterflies, honeybees and a bumblebee or two showed up.
I am not too happy to have the bees right next to the front door, but it is nice that I can sit in my chair and watch them come and go. I have seen up to 8 of the orange and black butterflies at one time. There are a couple of much smaller yellow butterflies, too. The bees are constantly coming and going, so far only one or two of each at a time.

The quality of the pictures isn't so great since I took them from inside the house, through the fine mesh screen and I haven't installed the photo editing software on this laptop. I found out I can download the pictures directly from the camera to the computer without the software, but have not found a way to edit without the software as yet. I thought if I opened the door to take a picture the butterflies would leave.

I have not taken the time to find out what kind of plant this is. Do you know?

The complex owners had 3 flowering perennial plants in front of each unit, each one different. When they had to reseed the lawn after having rain wash it out a few times last summer, a lot of the grass seed ended up in the flower bed, so they had to spray weed/grass killer in the area in early summer this year. I think one of the plants got a little of the spray, or had some winter kill as it has not done very well this summer. I see the flowers at the other units are fine. I hope they replace it if it does not do well next spring. Plus they have not removed the dead grass so it doesn't look very nice out there, but at least the flowers are  blooming and making it look a little better.

Friday, August 25, 2017


It is time to start working on Bible study for our Friday morning class. We always take the summer off because of vacation schedules, and because we really do need a break.

We will start again some time after Labor Day weekend so it is time for this 'teacher' to get the first lesson ready. I have worked on it for two afternoons this week and still don't have the first lesson finished.

We have been doing a study of the book of Daniel, and finished chapter 6 before our break. Chapter 7 starts to be more difficult to understand because of all the prophetic visions that are in 'code'. Say some prayers for me!

In chapter 6 we find the story of Daniel in the lion's den. This may be familiar to many of you from Sunday School lessons. Recently I ran across a short devotion about this, written by Jennifer Benson Schuldt. At the bottom of the page she writes:


May Daniel's faithfulness inspire you when you feel like you are dealing with the 'lions' in your life.


Read Daniel 6:19-28.

When I visited a museum in Chicago, I saw one of the original Striding Lions of Babylon. It was a large mural-type image of a winged lion with a ferocious expression. Symbolizing Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of love and war, the lion was an example of 120 similar lions that would have lined a Babylonian pathway during the years of 605-562 BC.

Historians say that after the Babylonians defeated Jerusalem, the Hebrew captives would have seen these lions during their time in Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom. Historians also say it's likely that some of the Israelites would have believed Ishtar had defeated the God of Israel.

Daniel, one of the Hebrew captives, did not share the doubts that might have troubled some of his fellow Israelites. His view of God and his commitment to God stayed steady. He prayed three times a day -- with his windows open -- even when he knew it would mean entering a den of lions. After God rescued Daniel from the hungry animals, King Darius said, "[Daniel's God] is the living God and he endures forever. . . He rescues and he saves"  (Dan. 6:26-27). Daniel's faithfulness allowed him to influence Babylonian leaders.

Staying faithful to God despite pressure and discouragement can inspire other people to give Him glory.

It seems what you see in these pictures are the ones found in Babylon, and were seen by everyone that passed by, including Daniel. I had not heard about these before reading this devotion, so I did a search to find a picture. There is more information about them online if you would like to do a search.

Thursday, August 24, 2017


When I get around to reading other blogs I will read Living Well/Spending Less by Ruth Soukup. She recently posted something that gave me pause to think. She credits the following to Timber Hawkeye.

You can't calm the storm, so stop trying. What you can do is calm yourself. The storm will pass.
She also added this statement. "Sometimes the only thing we can change is ourselves." You have most likely heard this one many times and it is so true. I do think we can sometimes change others by changing ourselves. What do you think? But the changing of ourselves is the objective, not changing someone else.

Upon reading the statement that you can't calm the storm again, I was reminded of the storm while Jesus and his disciples were on a boat. Only Jesus can calm the storm. So give over to Jesus any storms you may have in your life.

Friday, August 11, 2017


Earlier this week I had another post-op eye check. Still great news! My vision is still 20/20 in both eyes and the eye pressures are down to 10. It used to always be around 16 even with using eye drops every night, and even after having the glaucoma procedure. My doctor is very happy and said so several times. Maybe I am her star patient? I know I am well pleased so far. Time will tell how long the vision will stay this way but I am sure going to enjoy it while I can.

