Sunday, November 22, 2009


So here I sit on the sofa watching my man sleep, hearing Loki snore, as we get ready to get ready for his big day tomorrow. He is going to have a colonoscopy at the Vets tomorrow and in about an hour he starts he yucky part. He has been really good about the not eating, and has downed lots of water, some chicken broth and some tea. He is tired, weak and cold already and the late morning started with an aura. He promised me he'd bea baby about this, but so far he's a trooper.

We are staying home today and even though I am supposed to take care of our fellowship meeting, I am leaning toward staying here with him. It isn't like I don't have loads to do and, well, you know.....

So I have taken a shower and packed my purse and another bag for the trip. I have obcessed to an interesting point. I bought a book for the occasion and I am real excited to read it. But I have been following a routine of music, art and study and I decided on how to keep to that. So I packed a study guide on physics, shorthand, a empty notebook and an inspiration book from my mother. I think I will put it in the trunk just to feel better. You know, in case we stay over nite or something. Not!, but that is the way my mind thinks. We don't watch TV, and if he sleeps, I need to keep quietly busy.

I also have taken an extra book for him and some tatting and crochet. That is a must for my sanity. Somehow just having them in my purse helps. I have 2 clean hankies, my jewelry and a shaw packed. The more I feel ready for any situation, the better I am. And what is the truth here? I am just concerned about my man. And how will I probably be spending my time - lovingly watching him breathe, like now.....

Friday, November 20, 2009


Today is the best day of getting done what I had planned on, plus+ in a very long time. And I would have not thought it possible when I got up this morning. I was up at 3:30 am just feeling miserable, again. My left side hurt immeasureably, both the leg and shoulder. DH switched me places, and as I tried to sleep on the sofa for the next hour, I even started blaming the fish for not being calm enough. I finally came in and out of sleep until the alarm went off at 6 a.m.

I proceeded late with my morning routine,which upsets all the furries. So, DH is off to work and I finally started to move. All furries and basics were taken care of finally in the morning routine, and I convinced myself that if I don't do my exercise next I lose the timing and suffer for it later. So I exercise and then play the piano. This schedule change has been good for me. Since the piano bench is moved out so I can do chair aerobics, it makes sense to play when I move it back to place.

After the interruption of a good friend, with a nice visit, I was back to making puppy food and starting supper. Supper was my invention of a pizza made with corn tortillas and all the vegetables in the fridge. I prceeded to package the yogurt I made yesterday, make an Amish Friendship bread starter and set some dough for Sourdough rolls for Thanksgiving. While I was doing all of this I listened to 3 adudio lessons on Literature and one on Music Theory. Just before my husband was home I was able to get out my Botanical Illustration book and do 2 drawings. IT WAS A GREAT DAY!

While I was eating a snack before our Fellowship mtg I looked up some easy cheese recipes for Thanksgiving. found some super easy ones and I am psyched! I have to watch my eating. When I hurt alot - I eat alot! I am down to 125 and would like to lose another 5 pounds.

So even tho there wasn't any sewing done - it was a great day of progress!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


So much got done today, but not in any way that I imagined. We had poached eggs for breakfast and I felt good enough to make them and get the kichen clean afterwards, and the rest of my morning routine. DH did his exercises and started his day. More spoiling continued after that.

I am severely into plants. I love to grown veggies outside and flowers in and out. I work at being able to grown things all year around. One of the ways that I do that is by having a cold frame. I have had a lot of success with them in the past, with tons of fresh greens all winter. I have not done this the last 2 years or so, because of the pups. Loki kinda killed the cold frame when he was a pup, and where it used to be, is the place Ming loves to sleep and lay outside.

But i wanted this year to be different. DH and I decided on a new place for it that I could still access from the back patio in bad weather and about a week ago he turned over the soil for me. DH hates farming - and all plants, including houseplants are considered farming. I have explained that since I have learned no till gardening we only need to do these things 1 time. ( I think that helps.)

Well, we were going to do it last Sunday, then Wednesday, Saturday, and finally Today. I could tell DH was not happy with helping me, but he is a lovin' man! I explained that him with a spade it would take 20 minutes, me with a trowl it would take about 2 hours. So after his shower we went out to assemble the cold frame. He would dig a trench one partition ahead of me and fortunately there were only 6 panels and the lid. So after each panel was in place and dirt surrounded it I fortified it with duct tape. 20 minutes later we have a cold frame. All I have to do now is consult the Almanac for planting days.

After this I started to get ready for the Drumming Session we had planned to go to. As I got ready and came out, I noticed that Mister looked really tired. And adding to that we had just found out that we had to facilitate a meeting tonite and that he had about 2 hours of work to do today. I opted that we stay home. He felt real bad, but I really believed it was for the best and we can drum on our own later.

Now is the weird part. He looked tired. Remember that.He started by running the sweeper in the house and I made coffee. He settled into work and I got comfy on the sofa and worked on writing down the new Tai Chi exercises I am implimenting into the Monday class. All of a sudden I was gripped by the pain that I had talked about in my last post, this morning. It was in my shoulder, thigh, hips and elbows. Finally, I gave up, after I took some Cammomile and Aleve that DH brought to me, turned off my laptop and covered myself up, lying in a semi ball on the sofa. The weird part - he was tired, remember - I slept 2 hours. I woke feeling much better and he never slept and looked great. Go figure.

So at his suggestion, we went to eat Mexican, got elbow braces for me and a vaporizer for the bedroom. He is lying down as I write this, just before we go to facilitate the fellowship meeting. I am wide awake and feeling pretty good. As I said before - GO FIGURE!

Too Early and Too Late

So here I am up before the rest of the family. Even the pups are asleep. My DH is up and down, in and out of slumber. I have been having a lot of physical pain lately and it has been taking more of a toll on me than I would like. I have not been able to just plow thru it all day lately, especially in the last few.

I am having pains in my left thigh, my elbows and my left shoulder, occasionally the right. Sitting up helps alot of it and also keeping warm and well armed with Aleve and Cammomile. But it doesn't leave for long. I am by far better in the mornings, the more I move around the better. This is when I do the most house work, so that is to my benefit. I have not done dinner for several days now. My DH has been wonderful, too wonderful, too easy for me to sidestep things. Smile.

Thursday I went to Ladies Aid and the afternoon was consumed with the decision making of what to do with the money we made at the bazaar. Decisions still aren't made and the whole procedure was and is still very frustrating. I seem to come home exhausted from Ladies Aid. I am glad my officer-ship will be up next month.

So that night I think we did sandwiches. I came home and wanted to do something special for my DH and rid off the desk in the library so he has a place to write. I worked on tidying that room. But it seemed like after that, my energy was spent. On Friday we got take out and on Saturday he cooked out - my fav! I am the most spoiled wife!

Things came to a head for me yesterday though when I realized that I had let things go so much that I was out of pup food, we had to buy yogurt because I had not made it, and horror of horrors, I had no hard boiled eggs in the house. So I went about doing all three! We watched 4 comic sequences of Curb Your Enthusiasm, which was a great laugh, but by the end I realized I had not turned off the pup food, and wasnot able to package it last nite.

