Our Home Away from Home!

Our Home Away from Home!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Morning Sickness and Baby Hats.....

  Just kidding....had you going there didn't I????  The past few days have been very busy. Yesterday, we needed to meet with the coordinator at the church to go over details for the wedding. Then we went to look at the reception hall so I could get an idea of how to decorate, and how we wanted to arrange the tables. There is a lot of decorations to make, any volunteers wantin' help???
Then after we did all those errands we went to our future SIL's birthday party. He was 25 yesterday. Wow! I am twice as old as him :(  Where did the time go? I remember being 25, young and married and pregnant with our first daughter. Did I mention morning sickness....yuk!  Boy did I have it bad. I don't know why some women get it worse than others. With Hannah, our second I vomited the "whole" nine months sometimes twice a day. I lost wt, and the doctor was not happy about that, but when you can't keep anything down, what do you do??  Now how did I get on this subject?????

I have been doing a lot of crocheting. I had been wanting a new white scarf and I finished it last night while we were driving the hour to get to the church. Hannah agreed to model it as long as I didn't get her face. :)

It is crochet.  But you don't go back and forth like most patterns, this one you cast on 230 stitches and then go back and forth length wise. Boy it seems to take forever to get from end to end. But I really like the curling that it does, different.

Then the other crocheting I have been working on are boys newborn hats. Lindsay has like 9 friends and they are ALL having boys. I did make this one little girl hat though...just in case. This is the prettiest mauve color but it didn't show up that pretty in the picture.

I have been trying to mix up the colors for the boy hats. Little girls are so much easier to decorate. I have different flower designs, there are hearts, and fancier stitching. Little boys are kind of plain.
And the one thing I never seem to get enough made of are dish clothes. I love to give these for gifts. I had been knitting them but they take so much longer. So I decided I wanted to crochet them so I kind of came up with my own pattern. Now I can make one in an evening.

I just love this rainbow coloring. And they scrub pans so well but don't scratch. They are made with 100 % cotton yard, different than scarfs and afghans.
Getting off yarn for a while and back to the wedding. Remember all those 40 little tiny flower pots I told you I needed to decorate well this is what I did with them.

No, the Dell is not part of the design.
 First Art cut me out 40 little round circles of styrofoam. Then I glued that in the pots. Then I got some moss and glued that onto the styrofoam. Yes, I burned my fingers numerous times with the hot glue. After that I made 40 little picture holders out of floral wire. I then inserted them into the styrofoam and glued a little green leaf on the wire. Then I inserted the blue, pale yellow, or white floweres down into the moss. Hannah had wallet size pictures made of her and Dan and we are putting them on the tables so people can take them home. They are a cute idea and it didn't take me too long. I finished all the boutonnieres too. Here is one of them. I won't be able to post pictures of the bouquets as Hannah wants them to remain a secret until the wedding. Guess you will have to come back in June to see them. I think she will let me post bows though. :)

The blue color you see is darker in person. Cornflower blue is the color.
Well this has been what I have been doing the past few days. Oh and of course reading blogs and then when I am ready for bed I am reading a great book entitled Race Across Alasks, by Libby Riddles. She is the first woman to win the Alaskan Iditarod. Wow! Talk about stamina and guts she had them both. And her dogs seemed incredibly trained. She won a purse of $50,000, Tomorrow we are going to go look at a park to host at the summer of 2014. I'll let you know where and hopefully have some great pictures to share. So from Indiana...best wishes.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Good Old Days....on the Farm

