Thursday, January 31, 2008

Stop The Traffik

I had hoped to have my post up earlier than this, but I have had issues with Blogger, as well as the computer. It resulted in me just giving up for a while and taking a nap. With that behind me and the technical items all in a row and working with me instead against me.......... here we go.

Have you ever given much thought to what has happened to all of these people that you hear about that just seems to disappear into thin air? One minute they are there living their lives as usual and the next minute *Poof* they are gone. There are some that you hear about on the news that have disappeared and weeks or months later their bodies are found. It sickens me to think of how crimes against the innocent seems to be growing at such an alarming rate.

Now think about those that are never heard about or from again. There are some that have the resources to keep the disappearance of their loved ones in the news media. Seldom though does it do any good. I am talking about those that are abducted and swiftly moved into the horror of Human Traffiking.

Again, as I was visiting Drunk On Barley today, I read David's post on this very subject. The statistics for this is mind boggling. In 14 short days it is hoped that a declaration will be presented to the United Nations with one million names on it. One million people declaring that
People Trafficking is wrong. One million people taking a stand and saying that they support STOP THE TRAFFIK in its call to: Prevent The Sale of People, Prosecute The Traffickers and
Protect The Victims.

You can help by going to the STOP THE TRAFFIK web site and adding your name to the declaration. Another way to help is to grab this graphic and add it to your blog. If one million names are to be collected, the word needs to spread. The best way I know to do that is through bloggers like us. Please point as many people as you can to this declaration. Let's All Stand Up And Be Counted. Let's All Be Heard And .............. STOP THE TRAFFIK!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Dancing In The Rain

As I made my morning rounds today reading the posts of some of my favorite blog friends, I came across one at Drunk With Barley that drew me back into years long past. That and the fact that we will be experiencing a warm spell today and have rain for most of the day. With this bit of inspiration, I thought I would take you on a journey down memory lane.
My childhood was a mix of good and bad memories. The bad ones I have spent most of my lifetime burying and trying to forget. While I was busy doing that, many of the good memories have been buried along with them. It really wasn't until I started creating web pages (1998) and more recently as a blogger that I began the process of trying to remember the really good things that were buried so deep in my memory. At first there was a great deal of fear that along with these good memories might come those bad ones that I would just as soon leave where they are. I am still a work in progress. How is that statement for a woman that will be celebrating her 59th year in a few months? I have learned to deal with all memories, good and bad alike, and have even come to a point in my life where I am able to celebrate the fact that what happened in my past is what has helped to mold me into the person that I am today.
Thoughts and visions of rain takes me back to a time when life was carefree. No real responsibilities other than the few chores that my mother gave me to do. I call them chores now, but they were treats to me then. The freshly washed and dried clothes. A Pepsi bottle filled with water with a cork shaker on the top that was used to sprinkle the clothes and ready them for ironing. It always made me wonder why my mother went to the trouble of drying the clothes just to get them wet again. I loved it though when I was given the job of sprinkling those clothes. As I turned the Pepsi bottle upside down and helped the water sprinkle on to the clothes it reminded me of rain.
I was in Heaven when we had summer rains without the thunder and lightening. Rains such as that found me outside barefoot and dancing in circles being soaked from head to toe. With head tilted back and looking toward the Heavenly sky filled with rain clouds, I delighted in the feeling of the wet drops of water falling on my face. Everything seemed heightened following the rain. The colors of nature were always brighter. The smells of nature were sweeter. Everything was cleaner and fresher than before the rain. As a child I was aware of these things. As an adult I have grown to appreciate them even more.
Of course I was never allowed to be out in the rain when there was thunder and lightening present, but I was still attracted to those rain storms just the same. I can recall the excitement that built up inside of me with the approach of such a storm. I still enjoy the feeling of the wind that precedes the rain, blowing my hair back and how it feels against my face. I am always amazed at how I can actually feel the moisture of the rain in the wind before the rain actually gets here. I have never been one to go and hide from the storms, just years of training from my mother to seek safety and watch from a distance. If only I had seen the parallel to that and life years ago.
As I said earlier, I celebrate 59 years of life this year. When you reach that milestone you start putting things in order, in your mind anyway. I wrote a post with my 'Bucket List' not long ago. One thing that I need to add to that list is I want to dance in the rain with my Dear Husband and also teach my grandchildren how to dance in the rain, but also to seek safety from the storms and watch from a distance.
Have a blessed day. A special thank you to David for sparking this memory for me.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Meaningful Monday

One day a farmer's donkey fell down into a well. The animal cried piteously for hours as the farmer tried to figure out what to do.
Finally, he decided the animal was old, and the well needed to be covered up anyway; it just wasn't worth it to retrieve the donkey.
He invited all his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed a shovel and began to shovel dirt into the well. At first, the donkey realized what was happening and cried horribly. Then, to every one's amazement he quieted down.
A few shovel loads later, the farmer finally looked down the well. He was astonished at what he saw. With each shovel of dirt that hit his back, the donkey was doing something amazing. He would shake it off and take a step up. As the farmer's neighbors continued to shovel dirt on top of the animal, he would shake it off and take a step up.
Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped up over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!
Life is going to shovel dirt on you, all kinds of dirt. The trick to getting out of the well is to shake it off and take a step up. Each of our troubles is a steppingstone. We can get out of the deepest wells just by not stopping, never giving up! Shake it off and take a step up.

. . . ....The donkey later came back, and bit the farmer who had tried to bury him. The gash from the bite got infected and the farmer eventually died in agony from septic shock.