So here I am this morning, getting ready to "dress to shoes" and realizing that I have to maybe go to smaller baby steps on some days in getting things done. Of course, I am referring to techniques and I am seeing how progress is ify and I need to go a little more by the flow of my body, if I am to keep up and get things done.

I think alot of this could be fixed by working more in both control journals. I need to better see all the tasks that need to be done - which ones that can float and which ones that cannot also. Then I have to work on the holidays. All the shopping is done, but the making is hardly started. I need to divide the tasks into steps, so I can do a little at a time. Then I can seize the moment, instead of thinking something will take forever and not doing it at all.

DH has some Vet Clinic appts coming up so it is imperative that I am on the ball and the house is in order! One thing that I could do, that has just come to me, is to make supper in the morning. Then even if I have to refrigerate it - it is done. That is the time of day when my energy is waning. Then, if I am having a hard time all that would need to be done, is to re-heat. We got 2 new crockpots so I should not have to make puppy food as many times a week. There are things in place to save my energy, I just need to find ways to work with them - actually work with myself.

If I impliment some of these changes then I could use the down time for creative activities. Whether these be playing the piano, writing, reading or working on my Christmas projects, these things can almost always be done even when I am not feeling on top.

So------- thank you all for listening. Actually just writing this, things are clearer. Now, 3, 2, 1 GO!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Last Couple Days

The Last Couple Days have been incredible! So much as happened, or I have been happening?

Wednesday nite we went to the Big City and listened to Rita Mae Brown read from her new memoir book. She was absolutely delightful! DH got us the book (so spoiled I am) and we stuck around a little while, but realized that in no way would we be staying for a signature. My youngest nephew watched the children and Loki and eaten a package of cream cheese, package and all, that afternoon, so we were concerned. He ended up being fine.

We left 1 1/2 hours early, then found out we were at the wrong place. We rectified it in no time and I am grateful that my DH has a sense of humor about such things and is not afraid to ask for directions. All's well that ends well.

Friday was our last day baking Springerles at the church. Wow! On the last day we did only Lemon and only 6 batches. Scary that we can say only to 58 dozen cookies, eh? When all is said and done, in 4 days, in 2 weeks, we baked 380 dozen cookies. It was great. And especially it was wonderful that we got someone new involved. Hopefully she will carry on and this tradition will last somewhere.

That afternoon I came home and carved our Jack O Lantern. We have not done that before and it felt so good. One thing my Grandmother finally got thru my head was to make the holidays special in your home for yourself and loved ones. We don't have to have a lot of people, but we need to make the days special - all of them in some way.

Saturday was Halloween - and a special one to all of you. The Fall holidays are my favorite and this is no exception! DH and I spent the morning doing errands and visiting our friend at the bike shope. Then last nite we had pumpkin soup, watched 3 Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dh made popcorn. I am sooo spoiled! What a nice Halloween!

This weekend I have read Dan Brown's, The Lost Symbol. Wow - what a book. Fortunately I am married to someone that does not think reading at least 1/2 the day is a waste of time. Altho I did not quite 200 pages between Thursday and Saturday, I read the remaining, let's say at least, 570 pages, between last nice and noon this morning. Dan Brown can definately weave a tale and keep enough turns in a mystery to keep you guessing. Also, as with his other books. I feel that only the story is fictional, not the meaning. I am very interested in Noetic Science Institute now, and will be keeping up on their internet site. Not only does it let me look differently at today, but ancient times and the role religion has played in my life. There's a new world coming - inside and out for me I believe. More on this later I am sure.

In spite of my reading, we both got a lot of work done around the house and it is only 2. When I got up and about I was able to keep moving and not get overwhelmed because of my training. I had a sinkful of dishes, which is rare for me nowadays, as I usually have the kitchen in a ready state by the time I go to bed. Last nite with our celebrating and reading I let it go. I was able to do the dishes in about 15 minutes and the rest of the morning chores in about 1/2 hour. DH ran the sweeper and mowed the yard. I am on our 3rd load of laundry, with bed clothes etc and am still washing and drying.

We will leave the house later to go to the Concert Association and hear the Brass Band of Columbus. Music really revives me, and I am sure this will not be any different. Our last concert on Sunday last week was well worth it, and this I believe will be a lot of fun. Afterwards we have a fellowship meeting and then I am sure we will probably drop!

NANO starts today, and I course I have not written my 1700 words for the day. I am not too distressed. I figured on 2000 words a day, 6 days a week, it seems more practical. With the church Bazaar coming up tho, next sunday will not be a free day. But I will enjoy this one, and realize that the fact that I am writing on the blog is a good thing.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Different Day

Today I didn't bake cookies. Wow! On Tuesday Mornings I join 4 other women for a Prayer Cell and then I teach them Sign Language. They are good sports and I am really beginning to feel a part of them, even though it has only been about a month or so.

The lady I have know the longest is a recent widow. She is really getting into the Sign Language. I believe this Ministry has happened at an opportune time in her life. She took care of her husband for a long time, and now she is experimenting with her own life. She says it doesn't sound right, but life is so lite hearted now. It makes sense to me - he was very sick for a very long time.

So.... what am I doing teaching Sign Language at a Catholic Church?

I went to Catholic School from the 7th grad to high school graduation. We, the whole family, became Catholic when I was in the 8th grade. When I go out of school, after some time off, I resumed the religion of my childhood and went back to the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church. I was never very active, until I moved back to Zanesville. That is where I make cookies and quilt, used to do bells and choir.

Back to the story. I still know many Catholics, like, my mom. And have gone to Mass regularly often, with my family etc. Do I see a problem here? No, but you have to know me a little to understand that. I also have and do go to: Hare Krishna, Buddhist, Methodist, Morman, Baptist, Apostolic - etc - But one thing I have always said is that I love Mary.

I got a call from a long time family friend that they had at one of the local catholic churches a severly handicapped child, that was also deaf. They wanted her to be able to go to Sunday School without her mom, like the other kids and to be ready for 1st Communion.

I did not think this would be hard. The Catholic Church used to have lots of opportunities for the deaf. Well, I'm about it. I am not the best person for the job - but I am the one who volunteered. We have a group on Thurs nites now (was Wednes), and a group on Tues morn. We started out learning the alphabet, numbers and the basic prayers. Then I found the Tuesday morning lady, who said she was always interested in sign. I answered - do i have a mission for you!

Eventually I hope to have a Deaf Ministry here. My volunteers are great, just got to work on the priests and congregation. We will do that. These signers are amazing to come forward and give their times and talents for this child, her family and eventually other deaf. I am honored to be a part of them!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Early Monday

I was up at 5:30 this morning doing early house blessing and making sure all furry children were fed before I started my day at the church. At 6:30 I woke DH and we had coffee together and I had some very early breakfast then off I went. I still wasn't the first one there, EV always manages to make it there before the rest of us.

