I want to thank everyone that has subscribed to my blog.
I have wanted to have my own blog for many years to share recipes, my pets, the project of the day, etc. This year in January I decided to be brave and teach myself how to be a blogger. It was a ton of work and weeks worth of research, but I was so proud to hit that enter button and share a piece of my life with you.
Unfortunately, life has taken a turn for the worst, and I will not be able to afford to keep this site afloat anymore. Grandpa decided that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, so he went to mow someone else’s grass.
I hope to return to blogging one day, but until then everything on this site will be lost. I tell you this just in case anyone wants to copy and paste a story of interest or maybe a recipe as all of the links will be broken soon.
I apologize to the other bloggers that featured my stories on their sites that will get error messages now and have to repair your links. I have admired your blogs and wanted to try my hand at it also. I learned it is a huge amount of work taking tons of pictures and trying to capture the perfect shot. Then trying to add fluid, detailed text without being boring. I have a new admiration for you women that make it look so easy while you have a day job and are raising a family.
So, in closing, copy anything that you may want to save into an email as the Facebook links will not work anymore. I hope in the future that I may be able to come back and express myself again, there just isn’t enough of me left to share right now.
This morning I woke up extra early, for no particular reason. The house was so quiet because everyone was still sleeping , except me and Daisy (the dog). We decided to walk out into the garden beds to check on the plants. Look at the beauties that I found.
They were very unexpected, being that I planted red raspberries years ago and get red berries every year. A bird, squirrel, or chipmunk must have planted these seeds for me.
I ended up picking about 4 cups of these tasty berries.
It is funny that the plants that I actually bought and put into the ground had minimal red raspberries, but these plants that I never bought or dug up anywhere, were loaded with berries.
It was a nice peaceful walk listening to the birds and picking berries. I pulled some suckers off of the tomato plants and pulled a few weeds. I hope the neighbors were not looking out their windows or they would have seen me in my pj’s with knee high rain boots on.
As soon as the berries got into the house, they were thrown in some water and rinsed a few times to remove any stray leaves, thorns, and tag along bugs.
I always wash the berries before sticking them in the refrigerator to avoid storing bugs.
Drain them well so that they don’t get soggy in a colander or set them on some paper towels to completely dry.
Now, what do I do with the berries?
My mother’s voice speaks to me, just like when I picked these berries as a kid.
So, I got out a bowl, milk, and sugar. Yep, that is how we ate them. A little bit of milk and a sprinkling of sugar.
At this point she would tell me to crush the berries and make pink milk.
These berries were really juicy because of all of the rain we have been having, and they made some really dark milk.
I would call the milk purple, but my mom always called it pink. Who am I to disagree.
The berries were so good, I had a second bowl, the rest of the berries went into the freezer. I will probably add them to oatmeal at some point.
Tomorrow morning, I will definitely be back outside picking more berries.
When I was a kid, a group of us would go into the woods with metal coffee cans to collect all the berries that we could find. My mom would make huge batches of jelly, enough to last most of the year.
I don’t think that I will get enough berries for a big batch of jelly, but I will have some frozen to use in smoothies or oatmeal.
It is funny how something like seeing some black raspberries on a bush can bring back so many memories.
It is a really nice blog that wants you to be encouraged, be inspired, and be creative. Those are some of my favorite things!
It is written by a woman named Karen. Well, a few weeks ago, Karen hosted a guest blogger from Garden up Green, that showed how to turn scrap wood in to a bird house. I was all over that as I have been adding to my own personal bird houses collection.
Carole West is the blogger from Garden Up Green that boasts the joys of a natural home and garden. She wrote a tutorial on how to build the above bird house, you can see it here.
She took scrap pieces of aged wood, tree bark, raffia, along with some copper tubing and turned all of it into a rustic style bird house. She also agreed to host a contest and give away one of her houses.
Naturally I entered the give away, and I’m happy to announce that I won the bird house!
I was so excited to have another bird house to add to my collection.
As my baby birds grow up, they will need a home of their own.
