Monday, December 17, 2012


Monday following Thanksgiving, I came down with a cold, the worse cold I have suffered in about 10 years. It progressed to my chest and I was miserable for two 1/2 weeks. I am slowly recovering, still have some sinus drainage and a bit of a cough. But the most annoying part is the total lack of energy. I did manage to get the Christmas tree up. It took two days and both of us to do it and it is still only about 1/3 decorated.  Not much else will get done before the holiday. I just am void of stamina.

Our kids were here for a short visit last weekend. As always, it was great to see them, but under the circumstances it was nice that they spent only a short time. A friend came over on Thursday and took out the trash. She also helped me bake some gluten free cookies for Richard. Small blessings that mean so much.

Praise God that Richard has had only had a few sniffles. The last thing he needs is a full blown case of bronchitis.

Last night the power was off for about an hour. We lit the gas fireplace and an oil lamp, turned on the portable radio Rick had given his dad for Christmas to a station playing Christmas music, and just soaked in the peace of the moment, nice. We have so much to be thankful for. God has been very good to us. He has provided all we need; heat, light, shelter, food, love, and family.

 When you look at the world around us, it is not hard to be thankful. There is not a lot we can do to change others, but to pray. Only God can bring about the magnitude of change required for peace and love on a large scale and according to His word, peace may not be His long term plan. But we can hope for positive change in at least the short term. So pray and do your part. Don't forget to be thankful for Christ, who gave his life that we might live forever.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, November 23, 2012

A Quiet Thanksgiving

Shelley, Lissa and her girls came by for a short visit on Wednesday. We hadn't seen the little ones for several months and they have grown so much. What a nice gift of family.

Richard and I spent a very quiet Thanksgiving alone. Rick and his crew were scheduled to be here over night  and have breakfast, but he is sick. That meant his family was split up for the holiday and he spent it in bed. We are grateful he didn't try to make the long journey and that he has a few days to recover.

Both Rick and Amy called. We got updates on what all the grand kids are up to. "Things" are going well. We all have much to be thankful for.

I fixed a traditional Thanksgiving dinner using glutin free ingredients. Not exactly the same, but not too bad either.  Clean up was short, since there were just the two of us. We have lots of left overs for soup, turkey enchaladas, pot pie & ect.

Today I will also need to do laundry. There is a lot more of that than you would expect. I will also go to gleaners and start wrapping Christmas gifts. Christmas gifts will consist of family trees, dried fruit from our trees, and closet pillows made from a cedar we had removed. Most of it low cost (copy paper and ink are spendy) and on hand. But a lot of love and time put into it. More of what Christmas is supposed to be, I think.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Another month has come and gone. Not a whole lot happening around here that is new. We have been wrapping up the harvest (grape juice, dried apples, etc.) and I have been spending a lot of time working on geneology for Christmas gifts.

Since my tree is so dense, I am dividing it into two volumes of four sections each.  Two sections a year will be distributed to each of our children and to my three living siblings. Most of my family has been in America since the beginning. The last set of great grand parents arrived just after the Civil War. So this first 1/4 of Volume one (14 generations) is more than an inch thick. It will take about 8 years to put all of this one tree together.

In addition to a segment of my own family tree, I have completed a tree for one son-in-law and his parents, a segment of a tree for a granddaughter's husband, a tree for a daughter-in-law, a tree for one grandson (his mother's side), and a potion of trees for several other grandchildren. Yes, I have spent a lot of time at the computer doing research. It may pay off in an unexpected way.

Seems some of the grandkids may qualify for free or nearly free college due to their being of Indian heritage. It is something worth looking into, at least.

But I must put away my research for a bit now and prepare for the holidays. It will be good to see friends and family and to "catch up" face to face. Shelley spent several hours here yesterday. It is the first we had talked since she returned from her global travels. Rick and most of his crew will be here for a few days next week. We haven't seen him for since mid-September, his family since April.

Have a great Thanksgiving. Even though there have been some very real negetive aspects to 2012, it is no effort at all to count our blessings. May our God in heaven reign in your life throughout 2013.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

are we there yet?

It has been a journey. There have been many twists and turns along the way, but we are "almost" there. Jack has been such a blessing. I just have to pinch myself to beleive a total stranger, a non-christian, would volunteer to do all this work for us. It has been about six weeks since my last post. Much has been done.