When you do something wrong, and try to cover your ass, it always comes back to bite you.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

And Baby Makes... A Bunch

I don't know if any of you are aware of this or not, but this a second marriage for both J.D. and I. When we took our wedding vows on April 2nd, 2000 not only did we join our lives, but 4 and 3 children became 7..... 7 and 4 grandchildren became 11 and since then has grown to be 13...... We have also seen 4 great grandchildren come into this world. Recently we received word that those 'Rebel' grandchildren have been at it again and the end of May we will be welcoming another great grandchild into the world. We are so happy for Butch, Alaina and Audrey. I might mention that I am right on top of things. Since receiving the good news, I found a pattern for this pretty Heart Baby Blanket , got my supplies gathered up and already have it on needles and in progress.
It is proving to be a very easy pattern to knit. The only difficult part of it all is that I have to stay focused on what I am doing and do a lot of counting other wise it is going to be rip it out and start over. Can you make out the little heart pattern in the blanket..... I Love It! Hopefully this project won't prove to be like the crib quilts that I cross stitched for Riley and Seth. There was a lot of talk behind hands and into ears that they would maybe get their quilts by the time they started to school, graduated, got married...... etc. Well they got them long before any of those events, just not when they first came home from the hospital. I also want to make the new baby's big sister, Audrey something to include in the box when the baby gets his blanket. We are excited and looking forward to this new arrival.
I have had other things in the works as well. Right around New Years I knitted some fetchings for T-Bear. I bought more yarn then was needed so with my left overs I made her a scarf to go with them.
And then before Christmas I had made her a shrug that just did not fit her and she felt so bad about it. Not so much that it didn't fit, but more because I had put so much time into crocheting it for her. She is such a "SWEETY". To make up for it, I am in the process of making her a granny square poncho.

I figure it will be difficult for even me to mess that one up. I will take a picture of the finished product when I get it put together.
Good news in our part of the world, it is supposed to start warming up today..... Doing 'Happy Dance' here. Have a Great Weekend!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Link Loving 2008

This came from Kris at Violetlady At Home.

I have randomly selected 5 of you below to be tagged and I hope that you will similarly publish this post in your blog. You will have to tag 5 other bloggers and just keep adding on to the list. (Do not replace, just keep on adding! Yes we hope it will be a long list!) It’s real easy!
Tag others and see your Technorati Authority increase exponentially.

The benefits of Viral Linking:- One of the fastest ways to see your technorati authority explode!- Increase your Google PageRank fast- Attract large volume of new traffic to your site- Build your community- Make new friends!

Add your blog url at the end of the list...

The Strategist Notebook/Link Addiction/Ardour of the Heart/ When Life Becomes a Book/The Malaysian Life/ goes under the sun/ Roshidan’s Cyber Station/Sasha says/Arts of Physics/And the legend lives/My View, My Life/ A Simple Life/What Women REALLY Think/Not Much More Than This/Jayedee/Jenn/Beth/ Christie/Marla/Cailin/Simone/FlipFlopMom/Katrina/Gill's Jottings/Work of the Poet/ Wakela/Modern Day Goddess/Livin With Me/Are We There Yet??/The Erstwhile Librarian /Lynne's Little Corner of the World/Violetlady At Home/Bits And Pieces/ You are next...

J.D. at J.D.'s Soapbox
Tersie at The Road To Total Growth
Theresa at My Fairbanks Life
Pea at Pea's Corner
Diane at Diane's Place


My Bucket List

Just the other day I visited Lots Of Little Things and Willzmom had done a post of her Bucket List. This 'Bucket List' is a spin off of the recently released movie with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. I am sure that most people think about what they would like to accomplish or experience before they die or in this case 'Kick The Bucket'. I know I have and it seems as if the older I get, the more I think about it.

If you would like to do a bucket list of your own and would like to use the graphic of the buckets feel free to grab it. After you post your list come back and leave a comment on this post letting me know. I would love to read yours.

  • A road trip through the west with JD to see the Virgin River Gorge in Utah. I saw it many years ago and thought it was the most beautiful scenery I had ever seen in my life. I would like to share that beauty with JD.

  • Go to Branson, Missouri

  • See performances by Ricky Skaggs, Alison Krauss and Martina McBride.

  • Visit New England in the fall and Niagara Falls while we are in the neighborhood.

  • Write an 'Ethical Will' for my loved ones.

  • Finish our renovations on the house and throw a party to celebrate it.

It's not a really long list is it? For the most part I would have to say that thanks to my JD, the children and grandchildren, I have had a pretty full and satisfying life. Maybe I am just easily entertained, but I have never been one to have Big Dreams, like sky diving, etc. I guess you could say I dream thrifty or dream within my means. Dreams have always seemed more attainable to me that way.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Happy Cows

