Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Chasing cows.

Nothing like a rousing cow chase to end a day.  Really not so bad when it isn't your cow you are chasing.  I haven't had a cow for several years now.  Thank goodness.  I had enough chasing cows (my own) for one lifetime.  I still remember waking up in the middle of the night thinking that I heard something and then running outside to check that Lunchbox was still in his pen.  And then panicking when I didn't see him right away.  Yeah, I know - he was a bull, not a cow.  But anyway.  I can say that I've chased more animals than I've ever imagined.  And at one time or another, I've helped chased animals for nearly all of my neighbor's.  My youngest son has mastered the art of cow-chasing.  He knows exactly which direction to walk, how fast to go, when to make eye contact - cow-chasing is a fine art.  You can also tell a lot about a family by the way they chase animals.  My family is rather loud.  There's constant yelling at each other because we all are both hard of hearing and naturally loud.  The neighbor's with whom we chased tonight are freakishly calm.  No hollering. No raised voices (although I could hear by the tone of my adult neighbor's voice that his frustration was nearly the yelling level).  My other neighbor's are at least as loud as we.  Maybe even more.  And they swear at each other - cuss words echo throughout the valley when their cow would get loose. Or their yard catch fire.  Or the husband is driving their lawn tractor too fast, too slow, in the mud......
It's always nice when neighbor's come together - whether it's for a church dinner, a cookout, or just to chase a loose goat, cow, or llama.  It's nice to know that we can count each other even though we may not see each over much over the winter.

Monday, February 29, 2016

She's back.

Last year this little duck broke my heart.  She and her fair-weather boyfriend. Donald, decided to move to One Old Goat Farm.  While she lived here, there was much ducky drama.  At one point, I thought she had been killed by a fox but fortunately, was only badly injured.  We fed her - after the fox incident, Donald (the loser) totally ditched her - we housed her, and waited for seemingly forever for her eggs to hatch and to be able to enjoy her little ducklings.  Which we did.  For a couple of weeks. I loved watching them and thought they were happy but then she and her seven little ducklings waddled off. Back home. Never to return.  Not a visit, not a thank you card. Nothing.   So last night, I thought I heard some faint quacking.  I didn't really think much of it. I don't have a duck.....since the last one I had, only used me for food and shelter.  This morning, however, I see that Daisy is back.  I know that it is her because she still has her head with the slightly chewed-on look and the featherless neck.  For a moment, I thought - well, forget you! You left me!  Within a half hour though, I had taken out some lettuce, some feed, and left open the basement door for her.  She looked as if she needed some rest, a warm home, and some food.  That's the funny thing about families.  
Sometimes one of us goes away for a period of time or even forever.  And those left behind can take it as being ditched or be thrilled because the other person has decided to just live his/her own dream.  Had I really felt badly about Daisy taking her family and leaving, I would have walked over to the neighbors' home and asked if I could bring her back.  I could have done that but Daisy would not have been very happy about it.  I knew that Daisy was just fine over there with her little babies and that's all I wanted.  I'm happy to have her back and if she wants to stay here, that will be wonderful.  I'll feed her and make sure she has a comfy place to stay.  

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day!

My sweet little Tipper!  It's freezing outside but warm inside with my pup, a heating blanket, and a good book.  Later I may get up and sew and perhaps cook something for dinner. Valentine's Dayis always a nice break in the blah winter months after Christmas.  How could a day that is associated with chocolate be bad?  Isn't odd some of things that we remember?  When I think of Valentine's Day as a kid, I remember sitting at the kitchen table in the old farmhouse on the hill.  My grandmother was there and there was a ton of snow.  I don't know if we were waiting for my brother's school bus or what but I've always remembered that.  I think we also were putting together Valentine's Day cards - back then, cards came in books.  You would punch out the card and then there would be a piece - usually a heart or something that you would attach by way of a tab.  I love that memory and every time I think of it, I feel loved.  

Monday, February 1, 2016

My night.

My wild nights these days include - for the most part - a small dog, a sewing machine (usually), a book (almost always), and a cup of tea.  As I age, I find that early morning is my favorite time of day and have come to appreciate going to sleep early as well.  Back in the day I remember falling asleep with a book at night - often very late at night.  These days I usually fall asleep before I even open the book which is fine.  I spend much of my time alone now.  Well as alone as I can be with four dogs - two of which are almost always glued to my side or sitting on my lap.  I thoroughly enjoy having a cup of tea and reading - right now I'm reading Gillian Flynn's Dark Places.  It has taken about a hundred pages before I was hooked but I'm enjoying the story.  It's a little dark for me but since I plan on a little Gladys Taber next, I'm not too worried about the mood I'll be in after finishing such a gloomy book.  Right now I only have 1 book going - unusual for me - but I haven't had a chance to stop at the library and pick up the Billy Bryson book that is being held for me.  Bill Bryson always makes me smile.

 It's nearly 10:00 - I've been sewing for the past 3 hours.  I want to read but it is 2 hours past my bedtime.  And I don't think Dark Places is the book to read before falling asleep.  These are my problems at the moment.  It is amazing how my life has changed in a matter of months.  

