Friday, February 28, 2014

Random Five Friday

~snow-covered and frozen creek by my parent's old farm~

Random 5

1.  We don't have snow yet, but they are calling for the white stuff to hit this weekend.  Snow and possibly ice, too.  Winter, go away.

2.  I went back to the antique/flea market and got the shelf I mentioned in my last post.   I was wrong about the price, it was only 13 dollars instead of the 16 I thought I remembered.  I love a bargain and if I totally mess it up trying to paint it or get tired of it one day, it won't be a big deal to part with it. 

3.  The kittens have all been banished to the family room downstairs and I shut the door so they couldn't get back up here with me.  Yes, I know...mean momma.  I've decided that I needed sleep worse than they need to be with me.  If it isn't Sissy biting my toes, it's usually Stormy patting my face much too early in the morning.  It is about my bedtime Thursday night as I write this.

4.  I'm surprised the kittens want to be around me because when I touch them, I get a little shock.  We have really had the static electricity this winter.  Have you had any problems this year with it?

5.  I was beginning to worry about our Red-Headed Woodpecker because I hadn't seen much of him this winter.  He finally showed up on one of our sunny days and I've seen him several times at the feeders since.  I'll post more photos of him another time. 

Linking to Nancy's Random Five Friday at A Rural Journal.

Thanks for stopping by! 
Until next time...

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Blogging, Browsing, And Burgers

My day started very early yesterday with this little munchkin biting on my toes at 4:30 am.  She then walked up to my arm, purring loudly all the while, and bit it!  I tried to go back to sleep, but I was too annoyed by the little toe-biting bandit who woke me up, so I got up and started my day.  I first sat down at the computer to read a few blogs and just happened to click on one that I hadn't read before and found a curious statement by a blogger who shall remain nameless.  She stated that one thing you should never do while blogging is to show photos of your cats.  Huh?  I thought surely she's just joking so I reread the post and, sure enough, there wasn't a glimmer of humor to be found anywhere.  She was serious.  Well, I guess I've been going about blogging all wrong.  I mean, who knew?  I post photos of my cats, as well as birds and any other animals I think are photo worthy.  I wanted to write a comment and ask her if she'd ever heard of a certain red-haired woman who lives on a big ranch that we all know, who regularly shows photos of her dogs, cats, horses, and cattle.  But I refrained from saying anything at all.  Everyone has their own style of blogging and blog for different reasons.  But I must say, that comment had me scratching my head.  Now, let's fast forward to the flea market. 

After my hair appointment yesterday, I stopped by a flea market where I found this wall shelf and thought about buying it, but didn't.  And it was only 16 dollars!  After thinking it over, I think might go back and grab it before someone else spots it.  If it's gone, then I'll tell myself I wasn't meant to have it!  If I get it, I'm thinking about painting it white and then sanding the edges to let the darker wood show.  What do you think?  Would you paint it?  Another color I thought might look good is red.  I love red. 

About the doctor's orders, when I went in for my blood work the other day, I was sure that I'd gained several pounds this winter, but the doctor told me I'd only put on half a pound.  I told her that the scales must be malfunctioning because I certainly felt fluffier around the middle.  She asked if I were getting any exercise and I said, "Are you kidding?  You know how cold it's been!"  She wasn't too sympathetic to that remark and suggested that I walk at least twice a day for a few minutes to start.  I then told her that I'd just walked for several hours browsing around some antique malls.  She was impressed and thought that I should do it more often!  So, I'm just following doctor's orders when you read about my antique/flea market visits!  
After the long day, I fixed a simple meal of hamburgers and chips followed by ice cream floats made with Dairy Queen ice cream and Pepsi.  Yum, yum!  Not exactly health food, but it was quick, easy and good!  

Until next time...

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Sighting And A Sigh

While heading down the highway just outside of our town the other day I spotted a very big bird sitting in a tree.  I took another quick look and noticed the white head which could only mean one thing...

Bald Eagle!  

I couldn't stop on that busy highway, so I turned down another less busy road, pulled over and grabbed my camera.  I had to zoom as far as I could and I was so excited that I could barely hold the camera still, but there he was!  The sightings are becoming more frequent around this area.  I saw another Bald Eagle a little later fly overhead as I traveled on down the highway.  I love these majestic birds and I'm waiting for the day when I can get a better shot.  