When you settle in to watch a program on TV isn't it aggravating when the commercials seem to be totaling more air time than the actual program. What's worse is when they are irritating commercials. In my opinion the most irritating TV ad going is any of the Billy Mays commercials. To me that man has the loudest most nerve grinding voice there ever was. In this house when his commercials come on we mute the sound until he is finished.
I wish all commercials could be like the 'Happy Cows' spots. It is my understanding that these commercials have been on the air since the early 2000's. I don't know how I missed seeing them for so long, but I first noticed them a couple of years ago. These cows aren't selling anything, they are just living life through someones creative mind. The actual selling point of these ads is short and to the point........... ' Great cheese comes from Happy Cows, Happy Cows come from California' . This is usually stated at the end of the bovine escapades.
"Snooze," a past Happy Cow TV spot about two California cows who want to sleep late and toss a noisy rooster out of the barn, was recently ranked as one of the most-liked television advertisements in the country" (Borrowed from the California Dairy Press Room). This was among some of the first ones I saw. I think I would have to say though that my favorite was the "Meditating Duck". Those cows kept trying to tell the little guy that it just isn't "ommmm" it is "mooooo", but the duck just can't grasp it. to my delight, I noticed yesterday that there are now two new ones out.
Ad agencies can take a lesson from the California "Happy Cows". You don't have to beat a person over the head with your sales pitch to sell your product. In this case less is certainly more. I know when I go shopping and I see cheese and other dairy products I think of those "Happy Cows" have no problem buying the product. When I wheel down the detergent and cleaning supplies aisle and see OXI-CLEAN or BAM I hear Billy Mays, I feel his voice grinding into my last nerve and I just keep on going.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

National Pie Day

With today being National Pie Day it seems only appropriate that I offer a Pie recipe. But first things first.... Thank you to Tammy at The Pink Magnolia for coming up with the idea that we, as a blogging community all contribute a recipe. A big thank you goes out to Artsy for contributing the graphic we are all using for this event. Tammy's blog is by invitation only, but if you drop her an e-mail from her profile page she will most likely invite you in. She will have Mr Linky set up on her blog so drop by and check out some great recipes.

With all of that said, it is time to get down to business and let go of these wonderful recipes that I have in my possession. I am going to follow the healthy eating way of thinking with these recipes. Yes, I did say 'THESE'. I have two recipes that are healthy as far as healthy can go when it comes to pies. They are perfect for the diabetic in your life or even someone that wants to eat pie and still eat healthy. My family has no problem eating either one of these pies, and that would include the children. OK then...... turn on the printer, here comes those recipes.

Diabetic's Cheesecake


1 Cup Splenda

1 tsp. Lemon or Lime Juice

8 oz. Cool Whip (Reduced Fat)

8 oz. Philly Cream Cheese (softened)

1 Graham Cracker Crust (Reduced Fat)


Mix Philly and Splenda well.

Add Cool Whip and Lemon or Lime Juice..... Mix well

Pour into Graham Cracker Crust and refrigerate until firm.


No Sugar Apple Pie


6 cups apples, sliced
1 cup apple juice, frozen concentrate
1 tablespoon corn starch
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon butter


Prepare your favorite pie crust recipe for a 10” double crust. Prepare apples: heat apple juice concentrate in saucepan (Use undiluted frozen apple juice concentrate.) and add apple slices. Cover and simmer until almost tender. Stir in cornstarch (made into a paste with a little water). Add cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Pour apple mixture into unbaked pie shell. Dot with butter or margarine. Cover with top crust and crimp edges. Bake 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Cover edges with foil and return to oven. Lower temperature to 350 degrees and bake an additional 30 minutes.


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Let It Snow...Let It Snow...Let It Snow

I woke up this morning to howling winds outside. The wood stoves had burned down to just a few coals left in the bottom of each. This means that JD and I slept well last night which is unusual for me. I am usually up and down all night thanks to the fibromyalgia. Well after listening to that wind blowing, it didn't take long for me to get those wood stoves stocked and a fire burning in each of them.

While I was working on that, the coffee was brewing. Can't get the morning off to a really good start without a cup of coffee.

I have been sitting here at the computer trying to think of something interesting or perhaps inspiring to post on my blog for today. I keep coming up blank. I went looking for graphics that might spark my creativity...... All I managed to do with that was enjoy the graphics I was looking at. No sparks of creativity there. Hmmmm... Do you think I could have writer's block?

There is a window in front of the computer and as it started getting daylight outside I could see that it has been and still is snowing. My response to that is 'Let it snow...Let it snow...Let it snow'. The snow is an indication that it has warmed up a little bit from the single digit temperatures we have had the past few nights. I know that temperatures that low is needed to keep the insect population down when the warm weather gets here, but it doesn't take many days of those low temperatures and I am ready for wee bit of a warm up.

JD is working on a post for his blog JD's Soapbox, that shows the progress we have made with our 'Little Home on the Mountain'. He will probably have it posted in a few hours. Please stop by and visit our home. When he talks about all that has been done to this house and property he always give me equal credit. I will be the first to tell you that I have done some, but the majority of the work has come from JD. The man is amazing. Does it sound like I am bragging on him? Well, I am!

Now I am going to finish this post up for the day and give JD a turn at the computer. Have a Great Day everyone and stay warm.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Meaningful Monday

We Are All Sisters

There comes a time in every woman's life when she has to take a close look at herself. Not at her circumstance, not at what she did, not how unfair life is, or at who made you do it. She has to just look at herself in all her glory and imperfection. Have you ever admired a woman who has been through changes in her life? Or have you made up in your mind that she is just messed up. Before you make this mistake, take a closer look. A woman who has endured the most unusual life is someone of wisdom, someone who has been chosen by God to go through things that have made her stronger.

Think of all the great women in the Bible: Mary Magdalene, Ruth and Naomi, the woman with an issue of blood, and Esther, to name a few. Mary was a prostitute, a very uneasy woman. But by the time Jesus was done with her, she was His closest follower. Esther was unfortunate in marrying an abusive man, but by the time God was done with her, she had married one of the wealthiest men in the land.

Women are so quick to beat the next one down instead of trying to hold her up. Before you wonder, 'What's up with her?' ask yourself, 'What's up with me?' That woman could be my mother, sister, aunt, mother-in-law, stepmother, niece, grandmother, great-grandmother, daughter, daughter-in-law, granddaughter, neighbor, friend, or co-worker, etc. That woman could be ME.

