Monday, December 31, 2012

Winter is here, Happy New Year...

Last week was a busy week and the business still is not over.
As I sat here looking out my front windows all I can see is snow, snow, a few bare trees and more snow. I thought I'd step out onto the porch and snap a few pic's.

This one is looking slightly northeast

This is from the end of my porch looking southwest

I no longer have much appreciation of the cold and snow. Guess that's what happens after the body has had so many years of dealing with it.

Yesterday my grandson wanted to go out and play in that snow. His mom told him to ask what I thought of his idea. Well lets just say she will probably not make that mistake again. I'm kinda sure she was looking for a different answer from me...

My thoughts immediately went back to my own childhood. It didn't matter how nasty the weather was, didn't matter how much snow was laying on the ground nor how hard the wind was blowing. I was out in it and having a great time. I can almost hear my mom yelling through the blowing wind for me to come in before I froze my fingers off. But did I listen? Heck no.

There was a world of adventure out in that cold and snow. It was a different world from the usual green warm world. It was a world where I could see bunnies diving under the snow and reappearing somewhere else. It was a world where I could build my own snow fort or igloo and maybe even dig a snow cave. A world where I could get a sled and glide down the hills. Even take a old truck hood and use that for a huge sled!

I never remember feeling the cold until I would finally come back in. But that is what a warm bathtub is for. I also don't remember getting so many colds. Perhaps that was because my body was used to the cold and had more tolerance for it.

So out the grandson went.
Now earlier during the day he was complaining about having to trudge through the deep snow. Well he never complained once as he was doing it when he wanted to be out!

Sad to say but I was happy just standing inside watching him through the windows. I don't spend time out in that white stuff unless I have to any longer. My mind keeps drifting off to warmer places...

This much snow doesn't seem to come here this early anymore. It usually doesn't show up until the end of January and February, then leaves around the end of March or April. That's why my older, worn out, ache filled body is looking for a small place in a warmer climate to spend the winters at.

Someone else can shovel and plow that white stuff. Someone else can build the snowmen and send me pictures. I can come home in April and begin getting the ground ready to plant. When it's warm!

I'm not complaining... Much. But I guess this is a fitting end to my 2012. It's been a bit of a rough year. Not filled with the usual happiness and contentment I'm used to. So I'm looking forward to 2013 and hoping it goes much better and smoother.

As I prepare to get on with my day I'd like to warn everyone to be safe tonight as you celebrate the passing of 2012 and beginning of 2013.
Here the roads are icy in spots and you can never be sure where they may ice up after it becomes dark. That makes driving a risk at best.
Add that to the inevitable drinking that goes on for New Years Eve and you have a recipe for disaster.

My birthday was just a few days ago and I did celebrate! Before though I had made plans to have someone else drive me around to all the bars I wanted to visit. So even though I was admittedly drunk as a skunk I made it through with my life and body intact.

Tonight I'm hosting a small party here to celebrate. I've got cooking to do today in preparation for that and I have a place for anyone who celebrates too much to sleep and stay safe.

Please don't be one of those fools who drinks and drives. I'd certainly hate to lose you because of an accident. Readers and followers are just so hard to get.

Now for that cooking thing! I've already told the family and close friends of my intentions “not” to ever cook another holiday meal after this year. Yes this is my last.
I worked my tail off making that Christmas dinner, I'll be working it off again today making that New Years eve meal and tomorrows New Years dinner.
Let this be the official warning that I will not be doing this again!

It's up to you now to do the cooking of huge meals and I'll be glad to share them with you all.
But should I find myself in need of a holiday meal I will be finding a nice restaurant where someone else does the cooking and cleaning and keeping the building toasty warm.

Have a happy, prosperous and safe New Year!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Peace and Joy

There is so much to do today that I'm keeping the blog time very short. I'm sure everyone else is very busy also.

So I just want to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas.
If you don't celebrate Christmas I hope you'll share in celebrating the peace and joy of the season.

And before anyone asks, yes they are old Shiny Bright ornaments.
They once belonged to my grandma and some belonged to my mother. Mom had them put away in the attic and they had been forgotten for many years. I found them and I like them enough to use them every year. I do have a few extra boxes that I keep just in case.

Don't bother asking, I will never give up my Shiny Bright for love or any amount of money. They are promised to my kids when I no longer have any use for them.

I won't be here on Wednesday, there is much running and visiting to do.
I may or may not be back here on Friday. Thursday is my birthday and I intend to do a heck of a lot of celebrating that. Hey, it is a day that all the bars will give up a free drink for you and I intend to see how many I can visit. Birthdays are also a day when all the cheapskate friends will buy you a drink and the way I see it I've bought them and now they can buy me some spirits.
I already have a designated driver for the day lined up, who by the way owes me a really good meal at a nice restaurant that serves steaks.
So it all depends on how I feel Friday morning.

