Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The new woodburning cookstove

I decorated the new mantel for Christmas. The kids say I should leave the lights and garland up...maybe.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Quilting & Crafts

I've been busy this month. My neighbor made a painted rock Nativity for me which is gorgeous.

In return, I made her a tablerunner and coasters to match her kitchen/dining room.

Becky's Tablerunner and Coasters.

I also made quilts for my sister's twin grandsons. The twins have a 7 year old sister who helped make the quilt by drawing the pictures. My sister then embroidered the pictures onto squares of fabric. I pieced the squares to a flannel fabric and back. The babies should be snug and warm this winter.

Tristan's Quilt

Sam's Quilt

And since the sewing machine was out, I made my daughter a new terrycloth pillow case and repaired my Mom's antique tatted reticule that Becky and I bought for her birthday.

I sense more sewing in my future - there are still quilts to make and careful repairs needing made on some antique textiles I acquired from various places.

December 12, 2009

Hubby's mother, Alma Theresa, passed away quietly in her sleep in the early morning of December 12, 2009. She will be missed by our entire family.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Halloween & Beyond...

Echo wanted to be a French maid for Halloween, Flint wanted to be a shark. Emmy the cat was King Tut.

We've been working on landscaping for the last month. The weather has been really nice, as high as the 70s during the day. Hubby has cut down the dead trees and we're now burning our own wood in the wood stove. The only cooking I've tried was a pot of beans and they turned out great.

Family will be here for Thanksgiving, so I expect next week to be fun, hectic and noisy. LOL.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Life is good...

Its been a while since I posted, we got busy during the summer with a variety of tasks and the kids. :)

We've now settled into a routine (well, as routine as you can get with kids).

The Hubster and I have become involved in a local church. I am now on a rotating schedule as a worship leader, we both teach adult Bible classes (I teach a Monday night ladies class, he teaches a Sunday class). We also are actively involved on our community outreach children's Bible class on Wednesday nights. He does a PowerPoint presentation every Sunday morning, too, with announcements of our church's local events and missions.

The 10-year-old niece is delighting in piano and voice lessons and plays trumpet in the school band. Or will, when she masters it! Trumpet practice was banished to the back deck for a while...but now that its cold, she's practicing in the laundry room, the furthest away we could get! LOL

The eight-year-old nephew is thrilled to be riding a bike, at last. We bicycle down to Grandpa's almost daily (except when its rainy) to show off our skills. They've had fun visiting local sights - the corn maze a local farmer set up was a huge hit. Both kids are doing well in school, with decent grades and developing friendships.

My brother and sister-in-law are wrapping up their affairs in another state, divesting themselves of household goods, selling the car and property, giving notice to their jobs, and preparing to move here to be with their kids.

Hubby and I have been involved in a variety of projects, including more landscaping and attacking the dreaded garage cleanup! We decided we needed backup heat after the ice storms of last year left us without power for a few days. So here's one of the projects that kept us busy.

The mantel is not installed yet, it is being finished off-site. We've had 3-4 fires in it to burn off the temporary protective sealants inside. It does exactly as advertised. We're toasty warm in a 1500 sq. ft. house. The stove has two burners, so I will be practicing cast iron and dutch oven cooking on it. Should be interesting.

BTW, look carefully at the photo. Emmy The Cat blends into the rock wall VERY WELL.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My new book will be out October 9, 2009!

This e-book is downloadable at:

Hannah didn’t expect to be raising her mother’s surrogate child. But Baby Seth’s parents also died and he has no one else. Until Uncle Aaron shows up, demanding that Hannah give up her half-brother to HIS family, since genetically, Seth is their son. Can the love of one tiny baby unite two families?

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I'm getting old...

Richard and I received a gift last month. Two, actually. Here they are:

These are my brother's children, who will be staying with us for the summer. Don't be deceived by their apparent quiet time while playing a computer game.

So far, they've planted a garden, fed the birds and deer, played in the hammock, watched the bald eagle babies through a telescope, silly-stringed the yard with Grandpa, driven a tractor towing a "magic carpet," charcoaled marshmallows, played with two puppies, hunted for pretty rocks and fossils, found a spearpoint, swam in the lake, swam with the neighbors, gone to church, gone fishing, gone canoeing, gone to a wedding and a couple showers (wedding and baby), swam in the stock tank (daily), shopped, bugged Grandpa, are learning to ride bikes, made paper airplanes, learned to play a cutthroat game of dominoes (Mexican Train), bugged Grandma, and completely exhausted Uncle Richard and Aunt Merry.

Its been 20 years since I had kids this young. The good news is, I fall into bed every night and go straight to sleep. The bad news is, I fall into bed every night and go straight to sleep. LOL

We're having a blast.

Friday, April 10, 2009

YouTube Stopped Working!

Nothing annoys me more than when my computer decides to develop a mind of its own and quit working the way I want it to.

A few nights ago, I needed to be in a chat related to work. Had to download Java to get in there and change some advanced settings. Okay. Got to chat, worked fine.

Then I went off to YouTube to check for music for church (when I don't know the song, I go find it on YouTube and listen). YouTube had stopped working! ARGHHH.

I did all the usual fixes - reinstalled Java and Flashplayer, cleaned the registry, defragged, changed the advance settings back to what they were, yadda, yadda. I searched high and low on the Internet for answers. Lots of advice out there, none of it worked.

Computer had an appointment with the Computer doc for Monday.

I was at the end of my rope searching for an answer. Once again, I clicked on Tools to go look at my Internet Options...and my gaze fell on something called MANAGE ADD-ONS. I clicked on it. There was another little menu, ENABLE OR DISABLE ADD-ONS.

