Tuesday, July 28, 2015

It's so hot that the walking sticks are trying to find their way in where it's cooler.  We had quite a storm blow in Saturday night.  The lightning was wicked and the wind blew strong.  Lightning  caused a fire which destroyed a nice home in a nearby town.  

I braved the heat yesterday and borrowed BG's truck...shhh, he still doesn't know...to run to the Big Town to get a tub surround for the bathroom at The Project.  It's exciting to see some progress being made again.  The men got the tub in and some work done on the floor.  The toilet is being moved to the other side of the room.  Some water lines were changed out for new ones.  I think they got a lot done in one day.   

Isn't it marvelous the things we can do online to save time?  I have searched all of the big home improvement centers online for many of the things we've needed for that house.  It sure saves a lot of legwork.  

Way back when I was a youngster, we were taught that saying bad words were a no no.  But, when I got aggravated or mad I just had to say something.  So my substitute for a bad word back then was peaches.  As in, "Oh, Peaches!"

I'm confessing here and now that I wanted to say lots of bad words when I found out that the blasted deer ate all of the peaches on my tree.  All. Of. Them.  It was loaded with peaches just about ready to pick.  The deer are always a step ahead of me.  Blasted. Deer.  I'm about to give up on vegetable gardens and fruit trees.  They also have snipped off quite a few strawberry plants.  

The tree above is the peach tree and you might see the broken branch caused by the many peaches it was trying to support.  It will be pruned and we'll try again next year.  Maybe armed with some deer repellent or a net.

Rainie and Rambo are still here and growing like weeds.  They look so much alike that I now have to lift their tails to, ahem, see which one is the boy or girl.  Rambo is a real momma's boy.  He thinks my job is to hold him when he takes a nap.  Or to share my food when I'm eating or help me on the computer.  He follows me everywhere.  I want to find a home for them, but it will be hard to part with them.

Some sad news.  BG got word last night that an old army buddy of his had passed away.  Vic had been battling a cancerous brain tumor.  They were both in the 101st Airborne Division and served in Vietnam together.  We have been to some of the reunions the 101st has at Fort Campbell, KY.  Vic and his wife would often attend, too.  We've always kept in touch and it breaks our hearts that they had to go through this and Vic lost the battle.  Please say a prayer for Vic's wife and their children as they mourn the loss of their loved one.

Happy Tuesday to you!
xo Cheryl

Saturday, July 25, 2015

News From The Week

I'm trying not to say anything about how fast the weeks are flying by, but it's hard.  Oops.  I think I did say it after all.  Well, they are!  Anyone feeling the swift passage of time besides me?  

Good news...we have a carpenter beginning the first of the week on The Project.  He will do most of the bathroom upstairs.  He's putting in the tub and has to take out part of a wall to get it in.  It's a very small bathroom.  Then he will skim coat the walls and prepare them for painting.  I am still looking for a tub surround or whatever they are called.  BG still has some wiring to do in there.  

And then, Mr. Carpenter, will tackle the upper deck and the leaky roof over the deck.  It was determined that the deck needed some replacement beams and supports and part of the floor needs replacing, too.  The roof will be fixed and once that is done, BG can tackle the room where the leaking was going on inside the closet.  

Those are probably the biggest hurdles to jump and then painting can begin.  Then the floors will be refinished and probably some carpeting put down in a couple of rooms.  We still haven't gotten the outside painting done, but it's either raining or too hot!  The basement will be done later.  After MY basement is done!      

After too long a break, we are getting back to work on The Project. Getting the help we needed...after I finally got BG to agree to that...took a little time.   

For new readers, The Project is the house  we bought that needs repairing.  More repairs were needed than we first thought.  Isn't that always the way?