So have a great peaceful, joyous week full of smiles and sharing!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Your Trying What?

I just love walking out of the comfortable living room, through the plant filled sun porch, all the way to the kitchen and then standing there wondering why I was going to the kitchen in the first place.
I'd like to blame it on the addition of the Christmas tree and other decorations that were placed on the sunporch, but I know all to well that even without that distraction I would forget.

I listened to the high winds as I lay in bed last night which are said to be bringing six to eight inches of snow today. The winds are to continue so I'm sure there will be plenty of three foot deep snowdrifts.
Almost all the outdoor work is caught up and much is even ahead, so I've decided today I will pull out the Pizzelle iron and make some more scrumptious treats to spoil the grandkids and friends.
What else do you do when it's bitter cold and windy enough to blow you into the next county!

While out checking on the critters and feeding, a hair brained idea floated through my mind.
I'm now considering doing some searching and finding out what the most popular cookies and treats from each country or culture around the world are. Then attempting to make them all to help celebrate the different holidays and various celebrations of the year.

Heheheeee, I will become cookie man!

What the heck, I already do that with many of the other foods for meals.
I started that long ago as a way to break the monotony of eating the same things all the time over and over until my taste buds screamed out in agony. Musta done a decent job of it because the kids, grandkids and friends never complained and they all seemed to enjoy.

Seems my adventures in cooking always begin when nature decides not to allow me to go out to play. When it's cold, windy and snowing it's turn to the kitchen time for warmth and play.
Odd because mom was always saying “don't play with your food”. But did I listen? NO! Now I play with all kinds of flavors and mixes of foods.
So I am not one to discourage children from playing with foods.

Experimenting can be fun. Experimenting can be tasty.
My daughter experiments with cooking and flavors. She often comes up with tasty dishes.

But experimenting can also lead to messes.
My son cooks dishes just to fill his belly. Never bland, just never quite so great. He's more into science experiments.

He builds stuff like his own idea of a hydrogen generator.
With that he succeeded. Only problem was he lit the hydrogen gas coming out of his generator and there is still a dark spot on my kitchen ceiling from where the top blew to when it exploded off.
He has since found a better way to trap the gas and burn it...

He's now working on an alcohol stove made from a soda can. When he was building that I made him go outdoors before lighting it.
Wouldn't ya know it? It didn't explode. It just sat there burning nicely with a nice warm glow.

He needs to build a concrete lab to try his experiments so I don't have to worry so much about losing the house.

Well I'm off to try some experimenting of my own. I've got this idea of adding cinnamon to the pizzelle batter. It just sounds good to me and I've got to find out. If it works it will bring me to one more flavor to add to my regular list which already includes vanilla, anise, lemon and chocolate.

So have a great day full of smiles!
Remember, baking and sharing spreads smile too.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

More Cookies

Along with the usual chores. Then getting the grandkids on the bus some mornings and getting them off the bus some evenings and watching them until their mom gets off work, I've been a very busy guy.

Friday I made Oatmeal Raisin and Plain Oatmeal cookies. About six dozen cookies in each recipe.
The plain Oatmeal is the same as on the Oatmeal boxes from Quaker. My Oatmeal Raisin cookie recipe is already here on the blog at

Saturday I made three and a half dozen Tea Balls and two and a half pounds of Potato Candy.

Tea Balls
1 Cup Softened Butter
1/2 Cup Sifted Powdered Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla or Black Walnut Flavoring

2 1/2 Cup Sifted Flour
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
3/4 Cup Chopped walnuts

Add that to the first mix and mix to a dough.

Chill the dough.
Roll the dough into 1 inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until set and light brown.
While still warm roll in Powdered sugar and set aside to cool.
When cool roll in powdered sugar again.

Potato Candy
1/2 Cup Mashed Potatoes
4 teaspoons Vanilla extract
about "1" - 2 pound bag Powdered Sugar

Mix to dough like consistency – mix in a little powdered sugar at a time. I start with half the bag and then keep adding until it gets to a thick dough. (When you first start it looks like a failure, but don't worry it will thicken.)
If it gets too thick add more potatoes. But just a very little at a time.

Roll about a third of the dough at a time out on waxed paper - I dust the waxed paper with more powdered sugar to keep it from sticking so bad. I also use a piece of waxed paper over the candy when rolling so it doesn't make my roller so messy.
Roll it longer than wide. I start by making it more of a log shape with my hands before rolling.
I try to roll it to about a 12 inch by 6 inch shape.

Spread it with Peanut butter. Leave some space near the edges or the peanut butter will mush out when you roll it into a log shape.

Roll up into a log shape. Use the waxed paper to help you roll it up and peel the paper away while rolling.
Then cut into about 1/4 inch pieces.