In other news, we were back in the water heater replacement business again over the weekend.  The new water heater for the house is working fine, but we found out the water heater in our rental building was going kaput.  Sigh.  So, off we go to Home Depot for a new one and the fittings needed to install it.  I may have mentioned this before, but it's nice that BG is a handy guy and can do this work himself.  I am his assistant, handing out tools and otherwise lending moral support!  

Now that the water heaters have been replaced, new roofs are on both buildings as of year before last, and the foundation work is finished that will prevent water from coming into the basement.  

And I'll be holding my breath when the heavy rains begin this year, wondering if the work done will indeed keep the water out.  

What will need to be done next?  Does the work ever end?  Replacing our front patio will need to be done this spring.  We have a couple of fir and spruce trees that need to be cut down.  A lot of yard work is awaiting spring weather.  

And that is just the outside work.  We won't talk about inside.  I think I'd rather go antiquing.  Doctor's orders, after all.  More about that next time.  Happy Monday to you!

Until next time...

Friday, February 21, 2014

Random 5 Friday

It's hard to believe that it's Friday already!  It seems only a few days ago that I was griping talking about the winter weather in January and saying that we still had February to get through and here we are with the first 3 weeks under our belts.  Now, let's see what I can come up with for Random 5 Friday hosted by Nancy at A Rural Journal.

1.  We have another feral kitten that we are trying to tame.  Not to live with us, but to find her a home.  Isn't she cute?  She is probably the hardest one to get close to that we've had yet.  She's a tough little girl having survived living out in the cold weather we've had this year.

2.  I can't believe what a man at an animal shelter told me recently.  I had called about the kittens I wanted to bring in if we didn't find homes for them.  He questioned me about the kittens and I told him about the neighborhood mama that brought us the kittens after they were born.  He suggested that we not feed them and maybe the little family would go elsewhere.  Really??  Not feed hungry kitties that are trying to survive in this very cold and often snowy weather?  I just can't do it.  What do you think?  Is he right?

3.  Speaking of  cold and snowy weather, it's gone.  At least for now.  We've had some really warm days this week with temps reaching 60 one day.  That means all the snow finally melted.  A thunderstorm even came through Wednesday night and we had pretty high winds yesterday and last night.

4.  One of my favorite antique/flea markets is closing soon.  Some booths had some really good sales.  I bought an old jar that was made into a lamp.  The shade needs replacing or recovered.  Why do I keep adding to my to-do list?

5.  I have not watched any of the Olympic games this year.  I used to love to watch figure skating, but with the scoring the way it is now, I just can't get excited about it.  It seems very unfair to have athletes falling on the ice and still winning medals ahead of those who stay on their feet.  My favorite skater of all time is Michelle Kwan and falling during her skate kept her from winning the gold in 2002.  Gosh, has it really been that long ago?  Now it doesn't seem to matter if they fall or not. 

Happy Friday to you and thanks for stopping by and thanks to Nancy at A Rural Journal for hosting Random 5 Friday! 

Until next time...

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

February Note Card Party

I have been going through some old gardening magazines and drooling over the pictures of colorful flower gardens and flowers pots overflowing with their lush bounty.  All the beautiful photos and gardening articles have me planning and thinking about spring  planting.  With all that in mind, when I began thinking about which photos I would choose for this month's note card party, there wasn't much hesitation on my part to choose a few cheerful sunflower photos.  It just so happened that I had picked up a few packets of sunflower seeds the other day.  So my theme for this month's party will be Think Spring-Plant Flowers.  Thanks to Vee at A Haven For Vee for hosting this fun party!

This year, I will try a few different colors of sunflowers.  I noted on the packages that the growing height is 4-6 feet.  My sunflowers last year were much taller.  I saved a few seeds from last season, so I should have more of the tall variety, too.  I. Can't. Wait.  Not only will I be planting sunflowers, but I've saved a lot of zinnia seeds and you may remember how I love to take pictures of the zinnias!  They are one of my favorite garden flowers.  What is your favorite annual flower that you like to plant each year?

