Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It's gardening time...memory of a "first"

 Let me tell you a little story about my first canning experience.
We had moved to the mini-farm and raised a large garden.
I had a bumper crop of green beans and proudly
gathered them, washed and snapped them. 

And then I put them into my sterilized canning jars and canned
them the old fashioned water bath way.  It took forever.  I 
canned about 3 batches one day which would be 21 jars.
After I got all my 21 jars cooled, I took them out to the
little room in the back of the house that housed my laundry 
and where there were 3 nice shelves above the washer that I
just knew would be a good place to store the green beans.  I
lined them up nicely on the shelf and noticed that I'd have room
for many more.  After a backward glance admiring my handiwork, I
went back into the kitchen to clean up my canning mess.  All of a sudden
came this humongous crashing sound.  I knew the children were playing
outside and glanced out the window to make sure they were okay. 
Then I went into the laundry room.  The shelves had somehow fallen 
away from the wall and I saw all my just newly placed jars
 of green beans on the floor broken.  Every. One. Of. Them.
Needless to say, I felt like crying and swearing off canning forever.
But I didn't do either.  I haven't canned in many years, but
I'll never forget the very first time! 
Have you ever had a canning disaster?  Do you can or
freeze vegetables?  Hope your first experience went better than mine!

Until next time...

Monday, June 27, 2011

A birthday this week

"It's truly a gift to have a son like you who grows
more precious with the years."
                                                                     ~ Author unknown

Happy Birthday to my son, Brett, who will
be 34 this week.  This photo was taken
 at Branson where our family loves to 
spend Thanksgiving weekend. 

How the years have flown by. 
From a little boy who loved to play outside
with the kittens and dog, Baron, content to be 
living quietly in the country and later a 
small town to a grown man
  traveling all over the place
who now likes to live in the city.    

 Sports have always played a big part in Brett's life.  From football
in junior high, to basketball and baseball all through school to
golf today.  And even miniature golf when the parents are
participating.  Brett graduated college with a major in 
criminal justice.  He is a CFI, certified forensics interviewer, 
and has his private investigators license in several states.
He is a territory manager and works hard and 
travels long hours to where he's needed.

Our son has a wonderful sense of humor
and frequently has us laughing as you can see in 
the photos above.   It's always fun when he
comes home for a visit and since he has moved back to 
Kansas City from Texas, we get to see him a lot more often!
We are very proud of our son and he is a joy to be 
around.  And most of all, he is loved very much!!

"My son,
 Special - you are my son
                 Optimism - may you always have it
                         Never - forget how much we love you!"
                                                      ~ Catherine Pulsifer

First of all I'd like to say thanks to my son for not saying no when I asked to put some of his photos in my post!  My family has been reluctant to have photos published and very much information written about them and I have respected that and try not to put anything in my posts that they wouldn't approve of.  And my apologies for using photos that may be a bit blurry or scratched. 

We went to Kansas City Saturday to see our son and celebrate his upcoming birthday this week as he will be working on that day.  We also got to see his girlfriend, and Marley the new puppy, and we all had a wonderful visit, meal and a fun game of cards.  I lost.  Again.  The weather co-operated and turned out nice for traveling although we did run into quite a delay on I-70 due to the road construction.   

It's raining as I write this post, in fact some areas are experiencing some pretty heavy storms.  I hope it's not too bad wherever you are.  Today is another chiropractor visit.  And Tuesday, my new sofa will be arriving,  I can't wait to see it.  Hope you have a good week and good weather!  
Until next time... 

Friday, June 24, 2011

On the road again...

We will be heading down I-70 again this weekend to visit our son and celebrate his birthday which is next week.   I have been on the road a lot lately going to doctor's appointments and for a car appointment for tires which took two trips (don't ask), and various other things.   I'll be going back again Monday to Columbia to the chiropractor.  I've only been twice so far, but I'm hopeful he will be able to help.  My back and hip pain is keeping me from getting the sleep I need.  