I'll have to tell on myself.  BG is still in the dark on this one.  When I drove to the lake Tuesday evening to watch the sunset, I took his truck.  It was getting dark when I came home, so I had turned on the lights.  Later that night, my daughter came in and asked why the truck lights were on.  Oh, oh.  She then discovered the truck wouldn't start...the battery had run down.  Well, I sure didn't want to wake BG up to tell him as he goes to work at 6 am during the summer.  So, she called her boyfriend and luckily he could come over with some jumper cables to get the truck started.  Whew!  I still haven't told BG about this.  Not that he would care, but I just didn't want to tell him how stupid forgetful I was.  I might not get to drive the truck after dark again!  lol!  Okay, have you ever done this?  Tell me I'm not the only one.

One more bit of news I'm excited about...I finally have a smart phone.  My old fliptop wouldn't charge, so I had to get something else and decided to upgrade.  It's an iPhone 6.  I'm pretty sure I'm going to like it, I just hope it doesn't take me too long to learn how to operate the thing.  lol!  I can't wait to take some photos with it.  You think I'll get much work done this weekend?   Maybe I'd better revise my list and add "play with iPhone".  I hope you have a nice weekend and take some time to play, too!   

Happy weekend to you!
xo Cheryl

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Enjoying The Sunset




It's a busy time for me right now.  I needed the calming and peacefulness that watching a sunset brings.  So I headed to the lake last night.  I didn't allow myself to think of the hundred and one things that need my attention.  Just basked in the beauty of the scene unfolding before me.  I hope you take time to enjoy a beautiful sunset, too!

Happy Wednesday to you!
xo Cheryl

Friday, July 17, 2015

A Few Flowers

I snapped a few of my flowers while watering yesterday.  The flowers above are one of 4 pots of the bargain table flowers that I bought for only 9 dollars.  I had planted them hoping some might survive, but they have all done quite well.  

I'm excited to see my hydrangea blooming this year.  I haven't had much luck with them, but I planted this one on the north side of the house and I'm hoping it will be happy there.

The Stella's have done well and are bright and cheery in the gardens. 

This rose is what is left of several that were here when we moved to this house 28 years ago.  I don't know what kind it is except it's not a tea rose.  Maybe a shrub type?  You can't see them, but on either side are my hostas along with the hydrangea.  

This is one of two boxes of vincas that are on either side of the door to the storage building that sits on one end of our patio in back.  They always do well for me and they are also some of my bargain flowers.  I have so many pots to fill that I watch for those good deals!  

The heat continues for my area.  It's so hot that I don't stay outside long.  The watering of flowers will have to be done this evening.  I cleaned out my refrigerator this morning and did a few chores.  After I hit the publish button on this post, the vacuum will come out and I will give the house a quick cleaning.  Then a run to the store for a few items.

Our son is coming home for the weekend.  He will be helping BG do a few things downstairs.  I don't really like to heat up the house by turning on the oven, but I think I'll make some lasagna for our supper.  That sounds good to me.  Tomorrow, we can keep the heat outside where it belongs and grill.  I am hungry for a pasta salad so that will also be on the menu for tomorrow, too.  I have a few zucchini and I can't decide whether to put some in the salad or cut lengthwise and put on the grill.  Do you have a favorite pasta salad?

Many thanks to each of you who left such sweet comments about the passing of the little kitten.   I know many of you are animal lovers, too, and share my sorrow.  

Happy Friday to you!
xo Cheryl 

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Kitten Story

Our endless rainy days have turned into days of relentless heat and humidity making for some uncomfortable days if you have to be outside. 

My friend, Ell, and I were talking recently about the summer heat and wondering how our mothers coped without air-conditioning, and even in their earlier days having to cook on wood stoves in this kind of weather.  We both agreed that we would have most likely served up a lot of sandwiches in that kind of weather.  

I remember going to bed as a kid, before we had an air-conditioner put in, and fanning myself with one of those old-fashioned fans with a handle.  Anyone remember those?  We probably had an oscillating fan going, but it didn't always do the job when it was this hot.