I then let it dry a little on the waxed paper and then put it in a metal tin to store it in with waxed paper between the layers.

It makes about two and a half pounds of candy which never seems to last very long around here. Everyone enjoys it, friends and family. I add some to all the cookie platters and boxes I give as gifts.

One word of warning though.
This “IS CANDY”.
If you eat too much at one time you will get a belly ache.
I know this from way too much experience.
For those that can not eat peanut butter there is a old Amish recipe for potato candy.
That recipe is exactly the same except for the peanut butter.
Instead of rolling the dough out and spreading peanut butter on, they only roll the dough into balls.
I've tried it and it's great, but I'm just spoiled to the way my grandma and mom made it.

Monday afternoon after the electricity came back on I made eight dozen Peanut Butter cookies and two batches of Anzac cookies or nine dozen. I hadn't planned on making two batches, but my brain went on vacation and I forgot to take the first sheet of cookies out of the oven on time and kinda overcooked almost half the cookies. They weren't really burned, but were very super crunchy.

That Anzac cookie is an Australian cookie that one of the members here on the blog and who is a friend, told me about. She even sent me the Golden Syrup which is a part of the recipe. I've been looking all over in the stores for that and still can't find it anywhere. I have found it on line though and will have to order some.
Everyone I have given some to seems to love them and asks about them. They have become another on my Christmas cookie list to make every year and include on my gift plates and boxes of cookies.

The peanut butter cookie recipe I use is the one on the Jiff jar.
The Anzac recipe is really not mine to give out, but should I get permission from my friend I will. There are some Anzac recipes on the web that I've found though.

I had intended on taking two days off from baking to get other work done and finishing my cookie making on Thursday, but we had a very wild weather day on Tuesday.
Seriously! We had rain, high winds mixed with rain, then snow flurries and finished up later in the day with sun and calm.
So since I didn't want to contend with the weather I made cookies.
I made Chocolate Chip cookies, which I use the recipe on the Nestle's bag.
I also made the Sugar cookies which made me famous around these parts when my children took them to school for snack days. One little girl actually told me they were better than her mom's right in front of her mom.

Sugar Cookies

1 Cup (2 Sticks) Softened Butter
1 Cup Sugar
Beat these in a large bowl at high speed.

Add: 2 Eggs
2 1/2 teaspoons Vanilla
Beat until light and fluffy.

Sift: 3 1/2 Cup Flour
2 1/4 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Salt

Stir the flour mixture into the butter sugar mixture.

Shape into 1 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet
Butter the bottom of a glass and dip into sugar. Flatten cookies to 1/4 inch with the bottom of the glass. (I have flattened them with only butter on the bottom of a glass and did away with the extra sugar with great results)
Bake at 375 degrees about 10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned.
Makes about 4 1/2 Dozen
* This dough can be rolled to 1/4 inch thick and cut with cookie cutters.
You can also use the red and green colored sugars for the holidays.

I found this recipe in a very old cookbook years ago and for the life of me I can't recall the name of the book. I tried it and liked it enough to add it to my recipe collection. And like I said it's very popular with kids and it's also popular with adults.

In an adult version of this cookie I followed this recipe and I replaced the vanilla with bourbon and that was fantastic!
I've also used almond extract which was great also.

Over the years I've found that following recipes is a great way to learn.
Once you have it figured out though it's fun to try different spices and flavorings and come up with your own delicacies.

Well should you try any of these I certainly hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
Have fun and have a great smiling day!

Monday, December 17, 2012

List This

Lists are BS.
I make grocery lists and darned if I don't miss something on that list when I'm shopping. And then when I get home I always find there was something I should have added to my list!
I make gift lists. Either I can't find what is on the list or again I forget something that is on the list.

I have made todo lists of work that needs done. Those I can usually check every darned thing off of.
Yet I have one todo list with only two items on and can't seem to finish that list. All the list has is eat and sleep for one day. The eat part gets accomplished, but there is always someone who comes along or calls to put a stop to the sleep part. Usually right before I shut my eyes or just as I'm beginning to drift off to sleep!

So, not much time to finish the Christmas shopping. Are you done yet?
I hope I am, but have been alive long enough to know someone will come up with something else to get and that someone will be me...

Not much time to finish the cookie and candy making! Hows that going?
I've got a great start and “think” I'll be done by Thursday.
Now the problem becomes hiding the darned things so there are some left for Christmas and for gifts.
The kids and grandkids seem to have a built in radar for the cookies and candy...

Then with any kind of luck I will have a day off before I start making the noodles and getting other things ready for that Christmas dinner I so insanely said I wanted to do all the cooking for this year.
I intend to make some of the dishes a day or two ahead of time. The ones that always taste better as left overs, like my German Sweet and Sour green beans.

