A casual blog highlighting my life with kids, grandkids and kitties...Also an avenue to show some items from my etsy shops.
**Please note..The other half of my life is dovoted to helping feral and free roaming cats in Walnut and the surrounding areas. You can learn more and follow our activites there at Walnut Iowa's Feral Cat Program! **
Having Jeff home for the last two weeks has been so fun and such a blessing! I think you can tell by the faces of my family how happy we all were to have him home.
No one was more happy than me. It was back to life as normal with him around. I didn't even mind having an air mattress on my living room floor, with all his shoes, clothes and electronic devices cluttering everything up.
Now its pretty "emtpy" around here. I dropped him off at the airport this morning and he is on his way back to Japan. The only plus about that is that he probably will only have one more leave home, before he will be back for good. The worst is that it will most likely be a year before I see his beaming face again! It doesn't seem possible that he has been in the Navy for nearly 3 years now and has just over 2 years to go. We are on the downhill slide now and it cant come any sooner for either of us!
So Christmas is over, Jeff is on his way back to his Navy home and all is abnormal again.
Simply decide to change the mattress pad and believe me, you will ask the same question!
Ricky could not stay off or out of our new heated mattress pad as I was attempting to put it on our bed. I got it it out of the package and in a heap and in seconds all the cats were there.
Here's a question for you. Are cats like ducks? When they come to you as babies do they then think of you as their mother? I think they do...
When a female cat that lives in the wild has a litter of kittens, she creates for them a nest. They stay in this safe little place with their mama (or without her when she commands it), for protection. She releases them for food, play and potty breaks.
My cats think our bedroom is their nest and that I'm their mama. In the morning, they wont leave the "nest" until I get up. They have various ways of annoying me to get me to rise. They run across the bed, they knock things off the dresser, they stare...they touch their nose to my face. Lucy's favorite way...tap on my glasses which are on the side table just enough so they rock and make a very irritating noise. Ricky's favorite way....perch on the high dresser and jump onto the bed and run! Possum's way is to very quietly tip toe onto my chest, hunker down and stare into my face...for a long time.
As SOON as my feet hit the floor they fly to their food dishes or the litter box. Now if the door was shut so they couldn'taccess their leftover food from the night before, or their boxes, this would make sense, but no, the door is open, the boxes are available and they have food...they just want their mama to release them. Or else they have a pact with each other to be annoying in the morning.
Friday was the day of my little grand daughter's Christmas Program and this year, she was an angel....well, to us she is an angel all year long, but this day she got to dress the part.
This is Faith, 4 years old. She is the adorable one in the middle. She loves to play princess so this "roll" was right up her alley. She attends preschool at a Christian school. Such a blessing to see the kids praising Jesus and enacting the miracle of His birth.
I hope we wont get wrapped up in the hub-bub of the commercialism of the "holidays". Larry and I went to a Chineserestaurant the other day and they had signs posted. " WE WILL BE CLOSED DECEMBER 25TH FOR THE HOLYDAYS". We hope that when people wish you "Happy Holidays" You will, indeed remember that these days are Holy and give Him the glory and praise too!
After 24 hours of travel, Jeff could still squeeze out a smile!
Yes...tired! Possum remembers him and loves him.
Very few people can roll Possum on her belly and play with her feet. But Jeff can do it and stay alive!
Christmas with Jeff home is so fun!
Jeff arrived home from Japan on Tuesday night. So good to have him home. I'm busy being the "mama" and doing whatever I can to mother him into oblivion! Haha...I fell very naturally back into that mode.
We havent done much but just hang. He is trying to visit friends and get some tattoo appointments done, but his "off" time, has been with us. He is sleeping on an air mattress on our living room floor and seems to be very comfy! I tag along with him as much as I can and when its appropriate, but just knowing he is close by is such a blessing..
Sunday we will have an open house for him. Im excited to see some of his friends that I havent seen for a long time and some friends of the family too.
Thank you Lord, for bringing my son home safely and for this time I can spend with him.
Roberta's daughter in law served us...what a blessing to be so spoiled!
Roberta's son ( a real life chef!) serves up our delectable dinner!