Here's a few things that the chiropractor has me taking.  He said the CoQ-10 is for fatigue caused by the cholestrol drug I'm taking.  It seems statins deplete the CoQ-10 in our bodies that is also essential for heart health, etc.  The vinegar and papaya enyzme is for acid reflux.  An additional benefit, according to the doctor, of the cider vinegar is that it helps with weight loss.  Personally, I think you probably lose weight because drinking two tablespoons of vinegar in a small amount of water causes nausea and you won't feel like eating!  Ugh...I'm really having a hard time with that one.  Then he has me doing some exercises that will stretch and strengthen my back muscles.  He didn't say what I'm to do once I get on the floor for the pelvic lift exercise and then can't get up again.  I guess I can nap until my hubby gets home.  I'll be sure to have a pillow handy just in case. 

This doctor is really into the healthy lifestyle of eating natural and chemical-less foods, drinking lots of water and all those healthy things that I have to confess that I'm not really into, but should be.  You know, I'm the gal who thinks chocolate should be one of the five major food groups.   I do love my long as they are seasoned with butter or covered with cheese.  :D   He asked me if I exercised and I had to shake my head no because I was too busy laughing to answer.  Has he ever seen anyone who exercises regularly with dimpled thighs and arms that flap in the wind?  Besides, who exercises when they are in pain?   Well, I guess some lifestyle changes are in order, like it or not.  I'm going to have to get off my duff and exercise more, drink more water and eat healthier foods.  I'll be sure to also take my laptop with me when I get on the floor to exercise.  That way if I can't get a nap in, I'll just get caught up on my blogging. 

Until next time...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Talk is Cheep

"And they say it's the little woman who keeps
the man waiting....where is he?"

"Ah...together at last.  By the way, what took you so long?"

"Well, excuse me!  Was it something I said?"

"I hate flighty women!"

Until next time...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

First day of summer...

"I wonder what it would be like to live in a world where it was always June." 
                                                                       ~ L. M. Montgomery                              

It's the first day of summer and the days of June are hot and sunny, when it's not raining.
It's a time for strawberries and ice cream.  (Why do I always think of food?)
School is out and the swimming pools are busy, vacation plans are being made,
 and summer baseball is underway.  Do you have vacation plans made?
The evenings are still cool enough to sit out and watch the fireflies.  When is
the last time you prepared a glass jar hotel for fireflies or lightening bugs?
Gardens are growing and flowers are blooming everywhere.
Summer is meant to be filled with laughter and fun along with the everyday
chores of life.  Enjoy your summer!

Until next time...

Friday, June 17, 2011

Remembering Dad...

My Dad loved trees and so do I.  Whenever he saw this particular tree, he never failed to mention the almost perfect shape of this tree and how much he liked it.  In his later years, Dad lived in an apartment about 10 miles from me and when he quit driving he depended on me to take him to the bank, or for groceries, a haircut, or just for a day out to drive around the countryside looking at crops.  So we passed this tree countless times over the years.  And I heard countless times how much he admired this tree. 

Recently, as my husband and I were driving down this highway and saw this tree, I realized why my Dad mentioned this tree so often.  He didn't want to be forgotten and in talking about this tree so often, he made sure I remembered the tree and therefore would remember him!  As if I would forget.  He was a smart cookie, my dad, and one of a kind. 

Happy Father's Day to all the dads this upcoming Sunday and to my husband who is a good dad and loved very much by our children.  Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

I'll close with a Barbara Johnson quote.

"To be in your children's memories tomorrow, you have to be in their lives today." 

Until next time...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

An Award!

Blogging is so much fun for many reasons and one of the best reasons is all of the wonderful new friends you meet.  Blog friends are the best!  One of these sweet blog friends surprised me with the Versatile Blogger award.  Thanks so much, Dianna!  Please be sure to visit Dianna's wonderful blog at

I understand that I'm to list 7 things about me that you may not know.  So without further ado, here are my 7 things that you probably don't know:

1.  I am scared of heights.  Hot air ballooning?  No way.

2.  I have stood ThisClose to Joe Montana, the great quarterback for the 49ers and, briefly, the KC Chiefs.

3.  I don't like to watch scary movies.  I tend to think about them too much when the lights are off.

4.  I used to be afraid of the dark when I was a child and could only sleep with the light on. Number 3 above was part of the reason why.