Last Friday there were 8 of us and it was wonderful! We had 2 to mix and 6 to roll. Today was 4 most of the time and finally went up to 6, but still only 2 rollers. It was exhausting. I am a mixer. I love the job and can manage usually 2 mixers and I believe 3 if I had to. So far we haven't had to find out- hehe! This time I was there early enough to help with the sifting of flour and the adding of baking soda and salt. We did 75 dozen Tues, 116 Friday and 50 when I left today.

I left early, with a little guilt. My legs hurt. I am sure that those ladies' legs hurt also. But I couldn't see not being able to move for 2 days, staying 2 more hours. Especially since all the mixing was done for the day. Sometimes I have to think.

I came home and shined both my sinks with Flylady glee and decided on the supper suggested to me by the cooking drew today - baked potatoes and salad. This was especially fun, because I used potatoes from my garden. I'm a dirt farmer who's good at root crops. I had a red one for me and a gold for DH. I used the Butter lettuce with a coriander and orange juice dressing.

I am still listening to the Iliad - what whiners! But it is interesting and I will continue it. I usually follow it up with my Music Theory DVD and that is fascinating! What I want to get to is my holiday sewing! I have much to do and I so enjoy that kind of work.

Another thing I failed to mention is that I really got to treat myself at the grocery this week. I have been watching anxiously for them to have the sacks of mixed nuts. You know, the kind that you put pretty in your bowl at the holidays, still in the shell, and everyone is afraid to eat them? Well, I got me a sack for $4. And what I am going to do is.............

Plant them! yes! you heard me right. Plant them. My thought is 2 of each kind. I will end up eventually with Bonsai Nut Trees for the garden, producing protein for this vegetarian and family. I also got apple seeds and plum seeds from the kitchen at the Oktoberfest I helped cook at. They were locally grown, so the plants should do well. Since we have a room now where furries are not allowed (the library/office/sewing/painting room)I am planning on putting plants and plant starts in there.

We stayed home to write tonite, so I got to blog again and now hopefully I can work on my stories. Nite nite!

Sunday, October 25, 2009


We started out the day going out to breakfast, which we don't do real often and when we do it is at a small local diner across town. DH found a sign for a Sunday Brunch close by, he loves to eat out and try new places, so we thot we would give it a try. It started out with biscuits that were made from scratch and really good. Then the yogurt parfait with fruit gook and grape nuts. I thot it was a little too sweet, but i don't do sweet in the morning.

Then you got to pick your main entree and we both went for southwest egg quesidia thingy. Oh, man, such a bad choice. As my husband told the waitress - it was "aggressively bland", but still did not sit well with us for most of the day. We'll be back in the little diner next time we decide to do breakfast!

So after lying around for several hours we went to a concert in a town about 35 miles away. Here was the Osmond Brothers, but we had no interest. This guy was a pianist that took the great composers, explained about the music and showed the carry overs into modern music. Live music does something for me. We have been cranky the weekend, but not really at each other - more frustration with things. We are both in a better mood and I feel really revivied. We got a CD and we are listening to it now.

I instructed music and art for about 16 years. Piano was my main instrument. I absolutely love piano music. He also played Rhapsody in Blue, which is one of my all-time favorite pieces. I played it so often, that my family can barely stand it to this day. But I never played it like this man - it was amazing.

When we came home we did what Flylady would call a Home Blessing. The kitchen had been neglected while we felt bad today. So when we came home DH took out the trash and ran the sweeper, I did the kitchen, got the morning coffee ready, have a load of laundry in and we started the pup food to cook all night. Under control.

Tomorrow morning we got in opposite directions. DH goes to the VA and I go make more Springerles. This is day 3 of 4 and I hope we have 6 - 8 people again. We had 4 batches done before noon Friday.

Last night we watched George C Scott in Hospital from a Netflix DVD. It was really good and helped relieve a little pressure. We haven't watched a movie in well over 7 -10 days. October is always a big month for me at the church with the bazaar coming up the 1st Thursday of November. Cooking in the kitchen and quilting are my church services. So I gures I'll be doing church a few times this week.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Another Sweet Fall Day!

This was a sweet day. The pups got up about 5:30 and after EVERYONE pottied I told them we were all going to “sweep” for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Not expecting them to listen, of course, I was happily surprised when they did wake us and it was 7:30.

We took a beautiful drive about 30 miles out of town on DH's business and the folage was gorgeous! We went one way and came back another. On the way back we stopped at an historical village and got coffee and quiche at a darling coffee and wine shop.

Back in our hometown we went to Sam's club, for food for pups and us and then to Lowe's for 2 lights for the electrician to put in. Back home to feed te dogs and get some sustenance ourselves. Back out again to see our friend at the bike shop and get a movie at the library. To 2 drugstores for incidentals and some Christmas Gifts I saw and back home we are for a relaxing night with the furry children.

I had a couple mishaps in there. One was that I fell in the kitchen while we were home for lunch and the other was getting in the car I grabbed the window just at the same time DH decided to put it up. OW! Oh, well, it looks like I'll survive.

This morning was also the first for trying to start a new routine. I am trying to get my readings all done in the morning now. This would consist of the 12 step fellowship reading, a hymn and 3 Bible readings: Catholic Daily Mass, One Year Bible Online and the Lutheran Lectionary. Then there are the literature readings from as I stated before, Silas Marner, Vanity Fair, and Arabian Nights. Then there are the political blogs: Tbogg, Hullabaloo, Glen Greenwald. And the last for the serious, or at least relief blogs, the science blosgs – Phayngula and Greg Laden. There are also some “girly” blogs I go to. Segullah/blog is a type of mommy blog of opionated, educated, well read women that I really enjoy. Pink Houses, Beehives and Birds nest are 2 others. They are sisters and the Internet Giveaway I won (homemade soap) came from one of them, Pink Houses. I like the needlecraft blogs. I get Knitting Daily and a crochet and a tatting newsletter via my email. Then I also embibe in Clyde the Mad Tatter, Bengelblog and Tatting Goddess. We have both been pretty addicted to FB lately, so I am trying to limit to only looking at it in the morning.

I am making these changes because I am trying to prepare myself for the challenge of NANO. Writing a 50,000 word novel in a month. But of course I always have to change things: I am going to try and put a chap book together. I hope that I can accomplish this, not just for the Christmas present advantage, but it would be nice to work to put my work down and out there.

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Not So Good Day

Yesterday I had commented on FB that ARTHURitis was visiting me. Although I woke up exhausted and not feeling good at all, I seemed to get an awful lot done.

I have been at the church helping to cook Springerles. This is a grand affair. To give you an idea – we did 275 dozen last year. We, for the first time, have figured out how many dozen we get out of one batch of dough – 7dozen+3. So we have 3 dozen bottles of anise and we are cooking for 4 days. The 4th day we will cook lemon springerles, with only making 42 dozen. Can you believe we actually use the word “only” after all these figures.

I told you all of that to explain my day. I usually go and quilt on Thursday at the same church. But since I was already spending 2 days this week there, and did not feel good, I decided to forego the trip on Thursday. Instead I would stay home and get things done that had been left by the wayside, and work a little ahead for Friday.

