Friday, November 30, 2007

Checking In

I have been trying to finish up old projects and am making progress ever so slowly. I painted two checker boards last winter, have finally bought and painted the checkers to go along, and just this morning sewed up the drawstring bags to keep them in. I've not yet decided quite what to do with them. Maybe they will become Christmas gifts and maybe I will donate one to the Ladies' Silent Auction at church. All the money collected goes to missions.

Tomorrow is December 1st. I keep thinking how much fun it would be to really decorate my house for the season, but everything is so scattered that decorating scarcely seems a reality. Sometimes I feel like I am spinning my wheels and getting nowhere. I suppose if I am not sliding backward the effort is still worth making, but it is still both frustrating and exhausting. I did clean out my clost this week and the items I hauled out are in the back of my van waiting for transport to Goodwill later this evening or tomorrow afternoon. If you don't hear from me as often during the next couple weeks, it will be because I am trying to rediscover my home. It is here under the mess somewhere. I know I can find it if I just keep trying...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Dying to Self

For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. Romans 8:13

While cleaning my closet yesterday, I was temporarily distracted by a box of old cards and papers. Inside I found a note written on the corner of a paper... "This whole dying to self is no fun. Why can't somebody else die once in a while?" Finding those words written there both amused and confused me. It was my handwriting, but who had uttered the words? I went back to look at them again today and realized they were my own words, written in a desparate cry of frustration. The Lord was teaching me a lesson that I didn't want to learn, one that I had resisted, one I needed to learn in order to stop hurting myself and those I love so dearly.

It was, and still can be, a long, hard battle, but each fall I watch the trees in the orchard surrender to God's will. They give up the fruit they so desparately clung to all summer, drop their leaves, and "die" so that they may be made "new" in the spring. God is not out there to take away everything I hold dear and leave me empty. His desire is to remove what shouldn't remain in order to grow in me that which is better. The question is, will I trust Him?

Sheep Shearing Time

Ellie could not see where she was going. It was time for another haircut. First came the bath. Ellie shook water all over Martha and the bathroom walls. "Quick! Grab the towel!" Soon Ellie was dry and fluffy. Martha combed her hair. Bethany got out the nail clippers. First Ellie had a pedicure. Martha found the scissors. Bethany began to cut. Very soon Ellie could see again. Bethany cut some more. She trimmed Ellie's feet. She trimmed her legs. She trimmed her tummy. Soon Ellie was beautiful again. She ran and jumped and danced a circle for a doggie treat.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Dear Santa

My kids have never really believed in Santa Claus, but we have had a lot of fun writing him letters anyway. The kids always loved it. Click on the letter to read what Ben wrote five years ago...

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Gray Day

Soggy, gray days are not condusive to picture taking. They are good, however, for hanging out under the table and chewing on rawhide twists... if you happen to be a dog. This dog needs another haircut!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

I Lied...

I said "no more turkey for me" but when I went out to the grocery store, I found that fresh turkey was on sale for a much better price than chicken. So guess what? I bought another turkey and I plan to enjoy this one as much as the last. Maybe it wasn't really the turkey that gave me those weird dreams, maybe it was... the vegetables! (After all, it couldn't have been the pie!)

Friday, November 23, 2007

See Ya Later, Turkey!

Thanksgiving is over for another year. We had a good day, ate way too much, and I tossed the night away dreaming "turkey" dreams. I woke up exausted this morning! The dreams I remembered were so bizarre, it makes me wonder about those I can't recall... One had something to do with a stick deoderant for women that said "Think Bald" on the front. Bald what, armpits? I think I may be going over the edge. Another had to do with a lobster like creature that turned out to be Ellie covered with macaroni and cheese. I only recognized her when it started to dry out and fall off. Scary! No more turkey for me!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Anxiety Attack

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God
Philippians 4:6
This Thanksgiving I have someone new to be thankful for, my tiny new grandson. Pass him this way for just a minute, please.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Up and At 'Em

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for [He is] good! For His mercy [endures] forever.
Psalm 107:1

I think I am finally beyond the headache. I had a good night's sleep and am able to function today. God is good.

Last night Bethany was here and we made a pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. I got a chance to hold the baby for a bit. A "little" headache couldn't keep me from giving Josh a hug or two. He's still pretty sleepy but we do get to see his eyes open once in a while.