We hired a professional crew to take down a huge incence cedar and prune out our massive black walnut. Jack cut up and hauled away the larger pieces of wood to be used as fuel and to dry for lumber. Then he ran all the rest of the smallar stuff, along with the tree prunings piled up before, through a chipper and spread the chips where needed.

Rick and Doug came down and replaced the portion of the shop roof that was leaking and dug the fire pit bay the back patio. Rick also cleaned moss off the house roof, down moss prevention granules, and cleaned the gutters.

Eric and Shelley delivered a load of really nice compost for Richard's birthday, so I cleaned out the planting beds in the back garden and Jack turned the beds (Chris had previously turned one of them) and put new compost in them.

Jack also prepared the area around the back planting beds and a pathway to them from the front walkway and laid down about 3-4 inches of crushed stone so that Richard's wheelchair could have access.

Jack has also replaced the end posts for the rassberries and grapes, using the old well pipe that was laying along the back of the garden. I planted garlic, separated and cleaned up strawberry plants, then moved them to a larger bed. The old strawberry bed now holds three new blueberry bushes. I have pulled up tomato plants that were spent and put protective plastic around the rest. We may get several more nice tomatoes from them. The summer squash has about had it. A few green beans still are growing and a couple small cucumbers remain on the vines. I need to harvest and dry the herbs.

The rest of this week will see sucker starts from the base of our large fig moved to the back garden, the rest of the compost placed around existing flower beds, bricks around the fire pit reset in crushed stone, what's left of the apples picked (most have already been processed), and outdoor furniture (at least the cushions) stored for winter. Jack has alraedy stated that when the rain comes (due on Friday), he is done. I am amazed at what he has accomplished.

I also have been working on Harry's couch. The bottom of the legs have been cut off and will need to be replaced (spliced). I have filled and/or re-glued several areas. But since rain is imminent, I will mearly put a coat of protectiive paint on it now and finish the work next spring. Yes, it is worth saving.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fall is coming. You can feel it in the morning air. Soon the rain will be here, as well. The forcast calls for a strong possibility of rain early next week. Our potting shed has been cleaned out and the old storage boxes under the holly torn down. Now I am charged with sorting and getting rid of stuff. What's left needs to be under cover.

Last week Jack (our neighbor's ex) hauled two large loads of junk to the dump. This week he is cutting wood for winter (for his use). I am going through boxes of old papers and other stuff. Yesterday Richard and I prepared 2x4s for hanging as shelf braces in the potting shed. Today I will hopefully get them hung. The drill is heavy and hard to hold in our artheitic hands and wrists. Getting old is not so bad except that your body no longer co-operates.

We have scheduled a tree crew to cut down a large diseased incense ceder and prune out our big black walnut on September 7. When that is done, Jack will run all the trimmings through a chipper. He is also going to rebuild the portion of our raised beds in the vegetable garden that need repair and do some work on the walk ways. That will still leave some small construction projects that really need to be done. Anyone interested in replacing a portion of the shop roof (the skylight has leaked and ruined the roof from there down), replacing a rotted out sill in a basement window, repairing the back door jam, or putting new glass in a small window that got broken? Jack is not interested in doing construction and these projects really need to be done soon.

Another project that I would love to have done is to build a green house out of a collection of old single-pane sliding glass doors we have out back. It needs to be large enough to allow for Richard's power wheel chair. I invision this green house as being built with pressure treated lumber on a base of concrete block (2 courses high) with a roof of corrigated fiberglass panels. The floor would be of concrete pavers or brick so that the wheels of his chair would not get stuck. Most of the materials are on hand. We would need some block, concrete mortar, and lumber, but not much. Having  something to do besides watching TV would do Richard a world of good, physically, mentally, and emotionally.  Anyone interested?

Monday, August 6, 2012


We have a new neighbor who is happy as a clam to work on our yard instead of paying to go to the gym. What a blessing!! He has cut unwanted trees, pruned others, and removed a plot of blackberries that was encrouching on our garden. This patch of blackberries was actually on someone else's property, but they had placed their back fence about 10 feet in from the property line. The blackberries were growing in kind of a no mans land. It really opens up the space.

My blog has changed to the point that it no longer gives me an option to insert photos, sorry. It is amazing that now the vegies are getting sun, you can distinguish one tree from another, and this neighbor is actually making a priority list of more work he wants to do. When the Lord blesses you, he doesn't go half way.

Monday, June 18, 2012


Last week our daughter, son-in-law and grandson came over and did some sorting of "stuff" they had stored in our driveway. It had been there for two years, much of it ruined by the elements. So a big blue dumpster was filled twice and there is still a lot to get rid of. But that is progress.

