Friday, September 23, 2016

It's Autumn! And catch-up time, too.


Hello, everyone!  This summer and blog break has flown by.  I really didn't intend to stay away so long but here it is autumn already.  At least that is what the calendar tells me.  It has been a very HOT summer and still is, so I'm not quite ready to buy pumpkins and put out the fall decor.  Autumn is my favorite season and I'm so ready for cooler weather.  I'm thankful we've had some rains along the way and the grass is still very green.  I'm hopeful that we'll have some pretty autumn foliage.

~sunrise in Branson, taken from our deck~
BG and I just got back from a nice long vacation at Branson.  We had a great time just relaxing at the condo for the most part and eating out somewhere different each day.  Our son had a case in the area, so he was able to visit us a few nights.  We went to see the Million Dollar Quartet one night.  It was fabulous! 
 ~I never win a game against the guys, but I have fun anyway!~
My daughter and I also went to Branson for a girl's long weekend vacay in August.  We had a wonderful time and got in some shopping and went to the Dixie Stampede one evening.  It was a fun trip!  

Did I ride the newest attraction in Branson?  The 15-story ferris wheel moved there from Chicago's Navy Pier?  Noooo...I'm both afraid of heights and claustrophobic, so I just admired the changing colors on the wheel as we played miniature golf across the highway!  Our son and his girl and her kids were in Branson for a little vacay this summer and rode the ferris wheel and they thought it was great fun.  I don't remember being afraid of heights when I was a youngster and rode the ferris wheel at the county fair then.  Of course, it wasn't 15-stories high!

You never know who you'll run into when you visit in downtown Branson.  Kim and I ran into these two characters in front of Dick's Five and Ten.  Ha!  We always enjoy browsing the aisles there and always find something we have to take home.

A few trips to Kansas City were made over the summer to visit our son.  I can't recall the name of the place in the photo above, but it was so good that we ate there during 2 different visits.  I must say that we have had some good food and ate out quite a bit during the summer.  I feel like I've gained 20 pounds.  Ouch! 

One of the highlights of the summer was on July 4th when BG, an Army veteran who served in the Vietnam War, was presented with a quilt of valor   It was an honor to be chosen to receive a quilt this year and the ceremony was held at the park.  The quilt is beautiful and I need to figure out a way to display it.  The other man in the photo also received a quilt and he was also a Vietnam veteran.

Another honor for BG this summer was when he received a standing ovation from hundreds of folks at our rural electric cooperative's annual meeting.  He was recognized for his 40 years of service.  He tells me that he's not ready to retire yet and wants to work at least another year.  My traveling plans will most likely have to wait one more year...good thing I love Branson! 

In spite of the heat, good times were had over the summer with a few trips, going to the winery, a parade, good shows and good food, flowers in the garden and a wee bit of napping included.  

Work was also done.  Things at The Project should wrap up soon, I hope.  The heat slowed us BG down as the attic where he is fishing around in the loose insulation for wires has been just too hot to spend much time there.  My work in the house is still ongoing.  I think it will take 2 years to go through all the paper stuff and shred.  Ugh. 

I didn't take many photos over the summer.  We've had some beautiful sunsets that I wish I'd captured at the lake.  Yesterday's sunset was gorgeous, but I was busy fixing a late supper and didn't get my camera out.  

That's about it for my summer recap.  I'm looking forward to cooler autumn weather....beautiful trees, pumpkins, mums, and all that goes along with the season.  I hope you've had a nice summer, too, and I will be trying to catch up with what my blogging friends have been doing.  See you soon!

xo Cheryl

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Sad, Glad and Mad

First, the sad part.  
It is with much sadness that I share the news 
that one of my favorite bloggers, Vee,
of A Haven for Vee lost her beloved husband, John, 
who was called home to be with the Lord on May 28. 
Please join me in praying for Vee and her family.

We were happy that most of our Memorial Day weekend
was sunny and nice.  Hot and humid, but at least
 the rains previously called for held off most of the time.

We've had lots of rain since I last posted.  The soil at
the cemeteries was soft and made poking flowers in the 
ground much easier.  It is tradition in our area to decorate
the graves of our loved ones as well as those who died in the
service of our country. 

Our daughter, Kim, celebrated a birthday recently.  Among other
things, she received 2 beautiful bouquets of flowers.  I know 
that I took photos of them, but I couldn't find one while I
prepared this post.  We met her and our son for dinner one
evening near KC to celebrate the happy occasion.  We had lots 
of laughs remembering some of the funny moments we've shared.