I cooked 2 suppers yesterday. What a freedom to know I could spend time at home with my husband and our furry children and not have to rush around. DH offered to take me out to eat or p/u – but that was just looking like more trouble than it was worth. After being gone so long I want to be in my own house and backyard.

My Husband has suggested we start listening to the classics. So far we have both listened to Gilgamesh. He has listened to the Iliad and the Odessey, I am starting the Iliad. He is presently on Beowulf and tonite we started to find where we could get Aenid.

I have been bemoaning to myself about not being in any learning situation lately and decided to take that into hand myself. I got on and signed up for Vanity Fair, Silas Marner and Arabian Nights. I also revived listening to my Teaching Company class of Musical Theory.

After getting 4 loads of clothes done, the pup food, the yogurt and the 2 dinners while I was listening to the above, I decided it was time to tackle the garden. There were many surprises out there. Like, the smallest ears of corn I have ever seen. DH was teasing it was those little oriental ears you find in some Chinese food. Bumper crops of potatoes (red and gold) and onions. Some radishes were left, but no beets seemed to grow at all. I also could not find any of the garlic that I planted. But, today at Springerles, I learned that you plant garlic in the fall, pick it in the spring, just like spring flower bulbs.

My best crop tho seemed to be the Sunflowers this year. And how I do love them. (For those of you that don't know, my wedding bouquet was sunflowers and daisies wrapped in a brown paper bad with a string bow. )It would not be easy for us to see the birds eating from the flower heads, so I carefully removed them from the stems and saved them to put up by the window, where we can closely see the birds devour them.

With the absence of hay this ear I decided to just lay all the corn and sunflower stalks down on the garden. This was sad to do at first, but it looks like it might do the job.

I wonder what I'll do on a day I feet good?!

Monday, October 19, 2009

My Up and Coming New Life

I am in the midst of making a lot of changes in my life. And it seems to be for the better. Yet many days, change is change - even if - change is good.

I made the commitment to be out of any officerships by the end of the year and I seem to be managing that part well. The Y City Writer's had it's 2nd Writer's Conference October 10th and it went well. At the end I officially resigned from heading up the group that I had started approx 7 years ago. I have 3 women that will be heading it up that I believe will do a bang up job at it.

After the meeting on the 1st Thursday of December of Ladies Aid I will no longer be the Treasurer. This is a relief. Perhaps now I can attend in enjoyment and get back to a regular schedule of quilting with the ladies.

I am moving my evening Sign Language Class at the Catholic Church to the same nite my DH volunteers at the hospital. All of this is to ensure that when he comes home, - we can do as we please without commitments.

I also have a Tuesday morning Sign Language, that is moving along nicely and will be continuing for a least a year.

We have taken a turn in the Assist Dog Training. We have added the help of a local girl who is starting a business and would like the experience. Loki and I will be meeting with her 3 -4 days a week and practicing walking in public. Today was our first day, and if it goes this well, we will show notable success soon. To leave the house with him by my side is going to be more than a dream!

Today I went to the church and helped make Springerlese (German Anise Cookies). We make 63 dozen today, with 2 - 3 more days to go in the next 2 weeks. Our mentor is not feeling well and we had to call for emergency cookie makers - but we made it. October to the 1st 2 weeks of November is always busy with Springerlese making and the annual Pork and Saurkraut Dinner/Bazaar. Quilting and Cooking are my 2 favorite activities to do at the church.

I am crocheting my last of 3 baby blankets for babies coming before the holidays. Tomorrow I hope to start making receiving blankets - new project. I am nervous about cutting out the material - cutting is the hardest part. Then off to making holiday vests, including a Haloween one for me.

I am deciding what I want to study next. I have bemoaning the fact that i miss going to school online and am trying to decide on what to learn on my own. I believe that thru November I shall limit it to music, art and writing, since I hope to complete NANO this year and with some of the results do a chapbook. But I find I need to be actively learning something too. Presently 500 words a day, 5 drawings or a painting, and 20 minutes of playing music, study times negotiable.

I am also working on my cooking. Since my DH is on a cholesterol diet and we both want to loose weight, I need to get creative. Also I was painfully aware last week that I need to have Amish Bread and/or cookies in the freezer for funerals, baby showers etc that come up unexpectantly.

As you can see I have lots to work on - check back to see how I am keeeping up!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Further in Life

Today I am starting to get my arse in gear. I have had a flu and it has knocked me down for the better of 3 - 3 1/2 weeks. My love took great care of me, even working from home several days. The furries kept their distance for several days. Mommy had a temp of 102.5, guess I was too hot to lie on. Loki whined alot, I didn't have the strength to hold him for several day, and his nervousness turned into a couple episodes of is IBS exhibiting itself. Ming stared at me for several days and wouldn't eat. she still follows me everywhere. I wasn't very safe walking, and she still isn't sure about me. My love made puppy food, yogurt, did laundry, meals for himself (I had no willingness for food) and was just generally absolutely wonderful!

We are going to the big city on Sunday to visit friends, hubby's best person from the wedding, her sister and a mutual friend of theirs. We haven't been to the city in forever. He is salavating on coffee shops and buffets.

I am trying to cook more and more of our food. Getting back in the swing is taking some time though. But before I regress again - what I am learning about food.
The making of food is taking an order and making sense. If I take the milk, and I make yogurt I can make a gallon of yogurt for the price of a gallon of milk. This is 4 times less than buying it. I can take a fourth of the made yogurt and make Greek yogurt, just by straining off the whey.

Then I can take the whey and use it instead of water in making the bread. If I make enough for 4 - 8 loaves I can flavor the bread, make it more "sourdough" and can freeze either the dough or made bread and always have some available.

I can take milk and make 2 kinds of starters to make cheese. Basically all of cheese, that is practical to make in the home, is either made from a yogurt starter or a buttermilk starter. I can make soft cheese for cooking, melting, crackers and make a hard cheese to put back and have available for sandwiches and company.

I am learning about having deserts and snacks ready. I can make the starter for Amish Friendship Bread and then freeze and have available. I still have the goal of cookies in the freezer, ready for anytime and visitors. I would love to make English Muffins, just to see if I can. And also because we eat so much of them, it would be handy.

Life has changed so much for me in the kitchen, from the single girl eating melted cheese over the sink, from the microwave. I want to cook wonderful suppers for my husand and I love to sit down together to eat a meal! This is very special to me. Summer is the hardest time to figure food, it is so hot you don't want alot, but by 9pm, man are we hungry. In the 1st few months I cried over trying to figure what to cook, especially mixing vegetarian (I've been one for about 25 years now) and carnivore. But I have come to some standards of fixing a vegetarian meal and adding meat as a side.

I am not really into following recipes, but using them as guides. And I like to be creative. Last week I made a lovely supper with a field green salad with fruit, a yogurt Indian salad and a desert with strawberries, blueberries, 1/2 a muffin and cinnamon and sugar with sweet yogurt. But unfortunately I used all my creativity in one meal. My husand is soooooooo sweet. I also do a mean fried rice, but man that can be hot to cook! in this weather.