Carole (like me) enjoys yard work, animals, plants, nature, and saws. There is something special about a woman who likes to use power tools. Don’t you agree? Please visit her blog to read her great articles and see the beautiful pictures.
Maybe between the two of us, we can get a few readers to build a bird house or at least set up a store purchased house.
It is such a big coincidence that a few weeks before I won the bird house, I wrote an article about my birdhouses, you can see it here.
My houses are simply sitting on a piece of weathered 2″ x 10″ board. Old brackets are holding the board onto the side of my garage.
With the addition of my newly won bird house, I decided to put up a little birdie welcome sign too.
This old shelf and old brackets mixed with some bird houses really adds a lot of life to the side of a boring garage. Don’t you agree?
This year I have an obsession with bird houses. As soon as I put a new house outside, new occupants move in and start a family.
Before you know it, eggs appear.
This nest is made up of dried grasses, straw, and chicken feathers. What great materials mamma bird chose to keep her babies nice and cozy.
There are 7 eggs in this nest.
A week later, guess what happened? Something that you don’t get to see everyday. Brand new baby birds are hatching.
I’m sure that mamma bird wasn’t thrilled that I peeked at her babies, but she is used to seeing me. I am always out in the yard doing one thing or another. She talks to me when I hang laundry, refill her water, or put out more food.
Isn’t this one of the most precious things that you have ever seen?
Mother Nature in all of her glory.
This picture was taken only a few days later. Their feathers are starting to come in.
Consider setting out a few bird houses around your yard and watch or at least listen for the arrival of new birds.
I bought a vintage flag. Enclosed was a list of days that is proper to fly your American Flag. I was amazed at some of the designated days.
Who knew that our nations flag should be flown on Thanksgiving Day? I had no idea! There are other days that I would never have thought to fly my flag. I am a little ashamed that I didn’t know (blush) that I should have been putting my flags out.
Well, I know better now, and I wanted to share the list with you. I added a few more dates that came from other sources. Here is the full list that I found:
New Year’s Day, Jan 1
Inauguration Day, Jan 20 – every 4 Years
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, third Monday in January
Lincoln’s Birthday, Feb 12
President’s Day, Feb 15
Washington’s Birthday, third Monday in February
Patriots’ Day, April 19
Easter Sunday (variable)
National Day Of Prayer, first Thursday in May
VE Day, May 8
Mother’s Day, second Sunday in May
Peace Officers Memorial Day (half-staff) – May 15
Armed Forces Day, third Saturday in May
Memorial Day, fourth Monday in May (half-mast until noon)
Flag Day, June 14
Father’s Day – third Sunday in June
Independence Day, July 4
Korean War Veterans Day (half-staff) – July 27
V-J Day, Sept 2
Labor Day, first Monday in Sept
Patriot Day (Half Staff All Day ), Sept 11
Constitution Day, Sept 17
National POW/MIA Recognition Day, Sept 19
Gold Star Mothers Day – last Sunday in September
Columbus Day, second Monday in October
Navy Day, October 27
Election Day, first Tues in Nov
Veterans Day, Nov 11
Thanksgiving Day, fourth Thursday in Nov
National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day (half-staff) – December 7
Christmas Day, Dec 25
State Birthdays – (Date Admitted To The Union)
Days Proclaimed By The President
State and Local Holidays
Unless lit, the flag should be displayed from sunrise to sunset, weather permitting, on the above special days.
Here are some miscellaneous facts that were on the paper with the vintage flag:
Betsy Ross sat near George Washington in Church
When a flag gets too old to display, it is burned in a special ceremony
No one knows what happened to the first flag
The flag has a Nickname – “Old Glory”
A flag should never touch the ground
When a President is not in Washington, D.C., the flag outside the White House doesn’t fly
Well, not exactly in my house, but in my yard, inside the houses that I provide.
Every time I put out a new bird house, somebirdy moves in. I do love watching them come and go through out the day. My kitchen window allows for a great view.
The best thing about the birds are the babies. Nothing is sweeter than being outside and hearing the sound of the babies calling out. Once in a while I get to see their little yellow beaks sticking out of the nest, wide open, waiting for a worm.
