Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday Truism

One advantage of talking to yourself is that you know at least somebody's listening.
~Franklin P. Jones

Friday, October 21, 2016

My Favorites

For anyone who knows me, they know that I am smitten with Fixer Upper because of Chip and Joanna Gaines.
 I mean, the homes they fix are tremendous, but even more than that, is their relationship.
 It is real and deep. 
 They disagree, but always in a way that seems to bring them closer.  
They respect each other.
They also don't have a TV in their home.
LOVE that.
And their businesses all refer to a Magnolia...did you know that the huge wreath my Mom made for our wedding reception had a magnolia blossom on it? 
It did.
I feel a certain connection to these strangers. 
Not in a stalker sort of way...I promise.
I was thrilled when Earl, our UPS driver arrived this week. 
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  I had forgotten that I pre-ordered their book months ago! 
I have been reading it each evening, savoring their story.
It really is interesting how they met and came to build what they have now.
I discovered this video earlier today.

 I have always enjoyed the "I am Second" videos and was not disappointed by this one.
They are the real deal.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

A Look Back

I have a 5 week calendar hanging on the wall, on which I use to keep track of our lives.  
As I filled it in yesterday, I realized we are in the midst of a busy time.  
But in preparing this post,  I remembered just how much more busy life was in recent years. 
 If you are a parent of younger children and feel overwhelmed, under-appreciated and exhausted, I am here to tell you that is gets easier. 
It might always be busy, but you will begin to feel like a less frazzled human again.
I promise.

October 21, 2015
Tomorrow these two will no longer be 18.
They are great people and I am blessed to have them call me Aunt Jen.

October 20, 2014
We are harvesting our walnuts this week. 
Since we are the last ones in the area to do so  and there is no rain in the forecast, I am going to wash off the outside plants this weekend.  
I think they all might sing my praises and soak up the sun into their ever loving leaves.
This orchard was harvested about 4 weeks ago as they are an earlier variety of walnut than us.
Look at the difference in the trees and the girl.
 Holy Schmoly!!!!!

October 18, 2013
I love that my mom took the time to craft this letter to the nurses after Dad's surgery.
I wonder how often that happens.
It amazes me that my Dad is still so active.
We do credit some of it to the fact that he is partly bionic.

October 23, 2012
Life is much less harried these days.

October 20, 2011
I am so glad we went to this.
We were just talking about this with my sister, who teaches on the base.
They don't see another one occurring there again.
It was fun.
It was loud and hot.
But amazing and patriotic and amazing and fun.
I loved it!
Can you tell?

October 21, 2010
Sure glad I survived this week and didn't lose and children!

October 23, 2009
And times have changed again.
I would rather be hung up by my toenails than be in the grocery store on a Friday night!

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Good Meeting

I conducted the first 4-H Cooking Project meeting this week and I must say had a great time.  
I am a bit apprehensive before each meeting because I want the kids to learn AND have fun.
And I tend to fret over those things.  
This year, there were also several kidnicks that I did not know as well.  
I have three returning ones, a couple who have been with me for several years now and are among my favorites.
I try and think of things that those boys haven't done before as well as things that are age appropriate for all.  Can be challenging with ages from 10-16, but this one was good.
 Homemade corn bread and fresh butter.
May I just say that none of them knew what butter was made of?
I mean they knew it was from milk and cows... but not the cream from the milk.
So they had a lesson in how the cream was separated from the milk then beaten.  
I showed them the point that they would add sugar for whipped cream.
 I also shared the fact that if you are making whipped cream and have too many irons in the fire and walk away, you will end up with butter.
Not that I have ever done that or anything.
It was fun to watch them watch the white cream turn to yellow butter and learn how to use the buttermilk.
And that buttermilk is what the liquid is.
 I let them add a bit of honey to their fresh butter if they wanted.
Honey butter on hot corn bread.
Oh my!
Even the boy that stated he didn't like cornbread ate two slices.
It was devoured before I remembered to take photos.
This is all that remained and that makes me happy too.
 As they were eating, I had them begin on their meeting summary for their books.
Usually, they simply write down what they made.
This year, I wanted them to really think about what they learned as well.
I taped 4 questions on the wall for them to write about.
All in all, it was a good afternoon.
And as soon as the last one left, I made another batch of bread for us.
It's a bummer when your husband comes home to a yummy, bread scented home and there are only crumbs.

Monday, October 17, 2016

A DIY Project

We have an area that is set up for a fire pit, but don't use it as often as I would like. an effort to make it more welcoming and workable, I set out to find an inexpensive solution. 
Pinterest was my source.
 A Pallet Bar.
It would be a permanent place we could set a wine bottle or food that is away from the dogs.  
The important things, dontcha know.
I put a request out on FB for a source of free pallets and immediately received a text from a friend offering all that I needed.  
SPF and I sanded the rough edges and then the painting began. 
 I used what I had...because this is supposed to be an inexpensive solution, remember. 
Now...painting a pallet is not for the faint of heart and it does cause arms, legs and hands to become streaked with paint.
All those nooks and crannies
Don't know how the legs got involved but they did.
 I still have a couple boards on the inside that I missed.
I then clamped the two pallets together and joined them permanently with wood screws.
 A trip to the hardware store for concrete pavers was the only money spent.  
I set the 4 pavers on top to fit properly and then used my handy dandy tube of Liquid Nails to complete the construction.
 A large cup-hook on one end to hang a small bucket for corks or bottle caps, some candles, a lighter and we are set.
There is even space in the center for bug spray and the like.  

 I'm thrilled!
 It is just what I wanted.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Sunday Truism

Instead of being presented with stereotypes
 by age, sex, color, class or religion,
 children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range,
 some people are loathsome
 and some are delightful.
~Margaret Mead
Instead of being presented with stereotypes by age, sex, color, class, or religion, children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range, some people are loathsome and some are delightful. Margaret Mead
Read more at:
Instead of being presented with stereotypes by age, sex, color, class, or religion, children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range, some people are loathsome and some are delightful. Margaret Mead
Read more at:
Instead of being presented with stereotypes by age, sex, color, class, or religion, children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range, some people are loathsome and some are delightful. Margaret Mead
Read more at:

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Look Back

 I do believe that October is one of my favorite months.  
Except for the first week of heat, it is rapidly becoming nice.  
The windows are open with a slight chill in the air. 
 The leaves are turning and falling, although they have been doing that for months due to the drought.
I can at least pretend for a few weeks that it is due to the season. 
 Here's a look back through the years.

October 13, 2015
We still have a couple months before this happens again, but boy am I looking forward to it!

October 13, 2014
It is again time for this worthy cause.
Check here to see where you can drop off your own box.
Collection week will  be here before you know it!

October 13, 2013
We have a chance for a bit of rain this weekend, although I am not convinced that the weather forecasters aren't playing mind games with us. 
 Regardless, I am doing my part with the decor, like I do each year.

October 15, 2012
SPF and I get to venture here again next week for a 4-H event.  
She loves the corn maze with friends and now that she is older, I get to wait outside and visit with the adult type people.

October 13, 2011
Teaching kidnicks how to cook is something that I enjoy doing.  
It is fun to see returning members each year and my challenge is to prepare things they have not made before.  
Our first meeting this year is next week. 
 I'll let you know how we do.

October 12, 2010
 No training wheels around here anymore. 
There are new walnut trees where the black eyed peas were as well as along our driveway and grapes and blueberries adjacent to that.

    We are indeed surrounded. 
 Pros and cons, as in everything.

October 14, 2009
I do like the less harried days with only one child at home now. 
Although, I am one who is still not opposed to scheduling naps.

Happy Thursday!