Brett and I still laugh and laugh when we recall
the time we saw a carload of women driving down the
walkway one night at the Landing in Branson.  It was 
a hilarious sight.  We don't know how they got there, 
it is not meant for cars!  They must have mistaken the 
wide brick walkway for a street!

Remember seeing this cat's photo?  When it showed up at
 our house in February, I thought it was a male.  Well.....
She went away for awhile, but came back bearing gifts.  
Er...kittens.  Five of them.
We're not real happy about this new development, but I
have to admit...they make you smile when you watch them
playing.  So cute!

It's the little things that so often make me smile.  See the
double yolked egg?  That is the third one out of the same 
carton of eggs.  I rarely ever see one!

This is an old photo from 2 weeks ago so it's hard to tell, but
my flowers are really taking off after the weather has
warmed up.  I'm happy that I found the colorful rooster 
this spring to add to that corner, he makes me smile, too.  

Now I'm sure y'all have been waiting impatiently to find
out what has ruffled my feathers.  Ha.   
Well, I'm mad at myself.  Me. Myself. And I.

Yes, I'm so aggravated that I've fallen into the ole
procrastination trap and I've been running here and there
ignoring all the little and not so little jobs that I had once
planned to have done by now.

Even though blogging has slowed down for me, it
 obviously wasn't to work on those jobs, so I'm going to
take an extended blog break.  I don't know how
long I'll be away and even though I won't take time to
comment much, I'll try to visit from time to time to catch
up on everyone.  

Wish me luck in getting some much needed work done.  
The spirit is willing, but the aging body
is wanting to do nothing more than sit in a comfy chair
with the laptop!  It's easy to do when you have an old 
ankle injury and a newly bum knee.  But, I need to read 
this article often and get moving as much as I can.

Take care and enjoy your day!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

For The Birds...

"Do you like my feathers flat or..."

"do they look better spiked?"

"I have a large repertoire of music, but I just don't feel
like singing right now."

"Put that camera down and get me a seed cake."
~Red-bellied Woodpecker

"Make sure you get my best side in the picture."
~Eastern bluebird

"I caught him!" 

It looks like the bluebird caught an insect just about the time
I accidentally caught him in flight.  He was sitting on the
pole and I was trying for a shot when he suddenly took off.

There are many beautiful bird photos around blogdom lately.
I hope you enjoyed seeing a few of the many birds that I
have in my backyard.  

Enjoy the rest of the week and don't forget to take time to 
smell the roses or watch a bird or two!

xo Cheryl

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Thoughts on Thursday

I had a lovely Mother's Day with both my children at home.  My daughter gave me a pretty gift basket filled with goodies including 3 of my favorite magazines and the beautiful tulips which opened the next day were from my son.  The bottom of the bulbs are in water and I will plant them when they are finished blooming. 

Our son also brought KC Strip steaks and grilled them to perfection.  I nearly fainted when I saw the price tag, but they were sooo good!  Daughter fixed the potatoes and I put together a salad and popped some crescent rolls in the oven.  Yum, yum!  

Dessert was a devil's food cake I made in honor of my mother who often made it when I was a youngster at home.  The recipe which was typed over 40 years ago is worn and faded and well used.  As you probably know, the soda in the recipe is baking soda.  You'll also see that my mother used lard for shortening.  Back then we raised our own meat, beef and pork, and when a hog was butchered there would be a lot of lard.  If I remember correctly, my dad would bring a 5 gallon can of it home from the butcher.   
I used Cool Whip Lite for the topping.  My dad almost always had a milk cow and my mother would save the cream which rose to the top of the milk cans stored in the refrigerator.  Then she would make the yummiest whipped cream.  Oh my goodness, it was sooo good!  Especially on devil's food cake, which my mother made so often that she didn't need to use a recipe.  I always wondered how a cake that was so good could have such an ugly name!

We have had lots of rain lately.  At least every other day, it seems.  I have been enjoying sitting on the patio in the late afternoon and watching the birds coming to the feeders.  The one pictured above is a House Finch.  

There is much to do inside the house but I love patio sitting and bird watching.  When inside, I'm afraid I'm a bit of a news junkie and I spend a lot of time reading various news sites.  This election year has me fascinated.  Love him or hate him, it's obvious that the presumptive Republican nominee has certainly shaken things up in the political world.  The state of the world has me worried.  You can't read the news without knowing we are in a downward spiral with all that is happening.  What used to be right is now wrong and vice versa.   