I'm just wondering if there will be any of me left over after the holidays!

No one has mentioned yet who will be doing the cooking for New Years. Then too there is my birthday in between and I haven't heard a word about that yet.
A luxury cruise and a week for me to put my feet up and lay in the sun on some warm sandy beach with lots of girls in bikini's waiting on me would be a welcome gift. Hint, hint : )
As if that would ever happen...
But hey! A guy can dream can't he?

Hmm, maybe I should make a list and hand it to my kids!
Maybe they would have better luck checking off stuff on a list than I do.

Well I'm going out and chatting with the chickens now and seeing if they have any clucks of wisdom for me. Because my electricity is out and there isn't much else to do right now but go out and play until the power company fixes there wires again.
But that is why I keep batteries on hand and oil in the oil lamps so I'm always ready when their lines get messed up.
Have a great day full of smiles!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

No Smile

Thursday I thought I had the day off. A day to do only the needed chores then rest and relax. Yah. I thought.
The phone rang, I answered it. Someone was off for their afternoon and asked if I wanted to go along shopping. I still had two more gifts to purchase and needed to get the three things from the grocery store I had forgotten before. So I went.

Spent the entire afternoon and into the evening shopping and walking through malls and stores. But thirty miles from home I managed to run into several people I knew from many years ago when I was still working, had some good catching up conversation and shared some laughs and smiles.

At least before making the trek up back up the mountain we stopped for dinner and I didn't even have to pay. That along with seeing old friends made the trip worth while. Heck anytime I can enjoy a meal without the hassles of cooking and cleanup it's worth the trip!

The trip was made even more worth while after seeing the news on Friday. When I heard the story of the nastiness at a school in Connecticut I immediately lost all Christmas spirit. Every last bit of spirit. Couldn't even post the blog I had planned.

My heart goes out to the families that lost someone in that mess. My heart goes out to all that were touched in any way by that insanity.

When my grandchildren came after school I shut the TV off. I kept them busy by making cookies and playing. I did not want to have them see any of that and then have to get into conversation about something that made me feel so hurt and angry and that I couldn't come up with any way to make sense of.

I don't feel that banning guns is the answer.

How about knives which we all have in our homes?
In China twenty two children were stabbed by some guy with a knife.
Back in June in Boston there were four people that were stabbed.
On December first six horses were stabbed at two different farms.
The first of my family who came from Germany and settled here in this country before it was the US, was stabbed and killed by a preacher with a knife for telling the truth about that preacher to the congregation of the church. That is in the records at the county court house!

A short time back not to far from here some guy was trying to kill his X girlfriend. He lit her house on fire! She wasn't home but he did manage to kill her children in the blaze. So should we ban matches and lighters?

How many people have been killed by rocks over the years? Should we pick up every single stone and rock on the face of the earth and send them into space!
People are killed by pieces of pipe, by being smashed and bludgeoned by pieces of wood. Do we do away with our plumbing? Do we do away with every tree that covers the face of the earth?

There have been angry people who have driven their cars purposely into people, even into crowds of people in an attempt to kill. Do we ban all automobiles?

Look around you. How many things are right there in your room or the room you are in that could be picked up and used as a weapon. Even lamps have been used to kill. Do we ban all lamps? Ban all flower pots?
I read once years ago about someone who was killed when they were smashed in the head with a radio. Do we ban all radios?

Where would the banning end?

There is an old line.
Where there is a will there is a way.
If someone has a will to kill they will find a way.

I blame the craziness on children being left to raise their selves. The many parents who ignore their children and don't spend the time teaching them good morals and how to deal with the things that happen during life.

Heck I don't like change. I certainly don't like the changes that seem to be happening so fast these days! But while growing up I learned coping skills.

We can't in any way teach about every little thing that might happen in the course of a persons life. Yet when we learn coping skills we learn to help ourselves in any situation without going off the deep end and taking others with us in our desperation.

I didn't like to see it but many times I stood and watched as my children failed. I didn't teach them that their failures were the fault of someone or something else. I taught them how to cope with failings. How to think and seek other ways to accomplish what they wanted to do.
Yes, failing at things hurts. But learning to deal with it teaches you to succeed.
Losing hurts. Yet by losing we learn to practice and become better at what we do and eventually if we have the will to win we do!

What we need to do as a “worldwide society” is teach our children.
Teach them coping skills. Teach them how to accept and deal with the bad of life and then teach them how to figure out on their own to succeed.

I did that by suggesting several solutions to my children. Not by doing things for them, not by buying them solutions, but by showing them there were many ways to get what they wanted if they were willing to do the work that was needed to get what they wanted.

I heard it years ago. I pondered it and began to understand it. I adopted it as my philosophy of life.
Anything the mind can conceive, and believe in, can be achieved.”
It's worked very well. But you must work to make it work.