Today it is once again dark and dreary. The boys are out stacking wood in the rain and will likely come in dripping. Hannah and I are trying to get the dusting done and I think we may just have time to clean behind those toilets... maybe.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Couch

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Colossians 3:15

It was another "lay on the couch" kind of day. The pain in my eye and ear is not so severe as yesterday, it is the tension in my right shoulder that I notice most today. This is a condition that my dad also wrestles with. The pain and tension can be there for several hours or days and then suddenly disappears. I think it is brought on by allergies but I'm not really sure. I am trusting that I will be feeling like my normal self tomorrow so I can be ready for all my family on Thanksgiving. As for today, I am thankful for a couch to rest on, a heating pad to put on my bad shoulder, and Benadryl and ibuprofen.

Monday, November 19, 2007

The Other Side

I am on the other side of the headache. I no longer want to scream, I just want to sleep. I have lost an entire day of precious time but still have two left before Thanksgiving. :)


Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:34
I have a splitting headache, the kind that makes me want to cry and bang my head against the wall. It wraps around the back of my neck, up the right side of my head, through my ear and behind my eyes. My stomach is turning I want to bury myself deep under the covers of my bed and go to sleep. Of course, that isn't going to happen today. Troy needs to be picked up at preschool and Nathan has a doctor appointment this afternoon. I will have to tough this one out like I have many others in the past.

The last headache like this came after raking leaves and burning them in a pile out back. I went to bed last Monday night with a throbbing head. Today my neighbor is burning his leaves. While peeling apples this morning, I noticed a cloud of smoke surrounding the house. After a quick peek outside to make sure my chimney wasn't on fire, I realised the smoke was coming from behind the barn across the street. Its all settled down now but the residual effect seems to be an awful headache for me. Maybe getting away for the afternoon and drinking lots of water will calm the pain. I hope so.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Hey! Sunshine!

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thess. 5:18

It was sunshiny autumn day, a great day for an orchard walk if not for hunting season. If I want to walk now, I will need to drive up to town, park and walk where there are no hunters or speeding vehicles. I so desperately need to walk and so seldom get out to do it. I am turning to mush... sometimes I feel like I am turning into a pile of mashed potatoes. Arrrgh! Instead of walking, I went for a ride with my dear hugsband this afternoon. It was a nice day for a ride and nice to have an hour or so to ourselves.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Chip off the Old Apple

I am drying my fourth batch of apples and also simmering an umteenth batch of applesauce. The chips are great, I had some in my oatmeal this morning and James had some on his cereal. If I only had three or four dehydrators, I could dry all my apples and heat the house at the same time.

Thanksgiving is sneaking up on me. I thought I had another whole week to prepare myself but found out just the other day that I have less than a week. YIKES! I have the turkey in my freezer, a ten pound bag of taters in the cabinet, and the fixings for stuffing. I should feel ready but I still don't. When the day arrives everything will be in order and I will have a chance to sit down and enjoy the day. In the meantime I will probably stress out a little more each day until the house is clean and everything is in order. Once the stressing over Thanksgiving is done, I can start stressing over Christmas.

Right now it's time to brew a fresh pot of coffee and relax while the smell of cooking apples permeates my house. Maybe I'll chew on a few dried apple slices and do a crossword puzzle too.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Last night I lay in bed and listened to the wind blow. The remaining leaves struggle to hang on but each day the trees appear more naked. The one exception, a red maple which finds shelter from the wind on the east side of the house. Soon its leaves will drop and snow will be gathered into its arms instead. A "blanket of snow"... brrrr!

Last night I dehydrated my first batch of apples. They turned out very nice and my family finds them yummy. I will need to find a good hiding place if I am to keep any through the winter months. No wonder squirrels hide their winter food supply! Not only do the dried apples make good snacks alone, but they will be perfect for adding to oatmeal cookies, coffee cakes and breads. The would be good in vanilla yogurt or on top of cereal. Yes, I need to find a hiding spot.

Aside from using up my apples, my mind has also been on Christmas and how and what to give for gifts. If only I didn't have so many other things to think about and could devote my days to creating wonderful things...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A Rainy Morning

It was a cool, dark and wet morning. I had a hard time waking up today and would have much preferred to snuggle down under the covers than get up. There is something about gloomy skies that makes for good sleeping. It looks now like the sky is just beginning to clear. Maybe the sun will decide to shine afterall.