I had to go to the Big Town yesterday and while there stopped by my favorite resale shop.  I found some great books for a dollar apiece.  The first book that I saw on the top shelf was A Fine Romance by Susan Branch.  I had already read the book which I had checked out from the library, but I was excited to find a copy for my very own for just a dollar bill.  Score!!  It is just like new, too.   It is one of those books that I will enjoy reading again.  It has lots of wonderful photos and information about England, which I'd love to visit.

I was quite pleased with my finds.  Max Lucado is one of my favorite Christian authors.  And while I don't entertain much these days, I couldn't resist Martha Stewart's book.  The BH&G book, Garden Style, has lots of decorating ideas for inside and outside the home.  Anyone remember Lynette Jennings?  I loved her show when she was on HGTV years ago, so her book should be interesting.  Some things never go out of style in decorating, in my opinion.

Have a wonderful week...what's left of it.  I can't believe how fast it has flown by!

xo Cheryl

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother's Day

Mother, the ribbons of your love 
are woven around my heart.
~Author Unknown

 To mother's everywhere, I wish you a happy day!

I am so very thankful for my sweet, beautiful children
who made me a mother. 

 And I'm truly thankful for my own sweet mother who was 
only with me for 31 years, but I will always remember her love 
and care for my brothers and me.

xo Cheryl

Comments closed, enjoy your day! 

Friday, April 29, 2016

A Tweet Conversation...and Other Tidbits

Hello!  It's been a busy week with planting flowers and a few trips to the Big Town.  We've had lots of showers and a few thunderstorms coming through, but our county is still in the drought zone.  

The pots are all completely planted on the front porch/patio and I have just a few to finish on the back patio.  I also have a little garden area to plant once the soil dries out enough.  We had 3 knockout roses there, but they never did very well, so BG dug them out for me. 

I bought some new cushions for the chairs that go with the patio table.  Also a cover to pull over the whole shebang that's supposed to keep the chairs dry when it rains.  

I walked into the kitchen the other day and saw the above cardinal sitting on the window ledge.  Thinking maybe he had hurt himself by flying into the window, I took a closer look.  He just sat there looking at me, but appeared to be okay.  The window was closed but I began talking to him like I would talk to one of my kitties.   

After a bit, I turned around and went in search of my camera, thinking all the while that my new little feathered friend would be gone when I got back.  He was still sitting there, waiting patiently.  

I snapped a couple of pictures and began talking to him again, telling him how pretty he was and how much I enjoyed watching him and his friends flying between the nearby trees and the feeders.  I'm sure he understood every word!  

At one point I turned away thinking he would fly off but when I looked back at him, I saw that he had moved his body slightly so that he was looking straight into the window as if he were looking for me.  I went back and talked to him a little more.  Soon after, BG came home from work and I told him to take a look at the bird and when BG got close to the window, the cardinal soon flew away.  He hasn't been back for another chat, but I will always remember this "tweet" visit.

Me:  Stormy, what are you doing?
Stormy:  What does it look like...I'm taking a bath!
Me:  Do you have to do it there?
Stormy:  Well, it is the bath room, isn't it?

This afternoon is almost gone and I still need to get out the vacuum and clean up after the furkids.  I'm loving my little vacuum that I ordered, it does a fantastic job picking up the fur.  

I'm also so thankful for Clorox Wipes.  They are used several times a day, wiping off kitchen surfaces...and the bathroom vanity...that I know some little feet prance around on even though they know they aren't supposed to!

This weekend will be a busy one with BG heading back to The Project to work on the electric wiring.  Last weekend was spent on yard work.  Hope your weekend is a good one!  Take care...

xo Cheryl  

Friday, April 22, 2016

Of Flowers...

It isn't spring without the sweet scent of lilacs wafting through the house.  I think the scent may be my favorite of all the flowers.  Honeysuckle is another one I love.  Which flower has your favorite scent?  

I have been on the road quite a bit this past week to go traipsing through greenhouses looking for flowers to fill my pots.  Oh, the scents, the colors...I just wanted to buy several of everything I saw!

This photo is from my last (I hope) shopping trip for flowers.  It takes quite a few to fill all the pots on the front porch and back patio.  As long as I can still get them planted and watered, we will have flowers!  