Also I am still struggling to keep up with other things. I have started making Christmas gifts and would love time each nite to knit, crochet, quilt - but alas, that doesn't always work. But I have also noticed how much I enjoy getting the kitchen in order, how doing dishes has become meditative and how cooking and fixing meals, is such an act of giving to your family each day.

Musings from a Housewife,

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Diary Update

Today is just a mish mash, but wanted to be in the habit of writing.

Went with a good girl friend, to another's to talk quilting, gardening, and general life. Was a really good time. Left the house before my husband did, that always makes me feel strange. The conversation was good and the garden and the quilt squares she had made, were really fun.

I got many things done before I left the house today which surprised me, since I left before 9:30 am. I finished all the morning chores and got the dog food cooking before I left. After I got home I worked on potted plants. I repotted the Orchids, my husband got me a while back, the living stone my mom had gotten me, pruned our big potted plant minagerie, but a rambling rose start in a potato, re-filled the bird feeder, and watered everything.

Yesterday was garden working day. The sunflowers, corn, beans and peas seem to be doing fine. The potatoes are doing excellent and I rewarded them with 80 more pds of topsoil. I thought that the peanuts had not come up at all, but 2 plants look healthy, so I put in another planting with crossed fingers.

I also planted many seeds. I know it may seem too late, but if I had planted them earlier, this would be the 2nd planting to keep the harvest coming, so we will just call it that. Curry plant and orange tree got transplanted yesterday in the process. Rosemary and lavender, squash, cucs, zucs, watermelon, radishes, 5 color swiss chard, 5 kinds of tomatoes, various peppers - bell and hot. The onions and garlic look like they also are coming along fine.

I have been doing more than usual amounts of writing and reading and enjoying. We also have been watching some really fun movies lately. Life is full, and yet pretty relaxed atmosphere most day. Tonite we go to the Mystery Book Club in Newark, and I am starting Middlemarch for the Oprah Book Club. I complained when they weren't using classics, now they are. I devoured the Elm Creek Classic Novel #4, The Runaway Quilt, my husband gifted me and am still thinking about it.

In a couple days we will be celebrating our 1st Year Anniversary. I am so happy! We will go to the wilds on the Eve and hang out the next day, with a few surprises planned.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Enlightenment of the 80's

Since the last post and some of the comments, I have been thinking of this path that I have been taking for quite awhile now on finding ways and means to leading more of a handmade life and one that is more diverse, enlightening and fulfilling. So I would like to share a few of my experiences and ways that it has changed my life, and keeps leading back to this passion for living more.

In the eighties I was in the "big city" and involved in a number of organizations that was working to better the lives of others. You all, remember the 80's don't you? In my estimation that were absolutely wonderful. There was money galore available in grants, classes on all sorts of topics sprung up everywhere and people were trying everything from college to journeling, meditation, cooking, the classics. And the wonderful part of all of it, that I remember the most, was that everything was viewed as knowledge and looked on equally - that was a key to the diverseness and fullfillment that we lived during these times.

I spent some time with Catholic Social Services. That was the basic foundation of a new way of life for me, other workers, and hopefully the clients. First of all, we made a commitment to live the way that we wanted to show our clients how they could change their lives. So we didn't have TV or cable and unless we were taking a client somewhere we used the public transit system. Often we used the busses with the clients to show them how they could get around with cost efficiency. We worked with monthly budgeting and at times helped people find cooking classes for diversity and special diets, such as Diabetic, etc. Those things were available then, and we made home visits on regular basis, at least once a week to encourage these changes of life.

About the same time I was volunteering at Rosemont School for Girls. I teamed up with a man named Harry who had spent his career life working with pregnant teens. He had several degrees, spoke quite a few languages, and worked hard to teach these girls survival skills and beyond. This was the fertile ground where I learned the most myself and gained a joy in this way of sharing.

We made trips to the library and encouraged the girls to take out books, books of fun interest and books were they could learn things that they had always wanted to learn. We went to book sales and encouraged them to start libraries of their own interests. If they couldn't read, we wet them up with literacy training. Although most of the girls could read well, but had lost that habit with the pressures of being a single mother. We also looked for places of culture to take the clients. Now let me diverse here to let you know that often they did not want to go. They were scared, they thought it would be boring and they felt they would not be dressed appropriately. So we had to start out small, in some respects.

First, of course, we went for the free stuff. We went to things that we could go to on the bus and places that they could return to on their own. And encouraged that they do so, labeling them as "mini vacations" for themselves. There was free babysitting avaliable at the time, - imagine that! - and it was set aside as an adult time. We went to the conservatory, the art museum on the free day, Shakespeare in the Park and free introductory Symphony concerts. We tried to make them diverse, yet all of the them were geared toward the arts. The trick was to keep going. The more we went, the more everyone felt more comfortable in new situations and relaxed, enjoyed and learned.

The next stage was to set up a paying trip. This was a little harder to sell, but they were more interested now, since we had some positive experiences. So we went to a play, or a concert. We parused 2nd hand stores for skirts and blouses and made an evening of it.

Do you know what? After these programs we was shown that it was easier to get young girls to go back and get their GED's, to look at further education. No longer did they feel trapped. Too simple? Maybe. But think about it for a minute. When you work at learning something new, reading a new genre and push yourself to see that new art exhibit at the museum, don't you feel envigorated? Don't you want to see more? Find books about it, learn a facet of something you saw? Or if you don't like it, doesn't it make you want to explore other avenues then? So why wouldn't everyone else?

Next post, I will explore my experiences in the 90's and then later take it to the present to the culmination of these experiences. Please post your experiences or feelings on this topic, important to me.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Things I Have Learned So Far This Spring

In the attempt to write regularly, I decided to start with some of the events that have really rocked my world this spring. By going to a few classes and sticking my neck out a little, and of course a little introspection, I feel that many changes are being made inside and out.

Earlier this year I took a class in plant propagation. It was exciting to be with other plant people and learn how trees and shrubs can be started with, well, "starts". I have followed up my plant training with a class in Bonsai, early this spring. This was even more exhilerating. Not only did I get a bonsai pine tree out of it, (that is still alive, thank you), but it seems to have opened a whole new world to me. Follow this up with videos and books on Botanical Illustration and I am inundated with the beauties, although presently the reality of them is looking better than my renditions.

Suddenly the 2 lots of land we have in the city, looks like it can produce a lot more food than I had originally imagined. With the addition also of the books - Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and The After Dinner Gardner, here is what I am slowing making progress doing.

When I cook, I no longer throw away seeds. I am learning to save and store them for next years garden. Everything from avacodos, peppers, tomatoes, lemons, have a place to dry out and then be stored. Granted I cannot use all of these myself, but I can have them available also for swapping and/or gifts. I love to give seeds and bulbs for New Year's gifts - I feel it expresses hope!