 Gypsy from On the Road Again blogged about using Lard and mentioned she loved to read about life in the past when things were slower and less hectic. Well it got me to thinking I lived a very rich and rewarding childhood as I see it today. (I probably didn't see it that way back then)  So I thought I would share some of my childhood memories. 
When I was 5 we moved to the boondocks, (not exaggerating) This was also where my brother had started his farm of raising hogs and chickens.  The operation was behind our house so I got to help him a lot, and I loved it.  My brothers were 10 and 15 yrs older than me so I became the brunt of their jokes many times. I remember when I was convinced to ride a pig (don't try it) I ended up with a big gash on my hand as I reached for a wooden gate to get "OFF" and there was a jagged piece of wood that I caught my hand on...not pretty.  Needless to say no more riding pigs for me! 
When my brother would cut the baby pigs teeth (did this so they wouldn't injure mom or each other) and vaccinate them, he would put mom out and I would go into the pen with him.  You all know how loud pigs squeal? Well they squeal even louder when someone is messing with them, and mom becomes very angry.  Scared me to death!! She would grunt and growl from the other side of the pen, and then one time this big sow jumped up on the gate trying to get to us and her piglets. I was screaming and crying scared to death...remember I was only 5. My brother was so mad at me because that was making the situation worse, so I took a "flying" exit out of the farrowing house.  I was so upset I went and crawled up into the dual tires on the tractor and hid. My brother, started feeling guilty and came looking for me, found me and all was better.
Now chickens didn't squeal but the roosters, boy they were so mean. We had a really mean one named Elmer.  Every time you even wiggled the gate latch here he would come running, spurs and wings flying. I would run and scream....forget the eggs!  My brother was no exception to Elmer's aggressions, only he didn't run and scream.  He would catch Elmer and put him upside down in a bucket while he gathered the eggs and cleaned out the chicken coop. It sure was a funny looking site. 
Butchering is a big memory for me. One time we butchered chickens....nasty thing to do. None of us could eat them after we cleaned them and put them in the freezer, ended up feeding them to the dogs.  As long as there is frozen chicken in the stores that is one job I would never do again. 
But hogs was different. I never was part of the killing just the meat preparation. I do remember seeing them dunk the hog into a big barrel of hot water to remove all the bristles.  I was telling Gypsy that "in the good ole days" sausage was stuffed into cleaned intestines. I remember when they would clean them they wound them around my arms (like yarn) and then uncoil them to stuff the sausage into. I don't think I ever ate any of that sausage. Might have been fun to do but I didn't think I wanted to eat intestines no matter how clean they were.  
Sugar Cured Hams were my favorite. I remember my Dad and brother taking the hams and covering them and stuffing them around the bone with a sugar/salt/pepper mixture. Then they would wrap them in newspapers stuff them into an old pillow case, tie them really tight with twine and hang them upside down in the smoke house for months.  What I wouldn't give for some of that ham right now.  It was awesome, there is no ham in the supermarkets today that match it.
We not only raised animals but my brother farmed ground, with corn mostly at that time. I "distinctly" remember one time when we were picking corn.  At that time it wasn't the big combines that you see today, but a tractor pulling a corn picker, and it was picked on the cob.  My Dad and I were helping him as the weather was calling for rain and he wanted to get it picked in a hurry, so as not to get wet.  We had taken a gravity wagon to the crib to unload on a conveyer belt. I was responsible for pulling the corn out of the wagon onto the belt and shutting and locking the door to the wagon. ( I was older now maybe 10 or 11)
My brother was yelling to hurry as the clouds were settling in, and I pulled the last cobs out of the wagon and ran to jump on the tractor as I always road on the fender over the wheels. We were probably 3/4 of a way down a huge field he was picking and I happened to look back to the wagon and ALL the corn being picked was pouring out the door; the door that I had forgotten to close. So I yelled at brother to stop and ran to close the door, needless to say he was mad ~ no furious would be a better word. So he said, "go get the pick up truck and start picking it up." HUH!!! "Can't we leave it for the deer to eat?" Nope, off I walked to get the truck. (kids on a farm drove vehicles when they could reach the pedals.)  I picked up an entire pick up truck of corn by hand. By the time my brother had gone around the field once and got back to me, he had cooled off, and now he was laughing at me.  Me...I wasn't laughing.  Took me hours to pick up that corn, and I never forgot to shut the door on the wagon again.
Today I look back at these memories and believe me I have many more, they have made me what I am today.  Not many woman get to say they picked up a pick up load of corn right out of the field for the crib. Come to think of it, I'm sure they aren't disappointed about that.  Hope you enjoyed my trip back memory lane.  Time them was rewarding, and peaceful and we were happy doing what we did, even though it was hard work.
Best wishes from Thorntown, IN.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Why I'm "MIA"

I like to read other people's blogs everyday, however, I don't have enough to post about right now to do one everyday.  But...now I have something to post.  This is the reason I have been MIA reading blogs because of this......