I didn't mean to be away so long from blogland.  But I love to get out and about and just enjoy the beauty of spring and the weather has been absolutely gorgeous.  It has been warm enough to open windows. Until now.  It has rained...which we really needed...and turned cooler again.  The weekend sounds like it will be very nice.
Happy Friday to you!
xo Cheryl 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

This and That Tuesday

I never tire of driving to our nearby lake to sit awhile and gaze at the water and watch for bald eagles and other wildlife.  The redbud trees are at their peak and so beautiful this year.

BG and I picked up some fast food and ate at the lake yesterday.  The sun was low enough in the sky to cast a golden glow on the tree tops.  I kept an eye out for the eagles, but didn't see a one.  I did, however, see a new-to-me bird perched on a small tree near the water.  

It's not a sharp photo because of the distance and my shaky hands, but I got a clear enough shot to be able to look this one up and found out it's a female Belted Kingfisher.  They spend most of their time near the water and dive for fish.  And they nest in burrows that they dig into soft earthen banks close to the water.  I'm always thrilled to find a new bird! 

Our son was home for the weekend.  We played a few games of cards Sunday afternoon, and I am happy to say that my daughter and I finally won most of's always a competition and the men usually beat us soundly and never let us forget it.  It was payback time!  

Daughter and her BF went out looking for morel mushrooms, but they didn't find even one.  The weather has just been too cool for them and they aren't popping up yet like they would if it was warmer.  Brett walked around our Back 6 looking for the morels, but didn't have any luck.  He took the above photo of our mighty oak tree with his phone while on his walk.  

I didn't take any photos of our food, but we had tacos for one meal, and the way I make them is to layer on each plate the browned hamburger seasoned with a packet of taco seasoning over flour tortillas and then layer lettuce, salsa, shredded cheese, diced tomatoes and onions, ending with a dollop of sour cream.  Quick and easy and very yummy!

Another meal was sliced potatoes with turkey kielbasa, diced onions, and green peppers fried together in a large iron skillet and I baked canned crescent rolls.

Of course, bacon, scrambled eggs and those yummy orange-iced cinnamon rolls were breakfast fare one morning.  There were some Halos to eat, too.  I just love those! 

While the men were fishing Sunday afternoon in between the rains, I fixed lasagna, a big tossed salad and french bread.  

Dessert was my favorite quick and easy cherry cobbler.  For that you melt a stick of oleo or butter in a 9 inch square baking dish and then pour a well stirred mixture of 1 cup self-rising flour, 1 cup sugar and 1 cup milk over the melted butter.  Spoon 1 can cherry pie filling over the top of that.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes or until golden brown on top.  I served mine with Lite Cool Whip.  Hey, you gotta cut calories somewhere!  By the way, if you don't have self-rising flour, you can add 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt to your regular flour. 

In one of my last posts, I mentioned that I was going to go for a drive in the country.  Well, that plan didn't turn out the way I'd hoped.  When I got in my car and put on my new sunglasses, the right lens popped out.  What!!??  Yes, the new glasses that I have barely worn.  So, I just drove straight to the eye care building where I got them and also mentioned that my regular glasses already had a small scratch on the lens.  I had paid extra to have the scratch resistant coating put on them.  Hmpf.  Guess it wasn't so scratch proof after all!  Well, to make a long story short, I was not a happy camper.  I had paid over 800 dollars for these 2 pair of glasses and hadn't even had them barely a month, if that.  They did fix my sunglasses and sent for new lens which I picked up yesterday.  

Those are the new glasses in the selfie photo taken when we stayed in Branson last month.  I have no idea what makes glasses so expensive other than I have many different levels of strengths due to near-sightedness and also some astigmatism.  After picking myself up off the floor when they told me what the price would be, I was thinking I should just make a run for the door and head to WalMart to check their prices, but of course I didn't.  After the problems I've already had, I'm thinking maybe I should have!

I had planned to have my photos that I had made framed and hung by now, but after spending time last week cutting out templates to hang so I could see how it would look without nailing too many holes in the wall, I discovered that I'd overlooked something.  Duh!  The mats in 4 of the frames were for 4x6 photos, not 5x7's which is what I needed.  So back to the store I go and hoping they would have the right size that would go with the 8x10's.  I found them...whew!  I haven't got the new templates cut out yet, and I'm now hoping this all goes together like I envisioned.  I'm afraid that the frames which are bigger than the ones I took back might throw my plan off a bit.  I'd probably give up on the whole project except for the fact that the wall looks so bare behind the tv.  