Fruit and Nut Trees - Now this has been a confusion for a long time. I have some berry bushes, two grapes, and an apple tree. I attempt to grow peanuts, not many, only ornamental, and competitive with the ground jimmies. But now with the idea of Bonsai, I can see the ability of growing fruit trees and nut trees in miniature, possibly bush form. My first goal with this is the mixed bag of nuts they sell at Christmas to put in your holiday nut bowl, to take some out of there and starting around Thanksgiving to start indoors growing nut trees. Yes, sure, it will take awhile, but isn't that kind of the idea? I also can do this with some of the fruit that we eat during the summer, but I have to remember to do this mostly from local grown, and then I know that they grow in this area. The only fruit tree that I have purchased is a Trifoliate Orange, that is supposed to do fair in this area. The fruit can be bitter, but we have honey.

Next, is the gardening and farming technique of No Till. I am told this is an old German way of farming, and we all know that I go for all things Old German. My husband, who explains regularly, that he is not a dirt farmer, loves his wife way too much, which he proved by tilling my garden this year. I have a new plot, to save the plants from the 2 pups. We had someone dig up the sod, and then with the help of Cousin Betsy's small electric rotatiller, whala!

Last week I spent part of an afternoon with a wonderful lady who shared her garden and gardening secrets with me of No Till, with the promise that I would pass them on. You, my readers, get to be the first to benefit. No till, starts first with that, you just do not till the land. The earth is covered with hay, not straw, and the plants just put into the earth. Hay is for nutrients, for eating, straw is for bedding. Newspapers can be used in the walkways to keep down weeds or to put over pesky weeds, like grass with their intricate root system, until they die. Not all weeds are pulled, some are killed and then used for compost. Others are left to encourage insect life and pollination. Newspapers are also used in a very inventive way for potatoes. The newspapers are laid on the earth, then place the potatoe starts and cover with hay. The roots will work their way through the newspapers and the potatoes are "born" on top of the paper, clean as can be.

Compost is saved in the kitchen and buried in the garden on a regular basis. This I have found we do not have in abundance. I cook many things from scratch, but I never peel hardly anything so as to benefit from the nutrients. Most of our compost is coffee grounds and eggshells. Occasionally skins from onions and tops or cores of fruits and vegetables. Pine needles are saved for plants that need acidity and worms are encouraged and drawn by the compost. We are getting some fishing worms to start the process. This weekend we were very discouraged that none of the groceries we went to sold bait, so we will have to make one more trip!

I am putting flowers betwwen my vegetables to encourage insects, butterflies and bees for pollination etc and will try to harvest milkweed in late summer to encourage the monarch butterfly also. I try seeds from everything that I think we might want to eat and give them a try this year, to get a better handle on what can be done and what needs to be revised.

Two weeks ago I went and spent an afternoon with the same lovely lady and she showed me how to use a rotary cutter. My goodness, they have reinvented the wheel! It is wonderful! For the first time in years I feel free to cut fabric for clothes and to be as creative as I want with quilting, because it does not seem to bother my arthritic hands. It takes practice and you must move your thumb, but it is well worth it. I am starting a sampler and am looking forward to using both rotary cutting and machine assembly - first time for both.

I have also gotten out my quilt that I have been working on forever! I used to have it in a small frame, but my body will not stand for that much. Neither does a standing hoop work. So I have pinned it and am working on the stitching, trying for at least every other day. My husband got me the most wonderful books, The Elm Creek Quilt Series, first 3 books, and because of that I can have been able to see that I need to baste also and more of how the binding will work.

I am crocheting 4 baby blankets, 3 of my former students and one new lady I have met from Friends Meetings. One got sent off today and one started. One needs to be done in August, one in October, one in at the latest, December. I am learning that I need to blog less and be more picky about my blogging in order to be able to do these things which feed me so much.

Time is the subject I am learning the most about. When my husband is home I want to spend my time with him. I will be out of all "officer" positions in groups that I belong to at night and presently that is not soon enough for me. After he works all day, there is an overwhelming feeling not to race out the door, alone or together. With this frame of mind, while he is at work I try to multi-task. As many of you know I cook most of the dog food. Since we have discovered that Loki has IBD he has been taken off dry food, added yogurt each meal and some more exercise. Ming Fou obviously has a cast iron stomach, but I still give her about 80% homemade food, mostly because she loves her 20% crunchies.

So dog food is made 5 - 6 days a week. I am attempting, if it ends up being cost effective to make Greek yogurt for us and regular yogurt for them and the cats for an occasional treat. While I do this cooking I tend to listen to music often, which is fine. But I have been pushing myself to spend at least part of this time with learning videos and tapes. Presently I am doing the Teaching Company course on Understanding and Appreciating Great Music, by Dr. Greenburg. Beautiful and challenging. I listen so far on the DVD's and then follow up with the study guides. It always feels good to me to learn and music is one of my favorite topics.

Reading and writing is taking afore front in my life, pushing its way through. We are in a mystery book club at a nearby library. I am reading several books, including the ones mentioned above and The Working Poor, The Tale of Despeareax, and Middlemarch will be started by both my husband and I for the Oprah Summer classic. Our Y City Writer's Forum is coming up on their October Conference and I am working on registration on that. We also are putting together 3 small publications that I am contributing too. Writing is the hardest event to add to my schedule, it can so easily be pushed aside that I have asked my husband to help keep me accountable. He writes every day, or nearly so, as many of you know at
so this is an inspiration and a nudge for me. I know that I feel better when I write. I don't understand that much, but I know that it is so.

So, this is my spring so far. It seemed pretty full as I wrote this. Any suggestions are helpful, but for now this is it, and supper has to be readied for!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Helga and Her Own

Her name didn't help really. The word alone conjured up all sorts of imaginings. Yet it never seemed to bother her. Helga always knew who and what she was.

I am Frederick. You might not think owls are aware of the goings on with people, but my family can tell her story almost as well as she can. Our family has lived on this land as long as Helga's . Our stories tell each others.

Coming from their old country to this land could not have been easy. So long on the ship, that's where Helga was born. Then the long trek to these hills going into the depths of the woods, farther than anyone had dared. Yet far enough that field and stream and meadow all opened up to only them.

As Helga's grandfather, Benjamin, walked the land while his family set up camp for their first night on their own he saw my grandmother. He outstretched his arm and my grandmother flew to him landing on his forearm and our lives and ways have been intertwined since.

Helga grew and her friends were us - the community of woods, fields, streams and meadows. She was entertained for hours with rabbits and birds. She learned to walk with Wolf pulling her up on her feet, running and exploring with Coyote and napping with Deer.

Now Grandfather Benjamin always went to town alone until the house was built. He brought back Rooster and hens, cows and horses, goats and mules, seed and tools.

Grandma Esther started literally weaving a home. Her and Helgas mother, Jeanette, started making the things that made a structure a home. After mornings of helping with house timber and seeding, they worked in the kitchen garden, wove warm clothes for the coming winter, braided rugs and pieced quilts. And in the earliest hours of morning and the twilight of night the women made lace. Long strands of lace - knotting the wholeness of their lives together.

Finally, the house was done just before harvest. Grandma Esther and Jeanette bundled up Helga to all go to town with Grandfather Benjamin. There was so much to take in the women and Helga were both fascinated and afraid.