Nah. Can't be that easy. No way. Both FlashPlayer and Java are add-ons. Can't be that easy.

Yes, it was. Flashplayer had been disabled, as well as FlashPlayer Shockwave. So I enabled them.

And YouTube now works.

Sigh. Sometimes the answer is literally staring you in the face.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Spring is almost here...

The dogs and Emmy the day of the thunderstorm, snuggling on the bed (the only time they're allowed on the bed, now).

With the warming weather, the animals are making themselves known. On the way home from church, I see deer in my headlights, possums and the occasional feral cat. Hubby and I spotted a gray fox and her kit right in our yard Sunday night. The rabbits that have been nibbling my grass are probably prey, now.

This evening I was out on our back porch and heard two A-10 aircraft go overhead. I looked to see them precision flying close to each other. Right underneath them, many miles away, but framed by the A-10s, was an eagle! It was a perfect shot. Naturally I didn't have a camera. Sigh.

Richard and I ahve been busy lately, but we hope to get a garden going at some point.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Its been awhile...

I've been really busy this past two months, getting more involved in church, pursuing my own hobbies and doing a little, (very little) reorganizing around the house. We still have things to finish, but the cold weather pretty much blocked our efforts until we work out some things. We want to put a wood stove in the garage so Richard can work out there in all weather if he chooses.

We also need a wood stove in the house. The power outage of two days showed us with striking clarity that backup heat truly is a must. We spent the first day here at the house because the temp stayed well above 60 degrees, due to the good insulation. However, the second day dropped to the 40s, so we now know that another source of heat not dependent on electricity is necessary. We meant to get a stove last year, but simply put it off.

We've been feeding the birds and enjoying all the antics as they slowly come to trust the food supply. We have nuthatches, cardinals, blue jays and a pileated woodpecker, so far. Also some little brown birds, probably phoebes or sparrows.

The squirrels also love the bird feeder and Echo loves chasing them off. The squirrels know she can't catch them and won't go up the nearest tree. They go off into the woods to give her a run for her treat. Its cute to watch, because at least twice now, I've seen a squirrel stop at a tree, make sure she's still running after it, and then it takes off for another tree. They aren't threatened and Echo loves her "job."

Beyond that, I've simply been trying out new recipes, playing with some old ones, and enjoying the buffalo meat, now that we've found a local source (well, within 50 miles, anyway).

Richard has been playing with dutch oven cooking - he makes a pretty good chicken pot pie which we both truly love.

I'm glad Spring is springing - I am so ready for some action around here - we're hoping to get a garden in this year, but we're complete novices beyond the little "city garden" we had in PA for a few years. We have to clear land, get rid of stumps, build some raised beds and then bring in soil since ours is eroded down off the ridge.

Its should be an interesting Spring and summer.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Poor Emmy...

So our main goal at Echo Ridge was to catch Emmy in the process of scratching the wall so we could deter her little beastie tendencies. I figured squirting water on her would do the trick.

This morning, she leisurely walked over and began tearing up the wall. I got her with the water and she shook it off, then continued her destruction. So I got her again. She shook it off and went right back to scratching!

I was holding a towel in my hand so I wound it up and snapped her with it, then gave a banshee shriek, "NO!" while stomping towards her.

Poor Emmy went straight up in the air, took off anyone who's been snapped by a towel takes off and skidded to a stop half under Richard's desk, all big-eyed and hackled up.

Now, whenever I walk out of that bathroom, if she's standing anywhere in a 5 foot vicinity, she runs like all the hounds of hell are after her.

However, my wall is now being left alone. We went to church this morning and came back, no tell-tale drywall on the floor at all.

Poor Emmy. (snicker).

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Good Dog! Bad Cat!

The dogs are pretty much out of puppy stage, although they occasionally go a round just for fun. But usually, they enjoy being together and get along just fine.

Here, they share the office bed. Echo even groomed Flint for a while, before they both nodded off.

Why is Emmy peeking around this corner with big eyes?

Because she did THIS to the wall, while we were busy. BAD CAT!

We're just hoping we still have some of that paint left. Spackle is on the grocery list already. BAD CAT!

Long time, no see...

We took off to see my sister and spent time out at the ranch to watch Katie ride. Richard snapped this shot of me hanging on the gate, watching Katie work with her new 4-H colt. For some reason, I don't have any pictures of the colt!

Hanging on the gate.

The winter weather has seriously curtailed our work around the house. Richard did get some clearing done and he burned a lot of brush, too. The loggers down the road told the locals that we could take the scrap wood when they finished. A bunch of us did so, and pretty much cleaned up the site for them! Richard chopped all the wood to woodpile size. What's funny about this is that we don't have any woodburning stoves! We plan to get one for the house and the garage in the future.

It snowed yesterday, but temps for the next week will probably melt it quick.

Flint is doing well, he took the 4 week program of Adequan shots (liquid glucosomine) and is doing remarkably better. He will always walk with a limp because of the surgery, but he is perky, happy and willing to explore, even in the cold. I'd recommend this treatment for any dog with hip dysplasia, arthritis or joint issues. The initial treatment is 8 shots over a four week period, and then if necessary, maintenance shots after that. Some dogs never need the maintenance shots, some need them monthly, some need them yearly, just depends on the dog. Flint now walks easily, even in our two mile hike to the bridge daily. Before, he ran out, did his business, and wanted back in immediately. Now, because he feels better, he is happy to explore the yard, wander around and enjoy the outside again.

Echo and Emmy have a guarded truce. As long as Emmy doesn't try to attack and gnaw on Echo's paws, Emmy can sleep next to Echo. When she starts playing, Echo gets up to leave. LOL

Life is good.