Meanwhile, BG is still hard at work...when he has some spare time...on the wiring at The Project aka our rental house.  He said he had never seen anything like how this house was wired.  We knew the man that lived there a long time before the last couple and he was not a electrician, but as the saying goes...knew just enough to be dangerous.  Remember this is the man who put 9 outlets in one closet?  BG is pulling his hair out trying to find where all the wires go to.  And he can't afford to lose anymore hair on top.  Shhh, don't tell him I said that.  Ha!  He said that if he had it to do all over that he would have ripped all the sheetrock off the walls, it would make his job a little easier.

As for me, I'm trying to get some much needed things done here.  Things that I should have done over the winter.  But, procrastination is my middle name.  I hope to get back to visiting and posting more regularly, but if not don't think I've left the country.  All is well, it's just a busy spring.  I hope all is well in your world, too.  Take care and enjoy the spring!

xo Cheryl    

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

April Love

Hello April!  Have I told you lately that I love you? 

If I had to choose right now, I'd pick April as my second
favorite month.  Ask me if that is still true when May rolls around.

It's the redbuds blooming and the tulips and all the beautiful
new growth springing forth after a long winter's sleep that
makes April such a beautiful month.

My hostas are beginning to make their appearance after
giving me a bit of a worry that they might not have survived.

We planted a few things in the garden yesterday.  A couple
of tomatoes were even planted, although we may be getting a
bit ahead of ourselves with those.

A few feet from the garden, I noticed Mr. Robin watching
us plant.  I wonder if there is already a nest with eggs in a
nearby tree?  I hope you help keep the bugs from eating our
plants, Mr. Robin!  

Someone inside likes April too.  Miss Callie is peeking out
the opened window and enjoying some fresh air.

We've enjoyed some very warm days, but also some chilly 
days, too.  On one of those cooler days I fixed one of our
favorite soups and bruschetta.  The potato soup recipe can be 
found on my Recipe page.  The bruschetta was made with 
what I had on hand and I fixed just enough for the 2 of us.

I sliced some Italian bread and drizzled olive oil over it and
toasted the bread in a 425 degree oven for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile I sliced a cup or so of cherry tomatoes in half
and finely sliced about 8 leaves of basil.  I placed the basil and
tomatoes in a small bowl and sprinkled liberally with garlic
salt and a bit of black pepper.  Then I again grabbed the olive
oil bottle and drizzled a bit more over the tomato mixture and 
stirred.  After the bread was toasted, I spooned a good amount
over each slice and it was ready for eating.  Ummm, good!

I know I didn't report on that drive that I was going to take
when I was last here.  There is more to that story that I'll
tell next time.  Nothing earth-shaking, believe me.  Just an
annoying trip that I shouldn't have had to make, but it wasn't a
completely wasted day.  

I try to make the most of my trips to the Big Town, so 
while I was there, I got my photos made and picked
 out the frames for my wall-behind-the-tv project.

I hope to get them hung soon and I'll show you how it 
turned out.  That is, unless it's a complete disaster and I take 
them all down and start over!  Stay tuned....

xo Cheryl

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Beautiful Spring Day!

Did you have a nice Easter?  We did, although it was a wet one here.  We had a change of plans and met our son for dinner late Saturday afternoon and it turned out to be a good idea as the weather was so nice and the rain moved in Easter Sunday.

I puttered around the house yesterday and decided some changes were in order.  First of all, I took out the extra leaf in our oak table and now it's just a round table.  Just a wee bit of a change sometimes makes a big difference.  

Last night was spent on the computer searching for photos to put on a memory stick so I can get some enlargements made.  I've searched for just the right pictures in the shops to put on the wall to sort of frame the tv but haven't found what I like.  So, I've decided to frame some of my own photos.  We'll see how that turns out!

Spring...a new season and a new beginning.  It always seems to me that spring heralds new beginnings more so than turning the calendar over to a new year.  Maybe it's because the new year comes while we're in the midst of winter.

Part of me is feeling the urge to clean the cobwebs and dust from the corners and perk up the house, but the other part is wanting to hop in the car and see more of spring down some country roads. 

Which would you choose on a pretty sunshiney afternoon?

A no-brainer, you say?

Me, too.  

I'll see you when I get back!

xo Cheryl