On Saturday, two strong young men from church weed eated and placed in the dumpster, a ton of blackberries. There is still so very much work to accomplish in order to get the yard in managable shape. But that too is progress.

I have been working on both house and yard. I had much looked forward to family visit last week. We had a really nice time catching up after 35 years.The house was clean, but not immaculate and the front yard at least looked as if someone lives here. Progress.

Last year niether my husband or I were in any shape to have a garden. This year, our grandson till one of our vegetable beds and got it ready for starts. I have now planted some summer vegies. Again, progress.

Thank you to everyone who contributed time and efforts so far. Our son will be here next week end to do some major home repair and hopefully catch up on face to face visit time. So much progress.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Wow, has it really been nearly a month since my last post? That is some indication of just how tired I have been. That won't (the tired part) change any time soon. I did finally get caught up on "things" around the house that were negected for what time we were gone. Things like bills, laundry, cleaning, ect. But the yard was over grown and our grandson, who was keeping the worst of it at bay, has started a new job. We are extremely glad for him, but that leaves a ton of work for me.

Blackberries threaten to take over the place both in the back vegetable garden and in the flower beds. More common weeds join in to add to to the disaster. I have spent the last several days cutting down (not digging up) johnson grass in the front mound and weed eating around the front beds. Seems the more I do, the more those blackberries and weeds stand out.

I am expecting company next Tuesday, a cousin I have not seen in 35 years. I don't expect perfection of my yard or house, but it would be nice if the place at least looked like someone actually lives here. So I continue to pull weeds, prune hedges, and ect. I ordered a blue dumpster to be delivered on Friday. Our daughter has promised to dispose of her rain soaked junk that has been sitting in the driveway. That alone will make a whole lot of difference.

It won't get done before my company comes, but a group from church who are earning money for a missions trip will be coming on the 16th to do some cleanup, as well. I will have them tackle the blackberry problem. We will make a nice contribution to their cause in return.

The Lord has provided even for this need. We received a letter from the airline we used on our trip to Europe. They will be sending a sustantial refund to compensate for some issues I won't go in to. It will cover both the missions contribution and pay for replacing a broken water heater and the bathroom floor it ruined. Thank you Jesus. You really do meet ALL our needs and your timing is flawless.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Finally catching up

Jet lag is for the birds. The older I get, the longer it takes. We have been back in the states for almost 3 weeks. We stayed several days in the Seattle area before even attempting the drive home. My internal clock is wound too tight and having trouble getting back on schedule. Still, it is better each day. I sleep well and at the approximate "regular" time, but I feel wiped out most of the time.

Amy's family

Egg display-Rothenberg

Amy's house

Amy's back deck


church square-Spire
Today I finally downloaded my pictures to my computer. It will take awhile longer before any editing is done, maybe all summer at this rate. But I will share a few, as they are.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Too tired to care

We arrived home last evening after a month in Germany and Washington. I slept 12 hours straight, found something to eat (rice crackers and peanut butter) and made a pot of coffee. It has taken all day to empty suitcases, do a load of laundry, and go through e-mail. Mail will have to wait till tomarrow. I need to doa grocery run. We are out of almost everything. But I am fading, so it had best be done soon. I will post a few details and photos later in the week.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Most of us have heard of and have experienced the "prompting" of the Holy Spirit. PTL for it, what a blessing. Yesterday, I had such an experience.

While still in recovery from my surgery and not yet able to walk, let alone drive, I received notification that my drivers license would need to be renewed prior to my birthday. There was no way I could do anything about it at the time, so I put the notice on a shelf above my desk and promptly forgot about it. But yesterday morning, the upcoming deadline just popped into my head. So I started looking for the notification. It was, of course, right where I had left it. They say timing is everything and I believe it.

We are about to embark on a journey, a trip for which I need to drive 175 miles both at the beginning and the end of a month long vacation. My license is still good for the first leg, but would have been expired by three weeks for the trip home. Not acceptable. So I went down and went through the process of renewal, got a worthless temporary license (also expires before we return), and hopefully my new one will arrive before we leave. It is supposed to take 5-10 days. We leave in 7. If I had waited even until Monday, odds are we would already be gone when it arrives. On the off chance we miss it, I will have Chris mail it to Rick's house so it will be waiting for me when we get back from Europe.

