Anticipation


June is almost upon us. I find this remarkable. It seems that just yesterday we were celebrating the new year – and now suddenly we’re six months in! Whew – talk about time flying.

We are supposed to start shopping for our homestead this month. Choosing a property to which we will retire and become self sustaining. I anticipate this being many things… a lot of work, exciting, and even heart rending I’m sure as we agonize over which place will suit us best.

I want to be closer to my grandsons – and am being pulled in that direction. Yet I don’t really want to leave these mountains, and I honestly don’t think he does either. So… we shall shop – and we shall find that perfect place… the one for us. And we shall homestead the hell out of it.

What about you, what would  you look for in a new abode?

Advertisements

Things I’m Pretty Sure I’ll Need to Know


You know, moving is never easy. It is always an experience – most often a bad one. Yet, here I stand. Two years shy of 50 preparing to retire and embark on the most challenging journey of my life. This is going to be interesting to say the least. I’m sure that it will be fraught with peril. And joy. I know there will be a lot of joy.

Soon, our lives will change forever and we join countless others making a trip back. Back to a time where each and every family could sustain its own members with the fruits of their labor. Where a bushel of tomatoes was worth a pound or so of flour, or sugar. A time when working meant something – and not working meant you may not survive the winter. It’s not a lifestyle for the faint of heart, this is for sure.

Animals don’t care that you’re in pain, sick, or tired… they must be tended to every single day, regardless of the circumstances. Crops cannot be left to moulder in the field because you don’t “feel” like doing anything today. One night could mean total loss. You don’t get a pass on your birthday, sick days, or vacation.

Each and every day is another opportunity to provide security for yourself and your family. There are some pretty specific skills that are required to do something like this… Things I’m pretty sure I’ll need to know:

  • Canning and preserving vegetables, meats, and fruits
  • Growing, tending, and harvesting a year round garden to feed 4
  • Raising and caring for goats, chickens, pigs, and eventually cows
  • Making paper, soap, laundry detergent, and other toiletries
  • Rainwater catchment and purification skills
  • Basic first aid – human and animal
  • Irrigation, carpentry, basic plumbing
  • Fire Building and charcoal production
  • more, much, much, more…

You know, there is a lot that goes into becoming self sustaining. I know that it’s not going to be easy… sometimes it’s not going to be exactly “fun”… but all the time it’s going to be rewarding. That’s what counts. Utilizing your God given skills to care for yourself. I’m excited to begin this next phase of my life. I know that my future holds untold adventures. I look forward to sharing the experience with you all. Stay tuned…

A-Z Blogging Challenge – A is for Acknowledge


A

 

Welcome to Day 1 of the A-Z Blogging Challenge for 2014! So happy to have you with me!

I’m so excited to be embarking once again on this journey. Last year’s A-Z can be found in the menu above… or by clicking >here<!

So without further ado – lets kick this bad boy off.

A is for Acknowledge

The dictionary defines it as: accept or admit the existence or truth of.

The Bible says a lot about acknowledging Him:

Proverbs 3: 6
“In all of thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.”

Luke 12:8
 “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God.

 
Matthew 10: 32
“Everyone who acknowledges me publicly here on earth, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven.
 

So, what does it mean to acknowledge Him?

Today, for those of us living in the 21st century in the USA, it’s a lot easier to acknowledge Him than it has ever been. We’re not persecuted for our beliefs nearly as much here as those in other countries, or those who came before us.

We are however surrounded by the temptation to deny him at every opportunity because we fear persecution. We’re afraid of what others might think. We don’t want our friends to think we’re one of those crazy “Jesus Freaks”.

But, He plainly tells us – if we deny Him here on earth before men… He will deny us in Heaven before His Father… Our Heavenly Father… God will spew us out of His mouth.

Acknowledging Him can be as simple as thanking Him for everything you have. Acknowledging Him can be as easy as saying “God is the reason this is successful”. Give Him credit where credit is due – in every single aspect of your life.

Be thankful for all you have, pray without ceasing, and remember He is the reason you have all that you have, and are all that you are.

Happy A Day! 🙂

 

The Foodie in Me


I must confess that I do have a little bit of “foodie” in me. I simply love good food. And lots of it… I like healthy foods as well as the stuff that most of us probably should avoid. As I’ve stated previously I’m going to be doing a focus group at work for a diet supplement to assist in my weight loss goals for the New Year.