As they were coming out of the dry goods store with thread and material they heard a woman screaming, "My Son, please, help my son!"

Helga's family all ran to the woman and the limp body of her young son. The mother could not stop screaming so Benjamin took the child, listened to his chest, turned him upside down and slapped his back. Out came a piece of hard candy. Then Benjamin breathed life into the child. The townspeople had never seen such a wonder.

Grandma Esther and Jeanete now took the child and spoke softly in his ear. His eyes opened wide. Esther took some powder out of a bag in her purse and put some under his tongue while Jeanette rocked him and sang soft songs from their old land.

Esther then gave the same powder to the hysterical mother. Benjamin had found some water and encouraged her to drink it all. Little Helga sat beside the mother patting her wrist. She sang softly also and placed a small piece of lace in her hand and the yound mother almost immediately regained her composure.

As the woman took her son and started thanking the family they nodded and went on their way. There work was done here. Then the townspeople started. "They are a God-send.", "They are witches." But the small family continued to load their wagon and make their way back home, deep into the woods.

Now through the years all of them gave an explanation of that day. Benjamin could hear a whistle sound in the boy's throat so he knew there was something lodged, it had to come out. His breath he hoped would make it easier for the little one to breathe. Ginger under the tongue was a shocking taste and stimulated his system to wakefulness. Everyone knew that right? The songs were lullabyes and folksongs, anything soothing they had thought of in the moment. Helga's words were, "There, there." to the mother. And Jeanette's words to the boy were, "Your momma needs you!", not chants and incantations. The lace was a heartfelt gift, from a little girl to a woman in distress, not a magick charm. But no one heard - good or bad, they were witches.

The ladies' lace sold well in town for many felt it carried protection and luck. Their crops sold well, as people started the rumor of magickal food. When needed some found their way through the woods to Benjamin's house. They came with sick children and animals, questions on how to grow magickal good and man women wished to make magickal lace. The family obliged, but always tried to explain these things were quite ordinary.

Helga loved us best. Those with fur and feather and fins. She helped with many of us in sickness. My father sat on her shoulder while she tended to us and even though it was not always to his liking, he would have rather napped, he stayed there as she tended to the furried and feathered of others brought to the farm.

She never married. She always lived here on our land. So when Benjamin and Esther and Jeanette had all gone back to the earth, that was the town's sole conclusion, she was a witch, good or bad.

She continued to care for all that found their way to Grandfather Benjamin's house, but she had a special gift with furried, feathered and all babies - they trusted her and felt her love. She showed anyone interested how to grow the rich food of Benjamin's legacy and kept herself by selling lace and teaching others how to make the same. She even tried to teach the simple ways of curing others, but they all still saw it as magick.

Some townspeople, or others who homestead in the woods befriended her and became good neighbors through the years. Although I must confess some never got used to "so many critter's under foot, inside and out."

A kindly woman neighbor woman found Helga slumped in her rocker on the porch, my screaching helped bring her. Ginger under the tongue and breaht forced brought no results that day.

Today the neighbors wil return her to the earth and I will go with her - the last of both our families. Her leaving from a weakened heart and I from a broken one.

That is how Frederick the owl told me his last day. And these are their stories now, their lives, their legacy.

(to be continued)

Traci K. Couch, writer

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Cat

"There's a Black Cat out there."
"Right there - see him?"
"There is no cat."
"He is so small."
"There is no cat."
"Can we at least put out some water for him?"
"There is no cat."
"Fine!", the woman says as she puts out the bowl of water for me. She looks just in case I exist, but she doesn't believe in me. The man has seen so many things through his window in the last several months of his long illness. He's either scared or seeing things. He's scared of people and places that have been fixtures in their lives since they were first together, young and so much in love. And he finds solace in the sauch as me, a black cat the woman cannot see.

They are still in love, but they are not young any more and there are more chores and carrying for than laughter. That is why the man can see me. I let him laugh, I let him remember. They have some tender times because of me. A memory is revisited of other four leggeds in their lives, which leads to more stories of family and better healthier times.

The man started sleeping more. He didn't ask the woman to put out the bowl of water as often. She ceased to look for me. He saw me less as the sleep became more of a friend. They talked less and remembered hardly at all. There was only deafening silence.

"Look at the cat, he's playing on the fence."
"There is no cat and the fence came down years ago."
"Look at him!", the man laughed. And for a moment his woman smiled - even though there was also a tear. He laughed and she she looked out the window and lauged too - determined to enjoy his cat, whether she could see it or not. He clasped her hand. She looked in his face and his eyes were so clear. They saw each other and kissed. The first kiss not of habit in so long.

This moment lasted long enough to give her comfort in the coming days. He fell back asleep in time and she rested with him, he still holding her hand.

The woman awoke in a start. She knew. She waited a moment and gave him one last kiss before others would come to take care of things now.

"She will be so lonely." the man told me as we walked away.
"I know."
"Will I miss her too?"
"Will we come back for her together?"
"I will bring you when it is time."
"Since when did a Black Cat become the Angel of Death?"
"Since you found joy in seeing me. Afraid still?"

As the man looked back and he saw all the ruckus of vehicles and people and his body being removed from the house. I started to walk between his legs making him pay attention to me.

"We will return for her. Race me to t top of the hill?"

The man winked and I let him win - since I am an Angel and all.

Traci K. Couch Feb 13, 2009

Thursday, January 29, 2009

More Tatting

So today after getting my husband off to work, in the level 2 snow and finishing the daily chores I started on my Bev Dillon tatting video again. This time not tatting with her but watching the first 4 chapters. They are a good refresher and the new hand position really speeds up my tatting.

I think it is best to have 4 shuttles ready for tatting. One is for one shuttle lace that you can carry with you anywhere and do anytime. The other 3 are for more involved work. They would be for Shuttle 1, Shuttle 2 and Ball thread. Then you should be prepared for about anything. I still consider myself a beginner, even though I have tatted off and on for quite a few years. I find that having each shuttle in a different color helps. The single shuttle that I carry with me - I love to have it with rainbow varigated thread. If I am doing a one lace project I use an ecru - it will go with about anything.

There are lots of tatting sites and blogs and I appreciate all of the ideas, showing of work and patterns. I especially like Bengel Blog - look her up!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Freedom and Accomplishments

Starting last weekend my husband flagrantly spoiled me in quite a few ways. First, I have been doing laundry and hanging it and stacking it for weeks. I love to do laundry, (and dishes, no really!), but I hate to put the clothes (and or dishes) away, and got to the overwhelming place where I wasn't allowing myself to do anything until that got done. My husband hung the clothes. It was wonderful and freeing!

Then Sunday we went to the "big city" and sat in a Barnes and Noble,(my virgin visit), drinking coffee, eating fancy sandwiches and pastries and reading books. They had a special on classics and I saw Willa Cather's O Pioneers! I fell in love! I spent the day reading the book, while my husband did dishes and cooked a meal. It was wonderful - yes, the whole experience.