I truly believe the prompting of the Holy Spirit saved the situation. It certainly wouldn't be the first time and most likely not the last. PTL. Boy, I hope I haven't forgotten anything else of importance! By the way, at 72 years old I still passed the eye exam and do not yet need to wear glasses to drive. When the Lord blesses you He doesn't hold anything back.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

getting close

Time is passing very quickly. It always does, when you are either having fun or preparing to do so. We leave on our trip Saturday March 17. That is only a little over a week from now. Our bags are not actually packed, but most everything is either in the bags or on the bed beside it. Several lists have been checked off, or have but a few items yet to complete. Most are things that, by their nature need to be "last minute". But then there is always an item that just can't be located. This time it is a silk screen.

We told our granddaughter we would bring Richard's printing equipment for her to use in connection with her art work. But I have looked till I am blue in the face for that thing, and it is not to be found. No I did not throw or give it away! I am pretty sure I saw it a few months ago when cleaning in the old furnace room, but where is it? Chris even helped me look for it last week. Big breath, try again. Ask the Lord for His direction. It will show up.

Mean while, I have shopped for requested items. Our medication has been ordered and most received. Arrangements have been made with the airline for handicap loading and seating. TSA rules have been down-loaded and reviewed. A couple Dr. appointments needed to be changed to after we return home. A note from the Dr. has been secured that will authorize carrying of refrigerated liquid medicine and syringes and verifies that both Richard and I have artificial knees. Bills have been paid ahead. Taxes completed and the annual VA benefit form submitted. I visited the bank and changed the password on both my Visa and debit cards, telling them when and where we are headed to avoid any problems getting funds, should we need them. I called our health insurance company to also make sure they knew where we would be and to verify protocol should, God forbid, we require medical assistance. We have made arrangements to stay a few days with our son in Washington on either end of the flight. He will take us to and pick us up from the airport. We will be stopping by one granddaughter's on the way to Seattle and another will visit us there. Both granddaughters have new little ones that we have yet to meet. Our grandson Chris will be house sitting. We are taking friends to dinner tonight as a thank you for all their assistance while I was recovering from my last surgery. And finally, I have called a meeting next week for the church group I head up, to discuss several outstanding issues. Have I forgotten anything important? I hope not.

Traveling at this stage of our life is a challenge. But it is not impossible. We so look forward to seeing loved ones that could be seen no other way. That makes all the hassle so worth while. Will it wear us our? Absolutely. We will probably be down for a couple days when we get there and at least a week when we get back. Would we do it all over again? In a heart beat, just not real soon. What's the saying, we're getting too old for this? Well, maybe so. But we aren't about to just lay down and die. Our family is our life. We need each other. You never outgrow the need for a hug and a face to face with those you love.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

More good news

Some weeks are just so so. Some are never ending same ol same ol stuff. Some are filled with frustation. And then there are those that just take you by surprise. We had been thinking about going to Germany for over a year now. One thing and then another got in the way. It just didn't look good for this year either. Fares were terrible, fuel was going up again, making it unlikely those fares would be headed in the right direction. We were prepared to postpone again. Then early in the week we got a call from our daughter telling us she was not going to mail our traditional Easter package, we were just going to have to come get it.

So arrangements are in the works for another trip. We won't be doing any touristy things this time. Not only are neither of us in good enough shape, but our daughter is in the middle of a long term commitment that requires her to be home for a substantial number of weeks. So we will just chill. Quite frankly, that sounds really good to both of us right now. Our major concern is the travel part.

We are flying non-stop so won't need to worry about changing planes, but the trip will be hard on Richard. Last time we did this he was really sick for several days on either end. Please be in prayer for him this trip. We do NOT want a repeat.

Our grandson Chris will be house sitting while we are away. He is going to school on line and working here one day a week already. This will be a break for him. He can bring his computer and take his time with the routine work. We will leave plenty of stores for his use too. He will have to cook though.

Richard and I are looking forward to seeing our grandkids after three years. We haven't even seen our daughter in two years. A visit is way over due. Thank you Amy and Juergen. We appreciate you more than you know.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A good week

Last week (Saturday) Richard took a nasty fall. It took him almost half an hour (even with my help) to get back up. Needless to say, he was sore and exhausted. But he is OK now. Several people have been praying for him.

Tuesday was Valentines Day. I had been saving a couple of rib eye steaks in the freezer for a special occasion, this was it. They were great, but big. We only ate about half, saved the rest for another meal. The gleaners gave us two chocolate covered strawberries and some flowers. It was a nice day.