I will sharing some of the recipes I am cooking through this time, as well as some old “favorites”. Such as my sons specialty – Chicken & Sausage Gumbo. Which is what’s for dinner tonight.

So, check it out – and enjoy for yourself. If you try one of the recipes, please comment on it and let me know what you and your family thought!

Happy Cooking!

Dolly


Today is day three of my salute to Norman Rockwell, as inspired by our dear blog friend Bert.

The image I chose for today is this one:

"Canine Solo"

“Canine Solo”

When I was a kid we had dogs, (still do but these were not “my” dogs). My grandmother had two, a poodle named Pete, and a little rat-terrier that she called Dolly. Now, both of these dogs were grandma’s “babies” for sure. Pete was your typical poodle, standoffish, regal, and stately. He had an air about him that just said “I am in fact, much better than that”. Dolly on the other hand, was the attention hound. She would wriggle and writhe and shake her whole body in an effort to get attention from anyone who would give it to her. A spunky 8 year old with boundless energy, I was her favorite playtime pal. We would spend hours running about the yard chasing anything that moved, from leaves in the fall to snowflakes in the winter to butterflies in the spring to rabbits in the summer. I don’t think she ever caught anything – at least nothing that was alive.

Dolly’s most impressive talent however was her intense hatred of the word “Kennedy”. Somehow, she had come by this hatred through my grandma. See, this was the year that Teddy Kennedy was running for election. My grandma did not like Mr. Kennedy – not one bit and she shared that information with anyone in hearing distance any time the man was on television. Now, Dolly was a smart little dog who loved to sing. She would throw her little head back and howl anytime grandma turned the television to Hee Haw or Lawrence Welk – especially if there were banjos – oh how she loved to sing to the banjos.

My grandma thinking this was the cutest thing ever, decided that she was going teach Dolly to express her dislike of Mr. Kennedy as well… She would sit for hours and sing “Kennedyyyyyyyyy” and Dolly would howl along. After a while it got to the point that every time Dan Rather or Walter Cronkite (only two newsmen alive that were worth a darn to here grandma tell it) would say “Kennedy” Dolly would throw her head back and howl. Much to my grandfather’s dismay. There wasn’t a peaceful newscast in our house until the Tedmeister lost that election. Not a single one. Granddad missed nearly a year of six o’clock news because of that silly little dog. And grandma? She’d just throw her head back and howl right along with her; then laugh uproariously.

Grandma and Dolly are both gone now, and I long for the days of Dolly’s sing a longs! How about you? Did you have a quirky pet that did something so silly, talented, or funny that you just couldn’t get enough of it?

 

Stay tuned! Tomorrow will be Day 4 of my Norman Rockwell series entitled – The Wild Child 

Misty


Today is the second day of the Norman Rockwell series. The inspiration for this series is courtesy of Bert’s blog, where he tells amazing stories of “men and women doing the right thing”. If you haven’t yet, please head over to his site and give him some bloggy love. All of the art for this series is from Art.com.

Today’s image inspiration:

At the Vets - March 29, 1952

At the Vets – March 29, 1952

I will never forget Misty. She was my first dog, and my very best friend for almost 10 years. We were constant companions until the day she slipped quietly over the Rainbow Bridge. She came into my life via a cruel and heartless owner who threw her away like a bouncing ball. Coincidentally, that’s how the crass bastard threw her from his car – he tossed her little ball out the door and out she went after it. He then slammed his car door and off he went leaving that sweet little baby in his wake.

It just so happened that my neighbor Mark and I went outside not long after and heard her rustling around under the trailer. We looked and there she was, all cute and cuddly and white… and muddy. Cowering in the chill of November and holding her ball in her mouth. I quickly went back inside and slipped back out with a bunch of turkey from our feast that afternoon (something I did in fact in in major trouble for). After what seemed like hours, she finally got close enough for me to grab her. When I did she dropped her ball, and it rolled into the yard – she dashed after it and brought it back to me… dropping it at my feet – and I was hooked y’all.

I named her Misty after the weather outside that day, it was hazy, overcast, and cold with a light rain drizzling down on us. In that single ball dropping moment, she became my best friend forever. We spent hours with that silly ball. She preferred the bright yellow tennis balls that I substituted after a week of not being able to find the little blue racquet ball she came to me with.

She was a Cockapoo or so said the veterinarian we visited with her not long after her arrival – shots and a check up were the order of the day. She became a part of our little family, and my dad’s dog dutch fell in love with her.