I worked a little bit on genealogy again this week. It has been at least 2 years since I did much with it and notes I had scribbled never did get organized. Whenever I found some information I would scribble on small pieces of paper that piled up. Using Word I started a folder for genealogy and have made pages for each person and add the notes to the right person as I go through them. That should give me a better picture of these people's lives, and I will have the information handy when I need it instead of searching through all the scribbled (sometimes unreadable) notes. Unfortunately, when I started working on genealogy I did not record where I found the information. I have since learned it is very important to do that. I think most of the genealogy websites will often have pictures of the original documents and I have downloaded those and printed them to put in the family binders. I have found that even documents don't always have the correct information for several reasons. I hope my kids and grandkids appreciate all the information on their ancestors some day. I would still like to find more information of the ancestors in Germany before the first one in the family immigrated to America. Unfortunately, many records were destroyed during and after the wars.

We are getting some very heavy rain as I write this. We really need it, too. I know some areas of the country have had way too much rain this year, but in my little corner of the world we have come up short in the rain department. I know farmers will be smiling wide today. Crops were beginning to show stress from lack of water.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


No, not this kind of pet. 

My pet peeves have changed over the years, maybe because I have more patience now that I am older. I do have a few currently, however.

I hear so many people, especially celebrities being interviewed on TV. If you do this, please do not be offended. When I hear someone say, 'yahyahyah' when answering a question or replying to what someone else has said, it grates on me like fingers on a blackboard! One 'yah' is enough. In fact, in interviews I would rather hear 'yes'. I do say yah a lot myself because I am lazy, and it is so common. But only one at a time! My husband would tell me there is no such word as yah as he did not seem to like it when I said it. But. . . . in German, Dutch and Norwegian languages, and maybe more, yah or jah is the correct word for yes. He was Dutch and spoke some Dutch, so I don't know why he didn't like to hear it from me. I guess that was his pet peeve.

When my youngest daughter was here the last time, I heard her say yahyahyah severel times as well and I did call her on it in a joking manner, and I told her the reason it bothers me. Of course she said she does that to show her excitement about something. Is this the verbal use of more than one explanation mark? It seems so!!!! 😀

More language that bothers me and I hear from my older daughter is 'and whatnot'. Also grating to my ears. It seems to be used quite often by a lot of people, including celebrities.

One more. I heard the current Bachelorette say this so often during the show and she is not the only one with this habit either. Saying 'I mean' in every other phrase, even when not explaining anything previously stated, is such a bad habit.

Do these phrases bother anyone else?

Do young people even know what fingers on a blackboard means? It seems blackboards have gone out of style in schools. Now they use whiteboards and markers and they all use laptops for everything. One advantage of no blackboards and chalk is that the erasers don't have to be banged together to get rid of the chalk dust. When I was in grade school it was a privilege to be chosen to take the erasers outside to clean them at the end of the school day.

I am also peeved with drivers that pass me in no-pass zones, even when I am going the speed limit, actually 5 mph over speed limit as most people do since they won't issue tickets for that. They are not only risking having a head-on collision, but that will involve me as well. I do not appreciate being put in danger of my life or limb because of their stupidity and lack of patience! People often also pass me just before they make a right turn off the highway, making me brake and take the cruise control off. And if they don't turn off I will pull up right behind them at the next stop sign or stop light. So we both got to the same point at the same time and passing me did not accomplish anything other than irritate me.

I think I am done ranting for today. Thanks for letting me get this off of my chest.


I am still very slowly trying to get some arranging done in this apartment. Looking things over I came up with this one. The wood box, crystal bowl, doll and lamp were already on the chest, but the box was closed and the bowl empty. The wood box was a rummage sale find years ago. It looks like it might have been homemade.

As I was rutting around in a drawer of a different chest I ran across several doilies I had made over the years and totally forgot about. Two went on top of the headboard, and decided another one would look nice displayed as I did here.

Then I opened the drawer just below the top of this chest and saw the white pillow I had made. It could be used for a wedding ring pillow but that was not the original intent when I made it. I learned how to make these pillows in a class, but they were made with calico prints, which are really nice too. I just happened to have some of this satin in a fabric drawer, as well as the wide lace, so my mind started working and came up with this pillow.