Thanks for stopping by! 
Until next time...

Monday, February 17, 2014

From Dreary To Sunshine In 30 Minutes

It's 10:30 am as I begin typing this post and I'm still trying to decide what I shall do today. 

Our son came home for a visit yesterday and spent the night.  He's still here doing some work on his laptop before heading back to work in KC.  I did press a shirt for him this morning.  No one wanted breakfast earlier, so I just had a glass of orange juice and half a bagel. 

It is a very dreary, cloudy day which means not a good day for snapping photos.  We had a little icing overnight, but the main highways seem to be fine.  I've checked the local weather and they are saying we'll have upper 50's and maybe even reach 60 degrees this week!  We still have snow on the ground in my area and it now has formed a hard crust on top where it has melted and frozen back over.  Surely the warmer temps will melt a lot of it away this week.

~snow sliding off our roof a couple of days ago~

Okay, back to planning my day.  First off, I'll bring my ramblings to a close and call it a blog post.  Then I think I'll tackle some paperwork, as in going through a huge accumulation of old receipts, etc. that need to be filed away in my new file cabinet.  I'm also looking for some insurance papers that have been misplaced.  Oh, and I need to find my new insurance card to take to the doctor later this week when I go for my 6 month blood work.

I think I'll also spend some time going through the old magazines and tearing out the articles, photos or pages that I want to keep.  This isn't a chore for me, it's actually fun so I don't know why I keep putting this off.
Do you put certain projects off like I do?  Tell me I'm not the only one!  I'm off to visit a few blogs now and then I'll get busy on one project or another.  And, guess what?  After a few little distractions, I'm ready to hit publish and the sun is trying to come out from behind the clouds, maybe it won't be such a dreary day after all!  Happy Monday to you!

Until next time...

Friday, February 14, 2014

Random 5 Friday ♥ Happy Valentine's Day ♥ Giveaway

Happy Valentine's Day!! 

Random 5

1.  We don't a lot for Valentine's Day at my house.  We'll be going out to dinner and not having to cook is more appreciated by me than getting flowers or candy.  As for what BG appreciates, see No. 2.

2.  BG came home with a box filled with an assortment of Girl Scout cookies.  A large box.  Seems he can't say no to those he works with that bring requests from their daughters who are in Girl Scouts.  He loves the cookies and will not gain a pound from eating them.  Lucky dog.  

3.  I won't be making sugar cookies for Valentine's this year.  See No. 2 above.  It's not something I always do, but I was thinking about the blog and that maybe I'd make them and share my recipe.  I don't have to do that now.  Thanks, BG!  That might even be better than getting taken out to dinner.  (I'm not a big fan of making cookies you have to roll out and ice.)

4.  Daughter got a surprise bouquet of flowers at work yesterday for Valentine's.  Just made her day as she has been a little bummed out.  She called it off with her boyfriend a few weeks ago so they weren't from him, but the card said, "Guess Who?".  Don't you just love a mystery? 

5.  I'll never forget that my son made the news in a Kansas City newspaper a few years ago on Valentine's Day.  Oh, in a good way!  He was snapped in a very long line at a local florist shop while he was waiting to buy flowers for his girlfriend.  He was unaware of the picture being taken and was quite surprised to see he made the news, too! 

♥♥I'm pretending for the day that the birds in the photo are turtle doves, but actually they are mourning doves.  Hope you have a very Happy Friday and Valentine's Day!♥♥

The winner of my GYB drawing is TARYTERRE who was No. 2 on my list.  Congratulations!  Please email me your snail mail addy and I will get your win in the mail the first of next week.  My email is justablogger(at)yahoo(dot)com.  Thanks to all who participated! 
Linking to Random 5 Friday at A Rural Journal.

Until next time... 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Old Barns and Old People

I want to share a video my aunt sent to me via email that I thought those of you who love old barns like I do might enjoy.  The old barn photo above was taken a few years ago by my daughter on her way to work.

The video runs close to 4 minutes, but it's well worth the visit.  Turn your volume on to hear the accompanying music.  Enjoy!

Also, I want to thank each of you for the sweet comments on my Monday Memories post!  Don't forget my drawing for the GYB giveaway will be February 15.  If you want to be included, today is the last day to let me know.  Included in the giveaway is a Visa gift card and handcrafted earrings, plus another surprise or two.  