A good motto: eat dessert first! Got these loaded backwards, but oh well!
Chicken Marsella! One of my very favorites!
Our beautiful handmade menu on a table fit for royalty!
Rosie, Me, Pam and Roberta!
Kandi, Kathy and Corliss
A night of fun, laughter and a splash of sadness!
One of my very favorite nights of the year is the Bag Ladies Christmas get-to-gether. I have been a part of this wonderful group for at least the last ten years. I've had so much fun and been so blessed to be one of this group, that I cant remember not being with them.
Mix together dry humor, a bit of "twitchy-ness", boldness, lots of intellect and a boat-load of creativity and you will end up with the Bag Ladies. We are named thus because of the "bags" we tote to our meetings. Bags filled with various items, such as magazines, unfinished projects, completed quilts; you name we we bring it. Sometimes its grand kids in tow (for only a minute or two, we must show off, you know), sometimes it's photos and sometimes its even just our keys and a huge sigh of relief to be able to recede from the hectic-ness of home life and resort to the welcome arms of our friends. This is reminiscent of days of yore when there were "quiltings" which were really more about friendship than bed covers.
As the pictures uo top show, the night was filled with fun and laughter and the delighted feeling of being spoiled like little kids. Everything was so special, from the handwritten menu all the way to the coffee and cheesecake. Perfect in every way....except one.
We lost one of our beloved Bag Ladies this fall. Our Ardy Olsen had a very unexpected heart attack. To not have her with us was a void, a sadness to our hearts ,a cause to reflect,and remember her wit and elegance. We gave a hearty toast to our friend. The time to begin loosing friends is much too soon.
In honor of Ardy, we had her most favorite dessert of all " Death by Chocolate" and yes, it did just about kill us after all the other wonderful offerings. Love you Ardy, and Merry Christmas!
Im still snowed in and home alone. Sick to death of cereal and scrambled eggs...not fun after two days!
Today, I stood in front of my fridge looking to see what I had that I could cook up something good. I had a bunch of broccoli and I had the idea of making a cream soup using that....as I started putting things in the pot, I decided to put everything in it that I needed to get rid of out of the freezer and the fridge.
Its sooooo yummy! Here is what ended up in the pot!
Chopped fresh broccoli Chopped fresh onion sliced carrots the rest of the bag of frozen green beans the rest of the box of frozen spinach a couple little slabs of leftover turkey about a cup of leftover wild/brown rice Some grape tomatoes that needed to be used Chicken broth left over from thanksgiving that I found in the freezer
I wa hoping to find some beans and celery, but nope!
I let it all simmer until tender, seasoned with roasted garlic pepper blend, added a bit of wylers chicken broth crystals cuz I love that flavor....
Put in a bowl, sprinkle with that little bit of grated cheese thats leftover in the bag...use it before it turns green....haha! I had motzarella...and it all rocked!
My substitution for a Christmas Tree...The kitties do leave the reindeer alone, but they love the curly ribbon!
Our the front door of our building..Larry's car is the one to the right of the open space...
Out the back door of our building...the snow has drifted up to the window, probably 18-20". It sure could be worse!
Ricky is totally crazed! He thinks he wants to be out there!
Out my apartment window...
We were hit with our first real storm of the season yesterday and last night. It appears to be between 8-12" depending on where you are in town. Here it seems about 8". I'm watching out the window and there is no traffic, only a lonely snow plow. I think it could have been much worse but it is sort of tiring to stay inside and at home.
Crocheting rag rugs is keeping me busy! :) Jeff arrives next week, so I'm particularly grateful that this is going to be over by then!
Matthew 10:29Are not two sparrows sold for a pennyd]">[d]? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."
This morning, a picture of how much God cares for each of us. He cares not only about our health, our future, destiny. He cares for and about the details of our lives.
Details like a lost guitar! Jeff had band practice on Sunday. When they went back to the barracks, he and his friend left the taxi without taking the guitar out of the trunk. PANIC! The guitar holds much sentimental value to Jeff. It was the guitar used by one of his very best friend who gave it to Jeff as a gift. He has used the guitar alot and loves it. All of us creative people knowwhat that means and how it feels...it wasn't a tool, or just an instrument, it was a friend.