Well, enough about the heat.  I wasn't going to tell this story because it is sad and I'll probably cry again before I finish this post.  

Yesterday was a very sad day for me and I didn't get a lot done because I was just too bummed out to do anything other than cuddle the little kittens and work a bit in PicMonkey on the computer.  I only visited a couple of bloggers as my heart just wasn't into making many comments.  

 ~Little One~

This sweet little kitten was one of four that was born to an outside
cat that hangs around our place.  It was a feral kitten, not letting us get close to her to catch her.  We could see that she was much smaller than the other three and we hoped to catch her and tame her so we could give her extra food and kitten formula.  She would often just sit away from the others that were playing with her head down and sleep. 

Their mother disappeared several days ago and hasn't come back.  The other kittens were eating dry food, but I don't know how well Little One could eat.

Well, Little One was missing all day Sunday and I knew something had happened.  It wasn't like her to leave the others.  

BG decided to do some trimming in the yard.  When he was close to the wooded area next to the pond, he heard a kitten crying.  He went investigating and found Little One down in a hole trying to climb out, but couldn't.  He carried her to the house.

It was discovered that she couldn't use her back feet at all.  She was cleaned up and fed and put into a box in the house to see how she would do.   At her last feeding before bedtime, she ate and then laid her head down on my arm and went to sleep.  I gently laid her in her bed. 

The next morning, I found her crying and sitting up as best she could.  I fed her and she ate quite a lot and sipped on some kitty formula.  But, she still couldn't move those hind feet.  A trip to the vet was in order.  He determined that she most likely had a severed spinal cord and I approved the x-rays to be sure.  Well, he was right, unfortunately.  So the decision was made to put her to sleep.  

I've had lots of pets and know that these things happen, but it doesn't stop the wondering what we could have done differently.  Maybe we didn't try hard enough to catch her.  

How did she happen to wonder off that far by herself?  She had to have followed another cat or kitten. 

I have to say the only blessing I can find in all this is that BG heard her and found her and she didn't suffer long or starve to death.  We would never have heard her if he hadn't been in that particular spot working.   He must have been meant to be there at that time.

Rest in peace, Little One.  I won't forget you.  

Most of you know by now that I'm an old softie when it comes to animals.  I can cry when I hear the song "Bless the Beasts and the Children" sung by Karen Carpenter.  Of course, you know I also have a heart for children, too.  For all those who, as the song goes, have no voice and no choice.
Happy Tuesday to you!
xo Cheryl

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Front Porch


When I was a youngster, one of my summertime pleasures was getting to go to my grandmother's house in town for a few days.  Perhaps a week.  The house above is where she lived when I was very young.  

Back in those days, the porch had a railing across the front and a porch swing.  The house was divided into two apartments, with grandmother living on the left side and her tenant on the right.  

Many evenings would find my grandmother and I sitting on the front porch and Mrs. T would join us.  We usually sat there until it was bedtime.  No television watching in those days.  Plus it was much cooler on the porch with the summer breezes than in the house that didn't yet have a/c.   The women would visit and I liked to try to guess what color car would be the next one to drive by. 

A silly little game I played was trying to fool Mrs. T into thinking I had a twin sister.  I would go in the house and change into a different shorts set and comb my hair different and come out and pretend to be my twin.  lol!  I don't think Mrs. T was fooled for a minute, but it was a fun game for me to play.  Isn't it funny, the things we remember? 

I also spent many an hour roller skating around the block.  There wasn't a great deal of concrete on the farm until our house was built with a basement.  So, I took my clip-on skates and had lots of fun skating.  Anyone old enough to remember clip-on skates?      

The house above was the next house that my grandmother lived in.  I was older and in high school by then and wasn't much interested in roller skating any longer.  I did sit out on the porch with my grandmother in the summer when I visited her and I did visit quite often.  Gran always greeted me at the door with huge smile on her face and a hug.  I miss those porch visits.   

So many of the older houses have front porches.  