The little beanie bear had been on a small shelf of the hutch top dresser for a long time. I thought it fit in the box too. The rag mop doll in the bowl was also on the dresser and thought she needed a new home. Those rag mop dolls were really popular a long time ago and crafters would make them from the larger real rag mops, but I never got into that. This one was also a gift.

The little standing doll with the straw hat is one I made. It is a room deodorizer cover. I can't think of the brand. Is it Renuzit? The doll is glued to the top of the container and just need to replace the bottom when the gel is used up. Right now she is sitting empty as I forget to buy a replacement.

I bought the lamp shade at a rummage sale. Someone had made it and it has designs cut into it the red layer of paper. There is white paper under the red.

I am not quite satisfied with the arrangement yet, but need to think about it some more, or find something else that is still in the closet.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017


 This is the result of a tense day that I blogged about on May 4, 2017, title "A Tense Day" if you would like to go back and read it.

The tense day was the day my apartment had a safety inspection that is done once a year. My bed is in front of the only window in the bedroom as that is the only way we could make it all fit. The headboard was too high as at least one window in each bedroom can't be blocked by any furniture, 

and this bookcase headboard is too high.

The hallway is the only place I had room to put it. I thought I might have to sell it but decided it works well in the hall! Thankfully the hall is very wide and there was just enough room between the doors to put it.
The doors on the front, below the book shelf, drop down. I have always stored my extra sheets and blankets there, and now I can keep them there and not try to find another space for them. The same for the books. I don't have room on my other book shelves for more books so this works out well, too.

The framed pictures on the wall are my mom's baptism and confirmation certificates. They really made them BIG and elaborate in the early 1900's! The black box, which I featured in this blog here works nice here along with the doilies I ran across in a drawer that I had forgotten I had. The white ceramic is a tea light holder and has small holes in the design so the light comes through.

This may not be the prettiest arrangement. It came about in an odd way. A couple of years ago I was decluttering a closet that had craft supplies, including things needed for floral arranging along with leftover flowers from other projects that were just thrown into a big box with other stuff, or in plastic shopping bags. Very disorganized, to say the least! As I picked out the flowers I started putting them in the vase that was handy, just sticking them in without thinking about an arrangement. It was just a good place to hold them while I was sorting everything. When I got done, this is what it looked like and I decided it looked pretty good so just left it. And here it is to this day. And because I had to remove the headboard from the bed, I now have a place to display it again.

Now I have to decide what to put on the same shelf as the books. I need to dig around in the packed spare closet and see what might work, or take something that is displayed somewhere else and not working there.

Anyway, a big problem turned out making a very dull hallway look much nicer, I think. A rather tasty lemonade.

Monday, August 7, 2017


This picture doesn't do this arrangement justice. It is something I put together many, many years ago, when I was working in the Ben Franklin store. The boss had a lady come in and show us how to do floral arrangements and this seemed to be her favorite style of arranging. I try to display this every summer. Oh. I just remembered that I always set a large conch shell next to it! I better see if I can find it in my totally cluttered spare closet. The shell has some of the same color as the flowers in the basket.

This is the way I have it displayed for now. When my husband was still living he had a square glass coffee table and I displayed those two things on top of a straw place mat on it. Now that I don't have that table and have moved, I need to find different ways to display my old favorites.

The picture on the wall is a numbered print of a painting done by a former pastor we had. He was a commercial artist before becoming a pastor and after several years went back to commercial art and this is a print of one of his works. I really liked it because it depicts an old farmplace that resembles the home I grew up in. There are a few milk cows and 2 horses in the pasture, just like we did. There is an old John Deere tractor just like Dad's, and what I learned how to drive with. And there is an oat field, complete with straw bundles set up in shocks, which I often helped with. I think I could still set up a shock.

This console was also my husband's. He had it in the basement and it was black with black/white marbled contact paper on top and on the front of the drawers. It looked pretty sad. I do hate the electric cords being so visible. Why didn't they make things with white cords? The clock is very old and was my parent's. The cord on that is so very long for some reason. I will have to work at trying to hide them better one of these days. Any suggestions?

Friday, August 4, 2017


Did you play the game "Duck, Duck, Gray Duck" in grade school? Some say goose instead of gray duck according to Wikipedia. I do remember playing it. Wikipedia says it was played in Minnesota and is of Swedish origin. Well, we played it in Iowa too.