5.  I have motion sickness and can't ride on boats anymore.

6.  I was kissed by my school bus driver.  Okay, okay...I was a senior in high school and he was a college student.

7.  My children even find out things about me they didn't know before by reading my blog! 

Next, I'm to pass along this award to some other bloggers.  Not knowing how they might feel about being in the spotlight, I will, with a bit of fear and trepidation, nominate the following for this award:

Aunt C's Place  - I've been visiting Carolyn's blog for a while now.  She has great photos and wonderful posts that I love to read.

Leah @ South Breeze Farm - Leah has a great blog and I've always enjoyed reading her posts.

Barb's Blog - Barb has been a blogging friend since the beginning.  Her blog is warm and friendly and I always look forward to reading new posts. 

I hope you will take time to check out these terrific blogs if you haven't already been visiting.  You will be glad you did! 

Until next time...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Where we went Sunday

Driving through downtown Kansas City on our way to our destination.  It's only a few blocks away.  I'm driving, my daughter is taking the photos and my son's girlfriend is navigating. 

Getting ready to turn right into the parking garage at Union Station.  

If you recognized the ceiling of the last photo in my previous post, you know we were at Union Station.  It was the last day of the Diana exhibit and there were huge crowds of people and we had to go back at 5 instead of getting in at 1 pm as we wanted to do. 

It was a wonderful exhibit which focused on Diana's childhood, her engagement and wedding, her work, her style with 28 (I counted) outfits plus her beautiful wedding gown
and a couple of tiaras, and several cases of condolences from all over the world. 
Cameras weren't allowed in the exhibit
but  here  is the site where you can get a glimpse of what we saw yesterday.   There were numerous large photos and some videos of Diana and her life from the beginning to the end.  The video of the funeral procession above a large pool of dried flowers, which may have come from some of the thousands of floral tributes left at the gates after her death, was hard to watch again without tearing up. 
The Elton John song was playing in the background in this area. 

 The front of Union Station.

At the end of the tour, you walk through a small gift shop where you are enticed to purchase some Diana memorabilia and out past a replica of her wedding cake which we were allowed to take photos of and a table with a book to sign and leave your thoughts.

It was fun to get a glimpse into the life of Diana.  The afternoon quickly passed and all too soon it was time to head for home.  We had a great day for our anniversary.  We will celebrate again this fall when we head west on our trip.  

Until next time...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Yesterday...our anniversary

Our 40th anniversary was celebrated by going to KC MO to our son's house.  We enjoyed a lovely meal with steak grilled by Son and the rest of the wonderful meal was fixed by his girlfriend.  Our daughter went with us and we also got to meet a new member of the family.  Here's her photo below and following are a few photos of the trip along the way.  There was something in KC that I've been wanting to see, so I will tell you what the girls and I did while the guys watched a movie and basketball...tomorrow.

This is Marley who is 6 months old and the sweetest little puppy I've been around in a long time.   She's sitting on the other side of the glass door looking at us with those sad puppy eyes.  We had a lot of fun playing with Marley who loves to jump up onto your lap and give you lots of puppy kisses. 

Road construction is always ongoing in most cities and KC is no exception.  
Here's a guy we saw along I-70 going into KC area.  
Sorry this capture isn't very clear, but you get the idea.  

 I-70 near Royals Stadium in KC.

The weather was overcast as we turned off I-70 onto 435 heading to north KC where my son lives.  The sun came out in the afternoon and it was a very nice day. 

We had a wonderful day and got back home after 10 pm.  The weather stayed nice in spite of predictions of storms.  As I said earlier, I will tell you tomorrow what the girls and I did while the men watched a movie and the start of the basketball game.  Son called before we got home to tell his dad the happy news that Dallas won the game.  Next is a photo from tomorrow's story.  Can you guess where we went?
Where are we?
*Blogger is playing with me again.  I've had a few problems with comments not appearing a few days ago and today the print is changing sizes on me.  I have no idea why or what to do about it.  If things look kinda off kelter, blame you-know-who!   

Until next time...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Anniversary coming up...

♥ June 12, 1971 ♥

This Sunday we will celebrate 40 years of marriage.  And they said it wouldn't last!  We were engaged for about 9 months and I think many thought we'd never marry.  When we finally set the date, we decided that a big wedding was out.  I'm sure my parents were relieved as my younger brother had just gotten married in a large wedding a few months earlier.  We had my older brother and his wife standing up with us at the church and the rest of the family waited at the farm for us to arrive as man and wife.  We did have a formal wedding photo taken at the church, but I'll have to show it another time.  The snapshots above haven't fared well over the years.  Thankfully, the bride and groom have!  We've had our share of bumps in the road, but today I can say for certain that my hubby is my best friend and I am his.  This union has produced two beautiful children that we wouldn't trade for all the riches in the world.  We are a close-knit family that loves each other, prays for each other and we just really enjoy each others company.  We are blessed.  