I suppose porches weren't added on to new houses as often after air conditioning became popular.  I remember the first house I lived in, before it burned down when I was 9 years old.  It had a front porch and my mother often sat in the swing, if there was a breeze, just to cool off during the heat of the day.  She also sat on the porch and snapped green beans for canning or worked on some hand sewing. 

She also sat on the porch swing while my brothers and I were chasing fireflies during those hot summer nights. 

I've always loved porches.  Many new homes have them now and if I ever move again I hope the next house has one. 

This is my new front porch.  Sans a roof.  For new readers, we had foundation work done over a year ago and the old porch was torn out.  We don't really sit out here much, preferring to sit on the patio in the back where we can gaze over the Back 6 and see the pond.

Many of you have wonderful porches.  Sue has one of the most beautiful porches I've seen anywhere.  Does anyone take time to sit on their porches like we did in the olden days?  I still think it is one of summer's simple pleasures.  

Happy Friday to you and have a nice weekend!
xo Cheryl

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

More From Last Week and The Fourth

This week is off to a better start than the last one.  On Monday last week, Callie gave us quite a scare by slipping out the door.  Thankfully, BG happened to see her while mowing Friday.  She was a couple of lots over from our house and had run under an outbuilding when he called to her.  I went to her and coaxed her out, picked her up and carried her home.  She was starving and needing lots of lap time and ear rubs.  We will have to watch her closely when the door is opened from now on, but she is safely back home and we are happy she is okay!  Thank you all again for your prayers and well wishes for her safety!

While I kept busy looking for Callie every day last week, I also had jury duty Tuesday and fretted (to myself - mostly) about that, but I wasn't selected as a juror.
BG took a few vacation days and one day we took a little road trip down south of us to Lehman's, the Mennonite eatery near Versailles, for lunch one day.  We would have driven on to the Lake of the Ozarks, but it looked like rain was going to hit that area.  We stopped at the Dutch bakery on the way back home but didn't buy much as I'd already gotten a loaf of homemade bread at Lehman's.  

The next day we headed to the Big Town and stopped at all 3 home improvement centers.  We came home with lots of drywall and trim and a few other things.  After unloading, he decided to mow and you know now how that turned out.

This little guy narrowly escaped getting run over by us.  We had just pulled in with our stuff from the home center and I got out of the truck and happened to look down and spotted him just in front of the truck's tire.  Whew!  That was close.  He looks like a baby....a lost baby, at that.  I picked him up and after snapping his cute self, placed him in a better location away from truck tires.

July 4th was bright and sunny and HOT!  I took very few photos and this one is of our daughter riding with her BF in the parade.  This car belongs to a relative of his.  I love the red and white Chevy behind them.  

It was a nice day for parades, picnics and fireworks to celebrate our country's birthday.  We celebrated mostly on Sunday when our son came in for an overnight.  We played cards and grilled steaks.  My dessert was an ice cream cake from the DQ.  A wonderful and fun weekend with my family and all the kitties safely at home.

We have had rain through the night and this morning.  I won't have to water the flowers outside.  The sunflower above is one of two volunteers I have that grew from seed spilled from the bird feeder.  The flower photos were all tweaked with the watercolor pencil app in Photoscape.  

BG was home yesterday and we rested most of the day.  We had planned to start on the sheetrock work, but decided we needed rest.  That is important, too.  The work will always keep for another day.

The sheetrock is for our basement.  After all the rains we've had and we still have a dry basement - yay! - we have decided it was okay now to put up the new drywall and once that is done, get new carpet for the floor.  We wanted to make sure that the foundation work was going to hold the water back before we started on this project.  Oh, I'll be so glad when this is done and I have a nice family room downstairs once again!  

What projects are you starting or finishing this summer?  