On Wednesday Carmen stopped by for lunch and a visit. It is always nice to visit one-on-one with our grand kids. I made beef stew and we took a stroll around the yard.

Chris come over on Friday and did some yard work. His help is making such a difference. He has been pruning fruit trees, cleaning the vegetable beds and even spread some grass seed.

Some old friends came by for a visit on Friday afternoon. We hadn't seen them in several weeks, so was nice to catch up.

I got caught in a drenching down pour yesterday. I had to change cloths and go to bed for awhile, just to warm up. But I'm OK. I'm so glad Richard wasn't with me. He is cold even in a warm house.

We will be gaining a new great grandchild on Friday. Lissa is scheduled for delivery that day, if she doesn't go into labor before that. It is scheduled due to difficulties last time around. Our new little girl doesn't yet have a name, but we will know soon enough.

Hope your coming week is great.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

yarn mural

The Lilly Pond

I finally completed the afghan I promised Lissa for her new little one. She wanted a Lilly pad, I gave her just a little bit more. Shelley called it a Monet and I guess that Lilly pads are what he was noted for. It was fun to do and kept me busy while recovering from surgery. I am now learning to walk again and it will soon be time for real work. The afghan took +/- 100 hours to complete, including tucking in all those loose strands on the back and blocking the whole thing. But Lissa seems pleased and hopefully the baby will like it too. It was actually a lot of fun.

Saturday, January 28, 2012


This week has brought both frustration and encouragement. Frustration because I have lost a front tooth. Encouragement because I can finally wear a shoe on my left foot and begin the process of literally getting back on my feet.

Last week I bit down on a piece of oven fried potatoes. An extra crispy shard cut into my gum and one of my front teeth felt a bit loose. I put on my night guard hoping to stabilize it while the gum healed. But no luck. A week later, the tooth was all but dangling when the guard was removed. I went to the dentist. They took x-rays and said the tooth had had it. So the guard is back on, for now. I have a consult scheduled for Monday morning to discuss options. At this point in my life, I am insurance poor, but have no dental coverage. So fancy fixes are out. There will be no implants, and because a bridge would need to be double (I lost a tooth 2 years ago in close proximity), I'm told it would not hold up. So I will most likely need a partial plate. Ouch. My biggest question is If I loose another tooth, will I need to have a whole new plate made or can they add on to that one? My teeth seem to be on their last legs. So I have lots of questions.

I have a savings account to cover stuff like this, but I also want to travel this year. My account can't handle both at the same time. Is the Lord telling me something? Is it don't go, delay going, or that He has other plans? Patience needed here. It is frustrating to the point of tears. We haven't seen out Germany grandchildren in 3 years. They are growing and changing so fast. It would be easy to question, and at times I confess I do. But I also recognize just who is in charge. He loves and cares for me. I simply need to trust.

I also saw the podiatrist yesterday. He is very please with how my foot is healing. I have now been given the OK to not wear the special shoe 24/7. I took it off when I went to bed last night for the first time in nearly 5 weeks. I can now sit up with my leg on a stool, as long as that stool is at least level with the chair and not lower. I can wear an open toed shoe with stiff sole (Berks - thanks Amy for the shoes) for a short time, alternating with the surgery shoe. I can be on my feet for up to an hour or even two (I need to pay attention to swelling and pain levels). I can start soaking my foot alternately in hot water and then ice (thanks Shelley for the foot bath). He said it will probably be another 3 weeks before I can be back to any sort of normal activity. But it is a beginning, and that is exciting. I don't need to see him again until Feb. 22.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Happy New Year

I am back, well partially. My surgery went well. I had all the pins pulled out on Friday (the 13th). I can now take a shower, a full one. I can walk , a bit. I can even drive. But there are still some pretty harsh restrictions that limit my freedom. The first of these is that I can only have my leg down for a maximom of 45 minutes. That essentially means that while I can take a quick run to the store, I can't can't really shop. I can't go to church because it takes about that length of time to drive there and back. I can sit at the computer just long enough to take care of e-mail or post, but no longer than that. I still need to wear this rigid sandle to bed. I can put weight on the front of my foot, but am not to push it, the pain level is not to excede 3. Recovery really is 6-8 weeks. Tomarrow marks 4 weeks since my surgery. Oh well, I will be a good girl and do what I'm told. I honestly do NOT want any setbacks.