Hubby asked me a couple of weeks ago what I wanted for an anniversary gift.  I'm sure he was thinking a piece of jewelry or something.  I told him that I didn't want a gift, but rather I wanted to do something special.  I asked if he would be willing to take a 2 week trip out west as we did a few years ago and he agreed.  I'm so excited, because I know he isn't as keen on traveling and being away from home as I am.  So sometime in September, we will take that anniversary trip. 

I get a good chuckle from the old photos when I see the styles and hairdos of those days.  Check out hubby's sideburns in our leaving for the honeymoon photo!  And that teased hairdo I have!  And my dress was well above the knees.  That was back in the days of the mini-skirts, you know.   Hubby remembers I was wearing a very short skirt the first time he saw me and told himself that he was going to marry me.   I remember his deep voice and blue eyes with very long lashes caught my eye.  That he had survived the Vietnam War was a huge achievement.  He had served with the 101st Airborne in that horrible Hamburger Hill battle.  He came home with a Silver Star, a Bronze Star and several Army Commendation medals.  He is my hero, then and now.  

♥ Happy Anniversary, Hubby, I love you!! ♥

Until next time...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Shania and I have something in common

 (Picture from Internet)

I read this morning that Shania Twain had a fall walking on stage at the CMT awards last night.  If you're familiar with country music you know that Shania is beautiful and very talented.  So you're probably wondering what on earth I might have in common with her?  Well, I had a fall yesterday too.  I was traipsing through one of the stores at the mall when my toe caught on something and I just started lurching forward and ended up flat on my tummy.  It wasn't a pretty sight.  The good news is that I'm okay, nothing broken and actually something good may have come out of the embarrassing moment.  I had been having severe back pain for the last few days to the point of waking through the night in discomfort.  Today, the left arm hurts from trying to soften the landing and my right knee hurts to touch it, but my back feels somewhat better!  As for Shania, I read that she wasn't hurt much either, but may end up auctioning off her stiletto shoes! 

In other news today, I see that new research shows that sitting for long stretches at a time may be just as harmful to your health as smoking.  That made an impression on me as I've been sitting too much and used to sit at work for 8 hours at a time except for an occasional break.  Here's the article  here  if you'd like to read it.  I guess we can allow ourselves to get stressed out over these health reports that pop up all too frequently and we all know that stress is not good for us either.  I wonder about those who sit too much and smoke too?  Okay, getting off my chair now.  Time to trudge downstairs and do laundry.

Until next time... 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

How does your garden grow?

This will probably be the only veggie left standing in our garden this year.  Hubby discovered late yesterday that some little critter was devouring my cucumbers.  The other things we've planted haven't fared well with all the rain.  Our garden doesn't drain well.  Next year I hope we can try some raised beds.  With a tall fence around them!  Or just forget the whole thing, except for the tomatoes which usually do well, and buy from the local Farmer's Market.

So far I'm having much better luck with the flowers.  However, that is subject to change, I know.  We will have to make sure they are watered when needed and in this current heatwave we're experiencing, that is every day.   Everything is looking good at the moment.

The same flower bed.  The top photo is looking up toward the tomato garden near the house and the next is looking down from the tomato bed.  Because of our walkout basement, the ground slopes on each side of a retaining wall.  Our patio is almost the length of the house and 24 feet out and it can hold a lot of flowers so I have almost 30 flower pots on the patio that require a lot of watering in this heat! 

Wave Petunias 


Stella d'Oro 

The above Stella is in a different flower bed, but I do have Stellas in the above garden also, besides the Wave Petunias and Verbena, there is a Black-eyed Susan, Delphinium, and Knockout Rose.  There is a type of Spirea that we transplanted from a row we took out of the south side of the house.  

Anyone having problems with posting photos in Blogger?  It  has taken forever to upload and I can't post photos side by side as I once did.  Maybe I should go back to the old Editor?  If you have a better way of putting photos on your blog, especially side by side, please share your knowledge!!  Thank you!