Nothing special has been happening today. I did the normal every day type of chores; make the bed, start some laundry, wash the dishes, vacuum... I'm still not done vacuuming, but thenI never am for long anyway. This is the time of year when leaves are a permanant floor decoration. They are much preferred to the mud and water that follows soon after. I would rather vacuum than mop.

Before I picked Troy up from preschool this afternoon we dropped our Christmas Shoeboxes off at our old church in Sodus. We did just two this year, one for a 2-4 year-old boy and one for a girl. We also left a couple jars of apple butter at the home of my friend, Becky, who lent me the grinder/strainer attachment for my Kitchen Aide mixer. It has made making applesauce so much easier! We left Becky's with a food dehydrator...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Josh Stopped By

Josh stopped for a short visit yesterday. He was on his way out for his very first trip to the grocery store. Before leaving Grandma's house, he had to be fed and was wide awake for a couple of pictures afterward.
Alysa got a chance to hold him and she thought that was pretty special. I thought it was pretty special that his eyes were open.

I've Been Tagged

Rules: Once tagged, you must link to the person who tagged you. Then post the rules before your list, and list 8 random things about yourself. At the end of the post, you must tag and link to 8 other people, visit their sites, and leave a comment letting them know they’ve been tagged.

1. I have been tagged by T.
2. T and I have been blogger friends for a little over a year.
3. We live on opposite sides of the country.
4. Her mom is my blog friend too.
5. I like to blog.
6. I like to put photos on my posts.
7. I've never been too good at tag.
8. I don't know who to tag next...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

A Late Autumn Walk

I went to bed a little earlier than usual last night. I had one of those headaches that make my stomach turn and decided I was better off going to bed than laying on the couch. Unfortunately these headaches often hang on until morning making me very sleepy the following day. By 11:30 this morning I decided that I needed to get up and go out for a walk rather than lay around accomplishing nothing at all. Hannah and I took Troy, the dogs and the camera and headed off for a bit of fresh air and exercise. Although I am still tired and achy, I am feeling more refreshed and ready to do my daily taskes about the house. Maybe I'll make some meatballs for spaghetti in case Bethany or Josiah show up for supper tonight.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Today is Monday

It is a good day for raking leaves, not too hot, not too cold, so that is what we have been doing. We have silver and sugar maple leaves, oak leaves, walnut and birch leaves. They are raked into huge piles which sit, patiently waiting for transport to the back garden where I am hoping we can set them ablaze. Ahh, the wonders of living in the country! If it weren't for my neighbor across the street, who is also raking leaves, it would be a quiet country kind of day. But Paul has his car stereo cranked up so he can listen to music while he works. My kids are not impressed with his late 70's early 80's collection and stuffed their pockets with CD players and their ears with headphones, and listened to their own music. I do not have a CD player (not that I would use it anyway) and therefore I ended up listening to Paul's music. Allen, who also lives across the street, doesn't have to tolerate Paul's music while raking leaves, he's deaf.

While I was out raking, Mr. Morgan came down the road and stopped to ask about my daughter. He knows her, like many others do, from the little restaurant where she has been a waitress for the past two and a half years. He says she is a sweetheart and is happy to hear about my new grandson with "a good Bible name".

Saturday, November 10, 2007

He's an Old Scarecrow... And He Don't Know What to Do

(This may be somewhat reminiscent of an earlier post...)

Once he had been young and strong. He had carried himself with dignity and held his head high. People had turned their heads to look when they saw him out of the corner of their eye. He was young and proud...
But now, age had caught up. He was tired and slumped over in his chair. When people saw him, they looked the other way and pretended not to notice his presence. In his mind nothing had changed. He was the same man inside as he had always been, only the outside was different...

Friday, November 09, 2007

Something Grand and Glorious

I am trying hard to accomplish those grand and glorious tasks around the house. Last evening I vacuumed the four sets of blinds which cover my livingroom windows. I'm quite certain they will be dirty again in a couple of weeks. Woodstoves are not helpful when it comes to dust and dirt, but for now the job is done and they look so much better! Maybe later on I'll dust all the little doodads that occupy the area above the windows...
Yesterday afternoon and all through this morning I have been cutting, coring, and quartering apples, cooking them, straining them, and filling the crockpot with them. They are all spiced up, cooked down, and ready to go into jars now (my next task). Soon I will have several more jars of apple butter cooling in the kitchen and another batch will go into the crockpot.
Today's objective is to empty and reclaim one laundry basket for its proper use. (You should see my piles of laundry now! If I don't start on that soon, we will all be running around naked... ha, ha!) If I can get this basket emptied I will have only one and a half baskets left to turn into sauce, cider, or baked goods. Once I am done with the chore of storing up apples, I can move on to something else, maybe painting Christmas gifts... or... holding my grandson