I say all this because what I have noticed over many years of seeing things like these latest killing sprees is that they are done by people who have lost hope because of not having the coping skills and have given up.

I'm not smiling and I'm not looking for a smile today. A smile may come for a moment from something, but I guarantee it won't last for long as my mind goes back to this tragedy.

What I will be doing is trying to spread the word to teach what I feel might help.

Do we need more laws? NO
What we need is people who give a damn.
We need people to care about people and society enough to talk to and try to help people who are down or feeling down.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cancel Christmas

OK, the tree is trimmed which took all the work of carrying three big, no huge boxes from the attic down two flights of stairs and over an hours work including moving of plants and furniture to make a place for that darned tree. The decorations are in the windows, sitting on shelves and furniture which by the way I had to dust before putting the decorations on them and of course the windows suddenly needed cleaned. The train is under the tree and running well. But that caused more work. Had to clean and use some emery paper on the danged tracks so there is good contact for the electricity.

The shopping is still not done even after spending an entire day being coerced by sales people, ignored by sales people, ripped off by greedy stores with their high prices, having to explain what I was looking for to sales people who apparently do not understand any language what so ever.
Being blocked from what I was reaching for on shelves in stores by obviously blind customers, having to search for things because someone decided to change the layout of stores, having my cart moved when I wasn't looking and then having to look for it while in a heart stopping panic. Having people ask me if I knew where what they wanted was. I don't even look like a sales person!
Almost getting into an accident because people are in so much of a hurry in a danged parking lot they think a vehicle that is backing out of a space is a thing to race behind. At least now I know the brakes are good...

Then in the attempt to finally end my day of the shopping torture by getting the groceries and supplies for the baking, I'll be darned if I wasn't so tired exhausted and mentally beaten that I didn't forget three things on my grocery list!

Hmm, should Christmas be downsized? Banned?? Outlawed???

That would surely make life much easier. That would certainly save lots of hard earned cash. Just consider how much gas that would save!
Heck, I could stay home and spend the time sipping coffee instead of shopping. My legs wouldn't feel like rubber after an entire day of shopping which has now turned into needing to waste another day of my life for the stuff I forgot and stuff I couldn't find!
I could spend that time playing with the dogs or talking with the chickens. If I feel like walking I could go for a walk through the fields and woods.

Makes a guy wish he had never taught his children about Christmas. Makes a guy wish he would have given his children birth control for gifts when they were older so there wasn't so many grandchildren to buy gifts for. Heck makes a guy wish he would have given more consideration to birth control!
Makes me feel like staying at home so no one knows me and I don't have so many friends to buy stuff for or share my truckload of cookies with. Those darned cookies would last me a year!
Ehh OK, Maybe a month. But I do like my cookies.

Yah yah. I do enjoy playing Santa. I get a kick out of the smiles on the grandchildrens faces when they open their gifts. I do have fun playing with them and their toys. It makes me smile to make other people smile when I give them their gifts. I enjoy getting gifts. I find some kind of joy when I give those cookies out as gifts and I see the smile on others faces even while they are drooling to sink their teeth into them. Even enjoy talking to and making others smile when I'm going through the tremendous torture of shopping.

Oh well, I guess I can manage to somehow endure. But I can darned sure wish there was an easier way.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Still Need Some Time Off

Have you ever given so much it hurts?
I wasn't physically healed from my last helpful spree and the phone rang. An old friend was in need of some help. So I was off to help for four days.

I'm exhausted, have a headache, the joints and muscles are very achy. I'm in a mood to disconnect the phone, lock the doors and pull the shades shut so I can hide away from the world for a week.
I feel like never helping again! But I know that will never happen. Should someone call or stop and ask I'll be there even at my own expense if it's possible. I must be the dumbest fool on the face of the earth...
Or is it the adventure? Could it be the smiles I give and the smiles I receive?

Tomorrow I have to do some running and shopping. Almost out of dog food for my four legged friends and I'm totally out of bird food for my wild friends who fly by for a visit when the ground is snow covered. I'm in need of many ingredients to make those Christmas cookies and candy too! I haven't even begun on that fifty two dozen cookies and six pounds of candy.
So there is that three or four day task ahead of me . Wonder if anyone would mind if I didn't make all those cookies and candy...
Ehh, they too bring lots of smiles when people stop by for a visit or when they receive them as gifts.

Also in a very dumb moment I decided I wanted to do all the cooking for Christmas dinner with the family and friends.
I've spent the past bunch of years at my daughters house with family and friends, where she did all the major cooking and we all took along a favorite dish. But somewhere in an idiotic moment something in my head decided I wanted to do it all this year then out of my mouth it flowed like a raging river. So once again I gave my word and now must keep it.
I really need to get my head checked or at least put a lock on my lips...