Women are the carriers of life, not the channels of death. Let's build and encourage each other, as did Ruth and Naomi.

Note from Jo: I am a firm believer that we are all here for a purpose of some sort. That what we go through will in some way benefit others. (I was going to say here 'If we allow it to', but rather we allow it or not, rather we share our experiences or not, they are out there and someone will benefit from what we go through.) With that said, I have always found courage to face the challenges in my life by recalling the words "If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it." Hopefully, as sisters in the Lord we will all encourage and love, forgive and forget. I hope that the women who read this will be touched in some way.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

{{ Brrrrrrrr }}

I received this in my e-mail a while back from a friend. I have no idea who to give credit to for creating it, but will gladly do that if anyone knows. I decided to post it here just to let you all know how much you mean to me. Your visits here and the comments that you leave, do so much to make my day complete. If you would like to use it on your blog please feel free to grab it before you leave.

Good Morning everyone. Ohhhh Baby it is {{Cold Outside}} this morning. At 5:30 the thermometer was reading 4 degrees. From what the weather man said last night we aren't going to see above 7 degrees at night until Wednesday night. JD did some extra work yesterday getting ready for this cold spell. He truly keeps the home fires burning around here. Yesterday though he readied everything so all he would have to do is grab it and go. It is going to be much too cold to be spending much time outside loading, moving and stacking firewood. I am not sure that he fully realizes how much I appreciate him for all that he does. I was showered with God's blessings the day that JD came into my life and will be forever thankful.

I am making this a short post today. I though I would spend some time today visiting other blogs, gathering some graphics for future posts and keeping warm. Tomorrow I will be adding my next "Meaningful Monday" post so be sure to stop by.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Mary's Valentine Giveaway

While I was out on my morning blog visits, I came across a posting about Mary's Valentine Giveaway. You only have until January 22nd at midnight to put your name in the hat for this drawing. Hurry on over to Mary's Writing Nook for details on entering. I need to warn you ahead of time.... You will enjoy Mary's blog. I certainly did.
Good Luck everyone.

Diabetes Boot Camp

I spent the better part of the yesterday afternoon at my Endocrinologist's (aka Diabetes Boot Camp Drill Instructor) office. She went over my latest blood work results, which she wasn't impressed with. Those numbers are still way higher than she wants them to be.

I am on an oral medication for diabetes as well as insulin (Lantus) and Lizard Spit (Byetta). She decided that we need to increase the units of insulin that I take and make some adjustments to the oral meds and see what sort of results we get from that. Now don't get all grossed out over the Lizard Spit remark. The original protein that brought about Byetta was found in the saliva of the Gila Monster (one of only two poisonous lizards in North America). When I first found that bit of information out I thought it to be pretty interesting. It is always nice to know where things originate from that you are putting into your body.

I tend to off track from time to time ........... The Byetta is wonderful stuff, but is tricky to use I am finding out. I visited a web site (Diabetes Monitor)that spells this information out for you. For instance there is a window of one hour after you inject Byetta that you must eat. At what point you eat within that window, determines how well the Byetta is going to work and the effects it can have on you in the process. I found many such tid bits of information that I was not aware of before. My Drill Instructor, as good as she is, just didn't pass all of these extras on to me or was not aware of them. No problem though, now I know the rest of the story.

I told you about my Santa (Vicky) from AmMed Direct in December. Well I am still receiving wonderful little care packages from them with sample snack bars and lotion, diabetic recipes, coupons for diabetic supplies and sundry needs. If you are not hooked up with them, you really need to check out their web site and get in touch. I was paying big bucks for my testing supplies through my Prescription Insurance. Vicky took matters into her hands and found out that my Medical Insurance will cover my test supplies at a fraction of what it was costing me before.

Another really wonderful resource that I happened to stumble across a while back is dLife . I have found that I could spend hours at this web site just feasting on all of the information that is available there. dLife also features a TV program that airs on Sundays. I am not sure of the time or channel, but it is posted at the site. I have caught the program a few times and have found it very informative.

Living with diabetes can certainly be a challenge at times, but it doesn't have to consume your life. Any help that we, as diabetics can find helps makes the challenge a little less taxing. I hope that you find the links I have provided here helpful. If you are not diabetic, but know someone that is, why not pass this information on to them. Please do this especially if that person is newly diagnosed. I remember feeling so overwhelmed when I was first diagnosed. That was quite a while before computers became a big part of every home. I had no idea that so many other people were fighting the same battles I was with the disease and that they were probably feeling pretty much alone, as well. My resources at the time pretty much consisted of my family doctor and what pamphlets he had available.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bird Watching 101

