Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Carefree Hostas

This weather is so fickle, rainy and cold today. It was nice on Saturday so hubby and I worked outside most of the day. Hubby cleaning the garage and me doing yard work. Monday and Tuesday were our annual “clean up the town” day. On those days, you can haul just about anything down to the town area by the park and there is help to put the “stuff’ into town provided dumpsters. We always seem to collect “stuff” over the winter and it is a good time to get rid of it. Now if the yard work was as easy. I swear our yard has gotten bigger over the years. Or maybe I got older. When we first moved into our home many years ago, I WAS much younger. The house was surrounded by tall, shaggy bushes. I couldn’t even see out of any of the windows clearly. And with a couple of kids outside playing and a baby inside, it was important to be able to check on them. One cool spring morning, I had a brain storm of an idea to correct the problem. With axe, shovel and clippers in hand, outside I went. By the end of the day, I was able to see clearly out all the windows. Since that time, I have turned the area around the house into flower gardens. At first it was sun perennials but shape took over and how the area is filled various types of Hostas.  When I was doing daycare, I had a huge sandbox under a shape tree. After retiring from daycare last summer, I no longer needed a sandbox. What to do with that space. I wanted plants that were carefree. Hostas to the rescue. I have a lot of them and they needed divided. The price was right, and a perfect solution. 

The rainy weather we have had the last couple of days have been perfect. The Hostas love it. And you know what? It beats digging and chopping out wild bushes. 

Here are a few pictures I took last year  of Hostas around the house . I have planted them around trees and any other little space I can find in the shade. They are some of the easiest plants for shade, they bloom and they take no care when established. My kind of plant.

Happy gardening,

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Purse organizer

Have you ever considered purchasing one of those purse organizers? You know, the ones that are supposed to make changing and organizing purse easier?  I have thought about it various times but always changed my mine figuring I didn’t really need it. One of my daughters and her family went to Mexico for spring break and bought me back a beautiful handmade hobo style purse.

The only pocket it had was one on the front of the purse. Now, if the person who made it was like the typical woman here in the states that carry just about everything but the kitchen sink in their purse, he/she would have put some pockets on the inside. So, I went to one of my favorite on line stores and found me a purse organizer.

 I love it. I was able to put everything I had in my purse into the organizer.

Then I put the organizer into my purse with ease.

Once the organizer was in my purse, I put my billfold on one side and my pack of hand wipes on the other. And my glasses case on the end. Perfect. And as bonus, I now can change purses with ease.

Now I am set to go shopping,

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

Have a wonderful  Easter with family and friends,
Happy Easter

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Are you truly happy? or not?

Something to reflect on as we enter the heart of Holy Week.

They are some of the harshest, most shocking words that Jesus speaks in the Gospels: "Anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple."

Why do these words sound so counter-intuitive? Because ever since we were children, the culture has drilled the reverse into us. You're not happy because you don't have all the things you want to have. You will be happy only when you have so much money, or so big a house, or so much respect. You might not be happy now, but some day you might be if you acquire the right things.

And what follows from this? Life becomes a constant quest to get, to attain possessions. Remember the foolish rich man from Jesus' parable, the one who filled his barns with all his possessions. Because he had no more room, he decided to tear his barns down and build bigger ones. Jesus calls him a fool because--and I want you to repeat this to yourself as you read it--you have everything you need right now, right in front of you, to be happy.

I know it's completely counter-intuitive. We say, "No, that's not right at all; I'm very unhappy, but I'm trying to become happy, and I know I will be a lot happier when I get (fill in the blank)." But I want you to repeat this in your mind: "If I say, 'I'll be happy when,' I won't be happy when."

What makes us truly happy? Forgetting our ego and its needs and desires, opening our eyes, minds, and hearts, and letting reality in. What makes us happy is always right in front of us, because what makes us happy is love, willing the good of the other.

Next time you're unhappy, here's what you do: you love. When you're feeling miserable, write a note to someone who is lonely; make cookies for your kids; visit the nursing home; donate some money to a charity; sign up to help with an after-school program; say a prayer for someone who's in trouble.