I was needing a few more houses and found these two beauties at a tag sale.
I bought these two decorative birdhouses and turned them into functional houses. As you can see, one cost me $1 and the other was priced at $3. Good deal, right ?!?!
The problem with this brown house is that the hole (bird door) is too low. It needs to be higher so my birdy friends can build their nest below their front door. This picture doesn’t let you see the hole already drilled, but there is one hidden behind the fake bird and moss.
The addition of a perch would be nice for the birds to land on. Why not, since I am making some improvements anyway?
The problem with this cream and slate blue house is the two extra holes at the bottom. They need to be closed up for bird safety. Birdhouses should only have one ‘door’. This house will need a perch too.
Being that the bird houses were so cheap, I don’t mind doing a few ‘home repairs’ to the houses. It is much easier than actually building more houses.
I wasn’t sure how to cover up the holes that I didn’t want.
Maybe corks inside the hole? A wooden fence? Something to resemble shutters? A miniature sign possibly?
I went to the wood scrap pile for some inspiration.
Then the idea hit me.
I cut out some hearts, took out my paints, grabbed the drill, found some dowel rods, and got to work.
New holes were drilled in the proper place, unwanted holes were covered up with painted hearts, and perches were added.
Now this looks better doesn’t it? At least they are more functional for the birds.
I had a beautiful old worn board sitting in the garage taking up space and a couple of lightly rusted ‘L’ brackets. That was just what was needed to set the bird houses on. The brackets got screwed into the side of the garage and I set the bird houses on the board.
Both birdhouses have been slightly remodeled and are ready for a nest to be built inside.
This picture is of 7 eggs found in one of the older houses. Somebirdy is expecting some new arrivals soon.
This was a quick, cheap, and rewarding project. Too bad more projects weren’t this easy.
I am a foster mom for my local Humane Society. I take in cats and care for them for a short while until they are old enough and sturdy enough to find their forever home.
One Saturday afternoon I went to the shelter to pickup some medicine for my foster kittens that had kitty sneezes. While I was waiting for the medicine, a woman walked in carrying a little box. The woman had a very serious, sad look on her face.
I said to myself “I do not want to know what is in that box”.
The woman went to the reception desk and set the box down. The receptionist looked into the box. Now she had that same serious, sad look on her face.
I said to myself “I REALLY do not want to know what is in that box”. Well, that box came home with me.
The woman had brought in a kitten that was about 2 weeks old. His eyes were not even open yet.
It was the smallest cat that I have ever seen. So, he was named Lil’ Squirt.
It was early October and we were having a couple of unusually cold days with lots of rain.
The woman saw the kitten, alone in her driveway, in the rain. She kept watching. There was no mother cat or other kittens, so she brought the little guy inside.
She couldn’t get the kitten to eat or drink so she brought it into the shelter. As she told her story, I listened. This woman didn’t know what to do with the kitten and couldn’t afford to buy it food and litter, or whatever else it needed.
The receptionist took the box and the woman sadly left. Most likely this baby was not going to make it.
The shelter was about to close for the day and no one would be there to care for the infant cat. They asked me if I wanted to take it home and try to help it.
I agreed, even though I had no experience with new-born kittens. The shelter gave me liquid milk substitute to be kept in the refrigerator and warmed up to give to the kitten.
Thank God for Google! I came home and hit the computer, reading everything about newborn kittens that I could. He would need fed at least every two hours and kept very warm. It’s mamma would be cleaning it, helping it learn how to relieve itself. Yes, I had to help the kitten learn how to pee.
I got a cardboard box filled with towels and attached a heat lamp to keep the baby warm. A warm room just isn’t warm enough.
I got a medicine dropper that was in the bathroom cabinet. I used to think that droppers had small tips. Once you try to stick it into a 2 week old cats mouth, you will realize how big it really is. The kitten knew that it was not being fed by his mother. So, I had to squeeze it into his mouth, teaching him that this is his food. Finally he started to suckle.
He would eat, pee, and get put back under the heat lamp. Every two hours around the clock. I was determined to save this cat. He would not be dying on my watch.