This is a picture of our resident blue bird. When we moved into the house on the mountain there was a grape arbor that it used to perch on. The grape vines were quite old and the grapes had some sort of disease that we couldn't seem to get rid of, so we did away with them with plans to some day plant new ones. After the grape arbor was gone, our blue bird moved to the locust tree where it oversees the front property and all who come and go.
One spring day when Riley had come to visit us he had helped me refill the bird feeders. Afterwards we were sitting at the picnic table watching the birds come and go. Riley asked me if I thought he could sneak up on those birds without them flying away. Hmmmm...... I thought about it for a little while and pointed out the blue bird on the arbor and told him I don't know about the ones at the feeder, but I bet he could sneak up on that one with no problem. He was on his feet in a heart beat and ever so slowly tiptoed up to the grape arbor. Much to Riley's delight the bluebird didn't fly away. As he stood there and looked up at it, his little hands went to his hips and he turn to me and said, "Gummaw, that's not a real bird!" I laughed over that for quite a while.
Then again T-Bear was out to visit with us another time, she was about 9 years old at the time. These two grandchildren are still at that age where they like to help with anything they can. In the spring and summer the bird feeders always are in need of filling. After T-Bear and I had replenished the seed supply in the feeders, we sat down to watch the birds feast on the seeds. T-Bear, like Riley several weeks before, asked about sneaking up on the birds while they ate. I went through the same story with her only added that this blue bird stays here year round and doesn't fly south like many of the other birds. In fact when it is in the yard it perches on the arbor and pretty much just stays right there and doesn't move. With the challenge in place, T-Bear started her tip toe routine through the yard to the arbor. Again the blue bird stayed put and didn't fly away and again after reaching the arbor and a little observation on T-Bear's part I got a look and a comment about that darn bird isn't even real....... lol
Both of these occasions have been written down in my memories so I can remind the two of them of the time they went on their bird catching safari at G'ma and G'pa's house.
This seems like the time to share another story concerning Riley and birds. We have two blue bird houses on the side of our bunk house. One or the other is used by the blue birds every year that we have been here. On one of Riley's visits he was captivated with all of the activity going on around the occupied bird house. The eggs had hatched and mama and papa bluebird were in a frenzy flying back and forth trying to feed those squawking babies inside. Riley asked about it and I showed him which of the two birds was the mama and which was the papa and explained to him why the papa had brighter colors. I also explained that not all papa birds help with the feeding of the babies like the blue bird papa does. About that time papa flew away from the bird house and Riley looked at me and was just as serious as he could be and asked me, "Is the papa bluebird going to Wal-mart to get some more food?" How do you answer a question like that without laughing? It was a serious question and he deserved a serious answer. It was not easy, but I managed to explain in more detail without laughing that they find bugs in the yard to feed the babies.
Hope your bird watching adventures are as much fun as ours have been.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

18 Days To Go....

Usually by this time every winter I am more than anxious for Groundhog Day to get here so I can find out what is ahead, an early spring or another six weeks of winter. It is also the norm for this time of year that the schools have used up a lot of their snow days. That isn't the case this year, I think they have only used two so far. It is a little on the difficult side to call a snow day when we are having 65 degree temperatures and thunderstorms.
I have always had a passing interest in groundhogs, but never really did a lot of research on the little critters. The old timers have been heard saying that they are good eating because they eat vegetables and fruit. After we moved to the mountain in 2004 we had our first close encounter with our "neighbor groundhog". At that time we had a Japanese peach tree in the yard. It was a pretty tree, but a very messy one and we talked about taking it out not long after we moved in. It just sort of grew however it wanted to. There was no grooming it, as far as pruning went, it dropped limbs and twigs whenever and where ever it felt like. The fruit, although good was very small and by the time the fuzz was peeled away and the pit taken out there really wasn't a lot to work with. We knew it was just a matter of time before the lawn mower would catch an overlooked pit and take out a window or two. It wasn't long after we moved in that the tree dropped it's fruit and we came to know our groundhog. We discovered him sitting under the tree one evening in the middle of all that fallen fruit oblivious to the world around him. Eating to his hearts content. After a while something caught his attention and he took off down the hill to the woods on the back of our property. That is when I got the best laugh I'd had in a long time. That little critter (not really little at all) looked exactly like furry jello as he ran down that hill. His fur just rippled and rolled. The rest of that spring I watched for him every day to come and fill his belly (which he did) just so I could see him run for the woods when he was finished. We did eventually get rid of the tree because of the mess and the window issue.
I went searching for information on Groundhog Day this morning so we can all be up on the subject when the big day rolls around. The best site I found was the Official Puxsutawney Phil Groundhog Site. It was at this site that I learned Groundhog Day first came about in the 1800s. I had no idea that it has been around that long. I found this quote there as well: The celebration of Groundhog Day began with Pennsylvania's earliest settlers. They brought with them the legend of Candlemas Day, which states, "For as the sun shines on Candlemas Day, so far will the snow swirl in May..." The site is full of other interesting information like groundhog history, past predictions and fun facts. It is at this site you can even join the Puxsutawney Groundhog Club if your heart desires. Check it out when you have time.
Meanwhile I wish everyone a good day.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Meaningful Mondays

I thought that I will start doing what I will refer to as Meaningful Mondays. It will be the one day that I set aside especially for reflection and trying to fit together the pieces of the puzzle that we all call 'Life'.

From time to time I come across some profound statement while I am reading a book or magazine, sometimes in an e-mail, that really lights a spark for me. It may cause me to give serious thought to something that I had found puzzling before. Perhaps answering a question that I have had for a long time. Perhaps just putting a different spin on the way I looked at something before. Sometimes it happens suddenly, sometimes slowly with a certain amount of smoothness, the puzzle piece just slides right into place for me. It is a feeling like no other when it happens.

I confess that I am guilty of usually having so much clutter on my mind that I really don't take the time to meditate over fitting my puzzle pieces together like I should. Although my inner child still thinks she is 19 with lots of time to find answers to questions I have had all of my life, all it takes is a look in the mirror to know that indeed I am no longer 19. It is time to do some mental housekeeping. Dusting off the grey matter, sweeping out the cobwebs and keeping that mind in shape by giving it some serious exercising from time to time.

With all of that said I will now give you my first 'Meaningful Monday' installment. Hopefully someone finds it helpful in some way.