I don't really have a gray duck but I do have a very small collection of Mallard ducks that I started years ago. I am not really a collector of 'stuff' (recipes, yes!) so I didn't collect very many.

I didn't have very good luck taking pictures that day. So I tried again with the result below and still ended up cutting the top of the head off the fabric duck. My back was hurting at the time so didn't feel up to taking more  pictures. So deal with it! 😃

 It all started with this stuffed fabric duck. I and two friends went to a class to learn to make them. These two friends and I had annual craft sales in one of the lady's home for a few years. We each had our own type of work to sell and mine was always fabric or yarn creations.

Then I found a cross stitch pattern book with several Mallard pictures. I chose this one to make a pillow. I am so glad cross stitchers say to initial or 'sign' and add the date it was made because otherwise I would never remember. This one was done in 1984.

The next duck was found at a rummage sale a neighbor across the street had one year. There were two old wooden duck decoys.

One was much nicer than this one but they were asking $45 for it. I wanted it but not for that price! This one looks a little sad but I think it has a lot of character. And it was only $15. I love it.

This small figurine has beautiful detail. It was free! If any of you watched "Hour of Power" with Dr. Schuller many years ago, you might remember that he always had something they would give away, wanting a donation to keep the show on TV, of course, but the donation was not required to get the item. You just had to ask for one. And this is one of those.

I do have another duck but this could be any kind of duck, not a Mallard. I found this in a neat little antique/decor shop in another town several years ago. I apologize for the flash glare. Again, blame it on my back and not taking enough time to take better pictures.

The words in the frame say, " Be so happy that when other look at you they become happy, too."
Daughter Rhonda found that at a craft show in her town and it reminded her of when I was getting prepped for my hysterectomy. We were having so much fun while they did what they needed to do to get me ready. I joked with the nurses and other attendants and we all laughed so much. When each one would leave they would laugh and say we made their day.

One of the funniest things was when my daughter's phone started saying in a very loud, crazy voice, "Help me, I am stuck in your pocket and can't get out," over and over because she got a text. She had forgotten to turn the ringer off earlier. This happened when a nurse was listening to my heart and she said that was the first time a heart talked to her. We roared! I can only imagine what others outside my curtained cubicle thought of us. Here I was, having surgery for cancer, and there wasn't a sad eye in the room.

This shows the complete arrangement with the little duck. It is sitting on a wooden tray table. They make wonder, inexpensive end tables. I got mine at Walmart. They also have them in dark wood but I like the blond. It seems to 'disappear' and makes the area feel like there is more space. The picture on the wall is a counted cross stitch project I did several years ago.

This picture was taken a long time ago and yes, I still got the flash glare! When I had it framed I wanted it behind glass because my husband smoked and everything got stained from the smoke. I think you can see that I like a challenge with my needlework.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


 When I wrote this draft it was still July! I can say that I did most of the work in July so maybe it still qualifies as Christmas in July. 😄 (oh no! Emojis in blogs!)

Not long ago daughter Lisa saw an afghan on Pinterest and suggested she would like one. I had her order the yarn which was shipped to me and I recently finished it.

Christmas peppermints!

This was an interesting pattern to make and something I had never done before. The written instructions were not making sense to me, and I can usually follow any complex pattern, but I was able to find a YouTube tutorial showing how to do it. After watching that, I found the instructions simple and I don't think they could have been explained any better. It seems there were a lot of other crocheters who did not understand them either so I am not alone.

The back side of the afghan is also interesting and looks totally different from the front. The back side is shown at the top of the picture - the motifs that sort of look like spiderwebs or electric stove top coils in red.

The pattern also has instructions for a pillow that looks like a giant peppermint. I don't have that finished yet as I need to get a pillow form first. That is also done in a very different way than I have done before and I have done a lot of different things in over 60 years. You are never too old to learn new things.

I found the free pattern on the Red Heart website here -- http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/peppermint-throw-and-pillow if you would like to try it. Once I got that pattern figured out it was quite simple so don't be afraid to try it.

Here is a picture of the sample I made with yarn I had on hand before the ordered yarn arrived. I think this pretty as well. There are many color combinations if you don't want a Christmas blanket.

 A single motif like this could be used as a potholder or a table pad to set a hot dish on, don't you think? But then I think I would put two together to make it thicker.