All these flowers have to be turned into bridal bouquets, corsages, boutonnieres, and arrangements before we leave April 1. (That is not all of them ) I have all the boutonnieres done, so that is a relief. I always start with them because they are the simplest and it gets me into the mood. I did get Meredith's flower girl basket done. I just buy a basket from Goodwill and then buy satin material and cover it. I usually cover oval baskets as they are easier but I had to go with a round one this time because of the size, it had to be small because Meredith is so tiny. It sure gave me fits I was ready to scream. It isn't as perfect as I usually strive for but Hannah likes it so that is all that is important. So here it is....

This is her color Cornflower Blue, and we are adding just a hint of light yellow in the bouquets.
Here is where I am laboring for hours :) it looks a mess but I know where everything is so I can reach for it and there it is.

See the picture of the little pine tree in the snow above my desk.  I took that in Colorado in the mountains.  I remember how cold it was....brrr.  Like it is here right now.
Then this is funny. Look at all those little clay pots I have to decorate. 40! That should keep me busy until Spring. Ha Ha...

I love doing all the decorations. I did our oldest daughter's too and then a year ago I did a wedding for our friend's daughter. It is exciting seeing all your creations on such an important day for a young couple.
So there it is the reason I am missing on the blog circuit. If I don't comment you know why. I should be able to squeeze in a little reading time though. As we are done with the house pretty much, except the garage which won't be bad. We are almost there.......2 months and counting..........
Best wishes from Thorntown, IN.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I'm Proud to Be An American....

Today since we didn't have too much to do and Hannah started back to school we thought we would go see a movie. We don't go to often as it is just too expensive, but we thought we would catch a matinee, and thus be cheaper.  We had talked previously about seeing Zero Dark Thirty, the movie about the raid on Osama bin Laden's compound and the team that killed him.  It was a little graphic in the beginning when they were interrogating the prisoners that the United States had captured in the Middle East. I know though that we were not near as inhuman as they were towards their prisoners. I don't want to get into a political discussion here because that is an area that is very sensitive.  So....you need to go see it I guess to come to your own conclusions. I don't know if any of you have gone but I can tell you one thing for sure........you walk out of that theater ready to kiss the ground, that you were born in the United States.  Wow! Do we take for granted here the freedoms that this country allows us as citizens. We may grumble and complain but I think living there for one week would be enough for me to be ready to come back to higher taxes, and  milk prices. The women, Sheesh! I don't know how they live under the brutal treatment  that they endured just because they were born female. 
Anyway, I just wanted to share and to write down for my own self to read again some day, to remind myself, (without seeing the movie again) how fortunate I am to live where I do.
I don't think it is going to be as cold or dreary in Indiana tomorrow as it was yesterday or today. The sun will be out, "if" it is hidden by the clouds.  If any of you saw the Golden Globe awards last night on TV you saw that Jessica Chastain won for best actress in a drama for Zero Dark Thirty.  She played a CIA agent who was responsible for finding Bin Laden. I told my husband she deserved the award simply because of all the names she had to learn to pronounce in the movie.
As Lee Greenwood's famous song says:                                                                                  I'm proud to be an American,
where at least I know I'm free!    God Bless the USA!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

We're Still Waiting......