As we grow up, we learn that even the one person that wasn't supposed to ever let us down probably will. You will have your heart broken probably more than once and it is harder every time. You'll break hearts too, so remember how it felt when yours was broken. You'll fight with your best friend. You'll blame a new love for things an old one did. You'll cry because time is passing too fast, and you will eventually lose someone you love. So take too many pictures, laugh too much, and love like you've never been hurt because every sixty seconds you spend upset is a minute of happiness you'll never get back.

Don't be afraid that your life will end,

be afraid that it will never begin.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The Tax Man Cometh

There needs to be a way to get off of the IRS mailing list other than just not paying your taxes. They tend to get their bloomers (I like that word. My Mother used to say it.) in a bunch when you do that. Something similar to the 'Do Not Call List' would work for me. Perhaps an 'Opt Out List' could be created.

All joking aside, along with each New Year comes the over bearing shadow of every one's beloved Uncle Sam with his hand out. Ohhhh now, don't sugar coat the picture of that dear old uncle looking to us for assistance of a great need he has for just a few of our hard earned dollars. No! No! No! That hand is out so he can quickly grab us by the ankles, turn us each upside down and shake until every cent has fallen from our pockets. He then quickly gathers it all up and uses it in ways that few of us would approve of.

I have been dragging my feet and putting off the task of purging our filing cabinet and getting the receipts and paper work ready for 'Our People'. Every time I open the filing cabinet it is more than obvious that I need to get busy on this task. It is getting to the point that I can barely get my hand between the hanging files. So far my response has been like the Quaker snack commercial on TV. The one where the girl is being followed by an ice cream truck. She is fighting the temptation by turning her head slightly and trying to hum louder than the ice cream truck's music. Then she reaches into her pocket and the day is saved by the Quaker snack pack. I open the filing cabinet drawer, quickly reach in and try to grab whatever file I am in need of and pull it out while slamming the drawer shut with that right on the second accuracy so as not to catch my hand with the drawer. As much as I dread it, I am going to have to get started on that this week.

It seems to me that when our forefathers saw fit to toss all of that tea into the Boston Harbor it was really a waste of good tea. Are we not again being taxed to death? Is it time for another uprising? I do have a suggestion for any Revolution against taxes that may come about. Instead of throwing tea into the harbor, this time why not make it the politicians.

Hope your day isn't too taxing.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

It's All In The Name

What Jo An Means

You are fair, honest, and logical. You are a natural leader, and people respect you.
You never give up, and you will succeed... even if it takes you a hundred tries.
You are rational enough to see every part of a problem. You are great at giving other people advice.

You are well rounded, with a complete perspective on life.
You are solid and dependable. You are loyal, and people can count on you.
At times, you can be a bit too serious. You tend to put too much pressure on yourself.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.
You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.
You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.
You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.

I can not get over how accurate the results of this was. Even the well rounded part (I seriously need to loose some of this weight). Seriously, I have done these little thingies before and the results have been perhaps 75% / 85% on target when it comes to describing me, but I would have to give this one a 100%. In fact it hasn't been too long ago I told my children that if I become too overly helpful with my advice that they should tell me to "butt out" in a nice way, so as not to hurt my feelings. We decided Chris should let Melody tell me this for him because all too often he reacts like his father (and that would hurt my feelings)..... Go ahead and give this a shot, be sure to come back and let me know how accurate it was for you.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Mystery Solved

Today's post will be a short one because it is Seth Day and we are going to have to be out the door and on our way in about an hour.

I just had to share this with you this morning, because I know that this cliff hanger has had you hanging there long enough waiting for the mystery to be solved.

The Borrowers did it!! It wasn't the Gremlins or even the Butler, as some suggested. The Borrowers are the ones that took my double pointed knitting needle. When we were wrapping up our water run to the spring yesterday, J.D. looked down at the accelerator and said, "Look here!" Sure enough the needle had surfaced. His next comment was, "How did it get way over here?" The answer to that is an easy one. Evidently, the Borrower that needed my knitting needle must have either been a man or a teenager......... We all know neither of them ever put anything back where it belongs.

Have a wonderful Friday!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Whew.... Just In Time

Just think...... it is National De-Lurking Week and I almost missed the whole thing. I was making my rounds visiting my favorite Blogs today and found reference to it at Pea's Corner. Stop by and check it out and pick up a graphic to add to your blog in support of "National De-Lurking Week". I am thinking I should mark it on the calendar too so I don't miss it next year. It really does mean a lot to bloggers when someone leaves a comment. It can get to be pretty disheartening to post day after day and be able to see that people are coming to your blog, but no one ever says anything. Most people make their blogs public to get some feed back on what they are thinking and writing. They also make their blogs public for the opportunity to meet people out there that share in their interests and their way of thinking. Thanks Pea for keeping us up to date!

Today's Agenda

J.D. will certainly be surprised when he reads the title for my posting today. Although it has been a while since he has asked me, one question that used to come on a regular basis was, "What's on the agenda for today?" I suppose that he now has figured me out. Although you will occasionally find a 'To Do List' composed by me, you will find it to be a rare list that is completely checked off. It never has bothered me when I didn't get my lists completed. It just made writing my next list easier because I always had a starting point (what I didn't complete on the previous list). I mostly get through my day by playing everything by ear and going with the flow of things.

The weatherman told us last night that the near 70 degree temperatures will be coming to an end today. As temperatures drop today we will be seeing some rain this afternoon. Considering that we are down to just a few gallons of spring water left and with the weather for the next few days not looking too good, J.D. mentioned last night that we need to make a water run this morning.