After contacting Navy Security, the search began. I don't know the details, but I do know that Jeff was majorly bummed. If you know Jeff, when he's mad it isn't a pretty picture! He was so angry at himself for leaving it. He felt so stupid and idiotic. The reality is that all of us have done stupid and idiotic things before and its all part of life.
But, I started praying immediately. I asked that the Lord would prove his faithfulness to Jeff. That He would bless Jeff by helping to locate the guitar. That He would send conviction to the heart of whoever found the guitar to do the right thing. To loose angels to work things so that the guitar would be found and returned.
It sounds like such a little detail and in many respects it is...but to Jeff, it was a big thing. And I know it is a big thing that his friend Yuki tracked down the guitar and it is safe and back in the arms of its owner.
I am giving glory to God today, for caring for finding the sparrows valuable, for dressing the lilies and for taking care of my baby boy when I cant be there!
Of course not, I mused as I organized in my mind where I would put a tree in our little apartment. I'm used to having a six bedroom home to decorate with a living room, a parlor and a formal dining area...I don't miss that. I like simple decorations so having one room to consider is as a breath of fresh air. It's how I felt when I realized I could plug in the vacuum cleaner and vacume the whole apartment without changing plugs! Whew...
The only option of course, would be to have a small tree. Moving our eating table away from the dining area to the area in front of the sliding glass doors, made room for the couch to be moved back and the room to appear larger and able to hold some decorations...The table is perfect there, and its too cold now to open the doors to the weather.
Now to find a tree. I spent a whole day looking for one. Having an "over - the- top " thrifty husband, I attempted to find a small tree that looked great and didn't cost a ton of money. There is no such thing. I scoured the entire town and only found icky ones for the price I wanted to pay. As a last resort I went to the thrift store and there it was..., just waiting for me and only cost $6.75!
Spent a morning decorating it with lights and vintage glass bulbs that I brought from The Big House. The little tree stood in her glory in the corner of our little home for exactly two days. THEN...the cats took it down. Sometime during the night...down it came. They must have been whispering... " shhhh....play quietly, they'll hear us!" What fun they must have had. By morning the tree looked like it had not survived the tornado. And they all looked so innocent!
So my thought was that if it happened once, it would happen again. I gave the tree to my daughter who only has a six year old to worry about messing with it. I brought in some other decorations to place around the apartment to give us the holiday feel. Yes, it can be Christmas without a tree! Its all about Jesus anyway...Im praying my focus will be more on HIM and not on the lights and the tinsel! This year Jeff will be here and that makes me so happy...who needs a tree!
to talk with Jeff the past couple days. Hearing his voice is always better than the IM chatting. I will take what I can get and am thankful for any connection I can get.
They have been ported in Hong Kong and were able to take afew days off. Those kids so deserve it after being on the ship for so long. They spent Jeff's birthday at Hong Kong Disneyland! Jeff said he relaxed, but I think he might have eaten something that made him sick. He has been battling some stomach problems for the last four days or so. Unfortunatly the Navy sort of laughed him off and only gave him Pepto. Well, I hope that will do the trick and it isnt something bacterial or something. Please pray for him.
Im so looking forward to him coming home for Christmas. We will have an Open House for him on Dec 20th so I hope lots of his friends and family will be able to come.
Im mentally planning lots of food and fun! I wish he could bring his Navy friends with him! I would love to meet them all!
Having quilted for other quilt top piece-ers for a lot of years, I have seen my share of backings made from sheets, old and new. I have never liked them but wasn't for sure why.
Today I got a piece of advertising mail for a quilting book. These mailings are always full of bits of info and ads for other things. This particular one has a little sheet with a color wheel on it and this information....
Using bedsheets to back your quilts??? DON'T DO IT!
Sheets have a very high thread count, which forces your quilting needle to break the sheet's threads as it pierces through. This leaves holes in your backing and diminishes the stability of the quilt. Quilting fabric has a looser weave, which allows your needle to easily slide between the threads and keeps your backing fabric intact.