A few times I thought that I was losing him. He would eat, then I would watch him fall asleep, marveling in the miracle of this tiny being. But then, he seemed to be fading. I got sad telling Grandpa that I think that he is dying. I kept stroking him, not wanting him to die alone, but set him back in his box.
Guess what? He perked up. I had him out of the box for too long! He needed extra heat from the lamp that I couldn’t provide.
Now, I knew how to save him. I would set a timer for every two hours. He would drink his milk, pee, and lay under the heat lamp. Finally, I had the system down.
Gosh, this was hard work! I felt like a sleep deprived, new mother. Something that I hadn’t experienced for many years. Around the clock we repeated the routine.
If I needed to go anywhere, I had to do it right after the feeding and be back in time for the next feeding. This went on for about two weeks. I taught my family members how to do the routine, so I could get some decent sleep and be able to run some errands.
Gradually he ate more, so we moved from the dropper to an animal bottle sold at pet stores.
I bought dry powdered milk and would mix his formula every day. Having it premixed made night-time feedings a little easier.
Well, he started needing to make #2, yes, I had to help the kitten poop. After every feeding, I would get a cloth and gently rub his ‘parts’, just as his mother would do.
It was a really good day when he started using the litter box on his own.
The dropper feedings, turned into bottle feeding, that eventually turned into eating dry food on his own. Jasmine, who was a foster cat that we adopted, was teaching him how to be a cat. She was still a baby herself.
Squirt could finally eat, drink, and use the litter box all by himself. Life got easier for me.
He may not have a cat mom, but he had many other animals to teach him how to be an animal and a good pet.
My dog Daisy was teaching him about long afternoon naps in the sun.
Once that Squirt weighed 2 pound he would be neutered and put up for adoption at the shelter. This is the hard part of being a foster parent. You have to wish them well and hope that they get a good family that loves them as much as you do.
So, Grandpa dropped off Squirt at the shelter the morning of his surgery.
He picked the kitten up in the afternoon, so he could recover here at our house.
Soon he would be put up for adoption.
Well, Grandpa just couldn’t stand for that. He brought Squirt home and brought home an adoption certificate.
Squirt was now a member of our family. Grandpa couldn’t part with the little guy. Squirt will live his life out with us.
Who would have thought that the tiny little kitten in the box who couldn’t walk or eat on his own, would turn into this beautiful Maine Coon cat?
He is now 7 months old and he measures 30″ from head to tail. He has certainly come along way from that 3″ baby that I brought home.
If this doesn’t prove what love can do, I don’t know what will.
I hope that one day, the woman who found him and really rescued him, could get to see what she actually did by taking in this boy.
Today I want to share an idea with you about honoring someone special in your life.
This is a project I put together for Christmas, after my Mother In Law passed on. So many people were involved in her life and with caring for her during her sickness.
I wanted to give them something. Something to hold, something to look at, to treasure.
My MIL (Mother in Law) loved to garden and feed the neighborhood, so I chose to honor her with a small cookbook.
I invited a few family members to write a few paragraphs about her, her life, and/or their relationship.
Whatever they wanted to say about her.
Grandpa wrote a tribute to her also.
The letters were placed in the very front of the cookbook.
I only am sharing a snippet, to protect the privacy of the family and the writers.
She had many recipe books, tablets, and notecards with recipes scribbled on them.
I selected some of the dishes that she made the most and the ones the had the messiest pages.
To me, messy recipes meant that they were good, go to recipes.
They were all typed out and sorted by category.
Staples (the store) made the copies, added plastic cover sheets, and bound the tops, to make a nice recipe books.
They did a really nice job.
I made a list of people who were to receive these books. I did not want to have a hundred printed and give them out to just anyone. It was a small select group of people who would find meaning in the books and understand the letters written in the front of the book.
When Christmas came, it was emotional for everyone because my MIL was gone.
It was bittersweet when they took the wrapping paper off of the cookbook to see her smiling at them from her garden, just like she had every summer for many years.
You can honor anyone in your life by doing something like this.