The first time she went into heat they bred, and after she miscarried after only two weeks of pregnancy, she was immediately taken to the vet and spayed – she almost died, as did I.

When my dad passed away a few years later she was there to lay on my bed as I cried for hours on end. She was there to play ball for hours and hours when I needed a distraction from all the grief and pain. She was there to watch over me as I slept a fitful and nightmarish sleep for those first few months.

She moved with my mom and I when we went to Florida – the only one of the dogs we had to make the “moving cut”. The others, two German Shepherds and a Great Dane were donated to loving families prior to our departure. She was there as I learned the ropes of a new neighborhood and was the catalyst for me to make new friends.

She had a real passion for my grandmothers chocolate chip cookies – at one point enlisting the cat in her fiendish addiction; coercing him to knock the sealed container from the top of the refrigerator in order to chew a hole through my grandmothers Tupperware pie keeper to get to the rich chocolaty goodness inside.

She had a run in with a bunch of saran wrap at one point, prompting another trip to the vet and an unfortunate surgery to remove three feet of the stuff from her stomach. A surgery I was allowed to “scrub in” for at the ripe old age of 14. The next time she went under the knife was because of a bunch of tinfoil she consumed. And another for a round with our fiberglass garage door as she had inadvertently been left out there instead of in the house.

When I was 16 and she was 9 she was diagnosed with cataracts. The vet said they were not yet bad enough to remove yet so we just kept an eye on them. Six months later she was totally blind. Then she lost her hearing. She got lost not long after the hearing loss and I was devastated! She had somehow gotten out of the back yard and wandered away. For three weeks I put up posters and searched the neighborhood for her. Finally, I found her living with another family who had taken her in when they found her wandering around their back yard with a tennis ball in her mouth. Old habits die hard.

One afternoon I came home and found her cowering in a corner, despondent. She had an accident on the floor and was totally mortified by her actions. It happened again that night. She was unable to find the door to ask to go out. We decided to have the vet take a look and see if she was suffering. That’s when they found the cancer. It was eating its way through her liver. Her internal organs were shutting down… she was dying.

A week before my 18th birthday I took her in my arms for the last time, and carried her into the exam room and lifted her onto the table. I stood quietly by while her lifelong vet inserted the needle into her leg and promised me she would feel no more pain. I held her in my arms as the medicine flowed into her little body and she sighed her last breath, dropping the tennis ball to the floor. She was buried in the pet cemetery at the vet’s office with a tombstone that read “Misty – faithful friend, constant companion, tennis pro”.

I miss her every day of my life.

Thank’s for reading to the end – I know this one was long, but it was a story asking to be told.

Happy Wednesday! Come back tomorrow for the next Norman Rockwell inspired post entitled Dolly.

 

Writers Workshop December 27, 2012


Wow – this will be the last of the workshops for this year! Imagine that! Anyway, as you all know (or maybe you don’t so I will tell you), I participate in Mama Kat’s pretty much world famous writers workshop every Thursday. If you would like to join in just click the button below and link up your post on her site. It is pretty awesome.

Mama’s Losin’ ItThe prompt I chose this week: Share a favorite holiday inspired recipe.

When I was growing  up we used to go to my Dad’s parents house on Christmas Eve for a huge celebration and feast – and I do mean huge, with four kids, and their friends, my family, and others who joined in we always had a lot of folks celebrating with us. It is still a tradition among the family today.  One of the things I have carried with me all these years is a recipe passed down by my great-grandmother Mimi.

Mimi, Grandma Ruby, Daddy, and me!

Mimi, Grandma Ruby, Daddy, and me!

She was 107 when she passed away. Amazing – my grandmother Ruby just turned 90 this year. I guess I’ve got a long life ahead 😉

Anyway, my favorite food at every family dinner of holiday proportions was Mimi’s Cranberry Relish. By far it’s the easiest thing on my menu every year, but everyone seems to enjoy it! So for you all to enjoy, here’s great-grandma’s recipe.

What you need:

2 sm. bags cranberries

2 red apples (medium to large)

2 navel oranges (medium to large, and yes they must be navels)

2 c. granulated sugar (more or less, depending on how sweet/tart you wish – play with it because everyone is different)

Core and cut apples (leave skins on), peel and separate oranges. In a food processor combine all fruit using the shred tool (you want it to be finely chopped). Remove to bowl and add sugar to taste. Chill for at least an hour before serving.

And there you have it – simple, yet so very tasty!

Happy Thursday!