Until next time...

Monday, February 10, 2014

Monday's Memories

When I was a young teen, I'd lay on my chenille covered bed and gaze out the windows or stare at the latest handsome movie star whose picture I'd torn out of a magazine and carefully taped to the wall.  I'd dream of faraway places and wonder if I'd ever escape the farm where it seemed like one day was just like the next.

Each morning, I'd hear my mother stir around and head down the hall to the kitchen where she'd fry bacon and eggs, make toast or sometimes biscuits and gravy.  Homemade jelly was always on the table to slather on those biscuits or toast.  When breakfast was finished, I'd get the job of either washing the breakfast dishes or more often than not, I'd be handed the dust mop and told to go mop the hardwood floors. That was a job I could make stretch almost until noon unless the woods called to me for further exploration.

When my chores were done, I'd go saddle up Star or Blaze and head down the lane and through the gate by the barn.  The horses were smart and I didn't even have to get off to open the gate, but just sidle up and reach down to unlatch it, ride through, push the gate closed and relatch.  Once I had the gate secure again, I'd nudge my horse into a gallop and ride to the furthest reaches of the farm.  Then I'd turn around and slowly make my way down the cattle paths into the woods where I often pulled up at a fallen log, tied up my horse, and sat down on the log to daydream.  I often wondered what life was like when you were an adult and could do what you wanted to.

I didn't think too much at that young age about gaining an education, my head was filled with fanciful dreams of someday riding in convertibles with cute guys or getting a job that took me to exciting places.  Those daydreams helped me to escape the mundane and sometimes lonely life on the farm.  Then I'd hear a bird call to his mate or hear a squirrel chattering about something and I'd get my head out of the clouds and come back to reality where I contemplated nature and all the delights of simple things. 

I truly loved nature, but sometimes it seemed like I was 2 halves of a whole with one half of me wanting to hurry up and be an adult and get out into the real world where there was surely more exciting things to do than sit on a log watching birds and squirrels or the occasional rabbit.  The other half was a little fearful of the outside world having been alone for much of the time in spite of having two brothers.  That young girl was quite content to be alone and listening to the sounds of nature with only her horse and dog for company.

Fast forward to today, the once young girl still has occasional daydreams, but has truly found contentment in loving the simple things in life. 

Until next time...

Friday, February 7, 2014

Random 5 Friday

It's time for Random 5 Friday! 
 Fly me to the moon
And let me play among
 the stars
Let me see what 
spring is like
On Jupiter and Mars

1.  Anyone remember that old song by Frank Sinatra?  This song started playing in my head immediately when I found this photo in my archives last night.  One thing is certain, I could care less about seeing what spring is like on Jupiter and Mars.  I wanna see what spring is like here.  Right. Now.  Those of you who like the snow and cold are welcome to it!   Okay, that's all I'll say about that for now.  And, I will NOT be showing any snow scenes today. It's been too cold to go out and take photos.

2.  Yes, Mr. Cardinal, that is duct tape holding your feeder together.  Did you know that duct tape has many, many uses?  I even remember a decorator on TV years ago, Christopher Lowell, telling about covering chair cushions with fabric and using duct tape to hold it together on the bottom side.  No sewing was involved.   

3.  I have been looking at some flower garden magazines.  I'm trying to think what to plant along the front of our house where the foundation work was done.  I don't think BG will go for my planting anything with much of a root system.  Our red brick house faces west.  Any suggestions? 

4.  I hate the color gray or grey...however you like to spell it.  It is a depressing color, to me.  But I know many love it.  I like silver, as in jewelry or cars, but you will not find gray in my house or in my wardrobe, other than in a pair of sweatpants.  I know it is one of the top 10 colors for spring, according to Pantone.  After years of living with first harvest gold & avocado green, then earth tones, to country blue and mauve, I finally said the heck with what they say is popular and not let them influence my color choices.  Do you let designers influence your color palette when it comes to decorating or choosing your wardrobe?

5.  There are a lot of good movies that I've watched more than once.  I'm in the mood for a good movie this weekend, but I want to watch something I've not seen before.  Anything you care to recommend? 