Since then I have felt freed up. I have read more, written, drawn, had breakfast with some Writer's Group ladies, found out my piece on Lutheran Women would be in the Church Newsletter, worked on the pinwheel quilt for a friend and watched a tatting video.

I have had this video for ages and never watched it all the way through. So much information in one short video. I have found a new, more efficient and faster way to hold my fingers and will be learning mock picots and rings, split rings and bridges, padded and petal tatting. The most exciting though is that I found a pattern for Hens and Chickens lace - right under my nose. (See above picture)

Today he was supposed to go to training in the "big city" again, (went yesterday, 1/2 day). I was supposed to accompany him, meeting up with a friend and spending time in a knitting shop. The threat of weather early in the week changed my plans, the actual weather changed his today. We spent the day together fixing a large breakfast, browsing the net, watching the weather, letting out the pups a thousand times, reading, listening to historical music and working and doing some more needlework, respectively - basic honeymoon behavior for the most part.

I think I could get used to feeling like a spoiled female!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Remembering Florida - Flagler Beach

Since there is 5 inches of snow on the ground it seems like a good time to remember Florida!

The day after Christmas my husband and I left early to see him mother, in Palm Coast. Getting started was only a little harder than getting prepared. As those of you who read my blog know, I cook for the puppies. I cooked 16 crockpots of puppy food, and froze such, for Rita, who came to pet sit all 10 furries. All bow to Rita!

The trip down was beset with a lot of hard rain and was very tedious until Georgia. We stayed overnite outside of Savannah and the next morning back out on the road.
We reached the ocean by A1A about 12,and my mother in laws by 1. The ocean and sunshine were beautiful! I have not been to the warm side of the ocean since a girl.

Our time there was very relaxed. Two 1/2 days we spent lying around and all three of us reading. We went to the beach the first full day, on the pier one day, ate at a snack shack, and drank coffee 2 days across from the beach. We ate most every meal with my mother in law, and found the best Greek Yogurt at the grocery. The Coffee House was a special treat - Java Joint - great coffee, bagels for breakfast, view across from the ocean, great servers and owner, and delightfully dog friendly!

My mother in law is a wonderful hostess and a great lady. She had lots of great stories to tell and times to catch up on. We spent time with 2 of her girlfriends also. One had us over for a simple, yet elegant meal, while we showed them our wedding DVD. I love a pretty table! And the art work and handiwork were beautiful and interesting.

Our last nite there the ladies came over for a pizza party and hawaiian popcorn - what a treat. The next morning the ride home was sad as the farther north we got, the colder it became.

As much as I missed our babies - and yes, I talked to the sitter twice a day! I have to admit - I sure enjoyed spending private time with my husband!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will take more of that anytime!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

This weekend my husband and I got a VCR/DVD player and we have spent the weekend showing each other some fav VCR movies, etc.

My man is an expert on movies so I always have a little trepidation showing him some of my favs. Sea People with Hume Croyn. I have wanted him to see it since early dating and was so glad he liked it. Still a little worried about Practical Magic, is it too much a chick flick?

He showed me the original movie that brought about the musical Chicago. It was a scream - really liked it! Then there was 2 episodes of The Private Life of Plants and David Carradine's Chi Kung. Well rounded aren't we - or easily entertained. Either way it ended up fun for both of us.

Took Loki, the Saint Bernard, for a bath at the local We Luv Pets. If you are in the area, Dolly is wonderful and Loki is planning on taking her on as his personal beautician. He smells so much better! (Sorry Loki!) And a nice blue sporting bandana. He feels like Puppy Fluff again. We love it!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Lutheran Women

Today we had a boil alert on our water. This normally wouldn't concern me, but we have 10 furry children and I worry for them. I also cook for the canine furries, and now that the puppy is 60 pds at least, I cook 2 crockpots a day of chicken stew.
I found myself wishing that I was at least partly ODC, since then the dishes would not be in the sink this morning, and the crockpots would be clean. I walk with forearm crutches, and boiling a big pot of water and navigating it to the sink, just did not have good prospects. So I went into what I like to consider "pioneer mode" and soon you will see the connection with Lutheran Women.

I started the process with a damp dishcloth, wiping out any residue I could. This washcloth was made by my cousin, we grew up in the same Lutheran Church, with German ingenuity. Then I took a wire scour and took off all I could dry. This was given to me by a Lutheran Woman when they so generously gave me a bridal shower in Ladies Aid, even at my advanced age of first wedding - 49! I poured vinegar in next, and back to work with the scouring pad. (If you read my blog, or know me at all, I use vinegar for everything, inside and out!) After this vinegar wash, which actually worked well, I dry washed again with a clean dishcloth. This one made by a Quilter at the same Lutheran Church. The towel I used after, hand hemmed by another Quilter. They are here, in acts of my everyday life. We are here for each other.

Quilters meet Thursdays at 10 a.m. and they are the most important group in the church, ask me. I don't like church, so quilting is my service. Women in my family have quilted at this church for nigh' on 200 years now. It will end with me. These ladies were the first I hooked up with when I came to town. The first I told when I got engaged. The first invited to my wedding, and I made each and every one my honorary "Maids of Honor". They said it would be a "Golden Girl Wedding". They were there when my Dad and then my Grandmother died. They are the closest group in my life. I have never felt need for a pastor in my hospital visits, but I could recognize instantly the footsteps in high heels of my friend Charlotte, Quilter and Ladies aid, as she came to visit me. No pastor can match a Quilter. We're here for each other.

When I was a little girl, our pew was all women. My great grandmother Sophia, mom Willa Ruth, my sister Mischka, grandmother Cookie, me and aunt Dorothy. Quilters, behind us, other aunts, cousins, cousin Helen at the organ. Literally my family filled pews here. Now it is only Helen and me. There is a sadness there, but we have lasted, we have survived and we have thrived. We are here for each other.

Today I went to the church to get a new Lutheran Devotional Book. The secretary, another Lutheran Woman in my life, brought it out to the car in bad weather. We have talked much of weathering the storms in our lives. We can bitch, let me tell ya'. This last year she had a few hurricanes, but the structure is still standing. She has listened to me too, during daily downpours. We're here.

When my grandmother died, one of these Lutheran woman found her records in German so she could be buried in the church. She and another promised that if all else failed, the women of the church themselves would bury her. She would have liked that. Today one of those women, the speaker of German and Historian, lost her dear mother in law. I counted money with her mother in law - she was fun, spoke her mind and had a sharp wit. Her daughter in law and I have cooked German food in the kitchen together. My husband and I went to the funeral home - because we are here for each other, Lutheran Women, it is a given.

I play bells, which makes me go to church sometimes. One Lutheran woman, hearing of my carpal tunnel two years ago, and that I might not be able to play anymore because my bells were too heavy, just turned around and handed me her small bells, problem solved, she said. What grace, if you have been in a bell choir, people don't give up their bells, they covet and hoard them. We are here for each other.

In one week I have seen us cry for each other, cheer each other on, bitch with each other, mourn and laugh. I'm sure other people have similar experiences with other groups, but this is mine. I hope you find yours. Lutheran Women - We are here for each other.