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Ties to the past.

It’s not that I don’t have enough time, it’s that I have too many ideas, see too many beautiful things that I would love to make.  I guess everyone has that problem.  When I think of how much beautiful fabric I buy – I should feel guilty. I don’t though – not in the least. Now that I don’t have small children, I don’t feel that I am being the least bit frivolous when I buy a bit of fabric that calls to me.  And here’s why:  Seeing beautiful colors or whimsical prints remind me of the good times in my life.  I just ordered a bit of Michael Miller fabric with a retro-kitchen/home economics theme.  When I first laid eyes on that fabric with those appliances from the 50s, I immediately was taken back to the old farmhouse on the hill where I lived when I was a little girl.  I have a lot of vague recollections of that place but more so I get really good vibes when I think of that time in my life.  I remember the tire swing out back – actually it may have been a wooden swing, a kind of treehouse I built in an old apple tree – the treehouse was actually just a couple pieces of old board but I could sit up there away from everyone (mainly my little brother, I suspect) and read.  I remember a window at the bottom of the stairs that went into the ‘other room’.  I remember a built in desk, a set of windows at the far end of the living room from which I could see into the kitchen and sometimes my mom would stand there and wave at me.  I remember the mudroom and standing in the mudroom listening when my brother’s bestfriend’s mom stopped by to tell my mother that she had caught the boys swimming in a sewer.  I remember the time I looked out the window after our old barn had been razed and remember feeling as if I were in a different world.  I remember the time my big brother found dynamite in an old shed……..or maybe I just remember hearing about it.  I could go on and on and on.  But that’s what my fabric does for me – it takes me back to time that was different and sweet.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

My cookie day.

Today's my day to share a recipe for the cookie exchange. Over the past couple of weeks, I tried to think of the cookie recipe I would share.  There aren't too many cookies that my family doesn't love.  Well.... they don't love oatmeal and raisin which happen to be my favorite and they are not huge fans of peanutbutter cookies - the recipe I've decided to share--but anything else, they will eat.  I'm pretty sure that my mom will be somewhat surprised that I am sharing the story behind the cookie but in spite of that, the story is what makes the cookie special to me.

When I was a kid - fourth or fifth grade I guess - my mom worked as an aide at the elementary school in the little town where we lived.  My mom was a good cook - she doesn't think so, but she really is a good cook. She also bakes really good cookies.  She's not a fancy baker but her cookies are good.  Anyway, one fall she started baking for Christmas.  Back in the day my mom would freeze the cookies she baked for Christmas. God help the kid who snitched cookies from the freezer!  Anyway, mom baked these peanutbutter cookies but she didn't freeze them because she didn't think they turned out.  She thought they were dry and burned so she put them out for us kids to eat.  During this time I stayed home from school because I was sick, probably with a cold or sore throat. I can remember drinking hot tea and eating those cookies.  And to this day, I don't believe I've ever had a better tasting cookie.  Whatever mom did to those cookies, they were the best tea-dunking cookies ever!  I probably ate two dozen of them on my own.  40+ years later, I can taste those cookies as if it were just yesterday.  Even though I was sick, that cookies-and-hot-tea day is one of my best memories.

Peanutbutter Cookies

1/2 cup soft butter
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs

Cream all of that together

2 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Mix this together and slowly add to the butter mixture.  Allow to chill at least an hour - it makes rolling into balls easier.  Preheat oven to 375.  Using parchment paper, place walnut size balls about 2 inches apart.  Criss-cross with sugar dipped fork and bake for about 10 minutes (watch carefully)

So enjoy the recipe - and if you do happen to bake them a little too long, enjoy them for their most excellent  tea-dunking properties! Thanks mom!

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you had a chance to visit the other participants!  Please continue on with the hop and visit the others I am fortunate to share today with listed below!

December 1

December 2

December 3

December 4

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Another old girl with a lot on her mind.

Something I didn't post when written: This is my treadle that I love so much.  I love, love,love her sound.  It took me awhile to get in the groove but I did.  It's not as simple as stepping on a foot peddle and the stitches follow.  No. You have to time the stepping of the treadle with the turning of the wheel so as not to have the machine go backward and break the thread  I still need more practice.  But i love it.  Today - like many people - I'm sitting with the attacks in Paris.  Trying to wrap my mind around it but I just can't.  I know there are people who don't like the French, who say they treat American tourists poorly but really? how do we treat tourists? Or international students? Or anyone who looks different than we do?  My brain can't handle this all.  On Facebook there is a quilting group that is having major drama.  really?  quilting? When there are moms and dads, spouses, sisters, brothers across the ocean who have lost an innocent family member for what?  For what?  I know that we are told to look at the big picture.  But how is that working for us?  When we stop looking at the world at a family level, it is easier to point out the good guys and the bad guys. It makes it easier to hurt when the other people are unknown to us.  I am tired. So tired.  I'm afraid of this world.  Looking at the big picture makes it easier to hate.  And I don't want to hate.  All I know is that fellow humans have been hurt and are hurting because of the hate of other humans.  I'm afraid of the hate from unknown people, I am afraid of the hate of people I know.