The Project aka our other house is still awaiting some workers.  One bid has been okayed on the bathroom and I hope they start soon.  We are still awaiting another bid.  As a friend said recently, it's very hard to find someone who does carpentry in our town.  Those who live away don't seem too interested in driving very far to work, so getting The Project work done is moving at a snail's pace.  I'm trying not to get too frustrated.  I am glad that BG has finally realized he can't do it all himself.

That's all I have for today.  Hope yours is a nice one!

Happy Tuesday to you!
xo Cheryl          

Saturday, July 4, 2015

A Happy Day For Me And A Happy Fourth To You!

Happy Independence Day!!

"God bless America,
Land that I love.
Stand beside her, and guide her,
Through the night with the light from above.

From the mountains, to the prairies,
To the oceans, white with foam,
God bless America,
My home, sweet home."
 ~Irving Berlin

Callie, our sweet kitty, has been found and is safe at home!!  Thank you so much for your prayers and well wishes.  Comments are closed as I know everyone is busy this weekend.  Enjoy!!   

xo Cheryl

Thursday, July 2, 2015

An Up and Down Week, So Far

This photo of Callie was taken the year she was born...2013. 

My sweet Callie girl slipped out the door Monday afternoon
and we haven't seen her since.  I saw her run north of our
house and have called the neighbors to ask if they had seen
her.  No one had.   I've searched and called to no avail.

She loved to sit on my lap and with the new kittens occupying
my time lately, she hasn't had the attention she was used to.  I
don't know if that has anything to do with her disappearing
act or not.  I'm sad and worried.  You can imagine all the thoughts
that run through my mind.  Did someone pick up her up or did
a coyote get her?  At least she hasn't been seen on the highway.

We've had a couple of storms move through since Monday.  I do
hope Callie found shelter. 

Many farmers in the area haven't gotten all their soybeans planted yet.   And of course there is the water standing in some of the fields that has damaged some of the corn already planted.   I'm sure the farmers have much more to worry about than a missing kitty.

As the world gets more troubling and life gets busier, even worrisome at times, simple pleasures are all the more important to me.  Enjoying a tall glass of iced tea while sitting in the shade of my patio and gazing at the pretty flowers, cuddling a sleepy, purring kitten on my lap, reading a good book while listening to the rain fall against the window panes, or watching the sun set.  These are just a few simple pleasures I enjoy.  What about you?  What are some of your simple pleasures? 


Eating comfort food is a simple pleasure.  A meal of mashed
potatoes and roast beef is a favorite of mine.  I don't like to use the oven very often in the summer, so I will share a stovetop recipe that my dear aunt gave me a few years ago.  It has become my favorite way of fixing a rump roast.  

This recipe came from my aunt's mother-in-law and I call it Mammy's Roast.  Marie, aka Mammy as her grandson called her, was an excellent cook and baker.  She made the best angel food cakes with that delicious fluffy white icing.  I haven't ever forgotten how wonderful they were.   

Mammy's Roast

1.  In a heavy dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons of bacon drippings or oil.
2.  Generously sprinkle a rump roast on all sides with Lawry's Seasoning Salt and cover with flour.
3.  Place salted and floured roast into the hot bacon drippings.  Brown on all sides, turning frequently so it won't burn.
4.  Remove the roast once it's browned.  Add 2 or more tablespoons of flour to the drippings and stir, making a good paste.  Add more salt, and pepper, as desired. 
5.  Add water to make a thin gravyIt will thicken as it cooks.
6.  Place the rump roast into the gravy and turn the burner down to a slow cooking stage.  Spoon a little gravy over the top of the roast and cook 2 to 3 hours, depending on the size of the roast, until tender.  Turn the roast every half hour.
7.  Remove the roast from the pan and let cool enough to slice.  The gravy is wonderful served with the roast and mashed potatoes!    

This is the best roast I've made and my daughter declares it her very favorite, too.  If you want a roast and don't want to turn on the oven, try this.  You'll love it or I'm not the Farmer's Daughter! 

Have Thursday to you!   
xo Cheryl