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Great Escape

Far too many times I have used our computer to "escape". I am going to make a valiant effort to curb my computer appetite and scale back the amount of time I spend here. (Shhhh! Don't tell my husband or he'll try and hold me to it.) I don't mind stopping in once or twice a day but the temptation to keep checking back is what gets me into trouble, besides those baskets of apples will be here all winter long if I don't devote some attention to getting rid of them. So now, I am off to accomplish something great and wonderful...maybe.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Cold and Wet

Brrr! After all the nice weather, it's hard to get used to cold and wet. Most of the leaves have blown off the trees now, but if the sun were to show its face, there are still some splashes of color here and there. We had a bit of very wet snow fall around noon but it didn't stick around for long. This is the kind of weather that makes you either want to stay inside or move south. I think I'll opt to stay inside and do some of those things that I put off when the weather is nice. I have tons of photos that need to be put into albums, I have paints waiting to be used, I have puzzles to make... and apples to cook... (I will never be rid of those apples!) Christmas is coming and if I play my cards right, I could make some very nice gifts and actually be ready before Christmas Eve...

This morning we went to meet these people who are also into woodworking. I happened to see some their furniture when I was out a week or so ago and told James about it. Jose' is going to buy some of James' figured lumber and, since James is pretty busy right now, he will be passing a few jobs on to Jose'.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Feeling Like November

The day started out with a little bit of sunshine but ended up being cold and drizzly. It's feeling very November-like. We have been enjoying the fire in the woodstove, baking cookies, and staying warm and dry inside the house.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Happy Birthday to Rachie Baby!!!

My baby sister is almost 40!


I find it somewhat disturbing that there are people who actually don't like Thanksgiving...

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Another Busy Day

My goodness, do I ever feel sleepy! But its too late to take a nap, if I were to sleep now, I would never sleep tonight. Maybe soon I will catch a second wind and wake up again... Good thing for an extra hour of sleep tonight!

This morning Hannah and I took Beth and Baby out to the Dr.'s office so they could check Baby's bilirubin levels. Instead of waiting with them, I left Hannah with Beth, and I spent the time grocery shopping in a strange town. (Funny how the same grocery chain can be so different in a neighboring town.) The doctor wasn't quite finished when I returned so nobody missed me too much. Baby's bilirubin levels are dropping again so he checked out good and we left. Back at the house I checked on the laundry situation and washed the dishes. Rachel stopped by (Steven wanted to see the baby) and we decided to cook up some barbequed hamburger for Beth and Adam to eat later on. Before I could go home I had to move my groceries from the back of Beth's vehicle, which we drove to the Dr's office, into mine and then out of mine and into the house once I got home. Since we ran out of dish detergent last night, there was a sink and counterful of dishes needing to be washed here. Hannah put the groceries away while I washed dishes. Then I had some soup and crackers and a cup of coffee. Now its almost supper time.

Friday, November 02, 2007

A Bird in the Hand

It was the perfect autumn day, crisp, cool, and clear. I packed up the kids, met Shelly and we headed back to the park. The girls (Sara and Alysa) thought it would be fun to try feeding the birds. This time we took not only sunflower seeds, but peanuts for the squirrels and chipmunks. I didn't see even one chipmunk this time and the squirrels seemed very preoccupied with eating. They were far less interested in us than the previous visits, but the birds were very pleased that we had come. We had not only chickadees eating out of our hands but verios and nuthatches too. Hannah even had a bluejay come and take some seeds. Sara thought it was very cool and even tried to "steal" Hannah and Jessi's birds.

On the way home we stopped back at the farm market for a jug of cider and another run through the corn stalk teepees. The boys (Tyler and Troy) found that to be very exciting. What better place to play than a dark and spooky teepee? We also fed the goats and sheep again and Alysa decided chase the turkey about for a while. The girls both fell asleep on the way home as did Troy. It was a nice day out.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Pass the Baby, Please...

Okay, here he is. Hold him carefully and please be gentle, he's just a little guy. Watch him make faces and suck on nothing. Listen to the little baby sounds he makes... awwwww! Doesn't he smell fresh and new?