Although we have well water, we don't use it for drinking or cooking. It is a seepage well and I for one am more comfortable using it for bathing and washing dishes only. We located a place not too long ago where we can get spring water and started saving up bottles and jugs to fill, so we can bring it home for our drinking and cooking needs. It may not be the famous Arrowhead Spring Water, but oh it sure does taste good. It reminds me of Grandma Crace's water when I was a child. There is just a pure crisp taste to it that you don't find in tap water.

So there you have it, my agenda for today will include going for spring water. It is a nice enjoyable ride and who knows, we just may find something along the way that shouts at us, "Take My Picture!"

Hmmmmm...... not much of an agenda, but it is a start.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

One Of Those Days

I am a little late getting my post up today. Reason being that along with the New Year also comes time to get back to that blood work routine and Doctor appointments. I am scheduled to return to my Diabetes Boot camp (aka Endocrinologist Appointment) and to report in to my Drill Instructor (aka Endocrinologist) a week from Friday. That translate in to, the latest I could get my blood work done was this morning. J.D. doesn't really enjoy these appointments with her because Ican easily walk into the office and not surface again for several hours. I really don't mind it myself though, I always find plenty to read to keep my mind occupied while I wait. She never rushes me through and spends as much time with me as I need for her to without giving me the feeling that I need to hurry it up. She really is a good Doctor and is aggressive when it comes to treating my disease which is what I need.
The good news of the day is that the clinic hired a new Lab Tech. Now we have two there with the knowledge of how to draw blood. I am a challenge to the techs when it comes to drawing my blood. As soon as I tell them they are going to need a butterfly to get it, most of them look at me like "where is your badge saying you are qualified to make that call ?" ........ There have been a few that tried it without the butterfly and ended up having to find creative ways and places to fill the little tubes with blood. Now these are usually the same ones that after their first attempt at drawing my blood work will cringe and try to hide when they see me coming on future visits. Little do they know that I cringe and want to hide when I see them as well. At any rate I have been grateful for our Dear Debby for a long time. Now there is Jeremy that we can all be grateful for as well. He popped that butterfly into my one good vein with precise accuracy and in no time at all those three little tubes were filled and I was on my way out the door. J.D. was amazed at how quickly that went. I made it a point to tell Jeremy how much he is appreciated. I didn't even feel the needle go in. That is what I call a "GOOD JOB!"
After the blood work was done we headed to Bob Evans for breakfast. I can endure just about anything as long as Bob Evans is dangled in my vision like a big carrot as an award. Breakfast was wonderful as usual and the coffee was the icing on the cake.
From Bob's we made a trip to the pharmacy to pick up some meds, the dollar store to get paper products and detergent, and then on to Kroger to hunt down some food bargains. So there you have it. We ventured off of the mountain today and did our part for the economy. We are stocked up on enough food, meds and paper products to keep us on the mountain for a few weeks. That is with the exception of Seth Day and Diabetes Boot Camp.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Geaux Tigers

What an exciting game played out in New Orleans last night! The first quarter hadn't even ended when OSU grabbed the ball and ran it across the field for a touch down and a 10~0 lead against LSU. Did I give up on the Tigers? Did I take a doom and gloom attitude? Nope.
I won't get into it, but one of OSU's fans brought some bad Karma down on them this past summer. and I have been saying since then that OSU is going to loose in a big way because of this bad karma. I really should contact the team and give them this 'Bad Karma Guy's' name and address so they can track him down and take his fan jerseys and gear away. I feel bad that I didn't cheer OSU on since Tersie went to school there, her friend works there, and it is a home state school. I lived in Louisiana for a few years though and I stay away from Voodoo and bad karma.
I used to be a football fan, not a fanatic though. I enjoyed watching the games when my son played football in school. Over the years since then though I have just lost interest in the sport. The game last night certainly lit a spark to my enthusiasm. LSU did a fantastic job gaining control of that ball and running away with the game. The interceptions were absolutely thrilling moments for me. LSU Tigers brought the OSU Buckeyes down with a 38~24 win.
Great Job Team!

Monday, January 7, 2008

The Greatest Pain......

In the life of a parent or grandparent, the greatest pain they can suffer is the loss of a child or grandchild. It never seems right that a child should leave this world before the parent or the grandparent. Their young lives just beginning.
Today would mark our Warren's 15th birthday. He was taken from us April 8, 2004 by a teenage driver that should not have been behind the wheel of a vehicle. We discovered through all of this that the value of a human life in the state of Louisiana is a couple of small fines and a slap on the back of the hand for the driver.
I debated rather to do this blog on Warren's birthday or as a memorial in April. I decided it would be more fitting to celebrate his life than to again mourn his death. Time has eased the pain for all of us that knew and loved Warren, but the loss of such a wonderful child will be felt long into the future. All that knew Warren will agree that just having him in our lives even for the short time that he walked among us was a blessing that God bestowed on each of us.
As one memory of Warren I recall the time that we visited the family when they lived in Ponca City, OK. We had taken Warren bowling for a few hours. Grandpa had a little surprise in store for Warren and his Mother. He had it hidden in his pocket. After sending the ball down the lane he turned around to give Warren and Angela a big toothy grin. He had picked up a set of "Billy Bob" hillbilly teeth on the trip there and had popped them in his mouth before smiling. I am sure that Angela wanted to just disappear at that time. Warren however was a totally different story. I remember his laughter and the light in his eyes. His eyes said it all .......... They spoke volumes of the love that he had for this Grandpa of his that would do anything to make him happy and bring him joy and laughter.
I want to leave you with a link to Warren's Memorial Web Site that I built for him in 2004. Please join us in celebrating Warren's Birthday today by hugging your children and grandchildren and telling them how very much they mean to you.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Hi Ho Hi Ho.... It's Off To Work He Goes