I am actually going to do a post without any pictures imagine that? Not unless you want to see more snow and ice. :)
For those who have inquiring minds, yes, we have been working on the house getting it emptied for Hannah and Dan to move into in June. Hannah has been prodding us along since she is still on break from school. "Mom, let's do the laundry room today."  "Mom, how about cleaning out this cabinet today."  That is fine, as she has helped tremendously getting our lazy bodies in gear. In winter I just want to sit and read or crochet. That is horrible for me I know but who wants to go out and walk in 29* weather?  OK, well some do!  I am proud to say we are almost completely done going through the house, except the kitchen. That is going to have to wait until the end of March and we move entirely into the fiver. We still need to eat and cook!  To be honest it wasn't near as difficult as I thought it was going to be. I think because I am so very excited to get into the fifth wheel and start living our new lifestyle. I love the reaction of people when you tell them you are going to sell everything and move into an RV.  Some are like, "are you serious, won't you miss......." or "we know people who have been full timing for years and just love it."  That always makes you feel good. And to be honest the most popular comment is, "I/we envy you guys."  Believe me I realize to the fullest how lucky and blessed we are to get to do this. That we still have our health, and that Art was able to retire 2 yrs early.  One never knows what a day is going to hold do we?
I was just sitting here reading other blogs and thought hum, I haven't posted in a while. We are still here, still waiting, and still working towards our dream. Won't be long now.
Hope everyone is doing well, avoiding the horrible flu I hear is going around, and for those of you in the South soak up some sun rays for us, OK?  Best wishes from Indiana.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year & Favorite Pictures from 2012

2012 was a very exciting year, as we began a dream we had been dreaming for sometime. Camp hosting in a State Park and A National Forest. What a way to start our retirement.
It was far more interesting and fun than our expectations had aloud us to dream it would be. We met people who will be life long friends, I found a joy in photography, which I didn't expect, and I started this blog and met many fellow bloggers who are rapidly becoming good friends also.  The blog has been a blessing in so many ways, it not only has allowed me to keep a journal of thoughts and pictures that I don't want to forget, but it has allowed me to share them with family and friends who find what we are doing interesting and want to keep in touch.   We only have 3 more months in our house then we will be full time RVers.  We are not sure what April 1st is going bring our way but we know where ever it is we will be so excited and happy.
I wanted to look back at 2012 and share with you some of my favorite photos......

This was by far the photo of the year. I was so lucky to be in the right place at the right time and this mama deer and her babies provided one of the best pictures for 2012. This to date is my largest read post.
This one is my second favorite. And this one required the most patience. I got this idea in my head I didn't want to get a hummingbird at a feeder but sitting natural in a tree. Well this little female had been lighting in this tree all day off and on.  So I waited & waited & waited and finally I got her. And it was so worth it.
Even though "I" didn't take this one, Art did. It still has to be one of my favorites.  This little pug sure gave us a good laugh for 2012. 
This is at the top of a nature picture I took. I had been trying to get a butterfly for many weeks and this Buckeye was very gracious to land and stay still enough for me to get.
If you had been following along with the blog this summer you know how much I wanted to get turkeys. This one is my favorite because it was so natural and there was a Hen and Tom!
This little guy was my favorite turtle. I just love turtles and was trying all the time at Hardin Ridge to get one. This little guy was at Patoka Lake in southern Indiana.
I took this favorite "Mother Nature" shot when we turned out onto the road our camper set on to go work at the gate. The sunrays were so neat coming through the trees.
This is another "Mother Nature" picture. I wanted to get pictures of the exact same spot in the park at Hardin Ridge.  Left is Fall and right is winter in Dec. Notice the light difference.
When  the "Pumpkin People" came to Hardin Ridge and carved out over 100 pumpkins it was thrilling to see them work. What they did with an ordinary pumpkin was amazing!!!
This picture was taken right when we started at Hardin Ridge.  I was in 7th heaven getting this little fawn.  And it was a thrill to watch then grow up in front of us the next 2 1/1 months we were there.
What would my favorite photos be without our granddaughter Meredith. She has been a shining light in our lives in 2012.
THIS is what made 2012 a wonderful year for Art and I.  OUR family. The love and respect that they give us is priceless. We are truly blessed!  From L to R....Tom, Lindsay, Meredith, Hannah and Dan.
As I leave you with my favorite sunset picture I want to wish everyone a very Happy New Year.  I hope it is filled with joy, happiness, prosperity, and about all love of family and friends.