Today though I have a chance to kick back and take it easy. And that is exactly what I intend to do. Quite possibly go back to bed and take a nap.

Yah, like that'll happen. Seems there is a great correlation between me shutting my eyes for a nap and the telephone ringing...

Then too if this pesky rain would stop there are a few things outdoors that need attending to. So that idea of kicking back and taking it easy for the day may not stand much of a chance either.

I wonder how really lazy people who do nothing but sit around watching TV do it.
Heck if I try to sit and watch TV all I see is vacuuming and dusting that need done. Then before I know it I'm cleaning the house! Then my eye spies something through the window that needs done and I'm outside doing that! Once it starts it never ends until dark!

Oh well, I've rambled on enough for today. So as I go about my day with a smile on my face I hope you do the same!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Being Lazy Today

I'm still in pain and don't feel like thinking, so here are a few things I've learned here and there over the years.

Find contentment in common things and your world will be full of joy.

The only way to reach the top is to build a real strong ladder.

Find something you love to do, then find a way to make a living doing it.

If you are not making mistakes, you are not working hard enough.

Don't let what others think keep you from being yourself and doing what you love.

You may think your fun is the most important thing in life, until your children think the same for theirself.

Mistreat your children and make bad choices, you'll live to wish you could hear their voices.

Abuse your child and you will find yourself abused by loneliness later in life.

Forget your child and you'll live to find your child forgets you.

You can't really love someone unless you love yourself.

It's better to be hated for who you are then to be loved for who you are not.

Never ask a question you're not ready to hear the answer to.

Once you say it, you can't take it back.

Choose your friends wisely, it's not your enemies that will get you into trouble.

Use your past as a tool, not as a crutch

Light travels faster than sound. That is why some people seem bright until you hear them speak.

A clear conscience is the sign of a foggy memory.

No matter what causes them, you are responsible for your own actions.

The probability of being watched is relative to the stupidity of the act.

We never really grow up, we only learn how to behave in public.

Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

You are never too old to learn something stupid.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Need Some Time Off

What do ya do?
What do ya do when you've done to much and your body revolts with pain?
What do ya do when you've made a bad move and your back won't flex and doesn't want to move?

You lose your appetite.
Is it the loss of appetite or knowing the pain you'll go through if you try and stand to cook something to eat... Is it the thought of the twist you'll have to do after that food makes it's way through and you need to clean up...
That answer doesn't matter because you just don't care.

You decide to do as little as possible and just lay in bed where you don't have to move that back and can allow it to heal.

Your attitude goes bad and you get grumpy when people try to cheer you up.
You try your best to smile when they do, but in your mind you are screaming at them to shut their mouth.

Yup, I did it again.
Over the weekend I might have pushed just a bit to hard and now I'm paying for it dearly with my best friend, back pain. I call it my best friend because it's always there for me. Never leaves me. It's there through the good and the bad. It's there when I'm happy or sad. It's there for the good times, it's there for the bad times. It even gives me time off to do nothing but lay in bed.

Which is where I'm going shortly after posting today's blog.

I drug myself from the comfy warm bed and forced myself along as I did the needed morning chores and fed the critters. Even made coffee in hopes that my back would loosen up as I sat comfortably waiting and then drinking. But...

There were just things that needed done over the weekend and I had to do them. Some even that I had previously given my word I would do. I felt the pain growing on Saturday and knew I should rest. Yet Sunday morning I couldn't convince myself to go back on my word and take the day easy. So now I will pay the price and lose a day or two laying on my bed waiting for the darned thing to straighten up enough to get on with my life.

What good is a person if they don't keep their word?
You give your word, you keep your word. Even if it hurts!

At least then when you face people you still keep your smile instead of hanging your head in shame.
You also keep the smile on the face of the others you have given your word too.

Pain comes and pain goes, but your word once broken is very hard to regain trust in.

Friday, November 30, 2012

A little thought about depression

Ever notice how you can hurt yourself and in your mind it causes you grief and sadness?
Ever notice at other times you can be in pain and someone makes you laugh then you find you have forgotten about the pain and actually laughed?
Ever notice how when you are really busy doing things you like, pain seems to not be as bad or even disappears for the time?

The mind and body are connected. Pain is a warning sent to the mind to give you advice to stop what you are doing or find a different way of doing it.
But things that begin in the mind can also bring pain to the body.

When many people I've talked to and including myself have felt really bad depression, parts of their body begin to hurt. Sometimes with nothing more than a loss of appetite. Sometimes in a mysterious unexplained pain. Usually for me it's added pain to my neck and back.

I find though that the sooner I find something to do or someone to laugh with or even just someone to spend time with and talk to, the faster those pains seem to relieve or some even go away completely.