Love is not a feeling. It's an act of the will, and it's a great act of dispossession. This is the wonderfully liberating path of holiness that Jesus wants us to walk. He wants joy for us. But the path to joy is the path of detaching ourselves from getting and acquiring. 

by Rev. Fr. Robert Barron

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Blessing of Easter Dinner . An Easter tradition

Boy, does time fly. It seems like it was just Christmas and now it is Easter. And Easter and spring are late this year.  I have been thinking back on traditions and “old wife tales” that come to mind. Everyone seems to be complaining about how late spring is this year. My mother always said that the weather doesn’t settle down in the spring till after Good Friday. And you know, a lot of years that seems true. Hopefully it will be true this year. We have had some beautiful warm days, in the 70’s this week but windy. And a front is coming and will lower our temps to the upper 40’ for highs and upper 20’s for low for most of this coming week. Definitely could use some settling. The on tradition that I remember most was the blessing of the food on Holy Saturday afternoon. Samples of the Easter Sunday dinner were put into baskets and taken to church to be blessed. The church smelled so good. All that homemade polish sausage, baked ham, dyed Easter eggs and homemade bread. The aroma made you hungry. But we couldn’t have any of it to eat till after Mass on Easter Sunday. Then, the blessed food was cut into small bites and everyone had to have some. This was in Thanksgiving for the risen Lord, good health and good luck. Oh, to have some of that homemade Polish Sausage my Uncle Walt made for every holiday and wedding. It was the best. What traditions do you remember from your childhood? Do you keep any now?

Have a good Holy week,


Sunday, April 6, 2014

Mountain Oysters and long hours.

We owned the Corner Tavern from 1968 to 1975. We managed it for one year before that, 1967, with the option to buy. Eight years. Doesn’t seem like a very long time but, believe me, eight years was long enough. It was a lot of work and at times, a lot of fun. The first year was probably the hardest. When we took over the bar in 1967 it was your typical small farming community bar. Women rarely came in. It was a place for the farmers to gather during the day to talk about farming, weather and, though they wouldn’t admit it, to discuss the local gossip. Evenings, it was the place for the younger town men and farmers to come for a game or two of cards or a game of pool or to just talk about all the same thing the older fellows talked about during the day. So, that was the first thing we wanted to change. The first thing we did was have a Mountain Oyster Fry. We went through the phonebook and sent postcards to all the couples that we knew who would go into a bar, but not the bar in town, telling them that we were going to have a fry. Hubby went to the nearby pork plant and bought a hundred pounds of Mountain Oysters. In case some of you out there don’t know what a Mountain Oyster is, they are hog nuts. He picked them up on Wednesday afternoon, soaked them in the bathtub to thaw them (yes, I sanitized the tub before and after) and that evening I sliced a hundred pounds of those things. On Thursday afternoon, I fried the Mountain Oysters, filling two big electric roasters. We never charged. But we did have a “donate” to the cook jar. Sometimes a friend would help but usually it was just me and three little kids. We always did well on the beverage sales making enough to pay for the Mountain Oysters and then some. Did this for almost 4 years, pregnant part of one those years, and with no AC in the summer. This was a weekly every Thursday night event. We got very good crowds. People would come from surrounding towns. Mountain Oysters were a big thing back then. But they got to be too expensive to make it worth it and we decided it was time to stop the fries. And you know what? I wasn’t too upset about that. The Mountain Oyster Fries did accomplish what we had hoped for, a bar where women felt welcome. We even built a good morning coffee hour with both men and women coming in for their morning coffee.  Hubby served homemade cinnamon rolls or crème puffs or chocolate chip cookies depending on what I made. I was very busy on the home front and hubby was very busy on the bar front spending very long days, from 8 a.m. to at least 1 a.m. most days. He did manage to find bartenders for a two or three hours every afternoon so we could have some family time. On very busy nights, I would hire a sitter and help tend bar. After eight years of this pace, and the girls starting to get involved in sports and other school activities, and bartenders hard to find, we sold the place in 1975. It was a period in our lives with ups and downs. Lots of parties and long nights. Bar ownership is definitely for the young.

Have a good week,


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Then and Now

In my last post, I talked how we happened to buy our house. One of my daughters suggested I post a before and after picture. Great idea. The old place really has changed a lot over the years. Just like all of us.

Our house the way it looked when we bought it in 1965

The way it looked last summer, 2014

Can't wait till everything is that green again.

Have a good week,