I hope you have a wonderful Friday!

Until next time...        

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Here's What's Happening In My Neighborhood

Ice coated everything for most of the weekend.  It was a weekend for resting because what else is there to do when it's dark and wintry outside? Cleaning closets, painting walls, and a hundred and one other jobs I could name are still awaiting just the right light and the motivation to begin...and we didn't have it. 

Monday brought more news from the weatherman.  Seems like we are to get a lot of snow.


How much??? 

7 to 10 inches is likely, maybe more.  

The snow began at our house around 7:30 this morning and hasn't let up as I write this at 3 pm.  

I've been birdwatching and the cardinals, snowbirds, sparrows and a few others are all fighting over the feeders.  I do have another block of seed to put out when the one you see to the right is finished.

We had just sprinkled a row of cracked corn at the edge of the ice-covered patio for the birds.  Now the snow has covered it and they can't find it.  I see them looking for it.   

The cardinals are beautiful spots of color in the winter wonderland.   Our kitties have their noses to the window watching all the activity outside.  Wishing they could grab one, I'm sure.

The juncos or snowbirds are sharing the thistle seed with the goldfinches.   First time I've seen them dine at that feeder.

The good news is that our ice wasn't bad enough to cause outages.  The snow is going to be a mess for awhile, as we have some cold temps forecast for the week and there won't be much chance for thawing.

The highways were good enough to get out yesterday and so I went to one of my favorite flea markets in Como which is rumored to be closing soon.  I did pick up a few things as most vendors had sales going on.  An old cheesebox and a few books that will go on my bookcases as soon as I find them.  I haven't had much success in finding the right ones yet that has a matching tv cabinet to put between them.  One thing I did purchase was a new filing cabinet and some hanging folders to get my paperwork organized.  Oh my, so many projects and so little energy to get them done.  I also came up with yet another idea.  Maybe I better tell about that one another day.  Even I'm getting tired just thinking about all of these ideas swirling around in my head of things I want to do!  Isn't this what everyone does during the cold, dreary winter months?  Thinking about what one can do to spruce up the home or to get more organized?   Tell me I'm not the only one!

Note:  Glad I entertained a few of you this afternoon.  lol!  My finger slipped as I was typing the Post Title.  It might have had something to do with a kitty, but I don't want to tell on her.  Then other distractions have occurred since I began this post.  Finally I'm finished!  Hope you come back to read it.  :)
Until next time...

Monday, February 3, 2014

Gathering January 2014 Moments

I'm joining Gathering the Moments  at Cheryl's Thinking About Home today for a look back at the month of January.  

Fortified with a few cups of hot cocoa, I finally got the Christmas tree and decor put away after the first week of January.  Always nearby, Stormy found an empty box to sleep in while I was working.  I told her she was too big for the box, but she didn't listen.  At least it kept her from trying to climb the tree before I got it dismantled!

We had some foundation work done on our basement which started the first week of January.  They probably picked the worst time to begin, but it's all finished now.  The only thing left to do is get our porch replaced and hope the grass seeds sprout and grow this spring.  

January brought us a new kitten inside to tame and try to find a home for him.  He made himself at home very quickly and loves to watch the cursor when the laptop is being used.  He is a cutie and surely someone will want him.  He had a trial run at one home, but it was found that someone in the family was highly allergic to cats and he came back to us.

We had frosty days, snowy days, a few mild and sunny days, and bone-chilling cold days in January.  A few days were spent perusing cookbooks and trying out a few new recipes.  A lot of old standbys such as soup was eaten...chili, potato soup, and chicken noodle soup.  Comfort foods are hard to beat when the weather is cold and gloomy.  Ice cream for dessert is always good in any kind of weather.

Play time included watching the ice floating down the Missouri River, a couple of trips to a few flea markets, and watching for those beautiful Missouri sunsets for a photo op.  

Lastly, what else is there to do when the weather is very cold?  Why just curl up and take a nap!  All in all, I'd have to say that in spite of the fact that January is not a favorite month of mine, it did go by quickly and I'm thankful that all my loved ones stayed healthy and safe.  May February be a good month for each of us!    

Happy Monday to you.

Until next time...