Until next time...

Monday, June 6, 2011

Of Cicadas, Rabbits and Realizations...

Of Cicadas - They were very noisy last weekend at the little country cemetery where my relatives are buried.  I saw them crawling all over the tombstones and trees in the cemetery yard.  The photo above is a shot of one on a tombstone with his bulging red eyes.  Cicadas make their appearance every 13 years and the high-pitched buzzing sound you hear is their mating call.  Once the eggs are hatched, the baby Cicadas crawl back underground to hibernate another 13 years.  They feed underground on the sap of trees.  Thankfully, their appearance only lasts a few weeks.  We haven't had many of them in our yard yet.

Of Rabbits...The little critter in the collage above has been dining on my vegetable garden.  I see him hopping merrily along toward the garden nearly every day.  I haven't had the heart to do much about it, but I do think I'll try sprinkling some cayenne pepper on my plants to see if he'll leave them alone.  At least the deer haven't made their appearance yet this year!

Of Realizations...Okay, call me slow.  But as I was looking at some of my recent cemetery photos and shots of dates on the tombstones of relatives, I was doing some math and noticed that my paternal grandfather was 3 years younger than both his wives.  I never really thought about the ages of my grandparents at the time of their marriage and I don't recall my parents ever mentioning that fact even when I announced that I was marrying a man nearly 3 years younger than myself.

Here's an interesting story, at least to me.  Grandpa, as I called him, was married to his first wife and had a little girl named R.  His wife died at age 34 when R was 3 years old.  He then married his second wife, who had also been widowed and had a little daughter named L who was about 1 1/2 yrs younger than R.   So the two, each with a daughter, married and a few years later had a son who was my father.  To make things more interesting, when the two girls were older, they married brothers!  So the two girls who weren't really sisters ended up being sisters-in-law!  Confused yet?  They were my father's half-sisters, though, and as my father's older sister was 11 years older, I'm sure he must have been quite spoiled.  Another interesting tidbit, my 3 years younger hubby's birthday is the same day in September as my grandfather's.  

I had to put in a photo of my kitty, Stormy, in the collage.  She was front and center when my daughter was opening her birthday gifts recently.  She had a blast playing with the ribbons and hiding in the bag.  And she's now waking me up every morning by batting my mouth with her paws so I'll get up and feed her.  So much for sleeping in.

Until next time...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Goodbye May...Hello June

The beautiful scent of the peonies still lingers in the air or maybe it's in my imagination.  Peonies are beautiful while they last, like all spring flowers.   The scent of honeysuckle is now beginning to mingle with the peonies and is also one of my favorite floral scents.  We have a row of honeysuckle growing on a fence by the retaining wall that is alongside our patio. 

The cemeteries were beautifully decorated this Memorial weekend.   Many graves have peonies blooming near the headstones.  The scent of the flowers followed us as we made our way around the cemetery decorating my parents, grandparents and brothers gravesites.  Hubby's parents are in a different cemetery and we stopped there to leave our flowers, too. 

We braved the traffic on Interstate 70 Friday and drove to Kansas City to see our son's new place.  He came to our house Saturday for the rest of the weekend.  We had a great time visiting and eating grilled kabobs and brats.  Son smoked some ribs, too.   He brought his golf clubs and practiced hitting a few balls over the trees in the back 40 6.  We played our usual card game and the gals got soundly beat (again) most of the time.   We did manage to win the last two games.

All too soon the weekend was over.  And so is the month of May.  Hubby started the hot weather schedule at work this week which means he'll go to work at 6 am and get home at 2:30 pm.  The weather has been getting hot and humid here.  It even seems hot in the house at times with the central air running day and night.   We got most of the flowers planted that have been awaiting drier weather.  I just have a very few left to do and hope to get them in tomorrow.  In the vegetable garden, my lettuce is almost ready to be picked for eating, but the spinach is looking sad.  I don't know what happened to it.

June will be a busy month.  I'm hoping that the bathroom project will get done sometime this month.  Or at the very least started.  We have an anniversary coming up that I will talk about later and our son has a birthday later this month, too.   What are your plans for June?  Do you have special projects or a vacation lined up?

Until next time...