Personally? This is why I always hated to quilt batiks...I know the ladies spent tons on the fabric and I was punching holes it it!
Sorry to bore my non quiltingreaders with this info, but I felt the need to post..
Probably the most awesome and beautiful thing Ive ever seen are these 3 falls in Niagara Falls, NY. The day could not have been more perfect. There was a little chill in the air, but it was really nice. We didnt freeze when we got totally drenched on the Maid of the Mist...Thank goodness they gave you little sandels to wear so your shoes didnt get wet. That might have been miserable. The colors were fantastic. No crowds. We took the "tour bus" and it was well worth it. No parking hassles or wondering what we should see. Took all the worry and stress out of the day.
So fun to be able to go to Gettysburg and not only see all the sights, but spend the day with Larry's oldest son, Brian and his family. We missed not having Kira and Dustin with us, but they are both off to college now. Brian's home is quickly becoming and empty nest.
Even tho it was a tad chilly, we had a great time and ate wonderful Mexican food together, before heading back on the road towards Niagara Falls! More pics to come.
How I feel about Pres. obama hesitating and procrastinating on sending needed military troops to Afghanistan, I am posting the letter that I am sending to the White House for seven days beginning tomorrow. Also, just so you know, I hate war, and I hate that any of our kids are over there, but I value our national security more. War is hell, and we need to listen to our military leaders in order to come out victorious. This country will only stay strong if we win wars, if we stay strong. Unfortunately the administration right now is causing the USA to become weak and for this reason, I'm pleading with our president and his administration to send what is needed for our troops. Having two sons serving and a nephew, this is close to my heart and I pray every day for their safety. If you are a military mom, feel free to copy this letter and mail it on to the white house yourself.
October 15, 2009 Dear Mr. President,
Allow us to introduce ourselves: We are military moms.As moms, we send our sons, daughters, husbands, and other family members to Afghanistan and other lands to protect the freedom of the United States. We love our country and while we can see it has problems as moms, we know they can be resolved by sticking to our founding principles, facing our problems directly and acting on sound solutions, making sure we teach our children in the process.As the mothers of our troops, we were often our soldiers’ first example of leadership. We woke them for school in the mornings, helped them with their homework, encouraged them to try again when they failed and praised them for their success. We taught them dignity, honor, decency and respect for others.As mothers in uniform, we demonstrate to our children the measure of our devotion to our nation by fighting for its freedoms. We sacrifice a life at home with our kids so others can enjoy a life with theirs. We know our children are proud of the cause of freedom we have taken up.As military spouses with young children, we struggle to find the words to explain why a loved one has gone away. We comfort and assure them that all is well, but we know that it is not. Often, we pick up the pieces after a family member has fallen, when we are just beginning the blessed journey of parenthood.As mothers of the United States Armed Forces, we have had enough of your conduct in this war. Our children and spouses have sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution in this, your most important job – protecting the citizens of this great nation. Here is our cry: Either give our military the resources to win in Afghanistan or risk the lives of every American citizen. Our silence on this issue is no more; we are determined to speak out and be heard. On behalf of our loved ones, the troops, who have long been ignored, we say:Give our military the resources to win in Afghanistan.As mothers, we strive not only to identify a problem, but to present a solution as well. Mr. President, we exhort you to listen to your appointed military leaders on the ground. Give them the freedom to fight this war – not only to postpone an ignominious retreat, but to declare the victory that every member of the United States Armed Forces knows we can achieve.Mr. President, while our soldiers are losing lives, limbs, and sustaining life-changing injuries, you are blatantly ignoring the condition of our solider abroad.For this, we respectfully demand an explanation.As moms, we do not turn our faces away from painful problems. Yet the situation in Afghanistan has taken a back seat in your agenda.For this, we politely demand an answer.We express gratitude that the First Lady has made it her personal mission to improve the lives of military families; it is valuable indeed to have an advocate so near the Commander in Chief.We trust the women in your life have taught you well, President Obama, so we would expect nothing less than a personal response to our message.Sincerely,The Military Moms of AmericaCc: Members of CongressPlease send your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org