Sharing, smiling and laughter seem to have healing powers...
I doubt there is anything mysterious or magical about that. It's just that when your mind is on things other than what is depressing you or bothering you the mind is to busy to get confused and send out false messages to your body causing pain. When you do have an actual pain the mind kept busy will not dwell on that pain.

Quite often too I find that when I feel low and depressed there is something I need in my life. At those times the only help I have found is to get alone with myself and listen to the thoughts that my mind reveals to me. Then when I do find what I am missing I have to make the choice to attempt to find and get what I need.

Sometimes too it's something I need to get rid of. Then I have to make the choice to get that bother out of my mind.
When it's something profound and hurtful locked in my minds past it becomes a bit of a problem. I find that speaking the words to release them from my mind can be dangerous.

Speaking some things to people causes them to judge you. Speaking some things to some people is telling the world.
Finding my one and only very trusted friend is my solution. But friends like that are a very rare find during a lifetime.
Some I have spoke to about similar situations write what they have to say and how it makes them feel anonymously.
It seems when it's left out and freed from the mind, the mind begins to heal.

We also have a tendency to shy away from doing things with others when we are feeling sad and depressed. Like staying away from parties or turning down invitations.
I've found that making myself go and be around people can help. Even when I'm having trouble talking to people there is always that one person who gets me into a conversation which ends up taking my mind away from dwelling on my own problems.
I find that helps because it gives me a break and later when I think about the problem it seem easier to find a solution.

Ehh, it's what works for me. If you think it will help you then try.
Anything to help bring the smile back to your face is worth a try in my mind and life.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Enough Excitement Already

It's late fall, water freezes overnight at this time of year quite often. So it becomes part of the early morning routine to give the chickens fresh water first thing in the morning. The heat lamp keeps the chickens warm, but it doesn't keep their coop warm in the corner where the water is kept.

My wonderfully helpful son was being nice to me and he took their water out before he had to leave for work. When he opened the door he was met by a big bird fluttering straight towards his face! I got to see most of the action from the window.
He sidestepped the guided missile by ducking and the chicken flew past him and out to freedom. He came back in with an angry mood and got a flashlight. Before I could say anything he was gone and looking in the darkness for the bird. I yelled out and told him to let it alone so he wouldn't be late for work.

I went out and did my morning routine and never saw a feather of the bird. Didn't even hear a cluck. So I guess you could say the chicken didn't give a cluck.
While I was busy with my chores I managed to find a small rock. I stepped on it and while dancing the please don't let me fall on my can dance, twisted my lower back. The same back that is never free of pain. Now it hurt worse...

I went to my daughters to get the grandkids on the bus while she went to her job. Tried to make a cup of coffee.
Her coffee maker decided to take about forty five minutes to brew one danged cup of coffee. Now I know one thing she is getting for Christmas...
So I only had five minutes to down that cup of liquid heat and heaven before I had to get the grandkids on the bus.

As I was walking home there were two rabbits that came bursting out of a field at close to the speed of light. Now I'm not sure if they were moving to fast to see me or maybe thought I would make good protection, but they almost tripped me to the ground as one ran between my feet and the other in front of my foot! Soon after while I was still trying to regain my balance a small fox came running out of the field in hot pursuit. He however did see me and decided to forget his chase and made a u turn back into the field. Maybe my stumbling made him think I would flatten him with a fall...

Now that aching back is aching even more and I want nothing more than to get home, take a couple of ibuprofen and have a cup of steaming coffee while I perch upon my couch. But I finish my trek back home and instead go chicken hunting.

I find the escapee and as I walk towards her she makes her way back to the pen. Now my head is full of pain and I'm not really thinking right.
As if I ever do...
So I open the gate and walk around the pen knowing she will stay ahead of me and go in the open gate. What I hadn't thought of was the other chickens would come out to see what the commotion was about.

You guessed it. As the chicken now tired of her freedom was going in the gate, four of the others made their escape. I really should have shut their door. So I had to walk around the pen and coop two more times before they were all finally safely back inside. I shut the gate, gave them some food and came back inside to the wonderful aroma of freshly brewed coffee.

Got two ibuprofen from the bottle, selected four scrumptious oatmeal cookies, poured a cup of coffee, parked my butt on the sofa and am praying that no one gets a deer in the next three or four hours and calls asking for my help to get the tractor and bring it in from the fields or woods.

All in all, a pretty good morning except for a little pain.
I got to laugh at the son as a chicken took his mind from bed brain to wide awake in a second flat.
I danced the don't let me fall on my can dance.
I had some fun talking to the grandkids as we waited for the bus.
I got to do a sort of two step, jive dance with two cute speeding rabbits.
Had the opportunity to laugh at a fox as he saw me and changed his mind.
Had the chance to save two rabbits from a hungry fox.
Got to go for a walk with a cute chick.
Got to laugh at my own thoughtlessness when I forgot about the other chickens.
Got to get them all safely back in their pen as they laughed at me with their cackles and talked about me with their clucks.
And now as long as the phone doesn't ring, I get to sit on my rump and savor the aroma and flavor of some nice hot coffee and share the tale of my somewhat exciting morning while hoping it gives you a big smile as it does me.