In all honesty, I think I can say that Grandson Riley is the hardest working child I have ever known. He is a very busy little guy. A couple of years ago we added two rooms on to the house. Every time that Riley came to visit during this build on, he came complete with his work tools. To him it wasn't just pretend, he got right in there and hammered and screwed in screws.... You name it, he was there to do it. His little face would light up when Grandpa asked him for some help. When we were putting up the T 111 siding and painting it, he was right there with his paint brush to do his part. He would gather up any stray screws, nails and wood that he found and take it home with him in case he needed to do any fixing at home.

On Grandpa's birthday this year he brought along a few of his tools and his firefighting and police gear. It wasn't long before he spotted the pear trees and decided they could use a little pruning.

His Grammy in Kentucky got him the complete construction worker's gear set for Christmas. I can tell you there are few things that would have been better suited for him. We need to find some construction work for him to do around here now.

So many children today are so wrapped up in TV and video games that they seldom venture away from the television set. They are missing out on so much because of it. Instead exercising their imaginations they are being force fed 'stuff '. Now I am not knocking the video games like v-tech that are learning tools. I will also be the first one to sing the praises of video games as a great way to build eye hand co-ordination. However I believe they need to be limited so other things can stimulate those young minds.

As a child other than the winter time when it was very cold out, I remember most of my time being spent out side. I spent my share of time outside when it was cold weather too though. When there was snow on the ground I remember Mom putting layers of socks on my feet and hands, covered with bread bags (to keep in the warmth and keep out the wet) and then into the snow boots and mittens. In the summer time I waited impatiently for rain so I could get into the flower beds and start serving up my mud pies. We had a big galvanized wash tub that my mother used to wash her vegetables from the garden in before taking them to the house. When she wasn't using it, I was. It would become a cauldron where I cooked up cures for anything that could ail a person. My remedies mostly contained dandelions and whatever other wildflowers were in bloom at the time.

I just hope that the desire to work and to help people stays with Riley. It is an admirable trait.
This Grandma thinks he is a pretty admirable little guy too though.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Uhhh Ohhh

How many days ago was it that I said I was going to pack Christmas up and put it away for a while? Hmmm... Something went wrong with that game plan somewhere along the way. The tree is still standing in the living room and the stockings are still hung. I guess you could say I got side tracked.
I don't remember right now what got in the way of me doing that on Wednesday or for that matter... on Thursday. I do recall yesterday though. Friday is Seth Day, which means that the whole day is devoted to little Mr. Seth until he gets a bit bigger and can join in with what we are doing.
Today is Saturday all ready. There is still snow on the ground for a little while anyway. We are supposed to get temperatures in the high 50's and rain, which should take care of the snow.
(Jo note: What month is it? January? Temps in the high 50's? Hmmmm... Can any one say 'Global Warming'?)
The big OSU ~vs~ LSU game is going to be on Monday and I want everything that needs immediate attention to be taken care of by then. In other words, I want no distractions. So I guess today is the day that this Domestic Goddess will buckle down and get Christmas packed up, do some dusting and mopping and search out photos for the wonderful frames I got for Christmas. Heck I might even start on a new knitting project.
By the way, I have to be honest with you here, Domestic Goddess I am not. In fact, there are signs posted all through the house that say "Free The Dust Bunnies". I hope you all have a relaxing weekend and take time to stop and enjoy the loved ones in your lives.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Old Barns and People

Once more I received an e-mail that I found to be thought provoking and contained a message that we can all learn something from. With that said, I pass it on to you.

A stranger came by the other day with an offer that set me to thinking. He wanted to buy the old barn that sits out by the highway. I told him right off he was crazy. He was a city type, you could tell by his clothes, his car, his hands, and the way he talked. He said he was driving by and saw that beautiful barn sitting out in the tall grass and wanted to know if it was for sale. I told him he had a funny idea of beauty.

Sure, it was a handsome building in its day. But then, there's been a lot of winters pass with their snow and ice and howling wind. The summer sun's beat down on that old barn ' til all the paint's gone, and the wood has turned silver gray. Now the old building leans a good deal, looking kind of tired. Yet, that fellow called it beautiful.

That set me to thinking. I walked out to the field and just stood there, gazing at that old barn. The stranger said he planned to use the lumber to line the walls of his den in a new country home he's building down the road. He said you couldn't get paint that beautiful. Only years of standing in the weather, bearing the storms and scorching sun, only that can produce beautiful barn wood.

It came to me then. We're a lot like that, you and I. Only it's on the inside that the beauty grows with us. Sure we turn silver, gray too ... and lean a bit more than we did when we were young and full of sap. But the Good Lord knows what He's doing. And as the years pas s He's busy using the hard weather of our lives, the dry spells and the stormy seasons to do a job of beautifying our souls that nothing else can produce. And to think how often folks holler because they want life easy!

They took the old barn down today and hauled it away to beautify a rich man's house. And I reckon someday you and I'll be hauled off to Heaven to take on whatever chores the Good Lord has for us on the Great Sky Ranch.

And I suspect we'll be more beautiful then for the seasons we've been through here ...
and just maybe even add a bit of beauty to our Father's house.

May there be peace within you today.