I kinda hope there is no more excitement for my day. Ehh, scratch that. Lets make it for the week!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Life Goes On

Icy cold air nipping at the nose and chilling the lungs. Crispy ground crunching under foot with wisps of snow laying here and there. Daylight just beginning to make it's way through the early morning darkness. An old body cuddled in the softness of warm clothes.

Finished with the early morning chores and now making his way to the spot he has been seeing the deer he wants to bring home to fill the freezer with. Very lean, wonderful tasting, nourishing meat for the winter months ahead.

He gets to his spot picked out months before and perches on a stump that stands there from a tree he once cut down when clearing a fence row. He listens and watches as the day begins to get brighter. His eyes take in the beauty of the dawning day.

The grasses of the fields glistening with the frozen dew that has collected on them over night. The weeds and brush at the edges of the field just outside the trees which give cover to the wildlife that hides within. He enjoys the silence.

He watches carefully at the trails he has seen the deer he wants emerging from so many other early mornings as he enjoyed the views of the different seasons of the year. All with their special changes of scenery. The beautiful flowers of the plants in the spring as the sun rose over the scene. Attracting the birds who would carry their seeds to start new life elsewhere. The filling of greens as summer approached. The greens that would feed and nourish the wildlife as the year went along. The leaves that would hide the birds as they grazed and hid from their enemies. The leaves that would hide their nests full of their precious eggs and babies. The change to fall when the beautiful colors of the leaves emerged before they dropped to the ground for the winter so the weight of the snow wouldn't break the branches and limbs of the trees.

He pours a cup of hot coffee from the thermos he brought along. As he smells the coffee and prepares to take a sip of the liquid heat he says a prayer to the universe to be on his side today and to aid him in making a clean shot so his prey wouldn't suffer.

He takes a deep swig of his coffee. As he does he hears a sound of a branch, something moving to his left. He sets the coffee on the ground slowly and cautiously turns his head to look. He spies a young buck. His head is full of thought. But it's not the older deer he wanted. So he watches as it moves from the brush, across the field and into the brush to the woods.
In his mind this deer would have made some decent meals, but was to young and should be left to make more deer and not hunted until a few years later.

He picks up his coffee and gets as comfortable as possible on his stump once again.
As he peers around at the beauty of the early day his mind begins to wonder about the years that have passed and the many times he has hunted alone and with others. He recalls conversations with other hunters and smiles as he remembers how they complain they never see deer.

He checks the wind direction, sets his coffee down and reaches for a cigar. He lights his cigar and watches the brush line across the field from him. As he enjoys his smoke he notices something moving in the heavy brush. He readies his rifle as he watches the familiar sight of the deer he has spent almost a year watching steps from the bushes. His cigar drops from his lips to the ground at his feet.

He watches as the deer walks into the field. But something is different.
The deer looks at him. It knows he's there. Yet it doesn't run. The deer gives him a look as if to say, it's my time and you are the one I want to feed with my body. My spirit is ready to move on. He waits for about a minute longer with thoughts seeming to go back and forth with the deer. Not one sign of the deer wanting to move except four paces closer and slightly turning to the side. The deer knows his hunter too.

They have both enjoyed each others company over the past year. They have watched each other knowing this day would come.
He aims his rifle with as much care as he has learned over his life and squeezes the trigger gently. The deer drops without a sound or movement of fear or pain. It's over and life goes on.

As he walks to his deer he feels sadness at the passing of a deer who has become a friend and taught him of his ways so this day would cause neither of them more pain than necessary for life to go on. He approaches his deer and says a prayer over him. Thanking the universe, thanking mother earth and thanking the deer. Giving thanks that he is allowed to share in the spirit of the deer, knowing that this deer will live on through him and those who share in the meals.

His hunting season was short as he intended it to be. Now was the time to take home his bounty to be stored for the meals during the winter ahead.
He only feels sorry that mankind has chosen to break the food chain and he will not one day be able to return what he has been given to go on feeding the life left behind when the day comes for his spirit to pass on.

Yet he also knows he can plant trees that will last longer than him that will feed and protect the wildlife long after he is gone. He can plant wild berry bushes and plants that will feed and drop seeds to spread their own growth that will feed those that feed him for many years to come.
He can leave something behind which will continue to feed as life goes on.

For this he smiles, as life goes on.
There is little to smile at when things are received. There is much more warmth and more to smile about when the smiler is doing the giving and sharing the smiles.